Friday, July 07, 2006

Instahoglets 7th July 06

Let's see if we can't find a whole bunch of "news less travelled" today.

  • The culture of corruption goes globalist.

    Unreported by the US media, another of Dubya's "aquaintances" is about to stand trail for fraud. Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was ordered today to stand trial "following an investigation into alleged fraud in the purchase of movie and television rights at Mediaset, his media empire. David Mills, the estranged husband of the Tony Blair's culture secretary, Tessa Jowell, will also have to stand trial for his part in the alleged fraud."

  • In Lebanon, the man I once described as "the next Chalibi" is in the middle of a storm as supporters of his faction battle it out with another Druze militia.

  • Meanwhile, his main Iranian contender for the Chalibi title has been speaking to the European Parliament. Maryam Rajavi, leader of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, has been drumming up support for her regime change wishes. It's interesting that while the article mentions that her group is the political wing of the MeK, which is registered as a terror group, it fails to mention that her husband is Leader of the MeK and thinks he is the Muslim Messiah or that the MeK did Saddam's bully work. Hardly the kind of folks we would want to hand a nation over to, are they? Or are they? Did I mention that my post "What's going on in Camp Ashraf" is one of Newshog's most popular Google search hits - especially with those using military ISPs?

  • I did have an item here about a recent UK government report on the "war on terror" that said, simply, that the threat from Al Qaida has increased due to the war in Iraq. Here's the BBC's new item on the report. Unfortunately, the UK government seems to have taken the Foreign Affairs Committee report itself of the internet. Ah well, that'll be those "freedoms" they are always on about doing their job again.

  • A former Blackwater USA employee has been charged with trying to extort $1 million from the company which provides mercenaries for Iraq and New Orleans. The employee says the allegations are an attempt to silence her - and that she has shocking information about the deaths of four Blackwater security guards who were killed, mutilated and strung from a bridge in Fallujah, Iraq, in May 2004. The deaths led directly to a massive US assault on the town. The men's families have sued Blackwater, alleging that the contractors weren't properly equipped or trained for their mission.

  • Iran's President is to pay a visit to Iraq to discuss "bilateral ties as well as major regional and international developments" according to Arabic news and the Iranian Foreign Ministry. Did you know that? Apparently the American media didn't think it might be worth mentioning. Might the Bush administration be a wee bit upset that the Shiite majority in Iraq are reaching out to Iran so obviously? Might that be why the tame press didn't see fit to tell you? I'm only asking.

  • The arms market in Iraq is experiencing a boom time. Such is the demand from the Mahdi Army and various Shiite militias that prices have more than doubled in the last two months. That makes a lucrative payday for arms smugglers of all stripes and the boreders are uncloseable all the way to Pakistan.

  • The American economy is doing great, according to the present administration. Why, then, is Cheney sinking tens of millions into investments that assume the dollar will tank and interest rates will rise markedly? "Enquiring minds want to know."

  • Some of the world's greatest war criminals, people like Bosnian Serbs Radovan Karadzic and Gen. Ratko Mladic , are in hiding in Serbia and still haven't been brought to justice. The Serbian government admits they know exactly where many are but can't just go and arrest them. Obviously not a nation that America should be seeking closer military ties with, right? WRONG.
    Speaking at Batajnica airport, US Ambassador Michael Polt said US Air Forces Europe will sponsor the training of Serbian pilots at the US Air Force Academy. The first pilots could arrive for training as early as 2007, Polt said, adding that the Serbian armed forces would continue their close co-operation with the National Guard in the US state of Ohio.

    From now on, 23 June will be a special day in relations between the two militaries, Polt said. It signifies the start of a new era in co-operation amid the global fight against terrorism and trafficking in people, weapons and drugs, he added.
    As ever, the "long war on Terra" can and will be used to justify just about anything.

  • From the UK's Telegraph:
    The father of the young soldier held captive by Palestinian gunmen increased the pressure on Israel's government yesterday by urging them to negotiate his son's release.

    "In the end it will be necessary to pay a price for Gilad's freedom," said Noam Shalit, whose 19-year-old son was seized from Israeli territory two weeks ago. "I don't understand why the government is delaying negotiations on this price."
    That's gonna upset the Militant Right.

  • And finally, here's a breaking one I'm sure will travel far and upset the Militant Right even more:
    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Secret Service on Friday revealed four more visits to the White House in 2001 by disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, including one to see a domestic policy aide to Vice President Dick Cheney.

    The newly released records of Abramoff's access to the White House bring the total number of his known visits to seven.

    One Abramoff White House visit, according to Secret Service logs, was on April 20, 2001, to see Cesar Conda, at the time Cheney's assistant for domestic policy.
    Five days after the Conda meeting, one of Abramoff's former lobbying colleagues, Patrick Pizzella, was nominated by the president as assistant secretary of labor. The Secret Service logs do not state why Abramoff met with Conda.

    One log entry indicates Abramoff visited the White House family residence on Dec. 10, 2001, for two hours, as part of a large holiday party. The Secret Service entry for Abramoff's name that day reads, ``POTUS,'' ``WH,'' ``RESIDENCE,'' and lists the number of people present as 326, according to the documents. POTUS refers to the president of the United States.
    Oh dear.
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