Tuesday, July 31, 2007

नेव post

Well, Blogger has unblocked me but left the bug intact.

Temporarily, I will post on http://Znewz1alternate.blogspot.com

At that site is a post about Gordon Brown's new counter-terror plan, signaling a major shift in emphasis away from the Bush plan.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

ब्रेकिंग थे taboo

Breaking the taboo
Cool people aren't supposed to suggest that 9/11 was an inside job. A howling brigade of smear artists and name callers has had a deterrent effect on the breaking of that taboo, despite the fact that such a large chunk of the public and numerous people with scientific backgrounds believe a conspiracy occurred.

According to presidential aspirant Fred Thompson, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi are actually aiding the enemy by blurring the line between prewar intelligence problems and the issue of 9/11 conspiracy. So, taking Thompson at face value, the Democrats are finding a way to break the taboo. For background, see http://thinkprogress.org/2007/06/19/thompson-reid/

If Thompson is attacking Reid and Pelosi for implying 9/11 treason, then 9/11 treason has become an open political issue. Obviously, the corporate media don't want to notice that point. But they will. Because politicians like Thompson are acutely aware of the way the blogosphere is running rings around the establishment media on critical wedge issues.

One Democratic congressman who recently broke the taboo is Keith Ellison, a black Muslim and former member of the Nation of Islam. OK, so he's not typical of the U.S. Congress. He's easy to blow off because he'll be taken for a radical by many. But it's the allegedly marginal voices that are often the forerunners when a taboo is beginning to fail.

Ellison told an atheist rights group in Minnesota earlier this month that the 9/11 attacks were "almost like the Reichstag fire; kind of reminds me of that" and pointed out that the Nazis had seized absolute power based on the claim that the communists had been behind it. Ellison said Vice President Dick Cheney's refusal to answer congressional questions was the "very definition of totalitarianism, authoritarianism and dictatorship."

The congressman avoided saying that he believed 9/11 was an inside job by the Bush bunch. "You know, that's how they put you in the nut-ball box, dismiss you."

In fact, a Google search shows scores of blogs dedicated to vicious attacks on Ellison as a wingnut conspiracy theorist; his reticence didn't work because many of the bloggers weren't overly interested in logic. For the original article, go to http://www.telegraph.co.uk and search Keith Ellison.

Most of the attack blogs made a big issue of Ellison's religion. I'd just like to point out that feminist Naomi Wolf, a Jew, and GOP insider Vic Gold, who I am guessing is Jewish, made exactly the same point. Please see my posts on Wolf and Gold by searching Reichstag and insider.

मिर्रोर ऎंड archive

Suggestion: mirror and archive

You may wish to have one of my blog or other pages available for reference some day. Don't count on any search engine being reliable, however.

For example, my article about what police actually saw inside the twin towers on 9/11 is rapidly nicked off search engines after showing up briefly. So, you might be wise to mirror

9/11 blasts still echo in tangled files

and to make your own archival copy.

Same with some of my other stuff.

No telling what might happen in the current explosive political climate.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

रिवर्स मिदास touch

Murdoch's reverse Midas touch in U.S. print

Murdoch has a way of killing the geese that lay the golden eggs in American print media. In recent years, he's a glittering success because of Fox TV and because his newspapers do well overseas.

But in America, all his attempts at print media have been monetary black holes. He went on a U.S. newspaper and magazine-buying spree back in the 80's and went effectively bankrupt, though Citibank laid off his debt and bailed him out. Yet he was required to sell off virtually all his U.S. print properties.

He knows the razmataz, but profit has always eluded him in the U.S. print market. His principle current print holding, the New York Post, has for decades been a notorious profit sponge subsidized by News Corp's other operations. In fact, the Post is a reason for Dow Jones investors to beware Murdochian methods. He won't give up a money loser to maximize profit if it doesn't suit his personal proclivities.

So, based on Murdoch's print media record, the great Dow Jones takeover is likely to be followed by a ruinous longer term slide in Dow Jones value.

हो हम?

Ho hum?

Back in January 2002, I pointed out Bush's use of the "signing statement" gimmick as a method of deploying a line-item veto. Bush was striving to spare the CIA realistic legislative oversight despite congressional outrage over the intelligence lapses leading up to 9/11.

Bush uses de facto line-item veto

Since that post, the signing statement issue has burgeoned into a major point of contention, with constitutional lawyers similarly homing in on the practice and with Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W. Va., conducting a Senate investigation of the practice, which is plainly a threat to congressional authority under the Constitution.

In April 2006, the Boston Globe reported that Bush had gone on to use this device to undermine hundreds of laws.

Purportedly, fewer than 700 people have viewed my essay. Maybe I was merely a voice crying in the wilderness. Ho hum...

Even so, the evidence gathered by Byrd could easily be used in articles of impeachment. Only the political will is lacking, not the evidence.

Monday, July 23, 2007

वी गेट around

We get around

Post on Feingold censure resolution is immediately prior to this post.

Despite all sorts of interference, Znewz1 gets around.

Our posts and news reports have been showing up regularly on a variety of interesting web sites for a while now, and my ad hoc opinion is that this tendency has grown noticeably as the White House's political position declines.

Now, it remains true that all too often pages referring to Znewz1 stay on Google and other search engines only for short times before vanishing into oblivion. The pages don't get a lower priority, unless by "lower" you mean "zero."

Why so? Clearly, the invisible government is trying to bolster a false impression that Znewz1 and Conant are highly isolated and have little impact. The more seemingly isolated a voice is politically, the easier that voice is to ignore (at least on the surface). Also, the isolation factor helps reinforce intimidation. Others worry about being too plainspoken about 9/11 or surveillance of journalists on the the theory that persons such as myself are "roped off" and "getting nowhere."

However, if we don't simply think about what a "Znewz1" search turns up today, but about what it has turned up over the past few years, and particularly over the past few months, then we might realize that all sorts of people have no problem interconnecting with Znewz1 and Conant. They are not intimidated.

So let's not succumb to the carefully crafted illusion that Americans fear to respond to some of the things we say here. Yes, quite a few Americans have been keeping their heads down. But, on the flipside, there is an increasing renewal of confidence in the First Amendment right to to interact with Conant and quote him at will, whether positively or negatively.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

अस्सौल्ट ओं फ्री press

Assault on freedom

(The garbled head is from an unfixed Blogger bug. See comments on previous posts.)

If Sen. Russ Feingold has his way, Bush and Cheney will face a vote of censure for deceptions in promoting the Iraq war and for the "greatest assault on our Constitution in American history."

Citing widespread sentiment in favor of impeachment, Feingold told Meet the Press that he would introduce the resolution within a few days as an alternative to an impeachment process. The senator, citing the NSA warrantless wiretap program, said he believes Bush and Cheney had committed impeachable offenses but that his resolution was a more "moderate" course of action than impeachment.

Feingold also said Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had been very deceptive with Congress and might be included in the censure resolution, particularly with respect to his role in the Patriot Act and the U.S. attorney firings.

Feingold serves in the Senate, but articles of impeachment must be drawn up in the House. Rather than unsettle the aspirations of the Democratic presidential candidates, Democrats have thus far shied away from impeachment.

Feingold said nothing about whether he would introduce a clause reprimanding Bush and Cheney for either committing perjury about Bush covertly declassifying CIA Officer Plame's identity in 2003 or for waiting until the very last moment in 2006 to tell either the attorney general or the special prosecutor that Bush had declassified Plame's identity. Obviously, too much focus on that point might rapidly trigger articles of impeachment.

Neither did Feingold mention 9/11 in his proposed resolution, though one could easily relate a massive assault on the Constitution to a stab in America's back that day. Serious public officials must know by now that the evidence is overwhelming that treason occurred that day and that Bush and Cheney abetted the coverup or, if not, are so wildly incompetent as to require impeachment.

Feingold's problem of course is that a deal has been done in the inner sanctums of power to stonewall the 9/11 treason issue and protect the traitors, traitors who are far more dangerous to America than all the Islamist extremists combined. The corporate media are in the hands of a few who have shaken hands with hell on that point. Can or will Feingold overcome these devils? Let's see what gets into the resolution.

I tried to respond to Feingold's article on Op Ed News, which has a "contact the author" option, but got back an "email not sent -- failed" notice.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

ओउत्रगे ओवर बीबीसी swindles

Outrage over BBC swindles

The BBC is on the carpet over the practice of deceiving audiences, the latest instance being a group of children's shows and game shows with fake winners.

A BBC internal probe found that the deception of audiences was a very serious problem and a number of editors have been suspended from their duties. The scandal was triggered when the BBC was forced to apologize for asserting that the Queen had stormed out of a photo shoot.

The BBC's problem of editorial integrity appears to be very deep.

Back in February, top BBC Editor Richard Porter lamely blew off an embarrassing video showing BBC reporter Jane Standley announcing that World Trade Center 7 had collapsed while viewers could see it over her shoulder in the background. Porter was embarrassed that the BBC's hatchet job on 9/11 conspiracy (focusing on the trivia and silly stuff) had been brought into such sharp relief by that video. A copy was on YouTube some weeks back, though the video had been yanked off Google, presumably at the BBC's request.

Porter said the BBC had -- not because of conspiracy -- lost all its original videotapes from that period and so was unable to authenticate the video. He wouldn't say what Standley's reaction to the video clip was. Nor did he say there would be an internal inquiry. He allowed that he had spoken to her and that she could not recall exactly what she'd said. Still, why not tell the public her specific reaction to the video -- did she think it authentic?

Neither did Porter say that a BBC news broadcast would deal with this matter. The last word seems to have been on his low-profile blog.

Porter said that even if the video clip were authentic, plainly Standley had simply made a mistake. But this doesn't sound like journalistic objectivity. Yes, perhaps Standley or an aide made a simple error: They were told 20 minutes in advance that the building was coming down and misheard that as the building having fallen.

So this leads to the question of who on the scene knew the building was about to collapse swiftly and completely. This kind of information should be available to the public. But by blowing off the matter, Porter tried to save the journalistic face of the 9/11 conspiracy hatchet job, rather than to behave objectively. Porter was a journalist with a propaganda mission.

Here is another point that Porter didn't think rather curious. Five minutes before WTC7 fell, the BBC lost the feed and Standley went off the air. Certainly would have been difficult had the building collapsed on air while she was explaining that it had already collapsed.

The BBC's lack of integrity in the 9/11 matter seems to be part of a pattern that apparently has emerged after the mass exodus spurred by the "sexed up" report dispute.

आ दोव्न्सिदे ऑफ़ कोम्पुल्सोर्य voting

A downside of compulsory voting

One downside of compulsory voting in a democracy is the obvious point that even the least informed people have their opinion weighed. People who make no effort to vote are unlikely to know much about public affairs.

But there may be another downside, especially for a parliamentary democracy: the ruling elite can use statistical methods to such precision as to be able to read the election outcomes with uncanny ability. This tool would be especially helpful in timing a parliamentary election, as long as the lag time weren't too great.

Consider that the Gallup poll is forced to use a complicated, weighted sampling system in order to predict U.S. election outcomes. Otherwise, people who are unlikely to vote would count the same as those who are likely, and a serious bias could be introduced into the experiment.

The consequence is that the Gallup error rate swings quite widely by comparison with a standard error for simple random samples of the same size as used by Gallup. That's the best Gallup can do. Simple random sampling is believed to introduce bias. So all this is why political pollsters are not terribly good at calling a fairly close race. Hence, ruling elites find life much more difficult and predicting a winner is much more chancey. Presumably that fact helps democracy.

Yet, in a democracy where voting is compulsory, simple random sampling of adults is likely to predict the winner with painfully exact accuracy -- barring some unforeseen wild card -- even in fairly tight races. This means that political control is far easier for the few to manage. Bad for democracy.

Friday, July 20, 2007

शिफ्तिंग विन्ड्स

Shifting winds

Is the diplomatic dustup between Britain and Russia mere theater, or are real consequences likely?

The new prime minister, Gordon Brown, is not wedded to Tony Blair's foreign policies, as was made clear when the Independent published a report on Blair's discussions with Rupert Murdoch during the run-up to the Iraq war. The day after Blair stepped down, the government granted a freedom of information request for details on this matter. As the Independent reported, the day after each huddle, the Murdoch press cut loose with vitriolic attacks against opponents of Blair's policies, such as French leader Jacques Chirac.

So we must consider that Brown is not terribly interested in being friendly with Murdoch, despite his stranglehold on much of the British media. Perhaps we'll see a parliamentary move to curtail press oligarchs such as Murdoch. If war propagandist Conrad Black can fall, so might Murdoch. My estimate of the Black matter was that, once his link-up with the neocons became well known, elements of the British establishment decided to take action.

BTW, Seth Lipsky, editor of the neocon-leaning New York Sun, has published an extensive apologia for his friend and ally Black in that paper. Plainly, Lipsky hopes that Black will be cleared on appeal and, like neocon Scooter Libby, also escape the clutches of federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.

So back to the British-Russian contretemps. Could relations get extremely bad and stay that way? I'd say yes.

After all, we're not talking about a routine murder, but about the assassination of a well-known person under the political protection of the British government. Worse, we're talking about a hit that showed a terrorist's mentality: no regard for human life as the radioactive material was tracked all over London. Yet the Russians refuse to allow a realistic investigation by the British or turn over a suspect, who has the protection of Putin's "KGB" apparatus.

Does anyone recall the Soviet KGB's proclivity for sponsoring terrorists?

So Russia is saying that Britain will no longer benefit from Russia's help in countering terrorism.

Recall that 9/11 occurred soon after a wave of Moscow apartment house bombings that the Kremlin claimed were the work of Chechnyan Islamic terrorists. But Litvinenko, the man who was murdered by radioactive material, is among those who said the bombings were the work of Putin's assassins. Like Putin and the murder suspect, Litvinenko was a KGB insider.

So who had a motive to pull off 9/11? Yes, of course, neocon insiders had a motive. But what of the Cheka (the generic name for Russian security forces)?

Of the 3,000 persons murdered on 9/11, scores were Britons working at a British bank. So clearly 9/11 is not merely an American affair. Perhaps Brown won't mind terribly if the British security authorities redo their investigation into 9/11, this time ignoring potential political problems, such as the desire of Washington, Moscow and Jerusalem to keep the focus entirely on al Qaeda and Islamic wildmen.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A candidate for Ripley's
Have you read The Bible Code or other material of that type, whereby supposed hidden messages are found by compiling every nth letter? Lo, and behold, many strange messages show up.

The Bible Code even cited a statistical analysis -- which has drawn sharp criticism -- purporting to show a strong degree of nonrandomness in the messages. Perhaps later I will put a Code probability discussion on my to-do list, right under my pledge to write something about taboos and surveillance realpolitik.

I recently ran across something else which spilled out of the weird controversies file:

The pontiff's tiara or mitre allegedly spells out 666 in Roman numerals. Not true, as Catholic defenders meticulously document on the Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicarius_Filii_Dei

However, what is true is that the pontifical claims to worldly power were for centuries largely based on the Donation of Constantine, a brazen forgery, which does contain the phrase "Vicarius Filii Dei," meaning the vicar (representative) of the Son of God.

The numerology is done this way:

Only Latin letters that are also Roman numerals are considered, other letters counting zero. V and U both represent 5, since v and u are interchangeable in the old writing.


V = 5 F = 0 D = 500
I = 1 I = 1 E = 0
C = 100 L = 50 I = 1
A = 0 I = 1
R = 0 I = 1
I = 1
U = 5
S = 0

It should be obvious that if one follows these rules for a sufficiently large random sample of three-letter Latin names, a certain percentage will show up correlated to 666, even though most of these other word sets will not be remotely mystical or spiritual.

Also, though we cannot be sure what that number may represent in the very last days, scholars are reasonably certain that John the Evangelist was writing of Neron Caesar (Nero), whose name is correlated to the number 666. The use of code was necessary in the face of the consequences of impugning the name of Caesar.

But, if one suspends probabilistic considerations, it still seems curious that a counterfeit pontifical claim to global power bears a title with that number.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pope: Salvation occurring in Protestant churches

The headline writing function is still down though the problem has morphed somewhat, so I am improvising. See posts below for more details.

The New York Times and Associated Press reports on the pope's statement about Catholic church primacy omitted an important detail. I don't suspect the writers of being unprofessional. I suspect that they simply did not see the meaningfulness and news value of the overlooked point.

The Pope's assessment of Protestant churches as "defective" is pretty much a technicality of a type common to many religious establishments: our church/way etc. is the "authorized" version. Yet, here's the important point: the pope explicitly stated that God is using Protestant churches to effect individual salvation.

This makes sense, in that Jesus said that he had not lost anyone given him by the Father, in that Jesus said he would be with "you always, even until the end of the age," in that Paul the apostle said that "all who call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved" and he clearly meant Jesus, which means "The LORD (Yahweh) saves."

Wouldn't it be nice if the Shia and the Sunni could see that real Christianity is long past the stage of putting people to death for divergent views (though many nominal/cultural Christians have not absorbed that idea)?

You can read the actual statement at

If link is uncooperative, Google Holy See news and proceed from there.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Did Bush authorize secret takeovers of web sites?

Though independent bloggers are posing severe problems for the control freaks, that doesn't mean those with control-itis are napping. After all, they're control freaks. They can't nap, lest they lose control.

I have a theory. At Cheney's behest, Bush signed a secret national security order granting the FBI, Pentagon intelligence agency or CIA the right to take technical control of any web site deemed to be "terrorist-related."

A few lawmakers were given a vague idea about the program and are still staying quiet about it because the New York Times hasn't blown the whistle.

The server, such as Google, would get a secret order requiring the keys to the site be turned over to the feds, who would then be in control of the site in all its details. The servers would be forbidden to inform the site users of the federal takeover of controls.

The rationale would be that in the war on terror, sometimes terrorist messages must be blocked from going on the net. However, the actuality would be that sites disliked by feds would face all sorts of unwarranted disruptions (witness the FBI's routine misuse of national security letters in order to bypass judicial watchfulness over constitutional safeguards).

Recall the NSA warrantless interception of phone calls and email. What better way to intercept email than to require the server to turn over keys to the account? And while in control of the account, what might an invisible fed do? If feeling capricious, or wanting to "send a message," such a fed might easily play games with the account that go beyond interception of specific messages.

No? You may not recall that top officials of the Swiss financial data transmission organization lodged protests with the U.S. government over one spook's misuse of privileged information in the covert "terrorist surveillance program" by the CIA and Treasury Dept.

However, such secret technical controls don't easily translate into a stranglehold on free speech and political discourse. They can be used to disrupt some writers. But excessive use will flare up into a major issue.

That point is underscored by Attorney General Gonzales facing renewed congressional skepticism, this time about his claim that no documented civil liberties abuses had shown up as a result of Patriot Act "national security" activities, even though he had been sent an FBI report tabulating improper use of national security letters.

Coming soon: Breaking taboos about surveillance.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Independent bloggers fill vacuum left by old-style news firms

White House spokesman Tony Snow shot down a New York Times story that the White House was in fevered discussions over countering Iraq pullout pressures with a plan for a gradual withdrawal.

But, Snow didn't deny that the discussions are taking place nor their content, from what I can tell. Rather, he said that the troop surge has only been an interim measure anyway and that drawdowns could always be made for military, but never, oh never political reasons.

Even so, the frenzied discussions are obviously a result of fear of Republican defections and the political mechanics needed to avert a GOP stampede. Otherwise, why would Gates have postponed his Latin American trip?

The White House problem is that not even Snow's ex-employer, Fox News, can turn the trick for the hawks. Murdoch is edging toward "moderation" while the Times is throwing down the gauntlet in favor of rapid pullbacks.

All this goes to show that corporate media kingpins can no longer rely on "our thing" to keep certain issues under tight control. Congress and the White House are facing a stark, new reality whereby internet bloggers are filling the news vacuums left by the media coverup system.

Complain as you might about the blogging phenomenon, the fact is that the blogosphere is an open battleground that can spell the difference in many a political contest. Though most people get their "news" from television, it is the politically active who are most involved in political blogging and who provide the cutting edge of grassroots politicking.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Moving deck chairs on the Titanic

[The post What right to know? appears below with a headline composed of a series of question marks (or, depending on your viewing system, Hindi characters) that are apparently due to a computing glitch. I am still barred from using the headline function, despite a change of system, password and security question.
Blogger reports that it has had problems with posts appearing in Albanian but otherwise reports no bug of the type I have encountered.

Things are spinning wildly out of control for the invisible system. The hidden overlords are in a real tizzy as to how to keep their empire of evil from foundering on the rocks of Bush's failed war policy.

The corridors of power are awash with fear and uncertainty as hardliners go mushy and the spookocrats weasel and weave, knowing the political vulnerabilities of the security system that was used to push America into war. The economic oligarchs are suddenly at wits end as to how to keep everybody happy. They're huddling with Kissinger, no doubt, but he's got so many deals going, no one knows what his real game is.

Defense Secretary Gates, the longtime CIA careerist, has called off a Latin America trip in order to participate in frenzied discussions about the mushrooming political crisis spawned by the war's continuation and by the fact that politicians see that the traditional media system can no longer hold back the rage of a swindled people. The New York Times, sensing the astonishing and rapid change in the national realpolitik, is urgently calling for a pullback of U.S. forces to Kurdish territory.

And, adding another incendiary to the mix, Cindy Sheehan says she'll challenge Pelosi for her House seat unless Pelosi begins impeachment proceedings against Bush. Pelosi may find that she needs to take that threat seriously.

Of course, the real issue for Bush, Cheney and the spookocrats is how to keep the Titanic sufficiently above water so that the real bad beastie -- 9/11 treason -- doesn't slither into the public discourse. Such an eventuality may seem highly unlikely today, but with the political situation at a crisis point, the probability may not be remote at all.

And crisis is the correct word to describe Bush's war predicament, because, roughly translated, the word means "damned if you do and damned if you don't."

Saturday, July 07, 2007

वहत राईट तो क्नोव?

The reason for the question marks (or possibly Hindi characters depending on what system you're viewing from) is that the headline function went down on this account, printing out question marks (or Hindi characters) in place of letters. I am at this point unable to erase the question marks.

The glitch may be payback for the previous post, which is about a headline that clandestine control freaks surely don't welcome. Their "message" is, as usual, to imply some sort of monolithic control, which, if they actually had it, they'd use to shut my writings off entirely. I was thinking of referring this matter to a U.S. attorney, but, we all know what that outcome would be.

Other weird stuff: I am usually forced to fill out the pattern recognition window twice when I wish to publish a post on this blog, though there is no way I got the letters wrong the first time in most instances. Similarly, when I try to log into Myspace, the pattern recognition window claims I'm always wrong, and so I can't log in. Other Murdoch sites overseas have become impossible for me to view, putting me into loops that effectively bar access.

The headline glitch occurs both in my personal laptop and in a public library terminal.
I have changed my password and security question, but the glitch remains.
Also, the glitch has magically expanded so that now it isn't possible to write anything at all, not even question marks, in the headline slot.

What right to know?

A federal appeals court in Ohio bounced the ACLU suit over Bush's warrantless wiretapping on grounds that the plaintiffs -- a group of journalists and academics -- were unable to directly prove that they had been eavesdropped on by the feds.

And, by the way, the court is making darn sure that the plaintiffs never will be able to prove illegal actions against them by the Bush bunch. The decision could have been written by Franz Kafka.

You see, the government can do criminal things in secret and, if the cover is blown, they just say you can't prove you were a victim, so you can't check to see if you were a victim. And, they don't need to be held accountable by anyone, thank you.

The court's message is that when government does wrong there may be no legal remedy. And ain't that too bad.

But the fact that these journalists and others can't prove they were under surveillance doesn't mean they don't have strong reason to believe they were under surveillance. Writer A.J. Weberman told me years ago that spooks like to taunt and mock their surveillance targets. So what if you know they're there? You have no standing to sue based on observations that can easily be blown off.

Those who read this blog -- just look at the blog blurb -- know that I have often cited unethical federal clandestine activities with respect to my journalistic work. Some may have wondered why I took no legal measures against the government. The Ohio decision is your answer. When the surveillance system is threatened, you aren't allowed to win. Period.

I don't know, but I'd guess that some of these plaintiffs suspected illegal surveillance because of consequences in their lives that were most explicable by federal wiretapping.

I once had on this site a link to a political activist who gave the real low-down on how government spooks behave with respect to dissenters. These feds obey no rule of law. The law is merely a cover they hide behind. Where's the link? Coincidentally, it vanished one day when all my links were blown out by a Google malfunction. I haven't bothered to try to retrieve it.

Some dissident Americans get put under permanent surveillance. Where's the rule of law in that? We're not talking about terrorists here -- though of course the feds can easily claim some terrorist "link" in order to justify their relentless watchfulness.

The fact is that powerful people -- among them a group of economic oligarchs -- misuse the national security surveillance system as a means of political and economic control. They use the information from eavesdropping to head off moves of people they see as a threat to their personal or ideological position. They also have no compunction about misusing federal power to continually harry people they regard as in their way.

If confronted, they'll blow the matter off, or ignore the charges, or, if necessary, make sure the matter runs into immense legal obstacles. They will rely on the public's tendency to disbelieve such charges, a tendency reinforced by government shills who specialize in dirtying up the truth and by the fact that most people don't draw the attention of federal watchers.

You're free to email me with your responses, or to post comments. But, don't count on your email getting through or me seeing your comment.

Remember the case of reporter John Solomon a couple of years ago. A packet containing an FBI document was mailed to him from the Philippines, but never arrived. The FBI played dumb, but it was eventually revealed the bureau had confiscated the document sent to him by another reporter.

The FBI belatedly claimed that a mail firm employee handling the packet saw the document and quietly passed it on to the bureau. BUT, a more likely explanation is that the bureau was wiretapping Solomon, whose stories posed a political threat to powerful interests, and the feds knew the document was in transit. So they intercepted it in order to block an unwelcome story.

Senate showdown
Another congressional battle over the continuation of the Iraq fiasco is shaping up, reports the New York Times. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to call another antiwar vote, and he sees a win-win position for Democrats. More Republicans are likely to join the antiwar bloc, and if a decisive vote doesn't work this time, Reid can schedule yet another vote as November elections near.

So it seems quite plausible that Congress will in fact force an end to the war in the near future. However, lest we forget, there are powerful hidden forces at work that oppose such a shift. These are the forces that conspired to bring about 9/11 and then use jingoistic propaganda to launch the long-planned war.

These are the forces that altered the results of the 2004 presidential election, which handed Bush a stinging defeat in numerous purported red states. These forces kept a tight grip on the media to prevent them from making an issue of the facts they had in hand.

These are the forces with access to immense congressionally funded clandestine operations that are used to control media, business and politics in America.

So if Reid is serious about a desire to end the pointless harm to our soldiers, he's going to need to be braced for the fact that the Pentagon security forces and CIA are highly motivated to arrange a big and dirty operation to protect the war system and the welfare for defense contractors.

My point: When Congress cuts war funds, it's going to face the problem of black ops funds being used for political, which is to say criminal, purposes rather than counter-terror purposes.

After all, the clandestine security forces strongly resent the headline on the previous post.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Big media losing political stranglehold

That could well have been the headline on July 3's Wall Street Journal story actually titled "Conservatives find their voice on the web."

What happened to the immigration bill? Well, according to reporters June Kronholz and Amy Schatz, a partnership of conservative radio personalities and conservative bloggers proved instrumental in felling the bill, which was strongly backed by Bush and Kennedy.

Even Washington Post opinion-molder David Broder lamented the bill's defeat, blaming a "particularly vurulent stream of populism" that has "made official Washington altogether too responsive to public opinion." Broder didn't cite bloggers but he did knock "many talk radio stations" for giving the bill a bum rap.

The conservative bloggers seem to have finally come into their own, showing a powerful presence in the liberal-dominated blogosphere, the Journal writers say -- pointing out that liberal bloggers had forced Democratic presidential candidates to turn down Fox News' offer to host a debate. In fact, much of the antiwar lobbying hasn't been filtered through the traditional media, but has come from net activists.

Lieberman was bounced from the Democratic Party because of that phenomenon. Having big media, with all their craft and clever silences, in his corner did not prevent the sudden upset. In fact, Lieberman's reliance on the traditional means of political control may well have given him a false sense of security. Yes, he went on to win the general election, but nevertheless every Democrat in the country learned that one ignores the blogosphere at one's peril.

I daresay that blog activism had much to do with the bombshell disclosure last year that one-third of Americans thought the government was complicit in 9/11. In fact, there have been screams of outrage from both print and broadcast media about that poll, with bitter denunciations of the net "radicals" who are bypassing the gatekeepers of public reality.

In fact, more "new realities" are likely to suddenly appear seemingly out of the blue. Recently, one net writer pointed out that quite a bit has been going on in Congress that is paving the way for a double impeachment, but that the media overlords are playing dumb. An impeachment resolution could suddenly materialize -- with big media only belatedly noticing the dynamics, the writer said. I agree.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

So Miller's jailing wasn't excessive?

What did Libby know and when was he going to tell it? Libby's knowledge of many White House shenanigans may well have been a big factor in Bush's decision to commute the Iraq war hawk's sentence.

Neither Miller nor Cooper posed that kind of a threat to Bush, who -- assuming Bush and Cheney haven't committed perjury -- failed to say that he had declassified Plame's CIA status and that there was no reason to grill reporters about sources.

Bush also permitted the special prosecutor probe to develop into a horrific downturn for press freedom with news organizations threatened with bankruptcy if they failed to comply with the rule of law. These news outfits deserve little sympathy in that they are the ones which have played down, ignored and written around Bush's impeachable behavior. Yet, the precedents affect everyone's press freedom.

Either Bush and Cheney lied about the secret declassification order -- so secret not even the CIA was told -- or Bush and Cheney kept quiet while millions of dollars were spent on a senseless probe that resulted in news people cooling their heals in jail over a crime that these politicos knew never occurred.

When reporters tried to protect Libby, Bush favored the rule of law, and those reporters went to jail. No intervention to keep them out. Bush, if he's not a perjurer, had some responsibility for pushing Libby into perjury, a crime. Even so, it is apparent that the rule of law operates differently for well-connected political operatives than for members of the press.

Goes to show that the special interests who control media have no sense of loyalty toward members of the working press, whether employed by those interests or not. "The system," which so well benefits a few oligarchs, must be protected at any price -- and if that means some of their reporters lose their scalps, well, too bad... Notice that Miller was forced out and other journalists mistreated, but the media corporations do nothing to spotlight the unbelievably bizarre actions of Bush and Cheney.

For the corporate controllers, past and present members of the press are little more than chump wage slaves who ought to know how to weasel better. The fact is that the media corporations would rather their reporters be isolated, disgraced, humiliated, jailed and ruined than to risk rocking the "system." If the special interests can clamp a news lid down even when it hurts their own reporters and press freedom in general, no wonder we see nothing about government complicity in 9/11.

Members of the working press are just dumb grunts in the combat zone, as far as these elitists are concerned. If the newsies are too dumb to know they're cannon fodder, then tough lumps...

Previously, some may have thought that the origin of the media blackout concerning yours truly was possibly non-political in origin. In light of what's happening -- or not happening -- with respect to Miller et al, perhaps a second thought is in order.

One more point: As much as I oppose the Libbycons, the White House consigliere has been shortchanged. Libby deserves a full pardon. After all, Libby would never have been charged had Bush or Cheney spoken up in a timely manner rather than continuing to conceal the alleged declassification order.