Thursday, June 23, 2011

Headlines for June 9 - June 15

A Stand For Justice

More than $6 billion in Iraq reconstruction funds lost
The Iraqi and U.S. governments have been unable to account for a substantial chunk of the billions of dollars in reconstruction aid the Bush administration literally airlifted into the country. If the cash proves to have been stolen, the heist could represent "the largest theft of funds in national history," according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. Wow.

End Excessive Oil Speculation Now
Even Goldman Sachs suggests that legal speculation may be adding 65-70 cents to the price of a gallon of gasoline.

Speculators, in other words, are imposing a private tax on us.

Asking too much of U.S. consumers

Turkey's Erdogan presses Assad's envoy over unrest
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan held crisis talks with an envoy of Syria's president on Wednesday as Ankara pressed its once well–regarded neighbor to end a crackdown on protesters that it has called "savagery."

The New Powers the FBI Just Granted Itself
The Federal Bureau of Investigations has rewritten its own operations manual, giving its agents more autonomy than ever to conduct low-level searches without a paper trail.

Secret U.S. effort aims to help dissidents: report
The State Department is also financing creation of stealth wireless networks to enable activists to communicate beyond the reach of governments in countries like Iran, Syria and Libya, the Times said, citing participants in the projects

Russia, China snub U.N. council talks on Syria: envoys
Russia and China dislike the idea of any council discussion of Syria and have suggested they might use their veto power to kill the resolution. Lebanon, India, Brazil and South Africa have also said they have problems with the text.

Russia objects to US warship in Black Sea
Russia's Foreign Ministry issued a statement Sunday saying Russia "has repeatedly stressed that we will not leave unnoticed any elements of U.S. strategic infrastructure in the immediate vicinity of our borders and will consider any such steps as a threat to our security."

Phone taps convict three more of insider trading
Three former securities traders were convicted on Monday on all counts of fraud and conspiracy to commit insider trading on pending mergers, in another victory for prosecutors in their probe of suspicious trading on Wall Street.

US Congress votes against Libya funding

Fed prepares for last spurt of easy money flood
The Fed said it will buy $50 billion of Treasuries, the final series of government bond purchases that marks the last phase of the $600 billion program it launched in November 2010 to prevent another recession.

As a result, once the purchases are concluded on June 30, the financial sector will receive only a fraction of the roughly $100 billion a month in easy money it has been getting from the Fed.

6 killed, tanks near Iraq as Syria faces backlash
Forces stationed in Jisr al–Shugur shot dead a family of four on Monday, London–based rights activist Rami Abdel Rahman said.

AIPAC Pushes Hard for War With Iran
The overarching problem is the Israel lobby’s subversion of American governance through election fraud, the evasion of tax regulations and laws regulating foreign lobbies, and the systematized, ongoing infiltration of operatives into key government posts to advance the interests of a foreign state. Unfortunately for AIPAC, the Americans gathering to challenge it cross party lines. Whether they wear American flag pins on their suit lapels or Birkenstocks over wool socks is of ever declining significance. Thank God for that. But Americans need to get in the know and take action at a quicker pace, before it's too late.

Target: Iran by Philip Giraldi
An ‘article’ by Seymour Hersh that appeared last week in the New Yorker reveals some details of the still classified 2011 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran. To put it succinctly, there is no actual evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapon program. None. Hersh’s article elicited a response from a number of anonymous White House sources who disputed the article’s conclusions, suggesting very clearly that the Obama Administration embraces the Iranian threat narrative, if only to be able to cite Tehran as the reason for the repeated American failures in the region. Hersh also reported that the NIE had been delayed for four months because the White House had wanted a harsher judgment on Iran’s likely intentions. The intelligence community, having been burned once over Iraq, refused to comply. Read on for the legislation put forth by Israel-firsters on Capitol Hill.

Obama’s Dilemma — and Ours by Patrick J. Buchanan
We overextended ourselves. We bankrupted ourselves.

We undertook the defense of nations all over the world having little to do with our vital national interests. We fought unnecessary wars. We doled out trillions in foreign aid to ingrates, incompetents, opportunists and thieves.

Activists cry foul over FBI probe
The apparent targets, all vocal and visible critics of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and South America, deny any ties to terrorism. They say the government, using its post-9/11 focus on terrorism as a pretext, is targeting them for their political views....

All 23 of the activists invoked their right not to testify before a grand jury, defying U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, whose office is spearheading the investigation. Patrick Fitzgerald, now a stoolie to the neocons, rather than a prosecutor thereof. Sad.

Ex-CIA officer: Israel spies on US
An example, Giraldi said, is the Chinese Chengdu Jet J-10 that has been built with technologies that originally came from the US.

This is despite the fact that Israel relies heavily on the US for political and military support.

“It should almost be seen as an act of war,” Giraldi emphasized. Please take a few minutes to give a listen to former counterterrorism officer, Philip Giraldi.

Import prices rise for 8th straight month
Import prices rose for an eighth straight month in May despite a drop in fuel costs, with the year–on–year increase reaching its highest level in nearly three years, according to data on Friday.

Just 26% Favor Continued Military Action in Libya
A plurality of voters now opposes further U.S. military action in Libya, and most say President Obama needs congressional approval to continue those operations.

US must make cuts or risk economic failure
Author and well known international investor Jim Rogers said the US is in terrible trouble. Congress should act swiftly to cut spending dramatically to save the economy.

Iraq will ask US troops to stay post-2011, says Panetta

American held for spying on Pak N-facilities , to be deported

EXCLUSIVE: New Documents Claim Intelligence on Bin Laden, al-Qaeda Targets Withheld From Congress' 9/11 Probe
the Bush administration was fully aware the terrorist organization had set its sights on those structures prior to 9/11 and, apparently, government officials failed to act on those warnings.

US congressman says Iraq should repay war costs

Iraqis: We won't repay U.S.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican from California, suggested during a trip to Baghdad with fellow lawmakers Friday that once Iraq becomes a rich and prosperous country, it could repay the United States.

Read more:

CIA's Osama bin Laden informants arrested by Pakistan – report
Some in Washington see the arrests as another sign of the disconnect between US and Pakistani priorities in the fight against extremists, the newspaper reported.

F.B.I. Agents Get Leeway to Push Privacy Bounds
Some of the most notable changes apply to the lowest category of investigations, called an “assessment.” The category, created in December 2008, allows agents to look into people and organizations “proactively” and without firm evidence for suspecting criminal or terrorist activity.

Syria: 'They Shot People Who Were Trying to Get Away'

American Diplomacy 101 by Philip Giraldi
It seems that Rohrabacher and some fellow wingnuts to include Ileana Ros Lehtinen, the committee chairman, have a soft spot in their hearts for MEK because it is an enemy of the Mullah regime in Tehran. They have tried a number of times to get it delisted as a terrorist organization. Not coincidentally, the congressmen who are fond of MEK are also passionate supporters of Israel. My enemy’s enemy…

Non-Interventionist Conservatives Go Mainstream?

Debate Rages over US Withdrawal
"I would hope that (the withdrawal) is very small," the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, told the Financial Times this week. "I would hope that it is 3,000. We need another fighting season (against the Taliban)." McCain wants to keep our troops over there so that they can protect Israel. McCain: Iraq troop pullout bad for Israel

Iran and the Issue of Nuclear Weapons
Israeli politicians are addicted to the Iran threat. Iran serves, alongside the Palestinians, as the latter day ruthless anti-Semite who would destroy the Jews. Zionists seem to need this kind of “existentialist” enemy. This is the equivalent of the Islamic fundamentalist taking the place of the hateful communist as the great enemy that the United States also seems to need. The Israeli lobby is more influential in formulating U.S. foreign policy toward Iran than all of the nation’s intelligence services put together.

Who’s an Isolationist?
Neocons not happy when anyone dare oppose their war plans.

America for Sale: Is Goldman Sachs Buying Your City?
it's coming to a city near you -- it may already be there. We're talking about the sale of public assets to private investors. You may have heard of one-off deals, but what we'll be exploring with the Huffington Post is the scale and scope of what is a national and organized campaign to shift the way we govern ourselves. In an era of increasingly stretched local and state budgets, privatization of public assets may be so tempting to local politicians that the trend seems unstoppable. Yet, public outrage has stopped and slowed a number of initiatives.

Why Google Earth Pixelates Israel
Israel's low–resolution e–presence can be traced back to the 1997 National Defense Authorization Act. Tucked inside the 2,870–page bill is a two–bullet point section titled "SEC. 1064. PROHIBITION ON COLLECTION AND RELEASE OF DETAILED SATELLITE IMAGERY RELATING TO ISRAEL" (page 2653). Below, the full–text:

Syrians flee as troops mass, West concern grows
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Thursday said 2,400 people had already crossed into Turkey.

Lebanon gets Hezbollah-led cabinet after 5-month lag
Lebanon's Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced Monday a long–delayed government dominated by Iranian–backed Hezbollah and its allies, which is likely to cause alarm among Western powers at a time of regional turmoil.

Key US lawmaker urges aid cut-off for Lebanon
A key US lawmaker called Monday for cutting all US aid to Lebanon's new government, in which Hezbollah and its allies hold the majority, and to any Palestinian government in which Hamas is a partner.

"The US should immediately cut off assistance to the Lebanese government as long as any violent extremist group designated by the US as foreign terrorist organizations participates in it," said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ileana Ros–Lehtinen, a Republican and frequent White House critic. Ros-Lehtinen is one of Israel's top shills on Capitol Hill.

The Missing Headlines Israelists Schumer, Lieberman, Chertoff turning U.S. into Islamophobic police state
In an interview last year with a Jewish radio talk show in New York, Senator Schumer said he believed that HaShem(an Orthodox Jewish term for “God”) gave him the name “Schumer” — which means “guardian” — so that he could fulfill his “very important” role in the U.S. Senate as a “guardian of Israel.” Presumably, Schumer’s God-given role also includes turning the country he is actuallypaid to represent — the United States — into an Islamophobic police state.

Pentagon Sees Libya Military Costs Soar - FT
U.S. military operations in Libya are expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars more than the initial $750 million outgoing defense secretary Robert Gates estimated last month, the Financial Times reported on its website Thursday, citing figures it obtained. And for what? And is not Syria's Assad doing exactly the same thing Ghaddafi was allegedly doing to his people? And the US takes no action against Syria. Why? Because Israel prefers Assad.

The Republicans Heart Netanyahu
Republicans see an opportunity to seize on the distance between a recalcitrant, right-wing Israeli regime and a liberal Democratic American president for their own political gain. What’s more, the party’s base is increasingly dominated by the conservative Christian Zionists, whose love for Israel is, according to their interpretation of Scripture, commanded by the Almighty.

Most Americans think Congress is unethical

Israel’s ‘Mr. Security’ Goes Rogue
In a series of semi-public talks with academics, journalists and a Knesset committee, Dagan has been arguing since January that Iran is further from gaining a nuclear weapon than Israel’s leaders claim and that the notion of attacking Iran’s nuclear installations, a cornerstone of Benjamin Netanyahu’s defense strategy, is “stupid.” He says that an attack wouldn’t succeed in eliminating Iran’s dispersed, heavily fortified nuclear sites. It would, however, spark a regional war which could threaten Israel’s existence. Moreover, he says, issuing military threats in order to deter Iran and stiffen Western resolve has the perverse effect of spurring Iran to speed up its efforts, in self-defense.

Read more:
Thank you for your honesty and cojones, Mr. Dagan. While you are looking out for your country, I am looking out for mine.

Graham: Now is the time to take action in Syria
"If it made sense to protect the Libyan people against Qaddafi - and it did, because they were going to get slaughtered if we hadn't sent NATO in when he was on the outskirts of Benghazi -the question for the world is, have we gotten to that point in Syria?" asked Graham. "We may not be there yet but we're getting very close."

Well, at least he is not a hypocrite. At least, not on this issue.

Fleeing Syrians tell of revolt, mutiny and mayhem
As more than 2,400 Syrians streamed across the open Turkish borders on Thursday ahead of tanks and troops who surrounded their hometown, they brought with them the first accounts of a week of revolt, mutiny and mayhem in Jisr al–Shughour. The streets were deserted, leaving no resistance against a regime equipped for all–out battle.

Helicopter gunships fire on Syrian protesters

Mitt Romney, Ron Paul clash on Afghanistan pullout

Iran urges world community to pressure Israel into joining Non-Proliferation Treaty
"The world community should put pressure on the Zionist regime (Israel) to join the NPT and allow inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)," Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said.

Ron Paul Won the Debate
The reason foreign policy wasn’t discussed for most of the debate is because the 2012 GOP’s first concern—like much of the country—is the economy. But in 2008, Paul was already warning of the current economic crisis. In fact, Paul’s argument has always been that America is going bankrupt due in large part to an expensive and detrimental foreign policy. The questions related to foreign policy asked Monday were far more sympathetic to Paul’s long held views than that of any other Republican candidate in 2008.

Goldman investigated over £31m Libyan 'bribe'
Goldman Sachs' dealings with Muammar Gaddafi's regime have come under scrutiny from US regulators investigating whether they broke anti-bribery laws.

Syrian Army deserter 'We were ordered to shoot on the people'

Syrian troops sweep through north; unrest kills 32
Elite Syrian forces moved swiftly through the country's restive north on Friday, raining tank shells on rebellious towns, torching farmland and shooting protesters who tried to tear down a poster of President Bashar Assad, activists and refugees said.

New Square: Where Tradition And the Rebbe Rule
Among other things, New Square residents must walk streets strictly divided by gender, with women on one side and men on the other, as Yiddish signs posted on telephone poles lining those streets dictate. Women are not allowed to drive

....This is not New Square’s first turn in the spotlight in connection with a scandal. In January 2001, President Bill Clinton commuted the sentences of four New Square officials who had been convicted earlier in a multi-million dollar federal Pell Grant scandal. This was shortly after the village overwhelmingly voted for Clinton’s wife in the November 2000 Senate campaign.

What? Guess where this takes place? Yes, good old America. Who owns this place? Wait, I thought we were in danger of Sharia Law here?

Bank Bailouts Explained:

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