Saturday, April 3, 2010

Kill Baby Kill

One of the campaign promises President Obama made was to listen to scientists, noting that the Bush II regime had utterly failed to do so.

Now, under Obama, the federal government proceeds as if it is the decider in chief on environmental law.

The drill baby drill philosophy Obama has recently adopted listens to the oil barons, rejecting clear warnings from scientists:
"Ocean conditions are already more extreme than those experienced by marine organisms and ecosystems for millions of years," the researchers say in the latest issue of the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution

"This emphasises the urgent need to adopt policies that drastically reduce CO2 emissions."

Ocean acidification, which the researchers call the 'evil twin of global warming', is caused when the CO2 emitted by human activity, mainly burning fossil fuels, dissolves into the oceans. It is happening independently of, but in combination with, global warming.
(Science Daily). The governments need to wise up or millions will suffer or die.

It is not a game or some academic argument, it is instead the security of human civilization we are talking about.

Do We Need A Blood Transfusion?

There seems to be some ambiguity as to what the lifeblood of the government and the lifeblood of the economy is.

One theory, which Alberto Gonzales would call "quaint", is that the lifeblood of the government is to be "of, by and for" the people.

Today things have changed, because we want change all the time, but it is debatable whether or not things have changed for the worse or for the better.

The U.S. Supreme Court has stated:
"taxes are the lifeblood of government"
(Bull v. United States, 295 U.S. 247, 1935). The U.S. Department of Energy has what could be considered a different view:
"Oil is the lifeblood of America’s economy"
(The Fleets & Terrorism Follow The Oil). I guess it all depends on whether or not the government is of, by, and for the people.

One thing is for sure, when the government is not of, by, and for the people the whole world gets turned upside down:
"taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few"
(James Madison). James Madison was the 4th President and was also called The Father of U.S. Constitution.

If oil is the lifeblood, it being a finite resource, and said to be peaking in 2014 (if it has not peaked already as some say) our nation needs a blood transfusion or we will die out economically.

The truth of the matter is that the earth environment with its oxygen, water, food, and protection is the lifeblood of every living thing and nation.

Green renewable blood is better than toxic oil blood because green is of by and for the people, in the sense that the people need new blood that will not run out, or destroy the environment along with humanity itself.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Sue The Inglorious Basterds? - 2

Some federal courts have stopped playing footsy with the deluded rants of the federal Department of Just Us.

The press and some publishers, however, are still suffering from some delusional hangover as shown in a recent, ongoing case involving a former Bush II propagandist and unapologetic Cheney type neoCon.

The lies of former Bush II speech writer Marc "Cheney Wannabe" Theissen are being proudly published and advertised in the MOMCOM media, however, at the same time they are being exposed by court documents:
In recent months, former Bush speech writer Marc Thiessen has been on a public relations campaign promoting his book, "Courting Disaster," in which he defended the torture of Zubaydah, claiming that he reviewed classified intelligence that revealed Zubaydah's torture produced actionable intelligence that thwarted imminent plots against the United States.

...

The Justice Department has now backed away from the Bush administration’s more extreme claims in a 109-page court document filed in US District Court in Washington last September in response to 213 discovery requests from Zubaydah's attorneys in his habeas corpus case, which demands evidence to support his continued detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

...

For instance, the document refutes Bush’s direct statements about Zubaydah, including a claim that he was one of al-Qaeda's "top operatives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States."

For the first time, the government officially admitted that Zubaydah did not have "any direct role in or advance knowledge of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001," and was neither a "member" of al-Qaeda nor "formally" identified with the terrorist organization.

...

The government's retreat also could add to the mounting criticism of US Appeals Court Judge Jay Bybee, who in August 2002 as head of the Office of Legal Counsel signed memos authorizing the torture techniques that were applied to Zubaydah and other "high-value" detainees.

At the time, Bybee asserted, based on information he received from the CIA, that Zubaydah "is one of the highest ranking members of the al-Qaeda terrorist organization," "has been involved in every major terrorist operation carried out by al-Qaeda," and was "one of the planners of the September 11 attacks." Bybee approved the harsh interrogation as necessary to thwart pending attacks on US interests, which the CIA claimed Zubaydah knew about.
(Truthout). The nightmare that went on for eight ghoulish years of the Bush II administration must not be forgotten.

There must be accountability for war crimes.

Voting the "neoCon bastids" back into office is not one of the ways of dealing with madness; indeed, that in and of itself would be a touch of madness (of The Stockholm Syndrome type).

Hood Robbin' From Poor, Givin' To Rich

The military is not the only one robbing from the poor and giving it to the rich warlords who are their masters.

Nor are American banks the only banks plundering the treasury of the people.

Western banks in general have been robbing from the poor for a long time according to a British newspaper:
The report says globally in recent years much attention has been focused on corruption – the proceeds of bribery and theft by government officials – and this only makes up about 3% of the cross-border flow of illicit money around the world. The proceeds of commercial tax evasion, mainly through trade mis-pricing, contribute 60% to 65% of the global total, while drug trafficking, racketeering and counterfeiting make up 30% to 35%. The report says Africa's percentages are likely to be roughly the same.

The scourge eats into Africa's total GDP, says the report, Illicit Financial Flows from Africa: Hidden Resource for Development. Losses rose from around 2% of GDP in 1970 to a peak of 11% in 1987, then dropped below 4% for much of the Nineties, only to increase again to 8% of GDP in 2007 and 7% in 2008.

The GFI says that existing research shows that most flows to western financial institutions, and calls on G20 members to crack down on international banks and offshore financial centres.
(Guardian). It amazes me how the American mass media gloss over these things, not at all getting the big picture.

The mantra of their movie: "Life is sweet and life is warm because authority figures are taking care of your money and bringing you security" comes from such a lame screen play.

Our own Federal Reserve gave billions of federal money to a robber baron institution the Treasury Secretary had worked for.

Now we are waiting to see what else they did, which depends on the courts holding the fort for the people.

State secrecy is an enemy of the people that grows stronger in times of wars.

Endless wars mean endless secrecy, hence endless enmity between government and the people.

Open Thread


Will you write your senators and representatives to ask them not to approve the Obama policy of drill baby drill, or would that do any good?

What have we missed?

Is the government tripping on LSD?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sue The Inglorious Basterds?

As you have probably heard, Chief Judge Walker of the Federal District Court For The Northern District of California, granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs who were suing the Bush II regime and the Obama regime.

The case involves electronic spying on the plaintiffs without a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant.

Many don't know that FISA allows private parties to sue the government for violations of FISA, one such violation being surveillance without a FISA warrant.

This case had gone through appeals and it had been boiled down to a case where they could not use the classified document erroneously given to them by the government early in the case.

The gist of the summary judgment motion by the plaintiffs, brought against Bush and Obama, was that they could make out a prima facia case without classified documents.

In so doing they invoked FISA provisions that require the government to then show it had obtained a FISA warrant prior to conducting any "wire" surveillance.

The judge had held that a prima facia case had been made, and ordered the government to produce evidence that it had a warrant at the time of the surveillance.

The government, pursuant to Attorney General Holder's directions, remained cocky and refused to produce such evidence because they said the judge was wrong.

So the judge ruled against the government and for the plaintiffs.

I have a PDF copy of the decision, and will include some excerpts from it, which detail the evidence in the public record:
1. During or after the fall of 2001, President George W Bush authorized the NSA to intercept international communications into and out of the United States of persons linked to “al-Qaeda or related terrorist organizations.” [page 35].

2. In October 2001, the Treasury Department created “Operation Green Quest” to track financing of terrorist activities, one of the targets of which were foreign branches of the Saudi Arabia-based Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation [page 35].

3. In April 2002, the FBI created its Terrorist Financing Operations Section (“TFOS”) ... on May 13, 2003, through a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI was designated as the lead department to investigate potential terrorist-related financial transactions ... [pages 35-36].

4. TFOS “has access to data and information” from “the Intelligence Community” and has “[t]he ability to access and obtain this type of information in a time sensitive and urgent manner” ... [page 36].

5. In conducting investigations of terrorist financing, OFAC officers use “classified * * * information sources” [page 36].

6. In 2004 the FBI, under the direction of defendant Mueller, undertook activity using information produced by the NSA through the warrantless surveillance program ... [page 37].

7. The FBI’s search warrant on Al-Haramain’s Ashland, Oregon, office was executed on February 18, 2004 ... On February 19, 2004, the Treasury Department’s OFAC blocked Al-Haramain’s assets pending an investigation of possible crimes relating to currency reporting and tax laws as admitted in a press release of that date by the Treasury Department’s Office of Public Affairs; the press release contained no mention of purported links between plaintiff Al-Haramain and Osama bin-Laden [page 37].

8. Soliman al-Buthi was subjected to electronic surveillance by one or more United States government entities during telephone conversations with al-Timimi on February 1, 2003 ... Soliman al-Buthi was a senior official of Al-Haramain in 2003 [pages 37-38].

9. Soon after the blocking of plaintiff Al-Haramain’s assets on February 19, 2004, plaintiff Belew spoke by telephone with Soliman al-Buthi on the following dates: March 10, 11 and 25, April 16, May 13, 22 and 26, and June 1, 2 and 10, 2004. Belew was located in Washington DC; al-Buthi was located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. During the same period, plaintiff Ghafoor spoke by telephone with al-Buthi approximately daily from February 19 through February 29, 2004 and approximately weekly thereafter. Ghafoor was located in Washington DC; al-Buthi was located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia [page 38].

10. In the telephone conversations between Belew and al-Buthi, the parties discussed issues relating to the legal representation of defendants, including Al-Haramain, named in a lawsuit brought by victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Names al-Buthi mentioned in the telephone conversations with Ghafoor included Mohammad Jamal Khalifa, spouse of one of Osama bin-Laden’s sisters, and Safar al-Hawali and Salman al-Auda, clerics whom Osama bin-Laden claimed had inspired him. In the telephone conversations between Ghafoor and al-Buthi, the parties also discussed logistical issues relating to payment of Ghafoor’s legal fees as defense counsel in the lawsuit [pages 38-39].

11. In a letter to Al-Haramain’s lawyer Lynne Bernabei dated April 23, 2004, OFAC Director Newcomb stated that OFAC was considering designating Al-Haramain as a SDGT organization based on unclassified information “and on classified documents that are not authorized for public disclosure.” ... In a follow-up letter to Bernabei dated July 23, 2004, Newcomb reiterated that OFAC was considering “classified information not being provided to you” in determining whether to designate Al-Haramain as an SDGT organization. On September 9, 2004, OFAC declared plaintiff Al-Haramain to be an SDGT organization [page 39].

12. In a press release issued on September 9, 2004, the Treasury Department stated that the investigation of Al-Haramain showed “direct links between the US branch [of Al-Haramain] and Usama bin Laden”; this was the first public claim of purported links between Al-Haramain and Osama bin-Laden [page 39].

13. In a public declaration filed in this litigation dated May 10, 2006, FBI Special Agent Frances R Hourihan stated that “the classified document that was inadvertently disclosed by a government employee without proper authorization” (i e, the Sealed Document) “was related to the terrorist designation” of Al-Haramain [page 40].

14. FBI Deputy Director Pistole acknowledged that the FBI “used * * * surveillance” in connection with defendant OFAC’s 2004 investigation of Al-Haramain but stated that “it was the financial evidence” provided by financial institutions “that provided justification for the initial designation” of Al-Haramain, in a speech delivered by Mr Pistole on October 22, 2007 at a conference of the American Bankers Association and American Bar Association on money laundering, the text of which appears on the FBI’s official Internet website ... A court document filed by the United States Attorney for the District of Oregon on August 21, 2007 referred to the February 19, 2004 asset-blocking order as a “preliminary designation” and the September 9, 2004 order as “a formal designation.” [page 40].

15. To allege that the above-referenced telecommunications between al-Buthi and plaintiffs Belew and Ghafoor were wire communications and were intercepted by defendants within the United States, plaintiffs cite to several public statements by government officials that most international communications today are “on a wire” and therefore subject to FISA’s warrant requirements, including: July 26, 2006 testimony by defendant Alexander and CIA Director Michael Hayden ... May 1, 2007 testimony by Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell ... and September 20, 2007 testimony by McConnell before the House Select Intelligence Committee: “[t]oday * * * [m]ost international communications are on a wire, fiber optical cable,” and “on a wire, in the United States, equals a warrant requirement [under FISA] even if it was against a foreign person located overseas.” [pages 40-41].

16. A memorandum dated February 6, 2008, to defendant Szubin from Treasury Department Office of Intelligence and Analysis Deputy Assistant Secretary Howard Mendelsohn, which was publicly disclosed during a 2005 trial, acknowledged electronic surveillance of four of al-Buthi’s telephone calls on February 1, 2003 [page 41].
(Order Granting Summary Judgment, AL-HARAMAIN ISLAMIC FOUNDATION, INC v Obama). The thing to grasp is that any plaintiff can sue any of the bushies who have made public statements that render them liable.

Sue the "inglorious basterds" like Cheney, then?

The next phase in the litigation is the damages and costs portion of the case.

That is tricky ground because the amount of damages can't be too speculative, so more work must be done before all that can be determined.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Extinction Clock Nears Midnight- 2

Today Barak Obama convinced me completely!

He made a pronouncement that drilling for oil in the waters near the coast of the Atlantic and other places is the right thing to do.

In effect, Sarah Palin and the oil barons are right he said, reversing yet another campaign talking point made not long ago.

Offshore drilling has been banned in those areas for decades, but is coming to an end, even though he said he would not do that when he asked for our votes.

Obama made this announcement in front of a jet fighter at a military base that "is going green".

That is, the military will begin to run on biofuel, yes, half of MOMCOM's super weapons will have gone green within ten years Obama said.

Then he praised the military for its leadership in environmental foresight.

That absolutely convinced me that he has absolutely no clue, yet he is one of the smarter people in government, in terms of academic achievement.

What can one say about the institutionalization of abject dementia?

All I can say at the moment is that I feel very sad for him, and for all of us, if that is the best we can do as a society.

One movie calls it The Age of Stupid, another calls it The Criminally Insane Epoch, while other scientists call it inevitable:
"I see it with everybody. People just want to go on doing what they're doing. They want business as usual. They say, 'Oh yes, there's going to be a problem up ahead,' but they don't want to change anything."

Lovelock believes global warming is now irreversible, and that nothing can prevent large parts of the planet becoming too hot to inhabit, or sinking underwater, resulting in mass migration, famine and epidemics.
(Enjoy Life While You Can). What government official can "enjoy life" when it is death, not life, that official's policy is bringing; when there is little to no doubt that we have entered the last age or epoch of the governments of the human species?

While they exclaim that their number one mission is the security of the populace, they bring us ever closer to the brink, ever closer to the midnight of human existence.

And they do it thinking they are wise, yes, they fancy themselves as being wise for seeing human extinction approaching, but doing nothing about it.

Bring The Economy Home

Once upon a time the republican running for president came up with the term "voodoo economics".

It was a vague term that was not fully understood until his son became president and the economy collapsed.

The Bush II belief was that holy wars started by the High Priest In Chief were cost free.

They were not made part of budget numbers so that the Bush II regime could play deceit games with the public, telling them all is well with the economy.

If fact, their presidential candidate running to replace Bush II, McCain, infamously said "the economy is fundamentally sound" up until the time it crashed around him, along with his presidential aspirations.

Where is the U.S. economy that was once here when the Bush II regime took over, yes, where has it gone, where did the Bush II regime ship it off to?

The answer is that it has been shipped to Afghanistan, Iraq, and a couple hundred other countries where we dump trillions on military bases designed during a past epoch that has faded into historical insignificance.

The wars are not free, in fact they are the most costly imaginable voodoo economical and political disaster:
The article added about Karzai: “ ‘He has developed a complete theory of American power,’ said an Afghan who attended the lunch and who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution. ‘He believes that America is trying to dominate the region, and that he is the only one who can stand up to them.’ ”

That is what we’re getting for risking thousands of U.S. soldiers and having spent $200 billion already. This news is a flashing red light, warning that the Obama team is violating at least three cardinal rules of Middle East diplomacy.
(NY Times). The wars have taken out jobs, homes, health care coverage, and sent many Americans to the bankruptcy courts.

These wars are not done with us yet, because now about half of our commercial real estate mortgages are going down this year:
By the end of 2010, about half of all commercial real estate mortgages will be underwater, said Elizabeth Warren, chairperson of the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel, in a wide-ranging interview on Monday.
(CNBC). The wars won't be done with us until we are done with them.

Bring the economy back home, then watch the soldiers, the plunder barons, and the contractors hurriedly follow.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Election Conspiracy Theory Confirmed? - 2

Justice in many ways is a study of history.

When a case is finally decided by the courts, it is all about something that happened one president ago, one era ago, or as the kids say "so yesterday".

The blog Raw Story has an election story exclusive concerning election "conspiracy theory" history of the Bush II variety:

Caroline Hunter, a Bush-appointed Federal Election Commissioner who remains in office, provided misleading statements under oath in an effort to conceal Republican National Committee involvement in vote suppression activities during the 2004 presidential election, a Raw Story investigation has found.

(Raw Story). This seems to be like when the president threatens to kill or destroy millions of people with no criminal recourse, but a citizen threatens a few people and is arrested.

Yes, when the head of the Federal Election Commission lies about election fraud, nothing happens, but the little people go to jail if they mess with holy elections.

Things are getting curiouser and curiouser.

The Press & The Weakminded

When a U.S. president:
1) morphs into the High Priest In Chief;

2) begins to quote obscure passages from the book of Revelation, about which there are many conflicting scholarly interpretations by various denominations as to its meaning;

3) gives that scriptural passage as one of his many and conflicting reasons for invading another sovereign nation;

4) sends an official presidential letter to the head of yet another sovereign nation quoting the scripture as his reason for an invasion;

5) advances a foreign policy dogma that says he can invade or attack any nation he sees fit to, so long as he thinks that nation is a threat to the U.S. now or will be in the future;

6) threatens to use nuclear weapons in such an attack if he thinks it is necessary;

7) thereby threatens the lives of millions of people; and,

8) has the power to carry it out;
(The Dogma Of High Priest In Chief); this is a case of a head of state threatening the lives of people in open public while quoting the Bible as he rants, and is covered as what in the media?

However, when a non official citizen:
1) makes threatening statements;

2) threatens the lives of many other people;

3) makes himself out to be the son of the god of Enoch;

4) quotes scriptures as validation; but,

5) does not have the power to carry it out;
(Citizen Leboon); this is a case of a non-head-of-state threatening the lives of people in open public while quoting the Bible as he rants, and is covered as what in the media?

The DOJ only goes after the small fry, thus, accountability is something that no longer applies to those who are too big to fail.

It seems to me that an inane domestic policy is being developed, which sends the message "presidents are too big to fail, but citizens are too small to succeed" when it comes to insane statements made in public.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Secular Secrecy Cults In Government - 2

The president's secret trip to Afghanistan, kept secret until he got there, is one example of a valid state secret.

It is one example among many bad examples of bad state secrets.

One bad secret which the government wants to keep from people is the disastrous age which government, through environmental ignorance, has brought upon the planet earth and humanity.

Politicians in governments want to ignore the disastrous age, while serious scientists want to call it The Anthropocene Epoch:
The scientists propose that, in just two centuries, humans have wrought such vast and unprecedented changes to our world that we actually might be ushering in a new geological time interval, and alter the planet for millions of years.

Zalasiewicz, Williams, Steffen and Crutzen contend that recent human activity, including stunning population growth, sprawling megacities and increased use of fossil fuels, have changed the planet to such an extent that we are entering what they call the Anthropocene (New Man) Epoch.
(The Criminally Insane Epoc Arises). Critics of global warming in the republican party, such as Senator Inhofe, do not want the term "anthropo" used as any part of any description of global warming or global climate change, because that word connotes human involvement in environmental wrongs.

They seem to have a concept in mind that equates government with the infallibility of the Pope, in the sense that humanity can do no wrong to the environment "because God made the environment for us to use as we like".

In the movie "2012" the governments had a state secret program going, kept secret from the people, which constructed arks to save the government but not the people.

The previous post in this series is here, the next post in this series is here.

Open Thread



What have we missed?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Secular Secrecy Cults In Government

One of the definitions of "cult" is: "an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers"; a synonym for cult is: "party".

In the world of memetics, it is called a "meme-complex".

When we add the word "secrecy" to these descriptions, we derive "secrecy cult", "secrecy party", or "secrecy meme-complex".

The structure of the construct denotes an affinity to secrecy.

Like most issues, there is good secrecy and bad secrecy.

At first blush a statement, made by a person who is well versed in the many and varied complications of the bizarre secrecy world, seems to be comical:
[A]s we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.
(Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense). But one legal scholar indicates that the comment is less comical than it appears, at first blush, to be:
[Rumsfeld's statement] contained a valid insight. There are things we know we know, things we know we do not know, and things we do not know we do not know. And, in fact, the secrets in the latter category tend to be the most difficult ones for a free society. They are deep secrets.

Their obscurity in the literature is surprising. The proper scope of government secrecy is a classic question in legal and political theory. In recent years, the question has taken on special urgency.
New technologies and new adversaries have increased the potential costs of disclosing government-controlled information, at the same time as the rise of online media, changing social norms, and a worldwide “transparency lobby” have increased the demand for it. The Bush administration aggressively challenged the gains of the open-government movement and linked these efforts to an extreme vision of executive power. The use of state secrets appears both more pervasive in practice and more discredited in the public mind than at any point in history. Across many parts of the globe, there has never been such popular and academic interest in separating out legitimate secrecy from illegitimate secrecy.
(Deep Secrecy, David E. Pozen, emphasis added). The reason for the struggle for open government is no secret, it is because democracy dies when there is no accountability due to secrecy.

The main stream media is part of keeping the details secret when the government tells them to, as is shown over and over again by their 9/11 denial psychological problems.

We know what truth the main stream media can't handle:
Does Farmer have cooperation and agreement from other members of the Commission? Yes. Did they say Bush ordered 9/11? No. Do they say that the 9/11 Commission was lied to by the FBI, CIA, Whitehouse and NORAD? Yes. Is there full documentary proof of this? Yes.

Farmer [9/11 Commission Official] states ...“at some level of the government, at some point in time … there was an agreement not to tell the truth about what happened ... I was shocked at how different the truth was from the way it was described …. The [Norad air defense] tapes told a radically different story from what had been told to us and the public for two years. This is not spin.”

The 9/11 Commission head, Thomas Kean, was the Republican governor of New Jersey. He had the following to say ... “We to this day don’t know why NORAD [the North American Aerospace Command] told us what they told us, it was just so far from the truth ... " When Bush's own handpicked commission failed to go along with the cover up and requested a criminal investigation, why was nothing done?

...

In 2006, The Washington Post reported ... "Suspicion of wrongdoing ran so deep that the 10-member commission, in a secret meeting at the end of its tenure in summer 2004, debated referring the matter to the Justice Department for criminal investigation, according to several commission sources. Staff members and some commissioners thought that e-mails and other evidence provided enough probable cause to believe that military and aviation officials violated the law by making false statements to Congress and to the commission ..."

What does Farmer's book tell us? Farmer offers no solutions, only a total and full rejection of what was told and his own his own ideas concerning the total failure of honesty on the part of the government, a government with something to hide.
(Salem-News, emphasis added). Criminals inside and outside of government thrive on secrecy, because without evidence there is no criminal case against them, no accountability, thus, without accountability the criminal enterprise grows to the demise of the nation.

The next post in this series is here.