NEWS2U Media
The Truth Mainstream Media Avoids

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Electric Utilities to Study Solar Technology

June 27, 2007

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) said on Wednesday, June 27, it will launch a project to study the feasibility of "concentrating" solar power to increase its efficiency at the request of a number of western U.S. electric utilities.

Unlike conventional flat-plate solar or photovoltaic panels, concentrating solar power uses reflectors to generate electricity more efficiently and in larger amounts, EPRI said.

The institute said the project will study the feasibility of building a solar power plant in the 50- to 500-megawatt range, much larger than traditional solar installations.

The industry research group said the United States has four such utility-size solar plants: one in Nevada and three in California.

EPRI said the solar project was initiated by New Mexico-based PNM Resources Inc. which is interested in building such a solar facility in New Mexico by 2010. Other utilities that will participate in the study's first phase include San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and Xcel Energy. El Paso Electric has also expressed interest in the project, EPRI said.


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Blackberry out of season in France

Canada Standard
June 23, 2007

Canadian made BlackBerry handheld computers will no longer be used by French Government employees.

French government defense experts have advised against their use, because they believe U.S intelligence agencies might be able to intercept commercial and other secrets. Because e-mails sent from BlackBerry automatically pass through servers in the U.S, France fears its own communication system could be vulnerable.

The company that makes BlackBerry, denies such spying is possible, even though it admitted last year that there was a certain fragility in the protection of information using the email system.

It now says BlackBerry emails cannot be read by the NSA or other spy organizations, because they are more heavily encrypted than online banking web sites.

The BlackBerry system has been accredited by security agencies in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Austria and Canada.


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Democrats Plan to Cut Cheney Out of Executive Funding Bill

By Josh Catone
Raw Story

Following Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion that his office is not a part of the executive branch of the US government, Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) plans to introduce an amendment to the the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill to cut funding for Cheney's office.

The amendment to the bill that sets the funding for the executive branch will be considered next week in the House of Representatives.

"The Vice President has a choice to make. If he believes his legal case, his office has no business being funded as part of the executive branch," said Emanuel in a statement released to RAW STORY.

"However, if he demands executive branch funding he cannot ignore executive branch rules. At the very least, the Vice President should be consistent. This amendment will ensure that the Vice President's funding is consistent with his legal arguments."

At a press briefing yesterday, White House Deputy Press Secretary Dana Perino said that Cheney's assertion that he operates outside of the executive branch of government was "an interesting constitutional question that people can debate" and a "non-issue."

On Thursday, Emanuel suggested that if Cheney feels his office is not part of the executive branch "he should return the salary the American taxpayers have been paying him since January 2001, and move out of the home for which they are footing the bill."

Source and Graphic:


Friday, June 22, 2007

The Voice of the White House

June 18, 2007

“In the last four years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the unreported death toll of American military personnel is in excess of 20,000 (20,871) and the wounded who had to be evacuated from the combat areas for out-of-theater hospitals are in excess of 56,000. This is from a highly classified report sent by the Pentagon to the White House and is of a severely restricted circulation.

This is entirely logical based on the number of troops engaged in both theaters and the duration and increasing deadliness of the bombings, snipings and clandestine mortar and rocket attacks. There is growing public disbelief in the 3,000 plus figures given out by the Pentagon and their paid bloggers, but the press steadfastly refuses to even question this issue or even dare to hint at the truth.

Eventually, it will break and when it does, Bush will join Blair in Tanzania and raise elephants.

Families of the dead are always notified but the public is only shows the casualties of 3 per day when the actual total runs between 9 and 20. This is probably the best-kept secret of the war and God help any reporter in the national media who prints any of this or any member of the DoD who even hints at knowing about it.

They have hidden the huge number of deserters (mostly in Ireland and some in Germany) which is over 7,000. The obedient press here acknowledges these desertions, minimizes them and claims that most of those who ran off, ‘eventually come back’. I have news for idiots who report garbage like this; they do not come back.

On the other hand, the dead can never come back and the wounded are shoved aside, not discussed and will be left to rot, literally, in substandard military hospitals or nursing homes.

This will all come out but the Bush people are frantic to keep it locked in the woodshed until they have all left office and gotten lush jobs in the private sectors.

Think tanks and major corporations are usually the final resting places for these vultures, when a deep hole in the ground would be far more fitting. Let’s give the maggots something to chew on. Even a hungry hyena would draw the line munching on such carrion.“


See Inside the White House archive:

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Ron Paul Video Emerges


Where Isn't Ron Paul?

The Censorship of Ron Paul

By Michael Kraft
June 14, 2007 gives us this great story on the censorship of Ron Paul.

Almost every independent media outlet and cultural outlet has 5 times the Ron Paul related traffic and conversation than it does for Rudy Giuliani.

I can verify this personally with the thousands of visitors to this site daily Ron Paul is nearly double that of all other traffic topics. The people and the web are fascinated by Ron Paul and my stats prove that to me.

I don't mean this to be an endorsement, though I do support the man, but this is a fact that is strangely evident on the web as opposed to hidden on other media sources.

Another in a series of media screw ups?

Congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex) appeared on the Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report” last night, but this morning he’s there “in name only.” His video has apparently disappeared.

Ron Paul seems to be on a “run of bad luck” with the mainstream media.

CNN has been especially hard on him. The network falsely accused Ron Paul of “air-plane elitism,” (for flying first class) killed an on-air graphic “straw poll” showing he won the recent GOP debates, and “disappeared” a post-debate web-page with numerous positive Ron Paul comments. Now - early Thursday morning, June 14, 2007 - Ron Paul has disappeared once more.

FMNN feedbacker writes, “Interestingly enough, Paul’s interview video seems to have disappeared from Comedy Central’s site, replaced with a duplicate interview of a Dr. Gershon who wrote a book about the digestive system. Also interesting is that all of the video links have the faces of the interview-ees clearly visible in thumbnails, while the mis-atributed Ron Paul interview has a still of Colbert himself gesticulating.

Was traffic too much they had to take it down? Or is this another part of a deliberate media blackout by the major players?

When FMNN checked, as of early Thursday morning, The Ron Paul Video clip at Comedy Central was still playing Dr. Gershon’s interview. Too bad for Ron Paul, as the video likely would have gotten considerable play right after his appearance on the program, last night.

Ron Paul’s small-government, constitutionalist message has met with overwhelming approval on the Internet and is making good progress in critical states of New Hampshire and Iowa, sources close to the campaign say. He recently finished first among all non-Mormon candidates in a Utah straw poll.

One assumes this latest media mishap will be rectified shortly. Unless it has already been adjusted, the mis-identified Comedy Central video can be seen here (with nearly 3,000 views and “four stars,” even though misidentified as of 8am ET):


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Neocon II: Lie Hard With A Vengeance

By Matt Taibbi
Ad Busters
June 6, 2007

Call it the Leslie Nielsen effect. Your first attempt at a show-biz career fizzles out and dies, but your failure is so quirky and charming that it wins you a whole second career. Think Robert Goulet, Bill Shatner, even John Travolta. America loves a brave second act, particularly one that doesn’t mind doing a take or two with egg still on his face.

What the Zucker brothers did for actors, the neocons are now doing for politics. In the first six years of the Bush presidency the administration’s ideological nucleus – a tribe of humorless conservative revolutionaries led by Dick Cheney and including the likes of Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Doug Feith and Elliott Abrams – racked up a startling record in matters of official policy. From their juking of the case for the Iraq War to their Jacobin-esque purges within the government’s intelligence apparatus to their paranoid and sometimes criminal fragging of political enemies great and minor, the neoconservatives working for George Bush botched virtually every important move they made in the last six years.

Moreover, each time they used the presidency’s bully pulpit to make a prediction, be it about the post-invasion spread of democracy in the Middle East, the utility of Iraqi oil revenues in financing the occupation, or the chilling effect our presence in Iraq would have on Palestinian resolve, more or less exactly the opposite ended up taking place.

And yet, despite the walloping defeat of the Republicans in the 2006 midterm elections that seemed to spell the end of neocon rule in Washington, the clowns are once again spilling out of the Volkswagen. Lately the neocons seem to be all over the public airwaves, and not as the targets of purgative public flogging or tarring ceremonies, but as the subjects of serious interviews, with respected journalists treating them like real human beings with real opinions. Even worse, a few are still in office, and appear to be cooking up a last-minute encore before the curtain finally comes down in ’08.

Richard Perle, the former head of the Defense Policy Board, known in the Beltway as the “Prince of Darkness,” has been on TV a lot lately in a much-publicized public spat with former CIA director George Tenet, who recently accused Perle of targeting Iraq days after 9/11. John Bolton, former UN-hating ambassador to the UN, recently won the Bradley Prize for “outstanding intellectual achievement” – achievement that presumably includes helping make the case for the Iraq disaster and support for a future invasion of Iran. In his acceptance speech, Bolton cheekily credited Tehran, Pyongyang and other rogue nations for his success, thanking them just for “being themselves.” And while Scooter Libby crashed at trial, Doug Feith soft-landed into a tenure track at Georgetown, where he will now teach history, a subject he spent the past five years or so violently misinterpreting.

The neocons remain a bold presence in the media for a number of reasons. Number one, they still have real political power. Dick Cheney is still the vice president, and the Pentagon is still guided heavily by the neocon-dominated Office of Special Plans (OSP), where the power is now reportedly concentrated in an office called the Iranian Directorate, charged with helping make the case for war with Iran. Amid all the public hand-wringing about a congressional demand for an Iraq withdrawal timeline, Washington is abuzz with rumors that the neocons are loading up for one last historical Hail Mary, a “long bomb” to throw at Tehran before Bush leaves office.

The knowledge that they are crazy enough to try something like that makes people in the capital take them seriously.

But beyond that, there just hasn’t been any effort in the media to identify and really make clear the root causes of the Iraq policy failure. In the current Washington mythology – a mythology reflected in public statements of everyone from John McCain to Hillary Clinton – the Iraq War blew up in our faces for logistical reasons, because we didn’t send enough troops, or have a sound occupation plan, or have an “understanding of the insurgency.” It was the right war, wrong execution, wrong defense secretary. The failure had nothing to do with the mistake of placing our bets on a radical revolutionary policy of “pre-emptive invasion,” or with the White House’s authoritarian efforts to castrate the Pentagon and the CIA and replace them with their own intelligence-gathering and policymaking apparatuses.

The neocons may have been proven wrong in the particulars, and to ordinary people their legacy may turn out to be a nightmarish Middle East bloodbath and decades of debt, but in Washington they’re still revered as canny operators who swept two election seasons with a drooling mannequin for a candidate and for years ruled Washington with almost Caligulan abandon. They were idiots in terms of how the world worked, but they understood power in the Beltway better than Nixon, better than Clinton, better really than any White House clan since the Roosevelt years. That’s why they’ll keep getting top billing on talk shows and invites to all the best Washington parties, even if, as seems likely, they leave office 18 months from now with half the planet in flames.

In Washington there is no shame in being wrong; there’s only shame in losing.

The neocons were wrong as hell, but they were also winners. That’s why no one should expect them to go away now. That’s especially true since their only real competition in the intellectual arena is the cynical third-way corporatism of the Democratic party, a tenuous and depressing alliance of business interests and New-Deal interest groups whose most persuasive “idea” is that it is not neo-conservatism. The neocons, wrong and stupid as they might be, at least represent a clearly-articulated dream of unchecked greed, power and big-stick foreign conquest that appeals in an elemental way to the dark side of the American psyche. Until America rejects that dream – and don’t hold your breath for that – don’t count on the Boltons and the Perles disappearing from view.

Matt Taibbi is a contributing editor to Rolling Stone magazine. His book, Smells Like Dead Elephants, is due out next year.


Monday, June 11, 2007

150,000 ON THE MARCH

Riot cops fire tear gas at Bush demo

By Bruce Walker
June 10, 2007

GEORGE BUSH met the Pope yesterday to talk about the war on terror as a march by 150,000 protesters erupted into violence.

Masked demonstrators hurled bottles, stones and flares at riot police in central Rome.

Officers baton-charged the crowd and fired tear gas as they chased demonstrators down narrow streets.

Almost 10,00 officers controlled the marchers as helicopters hovered above.

The trouble broke out after President Bush had ended his official talks and returned to the US ambassador's residence.

His meeting with Pope Benedict came the day after a major CIA rendition trial opened in Italy.

Twenty-six Americans and six Italians are accused of kidnapping a Muslim cleric and sending him to Egypt, where he was tortured.

The CIA agents and US military personnel are being tried in Milan in their absence.

The President did not discuss the high-profile trial with Pope Benedict or at a later meeting with Italian premier Romano Prodi.

The Pope voiced concern about the plight of Christians in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. Bush said later: "He's worrisome about the Christians inside Iraq being mistreated by the Muslim majority."

After his meeting with Premier Prodi, where global warming was discussed, Bush said: "Our relations are pretty darn solid."

Prodi insisted: "We basically agree on how the future of the world should look, should be."

Yesterday Poland and Romania denied claims the CIA ran secret jails in the two countries to interrogate terror suspects. The CIA called the report "distorted" but stopped short of denying the prisons' existence.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

JFK airport plot 'a US setup'

News Update from Citizens for Legitimate Government

By Lori Price
Jun 6, 2007

JFK airport plot 'a US setup' 06 Jun 2007 The four suspects in an alleged terror plot to bomb a New York airport were set up in an elaborate plan by the US Republican party to retain hold of the White House, the daughter of an arrested suspect claimed on Tuesday.

Huda Ibrahiim, daughter of Amir Kareem Ibrahiim, one of four men accused of plotting acts of terrorism against the United States, said US justice officials had engaged in entrapment in breaking up the alleged plot... She also said her father was afraid to fly, was not computer literate and does not use the internet.

Please forward this update to anyone you think might be interested.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

JFK Airport Plot Has All The Hallmarks Of Staged Terror

Near-retarded "ringleader", paid government provocateur mirrors legion of previous cases

An alleged plot to blow up fuel tanks, terminal buildings and fuel lines running beneath Kennedy International Airport has all the hallmarks of being another staged terror alert, having never advanced beyond a rudimentary planning stage while being prodded and provocateured by a paid government informant.

In every single major terror sting we have researched in the west since 9/11, not one single plot has been absent the ingredient of a government provocateur, save the cases that were outright manufactured by imaginative government propagandists in alliance with the corporate media.

In this case, the provocateur was "An informant with a criminal history including drug trafficking and racketeering agreed to work with investigators on the case, in exchange for payments and a reduced sentence," according to the New York Times.


Terror plot suspect worked for the CIA's airline

The following may be the most important story I have ever written.

It's an incomplete story -- indeed, we have, at present, only about 50 pieces of a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle. Perhaps some of you can help find missing parts of the picture.

In a previous post, I argued that the "terrorist ring" led by Russell DeFreitas -- the man who had targeted JFK airport, where he once worked -- was actually a drug smuggling ring. Now we have a Newsday piece on the bomb plot which functions as a sort of palimpsest: The surface text shows hints of a more important tale which lies beneath.

Authorities were tipped to the plot by a confidential informant, a convicted drug trafficker who has been working with law enforcement since 2004, according to the complaint....

The author of this piece does not ask the obvious question: Why was a drug trafficker tasked to get close to former baggage handler DeFreitas? The criminal complaint makes clear that DeFreitas vouched for this drug trafficker to his contacts in the Caribbean criminal underworld.

The author of the Complaint -- Robert Addonizio, an investigator with the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force -- prefaces his findings as follows:

Because the purpose of this Complaint is to state only probable cause to arrest, I have not described all the relevant facts and circumstances of which I am aware.

In other words, he does not feel obligated to discuss any subjects other than terrorism. Subjects such as smuggling.

Although some media accounts have correctly identified Jamaat al Muslimeen -- a criminal organization based in Trinidad -- as a party to the JFK airport plot, none of these stories have seen fit to mention that JAM is in the business of illegal drugs and weapons.

The Complaint makes clear that a JAM leader was cognizant of and involved with the plot. Although the leader is not named, the reference almost certainly goes to head honcho Abu Bakr, one of the world's most dangerous men.

(On page 29 of the Complaint, Kadir is quoted as saying that this JAM leader -- whose name is redacted -- has strong ties to Libyan strongman Mohamar Qadafi. So does Bakr.)

This CBS story claims that JAM did not offer the plotters support. That claim is directly contradicted by paragraphs 53-58 of the Complaint, which few in the media seem to have read with any care.

So why isn't the Bush administration, which loves a good scare story, talking about JAM and its leader, Abu Bakr? Bakr knew about this plot. Why is the media focused on four relative small fry? Why the odd reticence to mention a Qadafi associate?

I don't have an answer to those questions right now. But I did discover a genuinely astounding connection.

The afore-cited Newsday piece gives this account of Russell DeFreitas' employment history:

[New York City Police Commissioner Ray] Kelly said Defreitas last worked at Kennedy in 1995 as a baggage handler with a subsidiary of Evergreen International Airlines Inc., an airline services company based in McMinnville, Ore. Kelly said Defreitas was unemployed and lived alone.

[Emphasis added.] Oddly enough, the chronology is contradicted by another Newsday story -- a profile of DeFreitas -- which reports:

Defreitas was hired by a cargo transportation company at Kennedy Airport, Watts said.

Documents show he was employed as a "trainee supervisor" in 2001 with Evergreen Eagle, a subsidiary of Oregon-based Evergreen International Aviation. Officials there declined to comment.

When in 2001? After September 11? More to the point, was he a baggage handler or a supervisor?

All of this is of no small importance, for one simple reason:

Evergreen is CIA.

Of all the airlines used by the CIA -- and they have used many -- Evergreen has the closest, most longstanding ties to the agency. So close are they that we may fairly say that the two entities are kept separate only by a polite legal fiction.

This is not a questioned fact. This is not "tin foil hat" speculation.

For example, this San Diego Union Tribune story (on a non-political subject) refers to "Evergreen Airlines – the CIA's (contract) airline that replaced Air America of the Vietnam era." A number of respected books on the Agency refer to Evergreen as the CIA's airline. Also see this fascinating affidavit by a pilot who became involved with these operations.

Evergreen aircraft have, it seems, been used for "extraordinary renditions" (the transport of captured prisoners for torture):
See here and here.

I have elsewhere argued that, in many cases, these flights make more sense if viewed as smuggling operations, as opposed to "torture flights." Although CIA aircraft have undeniably carried prisoners to remote locations for grisly interrogation, the pattern suggests that many of these flights have another purpose. (If that suggestion seems outlandish at first blush, I can only beg you to read my earlier piece before offering judgment.)

In short and in sum: The CIA has long been accused of using Evergreen for smuggling purposes. (I do not here refer, necessarily, to drugs. The CIA must often transport all sorts of items which it would prefer not to pass through customs.)

Thus, it is of great importance to determine just what DeFreitas did while working -- in essence -- for the CIA. The disparate and contradictory reports of his tenure and job title are suspicious in and of themselves.

It is fair to presume that the CIA vets everyone connected with its ultra-sensitive air operations. I do not believe that the Agency would accidentally hire someone linked to a foreign criminal organization.

But the DeFreitas story gets even stranger.

For someone living in poverty, he did an astonishing amount of international travel. The Complaint mentions the trip he made late last year to Guyana, where he met with various shady characters.

Take a look at this paragraph from the Newsday profile:

Acquaintances said that in recent years Defreitas made much of his money shipping junk appliances, car parts and anything else he could get his hands on to Guyana, where he would sell them. He also sometimes sold books and incense on Jamaica street corners, his retired truck-driver countryman said.

Get real. Nobody goes from New York to Jamaica to sell "incense."

And nobody can earn a living selling junk in a place like Guyana -- at least, not the sort of "junk" described above. Travel and shipping costs far outstrip the amount of money one can earn, if one keeps one's business on the up-and-up. If DeFreitas were just a used appliance salesman, then why does the Complaint portray him as a man well-known to the underworld?

Newsday's strange claim inevitably calls to mind our recent discussion of Daniel Hopsicker's latest on the mysterious Agape airlines. A source who caught a glimpse of the operation told Hopsicker:

“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Its obviously a very well-funded operation, but the stuff they’re flying down to Haiti is junk,” he told us bluntly.

“Stuff that didn’t sell at garage sales. Used silverware and plates, used bedding. Every so often we’d see a new coffeepot, or a portable generator. But it was mostly all junk.”

“With the price of aviation gasoline today, it costs them between $6000 and $8000 just to fly down and back to Haiti. And for what? A couple hundred bucks worth of toasters?”

Cross out "Haiti" in that last sentence and scribble in "Guyana," "Jamaica" or "Trinidad."

I think we need to know a lot more about Russell DeFreitas, associate of the dangerous Jamaat al Muslimeen -- and former employee of the CIA.

How can we get the media to ask the right questions?