Saturday, May 24, 2003

Emma finds things are even worse than she thought:
It's Not Only Water
I've blogged a couple of times about the shenanigans multinational water companies got up to when buying up public utilities in Latin America and other parts of the world.

Now it seems that water may be only the tip of the iceberg.

Two articles published in the paper version of Financial Times May 21st uncover the collusion between AES, a US-based energy group, and Enron to rig the auction of the Brazilian electricity company, Eletropaulo Metropolitana. The privatization of the largest electricity distribution company in Latin America was expected to bring several hundred million dollars above the minimum price of $1.78 billion.

Ah, but we already knew they were after power; to me, the water thing is worse. [Bloggered link] Stop the FCC

"Congress and the FCC should stop media deregulation and work to make the media diverse, competitive, balanced, and fair." - Hope For What Might Be
Lewis H. Lapham
The Agonist: Blix thinking no WMDs
The Guardian: The chief UN weapons inspector, Hans Blix, said he was starting to suspect Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction in advance of the war on Iraq, a German newspaper reported today.
"I am obviously very interested in the question of whether or not there were weapons of mass destruction, and I am beginning to suspect there possibly were none," Mr Blix told the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel.
Carville speaks his mind - Local News -
The Globe and Mail To get the lay of the land in the United States — finding those political and social trends and ideas coming to the surface — you just have to watch prime-time American TV.
I know some people think this is a crock.
Network television is commercial entertainment, they say, so it can't be taken seriously as an indicator of anything. But the fictional stories on TV shows reflect and suggest, sometimes guardedly, ideas and feelings that aren't spoken aloud yet.
Elsewhere in this section today you'll find me and some other people speculating about what will happen on the season finale of 24 tonight. It's all blather. The really interesting aspect of 24 this season has been the use of the 25th Amendment as a plot device.
Bush 'is on brink of catastrophe'
From Roland Watson in Washington
THE most senior Republican authority on foreign relations in Congress has warned President Bush that the United States is on the brink of catastrophe in Iraq.

Richard Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that Washington was in danger of creating “an incubator for terrorist cells and activity” unless it increased the scope and cost of its reconstruction efforts. He said that more troops, billions more dollars and a longer commitment were needed if the US were not to throw away the peace.

Mr Lugar’s warning came as it emerged that the CIA has launched a review of its pre-war intelligence on Iraq to check if the US exaggerated the threats posed by Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. The review is intended to determine if the Pentagon manipulated the assessment of intelligence material for political ends.

Thursday, May 01, 2003

I'm back at my desk and posting again at The Sideshow.
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | The British suicide bombers. So, yestereday's suicide bombers had British passports. That's a new wrinkle.
They Knew

Newsweek: The Secrets of September 11

Even as White House political aides plot a 2004 campaign plan designed to capitalize on the emotions and issues raised by the September 11 terror attacks, administration officials are waging a behind-the-scenes battle to restrict public disclosure of key events relating to the attacks.

AT THE CENTER of the dispute is a more-than-800-page secret report prepared by a joint congressional inquiry detailing the intelligence and law-enforcement failures that preceded the attacks—including provocative, if unheeded warnings, given President Bush and his top advisers during the summer of 2001.
The substance of that intelligence report was first disclosed at a public hearing last September by staff director Hill. But at the last minute, Hill was blocked from saying precisely who within the Bush White House got the briefing when CIA director Tenet classified the names of the recipients. (One source says the recipients of the briefing included Bush himself.) As a result, Hill was only able to say the briefing was given to “senior government officials.”

Bush knew, but refused to allow the FBI and CIA to investigate Al Qaeda.
That issue is now being refought in the context over the full report. The report names names, gives dates and provides a body of new information about the handling of many other crucial intelligence briefings—including one in early August 2001 given to national-security adviser Rice that discussed Al Qaeda operations within the United States and the possibility that the group’s members might seek to hijack airplanes. The administration “working group” is still refusing to declassify information about the briefings, sources said, and has even expressed regret that some of the material was ever provided to congressional investigators in the first place.
That would be the same Rice who said no one could have imagined planes would be hijacked.

So, they had the whole roadmap laid out for them and either were too thick to figure out how to get from A to B or too negligent to do anything about it. Now they're trying to cover it up, but the American people deserve to know, in detail, how this so-called president and his supposedly smart, experienced crew left America wide-open to enemy attack.