Republican Al Qa'eda Terrorist... No Joke

Ok... So the terrorism part first:
Terrorism charges brought Friday against the administrator of a loan investment program claimed that he secretly tried to send $152,000 to the Middle East to buy equipment such as night vision goggles for a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan.

Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari, 53, of Ardsley, N.Y., pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to an indictment accusing him of terrorism financing, material support of terrorism and other charges. The charges carried a potential penalty of 95 years in prison.

But would you really believe me if I told you he was a Republican?
CBS News has confirmed that Alishtari is a donor to the Republican Party, as he claims on his curriculum vitae. Alishtari gave $15,500 to the National Republican Campaign Committee between 2002 and 2004, according to Federal Election Commission records. That amount includes $13,000 in 2003, a year when he claims to have been named NRCC New York State Businessman of the Year.

Alishtari also claims to be a lifetime member of the National Republican Senate Committee's Inner Circle, which the NRCC describes as "an impressive cross-section of American society – community leaders, business executives, entrepreneurs, retirees, and sports and entertainment celebrities – all of whom hold a deep interest in our nation's prosperity and security."

The Republican party needs to be placed on "The List" of terrorist related organizations and watched very carefully.

It is pretty apparent that the FBI and Homeland Security are wasting their time watching us liberal/peacenik/Quaker/progressive/etc. types. Just ask Ken Krayeske...

[updates] Thank you to those that got this story moving. Raw Story, Crooks and Liars, and Josh Marshall, whose his readers have been dig, dig, digging:

Choice artifacts they have dug up?

Never too Late for this Story Update: Oh that's interesting. Cunning Realist found this CV purportedly posted by Mr. Alishtari. In addition to other GOP donor awards, Alishtari says that he was appointed to something called the "White House Business Advisory Committee" in 2003. And CR ends with this point, referencing Alishtari's CV: "Note the entrepreneurial business background with a focus on technology/security. Have any of those businesses ever received government contracts or funds? Any direct or indirect contact in the past with anyone from the Bush administration or Congress?"

It tuns out Mr. Alishtari, the GOP campaign contributor indicted for sending funds for terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, had a fairly lively life online. TPM Reader TDP points to what purports to be Alishtari's blog. And in a rather rambling post there's a reference to an alleged meeting with VP Dick Cheney. "When I went to DC in the Fall of 2003 and met with VP Cheney, I was first in a room full of advisors where I asked how to resolve this and they advised me to talk to counsels which led to this solution."

Now, we can't be certain that this is actually Alishtari's blog, though I think the weight of evidence suggests that it is.
And the other thing:

He contributed a decent amount of money to GOP congressional campaign committees in the 2002 and 2004 cycles and managed get named to a number of 'committees' and 'councils' set up as perks for GOP campaign contributors, including something called the "White House Business Advisory Committee."

Now a reader of the Cunning Realist blog has dug up the archived version of the website of Mr. Alishtari's company, GlobalProtector, which shows that at the same time Alishtari was giving money to the GOP he was bidding on multiple government contracts -- including ones with the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security.

This story should have had legs of its own... What the heck was the NY Post doing trying to pass this guy off as a "Peace Activist"?

"A Westchester businessman and purported peace activist was nabbed by the feds for allegedly plotting to funnel more than $150,000 to terrorists at training camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan."

Peace activist my ass! This guy is so up to his eyeballs in the GOP and full of it.


An excerpt from USA TODAY founder Al Neuharth's OpEd to amend a previously written opinion:
Mea culpa to Bush on Presidents Day -

"A year ago I criticized Hillary Clinton for saying 'this (Bush) administration will go down in history as one of the worst.'

'She's wrong,' I wrote. Then I rated these five presidents, in this order, as the worst: Andrew Jackson, James Buchanan, Ulysses Grant, Hoover and Richard Nixon. 'It's very unlikely Bush can crack that list,' I added.

I was wrong. This is my mea culpa. Not only has Bush cracked that list, but he is planted firmly at the top."

Got it?



Senate Lockdown On Iraq - Reid makes them work for their weekend

The House has symbolically kicked failed bush policy to the curb:
The Democratic-controlled House issued a symbolic rejection of President Bush's decision to deploy more troops to Iraq on Friday, opening an epic confrontation between Congress and commander in chief over an unpopular war that has taken the lives of more than 3,100 U.S. troops.

The vote on the nonbinding measure was 246-182, and within minutes, Democrats said their next move would be to challenge Bush's request for $93 billion in new funds for the Pentagon.
VoteVets.org is asking you turn your attention to the Senate where Sen. Harry Reid is delaying the President’s Day recess to vote on it.

VoteVets.org’s veterans of Iraq will be spending the weekend in D.C. to help ensure a vote and passage. We’ve had meetings with half of the Senate, and a few dozen House offices. The vast majority of Democrats are eager to cast their vote for the resolution. On the Republican side, while there are many that won’t support it under any circumstances, I do get the sense from many more that they are genuinely struggling with the issue — whether to put country above party.

I can tell you that the only thing that moves members more than hearing from the troops is hearing from constituents. The Senate resolution will pass only if their phones are flooded with demands from their constituents. Please do your part and take a few seconds to make a call (800-614-2803) or write and then report back.

– Jon Soltz

UPDATE: Some Senators won't even bother to show up to support the Vets:
McCain will skip Saturday’s Iraq vote.

AP: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), “a staunch supporter of sending more troops to Iraq, will skip a Senate vote on the war Saturday to campaign in Iowa while other candidates rearrange their schedules.”

YouTube Meta

An awesome Meta video:

Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us

I'd like to think that we are using the machines. I guess it can depend on which end of the link you are looking at it from... :)

Senator Dodd on Habeas Corpus: Be Ye Patriot OR Tory?

For those of you interested in continuing the real American tradition of "rule of law" that is the foundation that this country was built upon, Senator Dodd is re-introducing legislation to restore Habeas Corpus:
On Tuesday, I re-introduced the Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007(PDF). The bill will restore Habeas Corpus protections to detainees, bar information acquired through torture from being introduced as evidence in trials, and limit presidential authority to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions.

Please take a moment to watch the video and read the text of the Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007, sign on as a citizen co-sponsor, and forward the bill to your personal networks. While you and I are acutely aware of the damage President Bush has done to our country's national reputation, too many of our family, friends and neighbors have no idea how far this Administration has gone.

Either you support constitutionally provided freedoms and Democracy, or you would like to go back 230 years to where a leader ruled with the dictatorial power of a King.

Are you a real Patriot, or a red-coated Tory royalist? IMHO, There is no in between on this issue.

Veteran diagnosed with cancer- Wins the Lotto BUT

jim staro at Epluribus Media points to a problem a Veteran diagnosed with cancer has because the treatment he needs to have a chance at surviving costs about $400,000, but the fact that he won a million dollars in a NY Lotto "scrath'n'win" won't help him pay for treatment because they pay it out over 20 years.
Cancer Victim Wins $1 Million, but Can't Get It - :
"Miller says that the best option is for Schenk to get a court order telling the lottery to pay out his winnings to a financial institution or a medical facility. 'We're hopeful that we can help Mr. Schenk resolve this to his satisfaction.'

But Gallo says that he and Schenk approached several banks which turned them down and that hospitals are equally resistant. 'They have to pay their electricity, their doctors — they have to pay those bills today — they can't wait 20 years for their money.'

They've also been in discussions with several buyout firms, which would pay $467,000 to buy Schenk's ticket. But after taxes, that amount would be reduced by almost half.

'Why won't someone help out?' asks Gallo. 'Wouldn't this be a great story — with great publicity — veteran who has cancer wins money to save his life?'"

As jim staro puts it:
Well New Yorkers, you have what finally sounds like an Activist Governor, after all these years, hit him and the legislature with jammed lines!

Tou anyone next door to us Nutmeggers in NY state that might catch a read of this... Do something to help a Veteran.



Afghanistan, Turkey, Iraq, Heroin, Sibel & Gonzales

(Just abstract junk pieced together incoherently)

From here:
Afghanistan leads again in heroin production - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics:
"Afghanistan has re-emerged since the U.S.-led war as the world's leading source country for opium and heroin — rapidly returning to levels of the 1990s, when it produced about 70 percent of the world's illicit opium supply, a U.N. report says. "

To here:
New Milford Drug Rehab New Milford,Connecticut Drug Rehab Treatment Drug Alcohol Rehabilitation Treatment Centers:
"Sources Drug Situation: Heroin has now equaled crack cocaine as the greatest drug threat in Connecticut. Heroin is a significant problem in the suburban areas of the state as well as the urban areas. Located between the drug distribution centers of New York and Boston, Connecticut is an important transit and destination area for drugs. Interstate 95, the major north-south route on the East Coast, extends along Connecticut’s southern shore through Stamford, Bridgeport, New Haven, and New London. It connects New York City with Boston and continues to the U.S.-Canada border. Interstate 91 extends from New Haven north to Massachusetts, Vermont and the U.S.-Canada border. These interstates intersect in New Haven and form what is known by law enforcement as the New England Pipeline.


Heroin: Demand for heroin is increasing dramatically in Connecticut. It is easily accessible selling at remarkably low prices and high-purity levels (an average of 70-80% purity by DEA laboratories.) Abuse remains widespread, affecting both suburban and urban areas. Hispanics, specifically Dominican groups are largely responsible for the street distribution of heroin in Connecticut. Colombian and Dominican narcotics traffickers are the primary suppliers of high-quality heroin to the street dealers. Dominican violators usually acting on behalf of Colombian traffickers, serve as mid-level heroin distributors. The heroin is primarily being transported into CT from New York City, usually entering the region via one of the major interstates, in automobiles equipped with hidden hydraulic compartments or “traps.” Throughout New Haven, CT, the demand for heroin in varying sizes and amounts is ever present. Up until recently, the heroin was readily available in pre-packaged bags stamped with logos. Lately, however, bags of heroin have been seized without any logos or markings."

But it has it has a long road to travel before it hits the local streets:

Sibel Edmonds wrote a fantastic White Paper recently called "The Highjacking of a Nation- Part 2" which basically laid out the facts of her case for all to see.

In a chapter titled "The Real Lords of the Poppy Fields" she noted that

  1. most of Afghanistan's heroin & opium is processed and trafficked through Turkey
  2. "Heroin trafficking is also the main source of funding for the al-Qaeda terrorists "
  3. Turkey is a haven for (Al Qaeda’s) sources of funding.

Sibel then notes that
"It is puzzling to observe that in reporting this major artery (Turkey) of terrorists’ funding, the U.S. mainstream media and political machine do not dare to go beyond the poppy fields of Afghanistan and the fairly insignificant low level Afghan warlords overseeing the crops."

I was therefore curious to see how the World Bank's recent report on the heroin industry would deal with Turkey's role - particularly given that Paul Wolfowitz and most of the other neocons have substantial financial incentives in supporting Turkey.

The dog didn't bark. Again.

Read on here.

I highly reccomend you read both Lukery and both part 1 and 2 of Sibel Edmonds pieces to get a clearer picture.

Stuff like this makes me wonder why the Bush administration is sacking all of those State Attorney's across the nation (The Gonzales 7, or 11 if you can find them all?) saying things like: "They don't chase after illegal aliens enough!" Looking at some of their records you might see some interesting drug trafficking prosecutions.

Humberto Garcia:
June 15, 2005

Copyright © 2005 EFE. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (EFE) -- A grand jury indicted 81 people of different nationalities, including Colombians, Dominicans, and Puerto Ricans who allegedly participated in drug-trafficking and money-laundering activities, U.S. District Attorney for Puerto Rico Humberto Garcia said Tuesday.

In the so-called Operation Malloca, 39 people were arrested after a U.S. grand jury issued the indictments of nine drug organizations linked to the Colombia cartel, Garcia said.

He noted that eight of them were Puerto Rican, 16 were Colombian, and 13 Dominican. The group also included two individuals from Cuba and Costa Rica, respectively.

Garcia added that the indictment doesn't include people who will also be arrested in New York and Canada.
Drug Enforcement Administration agents are expected to participate in the operation.

The district attorney said these groups funneled money from Puerto Rico, Florida, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic into international and domestic accounts in the U.S., Colombia, and Venezuela.

Garcia also said these groups face 10 years to life in prison and a fine of up to $4 million.

I am not saying that this is proof, but it might be interesting to see where any recent Heroin busts might lead to concerbning these bush appointments. Think about it. It might all be the tip of the iceberg in another Iran-contra "drugs, money, weapons" circle-jerk that the GOP, and Neocons in particular, seem to love so much.

AND YES! I know! Conspiracy theory stuff. But these are the Neocons we are talking about, after all. And this is exactly the sort of thing Sibel Edmonds has been trying to warn us all about all along.

Libby Trial Winter Blowout

Yesterday I noted that "Only a Neocon child could think that building a case on lies would help him when he is being charged with perjury..." In the Bloggers coverage of the defense resting their case, etc., our favourite court reporters note that the defense actually apologized before the court for the fact that Libby did not testify:

They also offer a lot more important insights into the happenings of the lying Bush administrations' favourite infantile perjurer turned scapegoat named Scooter.

Regardless of what results the jury comes back with, what we have learned thus far is that Libby is a liar, Armitage was the earliest leaker on public record, Rove was an early leaker("I heard that too!"), and that both Cheney and Bush authorized the leaks (if we are to believe anything a child named Scooter's lawyers' stated in his defense?), and that while all of them, and more (including some reporters and other Bush admin. enablers that did not testify in the trial portion), committed and/or participated in the cover-up of an act of treason, AND that none have been charged with the real crimes that led to Libby's perjury.

And we also learned that MTP with Tim Russert is Cheney's favourite place to screw the pooch because of Russert's sympathetic rear, err, I mean ear.

If I missed anything or got any of that way too wrong in that quick recap (I am just going by memory and shooting from the hip here) feel free to correct me. Needless to say, Firedoglake will likely give you a better recap of all of this.

HIV: Can You Picture A Cure?

Nature is reporting further discoveries in how HIV behaves with antibodies:
Medical researchers have found a chink in the constantly shape-shifting armour of the HIV virus. The discovery could be a significant step forward in the ongoing quest for a vaccine.

The AIDS virus evades the immune system because most of the proteins that cover the surface of the virus constantly change their structure. But researchers have now identified a site that doesn't change, and shown how an antibody can bind to it. If the body could be stimulated to produce its own copies of this antibody before infection, then in theory, it would allow it to attack the otherwise elusive virus and prevent infection.

"For a long time people have been asking whether an HIV vaccine is even possible," says Peter Kwong of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland, who led the research. "What this finding says is that it's not just a dream — there is this site of vulnerability."

It may look like something that kids would scribble on a piece of paper with their crayons but it really may be another clue in finding a cure to HIV:
The structure of an antibody
bound to an HIV protein,
giving hope for a vaccine.

For those of you that are more scientifically inclined, they go into more depth on this and other possible steps towards finding a cure for HIV that have resulted because of the original X-Ray image scientists captured, and that the scribble above is based on:

As a HUGE side note:
Take a look at the search results on the word "WIKI" on a search of Nature's site. (Most of them are "premium articles" for subscribers) Everything science appears to be going Wiki for conveniences' sake, showing that DemFromCT's "Flu Wiki" may really have been a pioneering standard for modern science.

AND NO! I don't mean the Flu Wiki was meant for scientific research, but it does allow for the sharing of ways to deal with an influenza pandemic:
Just a Bump in the Beltway, The Next Hurrah and Effect Measure blogs announce the launch of a new experiment in collaborative problem solving in public health, The Flu Wiki.

The purpose of the Flu Wiki is to help local communities prepare for and perhaps cope with a possible influenza pandemic. This is a task previously ceded to local, state and national governmental public health agencies. Our goal is to be:

  • a reliable source of information, as neutral as possible, about important facts useful for a public health approach to pandemic influenza

  • a venue for anticipating the vast range of problems that may arise if a pandemic does occur
  • a venue for thinking about implementable solutions to foreseeable problems

No one, in any health department or government agency, knows all the things needed to cope with an influenza pandemic. But it is likely someone knows something about some aspect of each of them and if we can pool and share our knowledge we can advance preparation for and the ability to cope with events. This is not meant to be a substitute for planning, preparation and implementation by civil authorities, but a parallel effort that complements, supports and extends those efforts.

While we will continue to administer and maintain the Wiki, we are turning the wheel over to the community, to take it where the road leads us. There is a bit of a learning curve to driving this rig. We hope you will find the instructions sufficient to get started. You’ll soon be learning on your own.

This was a novel approach to sharing information on how to deal with this issue at the time. An idea that could, and should, be replicated with shared input from scientists, doctors, and emrgency services providers for many different and varied emergencies that require coordiantion and input from "everywhere."


Only an idiot Neocon could fuck things up this badly

Only a Neocon child could think that building a case on lies would help him when he is being charged with perjury...
Libby lawyers rest in CIA leak trial:
"The change in who would testify prompted U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton to reverse course, too. He told defense attorneys that if Libby didn't testify he would not allow some classified information to be presented to the jury as Libby's defense team had planned.

'My absolute understanding was that Mr. Libby was going to testify,' Walton said, recalling why he had agreed months ago to allow some classified information into evidence. 'My ruling was based on the fact that he was going to testify.'

Walton's decision blocked Libby's plans to call three CIA briefers Wednesday to testify about the classified national security issues Libby faced in mid-2003, when CIA operative Valerie Plame was named in the media."

If you are a juror in this case: You have to be taking the Judges statement pretty seriously here when you are considering the credibility of the soon to be criminal Neocon Libby.

If you are the judge in this case: You have to be thinking about this blatant contempt for the legal process when you hand down a sentence at the end of it all.

Talk about double-fucking yerself there little Neocon scapegoat.

Nadler Speaks Truth to Power on the Floor of the House

Representative Nadler speaks a little truth to power on the floor of the House:
Crooks and Liars:
Nadler from the Floor: “Enough already!”:
"The Iraq War is President Bush's war. The President deceived the American people and Members of Congress when he made the case for war. Every reason we were given for invading Iraq was false. Weapons of Mass Destruction? Not there. Saddam Hussein working hand-in-glove with Al Qaeda? Not true. And the more information that leaks out, the more apparent it becomes that these were not mistakes, but deliberate lies.

I ask you: if the President had gone to the American people and said we must invade a country that poses no imminent threat to us, and sacrifice thousands of lives in order to create a democratic government in Iraq, would we have assented? I think not.

And as the President now says to us that we should continue indefinitely to expend American blood and treasure to support one side in a sectarian civil war, should Congress continue to consent? I think not.

We need to say 'Enough already!' Enough with the lies, and the deceit and the evasions! Enough with the useless bloodshed. We must protect our troops and ensure their safety while they are in Iraq"

C&L has the video up on it...

Why is the GOP afraid to debate Iraq on the floor?

Think Progress Has the latest on why the GOP is afraid of debating the issue of Iraq on the floor...

They are affraid of the fact that they will lose the debate on almost any issue concerning Iraq. Talk about playing politics with soldiers lives. They know they can't defend their positions so they try to run and hide from them.

How do the childish GOP, led by Shadegg and Hoekstra, want to try to frame the debate?

Rather, the debate must be about the global threat of the radical Islamist movement. No radical Islamist leader, including Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahari, and Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, has ever claimed that the goal of radical Islam is Iraq alone or if they succeed in Iraq this war against us would end. In fact, Robert Kagen recently wrote a piece for the Washington Post entitled “Grand Delusion” noting many politicians’ desire to wish the war away. He notes that those who call for an end to the war don’t want to talk about the fact that the war in Iraq and in the region will not end, but will only grow more dangerous if and when we walk away.

Thanks to the liberal mainstream media, Americans fully understand the consequence of continuing our efforts in Iraq — both in American lives and dollars.

Firstly, they will try and say that leaving now will create chaos... But no mention of the fact that everyone already knows that our soldiers presence is at the heart of the cause of the chaos. And whether we leave now, in 2 years, or even in 5 years, there will be chaos there. That is what these GOP twits don't understand. Secondly, they will blame the SCLM for, you know, telling Americans enough of the truth for them to figure these facts out on their own.

Go ahead you Neocon GOPee-ons... Shift the debate and lose that argument too. These GOP talking point idiots are afraid of their own disastrous shadow that they have cast across the entire Middle-East.

Six months ago, we launched a groundbreaking new index that asked more than 100 of America's top foreign-policy hands if the United States was winning the war on terror. Their answer? No. Now, surveyed again today, this bi-partisan group sees a world that continues to grow more dangerous and a U.S. national security strategy that is failing on several fronts. In the second FOREIGN POLICY/Center for American Progress Terrorism Index, these experts warn that not only is another attack imminent, but that the United States may be distracted from the threats that matter most.
Everyone knows Neocon and GOP policy has failed on every front... STFU and bring the soldiers home. Quit playing politics with American soldiers lives.


The Repeated Escalations

The CT Post has statements up from local Reps as they are forced to show their true colors and take a stand, either with the failed bush administrations "stay the course" policy OR against it.

Here is where Rep. Chris Murphy stands:
Rep. Chris Murphy, D-5, said that the resolution is the "cleanest, clearest statement" that Congress can provide expressing its opposition to the escalation plan.

"There is obviously a lot more to say than what is in the text of this resolution, but the focus of this debate needs to be on sending a clear message to President Bush that Congress has joined the military establishment, foreign affairs establishing and the public in opposing his plan," Murphy said.

While Chris Murphy makes sense, nincompoop Chris Shays is saying he is against staying the course but, in typical GOP Bush admin. shill fashion, is voting for stay the course since he won't even consider supporting a non-binding resolution against this re-repeat of temporary mini-escalations.
Just how much of this is dressed-up "Stay the Course!" BS? Take a look at this graph showing troop levels past, present and future (If the incompetent bush gets his way):

WHOA! Is this a familiar pattern? And someone out there representing CT supports this rinse and repeat policy? Sure enough, Bush can always count on Joe Neocon Lieberman:
During his campaign last fall, U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman claimed he was ready to carefully scrutinize the president's policies on Iraq. Safely re-elected, Lieberman is as enthusiastic as ever about Bush's policies and plans for escalation.
Well, Shays is off in Neocon "Torture is Sex" territory again, and against supporting the will of Nutmeggers just like his bedmate Lieberman.

And the GOP wonders why they are losing ground in Connecticut year after year? They need to take a hard look at how they are consistantly putting Neocon wet dreams ahead of the wishes and concerns of their constituants.


Whackamole Revisited

A while back many of us were ripping on McCain for originally suggesting sending more troops and pointed out the fact that the Generals were telling the McCains and Lieberman's of the world that this could never work.

McCain has repeatedly said that he would like to see another 20,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. As General Abizaid explained, McCain’s plan runs counter towards our goal in Iraq — specifically, the Iraqis taking responsibility for their own country. Abizaid said, “It is easy for the Iraqis to rely upon to us do this work. I believe that more American forces prevent the Iraqis from doing more, from taking more responsibility for their own future.”

McCain makes a good point with his "whackamole" comment, but clearly the only other thing that McCain is correct in when he talks about sending 20,000 more troops to Iraq is at the end of the video where he says, "I don't know where the troops are going to come from."

Well McCain and Lieberman's ESCALATION of targets, err, soldiers are starting to hit the streets of Baghdad in this newest Neocon strategery and, aside from stretching our military forces to the breaking point, this is what they are finding there:
American officers, interviewed at the sprawling Camp Victory base at the western edge of the capital, also acknowledge they are finding little in their initial searches of Baghdad neighborhoods _ suggesting either they received faulty intelligence or that the massive publicity that preceded the operation gave militants time to slip away.

OR, perhaps, suggesting that the Iraqi insurgents have decided that, considering this newest repeat of temporary mini-escalations, they will continue to play whackamole.

The definiton of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. How many more rounds of "Stay the course WHACKAMOLE" does McCain, Lieberman and bush get to play with our soldiers, and Iraqis, lives on the line before we get to rightfully define them by their repeated actions?