- GAO: Looming Threat to US Oil Supply 30 March 2007 A report released Thursday by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office concludes that worldwide oilMessage 1 of 1 , Apr 1, 2007View SourceGAO: Looming Threat to US Oil Supply30 March 2007
A report released Thursday by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office concludes that worldwide oil production will eventually grind to a halt and the United States has no strategy in place to deal with the possible catastrophic results.
The report, titled "CRUDE OIL - Uncertainty About Future Oil Supply Makes It Important to Develop a Strategy for Addressing a Peak and Decline in Oil Production," outlines the threat to oil supply posed by global political instability and the lack of new oil field discovery. According to the report, "More than 60 percent of world oil reserves, on the basis of Oil and Gas Journal estimates, are in countries where relatively unstable political conditions could constrain oil exploration and production." These countries include Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and Nigeria. Energy market analysts agree that the significant threat of instability in oil producing nations has inflated the price of oil.
Matt Simmons is the president and founder of Simmons and Company International, says the industry "doesn't have any new technology coming on line," adding that "the idea new oil extraction technology can save us is a complete fallacy." Simmons thinks that world oil production may have peaked in 2005 and said "the odds of us not peaking in the next five years are zero." Simmons called the work of Congressmen Udall and Bartlett "a heroic effort to awaken our country to this threat to the survival of our economy."
US-European Showdown Over CIA's Covert Extraordinary Rendition Operation
Arrest warrants were issued by Bavarian judicial authorities against 13 U.S. citizens, a European official said, and requests for their apprehension were disseminated worldwide through Interpol. In one case, said the official, judicial authorities in Bavaria announced that they will seek extradition from the United States, although the request has yet to be forwarded to the U.S. government.
If German intelligence agencies pursues attempts to extradite 13 CIA officers charged with illegally abducting a German Muslim on suspicions of terrorist connections, the AWOL Bush administration is theatening that it could jeopardized longstanding U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement cooperation with Germany.
U.S. concerns, communicated to German authorities through diplomatic channels, are the latest evidence that the administration intends to play hardball with foreign governments that take legal action against CIA officers for counterterror operations conducted on their soil.
The administration appears to have communicated a similar hard-line message to authorities in Italy, where prosecutors are pursuing a separate case of alleged "extraordinary rendition" against CIA officers.
John Sifton, an investigator for Human Rights Watch said that the Italian and German criminal investigations of alleged CIA rendition cases are "symbolic." One reason for this, he said, was that foreign investigations are examining in detail U.S. government activities that Congress, at least up until now, has been unwilling to probe in depth.
Bush's Long History of Tilting Justice
29 March 2007
Under the Bush administration, however, all that changed. Over the last six years, this Justice Department has ignored the advice of the experience and judgment of longtime civil servants and skewed aspects of law enforcement in ways that clearly were intended to influence the outcome of elections.
In March 2006, Bradley Schlozman was appointed interim U.S. attorney in Kansas City, Mo. Schlozman's central role in politicizing the civil rights division during his three-year tenure.
This administration is also politicizing the career staff of the Justice Department. Outright hostility to career employees who disagreed with the political appointees was evident early on. Seven career managers were removed in the civil rights division. At the same time, career staff were nearly cut out of the process of hiring lawyers. Control of hiring went to political appointees, so an applicant's fidelity to GOP interests replaced civil rights experience as the most important factor in hiring decisions.Book Review: Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army by Jeremy Scahill, Nation Books, 2007.And it's interesting that Blackwater USA and its executives are heavy funders of the campaigns of President Bush and his Republican allies. Blackwater USA was founded by a man named Eric Prince. Eric Prince came from a very conservative evangelical Christian family (that gave funds to Gary Bauer to start his group, the Family Research Council. They were heavy funders of James Dobson and Focus on the Family.So what we've found is that the way that the Bush administration has
internationalized its presence in Iraq is to recruit, through private
companies, soldiers and other contractors from third countries to go
and deploy in Iraq. Take the case of Chile, for instance. The nation
of Chile -- 92 percent of the population was against the Iraq war.
Chile was on the Security Council at the time it went up for a vote
and was against the Iraq war. And yet Blackwater and other companies
went into Chile, hired up hundreds of their soldiers and deployed them
in Iraq as part of the so-called coalition of the willing. Take the
case of Honduras. They pulled their troops out of Iraq in 2005.
Another U.S. mercenary company went into Honduras and hired those
exact soldiers and redeployed them to Iraq. So as we talk about the
ramifications of privatization in warfare, we have to look at the fact
that not only is the democratic process in this country being
subverted by it, but the democratic processes in other countries are
being subverted by it. It's a total, sort of, banging at the bottom
of nation-state status. They're really chiseling away at not only our
democracy but the democratic processes in other countries. How dare
the Bush administration deploy troops from countries that have said
"we won't join your coalition of the willing"? That, to me, is an
extraordinary development in this history.Blackwater is largely not working for the U.S.
military in Iraq. Blackwater has been paid $750 million,
three-quarters of $1 billion, by the U.S. State Department alone,
since June of 2004. And what Blackwater does is it guards the senior
U.S. officials in Iraq. It guards Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, it
guards State Department officials, it's guarded 90 congressional
delegations, including that of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. And so
what the U.S. has done is to outsource what some would argue is one of
the most mission-critical operations in Iraq: The protection of the
senior U.S. officials on the ground in Iraq. So Blackwater really is
at the front lines of protecting the most hated people in Iraq, and
the fact that the U.S. sends that into the private sector speaks
volumes to the faith that the administration or lack of faith that the
administration apparently has in the active-duty U.S. military.You no longer have to go through the Congress, you
no longer have to try to convince young people in this country to join
the military in the same kinds of numbers. You can hire troops from
the United States, Chile, Columbia, Bulgaria, Honduras, Nicaragua, you
name it. It's a total subversion of what should be a necessary
resistance to offensive wars.
And what I think is the key point right now is
that we need to start seriously looking in this country at the
privatization of war as part of the bigger privatization agenda. Look
at the prison system in this country right now. Not only do we have
private corporations running prisons, but we also have faith-based
prisons. One of Eric Prince's, the founder of Blackwater, one of his
close political allies, Chuck Colson, was Nixon's hatchet man. One of
the first people that went to jail for the Watergate conspiracy.
Chuck Colson has now reinvented himself as this evangelical leader.
He runs a faith-based prison in Sugar Land, Texas, the former district
of then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. And he runs the lives of 200
prisoners and they are running it as a Christian missionary operation.
And Chuck Colson speaks openly about how we need to bring the
Christian word into the prisons to battle the rise of Islamic
fundamentalism in prisons.And the fact of the matter is that Blackwater is expanding to
California. They're looking to open a new facility in San Diego.
They're expanding to Illinois. They've applied for operating licenses
in all coastal states in the U.S. Their representatives met recently
with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to discuss doing disaster response in
California after earthquakes. This is all part of that privatization
agenda, and the companies that benefit from it are well-connected
companies, and that sort of embodies everything that President
Eisenhower warned against in his farewell address when he talked about
unchecked corporate power with the rise of the military-industrial
complex.Wal-Mart's hired Brown Shirts29 March 2007Kenneth H. Senser, 47, a former top official at the C.I.A. and F.B.I. who runs Wal-Mart's security department with a staff of roughly 400. Mr. Senser was a senior officer in the C.I.A.'s office of security, which was responsible for investigating agents considered a security risk. After that, he supervised the development of an internal security department at the F.B.I. when the agency discovered that Robert P. Hanssen, one of its agents, had spied for the Soviet Union and Russia.Joe Lewis, who runs the internal corporate investigations unit at Wal-Mart, worked at the F.B.I. for 27 years, serving as acting assistant director for criminal investigations. He works closely with Thomas C. Gean, chief legal compliance officer, who was the United States attorney for the Western District of Arkansas.In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes. MY NEWSLETTER has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is MY NEWSLETTER endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)
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