Notes on a Native Son

The story of Geoge W. Bush’s rise to wealth and the people who helped him, well worth the time it takes to read this 26-page article from Harpers Magazine originally written back in Feb 2000 by Joe Concson and Kevin P. Phillips while Bush was a candidate for the presidency. As an aside, it is interesting to note that among the military records just released documenting that 1st Lt. George W. Bush was relieved of flying status for not taking a required physical examination, further down the same page, Maj. James R. Bath was also relieved of flying status for the same reason shortly afterward. Mr. Bath appears in Bush business dealings spoken of in this article, and also was involved in the financial affairs of the bin Laden family. More on Mr. Bath later.


Why There’s No Left Left, Part II

And why the wishy-washy Kerry isn’t likely to win.

Read an excerpt of Myths of Rich and Poor.”

Or buy the book (and help out!

Read “Why There’s No Left Left” Part I.

To which a reader replies suggesting that the rise in the US standard of living is due to personal debt: “Cash or Charge?.”

But more ominous than personal debt is the government’s debt, which some analysts claim is approaching $100,000 per American (not per taxpayer, per man, woman and child) if Social Security obligations are included. How is a nation of people living paycheck to paycheck gonna pay down $100K per person? Not to worry, the same birdbrains and thieves who brought us the expensive, dangerous and (some of us would say) unethical everything-but-neutrality, fund’em-then-bomb’em foreign policy are hard at work, uh…

Inside the 9/11 Hearings

What is the White House still hiding? And what are other government agencies hiding? Here are just a few bits of 9/11 information which may not have come before the commission.

The politically divided 9/11 commission was able to agree on a public airing of four and a half minutes from the Betty Ong tape, which the American public and most of the victims’ families heard for the first time on the evening news of Jan. 27. But commissioners were unaware of the crucial information given in an even more revealing phone call, made by another heroic flight attendant on the same plane, Madeline (Amy) Sweeney. They were unaware because their chief of staff, Philip Zelikow, chooses which evidence and witnesses to bring to their attention. Mr. Zelikow, as a former adviser to the pre-9/11 Bush administration, has a blatant conflict.

“My wife’s call was the first specific information the airline and the government got that day,” said Mike Sweeney, the widowed husband of Amy Sweeney, who went face to face with the hijackers on Flight 11. She gave seat locations and physical descriptions of the hijackers, which allowed officials to identify them as Middle Eastern men—by name—even before the first crash. She gave officials key clues to the fact that this was not a traditional hijacking. And she gave the first and only eyewitness account of a bomb on board.”

The captain of American’s Flight 11 stayed at the controls much of the diverted way from Boston to New York, sending surreptitious radio transmissions to authorities on the ground. He gave extraordinary access to the drama inside his cockpit by triggering a “push-to-talk button” on the aircraft’s yoke … the plane turned south toward New York, and more than one F.A.A. controller heard a transmission with an ominous statement by a terrorist in the background, saying, “We have more planes. We have other planes.” All of it was recorded by a F.A.A. traffic-control center in Nashua, N.H. According to the reporter, Mark Clayton, the federal law-enforcement officers arrived at the F.A.A. facility shortly after the World Trade Center attack and took the tape. To this writer’s knowledge, there has been no public mention of the pilot’s narrative since the news report on Sept. 12, 2001.

After 14 months of watching while commissioners politely negotiated with a White House that has used every known ruse and invented some new ones to evade, withhold and play peekaboo with the commissioners, the Four Moms and their Families Steering Committee feel frustrated almost to the boiling point. Congress has already given him [President Bush] a big-picture look—in a scathing 900-page report by the joint House and Senate inquiry into the intelligence failures pre-9/11. But the Bush administration doesn’t look at what it doesn’t want to see.

…read more

Whereabouts Unknown

I had originally come across this news story back in November, 2003. I copied the link and put it aside, waiting to see what the final outcome would be. Well, I haven’t heard anything more about Kirk von Ackermann, 37, a Californian working in Iraq as a contractor who mysteriously disappeared in October leaving behind his vehicle and all his possessions, including $40,000 in cash. Who is he and what was he really doing driving around alone in Iraq; and most of all, does anyone know if he has been found?

The media reported von Ackermann has been missing for more than a month. His car was found abandoned between the cities of Tikrit and Kirkuk. Inside the vehicle authorities discovered his satellite phone, a laptop computer and a briefcase containing approximately $40,000, which suggested that he had not fallen prey to a robbery. Fears are mounting that he’s been abducted or possibly killed. “You heard rumors that he had some sort of connection … somehow to the war or to counterintelligence,” said Farbstein…

The Army is reportedly conducting an “aggressive” investigation in conjunction with Iraqi police, but so far little progress has been made in the case. Authorities initially thought von Ackermann had been kidnapped but no ransom demands have been made.

read more…

Did Bush misspeak on this also?

In his famed 2002 State of the Union ‘Axis of Evil’ speech, President Bush stated: “Our discoveries in Afghanistan confirmed our worst fears, and show us the true scope of the task ahead…we have found diagrams of American nuclear power plants and public water facilities — detailed instructions for making chemical weapons … surveillance maps of American cities, and thorough descriptions of landmarks in America and throughout the world.”

However, according to a Boston Globe Story today:

A top nuclear-safety official has said he wasn’t aware that any American nuclear power plant diagrams were found in Afghanistan, despite a terrorist threat cited by President Bush in his State of the Union address two years ago. Edward McGaffigan Jr., a member of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, responding to an environmental group’s query, said this month that he testified in 2002 after the speech in at least one closed congressional hearing that he was not aware of any evidence that `diagrams of American nuclear power plants’ had been found in Afghanistan.

McGaffigan’s statement has led some groups to assert that Bush either misled the country or mishandled the intelligence about the threat, because the NRC would be expected to play a pivotal role in safeguarding America’s nuclear facilities. … read more