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.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Links of the Day 3/26/2008 One Tick Closer to Midnight Bend Over and Kiss Your Butt Good-Bye

No Day Is A Good Day To Die.

Toward True Secuirty Report

Doomsday Clock continues to tick away.

17 January 2007

This deteriorating state of global affairs leads the Board of Directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists--in consultation with a Board of Sponsors that includes 18 Nobel laureates--to move the minute hand of the “Doomsday Clock” from seven to five minutes to midnight.

One Tick Closer to Midnight…..
happened last weekend when our Vice President Dick Cheney went to Saudi Arabia. Read what a friend of mine says about that visit. Then go to your phone and call your Senator and House rep and ask them WTF is going on!

The United States finally elected a bunch of insane people. Our president is a moron a marionette having his strings pulled by Dick Cheney. Bush is going to allow “Tricky Dick” to press the red button. Not sure who the insane people are I’m speaking of?

go watch this. and this

Yes Chris is right we are one tick closer to Midnight and all the praying in the world is not going to stop it. If WE THE PEOPLE do not do something now……

I don’t even want to think about what is going to happen.

This is where you go to contact your Senators you have 2

This is where you go to find your House Representative.

Worried Yet? Saudis Prepare for "Sudden Nuclear Hazards" After Cheney Visit

Written by Chris Floyd Sunday, 23 March 2008

I. One Tick Closer to Midnight
Last Friday, Dick Cheney was in Saudi Arabia for high-level meetings with the Saudi king and his ministers. On Saturday, it was revealed that the Saudi Shura Council -- the elite group that implements the decisions of the autocratic inner circle -- is preparing "national plans to deal with any sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards that may affect the kingdom following experts' warnings of possible attacks on Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactors," one of the kingdom's leading newspapers, Okaz, reports. The German-based dpa news service relayed the paper's story.

Simple prudence -- or ominous timing? We noted here last week that an American attack on Iran was far more likely -- and more imminent -- than most people suspect. We pointed to the mountain of evidence for this case gathered by scholar William R. Polk, one of the top aides to John Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and to other indicators of impending war. The story by Okaz -- which would not have appeared in the tightly controlled dictatorship without approval from the top -- is yet another, very weighty piece of evidence laid in the scales toward a new, horrendous conflict.

We don't know what the Saudis told Cheney in private -- or even more to the point, what he told them. But the release of this story now, just after his departure, would seem to be a clear indication that the Saudis have good reason to fear a looming attack on Iran's nuclear sites and are actively preparing for it.

II. A Nuclear Epiphany in Iran?
And they certainly should be bracing themselves. A U.S. attack on Iran will come suddenly, and if it is indeed aimed at destroying Iran's nuclear capabilities -- a "threat" being talked up again with new urgency by both Cheney and Bush lately -- it has the potential for unimaginable consequences. As we noted here in a previous piece:

Twelve hours. One circuit of the sun from horizon to horizon, one course of the moon from dusk to dawn. What was once a natural measurement for the daily round of human life is now a doom-laden interval between the voicing of an autocrat's brutal whim and the infliction of mass annihilation halfway around the world.

Twelve hours is the maximum time necessary for American bombers to gear up and launch an unprovoked sneak attack – a Pearl Harbor in reverse – against Iran, the Washington Post reports. The plan for this "global strike," which includes a very viable "nuclear option," was approved months ago, and is now in operation. The planes are already on continuous alert, making "nuclear delivery" practice runs along the Iranian border, as Sy Hersh reports in the New Yorker, and waiting only for the signal from President George W. Bush to drop their payloads of conventional and nuclear weapons on some 400 targets spread throughout the condemned land.

And when this attack comes – either as a stand-alone "knock-out blow" or else as the precusor to a full-scale, regime-changing invasion, like the earlier aggression in Iraq – there will be no warning, no declaration of war, no hearings, no public debate. The already issued orders governing the operation put the decision solely in the hands of the president: he picks up the phone, he says, "Go" – and in twelve hours' time, up to a million Iranians could be dead.

This potential death toll is not pacificist hyperbole; it comes from a National Academy of Sciences study sponsored by the Pentagon itself, as The Progressive reports. (Although Bush's military brass like to peddle the public lie that "we don't do body counts" of the enemy, in reality, like all good businessmen they keep precise accounts of their production outputs: i.e., corpses.) The Pentagon's NAS study calibrated the kill-rate from "bunker-busting" tactical nukes used to take out underground facilities – such as those which house much of Iran's nuclear power program.

Another simulation by scientists, using Pentagon-devised software, was even more specific, measuring the aftermath of a "limited" nuclear attack on the main Iranian underground site in Esfahan, the magazine reports. This small expansion of the Pentagon franchise would result in stellar production figures: three million people killed by radiation in just two weeks, and 35 million people exposed to dangerous levels of cancer-causing radiation in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Bush has about 50 nuclear "earth-penetrating weapons" at his disposal, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Nor is the idea of a nuclear strike on Iran mere "liberal paranoia." Bush himself pointedly refused to take the nuclear option "off the table" this week. But what's more, Bush has made the use of nuclear weapons a centerpiece of his "National Security Strategy of the United States," issued last month, The Progressive notes. While reaffirming the criminal principle of "pre-emptive" attacks on perceived enemies which may or may not be threatening America with weapons they may or may not possess, Bush declared that "safe, credible and reliable nuclear forces continue to play a critical role" in the "offensive strike systems" that are now a key part of America's "deterrence."

In the depraved jargon of atomic warmongering, a "credible" nuclear force is one that can and will be used in the course of ordinary military operations. It is no longer to be regarded as a sacred taboo. This has long been the dream of the Pentagon's "nuclear priesthood" and its acolytes, going back to the days of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. For decades, a strong faction within the American power structure has been afflicted with a perverted craving to unleash these weapons once more. An almost sexual frustration can be discerned in their laments as time and again, in crisis after crisis, their counsels for "going nuclear" were rejected – often at the very last moment. To justify their abberant desire, they have relentlessly demonized an ever-changing array of "enemies," painting each one as an imminent, overwhelming threat, led by "madmen" in thrall to pure evil, impervious to reason, fit only for destruction. Evidence for the "threat" is invariably exaggerated, manipulated, even manufactured; this ritual cycle has been enacted over and over, leading to many wars – but never to that ultimate, orgasmic release.

Now this paranoid sect has at last seized the commanding heights of American power...they have found a most eager disciple in the peevish dullard strutting in the Oval Office. Under their sinister tutelage, Bush has eviscerated 40 years' worth of arms control treaties; officially "normalized" the use of nuclear weapons, even against non-nuclear states; rewarded outlaw proliferators like India, Israel and Pakistan; and is now destroying the last and most effective restraint on the spread of nuclear weapons: the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The treaty guarantees its signatories – such as Iran – the right to establish nuclear power programs in exchange for rigorous international inspections. But Bush has arbitrarily decided that Iran – whose nuclear program undergone perhaps the most extensive inspection process in history – must end its lawful activities. Why? Because the country is led by "madmen" in thrall to pure evil, impervious to reason, who one day may or may not threaten America with weapons they may or may not have....

So the NPT is dead. As with the Geneva Conventions and the U.S. Constitution, it now means only what Bush says it means. Force of arms, not rule of law, is the new world order. The attack on Iran is coming...The obvious, murderous insanity of such a move in no way precludes its implementation by this gang – as their invasion of Iraq clearly shows.

The nuclear sectarians have waited decades for this moment. Such a chance may never come again. Will they let it pass, when with just a word, in just twelve hours, they can see their god rising in a pillar of fire over Persia?

I’m posting this because I know some of you did not click on the link provided by Chris.

After Saudi oil talks, Cheney to Israel for peace effort

4 days ago

RIYADH (AFP) — US Vice President Dick Cheney was poised to visit Israel on Saturday to promote Middle East peace and highlight the US ally's "right to defend itself" after Saudi talks on sky-high oil prices, aides said.

Cheney met with Saudi King Abdullah on his horse farm Friday for about four and a half hours, and also sat down with Oil Minister Ali al-Nuaimi, amid rising election-year anger among US voters about soaring energy costs.

They discussed "what could be done shorter term, but probably more about what's necessary to do over the medium and longer term," a senior US official told reporters Saturday on condition of anonymity.

It was not clear whether Cheney had pushed his long-time friend -- aides say they grew close during the 1991 Gulf War when Cheney was defense secretary -- to increase production in a bid to lower record oil prices.

But there was "a lot of commonality in their assessment about the structural problems confronted by the global energy market now, and some discussion of probably the way forward," said the official.

Cheney and his host also discussed "Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, energy, Israeli-Palestinian issues, some bilateral questions before us," the official said.

"I can't tell you much about the conversations themselves, these are especially confidential and private conversations," the official said as Cheney attended a classified briefing at the US embassy.

Later, Cheney was to head for Jerusalem and a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, followed by a stop Sunday in the West Bank for talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and prime minister Salam Fayyad.

The US vice president was to focus in Israel on "ways forward in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and Israel's right to defend itself against terrorism and protect its citizenry," said spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride.

In Ramallah, he was to "reaffirm the president's commitment to the current efforts towards the two-state solution and efforts to strengthen Palestinian institutions," said McBride.

The vice president was in Riyadh on a nine-day trip that has included surprise stops in Iraq and Afghanistan and a visit to Oman. He was scheduled to visit Turkey after his Middle East peace push.

Cheney's visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories aimed to prop up faltering peace efforts weeks before US President George W. Bush returns to the region in May for the 60th anniversary of the modern state of Israel.

Among the challenges on his agenda in Jerusalem and Ramallah: What to do about the Gaza Strip, controlled by the Palestinian militant group Hamas and under a tough Israeli blockade.

Abbas and Hamas -- which Washington brands a terrorist organization and refuses to engage directly -- have been bitterly divided since the group drove Abbas's forces from Gaza in June and took control over the territory.

The rivalry has been a key factor in the stalemate on Middle East peace talks since a November US-backed conference in Annapolis, where a deal to revive the negotiations after a seven-year freeze called for Abbas to tighten security and for Israel to freeze settlements.

The talks have made almost no progress, with the Palestinians accusing Israel of pressing ahead with several settlement projects and Israel charging that the Palestinians are not doing enough to rein in militants.

It is this little Nuke Cheney is going to use on the people of Iran. I alerted people to this like flash made by the Union of Concerned Scientists a few years ago, now I give it to you.

The Nuclear Bunker Buster
Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator

This animation depicts a proposed weapon with a one megaton yield. The funding for this weapon was cut in 2005 defense appropriations. However, the United States still has a B61-11 nuclear 'bunker buster' in its arsenal which has a 400 kiloton yield, which could still cause hundreds of thousands of deaths and spread radiation to other countries.

Now go watch the flash-We are so screwed.

Eric Blumrich also has a couple of flash animations for you

Leaders Bush’s mini nukes

Your tax dollars at work Poisonous Legacy

I do not believe for one second the DOD stopped building the RNEP just because congress took away the money. Complex 2030 does exist.
New & proposed U.S. nuclear weapons
Complex 2030: DOE's Misguided Plan to Rebuild the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex

We all know billions and billions of dollars have poured into the Department of Defense and 9 billion is missing. Let me tell you the DOD does not lose money. And since the GOP refused to hold hearings on that missing money and Bush used a signing statement to stop Senators Clair McCaskill and Jim Webb from holding a new Truman Commission on fraud and the War Profiteers the DOD got away from being found out.

Mistake my arse!

China protests US missile fuse flub

China Protests US Military's Mistaken Delivery to Taiwan of Missile Fuses

AP News

Mar 26, 2008 06:09 EST

China on Wednesday strongly protested the U.S. military's mistaken delivery to Taiwan of intercontinental ballistic missile electrical fuses, demanding an investigation and steps to "eliminate the negative effects and disastrous consequences."

In a statement posted on the ministry's Web site, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said China had brought a "serious representation" to Washington and expressed "strong displeasure" over the error.

The U.S. Defense Department said Tuesday that the Air Force had mistakenly shipped to Taiwan four electrical fuses designed for use on intercontinental ballistic missiles. The fuses have since been recovered and an investigation launched.

While the shipment did not include nuclear materials, the error is particularly sensitive because Beijing vehemently opposes U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, the self-governed island that China considers its own territory. Four of the cone-shaped fuses were shipped to Taiwanese officials in fall 2006 instead of the helicopter batteries they had ordered.

"We ... demand the U.S. side thoroughly investigate this matter, and report to China in a timely matter the details of the situation and eliminate the negative effects and disastrous consequences created by this incident," the statement said.

Qin again demanded an end to such weapons sales and military-to-military contacts between Washington and Taipei in order to "avoid damaging peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the healthy development of China-U.S. relations."

Now do you understand what is going to happen?

Now will you contact your bozo’s in DC? I know I will. Right now they are on spring break so you might want to go down to their local office if you can. Or use the links I post above.

U.S. Wants British 'Surge' into Southern Iraq

Middle East Online. Posted March 25, 2008.

Basra is the scene of intense fighting.

LONDON - The U.S. plans to urge Britain to launch a "surge" in Basra to combat increasing insurgency in the southern Iraqi region, the Sunday Mirror newspaper reported.

Britain, which has around 4,100 troops in Iraq, transferred control to Iraqi forces in December last year but it could now be asked to step up its role again amid top-level concern about the situation, the paper said.

It quoted an unnamed senior U.S. military source saying: "Three big militias are currently engaged in a particularly bloody battle in southern Iraq.

"U.S. and Iraqi forces are involved in a huge operation to attack an Al-Qaeda stronghold in Mosul.

"But after that, the plan is to turn the coalition's attention on to Basra and we will be urging the British to surge into the city.

"If they do not have enough troops, then they will be offered U.S. Marines to help out.

"The feeling is that if southern Iraq is hugely unstable, it will affect the success of the surge in the north and destabilize the whole country."

"The proposal to go back into Basra is being examined at the highest level in Baghdad."

U.S. military commanders claim that a "surge" of 30,000 U.S. troops since last January is partly responsible for a dip in violence in Iraq.

But unnamed senior British civil service sources told the Sunday Mirror that Britain would be highly reluctant to go back into Basra because of pressure at home to pull troops out.

"We do not have enough troops for a surge ourselves. The hope is that we can train enough Iraqi army recruits in the next year to cope with the inter-tribal warfare going on in Basra," one source quoted by the paper said.

The Ministry of Defense was not immediately contactable to comment on the report.

Recent media reports say that Britain will delay its planned withdrawal of around 1,500 troops from Iraq until the end of this year because of increased attacks in Basra.

The cuts were originally due to come into effect from early this year.

Many killed in fresh Iraq fighting

Fighters loyal to Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr have clashed for a second day with Iraqi and US forces in their Baghdad bastion of Sadr City and in the southern city of Basra.

Iraqi security officials said at least 20 people were killed and 100 others wounded on Wednesday in Sadr City and confirmed that seven people had been killed in Basra.

Nuri al-Maliki, Iraq's prime minister, has imposed a deadline for those fighting security forces in Basra to surrender.

"Those who were deceived into carry weapons must deliver themselves and make a written pledge to promise they will not repeat such action within 72 hours," he said on Wednesday.

"Otherwise, they will face the most severe penalties." 'Disobedience' appeal Officials said the latest fighting broke out in Sadr City early on Wednesday.

Clashes were also reported in the Mahdi Army's southern strongholds of Al-Gaazaiza, Al-Garma, Khmasamene, Al-Hayania and Al-Maqal. Three US government officials were injured after rockets and mortars were fire into the capital's fortified Green Zone.

The violence comes after Iraq's security forces launched raids on strongholds of Sadr's Mahdi Army fighters on Tuesday.

As the fighting broke out, al-Sadr issued a statement calling for demonstrations across the country and threatened "civil disobedience" if attacks by US and Iraqi forces on members of his movement continued.

"We demand that religious and political leaders intervene to stop the attacks on poor people," a statement read by Hazam al-Aaraji, an al-Sadr representative, said.

"We call on all Iraqis to launch protests across all the provinces. If the government does not respect these demands, the second step will be general civil disobedience in Baghdad and the Iraqi provinces." Falah Shenshal, an MP allied to al-Sadr, told Al Jazeera that al-Maliki was targeting political opponents.

"They say they target outlaw gangs but why do they start with the areas where the sons of the Sadr movement are located?" "This is a political battle ... for the political interests of one party [al-Maliki's Dawa party] because the local elections are coming soon.

"They are using the law for their political interests. We will ask the parliament to drop confidence from the Maliki government."

Basra operation

The fighting in Basra, where al-Sadr's followers maintain a strong presence, began before dawn on Tuesday in what the Iraqi government called an operation to win control of the city from militias and criminal gangs.

Nuri al-Maliki, Iraq's prime minister, was in the oil hub city to personally oversee the operation involving thousands of Iraqi troops.

Ali al-Dabbagh, an Iraqi government spokesman, told Al Jazeera that the security forces were fighting against "those that are exploiting the name of the Mahdi, those that are exploiting the name of Muqtada al-Sadr".

"There will be no dialogue with them [the fighters] but there definitely will be dialogue with Muqtada al-Sadr himself," he said.

By nightfall, many towns and cities across southern Iraq were under curfew to try to stem spreading violence. Police sources said supporters of al-Sadr seized control of five neighbourhods in the southern town of Kut after clashing with police.

In Hilla, police battled Mahdi Army fighters in two districts in the centre of the southern town.


The Mahdi Army has grown frustrated with a ceasefire imposed by al-Sadr last year. Its fighters say has been abused by US and Iraqi forces to make indiscriminate arrests ahead of provincial elections. The US military says it is targeting only "rogue" members who have broken the ceasefire, and has cited the truce as a main factor in a significant drop in violence across the country.

Sheikh Ahmed al-Ali, a member of al-Sadr's office in Basra, said the group could not understand why Iraqi security forces had launched an operation against it.

"This ongoing operation in Basra appears to be security-related, while, in fact, it is a political one," he told Al Jazeera. "The al-Sadr trend in Basra has frequently said that it supports the Iraqi government and the Iraqi forces in Basra.

"Al-Mahdi Army is not a military army, as some believe. It is a doctrinal army that serves the society. And that is why al-Mahdi Army has had a great role in supporting the Iraqi security forces in Basra."

Basra province was handed over to Iraqi control by British forces in mid-December and Tuesday's operation was seen as a test for the security forces.

I said it five years ago and repeat it now: a Western-style democracy cannot be forced on a nation that does not welcome it.

To not believe that we, the Iraqi people, will establish a form of government that we see fit for our needs, by ourselves, is an insult to the Iraqi solidarity and historical heritage that has always, continues to, and will never cease to exist.

Nofa Khadduri is a student at the University of Toronto in Canada and has been campaigning against the Iraq war since the age of 15.

Opinion: Iraq's corporate genocide

Pentagon Holds Thousands of Americans "Prisoners of War"

By Penny Coleman, AlterNet. Posted March 26, 2008.

There are at least 60,000 of them, but they're not on the DoD's list of soldiers missing in action.

Sgt. Kristofer Shawn Goldsmith was one of the many soldiers and Marines, veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, who gave testimony at last weekend's Winter Soldier investigation. They spoke from personal experience about what the American military is doing in those countries. They gave examples of what they had done, what they had been ordered to do, what they had witnessed, how their experiences had wounded them, both physically and psychically, and what kind of care and support they have, or most often have not gotten since coming home. The panel Goldsmith was on was called "The Breakdown of the U.S. Military," so he surprised the audience when he said that he was going to talk about prisoners of war.

He was not, however, going to talk about the three soldiers listed as missing in action on the Department of Defense website. He was referring to those who have been the victims of stop-loss, the device by which the president can, "in the event of war," choose to extend an enlistee's contract "until six months after the war ends." The "War on Terror" is this president's excuse for invoking that clause. Because that war will, by definition, continue as long as we insist that there is a difference between the terror inflicted on our innocents and the terror inflicted on theirs, American soldiers are effectively signing away their freedom indefinitely when they join the military. They are prisoners of an ill-defined and undeclared war on a tactic -- terrorism -- that dates back to Biblical times and will be with us indefinitely.

According to U.S. News and World Report, there are at least 60,000 of them.

"I was a great soldier once upon a time," Goldsmith says. He graduated at the top of his class in basic training and was on the commandant's list in the Warrior Leadership Course with a 94.6 percent average. He aced every test, mental and physical, received commendations and medals and promotions, but by the end of his first deployment he knew he was in serious trouble. His CSM (command sergeant major) Altman, however, had told his battalion, "If any of you go try to say you're depressed and thinking about killing yourself, you're going to get deployed anyway, and when we get there, you'll get to be my personal I.E.D. (improvised explosive device) kicker!" So he self-medicated; he drank. A lot. "All I wanted to do was black out."

What kept him going was the end that was in sight. He just had to hang on till his contract was up, and then he could go home, go back to school, and finally be a 20-year-old kid. Then days before he was scheduled to get out, his unit was locked down, stop-lossed as part of the surge. He was looking at another 18-month deployment.

At first he thought he was having a heart attack. It turned out to be a panic attack. He was diagnosed with depression, anxiety disorder and adjustment disorder, given a lot of pills and told he'd be fine. Or at least fine enough to go back.

The day before his unit was to deploy, Memorial Day 2007, he went out onto the memorial field at Ft. Stewart, where trees are planted for every soldier from 3rd Infantry Division killed in Iraq. He mixed pills and vodka, and tried to die.

He woke up handcuffed to a gurney and spent a week in a mental ward. His commanding officer tried to rip off his stripes and threatened to prosecute him for malingering, a court martial offense: He had tried to kill a U.S. Army soldier. Ultimately, he was given two Article 15s (nonjudicial punishment), one for malingering and one for missing movement (not deploying on time) and separated from the service with a general discharge stamped in big letters: "misconduct: serious offense." Under a general discharge, he lost all his educational benefits.

Sgt. Goldsmith's story is not necessarily more devastating than others I heard over the course of the four-day gathering. There were many that were told with equal courage and clarity, and that were equally revealing of important issues. But at some point as I listened to him speak, I realized that I was no longer listening as a journalist, I was listening as a mother. In 1971, the original Winter Soldiers were my age. This new generation are my children's. And this young soldier framed everything he had to say with a mother's worst nightmare: the death of a child.

The first picture Goldsmith showed was of a 10-year-old boy in "cammies," with dog tags on a chain around his neck, proudly offering his best boy scout salute. "That boy died in Iraq, " he says.

Another picture flashed on the screen, this time of a young soldier in real military camouflage, leaning out of a jeep and flashing a shit-eating boyish grin. It was a good day, the first day of his deployment to Iraq in 2005. That boy, too, Goldsmith told us, is dead.

Continue on to page 2

Police: US Capitol gunman had bomb

Man Arrested With Shotgun and Sword Near US Capitol, Charged With Planning to Set Off a Bomb

AP News

Mar 25, 2008 23:04 EST

Authorities revealed Tuesday that a man carrying a loaded shotgun was arrested in January near the U.S. Capitol, and explosives left in his truck nearby went undetected for three weeks.

According to an indictment filed in District of Columbia Superior Court, Michael Gorbey, 38, of Rapidan, Va., faces charges of planning to set off a bomb. He also is accused of making or transporting an explosive device with the intent of using it against people or property and multiple firearms charges.

Gorbey allegedly tried to manufacture a "weapon of mass destruction, that is, an explosive device capable of causing multiple deaths or serious bodily injuries to multiple persons, or massive destruction of property," according to the indictment.

He was arrested Jan. 18 for carrying the shotgun and a sword outside the Capitol. Gorbey told police he was headed to an appointment at the Supreme Court. No one was injured in the incident, which caused gridlock for hours on Capitol Hill.

U.S. Capitol Police discovered the explosive device three weeks later when they returned with a search warrant to check the truck, which was in a government parking lot.

Terrance Gainer, the Senate sergeant-at-arms, told The Washington Post the device in Gorbey's truck, which was parked about two blocks from the Capitol, "could have caused serious injuries," if detonated.

Police initially searched Gorbey's truck in January and said there were propane tanks and wires but no immediate danger. They used a robotic camera to look inside the vehicle and a powerful water hose to destroy suspicious items inside.

Now U.S. Capitol Police are investigating how their bomb squad missed the bomb.

The device was made of a can of gunpowder taped to a box of shotgun shells and a bottle with buckshot or BB pellets, according to court documents.

Gorbey has been jailed since his arrest. He has pleaded not guilty and has said he plans to defend himself at his trial, which is set to begin April 21.

Court records show Gorbey is a convicted felon and has been in and out of prison since 1991 for convictions on larceny, domestic violence and illegal gun and drug charges.

Bush once again takes matters into his own hands and ignores laws passed by the Congress.

Bush waives law to give millions to Pakistan's anti-terror fight

President George W. Bush has cleared the way for giving millions of dollars to Pakistan to fight terrorism this year, the White House said Tuesday as a new government took power in Islamabad.

In a memo to the secretary of state dated Monday, Bush used his authority to exempt Pakistan from a law that restricts funding countries where the legitimate head of state was deposed by a military coup, as in Pakistan.

The waiver, which Bush has approved every year since 2003, opens the way for the United States to provide about 300 million dollars this year to key "war on terror" ally Pakistan to boost its counter-terrorism operations.

White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said the Bush administration still had concerns about the human rights situation in Pakistan, where President Pervez Musharraf took power by force in 1999, but stressed its major strategic role.

"Pakistan is a key ally in the 'war on terror.' The Pakistani government is conducting military, police, and intelligence operations to fight terrorist groups on Pakistani soil and bring terrorists to justice," Johndroe said.

The White House said Bush had asked the US Congress for about 300 million dollars for security assistance in Pakistan.

The announcement came as Pakistan's new prime minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, a key aide of slain opposition icon Benazir Bhutto, was sworn in by Musharraf after being picked as premier by parliament on Monday.

He will lead a coalition of Musharraf's opponents, who won general elections last month and who have indicated they plan to review the president's cooperation with the United States.

Johndroe stressed that "we continue to have concerns about respect for fundamental civil and political rights in Pakistan," citing last November's state of emergency and the suspension of the constitution.

But he said Musharraf had "kept his commitments" to retire from the military and be sworn in as a civilian president, and to lift the state of emergency. He also noted that multi-party elections had successfully been held.

"We are currently assessing the impact of those elections on future requirements for waivers of coup-related sanctions," Johndroe added.

The Supreme Court is the last word on questions. Once they make a decision there is no other place to go they have the final word. That’s how we ended up with Bush in 2000.

Now they have ruled against Bush.

Court rules against Bush, Mexican on death row

Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:56am EDT

By James Vicini

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush exceeded his authority when he directed Texas to comply with an international court's ruling and reopen dual-murder case against a Mexican on death row, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday.

By a 6-3 vote in a case that pitted Bush against his home state, the high court said Bush should not have ordered Texas to comply with the World Court ruling mandating the review of the cases of Jose Medellin and 50 other Mexicans in U.S. prisons awaiting execution.

Medellin was denied the right to meet with a consular official from Mexico after his arrest in Texas for the June 1993 rape and murder of two teen-aged girls.

The Hague court in 2004 ordered the United States to review his case, and those of the other Mexican death row inmates, on the grounds that his Vienna Convention right to talk to consular officers after his arrest had been violated.

Bush in 2005 decided to comply with the World Court's ruling and issued a memorandum to then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales directing state courts to review the cases to determine whether the violation of their rights caused the defendants any harm at trial or sentencing.

Chief Justice John Roberts said in the majority opinion that Bush cannot require the states to provide review and reconsideration of the claims of the 51 Mexican nationals, in disregard of state court rules and law.

Medellin's attorneys appealed to the Supreme Court and said a Texas court ruling that Bush had overstepped his powers and put the United States in violation of its undisputed treaty obligations.

The Bush administration supported Medellin and said the president must have the authority to ensure that the United States adheres to such treaty obligations.

The Mexican government also has weighed in on behalf of Medellin, who has been on death row since 1994.

Texas officials acknowledged Medellin was never told he could talk to Mexican officials. But they argued that claim cannot be made now because he never properly raised it previously. Even if his treaty rights had been violated, it would not have made any difference in the outcome, they said.

Roberts rejected the administration's argument that Bush has the authority to establish binding rules affecting court decisions that preempt contrary state law.

He said the memo -- a directive issued to state courts that would compel the reopening of final criminal judgments and set aside state laws -- is not supported by Bush's foreign affairs authority to resolve claims disputes.

Roberts, who was appointed by Bush, was joined by Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, Bush's other appointee on the court. Justice John Paul Stevens concurred in the judgment.

Justices Stephen Breyer, David Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented.

(Editing by Patricia Zengerle)

Hillary condemns Obama’s for his pastor but what about her pastor?

Lots of arguing over this one, was he Clinton’s pastor or not? You decide.

Hillary's Former Pastor A CHILD MOLESTER!!!!!!

Is It Hillary's Turn to 'Denounce and Reject' a Problematic Pastor?

Posted by Steven Reynolds, The All Spin Zone at 10:08 AM on March 24, 2008.

We hear about Rev. Wright’s racism 24/7, but there's nary a peep about Clinton's former pastor who's been convicted for sexual child abuse.

The blogs are talking about it, but the mainstream news is not. Still, this is interesting. Blogs such as AdvanceAmericablog,, the National Journal’s Hotline, and are talking about the scandal that has enveloped the former Pastor of the Clintons, but it appears only the Utica, NY newspaper is covering the story. The rest of the mainstream media is silent. Perhaps the story isn’t divisive enough for the mainstream media to take notice. Of course, it is as unfair to blame Hillary Clinton for her former pastor’s abuses just as it is unfair to blame Barack Obama for Rev. Wright. Still, that means the mainstream media is far more enamored of condemning Obama for his Rev. Wright’s tirades about 9/11 and race than it is concerned with the plight of a seven year old girl abused by Hillary Clinton’s former pastor. From the Utica Observer-Dispatch:

UTICA -- When the Rev. William Procanick put his hand on the Bible during his sex-abuse trial in Oneida County Court earlier this year, he swore to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

But as the former Clinton pastor was sentenced Friday to three years in prison for inappropriately touching a 7-year-old girl at his home last March, Judge Michael L. Dwyer said Procanick sacrificed his honesty the day he testified.
"As a minister of God, you got on the stand and you lied," Dwyer told Procanick, the 54-year-old former pastor of Resurrection Assembly of God church on Kirkland Avenue.

A jury found Procanick guilty Jan. 22 of first-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

Let me be clear here. Hillary Clinton has nothing to apologize for, nor should she feel tainted because her former Pastor, William Procanick has been convicted of sexual child abuse of a seven year old girl. By the same token, Barack Obama has no responsibility for the words of Rev. Wright, nor for the words of his successors in the pulpit. All of these people have personal responsibility, and Rev. Procanick is going to be answering for his crime. Hillary Clinton has no need to “denounce and reject” the man. Indeed, it may be a good thing if she were to express her sorrow for his crimes and compassion for those the man hurt. But she has no obligation.

The irresponsibility here is on the media, who wish to blow out of proportion those issues which will inevitably divide Americans, by focusing on the behavior of Barack Obama’s former Pastor, while ignoring other transgressions by the pastors of Presidential candidates, even though Hillary Clinton’s former Pastor has actually been convicted of a crime.

AlterNet is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed by its writers are their own.

We live in a very sick world.

Circus "slave" forced to swim with piranhas

Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:51pm

ROME (Reuters) - Police rescued two teenage Bulgarian sisters from a circus in southern Italy which forced one of them to swim with flesh-eating piranhas for the amusement of guests, police said.

While the 19-year-old sister swam in a transparent tank, the younger, 16-year-old was forced into a container where the circus staff tossed snakes at her. She was injured by one of the snakes, police said.

Police arrested three Italians who ran the circus south of Naples, in Salerno province, accusing them of forcing the sisters to live in virtual slavery.

The women were paid 100 euros ($155.8) per week and lived in a trailer that had previously been used to transport animals, they said.

(Writing by Phil Stewart; Editing by Caroline Drees)

And…. I leave you with this last link of the day.

Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern, openly gay church pastor face off on television

by Nick Langewis

Oklahoma House Rep. Sally Kern made an Easter Sunday appearance on KFOR-TV's "Flash Point" to face off with an openly gay pastor, elaborating on her recent leaked speech and defending her views.

A spirited theological and political debate ensued between Rep. Kern, host Kevin Ogle, panelists Burns Hargis and Mike Turpen, and Dr. Scott Jones of Oklahoma City's Cathedral of Hope.

"I was speaking to a group of Republicans; grassroots Republicans," Kern explained of the original speech, which gained worldwide attention after posted on the Internet by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, "and I was talking about the homosexual agenda, and how they are out there putting forth--funding very heavily--homosexual and pro-homosexual candidates to run against, and defeat, conservatives across the nation.

"I did talk about what I believe...scientific evidence, health evidence...proves that the homosexual lifestyle is a dangerous lifestyle. And, yes, I did compare it to being more dangerous than terrorism. And my point in doing that, gentlemen, was this: Everybody knows terrorism destroys and tears down, and that was the only analogy I was making is that the homosexual agenda, this lifestyle which is so destructive to individuals, is at the heart trying to tear down what is the bedrock foundation of our society, which is the family and traditional marriage."

"You don't really believe that Scott," asks panelist Michael Turpen of Pastor Jones, "is more dangerous than Osama bin Laden, do you?"

"I believe that the...homosexual agenda, and the lifestyle that it involves, is deadly to this nation. Now, I was not saying that Scott here is personally as dangerous as Osama bin Laden, but I was just making a comparison to prove my point."

"Well, I would denounce hate speech of any kind," rebuts Jones, "and have in my public remarks in response to yours. And you have to understand that when you say that gay people are like cancer...and cancer is something that we eradicate; that we kill; or that we are worse than terrorists, and terrorists are people that we go after to annihilate, to kill, you have to understand why those words would outrage people, because what are you saying? That we should go after gay people and eradicate them or annihilate them?"

"I wasn't saying that you guys were a cancer," the legislator says to Dr. Jones. "I was saying that the effect is the very same as a cancer. If God's people do not stand up and proclaim God's word, which teaches that homosexuality is a sin; and if we try to just ignore it and let it become mainstream and take on the mentality that you folks want, that it's a normal lifestyle, then that is going to spread through our culture, and we will no longer have the same kind of culture we've had for over 200 years. That's all I meant."

"You have to understand," appeals Jones, "that there are multiple churches, Christians, denominations, highly respected scholars who disagree with your interpretation and application of scripture."

"Sally," asks Turpen, "if you had a gay child--"

"--I would love them as much as anybody else," Rep. Kern answers. "I would love them more than any of my other children because they would have a greater need."

Kern also weighs in on her son, answering allegations that he was gay based on a 1989 arrest of a Jesse Jacob Kern on oral sodomy charges.

"In 1989, my Jesse Aaron Kern was 12 years old, and we lived in Boise, Idaho. He has never been arrested, and he has been interviewed, and he has said, 'I am not...I am straight!'"

"But if he were, I'd love him," she continues, "because God created us all in his image, OK? God has a wonderful plan for every single one of us. Sin is out to destroy God's plan for our lives."

"How could you love a gay son," asks Turpen, "that you have said is more dangerous to this country...than a terrorist?"

"I said the 'homosexual agenda,'" counters Kern. "I was not talking about--I have worked with other individuals who are homosexual. I don't hate them. I have never been rude to them."

Dr. Jones takes exceptional issue with Kern's lecturing on gays' involvement in the political process. Jones finds that it makes the lawmaker's comments "more outrageous" because he contends that she, as an elected official, is essentially labeling a certain group of people participating in the democratic process as worse than terrorists.

"The agenda is worse than terrorists," Kern counters.

"It is never dangerous for any of our citizens to engage in the democratic process," she adds. "I wish more of them would. What I'm saying is: their agenda, what they want to put upon the American people, which have for years been considered a 'Christian nation,' who had a moral basis, where people knew what right and wrong was; where people knew that this was considered sin and this was not considered sin--"

Jones interjects: "--So a group of people advocating for their equal civil and human rights is more dangerous to this country--"

"If a person is born black, they can't change that," Kern explains. "You see, that's the heart of this issue is the homosexuals believe they're born that way. No medical research--"

"--Even Al Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has agreed that all science is leading toward the idea that we are born that way."

"I disagree with that wholeheartedly," Kern says. "We're all born with a sinful nature. I'm just as sinful as anybody else in this world."

"The American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association all disagree with you, ma'am," Jones responds, "and they're the people I would respect as having a mainstream view, and yours is in an extreme view."

"Mine is not an extreme view," counters Kern. "Mine is the view of the average American citizen, and I disagree with you."

"Why would somebody choose to be gay?" asks Turpen.

"Because of that sinful nature," Kern responds. "We can all choose to be whatever we want to be. You know, there are some people who have a propensity to have...a violent temper, and they have to learn to control that. They can't go out and say 'that's my propensity to be angry, so I'm going to engage in all the violence I want to.'"

The entire exchange, in two separate segments, appears below, courtesy of NGBlog. It was originally broadcast on KFOR-TV (where the entire episode is also available) on Sunday, March 23, 2008.


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