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3/31/2005

U.S. Soldiers Accused of Cocaine Smuggling :.

HA! Nice one.

Since you won't ever hear about this one again, I'll post the full text:

Last Update: Friday, April 1, 2005. 10:44am (AEST)
US soldiers accused of cocaine smuggling

Five US Army personnel were arrested this week for allegedly trying to smuggle 16 kilograms of cocaine from Colombia into the United States aboard a US military aircraft.

The five were detained on Tuesday as a result of an ongoing investigation by US and Colombian authorities, the US Southern Command said in a statement from its headquarters in Miami, Florida.

"They are under investigation for allegedly attempting to transport approximately 16 kilograms of cocaine aboard a US military aircraft," the command said.

The five were not identified, and the command said it would release no further information on the case to protect the investigation.

The arrests come as analysts claim a $US3 billion US-backed "war" on Colombia's huge cocaine industry has failed over the last year to make inroads into destroying coca crops.

The amount of land planted with coca, which is used to make cocaine, stayed stable in Colombia in 2004 despite massive aerial crop spraying in the fourth year of a program which has absorbed over $US3 billion in US aid.

Satellite data showed there was 114,000 hectares of coca planted at the end of 2004, down a third from 2001 but unchanged from 2003.

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy announced the data on Good Friday and it went almost unnoticed.

"I don't think it was something they especially wanted to advertise. It's a major disappointment from their point of view," said Michael Shifter of Washington think-tank Inter-American Dialogue.

The figures supported analysts' statements that cocaine exports to the United States have fallen very little.

Colombia is the world's largest producer of cocaine, and the United States the largest consumer.

- AFP/Reuters


Related: MadCowProd.com

Research Credit: AL



CRYPTOGON READER MAKES SHOCKING $150 CONTRIBUTION

MO nearly broke the tip jar with his $150 donation! This is astonishing, unprecedented and much appreciated! MO contributes regularly. He is the number one financial supporter of Cryptogon.

Immediate contributions of $20 went to Ran Prieur and Jeff Wells. Thanks, MO, for allowing me to give a little support to these extremely important writers, while also helping me to put gas in my car and buy vegetables from the local farmers market.



Apocalypse Now or Just Reading the News Wires? :.

* yawn *

If oil were to hit $105 per barrel, as suggested by a leading broker, it would spread ruin through the stock market and could spell disaster for everything from airlines to retailers to mining companies, analysts said on Thursday.

"If prices stayed north of $75 per barrel for more than a few months, the U.S. economy would likely slide into recession, which actually would make it unlikely it would get over $100," said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Economy.com. "I think the economy would break before we got to $100 oil."

Those oil levels could also spell trouble for the overheated housing markets and, to a lesser degree, the commercial real estate market, where prices have been escalating by double digits.

At the end of the scale, higher oil costs would also limit the amount consumers spend on everything else.

"It would have a disastrous impact on consumer spending. (People) would not be able to spend as freely as they like," said Kurt Barnard, president of Barnard's Retail Consulting Group. "Unless your salary is increased commensurately, you certainly will have a lot less money left in your pocket after you fill the tank."



Goldman Sachs: Oil Price 'Super Spike' to $105 :.

News like this is designed to slaughter retail/inexperienced traders. In the short term, I'd wait for the next pullback (to the moving average of your choice, take your pick) before getting long. Mad men and institutions will be shorting here. You want to think about going long when the media starts talking about "Falling Oil Prices." <---This is not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any financial instrument.

Make your time:

Oil prices have entered the early stages of trading that could lead to a 'super spike' with the potential to move prices to $105 per barrel, enough to meaningfully reduce energy consumption, according to a Goldman Sachs analysis.


3/30/2005

It Can't Go Down: General Motors' Pause on Way to Junk Is Troubling :.

"Deja vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix. It happens when they change something."
---Trinity, The Matrix
I didn't cover the GM story mostly because you couldn't avoid it, no matter where you looked. The story was everywhere.

I immediately wrote it off.

Why?

GM can't go down. It's that simple. The system can't let it go down. If GM dies, the system dies.

Overall, this system is very robust, but when something threatens it, REALLY THREATENS ITS EXISTENCE, the rulebook goes right out the window and things get weird quickly. These are times when glitches in the Matrix become very apparent.

The routine, internally consistent rules that apply most of the time, are temporarily suspended, until "normal" operations can be resumed. GM will be saved because it must be saved.

Rather than endure the emails from idiots who say things like, "You're nuts," and "Your information isn't peer reviewed," I've been waiting for a mainstream journalist to say it. So, here it is from Mark Gilbert over at Bloomberg:
When General Motors Corp. tore up this year's financial projections on March 16, credit rating companies should have responded by instantly slashing the automaker's debt to junk. Their failure to pull the trigger is both puzzling and troubling.

It's puzzling because lesser financial crimes have prompted cuts in the past. And it's troubling because it's hard to shake the feeling that the reluctance to kick General Motors out of the investment-grade category has more to do with the size of its debts than any lingering faith in its creditworthiness.
Furthermore, I wouldn't be surprised if GM was to "invent" some kind of miraculous technology that will turn its financial picture around. In other words, wait for .mil to leak something to GM that was invented in an underground crypt 20 years ago with our tax money.



AIG Says Net Worth Inflated by "Errors" :.

Nice one!

American International Group Inc., the world's largest insurer, said an array of accounting errors over 14 years may have inflated its net worth by as much as $1.7 billion.

AIG, which ousted Chief Executive Officer Maurice Greenberg earlier this month, said in a statement today that transactions with reinsurers, including Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., were structured to manipulate the company's accounting. AIG delayed filing its annual report for a second time and said correcting the mistakes may result in an earnings restatement or a cumulative expense booked in last year's fourth quarter.

"When you get into something like this, you begin to wonder if the intrinsic value of the company will be changed," said James Huguet, a fund manager at Great Companies LLC in Clearwater, Florida, before today's announcement. Great Companies oversees $1.3 billion and holds 280,000 shares of AIG.

AIG is working to restore credibility with investors after probes of potentially deceptive accounting pushed its stock down 21 percent in the past six weeks. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer are probing whether companies including AIG used coverage from other insurers to distort their finances.

Contracts set up four years ago with Berkshire's General Re Corp. were "improper," AIG said. The company also said it inappropriately used offshore reinsurance companies to take advantage of accounting benefits. Reinsurance deals with Barbados- based Union Excess Reinsurance Co. inflated net worth by $1.1 billion since 1991, the company said in the statement.

Other problematic transactions masked $200 million of insurance underwriting losses and inflated $300 million of investment income, such as interest and dividends, AIG said.



Super-Rich Hide Trillions Offshore :.

IRS employees read Cryptogon everyday. They might find this interesting.

As they're busy busting bums for hiding some cigarette butts and bottle caps, corporations and billionaires are giving them the bird:

The world's richest individuals have placed $11.5 trillion of assets in offshore havens, mainly as a tax avoidance measure. The shock new figure - 10 times Britain's GDP - is contained in the most authoritative study of the wealth held in offshore accounts ever conducted.

The $11.5trn does not include the vast amount of money stashed in tax havens by multinational corporations, which are using increasingly sophisticated techniques to run rings round the authorities.


3/29/2005

Oil Prices Spread to Grapes, TVs, Pizza :.

The hike in oil prices is beginning to ripple through the economy, pinching consumers at places far beyond the gas pump.



U.S. Secret Service Uses Investigative Techniques to Target Crypto Attacks :.

The problems with strong encryption schemes don't involve the underlying algorithms, but rather the systems that run them and the passphrases that users select. The easiest way to determine a passphrase for a strong crypto system is, of course, to capture the keystrokes that the user enters into the computer. If the passphrase data from a keylogger isn't available, things get a bit more difficult for investigators/spooks/phbs/etc. who are trying to read encrypted stuff. However, as anyone involved with computer security will tell you: Passwords are easy to guess for most users. The U.S. Secret Service is aware of that fact and has developed a distributed system for attacking strong encryption that takes details about the suspect into consideration. Rather than an open-ended brute force attack, that, for all intents and purposes, would never work, the cryptanalysts focus their attack using information about the suspect. This technique results in an orders of magnitude decrease in compute cycles required to determine a valid passphrase.

Keep in mind that these attacks assume the attacker IS IN POSSESSION of the suspect's private key. If you need to make sure that data is NOT recoverable, in addition to selecting a REALLY STRONG PASSPHRASE, devise a contingency plan that involves the decisive elimination of your private key. (Hint: Dragging it to the trashcan is not decisive elimination.) Obviously, if you destroy the private key, you won't be able to recover the data---even though you know the passphrase---but neither will anyone else.

Now, here's where some .01%-chance-of-being-right speculation comes in: The feds don't need to use this distributed system to recover passphrases, but they had the Washington Post publish a story about it anyway.

In fact, when the feds need cleartext, they send the encrypted data over to the NSA where it is immediately decrypted by some unimaginable process. Perhaps there are several, underground, football field sized compute centers packed floor to ceiling with quantum computers. Maybe prime number factorization isn't a problem for NSA.

Question: If you had a way of rendering---what are thought to be---"strong" encryption methods useless, what would you do to make people believe their data was secure?

Answer: You'd do all kinds of crazy sh*t!

You might even fabricate stories about the Secret Service needing to build a distributed system in order to recover passphrases... Based on what we know governments have done in the past, this would be nothing, in terms of disinfo.

Read about encryption during WWII. It could easily be argued that the Allies won the war because of sloppy Nazi key management. But when UK/USA broke those systems, did they announce it? Did they swoop down and bomb the hell out of things immediately upon gleaning the intelligence from intercepts? Nope. They made sure the Axis believed their crypto systems were intact.... Get it?

Yeah, yeah, maybe encryption really is secure against an attacker like the U.S. NSA. Ask yourself, though, what did they buy with $2.3 trillion dollars?

A little voice inside my head tells me that desktop crypto isn't a big concern for people with God-like powers. Actually, it's probably about as significant as a fly farting in the wind. But hey, this is the .01%-chance-of-being-right speculation section:

DNA Key to Decoding Human Factor
Secret Service's Distributed Computing Project Aimed at Decoding Encrypted Evidence

By Brian Krebs
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Monday, March 28, 2005; 6:48 AM

For law enforcement officials charged with busting sophisticated financial crime and hacker rings, making arrests and seizing computers used in the criminal activity is often the easy part.

More difficult can be making the case in court, where getting a conviction often hinges on whether investigators can glean evidence off of the seized computer equipment and connect that information to specific crimes.

The wide availability of powerful encryption software has made evidence gathering a significant challenge for investigators. Criminals can use the software to scramble evidence of their activities so thoroughly that even the most powerful supercomputers in the world would never be able to break into their codes. But the U.S. Secret Service believes that combining computing power with gumshoe detective skills can help crack criminals' encrypted data caches.

Taking a cue from scientists searching for signs of extraterrestrial life and mathematicians trying to identify very large prime numbers, the agency best known for protecting presidents and other high officials is tying together its employees' desktop computers in a network designed to crack passwords that alleged criminals have used to scramble evidence of their crimes -- everything from lists of stolen credit card numbers and Social Security numbers to records of bank transfers and e-mail communications with victims and accomplices.

To date, the Secret Service has linked 4,000 of its employees' computers into the "Distributed Networking Attack" program. The effort started nearly three years ago to battle a surge in the number of cases in which savvy computer criminals have used commercial or free encryption software to safeguard stolen financial information, according to DNA program manager Al Lewis.

"We're seeing more and more cases coming in where we have to break encryption," Lewis said. "What we're finding is that criminals who use encryption usually are higher profile and higher value targets for us because it means from an evidentiary standpoint they have more to hide."

Each computer in the DNA network contributes a sliver of its processing power to the effort, allowing the entire system to continuously hammer away at numerous encryption keys at a rate of more than a million password combinations per second.

The strength of any encryption scheme is based largely on the complexity of its algorithm -- the mathematical formula used to scramble the data -- and the length of the "key" required to encode and unscramble the information. Keys consist of long strings of binary numbers or "bits," and generally the greater number of bits in a key, the more secure the encryption.

Many of the encryption programs used widely by corporations and individuals provide up to 128- or 256-bit keys. Breaking a 256-bit key would likely take eons using today's conventional "dictionary" and "brute force" decryption methods -- that is, trying word-based, random or sequential combinations of letters and numbers -- even on a distributed network many times the size of the Secret Service's DNA.

"In most cases, there's a greater probability that the sun will burn out before all the computers in the world could factor in all of the information needed to brute force a 256-bit key," said Jon Hansen, vice president of marketing for AccessData Corp, the Lindon, Utah, company that built the software that powers DNA.

Yet, like most security systems, encryption has an Achilles' heel -- the user. That's because some of today's most common encryption applications protect keys using a password supplied by the user. Most encryption programs urge users to pick strong, alphanumeric passwords, but far too often people ignore that critical piece of advice, said Bruce Schneier, an encryption expert and chief technology officer at Counterpane Internet Security Inc. in Mountain View, Calif.

"Most people don't pick a random password even though they should, and that's why projects like this work against a lot of keys," Schneier said. "Lots of people -- even the bad guys -- are really sloppy about choosing good passwords."

Armed with the computing power provided by DNA and a treasure trove of data about a suspect's personal life and interests collected by field agents, Secret Service computer forensics experts often can discover encryption key passwords.

In each case in which DNA is used, the Secret Service has plenty of "plaintext" or unencrypted data resident on the suspect's computer hard drive that can provide important clues to that person's password. When that data is fed into DNA, the system can create lists of words and phrases specific to the individual who owned the computer, lists that are used to try to crack the suspect's password. DNA can glean word lists from documents and e-mails on the suspect's PC, and can scour the suspect's Web browser cache and extract words from Web sites that the individual may have frequented.

"If we've got a suspect and we know from looking at his computer that he likes motorcycle Web sites, for example, we can pull words down off of those sites and create a unique dictionary of passwords of motorcycle terms," the Secret Service's Lewis said.

DNA was developed under a program funded by the Technical Support Working Group -- a federal office that coordinates research on technologies to combat terrorism. AccessData's various offerings are currently used by nearly every federal agency that does computer forensics work, according to Hansen and executives at Pasadena, Calif.-based Guidance Software, another major player in the government market for forensics technology.

Hansen said AccessData has learned through feedback with its customers in law enforcement that between 40 and 50 percent of the time investigators can crack an encryption key by creating word lists from content at sites listed in the suspect's Internet browser log or Web site bookmarks.

"Most of the time this happens the password is some quirky word related to the suspect's area of interests or hobbies," Hansen said.

Hansen recalled one case several years ago in which police in the United Kingdom used AccessData's technology to crack the encryption key of a suspect who frequently worked with horses. Using custom lists of words associated with all things equine, investigators quickly zeroed in on his password, which Hansen says was some obscure word used to describe one component of a stirrup.

Having the ability to craft custom dictionaries for each suspect's computer makes it exponentially more likely that investigators can crack a given encryption code within a timeframe that would be useful in prosecuting a case, said David McNett, president of Distributed.net, created in 1997 as the world's first general-purpose distributed computing project.

"If you have a whole hard drive of materials that could be related to the encryption key you're trying to crack, that is extremely beneficial," McNett said. "In the world of encrypted [Microsoft Windows] drives and encrypted zip files, four thousand machines is a sizable force to bring to bear."

It took DNA just under three hours to crack one file encrypted with WinZip -- a popular file compression and encryption utility that offers 128-bit and 256-bit key encryption. That attack was successful mainly because investigators were able to build highly targeted word lists about the suspect who owned the seized hard drive.

Other encrypted files, however, are proving far more stubborn.

In a high-profile investigation last fall, code-named "Operation Firewall," Secret Service agents infiltrated an Internet crime ring used to buy and sell stolen credit cards, a case that yielded more than 30 arrests but also huge amounts of encrypted data. DNA is still toiling to crack most of those codes, many of which were created with a formidable grade of 256-bit encryption.

Relying on a word-list approach to crack keys becomes far more complex when dealing with suspects who communicate using a mix of languages and alphabets. In Operation Firewall, for example, several of the suspects routinely communicated online in English, Russian and Ukrainian, as well as a mishmash of the Cyrillic and Roman alphabets.

The Secret Service also is working on adapting DNA to cope with emergent data secrecy threats, such as an increased criminal use of "steganography," which involves hiding information by embedding messages inside other, seemingly innocuous messages, music files or images.

The Secret Service has deployed DNA to 40 percent of its internal computers at a rate of a few PCs per week and plans to expand the program to all 10,000 of its systems by the end of this summer. Ultimately, the agency hopes to build the network out across all 22 federal agencies that comprise the Department of Homeland Security: It currently holds a license to deploy the network out to 100,000 systems.

Unlike other distributed networking programs, such as the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence Project -- which graphically display their number-crunching progress when a host computer's screen saver is activated -- DNA works silently in the background, completely hidden from the user. Lewis said the Secret Service chose not to call attention to the program, concerned that employees might remove it.

"Computer users often experience system lockups that are often inexplicable, and many users will uninstall programs they don't understand," Lewis said. "As the user base becomes more educated with the program and how it functions, we certainly retain the ability to make it more visible."

In the meantime, the agency is looking to partner with companies in the private sector that may have computer-processing power to spare, though Lewis declined to say which companies the Secret Service was approaching. Such a partnership would not endanger the secrecy of their operations, Lewis said, because any one partner would be given only tiny snippets of an entire encrypted message or file.

Distributed.net's McNett said he understands all too well the agency's desire for additional computing power.

"There will be such a thing as 'too much computing power' as soon as you can crack a key 'too quickly,' which is to say 'never' in the Secret Service's case."

How DNA Works
From washingtonpost.com at 6:57 AM

The Secret Service's "Distributed Networking Attack" program consists of 4,000 computers linked together and configured to try different password combinations against a series of encryption keys.

The network is organized hierarchically, according to each computer's processing power and function, with each segment of the network named with a decidedly equine theme.

The machine that tells each segment of the network what to work on is called "Shadowfax," named after the horse in J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" series.

Underneath Shadowfax are several "Blackhorse" machines that assign jobs to DNA computers in Secret Service-field offices around the country. The computers that actually do most of the computations are called "packhorses."

DNA scours a suspect's hard drive for words and phrases located in plaintext and fetches words from Internet sites listed in the computer's Web browser logs. DNA technicians then load the suspect's encrypted data into the system, while Shadowfax tells the Blackhorse computers how to distribute the workload of testing the keys against the word lists and execute any subsequent brute-force attacks against the targeted encryption keys.

-- Brian Krebs


Related: The Password Paradox: Insecure Security


3/28/2005

Cryptogon Reader Orders Limu

Another retail order from Canada! Thanks JR!

Related: My Limu Story

Related: You Guys Really Want the Three Pack


3/27/2005

Crisis: Honey Bee Population Disappearing :.

I feel like I should say something like, "I will continue to broadcast for as long as possible. Know that there will be pockets of survivors. Hope that they will not make the same mistakes that we did. Good luck and God speed."

Has a nuclear bomb exploded in a major Western city? Has the Ras Tanura oil terminal gone up in flames? Has the U.S. suspended the trade of dollars in international currency markets?

No.

This bee story is much more serious than any of the potential crises above. As a society, we're just too ignorant to understand the implications.

In all of my meditation on TEOTWAWKI, the only thing that truly disturbs me is the potential for collapse of the physical underpinnings of the natural world. While it's entirely possible that the point of no return has already been crossed, I am, at the core, an optimist. As such, I'd like to believe that society will collapse without a catastrophic release of chemical, biological and/or nuclear weapons. Granted, this is an unlikely, best-case scenario; but here's to hoping, wishing and wanting...

Forget about WMDs for a moment. Assume they don't even exist.

One of the most likely nightmare scenarios, in my opinion, is that the system remains functional long enough to destroy the environment to the point where human survival ISN'T possible without increasingly heroic uses of high technology. Regardless of what you think about my religious/spiritual belief system, I do pray that TEOTWAWKI occurs before human survival on this planet is inextricably linked to high technology.

What does, "inextricably linked to high technology" mean? Aren't we already dependent on high technology for survival? I know, it's easy to argue that we're long past that point already. (Yesterday, I received junk mail for a mobile phone service that included television!) No, brother, think again. I mean that living outside of a domed city would be impossible because natural photosynthesis stopped working, organisms at the base of aquatic food chains died off, or _____ <--- fill in the blank with some other unthinkable ecological cataclysim. Oh yeah, how about: Honey bees became extinct? Human survival would depend on nuclear power, genetic engineering and nanotechnology. Atmosphere scrubbers, nano-assemblers, pHarmed pHood, etc. You're either inside the domed city, or you're outside, which means you're dead.

Get it? That's where this system winds up, if it somehow manages to limp onward for the next couple of decades.

I rarely use my fire-and-brimstone tone on this site, but stories about bees dying off in large numbers are about as serious as it gets. If you don't understand the implications of this, you need to start reading about bees and how they relate to the survival of humans on this planet:

Devastation could have broad effect on agriculture.

The buzz from honeybees has been zapped in Marin and across the state because of the resurgence of a pesky mite, which is killing off the insects in large numbers.

"We first started to see it last spring," said Spencer Marshall, co-owner of Marshall's Farm Honey, who has about 100 hives spread across Marin. "It can wipe out up to 50 percent of hives. Imagine a farmer seeing 50 percent of his cows go down."

Experts believe Varroa mites might have arrived in the mid-1980s from Asia, where they coexisted with local honeybees.

In their years in North America, the eight-legged pests have devastated wild bee colonies and radically altered beekeeping. The pinhead-sized mite feeds on honeybees and their larvae.

The mites also have developed a resistance to pesticides - a trait they've been able to spread to their progeny faster than scientists have been able to develop new compounds to fight them off.

Marshall said some beekeepers were lazy and would hang pesticide strips near hives, giving long term exposure to mites, allowing them to build resistance.


More: North Carolina Giving Hives Away to Individuals :.

All Things Considered, March 22, 2005
A new North Carolina government program subsidizes people who want to become beekeepers. The initiative is an attempt to address a nationwide bee shortage that threatens the future of American agriculture. NPR's Adam Hochberg reports.



PEAK OIL: IEA DRAWS UP EMERGENCY OIL CONSERVATION PLAN :.

The International Energy Agency has released a draft version of a document called, "Saving Oil in a Hurry: Measures for Rapid Demand Restraint in Transport." Police enforced driving bans are considered.

Interesting.

I live in Southern California and I wonder if the state has a few hundred thousand extra cops hidden somewhere that could be used to enforce driving bans... Maybe someone with more of a feel for the tactical nature of capital flows could come up with an estimate as to how long a driving ban would have to be in effect in Los Angeles before a global economic crises developed? (Never mind. I think I want to watch the new Battlestar Galactica miniseries DVD again.)

This document is a study in how a bureaucracy gazes into the face of chaos. There is talk of statistics. Orderly procedures. Planning. It goes something like this: "We're going to have to piss out a forest fire pretty soon. Let's wait until we smell smoke and then take a sip of water. This is a reasonable plan, according to our advanced statistical model."

If you haven't made plans to live at or about an Iron Age type of existence, you might as well sit your fat ass down on the couch and polish off your 50 inch plasma screen. It's going to be a good show:

These types of policies, requiring a measure of coercion or restriction on behaviour, may be more acceptable to the public during crisis situations than otherwise, if a sense of the need for common sacrifice is prevalent. In any case, popularity is likely to be fairly low and, thus, political costs may be relatively high.

Related: Energy Body Wants Brakes on Fuel Consumption :.

The International Energy Agency is to propose drastic cutbacks in car use to halt continuing oil-supply problems. Those cutbacks include anything from car-pooling to outright police-enforced driving bans for citizens.

Fuel "emergency supply disruptions and price shocks" - in other words, shortages - could be met by governments. Not only can governments save fuel by implementing some of the measures suggested, but in doing so they can also shortcut market economics.

An advance briefing of the report, titled Saving Oil in a Hurry: Measures for Rapid Demand Restraint in Transport, states this succinctly.

"Why should governments intervene to cut oil demand during a supply disruption or price surge? One obvious reason is to conserve fuel that might be in short supply.

"But perhaps more importantly, a rapid demand response (especially if coordinated across IEA countries) can send a strong market signal."

The report goes on to suggest a whole series of measures that could be used to cut back on fuel consumption. They are cutting public-transport costs by a certain amount to increase its usage while simultaneously dissuading car use.



Italian Agent Calipari: A Target of Opportunity for U.S. Assassins :.

This goes wide and deep, all the way back to the BNL days. Must read:

High-level European intelligence sources report that the 51-year old slain Italian SISMI military intelligence agent, Dr. Nicola Calipari, killed by U.S. sharpshooters while accompanying the freed Italian hostage—Il Manifesto journalist Giuliana Sgrena—to Baghdad International Airport, was a prized target of opportunity for American assassins because of his knowledge about past Republican White House ties to Saddam Hussein's nuclear program.

Calipari was also reportedly privy to information about illegal U.S. covert operations in Iraq from his sources within the bloc of Iraqi resistance fighters led by former Republican Guards. Moreover, European intelligence sources report that Calipari was not the first Italian intelligence agent with expertise on Iraq to be killed by U.S. covert "wet affairs" operatives.



A Blend of Risks Makes Dollar's Outlook Grim :.

From the International Herald Tribune:

Is the writing on the wall for the U.S. dollar? Researchers at one big fund manager say it is, but the markets haven't read along just yet.

Since the start of March, Bridgewater Associates, a manager of more than $100 billion of institutional and hedge fund money based in Westport, Connecticut, has been issuing warnings in its daily reports. One on March 11, titled "The Breakdown of the Dollar System," said, "As we often say, we've seen this movie many times, and we know the ending."

There is indeed a volatile blend of risks surrounding the dollar.

President George W. Bush's new budget proposal would substantially expand the government's debt burden in the next decade, potentially raising doubts about the desirability of its IOUs. Some Asian central banks have declared that they will diversify their reserves away from dollar-denominated assets. If China decouples the yuan from the dollar, it will not need as many dollar-denominated assets to keep its currency from gaining value, nor will its competitors for export markets. In recent times, long-term interest rates have stayed stubbornly low, making it difficult for American companies to attract new investment from abroad.

These ingredients may just be waiting for the right catalyst. If enough people start thinking like those at Bridgewater Associates, the dollar will lose value rapidly. There is no point in buying dollars today, after all, if everyone thinks that they will be worth less in the near future. Fundamental economic factors need not worsen any further; in currency crises, perception very quickly becomes reality.

Bridgewater says it believes that the dollar is already beyond the point of no return.
To keep the currency at its current value, private investors will have to buy more American securities as central banks desert them, said Robert Prince, the firm's co-chief investment officer. Before private investors will act, they need to see a higher return from American assets, relative to assets carrying similar risks abroad.


3/26/2005

From Hero to Homeless :.

Wave your flag and stick another Jesus fish on the ass end of your SUV:

For 25-year-old Herold Noel, this winter, like the war, has not been kind, reports CBS News Correspondent Byron Pitts.

When "Iraqi Freedom" began, Private First Class Herold Noel was a soldier in the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division, pounding a path into Baghdad.

"I fought for this country," he said. "I shed blood for this country. I watched friends die."

And like so many, Herold Noel came home a hero, but he wound up homeless.

He started living out of the back of his jeep when most of his clothes and all of his military medals were stolen at a homeless shelter.



Microsoft Will Release Longhorn to Manufacturing in May 2006 :.

Make your time:

While internal discussions at Microsoft recently questioned whether August 2006 would be more viable, the word has come down from on high: May 2006 is non-negotiable. Longhorn will be released to manufacturing in May 2006, according to senior Microsoft executives, though other interim dates could change.



Hybrid Vehicle Hacking :.

There's one problem with hybrid vehicles: They require internal combustion engines. This fact doesn't go unnoticed by many of the people who purchase hybrid vehicles. Since major auto companies refuse to manufacture electric vehicles, individuals are trying to restore and improve the capabilities of the intentionally crippled hybrids that are available to us.

The work done by calcars.org and Energy CS is proof (to me) that the inexcusable state of vehicle efficiency is pre-meditated, on-purpose, by-design and done-with-forethought and malice.

How else do you explain the fact that a few people with cordless tools and off the shelf batteries increased the mileage of a 2004 Toyota Hybrid vehicle up to 180MPG? Yes, they plug the thing into grid power to top off the batteries. While most people wouldn't use clean power to charge their cars, at least doing so would be an option. Why isn't the plug-in option standard on these vehicles? Why is the battery capacity limited on these vehicles? Why is the electric-only option disabled on American models; requiring end user modifications to restore?

Read the full story about the Cal Cars antics. Prius hybrids are being crippled at the factory! God bless the freaks for attempting to make lemonade out of Toyota's lemons! (I'm a lifetime Toyota driver, and this business with the Prius is shamefull. Wake up, TOYOTA!)

From the Christian Science Monitor:

Not long after Dan Kroushl got his new 2004 Toyota Prius, he began to wonder about the mysterious button on the dash. It didn't seem to have any function. Didn't boost the turbo or engage an ejector seat. In online discussions with other Prius enthusiasts, Mr. Kroushl soon discovered the button did have a hidden function: It could turn the gasoline-electric hybrid into an all-electric car - for a mile or so on limited battery power.

This "stealth mode" button works fine in Japan and Europe where it's handy for drivers to roll politely about densely packed subdivisions in the early morning and late evening. But the button has been disconnected for North America's Priuses.

Now, scores of Prius owners in the United States are activating the button on their own - despite company warnings that altering the car will void its warranty.

Some drivers, including Kroushl, are going even further: adding battery capacity - and a plug. The hoped for result: a high-tech commuting car that plugs into a socket at night and gets amazing gas mileage the next day.

In effect, these backyard mechanics have turned the hybrid car's appeal on its head. Instead of emphasizing gasoline over electric power and the convenience of today's cars, they're aiming to create less polluting higher-mileage vehicles that emphasize electricity over gasoline - even if it's a bit less convenient.

"One guy I know plugs his Honda hybrid into a windmill for power," Kroushl says. "It costs him practically nothing to drive."



Limu Update: My Sister

My sister has been suffering from severe eczema on her hands and feet for the last few years. She reluctantly uses the dermatologist prescribed cortisone drugs only when the situation becomes unbearable.

She's been taking between four and six ounces of Limu per day for the last two weeks. I just saw her tonight.

"I don't believe it, but it's clearing up on my hands. Look!" She showed me the affected areas. "This had been flaring up for six months," she said. Indeed, it was nearly gone. The eczema is still present on her feet, but she's encouraged by the results so far. She has yet to use it topically (which I suggest), in addition to taking it internally. She's going to start doing that.

You can read about how Limu helped my eczema here.

Also, her roommate's elderly dog is taking large quantities of Limu. The Limu is helping the beast's terrible digestive issues. The dog loves the Limu and now expects it as part of its daily feeding ritual. This is a common with dogs, in my experience.


3/25/2005

Acetone in Acura Integra '92 Fuel Drops Mileage by 1.1% :.

Sterling Allan's first attempt to confirm the acetone-gas mixture theory failed. He says that he may have somehow run it too rich. I'll be running my own tests soon. Try it yourself and let me know how it goes:

After having published the story about the claim by Louis LaPointe that acetone added in small quantities to fuel increases mileage from between 15 to 35 percent, I set out Thursday morning to prove this for myself.

Eight hours later (including prep time, etc), with 400 miles logged accurately from four round trips of about 100 miles each, I came away with a result of a slight drop in my mileage from 33.49 mpg down to 33.13 mpg, using a mixture ratio of about 3.4 oz of acetone per 10 gallons of gas.



.Mil Interested In Acetone-Gas Mixture

The U.S. Special Operations Command user (host: wsa92.socom.mil, ip: 209.22.222.92) conducted the following Google search: acetone gas mileage.

The U.S. Army user (host: net-1645-cache.sill.army.mil, ip: 155.219.241.12) conducted the following Google search: acetone in fuel efficiency.

Related: Acetone In Fuel Said to Increase Mileage 15-35%


3/24/2005

Remaining EV-1 Electric Cars Destroyed in Arizona :.

Hybrids are fine. They require gas:

A revolutionary attempt to bring electric automobiles to American drivers sputters to a halt this week in the Arizona desert.

But not without cries of protest.

General Motors is shipping the last surviving EV1 cars, the automaker's unique experiment in battery-powered transportation, from a storage yard in Burbank, Calif., to the GM Desert Proving Grounds in Mesa for "final disposition," which for most of them means crushing and recycling.



U.S. Companies Are Shifting More of Their Costs to Consumers :.

* yawn * Is it down yet?

Until recently, most companies operating in the U.S. market were forced to absorb the higher costs of basic expenses like employee health care, raw materials and energy, focusing instead on squeezing more efficiencies from their workers and machines.

But now, from airlines to manufacturers of advanced plastics, many businesses are overcoming their fear of losing customers and are starting to pass on cost increases to their customers.



Diving Into Falluja :.

The men-in-black might look like bums:

The only thing missing, Manning said, was the big bowling-ball shaped bag containing his camera — and all his taped interviews.

At that time, Manning had not been back in the United States for more than 10 hours.

The next day, Manning said, a mysterious man contacted them to arrange a meeting, claiming he had the stolen purse. Manning and Kalustian went to a spot near 6th and Mission as instructed, where they were met by a man who appeared to be a "full-on street bum," Manning said. After returning the purse, the man pulled Manning to one side, opened his wallet, and flashed what Manning estimated was $5,000 worth of $100 bills. According to Manning, the "bum" winked at him and said, "Look in my eyes. I have the eyes of a former sniper. You thought you had the goods on George Bush, didn't you? You've been sandbagged, boy."



Court Prevents Release of Most September 11 Emergency Calls :.

Can you imagine the types of things those calls might contain? Things that CAN'T exist. Perhaps audio signitures of THINGS that DIDN'T happen. COULDN'T have happened:

The emergency phone calls made by people trapped inside the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, need not be released to the public, a New York court ruled Thursday.

The New York State Court of Appeals declined to grant the wish of September 11 families who joined in a lawsuit seeking release of all tapes and transcripts of calls made from inside the Twin Towers to 9-1-1 operators.

"We are not persuaded that such disclosure is required by the public interest," the judges said in their ruling.


Related: F.A.A. Official Scrapped Tape of 9/11 Controllers' Statements



CIA Uses Boston Red Sox Jet for Torture Flights :.

Man, this is getting weirder by the minute. It is extremely rare to encounter this level of detail on the cut outs while the ops are still active.

The Scotland connection may be worth noting, for some researchers. From the article:
Morse recalled occasions when his own plane was not available to him because it was being used by the government, one being while he was playing golf in Scotland.
Take a close look at this picture from my post entitled, The Torture Express: CIA Cut Out Operation Busted. Specifically, pay close attention to where that image was taken. Morse was playing golf in Scotland and couldn't fly on his own plane because it was being used by the CIA. The CIA also happens to move/tranship their victims through Glasgow/Preswick. That's in Scotland, for all you gringos out there. Yes, dear reader, scratch your chin, sip your warm beverage and say, "Hmmmmm..."

Of course, this is all a coincidence.

I like the references to George Bush Senior personally riding on one of the torture planes, the medical technology that has kept Cheney alive, dodgy PHBs flying around the Bahamas, covert operations... Yep. Before you go accusing me of being insane for making all of this up, I suggest you read the full text from the Boston Globe article below:

CIA uses jet, Red Sox partner confirms
'Stunned' by report of controversial prisoner transfers

By Gordon Edes, Globe Staff | March 21, 2005

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Phillip H. Morse, a minority partner of the Boston Red Sox, confirmed yesterday that his private jet has been chartered to the CIA and said he was aware that it had been flown to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where more than 500 terrorism suspects are held, as well as other overseas destinations.

"It's chartered a lot," Morse said by phone from his winter home in Jupiter, Fla. "It just so happens one of our customers is the CIA.

"I was glad to have the business, actually. I hope it was all for a real good purpose."


Morse, vice chairman of the Red Sox, has twice lent his plane to the team -- in 2003 to fly an injured Johnny Damon from Oakland, Calif., to Boston, and last spring to fly manager Terry Francona to his son's high school graduation.

But Morse said he was "stunned" by a published report suggesting that the plane might have been used for special renditions, the controversial practice in which terrorism suspects arrested abroad have been forcibly returned to their native countries for interrogation, sometimes with methods that are barred by US law.

Between June 2002 and January of this year, the plane has flown to Afghanistan, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, Azerbaijan, and the Czech Republic, and made 82 visits to Dulles International Airport outside Washington, according to the Chicago Tribune, which cited records from the Federal Aviation Administration.

"I don't know how you would confirm it," Morse said. "To me, it's stunning that they would link that stuff together. I called [Red Sox CEO] Larry [Lucchino] to let him know. I didn't want him to get broadsided. I'm a little bit embarrassed the Red Sox are linked to this, for no reason whatsoever."

Morse, who made a fortune developing cardiac catheters, is the owner of a Gulfstream IV jet, which he said he purchased from El Paso Gas and Electric. The plane is owned by Assembly Pointe Aviation Inc., according to records from the FAA. Morse is the sole officer of Assembly Pointe Aviation.

The plane's charter agent is Richmor Aviation in Hudson, N.Y. Mahlon Richards, a co-owner of Richmor Aviation, said he believes Morse's plane was used to transport only federal workers and said his company had no information that it was ever used to US transport detainees.

The Gulfstream, which is based in Schenectady, N.Y., rents for $5,365 an hour, which works out to $128,760 for a 24-hour day or a little more than $900,000 a week.

The jet sometimes has a small Red Sox logo on the fuselage near the door. The jet's registration number, N85VM, was changed to N227SV, but Morse said there was "nothing devious or clandestine" about the change. He said the original number was not changed when he bought the plane from El Paso Gas and Electric.

"When it's chartered, it never has the logo of the Red Sox on it," Morse said. "They cover it up."


The Chicago Tribune, citing FAA records, reported that the jet was in Cairo on Feb. 18, 2003, shortly after an Islamic cleric disappeared from his home in Milan in a case Italian prosecutors are investigating as a kidnapping.

Morse said yesterday that Richmor has been leasing his plane to the CIA for more than three years.

"They're not dealing directly with the CIA but with an intermediary government agency, more like a travel agency for government business," he said.

Morse recalled occasions when his own plane was not available to him because it was being used by the government, one being while he was playing golf in Scotland. Richmor is charter agent for more than 100 private jets, he said. Morse recently returned from the Cayman Islands on a private jet owned by Fred Wilpon, owner of the New York Mets.

After yesterday's reports in the Globe and Tribune, the Red Sox released a statement saying the team was "unaware of and uninvolved in any activities undertaken by any of the club's limited partners in relation to the leasing of their private airplanes."

The New York Times reported last month that days after Sept. 11, 2001, President Bush authorized the CIA to transfer terrorist suspects to other countries through special renditions, without obtaining separate presidential approval in each instance.

Morse said his office gets monthly reports from Richmor on who has leased his jet and where it has gone. He said he does not closely monitor the reports, but said he knew of its overseas destinations, specifically mentioning Guantanamo.

"Oh, sure, I'm going to try to make some inquiries," he said when asked if he intended to look into the possibility his plane had been used in renditions.

"I'll give the company [Richmor] a call. I'm one who believes in the good of most things. I assumed what they were doing was in the best interests of national security. I hope what they're doing is valuable and necessary."

Asked if he would stop allowing the CIA to use his plane if he determines it has been involved in renditions, Morse said: "Sure, sure, but . . . I don't know how you go about checking that."

Morse, who grew up in Danvers, was one of the early investors in the John Henry-Tom Werner-Larry Lucchino ownership group and was named vice chairman of the Red Sox last year. A graduate of the University of Maine in 1964, Morse took a position with Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. after graduation. In 1969, he founded North American Instrument Corp., which developed the first transparent fluid delivery system for coronary angiography, the Morse manifold.

According to his biography in the Sox media guide, the Morse manifold continues to be used in more than 70 percent of all cardiac catheterization procedures. By 1994, the firm had grown into NAMIC USA Corp. After retiring from NAMIC in 1995, he founded Heritage Creations Inc., which provides services and products to golf clubs and resorts worldwide.

The Morses have a winter home in Jupiter and also spend time in Boston and Lake George, N.Y.

Three years ago, Morse met George H.W. Bush and has had him on his plane a few times, once to take him to baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. But Morse stressed that the CIA already was leasing his plane to the government before he met Bush, a former CIA director.

Morse said Bush had no knowledge of the CIA charter arrangements.



School Shooter Was on Prozac :.

Read about Jeff Weise. Was he altered?
"He didn't function academically. He just sat there and drew pictures of army people with guns," she said. "He was a talented artist, but he drew terrible, terrible scenes."
Does any of this sound familiar:

Even the manufacturer admits that Prozac can cause agitation, hostility, psychosis, and other frightening side effects including a little-known side effect called "akathisia."

The manufacturer's warning for Prozac states under Adverse Reactions:

"Nervous System - frequent: abnormal dreams and agitation; - infrequent: abnormal gait, acute brain syndrome, akathisia, amnesia, apathy, ... delusions, depersonalization, euphoria, hallucinations, hostility, ... manic reaction, paranoid reaction, psychosis, and vertigo; rare: abnormal electroencephalogram, anti-social reaction, chronic brain syndrome .... hysteria..."

According to the medical literature, the side effect of "akathisia" is a drug-induced insanity with bizarre and frightening characteristics including hallucinations, aggression, self-destructive outbursts, terror, anger, hostility, hatred, and rage. (Ref: Theodore Van Putten, "The Many Faces of Akathisia.", Comprehensive Psychiatry, Volume 16, No. 1, January/February, 1975.)

Anyone who is taking Prozac needs to be informed that aggression and violence are possible results of using the drug. Persons on the drug can begin experiencing increased hostility toward people around them, and can even physically attack others, and might come to think that they are going insane, or their marriage has "gone bad" or any of a hundred other false reasons.

Extreme psychotic rampages of violence are even possible on this drug.



Internet Security Systems: "Capitalistic Police" :.

The other day, I made a reference to a television commercial where a hacker says, "This is where capitalism meets my delete key." I managed to track that commercial down. Get ready to laugh your ass off.

"Payback," featuring a disgruntled PHB, is excellent as well.



The Race to the Bottom Meets German Efficiency :.

A new German employment site shows just how bad the country's job market has become.

JobDumping.de is like no other career portal. Employers still list jobs, but prospective workers log on and bid -- downward.

Want a job as a cleaner? Log on and offer to do the work for 10 euros an hour. If someone else bids 8 euros per hour, they get the job. Would-be workers engage in a race to the bottom, continually lowering the ante to get the job.


3/23/2005

14 Confirmed Dead in Texas City Plant Explosion :.

Emergency crews were still digging through the rubble at a Texas City Refinery Wednesday night. Authorities confirm that 14 people were killed in an explosion at the BP Amoco refinery in Texas City Wednesday afternoon. That plant is located about 35 miles south of Houston.

Rescue crews say they've moved from a search and rescue to a search and recovery effort. As we said, 14 people were killed and another 70 were injured in the blast. Emergency crews were called in from several surrounding areas, including Southeast Texas.

British Petroleum's Texas City Refinery contains 30-units and sits on 12-hundred acres just south of Houston.

It is considered the world's most complex refinery because of its ability to upgrade oil into usable products.

The Texas City refinery receives 460 thousand barrels of oil per day through pipelines and ships.

The plant also produces 3-percent of the nation's entire fuel supply.

No word on how Wednesday's explosion will affect gas prices.



Acetone In Fuel Said to Increase Mileage 15-35% :.

Cryptogon reader JG personally runs the acetone-gas mixture in his car. He writes, "I have tried the acetone and it defiantly works as stated." [sic] Nice work:

Acetone (CH3COCH3), also called dimethylketone or propanone, is a product that can be purchased inexpensively in most locations around the world, such as in the common hardware store. Added to the fuel tank in tiny amounts, acetone aids in the vaporization of the gasoline or diesel, increasing fuel efficiency, engine longevity, and performance -- as well as reducing hydrocarbon emissions.



Nerd Antics: Solar Death Ray :.

If this guy can melt rubber duckies with this thing, what's to keep people from building DIY solar hot water based on this? Maybe run a few of them together with some kind of heliostat rig... 1500 watts out of that thing in the form of heat is pretty damn impressive.

Yes, I know about the real-deal applications of this technology. Of course, there's nothing new under the sun. But The Solar Death Ray interests me because it was built by one bored freak, not a group of "experts." Keep it in mind as the show comes down.



Binladen Group Wins Airport Contracts Financed by the World Bank :.

Do you get it yet?

The Saudi Binladen Group has won the contracts to implement two airport projects in Egypt and Yemen financed by the World Bank, Al-Eqtisadiah business daily reported yesterday.

The group, whose chairman is Bakr Binladen, will construct a new passenger lounge for the airport in the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh. In addition to the 44,000-sq.m. lounge, the project includes an air traffic observation building and other related facilities.



GOP Adviser Died of Overdose :.

Family values über alles, or something else? If anyone is doing any work on linking Stevens to you-know-what, let me know:

Republican media adviser R. Gregory Stevens, who was found dead in the Beverly Hills, Calif., home of actress Carrie Fisher on Feb. 26, died of an overdose of cocaine and the painkiller OxyContin, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office.

A spokeswoman at the coroner's office read to The Washington Times portions of the report, which was completed Friday.

"Cocaine and OxyContin," the spokeswoman said when asked by phone what was the cause of death. When asked specifically whether there was a drug overdose, she said "yes."



Army Expects to Miss Recruiting Goals for March and April :.

The Army expects to miss its recruiting goals again this month and next, Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey said Wednesday, and it is developing a new sales pitch that appeals to the patriotism of parents who have been reluctant to steer their children toward the Army.

"There is a forecast that we will not meet the monthly goal" for March and April, Harvey said at his first Pentagon news conference since becoming the Army's top civilian official last November.

In February the Army missed its monthly recruiting goal by 27 percent. That was the first time it had fallen short for any month since May 2000, and it underscored the difficulty the Army faces in signing up young men and women during time of war.



U.S. Bars Italians from Examining Victim's Car :.

Shocker:

The U.S. military command in Iraq has blocked two Italian policemen from examining the car in which an Italian intelligence agent was shot to death in Baghdad, a newspaper said Wednesday.

Corriere della Sera said that the policemen were about to leave when the Italian Embassy in Baghdad received an order from the U.S. command on Monday to abort the mission for security concerns.

The embassy in Baghdad reportedly alerted Rome authorities, who called off the trip.

The car, a Toyota Corolla, is reportedly still in American hands, at Baghdad airport where it was originally rented.

The Foreign Ministry in Rome declined comment on the report, while officials at the Italian Embassy in Baghdad could not immediately be reached. The U.S. military in Baghdad had no immediate comment.

Italian authorities say that examining the vehicle is key to assessing what happened on March 4, when U.S. troops opened fire on the car carrying secret service agent Nicola Calipari, another intelligence officer and journalist Giuliana Sgrena, who had just been released after a month of captivity in Iraq.

Calipari died on the spot, while the other two were wounded.



MAJOR EXPLOSION AT BP REFINERY IN TEXAS :.

There's virtually no excess gas in the supply chain. Refining capacity is totally maxed out. There is definite potential for high weirdness over the next few months.


3/22/2005

Cryptogon Reader Orders Limu

Update: Actually, this isn't a Cryptogon reader. My Dad referred DR. Thanks Dad!

Thanks DR! I hope you like it. I'll send you the instructions for taking it properly tomorrow. If you should happen to get results, and want to order a Three Pack, I'll drive down and lend you a case so you won't run out. When your Three Pack shows up, you can "repay" me by giving me back one of those cases. My brother lives in El Cajon, FYI.

You guys need to remember that buying a single bottle is a bit like rolling the dice. You may get results, or you may not. Some Cryptogon readers want to try the product, but they aren't willing to sign up to get it at wholesale.

Rather than buying one bottle at the insane retail price, you guys should take advantage of my offer to buy up to two of the three cases you get with the Three Pack, if you aren't satisfied for any reason. The Three Pack is the best way to go, by far. Buying one bottle at retail... Well, if it's between not trying the product at all and getting one bottle, I'd rather people try one bottle.

A Note to All of You One Bottle Buyers: That bottle should not last more than two weeks, at the very longest. This would be the minimum dose. For therapeutic use, your bottle should be gone in a week, assuming that just one person is consuming it.

DISCLAIMER

The above material is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Cryptogon is not engaged in rendering medical advice, and any information provided is not a substitute for professional medical opinion.

Original Limu is a food product, not a drug and has not been evaluated by the FDA. Original Limu is not intended to diagnose, cure, prevent or treat any illness or disease.



Inflation Fears Prompt Selloff on Wall Street :.

* yawn * I've only mentioned this a few hundred times:

A warning from the federal Reserve that "inflation has picked up in recent months and pricing power is evident" sent stock prices tumbling Tuesday and pushed interest rates higher.



Apple iTunes DRM Broken Again :.

It happened less than 24 hours after Apple "fixed" the hole. HAHA! Did you ever see the commercial where the hacker in the bathrobe says, "This is where capitalism meets my delete key"???

Jon Johansen, I salute you:

A group of underground programmers has posted code online they say will reopen a back door in Apple Computer's iTunes store, allowing Linux computer users to purchase music free of copy protection.

The release comes just a day after Apple blocked a previous version of the program, called PyMusique, in part by requiring all iTunes customers to use the latest version of Apple's software.

In a blog posting, Norwegian programmer Jon Johansen, who was previously responsible for releasing software used to copy DVDs online, said he had been successful at reverse engineering the latest iTunes encryption.

Cody Brocious, a Pennsylvania high school student working with Johansen, said they saw the project as "necessary for the Linux community," despite Apple's opposition.

The programmers' work has been one of the most persistent projects targeting Apple, whose iPod and iTunes Music Store have drawn consistent attacks and experiments by people eager to extend the capability of the products, or simply disarm copy protection.


3/21/2005

Biometric Passports Soon :.

It's official. Your passport is going high-tech.

Biometric passports have made it out of the discussion and testing phase. The State Department's Office of Passport Policy, Planning, and Advisory Services recently announced that it is ready to begin issuing biometric passports.

These passports, which feature an RFID chip, will bring about speedier and more secure entry into and exit from the United States, the government says. However, critics say the technology behind the passports is flawed and puts your personal privacy at stake.

The New National ID

According to the State Department's proposed implementation rule, the agency plans to issue the first passport carrying an RFID chip by mid-2005.

That chip includes all the personal data found on the information page of today's passports. It also contains a biometric component--a digital facial image.

Within a year, all passports issued in the U.S. will feature this technology.

The new passports will comply with requirements set forth by the International Civil Aviation Organization. In 2003 that group adopted a global plan for the implementation of machine-readable passports containing biometric information for its 188 member countries, the United States included.


Research Credit: WB



WhisperGen Personal Power Station :.

Kiwis just get it.

I was lucky enough to see a hit from them in my access log. This company is doing incredible stuff! While this technology isn't a solution, it might certainly lead to one. At the very least, people with this technology would be able to keep their lights on longer than everyone else, if you know what I mean. If you had a way of making your own biofuel... Yep, you would be pretty much sorted out.


3/20/2005

Overcaffeinated Wallpaper :.

These are excellent.

Related: Despair.com



What Price for 'Trusted PC Security'? :.

Lots of people---including me---have been warning about digital rights management and "trusted" computing for years.

As is often the case with "the few" trying to warn "the many" of impending doom, our efforts to raise awareness on this issue have accomplished nothing. The type of hardware that will enable the most frightening "features" of Microsoft's Hellish Longhorn operating system is now shipping from manufacturers. They're not waiting for Microsoft to finish Longhorn.

There's a big difference between seeing a problem on the horizon and talking about it, and seeing a problem on the horizon and taking preemptive action to avert a crisis. Unfortunately, I couldn't think of anything else to do but talk about it. Obviously, talking about it is a waste of time, because hardly anyone is listening. It's like the people who saw the South Asian Tsunami on the horizon and did nothing to get out of the way. "Yep, that's a big wave... Garçon, another round of drinks, and make it snappy!"

There's a Frommian correlate to this "trusted" computing situation. Humans, in general, can't handle the implications of general purpose computing. Like intellectual, political, economic and spiritual freedom, general purpose computing presents us with a set of responsibilities and challenges that most of us are NOT willing to consider. In the end, we tend to seek order and turn over control to a cop/priest/monarch/warlord/etc. Microsoft's Longhorn is just a 21st Century example of humans willingly locking themselves in prison. The technology improves, but the motivation to escape from freedom remains the same.

You want safety and security? Check your freedom, and your brain, at the door:

If you have recently bought an IBM ThinkVantage computer, a Dell Optiplex, or one of a whole range of laptops from Toshiba, HP/Compaq or Samsung then you may have got more for your money than you realised.

Inside your shiny new PC is an extra chip called the trusted platform module (TPM) that can be used for a range of hardware-based security features.

Eventually the TPM will be built into the main processor itself, and if the trusted computing group has its way then you will find one in every piece of hardware you own, from mobile phones to TV set top boxes to children's toys.



The Anti-War Institution :.

March, wave your signs, wear your pink tutus. In other words, do nothing.

I promise, Jeff and I don't share the same brain:

If there ever was an anti-war movement, it's long gone. (Suicided?) What's taken its place is an institution of self-actualization. Ineffective as hell, except maybe for transitory catharsis, but at least its obligations are nominal: attend the annual hand-wringing parade, and you've paid the dues for another 12 months. Just enough commitment for the Not-Me Generation of Not in my name.

Protesting the war isn't "mindless," unless it's nothing but an unconsidered reflex. But when it's institutional, it becomes another form of social control. It's a way to let the dissident faction "blow off steam." No harm done to the ruling interests, no change to government policy, and the protesters leave thinking they've made their "voices heard," even though nobody's listening.

Part of the problem, perhaps, is too many people are trying to fight parapolitics with politics. Even after Florida, the Supreme Court, Wellstone, Diebold and Ohio, they don't recognize that, so far as America is concerned, politics is finished. And parapolitical power nodes, which have come well out of the shadows since 2000, are neither accountable to voters, nor terribly responsive to chants of "Hey Hey! Ho Ho!"


3/19/2005

The Astonishing Art of Mind Control Survivor Lynn Schirmer :.

*WARNING:* The content of this site deals with traumatic experiences and emotional reactions to extreme experiences, survivors of trauma may wish to view it with a support person.

Research Credit: Rigorous Intuition


3/18/2005

Army Cancels Special Ops Bible Project :.

Rather than publicly disclose details about its planned production of 10,000 modified Bibles, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command has withdrawn a purchase order that it placed with the International Bible Society (IBS) to carry out the project.

The Army's abrupt cancellation of its planned contract with IBS is a blatant attempt to circumvent the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Its cancellation of the order for enhanced Bibles couldn't be more suspect: the agency withdrew the order after receiving my request for related photos and documents I had submitted under the FOIA

What a coincidence, eh?

Here's how the Army is trying, but ultimately will fail, to find a loophole in the law to maintain the secrecy of this initiative.



Halliburton Executive Indicted on Ten Counts of Fraud :.

Just ten?

A former employee of a Halliburton subsidiary has been indicted on charges of defrauding the US military of more than $3.5m for fuel in Iraq.

Jeff Alex Mazon, 36, an ex-procurement manager for Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR), is due to appear in a federal court in Atlanta on 10 counts of fraud.

Kuwaiti businessman Ali Hijazi has also been indicted on the same charges.

Halliburton, once run by Vice-President Dick Cheney, is under renewed pressure over its work for the Pentagon in Iraq.

An audit report investigating $108m-worth of questionable fuel delivery costs in Iraq was released on Monday by Congressional Democrats critical of Halliburton's work in Iraq.



Secret U.S. Plans for Iraq's Oil :.

The Bush administration made plans for war and for Iraq's oil before the 9/11 attacks, sparking a policy battle between neo-cons and Big Oil, BBC's Newsnight has revealed.

The industry-favoured plan was pushed aside by a secret plan, drafted just before the invasion in 2003, which called for the sell-off of all of Iraq's oil fields. The new plan was crafted by neo-conservatives intent on using Iraq's oil to destroy the Opec cartel through massive increases in production above Opec quotas.



New Zealand Considers Hate Speech Ban :.

Kiwis are smarter than this:

Church leaders, academics, broadcasters and conservative groups are among a growing faction condemning proposed laws that would block all New Zealanders from expressing certain opinions.

A parliamentary select committee yesterday held the first day of an inquiry in Auckland into possible legislation to ban "hate speech".

An overwhelming majority of submissions slammed the proposals as a threat to freedom of expression and the democratic process.



Precrime: Man Sentenced for Crimes He MAY Commit :.

A man who has fantasies of murder and cannibalism has been sentenced to two years in prison for a string of offences, including decapitating two cats, but also for crimes a judge believes he's likely to commit in the future.

Judge Keith Libby ruled that protection of the public was the most important consideration in sentencing Dwight Barnes. And in a move that invited the defence to appeal, Libby said the prison term reflected what Barnes might do in the future, rather than what he had done.



Berlusconi Rolls Over for Bush, Blair :.

They must have made Berlusconi an offer he couldn't refuse. Was it a horse head in his bed? Maybe a video of Berlusconi in the crypt with some of the boys, if you know what I mean... What was it, Silvio?

Maybe it's just that you're a fascist twit that barks on command:

TO BITING criticism from the Italian Opposition and the press, Silvio Berlusconi, the Prime Minister, backtracked yesterday over his announcement that Italian troops would start withdrawing from Iraq in September, claiming that this had only ever been a "hope" rather than a commitment.

On Tuesday night Signor Berlusconi had caused consternation in London and Washington by declaring on state television that Italy would begin a "progressive withdrawal" of its 3,000-strong contingent from Iraq starting in September, provided local security conditions allowed this.

He said that he had discussed an "exit strategy" with Tony Blair and was responding to public opinion.

Il Giornale, the newspaper owned by the Berlusconi family, carried a front-page headline the next day reading "Troops to start pulling back in September" and described the move as "a turning point".

Yesterday, however, Italian newspapers carried a "clarification" from Signor Berlusconi's office stating that after a "long and cordial" conversation with President Bush the Italian leader wished to make it clear that there was "no fixed date" for withdrawal, which could only take place "in consultation with our allies".

Signor Berlusconi said that the media had misinterpreted his words and built "castles in the air".



Blogger Unusable 95% of the Time :.

The people who run Blogger aren't able to scale the service properly. As a result, the thing has hit the wall.

If you see extended periods of inactivity on Cryptogon, it's probably because Blogger is dead... Again. The link on this post is http://status.blogger.com/. Blogger occasionally post updates to officially let people know that they have been set up the bomb. Thanks guys.


3/17/2005

CRYPTOGON READER ORDERS LIMU THREE PACK!

CB joins the growing list of Cryptogon Limu users by taking the Three Pack! Man, we're going to have to convene a Cryptogon Limu Users Group! C.L.U.G.

CB, I'll be in touch with you soon!

Related: You Guys Really Want the Three Pack



Paul Wolfowitz: Head of World Bank?! :.

In other news, Bush administration officials regret that Dr. Josef Mengele could not be re-animated in time to head up the Department of Health and Human Services...

President Bush on Wednesday tapped Defense Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who has been a lightning rod for criticism of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and other defense policies, to take over as head of the World Bank.

Bush told a news conference that Wolfowitz, now Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's top deputy, was "a compassionate, decent man who will do a fine job at the World Bank. That's why I put him up."



Towards Self-Replicating Rapid Prototypers :.

Adrian Bowyer envisions a common manufacturing device that could make Wal-Mart practically obsolete. Instead of running out to buy a set of goblets or plates, you'd simply design them on your make-it-all machine and push a button. Poof, whatever you want comes out.

His idea is based on "rapid prototype machines," which industry already uses to make plastic auto parts. A concept is detailed in 3D on a computer, and then the machine manufactures the item automatically. The machines aren't cheap, of course (and it means yet another device on your kitchen counter).

But if Bowyer can pull it off, the machine would inarguably be a handy addition to any stable of household appliances. While it sounds like a huge "if" for now, Bowyer sees it all coming true in just a few years.

In fact, he thinks the magical machines will even manufacture themselves. And that's the key to making it all happen.

Bowyer figures little robotic factories could be instructed to make copies of themselves, and the clones would make more, and so on until the price of each became reasonable. He's working right now on designing a machine that could reproduce itself.


Related: Why the Future Doesn't Need Us



U.S. Air Force User Wants to See the Future

The Air Force user (host: cits-pr1.hickam.af.mil, ip: 131.38.214.8) conducted the following Google search: tetra vaal mirror

Did you find it, buddy? Here it is, just in case. Note: Some people need to be told that this isn't real. Not yet, anyway.



Jane Christensen: Holocaust Denial and 9/11 Investigation

Back on 3/10/05, I posted a story called, Poli Sci 495: 911 The Road to Tyranny. Since then, Mark Robinowitz looked into the sources that Professor Christensen planned to use in her class. Mark sent the following email to her:
Saw your course referenced on "cryptogon.com"

You have some great articles listed, and some that are promoting hoaxes. It is also offensive to have Holocaust Denial publications / websites listed -- since it discredits the serious investigations into Cheney's complicity in 9/11.



North Carolina Wesleyan College

Spring 2005

(POL 495) 911 The Road to Tyranny

Professor Jane T. Christensen
Office: HBB Hardee Bldg., Tel. 252-985-5118
Office Hrs.: Monday 10:10-12:00, Tuesday/Thursday 11:10-1:00, and by appointment
Homepage URL: http://faculty.ncwc.edu/Jchristensen/email: [email protected]

COURSE DESCRIPTION

The events of September 11, 2001, indisputably changed the course of American politics and history. This course is offered so students may examine various events and policies leading to 911. In particular, this course will focus largely on the specific destruction in lower Manhattan and the Pentagon. We will examine the official story and analyze it critically. We will consider alternative explanations of what occurrred as well. 911 was a catalyst for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the attack on civil liberties in the United States. We will examine each of these with a critical eye. The goal of this course is to arrive at a solid understanding of how 911 has shaped our political future and to promote critical analysis by students of this catastrophic event and its aftermath.

This course is outside the scope of traditional "political science" in many ways. First it is "unscientific" in that it relies much on eyewitness accounts and speculation. Secondly, there is not yet a solid literature on the September 11 "attacks" or on the war on terrorism. This literature is emerging, particularly on the latter. Thirdly, this course will rely somewhat extensively on alternative news media accounts and a variety of films and videos in lieu of literature.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS

2 exams 25% each
Paper 25%
Participation 25%

It is expected that students will attend class regularly and on time. An excess of 4 or more absences results in a loss of your participation grade or 25% of your grade. That's two and a half letter grades! No food, drinks, gum or cell phones will be tolerated in class! Exams are identification and essay in format and consist of a midterm and final.
PAPER

The paper for this course will focus on some aspect of 911 or the war on terrorism. It will consist of 10-12 typewritten pages, double-spaced with one-inch margins and with footnotes and bibliography. Specific details will be discussed in class.

REQUIRED TEXTS

Michael Parenti, The Terrorism Trap. San Francisco, City Lights Books, 2002.

George Humphrey, 9/11: The Great Illusion. Austin, Texas, George Humphrey Publications, 2003.

This is referencing some hoaxes promoted by the neonazi publication American Free Press (whose "Barnes Review" subsidiary is a nasty Holocaust Denial site - see http://www.oilempire.us/holocaust.html )

RECOMMENDED TEXTS

William Cooper, Behold A Pale Horse, Flagstaff, AZ, Light Technology Publishing, 1991.

I haven't read this, but several experts who have warned me it's a mix of real and fake. Use caution!

RECOMMENDED WEBSITES (These sites should be visited on a daily basis!)

http://rense.com/

Rense is a site that has admitted they don't do any fact checking.

http://www.libertythink.com/

http://www.counterpunch.org/

see http://www.oilempire.us/counterpunch.html

http://www.prisonplanet.com/

Alex Jones has been caught promoting a variety of hoaxes -- he is not credible, even if some of the material on his site is real.

http://www.wsws.org/index.shtml

http://www.globalresearch.ca/

A very good site.

http://www.copvcia.com/
The most important site re: 9/11.

Another list of best 9/11 sites: http://www.oilempire.us/911.html#best

REQUIRED READINGS

Infowars 911 archive, Alex Jones. Alex Jones' Infowars.com. Use this site for reference. It's one of the best on the web!

No, it is not one of the best. He has a long list of hoaxes that he's been promoting over the past few years.

Selections from William Cooper, Behold A Pale Horse, Flagstaff, AZ, Light Technology Publishing, 1991. (Bill Cooper was shot down by Arizona troopers in the doorway of his home, probably for what he revealed in this book.)

Bette Stockbauer, "'Rebuilding America's Defenses' and the Project for a New American Century", Antiwar, June 18, 2003. http://www.antiwar.com/orig/stockbauer1.html

Jason Vest, "The Men from JINSA." The Nation, August 15, 2002. The Nation | Article | The Men From JINSA and CSP | Jason Vest http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20020902&s=vest

United Press International. Arnaud de Borchgrave interview with Pakistani General Hameed Gul September 26, 2001. http://www.freemasonrywatch.org/hameedgul.html

Michael Chossudovsky, The Mysterious Breakfast Meeting on Capitol Hill, Globalresearch, August 4, 2003. Mysterious September 11 Breakfast Meeting on Capitol Hill, Michel Chossudovsky http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO308C.html

That is a VERY important article.

Michael Collins Piper, "FBI Admits No Evidence Links Hijackers to 911", American Free Press. FBI Admits: No Evidence

Piper is an editor for "Barnes Review," a Holocaust denial publication (part of "AFP"). No thanks.

BBC News, "Hijack Suspects Alive and Well", Sept. 23, 2001. Hijack 'suspects' alive and well

Yes, they reported this -- there hasn't been any followup as far as I know to determine if this is true or not.

Rowland Morgan, Global Echo, Dec. 2, 2004, "Barbara Olson's Call From Flight 77 Never Happened." GlobalEcho - Alternative Media

This is extreme speculation that might or might not be true. It's also a big distraction, and a great way to keep the 9/11 skeptics separate from the family members.

Mark Weber, IHR.org, December 30, 2004, "Iraq--A War for Israel?" Iraq - A War For Israel?

Infowars.com August 1, 2004. "Senator Dayton: NORAD Lied About 911" Transcript of Sen. Dayton's remarks. Senator Dayton: NORAD Lied About 9/11

It's also archived at http://www.911truth.org -- a much more reliable source.

Rep. Ron Paul, "It Can't Happen Here", Rense.com, Dec. 21,2004. It Can't Happen Here

Elaine Cassell, "They Say They Can Lock You Up for Life Without a Trial", Counterpunch, Jan. 4, 2005. http://www.counterpunch.org/cassel01042005.html

American Patriot Friends Network, "Why? An Extraordinary Series of 911 Questions". Why? - An Extraordinary Series Of 911 Questions

Alex Jones, infowars.com, Nov. 22, 2004. Brief Analysis - Domestic Security Enhancement Act 2003 Also Known As USA Patriot Act II

Mike Ruppert exposed Jones's shoddy work on this at the time ...

Wayne Perry, Associated Press, Jan. 1, 2005. Man Charged Under Patriot Act - Feds Admit Not A Terrorist!

Rep. Ron Paul, Antiwar.com, August 10, 2004. Police State USA.

Michael Meacher, The Guardian, Sept. 6, 2003. This War On Terrorism Is Bogus The 9/11 Attacks Gave The US An Ideal Pretext To Use Force To Secure Its Global Domination

One of the best articles.

Douglas Valentine, Counterpunch, August 11, 2003. Homeland Security for Whom?

Valentine's work is also excellent.

Alex Jones, infowars.com, Feb. 11, 2003. Secret Patriot Act II Destroys Remaining US Liberty Total Police State Takeover.

The Olympian, Dec. 4, 2002. CIA can kill Americans

World Socialist Website, Sept. 28,2004. An open letter to Michael Moore

Interview with Thierry Meyssan, April 8, 2002. Presentation by Thierry Meyssan

Meyssan's "no plane" claim was debunked as BS a long time ago by 9/11 truth activists. It's all a distraction from the evidence that Flight 77 was hijacked via remote control and flown into the empty part of the Pentagon.

http://www.oilempire.us/pentagon.html
The "no plane" theories are used to discredit 9/11 skepticism and distract from proven evidence of complicity.

http://911research.wtc7.net/essays/pentagontrap.html
The Pentagon No-757-Crash Theory: Booby Trap for 9/11 Skeptics

http://911research.wtc7.net/pentagon/evidence/witnesses/bart.html
perhaps the best list of eyewitness accounts

http://www.911review.com/errors/pentagon/index.html VERY detailed analyses of how the "no plane" claims are fake, compiled by a writer who formerly believed they were real.

http://www.questionsquestions.net/blog/041116pentagon.html
another 9/11 skeptic stops buying the "no plane at Pentagon" claims

http://www.questionsquestions.net/blog/041116walter.html
Jimmy Walter (reopen911.org): A sugar daddy with poison pills

www.questionsquestions.net/blog/050225pentagon_cnn.html
25 February 2005: Jamie McIntyre CNN Pentagon footage

www.questionsquestions.net/blog/050224pentagon_eberle.html
24 February 2005: Another Pentagon distraction

http://www.pressaction.com/news/weblog/full_article/mickeyz12062004/
You had rush hour traffic on I-395 that saw the plane hit, you have 100 eyewitnesses compiled in the pamphlet published by Penny Schoner. Where the hell did this theory come from? Thierry Meyssan's book "The Horrible Fraud" was the original source. Meyssan wrote his book from Paris, he didn't travel over here. The book is highly imaginative, and in the middle of a trauma, people are searching for answers. A lot of people in the 9/11 truth movement glommed onto this one and I think it's hurt our credibility over all. You have to wonder if that was by design.
"Sander Hicks and the 9/11 Truth Movement"

http://www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/JohnJudge/PAandAAF77.html
The Pentagon Attack and American Airlines Flight 77 by John Judge

http://www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/JohnJudge/notAllCequal.html
Not all conspiracies are created equal by John Judge

www.freedom-force.org/freedomcontent.cfm?fuseaction=burningquestions&refpage=issues
BURNING QUESTIONS What Really Happened at the Pentagon on 9/11?
some of the photos "proving" a small hole (and therefore no plane) at the Pentagon were digitally altered

http://perso.wanadoo.fr/jpdesm/pentagon/english.html

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/ppfinal.html

http://www.thenewamerican.com/tna/2004/08-23-2004/facts.htm
"In the information society, bad information drives out good information. The proliferation of misinformation causes the dilution of good, factual information. Valuable information on actual cover-ups, for instance, is discredited when other alleged, but non-factual and misleading, conspiracy theories are given undue currency. In short, bad conspiracy theories discredit all assertions of conspiracy, making for fertile ground in which actual conspiracies thrive."

Sites that don't think there was official complicity
(the false choice between "no plane at Pentagon" and "Bush is innocent")

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/pages/911_pentagon_757_plane_evidence.html Photos of Boeing debris in the rubble

http://paulboutin.weblogger.com/2002/03/14 "Hunt the Boeing" Answers

LA Citizens Grand Jury, Rense, Nov. 2, 2004. LA Citizens Grand Jury Treasonous Cabal For 911

COURSE OUTLINE

Part I 9/11

Feb. 8-10 The Pentagon Optical Illusion
Film: In Plane Sight

This film is a hoax, a dirty trick to discredit the 9/11 truth movement. Really, it is an embarrassment.

"In Plane Site" movie by the "Power Hour"

This film, released a few months before the 2004 Presidential Election, is a conglomeration of most of the red herrings surrounding the 9/11 truth movement. Nearly every piece of "evidence" in it is wrong, even if the conclusion ("inside job") is correct. "Plane Site" includes hoaxes, misinterpreted evidence, logical leaps unsupported by evidence, and some footage that is almost certainly completely fraudulent. The video clips that can be proven to be authentic are merely those plagiarized from other films, such as the WTC 7 collapse, the firefighter sequence, and the footage from Oklahoma City.

In Plane Site only promotes the "Letsroll911" website (the loudest promoter of the "pod" claim), which means that "In Plane Site" is probably a "Webfairy" production (the video operation that made "new" videos of 9/11 years after the fact).

Perhaps the most revealing aspect of this fake film is that the cover graphic shows the same photo of a Boeing 757 that was posted to the "911truthalliance" list in May 2004 pointing out that the "pod" was merely an illusion. In other words, the manufacturers of "Plane Site" put a photo showing the "pod" is a fake claim on the cover of the DVD -- a bad joke "hidden in plain sight."

http://www.oilempire.us/inplanesite.html
"911: In Plane Site" - a bad joke hidden "in plain sight"

http://www.darkprints.net/planesitereview.html
"911 - In Plane Site: A Critical Review" by Jeremy Baker

http://www.digitalstylecreations.com/Download/
Video debunking of several "planesite" claims by 9/11 Visibility Project member

http://www.questionsquestions.net/blog/041116walter.html
16 November 2004: Jimmy Walter, a sugar daddy with poison pills
(millionaire promoter of "In Plane Site" at reopen911.org)

http://www.mail-archive.com/[email protected]/msg115085.html
Dave Von Kleist, lost in foam

http://www.awitness.org/journal/september_11_norad_standdown.html
perhaps this spreading of such nonsense around is part of some psyop by some intelligence agency in the government the purpose of which is to create people just like me who are reacting with growing disgust and deep mistrust and suspicion to each and every new 9-11 conspiracy type story that comes out, having been burned so many times before, and thus this psyop can work to undermine any 9-11 investigation

http://www.heraldextra.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=33961

http://www.portlandmercury.com/2004-10-14/film_shorts.html
9/11: In Plane Site should have been a fun, Fox Mulder-y conspiracy diatribe--it features both an exceedingly annoying crackpot theorist and outlandish, unsubstantiated allegations about blurrily pixelized photos that don't really show anything. But there's something still very raw and powerful about the imagery from 9/11 that Plane Site so gleefully throws around in its half-assed allegations that 9/11 was a staged event, and the role that the film ultimately fills is that of the cheapest, most unintelligent form of cashing-in on the day it so poorly tries to redefine.

April 12-14 The War on Iraq
Reading: Mark Weber, IHR.org,

ihr.org = Institute for Historical Review -- a nazi website

Are you trying to discredit us by promoting such nonsense???

--
oilempire.us
http://www.oilempire.us

stolen elections * 9/11 * fascism
World War IV * media manipulation * Peak Oil

http://www.oilempire.us/stolenelection2004.html - "Vote Fraud in Ohio"

Understanding 9/11 -- http://www.oilempire.us/understanding.html
9/11 Parable and best web sites -- http://www.oilempire.us/911.html
9/11 Dictionary -- http://www.oilempire.us/dictionary.html
9/11 wargames that paralyzed the military response -- http://www.oilempire.us/wargames.html
Bush, "My Pet Goat" and the 9/11 stand down http://www.oilempire.us/standdown.html

The archeology of evidence http://www.oilempire.us/911intro.html
Permaculture, Peak Oil & 9/11 -- http://www.oilempire.us/oilempire.html
9/11 was not a "failure" of intelligence http://www.oilempire.us/limited.html
Famous skeptics who don't believe the official story http://www.oilempire.us/skeptics.html
The American Reichstag Fire http://www.oilempire.us/reichstag-fire.html
WHY 9/11 was allowed is more important than HOW - http://www.oilempire.us/911why.html

Peak Oil is the real connection between Iraq and 9/11
http://www.oilempire.us/peakoil.html and http://www.oilempire.us/fascism.html

Media manipulation and alternative sources of information -- http://www.oilempire.us/media.html
Left / liberal gatekeepers who promote Bush propaganda that 9/11 was a surprise attack: the politics, the psychology, the practice, the personnel http://www.oilempire.us/gatekeepers.html

Flight 77 hit the Pentagon in the nearly empty, recently reconstructed and strengthened sector, which minimized casualties -- evidence for remote control technology? http://www.oilempire.us/pentagon.html http://www.oilempire.us/remote.html

Worst 9/11 Web Sites (science fiction speculations and disinformation that distracts from best evidence) http://www.oilempire.us/bogus.html

Books and movies about 9/11, Peak Oil, fascism
http://www.oilempire.us/books.html and http://www.oilempire.us/movies.html

Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL) http://www.oilempire.us/iraq.html http://www.oilempire.us/iraqoil.html
Is Saudi Arabia next? http://www.oilempire.us/saudi.html http://www.oilempire.us/saudioil.html

JFK, MLK, RFK, Wellstone: http://www.oilempire.us/coup.html
Phony electronic ballot machines http://www.oilempire.us/ballot.html (we need paper ballots counted by hand)
Skull and Bones death cult -- http://www.oilempire.us/skullbones.html

----------------------------------------------------

"I want to thank a dedicated and meticulous 9/11 researcher named Mark Robinowitz for giving me an analogy about bank robbers [and 9/11]"
mention of the "9/11 parable" article, on p. 590 of Michael Ruppert's book "Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil."

"Compelling work by 9/11 investigator Mark Robinowitz adding more knowledge to how the pieces fit together."
-- recommended link "for reason and reliable information" at Ruppert's From the Wilderness publications http://www.fromthewilderness.com

"Oil Empire is among the best current political websites. 9/11 has been examined by hundreds of writers, some of them quite excellent and others more limited -- but there are still other 9/11 sites whose illogic and rhetorical chicanery suggests disinformation. Oil Empire is by far the best resource for discriminating among the various 9/11 sites, seeking the genuine and avoiding the bogus. The mechanics of 9/11 are important. But the crime remains an isolated incident unless it's framed in a larger narrative of world affairs. This is the great strength of Mark Robinowitz's website.
-- Jamey Hecht, Assistant Managing Editor, From the Wilderness

"The information and analysis on oilempire.us is excellent. As an activist for 9/11 Truth, I've reviewed many websites, and find oilempire.us clear, succinct, well researched, and internally consistent."
-- Emanuel Sferios, Webmaster, 9/11 Visibility Project, http://www.septembereleventh.org

"Your sixth sense for 9/11 disinfo is intuitive and deadly accurate. It's as necessary as original research."
-- Sander hicks, writer and publisher http://www.sanderhicks.com

"I usually considered websites like this the work of extremist left wing wackos. But your site is different. You don't post every piece of conspiracy theory information that some guy in his mom's basement can make up. You string together facts and fill in the blank spots with believable theories and sound ideas. And you refute the ideas that don't make sense."
-- comments received from an enlisted serviceman about to be deployed to Iraq
She responded:
Dear Mark,
Thanks for writing. I rather think the "Holocaust" denial sites have a
great deal of credibility since the "Holocaust" was the greatest hoax of
all.
Jane
WOW!

I wrote Professor Christensen myself:
Professor Christensen,

My name is Kevin Flaherty. I am the editor of cryptogon.com.

I am seeking confirmation of comments that you allegedly made to researcher Mark Robinowitz.

Did you write the following comments to Robinowitz (full email, including headers, is below)?

>Dear Mark,
>Thanks for writing. I rather think the "Holocaust" denial sites have a
>great deal of credibility since the "Holocaust" was the greatest
>hoax of all.
>Jane

Thank you,
Kevin Flaherty
Her response:
I am not accountable to you, Mr. Flaherty.Jane Christensen
Needless to say, I need to be more vigilant when mentioning alleged 9/11 "truth" researchers. This area of inquiry has more lunatics, plants, cranks and freaks associated with it than the UFO community.



OIL HITS $57.50 :.

Uh...

Crude climbed to a record $57.50 a barrel in New York, and fuel prices touched records, amid speculation the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries can't produce enough to meet rising demand.

OPEC may fail to ease oil prices because members can't pump much more, Venezuela's energy minister said today. The group, which produces about 40 percent of the world's oil, raised its output quotas to 27.5 million barrels a day yesterday and will let inventories increase in the second quarter, when consumption usually drops.

There's runaway world demand and until that growth slows you will see prices accelerate," said Tom Bentz, an oil broker at BNP Paribas Commodity Futures Inc. in New York. "The short- term fundamentals don't determine the direction right now.

Crude oil for April delivery rose 29 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $56.75 a barrel at 11:38 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures touched $57.50 a barrel, the highest since the contract was introduced in March 1983 and a 49 percent increase in the past 12 months.


3/16/2005

Oil Surges to a Record on Concern Demand Is Outpacing Supply :.

Honestly, I thought we had until 2007 before the sh*t hit the fan re: energy. Maybe not:

Crude oil surged to an all-time high as a promise of higher output from OPEC failed to ease concern that demand is rising faster than supply.

A report that U.S. gasoline inventories fell more than expected last week pushed prices past the previous record of $55.67 a barrel, set Oct. 25. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, meeting in Isfahan, Iran, agreed to boost their quotas by 500,000 barrels a day, or 1.9 percent. Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi warned of higher demand later this year.

"We're worried about the high-demand period this summer and our ability to keep up with gasoline consumption," said Phil Flynn, vice president of risk management with Alaron Trading Corp. in Chicago. "U.S. crude supplies rose last week but with the growth of China there's going to be more competition for barrels in the months ahead."

Crude oil for April delivery rose 80 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $55.85 a barrel at 12:59 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures touched $56.35, the highest since the contract was introduced in 1983. Prices are 49 percent higher than a year ago.

In London, the April Brent crude-oil futures contract rose 80 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $54.65 a barrel on the International Petroleum Exchange. Brent futures touched $54.95 a barrel, the highest since the contract was introduced in 1988.

'Supplies Are Getting Tight'

"In terms of world supply, I think if you look at all the statistics, demand is outracing supply and supplies are getting tight," said President George W. Bush, speaking at a press conference in Washington.



Third-Grader Commutes to School by Mule :.

Saje Beard's half-hour commute to class is the envy of her four classmates at a one-room schoolhouse just south of here. Most mornings, the third-grader makes the trek on Ruth the mule.

"She's called many things, but Ruth is what we call her in public," Saje said of the 4-year-old gray mule. "Actually, that's my dad's joke. She's really nice and gentle. And she sure is smart."

Saje, 9, is an old hand at maneuvering mules. She's been doing it since she was in first grade.

"I feel more safe with her riding a mule than having her ride in a car or on a bus," said her father, Marty Beard.



WorldCom: Ebbers Found Guilty on All Charges :.

Nice one:

Former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers has been found guilty on all charges of conspiracy and fraud arising from WorldCom's US$11 billion of accounting misstatements.

He had been accused of inflating revenue to boost the price of WorldCom's stock. Ebbers could now receive 85 years in jail.



Italy Plans Iraq Troop Pull-Out :.

Imagine that...

Italy is to begin withdrawing its troops from Iraq in September 2005, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has said.

He told Rai state television the pullout would take place "in agreement with our allies".

Italy has 3,000 troops in Iraq - the fourth largest foreign contingent.

Domestic opposition to Italy's involvement in Iraq intensified after the killing of an Italian agent by US troops in Baghdad earlier this month.


3/14/2005

Photographer for White House Child Sex Ring Arrested After Thompson Suicide :.

Photographer Russell E. "Rusty" Nelson was recently arrested two days after journalist Hunter Thompson reportedly committed suicide four weeks ago on February 10, according to two phone interviews with attorney John DeCamp last week.

Nelson was allegedly employed by a former Republican Party activist to take pictures of current or retired U.S. House-Senate members and other prominent government officials engaging in sexual criminality by receiving or committing sodomy and other sex acts on children during the Reagan-Bush 41 administrations.

Hunter Thompson’s death and the news blackout of Rusty Nelson’s simultaneous arrest raise questions that someone may be attempting to limit Nelson’s freedom or threaten him, since according to testimony, both men had allegedly witnessed homosexual prostitution and pedophile criminal acts in a suppressed but far-reaching child sex-ring probe closely linked to Senate and House members--but also former President George H. W. Bush. [In U.S. District Court testimony, Rusty Nelson told Judge Warren Urbom he took 20,000 to 30,000 pictures, 2-5-1999, p.52]



CRYPTOGON READER ORDERS LIMU THREE PACK!

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She liked my offer to buy two of the three cases of Limu that are included in the "Three Pack" if she's not satisfied for any reason. And if she likes the product, and decides to share her Limu story with others, she'll have a personalized web site, DVDs and brochures to assist her with that. Additionally, she can draw on my experience, and when I don't know something, the experience of my brother and his wife, who have over 20 years of experience doing this type of thing. They are there to support our efforts on a full time basis.

Keep in mind that if you sign up through me, you are joining one of THE TOP organizations in the company. My brother and his wife personally got me involved with this. If you want to learn from them, they are helping people supplement their incomes and helping others quit their "normal" jobs entirely.

Most of us can benefit from Limu, but few people think they are capable of "doing-the-business." Here's the funny thing about Limu. When people take it and get results, the business part is simple because they typically can't shut up about the product. (Look what happened to me!) Others notice the changes and want to know more.

Congratulations: You just graduated from the Limu School of Business.

Obviously, this is the simplified version, but hard work in this business is rewarded, unlike most jobs, where PHBs buy people at wholesale and sell them at retail. When I meet other Limu distributors who fired their PHBs, I feel the way the troglodyte masses feel in the presence of professional athletes/superstar actors/etc. I'm speechless. I'm in awe. I think, "She fired her PHB." That's when it hits me. "I could fire my PHB too!"

Now, get back to serving your PHB before it notices your productivity slipping. ;)

Related: You Guys Really Want the "Three Pack"



Cryptogon Readers Order Limu

EA and KF ordered Limu at retail! The lovely green stuff will be on its way to you soon! Remember, it's almost time for pollen season. You know what that means. Breathe easy, don't run out of Limu.

Related: You Guys Really Want the "Three Pack"

DISCLAIMER

The above material is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Cryptogon is not engaged in rendering medical advice, and any information provided is not a substitute for professional medical opinion.

Original Limu is a food product, not a drug and has not been evaluated by the FDA. Original Limu is not intended to diagnose, cure, prevent or treat any illness or disease.


3/13/2005

Land of 'Murka' :.

WOW!

Come inside the belly of the beast, journeying outside the box of conditioned realities, venturing into new realms of thought, acquiring open minds and nascent understandings, willing to question what is thought to be known and what has been learned, no longer blind to new ways of seeing the world and no longer deaf to the wailing truth of a nation in utter pain and mental anguish.

Inside the belly of the beast the world presently finds itself trapped in, exploring through polluted bowels birthing malignant cancers spread by corporate indifference, continuing into diseased and enlarged entrails of gluttonous addictions, traversing black-blood veins soaked in oil, peering into the empty brain cavity of empire exhibiting corrosive mental disorders created by society itself, showcasing non-existent attention spans, Alzheimer's-like amnesia, medicated chemical imbalances laced with conditioned fear and insecurity, and the remnants of anti-depressant, hyperactivity sequestering cocktails eating away the minds, imaginations and futures of youth.

Inside the belly of the beast will we venture into, witnessing the overflowing testosterone of the human animal, the hate-filled, violence-seeking, fear controlled and deranged xenophobia of half the population, the ignorance fed by gutted educations and dumbed-down televised fictions, the castrated courage of the sane half of its citizenship, the silent acquiescence by the citizenry to mass murder and war crimes, the government and corporate controlled minds of people turned sheeple and the wisdom-lacking behaviors of so-called leadership.

Let us observe a youthful empire in freefall, a nation in decadent decline, collapsing under its own weight and its own self-induced ignorance and unenlightenment, drunk off its arrogance and self-proclaimed aggrandizements of magnificence and manifest destiny. Let us be witness to a land in disrepair, a population in mental anguish. Let us examine a country decrepit in true moral values, empathy and wisdom, a nation quick to rise and fast to fall, lacking the experience of history and the wisdom of time.


Research Credit: NF



The "Day of Declaration" :.

Looking for a new take on the old Maitreya thing? I think Jeff is at his best when he wades around in the deep end:

Have you seen this man?

Probably not. He's that damned, ellusive Pimpernel of the New Age Movement (a.k.a., the old Theosophist Movement). He's "Lord Maitreya." And perhaps, if the Military-Occult Complex has its way, he may soon be coming to a pineal gland near you.

Here's a disclaimer, before I get into this.

Everytime I start one of these threads, I wonder how big a mistake I'm about to make. Not because I could embarrass myself on the Internet. (It would take nude photos to do that, and I don't work blue.) Rather, and simply, because I could be profoundly wrong. Whenever dealing with the Highly Weird, that's a high probability. As I've said before, all the conclusions I draw must be provisional, because there's too much I don't know to be definitive about anything but my ignorance.

And so, as Rod Serling would say: Submitted for your approval....



Cryptogon Reader Contributes $20

Frequent cash contributor, MW, flips me another $20.

Sir, your generosity is incredible.



Mike Ruppert: Game Over :.

Good fire-and-brimstone rant over at Ruppert's show:

There is no changing course for us. We have committed to a path of bloody destruction that can no longer be postponed or evaded.



Europeans Investigate CIA Role in Abductions :.

Italian authorities suspect the Egyptian was the target of a CIA-sponsored operation known as rendition, in which terrorism suspects are forcibly taken for interrogation to countries where torture is practiced.

The Italian probe is one of three official investigations that have surfaced in the past year into renditions believed to have taken place in Western Europe. Although the CIA usually carries out the operations with the help or blessing of friendly local intelligence agencies, law enforcement authorities in Italy, Germany and Sweden are examining whether U.S. agents may have broken local laws by detaining terrorist suspects on European soil and subjecting them to abuse or maltreatment.

The CIA has kept details of rendition cases a closely guarded secret, but has defended the controversial practice as an effective and legal way to prevent terrorism. Intelligence officials have testified that they have relied on the tactic with greater frequency since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.



Converging U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Groups in Middle East :.

Syria and Iran, make your time:

The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is on the move in Atlantic Ocean and is possibly headed towards the Mediterranean Sea. The convergence of three carrier groups in the corridor of the Middle East will send very strong message to the Syrians and Iranians. There are indications that soon US is moving two more aircraft carrier battle groups to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf. This will spell a formidable strike force for Iran and Syria who are in defiance on issues of Lebanon and Nuclear weapons development.

Outbound from Singapore, the USS Carl Vinson is currently crossing the Indian Ocean headed towards Middle-East. This will be the first time since February 2004 that US will have three major carrier groups stationed on and around Middle East.



Growing Fears Credit Boom May Implode :.

Bankruptcy advisers are hiring extra staff amid fears that an end to the global credit boom could spark a surge in business failures in the US and Europe.

Unusually loose lending conditions have encouraged record borrowing by speculative-grade companies, with leveraged buy-outs and debt refinancing on both sides of the Atlantic generating more than $100bn of deals in the past eight months.

But last week's fall in the price of US Treasury bonds, coinciding with signs that bankers are struggling to complete riskier corporate bond issues, has added to a sense of nervousness in some quarters.

Although corporate default rates remain low, some fear the legacy of recent private equity buy-outs and hedge fund investments in distressed debt will be a swath of over-leveraged companies ill-equipped to survive in less benign conditions.

PwC, the largest corporate recovery adviser, said it was hiring insolvency specialists in sectors such as retailing, utilities and telecommunications in preparation for the expected fall-out.



Limu Update: You Guys Really Want the "Three Pack" :.

People are ordering Limu at retail through my site. My brother is ready to slap me. He thinks I'm doing a bit of a disservice by not fully explaining the benefits of the, "Three Pack." It's clear to me. I need to make it clear to you too.

On the one hand, I understand that people want to try it first, but on the other hand, I'm practically positive that they will be as impressed with it as I am. Why pay retail???

As is often the case, people eventually want to share Limu with others. The best way for that to happen is for people to take the "Three Pack," which includes three cases of Limu, your personalized Limu web site (like mine), DVDs, brochures, and more. In addition to the Limu, you get about $90 worth of free stuff with the three pack.

The maximum benefit for everyone involved comes with economies of scale! I need to take drastic action to make this clear to all of you. If you sign up for the "Three Month Commitment Pack" through me, I'm so sure that you will like the Limu that, if you are not satisfied for any reason, I will buy up to two of the three cases of Limu from you. This means that I will pay you $120 (wholesale-autoshipped price) for each unopened case (up to two), that you ship to my door. You pay for the shipping fees associated with getting the cases to me.

Am I nuts? Why would I commit to doing this?

Honestly, I would be shocked if anyone takes me up on this. The thing is, my family is going through lots of Limu. (The pets are getting it now.) We could always use more. I also need to start shipping it overseas to a country that isn't open for business yet. I'm not afraid to make this offer. If I wind up with extra cases, that's fine. I'm also convinced that nobody will take me up on it, because, if they give Limu a chance, and take enough of it regularly, they'll want to use all the Limu they get.

So, order the "Three Pack" with confidence! When you decide to refer Limu to others, you will be ideally positioned to do the business. Even if you think you will never, no-way-in-hell, ever, consider doing this as a business, all you're paying for with the "Three Pack" is three cases. The web site and all the rest is free. Now, here's something to remember: If I'm doing this, believe me, you can do it to. You won't be able to help it, once you get results. People around you will notice, and they'll start to ask you about it. What are you going to do, tell them to get their Limu from me and give them my web site? HAHAHA! Buy the "Three Pack."

DISCLAIMER

The above material is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Cryptogon is not engaged in rendering medical advice, and any information provided is not a substitute for professional medical opinion.

Original Limu is a food product, not a drug and has not been evaluated by the FDA. Original Limu is not intended to diagnose, cure, prevent or treat any illness or disease.


3/11/2005

The Ascent of the Robotic Attack Jet :.

What has happened to all the emails from people saying that I was nuts for warning about this? Not even one email? Come on.

They are the future of warfare, the first working models of networked autonomous attack jets, and the U.S. Department of Defense would like to start building them by 2010.

Eventually such planes will be military mainstays. Of this, most observers are sure; it is simply a lot less expensive and safer to send machines into battle than to send people, who require food, sleep, training, and pay. Humans can only tolerate so much G-force and are prone to error; unmanned aircraft have the potential to be more dependable. Already, lone unmanned planes with humans at the remote controls are widely used for surveillance. But the next crop of planes will fly in coordinated groups, with more autonomy. They'll tackle jobs such as attacking enemy air defenses, identifying new targets, and releasing precision bombs. The long-range vision is that the president will wake up some day and decide he doesnt like the cut of someones jib and send thither infinite numbers of myrmidonsrobotic warriors and that we could wage a war in which we wouldnt put at risk our precious skins is how John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, a leading defense policy website, puts it.



Cryptogon Readers Contribute $25 and $10

JG, who sent $25, wrote, "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."

MH, who sent $10, wrote, "Please dont buy drugs or alcohol with this money. I dont condone anything like that. Puritan by nature, Catholic by choice. Lol"

Thanks ladies!



Cryptogon Reader Buys Limu :.

SL will be enjoying some green stuff soon!



Seattle Declares Drought Emergency :.

With snowpacks at a quarter of normal levels and sunny, warm days well ahead of the summer months, the home state of the "rainy city" of Seattle declared a drought emergency on Thursday.



CHUD Tools Reveal Apple's 970MP Quad Power Mac :.

Compressing video on a 1.8Ghz Pentium 4 is proving to be incredibly slow. It took about three hours to do a high quality, full res, two pass Windows Media encode of only ten minutes of video. The CPU utilization went to 100% the entire time and that sucker got hot. I set my coffee cup next to the fan output on the laptop to keep my beverage warm.

Clearly, there's got to be a better way.

Is anyone out there using dual G5 Macs with the Flip4Mac WMV Export Component encoder? What's the speed like using that thing? Are the results as good as Microsoft's free Windows Media Encoder? Unfortunately, I need to produce WMVs for end users. Yep, WMV is required.

If Apple actually releases a dual-dual core G5 system, well, would there be any question about the fastest way to encode video? Dual-dual core G5s?! Man... That would be something...

Apple's compression specs for current systems are impressive vs. the Pentium/Xeon systems, but are these numbers believable? I've learned, over the years, to ignore Apple's claims. I'd especially like to hear from people who have switched from Windows/Intel to the Mac, and people like me, who switched to the Mac a couple of years ago, and switched back to Windows/Intel because of the speed difference.

I'm considering the switch again.

Of course, the solution might be to buy a couple junk PCs for a few hundred bucks and use Microsoft's free encoder to do the jobs. A less elegant solution, perhaps, but viable:

Apple's newest CHUD 4.1.0 toolset includes an updated MONster.app. This updated version includes clues for a new Apple Quad G5 Power Mac, which would utilize two dual-core 970MP chips.


3/10/2005

Empower Peace is a DoD PSYOP/Honeypot :.

You almost wonder if the entire crackpot Left takes its orders from the Pentagon.

This article will hold special significance to Cryptogon supporters who received my essay, "Militant Electronic Piracy: Non-Violent Insurgency Tactics Against the American Corporate State."

I wrote:
Political activism amounts to an utterly useless waste of time, in terms of tangible power, which is all the ACS understands. Political activism is a cruel guise that is sold to people who are dissatisfied, but who have no concept of the nature of tangible power. Counterinsurgency teams routinely monitor these activities, attend the meetings, join the groups and take on leadership roles in the organizations.
Do you get it yet?

Write your letters to the editor. Vote. Wave your signs. HA! Oh yeah, get your kids to participate in a peace organization:

Mar 4, 2005 Contact: Press Office
202-646-5172

PENTAGON SUED FOR RECORDS ON PROPAGANDA, PSY-OPS AND "PERCEPTION MANAGEMENT" TARGETTING U.S. CIVILIANS

Pentagon Media Consultants Develop "Empower Peace" Internet Site Aimed at School Children

(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking records under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"), 5 U.S.C. ' 552, from the Department of Defense concerning Pentagon funded programs engaged in "strategic influence, perception management, strategic information warfare and/or strategic psychological operations" through media consultants, "think tanks," foreign expatriate political organizations and Internet sites. Judicial Watch filed its FOIA request with the Pentagon on March 23, 2004. Following eight (8) requests for a status update, several phone calls and Judicial Watch offers to accept incremental production of the requested records, the Pentagon produced only two (2) spreadsheets listing Defense Department contracts. Judicial Watch was forced to file suit on February 25, 2005.

Judicial Watch is seeking, among other matters; information on a "peace movement" Internet site that reportedly was funded and established by the Pentagon called "Empower Peace." The site was developed by The Rendon Group, a media consultancy firm the Pentagon has paid more than $40 million dollars to since 2001, and targets participation of American school age children, teachers and schools in what appears to be a "grassroots" peace movement. The Rendon Group's relationship with the Pentagon has been reported in the New York Times and public relations trade magazines. "Empower Peace" offers "cultural awareness," interactive web broadcasts between New York and Jordan, as well as Boston and Bahrain, and interaction with school age children of Islamic countries. There is no indication on the site that it is a project of the U.S. Defense Department.


The Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 (22 U.S.C. ' 1461), forbids the domestic dissemination of U.S. government authored or developed propaganda or "official news" deliberately designed to influence public opinion or policy. The Pentagon has made aggressive use of various information warfare techniques, developing new programs and hiring outside media consultants in executing their various missions in the Global War on Terror.

"Programs such as 'Empower Peace,' in addition to their dubious value, may be in violation of U.S. law," stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.



Major Newspaper Requests Information from Cryptogon on CIA Torture Flights

A writer for one of the most respected newspapers in the world has requested help from Cryptogon in identifying the routes used by the CIA to move victims around the world for torture and interrogation.

I casually busted the CIA with its pants down back in December, but I'm no expert on this matter. All I did was nail them on the misuse of tailnumbers. I didn't establish the routes used by these aircraft.

I'm guessing someone out there can shed some more light on the routes used by the CIA.

I'd rather not have to re-invent the wheel on this one, so if you can point me in the direction of who's doing the sh*t hot research on this (especially the routes used), I'll put them in touch with this reporter.

The best information I have on the routes used by the aircraft comes from the Swedish television show, Kalla Fakta (Cold Facts), on Monday 22 November 2004. The transcript indicates:
The plane's routes always follow the same pattern. After take-off from its home base in Smithfield, North Carolina it makes a short stop at Dulles International Airport in Washington, close to the CIA headquarters and Pentagon.

After crossing the Atlantic it makes stops in places such as Shannon, Ireland; Frankfurt, Germany and Prague in the Czech Republic.

Thereafter, it flies exclusively to countries that are allied with the United States in the fight against terror: Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan.

Countries where prisoners are kept and interrogated, far beyond the reach of American and international courts.

All of these are common destinations for N379P. Just like the American prison camp at Guantanamo, Cuba.

The pattern is repeated over and over again.
And if the Irish Government users (you know who you are), who were looking into this, want to speak to a reporter for a "household name" newspaper, I'd be happy to facilitate that connection. Just email me. Expect your man from the paper to vet your credentials.

Also, for the love of God, please learn how to use PGP. My public key is here.



Man Claims to Have Slain Judge's Family, Kills Himself :.

Tell me another one... Hardcore MK researchers might want to focus on this one.

I wonder what, exactly, "radiation treatment without his consent" means?

The full text of the AP piece is below:

A man who shot himself to death during a traffic stop in Wisconsin claimed in a suicide note that he killed a federal judge's husband and mother, a source close to the investigation told The Associated Press Thursday.

Police Chief Phil Cline said Thursday that two letters and a witness description appear to connect Bart Ross to the killing, but he stopped short of calling the 57-year-old Chicago man the sole suspect.

Cline said authorities believe Ross was the man a witness had described seeing near U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow's home the day of the killings.

"We're satisfied that there's information in the letter that would point us to Ross being in Lefkow's house," Cline said.

The suicide note was found in Ross' van after he shot himself just outside Milwaukee, the source told the AP on condition of anonymity.

WMAQ-TV in Chicago said it also received a hand-written note Thursday signed by a Bart Ross, in which the writer describes breaking into the house of Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow around dawn on Feb. 28 with the intent to kill her, the station reported.

Lefkow had ruled against Ross in a civil case involving a medical-malpractice lawsuit, a ruling that was upheld by a federal appeals court in January. Ross was also being evicted from his home and had a court date Thursday.

Cline cautioned that authorities were still searching Ross' Chicago home and comparing crime evidence to him.

"We are not prepared at this time to definitely say that any one person in responsible for these homicides," he said.

Lefkow, 61, found the bodies of her husband, attorney Michael Lefkow, 64, and her mother, Donna Humphrey, 89, on the basement floor of the Lefkow home the evening of Feb. 28.

Suspicion immediately turned to white supremacist Matthew Hale, who had been convicted of soliciting Lefkow's murder after she ruled against him in a trademark dispute. Investigators insisted, however, that Hale's followers and other hate groups were just one focus of the investigation.

James Finch, head of the Milwaukee FBI office, said Thursday that agents were not yet scaling back the investigation into the slayings because "we have not definitively tied this individual to the Lefkow murders."

Finch said he didn't know if agents had yet compared DNA and fingerprints found at the Lefkow home to Ross. Authorities have said that DNA from a cigarette butt found in a sink did not match anyone in the Lefkow family or anyone in the FBI's database of felons.

In the letter to WMAQ, Ross said he waited all day in a utility room in the basement and shot the judge's husband after being discovered. Ross said he then shot Lefkow's mother after she heard the gunshot and called out to her son-in-law.

"After I shot husband and mother of Judge Lefkow, I had a lot of time to think about life and death. Killing is no fun, even though I knew I was already dead," the station quoted the letter as saying.

Ross said he stayed in the house until about 1:15 p.m. before deciding to leave, according to the letter.

The suicide note found in the van indicated that Lefkow had ruled against Ross in a civil case, costing him "his house, his job and family," the Chicago Tribune reported, citing unidentified sources. The note also included details in the slayings that were not released to the public, Tribune Deputy Managing Editor James Warren said in an interview on CNN.

Ross was stopped by police in West Allis, Wis., Wednesday evening because his van had a faulty tail light, police said. As officers approached the car, he killed himself with a gunshot to the head, police said.

Police in the Milwaukee suburb declined to characterize the evidence found in the van. But a source close to the investigation told the AP on condition of anonymity the van contained a suicide note that also listed other judges.

The Tribune also reported that about 300 .22-caliber shells were found in the van. Investigators found three casings of the same caliber in the Lefkow home.

Last September, Lefkow dismissed a civil rights lawsuit in which Ross claimed doctors at the University of Illinois-Chicago Hospital and its clinic had disfigured him, damaged his mouth and caused him to lose his teeth when they treated him for cancer from 1992 to 1995.

Among other claims, Ross alleged doctors committed a "terrorist act" against him by giving him radiation treatment without his consent. Defendants included the federal government, the state of Illinois, five doctors and four attorneys who had taken part in an earlier lawsuit filed by Ross that was dismissed by U.S. District Judge David Coar. Ross represented himself in the lawsuit.

Ross wanted Congress to impeach Coar and federal appeals court judges John Coffey, Frank Easterbrook and Daniel Manion for failing to reform the justice system and denying Ross' petition to move his case to a higher court.

Coffey's office is in Milwaukee. Judge Terence Evans, who was on the federal appeals court panel that affirmed Lefkow's decision Jan. 21, is also based in Milwaukee.

Evans said in a statement Thursday that he was notified early Thursday by U.S. Marshals about Ross's suicide. A receptionist at Coffey's office said he would have no comment.

In the letter to the television station, Ross said he "gave up further killings" after the Lefkow and Humphrey slayings, but approached the homes of a doctor and another judge who at one point he apparently planned to kill.

Ross was also about to face eviction from his home, according to Cook County Sheriff's spokesman Bill Cunningham. A lawsuit was filed in housing court Feb. 23 seeking to evict Ross, and sheriff's deputies tried three times in early March to serve Ross with court papers. The case was due in court Thursday.

Police have been unable to find any of the man's family. Chicago police Thursday cordoned off the street outside Ross' last-known address, a two-story home across from a high school on a tree-lined street on the city's North Side.

Jinky Jackson, 34, a neighbor, said Ross was wearing a neck brace as of a month ago. She said she would say hello to Ross when she saw him but he would not reply.

"He doesn't mingle with other neighbors," Jackson said. "He'd come home late and stay inside."


Related: Guckert/Gannon, Plame, Chicago Connection?



Carlyle Group, China Invest in Fingerprint ID Company :.

AuthenTec Inc., an innovator and manufacturer of biometric fingerprint sensors, is introducing a new sensor that it says is the world's smallest, most powerful and versatile biometric sensor.

...

AuthenTec is privately held and counts among its investors The Carlyle Group, Sierra Ventures, Harris Corp. and the China Development Bank.



Poli Sci 495: 911 The Road to Tyranny :.

UPDATE, 3/17/05: I've retracted this post. It remains up for an accurate account of what has since transpired with Professor Christensen. See the update here.

Maybe college isn't useless afterall! Nice going Professor Christensen!

COURSE DESCRIPTION

The events of September 11, 2001, indisputably changed the course of American politics and history. This course is offered so students may examine various events and policies leading to 911. In particular, this course will focus largely on the specific destruction in lower Manhattan and the Pentagon. We will examine the official story and analyze it critically. We will consider alternative explanations of what occurrred as well. 911 was a catalyst for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the attack on civil liberties in the United States. We will examine each of these with a critical eye. The goal of this course is to arrive at a solid understanding of how 911 has shaped our political future and to promote critical analysis by students of this catastrophic event and its aftermath.

This course is outside the scope of traditional "political science" in many ways. First it is "unscientific" in that it relies much on eyewitness accounts and speculation. Secondly, there is not yet a solid literature on the September 11 "attacks" or on the war on terrorism. This literature is emerging, particularly on the latter. Thirdly, this course will rely somewhat extensively on alternative news media accounts and a variety of films and videos in lieu of literature.



Weak Dollar Getting Pommelled :.

* yawn *

The dollar weakened on Thursday against most currencies on concerns over global central bank reserve diversification, a widening U.S. trade deficit and tumbling bond prices.


3/9/2005

Sorry Honey

Well, I've managed to blow an entire evening doing this. Was it worth missing dinner with my girlfriend.

Nope.



Testing

Did anything break?



Server Switch Tonight

If Cryptogon gets set up the bomb, it's because I switched ISPs and something got cocked up.

Here goes nuthin!



Gun Ban Utopia Creates Violent Crime Increase :.

Here's one to give to the crackpot limousine liberals who want to disarm you for your own good:

In a pattern that's repeated itself in Canada and Australia, violent crime has continued to go up in Great Britain despite a complete ban on handguns, most rifles and many shotguns. The broad ban that went into effect in 1997 was trumpeted by the British government as a cure for violent crime. The cure has proven to be much worse than the disease.

Crime rates in England have skyrocketed since the ban was enacted. According to economist John Lott of the American Enterprise Institute, the violent crime rate has risen 69 percent since 1996, with robbery rising 45 percent and murders rising 54 percent. This is even more alarming when you consider that from 1993 to 1997 armed robberies had fallen by 50 percent. Recent information released by the British Home Office shows that trend is continuing.

Reports released in October 2004 indicate that during the second quarter of 2004, violent crime rose 11 percent; violence against persons rose 14 percent.

The British experience is further proof that gun bans don't reduce crime and, in fact, may increase it. The gun ban creates ready victims for criminals, denying law-abiding people the opportunity to defend themselves.

contrast, the number of privately owned guns in the United States rises by about 5 million a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The number of guns owned by Americans is at an all-time high, fast approaching 300 million.

Meanwhile the FBI reports that in 2003 the nation's violent crime rate declined for the 12th straight year to a 27-year low. The FBI's figures are based on crimes reported to police. By comparison, the U.S. Department of Justice reported in September that, according to its annual national crime victim survey, violent crime reached a 30-year low in 2003.

Right-to-Carry states fared better than the rest of the country in 2003. On the whole, their total violent crime, murder and robbery rates were 6 percent, 2 percent and 23 percent lower respectively than the states and the District of Columbia where carrying a firearm for protection against criminals is prohibited or severely restricted. On average in Right-to-Carry states the total violent crime, murder, robbery and aggravated assault rates were lower by 27 percent, 32 percent, 45 percent and 20 percent respectively.

As usual, most of the states with the lowest violent crime rates are those with the least gun control, including those in the Rocky Mountain region, and Maine, New Hampshire and Ver-mont in the Northeast. The District of Columbia and Maryland, which have gun bans and other severe restrictions on gun purchase and ownership, retained their regrettable distinctions as having the highest murder and robbery rates.



Public Version of Saddam Capture Fiction :.

They lied about WMD. Why would anything else They say be true?

A former U.S. Marine who participated in capturing ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said the public version of his capture was fabricated.

Ex-Sgt. Nadim Abou Rabeh, of Lebanese descent, was quoted in the Saudi daily al-Medina Wednesday as saying Saddam was actually captured Friday, Dec. 12, 2003, and not the day after, as announced by the U.S. Army.

"I was among the 20-man unit, including eight of Arab descent, who searched for Saddam for three days in the area of Dour near Tikrit, and we found him in a modest home in a small village and not in a hole as announced," Abou Rabeh said.

"We captured him after fierce resistance during which a Marine of Sudanese origin was killed," he said.

He said Saddam himself fired at them with a gun from the window of a room on the second floor. Then they shouted at him in Arabic: "You have to surrender. ... There is no point in resisting."

"Later on, a military production team fabricated the film of Saddam's capture in a hole, which was in fact a deserted well," Abou Rabeh said.

Abou Rabeh was interviewed in Lebanon.



Lexis-Nexus 0wNeD :.

Using misappropriated passwords and identifications from legitimate customers, hackers got access to personal information on as many as 32,000 U.S. citizens in a database owned by LexisNexis, the company's corporate parent said Wednesday.

Reed Elsevier Group said the breach of its recently acquired Seisint unit was being investigated by staff and by U.S. law enforcement authorities.

Boca Raton, Florida-based Seisint stores millions of personal records including individuals' addresses and social security numbers. Customers include police and legal professionals and public and private sector organizations.

Reed Elsevier bought Seisint---which provides data for Matrix, a crime and terrorism database project funded by the U.S. government that has raised concerns among civil liberties groups---for $775 million in August.



Limu Related: Japan

My brother just got back from Japan. Limu is going to be huge there. If you're in Japan, or know anyone in Japan, you need to listen to tonight's conference call at 5pm PST! If you want the number please email me with LIMU CALL as the subject heading. I'll reply immediately.

Related: My Limu Story

Related: My Limu Site in Japanese



Man Ticketed Over Daughter Selling Girl Scout Cookies :.

Mad pig disease is running rampant in New York:

The Girl Scouts of America is promising to come to the defense of a Long Island girl who was ticketed for selling scout cookies in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The flap happened over the weekend when 13-year-old Grace Marie Louis and her father, Howard Louis, were delivering cookies to their old neighborhood. They have since moved to Bethpage, Long Island, but the girl has gone back to the Brooklyn neighborhood for the last seven years to sell her girl scout cookies.

Her father had set up a card table next to their van to sort out the orders, and that's when a police captain and an another officer from the 94th Precinct came by in an unmarked car and shouted "Get over here, police."

The 55-year-old father wasn't sure they were legitimate police so he told his daughter to get in the van. The police ticketed Louis for selling cookies without a permit. The NYPD said Louis was selling the cookies from the table and the officer didn't see any Girl Scouts nearby.

The Girl Scouts of Nassau County said Grace Marie has been one of their top cookie sellers since she joined the scouts in kindergarten. She's sold about 600 boxes for her Troop 3019. But she's afraid to go back to Williamsburg to finish making her deliveries.

The scouts said they will provide an attorney to the family when the father appears in Manhattan Criminal Court on April 11.


3/8/2005

Milk is Good for Bone Health: Add Another Nonsense Theory to the Scrap Heap :.

Make sure your kids get their daily dose of snot, skin problems and ear infections...

The argument that milk is good for bone health has been known to be a fraud in alternative health circles for easily two decades. Guess what: We're not baby cows. And nevermind what's contained in pHarmed milk.

Don't get me wrong. Becky and I can't wait to make our own goat cheese. But drinking large amounts of liquid milk from doped up, caged animals is suicide in slow motion:

In a new scientific review scheduled to appear in the March issue of the peer-reviewed journal, Pediatrics, Cornell-trained nutritionist Amy Joy Lanou, Ph.D., and co-authors show that dairy products do not promote bone health in children and young adults. Physical activity does have a positive impact on bone health, while evidence linking bone health with dairy product consumption is weak, at best.

"Under scientific scrutiny, the support for the milk myth crumbles. This analysis of 58 published studies shows that the evidence on which U.S. dairy intake recommendations are based is scant," says Dr. Lanou, lead author of the study. "A clear majority of the studies we examined for this review found no relationship between dairy or dietary calcium intake and measures of bone health. In the remaining reports, the evidence was sketchy. In some, the effects on bone health were small, and in others, the results were confounded by vitamin D intake from milk fortified with vitamin D. To build strong bones and healthy bodies, children need exercise, sunshine, and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables that helps them maintain a healthy body weight."

The level of dairy product consumption in the United States is among the highest in the world, and yet osteoporosis and fracture rates are also among the highest. This "calcium paradox" was an impetus for the current investigation. "We found no evidence to support the notion that milk is a preferred source of calcium," the authors conclude. Dr. Lanou is nutrition director for the non-profit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), and her co-authors are Susan E. Berkow, Ph.D., C.N.S., and Neal D. Barnard, M.D.



Gas Prices :.

$3.08 is the real price to watch. That's the inflation adjusted record price for a gallon of gas. Also note, that number will continue to increase as the dollar continues to collapse.

All that's left to do is brace for impact. This thing is going to crash. The people who can't see the writing on the wall---at this point---never will:

Gasoline prices will hit a new record high this spring, reaching a national monthly average of $2.15 a gallon, the government said Tuesday.

During the busy 2005 driving season, which runs from April through September, gasoline will average $2.10 a gallon, up 20 cents from the same period last year, the Energy Information Administration said in its monthly energy forecast.

The record high U.S. gasoline price was $2.06 a gallon set last May. However, when adjusted for inflation in today's dollars, the highest price for gasoline was $3.08 a gallon in March 1981, according to the Energy Department's analytical arm.



Wiki Becomes a Way of Life :.

Obviously, they can't help it. I know the feeling:

Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, has 490,000 articles -- in English alone. All together, including its French, German, Italian, Chinese, Spanish and many other versions, it has well over 1.3 million entries.

But without its 16,000 contributors, Wikipedia would be about as useful as a moldy 1978 edition of Encyclopedia Americana. With them, Wikipedia has become the world's largest effort of its kind, and one that is compared to Encyclopedia Britannica in terms of quality and breadth.


Note to the Women Out There: There isn't a single woman on this list of top contributors to the Wikipedia effort. Why might that be? I find it a little disturbing that such a massaive open-source knowledge project doesn't list ANY women as top contributors.

(My girlfriend is teaching discussion sections for a Women's Studies class at a large university this quarter. I'm sure she'd be interested in your responses to this.)


3/7/2005

U.S. National Security Agency Hits Cryptogon

The NSA user (host: tigers.ncsc.mil, ip: 144.51.1.133) conducted the following Netscape search: middle east waterway chokepoints

This crusty NSA user is reporting SunOS 5.6 as the OS on this session. Are they taking the piss, or could they actually still be running that? (This might be a proxy server.) If this guy has a big pot belly, a pony tail, a long, grey beard, and a black t-shirt, this might make more sense. I think all of the previous hits from NSA have indicated Windows as the OS, believe it or not.

For those of you who don't know, computer nerds sometimes cause the servers they visit to think they're using different browsers and operating systems than they're actually using. For example, did someone actually visit Cryptogon using Lynx on the Amiga OS? Or did they just spoof the OS and browser types with the most ridiculous options available? (No offense meant to Lynx and Amiga users. God bless the freaks, I say!)



Mobile Telephone TV!? :.

Forget requiring the Telescreen to be turned on at all times. That's so 1980's. You'll want to carry the damn thing around with you in your pocket! Hopefully, it will be combined with a GPS tracking unit. Ahhh, bliss. Take the police state and a non-invasive lobotomy tool with you everywhere! Yours for only $19.99 (with two-year contract):

You might have only just gotten your head around your camera phone. Perhaps you've had a bit of fun playing with video clips. What mobile companies want you to do next is to see it as a mini TV.

Operators worldwide are already selling short video clips. Two of the biggest phone companies -- Verizon and Vodafone -- are partnering with Twentieth Century Fox Television to create specially made-for-mobile dramas, or "mobisodes," that last only a minute.



U.S. Deploys B-2 Bombers in Guam :.

From Guam to the Taiwan Strait, it's just a leisurely puddle jump to the Apocalype:

The United States has deployed B-2 Spirit bombers at the Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, to support the Pacific Command's security efforts in the Western Pacific, the Air Force said in a press release on Saturday.

The B-2 bombers were from the 393rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron,the 509th Bomb Wing, which was based at the Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, currently the only B-2 unit in the Air Force.

Along with the B-2 bombers, which are distinguished from other bombers and fighters by their stealth capabilities and high aerodynamic efficiency, over 270 airmen of the 393rd ExpeditionaryBomb Squadron were deployed at the Andersen Air Force Base.

The 393rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron was the first B-2 squadron to deploy in Guam to support the Pacific Command's continuous bomber presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

Previously, the Air Force has deployed three B-52 Stratofortress squadrons at the Andersen Air Force in Guam.



CIA Sends Terror Suspects Abroad for Interrogation :.

No kidding. I personally had a part in busting the Company on Cryptogon back in December. Compare the screen shot I'm hosting of the FAA record for N379P to what now appears in the FAA system. I knew that screenshot would come in handy. ;)

Proving the CIA is running cutouts for the purpose of flying victims around for torture is about as controversial as alleging that the sky is blue on sunny days, but this should inspire us to bust other cutout ops. You never know, you might just find one operating in a town near you. I did.

A note to the U.S. and Irish government investigators who are looking into this (yes, I see you), please make sure you're saving all of this information and not relying on it being available on the Internet:

The CIA has been allowed to secretly transfer terrorism suspects overseas for interrogation, a former U.S. official said Sunday, but a White House spokesman denied that the United States used the practice to "export torture."

The official, who asked not to be named because there are classified issues involved, emphasized that the process -- known as "rendition" -- is conducted with strict government oversight and with approval from the White House and the Department of Justice.

The practice had existed for years, but President Bush expanded it after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, The New York Times reported Sunday.

"This program of renditions is fully authorized, so the CIA is not doing anything illegal that has not been authorized by the president," the former official said. He said both the chairmen and ranking Democrats on the House and Senate intelligence committees are entitled to know about it or have been briefed on it.


3/6/2005

Israeli Bank Implicated in Money Laundering Scam :.

Duh, "money laundering" is known as "private banking services" to wealthy clients:

Police have arrested 22 people working at one of Israel's biggest commercial banks over suspected money-laundering.

The Bank Hapoalim employees are thought to have been involved in an operation worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Police chief Amichai Shai said the affair was one of the largest in Israeli history and involved funds from several other countries.

Investigators say employees helped customers move money without reporting the transfers.

"It appears they helped customers transfer funds without reporting it as required by law. We are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars," Mr Shai said at a press conference.



CRYPTOGON READER ORDERS ORIGINAL LIMU THREE PACK! :.

JG has made bold move to improve his life, and help Cryptogon. He obviously saw the potential of Original Limu as a business. Without even communicating with me, he took the "Three Month Commitment Pack," complete with everything he'll need to start his Original Limu business off right. I'm looking forward to working with JG and hearing about his success with Original Limu.

Well done, JG!

If you're even remotely considering Original Limu as a business (you will after you get results, just like I did), the "Three Pack" is the only way to go. In addition to three cases of Original Limu, you'll get about $90 worth of free tools, including a personal website.



Buffett Deepens Dollar Worries :.

The only people who get it are billionaires and penniless bums with blogs. Short the dollar and go long the cigarette butts and bottle caps, I say!

Warren Buffett has warned that the US trade deficit risks creating a "sharecropper's society" as his letter to shareholders sounded an increasingly bearish tone about the value of the dollar.

Mr Buffett's bet against the dollar also grew. Foreign exchange contracts - mostly short positions against the US dollar - nearly doubled over the year to $21.4bn, generating $1.8bn in gains as the greenback fell against other major currencies.

These currency profits were partly responsible for a sharper than expected rise in fourth quarter earnings from $2.39bn to $3.34bn, although Berkshire earnings are notoriously volatile due to the timing of investment gains.

Mr Buffett stepped up his warning about the US trade deficit and the need to finance it with foreign investment, devoting more than two full pages of the annual report to the topic.

"This force-feeding of American wealth to the rest of the world is now proceeding at the rate of $1.8bn daily, an increase of 20 per cent since I wrote you last year," he said. "Consequently, other countries and their citizens now own a net of about $3,000bn of the US"

In particular, he warned that this meant a sizeable portion of what US citizens earned in future would have to be paid to foreign landlords.

"A country that is now aspiring to an "Ownership Society" will not find happiness in - and I'll use hyperbole here for emphasis – a "Sharecropper's Society," added Mr Buffett. "But that's precisely where our trade policies, supported by Republicans and Democrats alike, are taking us."



Alabama Outlaws Dildos :.

"The Heart of Dixie" has no love for sex toys.

Alabama had outlawed the sale of what some call "marital aids." The U.S. Supreme Court last week declined to review the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Williams v. Alabama that upholds the 1998 ban.

Sell "any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs" and risk a $10,000 fine and a year in jail. A Southern jail.



U.S. Army Struggles to Coax Recruits Amid Iraq War :.

Do you feel a draft?

Staff Sgt. Richard Guzman is on the front lines of one of the U.S. Army's toughest battles in years, and he's not in Iraq.

He's an Army recruiter trying to coax young men and women into volunteering to serve at a time when U.S. ground forces are engaged in a bloody guerrilla war halfway around the world.

"To me, recruiting used to be easy. Right now, you really have to hunt for those ones who really want to do it (Army service)," said Guzman, who recruits in New York City's Harlem section.

Nearly two years into an Iraq war that has left more than 1,500 U.S. troops dead and another 11,200 wounded, recruiters like Guzman are having to work hard as the Army strives to sign up 80,000 recruits this year to replace soldiers leaving the service.

The Army in February, for the first time in nearly five years, failed to achieve its monthly recruiting goal. It is in danger of missing its annual recruiting target for the first time since 1999.

Recruiting for the Army's reserve component -- the National Guard and Army Reserve -- is suffering even more as the Pentagon relies heavily on these part-time soldiers to maintain troop levels in Iraq. The regular Army is 6 percent behind its year-to-date recruiting target, the Reserve is 10 percent behind, and the Guard is 26 percent short.

The Marine Corps, the other service providing ground forces in Iraq, has its own difficulties.

In January and February, the Marines missed their goal for signing up new recruits -- the first such shortfall in nearly a decade -- but remained a bit ahead of their target for shipping recruits into boot camp.

Iraq marks the first protracted conflict for U.S. forces since the end of the draft in 1973, which ushered in the era of the all-volunteer military.



Back Off or Suffer Oil Shock: Tehran :.

OIL-rich Iran has raised the stakes in the standoff over its nuclear program, warning that any attempt to impose sanctions on its activities would lead to an energy crisis in the US and Europe.

Referring the Islamist state to the UN Security Council, as the US had urged, would be "playing with fire", Iran's top nuclear official said yesterday.

"The first to suffer will be Europe and the US themselves," Hassan Rowhani said at a Tehran conference on nuclear technology and sustainable development. "(It) would cause problems for the regional energy market, for the European economy and even more so for the US."


3/5/2005

Cryptogon Reader Contributes $15

Thanks JS!



Italian Intelligence Officer Dies Shielding Reporter from U.S. Gunfire :.

The Italian journalist kidnapped in Iraq arrived back in Rome yesterday as fury and confusion grew over the circumstances in which she was shot and one of her rescuers was killed by American soldiers.

The shooting in Iraq on Friday evening, which occurred as Giuliana Sgrena was being driven to freedom after being released by her captors, was fuelling anti-war activists in Italy and putting pressure on Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

'The hardest moment was when I saw the person who had saved me die in my arms,' she said. Her poignant words and weak, haggard appearance as she had to be helped from the jet that brought her back from Baghdad are fuelling national rage.

Berlusconi, a staunch ally of the US who defied widespread public opposition to the Iraq war and sent 3,000 troops, took the rare step of summoning US ambassador Mel Sembler to his office.

He demanded that the US 'leave no stone unturned' in investigating the incident. President George Bush called Berlusconi to promise a full investigation.

Sgrena, 56, a journalist for the Communist newspaper Il Manifesto, was hit in the shoulder when US soldiers opened fire on the car she was travelling in as it approached a checkpoint less than a mile from Baghdad airport. The Italian secret service officer who had negotiated her release was killed as he shielded her from the gunfire. Two of his colleagues were also hurt.



Wells Fargo Web-enables 6,200 ATMs, Runs Microsoft Windows OS :.

Nope, this isn't a joke. In addition to Wells Fargo being able to, "update and add services," it's just a matter of time before attackers will be able to execute the code of their choice on these systems.

Maybe we will see convenient "Banking" editions of BackOrifice and SubSeven with "Make Deposit" and "Make Withdrawal" commands. Feature requests might include an "Orders of Magnitude" option to quickly add sets of zeros to transaction amounts. For example, enter "15" and "$15,000" or "$150,000" will automatically appear. A "Write Zeros to Disk" command might come in handy when the machine has run out of cash. Other "users" might wish to initiate a net install of their favorite Linux distribution. Set the thing up as an anonymous web proxy. Install an open SMTP server. Just collect account information for thousands of people and periodically phone it home somewhere... Whatever. Oh yeah, my guess is that we can't even begin to imagine how these systems will be compromised. Surely, some freaks will hold a contest to see who can get BSD installed on one of those systems first. HAHAHAHA! Oh yeah, will the new systems include a pop-up killer? HAHAHAHA!

You really have to wonder if Wells Fargo will do what it takes to secure something like this on a TCP/IP based network, or if they're going to take shortcuts. On the one hand, I can visualize how they could PROBABLY do it, but my guess is that the ignoramus PHB in charge of this project will make a series of catastrophic miscalculations, mostly due to unimaginable ignorance of the subject at hand, but partially in an attempt to make himself look good by speeding up the project and lowering its cost... The engineers will shake their heads, warn of impending doom and follow the PHB's orders straight into oblivion.

The fact that a Windows product is being used in this capacity clearly indicates that the wheels have already come off the cart. It's one thing to make B Gates look stupid with spyware and worms routinely ravaging systems. But if some freaks make off with loads of cash due to this nonsense... Maybe kids, not old enough to drive cars, will be videotaped leaving the scenes of "unauthorized cash withdrawals" on bicycles. Oh man, I'll just get my easy chair and my bucket of popcorn ready. It's going to be an entertaining and weird show to watch:

Wells Fargo & Co. announced this week that it has completed a five-year project to Web-enable its 6,200 ATMs in 23 states. The Windows-based infrastructure is designed to allow Wells Fargo to update and add services such as new languages and envelope-free deposits to its entire network remotely.

The San Francisco-based bank said it also installed more than 3,000 online stations in nearly all of its 6,046 branch locations. The WebATM machines and online stations are part of the company's strategy to integrate all channels -- stores, phone, ATM and Internet.


3/4/2005

U.S. Fires on Car Carrying Freed Hostage, Kills Italian Intelligence Officer :.

Italians should tar and feather that fascist pig Berlusconi for this:

American forces fired on a car carrying a freed Italian hostage as it approached a checkpoint in Baghdad on Friday, killing an Italian intelligence officer and wounding three others, including the just-released journalist, Italian officials said.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, an ally of the United States who has kept troops in Iraq despite public opposition at home, demanded an explanation from the U.S. ambassador, Mel Sembler.



Gas Price Increase Impacting Soon :.

Gasoline prices could rocket 24 cents a gallon the next few days, as stations across the USA scramble to keep up with big jumps in the prices of oil and wholesale gas, a veteran energy-price analyst forecast Thursday.

"It's going to be brutal, horrendous," says Peter Beutel, president of energy-price tracker Cameron Hanover. He has followed energy markets for nearly three decades.


3/3/2005

My Limu Story :.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I'm moving to New Zealand soon and since The Limu Company has no distribution presence in New Zealand, I will no longer be able to receive the product. While I still think the product is excellent, I will no longer be a distributor. If you read what follows and would like more information, I would refer you to my brother, George and his wife Donna. Limu is, quite literally, their life. They know everything there is to know about the product and the business.

- - - - - - - - - -

A few weeks ago, my brother asked me to travel to Dallas, Texas with him to video tape and photograph people who were attending a convention for a Limu Moui product.

A liquid nutritional supplement is made from seaweed harvested from the island nation of Tonga, in the South Pacific. An extract is bottled and sold by a company called The Limu Company.

I knew George, my brother, had been involved with Limu Moui for a few years. I'd read about it and, in all honesty, it just seemed like an expensive nutritional supplement to me. I assumed that there was a cheaper alternative available in normal retail channels and left it at that.

Fine. Whatever. For someone with no money, what my brother offered to pay me seemed like quite a lot, so I packed my bags and my camera gear. I was off to Dallas, Texas.

The first night in Dallas was about what one would expect from any convention centered around any product or service. Hundreds of people gather together to whip themselves up into a frenzy, etc. Yep, sure enough, these Limu people were all fired up. They were raving about Limu. They were wearing pins and T-shirts with Limu slogans. I'd had an abortive brush with the real estate industry, and this felt pretty much the same, minus the real estate.

Hey, if they liked the stuff, fine. Great. More power to them. I was being paid to take photographs and shoot video.

One of the tasks I'd been assigned was to shoot video testimonials of people who had been taking the product. All I was concerned with was getting professional looking and sounding results. It could have been Limu, life insurance or liposuction. Whatever. Again, I was just there to do a job.

I had people sit down in front of the lights and the camera. I hooked the microphone up to them and asked them to start talking about their experiences with Limu Moui.

People started talking about very serious pain, debilitating, intractable conditions, the failure of conventional medicine, the failure of alternative medicine. I think I'd taped two testimonials before it dawned on me: these people were saying that their situations were greatly improved by taking the Limu product. By the third interview, I was paying closer attention to what the people were saying, rather than just making sure they were in focus and the audio quality was OK.

In case you don't know, I've been involved with alternative medicine for several years. I'm open to a lot of things, and the way I know something works is when I try it myself and get results. I know that alternative medicine mostly doesn't work for people. There's a lot of hit and miss. I also know all about the medical industrial complex. The main problem with conventional medicine is that, if the disease doesn't kill you, the "cure" just might.

People were taking Limu and getting results. It was that simple. These were people from all over the United States, from all walks of life. As I was shooting the video, I was thinking, "Are these people nuts? Why would they get in front of a camera to talk about something like this?"

The answer is pretty simple. Limu is real. It works. They want to share their stories with other people so they might also experience the benefits of taking Limu.

The next day, The Company company gave away a free bottle of Limu to everyone who attended the convention. I have to admit, after hearing all of the testimonials, and seeing the hype, I was curious to try this green stuff myself.

My brother started passing large amounts of it around, and I tried a few swigs. (I tucked my bottle neatly away in my suitcase.)

The only thing I noticed, at first, was that I acquired an insatiable thirst and my head started to hurt. Hmmm...

I started to discuss what was happening with my sister in law, a medical doctor (yes, a conventional medical doctor, M.D.) with over twenty years of experience---and a Limu distributor. She works with my brother. Limu is their full time business. Donna, my sister in law, is still practicing medicine, part time.

Flu like symptoms are a sign of detoxification, I learned. "Lower the amount of Limu, if the detox effects are too uncomfortable, and drink more water," I was told. "Or, you can just wait until it passes, which generally takes from two to three days."

This got my attention. This stuff did something to me. I noticed that something was different after I took it: my head hurt, I had to urinate a lot and I wanted more water than I could pour down my throat. I've taken A LOT of alternative health products, supplements, vitamins, herbs, etc. Most of it doesn't do much, overtly, anyway. This was different.

I flew back to California with that bottle of Limu burning a hole in my suitcase. I went over to my girlfriend's house with the bottle, cracked open the seal, and offered to share it with her. Being the adventurous and beautiful Kiwi that she is, she was happy to try it.

I didn't start out with the intention of discussing my own crusty issues, but I'm going to:

Anyone who knows me knows that I usually sleep during the day. Always have. Look at the posts over the last few years on Cryptogon. Most of the time stamps are from 12am to 7am in the morning. Left to my own devices, I stay up all night. I like the night. It's quiet. I can concentrate. Networks are faster, etc. Standard nerd things. When I have to serve a PHB, I stay up until 4am, get a few hours of sleep, and then feel tired most of the day. This was "normal" for me.

Have you noticed anything about the posts on Cryptogon lately? Look at the times. I sleep at night now. I start to get tired at about 10 or 11pm and I wake up at 7am. Thanks to Limu.

I've had eczema on my face for about the last ten years. A dermatologist prescribed a cortisone based cream and told me there was nothing else that could be done. I never used that garbage. I found some relief from taking large doses of vitamin C (3 to 5 grams minimum per day). After I started taking the Limu, my eczema was gone. Thanks Limu.

I've had pretty severe dandruff most of my life. I've tried dozens of shampoos, oils, unguents, etc. Nothing helped. Recently, I realized that using vinegar (yep, vinegar) on the scalp helps a lot. (Never mind the fact that one tends to smell a bit like a pickle after this treatment, even after showering.) Guess what works better for me? That's right, after drinking two ounces of Limu per day for a week, the itching and flaky crustiness disappeared. Thanks Limu.

Digestion and elimination issues. I don't want to get graphic.... Good results there as well. Thanks Limu.

You're probably wondering: Is Limu a cure for ________? <--- Fill in the blank with the disease of your choice. No. Limu Moui is a food. Making medical claims about any product that has not been been approved by the FDA is a serious crime.

The Limu product is a seaweed extract that contains a naturally occuring mix of amino acids, essential fatty acids, polyphenols, glyconutrients and, most importantly, high levels of fucoidan.

There are over 600 studies on fucoidan referenced in the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Type fucoidan into the PubMed database to read about the scientific research that is centered around this incredible substance.

If you're not adept at molecular biology, most of those studies might not be very meaningful. But I'll tell you something that's much easier to understand: Take the product. Share the product with other people. Observe the results.

I could sit here and write about how I have personally witnessed things that are incredible; things that, if I conveyed them to you, having not tried Limu yourself, you would never believe. I don't want to do that, simply because it sounds nuts. When I tell the stories, they sound nuts, even to me, and I've witnessed them. Let is suffice to say that other peoples' stories about Limu are MUCH more impressive than my results of being able to get a good night's sleep and clearing up some bothersome crust. You have to take responsibility for your own health. You have to do your own research and make up your own mind.

Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous swindlers associated with the Limu and fucoidan phenomenon. There is another company that is attempting to mislead people into purchasing their Limu product. The criminals who run this company circulated a fraudulent lab analysis of their Limu product. They claimed that their Limu product contained more fucoidan than the The Limu Company's Limu product.

I know you guys will start searching the Internet in an attempt to get to the bottom of this. That's fine. I know the other Limu product out there doesn't work. Sometimes people think it's doing something, but that's mostly because the other company adds ginseng and stimulants to it. Don't be fooled by their nonsense.

Someone I was working with was using The Limu Company's Limu for a serious autoimmune condition. It was helping him. But, without telling me, he went on the Internet and read the bogus lab report circulated by the criminals who make the knockoff Limu thing. He bought some of the other product! I said that this was actually a good thing because he would get to experiment with both, and observe the results.

What happened next didn't come as much of a surprise to me.

While taking the fake-Limu product, his condition was as bad as ever. He went back to using the real stuff.

Ok, you're curious and want to try some.

There are three ways to get it:

Wholesale: $120 + tax and shipping per case (four bottles), autoshipped each month

Wholesale: $140 + tax and shipping per case (four bottles)

Retail: $168 + tax and shipping per case (four bottles)

To order Limu, please go to http://opes.originallimu.com/. Click "Join Now" to sign up for wholesale pricing or "Order Now" for retail pricing. Getting Limu at wholesale is similar to shopping at any "club" store that requires a membership. For Original Limu, an initial $25 fee is required to get wholesale pricing. The lowest possible price is obtained by getting the product autoshipped to you each month.

My brother thinks it's a mistake to tell people to try a single bottle because, in his experience, only six out of ten people feel any different after taking just one bottle. What a shame it would be to give up after using just one bottle when results might be experienced after two, three or four bottles. I agree that the only way to give it a fair chance is to take at least an entire case and track your progress carefully as you move through that case. Personally, I was in no position to pay for a case to try in the first place (this was before I met Virginia, read on).

I was lucky in two ways. First, I got a bottle for free from the convention. Second, I got results almost immediately. (The company knew what it was doing by handing out all of those free bottles.) So, if you're thinking about buying a single bottle at retail, consider this: When my brother signs people up, they mostly buy Three Packs. That's right. Three cases. And guess what: those three cases never last the three months until the autoship kicks in. They wind up ordering more. You should really sign up to get it autoshipped to you by the case so you don't run out.

One story about the cost: An older woman in my brother's organization started to do this as a business. Virginia is raising three grandchildren on her own. Her monthly income consisted of a Social Security check of about $500. She got the money to order her first case of Limu by collecting aluminum cans with her grandkids. I know. You think I'm full of it, but that's a true story. I've met this woman and her story is amazing. I thought, "If she can do this, why can't I?" So, before you write in to tell me that this is too expensive, and all the rest, save it. Maybe you'll get to meet Virginia some day. You can tell her all about Limu being expensive. The other option is to sign up five people. Then your Limu would cost you nothing.

Well, that's it. If you get involved, I'll send you the "Feeling Great Checklist" that will help you keep track of your progress on the product. I look forward to hearing about the great results you'll experience from taking Limu.

UPDATE: YOU GUYS REALLY WANT THE THREE PACK

People are ordering Limu at retail through my site. My brother is ready to slap me. He thinks I'm doing a bit of a disservice by not fully explaining the benefits of the, "Three Pack." It's clear to me. I need to make it clear to you too.

On the one hand, I understand that people want to try it first, but on the other hand, I'm practically positive that they will be as impressed with it as I am. Why pay retail???

As is often the case, people eventually want to share Limu with others. The best way for that to happen is for people to take the "Three Pack," which includes three cases of Limu, your personalized Limu web site (like George and Donna's), DVDs, brochures, and more. In addition to the Limu, you get about $90 worth of free stuff with the three pack.

The maximum benefit for everyone involved comes with economies of scale!

So, order the "Three Pack" with confidence! When you decide to refer Limu to others, you will be ideally positioned to do the business. Even if you think you will never, no-way-in-hell, ever, consider doing this as a business, all you're paying for with the "Three Pack" is three cases. The web site and all the rest is free. Now, here's something to remember: If I'm doing this, believe me, you can do it to. You won't be able to help it, once you get results. People around you will notice, and they'll start to ask you about it. What are you going to do, tell them to get their Limu from me and give them my web site? HAHAHA! Buy the "Three Pack."

UPDATE: 8/7/05

I'm finding that Limu has two problems:

1) It's expensive.

2) People don't take enough of it.

It's not a question of whether or not Limu helps people. I personally know dozens of individuals who have experienced life altering results. What do each of them have in common?

They drink a lot of Limu. Forget two to four ounces per day. People who get the impressive results are taking a MINIMUM of four ounces per day. Minimum.

"How can they afford it!?" You may be asking.

Unfortunately, Limu only seems to make sense to people who have been suffering with chronic, debilitating situations for over a decade. I guess, for them, it's a bargain, considering the options they have been presented with in the past. They don't ask about the cost. They just want to know that the case will show up each month.

Personally, I find that it's easier to get people to flap their arms in order to fly than it is to get them to try an "expensive" sea weed liquid. But I've never been a good salesman. (I wish I had close-up, before and after pictures of the eczema on my face.) Anyway, I find it really hard to "sell" Limu. People buy eight cases off my brother without thinking too much about it. Maybe he has Jedi-Mind-Trick capabilities. I don't have those skills. The few people I know seem to be in worse financial shape than me and will spend the next few years googling something to death, only to find some excuse... Anyway... That's the toughest part about trying to sell such a good product. People seem to assume you're trying to rip them off. Hey, I thought the Limu-heads were nuts when I first encountered them. Luckily, I got a free bottle to try.

Do I know of a case in which someone has given Limu a serious chance (eight bottles in a row), and NOT seen improvement in their situation?

Yes. My fiancee's mom suffers from some type of airway disorder, mixed in with asthma. In other words, she spends about 1/4 of her life coughing. Conventional medicine is powerless to help her. All alternative therapies have failed. She is chronically allergic to all perfumes, cleaning agents, just about any non-food smell. If she comes in contact with shrimp, however, that is a life threatening emergency.

My dad paid to ship two cases of Limu to her in New Zealand. We had really high hopes that the Limu would help her. Her initial detox reaction was the most severe we had ever heard of. She had to start out with less than one ounce per day! After a couple of months, she was able to take four ounces per day.

She reports no improvement in her coughing condition; nearing the end of the second case.

I'm convinced that it would help, given enough time. The costs involved with shipping the product to New Zealand, though, are almost surreal. I hope to try it again with her at some point in the future. The company has no distribution presence in New Zealand at this time, but how's this for irony: The raw Limu from Tonga is made into the extract in New Zealand! That extract is then shipped to the U.S. for bottling.

What's the bottom line? Limu is a food. Taking Limu is like eating a lot of sea weed from Tonga. Nothing more. Nothing less. It's up to you to do the rest of the math.

DISCLAIMER

The above material is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Cryptogon is not engaged in rendering medical advice, and any information provided is not a substitute for professional medical opinion.

Original Limu is a food product, not a drug and has not been evaluated by the FDA. Original Limu is not intended to diagnose, cure, prevent or treat any illness or disease.



Praise Jesus: GOP Pedophilia and S&M Trysts :.

I wonder how these twits, with their Bibles and Bush Cheney stickers on their SUVs, would like a session in the crypt with some of these creatures? It's all about Family Values:

The recent scandal involving gay male escort and right-wing faux journalist Jeff Gannon (a.k.a. James Dale Guckert and possibly a few other aliases) is not welcome news for the purported sadomasochistic hedonists in the White House administrations of both George W. and George H. W. Bush.

As with their fascist fellow travelers in Hitler's Germany, Franco's Spain, and "The Colonels'" Greece, many of the fascists associated with the Bush family have a predilection for sex with children and young recruits within the U.S. military. However, since the 1980s, the Bush cabal has been able to keep the GOP's dark secrets away from the disinfectant of sunshine and media attention.

Except for the outbreak of news stories concerning the Franklin Credit Union-Lawrence King-Craig Spence child prostitution scandal in 1989 that involved midnight tours of the White House for underage male sex slaves from Nebraska and reached high into the upper echelons of the elder Bush administration, little has been heard about the sex crimes of top Republicans. That is, until it was revealed that "Jeff Gannon" was intricately tied to GOP operatives ranging from George W. Bush political "Svengali" Karl Rove, to White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, and Texas GOP provocateur Bobby Eberle. In typical Bush scandal fashion, Eberle's "Talon News Service" has disappeared as fast as Jeff Gannon from the James Brady Briefing Room and Doug Wead's secret tapes of Bush from the public ear—tapes that, at the very least, indicated Bush's prior use of marijuana, cocaine, and LSD.



Kid Tested, Government Approved: MK ULTRA :.

Being in the presence of the other RA (ritual abuse) survivors at that hospital unit helped me to understand that I was not the only person this had been done to. It was, to a limited extent, my first "normalizing" experience. Although we were not allowed to tell each other our horror stories (I am grateful for that), I was able to recognize that the psychological effects of what they had endured were very similar to my own. I kept trying to go back into denial, though, and wanted to get away from the unit. It was too much reality for me. I didn’t want to believe that I was one of them, and I certainly didn’t like learning that I had MPD.



Deranged Texas Congressman: "Nuke Syria" :.

And people wonder why I'm leaving the U.S.:

Speaking at a veterans' celebration at Suncreek United Methodist Church in Allen, Texas, on Feb. 19, Johnson told the crowd that he explained his theory to President Bush and Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) on the porch of the White House one night. Johnson said he told the president that night, "Syria is the problem. Syria is where those weapons of mass destruction are, in my view. You know, I can fly an F-15, put two nukes on 'em and I'll make one pass. We won't have to worry about Syria anymore."

The crowd roared with applause.



NEW YORK CRUDE OIL GAPS ABOVE $55 :.

It's going to be an interesting Summer:

Crude oil surged above $55 a barrel in New York, less than $1 short of a record, and reached a record in London on speculation that increasing consumption will outpace production this year.

"Demand is still growing, particularly in China, and there is only a finite supply of oil out there," said Tom Bentz, an oil broker at BNP Paribas Commodity Futures Inc. in New York.


3/2/2005

Microsoft Demonstrates Robots that Watch Children :.

HA! Try to make it up. A total nutcase, locked in a padded room, couldn't come up with more insane nonsense! And what's the source of this story? ABC News:

The teddy bear sitting in the corner of the child's room might look normal, until his head starts following the kid around using a face recognition program, perhaps also allowing a parent talk to the child through a special phone, or monitor the child via a camera and wireless Internet connection.

The plush prototype, on display at Microsoft Corp.'s annual gadget showcase Wednesday, is one of several ideas researchers have for robots. The idea is to create a virtual being that can visit the neighboring cubicle for a live telephone chat even as its owner is traveling thousands of miles away, or let the plumber into the house while its owner enjoys a pleasant afternoon in the sun.

Plenty of companies are already building robots for the work place, and toy companies have created plush dolls that know a child's name or can incorporate other personal information. But Steven Bathiche, a research and development program manager with Redmond-based Microsoft, said his company's projects go further.

"The vision behind this is to be two places at once," Bathiche said.



U.S. Military Research Makes Josef Mengele Look Like a Saint :.

University professors are assisting in this. Oh sure! Why not?

The US military is funding development of a weapon that delivers a bout of excruciating pain from up to 2 kilometres away. Intended for use against rioters, it is meant to leave victims unharmed. But pain researchers are furious that work aimed at controlling pain has been used to develop a weapon. And they fear that the technology will be used for torture.

"I am deeply concerned about the ethical aspects of this research," says Andrew Rice, a consultant in pain medicine at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, UK. "Even if the use of temporary severe pain can be justified as a restraining measure, which I do not believe it can, the long-term physical and psychological effects are unknown."

The research came to light in documents unearthed by the Sunshine Project, an organisation based in Texas and in Hamburg, Germany, that exposes biological weapons research. The papers were released under the US's Freedom of Information Act.

One document, a research contract between the Office of Naval Research and the University of Florida in Gainsville, US, is entitled "Sensory consequences of electromagnetic pulses emitted by laser induced plasmas".

It concerns so-called Pulsed Energy Projectiles (PEPs), which fire a laser pulse that generates a burst of expanding plasma when it hits something solid, like a person (New Scientist print edition, 12 October 2002). The weapon, destined for use in 2007, could literally knock rioters off their feet.

Pain trigger

According to a 2003 review of non-lethal weapons by the US Naval Studies Board, which advises the navy and marine corps, PEPs produced "pain and temporary paralysis" in tests on animals. This appears to be the result of an electromagnetic pulse produced by the expanding plasma which triggers impulses in nerve cells.

The new study, which runs until July and will be carried out with researchers at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, aims to optimise this effect. The idea is to work out how to generate a pulse which triggers pain neurons without damaging tissue.

The contract, heavily censored before release, asks researchers to look for "optimal pulse parameters to evoke peak nociceptor activation" - in other words, cause the maximum pain possible. Studies on cells grown in the lab will identify how much pain can be inflicted on someone before causing injury or death.

Long-term risk

New Scientist contacted two researchers working on the project. Martin Richardson, a laser expert at the University of Central Florida, US, refused to comment. Brian Cooper, an expert in dental pain at the University of Florida, distanced himself from the work, saying "I don't have anything interesting to convey. I was just providing some background for the group." His name appears on a public list of the university's research projects next to the $500,000-plus grant.

John Wood of University College London, UK, an expert in how the brain perceives pain, says the researchers involved in the project should face censure. "It could be used for torture," he says, "the [researchers] must be aware of this."

Amanda Williams, a clinical psychologist at University College London, fears that victims risk long-term harm. "Persistent pain can result from a range of supposedly non-destructive stimuli which nevertheless change the functioning of the nervous system," she says. She is concerned that studies of cultured cells will fall short of demonstrating a safe level for a plasma burst. "They cannot tell us about the pain and psychological consequences of such a painful experience."



Oil Above $53, Again... :.

The overhead resistance is $55.17:

Crude futures climbed to a four-month high above $53 US a barrel on Wednesday as traders bet that the world's petroleum supply would remain tight due to rising demand. They played down a U.S. government report that showed domestic supplies of oil and gasoline rising and pushed gasoline futures higher, too.



Irish Government Searches Google for CIA Torture Flight Info

An Irish Government user (host: h11.vpn.gov.ie, ip: 62.77.181.11) conducted the following google.ie search: Shannon + N379P


3/1/2005

The Going Got Weird :.

Jeff Wells is one of the few writers who isn't afraid to express how completely and existentially f*cked the situation actually is. And not only is it f*cked to oblivion and back again, it's damn weird. It's beyond belief. You couldn't even make it up if you tried:

I'm reminded, constantly, of the two-year old remark by the anonymous State Department official: "I just wake up in the morning and tell myself, 'There's been a military coup,' and then it all makes sense."

If only it were that simple, and modestly malevolent. That used to make sense of this world for me, too. Now, it doesn't make enough sense. Now, I'm waking with the crazy notion, "There's been a coup by esoteric Nazis, and it didn't happen yesterday." Or perhaps I'm not truly awake yet. Could be. Hope so. Because my inner life has taken on the complexion of a lucid nightmare.


Jeff's rendition of Cheney is top notch.



The Guckert Just Hit the Fan :.

Congressman John Conyers Jr, and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter sent the following letter today to Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act for release of Homeland Security records relating to James D. Guckert and his access to the President:

February 15, 2005

Dear Secretary Ridge:

This letter constitutes a request pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552 (FOIA). The request is submitted on behalf of the Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, Ranking Member of the House Rules Committee and Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee.

Recent news reports indicate that James D. Guckert, a Republican activist gained access to the White House press briefing room and Presidential press conferences in violation of standard security procedures and was allowed to work under the assumed name, “Jeff Gannon.” News reports also indicate that Mr. Guckert would not be considered a bona fide journalist by his peers in the press corps, as most of his claims to legitimacy have already been discredited. Access to the President and his press corps is highly competitive, and many seasoned journalists have not had the honor of attending the events or enjoying the access Mr. Guckert has.

We are concerned that such an individual was allowed within a few feet of the President when the public is routinely disallowed any possible contact with either the President or the White House. We understand that your security policies are developed in conjunction with the White House and want to ascertain your respective roles in this decision as it appears to deviate significantly from heightened security measures you have employed recently. To the extent that White House policies were incorporated into the Secret Service’s files and have been read by the Secret Service, we would also like records from the White House.



Husband, Mother of Federal Judge Executed in Home with .22 Caliber Weapon :.

Two .22 casings, two corpses? Oh sure, that was an attempted break-in! Tell me another one.

Here's a more likely scenario: The assassin (or assassins) used a key to enter the home and used a silenced .22 bump gun to execute these people. (In order to murder TWO people with TWO rounds of .22, the muzzle of the weapon would, most likely, have to be placed directly against the skulls of the victims.) Before leaving the scene, the assassin (or assassins) could have easily created "evidence" of a break-in:

The Chicago Police Department and two federal agencies will be working 24 hours a day to try to solve the slayings of two family members of a federal judge.

The mother and husband of U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow were found dead in her North Side home Monday night. Police said Tuesday that the victims were found shot in the basement of the home.

At a news conference Tuesday morning, police said they had collected much physical evidence from the scene, but declined to go into detail about what they had found. A source close to the investigation told The Associated Press that while no weapon was recovered, police found two .22-caliber casings. That source also said police found that a window had been broken at the house.

"It looks like a possible break-in," the source said.


Related: Guckert/Gannon, Plame, Chicago Connection? :.

It gets weirder and weirder as the bodies drop:

Two lawmakers have sent a letter to the U.S. attorney saying a White House reporter who recently resigned following questions about his identity and background may have information vital to the investigation into who leaked a CIA operative's name to the press.

Reps. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., and John Conyers, D-Mich., the ranking Democrats on the House Rules Committee and House Judiciary Committee, respectively, wrote a letter to Patrick Fitzgerald, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, saying the Chicago attorney's office may need to subpoena the journal of reporter James Guckert.

The journal recounts Guckert's days covering the White House. According to Conyers and Slaughter's letter, Guckert had access to a memo revealing the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

In addition, Editor and Publisher has confirmed an online report that Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., is circulating a letter among his colleagues that asks President Bush to launch an investigation into how Guckert gained access to White House press briefings over two years despite having no journalism background and using a false name.

Both letters are just the latest in a string of inquiries by congressional leaders, including a request by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., for documents related to Guckert's continued White House access.



Scientists Creating Invisibility Cloak :.

Oh I'm so glad that people like Cheney will be in control of technology like this:

CLOAKING device that makes objects invisible is being developed by researchers, bringing the magic of Harry Potter into the world of science fact.

While Harry uses his cloak of invisibility to move about Hogwarts School unseen, electronic engineers at the University of Pennsylvania are working on a real invisibility shield called a "plasmonic cover".

The development, which works by preventing objects from reflecting and scattering light, could have widespread use in the military as it would be more effective than current stealth technology.




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