Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 26, 2009

Links April 26 2009

  • Philip Stephens on Sadism - Abuse of the law handed victory to terrorists - (FT, alternative link)
  • A question to be asked in court - Who Ordered the Torture of Abu Zubaydah? - (Counterpunch)
  • U.S. Soldier Who Killed Herself--After Refusing to Take Part in Torture - (E&P 1 2)
  • Frank Rich - The Banality of Bush White House Evil - (NYT)
  • Creating a 'failed state' - Hillary and Pakistan - (Craig Murray)
  • Late: Senator Arlen Specter - The Need to Roll Back Presidential Power Grabs - (NYRB)
  • Analysis: Helena Cobban - Obama and Netanyahu - Storm Clouds Ahead? - (IPS)
  • The map - The Palestinian Archipelago - (Strange Maps)
  • An (unsuccessful) attempt to discuss with racists - Israel: Civilians & Combatants - (NYRB)
  • Huh? - Lieberman: Israel will not attack Iran - even if sanctions fail - (Haaretz)
  • On sharia-compliant finance - The Money that Prays - (LRB)

Please share your links, news and views in the comments.

Posted by b on April 26, 2009 at 6:02 UTC | Permalink


Under "on sharia" -

With microfinance ballooning in the same way tertiary fracturing of depleted gas
fields is booming, is the microfinance movement a humanitarian form of penny ante
for the poor, or is it aimed squarely at opening up halal investment territories,
in a Last Crusade Final Solution , the same way BioAgraPharm is pushing their GMO,
pesticides and herbicides perpetual indebtedness and forfeiture of land holdings
and water rights around the world, buying up and destroying indigent seed stocks?

Is the Master Race Liquidation Plan glamorized as "Golden Rice and Micro Finance?"

Posted by: Lash Marks | Apr 26 2009 7:11 utc | 1

I give up, is the glass half full or half empty?

We in the USA live under a system that's rigged, top to bottom it's rigged for the 1%.

Until that's addressed, it's all hyperbole.

Scratch that, We In This Planet, Poor or Rich, First World or Third World live under a system that's rigged.

So someone tell me how this changes, given how the deck is loaded?


I'm tired of hearing rhetoric of analysis, I wanna hear some pure change like talk.

We is fucked. WE the people, the masses.

The rich and 1% own us all.

How ya gonna change that, at this point, without HUGE upheaval brought by nature, nukes, or the masses in revolt (which I don't see happening, the masses revolting).


Posted by: larue | Apr 26 2009 7:50 utc | 2

Very important read on how the Pakistani "crisis" is all BS.

Pakistan Crisis and Social Statistics

Posted by: Anthony | Apr 26 2009 7:59 utc | 3

Patrick Cockburn on>has torture killed more Americans than 911? from an interview with the U.S. commander responsible for getting the intelligence that got Zarqawi.

Posted by: anna missed | Apr 26 2009 8:36 utc | 4

Uri Avnery: Can Two Walk Together?

I AM not saying that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is an agent of the Mossad.

Absolutely not. I don’t want to be sued for libel.

I am only saying that were he an agent of the Mossad, he would not behave any differently.

And also: If he did not exist, the Mossad would have had to invent him.

Either way, the assistance he is giving to the government of Israel is invaluable.

Posted by: Colin | Apr 26 2009 8:37 utc | 5

This ABC video of an Abu Dhabi Prince personally torturing a businessman with the full assistance of the police whose chief is brother, deserves special emphasis, as does the U.S. Government's silence on the activities of its "strategic ally". For those with queasy stomachs I suggest you just take my word for it and don't bother to watch:

Abu Dhabi state-sponsored torture

Posted by: Parviz | Apr 26 2009 10:23 utc | 6

What happened? Only the first line of my post appeared.

Posted by: Parviz | Apr 26 2009 10:24 utc | 7

Anyway, here it is again, an ABC news video of an Abu Dhabi Prince, the brother of the Chief of Police, personally torturing a businessman and demanding that it be filmed close up. Understandably the U.S. Government is silent on the torture activities, clearly state-sponsored, of a "strategic ally". If your stoachs are queasy don't bother to view the following:

Abu Dhabi Prince torturing a businessman

Posted by: Parviz | Apr 26 2009 10:27 utc | 8

Oh, the coincidence: Clinton pledges to keep troops in Iraq if violence escalates.

Posted by: andrew | Apr 26 2009 12:32 utc | 9

Mubarak's expanding enemies list.

Middle East spies.

Turmoil among women in the Philippines about the acquittal of a US soldier accused of rape.

Posted by: andrew | Apr 26 2009 12:49 utc | 10

This is weird. The link posted above first appeared, then disappeared, so here it is again in its raw form so you can drag and drop:

Posted by: Parviz | Apr 26 2009 13:18 utc | 11

Thanks, Colin, for #5, whhich clearly demonstrates the damage this mad buffoon has done to his own nation by attempting to be the "leader of the Palestinians", who are interested only in my nation's $$$billions and will ditch him (and Iran) as soon as they gain their own state.

Posted by: Parviz | Apr 26 2009 13:21 utc | 12

This is weird. The link posted above first appeared, then disappeared, so here it is again in its raw form so you can drag and drop:

I suspect they are and have introduced code to halt or slow down the spreading of samizdat in the event of an emergency. And I find it interesting no one here wants to addresss this issue.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Apr 26 2009 14:56 utc | 13

The Guardian reports: Caught on tape. Police running undercover op to turn environmental activists into informants, with money and threats.

During the taped discussions, the officers:

• Indicate that she could receive tens of thousands of pounds to pay off her student loans in return for information about individuals within Plane Stupid.

• Say they will not pay money direct into her bank account because that would leave an audit trail that would leave her compromised. They said the money would be tax-free, and added: "UK plc can afford more than 20 quid."

• Accept that she is a legitimate protester, but warn her that her activity could mean she will struggle to find employment in the future and result in a criminal record.

• Claim they have hundreds of informants feeding them information from protest organisations and "big groupings" from across the political spectrum.

• Explain that spying could assist her if she was arrested. "People would sell their soul to the devil," an officer said.

• Warn her that she could be jailed alongside "hard, evil" people if she received a custodial sentence.

Posted by: small coke | Apr 26 2009 15:04 utc | 14


i do not adress such issues because of my basic ignorance, because it has never happened when i have posted so i cannot comprehend it technically & because i have a profound trust in b

but you are one of our finest researchers so i also believe you it would not surpise me in the least that the appareils of state attempt to limit effective & real communication, & a free distribution of information

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Apr 26 2009 15:09 utc | 15

The link for The Palestinian Archipelago map, I think.

Posted by: Diane | Apr 26 2009 15:41 utc | 16

uncle, as far as posting here i have noticed on numerous occasions when i try to link certain inflammatory links the system rejects them. especially w/youtube. it occurs to me there are peole w/the ability to make somelinks toxic. also sometimes when i am doing some searches very shortly thereafter my computer runs very slowly and sometimes i loose my internet signal. this happens after hanging out at places like mondoweiss or their archives.

i don't give it a lot of thought, clear all my cookies or turn off my computer and it seems to go away. whenever i think about being 'tagged' or something i just figure there are so many of us wtf difference does it make. by the time the come take me away i will be in good company. it isn't going to stop me from linking and blogging.

Posted by: annie | Apr 26 2009 16:52 utc | 17

Everyone, I must say I thought my comments would be met with general skepticism and am glad to read to the contrary. I actually posted twice with the Link to ACLU → method and actually checked each time that it works, and suddenly the links became inaccessible and you can only access it now through 'copy/paste'.

B, any comments?

btw, the video is astonishing.

Posted by: Parviz | Apr 26 2009 17:28 utc | 18

whether or not the folks behind typepad are intentionally using their software to manipulate specific comments, it's already a given that limiting the ability of non-admin users to post no more than four urls in a single comment goes against the very model of a medium designed around hyperlinks. i am not convinced that this is a necessary tradeoff to address spam since non-automated spammers can use multiple comments just like anyone else.

Posted by: b real | Apr 26 2009 17:57 utc | 19

"...get your family and leave the country [Abu Dhabi] as soon as possible..."
Might be good advice for all Americans. The wheels are exploding off the bus.


Thatcher Room
Portcullis House
Tuesday 28 April 1.45pm
Formal Evidence Session on UK Complicity in Torture
Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights
Witness: Craig Murray, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan
(currently Rector of the University of Dundee).

In 2004, Craig Murray told us that:

- The British Government was complicit in the most vicious forms of torture
- He had been the victim of a lurid smear campaign initiated by New Labour
- The government was lying about all this

In 2004, much of the public and media was not willing to accept that the government would cooperate with torture or with false allegations against an innocent man. Many still had trust in the basic honesty and decency of government.

The evidence that Craig Murray was telling the truth about torture has now become overwhelming, including from the case of Binyam Mohammed. The UK “benefited” continually from intelligence passed on from the CIA waterboarding programme and from torture in countries including Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Egypt.

Craig Murray suffered the most high profile sacking of any British Ambassador for a century. But in 2005 the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee refused to hear him in evidence, despite allowing Jack Straw to appear and attack him.

Astonishingly, this is the first time Craig Murray will ever have been allowed to give formal evidence in the UK on his grave allegations, and be questioned on the truth of his testimony.

As the Scotland Yard investigation proceeds into MI5 and MI6 collusion in 16 cases of torture, Craig Murray will argue that it is not the security service operatives, but the Ministers who set the policy – and specifically Jack Straw – who should be facing criminal charges.

Contact: Craig Murray on 07979 691085 or
Transcript of Craig Murray's formal evidence statement is at

Posted by: Arnold Toynbee | Apr 26 2009 17:58 utc | 20

@1 - "Shariah finance" is just about the fishiest pitch I've heard in a few weeks. A big show of morality and ethics, combined with murky finances. Hmm, where have I heard that before? IMO, religion and finance should be kept as rigorously separate as church and state are supposed to be, for reasons which should be obvious. And what about the geopolitics of "Islamic" finance and microlending? Again, fishy. Loretta Napoleoni has written some about this.

Posted by: Tom | Apr 26 2009 18:31 utc | 21

Diane @16 - yes, sorry I had a mistake in my link list, corrected now.

@Uncle and others:

There are various blogging systems out there. All of them have problems, all of them fail once a while. I have tried four of them and while I do not like typepad, they were -in total- not much better. I do not have the time to transfer the blog onto another system just for the fun of it.

Currently when a link does not seem to occur despite correct html simply reload the page (shift-reload). Usually it then comes up correctly. As for the limit of three links in a comment. That was very much needed as I had to delete lots of spam posts that had 20-30 URLs in them. Those have now vanished.

You can post comments with more links but they will only appear after I cleared them.

Posted by: b | Apr 26 2009 18:45 utc | 22

Parviz, #18: sometimes it happens to me too. Try to refresh the page and then usually the links re-appear.

Posted by: andrew | Apr 26 2009 19:13 utc | 23

And so it begins...

U.S. Declares Public Health Emergency Over Swine Flu

Published: April 26, 2009

American health officials on Sunday declared a public health emergency over increasing cases of swine flu, saying that they had confirmed 20 cases of the disease in the United States and expected to see more as investigators fan out to track down the path of the outbreak. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano spoke during a press briefing on the swine flu outbreak in the White House on Sunday. Although officials said most of the cases have been mild and urged Americans not to panic, the emergency declaration frees government resources to be used toward diagnosing or preventing additional cases, and releases money for more antiviral drugs.

“We are seeing more cases of swine flu,” said Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control, in a news conference in Washington. “We expect to see more cases of swine flu. As we continue to look for cases, I expect we’re going to find them.” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, speaking at the same news conference called the emergency declaration “standard operating procedure,” and said it should be considered a “declaration of emergency preparedness.”

“Really that’s what we’re doing right now,” she said. “We’re preparing in an environment where we really don’t know ultimately what the size of seriousness of this outbreak is going to be.”

Officials said they had confirmed eight cases in New York, seven in California, two in Kansas, two in Texas and one in Ohio, and that the cases looked to be similar to the deadly strain of swine flu that has killed more than 80 people in Mexico and infected 1,300 more. So far, there have been no deaths from swine flu in the United States, and only one of the people who tested positive for the disease has been hospitalized, officials said. Still, officials said they expect more severe cases.

Other governments around the world stepped up their response to the incipient outbreak, racing to contain the infection amid reports of potential new cases from New Zealand to Hong Kong to Spain, raising concerns about the potential for a global pandemic. Canada also confirmed four cases of the flu. Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief public health officer, said on Sunday that four students who attend the same school in that province had what he describes as “very mild” cases of the flu, according to The Associated Press.

The United States said it would use “passive surveillance” in screening travelers from Mexico who would enter the country, isolating them only if they were ill. But other governments issued travel advisories urging people not to visit Mexico, the apparent origin of the outbreak, where 81 people have died and some 1,300 have been infected. China, Russia and others set up quarantines for anyone possibly infected. Some countries banned pork imports from Mexico, even though there is no link between food products and the flu, and others were screening air travelers for signs of the disease. The World Health Organization reiterated that it considered the outbreak “a public health emergency of international concern” but said it would put off until Tuesday a decision on whether to raise the pandemic alert level. Raising it to level 4 “would be a very serious signal that countries ought to be dusting off pandemic plans,” said Dr. Keiji Fukuda, deputy director general of the W.H.O. The W.H.O. is historically reluctant to declare pandemics in sensitive member countries.

In the United States, the C.D.C. confirmed that eight students of a high school in Queens had been infected with swine flu, the first confirmed cases in New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference on Sunday. Mr. Bloomberg said that all of the cases had been mild and hospitals in the city had not seen more patients with severe lung infections.

“So far there does not seem to be any outbreak,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “We don’t know if the spread will be sustained. What’s heartening is the people who tested positive have only mild illnesses.”

About 100 students at St. Francis Preparatory School in Fresh Meadows, Queens, became sick in the last few days, and some family members have also taken ill. Mr. Bloomberg said the school would be closed on Monday, and that officials would then reassess whether to reopen the school. Other New York City schools will be open as usual on Monday, Mr. Bloomberg said. Other cases of possible infection in New York turned about to be false alarms. Five of six children at a day-care center in the Tremont section of the Bronx who had shown some flu-like symptoms tested negative for swine flu, said Thomas Frieden, the city’s health commissioner.

On Sunday, the government of Hong Kong announced some of the toughest measures yet of any jurisdiction in response to the swine flu outbreak. Officials urged residents not to travel to Mexico and ordered the immediate detention at a hospital of anyone who arrives with a fever and symptoms of a respiratory illness after traveling in the previous seven days through a city with a laboratory-confirmed outbreak.

The new policy, shaped by Hong Kong’s lasting scars as an epicenter of a SARS outbreak six years ago, has the potential to dampen air travel across the Pacific. Hong Kong has Asia’s busiest airport hub for international air travel, with Boeing 747s arriving around the clock from cities all over the United States and Canada, but not Mexico.

Ever since the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, Hong Kong has used infrared scanners to measure the facial temperature of all arrivals at its airport and border crossings with mainland China. Visitors are required to remove any hats to ensure accurate measurement, and children are checked with ear thermometers because the scanners are less reliable in measuring their faces. Dr. Thomas Tsang, the controller of the Hong Kong government’s Center for Health Protection, said at a press conference on Sunday afternoon that any traveler who has passed through a city with laboratory-confirmed cases and who arrives in Hong Kong with a fever and respiratory symptoms will be intercepted by officials and sent to a hospital to await testing.

“Until that test is negative, we won’t allow him out,” he said.

An aide later said that the cut-off for having a fever would be 38 degrees Celsius, or 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, and that it would take two or three days to obtain test results. Dr. York Chow, Hong Kong’s secretary for health and food, asked residents to watch the news for reports of which states in the United States have outbreaks and discouraged travel to these states, but reserved his strongest warning for travel to Mexico.

“Do not travel to Mexico unless it is absolutely necessary,” he said.

The Hong Kong government will also amend its health regulations in the next couple days to make it mandatory for any health professional to alert the government of any suspected cases of swine flu, he said. Hong Kong should “prepare for the worst” if the swine flu virus develops a clear ability to pass from person to person, Dr. Chow said, while adding that the risk from the virus was low if this did not happen. One legacy of SARS is that Hong Kong may now be better prepared for a flu pandemic than practically anywhere else on the world. Fearing that SARS might recur each winter, the city embarked on a building program to enlarge its capacity to isolate and treat those infected with communicable respiratory diseases. Hong Kong now has 1,400 beds for this purpose each equipped with mechanical ventilators for treating those with severe pneumonia or other respiratory difficulties. But only 80 to 100 of these beds are needed on any given day, so they have been used until now for patients with other medical problems, Dr. Chow said. The city has also expanded its flu research labs, already among the best in the world and leaders in tracking the H5N1 avian flu influenza virus. The so-called bird flu virus, which kills an unusually high share of its victims, has periodically triggered fears over the past decade about a possible pandemic but is different from the H1N1 swine flu influenza virus now causing illnesses in Mexico and the United States.

Flu Bug

we lost 40 micro-biologists in less than 4 years, all under suspicious circumstances, and during this time someone discovered that they were all working for the government, or government contractors, on projects related to bio-terrorism, flu pandemics, or anthrax. Obviously they weren’t trying to find a cure for anything, or there would be no need to silence them.

Then it was discovered that our government was involved in strange experiments that involve exhuming bodies of people that were killed by the 1918 Spanish flu, and genetically engineered flu viruses, all the while the media is preparing the public with stories of bird flu wiping out thousands of chickens (acid test?) and even a few people here and there.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Apr 26 2009 19:25 utc | 24

Is there even a single confirmed case of death for that swine/pig/common cold virus? All the suspected cases over the world are just people who recently visited Mexico and, shock!, they have a symptoms of a common flu. All reports about deads in Mexico seem to be one liners from some official with no detailed data. Just saying there are like 20 or 80 deads, no comparison with actual numbers of dead from normal flu in the same population, nor ages of the deceased (which is one of the first parameters used to clasify a flu virus as a pandemia).

May be this is the end of the financial crisis Obama & co were talking about.

Posted by: ThePaper | Apr 26 2009 20:45 utc | 25


10-4 loud and clear... Easiest way to create new jobs is get rid of the old job holders. Think about how much neater bugs are than bombs; they don't mess-up the real estate the way explosions do.

Makes so much sense to have everyone get sick before the start of protest/riot season.

The bible nailed-it when it said the meek shall inherit the earth.

I wonder if the ditto heads who launched this mess took into account chaotic theory or read Jurassic Park? HeeHeeHee, prepare thy selves for mutations of the bug that will probably only kill rich, bloated assholes who took the vaccine they think is gonna save them.

Posted by: DavidS | Apr 26 2009 20:48 utc | 26

Re U$ above

I watched some breaking news on CNN this afternoon where they were actively peddling this horrible swine flu/chicken flu/human flu pandemic and the director of DHS said they had some 50 million doses of Tamiflu on hand. the regimen is one tablet per day for 10 days and 10 tabs cost about 80 dollars making the cost of that purchase around 400 million dollars.

In case you have forgotten Donald Rusmsfeld was the Chairman of Gilead Sciences prior to becoming secretary of defense.

the number of deaths from this mexican flu is around 86 in Mexico and it is the talk of corporate media. every year some 36,000 people die of flu related causes in the US alone.

so, we need to be afraid again. good grief! will we ever hit the point of fear overload? between evil doers sneaking into our country and cutting our heads off, bankers and dead beat home owners emptying the treasury, rightwing militias formed from returning disgruntled veterans and yet another homely brit singer, how much more can we stand?

Posted by: dan of steele | Apr 26 2009 21:05 utc | 27

Doing the math, 50 million doses divided by a course of 10 doses per person only covers 5 million people. I wonder what the other 300 million or so Americans and residents are going to do for medication. Black-marketeers are going to make a fortune.

Keeping America in a constant state of fear, the better to steal our rights and our $$$$, has been the govt's #1 priority since 9/11.

Posted by: Ensley | Apr 26 2009 21:39 utc | 28

Here is a nice summery of the conspiracy theory regarding a bio-attack...

Link to turner radio network: Prepare to die, its been planned and has begun

Yeah it's a kooky title, but a nice rehash of the maybe's and could be's leading to THAT EVENT all us nuts expect will happen someday here is a brief piece from the report...

Model Emergency Health Powers Act (MEHPA)
A meeting of the Center for Law and the Public Health (CLPH) was convened on Oct. 5. This group is run jointly by Georgetown University Law School and Johns Hopkins Medical School, and was founded under the auspices of the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The purpose of the October meeting was to draft legislation to respond to a bioterrorism threat.

After working only 18 days, on Nov. 23 CLPH released a 40-page document called the Model Emergency Health Powers Act (MEHPA). This was a "model" law that HHS is suggesting be enacted by the 50 states to handle future public health emergencies such as bioterrorism. A revised version was released on Dec. 21 containing more specific definitions of "public health emergency" as it pertains to bioterrorism and biologic agents, and includes language for those states that want to use the act for chemical, nuclear or natural disasters.

According to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), after declaring a "public health emergency", and without consulting with public health authorities, law enforcement, the legislature or courts, a state governor using MEHPA, or anyone he/she decides to empower, can among many things:

· Require any individual to be vaccinated. Refusal constitutes a crime and will result in quarantine. · Require any individual to undergo specific medical treatment. Refusal constitutes a crime and will result in quarantine. · Seize any property, including real estate, food, medicine, fuel or clothing, an official thinks necessary to handle the emergency. · Seize and destroy any property alleged to be hazardous. There will be no compensation or recourse. · Draft you or your business into state service. · Impose rationing, price controls, quotas and transportation controls. · Suspend any state law, regulation or rule that is thought to interfere with handling the declared emergency.

As of this writing the law has been passed in Kentucky. Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, DC. and Wisconsin. That's 28 states at minimum and does not include states which may have enacted it, but CALLED it something else.

This is a good read, even if you treat it as a work of fiction. Lots of skullduggery; coffins, dead scientist and secret bio labs... don't take my word on it, check it out for yourself!

Posted by: DavidS | Apr 26 2009 22:42 utc | 29

To b, Uncle$ (glad to see you back), DevidS and Dan of S:


Posted by: lambent1 | Apr 26 2009 22:48 utc | 30

Mexicans with a mild case of the flu would not have gone for medical attention so the 80/1300 mortality rate is lower.

I wonder what the benefits of taking Tamiflu would be. Why would a parent risk an adverse reaction for these vague benefits in a disease that does not seem to have a high mortality rate in small children:

When used as directed (twice daily for 5 days) Tamiflu can reduce the duration of influenza symptoms in otherwise healthy children by 1 to 1 ½ days. It also appears to reduce the severity of common flu symptoms. Consequently, it may allow children to return to school or other normal activities sooner. Tamiflu was also shown to be similarly effective in children who had a history of asthma and did not worsen the asthma symptoms.

Tamiflu has not been studied in children with very severe or complicated influenza who require hospitalization and it is not known whether it will provide the same benefit to children with severe illness.

It is hard to get numbers on the incidence of the adverse reactions.

CorpsPharma spends its obscene profits to promote mass hypochondria.

Posted by: rjj | Apr 26 2009 23:16 utc | 31

Classic moment on NPR... interviewing a guy talking about the IMF and some staffer in the background can be heard having a coughing-fit. How often do you hear anyone but the dude or dudette talking? Hardly even the rustle of a paper, but tonight, right after a story talking about the flu... COUGH! COUGH!

What a perfectly constructed moment! Gotta give it to the propagandist, they're good!






Posted by: DavidS | Apr 26 2009 23:22 utc | 32

First, the torture reports and memos are released, those who opposed torture policy begin to come out of the woodwork, the call for investigation and prosecution heats up. (Emptywheel is working up timelines. And here.)

Then, reports of a flu sweeping across Mexico, and identified as a curious mix of Mexican & Asian swine flus, plus a part of avian and a part of human flu, are handed to MSM. The "Mexican" flu appears to be no more lethal than the usual winter flu epidemics. After a handful of cases are reported in the US, a public health emergency is declared.

The question is where the stinger is concealed and its target. Is the flu mobilization the threat this time? Or is this about changing the subject, from torture prosecutions and banks? Or distracting from some next move elsewhere? Fire drill for a "real" emergency? Making an argument for new emergency powers legislation? (Remember the coincidence of timing of lethal anthrax in the Senate Office building and passage of Patriot Act?)

There is a classic line in the movie "Charlie Wilson's War," during a scene when the congressman and the CIA agent are negotiating a deal with Mossad to supply weapons to Afghans. The agent Gust Avrakatos explains to Mossad why Wilson's sex scandal is good for the weapons deal. "When you have a sex scandal over here on the left hand, you can park a battle carrier group behind the right hand..." Is a public health emergency akin to a sex scandal for the 1 1/2-track mind of MSM?

As subject changer, this flu is not likely to be compelling enough to quiet the long seething indignation about both banks and torture, unless the flu becomes suddenly much more lethal. On the other hand, perhaps an interruption of momentum in the other stories would be enough to cool the fire and control it.

What is the game this round?

Posted by: small coke | Apr 26 2009 23:45 utc | 33

small coke-

There is so much ugliness in the world, I wouldn't be surprised by anything...

but there is something compellingly weird about this latest twist of strange. A freaky stew of bugs mutating and killing; and the media is telling everyone conflicting stories about the danger while cranking-up the What If? leaving much of the scary parts unsaid. It's uncomfortably strange to see the MSM covering news that's usually reserved for tinfoil hat wearing freaks (such as myself) to speculate about.

There are too many people WAITING for SOMETHING to happen, and have been now for so long it's ingrained into our collective psyche. I have to imagine so many people thinking about the same thing together might have a way of manifesting the experience... even out of thin air.

How many fictions have been written about some microbe doing humans in? Enough so that it's uncomfortably easy to imagine one of these scenarios playing-out in realtime. Which doesn't in itself mean that we're witnessing the start of our Andromeda Strain, but it has that feel.

Posted by: DavidS | Apr 27 2009 0:45 utc | 34

small coke @33
As subject changer, this flu is not likely to be compelling enough to quiet the long seething indignation about both banks and torture

But rest easy; hurricane season is only five weeks away. Be ready for round-the-clock coverage of the whimpiest puff of breeze.

Posted by: Ensley | Apr 27 2009 1:27 utc | 35

The Need to Roll Back Presidential Power Grabs By Arlen Specter

Wait! that wouldn't be twenty eight year Senator, 'single bullet' Specter, would it?

hahaha... this Circus, kabuki theater never ends.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Apr 27 2009 3:43 utc | 36

Your takeaway from all this is that when Dot.con went Chernobyl and New York City is on the brink of bankruptcy and five tiers of refinance of refinance of refinance of refinance of refinance bonds are about to come crashing down, they "pull WTC" instead, and all the SEC and IRS records of the losses are destroyed, even the Y2K duplicates required to be kept in a New Jersey data center, so $10,000,000,000 was lost to the Vampires. Poof!

Your takeaway from all this is as soon as the dust from WTC settled, they pulled "WMD" instead of investigating WTC, and we're off to the races to destroy excess crude oil capacity to save Big Oil hovering down around $12, and boy did that work, crude made it to $145, and that's a wet dream even David Rockefeller would jerk off to, as 1,000,000 died and $1,000,000,000,000 was lost to the Vampires. Poof!

Your takeaway from all this is when Credit.con went Chernobyl and New York City is on the brink of bankruptcy and five tiers of refinance of refinance of refinance of refinance of refinance bonds are about to come crashing down, the Fed and Treasury stage a coup, and now they've stopped counting how much was lost to the Vampires, because nobody even knows anymore, like a broken aqueduct deep in the earth.

Your takeaway from all this is even when the Earth Stood Still and Civilization Froze, still, the mere possibility of blowback and backward liability trail to CIA trial and fine or imprisonment or both, and the wheels explode off the bus.

If the flu released from Fort Dix doesn't override the move in Congress for CIA torture trials, they will "pull" something else, bigger and more spectacular.
As I read it, they only recovered five of the six nuclear warheads from Minot.

Minot, why not? All it will take is one more black ops putsch to have martial law.

Posted by: Tarheel Jim | Apr 27 2009 5:48 utc | 37

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