Heroes /   Zeros        /   Flip-Flops
Operation Iraqi Freedom is unmasking the "heavy thinkers" in the U.S. government and elites...
-   The "Keyholders"   A group of guards and curators at the National Museum in Kabul that hid the Bactrian Hoard during the period when the country was in turmoil, thereby saving for posterity a fabulous cultural and natural resource. See On Display, The Fruits Of Afghan Altruism   -   Afghanistan displays its 'Hoard of Bactrian Gold'
-           Dennis Prager authored the article America, Not Keith Ellison, decides what book a congressman takes his oath on, including such gems as "... Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim elected to the United States Congress, has announced that he will not take his oath of office on the Bible, but on the bible of Islam, the Koran. He should not be allowed to do so -- not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American civilization..." and "If Keith Ellison is allowed to change that, he will be doing more damage to the unity of America and to the value system that has formed this country than the terrorists of 9-11...."   A couple of corrections: Dennis Prager - Hateful and Wrong & ADL Statement..
-          MCA 2006 signing...
-     General Zinni    Retired Marine General speaking critically about the Iraq war... Well and good. However, it would have been more helpful to have spoken out more forcefully in the run up before the war, as opposed to after, also coincidentally when getting books published..
- A tale of two Alberto's -           Alberto Gonzalez   and      Alberto Mora   Google to get the details...
-        Robert Mugabe   For running Zimbabwe into the ground on his watch - currently food shortages effect half the population and 4 million people face famine; average life expectancy has halved in the last ten years; the economy has contracted 30% in the last six years; and unemployment is at 70%.
-        Colin Powell   For "cutting off Iraq's nose to spite the French & German face", for being more interested in leaking to preserve his reputation after the fact than in seriously fighting for what he knew was right... An example of his hypocrisy and double-dealing here (scroll down)
-    Maurice Hilleman   Deceased April 11th 2005, was a scientist who developed more than three dozen vaccines, including those for measles, mumps, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, chickenpox, meningitis, pneumonia and Haemophilus influenzae bacteria, thus saving millions of lives around the globe. See more at
-        Lonpo Garba, head of Niger's "Human Rights Commission." In 2003 laws were passed in Niger making slavery illegal. Recently, a Tuareg chieftan pledged in writing to free the 7,000 slaves held by his tribe. On the appointed day he stood up and said that he was unaware of any slaves held by his clans. Lonpo Garba concurred - "We made a survey which did not prove the existence of these 7,000 slaves there.The commission does not deny the existence of slavery in Niger in the past, but [there are] not 7,000 slaves in today’s Niger." It is alleged that, fearing this would bring bad publicity, the Nigerien government and the Human Rights Commission pressured the chief to recant. Story here
-        King Mswati III of Swaziland   The Swazi king recently spent $500,000 to purchase a DaimlerChrysler Maybach 62 while 40% of the country's population lives in poverty, Swaziland has a 68 deaths /10,000 live births infant mortality rate, and an average life expectancy at birth of 37.5 years - see Swaziland entry in the CIA World Factbook
-     Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun - more here
-    Capt. Mbaye Diagne   One of the very few heros in the grotesque genocide in Rwanda ten years ago.   Read all about the death of an estimated 800,000 people, killed by that low-tech 'weapon of mass destruction' the machete in The Ghosts of Rwanda at pbs.org, a collaboration between the BBC and Frontline.
-       David Blunkett & the British Home Office   David Blunkett, UK Labour Home Secretary, for charging "room and board" to wrongfully-imprisoned people after their release from British jails. For example, Mike O'Brien spent 10 years in jail after being wrongly convicted of murder. He received a bill for GBP 37,500. Read more here.
-    Gary Haugen   Founder of the International Justice Mission , a non-profit dedicated to fighting slavery around the world.
-       Gloria Allred   Publicity hound, who has managed to insert herself into just about every high-profile celebrity case - recently into the "Laci Peterson - Scott Peterson" case (as attorney for Amber Frey, Scott's mistress), and now she is horning in on the Michael Jackson case...
-       Dick Davidson   The chairman of the Union Pacific railroad, who apparently has demanded that model-train makers who have used the UP logo (and the logos of any of the companies that UP has purchased) pay royalties on their sales... See here
-    Shirin Ebadi   - recipient of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize "for her efforts for democracy and human rights" See a short bio here.
-     97 House Republicans   who have sponsored a balanced budget amendment resolution. How does this square with voting for tax cuts when the budget is already in deficit? Simple, the resolution would make the amendment effective after December 31st, 2008.
-       Representative Darrell Issa (R-California)   wrote a letter to U.S. DefSec Rumsfeld and USAID urging them not to use the GSM system for cellular in post-Saddam Iraqi reconstruction. In his letter Issa called GSM "an outdated French standard." (Note: GSM originally stood for 'Groupe Speciale Mobile', but now stands for 'Global System for Mobile Communications,' and is the most widespread cellular technology worldwide...) However, what at first blush seemed like more of the run-of-the-mill French bashing now in vogue, is more devious - it turns out that Issa's district includes Qualcomm, manufacturer of a competing cellular standard and a company which has generously contributed to Issa's coffers.
-       Paul Weyrich   said "The Dixie Chicks may be entitled to their opinion, but for them to give aid and comfort to the enemy when we are on the edge of war is just outrageous....I guess there's no loyalty to this country any more." Hmm, hadn't read that the Dixie Chicks had sent night-vision goggles to Iraq!
-  Dr. Carlo Urbani   a WHO doctor who was the first to identify an outbreak of SARS. His early warning allowed for measures to be taken to isolate patients with this disease, thereby possibly limiting its spread. Unfortunately Dr. Urbani contracted SARS and succumbed to the disease.
-       The NYSE & NASDAQ folks   who banned reporters from Al-Jazeera from their exchanges.. all while insisting that this had nothing to do with Al_Jazeera's broadcast of footage of American POWs.
-     Representative Jack Kingston (R-Georgia)   is collecting signatures on a petition that he intends to present to DefSec Rumsfeld, asking him to cancel the contract that Sodexho has to provide Marine mess halls (because Sodexho's parent is a French company). Presumably he'd like also to put Sodexho's 110,000 U.S. employees out of work....
-     Representative Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Florida)   has introduced a bill proposing that the U.S. government pay for families to bring home from France the remains of Americans who fought and died in WWI & WWII (approximately 74,000 American war casualties are buried in France and Belgium).
-   Vice President Dick Cheney   In 1997 Dick Cheney, then chairman and CEO of Halliburton, explained at an energy conference why the U.S. did not go to Baghdad and remove Saddam Hussein in 1991 (at which time Cheney was Secretary of Defense) - "To have brought the war into the populous Iraqi capital of Baghdad where Hussein is based would have involved a different type of military operation than in the desert, and would have put large numbers of Iraqi civilians and hundreds of thousands of our troops at risk of being killed." He also said that if the U.S. tried to remove Saddam Hussein from power the international coalition ".. would come apart."
-     Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)   called on the Attorney General to warn any Americans who travel to Iraq to act as "human shields" that they assume the risk of being charged with treason. "It is my opinion that any American who voluntarily engages in conduct to impede a potential American military operation, and who thereby endangers the lives of our nation's men and women in uniform, is participating in a program designed to weaken the power of the United States to wage war successfully. I strongly believe efforts to impede a potential military operation against Iraq should be strongly dealt with and I am seeking your assistance in this matter," Graham wrote in his letter to Ashcroft. Time to round up and incarcerate those opposed to a war with Iraq!
-    The unknown person  who came up with the idea of putting President Bush in front of a backdrop (with feel-good slogans) in his press conferences... See more about this here.
-    Ismail Khan    strongman and tyrant in Herat in the west of Afghanistan, who continues the Taliban-style repression of women, albeit with a few minor relaxations. See this Human Rights watch report
-   Norbert Vollensten    German doctor who has made it his mission to let people know how bad conditions are in North Korea, and how the regime mistreats the population. Read his testimony to the House Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific   and the following articles:   Remembering North Korea   and   Doctor describes North Korean evil    Read here for a contrarian opinion - About the ‘wave of defectors’
-    Dick Armey (R-TX)- AGAIN   Dick Armey's son Scott ran in the Republican primary to get the Republican nomination to run to succeed his retiring father. The Dallas Morning News ran articles critical of Scott Armey, who ended up loosing the GOP primary in April. Father Dick accused the paper of "an outrageous vendetta" against him. Then he attempted to insert language into a military appropriations bill that stated that "any media company that within the same market owns a network-affiliated TV station, a newspaper with a Sunday circulation of at least 750,000 that doesn't have a competitor with a circulation exceeding 350,000 and a second daily newspaper with a Sunday circulation of 25,000 or less, would have to divest the smallest property" This description only fit the Belo Corp, owner of the Dallas morning News. See here
-     The National Nuclear Security Administration   When the Energy Department's IG reported that the department could not account for radioactive materials it had sent abroad under the Atoms for Peace program, the National Nuclear Security Administration said that they had no obligation to look for the materials because "international agreements governing the materials contained no requirement for the United States to track them."
-     Denizens of The Chamber   lining up to scold business leaders about their ethics. For example, Senator Chris Dodd  (D-CT) - "..Sadly, the WorldCom fiasco is only the latest in a long line of examples of corporate deeds gone amok." This from a senator who was the #1 recipient of contributions from the Big Five between 1989 and 2001 and:
Of course, there was no connection between the contributions and his efforts.....
- In 1995 sponsored a bill making it more difficult for investors to sue business and accounting firms for securities fraud. When this was vetoed by President Clinton, Dodd organized the override effort.
- In 2002 Dodd was one of the senators who leaned on SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt and derailed plans to bar accounting firms from getting consulting work from their audit clients.
-     Louis Farrakhan   (Nation of Islam minister) - visited Iraq July '02 on a "solidarity mission", where he said that "the Muslim American people are praying to almighty God to grant victory to Iraq."
-   Secretary of State Colin Powell.   In 1992 supporting the START II treaty President George H.W.Bush sent a letter to the Senate saying, "Elimination of heavy ICBMs and the effective elimination of all other multiple-warhead ICBMs will put an end to the most dangerous weapons of the Cold War." In support Colin Powell, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said July 28th 1992, "Multiple-warhead ICBMs are the most destabilizing weapons in our inventories." Fast forward to July 9th, 2002... "If the Russians want to keep all of their warheads on land-based ICBMs and they want to MIRV them, fine"
-    The European Commission. This body has objected to U.S. plans to improve maritime security by stationing U.S. Customs Service inspectors at European seaports (for an explanation of this issue see the OPED26 update on the OPED Updates   page). Though the U.S. has signed agreements with various countries (France, Belgium, the Netherlands), the Commission says that it will be illegal for the individual states to put the plans into effect since customs and trade issues should be part of European Union policy.
-   Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT). In 1979, Hatch signed a resolution by Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) opposing President Jimmy Carter’s decision to terminate, without congressional approval, a mutual defense treaty with Taiwan. That resolution called Carter’s move "a dangerous precedent for executive usurpation of Congress’s historically and constitutionally based powers", and said "treaties are part of the law of the land", and that the president must "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Skip to 2002 - Last week, Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI) introduced a nonbinding resolution stating that the Senate does not approve termination of the ABM treaty and that Senate approval is required for termination. "I am troubled that this historic treaty is about to be dissolved without so much as a hearing or even any debate in this body," Feingold said, speaking on the Senate floor. "I also regret that the president made this important decision without consulting with the Senate. I find this troubling on both constitutional and policy grounds," he said. Senator Orrin Hatch blocked consideration of the Feingold resolution by objecting (without explanation).
-    Nikolai Shumkov, senior official in Russia's space agency. The U.S. just spent $26.1 million to build facilities in Siberia to convert the highly toxic fuel from decommissioned Russian missiles into chemicals (usable for civilian purposes). Now that the two factories are completed and ready to start operations, it turns out that Russia has already used up most of the fuel (to launch commercial satellites) and they may not be needed. Russian officials did not notify US officials that the fuel was being used. "I suppose we should have warned them," said Shumkov.
-    Dick Armey (R-TX)  said the following on Hardball with Chris Matthews May 1st. The next day he put out a weak 'clarification'.
-    Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA - National Rifle Association for comparing the Monster.com CEO who founded Americans for Gun Safety, to Osama Bin Laden. See more here .
-    Jamie Kellner, head of Turner Broadcasting, who told the newsweekly CableWorld that you are a thief if you use one of a PVR's (note: personal video recorder e.g. Tivo or Replay) best features -- skipping commercials. ``Your contract with the network when you get the show is you're going to watch the spots,'' he said. ``Otherwise you couldn't get the show on an ad-supported basis.''
Whenever you fail to watch a commercial, he added, ``you're actually stealing the programming.'' When the interviewer asked whether it's OK to go to the bathroom or get a soft drink out of the refrigerator, Kellner replied, `` I guess there's a certain amount of tolerance for going to the bathroom.'' See more here.
-   Mohammed Jan Naziri and Jora Mohammed Korbani, scientists at Kabul University's nuclear physics department. When the Taliban entered Kabul in 1996 they hid all radioactive items from the university laboratories and destroyed all their papers. The materials included items that could have been used to create "dirty" bombs. See more here
© SNi 12/20/06