Monthly Archives: July 2008

U.S. Government: We Know Parenting Better Than You

Proposals would give Washington unprecedented control over kids
By Chelsea Schilling
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to debate two bills that could give the federal government unprecedented control over the way parents raise their children – even providing funds for state workers to come into homes and screen babies for emotional and developmental problems. The Pre-K Act (HR 3289) and the Education Begins at Home Act (HR 2343) are two bills geared toward military and families who fall below state poverty lines. The measures are said to be a way to prevent child abuse, close the achievement gap in education between poor and minority infants versus middle-class children and evaluate babies younger than 5 for medical conditions. ‘Education Begins at Home Act’ – HR 2343 HR 2343 is sponsored by Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., and cosponsored by 55 Democrats and 11 Republicans. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that implementing the Education Begins at Home Act would cost taxpayers $190 million for state home visiting plus “such sums as may be necessary” for in-hospital parent education. While the bill may appear to be well-intentioned, Pediatrician Karen Effrem told WND government provisions in HR 2343 to evaluate children for developmental problems go too far. “The federal definition of developmental screening for special education also includes what they call socioemotional screening, which is mental health screening,” Effrem said. “Mental health screening is very subjective no matter what age you do it. Obviously it is incredibly subjective when we are talking about very young children.” While the program may not be mandatory for low-income and military families, there is no wording in the Education Begins at Home Act requiring parental permission for treatment or ongoing care once the family is enrolled – a point that leads some to ask where parental rights end and the government takes over. Also, critics ask how agents of the government plan to acquire private medical and financial records to offer the home visiting program.

“There’s no consent mentioned in the bill for any kind of screening – medical, health or developmental,” Effrem said. “There are privacy concerns because when home visitors come into the home they assess everything about the family: Their financial situation, social situation, parenting practices, everything. All of that is put into a database.” Effrem said it does not specify whether parents are allowed to decline evaluations, drugs or treatment for their children once they are diagnosed with developmental or medical conditions. “How free is someone who has been tagged as needing this program in the case of home visiting – like a military family or a poor family?” she asked. “How free are they to refuse? Even their refusal will be documented somewhere. There are plenty of instances where families have felt they can’t refuse because they would lose benefits, be accused of not being good parents or potentially have their children taken away.” When WND asked Effrem how long state-diagnosed conditions would remain in a child’s permanent medical history, she responded: “Forever. As far as I know, there isn’t any statute of limitations. The child’s record follows them through school and potentially college, employment and military service.” Effrem said conflicts could also arise when parents do not agree with parenting standards of government home visitors. “Who decides how cultural tolerance is going to be manifested?” she asked. “There’s some blather in the language of the bill about having cultural awareness of the differences in parenting practices, but it seems like that never applies to Christian parents.”

‘Providing Resources Early for Kids’

The Pre-K Act, or HR 3289, is sponsored by Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and cosponsored by 116 Democrats and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla. Estimated to cost $500 million for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2013, the bill provides funds for state-approved education. Government workers would reach mothers and fathers in the hospital after a baby has been delivered to promote Pre-K programs. “They give them information about Child Care Resource and Referral Network so they can get the child into a preschool or daycare that follows the state standards and get the mom working as quickly as possible,” she said. “It’s always that sort of thing: It’s a list of resources, it’s intruding on parental autonomy and authority and it’s not necessarily accurate or welcome information.” While parents may choose to be involved in preschool programs, Effrem said the Pre-K Act poses similar concerns about government trumping parents’ rights. “Once they are involved, they don’t have any say over curriculum,” she said. “There’s plenty of evidence of preschool curriculum that deals with issues that have nothing to do with a child’s academic development – like gender, gender identity, careers, environmentalism, multiculturalism, feminism and all of that – things that don’t amount to a hill of beans as far as a child learning how to read.” Effrem said the Pre-K Act extends a “really messed-up K-12 system” to include even younger, more vulnerable children. “This is an expansion of the federal government into education when there really is no constitutional provision for it to do so.” Note: Concerned individuals may contact their representatives and senators.

Obama’s “Change” Promises A Continued Path Towards World Government

Candidates from both parties will bring globalist programs

Daniel Taylor
Old-Thinker News
July 25, 2008

Barack Obama’s July 24th speech in Berlin brought to light the Democratic Presidential candidates’ globalist views, mirroring those of the Council on Foreign Relations and other globalist think tanks. Obama’s praise of the European Union, calls for the “tearing down” of walls between nations and religions, and finally for world unity against climate change and terrorism reveal that an Obama Presidency will not bring change, but rather a continued erosion of national sovereignty and steps closer to world government.

Obama’s speech stated in part:

“That is why the greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another. The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.”

“Yes, there have been differences between America and Europe. No doubt, there will be differences in the future. But the burdens of global citizenship continue to bind us together. A change of leadership in Washington will not lift this burden. In this new century, Americans and Europeans alike will be required to do more — not less. Partnership and cooperation among nations is not a choice; it is the one way, the only way, to protect our common security and advance our common humanity.”

“The terrorists of September 11th plotted in Hamburg and trained in Kandahar and Karachi before killing thousands from all over the globe on American soil.

As we speak, cars in Boston and factories in Beijing are melting the ice caps in the Arctic, shrinking coastlines in the Atlantic, and bringing drought to farms from Kansas to Kenya. this new world, such dangerous currents have swept along faster than our efforts to contain them. That is why we cannot afford to be divided. No one nation, no matter how large or powerful, can defeat such challenges alone. None of us can deny these threats, or escape responsibility in meeting them. Yet, in the absence of Soviet tanks and a terrible wall, it has become easy to forget this truth. And if we’re honest with each other, we know that sometimes, on both sides of the Atlantic, we have drifted apart, and forgotten our shared destiny.”

Barack Obama’s remarks mirror those of Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, who stated that the problems of climate change and terrorism would require a surrender of national sovereignty and ultimately the formation of a world government. “Some governments are prepared to give up elements of sovereignty to address the threat of global climate change,” stated Haass. “The goal should be to redefine sovereignty for the era of globalization, to find a balance between a world of fully sovereign states and an international system of either world government or anarchy.”

Obama is not the only presidential candidate with globalist ideals. John McCain’s proposed League of Democracies and support of North American integration is one example. Hillary Clinton’s open support for world government is another.

Obama’s promise of “change” will bring no such thing. A continuation of globalist policy towards world government and weakened national sovereignty will undoubtedly be pursued.

Judicial Watch Sues US Gov’t. On Behalf Of Imprisoned Border Agents

Jim Kouri
July 28, 2008

Ignacio “Nacho” Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, the two Border Patrol agents shamelessly prosecuted by the U.S. government for shooting and wounding a Mexican drug smuggler, Oswald Aldrete-Davila, on February 17, 2005, have not been forgotten by many Americans — such as attorney’s from Judicial Watch — who are actively pursuing their release from captivity.

The two Border Patrol agents were sentenced to 11 and 12 years respectively. Meanwhile, Aldrete-Davila, who attempted to smuggle 750 pounds of marijuana into the U.S., was given medical treatment and immunity for his testimony against the railroaded border agents.

“Instead of giving these two dedicated law enforcement officers the ‘heroes treatment,” they were arrested, tried and imprisoned. Americans who bothered to follow the news coverage of the case were, for the most part, shocked at the disgraceful treatment of Agents Compean and Ramos,” said political strategist Mike Baker.

“You may disagree with me, but I believe the legal action taken against these Border Patrol veterans was the Bush Administration’s way of sending a message to all US Border Patrol agents: Don’t do your jobs. If you do, you’ll be punished,” Baker suspects.

Former New York City police detective now owner of a Manhattan security firm, Sidney Francis is quite disturbed over the Ramos/Compean case, as well.

“This reminds me of the incidents when cops, who did their jobs protecting and serving the people of New York, would be singled out for punishment, harassment and loss of their jobs. Meanwhile, crooked, abusive cops would always find protection behind the so-called “Blue Wall,” and never suffered for their transgressions,” said Det. Francis.

“The message in the Compean/Ramos case seems to be: do your jobs and you’ll be punished. Ignore illegal aliens violating US laws and you’ll be rewarded with pay increases, promotions and other ‘goodies’ by cynical political leaders who favor an unbridled invasion of the US by millions of illegal aliens,” he added.

Three weeks ago, Judicial Watch, a non-partisan, public interest law firm, filed a lawsuit against the Department of State to obtain documents related to the government’s decision to prosecute Ramos and Compean and to strike a deal with the criminal and drug trafficker Aldrete-Davila for his testimony against the two agents who intercepted him at the US-Mexican border.

According to officials at Judicial Watch, JD attorneys filed their original FOIA request on April 17, 2008. However, the US government failed to respond within the statutory 20-day period, forcing Judicial Watch attorneys to file their lawsuit.

This is the second FOIA lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch related to the jailed Border Patrol agents, according to the organization’s officials.

JD officials said they are essentially after:

Information pertaining to government deals that were made with the government of Mexico to bring Aldrete-Davila to the U.S. to testify.

Any internal communications between the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department related to the decision to permit the lawful entry of Aldrete-Davila into the U.S. for medical treatment and for meetings with government prosecutors.

Any and all records of the Diplomatic Security Services, a branch of the State Department, related to the shooting incident.

There is enormous public interest in this incident. Many people, especially conservative activists, suspect these Border Patrol Agents were railroaded by some within the federal government for simply doing their jobs. Given the controversy surrounding the case, Judicial Watch officials believe the more the American people know about what they view as a gross miscarriage of justice, the better.

Their lawsuit on behalf of the two jailed Border Patrol agents is only part of Judicial Watch’s legal battle with the US government with regard to border security and illegal aliens. For example, in the past, it obtained records from the Department of Homeland Security through the Freedom of Information Act that document 226 incursions by Mexican government personnel into the United States between 1996 and 2005.

Released to Judicial Watch, the records consist of annual intelligence summaries of “Mexican Government Incidents,” compiled over a nine-year period. They were designated as “limited official use” by the DHS, requiring “special protection against unauthorized or inadvertent disclosure.”

“How is it that our political leaders tell Americans they are do everything possible to secure our borders and protect our sovereignty, yet they hide and disregard reports of incursions by Mexican military and police personnel suspected of providing protection for drug and human traffickers?” asks Lieutenant Stephan Rodgers, a New Jersey detective bureau commander.

“In the Compean/Ramos case, the federal government actually punished law enforcement officers for attempting to stop an incursion by a drug trafficker. The American people are being lied to by government officials while at the same time being placed in harm’s way since many of these incursions are perpetrated by armed Mexicans,” added the decorated police commander.

The public interest law firm Judicial Watch achieved national recognition during its legal battle with President Bill Clinton’s administration in the 1990s, especially with regard to allegations of political corruption.

JD continues such legal actions against suspected political corruption. For example, Judicial Watch filed separate complaints with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) and the Ethics Committee in the US Senate against Senator Barack Obama for allegedly accepting a ’sweetheart’ mortgage deal in 2005 that would not be available to the general consumer.

JD attorneys are also investigating Congressman Charlie Rangel’s involvement in a case regarding four rent-controlled apartments in New York City, and a decision by the Los Angeles County Superior Court in a taxpayer lawsuit to end Special Order 40, a Los Angeles Police Department illegal alien sanctuary policy (Judicial Watch, Inc. v The Los Angeles Police Department et. al, Case No. BC349040).

Missouri Police Taser Injured Boy 19 Times

David Edwards and Diane Sweet
Raw Story
July 27, 2008

KY 3 News’ Sara Sheffield reports on an injured teen from Ozark, Missouri who was tasered up to 19 times by police.

Passing motorists called Ozark police out of concern for the teen as he walked along the busy overpass. When the police arrived, the young man was lying on the shoulder of the highway directly underneath the 30 foot high overpass with a broken back and foot.

Doctors believe 16-year-old Mace Hutchinson broke his back and heel after falling, as his injuries are consistent with such a fall. The boy’s family does not understand why police would have tasered the the teen 19 times after he was so seriously injured.

The teen’s father said that the use of the taser caused Mace to develop an elevated white blood cell count, leading to a fever that delayed the young man’s otherwise immediate surgery by two days.

Ozark Police Capt. Thomas Rousset attempted to explain why the taser was used:

“He refused to comply with the officers and so the officers had to deploy their Tasers in order to subdue him. He is making incoherent statements; he’s also making statements such as, ‘Shoot cops, kill cops,’ things like that. So there was cause for concern to the officers.”

Ozark police say that while there remains unanswered questions in the case, the reason for the use of the Taser is not one of them.

This video is from KY3 News, broadcast July 24, 2008.

Romans 13: Does It Mean What The Government Would Have Us Believe?

B. L. Beard / Infowars | July 25, 2008
Reader Submission

The common reference to Romans 13 requiring us all to obey the government without question should be examined within the context of what Romans 13 says and means with regard to obedience to the conventions of man.

The 1599 Geneva Study Bible Romans 13 (Bible verses quoted here are identical to King James Bible, Canton Truths Preferred Version)

13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
(1) Now he distinctly shows what subjects owe to their magistrates, that is obedience: from which he shows that no man is free: and the obedience we owe is such that it is not only due to the highest magistrate himself, but also even to the lowest, who has any office under him.
(3) Another argument of great force: because God is author of this order: so that those who are rebels ought to know that they make war with God himself: and because of this they purchase for themselves great misery and calamity.

This first passage of Romans, taken alone, appears to give absolute authority to the government. When examined along with the following passages it becomes clear that an un-Godly, unjust, oppressive government cannot exercise God’s authority over man, because it does not merit that authority.

13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
(4) The third argument, taken from the reason for which they were made, which is that they are to be most profitable: because God by this means preserves the good and bridles the wicked: by which words the magistrates themselves are put in mind of that duty which they owe to their subjects.

The government is thereby put on notice by God that they must serve the best interests of those in their charge.

13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is minister of God, a revenger to [execute] wrath upon him that doeth evil.
(6) God has armed the magistrate even with an avenging sword.
(c) By whom God avenges the wicked.

John S. C. Abbott and Jacob Abbott Illustrated New Testament – 19th Century

13:4 The minister of God; the servant, or instrument, employed by God. The duty of submission to the civil government, here urged in an absolute manner, is, of course, like all the other precepts of a similar character contained in the New Testament, to be understood with certain limitations and restrictions. The principal exceptions commonly made to the rule here laid down in general terms, are two: –first, that the civil authorities may be resisted when they require of the subject what is morally wrong; and, secondly, that, when their misgovernment and oppression become extreme and hopeless of reform, the community may depose them from their power.

Obviously, a government which perpetrates acts of evil upon those in their charge cannot be a minister of God, therefore agents of government who are perceived to commit acts of evil against the people should not be obeyed.

GSB 13:5 Wherefore [ye] must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
(7) The conclusion: we must obey the magistrate, not only for fear of punishment, but much more because (although the magistrate has no power over the conscience of man, yet seeing he is God’s minister) he cannot be resisted by any good conscience.
(d) So far as we lawfully may: for if unlawful things are commanded to us, we must answer as Peter teaches us, “It is better to obey God than men.”

This is a clear example of choosing right over wrong and the commandments of God over any unlawful, unconscionable decrees of the conventions of man. Obey the lawful orders of your government, and disobey the unlawful or immoral orders of that same government. Do the right thing, whether it is adhering to the good order presented by the rules of a lawful, just society, or refusing to obey lawless authorities who tyrannize and oppress a society.

Don’t allow an unjust, unconstitutional, lawless government to order you around in the name of God, for they are not entitled to that authority! And don’t allow such false assertions to go unchallenged when your(?) government invokes Romans 13 to compel your submission to their decrees. Speak up when you hear such false assertions, while you still may do so without threat of imminent death or injury as a result!

The 1599 Geneva Study Bible Ephesians 6

6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
(14) He shows that these enemies are put to flight only with the armour of God, that is, with the uprightness of conscience, a godly and holy life, knowledge of the Gospel, faith, and to be short, with the word of God. And that daily earnest prayer must be made for the health of the Church, and especially for the steadfast faithfulness of the true, godly, and valiant ministers of the word.

A righteous man wears the Armour of God and can never be defeated in spirit. Wear the armour of God in order to vanquish His enemies and those of all mankind.

George Orwell’s 1984 V.S. 2008

George Orwell – The Prophet?

Was Orwell a prophet?…. hopefully not. But, here are a few items from 1984 which now exist in modern life.

1984 : Newspeak
Now : Politically Correct speech

1984 : The red sash of the Junior Anti-Sex League
Now : The red ribbon of the Anti-Aids celibacy league

1984 : Telescreens in every room. The programming runs 24 hours a day, and the proles have no way of turning their screens off.
Now : Televisions in every room. The programming runs 24 hours a day, and the proles rarely turn their screens off.

1984 : Telescreens in all public and private places, so the populace could be watched to prevent thoughtcrime.
Now : Surveillance cameras in most buildings (operated by businesses), and in some public streets (operated by police) to prevent crime. Although most of these cameras are operated by private businesses instead of our intrusive government, the end result is the same.

1984 : Helicopters silently watch over the masses to keep people from committing thoughtcrime, by planting the fear of “always being watched”
Now : Helicopters silently watch over our highways to keep people from breaking traffic laws, by planting the fear of “always being watched”

1984 : Lotteries with very few (if any) winners. Held just to collect income for state, and to give hope to the masses
Now : Lotteries with very few (if any) winners. Held just to collect income for state, and to give hope to the masses.
Lotteries are basically a tax on stupidity. Anybody with any understanding of math at all knows that it is a complete waste of money. Since only 45% of the money collected from sales is sent back out as prizes, odds are that you are going to loose more than half of the money the put into it – and most people will not see any return on their investment what-so-ever.
Every time I see some minimum-wage-earning mother-of-four throwing her her hard earned five dollar bill down on the counter for a pack of cigarettes and a “chance to win millions”, my cold heart melts. Lotteries and cigarette taxes are nothing more than a way to squeeze every last cent possible out of the lower and middle class, and the politicians that are responsible for these “poverty taxes” should be drug out into the street and shot.
When the state sold the idea to state run gambling to the public, they told us that the money would go to education. (“How can you be against the kids!”) But, they failed to tell us that the existing funding would be pulled away to fund other projects, resulting in little if any gain for education.
And as I mentioned earlier, only 45% of lottery revenues are returned directly to the people in the form of prizes. And, if you happen to be the person that defies the odds and somehow manages to win that 45%, the federal and state taxes are going to reclaim 30%-50% of your winnings, which only leaves about 25%-30% of the original take for the the winners – the other 70%-75% being taken by the state.
And, as if that wasn’t enough money to make the state happy, the “big money” prizes are usually paid off over a 20 year period. So, the prize winner’s earning are diminished even further by inflation. But really, when you look at it, the government is actually keeping ALL of the money…

If a person wins $1,000,000, their yearly payments would be $50,000 a year. However, the interest on $1,000,000 at the prime rate (approx 8%) is is about $80,000 a year!… $30,000 more than is being paid off to the winner! Of course, the winner may elect to take half now … which means state and federal governments will end up retaining 85%-90% of the original receipts!

And of course, any purchases made with your winnings will be subject to local sales tax

No matter how you look at it, the only real winner is the state.

1984 : Ministry of Peace
Now : Department of Defense

1984 : Useless statistics, incorrect economic predictions, and slanted opinions polls are presented on the telescreen as “legitimate news”, to give people the impression that “things are getting better”, and that all people agree with the popular way of thinking.
Now : Useless statistics, incorrect economic predictions, and slanted opinions polls are presented on the Evening news as “legitimate news”, to give people the impression that “things are getting better”, and that all people agree with the popular way of thinking.

1984 : History is being rewritten, to conform with modern beliefs. All references to oldthink were being removed or rewritten.
Now : History is being rewritten, to conform with modern beliefs. The most obvious example of this – The removal of “racist”, Violent, or Sexist material from popular cartoons. “Heckle & Jeckle” cartoons have been permanently shelved, since they are said to portray “negros”. “Tom & Jerry” cartoons that contained the “mamma” character have also disappeared. You no longer see Daffy’s head actually being blown off by Elmer. I recently saw an old superman cartoon in which the sexist line, “Isn’t that too dangerous for a woman” (referring to Lois) was removed.

1984 : People are steered away from consuming rare goods such as Chocolate, Steak, Sugar, Coffee, Cigarettes, and alcohol by rationing.
Now : People are steered away from consuming rare goods such as Chocolate, Steak, Sugar, Coffee, Cigarettes, and alcohol by warnings that declare that these items are bad for your health.

1984 : There is always war. If peace is made with one country, war is claimed on another nation to keep the military machine rolling.
Now : There is always war. If peace is made with one country, war is claimed (or threatened) on another nation to keep the military machine rolling.

1984 : Songs are created by machines. This is done to make sure nobody can take credit for songs, or write songs not in line with Ingsoc.
Now : Songs are created by synthesizers. Nobody can realistically take credit for their own songs because most songs are re-mixes or a collage of dubs from other people’s music.

1984 : Telescreen is full of confessions from “Thought criminals”. They confessed to hatred of the government, crimes of all kinds, perversions of all kinds.
Now : Daytime talk shows are full of white trash who enjoy sharing tales of their pathetic existence with the whole world.

1984 : From Goldstein’s book – “The effect (of the atomic wars) was to convince the ruling groups of all countries that a few more atomic bombs would mean the end of organized society, and hence of their own power. Thereafter, although no formal agreement was ever made or hinted at, no more bombs were dropped. All three powers merely continue to produce atomic bombs and store them up against the decisive opportunity which they all believe will come sooner or later. And meanwhile the art of war has remained almost stationary for thirty or forty years. Helicopters are more used than they were formerly, bombing planes have been largely superseded by self-propelled projectiles, and the fragile movable battleship has given way to the almost unsinkable Floating Fortress; but otherwise there has been little development. The tank, the submarine, the torpedo, the machine gun, even the rifle and the hand grenade are still in use. And in spite of the endless slaughters reported in the Press and on the telescreens, the desperate battles of earlier wars, in which hundreds of thousands or even millions of men were often killed in a few weeks, have never been repeated.”
Now : The effect (of the only nuclear war in history, WWII) was to convince the ruling groups of all countries that a few more atomic bombs would mean the end of organized society, and hence of their own power. Thereafter, although the threat of atomic war remained, no more bombs were dropped. All atomic powers merely continued to produce atomic bombs and store them up against the decisive opportunity which they all believed will come sooner or later. And meanwhile the art of war has remained almost stationary for fifty or sixty years. Helicopters are more used than they were formerly, bombing planes have been largely superseded by self-propelled projectiles, and the fragile movable battleship has given way to the aircraft carrier, (which generally stays far away from any actual combat); but otherwise there has been little development. The tank, the submarine, the torpedo, the machine gun, even the rifle and the hand grenade are still in use. And in spite of the endless slaughters reported in the Press and on the television, the desperate battles of earlier wars, in which hundreds of thousands or even millions of men were often killed in a few weeks, have never been repeated.

Hmmm… maybe Orwell really could predict the future!

Pat Robertson Advocates Israel Striking Iran Before The 2008 Election

Think Progress
Wednesday 23rd July, 2008

On yesterday’s edition of The 700 Club, Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson sharply criticized the “moderate tone” the Bush administration has allegedly taken toward Iran and its nuclear weapons program. Robertson advocated that Israel look out for the “survival of its nation” and “make some kind of a strike” against Iranian nuclear facilities. He also predicted that it will likely happen before the 2008 elections:

But nevertheless, I think we can look in the next few months for Israel to make a strike — possibly before the next election — because I think George Bush — to use the term an “amber light” — he’s given the amber, the yellow light, saying, “Caution, but go ahead.”

Watch it:

Robertson’s predictions often turn out to be wrong. In 2004, Robertson claimed that the Lord told him it would “be like a blowout” re-election for President Bush. (Bush ended up receiving just 51 percent of the vote.) In 2006, he incorrectly predicted that “the outcome of the war and the success of the economy will leave the Republicans in charge.”

He does, however, have an inside track into the Bush administration. Last year, Robertson’s Regent University estimated that one in six of its graduates were employed in government work. Approximately 150 served in the Bush administration.

Today, top McCain surrogate Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) is also talking to controversial Pastor John Hagee’s organization. In 2006, Hagee declared:

The United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God’s plan for both Israel and the West… a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Second Coming of Christ.

Other members of the right wing have also been unifying around the idea of striking Iran before Bush leaves. Both John Bolton and Bill Kristol have made the same argument.

The 25 Most Vicious Iraq War Profiteers

The Iraq war is many things to different people. It is called a strategic blunder and a monstrous injustice and sometimes even a patriotic mission, much to the chagrin of rational human beings. For many big companies, however, the war is something far different: a lucrative cash-cow. The years-long, ongoing military effort has resurrected fears of the so-called “military-industrial complex.” Media pundits are outraged at private companies scooping up huge, no-questions-asked contracts to manufacture weapons, rebuild infrastructure, or anything else the government deems necessary to win (or plant its flag in Iraq). No matter what your stance on the war, it pays to know where your tax dollars are being spent.

Following is a detailed rundown of the 25 companies squeezing the most profit from this controversial conflict.

1. Halliburton


The first name that comes to everyone’s mind here is Halliburton. According to MSN Money, Halliburton’s KBR, Inc. division bilked government agencies to the tune of $17.2 billion in Iraq war-related revenue from 2003-2006 alone. This is estimated to comprise a whopping one-fifth of KBR’s total revenue for the 2006 fiscal year. The massive payoff is said to have financed the construction and maintenance of military bases, oil field repairs, and various infrastructure rebuilding projects across the war-torn nation. This is just the latest in a long string of military/KBR wartime partnerships, thanks in no small part to Dick Cheney’s former role with the parent company.

2. Veritas Capital Fund/DynCorp


At first blush, a private equity fund (and not, say, Exxon-Mobil) being the number 2 profiteer in the Iraq war might sound strange. However, the cleverly run fund has raked in $1.44 billion through its DynCorp subsidiary. The primary service DynCorp has provided to the war efforts is the training of new Iraqi police forces. Often described as a ‘state within a state‘, the sizable company is headed by Dwight M. Williams, former Chief Security Officer of the upstart U.S. Department of Homeland Security. With this and other close ties to defense agencies, Veritas Capital Fund and DynCorp are well-positioned to capitalize on Iraq even more.

3. Washington Group International


The Washington Group International has parlayed its expertise the repair, restore, and maintenance of high-output oil fields into $931 million in Iraq-related revenue from 2003-2006. The publicly traded 25,000 employee company’s other specialties include the building and maintenance of schools, military bases, and municipal utilities, such as watering systems. Some have complained that Washington Group’s hefty government payoffs have served primarily to raise its trading price on the New York Stock Exchange. One thing is for sure – with oil prices continuing to rise, there will be no shortage of demand for the oil protection services Washington Group International brings to bear.

4. Environmental Chemical


All war zones eventually becomes cluttered with spent ammunition and broken/abandoned weapons, creating a lucrative niche for any company willing to clean it all up. In Iraq, this duty has fallen into the hands of Environmental Chemical. The privately held Burlingame, California company has stockpiled $878 million by the end of fiscal 2006 for munitions disposal, calling upon its “decade of experience planning and conducting UXO removal, investigation, and certification activities.” The company has close ties to several defense agencies and is staffed by graduates of the U.S. Navy’s Explosive Ordinance Schools, as well as the U.S. Army’s Chemical Schools at Anniston.

5. Aegis


Aegis has done the United Kingdom proud after reeling in a contract to coordinate all of Iraq’s private security operations. The Pentagon contract is good for $430 million (incredibly lucrative by any standard) but it has landed Aegis in some hot public relations water. The company’s decision to contribute to Iraq war efforts has lead to a rejected membership application from the International Peace Operations Association. According to The Independent, the influential trade organization does not consider Aegis worthy of inclusion in the “peace and stability industry.” It remains to be seen whether Aegis will continue to be ostracized for participating in the training of Iraqi security forces.

6. International American Products


Even with all of the blinding innovation and trailblazing advances in military technology, none of it would be very useful without electricity. Running electrical wiring in hostile war zones is dicey business, but International American Products has stuck their neck out and collected a cool $759 million in just 3 years for its efforts. While avoiding enemy fire, their work has become increasingly dangerous – and yet, critically necessary – as Coalition forces struggle rebuild cities, put down warring forces, and stabilize the chaotic nation. Schools, oils wells, and other public infrastructure have relied on IAP for the electricity needed to operate. With Iraq slowly beginning to stabilize, International American Products is holding out hope that its job will eventually become less treacherous.

7. Erinys


London-based Erinys has so far scored $136 million for its effort in securing Iraq’s precious oil reserves. Riding the coattails of its considerable mining, petroleum, and construction expertise, the company has already made considerable headway toward this critically important goal. In the space of just 16 months, Erinys successfully trained, equipped, and mobilized an all-Iraqi guard force of nearly 20,000 to protect the nation’s oil pipeline from terrorist attack or sabotage. With crude oil prices skyrocketing and no end in sight, Erinys looks to have its hands full for years to come.

8. Fluor


Fluor scored a monster $1.1 billion contract in 2004 to build, service, and manage water/sewage systems in Iraq. The deal is actually a joint venture between Fluor (a 44,800 employee company based on Aliso Viejo) and London’s AMEC, PLC and actually encompasses two separate contracts. The first – worth $600 million – obligates Fluor to build a water distribution infrastructure and cleaning system for Iraq’s major cities. A second $500 million deal will have the lucrative joint venture performing similar tasks in other, less hostile regions of the country.

9. Perini


Perini (controlled by financier Richard Blum) is one of the more controversial companies to have scored big-time Iraq war money. That’s because Blum’s wife, Senator Dianne Feinstein, appears to have used her seat on the Military Construction Appropriations subcomittee to steer the $650 million environmental cleanup deal in his favor. This has lead to outrage and cries for conflict of interest investigations among those in the media, as well as Feinstein’s peers in Congress. Feinstein has also neglected to comment on this potential conflict of interest. This has lead to what calls an “omission [that] has called her ethical standards into question.”

10. URS Corporation


Another widely disparaged, Blum-controlled company that has profited from Iraq is URS Corporation. Long known as one of the nation’s major defense contractors, San Francisco-based URS has collected $792 million in environmental cleanup fees in Iraq war zones. As with Perini, both Blum and Feinstein have come under intense scrutiny to answer questions about the apparent conflict of interest inherent in Feinstein helping to secure such an exorbitant government contract for her investment banker husband. Both Blum and Feinstein have refused to produce copies of the ethics commitee’s rulings on Perini and URS, leading to considerable suspicion.

11. Parsons


Few Iraq contractors have come under fire as much as Parsons, who reportedly mismanaged the construction a police academy so poorly that human waste dripped from its ceilings. Far from being an isolated incident, reports from federal government auditors revealed lackluster work on 13 of the 14 Iraq projects entrusted to Parsons. Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped the Pasedena-based firm from making off with $540 million in U.S. government funds for the poorly executed reconstruction projects at Iraq’s healthcare centers and fire stations. For obvious resaons, Parsons’ work in Iraq has generally been considered an embarassment.

“This is the lens through which Iraqis will now see America,” lamented Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said. “Incompetence. Profiteering. Arrogance. And human waste oozing out of ceilings as a result.”

12. First Kuwaiti General Trading & Contracting


First Kuwaiti General Trading & Contracting is another example of the apparent cronyism that has gone into the process of awarding Iraq war contracts. It now seems that the company has succeeded on the strength of its ties to Bush Administration officials than its business merits. Rival companies have been extremely vocal in their displeasure at First Kuwaiti being awarded $500 million to build a United States Embassy in Baghdad.

“First Kuwaiti was not the lowest bidder”, complained Framco senior vice-president Gilles Kacha.

13. Armor Holdings


Armor Holdings (now a subsidiary of publicly traded BAE Systems) is one company whose opinion of the Iraq war can’t be all that negative. Since combat commenced in 2001, the company’s revenue has skyrocketed by a mind-blowing 2,247%, up to $634 million. Armor Holdings’ specialty is providing state-of-the-art armor for military vehicles and important personell as they traverse dangerous Iraqi war zones. The civil war between opposing Sunni and Shia and general unrest throughout the country have greatly increased the demand for the company’s products.

14. L3 Communications


L3 Communications has carved out a neat $359 million slice of Iraq’s security screening needs as of fiscal 2006. The New York-based company has been charged with overseeing the screening and training of law enforcement personell for the growing all-Iraqi security force, as well as replacing equipment in the field. Linguistics is another one of L3’s specialties, one that is heavily relied upon to interface with native speaking Sunni and Shia forces.

L3 Communications has also purchased Titan, a corporate intelligence company with a $1 billion Iraq contract. Prior to being acquired by L3, Titan plead guilty to international bribery charges (a felony) and paid a record-breaking $28.5 million under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

15. AM General


AM General (a subsidiary of Renco) is another company that has seen its revenue sail toward the heavens since the beginning of combat in Iraq. The renowned maker of extra-wide all terrain vehicles (shown below) has seen its Pentagon revenues soar by 92%, a phenomenal leap for any business. This placed Renco sixth in a 2005 analysis of the fastest growing contractors by dollar amount, and sixth in an analysis of fastest growing contractors by percentage. Growing hostilities prior to the Bush Administration’s “surge” strategy in 2007 helped fuel the sudden demand for AM’s heavy duty combat vehicles.

16. HSBC Bank


Already the third largest financial institution on the planet, HSBC has seen its fortunes brighten beyond its wildest dreams since the start of combat. It has purchased a controlling stake (70%) of the newly created Iraqi national bank, Dar es Salaam Investment Bank, which, though small, has already amassed assets of $91 million. HSBC’s chief executive of Middle East operations, David Hodgkinson, was quoted as saying HSBC intends to “develop the bank’s services by investing in computerised payment systems and cash machines.’

HSBC’s stake in the fledgling Iraqi bank could turn out to be a significant strategic foothold in the developing country. According to a BBC report, the bank already has 14 operating branches across Iraq and a modest but growing staff of 450. It is also the first private bank in Iraq since the toppling of Saddam Hussein, as the late dictator did not allow them during his rule.

17. Cummins


Cummins has staked its claim to $45 million in Iraq war-related revenue with its robust line of diesel engines and power stations. According to a press release, United Kingdom-based Cummins”signed a distribution agreement with HMBS in Iraq for all Cummins brand products and equipment.” Antonio Leitao, Cummins’ General Manager of the commercial power generation business in Europe, spoke approvingly of the deal.

“Cummins Power Generation is proud to be the first generator set manufacturer to establish a distributorship in Iraq that covers the whole country.”

Cummins and power-generating companies like them will be instrumental over the coming years, as the world learns whether Iraq truly has a future as a rebuilt, independent nation.

18. MerchantBridge

Merchant Bridge

MerchantBridge got its “in” to the growing money pot of Iraq’s fledgling financial sector by casting a wide net. The investment banking group has ambitiously targeted marketshare in Iraq’s developing construction, telecommunications, financial services, real estate, hotels, and information technology industries, all of which have been made easier by being the “lead advisor” to Iraq’s Ministry of Industry. The inside partnership has paved the way for MerchantBridge’s factory lease program, the opening of Mansour Bank, and an overall capitalization of $61 million.

Furthermore, 90% of MerchantBridge’s initial operating capital in Iraq has been supplied by Iraqi investors.

19. GlobalRisk Strategies


Risk management is a lucrative business the world over, and the stakes are nowhere higher than the high-pressure war zones of a foreign nation. GlobalRisk Strategies has capitalized on the bewildering uncertainty to the tune of $24.5 million, which it has primarily earned by advising U.S. and Coalition forces on the risks of various counter-terrorism strategies. Some of the more noteable risks the company’s 2,000 employees have managed include distributing fresh currency to the locals and guarding the heavily fortified Baghdad airport during 2004.

Alternatively, GlobalRisk has also assisted with reconstruction and delivering humanitarian aid in the banking, aviation, oil and infrastructure sectors throughout Iraq.

20. ControlRisks


ControlRisks is another risk management company that has successfully hopped on the Iraq bandwagon. The UK-based firm has extracted roughly $37 million in war-related profits by providing discreet armed security and logistics support to troops on the ground and in the air. With a presence of 250 employees in Iraq, ControlRisks has provided security for the disastrous Parsons Usaid buildings (prior to the revelation of the embarassing shoddy work scandal) and has also been tasked with protecting Iraq’s active duty UK forces. While Iraq has recently begun to cool down in terms of insurgent violence and infighting, the region should provide opportunities for companies like ControlRisks to profit for years or even decades to come.

21. CACI


CACI was called upon by the U.S. government to provide 36 interrogators to Iraq, 10 of which were assigned to Abu Grhraib. While all the details have not yet come to light, it looks like CACI profited from Iraq in the worst possible way. One website notes that a leaked Army investigation implicated CACI employee Stephen Stefanowicz in the abuse of prisoners.” Furthermore, the allegations have led the Center for Constitutional Rights to agitate for trying CACI and its affiliates in U.S. courts.

Susan Burke, an attorney working on the case on CCR’s behalf, was quoted as saying “We believe that CACI and Titan engaged in a conspiracy to torture and abuse detainees, and did so to make more money.”

22. Bechtel


Bechtel is yet another Iraq contractor who seems to have benefited from close ties to the Bush Admistration. How else would a company recommended by the man who oversaw the Big Dig disaster possibly be awarded a $2.4 billion, no-bid reconstruction contract for Iraq’s infrastructure? Journalists and competitors are scratching their heads at why the Bush Administration trusted the choice of USAID chief Andrew Natsios after his woefully ineffective tenure at the head of the Massachussetts Turnpike Authority. While in that capacity, the Big Dig’s operating costs ballooned from an initial $2.6 billion to $14.6 billion, and the job still took years to complete!

In line with Natsios’ track record of recommendations, this one turned out to be a flop. Bechtel proceeded to lose its contract for the Basra Children’s Hospital Project after falling a year and a half behind schedule and $70-$90 million over budget.

23. Custer Battles


Custer Battles has the dubious distinction of being the first Iraq war contractor to be found guilty of fraud. In March 2006, a jury ordered Custer to pay damages in excess of $10 million for 37 counts of fraud, including what the judge called “false and fraudulently inflated invoices.” While Custer wriggled out of serious penalties on a technicality (the Coalition Provisional Authority is not part of the U.S. Government and therefore crimes against it cannot be tried under U.S. law), the whole ordeal has muddied the company’s reputation greatly, possibly beyond repair. It also seems to have opened the floodgates for similar cases of contractor fraud. As of fall 2006, a backlog of 70 fraud cases were pending against Iraq contractors doing all manner of work.

During the trial, a retired Army general testified that the inflated invoice scandal stood out to him as “probably the worst I’ve ever seen in my 30 years in the Army.”

24. Nour USA


Of all the companies on this list, Nour USA might be the only one who actually did not exist until the Iraq war got underway. Since its opportunistic opening, the company has recieved $400 million in Iraq-related contracts, including a gigantic $80 million deal to secure the nation’s oil pipelines. Some critics allege the contract was pushed through by Ahmed Chalabi (whom one website calls “Iraq’s No. 1 Opportunist.”) While Chalabi has denied this allegation, several other bidders on the pipeline contract point out how awfully strange it is for a company with no prior experience to be awarded such a large contract.

Of course, it probably didn’t hurt Nour to have William Cohen (former Defense Secretary under Bill Clinton) on board as a company consultant, but that’s another story.

25. General Dynamics


According to a Washington Post report in July of 2006, General Dynamics is one of the big-name defense contractors that has gotten the biggest monetary boost from the Iraq war. The key to General’s war profiteering strategy has been a broad focus on virtually everything the government needs to wage war, including tank shells, bullets for small arms, and even Stryker vehicles, which were first put to use during the initial 2003 invasion to remove Saddam.

All of this has lifted the company to tripled profitability since 9/11, and critics are speculating that ties to top Defense Agencies helped grease the wheels. According to the Project on Government Oversight, Genearl Dynamics formally announced that it was hiring a former top aide to the Army Chief of Staff in November 1999 – conveniently, just a month after the aid announced a grand new vision to introduce wheeled, light armored vehicles like the Stryker into regular use.

TSA Triples Airport Body Scanners

John Hughes
July 18, 2008

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration will triple the number of devices at airports that can detect bombs under airline passengers’ clothing.

The purchase of 80 so-called Passenger Imager machines will bring the total in use next year to 120 at 21 airports, agency spokesman Christopher White said today.

The imagers are produced by L-3 Communications Holdings Inc., OSI Systems Inc.’s Rapiscan unit and American Science & Engineering Inc. The TSA hasn’t yet decided which vendors it will use or how much it will spend, White said in an interview.

Depending on the model, the devices rely on X-rays to show an outline of travelers’ bodies or electromagnetic waves to create an image that looks like a fuzzy photo negative. They are now used as a substitute for being scanned by TSA screeners with handheld detectors.

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