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 - Media Mesmerism and "The Grand Show"

- Wes Clark of Waco, Kosovo and Mena Drug Connections -- Dean Fades -- Kerry is the Sleeper - What is Dan Sheehan Doing to Dennis Kucinich?

- California Recall Shows "Democracy Terminated"

by Michael C. Ruppert

© Copyright 2003, From The Wilderness Publications, All Rights Reserved. May be reprinted, distributed or posted on an Internet web site for non-profit purposes only.

[Our July 1, 2003 publication of Part I of this series, with its analysis showing that the Neocons of the Bush administration were systematically being taken down at the direction of the real powers in control of the US economy created a huge demand for the promised follow-up article that would update developments and also look at the many Democratic presidential challengers. Work on that story was halted when this writer experienced a near-fatal encounter with a ruptured appendix and peritonitis in mid-July. (I am now fully recovered.) The delay may not have been a bad thing. One thing that is now apparent is that George W. Bush may have been set up - much as Lyndon Johnson was in Vietnam - to create an unwinnable war for the benefit of globalized monetary interests whose objective is the destruction of the US as a nation-state, while at the same time securing a top spot for US-based corporations in an increasingly globalized and energy-hungry economy.

There has been ample time to get a closer look at the various "early" candidates seeking to replace George W. Bush in the White House. We emphasize the word "early". A critical look at the Democratic contenders -- especially latecomer Wesley Clark -- reveals past behavior suggesting wolves in sheep's clothing or -- in the case of Dennis Kucinich -- campaign styles that promise little more than feel-good futility as insiders wonder if his campaign is being derailed from within. Yet, all this drama in an electoral environment, where mandatory voting software is hopelessly compromised, is little more than a tempest in a teapot. All told, it looks as if there is nothing much going on that gives grounds for enthusiasm or hope--especially as one focuses only on the "electoral" process.

More alarming, however, is the fact that attention is being diverted to wasted efforts, rather than to those that might make a real difference. In the final analysis, what we can expect after George Bush is a continuation of what came before and during George Bush. For those with their eyes open, there will be little difference in the outcome. Bush was not a marked historical or policy shift. The Clinton administration set the stage for 9/11 perfectly. George W. Bush is merely the captain of a brutal special team sent onto the field to make a few essential plays consistent with a larger plan. And if I have to spend the four years from January 2005 fighting deluded, guilty, self-aggrandizing progressives who want to convince us that things will be better under a Democrat, the same way I fought the current administration, that's exactly what I'll do. It is, after all, how FTW got its start.

And I will say -- one more time for the record-- that the destabilization and balkanization of Saudi Arabia with 25% of known oil reserves remains near the top of the main agenda. All of that oil lies in a very small area of land near the east coast of a country that we already have surrounded. All "we" need do is convince the American people of Saudi responsibilities for 9/11 in a way that will make convenient intervention tasteful to a war-weary American public that just doesn't get the concept of perpetual war. Then the US will help the Saudi regime crack from the inside and threaten regional stability, as the pretext for the seizure. In my opinion, the next president will be the one who can convince the powers that be that he can pull off that agenda, and sell it to the American people and the world.

There is a great piece of theater in play that has left many unable to distinguish fictional drama from stark reality. As John Lennon once said, "Life is what was happening while I was making other plans." - MCR]


October 20, 2003 1000 PDT (FTW) --Since Part I of this series was published, the credibility of the Bush administration has - as predicted - been assaulted on a variety of fronts. W's approval rating has dropped below 50%. The Republicans are worried about whether he is re-electable. The political, military and economic situation in Iraq has worsened. The US economy staggers on the brink of meltdown, in debt and an anemic dollar. The reality of Peak Oil and Gas has been acknowledged in a number of mainstream publications including CNN, The Independent, and Jane's Intelligence Summary. Recent stories have confirmed reports that actual oil reserves may be 80% smaller than previously reported. The US has experienced the first of many major power blackouts yet to come. American military morale is plummeting as quickly as is its readiness for additional (inevitable) conflicts. And the military situation in Iraq and Afghanistan remains as dangerous, and uncertain, as Iraqi oil remains undeliverable.

The last development is perhaps the biggest of all the Neocon blunders, but it still accomplishes the primary objective laid out by Zbigniew Brzezinski in his 1997 book, The Grand Chessboard: The oil and many rebuilding contracts have been denied to any powers "that might seek to usurp the US on the world stage". Even as the US has gone hat-in-hand to the UN asking for help in Iraq (and been rebuffed), it has made it clear that it intends to retain absolute control of Iraqi resources. Europe and Russia will not play that game. Oil in the ground is oil in the bank and, at least for the moment, by tweaking supplies and conflicts around the world, the US can maintain enough supply from other sources to keep the house of cards from falling. Within three to five years, that may not be possible.

The race now is to stabilize Iraq in time to rebuild the infrastructure, and bring its 11% of proven world reserves online. The US majors won't invest there until it is safe. On October 11, The Arabic News reported on a recent World Bank report stating that the reconstruction of Iraqi infrastructure would require four years and more than $50 billion (US).  This is another reason why the Bush junta is in jeopardy. There are few left anywhere who believe that they have the cachet to pull it off. The oil companies have lost confidence in the oil men.

Had the US not invaded Iraq, however, French, Russian and German companies would currently be working on billions of dollars of contracts to refurbish the oil infrastructure, thus increasing the amount of Iraqi oil (priced in Euros rather than dollars) reaching world markets by legal or extralegal means outside of UN sanctions. Since the occupation, we have learned much about Iraqi oil being smuggled through Syria, and by other means. As a result, Europe and Russia would have been getting economically stronger and "marking territory" for the day when oil for food sanctions were inevitably lifted. Europe's economy is now sustained by the speed with which Russia can sell its diminishing oil reserves - estimated at just under 60 billion barrels (Gb) - something that it appears eager to do. This will inevitably force Britain into the EU at an accelerated pace, especially if BP can't get any supplies out of Iraq. (Note: Russia's 60 Gb is enough to supply global needs for just under two years excluding all other sources, and it is now being pumped faster than ever. According to Reuters, on August 4, 2003 Russian exports had reached 8.5 million barrels per day.) Since Russia has long passed its production peak, it is problematic as to whether these levels can be sustained for more than ten years.

This, of course, is consistent with recently declassified CIA documents showing that the agency was aware of Peak Oil issues in the 1970s, especially in Russia. (See:

Frustrated that they cannot safely get to Iraqi oil, the American majors are frantic to secure supplies from an ever-diminishing global reservoir; hence the recent frantic expansion of drilling and investment in West Africa. One of the biggest signs of the reality of Peak Oil over the last two decades has been a continual pattern of merger-acquisition-downsizing throughout the industry. Chevron bought Texaco. Exxon bought Mobil. TotalFinaElf bought Arco. Now, one of the largest oil buyouts in history has been announced in Russia as Mikhail Khodorkovsky's Yukos has just acquired Sibneft creating the fourth largest oil company in the world. This, even as Chevron, Shell and Exxon have been reportedly frantically trying to acquire a 40% stake in YukosSibneft. As of this writing, Exxon appears to have emerged the winner as the Russian government announced on October 7th that it found no reason to block Exxon's purchase. The game of musical chairs has begun.

An announcement in Reuters on October 8th that Russia may soon price its oil in Euros explains the additional incentive for American companies to own a piece of the Russian pie. Such a move would drastically weaken the dollar. And while US taxpayers would suffer under a staggering debt burden as a result, Exxon would reap major new profits as the Euro surged in value; further proof that corporations, not nations, rule the world.

As we pointed out in February:

This administration has presented itself to the globalized world economy as a business manager that was capable of putting together an acquisition and merger of all of the world's major assets. While the Bush administration has acted as CEO, it has still reported to a globalized board of directors which includes the major economic corporations and financial interests of Europe, Russia, China, Israel, Japan and possibly Saudi Arabia. These should be distinguished from the governments or peoples of these nations. What it has demonstrated is that it is incapable of transferring the assets of a significant portion of Europe into the portfolio. It is operationally incompetent to manage its way out of a wet paper bag. The corporate histories of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld demonstrate only the ability to acquire other companies, pump the share prices, commit fraud and reap billions in profits.


A simple way to look at this is to say that the CIA represents the interests of Wall Street and the global economic powers, while the Bush Neocons represent the interests of only one American faction of the global economy. It is inevitable that the Neocons will be replaced. Several US presidents have fought the CIA and they have always emerged on the short end of the stick. This time will be no different.


Choking Cheney

The CIA's call for a criminal investigation into the criminal leak identifying Valerie Plame -- the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson -- as a covert CIA operative is the perfect continuation of the operation to remove the Neocons. It was Wilson who earlier this year disclosed that not only had he been sent by Cheney's office to Niger to investigate claims of Iraqi attempts to purchase uranium but that he had reported back stridently that the claims were bogus. This was months before W's ill-fated State of the Union speech and a dozen subsequent assertions that Iraq was guilty by every major Bush administration official, including Cheney, Rice, Powell and Rumsfeld. Cheney has denied ever receiving Wilson's information. Their claims were made after the CIA had already established that documents used to support the claim in the State of the Union address were "crude forgeries".

Not only is the blowing of Plame's cover a clear-cut criminal case, it keeps in focus all of the intelligence frauds committed to justify the Iraqi invasion. Ultimately, the Bush administration will find it impossible to campaign on a platform of national security as people understand that the likely suspects, Karl Rove and Cheney Chief of Staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby have been tied to the leak, and that the target of the mean-spirited punishment was a counter-terror case officer investigating weapons of mass destruction. So much for Bush's "number-one priority".

The outing of Wilson's wife - intended as "payback" for Wilson - has so offended the American people, and Beltway insiders, that recent polls have shown that 70% of the American people support the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the case. As demonstrated by an October 3rd Op-ed in The Detroit Free Press, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, John Conyers, has pointed out that a clear conflict of interest is involved with the Department of Justice handling the investigation. Why? Because, according to Conyers and other news stories, Karl Rove had been a senior advisor on several of John Ashcroft's campaigns and may have been responsible for his appointment as Attorney General. Conyers publicly called for Rove's resignation on October 7th. If Rove is taken out of the White House, the Neocons will be running a one-legged political race and no one will be there capable of managing "W" in real time.

In the meantime, Dick Cheney becomes ever more vulnerable, and he may well be replaced before the election rolls around. First, in spite of recent embarrassing admissions by George W. Bush and Condi Rice that there were no demonstrated connections between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, Cheney - as reported by The Washington Post on September 29 -- continues to imply it in mainstream press interviews. Second, according to The Washington Post of September 26, and as revealed by CNN on September 25, Cheney still has strong financial ties to Halliburton whose no-bid contracts in Iraq have soared to over $1.2 billion out of the $2 billion in Iraqi contracts it now holds.

As Halliburton's contract awards continue to rise, Cheney's credibility sinks. Not only has his chief of staff "Scooter" Libby been tied to the Plame leaks (New York Daily News, MS-NBC and Salon), but Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, who fell on his sword for allowing the 16-word lie about Iraqi uranium to stay in the State of the Union address, has also been disclosed as one of the primary advocates of the now repudiated Hussein-bin Laden connection. The Washington Post on September 29 described Hadley as "a longtime Cheney associate".  (Special thanks to researcher and former White House staffer Barb Honegger for catching this important connection). Thus, as the Plame scandal unfolds, everything about Bush/Cheney intelligence fabrications remains firmly and inextricably on the table, and Cheney is emerging as the next domino.

Further compounding the problem for the administration is that the Plame leak itself was "shopped" by unnamed White House staffers to no less than six separate reporters before columnist Bob Novak picked it up and ran with it. The fact of the crime cannot be denied.

It is therefore likely that Dick Cheney will be removed from the 2004 Republican ticket. Before engaging in mass celebrations, those who are old enough to recall it should remember that another Vice President, Spiro Agnew, was successfully removed from the Nixon White House just before Nixon was replaced to allow for a "safe" Vice President (Gerald Ford) to be in place when the actual coup occurred. Who did Ford choose as his Vice President? Nelson Rockefeller. Although a clear-cut replacement for Cheney has not stuck his/her head up, one likely contender here would be former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani.

LBJ-Vietnam Redux

Contrary to popular belief, it was not a group of die-hard conservative militarists who pushed the US into an unwinnable conflict in Vietnam. It was a coterie of liberal "Eastern Establishment" members of the Council on Foreign Relations and lifelong Democrats. Included here are the likes of Dean Acheson, McGeorge and William Bundy, John J. McCloy, Dean Rusk and Robert McNamara. These were the advisors who continued to prod Johnson into escalation after escalation until, suddenly in March of 1968 right after the Tet Offensive, they all became doves overnight and said the war was a mistake. Johnson was set up and betrayed and he never recovered. He immediately announced that he would not run for re-election. That gave us Nixon, more escalations, and four more years of conflict as the American people were suckered into believing that Nixon would end the war quickly. Will people believe the same of a President Wesley Clark or John Kerry?

The same Vietnam-style sleight of hand is being played as the huge Win Without War Coalition is saying that it will support funding for Iraq if only Rumsfeld et al are removed. This kind of well-intentioned thinking is what is being sold to the American people as progress. Even though Win Without War supports a withdrawal from Iraq, the fact is that withdrawal is impossible, and it's not going to happen. The US will never let go of Iraqi oil. But the message is clear: Change front men and continue with the program. No matter who wins in 2004, the game will be played as Vietnam was played - but for much higher stakes.

Major power brokers like international financier George Soros are backing moves to remove Bush, and Soros is opening his sizeable checkbook to do it. I was dismayed recently to see that a board member of the ostensibly independent Pacifica radio network advocated direct solicitation of funds from both Soros and the CIA-connected Ford Foundation. Soros, who has or had business ties with Zbigniew Brzezinski, Henry Kissinger, the Carlyle Group, the CIA's Radio Free Europe, Wesley Clark, Richard Allen and George W. Bush (through Harken Energy), is not a friendly, tree-hugging, progressive out to save the world. He is the fist in a velvet glove to the Neocons' baseball bat across the nose.

Soros, a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the Bilderberger Group, also sits on the World Economic Forum with many Rockefeller interests. [Two excellent biographies of Soros are "George Soros: Imperial Wizard by Heather Cottin (Covert Action Quarterly, Fall 2002) and George Soros: Prophet of an Open Society by Karen Talbot at]

And what of the men behind Bush who pushed and prodded "W" into Iraq? Looking at the names Cheney, Libby, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Perle, Jeb Bush and Zalmay Khalilzad one sees an immediate connection to the now infamous Project for a New American Century (PNAC) which had laid out Iraqi invasion plans and much of the blood we now wallow in long before 9/11. Are there more connections?

An excellent summary by journalist Larry Chin of the long history of the plans to invade and occupy Iraq, going back to 1992, is found at: Note the early support from Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman who, since 9/11, has been a major leader in the so-called "war on terror" and a major supporter of almost every Bush initiative from the Patriot Act to the resolution authorizing use of force to remove Saddam Hussein.

Many of these same advisors are members of either the Council on Foreign Relations (C), The Trilateral Commission (T), or the Bilderberger Group (B). They include: George Herbert Walker Bush (C,T), George Tenet (C), Dick Cheney (C,T), Colin Powell (C,B), UN Ambassador John Negroponte (C) and Paul Wolfowitz (C,T,B).  Many senior career bureaucrats at the so-called "supergrade" levels in the Bush administration are members of the Rockefeller/J.P. Morgan-founded CFR. [Source: Who's Who of the Elite - Members of the Bilderbergs, Council on Foreign Relations and Trilateral Commission by Gaylon Ross, Sr. -This handy reference guide is now available for sale from FTW.)

Another commonality that cannot be overlooked is the close interrelationships between senior Bush policy makers and Israel. These include the former Chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, Richard Perle, who has worked for Israeli weapons firms, and has been previously connected to leaks of sensitive material to Israeli intelligence; Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who has relatives living in Israel; Under Secretary of Defense Douglas Feith whose law firm maintains an Israeli office; Edward Luttwak of the National Security Study Group who has taught in Israel; Dov Zakheim, the Pentagon's Chief Financial Officer who is also a member of the CFR; Elliot Abrams at the National Security Council, "Scooter" Libby, and former Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. Some have even worked on joint planning projects with Israeli ministries.

The point is not to jump to conclusions about where the power actually resides, but to understand that Presidents can be, and have been, sabotaged by power that does not present itself for a vote. The key question is Qui bono? - Who benefits? As far as Israel is concerned, perhaps one of the great unresolved questions is whether Israel controls the US, the US controls Israel, or whether there is something that controls both. It is a virtual certainty however, that Israel will continue to benefit - as it has consistently since 9/11 - when a new administration takes office. In the last year, both John Kerry and Wesley Clark (see below) have "discovered" and made public their Jewish ancestry.

The Madness of the People

It still remains unclear whether or not Bush will lose the 2004 election, steal it again, or be replaced via an impeachment effort after a win. There is a great deal to be learned from the Democratic Party side of the equation, and voters who eagerly participate in the election process are almost pathologically in denial about the compromise of the process that has occurred with proprietary electronic software that remains easily manipulated and immune from public scrutiny. As the 2000 election was stolen, the 2004 election may already be locked up (or encoded). No activist in their right mind should participate in the Democratic Party nomination process without addressing this key issue. If they do, they should have their head examined.

The most detailed work on this angle has been done by New Zealand's Scoop Media ( and author Bev Harris who has a new book out titled Black Box Voting: Ballot-tampering in the 21st Century. You will never think about voting the same way again after reading it.


There are thus two major tests for a Democratic Party presidential challenger from this perspective. One: Does the candidate address the issues that are really important? And two: Is it possible to get the candidate into office? Every major Democratic challenger had made it a point to say that not only will they continue to support the war on terror (war for oil), they will do it better than Bush has.

While so many people are getting excited about one candidate or another, FTW has remained firm. We will not endorse any candidate who does not address all of our issues. These include:

  • Peak Oil and Gas
  • US Government Complicity in 9/11
  • The Criminal Fabrication of Intelligence Justifying the Iraqi Invasion
  • More Than $3.3 Trillion in Taxpayer Money Stolen From the US Treasury
  • Repeal of the Patriot Act, Mandatory Vaccination Laws, and Protection of Civil Liberties

It is also imperative to see what connections exist between the major candidates and entities like the CFR, the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg Group. From that point, a look at the histories of the serious contenders will provide stark clues as to what can be expected. That provides a framework to rationally assess each candidate and to see that the whole process is destined to give us more of the same, exactly as Richard Nixon did after he replaced LBJ.

We will first look at several of the key contenders to see where they come from, where they stand and what they really represent. Then we'll conclude by looking at how all the pieces interact.

Wesley Clark

Wesley Clark has been pounced upon with adoration by progressives and Democrats as though he were a God of reason and salvation. This late-comer entered the race in September at the top of the polls. In fact, he is a reincarnation of the most corrupt and violent aspects of William Jefferson Clinton. I have great respect for author and filmmaker Michael Moore, but when I saw him endorse Wesley Clark, I nearly choked. Let's refresh everyone's memory by looking at the retired NATO Commander's history. It shows us is that he has the perfect résumé to continue the job that the Bush gang began, and then botched.

Clark first hit my radar screen way back in 1993, after it was learned that US Army troops had been dispatched to the Branch Davidian compound in Waco Texas. At the time, Clark was the commander of the 1st Cavalry Division at Ft. Hood Texas. As the division commander, Clark was the one to authorize the release of armored units and - as later disclosed by filmmaker Michael McNulty - very likely also in command of Delta Force personnel who operated on his turf, and engaged in a brutal massacre of unarmed civilians trying to flee the burning compound. According to a well-documented September 2003 story at Clark's second in command, Pete Schoomaker, was one of two military officers to meet with Janet Reno in preparing the plans for the final assault. That made him Clark's representative.

This is not a good progressive credential.

Clark's real notoriety came in 1999 when, as NATO Commander under Bill Clinton, he led another US military invasion, which the UN also refused to sanction, into Bosnia and Kosovo. Clark's aggressive command nearly resulted in a military confrontation with a Russian armored column. As it turns out, the reasons for that invasion were as fabricated as were the reasons for Bush's invasion of Iraq. For weeks, the American people were bombarded by warnings about mass graves containing tens of thousands of bodies. In the April 1999 issue of FTW, I wrote about Kosovo and our allies, the Kosovo Liberation Army, or KLA:

Has everyone forgotten that the U.S. government referred to the KLA, just a year ago, as terrorists? Has everyone forgotten, in the current "wag the dog" propaganda assault, that the Serbs, going back to World War II have been U.S. allies - that they are Christians and that they are not receiving military training from countries which sponsor Islamic terror? We hear reports of mass graves. We hear reports of rape and atrocities. Have we yet seen any of the victims?

Kosovo is vastly different from the Contra war or from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Why? Because U.S. air power is overwhelmingly committed at the outset. Because the "Mighty Wurlitzer" of American media is feeding on the hapless plight of helpless victims on a scale akin to Wm. Randolph Hearst's coverage of the sinking of the Maine in Havana Harbor…

The only difference now is that the quick and cheap capital and funding mechanism of the drug trade has replaced the much more time consuming process of investment and extraction of war costs from a producing economy. The fact is that the entire world economy and political decision making machinery is now hooked on drugs. To me, that is a sure sign that the economic models operating at the end of the 20th century are about as adaptable as the dinosaurs were when the asteroid hit.

There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and there were no mass graves holding tens of thousands of bodies ever found in Kosovo. Yet, as we documented in 1999 using reports from Jane's Intelligence Weekly and The Christian Science Monitor, in the process of conducting that war Clark made safe the KLA's control over 70% of the heroin reaching Western Europe.


Another parallel to the post-9/11 world is that, under US rule, Afghanistan has again become the number-one producer of opium in the world, estimated at 75% of world supply, all under CIA control. Afghanistan is the source of the heroin that is being smuggled through the Balkans into Western Europe (and all over the world) to this day. And, Osama bin Laden had Al Qaeda personnel training the KLA with US permission.

As Professor Michel Chossudovsky of the University of Ottawa reported in June 2002 in his publication Global Outlook:

The U.S. Congress has documented in detail, the links of Al Qaeda to agencies of the U.S. government during the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as in Kosovo.3 More recently in Macedonia, barely a few months before September 11, U.S. military advisers were mingling with Mujahideen mercenaries financed by Al Qaeda. Both groups were fighting under the auspices of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), within the same terrorist paramilitary formation.4

It is absurd to think that the Al Qaeda operatives in Kosovo were there without Clark's knowledge or that he did not control their interactions with US military.

In June of 2000, I was stunned to see an announcement in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that a retiring Wesley Clark was going to go to work for billionaire investment banker and Presidential kingmaker Jackson Stephens in Little Rock. This set off alarm bells that Clark was someone to watch. In his current campaign literature, Clark lists his profession as an investment banker. And he is still employed by Stephens.

Stephens was the man who gave a down-and-out Bill Clinton a $2 million loan to jumpstart an ailing presidential campaign in 1992. There is also a glowing photograph of Stephens with a young George W. Bush in the brilliant expose of the drug money laundering and covert operations bank BCCI, False Profits. Several BCCI players, including Saudi banker Khalid bin Mahfouz, have been directly tied to the financing of Al Qaeda.

A search of the FTW web site shows that I have written about Stephens - Jimmy Carter's roommate at Annapolis -- six times. Stephens' firm Systematics, which has since gone through two name changes to become Axciom, was deeply connected to the PROMIS software scandal, the Worthen Bank, the Lippo Group, and subsequently through a 2001 FTW investigation to drug money laundering out of the Mena Regional Intermountain Airport in Arkansas. In that investigation, looking into the apparent release from US prison of Medellin Cartel co-founder Carlos Lehder, we found that one of Stephens' subsidiaries, Beverly Enterprises, had been connected to a suspected money laundering operation involving bearer bonds sold by Bill Clinton's Arkansas Development Financial Authority, sold by Stephens Inc, and underwritten by the insurance giant AIG and Goldman Sachs.

Please See:

On Oct. 7, Wesley Clark's campaign manager, Donny Fowler, resigned suddenly -- according to a CNN story the following day -- because his authority had been usurped by two insiders from Clinton's 1992 campaign. That Bill Clinton would turn up all over the Clark campaign is no surprise. The day before announcing his candidacy, Clark received an endorsement from Harlem Congressman Charlie Rangel. Rangel, a black Democrat, is closely tied to the Clinton machine. Clinton maintains an office in Harlem. That being said, what has Wesley Clark ever done to endear himself to black voters? What was Rangel thinking?

Bill Clinton is a member of the Bilderberg Group, The Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations. Clark is a member of the CFR.

Wesley Clark is also one of two presidential candidates to have "discovered" his Jewish ancestry in an election year. The September 26 issue of The Jewish Forward revealed that Clark was the son of a Jewish lawyer from New York named Kanne. After his father's death when Clark was four, Clark was taken to Arkansas by a Southern Baptist mother and raised as a Baptist. According to the story, Clark did not discover his Jewish ancestry until he was in his twenties. The Forward story is the first-known public disclosure of this ancestry.

And, last but not least, Wesley Clark has a business relationship with George Soros. According to Heather Cottin's excellent deconstruction of Soros (above) Clark sits on the board of Soros' International Crisis Group (ICG) with the likes of Zbigniew Brzezinski and Richard Allen, former Reagan National Security Advisor.

Howard Dean

Just a few short months ago this Yale graduate, medical doctor and former Vermont Governor was the talk of the town. He won a "Hollywood" Internet primary sponsored by MoveOn, ahead of Dennis Kucinich, and jumped to the head of the pack by out-fundraising his opponents. All this without really having taken a hard stand on anything except his opposition to the Iraqi invasion and Bush tax cuts. While we can find no record that Dean is a member of the CFR, Trilateral Commission or the Bilderberg Group (a good thing), we can also find no record that Dean has really bitten on the issues that matter. His touted anti-war stance places him squarely in the position of saying, "I would never have done it" but he has not put himself in the hard position of saying, "Here's how I will undo it." Instead, this supporter of NAFTA, GATT and globalization, committed to protecting our troops on the ground and American interests abroad, has very likely toed the line. But there are signs that he may be someone the elites regard as not sufficiently controllable.

Dean made the sparks fly by stating that the US should act as an "honest broker" in the Mideast peace process. His late September statement evoked a wide response from Democrats like Joe Lieberman and John Kerry that forced him to "clarify" a rational position that harkened back to US policies that were less pro-Israel, and which resulted in far less violence in the region.

Still, Dean won't take a stand on civil liberties except to say that there are some "glitches" in post-9/11 laws. He has no position on Peak Oil and has said nothing about 9/11.

He poses a threat to the establishment because he is an outsider who hasn't been sufficiently harnessed to know what directions he would or would not take if elected. But what's most important about Howard Dean is that he is already fading some in the polls, thanks to Wesley Clark, and even candidates like Dennis Kucinich. Dean appears to be the target of a "spike" effort from many different directions. Still he has not taken on the issues of real importance to FTW readers and the world as a whole. Time will tell if his fundraising skill and internet-driven organization will last beyond next spring.

John Kerry

John Kerry remains the big dog in the race. A decorated Vietnam War hero, the four-term Massachusetts Senator is a member of both the CFR and the secret Skull and Bones fraternity at Yale that also claims Bush I and Bush II as members.

A Boston Globe article on February 2, 2003 revealed that John Kerry's Grandfather Fritz Kohn, who committed suicide, was Jewish. According to the story, it was the Globe itself that had made this fact known to the Senator by presenting him with a 1921 article disclosing the relationship to Kerry's father. Suddenly Kerry, a practicing Catholic, had the best of both worlds: Boston Irish-Catholic heritage and Jewish blood.

I have a long history with Kerry. Back in 1986, 1987, and 1988, I was in contact with his office and his chief of staff Jonathan Winer on a number of occasions about CIA drug trafficking. They eagerly asked for any material I could send them and gave me a direct line. It was one of my most bitter lessons about how hot issues are controlled. Kerry, in charge of the potentially explosive Iran-Contra drug hearings succeeded in producing a 1,200-page record that was a treasure trove of information for researchers, but absolutely useless in unraveling a corruption that controls the US government to this day. What lies buried in those pages was enough to have turned the American political system inside out. In the end, its greatest usefulness was as a benchmark against which to compare the CIA's investigation of itself after the 1996 Dark Alliance stories and hard revelations of CIA connections to cocaine smuggling that Kerry knew all about anyway. Those of us close to the issue took the lemons Kerry had left us and made lemonade, as we forced the CIA Inspector General to reconcile his 1998 report with what we already knew was in Kerry's.

And still - as intended - nothing changed. John Kerry had successfully contained what was, up to that time, the biggest scandal in American history.

Wealthy in his own right, Kerry's fortune has been reinforced by the wealth of his wife (heir to the Heinz food fortune), estimated by the Associated Press at $550 million. This is old money and deeply rooted in establishment politics.

A key sign that Kerry might be the anointed one came for me when George W. Bush's chief counter-terrorism adviser Rand Beers resigned in a dramatic moment last June, in protest over Bush's handling of the war on terror and his headlong rush into Iraq. Beers immediately became Kerry's senior foreign policy advisor, as Kerry continued to state that he would improve on and expand the war on terror. Beers' protestations concealed what I considered to be a much more sinister objective, the placement of a key, hands-on operative to manage a smooth transition of power and a continuation of secret policy. Beers, who had served in national security roles for three Republican administrations, was the man who had replaced Lt. Col. Oliver North after North was fired in 1987 during the Iran-Contra scandal.

Although Beers is not listed as a CFR member he was a key contributor, and acknowledged in a 1996 CFR report "Making Intelligence Smarter" produced by a CFR panel headed by AIG Chairman Maurice "Hank" Greenberg. Narconews publisher Al Giordano refers to Beers as a "CFR type". One thing is certain, Rand Beers committed perjury right after 9/11 by testifying before Congress that Colombian and Ecuadorian rebels had links to Al Qaeda. He got caught and had to go back and amend his testimony and retract the statement. Sound familiar? Giordano caught that and actually published Beers' retraction under oath at

Kerry's energy stance is that the US needs to become energy independent, a physical impossibility, and he has paid lip service to biomass, solar and ethanol. Ethanol is a scientific joke that takes more energy to produce than it yields and would require most of the arable land mass of the United States to replace even a part of our oil consumption. Ethanol is a government subsidized handout to major corporations like Archer, Daniels, Midland.

Like all of the Democratic challengers, Kerry has been quick to jump on the bandwagon of cooked Iraqi intelligence and the Plame leaks. But he won't go near 9/11, stating instead, that if he were president he would "really" prosecute the war on terror, (i.e. go after Saudi Arabia, etc.).

Joe Lieberman

He's been almost a better Neocon than some of the Neocons. A staunch advocate of the war on terror, supporter of the Patriot Act and Homeland Security, an advocate of the Iraqi invasion since shortly after 9/11, Joe Lieberman is a joke. He also doesn't stand much of a chance in the next election, cursed by the fact that he is the only real Jewish candidate in the field and marked as a "loser" after the last presidential election. FTW would have wholeheartedly supported another Jewish candidate for President, Paul Wellstone, but he's dead. Wellstone would have stayed straight and true on the key issues, and also avoided the rampant criminality of the Clinton machine.

A Lieberman nomination would come from beyond left field.

Dennis Kucinich

It's easy to like Dennis Kucinich. His office has received FTW for several years now. He is the only Democratic challenger to have really addressed any of our issues. The three he has addressed are Iraq -- the fraudulent intelligence leading to the invasion, his clear and unequivocal opposition to it, and his call for a US withdrawal; the Patriot Act, which he wants to repeal; and $1 trillion of the missing money from the US Department of Defense. He also bravely stated that the Iraqi invasion was all about oil more than two weeks before the invasion began.

But he has not spoken of Peak Oil and Gas, nor has he made any effort to pursue the glaring unanswered questions of 9/11.

Kucinich is not a member of the CFR, the Trilateral Commission or the Bilderberg Group. He has a record of paying a price to stand up for the people in his battle with Cleveland power companies when he was mayor. He speaks with a spiritual - as opposed to religious - awareness and he has a record that says he won't do what it is certain the other candidates will do, namely pursue the war for oil and prolong the Iraqi and Afghan occupations. However, that does not say that he will do what needs to be done proactively.

I have been close to Presidential campaigns and I am not seduced easily. In 1992, as the LA County Press spokesman for the Ross Perot campaign, my dedication and involvement earned me a story in the June 22, 1992 issue of PEOPLE Magazine. And Ross Perot got one place where Kucinich may never get -- ahead of the front-runners from both parties in the polls. It was also easy to like Perot. He had spoken out on issues that were important to me: CIA drug trafficking and the Vietnam-era POWs, and MIAs. I had written to him and he had called me twice. But once inside that campaign, I learned the bitter lesson that Perot had no intention of winning, and that his campaign had been infiltrated by some very slick operatives who could have cared less about the American people. I hold both Perot and the outside handlers accountable.

No presidential candidate can separate himself from people inside his campaign who can control, contain and maneuver him away from issues that the elites don't want discussed. Dennis Kucinich is no exception. One test is to see whether the candidate himself speaks the clear message or whether he equivocates. Does he "get" it when his lips move, and does he also "speak" it?

On September 21st, I went to a private fund raising event for Kucinich in Los Angeles, where I wanted to see Kucinich in person. On my arrival, I encountered many activists I had known for years. When Kucinich arrived I was quickly introduced and got all of twenty seconds to speak with him in private, not enough to accomplish anything, but as much time as anyone else got. FTW was, however, on the map and as actor/activist Ed Begley, Jr. introduced Kucinich, he mentioned FTW's efforts at tracking missing money from the system. I smiled because we were electronically wired through the Internet to more than 1,000 homes around the country.

Kucinich's remarks to the crowd of 200 were inspirational but vague; committed to peace and ethics, opposed to the war, focused on ethics, but lacking in any mention of FTW's key hot buttons, the issues which are really driving world events. I got the clear impression in my gut that Kucinich was a good man, but something felt missing. Fund-raising speeches like this are not traditionally ones where major policy points are made. He was entitled to another chance.

After his talk, Kucinich opened up for questions. I was called on second. I could have thrown him a tough one about 9/11, an issue which he has not addressed in any detail, but I didn't. It was his turf, his game. I asked him as President how he would recover the more than $3 trillion missing from the Department of Defense. He stated that he was aware of only $1.1 trillion missing from the Pentagon in FY 1999 - not a good sign. He was apparently not aware that CBS News and Donald Rumsfeld himself had admitted that another $2.3 trillion had gone missing in FY 2000. As quickly as he fielded the question, Kucinich diverted his answer away from missing money to the bloated defense budget, and how he would drastically cut defense spending and put the money into a Department of Peace. Standard fare for him.

Wait a second, Dennis…more than three trillion dollars of my money has been stolen. I want you to get it back! The American people need that money!

I left the event not convinced and certainly not seduced. I, and the American people, have been jilted too many times, and there are other reasons why I worry about his campaign and what his advisors allow him to say and not say. I looked for the Braveheart and didn't see it, and there are reasons to suspect that, if it is truly there, it will never be allowed to surface.


There is a man occupying a pivotal position in Dennis Kucinich's campaign that I am extremely leery of. And, so it seems, are some other Kucinich supporters.

In more intimate circles, my distrust of attorney Daniel Sheehan is well known. I have not made much of an issue of it, because Sheehan can get blown out of proportion. There are "attack poodles" who defend him at every turn. Sheehan is the man who literally destroyed two of the best and biggest lawsuits connected to CIA drug dealing in history: the Christic Institute lawsuit in the 1980s and a civil suit arising from the murder of Marine Col. James Sabow at El Toro Marine Air Station after Sabow had discovered CIA-connected C-130s flying tons of cocaine onto his base in 1990 and 1991. As it turns out, the cases ultimately connected with each other, and what happened in both cases is remarkably consistent. As lead attorney, Sheehan raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from victims and activists (Christic) and from the Sabow family, only to drag litigation out over a period of years and, through egregious legal conduct, destroy suits that could have changed the course of history. The Christic suit was "dismissed with prejudice" meaning that it could never be filed again by another attorney.

Rather than describe these cases and Sheehan's conduct in detail, I will rely on the excellent work of investigative reporter Nick Schou of The Orange County Weekly who has reported on Sheehan for years. An excellent history of Sheehan's record is contained in a February 2000 story by Schou located at

Schou wrote:

Sheehan had failed to report [in the Sabow case] that the Christic Institute had been fined more than $1 million by a federal judge in Miami. According to the government's motion, the judge fined Sheehan after he submitted "an affidavit with unknown, nonexistent, deceased sources," using a "deceptive style used to mask its shortcomings…" Sheehan appealed King's ruling, lost, and was ordered to pay the legal fees for the defendants: $1,034,381.35…

… Honey [the Christic plaintiff], now the peace and security program director for the Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, told the Weekly that Sheehan single-handedly ruined the La Penca [Christic] case.

"Sheehan's a lousy, lousy lawyer," she said. "None of the good legal work was done by him." Honey stated that she has unsuccessfully tried to get Sheehan disbarred as an attorney and has even sued him to recover investigative material and other records from the unsuccessful lawsuit. "After we found out about the Sandinista connection, we realized we had wasted millions of dollars and a decade with Sheehan," Honey concluded.

The great irony, still recited as a pro-Sheehan catechism today by many of his supporters, is that the allegations made by Sheehan in the case were subsequently corroborated, almost in their entirety, in hearings chaired by none other than John Kerry. What the Sheehan supporters fail to realize is that it was Sheehan's legal conduct, not the facts, that got the Christic case dismissed.

What makes the case of Col. James Sabow so tragic is that not only was he obviously murdered (all sides agreed that he had aspirated blood in his lungs and a skull fracture from a source other than a self-inflicted shotgun wound), but a man with an impeccable record and real honor was betrayed by those who claimed to be friends. When Sabow tried to expose the drug smuggling, connected to Iran-Contra operations, the Marine Corps charged him with using military aircraft to transport golf clubs, speakers and wall decorations for his son, who was attending college in the Pacific Northwest. And for that, the Marines claim a devout Catholic committed suicide. Then Dan Sheehan showed up and took the case for the family.

I will never forget a night in Washington, DC in 1995 when Sheehan's chief investigator, Gene Wheaton (who also worked on the Christic case), presented Sabow's brother, Dr. David Sabow, at a small discussion group headed by veteran White House correspondent Sarah McClendon. As Wheaton paraded Sabow and made his presentation -- saying that the case under appeal by Sheehan would bring the government down -- there were snickers from a senior congressional staffer, a former CIA analyst, and me that another victim was about to be fleeced and have his case destroyed. It took five more years and more than $100,000 of Dave Sabow's money, but that is exactly what happened.

Nick Schou's analysis of Sheehan's handling of the Sabow case revealed that:

Witness testimony that might have shown Marine Corps officers lied to the Sabows about their official investigation into the death was either excluded by the court as irrelevant or was obscured by Sheehan's habit of asking interminable, speculative and, in some cases, unintelligible questions. Indeed, toward the end of the six-day trial, the government's lawyers needed only to look as if they might object to Sheehan's questions--to lean forward, look annoyed or raise a hand--and Stotler would stop him.

The increasingly testy Stotler occasionally challenged Sheehan's skills as a lawyer, at one point observing, "Counsel, that is literally the worst question I have ever heard in my life." When Sheehan repeatedly pressed NCIS agent Mike Barrett about the quality of the Navy's original death investigation, Stotler intervened again. "That has nothing to do with this case," she told Sheehan. "Do you have any other questions for this witness?"

On the fifth day, the Justice Department asked Stotler to end the trial; the plaintiffs had called all their witnesses and hadn't proved a thing, the government attorneys argued. Stotler said she would consider it; 24 hours later, on the afternoon of Jan. 27, it was clear that she had had enough. "I am prepared to grant the defense's motion. I don't need to hear any further testimony at this point," she announced with finality, just moments before Adams was supposed to take the stand. "It's pretty apparent that, looking only at the plaintiff's testimony, their allegations have not been met by the evidence."

Sheehan hadn't just failed to prove a vast conspiracy involving drug running, covert flights and murder. He had also failed to prove the government acted maliciously in a death investigation…

While the OIG said it found no evidence to support the conclusion that Sabow was murdered, Sheehan's lawsuit contains what purports to be unassailable direct eyewitness testimony showing that Sabow was murdered. That allegation is based on the claims of "Mr. X," whom Dr. Sabow identified as an ex-Marine Corps official, now a law-enforcement officer somewhere in the southwestern United States. Sheehan refused to identify Mr. X or produce him for interviews either with military investigators or the media...

James Sabow was murdered. Mr. X was never necessary to prove that, and he should never have been brought up. The physical evidence does it. Among other loose ends, all fingerprints had been wiped from the shotgun that killed Sabow. Several police forensics experts said that it would have been impossible for Sabow to not have left his fingerprints on the weapon he used to kill himself.

But when Sheehan introduced a Mr. X, and couldn't follow simple legal procedure, the case fell, in part, because he couldn't produce the witness that he himself had brought up. Sound familiar? The Sheehan case rested on the premise that the Marine Corps had been rude to the Sabow family. It did not even address the wrongful death, which, according to legal experts interviewed by FTW, was outside the bounds of the so-called Feres Doctrine that basically says that soldiers are military property. I was surprised to learn, just a few weeks ago, that the indefatigable David had succeeded in getting a member of Congress to take a new look at the case from a different tack. In a September 5th 2003 interview, Sabow told The Orange County Weekly, "Now I believe that all the people who warned me about (Sheehan) were correct. I think there was a lot of duplicity involved. I don't lose any sleep over using the people that offered to help me, but I am disappointed in their character." The full story is at:

Richard Scheck is a political activist and researcher who was a classmate of Sheehan's at Harvard Law.  He has long known of concerns about Sheehan. Six months ago, this writer provided Scheck with a copy of the Schou article and asked him to pass it up in the campaign for comment.

Scheck was a volunteer for the Kucinich team when he saw that Sheehan was positioning himself to play a major role in developing policy and strategy for Kucinich. He spoke personally with the Congressman, as well as several high-level aides, in an attempt to have a potential problem dealt with at the earliest possible moment.

"Dennis and his team are six months late in addressing this. I alerted them back in March and was ignored," Scheck told FTW.

Scheck wrote an internal memo to a senior campaign staffer regarding Sheehan's January speech in Ashland, Oregon in which, "Sheehan told the audience he hoped Dennis would run and that Danny intended to have Dennis include the platform Danny was developing at his new institute in Boston called the Center for the Study of Alternative World Views."

He told FTW, "The day after I spoke to Kucinich and sent this memo, I saw Dennis embrace Danny and speak with him at the big fund-raiser held in Marin at the beginning of his presidential campaign."

Scheck adds, "My clear sense is that Danny and his wife are playing a major role in the Kucinich campaign. Danny personally told me back in March he was planning a 10-state strategy. I recently learned from a source within the campaign that Sarah [Sheehan's wife] was deeply involved."

Aris Anagnos of Los Angeles is a pillar of the activist, pro-peace community and another staunch Kucinich supporter. A past president of Americans for Democratic Action, founder of L.A.'s Peace Center, and key supporter of the Office of the Americas, Anagnos was also a major supporter of the Christic Institute lawsuit. In an Oct 13th interview with FTW, Anagnos indicated that he was aware of the role Sheehan was playing in the Kucinich campaign and had "expressed his feelings inside the campaign".

He told FTW, "In the early 1990s, when the Christic ruling came up for appeal, Sheehan needed to post a bond to get it going. I put up a bond of almost a million and a half dollars to do that. When the appeal failed, the court said ‘pay up'. I asked Sheehan, who had a large mailing list of people who knew that the allegations had been validated [by the Kerry hearings], if he would send out a letter asking them to help bear the burden. One person should not have to do it. He refused to do it. I had to pay up and I nearly went bankrupt. But I don't hold him responsible for the failure of the lawsuit."

FTW then asked Anagnos if he was aware of the fact that the Christic suit had been dismissed because of Sheehan's flawed affidavit using deceased and "non-existent" witnesses. I also asked if Anagnos was aware that the appeal had been thrown out because the trial court's ruling had been a dismissal with prejudice because of misconduct and that the money was a fine (as reported by Schou) and not a bond. To both questions Anagnos said, "I wasn't aware of that. I didn't know that." Anagnos was also not familiar with the Sabow case, even though it had been positively featured in two segments of a CBS News program anchored by Connie Chung.

Throughout the course of the Christic suit, Daniel Sheehan compiled a mailing list of supporters who donated hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars to support the case. In politics, such a mailing list is gold. Ask Bill Clinton about how important such lists are. A question that arises is, did Sheehan protect his donor list by having only one man pay the bill for his arguable legal malpractice?

There is something else that is remarkably consistent about Daniel Sheehan's behavior. He has a record of telling people what not to say.

I spoke with him in 1986 during the Christic trial well before the dismissal, and offered him my first-hand observations and records alleging CIA involvement in drug dealing. He was not interested, and he encouraged me to forget about it. He promised to contact me again and obtain my records, but he never called. I called back and left several messages. He refused to respond.

In 1992, during the Perot campaign, while I was serving as LA Press spokesman, I was told by Perot insiders that Sheehan had been communicating with Perot, and urging him to remain silent about POW and CIA-drug issues. One Perot staffer confirmed to me that Perot had recently met with or spoken to Sheehan on more than one occasion.

In 1996, just days after I had confronted CIA Director John Deutch at Locke High School with hard evidence of CIA drug trafficking (including names of CIA operations), Sheehan drove to my residence in Sylmar, California and spent three hours trying to persuade me to give up the whole issue and get on with my life. My efforts, he told me, were futile.

In January of 1997, at a large Los Angeles demonstration focusing on CIA-drug trafficking after a series of stories in The San Jose Mercury, Sheehan showed up with David Sabow, who was going to address an eager audience about proof that the CIA was involved in smuggling cocaine. Sheehan dogged Sabow's every step, and Sabow told me, "I have to clear everything I say with Danny. I just can't say that we know that the CIA was dealing drugs." Sabow's statement to the crowd was tepid, to say the least.

Is Sheehan having the same effect on Dennis Kucinich?

Decorated Vietnam veteran and lawyer Gary Eitel served as a special federal prosecutor in a case that looked into the CIA's diversion of C-130 Hercules aircraft into the hands of private companies who were operating as CIA contractors or proprietaries. These were the same C-130s that flew into Jim Sabow's life. Eitel's investigation and prosecution, unlike Sheehan's, resulted in two felony convictions and other civil remedies. Eitel indirectly provided some pro bono work to the Sabow family. He told them that the way to prove their case was to find the refueling records that would identify the El Toro planes as the same ones he had already proven had been maneuvered through the Forest Service by the government. According to Eitel, as soon as this information was passed to Sheehan's investigator, it was discovered that the records had been destroyed.

FTW's 1998 investigation of the CIA's diversion of twenty-eight C-130s is located at

Eitel then seemed to raise a question that is on many people's minds. "When Danny Sheehan comes into any case, like he did with Christic, the case comes unglued. The team that prosecuted those cases couldn't have done a better job for the other side if they had been working for them."

A common assessment by those sympathetic to Sheehan is that his legal failures are the result of incompetence. However, another perspective could be offered: Namely that Sheehan is extremely competent at diffusing any case or issues - maybe even candidates -- that are potentially devastating to government covert operations. Eitel observed, "Sheehan was right there in the middle of all of it and he could have unraveled it right back to Southern Air Transport, [Bill] Casey and Richard Secord from the Sabow case. Instead it all went away when Sheehan turned a wrongful death case into a being rude case, and then blew that one."

One more thing should be said about Danny Sheehan. I received a confirmation in 2000 that Daniel Sheehan had served as the executive director of the Rockefeller/Michael Milken-funded State of the World Forum in San Francisco. The Rockefellers are, of course, the creator-founders of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission.

FTW solicited comment on Sheehan's role in the Kucinich campaign from three separate high-level campaign officials. As of press time for this article, that request has been neither acknowledged nor responded to.


As for the remainder of the democratic challengers: Dick Gephardt (CFR), Al Sharpton, John Edwards, Carol Mosely Braun and the rest, they are not likely to rise from the pack and have no broad-based appeal. We will not have a clear picture of who the anointed one is until after the closure of filings for the New Hampshire primary, and most likely not until early next spring. But rest assured that whoever emerges will not have been chosen by the people. That is because the people are not doing what needs to be done to change the system. Instead, they are willfully lining up to play a game that has been set out for them, and one that is rigged, rather than insisting that they play their own game.

With regard to the $87 billion requested by Bush to fund the occupation, Lieberman and Gephardt have said they will vote for it while Kucinich, Dean, Kerry, Clark and Edwards have said that they will (would) not vote for it without changes to the Bush tax cut program. Dean and Clark have a free ride on this one. They can't vote. And for the rest, the measure may pass anyway, making their opposition symbolic more than real.

At present, it looks to me like Wesley Clark carries a lot of baggage. The Republican Clinton haters must be salivating in the wings for Clark to become the nominee. But they have a problem with Clark they didn't have with Bill Clinton. They went after Clinton on sexual misconduct because his more serious crimes involved both political parties and mutually assured destruction. Still, Clark would become, by virtue of his presidential bid, the perfect Secretary of Defense in a John Kerry administration, or a second Bush Administration.

For the present, Clark's appearance on the stage as an "early-peaker" seems to have had the intended result of slowing down Howard Dean. This has been noted by a number of political observers. Again, barring some miracles, we think it is unlikely that Clark will make it to the finish line as the nominee. And it is also not likely that in these perilous times, so dominated by international affairs, that a Washington outsider with no experience on that stage could be sold as the one worthy of "voter confidence". It is most unlikely that an outside Governor could reach the White House the way Jimmy Carter (Trilateral, CFR) or Bill Clinton did.

With all of that being said, we still come back to the question of whether the 2004 election will even be a trustworthy process at all.


For months, now I have been hammered by readers who have wanted me to say something about the California recall. OK, here it is.

The California recall was a trial run for the rigged use of electronic software in the 2004 election, and further exploitation of coming energy shortages. The race was called just one minute after the polls closed even though electronic software was not used in six counties including Los Angeles County. And no one in the major press has raised a peep about it. Yet, within days, a few intrepid researchers were able to find indications of vote tampering on the proprietary Diebold machines used in many California counties. In an outrageous conflict with the public interest, Diebold CEO Walden O'Dell told Ohio Republicans this August that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year." Even the BBC on October 8th, noted that Diebold and other systems used in California and elsewhere left the door wide open for tampering: The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia reported on October 8th what Americans, and especially Californians were never told: that the electronic systems were "as flawed as chads."

Excellent background research on what appears to be rampant and overtly criminal behavior by Diebold can be found at the following web sites:

Diebold is only one of many firms making voting software, and all of it seems have problems. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska ought to know. He used to chair a company, American Information Systems, which owns the largest company putting machines into US use, Election Systems and Software. But it's doubtful he's going to complain. Nebraska used his software in the 2002 election and he garnered 83% of the vote. An excellent over view of all the firms involved in electronic voting has been published by The Online Journal at:

One major point here is that when and if a Democrat "wins" the presidency, some Americans will breathe a collective sigh of relief, and think that they beat the corruption. But who's to say the votes weren't rigged in that direction, just to keep the people asleep for a few more years. There is no cause for optimism based upon what we know about potential replacements.

Bush and Enron Win Again

From perspectives as different as those of Greg Palast and Lyndon Larouche, many people saw it coming. Palast has described in detail how energy deregulation was conceived and executed by Bush-connected Republicans and even more, how Arnold Schwarzenegger had an unpublicized Beverly Hills "tryst" with Enron's Ken Lay, L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan and convicted stock swindler Michael Milken in 2001, as he was being groomed to occupy California's State House. If the people of California thought the first energy crisis was bad - the one that enriched Enron, Williams, and Reliant and robbed California of an estimated $50 billion -- they ain't seen nothing yet.

According to The San Francisco Chronicle on October 10:

Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger's first appointments Thursday reflect his close ties to the Bush White House, a relationship he downplayed during the campaign but now is counting on to bring California more favorable treatment from Washington….

Bush and Schwarzenegger have long minimized their links, perhaps not wanting to legitimize Democratic accusations that the recall was a Republican effort orchestrated from Washington. Schwarzenegger asserted Thursday there was "no White House connection" in his transition team, and Bush had insisted throughout the recall campaign that he was only a spectator watching a "fascinating political drama."

Nevertheless, the transition team announced Thursday contains many of Bush's closest California contacts, including four of the seven leaders of Bush's 2000 California Campaign: Gerald Parsky, the chairman, Rep. David Dreier of San Dimas (Los Angeles County) and state Sen. Jim Brulte of Rancho Cucamonga (San Bernadino County), who co-chaired the campaign, and Eloise Anderson, who served on the Bush 2000 California committee.

The transition team also includes Bush confidante George Shultz, Matt Fong, the former state treasurer who raised in excess of $100,000 for Bush's 2000 campaign, and Viet Dinh, a former assistant attorney general in Bush's Justice Department.  

A day later, the Chronicle reported:

Schwarzenegger's energy strategy is being driven by some of the same members of former Gov. Pete Wilson's team who led the push for energy deregulation in the mid-1990s. The governor-elect, for example, picked for his transition team Jessie Knight, a former Wilson appointee to the Public Utilities Commission and a leading proponent of deregulation…

"Deregulation has already cost the state $50 billion, give or take," said Mike Florio, senior attorney for The Utility Reform Network. "Why on earth anyone would want to do that again is mystifying to us."… 

The proposal would create two markets for electricity: Residential users and small businesses would continue to get power from the state's utilities, while large users could take their chances with private energy firms…  

Another way of looking at this is to say that small and residential users, through the bonds they fund for their public utilities, would be subsidizing the major power consumers while the revenues of the large power consumers would be taken away from public utilities. This will inevitably break the backs of utilities that can prepare for and carry excess demand and capacity. Ultimately, that will crack or bankrupt entities like the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which managed to survive unscathed without interruptions of service or massive rate hikes in the last energy crisis, but which will not survive the next one.

Perhaps the best way to understand what is beyond George W, Bush is to fully appreciate that what came before him was part of the same agenda as what will follow him. Nothing has been done to change that. On the critical issues, a Democrat from the current slate won't make the slightest bit of difference. And as for immersing FTW's readers in the grand theater of election 2004 -- that is a disservice I refuse to perform. Time and focus are critical. Here, we operate in the real world.

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Truth And Lies About 9-11