Daily Archives: June 15, 2008

Ireland’s ‘no’ camp vows to ensure EU treaty dead

AFP | Jun 15, 2008

DUBLIN: The rainbow coalition of groups which helped secure Ireland’s shock EU “no” vote is savouring a famous victory — and working out how to ensure the Lisbon Treaty really is dead in its current form.

The “no” side brought together an unlikely assortment of campaigners notably including Libertas, a slick lobby group run by businessman Declan Ganley who is now considering taking the anti-Lisbon message to mainland Europe.

Also rallying opposition were Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the anti-abortion pressure group Coir, which raised concerns — unfounded according to opponents — that the treaty could threaten Ireland’s ban on abortion.

Together they helped the “no’ vote surge to a 53.4 to 46.6 per cent victory in results announced Friday, a much wider margin than had been expected after opinion polls suggested the race would go to right down to the line.

But with European leaders indicating that the treaty will not be killed off by the “no” vote, commentators are wondering what shape the Irish fight against it will take in the coming months.

This would be particularly crucial if there was a second referendum, which Prime Minister Brian Cowen has not ruled out and French European Affairs Minister Jean-Pierre Jouyet has said is unavoidable.

In an interview hours after the result was announced, Ganley was asked whether he would now move into politics full-time following the success of the campaign which he spearheaded.

“I’m not ducking the question, I genuinely don’t know the answer so I wouldn’t rule it in and I wouldn’t rule it out,” he told national broadcaster   RTE   on Saturday in a high-spirited appearance.

Whether or not he makes the leap into politics full-time, a Libertas spokesman said that Ganley was set to visit Europe “and see if he can build some sort of pan-European organisation”, without giving further details.

Sinn Fein, led by Gerry Adams, was the only major political party to back the “no” campaign and now says it wants to “support and assist” Cowen in the coming weeks.

“We will be seeking a meeting with the Taoiseach (prime minister) in the coming days to discuss with him the issues, which we believe can be addressed in a renegotiated treaty,” said Mary Lou McDonald, the party’s European lawmaker and face of its campaign.

She told RTE on Saturday that the party’s key concerns were the weakening of Irish voting strength in Europe and the threat to its 80-year policy of military neutrality.

Sinn Fein is also expected to use its success to try and build support on the national stage.

It only has four seats out of 166 in the Dail (Irish parliament) but is reportedly keen to present itself as a serious contender for power both north and south of the border. Sinn Fein is in a coalition government with the Democratic Unionists in British-controlled Northern Ireland.

Its success in the referendum campaign will “invigorate a membership that had become unsure of itself and its future and widened its attractiveness to a new, previously untapped electorate,” the Irish Times said.

Traditionally, their support in Ireland comes from working-class voters in Dublin.

Some still question how clear opponents’ objectives are beyond saying “no” to the treaty.

The pro-treaty Irish Times accused parts of the opposition of “gross and dishonest misrepresentation of some of the issues at stake.”

“It would be helpful if Sinn Fein and Libertas, both of whom claim that they are not anti-EU, could say how Ireland could get a better deal. There is a cloud with no silver lining in sight,” it said in an editorial on Saturday.

Get Osama Bin Laden before I leave office, orders George W Bush

“The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our Number one priority and we will not rest until we find him!”

– GW Bush, September 13, 2001

“I don’t know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and I really don’t care. It’s not that important. It’s not our priority.”

–    GW Bush, March 13, 2002

Related: Musharraf: Pakistan isn’t hunting Osama

Sunday Times |  Jun 15, 2008

by Sarah Baxter

President George W Bush has enlisted British special forces in a final attempt to capture Osama Bin Laden before he leaves the White House.

Defence and intelligence sources in Washington and London confirmed that a renewed hunt was on for the leader of the September 11 attacks. “If he [Bush] can say he has killed Saddam Hussein and captured Bin Laden, he can claim to have left the world a safer place,” said a US intelligence source.

Bush arrives in Britain today on the final leg of his eight-day farewell tour of Europe. He will have tea with the Queen and dinner with Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah before holding a private meeting with Brown at No 10 tomorrow and flying on to Northern Ireland.

The Special Boat Service (SBS) and the Special Reconnaissance Regiment have been taking part in the US-led operations to capture Bin Laden in the wild frontier region of northern Pakistan. It is the first time they have operated across the Afghan border on a regular basis.

The hunt was “completely sanctioned” by the Pakistani government, according to a UK special forces source. It involves the use of Predator and Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles fitted with Hellfire missiles that can be used to take out specific terrorist targets.

One US intelligence source compared the “growing number of clandestine reconnaissance missions” inside Pakistan with those conducted in Laos and Cambodia at the height of the Vietnam war.

America rarely acknowledges the use of Predator and Reaper drones, but the most recent known strike was on a suspected Al-Qaeda safe house in the Pakistani province of North Waziristan earlier in June. Villagers said the house was empty.

Intelligence on the whereabouts of Bin Laden is sketchy, but some analysts believe he is in the Bajaur tribal zone in northwest Pakistan. He has evaded capture for nearly seven years. “Bush is swinging for the fences in the hope of scoring a home run,” said an intelligence source, using a baseball metaphor.

A Pentagon source said US forces were rolling up Al-Qaeda’s network in Pakistan in the hope of pushing Bin Laden towards the Afghan border, where the US military and bombers with guided missiles were lying in wait. “They are prepping for a major battle,” he said.

The main operations in Pakistan are being undertaken by Delta, the US army special operations unit, and the British SBS.

Special forces are being sent to capture or kill Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters based on intelligence provided by the Special Reconnaissance Regiment and its US counterpart, the Security Co-ordination Detachment.

The step-up in military activity has increased tensions between Pakistan and the US. A senior Pakistani government source said President Pervez Musharraf had given tacit support to Predator attacks on Al-Qaeda.

Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, said last week that the US would “partner [the Pakistanis] to the extent they want us to” to combat insurgents.

Pakistan lodged a strong diplomatic protest last week over what it claimed was an airstrike on a border post with Afghanistan that killed 11 of its troops.

The United States declined to accept this version of events. “It is still not exactly clear what happened,” said Stephen Hadley, the national security adviser.

North American Union agenda whether Canadians want it, or not, is a top priority for elite interests

Largest gathering of wealth and power ever assembled on American soil off-limits to American media

The Canadian | Jun 15, 2008

by Kurt Aldag, TrineDay Editorial Coordinator

Eugene, OREGON — A press corps recently scourged by former White House Press Secretary, Scott McCellan, as being “too deferential,” have once again bowed to pressures, and decided not to report the largest gathering of corporate, banking, governmental and royal power ever assembled on American soil.

Over 140 of the world’s most elite powerbrokers gathered in a high class hotel in Chantilly, Virgina, June 5-8, not far from this nation’s capital for the annual Bilderberg Conference. First held in 1954, the Bilderberg Group has, until recently, never even acknowledged its own existence and attendees, who even today, will not admit they attended or what they actually discussed.

In a rare moment of public relations, an anonymous group affiliated with the ultra-secretive Bilderbergers, called Friends of Bilderberg, issued a list of power elites invited to this year’s conference. The list included American Secretary of State Rice, Secretary of the Treasury Paulson, National Security Agency Director Alexander, World Bank president Zoellick, Fed Chairman Bernanke, NY Fed President Geithner, along with Henry Kissinger, David Rockefeller, George Schultz, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Holbrooke, as well as major European politicians, bankers and businessmen.

All the major corporations, the royal houses of Europe, and representatives of the media, such as Donald Graham of the Washington Post and Paul Gigot of PBS, were also invited. Yet, not one photo or word documenting the event showed up in the mainstream media, despite a howling blogosphere rife with rumours that Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama secretly attended.

The Friends of Bilderberg press release also states that the “meeting is private in order to encourage frank and open discussion” and that “all participants attend Bilderberg in a private and not an official capacity.” Under the Logan Act, passed in 1799 and last amended in 1994, it is a felony, punishable under federal law with imprisonment of up to three years, for any U.S. citizen to conduct foreign relations without authority. The attendance of U.S. citizens at annual Bilderberg Group Conference in an unofficial—meaning unauthorized — capacity raises the question of violation of federal law on a rather large scale, which should at the very least draw the mainstream media’s attention.

Daniel Estulin, author of The True Story of the Bilderberg Group (TrineDay; September, 2007), is recognized as the only reliable source of information on the meetings, attendees, and agendas of this secretive group of corporate titans, media moguls and political powers. For years, he has been tracking the movements, speeches, and political webs of Bilderberg members to glean what he can about their plans to re-invent the world in their own image. According to Estulin, and other printed sources, the funds for the first conferences were supplied by intelligence organization interests, and security at these conference are still handled by corresponding government agencies.

“The fact of this sinister conclave, as spooky as any midnight meeting of the KKK in a piney wood, was bound to get known to the world eventually,” says Estulin.” There is a queer parallel between Bilderberg´s secret meeting in Chantilly and a conference on Jekyll Island way back in 1908 in which the currency of the United States and of the world was manipulated — to what effect, whether for good or evil, opinions vary. There have been many excited versions of that secret meeting on Jekyll Island in 1908, but relatively few have ever heard of it at all. Most Americans are not aware of Bilderberg nor understand that the decisions taken at their secret confab affect the lives of the entire planet.”

Underlining the serious nature of the meeting, Estulin reports that Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haas spoke at the Bilderberg Conference Thursday, June 5, calling for the elimination of superpowers and sovereign nation states. Estulin quotes Haas as saying in his speech on International Non-Polarity, “The United States’ unipolar moment is over. International relations in the twenty-first century will be defined by nonpolarity. Power will be diffuse rather than concentrated, and the influence of nation-states will decline as that of non-state actors increases.”

Estulin has reported over the past few years that the true Eugenic-inspired purpose of these “private” and “informal” discussions, under the disguise of solving world problems, such as nuclear arms and terrorism, are in fact organized to:

— Dissolve national hegemonies and create a neo-fascist super state, spanning North America and Europe (in other words, Goodbye Canada);

— Centralize control of the people—eliminate the middle class, leaving only rulers, their helpers and workers;

— De-industrialize industrialized nations (except for computer and service industries) by moving industries to Third World, non-unionized countries;

— Reduce human populations around the globe;

— Centralize control of all education;

— Empower the United Nations to bring nations under a “New World Order”;

— Create and expand the western trading bloc throughout the western hemisphere to establish an “American Union” similar to the European Union (in order words, an American Empire ruling over continental North America, South America, Latin America, and the Caribbean/West Indies);

The True Story of the Bilderberg Group by Daniel Estulin exposes this powerful cabal as no one else can. Estulin spearheads a network of activists and journalists tracking their every move.

For more info, please contact:

Kurt Aldag, (800) 670-4372


Largest gathering of wealth and power ever assembled on American soil off-limits to American media

Dismayed Republicans emerge as Obamacons

Dismayed Republicans emerge as Barack Obama supporters

Sunday Times | Jun 15, 2008

by Sarah Baxter

WHAT do the daughter of Richard Nixon, a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan and the son of Milton Friedman, the monetarist economist, have in common? They are all Obamacons: conservatives, Republicans and free market champions who support Barack Obama, the Democratic party nominee, for president.

The Obama campaign has a sharp-eyed political operations team tasked with seeking out prominent endorsers “on both sides of the aisle”, according to a campaign official. It came tantalisingly close to securing one of the biggest names in politics when Colin Powell, secretary of state during President George W Bush’s first term in office, said last week that he might vote for Obama.

Powell said Obama and John McCain, his Republican opponent, “have the qualifications to be president, but both of them cannot be”. He added that he would neither vote for Obama because he was African-Ameri-can nor for McCain because of his military service but for the individual who “brings the best set of tools to the problems of 21st-century America . . . regardless of party”.

His argument was echoed by Peggy Noonan, a conservative commentator who wrote woundingly in The Wall Street Journal last week that: “Mr McCain is the old America, of course; Mr Obama the new.” Although she did not explicitly back either candidate, she said: “America is always looking forward, not back, it is always in search of the fresh and leaving the tired. That’s how we started.”

The long war in Iraq, the curtailment of civil liberties and enhancement of executive power in the guise of fighting terror and profligate public spending by Bush and Congress have turned off a number of high-profile Republicans. Richard Nixon’s daughter Julie Nixon Eisenhower, who is married to a grandson of President Dwight Eisenhower and co-chairs her father’s presidential library, has donated the maximum $2,300 to Obama’s campaign.

Susan Eisenhower, her sister-in-law, is another lifelong Republican and Obamacon. “I think everybody has different reasons but I think he’s seen as a fresh start for this country, and people like what they see,” she said.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll showed Obama pulling into a lead of 47%-41% over McCain – a significant margin but not enough to constitute a huge postvictory bounce after Hillary Clinton’s endorsement last week.

Obama officials predict more high-profile endorsements from Republicans in the weeks and months before election day on November 4. A prized catch would be Chuck Hagel, the Republican senator for Nebraska, who said last month he was “very upset” with his old friend, McCain.

Hagel, who is tipped as a vice-presidential running mate for Obama by some campaign insiders, spoke almost proprietorially last month about the Illinois senator’s willingness to negotiate with Iran. “I am confident that if Obama is elected president that is the approach we will take,” he said.

The Obamacons are not blindly loyal. They suspect Obama is too left-wing for their taste on matters of tax and spending and have listened with alarm to his antifree market criticism of Nafta, the North American Free Trade Agreement, in the course of an often-heated primary campaign. But their support is a useful riposte to the findings of the nonpartisan National Journal that Obama has the most liberal voting record in the Senate, a frequently repeated Republican line of attack.

Bruce Bartlett, the author of Impostor, an influential critique of Bush’s overspending and “betrayal” of Reagan’s legacy, said many conservatives were attracted as much by Obama’s temperament as his policies.

“He just seems like a thoughtful guy,” he said. “John McCain is not getting a lot of enthusiasm from Republicans – there is feigned enthusiasm, but there are not a lot of pure McCain Republicans out there.”

Professor David Friedman describes himself as a “classic liberal”, who had a lively intellectual upbringing as the son of Milton Friedman, Margaret Thatcher’s economic guru.

“I hope Obama wins,” he said. “President Bush has clearly been a disaster from the standpoint of libertarians and conservatives because he has presided over an astonishing rise in government spending.”

Friedman believes Obama’s economic advisers, such as Austan Goolsbee and Jason Fur-man, a new appointee who has defended the giant Wal-Mart superstore chain for supplying cheap goods to the poor, “have new ideas about what it means to be on the left in a free market economy”.

He suspects that Obama is sympathetic to school vouchers, a key demand for supporters of a free market in education, although the Illinois senator kept quiet about them while wooing Democratic activists in the primaries.

Obama was clearly “uncomfortable” about compelling people to buy health insurance, Friedman noted, unlike Clinton, who attacked him mercilessly on the subject in the course of the Democratic election campaign.

Friedman has also been appalled by the erosion of civil liberties under Bush and remains a harsh critic of the Iraq war. So was his father, who died in 2006 at the age of 94. “I was under the impression he was not very happy with the Bush administration and, like me, thought the Iraq war was a mistake,” he said.

Jeffrey Hart, a former speechwriter for Reagan and editor of National Review, a leading conservative journal, predicted that Obama could win the election “handily”. It was time to lift the “curse” that had befallen America after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865, he argued. “I don’t regard Bush as a conservative, but as a radical and an incompetent one at that,” Hart added. “Conservatism is fact-based, prudent and com-monsensical.”

Reflecting on Obama’s similarities to Reagan, he said, “Both men can give a public speech which comes over on television as if they are speaking directly to you.” Hillary Clinton, Hart added, lacked their charm: “She pushes people away.”

Brink Lindsey of the Cato Institute, a libertarian free market think tank in Washington, said he was “seriously thinking of pulling the lever” for Obama in November. Although he is lukewarm about some of his policies – particularly on free trade and tax and spending – he believes that “the post-partisan, postcultural war rhetoric of Barack Obama is deeply appealing”. There is also the question of pay-back for eight years of Republican mismanagement.

“There is a good chunk of people, like myself, who believe the Republicans ought to go down in flames,” he said. “They have made a complete hash of things and they deserve to pay.”

Bush ‘may convert to Catholicism’

Pope Benedict XVI receives a picture from U.S. President George W. Bush (L) after a meeting in the medieval St John’s Tower in the Vatican Gardens on June 13, 2008. Pope Benedict gave Bush an unprecedented welcome in the tranquillity of the Vatican Gardens on Friday before the U.S. president resumed his campaign to rally European support for sanctions against Iran. REUTERS/Filippo Monteforte/Pool (VATICAN)

Independent | Jun 14, 2008

By Peter Popham in Rome

President George Bush was given such a splendid welcome by Pope Benedict XVI yesterday that rumours started flying that the President, like Tony Blair before him, was on the verge of converting to Catholicism.

It was a Vatican visit such as no other head of state has ever enjoyed. Instead of greeting him, like all previous high-ranking visitors, in the papal library of the Apostolic Palace, the Pope took Mr Bush round the medieval St John’s Tower then gave him a tour of the Vatican gardens, culminating in a brief open-air concert by the Sistine Chapel Choir.

The Pope waited for the President at the entrance of the tower. As he arrived, the President was overheard gushing “What an honour” as the two men disappeared for a half-hour tête-à-tête, details of which have not been made public.

The special reception was seen as a return of favours for the magnificent party thrown for the Pope two months ago when he turned 81 during his US tour, attended by up to 9,000 guests. But yesterday the Vatican was seething at rumours that there was much more to it than protocol: George Bush,lifelong Methodist, was about to convert.

The notion was given extra mileage by the fact that the President’s brother Jeb, the former governor of Florida, converted to Catholicism on marrying his wife Columba, a Mexican.

The Vatican differs from the White House on immigration and the death penalty but on other issues including stem cell research, gay marriage and abortion there has been, as the Catholic daily L’Avvenire put it, “total harmony.”

Cardinal Pio Laghi, the papal envoy to the White House, said: “Bush believes in the values of the Church and his brother is a convert.”


A Catholic Wind in the White House
George W. Bush could well be the nation’s first Catholic president.
“Certainly much more Catholic than Kennedy.”

Ari Fleischer to tell D.C. Freemasons how he overcame his lisp

Scottish Rite to hear how former W.H. Press Secretary overcame childhood lisp and story of success in life. The gathering is to celebrate and promote the D.C. Scottish Rite Center for Childhood Language Disorders. First opened in 1989 and dedicated by then First Lady Barbara Bush.

PRWEB | Jun 14, 2008

The Freemasons of the Nation’s Capital as a joint function of The Grand Lodge of Free And Accepted Masons of the District of Columbia and The D.C. Scottish Rite announce that former White House Press Secretary and best-selling author Ari Fleischer is to speak at the D.C. Scottish Rite Center Auditorium, 7:30pm on June, 24th 2008.

The gathering is to celebrate and promote the D.C. Scottish Rite Center for Childhood Language Disorders. First opened in 1989 and dedicated by then First Lady Barbara Bush, the center has provided free care for children with language disabilities for 17 years. Care has increased to over 3,000 children annually from 2003 to present day. Scottish Rite Freemasonry provides this free health care nationwide and the D.C. Scottish Rite center specializes in helping those with stuttering. The center also provides bi-lingual education. Members of the press are invited to attend the speaking event as well as tour the center. The speaking event is scheduled for 30 minutes.

As the world’s oldest and largest fraternal society with more than half of its membership residing in the United States, Freemasonry has a rich history of involvement in the founding of America and her development for over two hundred and fifty years. Charity, specifically effecting health care of our community’s children, is just one of the many public faces of Freemasonry.

For more information, or if you would like to attend, please contact Matt Keller – Director of Communications at 202-631-6579.

Two gay priests ‘marry’ in London church

AFP | Jun 15, 2008

LONDON (AFP) — The Church of England said Saturday that two gay priests may have broken its rules, after a newspaper report that they exchanged vows and rings in Britain’s first ever church “wedding” ceremony.

The Sunday Telegraph said clerics Peter Cowell and David Lord “married” at one of England’s oldest churches — Saint Bartholomew the Great in London — last month, using one of the church’s most traditional wedding rites.

The couple had registered their legal civil partnership status before the ceremony.

The Church of England does not allow same-sex ceremonies in church, although some blessings have been carried out.

A Church of England spokesman told AFP they had “no reason” to believe that the ceremony did not take place but added: “What we seem to have here is a fairly serious breach of the rules by an individual or groups of individuals.”

News of the ceremony could not come at a worse time for the worldwide Anglican communion, which risks a damaging split because of member churches’ diverging attitudes towards homosexuality, particularly amongst clergy.

Conservative churches, mainly in Africa, have been odds with their more liberal, Western counterparts since the ordination of an openly gay US priest, Gene Robinson, as a bishop in 2003.

That led to a moratorium on further ordination of gay clergy but the subject is expected to be divisive issue at the Lambeth Conference of Bishops, chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, in the coming weeks.

The Sunday Telegraph quoted the Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Reverend Henry Orombi, as saying that the ceremony, performed by a vicar using the marriage liturgy with readings, hymns and a Eucharist, was “blasphemous”.

He called on Williams to take decisive action if the Anglican communion is not to “disintegrate”.

“What really shocks me is that this is happening in the Church of England that first brought the Gospel to us,” he told the newspaper.

The Church of England spokesman said he hoped the news would not affect relations between member churches, stressing: “The Church of England has not changed its rules (on the subject) at any stage.”

The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, in whose diocese the ceremony took place, was unavailable for comment, his spokesman told AFP.