Saturday, February 14, 2009
11 Feb, 2009
D. H. Williams reports in the Daily Newscaster:
An Indiana county municipal official in the vicinity of Chicago reveals the contents of his meetings with FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security. The initial requests seem reasonable enough when FEMA asks the county officials to prepare a Hazard Mitigation Plan to deal with flooding, fires, high winds and tornadoes.
But as the required meetings and calls with FEMA and DHS continue over a two year period their request become more unusual, raising suspicions of county officials
Listen to the audio:
“We want to know every important thing in this county. We want to know where police departments are. Where weapons are stored. Hazardous material. Where can we land a helicopter. Where are the airports. How big a plane can you land at the airport. Where are all the bridges. Where are all the power stations. Where are all the generating stations.Where are all the substations. They literally wanted to know where everything was. I'm sitting there thinking man if there was ever martial law. This kind of information is exactly the kind of stuff they are going to want. We're just laying it all out for them right there.”
During the legally mandated meetings held with FEMA and DHS different disaster scenarios were reveled to county officials:
* In late December 2008 municipal officials were invited to Indianapolis for a briefing on the state of Indiana. There were told if industry were to collapse for example GM going bankrupt resulting in mass unemployment a depression would soon follow and municipalities could expect to loose 40% of their funds.
* Every county in the nation would be required to prepare a Hazard Mitigation Plan.
* The county should prepare a plan to vaccinate the entire population within 48 hours and practice the plan several times.
* FEMA inquired to where mass graves could be placed in the county and would they accept bodies from elsewhere.
* The sheriff's department via the state sheriff association was told that no .223 ammunition rounds would be available as the military would be purchasing all stocks.
* The county was asked to make plans for “hardening” of police and fire stations, putting in hardened bunker type buildings around town.
* The county was asked to make plans for the possibility of up to 400,000 refugees from Chicago.
Seven years after the attacks of September the Eleventh, a global awakening has taken place, the likes of which the world has never seen. As the corporate-controlled media dwindles into extinction, a new breed of journalists and activists has emerged.
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WASHINGTON, DC (February 10, 2009) – Today the National Press Photographers Association reached out to the White House and Capitol Hill and asked President Barack Obama to lift the photography ban that prevents coverage of America's war dead returning home in flag-drapped coffins at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.
NPPA'S request to the President came on the same day that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates ordered the Pentagon to review the military's ban.
Last night during his first prime-time live television news press conference President Obama answered a reporter's question about overturning the ban saying that "the process is being reviewed."
Obama told CNN's Ed Henry that the White House was in a conversation with the Department of Defense about the policy, but that he didn't want to give a definitive answer before he "understands all the implications involved."
Less than 24 hours later, Gates ordered the military review.
"I think that looking at it again makes all kinds of sense," Gates told reporters today at a Pentagon briefing. "I'm pretty open to whatever the results of this review may be."
Earlier today NPPA president Bob Carey sent letters of support to the President, to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, and to Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-NC) who has introduced "The Fallen Hero Commemoration Act" (HR 269), and called for the President to take action and lift the media ban on coverage and photography.
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From The National Security Archive
Washington D.C., February 15, 2009 – Twenty years ago today, the commander of the Soviet Limited Contingent in Afghanistan Boris Gromov crossed the Termez Bridge out of Afghanistan, thus marking the end of the Soviet war which lasted almost ten years and cost tens of thousands of Soviet and Afghan lives.
As a tribute and memorial to the late Russian historian, General Alexander Antonovich Lyakhovsky, the National Security Archive today posted on the Web (www.nsarchive.org) a series of previously secret Soviet documents including Politburo and diary notes published here in English for the first time. The documents suggest that the Soviet decision to withdraw occurred as early as 1985, but the process of implementing that decision was excruciatingly slow, in part because the Soviet-backed Afghan regime was never able to achieve the necessary domestic support and legitimacy – a key problem even today for the current U.S. and NATO-supported government in Kabul.
The Soviet documents show that ending the war in Afghanistan, which Soviet general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev called “the bleeding wound,” was among his highest priorities from the moment he assumed power in 1985 – a point he made clear to then-Afghan Communist leader Babrak Karmal in their first conversation on March 14, 1985. Already in 1985, according to the documents, the Soviet Politburo was discussing ways of disengaging from Afghanistan, and actually reached the decision in principle on October 17, 1985.
But the road from Gorbachev's decision to the actual withdrawal was long and painful. The documents show the Soviet leaders did not come up with an actual timetable until the fall of 1987. Gorbachev made the public announcement on February 8, 1988, and the first troops started coming out in May 1988, with complete withdrawal on February 15, 1989. Gorbachev himself, in his recent book (Mikhail Gorbachev, Ponyat' perestroiku … Pochemu eto vazhno seichas. (Moscow: Alpina Books 2006)), cites at least two factors to explain why it took the reformers so long to withdraw the troops. According to Gorbachev, the Cold War frame held back the Soviet leaders from making more timely and rational moves, because of fear of the international perception that any such withdrawal would be a humiliating retreat. In addition to saving face, the Soviet leaders kept trying against all odds to ensure the existence of a stable and friendly Afghanistan with some semblance of a national reconciliation process in place before they left.
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