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Posts by A Patriot Son

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    02/10/2003 2:05:42 PM PST · 10 of 25
    A Patriot Son to dirtboy
    There's an important story developing tonight at the Justice Department. The non-partisan Center for Public Integrity obtained a closely-guarded document that shows plans for a sweeping expansion of the government's police powers.

    Until now, few people outside of the department, not even members of key congressional committees have seen this draft legislation. It could lead to increased surveillance and greater secrecy - all in the name of the war on terror. It raises questions about how we balance liberty and security - the rights of individuals versus the rule of law.


    02/10/2003 1:47:39 PM PST · 1 of 25
    A Patriot Son
  • Air Lib staff in Paris airport clash (FROGS USE TEARGAS and SMOKEBOMBS TO DISPERSE PROTESTORS)

    02/10/2003 11:59:35 AM PST · 5 of 14
    A Patriot Son to OldFriend
    Posted on Mon, Feb. 10, 2003

    Commercial airlines pressed into military service

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Commercial airlines are being pressed into military service to transport troops as the Pentagon continues its Persian Gulf buildup for a possible war in Iraq.

    The airlines were flying troops today under an order by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld mobilizing the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, a fleet of commercial passenger and cargo planes that can be used to move people and equipment in emergencies.

    The Defense Department announced late Saturday it was activating the first stage of the fleet, making it only the second time it has done so in the 51-year history of the program.

    ``The measure is necessary due to increased operations associated with the build up of U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf region,'' it said in a statement.

    Officials have the authority to call up 78 aircraft -- 47 passenger planes and 31 wide-body cargo planes. But for now, Air Force Gen. John W. Handy, commander of the U.S. Transportation Command, has enough cargo planes and is calling only the passenger aircraft, said command spokesman Navy Capt. Steve Honda.

    There are 11 carriers signed up for this first stage of mobilization, Honda said by phone from command offices at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.

    They are American Airlines, American Trans Air, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, North American Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Omni Air International, United Airlines, US Airways and World Airways.

    Names of airlines that began flying troops today were not immediately available, Honda said.

    The reserve air fleet, established in 1951, consists of aircraft that commercial carriers have agreed to make available for military use in times of crisis and when there are not enough military aircraft to handle all the work. In return for participating, carriers are given preference for the defense departments peacetime passenger and cargo business and guaranteed that the burden of carrying out a deployment will be spread fairly among all participating.

    The transportation command relies heavily on the commercial transport industry -- sea, air and land -- to move troops, equipment and supplies world wide in support of the nation's defense. Historically, 93 percent of troops and 41 percent of long-range air cargo are moved by chartered commercial aircraft.

    The reserve fleet is mobilized -- and airlines have 24 to 48 hours to provide the aircraft -- only when there are not enough volunteers. The Pentagon has been having trouble finding volunteers from the industry, plagued by bankruptcies.

    The only other time it was activated was in 1990-91, in the buildup to the Persian Gulf War and during the war itself.

    The fleet can be mobilized in three stages, each calling for more aircraft. As of last month, 33 carriers and 927 aircraft were enrolled in all stages.

    Though it is a help, civilian cargo aircraft are not good for everything because of their size or configuration or the way they operate. For instance, they cannot accommodate tanks, air defense weapons and many helicopters, nor airdrop cargo and people, provide the rapid off-loading needed in combat situations and so on.
  • Iraq turns over documents on anthrax, missiles (‘Change of heart’Maybe)

    02/10/2003 11:56:43 AM PST · 101 of 105
    A Patriot Son to Southflanknorthpawsis
    Bethlehem Steel May End Retiree Benefits
    Mon Feb 10, 9:01 AM ET Add Business - AP to My Yahoo!

    By DAVID B. CARUSO, Associated Press Writer

    BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Some of them went to work in the blast furnaces when they were just 18, then spent half a lifetime handling molten slag and inhaling steel dust in some of the most dangerous jobs on earth.

    But for the tens of thousands of Bethlehem Steel workers who stuck it out, retirement brought a rich reward: a hefty pension and a lifetime of almost free health care for themselves and their families.

    "It was capitalism's version of socialized medicine," said James Van Vliet, a retired Bethlehem Steel vice president. "And it was an implied contract. It was the company and the workers saying, `We are going to take care of each other.'"

    It may go down in history as a promise unfulfilled.

    Bankrupt and only a shadow of its former might, Bethlehem Steel on Friday announced it was seeking bankruptcy court approval to terminate health and life insurance benefits for 95,000 retired workers and their dependents on March 31.

    The move, seen as essential to the company's bid to sell its assets to International Steel Group, followed news in December that Bethlehem Steel's pension plan was underfunded by $3.2 billion and would be turned over to a government agency.

    Both pieces of bad news were expected. The American steel industry has been in decline for decades, and most of its former giants have been trimming pensions and benefits for retirees for years. Moreover, corporate America largely has shifted the responsibility of old-age provisioning to workers, with self-funded plans such as 401(k) accounts.

    But the one-two punch is still a staggering blow for a generation that had been promised a lifetime of comforts in return for a career spent at one company.

    Now, some are facing the prospect of seeing their monthly $6 payments for health insurance jump to between $200 and $300.

    "That's a lot to swallow," said Len Christman, 67, who worked 39 years at Bethlehem Steel's sprawling plant in Bethlehem, about 40 miles north of Philadelphia. "It's a very tough position to be in at this stage in life."

    (Story continues after advertisement)


    Nearly all retirees will continue to enjoy some benefits. Pension payments, which are being taken over by the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp., are expected to continue at about 90 percent of their former level. For workers over 65, the federal Medicare program will pick up some health care costs.

    But Medicare, which covers hospital visits, but doesn't pay for medications, won't come close to covering all the health problems suffered by many retired steel workers.

    Joe Pancoe, who worked for Bethlehem Steel for 31 years, said that at 81, he has asthma and a hacking cough, and uses a slew of pills and inhalers to soothe his battered lungs.

    "We, the old timers, were part of the industrial revolution. And now, we are part of the medical revolution. We have the emphysemas, we have the cancers. We have everything," he said.

    He isn't positive his illnesses were related to his work as a spray painter in the plant's fabrication division, where he said his spit turned red from inhaling fumes, or in the research lab where he regularly handled bags of asbestos.

    But as he sees it, the country owes him something either way. His labor built propellors for battleships and girders for skyscrapers and bridges.

    "We helped the country, and the people who helped to build the country should get the benefit of it," Pancoe said.

    Almost all workers agree Bethlehem Steel is in little position to help. When it declared bankruptcy in October 2001, the company had about 12,000 employees, down from more than 300,000 during World War II. Most factories have been closed.

    On Saturday, Bethlehem's board approved the sale of the company's assets to International Steel Group, a new steel producer cobbled together by financier Wilbur L. Ross from other distressed steel mills. The deal is subject to approval by the bankruptcy court.

    Bruce Davis, a retired Bethlehem Steel lawyer who serves as legal counsel for the Retired Employees Benefit Coalition, said several labor groups are negotiating to extend health-care benefits, at least temporarily.

    The coalition has asked the company to continue health benefits until May 31, rather than March. It also anticipates that it will be able to offer Bethlehem Steel retirees a replacement health insurance package similar to ones offered to retirees at other bankrupt steel companies.

    The hardest burden, Davis said, will be borne by retired workers who are under 65, and unable to qualify for Medicare coverage.

    "We need to find a way to get them to age 65 without bankrupting their financial portfolio," Davis said. "If we can do that, the pain of seeing this proud company walk away from them, after so many years, will be considerably lessened."

  • Iraq turns over documents on anthrax, missiles (‘Change of heart’Maybe)

    02/10/2003 11:54:10 AM PST · 100 of 105
    A Patriot Son to woodyinscc
    Marc Rich's White House Mole:
    Lewis Libby
    by Jeffrey Steinberg
    Democratic Party Presidential pre-candidate Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. punctuated his Jan. 28 State of the Union webcast with a call for the immediate ouster of Lewis Libby from his post as chief of staff and top national security aide to Vice President Dick Cheney. Not only is Libby one of the pivotal players in the Administration "war party," promoting the suicidal invasion of Iraq. He is, notoriously, a mole for Russian "Mafiya" interests linked to his business associate of 18 years, Marc Rich.

    The Libby-Rich duo played a filthy role in the Jan. 28 Israeli elections, staging a disruption of Labor Party chair Amram Mitzna's election campaign in the weeks before the vote, in order to secure re-election of serial war-criminal and Mafiya collaborator, Ariel Sharon.

    Libby and Rich are also behind the promotion of former French military company clerk, Laurent Murawiec, as a Rand Corporation and Hudson Institute "military strategist," whose only claim to fame was his July 10, 2002 appearance at Richard Perle's Defense Policy Board. There, Murawiec psychotically called for an American invasion and occupation of the Saudi oilfields. Murawiec's Power-Point presentation to Pentagon policy advisers was so outrageous and incompetent, that a storm of protest (after his closed-door pitch leaked to the Washington Post) led to his ouster from a post as "senior analyst" at Rand. In the brouhaha that followed, Murawiec allies in the neo-conservative camp—including Moonie Washington Times senior editor Arnaud de Borchgrave—tried to salvage his shattered image by promoting the fact that in 1985-90, he had operated as an inside spy and provocateur among the European supporters of Lyndon LaRouche.

    Indeed, Murawiec had been picked up by Swiss-based organized-crime circles, including Marc Rich, and had conducted an effort to sabotage European circulation of a March 1986 EIR special report, Moscow's Secret Weapon: Ariel Sharon and the Israeli Mafia, which exposed the terror and crime circles behind Sharon, and the Jonathan Jay Pollard spy ring. Later, Murawiec surfaced on the payroll of the Marc Rich Foundation (run by ex-Mossad thug Avner Azulay), penning a shrill chapter on growing American anti-Semitism for a book edited by a top ally of self-professed Zionist fascist Vladimir Jabotinsky.

    Libby and Marc 'Filthy' Rich
    Sources in and around the Bush Administration have reported that Lewis Libby has emerged as one of the most rabid "chicken-hawks" in Washington. Libby has been identified as protector of the nest of Sharonists in the Pentagon and State Department who were discredited, following the Murawiec incident last July, and only avoided being fired from top posts through Libby's intervention. Among Libby's allies in the Administration "war party" are Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Assistant Defense Secretary for Policy Doug Feith, and State Department arms control adviser David Wurmser.

    Libby was part of a troika of wanna-be Pentagon imperialists, back in the Bush "41" Administration, who urged then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney to adopt the doctrine of pre-emptive warfare—in response not to Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden, but to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the opportunity for the United States to emerge as the only global military power. Along with Wolfowitz and Zalmay Khalilzad, Libby promoted the insane notion of pre-emptive war against any nation or bloc of nations that might at some point, challenge American military hegemony. The scheme was enthusiastically embraced by Cheney, but rejected by (the elder) President Bush, his National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, and Secretary of State James Baker III—only to resurface nine years later, after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

    Libby also served as staff director for the Cox Commission, a Clinton-era Congressionally mandated study group which promoted the idea of a future conflict with China, along the lines of Bernard Lewis and Samuel Huntington's wild call for a "Clash of Civilizations" war between the West on the one side, and the Islamic world and China on the other.

    But Lewis Libby's real claim to fame is his 18-year collaboration with Russian Mafiya "godfather" Marc Rich. As an understudy to Washington power lawyer Leonard Garment, Libby was the personal attorney for Rich from 1985, shortly after Rich fled the United States to avoid criminal prosecution for tax evasion and "trading with the enemy"—for illegal oil dealings with the Khomeini regime in Iran, while they were holding American hostages.

    Rich set up in Zug, Switzerland, and became one of the most important figures in busting the oil embargoes against apartheid South Africa, Iran, and, later, Iraq. All the while, Libby toiled as Rich's legal flack in America, presenting the swindler and Mossad bankroller as a victim of overzealous prosecutors.

    Operation Spiderweb
    Libby was the Svengali orchestrating the setup of President Bill Clinton to grant Rich a pardon in early 2001, just as Clinton left office. Libby, in Congressional testimony, admitted to working with ex-Al Gore attorney Jack Quinn, and two "former" Mossad agents in Rich's employ, to secure the pardon.

    Now, Rich may be running into problems. He is a target of "Operation Spiderweb," a crackdown by Italian, Swiss, British, and American law enforcement agencies on a $9 billion Russian Mafiya money-laundering scheme (see box). "Spiderweb" aims at Grigory Loutchansky, head of the Nordex conglomerate of companies and a top figure implicated in the flow of illegal campaign funds into Ariel Sharon's recent re-election campaign—and at Rich.

    In addition, French ministers at the end of January launched into a flurry of attacks on Rich around two other big scandals, involving the asset stripping and bankrupting of a French metal firm by Rich, and a large tanker oil spill off the coast of Portugal, also involving a Rich-owned firm.

    Meanwhile, earlier in the month, at Libby's behest, Rich and fellow gangster Michael Steinhardt went to Israel to run the operation against Labor Party chairman Mitzna which undermined Labor's election campaign and helped cover up, for a while, corruption scandals that were damaging Sharon's re-election bid. Steinhardt confessed to a Washington journalist that he met Sharon secretly, and then joined Marc Rich to orchestrate a Labor revolt against Mitzna, for his refusal to enter a national unity government with Sharon.

  • Bethlehem Steel Collapse Leaves Retired Workers Scrambling for Benefits (95,000 people)

    02/10/2003 11:41:45 AM PST · 189 of 207
    A Patriot Son to B4Ranch
    thanks freedomnews
  • Iraq turns over documents on anthrax, missiles (‘Change of heart’Maybe)

    02/09/2003 10:04:56 PM PST · 83 of 105
    A Patriot Son to Indy Pendance
    What I want to know is how does Marc Rich fit into all this.

    he did some work for the cia

  • Iraq turns over documents on anthrax, missiles (‘Change of heart’Maybe)

    02/09/2003 9:59:04 PM PST · 77 of 105
    A Patriot Son to PFKEY
    The Honorable Ted Stevens
    United States Senate
    522 Hart Senate Office Building
    Washington, D.C. 20510
    (202) 224-3004
    (202) 224-2354 FAX
  • Iraq turns over documents on anthrax, missiles (‘Change of heart’Maybe)

    02/09/2003 9:57:55 PM PST · 76 of 105
    A Patriot Son to PFKEY
    UN Rapid Deployment Police and Security Force will be in Alaska
  • Iraq turns over documents on anthrax, missiles (‘Change of heart’Maybe)

    02/09/2003 9:54:47 PM PST · 74 of 105
    A Patriot Son to PFKEY
    This man gave the money to the U.N
  • Iraq turns over documents on anthrax, missiles (‘Change of heart’Maybe)

    02/09/2003 9:48:12 PM PST · 67 of 105
    A Patriot Son to PFKEY
  • Iraq turns over documents on anthrax, missiles (‘Change of heart’Maybe)

    02/09/2003 9:44:33 PM PST · 63 of 105
    A Patriot Son to PFKEY
    Title: To encourage the establishment of a United Nations Rapid Deployment Police and Security Force.

    United Nations Rapid Deployment Police and Security Force Act of 2000

    OFFICIAL TITLE AS INTRODUCED: To encourage the establishment of a United Nations Rapid Deployment Police and Security Force.

  • Iraq turns over documents on anthrax, missiles (‘Change of heart’Maybe)

  • Iraq turns over documents on anthrax, missiles (‘Change of heart’Maybe)

    02/09/2003 9:33:15 PM PST · 58 of 105
    A Patriot Son to Indy Pendance
  • Iraq turns over documents on anthrax, missiles (‘Change of heart’Maybe)

  • Iraq turns over documents on anthrax, missiles (‘Change of heart’Maybe)

    02/09/2003 9:21:53 PM PST · 46 of 105
    A Patriot Son to okie01
    U.S. Not Buying Iraq's 'Change Of Heart'

    BAGHDAD, Feb. 9, 2003


    In two days of meetings with Blix and ElBaradei, Iraq officials handed over documents on anthrax, VX nerve gas and missile development.

    United Nations chief weapons inspector Hans Blix speaks during a television interview at the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad. (AP)

    (CBS) The U.N. chief weapons inspectors emerged from key talks with Iraq officials Sunday, saying they saw signs of a "change of heart" from Baghdad over disarmament demands and that further U.N. inspections were preferable to a quick U.S.-led military strike.

    Both Mohamed ElBaradei and Hans Blix were careful to avoid saying they were convinced that Iraq was now ready for full cooperation with the inspection program. Blix quipped that the "proof is in the pudding."

    Asked about Blix's statement, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer noted that President Bush has said: "Given the fact that Saddam Hussein is not disarming, time is running out.'"

    However, their comments about signs of change will likely strengthen calls by France, Germany, Russia, China and others to allow more time for inspections — possibly several months — and undermine U.S. efforts to win international support for an imminent military showdown.

    In two days of meetings with Blix and ElBaradei, Iraq officials handed over documents on anthrax, VX nerve gas and missile development. But Blix said there was still no immediate agreement on a key demand, using American U-2 surveillance planes to help inspections.

    "We are not at all at the end of the road," Blix told The Associated Press. "But nevertheless I'm bound to note, to register, nuances and this I think was a new nuance."

    The weekend session, ahead of Blix and ElBaradei's report this week to the U.N. Security Council, could help decide the next steps taken by the council in the months-long standoff that has left the Middle East suspended between war and peace.

    With tens of thousands of American troops in the Persian Gulf preparing for war, President George W. Bush reiterated that it was time for action against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

    Saddam "wants the world to think that hide-and-seek is a game that we should play. And it's over," Mr. Bush told congressional Republicans at a policy conference. "It's a moment of truth for the United Nations. The United Nations gets to decide shortly whether or not it is going to be relevant in terms of keeping the peace, whether or not its words mean anything."

    However, many governments were looking for any sign from the two inspectors that the Iraqis might be responding to international pressure and that war could be avoided.

    In the wake of Blix's comments, Donald Anderson, Labor Party chairman of the British foreign affairs select committee, said he hoped Prime Minister Tony Blair would now tell President Bush that the inspectors needed more time.

    Anderson urged the prime minister to tell the Americans that it would be "illegitimate" and "extremely unwise" to move to war without a "much clearer mandate" from the Security Council, where opposition to armed conflict is strong.

    Germany's defense minister said Sunday the Germany and France would present a proposal to the Security Council next week to send U.N. soldiers to disarm Iraq — a plan U.S. officials denounced as ineffective.

    And Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose country holds veto powers on the council — reiterated his strong opposition to military action against Baghdad.

    "We are convinced that efforts for a peaceful resolution of the situation regarding Iraq should be persistently continued," Putin told journalists after talks with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in Berlin.

    Putin also rejected U.S. goals of a "regime change" in Iraq. "The task of reckoning with Saddam Hussein does not stand before us," Putin said in an interview with France-3 television, part of which was aired on Russian television Sunday. "There is nothing in the U.N. Charter that would allow the U.N. Security Council to make a decision to change the political regime of one country or another
    whether we like that regime or not."

    Blix and ElBaradei, who make their next report to the U.N. Security Council on Friday, had gone into their weekend talks in Baghdad to press for greater cooperation on a range of issues — technical matters, such as using the U-2s and getting private access to scientists, and issues of substance, including answers to outstanding questions on biological and chemical weapons.

    Blix told AP on Sunday that whereas in the past weeks Iraqi officials "belittled" the inspectors' demands, "for the first time today I think they were focusing upon these issues."

    "I perceive a beginning," Blix told reporters earlier. "Breakthrough is a strong word for what we are seeing." But he added: "I would much rather see inspections than some other solution," referring to Washington's threats to launch a military strike.

    Blix said he had received assurances that Iraq would expand a commission to search for weapons and weapons programs and "relevant documents nationwide," and that he had hopes that Iraq was taking the disarmament issue seriously

    During the two days of meetings, the Iraqis submitted a number of documents related to outstanding issues of anthrax, VX nerve gas and Iraqi missile development, Blix said.

    He said those documents would have to be reviewed intensively by U.N. experts in the coming days to determine their value. Blix also said he was hopeful that Iraq would soon enact legislation banning weapons of mass destruction.

    Blix also said "we had some discussions with their scientists," but he did not elaborate.

    ElBaradei said the talks showed "hopefully a beginning of a change of heart" from the Iraqis.

    But he said that with the Security Council "impatient," he and Blix told the Iraqis "we want to see quick progress, drastic change. Something spectacular has to happen, a new environment in the next days and weeks."

    On the issue of U-2 flights, Blix said he expected the Iraqis to respond by Friday. The Iraqis have refused to accept U-2 flights unless the United States and Britain suspend air patrols in the "no-fly" zones while the spy plane is aloft.

    In other developments Sunday:

    U.N. inspectors found another empty chemical rocket warhead at an ammunition depot north of Baghdad. Inspectors have found 18 such warheads during inspections over recent weeks although none have been loaded with chemical agents.

    Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri visited Iran in a surprise diplomatic move. Tehran, a leading opponent of Saddam Hussein's regime, has rejected military intervention without U.N. approval.

    Pope John Paul II ordered a special envoy sent to Iraq to emphasize his plea for peace and to encourage Iraqi authorities to cooperate with the United Nations.

    Coalition aircraft patrolling the no-fly zone in southern Iraq attacked an Iraqi military mobile command and control center near Al Kut, about 95 miles southeast of Baghdad, U.S. Central Command said.

    Kuwait, a likely staging ground for a U.S. attack on Iraq, welcomed a decision by fellow Persian Gulf states to send troops from their combined military force to defend it against any Iraqi threats.

  • Iraq turns over documents on anthrax, missiles (‘Change of heart’Maybe)

    02/09/2003 9:03:18 PM PST · 24 of 105
    A Patriot Son to blam
    United Nations troops to enforce tighter penalties — all in a bid to head off an American-led attack to rid Iraq

    if United Nations troops go in Frist befor the American what will Bush do??

  • Iraq turns over documents on anthrax, missiles (‘Change of heart’Maybe)

    02/09/2003 8:59:01 PM PST · 14 of 105
    A Patriot Son to blam
    United Nations troops to enforce tighter penalties — all in a bid to head off an American-led attack to rid Iraq
  • Iraq turns over documents on anthrax, missiles (‘Change of heart’Maybe)