Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Negropante and credit reporting

Selective memory. Selective integrity.

Negroponte sure likes to ignore history. He wants the
world to forget about Batallion 316.

Yet, when it comes to credit reports, he wants the
world to pay attention.

Why the inconsistency on history? Why are one set of
records fair game [the public's], but his record is
above question?

Negrapanto Negroponte

Find local movie times and trailers on Yahoo! Movies.

Also spelled: negraponte negrapante negropante negropante negraponte

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Saturday, February 26, 2005

Credible basis to investigate US involvement in Rafik El-Harriri Assassination

America jumped the gun. اللغة العربية Ref A case could be made for the American involvement.

Further, there are three other factors: Original claims were not supportable [foreign accent]; high tech required to do the job to break through the security barrier; and the target wasn't really a threat to anyone.

Hasty public statements

There's also the problem with the US quickly asserting/suggesting it was Syria -- anyone could easily make "the same accusations against the United States without evidence."

Thus, given the quick outburst, I think there's a case to be made the staffers were "a little too quick" to arrive at the conclusion, suggesting they were primed.

US Credibility problems

Further, there's the track record of the United States of conducting unlawful activity in using Echelon to spy on the UN inside the US; and the baseless claims about WMD in Iraq.

Negroponte's Battalion 316 shows that the US will engage in misconduct.

Interesting there is a chorus discrediting the reasonable questions.

Which advertising agency is subcontracting this PR effort? They like to bring gifts, and they are photographed.

So, it's really not clear why "Syria over the United States" or more credible than "United States over Syria."


Overall, I think the US was behind it: They had the most to gain by swaying the masses against a convenient target. We saw prior to Iraq invasion and in the wake of 9-11 how quickly the masses will give up their rights and fall in line, even without any facts.


Ref Ref Ref

Sure is insteresting when people accuse the Syrians there's no evidence, just allegations; but anytime someone mentions the US, suddenly the standard of evidence goes sky-high. Why the double standard?

Harriri was much quieter than other critics of Syria, why why go after a bit player?

Also spelled: negraponte negrapante negropante negropante negraponte

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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Ministry of Truth

  • Southeast European Times -- Balkans
  • Pentagon Channel -- US
  • Magharebia -- Africa

    Read more . . .

  • Coded messages in the DoJ document


    Check line 6, page 2. There's no reason to say, twice "we eagerly await your arrival". That's a signal. Why emphasize something that should be coming through?

    Answer: It's the opposite. Why put in writing something that is not otherwise self-evident through their professional interactions?

    Read more . . .

    DoJ documents raise questions about war crimes notifications to Congress

    A reckless leader. A reckless nation. ACLU released information suggesting DoJ was in disagreement with DoD personnel over prisoner interrogation in Guantanamo. Yet, DoJ failed to demonstrate that they made their concerns known to the DoJ IG or the Congressional Committees.

    Compounding DoJ’s version of events are 2002 Senate Staff reports indicating that things were doing well. If DoJ FBI agents’ e-mails are to be believed, then the Senate staff was deceived by not only DoD but also by the FBI.

    Compounding the problem is the US Prosecutor’s responsibility to investigate war crimes. It remains to be understood what mechanisms broke down in the IG-Congressional reporting process. Further, DoJ lead investigators were also assigned to the Navy.


    DoJ has asserted that their agents were doing the right thing. Protesting loudly in e-mails. Speaking out against the DoD practices.

    Yet, the point of the ACLU fact finding was not limited to what happened before and during the interrogations. Rather, the broader question is whether DoJ complied with their statutory reporting requirements to Congress.

    FBI agent statements to Guantanamo prisoners

    Let’s take DoJ’s point, for the sake of argument, that they were battling with DoD. If this is true, then it remains to be understood why those DoJ-FBI agents who were supposedly at odds with DoD, would represent themselves to prisoners as being with DoD.

    Indeed, if DoJ’s current argument is to be believed [that there were active discussions between DoJ and Dod], then it remains to be understood why an agency so sure that they were correct, when then associate themselves with the ones they were trying to distance themselves.

    Failure to timely report issues and war crimes information to Congressional oversight

    DoJ further gets into trouble when we consider the reporting requirements to Congress. If DoJ truly was at odds with DoD, then DoJ has to explain why, despite this supposed disagreement, there were no reports to the Congressional committees.

    Under the war crimes statutes and also intelligence oversight responsibilities to the intelligence community, which DoJ is a part in the post 9-11 world, FBI would have had the obligation under statute to provide the oversight committees with data, issues through management, the IG, and the prosecutors.

    This reporting requirement doesn’t simply fall on the agency. Rather, it is a mandatory requirement on the Inspector Generals Office.

    What does this have to do with the ACLU files? There’s one tiny problem in all the facts. DoJ issued a report in November, 2002 when a Senator’s staff member from New Hampshire was planning to visit. The report had a very specific format.

    In fact, the format is unique to DoD’s Navy Inspector General Office. It remains to be understood why the FBI, which they want us to believe is at odds with DoD, would then use the same report format as the Navy IG.

    In turn, once the link between Navy IG and DoJ-FBI is established, the communication-problem-that-DoJ-says-exists now mushrooms into a larger issue.

    Given that DoJ-FBI was using DoD templates in their report, but today they say they were at loggerheads, it remains to be understood why DoJ-FBI didn’t work with their own DoJ Inspector General.

  • Why were the issues that were not resolvable reported to their agency inspector general;

  • Where are these reports;

  • Were these mandatory reporting requirements complied with?

  • Did DoJ timely provide the required information on substantive issues to DoJ management and the congressional Committees?

  • If DoJ wants us to believe they were doing the right thing, why hide and pretend they were from DoD?

  • If DoJ wants the world to believe that DoD has had the problem [not DoJ], why would DoJ associate themselves with the very agency [they told Guantanamo prisoners] was committing the abuses?

  • Why should we believe DoJ when they said they had discussions over disagreement with the DoD, but did not make the same reports to their own DoJ management that might do something to back up the FBI agents in DoJ?

  • If it was so obvious that DoJ disagreed with DoD and it is in DoJ’s interests to show they were on the right side of the law, why was DoJ so glacial in responding to requests for information that should put DoJ in a favorable light?

  • Why didn’t DoD-DoJ report information about concerns over treatment of prisoners as a reportable issue to the House and Senate Committees as required under statute?

  • If the reports were made, which staffers on the Senate Judiciary Committee received these reports; how were they documented in the Congressional Correspondence log?

    Compare the 2005 e-mails to the 2002 November Reports Ref

    It seems strange that DoJ-FBI personnel would use a DoD Inspector General template from the Navy Inspector General, yet there was no discussion [apparently] between FBI agents and the DOJ-IG, which would then prompt a second reporting requirement to the intelligence committees in Congress.

    Pattern of information exchange does not suggest disagreement, but collusion

    Further, DoJ’s case is also undermined by looking at the November 2002 releases. The release establishes that the Department of Justice and Inspector General were not in violent opposition, but were actively trading information back and forth so closely, that they were using each other’s templates.

    Failure to demonstrate concern translated to proper reporting to agency IG or Congress

    DoJ and DoD are indistinguishable. Yet, it remains to be understood why, if there was violent opposition between DoD and DoJ, that the same conversations that must have taken place between DoJ and DoD Navy IG [to generate the Navy IG template report within DoJ] would not trigger a report to DoJ IG, or the Congressional Committees.

    Either way, the ACLU disclosure should send a clear signal. DoD and DoJ now know the real issue is one of war crimes, active involvement, management knowledge, and a failure to timely report information.

    That in itself is the larger issue: Who knew, but failed to report as required under statute? It appears DoJ plans to point the finger at DoD; while DoD plants to point the finger at DoJ. That’s Washington-speak for no accountability.

    Meanwhile, despite the Taguba report and Congressional hearings, the US Army sent in retired Generals who certified things were taken care of. Now, we find out that things were not.

    It remains to be seen whether they agree to put down their swords and find a convenient scapegoat within the American public.


    DoJ has no credibility in suggesting today in 2005 that they were in disagreement with DoD. They may have been.

    However, the issue is not whether they say they were in disagreement, but what evidence DoJ can provide that supports their assertion that they documented that agreement, reported it appropriately within channels, and made timely notifications to the DoJ IG and Congressional Committees.

    DoJ hasn’t provided any evidence to suggest that they acted on their concerns and made timely notifications to Congress and the IG on these important issues.

    If DoJ is saying this is all they have, then they have a problem. Because one cannot simply assert in e-mails that they disagree with a policy, all the while their conduct and actions are inconsistent with those convenient e-mails.

    DoJ knows all to well that information can be doctored and fabricated. DoJ needs to explain why Congress doesn’t have copies of the e-mail as the problem came to management attention within both DoJ senior management and the DoJ IG.

    DoJ may be attempting to engage in damage control. But DoJ’s larger problem is that in 2005 they may suggest they disagreed with DoD, but took little action in 2002 to distance themselves, positively report the information to the IG and Attorney General, and make timely notifications to Congress.

    If DoJ is to be believed, then they have more explaining to do:

  • Why was there no report to Congress?

  • What evidence do they have that they reported their disagreement over the torture methods to the Inspector General and the Congressional Committees?

  • Why is DoJ asserting it disagreed with DoD, while the Navy IG template was used in their report?

  • Why should we believe that DoJ and DoD are truly fighting, given the lead DoJ prosecutor and investigator into this situation is a former NSA-Navy man?

    Here’s a hint. His nickname begins with the letter S.

    Marion E. "Spike" Bowman, a former DoJ General Counsel also worked for NSA. Reportedly, he was intimately involved in the Guantanamo investigation in DoJ. Ref
    Judiciary Committee Problems

    Compounding the problem is DoJ’s cursory oversight was at the hands of Mr. Poodle Boy Hatch, who did a nice job of doing nothing about the DoJ abuses-attempts-to-silence both Mr Convertino and Sibel Edmonds.

    Indeed, DoJ and FBI had no credibility that an outside reviewer had to be brought into to review the Senate Judiciary Staffer misconduct. It was investigators from the Treasury Department called into make up, I mean find facts in the Republican Committee’s access to Democratic Committee Records in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    Sounds like another adult is needed in this case. It’s called a special counsel. This is merely the first step in impeaching the President for war crimes. And the very reason that DoJ is taking action to show it was doing the right thing in 2002—Gonzalez has been sent into make another smokescreen.

    This is the same President who would ask the nation to believe him. Yet, he’s already been captured on tape admitting he used drugs.

    One tiny problem. Although beyond the statute of limitations, Bush’s recorded admission is at odds with the mandatory drug certification he signed.

    It remains to be seen whether DoJ IG can find this signed document in the now-President’s file. It may be past the statute of limitations in re drug use, but it would show a pattern of misrepresentations.

    It remains to be understood whether the document exists; was it signed; and whether this would form the basis to investigate further.

    Let’s hope the bloggers put as much pressure on DoD to find the drug certification document that they put to get the pay records released.

    At the same time Congress needs to answer whether they were provided the notifications in 2002 when DoJ says they were concerned. When the reports are issued, do a close scrub on whether the format of the documents is correct.

    If Congress knew about the abuses in 2002, but did nothing, then the problem isn’t isolated to the President, DoD or DoJ. The problem is much broader.

    This is how the Nazis took control in the 1930s. They convinced others that if they spoke out they would have a problem. When everyone had stink on their hands, there was no stopping them.

    Senator Kennedy may be the one last members of the Senate that can actually do something. He has the power of the filibuster. He knows there is a torture problem. It remains to be understood who in the Senate and House knew about the torture problem in November 2002, but did nothing.

    If Congress doesn’t know, then the FBI has a problem and no credibility when saying they disagreed with DoD. They may have disagreed in spirit, but it’s quite a different matter to stand up for the rule of law when it is far easier to go along, and backdate the documents.

    Check the veracity of those DoJ e-mails closely. They may be true. But if they’re true and admissible, then DoJ has a big problem on their hands.

    Gonzalez needs to recuse himself. If he doesn’t, it’s time Leahy haul him before the Senate Judiciary Committee to provide some answers.

    If Gonzalez lies, commits perjury, or feigns stupidity about matters he should be aware, then we need to ask why someone who is apparently so ignorant of important issues should be running the worlds largest Gestapo.

    Time to bring in Interpol.

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  • Saturday, February 19, 2005

    Patriot Act: The Congress forgot the Constitution

    They don't read the legislation. They don't read the constitution. Ref Ref Why did the nation bother to fight against tyranny in 1776 only to pretend the constitution doesn't exist?

    It is truly amazing what level of effort is consistently required to remind the US Attorney General what is clearly promulgated in the constitution he swore an oath to both preserve, protect and defend against both foreign and domestic enemies.

    Think about two concepts, "Probable cause" and "to search library records." It's ridiculous that someone can be related to "criminal activity" simply for reading a book.

    Based on the 42 USC 1983 claims, its clear the sanctions are meaningless for misconduct. The US government has a credibility problem in arguing there are terrorists. Oh, where is Osama bin Ladin?

    As a 2003 article well states, the Lady of Toledo in 1953 has in 2005 a reasonable fear that innocent behavior will be construed as "proof" of whatever the government arbitrarily decides.

    REF: Mary Minow, J.D., A.M.L.S. [California, U.S.]. Protecting the Lady from Toledo: Post-USA Patriot Act Surveillance in the Library, 96 Law. Libr. J. 449 (2004).

    Patriot Act was rubber stamped, all the while the FAA had 52 warnings of a problem. There is no reason to "knock down the wall between the FBI and CIA." The problem of communication was within the FAA.

    Where are the lawyers when we need them? It's amazing it takes this many years after 9-11 to get the Supreme Court to say, "You really should obey the constitution, DoD" in re Hamdii and Padilla.

    Yet, despite that clearly promulgated constitution, we once again have to fight for the constitution against Mr Gonzalez. With Negropante, it's time to choose sides.

    America is pretending there is a threat, all the while dreaming up new excuses to ignore the constitution. This is no different than the 1930s in Nazi Germany. The proverbial slippery slope.

    I would not recommend anyone every attend a university or higher education in the United States because of the surveillance that continues and is increasing. Save yourself the hassle, and get a real education in another country.

    The United States' absurdity is antithetical to clear reasoning. They don't even listen to reason; so why bother getting educated? Put your mind and financial investment elsewhere. The United States is a trash heap. Ref

    Stickers here:

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    America: More WMD-like non-sense in Lebanon

    No evidence. When will OJ be called?Amazing, the spin machine is going fast.

    where are the voices of those who believe that it could be the US or its proxy in the region Ref
    Here is one. Based on no evidence, the US alleges the Syrians did it.

    Yet, why is the US so outspoken about something that, if true, would be self-evident? The US is screaming because there is no evidence, just allegations.

    More black propaganda, just like we had before the Iraq invasion.

    Problems with the American case: Phony broadcasts, technology not used, trumping up importance of someone who wasn't a threat to Syria.

    Read more . . .

    CIA Black Propaganda to sew the seeds of discontent in Lebanon

    Case study in CIA Black Propaganda. Will American put the pieces together? This is a classic black propaganda campaign coming right out from Langley and State: Doing the same non-sense they did prior to the Iraq invasion. Their story doesn't add up.

    Plant an article in a "credible" newspaper

    They can't even trust the New York Times, have to rely on something "reputable" like something out of the UK. This is a classic CIA black operations-black propaganda campaign.

    First, recall the bogus stories about the incubators in Kuwait. They made it up.

    Second, if the Syrians were going to do this, they'd know there would be a backlash.

  • "the attack instead increased pressure at home and [edited] abroad for a pull-out"

    Third, look at the entire article: Full of "maybe" and "perhaps"

  • "may have been the work of"

  • "may have hoped"

    Fourth, where are the sources? This smacks of the same baleen we had about the WMD in Iraq. "We can't tell you the sources..." because we made them up.

    US is behind this entire thing. Both in the design, and in the post-event propaganda going around. This has one goal: It's to isolate and pinch Syria, because the US has no credible military power to invade and occupy both Iraq and Syria at the same time.

    Recall the European-support for the US military was based on the German unemployment rate. The US knows it can rally the entire middle east, just as it rallied the world against Saddam, based on no evidence.

    This is baloney:
    “If the Syrians quit Lebanon, not only will the ruling sect lose the dirty drug money but the Syrian state will collapse in six months,” said one Lebanese source.
    Why would anyone care about "drug running" in Syria as "something to get worried about" -- the US is doing nothing about the opium in Afghanistan, so much as giving a green light to the warlords and telling people to back off.

    It's using the presupposition that they "were involved in drugs" as the basis to argue why the Syrians did it, and are also weak.

    Which is it, CIA? Is Syria all powerful to be behind the attack; or are they about to fall apart?

    Answer: The CIA doesn't know because they have no credible intelligence in the Middle East. If they did they'd have the Echelon-data giving a warning to the former Lebanese Primer Minister. That didn't happen.

    The CIA Middle East intel shop, just as Rummy says, is trash. That's why Negroponte set up his own intel shop inside Iraq outside both CIA and DoD.

    Also spelled: negraponte negrapante negropante negropante negraponte

  • Read more . . .

    Negroponte and the new American Gestapo

    Bad habits are hard to break. Especially when someone doesn't have to change.The new man in charge of domestic intelligence is Negroponte. Mr-"I'm going to ignore the Honduran death squads and Battalion 316." Mr-"I don't trust the CIA so I'm going to set up my own intelligence service in Iraq."

    Now he's arrived in the United States to apply his experience.

    He's a diplomat. Doesn't trust the CIA. But the apologists would have us believe that he's the right guy. How can this be?

    One can be diplomatic with those one does not trust, but that doesn't make them trustworthy. Negroponte showed in Iraq that he's not going to be leading anything; he's going to look for ways to create new things to achieve his goals.

    But those goals are George Bush's.

    Let' review the larger picture. National Intelligence is about working with intelligence from all over the world. It means getting information.

    DoD is one player, and DoD shows that it will violate the law within impungity. Hold on, that's the job of the CIA. So if DoD is willing to cross the line, why should we believe CIA is going to submit to new demands for reform? DoD has had the chance after Abu Grhaib and failed; there's no reason to believe the CIA will submit.

    Indeed, rather than working with what doesn't work or making it work through reforms, Negroponte shows that he'll set up his own mechanisms. The real concern is that in the question to fill the Bush Agenda ["find any evidence, even if it is made up to justify whatever we want"], Negroponte is simply going to do in the United States what he did in Iraq: Not work with the CIA, and set up his own systems.

    In short, there's the real prospect of a home-grown Gestapo taking root.

    Let's explore some of the trends supporting this outlook. Negroponte as director of national intelligence will come into contact with CIA, DoD, FBI, and countless other agencies.

    First let's consider the discipline of other agencies like DoD; and the culture within the law enforcement community.

    DoD Has a discipline problem

    The ACLU released a number of files showing, despite the Taguba report; the US Army continued to violate the laws of war. Shame, the threat of criminal sanctions, public outrage hasn't done more to get the United States discipline its own.

    Yet, why believe the US will regulate its own, the nation that lets Enrons continue to spread its destruction under the watchful eye of the not-so-well-regulated Auditors.

    Civil remedies ineffectual

    Despite the threat of 42 USC 1983 claims against officers, they continued to round people up in the Guantanamo on the Hudson and commit abuses in Guantanamo and US prisons.

    When civil remedies like 42 USC 1983 are worthless, the only other mechanism is either criminal action or Congressional Act. On both counts, the prospects are bleak. First, let's consider the outlook of Criminal Sanctions against those who might violate the laws.

    The track record as we saw in re the Securities and Exchange Commission and Enron shows that the abuses can be widespread before any action is taken. Specificity, the US attorney has the option to decline prosecution, going so far as to say that they "don't dare" prosecute US government entities since that would be like "suing themselves."

    Thus, if we are to believe that there is a credible system in place to impose consequences for misconduct in the intelligence community, we need to have a track record of something actually being done.

    On both counts, the US legal system remains woefully lacking. In short, the consequences for misconduct are meaningless, as evidenced by the continued misconduct in Afghanistan despite the Taguba Report and the Congressional Hearings into torture at both Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.

    The odds are stacked against meaningful oversight and reform in the US system. At the same time, Negroponte has a track record of doing nothing and letting problems go unreformed, working outside the system to get things done. That's all well and good when you're committed to the rule of law, but when you're dealing with someone like Negroponte, it's a problem.

    First, the intelligence world operates behind a cloak of secrecy. Just because something is classified secret doesn't make it correct. Yet, DoD and the intelligence community love to classify things "secret" in order to give them an aura of authority. "Oh, we can't talk about that, but trust us..." didn't magically produce WMDs or reliable information about the treatment of prisoners.

    Rather some larger questions need to be explored. However, it appears the media once again has fallen under the Bush spell, not asking such questions as:

  • What could possibly be sending law enforcement the green light to commit abuses?

    Recall, as director of national intelligence, Negroponte needs to be concerned with the reliability of the information. However, he's shown a track record in Honduras of ignoring the facts.

    What's to be said of him when the only way to get information is through torture; we've already seen that torture doesn't produce reliable information, just more excuses to commit more crimes to avoid accountability. How many more Army CID reports do we need to confirm the white wash is going on?

  • Why is the threat of criminal sanctions before a courts martial ineffectual?

    Again, Negroponte needs to know how his forces are working, what they're up to. You cannot only look at the enemy, but need to know who your own people are, what their morale is, and how they are going to move from where they are to where they want to go.

    It's all well and good to argue we have Echelon to hunt down the enemy; but what is to be said when our own troops, when using that data, is incapable of using the information in a responsible way?

    Again, one cannot simply produce intelligence. One has to ensure that the information translates into results. However, if the objective is to win, regardless international law, then we should not be surprised to hear of abuses continuing under Negroponte.

  • Has American command authority broken down?

    Negroponte cannot insulate himself from the breakdown in Iraq, Guantanamo, and Afghanistan. Troops in the field will be relying on his information; and he will be relying on the troops to provide back status.

    The national intelligence director will get into problems when his undisciplined troops are manipulating reports in order to protect their own careers. Hello, this smacks of the misleading information we got from Vietnam.

    Negroponte needs a plan to demonstrate he's able to work through the morale issues in DoD, still glean reliable information, and at the same time execute operations to arrive at objectives. DoD's discipline problem is going to compound his inherent weaknesses.

    Let's turn to the discipline problem within DoD for the moment. We simply need to look at the record. Despite the Taguba Report and Congressional Hearings, the misconduct continues. It remains unclear what pressure the Army's criminal investigative division is under to whitewash the torture and abuse reports.

    Most troubling is the prospect that troops know they are doing things wrong. This isn't a discipline problem. It's now a cover up. The troops committed the abuses, the commanders promised reforms, yet nothing changed. The troops continud the abuse, promising to release the victims only when the victims promised to drop charges.

    How is Negroponte going to know the difference between good information and bad information coming from the field? He can't trust his troops to do the right thing when nobody is looking; why should the troops provide reliable information about something else? We have no answer from Negroponte, just more hand waving.

    Judicial Side

    Let's turn our attention to the other half of DoJ's FBI area. It's not simply one that gathers intelligence, but also enforces the law. Under the Patriot Act, Negroponte is going to have the power to gather domestic intelligence for law enforcement objectives.

    Again, just as we saw in both DoD and CIA, domestic law enforcement has many problems. They have a discipline problem. And the judicial branch of government generally enjoys the same cursory oversight that both CIA and DoD enjoy.

    Thus, if there's an argument made that there are "rules and laws in place" to protect Americans, you need to turn to the courts for assistance.

    Rather, it is only through overwhelming evidence caught on CNN tapes or phone cameras that will turn this government.

    Yet, despite the images, even the US Solicitor lied before the Supreme Court saying, "The US does not commit torture." Thanks to CBS's agreement to delay releasing the photos, the world was momentarily deceived.

    Negroponte as intelligence director will have to work with the court system. Again, the US Judicial System is a cess pool of unreliable, undisciplined, and poorly managed personnel. We need only look at the abysmal discipline when they are not under the eye of CNN.

    We have regular reports from the US prisons and field about law enforcement misconduct. Also, the bailiffs and court officers are generally ones that would side with the government, rather than hold the law enforcement officers accountable for testilying.

    Specifically, let us consider the possible sources of the "green light to commit abuses in Afghanistan". Clearly, what is happening is someone has been taught, "If you threaten them with adverse consequences, they'll no longer assert themselves."

    This is what law enforcement and probation officers do all the time. Also, we can only speculate to the mental gymnastics Catholic Priests put their victims through in order to get silence.

    In Afghanistan CID has failed to demonstrate they are able to conduct investigations. Let's take a look at the possible sources of pressure that would drive someone within the law enforcement community [probation officers] to think they can get away with abuse, all the while holding over someone the threat of adverse consequences if they speak out.

    If you're getting lost: The point is this -- Probation officers have cursory oversight. They get bad habits. And also law enforcement. When they get deployed, they continue their bad habits. Thus, we get Abu Ghraib.

    At the same time, the abuses continue in the US judicial system because the client [alleged criminal] has little standing before the courts, and the public defenders are worthless.

    In short, those brought before the judicial system have to know the court rules better than the court officers in order to immediately recognize misconduct.

    That is why the abuses continue in the jails, courts, and probation system. The public-clients are kept in the dark; if they speak out, they are threatened with retaliation. Go look at the LA County Sheriff Department for an example.

  • Probation officers issue favorable reports only when clients assent to abuse

    We can use the court system in the US as a proxy for what we might expect to see both within DoD and the wider intelligence community under Negroponte. In short, it's a cess pool, and Negroponte has a chorus of apologists willing to ignore reality. They are lead by Gonzalez, Rice, Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld.

    The problem DoD has is that despite the "investigations," the abuse continued. Negroponte's credibility problem stems from him knowing enough about CIA problems to set up his own intelligence system in Iraq. Negroponte will go around the system, rather than reform it; and he'll not rock the boat as he did in re Battalion 316 in Honduras.

    In today's world, DoD and CIA will have close coordination. Yet, Negroponte's problem is that he doesn't work with the players. He makes his own systems.

    Intelligence System Post 9-11

    Under Negroponte, the intelligence assets are going to be local law enforcement, DoD assets, judicial officers, and other sources of information.

    As it stands, each of these segments is not better than CIA; thus, there's no prospect Negroponte is going to do anything to reform these flaws, simply set up his own systems to achieve the objectives.

    Let's take a look at the cultural factors which Negroponte will have to deal with, but will likely ignore and take no action on.

    Cultures of secrecy

    Surely, the Army isn't getting training from the United States probation officers. Indeed, these same probation officers are allowed to act behind a shield of secrecy, threatening their clients with further problems unless they agree to cooperate.

    Secrecy is not for national security, but to avoid accountability for violations of criminal law. There are tapes overseas which are outside the US government control.

    Misconduct by the undisciplined

    Domestically, it remains to be understood to what extent the abusive US probation officers are getting promoted to other positions within the court systems. Further, we have yet to have a reconciliation over the amount of misconduct in the US probation system that continues in Afghanistan.

    Remember, it was the excuse that law enforcement officers were part-time soldiers and were not adequately trained. Yet, they were trained: How to commit abuse without getting caught.

    Continuing poor oversight

    When probation officers in the juvenile courts are allowed to act without adequate oversight, they can do some very nasty things. In fact, their bad habits are so entrenched that when they get promoted to become trial court executives, they do have a nasty habit of continuing their old games.

    Negroponte doesn't lead, he rolls over and makes his own systems.

    Key personnel feigning ignorance

    Namely, pretending to be stupid about the clearly promulgated requirements. Rather than do their jobs, they enjoy blaming the public for bringing issues to their attention. What's most troubling about the probation officers-turned-TCEs is their nasty habit of feigning stupidity about whom they talk to.

    Negroponte doesn't trust CIA. In fact he trust his own systems more that the existing system. Negroponte doesn't know enough about the judicial and intelligence communities to recognize when he's being lied to. His answer is the smart one: Ignore them.

    But Negroponte is going to have to deal with these people in DoJ, NSA, CIA, FBI, and DoD on a daily basis. He can't hide. He can't use diplomacy.

    Those he is overseeing know that the way to win is to do whatever is required. They know enough about the laws to violate them with impugnity and threaten them. Negroponte is going to get eaten by these bureaucracies.

    Cursory investigations

    In order to lead, Negroponte needs reliable information and the commitment to lead. On both counts, Negroponte is lacking. His people don't give him reliable information; they give him information that the President can stand. And Negroponte is no leader, he's bureaucrat that can weave his way through a system to achieve a political objective.

    That is at odds with reliable information. In order to stay within the law, one needs investigators that know the law, and prosecutors that are willing to enforce that. Negroponte has both forces operating against him.

    At every turn, the Department of Justice would like us to believe that they've done a thorough investigation into the matters. DoD doesn't do anything worth resembling accountability. Again, the Taguba report shows us they can do a great whitewash, but don't ask the system to hold its own accountable over the long term.

    Failing to hold people to account

    How could a trial court executive be so well qualified to pass the job interview, yet so ignorant of the standards upon which they supposedly passed the review?

    Ineffectual auditors

    Negroponte needs to trust his auditors to implement reforms. But Negromponte has two counts aginst hime. First, he knows enough not to trust them; and the auditors actually can't do their jobs.

    Let's consider the judicial system. The auditors enter the field and get the cursory responses: That the probation officer-turned trial court executive was well qualified, did a great job during the interview.

    Unfortunately, their habits are bad. Look at their turnover rates. Look at the problem with morale. Look at the complaints. Yet, at every turn the Administrative Office of the Courts likes to say that things are well under control.

    Strange, this was the same AOC office that said that the initial complaints were valid. Indeed, the files were deleted. All under the watchful eye of the Administrative Office of the Courts [AOC].

    Negroponte, in order to credibly align all these forces under one roof, needs to have a track record of prevailing in these sytems. He does not. Again, rather than square off with those who need dscipline, Negroponte will go around the corruption, and focus on the objective.

    That's all well and good when we talk about a single bureaucracy and mission. But the problem Negroponte will have is that he works within a post 9-11 system that is antithetical to accountability, oversight, discipline.

    The system as Congress has designed is opposite: Poor on oversight, meaningless discpilie, and and ineffecutal accountability.

    What does all this have to do with the Army and Afghanistan

    Negroponte, even if he was a Boy Scout, doesn't have a chance of credibly providing any leadership to the National Intelligence System.

    The System is out of control, and remains politicized to feed into what the current President needs, not what the Constitution requires.

    There is a difference between national security and criminal law. This nation's leadrehsip under Bush has shifted dramatically to focusing on illusory threats to national security in order to do nothing about allegations of misconduct in re criminal law.

    Negromponte has his work cut out for him. For too long the system has been allowed to grow, mature, and spread on the basis of princniples as odds with the constitution.

    Government personnel working for the United States government, when granted power, regularly abuse that power.

    People under their charge are regularly threatened with retaliation and released from obligations only when the abused agree to say nothing about the misconduct. This does nothing for reliable oversight, or credible information to make informed decisions.

    Yet, let us remember. This Administration is not about facing reality. It is about manufacturing reality in order to cover up and jujstify what has already been decided. It is no different than Enron.

    This problem is across the board, and at all levels which Negroponte will be working. His problem is that hte system is so subverted, that even if he doesn't theright thing, the system will destroy him.

    Congress is not there to oversee, but to create agreement with those they oversee to avoid having them point out that the oversight is meaningless.

    Consider the probation officres or law enforcement. If there are complaints there is retaliation. If the probation officers are reported, the probation officers know they can trump up charges to issue more unfavorable reports to the court.

    The same culture which gives a green light for probation officers to commit abuses, is the same system that does nothing about military discipline problems.

    The same culture that rewards probation officers for threatening retaliation for reporting abuses, is the same system that does nothing when its military members threaten continued detention if foreign citizens dare report military personnel misconduct and abuse.

    These are not matters of national security. They are matters of criminal law. Yet, those charges with investigating these issues have proven ineffectual, at best assenting to those who trump up charges and make wild accusations.

    Negroponte's job is going to be that much harder because he actually believe his own fantasy about the US government, the rule of law, and the commitment to democracy. It's all a sham.

    The sytem is actually designed to amass power, spread confusion, and advance its own agenda for the sake of advancing an agenda; all the while destroying those it comes into contact.

    Negroponte will be in charge of the system that will gather information to keep this machine going, even if the machine ultimately destroys itself.

    The natioanl intelligence community isn't there to provide information. It is there to figur out how to implement policy. That's why Negroponte makes the perfect director: He knows the difference between what is publicly stated, and how things actually work.

    Washington works like Hollywood: It is based on illusions and double talk. All the breaus know how to paly the game with the media.

    Here wer are today. Everyone is singing a nice chorus about Negroponte, but nothign adds up. Thes sytem is flawed. The country is out of control. The rule of law is cast to the wind.

    People can talk all day about the Constitution, but that is the last thing on their minds. Right now, the President is more concerned with creating more illusoins to distract attion from war crimes.

    He knows the stakes: Bush could be impeached if enough people connect the dots and use their imagination in reading the caselaw in re Madison and the basis for this nation.

    Negroponte's role in this grand "Protect Bush from Impeachment Plan" is to do what it takes to distract attention from Bush, and create new plausible plans of deniablity that will send the US on a wild goose chase.

    The US agenda is no longer about spreading good virtues and values. It's about doing what must be done to distract attention from what most troubles Libby. It's a game for him. Their goal is to leak names to intimidate; and also to use any means to advance their interests, even if it violates the law.

    They sit there smugly when testifying before the 9-11 commission because they blieve nobody can do anting to them. Just as Ken Lay was smug, so too is Bush and Cheney. They both know the stakes are high, but they also believe they are above the law.

    Negroponte is there to protect them. If a lie has to be created, manufatured, and executed then Negroponte has shown that he'll even use his wife has a prop to say, "It's all in the past."

    No it isn't. Its the same game. Today. Nothing has changed. The lies continue. We've seen the same thing time and time again from the White House in re WMD; and also from DoD in re their promises to reform.

    The American public should know that the problems we see in Afghanistan are to be expected given the lack of discipline within government. The courts are a creature of the same culture.

    Negroponte knows the culture well enough to pretend it doesn't exist. Yet, there it remains, continuing to surface in the CID reports we read from Afghanistan.

    The same system which is incapable of disciplining its military is the same system which cannot credibly discipline its own law enforcement and probation officers when they lie in the courts and engage in misconduct.

    This is the same system we are asked to believe that Negroponte will reform, oversee, and effectively lead. Ha! Nothing is going to change.

    Meaningless oversight

    It should come as no surprise to the public why the abuses continued in Afghanistan, despite the clear rules. Just as the FBI fails to swiftly move to investigate its own through the Office of Professional Responsibility, so too does the DoD Inspector General not have the requisite authority, manpower, resources, and talent to swiftly investigate the bunging in the Army's CID.

    Status Quo: No change

    Apparently, DoD wants us the world to believe that things are well understood. Yet, the abuses continue.


    What is strange is that DoJ's FBI can launch investigations based on reports in the media. Yet, DoD would like the world to believe that they never act unless there is evidence.

  • Why is there a reluctance by DoD IG and GAO to act on news reports when these charges of misconduct surface?

  • Why is it so difficult for DoD IG to act and ensure CID is doing what is should be doing?

    Failure of commanders

    Let us consider the vast reports surfacing from Afghanistan. Despite the Taguba Report from Iraq, the abuses continue. Surely, DoD Commanders on the Joint Staff know well enough about passing on lessons learned.

    Yet, we are asked to believe that such lessons do not exist. The evidence is clear. DoD, despite the Congressional Hearings and so-called public outrage, did not respond. Rather, they simply did more whitewashes. Giving a green light to more of what probation officers do: If you tell the truth about the abuse, you're going to have a bad report with the higher ups.

    Ignore the laws

    Geneva Convention and 42 USC 1982 have proven ineffectual. The rule of law remains meaningless to get the personnel to respond. There should be no wonder why the American government, in all three branches, has a credibility problem.

    Ideally, it's not public relations. It's about following your clearly promulgated standards and holding yourselves to account to those standards. Yet, the Americans want exceptions. Ever-standing on their wreaths they won from WWII.

    What should be done

    It is time the Americans are held to account to 21st Century Standards. No longer can the rest upon their victories in Europe as the excuse for the world to be asked to grovel at the feet of such arrogant people.

    Yet, the Americans have proven themselves incapable of self-government and self-discipline. And when they return from battle they weep in their mother's breasts sharing their grief and shock over the war.

    Yet, what of those mothers who have no children; and those children who have lost mothers? No matter, just ignore them as you ignore the Geneva Convention.

    A pattern of inaction

    Just as the FBI failed to credibly inject itself to thwart abuses at Guantanamo, so too have the internal auditors within the courts and military failed to credibly police their own.

    Against this backdrop, we have a new man overseeing the intelligence. The arena is ripe for abuse.

    Negroponte has a track record of ignoring problems and setting up his own outfits. He already has a green light from the President to find the truth, however convoluted that might be.

    We need only look to the illusions over the WMD issue in Iraq to see how far the President will go to persuade his minions to twist reality. Negroponte has arrived on the scene just in time.

    To set up his own domestic Gestapo, one that will act above the law, as it did and continues to do so in Iraq and Honduras.

    Breeding ground for mischief

    The American political scene is ripe for such a Gestapo. The rubber stamping Congress has approved the leading illusionists: Gonzalez and Rice. Negroponte makes the perfect trifecta.

    The grand American criminal justice system. So aptly named as it is well run by the same criminal enterprise which continues to abuse, engage in misconduct, and commit war crimes in Afghanistan.

    America's vast resources are now at the disposal of the very man with a proven track record: Play stupid about problems; set up your own secret agencies to act outside formal channels; and do what you have to do to make the President happy.

    This President is happy when Enron-like procedures are given lip service.

    It is no wonder the American Congress has approved such a man at such a moment: The perfect man, with the perfect background to most likely exploit those the President wants to blame, but have nothing to do with the problems.

    We should not be surprised when we hear of more abuses within both the FBI and CIA domestic intelligence services.

    Ignore problems

    We saw in the wake of 9-11 how quickly DoJ was willing to throw the constitution out the window, bow down to the arbitrary whims of a President, and do nothing as the document was torn to shreds in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and the Guantanamo on the Hudson.

    DoJ, under the ever watchful eye of the Gonzalez Magician, stands ready to do nothing as Army's CID whitewashes more reports.

    Chase scapegoats

    We await the reports of domestic abuses committed against US citizens, and explained away as the necessary costs of rooting out an ever elusive enemy from within. Negroponte is the right man to lead the US Gestapo.

    Rubber Stamping

    When things go terribly wrong, he's the right man to hide the bodies, make sure there is no reform with what is wrong, and that we see a system set up that does what is required, regardless the facts.

    There was no WMD. There are no terrorists within the United States. All this time since 9-11, and DoJ wants us to believe that they have these people under surveillance.

    Such an argument has no credibility: DoJ would never take a chance that they lost someone they were supposed to be watching.

    The US Credibility Problem

  • Why was there a change in command in Abu Ghraib, but no change in behavior?

  • How many people in CID ignored the Taguba Report?

  • If CID cannot be trusted to investigate these allegations, what does it say about their accountability to Congress?

  • What kinds of Pressure is CID under from Command to resolve and closeout cases quickly without adequate investigation?

  • Are there incentives within Army CID to quickly closeout cases?

  • What kid of shieldd is CID up against when investigating abuses in Afghanistan?

  • Is the lack of command support and resources of the CID/CC leading to a discipline problem within the Army?

  • Given the unfolding events why should the public have any confidence that the discipline problem within the Army does not also exist within DoJ, FBI, CIA, and DHS?

  • Given the broad publicity to the abuses in Abu Ghraib and the Tebuba Report, yet no change in government personnel actions and discipline, why should the public believe that things will change in the intelligence community under Negroponte?

  • What independent mechanisms will exist to ensure that the abuses which occur in US prisons and overseas in combat do not spill into daily life in the American streets, only to be covered up by Negroponte's secret intelligence outfits?

    Expect more diversions

    This is the same government that asked the public to trust them about WMD. There was none. The Congress said trust us about the oversight and accountability for war crimes. There was none. This government then said we can be trusted to root out evil and reform the intelligence community. Yet, we have seen none.

    Now, the public is being asked to believe that Mr. Negroponte is the right man. To oversee the joint CIA [that he does not trust] in their combined efforts with the FBI [that he doesn't listen to].

    This is not a drama or a play. This is the unfolding fascism in the United States. And all Americans should be proud of their contribution to the events.

    Your silence, inaction, and failure to put pressure on Congress to ensure the laws are enforced will simply give you what you most want: Secret organizations, scapegoats, and no accountability.

    You voted so in November 2004. You asked for more Enrons. You were clear in your desire to be lied to and manipulated.

    In the end, Enron turned out to be a disaster. So too will the Negroponte regime prove to be for the US constitution, civil rights, and the rule of law.

    America. Take pride. When you were given the chance to stand up for the rule of law, you turned your back, embraced fascism, and said you didn't care about doing the right thing. You want the illusions to go away. You missed your chance in November 2004.

    They now have four more years to do exactly what is most opposite to the rule of law and your constitution.

    All these years of failing to ensure the probation officers did their job. The embraced nasty habits. Now, they are running things. And continuing to do what they were not supposed to be doing.

    It should come as no surprise why CID and FBI failed in Afghanistan and Abu Ghraib. There are rewards for inactions, incentives for abuse, and no consequences for doing what should be done in a constitutional manner.

    The American cancer continues to spread. It should be no wonder why the American people are forced to digest ever greater lies and illusions all in the name of avoiding reality.

    This is the standard to which America asks the world to meet. It should come as no surprise why the world has greater contempt for a nation which stands only for itself, as it destroys the principles and standards it imposes only on others.

    Held together only with lies, upon lies, upon lies.

    America is a wild beast. Negroponte continues to enjoy his wild ride.

    Also spelled: negraponte negrapante negropante negropante negraponte

  • Stickers here:

    Read more . . .

    Friday, February 18, 2005

    Krugman's Special on Social Security


    Paul Krugman (2005) "Confusions about Social Security ", The Economists' Voice: Vol. 2: No. 1, Article 1.

    Read more . . .

    American military discipline problem continues

    Ref The American military has a discipline problem. This comes after all the investigations, courts martials, and public promises to reform.

    What's the problem, Mr President? You are commander in Chief. Are you not able to get your troops to follow the laws of armed combat, or are do you have something else you want to tell us?

    Read more . . .

    Thursday, February 17, 2005

    Iraq: Rummy doesn't ~want~ to believe the numbers and the implications [Draft, no credible US military threat]

    If you don't want to face estimates that show your plans are botched, simply deny the estimates, hide the facts, and avoid talking about the implications.

    Rummy doesn't like hearing about 200,000 insurgents, because it means they have two problems:
    1. Not enough troops in and need a draft; and
    2. The US poses no credible military threat of a ground invasion against either Iran or Syria.

    Sign of an out-of-control program

  • Spiraling costs
  • Continued schedule delays
  • No reliable information
  • No credible baseline plan
  • Budget revisions change faster than funds allocated

  • DoD's biggest problem was that the US was supposed to be "out" of Iraq well before all this came undone. At the very time that the "plan" called for a withdrawal, the US faces the real prospect of a longer timeline and getting bogged down.

    The planned march into Tehran and Damascus on the PNAC timeline now goes out the window.

    Armed Services Committee

    Strange how the numbers on the insurgents are "bad," but still classified.
    "I don't have a lot of confidence in any of them on that number" --
    Lesson: Garbage is classified. What may be classified may not be reliable or credible. Never let someone "prove" something on the basis of saying, "I can't tell you the truth, it is classified."


  • US admits bungle on insurgency numbers, By Luke Baker in Baghdad
    18Feb05, Sydney Morning Herald. Ref

  • "Estimates on Iraq insurgency unreliable"Ref

  • Rumsfeld doubts Iraq intelligence, BBC Ref

    Read more . . .

  • Lebanon: Foreign accent, advanced support, resignation

    Follow-up, Discussion

    Three things not looking good for the Americans

    1. More of the Osama bin Ladin-bad-tape-producer

    We don't know if it was a recording or an actual person.
    person who called in to claim responsibility for the bombing wasn't a native arabic speaker -- they said the person spoke arabic with a foreign accent Ref
    If someone is going to claim responsibility or be involved, they need to actually be involved. Sounds like more of the Powell-UN briefing.

    Are they using the same arabic-speaker-actors that they hired for Powell's sham-US briefing on WMD? Looks like the Agency hired a really bad PR person.

    2. High tech capability

    With high tech capability like this, there's no excuse for Echelon not picking it up.
    defense was so advanced that it jammed cell phones and televisions and therefore the attack must have been carried out by an intelligence agency Ref
    3. October 2004 Resignation: Harari wasn't a threat to Syria

    Hariri, 60, resigned in October after parliament amended the
    Lebanese Constitution to extend pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud’s term three years. Hariri had opposed the extension, but Syria supported it.Ref
    There was no reason for Syria to go after him--he was out of the picture. He's more of a symbolic figure, at best an obstacle to American business interests.

    , ,

    Read more . . .

    Social Security: Wall Street sells their trash for your cash

    The debate is turning into the normal Wall Street sales pitch. They'll simply yell louder, call in the lawyers the threaten lawsuits to keep the truth suppressed.

    Wall Street hopes to destroy the government-run social security plan so that Wall Street can get a cut of the profits.

    Seems strange that the Economist, based in the UK, would support such a scheme. The UK's private pension results are abysmal. The US should heed the warnings.

    Wall Street sells their trash for your cash

    Social Security privatization is no different than any other investment trap Wall Street peddles. They're not providing reliable information, just marketing their trash in order to get your cash.

    Wall Street simply labels the products with nice sounding names, but their trash does exactly the opposite what the reasonable public might believe: Lowers security, and increases risk. It moves the scheme from the government to the individual. It is no longer social, nor secure, nor private.

    They have the trash. Tell Wall Street to dump their fuzzy ideas in their own offices. They'll classify it secret. It should be classified toxic waste.

    Here's what we know:

    The President has not issued a specific plan

    The biggest problem with the president's plan is that there isn't one. We have yet to receive one. Something in writing.

    Makes one wonder how anyone in a think tank can credibly make a comment about something when there are no specifics.

    Also, if there is no plan, yet these people continue to assert there are "grand benefits" to this to-be-presented plan, makes me wonder how much money they get paid to do nothing. Oh, wait, they work in a think tank. Question answered.

    Not much thinking going on there when they embrace the President's proposal, but keep calling it a plan.

    Weren't these the same shills that kept saying things were going fine in Iraq, but Rumsfeld now says, he doesn't trust the estimates? But we can't talk about facts as bad, unreliable information from shills in think tanks is still classified.

    Invalid assumptions

    The President's plan could take up to 48% of the benefits. If nothing was done, the benefits may drop by 25%. I'm not clear why the President is calling is plan something to cheer about.

    Further, there's been some talk that there have been some misrepresentations. I call on the Republican National Committee to file a lawsuit against me. I'm simply repeating what has been publicly reported from the Social Security Administration.

    Seeing no lawsuit, we should look at the allegations coming from the RNC as merely posturing. At worst, RNC is unable to make a credible argument and simply chooses to use threats and innuendo to shut off the debate.

    Kind of like what the President does when he calls in JTTF to silence protestors around the RNC Convention. You look really stupid on scooters, especially when those you detain are innocent.

    The President's proposals do nothing to solve the shortfalls

    Further, the President admits that his proposals don't actually solve the problem. It simply shifts the money from the government to accounts controlled by Wall Street.

    There is no widespread consensus that Social Security is going to run out of money. Rather, Social Security will between 2042 and 2052 simply do what the rest of the government does in 2005: Take in a fraction of what it pays out.

    That's right. Social Security is not going to go bankrupt between 2042 and 2052. Rather, the problem is that Social Security will not take in enough to cover the expenses.

    If George Bush wants to call that Bankruptcy, then the US is in real trouble. The US government regularly borrows to cover the shortfall between incomes and expenses.

    US national borrowing

    Which leads us to the other major problem with the Presidents proposal.

    Bush's proposals require increased borrowing required to cover the transfer. It's estimated that it will be over $4 Trillion [with a T] in increased borrowing in the first 20 years.

    Who benefits? That's right: Wall Street. They're the ones that make money. If you win or lose, Wall Street always wins.

    Imagine the money Wall Street hopes to get on $4 Trillion dollars worth of bonds. That assumes the US doesn't go bankrupt or the dollar doesn't get further devalued.

    Wall Street is also betting the world will continue lending money to the United States. Perhaps, but at a higher cost. But Wall Street doesn't care. Higher costs mean higher fees.

    Indeed, that's a lot of money that the bankers on Wall Street are going to get paid to manage those deals. The Wall Street investment bankers love the proposed plan. They get to manage the accounts, and they get to organize the deals to give the US government more debt.

    The other misconception is that the Social Security funds are invested, but that private accounts could do a better job. False. The money is simply sitting there, used to offset current spending.

    Uninsured means higher risk

    The other problem with the proposal is that the funds are not insured. I'm not clear why the President is so quick to destroy something that is there and working as it should: To be a safety net when his friends like Ken Lay do much to destroy capital.

    Money that is in the market can get wiped out. And the US government has no contingency plan to deal with this enormous financial disaster that is brewing.

    The Wall Street investment-hackers stand to reap large profits managing the deals, all the while leaving those with uninsured accounts in need of a massive government bailout. They offer no guarantees.

    We've seen this week how quickly the State Department under Rice will show up asking for more funding. Image orders of magnitude when future generations are wandering the streets, their private accounts wiped out in a stock market crash.

    Wall Street doesn't care today. They aren't going to care in the future. Hello, another 1920s-style depression.

    Emperor's New Clothes

    I can't help but recall the images of the emperor's new clothes. All the clothiers proclaiming how wonderful the Emperor looked. Meanwhile, it took the guts of someone noticing the obvious that things weren't what the clothiers were saying.

    With Social Security, the clothiers getting paid a lot to deliver illusions are the hacks on Wall Street who stand to gain a lot if this money is shifted from the government to their accounts.

    You don't really own it: You have to borrow against your account

    That's the rub of the entire Social Security debate. The illusion is that the public will have access to and control these accounts. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Private citizens will not be able to take money out of their account. Rather, the account can only be borrowed against.

    Simply put if anyone were to actually use their account, they'd have to pay high fees.

    Death and Taxes

    They like to say that the public will get a death benefit with the private account. Well, those who have social security also have a survivor's benefit.

    There's the trick with an annuity. If you give the money to a private bank with an annuity, the money is no longer yours. So what good is it to be able to pass down something to your heirs that you no longer control?

    Besides, if you have a big wad of money that's going to show up, you still have to account for estate taxes.

    High management fees in the US compared to UK

    Another interesting piece of trivia about the proposed plan is that the management fees will actually consumer quiet a bit.

    Some are quick to say that the United Kingdom and Chile are outdated models and there is no comparison. Yet, in practice the UK has lower management fees that the shills on Wall Street.

    Wall Street doesn't like comparisons with the UK because their pension funds, as could happen in the US, were based on unreasonable assumptions and the markets have wiped out many funds.

    Yes, that means people are sitting there without incomes. The British Government has to bail out firms. That is, if there was insurance. The young people are having second thoughts about pensions in the UK.

    Untrained financial hacks

    There's one big unknown with the new plan. Who is going to be the one to physically interact with the public to offer them the options?

    Is this going to be some human resource person who knows nothing about financial assets; or a professionally educated [read = shill] from the investment bankers trained to repeat deceptive sales pitches. Oh, Elliot Spitzer, do you plan on cloning yourself when you are most needed?

    No accountability

    It remains to be understood whether these Wall Street-trained hacks are going to face any meaningful financial liability in 2052 should their forecasts not materialize.

    Wait a minute, they'll probably be dead due to old age. So much for accountability if their arguments in 2005 prove to be unreliable. Then again, they're from Wall Street. And we know they will tell you anything to get your money.

    Government is a poor source of financial advice

    But this time, they've convinced the government to tout the plan. When was the last time you went to city hall to get financial advice? Hay, we can't get them to do their job as it is. Why are we going to ask government workers for personal investment advice?

    Think about it—they work in government. They can't get a real job. Who are they to offer anyone information on something that actually matters?

    Race-based arguments

    There is another problem with the shills' argument. They keep saying things like African-Americans will get a benefit with the private accounts because they'll get more money and own the account, but will lose out because they have a lower life expectancy.

    Unfortunately, this argument doesn't hold water, as the life expectancy is low not because they die at an earlier age, but the mortality rate among African-American children and youths is higher. Further African-Americans tend to earn less over their lifetime, so their net returns are actually higher relative to their net inputs.


    Social Security is fine. We don't need Wall Street, government, or think tanks offering information when they have a vested interest in the wrong solution.

    Wall Street is spewing out non-sense. The nation needs to have some informed discussion from independent people like academics who know the ins and outs of financial data.

    What's needed:

  • Slight adjustments in the tax rates, retirement ages, and dates that individuals receive benefits.

  • Rational debate and discussion based on specific plans. Talk to Paul at the NYT and Princeton if you want something resembling reality.

    The other plans don't exist. At best they are fuzzy proposals and just smoke and mirrors. We eagerly await something that resembles a written document.

    Please give Congress time to read the report as opposed to what was done during the Patriot Act. God knows Wall Street will print garbage in those bills as they regularly do when submitting 10Ks and that rag called a prospectus.

    Read more . . .

  • Iraq: Confusing assets and liabilities

    US public told allies were contributing in a coalition, now the coalition wants a bailout -- That's not a contribution, but a liability


    Watch their magic hand when they rename liabilities, "assets". The bills are showing up. Those things that were sold as being good thing with happy faces, are now bad things with upside down faces.

    The grand coalition that wasn't

    Ref The country was sold the idea of a "coalition" in that there would be allies, partners, and others providing support. Something about contributing to a grand cause.

    Now all that appears to been a fantasy. Nothing new in the Rice-Bush paradigm.

    Rice appeared before the appropriations committee asking for more money. Something about a special list came up: The US wants to pay the "Iraq coalition partners" money to cover their costs.

    Hang on, wasn't the US Congress sold on the idea of an invasion on the basis that "we were not alone" and "there were others making valuable contributions."

    With the supplemental request, the truth comes out. These partners are simply showing up for a government bailout. Just like Rice.

    Promises of support, but for whom?

    As National Security Advisor, before she was rubber-stamped Secretary of State, Rice made the case before the world that Iraq was important, that our coalition partners were a sign of international support.

    I see no support. I see simply the US military being unable to cover its own requirements. And when the foreign "partners" want a bailout, they call their good friend in the State Department to go hat-in-hand for a bailout.

    Strange, the US government has known since 2001 that it was going to invade, according to Treasury Secretary O'Neill. So it should not come as a surprise that "additional funding" is required.

    Rather, Rice and Rumsfeld need to decide which branch is going to get cut in order to cover this well-known-but-not-planned-for requirement.

    Why give them more money?

    They've had since 2001 to get this right. Throwing more money at the problem isn't accountability. It's simply endorsing doing more of what shouldn't have been done: Throwing money at something without a specific plan [kind of like social security, but more about that later].

    The public should call the Iraq-coalition what it is: Simply an extension of the US military. But the US is unable to fully fund the requirements, so they call it something else.

    The President's Budget is a single request. Now the State wants a supplemental. Mind you, there's an Omnibus Bill that's also going to be used to slip in new funding.

    Recall what happened in the wake of 9-11: They rammed the Patriot Act through without reading the legislation. It appears as though much remains the same in 2005.

    Rice's Makeover

    Except for the Tsunami efforts, this list essentially is the cost of ensuring that democracy prevails. These are the costs that were not included in 2001, when it was known, the US would topple Saddam. 9-11 is now the excuse to spend more money on countries that are not democratic, but call it a "supplemental".

    $950M Tsunami. There's more to follow on this one.

    $2B to ignore drug trafficking and non-democratic warlords in Afghanistan

    $1.4B for Iraq, with $658M for a fortified embassy: They didn't need that if there was no invasion.

    $100M for Pakistani border security, but don't ask about the information on where those nuclear weapons in Libya came from. The US doesn't want to upset friendly dictators.

    $200M for Jordan to pretend to be an ally, in exchange for the US pretending it is democratic.

    $400M for the coalition partners who are unable to provide a contribution.

    $242M Darfor, and $100M for Sudan showing that it takes alot to be democratic

    $780M UN Peacekeeping, raising questions about how much more money it will cost to spread democracy into the rest of the world.

    $60M Ukraine, proving that democracy is an expensive thing. Maybe the US could've saved money if it asked the Ukrainians to have blue-flags [like the UN] instead of orange.

    $200M for Palestine, in exchange for them not pointing out the US involvement in the assassination of the Lebanese Primer Minister.

    What's changed is the bills are higher. This may not seem like much, but when you keep adding it up, the US financial status doesn't look all that stellar when compared to Argentina.

    The world will for only so long extend credit to the United States. Whether Congress, State, Rice, and Bush recognize that reality remains another mystery.

    Read more . . .

    Wednesday, February 16, 2005

    Patriot Act: The 52 FAA warnings are 52 reasons not to renew the Patriot Act

    The President suggests that the Patriot Act be renewed. I disagree with the foundation of his argument.

    Does nothing to solve communication problems

    The President implies that the Patriot Act is needed to address the communication problem. I disagree that the Patriot Act will solve this problem.

    The 52 warnings to the FAA are totally unrelated to the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act does not solve the communication problem between the FAA and other agencies.

    It remains a matter of criminal law whether the FAA complied with the existing regulations. It is not appropriate to use the FAA-DoD communication problem as an excuse to water down the constitution or intrude into private affairs.

    Antithetical to the Federalist Papers

    The Patriot Act does more to stifle public access to the needed information that might otherwise be used to check the government.

    Madison, when he wrote of checks and balances, made it clear that the citizenry exists and thrives when it has the power to check the government. The role of government is not there as a check on the citizenry. [See NYT v Sullivan]

    The Patriot Act creates a wall to that oversight and does little to address what Madison spoke.

    Information was there

    The Patriot Act is not needed to gather more information. FAA already had 52 warnings that were clear, specific, and useful to accomplish national security objectives.

    The President and Congress have done little to persuade the public that the Patriot Act is needed to better transmit more useful information.

    Patriot Act has been a green light to abuse

    The post 9-11 hysteria has done little to address the real communication problem within the government. FAA had the information, and this information should have been provided through NOTAMs to the JCS and other agencies.

    The Patriot Act doesn't address what really broke down in the FAA-JCS link. Rather, the Patriot Act simply diverts attention from the government's failure to act prior to 9-11, and shifts the focus onto the public.

    Madison spoke of the oversight function. An informed citizen has the right to criticize government. It is not the role of government to shift attention from its own failings onto the backs of the public.

    Yet, the Patriot Act has simply fueled the hysteria. Look at the abuses we have seen in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and during the RNC Convention in 2004. Officers were on motor scooters detaining people who had nothing to do with any criminal activity.

    The courts have also found that the government failed to follow procedures in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and the Guantanamo on the Hudson. The DoJ inspector general house found a pattern of abuses in the Bureau of Prisons.

    The Patriot Act is not needed. It simply provides a shroud of secrecy officers use to hide from 42 USC 1983 accountability.

    The Patriot Act, in giving a green light to abuse, lying, and officer misconduct, ties up the courts with needless litigation. The public should not have to remind the officers of their duties in a 42 USC 1983 claim.

    Rather, the leadership should simply turn to the constitution to remind them of their clearly promulgated responsibilities and duties: Comply with the law, ensure their personnel obey and enforce the law; and also ensure their actions are consistent with the constitution.

    JTTF and CIFA also need to have their green light for abuse taken away.

    The US Solicitor General should have the green light to lie before the Supreme Court taken away. It is unacceptable that, despite mounting photographic evidence of torture in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, that the US Solicitor General was allowed to get away with cavalierly claiming the United States does not commit torture.

    Senator Kennedy got it right. The United States has a torture problem. This is not a partisan accusation. It is a fact, it has been documented, and the Patriot Act does little to address this discipline problem.

    Yet, it is not a matter of simple discipline. It is a matter of international criminal law. These are war crimes.

    The Patriot Act needs to be banned so that this nation can return to a rule of constitutional law, and so that the officers who have committed these abuses are held to account. There should be no green light to abuse and torture.


    The Patriot Act has been the verbal armor the government uses to avoid questions and oversight. The media is, or was, an important tool in that oversight.

    It is not appropriate for all inconvenient problems to be swept under the rug as being matters of national security. No, the issue is whether the government is going to be held to account for violations of law.

    The Patriot Act creates an illusory shield to government accountability. The courts have no credible oversight of the officers' actions. Officers regularly lie to the courts. It is called testilying. There are meaningless sanctions for planning evidence.

    The 52 FAA warnings prior to 9-11 are problematic. Yet, it is absurd to talk about renewing the Patriot Act. We are not safer or freer.

    Patriot Act discriminates against the Poor

    The Patriot Act has been used to deny housing to those eligible to pay rent.

    Indeed, the Patriot Act does allow the government to snoop into private affairs. Yet, it is of neither of a public nor government concern as to whether someone does nor does not have a favorable credit rating.

    Rather, a credit rating is a factor in a private commercial transaction. It is not an inherently governmental interest for the government to mandate credit-reporting requirements before someone can live in a home.

    If someone appears with the funds to rent or purchase a home, then they should be able to do so. It remains a burden of the government to show that those funds are related to criminal activity.

    That someone has a poor credit rating is of no relevance to whether or not they have the right to live in a home; or can pay a rent or mortgage.

    This government is using the Patriot Act to require landowners to act as a government agent. If that continues, then there need to be causes of action brought against those land owners under the fair housing laws for their unequal treatment of similarly situated tenants.

    There is no reason the poor should have to show their personal identification in order to get access to public terminals at universities. These are publicly funded places.

    Just as law students should be free from the intrusion of military recruiters so they can remain focused on their law studies, so too should other students not be subjected to unreasonable intrusion into their private affairs.

    This government does not need more information. It needs to explain why, despite 52 FAA warnings, the solution is to break down the barriers between the CIA and the FBI.

    We see no credible evidence that the 52 FAA warnings were not reported or acted upon because of some illusory wall between the CIA and FBI.

    Rather, the Patriot Act has simply been a barrier to these answers. These answers are consistent with citizen oversight over government, and inconsistent with government intrusion under the Patriot Act.


    The Patriot Act has simply been the excuse this government has used to ignore Madison and embrace the abuses practices well known in the British Empire.

    This nation fought a battle against tyranny. It fights another one. It remains to be seen whether the Patriot Act becomes a target of another battle, or whether it is left to die on the scrap heap of history.

    The truth continues to surface. Let us hope that the President and others in Congress choose the right side of history.

    Freedom will prevail. It remains to be seen whether the government chooses to recognize freedom at home.

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    FAA’s 52 Warnings: Why the President has to re-explain the PDB

    Not just the Presidential Daily Briefing [PDB], and also many other things.

    If you recall in the wake of 9-11, there were many questions about the PDB: What was in it, why the President didn’t do anything. For the most part, the President has explained away the 06 Aug 2001 PDB as being too vague.

    The FAA recently reported that there were 52 warnings before 9-11, between April and August 2001. The New York Times reports that these 52 warnings were approximately half [50%] of the FAA warnings at that time.

    It appears as though the FAA’s 52 alerts did in fact flow directly into the Presidents hands via the PDB; and the analysts working on the PDB had full access to the intelligence going into the FAA.

    The PDB needs to be re-examined. We were initially told that the PDB was just a vague document. But in light of the 52 warnings, several questions arise.

  • What method was used to convert the NOTAMs [Notices to Airmen] from the FAA into actionable intelligence summarized in the PDB?

  • Were the 52 FAA alerts used in any way as an input to the PDB; if not, why not?

  • What was the relationship between the analysts who prepared the PDB and their access to the FAA alerts; why were analysts representing themselves as experts from the CIA, but we are asked to believe they had not access to the 52 FAA warnings?

    Unfortunately, with the revelations the FAA was told 52 times that there was a problem, the President’s credibility and continued public confidence further weakens.

    Leadership depends on translating information and leading the country to its objectives. The revelation that the President had access to the PDB was problematic. Now, to find the President had access to 52 FAA alerts, but chose to do nothing remains far more troubling.

    Either the President was in charge and failed to act on the information; or he failed to ensure that the FAA’s warnings translated into policy at all levels.

    They fixed the wrong problem. Rest assured, the President’s men are creating new excuses and diversions.

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  • The 52 FAA warnings: Other areas that need to be reviewed

    Welcome Yahoo readers: There were 52 FAA warnings prior to 9-11. But there were many other chances.

  • Here are the statutes [references, in red] which were apparently violated with the FAA inaction.

  • Even if the FAA problem is ignored, there were back up communication methods that were stifled.

  • It remains to be understood what role Congress played in the inaction prior to 9-11. Raw Story discusses how intelligence was fixed in the Senate. It remains to be understood what role the Senate played in stifling FAA action, or blaming "communication problems" on illusory problems.

  • The problem is not isolated to the Senate, but also includes the House.

  • Despite not finding the real problems and ignoring information, the government is focusing on the wrong solutions. Discussion: FAA managment failures are not solved with the Patriot Act.

    Original Blog

    FAA apparently had 52 warnings between April and August 2001 that there were problems. In 2005, we are asked to believe this is ancient history, not to be reviewed.

    On the contrary, the 52 FAA warnings now require a closer examination of what we’ve been asked to believe. Let’s consider a list of what needs to be re-examined.

  • Phoenix Memo

    DoJ and FBI personnel have asserted that their agents were not aware of the information in the FBI’s Phoenix memo; or that the information did not go to the correct level; or that the memo was too vague.

    On all counts, all these reasons are irrelevant. It remains to be understood in light of the 52 FAA alerts, why DoJ was not in a position to act on the Phoenix memo.

    DoJ senior leadership also have the responsibility to coordinate with DoD VIP transport; regular message traffic is sent between DoD, DoJ, and FAA to coordinate VIP transport support on both fixed and rotary wing aircraft.

    - Why was management within DoJ not aware of the 52 FAA alerts?

    - What method is used to ensure that DoJ coordination with DoD is satisfactory?

    - How were the 52 FAA alerts used in DoJ-DoD joint VIP planning of VIP transport?

  • Moussoui Computer

    The Moussoui computer has been a point of contention. DoJ has asserted that they had no information to justify intrusions; that management did not have probable cause; or that the computer was somehow insufficient warning.

    Yet, given the 52 alerts through FAA and DoJ’s interacting with both FAA and DoD, it remains unclear why DoJ should be believed.

    Had the FAA actually provided the NOTAMs to DoJ’s VIP transport support, DoJ senior management would be well positioned to recognize the potential importance of the Moussoui computer.

    Indeed, FAA’s alerts were related to specific threats on aircraft, which Moussoui was training.

    DoJ needs to explain, again in light of the 52 FAA alerts, what their rationale was for taking no action on the Moussoui computer. Specifically, DoJ management needs to explain the specific factors that they used to justify blocking access to the computer; and why their management who were in discussions with DoD to coordinate VIP transport, were at the same time taking no action or not involved in the 52 FAA alerts.


    At the 9-11 hearings, General Meyers has suggested that there were no specific warnings and there was in adequate time to do anything.

    Yet, in light of the 52 FAA warnings, General Meyer’s comments before the 9-11 commission need to be re-examined. Specifically, we need to have a clean story as to what actually happened, and why DoD was not involved in the 52 Alerts.

    Current policies within the FAA mandate timely reporting of information to the JCS, DoD, and other flight centers. It remains to be examined whether this information was actually provided.

    Also, overseas intelligence gathering does engage in domestic surveillance. DoD does have overseas allies who are on contract to intercept transmissions between various US agencies. This ensures that agencies are not a threat to the national security.

    Clearly, in the case of the 52 FAA alerts, DoD would ask that this check on communication does not occur, or that it failed. Please provide a discussion of the means DoD uses to ensure that it has all the information necessary to ensure the national security.

    If DoD chooses to not act on 52 FAA alerts, or despite having DoD personnel on FAA programs DoD management is not willing to take action on that information, then those DoD personnel assigned to FAA no longer need to be assigned.

    Clearly, in the case of the 52 FAA warnings and the requirement for DoD personnel to timely report that information back to JCS, this was not done; or if it was done, it was without effect.

  • JCS

    The purpose of the Joint Staff is to coordinate all national security information across all branches of government and ensure a seamless management and leadership of combat units.

    FAA personnel have specific requirements to provide timely NOTAMs to JCS.

    In light of the 52 FAA alerts, it remains unclear why the JCS-concept remains viable. If the concept of joint and centralized command and control was a viable one, then national security information from the FAA would have been provided through the NOTAMs to the JCS and then farmed out to various CONUS units, both combat and non-combat.

    Further, domestic intelligence service and inspectors in the army criminal investigation, naval investigation, inspector generals, and office of special investigations would have been in a position to get access to these notices to ensure that their base commanders had the information, security procedures in place.

    Further, had there been a timely notification of the 52 FAA alerts, personnel within law enforcement within each of the three branches should have been alerted to this information as a possible threat to ongoing operations.

    On all counts, we are asked to believe that all these JCS-functions failed. This is absurd. The inspector general reports and GAO continued to provide timely and glowing reports of personnel performance at all levels. We have no evidence that there was a major discipline problem, or that the IG offices in any way reported problems with communication.

    In fact, battle staff results during operational readiness inspections continued to report glowing reports. Each threatcon was briefed, information disseminated, and all agencies were timely notified.

    Thus, in light of the 52 FAA warnings, we remain puzzled. What suddenly failed in the system? The answer is simply that despite all the training and preparation nothing was done as it should have been; and personnel who regularly coordinated information between FAA and JCS via the NOTAMs failed to ensure that senior management implemented programs that would work when most needed.

    This is not a failure of imagination. It is a willful dereliction of duty, and a willful failure to comply with clearly promulgated policies, statutes, and notification procedures that were put in place to ensure timely notification of threats.

    Yet, at each count DoD would like the nation to believe that they were surprised. Rather, DoD should ask itself why it should continue to have public confidence and support when the vast resources of DoD that regularly reported as ready-to-go, conveniently fell down on 9-11.

    The right answer is that there needs to be a better understanding of what information within DoD that was sent from FAA via the NOTAMs failed on 9-11 to translate into action. The information was there. The problem was the failure to ensure that personnel, when they received the actual alert, had the requisite resources, training, and procedures in place to deal with a clearly well understood problem within FAA.

  • NAVY flight training in Florida

    DoJ personnel have threatened Florida residents to remain quiet. In light of the 52 FAA warnings, we are puzzled by this DoJ action.

    Specifically, it remains a matter of great public interest to understand why, on one hand, DoJ and FAA were exchanging VIP security information; yet at the same time JTTF and DoJ are putting effort to keep citizens quiet about information that might be of interest to VIP security.

    However, in light of the 52 FAA alerts, it appears the pressure on citizens is wholly unrelated to national security, and simply an effort to keep the citizens quiet about DoJ misconduct.

    Yet, the 52 FAA alerts, had they been known to the public, might have heightened the needed public pressure to inject this information to the requisite management levels. However, in light of the 52 alerts, it remains clear that the specific NAVY flight training in Florida has not been adequately addressed.

    Specifically, it would be helpful if Congress required DoD to provide a straight story:

    Why the NAVY continued to provide flight training despite the 52 FAA alerts?

    What basis there was to ignore reports of unusual training around the NAVY basis, all the while FAA had alerts of possible attacks using personnel that closely matched the descriptions of those in the NAVY flight program?

  • Threats against DoJ Analysts, Sibel Edmonds

    DoJ asserted that Sibel Edmonds was problematic and making a problem. Yet, in light of the 52 FAA alerts, it seems Sibel was treated unfairly without credible management foundation.

    It remains for DoJ to explain, in light of the 52 FAA alerts, why Sibel was treated the way she was. Given Attorney General Gonzalez was in the White House at the time, he should recuse himself from all questions related to DoJ and the 52 FAA alerts that flowed into the DoJ intelligence center.

    What was the basis to harass Sibel Edmonds?

    Why were the 52 FAA alerts not used as a means to corroborate Sibel’s allegations before the inspector general?

  • Overseas warnings

    There were many reports from overseas intelligence about the possibility of an attack. These were explained away as being vague. In light of the 52 warnings sent to the FAA, we need a better understanding of what failed.

    Clearly, the intelligence was there. Not only domestically, but from overseas. The 52 FAA alerts means that there were multiple levels of the same information entering the system, but no action was taken.

    Please describe the similarity in information between the overseas alerts and the 52 FAA alerts. We would like a better discussion of the similarity of the data from overseas and what existed within the 52 FAA reports.

    It remains unclear why the overseas information was not further elevated when it was clear that the information matched and closely paralleled that within the 52 alerts. Specifically, please describe the overseas message traffic that was routed through NSA, Echelon, and Koza’s desk in re UN discussions about the overseas warnings.

    A reasonable person would think that once information is in the control of the government that it is the basis for action. Yet, in this case, it appears not to be the case.

    On one hand we have the government collecting vas quantities of information that it does nothing with; yet, at the same time goes to great lengths to gather additional information through secret means.

    Yet, in light of the 52 FAA warnings, it remains unclear why additional resources need to be spent on NSA, Echelon, or CIA. The information was already in the hands of the government; providing additional, repetitive information appears to suggest that the information is ignored.

    Please provide a clear story as to what information NSA, Echelon, and other intelligence agencies can gather, analyze, and provide to decision makers that was outside what was already in FAA hands in the 52 alerts.

    Please explain why there was significant effort into bugging the UN headquarters to get additional information, yet the information within FAA hands was not acted upon.

  • Patriot Act

    One argument for the Patriot Act has been the requirement to monitor domestic problems. Yet, if the FAA had 52 warnings, what use is it to have more information?

    Clearly, 52 warnings to a single agency were not enough. Yet, the 52 warnings were based on not having the Patriot Act. We need a better explanation, in light of the FAA warnings, why the Patriot Act is needed.

  • Basis for detentions

    Following 9-11, many were detained as witnesses. Yet, in light of the 52 FAA warnings, it is clear that the real evidence existed within the FAA and other agencies.

    The purpose of holding a material witness is if they are a flight risk, or they have unique a specialized information which the government cannot easily obtain elsewhere. Yet, in light of the 52 FAA warnings, it appears as though the basis for detaining these material witnesses is without foundation.

    Specifically, in light of the 52 FAA alerts, there appears to be no credible basis with which to assert that individuals outside the government had special information or knowledge.

    Please explain the rationale for detaining material witnesses in the US DoJ Bureau of Prisons. In light of the 52 FAA warnings, please provide a better accounting of what was the basis to detain, abuse, threaten, and physically torture individuals?

    Why were personnel who had superior information within FAA not similarly treated?

    What was the basis to assert individuals who had no access to the 52 FAA warnings somehow had more information that what was in the Presidential Daily Briefing?


    The 52 FAA warnings prior to 9-11 are problematic. The entire story the public has been asked to believe now comes undone. At each phase of the pre-9-11 events, the story does not add up.

    If the country is truly going to apply the lessons of 9-11, then the full facts need to be understood.

    However, given the post 9-11-response has been more about throwing money at a problem [that did not exist, because 52 FAA warnings meant the communication problem was an illusion], we need to ask who is really running things.

    It remains clear that 52 FAA warnings did not adequately translate into effectual policy, training, or a response on 9-11. The illusion about there being a problem with a wall between FBI-CIA is a canard. FAA had 52 chances to get it right.

    We heard many excuses from the intelligence community about how hard they worked, and all that they had done. That they terrorists only have to get it right once, and the US gets it right all the time.

    In light of the 52 FAA alerts, these crocodile tears from the intelligence community should be pointed to as what they are: A distraction from the primary problem.

    There were plenty of warnings prior to 9-11. And the requisite information was not simply on an isolated computer or a memo in Phoenix. Nor was the 9-11 response hanging on the failure of a single individual who failed to provide a single critical piece of information.

    Rather, the FAA had the information needed. It remains implausible that these 52 alerts were not provided through the NOTAMs to either JCS or the President’s PDB.

    The entire 9-11 story the public has been asked to believe is a sham. Nobody had to die on 9-11. Yet, despite 52 warnings to the FAA and the NOTAMs to JCS, the nation is asked to believe that 52 were not enough.

    The public’s sense of patience has been exhausted. Yet, it is clear this President will only do one thing to get to the bottom of things. Create more excuses, dream up more illusions, and find more scapegoats.

    9-11 happened on his watch. 52 warnings were not enough. The excuses with the PDB were irrelevant. This President had 52 chances to get it right, and each time he got it wrong.

    Going forward

    Some have suggested that nothing can be done as the Republicans control the House Judiciary Committee, the body needed to hear evidence in re an impeachment. The nation needs to commit as a national goal the single purpose of first bringing charges against the President for failure to do his job; and as a secondary goal to gain a Democratic Majority in the House.

    It is outrageous that despite 52 warnings to the FAA, this President would ask that despite all the favorable DoD Operational Readiness Inspections, that everything fell apart on 9-11.

    No way. There are millions of people around the globe who are willing to go the extra mile to make sure the right thing was done. Nobody in their right mind can credibly believe that so much went wrong without central direction and coordination.

    Specifically, based on what I understand of the 52 FAA alerts, I allege that there was a conspiracy to actively thwart timely action on the basis of these 52 FAA alerts; and that personnel within FAA, DoD, and DoJ actively went out of their way to not follow procedures; and that they refused to ensure that the requisite training, policies, and procedures were executed.

    The man at the top is responsible for the performance of those he is charged to lead. It is time the nation see the 52 FAA alerts for what they are: A reasonable basis to begin a serious discussion about brining articles of impeachment against the President of the United States.

    We cannot credibly be lead by someone who fails to ensure procedures are followed; and does so much to ensure that all that has been learned is ignored. The procedures are there to ensure a response; they are not there to be selectively ignored.

    I call on people in the government who were personally involved in this cover-up and bungling prior to 9-11 to come forward. You have been carrying a burden too long. The nation wants to hear the truth about what actually happened; why the 52 alerts did not translate into a swift response on 9-11.

    If you are threatened with a loss of a job, then I can assure that the publicity you will receive will not be alone. There are many others. It will only take one of you to come forward.

    Think of the possible book deals. It remains unclear how court testimony could possibly remain secret, especially when we’re talking about possible articles of impeachment against the President.

    It is time the nation hears the rest of the story. There are many questions. Remember, if you don’t cooperate, there are overseas files outside the US government control that can be gleaned.

    An issue of criminal law

    Remember the images from Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Those images surfaced because they obviously existed, and someone shared them.

    It is time to share the information from the overseas files. The principals in the 9-11 cover-up have already given sworn testimony. It is now time to get the evidence that shows they were part of a criminal enterprise to undermine the law and put the nation at risk.

    You owe it to yourself to ensure the right thing gets done. Otherwise, you simply invite more abuse the longer you remain silent. You are better than that. All that you know deserves to be known by all, not covered up.

    It is not an issue of national security. This is a matter of criminal law. Those who cooperate may be given favorable treatment. Those who wait will have less of a chance. The evidence is out there.

    The question remains whether you choose to come forward and cooperate, or whether you are the last one to realize that your testimony before the grand jury is about making you a target, not simply a witness.

    If you are overseas and have documented electronic intercepts of the FAA-DoD communications, you are invited to release that information.

    Those who have already testified could very well be surprised when the full capabilities of the Echelon system are brought to bear on those who violate the law in order to protect their secure positions.

    Power is tenuous. The Constitution will ultimately prevail. As will the rule of law over tyrants and abusive government.

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