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Bill Gates dumps dollar for euro
Bloomberg News Service, October 19, 2005
www.sebimeyer.com/

Bill Gates, whose net worth of $46.6 billion makes him the world’s richest person, is betting against the U.S. dollar.

“I’m short the dollar,? Gates, chairman of Microsoft Corp., told Charlie Rose in an interview late yesterday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “The ol’ dollar, it’s gonna go down.?

Gates’s concern that widening U.S. budget and trade deficits are undermining the dollar was echoed in Davos by policymakers including European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

The dollar fell 21 percent against a basket of six major currencies from the start of 2002 to the end of last year. The trade deficit swelled to a record $609.3 billion last year and total U.S. government debt rose 8.7 percent to $7.62 trillion in the past 12 months.

“It is a bit scary,? Gates said. “We’re in uncharted territory when the world’s reserve currency has so much outstanding debt.?
[Sign of decline for the empire.]



Many Iraq projects may be dropped - US official
By Vicki Allen, Reuters
Tue Oct 18, 2005
news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051018/wl_nm/iraq_usa_reconstruction_dc

Many rebuilding projects for Iraq will be dropped as security costs drain resources and with the growing awareness that more money must be spent to sustain Iraq's existing infrastructure, the top U.S. auditor [Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction] for Iraq's reconstruction said on Tuesday.

The Bush administration promised a massive rebuilding program after the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein and said much of the cost would be born by revenues from Iraqi oil.



Why Can't the Left Face the Stolen Elections of 2004 & 2008?
by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
Tuesday, October 18, 2005 by the Free Press (Columbus, Ohio)
www.commondreams.org/views05/1018-22.htm

If some of its key publications are any indicator, much of the American left seems unable to face the reality that the election of 2004 was stolen. So in all likelihood, unless something radical is done, 2008 will be too.

Misguided and misinformed articles in both TomPaine.com and Mother Jones Magazine indicate a dangerous inability to face the reality that these stolen elections mean nothing less than the death of what's left of American democracy, and the permanent enthronement of the Rovian GOP.

As investigative reporters based in Columbus, Ohio, we witnessed first-hand, up close and personal, exactly how the 2004 election was stolen, and how it will most likely be done in 2008.

That Kerry and the spineless Ohio and national Democratic Parties have been complicit is a crucial part of the problem much of the left also seems unwilling to face. But if you live in Franklin County, Ohio, and watch the Republican and Democratic Parties run joint pickets against progressive candidate, and cut backroom deals allowing incumbents of either party run unopposed, you may miss the full scope of the disaster.

And until the left faces the rot that defines the Democratic Party, there is no hope for a fair election in this country. In other words: those who think the White House can be retaken in 2008, but refuse to face the theft of the vote in 2004, should prepare to be ruled by the likes of Jeb Bush, now and forever.

CIA meister Poppy Bush long ago perfected the art and science of stealing elections. US manipulators have interfered with and tipped elections for decades. Why should Ohio be any different?

Lets do the bookends: before the voting, Ohio's infamous Republican Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell clearly and vehemently denied poll access to teams of international observers from the United Nations and other international election observers.

Since the election, he has effectively stonewalled and sabotaged all recount attempts, to the point that no credible accounting of the Ohio election has ever been done. To this day, at least 100,000 votes remain uncounted, electronic voting machines remain unaudited, key hardware and data files have been trashed, paper ballots have sat unguarded for anyone to pilfer and tallies in dozens of key counties remain filled with statistical impossibilities.

In our How the GOP Stole America's 2004 Election & Is Rigging 2008, we list more than 180 bullet points on how this theft was perpetrated. It was a brilliant, cynical and masterfully executed campaign of death by a thousand cuts.

In Florida 2000, the means of the crime were limited to a few instances of intimidation, butterfly ballots, computer manipulation and a corrupt Supreme Court. But four years after, in Ohio, dozens of sometimes subtle, sometimes blatant tricks were designed to steal a few thousand votes here, a few thousand more there, until victory was in GOP hands.

Starting with Russ Baker at TomPaine.com, the indicators are grim. Last January, Baker penned an absurd, ill-reported piece of nonsense called "What Didn't Happen in Ohio." Baker traipsed into Columbus for a few days, interviewed the usual faux Democrats, and left with a Big Story: "The Election Was Fair."

If Baker had done any meaningful research he might have seen the dozens of other instances of intimidation, irregularities and fraud that went unmentioned in his glib paragraphs. Instead he relied on Bill Anthony, chair of the Franklin County Democrats and Board of Elections.

Bill is a pleasant, affable African-American with no commitment or fight for democracy or even the Democrats. He has appeared on Bob's local radio show and with Harvey on others. On one of them, Bill admitted that the Franklin County BOE knew there would be problems with voting machines, and asked Blackwell for paper ballots well before the 2004 election. Blackwell, Anthony said, turned them down. The result was the now infamous chaos at the polls, with inner city voters stuck in the rain for hours. Just what Blackwell wanted.

But did Bill Anthony fight Blackwell's absurd ruling? Did he make it a public issue prior to the election?

Not a chance.

For a quickie reporting job, Anthony is a dream. He's well-spoken, charming and convincing. As an African-American with union connections, he would seem the perfect liberal source.

In 2003, Anthony endorsed the Republican mayor's former press secretary for the Columbus School Board. He then supported two Republican candidates on a "Reform Slate" aimed at ousting the Board's only progressive Democrat, an African-American.

Bill Anthony is just one of a legion of what are known throughout the state as DINOs---Democrats in Name Only. The Ohio Democratic Party is a national embarrassment. Its chair, Denny White, was not long ago a Republican, and will soon be one again, once the party is fully disemboweled, a job very close to done.

Mark Hertsgaard is a well respected author and reporter and a long-time friend of Harvey Wasserman, and of election critic Mark Crispen Miller. He has contributed some very valuable work over the years. But he's done himself---and the voting public---very wrong on "Recounting Ohio" in the new Mother Jones.

Mark is smart and thorough enough to leave open the possibility that Ohio's election was, indeed, stolen. But he also falls prey to the DINO trap, failing to cover far too much of what happened here while taking seriously centrist Democrats who are known locally to have no credibility.

So Mother Jones questions the significance of the firing of a Democratic election official who blew the whistle on computer manipulations by Triad, an obscure Republican voting machine company. But Triad was involved in counting the votes in nearly half of Ohio's 88 counties. Questions are still being raised about Triad, including: "How did they get all these contracts in the first place?"

Mother Jones correctly points out that seven times the number of votes by which Bush took Ohio were cast on Republican-controlled machines. But the magazine fails to follow up with mention that those votes have been tabulated on proprietary non-transparent software---a fact we pointed out in our own article in Motherjones.com many months prior to the election.

Mother Jones also discounts the fact that a phony Homeland Security alert in Warren County landed the vote count in an unauthorized warehouse rather than the official secure location, and that reporters were barred from the vote count. That count, which went hugely and suspiciously and very importantly for Bush, was observed by nominal Democrats. But so were other highly dubious vote counts around the state, as they had been in Florida 2000, which Mother Jones argues adamantly was indeed stolen.

The irony of this is that the same issue of Mother Jones leads off with a dead-on story about Ohio and national Democrats who are sabotaging the campaign of the aggressively electable Paul Hackett for a key US Senate seat. And another MoJo piece bemoans the fact that national Democrats seem adept only at losing.

Yet here the back of the book is a story discounting evidence compiled by a legion of independent, grassroots election rights advocates, while favoring phone interviews with the very Democrats being denounced in the front of the book.

Above all, the core of evidence that the election was stolen in Ohio 2004 comes from some 500 sworn statements and signed affidavits taken by people of all political parties, including two Republican hearings officers, in the weeks after the election. Anyone truly committed to finding out what happened here needs to start with that huge body of evidence.

As MoJo points out, none of this has been made easier by the "abandon ship" of the biggest DINO of all, John Kerry. Kerry had $7 million in the bank earmarked to "count every vote" and was apparently losing by just 136,000 Ohio votes with more than 250,000 still uncounted when he turned tail and conceded. Even Blackwell's corrupt, virtually meaningless first fake recount dropped Bush's official tally by 18,000 votes.

The Democrats have since attacked the election protection movement here through a lawyer named Daniel Hoffheimer who comes from none other than the stalwart Cincinnati Republican law firm of Taft, Stettinius et. al. MoJo quotes another Kerry/DINO lawyer Michael O'Grady, counsel to the state Democratic Party, who argues that for Ohio to have been stolen, the entire GOP would have had to be "conspiratorial," while the Democrats were "dumb as rocks."

In fact, that's an assessment many activists in Ohio heartily endorse, though you might add the word "inert" to the description of the Democrats.

Then there's the song and dance from Warren Mitofsky. The father of exit polls saw his work used to overturn a stolen election in Ukraine just prior to the American vote. But when his poll-taking here showed John Kerry with a nationwide margin of 1.5 million votes, somehow Mitofsky jumped ship on his own decades of professionalism.

Exit polls funded by six major news organizations showed Kerry carrying Ohio, Iowa, New Mexico and Nevada as late as 12:20 am on Wednesday morning, well after balloting stopped even in Alaska and Hawaii. These four "purple states" gave the election to the "blue" Democrats, then miraculously switched to "red" for Bush, giving him the White House once again.

Given all that's known about exit polls---and it's a lot---the odds on one state switching like that are about one in one hundred. For four, it's a virtual statistical impossibility. Add the fact that not one, not four, but TEN of eleven swing states showed drastic shifts from Kerry to Bush and you enter the realm of, well, a stolen election.

Add huge, unexplained shifts from pre-election polls to post-election vote counts in crucial 2002 Senatorial races in Georgia, Minnesota and Colorado, then remember what happened in Florida 2000, and examine the basic Bush attitude toward democracy itself, and you've got a pattern to say the least. And an obvious prescription for one-party rule as far as the eye can see.

Conspiracy theories happen sometimes when actual conspiracies occur. The stakes involved, the players on both sides and the events that are out there plain as day are all of a piece that's simply too obvious for anyone on the ground here to miss.

What matters now is whether the GOP will be allowed to repeat nationwide in 2006 and 2008 what they saw they could get away with in Ohio 2004.

Election theft skeptics tend to conclude their put-downs by urging we forget about the vote-count stuff and concentrate on coming up with candidates so good that "the election won't be close enough to steal."

Having seen what we saw here, knowing what Mother Jones is reporting about the Democratic attacks on Paul Hackett, and about the loser instinct ingrained in the Dems' DLC/DNA, we must charitably describe such a conclusion as being profoundly wishful thinking.

Someday we may indeed have candidates far worthier than Al Gore and John Kerry. But they both won the presidency of the United States, however corruptible their margins of victory.

We need to guarantee that if someone worthwhile and willing to fight ever does come along, we will have a left that's prepared to make sure the votes are fairly counted.

[Fitrakis and Wasserman's "How the GOP Stole America's 2004 Election & Is Rigging 2008" is owned by the St. Louis Public Library: catalog.slpl.lib.mo.us/web2/tramp2.exe/authority_hits/A00511e5.001 ]

Their upcoming "What Happened in Ohio," with Steve Rosenfeld, will be published by The New Press in spring, 2006.



Sunni leaders: voting fraud casts shadow over poll
By Steve Negus, Iraq correspondent
Published: October 18 2005
news.ft.com/cms/s/2b442bf8-401e-11da-8394-00000e2511c8.html

Late on Monday, the commission said a final vote count, which had been expected by the end of this week, would be delayed a few days in order to “recheck, compare and audit? results. Poll officials said tallies of more than 90 per cent either for or against the document would be subjected to special scrutiny.

The early results suggest the outcome in the two remaining provinces of Diala and Ninawah, which are ethnically mixed but thought to be majority Sunni, may be decisive in determining whether opponents of the draft have mustered the two-thirds majority needed to defeat it.

Saleh al-Mutlek, a Sunni politician and prominent opponent of the charter, said that in the provincial capital of Mosul, carloads of Iraqi National Guards had seized ballot boxs from a polling station and transfered them to a governorate office controlled by Kurds. “There is a scheme to alter the results? of the referendum, he claimed.

Other Sunnis have claimed members of the main Shia and Kurdish parties in some governorates had filled out blank ballots and stuffed them into boxes after the polls closed.

Similar irregularities were alleged in January's parliamentary vote, and Iraqi observers said ballot box stuffing would be very easy to carry out in small, ethnically homogenous communities, be they Shia, Kurdish, or Sunni Arab, where all monitors and observers were likely to be from the same or allied political parties.

“I am sure that when there is no census and no foreign observers, or people who are not from the area [in the polling station], there will be irregularities,? said independent Kurdish politician Mahmoud Osman.



Former CIA Analyst: Government May Be Manufacturing Fake Terrorism
Prisonplanet.com | October 19 2005
www.prisonplanet.com/articles/october2005/191005McGovern.htm

Ray McGovern, former CIA Analyst during the Regan and Bush 41 regimes, joined Alex Jones on his daily radio show Monday 17th October as part of a round table discussion of issues surrounding the Iraq war and the "war on terror".

McGovern...talk[ed] about terrorism and the fact that if there was another major attack in the US, it would mean a martial law state (According to General Tommy Franks) and a breakdown in our freedoms.

He amazingly went on to suggest that if another attack took place we should not accept what the government tells us because it could be them carrying out the terror.

"We have to be careful, if somebody does this kind of provocation, big violent explosions of some kind, we have to not take the word of the masters there in Washington that this was some terrorist event because it could well be a provocation allowing them, or seemingly to allow them to get what they want."

McGovern said he would not put it past the Government to "Play fast and loose" with terror alerts and warnings and even events themselves in order to rally people behind the flag.

Last week we revealed how a major terror alert in New York was outed as a fake, and magically boosted Mayor Bloomberg's ratings.



Republicans Seek to Widen F.B.I. Powers
ERIC LICHTBLAU / NY Times | October 19 2005
prisonplanet.com/articles/october2005/191005FBIpowers.htm

Senate Republican leaders are pushing once again to expand the Federal Bureau of Investigation's power to demand records in terrorism investigations, as negotiations over the future of the sweeping law known as the USA Patriot Act reach a critical stage, officials said Tuesday.

House and Senate staff members have met behind closed doors four times in the last two weeks to try to iron out differences between bills passed in July extending 16 provisions of the law that expire at the end of the year, the officials said.

Among the more contentious ideas raised in the meetings, participants said in interviews, was the idea of expanding the F.B.I.'s power to issue administrative subpoenas to demand records in terror investigations without a judge's approval. While the expanded powers were in a version of the bill passed earlier this year by the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Senate ultimately rejected the idea.

The F.B.I. already has the power to demand records through what are called national security letters. That power has proven controversial in the case of a Connecticut library consortium, which was recently served with a demand for information on its patrons and is now suing for the right to speak out publicly about the case.

[Senator Pat] Robert's [Kansas Republican] proposal would expand the F.B.I.'s powers further...

The Senate version keeps the government's antiterrorism powers largely intact, but includes what supporters regard as additional safeguards to prevent civil rights abuses, including restrictions on the use of the so-called library provision in the law allowing the F.B.I. to demand records from institutions in terror investigations.




Niger Uranium Forgery Mystery Solved?
The Fitzgerald/Plame investigation goes in a new direction
by Justin Raimondo October 19, 2005
www.antiwar.com/justin/

Even as the FBI was following the trail of the forgers, the Italians were looking into the matter from their end. A parliamentary committee was charged with investigating, and they issued a heavily redacted report: now, I am told by a former CIA operations officer, the report has aroused some interest on this side of the Atlantic. According to a source in the Italian embassy, Patrick J. "Bulldog" Fitzgerald asked for and "has finally been given a full copy of the Italian parliamentary oversight report on the forged Niger uranium document," the former CIA officer tells me:
"Previous versions of the report were redacted and had all the names removed, though it was possible to guess who was involved. This version names Michael Ledeen as the conduit for the report and indicates that former CIA officers Duane Clarridge and Alan Wolf were the principal forgers. All three had business interests with Chalabi."



Judith Miller: Torture witness?
BY Annie Sweeney and Lisa Donovan, Chicago Sun-Times Staff Reporters
October 18, 2005
www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-salah18.html

[originally entitled: "N.Y. Times reporter could testify for suspect"]

Bridgeview (IL) used car salesman Muhammad Salah recalls being beaten, housed in a "refrigerator cell" and threatened with rape by Israeli soldiers until he admitted to bankrolling overseas terrorists, according to a new filing in U.S. District Court. In an odd twist, the interrogation was witnessed by embattled New York Times reporter Judith Miller, and defense attorneys suggested Monday the best way for the U.S. government to prove its case -- and prove Salah wasn't abused -- is to call the controversial journalist to the witness stand.

In Israel([search]), Salah gave a 64-page, handwritten statement describing his activities in the group, prosecutors say.

Salah served five years in an Israeli prison for terrorism activities before he returned to the United States in 1997.

Now Salah and a second person are facing federal charges of laundering millions of dollars in a 15-year conspiracy to fund Hamas. Hamas has taken credit for dozens of attacks abroad, including suicide bombings. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Salah -- a naturalized U.S. citizen born May 30, 1953, in a refugee camp([search]) near Jerusalem -- has recanted all of his statements to the Israelis. Miller told the Sun-Times in 1998 that Salah did not appear to be a man under duress when questioned and that she believed his recanted statements.
 

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-- Mark Twain
Source: "Glances at History" (suppressed)
 

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