Gas Price Manipulations, Disaster Scenarios, Military Censorship
Revealing News Articles
May 22, 2007
Below are key excerpts of important news articles you may have missed. These articles include revealing information on gas price manipulations, disaster scenarios, military censorship, and more. Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails to function, click here. Key sentences are highlighted for those with limited time. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.
Big Oil buys Sacramento
May 16, 2007, Los Angeles Times
Who's afraid of Big Oil? Apparently, California's elected officials. Gasoline prices are stuck well above last year's record highs and about 50 cents above the national average. Yet state politicians are not saying or doing a thing, except for raking in political cash from the oil companies and flying around the world on their dime. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ... once claimed that he was so rich he did not need anyone else's money. Yet as gasoline prices were breaking last year's record of $3.38 a gallon, Schwarzenegger collected a $100,000 check May 1 from Chevron, the West's largest refiner. Just three days earlier, it reported a $4.7-billion first-quarter profit, up 18% over the same period last year. The contribution brought Schwarzenegger's take from Chevron to $665,000 (making it his 15th largest donor) since 2003, and his total political tribute from the energy industry is now $4 million. According to a recent Schwarzenegger fundraising solicitation, Chevron's $100,000 buys the company special briefings with the governor. Refiners such as Chevron have discovered that they can make more money by producing less gasoline. So they do. They have, over more than 20 years, deliberately reduced their capacity. Chevron refined 22% less oil in the U.S. during the first quarter of this year than in the same quarter of 2006. Yet its total profit on U.S. refining increased 66%. Making less gasoline, it made much more money. Oil companies poured $90 million into California political campaigns during the 2006 election cycle. This display of sheer political muscle deters even well-meaning politicians from clashing with Big Oil. Democrats take Big Oil's millions too. The state Democratic Party accepted $50,000 from Chevron just last week.
Note: If above link fails, click here. So is it one person equals one vote in elections or one dollar one vote?
AAA wants gas-price inquiry
May 16, 2007, The San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
AAA asked the U.S. Senate Tuesday to investigate why oil companies are making huge profits at a time when glitches at gas refineries have caused pump prices to soar. "We are concerned about the number and frequency of refinery outages this year in light of the large profits the industry has been reporting," AAA Public Affairs Director Geoff Sundstrom told the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. "AAA doesn't know why refiners appear to be failing at this task, but we do think it would be worth the committee's time and trouble to find out." Sundstrom spoke at a Senate hearing at which lawmakers asked energy experts to explain the spell of unplanned refinery shutdowns that have thrown gas supplies into disarray from coast to coast, boosting average pump prices to a record $3.09 per gallon in the United States. California Energy Commission spokesman Bob Aldrich said his agency does not investigate the industry but does track its practices. This year the big story was a series of glitches in the annual switchover from winter gas to a differently formulated summer gas. Tom Kloza, publisher of the Oil Price Information Service ... said the surprise this year was that refineries outside California also had unplanned problems with their normal spring maintenance. "I did not think we'd see the same downtime elsewhere in the country," he said. Sean Comey, spokesman for AAA of Northern California, said the gas refining business is unusual because it seems that even when production goes down, prices and profits go up. "When most industries have production problems, profits suffer as a result," he said.
Popular Web sites now off-limits to troops
May 15, 2007, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Most of the 131 people Pfc. Amber Thill lists as friends on her MySpace.com page serve in the military. Some, like Thill's husband, are deployed to Iraq; others are serving in Afghanistan. MySpace, the 20-year-old Thill says, "is how most of us communicate." This online link between troops serving overseas and their friends and families was interrupted Monday when the Defense Department announced that it had cut off access to MySpace, YouTube and 11 other popular file-sharing and networking Web sites on the Pentagon's 5 million computers and 15,000 networks. The new policy, which military officials say is intended to reduce the amount of traffic snagging the Defense Department's overburdened worldwide network, comes on the heels of an Army regulation last month enforcing new, strict rules on soldier bloggers. The new regulation for the first time created a blanket ban on sites many troops use to share news, photos, video and audio with their family and friends. Military officials said they blocked the Web sites because they took up too much bandwidth. Military bloggers say the new rules are part of a concerted effort to suppress online publications by troops in the field. On many bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, Defense Department computers and networks are the only ones available to the troops. "These blogs, these posts on MySpace were the last tenuous connection that an everyday American ... has to what the American military is, who the troops are," said retired paratrooper Matthew Burden, who runs the military blog www.blackfive.net. "This last tenuous connection will get severed by those regulations." It will definitely decrease the amount of communications back home," said Burden.
Contingencies for nuclear terrorist attack
May 11, 2007, San Francisco Chronicle
Senior government and military officials and other experts, organized by a joint Stanford-Harvard program called the Preventive Defense Project, met behind closed doors in Washington for a day-long workshop called "The Day After." The organizers of the nonpartisan project, Stanford's William Perry, a secretary of defense in the Clinton administration, and Harvard's Ashton Carter, a senior Defense Department official during the Clinton years, assumed the detonation of a bomb similar in size to the weapon that destroyed Hiroshima in World War II. A paper [they] are writing ... urges local governments and individuals to build underground bomb shelters; encourages authorities who survive to prevent evacuation of at least some of the areas attacked for three days ... and proposes suspending regulations on radiation exposure so that first responders would be able to act, even if that caused higher cancer rates. "The public at large will expect that their government had thought through this possibility and to have planned for it," Carter said in an interview. "This kind of an event would be unprecedented. We have had glimpses of something like this with Hiroshima, and glimpses with 9/11 and with Katrina. But those are only glimpses. If one bomb goes off, there are likely to be more to follow," Carter said. "This fact, that nuclear terrorism will appear as a syndrome rather than a single episode, has major consequences." It would, he added, require powerful government intervention to force people to do something many may resist -- staying put.
Note: Ashton Carter was co-author, with Philip Zelikow (later Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission) and John Deutch (former CIA Director), of a 1998 Foreign Affairs article, "Catastrophic Terrorism: Tackling the New Danger," which warned of a possible catastrophic attack on the World Trade Center and accurately described the governmental aftermath of 9/11.
Bush Changes Continuity Plan
May 10, 2007, The Washington Post
President Bush issued a formal national security directive yesterday ordering agencies to prepare contingency plans for a surprise, "decapitating" attack on the federal government, and assigned responsibility for coordinating such plans to the White House. The prospect of a nuclear bomb being detonated in Washington without warning ... has been cited by many security analysts as a rising concern since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The order makes explicit that the focus of federal worst-case planning involves a covert nuclear attack against the nation's capital. "Adequate warning of potential emergencies that could pose a significant risk to the homeland might not be available, and therefore all continuity planning shall be based on the assumption that no such warning will be received," states the 72-paragraph order. The statement added, "Emphasis will be placed upon geographic dispersion of leadership, staff, and infrastructure in order to increase survivability and maintain uninterrupted Government Functions." After the 2001 attacks, Bush assigned about 100 senior civilian managers to rotate secretly to locations outside of Washington for weeks or months at a time [forming] a shadow government that evolved based on long-standing "continuity of operations plans." Since then, other agencies including the Pentagon, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA have taken steps to relocate facilities or key functions outside of Washington for their own reasons, citing factors such as economics or the importance of avoiding Beltway "group-think."
Note: Why isn't Congress making these absolutely vital decisions? What gives these organizations authority to determine what will happen in the case of a major attack?
Catastrophic Terrorism: Tackling the New Danger
Nov. - Dec. 1998, Foreign Affairs, (the journal of the Council on Foreign Affairs)
A successful attack with weapons of mass destruction could certainly take thousands, or tens of thousands, of lives. If the device that exploded in 1993 under the World Trade Center had been nuclear, or had effectively dispersed a deadly pathogen, the resulting horror and chaos would have exceeded our ability to describe it. Such an act of catastrophic terrorism would be a watershed event in American history. It could involve loss of life and property unprecedented in peacetime and undermine America's fundamental sense of security, as did the Soviet atomic bomb test in 1949. Like Pearl Harbor, this event would divide our past and future into a before and after. The United States might respond with draconian measures, scaling back civil liberties, allowing wider surveillance of citizens, detention of suspects, and use of deadly force.
Note: Is this not a remarkable statement? This 1998 article was written by Philip Zelikow (who later was Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission!!!), John Deutch (former CIA Director), and Ashton Carter (former deputy secretary of defense). Dr. David Ray Griffin, an esteemed WTK team member, asks in his new book, Debunking 9/11 Debunking, "Would it not be interesting if we were to learn that those who orchestrated the attacks of 9/11 were able to put one of their own -- someone who at least had foreknowledge of the attacks -- in charge of carrying out the official investigation into these attacks?" To view the full article, click here.
In Iraq, a human life is worth $2,500; in Manhattan, $1.8 million
May 20, 2007, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
What is the value of a human life? This came to mind recently, thanks to U.S. Marines, who, in early March, went on a killing rampage near Jalalabad in Afghanistan. A platoon of elite Marine Special Operations troops was ambushed by a suicide bomber in a minivan and one was wounded. Initially, it was reported that as many as 10 Afghans were killed and 34 wounded as the platoon fled the site. Later, it was admitted that the Marines had wielded "excessive force" after the ambush had ended. The Marines were reported to have murdered "12 people -- including a 4-year-old girl, a 1-year-old boy and three elderly villagers.'' According to a report by Carlotta Gall of the New York Times, a "16-year-old newly married girl was cut down while she was carrying a bundle of grass to her family's farmhouse." After much protest in Afghanistan, Col. John Nicholson met with the families of the Afghans who had been killed and wounded by the Marines. He offered this official apology: "I stand before you today, deeply, deeply ashamed and terribly sorry that Americans have killed and wounded innocent Afghan people." And then he paid about $2,000 per death to family members. The military calls these "condolence payments." We also know something about how the U.S. government evaluated the worth of the lives of slaughtered American innocents after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The family or spouse of a loved one murdered that day was also given a monetary value -- $1.8 million. The U.S. government has indeed offered the world an evaluation of what price slaughter should exact in the deaths of innocents: The value of a civilian slaughtered ... on Sept. 11: $1.8 million. The value of a civilian slaughtered by U.S. Marines near Jalalabad, Afghanistan: $2,000.
Note: For more astonishing information on how the military mishandles your tax dollars, click here.
Ex-Presidents Bush, Clinton Find Common Ground Outside Politics
May 19, 2007, ABC News
Fifteen years ago, then-Gov. Bill Clinton got him fired from his job as "leader of the free world." But that doesn't seem to bother former President George H.W. Bush too much these days. The political odd couple -- one a gregarious baby boomer, the other a genteel guardian of the greatest generation and both members of the world's most exclusive club of former American presidents -- was on the road again this weekend. They've helped raise more than $1 billion in U.S. aid for tsunami victims and more than $130 million for those devastated by Hurricane Katrina. No matter what the future may hold for either the Bush or Clinton clan, it's clear the friendship struck between two formal rivals is not just for show. "I cannot tell you the selfish pleasure I get out of working with President Clinton," Bush told the near graduates of the University of New Hampshire. "It's a very selfish feeling I have in my heart that we can be out there transcending politics, doing something to help others." Clinton returned the compliment. "Our differences are important; they matter. They make life more interesting and they aid the search for truth," he said, "but our common humanity matters more." President Clinton, who spoke of "seeing" and recognizing ourselves in others, said, "There's nothing beyond the reach of our common endeavor because it's our common endeavor." "You don't have to be a president to be a leader and to touch the lives of your fellow countrymen," former President Bush said.
Note: Though we have little doubt that both of these ex-presidents have been involved in major manipulations, they are human, too. Like all of us, they have a place in their hearts that cares.
House rejects bills to limit war power
May 18, 2007, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Even as the congressional Democratic leadership fights with President Bush over changing his Iraq war policy, the House rejected two measures that would have barred the Bush administration from military operations against Iran without congressional approval. The votes in the Democratic-controlled House received little press attention because they came late Wednesday night amid a crush of amendments to the $646 billion fiscal year 2008 military authorization bill. The bill includes $142 billion for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. "I thought it was pathetic that members would not stand up for their constitutional prerogatives,'' Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., said Thursday. DeFazio had proposed a measure that said no military operations could be undertaken against Iran without specific congressional approval, barring an Iranian attack against the United States or its military. "It shouldn't matter where members stand on the issue'' of possible military action against Iran, DeFazio said. "You should stand up for your constitutional prerogative.'' Rep. Barbara Lee [commented] "The president's saber rattling against Iran is only increasing and is eerily similar to the march to war with Iraq. We must act to prevent another war of pre-emption." DeFazio's amendment lost handily, 136-288. The second measure [which] barred the Defense Department from using any money authorized for 2007-2008 under the bill to plan a "major contingency operation'' in Iran ... also lost.
Note: The lopsided defeat of Rep. DeFazio's amendment described in this article clearly indicates that a majority in both parties are clearly committed to supporting the war machine. Click here for a highly decorated U.S. general's take on this. Another San Francisco Chronicle article from the same day reveals the two-party consensus against any new Congressional ethics legislation.
Senators Want CIA to Release 9 / 11 Report
May 17, 2007, New York Times/Associated Press
A bipartisan group of senators is pushing legislation that would force the CIA to release an inspector general's report on the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The CIA has spent more than 20 months weighing requests under the Freedom of Information Act for its internal investigation of the attacks but has yet to release any portion of it. The agency is the only federal office involved in counterterrorism operations that has not made at least a version of its internal 9/11 investigation public. The law requires agencies to respond to requests within 20 days. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and two other intelligence committee leaders -- chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and senior Republican Kit Bond of Missouri -- are pushing legislation that would require the agency to declassify the executive summary of the review within one month and submit a report to Congress explaining why any material was withheld. "It's amazing the efforts the administration is going to stonewall this,'' Wyden said. "The American people have a right to know what the Central Intelligence Agency was doing in those critical months before 9/11.'' Completed in June 2005, the inspector general's report examined the personal responsibility of individuals at the CIA before and after the attacks. The CIA has not released any documents to The Associated Press or other organizations that began requesting the information at least 20 months ago. Groups including the National Security Archive have clashed with the agency over its FOIA policies. Last year, the archive gave the CIA its prize for the agency with the worst FOIA record. ''CIA has for three decades been one of the worst FOIA agencies,'' archive Director Thomas Blanton said this week.
Note: For more reliable information on what US intelligence agencies knew about the coming attacks, click here.
Scientists Cast Doubt on Kennedy Bullet Analysis
May 17, 2007, The Washington Post
In a collision of 21st-century science and decades-old conspiracy theories, a research team that includes a former top FBI scientist is challenging the bullet analysis used by the government to conclude that Lee Harvey Oswald alone shot the two bullets that struck and killed President John F. Kennedy in 1963. The "evidence used to rule out a second assassin is fundamentally flawed," concludes a new article in the Annals of Applied Statistics written by former FBI lab metallurgist William A. Tobin and Texas A&M University researchers Cliff Spiegelman and William D. James. The researchers' re-analysis involved new statistical calculations and a modern chemical analysis of bullets from the same batch Oswald is purported to have used. "This finding means that the bullet fragments from the assassination that match could have come from three or more separate bullets," the researchers said. "If the assassination fragments are derived from three or more separate bullets, then a second assassin is likely." [They] urged that authorities conduct a new and complete forensic re-analysis of the five bullet fragments left from the assassination in Dallas.
Note: For more reliable, verifiable information on the JFK and other assassinations, click here.
Senators who weakened drug bill got millions from industry
May 16, 2007, USA Today
Senators who raised millions of dollars in campaign donations from pharmaceutical interests secured industry-friendly changes to a landmark drug-safety bill. The bill, which passed 93-1, grants the Food and Drug Administration broad new authority to monitor the safety of drugs after they are approved. It addressed some shortcomings that allowed the painkiller Vioxx to stay on the market for years after initial signs that it could cause heart attacks. However, the powers granted to the FDA in the bill's original version were pared back during private meetings. And efforts to curb conflicts of interest among FDA advisers and allow consumers to buy cheaper drugs from other countries were defeated in close votes. A measure that blocked an effort to allow drug importation passed, 49-40. The 49 senators who voted against drug importation received about $5 million from industry executives and political action committees since 2001 – nearly three quarters of the industry donations to current members of the Senate. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. [was] the lone vote against the bill. "You have a culture in which big money has significant influence. Big money gains you access, access gives you the time to influence people." The pharmaceutical companies spend more money on lobbying than any other single industry – $855 million from 1998 to 2006. The biggest drug trade group, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, praised the bill after it passed. The group's spokesman, Ken Johnson, said its critics "never point out that a great deal of this money is spent trying to defeat bills ... that are designed to cripple this industry."
Note: For lots more reliable, verifiable information on drug company manipulations, click here.
Key Articles from Years Past
The War On Waste
January 29, 2002, CBS News
On Sept. 10 , Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declared war. Not on foreign terrorists, "the adversary's closer to home. It's the Pentagon bureaucracy." He said money wasted by the military poses a serious threat. Rumsfeld promised change but the next day–Sept. 11–the world changed and in the rush to fund the war on terrorism, the war on waste seems to have been forgotten. Just last week President Bush announced, "my 2003 budget calls for more than $48 billion in new defense spending." More money for the Pentagon ... while its own auditors admit the military cannot account for 25 percent of what it spends. "According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions," Rumsfeld admitted. $2.3 trillion–that's $8,000 for every man, woman and child in America. A former Marine turned whistle-blower is risking his job by speaking out ... about the millions he noticed were missing from one defense agency's balance sheets. Jim Minnery, Defense Finance and Accounting Service ... tried to follow the money trail, even crisscrossing the country looking for records. "The director looked at me and said 'Why do you care about this stuff?' It took me aback. My supervisor asking me why I care about doing a good job," said Minnery. He was reassigned and says officials then covered up the problem. The Pentagon's Inspector General "partially substantiated" several of Minnery's allegations.
Note: To see the CBS video clip of this shocking admission, click here. Even though this news was originally not reported because of the trauma of 9/11, why wasn't it headline news once it finally was reported? Why isn't this making media headlines now? For lots more verifiable information on this critical topic, click here.
C.I.A. Data Show 14-Year Project On Controlling Human Behavior
July 21, 1977, New York Times
The Central Intelligence Agency conducted a 14-year program to find ways to "control human behavior" through the use of chemical, biological and radiological material, according to agency documents made public today by John Marks. The documents ... suggested broader experimentation on unwitting humans by the intelligence agency or its paid researchers than had been publicly known before. Mr. Marks distributed 20 documents that described the following incidents, among others: In 1956, the C.I.A. contracted with a private physician to test "bulbocapnine," a drug that can cause stupor or induce a catatonic state, on monkeys and "convicts incarcerated at" an unnamed state penitentiary. A letter from an unnamed C.I.A. official in 1949 discussed ways of killing people without leaving a trace. "I believe that there are two chemical substances which would be most useful in that they would leave no characteristic pathological findings," the letter said. In 1952, two Russian agents who were "suspected of being doubled" were interrogated using "narcohypnotic" methods. The two men were given sodium pentothal and a stimulant. One interrogation produced a "remarkable" regression, the papers said, during which "the subject actually relived certain past activities of his life. The subject totally accepted Mr. [name deleted] as an old and trusted and beloved personal friend whom the subject had known in years past in Georgia, U.S.S.R." The C.I.A. conducted secret medical experiments from 1949 through 1963 under the code names Bluebird, Artichoke, MK Ultra and MK Delta.
Special note: For a revealing article in BusinessWeek covering the abuse of credit to extract money from the poor, click here. To order "9/11 Was an Inside Job" special mailer from the satirical Comic News, click here. To take the 9/11 quiz and see the amazing, easily verifiable answers, click here. To read a fascinating story suggesting a possible cover-up regarding the construction of the Egyptian Pyramids, click here.
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Gas Price Manipulations, Disaster Scenarios, Military Censorship