number 115    
Petulant President Peruses Persian Gulf for Place in
President Bush attacked the
leadership of Iran last week saying
that the country is a “destabilizing
influence” and telling Americans that
they “ought to be very concerned
about Iran.”  The rhetoric was a
continuation of allegations made by
administration officials and military
commanders suggesting that Iran
supports the training and arming of
Iraqi resistance fighters within its

Bush said that weaponry is “being
smuggled into Iraq from Iran and
placed in the hands of extremists.”  
Saying that Iran is a “very troubled
nation right now,” Bush indicated that
administration emissaries have
conveyed a stern message to the
Iranian leadership
threatening unspecified retaliation
should the US discover more
evidence of Iranian support of the
Iraqi insurgency.  
In comments that recalled statements
that Bush made to the people of Iraq
just prior to the US invasion, Bush
made a point of speaking directly to
the people of Iran seeming to
encourage them to reject their
current leaders.  “You don’t have to
be isolated, you
don’t have to be in a position where
you can’t realize your full economic
potential,” Bush told the citizens of

The president’s comments came
after recent reports from US military
commanders who suggest that Iraqi
insurgents who receive support from
Iranian backers have killed
American troops.  A military
spokesperson said that there was
evidence that fighters in Iraq had
received training in Iran.

Although some in the
administration support diplomatic
rapprochement and Iraqi Prime
Minister Maliki just returned from a
three-day visit to Iran, Vice
President Cheney opposes
negotiating with Iran.  Sources in
the administration say that
Cheney recently called for US air
strikes inside Iran aimed at
suspected training camps.  The
vice president’s spokesperson
said the, “vice president is right
where the president is” on Iran
it's all true
interpreting the constitution

crowd control

spread of the red

one nation, under surveillance

fun d' mental

in bed with the red

red state rebate

crowd control
interpreting the constitution
Leaky Legislative Leadership Sinks to Loose Lips
Citizens Welcome
Space Invaders
The last-minute push by
Congressional Republicans to force
action on the Bush administration’s
revisions to the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act, which expand
executive branch prerogatives while
limiting review by the secret FISA
court, included a concerted effort to
portray Democratic opposition to the
changes as an impediment to
antiterrorism operations. The
atmosphere of heightened tensions
led to some unusual and ultimately
controversial political maneuvering
as two senior Republican
representatives leaked classified
information to the press, for
apparently partisan purposes, in
separate incidents just over a week

House Minority Leader John Boehner
of Ohio, in an interview with
, openly referred to a previously
undisclosed decision by a FISA court
judge regarding classified NSA
surveillance activities. Although aides
to Boehner immediately denied that
the congressman had leaked any
information, news outlets
corroborated the story citing
anonymous administration sources
who confirmed that details of the
judge’s ruling were indeed classified.
Government watchdog group Citizens
for Responsibility and Ethics in
Washington has filed a complaint with
the Justice Department, calling for an
investigation of the incident.

Days later, the ranking Republican
on the House Intelligence Committee,
Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan,
revealed elements of the highly
classified intelligence budget in an
op-ed in the
New York Post, writing
“the 2008 Intelligence Authorization
bill cut human
intelligence programs.” Hoekstra,
a frequent and scathing critic of
media leaks, disclosed the budget
data at a time when his House
Republican colleagues were
legislating to keep such
information secret.  Spokesmen
for Hoekstra rejected charges that
the article constituted a leak of
classified information, accusing
Democrats of creating the
controversy for political reasons.

Democrats who voted against the
White House proposal accused
Republicans of resorting to “fear
mongering” with suggestions of
an increased risk of a terrorist
attack during the summer recess.
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) told
New York Times, “There was
an intentional manipulation of the
facts to get this legislation
it's all true
Americans overwhelmingly feel
that the potential advantages
of municipal security cameras
outweigh any privacy issues
raised by the increasingly
sophisticated networks,
according to the results of a
recent survey. The
News-Washington Post
found that 71 percent favored
an expansion of surveillance
camera networks operated by
law enforcement agencies, with
only 25 percent opposed.
Such networks are becoming
common in major urban areas,
and grants from the
Department of Homeland
Security have made them
available to hundreds of
smaller cities and towns.  

Among US cities, New York,
Chicago and Baltimore have
the most ambitious plans to
develop video surveillance
networks. Chicago Mayor
Richard M. Daley has
proposed a centrally controlled
system combining more than
2000 municipal and private
security cameras that will be
augmented by mobile
surveillance units in specially
equipped vans. New York is on
track to have 3000 cameras in
place by 2010. The
recently reported that
the DHS has awarded more
than $23 billion in security
grants to local government
authorities since 2003,
expanding pricey video
surveillance programs to many
municipalities that could not
otherwise have afforded to
consider them.

Experts note a lack of
evidence that cameras have a
deterrent effect on crime.         
it's all true
spread of the red
VA Computer Equipment Missing in
A government audit of information
technology resources at four
Veterans Affairs facilities found that
more than 2,400 inventory items
valued at $6.4 million could not be
located by investigators, according to
a recently released report. The audit,
which was conducted by the
Government Accountability Office,
reviewed IT operations at three VA
medical centers—in San Diego,
Indianapolis, and Washington—in
addition to the administration
headquarters. Among the items that
could not be found or accounted for
were at least 53 computers, and hard
drives containing personal details
and medical information on millions of

The GAO reported that up to 28
percent of IT resources at the
Washington medical facility was lost,
temporarily misplaced, or destroyed
without proper documentation. VA
headquarters could not locate 11
percent of its equipment inventory;
San Diego, 10 percent; and
Indianapolis, six percent.
Investigators also found that hard
drives containing sensitive data were
routinely stored in unsecured
locations in all four of the audited

VA officials downplayed the risk that
the missing hardware and data had
been stolen. VA assistant secretary
for information and technology
Robert Howard told the
, “With all of the problems we’
ve had, I have not encountered any
case to my knowledge of identity theft
as a result of these instances. Will
information be exposed to the wrong
people? Yes, we do have knowledge
of that.”             
it's all true






previous editions

 Links of the Week

The Least Developed
Countries Report, 2007 UN
Conference on Trade and

Diary of Saad Eskander,
Director of the Iraq National
Library and Archive, at the
British Library

From the Viaduct, 125th
Street, New York, 1916, Paul
Strand Amon Carter Museum

Chet Atkins and Les Paul :
Avalon  Television Broadcast

contact us  
one nation, under surveillance
Intel Budget Sunshine Law Eclipsed by Terror
Iraq 'Suiciders'
Are Outsiders
President Bush enacted a law last
week that requires the public
disclosure of the national intelligence
budget.  The last time the amount
appropriated for intelligence
operations was disclosed to the
American public was in 1998.  Since
that time executives, both Republican
and Democrat, have refused to
disclose the yearly budget for
intelligence agencies. The next day,
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) proposed
an amendment that would require
that the budget for intelligence
operations be kept secret.   Rep.
John Murtha (D-PA) accepted the
amendment without debate.

The budget disclosure requirement
was contained in a bill that the
president signed that enacted the
recommendations of the 9/11
commission.  The provision
mandates that the Director of
National Intelligence “disclose to the
public the aggregate amount of
funds” appropriated for intelligence
agencies each fiscal year.  The
provision marks the first time that
public disclosure of the classified
budget for intelligence collection,
such as warrantless wire-tapping,
and covert operations, such as
extraordinary renditions, would be
required by law.

The 9/11 commission called for the
disclosure of the annual intelligence
budget saying that reporting the
would give Congress the opportunity
to debate the costs associated with
spying and help “combat the secrecy
and complexity” that characterized
the intelligence community and
contributed to some of the failures of

Earlier this year, the president
registered his disapproval of the
provision saying that disclosure of
the cost to the nation of intelligence
operations “would provide no
meaningful information to the
public.”  The president said that
“enemies and adversaries in a time
of war” would, however, be able to
use the budgeting information to
“cause damage to the national
security interests of the United

Rep. Issa echoed the president’s
arguments saying, “The bad guys
are looking at what goes into our
intelligence.”   When Issa submitted
his proposal to overturn the 9/11
commission’s recommendation he
said that “traditionally” the
intelligence budget was classified “for
good reason.”  Issa said that the
provision to disclose the intelligence
budget was a “problem” and his
amendment was the “fix”.

Although the amendment must pass
through a conference session with
the Senate, House democrats did not
debate or oppose the provision.      
it's all true  
Two academic studies have found
that, in the vast majority of
instances, suicide bombers in Iraq
come from countries other than
Iraq.  The studies found that the
largest number of bombers come
from a US ally, Saudi Arabia.  

The author of one of the studies,
a professor teaching at the
University of Missouri, Mohammed
Hafez, told the
that the invasion of
Iraq has “radicalized the Muslim
world to create this concept of
martyrs without borders.” Hafez’s
research found that over 40
percent of suicide bombers who
have carried out attacks in Iraq are
of Saudi origin.  

The second study found that
suicide bombings have more than
doubled every year since the US
invasion of Iraq.  There were no
suicide bombings in Iraq before
the US invasion.  The author,
University of Chicago professor
Robert Pape found that the
bombers who come to Iraq are not
part of a world-wide movement but
rather come almost exclusively
from the Arabian Peninsula, and
the majority came from Saudi
it's all true
back to top of
May Day  
March in
verbatim                                                                              number 22.5
"Al Gonzales -- implicit in your questions is that Al
Gonzales did something wrong.  I haven't seen
Congress say
he's done anything
wrong...I mean, this is a
man who has testified,
he's sent thousands of
papers up there. There's
no proof of wrong. Why
would I hold somebody
accountable who has
done nothing wrong...
…I mean, frankly, I think that's a
typical Washington, D.C.
assumption -not to be accusatory,
I know you're a kind, open-minded
fellow, but you suggested holding
the Attorney General accountable
for something he did wrong.”
    Washington DC   08.09.07
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Cinemas per 1000
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source: UNESCO