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Looks like the war on terror will need some modifications to the U.S. court system to remove <span class="reference">inconveniences</span> that might result in a not-guilty verdict. Enter <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/16/opinion/16FRI1.html?searchpv=past7days">military tribunals</a>. <span class="quote"><q>The tribunals Mr. Bush envisions are a breathtaking departure from due process. He alone will decide who should come before these courts. The military prosecutors and judges who determine the fate of defendants will all report to him as commander in chief. Cases can be heard in secret. Hearsay, and evidence that civilian courts may deem illegally obtained, may be permissible. A majority of only two-thirds of the presiding officers would be required to convict, or to impose a death sentence. There would be no right of appeal to any other court.</q></span> Of course, no American would ever be tried in one of these courts, we are told. With the hundreds, if not thousands of unknown non-Americans still in custody with no charges against them, this isn't very reassuring. An <span href="reference">anonymous</span> submitter said this in a message notifying me that military tribunals were in effect. <span class="quote"><q>In keeping with introducing many control structures and <span class="reference">options</span> not seen in a while, military tribunals were okayed by executive order. ... It is useful to recall that Hitler came to power and ruled till the very end , 1933-1945, having the country in a state of emergency and having an emergency government. Far from drawing a comparison between the erstwhile chimp and the megalomaniac genius, or that this country is akin to Nazi germany of 1930s, the point is the continued revocation of civil rights in this country, which was characteristic of that time. Many people in Germany were happy with day to day life and didnt care if some "others" were at the receving end.</q></span> So, lets get this straight. Congress, on the 14th of September, Congress gave the executive branch power to attack any and all countries responsible for 9/11. The USA Act gives massive eavesdropping power to the U.S. government. Various other repeals and edicts allow the client/attorney privilege to be broken for 'terrorists' (always remembering that 'terrorist' is not a legally defined term in these laws). Lastly, the Presidential Records act was repealed so no information about the current administration (and, coincidentally, the administration most of the current administration was also a member of) will ever see the light of day. Check out the <a href="http://www.doonesbury.com/strip/dailydose/index20011118.htm">11/18 Doonesbury</a> for a succinct description of our situation. <a href="http://www.zmag.org">ZMag</a> has John Pilger's <a href="http://www.zmag.org/pilgerfalse.htm">latest article</a> covering "sofa bomb-aimers": <span class="quote"><q>THERE is no victory in Afghanistan's tribal war, only the exchange of one group of killers for another. The difference is that President Bush calls the latest occupiers of Kabul "our friends".</q></span> If you're interested in a little conspiracy theory, consider this article, <a href="http://www.smh.com.au/news/0111/08/world/world4.html">FBI was told to back off bin Laden family</a>, which explores the connections between the Bush family and the bin Ladens: <span class="quote"><q>London: United States special agents were told to back off the bin Laden family and the Saudi royals soon after George Bush became president, although that has all changed since September 11, a BBC television program has claimed. ... [The report] added the more disturbing assertion that both presidents Bush had lucrative stakes along with the bin Ladens in Carlyle Corporation, a small private company which has gone on to become one of America's biggest defence contractors. The bin Ladens sold their stake in Carlyle soon after September 11, it said.</q></span> For more information, check <a href="http://www.timesofindia.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=1030259305">The Times of India</a> and the original <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/events/newsnight/newsid_1645000/1645527.stm">BBC Interview</a>. Along the same lines, <a href="http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2001/11/19/bush_oil/index.html">The United States of oil</a> shows just how involved with oil our administration is, including just about every member of the administration: <span class="quote"><q>... President George W. Bush's family has been running oil companies since 1950. Vice President Dick Cheney spent the late '90s as CEO of Halliburton, the world's largest oil services company. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice sat on the board of Chevron, which graced a tanker with her name. Commerce Secretary Donald Evans was the CEO of Tom Brown Inc. --- a natural gas company with fields in Texas, Colorado and Wyoming --- for more than a decade. The links don't end with personnel. The bin Laden family and other members of Saudi Arabia's oil-wealthy elite have contributed mightily to several Bush family ventures, even as the American energy industry helped put Bush in office. Of the top 10 lifetime contributors to George W.'s war chests, six either come from the oil business or have ties to it, according the Center for Public Integrity.</q></span> <a href="http://cryptome.org">Cryptome</a> has published <a href="http://cryptome.org/alqaida-game.htm">Al-Qaida's Endgame?</a> (also available as <a href="http://cryptome.org/alqaida-game.pdf">PDF</a>), which comes to the conclusion that the U.S. is following the plan most likely to have been laid out by Al-Qaida. The strategic analysis concludes that "Control or destruction of the petroleum production system in the Middle East and elsewhere would transform the political situation in the region, initiate a global depression, and drastically shift the geopolitical balance", since that would be the only way to guarantee that the U.S. stays out of the Middle East. Extremely Scary. In the 80's, we were in Afghanistan to prevent the Soviets from getting to the oil fields in Central Asia. What do you think the odds are that we went back just for revenge? Do you think the administration is that stupid or shallow? Of course not. They figure they get to kick some ass, make some money for defense companies they all own, and solidify the U.S. oil position so we can all continue to drive all the S.U.V.s we want. Hooray.