United States News Digest
British Drug Pusher Soros Pushes Medical Marijuana
Feb. 26 (EIRNS)Bills legalizing so-called "medical" marijuana have been introduced into both chambers of the Illinois legislature: Senate Bill 1381 and House Bill 2514. In 2007, current senate president John J. Cullerton's medical marijuana bill was only narrowly defeated by a vote of 29-22, with eight senators not voting, or voting "present." Like a similar bill, which passed the New Jersey state Senate on Feb. 23 and a companion bill in the New Jersey Assembly, this legislation is being promoted by the Marijuana Policy Project and a host of other fronts for drug legalizer George Soros, as a foot in the door to legalizing marijuana and other drugs.
In California, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a San Francisco Democrat, has introduced A.B.390, which would make California the first state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. His bill would allow people over 21 to grow, buy, sell, and possess marijuana, which would be sold, regulated, and taxed like alcohol. The state would collect $50 an ounce from sellers, and growers would also be taxed.
U.S. Gun Supplier to Sinaloa Cartel Goes on Trial
Feb. 26 (EIRNS)Mexican authoritees have long complained that the United States under the Bush Administration did nothing to prevent the smuggling of weapons from the U.S. into Mexico to the drug cartels. Now, George Iknadosian, owner of X Caliber Guns, in Phoenix, Ariz., will go on trial on March 3 on charges that he sold hundreds of weapons, mostly AK 47 rifles, to smugglers, knowing they would send them to the Sinaloa cartel.
Last May, Mexican agents moved in on a safe house full of drug dealers. When the shooting was over, eight agents were dead. Among the guns the police recovered was an assault rifle traced back across the border to Iknadosian.
Thomas G. Mangan, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Phoenix, said, "We had a direct pipeline from Iknadosian to the Sinaloa cartel."
In 2008, the Mexican government seized 20,000 weapons from drug gangs, the majority bought in the United States. The ATF estimates that 90% of the weapons recovered in Mexico come from dealers north of the border.
Alabama House Calls for New Pecora Commission
Feb. 25 (EIRNS)The Alabama House of Representatives quickly passed a resolution calling on Congress to hold "Pecora" hearings on the abuses by the Wall Street financial institutions, by a voice vote on Feb. 17. Rep. Thomas Jackson (D), who is the chair of the House Agriculture Committee and the vice chair of the Health Committee, introduced the resolution. The resolution notes that economist Lyndon LaRouche, Jr., has called for Congress to convene hearings into the current financial crisis and that this call has been echoed by both historian Ron Chernow and columnist Frank Rich in the pages of the New York Times. The resolution, HJR 118, is a concurrent resolution which will be assigned to a committee in the Alabama Senate in the next few days.
Obama Wants To Be the 'High-Speed Rail President
Feb. 25 (EIRNS)"President Obama would like to be known as the high-speed rail President, and I think he can be," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was quoted as saying, in a story on NPR's "Morning Edition" on Feb. 24. LaHood has been charged with coming up with a strategic plan for allocating the $8 billion for high-speed rail in the Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is expected to be followed by another billion in the Federal budget to be presented tomorrow, and more thereafter.
Last week, Politico.com cited White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel saying that the $8 billion was inserted into the stimulus bill at the last minute at the insistence of President Obama. "The President wanted to have a signature issue in the bill his commitment for the future."
LaHood's strategic plan will be a prototype for a national infrastructure bank, says Politico, and it quoted Emanuel saying that the legislation gives LaHood the discretion to assign "priority to projects that support the development of intercity high-speed rail service."
Mueller Warns of Mumbai-Type Attacks in U.S.
Feb. 24 (EIRNS)Speaking at the New York Council on Foreign Relations on Feb. 23, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller said extremists "with large agendas and little money can use rudimentary weapons" to sow terror, raising the specter that the Mumbai attacks could embolden terrorists seeking to attack U.S. cities. The U.S., he said, was increasingly concerned about pockets of people around the world that identify with al-Qaeda and its ideology. "Some may have little or no actual contact with al-Qaeda. Yet fringe organizations can quickly gain broader aspirations and appeal."
Could Mueller be referring to the real threat to the U.S., identified from some circles in the CIA as coming from Great Britain? Is he aware of EIR's definitive analysis of the British source of the Mumbai attacks?
On Feb. 7, the Daily Telegraph reported Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer who has advised President Obama, telling the Sunday Telegraph: "The British Pakistani community is recognised as probably al Qaeda's best mechanism for launching an attack against North America." Explaining the increase in CIA activity inside Britain over the past month, Riedel added: "In the aftermath of the Mumbai attack the US and the UK intelligence services now have to regard Lashkar e Taiba as just as serious a threat to both of our countries as al Qaeda. They have a much more extensive base among Pakistani Diaspora communities in the UK than al Qaeda." One former intelligence officer who does contract work for the CIA dismissed Britain as a "swamp" of jihadis.
EIR has identified the role of British intelligence, implemented through British Muslims, in the Nov. 26-29 attack in Mumbai.
'Il Duce' Bloomberg Tries To Bribe His Way onto a Ballot Line
Feb. 23 (EIRNS)New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is desperate to get on a recognized party's ballot line for the November mayoral election. Since he has ticked off every party for sale in town, he's having to grovel, a posture he doesn't often adopt, in public anyway.
The Mayor could form his own party, but that would put him way off to the right on the ballot, in a section with the Socialist Workers and the Marijuana Reform parties.
Instead, the ex-Democrat, ex-Republican, and now ex-Independent is trying to cajole a sufficient bloc of the pols he has alienated to get his name on the Republican, Independence, or Working Family Party line. A recent article in the New York Daily News notes that, since August, Bloomberg has given $1.2 million to the Independence Party, even more than the $878,000 he gave to the Republicans.
No candidate, says the Feb. 19 New York Times, has successfully run for mayor without being on the ballot under the banner of an established political party.