New Civilization News: America Dies In Its Sleep    
 America Dies In Its Sleep14 comments
picture21 Sep 2005 @ 10:07, by Richard Carlson

Sitting in an outhouse, I concentrated upon this doubt, and as time passed I forgot to leave. Suddenly a violent wind came, first blowing the outhouse door open and then shut again with a loud crash. My spirit instantly advanced and ripped apart my previous doubt; it was like suddenly awakening from a dream, or remembering something forgotten. I began to dance in a way I had never learned, and there are no words to convey my great joy.

---Gesshu

A reasonable amount o' fleas is good fer a dog---
keeps him broodin' over bein' a dog, mebbe.

---Edward Noyes Westcott

Corruption is more dangerous than terrorism.

---Hadi al-Amiri, Head of Iraqi National Assembly's Integrity Commission

A British soldier, his uniform in flames, prepares to jump from a personnel carrier during rioting that broke out in Basra when Britain sought the release of two detained commandos. (By Atef Hassan -- Reuters)

Americans love a good night's sleep...and we spend tons of money trying to get one here and there. Maybe we spend more money on it, including fees to psychologists and therapists, than almost anything else. Yes, we need oil for all the stuff in our garages...and flying around in airplanes. And we spend lots more on our obesity problems than we contribute to the world's populations of the starving. And of course there is a fortune to be spent finding a sex partner and getting any enjoyment out of the activities. But mostly we really love to sleep...and hate to be awakened!

So let's say that while you were asleep, certain parties "disappeared" $10 billion from the United States Treasury. And let's also say that your sons and daughters were standing guard at those vaults of marble. Not only that, the 10 billion dollars was to be spent for weapons and protection for those duties your children have accepted. In fact, some of those kids are doing that work to get enough money to go to college. If that happened and it was discovered, do you think the story would be in a newspaper the next morning? Maybe? Definitely? Absolutely not?

Iraq Losing Billions to Corruption, Lawmakers Say

"(Al-Sabah) Iraq has lost $10 billion because of financial and administrative corruption, Hussein al-Shahristani, deputy head of the National Assembly, said in a press conference Sunday organized by the assembly's Integrity Commission. Hadi al-Amiri, head of the commission, said corruption is more dangerous than terrorism. He cited contracts the former ministry of defense held with a company known as 'al-Ain al-Jariya' to purchase 24 helicopters for $226.8 million. The helicopters were not bought and no check was made as to where the money went, al-Amiri said."
(Al-Sabah is issued daily by the Iraqi Media Network.)
[link]

The Scotsman
Tue 20 Sep 2005
Ex-minister faces arrest for 'biggest robbery in the world'

LUKE BAKER
IN BAGHDAD

"IRAQ'S former defence minister is expected to be arrested in the coming days in connection with the disappearance of more than $1 billion from the country's defence budget, a senior corruption investigator said yesterday.

"Hazim Shaalan, who served in interim prime minister Iyad Allawi's government, ran a ministry which worked with intermediaries, rather than foreign companies or governments, for the supply of defence equipment including helicopters, armoured vehicles, bullets and weapons.

"Not only were contracts with intermediaries forbidden at the time, but the prices paid for the equipment were vastly inflated and the contracts often not fulfilled. On one occasion, it is alleged more than $230 million had been spent on a collection of 28-year-old, second-hand Polish helicopters whose design life was just 25 years.

"Radhi al-Radhi, the head of Iraq's Commission on Public Integrity, said he handed a file of evidence against Shaalan to Iraq's central criminal court two months ago and expected a warrant for his arrest to be issued within ten days.

"'What Shaalan and his ministry were responsible for is possibly the largest robbery in the world,' Mr Radhi said. 'Our estimates begin at $1.3 billion and go up to $2.3 billion.'

"Shaalan, who lives in Jordan and also spends time in London, has denied any wrongdoing and has said that whatever he did was ultimately approved of by US authorities."

[link]

But WHERE, you ask, is American coverage of such a report? Sure, maybe the disappearance of somewhere between 1 and 10 billion dollars isn't from our own US Treasury, but our tax dollars must have sponsored at least some of that procurement budget. And it was for equipment for indigenous soldiers so our kids can get out of there. Check Google News and see how many US papers and media are carrying the story. I find only the Washington Post has an Opinion piece on it. [link] Of course we're watching all our hurricanes...and wondering how to pay for all that disaster relief (and nothing for disaster prevention). Coincidentally, $10 billion of it will come from cuts to Medicaid. [link] Molly Ivins was wondering the other day "exactly why the right-wing Republicans chose to make FEMA a political football." [link] Is Molly losing her grip? Girl, disaster relief is where the big bucks are! BILLIONS.

But wait...there's more. You remember the 2004 Election? The long-awaited Carter-Baker Report on our electoral system is out and guess what? Even though there is nothing vitally wrong with our system...except a few computer glitches here and there, the report concludes that public confidence in elections is disappearing. [link] Disappearing...just like all that money. Just...gone with the wind. And we wonder why we're losing sleep.


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14 comments

21 Sep 2005 @ 13:24 by dempstress : Doesn't seem
to have woken up anyone here much!

CD  



21 Sep 2005 @ 16:00 by Quinty @68.226.90.181 : A billion here, a billion there
and pretty soon we're talking real money.

And what about the 8.9 billion which disappeared under Paul Bremer's watch? And Halliburton's overcharges?

CNN.com  



21 Sep 2005 @ 16:02 by bushman : Hey Jazz,
How come you didn't put up info on why the Iraqi police had those 2 comandos under arrest?
[link]
And this one:
[link]  



21 Sep 2005 @ 20:04 by jazzolog : Thanks Friends For The Tips
While Zepp carried the story of the missing billions, I didn't notice it until dempstress emailed me especially. Mostly she wonders just how weird the media has gotten over here...since we have to read the world press to find out what's going on. As far as NCN, this is essentially a recreational chatroom...and so people increasingly respond only to jokes and novelty.

Thanks Bushman for more details about the daring UK rescue. O yeah. By the way, I heard Tony Blair criticized the American press for putting so much pressure on Bush regarding his response to the Katrina disaster. Gee, I wonder who put the idea to do that in his head.  



21 Sep 2005 @ 20:11 by scotty : Mrs Bush
probably !

: )  



22 Sep 2005 @ 04:33 by koravya : Thanks for the Info
The folks on this site are a very important source of information
for my busy little brain, and it certainly does appreciate the
insight. Kudos to the Great Spirit.  



22 Sep 2005 @ 16:21 by Quinty @68.226.90.181 : Hmmmmmm?

The Republicans have long congratulated themselves for being fiscally prudent. They understand our tax dollars belong to "us," not to the "government." They do not believe in waste, and big government is by nature wasteful. They hate welfare moms in Cadillacs and big governement spending programs. And the private sector does everything better.

So how come the Bush administration is behaving like a drunk in a curio shop when it comes to "our" money? Because suddenly gov money is cleansed and pure when it ends up in corporate pockets? When it's distributed to close buddies and political allies?

Did anyone happen to see Naomi Klein's Harper's piece of a year ago? The one in which she desribed the reconstruction of Iraq as a Neocon "free market" laboratory? It was a brilliant piece of writing and if you are curious it's at:

Naomi Klein's Harpers piece

And now (why confine this only to Iraq?) it appears, according to the Guardian, that that same driving philosophy will be attempted in the Gulf Coast. Here's the Guardian piece if you are interested....

Published on Thursday, September 22, 2005 by the Guardian / UK

Hurricane Aid Used 'To Test Out Rightwing Social Policies'

by Julian Borger

 
President Bush's multi-billion dollar reconstruction plans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina are being used as "a vast laboratory" for conservative social polices, administration critics claim.

The White House strategy involves the suspension of a series of regulations guaranteeing the going local wage and affirmative action for minorities, while offering tax incentives for businesses in the affected region.

Education aid for displaced children will include $500m (£276m) in vouchers for private schools, while a senior Republican has also proposed a new law permitting a wide-ranging waiver of environmental regulations.

The White House has argued that the deregulation measures are designed to disentangle the relief effort from federal red tape. But Democrats are furious at the proposals. They view them as an attempt to slip through unpopular policies under cover of the wave of sympathy for Katrina's victims. "The plan they're designing for the Gulf coast turns the region into a vast laboratory for rightwing ideological experiments," said John Kerry, the party's defeated 2004 presidential candidate.

Conservative commentators see the measures as an opportunity to reverse federal entitlement programmes dating back to Franklin Roosevelt's that they argue ingrain poverty by encouraging dependency on the government. "The objection to these Bush proposals isn't fiscal, but philosophical," Rich Lowry, an editor on the National Review magazine, wrote. "They serve to undermine the principle of government dependency that underpins the contemporary welfare state, and to which liberals are utterly devoted."

The focus of Democratic opposition is the White House decision to suspend the 1931 Davis-Bacon act, which requires firms working under government contract to pay locally "prevailing wages" to workers.

Critics argue that the law's suspension will mostly benefit big corporations such as Dick Cheney's former employer, Halliburton, at the expense of the local poor who need a decent wage more than ever.

Claude Allen, the president's domestic policy adviser, argued that the deregulation measures would help local people by making it easier for small businesses to compete for contracts.

"The purpose of the waiver of Davis-Bacon and other regulations was to remove red tape so that we could get at more small businesses, medium-size businesses that do not currently contract with the federal government, to get them involved in this activity," Mr Allen told journalists.

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005  



22 Sep 2005 @ 16:29 by Quinty @68.226.90.181 : And let's not forget
that at least two or three hundred billion dollars will be going to that Gulf Coast labaoratory.  


23 Sep 2005 @ 09:26 by Peg C @207.69.137.13 : Jazzolog -

Perfect! Doze, sleep and dream through our own drug-induced annihilation. I have GRANDCHILDREN! Who's going to stay awake and sane and caring for THEM?

Love, Peg

*********

Peg C is a wonderful online activist friend who posts regularly at such sites as Brad Blog [link] and Velvet Revolution [link] . She also maintains her own blog which you may see by clicking her name.

---jazzolog  



24 Sep 2005 @ 06:06 by jazzolog : Dutifully
I have been paging through Google News these past 3 days, looking for any update on this missing billions story. US press has yet to cover it, and the UK has fallen silent...rather in a mess of its own over reaction to that rescue thing Bushman was talking about.

Now we have a report from Al Mendhar in Iraq that Jordan officials say no extradition request has come to them for the former defense minister, despite the accusations that were made against Hazem Shaalan. [link] That doesn't mean one won't, but one wonders about the delay. That comment from Jordan follows a statement made Thursday by a senior aide to former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, also in Jordan, that the whole story is made up. What he had to say is so complicated I'll just put up the whole thing~~~

Posted on 22 Sep 2005 # Reuters

Allawi aide says Iran behind "smear campaign":

AMMAN: Iraqi former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and his former defence minister are targets of an Iraqi government smear campaign inspired by neighbouring Iran, a senior Allawi aide said today.

Ibrahim al-Janabi, deputy head of the National Accord Movement (Wifaq) headed by Allawi, said allegations against former defence minister Hazem Shaalan in connection with the disappearance of 1 billion dollars from his ministry were a fabrication designed to prevent secular leaders from returning to power.

''There are elements within the government that have strong ties with Iranian intelligence who seek to stir these issues,'' Janabi told Reuters in Amman. ''This attack we believe is Iranian-inspired but with Iraqi tools that implement it.'' Allawi, interim prime minister from June 2004 until an elected government took over in April, is a secular-minded Shi'ite politician believed to have ambitions to lead his country again. He criticised Iranian influence while in office and Shaalan once described Iran as Iraq's ''prime enemy''.

The government formed in April after parliamentary elections in January is dominated by Islamist Shi'ite parties that found refuge in Iran during Saddam Hussein's time.

Radhi al-Radhi, the head of Iraq's Committee on Public Integrity, said this week he had handed evidence against Shaalan to Iraq's central criminal court two months ago and expected a warrant for his arrest to be issued soon.

Shaalan, who is in Jordan, has denied any wrongdoing regarding arms procurement during his tenure.

Janabi, Wifaq's deputy leader, said the main reason behind the campaign against Allawi and Shaalan was their opposition to what he called Iranian meddling and subversion in Iraq.

''We expect the campaign to increase and to take the form of direct assassinations of figures who seek to consolidate the national programme away from foreign influences led by Iran.'' Janabi said investigators in the alleged corruption affair were all Shi'ite parties in the government with links to Iran.

''Iranian elements want to create a sectarian project in Iraq that leads to its partition,'' he said.

Copyright 2001-2005 newkerala.com
[link]

What I say is do we have any accounting of what this war is costing...and where the money is going? Is money missing? If it is, why and how? If it isn't, clearly we have a government there in complete disarray. Can you imagine a charge like this about a sum this huge against a former administration made in your country...and nobody bats an eye? I thought Bush said this whole venture is a model of American democracy.  



24 Sep 2005 @ 07:31 by gea : Wake-up call for Americans ?
The way we see things in Europe re/the good old US of A has been sharper than just accepting America as a goody-goody two shoes since quite some time. This is not to say that America is the only one that has to wake up, lol. I´m glad you publish this material, thanks.
PS .- The picture is horrible, but perhaps necessary.  



8 Oct 2005 @ 09:26 by jazzolog : Will Tom DeLay Get Away?
Frankly I've been very worried about this. The first indictment seemed flawed and quickly was replaced by a second, under protest of DeLay's skilled lawyer. That alone was a technicality I thought sure any Texan could blast through. Yesterday John Dean mounted a summary and some analysis that should interest you~~~

[link]  



24 Jun 2006 @ 19:17 by dolfina : deLay get it
jazzolog

It is all in the name - delay... get it.

It is like the movie History of the World Part I, the scene with the french advisor who's name is Count de' Money. Or, in Alice in Wonderland, "I say what I mean and I mean what I say." Or the bible, "the writing is on the wall."  



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