Puppet MastersS

War Whore

US: Republican Accused of McCarthyism Over Radical Islam 'Show Trial'

Qaeda is targeting Muslim Americans for recruits to terrorism and the community must do more to combat Islamic radicalisation, a U.S. lawmaker said on Thursday as he opened hearings that have been criticised as a witch hunt.
A Republican congressman who has convened a public inquiry into radical Islam in the United States has been accused of staging a "show trial" reminiscent of the McCarthy-era hunt for communist sympathisers.

Representative Peter King, who heads the House homeland security committee, has come under withering criticism for the hearings, which begin today against a backdrop of increased terror plots by American Muslims.

Protesters and critics ranging from Islamic associations, civil liberties groups and law enforcement officials have said that by concentrating on extremism within the Muslim community, Mr King risked alienating Muslims who have supported police efforts to track terror suspects.


US: Justice Department Investigating Death Threats Against Republican Senators, Representatives

Seventeen Republican Senators in addition to Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald received the email threat that stated they should put their "things in order because you will be killed and your families also will be killed."

The email, which in the subject said "Atten: Death threat!!!! Bomb!!!!," was sent at 9:18 p.m. Wednesday, after the Senate, with Democrats absent, voted to eliminate most collective bargaining provisions for most public workers.

In addition, all of the Assembly Republicans, including Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, received an email death threat about 10:30 Wednesday night, said John Jagler, a spokesman for Jeff Fitzgerald. That email stated "Vote no and save your life."

Jagler said the threat talked about shooting the representative and planting bombs in places he frequented.

The state's Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating the email threat against the senators and several other threats from a variety of sources, said Bill Cosh, a spokesman for the Department of Justice.

Cosh said Thursday he was not at liberty to say anything more about the threats and investigation.

Andrew Welhouse, a spokesman for Scott Fitzgerald, said the email threat was turned over to Capitol Police, who also are investigating.

Arrow Down

U.S. Officials Pushed Products Deemed Unsafe by China

When it comes to protecting consumers, American politicians in China don't always practice what they preach, unpublished U.S. diplomatic cables show.

In 2007, two U.S. Congressmen privately admonished a Chinese official about the sudden spike in potentially harmful Made-in-China products being shipped around the world, according to a cable from the U.S. embassy in Beijing obtained by WikiLeaks and provided to Reuters by a third party.

At the time, China was under fire from the United States and other nations for a host of toxic exports -- everything from lead paint in toys to poisonous chemical substitutes for ingredients in medicine and pet food. In August of that year, Mattel alone was compelled to recall 20 million toys that had been manufactured in China.

Two years later, the cables show, the same U.S. Congressmen -- Mark Kirk, then a House Republican from Illinois, and Rick Larsen, a Democrat from Washington -- returned to Beijing, only this time they had an entirely different message. Kirk and Larsen asked Chinese officials to look the other way as an American company failed to meet regulations restricting the use of a toxic chemical in medical equipment sold to Chinese hospitals.

The company, Baxter Healthcare, was making blood bags for intravenous delivery using polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a plastic softener that has been banned in some other parts of the world. A chemical found in PVC has been shown to build up in humans, causing developmental defects in children, among other things. The European Union banned the chemical in question -- commonly known as DEHP -- from all household products this year.


UK: How Labour government blew £250million on private surgery that never took place

nhs hospital
© Getty ImagesLabour wasted £252million by paying for operations that were never carried out. The payments came at a time when the NHS was routinely refusing people life-extending cancer drugs - claiming they were too expensive to afford

Labour squandered £252million by paying private companies for operations on Health Service patients that were never carried out, it emerged yesterday.

Private healthcare firms were paid £1.689billion in advance over a seven-year period to carry out procedures such as hip replacements and cataract operations.

But in a shocking example of the last Government's wasteful spending only £1.437billion worth of procedures were actually performed - meaning £252million went into the pockets of private firms for doing nothing.

Comment: Yes, it's quite a racket the allopathic medical industry has going on:

Israel & South Africa: Netcare coughs up about illegal organ trafficking


US: Scott Walker's Real Agenda in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
© ReutersRepublican Governor Scott Walker's 'budget repair bill' would pave the way for wholesale privatisation of Wisconsin's state infrastructure.
The Republican governor's budget plan would open the state up to a corporate asset-grab not seen since robber baron capitalism

On Wednesday evening, in a veritable Night of the Long Knives, Wisconsin's integrity was brutally murdered on the floor of the state Capitol in Madison. On 9 March, integrity and trust built up over a century was obliterated as Wisconsin state senators quickly reversed course and cleaved its budget "repair bill" in half. Financial items require a quorum, thus, collective bargaining was split off from the budget repair bill and voted on separately so as to permit its being voted on now. Even so, this still broke the state's open meeting law requiring 24 hours' notice to ensure transparency. Instead, the Wisconsin senate Republicans pulled out this new legislation without advance notice and began voting, leaving only a stunned Democratic legislator, Peter Barca, to read the open meeting law out loud to prevent the senators from voting. The senate voted over his objections anyway.

The Wisconsin brand has always centered on integrity. This was really about the only distinctive comparative advantage the state could lay claim to. Now, it is gone. With collective bargaining abolished, huge issues remain beyond labour. The privatisation of public assets is now on the agenda, with the yet-to-be-voted-on budget repair bill.

Bad Guys

The Grievous Return of Henry Kissinger

Henry Kissinger illus
© n/a
Oh God protect us, Henry Kissinger is back!

Henry Kissinger was President Richard Nixon's National Security Advisor and then Secretary of State. He also held the latter position under President Gerald Ford. While it would be unfair to characterize him as someone who never gave a piece of good advice (he did encourage Nixon to engage in Detente with the Soviet Union), his record weighs heavily on the side of unwise counsel. As we will see he is back in exactly that role, plying bad advice that, in this case, could further erode America's already messed up intelligence agencies.

Kissinger was originally an academic. His doctoral dissertation was on the diplomacy of two early 19th century statesmen, Britain's Viscount Robert Castlereagh and Austria's Prince Klemens von Metternich. These men were major players at the great Congress of Vienna that took place after the final defeat of Napoleon in 1815. At that meeting Metternich argued for returning Europe to its pre French Revolution political status. Pursuing that impossible end, he backed repressive policies and regimes. One gets the impression that the history of Kissinger's public service was, at least in part, an effort to achieve the stature of a Metternich. Toward this end Kissinger would pursue "realpolitik" which, more often than not in its American manifestation, entailed the backing of repressive policies and regimes.

Card - VISA

US: Pimco's Gross Eliminates Government Debt From Total Return Fund

© Reuters / Jason ReedBill Gross

Bill Gross, who runs the world's biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co., eliminated government-related debt from his flagship fund last month as the U.S. projected record budget deficits.

Pimco's $237 billion Total Return Fund last held zero government-related debt in January 2009. Gross had cut the holdings to 12 percent of assets in January, according to the Newport Beach, California-based company's website. The fund's net cash-and-equivalent position surged from 5 percent to 23 percent in February, the highest since May 2008.

Yields on Treasuries may be too low to sustain demand for U.S. government debt as the Federal Reserve approaches the end of its second round of quantitative easing, Gross wrote in a monthly investment outlook posted on Pimco's website on March 2. Gross mentioned that Pimco may be a buyer of Treasuries if yields rise to attractive levels.

Treasury yields are about 150 basis points too low when viewed on a historical context and when compared with expected nominal gross domestic product growth of 5 percent, he wrote in the commentary. The Fed is scheduled to complete purchases of $600 billion of Treasuries in June.

Gross in his February commentary urged investors to reduce holdings of Treasuries and U.K. gilts and buy higher-returning securities such as debt from emerging-market nations. "Old- fashioned gilts and Treasury bonds may need to be 'exorcised' from model portfolios and replaced with more attractive alternatives both from a risk and a reward standpoint," Gross wrote.


General Petraeus Jokes with Robert Gates About Attacking Libya

Robert Gates, the US Secretary of Defence, has been caught joking with General David Petraeus about bombing Libya while on a visit to Afghanistan.

Apparently unaware of an open microphone, Gen Petraeus greeted Mr Gates at Kabul airport joking: "Welcome back, sir, flying a little bigger plane than normal ... you gonna launch some attacks on Libya or something?"

The US Defence Secretary responded to the comment by laughing and replied, "yeah, exactly".

Gates, who arrived on Monday for a two-day trip, visited Camp Leatherneck in Helmand after issuing a public apology over a Nato air strike last week that targeted insurgents but killed nine young boys who were collecting firewood in eastern Afghanistan.

"This breaks our heart," Mr Gates told a news conference on Monday at the presidential palace in Kabul, as US-backed President Hamid Karzai looked on.


Who is Michael Chertoff?

Not human
If it looks like a Nazi and acts like a Nazi...

The US news media protects Michael Chertoff.


He has done more damage to the US than any person I can think of, living or dead.

His record speaks for itself:


Pentagon Papers Whistleblowers, Congressman Who Saved Headwaters Forest, and 9/11 Commissioners Themselves Call for a New 9/11 Investigation

The two main players in releasing the Pentagon Papers were Daniel Ellsberg and United States Senator Mike Gravel.

Senator Gravel is the person who read the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record. This act made the papers public record, so that they could not be censored by the government. He was the only member of Congress courageous enough to do so.

Both Ellsberg and Gravel - like many other high-level former officials in the government and intelligence services (including many well-known whistleblowers) - support a new 9/11 investigation. Ellsberg says that the case of a certain 9/11 whistleblower is "far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers". (Here's some of what that whistleblower says.) He also said that the government is ordering the media to cover up her allegations about 9/11.

And he said that some of the claims concerning government involvement in 9/11 are credible, that "very serious questions have been raised about what they [U.S. government officials] knew beforehand and how much involvement there might have been", that engineering 9/11 would not be humanly or psychologically beyond the scope of those in office, and that there's enough evidence to justify a new, "hard-hitting" investigation into 9/11 with subpoenas and testimony taken under oath (see this and this).