Where's the Money?, Behind the California Recall: A Vast Right-wing Conspiracy, A Future's Market on Bush-Flops, Why Not a Futures Market in Hope?, Iranian Official Named in Murder of Canadian Journalist, and No Arab Terrorists on Flight 77
August 22, 2003
Where's the Money?
The US Government is missing $1.1 trillion. But because it's the Pentagon that's responsible for the loss, Washington doesn't seem very interested in demanding an accounting.
| The US Navy turns the Declaration of Independence into a threat of annihilation. Clear Channel Communications is the same media conglomerate that used its radio stations to organize pro-war demonstrations and promoted the burning of Dixie Chicks albums. ©Gar Smith (The-Edge)|
According to a San Francisco Chronicle investigation by Tom Abate, "the Defense Department's inspector general found that the Pentagon couldn't properly account for more than a trillion dollars in spending. A GAO report found Defense inventory systems so lax that the US Army lost track of 56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missile command launch-units."
Abate explained that "waste has become ingrained in the Defense budget because opposition to defense spending is portrayed as unpatriotic, and legislators are often more concerned about winning Pentagon pork than controlling defense waste."
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles) noted that Congress "increased defense spending from $300 billion to $400 billion over three years at the same time that the Pentagon has failed to address financial problems that dwarf those of Enron. While vast sums of money are being siphoned off into hidden coffers, America's schools, hospitals and public services are facing cutbacks and closures. Millions of people are out of work."
Outraged by Washington's arrogant dismissal of this unprecedented theft of taxpayer dollars, a citizens' group has launched a petition drive on the Internet, demanding an answer to the question "Where is the money?"
"If you are a citizen of a country who is financing America by buying US government bonds and mortgage backed securities, you want to sign this petition," the organizers proclaim. "The situation implies fraud and corruption of gross proportions [and] puts into question the creditworthiness of the US government."
How much is $1.1 trillion? Citing an example of immediate interest to cash-strapped California, the petition organizers note that the state's "pro rata share of this missing money comes to $128 billion -- enough to solve the state's budget crisis "three and a half times over."
To learn more about the greatest theft in US history and to sign the petition, go to: http://www.whereisthemoney.org
Behind the California Recall: A Vast Right-wing Conspiracy
In the run-up to the California recall campaign, the EcoMole was privy to the partisan back-chatter from a number of rightwing newsletters. These confidential emails from state GOP operatives routinely hammered Davis for being pro-gay. At least one update referred to the Governor as "Gay" Davis. Another email (titled "Oust Davis as a threat to your family!") warned that "keeping Davis means homosexuals will get all the rights and privileges of marriage."
GOP US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist apparently shares Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's fear that liberal politicians are "furthering the homosexual agenda." Advocating a state's right to criminalize bedroom behavior, Frist told ABC's This Week: "I have this fear that criminal activity within the home would in some way be condoned.... I think matters such as sodomy should be addressed by the state legislatures. That's where those decisions -- with the local norms, the local mores -- are being able to have their input in reflected." [Note: That's a verbatim transcript.]
Meanwhile, right-wing newsletters are openly exulting that a successful California recall will unleash a nationwide spate of GOP-backed recall campaigns to knock incumbent Democrats from power. As one GOP emailing put it: "What a great lesson to teach all those left-wing big-government spenders not only in Washington but in every state across our nation! Let's put the fear of similar recalls or elections in their hearts."
A Future's Market on Bush-Flops
Contragate felon John Poindexter lost his job as the Czar of the Total Information Awareness program after he backed a plan to reward investors for speculating on future acts of terrorism. Inspired by the Pentagon's argument that studying "futures markets" was a legitimate means to determine future trends, an MIT researcher has announced the creation of a future's market in Bush administration screw-ups. "If the market is indeed such a powerful tool," reasons MIT Media Lab scientist Tad Hirsch, "it should be directed at the most urgent question facing the world: What will the White House do next?"
The American Action Market (AAM, www.AmericanActionMarket.org) will invite investors to speculate on such topics as:
AmericanActionMarket.org was expected to go public on October 1, the day the Pentagon's disgraced terror-futures market was set to open.
- Who will be the next friendly foreign dictator to move from the CIA's payroll to Bush's "Most Wanted" list?
- What will be the next White House lie to be exposed?
- Which politically connected corporation will embarrass the White House in a financial or ethical scandal?
- Was the President fully conscious of the lies in his pre-war speeches?
- How important a long-term factor in the 2003 Iraq was Iraq's expulsion of US and British oil companies from Iraq between 1972 and 1975?
Why Not a Futures Market in Hope?
While the EcoMole salutes AAM's enterprising spirit, the Mole would like to suggest a more positive version that would offer investors a "futures market in hope." Participants would be invited to speculate on the prospects for progressive legislation, victories for social justice and the transition to a sustainable economy. The topics on the "Survival Futures" watch list might include:
- When will Washington finally impose a pollution tax on dirty industries and gas-guzzling SUVs?
- When will the US abandon oil for a sustainable economy powered by solar, wind, tidal and geothermal energy?
- Will the year 2004 witness the restoration of the Bill of Rights?
- How many Bush administration members will be jailed for committing high crimes and misdemeanors?
Big Brother beneath the Bumper
Colorado - According to a cover story in the Boulder Weekly, several Boulder residents recently discovered sophisticated $2,000 Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking devices hidden beneath their cars. "The devices contained no immediate clues as to who planted them or who used them to collect information, leaving the residents with troubling questions: Who would be willing to spend the time and energy to track them? And are we all being watched far more carefully than we might want to imagine?"
Two of the targeted vehicles belong to animal rights activists Mike Nicosia (The Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade) and Rod Coronado (Earth First!) - both of whom have been openly supportive of the underground Animal Liberation Front (ALF).
Betty Ball, a Boulder activist with the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, believes this type of high-tech surveillance is one more legacy of the post-9/11 PATRIOT Act, which gave federal authorities sweeping powers to "combat terrorism" even if it meant abridging or abrogating citizens' First Amendment rights.
Ball believes that the Bush administration knows their domestic and foreign policies "are going to get massive resistance and that is why they came up with the Patriot Act, and this means of GPS surveillance, and surveillance of our computers and websites and e-mail and all that kind of stuff."
FBI spokesperson Ann Atanasio told the Boulder Weekly: "I cannot confirm or deny the existence of an investigation." Atanasio declined to comment on FBI tracking techniques or its position on the ALF.
Coronado doubts that the FBI was responsible, explaining that doesn't believe "the FBI would be stupid enough to think we would not find these things on our cars."
The Maxxam Corporation, a powerful logging company that Coronado and his cohortts have been protesting, recently spent a lot of money on an ad campaign labeling Coronado an "eco-terrorist." Coronado figures Maxxam has the money to electronically track his whereabouts. Maxxam spokesperson Josh Reiss declined to respond to the allegations.
Another suspect is the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), a coalition of restaurants, food companies and tobacco corporations that oppose "anti-consumer activists." The Center has actively discouraged organizations from hosting Coronado's seminars, calling him a "domestic terrorist." But CCF Communications Director Mike Burita insists that his organization does not engage in cloak-and-tracker work.
For the full story, go to: www.infoshop.org/inews/stories_story_03_07_17_5312128.html
Iranian Official Named in Murder of Canadian Journalist
Tehran - Iranian-born Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi was arrested for snapping photos inside Ira. Kazemi subsequently died in a hospital following a brief detenton at Iran's Revolutionary Guard interrogation center. Iran's reformist President Mohammad Khatami has called for an independent inquiry to determine who was responsible for the journalist's death.
|Iranian-born Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi was killed in Tehran. Iran's Green Party is ready to testify that Kazemi's death was no accident.|
The French newspaper Liberation identified Prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi as the official who personally beat Kazemi on the head with his shoe while questioning her. Although Kazemi lapsed into a coma, she was not taken to hospital for three days.
While some Persian-language news sources have questioned the Liberation account, a member of the Green Party of Iran claims to have witnessed similar beatings during interrogations in the 7th division of Evin prison.
According to this eyewitness, interrogators routinely placed prisoners on chairs and ordered them to write confessions. An interrogator standing on a chair behind the prisoner would kick the victim's head with the heel of his boot if the prisoner failed to comply. "In most cases, prisoners would black out after such a forceful blow to the head," the Green Party announced in a July 18 statement. "Our Green Party of Iran member is willing to testify in international court regarding this pattern of beating in the Islamic Regime's prisons."
No Arab Terrorists on Flight 77
US - Thomas R. Olmsted, an ex-Naval line officer and a psychiatrist in New Orleans, was puzzled by the odd fact that "there were no Arabic-sounding names on any of the flight manifests of the planes that crashed Sept 11." Olmsted decided to pursue the matter. He filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to obtain the autopsy list for Flight 77, the plane that hit the Pentagon.
"When airline disasters occur, airlines will routinely provide a manifest list for anxious families," Omlsted notes. Even before September 11, "airlines were pretty meticulous about getting an accurate headcount before takeoff. It seems very unlikely to me that FIVE Arabs sneaked onto a flight with weapons."
The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) identified nearly all the bodies and published a list on November 16, 2001. The AFIP concluded that of the 189 killed, 125 worked at the Pentagon and 64 were passengers on the plane.
According to the FBI, Flight 77 was comandeered by five terrorists - Khalid Almihdhar, Majed Moqed, Nawaf Alhazmi, Hani Hanjour and Salem Alhazmi. But the list provided by American Airlines only contained the names of 56 passengers - eight bodies short. None of the identified remains belonged to Arab-surnamed individuals. www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/trade.center/victims/AA77.victims.html
Olmsted thought it would be simple to resolve the matter. Just compare "the names of all the bodies identified by the AFIP with the publicized list of passengers." So, he sent a FOIA request to the AFIP asking for an expedited response. "Fourteen months later, a few US soldiers dead, many Iraqi civilians pushing up daisies, and I finally get the list," Olmsted relates. "Believe me, they weren't a bit happy to give it up, and I really have no idea why they choose now to release it."
And what did Olmsted find? "No Arabs wound up on the morgue slab. However, three additional people not listed by American Airline sneaked in. I have seen no explanation for these extras. I did give American the opportunity to revise their original list, but they have not responded. The new names are: Robert Ploger, Zandra Ploger, and Sandra Teague. The AFIP claims that the only passenger body that they were not able to identify is the toddler, Dana Falkenberg."
This is the Passenger List for AA Flight 77:
Paul Ambrose, Yeneneh Betru, Mary Jane Booth, Bernard Brown, Charles Burlingame, Suzanne Calley, William Caswell, David Charlebois, Sarah Clark, Asia Cottom, James Debeuneure, Rodney Dickens, Eddie Dillard, Chuck Droz, Barbara Edwards, Charles Falkenberg, Zoe Falkenberg, James Ferguson, Darlene Flagg, Wilson Flagg, Richard Gabriel, Ian Gray, Stanley Hall, Michelle Heidenberger, Bryan Jack, Steven Jacoby, Ann Judge, Chandler Keller, Yvonne Kennedy, Norma Khan, Karen Kincaid, Dong Lee, Jennifer Lewis, Kenneth Lewis, Renee May, Dora Menchaca, Christopher Newton, Barbara Olson, Ruben Ornedo, Robert Penninger, Robert Ploger, Zandra Ploger, Lisa Raines, Todd Reuben, John Sammartino, Diane Simmons, George Simmons, Mari-Rae Sopper, Robert Speisman, Norma Steuerle, Hilda Taylor, Leonard Taylor, Sandra Teague, Leslie Whittington, John Yamnicky, Vicki Yancey, Shuyin Yang, Yuguag Zheng.
See also: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/steveseymour/pentagon/pentagon.htm
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