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1//Foreign Policy in Focus, US-COMMENTARY: THE COLLAPSE OF AMERICA'S ‘SECOND FRONT' (It started in 2002 with a few hesitant probes that were low on intelligence, high on imagination, and short a couple of helicopters reportedly lost in the desert wastelands of northern Mali. Then, in 2003, the US launch of a second front in its "war on terror" moved into top gear. In collaboration with its regional ally Algeria, the administration of US President George W Bush identified a banana-shaped swath of territory across the Sahelian regions of the southern Sahara that presumably harbored Islamic militants and sympathizers of Osama bin Laden on the run from Afghanistan. ... . The US spin on these events was all very dramatic. And it was all largely untrue. ... . How and why did such a deception take place? The "how" is simple. First, the Algerian and US military intelligence services channeled a stream of disinformation to an industry of terrorism "experts", conservative ideologues, and compliant journalists who produced a barrage of articles. Second, if a story is to be fabricated, it helps if the location is far away and remote. The Sahara is the perfect place: larger than the United States and in effect closed to public access. ... . The second-front deception has done immense damage to the peoples and fabric of the Sahara-Sahel region. The launch of a Sahara front in the "war on terror" has created immense anger, frustration, rebellion, political instability and insecurity across the entire region. ... . Fortunately for the people of the region, this "second front" is collapsing. US regional commanders admitted to a German journalist this past spring that their EuCom predecessors had over-hyped the terrorist situation. In the meantime, US skullduggery in the region is likely to be exposed further by President Bouteflika's recent investigation into fraud and corruption by the Halliburton subsidiary Brown & Root Condor [BRC], set up and registered as an Algerian company by Dick Cheney in 1994.)

by Brent Budowksy

An unpopular war sold with falsehood and failing as policy. Major scandal involving the Nation's ruling party. Threats and intimidation towards those who dissent. Name calling and partisanship of historic proportions. An angry electorate ready to revolt against the corrupt class of insiders. We even have an expose by Bob Woodward exposing the words of leaders as tissues of untruth. Sound familiar?


Sex Scandal With Congressional Pages Takes Heat Off Some Republicans

by Tony Peyser

George Allen once again
Is completely free to do
Things like mocking Blacks
And claiming he's not a Jew.

I'm sure we'll soon see him
Wave a Confederate flag
And tell reporters he always
Thought Foley was a fag.

by Brent Budowsky

It what may be one of the greatest disgraces in Congressional history there are now senior Republicans, including the Speaker's best friend Congressman Lahood, suggesting the page program be abolished.

Tuesday, 03 October 2006 08:32

BuzzFlash Mailbag for October 3, 2006


Subject: Will Hastert Fit?

On Keith Olbermann's show recently, of course, one of the topics discussed was Hastert's handling of the Foley pagegate scandal.

Here's a partial transcript of one of the funniest exchanges in one of the discussions (drawing your attention to the first comment of Craig Crawford -- too funny!)

OLBERMANN: The speaker as asked again today, if he recalled Congressman Tom Reynolds telling about the Foley issue in the spring of this year, and the Mr. Hastert said, "I just don't recall him telling me that. If he would have told me that, he would have told me about in that context of a half a dozen or a dozen other things." He's getting his cake and eating it too, here. Essentially characterizing a conversation that he does not recall having it happening. Never mind what the Democrat's say, if you've got conservatives who are furious at Hastert, and this is the kind of disaster that does not need one party painting the other, this is self-painting -- will the Republicans need to throw Hastert under the bus to save their chances in the election?

CRAWFORD: Well, if he fits -- if the bus has a lot of clearance. I do think that movement is beginning, Keith. I see that happening, because Republicans know better than anyone how these issues can take over. They won control of Congress in 1994, largely, because of accusations against Democrats for abusive power, Dan Rostenkowski, the chairman Ways and Means and the check hiding scandal and stealing stamps. I mean, it's these weird kinds of things that make people talk, get people focused around the water cooler, and that's where it could be damaging. So, I could imagine them making a move on Hastert just to show the voters that the party is reforming itself.

Lisa Johnson
Milwaukee, WI


The health and well being of America is unimportant to the Repuglicans. the only things they care about are maintaining a culture of corruption, and their power and position! “In an interview today with CNN, Hastert said that Reynolds presented him with information about Foley’s behavior in the context of “other things that might have affected campaigns.”

Tuesday, 03 October 2006 07:05

Jeff Cohen: Is Olbermann on Thin Ice?

by Jeff Cohen, author of Cable News Confidential

I fear for Keith Olbermann.

Like so many others who hunger for some journalistic independence on TV news, I often marvel at Olbermann's dogged reporting and unique commentary. In a cable news environment of conformity and conservatism, the MSNBC host takes on the Bush administration for "demonizing dissent," for abusing our Constitutional traditions, for "taking cynical advantage of the unanimity and love [following 9/11], and transmuting it into fraudulent war and needless death."


Foley Initially Said He Just "Mentored" Pages

by Tony Peyser

I don’t think that I'll have
To repeat this twice, but:
A mentor isn't someone
Who ever says "nice butt."

by Michael Winship

There's a joke about Elizabeth Taylor going to the Betty Ford Clinic and upon release, saying, "Let me get this straight. I was married to Eddie Fisher?"

Tuesday, 03 October 2006 02:16

Norman Solomon: Iraq Is Not a Quagmire

by Norman Solomon

The uproar over Bob Woodward's new book has intensified the media focus on a basic controversy that's summed up this way: Is Iraq a quagmire?

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