In my links of the day I try to find the links under the wire, articles all the top blogs miss. I'm not afraid to go to Al Jazeera, Kurd Media or to the Pakistan student movement page to bring the real daily news to you.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Links of the day 3/11/2008 China is ARRESTING MONKS!

I had to do an update today. Something I rarely do. But they did it again! WE THE PEOPLE are being bankrupted while they continue to give our money to the b*stards who caused this mess!

They gave them another 200 BILLION DOLLARS! just minutes ago!!!!!

Stocks rebound sharply after Fed move

Investors cheered by central banks' efforts to ease credit crunch

NEW YORK - Wall Street rebounded sharply Tuesday after the Federal Reserve and other central banks said they will pump $200 billion into the financial markets to help ease the strain from the credit crisis. The Dow Jones industrials surged nearly 230 points.

The program is part of a worldwide effort to help struggling banks and mortgage providers. The Fed — acting in concert with the European Central Bank, the Bank of Canada and the Swiss National Bank — agreed to loan banks money in exchange for debt that includes slumping mortgage-backed securities.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3683270/



And after Bush's Daddy went begging to borrow 2 trillion from the Chinese now Bush is sending Cheney to talk to the Saudi prince.

Bush hopes Cheney's Mideast visit will rein in oil prices


WASHINGTON: With oil soaring to a record $108 a barrel amid mounting signs of U.S. economic turbulence, President George W. Bush said Monday that he was sending Vice President Dick Cheney to the Middle East to raise concerns about oil prices and to press Israeli and Palestinian leaders to move toward peace.

Cheney, who leaves Sunday, will meet with King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil producer and the de facto leader of OPEC.

"Obviously, we want to see an increase in production," said Dana Perino, an administration spokeswoman. "The president does want OPEC to take into consideration that its biggest customer, the United States - our economy has weakened and part of the reason is because of higher oil prices. We think that more supply would help, and I don't anticipate that the vice president would have any other message than that one."

The Bush administration is struggling to revive an American economy that is sagging under the weight of a housing slump, rising prices and a credit crisis, and it has had little luck persuading OPEC to increase production levels.

At a meeting Wednesday in Vienna, OPEC rebuffed a Bush statement two days earlier calling for increased output.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/03/10/mideast/cheney.php

Sorry to be posting so late today but I been doing research for a couple of people who pay me peanuts. One day I hope to actually make a real living doing internet searches for someone will pay me what I am worth. But for now I’m still pretty much doing it for free.

I’m not much of a writer but I’m crazy about finding links.

I am not going to post one article about New York’s Governor Spitzer. If 2 U.S. Senators have sex outside their marriage and retain their seats then so can Spitzer. I am sick of democrats being driven from their jobs by the MSM.

Did Senator Vitter not pay for sex?

Was Senator Craig not convicted too?

While it appears Spitzer was targeted by the FBI because he was spending his own money you can read about the whole sorted thing over at

http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Lawyer_questions_whether_Spitzer_was_set_0311.html .

Raw Story in my opinion will have the best up to date information on the FBI targeting another Democrat.

….and whatever became of HOOKERGATE?

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/cats/hookergate/

By now you’ve heard about the CBO report that we are spending 12 billion a month in Iraq. Wow.

Studies: Iraq Costs US $12B Per Month

The flow of blood may be ebbing, but the flood of money into the Iraq war is steadily rising, new analyses show. In 2008, its sixth year, the war will cost approximately $12 billion a month, triple the "burn" rate of its earliest years, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and co-author Linda J. Bilmes report in a new book.

Beyond 2008, working with "best-case" and "realistic-moderate" scenarios, they project the Iraq and Afghan wars, including long-term U.S. military occupations of those countries, will cost the U.S. budget between $1.7 trillion and $2.7 trillion — or more — by 2017.

Interest on money borrowed to pay those costs could alone add $816 billion to that bottom line, they say.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has done its own projections and comes in lower, forecasting a cumulative cost by 2017 of $1.2 trillion to $1.7 trillion for the two wars, with Iraq generally accounting for three-quarters of the costs.

Variations in such estimates stem from the sliding scales of assumptions, scenarios and budget items that are counted. But whatever the estimate, the cost will be huge, the auditors of the Government Accountability Office say.

In a Jan. 30 report to Congress, the GAO observed that the U.S. will be committing "significant" future resources to the wars, "requiring decision makers to consider difficult trade-offs as the nation faces an increasing long-range fiscal challenge."

These numbers don't include the war's cost to the rest of the world. In Iraq itself, the 2003 U.S.-led invasion — with its devastating air bombardments — and the looting and arson that followed, severely damaged electricity and other utilities, the oil industry, countless factories, hospitals, schools and other underpinnings of an economy.

No one has tried to calculate the economic damage done to Iraq, said spokesman Niels Buenemann of the International Monetary Fund, which closely tracks national economies. But millions of Iraqis have been left without jobs, and hundreds of thousands of professionals, managers and other middle-class citizens have fled the country.

In their book, "The Three Trillion Dollar War," Stiglitz, of Columbia University, and Bilmes, of Harvard, report the two wars will have cost the U.S. budget $845 billion in 2007 dollars by next Sept. 30, end of fiscal year 2008, assuming Congress fully funds Bush administration requests. That count

Continued

http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2008/03/09/1354666-studies-iraq-costs-us-12b-per-month

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Yesterday after I posted my blog 5 U.S. Soldiers were killed, then a few hours later 3 more.

A female suicide bomber also killed a Sunni Sheik including his 5 year old niece. What makes a woman kill another woman’s child? I cannot begin to imagine the level of hate inside a women that would drive her to blow herself up just to kill 2 men and 1 little child.

8 U.S. troops, 14 Iraqis die in wave of insurgent bombings

By Hannah Allam and Yasseen Taha | McClatchy Newspapers

Posted on Monday, March 10, 2008

BAGHDAD — Bombers unleashed a wave of explosions in Baghdad and north of the capital Monday, including two attacks that killed eight U.S. service members in the deadliest day for the military this year, American and Iraqi authorities said.

The other blasts targeted Iraqi security forces, militias and civilians, hitting a police station, a hotel, a busy traffic intersection and near a mosque and a hospital.

The combined death toll of at least 22 included 14 Iraqi casualties, on the heels of twin bombings that killed nearly 70 people last Thursday in a Baghdad shopping district, indicated that Sunni Muslim insurgents are reasserting their presence at a time when large-scale attacks had dipped to record lows, Iraqi officials said.

Authorities couldn't say for certain whether any of Monday's bombings were coordinated.

Two of the explosions occurred in militia-controlled Shiite Muslim districts, signaling that bombers still can strike in the heart of Mahdi Army territory. Another blast ripped through the front gate of a hotel in the northern city of Sulaimaniyah in the autonomous Kurdish region, which had been among the safest places in Iraq.

"The terrorists want to send a message to the Kurdistan region and to all those concerned that they can make big security breaches at any time, in any place they want," said Suzan Shihab, a Kurdish member of parliament who represents Sulaimaniyah.

In the worst attack on U.S. forces in Baghdad in nearly a year, five American service members died after a suicide bomber approached their foot patrol and detonated an explosives vest in the once-upscale central Baghdad neighborhood of Mansour, according to the U.S. command in Baghdad.

Four soldiers were killed at the scene and another later died from his wounds, the military said in a statement. Three more American soldiers and an Iraqi interpreter were wounded.

"These soldiers were walking in the neighborhood conducting a presence patrol. They were among the Iraqi people we have sworn to protect, where they live, work and gather," said Lt. Col. Steve Stover, a spokesman for the U.S. military in Baghdad.

Three other American soldiers and an interpreter were killed Monday by a homemade bomb — what the military calls an improvised explosive device — in the town of Balad Ruz in the Diyala province northwest of Baghdad.

Continued

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/iraq/story/29933.html

McClatchy is now keeping a Daily Violence log for Iraq. >SIGH<

Recent Daily Violence Headlines

· Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq-Monday 10 March 2008

· Round-up of Daily Violence - Sunday 9 March 2008

· Round-up of Daily violence in Iraq - Saturday 8 March 2008

· Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq-Friday 7 March 2008

· Round-up of Daily Violence - Thursday 6 March 2008


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Police say a female suicide bomber hits Iraq's Diyala province, killing sheik, 2 others

BRADLEY BROOKS, Associated Press Writer

March 10, 2008 3:57 AM

BAGHDAD (AP) - A female suicide bomber on Monday killed the head of a local group of Sunni fighters northeast of Baghdad who had turned against al-Qaida insurgents, the leader's brother and a provincial police official said.

Sheik Thaeir Ghadhban al-Karkhi, his 5-year-old niece and a security guard were killed in the blast in Diyala province, where violence has persisted despite drops in other parts of Iraq.

Duraid Mahmoud, the sheik's brother, told The Associated Press he witnessed the attack inside his brother's home. A provincial police official, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to release the information, confirmed the attack.

The woman, wearing an explosives belt, entered al-Karkhi's home in the predominantly Sunni town of Kanaan about east of Baqouba.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. But al-Qaida in Iraq has been targeting fellow Sunni Arabs who have taken up arms against the militants and joined the so-called awakening councils like the one al-Karkhi led.

The councils are made up of U.S.-backed former insurgents who have risen up against the brutality and strict Islamic codes of conduct al-Qaida was trying to impose on local populations.

The U.S. military said it was looking into the incident but did not immediately have any details.

Mahmoud said the bomber had visited the sheik's house on Sunday, claiming that her husband had been kidnapped and asking for help. Mahmoud said his brother told the woman to return Monday.

''She came back this morning and nobody checked her. She had an appointment with the sheik and the guards told her to go and knock on his door,'' Mahmoud said.

The woman was ushered into the house and blew herself up once she got close to the sheik, Mahmoud said. He said the sheik's 5-year-old niece and a security guard were also killed. The girl was the daughter of one of al-Karkhi's other brothers.

The police official confirmed a child and a security guard were killed, along with the sheik. At least two other people were wounded.

Female suicide bombers have been involved in at least 19 attacks or attempted attacks since the war began, including the grisly bombings of two pet markets in Baghdad that killed nearly 100 people on Feb. 1.

A female suicide bomber last struck in a Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad on Feb. 17, detonating herself after soldiers fired three bullets at her. Causalities were disputed in that attack, with Iraqi officials saying four people were killed, while the U.S. military said only the bomber died.

In southern Iraq, the body of a doctor who was kidnapped on Sunday was found.

Continued

http://www.newspress.com/Top/Article/article.jsp?Section=WORLD&ID=565260203713758353


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Troop cut in doubt as British cost of wars in Iraq, Afghanistan doubles

JILL LAWLESS
Associated Press Writer

LONDON — The British government may not meet its promise to slash troop levels in Iraq to 2,500 in the next few months, defense officials indicated Tuesday.

A report, meanwhile, revealed that the cost for Britain of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan almost doubled in the last year to more than $6 billion.

In October, Prime Minister Gordon Brown promised to cut the number of British troops in Iraq to 2,500 — half the level at the time. Officials said then that the cut would be completed by mid-2008.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Defense said officials hoped to reduce troop numbers "over the coming months," but gave no figure and no timetable.

A spokesman said the size of the cut would be decided on the advice of military commanders and "entirely based on conditions on the ground."

"No decisions have been made regarding troop reductions or timing," he told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity in keeping with government policy.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Oct. 8, Brown said that, "subject to conditions on the ground, we plan, from next spring, to reduce force numbers in southern Iraq to a figure of 2,500."

The House of Commons Defense Committee said Monday that spending on campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan for the current financial year would be just under $6.6 billion, a 94 percent increase on last year.

Costs have been rising despite a reduction in troop numbers in Iraq from 7,200 two years ago to about 4,100 today. The number of troops in Afghanistan has risen by about the same amount — from 5,000 in 2006 to 7,800 now.

The government attributed the increase to the need to purchase new equipment to protect troops against a changing insurgent threat.

"The threat changes, it constantly changes. The enemy learns and changes the threat to our people. We have to stay ahead of the game as best we can and it is not cheap," Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth told the British Broadcasting Corp.

But opposition politicians said the figures revealed that the two military campaigns have been underfunded for years.

Last month, the Commons Defense Committee said the military was so overstretched by extended warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan that its performance and morale were deteriorating.

"We have been complaining for a long time that these operations are under-resourced," said Conservative defense spokesman Liam Fox. "It appears that this is something the government seems to belatedly recognize only now."

The decision of Brown's predecessor Tony Blair to commit British troops to the 2003 invasion of Iraq was deeply unpopular and overshadowed his final years in power.

British casualties in Iraq have declined since troops withdrew late last year from the southern city of Basra to an airport garrison on the city's edge where their focus is training Iraqi forces.

But British forces in Afghanistan, based in southern Helmand province, have seen heavy fighting with a resurgent Taliban.

A total of 175 British soldiers have died in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion, while 89 have died in Afghanistan.

http://ap.thehollandsentinel.net/pstories/world/20080311/255815769.shtml


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Funny how our MSM knows it all. Hey MSNBC try reading the article after this one you guys wrote. Where does our MSM get their information? Musharrif?

Suicide bombers kill 20 in eastern Pakistan

Twin blasts target anti-terrorist police unit and upscale neighborhood

updated 2 hours, 55 minutes ago

LAHORE, Pakistan - Massive suicide bombs ripped through a police headquarters and a house on Tuesday, killing at least 20 people and deepening Pakistan's security crisis as a wave of Islamic militancy sweeps the country.

The two blasts happened about 15 minutes apart in different districts of the eastern city of Lahore. The first tore the facade from the Federal Investigation Agency building as staff were beginning their working day. It also damaged scores of homes in the neighborhood.

City police chief Malik Mohammed Iqbal said an explosive-packed car was driven into a parking lot and detonated next to the building -- which houses a department of the federal police's anti-terrorism unit -- knocking out the walls of several offices and part of a stairwell.

Pervez Malik, another city police official, said 17 people were killed and another 165 were wounded.

"It is the deadliest attack I ever saw," Iqbal said.

The second explosion shattered the office of an advertising agency in a residential neighborhood, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) away. Mohammed Afzal, another city police official, said three people were killed there, including two children of a gardener.

Iqbal said both blasts were suicide attacks.

Taliban-linked violence


The blasts come amid a spate of violence that authorities are blaming on Taliban and al-Qaida-linked militants, spreading beyond their strongholds along the Afghan border, and as the victors of last month's elections prepare to form a new government.


The party of Nawaz Sharif, which is set to be the junior partner in the incoming coalition, blamed military operations ordered by U.S.-backed President Pervez Musharraf for destabilizing the country and called for him to resign.

"He has carried out indiscriminate operations in the tribal areas that have opened up new fault lines in Pakistani society," party spokesman Ahsan Iqbal said.

Musharraf condemned the "savage" bombings and said they "cannot deter" the government's resolve to fight the scourge of terrorism "with full force," according to a statement carried by the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan.

Private TV footage shot shortly after the first blast showed flames still leaping from the tangle of bricks, wrecked vehicles and even a fallen tree next to the police building, located near a key city center intersection.

Paramedics carried a bloodied body on a stretcher from the building, while volunteers sifted through the rubble with bare hands, apparently searching for survivors.

'Hell let loose'
Scores of nearby houses sustained major damage. Gates and doors were torn off, windows blown in and air conditioners dislodged and left in the street.

"It was like hell let loose on us," said homeowner Fazal Muqeem, 42. Three of his family members were slightly hurt by fallen crockery and broken glass.

Uzair Ahmed, a watchman guarding a bungalow, said he heard a deafening boom and something hit him in the head and face.

"I rushed out in panic ... Everybody was running and crying. Smoke was all around and that was it. I only came to my senses in the hospital," Ahmed, his head bandaged, said from his hospital bed.

The second attack hit an advertising agency at a house in the upscale Model Town neighborhood.

Continued

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23568832


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From Independent Pakistani Student Information Initiative.

Aftermath of a proxy war

Nauman Qaiser
(Courtesy DAWN Letters)


EVERY conscientious and concerned Pakistani would be alarmed at the recent increase in suicide bombings aimed at high government officials and personnel of law-enforcement agencies, wherein innocent civilians become unwilling victim.

This state of indiscriminate and wholesale brutality on the part of terrorists has made an ordinary citizen suspicious about the government’s will and ability to provide him security of person and property. In this regard, the government’s policies, specially those related to the so-called war on terror, have continuously been grilled by the intelligentsia.

Tuesday’s bomb blasts – which the authorities have hurriedly called a suicide attack — at the Pakistan Navy War College, Lahore; the successful suicide attack on the surgeon-general of the Pakistan Army; the carnage seen at the funeral of a deputy superintendent of police, who himself was a victim of one such attack; the gruesome butchery of the policemen deployed to ‘guard’ the lawyers’ rally in Lahore; and several other gory incidents of the similar nature testify to the fact that the so-called war on terror being fought by Pakistan has become increasingly unpopular, especially in the Frontier region, which ‘hosts’ this war, and from where most of these suicide bombers purportedly hail.

The government may be hinting at the involvement of a foreign hand with particular reference to India, but all evidence, empirical as well as nominal, support the theory that the terrorism being faced by Pakistan is home-grown. Besides rampant poverty and illiteracy, it’s the desperation after a dear one is brutally killed by a ‘brother’ soldier that forces these suicide bombers to indiscriminately blow up the fellow citizens.

Had President Musharraf declined to join this war, Pakistan would not have been facing such macabre consequences which threaten to tear its very fabric apart. In any case, the threat to “bomb Pakistan to the Stone Age”, which was only meant to bring Pakistan into compliance, would definitely not have materialised, given, inter alia, the nuclear deterrence we possess.

However, what the Americans would have found difficult to achieve, the unabated suicidal bombings and the resulting lawlessness, which are direct the consequence of the war we are fighting for the Americans, would definitely be able to accomplish. That is to say that if necessary measures are not taken forthwith to curtail these terrorist acts, Pakistan would definitely be going towards bombing itself to the ‘Stone Age’. The government, therefore, should reconsider its role in the ‘war on terror’, in which Pakistan’s services have not even been acknowledged as day in and day out our ‘allies’ in the West repeat the mantra of ‘to do more’. The only solution to the current crisis is pulling the Army out of the estranged Frontier regions, without which the so-far unsuccessful political dialogue is not possible.

I do not buy the idea of trying both the stick and the carrot at the same time; to try the carrots one must put the stick in the cupboard.

In this ‘fight’ between the terrorists and the government, an ordinary citizen of Pakistan is the victim. Like the political uncertainty surrounding the country for the last one or so year, this continuing sense of insecurity along with the lack of availability of basic amenities of life brought the patience of the masses to the brim, as they gave their verdict in the general election against the Musharraf regime.

Now the ball is in the court of the new government, which should better take cognizance of the aspiration of the ordinary citizens or else be prepared to be consigned to the dustbin of history.

http://pakistanmartiallaw.blogspot.com/2008/03/aftermath-of-proxy-war.html


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Like Myanmar China has now stooped to arresting Monks. I for one will not be watching the summer Olympics on television. I am calling for a boycott of the games.

The Olympic games were for free men who only spoke Greek. They may have dropped the speaking Greek only part but the so called Olympic Committee has allowed countries to participate even though their people are not free. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Olympic_Games

China needs to do a lot of work on human rights before I will except them into the world community.

It’s time the people of Tibet were set free by China and the Dalai Lama returned to his people.



China arrests protesting monks

China has said that it quashed a protest by Buddhist monks in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, amid reports that dozens were arrested for marking the anniversary of an uprising against Chinese rule.

The protest has provoked Beijing to warn that it will strike hard "against all illegal, criminal activities" that threaten social stability.

Qin Gang, a foreign ministry spokesman, told reporters on Tuesday: "Yesterday afternoon some monks in Lhasa, abetted by a small handful of people, did some illegal things. "As for how to deal with these detained Tibetans, they have been dealt with according to the law," he said.

However, Gang declined to comment on their fate.

On Monday, 300 monks set out from Drepung monastery on the outskirts of Lhasa to the city centre, according to a report by Radio Free Asia, a US-funded broadcaster.

The report said between 50 and 60 marchers were arrested when police and paramilitary forces prevented the protest from growing by blocking roads and monasteries around Lhasa.

The march coincided with the 49th anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet.

Marchers defy ban

Separately on Tuesday about 100 Tibetan refugees in India vowed to defy a police ban and march to Tibet.

On Monday they set off from the town of Dharamsala, home to the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader.

But on Monday evening Indian police said the marchers were banned from leaving the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh state, until further notice.

On Tuesday they continued to march as planned and said they expected to reach the borders of the district by Thursday evening.

Tsewang Rigzin, president of the Tibetan Youth Congress, said: "Tibetan refugees have the right to return to Tibet.

"This is the first major obstacle we are facing, but we remain committed to marching." Atul Fulzele, a Kangra police superintendent, told Reuters news agency he had received orders from the central government to restrain the marchers.

As the Olympics approach, Tibetans are trying to reinvigorate their freedom movement and protest against what they see as China's illegal occupation of their homeland.

The protests marked the anniversary of a 1959 uprising in Tibet against Chinese rule, which was crushed by the People's Liberation Army.

The Dalai Lama last week rejected a Chinese accusation that he was trying to sabotage the Olympics, saying he supports Beijing's right to host the games.

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/5478F387-4079-4D3D-BFAB-6ABA5C11CFED.htm


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See my point in this next article. China lies about terror threats just so it can suppress their people.

China 'falsified' terror plots

An exiled leader of China's minority Uighur community has accused Chinese officials of fabricating "terror plots" against the Beijing Olympics so it can use them as an excuse to crack down on her community.

"It's completely untrue. All these allegations are falsified," Rebiya Kadeer, now living in the US, told the AFP news agency on Monday.

"It seems that the Chinese government has one goal, which is to create this scenario of terrorism, and produce a terrorist action itself so that it can blame the Uighur people," the head of the Uyghur American Association said.

On Sunday Chinese officials announced that they had foiled two alleged plots originating in the vast western region Xinjiang, home of the Muslim Uighur community, but they revealed very few details.

Wang Lequan, the Communist party chief in Xinjiang, said that a January raid on "terrorists" in which two suspects were killed and 15 arrested, had foiled a plan "specifically to sabotage the staging of the Beijing Olympics" in August.

Officials said the other alleged plot involved passengers attempting to crash a Chinese airliner flying from Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, to Beijing on Friday.

The aircraft was diverted to the city of Lanzhou in Gansu province, where "suspicious liquids" were removed, China's civil aviation authority said.

Continued

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/3646DB06-E598-49CC-BF81-9F8A1E269D0E.htm


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Exhaustive' Pentagon-sponsored study finds no Saddam-Qaeda link

Mike Sheehan
Published: Monday March 10, 2008

After reviewing hundreds of thousands of captured Iraqi documents, a Pentagon-sponsored review has found no evidence of operational links between Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein and the al-Qaeda terror network, a McClatchy article reports.

The "exhaustive" study found that Saddam Hussein did provide some support to other terrorist groups but, as Warren Strobel writes for McClatchy, "his security services were directed primarily against Iraqi exiles, Shiite Muslims, Kurds and others he considered enemies of his regime."

Strobel reiterates that the new study "found no documents indicating a 'direct operational link' between Hussein's Iraq and al Qaida before the invasion," according to an unnamed US official. The study is due to Congress and for general release by midweek.

As is well known, President George W. Bush and his administration freely connected Saddam and al-Qaeda as a key pretense for the invasion of Iraq after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. Polls indicated that a large majority of Americans believed the president's assertion.

In the time since then, the Saddam/al-Qaeda tie has been criticized and deconstructed in the press and blogosphere and by study panels, but the upcoming Pentagon report promises to be a particularly stark and thorough refutation of one of the primary Bush administration arguments for the invasion of Iraq. The subsequent war has come at the cost of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, nearly 4,000 US troop deaths, and some half a trillion US dollars and counting.

Bush and his staff still tie Saddam's Iraq and al-Qaeda, despite previously released documents and reports indicating the same findings as the forthcoming extensive review. As recently as last week, Vice President Dick Cheney again asserted a link between the Iraqi dictator and the terror network.

Further excerpts from Strobel's article for McClatchy, available in full at this link, follow...

#

Continued and this is a must finish reading article.

http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Exhaustive_Pentagonsponsored_review_finds_no_link_0310.html


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Derivatives the new 'ticking bomb' Buffett and Gross warn: $516 trillion bubble is a disaster waiting to happen

By Paul B. Farrell,

MarketWatch Last update: 7:31 p.m. EDT March 10, 2008

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. (MarketWatch) -- "Charlie and I believe Berkshire should be a fortress of financial strength" wrote Warren Buffett. That was five years before the subprime-credit meltdown.

"We try to be alert to any sort of mega-catastrophe risk, and that posture may make us unduly appreciative about the burgeoning quantities of long-term derivatives contracts and the massive amount of uncollateralized receivables that are growing alongside. In our view, however, derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that, while now latent, are potentially lethal."

That warning was in Buffett's 2002 letter to Berkshire shareholders. He saw a future that many others chose to ignore. The Iraq war build-up was at a fever-pitch. The imagery of WMDs and a mushroom cloud fresh in his mind.

Also fresh on Buffett's mind: His acquisition of General Re four years earlier, about the time the Long-Term Capital Management hedge fund almost killed the global monetary system. How? This is crucial: LTCM nearly killed the system with a relatively small $5 billion trading loss. Peanuts compared with the hundreds of billions of dollars of subprime-credit write-offs now making Wall Street's big shots look like amateurs.

Buffett tried to sell off Gen Re's derivatives group. No buyers. Unwinding it was costly, but led to his warning that derivatives are a "financial weapon of mass destruction." That was 2002.

Derivatives bubble explodes five times bigger in five years

Wall Street didn't listen to Buffett. Derivatives grew into a massive bubble, from about $100 trillion to $516 trillion by 2007. The new derivatives bubble was fueled by five key economic and political trends:

Continued

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/derivatives-new-ticking-time-bomb/story.aspx?guid=%7BB9E54A5D%2D4796%2D4D0D%2DAC9E%2DD9124B59D436%7D&dist=TNMostRead

And….what are the Greenspan zombies trying to sell us?

In what I think is the most ridicules studies I’ve ever read UCLA says there is no recession. It must have been written by men who think Allen Greenspan is a God and speaking bad about God could get you fired.

Now do we believe these book learned bozo’s about the economy or do we believe a man like Warren Buffet? I will listen to Buffet.

Economists See US Avoiding Recession

Mar 11, 7:36 AM (ET)

By ALEX VEIGA

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The U.S. economy will suffer as the slumping housing market eats away at job creation and consumer spending, but the nation should avoid slipping into a recession this year, according to a new economic report.

A recession could still happen though, if the credit crisis that has stifled the housing market deepens, preventing consumers from buying big-ticket items like cars and businesses from spending on equipment, according to the quarterly Anderson Forecast by the University of California at Los Angeles.

"We don't see that happening," said Edward Leamer, director and co-author of the forecast released Tuesday. "This is a tough call, but I will be very surprised if this thing actually precipitates into recession."

The forecast anticipates job growth remaining sluggish in 2008, with the U.S. unemployment rate rising to 5.5 percent by the end of the year. The February rate was 4.8 percent.

The forecast expects the economy to post gross domestic product growth of about 1.5 percent this year, rising to about 3 percent growth in 2009. GDP grew 2.2 percent in 2007, the weakest showing in five years.

Continue reading this slop if you must.

http://apnews.myway.com//article/20080311/D8VB6UJ80.html




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On the 13th Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL), will be holding a hearing in which several military honcho’s will be testifying. I wasn’t able to find out much about this hearing but it will be about appropriations for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

…and after the CBO released a report yesterday said we are spending 12 BILLION a month it just might be a very interesting hearing to watch on cspan if they show it live on cspan 1 or 2. If they show it on cspan 3 most of us will miss it unless you go to www.c-span.org and stream it.

Check c-spans listings, they might re-air it over the week-end.


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