WASHINGTON — When U.S. troops invaded Iraq in March 2003, the Bush administration predicted that the war would be self-financing and that rebuilding the nation would cost less than $2 billion.
Coming up on the fifth anniversary of the invasion, a Nobel laureate now estimates that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are costing America more than $3 trillion.
That estimate from Noble Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz also serves as the title of his new book, "The Three Trillion Dollar War," which hits store shelves Friday.Read more..
WHAT ABOUT THE HIDDEN COST OF PRIVATE SECURITY COMPANIES? WHAT ABOUT THE COST TO THIS NATION THAT IS BEING TAXED TO DEATH, FOR THE SAKE OF PUTTING MORE MONEY IN THE ACCOUNTS OF THE ADMINISTRATION, THEY'RE JUST SMART ENOUGH TO PUT IT IN OFF SHORE ACCOUNTS. THE WAR IS ABOUT OIL, POWER AND CONTROL, NOTHING ELSE. IT'S A DIS-EASE
Friday, February 29, 2008
America's massive military aid package to Pakistan has come under scrutiny after allegations that as much as 70% of $5.4bn in assistance has been misspent.
Since 2002, the US has paid the operating costs of Pakistan's military operations in the tribal belt along the Afghan border, where Taliban and al-Qaida fighters are sheltering.
Pakistan provides over 100,000 troops and directs the fight; the US foots the bill for food, fuel, ammunition and maintenance. The cash payments — averaging $80m a month — have been a cornerstone of US support for President Pervez Musharraf.
But over the past 18 months, as militants seized vast swaths of the tribal belt and repelled a string of Pakistani offensives, the funding has come under the microscope.
American officials processing the payments at the US embassy in Islamabad have concluded that the Pakistani expense claims have been vastly inflated, two western military officials told the Guardian. Read more..
THIS SHOULD COME AS NO SURPRISE..REMEMBER THE MISSING MONEY IN IRAQ, THE LOST MONEY IN IRAQ? WHEN YOU CAN PRINT YOUR OWN MONEY AND SELL OFF YOUR DEBT TO OTHER COUNTRIES, YOU WOULD BE CARELESS TOO. MISSING MONEY...YEAH RIGHT. DRUG MONEY MISSING TOO?
Bush's view of the economy was decidedly rosier than that of many economists, who say the country is nearing recession territory or may already be there. "I'm concerned about the economy," he said. "I don't think we're headed to recession. But no question, we're in a slowdown."
The centerpiece of government efforts to brace the wobbly economy is a package Congress passed and Bush signed last month. It will rush rebates ranging from $300 to $1,200 to millions of people and give tax incentives to businesses.
On one issue particularly worrisome to American consumers, there are indications that paying $4 for a gallon of gasoline is not out of the question once the summer driving season arrives. Asked about that, Bush said "That's interesting. I hadn't heard that. ... I know it's high now." Read more..
NO, WE ARE NOT HEADING TOWARDS A RECESSION..WE'RE ALREADY IN ONE! HOW MANY MILLIONS OF JOBS HAVE BEEN SENT OVERSEAS, HOW MANY HOMES AND LIVES HAVE BEEN LOST SINCE BUSH GOT INTO OFFICE AND YET THE OIL COMPANIES,PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES, AND INVESTMENT FIRMS HAVE BEEN WALKING AWAY WITH RECORD PROFITS, BANKS ARE FALLING AND WANT A BAILOUT FROM NON OTHER THAN THE GOVERNMENT, OR THEY'LL PASS IT OFF TO THE CONSUMER. THESE PEOPLE NEED TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE OR SENT TO IRAQ TO LIVE IN THEIR BIG, BEAUTIFUL, VATICAN SIZE EMBASSY.
A trade deal signed by her husband has returned to haunt Hillary Clinton as she tries to win working-class support in Ohio.
Voters in the run-down industrial state have not been slow to remind the former First Lady that they blame the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) for a decline that has seen 200,000 manufacturing jobs disappear since 2000. Read more..
WWW: World Wide Web aka: World Wide Wiretap
Posted by Jabe at 10:00 AM
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Last May, a Saudi Arabian conglomerate bought a Massachusetts plastics maker. In November, a French company established a new factory in Adrian, Mich., adding 189 automotive jobs to an area accustomed to layoffs. In December, a British company bought a New Jersey maker of cough syrup.
For much of the world, the United States is now on sale at discount prices. With credit tight, unemployment growing and worries mounting about a potential recession, American business and government leaders are courting foreign money to keep the economy growing. Foreign investors are buying aggressively, taking advantage of American duress and a weak dollar to snap up what many see as bargains, while making inroads to the world’s largest market.
Last year, foreign investors poured a record $414 billion into securing stakes in American companies, factories and other properties through private deals and purchases of publicly traded stock, according to Thomson Financial, a research firm. That was up 90 percent from the previous year and more than double the average for the last decade. It amounted to more than one-fourth of all announced deals for the year, Thomson said. Read more..
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginians planning on air travel this year could find things more complicated than they remember if a Senate bill becomes law.
The state would be barred from participating in the federal REAL ID Act, which would set national standards for driver's licenses, by a bill approved Monday by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The federal Department of Homeland Security has warned that states which don't file paperwork saying they need extra time to comply with the law will face consequences starting in May. The most significant would be that driver's licenses from non-complying states would not be valid identification for boarding an airplane anywhere in the U.S.
Instead, other forms of identification, like birth certificates or passports, would have to be used.
The bill, which now comes before the full Senate, calls the act "inimical to the security and well-being of the people of West Virginia," with supporters saying Monday the federal guidelines amount to an invasion of privacy. Read more..
Canada and the U.S. have signed an agreement that paves the way for the militaries from either nation to send troops across each other's borders during an emergency, but some are questioning why the Harper government has kept silent on the deal.
Neither the Canadian government nor the Canadian Forces announced the new agreement, which was signed Feb. 14 in Texas.
The U.S. military's Northern Command, however, publicized the agreement with a statement outlining how its top officer, Gen. Gene Renuart, and Canadian Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, head of Canada Command, signed the plan, which allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a civil emergency.
The new agreement has been greeted with suspicion by the left wing in Canada and the right wing in the U.S.
The left-leaning Council of Canadians, which is campaigning against what it calls the increasing integration of the U.S. and Canadian militaries, is raising concerns about the deal.
"It's kind of a trend when it comes to issues of Canada-U.S. relations and contentious issues like military integration. We see that this government is reluctant to disclose information to Canadians that is readily available on American and Mexican websites," said Stuart Trew, a researcher with the Council of Canadians. Read more..
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
According to data disclosed at this week's Beersheba Conference on Child Welfare, some 2,500 complaints are filed annually in Israel regarding sexual assaults against minors under 14. Dr. Yitzhak Kadman, executive director of the National Council for the Child, paints a darker picture yet, estimating that over the past several years no fewer than 100,000 of this country's children have suffered some degree of sexual molestation.
Most cases never reach the courts and most offenders aren't brought to justice. Yet in those that are, sentences meted out to pedophiles tend to be exceptionally lenient. Even hardcore repeat offenders are hardly supervised after they are released back to society. Legislation adopted to keep track of them remains largely unimplemented. Read more..
The U.S. economy is faltering. Family debt is on the rise, benefits are disappearing, the deficit is skyrocketing, and the mortgage crisis has worsened. Conservatives have attempted to deflect attention from the crisis, by blaming the media’s negative coverage and insisting the United States is not headed toward a recession, despite what economists are predicting.
The Bush administration’s latest move is to simply hide the data. Forbes has awarded EconomicIndicators.gov one of its “Best of the Web” awards. As Forbes explains, the government site provides an invaluable service to the public for accessing U.S. economic data:
This site is maintained by the Economics and Statistics Administration and combines data collected by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, like GDP and net imports and exports, and the Census Bureau, like retail sales and durable goods shipments. The site simply links to the relevant department’s Web site. This might not seem like a big deal, but doing it yourself–say, trying to find retail sales data on the Census Bureau’s site–is such an exercise in futility that it will convince you why this portal is necessary.
Yet the Bush administration has decided to shut down this site because of “budgetary constraints,” effective March 1: Read more..
UNITED NATIONS - A woman who worked for the United Nations died Sunday after falling from the 19th floor of the U.N.'s Secretariat Building, authorities said.
Police and U.N. security officers at the scene, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media, said the woman in her 40s had jumped from a window after showing up to work early in the morning.
"A U.N. agency staff member died after falling from the 19th floor of the U.N. Secretariat Building," U.N. deputy spokeswoman Marie Okabe said. "At this time there is no suspicion of foul play." Read more...
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania - President Bush rejected proposed Democratic changes to his prized AIDS relief program, issuing a challenge Sunday to Congress to "stop the squabbling" and renew it as is. Tanzanian leader Jakaya Kikwete made an impassioned appeal for the same thing, saying thousands in his country would orphan their children if U.S. lawmakers do not act.
The president's three-night stay in this vast East Africa nation takes him to a part of the continent that is important in the U.S. fight against terrorism. The bombed-out former U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam still stands as a stark reminder of deadly attacks in Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya, in 1998.
The visit to Tanzania is the longest of Bush's six-day African trip and longer than usual for the president anywhere. The stay and the celebration of a new five-year $698 million U.S. aid pact were intended as goodwill messages to Tanzania's large Muslim population. Read more..
WASHINGTON - Air Force officials are warning that unless their budget is increased dramatically, and soon, the military's high-flying branch won't dominate the skies as it has for decades.
After more than six years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Air Force's aging jet fighters, bombers, cargo aircraft and gunships are at the breaking point, they say, and expensive, ultramodern replacements are needed fast.
"What we've done is put the requirement on the table that says, 'If we're going to do the missions you're going to ask us to do, it will require this kind of investment,'" Maj. Gen. Paul Selva, the Air Force's director of strategic planning, said in an interview with The Associated Press. Read more..
Monday, February 18, 2008
WASHINGTON — The Army is accustomed to protecting classified information. But when it comes to the planning for the Iraq war, even an unclassified assessment can acquire the status of a state secret.
That is what happened to a detailed study of the planning for postwar Iraq prepared for the Army by the RAND Corporation, a federally financed center that conducts research for the military.
After 18 months of research, RAND submitted a report in the summer of 2005 called “Rebuilding Iraq.” RAND researchers provided an unclassified version of the report along with a secret one, hoping that its publication would contribute to the public debate on how to prepare for future conflicts.
But the study’s wide-ranging critique of the White House, the Defense Department and other government agencies was a concern for Army generals, and the Army has sought to keep the report under lock and key.
A review of the lengthy report — a draft of which was obtained by The New York Times — shows that it identified problems with nearly every organization that had a role in planning the war. That assessment parallels the verdicts of numerous former officials and independent analysts.
The study chided President Bush — and by implication Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who served as national security adviser when the war was planned — as having failed to resolve differences among rival agencies. “Throughout the planning process, tensions between the Defense Department and the State Department were never mediated by the president or his staff,” it said.
The Defense Department led by Donald H. Rumsfeld was given the lead in overseeing the postwar period in Iraq despite its “lack of capacity for civilian reconstruction planning and execution.”
The State Department led by Colin L. Powell produced a voluminous study on the future of Iraq that identified important issues but was of “uneven quality” and “did not constitute an actionable plan.”
Gen. Tommy R. Franks, whose Central Command oversaw the military operation in Iraq, had a “fundamental misunderstanding” of what the military needed to do to secure postwar Iraq, the study said.
The regulations that govern the Army’s relations with the Arroyo Center, the division of RAND that does research for the Army, stipulate that Army officials are to review reports in a timely fashion to ensure that classified information is not released. But the rules also note that the officials are not to “censor” analysis or prevent the dissemination of material critical of the Army.
The report on rebuilding Iraq was part of a seven-volume series by RAND on the lessons learned from the war. Asked why the report has not been published, Timothy Muchmore, a civilian Army official, said it had ventured too far from issues that directly involve the Army. Read more..
I know, I know. You've been worried. Sure, Blackwater is up to its mercenary neck in Iraq. They're protecting missile interceptors in Japan, and rescuing blondes in Kenya. And let's not forget about their fine work in New Orleans. But how, you're asking, is Blackwater going to get involved what many think is the great struggle of the 21st Century -- the upcoming war against China?
Well, never fear. Blackwater has got that struggle covered, too. Defense News reports that "Blackwater is training members of the Taiwanese National Security Bureau’s (NSB’s) special protection service, which guards the president. The NSB is responsible for the overall security of the country and was once an instrument of terrorism during the martial law period. Today, according to its Web site, the NSB is responsible for 'national intelligence work, special protective service and unified cryptography.'"
An NSB source stated that training began in 2007 and was conducted at Blackwater facilities in the United States. The source stated the NSB was satisfied with the training, and further training programs are being considered.
“The key thing would be to have special operations training for Army, Marines and Reserve units in Taiwan,” a former U.S. government official said.
The FBI yesterday announced the award of a $1 billion, 10-year contract to Lockheed Martin to develop what is expected to be the world's largest crime-fighting computer database of biometric information, including fingerprints, palm prints, iris patterns and face images.
Under its contract to build Next Generation Identification, the Bethesda contractor will expand on the FBI's electronic database of 55 million sets of fingerprints and criminal histories used by law enforcement and other authorities. The aim is to make the query and results process quicker, more flexible and more accurate.
Lockheed built and maintains the fingerprint database.
"NGI will give us bigger, better, faster capabilities and lead us into the future," said Thomas E. Bush III, assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division.
The system will not expand the categories of people whose prints are collected: known criminals, known or suspected terrorists, or foreign visitors to the United States who have been convicted of a crime or an immigration violation, Bush said. But additional types of biometric data, such as iris scans and face images, will be collected from criminals and terrorists. The system also separately houses 17 million civilian fingerprints, mostly of federal employees who have undergone background checks.
To enable global sharing of data, NGI is to be built to technical standards shared by the departments of Homeland Security, Defense and State, as well as by Britain, Canada and other countries, Bush said. The FBI also hopes to offer a service allowing employers to store employees' prints, subject to state privacy laws, so that if employees are ever arrested, the employer would be notified.
Beginning this year, Lockheed will conduct a series of "biometric bake-offs" to evaluate the work of biometric firms who will be competing to develop various elements of the system and the maturity of the technologies. It will first expand the FBI's fingerprint processing capability and add palm print processing capability, officials said.
"We're excited to move to the next generation with the FBI," said Judy Marks, president of Lockheed Martin Transportation and Security Solutions, a business unit of Lockheed.
By adding new biometric tools and applying them together, "the system will be able to enhance its accuracy and virtually eliminate the chance of mistaken identities," said Walter Hamilton, chairman of the International Biometric Industry Association.
Privacy advocates said that the work is proceeding before the technologies have been proven. "Congress needs to do a better job of assessing how taxpayer dollars are being spent, particularly on programs that impact the privacy rights of Americans," said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
Friday, February 15, 2008
A recently-unearthed U.S. Navy research project calls for creating mad-made floods and droughts to "disrupt [the] economy" of an enemy state.
"Weather modification was used successfully in Viet Nam to (among other things) hinder and impede the movement of personnel and material from North Viet Nam to South Viet Nam," notes a Naval Air Warfare Weapons Division - China Lake research proposal, released last month through the Freedom of Information Act. But "since that time military research on Weather Modification has dwindled in the United States."
The proposal suggests a study of the latest weather manipulation techniques, to "give the U.S. military a viable, state-of-the-art weather modification capability again." With that in hand, American forces would be able...
To impede or deny the movement of personnel and material because of rains-floods, snow-blizzards, etc.
(2) To disrupt economy due to the effect of floods, droughts, etc.
The proposal is undated. But it's pretty clearly from the Cold War. Not only is "the Soviet Union (Russia)" mentioned. The money is also relatively small, by today's standards -- less than a half-million dollars, over two years.
A military in-house newspaper calls "weather modification" an "area of China Lake preeminence. Between 1949 and 1978, China Lake developed concepts, techniques, and hardware that were successfully used in hurricane abatement, fog control, and drought relief. Military application of this technology was demonstrated in 1966 when Project Popeye was conducted to enhance rainfall to help interdict traffic on the Ho Chi Minh Trail." (Here's a picture of China Lake's "Cold Cloud Modification System."
In 1980, the United States ratified a treaty banning military weather manipulation. But every once in a while, someone in the armed forces floats the idea of doing it again. "Our vision is that by 2025 the military could influence the weather on a mesoscale [theater-wide] or microscale [immediate local area] to achieve operational capabilities," a 1996 Air Force-commissioned study reads.
Today, Chinese officials are trying to figure out ways to keep it from raining over Beiing, during this summer's Olympics.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
All 14-year-old children in England will have their personal details and exam results placed on an electronic database for life under a plan to be announced tomorrow.
Colleges and prospective employers will be able to access students’ records online to check on their qualifications. Under the terms of the scheme all children will keep their individual number throughout their adult lives, The Times has learnt. The database will include details of exclusions and expulsions.
Officials said last night that the introduction of the unique learner number (ULN)was not a step towards a national identity card. But it will be seen as the latest step in the Government’s broader efforts to computerise personal records.
Last night teachers’ leaders, parents’ organisations, opposition MPs and human rights campaigners questioned whether this Big Brother approach was necessary and said that it could compromise the personal security of millions of teenagers. Read more..
WASHINGTON — Conspiracy theorists take note: The myths surrounding one of America's oldest and most enduring national symbols are about to be debunked ... if you believe the government, that is.
The keepers of the Great Seal of the United States, the familiar emblem on the back of the $1 bill, want you to know what it is not. It is not a sign that Freemasons run the country, it has nothing to do with the occult, and it does not contain clues to a fabulous hidden treasure. Read more..
Monday, February 11, 2008
U.S. troops are being trained to conduct round-ups, confiscate guns and shoot American citizens, including their own friends and family members, as part of a long-standing program to prepare for the declaration of martial law, according to a soldier who recently returned from Iraq.
We received an e mail from "Scott", a member of a pipefitters union that runs an apprenticeship program called Helmets To Hard Hats, which according to its website, "Is a national program that connects National Guard, Reserve and transitioning active-duty military members with quality career training and employment opportunities within the construction industry."
Scott writes that his company hired a soldier who had recently returned from Iraq, who told him that U.S. troops were being quizzed on whether or not they would be prepared to shoot their own friends and family members during a national state of emergency in America.
"I have become very close to this young man and have gained his respect and trust," writes Scott. "I want you to know that he informed me about one particular training exercise his superiors made them perform. It was concerning the rounding up of American citizens that disobey any type of martial law or in other words any type of infringement on our freedoms." Read more..
MIAMI (Reuters) - A Venezuelan man has been charged with laundering drug profits to buy U.S. aircraft to smuggle cocaine, according to U.S. court documents, as the FBI broadens a probe into South American cocaine kings.
According to the indictment, Benavides opened an account at what it identified as the Commerce Bank in Miami in December 2000 that was subsequently used to launder drug profits and broker deals for the purchase of a U.S.-registered twin-engine King Air E90 in September 2006.
The plane was bought from a Miami company and sent to Venezuela using money that Benavides allegedly funneled from Venezuela-based traffickers through a Mexican money exchange into his Miami account. Read more..
NEW YORK (Reuters) - In the latest example that the U.S. dollar just ain't what it used to be, some shops in New York City have begun accepting euros and other foreign currency as payment for merchandise.
"We had decided that money is money and we'll take it and just do the exchange whenever we can with our bank," Robert Chu, owner of East Village Wines, told Reuters television.
The increasingly weak U.S. dollar, once considered the king among currencies, has brought waves of European tourists to New York with money to burn and looking to take advantage of hugely favorable exchange rates. Read more..
Friday, February 1, 2008
On one of the highest hilltops in Elbert County, Georgia stands a huge granite monument. Engraved in eight different languages on the four giant stones that support the common capstone are 10 Guides, or commandments. That monument is alternately referred to as The Georgia Guidestones, or the American Stonehenge. Though relatively unknown to most people, it is an important link to the Occult Hierarchy that dominates the world in which we live.
The origin of that strange monument is shrouded in mystery because no one knows the true identity of the man, or men, who commissioned its construction. All that is known for certain is that in June 1979, a well-dressed, articulate stranger visited the office of the Elberton Granite Finishing Company and announced that he wanted to build an edifice to transmit a message to mankind. He identified himself as R. C. Christian, but it soon became apparent that was not his real name. He said that he represented a group of men who wanted to offer direction to humanity, but to date, almost two decades later, no one knows who R. C. Christian really was, or the names of those he represented. Several things are apparent. The messages engraved on the Georgia Guidestones deal with four major fields: (1) Governance and the establishment of a world government, (2) Population and reproduction control, (3) The environment and man's relationship to nature, and (4) Spirituality.
In the public library in Elberton, I found a book written by the man who called himself R.C. Christian. I discovered that the monument he commissioned had been erected in recognition of Thomas Paine and the occult philosophy he espoused. Indeed, the Georgia Guidestones are used for occult ceremonies and mystic celebrations to this very day. Tragically, only one religious leader in the area had the courage to speak out against the American Stonehenge, and he has recently relocated his ministry.
THE MESSAGE OF THE GEORGIA GUIDESTONES
1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
2. Guide reproduction wisely - improving fitness and diversity.
3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
4. Rule passion - faith - tradition - and all things with tempered reason.
5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
9. Prize truth - beauty - love - seeking harmony with the infinite.
10.Be not a cancer on the earth - Leave room for nature - Leave room for nature.
Limiting the population of the earth to 500 million will require the extermination of nine-tenths of the world's people. The American Stonehenge's reference to establishing a world court foreshadows the current move to create an International Criminal Court and a world government. The Guidestones' emphasis on preserving nature anticipates the environmental movement of the 1990s, and the reference to "seeking harmony with the infinite" reflects the current effort to replace Judeo-Christian beliefs with a new spirituality.
The message of the American Stonehenge also foreshadowed the current drive for Sustainable Development. Any time you hear the phrase "Sustainable Development" used, you should substitute the term "socialism" to be able to understand what is intended. Later in this syllabus you will read the full text of the Earth Charter which was compiled under the direction of Mikhail Gorbachev and Maurice Strong. In that document you will find an emphasis on the same basic issues: control of reproduction, world governance, the importance of nature and the environment, and a new spirituality. The similarity between the ideas engraved on the Georgia Guidestones and those espoused in the Earth Charter reflect the common origins of both.
Yoko Ono, the widow of John Lennon, was recently quoted as referring to the American Stonehenge, saying:
"I want people to know about the stones ... We're headed toward a world where we might blow ourselves up and maybe the globe will not exist ... it's a nice time to reaffirm ourselves, knowing all the beautiful things that are in this country and the Georgia Stones symbolize that. " (1)
What is the true significance of the American Stonehenge, and why is its covert message important? Because it confirms the fact that there was a covert group intent on
(1) Dramatically reducing the population of the world.
(2) Promoting environmentalism.
(3) Establishing a world government.
(4) Promoting a new spirituality.
Certainly the group that commissioned the Georgia Guidestones is one of many similar groups working together toward a New World Order, a new world economic system, and a new world spirituality. Behind those groups, however, are dark spiritual forces. Without understanding the nature of those dark forces it is impossible to understand the unfolding of world events.
The fact that most Americans have never heard of the Georgia Guidestones or their message to humanity reflects the degree of control that exists today over what the American people think. We ignore that message at our peril.
The Age of Reason was a book written by Thomas Paine. Its intent was to destroy the Judeo-Christian beliefs upon which our Republic was founded.
The hole that you see in the stone was drilled in the Center Stone so that the North Star could be visualized through it at any moment. This was one of several requirements stipulated by R.C.Christian for the building of the American Stonehenge and reflects his obsession with the alignment of the stars, the sun, and the moon. Occultists often worship the alignment and movement of heavenly bodies as part of their religious ceremonies