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Saturday, January 12, 2008


No, I didn't come up with the idea for this graphic, although I cleaned it up. (Click on the image if you want to use a larger version.)
The first-blush iconography is too I Love Lucy in a context where one would sooner expect to see the Kramdens. I mean, I might vote for someone like Alice: you gotta admire someone who's NEVER wrong. (Did you hear this one: If a Jewish husband is in the forest and no one's around, is he still wrong?) Hey, you wondered why we don't see ads with mixed couples. What if the woman in the graphic is black (but doesn't resemble 1970s Angela Davis)?
just fyi, CNN has a poll out now with Obama and Clinton both beating every republican. There goes that meme.
I think Edwards is well advised to be committed to the long haul. I doubt that Democratic voters are any more thrilled with Hillary after NH than they were before. The "dog whistle" attacks on Obama will backfire on the Clintons and gain votes for both Obama and Edwards.
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This photo of a power transformer on fire is relevant to our earlier discussion of WTC7, which was constructed over ten power transformers and which housed plenty of diesel fuel caches. I occasionally hear from folks who seem to think that transformer oil and diesel fuel have remarkable flame-retardant properties. If you pop over to the website from which I cribbed the above image (it's about the dangers of placing transformers offshore in Nantucket Sound), you'll read these words:

"Some transformer fires burn so hot, it can take up to 12 hours to extinguish."

By the way, I do know that soldiers in Vietnam set small amounts of C4 on fire to use as portable stoves. I also know that some rather nasty accidents occurred. I don't think that many Vietnam vets would want to spend much time in a furiously burning building filled with plastic explosives.
As an electrician, I can tell you that x-frmr oil does burn, just get the ambient air around the oil hot enough and put a spark to it...poof
Joseph, while your efforts are valiant in this regard, NO FORENSIC EVIDENCE will ever convince those whose agenda is to absolve neofascism, Islamist or otherwise of responsibility for wanton acts of mass murder.

"9/11 Truth" is a breeding ground for far-rightists, "new age" cultists and otherwise unhinged conspiracists. Reasonable people can debate the degree of prior warnings state-intel agencies had before 9/11--a lot, by all accounts. But the calculated move to shift responsibility from the mass murder of 3,000 human beings by state-connected, drug-trafficking far-right Islamists (the Afghan-Arab database, al-Qaeda) to a small cabal of "elitists" grouped around the neoconservatives (read "jews") follows a well-known pattern to other far-right inflicted acts of terror.

The 1995 Oklahoma City bombing of the Murrah building comes to mind. Despite numerous warnings by FBI/ATF moles inside the Nazi-linked "militia" and Christian Identity cults across the country, the state (read FBI) rather than acting on credible warnings did nothing! The result: neo-Nazis (that's right, plural, not singular, I reject the McVeigh as "lone-nut" scenario) parked 4,000 lbs of explosives beneath a daycare center and detonated it.

But I'm not writing here to argue this or that particular hypothesis of OKC but to comment on the similar reactions spewed forth by right-wing demagogues ("paging Alex Jones!").

OKC: the state bombed their own building with "pre-positioned" explosives to "discredit" the so-called "Patriot Movement" (Militia spokespeople, National Vanguard, Christian rightists, John Birchers)

9/11: "pre-positioned" explosives brought the Towers down (multiple sources, you know who you are!)

OKC: No ATF/FBI agents were injured or killed, since they had "prior warning".

9/11: No "Jews" died in the Towers, since they had "prior warning". (Tell THAT to the Jersey Girls!)

On and on...

Wrap yourselves around this: Bush & Co. would have invaded Afghanistan and Iraq whether or not 9/11 took place. 9/11 was pretext, a convenient excuse for carrying out an aggressive capitalist agenda that existed as early as 1992! Remember the Feith/Perle/Wolfowitz scheme to wage preemptive war under Bush 1?

The state protects its own -- in Pakistan, in Saudi Arabia, in Langley. Those are the avenues that any credible "Truth Movement" should be exploring. The rest, as they say, is "a wilderness of mirrors."
that damned war..

I'm over 60 & the Armed Forces say I'm too old to track down terrorist. (You can't be older than 42 to join the military.) They've got the who thing backwards. Instead of sending 18 year olds off to fight, they ought to take us old guys. You shouldn't be able to join the military unit until you're at least 35.
Researchers say 18 year olds think about sex every 10 seconds. Old guys only think about sex a couple times a day, leaving us with more than 28,000 additional seconds per day to concentrate on the enemy.
Young guys haven't lived long enough to be cranky, & the cranky soldier is a dangerous soldier. If we can't kill the enemy we'll complain them into submission. "My back hurts! I'm hungry. Where's the remote?"
An 18 year old hasn't had a legal beer yet & you shouldn't go to war until you're at least old enough to drink.
The average old guy, on the other hand, has consumed 126,000 gallons of beer, & a juant through the desert heat with a beer & M-60 would do wonders for the old belly.
(Note there are 24 hours in a day & 24 bottles in a case...another convenient way to measure time!)
An 18 year old doesn't like to get up before 10 a.m. Old guys always get up early to go to the bathroom.
If captured, we wouldn't spill the beans because we'd forget where we put them. In fact, name, rank, & serial number would be a real brain teaser.
Boot camp would be easier for old guys. We're use to getting yelled & screamed at, & we like soft food.
We've also developed an appreciation for guns. We like them almost better than naps.
They could lighten up on the obstacle course, however, I've been in combat & didn't see a single 20-foot wall with rope hanging over the side, nor did I ever do pushups after completing basic training. I can hear the drill sergeant now, "Get down & give, one."
Actually, the running part is kind of a waste. I've never seen anyone ever outrun a bullet.
An 18 year old has his whole life ahead of him.
He's still learning to shave, to carry on a conversation, & to wear pants without the top of his butt sticking out.
He hasn't figured out that a pierced tongue catches food particles, & that a 400-watt speaker in the back seat of a Honda can rupture an eardrum, & that a baseball cap has a brim to shade the eyes, not the back of his head.
These are all reasons to keep our kids at home to learn a little more about life before sending them off in harm's way.
Let us old guys track down those dirty, rotten terrorists who attacked us on September 11. The last thing an enemy would want to see right now is a couple of million old geezers with attitudes.
"They've got the who thing backwards. Instead of sending 18 year olds off to fight, they ought to take us old guys. You shouldn't be able to join the military unit until you're at least 35."

Agreed. Nobody should be sent off to war unless he's old enough to be president.

Anyway, Joe, I'm no expert, but I think one of the advantages of diesel (over gasoline) is that it's very difficult to burn except in aerosol form. Of course, who's to say how it would behave in the presence of exploding electrical transformers?

If you were around during the OKC bombing aftermath, you may recall the certainty with which, yes, the usual suspect national security experts 'identified' the culprits as Arabs from the Middle East. Whether Tim McVeigh had accomplices (I think he did, out of the Aryan Nation stronghold at Elohim City, headed by the FBI informant German national Strassmeier) or not, neither he nor they were from the Middle East, nor were they Arabs or Islamacists of any stripe.

As for no 'Jews' dying at Ground Zero in the towers, Cantor Fitzgerald among many other firms employed a full floor or more of employees of which most, I think, were Jewish, and died over the course of the event. HOWEVER, the number of ISRAELIS killed there WAS almost zero, amounting to one above that null result (1 Israeli visitor that day died, but no Israelis who worked in the complex, whereas the Jerusalem Post said some 4,000 Israelis were thought there and were missing for a while, per concerned family inquiries with the Israeli government). Somehow, someway, W evidently was provided with wrong information, and told the nation that 130 Israelis had perished there, a 13,000% overstatement that was never corrected for the nation's edification.

Whether Tim McVeigh had accomplices (I think he did, out of the Aryan Nation stronghold at Elohim City, headed by the FBI informant German national Strassmeier) or not, neither he nor they were from the Middle East, nor were they Arabs or Islamacists of any stripe.

Soflah, I leave it to others better qualified than me to assess all of this, but Patrick Briley (also here)argues otherwise:

....another man directly involved in the OKC bombing, the black Muslim, Mujahid Abdulqadir Menepta (aka Melvin Lattimore). A US citizen from St Louis, Lattimore has long standing direct ties to Hamas, AlFuqra and AlQaeda terror organizations.

Lattimore was involved in the 1993 WTC, 1995 OKC and 9/11 attacks. According to Federal trial testimony in November 2001 by BATF agent Jerry Whitney, Lattimore was named one day after the OKC bombing to the FBI (by an official FBI informant) as a participant in the OKC bombing. In the same trial proceeding it was also revealed that Lattimore's credit card was used to buy bomb-making materials for the 1993 WTC bombing.

Four eyewitnesses at the Travelers Aid in OKC near the bombed Murrah building told the FBI in 1995 that Lattimore came to the Travelers Aid with McVeigh's Mercury Marquise and FBI/DEA informant James Rosencrans the day before the OKC bombing. Six different FBI agents tried to brow beat the four witnesses into changing their stories over a six-month period. The FBI agents took few notes and wrote no FBI 302 interview reports nor used an FBI sketch artist Jean Boylin who was in town and available. The Director of the Travelers Aid, Gloria Smith, sent Attorney General Ashcroft and DOJ Inspector Genera, Glenn Fine, (acknowledged receipt) two letters about this incident in the summer of 2001 and they were presented to Ashcroft in his residence in August 2001. The Dallas Fox News bureau chief, Russ Cosby, has said that investigators have learned that McVeigh was with Lattimore in several locations in OKC near the time of the OKC bombing.

The mastermind of the 1993 WTC, 1995 OKC and 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, sent 9/11 "wannabe" hijacker Zacharias Moussaoui to live with Lattimore in Norman while Moussaoui attended the Norman OK Airman flight school. 9/11 hijackers Atta, AlShehhi and AlHazmi were seen with Lattimore at his Norman apartment according to FBI documents. Lattimore drove to Minnesota in August 2001 just before 9/11 and tried to bail Moussaoui out of jail. This information was known to prosecutors but was avoided in being revealed at Moussaoui's recent trial. The FBI and DOJ prosecuted Lattimore in November 2001 for having a firearm under a previous felony conviction (stockpiling explosives in his St Louis apartment). Lattimore only served 18 months even though BATF testimony at the trial linked Lattimore directly to the 1993 WTC and OKC bombings.

I should have said there were no genuine Arabs or Islamacists involved who were not agents provocateur, double agents, or manipulated by US governmental agents.

Yes, we can point to an Ali Muhammed, or a Blind Sheik Rahman, but they are/were assets and pawns of US national security agencies.

...sofla writes:

"As for no 'Jews' dying at Ground Zero in the towers, Cantor Fitzgerald among many other firms employed a full floor or more of employees of which most, I think, were Jewish, and died over the course of the event. HOWEVER, the number of ISRAELIS killed there WAS almost zero, amounting to one above that null result (1 Israeli visitor that day died, but no Israelis who worked in the complex, whereas the Jerusalem Post said some 4,000 Israelis were thought there and were missing for a while, per concerned family inquiries with the Israeli government)."

I have to dispute your statistics. According to Wikipedia's "Non-American casualties of the September 11, 2001 attacks," 5 Israeli citizens were killed in the WTC attack. See:

In other words, 5 times the number of Israelis were killed than your asserted.

My point was not the number of Israeli's killed that day, but the propensity of neofascist conspiracy-mongers to tout so-called "prior warnings" sent to Israelis (I used the word "Jews") by "Mossad" and/or other "Zionist" agencies.

Does Mossad and other organs of Israeli state repression do horrible, even monstrous things, including assassinations, bombings, "false flag" operations (a much abused phrase), etc. Of course they do! One would have to be deaf, dumb and willfully blind to ignore such criminal actions against the Palestinian people in occupied Palestine.

However, my point was to lambast 9/11 cultists for their dodgy, even anti-semitic claims that "Mossad did 9/11."

There is circumstantial evidence, however, that Mossad MAY have been running an intelligence operation inside the US prior to 9/11. The case of the "Israeli art students" comes to mind. See:

They may also have been connected to organized crime or both. We just don't know. There is also the strange case of Urban Moving Systems:

And then, there were multiple warnings from Israeli and other intelligence to US officials, see:

AGAIN: 9/11 cultists take a grain of sand to build sandcastles. The killers were linked to the Afghan-Arab database al-Qaeda. Multiple US intelligence agencies and the Pentagon have employed al-Qaeda before, during and AFTER the 9/11 attacks: Seymour Hersh's research in The New Yorker re: covert ops against Iran, in Lebanon, etc. The US had multiple prior warnings on the impending 9/11 attacks and DID NOTHING. In fact, they did worse than nothing, they impeded criminal investigations: Collen Rowley and Zacarias Mossaoui come to mind. After the attacks, the USG impeded the investigations into said attacks.

Was 9/11 "a inside job"? Not that I can tell from the available data. Did the USG act to PROTECT intelligence assets and/or ongoing intelligence operations? Now there's the crux of the matter-yes!

I'll go out on a limb and assert that SOME 9/11 cultists are engaged in a similar operation. How else does one explain taking money from Adnan Khashoggi via his cut-out John Gray to pay for 9/11 "Truth Conferences"? (!)
IslamistsForPeace writes, citing Patrick Briley:

"....another man directly involved in the OKC bombing, the black Muslim, Mujahid Abdulqadir Menepta (aka Melvin Lattimore). A US citizen from St Louis, Lattimore has long standing direct ties to Hamas, AlFuqra and AlQaeda terror organizations."

I must admit, I don't have much information on Lattimore, but most of what I've researched on OKC has very little to do with the Middle East and much to do with Middle America.

There is a great deal of speculation whether or not McVeigh accomplice Terry Nichols met al-Qaeda operative Ramzi Yousef during a trip to the Philippines prior to the OKC bombing. This has not been proven but deserves further research. JM Berger at has put together an impressive series of articles that MIGHT link Nichols to both Yousef and Khalid Sheik Mohammed.

My earlier point was that in the wake of OKC, neofascists linked OKC to "an inside job" by the feds themselves. I failed to mention: the Neocons, Steven Emerson prominently among them, attempted to link OKC to "Arabs" and the Middle East.

However, the primary suspects were connected to the Christian Identity Elohim City compound and the bank-robbing Aryan Republican Army. There is still (nearly 13 years later!) much speculation regarding the role played by German national Andreas Strassmeir. Was he a provocateuer/mole/FBI-BND asset? Possibly. Did he train the McVeigh gang? Probably. Was he part of an on-going FBI investigation into the so-called "Patriot movement"? Seems likely, too. Was he all of the above-a Nazi and an informant? That too is possible. Check out Berger's "Patcon" file on Was Strassmeir linked to the Morris Dees' SPLC? We don't know, but according to the late OKC investigative reporter, JD Cash, SPLC did have a mole inside Elohim City, separate from Carol Howe, the ATF's mole.

You might want to check out my 1997 piece published in the Toronto-based (now defunct) antifascist publication Antifa Forum: "Case Closed? Fascist Networks and the Oklahoma City Bombing,
sofla writes:

"Yes, we can point to an Ali Muhammed, or a Blind Sheik Rahman, but they are/were assets and pawns of US national security agencies."

I'd have to dispute this assertion. The best documented evidence we have, Peter Lance's "Triple Cross" is that Ali Mohamed was not merely an intelligence asset and pawn of US security agencies, but an al-Qaeda mole acting as a triple agent: for al-Qaeda, the FBI, the CIA and probably also for Pakistan's ISI.

Reality isn't as always as simple as we'd like it to be. Mohamed was all of these things simultaneously. Just because he trained al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan for use by Pakistan's ISI in Kashmir, and by ISI/CIA/MI6 destabilization operations in Bosnia/Kosovo/Chechnya, doesn't negate the proposition that the Arab-Afghan database al- Qaeda also possesses, and acts upon, their own agenda! Assets "go off the reservation," this is the meaning of "blowback."

What about today? Does the US continue to utilize dodgy assets to advance so-called "national Security interests"? The evidence is yes! In Lebanon the US unleashed Fatah al-Intifada, a Sunni jihadi group with ties to al-Qaeda to attack the Shiite Hezbollah. Who suffered? The Palestinian refugees butchered by the Lebanese Army in the Nahar al-Bared camp. Similarly, the US has utilized the Baluchi salaffist Jundullah terror organization to attack Iran.

The US played with fire before, during and after 9/11...and got burned!
I'm convinced that the vast majority, if not all of the visible proponents of "CD Theory" are whatever perjorative term you want to label them with.

I have BEEN convinced for years that the idea of "CD" is a dead-end, as far as pushing any investigation, or building "proof". I have therefore felt the entire topic not worthy of attention, almost since it happened.

But, what if it was true? What if the worst and greatest potential damage from exposure of "inside involvement" was the use of controlled demolition to bring down the buildings? How would the perpetrators behave (assuming they are an extension of the same type of people who killed JFK.) Well, I would assume their first act would be to make sure all of the physical evidence was carted off and melted down and quickly as possible. They would work to head off or delay or limit any investigation into the crime, and they would make sure to get out in front of the argument by making sure the most visible and "successful" purveyors of that fact were complete nutcases. They might actually "plant" some, but more likely, they'd arrange for support and attention to be provided, and "assist" organizing of the story in such a way that would make the easiest to knock down the "leaders".

Yes, I remain of the opinion that purveyors of "CD Theory" are the dispicable bottom feeders of the "dissident underground" if they are even a part of it. I remain convinced that true or false, it will be impossible to force this case open and toward justice by trying to prove "CD". I remain firmly convinced that "CD" is not worthy of serious discussion. AND I remain completely convinced that the concept may have been employed in some way on 911.

That said, both arguments in favor, and efforts to discredit these bozos are a distraction from the real work to be done. As such, any attention given to it detracts from effort that could be more productively directed toward actions that could produce real impact.

There. I've had my say.
Gosh, if WTC7 was such a powerful "bomb ready to go off" as you put it, I think it rather peculiar that the NY State Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and DEC was able to recover approximately 20,000 gallons from two intact 11,600-gallon underground fuel oil storage tanks.

Interestingly, concerning the amount of WTC7 diesel fuel,Fire Protection Engineering Magazine said:

"A total of 91,000 liters of diesel fuel was stored below grade to supply the (WTC7) generators."

That converts to 24,040 gallons, of which around 20,000 was recovered after the collapse, according to FEMA.

Odd to think that in Cannon's WTC7world, where diesel fuel and transformer oil explode readily and with devastating effect, that somehow the vast majority of the stored diesel fuel failed to burn at all, much less explode, and was in fact recovered after the disaster, safe in it's storage tanks.
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New Hampshire: Which wine goes with chili dogs? (Added note)

Salon writer Farhad Manjoo -- whom my ladyfriend affectionately calls Moojuice -- is having another go at the election integrity advocates. This time he's targeting the folks who think something odd occurred in New Hampshire.

In a sense, both his words and mine are irrelevant. Kucinich has called for a recount, a paper trail exists, and New Hampshire law disallows machine counters. Unless a chain-of-custody question arises, the new count should settle the matter. To his credit, Manjoo supports the Kucinich effort.

But his argument is still worth questioning. Why did the hand-count counties go for Obama while the machine-count areas went for Clinton? "Those places simply vote differently," or so sayeth Moojuice. He draws figures from this extremely useful page to make his point: Small towns do not use optical scannners, and small town folk like Obama.

Hmm. Doesn't that presumption conflict with this?
In the New Hampshire primary, Obama did better among Democratic voters who make over $50,000; Hillary did better with the under $50,000 set. He’s the “wine track” candidate, Hillary is the “beer track” candidate.
In New Hampshire, do the upscale chablis imbibers prefer to live in the stix? That idea seems counter-intuitive, to say the least. We need data.

(To read the rest, click "Permalink" below)

So let's take a few Obama-leaning small towns listed here, and then let's look at some income data as derived from this page and various town websites. This is per capita income:

Brookline: $29,272
Caanan: $20,515
Campton: $20,189
Chesterfield: $25,051
Chichester: $24,115
Claremont: $20,267
Colebrook: $18,390
Columbia: $16,859
Concord: $21,976

Well, an obvious pattern has emerged, and we have not even gotten out of the Cs.

Of course, there are differing ways to look at income. In Canaan, for example, per capita income is $20,515; the average male earner makes $32,946, while the average female earner makes $25,000 and the average household income is $43220. In fact, there is only one town in all of New Hampshire (New Castle) where the per capita income is above $50,000. Folks there did indeed prefer Obama to Clinton, 190 votes to 90. In Manchester -- the state's biggest city, which broke for Hillary in a big way -- the per capita income is $21,244.

So, yeah, we can quibble over the best way to interpret the figures given above. Still, I think we can fairly say that the hand-count towns -- the ones that favored Obama -- are not noticeably more affluent than the machine-count towns. One would therefore think that Obama would do at least as well in the larger cities, where folks are more likely to land jobs that pay 50 thou a year.

Yet he didn't. At least, not officially.

To recap: The data tell us that those snooty Cabernet Sauvignon connoisseurs really dig Obama, while Clinton plays to the Bud guzzlers. But bring up the dreaded specter of election fraud, and suddenly the whole story changes: Obama appeals to the Miller High Life slobberinos, while Clintonites order the Zin.

Well...which is it?

One last thing: Moojuice can't resist taking a dig at exit polling -- which, as you know, is our only check on vote-rigging.
Regular readers might know that I've long been skeptical of efforts to use exit polls -- surveys of voters as they leave voting booths -- as a forensic tool to detect fraud. Academic election experts and pollsters (including the surveyors who carry out the exit polls) say that exit polls, at least as they're practiced in America, are not precise enough to catch fraud in close races.
And how do we know that any given race is close? Because of the final tallies, and because of the pre-election polls. But the final tallies constitute the very point in question, and the folks who dis the accuracy of exit polls will always really dis the accuracy of pre-election polls. Circular reasoning.

Like it or not, international election observers (such as the OSCE) do use exit poll data as an indication of possible vote fraud. (See the previous story here.) I hope Moojuice calls up the good folks at the OSCE to tell them that they are doing their job all wrong.

Added note: Egads. Problems with the above argument have suddenly become clear to me: The argument does not take into consideration the percentage of the NH population that is affluent. While it still seems counterintuitive to find the wealthy in the tinier burgs, a small town in NH may not resemble a hardscrabble community in, say, Georgia. And factors other than income may have solidified support for Obama in the hand-count areas.

Still, the swing to Hillary in Manchester does look suspiciously huge to me. And if you read Moojuice carefully, he never suggests any reason as to why the hand-count areas would have differing political views -- and he never employs the word "maybe" or any similar qualifier (as Brad does). He simply pronounces It Is So.

We shall see.
Just as not all polls have sound methodologies, so too can exit polling be done badly.

It seems multiple parties were doing exit polling, rather than having a single source for it and sharing out those singular results. (Chris Matthews mentioned 'our' (presumably NBC or CNBC) exit polls. 'Donahue' (Phil?) was on Hardball, and he stated from what he saw himself that the exit pollsters appeared far from organized, very young, and about as professional as magazine subscription solicitors.

I asked before and didn't see an answer, but presumably, exit polling massages its raw numbers in accordance with a model of the electorate.

However, some of the professionals discussing these results have said that with a 57% turnout for the primary, it resembled more of a general election turnout than a primary turnout, and that their modeling was simply inadequate (i.e., wrong) for such a case.

Certainly, women made up more of the turnout than expected, and with the mild weather (61 F, from what I remember was said), probably the elderly turnout was better as well.

At least 1 other person is looking for a recount. These excerts are from the Ann Arbor News paper edition, Friday, January 11, 2008.

[Albert] Howard, among 42 lesser-known candidates who paid the $1,000 fee to appear on that state's primary ballot, returned to New Hampshire on Thursday to officially challenge the results. He received 44 votes, but insists he had more that seemingly disappeared and plans to demand a recount.
The 41-year-old father of eight said he was watching C-SPAN and was pleasantly surprised to see a tally of 50 votes with just 12 percent of returns in early Thursday night. About an hour later his total went as high 187 votes....
He said New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner could not explain what happened and told him that a recount was the only way to confirm the final tally.

Here's his webpage about the recount:

Very odd video on there about how the numbers for Ron Paul are wildly inaccurate.

Disclosure: I want neither of these guys as president. I'm only bringing this up because it's about voting numbers not adding up.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

The Strait of Hormuz incident

“I am coming to you. You will explode in a few minutes.”

We have belatedly learned that the threatening voice on the tape was not Iranian -- the accent is wrong, according to the Washington Post. The Navy now posits another source for the threat -- a practical joker given the insulting nickname Filipino Monkey.
In recent years, American ships operating in the Middle East have had to contend with a mysterious but profane voice known by the ethnically insulting handle of “Filipino Monkey,” likely more than one person, who listens in on ship-to-ship radio traffic and then jumps on the net shouting insults and jabbering vile epithets.
Could a prankster initiate the Apocalypse? Mark Twain would get a grim chuckle out of the idea.

But the Pentagon also says that the audio and video were recorded separately. So who really did the pranking? Is "Filipino Monkey" a cover story?

To me, the telling detail is this:
In part because of the threatening language, the United States has elevated the encounter into an international incident. Twice this week, President Bush criticized Iran's behavior as provocative and warned of "serious consequences" if it happens again.
If "Filipino Monkey" made the threat -- indeed, if there were any possibility of a prankster at work -- the President would have been so informed well before the video's public release. He would not have made any bellicose statements.

Ray McGovern compares the Strait of Hormuz encounter to the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

My guess? A small band of neocon operators, who may or may not work within the American intelligence community, fabricated this incident in order to foment war with Iran. Cooler heads within the military want to prevent the ruse from giving rise to bloodshed. The "Filipino Monkey" story exists to save face.

I'm open to alternative scenarios.
"If "Filipino Monkey" made the threat -- indeed, if there were any possibility of a prankster at work -- the President would have been so informed well before the video's public release. He would not have made any bellicose statements."

I don't know our POTUS well enough to agree or disagree. You make me think of the storyboarding for the Jessica Lynch rescue, the storyboarding for the Pat Tillman memorial ceremony, that clip of Bush fucking up the fool-me-once/fool-me-twice retort, and of course "Remember the Maine!" and TR's Rough Riders charging up San Juan Hill. You make me think they murdered Bill Hicks because he was the only person who could explain this stuff, while blowing smoke rings.
I listened to both the US released tape and the bbc release of the Iranian tape. In the bbc version of the Iranian tape, the Iranians sounded perfectly reasonable and were questioning the presence of the Americans in what they claimed were Iranian waters. In the US release, the Iranians sounded like characters from the movie "300".

Hilariously the Iranians voices were saying "we are coming to you", with doom-laden voices like the Klingons in Star Trek. It was nothing like the Iranian release.

So its perfectly possible to believe that it was a prankster. Frankly when I heard it I assumed it was a TV comedy in the UK called "phonejacker", where a prankster makes absurd phone calls to unsuspecting dupes.

What amazes me though is that this tape was released by the US at all. No sensible person could possibly have taken this tape seriously. To release it without questioning it is beyond my comprehension. Idiots or warmongering opportunists? You tell me.

These situations occur much more frequently than they are reported. After the USS Cole incident, I think it's fair to say that there is an unwritten rule about bringing small craft within range of CIWS.

It bears repeating that there are many occurrences of these encounters that go unreported.

And I would posit that the timing of this report and that of the seemingly perpetual election cycle in the U.S., are not mere coincidences.

George is a faithful servant of the NeoCons, and he needs to show them once in awhile that the overall goals are still attainable. All that is required is another puppet of the ideology. Whether they bleed Red or Blue is of no real significance.

Any real threat to a fleet of Naval Warships won't be powered by a Yamaha engine.

-sig Mentor
who wants this war more than any other nation? What nation has consistently, for the past 3 years, villianized and downright lied about Ahmadinejad and Iran? What "small band of neo-con operators" have been manipulating and lying to us since 9-11 occured? What nation was caught red-handed in Mexican Congress on Oct. 11, 2001, exactly one month after 9-11, with C4, grenades, and Glocks? What nation has the most false flags recorded in history? I'd say this is an easy "qui buono", but no journalists have the cajones to name this nation. To get any real news about this country, you have to read their own papers. I say this is an easy call and that the US military and govt. know EXACTlY how did this.
Not a prankster... a provocateur. That was my guess too. Sorry, Joseph, I have no alternative scenario.

And Mondo, it's "cui bono" (double dative) not "qui bono". And the answer, by the way, is -- NO NATION. Just a consortium of criminals of many nationalities who are perfectly capable of running provocations and all kinds of other nasty tricks. Or do you not understand what Sibel Edmonds is telling us?
--> "Yet there is no "international water" in the Strait of Hormuz, straddled between the territorial waters of Iran and Oman...".."--Per Article 39 of the UNCLOS, pertaining to "duties of ships during transit passage" US ships passaging through the Strait of Hormuz must "proceed without delay" and "refrain from any threat or use of force against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of states bordering the strait".
VERY interesting article indeed !
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AIIEE! It's...the DLC!

Why the hell is the progressive community so bloody paranoid about the Democratic Leadership Council? As far as I can tell, that group (presently chaired by Harold Ford) does not possess overwhelming power. They have much less influence now than in the past. The DLC does not have the keys to the cashbox and does not hold a gun to anyone's head.

Yet the folks here routinely act as though the DLC were Mordor and Ford were Sauron.

In an interview, DLC founder Al From referred to the Democratic race as a two-person affair, as though Edwards did not exist. Sure, From pissed me off; I don't like the guy at all. But I was equally pissed off by these reactions:
The Progressive base will defect from the Democratic base in droves (and likely vote for McCain or Huckabee) if Hillary is nominated.
DLC will pick for you whether you want them to or not
If anyone was still having doubts about Edwards being the progressive, this should do it.
I'm having doubts. Newsflash: Hillary has, by any sane standard, the most left-leaning voting record of anyone in the race. (I've documented this fact in earlier posts.) One of the reasons I support Edwards is that his more conservative voting record will play better in the general election.
If we can't nominate a real Democrat like Edwards who stands for traditional Democratic values, the Democratic party deserves to lose.
Would Edwards endorse that attitude? Hell, no! Some advice to my fellow Edwards supporters: If your words reflect badly on the candidate, think before bleating.
the dlc has a lot of power when it comes to congress and the senate , that is what pisses off progressives more than anything else and they are all about status quo
I just wanna say I really enjoy your Election coverage. It's about my favorite. Keep it up.
Been posting at DU since 2001....I'm sick of the stupid posts there during primary season. I'll still check the LBN daily, but I can't muster the energy to slam one candidate because I support another. I'm also an Edwards supporter and I'm disgusted with the corporate media's news blackout of his campaign. Bottom line is I'll be supporting whoever we's a no-brainer.
IB, you and I are on the same page. Hell, the same paragraph.
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Election issues

At the moment, I consider the New Hampshire controversy a comatose issue. Kucinich, to his great credit, has asked for a recount, and a hand recount is pretty much the only action we can ask for at this time. What more can we do, aside from demanding documentation of the ballots' chain of custody?

Speaking as an Edwards supporter, I must admit that the time has come to ask a hard question. At what point should the race be narrowed to only two candidates?

I do not dislike Hillary Clinton and will vote for her if she wins the nomination. But she is, in my view, the weakest of the Democratic candidates. Not only does the right despise her with an irrational passion, she alienates many on the "progressive" left.

Imagine a race in which Hillary faces McCain, Paul, Bloomberg and McKinney. Each of the minor candidates would chip away at a different segment of her natural constituency. (If Huckabee or Giuliani win the nomination, Democrats who hate Hillary may be more likely to hold their noses and vote for her. McCain arouses less antipathy. Romney? I'm not sure...)

The dynamics of the campaign may require but one major "anti-Hillary." On the other hand, and speaking as a Californian, I hate the idea of not having a chance to vote for my preferred candidate in the primary.

Truth be told, I've hated that fact of political life for quite a few elections now. Today's must-read is John Dean's prescription for fixing the primary process:
Actually, there are good and relatively simply solutions to this nightmare. Not for this year, but for the future. For example, among the soundest is the concept of rotating regional primaries.
This approach would divide the country into (typically, in proposals) four or six regions. The states within those regions would then all hold their primary or caucus at the same time, with the election in each of the regions staggered over the first four or six months of a presidential election year.
A further suggestion: Before the election cycle begins, representatives from each region can draw lots to determine the order of voting.
John Dean. OMG.

"Speaking as an Edwards supporter, the time has come to ask a hard question. At what point should the race be narrowed to only two candidates?"

Notwithstanding the dangling modifier, wait for the South Carolina results. If Edwards finishes behind Clinton and Obama, he's gone. Any other outcome makes him a contender. If he wins, he essentially moots any 3rd-party insurgency since he's acting like a 3rd-party candidate. The guy's brilliant. His campaign has been tailored (and stonewashed) for his birthplace, South Carolina: "I was born for this!" he's been saying. Yet I love Hillary.

I don't know if your take is realistic or merely cautious. Whatever people think about Hillary may not play into conventional wisdom; no one, including herself, knows what she's like with this much at stake. So far, Edwards has changed his style and his message (elegantly), Clinton has changed hers, but Obama has been static. I'll be ecstatic with any ticket that includes any two of them.

This election really is the most important in everyone's lifetime. Beware the green-eyed monster mainstream.
Thanks for pointing out the error in grammar, which I have rectified.

Speaking as a writer, that mistake always bothers me when others make it.

You have to ask yourself why, since the 2002 Max Cleland loss,. The same year where Chuck Hadley, also way behind in every poll, and who actually owned the e-voting machine company, also won. There is no doubt in my mind that our election process is deeply flawed. There is no way that other countries could get away from this without either an uprising, coup de tat, or outright declaration of fraud. Look at the Carter Institute's rules of fair elections! Our country fails on all of the requirements. These elections are a scam. Even the CEOs of these voting machine co.'s are drug traffickers and felons! Since when is this legal? OR why hasn't it been made illegal? If NH pulls an Ohio recount with doors closed and opt scan recounts of unfairly selected precincts, this will be a waste.

Not only that, Kucinich and Paul have rated the highest by far in online polls for the past 2 months. Go to their websites for the exact blow by blow on this.
McCain will be the Republican nominee. I'm positive of that at this point. McCain's assured position as the GOP candidate is one of my reasons for actively praying our nominee is somehow, some way, anyone but Clinton.
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Thursday, January 10, 2008

New Hampshire: It's the law

Dennis Kucinich has asked for a recount in New Hampshire. Bless his elven heart. I'm going to forgive him for the Ron Paul thing, and perhaps even for marrying a woman who rightfully belongs to me.

Does a recount mean that the Secretary of State simply runs the same op-scan ballots through the same machines? No. Here's the law. And here's the key sentence:
No mechanical, optical, or electronic device shall be used for the counting of ballots.
Glory, glory, hallelujah! Not so much as an abacus in sight.

I hope they like tally marks.
If states insist on using privatized, proprietary software run machines then they can enjoy the hand recount. It is that simple.

'Trust us' is not an acceptable standard, especially after so many questionable election results.

That is the best news of this primary season. But will the media cover the results?

I can forgive an awful lot from "Kooch" and his spouse, but...Ron Paul? Come on. There are fewer things in this election cycle to "hate on" than most seem to think, but Ron fucking Paul isn't one of them.
I share your enthusiasm a little bit, but somehow it sounds too simple. If we assume someone was in position to rig the votes, and has done so, unless he is a total moron (which I doubt), he's got to have thought about the possibility of a recount. And devised some plan B to counter it. Oh well, let's see what will come out of this.
The law is one thing, what happens is another.

Back in the Florida recount season of late 2000, the first recount, mandated by law whenever the results are within some small x% difference and thereby triggered by the first results, also required some kind of actual recounting. However, some sizable percentage of precincts, if not a majority, simply reprinted the vote collating tabulating machine tape results. This meant that some fraction of votes were never recounted even once, let alone the 'counted and recounted and recounted again' mantra of Baker and co.

While that was known either immediately or certainly sometime during the lengthier proceedings, this incorrect procedure, non-compliant with Florida law, was never ordered to be remedied by election officials.

Handcounting is derided as unwieldy and too cumbersome. The truth is that we used handcounting effectively and efficiently up until recently. I speak as an election judge who has actually counted ballots prior to the forced introduction of the tabulator machines. (At my precinct we do have paper ballots but they disappear into the Diebold tabulator to be invisibly and privately "counted" and the election judges have no way of ascertaining how the votes on that ballot were tallied). It is entirely workable, doable and efficient to handcount ballots. In fact I believe it is the ONLY true way to hold an election and to have any confidence in the results. Our entire democracy fails if we can have no confidence in the results. So what if we do not have the final tally by the 10:00 news hour? (You DO realize that it is the big "news" media that has required the privatized, machine voting? It is so much more convenient for them). Handcounting is never more onerous than the turnout of voters in any given precinct. The size of the precinct should never be too large for such a task. It should not be that much more of a task than counting the results of a large high school election, or a union, or any organization of several thousand members. I have done it and I know it works, and it is the only way that works.
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Rove, Obama and New Hampshire (Added note)

Karl Rove's Wall Street Journal column on the New Hampshire primary is getting some attention for its descriptions of Barack Obama. I'm more intrigued by his words on polling:
What would Shakespeare's Jack Cade say after the New Hampshire Democratic primary? Maybe the demagogue in "Henry VI" would call for the pollsters to be killed first, not the lawyers.
Rove misses the point of Shakespeare's play King Henry VI, Part II: Cade is meant to be seen as an asshole. He's a low-class rabble-rouser, the kind of guy who, in the 1990s, would have formed a militia.

So yeah, it kinda figures that Uncle Karl would call upon a Shakespearian demagogue as he tries to stir up populist fury against pollsters: When paper ballots cannot be counted, polls are the only gauge of electoral fairness.
Our media culture endows polls -- especially exit polls -- with scientific precision they simply don't have.
Odd. Exit polls weren't considered so bloody unreliable back in the pre-Diebold days. And they are still valued in Europe. When a guy with Rove's history disses exit polls, it's like Monsanto saying we don't need an Environmental Protection Agency.

Over on DU, Skinner has tabled all general discussion of possible vote fraud in New Hampshire. His decision is understandable: The debate had degenerated into ludicrous acrimony, with high-horsemen bounding onto ever taller nags.


Skinner says that there isn't any evidence of fraud in NH. That statement bugs me. If -- as Chris Matthews has suggested -- an exit poll discrepancy does exist, then that fact, in and of itself, constitutes evidence.

When international election observers in other countries see an exit poll at notable variance from the actuals, they cry foul. (Scroll two posts down for documentation of this point.) Why should a different standard apply to America?

Added note: Karl has some interesting words about the folks who like Obama as opposed to the folks who like Clinton:
Put another way, Mrs. Clinton won the beer drinkers, Mr. Obama the white wine crowd.
BUT: The ballots were counted by hand in 20% of NH -- in rural areas. And those voters went for Obama. Clinton won in the citified Diebold areas.

Karl is saying that the hicks are the white wine swillers. Does that situation make sense to you?
Couldn't agree with you more. That's what bugs me about this, too, and apart from Bob Koehler, no one else is talking about it yet in the media -- probably out of ear of getting nametagged a fanatic, conspiracy theorist, etc.
Joe, Kucinich has asked for the recount. I'm crossing my fingers for its veracity and thanking the good Congressman for his patriotism.
Just saw the Kucinich thing. I was mad at him before, but when it comes to election integrity, he deserves high praise.

But will a recount do any good? Run the ballots through a "fixed" optical scan reader, and the same problem will repeat itself.
Yeah, that's the sixty-four-cent question, Joe.
The fact that Rove is commenting on this at all is distubing.
If I'm not mistaken, the optical scanner counts paper, not electronic, ballots. Couldn't the DK campaign demand a hand recount?
Depends on the law in NH.

We've seen it happen before -- a "recount" occurs when the same ballots are run again through the same machines.

That's not a recount at all, of course, although the news media will play it that way.
Okay, I looked it up. The laws governing the recount process in NH are here:

Here's the most relevant part:

660:5 Conduct of Recount. – If directed by the secretary of state, the state police shall collect all ballots requested from the town or city clerks having custody of them and shall deliver them to the public facility designated by the secretary of state. At the time and place so appointed, the ballots cast for such office shall be counted by the secretary of state and such assistants as the secretary of state may require. When counting the ballots, the secretary of state or his or her assistants shall visually inspect each ballot. No mechanical, optical, or electronic device shall be used for the counting of ballots. The candidates, their counsel, and assistants shall have the right to inspect the ballots and participate in the recount under such suitable rules as the secretary of state may adopt. If the candidate requesting the recount cannot attend the recount, the candidate shall designate, in writing, to the secretary of state the name of an individual who will attend the recount and who will be authorized to make decisions on the candidate's behalf. Each candidate or his or her counsel or designee shall have the right to protest the counting of or failure to count any ballot. The secretary of state shall thereupon rule on said ballot and shall attach thereto a memorandum stating such ruling and the name of the candidate making the protest. If, at any time during the counting of the ballots, a discrepancy appears in any ballot for any reason, the secretary of state shall suspend the recount until the discrepancy is resolved, at which time the secretary of state shall continue the recount. In no event shall a discrepancy result in a second recount for the same candidate, as provided in RSA 660:3.

And the key phrase is this:

"No mechanical, optical, or electronic device shall be used for the counting of ballots."

The comment from Anon 7:34 is interesting.

Just what is Rove doing out in public at all these days?
All the uncounted Ron Paul votes bother me... not so much because I support him but because they were not tallied. Mr. Paul has tremendous support in NH according to previous polls.

We never had poll issues until Bush, Rove , Diebold et al.

And does everyone know South Carolina uses ES&S machines. You should also know the brother of Diebold founded ES&S

Paper ballots and honest Americans are the best most fair and honest way to hold an election.

And lastly, the world is watching us.
I haven't seen any allegation of discrepancies of exit polling with the final results, but I have seen allegations that they matched up pretty closely.

As any sentient person paying attention knows, Chris Matthews is not a reliable reporter of any fact. He constantly misstates things. So, other than 'the Screamer,' has anyone with a shred of credibility made this claim?

Sof, that's why I said "If." If Obermann had said it, I might not have used the qualifier.
I understand, and I caught that disclaimer. Then I saw a link to bradblog, which worried me some, only to find that brad cites.... Chris Matthews.

Like a stopped clock, Matthews may be (accidentally?) right from time to time.

However, are exit polls massaged with weighting? If so, did they, as the Obama spokesman said their campaign failed, fail to 'weight' up female participation at 57% of the total electorate?

On the accuracy of exit polls:

Surely there are records of exit poll data for a zillion past elections-- someone should go back and look at their accuracy.

The statistics are likely to be something like "exit poll data for every election for which we have records prior to 2004 has always been at least 99.4% accurate." If an exhaustive study finds that result, we'll know exactly what we're dealing with here. If exit polls aren't that historically accurate, we should know that too.

I wouldn't know how to begin to undertake such a project -- dig up old newspapers?

Anyone looking for a Ph.D. thesis out there want to take this on?
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Just thought I would try my hand at a little sensationalism....


Back to New Hampshire (Update -- response to Josh Marshall)

Hillary's come-from-behind win in New Hampshire kept her candidacy in the frontrunner position. Meanwhile, it has becomes clear that a Clinton-vs-Bloomberg-vs-McCain/Romney/Huckabee race is one which the Democrat cannot win. (Scroll down for a rambling piece about all that.)

So blogworld now asks: Why did the tallies differ so much from the polls? Was the vote rigged in NH?

At first, Skinner (the DU administrator) said "Nuh-uh," because the exit polls matched the actuals. But he has backtracked. Others have pointed out that CNN's final exit poll data is often "massaged" to conform with the early returns.

Brad Friedman's recent pieces direct our attention to some troubling reportage on the NH mystery. Here's a quick summary of his summaries:

Those exit polls. The unadjusted exit poll data favored Obama. No less a personage than Chris Matthews has made this point.
MATTHEWS: So what accounts for Hillary Clinton's victory in New Hampshire? What we don't know is why the victory is so much different in fact, then the polling ahead of time, including what we call the Exit Polls were telling us. Obama was ahead in those polls by an average of 8 points, and even our own Exit Polls, taken as people came out of voting, showed him ahead. So what's going on here?
Hand count vs. machine count. Diebold's "mother machines" (to use Mrs. Kerry's delightful phrase) are used in 80% of NH counties. In the rest of the state, votes are counted by hand. The hand-counted precincts went for Obama; Hillary led in the machine-counted areas.

Is there a benign explanation for this dichotomy?
...hand-counting in NH is generally done in the more rural areas and smaller precincts. Perhaps Obama is more popular, or Clinton less, in such areas for any number of reasons.
I'm not so sure about that. On election night, CNN made a big to-do about Obama having more popularity in urban areas and in college towns. (This was one reason why CNN refused to call the election after AP had done so.) Clinton had her greatest appeal in the rural and working class areas. So, at least, said Wolf Blitzer.

On the other hand, Zogby says that the undecideds really did break -- very late in the game -- for Hillary. So I am not entirely persuaded by the election-rigging theory. But I am interested.

UPDATE: Josh Marshall scores the election-fraud theorists...
There is so much screwed up about this reaction that it's difficult to know what part of the perversity to grab on to... First is the notion that public opinion surveys and even exit poll data is so reliable that any substantial discrepancy between those numbers and the official result is prima facie evidence of tampering. That is simply absurd.
I respect Marshall. He's the best. But when Diebold does the counting, what test aside from an exit poll discrepancy can offer evidence of hugger-mugger?

There are international organizations devoted to monitoring elections around the world. And -- sorry, Josh! -- groups like the OSCE really do consider an exit poll discrepancy to be prima facie evidence of tampering.

Although I don't have much time for research this morning, within the past few minutes I was able to find this example from a report on the OSCE's 2003 elections in Georgia (the former Soviet Republic):
A parallel vote tabulation (PVT) conducted by ISFED according to a dependable methodology, and an exit poll which resulted in similar findings, provided electors with an independent verification of the many irregularities in the election process.
Are we to believe that different criteria should apply in Eastern Europe and the U.S.?

Are we to believe that Josh Marshall knows something about fair elections that the OSCE does not?
"the Democrat cannot win". On the other hand, the Democrat can win. See? There are 3 recent election contests with a 3rd-party nuisance candidate: Carter/Reagan/Anderson 1980; Bush/Clinton/Perot 1992; Gore/Bush/Nader 2000. In 1980 Carter was a lost cause early on when Ted Kennedy ran against him in the primaries. In 1992 and 2000 the Dems won. In 1980 and 1992 the contests included the incumbent POTUS. OT: In 1992, Perot's strong candidacy prevented the Repubs from flipping votes. By 2000, they had perfected the process, which included real-time monitoring (as they used in 2004).

The past can't be prologue like apple sauce isn't orange juice. If the Republicans win and also retake the Congress, the treasury will be hugely enriched by all the US Passport sales.

On MSNBC's Countown, Craig Crawford offered an elegant analysis of the NH polls vs. the results (watch the clip at the CQ site) here:

Is that not a magnificent necktie of gorgeous green? I love the interclip of Hillary in her victory jacket. She could fund her California campaign if she puts it on eBay. Man was she radiant!

If you heard Keith's set-up cues in the clip, you would have picked up his reference to the "conspiracy" lobby and the "Diebold" terror. Pay attention. Guys like Keith are very respectful of and dependent on bloggers. He's also particularly sensitive to the vote-rigging issues. In 2004 he continued to report about Ohio's evident theft, in fact he announced that he was the only anchor still trying to cover it. Keith's eye is on the ball. Also, he's very very very aware that this moment in history belongs to him as much as it belongs to anyone else.

This is a great campaign season, it rivals the 1986 MLB season.
Now we see that the hand count in NH dffers significantly from the Diebold machine count. See
With the infighting and back-biting among the Democrats combined with the Repugs dirty tricks, I'm scared to death that the Republicans are going to win this thing come November. I see now that even Kerry has came out against Edwards. Wouldn't it have been better for the party if he had kept his mouth shut at least for a while longer? I don't think the country can take much more Republican dominance. Look at what we have lost so far, not the least of which is thousands of lives which we wouldn't have if the Dems had won the 2000 election like they would have had it not been for the Repugs playing dirty.
Allow me to take exception to your comment about CNN 'massaging' the exit poll data. I can reliably say that did not happen. In fact, the exit poll data showed the same results well before the polls closed -- and those results were how the contest actually ended.
Isn't it great that Senator Kerry endorsed Senator Obama, especially in Charleston (Belle Watling's home), in time for the SC primary (the SC Repub vote is the 19th, the Dem vote is the 26th)? What's up with that? Is it code for the Senate Club saying Senator Obama is hereby conferred with Mainstream Status and All the Rights and Privileges Thereunto? Cardinal Kerry upgrades Monsignor Obara's sash! If you ask me, I think Senator Kerry does what his wife wants, but she's a brilliant sociologist without much political acumen.

Hindsightly, it's looking like our man Edwards has been running to score big in SC. His stumping and his remarks embrace progressives, liberals, libertarians, and rednecks. Say what you will, SC folks don't trust Yankee dialects. The converse of that is the polling wherein the Yankees can't understand a word anyone says in native SCn. Plus, we're all likely to hear Hillary and Barack talk some Southern, and honestly if un-natively. But John Edwards, born in South Carolina, has been saying "I was born for this!" in stonewashed denims.

So maybe Edwards will place 2nd or even win. If 2nd, it means he beat either Hillary or Barack. Wow. In a Leap Year with very early Daylight Saving Time!

(Thank you, Senator Kerry!)
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A convergence of ominous signs

A picture is coming into focus, and it doesn't look pretty:

1. Bloomberg will almost certainly run. He'll draw more votes from the Democratic candidate than from the Republican.

2. Hillary Clinton stands a very good chance of being the nominee. I have no problem voting for her, although she is my third choice. But her electability is questionable, even without the Bloomberg factor.

3. Those who favor a conspiratorial view of the NH primary vote seem to be of the opinion that Hillary found a way to rig the machines -- as though the folks at Diebold just love them Clintons. It seems obvious to me that the Republicans would rather run against Hillary.

Alas, "progressives" would rather see her as a Machiavellian schemer. Which brings us to...

4. Clinton paranoia is alive and well on the left and right.

(To read the rest, click "Permalink" below)

For an excellent illustration of point 4, take a look at the Democratic Underground reaction to this story by Chris Floyd on the Sibel Edmonds case. Before we study the reaction, we must first take proper note the article itself.

Floyd's offering is really a brain dump, a mish-mash of stuff that has been floating around for years. I'm not saying that he has published anything untrue or unimportant. But there is nothing new here:
The failing Arbusto was later bought out by Harken Energy in a sweetheart deal that landed business failure Bush a plum spot on the Harken board and plenty of stock to play with. Bush soon worked his magic touch on Harken: the company began to tank. It was saved by an unusual infusion of $25 million from the Union Bank of Switzerland, one of BCCI's associates. The deal was brokered by long-time Bush family contributor Jackson Stephens – who, curiously enough, was also a major paymaster for Bill Clinton's political rise. In fact, in 1992, Stephens was the largest individual contributor to both Bush I and Clinton in their presidential contest.
All quite familiar. Floyd does not link Stephens to any of the men Edmonds accuses of wrongdoing, at least not in any direct fashion. (Indirectly speaking, the BCCI tentacles go everywhere, of course.)

Now look at the reaction over on DU. The merest mention of Stephens has spawned a thread filled with the worst sort of Clinton-hate. As always, the "progressives" think they're being hip and clued-in when they spew stuff that could have appeared on a Wall Street Journal editorial page circa 1995.

It is true that Stephens has worked both for and against the Clintons, for reasons complex enough to fill a Russian novel. I'm not going to get very deep into that history here, and neither will I allow my readers to do so. (Take the hint, folks.)

Suffice it to say that this is all damnation-by-association stuff. If you look at the websites devoted to exposing dark Stephens/Clinton conspiracies, you'll see lots of smoke but no specific charges of Clintonian malfeasance. (Example.) As you continue your Googling, you'll note an odd phenomenon: When anti-Clinton "progressives" talk about Stephens, they often cite the Free Republic website and similar sources. The SIBPATS speech soon follows. (SIBPATS = Standard Issue Both-Parties-Are-The-Same.)

Of course, many "progressives" won't tell you that Stephens' primary ties go to the right, and that he turned against Bill Clinton when donation did not translate into purchase.
(By the way, I seem to recall reading that Stephens and Jimmy Carter were college roomies. So if we're going to favor the "cooties" theory of politics, we can't ignore Jimmy, can we?)

For the facts of the Clinton years, see Conason and Lyons' The Hunting of the President. Alas, that masterful book seems to be slipping down the memory hole.

The silliness to be found within one DU thread, though insignificant in and of itself, exemplifies a larger problem. Zoom out for a wider view.

If Hillary is the nominee, the 2008 election will not be about the Bush/Cheney legacy, or health care, or the Iraq war, or the economy, or crony capitalism, or the decline of America as a respected power. All of that will go out the window.

No, the national discussion will remain mired in a morass of discredited conspiracy stories from twelve years ago. And I just don't want to go through it again.

If Edwards or Obama is the nominee, at least we'll have a new bunch of hokey conspiracy stories. That should be fun.

Watch out for BACAWT! Prediction: If Hillary continues to do well, the attackers will link her to the unloved lame duck currently sitting in the oval office. The SIBAPTS speech has a corollary, which we may call the "Bush And Clinton Are Working Together" meme. BACAWT, for short.

Mark my words -- it's gonna be huge. BACAWT will engender Hillary-hate on both the right and the left.

Few people now remember that many voices within the anti-Clinton movement of the 1990s were also perfectly willing to damn Bush the elder. For example, John Cummings' Compromised (a book I do not like, because I don't trust his main source) pictured Poppy and Bill C. as partners in crime. Pat Robertson's The New World Order touched on the same theme. Throughout the 1990s, the BACAWT meme was often heard on the lecture circuit and within "patriot" channels. The attacks on Bush I eased off around 1998, just as Bush II was revving up his national campaign.

Look at this Ed Schultz discussion board, and see what happens when "progressives" get their anti-Clinton facts from the Moonie Times: "Bush and Clinton were partners in the Mena smuggling ring! Vince Foster was murrrderrred! AIEEEE!!!"

One both the right and the left, the pseudo-hip will repeat this codswallop until they actually convince themselves that the country was not better off under Bill Clinton than under either Bush -- that Whitewater was an atrocity of the same magnitude as Enron or Haliburton. Call it the victory of conspiracy theory over lived experience. Paranoia trumps memory.

Bottom line: If the presidential race involves both Hillary and Bloomberg, I do not see how the Democrats can win in 2008.

On a related note: Larisa seems impressed by Floyd; I cannot agree with her. He lost me here...
The nuclear proliferation-for-profit ring is just one of the criminal operations that a genuine investigation of the 9/11 attacks would bring to light. Because once you start exploring any part of the dark nexus...
And so on. Whenever you see that kind of wording, you know that a piece has ceased to be a structured essay with a linear narrative, and has instead become a dumping ground. Back in the conspiracy-crazed 1990s, this kind of scattershot screed was very popular.

Then again, this very post has touched on so many disparate topics that I must also plead guilty to the "scattershot" charge. We thus end here.
Joe, I think with respect to Hillary finding a way to rig the machines you have to think bigger. Hillary is THE establishment candidate in this election. The machine (machine as in the establishment) knows that the little people are restless with the GOP. As such, they're willing to put another candidate into power who they know will continue to do their bidding.

The whole Republican/Democratic thing is seeming more and more like political theater to me the older I get. Neither party is willing to make the tough decisions necessary to right this ship of state, and both seem altogether too willing to do the bidding of corporate America at the expense of the working family.

By rigging the primary voting, which clearly would draw far less scrutiny than rigging the actual general election, the powers-that-be can be sure that no matter what happens in November, they get a candidate they can depend on in the White House in 2009. I mean, how do you think we got saddled with that loser Kerry in 2004?

This is why Edwards gets such short shrift from the corporate media: he's saying things that frighten them. His policies would hurt their oligarchical standing.


Jamie in Boston
ok so if the repigs would rather see hillary running then why does it make sense that hillary cheated?
the more likely scenario involves diebold cooking the numbers to let hillary win.
the repigs know only edwards beats all thier candidates.
jamie...this is exactly the kind of thinking I wrote my post to argue against. I'm letting it stay up as an example: Yes, there really are people out there who think this way.

But don't try it again. Hillary is NOT the establishment candidate. Clinton and Bush are not equivalent. And don't you DARE try to give the SIBPATS speech on my blog again. Creep like you are the ones who elected GWB in the first place because they pushed Nader in 2000.

I really wish I didn't have to defend Hillary because I'm not in her camp. I prefer Edwards myself. But even John Edwards would, I am sure, agree that the calumnies you have outlined here are ludicrous.

anon 7:11 -- uh, that's the very point I was trying to make. Read point 3 in my list again.
It suddenly hit me.

Jamie, you didn't read past the jump, did you?
I've been deleting some insulting commentary. I don't know why people who don't like me continue to show up here.

Dudes, just GO.

One commenter informs me that the Clintons must be as dirty as the Bushes. After all, didn't I know that Jackson Stephens was the secret power behind WHITEWATER?

Uh, no. I didn't know that.

And that's what it has come to, folks: "Progressives" are now telling us that the REAL issue is Whitewater.

The Great Scandal That Wasn't has returned. The truth about Ken Starr's witch hunt has gone down the memory hole.

See why I no longer call myself a progressive?
It occurred to me this morning that if New Hampshire *was* rigged, the greatest ultimate impact will be not in terms of favoring one candidate over another, but through a longterm effect of discrediting polls, and even exit polls, among the public.

I saw somewhere recently -- I think it was in the quotes from the document Benazir Bhutto was trying to get out when she was killed -- a discussion of how an election could be rigged most effectively by moving just a few votes in places where the voting was close. And that's always been the assumption.

But what if that doesn't matter any more? What if there's no polling lead so large that its failure to manifest in the vote-counts can't be explained away in terms of last-minute shifts, voter reluctance to be honest about their secret biases, and methodological error?

So if the vote-counting really *was* rigged (and that's a big "if"), my money is on it having been someone laying the groundwork for November, and not on anybody who deeply longs for Hillary to be the nominee.

But the really disturbing part is that it may not matter whether there was any funny business in New Hampshire or not, because it's still likely to lead to the same result. That is, if Generic-Dem is ahead of General-Pub by 15% next November and loses anyway, everyone will say, "Well, you can't trust the polls. Remember New Hampshire."

I think that for that reason alone I'm likely to support anyone who expresses skepticism about New Hampshire. Regardless of whether or not the voting was actually rigged, *something* damned fluky happened there, and it's important to find out what -- because if we don't, it's going to be used for sure against us.
If the NH election was rigged, I would bet the farm that Hillary Clinton had nothing to do with it. First of all, the Republicans are in bed with Diebold and they have every reason to want to run against someone they been demonizing for 15 years. Second, I don't believe the Clintons would do such a thing. I disagree with their politics, but I don't think they would take such a great risk for such a small reward.

While there will certainly be a significant difference between any possible Republican nominee and Senator Clinton (not enough of a difference for my taste, but there's no question that she would be better than the Rethug), there is little difference between the kind of politics Bloomberg represents and that of the Clintons and Obama.

Bloomberg's great strength will be that he isn't Hillary Clinton, and he is likely to be more functional than the eventual Republican nominee. Of course, it might turn out to be a 4-way race if Ron Paul weighs in as he has threatened.

One thing about this election is certain. It reiterates the obvious: our political system is broken and neither major party has any interest in fixing it.
Joseph I appreciate your blog -- precisely because I have serious, fundamental differences with you politically. I don't support the Democrats and I despise the knuckle-dragging Republicans. Am I a "progressive purist" No, I'm a socialist and damn proud of it! ;)

But why attack Chris Floyd for doing what, a historian of parapolitics does, that is, research! Your attack makes no sense. Reasonable people after all, can disagree without tossing Floyd's article on the same dung-heap as the "Arkansas Project."

You write: "Floyd's offering is really a brain dump, a mish-mash of stuff that has been floating around for years. I'm not saying that he has published anything untrue or unimportant. But there is nothing new here..."

A "brain-dump"? Come on now! Does the corporate media (not to mention the majority of harebrained "netroots" denizens) ever heard of BCCI, let alone contemplate the implications such an onerous institution poses for democratic society? Nugan-Hand, Castle Bank & Trust, Ltd. anyone? See the pattern here? Bipartisan criminality, covert ops, cut-outs, drug-dealing, money-laundering, on and on...

And another thing... :) certainly you can see Floyd's point re: the secret trade in nuclear technology and 9/11, can't you? What's involved? Covert networks, indeed, many of the same players: ISI, the Afghan-Arab database al-Qaeda, disposable intel assets, ruling class power brokers, incompetence to the point of facilitating mass murder: can you say Colleen Rowley? If Edmonds and Floyd aren't describing a "dark nexus" than what are they describing? Seems pretty damn dark to me.
Tom, you make some good points.

I think I was too hard on Floyd, and probably should apologize. In large part, I was criticizing him for flaws in my own writing.

About once a week I remind myself not to write so discursively. A blog is not a book, and a blog post should make but one point. And yet...

Well, my bad habits should be apparent enough by now. My posts are too long and they cover too much territory.

I might as well admit that the Sibel thing, or at least the blogland reaction to it, is starting to bug me. I fear that it will turn into a dumping ground for every conspiracy story of the past twenty years. (Something similar happened to the Christic case back in the 1980s.)

And THAT would lead to whole lot of problems.

Problem one: I would not want wide-ranging speculation to affect the what-she-saw-with-her-own-eyes reportage of the main source. No, I'm not saying that this has occurred. I'm saying that this sort of thing has happened before.

Problem two: We all want to tie every scandal into one big overarching theory. But life does not work that way.

Problem three: I'm seeing a resurgence in conspiracISM as a weltanschauung. It's an ism like any other -- a cult, a philosophy, a belief system.

And I've seen with my own eyes the dangers of that cult. In the end, it becomes a way of looking at the world. And it becomes divorced from the difficult process of applying standards of evidence to individual claims.

Here's the problem: As you correctly note, there really are conspiratorial actors in this world. BCCI and Nugan Hand and the Safari Club a whole bunch of other stuff you and I could name are all quite real.

But people who become enamoured of conspiracism for its own sake soon lose any sense of the real. Like a junkie shooting increasingly harsh does into his veins, they go on the prowl for ever-new paranoid highs.

Soon they start filling the needle with shit from John Birch, Milton William Cooper, and Nesta Webster.

BAD shit.

I've seen this very process happen -- many, many times.

In an unpublished earlier draft of that post, I compared Floyd's piece to that crazy letter Paul Wilcher sent to Janet Reno. (You can find it on the net if you look.) It was a hundred pages long, and it threw together the Kennedy assassinations, the Son of Sam killings, Waco and god-knows-what-else. (Was Rennes-le-Chateau in there? I can't recall.) Back in the 1990s, this nutball screed was passed around like the Holy effing Grail, as though Wilcher had acquired personal knowledge of these events, when in fact he had merely cribbed from a few dozen conspiracy books.

Frankly, Floyd's piece had kind of a Wilcher-esque odor to it. At least to my nostrils.

I think we have to be a bit more careful. What did Edmonds see? What can we learn from other sources? What is evidence, what is surmise? (I have nothing against surmise, as long as it is clearly labeled.)

Oy. Look, I did it again.

I don't exactly have a right to accuse Floyd or anyone else of being discursive, now, do I?
I agree with your take on "conspiracism" vs. testimony from eyewitnesses, especially from folks like Sibel Edmonds who put their lives on the line. Their lives.

"I fear that it will turn into a dumping ground for every conspiracy story of the past twenty years. (Something similar happened to the Christic case back in the 1980s.)"

I'm afraid the Edmonds case already has. I always thought it critical, a moral imperative even, to support whistleblowers in their very dangerous and very lonely quest for justice, not advance one's own agenda. Quaint, no?

One near recent-and very distasteful-example and then I'll stop. Remember the late, great Gary Webb. Of course yo do! What happened to Webb's solid reportage once Mike Ruppert (!) and company got their claws into that story?

"Soon they start filling the needle with shit from John Birch, Milton William Cooper, and Nesta Webster.

"BAD shit."

VERY BAD shit! 'Nuff said ;)
Yeah, well, an even better example of bad shit is here...

I think Brad is one of the greatest writers alive, but his reader commentary sections often feature contributions from the kind of people I would chase off with a sharpened rake.

I'm still trying to figure out the behind-the-scenes problems referenced here, but it is clear that Sibel is starting to become the story instead of the source. That's a problem, although it may an inevitable one, given the nature of events.

More disturbing is the fact that some readers have fastened onto the Zionist angle. And it seems to me that they are doing it in a very unhealthy way.

This places me in a weird position. I'm no fan of Israel. As you probably know, I got harassed when I published a series of pieces labeling Israel a racist state. I think the very idea of a Jewish state (or an Islamic state, or a Christian state) is wrong.


When conspiracy buffs fasten on "Zionism" as their one-size-fits-all explanation for the Grand Plot -- well. We know what comes next.

We live in such paranoid times that some people can read the above and call me a tool of the Jewish conspirators, while some Jews would call me an anti-Semite.

Bad shit indeed.
Yeah, The Scandal That Wasn't is showing up in a bunch of bizarre places lately, Joseph. I even saw a headline or two about Obama's alleged "shady" "mafia" real estate deal this month. Why do Rove-ites think that shit is selling? Best I can figure, it's just a warm up, to keep the mind of the MSM-reading public believing the Democrats are the ones in political trouble before the bigger smears arrive. But, but...I just don't get why that meme exists at all. To whom does it appeal? "Questionable" real estate buys? It's even more bland than "Hillary doesn't tip enough." They might as well start accusing Obama of not paying his parking tickets. Or of even having parking tickets.
Well, any number of extremely well positioned, highly regarded leaders of nations have made remarks equivalent to stating that 'a' (generic, unspecified) conspiracist theory of current events is true. These would include lionized historical figures such as Winston Churchill, Disraeli, FDR, and etc.

Were all of them raving loons, or were they perhaps pulling the curtain back on the truth to the benefit of us unwashed non-insiders?

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

New Hampshire

Is it paranoid to posit that vote manipulation occurred last night?

The winners of the primary election were the Democrat who would be weakest in the general election and the Republican who, in my view, would be strongest. The conflict (on the Dem side) between all of the final polling and the result is quite troubling. Josh Marshall certainly seems surprised.

Brad Friedman makes a tentative case for the vote-rigging thesis, here and here. He notes that the ballots were counted on Diebold optical scan machines...
Those Diebold op-scan machines are the exact same ones that were hacked in the HBO documentary, Hacking Democracy.
While I have no evidence at this time --- let me repeat, no evidence at this time --- of chicanery, what we do know is that chicanery, with this particular voting system, is not particularly difficult. Particularly when one private company --- and a less-than-respectable one at that, as I detailed in the previous post --- runs the entire process.

I should also note that some 40% of New Hampshire's precincts are hand-counted, which equals about 25% of the votes. All the rest are counted on hackable Diebold op-scan systems, with completely hackable memory cards, all programmed and managed by LHS Associates. As Bev Harris of who seems to share my concern, says, LHS is the "chain of custody" in New Hampshire elections.
Moroever, the pre-election polls were accurate on the Republican side but wildly off the mark when it came to the Dems. Why?

On the other hand: The exit polls (not the pre-election polls) do match the final results. So any theory about rigging the vote must also posit rigging the exit polls. Carry the argument to that point, and most folks will say "You've gone too far."

Even so, I think it is fair to ask whether the exits were modified at the last minute to conform with the actuals, as occurred in Ohio in November of 2004.

Brad punctures a couple of disinformation tales spread (in large part) via right-wing sites. No, it is not true that in the small town of Dixville Notch, 17 votes were tallied despite the presence of only 16 registered voters. No, it is not true that any precinct ran out of paper ballots.

If you're looking for a non-paranoid explanation for Hillary's win, I would suggest that she got the better of Edwards and Obama in that widely-replayed pre-election debate exchange. I prefer both Edwards and Obama (in that order), but both men are starting to piss me off by repeating the word "change" incessantly and mindlessly, as though it were a mantra. That trick worked for Bill Clinton in 1992, but this year the Dems are not running against an incumbent.

Hillary argued that "change" is just a chant unless coupled with real-world actions. By making that point with passion, she simultaneously shed her ice-queen persona and made her opponents look like mere talk-talk-talkers.
When I saw the difference in the polls/votes, I had the same thought about the machines.

I think the distinctions in an Obama/McCain matchup would favor Obama. If I was doing ads for Obama, I'd simply show a continuous loop of McCain hugging Bush, with no voiceover.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the election day exit polls matched the outcome fairly well.

I'm not a supporter of Hillary Clinton, but I disagree that she would be the "weakest in the general election". I think Edwards would have an edge (Male, Southerner, culturally "centrist") but Obama would have some huge hurtles, and it was reflected - to me, atleast - last night. Obviously, for the wrong reasons, but I think we saw a microcosm of his biggest "problem" in this primary. I think most Americans will say publicly that they would vote for Obama but I believe that when the chips are down they'll fold. The trump is race. Is it wrong? Absolutely. Whether we like it or not, there are still HUGE barriers with race. It isn't nearly as overt, but it's still there. It's bullshit. But it exists.
The internal polling for both camps showed an Obama victory. Does that prove vote fraud? No. Is it in the realm of possibility? I would have to say yes.

The mainstream media will now come up with all sorts of explanations to account for the result--except the possibility of vote fraud. I'm not sure how citizens can be blamed (ie...called unpatriotic conspiracy theorists) for questioning the validity of the election results. How can one not be cynical after watching the political BS of the past few years?
"Chelsea Clinton is interviewing a man on the street and she asks him: what are the three things that scare you the most? And the man answers: 'Osama, Obama, and yo' mamma!'"
On Tuesday afternoon I checked into the MSNBC or CNBC to see what was happening in NH. It was being reported how exit poll tabulating personnel were being kept in a “secure room" until the polls closed to prevent contamination or leaks of data to public and press…
John Edwards lost my vote as the result of his performance during the pre-election debate. His handlers told him to say "change" and he surely did--ad nauseum. What a letdown.
Digging a little deeper into TPM, a discussion reveals several hypotheses for what happened, any or all of which seem reasonable and able to explain these results' differing from the polling projections, without resorting to the conspiracy theories I usually favor.

1) 17% undecideds! Somehow, in the rush to bury HRC's campaign and exalt that of BHO, the trumpeting of BHO's new NH double digit lead left this critical number unmentioned or underplayed. HRC may have won simply by garnering the majority of the late deciders, and perhaps for reasons detailed below.

2) Independents split between McCain and BHO. As I understand it, HRC beat BHO in Iowa, AMONG DEMOCRATS. His margin in Iowa was attained by crossover independents voting for him. A problem for BHO in NH was that it was also an open primary, allowing crossover voting, and in the case of NH, there was a viable alternative, the past favorite of independents in the person of John McCain. Some independents who might have gone for BHO may have thought his double digit lead had already secured the win for him, freeing them to vote for McCain. Or NH independents may have more GOP leanings than those in Iowa.

3) With everybody now mimicking BHO's 'change' message, Edwards split his 'change' voters.

4) The female backlash. HRC did far better in the female cohort in NH than she did in Iowa. Perhaps the anti-HRC forces went just too far in denigrating her along sexist lines, or Edwards' remarks about her tearing up, or her tearing up itself, activated women's solidarity with one of their own.

5) For that matter, what was the possible smallest preference difference that double digit lead polling indicated, given the margins of error? If the gap were 10%, but the MOE on the HRC and BHO numbers about the 3% we typically see, the 10 point lead might have been about 4. Few would find overcoming a 4 point lead miraculous or suspicious.

So there are a number of hypotheses that do not require election counting fraud, which would be adequate to explain this discrepancy.

Would all the media coverage concerning the Obama family in Africa the last couple of days have an effect on a certain percentage of voters??
Re: Hillary’s “amazing comeback” in the New Hampshire primary election; was it her tears? I don’t think so. Was it “hordes of women voters?“ I don’t think so. Was it the “Bradley effect?” I don’t think so. It was plain old electronic election theft and fraud.

Senator Obama was robbed of his election victory in New Hampshire by electronic election rigging in favor of Hillary. The most corporate candidates almost always seem to “win” when private corporations “count” the votes. I would suggest that Obama was robbed of victory in the New Hampshire Democratic Primary Election on 8 January 2008 by the criminal electronic flipping of several thousand votes from Obama to Hillary. The so-called “amazing comeback” of Hillary was based on computerized electronic election fraud.

This is just like the Bush/GOP electronic theft of Presidential Election in November 2004 when about seven million Kerry votes were electronically flipped into Bush votes on Election night.

Hillary "won" with the help of Republican corporations "counting" the votes. Certainly the pre-election polls did not indicate that her victory was even remotely possible... Could the right-wing neocon corporatists still be rigging elections in 2008? Hillary is corporate America's best good chance to continue Bush wars and unchallenged corporate greed...
I have zero faith in any election that does not employ the hand-counting of paper ballots. Anything with a “electronic” computerized voting system can be very easily and undetectably rigged…
Most of the “unexpected” and “amazing” Republican election “victories” in the 21st century were the direct result of GOP operatives hacking, rigging and stealing elections electronically…

Below are Brisa’s comments to on 8 January 2008 re: electronic vote “counting” by Diebold in New Hampshire:

“Repost from earlier thread...sorry, but I feel very strongly about this issue...largely ignored by both parties.

Hate to be the skunk at the garden party but...quoting Nancy Tobi of the Democracy for New Hampshire website, "81% of New Hampshire ballots are counted in secret by a private corporation named Diebold Election Systems (now known as "Premier"). The elections run on these machines are programmed by one company, LHS Associates, based in Methuen, MA. We know nothing about the people programming these machines, and we know even less about LHS Associates. We know even less about the secret vote counting software used to tabulate 81% of our ballots."
These are the same machines that were tested in the HBO documentary "Hacking Democracy" in which a computer programmer was able to alter vote totals by introducing computer code through the memory cards. Using an optical scanning machine from a county in Florida, they demonstrated how these machines first attempt to read instructions from the memory card before accepting any votes. The audit log can then be wiped clean to remove any evidence of tampering.
Has this obvious security flaw been changed? There is no way of knowing as the source code is proprietary and not reviewable by anyone outside of the manufacturer.
How can anyone have confidence that the total reported actually represent the votes cast? No random audits are done to verify them. Even when recounts are done, as in the Ohio 2004 presidential election, hanky panky has been practiced as revealed by the recent conviction of two election workers who rigged the recount.
And if the vote totals were accurate in '04...why cheat on the recount?

Posted by brisa at January 8, 2008 09:00 PM.


James K. Sayre
Some interesting NH primary number up here: Of interest is how precincts in larger towns, which correspond to higher use of machine counting of ballots, broke for Clinton. Obama did better in what would appear to be more rural areas. What is most strange is how precints where the counting method is not known, broke wildly for Clinton.

Joseph said, "Moroever, the pre-election polls were...wildly off the mark when it came to the Dems." Important to note that the polls were only off for Obama and Clinton on the Dem side, otherwise they were dead on.
Considering the fact that there were problems with exit polls in the 2000 race that were so bad they decided to eliminate them from the next sham election, and I think it would be fair conjecture to say they might have spent the last four years coming up with a more sophisticated method of dealing with the problem.

Frankly, any poll should be published with full technical data describing methods of data collection and statistical analysis, and those reports should be validated legally.

If and when that is the case, then any poll can be examined by people skilled at those typse of things (actuaries, epidemiologists, etc.) and meaninful analysis of any anomalies can be performed independently.

I find the fact that the mismatch between polling results and vote tally/exit polling results is isolated to the Clinton/Obama couplet to be at least interesting. I would thing some kind of statistical analysis of that anomaly could be done to produce a reliable indication as to whether this type of anomaly has any chance of being legitimate.

In medicine, a confidence interval of 95% is required before a finding parallel to this could be considered significant. I suspect that if these results are the product of manipulation, such an analysis would produce a confidence level in the range of 99.9999%.
The President will be Hillary Clinton or Huckabee... the powers that be have to put someone in they can blackmail that is tied in with all that shady Arkansas CIA drug and gun running stuff. ie. Barry Seal, Iran/Contra, Elohim City on the border of Arkansas, Tim McVeigh, Gun nut conventions, Midwest Bank Robbers. The criminals in high places have to keep the lid on things.
Wow! What a difference counting paper ballots by hand makes!

57,837 votes were counted by hand, and 207,251 votes were counted by machine in the NH democractic primary.

For those votes counted by hand, which comprised nearly 25% of the total vote, Obama led by nearly 3.5% above Hilary.

here's the table of the votes tallied by paper vs by machine from this webpage
A campaign wouldn't need to rig the exit polls; these days, exit polls are regularly "adjusted" to match the reported totals.
If there is a discrepancy with exit polls, I think you might have a smoking gun. But it's my understanding the exit polls agreed with the tallies.

I hasten to say Diebold must go.

I am an Edwards supporter myself.
I think all electronic machines should should be banned.
Those things said, I think Hillary actually won this round.
How's your friend on your couch doin' these days?
Evidently, I was wrong to say HRC beat BHO among registered Democratic voters in Iowa-- in fact, he won them narrowly by a nose, at 32% to her 31%. But that is a far closer contest than the final votes suggested. HRC is far from unacceptable to Democratic voters, and until the Iowa aftermath, she enjoyed her own double digit lead there.

One plausible scenario is that after Iowa, lukewarm and not especially likely voters were willing to tell pollsters they'd go for BHO, but either didn't get out, having exaggerated their commitment to turn out, or changed their peripatetic minds.... again.

This is all very confusing, this vote-rigging reportage. Before this reportage, we had to hear about the debate contestant match-ups being rigged by whoever hosted the debates. Before that reportage we heard that the primary calendar is rigged. Before that we heard that the candidates' chances for any media exposure was rigged by the MSM. Before that, we heard that the entire primary campaign process was rigged by the DNC and the RNC. In general, we hear that all important elections are rigged to favor only the wealthy and best-connected people. And yes, Virginia, even professional tennis is rigged just like oil prices are. Apparently the only things not rigged are the jet chemtrails whose only purpose is to prevent us from capturing clear videos of the UFOs they obscure.
From Kevin Drum, at his site Washington Monthly:

"For what it's worth, Time's Jay Carney, via "a social scientist friend of a colleague" who did some comparisons of polls vs. actual turnout, seems to have the most plausible explanation:

What he that a certain percentage of Democratic voters in the last days of polling presumed Biden (especially) and (to a lesser degree) Dodd hadn't dropped out. By and large, come election day, those Biden and Dodd supporters ended up casting ballots for Hillary. Also, of the 5 percent or so who were still undecideds in the last polls, almost all broke for Hillary.

This makes sense to me. None of the "big" explanations seem to pan out, so it's most likely a collection of little explanations: a few points from Biden supporters, a few points from Dodd supporters, a few points from undecideds, a little bit better turnout from women, and perhaps a bit of polling error in the post-Iowa polls. Add it all up and you get a 10-12 point swing. It's not a sexy explanation, but it seems like it's probably the right one."

Indeed. Seems about right. Plus, one should not forget that the independent vote factor blew out a 'neck and neck' pre-election polled situation between W and McCain last time, to a fully 18% margin for McCain at the end.

So, NH has a past history of its vote being far off from the last polling, just two presidential cycles ago, and far MORE out of line with the polling than this situation.

Dear readers, would it make sense for the voting machines to be fixed... for McCain?!?!... against W and the Bush machine? I'd argue no.

As Bob Sommerby mentions, this discrepancy this time looks a lot worse if one doesn't remember this recent history. Once one does, this mini-reprise of such a discrepancy, a considerably lower discrepancy than in 2000, looks more and more like something driven by the independents. (In 2000, it was Bill Bradley's chances and polls that were left in the dust as the independents broke for McCain instead of Dollar Bill.)

Anon 10:52 you oughta rhyme when you say stuff like that
About exit polls, Fox News had an Obama win and Chris Matthews mentioned that the MSNBC exit polling also had an Obama win. I need to wait for a transcript to provide the corroborating evidence. The link above has this curious update: "A network insider tells TVNewser the [Fox News] exit polls actually were right on. Here are the final exit poll numbers for the Democratic primary:
• Clinton — 39%, Obama — 37%, Edwards — 18%."

An AP exit poll is closer with Obama 39%, Clinton 38%.
Zogby says that according to the exit polls 18% of the voters made up their mind on election day. Not sure how many of those went for Hillary but apparently enough.
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Perhaps I haven't made my feelings about the 9/11 CD nuts clear. (And another thing...!)

God DAMN it, how many time do I have to TELL you people? This blog is my home. My home. THIS IS NOT A PUBLIC SPACE. You are welcome under my roof only so long as you follow my (very few) rules, which I've posted in bright red in the upper left. If you can't see them, you're blind.

Chief rule: NO 9/11 CD NUTS. You have plenty of other places to bray. You don't need to come here. Also, you may not insult me -- just as you may not go into your next-door neighbor's home and insult him.

Comment moderation is back on.

Okay, I am going to take this opportunity to address the WTC7 delusion, even though I have "demolished" this myth on previous occasions.

There is no mystery as to why this building went down, although there is (in my mind, at least) some mystery as to why it stayed up as long as it did. Moreover, there was no reason for anyone to bring it down in the first place.

Yeah, I know all about the SEC offices being located there. So what? Nobody has ever pointed to a single major court case that was affected by the collapse. The evidence stored in those offices was largely duplicated elsewhere. And even if that were not the case, documents can be subpoenaed anew and witnesses can be re-interviewed.

WTC7 was a skyscraper built over ten 35-foot tall power transformers. This unique design problem meant that the architects had to rely on transfer trusses, which many now feel are inherently unstable.

The authorities don't want to talk about transfer trusses because the issue affects quite a few other buildings.

The tranny web sites deliberately lie to you by refusing to show the severe damage to the building on the side facing the twin towers. On their sites, they display only video and photos taken from the north side of the structure.

(To read the rest, click "Permalink" below)

The place was filled with diesel fuel tanks. There was a 6000 gallon tank on the ground floor (actually on a 15 foot pedestal) which serviced Giuliani's stupid Emergency Operations Center on the 23rd floor. That means there were fuel lines running all through the building.

There were another four tanks with an astonishing 36,000 gallons of fuel below ground. These were connected by still more fuel lines to various tanks with hundreds of gallons of fuel on the fifth, sixth and seventh floors, where the fires were most intense. (NYT, March 2, 2002.) These fuel lines were intended to feed generators which would keep various clients (including the CIA) operational in case of a major blackout. Moreover, the transformers required 109,000 gallons of oil. (Environmental News Network, February 5, 2002.)

The whole damn place was a bomb ready to go off. That building housed far more explosive power than McVeigh used in Oklahoma City.

Imagine stacking 40 books on top of an upturned paper cup. Now set the cup on fire.

And here's another problem for the theorists. An AP story published on September 12, 2001, included this paragraph:
After the initial blast, Housing Authority worker Barry Jennings, 46, reported to a command center on the 23rd floor of 7 World Trade Center. He was with Michael Hess, the city's corporation counsel, when they felt and heard another explosion. First calling for help, they scrambled downstairs to the lobby, or what was left of it. "I looked around, the lobby was gone. It looked like hell," Jennings said.
At one time, foolish CD-ers seized upon this very same paragraph as "proof" that a pre-set explosive went off in Building 7. In fact, it proves just the opposite. The key phrase: "After the initial blast." The context of this AP report makes clear that the lobby was ruined after the first impact into the twin towers, but before the South Tower collapsed.

Mull over the chronology.

Why set off a "non-fatal" explosion on the ground floor of WTC7 then? No building had collapsed at that point.

Think about it. Put yourself in the position of an imaginary Dr. Evil, deciding just when to press the button that will set off all of those nefariously hidden explosive devices. Why would you cause an explosion in Building 7 at that moment, before the collapse of the South Tower had taken place? After all, you'd want the public to believe that the Tower's collapse caused the damage to WTC7.

The whole idea is inane. Obviously, Dr. Evil would wait until the South Tower began to fall.

There are those (I'm looking at you, Gary B.) who suspect that the Twin Towers were not brought down by CD but that WTC7 was. Ridiculous. If that scenario were true, then Dr. Evil would have no certain advance knowledge that the Towers would collapse at all. So how would he know that the attack on the twin towers would affect WTC7?

Sorry folks, but logic dictates that a CD theory must encompass all three buildings.

The lobby explosion is best explained by those diesel caches. One engine of the jet that hit the South Tower sailed beyond Building 7 and landed in the street. I think that the other engine, or a projectile of flaming debris, hit WTC7 and ruptured one of the afore-mentioned fuel lines.

Irving Cantor, the engineer initially baffled by the fall of the edifice he had helped create, accepted the preliminary findings of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA pointed an accusing finger at the diesel tanks, which did not feature in the original plans. (NYT, March 2, 2002.) If the FEMA explanation was good enough for Cantor, why isn't it good enough for you? Or are we to suppose that Cantor was "in on it"?

The trannies continue to point to Silverstein's "pull it" remark as proof of pre-planted explosives. He didn't say that the building was to be pulled that day. If you look at his remarks in context, you'll see that he meant that the building should be given up for lost and was not worth the risk of lost lives. He also clearly states that the decision to pull firefighters out of the place belonged to the Fire Chief.

Absurdly, quite a few trannies think that the Chief was "in on it."

The trannies point to the fact that Chief Nigro said that "this building's coming down" prior to its collapse. According to the nutjobs, this statement proves that he had foreknowledge of planted explosives. Quite the opposite.

If he did have such knowledge, then why would he have men inside the building fighting the fire, even after the situation had become extremely dangerous?

His "foreknowledge" derived from the fact that fire had spread to every floor (a fact hidden by the careful photo selection on tranny web sites), and by reports from men inside the building that it was unstable.

And another thing! (I awoke just now with a few more thoughts in my head, so I've decided to expand this post.)

That initial lobby explosion (discussed above) simply does not fit into any CD scenario. How could anyone set off such a massive explosion without any fear of triggering the pre-planted bombs that -- according to the trannies -- had been secreted throughout the structure?

Why would anyone deliberately set off a "non-mortal" ground floor explosion at that time? Name another controlled demolition in which a ground-floor explosion occurred hours before collapse.

Now take another look the photo published above. This image demonstrates the massive blaze which had spread throughout the building. If you look on the net, you'll find other photos and testimony concerning the 20-story wound gouged into the building.

How could such fire and damage occur without setting off those alleged secret bombs?

Are we to posit the existence of fireproof explosives? Why would anyone develop or use such a thing?

When you look at the details and the chronology, the theory of secreted bombs within Building 7 defies all logic. Use Occam's razor, folks: It's a lot easier to posit a ruptured gas line than to posit fireproof bombs.

Now, I know that the CD fanatics will want to offer what they consider a response to all this -- just as the holocaust deniers and the Creationists always have a response to their critics.

Feel free to have your say in some other forum; there are plenty to choose from. After the ghastly way the trannies have treated me, I feel no obligation to debate the 9/11 wackjobs, just as I no longer debate fundamentalist Christians or flying saucer nuts. Fanatics never tire. They are impervious to reasoned argument.

(And if you feel that I'm out of line for using phrases like "nutjobs" and "fanatics" -- see the responses here, or see some of the commentary I used to allow into this blog.)

It makes me sick. Every time the subject of a post goes anywhere near 911, the trannies come out.

I was talking about Sibel freaking Edmonds, people!
That's the real shit. The entire tranny movement is a conspiracy of far right-wingers (Alex Jones, Steven Jones, Jim Marrs, Eric Hufschmid, the Paulies, etc.) designed to hide what actually went down.

If you think I am being unfair -- well, fuck you. The trannies have never treated me fairly. Don't bother telling me that you are going away because I've hurt your widdle feelings. I don't want a large readership and I really don't give even one-half of a fleck of shit if you leave. Remember my motto:

I was wondering when you'd finally clear that up, Joseph. You're always so mealy-mouthed, talking out both sides of your mouth, I can never tell exactly what it is you are thinking on this issue. It's almost as if you are afraid you might offend someone. :)
Poor Joe he never gets it: Reptile and Masons, and facts all vetted.
Pull it?
Why didn’t Jamie Lynne hear it?
Iluminati? We ruminati—
chew cud like cow-turd trutherati
neo nazi scum, obscure the rotting
of Turks and drugs and Albani-ani
(but don’t say drugs near Hiliary)

The real corruption doesn’t matter
we like the tickle-me-elmo blather;
Aliens and giant owls, and Jews
with rotting zion bowels
it fits together almost, you see,
this coloring book conspiracy…
Meanwhile, make it strange
throw in a little, er, loose change
and I maintain, the “truth” gets slain
when you get in bed with the insane
(but really, what about the cocaine??)
Thanks for this blog. Not sure if you hear it enough. Shake them crazies off...
I did think it a little odd that WTC7 went down and the 9/11 Committee didn't seem to adequately deal with the issue. But I am now completely persuaded by your analysis.
I can't see how any of this will help secure the necessary Democratic majorities in Congress and a Democratic White House.

BTW, apparently whatever happened in Shanksville, PA on 9/11/01 stayed in Shanksville after the FBI arrived there. I watched live TV coverage from there before the FBI showed up and after. I don't know if those local feeds went national. None of the eye witness accounts made the final cut into the national narrative.

How many accounts of the Alamo do you know? Which one do you believe, and why? How many accounts of the Japanese surrender in 1945 do you know, and which do you believe and why?

A year before something crashed and burned in Shanksville, PA, my incumbent Senator Arlen Specter was running again. In a telephone radio interview, Arlen was asked (again) to answer for his invention of the 'single bullet theory' during his work for the Warren Commission. Arlen's answer: "It's held up. No one has been able to disprove it". Badaboom.

Applying Occam's razor, I conclude that Stanley Kubrick was murdered since all the simplified 'evidence' leads to that conclusion. Even if a pro hit man confesses, no one would believe it. I really miss Stanley. More than anyone or anything, his work rearranged my neurons into a pattern that would lead me to conclude he was murdered.
Screaming "9/11 was an Inside Job" through a bullhorn is NOT an analysis, but a distraction. BTW: for those interested, the UK parapolitical journal Notes From the Borderland,, runs a side project called "9/11 Cult Watch," Check out the piece by Paul Stott and Heidi Svenson on the despicable fraud, "ex" MI5 spook and current "Messiah" David Shayler:

NFB's publisher Larry O'Hara is a long-time anti-fascist activist and researcher. No Lizardmen there!

Joseph: The CD-ers love to get you all pissed off -- and you gladly give them on a platter what they so desperately crave. Naturally, they keep coming back. It's all Mission Accomplished for them.

You have comment moderation. Simply reject all of their comments and act like they do not exist. We'll never know if they have tried to leave 2 comments or 2,000. Who cares?

They will see they have no effect on you and they have no voice at the blog. But as long as you keep talking to them, they have no reason to leave.
Galvan: Hillary Clinton has alot of nerve to compare herself to MLK or LBJ. The Clintons are Slimebags!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

april241974: i didnt say i liked him though
i want anyone in office that would
direct more money towards research to help
sick people who are dying without hope YES!
mitochondrial disease
Hillary looks OLD like Richard Nixon in the TV Debates
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Monday, January 07, 2008

Sibel Edmonds: Talking Turkey

Larisa Alexandrovna has done some incredible work lately. An intelligence source has used her to float an interesting theory of the Bhutto assassination -- a theory whose merits I'm still mulling over.

But her dashed-off remarks on the Sibel Edmonds case are particularly intriguing...
Of the more important groups, there is the American Turkish Council and of the more important companies, there is Northrop Grumman (not the entire company, but key individuals).

I cannot emphasize enough the Gray (also can be Grey) Wolves or as they are otherwise known: "Bozkurtlar ." Ask what other neo-fascist organizations are similar to this one? For example, The Muslim Brotherhood.

I would also suggest that folks look up Yassin Al Kadi, as well as the scandal of BCCI: Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia... you get the picture. I don't. That's a frame and a canvas, and maybe a coat of gesso, but a picture it ain't.

So let's pick up a detail brush -- and let's start with Al Kadi.

Yassin Al Kadi, or al-Qadi (as always with Arabic names, transliterations abound) is a Saudi multimillionaire whose possible ties to terror are detailed in this Cooperative Research page. Specifically, he has been linked to an investment firm called BMI which has been tied in with an extremist network. Although Al-Qadi says that his involvement with BMI was minimal, and even though BMI went belly-up in 1999...
Shortly after 9/11, the US will officially declare al-Qadi a terrorist financier
Despite which:
Saudi multimillionaire Yassin al-Qadi will say in an interview shortly after 9/11, “I have also met with US Vice President and former Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney in Jeddah [Saudi Arabia] when he came for a lecture organized by the Dallah Group. I spoke to him for a long time and we still have cordial relations.”
Al-Qadi also invested heavily in PTech, a firm already familiar to many of you, since it was accused of being a front for both Al Qaeda and a faction of American intelligence. The head of PTech, Oussama Ziade, confirmed that Al-Qadi spoke often -- and glowingly -- of his friendship with Dick Cheney.

There's much more, but it all comes down to this: Al-Qadi keeps denying having ties to terror, yet many continue to level that very accusation against him.
Al-Qadi admits to giving bin Laden money for his “humanitarian” work, but says this is different from bin Laden’s militant activities. Presented with this information, the US Treasury Department only says that the US “is pleased with and appreciates the actions taken by the Saudis” in the war on terror.
So how does he figure into Sibel's tale, which centers on Turkey?

Perhaps this page, which features an Online Journal article by Devlin Buckley offers a few clues:
A court in Turkey has frozen the assets of Yasin al-Qadi [1] a one-time acquaintance of Vice President Dick Cheney [2] and reported “chief money launderer” of Osama bin Laden.
Turkish investigations into al-Qaeda have been obstructed to protect conflicts of interest, financial and otherwise, among al-Qadi and high-ranking Turkish officials, according to dissenting investigators and government officials.

Al-Qadi, as the Turkish Daily News notes, “has high-level support in Turkey, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan going on record as saying ‘I know Mr. Yasin, and I believe in him as I believe in myself,’ when speaking to NTV on July 11, 2006.”

“Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal accused Erdogan’s government of blocking an investigation into Qadi’s financial affairs, focusing on reported money transfers by Erdogan’s adviser Cuneyd Zapsi to Qadi in the 1990s when Zapsi and Qadi were business partners,” the Turkish Daily News notes.
Al-Qadi owned a Massachusetts-based technology firm and defense contractor known as Ptech, which, according to U.S. intelligence officials who spoke to 9/11 whistleblower Indira Singh, was a “CIA clandestine op on the level of Iran-Contra.”

Moreover, according to Singh, a CBS affiliate in Boston “paid for private investigators to follow a couple of the Ptech people, and it did go to a mob-run warehouse area and the reports came back that basically it was a drop shipment place for drugs.”
Ah. Drugs. Now we are (you should pardon the expression) talking Turkey. Which is to say: Now we are getting into Sibel Edmonds territory.

Take it home, Sibel:
According to 9/11 whistleblower and former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, state-sponsored Turkish networks make up the “main players” in Afghanistan’s illicit opium trade.

Such groups, according to Edmonds, “purchase the opium from Afghanistan and transport it through several Turkic speaking Central Asian states into Turkey, where the raw opium is processed into popular byproducts; then the network transports the final product into Western European and American markets via their partner networks in Albania.”

Coincidently, in December of last year, as reported by The American Monitor, al-Qadi’s assets were confiscated in Albania, where he reportedly assisted the CIA to funnel covert support to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). Such operations were reportedly financed using opium profits.
According to Edmonds, “The Turkish government, MIT and the Turkish military, not only sanctions, but also actively participates in and oversees the narcotics activities and networks.”

“We know that Al Qaeda and Taliban’s main source of funding is the illegal sale of narcotics,” Edmonds notes, adding, “we know that Turkey is a major, if not the top, player in the transportation, processing, and distribution of all the narcotics derived from the Afghan poppies, and as a result, it is the major contributing country to Al Qaeda.”
I keep having the feeling that the Balkan wars of the 90's may be the key to understanding a lot of this stuff -- the drugs, the Turkish connection, the use by the US of al Qaeda or related assets as proxies, their Saudi backers...

Only trouble is, I don't know a tenth as much about the Balkans wars as I ought to.

What I do know is that in 1992, the George H.W. Bush administration decided to support the Bosnian "jihad" and that there was an attempt to get pro-Israeli factions in the US behind it. (Abdurahman Alamoudi and Khaled Saffuri were involved with the Bush lobbying effort -- they were later connected with Grover Norquist and Jack Abramoff on similar efforts on behalf of Kosovo in the late 90's -- and Alamoudi has more recently been accused of being a fundraiser for al Qaeda.)

The Clinton administration continued the Bush policy on Bosnia, leading up to the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995. Feith and Perle were involved by that point, being behind something called the Bosnian Defense Fund, set up at Riggs Bank. Some of those funds allegedly went to support al Qaeda units operating in Bosnia. This is also where al-Qadi, apparently ties in, although it's not clear to me just how.

My notes indicate that the drug trade was being used to finance the Bosnian Muslim Army in the early 90's (as well as the Kosovo Liberation Army a few years later), and that after the Bosnian War ended in 1995, many of the jihadis turned into ordinary drug mafiosi. (The same interests were also involved in arms-running and the sex trade, and the involvement of Dyncorp in child prostitution in Bosnia may have something to do with it as well.)

Chechnya and the powerful Chechen Mafia were also deeply tied in with the drug trade which ran through Turkey and the Balkans -- that being the primary route by which Afghan heroin moves into Europe. And Chechnya was yet another area where the US, the Neocons, al Qaeda, and the drug smugglers all seemed to be on the same side, getting their whacks in against Russia.

In fact, the real key to much of this may be that even after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia (and with it Serbia) continued to be regarded as the real enemy and was the focus of many of these seemingly whacky US policies.

Beyond that, I don't know. But it's clearly this 90's stuff that we really need to be looking at, both to understand what was going on with Turkey, the drug trade, and al Qaeda, and also to identify what Sibel may have been seeing in those intercepts from the late 90's.
Al Qadi's assets were also confiscated in Albania. He also comes up with Indira Singh (1 2), Ptech and the FAA failures on 911.
starroute comments:

"I keep having the feeling that the Balkan wars of the 90's may be the key to understanding a lot of this stuff -- the drugs, the Turkish connection, the use by the US of al Qaeda or related assets as proxies, their Saudi backers..."

Michel Chossudovsky has written extensively on this issue. In "Kosovo 'Freedom Fighters' Financed by Organized Crime" (Covert Action Quarterly, Spring-Summer 1999, No. 67) Chossudovsky informs us:

"The supply routes for arming KLA 'freedom fighters' are the rugged mountainous borders of Albania with Kosovo and Macedonia. Albania is also the hub of the Balkans drug route which supplies Western Europe with grade four heroin. Seventy five percent of the heroin entering Western Europe is from Turkey. And a large part of drug shipments originating in Turkey transits through the Balkans."


"In order to thrive, the criminal syndicates involved in the Balkans narcotics trade need friends in high places. Smuggling rings with alleged links to the Turkish state are said to control the trafficking of heroin through the Balkans 'cooperating closely with other groups with which they have political or religious ties,' including criminal groups in Albania and Kosovo. In this new global financial environment, powerful undercover political lobbies connected to organized crime cultivate links to prominent political figures and officials of the military and intelligence establishment."

The self-same pattern replicated itself earlier in Afghanistan via the CIA's sister organization, the Pakistani ISI. Check out Alfred W. McCoy's "The Politics of Heroin," for relevant documentation.

Aren't just such "powerful undercover political lobbies connected to organized crime" who "cultivate links to prominent political figures and officials of the military and intelligence establishment," precisely the corporate/criminal milieu that Sibel Edmonds is describing?

Turkish political commentators and analysts describe the phenomenon as the "deep state," the intersection of corporate interests, criminal syndicates, the military/intelligence services and far-right parties (MHP, Grey Wolves) -- secular and Islamist. Can you say ATC!

And, I'll editoralize: these are precisely the connections the 9/11 nutters don't want any of us to see!
I'll editorialize as well, Tom. The Ptech- Indira Singh stuff is relevant mostly because it points to CIA links to Ptech and names other interesting people like Yacub Mirza. As I recall Flight 11 was still being reported as showing up on FAA radar 20 minutes after it actually crashed, the war games had previously involved "injects" of simulated data onto FAA radar screens, and it is almost certain that such injects occurred on 9/11. We have the Cheney-Minetta-Flight 77 radar thing as well. Taken as a whole it is perfectly reasonable to ask questions about the FAA radar on 911 and the war games in a context where the software was supplied by a company with dubious terrorist financing and links to US intelligence. None of which detracts from the primacy of Al Qadi's drug links. The mindless 911 "nutters" criticism always struck me as self-indulgent crap. Some people focus on other issues -- so what?
Dear anon44

There are 9/11 nutters. My comments were not directed against researchers exploring the covert or "deep state" connections amongst the 9/11 terrorists and corporate/political power centers they serve. Ptech certainly falls under that purview.

However, you'd have to agree there are scads of individuals within the so-called "Truth Movement" all too willing to accept any crap that comes along -- holograms surrounding missiles striking the Towers (that my dear anon44 is the latest from "ex" MI5 spook and current "Messiah" David Shayler), and the anti-Semitic drivel spewed forth by neo-Nazis). That's what I mean by "9/11 nutters." No more, no less. Hope that clears things up.
I'm having a bad day, Tom. Clarification accepted.
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The candidates read Cannonfire

Not long after I had a private email tiff with Cynthia McKinney, I find that my piece on Dennis Kucinich's flying whatzit sighting has received a reply from Kucinich himself. At least, I think comment 13 is really his. The odd thing is, he responds to all sorts of points I did not make -- yet he does not talk about my explanation for the whatzit.

At least he was polite enough to ignore the earlier post in which I confessed to having fantasies about his wife.
That's because he knows the only difference between you and every heterosexual man and lesbian woman on the planet is that you confessed. ;)
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After reading his comments, I'll say this: Every vote is a compromise. I doubt any candidate satisfies the views and desires of most individual voters on every single issue. We should vote for the best AVAILABLE candidate in every primary, and continue to support the best AVAILABLE and ELECTABLE candidate we can when the general election comes around.

Willingness to compromise here is not the problem here. In fact, the problem is just the opposite. We get so pissed off and rigid in our views and desires, that liberals will either drop out or run off to support some unelectable third party candidate as an act of protest, throwing the election to the worst possible choice.

Kucinich has been my top choice here, despite my disagreements with him on healthcare, because he meets my views on issues I consider to be the most important. However, I was happy when he openly identified Obama as his second choice in Iowa.

In view of the Ralph Nader threats, I hope I am misunderstanding Dennis' statements about "voting with integrity".
Supposedly DK should be my top pick if elections were only about past voting records.

I won't vote for him on several reasons.

He would work/run with Ron Paul if he did not win the Democratic ticket.

He is way to reactionary, have you listened to him respond to interviewers questions or statements. I'll say this, he is all about Dennis Kucinich.

Dennis wants to be president not for America, but to prove something to Dennis.

Short guy complex, totally
This looked interesting.
A true LOL moment on the wife thing

IMO, Obama will do us all proud provided he can endure the 'Swiftboat/(and the new)POW/(and the coming)I hate N*****s for truth' gauntlet.
It wont be pretty.
Welcome to the United States of Disney

Dear Fellow Kucinich Supporters,

On Saturday night we officially became the United States of Disney. While Republican candidates railed about the threat of Islamo-fascists, Americans were oblivious that in fact, the greatest treat to our freedom was transpiring right before them - corporate-controlled media, a key component of fascism, used their power to exclude the one candidate from the debates who dares to stand up to them. To "cover" their coup, they ran a silly fluff piece prior to the debate about people who are running for president with no organization behind them and questioned why they would do such a thing other than to massage their own egos.

But the candidate Disney/ABC arbitrarily excluded from the debate is a viable candidate who has hundreds of thousands of supporters and a solid organization in every state. Dennis Kucinich has been campaigning non-stop for over a year with his wife, Elizabeth. He's on the ballot in almost every state. This isn't some vanity campaign that the Corporate-controlled media has deliberately tried to make disappear - this is the one candidate who is running for all the right reasons - because he wants to save our country from the takeover of special interests.

While John Edwards, during the debate, eloquently and passionately decried the stranglehold special interests have on our nation, he never once mentioned that Disney/ABC had excluded one of his fellow candidates from the debate. How disingenuous! He also failed to mention the fortune he has invested in a hedge fund that makes him as vested in these special interests as anyone.

I watched the entire debate on Saturday night, and have to admit that compared to the Republicans, any of the Democratic candidates sounded like a good bet. But here's the catch - while they debated who was the more likely to bring about change and who had more experience actually initiating change, not one of them has ever proved they have the courage to stand up to the status-quo that will do whatever it takes to prevent change. If they had, ABC would have kept them off that stage too. So while just about everything spoken by the four Democratic candidates sounded good, I couldn't help thinking that this was just another Disney performance. Put any of them in the White House and you'll get the same disappointment we're experiencing with the Democratic Congress we elected in '06. We worked our tails off to get them elected and they conveniently forgot why we did it.

Here are some words you didn't hear uttered during the debate - words that Dennis Kucinich would have said if he had been given his place at the table. Words the American people deserve to hear:

Impeach - The majority of Americans want to see Bush and Cheney held accountable for the lies and corruption that have driven our country to the brink of moral, financial and military bankruptcy. Dennis Kucinich introduced a bill to impeach Dick Cheney last November. The Democratic leadership moved to table it. It was only because REPUBLICANS voted against tabling it that the bill didn't die immediately on the floor and instead now languishes in the Judicial Committee.

Not for Profit Health Care - Don't let them fool you - the insurance companies are the problem because they only make a killing when they deny patients health care. Keep them in the mix and you will never have healthcare for all.

End NAFTA and get out of the WTO - Although Edwards briefly alluded to the problems our trade agreements have caused to working-class Americans, no Democratic candidate is ever going to criticize a trade policy that was put through by President Bill Clinton - even if it is the cause of not only job loss, but the surge in illegal immigration from Mexico. No candidate, that is, except the one we can count on to always speak the truth - Dennis Kucinich.

The corporate-controlled, censored media has carefully orchestrated the obliteration of Dennis Kucinich. This is the third debate he's been kept from. They are also distorting his politically strategic move in the Iowa caucuses to suggest supporters cast their second vote for Obama, as a indication that Dennis has quit the race and is throwing his support behind Obama. Nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, Bill Richardson did the exact same thing as Kucinich and he still got to be in the debate last night!

Is it too late? Has corporate-controlled media become so powerful that they can decide who our candidates are, and delude us into thinking we are actually electing our leaders? There's one way to find out. Let's make this a real democracy where people talk to people. Let's spend the next weeks before our state primary contacting voters and telling them about the one candidate who hasn't just been talking about change, his entire political career has been the embodiment of change.

What you do over the next few weeks might mean the difference between waking up this time next year in a Disneyland where the majority of Americans will be grateful for the most menial jobs, while the wealthy few get a free ride, or taking our country back from the military/industrial/insurance/media fascists. Please go to now and sign up to be on a DK Team. We are currently organizing to reach out to voters by phone and in person and your local DK Team Leader will contact you to see the best way you can get involved.

In peace & hope,
jeeni, I'm going to let this stay up, if only to prove that I'm not as furious at DK as I was just a week ago. The Ron Paul thing really, really, really bugged me -- and do not TRY to defend that statement, because neither you nor anyone else will ever have the right words.

You may be a newcomer, jeeni, so understand that I don't get paid to run this site. This is my HOME, not a public forum, not a free speech zone, and commenters are welcome only if they don't rile the proprietor. And some days, he gets riled pretty easily.

Them's my rules and they're not open for discussion.

Kucinich lost me -- forever -- when his fetching wife, in a local interview, said that Dennis would not promise to support the Democratic nominee if he does not win. Unforgivable.

Don't try to justify it: You'll only piss me off. UNFORGIVABLE.

Lizzie immediately went off my lust list.

Although the accent and the red hair still slay me.
'I'll always vote for the Democratic candidate, no matter what he or she stands for'. Principled? You wouldn't think that about Labour if you were in Britain, Joseph!

Millions of decent people in America tell pollsters they want the Bushites impeached. Millions, often without any previous political background, gave up their time to work for Gore and Kerry victories, only to see the Repuglicans win by cheating and the Democratic candidates extol the legitimacy of the cheats. That's not to mention the global Repuglican-Democratic cooperation in the National Endowment for Democracy and its 'colour revolutions' and other imperialist psy-ops campaigns.

It's about time people told the media and the pols to stick their election where the sun don't shine, and start to try other means than parliamentary democratic passivity dressed up as activism or involvement.

'The World Can't Wait' had it right. Sure it was probably the pseudo-opposition to the pseudo-opposition, and completely safe, but...

Kucinich isn't the answer; neither is Clinton or whoever. Nobody is the answer. Vote for Nobody. Nobody will tell you the truth.

Personally I think the Republican candidate or Bloomberg will win.

Thanks for your interest
First Mike Gravel was removed from the debate stages. To my senses, Gravel and Kucinich usually upstaged the rest of the field, also the hotdog moderators. Kucinich on the Patriot Act: "I read it". Merely being themselves, Gravel and Kucinich made the others look scripted, safe, and -- what? conservative? Republican? moronic? It was getting embarrassing, they were getting cheers and applause.

DK's youthful idealism hasn't wavered in 25 years, and now he's fairly mainstream. His absolutism here and there is all that separates him from his fellow mainstream contenders. This time, DK has genuine competition. There's not a whole lot of reason to support him apart from his personality and character, both of which can be fairly admired or mocked. But it's just not his night, again. He wouldn't be a 'first in our history' like a Hillary, a Barack, or a Bill would be a first. Way up on top of what means 'politics' and 'political' are the notions of gender and heritage, and well, it's how it is. The watchamacallit's always the last to know. Support the campaign troops! Get out the vote!

Did anyone see that panel discussion at U of Oklahoma, with NYC Mayor Bloomberg, former Senators Hart, Nunn, Boren (the Sooners president and the host), Cohen, and Hagel, Leach, and some others, all of Cheney's generation? They looked like Civil War veterans. They sounded like The Defeated.

You know, many 'voters' voted for Bush because they thought he was his father, literally. Are there any survey numbers to show how many 'voters' believe that Dennis Kucinich and Newt Gingrich are inextricably linked in their minds for the -ich markers? ("More data!" -- Goethe)
Nice try, "b."

The Republican candidate doesn't have a shot here. It's more obvious to me now than it's ever been. And why not? As Joe has posted before, the GOP, the neo-cons, the Pentagon and the mainstream media are trying their collective god-damned best to make sure all of the worst scandals, (particularly the economic and miliary ones) hit the proverbial fan under a Democratic Administration. No Republican face is going to be on television to take the fall for this shit.
Jen - surely they'd be in a safer position, i.e. safer from being prosecuted and going to jail, if they were still in government? Or do you think Clinton will sign pardons for Cheney etc., the way Ford did for Nixon? I'd be interested to hear you explain your scenario. Please could you factor in an explanation of why the leading Democrats are not CURRENTLY all ganging up to call for prosecutions, either for war crimes or for corruption.

Sure, I know lawyers are working away. But 'leave it to the lawyers' didn't help when the Repuglicans stole two elections...

Too many people are too fixated on the next election. I've seen this before, Jen - in the UK in the 1980s when there was a dream that all you had to do was give it 'one more push' for a Labour victory. In the meantime conditions were pushed further and further into the doo-doo. Elections are BS. They even held one in June 1968 in France. The Gaullists won! But power lies on the streets and in the workplaces.

Deighved - just a quick comment on your idea that every heterosexual man and lesbian woman on the planet has fantasies about some American politician's wife. You don't think you're being a little US-centric? Most people on the planet have never heard of either her or her husband! Out of every 20 people, 19 don't live in the US.

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Sibel speaks

I had planned to leave my post on Sibel Edmonds' interview with the Sunday Times to stay on top for awhile, but new material has come forward. (Read or skim the story below before dealing with this one.)

The former FBI translator has named all the individuals who -- she says -- played a role in the convoluted tale of treasonous activity that she uncovered while working for the Bureau. The information comes to us in an interesting way: She provided photos, and lukery provides names. As added value, I'm including a few biographical details. (Larisa Alexandrovna offers her own list here.)

Here they are:

1. Pentagon and State Department officials...

Richard Perle: Chairman of the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee (2001-2003), leading member of neocon groups PNAC, JINSA and WINEP.(He's a registered Democrat, believe it or not, out of respect for Scoop Jackson.)

Douglas Feith: Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, 2001-2005; head of the Office of Special Plans (Pentagon intel/propaganda unit accused of using forged evidence); JINSA.

Eric Edelman: Principal Deputy Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs (2001-2003); former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey (2003-2005); current Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

Marc Grossman: United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (2001-2005) Met with Pakistan's notorious intelligence head, General Mahmoud Ahmed, just before September 11, 2001.

Brent Scowcroft: Chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (2001-2005). Founder of the Scowcroft Group and The Forum for International Policy.

Larry Franklin: Officer in the Office of Special Plans, guilty to disclosing classified information to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)

2. Congress-critters...

Dennis Hastert: R-IL. House Speaker 1999-2005. (The only Speaker to last longer in the job than -- urp! -- Joseph Cannon.) Connected to Abramoff scandal.

Roy Blunt:
R-MO. House member from 1997; current House Minority Whip. Heavily tied to the tobacco industry nand to Tom Delay; considered one of the most corrupt members of Congress.

Dan Burton: R-IN. House member since 1983. Notorious for going on lobbyist-funded golf junkets and for voting against bills that would prevent lobbyist bribery. (He once recommended placing an aircraft carrier off the coast of Bolivia, a land-locked country.)

Tom Lantos: D-CA. Representing San Mateo in the House since 1981; will soon step down due to illness. Holocaust survivor and fighter in the anti-Nazi underground. Chairman of the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Bob Livingston: R-LA. House Member 1977-1999; resigned over revelation of extramarital affairs. Since then, he has been a lobbyist, operating on behalf of Turkey.

Stephen Solarz: D-NY. House member 1975–1993; National Democratic Institute for International Affairs; Intellibridge.

3. Think tankers -- primarily the Washington Institute on Near East Policy, WINEP...

Graham E. Fuller: RAND. (I'm not sure of the role played by RAND in Sibel's story, but Larisa has advised readers to pay special attention here.) From this bio: "an independent writer, analyst, lecturer and consultant on Muslim World affairs and Adjunct Professor of History at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver."

David Makovsky: WINEP. CFR. American scholar and Israeli journalist. Former editor of The Jerusalem Post. Bio here. "In March 1995, with assistance from U.S. officials, Mr. Makovsky was given unprecedented permission to file reports for an Israeli publication from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Alan Makovsky: WINEP. (Not sure of his relationship to David.) State Department veteran; specialist in Turkish affairs.

Yusuf Turani:
This bio is pretty fascinating. He grew up under harsh conditions in a labor camp in Eastern Turkistan, which was under the control of China. He later stayed in Saudi Arabia and Turkey, then moved to the United States, where he became a physics teacher and a musician. He has devoted himself to freeing his homeland.

Professor Sabri Sayari: Georgetown, WINEP, RAND. Executive Director of the Institute of Turkish Studies and a Research Professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

Mehmet Eymur: Connected to the MIT, Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (Turkey's CIA). Lukery incorrectly labels him the former head of the MIT; he actually directed the Department for Counter-Espionage. Forced out in 1987. Accused of involvement in the bloody Taksim Square Massacre of May 1 1977 and the March 30, 1972 Kizildere massacre. Linked with Operation Gladio, the Grey Wolves and other Turkish ultra-nationalist groups; see here, where he is accused of heading an "illegal group" within MIT. (I'm not nearly as informed on Tukish history as I ought to be; however, I am reminded of the parallel situation in Italy's SISMI.)

In this group, the haunting names are Tom Lantos (who has acted quite courageously on Darfur and who has always been quite good on domestic issues) and Yusuf Tarani, about whom I would like to know more. At this point, nothing said about guys like Hastert or Edelman or Feith could possibly surprise me.

Larisa lists various groups worthy of study, including the Grey Wolves. This was the fascist Turkish party which counted Mehmet Ali Agca -- the guy who shot the Pope -- among its members. Some of the neocons currently troubling the world conspired to spread the lie that Agca did what he did on behalf of the KGB; naturally, they covered up his Grey Wolves background.

Allow me to quote a bit from Larisa's own comments on the Sibel affair:
I have tried getting someone in broadcast and print media to run this story. My sources did not include Edmonds, but because of the sensitive nature of the information, I was concerned that she would go to jail anyway, unless I proved she was not a source - which would require me to reveal my sources.

I thought if I approached a big enough news outlet, the pressure generated by the public response would spare Edmonds jail time and I would not be pressured to reveal sources - something I would not have done anyway. Even a former high ranking CIA officer offered to byline the article with me if that would help sell a broadcaster/publication on running the story. No one was interested.
The media's response has indeed been infuriating. No American publication has touched the story. You can't even get the internet publications to talk about this stuff -- not Salon, not Slate, not TPM, not the larger bloggers.

Yet the story has been covered by Haaretz in Israel, by the Times of India, by The Australian, and even by Pakistan's Daily Times.

I guess Americans aren't supposed to know about treason committed by American officials.
The Somali Garowe Online has picked up the story. Yes, Somalia, a country wracked by war and anarchy, has scooped the United States.
Not getting your money's worth from your commercial information outlets? Do what my neighbor does: she pays for cable (Time-Warner) and for newspaper delivery with her credit card; she buys news magazines as single issues and pays by credit card. If she believes that the product or service is damaged or defective, or a flagrant misrepresentation, she doesn't pay the credit card's charge for it because the bank grants her that good-faith option. She's a guerrilla warrior. What else can one person do?
I don't know how far to push it as a theory, but some of those names are suggestive of pan-Turanism -- a type of Turkic ultra-nationalism espoused by the Grey Wolves -- as well as of the Bernard Lewis strategy of using pan-Turanism (also called pan-Turanianism) as a means of encircling, containing, and even nibbling away at both Russia and China (not to mention Iran).

East Turkistan, of which Turani styles himself the prime minister in exile, is an old name for Xinjiang, China's easternmost region -- and is obviously a custom-made target for this pan-Turanian strategy. Graham Fuller is also known for having taken an interest in that region.

All of Central Asia is full of militant groups which appear to be allied with both the US and al Qaeda simultaneously -- which is either a really neat trick or an indication that the 80's strategy of using al Qaeda to beat back the Russians never really ended. This may explain why there have been a couple of dozen Uighurs -- Xinjiang natives -- held at Guantanamo under what appears to be a somewhat ambiguous status.

And then there's the Shanghai Cooperative Organization, which represents China's own best effort to make nice with the Central Asian 'stans and pry them away from the embrace of the US.

That's about the extent of my knowledge of these things. Basically, I know enough to be aware that much of what Sibel says should be viewed in a context of the kind of geostrategic games they like to play over at CSIS (where Brent Scowcroft, current chairman of the American Turkish Council, is a big wheel) -- but not much more than that.
Reminds me of the Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce.
joe, that photo that lukery says is brent scowcroft actually appears to be steve friedman! i noted that in a comment on his site, and then checked it out. the photo itself is director of the national economic council, formerly of goldman sachs.

don't know how scowcroft's name got attached to that photo, but it is NOT him. y
Dr E - thanks.

To be clear, the problem was with the photo.

The photo has been fixed - and is now clearly brent scowcroft.

He is the Chairman of the ATC.
I've known for years that the Israeli's had infiltrated our government. They're like a fucking parasite.

Anyone with dual citizenship (US/Israeli, US/Turk, etc) should be barred from holding any sort of clearance in the US government.

Jamie in Boston
As far the neo-fascist Grey Wolves go, check out the highly-informative 1997 piece by Martin A. Lee on Bob Parry's excellent

"On the Trail of Turkey's Terrorist Grey Wolves," June 16, 1997,

I don't know if this is on-line any longer but Covert Action Quarterly ran an excellent piece on Turkey's Counter-Guerrilla networks (Turkish Gladio): Ertugrul Kurkcu, "Turkey: Tarpped in a Web of Covert Killers," Summer 1997, Number 61.

and from Glasgow:

"United States and NATO Inspired 'Psychological Warfare Operations' Against The 'Kurdish Communist Threat' in Turkey," Desmond Fernandes and Iskender Ozden, Variant 12, Spring 2001,

As detailed in the articles above as well as in Martin A. Lee's essential book, The Beast Reawakens, Pan-Turkish nationalism was a significant ideological hook for fascist and Nazi-minded nationalists during the Cold War...and beyond.

I can't stress enough: neo-Nazi as well as far-right Islamist intelligence assets of the "Gladio" variety in Italy and Belgium and/or the Afghan/Arab database al-Qaeda are merely the hammers used to strike enemies de joure by imperialism. And, like all assets, they are neither puppets nor fools (though some, not all, undoubtedly are). Often double or even triple agents (Ali Mohammed) they can just as easily strike their "masters" (9/11) as their masters' targets: Bosnia, Kosovo, Italian leftists, etc.

The significance of Sibel Edmonds latest revelations is that she has torn back the curtain on the inner workings of "global Gladio", the paymasters - or what investigative journalist Philip Willan in his landmark study of Italian Gladio's machinations termed the "Puppetmasters." This makes her revelations very dangerous.
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BOMBSHELL! Sibel Edmonds speaks (Updated thrice)

Note: I rarely ask readers to publicize Cannonfire posts. But on this occasion, I beg you to spread links either to this story or to the Sunday Times piece which provides its backbone. You should also tell people about lukery's new Kos diary.)

LATEST UPDATE: Sibel has named all names.

A while back, Sibel said that she would spill all beans to a major news organization, and damn the consequences. Today, London's Sunday Times has published at least some of what she has to say.

Israel, Turkey and Pakistan, she says, have planted moles in ultra-secure United States institutions involving our nuclear security -- including Los Alamos. (According to Joseph Trento, Pakistan has acted as something of a "cut out" for Saudi Arabia on nucelar matters.)
“If you made public all the information that the FBI have on this case, you will see very high-level people going through criminal trials,” she said.

Her story shows just how much the West was infiltrated by foreign states seeking nuclear secrets. It illustrates how western government officials turned a blind eye to, or were even helping, countries such as Pakistan acquire bomb technology.

The wider nuclear network has been monitored for many years by a joint Anglo-American intelligence effort. But rather than shut it down, investigations by law enforcement bodies such as the FBI and Britain’s Revenue & Customs have been aborted to preserve diplomatic relations.
The moles were not just protected -- they were aided by high-ranking U.S. personnel.
The Turks and Israelis had planted “moles” in military and academic institutions which handled nuclear technology. Edmonds says there were several transactions of nuclear material every month, with the Pakistanis being among the eventual buyers. “The network appeared to be obtaining information from every nuclear agency in the United States,” she said.

They were helped, she says, by the high-ranking State Department official who provided some of their moles – mainly PhD students – with security clearance to work in sensitive nuclear research facilities.
Why would Americans do such thing? Good old-fashioned bribery plays a large part...
In one conversation Edmonds heard the official arranging to pick up a $15,000 cash bribe. The package was to be dropped off at an agreed location by someone in the Turkish diplomatic community who was working for the network.

The Turks, she says, often acted as a conduit for the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s spy agency, because they were less likely to attract suspicion. Venues such as the American Turkish Council in Washington were used to drop off the cash, which was picked up by the official.
Wrap your minds around that: Betraying your country for a mere $15,000.

Sibel brings in a name that should be very familiar to Cannonfire readers:
The Pakistani operation was led by General Mahmoud Ahmad, then the ISI chief.

Intercepted communications showed Ahmad and his colleagues stationed in Washington were in constant contact with attachés in the Turkish embassy.

Intelligence analysts say that members of the ISI were close to Al-Qaeda before and after 9/11.
Ahmad -- or Ahmed, the transliteration more often seen -- has been persuasively accused of funneling $100,000 to Mohammed Atta. Although he no longer controls the Pakistani equivalent of the CIA, Ahmed has been called the major player in Pakistan's enormous drug trade.

More than any other Pakistani, Ahmed was responsible for the creation of the Taliban. There are those who say that he arranged the escape of Osama Bin Laden and comrades into his country; others say that Ahmed is the real leader of Al Qaeda.

Benazir Bhutto blamed Ahmed for the first assassination attempt against her. We may never know if he engineered the attack that succeeded.

How the hell could Ahmed get away with all of this? This man's name should be as notorious as Osama Bin Laden's -- yet few Americans have heard of him. Why?

The series of bribes outlined by Sibel Edmonds goes some ways toward offering an explanation. But the strange fact is that Ahmad has also maintained strong ties to the American neoconservative movement. Forgive the self-quotation:
The ISI Director worked closely with the CIA for many years, and it is known that he met with Richard Armitage, a key player in the Reagan, Bush I and Bush II administrations. (Armitage helped stop Valerie Plame's efforts against nuke proliferation, and signed the infamous PNAC letter which laid the groundwork for the Iraq debacle.)
Back to the Times story:
The results of the espionage were almost certainly passed to Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani nuclear scientist.

Khan was close to Ahmad and the ISI. While running Pakistan’s nuclear programme, he became a millionaire by selling atomic secrets to Libya, Iran and North Korea. He also used a network of companies in America and Britain to obtain components for a nuclear programme.
Get the picture? Valerie Plame was trying to stop Khan in his tracks. But Armitage stopped Valerie Plame in her tracks. Armitage and his neocon comrades are good buddies with Mehmood Ahmad, who was engineering this trade in nukes.
Edmonds was later to see the scope of the Pakistani connections when it was revealed that one of her fellow translators at the FBI was the daughter of a Pakistani embassy official who worked for Ahmad. The translator was given top secret clearance despite protests from FBI investigators.
The FBI's behavior cannot be excused as mere sloppiness.

The times received substantial confirmation of Edmonds' story from CIA and FBI sources:
One of the CIA sources confirmed that the Turks had acquired nuclear secrets from the United States and shared the information with Pakistan and Israel. “We have no indication that Turkey has its own nuclear ambitions. But the Turks are traders. To my knowledge they became big players in the late 1990s,” the source said.
Some of the most intriguing material appears at the beginning of the Times piece.
She approached The Sunday Times last month after reading about an Al-Qaeda terrorist who had revealed his role in training some of the 9/11 hijackers while he was in Turkey.
The reference almost certainly goes to Louai al-Sakka, whom we have dealt with before. As we detailed in our earlier post, Sakka (or Sakra) was almost certainly giving information to Western intelligence in 2001, at which point he was in Germany. Later, in 2005, while he languished in a Turkish prison, he was visited by a group of Americans who promised him freedom if he testified falsely against Syria -- or so he has claimed.

The strange pattern keeps repeating itself: The terrorists have ties to factions within the American security apparat.

The Times has not published all of Sibel Edmonds' story. She fingers one well-known State Department official as a recipient of Turkish bribes. The accused individual strongly denies the claim, and the Times will not publish his name. (Libel laws are more stringent in the U.K.)
However, Edmonds said: “He was aiding foreign operatives against US interests by passing them highly classified information, not only from the State Department but also from the Pentagon, in exchange for money, position and political objectives.”

She claims that the FBI was also gathering evidence against senior Pentagon officials – including household names – who were aiding foreign agents.
Who can the mystery man be? I'm thinking either Armitage -- who is second-in-command at State -- or Marc Grossman, who was United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 2001. Grossman also played a still-nebulous role in Plame-gate. Not only that: He met with General Ahmed on or around September 11, 2001!

(Update: BradBlog confirms that Edmonds tagged Grossman. Keep in mind that Armitage and Grossman are thisclose. She names Grossman in the earlier videotaped interview which I'm including below.)

Grossman's name has previously come up in stories about Sibel Edmonds:
Furthermore, the language specialist has repeatedly stated in past interviews that investigations into pre-9/11 terrorist financing activities were blocked “per State Department request”, leaving open the question whether it was Mr. Grossman, then Undersecretary of State for European Affairs, who actively hindered investigations into the Turkey-Bin Laden link.

Yes, I know that this has been a long, dense post. But the story is pretty simple, really, when boiled down to its essence.

Terrorists had a lot of drug money. They used that money to buy officials in the U.S., who allowed moles to enter our most sensitive installations.

The overall objective? Remember, this all comes down to giving the Bomb to our enemies. The ramifications of that scenario are almost too terrible to contemplate.

That's the guts of it. After the jump, I'll quote some older stories which may help shed light on the above. Hit PERMALINK below.

Sakka and the spooks: I'm still not sure why news reports about this man triggered Edmonds to go into action. But the following may be of interest.
According to the Turkish newspaper Zaman, 2000 was the year when the Americans "turned" Sakka, who received an unspecified (but large) amount of money from the CIA. More than that: He received protection during his time in Turkey -- while he ran those Al Qaeda training camps.

Then came his mysterious sojourn in Germany in 2000-2001. During this period, he appears to have met Atta -- and then he went "underground.

Germany's BND -- their version of the CIA -- aided Sakka while he was on the run. This, despite the fact that Sakka was considered a wanted man in Germany, due to his role in earlier terror plots.
In late 2005, after Sakra’s arrest in Turkey (see July 30, 2005), the German television news show Panorama will report that the German BKA (Federal Office of Criminal Investigation) suspects the German BND (Federal Intelligence Service) to have helped Sakra escape from Germany in late 2001. Supposedly, German police had learned where he was staying in Germany, but the BND enabled him to escape via France to Syria in order to prevent further investigations about him. Panorama will report that Sakra was secretly still working for Syrian intelligence and was giving them information about al-Qaeda’s leadership. Sakra will go on to mastermind a series of suicide bombings in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2003...
We cannot know what Sakka was up to in Syria, but one thing seems clear: Western intelligence placed greater value on his services than on bringing a 9/11 plotter to justice. His protection continued in the face of the 1999 plots, the 9/11 tragedy, and the 2003 bombings. It ended only when he decided to go after Israeli ships.

At his 2005 trial, his lawyer offered an intriguing observation:
Sakra’s lawyer will claim that if Sakra revealed all that he knew, “a few states would collapse.”
And now for some previously-published words about General Mehmood Ahmed:
According to various accounts:

1. He wired money to Mohammed Atta shortly before the World Trade Center attacks.

2. He employed R.G. Abbas, a Pakistani agent who -- while pointing toward the WTC complex -- told an undercover FBI informant that "those towers are coming down."

3. He arranged the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

4. He sent fighters against India to be trained in Al Qaeda camps -- essentially using Osama Bin Laden's jihadist movement as a cut-out.

5. He helped arrange the escape of thousands of Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters into Pakistan.

6. He is said to have have arranged -- or so runs a widely-held belief -- the fake arrest of WTC attack mastermind Khaled Sheihk Mohammed.
Here is what Sibel said about Ahmed last year, in a phone call with lukery (when she still felt bound by the gag order):
"You seem to know how to connect some of these dots; do so pretty well. Yet, even some of the savvy media here don't get it (or don't want to!). You picked the Zogby report, even though it was written a while ago (good research); cleverly put it together with Mahmud, Grossman, and even Brewster Jennings....
Joe Wilson met his wife, Plame, at ATC (American Turkish Council) in 1997. Look up his book, it is there.

Brewster Jennings, Plame, dealt with ATC, ATA, and Turkey a lot. Her UC job took him* to Turkey more than 4-5 times to Turkey between 1997 & 2001. This info has been printed on the front-page of main Turkish papers.

IAI, International Advisors Inc, owned & operated by Perle & Feith, was set up & registered as 'Agents for Turkey.'"
Also see lukery's piece here:
The letter noted that Under Secretary Feith was a registered foreign agent for Turkey from 1989-1994 while serving as a principal for International Advisors Inc., and that he was a special assistant to Richard Perle at the Defense Department, while Perle was a paid consultant for IAI for Turkey. Feith negotiated an $800,000 contract for IAI with Turkey in 1989 and a $600,000 annual contract through 1994. They proposed that this should require Mr. Feith and Mr. Perle to remove themselves from matters concerning US-Turkey relations.

The letter also urges the President not to give Turkey any of the $228 million authorized by Congress for Turkey at the initiative of the Defense Department, until an investigation is made into the circumstances of its initiation. "When Richard Perle was the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security from 1981-1987 during the Reagan Administration, he led the successful effort to give massive grant military aid to Turkey," they wrote, adding that Feith was on his staff at the time. "Wolfowitz and Grossman actively supported sending high levels of arms to Turkey. Weapons supplied by the US were used by the Turkish army against the Kurds since 1984 and are being used at the present time."
The World Policy Institute and the Federation of American Scientists have documented the US arms trade with Turkey and its harmful effects on US interests in a comprehensive joint report, "Arming Repression: US Arms Sales to Turkey During the Clinton Administration.""
A reader named Tom sent in this interesting response:
While Mahmood undoubtedly is a "most taboo suspect" re: 9/11 financing and the Pak military role in cultivating Taliban/al-Qaeda elements in Afghanistan, Kashmir, Iran, etc. there are many other top ISI/Army officers -- including Musharraf himself -- playing similar roles.

Despite his cultivated image as a "pro-Western, anti-extremist" leader, Musharraf initiated the provocative "Kargil" fiasco that nearly led to nuclear war between India and Pakistan in the 1990s. A protege of former ISI director Hamid Gul, Musharraf himself (like Gul, Mahmood Ahmad) has always sought to destabilize Afghanistan as a wedge against India (the so-called policy of "strategic depth"). It was Musharraf who facilitated the rise of various Kashmiri jihadi groups (Lashkar-e-Taiba [LeT], Jaish-e-Mohammed [JeM]) -- al-Qaeda associates still in existence!

Additionally, Musharraf was instrumental in continuing General Zia and Gul's nuclear proliferation policies as Pak military cash cow (known and covered-up by successive US administration's from Carter to Bush II).

In my opinion, it is a mistake to view these events, up to and including Bhutto's assassination, as the actions of "rogue" elements within the Pakistani military establishment. Indeed, these elements are the establishment, Musharraf included.

Having said this, we should also not forget that Pakistan's ISI continues to be instrumental in the explosive growth of Afghanistan's drug trade. These too, are hardly the actions of "rogue" operatives, but rather constitute a formidable reservoir of funds for various ISI "black operations." Just like the CIA!
My final question is: What is the role of Israel in all of this? Remember, the moles were Israeli as well as Turkish and Pakistani.
Joe, I'm calling your attention to my post on Brad's site, because I think you've kind of touched on the same theme, at least tangentially, in the past. I'd like your opinion on those questions, if you don't mind...
Good work, happy to link from Screw Loose Change. I find the $100,000 wire transfer story a little weak (it makes no sense for Ahmed to be wiring money to Atta in the last few days before the attacks), but I appreciate a non-"Truther" take on the story.
Isn't it kind of surprising and odd that The Times, of all papers, would be the first to publish her story? Isn't it a Murdoch paper? I would expect them to be hiding the beans, not spilling them- which makes me all the more curious about what was left out.
Addendum: I guess I ought to read your column before I post to it. Sorry about that. Reply still hoped for, but a good portion redundant.
Maybe the $100,000 was wired to Atta in those last few days because he was coordinating other cells in the U.S. and they knew he wouldn't be around much longer to dish out money. And if Atta was the only one who knew about these hypothesized terror cells, it's a big plus that the knowledge goes down with him. Does anybody know where the money went?

And are British libel laws so strict that they cannot even print, "Marc Grossman denies these scurrilous charges."?
It is no secret that Israel is close with Turkey, in fact, strategically aligned, and therefore it's not much of a surprise to find them helping and/or using a variety of Turkish operations for their own purposes.

It's harder to see them connected in any way with Pakistan, allied as they are with Pakistan's foe India, mutually against the country holding the sole Moslem atomic weaponry.

However, from early on, Sibel Edmonds and other sources had alleged that these same drug money related sources had supplied critical monies to help fix the 2000 elections, including bribing various Democratic election officials in the key state of Florida. It is interesting to note that the infamous 'butterfly ballot,' actually violative of Florida's law of how they ballot must be configured and partially responsible for the 'Buchanan boomlet' among the Jewish voters there (?), was the creation of Palm Beach County's 'Democratic Party' supervisor of elections, one Theresa LaPore. Coming from a lifelong Republican family, Jake Tapper in his book, “Down & Dirty: The Plot to Steal the Presidency,” noted that LaPore originally was a registered Republican, then in 1979 re-registered as an independent. “When a third party formally registered as ‘Independent,’ she changed her registration to ‘no party,’” Tapper said.

When then county Supervisor of Elections Jackie Winchester told LaPore in the fall of 1995 that she was retiring, LaPore “registered as a Democrat and ran” for the office, according to Tapper. The day before Florida 'reformed' its election law in the aftermath of the 2000 debacle, LaPore dropped her Democratic Party registration to register back to 'independent.' LaPore has been connected to Adnan Khashogi, the international arms dealer.

In the recount period, Palm Beach County election officials decided to take time off the recounting for the Thanksgiving holiday, contributing to their failure to get the vote in by the artificial SUNDAY deadline called by Sec. State Katherine Harris. A number of Democratic Party registered judges made arguably incorrect decisions uniformly harmful to the Gore recount chances.

The Likudist Israeli leadership together with their neo-con affiliates in this country had much riding on the success of the Bush campaign that year. Over time, Israel has proven herself most pragmatic when money or strategic interest was involved, willing to support and sometimes even arm such implacable Israeli foes as the Ayotallah Khomeni-led Iran and Hamas.

So Israel may have been willing to deal even with Pakistani forces, for the right payoff to Israel in terms of purloined nuclear materials or secrets, sharing of international drug trafficking monies or use of them for election purchasing purposes, and etc.

I've said it before and I will say it again. LaPore isn't the only one that should be closely scrutinized in the Palm Beach recount. Who was on the ground there defending Bush interests and where is he today? And why on earth was John Bolton there as well?

"However, from early on, Sibel Edmonds and other sources had alleged that these same drug money related sources had supplied critical monies to help fix the 2000 elections, including bribing various Democratic election officials in the key state of Florida."

I am unaware of her making any such claims.

Do you have source link for this?

If not, smells like disinfo to me.
Happy Epiphany!
BradF at 11:38

I don't recall Sibel saying much about the 2000 election, but others have certainly implied that bribery was was at work in Florida.
Hasn't Kevin Phillips said that he thinks the CIA, or at least, elements of it, was involved?

Then there's the issue of Abramoff, his interests in Florida gaming operations, and his connection to Greenberg Traurig.

All of it is very strange.

Perhaps the real problem is that drugs are never far away from anything that goes on in Miami-Dade and its environs.

Joseph writes:

"The strange pattern keeps repeating itself: The terrorists have ties to factions within the American security apparat."

One needn't be a 9/11 wing-nut to observe this pattern. In fact, it is precisely such patterns that the so-called "Truth Movement" furiously strives to cover-up with idiotic claims of "controlled demolitions," "holograms instead of planes" and the like!

Reference Daniel Hopsicker's shock and disgust on discovering that Saudi billionaire Adnan Khashoggi via his cut-out John Gray (of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus" fame) bankrolled several so-called 9/11 "Truth" conferences.

Be that as it may, as I pointed out in earlier comments, the international drug trade has long been used as a conduit for illegal intelligence operations; in this the CIA may have set the pattern but they are not alone in this regard.

In Turkey, for example, the MIT-National Security Council-armed and set-loose drug-dealing gangs such as the Grey Wolves (a far-right militia linked to that country's pro-Nazi National Action Party) in the 1960s thru today for waging "dirty war" against the Turkish left. Thousands were murdered. But that's not all. The MIT also ultilized Islamist gangs as cut-outs against Kurdish separatists and Turkish leftists. These gangsters were directly implicated in the 2003 bombings in Istanbul that claimed dozens of lives. These are the very networks that 9/11 trainer Saaka was plugged into.

What connected them - "secular" fascists and "Islamic" mujaheddin? Simply put, the Turkish military - as with their counterparts in Italy, Greece, Belgium, et. al. were components of a NATO-inspired "Global Gladio" network waging anticommunist warfare and black ops across Europe and Asia. Indeed, al-Qaeda, the "Afghan-Arab" database of Islamist terrorists was a continuation of tried and true methods of political/economic subversion. Even after the 1998 East African US embassy bombings, the Pentagon continued to use al-Qaeda-linked assets as NATO waged war across the Balkans, first in Bosnia and later in Kosovo. Remember the drug-dealing KLA?

But long before the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and the al-Qaeda bogeyman, Turkey's Gladio network operated with the encouragement and protection of the Counter-Guerrilla Organization, a distinct section of the Turkish Army's Special Warfare Department. With headquarters in the U.S. Military Aid Mission building in Ankara, the Special Warfare Department received funds and training from U.S. advisors to create "stay behind" units. The theory was in the event of an invasion by the Soviet Red Army, "stay behind" squads would form a defensive rear-guard and engage in acts of sabotage against the invaders. Never mind that the Soviets had no intention whatsoever of invading Turkey and sparking World War III! According to researchers Edward S. Herman and Frank Brodhead, the training of officers assigned to the Psychological Warfare Group attached to the Special Warfare Department "begins in the U.S. and then continues inside Turkey under the direction of CIA officers and military 'advisers'." Training at the U.S. Army's School of the Americas in Panama and later, Ft. Benning, GA, Turkish Gladio recruits were instructed by CIA and Army officers in "open" as well as "covert" activities such as "murder, bombing, armed robbery, torture, kidnapping," and encouraged to provoke "incidents which invite retaliation; take hostages; use sabotage and propaganda; disseminate disinformation (and) use force as well as blackmail." Among the prime Gladio apprentices in the counterguerrilla network were activists recruited from the neo-Nazi, pan-Turkic National Action Party (MHP) and its paramilitary youth wing, the Grey Wolves.

Undoubtedly, this constitutes a part of the network that Sibel Edmonds is attempting to dismantle with her revealations in today's Sunday Times. The same can said for the Pakistani military-security state. Whether or not Mahmood Ahmad controls the drug trade and/or al-Qaeda (I have my doubts) is almost irrelevant. Ahmad and other Islamist generals such as Hamid Gul and the network connected to AQ Khan have always enjoyed the support of the US national security state. See Robert Dreyfus and Richard Labeviere for details of the US's decades-long "tilt" towards the Islamist far-right. The bigger picture is that the drug trade - in Pakistan as in the US - has become an instrument of achieving state goals "by other means."
SIbel has never said anything about fixing elections in FLorida or elsewhere.

She has said that some of this money finds its way into campaign coffers. That is all.
The Israelis' role? Dancing. Yes, dancing and driving white vans.

Hey, somebody has to do it, right?

Joe, This material is why I chose to try to run against Porter Goss (R FL 14) when he chose to run again after 9/11 having announced his retirement prior to 9/11. He and the others at the 9/11 morning breakast at the US Capitol bldg have nerver denied that they were with Gen Ahmed at the time of the Pentagon was hit, all after Ahmed had just sent money to Atta. Goss has been runnnig interference for the intelligence community's involvement with 9/11.
Mushariff's book makes clear that he owed his take over of Pakistan to Ahmed. He never says why he fired him 10 days after we started the Aphgan attack.
Nice connecting the dots.
As a former US Attorney,I wish I was still able to get to the bottom of this officially.
Sibel has just now NAMED ALL THE NAMES.


Please reproduce and redistribute.
Wow, incredible reporting here. Great work!
I may have mistakenly conflated other reports to that effect with Ms. Edmonds'. Perhaps the late paranoiac Sherman Skolnick and others.

I hate when/if I do that.

By the way, Ahmed was not proven so far as I know to have done anything to fund Atta.

The story on record is that a call authorizing another person to wire funds to Atta was made from a cell phone number known to be Ahmed's.

Was he the one making that call? Is it possible to phreak or hack a phone to show another phone's id? The latter possibility/known fact makes identifying Ahmed as certainly the caller subject to doubt.

Sola, You forgot to include the possibility the Ahmed's phone might have been hacked by aliens from Roswell.
Remember Mushariff fired Ahmed, to whom Mushariff, as he said in Mushariff's recent book, he owed his take over of Pakistan to Ahmed, who took over the Pakistani government while Mushariff was trapped overhead in his plane without permission to land in Pakistan. If Ahmed wasn't guilty, why did Mushariff can this man to whom he owed his very power?

It may make no sense to you, but it fits the pattern of how intelligence agencies do things, especially one whose motto is 'by deception, you shall make war.'

The false flag modus operandi is the Israeli intel specialty, as per their motto above. It has been attested to by Victor Ostroevsky, a former operative for them, who details several such major operations in his several books. Ari Ben Menasche says the same thing, with the same former operative background as VO, in his book.

It is so uncontroversially true that it was directly mentioned in an Army War College study on the difficulties a US military presence in a UN peace keeping force would face: "cunning and ruthless, the Mossad is able to target US forces and create every appearance that Moslems/Arabs/Palestinians did the deed." (A very close paraphrase from the summary article done on this study which was published on the front page of the WaTimes, on 9/10 or 9/11/01, which see.)

When one wants to commit a heinous deed and get away with it, it is helpful to have a ready-made alternate alleged perpetrator framed up for the act. Typically, if in an assassination, that party is killed at the scene or when apprehended, case closed and no messy trials to bring out inconvenient facts.

If the party cannot be so easily removed from the scene and therefore would normally be able to protest his innocence, it's helpful if he is so otherwise compromised that the defense would open up too many other hidden truths, and therefore cannot or will not be allowed to be mounted.

This is similar to the case of Oswald, whose prior evident participation in the Office of Naval Intelligence's false defector program, and CIA/FBI work, meant that everybody had a strong motivation to sweep the matter under the rug using the cover story without demurrals. Because any in-depth scrutiny would reveal those secrets, we continue to have national security holds on releasing LHO's files and information, some 45 years later.

The same calculus may be involved in the case of Ahmed. There's a reasonable argument that the Israelis had all the means, motive and opportunity to do what I suggest, as well as it fitting their M.O.

There's a number of areas here that I may be able to help. I was in a family for more than 26 years who joined Sibel Edmonds list of people involved in Treasonous activities. However "the Family's" activities when they started in the late 70's were focused with laundering money for Drugs and Gun Running through their Property Development business here in the Chicago area. After some time and a murder here and there, they started to admit to other family members what they were involved in. Then through the 90's they explained more in detail of what and who is involved. I don't want to take anyone away from the good reporting work they're doing and to even explain more of this will be very lengthly.

Please keep in mind that what we're focusing on here is part of a very huge story that is very complex and heavily convoluted.

It was mentioned above: "Clinton has nothing to do with these groups. You might consider, however, Henry Kissinger and Nixon."

-- Please accept that the Clintons, Kissinger and Nixon ARE INVOLVED! I know this from the family. I'll write tomorrow with more information that should start to expand on who else is involved. Again, I'm concerned about throwing everyone off track with their focus so please accept this as information that broadens your knowledge of how huge this is.

"Perhaps the real problem is that drugs are never far away from anything that goes on in Miami-Dade and its environs.

-- Midful is on the right track with drugs as the huge shipments recently in the news ARE PART OF THEIR END GOAL SCHEME. However, the drug issue when you start looking at the plane shipments mentioned in the news are only PART of HOW HUGE the drug scheme really is.

Chicago alone gets a weekly $100 Million dollar shipment that is split up between New York and Florida, per the family in the mid 90's. That accumilates to more than a $5Billion a year business AND FOR GOOD REASON. Then realize there are OTHER HUGE shipments going elsewhere within the US. But their overall plan extends beyond our shores and really is a world wide Drug distrubution system. It's a difficult business fragmented in many areas so being a world wide system is questionable at times but from the family, that is one of this groups focuses.

My Internet time is limited to only a few hours a day. I'll try to write more tomorrow.

Marty Didier
Northbrook, IL
Should it be 'thanks Murdoch for running the story', or 'hello psy-ops mindf*ck'? Moles from Turkey, Pakistan, and Israel? Right. Spot which one already has a rather powerful influence in the US, and is the world's second or third military power.

In whose interests would it be if Pakistan were widely exposed as carrying out nuclear espionage, or if a nuke attack somewhere were (supposedly or really) carried out by them? What would happen then?

An Israeli company already runs a lot of the security at US nuke bases (both electrical power and weapons). They're called 'Magal'.

They're the 'world leader in perimeter security'.

Compare their role to, say, Amdocs, the 'world leader in telephone billing'.

And I haven't got on to Google yet.

We're 25-30 years down the line from Promis.

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Surfin' with the spooks

I don't link to Xymphora anymore, but I must admit -- when he (he's a he) is not doing the "Jews-have-horns-and-reek-of-sulfur" thing, he still knows how to bring it. His latest expands on a point I've made in previous posts (here and here, for example): Does the national security apparat secretly stand behind the software we used to insure our online privacy?

SafeWeb. This Oakland-based company offers an app called Triangle Boy which promises to provide users with anonymity as they surf the internet. Trouble is, they receive funding from In-Q-Tel, a CIA front. Here's Wikipedia:
In-Q-Tel of Arlington, Virginia, United States is a not-for-profit venture capital firm that invests in high-tech companies for the sole purpose of keeping the Central Intelligence Agency equipped with the latest in information technology in support of United States intelligence capability.
Although In-Q-Tel is an independent firm for legal purposes, the company's only client is the Agency -- in other words, the company is the Company.

SafeWeb already provides an online anonymizer, of the sort you've probably used at one time or another. People use anonymizers to prevent websites from scooping up their IP addresses and other should-be-private info. Triangle Boy will go one step further, since it will allow third party usage.

If the CIA connection becomes well-known, will anyone trust SafeWeb?

I'll soon have a follow-up post about surfin' with the spooks. SafeWeb is hardly the only example: We also have Zone Alarm, Facebook, Safe-Mail and a little company called Google...
i've been suspicious of google ever since they brought on dan senor, right after his disastrous run with bremer at the cpa. here's an early assessment of his background from wash. monthly, via josh et al:
"Before attending Harvard Business School from 1999 to 2001, Senor was a staffer for then-Sen. Spencer Abraham of Michigan. After receiving his MBA, he went to the Carlyle Group, where he was a venture capitalist from 2001 to 2003. Senor left Carlyle in 2003 for a brief stint as White House Press Secretary Scott McLellan's deputy before shipping off to Iraq. Though he showed up in Iraq as a junior press handler, Senor is now Bremer's senior advisor and for most of last summer he was in charge of organizing Iraq's post-Saddam media, an effort which most have rated as little short of a disaster. More examples can be found at the Ministry of Education, often cited by the White House as one of the CPA's signal successes."

there was a rumor he had been hired as global communications and strategy director, but that was nixed, tho he's on as a 'contracted' advisor.

then there's alan davidson, hired as its lobbyist. tho they talk a good net neutrality game, pushing democracy etc., it's hard to square that with many of their decisions, such as conforming to china's demands to filter sites from citizen access there.

messy business, this electronic transmission stuff. just like any other powerful thing, the down sides are often as big as the positives.
Google—and what role it plays in helping our national security overlords 'keep the peace'—is murky, if you ask me. I'd love to read more about that topic, here.
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Electronic voting

In late 2004 and early 2005, this blog devoted nearly every post to vote (not voteR) fraud and the dangers of electronic voting. At the time, the mainstream media dismissed all such concerns as paranoia. Now, the New York Times Magazine has devoted a massive cover story to the topic.

I've skimmed the piece. It's good, but doesn't hit hard enough. Brad Friedman notes that his organization did not get due credit for providing a Princeton University professor with a "liberated" Diebold machine for study.

My question: Why didn't anyone in the mainstream media attempt this kind of investigation years ago? Why didn't more news organizations report on these events as they took place?

Journalism delayed is journalism denied.
Well, from this tinhat's perspective, the reason is the powers that control the media felt comfortable with the outcomes likely with "vote fraud" controlled by political cliques they supported.

Now that their little experiment has blown up in their face, they've decided they might need "our" (you know, the commoners, riff-raff, people who work for a living) help to make sure we avoid another Presidential term filled by some useless GWB clone and his Fascist sycophants. More importantly, they think it might be important to their own bottom line to avoid the final, fatal blow such a Presidency would likely deliver.
Just a suggestion, please use the term 'election' fraud so that the Thor Hearns of this world cannot conflate the two terms 'vote' and 'voter' together...please por favor ?
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