PoliticalEssays

August 26, 2007

New Investigation

Filed under: The Superpower — jaspar @ 12:57 pm

New Investigation

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Sunday August 26, 2007
POLITICAL ESSAYS
New Investigation
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I've been closely reading the redacted Executive Summary of
the OIG Report on CIA Accountability With Respect to the
9/11 Attacks.  Not the report in full, mind you, but only
the edited version of the first section of the report. The
rest of the report is still top secret.  The full report's
dated June 2005.
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OIG = CIA's Office of Inspector General.
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The Senate/House intelligence committees that served up the
9/11 Joint Inquiry Report asked the OIG to make "Whatever
additional investigations were nessary" to find out which
among the CIA's employees "should be held accountable for
failure to perform" satisfactorily before 9/11.
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The OIG therefore assembled an Accountability Review Team.
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The main conclusion of the Team: "Concerning certain issues
...the Agency and its officers did not discharge their re-
sponsibilities in a satisfactory manner."
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Not just some of its employees, but the Agency itself did
not perform as expected!
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To clarify:
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"The Team found no instance in which an employee violated
the law, and none of the errors discussed herein involves
misconduct."
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Rather, the Team focused on "areas where individuals did not
...act 'in accordance with a reasonable level of profession-
alism, skill, and diligence,'" as laid down in CIA regs.
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Beyond individuals, however, "The findings of greatest con-
cern are those that identify systemic problems...."
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Systemic?  Not the same as systematic.
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Systemic  problems?  Not chance glictches.  Rather, disorders
affecting the whole body or significant parts of it.
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As the Team put it: "problems where the Agency's programs
or processes did not work as they should have," adding:
"the fact that failures were systemic should not absolve
responsible officials from accountability."
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Well, that's the big picture.  How about specifics?  Here's
eight mentioned in the 19-page Executive Summary.
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1
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"The Team recommends that an Accountability Board review
the performance of [the CIA's] Executive Director, the
Deputy Director of Operations, and the Chief of CTC [the
Counterterrorist Center] during the years prior to 9/11
regarding their management of the Agency's counterterrorism
financial resources, including specifically their redirec-
tion of funds from counterterrism programs to other priori-
ties."
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2
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"The Team recommends that an Accountability Board review
the performance of the [deleted] and [deleted] for failure
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to provide proper oversight and guidance to their officers;
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to coordinate effectively with other units;
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and to allocate the workload to ensure that KSM [Khalid
Shaykh Muhammed] was being covered appropriately."
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3
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"The Team also recommends that an Accountability Board
review the performance of the Chief of CTC for failure to
ensure that CTC units worked in a coordinated, effective
manner against KSM."
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4
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"...the Team recommends that an Accountability Board review
the performance of the [deleted] for failure to produce any
[deleted] coverage of Khalid Shaykh Muhammed from 1997 to
2001."
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5
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"The Review Team recommends that an Accountability Board re-
view the performance of the two Chiefs of CTC concerning
their leadership and management oversight of the watchlisting
program."
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6
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"The Team recommends that an Accountability Board review the
performance of [deleted] for failing to ensure that someone
in the [Usama bin Laden virtual] Station informed the FBI
and took appropriate operational action regarding [Nawaf]
al-Hazmi in March 2000.
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In addition, the Team recommends that the Accountability
Board assess the performance of the latter three managers
[in deleted above] for failing to ensure prompt action rele-
vant to al-Hazmi and [Khalid] al-Mindhar during several
later opportunities between March 2000 and August 2001."
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7
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"The Team recommends that an Accountability Board review
the performance of the two chiefs of CTC during the years
before 9/11 concerning their oversight of the Center's
practices in management of the detailee program."
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Detailee?  Someone assigned by their reguler unit to tem-
porary duty at another unit.
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Detailee program?  "CTC and UBL Station had on their ros-
ters detailees from many different agencies": FBI, NSA,
FAA, State Department, etc.
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8
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"The Team recommends that an Accountability Board review
the performance of the Chiefs of the CTC for their failure
to detail officers to NSA on a consistent, full-time basis
to exploit this material [raw SIGINT (signals intelligence)
transcripts] in the years before 9/11."
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OIG recommended the CIA Director set up an Accountability
Board "made up of individuals who are not employees of the
Agency...."  Oh, dear!
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So Cheney sent in Porter Goss to take Tenet's place.
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Under the August 22d headline "CIA Missed Chances to Tackle
al-Qaida," AP reports:
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"In October 2005, Goss rejected the recommendation for the
inquiry boards." 
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Among Cheney's worries: Under pressure, one of the employees
being investigated might break and spill the beans about al-
Qaeda being nothing more than an invention to rile up the
homeland.
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After *one part* of the 2005 OIG report was finally released,
a chorus of CIA (Hayden) and ex-CIA (Tenet, Scheuer) tried to
turn that one part upside-down and inside-out.
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Scheuer?  He was chief of the UBL virtual station at the CTC.
He writes in the August 24th Washington Times:  "Because of
the [one part of the OIG] report, the CIA now stands as not
only the U.S. government's most successful counterterrorism
entity, but also its most honest."  Really!
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If anything's wrong, he writes, it's the fault of "Tenet and
his team" --"that gang of fools."
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Tenet?
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In his August 21st statement on that one part of the OIG re-
port, he writes of developing "innovative technologies to deal
with an illusive target."  He wished to say: an elusive, hard-
to-track target; but he knew al-Qaeda is an illusion invented
to make fools of the homelanders.  So out popped "illusive"
without his being aware of his *confession.*
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Hayden?  He frankly confesses he didn't want even one part of
the OIG report to get out.
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No one, so far as I know, has made the simplest demand:
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PUBLICATION OF *ALL* OF THE FULL REPORT
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OIG:
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OIG1
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or
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OIG2
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AP:
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AP
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Scheuer:
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Sch
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Tenet:
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Ten
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Hayden:
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Hay
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"Factionalism At The Top" essays:
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Essay1
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Essay2
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Essay3
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"Timing Treason" essay:
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Essay4
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August 19, 2007

The Exchange

Filed under: The Superpower — jaspar @ 1:41 pm

</p> <p><title>The Exchange


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Saturday August 18, 2007
POLITICAL ESSAYS
The Exchange
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Under the August 10th headline "A New Kind of Bank Run Tests
Old Safeguards," the NY Times reports:
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"...now the [bank] runs are back — and this time the targets
are not banks but the securities that have replaced them as
the prime generators of credit in the new financial system."
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New financial system?
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"...a new financial architecture emerged in the last decade
--one that relied more on securities and less on banks as in-
termediaries."
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Emerged in the last decade?
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*Took over* in the last decade.  (The beginings go way back.)
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The idea behind it all: avoid, duh, over-regulation.
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It's "based upon the premise that hard-and-fast rules had
no place in the environment of war, which was the realm  of
human emotion, friction, chance and uncertainty."  (Wikiped-
ia article on kinds of regulation in war.)
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Returning to the newsstory--
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"At the heart of the new system was a decision [!] to have
loans financed directly by investors, rather than indirectly
by bank depositors.
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Investors, ranging from hedge funds to wealthy individuals,
had confidence in the arrangement because most of the securi-
ties were blessed as very safe by the bond rating agencies
...."
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The ultimate result of such blessings?
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"...a freezing up of markets for many securities that, it
turns out, were critical to the free flowing of credit [in
general]."
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Another aspect of the new financial system?
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"Loans could be arranged by nonbanks, not subject to bank
regulators,
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and the regulators were hesitant to impose rules that would
not apply to all lenders."
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Hesitant?  It i$$ to laugh.
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This Times article and a follow-up article --both by Floyd
Norris-- are, so far as I know, the only informative news-
stories out there about the unregulated meltdown.
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For more about the "new" unregulated system, start at wiki-
pedia's "Structured finance" page.  There's plenty of fol-
low-on pages.
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Oh, yes.  Under the August 14th headline "Another Market
For Unregistered Trades," AP reports:
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"A group of Wall Street titans is creating a rival venue...
to trade the stocks of companies that don't want the scru-
tiny and regulatory burdens of going public."
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NYT 1:
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NYT1
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Wiki 1:
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Wiki1
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NYT 2:
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NYT2
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Wiki 2:
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Wiki2
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AP:
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AP
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August 16, 2007

Sudden Abrogation – Part 2

Filed under: The Superpower — jaspar @ 1:18 pm

</p> <p><title>Sudden Abrogation – Part 2


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Thursday August 16, 2007
POLITICAL ESSAYS
Sudden Abrogation - Part 2
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From my original June 14th essay:
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{start}
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Under the June 12, 2007 headline "Greenspan Not Worried
Chinese Will Dump Treasuries," Reuters reports:
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"Greenspan played down the prospect that Chinese authorities
would sell Treasuries in earnest, forcing a sharp spike in
U.S. interest rates."
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"Still, Greenspan said the reason such a withdrawal was un-
likely was that China would not have anyone to sell the
securities to, hardly the sort of comfort jittery bond in-
vestors were seeking."
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From a purely practical point of view--
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Not have anyone to sell Treasuries to?  Those securities are
worthless!
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{end}
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Under the August 13th headline "Irresponsible Threats," the
NY times editorializes:
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"...efforts to diversify its investments into assets beyond
American Treasury bonds would likely, and rightly, be blocked
if China were seen to use them to pursue agendas other than
achieving better returns."
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Blocked?
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From my October 11, 2006 "A Helping Hand" essay:
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"...The Superpower will not tolerate any attempt by Japan's
rulers to assert real independence.
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Japan's rulers should keep in mind that The Superpower can
suddenly abrogate its external debt!"
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Its external debt?  Or any part of it --Japanese, Chinese,
Saudi, it matters not.
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Of course this Greenspan-NY Times threat presupposes:
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(a) it will have no effect on other countries;
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(b) the Chinese have not already diversified.
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Not already diversified?
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Under the August 6th headline "Excerpts from the Transcript
of the Meeting with Cabinet Members," kremlin.ru reports:
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PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: You know there are fears associa-
ted with unfavourable conditions in certain markets, inclu-
ding in North American markets.  How will this affect our
gold and currency reserves and the Stabilisation Fund?
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ALEKSEI KUDRIN: The rules that govern the Stabilisation Fund
provide that the Stabilisation Fund is constructed so as to
best protect itself and to ensure a timely utilisation of a
number of currencies in the future.
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It will therefore protect the funds it contains from crises
associated with a given currency or the collapse of certain
currencies.
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For example, we made the decision to manage our Fund in the
following way:
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45 percent of our stock is kept as assets or securities that
are denominated in U.S. dollars,
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45 percent in securities denominated in euros,
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and 10 percent in pounds sterling.
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And because the dollar is falling against the euro we are
benefiting from the fact that a significant portion of our
Fund is denominated in euros.
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The Superpower is not nearly as clever as it imagines.
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Essay 1:
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Essay1
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NYT:
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NYT
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Essay 2:
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Essay2
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Kremlin:
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Kremlin
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August 12, 2007

Not Related

Filed under: The Superpower — jaspar @ 5:48 pm

</p> <p><title>Not Related


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Saturday August 11, 2007
POLITICAL ESSAYS
Not Related
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NO DRINKING
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Under the July 18th headline "Buildings Evacuated After Mid-
town Explosion," the NY Times reported:
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“A steam explosion on East 41 Street from Third and Lexing-
ton Avenue is not terrorist-related,” said Paul J. Browne, a
police spokesman."
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NO SMOKING
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Under the same-date headline, "Steam Pipe Blast Causes Scare
in NYC," AP reports:
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"The NYPD said it does not appear to be terrorism-related."
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It?  "...a suspected [!] steam explosion...."
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NO SEX
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Under the same-date headline "NYC Explosion Caused By Steam,
Not Terrorism," the Washington Post reported:
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"New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said the
explosion was not related to terrorism";
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while quoting a mud-besplattered Manhattan investment banker:
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"Everybody was a bit confused; everybody obviously thought of
9/11."
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NO BREATHING
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Under an August 8th headline "Repair Job Ruled Out In Steam
Pipe Blast," AP reports:
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(a) "...the utility said an earlier shoddy repair job on the
pipeline didn't cause the explosion."
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(b) "Inspections suggested the explosion was spontaneous,
utility officials said."
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NYT:
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NYT
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AP1:
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AP1
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WaPo:
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WaPo
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AP2:
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AP2
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August 9, 2007

Polished Rice Pakistan-style

Filed under: Uncategorized — jaspar @ 2:36 pm

Polished Rice Pakistan-style


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Thursday August 9, 2007
POLITICAL ESSAYS
Polished Rice Pakistan-style
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Under the August 8th headline "Political Turmoil In Pakistan
Deepens," AP reports the turmoil:
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"...deepened Thursday when the government raised the possibil-
ity that...Musharraf might impose a state of emergency...."
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That's from the newsstory's first paragraph.
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Way down in the newsstory at paragraph 23 we discover why the
turmoil deepened:
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"Secretary of State...Rice spoke with Musharraf by phone for
more than 15 minutes in the early hours of Thursday...."
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A principal clause of The Superpower's Declaration of World
$lavery:
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THERE SHALL BE NO PEACE EVER AGAIN, ANYWHERE!
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`

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AP
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The above URL now brings up a partially polished newsstory
headlined "Musharraf Decides Against Emergency."
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August 7, 2007

Unpromising Promise

Filed under: The Superpower — jaspar @ 11:52 pm

Unpromising Promise


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Sunday July 29, 2007
POLITICAL ESSAYS
Unpromising Promise
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Under the August 6th headline "Will Bush Keep Pledge To Re-
build Bridge?" AP reports "For New Orleans residents, the
scene was all too familiar: President Bush, touring the site
of the collapsed...bridge in Minneapolis, promising...."
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In N O the suface fact is "Major reconstruction work has yet
to begin..., and city officials are still drafting a $1.1
billion recovery plan."
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Surface fact?
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Under the same-date headline "In New Orleans, Water System
At Risk," AP reports "Deep underground, an unseen crisis is
threatening New Orleans' already troubled recovery."
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The situation:
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(a) "The city Sewerage & Water Board says at least [!] 50
million gallons of water a day are now being lost to leaks,
or 2 1/2 times pre-Katrina levels."
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(b)
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"When Katrina struck..., 80 percent of New Orleans was in-
undated.  The surge of water caused water, sewer and drain-
age lines below the streets to shift, loosening joints and
causing countless breaks.  The salt water also began corro-
ding the steel pipes."
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(c)
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"...FEMA says that under federal law, it only has to pay to
bring the system back up to its pre-Katrina level."
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In Minneapolis, The Liar promised what?
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"...to cut red tape and rebuild as quickly as possible."
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AP 1:
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AP1
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AP 2:
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AP2
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