The Militant Libertarian

I'm pissed off and I'm a libertarian. What else you wanna know?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Afghanistan Refresher Course

Just in case you've forgotten, here's a few facts on Afghanistan that will remind you why, exactly, we are sending our military's men and women over there to fight and die...

a.. USA supported Bin Laden and the Taliban for years, and viewed them as freedom fighters against the Russians? One man's freedom fighter is another man's's all about perspective.

b.. As late as 1998, the US was paying the salary of every single Taliban official in Afghanistan? I'm sure they were relatively cheap... No more expensive than the average congressman, I'm sure.

c.. There is more oil and gas in the Caspian Sea, but you need a pipeline through Afghanistan to get that out?

d.. UNOCAL, a giant oil conglomerate, wanted to build a 1000 mile pipeline from the Caspian Sea through Afghanistan to the Arabian Sea? Of course, they can't do that without the support of a strong, local government to back them up...but I'm getting ahead of myself.

e.. UNOCAL spent $ 10,000,000,000 on geological &nb sp; studies for the pipeline construction, and courted the Taliban for their support in allowing the construction to begin? Speaking of local governments...

f.. All leading Taliban officials were in Texas negotiating with UNOCAL in 1998? I think "negotiating" is a term used for "being bribed." Kind of like the "closed door" meetings our congress likes to hold.

g. In 1999, Taliban changed its mind and threw UNOCAL out of the country and awarded the pipeline project to a company in Argentina? Apparently, the Argentenians had a better a long-term stake in the profits or something fair like that.

h.. John Maresca, VP of UNOCAL testified before Congress and said no pipeline should be set until the Taliban was gone and a more friendly government was established? I wonder why he would do that to his friends?

i.. After 1999, the Taliban became the most evil people in the world They were blamed for all kinds of attrocities that they were never factually linked to...

j. In 2001, Bush declares war against Afghanistan, though not a single Afghani was involved in the plane hijacking? Of course, it was in the interest of...ummm...national security and stuff. Right? 'Need to know' and all that.

k.. Bush blamed Bin Laden, but did not offer any proof, saying it was confidential? Yeah, man. Double-o-seven never gave out his secrets and his movies always turned out OK! Shesh, what's the big deal? 'Trust me, man, the Supreme Court says I'm yer President.'

l.. Talibans offered to hand over Bin Laden if there was proof, but Bush bombed Afghanistan instead? Who needs proof when you got da bomb?

m.. We now have a new government in Afghanistan, which is friendlier? Hmmm...let's investigate who they're friendlier TO...

n.. That the leader of the new government is one gentleman called Hamid Karzai, who formerly worked for UNOCAL? Wait, it gets better!

o.. Bush appoints a special envoy (Lakhdar Ibrahimi) to represent the US to deal with the new government. This special envoy was formerly chief consultant to UNOCAL? Croneyism at its finest!

p.. The US government quietly announces in January 2002 that it will support the Trans-Afghan pipeline construction? Well, duhhh

q.. President Musharraf and Hamid Karzai announce agreement in February 2002 to build proposed gas pipeline from Central Asia to Pakistan through Afghanistan? Of course.

And you thought we were fighting terrorism here, didn't you? We are fighting terrorism...only we've been duped into acting as the terrorists! Wake up, people!

It is all about OIL.........

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Letting a Murderer Walk Free...

I'm amazed this man still has a career, let alone is running for office! I'm sure that this was the dues he had to pay to climb the ladder...
Ruby Ridge revisited: Deval let sniper off the the hook
By Kimberly Atkins
Read original here:

As the Justice Department’s chief civil rights prosecutor, Deval Patrick made the controversial decision not to criminally prosecute an FBI sniper who shot and killed an unarmed woman as she held her infant daughter in her arms during a 1992 standoff in Ruby Ridge, Idaho.

The incident, in which U.S. Marshall William F. Degan of Quincy and the wife and son of white separatist Randy Weaver were killed during an 11-day standoff, is cited by experts as the spark that started the anti-government militia movement that exploded after the standoff in Waco, Texas, less than a year later.

In 1994, Patrick, the Democratic candidate for governor who was then assistant attorney general, concluded there was insufficient basis to prosecute FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi for shooting and killing 43-year-old Vicki Weaver. Horiuchi had testified that he opened fire on the woman’s husband and his friend, Kevin Harris, when he thought they were about to fire on an FBI helicopter.

Patrick made the recommendation despite a report by a task force assembled by Patrick’s boss, Attorney General Janet Reno, that found numerous problems with the FBI’s handling of the standoff, and called the protocol used by the FBI’s Hostage Rescue unconstitutional under the circumstances.

The report referred the case to Patrick’s department to decide whether to charge Horiuchi. Aides to Patrick said he was unavailable for comment because he was preparing for last night’s debate.

Former Justice Department spokesman Myron Marlin called the incident “a tragic one that occurred during the final months of the first Bush administration.”

“The Justice Department believed the critical element of willfulness necessary for a criminal civil rights prosecution could not be established beyond a reasonable doubt,” Marlin said in a statement to the Herald yesterday. “Such willfulness, or knowing, intentional use of unreasonable force could not be made out against the FBI agent.”

Patrick’s assessment, he noted, was“reaffirmed by a separate criminal investigative team.”

In 1995, however, a Senate subcommittee headed by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) found “simply no justification” for the shot Horiuchi took that killed Vicki Weaver and “missed the 10-month-old baby in her arms by less than two feet.”

“Horiuchi should have known that as he fired blind through the cabin door, he was shooting into an area which could well have contained Vicki Weaver and her two younger daughters,” states the report, which took no position on whether Horiuchi should have been prosecuted.

The decision not to prosecute was ripped by both conservative and liberal groups. “It was obscene,” said author James Bovard, an outspoken critic of federal officials’ handling of the case. “There was no need for the excessive force the FBI used in gunning down a mother holding her baby.”

ACLU Legislative Counsel Timothy Edgar said the incident was “the result of overzealous - and unchecked - federal power.”

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Hacking Democracy

I guess now that I've urged you to go vote, I'll give you reasons not to. haha. I got this via email today. If you can get access to HBO, then you should watch this. Definitely worth it!

Electronic voting machines count 80% of the votes cast in America today. But are they reliable? Are they safe from tampering? From a current congressional hearing to persistent media reports that suggest misuse of data and even outright fraud,
concerns over the integrity of electronic voting are growing by the day. And if the voting process is not secure, neither is America's democracy.

The timely, cautionary documentary HACKING DEMOCRACY exposes gaping holes in the security of America's electronic voting system when it debuts THURSDAY, NOV. 2 (9:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT) - less than a week before the midterm elections - exclusively on HBO. Other HBO playdates: Nov. 5 (9:00 a.m.), 7 (9:00 a.m., 6:30 p.m.), 13 (12:30 p.m., 10:00 p.m.), 18 (6:00 p.m.) and 26 (1:15 a.m.).

HBO2 playdates: Nov. 4 (noon), 7 (11:45 p.m.), 10 (6:30 p.m.) and 15 (3:00 a.m.).

In the 2000 presidential election, an electronic voting machine recorded minus 16,022 votes for Al Gore in Volusia County, Fla. While fraud was never proven, the faulty tally alerted computer scientists, politicians and everyday citizens to the very real
possibility of computer hacking during elections.

In 2002, Seattle grandmother and writer Bev Harris asked officials in her county why they had acquired electronic touch screen systems for their elections. Unsatisfied with their explanation, she set out to learn about electronic voting machines on her own. In the course of her research, which unearthed hundreds of reported incidents of mishandled voting information, Harris stumbled across an "online library" of the Diebold Corporation - which counted around 40% of the presidential votes nationwide -
discovering a treasure trove of information about the inner-workings of the company's voting system.

Harris brought this proprietary "secret" information to computer security expert Avi Rubin of Johns Hopkins University, who determined that the software lacked the necessary security features to prevent tampering. Her subsequent investigation took her from the trash cans of Texas to the secretary of state of California and finally to Florida, where a "mini-election" to test the vulnerability of the memory cards used in electronic voting produced alarming results.

As the scope of her mission grew, Harris drew on the expertise of other computer-science experts, politicians and activists, among them: Andy Stephenson, candidate for secretary of state in Washington state; Susan Bernecker, Republican
candidate in New Orleans; Kathleen Wynne, an activist from Cleveland; Hugh Thompson, director, Security Innovations, Inc.; Ion Sancho, Florida's supervisor of elections; Susan Pynchon of the Florida Fair Elections Coalition; and Harri Hursti, a computer-security analyst.

Academics, public officials and others seen in interview footage include: Deanie Low, supervisor of elections, Volusia County, Fla.; Mark Radke, marketing director of Diebold; David Cobb, presidential candidate, Green Party; and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones of Ohio.

Diebold software, or other software like it, is installed in thousands of counties across 32 states. David Dill, professor of computer science at Stanford, says the problem is that there are "lots of people involved in writing the software, and
lots of people who could have touched the software before it went into that machine. If one of those people put something malicious in the software and it's distributed to all the machines, then that one person could be responsible for changing tens of
thousands of votes, maybe even hundreds of thousands, across the country."

In Florida, Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho presided over a trial "mini-election" to see if the vote could be hacked without being detected. Before votes were actually cast, computer analyst Harri Hursti "stuffed the ballot box" by entering votes on
the computer's memory card. Then, after votes were cast, the results displayed when the same memory card was entered in the central tabulating program indicated that fraud was indeed possible. In other words, by accessing a memory card before an election, someone could change the results - a claim Diebold had denied be possible.

Ultimately, Bev Harris' research proved that the top-secret computerized systems counting the votes in America's public elections are not only fallible, but also vulnerable to undetectable hacking, from local school board contests to the presidential race.

With the electronic voting machines of 3 companies - Diebold, ESS and Sequoia - collectively responsible for around 80% of America's votes today, the stakes
for democracy are high.

One of the executive producers of HACKING DEMOCRACY is Sarah Teale, whose previous HBO credits include "Dealing Dogs" and "Bellevue: Inside Out". HACKING DEMOCRACY was directed by Simon Ardizzone and Russell Michaels; produced by Simon Ardizzone, Robert
Carrillo Cohen and Russell Michaels; executive producers, Earl Katz, Sarah Teale and Sian Edwards; edited by Sasha Zik. For HBO: supervising producer, John Hoffman; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Your Vote?

A question to be asked is "Will my vote count this election season?" Good question and one up for much debate. Assuming you can find a decent candidate to actually vote for (good luck), you still have to wonder if your vote for that candidate will actually be counted, what with all the rumors going around that the new electronic election machines being easily tampered with.

So does your vote count?

I don't know, but it doesn't take a lot of effort to cast it, so by doing so you're not really out much. You might as well try.


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Monday, October 30, 2006

US naval war games off the Iranian coastline: A provocation which could lead to War?

by Michel Chossudovsky / | October 25 2006

There is a massive concentration of US naval power in the Persian Gulf and
the Arabian Sea. Three US naval strike groups off the Iranian coastline are
deployed: USS Enterprise, USS Eisenhower and USS Iwo Jima Expeditionary
Strike Group.

The naval strike groups have been assigned to fighting the "global war on

Tehran considers the US war games to be conducted in the Persian Gulf, off
the Iranian coastline as a provocation, which is intended to trigger a
potential crisis and a situation of direct confrontation between US and
Iranian naval forces in the Persian Gulf:

"Reports say the US-led naval exercises based near Bahrain will practise
intercepting and searching ships carrying weapons of mass destruction and

Iran's official news agency IRNA quoted an unnamed foreign ministry official
as describing the military manoeuvres as dangerous and suspicious.
Reports say the US-led naval exercises based near Bahrain will practise
intercepting and searching ships carrying weapons of mass destruction and

The Iranian foreign ministry official said the US-led exercises were not in
line with the security and stability of the region. Instead, they are aimed
at fomenting crises, he said." (quoted in BBC, 23 October 2006)

USS Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG 5) to arrive in Arabian Sea

The USS Boxer (LHD 4), --which is the flagship for the Boxer Expeditionary
Strike Group (ESG 5)-- which left Singapore on October 16, is scheduled to
join the three naval strikes groups. ESG 5 is comprised of USS Boxer, Bunker
Hill, USS Dubuque (LPD 8), USS Comstock (LSD 45), USS Benfold (DDG 65), and
USS Howard (DDG 83). ESG 5 also includes PHIBRON 5, the 15th MEU, Coast
Guard Cutter Midgett (WHEC 726).

"We are about to enter a part of the world that can be very dangerous," said
Chief Aviation Ordnanceman (AW/SW) Jacques Beaver, Boxer's flight deck
ordnance chief. "We must be flexible and prepared to defend ourselves from
any threats."

Boxer has been preparing for the weapons upload for two months by completing
required maintenance and electronic pre-checks. Checks ensure that the
ship's missile and launching systems are up to standard and safe to load
with live ordnance.

"It has taken a lot of hard work for our people to get this done," said
Chief Fire Controlman (SW) William Lewis, combat systems, fire control
division's leading chief petty officer. "You cannot measure the importance
of having these defenses guarding the lives of the Sailors and Marines in
this strike group."

BOXESG is comprised of USS Boxer (LHD 4), USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), USS
Dubuque (LPD 8), USS Comstock (LSD 45), USS Benfold (DDG 65) and USS Howard
(DDG 83). The strike group also includes Amphibious Squadron 5, the 15th
Marine Expeditionary Unit, Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WHEC 726) and
Canadian Frigate HMCS Ottawa (FFH 341).

BOXESG is currently conducting operations in support of the global war on
terrorism while transiting to the Arabian
Gulf." (

Canada is part of the Expeditonary Strike Group (ESG 5)

Canada is formally participating in this military deployment under the
disguise of the "war on terrorism". The Canadian Navy has dispatched Frigate
HMCS Ottawa, which is now an integral part of ESG 5, under US Command. It is
worth noting that particular emphasis has been given to medical evacuations
and combat medical support suggesting that a combat scenario could be

Boxer and Ottawa, both operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of
responsibility, know that they can play a vital role to aid humanitarian
assistance operations, medical evacuations or combat medical support that
would rely heavily on the medical capabilities of the Boxer strike group.
Cross training Sailors from ship to ship helps ensure the success of the
strike group should BOXESG have to respond to any medical scenario,
according to Richardson.

"Training is a necessary part of any evolution," said Richardson. "Anytime
you're working with another nation, it's important that we understand their
capabilities just as much as they understand ours, so in the event anything
occurs we know where our assets are."

The cross training also fostered cooperation between the two allies which
provided Verville and Boxer corpsmen a forum to learn about each other's
navies and each other's culture." ( October 2006)

Dangerous Crossroads: Tonkin II?

"An incident" in the Persian Gulf could be used by the US as a pretext for
war against Iran.

A war pretext incident, similar to "the Gulf of Tonkin Incident", which
triggered the Vietnam war, could be used by US forces, with a view to
justifying retaliatory military action against Iran. In August 1964,
President Lyndon B. Johnson claimed that North Vietnamese forces had
attacked US destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin. The Tonkin incident, which had
been manipulated, contributed to unleashing a full-fledged war against

"A phantom attack on two U.S. destroyers cruising the Gulf of Tonkin was
staged by the Pentagon and the C.I.A. The bogus attack occurred early in
August, 1964. That evening President Lyndon Johnson went on television
giving the grim details of the non-attack. Later, however, it was revealed
that navy commander James Stockdale flew cover over the Gulf of Tonkin that
night. Stockdale disclosed that U.S. ships were firing at phantom
targets-targets that didn't exist. The Gulf of Tonkin Incident that drew the
U.S. into the quagmire of Viet Nam simply didn't happen. Johnson, as
presidents so often do, lied to the American people. The result was the
rapid passage of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which was the sole legal
basis for the Viet Nam War. As a result of Johnson's lie, three million
Vietnamese people and fifty eight thousand U.S. soldiers died." (Charles
Sullivan, Global Research, January 2006)

Navy Personnel
Active Duty: 349,783
Officers: 51,979
Enlisted: 293,368
Midshipmen: 4,436
Ready Reserve: 131,802 [As of 30 September]
Selected Reserves: 70,500
Individual Ready Reserve: 61,302
Reserves currently mobilized: 5,996 [As of 18 October]
Personnel on deployment: 36,037
Navy Department Civilian Employees: 175,454

Ships and Submarines
Deployable Battle Force Ships: 280
Ships Underway (away from homeport): 133 ships (47% of total)
On deployment: 104 ships (37% of total)
Attack submarines underway (away from homeport): 22 submarines (40%)
On deployment: 11 submarines (20%)

Ships Underway
USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - Philippine Sea
USS Enterprise (CVN 65) - Persian Gulf
USS Nimitz (CVN 68) - Pacific Ocean
USS Dwight D.Eisenhower (CVN 69)- Mediterranean Sea
USS Ronald Reagan - Pacific Ocean

Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG):
USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) - Persian Gulf
USS Nashville (LPD 13) - Persian Gulf
USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) - Persian Gulf

Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG):
USS Boxer (LHD 4) - Indian Ocean
USS Dubuque (LPD 8) - Indian Ocean
USS Comstock (LSD 45) - Indian Ocean

Essex Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG):
USS Essex (LHD 2) - South China Sea
USS Juneau (LPD 10) - South China Sea
USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) - South China Sea

Amphibious Warfare Ships:
USS Tarawa (LHA 1) - Pacific Ocean
USS Saipan (LHA 2) - Persian Gulf
USS Wasp (LHD 1) - port visit, Copenhagen, Denmark
USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) - Atlantic Ocean
USS Bataan (LHD 5) - Atlantic Ocean
USS Cleveland (LPD 7) - Pacific Ocean
USS Shreveport (LPD 12) - Atlantic Ocean
USS Ponce (LPD 15) - Atlantic Ocean
USS San Antonio (LPD 17) - Atlantic Ocean
USS Ashland (LSD 48) - Atlantic Ocean
USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) - Pacific Ocean

Aircraft (operational): 4000+

*currently/or en route in/to Persian Gulf-Arabian Sea
(according to available information)

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