In The News...EDITORS NOTE: The following excerpts and quotes were gleaned from sources other than the usual suspects—the household word network and cable news and syndicated columnists. Only a very few folks rise to such lofty and well-paid positions—and they arent necessarily the people we should be paying all that much attention to. See Baltimorean Bob Somerbys website—dailyhowler.com—for an astounding compilation of such pundits errors and omissions. Somerbys site was most recently favored with mention in the London Times by Tina Brown.
On The Kissinger Appointment...Asking Henry Kissinger to investigate government malfeasance or nonfeasance is akin to asking Slobodan Milosevic to investigate war crimes. Pretty damn akin, since Kissinger has been accused, with cause, of engaging in war crimes of his own. Moreover, he has been a poster-child for the worst excesses of secret government and secret warfare. Yet George W. Bush has named him to head a supposedly independent commission to investigate the nightmarish attacks of September 11, 2001, a commission intended to tell the public what went wrong on and before that day. This is a sick, black-is-white, war-is-peace joke--a cruel insult to the memory of those killed on 9/11 and a screw-you affront to any American who believes the public deserves a full accounting of government actions or lack thereof. It's as if Bush instructed his advisers to come up with the name of the person who literally would be the absolute worst choice for the post and, once they had, said, sign him up."
Excerpted from Capital Games by David Corn, in The Nation. For complete story, click here.
Who Are the Real Patriots Now?Despite the self-satisfaction of George W. Bush and John Ashcroft, and the somnolence of the press, there is rising resistance around the country to the serial abuses of our liberties. .......what is most encouraging is the continued growth in cities and towns throughout the nation of Bill of Rights Defense Committees or their equivalents, a number of which are working with ACLU affiliates. The first BORDC, as reported here, was formed in February this year in Northampton, Massachusetts, when about 300 doctors, nurses, lawyers, students, teachers, and retirees formed a group to protect the citizens of that town from the USA Patriot Act and the subsequent unilateral attacks on our liberties by John Ashcroft.
After the Northampton city council unanimously passed in May a resolution officially supporting the protests of the BORDC, other towns and cities learned how to organize similar committees through the Northampton group's Web site.
Fourteen town or city councils from Takoma Park, Maryland, and Alachua County, Florida, to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Berkeley, California have now passed, sometimes unanimously, similar resolutions originated by local BORDC organizations. Other proposals are pending before local government bodies in 40 more cities and towns, in 24 states. One BORDC is in formation in New York City.
....John Ashcroft accuses his critics among the most active of which are the Bill of Rights Defense Committees of capitulating to the enemy. More Americans are coming to agree with Dick Armey that Ashcroft's Justice Department is the biggest threat to personal liberty in the country. Who, then, are the American patriots now?
Excerpted from Resistance Rising! by Nat Hentoff, Village Voice, 11/22/02. For complete story, go here.
Predator Drones Signal Power ShiftOne sign of that [power] shift [in the Bush administration] appears to be that the F.B.I. and Justice Department, which have investigated the October 2000 bombing in Yemen of the destroyer Cole, were not consulted in advance about the Predator strike, according to government officials.
Missile-carrying Predators were first introduced last year in Afghanistan and have since become an integral part of American antiterrorism efforts. Operated by remote control and armed with Hellfire air-to-ground missiles, the Predator can loiter over an area for a long period of time, relaying live video pictures of a site back to the United States. Before last year, Predators and other pilotless aircraft were used solely for surveillance, but the decision to arm them made it possible for officials to order strikes against suspected terrorists immediately upon seeing them.
Source: An American Was Among 6 Killed by U.S., Yemenis Say, by James Risen, New York Times, Friday, 8 November, 2002.
And the Real Terrorist Threat May Be.... I am God, taunted the D.C. sniper in a message left for police during the rampage that killed 10 American citizens. This profane boast led many commentators to conclude that a Muslim extremist probably did not commit the murders, since devoted practitioners of Islam would recoil from such blasphemy. But suspected sniper John Allen Muhammad is a convert to Islam who reportedly changed his name following 9-11 as a gesture of solidarity with Osama bin Ladens terrorist cadres. Assuming that no pious Muslim would refer to himself as deity, and that Muhammad did commit the crimes, how do we account for this apparent contradiction?
One important clue is that Muhammad is not an orthodox Muslim, but rather an adherent of the Chicago-based Nation of Islam (NOI). While professing a belief in the Koran, the NOI preaches a bizarre amalgam of mysticism, science fiction, and warped theology, wrapped up in race war rhetoric. Though no evidence has emerged that any NOI member apart from Muhammad was involved in the sniper killings, this connection presents the troubling possibility that the terror wars next battlefield may be Americas cities, with street gangs allied to the international terrorist network providing the foot soldiers.
From Weapons of Mass Insurrection, by William Norman Grigg.
Palast on 9/11There is no question we had what looked like the biggest failure of the intelligence community since Pearl Harbor, but what we are learning now is it wasn't a failure, it was a directive. Now I am not part of the conspiracy nut crowd that believes George Bush came up with a plan for an attack on the United States to save his popularity. There is no evidence of that. That is completely outside of any evidence I have seen. But what we find is something that, in a way, where the effect is just the same—and its chilling. Which is that they blinded the intelligence agencies and said you cannot look at the Saudis.
Investigative journalist Greg Palast, during interview on Guerrilla News Network; for complete interview, go here.
On the Scroll..."On Wednesday morning I watched a crawl on the bottom of the CNN news screen. It said, "Proprietary software may make inspection of electronic voting systems impossible." It was the final and absolute coronation of corporate rights over democracy; of money over truth; and of man's self-destructive fears over the best parts of the human heart." Michael C. Ruppert
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This story was published on December 4, 2002.