Changing Freedom Fries Back Into French Fries

Bill Maher, Salman Rushdie, Chris Hardwick, Carly Fiorina, Jay Leno and Paul Begala 

Six Homeless Men In Florida Accused of Plot to Blow Up Sears Tower on Trial For Third Time

South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com

liberty-six

By RASHA MADKOUR

Associated Press Writer

1:50 PM EST, February 18, 2009

MIAMI (AP) — A group of Miami men accused of plotting to destroy Chicago’s Sears Tower and bomb FBI offices sold out their country for money, a federal prosecutor said Wednesday at the start of the men’s third trial.

Prosecutors are trying to convict the so-called “Liberty City Six” on four terrorism-related charges after two previous trials ended in hung juries. The men are accused of plotting terror attacks with an FBI informant they thought was an al-Qaida operative.

A defense attorney for the group’s leader, Narseal Batiste, 34, said the government’s sting operation was a setup. The FBI’s paid informants were motivated by money to manipulate the men and encourage them to take actions that could later be used against them, attorney Ana M. Jhones said.

“This case is a 100 percent setup. This is a manufactured crime,” she said.

The men took an oath of allegiance to Osama bin Laden — captured by the FBI on videotape — led by a man claiming to be an al-Qaida operative who was an informant posing as a terror financier.

Batiste has previously testified he was never serious about any terror plots and was only playing along in hopes of getting $50,000.

There has been no evidence the men ever took any steps toward pulling off an attack. When they were arrested in 2006, the Bush administration trumpeted the case as an example of heading off terrorists early.

“What’s relevant is their intention — what they wanted to do,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Arango said.

Prosecutors said the men took photographs and video of possible targets in Miami, including the FBI building, a courthouse complex and a synagogue. In exchange, they wanted money to build what Arango described as their paramilitary group.

“They all agreed to sell out their country for money,” Arango said. “The fact that they did so for the mighty U.S. dollar is no excuse.”

Jhones said one of the informants tricked Batiste into taking the oath and encouraged him to make a list of weapons and equipment. She said video and audio captured by authorities will show two informants were in control and calling the shots, not Batiste.

The defense attorney said Batiste, a construction worker and father of four, was repeatedly asking about the money on the recordings, not talking about blowing up buildings.

“You cannot buy your way to a conviction,” Jhones said.

The men each face 70 years in prison if convicted of four terrorism-related counts, including conspiracy to support al-Qaida and conspiracy to levy war against the U.S.

The trial is expected to last at least two months.

The group of men were named after their hometown of Liberty City, an impoverished area of Miami.

General Barry McCaffrey Exposed For The Ultimate Spineless Shill That He Is

THE NEW YORK TIMES

November 30, 2008

One Man’s Military-Industrial-Media Complex

In the spring of 2007 a tiny military contractor with a slender track record went shopping for a precious Beltway commodity.

The company, Defense Solutions, sought the services of a retired general with national stature, someone who could open doors at the highest levels of government and help it win a huge prize: the right to supply Iraq with thousands of armored vehicles.

Access like this does not come cheap, but it was an opportunity potentially worth billions in sales, and Defense Solutions soon found its man. The company signed Barry R. McCaffrey, a retired four-star Army general and military analyst for NBC News, to a consulting contract starting June 15, 2007.

Four days later the general swung into action. He sent a personal note and 15-page briefing packet to David H. Petraeus, the commanding general in Iraq, strongly recommending Defense Solutions and its offer to supply Iraq with 5,000 armored vehicles from Eastern Europe. “No other proposal is quicker, less costly, or more certain to succeed,” he said.

Thus, within days of hiring General McCaffrey, the Defense Solutions sales pitch was in the hands of the American commander with the greatest influence over Iraq’s expanding military.

“That’s what I pay him for,” Timothy D. Ringgold, chief executive of Defense Solutions, said in an interview.

[Read more…]

President-Elect Barack Obama’s Press Conference | Dec 1 2008

Part Two

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