Sunday, July 31, 2005

Paul Harvey's Tribute to Slavery, Nukes, Genocide

'Twould seem that Mr. harvey has fallen off the deep end...Pete

Hateful rant shows Disney's double standard on speech

July 1, 2005

Disney/ABC radio personality Paul Harvey, one of the most widely listened to commentators in the United States, presented his listeners on June 23 with an endorsement of genocide and racism that would have been right at home on a white supremacist shortwave broadcast.

Harvey's commentary began by lamenting the decline of American wartime aggression. "We're standing there dying, daring to do nothing decisive because we've declared ourselves to be better than our terrorist enemies--more moral, more civilized," he said. Drawing a contrast with what he cast as the praiseworthy nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II, Harvey lamented that "we sent men with rifles into Afghanistan and Iraq and kept our best weapons in their silos"--suggesting that America should have used its nuclear arsenal in its invasions of both countries.

Harvey concluded:

"We didn't come this far because we're made of sugar candy. Once upon a time, we elbowed our way onto and across this continent by giving smallpox-infected blankets to Native Americans. That was biological warfare. And we used every other weapon we could get our hands on to grab this land from whomever.

"And we grew prosperous. And yes, we greased the skids with the sweat of slaves. So it goes with most great nation-states, which--feeling guilty about their savage pasts--eventually civilize themselves out of business and wind up invaded and ultimately dominated by the lean, hungry up-and-coming who are not made of sugar candy."

Harvey's evident approval of slavery, genocide and nuclear and biological warfare would seem to put him at odds with Disney's family-friendly image. The media conglomerate syndicates Harvey to more than 1,000 radio stations, where he reaches an estimated 18 million listeners. Disney recently signed a 10-year, $100 million contract with the 86-year-old Harvey.

In 2004, Disney forbid its Miramax subsidiary to distribute Michael Moore's film Fahrenheit 9/11, even though Miramax was the principal investor in the film. A Disney executive told the New York Times (5/5/04) that it was declining to distribute the film because, in the paper's words, "Disney caters to families of all political stripes and believes Mr. Moore's film...could alienate many."

One wonders whether Disney executives are worried about alienating families who oppose slavery, nuclear war and Native American genocide.

Ask Disney why it finds Paul Harvey's nostalgia for slavery and genocide and his calls for nuclear war acceptable, but deemed Michael Moore's film unacceptable.

ABC Radio Networks
Phone: 212-456-5387

Paul Harvey
Phone: (312) 889-4085

Disney Corporation
Phone: 818-560-1000

As always, please remember that your comments have more impact if you maintain a polite tone.

Read a transcript of Harvey's comments (courtesy of the Chicago Tribune's Eric Zorn):


It would appear, at least to me, that the NYT has been drafted once again into their default role as opinion shapers and consciousness manipulators for the powers that be. Here they use a quote for their daily "quotation of the day" header that explains just why young people (and not so young - the max age for the draft has been set in the 40's!) should be grateful to sign their lives away for the benefit of attending school -- should they arrive home intact, that is.

"I am scared about Iraq, but I am going to have to give something in return for those benefits I want."

- AUDREY O. BRICIA, of the Northern Marianas, who is seeking to join the Army so she can attend nursing school.

You see, it's all a matter of gratitude. Never mind the unjust (as always!) war predicated on an enormous web of prevarication and outright lies! All you have to do is look the other way, obey orders (which wasn't an acceptable excuse at Nuremburg, so be careful), kill whomever you are instructed to kill, avoid being killed yourself, and soon you'll be off on your career as a healer!

Just a little sacrifice for the grand prize of college tuition. Too bad about the karma...


Friday, July 29, 2005

Friedman Shows His True Colors More Clearly Than Ever

FAIR - New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has urged the U.S. government to create blacklists of condemned political speech--not only by those who advocate violence, but also by those who believe that U.S. government actions may encourage violent reprisals. The latter group, which Friedman called "just one notch less despicable than the terrorists," includes a majority of Americans, according to recent polls.

Friedman's July 22 column proposed that the State Department, in order to "shine a spotlight on hate speech wherever it appears," create a quarterly "War of Ideas Report, which would focus on those religious leaders and writers who are inciting violence against others." But Friedman said the governmental speech monitoring should go beyond those who actually advocate violence, and also include what former State department spokesperson Jamie Rubin calls "excuse makers." Friedman wrote:

"After every major terrorist incident, the excuse makers come out to tell us why imperialism, Zionism, colonialism or Iraq explains why the terrorists acted. These excuse makers are just one notch less despicable than the terrorists and also deserve to be exposed. When you live in an open society like London, where anyone with a grievance can publish an article, run for office or start a political movement, the notion that blowing up a busload of innocent civilians in response to Iraq is somehow "understandable" is outrageous."

The "despicable" idea that there may be a connection between acts of terrorism and particular policies by Western countries is one that is widely held by the citizens of those countries. Asked by the CNN/Gallup poll on July 7, "Do you think the terrorists attacked London today mostly because Great Britain supports the United States in the war in Iraq?" 56 percent of Americans agreed. In a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, 54 percent said "the war with Iraq has made the U.S. . . less safe from terrorism." Since they see a connection between Iraq and terrorism, a majority of Americans are what Friedman calls "excuse makers" who "deserve to be exposed."

Friedman's column urged the government to create quarterly lists of "hate-mongers" and "excuse makers"--as well as "truth tellers," Muslims who agree with Friedman's critique of Islam. Friedman's proposed list of "excuse makers" would have to include his New York Times colleague Bob Herbert, who wrote in his July 25 column, "There is still no indication that the Bush administration recognizes the utter folly of its war in Iraq, which has been like a constant spray of gasoline on the fire of global terrorism."

Though Friedman calls on the State Department to compile the "Top 10 hate-mongers" list in a "nondiscriminatory way," it's doubtful that such a list would, in fact, even-handedly include all advocates of violence. It would not be likely, for example, to include someone like Thomas Friedman, who during the Kosovo War called on the Clinton administration to "give war a chance," writing, "Let's see what 12 weeks of less than surgical bombing does." In a follow-up column he declared that "Like it or not, we are at war with the Serbian nation," and insisted that every power grid, water pipe, bridge, road and war-related factory has to be targeted." Despite the fact that by calling for attacks on civilian targets he was advocating war crimes, Friedman should have no fear that he'll find himself on a State Department list of "hate-mongers."

Friedman's suggestion that those who seek to understand or explain political violence are not part of "legitimate dissent" comes at a time when calls for censorship are becoming more and more blatant. Bill O'Reilly made a chilling call for the criminalization of war opponents:

"You must know the difference between dissent from the Iraq War and the war on terror and undermining it. And any American that undermines that war, with our soldiers in the field, or undermines the war on terror, with 3,000 dead on 9/11, is a traitor. Everybody got it? Dissent, fine; undermining, you're a traitor. Got it? So, all those clowns over at the liberal radio network, we could incarcerate them immediately. Will you have that done, please? Send over the FBI and just put them in chains, because they, you know, they're undermining everything and they don't care, couldn't care less."

The call for the arrests of Air America Radio hosts was said as though it were a joke, though O'Reilly is deadly serious when he says that the commentators on that network are "undermining" the war--and that such "undermining" is treason.

O'Reilly more recently went after Herbert's column that argued that the Iraq War fueled terrorism: "Bob Herbert is most likely helping the terrorists, but his hatred of Mr. Bush blinds him to that. He's not alone, but this kind of stuff has got to stop. We're now fighting for our lives. And those helping the enemy will be brought to your attention."



WAL-MART ADMITS it made an "error in judgment," in banning the sales of a Florida paper that had run a column critical of the corporation.

Independent World TV

A brand-new, uncompromising, completely non-corporate news outlet has been launched! They are collaborating with satellite network Link TV on a global mission of information dissemination unsullied by the interests of the wealthy.

Watch the intro (requires Quicktime):


NICHOLAS KRISTOF - According to monitoring by the Tyndall Report, ABC News had a total of 18 minutes of the Darfur genocide in its nightly newscasts all last year - and that turns out to be a credit to Peter Jennings. NBC had only 5 minutes of coverage all last year, and CBS only 3 minutes - about a minute of coverage for every 100,000 deaths. In contrast, Martha Stewart received 130 minutes of coverage by the three networks.

If only Michael Jackson's trial had been held in Darfur. Last month, CNN, Fox News, NBC, MSNBC, ABC and CBS collectively ran 55 times as many stories about Michael Jackson as they ran about genocide in Darfur . . . And, incredibly, MTVU (the MTV channel aimed at universities) has covered Darfur more seriously than any network or
cable station.


Thursday, July 28, 2005

Fuck the Patriot Act!

"..I would like to convey the message that our system works. We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, or detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant, or deny him the right to counsel, or invoke any proceedings beyond those guaranteed by or contrary to the United States Constitution. ...We can deal with the threats to our national security without denying the accused fundamental constitutional protections. ..."

-- U.S. Western District Judge John Coughenour, while sentencing 'Millennium Bomber', Ahmed Ressam.

"With 60 Terror Plots foiled in the past 10 years, and pretty much none foiled due to the DHS and Patriot Act, it has to be asked: Why isn't regular law enforcement and all the rest enough?" (MetaFilter)

Evan Derkacz is a New York-based writer and contributor to AlterNet.

How Costco Became the Anti-Wal-Mart



JIM SINEGAL, the chief executive of Costco Wholesale, the nation's fifth-largest retailer, had all the enthusiasm of an 8-year-old in a candy store as he tore open the container of one of his favorite new products: granola snack mix. "You got to try this; it's delicious," he said. "And just $9.99 for 38 ounces."

Some 60 feet away, inside Costco's cavernous warehouse store here in the company's hometown, Mr. Sinegal became positively exuberant about the 87-inch-long Natuzzi brown leather sofas. "This is just $799.99," he said. "It's terrific quality. Most other places you'd have to pay $1,500, even $2,000."

But the pièce de résistance, the item he most wanted to crow about, was Costco's private-label pinpoint cotton dress shirts. "Look, these are just $12.99," he said, while lifting a crisp blue button-down. "At Nordstrom or Macy's, this is a $45, $50 shirt."

Combining high quality with stunningly low prices, the shirts appeal to upscale customers - and epitomize why some retail analysts say Mr. Sinegal just might be America's shrewdest merchant since Sam Walton.

But not everyone is happy with Costco's business strategy. Some Wall Street analysts assert that Mr. Sinegal is overly generous not only to Costco's customers but to its workers as well.

Costco's average pay, for example, is $17 an hour, 42 percent higher than its fiercest rival, Sam's Club. And Costco's health plan makes those at many other retailers look Scroogish. One analyst, Bill Dreher of Deutsche Bank, complained last year that at Costco "it's better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder."

Mr. Sinegal begs to differ. He rejects Wall Street's assumption that to succeed in discount retailing, companies must pay poorly and skimp on benefits, or must ratchet up prices to meet Wall Street's profit demands.

Good wages and benefits are why Costco has extremely low rates of turnover and theft by employees, he said. And Costco's customers, who are more affluent than other warehouse store shoppers, stay loyal because they like that low prices do not come at the workers' expense. "This is not altruistic," he said. "This is good business."


Bush To London Bombers: 'Bring It On' (Satire)

WASHINGTON, DC—President Bush officially responded to the latest round of London transit bombings Monday, challenging terrorists to "do their worst."

Said Bush, in a televised statement from the Oval Office: "The proud and resilient people of London can take anything the forces of evil and cowardice can throw at them. They will never live in fear of you. Bring it on."

Prime Minister Tony Blair thanked Bush for his comments, inviting him to visit London and ride the Underground in a show of solidarity.

Via The Onion

Quote of the Day

GEORGE BUSH - The best place for the facts to be done is by somebody who's spending time investigating it. - Jul. 18, 2005


AUSTRALIAN - By far the most controversial claim is from several witnesses who cast doubt on police statements that they shouted a warning or identified themselves before firing.

Lee Ruston, 32, who was on the platform, said he did not hear any of the three shout "police" or anything like it. Mr Ruston, a company director, said he saw two officers put on blue baseball caps marked "police" but that the frightened electrician could not have seen that because he had his back to the officers and was running with his head down.

Less than a minute later, Mr de Menezes was pinned to the floor of the carriage by two men while a third fired five shots into the base of his skull.


It's okay, though, because we're safer than we were...Pete


GARY IMHOFF, DC WATCH - The District of Columbia government and WMATA [the subway system] fear that they are falling behind New York City in the race to appease terrorists by destroying American freedoms ourselves before the terrorists have a chance to. WMATA, with the encouragement of the city administration, is seriously considering instituting random searches of Metro riders. This is certain to be politically popular because the resultant humiliation and inconvenience of subjecting citizens to searches by armed police authorities -- without any reason to suspect those citizens of any crime -- will fool a lot of people into thinking that they are safer. The less liberty, the less privacy, the less freedom we have, the greater our safety and security will be, right? Certainly, the Chinese must think so.

But if random searches of subway riders are a good thing, why should those searches be limited to subway riders? Wouldn't random searches of cars on the streets and pedestrians on the sidewalks be even better? And if that would be better, why shouldn't the police conduct random searches of our homes and workplaces, without the bothersome necessity of having to actually suspect us of any wrongdoing? If we're better protected by having the police inspect whatever we carry with us, why wouldn't we be even better protected by having the police inspect whatever we have in our houses and apartments? Why should we be satisfied with halfway measures?

The answer is that subway searches will do nothing to increase our security or safety. Security expert Robert Schneier, in a widely circulated comment on his web site on July 22, pointed out the real terrorists' response to the subway searches: "Okay guys; here are your explosives. If one of you gets singled out for a search, just turn around and leave. And then go back in via another entrance, or take a taxi to the next subway stop" Only the innocent will be hindered.

Schneier's conclusion: "It's another 'movie plot threat.' It's another 'public relations security system.' It's a waste of money, it substantially reduces our liberties, and it won't make us any safer." And for those who ask what we should do if we don't do that, Schneier has an answer: "Counterterrorism is most effective when it doesn't make arbitrary assumptions about the terrorists' plans. Stop searching bags on the subways, and spend the money on 1) intelligence and investigation -- stopping the terrorists regardless of what their plans are, and 2) emergency response -- lessening the impact of a terrorist attack, regardless of what the plans are. Countermeasures that defend against particular targets, or assume particular tactics, or cause the terrorists to make insignificant modifications in their plans, or that surveil the entire population looking for the few terrorists, are largely not worth it."


RANDY HAMMER, PENSACOLA NEWS JOURNAL, FL - You can't buy the Pensacola News Journal at Wal-Mart anymore. The store ordered us off their property, told us to come pick up our newspaper racks and clear out. So we did. . . Some managers at Wal-Mart didn't appreciate a column Mark O'Brien wrote last month about the downside of the cheap prices that Sam Walton's empire has brought to America. We all pay a little less, and sometimes a lot less, at the grocery store and department store because of Mr. Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart. . .

Leave it to old Mark, whose column runs four days a week in this newspaper, to find a downside to this:

"I like Wal-Mart prices the same as the next shopper, but there's a downside, too. Many Wal-Mart employees lack the fringe benefits and insurance that makes the difference between existence and a good quality of life. Yet, we customers pay a surcharge from a different pocket — subsidizing health care for Wal-Mart employees who can't afford it."

Mark then described how [Tom] Friedman's book pointed out that more than 10,000 children of Wal-Mart employees are in a Georgia health-care program, which costs the state's taxpayers nearly $10 million a year. Mark also pointed out that a New York Times report found that 31 percent of the patients at a North Carolina hospital were Wal-Mart employees on Medicaid.


Wednesday, July 27, 2005



- - - -

Q: How many telemarketers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: Wouldn't a more relevant question be "How many pounds of cocaine has Bush snorted?"

- - - -

A doctor, a lawyer, and an accountant all die and go to heaven on the same day. When they get to the Pearly Gates, they are greeted by St. Peter. St. Peter says, "Scott McClellan is a lying sack of shit and I'd tell him so myself if he weren't going straight to hell when he dies."

- - - -

Q: What do you get when you cross an elephant and a rhino?

A: I'm not sure, but if the answer is "A cure for Parkinson's disease," then Bush will try to stop scientists from breeding them. Because he likes it when people get Parkinson's.

- - - -

This guy walks into a bar carrying a small poodle in one hand and a bowling ball in the other. The guy says, "I'd like a glass of milk for me and a whiskey for my poodle." The bartender says, "Yeah? Well, I'd like an impartial and independent judiciary, but try telling that to Bush, Frist, and the rest of the GOP!"

- - - -

Q: What do you get when you cross a giraffe and a monkey?

A: I'm sorry, I can't think about that right now because I'm too busy wondering why Congress hasn't launched an official investigation into Bush lying to the American public about WMDs and leading us into a war under false pretenses. Tell you what—as soon as I solve that little riddle, I'll get to work on your little genetic experiment.

- - - -

Q: How many eggs does it take to make a good omelet?

A: Three. By the way, Tom DeLay is a hypocrite of the highest order.

- - - -

Did you hear that Bill Clinton hired a new intern? It turns out that his old intern had to go home and spend time with her family after her brother was killed in Iraq.

- - - -

Q: How many golf players does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: The answer may be locked away in the minutes of Cheney's secret energy meetings. However, conventional wisdom says that the meetings were probably about finding a Cabinet-level position for a pre-scandal Ken Lay or about doing business with the Taliban.

- - - -


Who's there?

Under the Patriot Act, we don't have to tell you that.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


For the next few days, temperatures in Baghdad will range between 115 and 118 degrees, according to the BBC

Sad Words on Current State of Affairs

TIM HAMES, TIMES, UK - If al-Qaida has created an atmosphere in which an ordinary person can have five bullets pumped into him by the police, and society shrugs its shoulders, then the terrorists have already won a modest victory. . . [The] attempt to blame Mr Menezes for his own death continues unabated. It was hinted that he might have been an illegal immigrant, as if that justifies what occurred. It has been argued that it was 'irresponsible' of him to wear a quilted jacket in July, as if that were a crime. There are, furthermore, 'no excuses', it is intoned, for the fact that he ran when armed plainclothes police officers shouted at him. I don't know about you, but if I found myself minding my own business on the Sao Paulo metro and was suddenly confronted by men wearing no uniforms but wielding weapons, screaming at me in Portuguese, I too might choose to bolt for it.



CNN - The U.S. military on Sunday said it was looking into how virtually identical quotations ended up in two of its news releases about different insurgent attacks. Following a car bombing in Baghdad on Sunday, the U.S. military issued a statement with a quotation attributed to an unidentified Iraqi that was virtually identical to a quote reacting to an attack on July 13. . . Lt. Col. Clifford Kent, spokesman for the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division, said use of the quote was an "administrative error." He said the military was looking into the matter.

Sunday's news release said: "'The terrorists are attacking the infrastructure, the ISF and all of Iraq. They are enemies of humanity without religion or any sort of ethics. They have attacked my community today and I will now take the fight to the terrorists,' said one Iraqi man who preferred not to be identified."

The July 13 news release said: "'The terrorists are attacking the infrastructure, the children and all of Iraq,' said one Iraqi man who preferred not to be identified. 'They are enemies of humanity without religion or any sort of ethics. They have attacked my community today and I will now take the fight to the terrorists.'"

Article Here...


RICHARD C. PADDOCK, LA TIMES - Three men in an unmarked sedan pulled up near the headquarters of the national police major crimes unit. The two passengers, wearing traditional Arab dishdasha gowns, stepped from the car. At the same moment, a U.S. military convoy emerged from an underpass. Apparently believing the men were staging an ambush, the Americans fired, killing one passenger and wounding the other. The sedan's driver was hit in the head by two bullet fragments. The soldiers drove on without stopping. . .

Angered by the growing number of unarmed civilians killed by American troops in recent weeks, the Iraqi government criticized the shootings and called on U.S. troops to exercise greater care.

U.S. officials have repeatedly declined requests to disclose the number of civilians killed in such incidents. Police in Baghdad say they have received reports that U.S. forces killed 33 unarmed civilians and injured 45 in the capital between May 1 and July 12 — an average of nearly one fatality every two days. This does not include incidents that occurred elsewhere in the country or were not reported to the police.

The continued shooting of civilians is fueling a growing dislike of the United States and undermining efforts to convince the public that American soldiers are here to help. The victims have included doctors, journalists, a professor — the kind of people the U.S. is counting on to help build an open and democratic society.



PAUL BROWN, GUARDIAN - Modified genes from crops in a GM crop trial have transferred into local wild plants, creating a form of herbicide-resistant "superweed, the Guardian can reveal. The cross-fertilization between GM oilseed rape, a brassica, and a distantly related plant, charlock, had been discounted as virtually impossible by scientists with the environment department. It was found during a follow up to the government's three-year trials of GM crops which ended two years ago. The new form of charlock was growing among many others in a field which had been used to grow GM rape. When scientists treated it with lethal herbicide it showed no ill-effects.,2763,1535428,00.html

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Britain Says Man Killed by Police Had No Tie to Bombings


LONDON, July 23 - Scotland Yard admitted Saturday that a man police officers gunned down at point-blank range in front of horrified subway passengers on Friday had nothing to do with the investigation into the bombing attacks here.

The man was identified by police as Jean Charles de Menezes, a 27-year-old Brazilian, described by officers as an electrician on his way to work. "He was not connected to incidents in central London on 21st July, 2005, in which four explosive devices were partly detonated," a police statement said.

At the same time, the police said they had found a link between four attackers on July 7 and the men who tried to carry out carbon copy attacks July 21. The July 7 attacks killed the bombers and 52 others.

A flier in a backpack found with undetonated explosives on a London bus was for a whitewater rafting center at Bala, North Wales, where two of the July 7 bombers had been photographed just weeks before the attack, a police official said.

The police also said late Saturday that after the failed attacks on July 21, they found a mysterious package - possibly a fifth explosive device - in Little Wormwood Scrubs, northwest of London.

The explosive was "almost exactly the same" as ones in the failed attacks on that day, a police official said.

Of the fast-unfolding developments, the most overwhelming for many Londoners, was the police admission that an apparently innocent man had been gunned down in full public view - a killing that left the city even more rattled after a wave of attacks, alarms, scares and shootings that, in a brief three weeks has propelled London from the euphoria of the Live 8 concert in Hyde Park to a sense of embattled siege.

"For somebody to lose their life in such circumstances is a tragedy and one that the Metropolitan Police Service regrets," a police statement said, noting that the police had started a formal inquiry.

The admission by the police that it had killed a man not involved in the investigation revived and fueled an already tense debate over the arming of British police officers. It also came after a series of police misstatements since July 7 when the first bombers struck. (Related Article)
Entire NYT Article Here

Saturday, July 23, 2005


"I guess we're all excited that President Bush announced his nomination to the Supreme Court -- John Roberts. Bush searched far and wide before he made the risky choice of a white guy in his fifties."
--David Letterman

"President Bush said the job of the Supreme Court was extremely important because these are the people we choose to pick the next president of the United States."
--Jay Leno

"You realize he is only 50 years old. He could serve on the court for the next 40 years. So he could still be there when we pull out of Iraq."
--Jay Leno

"After all the media's speculation about Edith this or Hispanic that, they picked a white guy. And not just any white guy, A really white guy. John Roberts? That's the fake name that every underage kid busted with booze uses."
--Daily Show correspondent Ed Helms


NICK GILLESPIE, HIT AND RUN - The [Washington] Times' print edition (but not its Web site), contains a useful graphic of the act's most "contentious sections." The table lists four sections of the act and the number of times they have been used (based on ACLU and Justice Dept. documents):

Section 206, which sanctions roving wiretaps and has been used 49 times as of April;

Section 213, which allows law enforcement to do a search and notify the target after the fact and has been used 155 times as of January. The Times notes that 90 percent of the cases didn't involved terrorism-related issues, that the average delay in notifying targets was between 30 to 90 days, and that in six of the cases notification has been withheld indefinitely.

Section 215, which allows law enforcement to get records about someone from a third such as a bank or library and bars the actual target from ever knowing the search took place. This has been used 35 times as of April (though never for library records so far).

Section 505, which expands the use of national security letters, which allow the FBI to get records without judicial approval if the feds assert the info is "relevant" to an intelligence investigation. DOJ says they've done this but refused to discuss the matter.

Article Here...

De-settling Gaza...

Any sane Israeli government would want to remove Israeli settlements from Gaza, where about 8000 settlers take a large part of the land and resources, and have to be protected by huge army contingents. Far more rational, now that the occupation has turned Gaza into a hell-hole, is to get out and leave it as a prison in which the population can rot. The "Gaza disengagement plan" is, in fact, a US-Israeli West Bank expansion plan, designed to incorporate valuable land and resources of the West Bank into Israel, and leave Palestinians in a few unviable Bantustans which the US and Israel can call a "state" -- rather as South Africa called the Bantustans "independent states."

There is great agonizing now in Israel about the tragedy of the settlers who were handsomely subsidized to settle illegally in Gaza, where they have tortured and terrorized the population and stolen their land and resources, and now will be handsomely subsidized by the same generous fairy godmother (you and your friends) to settle somewhere else. People are wearing orange, etc. As the better Israeli journalists have eloquently described, it is a shame and disgrace. The same is true of the "trauma" of Jews evicting Jews. If Sharon wants to remove the settlers quietly, nothing is easier. Simply announce that the IDF will be withdrawn on date X, and a few weeks earlier the settlers will be gone.

It's mostly a cynical show to justify the US-Israel West Bank expansion programs.

Noam Chomsky

Friday, July 22, 2005

Terrorism Turned Into Meme By "War On Terror"

From newsletter

This morning's four blasts in London's Underground railway network show that the War on Terror has turned 'terrorism' into a meme. As the tactics of suicide bombers become more widely known, counterterrorism pundits are being replaced by the general public. Now armed with blogs and mobile phone cameras, the public has the potential to pool their disparate knowledge, to identify new targets, and to prevent bombing sites from becoming 'institutionalised disaster areas'. Two recent books augment this technological capability with indepth research on who becomes a suicide bomber, why, and what motivates them. Robert Pape's Dying To Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism (New York: Random House, 2005) analyzes data on 315 suicide bombings that occurred between 1980 and 2003. Pape believes that the bombings are a secular strategy, that religion is used for ideological conversion, and that most bombers are protesting military threats to their homelands. Anne Marie Oliver and Paul Steinberg's The Road To Martyrs' Square: A Journey Into The World Of The Suicide Bomber (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004) complements Pape's statistical research with details from street media, videotapes, audio, and graffiti collected over a six year period in Gaza and the West Bank. Oliver and Steinberg belive that suicide bombing is more global than the 'Islamist' label suggests, and more complex that media soundbites. Armed with this knowledge, together with the 'smart mobs' technology to document it, hopefully brave Londoners can prevent future attacks from occurring.


ISLAMIC REPUBLIC NEWS AGENCY - Livingstone London Mayor Ken Livingstone blamed Western foreign policy in the Middle East for creating the conditions for terrorist attacks such as the 7/7 bombings in the British capital. Livingstone suggested that Western interventions to maintain control of oil supplies in Arab countries, dating back nearly a century, had produced terrorist organizations, including Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network.

"If at the end of the First World War we had done what we promised the Arabs, which was to let them be free and have their own governments, and kept out of Arab affairs, and just bought their oil, rather than feeling we had to control the flow of oil, I suspect this wouldn't have arisen," he told the BBC.

The criticism comes after the mayor blamed western policies for contributing to the spread of extremism that inspired the London bombings, which killed 56 people. "We created these people. We built them up. We funded them," he told his weekly press conference. "Osama bin Laden was just another businessman until he was recruited by the CIA," he said.

Asked in his interview with the BBC what he blamed for the rise of terrorism, Livingstone said "we have just had 80 years of Western intervention in predominantly Arab lands because of the Western need for oil."

"We have propped up unsavory governments, we have overthrown ones that we didn't consider sympathetic," Livingstone also said, while adding many young people in the UK were outraged by the double standards in Western foreign policy.

This, he said, was reflected in America's support for Israel and in detention without trial in the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba.

"I think the particular problem we have at the moment is that in the 1980s the Americans recruited and trained Osama bin Laden, taught him how to kill, to make bombs and sent him off to kill the Russians in Afghanistan," the mayor said.

"They didn't give any thought to the fact that once he had done that, he might turn on his creators," he added. . .

The mayor also criticized parts of the media for giving too much publicity to certain extreme Muslim figures. "We have 750,000 Muslims in this city, but the same 3 or 4 totally unrepresentative individuals are always stuck on the front page," he said.
Article here...

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Former Bush official signs up for RFID implant (Holy Shit!)

Here comes the police state of your nightmares!

President Bush's former Health and Human Services Secretary, Tommy Thompson, onetime Governor of Wisconsin, is getting an RFID implant. Why is he volunteering for the Mark of the Beast? Promotional reasons! Thompson is on the board of Applied Digital, owner of RFID vendor VeriChip. From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Thompson said people will eventually get beyond any queasy feelings about having a chip implanted.

"It will prevent babies from being picked up by the wrong people in a maternity ward and make sure people in nursing homes don't walk away," Thompson said.

So far, about 7,000 chips for people have been sold, with about 2,000 implanted worldwide, said Scott R. Silverman, chairman and chief executive of Applied Digital, which owns VeriChip.

Once Thompson gets chipped, chances are it won't help him in an emergency. Only two hospitals - Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston - read the chips, Silverman said.

No worries, said Rebecca Harmon, a spokeswoman for the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

"We can always take him to the vet school," she said.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


DAVID SWANSON - I'm working on a campaign headquartered at that seeks to draw attention to the Downing Street Minutes and to lobby Congress to open an investigation into whether the President has committed impeachable offenses. According to a recent Zogby poll, 42 percent of Americans favor impeachment proceedings if the President lied about the reasons for war, and according to a recent ABC News / Washington Post poll, 52 percent think he did. But this story is nowhere to be found in the corporate media.

So, our website attracts a lot of traffic.

In addition, July 23rd is the three-year anniversary of the meeting on Downing Street that produced the now infamous minutes, and we are organizing events all over the country on that day. Or, we're trying to. But we noticed about a week ago that everyone working on this campaign was having strange Email problems. Some people would get Emails and some wouldn't, or they'd receive some but not others.
Conference calls were worse than usual (I can't stand the things anyway) because half the people wouldn't get the info and know where to call in. Organizing by internet is super easy, but when you have to follow up every Email with a phone call to see if someone got it, it becomes super frustrating. Volunteers have been complaining all over the country – especially now that we've figured out what the problem was and they know what to complain about.

We didn't know it, but for the past week, anyone using Comcast has been unable to receive any Email with "" in the body of the Email. That has included every Email from me, since that was in my signature at the bottom of every Email I sent. And it included any Email linking people to any information about the upcoming events. . . .

Disturbingly, Comcast did not notify us of this block. It took us a number of days to nail down Comcast as the cause of the problems, and then more days, working with Comcast's abuse department to identify exactly what was going on. We'd reached that point by Thursday, but Comcast was slow to fix the problem.

During the day on Friday we escalated our threats to flood Comcast's executives with phone calls and cancellations, and we gave them deadlines. Friday evening, Comcast passed the buck to Symantec. Comcast said that Symantec's Bright Mail filter was blocking the Emails, and that Symantec refused to lift the block, because they had supposedly received 46,000 complaints about Emails with our URL in them. . . Of course, Symantec was working for Comcast, and Comcast could insist that they shape up, or drop them. But Comcast wasn't interested in doing that. Could we see two or three, or even one, of those 46,000 complaints? No, and Comcast claimed that Symantec wouldn't share them with Comcast either.

Comcast has a near monopoly on high-speed internet service in much of this country, including much of the Washington, D.C., area. Many members of the media and many people involved in politics rely on it. . . Comcast effectively censors discussion of particular political topics, and impedes the ability of people to associate with each other, with absolutely no compulsion to explain itself. There is no due process. A phrase or web address is tried and convicted in absentia and without the knowledge of those involved.

Now, did Comcast do this because it opposes impeaching the President? I seriously doubt it. Apparently the folks at Symantec did this, and Comcast condoned it. But why?. . .

This state of affairs means that anyone who wants to stifle public and quasi-private discussion of a topic can quite easily do so by generating numerous spam complaints. The victims of the complaints will not be notified, made aware of the accusations against them, or provided an opportunity to defend themselves. And if the complaints prove bogus, there will be absolutely no penalty for having made them.

And this won't affect only small-time information sources. If the New York Times or CNN attempts to send people Email with a forbidden phrase, it won't reach Comcast customers or customers of any ISP using the same or similar filtering program.


MDI NEWS RELEASE - On September 20, a car with an air-compressed engine, invented by the Frenchman Guy Negre, will be presented in London. The MDI car can reach a speed of 68 mph and has a road coverage of roughly 124 miles -some 8 hours of travel - which is more than double the road coverage of an electric car. When recharging the tank, the car needs to be connected to the mains for 3 to 4 hours or attached to an air pump in a petrol station for only 2 minutes.

Economy and the ecological benefits are the main advantages for the client since the car's maintenance cost is 10 times less than that of a petrol-run car, costing 1 pound for the car to travel for up to 8 hours or to cover 124 miles in an urban area.

Compressed air is stored in fiber tanks. The expansion of this air pushes the pistons and creates movement. The atmospheric temperature is used to re-heat the engine and increase the road coverage. The air conditioning system makes use of the expelled cold air. Due to the absence of combustion and the fact there is no pollution, the oil change is only necessary every 31,000 miles.

At the moment, four models have been made: a car, a taxi (5 passengers), a pick-up truck and a van. The final selling price will be approximately 5,500 pounds.

"Moteur Development International" is a company founded in Luxembourg, based in the south of France and with its commercial office in Barcelona. MDI has researched and developed the Air Car over 10 years and the technology is protected by more than 30 International patents.

It is predicted that the factory will produce 3.000 cars each year, with 70 staff working only one 8-hour shift a day. If there were 3 shifts some 9,000 cars could be produced a year. (English)

Monday, July 18, 2005


Via Undernews

BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL - More than a quarter of US women delayed or went without care that they believed they needed in the past year because they could not afford it. That is an increase of 3% from 2001. This central finding came from a survey of 2766 women aged 18 and older by the Kaiser Family Foundation and released as part of a panel discussion on 7 July at their conference centre in Washington, DC.

Much of the focus in the United States has been on people who do not have any health insurance. But the problem goes beyond that to one of co-payments, where the patient has to contribute a proportion of the costs, for prescriptions or doctors' visits, said Diane Rowland, a Kaiser vice president who was responsible for the survey. "Even small costs serve as a barrier to care," she said.

"Given that women are, on the whole, lower income than men, this is a very important women's health issue," said Dr Paula Johnson, director of the Connors Center for Women's Health and Biology at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston.

Women are more likely than men to report a chronic condition that needs ongoing medical attention (38% v 30%), and they are more likely than men to use a prescription medicine on a regular basis (56% v 42%).

They are more than twice as likely as men to have been diagnosed as having depression or anxiety (23% v 11%). How much of this reflects a cultural bias of diagnosis and how much reflects the impact of an often lower economic status or social burdens, such as being the principal care giver within a family, is unclear.

Friday, July 15, 2005

What to Say to Jack and Jim?

Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2005 10:25:21 -0400
From: Robert Weissman <>
Subject: [corp-focus] What To Say to Jack and Jim?

What to Say to Jack and Jim?

By Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman

We were in an empty West Virginia courtroom last night with two young boys -- let's call them Jack and Jim -- ages 10 and 8.

Time for homeschooling -- Justice 101.

Let's say Jack that you go into Jim's candystore and steal a chocolate bar.

Jim calls the police.

The prosecutor charges Jack with theft.

Jack will be charged and brought to trial in this courtroom.

The prosecutor will sit at this table over here.

What's this over here?

This is the witness stand.

The prosecutor will call Jim as a witness.

Jim will testify that Jack stole the candy bar.

Over in this box sit 12 of Jack's fellow citizens.

They will hear the evidence.

Behind this bench over here sits the judge.

The judge will determine what evidence gets to the jury.

After the jury hears the evidence, they will walk back into this room, close the door, and decide whether Jack is guilty or not.

After reaching a verdict, the jurors will file back into the jury box and tell the judge of their decision.

If the verdict is guilty, the judge will hand down his sentence.

Jack will go to jail.

His reputation will be in tatters.

His life destroyed.

No more play group.

No more swimming in the creek.

No more candy bars.

That was last night's lesson.

This morning, we awake to a front-page Wall Street Journal article reporting that KPMG -- one of the nation's big four accounting firms -- is facing criminal charges for the aggressive marketing of abusive tax shelters that cost the federal government $1.4 billion in lost revenue.

A November 2003 Senate report found that "KPMG devoted substantial resources to and obtained significant fees from =85 potentially abusive and illegal tax shelters =85 costing the U.S. Treasury billions."

According to the Journal, last year, the Internal Revenue Service told a federal court that KPMG "falsely asserts that it has never developed, sold or promoted a tax shelter" and that KPMG tried for years to delay or conceal evidence behind sometimes false claims of legal privilege.

Here's the first sentence from the article, written by Journal reporter John R. Wilke:

"Federal prosecutors have built a criminal case against KPMG LLP for obstruction of justice and the sale of abusive tax shelters, igniting a debate among top Justice Department officials over whether to seek an indictment -- at the risk of killing one of the four remaining big accounting firms."

KPMG issued a statement yesterday saying that it "takes full responsibility for the unlawful conduct by former KPMG partners" during the period under investigation by the Justice Department. KPMG said it has taken actions "to ensure that this type of conduct does not occur again," including "firm-wide structural, cultural and governance reforms."

In the wake of the criminal prosecution of Arthur Andersen, which drove the accounting firm out of business, federal prosecutors increasingly have shied away from criminally prosecuting big firms.

Increasingly, federal prosecutors look to what impact a criminal prosecution will have on the firm.

First came the deferred prosecution agreement -- that's where prosecutors file an indictment on the condition that the company behave itself for a period of years, usually two.

If things are in order after two years, the indictment is dropped.

Slate wiped clean.

No record of indictment.

No conviction.

Then came the no prosecution agreement -- prosecutors agree not to bring an indictment on the condition that the company change the way it does business.

With the Supreme Court's reversal of the Andersen conviction, combined with a number of high-profile white-collar crime not guilty verdicts, prosecutors find themselves on the defensive.

As a result, increasingly, corporations are being deemed -- too big to indict and convict.

And it appears that KPMG is now working out another in this series of corporate sweetheart deals with the Justice Department.

What to say to Jack and Jim about this?

Jack, if you are charged with stealing a candy bar from Jim's candy store, go to the prosecutor and show him today's Wall Street Journal.

Tell the prosecutor to take into consideration the collateral consequences of the prosecution.

Jack will be shunned by his peers.

No more play group.

No more swimming in the creek.

No more candy bars.

Please prosecutor please.

Give me the same deal that you gave KPMG.

No indictment.

No conviction.

I'll be good.

I'll give back the candy bar.

I'll change my ways.


Pretty please?

Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter, <>. Robert Weissman is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Multinational Monitor, <>. Mokhiber and Weissman are co-authors of On the Rampage: Corporate Predators and the Destruction of Democracy (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press).

(c) Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman


American Rights at Work has launched a web site spotlighting the retail giant’s unfair practices in the workplace. The site will also serve as a platform to enable the public to communicate their opposition to Wal-Mart’s anti-union behavior. "When Wal-Mart employees attempt to stand up for themselves and try to form a union, they face threats, propaganda, discrimination, intimidation, and even firings in
retaliation," said David Bonior, Chair of American Rights at Work:

- The company taps into calls and emails from stores around the country to monitor whether anyone is talking about forming a union.

- Store officials receive a toolkit to "Remaining Union Free" and are encouraged to call a hotline at the first sign of any interest in a union.

- Wal-Mart dispatches a rapid-response anti-union squad at any indication of its employees considering union formation.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Bonjour Bastille!

ON THIS BASTILLE DAY, a thank you to the much maligned French. They, after all, helped us win our best war - the Revolution - and tried mightily to keep us out of two of our worst - Vietnam and Iraq.

Thank you as well for having the sense, along with the Dutch, to see that the much-touted European Union Constitution was primarily a neoliberal capitalist delivery system.

The List


Tobacco: 100,000
Alcohol: 6,000
Heroin: 652
Methadone: 97
Ecstasy: 25
Crack: 20
Amphetamines: 12
Cocaine: 11
Marijuana: 0

[Government report]

Jailed for Justice

By Yu-Yee Wu, AsianWeek
Posted on July 13, 2005

Having spent almost three decades offering legal service to immigrants, Chinese American immigration attorney Manlin Chee is now getting used to serving time instead.

Chee had been a nationally recognized lawyer for her work with immigrants, some of it pro bono, and much of it for Muslims, but things soured for her soon after she appeared on a panel discussing the PATRIOT Act in March 2003.

The public forum at the main library in Greensboro, North Carolina was televised and attracted a large audience. Chee argued passionately that the PATRIOT Act violated the Bill of Rights and threatened the civil rights of immigrants and U.S. citizens.

"I'll never forget when Manlin joked that she had good news and bad news for the audience," recalls Tim Hopkins, an attendee. "She said that the bad news is that those people taking pictures of the audience are from the FBI. The good news is that they are coming after the panelists first. It was prophetic."

Indeed, within weeks the FBI began investigating Chee, says her attorney Locke Clifford. Clifford says the FBI had no record of complaints against her. But the agency began combing through thousands of Chee's case files. They even went back to her own citizenship application. The agents interviewed her clients and employees for over a year, until they indicted Chee for immigration fraud on June 26, 2004.

It was a dramatic fall for the successful attorney who once had offices in three cities and thousands of clients. The American Bar Association awarded Chee its public service award in 1991, which was presented to her by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. She also received the 1990 William L. Thorp Pro Bono Award by the North Carolina Bar Association. The Triad Business News called her "one of the foremost immigration attorneys in North Carolina if not the country."

Many think that it was her political views that caused Chee's troubles.

"She was outspoken about the impact of the PATRIOT Act on the Muslim community and American citizens," says Badi Ali, President of the Islamic Center of the Triad and Muslims for a Better North Carolina. Chee also demonstrated her support of the Muslim community by wearing Muslim garb on Fridays, says Chee's youngest daughter, Leia Forgay. Forgay says it was symbolic. "She was letting people know that she will stand with them figuratively and literally."

However, fellow Greensboro immigration attorney, Gerry Chapman, questions whether Chee was targeted for her views. "There are attorneys in North Carolina who have spoken out against the PATRIOT Act and against targeting of Muslims, and the vast majority of them have not been investigated and indicted." He adds that he thinks Chee overextended herself. "Manlin's got a good heart, but she was trying to do too much for too many people."

Attorney Anita Earls, director of Advocacy of the University of North Carolina Center for Civil Rights in Chapel Hill, points out that "other immigration attorneys have engaged in worse practices -- and they were not investigated." She believes Chee was "singled out because of a combination of the clients she served and the fact that she was outspoken in her opposition to the war."

The FBI's strongest evidence came from two sting operations, the first one within weeks after Chee had participated in the PATRIOT Act forum, says Clifford. The informants posed as needy Muslims. One informant wanted to pretend he was gay so he could seek asylum, and the other informant wanted a sham marriage to get his green card. Chee was indicted for filing papers on behalf of both.

According to Forgay, the informants wouldn't stop asking for Chee's help: "My mom told them that there's nothing I can do, but they kept coming back to her and she couldn't say no. She always tries to help -- she went ahead and submitted the papers to try. She would feel worse if she didn't try."

Chee's former client and good friend, Melinda Macasero agrees. "Manlin had a hard time when she first came to the U.S., so she knows how hard it can be," Macasero says. "If you're an immigrant and you're a client of hers, she would go the extra mile to help."

Says Clifford, "Manlin never said no to anybody and the FBI probably said to themselves that if we run someone in there with a sad story, Manlin will probably take the bait."

Chee now admits she was "foolish" for succumbing to the sham entreaties. She describes one informant as being "intimidating," constantly calling, going to her office, and badgering her when she avoided filing the papers for months. Feeling "pushed" and suffering from an anxiety disorder, Chee finally relented under the pressure.

"Manlin did have some depression," says her close friend, Amelia Leung. "Her mental health does affect her sense of judgment sometimes."

During Chee's prosecution, a diverse group of community members rallied around her and formed the Manlin Chee Defense Committee, taking out a full-page ad in the local paper in her support. Notably missing, however, was a public outcry from the local Chinese community.

Meiling Yu, cultural promotion director of the Greensboro Chinese Association, says her organization just didn't know enough. "Because the charges are about her practice, which we are not familiar with, we didn't feel we had enough information to speak out in support of her." She notes the impression that Chee was targeted for her outspokenness, but as a nonprofit, they did not feel they could make a political statement.

"I can understand why they wouldn't speak out," says Macasero. "You are dealing with the government, and [people] are afraid they are going to get in trouble."

Ultimately, Chee pleaded guilty to the charges from the stings. Her daughter Leia, insists Chee pleaded guilty to keep her family together. The FBI had also indicted and charged Chee's oldest daughter, Chernlian, because she was a paralegal in Chee's office. Chernlian, who has an upcoming wedding, decided to cooperate with the prosecution: She would get probation if she pleaded guilty, but she would have to testify against her mother.

The anger in Leia's voice is palpable when she discusses the effect of her sister's decision. "My mom did the selfless thing and pleaded guilty to keep our family from tearing apart because she felt that this was a time when we needed to stick together. ... The hardest thing is not living without my mom, but living with the tension in the house because of my older sister and what happened."

Chee, however, fought all charges involving her work for real clients. Calling those charges "horsefeathers," Chee states, "I would rather rot in jail than to plead to charges where I prepared documents like every other lawyer in the country." Immigration expert Ira Kurzban agreed, testifying at Chee's sentencing hearing that her labor certification filings were like those of other attorneys.

Chee never went to trial. The federal prosecutor suddenly dropped all remaining charges against her, after she decided to plead guilty. On March 3, 2005, Judge James A. Beaty sentenced Chee to a year and a day in prison beginning April 22 at Alderson Federal Prison Camp in West Virginia (better known as Martha Stewart's prison). Chee will be unable to attend her daughter Chernlian's wedding in September.

A former U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights attorney, Earls believes the government was making an example of Chee.

"The U.S. Attorney's office was certainly trying to send a message," she says. "Bringing down someone who previously had a strong reputation as an aggressive advocate is much more attractive to the U.S. Attorney's office than someone who doesn't aggressively stand up for immigrant rights."

Chee has been on disability inactive status since April 2004 with the State Bar of North Carolina due to her mental health issues, and cannot practice law. However, her youngest daughter, Leia, seems fiercely determined to take up her mother's torch and fight for the rights of immigrants. "Immigrants are often neglected in the law and in the community," Forgay observes. "You can't just leave out certain groups just because there are tensions with their community."

The sixteen-year-old admits that previously, she did not want to be a lawyer because she hardly saw her mother, who was working all the time. Forgay has changed her mind. "Now, after seeing what happened to my mom, they may be able to stop her, but they can't stop me from helping people who need it."

© 2005 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at:

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Sam Smith, The Progressive Review

WHILE A LOT OF attention is being paid to evangelical Christian extremism, far less is directed towards an equally dangerous religious sect - the practitioners of evangelical economic extremism.

Although the latter faith is not often regarded as an actual religion, it has far more in common with evangelism than it does with rational intellectual inquiry or thoughtful academic analysis. Along with the Christian extremists, the economic evangelists share an arrogant certainty, single factor fetishism, missionary mania, belief in intelligent design, an unlimited desire to impose their myths on others, and a rhetoric that is only meaningful if you already accept their premises. Their arguments are largely based on iconic folkloric texts and ignore the true variety of human existence and its communities and families. And they both speak in tongues, which they consider a good thing. The big difference is that while the Christian bible has the money changers being chased out of the temple, the free market bible
wants them back in again.

One sect blasphemes its namesake by practicing such unchristian traits as bigotry, intolerance, and aggression. The other mocks its namesake by fostering an economy that is free only to those who manipulate or steal from it.

In the end, both share an extraordinary narcissism with one putting their own salvation before everything else, the other doing the same with their own power and fiscal fortunes.

There are, of course, plenty of nice economists just as there are plenty of good Christians. The former practice their faith for the betterment of society just as good Christians practice love, charity, and forgiveness. They use their faith as a guide for themselves rather than as a weapon against others.

Increasingly, however, both Christians and economists have been tarnished by roving bands of heretical Talibanic bullies who have left the sanctuary of church and classroom to enforce their narrow and mean will upon the land. The one would have us believe that abortion and gay marriage are more important than housing, health and a breathable environment; the other that salvation lies in letting the robber barons
do just what they want.

And as their false doctrine has caused countless suffering to others, these false prophets have gained status and wealth, an issue so profoundly raised by Ray Stevens in his epic work "Would Jesus Wear a Rolex":

Would Jesus be political
if He came back to earth?
Have His second home in
Palm Springs, yeah, and try
to hide His worth?
Take money, from those
poor folks, when He comes
back again?

For twenty five years, while one sect has increasingly controlled what we watch and read and how we mate, the other has helped create an ever more monopolized economy, indifferent to either conscience or consumer. One believes that their particular God and Jesus reveal all truths. The other says it's the market and money that does it.

In fact, it is hard to imagine a free market in a real world, and certainly not in Washington where 35,000 corporate lobbyists work hard to make sure the market is anything but free, as the politicians they have indentured and the media they have fooled prattle endlessly about said market's virtues.

Although free market advocates parade themselves as - and often appear to be - highly intelligent people, they are either exceptionally deluded or are perpetrating a massive fraud. As Robert Kuttner has pointed out, "There is at the core of the celebration of markets a relentless tautology. If we begin, by assumption, with the premise that nearly everything can be understood as a market and that markets optimize outcomes, then everything else leads back to the same conclusion -- marketize! If, in the event a particular market doesn't optimize, there is only one possible inference: it must be insufficiently marketlike. This epistemological sleight of hand is an astonishing blend that blurs the descriptive with the normative. It is a no-fail system for guaranteeing that theory trumps evidence."

In fact, any moderately observant person, not brainwashed by a quarter century of contrary missionary zeal, would notice that in addition to money, humans are affected by such things as community, religion, family, friends, social ambition, politics, virtue, and psychological faults and strengths. In short, the market driven society is just another form of false salvation being foisted on the unwary citizen, in this case by the Elmer Gantries of rightwing economics.

As with various forms of religious excess, the media has played a deeply enabling role. From the moment the Jerry Falwells of free markets - Thatcher and Reagan - commenced their con, the media bought into it with hardly a scintilla of skepticism. To this day one can easily assume from the media that there is a constitutional amendment guaranteeing a free market.

The damage evangelical economics has done of the country has been stunning, ranging from the extreme monopolization of American business to the disintegration of our language into a collection of corporate cliches. It has destroyed pensions, made decent healthcare and housing ever more difficult, and threatened social security. And yet none dare call these tyrants bullies, fools or liars.

In the end, it may be argued that all promises of salvation are false, but if a Christian evangelist and a market missionary should happen to ring your door at the same time, go with Jesus. Even the most extreme Christian advocate will at least offer you food, shelter, and warmth. The free marketer will leave you dying in the gutter, and standing over your last gasps, proudly tell you that the market was right again.


DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, NEW YORK TIMES: The number of farms on which estate tax is owed when the owners die has fallen by 82% since 2000, to just 300 farms, as Congress has more than doubled the threshold at which the tax applies, the Congressional Budget Office said in a report released last week. All but 27 farmers left enough liquid assets to pay taxes owed, the budget office found. . .

These findings come as the Senate is poised to vote this month on repealing the estate tax. Advocates of repeal have begun showing commercials criticizing senators who oppose repeal, such as Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-WA. Many of the criticisms focus on a supposed threat to family farms.

The estate tax raised an estimated $23.4 billion last year. Repeal would shift part of the burden of taxes off the fortunes left by the richest one percent of Americans, some of whose fortunes were never taxed, onto the general population. The lost revenue could be made up in three ways: higher income taxes, reduced government services or more borrowing, which would pass the burden of current government spending to future generations.

President Bush, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association have asserted that the estate tax is destroying family farms. None, however, has cited a case of a farm lost to estate taxes, although in June 2001 Bush said he had talked to such farmers.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

UN Occupation Forces Carry Out Massacre of Poor in Port-au-Prince

On Wednesday morning, July 6th, at approximately 3:00 AM, UN occupation forces in Haiti carried out a major military operation in the working-class neighborhood of Cite Soleil, one of the poorest in Port-au-Prince and also a stronghold of support for Haiti's majority political party Lavalas and President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Presumably, the purpose of the operation was to crack down on illegal "gang ctivity", in particular on "gang" leader Dread Wilme. In actuality, a US trade union and human rights delegation in Port-au-Prince discovered evidence of a massacre conducted by the UN forces, targeting the larger community itself.

According to accounts from many different members of the community, many of whom chose to remain anonymous, as well as from journalists who were on the scene during the operation, UN forces surrounded two neighborhoods within Cite Soleil, Boisneuf and Project Drouillard, sealing off the alleys with tanks and troops.

Two helicopters flew overhead. At 4:30 AM, UN forces launched the offensive, shooting into houses, shacks, a church, and a school with machine guns, tank fire, and tear gas. Eyewitnesses reported that when people fled to escape the tear gas, UN troops gunned them down from the back.

UN forces shot out electric transformers in the neighborhood. People were killed in their homes and also just outside of their homes, on the way to work. According to journalists and eyewitnesses, one man named Leon Cherry, age 46, was shot and killed on his way to work for a flower company. Another man, Mones Belizaire, was shot as he got ready to go work in a local sweatshop and subsequently died from a stomach infection. A woman who was a street vendor was shot in the head and killed instantly.

One man was shot in his ribs while he was trying to brush his teeth. Another man was shot in the jaw as he left his house to try and get some money for his wife's medical costs; he endured a slow death.Yet another man named Mira was shot and killed while urinating in his home.

A mother, Sena Romelus, and her two young children were killed in their home, either by bullets or by a 83-CC grenade UN forces threw. Film footage of many of these deaths was shared with the US human rights delegation. Eyewitnesses claimed that the offensive overwhelmed the community and that there was not a "firefight", but rather a slaughter. The operation was primarily conducted by UN forces, with the Haitian
National Police this time taking a back seat.

Seth Donnelly, a member of the US human rights delegation in Port-au-Prince, visited Cite Soleil with Haitian human rights workers on Thursday afternoon, July 7th. The team gathered testimony from many members of the community, young and old, men, women, and youth. All verified the previous statements we had received from journalists and other eyewitness accounts.

These community members spoke of how they had been surrounded by tanks and troops that sealed off exits from the neighborhoods and then proceeded to assault the civilian population. The community allowed the team to film the evidence of the massacre, showing the homes -- in some cases made of tin and cardboard -- that had been riddled by bullets, tank fire and helicopter ammunition, as well as showing the team some of the corpses still there, including a mother and her two children.

The team also filmed a church and a school that had been riddled by ammunition. Reportedly, a preacher was among the victims killed. Some community members allowed the team to interview them, but not to film their faces for fear of their lives. People were traumutized and, in the cases of loved ones of victims, hysterical.

Many community members -- again young and old, men and women -- spoke highly of Dread Wilme, referring to him as their "protector" or "father", and expressed fear for the future. One member said that he heard that another UN operation against the community was planned for later Thursday night or early Friday morning.

Multiple community people indicated that they had counted at least 23 bodies of people killed by the UN forces. Community members claimed that UN forces had taken away some of the bodies. Published estimates indicate that upwards of 50 may have been killed and an indeterminate number wounded, and that more than 300 heavily armed UN troops took part in the assault on this densely populated residential neighborhood.

"There was systematic firing on civilians," said one eyewitness to the killing. "All exits were cut off. The community was choked off, surrounded -- facing tanks coming from different angles, and overhead, helicopters with machine guns fired down on the people. The citizens were under attack from all sides and from the air. It was war on a community."

The Labor/Human Rights Delegation from the United States, initiated by the San Francisco Labor Council, had been in Haiti since late last month to attend the Congress of the Confederation of Haitian Workers (CTH), the country's largest labor organization, and met with hundreds of Haitian workers, farmers and professionals about the current labor and human rights situation in Haiti.

For more info and updates, visit

False Flag Over London

The first signs that 7/7 was a false flag op like 9/11 were already apparent on the day. It was a classic train bombing in the tradition of "NATO's Secret Army" - covert ops assets like the "Red Brigades" and Madrid patsies.


It was 2001 all over again: a year into his term, Bush and his poll ratings had sunk to historic lows, even lower this time under the weight of scandals and rumblings of impeachment. Blair too was hurt badly by the Downing Street memo. Then out of the blue, salvation struck the pair. Today, 7/7, saw a classic false-flag attack hit London, a simple set-up by western secret services to distract from the deepening woes of Bush and Blair, and perhaps to create the pretext for the next round of wars on Iran.

The G-8 conference was the ideal, high-profile venue to muster the maudling sympathy of world leaders behind the flagging amateur B&B show. Today’s Guy Fawkeses, home-team self-terrorists in the heart of empire, thumbed their noses with a sneer at us mortal fools, and blithely played their favorite base-eleven numerology game, on this 7/7 date - following on the heels of Madrid 3/11 and New York 9/11, with its signature Flights 11 and 77.

Cui bono. Wall Street closed on an uptick.

Conspiracy theory, you say? How can I be so sure? The war-profiteer clique are not all that inventive. False terror is the only trick they know. If they had any idea of governance or statecraft, they wouldn't need to stoop to these toxic tactics.

One classic trademark of false-flag terror on display today was the "previously unknown" organization posting anonymously on a website. Of course, western intelligence, with Echelon and all that surveillance paraphernalia, can track any webposting back to its source. When it wants to - but what need is there for the source to track itself.

"Real" terrorists are known groups that make concrete demands. They are an endangered species, if not extinct in the wild, but for a few rare specimens nurtured in the zoos of the psy-op netherworld.

Fake terrorists - covert psy-war units of western intelligence - always invent a name of an "unknown" group. They have to do this, of course. If they claimed, say, that the PLO did it, the accused would energetically deny it, spoiling the show. So they use fictitious identities, which they can mold to suit the target of convenience.

Today’s fiction was a "secret" group affiliated - oh how wonderfully convenient - with Al Qaeda and Al Zarqawi. Yet the state-owned BBC itself found that Al Qaeda does not even exist, in its documentary film, "The Terror Myth." And just yesterday, Dahr Jamail wrote of his trip to the town of Zarqa, on the trail of the fabled Zarqawi. The man's family believe he died years ago, and no recent photos exist. Certain is only that the mythical Zarqawi’s base of operations always pops up wherever the Americans want to attack. Fallujah, Samarra, who do you want to bomb tomorrow?

Some other dead giveaway signs:
- Scotland Yard warned Mr. Netanyahu half an hour beforehand not to go to the bomb site, according to an AP wire from Jerusalem (a slip that was subsequently denied of course, but it was still up at the website of the Canada National Post earlier today).

- An MSNBC translator says an error in a verse from the Quran cited by the "unknown" group couldn't have been made by Al Qaeda, and he thinks it's phony.. Blair's proofreaders are falling down on their dossiers again... the bunglers ought to be belted, or suspended.

- Train bombings like London 7/7and Madrid 3/11 are a speciality of NATO psy-war units. The expert on this since 1978 has been Webster Tarpley, who shows in his latest book, 9/11 Synthetic Terror, how the bombing of Bologna Stazione Centrale in 1980 by the “Red Brigades” is of one cloth with the Madrid bombings. The so-called "communist terrorist" Red Brigades were phonies, a patsy outfit created by Lodge P2, the neofascist shadow government that holds Italy in its grip. The Madrid train bombing suspects were police agents, also run by a neo-fascist falange: as Tarpley notes, one suspect admitted he worked for the old guard, la Guardia Civil, Unidad Central Operativa.

Like Madrid, London suffered relatively low-tech destruction, plausibly in reach of small-time terrorists, except for the wide scope and coordination of the operations. Did the ambitious scale of the WTC destruction involve too many embarrassments, with its indisputable physical evidence of controlled demolition? I am not so optimistic to rule out another mega-hit. This was well-calibrated. A booster shot was enough to tank up the War of Terror today.

Another possible motive, Tarpley says, is the war party’s urge to push Bush into Iran, though America has no stomach for it. They need another 9/11 to send our boys to occupy the oil fields of both Iraq and Iran, and hold the world, all of us, to ransom.

Yeah, there shall be wars, and rumours of wars. Reports of covert American commando operations against targets inside Iran prepared the ground for invasion. The provocations aroused a storm of anti-American sentiment, sweeping the elections against the reformers for radical dark horse candidate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, thus helping pave the way to mobilize a war coalition against Iran. Failing that, he may replace Saddam as symbol of vilification while keeping Iran shackled by backward fundamentalism. Tarpley has a chapter named "Islamic Fundamentalism: Fostered by U. S. Foreign Policy." It goes back to the 19th century British Arab Bureau, crown purveyors of divide and conquer schemes, who hit on xenophobic fundamentalism as the ploy to make the Arabs impossible partners for alliances with any of Britain's rivals.

"Poster boy" bin Laden is a product of this. Alternative writers in the West are quick to see the demagogic effect his image has on militarizing Western publics. Few of them realize the profoundly cynical obverse of the covert strategy: feeding the Arabs on the poison pills of false hopes in a terrorist hero.

Yet Arab admiration for Osama has remained platonic. Anthropologists long ago noted the Arab tendency to vent feelings in words rather than action. Many Muslims felt bound to fight in Afghanistan against the atheist Soviet occupier, but the BBC’s Terror Myth documentary recounts how Bin Laden and Zawahiri utterly failed to mobilize real Arabs to the way of terrorism against innocent citizens abroad. Tarpley adduces evidence that Zawahiri is likely bin Laden's handler from MI-6. Enter now the shadowy world of alphabet agencies and their covert clients, the patsies and moles, who live a tunnel life, like the trains of London they fed on this time.

O lovers of peace and opponents of war: never shall you see an end of calamities instigated by the war party, until the people see through the false flag trick. It is not in marching that wars may be stopped, but by seeing and seizing the strings from the puppetmaster.

A book with a depth of historical background to this picture is The Nazi Hydra in America, currently online. It recounts how the 1933 Reichstag fire, that most infamous false-flag op which catapulted the Bush-Harriman protégé, little Adolf Hitler to power, was followed in 1934 by an attempted military putsch against FDR, launched by the Morgan interests - an episode that has been expunged from all schoolbooks. Yet if it had succeeded, with America and Germany both under Nazi control, the New World Fascist Order would have come into being already 70 years ago.

They do not give up. They have time, money, and no project more captivating. They have been preparing the final putsch for a century or more.

They were not defeated in 1945. The postwar CIA and NSA are their resurgent Phoenix, born from the ashes of Nazi assets. The enemy is within the gates.

Read, understand, and realize how bitter and lasting is the struggle against the corporatist hydra, which now lets show the true features behind that leering smiley face, as it grasps again for absolute world power.

With the same old trick.

What fools these mortals be.

For giving out the lowdown about the London underground, I was roundly rebuked today, accused of disgracing the dead. Yet I was the one speaking out to avenge their honor, and protect their memory from the blood stain of abuse by the vultures of war. Unheeding, the shocked sheeple flock to march in ever tighter lockstep for their Fodderland, with each new Reichstags Firemeisterwerk casting a stronger spell. If I'm the only one who can smell the smoke of a parliament in flames, there will be no stopping the intoxicated herd of rhinoceri now. Carry on, madding crowd, with your tyranny of the majority, stampeding to a fascist state à la 1933. As for us few dissidents, we better make our peace with our Maker. Or hope that after wallowing at will in the ritual reflex to masochistic sentimentality they hold sacred, our fellows may be readier for reason later. To be kind, it’s because they are nice people that they can’t believe “their own” are capable of such evil. Yet their haste to stick up for the culprits and heap abuse on a warner proves the adage that people get the government they deserve. And do they show sanctimonious sorrow each day innocent Iraqis are killed by their countrymen? No, for the most part. Hard words must be said. Too many of these are hypocritical tears, streaming down one-sided faces. But is that too unkind? Terror is meant to shock people, and they deal with the emotions as they can. Facing the awful fact of self-terror is a shock in its own right – is this too much at once at this stage, rubbing salt in their wounds? But if they cannot learn now, when their attention is focused on the latest atrocity, when will be the right time?

- John Leonard was editor and co-author of The War on Freedom 2002, the first exposé of 9/11 published in the United States.

Posted: Sunday July 10, 2005 09:08 AM

At White House, a Day of Silence on Rove's Role in C.I.A. Leak

July 12, 2005

WASHINGTON, July 11 - Nearly two years after stating that any administration official found to have been involved in leaking the name of an undercover C.I.A. officer would be fired, and assuring that Karl Rove and other senior aides to President Bush had nothing to do with the disclosure, the White House on Monday refused to answer any questions about new evidence of Mr. Rove's role in the matter.

With the White House silent, Democrats rushed in, demanding that the administration provide a full account of any involvement by Mr. Rove, one of the president's closest advisers, turning up the political heat in the case and leaving some Republicans worried about the possible effects on Mr. Bush's second-term agenda.

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, cited Mr. Bush's statements about firing anyone involved in the leak and said, "I trust they will follow through on this pledge."

Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said Mr. Rove, given his stature and the principles involved in the case, could not hide behind legal advice not to comment.

"The lesson of history for George Bush and Karl Rove is that the best way to help themselves is to bring out all the facts, on their own, quickly," Mr. Schumer said, citing the second-term scandals that have beset previous administrations.

In two contentious news briefings, the White House press secretary, Scott McClellan, would not directly address any of a barrage of questions about Mr. Rove's involvement, a day after new evidence suggested that Mr. Rove had discussed the C.I.A. officer with a reporter from Time magazine in July 2003 without identifying her by name.

Under often hostile questioning, Mr. McClellan repeatedly declined to say whether he stood behind his previous statements that Mr. Rove had played no role in the matter, saying he could not comment while a criminal investigation was under way. He brushed aside questions about whether the president would follow through on his pledge, repeated just over a year ago, to fire anyone in his administration found to have played a role in disclosing the officer's identity. And he declined to say when Mr. Bush learned that Mr. Rove had mentioned the C.I.A. officer in his conversation with the Time reporter. Article...

Red Rove-r, red rover is that the press coming over? (w/video)

Courtesy of Think Progress, below is the first part of today's press conference with White House spokesman Scott McClellan (video here courtesy of Crooks & Liars).

You'll note that the press is uncharacteristically tenacious with regard to the Karl Rove investigation. Which is good. As one reporter points out, McClellan's earlier testimony from 2003 (that Rove had nothing to do with the whole Wilson/Plame national security breach) is "demonstrably false." Yet he refuses to revise or stand by his earlier claims, repeatedly telling the frustrated reporters that the White House had been urged by the prosecutor to not speak of anything surrounding the case.

What I wanna know is this: What comes next?

Let's be honest here: who reads press conference transcripts? Nobody, that's who. If these reporters -- tenacious as they are today -- don't write articles reflecting the stonewall and its troubling elements (that the government, even the president, are public servants and are accountable to the people...that, as one reporter pointed out, it's difficult to believe anything coming out of this spokesman's mouth as long as his "demonstrably false" comment remains unrefuted and unaddressed), given the rapid fire and unpredictable nature of the news cycle, there's every chance that this scandal will just fade into obscurity.

Read it for yourself and then watch for tonight's TV and tomorrow's newspaper reports. If it's just another day of Page A21 blandness: "the president's spokesman, advised by the prosecutor to do so, was unable to comment on the case involving Karl Rove..." then all this sound and fury will indeed signal nothing.

And what kind of message would THAT send to the kids? For god's sake think of the children.


QUESTION: Does the president stand by his pledge to fire anyone involved in a leak of the name of a CIA operative?

MCCLELLAN: I appreciate your question. I think your question is being asked related to some reports that are in reference to an ongoing criminal investigation. The criminal investigation that you reference is something that continues at this point.

And as I’ve previously stated, while that investigation is ongoing, the White House is not going to comment on it.

The president directed the White House to cooperate fully with the investigation. And as part of cooperating fully with the investigation, we made a decision that we weren’t going to comment on it while it is ongoing.

QUESTION: I actually wasn’t talking about any investigation.

But in June of 2004, the president said that he would fire anybody who was involved in this leak to the press about information. I just wanted to know: Is that still his position?

MCCLELLAN: Yes, but this question is coming up in the context of this ongoing investigation, and that’s why I said that our policy continues to be that we’re not going to get into commenting on an ongoing criminal investigation from this podium.

The prosecutors overseeing the investigation had expressed a preference to us that one way to help the investigation is not to be commenting on it from this podium.

MCCLELLAN: And so that’s why we are not going to get into commenting on it while it is an ongoing investigation — or questions related to it.

QUESTION: Scott, if I could point out: Contradictory to that statement, on September 29th of 2003, while the investigation was ongoing, you clearly commented on it. You were the first one to have said that if anybody from the White House was involved, they would be fired.

And then, on June 10th of 2004, at Sea Island Plantation, in the midst of this investigation, when the president made his comments that, yes, he would fire anybody from the White House who was involved, so why have you commented on this during the process of the investigation in the past, but now you’ve suddenly drawn a curtain around it under the statement of, We’re not going to comment on an ongoing investigation?

MCCLELLAN: Again, John, I appreciate the question. I know you want to get to the bottom of this. No one wants to get to the bottom of it more than the president of the United States.

And I think the way to be most helpful is to not get into commenting on it while it is an ongoing investigation. And that’s something that the people overseeing the investigation have expressed a preference that we follow.

And that’s why we’re continuing to follow that approach and that policy.

Now, I remember very well what was previously said. And, at some point, I will be glad to talk about it, but not until after the investigation is complete.

QUESTION: So could I just ask: When did you change your mind to say that it was OK to comment during the course of an investigation before, but now it’s not?

MCCLELLAN: Well, I think maybe you missed what I was saying in reference to Terry’s question at the beginning. There came a point, when the investigation got under way, when those overseeing the investigation asked that it would be — or said that it would be their preference that we not get into discussing it while it is ongoing.

I think that’s the way to be most helpful to help them advance the investigation and get to the bottom of it.

QUESTION: Scott, can I ask you this: Did Karl Rove commit a crime?

MCCLELLAN: Again, David, this is a question relating to a ongoing investigation, and you have my response related to the investigation. And I don’t think you should read anything into it other than: We’re going to continue not to comment on it while it’s ongoing.

QUESTION: Do you stand by your statement from the fall of 2003, when you were asked specifically about Karl and Elliot Abrams and Scooter Libby, and you said, I’ve gone to each of those gentlemen, and they have told me they are not involved in this ?

QUESTION: Do you stand by that statement?

MCCLELLAN: And if you will recall, I said that, as part of helping the investigators move forward on the investigation, we’re not going to get into commenting on it. That was something I stated back near that time as well.

QUESTION: Scott, this is ridiculous. The notion that you’re going to stand before us, after having commented with that level of detail, and tell people watching this that somehow you’ve decided not to talk.

You’ve got a public record out there. Do you stand by your remarks from that podium or not?

MCCLELLAN: I’m well aware, like you, of what was previously said. And I will be glad to talk about it at the appropriate time. The appropriate time is when the investigation…

QUESTION: (inaudible) when it’s appropriate and when it’s inappropriate?

MCCLELLAN: If you’ll let me finish.

QUESTION: No, you’re not finishing. You’re not saying anything.

You stood at that podium and said that Karl Rove was not involved. And now we find out that he spoke about Joseph Wilson’s wife. So don’t you owe the American public a fuller explanation. Was he involved or was he not? Because contrary to what you told the American people, he did indeed talk about his wife, didn’t he?

MCCLELLAN: There will be a time to talk about this, but now is not the time to talk about it.

QUESTION: Do you think people will accept that, what you’re saying today?

MCCLELLAN: Again, I’ve responded to the question.

QUESTION: You’re in a bad spot here, Scott…


… because after the investigation began — after the criminal investigation was under way — you said, October 10th, 2003, I spoke with those individuals, Rove, Abrams and Libby. As I pointed out, those individuals assured me they were not involved in this, from that podium. That’s after the criminal investigation began.

Now that Rove has essentially been caught red-handed peddling this information, all of a sudden you have respect for the sanctity of the criminal investigation.

MCCLELLAN: No, that’s not a correct characterization. And I think you are well aware of that.

We know each other very well. And it was after that period that the investigators had requested that we not get into commenting on an ongoing criminal investigation.

And we want to be helpful so that they can get to the bottom of this. Because no one wants to get to the bottom of it more than the president of the United States.

I am well aware of what was said previously. I remember well what was said previously. And at some point I look forward to talking about it. But until the investigation is complete, I’m just not going to do that.

QUESTION: So you’re now saying that after you cleared Rove and the others from that podium, then the prosecutors asked you not to speak anymore and since then you haven’t.

MCCLELLAN: Again, you’re continuing to ask questions relating to an ongoing criminal investigation and I’m just not going to respond to them.

QUESTION: When did they ask you to stop commenting on it, Scott? Can you pin down a date?

MCCLELLAN: Back in that time period.

QUESTION: Well, then the president commented on it nine months later. So was he not following the White House plan?

MCCLELLAN: I appreciate your questions. You can keep asking them, but you have my response.

QUESTION: Well, we are going to keep asking them.

When did the president learn that Karl Rove had had a conversation with a news reporter about the involvement of Joseph Wilson’s wife in the decision to send him to Africa?

MCCLELLAN: I’ve responded to the questions.

QUESTION: When did the president learn that Karl Rove had been…

MCCLELLAN: I’ve responded to your questions.

QUESTION: After the investigation is completed, will you then be consistent with your word and the president’s word that anybody who was involved will be let go?

MCCLELLAN: Again, after the investigation is complete, I will be glad to talk about it at that point.

QUESTION: Can you walk us through why, given the fact that Rove’s lawyer has spoken publicly about this, it is inconsistent with the investigation, that it compromises the investigation to talk about the involvement of Karl Rove, the deputy chief of staff, here?

MCCLELLAN: Well, those overseeing the investigation expressed a preference to us that we not get into commenting on the investigation while it’s ongoing. And that was what they requested of the White House. And so I think in order to be helpful to that investigation, we are following their direction.

QUESTION: Scott, there’s a difference between commenting on an investigation and taking an action…

MCCLELLAN: (inaudible)

QUESTION: Can I finish, please?

MCCLELLAN: I’ll come back to you in a minute.

Evan Derkacz is a New York-based writer and contributor to AlterNet.