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Saturday, August 21, 2004

Al-Qaida Said to Recruit in Latin America

August 21, 2004
Governments throughout Mexico and Central America are on alert as evidence grows that al-Qaida members are traveling in the region and looking for recruits to carry out attacks in Latin America — the potential last frontier for international terrorism. ... FR Reprint.

Anti-Bush protests at RNC convention may backfire on Kerry

August 22, 2004
There is a hint of revolution in the streets of New York, but the organisers of what may be one of the biggest anti-government demonstrations in America since the 1960s are wrestling with a dilemma. They may end up helping Bush rather than hurting him. ...

In one poll last week the “bounce” that Kerry had received from the Democratic convention last month had shrunk to a one point lead over Bush. A survey by CBS showed Kerry’s support among veterans had fallen; having been tied with Bush at 46% a month ago, he now trails by 18 points.

Next week it will be Bush’s turn to bounce and many New York Democrats are painfully aware that the president may be propelled even higher should rioting erupt on the streets. “Do the activists know what they are going into?” asked Mailer in New York magazine. “Or do they assume that expressing their rage is equal to getting Kerry elected? It could have exactly the opposite effect.” ... FR Reprint.

FLASHBACK: "John Kerry: A Navy Dove Runs for Congress" (1970 Harvard Crimson interview)

February 18, 1970
Hundreds of opponents to the Vietnam War will meet this coming Saturday in a Third District Citizens Caucus to choose a Democrat strong enough in the September primary to oust Philip J. Philbin (D-Mass.) ...

Kerry has the most explicit stand against the Vietnam War and although his youth is a plus, the fact that he is a political unknown does not help him. Now 26, he was honorably discharged from the Navy last month but has been laying the groundwork for the race ever since November. Occasionally, Kerry makes obvious his recent return to civilian life and the Third Congressional District. ...

At Yale, Kerry was chairman of the Political Union and later, as Commencement speaker, urged the United States to withdraw from Vietnam and to scale down foreign military operations. And this was way back in 1966.

When he approached his draft board for permission to study for a year in Paris, the draft board refused and Kerry decided to enlist in the Navy. The Navy assigned him to the USS Gridley which between December 1966 and July 1968 saw four months of action off the Vietnam coast. In August through November, 1968, Kerry was trained to be the skipper of a patrol boat for Vietnamese rivers. For the next five months, until April of 1969, Kerry was the commanding Lieutenant of a patrol boat in the Mekong Delta. He was wounded slightly on three different occasions and received a Silver Star for bravery. His patrol boat took part in Operation Sealords, mostly scouting out Viet Cong villages and transporting South Vietnamese marines to various destinations up and down narrow rivers covered with heavy foliage on either side. One time Kerry was ordered to destroy a Viet Cong village but disobeyed orders and suggested that the Navy Command simply send in a Psychological Warfare team to be friend the villagers with food, hospital supplies, and better educational facilities.

Pulling Out

Immediate withdrawal from Vietnam, Kerry said, would take about seven months due to complex logistics problems. During that interval he would allow only "self-defense return of fire." "Logistic suport is now what Nixon is talking about leaving there and I don't want to see that. I don't think we should leave support troops there and I don't think we should give Vietnam any more than the foreign aid given any other one country." He does not feel there would be a massive slaughter of American, sympathizers once the United States pulled out.

In America, "everybody who's against the war is suddenly considered anti-American," Kerry said. "But I don't think they can turn to me and say I don't know what's going on or I'm a draft dodger." Referring to the House Armed Services Committee, chaired by L. Mendel Rivers (D-S.C.), Kerry said, "I want to go down to Washington and confront Medel Rivers, who never fought in a war.

"I as effectively as anyone else in the country, can address myself to the issue of Vietnam," Kerry said. "I'm very realistic, though. I'm just going to be one man adding to the work of men like Lowenstein."

Kerry is a pilot, and on October 14 and 15 he flew Ted Kennedy's advisor Adam Walinsky by private plane throughout the State of New York so that Walinsky could give speeches against the Vietnam War. But Kerry was smart enough not to put down "Moratorium" on the Navy signout sheet for that Tuesday and Wednesday. The following month, Kerry was sick and did not engage in the November moratorium activities.

He supports a volunteer Army, "if and only if we can create the controls for it. You're going to have to prepare for the possibility of a national emergency, however." Kerry said that the United Nations should have control over most of our foreign military operations. "I'm an internationalist. I'd like to see our troops dispersed through the world only at the directive of the United Nations."

On other issues, Kerry wants "to almost eliminate CIA activity. The CIA is fighting its own war in Laos and nobody seems to care." He also favors a negative income tax and keeping unemployment at a very low level, "even if it means selective economic controls."

Kerry's Background

"I have a somewhat Establishment background," Kerry admitted modestly. Kerry, whose family comes from Groton, attended Fessenden, a prestigious private school in West Newton, until he was old enough to go to St. Paul's. From there he went on to Yale where he majored in political science.

Kerry's interest in politics began in 1960, when John Kennedy was running for President. Kerry gave his first political speeches for JFK and at St. Paul's founded a political group, the John Winant Society. In the summer of 1962, Kerry worked for Ted Kennedy, who was then making his first Senate bid. "I wanted to see how the political machine works."

At Yale, Kerry was instrumental in organizing the demonstrations for giving tenure to philosophy professor Dick Bernstein, even though Bernstein had not done very much publishing. As President of the Political Union, Kerry met an impressive array of political figures and spent much of his time fighting for a new YPU building, which Yale eventually built.

Kerry's style can turn people off at first because he gives the initial impression of being too good to be true, of being just a little bit insincere. His preppiness might make you think he's a blueblood WASP, but Kerry is really a Roman Catholic. However, an afternoon on the campaign trail with Kerry leaves you with quite a different impression. ... FR Reprint.

Questions arise regarding John Kerry's honorable discharge.

August 21, 2004
THIS KERRY SERVICE TIMELINE from the Associated Press in the Boston Globe says Kerry was honorably discharged in 1970, and then joined the anti-war movement:

January 1970: Kerry requests discharge. He is honorably discharged, and later joins Vietnam Veterans Against the War. But that's wrong:

Kerry was transfered to the Naval Reserves in 1970, and Honorably Discharged in 1978. There was no two year service gap, despite the impression given by his press releases.
But not all of his press releases. In fact, it's made quite clear in this July release from the Kerry campaign:

Kerry volunteered for the United States Navy after college and served from 1966 through 1970 rising to the rank of Lieutenant, Junior Grade. Afterwards, Kerry continued his military service in the United States Naval Reserves through 1978.
(Same here, too: "John Kerry Enlisted in the U.S. Navy; November 1968 through March 1969, Served in Vietnam; 1970-1978, Served in U.S. Navy Reserves.") In other words, when Kerry was protesting the war and holding private meetings with North Vietnamese and Viet Cong representatives in Paris, he was still a Naval officer in the reserves. The folks at AP and the Globe might not think that matters, but they ought to report this so that people can make up their own minds -- and they ought to get it right. Especially when the correct information is right on the Kerry website, and when their fellow journalists are accusing blogs of sloppiness. ... FR Reprint.

Doing the 'Right' Thing in L.A. [Magazine will out conservatives in Hollywood]

August 21, 2004
In an exposé on secret Hollywood Republicans in its upcoming September issue, Details magazine unmasks a host of stealth celebrity conservatives, including Adam Sandler, Freddie Prinze Jr., Jessica Simpson and Shannen Doherty.

According to Details, the Republican National Committee has been quietly circulating a list of GOP-supporting Hollywood celebrities in the hopes of offsetting the Democratic Party's A-list star power, which includes liberal luminaries such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Julia Roberts and Leonardo DiCaprio.

But many on the Left Coast are reluctant to come forward with their conservative convictions. Rather than face Democratic venom at Tinseltown parties, most of the stars on the Republican list have chosen to conceal their political leanings, and some even live in fear of being blacklisted by the leftie powers that be. ... FR Reprint.

What's behind the big US troop reshuffle

August 21, 2004
THE dispute surrounding President George W. Bush's decision to withdraw a relatively large number of American troops from Europe and Asia, unveiled in a speech this week, continues to reverberate.

Democratic Senator John Kerry, his presidential opponent, quickly denounced the move, and the usual array of armchair commentators has been wheeled out, some praising Mr Bush's choice as farsighted and others castigating it as unfortunate. Yet most of this is just electoral noise; regardless of who wins the White House this November, a realignment of the American military presence around the world remains inevitable.

The President's speech earlier this week was a surprise only to those who had not been following American military affairs too closely. It may be an unpleasant truth for Mr Kerry, but the re-evaluation of US bases was actually initiated by the administration of then president Bill Clinton, a fellow Democrat.

And for good reasons, because the US military posture harks back to the end of World War II and has little relevance to either the strategic priorities of today or the advances in defence technology. ... FR Reprint.

Two Yemenis Arrested In Switzerland Linked To Al- Qaeda

August 21 2004
Two Yemeni nationals arrested this year in Switzerland are linked to key Al-Qaeda figures with ties to the October 2000 bombing of a US aircraft carrier off Yemen and to a suicide strike in Riyadh last year, the Swiss public prosecutor was quoted as saying on Saturday.

The pair, who were detained in Geneva and Bern in January, have been linked to "several core members of the (Osama) bin Laden movement," said a report on an inquiry by public prosecutor Claude Nicati, obtained by Le Temps newspaper.

A spokesperson at the federal prosecutor's office declined to comment on the article. ... FR Reprint.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Rumsfeld says missile defense shield to be ready by year's end

August 20, 2004
The United States will have a limited defense against incoming ballistic missiles by the end of this year, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in prepared remarks, calling it a "triumph of hope and vision over pessimism and skepticism."

Rumsfeld hailed the developers of the missile defense system in a speech prepared for delivery to a conference in Huntsville, Alabama, a day after President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry the Democratic presidential nominee, clashed over the controversial project on the campaign trail.

"It has been two years since President Bush announced the decision to deploy an initial missile defense capability and in the past few weeks, the first interceptor was put in place at Fort Greely, Alaska," Rumsfeld said. ... FR Reprint.

Hunt on for bin Laden's latest No. 3 man

August 20, 2004
Libyan now believed responsible for U.S., & U.K. terrorist plans. Pakistani officials are seeking a man they and U.S. officials believe has taken over responsibility for planning al-Qaida attacks on the United States. They say he is the new No. 3 man in the terrorist network and may know the general whereabouts of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri — al-Qaida's No. 2 man.

Abu Faraj al Libi, a Libyan citizen who has long worked with bin Laden, is believed to have taken over the No. 3 job with the capture of his mentor, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, in March 2003, a senior U.S. official told NBC News. Like all of the officials interviewed for this story, the official spoke on condition of anonymity.

As Mohammed's top deputy, Abu Faraj is believed to have played a role in organizing the 9/11 attacks. Today, he is believed to be in charge of all al-Qaida's U.S. and United Kingdom operations, including any current plots. Abu Faraj is also believed to know at least the general whereabouts of bin Laden and al Zawahiri, and to be the mastermind of the Dec. 14 and 25 assassination attempts against Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. ... FR Reprint.

More illegal immigrants with criminal records caught at the border (11,000)

August 20, 2004
A computerized fingerprinting system is credited with apprehending nearly four times more illegal immigrants with criminal or immigration records trying to enter through Arizona.

Since October, the Border Patrol says agents patrolling the Tucson sector have apprehended nearly eleven-thousand people who were wanted by local authorities or had been convicted of crimes or immigration violations.

The majority of people were detected by a digital scanning fingerprint system that lets agents check both criminal and immigration records simply by scanning the fingers on both hands. The system wasn't available to the entire Tucson sector until this year. It was installed at the Border Patrol's busiest stations first. ... FR Reprint.

Kerry Will File Legal Challenge to Swift Boat Veterans-Demands Immediate Suspension of Ads

August 20, 2004
CNN is reporting Friday afternoon that the Kerry campaign will file a complaint with the FEC. Wolf Blitzer reported that the campaign will allege that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are illegally coordinating their efforts with the Bush-Cheney campaign.

The complaint reportedly demands that the Swiftvets immediately suspend broadcasts of commericals attacking John Kerry's Vietnam War record and return any moneys raised in conjunction with the ad campaign.

The complaint is an extension of Sen. Kerry's charge on Thursday that the Swiftvets are a "front group" for the Bush Cheney campaign, alleging that the group has broken campaign laws by coordinating their efforts with the White House.

John O'Neill, author of the book "Unfit for Command," which details the charges described in the anti-Kerry commercials, said Friday that he had no connection with the White House, adding that his group wouldn't suspend the ads even if the White House asked them too. ... FR Reprint.

Famous Historian Predicts Europe will become Islamic by the end of the century

August 20, 2004
Bernard Lewis, world famous historian and expert on Islam, predicted that Europe will become Islamic by the end of the century as a result of imigration patterns and birth rates. ... FR Reprint.

New Pro-Bush Movie: Triumph of the W.

August 20, 2004
"Trying to counter the success of Michael Moore, Karl Rove's men in Hollywood are rushing to release a pro-Bush epic, "The Big Picture." But are they violating federal campaign law?"

The next salvo in the cinematic campaign war of 2004 is "The Big Picture," a documentary film attacking John Kerry sponsored by David Bossie's Citizens United, the right-wing group that unsuccessfully sued to stop national advertising of Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11." But Bossie's latest project could create legal problems for him and his organization -- in part because Lionel Chetwynd, the award-winning director, is working not only on the documentary but also on two shorter films to be screened at the Republican National Convention. ...

Exactly how "The Big Picture" was financed, and how much it will cost, remain mysterious. .... FR Reprint.

California's Hate Crimes Expansion: Dangerous To Christians?

August 20, 2004
The "thought police" may soon be roaming the corridors of businesses and schools in California, in search of people who have been accused of uttering "hate speech" toward homosexuals. Several Christian activists in the Golden State are concerned that that indeed could be the scenario if Senate Bill 1234 becomes law.

The intent of SB 1234 is to redefine what constitutes a "hate crime" in California. In general, hate crimes laws create different classes of victims, seeking greater punishments for crimes committed against one class of people -- such as homosexuals -- over other victims. Under this legislation, individuals could claim that someone expressing their deeply held beliefs, whether political or religious, presents an "intimidating" threat that is punishable. ... Penalties for violating SB 1234 include criminal prosecution and fines of $25,000.

Sponsored by lesbian State Senator Sheila Kuehl, SB 1234 has already been passed by the Senate and could be voted on by the Assembly as soon as today (Wednesday). Opponents of the bill are not optimistic about the Assembly vote and expect the measure to move along to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk for his signature before the end of the month. ...

Hate crimes law, CCF says, are the first step toward "thought police" because they punish people's points of views instead of focusing on people's conduct. California pro-family activist James Hartline calls SB 1234 a "frightening rewrite" of current civil rights laws that is masquerading as a protection measure. Christians, he says, should be particularly concerned.

"This bill would censor all Californians from their constitutional right to free speech when articulating what the Bible states regarding the sinful nature of homosexuality," he says, citing several scenarios. He contends the bill would prevent pastors from speaking out against homosexuality from the pulpit and would allow law enforcement to enter a church and arrest a pastor for doing so. ... FR Reprint.

Study Shows If EU Were A U.S. State, Would Rank Dismal 47th In Per Capita GDP

August 20, 2004
If the European Union were a U.S. state, it would rank forty-seventh in per capita GDP, according to a report from Timbro, a Swedish free-market think tank. (Yes, there really is one.)

In annual income the average European is on a par with residents of Mississippi, West Virginia, and Arkansas. (And the report excludes the newer, poorer EU nations of Eastern Europe.)

The picture isn't much rosier even in wealthier European states like France and Britain, both of which have per capita GDPs slightly lower than Alabama's. Only tiny Luxembourg scores better than the American average. ... FR Reprint.

Non-Arab recruits scout for al-Qaeda (posing as Christians in America)

August 16, 2004
Al-Qaeda allies are believed to be scouting U.S. targets, and the terror organization is using non-Arab recruits to avoid detection, U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials say. ...

It is unclear how many al-Qaeda scouts are in the USA. "The FBI has their eye on or has opened several hundred investigations of people sympathetic to or supportive of" al-Qaeda, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said. "If we knew somebody was here as an operative — and we knew who they were or where they were — they wouldn't be on the street."

Information about active cells came from Ridge and three intelligence and law enforcement officials. The three officials wouldn't speak for attribution because the information they provided is classified. One of the three, a senior U.S. intelligence official, responded to criticism that the Bush administration raised the terrorism threat level based on information about surveillance al-Qaeda did years ago. The official said the cells:

- Have been in the USA off and on since the early 1990s, and some are still here.

- Are focused primarily on states on the coasts, though not exclusively. They include New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, Michigan and California.

- Operate under deep cover, sometimes hiding their Muslim faith by posing as Christians.

- Are isolated from each other and from al-Qaeda members who would carry out attacks. ... FR Reprint.

Four Eyewitnesses Dispute Kerry's Account of Bronze Star Incident

August 20, 2004
According to an after-action report for the afternoon of March 13, 1969, John Kerry's unit of five Swift boats encountered enemy automatic and small-arms fire from both banks along a 5,000-meter stretch of the Bay Hap River in Vietnam. Three enemy mines were detonated, the report states, one of which damaged Kerry's boat. According to that same report and a separate casualty report, Kerry received a minor contusion on his arm and shrapnel in his buttocks from the incident.

On the basis of these two reports, Kerry received a Bronze Star--and importantly, his third Purple Heart, which allowed him to leave Vietnam after serving only four months of the standard one-year tour.

But there are two potential problems with this story: First, four eyewitnesses now contradict the after-action report. They say there was no hostile fire in the incident, and claim that Kerry, whose version of events agrees with the report, wrote the report himself--a claim Kerry's campaign denies.

Second, a story Kerry told biographer Douglas Brinkley for Tour of Duty appears to contradict the casualty report that resulted in Kerry's tour-ending third Purple Heart. Kerry told Brinkley he received a wound to his buttocks earlier on the same day as the Bay Hap combat incident. But, in this case, the wound came from a non-combat accident in a nearby village. Some friendly forces were destroying rice that was believed to be stockpiled for the Viet Cong. "I got a piece of small grenade in my ass from one of the rice bin explosions," Kerry told Brinkley. The military does not grant Purple Hearts for self-inflicted wounds or accidents.

The casualty report filed on Kerry the next morning mentions nothing about Kerry's rice-bin injury. It says: "LTJG Kerry suffered shapnel (sic) wounds in his left buttocks and contusions on his right forearm when a mine detonated close aboard PCF-94." ... FR Reprint.

Tommy Franks Warned Kerry: Iraq Pullout a Bad Idea

August 20, 2004
Iraq war commander Gen. Tommy Franks revealed Thursday that John Kerry called him for advice on his plan to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq starting in six months - and that Franks gave him a thumbs down.

Asked about the Kerry pullout plan, Gen. Franks told WDAY North Dakota radio host Scott Hennen, "That's a bad idea." "As a matter of fact, I talked to Sen. Kerry - he called me on the telephone. I think most of your listeners know that I'm an independent guy and I try to stay in the middle of all this," Franks said, explaining that his opposition to the Kerry plan was nonpartisan. ... FR Reprint.

Kerry’s health scare : Blaming Bush for a phantom problem

August 20, 2004
AMERICANS spend more on health care than the people of any other nation on earth, and it’s all George Bush’s fault, according to John Kerry. The senator came to Derry yesterday to tell residents there how bad they have it in George Bush’s America, where health care costs are rising so quickly. But are Americans really so bad off when it comes to health care?

In a news release yesterday, the Kerry campaign complained, “Americans pay more per capita for health care than any other country. America spends $4,887 per capita on health expenditures compared to $3,160 in Switzerland, $2,792 in Canada and $1,992 in the United Kingdom.”

Not only is this discrepancy not George Bush’s fault, it is not necessarily bad. According to the journal Health Affairs, about 90 percent of the variation in levels of health spending among countries is explained by Gross Domestic Product. Countries with a higher standard of living spend more on health care. In the case of America’s $4,887 per-capita expenditure cited by Kerry, Health Affairs attributes 58 percent of that figure to America’s high GDP.

What might explain the other 42 percent? The exceptional quality of our health care professionals, for one. “The highly trained and highly talented health professionals employed in health care must be recruited from the same talent pool used by other industries offering high compensation, such as law and finance,” significantly marking up prices, notes Health Affairs. ... FR Reprint.

Iran's Supreme Leader at war with US?

August 20, 2004
At a meeting in Teheran last week, the Islamic Republic's supreme guide Ali Khamenei took questions from some 150 "Islamic guidance" officials operating around the world. According to those present, the ayatollah responded with well-rehearsed answers, often consisting of one-line slogans. One question made him hesitate: Is the Islamic Republic at war against the United States?

According to leaks, the ayatollah tried to get around the question by claiming that it was the United States that was at war against "our Islamic Revolution."

Leaving aside semantic subtleties, it is fair to say that the US has been at war with the Khomeinist regime ever since the mullahs seized power in Teheran in 1979. ... FR Reprint.

Washington Post: 'No Evidence of Direct Connections'

August 20, 2004
"There is no evidence the president's campaign has direct connections to the anti-Kerry veterans group," the Washington Post reported on Friday.
The newspaper notes that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth Campaign is hurting Kerry's candidacy: His campaign has been "flooded with calls from concerned veterans," the Washington Post said, and a CBS poll shows Kerry has lost "significant" veterans' support.

The Washington Post also points out that Kerry has struck back at Swift Boat Veterans for Truth -- without addressing some of the accusations. "Instead of rebutting each charge, Kerry blamed Bush for sanctioning such highly personal attacks, the Washington Post said. ... FR Reprint.

Official on leave over Ten Commandments

August 20, 2004
A school superintendent who posted the Ten Commandments in a student cafeteria was put on leave without pay after saying he would not follow federal law on religious expression. School officials declined to say whether Humansville Superintendent Greg Thompson would remain a district employee.

The 11-inch-by-14-inch plaque hung by Thompson shortly after he was hired six years ago was challenged in March by resident Carrie Roat, who argued in a federal lawsuit that the plaque violated the constitutional guarantee of separation of church and state. ... FR Reprint.

Columbia Professor re: Globalization - "Kerry and Edwards are trying to use scare tactics"

=August 20, 2004
Leading globalization scholar Jagdish Bhagwati, himself a Democrat, is highly critical of candidate John Kerry's course on economics, outsourcing and trade. He spoke to SPIEGEL ONLINE about Kerry's anti-offshoring rhetoric, his ideas for reforming company taxation - and George W. Bush's record on job creation.

To read the entire articel click here. FR Reprint.

AZ: Kids Find Themselves Registered to Vote in Bernalillo County

August 20, 2004
Glen Stout was surprised when his son's first voter-registration card arrived in the mail a couple of weeks ago. After all, his son is only 13. What's more, the Postal Service delivered two more voter cards to Stout's Albuquerque residence— for a 15-year-old who lives across the street.

The puzzling cards are an example of the problems election workers are facing this election as they deal with thousands of voter-registration forms that are being filed each week with the Bernalillo County Clerk's Office. Some 3,000 of the cards have been found to be questionable because they lack signatures, have incorrect addresses or contain other discrepancies, said County Clerk Mary Herrera. Stout said he believes fraud may be involved. ... FR Reprint.

Nuclear Data Missing!

August 20, 2004
An inventory has found another case of missing data involving nuclear weapons, this time at the Energy Department's regional office in Albuquerque, N.M., the department disclosed Thursday. ... FR Reprint.

Socialism is Evil

August 1, 2004
Summary: It's not just left-wingers and Democrats who call for and admire socialism but right-wingers and Republicans as well. What is socialism? We miss the boat if we say it's the agenda of left-wingers and Democrats.

According to Marxist doctrine, socialism is a stage of society between capitalism and communism where private ownership and control over property are eliminated. The essence of socialism is the attenuation and ultimate abolition of private property rights. Attacks on private property include, but are not limited to, confiscating the rightful property of one person and giving it to another to whom it doesn't belong. When this is done privately, we call it theft. When it's done collectively, we use euphemisms: income transfers or redistribution.

It's not just left-wingers and Democrats who call for and admire socialism but right-wingers and Republicans as well.

Republicans and right-wingers support taking the earnings of one American and giving them to farmers, banks, airlines and other failing businesses. Democrats and left-wingers support taking the earnings of one American and giving them to poor people, cities and artists. Both agree on taking one American's earnings to give to another; they simply differ on the recipients. This kind of congressional activity constitutes at least two-thirds of the federal budget.

Regardless of the purpose, such behavior is immoral. It's a reduced form of slavery. After all, what is the essence of slavery? It's the forceful use of one person to serve the purposes of another person. When Congress, through the tax code, takes the earnings of one person and turns around to give it to another person in the forms of prescription drugs, Social Security, food stamps, farm subsidies or airline bailouts, it is forcibly using one person to serve the purposes of another.

The moral question stands out in starker relief when we acknowledge that those spending programs coming out of Congress do not represent lawmakers reaching into their own pockets and sending out the money. Moreover, there's no tooth fairy or Santa Claus giving them the money. The fact that government has no resources of its very own forces us to acknowledge that the only way government can give one American a dollar is to first -- through intimidation, threats and coercion -- take that dollar from some other American.

Some might rejoin that all of this is a result of a democratic process and it's legal. Legality alone is no guide for a moral people. There are many things in this world that have been, or are, legal but clearly immoral. Slavery was legal. Did that make it moral? South Africa's apartheid, Nazi persecution of Jews, and Stalinist and Maoist purges were all legal, but did that make them moral?

Can a moral case be made for taking the rightful property of one American and giving it to another to whom it does not belong? I think not. That's why socialism is evil. It uses evil means (coercion) to achieve what are seen as good ends (helping people). We might also note that an act that is inherently evil does not become moral simply because there's a majority consensus.

An argument against legalized theft should not be construed as an argument against helping one's fellow man in need. Charity is a noble instinct; theft, legal or illegal, is despicable. Or, put another way: Reaching into one's own pocket to assist his fellow man is noble and worthy of praise. Reaching into another person's pocket to assist one's fellow man is despicable and worthy of condemnation.

Update: FR Reprint.

The Kerry campaign calls on publisher to withdraw "Unfit for Command"

August 19, 2004
The Kerry campaign has told Salon that the publisher of "Unfit for Command," the book that is at the center of the attack on Kerry's military record by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, is retailing a hoax and should consider withdrawing it from bookstores.

"No publisher should want to be selling books with proven falsehoods in them, especially falsehoods that are meant to smear the military service of an American veteran," said Kerry campaign spokesman Chad Clanton. "If I were them, I'd be ducking under my desk wondering what to do. This is a serious problem." ... FR Reprint.

New Swiftvets Ad: POW's Accuse Kerry

August 19, 2004
The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have released a new ad featuring former POW's that claim Kerry betrayed them. To view the ad click here. FR Reprint.

UK:Terror leaflets found at mosque from US

August 15 2004
Hundreds of leaflets urging Muslims to become terrorist fighters have been distributed at a Midland mosque. Police have been called in to investigate after the flyers were found at Birmingham Central Mosque last week.

The leaflets urge worshippers to become Mujahideen fighters and ask them to 'pray for death and decay to be visited upon the West'. The literature bears the name of a group called Ahle Sunnah Wal Jamah, which mosque officials say is often used as an alias for the Al Muhajiroun group. Al Muhajiroun, a small radical organisation which has called for a British Islamic state, has been accused of inciting terrorism, anti-Semitism and homophobia.

Mosque chairman Dr Mohammed Naseem warned that the leaflets could act as a recruitment aid for would-be terrorists."It is very worrying," he said. ...

Dr Naseem said he blamed the Government for Al Muhajiroun's continuing presence in Britain. "Its leaders continue to preach and incite terrorism and yet the Government does not nothing about it," he said. "These people should be removed from the country." FR Reprint.

Note: Numerous terror sites are now hosted at Managed Solutions, San Jose California. Terror sites are often grouped using the same IP address at the same ISP. The reason for this is the sites are often put up by the same webmaster. 357hosting.com is known as the "webmaster of terrorists". 357Hosting was recently booted out of AcmeCommerce in Malaysia and is relocating some of their sites to San Jose. Also at Managed Solutions is the website of Abu Hamza http://www.shareeah.org/ Hamza was dubbed by monday's CBS Evening News as "The Terror Big". At the CBS News site is a video of Hamza calling for violent jehad on British soil.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Iran threatens a pre-emptive strike on US forces

Augsust 19,2004
In a marked escalation of a war of words between Iran and its arch-enemies Israel and the US, Tehran has for the first time threatened a preemptive strike against US troops in the region. "We will not sit (with arms folded) to wait for what others will do to us," Iran's defence minister, Rear-Admiral Ali Shamkhani told Al-Jazeera TV on Wednesday when asked if Iran would respond to a US attack on its nuclear facilities.

"Some military commanders in Iran are convinced that preventive operations which the Americans talk about are not their monopoly, America is not the only one present in the region. We are also present, from Khost to Kandahar in Afghanistan; we are present in the Gulf and we can be present in Iraq," said Shamkhani. ...

Asked about the possibility of an American or Israeli strike against Iran's atomic power plant being built in Bushehr, Shamkhani added: "We will consider any strike against our nuclear installations as an attack on Iran as a whole, and we will retaliate with all our strength.

"Where Israel is concerned, we have no doubt that it is an evil entity, and it will not be able to launch any military operation without an American green light. You cannot separate the two. The US military presence (in Iraq) will not become an element of strength (for Washington) at our expense. The opposite is true, because their forces would turn into a hostage" in Iranian hands in the event of an attack, he said. ... FR Reprint.

GOP Convention - Security Gadgets

August 19, 2004
Police will have a much more high-tech option to make themselves heard over the din of Manhattan traffic, summer tourists and noisy protesters outside the upcoming Republican National Convention: the Long Range Acoustic Device.

The New York Police Department plans to use the portable, dish-shaped instrument developed for the military if it needs to broadcast warnings or instructions to a swelling crowd. It's part of an arsenal of devices and counterterrorism equipment that authorities were unveiling Thursday ahead of the convention Aug. 30-Sept. 2. The machines are being tested at an air field in a remote section of Brooklyn along with other devices like hand-held radiation detectors and mechanical barriers strong enough to stop a moving vehicle in its tracks.

The department recently bought two of the 45-pound acoustic machines for $35,000 apiece, and plans to mount them on armored vehicles posted outside Madison Square Garden. It would mark the first time the instrument which can beam sounds up to 150 decibels for distances up to 300 yards has been used by a civilian force. ``We believe we'd be able to use them in a number of scenarios,'' said Paul Browne, the NYPD's chief spokesman. Two possible uses cited by Browne: directing crowds to safety following a terrorist attack or other calamity, and reminding protesters where they're allowed to march and rally. At past demonstrations, protesters have complained they couldn't hear police directions, resulting in confusion and angry clashes. ... FR Reprint.

NYPD to Shadow 56 Protesters Believed Most Dangerous

August 18, 2004
Police are now tracking 56 potentially dangerous people. Marcus Solis reports from Madison Square Garden. While international terrorism remains a concern, this operation's focus is primarily on anarchists, and how they plan to disrupt the convention. This week the NYPD began instructing officers on intelligence on this threat. They also began doling out assignments, and for hundreds of officers that means surveillance work that will begin next week. And it starts for them with a trip out of town.

The debriefings have been taking place at John Jay College and the Police Academy. Inside, the NYPD's intelligence division is outlining security plans for the upcoming Republican National Convention. The big concern: the anarchist groups which disrupted the W.T.O conference in Seattle in 1999, and who have threatened to do the same here. Sources say the NYPD has identified 56 primary anarchists who will be followed 24 hours a day. One supervisor and six cops will be assigned to each person. ... FR Reprint.

Christian Leaders Who Criticized Bush Campaign Exposed

August 18, 2004
A letter has been sent to President George W. Bush by ten Protestant teachers of ethics asking him to “respect the integrity of all houses of worship.” Commenting on the letter is Catholic League president William Donohue:

The ten signatories advertise themselves as ‘a group of prominent Evangelicals and moderate to conservative religious leaders.’ In their letter to President Bush, they say, ‘Whenever the church has engaged in partisan politics, it has compromised its moral authority.’ Thus do they sell themselves as centrists who eschew politics.

The group is guilty of false advertising: most of them are actively involved in partisan politics—the politics of the Left. For example, three of them, James M. Dunn, George Hunter and Rollin O. Russell, serve on the national committee of the Clergy Leadership Network, the left-wing group recently headed by Brenda Peterson that was set up to defeat Bush; a fourth, Jimmy R. Allen, previously served on the committee. Peterson recently quit her job as the DNC’s Director of Religious Outreach after the Catholic League exposed her as a fraud: her name was on an amicus brief seeking to get ‘under God’ excised from the Pledge.

Another signatory is Richard V. Pierard. In 1995, he signed the ‘Maston Colloquium Statement,’ an inflammatory attack on Christian conservatives that accused them of being ‘rabble rousers’; he is most known for his vociferous opposition to school vouchers. Tony Campolo, another ‘moderate,’ counseled President Clinton after his encounter with Monica Lewinsky, and more recently has written a book that claims that ‘evangelical Christianity has been hijacked’ by conservatives. And then there is Ronald B. Flowers, who, like Brenda Peterson, went into court to get ‘under God’ expunged from the Pledge.

The reason for the letter is clear: practicing Christians are not responding to John Kerry, the candidate the signatories prefer, and so their best bet is to intimidate people of faith from becoming politically active. It is a testimony to their failure at religious outreach.” ... FR Reprint.

Terror alerts ripple south of U.S. border

August 19, 2004
The reported sighting of the suspected Al Qaeda operative in the Internet cafe was hard to verify. It was also hard to dismiss.

A witness said she saw Adnan el Shukrijumah, a Saudi native on the FBI 's terrorist watch list, in the cafe in this Central American capital in May. A photo of Shukrijumah, whose name was linked to the recent terrorism alert in New York, also was identified by the cafe owner, who said the suspect and two companions spoke little Spanish.

This week, the FBI and U.S. consular officials along the Mexico border put out an alert asking people to be on the lookout for Shukrijumah trying to enter U.S. territory. The possible sighting, which Honduran and U.S. authorities investigated, is one of several alerts and potential threats in recent months that have added to jitters about the possibility of a terrorist attack on the U.S. or its interests from beyond its porous southern border. ... FR Reprint.

Korea Backed Korea, Europe Troop Reductions Three weks Ago

August 19, 2004
Sen. John Kerry is blasting President Bush for his plan to withdraw 70,000 troops from South Korea and Germany. But less than three weeks ago the top Democrat said he thought such troop reductions were a good idea, specifically naming Europe and Korea.

"I will have significant, enormous reduction in the level of troops," Kerry told ABC's "This Week" on Aug. 1. "I think we can significantly change the deployment of troops [in Iraq], not just there but elsewhere in the world. In the Korean peninsula perhaps, in Europe perhaps. There are great possibilities open to us. But this administration has very little imagination."

Addressing a VFW convention on Wednesday, however, Kerry bashed Bush for taking his advice, charging that cutting our forces in Korea "is clearly the wrong signal to send" at this time. ... FR Reprint.

Kerry In Cambodia Debunked By Kerry Crewmate

August 19, 2004
For Immediate Release August 18, 2004

Kerry In Cambodia Debunked By Kerry Crewmate

What's Next?

Kerry Crew Member and Supporter Does Not "Recall" Senator In Cambodia

Washington, DC - Swift Boat Veterans for Truth today, again, called on Democratic presidential candidate Senator John Kerry to set the record straight on whether he was, or was not, in Cambodia.

In today's Boston Globe, an article by Michael Kranish further calls into question whether Kerry was ever in Cambodia.

"Michael Medeiros, who served aboard the No. 94 with Kerry and appeared with him at the Democratic National Convention, vividly recalled an occasion on which Kerry and the crew chased an enemy to the Cambodian border but did not go beyond the border," the Globe's Kranish writes. "Yet Medeiros said he could not recall dropping off special forces in Cambodia or going inside Cambodia with Kerry." (Boston Globe, August 18th, 2004)

When pressed further about this incident, Michael Meehan, a spokesman for Senator Kerry, could not produce any documentation supporting Kerry's claim that he was in Cambodia.

"Separately, according to Meehan's statement, Kerry crossed into Cambodia on a covert mission to drop off special operations forces. In an interview, Meehan said there was no paperwork for such missions and he could not supply a date. That makes it hard to ascertain or confirm what happened." (Boston Globe, August 18th, 2004) ... FR Reprint.

US Military working to ensure soldiers can vote

August 19, 2004
On March 17, Rumsfeld sent a memo to the Joint Chiefs and Combatant Commanders telling them how the services will make sure all military members — and their family members — who are overseas, or stationed here but are away from home, get the chance to vote, and vote so that no Mark Herrons can disenfranchise them.

At the heart of Rumsfeld's plan is putting some teeth into the old Voting Assistance Officer idea. On top of it is a strategy — now underway — to use both the internet and the Postal Service effectively to help servicemen and their families request absentee ballots and get them returned in time to be counted. Last Friday, I spoke to Charlie Abell, principal deputy undersecretary of Defense for personnel and readiness. ...

Abell told me that this is a very high priority for DoD, because it's a very high priority for the troops and their families, who have a much higher voter turnout — proportionally — than the general population. He said, "We know from sampling from the Federal Election Commission [and other sources] that in year 2000, about 51 percent of the general public voted. We know from our surveys that about 75 percent of the worldwide uniformed services military...voted." Over the years, the DoD data show — unsurprisingly — that those who fight for the right to vote take that right more seriously than other Americans.

The plan's niftiest aspect is the use of the internet to enable soldiers to request absentee ballots — and then to download the actual ballot to fill out and send in. Right now, any soldier or family member can download the Federal Post Card Application from the government website designed to help all overseas voters and send it in. Better still, the Defense Department is getting all the state-ballot request forms and the ballots themselves loaded onto the system. Most of the states are cooperating by allowing internet and even faxed ballot requests. ... FR Reprint.

U.S. [finally] boosts Canadian border security [slightly]

August 19, 2004
To counter potential threats from Canada, U.S. officials are beefing up security and surveillance along the U.S.-Canada border, known as the longest undefended border in the world. In response to the Sept. 11 attacks, a new command centre, a new plane with sensor equipment, marine units and a Black Hawk helicopter will be deployed to the border between British Columbia and Washington state by the U.S. Office of Air and Marine Operations.

Gary Bracken, a spokesman for Air and Marine Operations, said U.S intelligence shows there's enough of a threat to warrant an increased presence along the border. "Along the [Canadian] border we are also faced with the smuggling of migrants, weapons, currency in both directions, as well as the possibility of terrorists or weapons of mass destruction crossing the border using traditional smuggling routes." ... FR Reprint.

Kerry's Band of Brothers, financed by Kerry

August 19, 2004
So, who are the men of Kerry's 'Band of Brothers' that are backing up the ever-evolving myth of Kerry in Viet Nam and why do they do the things they do? ...

These guys are all being financially compensated by the Kerry Campaign, traveling first-class and staying at the best hotels and being interviewed by the media. ... FR Reprint.

8 Times More TV on Bush 'AWOL' Than Anti-Kerry Swift Vets

August 19, 2004
"TV Gives No Respect to Swift Boat Vets for Truth: ABC, CBS & NBC Gave 75 Stories to Bush 'AWOL' Charge, 9 to Claims Kerry Embellished War Record"

Back in February, the three broadcast networks were obsessed with the story of President Bush's National Guard service. But in May, when John Kerry's former Navy colleagues from Vietnam went to the National Press Club to charge that Kerry's tales of heroism as a Swift Boat commander were highly exaggerated, those same networks acted as if their job was to bury the news, not report it.

Back on May 4, ABC and NBC ignored the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth's press conference, while CBS's Byron Pitts claimed the veterans had merely "unleashed decades of bitterness." His Evening News story ignored Kerry's record, but challenged his critics: "If you think this is just a concerned group of veterans, think again." ... FR Reprint.

Claim removed from Kerry site

August 18, 2004
In news releases and postings on John Kerry's campaign Web site as recently as last Friday, the Democratic presidential candidate is touted as the former vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Kerry was not vice chairman and the claim has now been removed from Kerry's Web site.

According to the Senate Historical Office, Kerry never had the seniority to hold a leadership position on the committee -- though he was a member from 1993 until 2001. The Kerry campaign says the claim was an error, but did not explain who made the error or how it went undetected. Bob Kerrey -- a former Democratic senator from Nebraska -- did serve as the Senate Intelligence Committee's vice chairman.

"John Kerry, Bob Kerrey -- similar names," said Kerry campaign spokesman Michael Meehan. Republicans were less willing to see the misstatement as an innocent mistake. ... FR Reprint.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

National Security Passes Economy As People's Biggest Concern

August 18, 2004
For the first time since the Vietnam era, national security issues are looming larger than economic issues in an election year," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

Such issues as war, terrorism and foreign policy were named as the most important facing the nation by four people in 10, while one-fourth of those polled said economic issues were most important. In January, national security issues were even with economic issues in this poll.

The last election year when national security issues were rated the most important was 1972, according to Pew's analysis of its own and Gallup Poll data going back half a century. It's unclear whether the security focus is of more benefit to President Bush or Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry. ...

Nine in 10 say taking measures to protect the United States from terrorist attacks is a top priority.

Six in 10 say the use of military force can sometimes be justified against countries that may seriously threaten this country but have not attacked. Bush is seen as stronger on handling terrorism than Kerry. ... FR Reprint.

Judicial Watch Calls For Investigation Into Kerry’s Medals, Anti-War Actions

August 18, 2004
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today filed a request with the U.S. Navy and the Defense Department for an investigation into the awards granted to Sen. John Kerry during his service with the U.S. Navy in Vietnam. Judicial Watch also requested that military authorities investigate Kerry’s anti-war activities, including his meeting with North Vietnamese and Viet Cong delegations in Paris, while a member of the Naval Reserve. ... FR Reprint.

Iran Talks Of an Attack On America

August 18, 2004
There are growing indications that Iran may be planning an attack on American soil. These indicators are not secret — they appear in speeches,newspaper articles, TV programs, and sermons in Iran by figures linked to the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and other government officials, all discussing potential Iranian attacks on America, which will subsequently lead to its destruction.

A report on May 28 in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported that an Iranian intelligence unit has established a center called “The Brigades of the Shahids of the Global Islamic Awakening.”The paper claimed that it had obtained a tape with a speech by Hassan Abbassi, a Revolutionary Guards intelligence theoretician who teaches at Al-Hussein University. In the tape, Mr. Abbassi spoke of Tehran’s secret plans, which include “a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization.” In order to accomplish this, he explained,“There are 29 sensitive sites in the U.S. and in the West. We have already spied on these sites and we know how we are going to attack them.” ... FR Reprint.

Flashback:Kerry called for US troops to be dispersed throughout the world and under U.N. control!!

February 13, 1970
Old Crimson Interview Reveals A More Radical John Kerry The Crimson reported Kerry called for U.N. control of troops in 1970.

Ten months after returning home from Vietnam, a young John Kerry strolled into the offices of The Harvard Crimson on Feb. 13, 1970 as an obscure underdog in the Democratic Congressional primary. The decorated veteran, honorably discharged after a tour of duty in the Mekong Delta, spoke in fierce terms during his daylong interview with The Crimson’s Samuel Z. Goldhaber ’72. ...

I’m an internationalist,” Kerry told The Crimson in 1970. “I’d like to see our troops dispersed through the world only at the directive of the United Nations.”

Kerry said he wanted “to almost eliminate CIA activity. The CIA is fighting its own war in Laos and nobody seems to care.” ... FR Reprint.

Australian Foreign Minister Downer prepared to stand against US over Taiwan

August 18, 2004
Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has taken Australia one extra step closer to China, and sent a strong counter signal to the United States.

Any military conflict over Taiwan has long been seen as the crucial test for Australia in what's become a delicate diplomatic balancing act. ... FR Reprint.

China ‘at the Edge’ of Financial Crisis: Central Bank Governor

August 17, 2004
China’s central bank governor has warned that the country is “at the edge” of a financial crisis as bad debt levels continue to rise. Speaking at a financial conference last month in Shanghai, People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said he was pleased to hear that other experts had also recognized the scale of China’s bad debt problem.

“I believe that while large-scale commercial banks are working hard, according to certain classification, their bad debts have already exceeded 40 percent, so we are at the edge of a financial crisis,” Zhou told delegates at the conference in early July. “It’s not as though you can avoid or predict it if you so desire.” Other top financial scholars and policymakers underlined his warnings during the same session. ...

Bad loans made by banks to cronies in government departments and state-owned enterprises continue to proliferate in spite of a government bailout in 1999, and the creation of asset-management companies (AMCs) to dispose of U.S.$169 billion in bad debt. Estimates of the total level of bad debt throughout the banking system vary, but overseas ratings agencies have estimated it as high as 50 percent. ... FR Reprint.

Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens our Democracy

August 18, 2004
The Florida Fiasco of 2000, with hanging chads, butterfly ballots and Supreme Court intervention, forced Americans to confront an ugly reality. The U.S. has the sloppiest election systems of any industrialized nation, so sloppy that at least eight of the 19 hijackers who attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were actually able to register to vote in either Virginia or Florida while they made their deadly preparations for 9/11.

In Stealing Elections, John Fund takes the reader on a national tour of voter fraud scandals ranging from rural states like Texas and Mississippi to big cities such as Philadelphia and Milwaukee. He explores dark episodes such as the way "vote brokers" stole a mayoral election in Miami in 1998 by tampering with 4700 absentee ballots. He shows how, in the aftermath of the Motor Voter Law of 1993, Californians used mail-in forms to get absentee ballots for fictitious people and pets, while in St. Louis it was discovered that voter rolls included 13,000 more names than the U.S. Census listed as the total number of adults in the city.

Election officials try to reassure voters by turning to computerized voting machines. But Fund shows that with the new technology come even greater concerns. Early in 2004, for instance, the state of Maryland, which has 16,000 new Diebold machines, commissioned a security expert to try to rig a practice election. He and his team broke into the computer at the State Board of Elections, completely changed the outcome of the election, left, and erased their electronic trail—all in under five minutes.

Stealing Elections gives us a chilling portrait of our electoral vulnerability—in the 2004 presidential election and on into the future. Writing with urgency and authority, John Fund shows how a lethal combination of bureaucratic bungling and ballot rigging have put our democracy at risk. ... FR Reprint.

Al Qeada intersted in Poland?

August 18, 2004
"BP petrochemical site, nearby highway and train track. A city with a population of hundreds of thousands few kilometres from there. If it would explode, the results would be terrible. There, in Swarzedz there was arrested Michel N., 23. Did he spy for Al Qeada?" – Fakt asked.

"Detention of French man taking pictures of huge BP petrochemical site is the most serious evidence of Al Qeda activity in Poland. Police and Agency of Interior Security do their best to find out connections of detained terrorist" - Fakt wrote.

If terrorsit intended to blow huge propan butan gas containers there would be a unimaginable tragedy, in which could have been killed thousands of people. Worse, Al Qeada usually targets multiple sites." – Fakt said. ...

"And that is why normal arrest of French "tourist" alarmed polica and secret services around in Poland. Michel N., 23, was caught on Friday. He had been riding on bicycle in proximity of Swarzedz BP site. He attracted attention of an industrial guard team. French tried to escape. He tried to destroy camera film of his mini camera. However guards got him. Michel N was arrrested - Fakt said. ... FR Reprint.

Former US President Carter Proposes Audit of Venezuelan Recall Election Results

August 18, 2004
In Venezuela, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Organization of American States Secretary General Cesar Gaviria say election officials have agreed to conduct a sample audit of the vote in Sunday's recall referendum. This follows a meeting with opposition leaders, who say they have evidence that the election results were manipulated through a computer program that limited votes to remove President Hugo Chavez and augmented votes in his favor. ... FR Reprint.

New York police infiltrating protest groups

August 11, 2004
The Police Department has been watching protest groups that have used unlawful tactics in the past in hopes of controlling disruptive activities at the Republican National Convention, police sources say.

Officers masquerading as corporate-bashing Bush haters have been attending rallies and meetings to learn the groups' tactics and plans for the upcoming convention, which begins Aug. 30, the sources say.

"Our guys got in there without them knowing it," one source said. "It helps us keep track of what they're doing." ... FR Reprint.

'Plot' to kill Tony Blair thwarted

August 17, 2004
BRITISH anti-terror authorities have foiled a suspected al-Qaeda plot to assassinate Prime Minister Tony Blair. Police swooped on two Lithuanian asylum seekers believed to be spying on Mr Blair's home in his constituency in England's north.

The men were caught with hi-tech surveillance equipment less than a kilometre from Mr Blair's countryside home. Sources said the pair raised alarm bells because they displayed the characteristics of al-Qaeda spying behaviour.

Using a stolen car fitted with false number plates, they filmed roads and traffic surrounding their alleged target and were carrying a highly-detailed map of the country area of Trimdon in County Durham. ... FR Reprint.

FATWA: Sistani Bans Religious Authority Interference in Electoral Issues

August 17, 2004
Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Sistani has blocked the road of anyone who is wagering on that the religious authority to support his stakes in the elections campaign, which is to be witnessed by Iraq at all levels and sectors.

The first representative of Sayyid al-Sistani in Basra, Sayyid Ali Abd-al-Hakim al-Safi, said that there was a fatwa from the religious authority banning his representatives from interfering in electoral issues. He added: People are free to choose; the role of the religious authority is only to enlighten people. He rejected the claims that Al-Najaf had supported in the elections any tendency at the expense of another. ... FR Reprint.

Kerry contradicts self in his own war diary

August 17, 2004
Kerry, who served as commander of a Navy swift boat, has insisted he was wounded by enemy fire Dec. 2, 1968, when he and two other men took a smaller vessel, a Boston Whaler, on a patrol north of his base at Cam Ranh Bay.

But Douglas Brinkley's "Tour of Duty," for which Kerry supplied his journals and letters, indicates that as Kerry set out on a subsequent mission, he had not yet been under enemy fire.

While the date of the four-day excursion on PCF-44 [Patrol Craft Fast] is not specified, Brinkley notes it commenced when Kerry "had just turned 25, on Dec. 11, 1968," which was nine days after the incident in which he claimed he had been wounded by enemy fire. ... FR Reprint.

Private Property May Become Preserved

July 10, 2004
Residents of King County, Wash., will only be able to build on 10 percent of their land, according to a new law being considered by the county government, which, if enacted, will be the most restrictive land use law in the nation.

Known as the 65-10 Rule (search), it calls for landowners to set aside 65 percent of their property and keep it in its natural, vegetative state. According to the rule, nothing can be built on this land, and if a tree is cut down, for example, it must be replanted. Building anything is out of the question. ...

"My take is it's stealing — out and out stealing," said county resident Marshall Brenden. "They're taking 65 percent of your land that you fought for years to pay for, paid mortgages on and now you can't use it." ... FR Reprint.

FBI looks for specific terrorist along the border.

August 17, 2004
A Saudi terrorist suspect might be making his way to the U.S.-Mexico border amid groups of undocumented immigrants, officials with the FBI and the U.S. Embassy said.

Officials on both sides of the border have asked law enforcement officials, including Border Patrol agents and El Paso¹s bridge inspectors, as well as the community at large to be on the lookout for Adnan G. El Shukrijumah, 29, a native of Saudi Arabia who may be using a Guyanese, Canadian or Trinidadian passport.

Shukrijumah was spotted in Honduras earlier this year, FBI officials said, and used to reside in Trinidad and Tobago, off the coast of Latin America. "He is believed to be one of the most dangerous cell leader below the leadership of al-Qaeda who plans to hurt the United States," Art Werge, spokesman for the FBI in El Paso, said.

Officials said Shukrijumah might be using immigrant-smuggling routes through Central America and Mexico to get to the border. Shukrijumah has reportedly received training in aircrafts and explosives, Werge said. He is about 132 pounds, 5-foot-3 to 5-foot-5 and occasionally wears a beard. He speaks English. There is a $5,000 reward for information leading to his capture. ... FR Reprint.

KERRY-TALE: No. 1 - John O'Neill is a Republican operative

August 17, 2004
The Kerry camp is very, very afraid of UNFIT FOR COMMAND. They are trying to paint co-author John O'Neill as a Republican or Bush operative. Here are a few of the facts:

-- O'Neill gave $7,000 to republicans, and $25,000 to Democrats in the last 15 years.

-- O'Neill has not voted for the GOP presidential candidate since 1988 and voted for Al Gore in 2000. ... FR Reprint.

Venezuela’s Recall Fraud Has Been Unveiled

August 17, 2004
Political consultant J.J. Rendon presented irrefutable proof of the electoral fraud performed during the recall referendum in Venezuela. In Bolivar state something suspicious took place; say voting centre X has 3.000 people in the roll. Said centre has three polling booths: in number 1, 1.100 people must vote; in number 2, 1.000; and in number 3, 900 people. Tallies from booth number 1 showed 683 votes for the NO option and 103 votes for the YES option. Tallies from booth number 2 resulted in 587 votes for the NO option and 103 votes for the YES option. Tallies from booth number 3 evidenced 519 votes for the NO option and again 103 for the YES option.

Electoral officials assigned to said centre thought it was extremely unlikely to get such repetitive number of votes for the YES option. So they got in touch with other centres in the area. It turned out that tallies from other centres showed the same pattern, although diverging numbers, i.e. tallies from machines at Y voting centre showed the same consistency for instance 133 votes for the YES option repeated four times. Statistically speaking it is almost impossible for such a pattern to occur. ... FR Reprint.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Daniel Pipes: 'Terrorism' battle is really fight against Islamism

August 17 2004
In a striking admission, George W. Bush said the other day that that ''We actually misnamed the war on terror. It ought to be [called] the struggle against ideological extremists who do not believe in free societies and who happen to use terror as a weapon to try to shake the conscience of the free world.''

This important concession follows growing criticism of the misleading term ''war on terror'' (how can one fight a tactic?) and replaces it with the more accurate ''war on ideological extremists.'' With this change, the battle of ideas can begin.

But who exactly are those ideological extremists? The next step is for Bush to give them a name. ...

Rolling these comments into a single summary statement establishes how Bush -- and by extension the whole of the U.S. government -- sees the enemy: a false doctrine of Islamic purity inspires a totalitarian ideology of power and domination. The extremists who advocate this doctrine see the United States as the chief obstacle to achieving their goals. Ultimately, they hope to bring about a collapse of the United States as it now exists.

Only with such specificity can the civilized world start on the path to victory over this latest manifestation of barbarism. ... FR Reprint.

U.K.: Terror Suspects Charges in Full

August 17, 2004
Eight terror suspects arrested in raids across England two weeks ago have now been charged.

Here are the charges in full:

DHIREN BAROT, 32, OF WILLESDEN, LONDON

Conspiracy to murder.
Conspiracy to commit a public nuisance by the use of radioactive materials, toxic gases, chemicals and or explosives. • Possessing a reconnaissance plan of the Prudential Building in New Jersey.
Possessing reconnaissance plans of the International Monetary Fund in Washington, the stock exchange and Citigroup, both in New York, and two notebooks with information on explosives, poisons, chemicals and related matters. ... FR Reprint.

When John Kerry covered up evidence of P.O.W.'s left behind

February 24th, 2004
Senator John Kerry, a decorated battle veteran, was courageous as a navy lieutenant in the Vietnam War. But he was not so courageous more than two decades later, when he covered up voluminous evidence that a significant number of live American prisoners—perhaps hundreds—were never acknowledged or returned after the war-ending treaty was signed in January 1973.

The Massachusetts senator, now seeking the presidency, carried out this subterfuge a little over a decade ago— shredding documents, suppressing testimony, and sanitizing the committee's final report—when he was chairman of the Senate Select Committee on P.O.W./ M.I.A. Affairs.

Over the years, an abundance of evidence had come to light that the North Vietnamese, while returning 591 U.S. prisoners of war after the treaty signing, had held back many others as future bargaining chips for the $4 billion or more in war reparations that the Nixon administration had pledged. Hanoi didn't trust Washington to fulfill its pro-mise without pressure. Similarly, Washington didn't trust Hanoi to return all the prisoners and carry out all the treaty provisions. The mistrust on both sides was merited. Hanoi held back prisoners and the U.S. provided no reconstruction funds. ... FR Reprint.

Population warning for First World

August 17, 2004
Many of the world's largest industrialized nations will lose population between now and 2050 as low birth rates, struggling economies and curbs on immigration stifle growth, says the author of a world population report.

The annual study by the private Population Reference Bureau found that, while the world's population will increase nearly 50 per cent by mid-century, Japan will lose 20 per cent of its population in the next 45 years, while Russia, Germany and Italy will also see declines.

The United States is the biggest exception among developed countries, with its population forecast to rise by 43 per cent from 293 million now to 420 million at mid-century. ...

While the population of developed countries would rise four per cent to over 1.2 billion, the population in developing nations would surge by 55 per cent to more than eight billion. Countries in Africa and south Asia would see the largest increases. ...

Meanwhile, many European countries with aging populations have sent out conflicting messages of seeking more workers while blocking out immigrants, the UN Population Division has said. The issue has sparked political debate in Austria, France and the Netherlands. FR Reprint.


Trio of Reports signal Upswing in the US Economy

August 17, 2004
Since Drudge is using three different news articles to work this I will just post the links to the articles.

CONSUMER PRICES DOWN

FACTORY OUTPUT UP

HOUSING STARTS JUMP 8.3 PERCENT FR Reprint.

John Kerry: Cambodian Rebel Gun Runner !!!

August 17, 2004
U.S. News & World Reports of May 8, 2000 reported, "Sen. John Kerry made his first forays into Cambodia during the Vietnam War as a Navy lieutenant on clandestine missions to deliver weapons to anticommunist forces." ... FR Reprint.

Terrorism fears no longer helping Bush, study finds

August 12, 2004
A new study reveals a surprising twist on the conventional wisdom about November's presidential election: While political pundits seem to agree that news of terrorist threats and other dangers from abroad is good news for President Bush's re-election bid, the opposite might be true. ...The professors have been tracking Americans' attitudes about politics, civil liberties and security in a series of national and Michigan-wide surveys since 2001.

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, they found that people who expressed greater concern about threats of future terrorism were more likely to approve of Bush's presidential performance, while those who were less worried were less likely to support the president. But by spring 2004, "this relationship had reversed: Those who were more concerned about terrorism were less likely to approve of Bush's performance," the professors say in their report.

And, the professors say, that trend is influencing how people plan to vote in the November election. ... In the most recent Michigan State survey, however, increased concern was no longer linked to increased approval of Bush's performance. Davis and Silver found that among those who are very concerned about another attack, just 29 percent approve of Bush. But among people who say they are not at all concerned about another attack, the president's approval rating is 30 points higher: 59 percent. ... FR Reprint.

Chavez's 'Victory'

August 17, 2004 | Editorial
Mr. Chavez's claims of a "landslide" victory are not supported by independent evidence of how the voting was going. All day long Sunday, exit polls were reporting a 16 to 20 point margin in favor of removing the president... [with] the vote to remove Mr. Chavez at 59% in early exit polls.... [The Council] didn't allow an audit of the paper receipts issued by the touchscreen machines, or allow opposition representatives to be present during its tallying of the vote." ... FR Reprint.

Man Behind Terror Big's Arrest

August 16, 2004
A leafy street in an English country village might not seem like the frontline in the war on terror. But an elaborate Internet sting run from Glen Jenvey's bedroom helped bring in the man U.S. officials had long called a serious terrorist suspect but had been unable to touch.

Abu Hamza al Masri is now in a British jail fighting extradition to the United States. And as CBS News Correspondent Mark Phillips reports, Jenvey, also known as Pervez Khan, is a major reason why. Jenvey set up a false Web site, posing as an Islamic extremist site.
Using a pseudonym, Jenvey set up a site called Islamic News, collecting material from militant Islamic movements around the world. His intention, he says, was to flush the real terrorists out. It was like dangling bait in the waters -- and Hamza bit. Impressed with Jenvey's site, he started e-mailing him and more.

"I was so convincing to them that they then provided video and audio tapes of their most private meetings," says Jenvey. The tapes were key. While Hamza, in his sermons, had often supported terrorist acts abroad, he had protected himself from British anti-terror laws by never publicly calling for violent action within the U.K. But the private tapes told another story -- one of clear incitement to acts of terror in the U.K. and the U.S.

Here's Hamza's private advice to his British and American followers. "A land for jihad is in Afghanistan. If you are more courageous you should do another Afghanistan in your own country." More advice, came from an audio tape: "Our people should know that we should have intifada, also uprising in our own countries more than the Palestinians do in their own countries."

The tapes provided enough evidence of apparent incitement that authorities on both sides of the Atlantic pounced. "The arrest of Abu Hamza is a major, is a major development in the fight against terror," New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in late May. "He is a real deal."

The tapes served another purpose as well. They proved that American James Ujaama, who had denied knowing Hamza when facing his own terrorist charges in the U.S., clearly did know him. This proof led Ujaama to plea bargain and provide more evidence against Hamza. Jenvey's sting was complete.

"They sometimes say if you give a fool a piece of rope he'll hang himself, and it seems that in this case this person has done exactly that," says Jenvey. FR Reprint.

UK: Shaking fingers - Lecturing despots won't work

August 17, 2004
THE WISDOM of the Bush Doctrine becomes clearer with every new international crisis that crops up. A group of Hutus in Burundi massacred 150 Congolese refugees in a camp there on Friday. It was a United Nations camp. The U.N. response? On Sunday the Security Council issued a statement urging the government of Burundi to bring the perpetrators to account. That’ll show ‘em.

In Sudan, where innocents are being massacred by the thousands, the U.N. has done shamefully little. Sudan is on the United Nations’ Commission on Human Rights. In its six-week work session this year, the commission, a U.N. press release boasts, “adopted 88 resolutions, 28 decisions, and five Chairman’s statements.” Bureaucratic impotence should be no surprise coming from an organization whose Africa bureau is located in Geneva.

John Kerry, announcing how he would handle Sudan
, said he would shower $350 million on the U.N., Impose comprehensive U.N. sanctions; Obtain UN Security Council authorization for a Chapter VII humanitarian intervention to protect civilians and deliver humanitarian assistance;” and “Authorize an International Commission of Inquiry into war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.”

So John Kerry’s response to the crisis is to “authorize” an “International Commission of Inquiry” and request that the U.N., which cannot even protect its own camps, intervene with humanitarian assistance. That’s exactly how Kerry would have handled Iraq, too: Give the bad guys a stern talking-to. It’s a strategy that has never deterred genocide and never will. But at least it will make the French and Germans like us again, right? ... FR Reprint.

Crown prince claims Saudi's battle against al-Qaeda is largely over

August 17, 2004
SAUDI Arabia’s major battle with terrorism is over, and the kingdom is chasing the last remaining militants, Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah said in an interview yesterday.

"We are past the stages of terrorism," the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia told Kuwait’s al-Siyassah newspaper. "What you see now is the elimination of the last pockets and the chasing of the last remainders." ... FR Reprint.

Another Kerry Lie

August 17, 2004
The big lie that is repeated again and again is the story that President Bush said the mission was accomplished in Iraq. Senator Kerry and his willing accomplices in the media perpetuate the myth. It is easy to check the facts. The speech that President Bush made on the aircraft carrier NEVER uses the words, ''mission accomplished.'' The sign ''Mission Accomplished'' was referring to the carrier’s mission, which was accomplished at that time. The speech can be found by doing an Internet search. I have excerpted relevant portions of the speech. ... FR Reprint.

The Shahab-3 experiment in Iran was for a testing of a new Chinese navigation system

August 17, 2004
Intellgience sources in the west said that the aim of the military experiment last week in Iran was a testing of a new Chinese navigation system that was installed in the Shahab-3 missiles. ... FR Reprint.

EU to build wall after blasting Israel's

August 17, 2004
Just one month after the U.N. and EU launched a furious campaign against Israel's security fence, culminating in the International Court of Justice ruling that the fence is illegal, the EU announced it's planning to build a separation fence of its own, and invited Israel to participate in the construction.

The fence is being built to separate recently added EU members Poland and Hungary from their new neighbors – Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. The EU said the fence is necessary to "prevent the free movement of migrants seeking to enter" EU territory. ...

"It's incredible the EU has no problem building a fence just to keep illegal immigrants out, but when the Jewish State builds a security fence as a last resort for the purpose of keeping terrorists out and saving Israeli lives, we are blasted by them and the U.N.," a spokesman for Ariel Sharon told WorldNetDaily. "Makes you think, doesn't it?" ... FR Reprint.

Limits sought on Border Patrol

August 17, 2004
The Department of Homeland Security wants to restrict the U.S. Border Patrol's arrest of illegal aliens in the nation's interior, concerned that the recent apprehension of 450 illegals by agents in inland areas of Southern California failed to consider the "sensitivities" of those detained. ... FR Reprint.

Federal agents added to flights

August 16, 2004
Homeland Security Undersecretary Asa Hutchinson yesterday told senators that Secret Service agents and other armed federal officials are being used to bolster the Federal Air Marshal Service's efforts to guard airplanes from terrorist attacks.

"We're trying to make sure, through additional resources, that we really increase the number of flights that are covered," Mr. Hutchinson told the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee during a hearing on the September 11 commission report. ... FR Reprint.

Monday, August 16, 2004

SEALs & Swift boats (expert declares "Kerry is a liar")

August 16, 2004
Apparently, the latest version of Kerry's Cambodia Chronicles includes the insertion of Navy SEALs by Swift boat into Cambodia in the early part of 1969. Well, I am a former Navy SEAL that served in the 1990s, my father in law is a former SEAL and he served in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam in 1970. I spoke with him about the likelihood that this story could be correct. My contention was that Swift boats were too large to be routinely used as an insertion platform for SEALs.

SEALs typically used the Medium SEAL Support Craft (MSSC) or the LSSC. My dad's platoon, had one of each assigned. These boats were designed by SEALs and specially built for the Teams to use on clandestine riverine insertions at night of usually no more than 8 operators. Swift boats operated in groups as independent entities, and not as insertion/extraction platforms for small units. ...

SEALs also did not trust anyone outside of their immediate peer group. They developed their own intel by snatching high ranking VC out of their beds in the middle of the night. They did not share this info outside the platoon, boat guys, and Seawolves helo crews (close fire support assets). They learned early on that passing intel up the chain was a sure way to be compromised on future operations.

In order to get permission to conduct an illegal incursion into Cambodia by Swift boat the following must occur: 1. Extremely fresh intel of a high value target (think U.S. POW, or VC chieftain). 2. Take that intel outside the group and up to intel at a higher level (risking compromise) in order to obtain boat support from the Swifties to go into Cambodia. That is extremely unlikely to the point of absurdity.

Furthermore, neither myself or my father in law knows anyone who was inserted anywhere by a Swift boat during Vietnam. It just wasn't done. It wasn't something SEALs wanted, and it wasn't something Swifties did. Bottom Line......Kerry is a liar. ... FR Reprint.

Moqtada Sadr Messages to Al Qaeda in Fallujah Intercepted

August 16, 2004
Radical Shiite leader Moqtada Sadr circulates bitter letter accusing ayatollahs and seminar heads of Najaf and Iranian center of learning of Qom of 'failing the ultimate test,' betrayal and leaving him and his fighters to die in the Imam Ali Mosque.

Hence his appeal to 2,000 Falluja Sunni human shields for help in 'teaching the heretics a lesson they won't forget.' Sadr is now at the end of his tether.

Some of his messages to Baathists and Al Qaeda in Fallujah have been intercepted by United States forces. Coalition forces have almost purged the massive cemetary adjoining the Imam Ali Mosque of Sadrist militia, driving them all into Mosque.

Three Marines killed in this action Sunday, soon Iraqi forces will go in and capture them. ... FR Reprint.

S Korea: Majority Want U.S. To Maintain Troops

August 16, 2004
Despite growing anti-American sentiment among young South Koreans in particular, a majority of the nation's lawmakers want to maintain the status quo of U.S. troops on the Korean Peninsula.

Of 237 lawmakers who responded to a survey by The Korea Herald, altogether 146, or 61.6 percent, wanted to keep the number of U.S. troops at the current level.

But 81, or 34.2 percent, said they think more U.S. soldiers should be pulled out. Only four liberal lawmakers said the troops should be phased out of the Korean Peninsula while six had no response. ... FR Reprint.

Non-Arab Al Qaeda recon/scout teams?

August 16, 2004
U.S. intelligence officials say al-Qaida is increasingly using non-Arab scouts, both male and female, some of whom pose as Christians, USA Today said Monday.

"The FBI has their eye on or has opened several hundred investigations of people .... supportive of" al-Qaida, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said. "There was a legitimate concern right after (Sept. 11) ... the cells are mostly based on east-coast states... also in Michigan and California." ...

[T]he scouts are isolated from each other and from the al-Qaida members who would eventually carry out attacks." ... FR Reprint.

The Terror Threat in the Southern Cone

August 16, 2004
Brazil said recently that it will bolster policing of its part of the Triple Border Area with Paraguay and Argentina. The move is welcome, if overdue. The Triple Border Area has long been identified as a fund-raising, training and procurement haven for diverse terrorist groups, including al Qaeda and Hezbollah.

Brazil's federal police said last week that they have established a new unit and will increase river and air patrols in the area. Authorities said they will combat drugs and arms smuggling, but adhering to a traditional state of denial, they did not mention terrorism. Still, terrorist groups would be affected by the policy, since they are heavily involved in smuggling and other activities to raise funds, which they send around the world.

As much as $50 million is believed to have been transferred from the Triple Border to Hezbollah accounts, Sebastian Junger reported in a 2002 Vanity Fair article. ... FR Reprint.

U.S. to Approve Sale of Aegis Ships to Taiwan

August 16, 2004
The United States will announce the sale of four Aegis missile-defense warships to Taiwan next year with delivery likely to begin in 2011, a newspaper said on Monday.

Taiwan has long sought the destroyers, which would be an important defense against about 500 ballistic missiles pointed at the island by arch-foe China, but Washington has so far only offered less advanced Kidd-class destroyers to Taipei. ... FR Reprint.

Will Republican convention be a Chicago '68 madhouse?

August 16, 2004
Tom Hayden, one of the central organizers of sometimes violent, civil disobedience protests at the Democratic National Convention in 1968, is pledging to disrupt this month's Republican convention with demonstrations "1,000 times bigger than Chicago," according to a report in Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin, WND's premium, weekly, online intelligence newsletter.

Hayden, the co-founder of Students for Democratic Society, a left-wing group that splintered in the late '60s and early '70s, with one faction resorting to terrorism, is predicting between 100,000 and 1 million protesters will be in New York for the convention beginning Aug. 30.

Hayden said there were at most 6,000 on hand in Chicago in 1968. This time, he predicted, it will be "bigger by a thousand fold," he told a foreign journalist. He said many demonstrators were scared off by tough-talking Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. The bigger protest in New York, he said, "influences the character of everything, including the strategy of the Department of Homeland Security." No permits have yet been issued for any planned demonstrations. ... FR Reprint.