Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Globe Backs Down on Liberian Dictator Story

Why bother with them then?

"Former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor had US spy agency ties; Officials confirm Charles Taylor was valued source of information in early 1980s" by Bryan Bender  |  Globe Staff, January 17, 2012

Correction: This story drew unsupported conclusions and significantly overstepped available evidence when it described former Liberian President Charles Taylor as having worked with US spy agencies as a “sought-after source.’’ The story, based on a response by the US Defense Intelligence Agency to a long-pending records request from the Globe, described the agency’s response as having “confirmed its agents and CIA agents worked with Taylor beginning in the early 1980s.’’ But the agency offered no such confirmation; rather, it said only that it possessed 48 documents running to 153 pages that fall in the category of what the Globe asked for -- records relating to Taylor and to his relationship, if any, with American intelligence going back to 1982. The agency, however, refused to release the documents and gave no indication of what was in them. One of the grounds for that refusal was suggestive, citing the need to protect “intelligence sources and methods,” but that, by itself, fell well short of a sufficient basis for the published account. There has long been speculation that Taylor had such a role, speculation fueled in part by Taylor’s own suggestion in trial testimony that his 1985 escape from prison in Plymouth, Mass., may have been facilitated by CIA operatives. But Taylor, now standing trial before a UN special court on charges of rape, murder and other offenses, denies he was ever a source for US intelligence. The Globe had no adequate basis for asserting otherwise and the story should not have run in this form.

The Globe just disowned its own work and cut its reporter loose because of government word games?

 WASHINGTON - When Charles G. Taylor tied bed sheets together to escape from a second-floor window at the Plymouth House of Correction on Sept. 15, 1985, he was more than a fugitive trying to avoid extradition. He was a sought-after source for American intelligence.

After a quarter-century of silence, the US government has confirmed what has long been rumored: Taylor, who would become president of Liberia and the first African leader tried for war crimes, worked with US spy agencies during his rise as one of the world’s most notorious dictators. 

So that is what the Globe was waiting on, 'eh? Official confirmation?

Yeah, turns out the rumors were true! 

The disclosure on the former president comes in response to a request filed by the Globe six years ago under the Freedom of Information Act. The Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s spy arm, confirmed its agents and CIA agents worked with Taylor beginning in the early 1980s.

“They may have stuck with him longer than they should have but maybe he was providing something useful,’’ said Douglas Farah, a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center in Washington and an authority on Taylor’s reign and the guns-for-diamonds trade that was a base of his power.

The Defense Intelligence Agency refused to reveal any details about the relationship, saying doing so would harm national security.

Taylor, 63, pleaded innocent in 2009 to multiple counts of murder, rape, attacking civilians, and deploying child soldiers during a civil war in neighboring Sierra Leone while he was president of Liberia from 1997 to 2003. After a proceeding that lasted several years, the three-judge panel of the UN Special Court for Sierra Leone is now reviewing tens of thousands of pages of evidence, including the testimony of about 100 victims, former rebels, and Taylor himself, whose testimony lasted seven months.

“We hope the verdict will come in the first quarter of this year,’’ said Solomon Moriba, a spokesman for the court in The Hague.

Moriba said any relationship Taylor had with American intelligence was not related to his case before the court, but those who investigated the atrocities said it might explain why some US officials seemed reluctant to use their influence to bring Taylor to justice sooner.

After Taylor stepped down as Liberian president in 2003 following his indictment, he lived virtually in the open for three years in exile in Nigeria, a US ally. The Bush administration came under intense criticism from members of Congress for not intervening with the Nigerian government until Taylor was finally handed over to the court in 2006.

Allan White, a former Defense Department investigator who helped build the case against Taylor on behalf of the United Nations, said the news reinforced suspicions he had for years.

“I think the intelligence community’s past relationship with Taylor made some in the US government squeamish about a trial, despite knowing what a bad actor he was,’’ White said in an interview....

The Pentagon’s response to the Globe states that the details of Taylor’s role on behalf of the spy agencies are contained in dozens of secret reports - at least 48 separate documents - covering several decades. However, the exact duration and scope of the relationship remains hidden. The Defense Intelligence Agency said the details are exempt from public disclosure because of the need to protect “sources and methods,’’ safeguard the inner workings of American spycraft, and shield the identities of government personnel.

Former intelligence officials, who agreed to discuss the covert ties only on the condition of anonymity, and specialists including Farah believe Taylor probably was considered useful for gathering intelligence about the activities of Moammar Khadafy. During the 1980s, the ruler of Libya was blamed for sponsoring such terrorist acts as the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland and for fomenting guerrilla wars across Africa....

Over time, the former officials said, Taylor may have also been seen as a source for information on broader issues in Africa, from the illegal arms trade to the activities of the Soviet Union, which, like the United States, was seeking allies on the continent as part of the broader struggle of the Cold War.

Liberia, too, was of special interest to Washington. The country was founded in 1847 by freed American slaves who named its capital, Monrovia, after President James Monroe. The American embassy was among the largest in the world, covering two full city blocks, and US companies had significant investments in the country, including a Firestone tire factory and a Coca-Cola bottling plant.  

As long as a dictator protects those interests and provides those services he's safe, no matter how much of a monster he is.

A former ally of Taylor’s, Prince Johnson, told a government commission in Liberia in 2008 that he believed US intelligence had encouraged Taylor to overthrow the government in Liberia, which had fallen out of favor with Washington for banning all political opposition.  

Oh, NO QUESTION!  Why do you think he was broken out of jail?

Taylor’s ties to Boston reach back four decades....

The acknowledgment now that Taylor worked with US intelligence agencies at the time raises new questions about whether elements within the government orchestrated the Plymouth prison break in 1985 - as Taylor claimed during his trial - or at least helped him flee the United States.

Four other inmates who also escaped that night were soon recaptured.

“Why would someone walk out of a prison that’s never been breached in a 100 years?’’ said David M. Crane, who was the chief prosecutor for the Sierra Leone war crimes court from 2002 to 2005 and now teaches at Syracuse University College of Law. “It begs the question: How do you walk out of a prison? It seems someone looked the other way.’’ 

Related: CIA Helped Charles Taylor Escape Custody

That's how.

Taylor recounted the episode during his trial testimony, insisting that a guard opened his cell for him.

“I am calling it my release because I didn’t break out,’’ Taylor testified. “I did not pay any money. I did not know the guys who picked me up. I was not hiding [afterwards].’’

He said two men - he assumed they were American agents - were waiting for him outside the prison and drove him to New York to meet his wife. Using his own passport, he said, he traveled to Mexico before returning to Africa.

Brian Gillen, the superintendent of the maximum security jail in Plymouth who was director of security at the time of Taylor’s escape, declined to comment when reached last week by the Globe.

Taylor reemerged in Liberia in 1989 as head of a rebel army.



The Chuck Taylor Story

Former Liberian Leader in Limbo

Also see: Liberia considers tougher antigay law

UN chief: Africa leaders should respect gay rights

Liberia considers 2 antigay measures 

It's a little too late for me to continue, readers. 

Globe's Somalia Casting Call

Look who got the job as a terrorist:

"Somali insurgents from US get high profile" January 14, 2012|By Jason Straziuso and Julie Watson

NAIROBI - The October Al Qaeda video shows a light-skinned man handing out food to families displaced by famine in Somalia. But the masked man is not Somali, or even African. He’s a Wisconsin native who grew up in San Diego.   

This after we were told during the famine reporting that CIA-Duh was denying them food. But hey, it's whatever lie works at the moment when it comes to the mouthpiece media.  

Related: "Al-CIA-Duh" School in Somalia

I've sure learned a lot these last five years.

A handful of young Muslims from the United States are taking high-visibility propaganda and operational roles inside an Al Qaeda-linked insurgent force in Somalia known as Al Shabab. While most are from Minnesota, which has the largest Somali population in the nation, Al Shabab members include a Californian and an Alabaman with no ancestral ties to Somalia.  

It's on the news rack every morning here in AmeriKa.

“They are being deployed in roles that appear to be shrewdly calculated to raise Al Shabab’s international profile and to recruit others, especially those from the United States and other English-speaking countries,’’ said Anders Folk, a former assistant US attorney who prosecuted suspected Al Shabab supporters in Minnesota.

Officials fear another terrorist attack in East Africa. Kenya announced on Jan. 7 that it had thwarted attempted Al Shabab attacks over the holidays.

Yeah, nothing much on the Kenyan invasion of Somali after what now turn out to be obviously false protestations by the U.S. 

The same day, Britain’s Foreign Office urged Britons in Kenya to be extra vigilant, warning that terrorists there may be in the final stages of planning attacks.


More than 40 people have traveled from the United States to Somalia to join Al Shabab since 2007, and 15 of them have died, according to a report from the House Homeland Security Committee. Federal investigations into Al Shabab recruitment in the United States have centered on Minnesota, which has more than 32,000 Somalis.

At least 21 men have left Minnesota to join Al Shabab in that same time. The FBI has confirmed that at least two of them died in Somalia as suicide bombers. A US citizen is suspected in a third suicide bombing, and another is under investigation in connection with a fourth bombing on Oct. 29 that killed 15 people.  

I'm sorry, readers, but I really am sick of this crap.

The star of the Al Qaeda video was Jehad Mostafa, 30, a Californian who handed out food using the name Abu Abdullah al-Muhajir, according to the SITE Monitoring Service. The Washington Post reported last year that Mostafa served as top lieutenant to Saleh Nabhan, a senior Al Qaeda operative killed by Navy SEALs in a helicopter attack inside Somalia in 2010. 

Also seeRita Katz's Jewish Media Group, SITE, releases the latest al-Qaeda recording

SITE Institute


Yeah, and it is getting really old.

Related: Six Zionist Companies Own 96% of the World's Media

Declassified: Massive Israeli manipulation of US media exposed

What do you mean my newspaper is an intelligence operation?

 Mostafa and the Alabaman, Omar Hammami, 27, are among about a dozen men who have been charged in federal court in the United States and are believed to be in Somalia.

The Americans appear to have been motivated by the Ethiopian army’s intervention in Somalia in 2006, which they saw as an invasion.

Another forgotten invasion at the behest of the United States. 

Memory Hole: Somali Slander

Memory Hole: More on Somalia 

For a brief six months there Somalia actually had some semblance of relative peace. That's when the US told Ethiopia to go in.

But many observers believe it is only a matter of time before Al Shabab turns its wrath on the United States, which in February 2008 designated the group as a terrorist organization. Al Shabab killed 76 people in terrorist bombings in Uganda in 2010 during the World Cup final. 

Related: "Al-CIA-Duh" Expanding Operations in East Africa  

Sorry, but I just don't believe the globe-kickers are going to waste a false flag on the piece of dirt that is Somalia.

US military commanders fear that Americans inside Al Shabab could train as bombmakers and use their US passports to carry out attacks in the United States.

E.K. Wilson, the agent overseeing the FBI’s investigation in Minneapolis, said he cannot comment on whether there is an outstanding order to capture or kill Americans fighting for Al Shabab. The FBI has said the Americans in Somalia should return to the United States.

It is a mystery what caused Mostafa, a young man whom many remember as mild and friendly, to join an extremist group.  

Not to me it isn't. He is simply an intelligence agency asset or a dupe.

Mostafa grew up in San Diego and graduated from the University of California San Diego. Imam Abdeljalil Mezgouri of the Islamic Center of San Diego, the city’s largest mosque, said Mostafa was a respectful teen and good student.

“He was a very quiet, very loving boy. He didn’t talk too much, but when he did talk, people liked him,’’ said Mezgouri.

Mezgouri said Mostafa got married in his early 20s to a woman he believed was from Somalia.

Public records show Mostafa was the president of the now-defunct Muslim Youth Council of San Diego, or MYCSD. The former organization’s website says the group was “dedicated to showing the world that Islam is a religion of peace and Muslims are a peaceful and productive part of society.’’

And now he is a terrorist, huh?

Mostafa’s father, Halim Mostafa, a Kurdish Syrian, is a prominent figure in San Diego’s Muslim community who has tried to build bridges with non-Muslims. He made a low-budget film released in 2008 called “Mozlym’’ to show how the true meaning of Islam is often lost amid the misconceptions of non-Muslims in America, according to the film’s website.

Mostafa’s father declined to talk.

“I just don’t want to get involved,’’ he said. “I’m really sorry, I cannot say anything. God bless you.’’

Edgar Hopida, a spokesman for the San Diego chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Halim Mostafa believes in the most liberal interpretation of Islam.

“It’s ironic if his son is involved with Al Shabab,’’ Hopida said.

Mostafa is believed to have met American militant Anwar al-Awlaki about a decade ago at a San Diego mosque, according to The Washington Post. He went to Somalia in 2005. Federal officials declined to comment.


The infamous intelligence asset Awlaki!

Mostafa was indicted in August 2010 on terrorism charges for allegedly providing material support to Al Shabab.


Related: Casting for thriller-at-sea actors, they came to a logical place

Also see: The Somalia Set-Up: Hero Captain Was a Hoax 

And now they are making the movie into a lie! 

More scripted s*** for you:

"Navy SEALs rescue aid workers in Somalia; Surprise raid kills 9 pirates Obama tuned in to operation" by Eric Schmitt and Jeffrey Gettleman  |  New York Times, January 26, 2012

KHARTOUM, Sudan - US Navy SEALs swooped into Somalia early yesterday and rescued two aid workers, an American woman and a Danish man, after a shootout with Somali gunmen who had been holding them captive in a sweltering desert hide-out for months.

Under a cloak of darkness, a couple of dozen SEALs parachuted in, stormed the hide-out, killed nine gunmen, and then whisked the aid workers into waiting helicopters, Pentagon officials said. The SEALs were from the same elite Navy commando unit - SEAL Team Six - that secretly entered Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden in May, senior US officials said, although the rescue mission in Somalia was carried out by a different assault team within the unit. 

Related: Bin Laden Stories Show AmeriKan Media Not to be Believed

Their constant repetition of official lies and conventional myths proves it.  

President Obama was closely tracking the raid Tuesday night, which was yesterday morning in Somalia, and as he stepped into the House chamber to deliver his State of the Union address, he looked at Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta standing in the crowd and said: “Leon, good job tonight, good job.’’ 

Is that another lie? Last time he was looking at a blank video screen for the photo op.

The hostages were safe and soon flown to a US military base in neighboring Djibouti. No SEALs were hurt during the operation, Pentagon officials said.

Obama seems to have taken a special interest in this case, presiding over several high-level meetings on it since the two aid workers were kidnapped in October by gunmen whom Somali elders said were part of a well-established pirate gang.

Pirates operate with total impunity in many parts of lawless Somalia, which has languished without a functioning government for more than 20 years.  

Except for the six months Islamists were able to rule the place after driving out the CIA-Duh warlords and pirates.

As naval efforts have intensified on the high seas, stymieing hijackings, Somali pirates seem to be increasingly snatching foreigners on land. Just last week, pirates grabbed another US hostage not far from where the SEAL raid took place.

US officials said they were moved to strike in this case because they had received “actionable intelligence’’ that the health of Jessica Buchanan, the US aid worker, was rapidly deteriorating. The gunmen had just refused $1.5 million to let the two hostages go, Somali elders said, and ransom negotiations had ground to a halt.

Somali pirates have held hostages for months, often in punishing conditions with little food, water, or shelter, and past ransoms have topped more than $10 million.

One British couple sailing around the world on a small sailboat was kidnapped by pirates from this same patch of central Somalia and held in captivity for more than a year.  

Is that what their MI-6 cover was?

Obama said he had personally authorized the go-ahead for the operation Monday.

“As commander in chief, I could not be prouder of the troops who carried out this mission,’’ he said in a statement yesterday. “The United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people.’’  

And you better tolerate our abductions of yours in the name of the war on terror.

On Oct. 25, Buchanan and Poul Hagen Thisted, the Danish aid worker, were kidnapped by two truckloads of gunmen as they headed to the airport in Galkayo, a central Somalia town on the edge of pirate territory. The two were working for the Danish Refugee Council, one of the few Western organizations still operating in that area. The aid workers had just finished a workshop on land mines when they were kidnapped.

Buchanan, 32, has been working in Africa for about five years and “could hardly talk about Africa without tears in her eyes,’’ said Don Meyer, the president of Valley Forge Christian College in Phoenixville, Pa., which Buchanan attended.

Somali officials immediately suspected that a local employee of the Danish aid group had tipped off the gunmen. Although US officials argued that the kidnappers were criminals with no direct links to any of the pirate bands that have attacked shipping lanes off Somalia, Somali elders said the men belonged to a well-known pirate gang drawn from local clans.  

U.S. officials are incapable of telling the truth, aren't they?

Sometime late Tuesday night, elders in Galkayo said they began hearing the whirl of helicopters. Then a huge plane landed at the Galkayo airport, which is very unusual at night. Pentagon officials said the SEALs dropped into the area by parachute, around 2 a.m., and hiked nearly 2 miles to the encampment where the hostages were being held, near a small village called Hiimo Gaabo, south of Galkayo.

One pirate from the area who seemed to have especially detailed information about the raid said the SEALs used “an electrical net-trap, flattened into the land,’’ which presumably was the parachute.

“Then they started launching missiles,’’ said the pirate, who spoke by telephone and asked not to be identified.

According to Pentagon officials, within minutes of the SEALs reaching the encampment, shots rang out. The hostages were quickly located and freed. In the ensuing gun battle, the nine Somali gunmen were killed.  

Yeah, whatever.


Do they really expect us to believe them ever again?

"UN secretary general’s visit to Somalia is first since 1993" December 10, 2011|By Jeffrey Gettleman and Mohammed Ibrahim, New York Times

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Ban Ki-moon became the first UN secretary general to set foot in this war-ravaged country in almost 20 years yesterday, and he promised to relocate the United Nations’ political office for Somalia to Mogadishu next year, although other UN officials were skeptical.

Dressed in a black flak jacket with “United Nations’’ stamped across his chest, Ban met with leaders from Somalia’s Transitional federal government, a weak, divided, and thoroughly unpopular entity that the United Nations has been trying to prop up.

“We are now at a critical juncture - a moment of fresh opportunities for the future of Somali people,’’ Ban said. But, he warned, “we have a very limited window of opportunity.’’

Somalia has lurched from crisis to crisis since 1991 when the central government imploded and hundreds of thousands of people perished in famine and civil war. Since then, the United Nations has pumped billions of dollars into the country, trying to achieve some stability, though chaos and suffering continue as the norm.

Ban’s team kept this trip a closely held secret until the last minute. The last time a UN secretary general traveled here was 1993, when a visit by Boutros Boutros-Ghali set off menacing street protests.

This time, Somali forces and African Union peacekeepers - the backbone of security here - locked Mogadishu down, with checkpoints and roadblocks across the city. The battered minibuses that usually cruise the bullet-pocked streets were nowhere to be found. Instead, traditional dancers with spears and white gowns flooded the avenues, singing songs of praise. 

The A.U. is known to be the U.N.'s arm in Africa.

Many Somalis were especially titillated by Ban’s pledge to relocate the UN political office from Nairobi, Kenya, to Mogadishu.

“Many jobless people will get jobs of different kinds, and our young educated people will have opportunity,’’ said Naasir Ali, a car mechanic.

But Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, remains one of the world’s most dangerous cities. During the past month, Islamist insurgents have killed several people with suicide bombs, adding to the thousands of lives lost here in recent years. High-ranking UN officials have promised several times before to relocate to Mogadishu. But it has not occurred because of the security concerns and the logistical effort it would take to protect expatriates living here.

Right now, the UN political arm for Somalia has a small office in Mogadishu, with about five people, but the bulk of the staff - which includes about 50 workers - remains in Nairobi.


"Peacekeepers push Somali insurgents" January 21, 2012

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Heavy fighting broke out in Somalia’s capital yesterday, with African Union peacekeepers encountering resistance as they pushed to Mogadishu’s outskirts for the first time, the latest move against Islamist insurgents.

Hundreds of residents fled a northern Mogadishu neighborhood after waking to the sound of mortars and gunfire. AU troops have largely pushed Al Shabab militants out of the city over the last year, but pockets of resistance remain.

Resident Abdirahman Ahmed said Al Shabab fighters appeared to be moving back into the northern neighborhood of Heliwa.

The nearly 10,000-strong AU force was confined in previous years to small slices of Mogadishu, but the push to expand their zones of control over the last year have been largely successful. The AU force is working side by side with Somali troops, but most of the gains have been made by the better trained and equipped troops from Uganda and Burundi.

Al Shabab is also being pressured by Kenyan military forces in Somalia’s south and Ethiopian forces in the west.


"Somali famine over, but crisis remains" February 04, 2012

Related: Somali Starvation Was a Sales Pitch

That's what passes for news here in AmeriKa.

El GENEINA, Sudan- A bumper harvest and a surge in emergency food deliveries have improved conditions in Somalia enough that the United Nations no longer considers a famine to be taking place, the organization said. The disaster has killed tens of thousands of people in the past year.

But conditions are still precarious, and about 2 million people in Somalia still need emergency rations, officials said.

“The crisis is not over,’’ said Jose Graziano da Silva, director-general of the Food and Agricultural Organization.

The United Nations is careful about using the word famine, and in the past 20 years, only a few humanitarian emergencies have qualified, including in Sudan in 1998, Ethiopia in 2001, and Niger in 2005.

But in July, the United Nations declared a famine in Somalia, based on malnutrition and death rates, and said that Somalia was suffering its worst drought in more than 60 years.  

Maybe the U.N. could have the Somalis over for lunch?

Aid organizations are now focusing on recovery efforts, such as distributing seeds and digging irrigation canals.


Hey, look, if anything eases Somali suffering I'm for it, 'kay?

"Progress demanded for lawless Somalia" by David Stringer  |  Associated Press, February 24, 2012

LONDON - World leaders pledged new help to tackle terrorism and piracy in Somalia, but said yesterday that the troubled East African nation must quickly form a stable government and threatened penalties against those who hamper its progress.

Nations pledged new funding, more training for soldiers and coast guards, increased cooperation against terrorism, and a drive to root out those involved in piracy, after the shipping industry paid out $135 million in ransoms last year....  

Yeah, too bad the pirates are being protected by western intelligence agencies.

Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain warned that Somalia’s Al Qaeda-linked militant group Al Shabab could export terrorism to Europe and the United States....  


In a communiqué, leaders hailed tentative signs of progress - with pirate attacks in decline and Al Shabab largely driven out of Mogadishu by an African Union peacekeeping mission.

Clinton said the mandate of Somalia’s transitional government must end as planned in August and warned that travel bans and asset freezes could be imposed against anyone who attempts to stall political progress.

Both a new president and new legislators are due to be elected.

“It’s time to buckle down and do the work that will bring stability to Somalia for the first time in many of its people’s lives,’’ Clinton told the conference.  

Save for those six months in 2006 before the U.S. ruined it.

Al Shabab denounced the conference, claiming it was “aimed at carving up the Somali nation,’’ and vowed to wage war against what it described as a crusade by Western powers.  

Did you hear something, readers?  

Yeah, pass me that salt shaker -- and then give it to the Somalis.


Who Wants to Clean the Church?

"Clergymen clash at Bethlehem birthplace of Jesus" December 29, 2011|By associated press

BETHLEHEM, West Bank - The annual cleaning of one of Christianity’s holiest churches deteriorated into a brawl between rival clergy yesterday, as dozens of monks feuding over space at the Church of the Nativity battled with brooms until police intervened.

The ancient church, built over the traditional site of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, is shared by three Christian denominations - Roman Catholics, Armenians, and Greek Orthodox. Yesterday’s fight erupted between Greek and Armenian clergy, with both sides accusing the other of encroaching on parts of the church to which they lay claim....


Globe's Santorum Sermon


"Primary battle could cost Rick Santorum the war; Far-right stances fuel primary surge but could alienate independents in fall" by Michael Kranish and Bobby Caina Calvan  |  Globe Staff, February 26, 2012

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. -The higher Rick Santorum climbs in the polls, the more that scrutiny of his social views has intensified with every comment about sex, abortion, contraception, public education, religion, and morality....

Santorum strongly defends his interweaving of religion and politics. In a speech last October at the College of Saint Mary Magdalen in New Hampshire, Santorum told the students how angry he became when he read John F. Kennedy’s famous 1960 speech in which he said the separation of church and state was “absolute’’ and that he would not be beholden to the Vatican’s views.

“I had the opportunity to read the speech and I almost threw up,’’ he said. “You should read the speech. In my opinion it was the beginning of the secular movement of politicians, the separation of their faith from the public square, and he threw faith under the bus in that speech.’’  

This guy is making me want to throw up.

Santorum’s emphasis on religion has paid off in the polls among Republicans. A survey of Republicans by the Pew Research Center, which showed Santorum leading Romney nationally in mid-February 30 percent to 28 percent, found that Santorum was strongest among evangelicals and Catholics, while Mitt Romney was strongest among mainline Protestants.

Romney rarely mentions his Mormon faith, which some conservative Christians consider a cult, and he has had a hard time winning over some Republicans who are troubled by his past support of abortion rights. Newt Gingrich is disliked by some conservatives because he cheated on his first two wives and now is married to his third. Ron Paul focuses on his libertarian beliefs.

Santorum, meanwhile, talks regularly about his Catholicism, his home-schooled children, and his view that the country faces a crisis because many Americans have fallen from their faith.

It's facing a crisis because Wall Street and Israel have led it astray!

In the 2008 speech to Ave Marie University, a Catholic university in Florida, Santorum laid out the framework of his beliefs. The speech received new attention last week after being featured at several online sites....

In the early days of Santorum’s presidential campaign, relatively little attention was paid to his social views because he was so low in most polls. But his social stances were pivotal to his narrow victory in the Iowa caucuses and began to gain more notice as well as controversy. Much of the early debate involved Santorum’s statements about homosexuality. Santorum has said, for example, that he has “a problem with homosexual acts.’’

I have a problem with him, how's that?

Then, during a January appearance in Concord, N.H., he challenged a college student who supported gay marriage by equating it with polygamy, saying sarcastically, “So anyone can marry can marry anybody else, so, if that’s the case, then everyone can marry several people.’’ The audience of college students booed him.

Oh, yeah, did you hear?

Republican leaders have tended to favor Romney. One of the harshest critics of Santorum is Alan Simpson, former senator and Wyoming Republican, who said on CBS-TV’s “Face to Face’’ program last week that Santorum was so “rigid and a homophobic’’ that he feared Santorum would “float us out in the Bering Sea or something. . . . here’s a party that believes in government out of your life, the precious right of privacy, and the right to be left alone. How then can they [have] the hypocrisy of fiddling around in these social issues? We won’t have a prayer.’’


"Santorum questions separation of church and state; Republican presidential candidate defends criticism of JFK" by Shira Schoenberg  |  Globe Correspondent, February 27, 2012

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, who has made his conservative stance on religious and social issues one of the centerpieces of his Republican presidential campaign, questioned the idea of a complete separation of church and state yesterday.

Santorum stood by comments he made last year when he said he was disturbed by President John F. Kennedy’s famous 1960 speech in which he declared that the separation of church and state should be absolute.

“I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute,’’ Santorum said yesterday on ABC’s “This Week.’’ “The idea that the church should have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical of the objectives and vision of our country.’’  

Bashing America's last true president isn't helping your case with me.

Santorum’s conservative social views have come under increasing scrutiny as he has soared in the polls nationally and come to challenge former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

He has waded into battles about insurance coverage of contraception, federal support for education, and what he referred to as President Obama’s “theology’’ on the environment. Yesterday, Santorum was forced to defend his views on college education and on the separation of religion and politics.

His original comments on Kennedy’s speech came in a talk at the College of Saint Mary Magdalen in New Hampshire in October. “Earlier in my political career I had opportunity to read the speech, and I almost threw up,’’ Santorum said at the time.

Kennedy’s speech was intended to address skepticism over his own religion as a Catholic running for president. Kennedy called for an America “where no Catholic prelate would tell the president - should he be Catholic - how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.’’

Santorum said he considered the speech as going beyond the First Amendment.

“That means bringing everybody, people of faith and no faith, into the public square,’’ he said. “Kennedy for the first time articulated a vision saying ‘no, faith is not allowed in the public square, I will keep it separate.’ ’’  

Maybe he was on to something considering where you are now, Rick.

Santorum said his point was how important it is for everybody - including those of faith - to feel welcome in politics. “What kind of country do we live in that says only people of nonfaith can come in the public square and make their case?’’ he said.  

That's not really what Kennedy said, is it?

On NBC’s “Meet the Press,’’ Santorum said the major American movements that opposed slavery and supported civil rights were led by people of faith. “The idea we need to segregate faith is a dangerous idea,’’ he said.

Santorum also defended comments he made Saturday in Michigan, criticizing President Obama’s statements encouraging pursuit of a college education.

“President Obama wants everyone in America to go to college. What a snob,’’ he said.

On ABC, Santorum explained, “There are a lot of people in this country that have no desire, or no aspiration to go to college because they have a different set of skills, desires, and dreams that don’t include college.’’ Santorum said technical schools, apprenticeships, or vocational training could be more appropriate for some people than college.

Yeah, we still need slaves!


Update: Clerics take issue with Rick Santorum’s criticism of John Kennedy’s view on church-state divide

 "Romney, Santorum turn up the heat in Michigan; Each say the other has compromised on key principles" by Matt Viser and Bobby Caina Calvan  |  Globe Staff, February 26, 2012

TROY, Mich. - Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum yesterday stepped up their mutual criticism in the final days before a crucial primary in Michigan, calling each other not sufficiently conservative to win the Republican presidential nomination.

Speaking at a Tea Party forum here, Romney accused Santorum of abandoning his conservative principles to trade favors in Washington. Santorum called the charge laughable, and suggested Romney was a political chameleon who is only now trying to remake himself as a conservative standard bearer.

“What’s he going to be tomorrow?’’ Santorum asked.

The bitter back-and-forth illustrates the high stakes Tuesday in what polls show is a tight race....


Related: Mitt Romney, PAC share consultants in single office

"Mitt Romney defends ability to relate to voters" February 27, 2012

On Fox News, Mitt Romney portrayed himself as an underdog, despite the fact that he was leading in the polls until the last two weeks....

Some of Romney’s trouble in Michigan - home of the American car industry - stems from an op-ed article he wrote in the New York Times in 2008 titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.’’ Romney argued that the car industry should not receive a federal bailout, but should go through managed bankruptcy.

The United Auto Workers protested that stance at Romney events last week....

Didn't see much if any of them in my corporate piece of crap.


Also see: Republican rivals trade last jabs in Michigan

Impact of Republican primary discord is debatable

Romney’s memory is ‘foggy’ on Detroit’s Golden Jubilee

What, sermon over? 

Update: Mitt Romney rebounds to win Mich., Ariz. primaries

Could victory in Michigan shift Rick Santorum’s narrative from scrappy underdog to front-runner?


Newt Gingrich plans new ads with another donation from casino magnate

Which Came First, the Chicken or the Ape?

The order in which I read these front-page articles:

"Third monkey dies at Harvard research center" February 27, 2012|By Carolyn Y. Johnson

A dehydrated squirrel monkey died at a Harvard Medical School research facility in December - the third monkey to die at the New England Primate Research Center in 19 months - and additional animals there suffered a fracture and other harm over the past three months, according to a federal inspection report released yesterday.

The most recent problems prompted the US Department of Agriculture to cite Harvard for three serious episodes of endangering animals. Nationwide, there were 25 such occurrences at research facilities in the previous fiscal year.

The university could face fines or a warning because of the failures to comply with federal animal welfare regulations....


"Boston’s would-be chicken farmers lay out case" by David Abel  |  Globe Staff, February 27, 2012

The movement began in a Roslindale backyard with a bird named Yolanda.

The white-feathered hen with the pink wattle came to Boston as an outlaw, a sprightly chick that had to keep a low profile as she produced a bounty of eggs.

Within a year, animal control officials were on to her and her sisters, Carmen and Roxy, and eventually forced the clucking trio into what their owners call an “undisclosed location.’’

The removal of the chickens - city zoning laws forbid raising poultry in Boston - has sparked a movement over the past year that has swelled from petitions to websites and Facebook pages to a large city meeting last month that drew hundreds of local residents, most of whom were lobbying officials to change the laws.

“Most chicken owners consider their birds as family pets and would be devastated to lose them,’’ said Dakota Butterfield, 58, of Jamaica Plain, a member of Legalize Chickens in Boston, a growing group interested in the plight of Yolanda....

Advocates for allowing chickens in Boston argue that locally harvested eggs can be more nutritious than those that come from poultry factories. They say fowl can also help city residents get in touch with nature and can bind communities as neighbors share in the work and benefits of the chickens.

Advocates also note that Boston is among the last urban redoubts that ban raising poultry, which are allowed in cities such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle. Local communities including Brookline, Belmont, Lexington, and Newton, permit chickens.

“It should be like having a dog or cat,’’ said Margaret Connors, 48, of Jamaica Plain, who recently began selling vegetables from urban farms. “You get it registered with the city, and you deal with the regulations around owning that pet. That should be the extent of it.’’

A few blocks from where Yolanda and her sisters once roamed, Steven Gag knows he is pushing his luck. Unlike Yolanda’s owner, Audra Karp, who sought a permit to raise chickens and was denied by the city, Gag and his wife are hoping to remain “under the radar.’’   

You ain't gonna do it by appearing in the Globe!

They are now raising six hens - one was killed by a cat and another by a weasel - in an extensive coop they built out of their children’s old playhouse, one of at least a dozen such illicit coops in the city, advocates estimate. Their neighbor’s three young children help them take care of the chickens and reap the rewards of about 1,200 eggs a year.

The chickens, which they received by mail shortly after they hatched, are barely audible in the din of the city, especially when a commuter train is passing near their house. They have remained within their fenced-in yard for the past year and a half, except for the time they hopped over to escape from a raccoon. (They were lured back by the berries the Gags grow in their yard.)

“I think a lot more people should be doing this,’’ Gag said. “You just have to talk to your neighbors to get their permission, and it helps you get to know them. But before you know it, everybody who was on the fence about it comes over, brings their kids, and it works out.’’

While the Gags are openly flouting the zoning rules, one of their neighbors is trying to keep a lower profile with his new hobby.

The 45-year-old artist named Steven, who declined to give his last name, has camouflaged his coop so that it is “visually integrated into the urban environment to make it hard to see from the street.’’

“I’m always on the lookout for an unmarked city car,’’ he said. “I’d probably feel the same way if I had a meth lab in my basement.’’

He has grown attached to his six chickens, which cost about $20 a month to feed and compensate him with about 120 eggs a month. He doesn’t mind the 15 hours a week of work they require.

“They each have distinct personalities,’’ he said....

That's not exactly keeping a low profile.


The Indian Item I Ignored

I missed it the last time I did a round-up.

"Threat to New Delhi in major quake is largely ignored; India’s data show 9 in 10 buildings are threatened" by Muneeza Naqvi  |  Associated Press, January 29, 2012

NEW DELHI - The ramshackle neighborhoods of northeast Delhi are home to 2.2 million people packed along narrow alleys. Buildings are made from a single layer of brick. Extra floors are added to dilapidated buildings not meant to handle their weight. Tangles of electrical cables hang precariously everywhere.

If a major earthquake struck India’s seismically vulnerable capital, these neighborhoods - India’s most crowded - would collapse in an apocalyptic nightmare. Waters from the nearby Yamuna River would turn the water-soaked subsoil to jelly, which would intensify the shaking.

The Indian government knows this and has done almost nothing about it.  

They sound like most governments.

An Associated Press examination of government documents spanning five decades reveals a pattern of warnings and recommendations that have been widely disregarded. Successive governments made plans and promises to prepare for a major earthquake in the city of 16.7 million, only to abandon them each time....

Fearing many buildings could crumble in ruins after a major earthquake, the Delhi government began work in 2005 with US government assistance to reinforce just five buildings - including a school and a hospital - it would need to begin a rudimentary relief operation to deal with the dead, wounded, and homeless. Six years later, only one of those buildings is earthquake-ready....

So where did all that tax loot go?  Good f***ing-Christ!!!

Government engineers were sent to California to train. But the following year - with only the school made earthquake ready - all the engineers were taken off the project. They were reassigned to build stadiums for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, an athletic competition held in Delhi, said M. Shashidhar Reddy, the vice chairman of India’s National Disaster Management Agency.

The scale of the problem “really hasn’t sunk into the minds of the people,’’ Reddy said.

It never does until something happens.

Just last year, a Delhi government agency ordered all new home buyers to get a building safety certificate that would mark their homes as structurally sound before registering property. But it later withdrew the order, saying there weren’t enough engineers trained to conduct such inspections.

“That’s like saying let’s not have any traffic rules because we don’t have enough policemen,’’ said Hari Kumar, who heads Geohazards India, an organization that promotes earthquake awareness....

“At the end of the day, people at the helm of affairs are not doing anything,’’ said Anup Karanth, an earthquake engineering expert.  

Except accepting a taxpayer-financed expense account and salary.

In its attitudes to disaster preparedness India is like many other poor nations - aware of the danger but bogged down by both sheer inertia and more immediate demands on its resources.  

Like money for the military!

But Delhi faces immense earthquake risks. Last September, two minor jolts sent thousands of scared residents into the streets, and experts say a big one looms....

In a city and country growing at lightning speed with huge problems of poverty and hunger that need more immediate solutions, earthquake preparedness has never been at the top of the list....



"Quake drill tests crews in India’s capital" February 16, 2012|By Associated Press

NEW DELHI - It was the first-ever earthquake drill for New Delhi, where poorly constructed buildings, loosely hanging electrical wires, and narrow alleys that encourage traffic would mean heavy damage in a major earthquake....


Something the AmeriKan media is ignoring:

"American targeted in Mumbai case

MUMBAI - An Indian court approved a request by prosecutors to charge a US citizen, David Coleman Headley, in the 2008 terrorist attacks, according to an official with the National Investigation Agency. The decision, which is the first step in seeking an extradition, sets up a possible confrontation between the United States and India. Headley has confessed in the United States to playing a major role in the attacks in Mumbai that killed at least 163 people, but he testified against another man tried in the attack to avoid both the death penalty and extradition to India (New York Times)." 

Looks like the Indians have wised up to the intelligence agency false flags and covert controllers.

Related: Egypt Antagonizes AmeriKa

How the hell are we going to fight WWIII for Israel with no allies?

Also see: 15,000 die each year crossing rail tracks in India

I'll be ignoring a lot more in the Globe in the coming weeks. 

Buffett Made $10 Billion in 2011

One hell of a feast, 'eh? 

"Warren Buffett upbeat on housing market" by Josh Funk  |  Associated Press, February 26, 2012

OMAHA - Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said yesterday that he was “dead wrong’’ with a prediction that the US housing market would begin to recover by now, but he remains optimistic about the nation’s economy.

I suppose I would feel that way if I "earned" $10 BILLION bucks last year.

In his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, Buffett said he is sure housing will recover eventually and help bring down the nation’s unemployment rate. But he did not predict when that will happen.

Investors eagerly await the letter from Buffett, 81, the so-called Oracle of Omaha, who built an approximately $44 billion fortune by following a steadfast, no-nonsense investing strategy.
Buffett said, in typical plainspoken style, that the housing market will come back because some human factors can’t be denied forever.

“People may postpone hitching up during uncertain times, but eventually hormones take over,’’ he wrote. “And while ‘doubling-up’ may be the initial reaction of some during a recession, living with in-laws can quickly lose its allure.’’

This guy just showed he is an out-of-touch elite, which is probably why the paper plays up the everyman, rags-to-riches image.

The housing prediction proved painful for Berkshire Hathaway. It owns more than 80 subsidiaries, including the Geico insurance company and See’s Candy, and five of them rely heavily on construction activity.  

Oh, the poor dears.

Those businesses, which include Acme Brick, Clayton Homes, and Shaw carpet, generated pre-tax profits of $513 million last year. That’s well off the $1.8 billion those companies added to Berkshire in 2006.

Berkshire’s insurance companies took $1.7 billion in catastrophe losses last year, including from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Berkshire reported only $154 million in underwriting profit, down from $1.3 billion the previous year. 

They still made money and yet they make it seem like a loss.

But several of Berkshire’s larger noninsurance businesses - Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, MidAmerican Energy, Marmon Group, Lubrizol, and Iscar - all generated record earnings in 2011.

Yeah, but.... (long drawn-out sigh)

That helped Berkshire as a whole to generate $10.3 billion in net income last year, down from nearly $13 billion in 2010....  

How did you do this year, reader?


Related: Buffet's Buffet

And the seeing oracle will save the newspapers!

"Warren Buffett offers advice for newspapers" Associated Press, February 28, 2012

OMAHA - Warren Buffett says newspapers need to stop giving away their product free online, but will have a decent future if they continue delivering information that can’t be found elsewhere.


First of all, THEY ARE CHANGING for their RIVERS of S*** PROPAGANDA these days, and the simple fact is now you don't need a newspaper to find information. Citizens are doing it themselves because of the rotten old Internet. That's where this blog is failing. I'm sticking with this s***.   

Look, the newspapers still have a place because "without a paper – a journal of some kind – you cannot unite a community." And that is what has been so disappointing with the lying, distorting, obfucating, agenda-pushing, war-promoting AmeriKan media.  The fact is I should no longer be looking to the newspaper for anything. The answer when you ask someone how to find out what is happening in our world is read a newspaper. What they don't tell you is you have to sift through so much s***.

Buffett talked about the news business on CNBC yesterday because his Berkshire Hathaway owns two newspapers and has a sizable investment in the Washington Post Co.  

So he doesn't always invest in winners, 'eh? 

And the press coverage now makes sense, 'eh? 

Newspapers face challenges because of competition from Internet news sources and the rising cost of newsprint.  

The LYING HASN'T HELPED, either!!!  

Buffett said newspapers need to make sure they remain the primary source of information about subjects readers are interested in.  

That is where they are SO FAILING!!  And even if the Internet is shut down it won't matter because NO ONE BELIEVES the AmeriKan media anymore!!  The SIMPLE FACT is the TRUST HAS BEEN BROKEN and it can NEVER BE REGAINED!

He was being interviewed in front of the Omaha World-Herald’s printing presses. Berkshire Hathaway bought the World-Herald last year.


Also see:  

 Globe Decline a Decade in the Making

The Boston Globe Admits Iraq Lies Killed It 

And yet they have not stopped lying.  Some people never learn.

Berlusconi Back Behind the Scenes

Then I guess the scandalous trials and political intrigue was really all just a bunch of BS, huh?

"Berlusconi bribery case thrown out over statute of limitations" by Elisabetta Povoledo  |  New York Times, February 26, 2012

ROME - A court in Milan threw out the bribery case against former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi yesterday, saying that the statute of limitations had expired and continuing his long run of seeming invulnerability to conviction....

Berlusconi is also on trial in three other cases, facing various charges, including paying for sex with an underage woman, and he was recently placed under investigation on charges of fraud at a subsidiary of his broadcasting empire.

The verdict will be closely scrutinized in Italy, where Berlusconi has dominated political life for nearly 20 years and continues to play a prominent role behind the scenes in supporting the government of Prime Minister Mario Monti, who supplanted him last November....  

Translation: The New World Order austerity wasn' going to make it through with his ugly mug pushing it.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sun Setting on Murdoch's British Empire

I love watching the sun set on s***.

"Five Sun workers arrested in Britain’s hacking scandal; Parent company News Corp. helps police with probe" by Ravi Somaiya  |  New York Times, February 12, 2012

LONDON - British authorities arrested eight people yesterday, including five employees of Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid The Sun, as part of an investigation into bribery of public officials by journalists, according to Scotland Yard and the newspaper’s parent company....

The Sun is Murdoch’s British flagship and the best-selling daily newspaper here, with a circulation of just over 2.7 million copies daily, according to figures from late last year. It had previously been on the fringes of a scandal that led to the closing of its sister tabloid, News of the World, last summer over accusations of illegal news-gathering techniques like intercepting voice mail messages, hacking computers, and bribing public officials.

Murdoch’s company, News Corp., had sought to shield The Sun, seen by many industry analysts as his crown jewel and cash cow here, from the scandal. In the face of occasional mentions in lawsuits last year, the company fiercely disputed any suggestion that the newspaper was embroiled in widespread illegality.

A former official with News International, the British newspaper arm of News Corp., who has knowledge of the investigation, said that given the overwhelming quantity of evidence, the police have relied heavily on guidance from News Corp.

Now, as part of an effort to draw a line under the scandal that has included the settlement of dozens of lawsuits, and under the guidance of a team put in place by the company to investigate wrongdoing, the Management and Standards Committee, the newspaper has been firmly implicated....


"Tony Blair’s wife sues News Corp." by Erik Larson  |  Bloomberg News, February 23, 2012

LONDON - Cherie Blair, the wife of Britain’s former prime minister, is suing News Corp. and a former private investigator who hacked into celebrities’ voice mail messages to get stories for the now-defunct News of the World tabloid.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, comes as News Corp. prepares for the start on Monday of the first civil trial related to the scandal. The company has already settled phone-hacking claims by Tony Blair’s former press chief, Alastair Campbell, and former deputy prime minister John Prescott.

News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch shuttered the News of the World in July in a bid to contain public anger after it was revealed the tabloid hacked into the voice mail messages of a slain schoolgirl. While most of the current lawsuits have been settled, the company still faces possible claims by more than 800 likely victims identified by police.

A message left with the press office of News Corp.’s British unit was not immediately returned. Full details of the suit were not available yesterday.

Tony Blair’s representatives referred calls to Cherie Blair’s lawyers, who did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Campbell told an inquiry into British media ethics in November that, in light of the number of stories published about Cherie Blair, he accused her assistant Carole Caplin of leaking stories. Caplin has since been told her phone was also hacked, he said.


When is Bliar being sent to the Hague?

Also see: British Newspapers Publish Bulls***

So does mine.

"London to test alcohol monitors for offenders" Associated Press, February 11, 2012

LONDON - London will be the first city in England to test electronic monitoring to force persistent alcohol offenders to stop drinking, Mayor Boris Johnson said yesterday.

Johnson said the program would use electronic bracelets to detect alcohol in perspiration of people convicted of serious alcohol-related offenses. The trial program is expected to start later this year.

Aren't the cameras on every street corner enough?

One police force in Scotland has previously expressed interest in the device.

The mayor’s office says alcohol is a factor in a million violent crimes in Britain annually. The London Ambulance Service responded to nearly 52,000 incidents last year involving alcohol.  

And you guys are a aflutter about terrorists?

Electronic devices that continuously monitor alcohol are used in several US states. Offenders who break their no-drinking order can be sent to jail.

In South Dakota, 77 percent of offenders who chose the option of wearing the monitor stayed off alcohol, according to a report in the Argus Leader in December.

“The success of South Dakota proves that removing alcohol really reduces violent crime,’’ said Kit Malthouse, London’s deputy mayor for policing.  

Actually, that sounds right to me for some reason.  Kinda funny that it's all legal and a going concern.

“Although criminals may protest, this may be the short, sharp shock they need,’’ he added. “Offenders will have to ask themselves if a drink is really worth a night in jail?’’   

If your homeless, yeah.


RelatedMoody's warns UK on credit rating

That's cause for a drink, too. 

Aren't they the same $elf-$erving shits that signed off an all that mortgage securities crap as AAA-grade investments?

Calling Up Another French Post

Seems like I just did one a couple days ago.

"Dominique Strauss-Kahn questioned by French police; Strauss-Kahn not target of inquiry" by Greg Keller  |  Associated Press, February 22, 2012

PARIS — French police questioned former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn all day yesterday as part of an investigation into a suspected hotel prostitution ring....

Police are investigating a suspected prostitution ring in France and neighboring Belgium that has implicated police and other officials. They have questioned prostitutes who said they had sex with Strauss-Kahn during 2010 and 2011 at a luxury hotel in Paris, a restaurant in the French capital, and also in Washington, D.C....

Strauss-Kahn lived in the US capital while he was head of the IMF, before resigning his position in May after he was charged by New York police with making a hotel maid perform oral sex. The charges were later dropped.  

Related: Sexy Strauss-Kahn

Sickening would be more like it.

Two men with ties to Strauss-Kahn are being investigated for allegedly organizing a prostitution ring and possible misuse of corporate funds.

Strauss-Kahn’s name surfaced in the investigation last fall and his lawyer has asked that his client be allowed to tell his side of the story. One of Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers has said his client never knew that the women at orgies he attended were prostitutes.

“He could easily not have known, because as you can imagine, at these kinds of parties you’re not always dressed, and I challenge you to distinguish a naked prostitute from any other naked woman,’’ Henri Leclerc told French radio Europe 1 in December.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, has been married for two decades to journalist Anne Sinclair.  

How can anyone respect that woman?

French newspapers have dubbed the investigation “The Carlton Affair’’ after the name of the expensive Lille hotel where some of the meetings took place.

Investigators are seeking to discover whether prostitutes were paid using corporate funds from a large French construction company, Eiffage.

The case is unconnected to the attempted rape accusations in New York.

New York prosecutors dropped the case against Strauss-Kahn in August, saying the accuser had undercut her credibility by lying about her background and changing her account of her actions right after the alleged attack.

The hotel maid, Nafissatou Diallo, says she was truthful about the encounter and is pursuing her claims in a lawsuit.

Strauss-Kahn has said the sexual encounter was “inappropriate’’ but consensual and not violent.

In a separate case last October, French prosecutors refused to pursue an allegation by a young French writer of attempted rape by Strauss-Kahn.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said Strauss-Kahn admitted during questioning to actions amounting to sexual assault but did not send the case to trial because it happened too long ago....


It's always the what not the when, right?

"Investigators release Strauss-Kahn; Former IMF head questioned about prostitution ring" by Greg Keller  |  Associated Press, February 23, 2012

PARIS - French police released former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn yesterday after holding and questioning him for nearly 30 hours about a suspected hotel prostitution ring.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, is expected to be summoned again next month by judges who will decide if there is enough evidence to press charges in the case, judicial officials said.

The marathon police questioning returned the media spotlight to the sexual dalliances of Strauss-Kahn, a onetime French presidential hopeful whose political career nosedived last spring over a New York hotel maid’s allegations that he sexually assaulted her.

French police are investigating a suspected prostitution ring that has implicated police and other officials....

Police asked Strauss-Kahn about suspicions centering on complicity in organized prostitution at hotels in Paris and the northern city of Lille, officials said. One of his lawyers acknowledged that Strauss-Kahn took part in orgies but said his client did not know that the women attending were prostitutes....


Oh, the poor fellow! The stress has obviously ruined his good looks. Or he was up too late to, well, you know.

Hey, what's in a name?

"‘Mademoiselle’ gets boot in new French rules" Associated Press, February 23, 2012

PARIS - Forget what you learned in French class about “madame’’ and “mademoiselle.’’ The French government now says women’s marital status should not matter, at least when it comes to this country’s far-reaching bureaucracy.

A new directive from the prime minister’s office Tuesday orders officials to phase out the use of “mademoiselle’’ on administrative documents.

Until now, a woman has been required to identify herself as a married “madame’’ or an unmarried “mademoiselle’’ on everything from tax forms to voting cards. France offers no neutral option like “Ms.’’

Men don’t face this issue: Their only option is “monsieur,’’ married or not.

It’s all the more strange given that French young people widely shun matrimony, and more than half of French children are born to unmarried parents.

Feminist groups have been pushing for the abolition of the “mademoiselle’’ option for years and hailed the mandate.

Still, they were wary that the move was aimed only at vote-grabbing.

“We know we are in an election campaign season. So we will be vigilant to see that it is in fact applied,’’ said Julie Muret of the group Osez le Feminisme.

Her group and a sister movement, Chiennes de garde, are lobbying candidates for the presidential elections in April and May to sign on to other pledges such as reducing the pay gap between men and women, supporting the right to abortion and birth control, and limiting sexist advertising. They also urged private companies to follow the government’s lead and always make it “madame.’’


Also see: Le Pen backers can't stay anonymous

Soon only war propagandist sources for newspapers will be able to remain anonymous. 

EU to Starve Hungary

"EU plans sanctions against Hungary over deficit" Associated Press, February 23, 2012

BRUSSELS - The European Union’s executive arm said yesterday that it plans to withhold $655 million in EU development funds from Hungary after the country failed to reduce its deficit.

The proposal to withhold the funds is the latest in a protracted dispute over the country’s finances and suspected violation of civil rights. Before it can be applied, it has to be endorsed by the other 26 member states.

It is the first time the European Commission has proposed to suspend development funds from one of its members over an excessive deficit.


Related: Fascism Returns to Hungary

Saudi Crown Prince a Conspiracy Theorist

Which simply means he knows the truth.

"New Saudi crown prince won praise for crackdowns" October 28, 2011|Associated Press

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabia named a new crown prince late yesterday: the tough-talking interior minister who is known for cracking down on Islamic militants and resisting moves toward greater openness in the ultraconservative kingdom.

State TV announced the naming of Prince Nayef bin Abdel-Aziz Al Saud as heir to the Saudi throne, following the death last week of the previous second-in-line, Crown Prince Sultan, at age 80.

Nayef would assume the throne upon the death of King Abdullah, 87.

Saudi TV showed the king sitting in an armchair, wearing a white headscarf and robe, with another cream-colored robe draped over his shoulders. He did not speak.

Traditionally, the king chooses his heir. But Prince Nayef was chosen by the Allegiance Council, a 37-member body composed of his brothers and cousins.

Prince Nayef, 78, will keep his job as interior minister. He has earned praise in the West for crackdowns on Islamic extremists.

He was criticized for a 2002 interview in which he said Zionists - Jews - benefited from the 9/11 attacks as world opinion turned against Islam and Arabs.

Yeah, turns out Muslims didn't do 9/11; Israel and her helpers in various western governments and intelligence agencies did.


What little else I see regarding Saudi Arabia in my newspaper:

"Libyans finally get to make pilgrimage

ARAFAT - Libyans long denied the chance to make the hajj usually reserved for Moammar Khadafy’s cronies were among millions of Muslims to begin the pilgrimage yesterday. Relatives of fighters who were killed ousting the longtime dictator were given preference to fill the North African nation’s quota. Vast crowds ascended the Mountain of Mercy at Arafat, where the Prophet Muhammad is said to have delivered his farewell sermon (AP)."

"Saudi women to run, vote without male approval" December 29, 2011|By Associated Press

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Women in Saudi Arabia will not need a male guardian’s approval to run or vote in municipal elections in 2015, when women will run for office for the first time, a Saudi official said yesterday....

Despite the historic decision by the king to allow women the right to participate in the country’s only open elections, male guardian laws in Saudi Arabia remain largely unchanged. Women cannot travel, work, study abroad, marry, get divorced, or gain admittance to a public hospital without permission from a male guardian.

The country is guided by an ultraconservative interpretation of Islam called Wahhabism....

Just wondering where they came up with that one.


Related: Saudi Suffrage

Also see: Saudis name ambassador to Iraq

Oil price falls as Saudis trump Iran threat 

How long do you guys think those pumps will protect you from the EUSraeli war machine and its lifeblood?

Bahrain Birthday

Yeah, I know, I'm a little late.

"Shi’ite marchers mark anniversary of Bahrain protest" Bloomberg News, February 15, 2012

MANAMA, Bahrain - Mainly Shi’ite Muslim protesters in Bahrain marked the first anniversary of their antigovernment rallies yesterday by marching toward the former Pearl Roundabout, the focus of last year’s demonstrations.

Riot police fired tear gas at the protesters heading to the location, where the roundabout has been demolished and turned into an intersection. Dense black smoke rose in the distance as demonstrators burned tires in Shi’ite villages. Authorities arrested at least 25 people, including nine women, who were on their way to the roundabout site, Mohammed al-Maskati, president of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, said by phone.

“They are storming houses suspected of harboring demonstrators, using tear gas, closing roads, and arresting people,’’ Maskati said.

Protests led by Bahrain’s Shi’ite majority broke out a year ago demanding democracy and equal rights from the Sunni monarchy, leading to a crackdown by security forces in which troops from neighboring Saudi Arabia and other Sunni-ruled Gulf countries were called in.  

The U.S. isn't interested in that here.

The Interior Ministry said in a Twitter posting that “rioters’’ were arrested for blocking traffic on a major highway and would face prosecution.

The United States urged the government and people of Bahrain to work together and refrain from violence.

Translation: We back the thugs, 'er, government on this one.

The Obama administration supports the government’s pledge to fully implement the recommendations of the Bahraini Independent Commission of Inquiry, which looked into last year’s violence, said Victoria Nuland, State Department spokeswoman, yesterday.

“This is not going to be easy,’’ Nuland said. “But making these kinds of deep-seated institutional changes that the BICI has called for will help forge the kind of path we need to see towards reconciliation in Bahrain.’’

She said Bahrain is a “longstanding’’ and “valued’’ partner of the United States, which bases the Navy’s Fifth Fleet there.  

The U.S. interest that supersedes all others.


Also see: Bahrain police fire tear gas at demonstrators
Cambridge rights activist denied entry into Bahrain

If it were Syria the U.S. would be screaming for an invasion.