War pimp alert: Colombia to accuse Chavez before international court

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(CNN) — Colombian President Alvaro Uribe said Tuesday that he will seek Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s denunciation in international court for financing a terrorist group.

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President Bush vowed to stand by Colombia and criticized Venezuela’s “provocative maneuvers.”
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Camilo Ospina, Colombia’s ambassador to the United Nations, will go before the International Criminal Court to accuse Chavez of “supporting and financing genocides,” Uribe told reporters.

The Colombian leader alleged Monday that correspondence taken from computers seized in last weekend’s military raid into Ecuador showed Chavez had given $300 million to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

Colombia’s largest rebel group, known by the Spanish acronym FARC, has sought to overthrow the government for more than 40 years. The United States and European Union consider the FARC a terrorist organization. Video Watch tension build in South America »

Raul Reyes, a FARC leader, was killed in Saturday’s raid.

Venezuelan officials have denied Colombia’s allegations.

Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa severed diplomatic ties with Colombia on Monday and moved troops toward the Colombia border, as did Venezuela. Map »

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Oooh Yuk

A Manchurian Candidate in the White House?

By DAVE LINDORFFWith a viral campaign underway via email, right-wing radio, and on the street suggesting that Barack Obama is a black “Manchurian Candidate,” secretly trained as a Muslim fanatic who will insinuate himself into the White House, thence to undermine all that we hold dear, perhaps it is time to look at the Manchurian Candidate we already have in the White House, who, together with his handler over in Blair House, has pretty much done all the damage already.

George Bush came to office in 2001 promising a new era of integrity, civility and “compassionate conservatism,” an era of humble American foreign policy, and a bi-partisan approach to government.

What did we actually get?

Once in office, this chameleon president almost immediately set out to embroil the country in a major war in the Middle East against the nation of Iraq. The game plan was laid out at the president’s first National Security Council meeting, attended by Vice President Dick Cheney (the man holding Bush’s controller), Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, and Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neal (who later spilled the beans about the session).

Bush also famously ignored all warnings about the imminent attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. How much he and the rest of the administration knew about that attack in advance, or whether elements within the administration may have even helped it along, remains the subject of considerable interest and investigation and may never be answered, but it is clear that there were ample warnings about it, and he did nothing-even rudely blowing off a briefer who tried to alert him to the danger. Moreover, it is known that Israeli Mossad agents (who we know have close ties to both the US intelligence apparatus and to the Neocons who infest the Bush White House) did indeed have advance knowledge, and were set up across New York Harbor with a video camera to tape the attack on the Twin Towers (they were subsequently arrested by New Jersey police, only to be later released and sent back to Israel, through intercession by the US government). As well, we know that unidentified people made a killing by placing negative bets, called “puts,” on the stocks, several days before 9-11, of the two airlines that were hijacked, American and United, and of two investment banks that would be seriously hurt by the building collapses, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. (The puts were placed through an investment bank, Alex Brown, which until a year earlier had been headed by a man who moved over to become the number three person in the CIA.) It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the Bush/Cheney administration, at a minimum, wanted an attack on American soil, and a national disaster that would put the country on a war footing.

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US president’s brother visits Paraguay president as guest of Moon-backed group

ASUNCION, Parguay: Neil Bush, younger brother of U.S. President George W. Bush, called on Paraguay’s president as the guest of a business federation allied with the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church.

A presidential press office source, who spoke on condition of not being named, confirmed the younger Bush met President Nicanor Duarte on Thursday along with a delegation from the Universal Peace Federation, a group associated with Moon.

Duarte had no statement on the meeting.

Antonio Betancourt, a spokesman for the federation, said that Bush visited Duarte and later met with an opposition congressional leader, Sen. Miguel Abdon Saguier, and that both expressed interest in the Bush family and discussed local matters.

Betancourt said Bush later attended a leadership seminar sponsored by the federation.

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Bush Won’t Let Facts Stand in the Way of Regime Change in Iran

James Harris: This is Truthdig. James Harris sitting down with Scott Ritter, former chief weapons inspector in Iraq. And today we’re talking about the latest report from the National Intelligence Estimate. The report says that Iran is not, as of mid-July, in the nuclear weapons business. Scott Ritter — I think, wisely — told me to look at this report with caution and that this means nothing to the White House, that they [members of the Bush team] are about regime change. Please explain.

Scott Ritter: Well, I think it’s important to assess patterns of behavior. When we take a look at the Bush administration and how it has sought to implement its policies of regional transformation in the Middle East, inclusive, these policies include the notion of regime change, removing unpopular regimes, regimes that the United States unilaterally declares incompatible with its vision, removing them from power. This includes Saddam Hussein and the theocracy in Tehran. They have demonstrated a tendency to exaggerate threats in the form of weapons of mass destruction to exploit the ignorance of the American public and the fear that is derived from this ignorance. They did so with Iraq. They made a case for war based upon weapons of mass destruction that they fail to back up with anything other than rhetoric. I can say, as a former weapons inspector who ran the intelligence programs from ’91 to ’98, that we had fundamentally disarmed Iraq, so for the president to say that there’s this new weapons capability, he would have to demonstrate some new information, and he failed to do so. And that’s why I said, unless he provides this new data, that there isn’t the WMD threat that he said. The same thing can be said about Iran.

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Bush wants limits on access to evidence

The Bush administration asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to limit judges’ authority to scrutinize evidence against detainees at Guantanamo Bay.The administration said the court could still add the issue to its calendar this year and hear arguments in a rare May session, then render a decision by late June.

The case is linked to another dispute already at the high court in which detainees are asking the justices to rule that they can use the U.S. civilian courts to challenge their indefinite imprisonment.

Another option for the court is to take no action on the new case until it decides on the extent of the detainees’ legal rights.

In the new case, the administration is asking the court to undo a federal appeals court ruling that broadens its authority to look at evidence about whether detainees have been properly characterized as enemy combatants.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit initially ruled on the case in July. The full court refused in early February, in a 5-5 split, to reconsider that ruling. It takes a majority of the court to reconsider a panel decision.

The ruling held that, when Guantanamo Bay detainees challenge their status as “enemy combatants,” judges must review all the evidence, not just the evidence the military chooses.

The administration said the decision jeopardizes national security.

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US judge blocks Bandar funds transfer

WASHINGTON – A federal judge has temporarily blocked Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi ambassador to the United States, from removing real estate sales proceeds from the United States pending resolution of a class-action lawsuit.The suit filed last September by a tiny Michigan city retirement system accuses current and former directors of BAE Systems PLC, a giant British defense company, of breaches of fiduciary duties in connection with $2 billion or more in alleged illegal bribes paid to Bandar in connection with an $86 billion BAE arms sale to Saudi Arabia in 1985.

Bandar also is named a defendant in the suit, along with the former Riggs Bank of Washington and its successor, PNC Financial Group.

BAE and Bandar have strongly denied that illegal payments were made to Bandar.

Without ruling on the merits of the case, U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer said in a temporary restraining order, signed Feb. 5, that the suit by the City of Harper Woods Employees’ Retirement System raises serious questions of law that warrant a temporary order keeping Bandar from taking the proceeds of real estate sales out of U.S.-based accounts.

The order directs that such sales proceeds “be deposited and/or invested pursuant to a prudent man standard” in U.S. accounts, but specifically notes that it “does not prevent him from selling real property” and “only interferes with his ability to invest and/or deposit any sales proceeds in a minimal way.”

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