Hillary Clinton EXPOSED as Globalist Shill for North American Union

Clinton Names Activist to Campaign Post

Apr 12 09:54 AM US/Eastern
By BETH FOUHY
Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) – Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton announced Thursday that Raul Yzaguirre, a prominent Hispanic activist and former president of the National Council of La Raza, would co-chair her presidential campaign and lead its outreach to Hispanic voters.

"Hillary Clinton has spent more than three decades advocating on behalf of those who are invisible in America," Yzaguirre said in a statement. "Not only is she the most experienced and qualified candidate to be president, Senator Clinton has the ability to bring people together to get results and move this country forward."

Hispanics are one of the fastest growing voter groups in the United States, especially in the South and West. National exit polls showed that 69 percent of Hispanic voters favored Democratic candidates in compared to 30 percent for Republicans. But 44 percent of Hispanics voted for President Bush, a Republican, in 2004.

Other Democratic presidential contenders have strong ties to the Hispanic community. Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd is a fluent Spanish speaker after serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic, and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is running to become the first Hispanic president.

Under Yzaguirre’s leadership, NCLR became the largest Hispanic advocacy organization in the country, with 41 state affiliates.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Barack Obama CFR Foreign Affairs article: Renewing American Leadership

http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20070701faessay86401/barack-obama/renewing-american-leadership.html

Renewing American Leadership

By Barack Obama

From Foreign Affairs , July/August 2007


Summary: After Iraq, we may be tempted to turn inward. That would be a mistake. The American moment is not over, but it must be seized anew. We must bring the war to a responsible end and then renew our leadership — military, diplomatic, moral — to confront new threats and capitalize on new opportunities. America cannot meet this century’s challenges alone; the world cannot meet them without America.

Barack Obama is a Democratic Senator from Illinois and a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

COMMON SECURITY FOR OUR COMMON HUMANITY

At moments of great peril in the last century, American leaders such as Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and John F. Kennedy managed both to protect the American people and to expand opportunity for the next generation. What is more, they ensured that America, by deed and example, led and lifted the world — that we stood for and fought for the freedoms sought by billions of people beyond our borders.

As Roosevelt built the most formidable military the world had ever seen, his Four Freedoms gave purpose to our struggle against fascism. Truman championed a bold new architecture to respond to the Soviet threat — one that paired military strength with the Marshall Plan and helped secure the peace and well-being of nations around the world. As colonialism crumbled and the Soviet Union achieved effective nuclear parity, Kennedy modernized our military doctrine, strengthened our conventional forces, and created the Peace Corps and the Alliance for Progress. They used our strengths to show people everywhere America at its best.

Today, we are again called to provide visionary leadership. This century’s threats are at least as dangerous as and in some ways more complex than those we have confronted in the past. They come from weapons that can kill on a mass scale and from global terrorists who respond to alienation or perceived injustice with murderous nihilism. They come from rogue states allied to terrorists and from rising powers that could challenge both America and the international foundation of liberal democracy. They come from weak states that cannot control their territory or provide for their people. And they come from a warming planet that will spur new diseases, spawn more devastating natural disasters, and catalyze deadly conflicts.

To recognize the number and complexity of these threats is not to give way to pessimism. Rather, it is a call to action. These threats demand a new vision of leadership in the twenty-first century — a vision that draws from the past but is not bound by outdated thinking. The Bush administration responded to the unconventional attacks of 9/11 with conventional thinking of the past, largely viewing problems as state-based and principally amenable to military solutions. It was this tragically misguided view that led us into a war in Iraq that never should have been authorized and never should have been waged. In the wake of Iraq and Abu Ghraib, the world has lost trust in our purposes and our principles.

After thousands of lives lost and billions of dollars spent, many Americans may be tempted to turn inward and cede our leadership in world affairs. But this is a mistake we must not make. America cannot meet the threats of this century alone, and the world cannot meet them without America. We can neither retreat from the world nor try to bully it into submission. We must lead the world, by deed and by example.

Such leadership demands that we retrieve a fundamental insight of Roosevelt, Truman, and Kennedy — one that is truer now than ever before: the security and well-being of each and every American depend on the security and well-being of those who live beyond our borders. The mission of the United States is to provide global leadership grounded in the understanding that the world shares a common security and a common humanity.

The American moment is not over, but it must be seized anew. To see American power in terminal decline is to ignore America’s great promise and historic purpose in the world. If elected president, I will start renewing that promise and purpose the day I take office.

MOVING BEYOND IRAQ

To renew American leadership in the world, we must first bring the Iraq war to a responsible end and refocus our attention on the broader Middle East. Iraq was a diversion from the fight against the terrorists who struck us on 9/11, and incompetent prosecution of the war by America’s civilian leaders compounded the strategic blunder of choosing to wage it in the first place. We have now lost over 3,300 American lives, and thousands more suffer wounds both seen and unseen.

Our servicemen and servicewomen have performed admirably while sacrificing immeasurably. But it is time for our civilian leaders to acknowledge a painful truth: we cannot impose a military solution on a civil war between Sunni and Shiite factions. The best chance we have to leave Iraq a better place is to pressure these warring parties to find a lasting political solution. And the only effective way to apply this pressure is to begin a phased withdrawal of U.S. forces, with the goal of removing all combat brigades from Iraq by March 31, 2008 — a date consistent with the goal set by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group. This redeployment could be temporarily suspended if the Iraqi government meets the security, political, and economic benchmarks to which it has committed. But we must recognize that, in the end, only Iraqi leaders can bring real peace and stability to their country.

At the same time, we must launch a comprehensive regional and international diplomatic initiative to help broker an end to the civil war in Iraq, prevent its spread, and limit the suffering of the Iraqi people. To gain credibility in this effort, we must make clear that we seek no permanent bases in Iraq. We should leave behind only a minimal over-the-horizon military force in the region to protect American personnel and facilities, continue training Iraqi security forces, and root out al Qaeda.

The morass in Iraq has made it immeasurably harder to confront and work through the many other problems in the region — and it has made many of those problems considerably more dangerous. Changing the dynamic in Iraq will allow us to focus our attention and influence on resolving the festering conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians — a task that the Bush administration neglected for years.

For more than three decades, Israelis, Palestinians, Arab leaders, and the rest of the world have looked to America to lead the effort to build the road to a lasting peace. In recent years, they have all too often looked in vain. Our starting point must always be a clear and strong commitment to the security of Israel, our strongest ally in the region and its only established democracy. That commitment is all the more important as we contend with growing threats in the region — a strengthened Iran, a chaotic Iraq, the resurgence of al Qaeda, the reinvigoration of Hamas and Hezbollah. Now more than ever, we must strive to secure a lasting settlement of the conflict with two states living side by side in peace and security. To do so, we must help the Israelis identify and strengthen those partners who are truly committed to peace, while isolating those who seek conflict and instability. Sustained American leadership for peace and security will require patient effort and the personal commitment of the president of the United States. That is a commitment I will make.

Throughout the Middle East, we must harness American power to reinvigorate American diplomacy. Tough-minded diplomacy, backed by the whole range of instruments of American power — political, economic, and military — could bring success even when dealing with long-standing adversaries such as Iran and Syria. Our policy of issuing threats and relying on intermediaries to curb Iran’s nuclear program, sponsorship of terrorism, and regional aggression is failing. Although we must not rule out using military force, we should not hesitate to talk directly to Iran. Our diplomacy should aim to raise the cost for Iran of continuing its nuclear program by applying tougher sanctions and increasing pressure from its key trading partners. The world must work to stop Iran’s uranium-enrichment program and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. It is far too dangerous to have nuclear weapons in the hands of a radical theocracy. At the same time, we must show Iran — and especially the Iranian people — what could be gained from fundamental change: economic engagement, security assurances, and diplomatic relations. Diplomacy combined with pressure could also reorient Syria away from its radical agenda to a more moderate stance — which could, in turn, help stabilize Iraq, isolate Iran, free Lebanon from Damascus’ grip, and better secure Israel.

REVITALIZING THE MILITARY

To renew American leadership in the world, we must immediately begin working to revitalize our military. A strong military is, more than anything, necessary to sustain peace. Unfortunately, the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps, according to our military leaders, are facing a crisis. The Pentagon cannot certify a single army unit within the United States as fully ready to respond in the event of a new crisis or emergency beyond Iraq; 88 percent of the National Guard is not ready to deploy overseas.

We must use this moment both to rebuild our military and to prepare it for the missions of the future. We must retain the capacity to swiftly defeat any conventional threat to our country and our vital interests. But we must also become better prepared to put boots on the ground in order to take on foes that fight asymmetrical and highly adaptive campaigns on a global scale.

We should expand our ground forces by adding 65,000 soldiers to the army and 27,000 marines. Bolstering these forces is about more than meeting quotas. We must recruit the very best and invest in their capacity to succeed. That means providing our servicemen and servicewomen with first-rate equipment, armor, incentives, and training — including in foreign languages and other critical skills. Each major defense program should be reevaluated in light of current needs, gaps in the field, and likely future threat scenarios. Our military will have to rebuild some capabilities and transform others. At the same time, we need to commit sufficient funding to enable the National Guard to regain a state of readiness.

Enhancing our military will not be enough. As commander in chief, I would also use our armed forces wisely. When we send our men and women into harm’s way, I will clearly define the mission, seek out the advice of our military commanders, objectively evaluate intelligence, and ensure that our troops have the resources and the support they need. I will not hesitate to use force, unilaterally if necessary, to protect the American people or our vital interests whenever we are attacked or imminently threatened.

We must also consider using military force in circumstances beyond self-defense in order to provide for the common security that underpins global stability — to support friends, participate in stability and reconstruction operations, or confront mass atrocities. But when we do use force in situations other than self-defense, we should make every effort to garner the clear support and participation of others — as President George H. W. Bush did when we led the effort to oust Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in 1991. The consequences of forgetting that lesson in the context of the current conflict in Iraq have been grave.

HALTING THE SPREAD OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS

To renew American leadership in the world, we must confront the most urgent threat to the security of America and the world — the spread of nuclear weapons, material, and technology and the risk that a nuclear device will fall into the hands of terrorists. The explosion of one such device would bring catastrophe, dwarfing the devastation of 9/11 and shaking every corner of the globe.

As George Shultz, William Perry, Henry Kissinger, and Sam Nunn have warned, our current measures are not sufficient to meet the nuclear threat. The nonproliferation regime is being challenged, and new civilian nuclear programs could spread the means to make nuclear weapons. Al Qaeda has made it a goal to bring a "Hiroshima" to the United States. Terrorists need not build a nuclear weapon from scratch; they need only steal or buy a weapon or the material to assemble one. There is now highly enriched uranium — some of it poorly secured — sitting in civilian nuclear facilities in over 40 countries around the world. In the former Soviet Union, there are approximately 15,000-16,000 nuclear weapons and stockpiles of uranium and plutonium capable of making another 40,000 weapons — all scattered across 11 time zones. People have already been caught trying to smuggle nuclear material to sell on the black market.

As president, I will work with other nations to secure, destroy, and stop the spread of these weapons in order to dramatically reduce the nuclear dangers for our nation and the world. America must lead a global effort to secure all nuclear weapons and material at vulnerable sites within four years — the most effective way to prevent terrorists from acquiring a bomb.

This will require the active cooperation of Russia. Although we must not shy away from pushing for more democracy and accountability in Russia, we must work with the country in areas of common interest — above all, in making sure that nuclear weapons and material are secure. We must also work with Russia to update and scale back our dangerously outdated Cold War nuclear postures and de-emphasize the role of nuclear weapons. America must not rush to produce a new generation of nuclear warheads. And we should take advantage of recent technological advances to build bipartisan consensus behind ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. All of this can be done while maintaining a strong nuclear deterrent. These steps will ultimately strengthen, not weaken, our security.

As we lock down existing nuclear stockpiles, I will work to negotiate a verifiable global ban on the production of new nuclear weapons material. We must also stop the spread of nuclear weapons technology and ensure that countries cannot build — or come to the brink of building — a weapons program under the auspices of developing peaceful nuclear power. That is why my administration will immediately provide $50 million to jump-start the creation of an International Atomic Energy Agency-controlled nuclear fuel bank and work to update the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. We must also fully implement the law Senator Richard Lugar and I passed to help the United States and our allies detect and stop the smuggling of weapons of mass destruction throughout the world.

Finally, we must develop a strong international coalition to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and eliminate North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Iran and North Korea could trigger regional arms races, creating dangerous nuclear flashpoints in the Middle East and East Asia. In confronting these threats, I will not take the military option off the table. But our first measure must be sustained, direct, and aggressive diplomacy — the kind that the Bush administration has been unable and unwilling to use.

COMBATING GLOBAL TERRORISM

To renew American leadership in the world, we must forge a more effective global response to the terrorism that came to our shores on an unprecedented scale on 9/11. From Bali to London, Baghdad to Algiers, Mumbai to Mombasa to Madrid, terrorists who reject modernity, oppose America, and distort Islam have killed and mutilated tens of thousands of people just this decade. Because this enemy operates globally, it must be confronted globally.

We must refocus our efforts on Afghanistan and Pakistan — the central front in our war against al Qaeda — so that we are confronting terrorists where their roots run deepest. Success in Afghanistan is still possible, but only if we act quickly, judiciously, and decisively. We should pursue an integrated strategy that reinforces our troops in Afghanistan and works to remove the limitations placed by some NATO allies on their forces. Our strategy must also include sustained diplomacy to isolate the Taliban and more effective development programs that target aid to areas where the Taliban are making inroads.

I will join with our allies in insisting — not simply requesting — that Pakistan crack down on the Taliban, pursue Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants, and end its relationship with all terrorist groups. At the same time, I will encourage dialogue between Pakistan and India to work toward resolving their dispute over Kashmir and between Afghanistan and Pakistan to resolve their historic differences and develop the Pashtun border region. If Pakistan can look toward the east with greater confidence, it will be less likely to believe that its interests are best advanced through cooperation with the Taliban.

Although vigorous action in South Asia and Central Asia should be a starting point, our efforts must be broader. There must be no safe haven for those who plot to kill Americans. To defeat al Qaeda, I will build a twenty-first-century military and twenty-first-century partnerships as strong as the anticommunist alliance that won the Cold War to stay on the offense everywhere from Djibouti to Kandahar.

Here at home, we must strengthen our homeland security and protect the critical infrastructure on which the entire world depends. We can start by spending homeland security dollars on the basis of risk. This means investing more resources to defend mass transit, closing the gaps in our aviation security by screening all cargo on passenger airliners and checking all passengers against a comprehensive watch list, and upgrading port security by ensuring that cargo is screened for radiation.

To succeed, our homeland security and counterterrorism actions must be linked to an intelligence community that deals effectively with the threats we face. Today, we rely largely on the same institutions and practices that were in place before 9/11. We need to revisit intelligence reform, going beyond rearranging boxes on an organizational chart. To keep pace with highly adaptable enemies, we need technologies and practices that enable us to efficiently collect and share information within and across our intelligence agencies. We must invest still more in human intelligence and deploy additional trained operatives and diplomats with specialized knowledge of local cultures and languages. And we should institutionalize the practice of developing competitive assessments of critical threats and strengthen our methodologies of analysis.

Finally, we need a comprehensive strategy to defeat global terrorists — one that draws on the full range of American power, not just our military might. As a senior U.S. military commander put it, when people have dignity and opportunity, "the chance of extremism being welcomed greatly, if not completely, diminishes." It is for this reason that we need to invest with our allies in strengthening weak states and helping to rebuild failed ones.

In the Islamic world and beyond, combating the terrorists’ prophets of fear will require more than lectures on democracy. We need to deepen our knowledge of the circumstances and beliefs that underpin extremism. A crucial debate is occurring within Islam. Some believe in a future of peace, tolerance, development, and democratization. Others embrace a rigid and violent intolerance of personal liberty and the world at large. To empower forces of moderation, America must make every effort to export opportunity — access to education and health care, trade and investment — and provide the kind of steady support for political reformers and civil society that enabled our victory in the Cold War. Our beliefs rest on hope; the extremists’ rest on fear. That is why we can — and will — win this struggle.

REBUILDING OUR PARTNERSHIPS

To renew American leadership in the world, I intend to rebuild the alliances, partnerships, and institutions necessary to confront common threats and enhance common security. Needed reform of these alliances and institutions will not come by bullying other countries to ratify changes we hatch in isolation. It will come when we convince other governments and peoples that they, too, have a stake in effective partnerships.

Too often we have sent the opposite signal to our international partners. In the case of Europe, we dismissed European reservations about the wisdom and necessity of the Iraq war. In Asia, we belittled South Korean efforts to improve relations with the North. In Latin America, from Mexico to Argentina, we failed to adequately address concerns about immigration and equity and economic growth. In Africa, we have allowed genocide to persist for over four years in Darfur and have not done nearly enough to answer the African Union’s call for more support to stop the killing. I will rebuild our ties to our allies in Europe and Asia and strengthen our partnerships throughout the Americas and Africa.

Our alliances require constant cooperation and revision if they are to remain effective and relevant. NATO has made tremendous strides over the last 15 years, transforming itself from a Cold War security structure into a partnership for peace. But today, NATO’s challenge in Afghanistan has exposed, as Senator Lugar has put it, "the growing discrepancy between NATO’s expanding missions and its lagging capabilities." To close this gap, I will rally our NATO allies to contribute more troops to collective security operations and to invest more in reconstruction and stabilization capabilities.

And as we strengthen NATO, we must build new alliances and partnerships in other vital regions. As China rises and Japan and South Korea assert themselves, I will work to forge a more effective framework in Asia that goes beyond bilateral agreements, occasional summits, and ad hoc arrangements, such as the six-party talks on North Korea. We need an inclusive infrastructure with the countries in East Asia that can promote stability and prosperity and help confront transnational threats, from terrorist cells in the Philippines to avian flu in Indonesia. I will also encourage China to play a responsible role as a growing power — to help lead in addressing the common problems of the twenty-first century. We will compete with China in some areas and cooperate in others. Our essential challenge is to build a relationship that broadens cooperation while strengthening our ability to compete.

In addition, we need effective collaboration on pressing global issues among all the major powers — including such newly emerging ones as Brazil, India, Nigeria, and South Africa. We need to give all of them a stake in upholding the international order. To that end, the United Nations requires far-reaching reform. The UN Secretariat’s management practices remain weak. Peacekeeping operations are overextended. The new UN Human Rights Council has passed eight resolutions condemning Israel — but not a single resolution condemning the genocide in Darfur or human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. Yet none of these problems will be solved unless America rededicates itself to the organization and its mission.

Strengthened institutions and invigorated alliances and partnerships are especially crucial if we are to defeat the epochal, man-made threat to the planet: climate change. Without dramatic changes, rising sea levels will flood coastal regions around the world, including much of the eastern seaboard. Warmer temperatures and declining rainfall will reduce crop yields, increasing conflict, famine, disease, and poverty. By 2050, famine could displace more than 250 million people worldwide. That means increased instability in some of the most volatile parts of the world.

As the world’s largest producer of greenhouse gases, America has the responsibility to lead. While many of our industrial partners are working hard to reduce their emissions, we are increasing ours at a steady clip — by more than ten percent per decade. As president, I intend to enact a cap-and-trade system that will dramatically reduce our carbon emissions. And I will work to finally free America of its dependence on foreign oil — by using energy more efficiently in our cars, factories, and homes, relying more on renewable sources of electricity, and harnessing the potential of biofuels.

Getting our own house in order is only a first step. China will soon replace America as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Clean energy development must be a central focus in our relationships with major countries in Europe and Asia. I will invest in efficient and clean technologies at home while using our assistance policies and export promotions to help developing countries leapfrog the carbon-energy-intensive stage of development. We need a global response to climate change that includes binding and enforceable commitments to reducing emissions, especially for those that pollute the most: the United States, China, India, the European Union, and Russia. This challenge is massive, but rising to it will also bring new benefits to America. By 2050, global demand for low-carbon energy could create an annual market worth $500 billion. Meeting that demand would open new frontiers for American entrepreneurs and workers.

BUILDING JUST, SECURE, DEMOCRATIC SOCIETIES

Finally, to renew American leadership in the world, I will strengthen our common security by investing in our common humanity. Our global engagement cannot be defined by what we are against; it must be guided by a clear sense of what we stand for. We have a significant stake in ensuring that those who live in fear and want today can live with dignity and opportunity tomorrow.

People around the world have heard a great deal of late about freedom on the march. Tragically, many have come to associate this with war, torture, and forcibly imposed regime change. To build a better, freer world, we must first behave in ways that reflect the decency and aspirations of the American people. This means ending the practices of shipping away prisoners in the dead of night to be tortured in far-off countries, of detaining thousands without charge or trial, of maintaining a network of secret prisons to jail people beyond the reach of the law.

Citizens everywhere should be able to choose their leaders in climates free of fear. America must commit to strengthening the pillars of a just society. We can help build accountable institutions that deliver services and opportunity: strong legislatures, independent judiciaries, honest police forces, free presses, vibrant civil societies. In countries wracked by poverty and conflict, citizens long to enjoy freedom from want. And since extremely poor societies and weak states provide optimal breeding grounds for disease, terrorism, and conflict, the United States has a direct national security interest in dramatically reducing global poverty and joining with our allies in sharing more of our riches to help those most in need. We need to invest in building capable, democratic states that can establish healthy and educated communities, develop markets, and generate wealth. Such states would also have greater institutional capacities to fight terrorism, halt the spread of deadly weapons, and build health-care infrastructures to prevent, detect, and treat deadly diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and avian flu.

As president, I will double our annual investment in meeting these challenges to $50 billion by 2012 and ensure that those new resources are directed toward worthwhile goals. For the last 20 years, U.S. foreign assistance funding has done little more than keep pace with inflation. It is in our national security interest to do better. But if America is going to help others build more just and secure societies, our trade deals, debt relief, and foreign aid must not come as blank checks. I will couple our support with an insistent call for reform, to combat the corruption that rots societies and governments from within. I will do so not in the spirit of a patron but in the spirit of a partner — a partner mindful of his own imperfections.

Our rapidly growing international AIDS programs have demonstrated that increased foreign assistance can make a real difference. As part of this new funding, I will capitalize a $2 billion Global Education Fund that will bring the world together in eliminating the global education deficit, much as the 9/11 Commission proposed. We cannot hope to shape a world where opportunity outweighs danger unless we ensure that every child everywhere is taught to build and not to destroy.

There are compelling moral reasons and compelling security reasons for renewed American leadership that recognizes the inherent equality and worth of all people. As President Kennedy said in his 1961 inaugural address, "To those people in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required — not because the communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." I will show the world that America remains true to its founding values. We lead not only for ourselves but also for the common good.

RESTORING AMERICA’S TRUST

Confronted by Hitler, Roosevelt said that our power would be "directed toward ultimate good as well as against immediate evil. We Americans are not destroyers; we are builders." It is time for a president who can build consensus here at home for an equally ambitious course.

Ultimately, no foreign policy can succeed unless the American people understand it and feel they have a stake in its success — unless they trust that their government hears their concerns as well. We will not be able to increase foreign aid if we fail to invest in security and opportunity for our own people. We cannot negotiate trade agreements to help spur development in poor countries so long as we provide no meaningful help to working Americans burdened by the dislocations of a global economy. We cannot reduce our dependence on foreign oil or defeat global warming unless Americans are willing to innovate and conserve. We cannot expect Americans to support placing our men and women in harm’s way if we cannot show that we will use force wisely and judiciously. But if the next president can restore the American people’s trust — if they know that he or she is acting with their best interests at heart, with prudence and wisdom and some measure of humility — then I believe the American people will be eager to see America lead again.

I believe they will also agree that it is time for a new generation to tell the next great American story. If we act with boldness and foresight, we will be able to tell our grandchildren that this was the time when we helped forge peace in the Middle East. This was the time we confronted climate change and secured the weapons that could destroy the human race. This was the time we defeated global terrorists and brought opportunity to forgotten corners of the world. And this was the time when we renewed the America that has led generations of weary travelers from all over the world to find opportunity and liberty and hope on our doorstep.

It was not all that long ago that farmers in Venezuela and Indonesia welcomed American doctors to their villages and hung pictures of JFK on their living room walls, when millions, like my father, waited every day for a letter in the mail that would grant them the privilege to come to America to study, work, live, or just be free.

We can be this America again. This is our moment to renew the trust and faith of our people — and all people — in an America that battles immediate evils, promotes an ultimate good, and leads the world once more.

www.foreignaffairs.org is copyright 2002–2006 by the Council on Foreign Relations. All rights reserved.

”Veterans bill” passed by House and Senate without recorded vote

http://infowars.net/articles/december2007/211207Zelman.htm

Gun Owners Group Condemns "Treacherous" Passage Of Anti-Second Amendment Legislation

" Veterans bill" passed by House and Senate without recorded vote

Steve Watson
Infowars.net
Fri
day, Dec 21, 2007

Gun owners and second amendment rights groups have condemned the passage by Congress yesterday of legislation that re-writes the law in order to regulate gun ownership.

Alex Jones was joined on air yesterday by Aaron Zelman, Executive Director of the pro second amendment group Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, to discuss the passing by Congress of the "NICS Improvement Act"

Opponents have dubbed the bill, the "veterans disarmament act" as it will place any veteran who has ever been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on the federal gun ban list.

The bill, HR 2640, passed in the House in June and was later passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee both times without a recorded vote. Gun owners have been trying to raise awareness and beat down the legislation ever since.

The bill, sponsored by outspoken anti-second amendment representatives Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), also applies to anyone who has been diagnosed with ADHD as a child and to anyone who develops Alzheimer’s. Gun owners fear that in time the diagnosis of any kind of mental affliction could end with rights being stripped.

"This was a combined effort between the NRA and Carolyn McCarthy and Charlie Schumer, to appear to be doing something good, but in reality it brings about a great deal of evil." Aaron Zelman commented on the Alex Jones show.

"One example that has really concerned me for many months since this bill was introduced, I haven’t seen a clear definition of what a mental health problem is, does that mean somebody who was depressed for a week if there was a death in the family? They got a few pills from their doctor or does it mean something much more severe?" Zelman continued.

The legislation is another case that hinges on the government’s incessant creation of psychological profiles for everything that are then used to categorize people and accordingly strip rights.

Section 102((1)©(iv) in HR 2640 provides for dumping raw medical records into the system which will then, by law, serve as the basis for gun banning.

The bill radically redefines key legal terms to allow gun ownership rights to be stripped on the findings of a psychiatric diagnosis, where in the past gun rights could only be withdrawn through an adjudication by a judge, magistrate or court with the protections of due process.

"This really opens a door for the ATF, to come smashing the door down actually in your home because lets say you owned guns prior to someone saying you have a mental health issue, well that means you can’t keep the guns you have. So this will give a whole new emphasis to ATF to justify their budget and their thuggery." Zelman stressed during yesterday’s interview.

"This bill is treachery on behalf of the NRA and the usual group of gun haters. it should be a red flag to everybody who is listening to your program that the battle to destroy the second amendment has started. The war on guns is in full force." Zelman continued.

The legislation also mirrors policy of Bill Clinton’s administration over seven years ago when some 83,000 veterans were illegitimately added into the National Criminal Information System (NICS system) — prohibiting them from purchasing firearms, simply because of afflictions like PTSD.

Section 101(c)(1)(C) of HR 2640 would rubber-stamp those illegal actions. Over 140,000 law-abiding veterans would be statutorily barred from possessing firearms.

Furthermore, the legislation passed the Senate and the House on a voice vote, meaning there is no record of who voted for it. The bill will now go to the President’s desk

The veterans disarmament act is tantamount to declaring the fear of an authoritarian government, the cornerstone of the second amendment, a mental illness. Once again we are witnessing another all out attack on the basic founding principles of the American Republic.

"The supreme court may say yes you have a right to gun ownership but the government has a right to regulate. That regulation could also include taxation. The battle is on and anyone who thinks, well no, we’re gonna win the day and things are going to turn out OK, they need to take an anti-Naive pill." Zelman urged yesterday.

Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership’s website has more information and advice on what action can be taken to combat the legislation

"As we have shown people in our film, innocents betrayed, when governments take guns they are able to demonize a group of people, they are abe to determine whether that group of people will live or die, and they are able to control the entire society because no one can resist effectively." Zelman concluded.

Listen to the full interview with Aaron Zelman here.

Woman TASED At Best Buy

http://www.cfnews13.com/News/Local/2007/12/20/tased_at_best_buy.html?refresh=1

Woman TASED At Best Buy

Thursday, December 20, 2007 4:19:59 PM

Video has surfaced of a Daytona Beach police officer using a TASER on a woman in a store.

According to our partners at the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Elizabeth Beeland was shopping at a Best Buy in Daytona Beach last month.

Before she checked out, she got an upsetting phone call about her child and stepped outside to take the call.

According to the police report, the clerk said Beeland was suspicious and flagged down Daytona Beach police officer Claudia Wright, who was in the store.

When Officer Wright confronted Beeland, she yelled at her.

When they came back in the store, Wright repeatedly asked her to calm down and threatened to arrest and TASER her if she didn’t.

As the video shows, Beeland continued to back away as the officer moved closer.

Beeland was then TASED and arrested.

Beeland is charged with disorderly conduct and resisting a police officer without violence.

Police department policy states an officer can deploy his or her TASER "for the purpose of subduing a violent, noncompliant or combative subject."

Beeland’s attorney is now investigating what legal action to take against the police department and officer.

Botched Raid Terrorizes Minnesota Family

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8TK32301&show_article=1

Botched Raid Terrorizes Minn. Family

Dec 18 04:41 PM US/Eastern
By GREGG AAMOT and STEVE KARNOWSKI
Associated Press Writers

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – With her six kids and husband tucked into bed, Yee Moua was watching TV in her living room just after midnight when she heard voices—faint at first, then louder. Then came the sound of a window shattering.

Moua bolted upstairs, where her husband, Vang Khang, grabbed his shotgun from a closet, knelt and fired a warning shot through his doorway as he heard footsteps coming up the stairs. He let loose with two more blasts. Twenty-two bullets were fired back at him, by the family’s count.

Then things suddenly became clear.

"It’s the police! Police!" his sons yelled.

Khang, a Hmong immigrant with shaky command of English, set down his gun, raised his hands and was soon on the ground, an officer’s boot on his neck.

The gunmen, it turned out, were members of a police SWAT team that had raided the wrong address because of bad information from an informant—a mistake that some critics say happens all too frequently around the country and gets innocent people killed.

"I have six kids, and only one mistake almost took my kids’ life," said Moua, 24. "We will never forget this."

No one was hurt in the raid Sunday, conducted by a task force that fights drugs and gangs, though two police officers were hit by the shotgun blasts and narrowly escaped injury because they were wearing bulletproof vests.

Police apologized to the family and placed the seven officers on leave while it investigates what went wrong.

Such mistakes are a fact of police work, some experts said.

"Does going to the wrong address happen from time to time? Yes," said John Gnagey, executive director of the National Tactical Officers Association in Doylestown, Pa. "Do you corroborate as best you can the information the informant gives you? Absolutely. But still from time to time mistakes are made."

One of the biggest botched raids in recent years happened in Atlanta in 2006, when police killed a 92-year-old woman in a hail of nearly 40 bullets after she fired a shot at what she thought were intruders. Police had gone to her house on a drug raid, but no drugs were found.

Prosecutors said that in obtaining a search warrant, Atlanta police falsely told a judge that an informant had confirmed drug dealing there. The scandal led to a shake-up in the department, two officers pleaded guilty to manslaughter and civil rights charges, and the city faces at least two lawsuits.

Reliable figures on the frequency of erroneous raids are hard to come by. Federal agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, said they do not keep track.

A study last year by the libertarian Cato Institute said: "Because of shoddy police work, over-reliance on informants, and other problems, each year hundreds of raids are conducted on the wrong addresses, bringing unnecessary terror and frightening confrontation to people never suspected of a crime."

Gnagey disputed the organization’s figures but wouldn’t say whether he considered them too high or too low, and he had no estimate of his own.

"Going to the wrong home is an extreme rarity," said Mark Robbins, a law enforcement professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato. "It’s just unfortunate that when it does, it often ends up in violent and even tragic incidents."

In the Minneapolis case, the nature of the tip and precisely what police were looking for were not disclosed; the search warrant has been sealed. And it was not clear how far off the mark the informant was in supplying the address.

No charges were brought against Khang, who lives in crime-ridden northeast Minneapolis. Khang used the shotgun for hunting, said his brother, Dao Khang. In Minnesota, no license is required to own a shotgun.

Khang, who speaks some English but used an interpreter during an interview, said he does not remember hearing any calls of "Police!" until his sons shouted. He said he would never knowingly shoot at officers.

"That’s why I reacted the way I did, to protect my family and two sons," said Khang, 34, whose children are ages 3 to 15.

Lt. Amelia Huffman, a police spokeswoman, said the information in the search warrant came from a source who had been reliable in the past.

Huffman said officers who routinely work on drug and gang cases are trained to try to corroborate their information. As for why the process didn’t work this time, "that’s one of the things the internal investigation will go through in exhaustive detail," she said.

The Hmong are hill people from Laos who aided the CIA during the Vietnam War by fighting the Viet Cong. Hmong refugees began arriving in Minnesota in the late 1970s, and there are perhaps 60,000 Hmong in Minnesota today.

The Khang family is living with relatives until the house gets cleaned up. The raid left six windows broken and walls and ceilings pocked with pellet and bullet holes.

"The whole family is badly shaken and still trying to understand what happened," Moua said.

___

On the Net:

Cato Institute study: http://www.cato.org/pubs/wtpapers/balko_whitepaper_2006.pdf

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Ron Paul’s ‘Racist Affiliations’ Exposed As Fraud

Ron Paul Racist Propaganda Exposed

Establishment finds no skeletons in Congressman’s closet, resorts to crass guilt by association smear

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Friday, December 21, 2007

Peddlers of American Nazi Party leader Bill White’s ridiculous claim that Ron Paul is a white supremacist have unwittingly exposed themselves as Israeli propagandists, after a keen-eyed Mike Rivero over at WhatReallyHappened.com spotted the icon for "Megaphone," an Israeli government supported PR front, on one of their screenshots.

The image appeared on a screen capture which was posted on several messageboards by one of White’s bloggers who was attempting to prove the validity of White’s claim by showing it had originated directly from his neo-nazi Stormfront website.

In his zeal to push White’s lies, the blogger unwittingly exposed himself as a member of an Israeli-government backed propaganda network.


Screen capture showing Megaphone icon on user’s desktop panel (click for enlargement).


Image of Megaphone program when in use.

According to Wikipedia, "The Megaphone desktop tool is a Microsoft Windows application distributed by the World Union of Jewish Students and other pro-Israel organizations, through the Giyus.org website. Released on July 19, 2006, it delivers real-time alerts about key articles, videos, blogs, and surveys to subscribers so that they can voice their opinions and work together to support Israel on the public opinion front."

The Israeli government itself has urged users to "become cyberspace soldiers in the new battleground for Israel’s image," by using the Megaphone tool.

UK technology website The Register has described use of the software as "highly organised mass manipulation of technologies which are supposed to be democratising" and slammed Megaphone as "effectively a high-tech exercise in ballot-stuffing".

White’s claim about Ron Paul’s "extensive involvement in white nationalism" is patently ridiculous in itself.

As Rivero points out, "Now, one might suppose that the American Nazi party would be happy to have a candidate who shares their views, and one might assume that Bill White is smart enough to know that making such a public accusation is going to be quite harmful to the candidate he claims shares his philosophy. Indeed it does appear that Bill White’s accusation is intended to cause as much harm to Ron Paul as possible."

As is strikingly obvious, Bill White’s spurious claim is the latest salvo in a desperate attempt on behalf of the establishment to smear Ron Paul as a fascist racist sympathizer.

Since the Congressman is as clean as a whistle and unlike Romney, Huckabee and Giuliani has no skeletons in the closet, the establishment are forced to resort to the dirtiest trick in the book – guilt by association.

Nowhere was this more evident than an Associated Press headline yesterday – Paul Keeps White Supremacist Donation – a blatant slur designed to scare off undecided voters from researching further into what the Congressman actually stands for.

I’m sure the media could dig up all kinds of monsters who have given hefty sums to Romney and Giuliani and then tar them with the same brush but you’ll never see it happen, because as Salon writer Glenn Greenwald points out, the establishment have launched a vicious assault on Ron Paul.

How about the Neo-Cons who advocate ethnically cleansing the middle east and making Bush dictator of the world? Who have they donated to? Romney Keeps Donation From Fascist Ethnic Cleansing Advocate – will AP carry that story?

How about Stu Bykovsky, the Philadelphia Inquirer writer who called for a new 9/11 to reinvigorate support for Republicans – who did he donate to and why isn’t the media interested in finding out? Giuliani Keeps Donation From Writer Who Yearned For New 9/11 is a headline we’ll never see.

How about talking to those putrid Neo-Cons who went on the National Review’s annual cruise this past summer – you know, the people who like to share their belief that anyone who protests against Bush be executed in gas chambers – who did they donate to? McCain? Huckabee?

The media won’t find out and they won’t be issuing any ad hominem smear headlines against any of the establishment candidates because they know on which side their bread is buttered.

Blackwater Down by Jeremy Scahill, The Nation

Blackwater Down

By Jeremy Scahill, The Nation
Posted on September 22, 2005, Printed on December 20, 2007
http://www.alternet.org/story/25858/

The men from Blackwater USA arrived in New Orleans right after Katrina hit.

The company known for its private security work guarding senior US diplomats in Iraq beat the federal government and most aid organizations to the scene in another devastated Gulf. About 150 heavily armed Blackwater troops dressed in full battle gear spread out into the chaos of New Orleans. Officially, the company boasted of its forces "join[ing] the hurricane relief effort." But its men on the ground told a different story.

Some patrolled the streets in SUVs with tinted windows and the Blackwater logo splashed on the back; others sped around the French Quarter in an unmarked car with no license plates. They congregated on the corner of St. James and Bourbon in front of a bar called 711, where Blackwater was establishing a makeshift headquarters. From the balcony above the bar, several Blackwater guys cleared out what had apparently been someone’s apartment. They threw mattresses, clothes, shoes and other household items from the balcony to the street below. They draped an American flag from the balcony’s railing. More than a dozen troops from the 82nd Airborne Division stood in formation on the street watching the action.

Armed men shuffled in and out of the building as a handful told stories of their past experiences in Iraq. "I worked the security detail of both Bremer and Negroponte," said one of the Blackwater guys, referring to the former head of the US occupation, L. Paul Bremer, and former US Ambassador to Iraq John Negroponte. Another complained, while talking on his cell phone, that he was getting only $350 a day plus his per diem. "When they told me New Orleans, I said, ‘What country is that in?’" he said. He wore his company ID around his neck in a case with the phrase Operation Iraqi Freedom printed on it.

In an hourlong conversation I had with four Blackwater men, they characterized their work in New Orleans as "securing neighborhoods" and "confronting criminals." They all carried automatic assault weapons and had guns strapped to their legs. Their flak jackets were covered with pouches for extra ammunition.

When asked what authority they were operating under, one guy said, "We’re on contract with the Department of Homeland Security." Then, pointing to one of his comrades, he said, "He was even deputized by the governor of the state of Louisiana. We can make arrests and use lethal force if we deem it necessary." The man then held up the gold Louisiana law enforcement badge he wore around his neck. Blackwater spokesperson Anne Duke also said the company has a letter from Louisiana officials authorizing its forces to carry loaded weapons.

"This vigilantism demonstrates the utter breakdown of the government," says Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights. "These private security forces have behaved brutally, with impunity, in Iraq. To have them now on the streets of New Orleans is frightening and possibly illegal."

Blackwater is not alone. As business leaders and government officials talk openly of changing the demographics of what was one of the most culturally vibrant of America’s cities, mercenaries from companies like DynCorp, Intercon, American Security Group, Blackhawk, Wackenhut and an Israeli company called Instinctive Shooting International (ISI) are fanning out to guard private businesses and homes, as well as government projects and institutions. Within two weeks of the hurricane, the number of private security companies registered in Louisiana jumped from 185 to 235. Some, like Blackwater, are under federal contract. Others have been hired by the wealthy elite, like F. Patrick Quinn III, who brought in private security to guard his $3 million private estate and his luxury hotels, which are under consideration for a lucrative federal contract to house FEMA workers.

A possibly deadly incident involving Quinn’s hired guns underscores the dangers of private forces policing American streets. On his second night in New Orleans, Quinn’s security chief, Michael Montgomery, who said he worked for an Alabama company called Bodyguard and Tactical Security (BATS), was with a heavily armed security detail en route to pick up one of Quinn’s associates and escort him through the chaotic city. Montgomery told me they came under fire from "black gangbangers" on an overpass near the poor Ninth Ward neighborhood. "At the time, I was on the phone with my business partner," he recalls. "I dropped the phone and returned fire."

Montgomery says he and his men were armed with AR-15s and Glocks and that they unleashed a barrage of bullets in the general direction of the alleged shooters on the overpass. "After that, all I heard was moaning and screaming, and the shooting stopped. That was it. Enough said."

Then, Montgomery says, "the Army showed up, yelling at us and thinking we were the enemy. We explained to them that we were security. I told them what had happened and they didn’t even care. They just left." Five minutes later, Montgomery says, Louisiana state troopers arrived on the scene, inquired about the incident and then asked him for directions on "how they could get out of the city." Montgomery says that no one ever asked him for any details of the incident and no report was ever made. "One thing about security," Montgomery says, "is that we all coordinate with each other–one family." That co-ordination doesn’t include the offices of the Secretaries of State in Louisiana and Alabama, which have no record of a BATS company.

A few miles away from the French Quarter, another wealthy New Orleans businessman, James Reiss, who serves in Mayor Ray Nagin’s administration as chairman of the city’s Regional Transit Authority, brought in some heavy guns to guard the elite gated community of Audubon Place: Israeli mercenaries dressed in black and armed with M-16s. Two Israelis patrolling the gates outside Audubon told me they had served as professional soldiers in the Israeli military, and one boasted of having participated in the invasion of Lebanon. "We have been fighting the Palestinians all day, every day, our whole lives," one of them tells me. "Here in New Orleans, we are not guarding from terrorists." Then, tapping on his machine gun, he says, "Most Americans, when they see these things, that’s enough to scare them."

The men work for ISI, which describes its employees as "veterans of the Israeli special task forces from the following Israeli government bodies: Israel Defense Force (IDF), Israel National Police Counter Terrorism units, Instructors of Israel National Police Counter Terrorism units, General Security Service (GSS or ‘Shin Beit’), Other restricted intelligence agencies." The company was formed in 1993. Its website profile says: "Our up-to-date services meet the challenging needs for Homeland Security preparedness and overseas combat procedures and readiness. ISI is currently an approved vendor by the US Government to supply Homeland Security services."

Unlike ISI or BATS, Blackwater is operating under a federal contract to provide 164 armed guards for FEMA reconstruction projects in Louisiana. That contract was announced just days after Homeland Security Department spokesperson Russ Knocke told the Washington Post he knew of no federal plans to hire Blackwater or other private security firms. "We believe we’ve got the right mix of personnel in law enforcement for the federal government to meet the demands of public safety," he said. Before the contract was announced, the Blackwater men told me, they were already on contract with DHS and that they were sleeping in camps organized by the federal agency.

One might ask, given the enormous presence in New Orleans of National Guard, US Army, US Border Patrol, local police from around the country and practically every other government agency with badges, why private security companies are needed, particularly to guard federal projects. "It strikes me…that that may not be the best use of money," said Illinois Senator Barack Obama.

Blackwater’s success in procuring federal contracts could well be explained by major-league contributions and family connections to the GOP. According to election records, Blackwater’s CEO and co-founder, billionaire Erik Prince, has given tens of thousands to Republicans, including more than $80,000 to the Republican National Committee the month before Bush’s victory in 2000. This past June, he gave $2,100 to Senator Rick Santorum’s re-election campaign. He has also given to House majority leader Tom DeLay and a slew of other Republican candidates, including Bush/Cheney in 2004. As a young man, Prince interned with President George H.W. Bush, though he complained at the time that he "saw a lot of things I didn’t agree with–homosexual groups being invited in, the budget agreement, the Clean Air Act, those kind of bills. I think the Administration has been indifferent to a lot of conservative concerns."

Prince, a staunch right-wing Christian, comes from a powerful Michigan Republican family, and his father, Edgar, was a close friend of former Republican presidential candidate and antichoice leader Gary Bauer. In 1988 the elder Prince helped Bauer start the Family Research Council. Erik Prince’s sister, Betsy, once chaired the Michigan Republican Party and is married to Dick DeVos, whose father, billionaire Richard DeVos, is co-founder of the major Republican benefactor Amway. Dick DeVos is also a big-time contributor to the Republican Party and will likely be the GOP candidate for Michigan governor in 2006. Another Blackwater founder, president Gary Jackson, is also a major contributor to Republican campaigns.

After the killing of four Blackwater mercenaries in Falluja in March 2004, Erik Prince hired the Alexander Strategy Group, a PR firm with close ties to GOPers like DeLay. By mid-November the company was reporting 600 percent growth. In February 2005 the company hired Ambassador Cofer Black, former coordinator for counterterrorism at the State Department and former director of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, as vice chairman. Just as the hurricane was hitting, Blackwater’s parent company, the Prince Group, named Joseph Schmitz, who had just resigned as the Pentagon’s Inspector General, as the group’s chief operating officer and general counsel.

While juicing up the firm’s political connections, Prince has been advocating greater use of private security in international operations, arguing at a symposium at the National Defense Industrial Association earlier this year that firms like his are more efficient than the military. In May Blackwater’s Jackson testified before Congress in an effort to gain lucrative Homeland Security contracts to train 2,000 new Border Patrol agents, saying Blackwater understands "the value to the government of one-stop shopping." With President Bush using the Katrina disaster to try to repeal Posse Comitatus (the ban on using US troops in domestic law enforcement) and Blackwater and other security firms clearly initiating a push to install their paramilitaries on US soil, the war is coming home in yet another ominous way. As one Blackwater mercenary said, "This is a trend. You’re going to see a lot more guys like us in these situations."

Jeremy Scahill is a correspondent for the national radio and TV program Democracy Now! He has spent extensive time reporting from Iraq and the former Yugoslavia, where he covered the 1999 NATO bombing.
© 2007 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/25858/

Former Bush Official to Take RFID Microchip

Former Bush official to get RFID tag

By Michael Kanellos News.com
Published on ZDNet:News Jul 18, 2005 11:43:00 PM

Tommy Thompson, the Health and Human Services Secretary in President Bush’s first term and a former Governor of Wisconsin, is going to get tagged.

Thompson has joined the board of Applied Digital, which owns VeriChip, the company that specializes in subcutaneous RFID tags for humans and pets.

To help promote the concepts behind the technology, Thompson himself will get an RFID tag implanted under his skin.

Human RFID tags have emerged as one of the more controversial technologies in years. Civil libertarians theorize that the chips will allow governments or corporations to track people’s movement and behavior. Some Christians have said the chips are so evil they fulfill a biblical prophesy about satanic influences.

Advocates, on the other hand, say the chips will contain personal information that will help medical professionals and others provide emergency treatment. The chip provides a form of identification that’s tough to lose. By clicking the number found on the chip into a password-restricted database, paramedics can get an accident victim’s medical history in the field. (One of VeriChip’s scientists came up with the idea of using the company’s pet RFID tags on people after watching rescue workers struggle to find the missing after the Sept. 11 tragedy.)

Prisons and jails are also experimenting with RFID bracelets and continual tracking to reduce inmate violence.

"We are all well aware of the need to enhance Information Technology in healthcare," Thompson said in a prepared statement. "It is my belief that VeriChip is an important and secure means of accessing medical records and other information. I look forward to working with the company as it continues its growth."

http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1009_22-5793685.html

Former Bush Official to Take RFID Microchip

Former Bush official to get RFID tag

By Michael Kanellos News.com
Published on ZDNet:News Jul 18, 2005 11:43:00 PM

Tommy Thompson, the Health and Human Services Secretary in President Bush’s first term and a former Governor of Wisconsin, is going to get tagged.

Thompson has joined the board of Applied Digital, which owns VeriChip, the company that specializes in subcutaneous RFID tags for humans and pets.

To help promote the concepts behind the technology, Thompson himself will get an RFID tag implanted under his skin.

Human RFID tags have emerged as one of the more controversial technologies in years. Civil libertarians theorize that the chips will allow governments or corporations to track people’s movement and behavior. Some Christians have said the chips are so evil they fulfill a biblical prophesy about satanic influences.

Advocates, on the other hand, say the chips will contain personal information that will help medical professionals and others provide emergency treatment. The chip provides a form of identification that’s tough to lose. By clicking the number found on the chip into a password-restricted database, paramedics can get an accident victim’s medical history in the field. (One of VeriChip’s scientists came up with the idea of using the company’s pet RFID tags on people after watching rescue workers struggle to find the missing after the Sept. 11 tragedy.)

Prisons and jails are also experimenting with RFID bracelets and continual tracking to reduce inmate violence.

"We are all well aware of the need to enhance Information Technology in healthcare," Thompson said in a prepared statement. "It is my belief that VeriChip is an important and secure means of accessing medical records and other information. I look forward to working with the company as it continues its growth."

http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1009_22-5793685.html

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