Thursday, July 31, 2008

The American Police State

I haven't smoked weed in 25-years but it's a personal choice. I'm not "clean and sober" because religious fanatics turned it into a crime! This country has gotten so self-righteously right-wing about drugs that they've turned our country into a prison state. Since Bush and Cheney took over, they're not even trying to hide their aggression, violence that has gone beyond the pale of civilized behavior.

Now comes this story. Are we going to let storm troopers kill a man's dogs over a stupid bust? Over marijuana? I'm sorry, but smoking weed or selling it NEVER justifies this blatant disregard for life and family. This country is going to have to come to terms with the people who are the REAL criminals in this fascist state.
*
July 30, 2008...........
Policeman Assaults Cyclist at Critical Mass Event

70,000 wheels in the air: Bikelifting after the
Hungarian Critical Mass,
Budapest, September 22, 2007


NYC: Have you ever wondered
if bicyclists have a right to use public roads? Did you think they were built for the exclusive use of motorists? Many states, including New York, have affirmed the right of use by cyclists. The cyclist rights group Critical Mass is playing a strong advocacy role in expanding this awareness in other states.
Video of Cop Assaulting Cyclist at Critical Mass Event

Another Critical Mass ride, another stunning display of police brutality. Watch as one of New York's finest violently shoves a cyclist off his bicycle, launching him through the air to the curb at 46th street and Seventh Avenue during Friday night's monthly Critical Mass ride.

* * *

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Behavior Detection Officers" Coming to an Airport Near You


21st Century flying blue-lounge equipped with mind-stamp,
brainwave decryption and analysis and in-flight behavior monitors
[Pre-flight waver granting permission to terminate in case of behavior violations required]

Get set for more changes.
Now airport security will be screening for "involuntary physical and physiological signs of 'stress, fear or deception'" at airports around the country.

I guess that means Richard Cheney can no longer fly.

Don't ask how these new "Behavior Detection Officers" will know the difference between what is standing there impatiently before them, anxious to get on a plane, and what they are projecting about "that arrogant bitch in designer glasses."

Whatever you do, don't act your goofy self and don't give them the "tabula rosa" of a blank stare to work with either; who knows what they will project.

It's getting so that in order to fly, vote or go to the grocery store, Big Brother will demand that we all display that ersatz look of blase middle class torpor that has become so distinctly American -- that conservative nonthreatening look of the "right-wing authoritarian follower," aka, sheep nodding in their pews.

Just remember, "If you're not doing anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about." Just wait till they start guessing about what your thinking.

TSA ramps up program to psychologically screen airline passengers

Nick Langewis and David Edwards
Published: Tuesday July 29, 2008

In addition to having your bags scanned, taking off your shoes and emptying your pockets on the way to your plane, prepare to have an on-the-spot psychoanalysis as well.

The TSA is in the process of training "behavior detection officers" to seek out involuntary physical and physiological signs of "stress, fear or deception" among air passengers to help determine who to subject to additional screening at airport security checkpoints.

SPOT, short for the Screening Passengers by Observation Technique, has so far been tested in major airports such as Boston, Providence, and Minneapolis-St. Paul. In addition, the Los Angeles Times reported, a "handful" of airports were added last December.

"There are certain thresholds that this individual needs to meet in our behavioral detection program," TSA spokesperson Andrea McCauley told KXAN. "We don't just see someone who is nervous and pull them over to talk with them."

Another TSA spokesperson, Jennifer Peppin, told the Los Angeles Times that SPOT has helped catch drug smugglers and people holding fake passports. "Have we caught actual terrorists? That remains to be seen," she said. Caroline Fredrickson of the ACLU, however, worries of profiling, adding that the program sets "a very dangerous precedent" in trying to train TSA screeners to be "behavioral scientists."

"Cultural sensitivity" is part of the week-long training regimen, the TSA insisted.


Here's a little advice
[satire] for TSA officers in training from Larry the TSA Guy:

(1) WORD ASSOCIATION

[This one's guaranteed to create a seat when you need to bump someone for a friend or dignitary; I use this one all the time.]

"Let's play a little word association game, shall we?"


"When I say a word, you tell me the first word that comes into your mind without hesitation."

"Okay, are we ready?"

"DICK!"

[If they say "Cheney" you arrest them on the spot; If they say anything else you can probably bump them on "questionable morals" or for creating a disturbance.]

(2) THE ROCHART INKBLOT TEST

[You take a piece of paper and fold it in half. Open the paper and pour a little India ink right in the center of the page on the crease. Then you fold the paper back in half so that when you open it again you have identically mirrored images on both sides of the crease.]

"Sir, I'm afraid I'm going to have to administer a little test. Don't worry, it's just a security precaution." [then you open the paper]

"Can you tell me what this image reminds you of?"

"Yes, yes, I know it looks a little abstract but that's the whole point. Go'head. Tell me what it looks like to you."

[Any response whatsoever probably represents "hidden aggression" towards you and the authority you have as a TSA officer to delay them or keep them off their flight. Therefore, you have "just cause" to arrest the passenger, confiscate her designer sunglasses and you don't even have to worry about "constitutional due process" anymore. Pretty neat, eh!]

--Larry the TSA guy

* * *

Friday, July 18, 2008

WW-III: DEA Disinformation Chatter Sending Up Red Flags in Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay & Venezuela


Just this week, my news filters started picking up what increasingly appears to be a disinformation campaign aimed at "poisoning the well" in Latin America:
* "DEA Reports Show That Mexican Cartel 'Thugs' Are Receiving Training From Iranian Revolutionary Guard"

* "Mexican Drug Cartels and Islamic Radicals Working Together"

* "The Caracas-Tehran Axes"
Something is up. They are cranking up the propaganda machine perhaps in preparation for a future deployment of U.S. forces in Mexico, Colombia and/or Paraguay. For now, their intention seems to be to threaten and to terrorize. Imagine that.

Mexico, in stoking up the heat on the drug cartels, has fallen into anarchy within its northern states along the U.S. border. Although the Bush Administration recently announced funding support for the Mexican military in their violent struggle against the Sinaloa Federation and Gulf Cartels, it is possible that more direct support may have been “placed on the table,” even though the cartels have devolved into interior power struggles and internecine wars for territorial control.

Ecuador is lining up with our OPEC "enemy," Venezuela, who currently supplies 25% of our imported oil. Both are currently experiencing diplomatic conflagrations with the right-wing government of Colombia, which the Bush Administration supports. Issues involve Colombia's alleged cross-border incursions into Ecuador and Venezuela in pursuit of left-wing guerrillas whom Colombia claims have been given sanctuary by them. Venezuela has vehemently denied any support.

All the while, the Bush Administration has recommissioned the 4th Fleet and sent it to the Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela. The Navy has already launched acts of provocation, in the form of "accidental" flyovers of Venezuelan island territories in the Caribbean, drawing protests from Chavez. At the same time, Ecuador demanded that the United States close its airbase in that country, which we did, moving it to Colombia.

Last week, it was revealed that George W. Bush's man in Bogota, President Álvaro Uribe [right], just happens to be one of the former captains of Colombia's infamous Madeline cocaine cartel, led by Pablo Escobar [left], who was "reportedly" killed in a joint operation of DEA and Colombian government forces in the 90s. What appears to have occurred is that CIA and Mossad handlers lost control over both Escobar and Daniel Noriega of Panama after Vice President George H. W. Bush, Oliver North and John P. Walters, who is not surprisingly the current "Drug Czar" under George W. Bush-43, spent so much "persuasive" effort in bringing them into the CIA Colombian "plaza" in order to benefit the Contra counter-revolution against Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua.

It has been a general rule in Latin America that if the government was a first generation democracy emerging from the neo-liberal thumb of American corporatism, then the drug "plaza" was run by the CIA against them in order to raise illegal covert funding for groups like the Contras in Nicaragua, mentioned above; ergo, the infamous Iran-Contra Affair. But now, competition has arisen even in the underworld as resurgent left-wing movements, such as Colombia's FARC, have moved into "the plaza" to take their "cut" of the profits in order to buy arms; although, the Bush and Uribe governments have announced that FARC is all but defeated.

Much of the time, it is the U.S. arms industry providing the arms for the left and the right and now, evidence has begun to emerge that Mossad has always been active in the region as a silent partner to the CIA. Some have even accused Mossad of covertly "outing" the CIA by deferring all of the blame for Iran-Contra onto President George H. W. Bush, who outrightly favored the oil rich Arab nations over the national interests of Israel in the immediate years of the Soviet's demise in the Cold War. Now they feel much more comfortable with his -- let's face it -- idiot son, who has allowed an obviously compromised and corrupted Richard Cheney, stumbling along in the secure hands of a cabal of sayanim neocons with their promise to create wealth for the American oligarchy, to take over the American government from the shadows. So go the recent accusations from the underground press.

We all should be keeping our eyes on Latin America as our politicians, both conservative (McCain) and "progressive" (Obama) refine their respective "opposing" positions on a possible withdrawal from Iraq, only to redeploy them to Afghanistan while looking askance at Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador for their alleged cooperation with the cocaine cartels. The controlled press has been cooperative in covering stories of strengthening Taliban forces in South Asia but such a redeployment would only represent a shell game.

Indeed, the press is jabbering on behalf of the Pentagon, calling for more troops in Afghanistan and publishing stories of U.S. troops on the verge of being overwhelmed at the same time the Latin American press is being planted with stories regarding an eminent DEA paramilitary operation in South America [see stories cited above]. Afghanistan happens to be conveniently located on the Northeastern border of Iran.

Personally, what this writer perceives is the opportunity to set up and execute a classic pincer movement [cf. article below] against Iran from Iraq's southeastern or northeastern border and from Afghanistan's southwestern border. At the same time, the Pentagon may set aside a regiment or two for redeployment against OPEC's Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, who has formed an alliance with Iran's Ahmadinejad, even moving to the Euro currency for Venezuelan oil/gas transactions just as Saddam Hussein did and Iran has now done, except in the case of the latter, Iran has opened its bourse to a number of currencies other than the dollar.

In fact, this amounts to the same formula by which Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser, at first drew Russian military forces into Afghanistan by attacking their puppet regime in Kabul with U.S. surrogate Mujaheddin forces; and then by covertly supporting the Mujaheddin against them in an extended, Vietnam-like debacle in order to get them to dump their GNP into a costly war with no return, one that would devalue the ruble and then break them. Yet this is exactly the trap the Bush/Cheney Administration has fallen into in Iraq. It would not surprise anyone to discover that -- out of retaliation -- Russian economic advisers inspired first Saddam Hussein and then Iran and Venezuela to reject the dollar for oil transactions, thus bringing the full force of the U.S. foreign debt onto our own heads as the dollar is replaced as the coin of the realm by the Euro. The U.S. is betting that the dollar will survive all challenges, including this speculative one.

The Afghanistan redeployment will proceed, despite the State Department's initiation of talks with Iran, a diplomatic strategy forsworn by Bush until now. Israel is said to be on the verge of issuing a scathing denouncement of a negotiated settlement, even though they have begun negotiating with Syria. Their fear is that the U.S. will withdraw leaving them vulnerable to future aggression by Iran, who maintains the strongest military presence in the Middle East, opposite Israel's. Both Israel and the United States want assurances that Iran will not enrich uranium that could be used to develop nuclear weapons, but this artificially precludes the possibility of Iran procuring enriched uranium from Russia or China, their allies in trade.

Therefor, a dual diplomatic and a military strategy appear to be in the offing, but many cautious pundits have opined that Bush is only going through diplomatic paces so that he can later claim he tried everything possible to avoid war, a tactic he used against Saddam Hussein that was later documented to have been disingenuous and perfunctory from the beginning. Bush is known to have an unrealistic need for certainty; negotiated settlements could never assuage his anxiety. Besides, one of the primary Straussian (neoconservative) goals set out by PNAC beyond securing Israel is to insure that the Soviet Union is never again resurrected to threaten another expansion of her empire into the oil rich Caspian and Middle East regions or into Afghanistan to secure southeastern pipeline routes to the coastline of Pakistan. The best way to prevent a resurgence of the Soviet empire, neocons aggressively assert, is to replace it in the region with our own.

Given Obama's initial opposition to the invasion of Iraq, for Barack Obama to call for (now a staged) withdrawal, one supported by Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki of Iraq, at the same time he promotes sending troops to Afghanistan, is disingenuous at worse and inadequately informed at best. Since he is now being handled by some of the top insider foreign policy experts in the country, my estimation is that he and his campaign staff are being duplicitous. Notwithstanding the secret mission established by Cheney to secure for ourselves the trans-Afghanistan pipelines from the Caspian and the gas rich region of South Asia west of there, the stated reason for going into Afghanistan originally was to eliminate al-Qaida in the wake of 9/11. The Taliban became a secondary issue once we invaded despite their current resurgence. Nevertheless, I'm sure Obama thinks his position is now more "nuanced."

Prime Minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki

UPDATE: A story picked up today on Right Side News, entitled, "US Denies Report of Cartel Training in Iran," appears to be either a poor translation of the cautious editorial we found or a story that appeared the same day in Mexico City's El Universal quoting other sources. When the editor of This Ain't My First Rodeo researched the archives of El Universal he came up with a completely different take, one that quoted officials of the Mexican Department of Justice as attributing the alleged DEA reports of Iranian training of Mexican narcotraficantes [see articles linked at the stop of our story] to "an anonymous informer" from the U.S. State Department.

The El Universal editorial that we reviewed stated that spokespersons at the Iranian Embassy in Mexico City have attributed this week's multiple reports of Iranian complicity with Mexico's drug cartels to disinformation sources originating with the American intelligence services who have been alleging that members of Mexico's Sinaloa and Gulf Cartels have trained "right along beside Lebanese and Palestinian Hamas, Hezbollah, PLO and al-Qaeda recruits inside Iran" [loose but accurate translation] .

_____________________

UPDATE II: Violencia de cárteles no es narcoterrorismo: EU -- El secretario de seguridad interior lamenta sofisticación para transportar drogas

Yesterday (07-19-08), another article by El Universal reported that during a meeting with Mexican security officials to iron out details of the incipeint Merida Initiative, Michael Chertoff was said to have discounted the level of violence recently unleashed by the Mexican Cartels, stating that it does not rise either to the level of narcoterrorism experienced in Colombia several years back or to level of ongoing acts of terrorism currently witnessed in the Middle East. According to the article, he went on to say that technology for fashioning weapons used by terrorists can be gotten from the internet.

He seemed to be attempting to allay fears that Mexico's drug cartels would soon be escalating their level of violence using training and technology available through recently alleged international connections with Hamas, Hezbollah, the PLO or al-Qaeda. He reportedly encouraged the security officials that the recent capture of a cocaine laden mini-submarine off the coast of Oaxaca demonstrated the effectiveness of combining intelligence resources in order to defeat the cartels and stem the flow of drugs into the United States.

They also discussed George Bush's plan for a "comprehensive immigration plan" that would encourage the temporary assistance of Mexican migrant workers, "because it recognized that manpower is needed in diverse industrial sectors" of the United States.

Mexican official Juan Camilo Mouriño reported stated during the session on the implementation of the Mérida Initiative that he "trusted that in a short time the resources in species and qualification for the bilateral combat to the drug cartels will be transferred."

The word "species" always makes me thing of denominations of currency -- big denominations. I'll bet he is indeed getting anxious for the "transfer."

*

Monday, July 14, 2008

The New Yorker: Satire That Missed the Irony


Oh, but The New Yorker Magazine has so missed the mark if it thinks its satirical point is still relevant that Obama is a progressive with integrity and not the person the right-wing is projecting him to be, as humorously depicted. The joke's on them. That cartoon was drawn before Obama voted in favor of FISA, announced support for Bush's faith based initiative, hailed the Supremes' hand-gun song and dance, pandered to the anti-choice fascists, evacuated from his promise of lobby reform leaving his yellow dog in the front yard barking about the campaign finance promise he's abandoned as well, and left the knife in every progressive's back from Boston to San Francisco, all the while pretending to be Robert F. Kennedy with the voice and evangelical cadences of Martin.

Oh no, the joke is on the New Yorker. Obama is certainly not the radical leftest the Neocons would have the country believe he is. Far, far from it, indeed. But he is certainly not turning out to be the innocent progressive candidate that the Obama Campaign would have us believe either. Hence, the irony in The New Yorker's attempted satire. They don't quite get it either.

There is already a furor over this cartoon cover and it hasn't even hit the stands as of early today. Democrats are worried that people are not sophisticated enough to get the satirical point being made.

Personally, after last week's run right through the middle on his way to the broken right-wing of a chicken-shit covered banty rooster in betrayal mode, I hope every ignorant redneck in the South who turned to "guns and religion in their frustration" gets a copy of this because that's exactly what this back-stabbing pandering Chicago politician has done himself-- he's gone out and grabbed himself a rochet for his waist, a back pocket full of lobbfied Benjamin-faced religion and a mouthful of Reagan talking points now that he thinks he's got the nomination sewed up. I'm sure any misunderstanding this month's cover of the New Yorker causes will be insignificant compared to the misunderstandings he rendered himself regarding his true political positions during the primaries.

He may have even attempted to placate AIPAC, who had expressed concern over his position on withdrawal from Iraq, by softening his stance on their behalf. That would be the coup de grass against any further pretense of progressivism and all indications are that he's done just that.

Yes, after last week's right-wing mollifying performance by Barack Obama, whom I find can no longer be trusted, I think I'm going to be nauseated for months. I just want to scream "Larry What's His Name for President! Larry What's His Name for President" This guy Obama screwed us on the waaaaaa down low and never even offered us a toot.

Voter Reaction to Obama's FISA Vote Couldn't Be More Clear

This is Friday's published chart from Rasmussen Polls. I think it speaks for itself. Jerry, the guy who published the chart to BarackObama.com got canned on Saturday but he's back under a new account name. Now I think that speaks volumes about the Obama Campaign and their "Progressive" candidate.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pincer Movement Accidentally Announced by Bush Administration

The pace is starting to pick up; you can just feel something in the air now. This morning's report by the New York Times, even though it is suspect, is noteworthy for both what it doesn't say and for what it wants you to know, especially with an upcoming presidential election and a restless population demanding a withdrawal from Iraq.

U.S. Considers Increasing Pace of Iraq Pullout

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration is considering the withdrawal of additional combat forces from Iraq beginning in September, according to administration and military officials, raising the prospect of a far more ambitious plan than expected only months ago.

Such a withdrawal would be a striking reversal from the nadir of the war in 2006 and 2007.

One factor in the consideration is the pressing need for additional American troops in Afghanistan, where the Taliban and other fighters have intensified their insurgency and inflicted a growing number of casualties on Afghans and American-led forces there.

More American and allied troops died in Afghanistan than in Iraq in May and June, a trend that has continued this month.

Although no decision has been made, by the time President Bush leaves office on Jan. 20, at least one and as many as 3 of the 15 combat brigades now in Iraq could be withdrawn or at least scheduled for withdrawal, the officials said.

The desire to move more quickly reflects the view of many in the Pentagon who want to ease the strain on the military but also to free more troops for Afghanistan and potentially other missions.

The most optimistic course of events would still leave 120,000 to 130,000 American troops in Iraq, down from the peak of 170,000 late last year after Mr. Bush ordered what became known as the “surge” of additional forces. Any troop reductions announced in the heat of the presidential election could blur the sharp differences between the candidates, Senators John McCain and Barack Obama, over how long to stay in Iraq. But the political benefit might go more to Mr. McCain than Mr. Obama. Mr. McCain is an avid supporter of the current strategy in Iraq. Any reduction would indicate that that strategy has worked and could defuse antiwar sentiment among voters.

Even as the two candidates argue over the wisdom of the war and keeping American troops there, security in Iraq has improved vastly, as has the confidence of Iraq’s government and military and police, raising the prospect of additional reductions that were barely conceivable a year ago. While officials caution that the relative calm is fragile, violence and attacks on American-led forces have dropped to the lowest levels since early 2004.

Read the complete article here.


Honestly, this (dis)information is coming from the New York Times. Think about that. For a while, independent analysts have been expecting an Iraqi "withdrawal" deployment to Afghanistan where American forces could execute a pincer movement against Iran using air and ground forces. All the while, Fox News will be telling the American public that we are pulling out of Iraq.

Pincer Movement
Function: noun

Date: 1938
1 : a military attack by two coordinated forces that close in on an enemy position from different directions

2
: a combination of two forces acting against an opposing force

What the New York Times failed to mention in this article is that Blackwater has 150,000 mercenaries deployed in Iraq that they aren't even counting as "American forces."

What it also failed to mention is that the relative calm in Iraq has been created by an Iraq-Iran cooperative agreement to decrease anti-American hostilities among the Shiite forces over which both have influence. And with this calm has come both the appearance of increasing competence of Iraqi forces and demands by Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Maliki for the withdrawal of American forces.

Of course General David Petraeus knows very well the conditions on the ground and perhaps he's decided to coordinate a ruse of his own involving Afghanistan.

But then, George Bush and Richard Cheney wouldn't lie to you would they?


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Was Obama's FISA Betrayal Encouraged by The Israel Lobby?


It's rockin' right now at HuffPo.com: New Group Wants To Overthrow Obama At Convention and the author is Thomas B. Edsall, one of their most respected essayists.

Maybe, just maybe, a bunch of delegates to the Democratic Convention in Denver will change their minds at the last minute. Maybe there is an outside chance that between now and the last week of August a critical mass will decide that Barack Obama is not their guy -- that, to the surprise of one and all, Hillary Rodham Clinton is to be the 2008 nominee after all.

That is the thinking behind a small but determined band of Hillary backers, some of whom have formed a 527 fundraising committee that has already run one $9,700 ad in the Chicago Tribune, and plans more in the weeks to come.

The Denver Group:
Keeping the Democratic Party democratic, created by Georgetown Law professor Heidi Li Feldman and freelance advertising man Marc Rubin, ran an ad in Friday's Chicago Tribune declaring:

"Senator Clinton's name must be put in nomination. Her supporters must be allowed to make speeches on her behalf of her candidacy. There must be an honest roll call vote, not a symbolic one, so superdelegates can cast their votes honestly, for either candidate, as their judgment, conscience and democratic principles dictate."

Feldman told the Huffington Post that the goal of the Denver Group "is to insure substantive and legitimate selection of the nominee." DNC chairman and other party leaders "should be taking responsibility for making sure it's a legitimate procedure. They cannot demand that people simply unify around either one of them."

Feldman argued that it is entirely conceivable that an open vote could produce a Clinton victory. "Then, the decision comes down to the superdelegates. I have no Idea what they are going to do six weeks from now.".... read the entire article here.

Edsall has this framed as a rebellion by disgruntled Hillary supporters such as those at P.U.M.A. (Party Unity My Ass). That's only partly true; the energy for the uprising is coming from Obama Progressives who feel betrayed by their candidate's recent unexplained flip-flop to vote in support of the 4th-Amendment-crushing FISA juggernaut pushed through by AIPAC, a trampling of civil liberties that gave Bush much more than he even asked for in terms of legalized spying on the American people, including its notorious provision for retroactive telecom immunity from civil litigation and criminal accountability. This, despite opposition by 70% of American citizens.

Progressives also watched wearily last week, despite his promise early on in the primaries to limit the influence of lobbies -- a promise that produced a surge of support among progressives and then sustained him throughout the primaries once Dennis Kucinich dropped from the race -- as Obama negotiated with the Israel Lobby during recent visits in Washington D.C.. He is also suspected by progressives of having negotiated with
the NRA and the religious right wing, resulting in his statements of support for the recent Supreme Court's radical reaffirmation of the 2nd Amendment and what seemed like pandering support for the death penalty in cases of pedophile violence as well as his announcement on behalf of the continuance of Bush's Faith-Based Initiative.



In fact, he has stopped speaking of removing the influence of special interests all together, a reform that is seen as absolutely essential by progressives if we are to re-establish the American Republic.

Several watchdog groups and journalists, including Tom Flocco, reported that in late 2001 Carl Cameron of Fox News investigated an Israeli telecom network that may have warned the Bush Administration, through its internal Mossad and CIA connections, about the coming terrorist attack on 9/11. The four-part series has since been removed from their internet website by Fox News.

Despite Fox's apparent cooperation with government censorship, a few mirror sites continue to feature the series. Non-government analysts who have reviewed Carl Cameron's suppressed investigative journalism now think Cameron may have unwittingly turned up evidence related to the Bush Administration's NSA illegal data collection systems and the contractors they use, specifically the Israeli telecom companies Amdocs and Converse-Infosys (now Verint) who provided the prior intelligence on 9/11 and who may have even participated in it's facilitation, if independent investigators looking into the connections prove accurate. [See 4-Part Fox News video series below, following this article.]

The FISA immunity provision, attached to the controversial FISA bill that passed with Obama's support last week, is said to have come attached with a classified list of 25 telecoms seeking protection from civil and criminal action associated not only with NSA's illegal spying activity, but also from further 9/11 investigation-based litigation now being demanded from grass roots organizations. French intelligence sources are said to have confirmed a list of Israeli-based companies with connections to AIPAC. AIPAC took the lead in lobbying efforts in favor of telecom immunity just at a time when Barack Obama was working furiously to gain their support; although, this editor has been unable to confirm Obama's precise motivation regarding the already infamous "flip-flop." Nevertheless, the implication is obvious.

According to Fox News, “virtually all records and billing in the U.S. are done for the telephone companies by Amdocs Ltd., an Israeli-based private telecommunication company, contracting with the 25 biggest phone companies in America, and more worldwide,” said Fox chief political correspondent Carl Cameron in a four-part series—the video and transcript content of which were removed from Fox’s website after both were preserved by internet sources. [cf. Tom Flocco.com]
One of the main concerns raised by Cameron's series for Fox News is evidence of security breaches in the system. In effect, it means that no citizen of the United States is secure in their electronically transmitted personal communications, bank accounts, retirement funds, investment portfolios, medical records or other private demographics. It means that the United States government is not secure in its communications.

Most importantly, it leads one to wonder why the Israeli government, working through AIPAC and representing the interests of not just the Israeli private telecommunications industry, but also the Mossad and CIA partnership that worked to mine the data being produced, would have such a highly sensitive and apparently classified interest in immunity from litigation, given what we now know of their role in providing the intelligence warnings prior to 9/11 vis-a-vis these very resources. In an interview after the vote, Senator Hillary Clinton was curiously quoted to have said that the immunity provision of FISA now severely restricts future investigations into 9/11. That is quite an amazing statement when you stop and think about its implications.

Here is a portion of Senator Clinton's written statement to the press, provided at Huffington Post, that for some reason the controlled media believed insignificant or that it didn't quite communicate the talking points they were looking for:

"...But the legislation has other significant shortcomings. The legislation also makes no meaningful change to the immunity provisions. There is little disagreement that the legislation effectively grants retroactive immunity to the telecommunications companies. In my judgment, immunity under these circumstances has the practical effect of shutting down a critical avenue for holding the administration accountable for its conduct. It is precisely why I have supported efforts in the Senate to strip the bill of these provisions, both today and during previous debates on this subject. Unfortunately, these efforts have been unsuccessful.

"What is more, even as we considered this legislation, the administration refused to allow the overwhelming majority of Senators to examine the warrantless wiretapping program. This made it exceedingly difficult for those Senators who are not on the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees to assess the need for the operational details of the legislation, and whether greater protections are necessary. The same can be said for an assessment of the telecom immunity provisions. On an issue of such tremendous importance to our citizens - and in particular to New Yorkers - all Senators should have been entitled to receive briefings that would have enabled them to make an informed decision about the merits of this legislation. I cannot support this legislation when we know neither the nature of the surveillance activities authorized nor the role played by telecommunications companies granted immunity..."


Progressives have become increasingly concerned as well that recent nuanced modifications by Obama on Iraq may indicate the early stages of back-peddling that will lead to his caving on the major promise that has been the hallmark of his campaign -- the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. The concern is that Obama, if not by directly obfuscating and delaying withdrawal, may initiate a politically placating strategy of simply moving American forces to Afghanistan while leaving a contingent in Iraq to manage the 150,000 Blackwater mercenary force currently in place. By simply playing a carnival shell game with US Forces in the Middle East, the Pentagon and the neocon cabal who currently call the shots can still maintain forces within striking distance of Iran.

But moving the occupation to Afghanistan -- while playing up both his promise and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki's demands for withdrawal -- may belie yet another campaign deception: Obama has spoken against the privatization of government functions that has led to so much additional corruption, such as the misplacement of billions of taxpayer funds directed to the "war effort" and the plague of Blackwater supervised atrocities that have been occurring with increasing frequency as their forces multiply throughout the region. Leaving Blackwater in Iraq will never be seen as a withdrawal of American forces unless Fox and CNN get behind the effort to sell it as such, which is exactly why nothing is heard from the controlled media about the numbers, control or effectiveness of mercenary forces in Iraq under Blackwater and others.

At this point, the incipient journalistic investigation following Obama's shocking turn-around on FISA is founded upon coincidental negotiations with AIPAC -- circumstantial evidence -- and subject of much speculation based upon rumor and innuendo resulting from his general "move to the middle." In fact, Lieberman seems to be providing cover by dogging his every step. Notwithstanding the "FISA Betrayal," progressives have already been subject to increasing anxiety regarding the meaning of Obama's redeployment of campaign rhetoric aimed at claiming the moderate position for the November election while everyone works together at defining McCain -- appropriately -- as a member of the radical right-wing associated with the BushCo
global corporatists, including the Wall Street barons of high finance, cronies representing the Military-Industrial Complex and Straussian war hawks. Progressive journalists are therefor comparing notes and asking questions.

As they say, "sooner or later the Truth will out" as the investigation continues into Obama's campaign funding sources, especially given the report that the Senators and Representatives who voted in favor of FISA have just recently received an overall average of $8000 more in contributions from the Israel Lobby than those who opposed it. Notedly, Senator Hillary Clinton was among those few who opposed the bill.

Therefore, we will be watching to see if the "FI$A Effect" has significantly benefited the Obama Campaign while we "let the dogs out" in this very suspicious wood.

Yesterday, in a piece entitled Betrayed by Obama, Salon's Chief-Editor Joan Walsh observed, perhaps with more caution than he deserves, that Obama's "move to the center" is one of perception rather than intentional deception; although, progressives are hard-pressed to find cause to agree:

...Meanwhile, Barack Obama is complaining that his "friends on the left" just don't understand him -- he's not moving to the center, he is "no doubt" a progressive, just one who now supports the scandalous FISA "compromise" and Antonin Scalia's views on gun rights and the death penalty, no longer plans to accept public campaign funding, and wants to make sure women aren't feigning mental distress to get a "partial-birth" abortion (the right's despicable term of choice; the correct phrase is either late-term or third-trimester abortion).

I actually have some sympathy for Obama. He was never the great progressive savior that his fans either thought he was, or peddled to their readers. While Arianna Huffington and Markos Moulitsas and Tom Hayden were hyping him as the progressive alternative to Hillary Clinton, Obama was getting away with backing a healthcare bill less progressive than Clinton's, adopting GOP talking points on the Social Security "crisis" and double-talking on NAFTA. So why shouldn't he think his "friends on the left" will put up with his abandoning other progressive causes?

I've admired Obama, but I never confused him with a genuine progressive leader. Today I don't admire him at all. His collapse on FISA is unforgivable. The only thing Obama has going for him this week is that McCain is matching him misstep for misstep. While we're railing about Obama's craven vote on FISA -- rightfully; Glenn Greenwald is a hero for his work on this topic -- McCain was outdoing Dick Cheney with neocon crazy talk, warning that Iran's test of nine old missiles we already knew they had increases the chances of a "second Holocaust." Every time I wonder whether I can ultimately vote for Obama in November, given all of his political cave-ins, McCain does something new to make sure I have to.

But Obama needs to watch himself. Telling voters they have no place else to go, before he officially has the nomination, is not a winning strategy. That's what his people told Clinton voters. That's what they're saying about opponents of the FISA sellout. That's the line on those concerned about his "partial-birth" abortion remarks. It's arrogant -- up against the backdrop of Obama's big plans for an Invesco Field acceptance speech in Denver and a Brandenberg Gate extravaganza in Berlin, I'm starting to worry about grandiosity -- and it could backfire.


The Progressive Movement is raising hell and fairly should be. The current populist and progressive UPRISING is not purposefully directed for Hillary's sake, although she seems the likely beneficiary at the moment; it is on behalf of the American Republic. Such duplicity as Obama's promises to bring about "change" -- which can be seen realistically as no better than "half-assed" -- should not be rewarded with election to the highest office in the land, nor should his betrayal of the Progressive Movement be overlooked at this, perhaps our last chance, to save American Democracy from the corporatist oligarchs that Obama now seems to be courting.

* * *

APPENDIX-A: Fox News 4-Part Video Series on Amdocs and
Converse-Infosys

PART I


PART II


PART III


PART IV



APPENDIX-B: Comverse-Infosys - Verint

Last updated 17.07.07


This article is a translation of the Dutch article Nederlandse tapkamers niet kosjer that will appear in c't 2003-01, which will be available in the shops on december 19 2002

Dutch tapping room not kosher

by Paul Wouters, Patrick Smits

According to anonymous sources within the Dutch intelligence community, all tapping equipment of the Dutch intelligence services and half the tapping equipment of the national police force, is insecure and is leaking information to Israel. How difficult is it to make a back-door in the Dutch Transport of Intercepted IP Traffic[1] system?

The discussion focusses on the tapping installations for telephony and internet delivered to the government in the last few years by the Israeli company Verint[2].

This company was called Comverse-Infosys[3] until half a year ago, but was quickly renamed when the FBI started several investigations against it and arrested some of its employees in the US on suspicion of espionage. (See pulled FoxNews stories, Politech, Cryptome or Google).

Complete article


Israeli Spy-Ring in the USA

.........It turns out that Israel has had a potential wiretap on every phone in America for years, along with the ability to monitor and record who any person is calling, anywhere in America; information of great value even if one does not listen to the calls themselves. Amdocs, Inc., the company which subcontracts billing and directory services for phone companies around the world, including 90 percent of American phone companies, is owned by Israeli interests. Yet another company, Comverse Infosys, is suspected of having built a “back door” into the equipment permanently installed into the phone system that allows instant eavesdropping by law enforcement agencies on any phone in America. This includes yours.....

Complete article (alternative)


Israeli Security to Protect London's Underground

(IsraelNN.com) Verint Systems, a subsidiary of Israel's Comverse Technology announced that Metronet Rail has selected Verint's networked video solution to enhance security of the London Underground, according to an Israel21c report...........

Complete article

____________________________

APPENDIX-C: June 23, 2008 -- The backstory to the telecommunications immunity bill -- Wayne Madsen

publication date: Jun 22, 2008
Download Print

June 23, 2008 -- The backstory to the telecommunications immunity bill

At first blush, the recent adoption by the House of Representatives of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act, which gives telecommunications companies that illegally eavesdropped on the telephone conversations, faxes, text messages, and emails of Americans retroactive immunity from lawsuits from privacy-violated and aggrieved customers, would see to have little to do with the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

However, the support for the bill by AIPAC's biggest boosters, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, whose sister, Bernice Manocherian, was an executive president of AIPAC, and Jane Harman, who was slated to become chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) but whose nomination was nixed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi after a Justice Department investigation of Harman's contacts with AIPAC, poses an interesting question: Why would Israel's lobby be adamantly opposed to lawsuits against phone companies that illegally spied on Americans? WMR has obtained internal Department of Justice memos and emails that document the department's concerns for the possible penetration by Israeli intelligence of federal law enforcement T2S2 digital wire intercept facilities, including those located in High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) operations centers across the United States.

Harman, who would have had oversight over FISA matters as HPSCI chair, was under investigation by Justice for trying to make a deal with the Bush administration to curtail an espionage investigation of AIPAC stemming from the receipt by two AIPAC officials -- Keith Weissman and Steven Rosen -- of highly classified intelligence documents from the CIA and the Pentagon from convicted Israeli spy Larry Franklin, in return for AIPAC support for her as HPSCI chair and other support for Bush administration initiatives. The documents were passed to a Mossad agent attached to the Israeli embassy in Washington. Harman's bid to become HPSCI chair was backed by wealthy Hollywood mogul Haim Saban, who also funds the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and is currently nesting a number of pro-Israel policy makers who will likely enter a Barack Obama administration to ensure no deviation from the United States in its unbridled support for Israel. However, these Israeli acolytes may be sorely disappointed by a President Obama. The Democratic candidate vowed to gut the retroactive immunity provisions from the amended FISA bill if he is elected president.

To ensure a lock on the no retroactive lawsuit provisions, the man who became HPSCI chair, Sylvestre Reyes, supported the measure. He was joined by other AIPAC sure bets, including Brad Sherman (D-CA), Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Ellen Tauscher (D-CA), John Yarmuth (KY), Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), Jason Altmire (D-PA), and, for added measure Pelosi.

If lawsuits were permitted against telecommunications firms, the discovery process may have resulted in details being unearthed about the extent of Israel's involvement in federal wiretapping and illegal surveillance of Americans.

The Justice Department red flags were first raised after the Fox News expose of the espionage activities of Israeli "art students." A December 18, 2001 Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) email cites these concerns (it is also noteworthy that the report on the suspicious pre-9/11 activities of over 120 Israeli "art students" originated with the DEA:

From: [DELETED]
Sent: (DELETED]
To: [DELETED]
Subject: [DELETED]
I'm not sure what is meant by "Bottom line we should have caught it."
------Original message-------
From: Raffanello, Heidi M.
Sent:Tuesday, December 18, 2001 3:04 PM
To:Zeisset, Dale M.
Cc:Newton, Otis L; Howard, JP
Subject: Comverse
As you may have heard Security Program is briefing the Administrator[42] tomorrow morning on the Israeli students investigation to include T2S2 Comverse and JSI.
This was a result of the Fox network expose on Israeli counterintelligence activities. In our discussions about remote maintenance for JSI and Comverse, we realized that Comverse remote maintenance for field systems was not addressed in the C & A process. We will approach it in the similar fashion as we did in the JSI issue, however the foreign national factor doesn't apply. It remains unclear if Comverse personnel are security cleared and if so, who are they and what type of clearances are on record. If you have names, I can run their status in Personnel Security. If not, we will need to have Comverse and ST identify a short list of personnel that will require clearances.

Fox News Transcript of above (Appendix-A) videos follows. [Edited]