Tuesday, May 01, 2007

RE: Here's what I will sound like after 6 more months as Pan Man

I have had the same thing happen.

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Pan Man
Date: May 1, 2007 12:13 AM

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RE: Calif veterans, some still on active duty, speak out...

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Patriots Speak Out ®©
Date: May 1, 2007 12:20 AM

Calif veterans, some still on active duty, speak out against U.S. presence in Iraq

See it as a matter of conscience.
By Rone Tempest, Times Staff Writer
April 30, 2007

CriticA change of mind

WALNUT CREEK, CALIF. — Off duty in Baghdad, Army Sgt. Ronn Cantu operates an antiwar website.

When not repairing Black Hawk helicopters for the California National Guard, Jabbar Magruder conducts counterrecruiting sessions with would-be enlistees.

Fresh from two tours each in Iraq, decorated former Marines Sean O'Neill and Mike Ergo give antiwar speeches at Northern California high schools.

Although their numbers are still small compared with the draft-fueled Vietnam veterans' movement four decades ago, California's Iraq veterans are gaining a voice in opposition to America's continued military presence in Iraq. Recent antiwar demonstrations in Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities have seen the first sizable contingents of veterans from the conflict.

The protesters even include some soldiers — like Cantu, of Los Angeles — who are still on active duty. "I've taken a public antiwar stance," Cantu, 29, recently e-mailed from Baghdad, where he serves in intelligence with the 1st Cavalry Division, "but I didn't shirk my responsibilities."

O'Neill, a 24-year-old Marine veteran from Fremont, said he likes to take the antiwar message to conservative areas of the state "to add legitimacy and to show that it is not just crazed leftists who are against the war."

For the most part, the military has tolerated the antiwar activities of its active-duty soldiers and reservists.

"While not on duty or in uniform, our service members maintain similar rights as other Americans," said Lt. Col. Jon Siepmann, director of public affairs for the California National Guard. "There are, however, limitations that exist to ensure the good order and discipline of the service and to maintain an effective chain of command."

The only significant court case related to antiwar activity, the court-martial of Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada at Ft. Lewis, Wash., ended in a mistrial in February. Watada was charged with "conduct unbecoming an officer" for antiwar statements he made before Veterans for Peace and other organizations and for refusing to deploy with his unit to Iraq. A new court-martial is set for July.

Cantu belongs to an organization called Iraq Veterans Against the War and is an active antiwar blogger. Except for a letter of admonishment he was given for his largely antiwar website http://www.soldiersvoices.net , he said, "the Army has respected my rights."

After he registered his website and promised not to post pictures of himself in uniform, he was left alone.

"A lot of soldiers have the belief that freedom of speech doesn't apply to us, but that couldn't be further from the truth," Cantu said. "Since speaking out, I've been part of two Army briefings where we were explicitly told that freedom of speech applies to us."

Legal scholars sense a softening on the part of the military on free-speech issues since the discordant Vietnam era.

"There is a much more nuanced idea of what it means to 'support the troops.' Both sides now use that slogan," said Diane Amann, a constitutional law professor at UC Davis.

"It is a very different atmosphere from the last time around. It is much easier to see those in uniform as part of the great circle of society."

Iraq Veterans Against the War is modeled on Vietnam Veterans Against the War, which was founded in 1967 and played a high-profile role in the antiwar movement of that era. But the Iraq group does not yet have the same political traction as its predecessor, which had the concurrent anti-draft movement to help fill its ranks.

With an estimated 700 active members nationwide, the organization has a simple platform: the immediate withdrawal of all troops, improved treatment for soldiers upon their return and a national contribution to the reconstruction of postwar Iraq.

Sgt. Jabbar Magruder, 24, served in Iraq in 2005 and is still a member of the California National Guard while he attends Cal State Northridge as a pre-med major.

In his civilian mode, he serves as secretary of the Los Angeles chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War, attends antiwar demonstrations and meets with students on college campuses. He recently traveled to Hawaii to speak to potential military recruits about the Iraq war and was one of nearly 1,000 regular military, National Guard and Reserve members who signed an Appeal for Redress that was delivered to Congress in January.

The three-sentence appeal reads: "As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases in Iraq. Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for U.S. troops to come home."

Like most members of his organization, Magruder is not a pacifist but is opposed to the U.S. policy in Iraq. "For me, it was all about the weapons of mass destruction. When we didn't find any, that was the final straw," he said.

But during weekend and summer training drills with the National Guard, Magruder said, he is all soldier. "I can't go to drill and all of a sudden shout I'm against the war. When I'm in uniform, I have to play that role. I don't like people who proselytize anyway."

Magruder, who was posted at a U.S. airbase near Tikrit, Iraq, said he gets along well with his Guard colleagues, even those who still support the war. "I don't have any trouble in my unit," he said, "because I went with them to Iraq and they respect me for that."

Mike Ergo, a 24-year-old former Marine who served two tours in Iraq, participated in the bloody assault on Fallouja in November 2004. "I lost my best friend," Ergo said. "My battalion lost 21 people."

The solidly built Ergo, an honors student at a Bay Area community college, has a large, colorful tattoo on his right shoulder that reads "Born to Fight." His left forearm bears a tattoo of a sword-wielding St. Michael carrying the scales of justice and standing on a vanquished enemy. Ergo said he got that tattoo after he killed his first insurgent in Iraq.

Sitting at a Starbucks near his Walnut Creek home, Ergo explained how his views changed from being gung-ho on Iraq to being against the war.

"When I got back and had time to sort out Sept. 11 and the events that led to Iraq, I began to question things," said Ergo, a jazz saxophonist who gave up a college music scholarship to join the Marines.

"At first, I didn't understand that you could be proud of military service and still be opposed to a specific war. All of us are ready to die if necessary for a noble cause. I was just mad that this cause wasn't worth dying for."

Like Magruder, Ergo said his fellow Marines have responded mostly positively to his activities: "My former executive officer wrote me an e-mail saying he was proud of what I was doing."

At demonstrations, the physically fit, buzz-cut veterans stand out among protesters drawn largely from the extreme left or special-interest causes.

"A lot of us were America's poster boys," said former Air Force Sgt. Tim Goodrich, 26, president of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

O'Neill, who now studies political science at UC Berkeley, sees his mission as providing credibility and legitimacy to the antiwar movement.

"Our job," said O'Neill, the son of a University of California administrator and a schoolteacher, "is to change the image and the aesthetic and the language of the left-leaning antiwar movement to make it less polarizing."

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RE: When Will U Look At The Facts & Quit Listening To Spins

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Save Our Troops, WE Won't Forget 911 !
Date: May 1, 2007 12:45 AM

GCN-Genesis Communication Network


(This is the very first sentence on the GOVT, NASA page entitled, "About the GCN")

About the GCN
A Brief Description...

There are two parts to the GRB Coordinates Network (GCN): (1) the real-time (& near real-time) distribution of GRB locations detected by various SPACECRAFT (Swift, HETE, INTEGRAL, IPN)

(need i say more?)

Please start looking at the facts, and quit listening to the spin!



FREE FALL (system's down)
Toll Road and a Pay Toilet (labotomized labrats)

See the real scientific evidence of what happened to the mass debris on 911. Where did it go? How do buildings vaporize?

Not from Thermate... themate cuts, but it doesnt vaporize everything into the air!
It doesnt leave hot spots of 3300 degrees+... it doesnt make 75% of the debris literally vaporized into NANO PARTICLES OF DUST!!!

...and THAT is what we watched... quit letting GCN or stunt artists who work for them ... tell you what you saw!

Judy Wood's official webside, ...janedoe0911

Dr. Wood 9/11 Interviews ... These are great cutting edge experts...click here...Listen

Clemson University

Billiard Balls

NONEX Rock Breaking technology

Members of Scholars for 911 Truth

Brief Biographical Sketch for
Judy D. Wood, Ph.D.

Website: http://janedoe0911.tripod.com/

email: janedoe0911@yahoo.com

Judy D. Wood is a mechanical engineer with research interests in experimental stress analysis, structural mechanics, optical methods, deformation analysis, and the materials characterization of biomaterials and composite materials. She is a member of the Society for Experimental Mechanics (SEM), co-founded SEM’s Biological Systems and Materials Division, and currently serves on the SEM Composite Materials Technical Division.

Dr. Wood received her

B.S. (Civil Engineering, 1981) (Structural Engineering),
M.S (Engineering Mechanics (Applied Physics), 1983), and
Ph.D. (Materials Engineering Science, 1992) from the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Her dissertation involved the development of an experimental method to measure thermal stresses in bimaterial joints. She has taught courses including
Experimental Stress Analysis,
Engineering Mechanics,
Mechanics of Materials (Strength of Materials)
Strength of Materials Testing
From 1999 to 2006 Dr. Wood has been an assistant professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina. Before moving to Clemson she spent three years as a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Virginia Tech. Dr. Wood is currently writing a book with Morgan Reynolds on the physical evidence explaining the events on 9/11.
One of Dr. Wood’s research interests is biomimicry, or applying the mechanical structures of biological materials to engineering design using engineering materials. Other recent research has investigated the deformation behavior of materials and structures with complex geometries and complex material properties, such as fiber-reinforced composite materials and biological materials. Dr. Wood is an expert in the use of moiré interferometry, a full-field optical method that is used in stress analysis. Dr. Wood has over 60 technical publications in refereed journals, conference proceedings, and edited monographs and special technical reports.

Dr. Wood started to question the events of 9/11 on that same day when what she saw and heard on television was contradictory and appeared to violate the laws of physics. Since that day she has used her knowledge of engineering mechanics to prove that the collapse of the World Trade Center twin towers could not have happened as the American public was told.

From Judy Wood's web page on Star Wars Energy Beams

Page 1
I. Foreword
II. Introduction

III. Bathtub
·Design and purpose
·Evidence of no damage

IV. Earthquakes
·Earthquake vs. 9/11
·Kingdome vs. Twin Towers

Page 2
V. WTC and Kingdome
·Comparison of Potential Energy
·Bankers Trust

Page 3
VI. Pulverized to dust
·What steel was shipped to China?
·Dustification of material
·Snowballs and Bullet Holes
·WTC3, Bill Biggart's last photos
·How much Dust would a building make?
·Kingdome debris
·WFC2 and WFC3

Page 4
VII. Holes
··To Murray and Church Streets
··Missing Wall
··WTC5 (fuselage?)

·Going underground (Holes in the Street)
··Hole #2
··Mall Rescue
··Hot Spot

Page 5
VIII. Toasted Cars
· Introduction
· Peeling Appearance
·Other Anomalies
·Lower Manhattan (picture)
·FDR Drive
·Toasted Interior (picture)
·Burning Cars
·Missing Windows

Page 6
IX. Bankers Trust

X. Planes Ordered to Land

XI. Explosions

XII.WTC7 versus the Twin Towers
· Traditional CD doesn't do this

XIII. Eyewitness testimony

XIV. Technique

Page 7
XV. Does Such Technology Exist?
· testing
· toasting
· no Collapse video
· Dr. Douglas J. Beason
· Energy

I. Foreword

This website is under construction. Due to the seriousness of this issue, we felt it was important to present the analysis and data as soon as possible. (Following the murder of my student, Michael Zebuhr, a truly extraordinary human being, I received an email stating, "we've done it before and we will do it again if need be.") Therefore, expect this website to be added to and updated over the next several days. Michael told me, "Whatever happens, don't ever stop pursuing this. It's too important." Michael, this is for you.
17 October 2006
Ambrose I. Lane talks with special guest Dr. Judy Wood about her evidence for the use of high-energy weapons in destroying the WTC Towers. "We Ourselves" with host Ambrose I. Lane Sr. on The Power XM Channel 169, archive, (mp3-1)(mp3-2)(mp3-3)

29 November 2006
Judy Wood narrates these pages web pages on "The Dynamic Duo" with Jim Fetzer
Genesis Communications Network, gcnlive.com, archive, (mp3-1)(mp3-2)

6 December 2006
Morgan Reynolds discusses these pages on "The Dynamic Duo" with Jim Fetzer
Genesis Communications Network, gcnlive.com, archive, (mp3-1)(mp3-2)

II. Introduction

If we are to understand what happened to the World Trade Center (WTC) buildings, we need to start with the evidence. The best theory about what happened to the WTC should explain all the real evidence.

So what types of evidence are available?

1. Current visual evidence (are the Twin Towers gone?)

2. Eyewitness testimony (What did witnesses of diverse credibility say they thought they saw and heard, interviewed how many days after the event?)

3. Physical evidence in the form of actual physical items (carefully preserved?, chain of custody? tampering?, evaluation methods documented?, access to materials by other scientists?)

4. Photographs (validity of the object(s) in question?, how placed there?, subsequent tampering?, photographer?, chain of custody?, photo raw or manipulated?)

5. Video footage (same questions apply as with photos) and

6. Expert witness testimony (credentials?, credibility?, quality of analysis?).

The quality, credibility and validity of different pieces of evidence varies. The strongest evidence is physical evidence and the strongest physical evidence is undisputed and corroborated by other evidence. Valid physical evidence should form a consistent whole and yield an integrated picture of what happened.

A nearly limitless supply of photos and videos of the actual destruction and aftermath of the WTC event on 9/11 forms a rich database of physical evidence. These photos, for the most part, are undisputed, mutually reinforcing and consistent with other types of evidence. Only in rare cases, like alleged molten metal flowing from an upper floor of WTC 2 shortly before its complete destruction, are photos and videos disputed and uncorroborated.

From: WAKE UP!

911 TRUTH South Carolina

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RE: German town near 100% Renewable Power

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Ry anti-neocons
Date: Apr 30, 2007 10:26 PM

Date: May 1, 2007 12:20 PM

posted by Intuition

German Town Will Soon Use 100% Renewable Power


There's a small town in Germany called Dardesheim, that relies almost entirely on renewable sources for its energy needs. The town's goal is to use 100% renewable power, and become known as German's "Town of Renewable Energies". Dardesheim already has some huge wind turbines in place, and many solar roofs installed. Last year they installed an amazing 62 megawatts of wind power, including one 6 megawatt turbine, the E112.

Paul Gipe writes in Wind Works:

The E112 alone is expected to produce from 12 to 15 million kWh per year, enough to meet the electrical needs of 4,000 households in this region of Germany. Altogether, the wind turbines will generate from 120 to 130 million kWh annually, enough to meet the needs of nearly all the 80,000 residents of the county. And if the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow they don't need a large battery storage they fire up a biomass plant to generate the electricity from plant residues, wood pellets and manure.

This isn't the first that the villages have been exposed to renewable energy. Four pioneering wind turbines were installed in the mid-1990s, collectively producing one million kWh per year. The more extensive project has been in the works since then.

They also installed nine different solar PV plants: five private projects totaling 170 kW, and four projects at the Druiberg wind plant totaling 210 kW. During their first year of operation the combined 380 kW of solar PV generated nearly 250,000 kWh, about one-third of the Dardesheim's domestic electricity consumption.


The town of Dardesheim also wants to attract tourists who are interested in renewable energy. They've built a renewable energy information center (on a former anti-ballistic missile radar station), and this year they also expect to install a large wind turbine fitted out with a observation platform.


For more information on Dardesheim, see this Wind Works article.

Filed Under: Renewable Power

Related Entries:

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RE: Disclosure Project News / Updates

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: UFOtv
Date: Apr 30, 2007 10:38 PM

Noteworthy News -
from other sources.

Saturday April 21, 2007, 8:00 PM PDT
(11 PM EDT)
- Dr. Steven Greer and Carol Rosin on
Exopolitics Radio
Listen live or to the archived show at:


World Puja: Dr. Steven Greer was intervied on Dr. Meg's show on
Wednesday April 11th. Listen to the archived show at:

Needed immediately Professional Publicist
to get the Disclosure Project in front of major news media at this crucial time as
the French are releasing their space agency documents. Very limited budget. We
will write the releases, but need someone with connections to get them out. Please contact us
at media@disclosureproject.org -
(March 30, 20007)

Push for Congressional Hearings!
Call these congressional contacts and request
that they set up congressional hearings on UFOs and give them
information to contact the Disclosure Project to help set up the hearings!

Ask the 2008 Presidential
what they would do about secrecy and Disclosure! Go to their
town meetings and rallies, fax letters, email, or call them!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 - Dr. Steven Greer was interviewed by Ken Rasmussen on his
"Commute Faster Energy Hour" radio program. Listen at:

A Great Way to Support the Disclosure Project -- Frequent Flyer Miles
Donations Needed!
- A large portion of our budget goes to travel. If you have extra frequent
flyer miles that you could donate, we could use them to get Dr. Steven Greer to events, to bring
witnesses in for testimony, get people to conferences to represent The Disclosure Project and many
other necessary activities that now cost a bundle. It needs to be enough for a full ticket on whichever airline
you have accumulated the miles. If you have a lot of miles, that could be helpful too as we often
have overseas travel possibilities that would move the project forward. Please let us know how many
miles you can donate and on which airline. When we can use them we will contact you. This would be
hugely helpful to the project and a great way to put unused miles to good use. Let's move things
forward one ticket at a time. Please send an email to updates@disclosureproject.org if
you wish to help us with this. Many thanks!

4 Hour DVD Now Available!
This DVD has the same contents as 4 Hour VHS video of the witness testimonies.

, including CSETI Research Expeditions and

and Dr. Greer's Lectures on his new book "Hidden Truth" with booksignings
afterward. Click here for more details!

CIA Memorandum Subject: Task Force Report on Greater CIA Openness
- dated December 1991
(Page 10 is missing)
- June 2004
[PDF File - 4.85 Megabyte]
Read Each page in JPG format

Note: This memo supports "Media Play" -
by Steven M. Greer, M.D - most notably on page 6,
which says "PAO [Public Affairs Office] now has relationships with reporters from every major wire service,
newspaper, news weekly, and television network in the nation. This has helped us turn some intelligence
failure stories into intelligence success stories, and it has contributed to the accuracy of countless others.
In many instances, we have persuaded reporters to postpone, change, hold, or even scrap stories that
could have adversely affected national security interests or jeopardized sources and methods." Read more
documents at

Program Organizer/Promoter Needed - The Disclosure Project is seeking a professional
special events organizer/promoter for special conferences, lectures and workshops.
The applicant must have a proven track record of professional, successful event organization and promotion, PR, logistics, mailing lists,
networking and event coordination. Compensation based on performance. In addition, this person must have
attended at least 1 CSETI training/research
. Please send your resume
and description of past successful event coordination to:
The Disclosure Project, PO Box 265, Crozet, VA 22932-0265 USA, or email:
media@disclosureproject.org (and if you have any questions).

Articles and Position Papers by
Dr. Steven Greer and others

Order Dr. Greer's new Book: Hidden Truth -
Forbidden Knowledge
with or without a meditation CD

Click Here to Read about the Book.

Click Here to Order

News from Canada

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RE: Sir no Sir and Ground Truth on Sundance

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Pamela's Protest
Date: Apr 30, 2007 10:08 PM

Sir no Sir and Ground Truth on Sundance

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Freedom-Fight.com
Date: Apr 30, 2007 5:52 PM

On Monday May 7th 2007...there will be an historic night of GI resistance on national
television as the Sundance Channel presents the U.S. broadcast
premiere of both
Sir! No Sir! and The Ground Truth:

Sir! No Sir!
Monday, May 7
The Sundance Channel
9 pm Pacific and Eastern
Check your local listings for Central and Mountain times.

The Ground Truth
Monday, May 7
The Sundance Channel
10:30 pm Pacific and Eastern
Check your local listings for Central and Mountain times.

This is a wonderful chance for millions of people to see these
films that, together, link the tremendous movement of American soldiers
against the Vietnam war with the growing opposition
among soldiers to the Iraq war today.

*After all, one good surge deserves another*


1. Not Everyone has the Sundance Channel...

2. So if you
do, PLEASE organize a house party to watch the films
and spread their
influence among soldiers and civilians alike.

In preparation, to help spread the films, WWW.SIRNOSIR.COM is offering these specials:

The Director's Edition DVD of the film and 1 1/2 hours of additional stories will be on SALE through May 15th
$19.95 (from $23.95)

The Limited Edition DVD, with the film and "Punk Ass Crusade" counter-recruitment video,
is now available in bulk at a DISCOUNTED RATE:
5 for $50
10 for $80
15 for $105
20 for $120

(All plus shipping and handling)

The Ground Truth is also available in bulk at http://groundtruthstore.seenon.com/



RE: Verichip Forced Chipping-All the Videos-Vigil Info-Pass ON!!

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: NoVerichipInside.com
Date: Apr 30, 2007 10:18 PM

***Please note all the videos we have done are at the end of this bulletin .****

No event showcases the true intentions Verichip Corporation to a greater extent than a forced implantation of Alzheimer's patients in the hope of raising their plummeting stock on the Nasdaq.

Without consent and without morals , Verichip is hoping to raise the amount of citizens that are chipped by coralling and herding non-consenting patients who are already victims of life due to their illness. To take advantage and exploit these helpless individuals is despicable and morally bankrupt . We urge you to make time and be present at the Vigil , as it is events such as these that shape the future of mankind. It is up to people like you who understand what is at stake to make time and be present whilst meeting people of like mind so we can take this important and vital message to the masses.

Ensure you also forward this email to your friends and family to raise awareness of both the event and the human chipping inventorying issue.

Without YOU , there is no movement.

We the People Will Not Be Chipped Movement stands hand in hand with Anti Chips in full solidarity against Verichip Corporation.

Support the May 12th Prayer Vigil

May 12th Prayer Vigil
Please join us on May 12th, 2007, for a prayer vigil outside the Alzheimer's Community Care Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Further Action:

If you wish to send Alzcare a letter showcasing your disgust at their human trials.

Mailing Address:
PO Box 10498, Zephyr Cove, NV 89448

Phone :

Greg 'No Verichip Inside' Nikolettos

 Death To Verichip – We the People will Not Be Chipped

IBM , Verichip and the Fourth Reich

Operation Lie and Deceive - Verichip Style

Welcome to the Machines - Hypnotized into the Mainframe

Your Papers Please

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The Dark Poet

RE: Bill Hicks (RIP) discusses J.F.K.

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Impeach GeOgre/ 9.11 Truth
Date: Apr 30, 2007 9:41 PM

Mature viewers only, please...

and another topic (re: rush limbaugh)

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RE: Pelosi, Conyers, the People, and Impeachment

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Patriots Speak Out ®©
Date: Apr 30, 2007 9:51 PM


Original Content at http://www.opednews.com/


April 30, 2007

Pelosi, Conyers, the People, and Impeachment

By David Swanson

By David Swanson

Speech delivered in Portland, Maine, at rally organized by http://www.maineimpeach.org onApril 28th national day of impeachment events organized by http://www.a28.org

I want to thank Maine Impeach dot org for putting this event together.  This is a wonderful crowd!  The paper on grounds for impeachment drafted by Maine Lawyers for Democracy is incredibly well done: http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/me

I spoke earlier today at a rally in Boston, Massachusetts, where one of the other speakers was Dan DeWalt, whose leadership and determination after many months led to the Vermont State Senate passing a resolution demanding the impeachment of Bush and Cheney.  We spoke at Faneuil Hall, where men like Wendell Phillips led a movement to abolish slavery, something the wise and knowing of that day said could not be done.  Those abolitionists made their movement a fight for freedom of the press.  And make no mistake: our struggle is the same.

The corporations that control our communications system do not report the grounds for impeachment, do not poll the public's support for it, and at least until today have not reported on our movement.  There have been exceptions, and the most significant has been the Boston Globe's Charlie Savage, who recently received a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on our President's habit of violating laws and announcing his intention to do so with so-called signing statements.  There can be no better grounds for impeachment than those public advertisements of criminality.

And there is hope that today may mark a breakthrough in compelling the media to cover impeachment.  In fact, I just did a television interview in the foyer.  Events are being held in 43 states and several foreign countries today.  Some are holding rallies.  Others are spelling out the word IMPEACH with their bodies on beaches, with boats on lakes, with pizzas on boardwalks.  I just got a text message that said "Everyone is taking off their clothes and spelling IMPEACH on the beach at Coney Island."  I just got a phone call from Seattle where they've stretched hug IMPEACH banners over the highways.  A fleet of seven airplanes is taking the impeachment message to the skies and photographing the displays below.  And Bush is giving a speech in Miami where a huge crowd is gathered, but they're not there to welcome him.

Part of what has given this movement energy is the action that a Congressman from Cleveland, Ohio, took last Tuesday.  Rep. Dennis Kucinich introduced House Resolution 333, which contains 3 articles of impeachment against Richard B. Cheney.  The Congress Members from Maine need to cosponsor this bill or defend the actions of Dick Cheney.  Kucinich is a hero now to millions of Americans and to people around the world, but he merely did his duty, it was a long time coming, and it is his duty to impeach Bush as well.

At stake is not just an offensive use of signing statements.  At stake is accountability for (and I am neither exaggerating nor using metaphor) – at stake is accountability for mass murder.  A war based on lies and launched by an unelected president and vice president has cost the lives of approximately a million Iraqis, caused millions more to flee their country, and displaced many more within Iraq.  In the process, over 3,000 US troops have died, tens of thousands have been wounded, and been driven into debt and divorce and been left to struggle with post traumatic stress disorder.  

If one man on the streets of Portland, Maine, or some small American town, murdered one person, would prosecution be optional?  Would the local sheriff wait for years before asking the man's friends to come in and answer a few questions?  Would police and prosecutors stake their future careers on keeping the murderer at large?  But this is the 2008 election strategy of Sheriff Pelosi and her followers.  They want the war makers left free precisely because the public is outraged.  They want the war to keep going so that they can benefit by "opposing" it.  But November 2008 is too far off, and Pelosi will not be able to hold back the public pressure.  

At the start of 2007, which is now one-third wasted, the new Democratic committee chairmen tried to appease the citizenry with talk of investigations and oversight.  Four months later, the House and Senate intelligence committees have not investigated the lies that took us to war.  The judiciary committees and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee have looked into some related matters.  But officials who have testified have experienced extraordinary lapses of memory.  The unitary executive branch has refused to produce subpoenaed documents.  And now Condoleezza Rice says she's "not inclined" to obey a subpoena requiring her to appear and answer questions about forged documents that were used to mislead our nation into war.  She's not claiming executive privilege.  What sense would that make these years after the crime was committed?  She's claiming unitary executive privilege – the privilege to violate the law.

Congress can't compel Rice to appear, and neither can our courts.  Law enforcement is handled by the executive branch.  But executives who fail to faithfully execute the laws of this land can be removed from office.  That power lies solely with Congress and is called impeachment!

Last night on PBS, Bill Moyers celebrated the Democrats' beginning to use subpoenas.  For 6 years, he said, they had been suffering from subpoena envy.  I'm afraid they now may be experiencing premature congratulation, and self-congratulation.  If subpoenas are ignored, the options for Congress Members, including Chairman Henry Waxman, are: backing impeachment, or retiring.  And I don't want Congressman Waxman to retire.  

I'm usually asked to speak about the evidence for impeachment, and frankly I'm a little tired of it.  We've got enough smoking guns to fill an NRA convention.  The evidence that Bush and Cheney intentionally lied to Congress (which is a felony) and to the public (which is an assault on democracy) about weapons of mass destruction and alleged Iraqi ties to al Qaeda and 9-11 is overwhelming.  The Maine Lawyers have spelled it out, and it is collected at http://www.afterdowningstreet.org

Bush and Cheney are on video telling these lies.  Cheney repeatedly visited the CIA headquarters to pressure them to get it wrong – a story we may hear about in George Tenet's forthcoming book.  Cheney set up a phony intelligence operation in the Pentagon, distorted a National Intelligence Estimate, leaked misleading bits of classified information, and helped coordinate a marketing campaign to promote the war.  Cheney led a campaign to punish Joe Wilson for exposing one of the lies – the same lie that Rice now refuses to talk about.  The campaign involved exposing an undercover CIA agent, and act of TREASON.  Cheney has directed contracts to Halliburton and profited there from, an act of BRIBERY.  Cheney has allowed secret meetings of corporate executives to determine our national energy and military policies, a HIGH CRIME And MISDEMEANOR.  A section of the US Constitution that was displayed last Thursday on a giant banner dropped in the courtyard of the Hart Senate Office Building (for which 14 people were arrested) says that officers of our government shall be removed from office upon impeachment for and conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.  With Dick Cheney you get the whole package.

With George W. Bush it's worse.  No investigation is needed to expose his war lies, or his spying in violation of the law.  He's on video for years lying about warrantless spying and later brazenly confessing to it.  He's on video being warned about Hurricane Katrina.  He's on video claiming he wasn't warned.  Both Bush and Cheney are on video threatening an aggressive attack on Iran.  Such a threat – just the threat – violates the UN Charter and Article 6 of the US Constitution.  As does the war on Iraq and all the war crimes that have been part of it.  And Bush and Cheney are responsible for the actions of their subordinates, including Alberto Gonzales, especially those actions they do not investigate or hold anyone accountable for.  

Bush has detained without charge, held people in secret prisons, and tortured.  These facts are not in dispute.  The crimes are simply so brazen, so radical, so far over the line of decency, such a retreat to the evils of monarchy that American revolutionaries thought they were leaving behind, that people are pretending not to see, and the media is not helping.

While no investigations are needed, hearings could help better inform the public.  But the media only covers hearings with big-name witnesses, and they either forget everything they've done or refuse to appear.  The problem, in any case, is not the public.  It's Congress.  How can we persuade Congress Members, other than Kucinich, maybe even a Congressman from Maine, to act?

The answer is not convincing them that impeachable offenses have been committed.  They know it.  Thirty-nine Congress Members in early 2006 signed onto House Resolution 635 to create an investigation into impeachment.  At least one new freshman member was elected campaigning on impeachment, and many campaigning on accountability.  They want impeachment.  They know their duty.  But Pelosi and the media are against it, with only the public for it.  Who wins this struggle is a question of how active the public becomes and how smart we are.  

We need to pressure Pelosi directly, but also indirectly.  We need to raise hell until the media polls Americans on their support for impeaching Cheney and Bush.  Or we need to raise funds to pay for state-level or national polls.  We need to take those results to our Congress Members' offices and put them in their hands.  There will be a majority for impeaching Bush and two-thirds for Cheney.  I guarantee it.

We need to meet with editorial boards and persuade them to take a position for or against Dick Cheney.  We need to demand that the media cover our events, or we need to hold our events in their lobbies and offices.  Isn't there a newspaper near here?  If they're not here with us, we should ALL go pay them a visit when we're done.

We need to lobby the progressive Democrats to join Kucinich, especially those on the House Judiciary Committee and especially Chairman John Conyers.  And we need to talk to these politicians in terms they understand: election gains and losses.  Impeachment, for many of us, is not about elections or parties or individuals.  It is about restoring limitations to the offices of the presidency and the vice presidency.  But that won't move Pelosi or persuade many Democrats to defy her.  It is, however, what they should talk about when they do step forward.  And they should ask Republicans to join them.  At least one Republican, Ron Paul, has said he favors impeachment.  Many rank and file Republicans cannot possibly want a Democrat to hold the powers Bush has assumed.  I certainly don't.

What Democrats in Congress need to feel is immediate public pressure painting them as defenders of Dick Cheney.  And what they need to be told is that impeachment is good for elections.  It is.  The Democrats held Nixon to account and won, and let Reagan off easy and lost.  The Republicans went after Truman and won.  They went after Clinton despite public opposition and still held onto power and began expanding it.  If the Democrats do not act, the public will see Iraq as their war and Bush as their president long before November 2008, and when election day comes, voters will stay home.

Democrats in Congress also have to be told that impeachment is not a distraction from ending the war or anything else worthwhile, but rather the way to achieve those goals.  Four months of avoiding impeachment has accomplished virtually nothing.  Anything that is accomplished will be vetoed or signing statemented.  In contrast, during Nixon's impeachment, Congress raised the minimum wage, created the Endangered Species Act, and ended a war.  And it was the pressure of impeachment that made those things possible.  And, as my friend and fellow agitator John Nichols points out, in 1973 the Speaker of the House Carl Albert said impeachment was off the table.  The Speaker clearly does not get the final word, because the table belongs to us.  

Of course, it's worse when the Speaker is taking her talking points from the White House.  That's what Pelosi did a year ago when the Republican National Committee announced with no evidence the absurd fantasy that talk of impeachment would be good for Republicans in the 2006 elections.  Pelosi immediately made the same announcement.  This bit of recent history needs to be made known, because what popular support the Democrats have comes from their opposing, not obeying, Bush.

In at least 16 states, the state Democratic Party has passed a resolution asking for impeachment.  The California Democratic Party is expected to pass such a resolution tomorrow, and when Pelosi hosts the dinner tonight, delegates plan to dramatically put impeachment on the table.  I got a phone call from San Diego, where they say they've spelled IMPEACH on the beach, and no one can get into the Democratic Convention without being greeted by impeachment advocates.  The right-wing San Diego Union Tribune has even run a story about it, featuring a photo of impeachment advocates Marcy Winograd and Cindy Asner, the wife of impeachment advocate and actor Ed Asner.  

Ultimately, all we want from Pelosi is neutrality.  If she won't lead or follow, she should step out of the way.  The minute she does, John Conyers will lead.  

"I have a choice," Conyers said last year.  "I can either stand by and lead my constituents to believe I do not care that the president apparently no longer believes he is bound by any law or code of decency.  Or I can act."

We need to remind John Conyers of this choice every day until he does act.  If he acts, he will be remembered as a hero.  If he does not act, some future Emerson will write of him words like those Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote of Webster:

Why did all manly gifts in Webster fail?
He wrote on Nature's grandest brow For Sale.

John Conyers' legacy deserves better than that.  For his own sake, we must pressure him to do what he knows is right.  I'm convinced that he wants us to pressure him.  I'm confident we will do so.  And I'm certain that Bush and Cheney will be impeached and removed from office before the end of their terms.

But if someone asks you whether impeachment is likely of unlikely, guaranteed or impossible, tell them that you are not a spectator, you're a citizen, and impeachment will happen because you're going to make it happen.  In two days it will be four years since Mission Accomplished was declared, and two years since the Downing Street Minutes were published.  We have our own mission to accomplish.  With no fear, no hesitation, and no sleep till impeachment.


David Swanson is the Washington Director of Democrats.com and co-founder of the AfterDowningStreet.org coalition, a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, and of the Backbone Campaign. He serves on a working group of United for Peace and Justice. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including Press Secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign. His website is www.davidswanson.org. In April 2007, Swanson began consulting part-time for Kucinich for President 2008.

Authors Website: http://www.davidswanson.org

Authors Bio: DAVID SWANSON is a co-founder of After Downing Street, a writer and activist, and the Washington Director of Democrats.com. He is a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, and serves on the Executive Council of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, TNG-CWA. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including Press Secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign, Media Coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as Communications Coordinator for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Swanson obtained a Master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia in 1997.

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RE: "Bin Laden" look alike arrest twice???? LOL Read!!

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ♥ Angel ♥ ™
Date: Apr 30, 2007 8:47 PM

Just like the "Saddam Look alike" they hung.

From: 9/11 Truth Minnesota

Woah hold it, does this "look alike not look like the man who Our Govt/ABC said was Bin Laden in a tape where he admits to launching 9/11 that Has BEEN PROVEN FAKE. Now our people arrest the same guy from the video below thinking it IS Bin Laden until they find out they are wrong.

Look-alike Arrested Twice; Close But No Bin Laden

An Afghan tribesman with an uncanny resemblance to Osama bin Laden has now been arrested twice, both times following reported sightings and massive manhunts for the al Qaeda leader, Pakistani intelligence officials tell ABC News.

Over six feet tall and with the same angular nose as bin Laden, Sher Akbar comes from an Afghan village, Bagh e Metal, in an area where U.S. officials believe bin Laden has been hiding.

Bin Laden is believed to be six feet four inches to six feet six inches tall and weigh 160 pounds. He is 50 years old.

The most recent arrest of bin Laden's near-twin came after Afghani officials reported informants saw bin Laden moving across the border into Pakistan, near the town of Chitral.

"We arrested this man as a result of this investigation, but it's not who you might think it is," a senior Pakistani intelligence official told ABC News, providing a photograph to make his point.

The official said an extensive investigation involving Pakistani and U.S. intelligence officers found that the look-alike has no connection to bin Laden, but that local residents had tried to collect rewards based on Akhbar's resemblance to bin Laden.

The United States has offered a $25 million reward for information that leads to the location of bin Laden.

Full story here
Bin Laden Look Alike Arrested
Gov't Is now caught red handed!!

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Engineered Ineptitude?!?

RE: Keith Olbermann 9/11 lies, lies, lies K.O.'d

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Pamela's Protest
Date: Apr 30, 2007 9:16 PM

Keith Olbermann 9/11 lies, lies, lies K.O.'d

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: bobby
Date: Apr 30, 2007 6:04 PM

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RE: 100 Dead Americans in Iraq - Holloway Top Story on CNN

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: El*A*Kwents- WAR IS VOID - END IT
Date: Apr 30, 2007 6:39 PM


----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Chris...
Date: Apr 30, 2007 6:33 PM

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ^ rkymtnrdr ^
Date: Apr 30, 2007 6:16 PM

Media is completely useless. CNN Headline News lead story is Natalie Holloway. 2 years after she disappeared. Anna Nicole Smith, Alec Baldwin, Heather Mills McCartney vs. Paul McCartney. What a national disgrace.

'Public' wars in two separate countries, 100+ Americans killed monthly at war, civil liberties being taken away regularly, a massive criminal conspiracy on 9/11, massive governmental corruption, etc.,etc.,etc.

None of this is covered on a regular basis by corporate media. What a whitewash.

God save the internet.

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RE: Waco '93: The Big Lie that started a Police State in America

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Pan Man
Date: Apr 30, 2007 6:40 PM

Just 2 days after the first World Trade Center bombing by "Islamic Terrorists", the ATF storm troopers attacked and killed
79 peaceful religious men and women, including 21 children and many elderly persons because it was suspected that they may have owned a "machine gun" for which a tax of $200 had not been payed, even though the commune leader, David Koresh flatly denied owning such a weapon on taped news interviews.
That's about $2.53 per life. The next big lies came in rapid succession and show no signs of letting up over 13 years later.
Past is prologue with fascist tyranny so study your history well, before it gets "disappeared" from the internet like so many other
"events" that now appear to have happened in another time-space continuum independent of the reality we all shared as Americans in the 20th and 21st centuries.

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RE: Quotes to Inspire! - Feel me??

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Travis Simmons
Date: Apr 30, 2007 6:43 PM

Put more trust in nobility of character than in an oath.
Solon (638 BC - 559 BC)

The truth is that there is nothing noble in being superior to somebody else. The only real nobility is in being superior to your former self.
Whitney Young (1921 - 1971)

What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?
Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 1948), "Non-Violence in Peace and War"

War is a cowardly escape from the problems of peace.
Thomas Mann (1875 - 1955)

War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other's children.
Jimmy Carter (1924 -

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.
Martin Luther King Jr.

I am adding this next quote again cause many people should have it on their page.

When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative.
Martin Luther King Jr.

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RE: Jewish Extremists Target Professor Kevin MacDonald

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The War Of Terror
Date: Apr 30, 2007 6:21 PM

btw mearsheimer & walt were/are both CFR. it might take a while bbut you'll find their names on one of these rosters:

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: the EVIDENCE speaks for itself
Date: 30 Apr 2007, 03:01 PM

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
Thanks: FLOWER
Date: Apr 30, 2007 1:38 PM

Thanks: Maclean
Date: Apr 30, 2007 2:22 PM

Copied from the blog of:
Götz von Berlichingen
Jewish Extremists Target Professor Kevin MacDonald
The SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center) has launched a full scale attack on Professor Kevin MacDonald. Here is an excellent letter from a Jewish professor about the attacks on Prof. MacDonald:
As a Jewish professor who has read Prof. Kevin MacDonald's trilogy (a work of immense and impeccable scholarship), I must say that he is right. In fact, he quotes many prominent Jewish leaders that say exactly what he says. Somehow, if a Gentile professor simply quotes Jewish leaders he becomes an "anti-Semite," if that is true then what are the leaders themselves?
I read with interest his work on the Jewish leadership in the long running campaign to change American immigration policies and transform America from a 90 percent European descended nation in 1960 into a nation where European Americans will become a minority. Jewish groups literally boast about this accomplishment.
Anyone can check out the citations for themselves.
Of course, as a Jew myself, I am very aware of Jewish cohesion, and although it is not perfect, I dare say that no people are earth are more organized and committed to their common interests. Ironically, though, when our Gentile competitors seek to look after their own interests, such as in the Mideast, we condemn them as anti-Semites. Does that make we Jews "anti-Gentiles?"
Every Jewish organization says that there needs to be even more Jewish solidarity, but somehow Kevin MacDonald just stating this truth has become an "anti-Semite." One could not even imagine a Gentile group saying that there needs to be more Gentile solidarity!
Who is it making this accusation against MacDonald? None other than Heidi Beirich and Mark Potok of the SPLC, the Southern Poverty Law Center. They are two Jews who never use the resources of the SPLC to expose supporters in the United States of Apartheid policies in Israel. Most Americans don't even know that in Israel a marriage between a Jew and Gentile is not legal, but the SPLC would be mighty upset if there were laws forbidding mixed marriages say between Blacks and Whites in America. Almost every Jewish organization in America has programs to fight against Jewish intermarriage with non-Jews. The SPLC is silent on that, but condemns and attacks any White organization that would campaign against intermarriage with non-Whites.
MacDonald is a scholar and is far from being an anti-Semite or racist of any kind. He is called that because he has dared to talk about the extreme ethnocentrism, even supremacism exhibited by some powerful Jewish groups in the United States. Liberal Jews in the United States, Israel, and all over the world are painfully aware of Jewish extremism, and we can talk about it to a degree, but woe to a Gentile professor who dares to speak about a reality that has powerful implications in the United States and around the world.
Professors Walt and Mearsheimer at the Harvard School of Government have exposed quite well the primary role of the Israeli (read Jewish) lobby in the catastrophe of the Iraq War.
Jewish political, economic and media power is the proverbial gorilla in the room that everyone is aware of but no one can speak about.
The attacks on Prof. MacDonald are testimony to his intelligence and his courage.
Sincerely, Prof. M.R.

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RE: Who Will Stop the US Shadow Army in Iraq

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: The War Of Terror
Date: Apr 30, 2007 5:39 PM

thanks: ~Wyzowl~Citizen Of Earth
Date: 30 Apr 2007, 02:32 PM

RE: Who Will Stop the US Shadow Army in Iraq

Well...I'm reposting this one for you my friend:
Soul Rebel
Date: Apr 30, 2007 2:18 PM

* I've been blocked twice while trying to post this article.... errrrrr!
I wrote and complained what a piece of crap their anti phishing software is and how it amounts to censorship.* - David

The original article is here (with lotsa important links and sources in the original article)...

Who Will Stop the US Shadow Army in Iraq?

By Jeremy Scahill

Monday 30 April 2007

Don't look to the Congressional Democrats.

The Democratic leadership in Congress is once again gearing up for a great sell-out on the Iraq war. While the wrangling over the $124 billion Iraq supplemental spending bill is being headlined in the media as a "show down" or "war" with the White House, it is hardly that. In plain terms, despite the impassioned sentiments of the anti-war electorate that brought the Democrats to power last November, the Congressional leadership has made clear its intention to keep funding the Iraq occupation, even though Sen. Harry Reid has declared that "this war is lost."

For months, the Democrats' "withdrawal" plan has come under fire from opponents of the occupation who say it doesn't stop the war, doesn't defund it, and insures that tens of thousands of U.S. troops will remain in Iraq beyond President Bush's second term. Such concerns were reinforced by Sen. Barack Obama's recent declaration that the Democrats will not cut off funding for the war, regardless of the President's policies. "Nobody," he said, "wants to play chicken with our troops."

As the New York Times reported, "Lawmakers said they expect that Congress and Mr. Bush would eventually agree on a spending measure without the specific timetable" for (partial) withdrawal, which the White House has said would "guarantee defeat." In other words, the appearance of a fierce debate this week, Presidential veto and all, has largely been a show with a predictable outcome.

The Shadow War in Iraq

While all of this is troubling, there is another disturbing fact which speaks volumes about the Democrats' lack of insight into the nature of this unpopular war - and most Americans will know next to nothing about it. Even if the President didn't veto their legislation, the Democrats' plan does almost nothing to address the second largest force in Iraq - and it's not the British military. It's the estimated 126,000 private military "contractors" who will stay put there as long as Congress continues funding the war.

The 145,000 active duty U.S. forces are nearly matched by occupation personnel that currently come from companies like Blackwater USA and the former Halliburton subsidiary KBR, which enjoy close personal and political ties with the Bush administration. Until Congress reins in these massive corporate forces and the whopping federal funding that goes into their coffers, partially withdrawing U.S. troops may only set the stage for the increased use of private military companies (and their rent-a-guns) which stand to profit from any kind of privatized future "surge" in Iraq.

From the beginning, these contractors have been a major hidden story of the war, almost uncovered in the mainstream media and absolutely central to maintaining the U.S. occupation of Iraq. While many of them perform logistical support activities for American troops, including the sort of laundry, fuel and mail delivery, and food-preparation work that once was performed by soldiers, tens of thousands of them are directly engaged in military and combat activities. According to the Government Accountability Office, there are now some 48,000 employees of private military companies in Iraq. These not-quite G.I. Joes, working for Blackwater and other major U.S. firms, can clear in a month what some active-duty soldiers make in a year. "We got 126,000 contractors over there, some of them making more than the secretary of Defense," said House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Murtha. "How in the hell do you justify that?"

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Henry Waxman estimates that $4 billion in taxpayer money has so far been spent in Iraq on these armed "security" companies like Blackwater - with tens of billions more going to other war companies like KBR and Fluor for "logistical" support. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of the House Intelligence Committee believes that up to forty cents of every dollar spent on the occupation has gone to war contractors.

With such massive government payouts, there is little incentive for these companies to minimize their footprint in the region and every incentive to look for more opportunities to profit - especially if, sooner or later, the "official" U.S. presence shrinks, giving the public a sense of withdrawal, of a winding down of the war. Even if George W. Bush were to sign the legislation the Democrats have passed, their plan "allows the President the leeway to escalate the use of military security contractors directly on the battlefield," Erik Leaver of the Institute for Policy Studies points out. It would "allow the President to continue the war using a mercenary army."

The crucial role of contractors in continuing the occupation was driven home in January when David Petraeus, the general running the President's "surge" plan in Baghdad, cited private forces as essential to winning the war. In his confirmation hearings in the Senate, he claimed that they fill a gap attributable to insufficient troop levels available to an overstretched military. Along with Bush's official troop surge, the "tens of thousands of contract security forces," Petraeus told the Senators, "give me the reason to believe that we can accomplish the mission." Indeed, Gen. Petraeus admitted that he has, at times, been guarded in Iraq not by the U.S. military, but "secured by contract security."

Such widespread use of contractors, especially in mission-critical operations, should have raised red flags among lawmakers. After a trip to Iraq last month, Retired Gen. Barry McCaffery observed bluntly, "We are overly dependant on civilian contractors. In extreme danger - they will not fight." It is, however, the political rather than military uses of these forces that should be cause for the greatest concern.

Contractors have provided the White House with political cover, allowing for a back-door near doubling of U.S. forces in Iraq through the private sector, while masking the full extent of the human costs of the occupation. Although contractor deaths are not effectively tallied, at least 770 contractors have been killed in Iraq and at least another 7,700 injured. These numbers are not included in any official (or media) toll of the war. More significantly, there is absolutely no effective system of oversight or accountability governing contractors and their operations, nor is there any effective law - military or civilian - being applied to their activities. They have not been subjected to military courts martial (despite a recent Congressional attempt to place them under the Uniform Code of Military Justice), nor have they been prosecuted in U.S. civilian courts - and, no matter what their acts in Iraq, they cannot be prosecuted in Iraqi courts. Before Paul Bremer, Bush's viceroy in Baghdad, left Iraq in 2004 he issued an edict, known as Order 17. It immunized contractors from prosecution in Iraq which, today, is like the wild West, full of roaming Iraqi death squads and scores of unaccountable, heavily-armed mercenaries, ex-military men from around the world, working for the occupation. For the community of contractors in Iraq, immunity and impunity are welded together.

Despite the tens of thousands of contractors passing through Iraq and several well-documented incidents involving alleged contractor abuses, only two individuals have been ever indicted for crimes there. One was charged with stabbing a fellow contractor, while the other pled guilty to the possession of child-pornography images on his computer at Abu Ghraib prison. While dozens of American soldiers have been court-martialed - 64 on murder-related charges - not a single armed contractor has been prosecuted for a crime against an Iraqi. In some cases, where contractors were alleged to have been involved in crimes or deadly incidents, their companies whisked them out of Iraq to safety.

As one armed contractor recently informed the Washington Post, "We were always told, from the very beginning, if for some reason something happened and the Iraqis were trying to prosecute us, they would put you in the back of a car and sneak you out of the country in the middle of the night." According to another, U.S. contractors in Iraq had their own motto: "What happens here today, stays here today."

Funding the Mercenary War

"These private contractors are really an arm of the administration and its policies," argues Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who has called for a withdrawal of all U.S. contractors from Iraq. "They charge whatever they want with impunity. There's no accountability as to how many people they have, as to what their activities are."

Until now, this situation has largely been the doing of a Republican-controlled Congress and White House. No longer.

While some Congressional Democrats have publicly expressed grave concerns about the widespread use of these private forces and a handful have called for their withdrawal, the party leadership has done almost nothing to stop, or even curb, the use of mercenary corporations in Iraq. As it stands, the Bush administration and the industry have little to fear from Congress on this score, despite the unseating of the Republican majority.

On two central fronts, accountability and funding, the Democrats' approach has been severely flawed, playing into the agendas of both the White House and the war contractors. Some Democrats, for instance, are pushing accountability legislation that would actually require more U.S. personnel to deploy to Iraq as part of an FBI Baghdad "Theater Investigative Unit" that would supposedly monitor and investigate contractor conduct. The idea is: FBI investigators would run around Iraq, gather evidence, and interview witnesses, leading to indictments and prosecutions in U.S. civilian courts.

This is a plan almost certain to backfire, if ever instituted. It raises a slew of questions: Who would protect the investigators? How would Iraqi victims be interviewed? How would evidence be gathered amid the chaos and dangers of Iraq? Given that the federal government and the military seem unable - or unwilling - even to count how many contractors are actually in the country, how could their activities possibly be monitored? In light of the recent Bush administration scandal over the eight fired US attorneys, serious questions remain about the integrity of the Justice Department. How could we have any faith that real crimes in Iraq, committed by the employees of immensely well-connected crony corporations like Blackwater and Halliburton, would be investigated adequately?

Apart from the fact that it would be impossible to effectively monitor 126,000 or more private contractors under the best of conditions in the world's most dangerous war zone, this legislation would give the industry a tremendous PR victory. Once it was passed as the law of the land, the companies could finally claim that a legally accountable structure governed their operations. Yet they would be well aware that such legislation would be nearly impossible to enforce.

Not surprisingly, then, the mercenary trade group with the Orwellian name of the International Peace Operations Association (IPOA) has pushed for just this Democratic-sponsored approach rather than the military court martial system favored by conservative Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. The IPOA called the expansion of the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act - essentially the Democrats' oversight plan - "the most cogent approach to ensuring greater contractor accountability in the battle space." That endorsement alone should be reason enough to pause and reconsider.

Then there is the issue of continued funding for the privatized shadow forces in Iraq. As originally passed in the House, the Democrats' Iraq plan would have cut only about 15% or $815 million of the supplemental spending earmarked for day-to-day military operations "to reflect savings attributable to efficiencies and management improvements in the funding of contracts in the military departments."

As it stood, this was a stunningly insufficient plan, given ongoing events in Iraq. But even that mild provision was dropped by the Democrats in late April. Their excuse was the need to hold more hearings on the contractor issue. Instead, they moved to withhold - not cut - 15% of total day-to-day operational funding, but only until Secretary of Defense Robert Gates submits a report on the use of contractors and the scope of their deployment. Once the report is submitted, the 15% would be unlocked. In essence, this means that, under the Democrats plan, the mercenary forces will simply be able to continue business-as-usual/profits-as-usual in Iraq.

However obfuscated by discussions of accountability, fiscal responsibility, and oversight, the gorilla of a question in the Congressional war room is: Should the administration be allowed to use mercenary forces, whose livelihoods depend on war and conflict, to help fight its battles in Iraq?

Rep. Murtha says, "We're trying to bring accountability to an unaccountable war." But it's not accountability that the war needs; it needs an end.

By sanctioning the administration's continuing use of mercenary corporations - instead of cutting off all funding to them - the Democrats leave the door open for a future escalation of the shadow war in Iraq. This, in turn, could pave the way for an array of secretive, politically well-connected firms that have profited tremendously under the current administration to elevate their status and increase their government paychecks.

Blackwater's War

Consider the case of Blackwater USA.

A decade ago, the company barely existed; and yet, its "diplomatic security" contracts since mid-2004, with the State Department alone, total more than $750 million. Today, Blackwater has become nothing short of the Bush administration's well-paid Praetorian Guard. It protects the U.S. ambassador and other senior officials in Iraq as well as visiting Congressional delegations; it trains Afghan security forces and was deployed in the oil-rich Caspian Sea region, setting up a "command and control" center just miles from the Iranian border. The company was also hired to protect FEMA operations and facilities in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, where it raked in $240,000 a day from the American taxpayer, billing $950 a day per Blackwater contractor.

Since September 11, 2001, the company has invested its lucrative government pay-outs in building an impressive private army. At present, it has forces deployed in nine countries and boasts a database of 21,000 additional troops at the ready, a fleet of more than 20 aircraft, including helicopter gun-ships, and the world's largest private military facility - a 7,000 acre compound near the Great Dismal Swamp of North Carolina. It recently opened a new facility in Illinois ("Blackwater North") and is fighting local opposition to a third planned domestic facility near San Diego ("Blackwater West") by the Mexican border. It is also manufacturing an armored vehicle (nicknamed the "Grizzly") and surveillance blimps.

The man behind this empire is Erik Prince, a secretive, conservative Christian, ex-Navy SEAL multimillionaire who bankrolls the President and his allies with major campaign contributions. Among Blackwater's senior executives are Cofer Black, former head of counterterrorism at the CIA; Robert Richer, former Deputy Director of Operations at the CIA; Joseph Schmitz, former Pentagon Inspector General; and an impressive array of other retired military and intelligence officials. Company executives recently announced the creation of a new privateintelligence company, "Total Intelligence," to be headed by Black and Richer.

For years, Blackwater's operations have been shrouded in secrecy. Emboldened by the culture of impunity enjoyed by the private sector in the Bush administration's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Blackwater's founder has talked of creating a "contractor brigade" to support US military operations and fancies his forces the "FedEx" of the "national security apparatus."

As the country debates an Iraq withdrawal, Congress owes it to the public to take down the curtain of secrecy surrounding these shadow forces that undergird the U.S. public deployment in Iraq. The President likes to say that defunding the war would undercut the troops. Here's the truth of the matter: Continued funding of the Iraq war ensures tremendous profits for politically-connected war contractors. If Congress is serious about ending the occupation, it needs to rein in the unaccountable companies that make it possible and only stand to profit from its escalation.

Jeremy Scahill is the author of the New York Times bestseller Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. He is currently a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at the Nation Institute.


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