Thursday, September 24, 2009

Commercial market headed for disaster

Experts: Could be as bad as the mortgage meltdown

(UNDATED) - First it was the mortgage meltdown that brought down the American economy. But now, brace yourself for something economist say, could be just as bad.

Commercial real estate is the next thing to go. Nobody wants to rent it, or buy it and without money coming in, owners of malls and office buildings are being forced into foreclosure. It's so bad; the commercial market could be close to collapse.

Florist Mathew Xenakis is finding it hard to stay open, that's because the building he rents from is going bankrupt.

"We had a couple of employees before and we've had to lay everybody off," said Xenakis.

In April, the owners of Providence Place filed for bankruptcy protection as more and more stores inside its malls were closing. It's not just malls shopping centers and office buildings are also struggling to fill vacancies. That has some economists predicting a wave of commercial foreclosures that could derail the economic recovery.

In the past two years the delinquency rate for commercial loans has skyrocketed and is only expected to rise. That could leave banks holding the bag on billions of dollars in bad loans. So far this year more than 90 smaller banks have collapsed and commercial foreclosures could sink hundreds more.

"Bank failures are going to be rising for at least a year," said economist Julia Coronado.

But unlike the collapse in housing, the government sees this crisis coming and is prepared to spend billions to prevent another credit crunch.

"The policy makers are in front of the problem and I guess that's the good news and means this won't be as bad as we saw with the housing sector," said Coronado.

That's little consolation for Xenakis. He's trying to stay open through the foreclosure process, and hopes a new owner can save the building.

Alex Jones Show “America WAKE UP!!”

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US Economy Facing Death by a Thousand Cuts Roubini

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New world currency order starts to unfold

The US dollar still retains a disproportionately large representation in international trade transactions, official reserves and exchange rate regimes.

An employee of the Korea Exchange Bank counts parcels of $100 notes for foreign bonds redemption in Seoul. Jo Yong-Hak / Reuters

This is largely due to the many institutional arrangements and incumbencies which remain from the Bretton Woods era of 1944 to 1971 when the gold-linked dollar provided the formal anchor for the world monetary system.

Now, though, this privileged, inherited status of the paper dollar is under threat from the falling relative economic size of the US and its cyclical influence and the scale of the excesses that very privilege has allowed.

Appropriately straddling the turn of the 21st century, the “borrowed” consumer decade of 1997–2007 may come to be regarded as the fin de siecle, marking a critical juncture in the drift away from the US dollar hegemony that has dominated the international financial system since the Bretton Woods regime ended in 1971.

Instead, we are on the road to a new, multilateral currency order.

As far back as the 1970s, in the earliest years of the floating rate regime when the US dollar declined rapidly in value after its link with gold was formally broken, its hegemony was under threat. But, back then, the US was still a net creditor nation and there was no obvious liquid alternative.

Today, after almost 25 years of deficits, the US is the world’s largest debtor with little chance of shrinking that debt without significant further real depreciation of its currency.

Moreover, while the US financial system is in crisis with increasing public intervention in the system, liquidity and transparency in both industrialised and emerging currency and financial markets, while still imperfect, has greatly increased.

Finally, there is a credible, liquid alternative currency which can at least share the role of global numeraire; the euro.

This backdrop of cyclical and structural pressures presents a challenging environment for even the most established and rigid dollar-peggers such as Hong Kong and the Gulf states. Their pegs have resulted in unprecedented foreign currency reserve accumulation, as warranted exchange rate adjustments are prevented via intervention and capital control.

Before the crisis in the US financial system, higher inflation was also a natural consequence of having to keep monetary policy linked to the US Federal Reserve.

The credit crisis has distracted attention from the disequilibrium of many dollar-pegged currencies around the world, not least as the dollar has recovered significantly in value over the past year. But, as the world emerges from the crisis, US monetary policy may stay expansive for a prolonged period and the dollar may become significantly weakened again.

This could drive a new wedge between the appropriate monetary policy of the dollar-pegged states and the policy of the US, especially as expansive monetary policy may eventually drive up global commodity prices upon which the economic performance of many dollar-pegged states depends.

Domestic price adjustments, in imports, housing, wages and ultimately all goods and services, will be part of the equilibrating costs of a currency peg during such phases as long as the peg is maintained.

If the currency cannot adjust, then prices must do so. Is the cost of ever-increasing phases of inflation or, in other circumstances, potential deflation, worth sustaining unilateral pegs?

In a world of more diversified trade, fading US dominance and ever-larger capital flows, the answer is, increasingly, no.

Boom-bust cycles, redistributions and inequalities of income and purchasing power, damage to non-US export markets and disincentives for investment are all likely to be prevalent.

Economic considerations would thus argue that adjustment of these regimes is justified, not just cyclically but structurally, too.

But what is the alternative? Given the typically high trade dependence and relatively low liquidity of the currencies in question and the ever greater scale of international capital flows it is unlikely the volatility of a perfectly free float, or “benign neglect” of the exchange rate, will be desirable.

Political considerations may dictate simple revaluation of the dollar peg rate as the only viable option to regain control of inflation in the short to medium term.

However, this may invite yet larger scale speculation because any change in these long-established regimes would be likely to weaken their credibility.

A switch to a peg with the only liquid alternative to the dollar – the euro – may be more inappropriate unless the country in question has highly concentrated trade with Europe alone. The appealing alternative in a more diversified world economy is a multilateral currency regime consisting of a blend of major currencies such as the euro and dollar or a much broader trade-weighted basket. This approach is already favoured by several countries which have moved away recently from unilateral pegs including Russia and Kuwait and, with great success, Singapore since 1981. While China has maintained tight control of the yuan’s exchange rate versus the dollar since the unilateral peg was abandoned in 2005, it is ostensibly managed with reference to an unpublished, broader exchange rate basket. Such a multilateral currency world should be a natural consequence of economic growth over time.

But the pace at which the shift takes place will depend, critically, upon the stability of the US and its economic policies. For the first time in modern history, many of today’s largest foreign currency reserve holders are not part of the Group of Seven (G7) industrialised countries. This is important because the G7 has traditionally acted as a co-operative stabilising influence dampening major currency swings with intervention at times of greatest stress and illiquidity and maintaining confidence in the dollar. Today’s largest currency reserve holders may act as stabilisers to preserve their own self interest but no more than that.

As almost 100 countries still use currency pegs in varying forms, mainly versus the US dollar, the procession to a more multilateral exchange rate regime is expected to continue. With increasing diversity of central bank reserve assets and an increasingly diverse range of reserve holders themselves, a tri-polar world with shared primary reserve status between the principal currencies of the Americas, Asia and Europe is likely to take shape.

The euro is increasingly posing that challenge and can expect to see further increases in its global currency reserve share from about 30 per cent now.

And, in the much longer run, China’s yuan may well be both liquid and flexible enough to represent Asia’s primary role in the multilateral system.

by Joe Prendergast
Joe Prendergast is the chief currency strategist at Credit Suisse Private Banking

New Video Shows that Demolitions are Sometimes Top-Down

One of the main arguments defenders of the official story have made against the controlled demolition of the Twin Towers is that demolitions never start at the top of the building. In other words, they claim that demolitions always start at the bottom and proceed upwards.

However, a new video shows an example of a top-down demolition of another building:

Moreover, there were numerous reports of huge explosions in the basement and other locations well below the collapse zones in the Twin Towers. For example, a stationary engineer who worked in the basement of one of the towers testified that an entire below-level garage and a 50-ton hydraulic press were demolished long before the tower collapsed.

Therefore, the demolition of the Twin Towers was, arguably, not that dissimilar from the video of many demolitions -- such as Seattle's King Dome -- where explosions and squibs are seen at the bottom of the building before the top comes down.

Because the Twin Towers were occupied, and their basements solid (buildings are usually abandoned -- and often times gutted, as in the building shown in the video above -- prior to demolition), explosions in the basement and core of the Twin Towers would not necessarily have been visible from the outside of the building. In other words, the building was still occupied, and the cores largely hidden from view, so they would not necessarily have been visible on video. In any event, some explosions were visible prior to the collapse of the Twin Towers, as the video record shows.

Prior to the final demolition sequence, the core supports were cut throughout the Twin Towers, and the basements of the Towers were apparently "hollowed out" so that the Towers could drop into the newly-created holes.

Sure, they were top-down demolitions -- like the video above. But the explosions at the base of the towers may have been much greater than those seen before the tops of buildings come down in most conventional demolitions.

Federal Reserve Admits Hiding Gold Swap Arrangements, GATA Says

MANCHESTER, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Federal Reserve System has disclosed to the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc. that it has gold swap arrangements with foreign banks that it does not want the public to know about.

The disclosure, GATA says, contradicts denials provided by the Fed to GATA in 2001 and suggests that the Fed is indeed very much involved in the surreptitious international central bank manipulation of the gold price particularly and the currency markets generally.

The Fed's disclosure came this week in a letter to GATA's Washington-area lawyer, William J. Olson of Vienna, Virginia (, denying GATA's administrative appeal of a freedom-of-information request to the Fed for information about gold swaps, transactions in which monetary gold is temporarily exchanged between central banks or between central banks and bullion banks. (See the International Monetary Fund's treatise on gold swaps here:

The letter, dated September 17 and written by Federal Reserve Board member Kevin M. Warsh (see, formerly a member of the President's Working Group on Financial Markets, detailed the Fed's position that the gold swap records sought by GATA are exempt from disclosure under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

Warsh wrote in part: "In connection with your appeal, I have confirmed that the information withheld under Exemption 4 consists of confidential commercial or financial information relating to the operations of the Federal Reserve Banks that was obtained within the meaning of Exemption 4. This includes information relating to swap arrangements with foreign banks on behalf of the Federal Reserve System and is not the type of information that is customarily disclosed to the public. This information was properly withheld from you."

When, in 2001, GATA discovered a reference to gold swaps in the minutes of the January 31-February 1, 1995, meeting of the Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee and pressed the Fed, through two U.S. senators, for an explanation, Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan denied that the Fed was involved in gold swaps in any way. Greenspan also produced a memorandum written by the Fed official who had been quoted about gold swaps in the FOMC minutes, FOMC General Counsel J. Virgil Mattingly, in which Mattingly denied making any such comments. (See

The Fed's September 17 letter to GATA confirming that the Fed has gold swap arrangements can be found here:

While the letter, GATA says, is far from the first official admission of central bank scheming to suppress the price of gold (for documentation of some of these admissions, see and, it comes at a sensitive time in the currency and gold markets. The U.S. dollar is showing unprecedented weakness, the gold price is showing unprecedented strength, Western European central banks appear to be withdrawing from gold sales and leasing, and the International Monetary Fund is being pressed to take the lead in the gold price suppression scheme by selling gold from its own supposed reserves in the guise of providing financial support for poor nations.

GATA will seek to bring a lawsuit in federal court to appeal the Fed's denial of our freedom-of-information request. While this will require many thousands of dollars, the Fed's admission that it aims to conceal documentation of its gold swap arrangements establishes that such a lawsuit would have a distinct target and not be just a fishing expedition.

In pursuit of such a lawsuit and its general objective of liberating the precious metals markets and making them fair and transparent, GATA again asks for financial support from the public and from all gold and silver mining companies that are not at the mercy of market-manipulating governments and banks. GATA is recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as a non-profit educational and civil rights organization and contributions to it are federally tax-exempt in the United States. For information on donating to GATA, please visit here:

Source: Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

Oil prices extend losses

LONDON — Oil prices fell further on Thursday following data that revealed weak energy demand in the United States, the world's biggest economy, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for November delivery, dropped 71 cents to 68.26 dollars a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for November delivery slid 61 cents to 67.38 dollars.

A widely-watched Department of Energy report released Wednesday showed US crude reserves rose 2.8 million barrels in the week to September 18, against analyst expectations for a decline.

Stocks of distillates, which include heating fuel, rose by three million barrels last week. Distillates are being closely monitored ahead of the northern hemisphere winter when demand for heating fuel peaks.

"At present, US distillate fuel demand remains weak, being depressed by the US economic downturn in the past year," the Commonwealth Bank of Australia said in a note on Thursday.

Oil prices tumbled nearly three dollars on Wednesday in reaction to the data.

Copyright © 2009 AFP. All rights reserved.

How Stimulus-Zilla Killed Japan, And Why We'll Probably Suffer A Similar Fate

Keynesians, listen up. Krugman, pay attention. Stimulus without structural reform (public and private sector cuts and restructuring) is doomed to fail. Look no further than Japan where government debt is an astonishing 200% of GDP. The brilliant former Morgan Stanley chief economist, Andy Xie, makes a convincing case that we are headed for the same:

Andy Xie:

Anyone who doesn't believe in the harm of a financial bubble but does believe in Keynesian stimulus magic should visit Japan. A likely dip for the Anglo-Saxon economies next year will underscore these truths. The same goes for anyone who thinks China's latest real estate bubble, asset borrowing and shadow banking system are worthwhile substitutes for real economic growth.

We can learn much from Japan's experience. The global economy -- mainly the Anglo-Saxon economy -- is facing the consequences of a massive credit bubble. The remedies most governments have embraced are to keep interest rates low and fiscal deficits high. These are the same policies Japan pursued after its bubble burst nearly two decades ago. How today's bubble economies are treating bankruptcies and bad debt is shockingly similar to what was seen in Japan. The United States and others have suspended mark-to-market accounting rules to let banks stay afloat despite large amounts of toxic assets. It's the same "let them earn their way back" strategy that Japan pursued. The strategy fails to work because it keeps an economy weak, limiting the earning power of financial institutions.

As the global economy is again showing signs of growth in the third quarter, most governments are celebrating the effectiveness of their policies. Yet Japan's experience forces us to pause: Its economy experienced many such growth bounces over the past two decades, but was unable to sustain any of them. The problem was Japan only used stimulus, not restructuring, to cope with the bursting of its bubble. After the demise of any big bubble, serious structural problems that hamper economic growth remain. Stimulus can only provide short-term support that makes structural reform possible. When policymakers celebrate the short-term impact of stimulus and forget structural reforms, economies slump again. I think the Anglo-Saxon economies will dip again next year.


It's really an outstanding piece of work which you can read here. The parallels between Japan and the U.S. are startling and a bit scary.


DB here. The nature of the problem here as well as Japan is political, which makes it all the more frustrating considering the sheer insanity of politics and partisan bickering.

The solution is simple, except few in the public sector are brave enough (the private sector does not have this problem except for the banking industry, and well, it's not a private industry) to advance the restrucuring and reform that is essential for a positive economic outcome.

Politicians have huge egos, bankrupt souls, and don't care much about anything beyond re-election. They hate recessions ultimately because they fear a voter backlash and the possibility of being sent back home from cozy Washington. So they are generally prepared to do anything to avoid/prevent/mitigate the process. Such is why they will vote to spend money whether they have it or not. Throw trillions in cash at the problem, shy away from fixing the structural issues, and maybe it can be held together long enough to be re-elected for another term.

Too bad the trillions are coming from you and your kids (and grandkids) and they never asked for your permission. Throw the bums out in 2010. That is our best only option.

I Own Me

NB: explicit lyrics. (Thanks to Shepard Humphries)

This is no pearl harbor

Security experts and airline officials agree privately that the simultaneous hijacking of four jetliners was an "inside job," probably indicating complicity beyond malfeasance.

WASHINGTON -- Security experts and airline officials agree privately that the simultaneous hijacking of four jetliners was an "inside job," probably indicating complicity beyond malfeasance.
This makes all the more ominous Tuesday's national catastrophe and its dismal consequences.
Nobody was more vigorous Tuesday in demanding tough military reprisal against the terrorists than former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger. However, he was virtually alone in directing his rage not only at the assassins but also at security arrangements.
"I thought we had solved that problem (of air skyjackings)," he said.

He pointed out that effective airport security would have prevented the disaster that may exceed the 2,403 deaths in the bombing
of Pearl Harbor. The analogy with the Japanese surprise attack was drawn endlessly by political leaders and journalists.
Former Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, with a keen sense of history, disagreed:
"This, after all, was not Pearl Harbor. We have not lost the Pacific fleet."
Unlike Dec. 7, 1941, the second day of infamy was not perpetrated by an enemy that at that time was militarily superior
and seemed to put this nation's very existence in question.

In the rage and mourning following Tuesday's disaster, few officials wanted to dwell on how a 10-year hiatus of airline hijackings in this country could be followed by four in one hour. At a minimum, the blame can be put on ill-trained, incompetent personnel performing the screening of passengers. At the worst, security experts fear collusion with the terrorists, possibly even extending to the cockpit.
This is a subject that the airlines are loathe to discuss.
The immediate consequence, widely predicted by members of Congress, will be tighter security making life more difficult for airline travelers and other Americans. The instant security measures taken in Washington and around the country came after the greatest terrorist success in world history had run its course and would not have been effective in preventing disaster had it been put in place.
Of greater interest to members of congressional intelligence committees is the surprise element of the attacks.
The CIA and FBI are internally at a low point of effectiveness. "Human intelligence" (spying) has been in decline for decades. No amount of security harassment of airline passengers will substitute for effective intelligence.

Like Pearl Harbor, the lack of warning Sept. 11 will be investigated. Unlike Pearl Harbor, however, there is no clear foe. While secret briefings of members of Congress point to Osama bin Laden as the source of the attacks, President Bush's Tuesday night address to the nation named no names.
The government, at this writing, actually is not sure. Private sources indicate that the terrorists could be a splinter group of Osama, its identity and whereabouts as yet unknown.
An attack on Afghanistan for sheltering Osama's terrorists will put the United States in danger of being perceived, however incorrectly, as launching a holy war against Islam. There is strong sentiment in Congress for hitting somebody, somewhere who has unsavory terrorist credentials even if not connected with Tuesday's attack.

With a crippled CIA unable to target the assassins, the Bush administration seems headed to deliver the same kind of hammer blows that the Clinton administration used in the Kosovo war rather than surgical strikes aimed at the assassins.
Perhaps the biggest difference with Pearl Harbor is the cause of the conflict.
Bush's eloquent call for unity talked of the need to "defend freedom." Unlike Nazi Germany's and Imperial Japan's drive for a new world order, however, the hatred toward the U.S. by the terrorists is an extension of its hatred of Israel rather than world dominion.

Secretary of State Colin Powell's laudable efforts at being an even-handed peacemaker makes no difference to terrorists., the private intelligence company, reported Tuesday: "The big winner today, intentionally or not, is the state of Israel."

Whatever distance Bush wanted between U.S. and Israeli policy, it was eliminated by terror. The spectacle on television of Palestinian youths and mothers dancing in the streets of East Jerusalem over the slaughter of Americans will not soon be forgotten. The United States and Israel are brought ever closer in a way that cannot improve long-term U.S. policy objectives.

Robert Novak is a television personality and columnist. Novak is also editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report available through a free offer from Human Events Online.

by Robert Novak ( bio | archive )

Copyright © 2001

Bin Laden says he wasn't behind attacks

DOHA, Qatar (CNN) -- Islamic militant leader Osama bin Laden, the man the United States considers the prime suspect in last week's terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, denied any role Sunday in the actions believed to have killed thousands.

In a statement issued to the Arabic satellite channel Al Jazeera, based in Qatar, bin Laden said, "The U.S. government has consistently blamed me for being behind every occasion its enemies attack it.

"I would like to assure the world that I did not plan the recent attacks, which seems to have been planned by people for personal reasons," bin Laden's statement said.

"I have been living in the Islamic emirate of Afghanistan and following its leaders' rules. The current leader does not allow me to exercise such operations," bin Laden said.

Asked Sunday if he believed bin Laden's denial, President Bush said, "No question he is the prime suspect. No question about that."

Since Tuesday's terrorist attacks against the United States, Bush has repeatedly threatened to strike out against terrorism and any nation that supports or harbors its disciples.

Bin Laden, a wealthy Saudi-born exile, has lived in Afghanistan for several years. U.S. officials blame him for earlier strikes on U.S. targets, including last year's attack on the USS Cole in Yemen and the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998.

Bin Laden's campaign stems from the 1990 decision by Saudi Arabia to allow U.S. troops into the kingdom after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait -- a military presence that has become permanent.

In a 1997 CNN interview, bin Laden called the U.S. military presence an "occupation of the land of the holy places."

Immediately after the attacks that demolished the World Trade Center's landmark twin towers and seriously damaged the Pentagon, officials of Afghanistan's ruling Taliban said they doubted bin Laden could have been involved in carrying out the actions.

The Taliban -- the fundamentalist Islamic militia that seized power in Afghanistan in 1996 -- denied his ties to terrorism and said they have taken away all his means of communication with the outside world.

The repressive Taliban regime has received almost universal condemnation, particularly for their harsh treatment of women. Only three countries, including Pakistan, recognize them as the country's rightful government.

A high-level Pakistani delegation was set to travel to Afghanistan on Monday to urge Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammed Omar to hand over bin Laden, CNN learned Sunday.

The Taliban, which controls more than 90 percent of the country, has threatened any neighboring country that allows its soil to be used to help the United States stage an attack on Afghanistan.

NYCCAN : There Will Be Justice

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AE911Truth At AIA Headquarters in Washington DC

07/20/2009 - AIA General Counsel meets with Richard Gage, AIA at the headquarters of the American Institute Of Architects in Washington DC.

US Govt may fail in 5 to 10 years - Interview with Marc Faber - Bloomberg News 09/22/09

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Wake up America! Soldiers are speaking out!

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G20 Hypocrisy - Peter Schiff Vlog 09/22/09

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Decades of Global Cooling Ahead?

Global Warming: President Obama warns of planetary doom at the U.N. if we fail to pass cap-and-trade legislation. Meanwhile, a former warm-monger predicts decades of cooling as the sun stays nearly "spotless."

The president had hoped to address Tuesday's United Nations climate change summit in New York with a finished cap-and-trade bill. Failing that, he hoped he'd at least have a version of the Waxman-Markey bill that has passed the House on his desk before the Copenhagen talks in December to cobble together a follow-up to the failed Kyoto Protocol.

Not only did that not happen in the cool summer of 2009, but both science and circumstance have turned against the administration. The American people are in no mood in a recession with near double-digit unemployment to have their electricity rates "necessarily skyrocket" while our economic hole is dug deeper for microscopic, if detectable at all, reductions in global temperature.

The president paraphrased Al Gore's sentiment that the science is settled and the debate is over, saying that "after too many years of inaction and denial, there is finally widespread recognition of the urgency of the challenge before us. We know what needs to be done."

Actually, the science is not settled. Nor is it clear what, if anything, needs to be done to prevent what he called "irreversible catastrophe."

In a speech last week at the U.N.'s World Climate Conference in Geneva, Professor Mojib Latif of Germany's Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University, one of the world's foremost climate modelers and a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change acknowledged that the Earth has been cooling and is likely to continue that trend for the next couple of decades. Al Gore, call your office.

Latif has been looking into the influence of cyclical changes to ocean currents and temperatures in the Atlantic, a feature known as the North American Oscillation. When he factored these natural fluctuations into his global climate model, Professor Latif found the results brought the allegedly endless rise in global temperatures to a screeching halt.

Latif conceded the planet has not warmed for nearly a decade and that we are likely entering "one or even two decades during which temperatures cool." Latif still believes in a warming trend and thinks it will resume. But he at least acknowledges the empirical evidence of cooling, that there are factors at work here other than your SUV, and that doom will not occur the day after tomorrow.

None of the alarmists and their supercomputer climate models ever predicted even a 30-year respite in their apocalyptic scenarios. Neither did they predict the sun, that thermonuclear furnace in the sky that has more influence on earth's climate than any number of Ford Explorers, would suddenly go quiet for an indefinite period.

Charles Perry, a research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Lawrence, Kan., says there's a growing sense in the scientific community that the earth may be entering into a "grand minimum" - an extended period with low numbers of sunspots that results in cooler planetary temperatures.

In July through August of this year, 51 consecutive days passed without a sunspot, one day short of the record. As of Sept. 15, the current solar minimum - with 717 spotless days since 2004 - ranks as the third longest on record.

Perry cites data indicating that global temperature fluctuations correspond to a statistically significant degree with the length of the sunspot cycle and variations in solar activity. 1816, the "year without a summer," was during an 1800 to 1830 grand minimum when Europe became significantly cooler.

Latif and others conclude that, at the very least, we have time to think about it and analyze and learn. We don't have to fight global warming by inflicting global poverty. More things on Earth affect climate than are dreamed up in computer models.

By Investor's Business Daily

The March for Answers

The March for Answers is a not just a protest march against further suppression of NYC CAN in its battles with the City of New York City to get the referendum for a new 9/11 investigation on the November ballot.

In this context, think of the city as Mike Bloomberg, who just bought his third term as mayor despite New Yorkers voted twice to limit local elected officials to two terms. Term limits were extended by Bloomberg with a good twist of the arms of the City Council and pushed through. So much for the will of the people.

Yet, in the case of NYC CAN, I can readily see why this should be a can of worms for many of the participants in 9/11 still lurking in the city shadows, not to mention in several Middle Eastern countries, including Israel, who all call themselves our friends. With friends like these who needs enemies. That said, NYC CAN filed a 621-page Bill of Particulars on August 27 in response to a summary judgment that was to be made by September 21.

This was in response to an earlier letter from the City Clerk dated July 24, 2009, the city claiming that only 26,003 signatures were valid ergo they were short 3,997 short of the requisite 30,000 signatures to qualify for a ballot referendum. The main reason for disqualifying ballots turned out to be somewhat shady: some having proper addresses counted more than authentic signatures, even if the owners of those signatures may have moved.

This was accentuated when Dennis McMahon, counsel to the petitioners, pointed out, “The City has an incredibly successful record of shooting down ballot initiatives; we will be arguing from a fresh perspective that reflects the unprecedented events of 9/11. We believe the courts will see how critical an issue this is, and be persuaded with our legal reasoning and point of view.”

As a result, there was an immense effort put forth by 50-plus volunteers who gave more than 1,000 hours over a two-week period, from August 10 to August 25, to identify those 7,166 signatures it contended in fact were valid. NYC CAN submitted another 28,000 signatures on September 4 to guarantee that the referendum will go on the ballot if they win the case, bringing the total number of signatures to 80,000.

Representatives for NYC CAN, 9/11 family member Manny Badillo and Executive Director Ted Walter arrived at the Board of Elections on the morning of Wednesday, September 9, to assist the court-appointed referee in beginning a line-by-line review of disputed signatures. This only to hear that the referee’s review had been called off due to a last minute concession by the city. As Mr. Badillo reported, “The city conceded we have 30,000 valid signatures. Big victory.”

Some bright light in the city must have estimated that if the city tried to block this referendum, the numbers of voters for it would escalate dramatically. The attempted block caught the New York public’s eye. And so NYC CAN plans this Sunday, September 27, to hold a March For Answers from Battery Park to City Hall via Ground Zero, the city clerk and the state Supreme Court.

Speakers will include the gutsy Bob McIlvaine, who lost his son on 9/11; Manny Badillo, who lost his uncle that day; Daniel Sunjata, star of “Rescue Me,” the hit show about the lives of firefighters, and many other speakers.

What brings joy to my heart is that this is the perfect follow-up for the 9/11 protest march organized by and other groups. Though dampened somewhat by the rain, wind, and wrath of the gone, the protestors showed in big numbers and held their own. Hopefully, the March For Answers may have fairer weather. In any event, we will keep on keeping on if it doesn’t.

On a larger scale, I hope the March For Answers generates a referendum for America in the next voting cycle. 9/11 occurred first in New York City, but it obviously was, or made to appear to be, an attack on America.

So let New York direct America into the awareness it deserves as to what really happened on that day, first by a new investigation in New York City, which could lead to a new, impartial, commission -- one whose members are not all directly connected to George Bush, his administration, the military, oil interests, and the usual band of bandits.

This would be an enlivening breath of fresh air for America, still weighed down by the misguided “War on Terror,” declared without an investigation, only days after 9/11, even as first responders were working their lungs out on the smoking pile of debris that included thermate-coated steel, molten pools of it, used as an explosive to truly bring down the towers.

The Pandora’s box of pollutants it released in the free-fall explosions of the Towers created the most potent toxic site, New York, and America have ever seen. Of course, urging these men and women to work round the clock helped destroy America’s largest crime-scene, clearing it in eight months, not the year and a half allotted for it, sending the metal to China, other debris to Staten Island’s land fill.

I’m talking about a million tons of atomized concrete, plastics, glass, asbestos, heavy metals, which is listed in my article, 9/11’s second round of slaughter – A review of the health effects of 9/11, A film by Heidi Dehncke-Fisher. If you haven’t read this article, you should. As the filmmaker pointed out the pollutants included . . .

  • Over 400 tons of asbestos, which once inhaled in any quantity cannot be expelled by the lungs

  • 90,000 liters of jet fuel containing benzene, a carcinogen that suppresses the immune system and causes leukemia

  • Mercury from over 500,000 fluorescent lights that is toxic to the nervous system, and damaging especially to the kidneys

  • 200,000 pounds of lead and cadmium from personal computers, toxic to the respiratory track, especially damaging to kidneys

  • Polycystic aromatic hydrocarbons that cause lung, laryngeal and throat cancers

  • 130,000 gallons of transformer oil with PCBs, causing serious skin rashes and liver damage

  • Crystalline Silica from 420,000 tons of concrete, sheetrock and glass (tiny particulates that lodge in heart, causing ischemic heart disease)
  • . . . and so on and on and on . . .

What happened to New York City was literally an apocalypse, a barbarism which as a life-long New Yorker I am unable to lay on 19 Muslims, so-called hijackers, but on the Bush administration and their helpers in Israel, and to a lesser degree, Pakistan, whose then President Pervez Musharraf, was told by Bush that if he didn’t cooperate, he’d “be bombed back into the stone-age.”

The Saudi’s had a 60-year love affair with the US over their oil, which made them complicit, like it or not. The bin Laden family were in fact old friends of the Bushes, a substantial portion of their money handled by former President GHW Bush at the Carlyle Group, and who withdrew it once the beans were spilled. The prodigal son, Osama, has denied being involved in 9/11, or willing to kill innocent citizens and especially children. You’d never know that from the later, CIA-produced videos with various Osama stand-ins, several wearing gold, which is not allowed in the Muslim faith.

The even larger tragedy here is the world tragedy these lies about 9/11 produced, two ongoing wars that left a million Iraqis, countless Afghans, not to mention upwards of 4,000 Americans dead. The Afghanistan War of Bush has now morphed into the Afpak War of Obama. Similarities in names to Osama and a Hussein middle name seem to have no relevance to a thorough settling, as in go home, in either of those wars.

Needless to say, the cost in dollars as well as blood is bankrupting America, if we’re not there already. So, consider the NYC CAN March For Answers as not just your ordinary garden variety referendum, not just a local issue. It’s a world issue and I imagine the world is watching. So, those of you in New York City, the rest of the US and from any part of the world, are welcome to join us at Battery Park this Sunday, September 27 at 2 PM. The March For Answers is really the first step in stopping this world conflagration in which we currently live.

By Jerry Mazza
Online Journal Associate Editor
Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer living in New York City. Reach him at His new book, State Of Shock: Poems from 9/11 on” is available at, Amazon or

Copyright © 1998-2007 Online Journal

Counterterror Officials Warn Mass Transit, Hotels

FBI Pressing Urgent Search For 'Core Group' Of 9-12 People Linked To Colorado Man, 2 Others Arrested

NEW YORK (CBS News) ― Counterterrorism officials warned mass transit systems, sports stadiums and hotels around the nation Monday to step up security because of fears an Afghanistan-born immigrant under arrest in Colorado may have been plotting with others to detonate backpack bombs aboard New York City trains.

Investigators say Najibullah Zazi, a 24-year-old shuttle van driver at the Denver airport, played a direct role in a terror plot that unraveled during a trip to New York City around the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. He made his first court appearance Monday and was ordered to remain in custody pending a detention hearing on Thursday.

CBS News correspondent Bob Orr reports that the FBI is now pressing an urgent search for "a core group" of nine to 12 other people associated with Najibullah Zazi who may have knowledge of his plans.

Sources tell Orr that while some potential suspects have been interviewed and cleared, other names continue to surface as the FBI tries to fully understand Zazi's intentions.

Zazi and two other defendants have not been charged with any terrorism counts, only the relatively minor offense of lying to the government. But the case could grow to include more serious charges as the investigation proceeds.

Zazi has publicly denied being involved in a terror plot, and defense lawyer Arthur Folsom dismissed as "rumor" any notion that his client played a crucial role.

CBS News learned Monday that despite the arrests, law enforcement officials still have "deep concern" that the government may have only partially disrupted a terror plot.

Investigators said they found notes on bomb-making instructions that appear to match Zazi's handwriting on his laptop, and discovered his fingerprints on materials - batteries and a scale - that could be used to make explosives.

Orr reports that a cell phone found in Zazi's possession contained a video of New York's Grand Central Station, which, combined with a reported admission that he intended to carry out bomb attacks, prompted the warning to mass transit systems.

Counterterrorism officials also have issued security bulletins about terrorist interest in attacking sports stadiums, entertainment complexes and hotels.

However, Orr says the warnings, while legitimate, should not envoke panic - they are routine advisories, and the government puts out numerous such alerts every month.

The FBI still has no hard, specific evidence pointing to any immenent plot against America's transit systems or other targets, reports Orr.

Informants inside Pakistan have told authorities they saw Zazi in an al Qaeda training camp during his admitted travels to the country's lawless tribal regions in the summer of 2008, reports CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian.

According to a complaint filed in the case, Zazi "received instruction from al Qaeda operatives on … weapons and explosives."

Publicly, law enforcement officials have repeatedly said they are unaware of a specific time or target for any attacks. However, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case, officials say investigators have worried most about the possible use of backpack bombs on New York City trains, similar to attacks carried out in London and Madrid.

The investigation into Zazi's role and how many others may be involved was ongoing. Two law enforcement officials speaking on condition of anonymity told The Associated Press late Monday that more than a half-dozen individuals were being scrutinized in the alleged plot.

The FBI said in a statement that "several individuals in the United States, Pakistan and elsewhere" were being investigated.

Backpacks and cell phones were seized last week from apartments in Queens where Zazi visited.

In a bulletin issued Friday, the FBI and Homeland Security Department warned that improvised explosive devices are the most common tactic to blow up railroads and other mass transit systems overseas. They noted incidents in which bombs were made with peroxide.

In the bulletin, obtained by The Associated Press, officials recommended that transit systems conduct random sweeps at terminals and stations and that law enforcement make random patrols and board some trains and buses.

Zazi, a legal resident of the U.S. who immigrated in 1999, told the FBI that he must have unintentionally downloaded the notes on bomb-making as part of a religious book and that he deleted the book "after realizing that its contents discussed jihad."

A strange sequence of events began to unfold nearly two weeks ago when Zazi - already under surveillance by federal agents - rented a car in Colorado and made a 1,600-mile trek across the heartland to New York. He told reporters that he went to New York to resolve an issue with a coffee cart he owned.

He was briefly stopped entering the city as part of what was believed to be a routine drug check, and proceeded to his friend's home in Queens. Once there, his car was towed and authorities confiscated his computer. He was told by an NYPD informant that detectives were asking about him, and decided to cut the trip short and fly back to Colorado, authorities said.

Their surveillance blown and their main suspect flying back to Colorado, officials speeded up the investigation and launched raids on several Queens apartments in a search for evidence of explosives.

"Whatever investigative interest this guy held prior to that time, when it became clear he was leaving for New York shortly before Sept. 11, my guess is he became a much brighter blip on their radar screen," said Pat Rowan, the former head of the Justice Department's National Security Division.

Zazi and his 53-year-old father, Mohammed Wali Zazi, were arrested Saturday in Denver. Ahmad Wais Afzali, 37, was arrested in New York, where he is an imam at a mosque in Queens. The three are accused of making false statements to the government. If convicted, they face eight years in prison.

On Monday, Najibullah Zazi answered the judge's questions politely with a "Yes, honor" or "No, honor."

Afzali, with a long dark beard and wearing a tunic, was ordered held without bail after prosecutors said they believed he might flee if released. He smiled and blew kisses to his wife and other relatives before deputy marshals led him out of the courtroom.

All face the same charge of lying to the government in a matter involving terrorism. If convicted, they face eight years in prison.

Mohammed Zazi was appointed a federal public defender, Warren Williamson, and was expected to be released within 48 hours.

Father and son made eye contact several times in court Monday but didn't speak to one another.

U.S. prosecutor Tim Neff said the proposed terms of release include a $50,000 unsecured bond, meaning he wouldn't have to pay unless he broke bond, along with electronic monitoring at his home and a ban on leaving Colorado. Authorities want to take away his U.S. passport, Neff said.

Mohammed Zazi and Afzali are accused of lying to FBI agents about calls between Denver and New York. An affidavit accuses Afzali of lying about a call in which he told Najibullah Zazi that he had spoken with authorities.

Zazi's father is accused of lying when he told authorities he didn't know anyone by the name of Afzali. The FBI said it recorded a conversation between Mohammed Zazi and Afzali.

"The parts don't fit together," said CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen. "The whole story clearly hasn't been told. If the facts in the supporting documents are true and could be proven, you would think the Zazis and their New York counterpart would already have been charged with providing material support to a terror group - and yet that hasn't happened.

"One theory is that the feds hoped (or still hope) that these three men will help them get information about other potential suspects. The problem with that theory is that if these men didn't do anything more than lie to authorities, there may not much of a larger story for them to tell."

Neff said the judge wanted time to review any secret information collected by the FBI under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act before determining how to proceed.

Afzali appeared in federal court Monday in Brooklyn and was ordered held without bail. His attorney, Ron Kuby, said he would seek bail Thursday.

Zazi was born in Afghanistan, moved to Pakistan at age 7 and emigrated to the United States in 1999. He returned to Pakistan in 2007 and 2008 to visit his wife, according to Folsom.

Since 2001, counterterrorism officials have shifted their approach and made the disruption of plots in their early stages a top priority, ahead of amassing incriminating evidence of more serious crimes. The exceptions to the rule are plots infiltrated by informants who are being directed by the FBI every step of the way.

"In the current environment when plotters are disrupted before their plot becomes concrete, you may end up with something that looks relatively trivial to the legal system, but the truth is you can't judge their efforts by the legal charges they're able to bring," Rowan said.

(© 2009 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


Financial News: Banks Face $90B Ship Write-Downs

Banks are facing the prospect of being forced to write down loans to the shipping industry worth more than $90 billion (EUR62 billion) next year.

The write-downs would be a delayed response to a crash in ship values of more than 50%, which has fatally undermined loan cover.

Pressure on the industry has ratcheted up following a renewed drop in the cost of shipping goods since June.

This fall, measured by the Baltic Dry Index, suggests heavily geared shipowners are under particular pressure. The fall in the index is seen as a leading indicator, which suggests the prospects for equities are also set to worsen following a recent rally.

Tim Coffin, asset manager at M2M Management, is raising $250 million from institutions for a fund which plans to buy ships at distress prices. He believes he can achieve returns of 20% from current cargo rates and arbitrage opportunities in the futures market.

Coffin said he had come across dry cargo ships once valued at $90 million, and 80% leveraged, whose market worth had slumped to $30m. He said: ???This has done no good at all to funding ratios.??? Reports suggest funding shortfalls for ships under construction exceed $90 billion.

Banks are using small print in their contracts to escape from funding commitments, leaving shipyards and those who commissioned ship construction to fight it out. Coffin said the scrapping of ships and construction projects should stabilise the situation, once the next period of write-downs was under way, but he said short-term prospects were poor.

A shipping analyst said: ???Should vessel values drop below certain thresholds then banks will lose out as a result of shipping companies breaching covenants.???

The number of ship seizures accelerated over the summer. They included 70 ships owned by bankrupt Eastwind Maritime. One bank said it had taken possession of six ships worth $22.7m, significantly below outstanding mortgages totalling $54.7 million.

A fleet of six Russian cargo vessels securing mortgages worth $20 billion was seized in Hong Kong last month. Public bids have been invited.

DVB Bank director Dagfinn Lunde said 10% of container shipping had been laid up and because of an oversupply of vessels, the bulk market had gone back into decline. He added that financial commitments were being broken. ???Just walking out, closing the door and saying ???Sue me ??? I can???t pay??? does not offer the potential for a solution,??? he said.

Morten Arntzen, chief executive of Overseas Shipholding Group, said the shipping industry was facing ???very tight ship finance markets and the weakening financial condition of less well-capitalised shipowners.??? OSG, a financially strong group, later stepped in to help resolve ???certain liquidity issues??? disclosed by Aker Philadelphia Shipyard over a commission to build 12 vessels.

By Mike Foster

Obama to world: Don't expect America to fix it all

UNITED NATIONS – In a blunt challenge to his nation's critics, President Barack Obama on Wednesday exhorted world leaders who once accused the United States of acting alone to now join with him in solving global crises rather than wait for America to do it on its own.

In his first address to the U.N. General Assembly, Obama sought to set a new tone in U.S. relations, moving away from the unilateralism of his predecessor, George W. Bush. He coupled conciliatory words about a "new era of engagement" with a summons for other nations to shoulder more of the burden.

"Those who used to chastise America for acting alone in the world cannot now stand by and wait for America to solve the world's problems alone," Obama said.

"Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges."

Obama said past policies and a perception of unilateralism by the United States had fed "an almost reflexive anti-Americanism" that too often was used as an excuse for inaction.

"The time has come for the world to move in a new direction," Obama said before a U.N. chamber packed with more than 100 of his global counterparts.

The president offered a litany of policy changes and actions his administration had undertaken during his first nine months in office, with the overarching message that the United States has no interest in a go-it-alone stance and instead wants to act as an equal partner with others on the world stage.

"In an era where our destiny is shared, power is no longer a zero-sum game," Obama said. "No world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will succeed."

Obama received hearty applause when he entered the room, from even the likes of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, and his address was interrupted several times by polite applause. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did not join in the applause.

Gadhafi addressed the General Assembly immediately after Obama, but White House aides made sure the two leaders would not cross paths. Tensions with the Libyan leader are high in the wake of Scotland's recent release of Libyan Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, who was convicted of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, in which 270 people died.

In his speech, Obama summoned fellow leaders to do their part to address a long list of global challenges: to help bring about a nuclear weapons-free world, to increase security from terrorists and promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians, to tackle climate change and to create more economic opportunity. In essence, Obama's message was that he expects plenty in return for reaching out.

"If we are honest with ourselves," he told world leaders, "we need to admit that we are not living up" to the shared responsibility to meet such challenges.

"Extremists sowing terror in pockets of the world," Obama said. "Protracted conflicts that grind on and on; genocide; mass atrocities; more nations with nuclear weapons; melting ice caps and ravaged populations; persistent poverty and pandemic disease."

"I say this not to sow fear, but to state a fact: The magnitude of our challenges has yet to be met by the measure of our actions," Obama said.

He said that Iran and North Korea must be held accountable if they continue to put their pursuit of nuclear weapons ahead of international security.

"The world must stand together to demonstrate that international law is not an empty promise and that treaties will be enforced," he said.

Obama has said the door is open to Iran to discuss the issue, but that U.S. patience is not limitless. He has taken the same position with respect to the reclusive communist regime in North Korea.

Seeking to build on his three-way meeting in New York on Tuesday with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Obama urged nations aligned with either side to join the cause of advancing Mideast peace — by speaking honestly to Israelis about Palestinian's legitimate claims and to Palestinians and Arab nations about Israel's right to exist.

"All of us must decide whether we are serious about peace, or whether we only lend it lip-service," Obama said. "To break the old patterns, to break the cycle of insecurity and despair all of us must say publicly what we would acknowledge in private."

On the warming planet, Obama said "the danger posed by climate change cannot be denied — and our responsibility to meet it must not be deferred."

The president said he understood the temptation of nations to put economic recovery ahead of efforts to address climate change, but said that must not be allowed to happen.

Ahead of the G-20 meetings of industrial and developing nations that Obama is hosting later this week in Pittsburgh, he lobbied for stronger financial regulations — "new rules of the road" — to prevent future economic calamities. Momentum for such changes has fallen off as the economy appears to be limping back to health.

While Obama's summons for world leaders to work together is hardly new, it is sharper because of the political context. Obama follows Bush, who at times questioned the U.N.'s toughness and credibility, particularly in containing Iraq's Saddam Hussein.

Obama's team is intent on drawing the contrast.

"The United States has dramatically changed the tone, the substance and the practice of our diplomacy at the United Nations," said Susan Rice, Obama's ambassador to the U.N.

Obama started his day with his first meeting with the new Japanese prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, who has said he wants to shift Japan's diplomatic stance from one that is less centered on Washington's lead.

Obama and Hatoyama said after their talks that the traditional alliance between their nations will continue. Hatoyama's sometimes anti-Washington remarks weren't mentioned directly.

Later, Obama was meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. That session comes just days following Obama's decision to abruptly scrap a Bush-era missile defense plan that Russia deeply opposed, swapping it for a proposal the U.S. says better targets any launch by Iran.

By BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writer


The Downing Street Memo is only the beginning of the proof we were all lied to.

Michael Rivero

[Text only version][Italian translation provided by reader][pdf version]

"All war is based on deception." -- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

There is nothing new in a government lying to their people to start a war. Indeed because most people prefer living in peace to bloody and horrific death in war, any government that desires to initiate a war usually lies to their people to create the illusion that support for the war is the only possible choice they can make.

President McKinley told the American people that the USS Maine had been sunk in Havana Harbor by a Spanish mine. The American people, outraged by this apparent unprovoked attack, supported the Spanish American War. The Captain of the USS Maine had insisted the ship was sunk by a coal bin explosion, investigations after the war proved that such had indeed been the case. There had been no mine.

Hitler used this principle of lying to his own people to initiate an invasion. He told the people of Germany that Poland had attacked first and staged fake attacks against German targets. The Germans, convinced they were being threatened, followed Hitler into Poland and into World War 2.

FDR claimed Pearl Harbor was a surprise attack. It wasn't. The United States saw war with Japan as the means to get into war with Germany, which Americans opposed. So Roosevelt needed Japan to appear to strike first. Following an 8-step plan devised by the Office of Naval Intelligence, Roosevelt intentionally provoked Japan into the attack. Contrary to the official story, the fleet did not maintain radio silence, but sent messages intercepted and decoded by US intercept stations. Tricked by the lie of a surprise attack, Americans marched off to war.

President Johnson lied about the Gulf of Tonkin to send Americans off to fight in Vietnam.

There were no torpedoes in the water in the Gulf. LBJ took advantage of an inexperienced sonar man's report to goad Congress into escalating the Vietnam War.

It is inescapable historical reality that leaders of nations will lie to their people to trick them into wars they otherwise would have refused. It is not "conspiracy theory" to suggest that leaders of nations lie to trick their people into wars. It is undeniable fact.

This brings us to the present case.

Did the government of the United States lie to the American people, more to the point, did President Bush and his Neocon associates lie to Congress, to initiate a war of conquest in Iraq?

This question has been given currency by a memo leaked from inside the British Government which clearly indicates a decision to go to war followed by the "fixing" of information around that policy. This is, as they say, a smoking gun.

But the fact is that long before this memo surfaced, it had become obvious that the US Government, aided by that of Great Britain, was lying to create the public support for a war in Iraq.

First off is Tony Blair's "Dodgy Dossier", a document released by the Prime Minister that made many of the claims used to support the push for war. The dossier soon collapsed when it was revealed that much of it had been plagiarized from a student thesis paper that was 12 years old!

The contents of the dossier, however much they seemed to create a good case for invasion, were obsolete and outdated.

This use of material that could not possibly be relevant at the time is clear proof of a deliberate attempt to deceive.

Then there was the claim about the "Mobile biological weapons laboratories". Proffered in the absence of any real laboratories in the wake of the invasion, photos of these trailers were shown on all the US Mainstream Media, with the claim they while seeming to lack anything suggesting biological processing, these were part of a much larger assembly of multiple trailers that churned out biological weapons of mass destruction.
The chief proponent of this hoax was Colin Powell, who presented illustrations such as this one to the United Nations on February 5th, 2003.

This claim fell apart when it was revealed that these trailers were nothing more than hydrogen gas generators used to inflate weather balloons. This fact was already known to both the US and UK, as a British company manufactured the units and sold them to Iraq.

Click for full sized image

Colin Powell's speech to the UN was itself one misstatement after another. Powell claimed that Iraq had purchased special aluminum tubes whose only possible use was in uranium enrichment centrifuges. Both CIA and Powell's own State Department confirmed that the tubes were parts for missiles Saddam was legally allowed to have. Following the invasion, no centrifuges, aluminum or otherwise were found.

Click for full sized image

Powell also claimed to the United Nations that the photo on the left showed "Decontamination Vehicles". But when United Nations inspectors visited the site after the invasion, they located the vehicles and discovered they were just firefighting equipment.

Powell claimed the Iraqis had illegal rockets and launchers hidden in the palm trees of Western Iraq. None were ever found.

Powell claimed that the Iraqis had 8,500 liters (2245 gallons) of Anthrax. None was ever found.

Powell claimed that Iraq had four tons of VX nerve gas. The UN had already confirmed that it was destroyed. The only VX ever found were samples the US had left as "standards" for testing. When the UN suspected that the US samples had been used to contaminate Iraqi warheads, the US moved quickly to destroy the samples before comparison tests could be carried out.

Powell claimed that Iraq was building long-range remote drones specifically designed to carry biological weapons. The only drones found were short-range reconnaissance drones.

Powell claimed that Iraq had an aggregate of between 100 and 500 tons of chemical and biological warfare agents. Powell gave no basis for that claim at all, and a DIA report issued the same time directly contradicted the claim. No biological or chemical weapons were found in Iraq following the invasion.

Powell claimed that "unnamed sources" confirmed that Saddam had authorized his field commanders to use biological weapons. No such weapons were ever used by the Iraqis to defend against the invasion and, of course, none were ever found in Iraq.

Powell claimed that 122mm warheads found by the UN inspectors were chemical weapons. The warheads were empty, and showed no signs of ever having contained chemical weapons.

Powell claimed that Iraq had a secret force of illegal long-range Scud missiles. None were ever found.

Powell claimed to have an audio tape proving that Saddam was supporting Osama Bin Laden. But independent translation of the tape revealed Osama's wish for Saddam's death.

Colin Powell's UN debacle also included spy photos taken from high flying aircraft and spacecraft. On the photos were circles and arrows and labels pointing to various fuzzy white blobs and identifying them as laboratories and storage areas for Saddam's massive weapons of mass destruction program. Nothing in the photos actually suggested what the blobby shapes were and during inspections which followed the invasion, all of them turned out to be rather benign.

In at least one case, the satellite Powell claimed had taken one of the pictures had actually been out of operation at the time. And many questioned why Powell was showing black and white photos when the satellites in use at the time over Iraq took color images.

Another piece of evidence consists of documents which President Bush referenced as in his 2003 State of the Union Speech. According to Bush, these documents proved that Iraq was buying tons of uranium oxide, called "Yellow Cake" from Niger.

Since Israel had bombed Iraq's nuclear power plant years before, it was claimed that the only reason Saddam would have for buying uranium oxide was to build bombs.

This hoax fell apart fast when it was pointed out that Iraq has a great deal of uranium ore inside their own borders and no need to import any from Niger or anywhere else. The I.A.E.A. then blew the cover off the fraud by announcing that the documents Bush had used were not only forgeries, but too obvious to believe that anyone in the Bush administration did not know they were forgeries! The forged documents were reported as being "discovered" in Italy by SISMI, the Italian Security Service. Shortly before the "discovery" the head of SISMI had been paid a visit by Michael Ledeen, Manucher Ghorbanifar, and two officials from OSP, one of whom was Larry Franklin, the Israeli spy operating inside the OSP.

In July, 2005, the Italian Parliament concluded their own investgation and named four men as suspects in the creation of the forged documents. Michael Ledeen, Dewey Clarridge, Ahmed Chalabi and Francis Brookes. This report has been included in Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation into the outing of Valerie Plame, and Paul McNulty, the prosecutor of the AIPAC spy case.

A recently declassified memo proves that the State Department reported the fact that the NIger documents were forgeries to the CIA 11 days before President Bush made the claim about the Niger uranium based on those documents.

In the end, the real proof that we were lied to about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction is that no weapons of mass destruction were ever found. That means that every single piece of paper that purported to prove that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction was by default a fraud, a hoax, and a lie. There could be no evidence that supported the claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction because Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction. In a way, the existence of any faked documents about Iraq's WMDs is actually an admission of guilt. If one is taking the time to create fake documents, the implication is that the faker is already aware that there are no genuine documents.

What the US Government had, ALL that they had, were copied student papers, forged "Yellow Cake" documents, balloon inflators posing as bioweapons labs, and photos with misleading labels on them. And somewhere along the line, someone decided to put those misleading labels on those photos, to pretend that balloon inflators are portable bioweapons labs, and to pass off stolen student papers as contemporary analysis.

And THAT shows an intention to deceive.

Lawyers call this "Mens Rea", which means "Guilty Mind". TV lawyer shows call it "Malice aforethought". This means that not only did the Bush Administration lie to the people and to the US Congress, but knew they were doing something illegal at the time that they did it.

All the talk about "Intelligence failure" is just another lie. There was no failure. Indeed the Army agents who erroneously claimed that missile tubes were parts for a uranium centrifuge received bonuses, while the Pentagon smeared Hans Blix, and John Bolton orchestrated the firing of Jose Bustani, the director of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, because Bustani was trying to send chemical weapons inspectors to Baghdad.

The President of the United States and his Neocon associates lied to the people of the United States to send them off on a war of conquest.

Defenders of the government will point to the cases listed at the top of the page as proof that lying to the people is a normal part of the leader's job and we should all get used to it. And because "Everybody does it" that we should not single out the present administration. But this is madness. We do not catch all the murderers, yet when we catch a murderer, we deal with them as harshly as possible, in order to deter more murderers.

Right now, we have the criminals at hand. and, while other leaders in history have lied to start wars, for the first time in history, the lie stands exposed while the war started with the lies still rages on, to the death and detriment of our young men and women in uniform. We cannot in good moral conscience ignore this lie, this crime, lest we encourage future leaders to continue to lie to us to send our kids off to pointless wars. Lying to start a war is more than an impeachable offence; it the highest possible crime a government can commit against their own people. Lying to start a war is not only misappropriation of the nation's military and the nation's money under false pretenses, but it is outright murder committed on a massive scale. Lying to start a war is a betrayal of the trust each and every person who serves in the military places in their civilian leadership. By lying to start a war, the Bush administration has told the military fatalities and their families that they have no right to know why they were sent to their deaths. It's none of their business.

Our nation is founded on the principle of rule with the consent of the governed. Because We The People do not consent to be lied to, a government that lies rules without the consent of the governed, and ruling without the consent of the governed is slavery.

You should be more than angry. You should be in a rage. You should be in a rage no less than that of the families of those young men and women who have been killed and maimed in this war started with a lie.You need to be in a rage and you need to act on that rage because even as I type these words, the same government that lied about Iraq's nuclear weapons is telling the exact same lies about Iran's nuclear capabilities. The writing is on the wall; having gotten away with lying to start the war in Iraq, the US Government will lie to start a war in Iran, and after that another, and after that another, and another and another and another because as long as you remain silent, and as long as you remain inactive, the liars have no reason to stop.

As long as you remain inactive, the liars have no reason to stop.


It is time to fire the liars.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is
for good men to do nothing"
--Edmund Burke

U.S.C. TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 47 § 1001.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, WHOEVER, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully—
(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by ANY trick, scheme, or device a material fact;
(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or
(3) makes or USES any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry; shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to a party to a judicial proceeding, or that party's counsel, for statements, representations, writings or documents submitted by such party or counsel to a judge or magistrate in that proceeding.
(c) With respect to any matter within the jurisdiction of the legislative branch, subsection (a) shall apply only to—
(1) administrative matters, including a claim for payment, a matter related to the procurement of property or services, personnel or employment practices, or support services, or a document required by law, rule, or regulation to be submitted to the Congress or any office or officer within the legislative branch; or
(2) any investigation or review, conducted pursuant to the authority of any committee, subcommittee, commission or office of the Congress, consistent with applicable rules of the House or Senate.


The Bush administration and their friends in the media want this story to go away. More than want it to go away, they are in a panic, and will do everything they can to stop it. They will use every dirty trick, every paid shill, every presstitute that they can. Already there is a report that the Michael Jackson jury is "expected" to reach a verdict just before the Conyers hearings.

So, I want YOU to copy this article off, post it everywhere. This article is placed in the public domain. Mail it to your friends. Then send it to your local media and your Congresscritters and have everyone you know do the same. Get on the phones. Flood their offices.

The term is "Viral Marketing" where you get the people who need a product to market it for you. Well, this nation NEEDS this "product". It needs to know that this war was started with lies. INTENTIONAL lies. And they need to know there is something they can do about it, and that is to start pounding on the doors of power.

Because when a flood of such messages reaches the Congress and the media, what they will hear is that there is no more time. Either they will deal with these lies and the liars, in full, or they will lose all credibility as a government and as media.

A government that lies to the people cannot be the legal government of this land. Make sure that they understand that YOU understand that the Constitution does not allow the government to lie to the people. Calling themselves the government does not make it so if they act unconstitutionally and illegally. The Constitution is the original "Contract with America" and a government that lies stands in clear breach of that contract.


But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
-- "The Declaration of Independence"

'Bring 'em on!' - Bush's Legacy of Death in Iraq