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Showing posts from September, 2006

Rumsfeld’s Fake News Flop in Iraq

Sheldon Rampton

The following is an excerpt from The Best war Ever: Lies, Damned Lies, and the Mess in Iraq by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber (Tarcher, 2006).

The danger of negative news, according to President Bush, is that it may undermine morale and support for the war, as Americans “look at the violence they see each night on their television screens and they wonder how I can remain so optimistic about the prospects of success in Iraq.” But propaganda itself is a danger to the nation, as the United States has long recognized, both in theory and in law. In 1948, Congress, concerned by what it had seen propaganda do to Hitler’s Germany, passed the Smith-Mundt Act, a law that forbids domestic dissemination of U.S. government materials intended for foreign audiences.

The law is so strict that programming from Voice of America, the government’s overseas news service, may not be broadcast to domestic audiences. Legislators were concerned that giving any U.S. administration access to the …

UK troops ‘to spend 10 years’ in Afghanistan

Michael Smith

THE commander of the British taskforce in southern Afghanistan said last week that UK troops could be in the country for as long as 10 years.

In his first interview since arriving in Afghanistan, Brigadier Ed Butler said: “I don’t think there’s any doubt we will be here for a considerable time. There will need to be training teams and embedded officers for 10 years or so.”

Butler, commander of 16 Air Assault Brigade, took full responsibility for setting up the “platoon houses” at Sangin and Musa Qala, where 15 British soldiers have died. But he said the decision to send troops into the frontline bases, described by many of his men as “hellholes”, was made “under not inconsiderable pressure” from Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan’s president.

When British troops began arriving in April to take charge of Helmand province, they met immediate Taliban resistance, Butler said. Baghran district centre had been overrun by the Taliban.

“The governor [of Helmand] was concerned, and the Afghan …

The ID Chip You Don’t Want in Your Passport

Bruce Schneier

If you have a passport, now is the time to renew it — even if it’s not set to expire anytime soon. If you don’t have a passport and think you might need one, now is the time to get it. In many countries, including the United States, passports will soon be equipped with RFID chips. And you don’t want one of these chips in your passport.

RFID stands for “radio-frequency identification.” Passports with RFID chips store an electronic copy of the passport information: your name, a digitized picture, etc. And in the future, the chip might store fingerprints or digital visas from various countries.

By itself, this is no problem. But RFID chips don’t have to be plugged in to a reader to operate. Like the chips used for automatic toll collection on roads or automatic fare collection on subways, these chips operate via proximity. The risk to you is the possibility of surreptitious access: Your passport information might be read without your knowledge or consent by a government tryin…

Pope sorry for reaction to his remarks

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AP - 1 hour, 12 minutes ago

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy - Pope Benedict XVI said Sunday that he was "deeply sorry" about the angry reaction to his recent remarks about Islam, which he said came from a text that did not reflect his personal opinion. Despite the statement, protests and violence persisted across the Muslim world, with churches set ablaze in the West Bank and a hard-line Iranian cleric saying the pope was united with President Bush to "repeat the Crusades."

He then went on to tell his notoriously naughty joke about the Islamic Cleric and the Rabbi, that walked into the topples bar,,,, then finished with a heartfelt medley of Hitler speach highlights.

U.S. holds AP photographer in Iraq 5 month

By ROBERT TANNER, AP National Writer
1 hour, 7 minutes ago


The U.S. military in Iraq has imprisoned an Associated Press photographer for five months, accusing him of being a security threat but never filing charges or permitting a public hearing.

Military officials said Bilal Hussein, an Iraqi citizen, was being held for "imperative reasons of security" under United Nations resolutions. AP executives said the news cooperative's review of Hussein's work did not find anything to indicate inappropriate contact with insurgents, and any evidence against him should be brought to the Iraqi criminal justice system.

Hussein, 35, is a native of Fallujah who began work for the AP in September 2004. He photographed events in Fallujah and Ramadi until he was detained on April 12 of this year.

"We want the rule of law to prevail. He either needs to be charged or released. Indefinite detention is not acceptable," said Tom Curley, AP's president and chief executive officer.…

Dear “Terrorist” Child

Imprisoned in the Vortex of the Pax Americana

Growing up, young child, as you surely are, affected in some way, shape or form by the tentacles of America’s malevolent imperialism in the Middle East, whether by market colonialism, economic genocide or military occupation, surely bitterness, hatred, rage and a thirst for vengeance are slowly yet inevitably building inside your tiny body. Like a seed planted into the fertile soils of American hegemony, sprouting in anger with every downpour of American interference in your land, over time nurtured to become a tree bearing the blowback fruit America will be forced to reap, ready to ripen at maturity, your emotions against the Empire growing stronger with every year that passes, with every act of further humiliation and dehumanization, with every display of blatant hypocrisy or lost opportunity, with every new maiming and death upon your family and people.

Whether living in lands overrun by American-sponsored and supported despotic, undemocr…

Empire in the Mirror

Empire – A Tribe on Steroids

Inside the belly of the beast can the harbinger of what is to come be seen, for the internal machinations of the Pax Americana have become rusted and decrepit, its lifeblood infected and diseased by the spoils of its conquests and the narcissism of its hubris. In pursuit of unmatched wealth and power its internal organs have been infected by the malignancies of greed, arrogance and corruption, spreading from coast to coast, a haze of barrenness infiltrating every city and every town, afflicting a society 300 million strong, slowly yet invariably eroding the foundations of an Empire on fast-forward time, as if America’s domination has been accelerated, her reign compressed and her demise made absolute. Yet in her accelerated cycle can civilization once more bear witness that while the greatness of man may build empires, it is the deep flaws inherent in our nature that crumbles them as well.

What the genius of humankind helps construct the vices of the human …

Two Axioms of 9/11

Axiom One: November Fears


With government and corporate media propaganda echoing the traumatic memories of five years ago, from sea to shining sea, enveloping the airwaves and print media of the nation with a clenched fist of wall to wall coverage, Americans have again been bombarded with the exploitation of the mass murder of 3,000 human beings, their death once more serving the political interests of the Bush cabal as well as the financial concerns of the corporate Leviathan. The War on the American People – that psychological operation against our minds and emotions that began with the demolition of the World Trade Center and has continued unabatedly for five consecutive years – has been reinvented and redeployed, its army of lackey journalists, talking heads, government institutions and authoritarian politicians eager to spread the language and images needed to resurrect emotions and feelings, spreading the filth designed to manipulate our fears and hatreds, conditioning us into ac…

An Inconvenient Truth

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Save a tree

A Shopper's Guide to Home Tissue Products
Shop smart. Save forests.

Learn More:
Tissue Paper & Forests
Forests are being destroyed to make toilet paper, facial tissues, paper towels and other disposable paper products. You can help stop this destruction by pressing manufacturers to use recycled content and clean manufacturing processes (click here to send a message to paper giant Kimberly-Clark), and by making smart shopping decisions.

If every U.S. household replaced one roll of regular paper towels with 100 percent recycled ones, we'd save 544,000 trees.

Need help lowering your energy bills?

With winter fast approaching, I thought it would be nice to share this site, and hopefully encourage people to be a little pro-active in weatherizing there homes, and making a smaller foot print on our planet.DOE Building Technology

Preliminary Draft Maps of Potential Energy Corridors

Preliminary draft maps of potential energy corridors on federal lands in eleven Western States.

The Departments of Energy, Interior, Agriculture, and Defense (the Agencies) are preparing a draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act to identify the impacts associated with designating energy corridors on federal lands in eleven Western states. Energy corridors may contain oil, gas, and hydrogen pipelines and electricity transmission facilities. The Agencies are preparing the PEIS at the direction of Congress, as set forth in Section 368 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Based upon the information and analyses developed in the PEIS, the Agencies will designate energy corridors by amending their respective land use plans.

The Government wants to build a new power grid through our national parks and protected wildlands. Please go to this site and write them, telling them to keep there hands off our parks and wildlands!!!!!!!!