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21 Ports Much More Than 6

UAE terminal takeover extends to 21 ports By PAMELA HESS
UPI Pentagon Correspondent   www.upi.com
WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- A United Arab Emirates government-owned company is poised to take over port terminal operations in 21 American ports, far more than the six widely reported.

The Bush administration has approved the takeover of British-owned Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. to DP World, a deal set to go forward March 2 unless Congress intervenes.

P&O is the parent company of P&O Ports North America, which leases terminals for the import and export and loading and unloading and security of cargo in 21 ports, 11 on the East Coast, ranging from Portland, Maine to Miami, Florida, and 10 on the Gulf Coast, from Gulfport, Miss., to Corpus Christi, Texas, according to the company's Web site.

President George W. Bush on Tuesday threatened to veto any legislation designed to stall the handover.

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. said after the briefing she expects swift, bi-partisan approval for a bill to require a national security review before it is allowed to go forward.

At issue is a 1992 amendment to a law that requires a 45-day review if the foreign takeover of a U.S. company "could affect national security." Many members of Congress see that review as mandatory in this case.

But Bush administration officials said Thursday that review is only triggered if a Cabinet official expresses a national security concern during an interagency review of a proposed takeover.

"We have a difference of opinion on the interpretation of your amendment," said Treasury Department Deputy Secretary Robert Kimmitt.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, comprised of officials from 12 government departments and agencies, including the National Security Council and the Department of Homeland Security, approved the deal unanimously on January 17.

"The structure of the deal led us to believe there were no national security concerns," said Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Michael P. Jackson.

The same day, the White House appointed a DP World executive, David C. Sanborn, to be the administrator for the Maritime Administration of the Department of Transportation. Sanborn had been serving as director of operations for Europe and Latin America at DP World.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, R- Va., said he will request from both the U.S. attorney general and the Senate committee's legal counsel a finding on the administration's interpretation of the 1992 amendment.

Adding to the controversy is the fact Congress was not notified of the deal. Kimmitt said Congress is periodically updated on completed CFIUS decisions, but is proscribed from initiating contact with Congress about pending deals. It may respond to congressional inquiries on those cases only.

Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley stated in a letter to Bush on Feb. 21 that he specifically requested to be kept abreast of foreign investments that may have national security implications. He made the request in the wake of a controversial Chinese proposal to purchase an oil company last year.

"Obviously, my request fell on deaf ears. I am disappointed that I was neither briefed nor informed of this sale prior to its approval. Instead, I read about it in the media," he wrote.

According to Kimmitt, the deal was reported on in major newspapers as early as last October. But it did not get critical attention in the press until the Associated Press broke the story Feb. 11 and the Center for Security Policy, a right-leaning organization, wrote about it Feb. 13. CSP posited the sale as the Treasury Department putting commerce interests above national security.

Kimmitt said because the 2005 Chinese proposal had caused such an uproar before it ever got to CFIUS, the lack of reaction to the Dubai deal when it was reported on last fall suggested it would not be controversial enough to require special notification of Congress.

Central to the debate is the fact that the United Arab Emirates, while a key ally of the United States in the Middle East, has had troubling ties to terrorist networks, according to the Sept. 11 Commission report. It was one of the few countries in the world that recognized the al-Qaida-friendly Taliban government in Afghanistan; al-Qaida funneled millions of dollars through the U.A.E. financial sector; and A.Q. Khan, the notorious Pakistani nuclear technology smuggler, used warehouses near the Dubai port as a key transit point for many of his shipments.

Since the terrorist attacks, it has cut ties with the Taliban, frozen just over $1 million in alleged terrorist funding, and given the United States key military basing and over-flight rights. At any given time, there are 77,000 U.S. service members on leave in the United Arab Emirates, according to the Pentagon.

Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England warned that the uproar about the United Arab Emirates involvement in U.S. ports could risk alienating the very countries in the Middle East the United States is trying to court as allies in the war on terrorism.

"It's very important we strengthen bonds ... especially with friends and allies in the Arab world. It's important that we treat friends and allies equally around the world without discrimination," he said.

The security of port terminal operations is a key concern. More than 7 million cargo containers come through 361 American ports annually, half of the containers through New York-New Jersey, Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif. Only a small percentage are physically searched and just 37 percent currently screened for radiation, an indication of an attempt to smuggle in nuclear material that could be used for a "dirty bomb."

After the September 11 terrorist attacks, the government began a new program that required documentation on all cargo 24 hours before it was loaded on a ship in a foreign port bound for the United States. A "risk analysis" is conducted on every shipment, including a review of the ship's history, the cargo's history and contents and other factors. Each ship must also provide the U.S. government 96 hours notice of its arrival in an American port, along with a crew manifest.

None of the nine administration officials assembled for the briefing could immediately say how many of the more than 3,000 port terminals are currently under foreign control.

Port facility operators have a major security responsibility, and one that could be exploited by terrorists if they infiltrate the company, said Joe Muldoon III. Muldoon is an attorney representing Eller & Co., a port facility operator in Florida partnered with M&O in Miami. Eller opposes the Dubai takeover for security reasons.

"The Coast Guard oversees security, and they have the authority to inspect containers if they want and they can look at manifests, but they are really dependent on facility operators to carry out security issues," Muldoon said.

The Marine Transportation Security Act of 2002 requires vessels and port facilities to conduct vulnerability assessments and develop security plans including passenger, vehicle and baggage screening procedures; security patrols; establishing restricted areas; personnel identification procedures; access control measures; and/or installation of surveillance equipment.

Under the same law, port facility operators may have access to Coast Guard security incident response plans -- that is, they would know how the Coast Guard plans to counter and respond to terrorist attacks.

"The concern is that the UAE may be our friend now ... but who's to say that couldn't change, or they couldn't be infiltrated. Iran was our big buddy," said Muldoon.

In a January report, the Council on Foreign Relations pointed out the vulnerability of the shipping security system to terrorist exploitation.

Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. customs agency requires shippers to follow supply chain security practices. Provided there are no apparent deviations from those practices or intelligence warnings, the shipment is judged low risk and is therefore unlikely to be inspected.

CFR suggests a terrorist event is likely to be a one-time operation on a trusted carrier "precisely because they can count on these shipments entering the U.S. with negligible or no inspection."

"All a terrorist organization needs to do is find a single weak link within a 'trusted' shipper's complex supply chain, such as a poorly paid truck driver taking a container from a remote factory to a port. They can then gain access to the container in one of the half-dozen ways well known to experienced smugglers," CFR wrote.

Paper: Coast Guard Has Port Co. Intel Gaps

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20060227/D8G1MIJ00.html

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February 26, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Al Qaida (al_Queda) the Base (DB)

Al Qaida - "the database"   Al Qaida is not a terror network       

Shortly before his untimely death, former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told the House of Commons that "Al Qaida" is not really a terrorist group but a database of international mujaheddin and arms smugglers used by the CIA and Saudis to funnel guerrillas, arms, and money into Soviet-occupied Afghanistan. Courtesy of World Affairs, a journal based in New Delhi, WMR can bring you an important excerpt from an Apr.-Jun. 2004 article by Pierre-Henry Bunel, a former agent for French military intelligence.      

"I first heard about Al-Qaida while I was attending the Command and Staff course in Jordan. I was a French officer at that time and the French Armed Forces had close contacts and cooperation with Jordan . . .      

"Two of my Jordanian colleagues were experts in computers. They were air defense officers. Using computer science slang, they introduced a series of jokes about students' punishment.      

"For example, when one of us was late at the bus stop to leave the Staff College, the two officers used to tell us: 'You'll be noted in 'Q eidat il-Maaloomaat' which meant 'You'll be logged in the information database.' Meaning 'You will receive a warning . . .' If the case was more severe, they would used to talk about 'Q eidat i-Taaleemaat.' Meaning 'the decision database.' It meant 'you will be punished.' For the worst cases they used to speak of logging in 'Al Qaida.'      

"In the early 1980s the Islamic Bank for Development, which is located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, like the Permanent Secretariat of the Islamic Conference Organization, bought a new computerized system to cope with its accounting and communication requirements. At the time the system was more sophisticated than necessary for their actual needs.      

"It was decided to use a part of the system's memory to host the Islamic Conference's database. It was possible for the countries attending to access the database by telephone: an Intranet, in modern language. The governments of the member-countries as well as some of their embassies in the world were connected to that network.      

"[According to a Pakistani major] the database was divided into two parts, the information file where the participants in the meetings could pick up and send information they needed, and the decision file where the decisions made during the previous sessions were recorded and stored. In Arabic, the files were called, 'Q eidat il-Maaloomaat' and 'Q eidat i-Taaleemaat.' Those two files were kept in one file called in Arabic 'Q eidat ilmu'ti'aat' which is the exact translation of the English word database.  But the Arabs commonly used the short word Al Qaida which is the Arabic word for "base."      

The military air base of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is called 'q eidat 'riyadh al 'askariya.' Q eida means "a base" and "Al Qaida" means "the base."      

"In the mid-1980s, Al Qaida was a database located in computer and dedicated to the communications of the Islamic Conference's secretariat.      

"In the early 1990s, I was a military intelligence officer in the Headquarters of the French Rapid Action Force.      

Because of my skills in Arabic my job was also to translate a lot of faxes and letters seized or intercepted by our intelligence services . . . We often got intercepted material sent by Islamic networks operating from the UK or from Belgium.      

"These documents contained directions sent to Islamic armed groups in Algeria or in France. The messages quoted the sources of statements to be exploited in the redaction of the tracts or leaflets, or to be introduced in video or tapes to be sent to the media. The most commonly quoted sources were the United Nations, the non-aligned countries, the UNHCR and  . . . Al Qaida.      

"Al Qaida remained the data base of the Islamic Conference. Not all member countries of the Islamic Conference are 'rogue states' and many Islamic groups could pick up information from the databases.      

It was but natural for Osama Bin Laden  to be connected to this network. He is a member of an important family in the banking and business world.      

"Because of the presence of 'rogue states,' it became easy for terrorist groups to use the email of the database. Hence, the email of Al Qaida was used, with some interface system, providing secrecy, for the families of the mujaheddin to keep links with their children undergoing training in Afghanistan, or in Libya or in the Beqaa valley, Lebanon. Or in action anywhere in the battlefields where the extremists sponsored by all the 'rogue states' used to fight. And the 'rogue states' included Saudi Arabia. When Osama bin Laden was an American agent in Afghanistan, the Al Qaida Intranet was a good communication system through coded or covert messages.   

"Al Qaida was neither a terrorist group nor Osama bin Laden's personal property . . . The terrorist actions in Turkey in 2003 were carried out by Turks and the motives were local and not international, unified, or joint. These crimes put the Turkish government in a difficult position vis-a-vis the British and the Israelis. But the attacks certainly intended to 'punish' Prime Minister Erdogan for being a 'toot tepid' Islamic politician.      

" . . . In the Third World the general opinion is that the countries using weapons of mass destruction for economic purposes in the service of imperialism are in fact 'rogue states," specially the US and other NATO countries.      

" Some Islamic economic lobbies are conducting a war against the 'liberal" economic lobbies. They use local terrorist groups claiming to act on behalf of Al Qaida. On the other hand, national armies invade independent countries under the aegis of the UN Security Council and carry out pre-emptive wars. And the real sponsors of these wars are not governments but the lobbies concealed behind them.      

"The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the 'devil' only in order to drive the 'TV watcher' to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the US and the lobbyists for the US war on terrorism are only interested in making money."      

In yet another example of what happens to those who challenge the system, in December 2001, Maj. Pierre-Henri Bunel was convicted by a secret French military court of passing classified documents that identified potential NATO bombing targets in Serbia to a Serbian agent during the Kosovo war in 1998. Bunel's case was transferred from a civilian court to keep the details of the case classified. Bunel's character witnesses and psychologists notwithstanding, the system "got him" for telling the truth about Al Qaeda and who has actually been behind the terrorist attacks commonly blamed on that group. It is noteworthy that that Yugoslav government, the government with whom Bunel was asserted by the French government to have shared information, claimed that Albanian and Bosnian guerrillas in the Balkans were being backed by elements of "Al Qaeda." We now know that these guerrillas were being backed by money provided by the Bosnian Defense Fund, an entity established as a special fund at Bush-influenced Riggs Bank and directed by Richard Perle and Douglas Feith.      http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/

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February 26, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bush Administration Tried Gagging NASA Scientist Re: Melting Glaciers

THE INDEPENDENT - Online Edition

Home > News > Environment

17 February 2006 01:13

Climate change: On the edge

Greenland ice cap breaking up at twice the rate it was five years ago, says scientist Bush tried to gag
By Jim Hansen
Published: 17 February 2006

A satellite study of the Greenland ice cap shows that it is melting far faster than scientists had feared - twice as much ice is going into the sea as it was five years ago. The implications for rising sea levels - and climate change - could be dramatic.

Yet, a few weeks ago, when I - a NASA climate scientist - tried to talk to the media about these issues following a lecture I had given calling for prompt reductions in the emission of greenhouse gases, the NASA public affairs team - staffed by political appointees from the Bush administration - tried to stop me doing so. I was not happy with that, and I ignored the restrictions. The first line of NASA's mission is to understand and protect the planet.

This new satellite data is a remarkable advance. We are seeing for the first time the detailed behaviour of the ice streams that are draining the Greenland ice sheet. They show that Greenland seems to be losing at least 200 cubic kilometres of ice a year. It is different from even two years ago, when people still said the ice sheet was in balance.

Hundreds of cubic kilometres sounds like a lot of ice. But this is just the beginning. Once a sheet starts to disintegrate, it can reach a tipping point beyond which break-up is explosively rapid. The issue is how close we are getting to that tipping point. The summer of 2005 broke all records for melting in Greenland. So we may be on the edge.

Our understanding of what is going on is very new. Today's forecasts of sea-level rise use climate models of the ice sheets that say they can only disintegrate over a thousand years or more. But we can now see that the models are almost worthless. They treat the ice sheets like a single block of ice that will slowly melt. But what is happening is much more dynamic.

Once the ice starts to melt at the surface, it forms lakes that empty down crevasses to the bottom of the ice. You get rivers of water underneath the ice. And the ice slides towards the ocean.

Our NASA scientists have measured this in Greenland. And once these ice streams start moving, their influence stretches right to the interior of the ice sheet. Building an ice sheet takes a long time, because it is limited by snowfall. But destroying it can be explosively rapid.

How fast can this go? Right now, I think our best measure is what happened in the past. We know that, for instance, 14,000 years ago sea levels rose by 20m in 400 years - that is five metres in a century. This was towards the end of the last ice age, so there was more ice around. But, on the other hand, temperatures were not warming as fast as today.

How far can it go? The last time the world was three degrees warmer than today - which is what we expect later this century - sea levels were 25m higher. So that is what we can look forward to if we don't act soon. None of the current climate and ice models predict this. But I prefer the evidence from the Earth's history and my own eyes. I think sea-level rise is going to be the big issue soon, more even than warming itself.

It's hard to say what the world will be like if this happens. It would be another planet. You could imagine great armadas of icebergs breaking off Greenland and melting as they float south. And, of course, huge areas being flooded.

How long have we got? We have to stabilise emissions of carbon dioxide within a decade, or temperatures will warm by more than one degree. That will be warmer than it has been for half a million years, and many things could become unstoppable. If we are to stop that, we cannot wait for new technologies like capturing emissions from burning coal. We have to act with what we have. This decade, that means focusing on energy efficiency and renewable sources of energy that do not burn carbon. We don't have much time left.

Jim Hansen, the director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, is President George Bush's top climate modeller. He was speaking to Fred Pearce.

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February 26, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

American People Voice Port Security Concerns

Just when you thought homeland security couldn't get more inept and incompetent, we find out the Bush administration casually and secretly planned on approving sale of control of six of our major ports to an company controlled by The United Arab Emirates (UAE). Isn't this the same United Arab Emirates that was one of the few to recognize the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Isn't this the same United Arab Emirates that has been the transfer point for rogue nuclear weapons components, and that has harbored al Qaeda terrorists? Are they completely out of their minds? Or are we, for allowing the Bush administration to remain in power even one single additional day? There is already a bi-partisan coalition forming to demand that there be an immediate investigation of why such a deal was even considered, let alone waved through without a concern in the world. There are already many who believe the 9/11 attacks could not have succeeded without a deliberate stand down by our own government. Is this yet another example of that? Click on Arguments for more information. Send message as to where you stand to your US House Rep., US Senator, and local paper,.!!!

Easy and effective! More -> http://www.nocrony.com/port_security.php

Example message from another: President Bush is not only wrong, but DEAD WRONG in giving our port security to ANY foreign countries. But to defer our security to a MIDDLE EASTERN country is not only IRRESPONSIBLE BUT MOST INCOMPREHENSIBLE! "HELL NO!!" IS ALSO MY ANSWER TO THIS UNCONSTITUITONAL ACTION.  If President Bush vetos our Congress in this critical issue we should IMPEACH PRESIDENT BUSH.

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February 22, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

President Bush / Jack Abramoff Photos Expose Bush Lies

Absurd claims by President George W Bush that he doesn't know Jack Abramoff revealed as bald face lies via forbidden/censored Whitehouse,. photos

For Bush / Abramoff photos -> Click Here

All of Congressman Rick Renzi??? ->

http://www.house.gov/apps/list/hearing/az01_renzi/renzipotus.html

 

http://snap1.brightroom.com/4080-50679667/4080/4080-002-005f.jpg

Refs.:

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/007536.php

Photos Of Bush And Abramoff meeting
Address:http://www.rense.com/general69/phots.htm

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Abramoff Photos of President Bush, First Lady 'Just Sitting In His
Office'
Address:http://www.rense.com/general69/sit.htm

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Abramoff Says He Met Bush 'Almost A Dozen' Times
Address:http://www.rense.com/general69/lies.htm

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Abramoff says he did indeed meet Bush - Politics - MSNBC.com
Address:http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11261495/

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February 11, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Bush Lies About Foiled 2002 Terror Attack

Intel Pros - Bush Lying
About Foiled 2002
Terror Attack

By Doug Thompson
Capitol Hill Blue

2-10-6
Outraged intelligence professionals say President George W.
Bush is "cheapening" and "politicizing" their work with
claims the United States foiled a planned terrorist attack
against Los Angeles in 2002.
 
"The President has cheapened the entire intelligence
community by dragging us into his fantasy world,"
says a longtime field operative of the Central
Intelligence Agency. "He is basing this absurd claim
on the same discredited informant who told us Al
Qaeda would attack selected financial
institutions in New York and Washington."
 
Within hours of the President's speech Thursday claiming
his administration had prevented a major attack,
sources who said they were current and retired
intelligence pros from the CIA, NSA, FBI and military
contacted Capitol Hill Blue with angry comments disputing
the President's remarks.
 
"He's full of shit," said one sharply-worded email.
Although none were willing to allow use of their names, saying doing so would place them in legal jeopardy, we were able to confirm that at least four of the 23 who contacted us currently work, or had worked, within the U.S. intelligence community.
 
But Los Angeles Mayor Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is willing to go on the record, claiming Bush blind-sided his city with the claims.
 
"I'm amazed that the president would make this (announcement) on national TV and not inform us of these details through the appropriate channels," the mayor says. "I don't expect a call from the president " but somebody." Villaraigosa also said he has twice requested meetings with Bush to discuss security issues for Los Angeles and was turned down both times.
 
Intelligence pros say much of the information used by Bush in an attempt to justify his increased spying on Americans by the National Security Agency, trampling of civil rights under the USA Patriot Act, and massive buildup of the Department of Homeland Security, now the nation's largest federal bureaucracy, was "worthless intel that was discarded long ago."
 
"A lot of buzz circulated in the months following the September 11, 2001, attacks," says an NSA operative. "Snippets here and there were true but most were just random information that could never be confirmed. One thing we do know about al Qaeda is that they seldom use the same technique twice. They tried a car bomb to bring down the World Trade Center and it failed. Then they went to planes. The next time will be something different because we,ve geared up to prevent hijacking planes and using them as flying bombs."
 
In August 2004, just as the Presidential campaign was about to heat up, the Bush White House raised the terror alert, claiming attacks were imminent on major financial institutions. The alert, apparently timed to steal thunder from Democrat John Kerry's nomination for President, was withdrawn after administration officials admitted it was based on old information from a discredited informant.
 
The discredited information dated back to the same period when intelligence agencies began receiving reports of a planned attack against Los Angeles.
 
Counterterrorism officials say they are surprised that Bush claimed the plot was "set in motion."
 
"There was no definitive plot. It never materialized or got past the thought stage," says a senior counterterrorism official, who has worked at the CIA and the FBI, who talked to Capitol Hill Blue and the New York Daily News.
 
FBI Deputy Director John Pistole refused to characterize it as an advanced plot when discussing it in June 2004.
 
Former DHS secretary Tom Ridge admits the U.S. raised terror alerts for the wrong reasons and now says he often disagreed with the timing of such alerts but was overruled by the White House.
 
"More often than not we were the least inclined to raise it," Ridge says. "Sometimes we disagreed with the intelligence assessment. Sometimes we thought even if the intelligence was good, you don't necessarily put the country on alert, There were times when the White House was really aggressive about raising it, and we said, 'For that?' We often lost the argument."
 
Ridge left DHS in February 2005 and Bush replaced him with Michael Chertoff who agrees with the "cry wolf" strategy of the White House.
 
"Chertoff is a lackey," says Kevin Riley, a retired New York City Detective who knew Chertoff during his days as a U.S. Attorney in New York. "He'll do whatever Bush tells him to do."
 
Intelligence pros at established Washington agencies laugh at DHS operatives, calling them "Keystone Kops" and "overpaid rent-a-cops," saying they lack any real expertise in dealing with terrorism.
 
"DHS is a political police force," says a retired CIA agent. "They exist to enforce the political propaganda program of George W. Bush. That's all they're good for and they're not very good at that."
 
 
© Copyright 2006 by Capitol Hill Blue
http://www.capitolhillblue.com/blog/2006/02/intel_
pros_say_bush_is_lying_a.html

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February 11, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mohammed Cartoons Creating Stir With Muslims,.

http://cryptome.sabotage.org/muhammad.htm

Apparently Cryptome site has been down since Jan 31, 06. Not sure of reason why but these are the cartoons which are creating such a stir in the Muslim world all over the planet at this time.

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February 5, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Did President Bush Persuade You?

DID PRESIDENT BUSH PERSUADE YOU THAT HE HAS THE RIGHT
PLAN FOR THE COUNTRY?

VOTING AT 165044 RESPONSES:

YES - 29%

NO - 71%

MSNBC - Url.: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11121234/

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February 3, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Regarding Bush's State of the Union

Many good papers are already floating, filling the net with statistics to back up our knowledge that Bush's State of the Union Tuesday night was packed with inaccuracies, exaggerations, and disinformation. Among them is one especially ripe for being passed on to fence-sitters and those clinging on to their blinders, those who might listen to Paul Craig Roberts on the basis of his having served under the Reagan administration and written for the Wall Street Journal and the National Review.  There are those who would say that one who cut his teeth on experience far to the right of "moderate" by any standard must surely be capable of looking a speech in the eye and know what he's talking about when he thumps at the speech's framework bit by bit until you hear the sound of falling dominoes.  Thus, a good one to pass on.  There may be no better deed for the day than just quietly sipping your coffee while your spouse or co-worker or friend reads the copy you have printed of this, just for them.  Maybe a few will be dragged kicking and screaming from the comfortable but frightening coma that moves ever closer to suffocating our nation.

Leigh, quoting Paul Craig Roberts:

February 1, 2006, Counterpunch
http://counterpunch.org/

The True State of the Union
More Deception from the Bush White House
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Gentle reader, if you prefer comforting lies to harsh truths, don't read this column.

The state of the union is disastrous. By its naked aggression, bullying, illegal spying on Americans, and illegal torture and detentions, the Bush administration has demonstrated American contempt for the Geneva Convention, for human life and dignity, and for the civil liberties of its own citizens. Increasingly, the US is isolated in the world, having to resort to bribery and threats to impose its diktats. No country any longer looks to America for moral leadership. The US has become a rogue nation.

Least of all did President Bush tell any truth about the economy. He talked about economic growth rates without acknowledging that they result from eating the seed corn and do not produce jobs with a living wage for Americans. He touted a low rate of unemployment and did not admit that the figure is false because it does not count millions of discouraged workers who have dropped out of the work force.

Americans did not hear from Bush that a new Wal-Mart just opened on Chicago's city boundary and 25,000 people applied for 325 jobs (Chicago Sun-Times, Jan. 26), or that 11,000 people applied for a few Wal-Mart jobs in Oakland, California. Obviously, employment is far from full.

Neither did Bush tell Americans any of the dire facts reported by economist Charles McMillion in the January 19 issue of Manufacturing & Technology News:

During Bush's presidency the US has experienced the slowest job creation on record (going back to 1939). During the past five years private business has added only 958,000 net new jobs to the economy, while the government sector has added 1.1 million jobs. Moreover, as many of the jobs are not for a full work week, "the country ended 2005 with fewer private sector hours worked than it had in January 2001."

McMillion reports that the largest sources of private sector jobs have been health care and waitresses and bartenders. Other areas of the private sector lost so many jobs, including supervisory/managerial jobs, that had health care not added 1.4 million new jobs, the private sector would have experienced a net loss of 467,000 jobs between January 2001 and December 2005 despite an "economic recovery." Without the new jobs waiting tables and serving drinks, the US economy in the past five years would have eked out a measly 64,000 jobs. In other words, there is a job depression in the US.

McMillion reports that during the past five years of Bush's presidency the US has lost 16.5% of its manufacturing jobs. The hardest hit are clothes manufacturers, textile mills, communications equipment, and semiconductors. Workforces in these industries shrunk by 37 to 46 percent. These are amazing job losses. Major industries have shriveled to insignificance in half a decade.

Free trade, offshore production for US markets, and the outsourcing of US jobs are the culprits. McMillion writes that "every industry that faces foreign outsourcing or import competition is losing jobs," including both Ford and General Motors, both of which recently announced new job losses of 30,000 each. The parts supplier, Delphi, is on the ropes and cutting thousands of jobs, wages, benefits, and pensions.

If the free trade/outsourcing propaganda were true, would not at least some US export industries be experiencing a growth in employment? If free trade and outsourcing benefit the US economy, how did America run up $2.85 trillion in  trade deficits over the last five years? This means Americans consumed almost $3 trillion dollars more in goods and services than they produced and turned over $3 trillion of their existing assets to foreigners to pay for their consumption. Consuming accumulated wealth makes a country poorer, not richer.

Americans are constantly reassured that America is the leader in advanced technology and intellectual property and doesn't need jobs making clothes or even semiconductors. McMillion puts the lie to this reassurance. During Bush's  presidency, the US has lost its trade surplus in manufactured Advanced Technology Products (ATP). The US trade deficit in ATP now exceeds the US surplus in Intellectual Property licenses and fees. The US no longer earns  enough from high tech to cover any part of its import bill for oil, autos, or clothing.

This is an astonishing development. The US "superpower" is dependent on China for advanced technology products and is dependent on Asia to finance its massive deficits and foreign wars. In view of the rapid collapse of US economic  potential, my prediction in January 2004 that the US would be a third world economy in 20 years was optimistic. Another five years like the last, and little will be left. America's capacity to export manufactured goods has been so reduced that some economists say that there is no exchange rate at which the US can balance its trade.

McMillion reports that median household income has fallen for a record fifth year in succession. Growth in consumer spending has resulted from households spending their savings and equity in their homes. In 2005 for the first time  since the Great Depression in the 1930s, American consumers spent more than they earned, and the government budget deficit was larger than all business savings combined. American households are paying a record share of their disposable income to service their debts.

With America hemorrhaging red ink in every direction, how much longer can the dollar hold on to its role as world reserve currency?

The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, is the cradle of the propaganda that globalization is win-win for all concerned. Free trader Stephen Roach of Morgan Stanley reports that the mood at the recently concluded Davos meeting was different, because the predicted "wins" for the industrialized world have not made an appearance.

Roach writes that "job creation and real wages in the mature, industrialized economies have seriously lagged historical norms. It is now commonplace for recoveries in the developed world to be either jobless or wageless--or both."

Roach is the first free trade economist to admit that the disruptive technology of the Internet has dashed the globalization hopes. It was supposed to work like this: The first world would lose market share in tradable manufactured goods and make up the job and economic loss with highly-educated knowledge workers. The "win-win" was supposed to be cheaper manufactured goods for the first world and more and better jobs for the third world.

It did not work out this way, Roach writes, because the Internet allowed job outsourcing to quickly migrate from call centers and data processing to the upper end of the value chain, displacing first world employees in "software  programming, engineering, design, and the medical profession, as well as a broad array of professionals in the legal, accounting, actuarial, consulting, and financial services industries."

This is what I have been writing for years, while the economics profession adopted a position of total denial. The first world gainers from globalization are the corporate executives, who gain millions of dollars in bonuses by  arbitraging labor and substituting cheaper foreign labor for first world labor. For the past decade free market economists have served as apologists for corporate interests that are dismantling the ladders of upward mobility in the US and creating what McMillion writes is the worst income inequality on record.

Globalization is wiping out the American middle class and terminating jobs for university graduates, who now serve as temps, waitresses and bartenders. But the whores among economists and the evil men and women in the Bush administration still sing globalization's praises.

The state of the nation has never been worse. The Great Depression was an accident caused by the incompetence of the Federal Reserve, which was still new at its job. The new American job depression is the result of free trade  ideology. The new job depression is creating a reserve army of the unemployed to serve as desperate recruits for neoconservative military adventures. Perhaps that explains the Bush administration's enthusiasm for globalization.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: paulcraigroberts@yahoo.com

NOTICE: Due to Presidential Executive Orders, the National Security Agency may have read this email without warning, warrant, or notice. They may do this without any judicial or legislative oversight. You have no recourse nor protection save to call for the impeachment of the current President.

"The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life."

Adolph Hitler (My New World Order, Proclamation to the German Nation at Berlin, February 1, 1933)

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From Capitol Hill Blue

The Rant
A clear and present danger to America
By DOUG THOMPSON
Publisher, Capitol Hill Blue
Jan 27, 2006, 05:11

George W. Bush, the out-of-control despot who thinks the Presidency of the United States is a license to lie at will, wage war on a whim and break the law without recrimination, put on his "I am in charge" face Thursday and, for all practical purposes, told anyone who thinks his powers should be subject to review or oversight to go screw themselves.

Bush told reporters that he will assert his "presidential prerogatives" any damn way he pleases and will do so without apology, without question and without concern for the law, the Constitution or the rights of Americans.

His press conference was a frightening study of a madman on a tear, an insane, power-mad tyrant who believes he is above the law and cannot be questioned. Sadly, it appears no one has the balls to questions his lunacy.

"I'm going to continue do everything within my authority to protect the American people," Bush told reporters. That's Bushspeak for "I'm in charge here you dumb pukes and there ain't a damn thing you can do about it."

"We'll continue our terrorist surveillance program against al-Qaeda. Congress must reauthorize the Patriot Act so that our law enforcement and intelligence and homeland security officers have the tools they need to route the terrorists -- terrorists who could be planning and plotting within our borders," he said. Translation: "I'll spy on Americans, I'll use the Constitution to wipe my ass and I'll declare marital law and run this country like the dictator I want so desperately to be."

On his illegal actions authorizing the National Security Agency to spy on Americans, Bush said "If the attempt to write law is likely to expose the nature of the program, I'll resist it." What he is saying is "I'm above the law, goddamnit, and I'll fight every attempt to make me obey the law."

On the Iraq war, Bush declared: "there is an act passed by Congress in 2001 which said that I must have the power to conduct this war using the incidents of war." In other words, we believe there's a constitutional power granted to Presidents, as well as, this case, a statutory power. And I'm intending to use that power -- Congress says, go ahead and conduct the war, we're not going to tell you how to do it.

I worked on Capitol Hill for a number of years and wrote more than my share of legislation. I know a thing or two about how the government is designed to work and the checks and balances that are supposed to be built into the system. I've also read what Congress passed and nothing in that act or the Constitution gives Bush the authority he claims or the power he abuses.  He's not just a liar. He's a god-damned liar.

The arrogance surfaced often as he faced the press. His eyes darted from side to side, blinking rapidly - a textbook example of a maniac on the loose.  His temper threatened to erupt more than once because a couple of reporters actually had the gall to actually question his motives.

After too many years watching this man destroy what once was a great nation, I can only conclude that Bush is insane and his insanity is protected by a brain-dead populace and a power-mad political party that can't possibly accept the sad fact that they helped put a madman in charge of our government and have kept him there.

I believe with all my soul that George W. Bush and the Republicans who rubber-stamp his actions represent a clear and present danger to the peace and security of the United States and all must be removed from office immediately if this nation is to survive.And those are words I never, ever, thought I'd write about a President or other elected officials of this country. And I wish, with all my heart that I did not have to write them now.

But those who love this country and put patriotism above politics must act. America, if it wishes to remain America, must remove the cancer that threatens to destroy it.

© Copyright 2005 Capitol Hill Blue

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February 2, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack