Friday, July 31, 2009

Creepy News Corps.' Thuggish Business Tactics

News America Marketing (NAM) is a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corps. - the mother ship of Fox News. NAM was recently sued by Valassis, a competitor in the newspaper ad-stuffers biz. Rupert Murdoch's NAM lost the case and will pay $300-million to the plaintiff for engaging in underhanded, monopolistic business practices. Along the way, at trial, we are offered a rare glimpse inside Murdoch's furtive corporate empire, and like my nephew, it isn't pretty ...

News America's Carlucci Again Accused of Threatening to "Destroy" Floorgraphics
By Jim Edwards
July 15th, 2009

George Rebh, founder of Floorgraphics, said News America Marketing CEO Paul Carlucci threatened to “destroy” his agency if he competed for clients, a Michigan state court heard. The testimony came in a case where newspaper coupon giant Valassis is trying to prove that News America used illegal monopoly practices against its competitors.

It is the second time that Rebh has told the story of his infamous meeting with Carlucci, who is also the publisher of the New York Post. Earlier this year, Rebh testified in a New Jersey federal court that he had a lunch meeting with Carlucci at which the latter had said “I will destroy you!” if Rebh’s Floorgraphics made inroads into News America’s in-store supermarket ad empire. Carlucci denies he said that.

In Rebh’s most recent recollection of the meeting, he described how he showed up at the now defunct Dish of Salt restaurant in New York, just blocks from News Corp’s HQ. In attendance at the round table were Carlucci, News America president Dominic Porco, Floorgraphics’ Rebh, his brother Richard, the CEO, and Gary Henderson. The execs talked business in which, Rebh said, he hoped to explore the possibility of working on joint promotions with News America. But Carlucci didn’t like that idea. He wanted to buy Floorgraphics, Rebh said:

Question: What happened? What did he say?

Answer: At a certain point, Mr. Carlucci turned to us, but primarily Richard, and said so you are here to sell your company. And that — because that was not the purpose we were there, that kind of took us a little by surprise and Richard said, no, that’s not why we came.

… Question: What did Mr. Carlucci say in response to that?

Answer: He kind of smiled and he said, you know, when we acquired ActMedia, which was in 1997, I asked them about what they thought of floor advertising and they all thought it was a fad, that it would go away. He said, words to the effect, but, I have always liked floor advertising, so, from this point on consider us your competitor. And he said, again, words to the effect, and you should know that I work for a man who wants it all and doesn’t understand anyone telling him he can’t have it all. And know this, if you ever get into any of our businesses, I/we will destroy you.

That “man” is News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch; News Corp. owns News America. News America ultimately acquired Floorgraphics in settlement of the latter’s anti-competition case against it.

Nauseating, isn't it? If this is the way the vile Mr. Murdoch conducts business, we'll just take ours elsewhere and let his Nazis twist in the wind. Boycott the Fox News nest of vipers.

- Uncle Creepy

Letter - The U.S. and Assassinations: A Story From the ’60s

July 30, 2009

To the Editor:

Re “Government Hit Squads, Minus the Hits” (Week in Review, July 19):

I was a special assistant to George W. Ball in 1964, when Cyprus was a dominant foreign policy concern and Archbishop Makarios was the magnetic leader of the Greek Cypriot people in secular as well as spiritual affairs. He was also a major thorn in the side of the United States, which wanted to keep using British bases on the Mediterranean island.

During a high-level meeting with intelligence officials from various agencies, someone from the C.I.A. suggested that it might be “convenient” if the archbishop were assassinated. Mr. Ball was a large man — 6-foot-4 and well over 200 pounds. He reared back out of his chair and bellowed, “The United States does not do assassinations!”

He told me later that he was deeply troubled that the United States had tacitly condoned the C.I.A. involvement in the overthrow and subsequent assassination of President Ngo Dinh Diem in South Vietnam a year earlier, and that he was adamant in resisting assassinations on his watch.

Thomas Ehrlich
Palo Alto, Calif.
July 19, 2009

Right-Wing Death Squads Starting up in Honduras

by Zack23
Jul 05, 2009

According to School of the Americas Watch, Honduran human rights organizations are receiving reports that opponents of the recent military coup (led by School of the Americas graduates General Romeo Velasquez and General Luis Javier Prince Suazo) are being assasinated.

Bodies are being found with all their clothes, money, and cell phones, a strong indication that gangs and robbers are not behind the murders. According to a news release by SOA Watch:

On Friday, journalist Gabriel Fino Noriega, who was reporting on the coup and military developments, was killed. He was last seen alive leaving Radio América after transmitting his latest report. Radio América is a well established Honduran news corporation which gets international coverage.

In a town in San Pedro Sula, a family of four was found assassinated. It is known that the mother of that family worked in her local court.

In Tegucigalpa, the nation`s capital, at least 5 corpses have been found. Two corpses were found yesterday in barrels. Another corpse, of a young man, was found in La Montañita [La Montan~ita]. La Montañita [La Montan~ita] was the first unmarked, clandestine cemetery established in Honduras in the 1980`s by the national army`s death squads, which were trained by the CIA and other U.S. military officers. It was established under the command of former chief commander of Honduran armed forces, Gustabo Álvarez Martínez [Gustabo Alvarez Martinez]. This unmarked cemetery, along with many others throughout the country, was used by the military`s death squads to depose of the bodies of students, activists, missionaries, political organizers, and others whom they detained, kidnapped, tortured, and murdered in the 1980s. It is once again being used, presumably by the armed forces of Honduras.

Bertha Oliva, a key human rights activist, asserts that military repression has been much more violent and unsupervised outside of the capital, where there is almost no international presence or press coverage. With the recent events of murder and repression within Tegucigalpa, human rights organizations are increasingly worried of what must be going on outside of the capital. ...


Valassis Wins $300M In Lawsuit Vs. Murdoch News Corp Unit

By Nat Worden
JULY 23, 2009

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Valassis Communications Inc. (VCI), a marketing company for consumer goods, said Thursday that it won $300 million in damages from a lawsuit alleging unfair competitive practices against News Corp. (NWSA) unit News America Marketing.

News Corp., owner of this newswire, said it was "disappointed" with the jury's verdict in a county court in Michigan, and it intends to appeal the decision.

The lawsuit, one of three against News America by Valassis, alleged that News America used its dominant market position in its in-store marketing business to undercut Valassis in its freestanding insert, or newspaper coupon, business.

News America denied the charges and said the Valassis lawsuit was "merely part of a larger strategy to get News America Marketing to raise its prices, a move that would have affected both our clients and their customers by reducing the number of coupons available - a consequence that would be extremely unfortunate in this economy."

News America also said its case was hampered by the court's decision not to allow a complaint against Valassis filed by the Federal Trade Commission in 2006 that said the company made "an effort to induce collusion" when it announced a new pricing policy on a public conference call with investors.

Valassis Chief Executive Alan Schultz said the pricing announcement he made was relevant to the investment community and that it wasn't an effort to collude on prices with anyone.

News of the jury's decision in its favor sent Valassis shares sharply higher, up 23%, to $8.63. News Corp.'s A shares rose 2.1%, to $9.87, amid a broad market rally.

Valassis's profits had been dented in recent years because of lost pricing power. Segment profit in its newspaper coupon business has fallen from $185 million in 2001, when it made up 93% of its overall profits, to $1.8 million in 2008, when it made up less than 2% of its profits.

The Michigan jury found News America liable on both counts of Valassis's suit. Meanwhile, Schultz said the company was looking forward to moving ahead on two other cases against News America Marketing - a federal antitrust case and a state unfair-competition suit in California. He said the company could triple its damages in federal court and double them in California.

A News America spokeswoman disputed Valassis's ability to win additional damages.

Elsewhere, shares of Insignia Systems Inc. (ISIG), which competes with News America in the in-store marketing business, rose over 20% in Thursday trading in reaction to the court's decision. Insignia - which has some business relationships with Valassis - also has filed suit against News America for unfair competition in federal district court in Minneapolis.

News America has responded with a motion to dismiss the case and said Insignia's case is unrelated to Thursday's verdict.

-By Nat Worden, Dow Jones Newswires; (212) 416-2472;

The "Family": Lawmakers Part of Secret "Christian Mafia" in Washington?

Related: "Michael Jackson and the Fellowship Foundation Cult"

By American Atheists
July 28, 2009

A mushrooming scandal over members of the U.S. congress and a shadowy religious "fellowship"based in Washington, DC is attracting more news coverage and questions, and could lead to calls that the House Ethics Committee open an immediate investigation.

The story began when Sen. John Ensign admitted to having an extramarital affair with a former aide. What made the tabloid aspect more salacious, though, was that Ensign -- a strong crusader against separation of church and state -- is linked to a religious-right
group that maintains an anonymous enclave in Washington, DC where a number of key politicians, including Sen. Ensign, reside while congress is in session. Dubbed "the family" or "the Fellowship," the unmarked building is also the venue for constant prayer, bible meetings, and now, it seems, political strategy brain storming, spin-control and campaign fund raising.

Ensign's hypocrisy and un-masking has focused media attention on the "Christian mafia" and raised questions about what is taking place behind closed doors of the C Street house "in the name of the lord."

-- Just eight days after the Ensign scandal made headlines, a political action committee with ties to the disgraced senator made a $5,000 contribution to the campaign of another "Fellowship" member and resident, U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp of Tennessee. Chattanooga Times Free Press reporter Andy Sher noted: "Ensign's political action committee, Battle Born PAC, contributed the money on June 24 according to Federal Election Committee records. Wamp's campaign received the contribution on June 29, his Tennessee Registry of Election Finance shows."

One Wamp-connected operative , John Crisp refused to discuss the donation, other than to say that "This is important because of how hard Zach works... for the people of Tennessee."

Others weren't so sure. State Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester questioned the timing and circumstances, telling reporters: "It would seem to me that if you were running for governor and you were running on a set of moral values that Zach Wamp seems to talk about, you'd be sort of reluctant to receive financial support from an admitted adulterer."

Wamp also reported a $1,000 contribution from the Mint Political Action Committee linked to another religious right partisan, U.S. Sen. Jeff DeMint (R.-SC). "Numerous news accounts" link DeMint to the same C Street enclave as Wamp and Ensign, but the senator's office is now denying this.

-- Somewhat off the radar at present is South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, a Republican who is still working through his own imbroglio involving an adulterous affair with a South American woman. Sanford is a member of the "Fellowship" and reportedly received "spiritual counseling" at the C Street house. We also should not forget about US Rep. Chip Pickering (R-Miss.) now charged by his estranged wife with having an affair while residing at the "Fellowship" residence.

-- How far will "Fellowship" residents and members go in avoiding media scrutiny, or even official inquiries by congress? One disturbing indicator is a July 22 piece on the Buzzflash web blog by Mark Karlin, referring to material unearthed by Jeff Sharlet,
author of "The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power." The latter writes:

Family leaders consider their political network to be Christ's avant garde, an elite that transcends not just conventional morality but also earthly laws regulating lobbying. In the Family's early days, they debated registering as "a lobby for God's Kingdom." Instead, founder Abraham Vereide decided that the group could be more effective by working personally with politicians. "The more invisible you can make your organization," Vereide's successor, current leader Doug Coe preaches, "the more influence you can have." That's true -- which is why we have laws requiring lobbyists to identify themselves as such.

But David Coe, Doug Coe's son and heir apparent, calls himself simply a friend to men such as John Ensign, whom he guided through the coverup of his affair. I met the younger Coe when I lived for several weeks as a member of the Family. He's a surprising source of counsel, spiritual or otherwise. Attempting to explain what it means to be chosen for leadership like King David was -- or Mark Sanford, according to his own estimate -- he asked a young man who'd put himself, body and soul, under the Family's authority, "Let's say I hear you raped three little girls. What would I think of you?" The man guessed that Coe would probably think that he was a monster. "No," answered Coe, "I wouldn't." Why? Because, as a member of the Family, he's among what Family leaders refer to as the "new chosen." If you're chosen, the normal rules don't apply.

It's a statement that should concerns about transparency on C Street. Will "Fellowship" members charged with inappropriate behavior cover for each other? If so , the term "Christian mafia" becomes most appropriate given the "code of silence" or "omerta"
being practiced on C Street.

-- There are reports that some "Fellowship" operatives in high places are now seeking cover amidst the widening scandal and public attention. According to the Detroit News, for instance, U.S. Rep.Bart Stupak now claims that "he does little more than sleep in a room he rents there."

Another "Fellowship" member, Rep. Joseph Pitts of Pennsylvania (a member of the Congressional "Values" Coalition that promotes religious right legislation on Capitol Hill) issued a statement that he does not reside at the C Street lair.

For the public, all of this must raise concerns about what is taking place behind the doors at the C Street retreat and residence. Were powerful individuals like these representatives linked in such intimate and peculiar fashion to, say, a corporate interest
group or international mission, there would be an outcry for an immediate congressional investigation. The C Street residence, however, enjoys the mantle of religious probity. Its members do not seem to be living up to that standard.

Links to the C Street Scandal:
Tennessee: Wamp took campaign money from Nevada's Ensign State campaign finance records show U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., accepted a $5,000 contribution from U.S. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., who lives in a Capitol Hill Christian fellowship house with Mr. Wamp. The contribution came 13 days after Sen. Ensign admitted to the world he had had an affair with a former staffer. Sen. Ensign's political action committee, Battle Born PAC, contributed the money on June 24, according to Federal Election Commission records. Rep. Wamp reported receiving the contribution to his gubernatorial campaign on June 29, according to his Tennessee Registry of Election Finance disclosure.
"C Street" Cabal of Anti-Democracy Fundamentalist Senators and Reps Wouldn't Turn Over Child Rapist Among Them to Police? Kudos to Rachel Maddow for latching on to the captivating and chilling story about not just the lascivious and potentially illegal activities of some of the "C Street" Family, but -- more importantly -- focusing on their belief that they are chosen by God to lead and infiltrate our government. And she hasn't stopped pursuing this startling story, defying the normal news cycle of a nano-second of coverage unless it's Michael Jackson's death or a blonde white girl disappearing in Aruba.

What gets lost in the disgusting details of Ensign's adulterous affair, Mark Sanford's (an associate member of the Family) lust for an Argentine, and former Congressman Chip Pickering's adulterous bonking on-site at the C Street "Christian fellowship house" is
something that Maddow has repeatedly come back to: these men don't believe they are responsible to moral or governmental laws. If they deviate from the "righteous path," God is only testing their strength, because they are the ones divinely chosen to lead -- and it is weakness to succumb to remorse about one's "misbehavior."

That is why Mark Sanford said he won't resign and compared himselfto King David, who slept adulterously with Bathsheba and then had her husband killed.

DynCorp Takes Afghanistan

Who's winning the Afghan War?: "DynCorp has emerged as one of the big winners of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which now generate 53% of DynCorp's $3.1 billion of annual revenue. ... "

Nathan Vardi

Increasingly frozen out by the U.S. military, KBR concedes the Afghan battlefront.

DynCorp International, the Falls Church, Va., provider of mission critical services to the U.S. military, got good news Thursday from Houston rival KBR, which said it would not be protesting the recent loss of work supporting American troops in Afghanistan to DynCorp and Fluor Group.

"We recently met with the customer for a debrief of the selection criteria and the decision metrics for the awards," said KBR ( KBR - news - people ) chief William Utt on KBR's Thursday conference call. "After the debrief we decided KBR will not protest the outcome of the awards."

The announcement was excellent news for DynCorp, which has been consistently winning government war-zone work from competitors like Blackwater USA and KBR that have had trouble in Iraq. DynCorp is counting on the expanding war in Afghanistan to provide corporate growth and was bracing for a potential challenge from KBR. It is now likely that within six months DynCorp will begin working on a five-year, $5.9 billion deal awarded in July to logistically support U.S. troops in southern Afghanistan. Fluor ( FLR - news - people ) won the work that will be required in northern Afghanistan.

DynCorp has emerged as one of the big winners of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which now generate 53% of DynCorp's $3.1 billion of annual revenue. The company's revenue grew 45% last year thanks to a 51%-owned joint venture that has a multiyear $4.6 billion contract to supply 9,100 linguists to translate for U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

Last year DynCorp and Fluor, together with KBR, became part of the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, or Logcap, a huge contract once awarded exclusively to KBR. The three companies now are competitively bidding on various jobs under the wars' biggest contract. In the last six years, Logcap has meant big revenues for KBR, which earned an estimated $700 million of income (before interest and taxes) on $31.4 billion of revenues off of the program, mostly in Iraq, but been dogged by accusations of overbilling and negligence.

In July the Pentagon announced that it planned on having DynCorp and Fluor take over KBR's work in Afghanistan under Logcap, doing everything from providing laundry to food and fuel. The decision came as President Obama sent 20,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan to go after the Taliban in an expanding war. KBR has now accepted the military's contracting switch in Afghanistan and will focus on trying to retain its Logcap work in Iraq, which should be up for bid by the end of this year.

"Agent Orange and Dioxins: The Most Destructive, Poisonous Substances Ever Found"

"Conservatives" of the '70s had a good laugh at the "scare-mongering" liberals who claimed that Agent Orange was a destructive poison. Spokemen for the American Enterprise Institute, a CIA/military intelligence propaganda front, offered to drink it to prove the defoliant harmless, but of course they chickened out. My uncle fought in Vietnam and was exposed to the poison - he had cancer in his early fifties, and a major heart by-pass. A friend of mine from Arkansas was blinded in 'Nam. The Pentagon fought his disability claim for decades, claiming that Agent Orange is basically harmless. The lesson here is never ever listen to conventional "conservative" wisdom ... - AC

Dr. Phil Leveque

One of our reader/correspondents, Chuck Palazzo, just brought to our attention that Agent Orange, actually DIOXINS, have been re-discovered to cause all sorts of damage to humans.

(MOLALLA, Ore.) - I believe I had the first human DDT insecticide poisoning case in the US in about 1952. The patient was a “cropduster” pilot spraying mosquito swamps in Portland, Oregon. He filled the sprayer tanks with DDT in oil with 5 gallon cans and spilled it all over himself. He was advised by the salesman that it would kill mosquitoes like crazy but wouldn’t hurt him. After one summer of exposure he never recovered.

At that time, I was a newly minted toxicologist and was very cognizant of the extreme dangers of Chloroform and similar chlorinated anesthetics and their severe liver toxicity if used more than a few times. I also had some of the first 2-4-D, 2-4-5-T (in Agent Orange) chlorinated weed killer poison cases. I came to the conclusion that ALL chlorinated organic pesticides were lethally toxic to humans, other animals and birds.

DDT almost wiped out the American Eagle and many other birds including Condors.

This is about the time Rachel Carsons book Silent Spring came out [reporting] that pesticides were killing ALL sorts of wildlife. We were both scoffed at. How could weed killers and bug killers hurt humans?

About 1970, the U.S. was spraying Agent Orange, Agent White and Agent Blue all over Vietnam and American Infantry Soldiers were getting poisoned in large numbers. The Army and VA doctors were told that the soldiers’ illnesses were caused by SMOKING BAD MARIJUANA and they would get over it when they got home and quit smoking pot.

It didn’t turnout that way. DIOXINS are the extreme poisons in many chlorinated pesticides.

The Dioxins combine with DNA/RNA which are the building blocks for most functions in metabolism.

The [damage] includes Heart Disease, Parkinsonism, Diabetes, etcetera. Dioxins are already known to produce serious birth defects and a variety of cancers. Because of the extremely high reactivity of the DIOXINS, which are poisonous in parts per billion, and not the herbicides, it is surprising that many of these DIOXIN-contaminated pesticides are still in use.

The strange thing is that many are banned in the U.S. but are still manufactured here and sold in Third World Countries and causing the same problems.
One Last Ride: Vietnam veteran a victim of Agent Orange
by Laura Camper/Times-Georgian13

While serving, he was exposed to Agent Orange, an herbicide used by the U.S. military during the war to remove leaves and plant life that provided cover for the enemy. Since then, Poe has been dealing with organ damage.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, approximately 20 million gallons of herbicides were used in Vietnam between 1962 and 1971, and that shortly following their military service in Vietnam, some veterans reported a variety of health problems and concerns, which some of them attributed to exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides.

Like Dan Poe.

Now, at 58, he is confined to a wheelchair and must use an oxygen tank. He has only one artery pumping blood from the heart and that is 70 percent blocked.

“It’s only pumping 30 percent of blood to his whole body,” said Mike Chenette, who says Poe, a Carrollton resident, is like a dad to him. “In the last three years, his heart actually just started dying. The doctors came out and told us here just a few months ago they can’t do no more for him, to go ahead and make his funeral arrangements.”

It hasn’t always been like this. Poe used to own a car-crushing business. Chenette worked for him probably seven or eight years ago, when times were still good. Chenette met him at an auction where Poe was buying toys and gifts.

“He was one of those people buying a bunch of stuff and donating it to a bunch of kids at Christmas time,” Chenette said. “He was one of these people, you know, it didn’t matter what was going on in his life, he donated things or gave to other people besides himself.”

Chenette didn’t know how sick Poe was then, but he’s watched him deteriorate over the years and it’s been hard to see, particularly because they became very close and consider themselves family. It was easy to forget the health issues until one day at work.

“While I was working with him one day he had a massive heart attack and I had to rush him to the hospital,” he said.

Suddenly the health problems came on with a vengeance and for the last two years, Poe has been unable to work.

One of the most difficult things Poe has had to give up because of his illness is road trips with his wife. His Harley Davidson Heritage Softail is parked in his garage, just waiting, but he can no longer use it. Poe’s final request is for one last road trip to the mountains with his wife, Dottie, said Jennifer Albright, a member of the local Iron Order Motorcycle Club.

“He loves the mountains and he loves it up there,” Albright said. “I had gotten with Pigeon Forge, the Chamber of Commerce up there, and they have donated a lot of stuff. The Comedy Barn up there donated tickets, two free passes, The Miracle Show Theater they donated a VIP attraction pack for them. We are going to get them a hotel, and we’re trying to get together a ride to take them up there in a convertible.”

A convertible may not be a motorcycle, but he can still feel the wind on his face for the trip.

All Poe’s family and friends have rallied around him. Though he hasn’t been able to work for two years, he’s been denied medical disability by Social Security. He and his wife survive on his veteran’s disability checks. The Veterans Administration hospital takes care of most of his medical work, but still the bills have added up.

“He’s the type of person, he’s not going to ask anybody for help, because he thinks other people (are) important than he is,” Chenette said. “To me he is a very important person in my life and anybody else’s life that’s ever met him or got to know him. Everybody just loves the man to death.”

So, he hatched the idea for a motorcycle benefit. He contacted Albright at the Iron Order Motorcycle Club, and the two began planning.

The benefit, a motorcycle ride, is today at Southern Steel Cycles in Carrollton. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., kickstands up at 10 a.m. Kroger is providing food. There will be a raffle for a Stoeger M2000 Automatic 12 gauge shotgun. Dozens of area businesses have donated gifts and prizes for the event as well as tents to host it.

Neil Yearta, co-owner of Southern Steel Cycles, has known Poe for a few years.

“We really felt it was important to try and do something to help him,” Yearta said. “When he was working and making good money, he always gave a lot to charities and buy toys for kids, and really just gave a lot back to people who needed it.”

Now Yearta can finally give back.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dr. Murray's Rap Sheet/The Return of Marcia Clark/Jackson Toxicology Report Held Up until LAPD Chief Bratton Returns from Vacation

Excerpt: "Dr. Conrad Murray: Investigating Michael Jackson's Personal Doctor"
ABC News
July 30, 2009

... In the wake of the investigation, a slew of liens and lawsuits against Murray has emerged. In the last three years, Murray has faced lawsuits for unpaid business bills totaling over $700,000, including rent on his medical offices. He also owes more than $13,000 in child support, $70,000 to a business partner with whom he launched an energy drink called Pitbull, and he failed to pay more than $71,000 worth of student loans from medical school.

Murray was also charged with domestic violence in February 1994 while undergoing a cardiology fellowship at the University of Arizona at Tucson. He stood trial in July of that year and was ultimately acquitted. ...

Murray didn't set out to be a doctor to the stars. He was born on the Carribean island of Grenada in in 1953. He was raised by his mother in neighboring Trinidad. She never married his father, Dr. Rawle Andrews, a renowned physician in Houston, Texas.

Murray was a customs clerk, a teacher and an insurance agent before beginning his studies at Texas Southern University at age 27. After graduating magna cum laude, he went on to medical school at Meharry in Nashville, Tenn. He then did his residency at Loma Linda University in California before eventually opening a practice in Houston, serving the largely poor, African American community where his father had been a local hero.

Murray's Doctor Dad Had Medical License Suspended

But while he was revered by his patients, Andrews, now deceased, came under scrutiny late in his career, foreshadowing the problems currently plaguing his son. Andrews had his medical license restricted by the board in 1994 for prescribing "controlled substances and substances with addictive potential" to two patients for "extended periods of time without adequate indication," according to documents obtained by

Murray's attorney's spokeswoman, Miranda Sevcik, said that any wrongdoing of Murray's father has nothing to do with the son's predicament.

"This is not relevant to Dr. Murray or the investigation into Michael's death," Sevcik said.

She added that Murray, in 20 years of practicing medicine, has never had his license suspended or a malpractice claim filed against him. ...

Excerpt: "Dr. Murray's Criminal Past"
Posted by ExtraTV Staff
July 30, 2009 11:04 AM

Michael Jackson's doctor has had a previous run-in with the law. Dr. Conrad Murray, who could face manslaughter charges in Jackson's death, was arrested in 1994. Murray was arrested on domestic violence charges in Arizona. The police report alleges Murray threw his then-girlfriend to the ground as their baby sat on the floor crying. ...

Former prosecutor Marcia Clark revealed on Larry King Live last night that the report is finished, and is being held up by the LAPD. "It's actually done," Marcia said. "It's ready to go, but Chief Bratton is not in town. They're sitting on it 'til he gets back from his vacation next week."

The Jackson clan has reportedly seen the completed report. ...
Excerpt: "Dr. Conrad Murray Previously Sentenced to Jail"
By Bridget Daly
July 29, 2009

... Radar has learned that Murray has been sentenced to jail on two different occasions. And one of them was just a couple months ago!

According to the report, Murray was sentenced to jail on April 29th, 2009 for failing to pay child support. He was also sentenced in 2007 for non-payment of child support in connection with a son he fathered in California with a woman named Nenita Malibiran. On both occasions, the doctor was able to get out of doing any time by paying up. ...

Sounds like Dr. Conrad Murray has some skeletons in his closet—not only having to do with the Michael Jackson investigation, but in his personal life as well!

Clinton won't Comment on Report she tried to Deep-Six Torture Evidence

John Byrne, Raw Story July 30, 2009: "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressured the British intelligence service not to disclose evidence of alleged US torture of a British national, Britain's foreign secretary told the UK's top court Wednesday. Asked about the claim at a press availability by a BBC reporter Wednesday, Clinton declined to comment. 'I’m not going to comment,' Clinton said when asked. 'Obviously, the issue of intelligence sharing is one that is critically important to our two countries, and we have both a stake in ensuring that it continues to the fullest extent possible.' ... "

The Latest Ritual Abuse Whitewash

Click for one more entry in a "mean-spirited campaign," to quote LA Times editor Noel Greenwood, to discredit child victims of ritual abuse and exonerate the guilty. The usual media moonshine is repeated here - it reinforces the public opinion programming laid down by a CIA front known as the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, a perception management spin-off of NAMBLA, to disseminate anti-RA victim propaganda in the press.

Advocates of the victims are censored out (when was the last time anyone in the media actually interviewed one of the children or their parents or therapists? Recovered memories - the starting point if not foundation of most Western psychotherapies - are flatly rejected as fantasy in the press, despite the fact that hypnosis is common in RA to suppress a child's recollections of molestation and torture - and also despite the fact that a young child's natural predeliction is often to dissociate when traumatized) with facts related to ritual abuse, so denial based on lies and distortions is the only side of the argument ever presented in the "mainstream" press. Ridiculous caricatures of RA evidence, therapists and experts (some of whom are also planted to discredit the children) are all that ever reach the public, couched in shaggy-dog stories alleging a "hysterical child abuse witch hunt" that does not exist. The true witch hunt is waged against RA therapists to discredit their patients.

For further reading:

Child abuse articles

- AC

Jane Harman: What the CIA didn't Tell Congress

Miami Herald
Jul. 30, 2009

As ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee from 2003 to 2006, I was part of the so-called Gang of Eight -- a group made up of the House and Senate leaders plus the chairs and ranking members of the two chambers' intelligence committees that is required by law to be briefed on the CIA's ``covert'' action programs.

Those briefings were conducted roughly quarterly at the White House -- either in the vice president's office or the Situation Room. Most I attended concerned a code-named program now known as the Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP). Respectful of the double oath I signed to protect highly classified material, I did not take notes or speak to anyone about the meetings. However, comments by Michael Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency and the CIA, that the Gang of Eight was ``fully'' briefed on the TSP prompt me to disclose what they were like.

In virtually every meeting, Hayden would present PowerPoint slides, walking us through the operational details of the TSP. The program has since been described, in part, as one that intercepted communications to and from the United States in an effort to uncover terrorist networks and prevent or disrupt attacks. We were told that the program was the centerpiece of our counterterrorism efforts, legal and yielding impressive results.

In legal limbo

Often present were CIA officials (including then-Director George Tenet) and then-White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales. Missing was any Justice Department presence -- a tipoff, in retrospect, to the legal limbo under which the program operated.

Fast-forward to the jaw-dropping inspectors general report released this month, which makes clear that the TSP's legal underpinnings were fatally flawed and its results minimal. Those topics consumed scant time at our briefings. Why?

We learned only what the briefers wanted to tell us -- even though they were required by law to keep us ``fully and currently informed.'' Absent the ability to do any independent research, it did not occur to me then that the program was operated wholly outside of the framework Congress created as the exclusive means to conduct such surveillance: the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Nor did I know that the Justice Department was cut out of the process and that one lawyer, John Yoo, had drafted the internal memo justifying TSP under the president's Article 2 authorities. A new head of the Office of Legal Counsel repudiated that memo, citing the ``shoddiness'' of the legal reasoning.

And I did not know -- until I read it in the media -- of the 2004 drama at then-Attorney General John Ashcroft's hospital bedside, when Bush officials sought his sign-off on an extension of the program. I recall being told that there was a ``glitch'' in the approval process. A glitch? More like a near-hijacking of our democracy.

Memo discredited

Much has happened since. The Yoo memo was officially discredited and replaced. After considerable resistance, the Bush administration finally briefed the full intelligence committees, and FISA was amended to assure its application to the TSP.

In a July 16 commentary in The Wall Street Journal, Yoo wrote that, ``It is absurd to think that a law like FISA should inhibit live military operations against potential attacks on the United States.'' I see it rather differently. Although our country had experienced the worst terrorist attack in our history, the Orwellian solution conjured up by a small group in the Bush administration was to shred our laws and Constitution in order to save us -- a false and unnecessary choice.

Security and liberty are not a zero-sum game. Our Constitution protects both. Members of each branch of government take an oath to uphold the Constitution. Bipartisan oversight by Congress to assure that the laws we pass are faithfully executed is an indispensable part of that equation.

The House and Senate intelligence authorization bills would require increased notification, including, in the House bill, information on lawfulness, cost, benefit and risk. The White House has issued a veto threat, citing constitutional concerns. Surely both sides -- and policy -- would profit more from a robust partnership.

U.S. Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., chairs the House Homeland Security subcommittee on intelligence and terrorism risk assessment.


Background on the National Security Agency's Einstein system: "NSA's Cyber Overkill"

This is the introduction to the report - full pdf file here:

July 2009

This paper calls on the government to release information about the Einstein intrusion detection system for government computers. It poses questions about the role of the National Security Agency in the Einstein program, the scope of the latest version of the Einstein system, the legal authority for the system, and the impact of Einstein on the privacy of people who communicate with the government.

It also calls for the release of any legal opinions and certifications about the lawfulness of Einstein intrusion detection activities, and for release of the privacy guidelines governing the system and of privacy training materials given the people who may come into contact with information derived from Einstein.

Recent press reports in the Washington Post1 and Wall Street Journal2 indicate that the federal government is putting in place a new intrusion detection system to
help secure civilian networks in the .gov space. This system, dubbed “Einstein 3,” is the successor to an existing system – “Einstein 2” -- now deployed by the Department of Homeland Security and soon to be deployed by other federal agencies. While Einstein 2 poses privacy concerns that have not yet been fully resolved, Einstein 3 both heightens those concerns and poses additional questions of its own.

According to a May 19, 2008 Privacy Impact Assessment,3 Einstein 2 detects malicious computer code in network traffic using pre-defined signatures of such code and alerts the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (“US CERT”). Some of those signatures include personally identifiable information (“PII”) and some of the alerts from Einstein 2 to US CERT also include PII. Previously unknown attack signatures cannot be detected by Einstein 2, and, as a result, anything new gets through the system until the database of attack signatures is updated to include it. According to the PIA, Einstein 2 will be deployed at participating federal agency Internet Access Points.4

Like Einstein 2, Einstein 3 will rely on pre-defined signatures of malicious code that may contain PII. However, Einstein 3, unlike its predecessor, will have the added capability of reading the content of email and other Internet traffic, according to the Wall Street Journal story. This raises serious privacy concerns.

In addition, while its predecessor merely detected and reported malicious code, Einstein 3 is to have the capability of intercepting threatening Internet traffic before it reaches a government system, raising additional concerns. This capability is reportedly based on a National Security Agency program. According to press accounts, Einstein 3 will operate inside the networks of the telecoms, but it is not clear whether this is the same as Einstein 2 or not. According to the press accounts, AT&T would be contracted by the government to test portions of Einstein 3 and is seeking assurance from the Department of Justice that this activity does not violate the law.

Some policymakers are reportedly studying potential changes to current surveillance law to permit the scanning of private Internet traffic, for security purposes only, without an individualized court order. The Senate version of the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2010, S. 1494, reported on July 22, does not propose any such changes. Instead, it calls for reports to Congress about the privacy impact of Einstein and any other similar cybersecurity programs as well as information about the legal authorities for the programs and about any audits that have been conducted or are planned for the programs.4

4 It is unclear to CDT whether this means that Einstein 2 operates on privately owned and
operated equipment or on government equipment. More importantly, it is unclear whether the
point at which Einstein is deployed handles only government traffic or could carry both
government and private-to-private traffic.


Health Care: A New Spirit of Bipartisanship in Washington?

Trial Starts for Contractor with Ties to Murtha

DOJ Says Murtha Earmark Money Was Illicitly Distributed
Paul Singer
Roll Call

John Murtha

A contracting firm that had hired the brother of Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) as its lobbyist took the proceeds from a Murtha-provided, $8.2 million Air Force earmark and distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to other companies represented by the Congressman’s brother for items that were not part of the project, the Justice Department charged Thursday.

The charges make no indication that the Congressman had any involvement or knowledge of the transactions.

Roll Call reported in June that Murtha used a 2005 tsunami relief bill to take away $8.2 million of government funding from a company called AEPTEC Microsystems that had severed ties with his brother’s lobbying firm and moved that money to Coherent Systems International, which had hired his brother’s firm. The lobbying firm, Rockville, Md.-based KSA Consulting, had hired Kit Murtha and Carmen Scialabba, a former Appropriations Committee staffer for Congressman.

Charging documents filed Thursday by the Justice Department in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida allege that Richard Ianieri, CEO of Coherent, paid a total of $1.8 million to other firms for items that were not part of the “Ground Mobile Gateway” project that Murtha’s earmark had funded. Ianieri is charged with one count of presenting false purchase orders to the government.

The Ground Mobile Gateway project was a mobile communications platform that could help airmen in the field better target airstrikes.

According to the Justice Department, Coherent paid $300,000 to Gensym — a Massachusetts-based company that opened an office in Murtha’s district and hired KSA as its lobbyist — for software that Coherent never used. The charges also allege that Coherent paid $275,000 to VidiaFusion, a KSA client in Florida, for software that was never used.

The Justice Department notes that both companies provided the software for which they were paid, and neither company is charged with wrongdoing.

Earlier this week, Ianieri was charged in Pennsylvania with soliciting $200,000 in kickbacks in January 2006 from a defense contractor identified only as “K.”

In Thursday’s filing, the government alleges that in December 2005, Coherent paid the Pennsylvania defense contractor Kuchera Industries $650,000 for “prototype cards” that were not part of the Ground Mobile Gateway project.

Kuchera is owned by Bill Kuchera, a friend and longtime supporter of Congressman Murtha. Coherent and Kuchera had co-located some of their operations in Pennsylvania, and Murtha had praised their close cooperation.

The government also alleges that Coherent paid $200,000 to a company called Schaller Engineering for “target tags” that were never delivered.

Richard Schaller has been charged separately with distributing the proceeds of that payment to himself and his business partners, including Mark O’Hair, the Air Force official who approved the original payment to Coherent. O’Hair has also been charged. Attorneys for O’Hair and Schaller have denied the charges, and their supporters argue that the men were attempting to build a revolutionary product for the Defense Department.

A hearing in Ianieri’s case has been scheduled for July 14 in the federal court in Pensacola, Fla., and he is expected to plead guilty to the charges.

KSA President Ken Stalder declined to comment for this article.

Murtha spokesman Matt Mazonkey called the charges disturbing and said that “if true, then the individuals and companies in question should be held accountable under the law.”
Trial Starts for Contractor with Ties to Murtha

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Directors of a Panhandle Air Force research lab and special operations command center got around rules prohibiting the military from lobbying Congress by encouraging defense contractors to seek the money from political leaders for their pet projects, an attorney for a contractor said Monday at the start of a criminal trial.

Contractor Richard Schaller is accused of destroying records and lying to a grand jury. Schaller is also accused of aiding and abetting a research lab employee in a scheme to hide the worker's connection to Schaller's company. The lab worker would then steer contracts to Schaller's company.

Schaller is among those accused by federal prosecutors who are looking into alleged wrongdoing by defense contractors with ties to Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. Murtha has not been accused of criminal wrongdoing.

Schaller and other contractors were doing what Air Force leaders wanted in the aftermath of 9/11 - ensuring funding for special research projects that would save lives on the battlefield, Schaller's attorney Albert Oram said.

"The vice commander of the Air Force Special Operations Command signed a directorate that they try to leverage Congressional funding," Oram said. "It violated Air Force policy, there is a chain of command and they are not supposed to lobby Congress."

Air Force leaders ignored the lobbying by defense contractors before widespread publicity surrounding Murtha and defense earmarks, he said.

"Then they got cold feet and decided that they really had a problem because the earmarks have become a political hot potato, but the lab wanted this done and the special operations command wanted this done," he said.

Among those expected to testify is Richard Ianieri, the former chief executive of a defense contractor with ties to Murtha. Ianieri pleaded guilty in federal court July 20 to a kickback scheme and defrauding the Air Force.

Federal prosecutors said Ianieri solicited kickbacks from a subcontractor while he headed Coherent Systems International Corp.

Prosecutors said Monday that Schaller had ties with Coherent and with Kuchera Defense Systems.

Murtha has directed hundreds of millions of dollars in government contracts over the years to Coherent and other defense contractors through a process called earmarking.

Executives at Coherent and two other companies named in court papers in Ianieri's Florida case have donated over $95,000 to Murtha's re-election campaigns and his political action committee since 2002, according to Federal Election Commission records.

One of the companies is Kuchera of Windber, Pa., about 10 miles from Murtha's political home base of Johnstown.

In 2006, Murtha said Coherent and Kuchera Defense Systems were working "virtually as one company" on 14 contracts worth $30 million to develop high-tech military gear. Kuchera built high-tech components that Coherent designed.

The Florida charges against Ianieri concerned a Coherent contract given through the Air Force Research Laboratory to deliver four Ground Mobile Gateway Systems, which are designed to help soldiers and pilots trace U.S. units and cut down on friendly fire.

The United States paid Coherent $5.9 million to build the systems. According to court documents, Coherent subsequently paid about $1.8 million to subcontractors for the delivery of software and materials that were not part of the contract.

Prosecutor Stephen Preisser said Schaller was among those paid for work he did not do.

"Coherent lobbied Congress for $8.2 million for the Ground Mobile Gateway System," he told jurors. He said Schaller received payments from this money, at least $60,000 for work he did not perform.

Mourning Michael Jackson, Ignoring the Afghan Dead

Tom Engelhardt, World Bulletin, 28 July 2009

" ... American bombers swooped by the village just after the soldiers left and dropped a payload on one house. It belonged to Haiji Qadir, a pole-thin, wizened old man who was hosting more than forty relatives for a wedding party. The bomb split the house in two, killing sixteen, including twelve from Qadir's family, and wounding scores more... The malek [chief] went to the province's governor and delivered a stern warning: 'protect our villagers or we will turn against the Americans.' ... "

Also see: "Afghanistan: No Longer a Debate About Targeted Killings"

The "Family": Lawmakers Part of Secret "Christian Mafia" in Washington?

Click for cabal

Holt Calls for Next Church Committee on CIA

Congressman Calls for Broad Inquiry Into Intelligence Agency
By Spencer Ackerman
Washington Independent

After years of examining CIA operations of dubious legality, an important member of the House intelligence committee is exploring an option that many in the intelligence community view with apprehension: a comprehensive investigation of all intelligence-community operations over years and perhaps even decades. The model is the famous Church and Pike committees of the 1970s, which exposed widespread CIA lawlessness; created the modern legal and congressional oversight structures for intelligence; and cleaved the history of the CIA into before- and after- periods.

Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.), a progressive who sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and chairs a special oversight panel that helps write the intelligence budget, has been increasingly comfortable talking about a new “Church committee.” He floated the idea in an interview with TWI on July 14, again to the Newark Star-Ledger the next day, and even attempted to discuss the Church committee’s precedents for congressional oversight with Lou Dobbs on CNN on July 20.

“I’d like to see something on the scope of the Church committee,” Holt told TWI in a Friday phone interview. The congressman said that it had been a “few decades” since Congress took a comprehensive inquiry into the intelligence community’s impact on “the relationship between the individual and her or his government, as well as the role that the U.S. plays in other countries around the world, outside of declared military activities.”

Holt said he did not have a concrete proposal prepared for the creation of such an investigation, and was at the stage of seeing what colleagues and members of the intelligence community made of such a move. “There’s agreement with the idea,” he said. “An awful lot of people have not really thought about how many unanswered questions there are or unresolved issues there are out there about how we do intelligence in the United States.”

He declined to name any members of congress with whom he has discussed such an investigation, but said they were members of the House intelligence committee and the oversight panel he chairs. “Are we close to commissioning a study in the way I’m conceiving it? No, not yet,” he said. A House Republican aide, who requested anonymity, was unaware of Holt’s early feelers, raising questions about whether Holt’s envisioned inquiry would have Republican support. And a spokesman for Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas), the House intelligence committee chairman, did not return a request for comment.

Many in the intelligence world and on the right view the committee investigations led by Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho) and Rep. Otis Pike (D-N.Y.) as representing an apex of progressive congressional attempts to geld the intelligence community. Empaneled in response to a New York Times article by Seymour Hersh in 1974 reporting widespread surveillance of U.S. citizens, the investigations unearthed other abuses, such as repeated CIA assassination attempts on foreign heads of state. It resulted in the passage of laws like the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to prevent warrantless domestic surveillance and the creation of standing committees in Congress to oversee intelligence activities. Some conservatives view the investigations as an example of congressional overreach. “I think they undermined our capabilities in some respects,” former Vice President Dick Cheney told his biographer, Stephen F. Hayes.

Holt said that he is “not talking about upsetting the applecart, I’m talking about analyzing the full applecart” of intelligence activities. He rejects the idea that such a comprehensive investigation necessarily entails eroding U.S. intelligence capabilities. “Is giving your kid a test in school an inhibition on his free learning?” Hold said. “Sure, there are some people who are happy to let intelligence agencies go about their business unexamined. But I think most people when they think about it will say that you will get better intelligence if the intelligence agencies don’t operate in an unexamined fashion.” ...


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Transparent Obama Keeps Cheney FBI Interview Secret
July 05, 2009

If public officials are to be expected to cooperate with federal investigations, their testimony to government lawyers must be kept confidential, says the Obama administration. This argument is the basis for the Justice Department’s opposition to releasing former Vice President Dick Cheney’s testimony in 2004 during special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation of the CIA leak case involving Valerie Plame. ...

The Obama administration’s refusal to release the transcript comes despite not only President Barack Obama’s own pledge to make government more open, but also Fitzgerald telling Congress that the interviews he conducted with Cheney and President George W. Bush in 2004 were not protected by grand jury secrecy rules, and that he made no agreements to keep the interviews secret.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, a public interest group in Washington, DC, is seeking access to Fitzgerald’s interview with Cheney under the Freedom of Information Act.
-Noel Brinkerhoff

Pravda: Hitler was Hypnotized During World War I


This sensational viewpoint has been stated by writer and historian David Lewis in his new book The Man Who Invented Hitler.

The author cites unknown facts of conducting psychological and hypnotical tests over [Adolf Hitler] resulted in developing his perception himself as an exceptional person. The tests were made by German leading psychologist Edmund Foster in November 1918.

The future Fuhrer was hypnotized in the military hospital where he was brought in October 1918 in a difficult psychological condition: he persuaded himself that he had lost his eyesight after the gas attack. Hitler considered himself to become completely blind although the doctors claimed his eyesight was normal.

Dr Foster understood the patient's problem and decided to cure him with hypnosis. He told Hitler that he had become blind indeed, but as God made him an exceptional person he could obtain eyesight again by his will power.

The professor was able to make the patient to believe in himself and Hitler recovered his eyesight.

It impressed him so much that for the rest of his life he believed in his extraordinary abilities.

Admund Foster was killed by Gestapo in 1933 when he tried to publish outside Germany the psychological portrait of Chancellor Hitler and tell about the psychological tests he underwent.

Wash. State: Army Civilian Employee Spied on Peace Activists

The discovery this month that anarchist "John Jacob," an activist in anti-militarist organizing in the Pacific Northwest, is really civilian Army intelligence analyst John Towery II, shows that those concerned about civil liberties must remain vigilant in the Obama era. The gathering of domestic intelligence by Army agents highlights real dangers for civil liberties.

Jul 28, 2009

Portland Indymedia reports that Towery, based out of the Fort Lewis Force Protection Fusion Cell, infiltrated the Washington state group Port Militarization Resistance from September 2007 through July 21, 2009 -- the day that activists exposed him at an Olympia, Washington City Council meeting. According to National Lawyers Guild human rights lawyer Larry Hildes, activists suspected the presence of a government mole after court documents showed that Olympia Police ordered pre-emptive arrests at a demonstration based upon information received from Army employees attending the group's meetings.

Port Militarization Resistance is an organization that uses public education, lobbying, and nonviolent civil disobedience to end the community's participation in the United States' occupation of Iraq by stopping the military's use of the civilian Port of Olympia. Activists also organize at the Port of Tacoma, Washington, to oppose shipments of military equipment to Iraq and Afghanistan.

"John Jacob" administered the email listserv for Port Military Resistance. Mr. Towery attended meetings of the group and reported on its activities to the Fort Lewis Force Protection Fusion Cell. The Fusion Cell coordinates local, state, and federal law enforcement, as well as military police and intelligence analysts. The Fusion Center's dynamic increases the potential for information covertly gathered by the Army to be shared over a variety of intelligence networks, and even with private industry.

By actually administering this group's listserv, the Army's agent did not simply gain access to public meetings. He gained access to private correspondences, membership lists, email addresses, and internal discussions. This "intelligence" was clearly shared with other agencies attached to the base Fusion Cell. Further, it was used to sanction members of the organization with pre-emptive arrests during at least one political action. Indymedia reports,

By his own admission, John Towery spent the past two years spying on anarchists, Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans, SDSers and anti-war activists in Tacoma, Olympia and the Pacific Northwest. He admitted that he reported to an intelligence network that included county sheriffs from Pierce, Thurston and other WA counties, municipal police agencies from Tacoma, Olympia, Seattle and elsewhere, WA State Police, the US Army, FBI, Homeland Security, Joint Terrorism Task Force, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency among other agencies.

This episode is reminiscent of Department of Defense domestic surveillance programs of the 1960s -- which were halted after congressional investigations into civil liberties abuses. In February 1970, the ACLU filed a class action suit seeking an end to extensive political surveillance program that the Army developed during the 1960s and the destruction of the spy files. ...


Book Review: Leonard Zeskind's Blood and Politics

Have White Supremacists Really Gone Mainstream?
by Dave Weigel
July 8, 2009

In November 2007, on the weekend after a $5 million one day "moneybomb" for Rep. Ron Paul's presidential bid, I covered a rally for the candidate in Philadelphia and met a student who had come to pass out fliers attacking him. "He's got truly radical views that are being mainstreamed at events like this," said Matt Sullivan, a liberal who was attending Temple University. A largely white crowd brushed him aside; his fliers, which reprinted racist statements about blacks that ran in an old Paul newsletter, were crumpled up.

Two months later, everyone who followed the race learned that Paul's connections to racists had been hidden in plain sight, in many more newsletters and in speaking engagements. In October 2008, Paul spoke at the 50th Anniversary of the John Birch Society.

All of this has been forgotten in the mainstream press, in which Paul is covered as a compelling political eccentric, but I thought of all it while reading Blood and Politics. At one point, Leonard Zeskind recreates a 1983 meeting of "tax protesters" and "Identity Christians" in Kansas who pass around a flier that can inform their neighbors of why their farms are worth ever less and less. It excoriates "Jewish bankers" and names "the real owners" of the Federal Reserve, including the Rothschilds, the Rockefellers, Lehman Brothers, and Goldman Sachs.

Attacks on Paul are characterized as paranoid, obsessive and unfair, as I'm sure Zeskind's book will be characterized. Just this week, The Atlantic's political reporter Marc Ambinder wrote that Republicans suffer from a "double standard" that gives them "much less of a margin for error when it comes to making racially insensitive remarks."

The implication was that conservatives might have a few bad apples in their movement, or that they might make some gaffes in their pursuit, but that their version of racial and economic justice -- an end to racial preferences, tax cuts, school vouchers -- is perfectly legitimate. And Zeskind argues against this. Willis Carto's bigoted Liberty Lobby flourished with Barry Goldwater. Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan appointed lawyers who chipped away at civil rights. Pat Buchanan "courted [David] Duke's constituency" when he ran for president. Scratch a conservative Republican and you'll find a racist; dust off a Republican idea and you'll find a policy that would elevate the white majority over racial minorities.

This is much further than I'd go, because I know that the Myron Magnets and Charles Murrays who have convinced today's Republicans that, for example, welfare without restrictions has a malicious effect on its recipients, did not do so because they wanted to preserve white privilege. Most bad faith, racially-obsessive policies -- the fear of Mexican immigrants that David Duke used as a recruiting tool three decades before Tom Tancredo -- are adopted by people who are simply worried about their economic well-being and want to find an attackable culprit. So, fear of the shadowy federal reserve, and fear of Sonia Sotomayor's outrageous idea that non-white judges might make wiser decisions in discrimination cases than white judges.

A lot of Zeskind's material is fun and sensational, but not that worrying. Overtly racist, David Duke politics aren't effective in Barack Obama and Bobby Jindal's America, and the list of Aryan or Klan leaders who have imploded or been revealed as undercover agents is longer than the list of active, full-time racists. Zeskind's more controversial thesis should stick with us, though. Conspiracy theories about the "real rulers of the world" and anger at policies that might lift up minorities are very, very easily transmitted into mainstream politics. It's not a "double standard" or an act of political witch-hunting to ask whether a new conservative idea, wrapped up as an appeal to America's founding principles, is actually a throwback to base racism.

The Council of Conservative Citizens

Conservative group pushes racism
By James Hendrix

A Republican state senator recently spoke to a national meeting of the Council of Conservative Citizens in Jackson. Some local liberals as well as the local progressive weekly alternative rag sharply criticized her for doing so as well as the state Republican Party chairman for not condemning her actions to their satisfaction. Since I did not know much about the Council of Conservative Citizens, I decided to check out their Web site. Buckle your seatbelts.

On the national organization's Web site, six of the nine "stories" posted are about race-related matters. For a group that touts itself as a leading conservative organization, there is no mention of taxes, deficit spending, expanding government, the erosion of civil liberties but there are more than a few words given to what blacks are doing to whites.

The Web site's blogs make for interesting reading. One accuses New York of "declaring war on white people." It blames the train operator's falling asleep causing the train wreck in Washington, D.C., on "diversity hiring," never mind that D.C. is heavily minority in population. (Someone should tell him that in D.C., hiring a white person would be the diversity hire.) He also mentions blacks robbing graves in Chicago.

Then there is the anti-Semitism. The same blogger refers to an L.A. Times article about Michael Jackson as a "piece of Jewish garbage" and opines about Steve McNair's death:

"McNair may have been a decent guy, but nothing can hide the obvious truth that wherever blacks go, crime, death, and misery follow. The sports channels will recount all McNair’s stats as they lionize him as a hero and great American. I’ll certainly rank him well above Michael Jackson, but let’s not get carried away. Could you imagine the howls of laughter if the sports TV Jews like Chris Berman, Rich Eisen, Linda Cohn, (the list could go on and on)"

Christians don't escape their ire either as the Family Research Council, attacked by liberals everywhere for being conservative and Christian in nature, apparently doesn't meet his definition of conservatism:

"Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, and the evangelical’s man in D.C., recently held a rally in the nation’s capital to oppose same-sex marriage. There were several speakers at the rally -- Perkins, the FRC’s Uncle Tom “Bishop” Harry Jackson, some brown guys who can’t speak English, etc..." He even bashes Billy Graham. You got it. Even Billy Graham is the enemy. Other money quotes from this blogger:

"The sooner the GOP collapses, and is replaced by a party that will speak up for white people, the better."

"Anyone who thinks free speech can survive in a multiracial America is dreaming."

Another blog on the Web site has the headline "Saving the White Race" and states:

"The civility in this Forced Union is 3,000 miles wide, but only an inch deep. And anytime you come into contact with murderous negroes or other non-Whites, that civility has collapsed." So murderous whites don't cause a collapse in civility but non-whites do? Does that mean murderous whites are more civilized than murderous non-whites? Oooook.

Over at the Alabama chapter's Web site there is a post titled "Stuff black people don't like" with the above picture and a link to a Web site containing black jokes. The chapter has a list of "recommended reading." Here is a taste of the vintage found in this winery of racism:

The Citizens’ Council: Organized Resistance to the Second Reconstruction, 1954-64? by Neil R. McMillan

“You and Segregation” by former Georgia Sen. Herman E. Talmadge

“Mississippi’s Defiant Years, 1953-73? by Erle Johnston

“The Authentic History of the Ku Klux Klan, 1865-1877? by Susan Davis

“Take Your Choice: Separation or Mongrelization” by former Mississippi Sen. Theodore Bilbo

This organization is not a conservative group as conservatives believe in a limited government that is color-blind, free-market capitalism, strong national defense, and civil liberties for all. Racism has no place in conservatism or the Republican Party. Mississippi Republicans have no business whatsoever speaking to this group as Republicans. The chairman needs to condemn this group in no uncertain terms as racism and anti-Semitism have no place in the Republican big tent.

A group like this shouldn't get the attention it has recently as it is a fringe group but since a Republican state senator decided to welcome them, the onus is on the Republican Party to show these guys the door and make it clear the council is not welcome to Republicans or true conservatives. William F. Buckley and others threw out the Birchers when it became clear the Birchers were not true conservatives. Mr. White, Gov. Barbour, and others should do the same and show the Council of Conservative Citizens the door.

James Hendrix is a Northsider.

Melbourne Lab, Doctors Find Swine Flu Infections Are Abating

Bloomberg - July 30, 2009

Hillary Clinton Moved to Halt Disclosure of CIA Torture Evidence, Court Told

Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, personally intervened to suppress evidence of CIA collusion in the torture of a British resident, the high court heard today.

The dramatic turn emerged as lawyers for Binyam Mohamed, the UK resident abused in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Morocco and Guantánamo Bay, joined by lawyers for the Guardian and other media groups, asked the court to order the disclosure of CIA material.

It consists of a seven-paragraph summary of what the CIA knew, and what it told MI5 and MI6, about the treatment of Mohamed. Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones, the judges hearing the case, have said that the summary contains nothing that could possibly be described as "highly sensitive classified US intelligence".

However, David Miliband, the foreign secretary, has repeatedly told the court that the US would stop sharing intelligence with the UK if the CIA material was published. The judges, as well as lawyers for Mohamed and the media, have challenged that assertion.

"Is it remotely credible that [the Obama administration] would stop intelligence-sharing?" Thomas asked yesterday, referring to Obama's recent decision to publish CIA torture documents in the US. "The judgment of the foreign secretary is the key," he added.

The court has heard how the Foreign Office and Miliband have solicited US help in keeping the CIA material secret. Today, it heard how Miliband met Clinton in Washington on 12 May this year.

In a written statement proposing a gagging order, Miliband told the court that she "indicated" that the disclosure of CIA evidence "would affect intelligence sharing". Pressed repeatedly by the judges on the claim yesterday, Karen Steyn, Miliband's counsel, insisted that Clinton was indeed saying that if the seven-paragraph summary of CIA material was disclosed, the US would "reassess" its intelligence relationship with the UK, a move that "would put lives at risk".

Guy Vassall-Adams, for the Guardian and other media groups, told the court earlier that Miliband's claims – including his account of his conversation with Clinton – "lack any credibility". He questioned the foreign secretary's claim that whatever the actual contents of the CIA material it was the principle that mattered. Miliband has insisted that any intelligence provided to the UK from a foreign government must always remain secret.

"The ultimate decision as to where the balance of the public interest lies is a matter for the courts and not for the executive – and any [foreign] country providing intelligence to the UK which understood otherwise would be labouring under a fundamental misapprehension," Vassall-Adams said.

Thomas intervened, saying that the absolute control over intelligence material the UK and US governments were claiming was not based on any legal principle but was "the exercise of naked political power".

A letter recently sent by the CIA to the high court "merely demonstrated that the CIA would like the court to withhold from the public … findings about CIA wrongdoing", he added.

The CIA letter was couched in vague language and Miliband's interpretation of the US claims was completely unreasonable, lawyers for Mohamed and the media said.

The court was also provided with a 35-page MI5 document – of which all but three are blacked out – relating to its instructions to one of its officers in 2002.

Nevertheless, the document shows that the officer, known in the case as Witness B, was sent a list of detailed questions to ask Mohamed, including about his acquaintances in London. Mohamed had been arrested in Karachi trying to return to Britain on an false passport.

Officer B, whose conduct is being investigated by Scotland Yard, questioned Mohamed while he was being held incommunicado in a Pakistani jail. It is unclear why so many pages in the MI5 document have been redacted, but the information contained in them may relate to Mohamed's condition and how he should be interrogated.One unredacted passage refers to Mohamed as "The Dirty Bomber" a reference to claims about him which were dropped years later after he was secretly flown to Guantánamo Bay.The high court judges, who have described the case as "troublesome", reserved their ruling on whether the CIA material should be published.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Blogger who Threatened to Kill Judges was an on the FBI Payroll

Feds: Blogger threatened judges
Jerry DeMarco
25 June 2009

Hal Turner with Nazis

A U.S. judge ordered white supremacist blogger Harold "Hal" Turner of of North Bergen sent to Chicago on charges of threatening to kill three federal jurists.

The judge denied Turner bail, noting that FBI agents said they found 200 rounds of ammunition and 150 illegal hollow-point bullets while arresting him at his North Bergen home yesterday. "Let me be the first to say this plainly: These Judges deserve to be killed,” Turner wrote on his website.

Earlier this week, the 47-year-old former radio personality was arraigned in Hartford on charges of advocating assaulting state legislators in Connecticut.

In the Chicago case, his postings included photographs, phone numbers, work address and room numbers of these judges, along with a photo of the building in which they work and a map of its location.

“We take threats to federal judges very seriously. Period,” said Patrick J. Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

According to the charging document, several lawsuits were filed challenging handgun bans in Chicago and suburban Oak Park after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that the Second Amendment entitles handguns at home for self-protection.

On June 2, 2009, the 7th Circuit approved a district court’s decision to dismiss the cases challenging the local handgun bans. The unanimous decision was written by Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook and Judges Richard Posner and William Bauer, of the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

That same day, Turner titled a post on his homepage: “OUTRAGE: Chicago Gun Ban UPHELD; Court says ‘Heller’ ruling by Supreme Court not applicable to states or municipalities!”

After describing the decision, a lengthy entry followed, which federal authorities included in their documents.

Turner noted that that it was the same 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that decided the case of Matt Hale, a white-supremacist who was imprisoned after being convicted of soliciting the murder of a federal judge in Chicago.

The entry further noted that the same judge’s mother and husband were murdered by a gunman in her home. The posting then stated:

“Apparently, the 7th U.S. Circuit court didn’t get the hint after those killings. It appears another lesson is needed.”

Turner didn't stop there.

The next day, this post followed: “Judges official public work addresses and a map of the area are below. Their home addresses and maps will follow soon. Behold these devils.”

Below that headline, Turner listed the names, photos, phone numbers, work addresses and room numbers of the three judges involved in the handgun decision, as well as a photo of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in Chicago and a map.

The photo of the building had been modified to include arrows and a label referencing “Anti-truck bomb barriers,” according to the federal authorities.
Lawyer: NB blogger was FBI snitch who warned of Obama assassination
Jerry DeMarco
28 July 2009

White supremacist North Bergen blogger Harold "Hal" Turner, who is charged with threatening to kill three federal judges, was an FBI informant who once gave authorities intelligence about "the potential assassination of President Obama," his lawyer told a magistrate in Chicago today.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Martin Ashman was holding a bond hearing for Turner earlier today when attorney Michael Orozco dropped the bombshell.

The judge nonetheless ordered that Turner remain held pending the outcome of an Aug. 10 continuation of the bond hearing.

Turner has pleaded not guilty in connection with a posting on his website that said the three judges "deserve to be killed" for upholding Chicago's ban on handguns.

Federal prosecutor William Hogan admitted that Turner had contact with the FBI but that he'd "never heard anything about" information on an assassination attempt.

Formula One Boss Praises Hitler … Why???

Excerpt: By Arturo Mora
Kansas City Star

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone is in trouble for saying good things about Adolf Hitler, which begs the question, why does anyone even go there, no matter what their point? Unless you’re a raving anti-Semite such as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, there has to be a better way to state your case.

British Jewish leaders are up in arms—actually more puzzled—as to why he found it necessary to make these remarks. Public figures often get in trouble when they try to dress up some obscure point by using Hitler as an example. It never works.

What he said, in trying to talk about strong leaders, was, “In a lot of ways, terrible to say this I suppose, but apart from the fact that Hitler got taken away and persuaded to do things that I have no idea whether he wanted to do or not, he was in the way that he could command a lot of people, able to get things done."

Seeing as Ecclestone is an obvious lunatic, I will not debate his points. ...

VIDEO: William Shatner Performs Palin’s ‘Poetry’

NYT News Blog - July 28, 2009 and Organized Crime

Erotic wannabe Laurel Touby, founder of - RICO fits her like a silk negli- ah, glove ..., the Hollywood jobs listings, tart "conservative" punditry & celeb news web site, was founded with seed money from MARTIN PERETZ and his business partners. (For details, scroll to the name "Peretz" here.)

Excerpt from: Dendreon & Deceit: Jim Cramer, Pequot Capital
By Mark Mitchell
July 19th, 2009

Financial analyst Jim Cramer "had once planned to run his hedge fund out of the offices of Ivan Boesky, the famous co-conspirator of the criminal stock manipulator Michael Milken. When Boesky was indicted, Cramer instead went to work with Michael Steinhardt, the Boesky-Milken crony and “prominent” hedge fund manager whose father was the “biggest Mafia fence in America” and who was financier for the fugitive billionaire Marc Rich, for whom Steinhardt later arranged a pardon from Bill Clinton. ... It is worth noting that Cramer’s financial news website,, had several founding partners. One was Cramer. Another was Marty Peretz, a Milken-Boesky crony who was–along with Marc Rich, Boesky, and the Genovese Mafia—a key limited partner of Michael Steinhardt (the hedge fund manager who gave Rocker his start and also incubated Cramer’s hedge fund). ... "