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When purple things are pulsating on your mind, I'm the one whose clock you want to clean. Aiding is Sparky, the Astral Plane Zen Pup Dog from his mountain stronghold on the Northernmost Island of the Happy Ninja Island chain, this blog will also act as a journal to my wacky antics at an entertainment company and the progress of my self published comic book, The Deposit Man which only appears when I damn well feel like it. Real Soon Now.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

SPARKY: Keeping You in the Loop

Your Saturday's Rove Truth Squad Heads Up ...

Remember the Bush Junta II's Puppet Boy King is just 1° of Separation from Osama — as his late brother Salem bin Laden was a close family friend of the Bush Crime Family — The two closest friends of King Fahd were Prince Mohammed ben Abdullah (son of Abdul Aziz ibn Saud's youngest brother) who died in the early 1980s and Salem bin Laden who died in 1988, when a plane that he was flying flew into some powerlines in San Antonio, Texas. He was flying a BAC 1-11, a short-range jet airliner which had been bought in July 1977 by Prince Mohammed Ben Fahd PBS "Frontline".The plane's flight log had been a subject of some interest because the same plane was said to have been used in the summer of 1980 by negotiators in the so-called "October Surprise" (the conspiracy by Ronald Reagan's supporters to delay resolution of the Iran Hostage Crisis until after the US presidential election as Bush lackies ensured Operation Eagle Claw would fail). — Michael Moore's highly critical documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 alleges strong business connections between the Bush political family and the bin Laden family. Moore based most of his claims on Craig Unger's House of Bush, House of Saud which relates how Salem bin Laden invested through James R. Bath, the sole U.S. business representative for Salem bin Laden, some money in Arbusto Energy, a company run by George W. Bush [2]. Connections beyond investment activities 30 years ago have not been proven. Saudi Binladin Group's corporate website,, expired on September 11, 2001, the same day at the attacks in the United States. After September 11, 2001, some two dozen members of the bin Laden family, most of them students, were in the United States at the time of the September 11 attacks. Saudi Embassy officials, fearing reprisals, gathered the group together and, with approval from the F.B.I., flew them by private jet from Los Angeles to Orlando, then on to Washington, and finally to Boston where they were kept in seclusion. As soon as the F.A.A. permitted overseas flights, the bin Laden jet flew to Europe.
Prices at the pump spike overnight in U.S.

August 12, 2005

Overnight gas price hike shown at a Chicago area BP-Amoco station
(background). The Shell station (foreground) has not yet posted the
whopping 12 cent price hike.

Oil prices post 9/11

All this week, prices at the pump have been reaching record levels across the United States. Since yesterday, the price for a gallon of gasoline increased by as much as fifteen cents in some places. Large cities in California, such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, have reported gas prices that top $3.00 a gallon for regular grade, twenty cents higher than the state's average of $2.80. Chicago is reporting gas prices beyond $2.80. These price hikes are a direct reflection of the record price of crude oil at $67 per barrel and the fact that 12 U.S. refineries have reported issues that have affected output.

Icon of loudspeaker
This audio file was created from the text revision dated 2005-08-12, and does not reflect subsequent text edits to this report. (audio help)

These price increases are concerning some who worry that those with considerable financial hardships will endure more of a burden. A poll was conducted for The Associated Press and America Online News about whether or not these gas prices will cause problems with people's personal finances and the poll found that 64 percent say gas prices will cause money problems for them in the next six months, while 35 percent did not think so.

According to a AAA Texas motor club spokesman, additional price increases will more than likely continue into the weekend.


Document reveals U.S., Taliban discussed bin Laden assassination

August 20, 2005

According to documents recently declassified by the U.S. State Department, top U.S. and Taliban officials discussed the potential assassination of Osama bin Laden after the bombings of U.S. embassies in 1998.

The documents were released on Thursday by the National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act. They show that the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan, Alan Eastham Jr., met with Wakil Ahmed, a close aide to Taliban leader Mullah Omar, on November 28th 1998 at the Taliban embassy in Islamabad.

In that meeting Wakil Ahmed told Eastham Jr. that the Taliban would understand the U.S. desire to have bin Laden expelled from Afghanistan. He said that one possibility to "resolve" the "bin Laden Situation" would be if the U.S. were to "kill him, or arrange for bin Laden to be assassinated".

Wakil said the Taliban wanted to resolve the "bin Laden problem" as quickly as possible because a failure to do so would result in American bombing of Afghanistan and the Taliban's "termination".



Osama bin Laden

Ronnie the Rapist's favorite Freedom Fighter Osama bin Laden

Us?mah bin Muhammad bin `Awad bin L?din (born March 10, 1957) (Arabic: ????? ?? ???? ?? ??? ?? ????), commonly known as Osama bin Laden (Arabic: ????? ?? ????), is usually considered to be the figurehead of al-Qaeda, a Sunni Islamist terrorist network that has been involved in attacks against civilians and military targets around the world. He is widely believed to have conceived of, incited and been instrumental in, the attacks on September 11, 2001 on New York City and Washington, D.C. which killed at least 2,752 people.

One of bin Laden's main grievances was the presence of U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia, where two of Islam's holiest places are located. The U.S. withdrew from these bases in 2003, although it is unclear whether these decisions were already planned before the September 11 attacks.

Bin Laden is the "most wanted" man in the world with a reward for information leading to his capture of US$50 million. While his current whereabouts are unknown, the most popular assumption is that he is hiding in Pakistan's unruly tribal region of Waziristan bordering Afghanistan, or, more specifically, near the small Pakistani market town of Chitral [1] [2]. If Bin Laden is in Pakistan, it is likely that he continues to benefit from significant local support from the fiercely independent Waziri tribe. Together with the inhospitable mountainous terrain and uncertainty about the true cooperation of Pakistani intelligence, the United States faces many difficulties in pursuing his capture despite a wide array of sophisticated eavesdropping sensors deployed in the region [3].


Family and childhood

Osama Bin Laden was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to Muhammad Awad bin Ladin, a wealthy businessman involved in construction and with close ties to the Saudi royal family. There is no definitive account of the number of children born to Mohammed bin Laden, but the number is generally put at 54. In addition, various accounts place Osama as his seventeenth son, while others say he was the last of 25 sons.

The large number of bin Laden siblings is the result of polygyny; his father was married ten times, although to no more than four women at a time per Islamic law. Osama is the only son of the elder bin Laden's tenth wife, Hamida al-Attas, who is reportedly of Syrian descent. A woman who in 1971 had attended an English language course with bin Laden recalled him saying with some sadness that his mother was a concubine[4].

His family originally came from Hadhramaut, Yemen and he was raised as a devout Sunni Muslim. After his graduation from secondary school in 1973, bin Laden went to Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, and allegedly frequented bars and nightclubs. As a college student, he studied business and project administration. He also earned a degree in civil engineering from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah in 1979, possibly in preparation for taking over parts of his father's extensive construction and civil engineering business.

After his father died, bin Laden inherited what was once estimated to be a fortune of US$300 million although more recent estimates put his holdings at about US$25 million.

In 1974, at the age of 17, bin Laden married his first wife (and first cousin), Najwa Ghanem. Bin Laden reportedly married four other women, divorcing one. He has fathered at least 24 children. Najwa, a Syrian and his mother's niece, reportedly had 11 children by bin Laden, including Abdallah, Omar, Saad, and Muhammad. Saad, born in 1979, is reportedly active in an Iran-based al-Qaeda network, although it is widely known that Iran has contempt for Al-Qaeda.[5] Omar and Abdallah were reportedly organizing the U.S. branch of the World Congress of Muslim Youth in Falls Church, Virginia during the 1990s.

Bin Laden’s position within his huge family has always been unclear. His immensely wealthy family publicly disowned him in 1994, shortly before the Saudi Arabian government revoked his citizenship. He attended his son's wedding in January 2001, but since 9/11 is believed only to have had contact with his mother on one occasion.

Appearance and manner

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

This Osama bin Laden photo is from the FBI Ten Most Wanted
page on 9/11/01. Looks like they've split "regular" criminals
from "terrorists;" he's still on the list.

Bin Laden is often described as lanky — the FBI describes him as tall and thin, being 6' 4" (193 cm) to 6' 6" (198 cm) tall and weighing 160 pounds (75 kg). He has an olive complexion, is left-handed and usually walks with a cane. He wears a plain white turban and no longer dons the traditional Saudi male headdress.

It has been claimed (by US military figures) that Bin Laden employs at least one double to act as a decoy, in order to evade would-be captors. This belief has been expressed several times, from many quarters [6]. No proof of this claim, nor any supporting evidence, has ever surfaced.

He reportedly suffers from various medical conditions including kidney disease.

For more information (mostly speculative) see this summary of medical information about bin Laden.


Bin Laden's name can be transliterated in several ways. The form used here, Osama bin Laden, is used by most English-language mass media, including CNN and the BBC. The second most common English-language form of the name is Usama bin Laden (used by the FBI and FOX News) commonly abbreviated to UBL (favored by US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld). Less common renderings include Ussamah Bin Ladin and Oussama Ben Laden (used in French-language mass media). The latter part of the name can also be found as ibn Laden, Binladen or Binladin.

Strictly speaking, under the Arabic naming convention, it is incorrect to use "bin Laden" as though it were a Western surname. His full name means "Osama, son of Mohammed, son of `Awad, son of Laden." However, the bin Laden family (or "Binladin," as they prefer to be known) generally use the name as a surname, in the Western style. The family company is known as the Binladin Brothers for Contracting and Industry and is one of the largest corporations in Saudi Arabia. For this reason, although the Arabic convention would be to refer to him either as "Osama" or "Osama bin Laden," using "bin Laden" is in accordance with the family's own usage of the name and is the near-universal convention in Western references to him.

Bin Laden has several aliases and nicknames, including the Prince, the Emir, Abu Abdallah, Mujahid Shaykh, Hajj, and the Director.

Military and terrorist activity

Afghan Jihad

His wealth and connections permitted him to pursue his interest in supporting the mujahideen, Muslim guerrillas fighting the Soviet Union in Afghanistan following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. (See: the History of Afghanistan.) By 1984 he had established an organization named Maktab al-Khadamat (MAK) (Office of Order in English), which funneled money, arms and Muslim fighters from around the world into the Afghan war.

Some argue that MAK was supported by the governments of Pakistan, the United States[7] and Saudi Arabia, and that the three countries channelled their supplies through Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). This account is vehemently denied by the US government, which maintains that US aid went only to Afghan fighters, and that [Afghan Arabs] had their own sources of funding, an account also supported by Al Qaeda itself. [8]. The State Department quotes CNN analyst Peter Bergen as saying:

"While the charges that the CIA was responsible for the rise of the Afghan Arabs might make good copy, they don't make good history. The truth is more complicated, tinged with varying shades of gray. The United States wanted to be able to deny that the CIA was funding the Afghan war, so its support was funneled through Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence agency (ISI). ISI in turn made the decisions about which Afghan factions to arm and train, tending to favor the most Islamist and pro-Pakistan. The Afghan Arabs generally fought alongside those factions, which is how the charge arose that they were creatures of the CIA. Former CIA official Milt Bearden, who ran the Agency's Afghan operation in the late 1980s, says, "The CIA did not recruit Arabs," as there was no need to do so. There were hundreds of thousands of Afghans all too willing to fight, and the Arabs who did come for jihad were "very disruptive . . . the Afghans thought they were a pain in the ass." Similar sentiments from Afghans who appreciated the money that flowed from the Gulf but did not appreciate the Arabs' holier-than-thou attempts to convert them to their ultra-purist version of Islam. ... There was simply no point in the CIA and the Afghan Arabs being in contact with each other. ... the Afghan Arabs functioned independently and had their own sources of funding. The CIA did not need the Afghan Arabs, and the Afghan Arabs did not need the CIA. So the notion that the Agency funded and trained the Afghan Arabs is, at best, misleading. The 'let's blame everything bad that happens on the CIA' school of thought vastly overestimates the Agency's powers, both for good and ill." [Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden (New York: The Free Press, 2001), pp. 64-66.]

The accounts of some journalists and investigators, however, do suggest that CIA money and weapons reached the Afghan Arabs and bin Laden indirectly through the ISI.[9] According to Ahmed Rashid, Central Intelligence Agency Chief William Casey in 1986 "committed CIA support to a long-standing ISI initiative to recruit radical Muslims from around the world to come to Pakistan and fight with the Afghan Mujaheddin. The ISI had encouraged this since 1982 and by now all the other players had their reasons for supporting the idea.... Washington wanted to demonstrate that the entire Muslim world was fighting the Soviet Union alongside the Afghans and their American benefactors. And the Saudis saw an opportunity to promote Wahabbism and get rid of its disgruntled radicals. None of the players reckoned on these volunteers having their own agendas, which would eventually turn their hatred against the Soviets on their own regimes and the Americans." (Ahmed Rashid, Taliban New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000, p. 129.) This account is also substantially backed up by John Cooley, Unholy Wars : Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism, New York, Pluto Press, 2002. And while Marc Sageman, former CIA officer who worked closely with the mujahedin under Milton Bearden, makes clear that he does not believe the CIA ever came in direct contact with the foreign volunteers (an account refuted by Coll, see p. 201) and calls the notion of CIA training of future al Qaeda terrorists "sheer fantasy," he also notes that U.S. support for the Arab Afghan volunteers was funnelled through the Pakistani ISI at Pakistan's insistence. "The global Salafi jihad," he writes, "is without doubt an indirect consequence of U.S. involvement in that Afghan-Soviet war." (Marc Sageman, Understanding Terror Networks, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004, p. 59, emphasis added).

Formation of al-Qaeda

By 1988, bin Laden had split from the MAK and established a new militant group, later dubbed al-Qaeda by the U.S. government, which included many of the more militant MAK members he had met in Afghanistan. The Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989 and bin Laden was lauded as a mujahideen hero in Saudi Arabia. After Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, bin Laden offered to help defend Saudi Arabia (with 12,000 armed men) but was rebuffed by the Saudi government. Bin Laden publicly denounced his government's dependence on the U.S. military and demanded an end to the presence of foreign military bases in the country. According to reports (by the BBC and others), the 1990/91 deployment of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia in connection with the Gulf War profoundly shocked and revolted bin Laden and other Islamist militants because the Saudi government claims legitimacy based on their role as guardians of the sacred Muslim cities of Mecca and Medina. After the Gulf War, the establishment of permanent bases for non-Muslim U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia continued to undermine the Saudi rulers' legitimacy and inflamed anti-government Islamist militants, including bin Laden. Bin Laden's increasingly strident criticisms of the Saudi monarchy led the government to expel him to Sudan in 1991.

Assisted by donations funneled through business and charitable fronts such as Benevolence International established by his brother-in-law, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, bin Laden established a new base for mujahideen operations in Sudan to disseminate Islamist philosophy and recruit operatives in Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe, and the United States. Bin Laden also invested in business ventures, such as al-Hajira, a construction company that built roads throughout Sudan, and Wadi al-Aqiq, an agricultural corporation that farmed hundreds of thousands of acres of sorghum, gum arabic, sesame and sunflowers in Sudan's central Gezira province. Bin Laden's operations in Sudan were protected by the powerful Sudanese government figure Hassan al Turabi. The funding from these ventures was used to run several training camps on his farmland, where Islamist militants could receive instruction in firearms use and the use of explosives from former Afghan mujahideen.

Around this time, bin Laden and his associates began developing and executing a series of meticulously-planned terrorist attacks. In 1995, the Saudi Arabian government stripped bin Laden of his citizenship after he claimed responsibility for attacks on U.S. and Saudi military bases in Riyadh and Dahran.

Refuge in Afghanistan

Sudanese officials whose government was under international sanctions offered to extradite bin Laden to Saudi Arabia in the mid-1990s. However, Saudi Arabia refused because of the political difficulties of accepting such a controversial figure into their custody. Thus, in May 1996, under increasing pressure from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United States, Sudan expelled bin Laden to Afghanistan. He chartered a plane and flew to Kabul before settling in Jalalabad. After spending a few months in the border region hosted by local leaders, bin Laden forged a close relationship with some of the leaders of Afghanistan's new Taliban government, notably Mullah Mohammed Omar. Bin Laden supported the Taliban government with financial and paramilitary assistance and, in 1997, he moved to Kandahar, the Taliban stronghold.

Bin Laden is suspected of funding the 1997 massacre of 62 tourists in Luxor, Egypt conducted by Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, an Egyptian militant Islamist group. The Egyptian government convicted Bin Laden's colleague, one of the leaders of Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, and sentenced him to death in absentia for the massacre.

Attacks on United States targets

Bin Laden's first strike against the United States was the December 29, 1992 bombing of the Gold Mihor Hotel in Aden, Yemen that killed a Yemeni hotel employee, an Austrian national and seriously injured his wife. About 100 US soldiers, part of Operation Restore Hope, had been staying at the hotel for two weeks but had left two days earlier for Somalia. Bin Laden and the Indonesian militant known as Hambali allegedly funded, then aborted Operation Bojinka conspiracy when police discovered the plot in Manila, Philippines on January 6, 1995.

In 1998, bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri (a leader of Egyptian Islamic Jihad) co-signed a fatwa (binding religious edict) in the name of the World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, declaring, "The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies – civilians and military – is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque (in Jerusalem) and the holy mosque (in Makka) from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty Allah, 'and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together,' and 'fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah.'" For more information, see Osama bin Laden Fatwa.

Bin Laden is officially wanted by the United States in connection with the August 7, 1998 bombings of the United States embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya, that killed 225 people and injured more than 4000. Since June 1999, bin Laden has been listed as one of the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives and FBI Most Wanted Terrorists. Al-Qaida was allegedly involved in several unsuccessful conspiracies, including the 2000 millennium attack plots to bomb Los Angeles airport, several tourist sites in Jordan and the USS The Sullivans, and well as the subsequent Paris embassy terrorist attack plot. The al-Qaeda organization was allegedly responsible for the successful USS Cole bombing in October, 2000.

In response to these attacks, President Bill Clinton ordered a freeze on assets linked to bin Laden. Clinton also signed an executive order authorizing bin Laden's arrest or assassination. In August 1998, the U.S. military launched an assassination attempt using cruise missiles. The attack failed to harm bin Laden but killed 19 other people. The U.S. offered a US$25 million reward for information leading to bin Laden's apprehension or conviction and, in 1999, convinced the United Nations to impose sanctions against Afghanistan in an attempt to force the Taliban to extradite him.

September 11

Immediately after the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks in the United States, the United States government named bin Laden as the prime suspect. He claimed in an interview shortly after the attacks, "I was not involved in the September 11 attacks in the United States nor did I have knowledge of the attacks," and suggested the attacks were the fault of Jews or of the CIA. But in subsequent statements and interviews he expressed admiration for whoever was responsible. He took credit for "inspiring" what he calls the "blessed attacks" of September 11th in several public statements.

In December 2001 U.S. forces in Afghanistan captured a videotape during a raid on a house in Jalalabad, in which he discusses the September 11 attacks with a group of followers. According to the official U.S. translation of this tape bin Laden says:

We calculated in advance the number of casualties from the enemy, who would be killed based on the position of the tower. We calculated that the floors that would be hit would be three or four floors. I was the most optimistic of them all. (...Inaudible...) Due to my experience in this field, I was thinking that the fire from the gas in the plane would melt the iron structure of the building and collapse the area where the plane hit and all the floors above it only. This is all that we had hoped for. (full text of the tape transcript)

Several other videotapes have surfaced in the media (11.11.01 Sunday Times / Al-Jazeera 26.12.02 / 04.02 Al-Jazeera/AP / Sunday Times 19.05.02 / 09.02 Al-Jazeera etc). The video found in Jalalabad in December 2001 is still the most often cited as evidence for bin Laden's participation in the September 11th attacks.

In a closed door session in October 2001, the U.S. presented evidence to NATO of bin Laden's involvement in the September 11 attacks. NATO's general secretary George Robertson described the evidence as clear and decisive and led the organization to invoke, for the first time in its history, article 5 in the NATO pact. Article 5 states that any attack on a member state is considered an attack against the entire alliance. [10] The evidence presented to NATO was never presented to the public for security reasons.

One leading al-Qaeda member, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, claims (according to his interrogators) that the idea for the attacks came from him and not from bin Laden. Khalid has been in United States custody since September 2003. The extent to which bin Laden was involved in funding or overseeing the operation is unknown. The FBI's most wanted poster of bin Laden only refers to the embassy bombings and other unspecified terrorist activity.

Nevertheless, bin Laden has publicly praised the September 11 attacks in several instances and has taken credit for being their "inspiration." It is clear in many of his public statements that he views himself as an active participant in the attacks, whether or not he deserves the credit the West gives him as their "mastermind." A good example is this passage from his October 2001 interview with Al-Jazeera:

As for the World Trade Center, the ones who were attacked and who died in it were a financial power. It wasn't a children's school! And it wasn't a residence. And the general consensus is that most of the people who were in there were men that backed the biggest financial force in the world that spreads worldwide mischief [ta`ithu fil ardi fasaadaa]. And those individuals should stand for Allah, and to re-think and re-do their calculations. We treat others like they treat us. Those who kill our women and our innocent, we kill their women and innocent, until they stop from doing so.[11]

In October of 2004, a videotape was released of Bin Laden in which he said: I looked at those demolished towers in Lebanon, it entered my mind that we should punish the oppressor in kind and that we should destroy towers in America in order that they taste some of what we tasted and so that they be deterred from killing our women and children. [12]

On March 18, 2004, the United States House of Representatives unanimously voted to double the reward for information leading to his capture from US$25 million to US$50 million.


After the September 11 attacks, the United States asked the Taliban government of Afghanistan to "hand him over." The Taliban counter-offer to try bin Laden in an Islamic court or extradite him to a third-party country was deemed unacceptable by the U.S. government. The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan resulted in the death or arrest of many members of his organization, as well as many civilians (estimates range from thousands to 49,000), but bin Laden was not found.

There had been suggestions that bin Laden was killed or fatally injured during U.S. bombardments, most notably near Tora Bora, or that he may have died of natural causes. The U.S. military had reported that bin Laden suffered from a kidney disorder requiring him to have access to advanced medical facilities, possibly kidney dialysis. Ayman al-Zawahiri, also an FBI Most Wanted Terrorist, is a physician and may have provided medical care to bin Laden.

Bin Laden was rumored in the Pakistani press to have died in 2001 of pulmonary complications incident to catastrophic kidney failure in the absence of available hygienic dialysis. His death was speculated on by the Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf [13] and by President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan [14]. This speculation was later undercut by newly released videos of bin Laden, alive and referring to current events such as the 2004 US Presidential election.

Although he has been publicly disowned by his family, an estranged family member, Carmen Binladin, speculates (without providing evidence) that unnamed family members may be providing financial support to bin Laden. The corporate website of The Saudi Binladin Group's (a family-owned company),, expired on September 11, 2001, the same day as the attacks in the United States.

A Spanish court indicted bin Laden and 34 others on charges related to terrorism on September 17, 2003.

Rumours about his whereabouts have appeared from time to time since the start of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan but none have been confirmed.

On October 21, 2004, John Lehman, a member of the 9/11 Commission, reported that bin Laden was indeed alive, and that the Pentagon knew exactly where he was. According to Lehman, bin Laden was living in South Waziristan in the Toba Kakar Mountains of the Baluchistan region in Pakistan, surviving from donations from outside countries such as the United Arab Emirates and high-ranking ministers inside Saudi Arabia. "There is an American presence in the area, but we can't just send in troops," Lehman said. "If we did, we could have another Vietnam, and the United States cannot afford that right now" [15].

On October 29, 2004, the Arab television network Al Jazeera broadcast a video tape of bin Laden addressing citizens of the United States, discussing the reasons behind the September 11, 2001 attacks. This release came just four days before the 2004 U.S. presidential election and is subject to speculation by some political analysts as having affected the election's outcome. See 2004 bin Laden video.

See also

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations by or about:

External links


Daily Mail: Scotland Yard offered Menezes family US$1m

August 20, 2005

The British newspaper Daily Mail reports that Scotland Yard has offered the family of Jean Charles de Menezes, who was mistaken for a suicide bomber and shot by British police on July 22nd, one million US$ (£560,000) in compensation. The paper quotes his parent as saying: "We will not be bought off. We will not be silenced. This is not about money, this is about justice."

According to Yasmin Khan, of the Justice4Jean campaign, John Yates, deputy assistant commissioner at Scotland Yard, flew to Brazil about two weeks ago and made the initial offer. Khan said: "Money was being bandied about but was not accepted. The family felt it was insulting and was not prepared to be bought off." She also stated that she considers Scotland Yard's alleged actions to be part of a cover-up.

Menezes' cousin Alessandro Pereira told the Daily Mail: "The police knew Jean was innocent, yet they let my family suffer. They let us suffer. Ian Blair (Metropolitan Police commissioner) let us suffer. For three weeks, we have had to listen to lie after lie about Jean and how he was killed. The police met my family yet they still didn't tell us the truth. Did they think because we are poor Brazilians we do not deserve the truth?"

Scotland Yard has denied the reports. A Spokesman said: "The only discussions we have had so far with the family of Jean Charles de Menezes have been about initial expenses. We strongly refute any suggestion that a figure anywhere in the region of one million dollars has been offered as compensation."

Related Stories


Rocket attack on USS Ashland docked in Jordan; another rocket fired at Israeli town

August 19, 2005

USS Ashland
USS Ashland

Two Katyusha rockets exploded this morning (8:44 AM UTC+3) in Aqaba, Jordan, near the USS Ashland, which has been docking at the Aqaba port for the last ten days. One Jordanian soldier was killed. Another rocket exploded in Eilat, Israel.

One rocket narrowly missed the USS Ashland and struck a warehouse in the vicinity of the Ashland and the USS Kearsarge, killing a Jordanian soldier, Private Ahmad Alnajdawi, and injuring another. The two amphibious ships had been docking at the Aqaba port for the last ten days. The other missile fell near a Jordanian hospital but caused no injuries.

Commander Jeff Breslau of the U.S. Fifth Fleet told reporters "I can confirm that a rocket flew over the bow of USS Ashland and the rocket impacted in the roof of a warehouse. No sailors or marines were injured. It’s pretty safe to conclude that they were probably trying to hit one or both of the ships".

The rocket that was aimed at Eilat exploded about 15 meters from the Eilat airport, near several hotels. An Israeli taxi driver, Meir Farhan (40), was lightly injured. Farhan told the press "I heard a noise, the car shook, and I kept driving for two more meters. I didn't realize what it was; when I went out of the car I saw a hole in the ground on the asphalt."

A branch of the Al-Qaeda linked terrorist organization Abdullah Azzam Brigades in Egypt has claimed responsibility for the attack. They also claim responsibility for last month's terror attack in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt and for the 2004 attack on Egyptian tourist resorts.

Immediately after the attack, the two US Navy Ships left the Aqaba port. All flights in the Eilat airport were briefly delayed before the explosion site was cleared of debris.

Jordanian security forces have located the launch site on a nearby rooftop. They are searching for three people with connection to the attack, two Syrian nationals and one Iraqi.

Israeli Defense Minister, Shaul Mofaz said that Israeli and Jordanian security forces are cooperating. "We are certain the Jordanians are also acting to thwart such attacks" Mofaz said. "There were no prior warnings regarding this specific case, but we're alert.".

Eilat and Aqaba are both considered international tourist destinations in their respective countries.




The Iraqi WMDs Bush Ignored

Having invaded Iraq on the pretext that Saddam Hussein was ready to use weapons of mass destruction against the United States, the Bush administration failed to secure the one undeniable WMD threat Saddam possessed: the scientists who developed Iraq's nuclear weapons program.

The September/October issue of Mother Jones magazine will break story of how the US failed to keep track of Iraq's nuclear scientists, with the result that today they're dispersed and more dangerous than ever. We're pre-releasing the story this Sunday, August 21st, on the Mother Jones website. Also on Sunday, tune in to Mother Jones Radio, heard on Air America affiliates around the country, at 1:00 p.m. EST, for exclusive interviews with the only Iraqi nuclear scientist known to have been granted refuge in the U.S. since the 2003 invasion, as well as former U.N. weapons inspector David Albright, and writer Kurt Pitzer.

Read the story Sunday, August 21:
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Search Targets Contractor With Ties to Lawmaker (By Charles R. Babcock and R. Jeffrey Smith)
Group Seeks List of Ehrlich Golf Partners (By Matthew Mosk and John Wagner)
More Political Discussions ——————————————————
Be seeing you! - Sparky

Friday, August 19, 2005


So now it comes down to the late summer doom gloom when movie studios are scraping out the bottom of the barrel in a attempt of keeping audiences entralled in believing that most low budget fare can keep the almighty American dollar afloat. August and September are widely known as the months of 'forgettable flick fare'. The only movie from last August that PP Guru has any cognizant retention for is for Alien Vs Predator and even as enjoyable as it was- it was still made on a shoestring budget and was designated to fail. The movie was only made to appease the rabid fanboy who kept pestering Fox year after year to finally make the picture. Fox finally caved in - and said 'OK - we'll make the goddamn picture- we'll put Lance fucking Henriksen in it - we'll give you a hot black chick's booty to stare (even the PP Guru has forgotten her name) at and we 'll give you exploding guts and green ooze that will make you regurgitate your Milk Duds. Now what else do you want? You got it all? Good. NOW LEAVE US THE FUCK ALONE!! And so it went from there to gross eighty something million dollars world wide.

Seems this August is off to a fairy decent start- Dukes of Hazzard, although based on a tv series about rednecks racing in hot rods is not the PP Guru's cup of hibiscus tea, it seemed successful enough to have kowtowed to the hypocrite Republician in all of us and earned 30 point something million in its' first opening weekend.

Jessica Simpson

The movie features Jessica Simpson in the female lead of Daisy Dukes,of whom the PP Guru hears is on MTV a lot and is married to some soap opera schmuck named Nick something. The PP Guru wishes he could share everyone's else elation that she is in this movie- but guess what? The PP Guru doesn't have MTV - so he is afraid that walking up behind her to raise up her skirt to pull down her pink little panties to have his way with her doesn't really relate to him at all. Would somebody care to comment to the PP Guru as to why she is so hot? Because it looks to him as she is not all that.

Let's see who else is making the PP Guru's tunic flap at too much of a high velocity in the breeze with no tent pole to support it.

Oops- Look, perhaps the PP Guru spoke too hastily ... ???

Last weekend's net gross of John Singleton's new Four Brothers came in at a modest 20 mil and change. When the PP Guru was out visiting Papa Purple Pinup Guru's desert land hacienda out in Las Vegas- PPP Guru asked PP Guru if he would be interested in seeing a movie. The PP Guru told PPP Guru that he didn't come out all the way to Vegas just to see movies (he seems them in Westwood)- he came out to try to legally change his name to Purple Pinup Gambling Guru - but as the PP Guru chronicled in yesterday's entry, that little add on to his moniker had to be put on the backburner once again. Still, the PP Guru was curious as to why the PPP Guru wanted to see a movie so strife with urban conflict, rap songs, and graffitti being masturbated all over the screen - now the PP Guru knows why:

Sofía Vergara

Sofia Vergara 01

Yep - it's nice to know that the Papa PP Guru can still get aroused in his kidney stone kryptonite occupied world. And here are the cojones to prove it.

Although vastly popular on covers of South American men's magazines- Sofia is better known for resisting the lure of Tom Cruise's scientologist's skin crawling charms before poor Katie fell into his Xemu sprung trap (gentle reminder that this blog was successful in mounting a daring rescue of Dakota Fanning a few months ago).

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Now the PP Guru wouldn't mind reaching down her pants to check her oil - seeing how it's at now $67 a barrel, but alas - again, the PP Guru doesn't have the proper research materials on hand with him (including the best in which spy wear gear has to offer in terms of infra red surveillence equipment, maps, and who her boyfriend or toys are) and hasn't seen her in too much of anything, other than a few photos here and there on the newstand rack. Maybe the PP Guru should consult some late night Univision or Telemundo for more graphic information. Or he would probably be better off just checking out the flick itself- it's just that the PP Guru is not a real that much of a Marky Mark Walberg fan.
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Rachel McAdams from “Red Eye”

Finally, besides being a beloved critic's darling in such hit movies as The Notebook and Mean Girls- the PP Guru has never heard of Rachel McAdams who seems to be the main focus of director's Wes Craven's muse in his high tension in the sky thriller, Red Eye which opens this Friday. Slightly off the supernatural beaten path from such suspense and horror fare like Nighmare on Elm's Street or Cursed, Craven goes in Hitchcockian overdrive with McAdams as a meekly hotel manger who shares a airplane seat with a highly professional assassin whose target just happens to be her father. Now just what the fucking odds of that ever happening in real life? Skepticism not being on the critic's itinerary, many agree that it delivers genuine shocks and thrills on a psychotic popcorn kernal gagging level. Also stars Cillian Murphy, the Scarecrow from this summer's Batman Begins as the major baddy along with X-Men 2's Brian Cox as McAdams targeted father.

People have told the PP Guru that Rachel is equally incredible in The Wedding Crashers.

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But ... The PP Guru doesn't really like movies about weddings or ones with cutesy cuddy romance and comedies that dedicates lots of screen time to face sucking and hugging or any other of that matrimonial mumbo jumbo thrown in. Those are chick flicks, and the PP Guru doesn't do chick flicks.

Unless they have a lot of face time with Sophia Vargas going down to check her oil.

As relayed through his reduction in Viagara medication to:

~ Coat

Guru should change to Cialis - Sparky

Thursday, August 18, 2005

SPARKY: Since When is the Bush Junta II Puppet Boy King Likable?

Then again those of us on the 'Left Coast' can't see a scion of wealth Yale Graduate as a good ol' boy. We're too cynical of chickenhawks who lie and let American troops die while “Poppy” gets more rich. Having Osama's pop hand "W" $ 1 Million in seed money for his first big business failure makes him someone we're not inviting to dinner anytime soon.

David Ignatius: What Democrats Should Be Saying:
“This should be the Democrats' moment: The Bush administration is caught in an increasingly unpopular war; its plan to revamp Social Security is fading into oblivion; its deputy chief of staff is facing a grand jury probe. Though the Republicans control both houses of Congress as well as the White House, they seem to be suffering from political and intellectual exhaustion. They are better at slash-and-burn campaigning than governing.

So where are the Democrats amid this GOP disarray? Frankly, they are nowhere. They are failing utterly in the role of an opposition party, which is to provide a coherent alternative account of how the nation might solve its problems. Rather than lead a responsible examination of America's strategy for Iraq, they have handed off the debate to a distraught mother who is grieving for her lost son. Rather than address the nation's long-term fiscal problems, they have decided to play politics and let President Bush squirm on the hook of his unpopular plan to create private Social Security accounts.

Because they lack coherent plans for how to govern the country, the Democrats have become captive of the most shrill voices in the party, who seem motivated these days mainly by visceral dislike of George W. Bush. Sorry, folks, but loathing is not a strategy -- especially when much of the country finds the object of your loathing a likable guy. ... (complete in link) ”

Prewar Memo Warned of Gaps in Iraq Plans
“One month before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, three State Department bureau chiefs warned of "serious planning gaps for post-conflict public security and humanitarian assistance" in a secret memorandum prepared for a superior. ... (complete in link) ”
U.S. Pentagon conference says weapons entered Iraq from Iran
August 9, 2005

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Saddam's ex-pal Donald Rumsfeld. File photo of press
conference 2005-06-27. Photo by Cherie A. Thurlby

In a televised Pentagon press briefing Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald RumsfeldIraq from across the Iranian border. A weapons cache was said to have been intercepted. "It is true that weapons, clearly, unambiguously from Iran have been found in Iraq," Rumsfeld said today. stood by a press release from the Pentagon on Monday that reported explosives and bombs crossed into

Evidence reportedly indicated the quality and sophistication of the weapons was such that they may have been manufactured in Iran, but Rumsfeld was unable or unwilling to describe the weapons further. Timing of the Pentagon release coincides with the controversy over Iran restarting its nuclear facilities.

Rumsfeld, with the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staffs, Richard Myers, said the jihadist effort in Iraq was aimed at inciting civil war, since they realize they cannot directly defeat the coalition. Speaking on the issue of border crossings of troops and munitions from Syria and Iran, Rumsfeld implied that those nations don't want progress in to be made in Iraq. He said, "... what are the Iranians doing? Are they going to be helpful or unhelpful? ... same with the Syrians... are they being helpful or unhelpful?"

The two cited progress by the Iraqi government in working toward the August 15 deadline for drafting a new constitution. In a nod to the possibility that the deadline will be missed, it was said that the constitution could be amended, and that voting on ratification would occur in October of this year, with a general election to follow in December. Myers referred to a shift in the Sunni participation in the process, saying, "All indications are that the Sunni leadership in Iraq has made a fundamental decision that they want to be part of the process."

They reasserted previous President Bush statements that there is no clear time-table for an Iraqi withdrawal because it depends on the situation at the time. "The drawdowns that will occur eventually will obviously be based on those conditions." Rumsfeld said. Further questions by reporters intending to pin down a clear withdrawal time-line were rebuffed.

Myers said, "You have economic progress that has to be made; you have political progress that has to be made." He added that "173,000 Iraqi security forces" are in place in the country, but along with work on the country's infrastructure, much remains to be done with the training and equipping of their security forces.


"Camp Casey" moves to safer land, as Mother's protest continues

August 17, 2005

In Crawford, Texas, anti-war protesters led by American Cindy Sheehan, mother of a fallen soldier, have found a new place to demonstrate. "A kind gentleman from down the road, closer to the Bush ranch, has offered us the use of his property," said Sheehan to the reporters, as the camp prepared a move to private land.

The property owner, U.S. Army veteran Fred Mattlage, said, "I just think people should have a right to protest without being harassed, and I'm against the war. I don't think it's a war we need to be in."

Sheehan continued to tell the reporters, "He offered it because he heard about the shots fired at us the other day and he didn't think that was right. He happens to be the third cousin of the person that fired the shots and so he came down and he said he supports us 100 percent."

The "shots fired" were those of nearby resident Larry Mattlage, whose land borders the protesters at their current location. After complaining about the proximity of the protesters, he fired a shotgun twice into the air Sunday - in order to prepare for duck hunting season, he said. Mattlage says at no time was he ever threatening the protesters with his shots.

Iraq war memorial at Cindy Sheehan's Camp Casey protest, desecrated
by Bush supporter. Source: Ernest Hancock, from
He stated, "Those are public domain, as far as I'm concerned."

Not all Americans agree with Mrs. Sheehan's position. On Monday, a man was arrested and charged with vandalism of Camp Casey's memorial for troops lost in Iraq. Around 10pm the previous night, authorities say the accused used his pickup truck to run over hundreds of small wooden crosses bearing names of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq.

In comments to the press, Bush offered sympathy to Sheehan, "I sympathize with Mrs. Sheehan. She feels strongly about her -- about her position. And she has every right in the world to say what she believes.", he said. However, he has still declined to meet her. "I think it's important for me to be thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say." Bush told reporters, "But, I think it's also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life."

Others have commented that Sheehan is being used by those with their own agendas, "What started out as a grieving mom that we all sympathized with has now turned into ... an orchestrated far-left campaign," commented Greg Mueller, a conservative public-relations executive.

A former FBI special agent, Rowley, and Becky Lourey, whose son was killed in Iraq, will leave for Texas on Thursday and camp at the site for a few days.

Rowley said, "It puts a human face on this issue; many people, if they don't have a personal connection to the troops, it's so easy for this to become a discussion that lacks seriousness and urgency. I think it's good to show that there are real people that are being affected."

"Our children are dying and I think it's time to go support Cindy and see if Bush will come out and we can say, 'President Bush, what is the mission exactly?'," Becky Lourey added. "Truth has been shifting all around and I think we need to rejoin the world community and not occupy another nation." Lourey said.

Sheehan wants the withdrawal of all troops from Iraq. President Bush claims that leaving Iraq now wouldn't be helpful for Iraqis or Americans, but only for terrorists.



U.S. Army intelligence had detected 9/11 terrorists year before, says officer

August 18, 2005

A year before the 9/11 attacks, through data mining a U.S. Army intelligence group had identified two terrorist cells, including Mohammed Atta and three other 9/11 hijackers. Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer, a liason officer of a unit called Able Danger, has spoken on the topic. By analysis of non-military data, several of the terrorists with direct links to top Al-Qaeda leadership were identified.

Able Danger also used publicly available information from government immigration agencies.

Description on CNN of the technology involved:

SHAFFER: "...Land Information Warfare Activity, LIWA, at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, an Army unit ... this targeting exercise of al Qaeda. What the LIWA did -- and it was their ability to go through massive amounts of open-source data, 2.5 terabytes, and look for patterns that related to previously-known terrorists. It was that information then which popped up...
S. O'BRIEN: So, by trolling the Internet and LexisNexis, things like that, I think that's what you mean by open source data? Am I right about that?
SHAFFER: Open source -- anything that's not a classified database. We're talking about commercial databases, financial databases. Anything that's out there that relates to the real world."

On the Sean Hannity Show Wednesday, Shaffer said there were direct links to top Al-Qaeda leaders. He repeated that on Thursday.


Baghdad morgue received over 1,000 bodies in July
August 18, 2005

The bodies of over 1,000 civilians were brought to Baghdad's morgue last month, the highest recorded death toll for Iraq's capital since the invasion began in March 2003.

Amid preparations for the new Iraqi constitution, the Interim Government has tried to suppress details of the growing number of civilian casualties, but the truth emerged after British veteran journalist Robert Fisk paid a visit to the morgue and was shown the human cost of Iraq's security crisis:

So many corpses are being brought to the mortuary that human remains are stacked on top of each other. Unidentified bodies must be buried within days for lack of space — but the municipality is so overwhelmed by the number of killings that it can no longer provide the vehicles and personnel to take the remains to cemeteries.[1]

'The July figures are the largest ever recorded in the history of the Baghdad Medical Institute,' one of the senior managers at the morgue said, speaking on condition of anonimity.

An estimated 1,100 bodies were received by the Baghdad mortuary in July, a rise of 85% compared with figures for the same month before the US-led invasion. The latest figures show a rising trend: in 2004 and 2003 the numbers in July were 800 and 700 respectively. By comparison, equivalent figures for 1997, 1998 and 1999 were all below 200.

All of last month's dead are civilians, the majority male and most aged between 15-44. Fisk, writing in The Independent, described how the task of identifying all of the bodies has been complicated because many have been tortured or otherwise disfigured. 'In many cases, the remains have been shattered by explosions — possibly by suicide bombs — or by deliberate disfigurement by their killers,' he wrote.

The medical authorities have buried 500 nameless bodies since January.



Dear Sparky,

It can get ugly here in Washington - especially with Tom DeLay and Republicans in Congress abusing their power on a daily basis. But even under these difficult circumstances, Democrats in Congress can still win inspirational victories that make it all worthwhile.

The six months since I introduced my bill, H.R. 810, to expand stem cell research are such an inspirational time. When President Bush won re-election, most political analysts thought the hopes of millions of Americans for serious stem cell research were dead. Even fewer thought that the House of Representatives would challenge the President when he threatened to veto any bill lifting his stifling limitations on stem cell research.

But now Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist has found it in his conscience to stop obstructing hope, and to support expanding federal support for stem cell research. This makes it more likely that the Senate will pass our bill, which Democrats pushed through the House in May, and send it to President Bush's desk.

I applaud Senator Frist for choosing compassion and hope over the demands of the extreme right. Stand with me in demanding that President Bush do the same:

Tell President Bush to Withdraw His Veto Threat on Stem Cells.

In his nearly five years as president, George Bush has never vetoed a bill. To do so now would be devastating to the 110 million Americans who could potentially see their lives and their children's lives improved dramatically or even saved.

This should not be a partisan issue. The progress we made on this legislation in a Congress that is normally ruled by an iron Republican fist (or hammer) shows that, in the end, it need not be.

The extreme elements of the Republican base have tried to cast this as an ideological battle. But Republican Senator Arlen Specter, who is co-sponsoring the Senate version of the stem cell bill and who has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, has brought the debate home for many of us:
"The scientists know more than the people in the White House. And the scientists tell us they have enormous potential to cure diseases like the one I'm suffering from...I think it is scandalous when we have the potential to save lives and we're not doing so."
Tell President Bush to Withdraw His Veto Threat on Stem Cells.

When Congress returns from recess, President Bush will have to make a decision on whether to obstruct the clear will of the American people and dash the hopes of millions on behalf of a few fringe supporters. Please stand with me in asking President Bush to have the courage to do what's right for all of America, and for people across the globe.

You and the DCCC have stood together and helped this issue gain the national attention it deserves. Over 10,000 of you have already signed our petition, and hundreds of you wrote in and helped to create a massive archive of stories from across the country explaining why stem cell research is personal to you. This is not about politics. We've overcome the opposition of Tom DeLay in the House and now we've drawn Senator Frist to our side.

We need to get another 10,000 signatures and show the President that passing this legislation - not doing the bidding of his radical supporters - is the will of the people.

There is only one obstruction left.

Tell President Bush to Withdraw His Veto Threat on Stem Cells.

Thank you so much. Sincerely,

Rep. Diana DeGette
Colorado's First District
Hannity & Colmes

Hannity & Colmes is an American television program on the FOX News cable television network featuring conservative host Sean Hannity and liberal host Alan Colmes.

Usually, guests are invited on to debate the two hosts on current news stories. For most issues, Hannity and Colmes invite a conservative guest and a liberal guest who debate the issue in question. Also, there are occasional one-on-one sit-down interviews. Normally, in these interviews, Hannity interviews conservative guests and Colmes interviews liberal guests.

FOX News points to this show as an example of balance when critics claim that the network is too conservative. The program's supporters claim that both hosts receive equal amounts of time, and that they introduce and debate items in an equal manner. However, critics claim that Hannity often expresses his points more forcefully than Colmes, Hannity is more telegenic than Colmes, Colmes is really more moderate in his views, Hannity is a more popular media personality than Colmes, and that Hannity is often misleading or untruthful in his statements. In his book Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, satirist Al Franken highlights this apparent discrepancy by consistently using small fonts for Colmes, referring the show as "Hannity and Colmes." ...

<>On Sean Hannity, In 2004, Bill Moyers famously criticized conservative talk radio by saying, "On the eve of the election last month my wife Judith and I were driving home late in the afternoon and turned on the radio for the traffic and weather. What we instantly got was a freak show of political pornography: lies, distortions, and half-truths — half-truths being perhaps the blackest of all lies. They paraded before us as informed opinion." (complete in links)

External links


That's all for today folks! Thanks for the eyeballs - Sparky
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