Friday, October 23, 2009

Greenspan's 9/11 skepticism

I posted an item on this when Greenspan's memoir, The Age of Turbulence, was published in 2007. He didn't alter his words for the updated version that discussed  the first phase of last year's financial crises.

In the days following Sept. 11, 2001, said former Fed chief Alan Greenspan, "There was no bigger question in Washington than, Why no second attack?" (Page 227)

He wrote:

"If al Qaeda's intent was to disrupt the U.S. economy, as bin Laden had declared, the attacks had to continue. Our society was open, our borders porous, and our ability to detect weapons and bombs was weak. I asked this question of a lot of people at the highest levels of government, and no one seemed to have a convincing response." (Emphasis added.)

In other words, Greenspan thought there was something fishy about the attacks and the war on terror. Greenspan, who describes himself as a libertarian Republican, makes it clear that he was disturbed by the threats to individual liberty that arose after the attacks. And, Greenspan was candid about having little respect for Bush and a number of his aides.

We should add that Greenspan does not challenge the authenticity of the purported bin Laden statement, but then, he doesn't need to. If the statement is authentic, his question follows. If it isn't, then why did the Bush bunch vouch for it?

Neither does he question the FBI's decision to treat the anthrax attacks as unrelated to the events of 9/11. Once a Pentagon role was discovered in the anthrax case, the FBI quickly nixed the theory that it was part of a single terrorist campaign. But, because that position became the official stance, Greenspan's question stands.

You won't find information like this on Fox news -- though it was widely reported that Greenspan had little use for the official tale of what was behind the Iraq war.

Greenspan argued that regional instability posed a threat to oil supplies, spurring U.S. and British action, "whatever their publicized angst about 'weapons of mass destruction'."

"I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil."

We also learn that Greenspan, a market fundamentalist, was surprised that the market's "counter-party surveillance" provided insufficient self-regulation to avert the subprime crash.

He expressed alarm at global warming and said he was concerned that political dithering would prevent realistic countermeasures. Nevertheless, he backed a tax on gasoline in order to force America to wean itself from dependence on oil. He argued that the economy could well handle a tax that pushed gas up to $5 a gallon. Of course, this was written before the wild financial meltdown of last autumn.
NOTE: Holy cow! A post from this blog showed up in the Google blog alerts under "Znewz1" -- a first. Now, the thing will be to see if blogs that mention Znewz1 show up in Google alerts.

FOLLOW-UP NOTE: Well, an alert arrived with an old Znewz1 post linked on someone else's old blog. Interesting.

Obama-Murdoch battle widens

A media battle royal between President Obama and mogul Rupert Murdoch is rapidly escalating.

The fracas took another turn when a media watchdog urged progessives to join an all-out campaign to delegitimize Fox News as a real news organization. This followed an effort by Republican partisans Karl Rove and Lamar Alexander to characterize Obama as a Nixon-like figure.

David Brock, who runs Media Matters, sent out a call to action to others on the left to counter "lethal" Fox, as Politico reports in its latest editions.

Brock at one time was a conservative journalist who indulged in many of the tactics used by Fox and most Murdoch media. He later wrote a book "Blinded by the Right," which marked his change of conviction.

It is very likely that Fox's Glenn Beck and others at Fox will jump on Brock's call to action as evidence that the left-wing is out to get Fox. However, it should be noted that other left-oriented groups have only touched on the controversy tepidly, if at all, and that the conservative Accuracy in the Media, while running some commentary on the brawl, has largely been unenthusiastic about backing Fox.

In another development, Newsweek published Slate chief Jacob Weisberg's piece upholding the White House view and urging reputable journalists to shun Fox, with a headline denouncing Fox -- and by implication Murdoch -- as "un-American." Considering Glenn Beck's attacks on White House aide Anita Dunn as a Mao-loving radical, Newsweek's head was no doubt thoughtfully chosen.

"Whether the White House engages with Fox is a tactical political question," wrote Weisberg. "Whether journalists continue to do so is an ethical one. By appearing on Fox, reporters validate its propaganda values and help to undermine the role of legitimate news organizations. Responsible journalists -- I'm talking to you, Mara Liasson -- should stop appearing on its programs."

A memorable dart tossed by Weisberg: "If you were watching Fox News Channel, you saw a familiar roster of platinum pundettes and anchor androids reciting the same soundbites: this was Obama's version of Nixon's enemies list."


Clearly, non-Fox journalists have been getting a kick out of covering this feud. At least that's the sense one gets when reading the latest wrap-up in the New York Times, where it was reported that Obama himself had vented his displeasure at Fox in a closed meeting, which included  the liberal opinion molders Rachel Madow, Keith Olberman, Frank Rich and Bob Herbert.

Reflecting Obama's pique, White House aide David Pfeiffer kept up the attack on Fox. "We simply decided to stop abiding by the fiction, which is aided and abetted by the mainstream press, that Fox is a traditional press organization," Pfeiffer said.

Latest salvoes: Dan Froomkin writes in the liberal Huffington Post about "why journalists shouldn't defend Fox" and Murdoch's Wall Street Journal has a right-spin piece by James Taranto suggesting that the White House is behaving like left-wing radicals when it criticizes Fox.
Some question the political wisdom of the White House drive to marginalize Fox as a serious news organization. However, one might recall that Hillary Clinton kicked off a counter-offensive in the Monica Lewinsky scandal with her famous "vast, right-wing conspiracy" theory. That counter-offensive did not save her husband from impeachment, but it very likely influenced the Senate's decision to let him off with a reprimand.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

KRM, champion of America's right to know

K. Rupert Murdoch, a mastermind of the 9/11 treason coverup, is indignant that he can't get no respect from the Obama White House.

How dare the White House scold us? KRM's co-conspirators snort. We dish it out! We don't have to take it!

Why, that Obama gang is trying to MUZZLE THE PRESS, rages the KRM crew. It's really terrible that a government unit would try to RUN THE NEWS MEDIA, by DELEGITIMIZING the great journalist KRM.

The government wants to turn us into nobodies because it is covering up terrible things! (Except not about 9/11. In that case, the government is telling the GOD'S HONEST TRUTH.)

Others in the news business should RUSH TO OUR AID in the name of defending FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. (We'll get back to you on why we haven't rushed to the aid of journalists forced to the margins for news reports that were too pointed or commentary that was too assertive.)

Obama's people can't distinguish between commentary and reporting, the KRM crew says.

True, says the White House, it is hard to tell the difference when viewing or reading KRM's tales. Balloon boys and the like may wow the audience, but who is checking facts at KRM offices?

True to form, we have problems with Google. This time it's their news and blog alerts. Allegedly, no blogger or news outlet has vigorously defended the White House. Only alerts favoring Fox are delivered. This is consistent with previous experiences of political filtering by Google, which, like Murdoch, has been highly accommodating of Chinese communism. My blog is barred from Google alerts. I suppose a notional case can be made that not enough people read it; yet, I've seen some pretty obscure stuff in Google alerts.

What have Britons learned about the row between Obama and a tycoon with a strong hand on Britain's media?

Nothing at all from Murdoch's prestigious Times of London or his wild tabloid, the Daily Mirror. At any rate, a search of those sites turned up nothing concerning the feud. Evidently Murdoch , a former British Commonwealth citizen, believes that the British have better things to do than read about a wild melee between a British media tycoon and the president of the United States.

Yes, KRM, defender of the people's right to know...

Karl Rove and Lamar Alexander have jumped into the fray, using all their partisan wiles to defend Fox from the charge that it is a partisan political outfit masquerading as a news organization. Hey, somewhere around here is an old post about Rove at a Tennessee GOP event that, in a precedent, excluded the press. Back then, he was too hot for public dissemination, I suppose.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Justice Dept: Israel stole U.S. defense secrets

Though he wasn't charged with spying for Israel, federal scientist Stewart Nozette had supplied Israel Aerospace Industries, which is owned by the Israeli government, with classified information in the past for a total of some $225,000, reports say. The payments came after Nozette answered specific questions supplied by the Israelis, the Justice Department said.

When leaving the country recently, U.S. Customs inspectors checked Nozette's airport baggage and took note of two computer discs. On his return, inspectors observed that the discs were missing. After that, the FBI set up a sting to obtain evidence of a willingness to commit espionage, the bait being cash offered by an FBI agent posing as a member of Mossad.

Some media, perhaps misled by an FBI press release, have made it appear that the Israeli government was not involved in this matter. Certainly, it seems unlikely that Mossad had previously been directly involved; otherwise Nozette would have recoiled from the impostor's offer. But, a Justice Dept. criminal complaint says that Nozette had in the past transferred U.S. defense secrets to the Israeli government, which asked specific questions of him. This allegation was omitted from an FBI press release.

It may be that that part of the case is too difficult to prosecute. And I suppose one could say that the Israeli government is innocent until proved guilty. However, we should beware assuming that that government was in no way involved in stealing American defense secrets, especially in light of the Justice Department assertion.

Sources for this post include a Bloomberg News article, an FBI press release and a Haaretz article.

Math phobics can't calculate 9/11 treason

I don't suppose that everybody in the media and government system who subscribes to the Murdoch theory of 9/11 is a witting member of a subversive conspiracy.

Quite a few of them are certain to be the math phobics who leave the technicalities to others. Hence, they are easily persuaded by what mathematicians and physicists call "hand-waving arguments."

It's quite possible that former Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey fits into that category. Mukasey's argument that normal human rights safeguards shouldn't apply to persons branded as terrorists may well stem from an inability to process forensic evidence independently because of a shallow mathematical background.

Unfortunately, math phobia is rampant among journalists, lawyers and government policy makers. So they are inclined to conceal their educational and knowledge deficits by agreeing to what a controlled group of "experts" alleges.

But then one is left with people such as Rep. Rush Holt, a physicist, who in a letter to me said that he hadn't seen any specific evidence that the three World Trade Center towers were downed by controlled demolition. This sort of evasiveness serves the murderers well. Holt knows perfectly well he doesn't need to see bits of 9/11 rubble in order to discern a treasonous cover-up. Can it be that he hasn't bothered to do the math either?

And there is math that shows the collapses are extraordinarily strange. Check my 9/11 reports links on this page.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fox silent on owner's commie-cuddling

White House spokeswoman Anita Dunn tonight was raked over the coals by a Fox opinion panel anxious to spotlight her lame attempt at antithesis when seeming to uphold both Mother Theresa and Mao Tse Tung as sources of wisdom. As the panel pointed out, this was especially absurd rhetoric to use before a high school audience.

But the panelists, who included conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, who is a Fox regular; a writer for the highly conservative American Spectator; and a National Public Radio commentator who also shows up on Fox, never broached the controversies concerning Fox owner Rupert Murdoch's various accommodations of communism. Prior to his takeover of the Wall Street Journal, a group of Journal reporters blasted Murdoch's bid based on their experiences covering China and their belief that Murdoch would permit Communist influence to soften the Journal's coverage of what is still red China. (Glenn Beck made a nasty joke about setting up a Red phone to the White House while also dutifully avoiding his boss's affinity for communistic favors.)

I went to Fox's web site a few minutes ago to review the panel discussion, but a diligent search failed to turn it up, although a number of other Fox items concerning the controversy with the White House were available.

True, Fox can defend the panel's bias as coming under "opinion." But, nevertheless, no opinion was permitted concerning Murdoch's shady dealings with communism. I didn't closely check every Fox news report, but the ones I scanned all avoided mention of Murdoch's own problems of communist connections.

In any event, Fox is certainly ridiculous when it runs a ballot -- under "comment" of course -- like this:

"You decide:

* They want to shoot the messenger
* They don't have a good case to make
* They confuse News and Opinion
* I don't know"

Those are the options. What about, "The White House might be right";  "They do have a good case to make"; or "The news is slanted so that Obama is always wrong, no matter what"?

Or even better, "Do you agree that Fox News is essentially an arm of the Republican Party?"

The Hannity show made much of Dunn's statement that the campaign had found a way to get Obama's unedited words past reporters during the campaign season. Somehow that transmogrified into a Fox accusation that rival news organizations were under the control of the White House.

Yet, Fox has been airing stuff from journalists for those rival organizations saying that the White House is in error. As a former reporter, I know where they're coming from. But, whatever the failings of other news organizations, no one has ever accused the Murdoch press of objectivity or being worthy of being considered professional NEWS media. As another former newspaperman, Obama aide David Axelrod, said, Murdoch may be clever at making money, but that doesn't qualify his wares for the category of legitimate news.

Sure, sometimes Fox reporters develop good stories. But, look at the ones they are directed to avoid. Aren't they compelled to kowtow to the Murdoch theory of 9/11? You don't call that news bias?

Let this sink in: the Murdoch theory of 9/11 comes from an organization headed by a fellow with a history of  commie-cuddling.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Murdoch's foul theory of 9/11

The Murdoch theory of 9/11 may have had a significant impact on Obama's decision to tackle the news fiend head-on.

It must have been the last straw for Obama when a top environmental aide was pressured to resign after the Murdoch press made an issue of his doubts about the Murdoch theory of 9/11, which almost nobody believes after the 9/11 commission's top people themselves tore apart the credibility of the panel's report

Murdoch is ticked off, that's easy to see. He showed 'em by canning a token liberal and told investors that the White House controversy had driven ratings up. Yet, does he understand that there is no more reason to believe this claim than to believe his wingnut theory that 9/11 was no inside job or to believe much of anything else purveyed by his outlets?

It seems to me that today's news show broadside by David Axelrod does indeed damage Murdoch, no matter how Murdoch tries to squirm out of it. It focuses the nation's attention on the very, very serious problems of credibility and professionalism at Fox News. Many ordnary Americans -- not necessarily fire-breathing liberals -- will begin to think, you can't believe everything you hear on Fox.

Also, the idea that the sleaze factor is good for ratings doesn't necessarily mean advertising income will benefit. Advertisers don't like their products being sullied by a media outfit's sleaze factor and tend to shy away -- something Murdoch never accepted when he owned a string of U.S. papers.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Murdoch-Obama feud: Seeing Red

The Murdoch-Obama feud is getting loud. Fox commentator Glenn Beck has aired videos that he interprets to mean that Obama aide Anita Dunn has consorted with communists -- in particular the communist Mao Tse Tung.

And columnist Michelle Malkin, whose work often appears in the Murdoch press, repeated the charge.

Yet isn't it so that a number of Wall Street Journal reporters opposed Murdoch's takeover of that newspaper because of his relations with the Chinese communists?

And isn't it so that the Murdoch theory of 9/11 is welcomed by the KGB veterans who control Russia, as it fits their policies concerning Chechnya and Afghanistan?

Google mirrors shatter

Say, that GoogleDocs upload function was pretty handy. You could copy many a web page just by typing in the URL. But today that function is gone -- from all my accounts anyway.

Wonder why Google crippled itself like that? And why didn't it announce or explain the change? I look at GoogleNews, which features numerous stories about Google, regularly, but that one didn't get coverage, it seems.

GoogleDocs has now been rendered pretty much worthless to me. Previously, the editing functions simply wouldn't work. So I got around that hassle by writing on another free service and then moving the document page to GoogleDocs, which stripped the page of ads. Other web services have this page-mirror service, so it's not as though Google's mirror service was improper.

I also find that quite frequently GoogleDocs email attachments come through garbled, with lines of type moved around or missing altogether. When I query others about these problems, their copies are OK.

I'm sure there's no conspiracy involved. Stress might make it appear that Google is playing a role in some sort of denial of service campaign. But that's silly... (although, Google has kowtowed to Chinese communists in denying services...) Well, ho-hum, anyway... (Also, it must be admitted that some of my word processor skills are at best primitive, though that fact can't account for all the bugs that emerge when I use Google services.)

Real competition might do 'em some good.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

White House: Fox often airs false news

The White House took another poke at Fox News yesterday, saying many of its reports are false.

"I have watched many stories on that network that I've found not to be true," Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, told reporters. But, trying to soften the blow, he added: "I think everybody in this room has been on the receiving end of a phone conversation with me when I've had issues with your stories. I don't think that's new."

Gibbs had been pressed by internet journalist Tommy Christopher  on whether White House spokeswoman Anita Dunn's blast at Fox might have a chilling effect on speech.

In his report, Christopher said that he had never been on the receiving end of such a call from Gibbs.

As Christopher noted, President Obama had told the New York Times of a "television station that is entirely devoted to attacking my administration." It was understood that Obama meant either the local Fox station or the Fox network.

This suggests that the decision to go public with criticism of Fox stems from the president.

But, as Christopher noted, so far the White House seems to be attacking Fox with "plastic army men, or something."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Superprez versus Foxzilla

The sitdown between Obama's man and Murdoch's man took place about a month ago. It was a "cordial conversation" over coffee while the president was in Manhattan for a UN session. But nobody backed down, and now the White House is in an all-out struggle with a media outfit known for a willingness to brawl.

The topic of conversation between David Axelrod, Obama's chief political adviser, and Roger Ailes, who runs Fox News for media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, was "news coverage and the relationship between the two organizations," Politico's Mike Allen learned. A Fox spokesman confirmed that a talk took place, Allen said.

But the daily hostility toward Obama served up by Fox continued unabated and finally the White House had had enough. Anita Dunn, a White House spokeswoman, on Sunday took to CNN's airwaves to blister Fox News as essentially an "arm of the Republican Party."

"We're going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent," Dunn told the New York Times for Monday's editions. Accusing Fox of "undertaking a war against Barack Obama and the White House," she asserted that it was pointless "to pretend that this is the way legitimate news organizations behave."

A Fox executive told the Times that Ailes had remarked: "Don't pick a fight with people who like to fight."

Fox tried to defend itself by saying that the White House wasn't distinguishing between commentary and regular news coverage. However, many professional journalists have strongly criticized the Murdoch press for coloring news coverage for political purposes. [Please see "Fox News: trumpet of Israel's hard right" at]

Before Murdoch hired him to run Fox, Ailes was a top-level political operative in the presidential campaigns of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. And Fox News was warmly embraced by the second Bush White House.

Fox snubbed Obama by refusing to air his address to Congress and by blacking out a White House news conference. Obama returned the snub by declining to appear on Fox News Sunday while showing up on the other major Sunday news telecasts.

Fox's Glenn Beck ramped up the verbal firefight by accusing the White House of being more interested in fighting a war with Murdoch than with winning in Afghanistan. But Fox quoted neither Ailes nor Murdoch concerning the grudge match.

There's no love lost between Obama and Murdoch, of course. Murdoch promoted Obama in hopes that McCain would do better against him than against Clinton. (Murdoch once promoted Ted Kennedy against President Carter and then trashed Kennedy at the last minute, successfully assisting Republican presidential prospects.)

The White House decision to fight fire with fire and openly treat Fox as a political adversary comes amid the congressional wrangling over health care and may well be a tactic meant to aid in that struggle. If Fox can be politically neutralized, or at least weakened, lawmakers may not feel quite so timorous when contending with Fox's shouting heads. It may be that the White House hopes to form a united Democratic front against Murdoch, Ailes and Fox, especially when one considers that most of the GOP opposition in Congress fits hand-in-glove with the Fox slant.

But what can Axelrod and Dunn do against the daily Fox onslaught? The White House, one suspects, will have to find ways to go after Murdoch and Fox via "back channel" methods. What these might be, who knows? Other than that Obama is likely to curtail anything illegal that could blow up on him. Even so, the Bush-era wiretap laws are now in the hands of people who might well be tempted to listen in on the doings of Murdoch -- and such eavesdropping could easily be justified by Murdoch's penchant for peculiar relations with Chinese communists.

Another point: the Murdoch press has led the way in defending the traitors behind 9/11 by ignoring facts and through the use of cheap name-calling and smear tactics, exactly the methods used against the Obama White House. An open breach means Obama needn't worry about offending the Murdoch treason group. So we may expect that the White House may become a tad more daring in distancing itself from the Murdoch theory of 9/11. (See previous post.)

Addenda: Robert Parry points out that the insurance industry is inadvertently making a very strong case for a public health care option. See his OpEd News piece at Also, the White House contends that the Hyde amendment will bar use of the health care system for abortions but critics say that the health care bills in Congress circumvent the Hyde amendment.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A presidential signal?

Maybe not, but one likes to think so.

Obama gave a little talk to his counterterrorism team headed by Bush-holdover John Brennan. There were the routine thanks and the mandatory sports joke.

But what there wasn't was Obama directly blaming al Qaeda for the attacks of 9/11. Those he blamed on generic extremists and terrorists.

A few sentences later, he said America won't rest until she has defeated al Qaeda.

But, it seems, when he was speaking to the real professionals, he was wary of laying 9/11 at the feet of al Qaeda.

Oct. 7, 2009 note: Obama, opines the Times, is seeking some sort of middle ground on the Afghan war. No drastic scaledown or buildup. Yet, the status quo isn't that good. At any rate, suddenly the 9/11 truth idea has political traction; after all, if al Qaeda was little more than a minor pawn in the 9/11 attacks, the political justification for the war recedes. So Obama takes less heat for declining to prosecute the war as vigorously as some demand. (That's not to say that al Qaeda hasn't been responsible for other bloody attacks on Americans.)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Top lawyer for NYC: We didn't probe 9/11

New York City did nothing whatsover to investigate the events of 9/11, a senior city lawyer has reluctantly admitted in court.

Stephen Kitzinger, when asked whether the city had done such a probe, replied that the question was "irrelevant," but when pressed, conceded that the city had done nothing.

Please go to

for the full account, which came from a group seeking a ballot question asking New Yorkers whether the city should conduct such a probe.

The reporting is based on the petitioner account.

The group was in court after a referee denied its petition for a ballot question based on what appears to have been a spurious argument that, for technical reasons, it was too late to prepare the ballot. The group noted the referee's file did not even include its legal brief about why the petition should go on the ballot.

The judge holding the hearing seemed surprised that the city had done nothing. He also was unaware of some issues, such as the fact that the 9/11 commission had omitted all reference to Trade Center 7, which he apparently never heard of.

Growing the octopus

The Obama administration isn't doing anything to try to curb the impression that it sympathizes with socialism.

You may think that texting while driving is a bad thing and that it should be discouraged. But, my question is, why should the federal government take control here? Each state is perfectly competent to decide what to do about this matter within its borders.

Of late Obama's transportation secretary has been hot on this matter, and allied Dems in Congress are promoting a measure to high-pressure states to adopt such laws or to rigorously enforce them. If they don't, 25 percent of federal transportation funding would be cut off.

This little trick has been going on for some time, and it's merely a way to get around the constitutional checks and balances system, specifically to vitiate the rights that were reserved to the states and to the citizenry of those states.

Even though the Reconstruction-era 14th amendment permits more federal involvement in the internal affairs of states, it seems unlikely that the amendment authors envisioned such an encroachment on state authority as is seen with the federal revenue-withholding gambit.

The erosion of state autonomy effectively gives aid and comfort to the covert coteries of socialists anxious to remake our country on the sly.

I wonder whether this revenue-sharing/withholding tactic has ever been challenged in the Supreme Court as an infringement of the ninth and tenth amendments. If not, let us hope it will be challenged and overthrown.