Saturday, March 31, 2007

A few words on religion in film, in which I say an evil thing about "Song of Bernadette."

Yes, I know many political matters demand our attention. But this is the weekend, and I'm in the mood to write on non-political matters. Besides, Easter is coming, and the season always makes me long to jot down irreverent thoughts.

Today's topic is religion in film. Religion plays a massive role in the other arts -- think Bach, think Bernini -- so why do most religious films reek?

Indeed, how do we define a religious film? Do we count Bad Lieutenant? The Exorcist? Meet John Doe? The Devils?

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

Heathen I may be, yet I've seen nearly every Jesus movie ever made, including Roberto Rosellini's little-known The Messiah, which is terrible. Here are a few thoughts on some of the best-known works in the genre:

The most notorious attempt to put the life of Christ on film is probably George Stevens' elephantine The Greatest Story Ever Told. Although I used to despise that movie, it improved on my most recent viewing. The script contains many clunkers, Utah makes an unconvincing Israel, and the pacing is all wrong. But Max Von Sydow -- an atheist, or so I've heard -- delivers a superb performance as the Big Guy. Some of the images will haunt you. I've never forgotten the crane shot revealing the valley of the crucified men; it's a tableau one might have expected from Werner Herzog. This was certainly the best-photographed film of the 1960s -- a fact which led one wag to quip "When a good director dies, he becomes a cinematographer." The star cameos grate less now that I've forgotten who some of those people were.

King of Kings -- the Nicholas Ray version -- has many virtues and many howlers, such as the magical moment when Mary the Magdalene meets Mary the Mom: " a woman of sin!" Anyone who doesn't guffaw must have a heart of stone. The action scenes are well-done, but they leave you wondering why a Jesus movie needs action scenes. Ray gives the impression that he really wanted to make a Zealots-vs-Romans war movie; alas, the producers insisted on including extraneous dialogue scenes with that preachy kid. Interestingly, the film begins not with a nativity but with the conquest of Jerusalem. This is a Jesus movie that tries very hard not to look like any of the others -- which is odd, because the others hadn’t been filmed yet. Many have praised the final shot, but I always found it bewildering: After Jesus has risen from the dead, the disciples walk away from him -- while he's still right there talking to them! One wonders what the guy has to do to keep their attention.

When I saw the 1927 C.B. DeMille version of King of Kings at the Pantages theater in the '70s, Jacqueline Logan -- DeMille's Mary Madgalene -- was in attendance; she made a short speech in which she proclaimed it "the greatest film ever made." It isn't -- although it remains watchable. Jesus' big intro is cleverly done: We first see him through the eyes of a young blind boy whom he heals; the boy turns out to be Mark, the gospel writer. Ms. Logan's scenes are the apotheosis of camp: DeMille pictured MM as both the ultimate 20s vamp and the highest-grossing harlot in history, luxuriating in decadent orientalia: "Show me my zebras, gift of the Nubian King!" (1920s erotica looks hilarious nowadays. I wonder how today’s erotica will seem eighty years from now?) At film’s end, Caiaphas lets the audience know that the death of Jesus is his fault -- that is, Caiaphas' fault, his alone, nobody else's, just his. So at least that's clear.

The best of the JC movies is undoubtedly Pier Paolo Pasolini's The Gospel According to St. Matthew, filmed in black and white on a tiny budget with a non-professional actor named Enrique Irazoqui in the lead. Best Jesus ever. He may not have von Sydow's talent, but -- those eyes! Most of the snaggle-toothed actors look as if they haven't bathed in weeks, which adds to the sense of verisimilitude. The film's great virtue is that it does not fear the text: This is a Jesus who talks. And talks and talks. The Sermon on the Mount is given in full, with Enrique/JC in close-up, literally in your face. This scene usually goes missing when the film plays on TV in horribly dubbed prints. On the big screen, the impact is extraordinary. One wonders why other films about Jesus tend to edit what the fellow had to say.

I've written about the Mel Gibson film before, both under my own name and as the abominable "John Dark." I can add this: Gibson knows full well that the Jews of that day ate while reclining, Roman style, facing a communal table. (Remember that bit about John the Beloved leaning his head against JC's breast? Makes a bit more sense now, dunnit?) Yet Gibson still wanted his Last Supper to maintain the visual tradition established by Leonardo and the other Renaissance artists. So -- get this -- the film features a flashback scene in which JC invents the technique of upright dining. I'm not kidding. Oddly enough, it's the most charming bit in the movie. In fact, it's the only bit in the movie any sane person could call "charming."

The only American religious film that I truly like is The Song of Bernadette, based on the novel by Franz Werfel.

I pause for your laughter.

After thumbing through a biography of Franz Werfel recently, I decided to track down the film for another viewing. And...

(Digression: Werfel married Alma Mahler, which is why I sought out that bio -- and until I read it, I never knew that old Gustav's widow was such a bitch. Despite having married two famous Jews, and despite being chased out of Europe by bloodthirsty fascists, she remained an anti-Semitic Nazi sympathizer. Franz settled in Hollywood and often socialized with Jewish friends, such as Edward G. Robinson. Alma would storm into the room, sing the praises of Hitler, and belittle Franz in front of his guests. Tom Lehrer was way too kind to her.)

...and what was I saying? Oh yeah -- Song of Bernadette. I really like it. Shoot me.

The film has a surprisingly convincing look, even though it was filmed in California during wartime -- no doubt on the same 20th Century Fox ranch you see in every episode of M*A*S*H (and which is now a state park where I sometimes hike). The actors resemble their real-life models, although the accents can be a bit odd: Bernadette’s sister sounds like she came to the Pyrenees by way of Alabama. The film stars a young Vincent Price, who manages to convey a sinister impression without a hint of ham; he's quite good. The best performance in the film comes from Louise Revere (later a victim of the HUAC witch hunts), who plays Bernadette’s mother. She doesn’t wear any make-up -- which I wish could be said of the other female performers.

I will probably serve a few centuries in purgatory for noting that the real Bernadette was prettier than Jennifer Jones, who never passes for 14. Even so, Jones does fine work. (When the film came out, the moviegoing public had no idea that JJ was already a mother, and they never forgave her when they later discovered that she was a human being, not a saint.)

Parts of the film don’t work. The film-makers hint at a love interest for Bernadette -- not true; in real life, that guy was ten years older than she was. The final scene with Vincent Price is unbearably mawkish. In an early scene, character actor Aubrey Mather keeps blowing his lines; why didn’t the director demand a retake?

So why do I, impious fiend that I am, enjoy a film that most viewers consider a sentimental hagiography? For one thing, director Henry King, a veteran of the medium’s early days, always conveys sympathy for working people and their struggles; this is a film about poverty and sickness. Some of his compositions are quite striking -- they make me wish modern directors would rediscover the formal joys of the stationary camera. Alfred Neumann, who specialized in music for religious films, contributes an outstanding score with hints of Wagner and Bruckner.

The script is cleverly constructed to please the devout while allowing skeptics room for the occasional cynical smile. This film is indeed a sentimental hagiography -- on first viewing. On second viewing, one can’t help suspecting that Vincent Price’s character -- the debunker, the intellectual, the forerunner of Third Republic anticlericalism -- is correct about everything; he’s an unhappy man precisely because he sees the world as it is, while those around him, the poor and wretched working folk, derive their satisfaction from their myths. The film delivers some nice jabs at the commercialism which overtook Lourdes, and offers a portrayal of the clergy that is neither uncritical nor unbalanced. The script also gives us a nice (and accurate) scene featuring Napoleon III, a fascinating rogue who, to the best of my recollection, is not portrayed in any other film.

All told, this may be Hollywood's most satisfying attempt to film a "real life" bit of Forteana. I'd like to see a movie about La Salette, the first of the "great" apparaitons, but I doubt if anyone will make the attempt, since the chief visionary, Melanie Calvet, was no Bernadette. Melanie was one of those "difficult" women for whom menopause starts at puberty and lasts until death.

A couple of trivia notes:

1. Song of Bernadette concludes with a Hallelujah Chorus which remains something of a musical mystery. It was first heard at the end of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (which features Neumann’s finest score). It was later used toward the end of It’s a Wonderful Life. But Neumann did not write it, and nobody knows who did.

2. Here’s the evil part. In the first scene, Bernadette’s father, played by Roman Bohnen (another victim of the HUAC days), puts his pants on over his longjohns. Sharp-eyed viewers will note an obvious fact -- a very, very, very obvious fact: If the Soubirous family ever gets thrown out of that jail cell, Daddy can supply his own pup tent. Although Bohnen was not one of the most famous actors in Hollywood, he was surely one of the biggest.

Also, Bernadette’s cute sister -- the one with the southern accent -- displays a surprising amount of cheek when she hikes up her dress to cross the river. I suppose I’ll do another century in Purgatory for mentioning that.
John Dark? Where can that be found?
You can read the Dark works here:

You can also doing a Google Groups search on the name.
Add on some Purgatory time for "Melanie was one of those 'difficult' women for whom menopause starts at puberty and lasts until death."
Pray for me, gmanedit.

But she really WAS, you know.
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Friday, March 30, 2007

Computergate: I call BULLSHIT

The White House has officially responded to questions about the use of private RNC email accounts used by White House staff.
White House spokesman David Almacy said the outside e-mail accounts were set up to allow legitimate political activities to be conducted by appropriate staff members without using White House accounts, which would be illegal under the Hatch Act. "It was specifically set up that way so that people weren't using their official accounts for political activities," he said. Only certain White House staff members have such outside accounts, including those who regularly communicate with outside political groups, he said.

How often do I use such terminology? Not often. But what other phrase can we use in this instance?

Problem numero uno: The Hatch Act comes into play if anyone in the WH does partisan political business. It's not purely a matter of who uses which email account. It's also a matter of whether you've parked your buns on a chair inside the White House while doing party work on the taxpayers' dime.

Problem numero two-o:
The RNC email accounts were used for official business! That's how this scandal first came to light. These accounts popped up in communications pertinent to the U.S. Attorney purge.

Here's a snippet from Congressman Waxman's latest letter to Sue Ralston, the Karl Rove aide feeding info to the notorious crook Jack Abramoff:
The September report left a number of questions unanswered, including whether White House officials reimbursed Mr. Abramoff for tickets and meals as required by law; whether White House officials took actions that benefited Mr. Abramoff and his clients as described in the e-mails; and why White House officials used Republican National Committee and other non-governmental e-mail accounts to communicate with Mr. Abramoff and his associates about official government business.
(Emphasis added.) This excellent piece in Truthout details many instances of how private email servers were used to do an end-run around history.

The White House claims that the emails routed through the RNC servers are archived. But would a subpoena bring forth a complete record? Or are we forced to trust the same people who just now tried to feed us bullshit?

(Sorry if my use of a profanity offended some readers or caused problems with filters. Sometimes you just gotta use the only word that fits the sitch.)
"In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer. --Mark Twain"
Has someone got one of these emails with full headers?

Even if an email bore a From: address, and was sent through an account on the Smartechcorp mailserver, it may still have been sent through a White House mail gateway before it got to the Smartechcorp server.

Does the law say only that official copies should be kept when emails pass through the White House server? If so, how is 'server' defined? Was the SmartechCorp server not 'served' the files from a White House electronic-mail-handling machine?

BTW Joseph, you are coming up first at Google when I search on 'gwb43'. Nice one!

The offical WH response about the private email accounts can also be read as an implicit admission that the attorney purge was in fact a blatantly "political activity," contrary to their previous claims, since use of these email accounts came to light in communication relating to the attorney purge.
Add 'computer-gate' and 'attorney-gate' to the list of violations by our gov't against all of us.
They violate the 1st Amendment by caging demonstrators, opening mail and banning books like "America Deceived" from Amazon.
They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns during Katrina.
They violate the 4th Amendment by conducting warrant-less wiretaps.
They violate the 5th and 6th Amendment by suspending habeas corpus.
They violate the 8th Amendment by torturing.
They violate the entire Constitution by starting 2 illegal wars based on lies and on behalf of a foriegn gov't.
Last link (unless Google Books caves to the gov't and drops the title):
America Deceived (book)
Good Point Ewastud!!! Yes!

Oh, and Good Point "m" - these are rather trying times.

Miss P.
Looking ahead a little, and assuming our hopes are realised and Bush and co are impeached, convicted, and jailed, there will be attempts at damage limitation. So we should keep in mind that they are not just criminals who have broken US laws and the US constitution, and who have now 'won' two presidential elections through cheating. They are war criminals, and at the very least I would add the Geneva Conventions to your list, ewastud! Of course, the question remains as to why the leaders of the Democrats aren't mentioning this!

Is it legal for government employees to do nongovernmental work while on the clock? (And how is it that we the people pay Rove's salary when he's purely political?)
You know who Almacy used to work for, don't you?

Michael L. Connell.
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Carrot and stick: There's more than one way to purge

Over on Democratic Underground, one "hootinhollar" has a juicy piece on the Lam firing (see also here):
Right before she left she delivered indictments of Foggo and Wilkes, and possibly turned over to the LA office A case regarding Rep. Jerry Lewis (an unfortunate but perhaps apt name) who has already lawyered up at Gibson Dunn, a big LA firm.

That case would have landed on the desk of Debra Wong Yang, the United States Attorney for the Central District of California in Los Angeles. Now, Ol Debbie there, I don't think was on the enemies list, but, she did leave the office for private practice at (you might have guessed it) Gibson Dunn. She allegedly got a tidy signing bonus to the tune of $1.5 Mil.
This is indeed intriguing. Corruption target Jerry Lewis hires the same firm which hired the U.S. Attorney who would have gone after Lewis?

I notice a funky smell in the air, and I don't think it's coming from my vegetable bin.

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

The same firm, Gibson Dunn, also hired an assistant U.S. Attorney under Yang, a man named Douglas Fuchs. They also hired Maurice Suh, "the former Deputy Mayor of Homeland Security and Public Safety for the City of Los Angeles."

The San Bernardino Sun thus quotes a law professor about Yang: "It's no secret: She left for money."
She added that while it may look questionable that Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher hired Yang, she doubted that Yang would provide lawyers there with information about the investigation into Lewis.
Really? Others might not be so certain about that. Josh Marshall offers these words of caution:
Most lawyers would, I think, caution that this isn't necessarily as questionable as it might seem on first blush. Gibson Dunn is a major national law firm based in LA. It's a logical place for someone like Yang to go.
Yang is now one of three co-chairs of the firm's Crisis Management Group, along with New York Partner Randy Mastro and GOP power player Theodore Olson.

And one other issue that might come into play here. If you look at the corruption investigations over the last two years, there's an odd pattern of pivotal investigators and prosecutors getting fortuitous promotions or offers of employment in the private sector at key moments.
(Emphasis added.) Take the carrot or get the stick? We thus come to...

A digression:

Fired U.S. Attorney Carol Lam is doing pretty well at the moment. She walked right into a well-paying gig for Qualcomm.

The reference to Qualcomm reminded me of the Jack Shaw mini-scandal, which should not disappear entirely down the memory hole. (See here and my previous post on the subject, here.)

Defense undersecretary Shaw, who had the job of restoring Iraqi telecommunications, was accused of improperly giving contracts to friends at Qualcomm. (He had deep-sixed an effort to feed the contract to some pals of Chalabi.)

Shaw later claimed that foreign intelligence officials fed him an outrageous story that Russian commandos had heisted weapons at Iraq's Al Qaaqaa facility. The rightists milked that tale for all it was worth, even after it was proven to be bogus.

Shaw never revealed just which foreign intel service misled him, but it should be noted that Qualcomm has strong ties to Israel.
This is asinine. Yang could have gone to work wherever she wanted -- almost any U.S. Attorney could. And yes it is logical she would go to a major national firm. As for "well-paying" gigs for former U.S. attorneys, everyone in the private sector pays better than the government -- there's nowhere to go but up in salary unless you decide to go to a public interest job. Since Gibson is such a dominant presence in California, the chances that they wouldn't be representing at least one of the people investigated by the U.S. Attorney's office are also next to nothing. Anyone who knows how the legal profession is structured would laugh at these conclusions. Grow up.
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Bad Post, good Post.

Brad Blog's Margie Burns has an excellent riposte to a false Washington Post story slamming Patrick Fitzgerald. The Post (followed by many other newspapers) claimed that Fitz received an "undistinguished" ranking on an internal Justice Department memo.
The major problem with this story? It’s not true. The Department of Justice never 'ranked' U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald negatively or as 'undistinguished.' According to sworn testimony by D. Kyle Sampson, today in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Fitzgerald was rated 'very strong' internally in the DOJ.
Today's Post makes up for that blunder -- to some degree -- by exposing a Karl Rove video presentation to 40 officials of the General Services Administration. The presentation "included 2006 election results and listed the names of Democratic candidates considered beatable and Republican lawmakers thought to need help."

In other words, it was purely partisan shindig. Yet taxpayers paid for it. There ought to be a law against that sort of thing -- and there is: The Hatch Act.

For six years, we've chanted the same mantra: "What if this had happened under Clinton?" Yes, that refrain has gotten old. But jeez, sometimes ya just can't avoid it: What if this had happened under Clinton?
No offense, but Margie's story makes no sense. She uses a February 2005 document (which she mislabels as a Februyary 2004 document) to disprove something the WaPo says is a March 2005 document. And she claims to know what's behind whited out space. And presuming Fitz shows up in non-bold non-strike out letters, that would "rank" him a not distinguished. If anything the WaPo is guilty of inprecision of language. While Margie is guilty of some real sloppiness.
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Thursday, March 29, 2007

The DOJ and the vote game

All praise unto Larisa Alexandrovna for turning our attention to this op-ed by Joseph D. Rich, chief of the voting section in the Justice Department's civil right division from 1999 to 2005. His subject goes beyond the politicization of U.S. Attorneys. He describes the Bush plan (which I'm sure is really the Rove plan) to use the Justice Department to insure election unfairness:
Over the last six years, this Justice Department has ignored the advice of its staff and skewed aspects of law enforcement in ways that clearly were intended to influence the outcome of elections.

It has notably shirked its legal responsibility to protect voting rights. From 2001 to 2006, no voting discrimination cases were brought on behalf of African American or Native American voters. U.S. attorneys were told instead to give priority to voter fraud cases, which, when coupled with the strong support for voter ID laws, indicated an intent to depress voter turnout in minority and poor communities.
Missouri had one of the closest Senate races in the country last November, and a week before the election, Schlozman brought four voter fraud indictments against members of an organization representing poor and minority people. This blatantly contradicted the department's long-standing policy to wait until after an election to bring such indictments because a federal criminal investigation might affect the outcome of the vote. The timing of the Missouri indictments could not have made the administration's aims more transparent.

This administration is also politicizing the career staff of the Justice Department. Outright hostility to career employees who disagreed with the political appointees was evident early on. Seven career managers were removed in the civil rights division. I personally was ordered to change performance evaluations of several attorneys under my supervision. I was told to include critical comments about those whose recommendations ran counter to the political will of the administration and to improve evaluations of those who were politically favored.
We should ask Congress to expand their inquiries. The topic goes beyond the firing of the Eight. The larger issue is forcing the DOJ to enforce unfair elections.
I wondering again about what really happened to Jonathan Luna from Baltimore.
Great post.

Shows why the US Attorney scandal is more important that it would appear on face value. While the firing of US Attorneys for political reasons does not even rank on the scale of the Bush Administration’s improper use of executive powers, it illustrates like nothing before the SOP of the administration and the GOP as it exists today.

It can’t help but lead to wider implications like the ones raised here. Once people believe that the malfeasance of their government can be this pervasive, it’s impossible to not see through the glass house of lies that have built up over 6 years.
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GWB43: Conyers and Leahy smell a rat

Patrick Leahy of the Senate Judiciary Committee and John Conyers of the House Judiciary Committee have sent a letter to Dubya's Special Counsel, Fred Fielding.
In addition, we have become increasingly sensitized over the last several days to the White House staff wearing several "hats" and using Republican National Committee and campaign e-mail addresses. In fact, as Chairman Waxman has recently pointed out, congressional investigations, including this one, "have uncovered evidence that White House staff have used nongovernmental e-mail accounts to conduct official government business."

As Chairman Waxman has also pointed out, many exchanges between Jack Abramoff and White House officials were conducted via non-governmental e-mail accounts. Indeed, he quotes exchanges that suggest that Mr. Abramoff and White House officials were using the nongovernmental accounts specifically to avoid creating a White House "record" of the communications.

We hope you agree that such sleight of hand should not be used to circumvent and compromise the comprehensiveness of our investigation...
Accordingly, we trust that you will be collecting and producing e-mails and documents from all e-mail accounts, addresses and domains and that you are not artificially limiting your production to the official White House e-mail and document retention system.
Is that trust well-placed? I am, shall we say, less than convinced that this White House will follow the letter and spirit of this request.

What then...?
When I first heard about the use of this "private" server for Whitehouse business communications, my first thought was that the very fact that they used it for that purpose would subject those messages to the same "discoverability" as those on the Whitehouse system. There would be more of a fight, but I consider it analogous to the use of corporate accounts for personal financial transactions, which pierces the corporate veil of protection.

The ironic thing is, that their use of a private system of communication for public business may in fact make communications that would otherwise be protected open to public scruitiny. Things like political strategy memos sent via the GWB system may not be subject to public scruitiny, because the misuse of that system.
Two US aircraft carriers stalk the Gulf, the US government refuses to release Iranian hostages, and Michael Ledeen screams for war. But Iranian authorities deny that US forces are staging wargames.

US forces haven't had two aircraft carriers in the Gulf since they invaded Iraq in 2003.

Iranian authorities are also accusing Britain of faking maps.

It's scary that the EU isn't divided over this, although Russian and Chinese governments are saying they've no way of independently verifying who's telling the truth.

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Look, anon, I've just spent the past few days dealing with the networking problem from hell. My nerve endings are fried. I just can't play with you right now. But I CAN say that I prefer to get my lectures on physics from better sources than Rosie O'Donnell.

NO "BUY A MAC" GUYS, either.

In fact, no proselytes of any kind. I'm tired. I just want some sleep.
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GWB43/Smartech follow-up

I'm working on a follow-up to my piece on the secret White House communication system. Seems to me that if Smartech receives a subpoena from Waxman, they have to account for the GWB43 emails that have already been made public. So now I have three technical questions for anyone who knows how such businesses operate:

1. Is it possible to wipe the servers?

2. If an ISP gets a subpoena, what constitutes compliance? For example, do they have to turn over the actual machines for forensic analysis?

3. Are there any legitimate "oops" arguments? As in: Oops, we accidentally deleted the mail on that day....
aren't there tia and other systems around, so that even wiping the disks wouldn't help.....
1. Yes, but it's also possible for the data to have left footprints in multiple places. We have no way to know how diligent they were about keeping communication with those servers secure and/or semi-anonymous. I don't know anything about systems they have in place in the WH to log and/or regulate communications with the outside internet.

2. Don't know about this one, but I would assume it all depends on the wording of the subpoena.

3. Sure, at least to the point of plausible deniability. It might sound like an obvious cover-up, but how likely would it be that anyone could disprove anything they'd like to say short of a whistleblower.

I would think that if there's any data on those GWB43 servers that they don't want getting out, they would have already cleared it out by now. More likely their challenges will be limited to justifying the existence and use of those servers, but they're not going to get caught with anything incriminating in respect to the data or content of those servers.
So first, the 2 mail servers that DNS servers point to are and

These are both Unix servers and appear to only be mail-gateways. They just scan for virus, spam, and the like and then forward the mail on to other internal servers or out to its destination. Without knowing what type of server "houses" the mail for it’s hard to say anything about how easily emails could be wiped without a trace.

My specialty not being email I can only make a few "tech type" assertions.

1) Email from only a certain small number of dates and accounts would be very hard to 'loose' via data loss.
2) Entire groups of accounts or huge swathes of email would be more likely due to data corruption or hardware failure.
3) Any purposeful deletion would leave at least some traces, but a slash and burn approach could make it almost impossible for anyone but a highly skilled computer forensic to recover the delete data. And only then if a raw image of the servers hard drives we're provided in a timely manor. Timely being very key.
4) Email is near the top of backup priorities for most providers, ISP's, ect, so explaining a lack of backup for select accounts or dates would take some fancy footwork.
5) If the other domains listed on Kos that are handled by the same server or server cluster it would be hard to loose data from only one of the domains via anything other purposeful deletion.

I can speak in more detail about some parts of this if anyone cares.

If I could see a FULL raw email, headers and all, coming from one of these email accounts I could tell much more.
A little bit of Googling and here’s what I got on SMARTech.

Looks like it entire business is built on providing e-services to the GOP. Considering the number of domain names that SMARTech controls for he GOP this could even be a rather important front hub for GOP e-$ to flow through. SMARTech got 3.3 million from the GOP for the 2006 elections.

Owned by Airnet. Only two partners are listed. Stream to You which is also owned by Airnet. Tubatomic Studio also connected to AirNet as well but I’m not sure exactly how. Tubatomic is based in the same town as AirNet, Stream to You, and SMARTech Corp. My guess is that SmarTech is a hollow shell that doesn’t do anything but take the money.

The site news lists
posted: 08-03-2004
We are pleased to annouce the launch of our newly redesigned web site!
But the domain name was only registered 2 months prior, so my guess is it was never there before its “redesign”. The site design is professional but the content looks like it was thrown together overnight. Notice the word “announe” is misspelled in the top news post. All the SMARTech services I’ve found are hosted on IP addresses that belong to AirNet. SMARTech data center is listed as in the “basement of the former Pioneer Bank building”. Guess where AirNet Group’s Data Collocation Center in Chattanooga TN is located? Yup, in the former Pioneer Bank building. AirNet probably owns all the servers. Web Design is handled by Tubatomic and rich media server applications are provided by Stream to You. SMARTech could even be a one man show. No names are listed on their web site and emails addresses are all of the sales@blal.blah and info@blah.blah variety.
The mnemonic naming of SMARTech, AirNet, and Tubatomic all even sound like they came from the same mind or group of minds.

If my picture of SMARTech business model is correct then it would mean that much most of the charges (or at least a lot of the big ones) to the GOP for 2006 where basically made up numbers.

$200,000 for equipment. My guess is a monthly or quarterly fee is paid to AirNet for hosting servers and internet access (AirNet owns the only direct internet connection in the area according to a news posting on SMARTech’s site). So a large single capital outlay for equipment would be BS. Over $250,000 for “email programming”. Trust me that doesn’t even mean anything.

Whoever runs this SMARTech is an e-moron if this place is a front because almost all this stuff was found out in about an hour by a tech savvy person and a lot of it from SMARTech’s own web site.

Here how I think a subpoena to SMARTtech could look like if the GOP REALLY wanted to hide what’s in SMARTech’s vault.

Congress to SMARTtech: Give us the emails.
SMARTech to Congress: Well you’d have to talk to AirNet about that. It’s all on their servers.
Congress to AirNet: Give us the emails.
AirNet to Congress: We don’t have them anymore.
Congress to AirNet: What do you mean you don’t have them?
AirNet to Congress: Some of SMARTech’s accounts are delinquent. We do not guaranty data retention for accounts that are not up to date.
Oops. I miss-spoke. The domain was not registered two months prior. The IP address was registered TO that domain two months prior.
Extraordinarily helpful, ViV... I can't thank you enough.
happy to help.
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Did GWB call Laura a "cunt"? A closer look...

A rumor is circulating that a drunken George Bush called Laura a filthy name in front of witnesses. What are the sources for this story? Does the claim have any merit? This story digs up all the facts.

Bottom line: Many such reports trace back to Wayne Madsen -- who has an NSA background -- and to the tabloids, often linked to American intelligence. The National Enquirer, let us not forget, became what it is under the leadership of one Generoso Pope, who had links to both CIA and Da Mob. To recap an earlier piece:
Nobody knows just how long Pope worked for CIA, or why he left -- or if he left. But a few years later, in a scene that might have been co-directed by Orson Welles and Francis Ford Coppola, Pope decided that it would be fun to run a newspaper. So he hit up his godfather for some start-up capital (estimated at $250,000 -- quite a tidy sum in those days), and purchased a nearly-defunct rag called the New York Enquirer, which had begun life as a pro-Nazi tentacle of the Hearst empire.

Pope's godfather happened to be Frank Costello, the "boss of bosses" in New York, New Jersey, and other points northeast.
Costello himself had CIA links. Although the tabloids have now come under centralized control, many believe that the intelligence community still has "wires" into that world.

We can, I think, fairly say that the sources for sensational stories about Bush's personal life tend to be kind of -- well, spooky. And that means the stories are significant, even if untrue.
I think Laura should just cut off Bush's little dick.

And we should cut off his big Dick.

Impeach Cheney!
It raises a good question about the credibility of Madsen, and thus deserves as wide a readership as possible.

With that in mind, maybe it would be useful to stick an asterisk in your headline instead of using the word in question, in case people reading at work or elsewhere have profanity filters that would block it?
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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Has W pissed off the Saudis?

Saudi Arabian King Abdullah at an Arab summit, called for an end to the Palestinian blockade. Then he bowed out of a big-deal state dinner at the White House that had been scheduled for April 16. This, despite the fact that he is a Bush family friend, and despite the fact that he can't really come up with a good excuse for non-attendance.

Even the Saudis are treating Dubya as though he were radioactive!
Relationships run deep and so does greed. As Bush has shown with his cronies (the ones he has thrown overboard) power and greed always win over loyalty. Iranians play the game of Chess (literally and politically) very well and isn't International politics just a continous chess game? Here is one point of view.
"Iran ahead of the game-for now" by Kaveh Afrasiabi at
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Wade and Wilkes, Wilkes and Wade: One of 'em bilks, the other got made

The best of the bloggers has shamed the rest of us once again. Josh Marshall reveals the secret of that 2002 "furniture" deal Dick Cheney's office handed to MZM -- the deal that got corrupt businessman Mitchell Wade in the government contract biz.

Previously, I had speculated that the furniture was bugged. Others felt that Cheney used furniture as a ruse to hand Wade the money used to buy a boat for Congressman Randy "Duke" Cuningham.

Nope. According to Marshall, it was a ruse, all right -- but the contract went (ostensibly) to a service run by Wade to intercept and decontaminate any mail sent to the President or (presumably) other members of the cabinet and their staff. Remember the great Anthrax scare?

But here's where it gets really odd:
If you're a Cunningham case aficionado, you know that in early 2002 Mitchell Wade was still acting as a cut out for his corruption mentor Brent Wilkes -- who's now awaiting trial in the Cunningham case. And around the same time Wilkes was greasing palms in DC trying to get into the Anthrax mail screening racket himself.
At least I can still claim to be the first blogger to notice Wilkes' (alleged) grand venture into the field of mail decontamination:
MailSafe Inc. supposedly offers "mail decontamination, digital capture, and electronic distribution to government and commercial entities." But the web site has disappeared, and the company seems to have left zero imprint on corporate America. Where is the evidence that it actually provided any services to clients?
So far as anyone has ever determined, MailSafe was never anything more than web site and a mailing address. Wilkes' modus operandi was to grease congressional palms and get fat contracts. Actual work was for the plebians.

It's not hard to figure out how Wilkes hit upon the idea for Mailsafe. The only true service he had provided the government, as near as anyone can tell, amounted to the photocopying of some really old documents. (Which I would have done for ten bucks an hour. Can I be a defense contractor too?) Here, the service amounted to a proposal to have someone in a protective suit photocopy the President's mail.

Would Wilkes have actually sprung for the suit? I tend to doubt it.

Marshall's story should be read in conjunction with David Corn's, in which he outlines the runaround he got as he tried to track down the story.
According to federal procurement records, the contract was for "ADP systems development services" and "custom computer programming services."
Hm. So far, nothing here about either furniture or Anthrax screening...
I asked the Interior Department if I could obtain a copy of the MZM contract under the Freedom of Information Act. The answer: you can submit a FOIA request, but you won't get anything. "It's national security," an Interior official told me, reciting various exemptions. The release of this information, he said, was restricted not by the Interior Department but by the Executive Office of the President because it "includes techniques and procedures used by the Secret Service for law enforcement investigations" and because its disclosure "could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law." He added, "There is no way to get any details."
Now, that could be a reference to Wade's alleged mail screening service, or it might refer to something else. At any rate, I'm not sure how presidential security would have been compromised by a terse announcement that $140,000 went to "mail security." Or even just "security."

So here are my questions:

1. Why would a contract for mail screening for the President be handled by Dick Cheney? And if the deal wasn't handled by the Office of the Vice President, then why did the L.A. Times report that it was?

2. What qualified Mitchell Wade for this job?

Remember, MZM started life as a law firm. Later, it got into the business of refugee aid (!!), through something called the Sure Foundation. (As in: "Did money actually go to refugees? Surrrrrre.") They ran a Republican-friendly PAC out of the same office. In a February 2003 contract, MZM stated that it had zero employees and zero revenue -- this, after they had gotten the gig from Cheney and had set up shop in Charlottesville to do digital mapping for the Pentagon.

My guess: Between the years 1993-2002, MZM was an intelligence front, a spook house -- similar to Brewster Jennings of Plamegate fame, although perhaps not so benign. A better analogy might reference the front companies run by Edwin Wilson on the CIA's dime. Here's Wilson's trajectory in a nutshell (per Wikipedia):
His main role for the CIA was setting up fake companies that would be used to covertly ship supplies around the world. As director of these fake firms, which also conducted legitimate business, he amassed a great deal of money. After 15 years with the CIA, he moved to naval intelligence and brought his companies along with him. He retired in 1976 and went fully private, continuing to run the businesses he had built for the CIA, the largest of which was Consultants International. He amassed a fortune of the some 20 million dollars mainly in the arms trading business.
Perhaps someone in spook-land decided to Wade into the same waters. Perhaps he used the Wilson template to Make Zee Moolah.

Which brings us to...

3. Did MZM, or Wilkes, or anyone, actually provide the mail screening service?
In other words: When little Timmy in the second grade writes a letter to "Dear Mr. President," does Dubya get a whiff of the actual crayola, or does he merely see the xerox?

Wade and Wilkes, Wilkes and Wade:
One of 'em bilks, the other got made.
They rose quite high, but by a fluke
they crashed and fell, along with Duke.
You should be on Waxman's staff, Joseph.
A Waxman aide? Oh, balderdash.
I'm just a wanna-be Ogden Nash.
Isn't it interesting that the Anthrax scare (which has never really been solved) provided the context for these crooks to rake in the dough?

Especially if the spooky ties you mention exist.

I mean sure, a few postal workers died, but hey, look at all this cash!

(sorry if this is a dupe comment -- I can't tell if it posted the first time)
speaking of anthrax:

I heard (and let me preface this by saying if you don't know me, my grapevine is occasionally spurious) that Robert Stephens had pics of the W and Victor Ashe doing the closested-republican skin dance (maybe that didn't come out right-- playing Guckert for hire?) anyway thats what i heard.... and i heard that's why he was sent an anthrax surprise what i was going to say was that maybe the cushy job of mail snorting that they might have been doing for Herr Cheney, might have been payback for a job well done....
What's curious is that Titan Corporation was also in the business of anthrax screening, but for the post office.
Look into a task order awarded by DHS HSHQPA05FR00206, on 01/14/2005 for $3,774,947.95 under the GSA schedule GS35F0486M for watch coverage and also XECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT order, WM24D026/DCA20002A5016, for $50,115 awarded on 06/16/2004 for
technical advisory services
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Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Those of you following the GWB43 scandal-within-a-scandal should note an important comment by G2Geek (who hints that he's in a position to know more than he can say), appended to this Daily Kos post:
There is a specific "three-letter agency" that is specifically designated to handle our nation's COMSEC (communications security) needs:

CSS, the Central Security Service.

This is a sister agency to NSA, and the two work very closely together.

In a nutshell, whreas NSA breaks codes, CSS makes codes.

CSS develops and promulgates cryptographic (code-making) standards and materiel. CSS is responsible for secure communications protocols. It would not surprise me if CSS is also responsible for building and maintaining a good bit of our secure communications infrastructure at the White House as well as at our various military bases and diplomatic outposts around the world.

It would also not surprise me if a good number of people at CSS were bloody pissed about the WH circumventing normal COMSEC for the sake of politics.

Thus, Congress should start talking with the folks at CSS. I'm quite sure they will have plenty to say, and will gladly say it as soon as they have received Congressional subpoenas to give them the necessary legal basis for coming forward.
Perhaps we can call this scandal Computergate. (If the name sticks, remember the contribution of your humble narrator.) And perhaps we can draw an analogy to the Plame affair. In one instance, the Bushies may have thumbed their noses at the folks whose job it is to keep communications secure. In the other instance, the Bushies thumbed their noses at a CIA covert op designed to uncover WMDs.
I would call it "emailgate" because essentially the Bushies are setting up their own gov, their email system on private computers, a private network, separate and apart from the military and intelligence agencies.

They have a completely different modus operandus: ruin, bankrupt and destroy the existing government, military of the US, so they can setup their own shop since these greedy rightwing racist sexist pedophile bullies hate hate hate the existing gov/military/intelligence agencies. they don't want to pay for anyone's welfare or social security or pensions or healthcare except for their own.

My guess is that PNAC is very much behind this outright takeover.

If folks don't wake up and smell the coffee as to what direction this country is going, they'll never get a chance to wake up until its too late and they can't do anything about it because they are all wusses and prefer the comfort of being couchpotatoes overweight unhealthy zombies than to have to do anything about losing their counntry, their constitution, their civil rights, their pensions, etc.

look for some sort of major disaster to happen that will be blamed on iran within the first 60 minutes of the disaster happening--don't be surprised if the news media already has the names and stories ready within the first 60 minutes preceding. by end of April our country may be in a full out war with Iran and then Bush-cheney can declare martial law and the USA as we know it is a memory of our recent past.

I hope this scenario doesn't play out.
This is not the first e-mail scandal.

Hold your fire:

Speaking of control and secrecy, how many here are aware that it was none other than Alberto R. (Geneva Convention) Gonzales among others who were central to the heated dispute of the private vs. public control of Whitehouse records. While the quaint Mr. Gonzales may have recused himself from CIA Leak Inquires, he was the consigliere/enforcer whom called US Archivist, John W. Carlin by telephone to fire him and replace him with a

very controversial Bush /Cheney appointee /stand-up guy, Allen Weinstein. Democrat, (DINO?) historian Allen Weinstein, was on Reagan's transition team in the eighties, and was rumored to be the compare/leaker whom gave the tip off to Nixons lawyer that the US National Archives & Records Administration (NARA) intended to release everything.Once installed Weinstein first major act in his new post, was to make a deal with John H. Taylor, the director of the Richard M. Nixon Library that made public most of Nixon's papers and tapes.

According to informed sources, the administration wanted to (and did) short-circuit the normal confirmation process to see Weinstein confirmed through an "expedited" process, even though he had no experince as a head archivist; a process that had never been done before. Their goal -- was to place Weinstein in the position prior to the then November election. NCH.
(National Coalition for History) reported that the hurried action was linked to forthcoming scheduled opening by NARA of records from the George H. W. Bush administration and the transfer of 9/11 commission records to the Archives. I found most of this stuff out while search gov docs on campus, but much of it can be confirmed online too. Finally,Gonzales never gave a reason as to why Carlin was to be replaced which was very much out of the norm. During the hearings when asked for the reason none was forth coming. Disclosure of the odd circumstances surrounding Carlin being asked to step down was never settled.Democrats on the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee said it amounted to a forced removal, and Bush should be required to give his reasons for it. The White House had no immediate comment when asked why the president wanted to replace Carlin. White House spokeswoman Erin Healey said only that "Mr. Carlin has submitted a letter stating his intention to resign, and Mr. Bush has a responsibility to appoint someone to fill that position." He never got a reason.

I also ran across a most provocative book this week entitled: White House E-Mail at the National Security Archives:

President Reagan tried to shred them electronically...

President Bush tried to take them to Texas...

President Clinton tried to put them beyond the reach of the Freedom of Information Act...

White House e-mail survived, thanks to a six-year lawsuit brought by the National Security Archive and allied historians, librarians, and public interest lawyers.

The most revealing of the e-mail released to date appears in this book and disk set, edited and richly annotated by the Archive's director.

Here are the highest-level White House communications on the most secret national security affairs of the United States during the 1980s--shockingly candid electronic exchanges you were never meant to see, virtually none of which has ever before been available to the American public.

- The National Security Council (NSC) staff at the White House acquires a prototype electronic mail system, from IBM, called the Professional Office System (PROFs).

April 1985
- The PROFs e-mail system becomes fully operational within the NSC, including not only the full staff, but also home terminals for the National Security Adviser, Robert "Bud" McFarlane, and his deputy, Admiral John M. Poindexter.

November 1986
- The remainder of the White House comes on line with electronic mail, at first with the PROFs system, and later (by the end of the 1980s) through a variety of systems including VAX A-1 ("All in One"), and ccmail.

November 22-25, 1986
- John Poindexter and Oliver North electronically shred more than 5000 e-mail notes in the memory banks of their computer systems, as the Iran-contra scandal breaks.

November 28, 1986
- Career staff at the White House Communications Agency order the November backup tapes of the e-mail system to be saved instead of recycled as usual. Subsequently, investigators from the FBI and the Tower Commission use the backup takes to reconstruct the Iran-contra scandal.

February 26, 1987
- The Tower Commission issues its report on Iran-contra, reprinting hundreds of PROFs notes exchanged by McFarlane, Poindexter and North.

January 19, 1989
- On the last day of the Reagan presidency, the National Security Archive files a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests together with a lawsuit against President Ronald Reagan, to prevent the imminent erasure of the White House electronic mail backup tapes. At 6:10 pm, on the eve of George Bush's inauguration, U.S. District Judge Barrington D. Parker issues a Temporary Restraining Order, prohibiting the destruction of the backup tapes to the PROFs system.

September 15, 1989
- U.S. District Judge Charles B. Richey rules that the National Security Archive and its co-plaintiffs, including the American Historical Association (AHA) and the American Library Association (ALA), have standing to sue President Bush, in order to force him to comply with the retention requirements of various records acts which potentially cover the White House e-mail.

January 25, 1991
- After a year-and-a-half of legal procedural wrangling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upholds Judge Richey's ruling on standing, denying the Bush administration's attempts to have the case dismissed.

November 20, 1992
- On request from the plaintiffs, Judge Richey adds the White House e-mail from the lame-duck Bush administration to the case, issuing a restraining order preventing the Bush White House from destroying its own backup computer records.

January 6, 1993
- Judge Richey rules that computer tapes containing copies of e-mail messages by Reagan and Bush White House staff must be preserved like other government records, because the electronic versions are not simply duplicates of paper printouts, but contain additional information beyond the paper copies.

January 11 and 14, 1993
- Judge Richey issues specific court orders requiring that the Bush White House preserve its computer records. In press interviews, Judge Richey says that despite his orders, he believes that the Bush administration is planning to destroy its e-mail files.

January 15, 1993
- In an expedited emergency ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upholds and modifies the rulings by Judge Richey, holding that government officials could erase White House and NSC computer files, as long as they preserved, on backup tapes, identical copies of what was being erased.

January 19, 1993
- President Bush signs a secret agreement with Don Wilson, head of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), purporting to grant Bush exclusive legal control over the e-mail tapes of his administration. Working through the night, a staff team from NARA takes custody of thousands of tapes and disk drives, hurriedly removing them from White House offices to prevent incoming Clinton appointees from gaining access to them.

February 16, 1993
- NARA career staff who managed the transfer describe in an internal memo how the so- called "midnight ride" had violated NARA's own rules for records transfers and how several sets of tapes ordered preserved by Judge Richey had been lost, erased or damaged.

May 22, 1993
- Judge Richey cites the Clinton White House and the acting Archivist of the United States for contempt of court for failing to carry out his order to issue new and appropriate guidelines for the preservation of the computer records of the Reagan, Bush and Clinton White House staff.

August 13, 1993
- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacates Judge Richey's contempt orders but upholds his overall decision that the Federal Records Act (FRA) requires that complete electronic copies of e-mail messages be preserved by the White House, and by extension, government agencies in general. The appeals court remands the case to Judge Richey to decide the issue of the dividing line between "agency" records covered by the FRA and presidential records covered by the Presidential Records Act.

March 25, 1994
- In a brief filed in federal court, the Clinton administration declares that the National Security Council is not an agency, and should be accorded the protection from public scrutiny given to the President's personal advisers. This argument attempts to remove the Clinton administration's White House e- mail from the reach of FOIA requests and the FRA, arguing that all its documents are subject only to the Presidential Records Act (PRA) and therefore not to court oversight.

December 13, 1994
- The e-mail plaintiffs file suit against the Acting Archivist of the United States to void the Bush-Wilson agreement, in American Historical Association et. al. v. Peterson.

February 15, 1995
- Judge Richey rejects the Clinton administration's arguments about the NSC's status as "arbitrary and capricious... contrary to history, past practice and the law," and declares that the National Security Council is an agency. The government subsequently appeals the decision, and the plaintiffs cross- appeal against a portion of Richey's ruling that opens a loophole for senior NSC staff giving advice to the President.

February 27, 1995
- In a separate opinion in the lawsuit over the Bush-Wilson agreement, Judge Richey declares the agreement "null and void," writing that "No one, not even a President, is above the law." The New York Times subsequently editorializes, under the headline "A Special Place in History for Mr. Bush," that "No President has the right to corner official records in an effort to control his place in history." (March 1, 1995, page A18)

September 8, 1995
- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit hears oral arguments in the case on the issue of Judge Richey's decision and the agency versus Presidential status of the NSC.
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The Republican tech guy

Epluribus Media has an interesting story on Mike Connell, Bush family loyalist and Republican Party overlord of All Thing Technical, whose web development firms have put together, (one of the domains that cropped up in Prosecutor-gate) and -- wait for it -- the House Intelligence Committee's web site.

Well, someone had to put together that site, I suppose. Still, it feels a little creepy to have someone so devoted to the Bush family working "behind the line" for Congress. Technically, Connell has two firms -- one for one side of the firewall, one for the other. But if the same guy runs both firms, it's not much of a firewall, is it?
one has to wonder when this guy was hired to the house committee, and if he remains at that position for their website. i cannot imagine reyes would keep the same shop in charge, if he knew who was running the show for the repugs.
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Protecting Pedophiles: The OTHER Department of Justice scandal

You probably already know that Alberto Gonzales is chest-deep in the kind of hot water usually reserved for missionaries in old New Yorker cartoons. Kyle Sampson, his former chief of staff, will testify on Thursday; according to U.S. News & World Report, he will say that Gonzales was in the loop on the USA firings -- despite Gonzales' own contradictory testimony.

But there's another controversy lurking in the background -- one which I hesitate to mention because the primary "mainstream" print source is a fellow I would rather not cite: Jerome Corsi, of World Net Daily.

Yeah, I know. The Swift Boat guy. Not my favorite person. But his latest tears into Gonzales -- or rather, the Bush Justice Department -- rather fiercely.

The controversy surrounds the Texas Youth Commission, which is embroiled in a rather grim scandal. In 2005, investigators from the Texas Rangers found that guards and administrator were sexually abusing institutionalized youths, who were recruited to provide "entertainment" during night-long orgies.

(As long-time readers know, this blog has an ongoing interest in abusive youth institutions, which often have ties to the Republican hierarchy.)

Corsi cites this report by a progressive group in Texas, the Lone Star Project. The gist: The Texas Rangers submitted their report of sexual abuse to the A.G. in Texas and to the U.S. Attorney for that state, Johnny Sutton, and to the Department of Justice. The Rangers wanted someone to prosecute the bad guys, and they felt they had a strong case.

Now, Johnny Sutton -- unlike, say, Carol Lam -- was never in danger of losing his gig, since he is considered one of the "loyal Bushies" among the U.S. Attorneys. In fact, his jurisdiction covers Dubya's ranch in Crawford. He is no stranger to controversy.

When the Texas Rangers asked to have the Texas Youth Commission abuses prosecuted, Sutton's chief assistant sent an extraordinary response: The office had decided not to pursue the matter because the sexually abused boys had not sustained "bodily injury."
Baumann's letter continued, adding a definition of the phrase "bodily injury," as follows: "Federal courts have interpreted this phrase to include physical pain. None of the victims have claimed to have felt physical pain during the course of the sexual assaults which they described."
Is statutory rape no longer a crime in Texas? Even if it isn't, the Dallas Morning News reports that the youths were, in fact, coerced -- violently.
When an inmate at a state juvenile prison complained of an administrator's sexual advances, swift and merciless punishment followed: The teenager was thrown into an isolation cell "and put in shackles for over 13 hours," a Texas Rangers report revealed.
In one common form of payback, inmates say, guards instruct their favored juveniles to beat those who complain. This, many inmates say, has been a practice for years at TYC.
In the facility, everyone knew the rule: "Snitches get stitches."

The Alberto Gonzales Department of Justice declined prosecution as well. The paperwork is here. Matt Angle of the Lone Star Project believes that the case was shut down on direct orders from Washington.

The folks behind the Lone Star Project seem particularly outraged that both the State and Federal justice systems gave the TYC outrages a pass, even as they both made a priority of pursuing partisan "voter registration fraud" claims against Democrats:
In February 2006, an agent from Attorney General Greg Abbott's office was informed that sexual abuse had taken place in the Ward County TYC facility. Meanwhile, Abbott had an agent on sight near Ward County working on Abbott's controversial and partisan voter fraud project...and was never reassigned to help with the TYC investigtion... The election case involved a 69 year old woman who had simply mailed sealed and completed ballots for several senior citizen neighbors.
U.S. Attorney Sutton deserves a closer look. We'll be returning to him soon.

Meanwhile: Why is Jerome Corsi one of the few voices reporting this stuff? His primary source is a left-ish group. The Dallas Morning News has run a series of reports on the TYC scandal. See also here.
I just watched Sleepers again last night.

What about the earlier scandal with Heather Wilson?

Reminiscent of the still-unfolding scandal involving Rep. Mark Foley -- and what many, even on the right, see as a Republican cover-up -- is an earlier scandal involving Republican Rep. Heather Wilson (NM-01) and her husband, Jay Hone. The video above shows a KOAT-TV7 (Albuquerque) news story prompted by one of Wilson's first actions when she was appointed to head the NM Department of Children, Youth and Families. Wilson served as Department Secretary from 1995-1998. On her third day in office, she removed a sensitive department case file, which had been opened on her husband, from the agency's central records repository in Albuquerque. Although Wilson initially denied doing so, she later changed her story and admitted removing the file. In other words, she lied.

The file was opened in response to an Albuquerque police report filed in March 1993 that reportedly contained potentially damaging allegations against her husband.
I've been running into Corsi's name lately in connection with his opposition to that abomination known as the Trans-Texas Corridor or (in its larger form) as the North American SuperCorridor. Though I wouldn't go so far as to say he's turned into one of the good guys, we may be at a point where the right-wing populists and left-wing populists can join hands over certain issues. At any rate, I wouldn't automatically disdain him as a source.
rawstory just reported that AGAG and fitz are meeting in chicago today to discuss, ...wait for it...
Project Safe Childhood

yup. designed to protect children from ONLINE PREDATORS!

which i have always translated as a cynical excuse to shut down free (unrestrained) internet access to the general public.

of course, that will get little attention in the Q & A, ya bet?
beyond sick
I presume that the Gonzales meeting with Fitz will be just another instance of the AG taking credit for PF's work. I came across an instance like this a short while ago. Fitzgerald had shut down a "warez" site, and Gonzales put out a press release puffing the good work of DOJ without mentioning PF's name -- even though the wording of the release resembled the announcement from Fitz's office.
Just were are the parents in all of this, one would think they would be outraged over this
Hey Joseph I always wanted to know... what do you make of the whole "Cathy O"Brien Most Dangerous" Game story? I seem to remeber you don't like that ex-cop in southern california from that school with the 'alleged' secret satan rooms.. and also am pretty sure that you would side with Michael Aquino in his "we don't kill or have sex with babies" claim (although you gotta admit that the psyops/stanist/US Military angle is a bit creepy)

But when it comes to O'Brien, especially when talking about the creepy side of the Grand Ol' Pedophiles, what do you think of her stories about Dick, & W, and the drugs, and sex with little kiddies and MKUltra.... (BTW I'm from montreal right at McGill and no one can tell me that MKU was not real, there are too many victims who have come out, been compensated...)So Joe, just wondering, is this just umpossible?
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Another pet food controversy

I feel a little odd using this blog to talk about dog food, what with all the political scandals going down -- but these days, political scandals are like buses: Wait an hour and a new one will come along.

At any rate, this dog blog reports anecdotal problems with Nutro Max DRY, which is not a recalled product and not manufactured by Menu foods. Nutro Max happens to be the kibble I used to feed my own fearsome hound, until I read that phenobarbitol had been discovered in certain types of Nutro dry. That report has been questioned, but apparently the FDA did mention Nutro in a report on phenobarb contamination.

At present, the issue seems to be tainted wheat. That was the problem with the Menu (wet) product, but one would expect dry food producers to seek out the lowest priced ingredients as well.

I am not saying that Nutro contains toxins; anecdotal reports are, of course, unreliable. But I do advise pet owners to watch this story. As always, consider making your own.

Monday, March 26, 2007

GWB43 is becoming a big deal...

Here (thanks to Hoot of DU) is the incriminating email proving that the White House and Jack Abramoff used private email servers to bypass the law. If you can't read it, click on the image for a larger version.

Today's big news: House Oversight Chairman Henry Waxman has directed the RNC to preserve all emails involving White House officials. Waxman also asked the key question:
(5) What assurance can the RNC provide the Committee that no e-mails involving official White House business have been destroyed or altered.
The answer is obvious: None.

In the expanded version of my piece on GWB43, I noted the RNC's server, Smartech, merged years ago with a company owned by Mercer Reynolds, George W. Bush's long-time friend and chief fundraiser. History is thus placed within purely partisan hands.

Smartech can claim that they deleted from their servers all emails pertinent to, say, White House involvement with the Jack Abramoff affair. Conceivably, new and exculpatory emails are being written and backdated at this very moment.

What to do? Get people under oath. Perhaps offers should be made to those involved with the Abramoff affair. And the Plame affair.

And the Mitchell Wade affair. Wade is the former head of MZM, the company which bribed "Duke" Cunningham. Waxman is also asking about that bizarre "furniture" contract Wade had with the White House. Does that interaction have an email trail...? Laura Rozen received the following relevant message from a Congressional staffer:
"While this is an option not open to White House staff, because their servers block such programs, other Executive Branch officials in the various Cabinet Departments are also known to use the various free email programs like Hotmail and Yahoo to email sensitive issues. This is not necessarily because they are doing anything wrong, but because folks are aware that emails sent on the formal servers are archived forever and they do not want their emails to be dredged up months or years later – as is the case today with the Justice Department."
What can we do with this information? Simply this:

The folks normally in charge of White House procurement are surely on the "lower" level and must live with blocked access to outside email programs. So if the Wade deal were legit, any emails between Wade and the WH would be archived.

On the other hand, if all email pertinent to that transaction went through the RNC servers, then we know that we're talking about something other than furniture.
Finally! Truthout has just published this article on this:

White House Use of Outside Email Accounts Questioned
By Jason Leopold and Matt Renner
t r u t h o u t | Report

Monday 26 March 2007

Emails released by the Department of Justice over the past two weeks in conjunction with a Congressional investigation into the firings of eight US attorneys show that White House officials have communicated with DOJ staffers about the attorney purge, using email accounts maintained by the Republican National Committee in possible violation of the Presidential Records Act.

Using alternative email accounts also creates the appearance of impropriety, lawmakers charged Monday, because it allows White House officials to avoid the usual archival process and the automatic paper trail that is established when they use White House email servers to conduct business. Emails sent through the RNC server can be destroyed.

The Presidential Records Act of 1978 states that the records of a president, his immediate staff, and specific areas of the Executive Office of the President belong to the United States, not to the individual president or his staff. The act further states that the president must "take all such steps as may be necessary to assure that the activities, deliberations, decisions, and policies that reflect the performance of his constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties are adequately documented and that such records are maintained as presidential records pursuant to the requirements of this section and other provisions of law."

In letters sent Monday to the RNC and the Bush/Cheney 2004 Campaign, Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, urged the two groups to preserve all emails sent by White House officials from their servers because of their relevance to Congressional probes, including the US attorney scandal.

Waxman added that his committee "has questions about who has access to these email records and how the campaign protects them from destruction or tampering," according to the letters he sent to the RNC and the Bush/Cheney 2004 Campaign.

"Such emails written in the conduct of White House business would appear to be governmental records subject to preservation and eventual public disclosure," Waxman wrote.

Documents released Friday by the Justice Department to a Congressional committee probing the US attorney firings show that J. Scott Jennings, special assistant to President Bush and deputy director for political affairs, used an email account to query a DOJ official about the pending US attorney vacancies.

"Does a list of vacant, or about-to-be-vacant, US attorney slots exist anywhere?" Jennings wrote in a December 3, 2006 email to Kyle Sampson, former chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Gonzales is said to have orchestrated the firings of eight US attorneys in what appears to be a politically motivated plot. Jennings' immediate boss is Karl Rove, White House deputy chief of staff, who, according to a report Friday in the National Journal, conducts 95 percent of White House business using an email account maintained by the RNC.

"My office. Want me to sent [sic] to you tomorrow?" Sampson replied to Jennings' private account. Four days after the email was sent, the DOJ fired seven US attorneys under a plan that had been in the making for more than two years and was executed with the knowledge of White House officials, including Rove and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers - both of whom have been asked to testify under oath before Congress about the firings, whether the action was politically motivated, and the roles they played in the scandal.

Waxman said the Oversight Committee first discovered administration officials were using nongovernmental email accounts during its investigation into disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his contacts with the White House.

"That investigation found that many of the email exchanges between Jack Abramoff and White House officials were conducted via nongovernmental email accounts," Waxman said in his letters to the RNC and the Bush/Cheney 2004 Campaign. "In at least one case, the emails indicate that these nonofficial accounts were being used because 'to put this stuff in writing in their [sic] email system ... might actually limit what they can do to help us.' The Abramoff investigation found that in multiple instances, Susan Ralston, Karl Rove's executive assistant, exchanged emails with Jack Abramoff regarding official government business while using accounts maintained by the Republican National Committee and the Bush/Cheney 2004 campaign."

Furthermore, Waxman said, "the investigation also found that Barry Jackson, deputy assistant to the president and deputy to the senior adviser, used a "" email account to communicate with Neil Volz, an Abramoff associate who has been convicted of public corruption charges."

Waxman said that in certain cases White House officials were using alternative email accounts to avoid creating an automatic paper trail of their communications about hot-button political issues.

"In one case, Mr. Abramoff sent Ms. Ralston an email on her RNC account asking her to 'pass on to Karl that Interior is about to approve a gaming compact ... for a tribe which is an anathema to all our supporters'" and requesting "some quiet message from WH that this is absurd," Waxman wrote, quoting from the Ralston and Abramoff email exchange. "This email was forwarded to Jennifer Farley in the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, who apparently then warned one of Abramoff s associates about the dangers of leaving a record of their communications. According to an email Mr. Abramoff received from his associate Kevin Ring: Your email to Susan was forwarded to Ruben Barrales and on to Jen Farley, who read it to me last night. I don't know what to think about this, but she said it is better not to put this stuff in writing in their email system because it might actually limit what they can do to help us, especially since there could be lawsuits, etc. ... Just letting you know what she said.'"

Abramoff responded to that exchange, according to Waxman, writing in an email, "Dammit. It was sent to Susan on her rnc pager and was not supposed to go into the WH system."

Anne Weismann, chief counsel for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said the use of outside email accounts by White House officials "could constitute a breach of the Presidential Archives Act."

Moreover, using outside servers could also be a threat to national security, Weismann said.

"Federal servers are protected with the best security available; outside servers are probably not nearly as secure," she said, meaning that it could be very easy to hack into the servers and read the emails.

Weismann said President Bush's refusal to turn over communications between his staff and the DOJ regarding the US attorney firings, citing executive privilege, does not include domains and servers operated by the RNC.

"Waxman was very shrewd in contacting the RNC because the president cannot claim executive privilege for emails on their server," Weismann said.
joe, isn't it the case that, in all those various emails out of the WH that were not legit, numbers of them were to numbers of outside locations that will still have them archived? that may be a confusing way to ask the question of how can they destroy ALL records of their emails, even if the server of origination is purging them?

exposing my tech-naivete here, but it doesn't make any sense that all traces could be erased. and you're right; those folks in the abramoff and wade/foggio cases should have many of those on hand.

the problem is, those cases are now out of the hands of prosecutors with integrity (more on that issue in a few.....)
Holy Shit, Joe. They're all over this right now during the WH press briefing.
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Sunday, March 25, 2007

The great GWB43 update

To read a revised and expanded version of my piece on the "secret" White House communication system designed to do an end run around history, go here. The newest news: An email written from the White House to Jack Abramoff confirms that administration personnel deliberately used private email servers to avoid legal problems:
...she said is better not to put this stuff in writing in their email system because it might actually limit what they can do to help us, especially since there could be lawsuits, etc.
Did the Abramoff investigators know about this alternative communication system? I think not. If that fact were known, and if those secret emails to Casino Jack came to light, might someone in the WH be looking at jail time? Perhaps.

This should be a huge story, folks...
joe, so glad to see you're spreading these facts around.

what really is beginning to concern the dickens out of me is the fact that this exposes crimes, the outside emails violate the law, and the abramoff email you cited shows the intention to circumvent the law.

all that being said (as if no other crimes had been committed by these hoodlums), is this not enough evidence to file a criminal complaint? and shouldn't this be done, like, now, quickly, before they destroy all their archives?

as am aside, durbin today on MTP noted the concern about the US attys who were NOT fired; in other words, the 'good bushies.' also glad to see that factoid being picked up.

the momentum cannot be relaxed; thanks again for keeping on this.

This is perhaps one of the greatest stories you have uncovered--I have sent your post on friday to several email lists.

I this gets picked up besides just a few blogs and that others start working on getting more information. I pray that Fitzpatrick and whatever is left of our legal system can subpoena RNC and smartechcorp to get ahold of all the emails since the beginning of 2004 and that they don't simply "disappear" all those emails that have been generated over the past few years. My guess is that they'll probably nuke those email servers from 2004/2005/2006.

It is interesting to do some Whois lookups on both and that owns/administers .

Looks like email for RNCHQ.ORG (that stands for Repub Nat Comm HQ and the website is: is handled through the mail servers because the domain doesn't have any MX (that's mail record info) DNS information listed so one can't use an email address that ends in because that domain isn't setup to handle email, but if you do a lookup on the DNS of, sure enough it lists two MX records and the mail servers listed are both with smarttech: and

I have copied and pasted the current WHOIS info for both and domains and also the DNS record info both--scroll down, I've lost the formatting but it is there in case these folks decide to make their information private for whois lookups.


Republican National Committee
310 First Street SE
Washington, DC 20003

Domain Name: GWB43.COM

Administrative Contact , Technical Contact :
Republican National Committee
310 First Street SE
Washington, DC 20003

Here is the complete DNS info listed for

Domain Type Class TTL Answer SOA IN 2560 Primary DNS server:
Responsible Name:
Serial: 1174654577
Refresh: 16384 (4h 33m 4s)
Retry: 2048 (34m 8s)
Expire: 1048576 (1w 5d 3h 16m 16s)
Minimum/NegTTL: 2560 (42m 40s) NS IN 259200 NS IN 259200 MX IN 86400 [Preference = 10] MX IN 86400 [Preference = 10]

The registrant info for is:

Republican National Committee
310 First Street SE
Washington, DC 20003

Domain Name: RNCHQ.ORG

Administrative Contact :
310 First Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
Phone: 202-863-8670
Fax: 123 123 1234

Technical Contact :
310 1ST ST SE
WASHINGTON, DC 20003-1885
Phone: 202-863-8651
Fax: 202-863-8851

Record expires on 03-Jul-2014
Record created on 17-Sep-2002
Database last updated on 02-May-2005

Domain servers in listed order: Manage DNS

IP Address: (ARIN & RIPE IP search)
Record Type: Domain Name
Server Type: IIS 6
Web Site Status: Active
DMOZ no listings
Y! Directory: see listings
Web Site Title: | Republican National Committee :: Home
Secure: No
E-commerce: No
Traffic Ranking: Not available
Data as of: 19-Oct-2006

there is no DNS info listed other than the nameservers listed here:


Looks like has its own internal mailservers separate from, and note the IP address ranges it lists in its DNS info:

Domain Type Class TTL Answer SOA IN 2560 Primary DNS server:
Responsible Name:
Serial: 1174654577
Refresh: 16384 (4h 33m 4s)
Retry: 2048 (34m 8s)
Expire: 1048576 (1w 5d 3h 16m 16s)
Minimum/NegTTL: 2560 (42m 40s) NS IN 259200 NS IN 259200 MX IN 86400 [Preference = 10] MX IN 86400 [Preference = 10] TXT IN 3600 "v=spf1 ip4: ip4: mx ~all" A IN 86400

It is still a shame you have condemned, resorted to name calling and written off your loyal readers who have the boldness to question how the WTC towers could collapse from jet fuel fires. But before you delete this last sentence, check out this incredibly interesting 9 minute youtube video about how the 9/11 cover story was sold to the public on the morning of 9/11:

joseph, no worries, this doesn't mention the dreaded "CD", but it does examine how certain stories via mainstream media Fox News and other outlets on TV that morning.

very interesting perspective. only 9 minutes. OK? peace?
WoW. This server is the keystone of the whole criminal operation.
Don't forget that Blackwell had "override" access to the tabulators from the computers in his office. I'll bet he and Rove were on the phone during that critical hiatus when the vote changed.
Joe--great story and thank you!
Some other gwb43 names deserve checking too.

According to, the Bushites registered and as well as

The following info is from
Demon net tools:








Whereas mail to the .com goes to, mail to the .org and .net goes directly to

There is also the case of GWB43.US. Admin, billing, and technical contacts are listed as BlueHost.Com, of Orem, Utah. According to one source, it redirects to, but I could not verify this.

Since 2001, .us has been administered by Neustar, a government contractor involved with White House information systems, speculated to be an NSA front company.

Neustar got the contract to run the address database that is vital to the flow of content in the worldwide GSM phone network. See this Washington Post article.

Of course, the fact that they run .us may mean zilch with regard to what goes down with!! After all, there are hundreds of thousands of .us domains, and Neustar also run .biz

Someone asked in 2006 whether the company had anything to do with the voting machines. (See above DU link, comment 46). I don't know the answer.

Neustar VP H. Michael Warren, former FBI wiretapper (head of their CALEA implementation section), doubtless does, though.

Gonzo must go. Imagine being disabled, cooperating with the idea of working as a disabled American, and doing so for eleven years. At no time was the court ordered disabled status rescinded or revoked. I told all my employers about my condition, and finally did leave one " hanging" when I got sick again at that eleven year mark.
That's when I found out I was misdiagnosed as a matter of record, for thirty years no less.

And when I needed help after eleven years of working as a disabled American citizen, I did not get any help at the Social Security offices, only disability discrimination. I applied in 2002 and my case is not closed yet.
Of course the OIG said there was no discrimination. Just another part of the UNjustice being served in the department of UNjustice.

Gonzo has affected every single program people. Why else would the USA not honor it's own court orders??????
Anon 9.36, I wonder how long has been without its own mailservers? Mailservers at are listed in the details for both and

I did tracerts on ( and ( Both eventually timed out, but not before bringing up a company called Broadwing Communications, with its HQ in Austin, Texas.

sofla said...

Very good. The WH taping system redux, in a way! Now who is the Butterfield, and who is the Fred Thompson in this case?
To B:

THANKS for doing the search on the and domains.

very strange regarding!




Going back to the RNCHQ.ORG mystery of why no MX records are listed, I used a DNS lookup utility last night. When I did a DNS search for ALL records (which includes the MX records), all I could find listed for was the two nameservers already listed on the network solutions "whois" lookup. No mail server info was listed. Looks like someone has changed the DNS information for the MX mail server records (deleted it) but this information hasn't fully propagated because this morning....

However, this morning if I do a separate search for MX records (that is mail server info) for, then I do pull up the same MX records as listed for . So I am including the MX complete search for the using the DNS search tools:

Searching for MX record at []: Got referral to (zone: org.) [took 41 ms]
Searching for MX record at []: Got referral to NS1.CHA.SMARTECHCORP.NET. (zone: RNCHQ.ORG.) [took 40 ms]
Searching for MX record at NS1.CHA.SMARTECHCORP.NET. []: Reports [took 33 ms]


Domain Type Class TTL Answer MX IN 86400 [Preference = 10] MX IN 86400 [Preference = 10] NS IN 259200 NS IN 259200

furthermore, when I pulled up the website, they reference so listed below is the complete set of DNS records for the domain found by the DNS search tools.



How I am searching:
Searching for ALL record at []: Got referral to I.GTLD-SERVERS.NET. (zone: com.) [took 47 ms]
Searching for ALL record at I.GTLD-SERVERS.NET. []: Got referral to (zone: [took 144 ms]
Searching for ALL record at []: Reports [took 33 ms]


Domain Type Class TTL Answer SOA IN 2560 Primary DNS server:
Responsible Name:
Serial: 1174654577
Refresh: 16384 (4h 33m 4s)
Retry: 2048 (34m 8s)
Expire: 1048576 (1w 5d 3h 16m 16s)
Minimum/NegTTL: 2560 (42m 40s) NS IN 259200 NS IN 259200 MX IN 86400 [Preference = 10] MX IN 86400 [Preference = 10] TXT IN 3600 "v=spf1 ip4: ip4: ip4: ip4: ip4: ip4: " " a:sm3.republicanvictoryteam" ".org ~all" A IN 300

the problem here is most likely mail records are being deleted by removing the mail servers completely from the DNS information so unless a subpeona is issued to cease and desist destruction of email records, this is all water under the bridge.

Great research 'b' !

waxman has ordered the RNC to keep all emails and email records, following the filing with his offices by CREW of this questionable matter.

i had wondered in a comment somewhere if it were possible for just anyone to file a criminal complaint, given we had the law broken and the evidence to prove it, for the express purpose of preserving those emails.

is there not a way to recover any or most that are destroyed? and how do we know they'll comply?

of course, any destructions are as much as an admission of guilt.

and to remind everyone why this issue, and not iraq or gitmo or abramoff or any others, will be the one the dems can get fired up about:
there are no lobbyists or over monies at stake. plus, it's a matter of governance that even the republicans can relate to. at least the ones who retain some semblance of conscience.
go to if anyone has additional information on this breaking story. I have just copied and pasted the entire post with comments to this website for further congressional review.

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Israeli racism, part 7: The South African connection

A very strange comment appended to my previous story leads me to believe that the "megaphone" students are still looking over this material. Excellent. The kids writing this stuff probably aren't a bad lot; they're just naive, as are most young people. Seems to me that this series is a great way of getting some young Israelis to look at a few aspects of history they probably never learned in school.

Our subject today is apartheid.

In a debate over Carter's book on Democracy Now, Zionist Professor Gil Troy stated a theme often sounded by Carter's critics:
He calls his title “provocative.” I call it offensive. It’s offensive to South Africans, because to use the word “apartheid,” which is about white supremacy and a systematic approach of discrimination and racism, demeans the very difficult struggle and the odious examples of South African oppression.
Later, he adds:
And the community of nations -- it took them decades, but the community of nations justifiably said this is so odious that we want to kind of vomit out -- and I use the term advisedly -- vomit out South Africa from the community of nations, because they're so despicable.
Disgustingly, Troy neglects to tell his audience that South Africa's biggest supporter in the days of apartheid was Israel.

A number of books published during the 1980s made that very the point, as did innumerable magazine articles and opinion pieces published at that time. One such volume was Israeli Foreign Policy, by the highly respected author Jane Hunter, published in 1987 and excerpted here:
Israel's ties with South Africa seem to be especially disturbing to many who follow Israel's international activities. Perhaps it is natural that Israel has been castigated more harshly for its arms sales to South Africa than for its sales to other countries: first, because there has been for a decade an arms embargo against South Africa; and second, because of the unsurpassed criminality of the white regime and the uses to which it puts the Israeli-supplied weapons.
"The most powerful reason for Israeli willingness to bear the undesirable consequences of expanded and more open trade with South Africa may be her desire to acquire material necessary to manufacture nuclear weapons," wrote a military analyst in 1980.'
Yep, Israel helped to give apartheid South Africa the bomb. The following (from 1997) comes from Los Alamos National Laboratories:
Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad confirmed for the first time that a flare over the Indian Ocean detected by an American satellite in September 1979 was from a nuclear test. This statement was confirmed by the American Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa, as an accurate account of what Pahad officially acknowledged. The article said that Israel helped South Africa develop its bomb designs in return for 550 tons of raw uranium and other assistance.
I recall the controversy over the mystery blast. Although, at the time, everyone more or less knew (or suspected) that a nuke had been tested, the Carter administration insisted on labelling the flash a freak of nature. Of course, only a cynic or a bigot would suggest that political pressures forced the White House to ignore the scientists.

Back to Jane Hunter::
In 1984, the Financial Times (London) wrote of "joint Israeli-South African support for Unita forces." Other sources also report the transfer of Israeli arms and financial support to Unita.

In 1983, Angola's President Jose Eduardo dos Santos told Berkeley, California Mayor Eugene (Gus) Newport that an Israeli pilot had been shot down during a South African attack. The Angolan President showed Newport pictures of captured Israeli weapons. The following year, Luanda reported the capture of three mercenaries who said they had been trained by Israeli instructors in Zaire.
I'll trust a source like Hunter over a guy like Troy any day of the week.

And that's the truth, kids. Wake up and smell the apartheid.
More history

The 1999 BMA study was provoked in part by a 1998 story in the London Sunday Times alleging that Israel already had developed a genetically specific weapon. "Unnamed South African sources," according to a report cited by the Times, "[say] Israeli scientists have used some of the South African research in trying to develop an 'ethnic bullet' against Arabs." Reported links between Israel's ethnic weapons and South Africa's Project Coast are tentative; some would say tenuous. But the possibility of such links is terrifying, and justifies as much scrutiny as was focused on Iraq's imaginary arsenal.
Part of this whole story would have to be Jack Abramoff and his extensive 80's connections with South Africa. See, for example:

Abramoff also helped direct the work of The International Freedom Foundation (IFF). The IFF presented itself as a conservative think tank whose stated goal was to "demonstrate the benefits of a parliamentary democracy and expose the failures of a people's democracy." But in explosive testimony before the South Africa Truth Commission, former South African intelligence officers revealed that the IFF was actually part of the apartheid regime's propaganda operations.

According to those who testified, the IFF served as an intelligence gathering and "political warfare" instrument of the government. They testified that the South African government funded the organization to the tune of $1.5 million through 1992 under the code name "Operation Babushka."

According to Newsday, which investigated the IFF and reported extensively on it in the wake of the Truth Commission hearings, "The project's broad objectives were to try to reverse the apartheid regime's pariah status in Western political circles. More specifically the IFF sought to portray the ANC as a tool of Soviet communism, thus undercutting the movement's growing international acceptance as the government-in-waiting of a future multi-racial South Africa."

It was reported that Abramoff attracted many other Washington conservatives to the IFF's cause, including Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN), Senator Jesse Helms, (R-GA), Rep. Phillip Crane (R-IL) and Rep. Robert Dornan (R-CA)

South African intelligence even voiced satisfaction with the work the IFF did. "They (IFF) were all very good, those guys," testified former South African police official Vic McPheerson, who ran security branch operations for the apartheid regime. "They were not just good in intelligence, but in political warfare."

According to McPheerson, the IFF earned up to half its funding doing "jobs" for South African intelligence. He said the intelligence agency sent their fee payments directly to IFF's Washington office. And while Abramoff's IFF focused on tarnishing the image of Nelson Mandella and the ANC, it also supported the Nicaraguan Contras, defended Ronald Reagan aide Oliver North, and sought a British government investigation of the charity Oxfam for the political support it gave the ANC.

In checking out my Abramoff notes, I also find this:

Buried in the furor over former President Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich is the role the fugitive commodities trader played in supplying oil to South Africa's apartheid government, in violation of international sanctions against the racist regime. . . . the billionaire Rich, who fled to Switzerland in 1983 to escape tax evasion and other U.S. criminal charges, was South Africa's biggest supplier of oil (and traded other commodities with the pariah country), contravening U.S., European Community and OPEC embargoes and amassing millions of dollars in profit in the process.

This 80's stuff involving Abramoff is, of course, part of an even larger pattern that includes Jesse Helms' close connections with the World Anti-Communist League and its network of Latin American fascists -- as well as the Israelis' willingness to deal with those same fascist regimes, even ones that were simultaneously harboring old Nazis. (I think this was mainly true of Bolivia, where the Reverend Moon was also deeply involved, but I'd have to dig deeper into my notes to be positive.)

There are a lot of particularly bizarre skeletons hidden back in that old Iran-Contra closet, and Israel is a primary reason why they've stayed buried so long.
I see I left out an unstated assumption in what I posted this morning -- which is that for Abramoff to have been as deeply and enthusiastically involved with South Africa as he was, there almost had to have been an Israeli aspect. Though in double-checking on Abramoff's connections with the Lapin brothers, I'd now guess that Abramoff's South African connections began with simple Reaganoid conservatism and wound up leading him towards Orthodox Judaism and support for the Israeli settler movement. (See, for example, Wikipedia on Daniel Lapin.)

Either way, there's a larger nexus there that's damned important -- and which might be called "How Israel sold its soul to curry favor with the Reagan administration and its fascist and racist lackeys." Until the 80's, Israel's attitudes towards the Arabs had involved a certain colonialist contempt for the natives, but they weren't precisely racist in a white supremacist sense. But then -- as the result of keeping bad company on the world scene, of the influx of Russian immigrants, and of the dominance of Likud -- things changed in some particularly wormy ways.
You won't find me defending this program.

There was also some story about a former South African special forces operative, or something like that, who died in California and who had buried in his backyard a huge mass of biological agents.

Ever since I read that I've been wondering about ex-South African spooks on the loose in the US who might be trying to keep themselves in practice, meddling just because they can do it, like disappearing Kathleen Willey's dog, or mailing anthrax to people.
I used to have a book, now rather rare, called "The Nazi Legacy." One of the listed authors was a Magnus Linklater; I can't recall the others, off hand. The subject is the impact of European fascists on South and Central American counter-revolutionary movements. A few pages detail Israel's support for fascist groups in South America. I'd quote the book at some length, except I lost it more than a year ago -- right now, I'm going on memory.
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Pet food update

Who runs Menu Foods, responsible for the poison pet food debacle? Robert Luba, formerly the director for a hazardous waste company called Safety-Kleen. The company went bankrupt due to financial hugger-mugger, leaving various states with the problem of cleaning up massive toxic messes.

Here's a list -- and it is a grim list indeed -- of the problems at Safety Kleen under Luba's management.

The company died owing $1.6 billion. And Luba walked right into another high-paying gig. Meanwhile, if you fall behind on rent, you'll have an eviction on your record that will keep most landlords from considering you. Moral of the story: When you reach a certain level of society, failure carries no penalty.
Right on, Joseph. The CEO of the company for which I worked pushed for the acquisition of a smaller company, which cost our company six billion dollars. The purchase proved to be a colossal failure, and after a year we couldn't even sell the acquired company for two billion. In effect, our CEO lost over four billion dollars in that single error of judgment. Yet he's still CEO, still flying in his corporate jet, still applauded at stockholder meetings.

HE LOST FOUR BILLION DOLLARS! But a co-worker of mine was fired for pocketing, I kid you not, a single dollar. It's zero tolerance for those near the bottom, infinite tolerance for those at the top.
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Sanity from a MAD-man

Former Mad magazine Al Feldstein (the guy who brought us the sublime Mort Drucker) has some decidedly rational thoughts on the Iraq war. He lays the blame directly at the feet of the PNAC crowd.


A revised and expanded version of my original piece will soon appear on another site. Watch for the link...
Joe, check this out:

References your work...
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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Israeli racism, part 6

From an editorial by former President Jimmy Carter:
For 39 years, Israel has occupied Palestinian land, and has confiscated and colonized hundreds of choice sites.

Often excluded from their former homes, land, and places of worship, protesting Palestinians have been severely dominated and oppressed. There is forced segregation between Israeli settlers and Palestine's citizens, with a complex pass system required for Arabs to traverse Israel's multiple checkpoints.

An enormous wall snakes through populated areas of what is left of the West Bank, constructed on wide swaths of bulldozed trees and property of Arab families, obviously designed to acquire more territory and to protect the Israeli colonies already built...
The Palestinian people are now being deprived of the necessities of life by economic restrictions imposed on them by Israel and the United States because 42 percent voted for Hamas candidates in this year's election. Teachers, nurses, policemen, firemen, and other employees cannot be paid, and the UN has reported food supplies in Gaza equivalent to those among the poorest families in sub-Sahara Africa, with half the families surviving on one meal a day.
sofla said...

The Israelis have no plans to give up their settlements in the occupied territories (Gaza excepted, evidently).

The plan that used to be exlusive to the extremist Koch party and Meier Kahane, but which is now gaining near if not majority support, is the forcible removal of the Palestinians, euphemized as a 'transfer,' also known in international law as the war crime/crime against humanity 'ethnic cleansing.'

Although Israel hasn't been shy to commit many such war crimes through its existence, including critically at its inception, such a plan must be giving them pause.

So their alternative is to make the life of a Palestinian such a living hell that they leave, with apparent free will as the reason.
In an ealier post about "Israeli students and students in general..the ever pompous Joseph the idiot says.."The problem with using student labor is that young people lack experience and cannot think more than one move ahead"
Thanks to the "student labor" movement of we who lack experience.. we stopped the fucking war in Vietnam and by God we are going to stop this one. Yes we lack the experience of headtrippers like you, all ginned up and arrogant with your half baked opinions that keep you and your umbilical chord fastened to that computer instead of acting in the front lines on the streets and capitals of the world with our "inexperienced" bodies, minds and passions.
All hail to old farts like you that are so intelligent that their brains drip with cynicism and arrogance squared. (you are a square). is a treasure trove of Louis Bloomfield material. You know Bloomfield of Permandex fame..of Clay Bertrand fame of Tobett fame..and a Zionist for what it is worth.
Oh what a tangled web..we weave..spin?
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The Drug Trade Restored by the US Puppet Regime

While oil and oil pipelines out of the Caspian sea basin were undoubtedly a factor, the bombing of Afghanistan also served to restore the multibillion drug trade, which is protected by the CIA.

Immediately following the installation of the US puppet government under Prime Minister Hamid Kharzai, opium production soared, regaining its historic levels. According to the UNDCP, opium cultivation increased by 657 % in 2002 (in relation to its 2001 level). In 2001, opium cultivation had fallen to an estimated 7606ha.(See table below). It is currently estimated by the UNDCP to be of the order of 45 000 -65 000ha.

In the immediate wake of September 11, the price of opium in Afghanistan increased three-fold. By early 2002, the price (dollar/kg) was almost ten times higher than in the year 2000.4
The guy I axed referenced David Irving. Like HELL I'm going to allow kind words to be said about any Holocaust denier. Anyone who thinks I can be placed in that category doesn't understand me at all.

Personally, I think the whole Torbitt/Permindex thing is a false trail.

I'm leaving anon 8:39 up because this bravely anonymous attacker was so amusingly incoherent. What the hell does the Isreali "mover" story have to do with the antiwar movements of the 60s or today? And what does any of that have to do with my being "a square" -- a term I haven't heard for more than twenty years?

Given the odd language here, I think what we're dealing with is a final, pathetic wheeze from the "megaphone" kids.

My God, I'm amazed that people so incapable of formulating a rational argument can ever manage to remember the trick of upright walking...
Nothing I have written or implied has been in the interest of justifying any action of the Orthodox settlers or the conservative interest.

I keep on making damning points which you, coward that you are, refuse to address.

You keep on making juvenile points while not addressing any of my counter points.

There is a distinction between genealogical and cultural heritage. The worship of Yahweh moved into the region along with the spread of chickens from India. The people were already there. (Yahweh was intially a war deity associated with cockfighting --and, I think it's hard to deny, he still is.)

But if you are serious about a contention that Jews have never had a right to live there, then Arabs certainly have incredibly less right.

And do you think the French ought to move back to Africa? They certainly weren't the first people there.

Or is your argument that no one has a right, inherently, to live anywhere?

The Old Testament is not a self-coherent, focused and singular work, but a mass of stuff pasted together for different purposes at different times, over a long stretch of time. Unlike the Koran which was created as a motivating object to codify a specific attitude toward society, and toward more complex societies the Arabs meant to conquer.

You can't find anything in the Old Testament that addresses any living people in the explicit racist and dehumanizing way The Koran and the other traditional Islamic works addresses Jews, and nothing in the Old Testament built a tradition of social behaviour upon that racist description, a tradition that informs every part of Middle Eastern conversation.

David Ben-Gurion, I don't understand your optimism. Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural:They think we have taken their country. Sure God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel, it's true, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been antisemitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that? They may perhaps forget in one or two generations' time, but for the moment there is no chance. So, it's simple: we have to stay strong and maintain a powerful army. Our whole policy is there. Otherwise the Arabs will wipe us out.

As he says this he is speaking from within the point of view of an Arab, he is not saying he agrees with it, but that that is their view and there is little that will change it.
The Bloomfield site turns out to be the product of an anti-Semite. A REAL one. The JFK stuff is "iffy" as well.
binbin and others, !
In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of The Lord spoken by Jeremiah, The Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing: "This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: "The Lord, The God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build a Temple [see Temples] for Him at Jerusalem in Judah. Anyone of his people among you - may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build The Temple of The Lord, The God of Israel, The God who is in Jerusalem." (Ezra 1:1-3)
Cyrus was the founder of the Mede-Persian Empire. He conquered the Media, Lydia, and Babylonain Empires. Because he was a gracious liberator, he permitted the conquered nations to worship their own gods. He was benevolent toward various captive people who hadsuffered under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar and his successors. The Jews were allowed toreturn to Jerusalem to rebuild their temple and Cyrus even gave financial help. Also, hebuilt Parargardae, a royal residence 100 miles north of Shiraz.
Cyrus Charter of Human Rights Cylinder
First Charter of Human Rights
The charter of Cyrus the Great, a baked-clay Aryan language (Old Persian) cuneiform cylinder, was discovered in 1878 in excavation of the site of Babylon. In it, Cyrus the Great described his human treatment of the inhabitants of Babylonia after its conquest by the Iranians.
The document has been hailed as the first charter of human rights, and in 1971 the United Nations was published translation of it in all the official U.N. languages. "May Ahura Mazda protect this land, this nation, from rancor, from foes, from falsehood, and from drought". Selected from the book "The Eternal Land".

I am Cyrus.
King of the world. When I entered Babylon... I did not allow anyone to terrorise the land... I kept in view the needs of Babylon and all its sanctuaries to promote their well-being... I put an end to their misfortune.

From The First Charter of the Rights of Nations

Cyrus, The Great, 539 B.C.
Founder of The First Persian Empire

Cyrus The Great
Cyrus (580-529 BC) was the first Achaemenid Emperor. He founded Persia by uniting the two original Iranian Tribes- the Medes and the Persians. Although he was known to be a great conqueror, who at one point controlled one of the greatest Empires ever seen, he is best remembered for his unprecedented tolerance and magnanimous attitude towards those he defeated.
Upon his victory over the Medes, he founded a government for his new kingdom, incorporating both Median and Persian nobles as civilian officials. The conquest of Asia Minor completed, he led his armies to the eastern frontiers. Hyrcania and Parthia were already part of the Median Kingdom. Further east, he conquered Drangiana, Arachosia, Margiana and Bactria. After crossing the Oxus, he reached the Jaxartes, where he built fortified towns with the object of defending the farthest frontier of his kingdom against nomadic tribes of Central Asia.

The victories to the east led him again to the west and sounded the hour for attack on Babylon and Egypt. When he conquered Babylon, he did so to cheers from the Jewish Community, who welcomed him as a liberator- he allowed the Jews to return to the promised Land. He showed great forbearance and respect towards the religious beliefs and cultural traditions of other races. These qualities earned him the respect and homage of all the people over whom he ruled.

Charter of the Rights of Nations
Inscribed on a clay cylinder in cuneiform
discovered in 1879 now in The British Museum, London.

After victory over Babylonia, Cyrus The Great presented himself not as a conqueror, but a liberator and the legitimate successor to the crown. He took the title of "King of Babylon and King of the Land". Cyrus had no thought of forcing conquered people into a single mould, and had the wisdom to leave unchanged the institution of each kingdom he attached to the Persian Crown. In 537 BC he allowed more than 40,000 Jews to leave Babylon and return to Palestine.
He also declared the first Charter of Human Rights known to mankind, which is written on a clay cylinder:

"I am Cyrus, king of the world, great king, mighty king, king of Babylon, king of the land of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four quarters, son of Cambyses, great king, king of Anshan, grandson of Cyrus, great king, king of Anshan, descendant of Teispes, great king, king of Anshan, progeny of an unending royal line, whose rule Bel and Nabu cherish, whose kingship they desire for their hearts' pleasures.

When I, well-disposed, entered Babylon, I established the seat of government in the royal palace amidst jubilation and rejoicing. Marduk, the great God, caused the big-hearted inhabitants of Babylon I sought daily to worship him. My numerous troops moved about undisturbed in the midst of Babylon.

I did not allow any to terrorize the land of Sumer and Akkad. I kept in view the needs of Babylon and all its sanctuaries to promote their well-being. The citizens of Babylon... I lifted their unbecoming yoke. Their dilapidated dwellings I restored. I put an end to their misfortunes.

At my deeds Marduk, the great Lord, rejoiced, and to me, Cyrus, the king who worshipped, and to Cambyses, my son, the offspring of my loins, and to all my troops, he graciously gave his blessing, and in good spirit is before him we/glorified/exceedingly his high divinity.

All the kings who sat in the throne rooms, throughout the four quarters, from the Upper to the Lower Sea, those who dwelt in ... all the kings of the West Country who dwelt in tents, brought me their heavy tribute and kissed my feet in Babylon. From ... to the cities of Ashur and Susa, Agade, Eshnuna, the cities of Zamban, Meurnu, Der, as far as the region of the land of Gutium, the holy cities beyond the Tigris whose sanctuaries had been in ruins over a long period, the Gods whose abode is in the midst of them. I returned to the places and housed them in lasting abodes. I gathered together all their inhabitants and restored to them their dwellings. The Gods of Sumer and Akkad whom Nabonidus had, to the anger of the Lord of the Gods, brought into Babylon, I at the bidding of Marduk, the great Lord made to dwell in peace in their habitations, delightful abodes.

May all the gods whom I have placed within their sanctuaries address a daily prayer in my favour before Bel and Nabu, that my days may long, and may they say to Marduk my Lord, May Cyrus the King who reveres thee, and Cambyses his son ..."

As far as Islam goes, they call Jews the people of the book. The Qoran not only does not dispute any story in the OT but not even disputes the jest of the NT .
Jesus is and has always been regarded by Muslims as a servant of GOD.
Islamic fundementalism is the equivelant of Socialism against Capitalism. A poor man's war against the Imperial ambitions of powers that have dominated the "oil rich " ME.
There is no fight against Jews. There is a fight against Zionism and stealing of land. No one will stand by and watch his people be ethnically cleased and go down without a fight.
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Satan wins

In the history of Christian heresies, a pattern emerges: A religious movement becomes damned when adherents start to critique the wealth of the orthodox. The Waldensians, the Cathars, the Fraticelli, the Jansenists: The "sin" they all shared was not strange doctrine but the call to poverty.

What's past is present. I never thought I'd recommend a story co-written by John Stossell, but check out this piece on the obscene lifestyles of "Christian" televangelists:
The popular Kenneth Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries lives in a large mansion in Texas. He recently asked his audience to help him spread the gospel by giving him $20 million to buy a new jet. Copeland promised that the plane "will never, ever be used as long as it is in our care, for anything other than what is becoming to you, Lord Jesus."

Our ABC affiliate in Dallas, WFAA, took a closer look. Reporter Brett Shipp obtained flight records that revealed that the Copeland jet, on its way to an evangelical seminar in Australia last October, made a two-day layover in Maui. Then it was on to the Fiji islands for another stop.

After seven days in Australia, the Copelands headed to Honolulu for another three days of what they called "eating and rest."
This story ought to be read in conjunction with this seemingly-unrelated article, "Subprime Bust Forces Families From Homes."
Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, "One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
Televangelist Pat Crouch considers that sort of talk diabolical:
Paul Crouch, however, disagrees. In the past, he has fired back, charging that "these critics want us to be humble and poor like Jesus. … Let me tell you how subtle that is from Satan himself. If God's people are poor as Job's turkey, who's going to pay to send the gospel to the ends of the earth?"
So really, if Copeland stops using his private jet for r&r jaunts to Oz and Maui, Satan wins.

Faking out the UAVs -- with a look back at the Zarqawi mystery

In April of 2006, a platoon of American soldiers in Iraq, unable to find the man they were looking for, decided to capture and to kill an innocent man named Hashim Ibrahim Awad. The murder came to light only because a guilt-ridden soldier made a spontaneous confession.

This Wired account (which I first learned about by way of Xymphora) indicates that the soldiers staged a bogus incident near a bomb crater for the benefit of the nearly omnipresent unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) patrolling the area. The deception was designed to create the appearance of a firefight with a bomb-planting insurgent.

The story, stunning enough in its own right, casts n interesting light on the infamous Zarqawi video, in which the alleged Al Qaeda mastermind is seen staging maneuvers in the Iraq desert. The video is here.

The Bush administration trumpeted Zarqawi's death not long after the release of that controversial video, which shows him leading men and operating rather heavy weaponry. A few wags have suggested that the Iraqi desert behind Zarqawi looks an awful lot like California. We have reason for captious suspicion: The Washington Post revealed the existence of a psyop campaign designed to create a Zarqawi "myth," and Bush himself once cited a "Zarqawi" letter even after it was acknowledged as a fake.

My question is simple. If UAVs were so ubiquitous when Awad was killed, why did they not spot Zarqawi in the desert?

Perhaps someone with better knowledge of how UAVs are used in Iraq can help us resolve this seeming contradiction.
Just so everyone is clear about UAV's. They are being flown over downtown neighborhoods in Columbia SC now.
I was always skeptical concerning the importance of Zarqawi in Iraq just because the administration pushed him so hard as the baddest guy around. I thought they may be trying to direct out attention away from Osama bin laden. Another thought I had was that perhaps they were trying to develop an internal conflict between OBL and Zarqawi. What I did notice was that 2 days after he was dead, it was old news but the violence continued.
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Worship of the Golden Ass

If you've not seen this clip previously, prepare for some shocking imagery. "Christians" speaking in tongues teach an auditorium filled with brainwashed youngsters to worship a life-sized image of George W. Bush. And when I say "worship," I mean that literally.
That clip is from the movie "Jesus Camp". which was originally nominated for an academy award, but was withdrawn at the last minute. Did you not have the feeling that you could have been in a time warp into nazi Germany in the late 1930's? I recomend checking out for more insight into the Dominionists theory. If you are a liberal Christian you should check out to help wipe out this cancer that is eating away at this country. If you think this will not affect your religious denomination you better guess again. This is something that, that if they ever take full control of this country, will meanthe end of freedom of religion.
You don't have to be a "liberal Christian" to get the chills from watching that video. I think many conservatives from more mainstream faiths do not really understand what goes on in some fundamentalist churches-- and how profoundly irrational some of their practices are.
Exodus 20:3 "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

Exodus 20:5 "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God..."

Seems pretty evident from the clip that the reverence and homage these kids bestow upon Fearless Leader should, by all rights, give their god a slight case of angst and jealousy. These kids are worshiping a graven image... and they are being told that what they are doing is right. I feel sorry for these kids when they will have to enter the real world... or try to get into any other University other than Bob Jones.

Ms. Vandal.
Fuckin' zombies.
sofla said...

This cannot be accurately characterized as 'worshipping' Bush.

It is rather a call for the children to ask God to bless Bush, as the leader clearly says.

And that kind of thing is common in churches. In an Episcopalian church I attended, the priest would take time to ask God's blessing or support for various public figures, and named parishioners who were ill, and the congregation would answer in a rote fashion in chorus, something like 'bless them, Oh Lord, we pray!' Some outsider might find that exercise frightening or fascistic, like brainwashing, but it is an honorable tradition in entirely non-evangelical orthodox Christian denominations.

It is bizarre to bring in an effigy for such a blessing invocation, sure. And the endorsement of Bush as someone with spirit filled men all around him as appointees (haha) goes well beyond praying for our leaders to do well with God's guidance. It gets close to a forced hero worship propaganda effort, or achieves it.

But even hero worship so-called isn't really worship, nor were these children called to worship Bush, nor did they.

It's no use getting hysterical to fight hysteria. And the characterization of these proceedings as worshiping Bush is hysteria, in my view.
sofla, it IS Bush-worship.

They just know that it is doctrinally forbidden to call it that. So the leaders of this group would, if pressed, be sure to use the phrase "blessing" as opposed to "worship."

But that is mere semantics.

Step back and take an objective view -- an anthropological view, if you will. What these kids do with that image of Bush is no different than worship of graven images in ancient times.
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Friday, March 23, 2007

Israeli racism, part 5: What's happening now

Cute, isn't it? Sophists can read "racism" into even the most innocent of words. When the phrase "of Jewish extraction" appeared in these pages, a couple of new arrivals on the megaphone network pretended that they had never encountered such a phrase outside of a KKK rally -- this, despite the fact that I never had a problem referring to myself as being "of Italian extraction." Another writer took fake umbrage when I referred to Jews as -- oh, horror of horrors! -- a "group." As though only a sick, Nazi bastard would ever refer to any group of people as a "group."

But lo and behold, when we look at the news from Israel, what do we find? Real racism. The kind backed by law, public opinion and power. From the Guardian:

41% of Israel's Jews favour segregation

A poll of attitudes among Israel's Jews towards their country's Arab citizens has exposed widespread racism, with large numbers favouring segregation and policies to encourage Arabs to leave the country.

The poll found that more than two-thirds of Jews would refuse to live in the same building as an Arab. Nearly half would not allow an Arab in their home and 41% want segregation of entertainment facilities.

The survey also found 40% of Israel's Jews believe "the state needs to support the emigration of Arab citizens", a policy advocated by some far-right parties in the run-up to next week's general election.

The poll was conducted by a respected Israeli organisation, Geocartographia, for the Centre for the Struggle Against Racism, founded by Arab-Israeli academics. "Racism is becoming mainstream," said the centre's director, Bachar Ouda.
(Emphasis added.) Let us buttress this article with a personal report from one of my readers. These words originally appeared in the comments section, but they deserve greater publicity:
I am half jewish and half west indian. I have never been attacked for being half Jewish. I have been beaten for being "brown". I occasionally go to israel to visit my relatives. When I go, I prepare myself to experience a form of racism which is very hard to find in the US or UK these days. Its hard to find cos a) its considered unacceptable to express these views these days b) cos there are now laws against it in the UK and US. Things are different in Israel. It is not merely acceptable there, its the norm.

Incidentally, my Jewish relatives dont argue with me about this anymore. They have watched it happen to me and have had to bail me out on a number of occasions.

Dont let people lie about this. The faster this lie is exposed the better off we will all be.
Now THAT is racism. Real racism comes backed by power. It's a very different animal from the fake outrage that arises when sophists, for political purpose, willfully misinterpret an innocent text.

(Hey megaphonies -- why so silent? I didn't used to post this stuff before you launched your scurrilous attacks on me. Now I'm doing it every day. I'll let up if you provide further details as to how the "megaphone" operation works...)
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Joseph..says..As you read, keep in mind that this story is about land theft, pure and simple.

Pure and simple eh? Who really owns any land. We stole the land from the inhabitants before us?
Why Christopher Catholic Church "Columbus..resulting in our
predominately Gentile
occupation..on the backs of our forerunners and previous inhabitants and occupiers..the red man. Americans and our "pride of ownership psychosis", have squandered this land right?
Our entire "ownership" impulse is devilish in the sense that we attach ourselves to stuff and guard it with our lives. what a crock!
Israel was taken out of Egypt by Moses and started that now infamous forty year trek across the desert (a journey that should have taken them a few weeks but becaause of their "stiff necked" behavior that infamouse forty years,), into the land that was promised them by a very strange God..but nevertheless God or YHVH for the purists .
This whole enchilada revolves around the notion that there is a creator (who ultimately owns everything) and we are his creations. The debate is whether this is the One true God as defined in the OT, which Judaism, Islam, and the other late comer Christianity all claim as the bedrock of our investigations into the nature and plans of this God.
We (first Sapin), displaced the red man up here and Spain displaced the other reedmen down there. The Jews displaced the Canaanites and then fought off all the others (adter splitting into two nations Judah and israel for a spell.
After several Diaspora's the jews where scattered all over the world including northern Europe, and this hemisphere according to archeological evidences (see "America BC"), also the jews were taken into captivity en masse. (Nebechnezzer from Babylon or Iraq for example)
THE DIASPORA – considered by Jew and Gentile alike a veritable “hissing” (Jeremiah 25:9, 18; 29:18) among the nations – outcasts – wandering throughout the world - apparently accursed by Roman and religionist – vanquished, disbursed, alienated, despised, forsaken, bearing in their souls and bodies the appearance of generational suffering through persecution, blood-guilt, ghettoes, pogroms, inquisitions, holocaust and interminable war with the nations now gathered about her – THE JEWS defy common reason for their persistence, rational justification for their creation, and despite for their literal defiance – they are before the Gentile nations an affront, a contradiction, an anachronism and embarrassment - Jerusalem has become a “cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem . . . I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though ALL NATIONS OF THE EARTH are gathered against it” (Zechariah 12:2-3).

Under Roman occupation the jew Jesus was crucified after he prophesied that the entire city and state of Israel would be destroyed and the "Wall" of Solomon's Temple" tipped over forever. "Not one stone would remaim unturned" (except for the token wailing wall today).
Let's not forget, the arabs were the offspring of Ishmael the illegitimate child of Abraham birthed from his concubine unstead of the wife Sarah that God predicted to Abraham would father many nations theough..hence Isaac was born by Sarah legitimately (prophetically) who then begot Jacob the father of the twelve sons the leaders of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Yes God is kinda peculiar but don't think he has favorites because his treatment of the jews has been extremely disciplinarian over thousands of years. But as I've said in an earlier note the jews are simply actors that represent the rest of us on the worlds stage. A company of skilled and stiff necked actors with the same strengths and weaknesses of character as "everynman"
They trudged around in the desert under Moses for forty years because of their stiff-necked, stubborn, renegade, rebellious natures..likie "everyman" even you Joseph as well as the rest of the bloggers commenting herein.
"He who is without sin is entitled to cast the first stone"
End of Story (but not yet the end of His-story)

“Thus says the Lord God: ‘Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations (i.e., “the stick of Joseph” – the ten tribes of the north or Israel; and “the stick of Judah” – the two tribes of the “south” – Judah and Benjamin – Ezekiel 37:19), nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again . . . then they shall be My people, and I will be their God. David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever” (Ezekiel 37:21-22, 23b, 24-25)

Shalom, Pray for the peace of jerusalem
If you were living in a town where you were subject to terrorism and threats of terrorism from the surrounding millions of people whose religion described you as a caricature of evil, people whose societies force you to pay a tax just for existing, against whom you had no recourse in law where it was illegal even for you to ride a horse, and you had to worry any time you went anywhere that one of these characters might blow himself up because god told him to, you'd think segregation wasn't such a poor solution, either.
I keep on making damning points which you, coward that you are, refuse to address.

No Jews ever had a right to live there. Not in Biblical times, not today. David Ben Gurion himself that the land was stolen. I'll cite the quote, if you doubt it.

If someone stole American land, the "terrorist" response would make what the Palestinians have done heretofore seem tame.

"people whose religion described you as a caricature of evil,"

I have already quoted the Old Testament at some length to prove that it is the Jews who have describes perceived enemies as a caricature of evil. You have not quoted the Koran to back up your point.

If we hold an "evil passages in holy scripture" contest, which do you think would come off worse -- the OT or the Koran? I'm betting on the OT.
I keep on making damning points which you, coward that you are, refuse to address.

No Jews ever had a right to live there. Not in Biblical times, not today. David Ben Gurion himself that the land was stolen. I'll cite the quote, if you doubt it.

If someone stole American land, the "terrorist" response would make what the Palestinians have done heretofore seem tame.

"people whose religion described you as a caricature of evil,"

I have already quoted the Old Testament at some length to prove that it is the Jews who have describes perceived enemies as a caricature of evil. You have not quoted the Koran to back up your point.

If we hold an "evil passages in holy scripture" contest, which do you think would come off worse -- the OT or the Koran? I'm betting on the OT.

Oh, and anon 12:03:

"Pure and simple eh? Who really owns any land. We stole the land from the inhabitants before us?"

I already said that. I've said it repeatedly -- that I have no right to be sitting on Chumash land.

Would it kill you to read before replying?
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Did Woody Harrelson's Dad shoot JFK?

This account gives a rather full summary of one of the more intriguing tales to emerge from JFK assassination lore: Did Charles Harrelson, father of actor Woody Harrelson, take part in the murder of John F. Kennedy?

The elder Harrelson. who died last week, was convicted of killing Texas Judge John H. Wood in 1979. He committed the crime, it is said, on behalf of accused drug smuggler Jimmy Chagra.

Woody maintains that his father was innocent of that crime.

Before his arrest for the Wood murder, the elder Harrelson bragged about taking part in the JFK murder. Although he later retracted the claim, Chagra's brother has said at trial that Harrelson was hired based on his alleged participation in the JFK assassination. Moreover, a reporter named Chuck Cook has said that Harrelson once promised revelations about "November 1963" if he ever got out of prison. When arrested, Harrelson was found with the business card of a mobbed-up Jack Ruby associate.

Either the man was an attention seeker -- always possible -- or he really did take part in the most notorious American crime of the previous century.

For years, assassination buffs claimed that Charles Harrelson strongly resembled one of the three "mystery tramps" arrested after the assassination. In the mid-1990s, a researcher uncovered paperwork naming the three tramps, none of whom was Charles Harrelson. That documentation led me to consider that aspect of the mystery resolved. However,
...arresting officer David V. Harkness has said that more than three transients were pulled out of the boxcar on that day.
If that is true, then the so-called "tall tramp" may indeed be Charles Harrelson.

I have put together a photo comparison. Note especially the matching cowlicks and the odd "slope" to the mouth, which, in all three shots, does not parallel the eye level.

Come to your own conclusions.

(Incidentally, I have no idea if Oliver Stone discussed this matter with Woody Harrelson during the making of Natural Born Killers.)
Check the ear. Not the same guy; no way.
I heard a local radio interview once with Richard Belzer, the actor who wrote a conspiracy book. A caller phoned in to say that he was an old friend of Woody Harrelson, and Woody growing up had always accepted that his father was involved in Kennedy's assassination. For what it's worth.
sofla said:

Back in the documentary series 'The Men Who Shot Kennedy,' Harrelson was interviewed on this matter, and while denying it was himself in the photo, he said, 'he doesn't resemble me at all, not even close.' Later, upon being shown another group of these photos taken from varying perspectives, he admitted that in one of the photos, there was a rather strong resemblance, and he appeared nonplussed and semi-speachless after seeing that one.

About the ears. I've heard the whorls of the ear and its overall shape are pretty much distinct between people, and offer a reasonably accurate method of identification. But I've also heard that ears continue to grow with age. Obviously, the later picture of Harrelson is when he is quite older. Would his ears remain good markers of identity several decades later?
The ear shape is always a good indicator of identity. However, we don't have sufficient detail, in my opinion, to make a determination based on the ears in this case. You do have to keep in mind the the severe differences in lighting. The flat lighting of a police photograph differs markedly from the severe side lighting in the tramp photo.

All three shots are from the 1960s.
I was dismayed that the ear in the middle picture was inconclusive due to light. But, I did notice a rather deep and strong brow furrow in the center picture and the picture on the right that look rather similar. They appear at the same distance above the eyebrow, similar length, and both perhaps with a downward trend at the ends. I'd give it a positive. Some playing with the pictuers may help.

Miss P.
Yep. IMHO, same guy. Play with darkening the images and you can see about the distinct burrow, the shape of the end of the nose, plus other features.

Miss P.
I'd say the two on the sides are the same person, but the one in the middle is someone else.

In the middle photo the ear on the left side gives the impression of angling outward at the top and inward at the bottom, while in the two mug shots, you can see the ear on the right side is actually identical.

And the eyebrow of the guy in the middle doesn't give the impression of being the even arch of the others.

And he has more curve to the bridge of the nose.

But these guys do look so much alike I can imagine they're related.

What of Woody Harrelson's uncle?
I remember seeing the Man ["Tramp']in the photo interviewed by a news magazine several years ago. He led an ordinary life & was working part time in a small business after retiring. The three men [whose names are available]had left a shelter in Dallas & were possibly hopping a freight when temporarily held by the police. Checkout 'Case Closed" by Gerald Posner. Harrelson Senior also pointed out in the interview that the man was obviously older than him.
SM Connecticut
Speaking of the Kennedy assassination, Rolling Stone has an article about E. Howard Hunt's confessions to his son. It is available online.
Posner's book was exposed long ago as a pack of lies. He claimed to have interviewed people who never talked to him. If memory serves, that list included James Tague, Carlos Bringuer, and one of the autopsy surgeons -- shoot, I can't recall which one offhand.

The guy alleged to have been the "tall tramp" -- the one IDed by some as Charles Harrelson -- is a fellow named John Gedney. He may indeed be the guy. But since the arresting officer said that more than three were arrested, since Gedney himself has said that four were arrested, and since the paperwork (yes, I've seen it) does not specify "this is the tall guy in the photo," then there is still room for doubt. Gedney does not identify himself as the tall tramp in his 1992 FBI interview, which you can find here:

This page...

...argues that the three tramps in the photo were men other than Debney and his companions, based on the report of Deputy Sheriff Harold E.Elkins. I'm not really convinced by this argument. However, the analysis of a police radio broadcast from that day is pretty interesting. As you read what follows, keep in mind that Debney and his two friends were found inside a boxcar:

* * *

Patrolmen G.W. Temple and R. E. Vaughn:

We have information from the agent out here at T & P. Said that the train is stopped on the overpass, the triple overpass; that there was a person jumping at the ninth boxcar from the front engine. Said he is hiding in a car.


Is the train stopped there now?

[61] Temple and Vaughn:

I'm in behind the Texas School Depository. He had the train stopped. He said it is in the ninth car from the engine. Gondola-type car; said he is hunkered down inside.
sofla said....

I agree about Posner. One tip off was that the intelligence community made Yuri Nosenko available to him (iirc the name correctly). This man came to us claiming he'd been the KGB man in charge of paying attention to Oswald, and the FBI thought he was legit. James Jesus Angleton thought he was not, and the man was subjected to solitary confinement, semi-starvation, sensory deprivation, and perhaps overt torture, for a couple of years, to try to break him and his story. (The subject of a movie some years back). After his release, he was more or less put into a federal witness protection style incognito life, and yet Posner gets an interview with him. How, and why? Obviously, because of the PTB and what they wanted conveyed in Posner's book.
Is it not noteworthy how the photo on the right resembles Tom Hanks?

I wonder if someone who has a subscription to a genealogy website could try and find a connection between Hanks and Harrelson.
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Israeli racism, part 4: The early years

Deuteronomy 20:10-20

10. When you approach a city to wage war against it, you shall propose peace to it.

11. And it will be, if it responds to you with peace, and it opens up to you, then it will be, [that] all the people found therein shall become tributary to you, and they shall serve you.

12. But if it does not make peace with you, and it wages war against you, you shall besiege it,

13. and the Lord, your God, will deliver it into your hands, and you shall strike all its males with the edge of the sword.

14. However, the women, the children, and the livestock, and all that is in the city, all its spoils you shall take for yourself, and you shall eat the spoils of your enemies, which the Lord, your God, has given you.

15. Thus you shall do to all the cities that are very far from you, which are not of the cities of these nations.

16. However, of these peoples' cities, which the Lord, your God, gives you as an inheritance, you shall not allow any soul to live.

17. Rather, you shall utterly destroy them: The Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivvites, and the Jebusites, as the Lord, your God, has commanded you.

Joshua 11: 10-14

10 And Joshua turned back at that time, and took Hazor, and smote the king thereof with the sword: for Hazor beforetime was the head of all those kingdoms.

11 And they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them; there was none left that breathed; and he burnt Hazor with fire.

12 And all the cities of those kings, and all the kings of them, did Joshua take, and he smote them with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed them; as Moses the servant of the LORD commanded.

13 But as for the cities that stood on their mounds, Israel burned none of them, save Hazor only--that did Joshua burn.

14 And all the spoil of these cities, and the cattle, the children of Israel took for a prey unto themselves; but every man they smote with the edge of the sword, until they had destroyed them, neither left they any that breathed.

* * *

As you read, keep in mind that this story is about land theft, pure and simple. The Lord is here the ultimate fall guy, the original Nuremburg excuse: "Hey, we didn't want to commit genocide; we were only following orders."

Yes, yes, this all happened a very long time ago. I understand that. I understand that no person alive today can be held responsible for things said and done then. I also understand that serious questions of historicity suround this text.

Even so, this narrative remains relevant to current debates over the Israeli/Palestinian question, because -- when the proverbial push comes to the proverbial shove -- Israel's apologists point to the Old Testament when they insist that a Jewish state must exist there and nowhere else. Few would contemplate any suggestion to purchase an equal-sized chunk of real estate in a fertile region of Africa, South America, Canada, or wherever. As several wags have noted, David Ben Gurion did not believe in God -- yet he believed that God gave Israel to the Jews.

One of my critics cast aspersions on the Koran as a "racist" book. In my youth, I tried to read (or at least sample) all the scriptures considered sacred -- the Analects of Confucius, the Upanishads, the Gita, various Mahayana texts, the Old and New Testaments. I must confess that I did not get very far into the Koran -- which is reportedly much more impressive in the original. Is that book racist? I don't know. All I can honestly say is that I found it dull.

(For some reason, I never even tried to read the Tao. My bad.)

In my explorations, I have never found any other "sacred" text dripping with the inexcusable bloodlust and hate one can find in the Old Testament. My sympathies now lie with the Gnostics, who considered much of that book evil. (Incidentally, Gnosticism originated within the Jewish community in Alexandria, a group no-one can call anti-Semitic.) Any Jews who want to insult the Islamic holy book should feel free to do so -- but they would make a more persuasive case if their own "sacred" work were not so indefensible.

No Jew ever had a right to the land now called Israel. Not Solomon, not David, not Jesus, not Ariel Sharon. None of them. Of course, as I always quickly admit, I have no particular right to park my capacious hindquarters on land that belongs to the Chumash.
You're courageous ! I'm sick and tired of the Zionist exploiting the suffering of the Jewish of German jews 60 years ago to push their current political agenda.

Enough of labelling as anti-semite (= racist) everybody that doesn't support the current policies of a country. We're we anti-German when we fought against the Nazi ?
Courageous yes to an extent. With one foot in the door and one foot out the door I hope he shares his wisdom and honesty about the travesty Zionist visit upon the Middle East day in and day out.

The Old Testament is a book/record made by old men (rabbis) who recorded the words of the elders (rich/movers and shakers), (think Mellon/Scaife) who were in authority and vocalized their version of how a community should conduct itself to reach utopia for their specific group.

Now what God ever told any man to take arms up against his neighbor and cut his flesh with a sword with little or no provocation, that God is a barbarian and not a God I ever have or want to know. Steal their cattle, kill the men and boys, enslave the women and girls, and drink their wine. No God in heaven ever condoned such vile conduct. This is more the actions of Bechtel, Fluor, and Halliburton.

Some parts of the bible get more bloody and gory than the mercenary mag Soldiers of Fortune.
Anon, you say 'policies of a country'.

Zionism tries its damnedest to obscure the difference between the apartheid, fascist regime, and the country. Hence the burying of the idea of a 'one state solution' in which the State would keep no record of who is in what 'ethno-religious' group. And sadly, if we go back 20 years, look what it took to get the PLO leadership to go for the 'two-state' crap! Some shares in a Jericho casino, mainly. Plus in later years a piece of the action importing cement for the separation wall from Egypt - which latter scandal is one of the main reasons why Hamas won the election. As we should not forget, Oslo was completely buried in the days immediately following 9/11. Zionist tanks rolled into Jericho and Jenin on 9/12, and into Ramallah on 9/15. Jericho was actually focal to Oslo, even if this doesn't get mentioned in the MSM today. Curious too how the butcher Shimon Peres is routinely mentioned as being a Nobel laureate, whereas Yasir Arafat hardly ever is.

Israeli law bans having 'Israeli' entered in someone's passport as their 'ethnicity'. It is simply not allowed. You are obliged to be recorded as Arab-Christian, Arab-Muslim, Jew, Druze, etc. (Interestingly, the Arab Jews have been written out of 'history').

Israeli law also bans standing in an election on a platform opposed to the Jewish (i.e. Jewish-supremacist) character of the State.

A recent poll found that 41% of Israeli Jews favour the segregation of entertainment facilities:,,1738508,00.html

Imagine the Confederacy with nukes, having become the second or third strongest military power in the world (see Martin van Creveld), and with its nukes targeted on cities around the world, in both Europe and North America (see Mordechai Vanunu). This is even disregarding the influence in the supposed strongest military power in the world.

Having said the above, I can't imagine why those who want an end to the racist regime would want the country still to be called 'Israel'... Imagine if the Confederacy won, and called their regime 'Whiteland'.

Snippet: the 'plus' sign is not used in many Jewish schools in Israel, because of its association with the Christian cross.

An upside-down 'T' is used instead. This symbol has the Unicode code "U+FB29", and you can see it at:

I should add that the Saudi dictatorship even has problems with 'X' for its similarity with the cross!

Lastly, I think 'settlement' when denoting some places on the West Bank is a propaganda word. Some of them are full-scale cities! Cities where no Arabs are allowed to live.

That URL should be:

41% of Israel's Jews favour segregation

Josef :
"Yes, yes, this all happened a very long time ago. I understand that."
- > Josef, You are wrong here.
It NEVER happened.
see : The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts: Books: Israel Finkelstein,Neil Asher ...
joe, a fabulous contribution! i applaud your courage.

and remind those who care that this analysis of old testament war-mongering is directly parallel to the dinah story i told in a comment within the first flare-up over this. genesis 34, for the curious. the upshot is, jacob was encouraged 'by god' to change his name to israel coincidentally when he was on the lam from something bad that he (and his sons, the 12 tribes) done.

there is much emerging along these lines now. it will be important to keep level heads...
With an argument like that I don't know why the French don't just all go back to Africa.

An important point in this is that in the Old Testament many admonitions from 'The Lord' didn't originate from a deity but from some actual guy who was getting his band of characters to go and assault some other band of characters.

The Old Testament is a patchwork from an infinity of sources, many of them with mutually contradictory origins, passages from groups that had been in conflict with one another their identifying names replaced with generic qualifiers, like 'The Lord', some not even Hebraic, and glued together long after the time the historical references to other peoples had any meaning.

It's more William S. Burroughs than history, and only nuts will take it seriously. But the political character and manner they describe was true of Middle Eastern culture and remains true, it evolves directly into Islam and continues in the Arab world as the primary political style. Jesus, Mohammed, Nasrullah and Sadr are exactly the same kind of people pursuing politics in exactly the same kind of way, with religion to give it a motive.

I have no use for Yahweh under any of his flags, but the primary distinction is that Christianity and Judaism, outside the Insane Circle of the Orthodox and Dominionists, have made these stories into broad abstractions, while Islam is still going strong with them as literal truth and it is the literal truth that drives the character of everything that takes place in relation to Israel, and everything you hear from an Arab source about Israel derives from it.

Do you hear anything new in this?

Women, 4.46. Of the Jews there are those who displace words from their (right) places, and say: "We hear and we disobey"; and "Hear what is not Heard"; and "Ra'ina"; with a twist of their tongues and a slander to Faith. If only they had said: "What hear and we obey"; and "Do hear"; and "Do look at us"; it would have been better for them, and more proper; but Allah hath cursed them for their Unbelief; and but few of them will believe.

The Dinner Table 5.41 O Apostle! let not those grieve you who strive together in hastening to unbelief from among those who say with their mouths: We believe, and their hearts do not believe, and from among those who are Jews; they are listeners for the sake of a lie, listeners for another people who have not come to you; they alter the words from their places, saying: If you are given this, take it, and if you are not given this, be cautious; and as for him whose temptation Allah desires, you cannot control anything for him with Allah. Those are they for whom Allah does not desire that He should purify their hearts; they shall have disgrace in this world, and they shall have a grievous chastisement in the hereafter.

5.51 O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.

Sahih Muslim, Book 40, Number 6985, 'The Last Hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: `Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him'; but the tree Gharkad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.'

The Arab objection to the existence of Israel is only based in religion and nothing else. If you had to worry every time you went to the movies that somebody might come in wearing a suicide vest you'd think segregation might not be such a bad thing, either.
binbin, bubi, whatever is as usual in the dark(of his choosing) and I for one would feel perfectly OK to leave him there.
My comment is directed toward Joseph.
Scott Ritter has an excellant article in truthdig called "Calling Out Idiot America" (binbin that's you baby) and in it he goes into a little bit of Muslim history. It does not serve as "shortcut to reading the Qoran" but it does clarify a few things, such as what is a Shia and a Sunni, where and how the countries of Iraq and Saudi Arabia came from and what kind of Idealogy and conflicts dominate them and why Iran figures as the ultimate underdog who is trying to fulfill her ceturies long ambition.
Would like to hear your take on it.
I'll engage you this time because you actually raise a lot of good points.

I quoted the OT for two reasons:

1. One of my critics had tried to make the Koran out to be some uniquely racist scripture. The OT is plenty bad enough in its own right. One day, I'll have read both books and will be able to make a better-informed judgment as to which work has fewer problems.

2. Like it or not, the OT is the reason why Israel is where it is. I honestly think that, if that book did not hold such sway, we could all agree to set up a much nicer, more livable, greener and lusher Jewish state in some less contentious part of the world.

I mean, hell, there are forested parts of Oregon that have not been properly explored yet. Or maybe the Shasta-Trinity National Forest area of California. (I dearly love that area, which is one of the most gorgeous places on earth -- but, speaking as a proud Californian, I'd give it up for increased world peace.) Canada. Africa. South America. Places where water is no problem. Places with greater natural resources. Places that are more easily defended. Places where people would WANT to move -- as opposed to some ghastly desert that is not even blessed with oil.

Just buy the land outright, the way Seward bought Alaska or Moon bought a big chunk of Paraguay. Original inhabitants could be paid handsomely to move to neighboring territory if they don't like the new landlords. There would still be grousing, perhaps even a few minor stabs at insurrection, but most of those problems could be resolved with enough cash.

All of this would probably cost less, in the long run, than the American taxpayers pay at present for the maintenance of Israel.

There is only one reason why this plan could not go forward: Zionists have an irrational attachment to an ancient book beginning with the word Beresith.

So let's not pretend that this book plays no role in current affairs.

Strange, isn't it -- how the world may come to its end over a fight over some crummy real estate that no rational person, Jew or Palestinian, should want?
As I am reading Joseph's comment, I am watching Bill Maher.
David Frum is trying very hard to defend the defunct Neocon positions in and out of Iraq(he is looking pretty frustrated and well down right wrong) and I think of binbin, and his heroic effort to save his dignity(or someone's digity).
Bill was on the money tonight, but I still wonder why he went on that rampage last summer defending the right of Israel to attack Lebanon.
He even defended Bush.
Was he threatened?
Is he a flake?
And if so, what is he trying to say now with all these attacks on Bush and the Congress?
Has he gotten some other sort of protection?
Joseph, I sympathize with your difficulty in reading the Koran. But give this book a try. Approaching the Qur'an, The Early Revelations, by Michael Sells, a poet and professor at Haverford. Much of the Koran is like the Hebrew scriptures, the codification of laws of tribal desert people. The early revelations are the beautiful core, however, and Sells explains them and translates them as poetry. Makes it easier for the likes of us to see what is there. See what you think. Not long...
Joseph - it's all very well to say that now, but America and Australia and all the rest didn't want to accept refugees from Europe due to a racism that was far more ubiquitous in the early twentieth century! And Germany didn't want Jews to remain in Europe for the same reasons (some even called Jews 'Palestinians', lest they dare think they were Europeans!)

Since the rest of the world had such a bit part to play in creating this mess, don't you think it's about time the rest of the world took initiative in solving the problem instead of just blaming either side?
Israel is a government. It deserves blame for the wrongs it has committed, s with any other government.

"Since the rest of the world had such a bit part to play in creating this mess..."

You need not go back to WWII to make the point. We fund Israel. Turn off the money spigot, demand fairness, and America will ultimately have done ALL parties a favor.
'Crummy real estate'. A lot of it, yes; not the olive groves!

OT and Zionism. Shahak talks of the role of the Talmud too in shaping Zionist beliefs. One thing that sticks in the mind is:

the Talmud lays down that a Jew who passes near an inhabited non-Jewish dwelling must ask God to destroy it, whereas if the building is in ruins he must thank the Lord of Vengeance

Why is this relevant? Well, in what other conflict has there been such a sustained use of 'punitive' demolition of homes belonging to opponents (and their families), than in the West Bank? It's long been a big-time feature.

(For those who don't know already, the Israeli armed forces buy many of their bulldozers from Caterpillar. This Illinois-based company got Bush to do some promotion for them last month, in return for letting him muck about with one of their machines in a sandpit).

The source Shahak gives is "Tractate Berakhot, p. 58b." Unlike J, I spent zero time in my youth studying religious texts, so I don't have a copy to hand to check this.

Note that while the ADL pour faeces on Shahak in one of their publications, using the familiar amalgam method to associate him with such scumbags as David Duke, they don't dispute any of his references. Elsewhere in the same text, they say that the term 'goy' has "no derogatory connotation". Sic! Even journalists working for the pro-Israeli newspaper the Guardian were once told otherwise in their newspaper's style guide. This used to say:

goy, goyim

do not use these derogatory terms for non-Jews, which are the equivalent of such expressions as "yids" or "Pakis"

...but this entry was removed and does not appear in the current version.

The relevant chapter of Shahak's book is here

(Warning: I didn't bother checking out what kind of site this is, other than realising it is Christian. They do, however, appear to have copied Shahak's work accurately).

Joseph..says..As you read, keep in mind that this story is about land theft, pure and simple.

Pure and simple eh? Who really owns any land. We stole the land from the inhabitants before us?
Why Christopher Catholic Church "Columbus..resulting in our
predominately Gentile
occupation..on the backs of our forerunners and previous inhabitants and occupiers..the red man. Americans and our "pride of ownership psychosis", have squandered this land right?
Our entire "ownership" impulse is devilish in the sense that we attach ourselves to stuff and guard it with our lives. what a crock!
Israel was taken out of Egypt by Moses and started that now infamous forty year trek across the desert (a journey that should have taken them a few weeks but becaause of their "stiff necked" behavior that infamouse forty years,), into the land that was promised them by a very strange God..but nevertheless God or YHVH for the purists .
This whole enchilada revolves around the notion that there is a creator (who ultimately owns everything) and we are his creations. The debate is whether this is the One true God as defined in the OT, which Judaism, Islam, and the other late comer Christianity all claim as the bedrock of our investigations into the nature and plans of this God.
We (first Sapin), displaced the red man up here and Spain displaced the other reedmen down there. The Jews displaced the Canaanites and then fought off all the others (adter splitting into two nations Judah and israel for a spell.
After several Diaspora's the jews where scattered all over the world including northern Europe, and this hemisphere according to archeological evidences (see "America BC"), also the jews were taken into captivity en masse. (Nebechnezzer from Babylon or Iraq for example)
THE DIASPORA – considered by Jew and Gentile alike a veritable “hissing” (Jeremiah 25:9, 18; 29:18) among the nations – outcasts – wandering throughout the world - apparently accursed by Roman and religionist – vanquished, disbursed, alienated, despised, forsaken, bearing in their souls and bodies the appearance of generational suffering through persecution, blood-guilt, ghettoes, pogroms, inquisitions, holocaust and interminable war with the nations now gathered about her – THE JEWS defy common reason for their persistence, rational justification for their creation, and despite for their literal defiance – they are before the Gentile nations an affront, a contradiction, an anachronism and embarrassment - Jerusalem has become a “cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem . . . I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though ALL NATIONS OF THE EARTH are gathered against it” (Zechariah 12:2-3).

Under Roman occupation the jew Jesus was crucified after he prophesied that the entire city and state of Israel would be destroyed and the "Wall" of Solomon's Temple" tipped over forever. "Not one stone would remaim unturned" (except for the token wailing wall today).
Let's not forget, the arabs were the offspring of Ishmael the illegitimate child of Abraham birthed from his concubine unstead of the wife Sarah that God predicted to Abraham would father many nations theough..hence Isaac was born by Sarah legitimately (prophetically) who then begot Jacob the father of the twelve sons the leaders of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Yes God is kinda peculiar but don't think he has favorites because his treatment of the jews has been extremely disciplinarian over thousands of years. But as I've said in an earlier note the jews are simply actors that represent the rest of us on the worlds stage. A company of skilled and stiff necked actors with the same strengths and weaknesses of character as "everynman"
They trudged around in the desert under Moses for forty years because of their stiff-necked, stubborn, renegade, rebellious natures..likie "everyman" even you Joseph as well as the rest of the bloggers commenting herein.
"He who is without sin is entitled to cast the first stone"
End of Story (but not yet the end of His story)

“Thus says the Lord God: ‘Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations (i.e., “the stick of Joseph” – the ten tribes of the north or Israel; and “the stick of Judah” – the two tribes of the “south” – Judah and Benjamin – Ezekiel 37:19), nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again . . . then they shall be My people, and I will be their God. David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever” (Ezekiel 37:21-22, 23b, 24-25)

Shalom, Pray for the peace of jerusalem

Thank you for your reply. I wasn't trying to say the Old Testament has no part in this flypaper, I was saying The Koran has more, that it has, actually, the defining influence. For many reasons, but, I think most importantly, because the anti-semitic stereotype originates in The Koran and the Koran is the whole basis of conversation throughout the Islamic world. It defines the reality in a way that no book or anything else outside the Islamic world does, and anti-semtism is street-cred, it's part of your manhood.

A huge part of the intractability is that they can't work toward or respect a rapprochement because it would be to fail Islam.

Another large element of intractibility is that the people we know today as Palestinians were never before a self-coherent group. They had no nationalistic tradition or history of self-government. They became a self-coherent group in conflict with Israel. Attacking Israel is all they have to define themselves. Peace would threaten to destroy them as an ethnicity.

Which is not to say I think no one can move forward and that the situation is really all or nothing, as many stuck in the middle of it feel.

There was an article last week about how tension in Northern Ireland has calmed down so much people aren't paying a lot of attention anymore about who's a Catholic and who's a Protestant. That's about eighty years, one lifetime, after the birth of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

After Palestine manages to establish, one way or another, I think that's about the length of time it will take, as well.
The anti-Semitic stereotype originates in European Christianity, not in the Koran. Google on 'dhimmi' for starters.

As for the idea that Arab Palestinians cannot work towards a rapprochement, why not take a look at the history of the past several decades. Mass racist segregationist settlement has continued. This has zero to do with Islam or anyone's response to Islam. Meanwhile until the 1980s the PLO backed a one-state solution - again, nothing to do with Islam. This 'solution' means everyone living in Palestine, whether Arab, Jewish, Druze, Armenian, or whatever, would be considered to be a Palestinian citizen, equal under the law. Like it or not, it's a fact that this was PLO policy until 20 years ago. The Zionists, of course, often associate such an aim with genocide. So a non-racist regime gets equated with genocide of the 'rights' of the privileged ethnic group. What does this remind you of? (And this is no exaggeration. The rabid racist hack Melanie Phillips revels in this sort of mendacious equation. She sees no hypocrisy in opposing 'multiculturalism' where British Muslims are concerned, but not where British Jews are concerned. Her use of the term 'Londonistan' makes me think of the way Hitler wrote about Weimar Germany in 'Mein Kampf').

In Northern Ireland both the loyalist and republican paramilitaries agreed to disarm (more or less, anyway). No parallel here with Israel/Palestine, unfortunately. If the Israeli Defence Forces and the Palestinian Authority's forces both agreed to disarm, it would be a very good thing, but obviously it isn't going to happen any time soon. Moreover, if you seek a parallel to the British State's role in Northern Ireland, you won't find one.

As for your point about Arab-Palestinian nationalism, well I hold no brief for any nationalism, but would stress that Zionism was founded on the idea of building an ethnic-supremacist state in a land inhabited mainly by non-Jews - and the implementation thereof could hardly be expected not to lead to antagonism.

For an analogy, imagine a Nazi German colony in South America, backed by enough wealth to impose mass racist settlement, widescale segregation, huge expulsions of 'native' civilian populations, and nuked-up to the eyeballs.

Oh, and did I mention - strong enough to ensure that the majority of uses of the veto on the UN Security Council serve to protect them against international condemnation. Because this is the position with Israel. Vetos have been used 26 times since 1989. 16 of these have been by the US to protect Israel. The term 'poodle' comes to mind. What parallels that aren't imaginary? There aren't any!

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

GwB43: The White House, vote theft, and the email trail

GWB43 is the name of an internet server owned by the Republican National Committee.

Oddly enough, communications revealed in the course of the Great U.S. Attorney Purge document dump reveal that key figures within the administration used such email addresses as

The White House has its own internal email system, ending in the .gov suffix, as mandated by the Presidential Records Act. As Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW) notes:
CREW has learned that to fulfill its statutory obligations under the PRA, the White House email system automatically copies all messages created by staff and sends them to the White House Office of Records Management for archiving. It appears that the White House deliberately bypassed the automatic archiving function of its own email system that was designed to ensure compliance with the PRA.
So why are White House personnel using private email addresses to bypass this system?

A not-unrelated question: Did Patrick Fitzgerald know about this bypass when he subpoenaed White House emails pursuant to the Plamegate investigation? I doubt that he did. If he had, Scooter might not have been the only one brought to trial.

This story by Joseph Hughes and Melissa McEwan compiles statements by George Bush, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Michael Chertoff and Alberto Gonzales, all of whom have claimed that they do not use email for business. Oddly, Rice made this claim at the same time let slip that she had used email to communicate with Richard Clarke.

Dubya's stated reasoning for not entering the computer age is both disconcerting and hilariously inarticulate:
"I tend not to e-mail - not only tend not to e-mail, I don't e-mail, uh, because of, uh, the different record requests that could happen to a president. I don't want to receive e-mails, 'cause, you know, there's no telling what somebody would e-mail me and it would show up as, uh, you know, part of some kind of a story that - and I wouldn't be able to say, 'Well, I didn't read the e-mail' - 'But I sent it your address; how can you say you didn't?' So, in other words, I'm very cautious about e-mailing."
All very amusing, but can we really believe that in the modern age these people do not use the most convenient messaging system available?

Or could it be that all these people recall how Ollie North was tripped up by the discovery of certain emails?

If the Bush White House used GWB43 to route around history, we must ask a question straight out of the Parsifal legends: What is GWB43 and who does it serve?

The answer takes us into the dark mysteries of the 2004 election in Ohio...

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

Here (with a hat tip to Jackstraw45 of DU) is the WHOIS info on GWB43:
Domain Name: GWB43.COM

Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:
Republican National Committee dns@RNCHQ.ORG
310 First Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
999 999 9999 fax: 999 999 9999

Record expires on 16-Jan-2008.
Record created on 16-Jan-2004.
Database last updated on 21-Mar-2007 17:45:46 EDT.

Domain servers in listed order:

""? Odd name, that.

We learn that this same Tennessee-based hosting service -- Smartech -- played a mysterious role in the 2004 election in Ohio. From a November 7, 2006 story by luaptifer at Daily Kos:
Ohio's election results are hosted on the same servers by the partisan companies that run websites like and many of the familiar Republican group sites.
More (also see here):
SOS Blackwell also neglected to inform that he outsourced Election Night hosting services to the provider of Internet operations for the Republican National Committee, SMARTech Corp. It's clear that most of the IP address space allocated to Smartechcorp, if it has a domain name, is operated by the RNC or its functionaries and allies.
SMARTECH lists the following corporate address: SMARTECH CORPORATION PO BOX 11181 Chattanooga TN US 37401 Their web page is here. They offer internet hosting, streaming media and so forth.

This firm handles everything Republican:
On August 22, 2004, SMARTech Corp ( announced that it would be "hosting" the Republican National Convention in New York City, providing "convention speeches, video-on-demand 'streams' and live shots of events through powerful Web servers, most of which are at Smartech’s headquarters in downtown Chattanooga." The announcement stated that the "company also hosts the Bush-Cheney campaign Web site, at, and the national committee’s site,"
Smartech shows up in this interesting information technology story from 2004, which outlines a still-unsolved mystery. If the reader will forgive a digression...

During election season, web surfers from outside the United States were not able to access Bush's Web site,, even though surfers within U.S. borders had no problem doing so. Why this oddity, and who was responsible? The site used network management technology from Akamai Technologies Inc. to restrict access. An Akamai spokesman referred all questions to the hosting company, Smartech. Yet Smartech's president said "All we do is host the site. I have no control over what's being done outside our servers."

That strange business probably has no link to the decision made by Ohio's notorious Secretary of State, Ken Blackwell, to route election night results through RNC servers. I mention the matter here because the conundrum gnaws at me. I can think of no legitimate -- or illegitimate -- reason why anyone within the party would want to restrict foreigners from looking at

(Incidentally, the name Akamai has turned up in these pages before: Defense pseudo-contractor Brent Wilkes named several of his fake companies Akamai. However, there is a real -- and quite legitimate -- company called Akamai, based in Mountain View, California.)

So, what does it mean that Ken Blackwell used Smartech for Ohio's election night hosting services? One might, after all, expect a Republican to give state business to a Republican-friendly company. As one observer remarked, this decision seems, at first glance, akin to an Irish drinker going to an Irish pub.

However, one does not need to exercise much imagination to see how anyone using the net for nefarious purposes would want a "friendly" hosting company handling ultra-sensitive duties. Hosting companies keep records of who does what. If you are using computers to do something you don't want the world to know about, you don't want those records available to just anyone.

As the controversy over the 2004 elections gathered steam, Karl Rove made a joke about fixing the election returns from a computer in the White House basement. This remark always struck me as the sort of "joke" that the guy in Rope might have uttered: "Yeah, sure, I strangled my friend for no good reason and hid his body in the cupboard! Now seriously, how about that drink...?"

The point is that the Diebold tabulators -- the "mother machines" as Teresa Kerry once put it -- were online. A D.U. commenter offers what I consider interesting speculation (paragraph breaks added for readability):
I might be talking out of my ass here, but from what I can remember, Blackwell had direct access to the Diebold tabulator from his office so he could "authorize" the results. That tabulator had links to the machines throughout the state.

Updating the election results was live, but I bet the tabulator server and the election results host server are different - one would be Diebold and the other SMARTECH. Running the tabulator on the same host server as the election results would have been too compromising.

But, there had to be an ftp (or something) link between the tabulator and the election results host for the updating. That would have been configured either by the tabulator company (Diebold) or the RNC. If badly configured, this could have allowed open access to the tabulator results from anyone with admin access to the RNC owned SMARTECH host. This would have given Blackwell plausible deniability. "Just let our techies configure that uplink there...).

If the SMARTECH host server was used in this way, it's illegal because political parties aren't allowed to access raw election data. Only checking the server log would tell whether the election server was used to look at raw tabulator data. Of course, if it was actually used to manipulate data, that would be election fraud. manipulation of election data could easily have been done at the tabulator level or via access to the voting machines. Both are criminal acts. Because the servers were used in an election, they would be auditable material.

It would have needed one man or woman to steal Ohio, together with fudged recounts. That much appears clear. One man or woman.
"Auditable material." Of course, an audit presumes access to the correct information.

Now, I must stress the speculative nature of all this. I have no evidence that Smartech is anything other than an honest, responsibly-run firm.

Here is a list of domains that share mailservers and nameservers with gwb43. On the mailserver list, we find domains connected to Bush, Newt Gingrich, and (Blackwell was the party chief in Ohio.) Most of the sites are either Republican or far-right Christian.
You, my friend, are amazing.

I doff my hat in the deepest respect for your brilliant muckraking skills.
Wow...amazing post. Here's something odd. May mean nothing, but...I thought I'd try to at least find out what Akamai means. Then I got to the last two paragraphs (especially the very last graph) of this Wiki entry:

Akamai Technologies

Akamai Technologies, Inc. is a company that provides a distributed computing platform for global Internet content caching and application delivery, headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company was founded by then-MIT graduate student Daniel Lewin, along with MIT Applied Mathematics professor Tom Leighton and MIT Sloan School of Management students Jonathan Seelig and Preetish Nijhawan. Leighton still serves as Akamai's Chief Scientist. Akamai is a Hawaiian word meaning "intelligent" or "clever." Beyond the name, the company has no ties with Hawaii.

Akamai's customers include Musician's Friend, E*TRADE, American Express, Yahoo!, AOL Radio, Symantec,, Google, Microsoft, FedEx, BBC News website, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Xerox, iVillage, Apple Inc., Music Television (MTV), the United States Geological Survey, the White House, Reuters,, Guitar Center, Friendster, iTunes, REI, and XM Satellite Radio. A list of more customers can be found on Akamai's website

Arabic news network Al-Jazeera was a customer from March 28, 2003, until April 2, 2003, when Akamai decided to end the brief relationship.

Co-founder Daniel Lewin was killed aboard American Airlines Flight 11 during the September 11, 2001, attacks.
AKAMAI reversed is: I am AKA (also known as)

Me thinks you have found a big stinking smoking gun.
"""? Odd name, that."

Winnie the Pooh fans will know that "The Piglet lived in a very grand house in the middle of a beech-tree, and the beech-tree was in the middle of the forest, and the Piglet lived in the middle of the house. Next to his house was a piece of broken board which had: "TRESPASSERS W" on it."

Piglet claims it is short for Trespassers Will, and that that (his grandfather's name) was short for "Trespassers William."

But a quick look at the other names you link shows no other Hundred Acre Wood whimsy on the server (and Pooh didn't do the stuff that the monstrous Scooter Libby's fictional bears were trained to do).

"Trespassing" and "W"
are not two things I feel good about seeing together in anything related to Dubya's election.

The passage after the name explanation turns to a different question: "Hallo!" said Piglet, "what are you doing?" "Hunting," said Pooh. "Hunting what?"
"Tracking something," said Winnie-the-Pooh very mysteriously. "Tracking what?" said Piglet, coming closer "That's just what I ask myself. I ask myself, What?" "What do you think you'll answer?" "I shall have to wait until I catch up with it," said Winnie-the-Pooh.

I think there something more than a Woozle here. Good work, everyone.
By the way, Trespassers W is a reference to a sign under which Piglet lived in his tree.

Apparently the -ill be Prosecuted portion of the sign had broken off.

Thus, Piglet lived under the name of Trespassers W.
The registrant of GWB43.COM used a false telephone number, 999 999 9999.

Take a look at the provisions of the Fraudulent Online Identity Sanctions Act. This was signed into law on 23 Dec 2004 as part of the Intellectual Property Protection in Courts Administration Act.

I wouldn't be surprised if contracts were breached somewhere along the line too, e.g. perhaps between the registrar and ICANN?

oh, goody!! this is just too juicy. this is what shakespeare's sister was talking about yesterday: (thanks to CD for the H/T),
though the depths joe has plumbed here were only briefly touched, by comparison. as ever.

joe, so glad you're back in the saddle. we really need you out here.
Joe, having read your excellent blog for some years now, I have to pitch in with some congratulations. I am in the graphics trade. Also web stuff. This post offers real food for thought - great stuff. These goons might just be stupid enough to leave this kind of trail. Unbelievable really when you consider the money at stake...but yes they are greedy and dumb too. Ruthless they may be. But this particular story has the absolute smell of scandal. Tip the hat Joe. What you do with your blog every day, is significant and would be sorely missed. Glad for your new found commitment. BTW Akamai is just the server setup - nothing more.
This business has gotten me pulling together a bunch of old items relating to Ed Gillespie, the RNC, and the 2004 campaign. I just posted a longish summary of this at DU, and I'm not going to repeat it all here.

However, Creative Response Concepts (and its connections to everything from the Swiftboaters to the CBS memos story) figures prominently.

So does Bob Ney, in his roles with both the Committee on House Adminstration and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

And so do a variety of bit players in the RNC's propaganda division -- one of whom, Timothy Griffin, has now surfaced in the attorney firings scandal.

It's becoming more and more apparent that the RNC in 2004 was election theft central -- and that the current activities (which began in early 2005) are concerned with both covering up the last theft and laying the groundwork for the next one.
Leave Akamai alone, waste of time.

Q) Why smartech? Why Chattanooga?
A) Easy: Mercer Reynolds. Love those pioneering rangers.

He invests in NextLec which I believe Smartech is/was a part of through Airnet.
Joseph, this is looking a lot like Wilkes to me, that is, the inductive narrative style. Don't give up, this looks very useful. I will join you in assuming that everyone involved is just fine and dandy.

However, for heuristic purposes, lets take a hypothetical. You're in the parallel universe in a country almost exactly like ours and you want to steal an election. How do you do it: You look at: what states are really valuable-now and in the past; your resources in those places of value; your logistical plans - can you execute in those states.

Then you take your goals and apply available technology. It's all about machines, which you can have switch votes, and networked tabulators, centralized tabulators. You get the "servicing" personnel to make sure that the pre-programmed vote switching software driven machines are put in place. Then you use a safe haven ISP as an operations base that will allow your mischief to take place without a lot of record keeping that can't be cleansed.

This is the core - the machines do their thing. You've got a safe haven ISP network provider, and you have the traditional techniques: over registering in favorable voting areas, voter suppression, voter disenfranchisement, and all around psy ops to keep the oppositions vote away.

Voila, you win the election. Who knows if this hypothetical applies? But it's fascinating isn't it?

Michael Collins

Congratulations Joe! I think this story has legs. It a great analysis as well as a pulling together of the research going on elsewhere -- connecting the dots, creating the forest from the trees.

This is exactly the promise of the so called blogosphere for progressive, citizen-driven politics and journalism: you pull together stuff from DU and then DUers propogate it on their greatest page, energizing hundreds of further researchers. This is exactly what the mainstream media cannot do and doesn't want us to do.

This shows why you MUST NOT end Cannonfire, and indeed should become a prominent "journal" writer at DU or Kos, so you get an even wider readership.

HamdenRice from DU
Hi Joseph,

I'm a researcher at Harper's Magazine in New York, and I'm wondering if you would have time to chat with me about the architectural map of the servers used in the 2004 Ohio election. The map was recently released, and testimony and affadavits have shown that it could indicate election fraud.

Thanks, and I hope to speak with you soon!


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Facts, shmacts

Researching my latest art project required me to look up Nazi propaganda posters. The earliest extant example (May, 1920) is here. The text translates to:
"Citizens! Do not believe that the Germany of misfortune and misery, the nation of corruption and usury, the land of Jewish corruption, can be saved by parties that claim to stand on a foundation of facts. Never!"
Yeah. Screw facts.

Does this attitude remind you of any current parties? Such as the one now in charge of the White House? As Ronald Reagan once said at a Republican National Convention (and yes, he really did say it): "Facts are stupid things."
I think that one of the most important recent contributions to the lexicon may have been Stephen Colbert”s “Truthiness.”

It so wonderfully describes the marvelous new idiocies springing up all around us on the left and the right, from the 9/11 Truth movement to the latest pontifications of the Bush supporters.

Truthiness (noun)
1 : "truth that comes from the gut, not books" (Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," October 2005)
2 : "the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true"

The way things are going so far, I predict that the 21Century will be known of the “Age of Truthiness.”
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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Israeli racism, part 3

Another entry in our series on Israeli racism. This enterprise began when Israeli apologists (on the megaphone network, it seems) scried a non-existent "anti-Semitism" into utterly innocent words and phrases published on this blog, simply because I had dared to bring up the "movers and art students" story.

Racism, eh? Well, a noted Jewish after-dinner speaker once said that you can't go around telling folks to remove the splinters from their eye sockets when you've got enough lumber to build a replica of Abraham Lincoln's birthplace blocking your own vision. (I translate loosely.)

A critic asks me why I don't go to Israel and check things out for myself. I would like to do so, but funds do not permit. However, Shulamit Aloni is the the former Education Minister of Israel, so I presume that she knows the territory quite well. Here's what she has to say in a piece titled "This Road is for Jews Only: Yes, There is Apartheid in Israel":
The US Jewish Establishment's onslaught on former President Jimmy Carter is based on him daring to tell the truth which is known to all: through its army, the government of Israel practises a brutal form of Apartheid in the territory it occupies. Its army has turned every Palestinian village and town into a fenced-in, or blocked-in, detention camp.
On one occasion I witnessed such an encounter between a driver and a soldier who was taking down the details before confiscating the vehicle and sending its owner away. "Why?" I asked the soldier. "It's an order--this is a Jews-only road", he replied. I inquired as to where was the sign indicating this fact and instructing [other] drivers not to use it. His answer was nothing short of amazing. "It is his responsibility to know it, and besides, what do you want us to do, put up a sign here and let some antisemitic reporter or journalist take a photo so he that can show the world that Apartheid exists here?"
Did man of peace President Carter truly err in concluding that Israel is creating Apartheid? Did he exaggerate? Don't the US Jewish community leaders recognise the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination of 7 March 1966, to which Israel is a signatory? Are the US Jews who launched the loud and abusive campaign against Carter for supposedly maligning Israel's character and its democratic and humanist nature unfamiliar with the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid of 30 November 1973? Apartheid is defined therein as an international crime that among other things includes using different legal instruments to rule over different racial groups, thus depriving people of their human rights. Isn't freedom of travel one of these rights?

In the past, the US Jewish community leaders were quite familiar with the meaning of those conventions. For some reason, however, they are convinced that Israel is allowed to contravene them. It's OK to kill civilians, women and children, old people and parents with their children, deliberately or otherwise without accepting any responsibility. It's permissible to rob people of their lands, destroy their crops, and cage them up like animals in the zoo. From now on, Israelis and International humanitarian organisations' volunteers are prohibited from assisting a woman in labour by taking her to the hospital. [Israeli human rights group] Yesh Din volunteers cannot take a robbed and beaten-up Palestinian to the police station to lodge a complaint. (Police stations are located at the heart of the settlements.) Is there anyone who believes that this is not Apartheid?
There's much more; follow the link. Anyone who wants to reproduce the art may do so; click on the image for a larger version.

(Hey, megaphoners: I'm keeping to my once-a-day schedule. I did not post such pieces before you decided to attack me. In fact, I had hoped to shut down this blog. Can you define the term "self-defeating strategy"...?)
Joseph--I seldom post anything on any site, but feel obliged to express my appreciation for your courage in addressing this very touchy subject. I visit your site daily and always begin to experience withdrawal pains when I'm unable to do so. I would like to advise you to ignore the awful "megaphoners," but if they are the reason for your continued on-line presence, I really cannot do so.
Thanks for all you do and for being who you are.

alas, typing this pretty well exhausts my computer skills.

Apartheid is defined therein as an international crime that among other things includes using different legal instruments to rule over different racial groups, thus depriving people of their human rights. Isn't freedom of travel one of these rights?

This incident she describes occurred in the West Bank, not Israel. And she doesn't call anyone a Nazi.

Apartheid arose from a racist intent, the circumstances on the West Bank arose out of self-defense. It's the difference between a death caused by murder and a death caused by malaria where both result in an identically dead corpse.

There are plenty of ways to insult that subset of Israelis you object to without that imagery, which can only give encouragement and legitimacy to real maniacs who happen across it.

It's hard to avoid the impression that your self-evident delight in 'getting away with it' contradicts your protestations of legititimate criticism.

It suggests an anti-semitism that is well considered, too careful in securing the pretense of a 'legitimizing' mask to rationalize or obviate racist intent.

But, I've just been looking at your latest, and, when that photoshopped propaganda poster first appeared, wasn't the target Microsoft? Then it was Republicans. In both cases there was some kind of a natural connection that made the picture believable, Microsoft the monopolist, the happy-to-be-thought-fascist Republicans.

But these pictures, the more I look at them, the more I think you agree, that you lose the irony somehow. In your pictures, here it isn't racism when we do it, despite your protestation. You make it work!
Until the day that you balance these slings and arrows at Israel ( with your star of David artwork, it is no different than calling everyone that has an American flag in their possession, porch, license plate, 4th of july parade, school, civic building, courthouse, tattoo, jewelry, sticker on a chills notebook, etc. a Nazi, because of the decisions of the few rabid hijackers in the white house), until that day that you balance your atrocious comparison to Hitler's gleeful, blood curdling, human agonizing, attacks on any jew no matter what, until that day that you balance your so called opinions with the honorary characteristics of the jewish race, you will be "rightly" perceived as a fucking racist fanatic by the occasional drifter on to your puny effort to call attention to the injustices by the current government in Israel.
Do not print this note stupid it is aimed at you only. The rest of the folks that are clapping their putrid hands in support of your shit. (my what anger you store up inside your body because of childhood hurts). You hypocrite, as if you wept like Jesus for the injustices of this world.
You are drifting farther and farther from the shore.
Sayanora as you grow smaller and smaller on the horizon until..until..pop..whoosh
Did you think that I would NOT respond to an organized attack? And as I made clear -- you did not read it -- Buzzflash really did use the same image to attack the Bush government. BF is selling refrigerator magnets with that image. Why am I then forbidden to do the same to the Israeli government?

How arrogant you are! You actually think I should view Israel as holy. It's all right if I assail my own government, or any other government. But not Holy Israel!

You are falling apart psychologically because you cannot bring yourself to face the truth: Israel is a racist state built on stolen land.

Attacks by "Terrorist" Palestinians are as nothing compared to what would happen if, say, someone tried to kick a Texan out of his home and forbade him from using certain highways.

Wake up, shmuck-face: ISRAEL CONDUCTS CBW EXPERIMENTS ON HUMAN BEINGS. One of their own top spies admitted it. He moved to Arizona because he can't live that racist country any more.

Human experiments. On victims targeted simply because they are not Ashkenazim. THAT'S the country you support.

And you dare -- YOU FUCKING DARE to call ME a racist?

YOU are the racist, asshole.

As for fading into the horizon: I normally don't care about readership numbers. In fact, I have often expressed a desire for fewer but better readers. But as it happens, you wrote this prediction on a day when my "hits" doubled.

I hope you meant it when you said "sayanora," racist.
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Spying ON Cheney? Or bribing BY Cheney?

This piece expands upon an idea I suggested more than a year ago. Why did MZM -- the defense contractor (now called Athena) which, under Mitchell Wade's leadership, gained so much notoriety for its role in the Randy "Duke" Cunningham bribery scandal -- get a White House contract in 2002 to provide office furniture and computer equipment?
MZM is known for its work in the fields of data mining and eavesdropping -- a resume which makes that firm an odd choice to go on a furniture-shopping expedition.


Unless the furniture was bugged.
What we know now (which I did not know before) is that the furniture -- if ever it truly existed -- was meant for the Office of the Vice President.

Think Progress
has offered an alternative theory: The "furniture" was just a ruse. Cheney was funneling money intended to purchase the favors of now-disgraced Congressman "Duke" Cunningham.
– Wade’s company MZM Inc. received its first federal contract from the White House. The contract, which ran from July 15 to August 15, 2002, stipulated that Wade be paid $140,000 to “provide office furniture and computers for Vice President Dick Cheney.”

– Two weeks later, on August 30, 2002, Wade purchased a yacht for $140,000 for Duke Cunningham...

– According to Cunningham’s sentencing memorandum, the purchase price of the boat had been negotiated through a third-party earlier that summer, around the same time the White House contract was signed.
The coincidence in figures is striking indeed, as is the timing.

Call me ornery, but I'm not yet convinced by this new theory. Why would Dick Cheney make sure that White House funds boosted MZM? What would be Cheney's personal interest in Mitchell Wade's firm? Why that firm and no other?

Admittedly, we have this intriguing data point from the Center For Public Integrity:
MZM refused to provide any information, however, about its corporate structure, including names of other principals.
Far as we know, then, Dick Cheney -- or a surrogate -- may own the damn place (which, as few people know, began life as a law firm, of all things). I don't think he does. But who can prove otherwise, given our current state of knowledge?

I would remind readers that the yacht was hardly the only gift Wade made to Cunningham. So the bribe money did not all come out of the White House operating budget.

Also note that the Think Progress version is quite simplified when compared to the original Washington Post account:
But over the past three years it was also awarded several contracts, worth more than $600,000, by the Executive Office of the President. They include a $140,000 deal for office furniture in 2002 and several for unspecified "intelligence services."
Think Progress also does not note the probably-relevant fact that the Chief Procurement Officer for the White House was, at that time, David Savafian, arrested for his part in the Abramoff scandal.

The afore linked piece offers this haunting quote from a letter sent by an imprisoned Cunningham to reporters:
You are wrong about one thing in your letter. Wade not Wilkes has destroyed a lot of people. I cannot discuss the case – your attempts to question lets me know you don’t give a hoot for me or my family. 90% of what has happened is Wade.
These words raise some very good questions:
Cunningham is in prison, and will probably stay there for the rest of his life. The worst that could possibly happen to him has already happened, or so one would think. Why does he refuse to discuss the case, to discuss a man he now despises? Why does he seem so afraid for himself and his family?

And why did Mitchell Wade -- a man Cunningham calls "an absolute devil" -- provide office furniture for Dick Cheney?
So, we have two choices: Either MZM really did provide desks and (perhaps) bugging devices for the OVP -- or someone linked to the OVP used nonexisent "furniture" as a ruse to fund a congressman's boat.

Which scenario gets your vote?
Wade is cooperating with authorities, Wilkes is not. Maybe that is what Cunningham was talking about.
Whatever Wade was into was heavy-duty enough to support a slew of theories -- and not just bugging vs. bribery. Consider, for example, this TMPmuckraker item from just over a year ago:

Here's an interesting -- but overlooked -- detail of the Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA) saga: one of the crooked contractors who bribed the Duke Stir was apparently involved in a Total Information Awareness-like data-mining operation that looked at U.S. citizens' data. . . .

Mitchell Wade, former CEO of MZM Inc., pleaded guilty to several conspiracy and bribery charges a few weeks ago in connection with the Cunningham scandal. But a little-noticed piece of his history goes into one of the most sensitive domestic spying operations we have heard of to date: the Pentagon's Virginia-based Counterintelligence Field Activity office (CIFA).

Wade got over $16 million in contracts with CIFA by bribing Duke Cunningham, who forced earmarks in to Defense appropriations bills on his behalf. Furthermore, Wade's second-in-command was a consultant to the Pentagon on standing up the operation.

In its brief life -- it was created in 2002 -- CIFA has had trouble keeping its nose clean. Despite the ink that's been spilled on the center, little is actually known about what it does, and how MZM serviced it.

Here's what we know: After the 9/11 attacks, the Pentagon used its massive budget and urgent sense of mission to push into areas of intelligence it had once left to others. Domestic intelligence was one of those areas. DoD created CIFA in 2002 to become a joint center for "force protection" intelligence work at DoD, mainly anti-terrorism. . . .

CIFA's not small -- it employs 1,000 people, roughly quadruple the size of the State Department's intelligence division.

One branch, the Counterintelligence and Law Enforcement Center, "identifies and assesses threats" from "insider threats, foreign intelligence services, terrorists, and other clandestine or covert entities," according to a December 2005 Washington Post article. Another has 20 psychologists working on "offensive and defensive counterintelligence efforts."

The area that's gotten them into hot water recently is TALON, a system of receiving "threat reports" from around the country and storing them in a database, known as Cornerstone. Last December, NBC news got their hands on a printout of a portion of the database which revealed they were keeping tabs on nonviolent protesters, mostly anti-war, around the United States. . . .

CIFA culls "commercial data," including financial records, criminal records, credit histories and more. MZM won a contract -- through Cunningham -- to provide a data storage system to CIFA, presumeably to hold a lot of that information. Unfortunately it was a piece of crap, and was never installed.

In addition, the Washington Post has reported MZM assisted CIFA in "exploiting" the data -- presumeably by searching it, organizing it, and looking for patterns.

It should be obvious what's going on... defense contractors, right-wing whackjobs, eaves dropping equipment, hookers, the WATERGATE hotel, and more endless war? We've seen this all before. They're BLACKMAILERS blackmailing DC politicians to keep America shoveling its money into the defense industry. They eaves drop on people, get dirt on them and then threaten to expose them if they don't keep supporting the endless military buildup and depletion cycle.
Probably only the most sophisticated bug would get past the Secret Service and one thing we know about MZM is that everything they actually produced was crap, so I'd vote for the money funneling angle.
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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Israeli racism, part 2

So, what do you think of my little contribution to the art of the political poster?

This is my variant of a popular anti-GOP piece -- and I will be quite amused to hear someone argue that such a tactic is permissible against the American government but never, ever against the Israeli government. (If you have such an argument welling up within you, by all means offer it. Strained rationalization is one of my favorite forms of humor.)

I like to think that my version is a bit more professional than the anti-W effort, on a purely technical level. The original Nazi work, incidentally, was not a political poster per se but an advertisement for a film called S.A. Mann Brand.

While ferreting out the original , I discovered what must be the all-time most hilarious bit of fascist propaganda imagery, reprinted below and to the right. Kinda looks like Heinrich is congratulating Fritz for winning the dress-your-doggy contest on Project Runway, doesn't it?

Admittedly, that sidelight has no direct bearing on our present subject, but I just had to share it.

Our present subject is racism. This blog was accused of it by Israeli apologists (or rather, by "megaphonies") because the doctor and I dared to use the phrases "our Jewish brethren" and "of Jewish extraction." Speaking as someone who is of Italian extraction, I can tell you that no-one in my family would have considered taking offense at that phrase. And to be called a brother hardly qualifies as racism.

("But," someone out there may want to say, "it's different with the Jews than with the Italians!" Different how? Please, hit me with any strained rationalizations that might occur to you. I need the laffs.)

For real racism, the institutionalized kind, the kind backed by power, go to Israel. Here's a snippet from an earlier posting, which I beg my critics to double-check:
As I've noted before, former Mossad officer Victor Ostrovsky's book By way of Deception reveals that Palestinian captives were subjected to human experimentation at Israel's Nes Ziyyona facility, which is devoted to studying chemical, bacteriological and radiological warfare. In the 1950s, the Israelis conducted massive radiological experiments on Sephardic Jews. In the year 2000, an Israeli medical journal published an article bearing the ominous title "Human experimentation in the Israel Defence Forces--between the hammer of necessity and the anvil of ethics"; it remains untranslated.
Experimentation on unwilling human subjects, chosen because they did not conform to the Azhkenazi model. Can't get much more racist than that, can you?

(Hey, megaphonies -- rethinking your tactics, yet?)
Great poster, I want one!!! But damn Joe, hope your in good hands, if you know what I mean.
The piece I did is roughly 3 X4 1/4 inches at 300 dpi, which won't blow up to actual poster size very well. If you click on the image you will access a larger version, which you may reproduce anywhere.
In Benkovitz's Familiar Quotations Meyer Lansky is credited with "Leave the gun, take the gefilte fish".
Have you ever been to Israel, to see it for yourself?

Maybe you should learn about a topic, before you start to talk about it...
Gee, you think they'll let me tour the Nes Ziyyona facility? Alas, Israelis can't learn about that -- for Victor Ostrovsky's books are banned there.
Yeah Joe, Michael's right-- unless you had your foreskin cut off in a ritual you have no right to talk about erez yisroyal... ha ha ha (like most people who go to israel for one of those zionist tours actualy see anything...).

See Joe, you're not like some ensconced priviledged american who's made alliyah (the pseudo religious term for moving back to israel --before the moshiach has returned!!). you don't have a blog basing all your "truths" on CNN and "jihad watch" don't get up in arms about Chlorine gas attacks (er, what do our Oleh friends say about Depleted Uranium? What do they say about all those chermical weapons used in Lebanon last year? or to the US using white phosphorus bombs? oh i guess thats nothing compared to TERRORISTS USING CHOLRINE!!!!) oh right... if we dont live there, eat falafel an dpray at the wall not th emosque then we have no right to discuss it...
I'd wonder what your earlier commenter David Stern would say.

Is that a picture he'd hang on his wall?

Would you object if I made that same poster with an Islamic crescent?
I was going to cut you off, bin bin. But something like this isn't such a bad idea, if, for example, you can get the words "genocide" and "Darfur" in there.

Ain't gonna do your Photoshopping for you, of course.
Funny - I'm not reading any rationalizations, strained or otherwise, here in the comments.

Keep up the good work, Cannon. In a way, I'm sorry it took this sort of topic to keep you around, but I'm relieved you're staying.

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