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> Inauguration Day
Jan 18 2009, 10:20 PM

Xanada Bound

22-December 02

This is history, no matter what you may think of Obama.



Yin To Your Yang

All of those rocks there, all of them,
Thrown at us for as long as we can remember.
All of our dreams, all of them,
Flattened and crushed, as soon as they start taking shape.
Ah baby, who do they take us for.

Battered and bruised,
Killing? Not their aim.
Keeping us in an unimportant place is what this is about.
Ah baby, who do they think we are.
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Fremen Bryan
Feb 19 2009, 02:47 PM

"The Sleeper must awaken"

2-February 08
Ohio, America, Earth, Universe

Understanding that the People of the United States have no say whatsoever in the private process which decides what candidates are nominated for the Democratic so-called or Republican so-called parties presidential pick, it stands to reason that Obama is simply a servant of the financial interests who placed in power, the same financial interests who have plunged America into endless war not for Democracy being spread abroad or for the Liberation of oppressed peoples world-wide but rather for the until now unheard of profits these wars bring to the small handful of war-profiteer criminal banking-gangsters, and any illusion of change of power in government with the Obama administration coming into office is just that - illusion - as the people who were behind the scenes in Washington during the Bush crime-family administration are still there under Obama including black-ops crime-boss and murderer Hillary Clinton. The following few articles should shed some light;-

* * * * * * *

To whose agenda is President Obama being hitched? Writing in the English language version of the Swiss newspaper, Zeit-Fragen, Stephen J. Sniegoski reports that leading figures of the neocon conspiracy--Richard Perle, Max Boot, David Brooks, and Mona Charen--are ecstatic over Obama's appointments. They don't see any difference between Obama and Bush/Cheney.

Excerpt from Paul Craig Roberts long ssay: Ship of (Financial) Fools accessible at: http://www.opednews.com/articles/Ship-of-Fools-by-Paul-Craig-Roberts-090209-807.html To whose agenda is President Obama being hitched? Writing in the English language version of the Swiss newspaper, Zeit-Fragen, Stephen J. Sniegoski reports that leading figures of the neocon conspiracy--Richard Perle, Max Boot, David Brooks, and Mona Charen--are ecstatic over Obama's appointments. They don't see any difference between Obama and Bush/Cheney.

Not only are Obama's appointments moving him into an expanded war in Afghanistan, but the powerful Israel Lobby is pushing Obama toward a war with Iran.

The unreality in which the US government operates is beyond belief. A bankrupt government that cannot pay its bills without printing money is rushing headlong into wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran. According to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Analysis, the cost to the US taxpayers of sending a single soldier to fight in Afghanistan or Iraq is $775,000 per year!

The world has never seen such total mindlessness. Napoleon's and Hitler's march into Russia were rational acts compared to the mindless idiocy of the United States government.

Obama's war in Afghanistan is the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. After seven years of conflict, there is still no defined mission or endgame scenario for US forces in Afghanistan. When asked about the mission, a US military official told NBC News, "Frankly, we don't have one." NBC reports: "they're working on it."

* * * * * * *

'Sanctions' sought in eligibility case
President's attorneys file motion demanding birth, college records be withheld from public

Posted: February 13, 2009
12:15 am Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

A high-powered team of Los Angeles attorneys representing President Obama in his effort to keep his birth certificate, college records and passport documents concealed from the public has suggested there should be "monetary sanctions" against a lawyer whose clients have brought a complaint alleging Obama doesn't qualify for the Oval Office under the Constitution's demand for a "natural born" citizen in that post.

The suggestion came in an exchange of e-mails and documents in a case brought by former presidential candidate Alan Keyes and others in California. The case originally sought to have the state's electors ordered to withhold their votes for Obama until his eligibility was established. Since Obama's inauguration, it has been amended to seek a future requirement for a vetting process, in addition to the still-sought unveiling of his records.

In the case, handled largely by Gary Kreep of the U.S. Justice Foundation, records were subpoenaed documenting Obama's attendance at Occidental College.

The lawyer for the college, Stuart W. Rudnick of Musick, Peeler & Garrett, urgently contacted Fredric D. Woocher of Strumwasser & Woocher.

"This firm is counsel to Occidental College. The College is in receipt of the enclosed subpoena that seeks certain information concerning President-Elect Barack Obama," he wrote via fax. "Inasmuch as the subpoena appears to be valid on its face, the College will have no alternative but to comply with the subpoena absent a court order instructing otherwise."

Within hours, Woocher contacted Kreep regarding the issue, telling him, "It will likely not surprise you to hear that President-elect Obama opposes the production of the requested records.

(Story continues below)


* * * * * * *


Zionist Militants Surround America's New President

[i]Free traders working to delete 'America-first' provisions from latest spending package [/i]

PEOPLE IN THE UNITED STATEs and abroad are hoping that President Obama will end America's illegal wars, halt America's support for Israel's massacre of Lebanese and Palestinians, and punish, instead of reward, the shyster banksters whose fraudulent financial instruments have destroyed economies and imposed massive sufferings on people all over the world. If Obama's appointments are an indication, all of these hopeful people are going to be disappointed.

James Petras examines Obama's foreign policy appointments and finds the largest collection of Zionist militarists outside of Israel.

Petras concludes that Obama's "diplomatic" team has Iran in its sights, and hostility that meshes with Israel's own intent. Not realizing that a member of the press had been mistakenly invited to a selected audience, the Israeli ambassador to Australia said that Israel's attack on Gaza was a
dress rehearsal for a major attack on Iran. Benjamin Netanyahu, the expected winner of Israel's March elections, has again declared that Israel will not permit Iran to have a nuclear energy program as it would provide the basis for developing nuclear weapons.

It makes no sense for Israel to baldly state its intention to attack Iran if Israel does not mean it. What if the Iranians believe the Israelis and decide to strike first with their long-range missiles?

Obama's economic appointments are just as discouraging. Obama chose as his treasury secretary Timothy Geithner, the man who helped Bush's treasury secretary, Hank Paulson, engineer the $700 billion dollar rip-off of the U.S. taxpayer, money that was gifted to the crooked banksters who destroyed Americans' pensions, jobs and health care coverage.

These banksters, and the negligent federal regulators who enabled them, should be put in prison, not handed hundreds of billions of dollars.

Instead, Obama has appointed one of the chief orchestrators of the rip-off to the helm of the Treasury. Obama's National Economic Council is just as depressing. Clinton's Treasury Secretary, Larry Summers, is its head. Summers recently declared that he had no inkling that a financial crisis was about to hit. Why did Obama put a person without a clue in charge?

Summers's colleagues are just as bad. Obama has appointed Diana Farrell, lead author of a phony study that claimed offshoring of American jobs is a win-win game for Americans, as deputy director of the National Economic Council. Farrell is affiliated with McKinsey & Company, a firm that helps American corporations offshore their operations.

In his book, Outsourcing America
, economist Ron Hira tore Farrell's McKinsey report to shreds. Why not appoint Ron Hira and Nouriel Roubina, who predicted the crisis, to the National Economic Council?

With Israel's most fervent American allies whispering in one ear and banksters and offshoring propagandists whispering in the other, how can President Obama fulfill any of the hopes that people have?

The discouraging fact is that even when faced with crisis in the economy and in foreign policy, the American political system is incapable of producing any leadership. Here we are in the worst economic crisis in a lifetime, perhaps in our history, and on the brink of war in Pakistan and Iran while escalating the war in Afghanistan, and all we get is a government made up of the very people who have brought us to these crises.

Just as the Bushites could not admit the failure of their man, the Obamacons will not be able to admit the failure of their man.

The era of American leadership has passed. America's shyster financial system has brought economic crisis to the world. America's wars of aggression are seen as serving no purpose except the enrichment of the military industries associated with Dick Cheney. The world is looking elsewhere for leadership.

Vladimir Putin made a play for this role at Davos, where his speech at the opening ceremony was the most intelligent speech of the event.

Putin reminded the World Economic Forum that "just a year ago, American delegates speaking from this rostrum emphasized the U.S. economy's fundamental stability and its cloudless prospects. Today, investment banks, the pride of Wall Street, have virtually ceased to exist. In just 12 months, they have posted losses exceeding the profits they made in the last 25 years."

Putin made his case that the existing financial system based on the U.S. dollar and American financial hegemony has failed. Putin said that a secure world requires cooperation that requires trust. He made it clear that the Americans have proven that they cannot be trusted.

Nationally syndicated columnist, Paul Craig Roberts, Ph.D., a former editor at The Wall Street Journal, is the author of several books. He has been associated with the Hoover Institution, and the Institute for Political Economy and from 1981 to 1982 served as assistant secretary of the treasury for economic policy.

* * * * * * *

Change? What Change?

Obama Sends 17,000 Additional Soldiers to Afghanistan :

President Barack Obama said the "war" in Afghanistan is "still winnable" as he signed an order increasing U.S. troops there by 17,000 combat and support personnel.

* * * * * * *

Change? What Change?

Obama's War on Terror May Resemble Bush's:

In little-noticed confirmation testimony recently, Obama nominees endorsed continuing the C.I.A.'s program of transferring prisoners to other countries without legal rights, and indefinitely detaining terrorism suspects without trials even if they were arrested far from a war zone.


Change? What Change?

Obama, not Bush, now seeking delay of Rove deposition:

In a court brief quietly filed Monday, Michael Hertz, Obama's acting assistant attorney general, said it was necessary to delay an effort to force Rove to be deposed in a congressional investigation into the firing of nine US Attorneys and the alleged political prosecution of a former Alabama governor.

* * * * * * *

NEWS BRIEF: "Obama retakes the oath of office after busy first day", McClatchy Newspapers, January 21, 2009
"WASHINGTON — Chief Justice John G. Roberts was ushered into the Map Room of the White House on Wednesday night to re-administer the oath of office to President Barack Obama because the original oath on Tuesday had a word out of sequence."
"White House counsel Greg Craig said the move was made out of 'an abundance of caution'. Obama's second swearing-in, devoid of the pomp of the initial event, took place at 7:35 p.m. in the presence of a few aides and reporters. The chief justice was wearing a court robe. 'Are you ready to take the oath?' Roberts said. 'I am', Obama said, 'And we're going to do it very slowly'."

Please carefully examine this Yahoo News story covering the new President taking the oath for the second time. Notice that both men are standing facing each other, but especially notice that Obama is not placing his hand on the Holy Bible!
This second oath of office, done "correctly" is the oath which shall be considered official. We are checking to see if this is the first President who did not place his hand on the Bible when taking the Oath of Office.

I know the official storyline that the Chief Justice made the mistake during the original Inaugural Oath but I have been impressed over the years that, while men in high positions like this are very professional, their activities are also very controlled, very "scripted".

In the words of New World Order author, Peter Lemesurier, "Their script is now written, subject only to last-minute editing and stage-directions ... " ("The Armageddon Script", p. 252)

I believe it highly likely that this "mistake" by Chief Justice Roberts was scripted in order to give the new President the opportunity to take the Oath again, this time officially, without placing his hand on the Holy Bible.
In our opinion, this reality does not bode well for Christians or Christian values in the Obama Administration.

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Fremen Bryan
Feb 22 2009, 12:37 PM

"The Sleeper must awaken"

2-February 08
Ohio, America, Earth, Universe

Obama backs Bush: No rights for Bagram prisoners 21 Feb 2009

From: "CLG_News" <clg_news@legitgov.org> To: "CLG News" <clg_news@legitgov.org>

Breaking News and Commentary from Citizens For Legitimate Government
21 Feb 2009
All items are here:

Obama backs Bush: No rights for Bagram prisoners 20 Feb 2009 The Obama administration, siding with the Bush White House, contended Friday that prisoners in Afghanistan have no constitutional rights. In a two-sentence court filing, the Justice Department said it agreed that detainees at Bagram Airfield cannot use U.S. courts to challenge their detention. The filing shocked human rights attorneys.
US rules-out legal action for Bagram detainees 21 Feb 2009 The US Department of Justice has ruled that prisoners housed at a US military base in Afghanistan should not have the right to take legal action in the United States to challenge their detention. Under former president [sic] George W Bush the American Justice Department had resisted, arguing that the prisoners were enemy combatants who had been captured in a war zone. Now the Obama administration has confirmed it supports that view, a move that has angered and disappointed human rights lawyers.
Official: Pentagon report defends Guantanamo 21 Feb 2009 The Guantanamo Bay prison meets the standard for humane treatment laid out in the Geneva Conventions but could use some changes in how it handles its more dangerous or less compliant prisoners, according to a Pentagon report. The report was prepared for President Barack Obama, who has ordered the terrorist detention center prison closed within a year.
Fate of 17 innocent Guantanamo prisoners rests with Obama 20 Feb 2009 The lead lawyer for 17 ethnic Uyghurs held for years at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba is vowing to fight a new legal order keeping the men in U.S. military custody and is calling on U.S. President Barack Obama to free them quickly. On Wednesday, a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals reversed an earlier ruling that the Uyghurs, who have been cleared of the terrorism charges on which they were initially detained, must be released in the United States.
US soldier, two officials killed in Iraq 21 Feb 2009 Violence across the war-torn Iraq has killed a US soldier, an Iraqi policeman and a candidate of local elections, the military and police say. The US soldier was killed during a combat patrol near Baghdad on Saturday, the US military said while giving no further details. In the northern town of Tikrit, a police lieutenant was killed when a "sticky bomb" -- used against magnetic targets -- exploded as he got into his car, local police said.
Military Court in Germany Convicts US Soldier in Iraq Murders 21 Feb 2009 A 28-year-old US Army medic has been sentenced by a US military court in Germany to life in prison with the possibility of parole for his role in murdering four Iraqi prisoners in 2007. The US military court in Vilseck, Germany, on Friday evening, Feb. 20, found Sgt. Michael Leahy guilty of murder for his role in the execution-style killings of four Iraqi prisoners.
US soldier guilty of Iraq murder --Blindfolded and gagged, the four were shot and dumped in a canal. 20 Feb 2009 A US soldier has been convicted of murder for his involvement in the killing of four Iraqis who were shot and dumped in a Baghdad canal in 2007. Sgt Michael Leahy Jr had confessed to investigators that he shot an Iraqi in the back of the head from close range.
In video, Leahy tells of shooting Iraqi prisoners 20 Feb 2009 A videotape played Thursday in the trial of a U.S. soldier shows him describing how he shot two of four bound and blindfolded Iraqi prisoners in March 2007. Sgt. Michael Leahy Jr., 26, was videotaped talking with Army investigators last year. A pre-trial motion by Leahy's attorneys to suppress the video failed.
Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, renamed, reopens 21 Feb 2009 Iraqi officials on Saturday formally reopened Abu Ghraib prison, which became synonymous with abuse torture under the U.S. occupation, and in addition to a fresh coat of paint, gave it a new name. The prison on the western outskirts of Baghdad earned global notoriety after U.S. jailkeepers filmed themselves tormenting and sexually humiliating Iraqi prisoners less than a year after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
'The U.S. government has never explained why I was detained and has blocked all attempts to find out more about my detention.' Disappeared in the Name of National Security By Mohamed Farag Bashmilah 19 Feb 2009 From October 2003 until May 2005, I was illegally detained by the U.S. government and held in CIA-run "black sites" with no contact with the outside world. On May 5, 2005, without explanation, my American captors removed me from my cell and cuffed, hooded, and bundled me onto a plane that delivered me to Sana'a, Yemen. I was transferred into the custody of my own government, which held me -- apparently at the behest of the United States -- until March 27, 2006, when I was finally released, never once having faced any terrorism-related charges.
'The strikes are another sign that President Obama is continuing, and in some cases extending, Bush administration policy.' Obama Expands CIA's Covert War In Pakistan 21 Feb 2009 With two missile strikes over the past week, the Obama administration has expanded the covert war run by the Central Intelligence Agency inside Pakistan... The missile strikes on training camps run by Baitullah Mehsud represent a broadening of the American campaign inside Pakistan, which has been largely carried out by drone aircraft. Under President [sic] Bush, the United States frequently attacked militants from 'Al Qaeda' and the Taliban involved in cross-border attacks into Afghanistan, but had stopped short of raids aimed at Mr. Mehsud and his followers, who have played less of a direct role in attacks on American troops.
U.S.-led coalition kills 13 Afghan civilians 21 Feb 2009 Thirteen people, described by the U.S. military as "noncombatants," were killed in western Afghanistan earlier this week during a 'coalition' operation, the military said Saturday. The killings further inflame Afghans' anger and frustration over the killing of civilians in U.S.-led occupation and NATO operations.
Netanyahu asked to form new Israeli government --Support of hard-right nationalist Lieberman is crucial to Likud leader 21 Feb 2009 Benjamin Netanyahu, the hawkish leader of Israel's biggest right-wing party, Likud, was yesterday given six weeks to form a coalition government as he appealed for a "new approach" of unity to deal with the "great challenges" from Iran's nuclear programme and the global recession.
U.S. calls for urgent address to Iran's nuclear program 21 Feb 2009 Accusing Tehran of violating international regulation, the Obama administration on Friday called on the international community to "work together" on and address Iran's nuclear issue as soon as possible. "This is an urgent problem that has to be addressed and we can't delay addressing," said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, after a UN report claimed Tehran has been still carrying out its uranium enrichment activity. [Where's the 'urgent call' -- or any call -- to end Israel's nuclear program?]
British Muslims 'providing Taliban with electronic devices for roadside bombs' 21 Feb 2009 British Muslims are providing the Taliban with electronic devices to make roadside bombs for use in attacks against British forces serving in southern Afghanistan, The Telegraph can disclose. The devices, which enable Taliban fighters to detonate roadside bombs by remote control, are either sent to sympathizers in the region, or carried by [CIA] volunteers who fly to Pakistan and then make their way across the border.
Calif. Man Charged With 'Al Qaeda' Links --Afghan Man Lied About Ties to Several Terror Groups While Gaining U.S. Citizenship, Indictment Says 20 Feb 2009 Federal agents arrested a naturalized U.S. citizen from Afghanistan on Friday after he allegedly lied about ties to terrorist groups on citizenship and passport papers, authorities said. FBI, immigration and local law enforcement agents from an anti-terrorism task force arrested Ahmadullah Sais Niazi at his home in Tustin, California, on Friday morning, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
'One of Mr. Jarrah's cousins, Ziad al-Jarrah, was among the 19 hijackers who carried out the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.' Lebanese in Shock Over Arrest of an Accused Spy 19 Feb 2009 For 25 years, Ali al-Jarrah managed to live on both sides of the bitterest divide running through this region. To friends and neighbors, he was an earnest supporter of the Palestinian cause... To Israel, he appears to have been a valued spy, sending reports and taking clandestine photographs of Palestinian groups and Hezbollah since 1983. At the start of the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, Israeli officials called Mr. Jarrah to reassure him that his village would be spared and that he should stay at home, investigators said.
'Chicago then launched 'Operation Virtual Shield,' by linking 1,000 miles of fiber cable to a unified 'homeland security grid' -- complete with hundreds of additional cameras and sensors.' Mayor: Surveillance camera on every Chicago street corner 19 Feb 2009 Mayor Daley has argued that security and terrorism won't be an issue if his Olympic dreams come true because, by 2016, there will be a surveillance camera on every street corner in Chicago. In 2004, City Hall used a $5.1 million federal homeland security grant to install 250 cameras at locations thought to be at high risk of a terrorist attack and link them and 2,000 existing city cameras to the 911 center.
Abramoff Scandal Yields More Charges 21 Feb 2009 A former legislative aide to Sen. Thad Cochran (R-dirtbag-Miss.) was accused yesterday of accepting more than $25,000 worth of meals and event tickets from disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff in exchange for helping his clients. Ann M. Copland was charged in U.S. District Court in Washington with one count of conspiracy to commit honest-services fraud.
Police documents linking New York governor Eliot Spitzer to prostitutes to be released 20 Feb 2009 A US federal judge ordered the release of documents from the investigation that linked former New York governor Eliot Spitzer to a prostitution ring. The move to make details of wiretapped conversations public should reveal more on the scandal that forced Mr Spitzer to resign in March 2008. The ruling came after a request from the New York Times, which wanted the court to unseal the documents that outlined the prosecutors' probable cause for wiretapping two cell phones belonging to the prostitution ring. [The *actual* probable cause: Predatory Lenders' Partner in Crime --How the Bush Administration Stopped the States From Stepping In to Help Consumers By Eliot Spitzer 14 Feb 2008 ...Even though predatory lending was becoming a national problem, the Bush administration looked the other way and did nothing to protect American homeowners. In fact, the government chose instead to align itself with the banks that were victimizing consumers.]
GOP's LaHood Talks of Mileage-Based Tax --White House Dismisses Controversial Idea to Fund Transportation Projects 21 Feb 2009 Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood suggested yesterday that the Obama administration might embrace a new and controversial way to pay for highway and transit projects: charging motorists a tax for every mile they drive. Spokesmen for the White House and LaHood's own department then shot it down -- hard.
Obama Warns Mayors Not to Waste Stimulus Money 20 Feb 2009 On his thirty-second day in office, President Obama told a group of mayors that the economic stimulus money must be spent with "unprecedented responsibility and accountability" to avoid "waste, inefficiency, or fraud." [SPEAKING of *fraud:* WHY is Obama continuing to wage two illegal Bush wars?]
Corpora-terrorist cronies off the hook: Swiss court blocks bank data sharing with US: report 20 Feb 2009 A Swiss tribunal has barred financial regulators from handing banking information of UBS bank clients to US authorities investigating tax fraud, ATS news agency reported. Siding with a complaint from UBS clients, the tribunal on Friday issued an order forbidding Swiss bank regulator FINMA from giving the plaintiffs' "banking documents to third parties, particularly US authorities," ATS said.
US claims 52,000 hid UBS accounts 20 Feb 2009 As many as 52,000 American customers hid UBS accounts from the authorities in violation of tax laws, a US government lawsuit against the Swiss bank alleged on Thursday. The Department of Justice filed a suit seeking to force UBS to disclose the holders of accounts with about $14.8bn in assets.
Get ready for a wave of bank failures --In less than two months, regulators have seized 14 banks. 20 Feb 2009 If it's Friday, there must be a bank failing somewhere across the country. For six consecutive weeks, industry regulators have seized control of a bank after the market closed on Friday, bringing the total number of failed banks so far this year to 14. To put that into perspective, 25 banks failed in 2008, suggesting that the rate of failures is quickening as the economic crisis [Bush Depression] deepens.
Oregon bank is 14th failure of 2009 20 Feb 2009 Silver Falls Bank, of Silverton, Ore., was closed Friday by state regulators and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. It was the 14th bank to fail so far this year and the 39th since the beginning of the current credit crisis. Citizens Bank, of Corvallis, Ore. will assume all of the deposits of Silver Falls Bank, the FDIC said.
Popular Rage Grows as Global Crisis Worsens 09 Feb 2009 As the global economic crisis deepens, tempers around the world are getting shorter. French and British trade unions are organizing strikes, Putin is sending troops into the streets and Beijing is trying to buy itself calm. In the cabinet of French President's Nicolas Sarkozy, there was talk of a "Black Thursday," and from Sarkozy's perspective, that was exactly what Jan. 29, 2009 turned out to be.
Warning for the West as crisis spills onto streets 16 Feb 2009 The slump that has swept through developed nations like the UK, the eurozone and the United States is hitting the world's emerging economies with a speed and ferocity that has shocked even the most pessimistic analysts. Until recently, many investors and economists thought such countries could provide a bulwark against the collapse in growth elsewhere. Instead, the latest data suggests that emerging economies as a group actually contracted late last year, and will likely shrink further in 2009.
Moving van shows up at new Bush residence in Dallas 21 Feb 2009 The Preston Hollow neighborhood, which will soon be home to former President [sic] George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, was busy Thursday, with a moving van and service trucks... Dallas police turned away several vehicles trying to enter the neighborhood, explaining that it is closed to the general public. Eventually, a security gate paid for by Bush will be installed. Until then, police -- potentially racking up close to $1 million annually in city-paid security for the former p_resident -- have barricaded the entrance to Daria Drive, allowing only neighbors and people on a special list to enter. [Where are the Iraqi 'insurgents,' when you need them?]
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Previous lead stories: Biden Says Bush Gave Al Qaeda Recruiting Tool [Heck, Bush was their stimulus package.] 20 Feb 2009 Visiting the Central Intelligence Agency to swear in Leon E. Panetta as the agency's 19th director, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said Thursday that the Bush administration's detention and interrogation policies "gave Al Qaeda a powerful recruiting tool." Considering the setting -- the C.I.A. lobby where several hundred agency employees greeted the vice president with cheers -- Mr. Biden's remarks implied a tough judgment on parts of the agency's record under the previous administration.

'Sustained' Push Seen in Afghanistan --U.S. Commander Says Troop Level of 60,000 Is Needed for at Least Three to Four Years 19 Feb 2009 The United States will have to keep about 60,000 troops in Afghanistan for at least the next three to four years to combat an increasingly violent 'insurgency,' the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said yesterday, warning that 2009 will be "a tough year." At least 10,000 additional U.S. troops are required in Afghanistan beyond the 17,000 that President Obama announced Tuesday would go to Afghanistan this spring or summer, with decisions on two additional brigades expected later this year, said [Bush troll] Gen. David D. McKiernan, the commander of international forces in Afghanistan.

Google Earth reveals secret history of US base in Pakistan 19 Feb 2009 The US was secretly flying unmanned drones from the Shamsi airbase in Pakistan's southwestern province of Baluchistan as early as 2006, according to an image of the base from Google Earth. The image -- that is no longer on the site but which was obtained by The News, Pakistan's English language daily newspaper -- shows what appear to be three Predator drones outside a hangar at the end of the runway. The Times also obtained a copy of the image, whose co-ordinates confirm that it is the Shamsi airfield, also known as Bandari, about 200 miles southwest of the Pakistani city of Quetta.

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