Archive for July, 2007
Posted by nytexan on July 31, 2007
We outsource everything in this country, but the outsourcing of our intelligence community is beyond understandable frankly it stupid. This brain storm of the Bush administration has opened the U. S. up to corporate interest and not the interest of America. But then, that’s what Bush and Cheney are all about the interest of corporations and not Americans.
What kind of BS intelligence are these corporations putting together to keep the troops in Iraq or to start a war in Iran? After all, it’s in their best interest to keep and start wars since these corporations are also defense contractors.
- The unprecedented involvement of private corporations in the Iraq War has been well documented. Private soldiers working for Blackwater USA, Triple Canopy and others provide security services against military-level threats, and they regularly engage in combat.
- But what is not generally known is that the secret side of the Iraq War and the larger “war on terror” is also conducted by private corporations, fielding private spies. The reach of these corporations has extended into the Oval Office. Corporations are heavily involved in creating the analytical products that underlie the nation’s most important and most sensitive national security document, the President’s Daily Brief (PDB).
- Over the past six years, a quiet revolution has occurred in the intelligence community toward wide-scale outsourcing to corporations and away from the long-established practice of keeping operations in US government hands, with only select outsourcing of certain jobs to independently contracted experts. Key functions of intelligence agencies are now run by private corporations. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) revealed in May that 70 percent of the intelligence budget goes to contractors.
- Employees of private corporations – “green badgers,” in CIA parlance — provide sensitive services ranging from covert CIA operations in Iraq to recruiting and running spies. They also gather human intelligence on behalf of the CIA and analyze it, creating intelligence products used by the intelligence community and also shared with other branches of government.
- Corporate intelligence professionals from companies such as Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Booz Allen Hamilton, SAIC and others are thoroughly integrated into analytical divisions throughout the intelligence community, including the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It is the ODNI that produces the final document of the President’s Daily Brief.
- It’s true that the government pays for and signs off on the assessment, but much of the analysis and even some of the underlying intelligence-gathering is corporate. Knowledgeable members of the intelligence community tell me that corporations have so penetrated the intelligence community that it’s impossible to distinguish their work from the government’s.
- Although the President’s Daily Brief has the seal of the ODNI, it is misleading. To be accurate, the PDB would look more like NASCAR with corporate logos plastered all over it.
- Concerned members of the intelligence community have told me that if a corporation wanted to insert items favorable to itself or its clients into the PDB to influence the US national security agenda, at this time it would be virtually undetectable. These companies have analysts and often intelligence collectors spread throughout the system and have the access to introduce intelligence into the system.
- To take an extreme example, a company frustrated with a government that’s hampering its business or the business of one of its clients could introduce or spin intelligence on that government’s suspected collaboration with terrorists in order to get the White House’s attention and potentially shape national policy.
- Or, more subtly, a private firm could introduce concerns about a particular government to put heat on that government to shape its energy policy in a favorable direction.
- To get us into the Iraq War, intelligence regarding alleged weapons of mass destruction had to be very artfully manipulated to short-circuit a formidable bureaucracy designed to prevent just such warping of intelligence. Due to the shift toward wide-scale industrial outsourcing in the intelligence community, even that fallible safeguard has been eroded.
- Sources like “Curveball,” the Iraqi informant who wrongly asserted the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and upon whom the CIA relied, are no longer needed. This is particularly frightening when one considers that the “war on terror” is fought by a $100 billion-plus industry that has a vested interest in its continuation.
- The tools needed to close this vulnerability are available, and they can be found in the private sector. Existing techniques could be applied to monitor the intelligence community for any suspicious activity to insure that no corporation could manipulate US government policy in this way.
- Closing the gaps is simply a matter of the Director of National Intelligence acknowledging the problem, then finding the political will and leadership to implement a solution. Unfortunately, it will probably take a public outcry to make this happen.
Posted in Bush, CIA, Iraq, national intelligence, President, President Daily Brief, profiteers, War, War Contractors | 5 Comments »
Posted by nytexan on July 31, 2007
This is rich; one day after Stevens house gets raided during an investigation for public corruption, he vows to block the House ethics bill. I don’t think Stevens would know ethics if it bit him in the ass.
Republican Sen. Ted Stevens, whose home back in Alaska was raided by federal investigators Monday in a wide-ranging corruption investigation, has threatened to place a hold on the Democratic-drafted ethics legislation just passed by the House and expected on the Senate floor by week’s end.
The senator told a closed session of fellow Republicans today, including Vice President Dick Cheney, that he was upset that the measure would interfere with his travel to and from Alaska – and vowed to block it.
Posted in Congress, Corruption, ethics, GOP, Ted Stevens | 5 Comments »
Posted by nytexan on July 30, 2007
Do the scandals ever stop? It doesn’t matter if they’re a democrat or a republican; the simple fact is politicians are completely out of control.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Agents from the FBI and Internal Revenue Service on Monday searched the home of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, an official said.
Investigators arrived at the Republican senator’s home in Girdwood shortly before 2:30 p.m. Alaska time, said Dave Heller, FBI assistant special agent.
Heller said he could not comment on the nature of the investigation.
The Justice Department has been looking into the seven-term senator’s relationship with a wealthy contractor as part of a public corruption investigation.
Posted in Alaska, Congress, Scandal, Ted Stevens | 7 Comments »
Posted by nytexan on July 30, 2007
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Chief Justice John Roberts suffered a seizure at his summer home off the coast of Maine, causing him to fall, the Supreme Court said Monday.
Roberts was conscious after the fall, which happened at his vacation home near Port Clyde, Maine, Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg told CNN.
The chief justice was taken to a nearby hospital where he is expected to stay overnight.
Roberts has “fully recovered from the incident,” and a neurological evaluation “revealed no cause for concern,” the Supreme Court said.
A hospital spokesman would not discuss the case, citing privacy concerns.
A witness said Roberts fell on a dock, and his injuries did not appear serious.
Roberts, 52, experienced a similar episode years ago. Sources close to the chief justice said Roberts suffered an unexplained seizure in 1993, soon after his first nomination to the D.C. circuit stalled in the Senate.
Friends blamed the seizure on stress from the confirmation fight, and Roberts limited certain activities such as driving after it happened. But after a few weeks, the problem went away, and he has since not suffered any health crises, the sources said.
President Bush was notified about Monday’s incident during an Oval Office meeting, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.
Roberts recently spent two weeks in Europe, where he taught a law course in Vienna, Austria, and attended a judicial conference in Paris, France, court sources said. Roberts was at the Supreme Court late last week before traveling to Maine.
The chief justice bought his vacation home in June 2006. It is one of 20 to 30 homes on the 400-acre island, according to a town official in St. George.
Roberts was appointed by Bush and has served as chief justice since September 2005.
Roberts served on the influential federal appellate court for the District of Columbia before being nominated to the Supreme Court after the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
Posted in "Supreme Court", Health, Justice John Roberts | 5 Comments »
Posted by bosskitty on July 29, 2007
Ambush in Iraq Last November Left Four Americans Missing And a String of Questions About the Firm They Worked For
By Steve Fainar Washington Post Foreign Service
BAGHDAD — The convoy was ambushed in broad daylight last Nov. 16, dozens of armed men swarming over 37 tractor-trailers stretching for more than a mile on southern Iraq’s main highway. The attackers seized four Americans and an Austrian employed by Crescent Security Group, a small private security firm. Then they fled.
None of the hostages has been found, eight months after one of the largest and most brazen kidnappings of Americans since the March 2003 invasion.
Crescent is shuttered, like dozens of other companies that have come and gone in Iraq’s booming market for private security services. The firm leaves behind a trail of broken lives and a record of alleged misconduct. In March, the U.S. military barred Crescent from U.S. bases after it was found with weapons prohibited for private security companies, including rocket launchers and grenades, according to documents and interviews with former Crescent employees and U.S. officials.
Crescent violated U.S. military regulations while being paid millions of dollars to support the U.S.-led mission in Iraq. The company routinely sacrificed safety to cut costs.
By this year, the Private Security Company Association of Iraq, a trade group based in Baghdad’s Green Zone, listed 177 active foreign and Iraqi security companies. The Pentagon has said that some 20,000 security contractors support the U.S.-led coalition, although some estimates are considerably higher.
The industry is largely unregulated by the U.S. and Iraqi governments, leaving companies to establish their own standards for operating on the battlefield.
These contractors are not security cleared, but will be soon according to new pentagon rules are lowering the standards as we speak. Crescent had managers with criminal records and allowed employees to carry armaments which is a felony. Maybe this is why the US is not looking for them. The US is not very good at admitting it’s shortcomings. Few countries are. Cutting corners with contractors is one thing, but, cutting corners with the Constitution is quite another. Lets get rid of these lying bastards ASAP
Posted in “Corporate Corruption”, Baghdad, battlefield, betrayal, Black Ops, Bush, Casualties, Cheney, Civilian Army, Collateral, Constitution, Contractors, Corporate corruption, Corruption, cover up, covert, Crescent Security, criminal, Deception, Democracy In Action, DOD, Excuses, Executive Branch, Impeach, Iraq, Law, Mercenaries, Nazi, paramilitary, Pentagon Corruption, Private Armies, resonsibility, Scandal, Tax Dollars, taxpayers, War Contractors, War Cost | 4 Comments »
Posted by bosskitty on July 29, 2007
Evidence of gang culture and gang activity in the military is increasing so much an FBI report calls it “a threat to law enforcement and national security.” The signs are chilling: Marines in gang attire on Paris Island; paratroopers flashing gang hand signs at a nightclub near Ft. Bragg; infantrymen showing-off gang tattoos at Ft. Hood.
“It’s obvious that many of these people do not give up their gang affiliations,” said Hunter Glass, a retired police detective in Fayetteville, North Carolina, the home of Ft. Bragg and the 82nd Airborne. He monitors gang activity at the base and across the military.
“If we weren’t in the middle of fighting a war, yes, I think the military would have a lot more control over this issue,” Glass said. “But with a war going on, I think it’s very difficult to do.”
Gang activity clues are appearing in Iraq and Afghanistan, too. Gang graffiti is sprayed on blast walls – even on Humvees. Kilroy – the doodle made famous by U.S. soldiers in World War II – is here, but so is the star emblem of the Gangster Disciples.
Gangs Using Military For Training, Experts Say
“When individuals go into the military, they are taught how to use weapons, defensive tactics, and the use of a lot of sophisticated techniques,” said LaRae Quy, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “They take that back on the streets with them. This is a legitimate concern for law enforcement.”
The rise in gang activity coincides with the increase in recruits with records. Since 2003, 125,000 recruits with criminal histories have been granted what are known as “moral waivers” for felonies including robbery and assault.
Sub-cultures abound within larger societies. The military, prisons, cities, neighborhoods spawn small groups who survive with the tools available to them. Gangs are the natural tribal inclinations for humans who feel threatened and angry at the wealth and respect outside their reach. Yes, the military will rehabilitate a great number of gang members, but those who have really bad experiences will take their training back to their gangs. They will continue to prey upon the same citizens, but this time with military, leadership, battlefield experience and blood on their hands. Gangs are our domestic terrorists, and our recruiting wavers allow us to train them better ways to kill.
Update: I just had to borrow this cartoon from BrainsandEggs, it fits my point!
Posted in Accountability, Casualties, Collateral, criminal, Gangs, Iraq, Law, mental health, military, Povery, PTSD, Racism, resonsibility, Soldiers, VA, veterans, War Cost | 6 Comments »
Posted by bosskitty on July 29, 2007
It is a slow news day at 9:00 AM CST – every story is more of the same with little spin left. So, I have decided to share my feelings about different stuff.
- Religion: In my youth I was religious because it was expected, conventional and socially acceptable. I was a passionate seeker determined to find the source of truth, looking for God everywhere. No religion or philosophy was left unturned. I found crumbs of truth everywhere – but, not consolidated into just ONE. Religion is environmental, each individual is planted in the religious soil they were born in. Religion is our personal guidance throughout our lives. As we grow, we have the choice of being a ‘Sunflower’ who faces the Sun as it moves across the sky or the choice of a happy mushroom sitting in the dark nourished by nature’s fertilizer. Truth is in the eye of the beholder, it is a conglomerate of our personal experiences and environment. Our ability to see beyond our personal world determines what we understand as Truth. Earth’s population and the earth evolves. Life is not a static thing that is dictated by the mouth of another human, it is a constantly changing physical, mental, bio-chemical event influenced by everything.
- Politics: Don’t get me started. But. Politics is supposed to be the RESPONSIBLE voice of the population it represents. Politicians are supposed to weigh the needs of the individuals they represent and balance those needs with the stability of the whole group. At the national level, seek balance without conflict with other nations while insuring the safety of its own. When a nation enters into conflict, it must be the absolutely last choice. Provocations are tests of the intelligence of a political nation. Common good (whoever defines it) should be the priority, however, the common good has been hijacked by the powerful (we chose) and bent to their own purposes. This year of 2007 is a prelude to another political event that will be dictated by the powerful in this country. This country has the opportunity to decide WHO is powerful. This country of individuals must act responsibly or show it’s ignorance to the world. The United States of America is a nations among other nations. The difference between being a world leader and world bully is what determines the safety of the individuals in this nation. Look at the whole world before you choose who you give your power to!
- Choices: Our personal choices are what make us individual human beings. People who impose their personal beliefs are creating clones. Spiritual inbreeding has done more damage in this world than any comet, volcano, tsunami or electro-magnetic shift. Spiritual inbreeding is a dangerous mental disease. Spirit is alive and multi-dimensional. Human beings are distinguished from other mammals because we are supposed to be self-aware, see future possibilities and use logic to solve problems. Human beings, collectively have the power to make this planet life supporting or life extinguishing. Environment or War. Humans who care will decide.
Our choices will be selfish and shallow whatever we decide – our own wellbeing will trump our neighbor’s wellbeing every time. Our view of WHO our neighbors are will determine how shallow we are. Next door neighbors, next nation neighbors or next planet, the welfare of our neighbors are what will determine our survivability as a planet.
Posted in Earth, Election, Environment, Op-Ed, Planet, Politics, Religion, resonsibility | 10 Comments »
Posted by bosskitty on July 28, 2007
By Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent
Relations between the top United States general in Iraq and Nouri al-Maliki, the country’s prime minister, are so bad that the Iraqi leader made a direct appeal for his removal to President George W Bush.
Although the call was rejected, aides to both men admit that Mr Maliki and Gen David Petraeus engage in frequent stand-up shouting matches, differing particularly over the US general’s moves to arm Sunni tribesmen to fight al-Qa’eda.
At another meeting with Gen Petraeus, Mr Maliki said: “I can’t deal with you any more. I will ask for someone else to replace you.”
Can’t we all just get along?
Saudi Arabia is convinced that Maliki is an Iranian intelligence agent … Our track record choosing leaders remains sad … America is still leadership challenged.
Posted in Bush, Iran, Iraq, Maliki, Petraeus, Saudi Arabia | 7 Comments »
Posted by bosskitty on July 28, 2007
Many Fill Vital Roles in Iraq, but Medical Care Can Be Spotty
By Ann Scott Tyson Washington Post Staff Writer
Traveling through Sunni insurgent territory north of Baghdad, the U.S. military convoy was nearing a base when a roadside bomb ripped into the lead Humvee, leaving its gunner, Mike Helms, bleeding and swaying from a strap in the open back.
Helms, 31, a civilian counterintelligence expert with the Army’s 902nd Military Intelligence Group, had been sent to Iraq in 2004 to help fill a critical intelligence gap in the area known as the Sunni Triangle. While in Iraq, he lived with soldiers and ate military rations, took fire from mortar rounds and small arms, and clocked hundreds of miles manning a machine gun on the back of a Humvee.
Nevertheless, his status as an Army civilian would leave him stranded in the aftermath of the June 16, 2004, attack, when the bomb hit his Humvee so hard it blew his M-60 off its turret.
In the months that followed, Helms recalled, he was denied vital care for his wounds — ranging from shrapnel in his left arm to traumatic brain injury. Forced to rely on federal workers’ compensation and turned away from regular care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and other military hospitals, Helms has faced years of frustration grappling with bureaucracies unprepared to help a government civilian wounded in combat.
‘Izzy? . . . Bring Your Daughter Here’
U.S. Officer, Wanting to Save Interpreter’s Wounded Child, Faces a Snag (By David Finkel, The Washington Post)
There are thousands upon thousands of these stories developing every day. No one can convince me that these facts are unknown to Bush and Company. No one can convince me that Congress is not aware – these casualties come from their political districts, too. Whether they are soldiers or hired support or local collaborators, how we treat those who risk it all will determine our future. These casualties will determine whether we even have a future. Because, the mental and physical health care we offer will determine our own quality of life. Bush and Company cannot be allowed to downplay their responsibility to everyone they have put in harms way, including the American public!
Posted in Accountability, Afghanistan, battlefield, betrayal, Casualties, Civilian Army, Collateral, Corruption, Deception, Democracy In Action, Health Care, injustice, Iraq, medics, mental health, military, Pentagon, Private Insurance, profiteers, Promises, PTSD, resonsibility, Scandal, Soldiers, VA, veterans, Walter Reed, War Contractors, War Cost | Leave a Comment »
Posted by bosskitty on July 28, 2007
U.S. General: Terror Attack Could ‘Happen Any Day,’ Need
to Prepare for Nuclear Threat
Special: Bin Laden Targets 7 U.S. Cities: NY, D.C., Vegas, More
Special: Terror ‘Chatter’ Extremely High, Prepare Your Family
Experts Praise TSA’s Airport Security Warning
Special: 6 Days of Hell: the Coming War With Iran
Important: Homeland Security Has Advised Every Family to Have an Emergency Radio — and one not dependent on electric outlet power. Please check out our free offer for one of the best emergency radios available — Go Here Now.
I hate to plug a Reich Wing rag, but, here it is. Rumors that BushCo is preparing a “terrorist” incident to enable their plan to put the US under Marshal Law are getting a lot of play right now. Be prepared for Bush to arrange some awful disaster he can blame “on the enemies of American Freedom”. This will be the excuse he will use to postpone or cancel 2008 elections and suspend the Constitution. A national crisis will be the distraction. He is counting on America to be enraged and vulnerable and ready to strike back at whoever is in reach. Bush will then become the righteous dictator of biblical proportions that he was told he would be, by those who control his mind. We will officially become his subjects – as we seem to be right now. All these Reich Wing warnings are seeping through the floorboards now, so they can stand proudly and say “I told you so”.
BossKitty is updating that passport!
Posted in Accountability, America, Armageddon, betrayal, Bush, Cheney, conspiracy, Constitution, Corruption, criminal, Disaster, disinformation, Evil, Excuses, Executive Branch, Executive Orders, executive privilege, Fundamentalist, Holy War, Homeland Security, Impeach, Law, Marshal Law, Pentagon Corruption, profiteers, Prophesy, Reich, Rove, terrorists, Theocracy, War Cost, War Crimes, War on Terror | 2 Comments »