Friday, October 31, 2008

Ed Whelan's Petulant, Fact-Free Right-Wing Victimhood

Also see: "Germany: New Group Helps 'Persecuted' Far-Right Women"

To confess, I revel in simpering, self-pitying fascists who complain bitterly of liberals craving "conservative" blood persecuting them. Sob sisters on the right are a maudlin, lunatic spectacle that might tickle me to no end if I didn't want their heads on a pike so very badly. - Alex "Vlad" C.

Ed Whelan, winged simian Prozac candidate in Dickensian orphan mode

By Glenn Greenwald
Salon (updated below- Update II)
OCT. 27, 2008

" ... When your worldview is grounded in the belief that everything is stacked against you and nothing is your fault -- the flagship view of the right-wing faction dominating the GOP -- then spouting accusations without any concern for truth is a natural behavior. ... "

Ed Whelan is a former Bush DOJ/Office of Legal Counsel official during 2001-2004 -- when that Office authorized torture, illegal surveillance and a host of other radical, disgraceful policies -- as well as a former law clerk to Antonin Scalia and current contributor to National Review. At National Review Whelan today complains (of course) that "there are plenty of big examples of the abject failure of the mainstream media to investigate Barack Obama’s background and record with even a fraction of the vigor and skepticism with which they have investigated Sarah Palin's," and cites this example:
From my use of the [Washington] Post’s (not always reliable) search engine, it seems that the Post never actually reported to its readers the striking news that the real Joe Biden had said words very similar to the SNL Joe Biden: namely, that if Obama is elected, “we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”
This is what "never" means in National Review World:
Washington Post, 10/20/2008: "Later, speaking at a high school football field in Belton, McCain latched onto a remark last weekend by Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden who said, 'Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.'"

Washington Post, 10/20/2008: "John McCain has not been talking too much about international affairs in recent days, but the suggestion by Democratic running mate Joe Biden that the world may try to test a President Obama early in his administration prompted him to dive back in.
"Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. . . ." Biden was quoted telling a fundraiser in Seattle on Sunday. . . . 'Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.'"

Washington Post, 10/23/2008: Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin misrepresented to a campaign audience Thursday what her Democratic counterpart Joe Biden has said about Barack Obama's ability to handle a foreign crisis. . . . "That is not what Biden told fundraisers last weekend. . . . Biden did say, "Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."

Washington Post, 10/23/2008: "'Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year old senator president of the United States of America...Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.'
--Joe Biden, Seattle Fundraiser, October 19, 2008."

Washington Post, 10/23/2008: "On Sunday Biden spoke at a Seattle fundraiser and suggested that if Barack Obama is elected president, 'We're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.'"

Washington Post, 10/23/2008: "Joe Biden is taking heat for saying that running mate Barack Obama will face a manufactured foreign policy crisis designed to test his leadership if he is elected. . . . BIDEN: 'Mark my words, it will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America ... Watch. We're going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.'"

How did I discover these secret, hidden passages? By entering the phrase that Whelan claims was never in the Post in the Post's search function at the top of its page, which immediately generated all of these articles. It's pitiful enough watching the Right blame everyone but themselves for their looming defeat -- self-pitying grievance is the crux and fuel of that movement -- but the fact-free hysteria to which National Review has sunk in its state of enraged desperation is really something to behold.
Bruce Fein, the former Reagan DOJ official who became one of the country's most outspoken and eloquent critics of the radical and lawless DOJ policies Whelan helped to implement, has released an excellent new book about America's constitutional crisis. Yesterday, I wrote a review of Fein's book, and hosted a discussion with him at FDL regarding the constitutional challenges the country faces, both of which can be read here.

UPDATE: In response to emails, Whelan has now posted an update acknowledging one of the above-linked stories. Since several of them are wire stories and blog items, it's unclear how many others were included in the print edition, but literally millions upon millions of Post readers read that paper online, making Whelan's suggestion that they have tried to conceal Biden's quote yet another reflection of the Right's inability to accept responsibility for anything -- just as was true for the Iraq War and the collapsing economy, a GOP defeat will be blamed on the media, the Left, even "moderate Republicans" (like David Frum, Ken Adleman and Charles Fried) -- everyone except for the conservatives who have spent the last eight years running the country.

UPDATE II: Whelan "responds" here. As Roy Edroso writes:
How about that. I was just talking about how rightbloggers don't like to acknowledge their own errors, and a fresh example jumps out at me. Glenn Greenwald investigates a claim by National Review's Ed Whelan that the Washington Post failed to report Joe Biden's "international crisis" comments. Greenwald, using the clever expedient of the Washington Post's own search feature, discovers the quote in several Post articles.

Greenwald is understandably snarky in his report. Nonetheless you'd think Whelan, as a seeker after truth, would be grateful at least for the information. Instead, he flips out . . . He also calls Greenwald "unhinged."

Like juvenile delinquents, these people have been shielded from the consequences of their actions for so long that when correction comes, they take it pathetically hard.

Exactly. Whelan emailed me to notify me of his response, and to tell me: "Seems to me that your post is, hmmm, just a bit over the top." As I replied:
Thanks for the notice. I guess we just have different standards. Before accusing a newspaper of concealing a quote, I would be pretty careful about making sure that what I was saying was, you know . . . true. At a bare minimum, that would entail searching for the supposedly concealed quote.

If, for whatever reasons, I accused a newspaper of bias without bothering to do the most minimal research first, and someone showed that my accusation was inaccurate, I'd be grateful to the person who corrected me and humble about correcting myself -- not pompous and defensive about it.

As I said, we clearly just have different standards.

When your worldview is grounded in the belief that everything is stacked against you and nothing is your fault -- the flagship view of the right-wing faction dominating the GOP -- then spouting accusations without any concern for truth is a natural behavior.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Police Scandal Leads To Lawsuit Against Oakland October 2008 4:07PM

OAKLAND, Calif. (KCBS) -- A class action lawsuit was filed Tuesday against the city of Oakland over search warrants obtained by police giving false information to judges.

The scandal may involve as many as 40 officers who lied to judges when they stated on affidavits that suspected drugs were confirmed to be narcotics when they were not, according to Oakland attorneys John Burris and Jim Chanin.

The lawyers are seeking class-action status on behalf of Reginald Oliver, whose home was searched based on false information, said Burris. Charges against Oliver and eight others were dropped because of the revelation that police provided judges with false statements, he said.

Audio: KCBS' George Harris Reports

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Oakland names the city of Oakland and police officer Karla Rush as defendants. Neither had comment on the suit.

Child Prostitution "Epidemic" in Oakland, CA

Sexual exploitation of minors racks up billions

By Barbara Grady
Oakland Tribune (Repost)

The economic rule of supply and demand drives the market for everything from toothpaste to sports cars.

It also drives the sexual exploitation of minors.

If adults weren't interested in paying $120 or $200 to have sex with a child or teenager, girls and boys would not be peddled on the street by pimps.

"It's basic supply and demand,'' said Norma Hotaling, founder and executive director of San Francisco-based SAGE, or Standing Against Global Exploitation. Sexual exploitation is a multibillion-dollar industry worldwide, she said, "paid one dollar at a time by men who have decided to use their money, use their family's income, to buy a human being.

"They use these girls like sewers.''

Girls as young as 11 or 12 are increasingly being sold for sex on Oakland streets in what one law enforcement officer called "an epidemic.''

Sexual assault of a minor is a felony, punishable by long prison sentences. Hotaling said most of the johns she sees seem surprised to learn that buying sex from a minor is sexual assault.

Under contract with the San Francisco Police Department, SAGE runs a class for men arrested on a first offense of soliciting prostitution, from minors or adults. Police call it the "john school.''

"I teach a class of about 60 men every other month,'' Hotaling said. "I look out at that class and see men of all types.''

They are rich and not so rich, in distinguished professions and in manual labor, young and old, from the suburbs and the city.

That experience is echoed by young girls who formerly worked the streets. Three sexually exploited girls now in Alameda County juvenile hall said their customers ran the gamut.

"Rich dudes,'' said one 16-year-old. Another said she had a customer who was a judge. Both mentioned businessmen and lawyers as customers, and said some johns drive from the suburbs into Oakland.

The sheer number of men who come through Hotaling's class is startling. Add it up, and she sees 360 men a year who have been arrested in San Francisco on first-time prostitution charges. That number does not include men who police determine are ineligible for the one-day class that is offered as a substitute for prosecution.

Hotaling teaches her students about the potential legal consequences of paying for sex with a minor.

"When I tell them what they are doing could be charged as a felony, that sexual assault of a minor is a felony, that really has an impact,'' Hotaling said. "Their faces turn ashen.''

She also teaches the men about the damage they inflict on the young girls, how it ruins their lives and traumatizes them for decades to come. And she teaches them about sexually transmitted diseases.

John schools are now offered in 40 cities across the country. Oakland does not have a john school program in place.

The National Institute of Justice studied the effectiveness of the classes for a report released earlier this month. By studying the behavior and arrest record of 198 men who had taken the classes, the report found that participation reduced the number of men who reoffended by 35 percent.

"The study adds to the rapidly mounting evidence that prostitution and sex trafficking can be successfully fought by focusing on the demand for commercial sex,'' the study concluded.

Michael Shivery, senior Associate of the Center on Crime, Drugs and Justice at Cambridge, Mass.-based Abt Associates, which conducted the study for the Institute, said the johns cite several reasons for turning to prostitution. The most common is that they have not found successful intimate relationships through "normal channels,'' he said.

Some, however, are merely risk-takers, drawn by the illegal status of prostitution, he said.

Neo-Nazi Obama Plot One of "A Handful" of "Serious" Threats Against Obama

Secret Service Reports Record Number of Assassination Threats
ABC News
October 28, 2008

The arrests Monday in an alleged neo-Nazi assassination plot against Sen. Barack Obama involve one of a handful of serious threats against the Democratic presidential candidate, federal law enforcement sources tell ABC News.

The officials say Obama has been the target of well over 500 threats, most of which are not taken seriously.

But in an estimated dozen or so cases, the threat was considered serious enough that law enforcement agents were assigned to track down suspects.

Threats of violence, harsh invective, language such as "get rid of" or "kill" or "eliminate" are all considered triggers for possible investigation, officials say.

But in only a handful of cases, did the threat, after being run down by United States Secret Service, have the elements that warranted it to be taken extremely seriously.

The methamphetamine-fueled plot against Obama that surfaced during the Democratic convention in Denver is considered by law enforcement officials to be a good example of the kind of ill-conceived, unlikely-to-succeed threat that nevertheless involved high-powered rifles and disguises.

It was only because of a traffic stop arrest that the plot was discovered, authorities say.

In the case of today's arrests in Crockett County, Tennessee, it was a burglary in progress run that led law enforcement to uncover the twisted plan to assassinate Obama.

Officials said the two Tennessee men arrested, Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman, told the Secret Service they first planned to kill 102 African Americans and then "dress in all white tuxedos and wear top hats during the assassination attempt" of Obama. Authorities say both men have strong racist views and met on the internet through the website of a white supremacist neo-Nazi group called the Supreme White Alliance (SWA).

Morris Dees, the founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in Alabama, says that the "extremely violent skin head" group has chapters now in six states and a couple of foreign countries. "They believe there is going to be an uprising of white people in American," said Dees, "and if they can kill Obama, it will bring on the white revolution."

The Supreme White Alliance Responds

In response to SPLC claims that Cowart and Schlesslman are tied to the SWA, SWA issued a statement saying, "The Southern Poverty Law Center has lied again. Stating on their website that the two young men arrested yesterday on charges accusing them of plotting to assassinate the presidential candidate Barak Oboma (sic) and go on some sort of killing spree are tied to the SWA. One of the young men was in fact a probate earlier this year but was ousted by the SWA before the SWA had a president. Since this time none of the SWA members have had any contact with the accused. So before you get your story wrong, (SPLC) get the facts."

In a few cases that the Secret Service has investigated, one individual has written hundreds of threat letters in an effort to capture the candidate's attention, officials say.

In another case dismissed as not serious, the individual making the threat tried to repeatedly call the director of the Secret Service to register the threat.

Officials say there have been far fewer threats against Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain.

Each candidate has a security detail of equal size, considered a "vice-presidential level" size, according to law enforcement officials. Secret Service agents are augmented by a heavy presence of state and local police, but in uniform and undercover.

Copyright © 2008 ABC News Internet Ventures

DEA Agent Sentenced

Associated Press
Oct. 23, 2008

SAN ANTONIO — A former Drug Enforcement Administration agent has been sentenced to 37 months in prison for conspiring to buy guns using false information.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Thursday that Celerino "Cele" Castillo III, of McAllen, pleaded guilty to charges of dealing in firearms without a license and conspiring to do so. He will be on supervised probation for two years after his prison term.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said that between December 2006 and March 2008 Castillo and others lied about the actual buyer on weapon certification forms to buy dozens of guns.

Comments on Naomi Wolf - I'm Not Buying

Exhortations of Jesus and Invisible Orwells - Who are The Naomis?

By Alex Constantine

Like Naomi Klein, who does a superfiicial job of writing on fascism ("let's all look for the 14 warning signs of fascism" ... if one needs a checklist, one hasn't a clue), Ms. Wolf is a fixture of the establishment left.

She was married to David Shipley, deputy editorial page editor and Op-Ed editor of the New York Times - can't get much more establishment than that. Wolf is a Yalie. "All of my friends run the mainstream media," she acknowledged at a Borders' lecture.

Another friend is the Son of God - only the elite (she doesn't mess around) :
" ... In 2006, Scotland’s Sunday Herald carried an interview in which Wolf claimed that, while meditating, she had a visual experience in which she was a 13-year-old boy sitting next to Jesus. ... "
Notice how I'm generally responsible, not given to preposterous, self-destructive public statements? That's because the cause of anti-fascism will suffer if one makes a fool of oneself. If Ms. Wolf can't repress the urge to discuss her religious hallucinations with the "mainstream" press, she's pissing in MY (anti-fascist) punchbowl ...
"I absolutely believe in divine providence now," Wolf told Glasgow's Sunday Herald, "absolutely believe God totally cares about every single one of us intimately."
Ms. Moses bearing luminous tablets! And there's this shaggy-dog story ...
"I heard from a citizen—but never read in the suburban press—that people he knew had opened their luggage after a flight to find letters from the Transportation Security Administration that said that they did not 'appreciate' the reading material, critical of the administration in power at that time, that these Americans had carried in their personal possessions."
This is a trumped-up, mangled, hyperbolic bit of "reporting" on an actual incident that did occur in Seattle, and was widely reported. CNN - not merely the suburban press - had a segment on it. There was no involvement by the TSA proper. An airport employee had written a note in the margin of a TSA inspection form: "Don't appreciate your anti-American attitude!"

"I heard from a citizen ... " Superb job of sourcing ...

Wolf inflated an episode she'd heard about second-hand - it redounded on a lone employee, not the police state, as any watcher of CNN could have told her ... and done a better job reporting it.

No Orwell in the details. No "letters." No accuracy in reporting - just one more liberal establishment voice making resistance to fascism appear to be the domain of hallucinating donut heads.

Couldn't Wolf discuss something - oh, I don't know - real with CNN, given her widely-bruited wealth of knowledge on the topic of fascism?

TSA's response: "We do not condone our employees making any kind of political comments or personal comments to any travelers," TSA spokeswoman Heather Rosenker told Reuters (the "suburban press" that supposedly ignored the story). "That is not acceptable."

Neither are Ms. Wolf's irresponsible, ego-syntonic antics.

Iraq Condemns CIA Attack in Syrian Village

The government of Iraq has unexpectedly slammed a recent CIA raid in a Syrian border village which is claimed to have killed an al-Qa'ida commander.

An Iraqi government spokes person, Ali al-Dabbagh told reporters "The Iraqi government rejects US aircraft bombarding posts inside Syria," adding "The constitution does not allow Iraq to be used as a staging ground to attack neighbouring countries."

The attack inside Syrian territory is expected to deepen suspicions in Syria and neighbouring Jordan that US military presence in the Middle East will be used as a base for future operations against them.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

ACORN Leads Fight Against GOP Voter Suppression

Urges All Americans to Vote on November 4

Washington, DC ( - ACORN (The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), together with its partner Project Vote, has collected 1.3 million voter registration applications across 21 states for the upcoming election. ACORN has now turned its sights to fighting voter suppression and getting out the vote on November 4.

The massive drive employed 13,000 workers and ACORN anticipates that nearly one million citizens will be able to vote on Election Day as a result. Many of the voter registration applications the groups collected were from low-income Blacks and Latinos and others who are traditionally disenfranchised.

ACORN executives pointed to several incidents of Republican voter suppression and dirty tricks.

• In New Mexico, the Republican Party claimed that fraudulent voters participated in the June 2008 Democratic primary, however ACORN contacted several of these "fraudulent voters" and found they were legally registered. On Monday GOP operatives were sued by the ACLU of New Mexico and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund for invasion of the voters' privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress, including sending a private investigator to one of the voter's homes.

• In Los Angeles, the Republican Party hired a firm that deliberately tried to get people to register as Republicans by telling them they were signing a petition for tougher penalties against child molesters.

• Other incidents have included reports of possible use of foreclosure lists to challenge voters at the polls in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Florida and attempts to stop Ohio from registering voters at early voting sites.

"The real issue here is a coordinated attempt to discourage people from voting," said ACORN Chief Organizer Bertha Lewis. "We must be vigilant in ensuring that every single American who should be voting gets to vote and that no one stands in their way."

New voters ACORN has registered include Lynncoyia Bradley of Cincinnati. "I want to be able to tell my daughter that I voted in the election in the year she was born," said the mother of a 9-month-old. Bradley's concerns include the economy and health care; her mother lost her home to foreclosure in 2006 and had a stroke last year.

This November, Maria Peinado, 52, a single mother and native of Mexico will vote for the first time. She became a citizen on May 2 and registered to vote the same day. "I have lived in this country for over twenty years -- it's time to have my voice heard," Peinado said.

Lewis urged all eligible voters to vote early or go to the polls on Election Day. She and thousands of members of her organization plan to spend Tuesday, November 4 walking these new voters to the polls.

Those who encounter problems voting or have general election questions should call 1-866-Our-Vote or email


Cheryl Duncan
The Terrie Williams Agency

Danette Wills
The Terrie Williams Agency

Alleged Plot to Kill Obama Stuns Suspects' Towns

This undated photo obtained from a MySpace webpage shows Daniel Cowart, 20 of Bells, Tenn. holding a weapon. Federal agents have broken up a plot to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. and shoot or decapitate 102 black people in a Tennessee murder spree, the ATF said Monday Oct. 27, 2008. In court records unsealed Monday, federal agents said they disrupted plans to rob a gun store and target a predominantly African-American high school by two neo-Nazi skinheads. The men, Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tenn., and Paul Schlesselman 18, of West Helena, Ark., are being held without bond. (AP Photo)

STORY from the AP

Sexual Trauma Afflicts US Veterans

By Maggie Fox, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Oct. 28) - Nearly 15 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans seeking medical care from the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department have suffered sexual trauma , from harassment to rape, researchers reported on Tuesday. And these veterans were 1.5 times as likely as other veterans to need mental health services, the report from the VA found.

"We are, in fact, detecting men and women who seem to have a significant need for mental health services," said Rachel Kimerling of the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System in California.

The study, presented at a meeting of the American Public Health Association in San Diego, raises many questions.

Kimerling said in a telephone interview the term "military sexual trauma " covers a range of events from coerced sex to outright rape or threatening and unwelcome sexual advances.

Kimerling said for her purposes it is not necessary to find out what kind of sexual trauma occurred. Her study also did not determine when it happened.

"If you think about military service where you are living and working so closely with the same people, that even if it is not sexual assault ... it is possible that severe sexual harassment is just as traumatic," she said. ...

Most veterans who were affected were women, with more than one in seven women seeking health care services of some sort also reporting sexual trauma . Just under 1 percent of male veterans also reported military sexual trauma .

Monday, October 27, 2008

Carnaby Shooting: New Look at Deadly Police Chase

Also see: "Houston Chronicle: FBI Agent Confirmed in 2003 that Roland Carnaby Worked for Bureau - New Video of the Shooting Released"

Video released shows details surrounding Roland Carnaby shooting.
By KTRH's Bill O'Neal
October 16, 2008

You can hear the Houston police Officers speaking with Roland Carnaby on the tape ordered released by a Federal Judge. An Officer asks Carnaby to step out from his SUV, telling him it isn't every day he stops someone working for the CIA. A short time later, Carnaby speeds away, leading police on the long chase that ultimately ended with Carnaby shot to death on the West Loop, near Buffalo Bayou.

"They found out his address, they had his drivers license. They were sitting there for a half an hour, so by the time the chase ensued, they knew they were dealing with a person that was not a threat to anyone," said Attorney Randall Kallinen, who represents Carnaby's widow in the suit she has filed against the City of Houston. The CIA has said Carnaby did not work for them, but Kallinen said he was employed by groups that were employed by the agency.

"When he ran, we believe it's because he had sensitive information on his laptop computer," Kallinen said. He believes Carnanby feared that information might fall in to the wrong hands if his SUV would have ended up in an impound lot.

'They would have just served a warrant at his address later on and told him he had evaded arrest-and was going to be charged with that," Kallinen said. Ultimately, he said Carnaby's widow is hoping her suit will make HPD change how officers approach what are considered to be high risk vehicles.

The Guyana Project: Nazi Graveyard Discovered Deep in the Amazonian Rainforests

" ... Schulz Kampfhenkel, an officer in the S.S. and leader of the expedition which claimed Greiner’s life, returned from the jungles and submitted to his boss Heinrich Himmler details of the ’Guayana Project.’ ... "

Final resting place: The nine-foot high wooden cross decorated with swastikas It carries the inscription: 'Joseph Greiner died here on 2.1.1936'

By Alan Hall
Daily Mail
23rd October 2008

A graveyard of former Nazis bent on creating a 'foreign Fatherland' in the Amazonian rainforests from which to spread Hitler's maniacal beliefs has been discovered in Brazil.

The relics betray a madcap plan back in the 1930s to create a master race thousands of miles from Germany. The graveyard and other ruins that fanatical Nazis left behind are chronicled in a new book. Entitled The Guayana-Projekt: A German Adventure on the Amazon it says die-hard Nazis believed they were destined to settle the world like pioneers of the wild west in America.

It has long been known that Nazis wandered post-war into the remote regions of South America, befriended by fascist governments and military dictatorships. But the harshness of the Amazonian jungle was a strange choice of destination. ...



October 22, 2008

U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) likes to help out his friends when he sees their names being dragged through the mud.

When his Capitol Hill dining buddy, disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, pleaded guilty to felony fraud charges last year, Rohrabacher, who took trips abroad with members of Abramoff’s firm, became the only congress person to beg for leniency for his pal. “I think he’s been dealt a bad hand and the worst, rawest deal I’ve ever seen in my life,” Rohrabacher whined.

So it seems just a little bit odd that Rohrabacher has yet to utter a word in defense of his close friends at Airtech International, Inc., an aerospace firm in his district that is currently being investigated for fraud by the U.S. government. Airtech might well expect a kind word or two: In the past few decades, Airtech and its employees and their families have donated at least $36,650 in campaign contributions to Rohrabacher, making the company his fourth-largest campaign contributor during his entire career.

Airtech, which is based in Huntington Beach, makes materials that are used in building composite parts for everything from commercial aircraft to submarines, military jets and the Space Shuttle. Because of the sensitive nature of building composite materials—if improperly built, composite materials subjected to extreme physical demands might fracture, say, during flight—every step in their manufacture is subject to stringent guidelines.

In April of this year, the anti-Airtech drumbeat began when CBS news reported that Airtech had shipped poor-quality materials to a variety of defense and aerospace firms and other clients, including the U.S. military, between 1997 and 2005. CBS based that allegation on a U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command investigation, which alleged massive fraud by Airtech.

On Sept. 25, 2006, after a four-year investigation, an Army investigator whose name was blacked out wrote a memorandum, obtained by the Weekly, that outlines the charges against the company. “During our four year investigation of Airtech, allegations of fraudulent acts by Airtech have come from numerous reliable sources,” the letter states. “At one time or another, Airtech has supplied some form of nonconforming product to every aircraft manufacturer in the world.”

The memorandum lists several specific, if mind-numbingly technical alleged violations by Airtech.“In my career investigating allegations of fraudulent acts against the DOD, seldom have I come across a company with such brazen disregard for the safety of soldiers and civilians as well as for the sanctity of laws, rules and regulations,” the letter concluded. A month later, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) notified Airtech that it was investigating the company. But on Oct. 20, 2006, the FAA told Airtech it had found no wrongdoing. “This letter is to inform you that our investigation has not established a violation,” the FAA stated, “and you may consider this matter closed.”

An Airtech spokesperson directed the Weekly to a statement posted on the company’s website denying any wrongdoing and pointing out that the FAA had vindicated them. “Airtech has faithfully, responsibly, and proudly served civilian and military personnel,” the letter stated. “We stand by our products and reputation, and remain committed to the high level of quality and service that we have provided to our customers for more than 35 years.”

Because of the two diverging reports on Airtech, the House Transportation Committee requested that the U.S. Office of the Inspector General conduct its own investigation, which is ongoing. “They are still investigating,” said Leila Kahn, a committee staffer. “Essentially, what we asked them to do is look at how two agencies could look at the same set of data and come up with widely different conclusions.”

Although the CBS report on Airtech was based mostly on the conclusions of the Army investigation, the news network also received help from the Project on Governmental Oversight (POGO), a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit group that monitors public- and private-sector corruption and originally uncovered the Army memorandum. Jake Wiens, a POGO investigator, said that POGO was concerned about the allegations against Airtech because the company provides material to commercial airplane manufacturers such as Boeing.

“The biggest danger is that Airtech makes parts that are used for the manufacturing of composite materials,” Wiens said. “If you are substituting these parts, that’s illegal, but also, potentially you can get contaminants into the composite parts which can cause peeling of composites and ultimately, serious safety issues.”

A former POGO investigator, Nick Schwellenbach, stated that his organization began investigating Airtech when a whistle-blower approached his group. He also stated that Rohrabacher had been made aware of the allegations well before CBS aired its report. (Tara Setmayer, Rohrabacher’s press spokeswoman, did not respond to an interview request for this story.)

“I know there were at least two letters sent to Dana Rohrabacher,” Schwellenbach said. “It appears a Rohrabacher staffer contacted the military and asked if an investigation was going on, but I don’t know that he did anything else.”

Noting that Airtech is among Rohrabacher’s top five all-time campaign contributors, Schwellenbach said that didn’t surprise him. “He’s a recipient of tens of thousands of dollars of donations from [Airtech],” he said. “It’s not in his interest to do anything.”

Directed Energy Airborne Lasers to Replace Bombs? Boeing Develops New Ground-Attack Weapon

A C-130 transport aricraft carries the Advnaced Tactical Laser, which fires from a turret under the plane's belly.

Medill Report
OCT 16, 2008

Since the first Gulf War 18 years ago, television viewers have come to know airstrikes by the black and white guncamera videos, the explosions so large that they take up the entire TV screen. However, those videos might become a thing of the past as the military embraces a new airborne weapon that could transform the battlefield forever.

The U.S. Air Force this week awarded Boeing a contract valued at up to $30 million to continue testing a flying laser cannon, Boeing announced Tuesday. The new weapon will enable the United States to conduct more effective air strikes, which the military has always conducted with exploding munitions. Boeing’s Advanced Tactical Laser fires an ultra-precise energy beam that can readily destroy ground targets such as tanks, vehicles and personnel.

“Lasers can create fires, they can kill,” said Manijeh Razeghi, an engineering professor at Northwestern University, who has developed lasers for the military. “Each [laser] wavelength has some application. Some of them you know about, some of them are classified and we cannot speak about them.”

Neither Boeing nor the Air Force responded to requests for comment.

The Advanced Tactical Laser uses a rotating turret under the belly of a C-130 transport aircraft to aim its beam. Operators will be able to exercise a new degree of control over damage to ground targets by choosing specific aim points (such as vehicle tires) and laser shot duration.

With the laser, “targeting the fuel tank of a vehicle could result in total destruction of the vehicle, while targeting a tire might result in the vehicle stopping without injury to the driver,” according to a Boeing statement. Boeing claims this degree of control over the weapon’s destructive power will allow operators to eliminate the risk of collateral damage normally associated with conventional strikes.

A complex gas system enables the Advanced Tactical Laser to fire its destructive beam. Commenting on such gas system lasers, Razeghi said they require "a lot of electricity, a lot of power, and at the same time you cannot have any wavelength that you want, or any energy that you need. They have to use a lot of filters and grading in order to have the wavelength that they want."

The military already uses lasers in many capacities, such as in communications equipment, weapon guidance systems and air countermeasures. But deploying lasers as direct attack weapons might open up a new frontier in military strategy.

For its part, the Air Force has devoted a significant amount of resources to researching directed-energy weapons. Last month, the Air Force announced it completed a bioeffects study on a vehicle-mounted, nonlethal energy weapon called the “Active Denial System.” This device emits a beam of radio waves, rapidly heating a human target’s skin, causing the individual to flee, according to an Air Force statement.

Some human rights groups have protested the development and use of directed-energy weapons, claiming they may be illegal under international law. Lasers have long been at the forefront of that criticism. For example, American troops in Iraq have been issued rifle-mounted “dazzlers,” or low-power lasers designed to temporarily blind targets.

Human Rights Watch protested in 1995 the military’s development of such lasers, prompting a 1998 amendment to the Geneva Conventions, prohibiting the use of weapons “specifically designed, as their sole combat function or as one of their combat functions, to cause permanent blindness to unenhanced vision.”

The Defense Science Board, a government committee that advises the Department of Defense, stated in a 2007 report that the dazzlers issued to U.S. troops have a “minimum distance that the operator must avoid to preclude risk of eye injury.”

Directed-energy weapon programs will soon receive additional funding, as the Senate voted in September to increase spending on laser development, also including a provision requiring Defense Secretary Robert Gates to monitor the status of directed-energy weapon programs.

The Hell-Fire Clubs: Sex, satanism and secret societies, by Evelyn Lord

In gentlemen's clubs today, spoons are for pudding. In the 18th century it was different...

Reviewed by Charles Spencer
12 October 2008

The 18th-century penchant for secret societies, which accompanied the Age of Enlightenment, resulted in a stream of speculation by those excluded: what precisely went on behind those closed doors, particularly those that were most privileged? The scandalmongers let their imaginations run as rampant as they assumed the goings-on inside to be. But what was really taking place, in the minds and with the genitals of the participants?

The brevity of this book (the main body of which, once the blank pages between chapters are removed, comprises just 200 pages) betrays the author's conclusion: in reality, there is not very much to report. Repeatedly, and honestly, Evelyn Lord admits that, despite all the frenzied fascination, the slurs and the frisson of guilty pleasure at imagining the very worst, there simply is little real evidence of Devil worship, sexual deviance, and unrestrained debauchery. Lord states early on that: "The aim of this book is to demythologise the hell-fire clubs, and to sift fact from fiction." This she does, in the process revealing that human nature changes hardly at all, and that the reputation of immoral goings-on in these clubs and societies has, in large part, been inflated.

So what is the reason behind this myth? It's simple, according to the author: salacious behaviour, especially among the high-born, has long kept the British scandalmonger in business. Where it does not exist, it can at least be assumed; and, in the absence of evidence, crudely embellished.

Interestingly, much the worst behaved group in this study are not foppish English aristocrats, but a bunch of mutually masturbating, middle-class Scots.

The author takes a chronological approach, touching on trends of unruly private behaviour by public individuals stretching back to the 16th century. She could, of course, have chosen any date from history as her initial reference point: has there ever been a time when power and corruption were not willing bedfellows?

We are soon introduced to the Duke of Wharton, who in the early 18th century was assumed to be the prime mover behind the Hell-Fire Club, a group of "high-born Devil-worshippers who mocked the established Church and religion, and allegedly supped with Satan". Certainly, Wharton was hardly unique among his contemporaries: his political and religious allegiances were fluid and self-interested. The duke dabbled in various pools of immorality, but he also flirted with Catholicism and Jacobitism. He died young, his link to the Hell-Fire Club unproven, and he is not much of a figure on whom to hang so much of this book.

Sir Francis Dashwood is another who is closely examined. He clearly had a great interest in sex: his gardens at West Wycombe focused on a Temple of Venus, with shrubs planted in the shape of a woman's pubic triangle, "with an opening beneath, allegedly representing the vagina". He and the rest of his club, who called themselves the Medmenham Friars, rather than being devoted Satan-worshippers, enjoyed dressing up, and drinking far too much. Sir Francis emerges as definitely sexually curious, probably quite promiscuous, but otherwise as a steady old cove, a devoted husband, a pillar of the Establishment; Tory, Anglican and earnest.

Just when the book is getting repetitive, in its debunking of naughty myths, the Scots ride to the rescue. The Beggar's Benison was a club of professional men based in Fife, whose initiation ceremony involved the prospective member, as it were, placing his erect penis under a cloth, on the "test platter". According to Lord, "All the other members touched his penis with theirs, and this was followed by the test of masturbation." Some test: he had to fill a "horn spoonful". Modern-day candidates for White's or Brooks's may blanch at this, and consider that they get off pretty lightly.

Another bizarre body from north of the border was the Wig Club. Edinburgh-based, and comprised largely of gambling aristocrats, its ceremonies centred around a wig that was allegedly woven from the pubic hair of a century of royal mistresses. The members took it in turns to kiss or wear this, while sipping from a glass shaped like a penis. Rather than hilarity or embarrassment, Victorian morality sounded the death knell of the Wig Club.

The 18th century was, Lord explains, a time of sexual prurience, fed by the spread of erotic and obscene books and pamphlets. There was much mystery about the female form, and fear of women's libido. Such concerns coincided with an appetite, fed by the Enlightenment, for clubs, and the belief that "sociability was a key to happiness". Many of these clubs were private, and few left records that were self-incriminating. Lord sifts through the scant evidence, and concludes that the real culprits in the tales of evil doing were the hypocrites who peddled fanciful notions of what others were up to. "Plus ça change," as Max Mosley might say – although, presumably, he would do so in guttural German...

UK - Corporal/Satanic Ritualist Daniel James: "I am a Victim of a Conspiracy by the CIA"

Michael Evans, Defence Editor
October 28, 2008

A British Army interpreter told police he was the victim of a conspiracy by the CIA which made up an espionage plot against him, the Old Bailey heard yesterday.

Corporal Daniel James, who is accused of breaching the Official Secrets Act while serving in Afghanistan, said the deliberate attempt to undermine him was the result of a growing division between the Americans and the British over how to run the campaign in the country.

Corporal James, from Brighton, was the personal interpreter to General Sir David Richards when he was commander of Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) in 2006. The Iranian-born Territorial Army corporal is accused of spying for Iran.

When arrested on suspicion of spying he told the police he had been “set up” by the CIA in a plot to undermine General Richards because the Americans were angry that the British commander wanted to find a peaceful solution to the war with the Taleban rather than adopt the US approach of attacking the insurgents.

Mark Dennis, QC, prosecuting, however, told Corporal James the allegation was “rubbish”, and he went on to highlight a whole range of different explanations the TA soldier had “come up with” for why he had sent e-mails and made numerous phone calls to Colonel Mohammad Heydari, a military assistant at the Iranian embassy in Kabul.

Mr Dennis said his latest defence case - that he had been communicating with Colonel Heydari to try to negotiate a deal to buy gas for Nato and Afghanistan from Iran at a cheap price - had only been put forward on Friday last week. Mr Dennis asked Corporal James whether he had informed his defence counsel about the “gas scheme”. The defendant claimed he had made it clear for a long time.

When he was interviewed by police on December 18 and 19 2006 after he was arrested at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, Corporal James denied any knowledge of Colonel Heydari, claimed he knew nothing of e-mails sent to the Iranain embassy, and said he had no idea why two Nato-confidential documents were stored in his USB computer device.

Mr Dennis outlined to the court how Corporal James’s story had changed several times since his arrest. At one point he had claimed he was communicating with the Iranian embassy as part of a personal campaign to promote peace and trade between Iran and the United States.

Mr Dennis wondered why his defence counsel had made no mention of any gas scheme in drawing up his case until last Friday, and asked Corporal James whether he had deliberately requested that his barrister make no mention of it. Corporal James replied: “I never said anything.”

In earlier evidence, however, the TA corporal who used to give salsa dance classes to his military colleagues in Kabul, said he was “paranoid” about other people discovering his idea for buying cheap gas from Iran. He admitted he had hoped to make “a million” out of it by charging two or three per cent commission from the company he was involving in his project.

When Mr Dennis cast doubt on his earlier claim that he was “an unwitting pawn in a CIA plot” against him, Corporal James replied: “Anything’s possible with the CIA.”

The trial continues.
" ... Corporal James said he 'quite liked' General Richards and used black magic on his behalf ... "

Spy suspect Daniel James says he used voodoo to protect general
Michael Evans, Defence Editor
The Times
October 24, 2008

The army interpreter accused of spying for Iran while serving in Afghanistan told the Old Bailey yesterday that he was a voodoo priest who had used black magic to protect his military boss from the Taliban in 2006. ...

Under questioning by Colin Nicholls, QC, his defence counsel, Corporal James said he “quite liked” General Richards and used black magic on his behalf, although he emphasised that this was something he carried out without the general needing to be present.

For his voodoo rituals he used a combination of seashells, dust, Tarot cards and candles, and had a picture of General Richards. ...

Before he began interpreting for the general, Corporal James worked for a British colonel at an American camp in Kabul, helping to train the Afghan military. He said he thought that Americans were “fantastic people”. “They are loud and funny, like me,” he said. ...

Comments on Naomi Klein

By Alex Constantine

America "Going" Fascist ... or Long Gone?

Ms. Klein is a widely-promoted anti-fascist who is found ubiquitously on the establishment left. I read a long interview with her this morning, and found that it contained very little actual information, a "structural" analysis in the Chomsky vein that avoided particulars.

God is in the details. But Klein speaks in safe, vague generalities and ignores every significant, concrete development in fascism - an ideology that is supposedly "coming," a "creeping" threat, not breathing down our backs for decades, despite the murder of John Kennedy in a public square in broad daylight 45 years ago, while the fascist press covered it up, MLK, etc., etc.

It takes a fully-evolved, fascist state to accomplish this. These murders she ignores in favor of a generalized, macro view. Klein forgets to speak about historical particulars (in the Wall Street disaster, for example, Paulson's role in organizing the Watergate Plumbers for Nixon and Robert Bennett, other biographical details that demonstrate fascism has been a constant in American politics for years), and stick to one theme - shock - repeatedly, while overlooking 90 years of American fascism's complex historical context.

No mention of interaction with Nazis and old guard fascists by the intelligence underground. Not even the Kennedy assassinations, drug importation by the CIA, media opinion formation and the strategic denigration of liberalism, or a million other well-known particulars she ignores in favor of academic generalizations like Milton Friedman's shock/oppression "structure." Safe, padded establishment thinking for liberals who don't want to look too deeply into inherently-conspiratorial fascism.

I've been writing about fascism for 20 years - names, dates, places, motives. Fascism isn't nascent, suddenly occurring like the Wall Street Journal on our doorsteps - Klein's misapprehension - but deeply ingrained, and it has been with us for decades. To pretend otherwise, to falsely claim that it is not already an integral part of American life, is a psyop tactic that the bad guys have been plying for a few years. I learn very little from Klein, whose readers come away with some confirmation of their beliefs, but little actual concrete historical knowledge or evidence is passed. Names, dates, places are not that important to her.

Spoon-feeding from Naomi Klein will leave you intellectually underfed. The establishment left clings to her because, in the end, she has little to say about real fascism and its intelligence "service" pawns, and they like it that way. "Conspiracy" is outré in they CIA-controlled press down to The Nation, so let's all play along like good little Nazis and pretend "it didn't happen here ... "

"Is America going fascist?" is an ignorant and wrong-headed question. It's been here for decades. During the McCarthy period, this question was proper and should have been asked. In 2008, it's willfully ignorant and redolent of denial.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Prescription Opiates and Kids: One Pill can Kill

Glut of drugs fuels reports of poisonings among very young children

" ... Some 9,179 toddlers and kids under age 6 were exposed to widely prescribed drugs such as hydrocodone, oxycodone and methadone between January 2003 and June 2006, according to a report published online in September in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. Eight children died, 43 suffered life-threatening injuries or serious disabilities and 214 required prolonged medical treatment ... "

“For opioids, really, one pill is enough,” said Dart. “One pill can kill or at least cause major effects.”... "

CA State Senator Tom McClintock's Fascist Shell Game - Who is Pastor Stoos?

" ... Stoos started out as a aide to retired State Senator H.L. (Bill) Richardson, himself a former John Birch Society field organizer (and a radical religious right fruitcake before there was a radical religious right). ... Most recently, Pastor Stoos got himself into the tax-exempt religion business by having himself declared a pastor and the head of his own church, The Church of the King, Sacramento. Stoos is the former head of the California Gun Owners Lobby, and he frequently fills in for Sara DiVito Hardman, executive director of the California Christian Coalition. ... "

Follow The Money: Doolittle, McClintock & Gaines
Posted by: Skeptic

My father used to tell me that if you really want to know a politician, follow the money.

Tom McClintock is in trouble with the Federal Campaign Commission. McClintock just made a panic dump from of money his state 2010 campaign account to several "charities." And McClintock's campaign has been spending a lot of money which he is not admitting that he ever received. Despite repeated attempts by the Federal Elections Commission to find out how much it is and where it's coming from, McClintock has stymied an explanation. Why? What is he hiding?

Follow the money.

On October 7, McClintock's spokesperson, Bill George, claimed that Tom McClintock had given away $ 51,000 of his 2010 account for another gubernatorial run to "charity." Those donations were made just before the Sept 30 deadline. Now that he's broke, so Tom gets a big tax break for donating to "charities." But those "charities" are staffed by campaign consultants who have been working to elect McClintock to Congress to replace John Doolittle. In fact, one of the charities is actually run by Doolittle and McClintock.

Pastor John Stoos

$20,000 was donated to Pastor John Stoos, a longtime McClintock chief consultant, political manager and spokesperson, under the guise of "Cherish California's Children." Charitable donations are used not for kids, but for McClintock campaign mailers and for picketing clinics ("Cherish" is an anti-abortion group).

Another $6,000 was "donated" by Tom McClintock to the Capitol Resource Institute, an "issues advocacy group" (lobbyists), directed by Karen England.

Surprise! Capitol Resource Institute board of directors includes John Doolittle and Tom McClintock.

In May, Ted Gaines made a "loan" of $3,600 to the "Friends of Dan Logue" account. Why the very well funded Dan Logue would need a loan from Gaines is a mystery, but this donation coincides with Tom McClintock starting his primary campaign tour. It is already known from examining his account that Dan Logue has made campaign appearances with Tom McClintock and paid the speaker's fee and expenses of the Secure the Borders (Minutemen) group tour.

Ted Gaines made a donation to the Capitol Resource Institute (run by John Doolittle, Tom McClintock, Aanestad, Campbell and England). Gaines has also given $5000 to the "National Tax Limititation Foundation" (Lew Uhler, President).

Uhler is also a member of MOVE AMERICA FORWARD, which is currently doing the Swiftboating/hanging effigy ad targeting Charlie Brown. Follow the money.

In other words, Ted Gaines and John Doolittle are helping to pay for Tom McClintock's campaign via donations to charities, religious organizations, Minutemen and others by using his state account. Then McClintock donates the donated money to organizations that are supporting his campaign by donating money back to him. Some of these are tax exempt "religious charities". Still following the money? Good.

A Chevron PAC has contributed thousands to McClintock and the Oil and Gas industry has donated at least $19,000 to his federal accounts. But McClintock also has Oil and Gas industry donations on his state accounts, too. Coincidentally, Ted Gaines also has Chevron-Texaco donations on his state account. Gaines has also made many donations to "Save Our Kids," which funded the initiative for Prop. 8, which brings us back to Pastor John Stoos.

Stoos started out as a aide to retired State Senator H.L. (Bill) Richardson, himself a former John Birch Society field organizer (and a radical religious right fruitcake before there was a radical religious right). Stoos also heads up the California chapter of Newt Gingrich's Conservative Opportunity Society, which this year raised nearly $300,000 to help California elect social conservatives to the California legislature. Most recently, Pastor Stoos got himself into the tax-exempt religion business by having himself declared a pastor and the head of his own church, The Church of the King Sacramento.

Stoos is the former head of the California Gun Owners Lobby, and he frequently fills in for Sara DiVito Hardman, executive director of the California Christian Coalition. Stoos lost his position with the California Gun Owners Lobby a few years ago because of his viciously antisemitic attacks. But Stoos still is a radical Christian Reconstructionist and one of the most astute Republican political strategists in California. His credentials and connections read like a who's who of the radical religious far right and extremist right-wing politics. Pastor Stoos is also the current vice president of the California Republican Assembly, the largest Republican volunteer organization in the state, with affiliates in 31 states.

Stoos' position on religious minorities in the American theocracy he envisions is based on the beliefs of Christian Reconstructionism, which will reconstruct American government from a democratic republic, which Stoos' mentor R. L. Rushdoony refers to as a "heresy," into a biblical-style theocracy ruled by biblical laws. Only "godly" families would be permitted to continue to live in his American Christian society. All others would fall into one of the 18 categories of capital crimes, which would be dealt with by being stoned to death. In an article he wrote for the Chalcedon Report, a journal of the radical Christian Reconstructionist movement, Stoos actually called Reconstructionist Christian politicians "God's Vice-Regents, those who believe in the Lordship of Christ and the Dominion Mandate..."

Both Ken Campbell and Stoos have been regularly blogging for McClintock. England has also routinely put out PR for McClintock. Both "charities" are pushing wedge issue propositions, like Prop. 8, in this election, even though Federal Law prohibits state campaign accounts from being used for federal elections. That's why wedge issues involving sex are always dragged into the political arena; they allow tax exempt "non profit" political-religious organizations to collect and move money around while coercing as many voters of faith to the polls as possible for "their" politician or cause.

It's getting to where every time some radical religious politician starts talking about somebody else's sex life, I grab my wallet and start looking over their bookkeeping.

Follow the money. It never fails to show someone is stealing, lying and cheating others. Who do they think the rules are for?

Ted Gaines has made lots of donations to groups that are supporting McClintock via the Mormon Church and Prop 8. This is why they keep talking about the "gay marriage" and "teaching gay sex to kids" boogy-man. It's a frightening distraction for which they accept large donations, launder money, lie, break the rules, misuse religion and flaunt their so-called family values to true people of faith.

LDS Church members in Utah and Arizona are giving millions of dollars to pass prop 8 in California. McClintock' and Gaines realize this is a potential PR disaster for the LDS; a Utah-based church advocating taking away an existing civil right for minority citizens of California. It would be like the Pope funding a constitutional amendment to make birth control illegal in California. If you like gays or not, not every person of faith in California wants the Mormon Council of Elders in Salt Lake City telling Californians who they can marry. But McClintock and Gaines don't seem to really care as long as the money keeps rolling in.


Incidents of GOP Vote Suppression

The GOP is at it again, and little is being reported on the current cases of voter suppression. Here are some of the latest reports which may affect you.

WASHINGTON - Colorado Democrats accused a Republican county clerk Wednesday of falsely informing Colorado College that students from outside the state could not register to vote if their parents claimed them as a dependent on their tax returns. (reported Balink issued a statement saying his office had misinterpreted state law and "mistakenly published information that was incorrect."

Texas-based Premier Elections Solutions last week alerted *at least 1,750 jurisdictions across the country that special precautions are needed to address the problem in tabulation software affecting all 19 of its models dating back a decade.

The federal Election Assistance Administration, created in 2002, took over the testing responsibility in 2005, but has yet to certify a single voting machine.

As a result, charged Susan Greenhalgh, a spokeswoman for watchdog group Voter Action, the systems on which Americans will decide the race between Barack Obama and John McCain in November are "scandalously flawed"' and "the integrity of this election is in question."

David Beirne, executive director of the Election Technology Council, which represents the leading makers of voting machines, said there's no reason for concern. Without mentioning NASED, he said that members' products "have all been certified" as meeting 2002 VOLUNTARY federal standards.

If you're starting to feel nervous about this election then maybe you should because there is even more reports of GOP abuse being perpetrated that has not made mainstream media coverage.

WASHINGTON - Barack Obama's presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing *Michigan Republicans of a scheme to use mortgage foreclosure lists to challenge the voting eligibility of lower-income people who're likely to back Democrats in November.

If you think your vote is safe than think again.

In a lawsuit, Brunner charged on Aug. 6 that touch-screen machines made by the former Diebold Election Systems and bought by 11 Ohio counties "produce computer stoppages" or delays and are vulnerable to "hacking, tampering and other attacks." In all, 44 Ohio counties spent $83 million in 2006 on Diebold's touch screens.

If you think that your voting right is not being challenged in court, then consider the following.(reported

In granting the suit opponents' motion, Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi said that Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen doesn't have the power to bring the lawsuit, *which demanded verification of thousands of voters' identities before Election Day. She said that she's convinced no violation of state or federal law is about to occur.

The judge said that Van Hollen and the Republican Party should have gone through the process established by state law, which outlines that the Government Accountability Board will handle such complaints, WISC-TV reported.

Or what about good ol' intimidation practices in swing states? Do you think that might still be practiced?

"Recently, the *Greene County Sheriff, Gene Fischer, made a public records request of the Greene County Board of Elections for new voter registration forms filed between September 30, 2008 and October 6, 2008," Greene County Prosecutor Stephen K. Haller said in a statement issued Friday. "This morning I learned that Sheriff Fischer has withdrawn his request for public records of new voter registrations."

If you are like me, it makes you wonder if your vote may get caught up in this web of voter suppression. That is why it is important to go vote early if you can, and to also monitor your voting station if possible.

Get the facts on your area and try and learn as much as possible about what you can do to protect THE VOTE. Voting is only the first stage in the process, and all of us must watch what happens before, during and after the vote!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

McCain Has a Record: His Votes Against Veterans

Don't listen to what they say, watch what they do ... - AC

by Gene Cappa
October 10, 2008

McCain takes great pride in his record of accomplishments, enjoys boasting at every turn, even encourages everyone to check for themselves. Here's his record.

· Veterans Groups Give McCain Failing Grades. In its most recent legislative ratings, the non-partisan Disabled American Veterans gave Sen. McCain a 20 percent rating for his voting record on veterans' issues. Similarly, the non-partisan Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America gave McCain a "D" grade for his poor voting record on veterans' issues, including McCain's votes against additional body armor for troops in combat and additional funding for PTSD and TBI screening and treatment.

· McCain Voted Against Increased Funding for Veterans' Health Care. Although McCain told voters at a campaign rally that improving veterans' health care was his top domestic priority, he voted against increasing funding for veterans' health care in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. (Greenville News, 12/12/2007; S.Amdt. 2745 to S.C.R. 95, Vote 40, 3/10/04; Senate S.C.R. 18, Vote 55, 3/16/05; S.Amdt. 3007 to S.C.R. 83, Vote 41, 3/14/06; H.R. 1591, Vote 126, 3/29/07)

· McCain Voted At Least 28 Times Against Veterans' Benefits, Including Healthcare. Since arriving in the U.S. Senate in 1987, McCain has voted at least 28 times against ensuring important benefits for America's veterans, including providing adequate healthcare. (2006 Senate Vote #7, 41, 63, 67, 98, 222; 2005 Senate Votes #55, 89, 90, 251, 343; 2004 Senate Votes #40, 48, 145; 2003 Senate Votes #74, 81, 83; 1999 Senate Vote #328; 1998 Senate Vote #175; 1997 Senate Vote #168; 1996 Senate Votes #115, 275; 1995 Senate Votes #76, 226, 466; 1994 Senate Vote #306; 1992 Senate Vote #194; 1991 Senate Vote #259)

· McCain Voted Against Providing Automatic Cost-of-Living Adjustments to Veterans. McCain voted against providing automatic annual cost-of-living adjustments for certain veterans' benefits. (S. 869, Vote 259, 11/20/91)

· McCain Voted to Underfund Department of Veterans Affairs. McCain voted for an appropriations bill that underfunded the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development by $8.9 billion. (H.R. 2099, Vote 470, 9/27/95)

· McCain Voted Against a $13 Billion Increase in Funding for Veterans Programs. McCain voted against an amendment to increase spending on veterans programs by $13 billion. (S.C.R. 57, Vote 115, 5/16/96)

· McCain Voted Against $44.3 Billion for Veterans Programs. McCain was one of five senators to vote against a bill providing $44.3 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs, plus funding for other federal agencies. (H.R. 2684, Vote 328, 10/15/99)

· McCain Voted Against $47 Billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs. McCain was one of eight senators to vote against a bill that provided $47 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs. (H.R. 4635, Vote 272, 10/12/00)

· McCain Voted Against $51 Billion in Veterans Funding. McCain was one of five senators to vote against the bill and seven to vote against the conference report that provided $51.1 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as funding for the federal housing, environmental and emergency management agencies and NASA. (H.R. 2620, Vote 334, 11/8/01; Vote 269, 8/2/01)

· McCain Voted Against $122.7 Billion for Department of Veterans Affairs. McCain voted against an appropriations bill that included $122.7 billion in fiscal 2004 for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development and other related agencies. (H.R. 2861, Vote 449, 11/12/03)

· McCain Opposed $500 Million for Counseling Services for Veterans with Mental Disorders. McCain voted against an amendment to appropriate $500 million annually from 2006-2010 for counseling, mental health and rehabilitation services for veterans diagnosed with mental illness, posttraumatic stress disorder or substance abuse. (S. 2020, S.Amdt. 2634, Vote 343, 11/17/05)

· McCain opposed an Assured Funding Stream for Veterans' Health Care. McCain opposed providing an assured funding stream for veterans' health care, taking into account annual changes in veterans' population and inflation. (S.Amdt. 3141 to S.C.R. 83, Vote 63, 3/16/06)

· McCain Voted Against Adding More Than $400 Million for Veterans' Care. McCain was one of 13 Republicans to vote against providing an additional $430 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs for outpatient care and treatment for veterans. (S.Amdt. 3642 to H.R. 4939, Vote 98, 4/26/06)

· McCain Supported Outsourcing VA Jobs. McCain opposed an amendment that would have prevented the Department of Veterans Affairs from outsourcing jobs, many held by blue-collar veterans, without first giving the workers a chance to compete. (S.Amdt. 2673 to H.R. 2642, Vote 315, 9/6/07)

· McCain Opposed the 21st Century GI Bill Because It Was Too Generous. McCain did not vote on the GI Bill that will provide better educational opportunities to veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, paying full tuition at in-state schools and living expenses for those who have served at least three years since the 9/11 attacks. McCain said he opposes the bill because he thinks the generous benefits would "encourage more people to leave the military." (S.Amdt. 4803 to H.R. 2642, Vote 137, 5/22/08; Chattanooga Times Free Press, 6/2/08; Boston Globe, 5/23/08;, 5/26/08)

· Disabled American Veterans Legislative Director Said That McCain's Proposal Would Increase Costs For Veterans Because His Plan Relies On Private Hospitals Which Are More Expensive and Which Could Also Lead To Further Rationing Of Care. "To help veterans who live far from VA hospitals or need specialized care the VA can't provide, McCain proposed giving low-income veterans and those who incurred injury during their service a card they could use at private hospitals. The proposal is not an attempt to privatize the VA, as critics have alleged, but rather, an effort to improve care and access to it, he said. Joe Violanti, legislative director of the Disabled American Veterans, a nonpartisan organization, said the proposal would increase costs because private hospitals are more expensive. The increased cost could lead to further rationing of care, he said." (Las Vegas Sun, 8/10/08)


· McCain co-sponsored the Use of Force Authorization. McCain supported the bill that gave President George W. Bush the green light--and a blank check--for going to war with Iraq. (SJ Res 46, 10/3/02)

· McCain Opposed Increasing Spending on TRICARE and Giving Greater Access to National Guard and Reservists. Although his campaign website devotes a large section to veterans issues, including expanding benefits for reservists and members of the National Guard, McCain voted against increasing spending on the TRICARE program by $20.3 billion over 10 years to give members of the National Guard and Reserves and their families greater access to the health care program. The increase would be offset by a reduction in tax cuts for the wealthy. (S.Amdt. 324 to S.C.R. 23, Vote 81, 3/25/03)

· McCain voted against holding Bush accountable for his actions in the war. McCain opposed the creation of an independent commission to investigate the development and use of intelligence leading up to the war in Iraq. (S.Amdt. 1275 to H.R. 2658, Vote 284, 7/16/03)

· McCain voted Against Establishing a $1 Billion Trust Fund for Military Health Facilities. McCain voted against establishing a $1 billion trust fund to improve military health facilities by refusing to repeal tax cuts for those making more than $1 million a year. (S.Amdt. 2735 to S.Amdt. 2707 to H.R. 4297, Vote 7, 2/2/06)

· Senator McCain opposed efforts to end the overextension of the military--a policy that is having a devastating impact on our troops. McCain voted against requiring mandatory minimum downtime between tours of duty for troops serving in Iraq. (S.Amdt.. 2909 to S.Amdt. 2011 to HR 1585, Vote 341, 9/19/07; S.Amdt. 2012 to S.Amdt. 2011 to HR 1585, Vote 241, 7/11/07)

· McCain announced his willingness to keep U.S. troops in Iraq for decades--a statement sure to inflame Iraqis and endanger American troops. McCain: "Make it a hundred" years in Iraq and "that would be fine with me." (Derry, New Hampshire Town Hall meeting, 1/3/08)

· McCain voted against a ban on waterboarding--a form of torture--in a move that could eventually endanger American troops. According to ThinkProgress, "the Senate brought the Intelligence Authorization Bill to the floor, which contained a provision from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) establishing one interrogation standard across the government. The bill requires the intelligence community to abide by the same standards as articulated in the Army Field Manual and bans waterboarding." McCain voted against the bill. (H.R. 2082, Vote 22, 2/13/08)

· McCain Also Supported Outsourcing at Walter Reed. McCain opposed an amendment to prevent the outsourcing of 350 federal employee jobs at Walter Reed Army Medical Center--outsourcing that contributed to the scandalous treatment of veterans at Walter Reed that McCain called a "disgrace." (S.Amdt. 4895 to H.R. 5631, Vote 234, 9/6/06; Speech to VFW in Kansas City, Mo., 4/4/08)

· Senator McCain has consistently opposed any plan to withdraw troops from Iraq--a policy that has directly weakened American efforts in Afghanistan. Senator McCain repeatedly voted against a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq. (S.Amdt. 3876 to S.Amdt. 3874 to H.R. 2764, Vote #438, 12/18/07; S.Amdt. 3875 to S.Amdt. 3874 to H.R. 2764, Vote #437, 12/18/07; S.Amdt.3164 to H.R. 3222, Vote #362, 10/3/07; S.Amdt. 2898 to S. Amdt. 2011 to H.R. 1585, Vote #346, 9/21/07; S. Amdt. 2924 to S.Amdt. 2011 to H.R.1585, Vote #345, 9/21/07; S.Amdt.2 087 to S.Amdt. 2011 to H.R. 1585, Vote #252, 7/18/07; S.Amdt. 643 to H.R. 1591, Vote #116, 3/27/07; S.Amdt. 4320 to S. 2766, Vote #182, 6/22/06; S.Amdt. 4442 to S. 2766, Vote #181, 6/22/06; S.Amdt. 2519 to S.1042, Vote #322, 11/15/05)

· McCain said it's "not too important" when U.S. troops leave Iraq. This exchange occurred on NBC's Today Show with Matt Lauer:LAUER: If it's working, senator, do you now have a better estimate of when American forces can come home from Iraq?
McCAIN: No, but that's not too important.(NBC, Today Show, 6/11/08)

· McCain suggested that the war in Iraq could be won with a "smaller" force. "But the fact is I think we could go in with much smaller numbers than we had to do in the past. But I don't believe it's going to be nearly the size and scope that it was in 1991." (CBS News, Face the Nation, 9/15/02)

· McCain said winning the war would be "easy." "I know that as successful as I believe we will be, and I believe that the success will be fairly easy, we will still lose some American young men or women." (CNN, 9/24/02)

· McCain also said the actual fighting in Iraq would be easy. "We're not going to get into house-to-house fighting in Baghdad. We may have to take out buildings, but we're not going to have a bloodletting of trading American bodies for Iraqi bodies." (CNN, 9/29/02)

· Continuing his pattern, McCain also said on MSNBC that we would win the war in Iraq "easily." "But the point is that, one, we will win this conflict. We will win it easily." (MSNBC, 1/22/03)

· McCain argued Saddam was "a threat of the first order." Senator McCain said that a policy of containing Iraq to blunt its weapons of mass destruction program is "unsustainable, ineffective, unworkable and dangerous." McCain: "I believe Iraq is a threat of the first order, and only a change of regime will make Iraq a state that does not threaten us and others, and where liberated people assume the rights and responsibilities of freedom." (Speech to the Center for Strategic & International Studies, 2/13/03)

· McCain echoed Bush and Cheney's rationale for going to war. McCain: "We're going to win this victory. Tragically, we will lose American lives. But it will be brief. We're going to find massive evidence of weapons of mass destruction . . . It's going to send the message throughout the Middle East that democracy can take hold in the Middle East." (Fox News, Hannity & Colmes, 2/21/03)

· "But I believe, Katie, that the Iraqi people will greet us as liberators." (NBC, 3/20/03)

· March 2003: "I believe that this conflict is still going to be relatively short." (NBC, Meet the Press, 3/30/03)

· McCain echoed Bush and Cheney's talking points that the U.S. would only be in Iraq for a short time. McCain: "It's clear that the end is very much in sight . . . It won't be long . . . it'll be a fairly short period of time." (ABC, 4/9/03)

· McCain maintained that the war was a good idea and that George W. Bush deserved "admiration." At the 2004 Republican National Convention, McCain, focusing on the war in Iraq, said that while weapons of mass destruction were not found, Saddam once had them and "he would have acquired them again." McCain said the mission in Iraq "gave hope to people long oppressed" and it was "necessary, achievable and noble." McCain: "For his determination to undertake it, and for his unflagging resolve to see it through to a just end, President Bush deserves not only our support, but our admiration." (Speech, Republican National Convention, 8/31/04)

· Senator McCain: "The war, the invasion was not a mistake. (Meet the Press, 1/6/08)

· McCain said the war in Iraq was "worth" it. Asked if the war was a good idea worth the price in blood and treasure, McCain: "It was worth getting rid of Saddam Hussein. He had used weapons of mass destruction, and it's clear that he was hell-bent on acquiring them." (Republican Debate, 1/24/08)

· When questioned about Osama bin Laden after the 1998 U.S. missile strikes in Afghanistan, McCain surmised that the terrorist leader wasn't as "bad" as "depicted." "You could say, Look, is this guy, Laden, really the bad guy that's depicted? Most of us have never heard of him before." (Interview with Mother Jones magazine, 11/1998)

· McCain was unaware of previous Sunni-Shia violence before the Iraq War. "There's not a history of clashes that are violent between Sunnis and Shias. So I think they can probably get along." (MSNBC, Hardball, 4/23/03)

· McCain said our military could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan. While giving a speech, McCain was asked about Afghanistan and replied, "I am concerned about it, but I'm not as concerned as I am about Iraq today, obviously, or I'd be talking about Afghanistan. But I believe that if Karzai can make the progress that he is making, that in the long term, we may muddle through in Afghanistan." (Speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, 11/5/03)

· McCain stated that Sunni al Qaeda was "supported" by the Shia Iranians. (2/2008)

· McCain again confused Sunni Muslim al Qaeda operatives with Shi'a Muslim insurgents. The Washington Post reported of McCain: "He said several times that Iran, a predominately Shiite country, was supplying the mostly Sunni militant group, al-Qaeda. In fact, officials have said they believe Iran is helping Shiite extremists in Iraq. "Speaking to reporters in Amman, the Jordanian capital, McCain said he and two Senate colleagues traveling with him continue to be concerned about Iranian operatives 'taking al-Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back.' "Pressed to elaborate, McCain said it was 'common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran, that's well known. And it's unfortunate.'" (Press conference, Amman, Jordan, 3/18/2008)

· Yet again, McCain demonstrated that he didn't know whether al Qaeda was a Sunni or Shiite organization. While questioning General David Petraeus during a Senate hearing, the following exchange occurred:

MCCAIN: Do you still view al Qaeda in Iraq as a major threat?

PETRAEUS: It is still a major threat, though it is certainly not as major a threat as it was say 15 months ago.

MCCAIN: Certainly not an obscure sect of the Shi'ites overall?

MCCAIN: Or Sunnis or anybody else.

(Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing, 4/8/08)

· McCain incorrectly thought General David Petraeus was in charge of Afghanistan. The Army Times reported: "Speaking Monday at the annual meeting of the Associated Press, McCain was asked whether he, if elected, would shift combat troops from Iraq to Afghanistan to intensify the search for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

'I would not do that unless Gen. (David) Petraeus said that he felt that the situation called for that,' McCain said, referring to the top U.S. commander in Iraq.

"Petraeus, however, made clear last week that he has nothing to do with the decision. Testifying last week before four congressional committees, including the Senate Armed Services Committee on which McCain is the ranking Republican, Petraeus said the decision about whether troops could be shifted from Iraq to Afghanistan was not his responsibility because his portfolio is limited to the multi-national force in Iraq." (Annual meeting of the Associated Press, 4/14/08)

· McCain credited the "surge" for the "Anbar Awakening"--even though the Anbar Awakening preceded the surge by nearly a year. (7/22/08)

· John McCain has also recently demonstrated either serious knowledge gaps in terms of foreign policy, or mounting confusion, when discussing an array of other countries:

Spain: McCain refused to commit to meeting with the president of Spain, a NATO ally, after becoming confused about America's relationship with Spain, its leader, and, possibly, exactly where Spain is located. (9/17/08)

Czech Republic and Slovakia: McCain referred to the two countries using the name "Czechoslovakia" several times--despite the fact that Czechoslakia split apart and hasn't existed since 1993. (7/15/08; 7/14/08)

Venezuela: McCain said that Venezuela was a Middle Eastern country. (9/30/08)