Archive for August 9th, 2007

Well – he’s learning from the best…….

The political crisis in Pakistan deepened last night as President Musharraf was poised to impose a state of emergency, a move that would grant him sweeping powers.

First indications of the clampdown came when General Musharraf cancelled a visit to Kabul, where he was due to address a joint jirga (council) of Pakistani and Afghan tribal elders. Officials denied reports that the President had decided to declare a state of emergency, but other sources said that an announcement was imminent.

General Musharraf has convened a meeting today of Cabinet ministers, the Attorney-General and leaders of the ruling party to finalise his plans.

“These are only unconfirmed reports, although the possibility of imposing emergency cannot be ruled out and has recently been discussed, keeping in mind some external and internal threats and the law-and-order situation,” Tariq Azim Khan, the Deputy Information Minister, said.

Emergency rule would allow General Musharraf, who seized power in a coup in 1999, to extend the tenure of the national and provincial assemblies by 12 months and to delay elections that are due at the end of the year.

The Government could explain such a step by citing a recent spate of suicide attacks across the country and the growing security threat posed by Islamist militants allied to the Taleban and al-Qaeda.

From The Times 

One day while I was in a bunker in Vietnam, a sniper round went over my head. The person who fired that weapon was not a terrorist, a rebel, an extremist, or a so-called insurgent. The Vietnamese individual who tried to kill me was a citizen of Vietnam, who did not want me in his country. This truth escapes millions. – Mike Hastie, U.S. Army Medic – Vietnam 1970-71

Check out The Cat’s Blog for the article.

Let’s see…we wonder what the 162,000+ soldiers in the Middle East would choose – to continue their tours of duty or work on a Presidential campaign………..???

From USA Today:

At an “Ask Mitt Anything” forum this morning in Bettendorf, Iowa, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney was quizzed about whether any of his five sons are serving in the U.S. military.

USA TODAY’s Susan Page, who was there, reports that this was his response:

“The good news is, we have a volunteer Army and that’s the way we’re going to keep it. My sons are adults. They’ve chosen not to serve in the military in active duty and I respect their decision in that regard. … And one of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I’d be a great president.”

Romney then spoke about how his son Josh and his family are driving across Iowa in a recreational vehicle to help promote the campaign.

The questioner, 41-year-old Rachel Griffiths of Milan, Ill., told Susan later that she is not a Republican and is in fact a member of a “Progressive Action for the Common Good.”

Asked if she was satisfied by Romney’s answer, Griffiths said:

“Of course not. He told me the way his sons are showing support for the military of our nation is to buy a Winnebago and tour across Iowa and help him get elected.”

Maybe one of the prerequisites for being the commander-in-chief and sending kids off to war should be sending your children as well.  Then when you look soulfully at the camera and announce how you can feel the pain of the families of the soldiers – you’d actually be telling the truth!

To quote this very long and very important post – “…what was a dual nationality cat like Rabbi Zakheim doing in charge of the Pentagon’s money supply? Forget that, what is Chertoff, another dual nationality cat doing in charge of Homeland Security?

Take some time and read it all at Smoking Mirrors

By Manny Badillo – Victim’s Family Member – August 7, 2007

BROOKLYN, NY — Firefighter John Schroeder, assigned to Engine Company 10 directly across the street from the World Trade Center complex, holds back tears and describes his first-hand experience on Sept. 11th. His story directly contradicts many aspect of the National Commission on Terrorist attacks though corroborates many other eyewitness testimony. Standing outside the firehouse with my buddies, we were talking about how beautiful the day was. Then just like that, our lives changed forever. Some of those guys I would never see again.”

In this exclusive interview, Firefighter Schroeder recollects in great detail how he was one of the first firefighters to rush to the complex. “We first assembled on West Street, where we saw someone burnt beyond recognition. We were like ‘What is going on here?’ and then went straight into the Marriot building” From there, Firefighter Schroeder made his way to the lobby of the North Tower. “It looked like a bomb went off, and we started making our way up the stairs to rescue as many people as we could.”

As they were making there way up the floors, Firefighter Schroeder heard a huge explosion. “The elevators just blew right out. We couldn’t believe it. The plane hits 80 floors up but the elevators explode at least five minutes later? It was unreal.”

Firefighter Schroeder made it all the way up to the 23rd floor before barely hearing on the failing radios that another plane was coming in. That plane would hit the South Tower though for some reason “We were tossed like a rag doll by another explosion in our building. People were making there way down the stairwells burnt like you couldn’t believe. We were all shocked because it seemed as if there was fire everywhere, on so many floors. It just didn’t make sense”.

The stairwells were black, and at that point, firefighters were making the decision to head back down stairs. In making there way down to the third floor, they were not able to find an exit. “The lobby was like a war zone. We could not find our way out. Then, all of a sudden, one of the maintenance workers had a key that opened a back door that got us out of there. He saved my life.” That worker was Willie Rodriguez. “I want to thank him from the bottom of my heart. (Learn more about William Rodriquez.)

Firefighter Schroeder today has lost 40% of his lung capacity. “We haven’t been treated properly at all. From the day of the attack, our physical and mental health has deteriorated and it seems as if no one cares. To lose friends, to have to recover their bodies in the days after, to be offered no protections against that horrific-smelling dust that was everywhere even though the government said the air was OK to breathe is just not right.” Some of Firefighter’s Schroeder’s best friends have gotten out of the FDNY altogether while others accepted money and trips to help. “I stayed right here and did the right thing and now it feels as if I’m suffering the most. Where is our government to help the one’s with the toughest jobs on that day and the days after?”

John Schroeder, we want to thank you for being as brave as your job requires in speaking out about your experiences on Sept/ 11th. You have set the historical record straight by explaining your story. This Nation is forever grateful to you as your account will help to save and protect many more lives.

Today, tens of thousands of such 9/11 first responders are in dire need of medical care due to the environmental conditions after the 3 towers imploded at Ground Zero. Diagnosed with cancers and debilitating respiratory illnesses, these true American heroes have been denied the financial benefits required to save their lives. While suffering and deteriorating, their health crisis has been ignored by state and federal policy. Many have already died.

Composed of family members, friends and fellow Americans of individuals who perished on that fateful day, We are Change will fight to raise awareness and consciousness to the first responder’s illnesses and hardships. We are determined to put a face to the thousands of forgotten victims of the 9/11 attacks 6 years later.

Go to We Are Change and watch the videos – you will be changed.


(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many people in the United States feel their country is less safe now than six years ago when, it was the target of a major terrorist attack, according to a poll by Hart/Newhouse released by The Wall Street Journal and NBC News. 37 per cent of respondents feel the U.S. is more vulnerable today, up 14 points since September.

Conversely, 34 per cent of respondents think the U.S. is safer now—down eight points in 10 months—and 27 per cent believe the country is about as safe.

Al-Qaeda operatives hijacked and crashed four airplanes in the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001, killing nearly 3,000 people. In July 2004, the federal commission that investigated the events of 9/11 concluded that “none of the measures adopted by the U.S. government from 1998 to 2001 disturbed or even delayed the progress of the al-Qaeda plot” and pointed out government failures of “imagination, policy, capabilities, and management.”

In August 2006, London’s Metropolitan Police Service announced that more than 20 people had been arrested in connection with an alleged terrorist plot. According to the authorities, a group planned to destroy airplanes flying from Britain to the U.S. by detonating bombs manufactured with materials that could be brought on board as part of a passenger’s carry-on luggage.

Earlier this month, homeland security secretary Michael Chertoff discussed last year’s scheme, saying, “I think that the plot, in terms of its intent, was looking at devastation on a scale that would have rivalled 9/11. If they had succeeded in bringing liquid explosives on seven or eight aircraft, there could have been thousands of lives lost and an enormous economic impact with devastating consequences for international air travel.”

Polling Data

Do you think that, as a country, we are more safe, about as safe, or less safe than we were before the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001?

  Jul. 2007 Sept. 2006 Sept. 2005
More safe 34% 42% 31%
About as safe 27% 32% 37%
Less safe 37% 23% 31%
Not sure 2% 3% 1%

Source: Hart/Newhouse / The Wall Street Journal / NBC News
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,005 American adults, conducted from Jul. 27 to Jul. 30, 2007. Margin of error is 3.1 per cent.

From Shannon Spears’ blog – Lookin’ Fer Learnin’