March 2009

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WTC-fund 'vampire' stays on

WTC-fund 'vampire' stays on


March 29, 2009 --

Christine LaSala, who announced she was quitting last year as head of the city's $1 billion fund for World Trade Center claims, quietly stayed at the helm -- but with a cut to her $350,000 pay, The Post has learned.

LaSala, president and CEO of WTC Captive Insurance Co., withdrew her resignation several months later after "voluntarily" slashing her salary to $234,500 in 2007, a spokeswoman said.

"She's like a vampire," a stunned congressional staffer said.

LaSala, 58, who also gets health coverage for herself and a daughter, according to her spokeswoman, remained "with the support" of the WTC Captive's board of directors, composed of city officials and others appointed by Mayor Bloomberg.

New ACTIVATE Action Alert Tool at

I just wanted to let you guys know about a great new section at our website for Visibility 9-11 called Activate. Scott has set this up to take advantage of the available internet technology to create a syndicated “action alert” network. Take a look around the section and notice the following features:

1) You can create an account and submit action alerts that you either personally are organizing or that you hear about through your network of contacts. These action alerts will be syndicated out to the full network through the use of .rss feeds. As time goes on and more and more websites and blogs that “plug in”, the list of posters and action alerts will grow and eventually become what we think will be a great activist tool.
2) The website now has a mobile phone version so that you can get up to date alerts right on your cell phone. No special software is needed.

Flim-Flam Obama Man: The “New Democrat[ic]” President's Wall Street Loyalties Get Clearer Every Day

Flim-Flam Obama Man: The “New Democrat[ic]” President's Wall Street Loyalties Get Clearer Every Day

By Paul Street - March 27, 2009

"Beneath claims of allegiance to "free market" ideals and "private enterprise," the administration's "bank rescue" design - recently described by former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich as a continuation of "the most expensive tax-supported fiasco in history"- boils down to a traditional exercise in Wall Street welfare: socialism for the rich, market discipline and capitalism for the rest of us."

"It's time to put our differences aside. Will you be part of the solution?"
- Nightly Chevron commercial at the end of "The News Hour" on the "Public" Broadcasting System, March 12-March 25, 2009

Many on what passes for a left in the United States have been led to believe that Barack Obama is a "Mr. Smith-goes- to-Washington" character eager and ready to struggle against entrenched corporate and financial interests. A considerable number of so-called "left liberals" make curious bedfellows with right-wing noisemakers (including dangerous reactionary nut-jobs like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Bernard Goldberg) in fantasizing that a leftist has taken up residence in the White House. But, as Harper's Magazine president John R. MacArthur notes, this "is an absurd reading of Obama," who MacArthur rightly describes as "a moderate with far too much respect for the global financial class" and as "surely the unleft, unradical, president." ...


Spanish court considers trying former US officials

Spanish court considers trying former US officials

By PAUL HAVEN - Associated Press Writer - Mar 28, 11:41 PM EDT

MADRID, (AP) -- A Spanish court has agreed to consider opening a criminal case against six former Bush administration officials, including former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, over allegations they gave legal cover for torture at Guantanamo Bay, a lawyer in the case said Saturday.

Human rights lawyers brought the case before leading anti-terror judge Baltasar Garzon, who agreed to send it on to prosecutors to decide whether it had merit, Gonzalo Boye, one of the lawyers who brought the charges, told The Associated Press.

The ex-Bush officials are Gonzales; former undersecretary of defense for policy Douglas Feith; former Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff David Addington; Justice Department officials John Yoo and Jay S. Bybee; and Pentagon lawyer William Haynes...


Detainee's Harsh Treatment Foiled No Plots

Waterboarding, Rough Interrogation of Abu Zubaida Produced False Leads, Officials Say
By Peter Finn and Joby Warrick
Sunday, March 29, 2009

When CIA officials subjected their first high-value captive, Abu Zubaida, to waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods, they were convinced that they had in their custody an al-Qaeda leader who knew details of operations yet to be unleashed, and they were facing increasing pressure from the White House to get those secrets out of him.

The methods succeeded in breaking him, and the stories he told of al-Qaeda terrorism plots sent CIA officers around the globe chasing leads.

In the end, though, not a single significant plot was foiled as a result of Abu Zubaida's tortured confessions, according to former senior government officials who closely followed the interrogations. Nearly all of the leads attained through the harsh measures quickly evaporated, while most of the useful information from Abu Zubaida -- chiefly names of al-Qaeda members and associates -- was obtained before waterboarding was introduced, they said.

Blocking The Path To 9/11

Blocking The Path To 9/11
By Steve Foley - Posted on August 15th, 2008

Glenn Reynolds: “They told me that if George W. Bush were re-elected, films that made the President look bad would be quashed. And they were right! They just didn’t say which president…”

Jim Hightower: Obama to Bring More Mercenaries to Afghanistan -- Sound Familiar?

March 28, 2009

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to war we go!

As President Barack Obama begins winding down the Bush war in Iraq, he is building up his own war farther east. We're told that it will be a new, expanded, extra-special American adventure in Afghanistan, involving a vigorous surge strategy to "stabilize" this perpetually unstable land.

The initial surge will add 17,000 troops to the 36,000 already there. Then, later this year, there is to be a second troop surge of another 17,000 or so. This mass of soldiers is expected to be deployed to a series of new garrisons to be built in far-flung regions of this impoverished, rural, mostly illiterate warlord state that is ruled by hundreds of fractious, heavily armed tribal leaders. We're not told how much this escalation will cost, but it will at least double the $2 billion a month that American taxpayers are already shelling out for the Afghan war.


Pepe Escobar: Liquid war - Welcome to Pipelineistan

Mar 26, 2009

What happens on the immense battlefield for the control of Eurasia will provide the ultimate plot line in the tumultuous rush towards a new, polycentric world order, also known as the New Great Game.

Our good ol' friend the nonsensical "global war on terror", which the Pentagon has slyly rebranded "the Long War", sports a far more important, if half-hidden, twin - a global energy war. I like to think of it as the Liquid War, because its bloodstream is the pipelines that crisscross the potential imperial battlefields of the planet. Put another way, if its crucial embattled frontier these days is the Caspian Basin, the whole of Eurasia is its chessboard. Think of it, geographically, as Pipelineistan...


Do the Secret Bush Memos Amount to Treason? Top Constitutional Scholar Says Yes- Naomi Wolf Interviews Michael Ratner
Do the Secret Bush Memos Amount to Treason? Top Constitutional Scholar Says Yes
By Naomi Wolf, AlterNet. Posted March 25, 2009.

Legal expert Michael Ratner calls the legal arguments made in the infamous Yoo memos, "Fuhrer's law."

In early March, more shocking details emerged about George W. Bush legal counsel John Yoo's memos outlining the destruction of the republic.

The memos lay the legal groundwork for the president to send the military to wage war against U.S. citizens; take them from their homes to Navy brigs without trial and keep them forever; close down the First Amendment; and invade whatever country he chooses without regard to any treaty or objection by Congress.

It was as if Milton's Satan had a law degree and was establishing within the borders of the United States the architecture of hell.

Ed Begley, Jr - Reflections of 9/11

Ed Begley, Jr. (actor, environmentalist, activist) will be in Plano, Texas (an affluent Dallas suburb) for a “Live Green Expo” on April 18th. For many Texans, this brings to mind one of Ed’s most dramatic roles. On September 11, 2004 Begley served as host for the NYC event “Confronting the Evidence: A Call to Re-open the 9/11 Investigation”.

In reflecting upon this milestone event, the dynamic introduction to the subject of “9/11 Truth” stands out. This 4 minute video contains an excellent opening statement.

Ed Begley, Jr. and tribute to the fallen. (3 1/2 minute video below)