Obama -- Bullshit Terror Alert Exposed
by Simon Tisdall, Richard Norton-Taylor via gan - The Guardian UK Thursday, Oct 7 2010, 9:14pm
mass media /
Is anyone surprised? Fake leader, fake alert! Western 'democracies' have been hijacked by Corporatists! What that (simply) means is that all Western politicians are PUPPETS serving the interests of those that placed them in 'Office' -- note I did not use the word Power, as the POWER remains with the people, never forget it! Guardian article follows:
A US terror alert issued this week about al-Qaida plots to attack targets in western Europe was politically motivated and not based on credible new information, senior Pakistani diplomats and European intelligence officials have told the Guardian.
The non-specific US warning, which despite its vagueness led Britain, France and other countries to raise their overseas terror alert levels, was an attempt to justify a recent escalation in US drone and helicopter attacks inside Pakistan that have "set the country on fire", said Wajid Shamsul Hasan, the high commissioner to Britain.
Hasan, a veteran diplomat who is close to Pakistan's president, suggested the Obama administration was playing politics with the terror threat before next month's mid-term congressional elections, in which the Republicans are expected to make big gains.
He also claimed President Obama was reacting to pressure to demonstrate that his Afghan war strategy and this year's troop surge, which are unpopular with the American public, were necessary.
"I will not deny the fact that there may be internal political dynamics, including the forthcoming mid-term American elections. If the Americans have definite information about terrorists and al-Qaida people, we should be provided [with] that and we could go after them ourselves," Hasan said.
"Such reports are a mixture of frustrations, ineptitude and lack of appreciation of ground realities. Any attempt to infringe the sovereignty of Pakistan would not bring about stability in Afghanistan, which is presumably the primary objective of the American and Nato forces."
Dismissing claims of a developed, co-ordinated plot aimed at Britain, France and Germany, European intelligence officials also pointed the finger at the US, and specifically at the White House. "To stitch together [the terror plot claims] in a seamless narrative is nonsensical," said one well-placed official.
While Abdul Jabbar, a Briton, and others killed by an American drone strike on 8 September in North Waziristan, in Pakistan's tribal areas, were heard discussing co-ordinated plots, including possible "commando-style" attacks on prominent buildings and tourist sites in European capitals, security and intelligence officials said the plots were nowhere near fruition.
The officials did not deny the men, and other foreign-born jihadi recruits who travel to the tribal areas for indoctrination and training, represented a potentially serious threat. "You have discussions about all sorts of things – that does not necessarily mean there is anything concrete. It is not easy to set up groups," said one counter-terrorism official.
By making it clear that the US drone strikes were pre-emptive, and were not in any way combating an imminent threat, European officials raised fresh questions – this time directly involving a British national – about the legality of the attacks, which could be viewed as assassinations.
They said Washington was the "driver" behind claims about a series of "commando-style" plots and that the CIA – perhaps because it was worried about provoking unwelcome attention to its drone strikes – was also extremely annoyed by the publicity given to them.
The plot claims, which western intelligence agencies were aware of for months, were leaked last week to the American media.
They were followed by a spate of what security and intelligence officials said were exaggerated claims in the British media, a US state department warning to American citizens to be vigilant when visiting Britain, France, and Germany, a "tit for tat" warning by France to its citizens visiting the UK, and alerts issued by the Swedish and Japanese governments.
Thomas de Maizičre, Germany's interior minister, publicly expressed his scepticism about the US terror warning, saying he saw no sign of an imminent attack on Germany. He described the danger to Germany as "hypothetical".
The sharp rise in US unmanned drone attacks in Pakistan's tribal areas, coupled with several cross-border raids by American helicopter gunships that culminated in the killing of two Frontier Corps soldiers last week, was destabilising Pakistan, Hasan said.
"Why are they putting so much pressure on us? It is a threat to the democratic system … But people in Pakistan feel Washington does not care." American actions were "obviously" linked to Obama's decision to set a timetable for leaving Afghanistan. The US leader had "jumped the gun" and now "the Americans are in a hurry".
He said fears were growing in Pakistan that the US was planning a bombing campaign using fixed-wing aircraft as well as drones in North Waziristan.
Hasan said Washington politicians failed to understand how much the US needed Pakistan in the "war on terror". Nor did they realise that public anger over repeated US infringements of Pakistani sovereignty could boil over into attacks on American personnel and interests that the government might not be able to control.
"The government does not want to go down this road," he said. "But people feel abused. If they [the Americans] kill someone again, they will react. There is a figure that there are 3,000 American personnel in Pakistan. They would be very easy targets."
Hasan said American personnel stationed at the Pakistani air force base at Jacobabad, on the border between Sindh and Baluchistan provinces, could be vulnerable if the situation deteriorated further. The US requested the use of Jacobabad, and other bases at Dalbandin and Pasni, after the 9/11 attacks, and has maintained a military presence there ever since.
Another Pakistani diplomat said Jacobabad was the main centre of operations for CIA and US army drones, which are ultimately controlled from America. "They have hangars there. That's where they fly from and that's where they return."
The drone operations began in June 2004 with the tacit, reluctant agreement and involvement of the Pakistani authorities but were now in effect running beyond Pakistan's control, the diplomat suggested. "We have always denied it in the past. But everybody knows this is happening. We need to wake up," the official said.
A US official said: "Our allies have been briefed on the nature of the threat and the intelligence that led to the travel alert and everyone understands this cannot be taken lightly.
"To try to ascribe any political motivation is misguided and irresponsible."
© 2010 Guardian News and Media Limited
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Corporate cash floods US congressional elections
by Patrick Martin via reed - WSWS Thursday, Oct 7 2010, 10:51pm
Big business and the wealthy are pouring unprecedented sums of money into the US congressional elections, according to data reported in the media over the past several days. While the lion’s share of the money is going to candidates of the Republican Party, Democrats are also raking in millions, underscoring the status of both parties as political instruments of the financial aristocracy.
Much of the spending is fueled by the Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case, handed down in January, which reversed 80 years of precedent and declared that corporations—as well as labor unions—had the right to spend unlimited amounts of money on behalf of their favored candidates.
While individuals and organizations are limited in what they can give directly to a candidate, there is no limit on what they can spend on their own, as long as the advertising is not directly coordinated with the candidate.
The result is the sudden emergence of numerous organizations with vague and misleading titles—American Future Fund, Americans for Job Security—disposing of vast resources from billionaires and corporate donors, and launching a barrage of attack ads against the opponents of their favored candidates.
An analysis published by the Washington Post Monday found that outside organizations are spending five times as much in the 2010 campaign as during the last midterm election in 2006. These groups spent $16 million at this point in the 2006 election, but have spent $80 million so far this year. Two Republican-linked groups, American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, have spent $18 million each already on campaign advertising.
Groups that incorporate as nonprofits are not required to disclose their financial backing, under rules set by the Federal Election Commission. The amount of money for which the donors’ identity was kept secret, a negligible $1.5 million in 2006, has leapt by a factor of 30 in 2010, passing the $40 million mark already.
The spending by newly formed “nonprofits” has favored Republicans over Democrats by a ratio of 7 to 1. Two examples are detailed in the Post report.
The American Future Fund, which has already spent $7 million to support Republicans in two dozen contests, including $800,000 in a single congressional race in eastern Iowa, with the incumbent Democratic congressman bombarded with ads claiming he “supports building a mosque at Ground Zero,” the site of the World Trade Center in New York City, destroyed in the 9/11 attacks.
The 60 Plus Association has been bolstered by right-wing money to rival the American Association of Retired Persons. Although reporting only $2 million in revenue in 2008, the group enjoyed an influx of big donations from unidentified sources. It spent $9 million last year attacking Obama’s health care legislation, and $7 million so far this year on the elections.
The Democratic Party remains competitive financially, in part because, with majorities in both the House and Senate, it has plenty of favors to trade with wealthy donors for “campaign contributions,” the legalized form of bribery that drives day-to-day legislative activity in Washington. Most industry lobbies are splitting their donations 50-50 or 60-40 between the two big business parties.
Until recently, the major Democratic Party campaign committees for House and Senate candidates had raised significantly more money than their Republican counterparts. As of reports filed August 31 with the FEC, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which aids candidates for the House of Representatives, had $39 million on hand, while the National Republican Congressional Committee had banked $25.6 million.
The typical two-party contest for a congressional seat now costs several million dollars on each side, at least 10 times more than two decades ago. The result is that only candidates with substantial personal wealth—or entrenched incumbents who raise money from business groups 365 days a year—can hope to compete in a House race.
According to a report in the Los Angeles Times Wednesday, spending by congressional candidates on media alone rose from $124 million at this point in 2006 to $209 million so far this year, an increase of 70 percent. In many of the tightest races, candidates have purchased the entire inventory of advertising space on local television for the last month of the campaign, insuring that viewers will see campaign messages at every commercial break around-the-clock.
Total spending by all candidates and their supporting groups is expected to smash the previous midterm record of $4.2 billion, set four years ago. Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, the billionaire Republican candidate for governor of California, has long since broken the record for outlays by a single candidate, having spent at least $130 million by mid-September, according to press estimates.
Outside spending for Democratic Party candidates has badly trailed the Republicans, at least in part because two of the principal backers of the Democrats in the past three elections, billionaire financial speculators George Soros and Peter Lewis, are largely sitting on the sidelines in 2010.
The AFL-CIO unions, while mobilizing the organizational resources of the bureaucratic apparatus, have not been able to match the flood of cash from ultra-right billionaires like the Koch brothers, the Kansas oil bosses who have provided much of the financing for the Tea Party groups.
The Internet-based MoveOn.org group has largely given up buying advertising because it cannot compete, its officials said, attempting to mobilize individual supporters to join in local Democratic Party campaigns.
The health insurance industry has switched the balance of its funding from the Democrats to the Republicans, although it still gives substantially to both sides. In June, for instance, the industry lobby gave $544,000 to Republican candidates and $354,000 to Democrats.
According to a report by the Politico.com website, “Health care professionals have quietly become the biggest supports of the nascent Tea Party Caucus, a movement by and large catalyzed by opposition to the health reform law. They donated a little more than $2.7 million to Tea Party Caucus members, making them the group’s most supportive industry.”
AdvaMed, the trade group of medical device makers, openly admitted that a major purpose of its campaign contributions was to repeal or scale back an excise tax on medical devices, scheduled to take effect in 2013.
The Chicago Tribune, in an analysis published Tuesday, reported, “The insurance industry is pouring money into Republican campaign coffers in hopes of scaling back wide-ranging regulations in the new health care law but preserving the mandate that Americans buy coverage.”
In other words, having backed the Obama health care legislation because it forced 30 million Americans to buy insurance or face fines, the insurance industry wants a Republican-controlled Congress to write more business-friendly rules for the new coverage, so that it can offer cut-rate, high-profit plans to this new captive market.
The Tribune noted that this might include increasing the already stiff penalty for individuals and families for being uninsured, which begins at $95 a year and rises rapidly to $695. Jeff Fusile of the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers told the newspaper, “The one thing that insurance companies would love to see are penalties that are actually stronger.”
© 2010 World Socialist Web Site
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