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Archive for August 16th, 2007

Papers Please: Chertoff: Real ID or Passport for Domestic Flights, National Parks

Posted in H.L. News, Main Blog (All Posts) on August 16th, 2007 5:05 pm by HL

Half the states are fighting the Real ID act, but of course Bush and his buddies won’t rest until they get what they want. At what point do people finally start to fight back. When we are all in concentration camps? Canada is looking better and better everyday.


Federal ID plan raises privacy concerns

CNN
He’s just looking out for your safety
ChertoffExcerpt(CNN) — Americans may need passports to board domestic flights or to picnic in a national park next year if they live in one of the states defying the federal Real ID Act. The act, signed in 2005 as part of an emergency military spending and tsunami relief bill, aims to weave driver’s licenses and state ID cards into a sort of national identification system by May 2008. The law sets baseline criteria for how driver’s licenses will be issued and what information they must contain.

The Department of Homeland Security insists Real ID is an essential weapon in the war on terror, but privacy and civil liberties watchdogs are calling the initiative an overly intrusive measure that smacks of Big Brother.

More than half the nation’s state legislatures have passed symbolic legislation denouncing the plan, and some have penned bills expressly forbidding compliance.

Several states have begun making arrangements for the new requirements — four have passed legislation applauding the measure — but even they may have trouble meeting the act’s deadline.

The cards would be mandatory for all “federal purposes,” which include boarding an airplane or walking into a federal building, nuclear facility or national park, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told the National Conference of State Legislatures last week. Citizens in states that don’t comply with the new rules will have to use passports for federal purposes.


Ron Paul Wins NC Straw Poll, Supporters Not Allowed In Texas Straw Poll

Posted in H.L. News, Main Blog (All Posts) on August 16th, 2007 9:28 am by HL


Ron Paul Wins Gaston County Straw Poll

Reality Check
Excerpt

Gastonia, NC — No, Gastonia is not a country in Eastern Europe. It’s actually a North Carolina town just west of Charlotte, and tonight they had a county GOP meeting that featured fantastic barbecue at Alfred & Charlie’s BBQ House as well as a presidential straw poll. These results are just in:

John McCain: 2.4%
Rudy Guiliani: 4.9%
Mitt Romney: 7.3%
Newt Gingrich: 7.3%
Mike Huckabee: 9.8%
Fred Thompson: 31.7%
Ron Paul: 36.6%

Given how much time and money the Ron Paul campaign has spent in North Carolina, I’m sure they’ll be pleased.


RON PAUL SUPPORTERS NOT ALLOWED AT TEXAS STRAW POLL!!

Reality Check
Excerpt
Here is the problem with Dr. Ron Paul having a good showing in his OWN STATE OF TEXAS. The only people who can vote in the Texas Straw Poll are people who have been delegates in the past!
IN other words, I, a Texas Republican cannnot go to Fort Worth on Sept 1 and vote for Dr. Ron Paul in my own state.
Doesnt everyone see a problem with this?? The straw poll will be attended by hard-core Neo-Con Republicans from past primaries and people who are just now jumping on the political bandwagon for Ron Paul have no opportunity what-so-ever to be involved in the Texas Straw Poll – So *please* do not get upset if CONGRESSMAN Ron Paul does not do well in his own home state of Texas


Jon Stewart Exposes The Idiocy of Billy Kristol

Posted in H.L. News, Videos on August 16th, 2007 9:07 am by HL

Billy Kristol, the publisher of that bird cage liner The Weekly Standard just got back from Iraq. You’ll never guess what he found out. That things are going very well over there. Jon Stewart, has a few questions. Check it out.


Former VP of World Bank Who Exposed Road Privatization Story Speaks on The Economy

Posted in H.L. News, Main Blog (All Posts) on August 16th, 2007 8:58 am by HL


Former World Bank Chief Economist Predicts Global Crash

Infowars
Excerpt

Former World Bank Vice President, Chief Economist and Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz has predicted a global economic crash within 24 months – unless the current downturn is successfully managed. Asked if the situation was being properly handled Stiglitz emphatically responded “no,” and also drew ominous parallels to the development of the NAFTA Superhighway and the North American Union Stiglitz caused controversy in October 2001 when he exposed rampant corruption within the IMF and blew the whistle on their nefarious methods of inducing countries to fall under their debt before stripping them of sovereignty and hollowing
out their economies.

The Columbia University Professor described how rampant privatization has crippled Mexico, in particular citing the sell-off of major infrastructure such as roads.
"They sold the roads to the private enterprise and the hope was that they would be more efficient but of course what happens is that they didn’t maintain the roads, they couldn’t generate enough revenue and they eventually had to default and give the roads back
to the government."

Stiglitz agreed that the process of hijacking and looting key infrastructure on the part of the IMF and World Bank, as an offshoot of predatory globalization, had now moved from the third world to Europe, the United States and Canada.

These sentiments are especially disturbing when we consider the current fast-moving quasi-secret agenda to sell-off major American highways to foreign corporations who plan to turn them into toll roads for tracking and taxation purposes – collectively known as the
NAFTA Superhighway. The program forms the framework for the advancement
of the North American
Union
– a collective governmental, border and trading bloc
that President Bush has signed the U.S. over to under the Security and Prosperity
Partnership of March 2005.

As we previously
reported
, US citizens will be forced to adopt a de-facto national
identification card and have their freedom of mobility defined by behavioral
fealty to the government under proposals set to derive from NAFTA superhighway
toll road systems and the implementation of the American Union.

This is a movement that’s gone on all over the world," said Stiglitz, "the movement of trying to turn over basic facilities – water, roads, to the private sector.


Where the 190,000 Missing Weapons Went

Posted in H.L. News, Main Blog (All Posts) on August 16th, 2007 8:24 am by HL

Last week we had a story about 190,000 US firearms that had been “lost” in Iraq. I talked about how this was not the first time that a large amount of US munitions had gone missing. A couple of years ago we had a story about how something like 400 pounds of plastic explosives like C4 had also been lost. I wrote that The Bush administration is arming the “enemy” so that the war will go on forever. Now comes a story about where all the weapons are going.


Iraq’s Arms Bazaar

MSNBC
Excerpt

On the afternoon of Feb. 5, 2006, at a small church in the Turkish Black Sea city of Trabzon, Father Andrea Santoro was kneeling in prayer when a bullet from an Austrian-made Glock 9mm pistol hit him in the back and pierced his heart. The soft-spoken 60-year-old Italian priest, who lived in poverty ministering to the city’s tiny Christian community, slumped to the floor, and the killer squeezed off another round. “Allahu akbar!”—”God is great”—said the shooter, a 15-year-old boy with a grudge against the West.
In May of last year, another Muslim fanatic, guns blazing, attacked Turkey’s supreme court in Ankara. Four justices were wounded and one was killed. The assassin’s weapons of choice were a pair of Glock pistols.

The attacks were no mystery. What puzzled Turkish police was the weapons’ origin….

So some of the weapons found their way into Turkey. I wonder if this could have anything to do with the Sibel Edmonds case, which I asked Henry Waxman about last week. The case involves and FBI whistleblower from the state department who uncovered a corruption scandal that involves The American Turkish Council, the biggest Turkish lobbying group in the US who incidentally recieves Billions in millitary aid from the US, the case involves Arms trading , drug running, selling on nuclear secrets and supposedly involves Israel, as well as Democrats and Republicans in congress. Not surprisingly no one in congress including Waxman want to touch the case with a 10 foot poll. The story continues…

More than 1,000 had been taken from criminals, guerrillas, terrorists and assassins all over the country, and authorities believed tens of thousands more had found their way onto the black market—but from where? The Austrian government repeatedly checked the serial numbers of the murder weapons. The manufacturer informed Ankara that the pistols were consigned originally to ” ‘US Mission Iraq’ [formerly the Coalition Provisional Authority], address: Republican Presidential Compound, Ministry of the Interior, Baghdad, Iraq.”

There are many more where those came from. At least three U.S. government agencies are now investigating the massive “disappearance” and diversion of weapons Washington intended for Iraqi government forces that instead have spread to militants and organized gangs across the region. The potential size of the traffic is stunning. A report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office last month showed that since 2004, some 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols, bought with U.S. money for Iraqi security forces, have gone missing.

As I asked before, how do you lose 190,000 weapons, only the failure monkey could be behind this. It’s simply not possible to F**k up that badly unless you are doing it on purpose.

At retail prices in the United States, a Glock 19 costs about $500. On the black market in Turkey, it can fetch up to $3,500, according to the national police. A senior Turkish security official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of diplomatic sensitivities, said his government estimates some 20,000 U.S.-bought Glock 9mm pistols have been brought from Iraq into his country over the last three years. “The problem on our side is that this corruption is so big they [the Iraqi and U.S. governments] cannot stop it,” said the official.

So $3000 profit for every Glock sold, not bad, someone is making a lot of money off this, just like someone makes a lot of money off everything Bush does.

The U.S. military has investigated the problem repeatedly—and the losses look more appalling every time. Major U.S. arms transfers began when Gen. David Petraeus was commander of the Multi-National Security Transition Command—Iraq (MNSTC-I), better known as Minsticky. Its mission was to train, arm and organize Iraq’s military and police forces, but the Iraqis’ weapons came via the State Department, and the supply line was actually run by private contractors.

There are those pesky private contractors again. Did you know that there are now almost as many private contractors in Iraq, as there are actual soldiers. No one complains when Mercenaries get killed and Bush can continue to fight his war for profit with money coming in from both sides. This should be illegal.

One of Petraeus’s subordinates, Col. Theodore Westhusing, had taken leave from his position as a professor of ethics at West Point to serve a six-month tour as commander of the unit training counterterrorism and Special Operations Forces. By the spring of 2005, Westhusing had grown increasingly concerned about the corruption he thought he saw in the program. He was especially upset after receiving an anonymous letter on May 19, 2005, which claimed there was outright fraud by government contractors. Among the alleged problems: failure to account for almost 200 guns.

Westhusing passed the letter up the chain of command. A few days later he wrote a formal memo saying he thought the charges were off-base. But at the same time his conversations and e-mails with his family members became cryptic and he seemed concerned for his safety. Colleagues said he looked exhausted and preoccupied. On June 5, 2005, Westhusing was found dead in his temporary quarters at Camp Dublin near Baghdad airport, apparently having shot himself with his own pistol. “I cannot support a [mission] that leads to corruption, human rights abuses and liars,” he wrote in a note found near his body. “Death before being dishonored any more. Trust is essential—I don’t know who to trust anymore.”

So someone found about what was going on and they suicided him. Just another Bush story from the endless Bush war. Click through and read the whole thing.