United States News Digest
U.S.-Mexico Cooperation Pressed in Congress
March 13 (EIRNS)Administration witnesses and Congressmen alike emphasized at yesterday's Homeland Security Border, Maritime and Global Terrorism Subcommittee hearing on violence on the U.S.-Mexican border, that the U.S. must provide Mexico what help it needs for the war against the drug cartels. And that means the Federal government must shut down the arms-trafficking and cash smuggling from inside the United States, upon which the drug cartels feed.
That tone was markedly different than any such discussions during the Bush era.
Five officials from the Department of Homeland Security with operational responsibility for the border, testified that Mexican official agencies "are hungry" for cooperation with their U.S. counterparts. The witnesses (including holdovers from the Bush Administration) sounded an optimistic note that with the new Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, there will finally be action.
While no one raised the central strategic issue that both nations face a new opium war run by the British Empire, near the end of the hearing, Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.), the ranking member of the subcommittee, went after legalization as folly, citing the London Economist's recent piece advocating that policy, which he warned will have a terrible impact on drug use. The Economist argued that legalization would reduce law enforcement needs, he said, but any country which has backed off from law enforcement has found itself in a much deeper problem.
Obama Repeatedly Invokes Image of Lincoln
Mar. 13 (EIRNS)Three times this week, President Barack Obama invoked the image of Abraham Lincoln as a President who, despite facing an immediate existential crisis, was oriented towards America's long-term future.
* Yesterday, in a speech to the Business Roundtable, defending his economic policy, Obama said there are times in American history when "even basic financial security has escaped far too many of our citizens. And at these moments, government has stepped in not to supplant private enterprise, but to catalyze it.... That's why we laid down railroads and highways to spur commerce and industry, to stitch this nation together. That's why even in the midst of Civil War, Lincoln launched a transcontinental railway and land grant colleges and the National Academy of Sciences."
* On the same day, Obama delivered a speech at the National Defense University, on the occasion of the dedication of a new academic building, Lincoln Hall. "Today, it is my privilege to join you in dedicating this building to the memory of President Abraham Lincoln. We know, of course, that there are many monuments to Lincoln's memory across this country. His words are written into stately walls, and his image is printed on our currency. His story is taught in our schools, and his name is synonymous with freedom. You and I live in the Union that he saved, and we inherited the progress that he made possible. Yet, despite this far-reaching legacy, it is stillto quote the man himself'altogether fitting and proper'that we should set aside this ground and dedicate this hall in his memory, because Lincoln's Presidency was characterized by war, even as his ambition was a just and lasting peace."
* On March 10, Obama spoke to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, on the topic of education. At the outset he talked about the responsibility of seeing the nation through the current difficult times: "I know there are some who believe we can only handle one challenge at a time. And they forget that Lincoln helped lay down the transcontinental railroad and passed the Homestead Act and created the National Academy of Sciences in the midst of Civil War. Likewise, President Roosevelt didn't have the luxury of choosing between ending a depression and fighting a war; he had to do both. President Kennedy didn't have the luxury of choosing between civil rights and sending us to the Moon. And we don't have the luxury of choosing between getting our economy moving now and rebuilding it over the long term."
Pelosi Was Biggest Opponent of Chas Freeman
March 12 (EIRNS)The Washington Post's lead editorial today names House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the "most formidable critic" in preventing Chas Freeman from accepting his appointment to head the U.S. Defense Intelligence Council under Director of National Intelligence Adm. Dennis Blair. The British Empire-loving Post's editorial reports that Pelosi was "incensed by [Freeman's] position on dissent in China." Freeman's appointment would have brought a non-British viewpoint to the U.S. intelligence establishment. David Broder's column in the same issue of the Post laments the loss of Freeman's independent viewpoint, and declares, "All of this is now gone, because, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Blair, Freeman's views are 'beyond the pale.'"
In addition to being a dupe of the British, said Lyndon LaRouche, Pelosi is an even more boring public speaker than either Gordon Brown or Prince Charles. Pelosi has tremendous vanity, even though she has nothing to be vain about. She doesn't have the grounds for it," LaRouche said. "She is Vanity Unfair."
Freeman withdrew from his appointment on March 10, and issued a devastating attack on the pro-Israel lobby, for trying to make itself the sole arbiter of American policy in the Middle East, especially with regard to Iran. It is apparent that we Americans cannot any longer conduct a serious public discussion or exercise independent judgment about matters of great importance to our country as well as to our allies and friends, Freeman wrote.
Israeli Spying in U.S. Bigger Than Ever
March 11 (EIRNS)The story of Israeli spying inside the United States, which EIR broke in late 2001, is back, and it's bigger than ever, due to the suppression of any investigation of these espionage operations under the Bush-Cheney Administration. It now turns out that Israeli firms and intelligence agencies were among the biggest beneficiaries of the Bush-Cheney illegal domestic wiretap scheme known as the Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP). EIR has long contended that the TSP was much bigger than has so far been revealed; the new revelations help to fill out this picture.
The latest disclosures, plus elaboration of the Israeli spy operations which EIR has reported since the late 1990s, are largely contained in two sources: the third book of investigator James Bamford's trilogy on the National Security Agency (NSA), published last October, The Shadow Factory, and an upcoming book on Israeli spying by Christopher Ketcham.
The most significant new information centers on the Israeli role in post-9/11 domestic spying. Israeli-founded firms provide the interface between U.S. telecom traffic and the NSA: Narus in the case of AT&T, and Verint (formerly Comverse) for Verizon; they provide the "splitters" which route a copy of all telecommunications traffic to the NSA and presumably, also to Israel. Bamford says that Narus and Verint maintain close ties to the Mossad, Shin Bet, and the Israeli Defense Forces' Unit 8200 (Israel's equivalent to the NSA), and he notes: "Virtually the entire US telecommunications system is bugged by companies with possible ties to Israel's eavesdropping agency." Bamford describes a third Israeli firm, NICE Systems, as "a major eavesdropper in the US," which showed up in investigations of the Israeli "art students" spy network in 2000-01.
Also still in the game is Amdocs, profiled by EIR in 2001, which provides telephone billing records for at least 90% of the phone calls dialed in the United States. Using data-mining techniques, profilers can discover patterns of telephone usage, which is often more important than listening to the calls themselves. As EIR had earlier reported, Amdocs and other Israeli firms were also implicated in electronic penetration and surveillance of the Clinton White House.