Tuesday, August 31, 2004

MSNBC... "Fair and Balanced"

MSGOP... er, MSNBC shows its colors once again. Check out this outrageous poll they posted today, asking readers to vote on Giuliani's address to the RNC:
MSNBC Question of the Day
Here's a screengrab of that poll, before they decide to remove it from their site:

On Edit: MSNBC has now replaced the offensive poll question with a less insane one. Now the options are yes or no. I'm glad we got the screenshot.

Monday, August 30, 2004

NYC Protest - photos

As I mentioned earlier, it was one spectacular protest, and here I have some selected photos that I took during the event. Click the thumbnails to see the full-sized pictures. Enjoy:

United for Peace and Justice Protest, Aug. 29, 2004  Posted by Hello

Lady Liberty:
7th Avenue & 16th St:

No Draft, No Way!
Monkeys Against Bush!

Impeach Bush:
Carrying Coffins:

Carrying Coffins:
Defeat Bush:
Near Madison Sq. Garden:

Fox News Sucks!
Joe Scarborough sign:

Freeper disruptor:

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Spectacular Protest in NYC

Just made it home from the protests and brought lots of pictures and videos. I will post some of those later.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Back from the Pro Choice March!

We are back from the march, and it was awesome! Here's some photo-blogging about the event; click on the thumbnails to view the full-sized photos:

08 28 2004 - March, Brooklyn Bridge  Posted by Hello

March over Brooklyn Bridge:
City Hall Square:

City Hall Square:
Kathleen Turner:

Freeper disruptor:

Vietnam Veteran for Kerry:
Roseanne in NYC:

Brooklyn Bridge March:
Brooklyn Bridge March:

Friday, August 27, 2004

Swifty Liars


Another one of the Swift Boat Veterans (Larry Clayton Lee) turns around and confirms the version of the events according to Kerry. These liars keep changing their story every day.

In a different story, another one of these Swifty Liars, Al French, has been placed on leave by the Clackamas County District Attorney's office. Unfortunately these actions are not the direct result of his lying on a sworn testimony about knowing first hand about the events disputed by the Swifties (he never was a direct witness, but he was told about it). Lying in a legal affidavit perjury and as an assistant DA he should have known better, and that alone should have merited his firing.

Al French has been placed on leave for lying about an extra-marital affair. Reports say French misled his former boss ten years ago to avoid getting fired.

Schadenfreude anyone?

Thursday, August 26, 2004

"Bush vs. Truth" Banner Welcomes Republicans

Huge anti-Bush banner was displayed earlier today at The Plaza, in 5th Ave near Central Park. They had a swat team scaling the building to take it down and the whole area was shut down by police.

Exclusive photos:

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

More Dirty Tricks: Anonymous Fake Bulk Orders of Infamous Book

According to Publisher's Weekly, many booksellers are receiving fraudulent bulk orders of "Unfit for Command," the book of the Swifty Liars. Most of these orders can't be traced to the original person who placed them. In other cases the orders are fraudulently placed under a false name, then provide the contact info of another retailer. Large bookseller chains are having enough problems dealing with this, but smaller local retailers are getting seriously screwed by these practices.

Booksellers Caught in Dustup Over Kerry Record

by Jim Milliot and Kevin Howell, PW Daily for Booksellers -- 8/24/2004

As the battle between John Kerry and the self-proclaimed "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth," escalates, booksellers are getting caught in the crossfire. The past few days have brought curious--and apparently unrelated--incidents concerning the Kerry-bashing bestseller, Unfit for Command., co-written by one of the "Swift Boat" group's leaders, John O'Neill.

Several store managers at Barnes & Noble and Borders spent the weekend fending off complaints from customers that the two chains were refusing to sell the book, which attempts to debunk Kerry's claim's about his war record. Meanwhile, independent and chain booksellers say they've been burned by bulk orders for Unfit and another liberal-blasting title, Michael Moore is a Big Fat Idiot (Regan Books), made under a bogus name....

As for those bogus orders, Sheila Burns, owner of Bloomsbury Books, Ashland, Ore. Said she has been getting daily phone calls for two weeks from people ordering multiple copies of Unfit and Michael Moore is a Big Fat Idiot. Unfortunately, the people ordering these books have been leaving fake names and disconnected phone numbers. After being stuck with several orders of a dozen copies of the Regan title, the store has begun calling back phone numbers and asking for a credit card for multiple-copy orders of both books.

"We're a little liberal town surrounded by a big conservative state," said Burns. "We have 12,000 residents and I think 58 of them voted for Bush in the last election. I don't feel like these are my customers calling me."

She calls the phone called "creepy and irritating," adding, "It's both men and women calling. And they sound very orchestrated, like people are being told what to say. They want to know how many books I have on order and whether I will have stacks in the store. When I said that Unfit was on backorder, they wanted to know our distributor. That's pretty sophisticated for a layperson to ask about. I deeply resent being told what to carry. I'm not supported by tax money, this is my store."...

Matthew Stearns, special orders coordinator at Elliot Bay Book Co. in Seattle, Wash., said, "We haven't gotten any bunk orders for Unfit for Command, but we were targeted by someone who ordered 25 copies of Michael Moore Is A Big Fat Idiot. The customer said his name was Don Sheldon and he placed his order on August 14, but we later discovered that the phone number he left was for another local bookstore." After the 25 copies arrived in the store, Elliott Bay Book Co. started receiving phone calls from other local bookstores looking for Don Sheldon to tell him his 25 or 30 copies had arrived--the bogus buyer was apparently giving out the store's number.

"He scammed a lot of us," Stearns said. "I sat for an hour with a list of bookstores in the area and warned them about the scam. I even called our local distributor, Partners West, to warn them to monitor the levels of the orders of this book."

"Don Sheldon" also placed a call to a Seattle Barnes & Noble, confirmed Lloyd Adalist, community relations manager for the store. Adalist said he's the store has also fielded numerous calls about the availability of Unfit. "A lot of people have been reluctant to leave their name, which is unlike any other book we've ever tried to take names for. I've been in the book business for 25 year and I find it very curious that people are unwilling to leave their name for this book." (...)

Publisher's Weekly

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The Smearing of Kerry Increases... Time to Get Serious!

I'm getting worried, fellows. I'm getting very worried.

Over the last few days I was wondering if the media was going to finally bury the Swift Boat Liars story, since their claims have been repeatedly debunked by the NY Times, Post, and some cable shows.

Just when I thought this bullshit could not run any further, since they have been pr oven to be a FRAUD, the media (mainly broadcast CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc) are treating this like a huge fucking scandal. They even brought up a shameless Bob Dole to infuse life into these fraudulent charges by unfairly tainting the reputation of Kerry and mocking his military service. I was very afraid this was going to happen, and it's happening: THE MEDIA ARE GIVING JOHN KERRY THE 'AL GORE TREATMENT'!!!

This is an outrage. This is a shame. This is the rape of Democracy by very powerful interests that own all the media outlets in our country.

Watch out for the media to report in coming weeks about the "success" in sales of the Swift Boat Liars' book: they are reports of fraudulent bulk orders placed in bookstores all over the nation. Booksellers are going INSANE trying to deal with this scam: anonymous callers are placing huge bulk orders of the book in store, but giving false names and false credit cards.Booksellers are placing huge orders of the Regnery book, then unable to track the people who ordered this bulk orders. Book chains are losing money with this scam.

All this will lead to manufactured "booming sales" of the book, and the media will treat it as the last Harry Potter, further giving air time to the fraudulent lies of this group.

Note that Regnery is notorious for this bulk-sales game, and has been caught before placing bulk orders of Ann Coulter's books to prop them in the "best sellers" lists.

It's an all-out war, people. Rove is using the nastiest of tricks to smear a American hero. Time to get moving:

Start sending letters to all media, particularly the obscenely pro-Republicans at CNN, MSNBC, Washington Post, etc. Every day the mainstream media is discussing the false claims against Kerry, is another day they are not discussing the military records of Bush, the Iraqi mess, the price of oil crude, the stalling economy, the poor employment numbers, the lies that led to war, etc...

Don't let down. This can not stand.

Army Predicts Iraqi Mess Could Last 10 Years

USA Today reports that a new study by the army suggests it may take up to ten years to crush the rising insurgency in Iraq:
The officials still hold that view. But U.S. officers say the continuing attacks suggest that it will take time, possibly years, to crush the insurgency. President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld have said U.S. forces will stay in Iraq as long as they are needed to assist Iraqi security forces. Iraqi forces are not yet trained and equipped to the point where they can assume responsibility for the country's security. (...)

"If we have the political will and stamina to stay, I could see this going on for 10 years," says Randolph Gangle, a retired officer who heads the Marine Corps' Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities in Quantico, Va.

Up to ten years in a quagmire started on false premises, with no clear end in sight, and no rational goals or objectives (other than Halliburton's bottom line). What's even more depressing is the fact that the neocons in power, the ones who lied and cheated their way to get this war started, are showing no signs of backing down. In the face of the crumbling of their imperial pipe dreams, they resort to pushing forward and never admit their failure. And this war is becoming more expensive, and requiring more and more US forces redeployed.

Countdown for the draft... A potential second term for this bunch of crooks will guarantee a post in the Iraqi desert for every other male between the ages of 18 and 34.

Breaking News: Rumsfeld, Pentagon Leaders Faulted in Prison Abuse

Just reported by Reuters:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A high-level panel investigating U.S. military detention operations has concluded that top Pentagon officials and the military command in Iraq contributed to an environment in which detainees were abused at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, a defense official said on Tuesday.

The independent Pentagon panel headed by former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger found that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the Joint Chiefs of Staff failed to exercise proper oversight over confusing detention policies at U.S. prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and Cuba, the official said.

So, when is Rumsfeld resigning?

Monday, August 23, 2004

Swift Boat Liars Can't Produce Evidence to Support Their Claims
Bob Dole Joins Campaign to Slander Kerry

This weekend has brought new and nastier development in the never-ending saga of the Swift Boat Liars and their libelous campaign against Kerry (campaign that is not condemned by the GOP or Bush).

First, one of the main players in this slime campaign against Kerry, Van Odell, confessed that they can NOT produce a shred of evidence to back up their scurrilous claims.
One of Kerry's accusers acknowledged he had no documentary proof for his allegation that Kerry fabricated reports in an incident for which the Massachusetts senator received a Bronze Star. The reports say Kerry was under enemy fire when he rescued a fellow crewman.
"I do not have a single document," Van Odell said on "Fox News Sunday." "I have the fact that I wasn't wounded in that 5,000 meters of fire that he wrote about. ... There was no enemy fire from either bank." He said he had seven eyewitnesses backing up his version of events. Other witnesses say there was enemy fire at the time Kerry made the rescue.
Then, in another twist to this embarrassing story of lies and deceit, former Senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole joined the fray. Further from coming to the defense of his fellow veteran and war hero John Kerry, a disgraceful Dole went to CNN to advance the claims of the Swift Boat Veterans group, and added another bucketful of slime to the controversy:
Former Sen. Bob Dole, a World War II veteran and 1996 Republican presidential nominee, suggested Kerry apologize for his 1971 testimony to Congress about atrocities U.S. soldiers allegedly committed in Vietnam.
Dole, who has a disabled right arm from war wounds, said Kerry received an early exit from combat for "superficial wounds." He called on the nominee to release all of his Vietnam service records.
Dole told CNN's "Late Edition" that he warned Kerry months ago about going "too far" and that the Democrat may have himself to blame for the current situation, in which polls show him losing support among veterans.
"One day he's saying that we were shooting civilians, cutting off their ears, cutting off their heads, throwing away his medals or his ribbons," Dole said. "The next day he's standing there, `I want to be president because I'm a Vietnam veteran.' Maybe he should apologize to all the other 2.5 million veterans who served. He wasn't the only one in Vietnam."
Dole added: "And here's, you know, a good guy, a good friend. I respect his record. But three Purple Hearts and never bled that I know of. I mean, they're all superficial wounds. Three Purple Hearts and you're out."
Wow, with ‘friends’ like Dole, Kerry doesn’t need any enemies. Those comments are absolutely disgusting, and suggest in a veiled and subtle way, the slanderous argument advanced by the right-wing media that Kerry caused his own injuries to get out of Vietnam (see Michelle Malkin below).

Once again, the moral of the story is clear: Republicans will stop at nothing to hold on to power. Anything is “fair game” for these people, including slander, libel, and character assassination of a veteran and war hero who won a Silver Star, the Navy's fifth highest medal, a Bronze Star with Combat V, and three Purple Hearts.

It’s also interesting to note that in 1996, when Bob Dole was running for the presidency, the Democrats did not question his military record for political gain, even though there were reasons for it, as the Boston Globe reported yesterday:
IMAGINE IF supporters of Bill Clinton had tried in 1996 to besmirch the military record of his opponent, Bob Dole. After all, Dole was given a Purple Heart for a leg scratch probably caused, according to one biographer, when a hand grenade thrown by one of his own men bounced off a tree. And while the serious injuries Dole sustained later surely came from German fire, did the episode demonstrate heroism on Dole's part or a reckless move that ended up killing his radioman and endangering the sergeant who dragged Dole off the field?

The truth, according to many accounts, is that Dole fought with exceptional bravery and deserves the nation's gratitude. No one in 1996 questioned that record. Any such attack on behalf of Clinton, an admitted Vietnam draft dodger, would have been preposterous.
This is the way Republicans treat American heroes and veterans of foreign wars. They did it to McCain, they did it to Al Gore, they did it to Max Cleland, and now they are doing it to Kerry. And the broadcast media are eating it up like crazy (CNN and Wolf Blitzer in particular have been disgraceful about advancing the lies of the Swift Boat Veterans group, trying to outfox Fox).

Why do Republicans, and Wolf Blitzer, hate America?

Friday, August 20, 2004

Michelle Malkin: Liar!

Blogger Oliver Willis has a priceless clip of Michelle Malkin (that's Michelle Malkin, the same "Ann Coulter wanna-be" that just published a book in defense of internment camps) being grilled by Chris Matthews. She blatantly lies regarding John Kerry's war injuries, implying that he caused his own injuries on purpose (with a granade, no less!) to get a Purple Hart. Sick!

This is a great example of the sorry state of political discourse in this country.

(NOTE: You'll need to have Quicktime installed in your computer to view that video. It's worth it.)

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Worth a Thousand Words

David Neiwert of Orcinus brings us this very telling picture, a great metaphor of the 2004 elections:

An unidentified supporter of President Bush tries to silence protester Kendra Lloyd-Knox (right) outside Southridge High School in Beaverton. Elsewhere in Portland, supporters of Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., rallied on the waterfront

Published by the Portland Tribune, Oregon.

New terror announcement

Right on cue, before the Republican Convention, they issue a new "terror alert."
Borderwide alert issued for suspected al-Qaeda member

The FBI has issued an alert for a suspected al-Qaeda member who may try to cross the U.S. border through Arizona or Texas.

Adnan G. El Shukrijumah is suspected of being an al-Qaeda cell leader and has been wanted by the United States since 2003, authorities said Tuesday.(...)

In the spotlight...

Well, I am so honored to report that Joe Conason has picked up the chart and include it in one of his articles in the The New York Observer:

NY Observer: Latest Bush Blunder

Thank you Joe! Big fan of your work!

And Bill Berkowitz has just informed me that they have published his article on the chart:

Working for Change- Bush's dubious terror alerts

Thanks Bill. I am very grateful for your interest and support!

PS: The chart has also been picked up by MotherJones Magazine, Salon.com magazine, TomDispatch.com, and Bartcop.com.

Wow! I'm blushing here guys! Thank you.

Computer Woes - update

Well, thank you for your support and nice emails. The email-virus attacks have decreased, and things seem to be getting back to normal. It's been a nightmare, but we had some success with the data recovery process. A friend of mine allowed me to use a copy of an awesome program called BartPE, which allows you to load a bare-bones version of the OS from the CD drive. That program allowed us to see and access the C: drive and were able to scan and pull some files from it.

After we were able to access C:, we used a HD recovery program/service called VirtualLab Data Recovery. It wasn’t cheap, but it allowed me to recover about 50 or 60% of my files in the hard drive. The rest of it has been lost forever, corrupted beyond recognition. I almost got emotional when some of my family pictures and client files were recovered. Others were lost for good. It’s interesting how random the order of these files is (based on the HD write preference). This has definitely affected my freelance work for over a week.

I got a new hard-drive to replace the old one, which I will keep (as suggested by a friend of mine) until we figure out what happened, and what they did to my computer. I have reinstalled my OS and software, and I am back in business! And just in case, I added new layers of security. Just in case...

Again thanks so much for the nice emails of support. And thank you for your donations too! Your generous monetary contribution is definitely welcome!

Monday, August 09, 2004

The Price of Freedom

Late last week, Biltud and I posted the now famous timeline in this blog. The next day I posted the chart. It’s been very popular and many people have sent us good feedback on how to improve it. Others wondered why the mainstream media never had the courage to do something as simple as to track this readily available information.

On the other hand, since Friday my email account has been inundated with pernicious emails containing all sorts of computer viruses and worms. Yesterday my home computer was attacked and the hard drive was rendered inoperable. On Sunday my firewall caught several attempts to intrusion, so at this point I'm not sure if it was a virus or an intruder. I’m still working with my ISP to further track these logs. Tonight I’ll see if I can recover anything in that hard drive. Since this morning the virus-emails are being sent en masse to my email account, and I am tracking every single one of them and their original ISP.

This is what Freedom of Speech has become in this very divided environment. We can only defend our civil rights by exercising them, so no, I won’t censor my opinions. Not only I will not remove the graphic and timeline, but I have posted an updated version with a higher degree of detail. On this new chart we separate terror alerts that involved a change to "orange level" from those terror warnings that did not involve a change in the color system.

By the way, let me remind you that we do this with very little resources. Please help us maintain this site by donating through the PayPal link on the left column.
Thank you.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Chart: Bush Ratings vs. Terror Alerts

I have put together a chart comparing Bush approval numbers to the timeline of terror alerts. (Thanks to Stuart Eugene Thiel for the amazing daily graphics that he prepares, comparing the approval ratings from different polls and media sources.) You can see it by clicking in the graphic below:

Click here to view the chart of Bush approval vs. terror alerts

There are few things that are quite evident from the chart:

- Whenever his ratings dip, there's a new terror alert.

- Every terror alert is followed by a slight uptick of Bush approval ratings.

- Whenever there are many unfavorable headlines, there's another alert or announcement (distraction effect).

- As we approach the 2004 elections, the number and frequency of terror alerts keeps growing, to the point that they collapse in the graphic. At the same time, Bush ratings are lower than ever.

Update: for the record, we are not claiming that all these alerts are politically motivated. We are sure a considerable amount of these alerts were legit and caused by real and immediate information of potential threats. What is important to note is that many of these "immediate" terror alerts were later on discredited (in some cases they used old data, in other cases the announcements were less immediate and less urgent that we were lead to believe, as the press reported.) Those are the cases that could be interpreted as politically motivated, especially when they seemed to coincide with political news and events unfavorable to the administration.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Timeline of Terror Alerts

Biltud, from Salon.com's TableTalk, posted a few days ago a series of correlations between past terror alerts and political events unfavorable to the Bush administration. I compiled all these correlations and organized them chronologically into a timeline. I also added additional news items and other instances that I found out, detailing the terror alerts over the last few years, and located the original sources for many of these news articles. Soon, Biltud and I started to research together all these occurrences, and more interesting "coincidences" started to appear. We finally built this timeline of terror alerts and how they relate to the news headlines of the days immediately prior to that very alert. I think it's very easy to see a pattern recurring (Text in blue marks the original notes by Biltud. Text and sources in black are my additions):

January 10, 2002 - George W. Bush, answering reporters' questions in the Oval Office regarding his close relationship with Ken Lay, head of the controversial Enron, claims that he barely knew him: "I got to know Ken Lay when he was the head of the—what they call the Governor's Business Council in Texas. He was a supporter of Ann Richards in my run in 1994 [italics Chatterbox's]. And she had named him the head of the Governor's Business Council. And I decided to leave him in place, just for the sake of continuity. And that's when I first got to know Ken. …" Source

Many see Bush's answer as less than sincere. Source - Source

February 5, 2002 - Angry lawmakers to subpoena Ken Lay over Enron scandal. Journalists inquire about Lay's close connections to the Bush administration Source

February 12, 2002 - Attorney General John Ashcroft on Tuesday called on "all Americans to be on the highest state of alert" after an FBI warning of a possible imminent terrorist attack. Source

May 22, 2002 -- Bush goes on the record as opposing the formation of an independent commission to look into why 9/11 happened.

Mr. Bush's comments come after a two-day hearing on Capitol Hill with FBI director Robert Mueller and the agent who wrote the so-called "Phoenix memo" last summer warning about that Arab students training at U.S. aviation schools were linked to a militant Muslim group. Source - Source

Same day:

The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee votes to issue subpoenas to the Bush administration for information on its contacts with bankrupt energy trader Enron Corp. Source

May 24, 2002 - Railroad and other transit systems across the country received a Transportation Department warning based on "an unconfirmed, uncorroborated report", and were told to "remain in a heightened state of alert". Earlier this week, the government issued warnings about the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge, leading to tightened security at an around those New York City locations. Source

June 9, 2002 -- FBI Whistleblower Talks To Congress
Coleen Rowley testifies she had tried to notify her superiors about the suspicious flight students before 9/11. She compared the agency's bureaucracy to the "Little Shop Of Horrors," telling Congress the FBI could have done more to prevent the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Source

June 10, 2002 - Attorney General John Ashcroft conducts an unusual and urgent press conference from Russia. He announces that they had arrested Jose Padilla, the "dirty bomb" suspect had been captured, and transferred to the custody of the DOD from the Justice Department. Source

In the same press conference Ashcroft revealed that the "dirty bomb" suspect had been captured on May 8th and held incognito before the announcement on June 10.

September 20, 2002 -- In the wake of damaging Congressional 9/11 inquiry revelations, President Bush reverses course and backs efforts by many lawmakers to form an independent commission to conduct a broader investigation than the current Congressional inquiry.

The White House also refuses to turn over documents showing what Bush knew before 9/11.

September 20, 2002 -- Relatives of 9/11 victims grill the Bush Administration over their reluctance to get to the bottom of it. Source

September 21, 2002 -- The Pentagon completes and delivers to President Bush a highly detailed set of military options for attacking Iraq, said the New York Times, quoting Pentagon and White House officials on Saturday.

The president has options now, and he has not made any decisions," states Ari Fleischer. Source

September 23, 2002 -- Former Vice President Al Gore warns that President Bush's doctrine allowing for a "pre-emptive" strike against Iraq could create a global "reign of fear." Source

September 23, 2002 -- Victory for German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and his ruling coalition came after a campaign in which he emphasized his strong opposition to a US war with Iraq. Source

September 10-24, 2002 - The attorney general elevates the terror alert. Later on, b Based on a review of intelligence and an assessment of threats by the intelligence community, as well as the passing of the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks and the disruption of potential terrorist operations in the United States and abroad, the Attorney General in consultation with the Homeland Security Council has made the decision to return the threat level to an elevated risk of terrorist attack, or "yellow" level. Source

February 6, 2003 -- Powell pleads with the UN Security Council for a first strike against Iraq. Source

February 9, 2003 - Citing credible threats that al Qaeda might be planning attacks on American targets, the U.S. government raised the national color-coded threat level Friday to orange, indicating a "high" risk of a terrorist attack. Source

Note: In what has become since an object of jokes and derision, the Department of Homeland Security urged citizens to stock up on plastic sheets and duct tape "in case of a chemical attack." Source

Note 2: Also keep in mind that they raised the alert level quickly after numerous anti-war organizations declared their intention to march against the plans to invade Iraq. In New York city, where nearly one million citizens voiced their opposition to the war plans, the level was placed in heightened orange alert just on time for the massive demonstrations of February 15, 2003. Source - Source -

Later news reveal that some of the previous terror alerts may have been based in false information. Source

May 12, 2003 -- Jay Garner, the retired lieutenant general who was the top civil administrator in Iraq, left his post and other senior officials were also replaced. Source

May 20, 2003 - The United States raises the nation's terror threat level Tuesday, saying the U.S. intelligence community believes al Qaeda has entered an "operational period worldwide" and might attack within the US. Source

July 25, 2003 -- After the Bush administration delayed its publication for months, Congress releases its 9/11 findings. The government also deletes 28 pages of the report believed to detail Saudi funding of members of Al Qaeda in the Untied States prior to Sept. 11. Source - Source

July 28, 2003 -- US troops charged with beating Iraqi POWs. Source

Same day - 15 US soldiers die over 8 days in Iraq. Source

July 29 - Department of Homeland Security issues a warning about the possibility of suicide attacks on airplanes. Source

August 18, 2003 -- President Bush admits that major combat operations are continuing in Iraq. On May 1, Bush went on national TV to proclaim the end "major combat operations." Source

September 4, 2003 -- Both The New York Times and Vanity Fair start investigating the very damaging allegations that Top White House officials personally approved the evacuation of dozens of influential Saudis, including relatives of Osama bin Laden, from the United States in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks when most flights were still grounded, a former White House adviser said today. Source

September 5, 2003 - A Department of Homeland Security advisory warns that al Qaeda is working on plans to hijack airliners flying between international points that pass near or over the continental United States. Source

December 18, 2003 -- 9/11 Chair Thomas Kean says the attacks were preventable. Source

Dec. 19 2003 -- A federal appeals court ruled the government can not detain U.S. citizen Jose Padilla indefinitely without pressing charges against him or allowing him access to the courts. Source

Same day -- The Wall Street Journal reports that auditors at the Pentagon are accusing Halliburton of refusing to hand over internal documents related to allegations that the oil service company overcharged the U.S. government in Iraq. Source

Same day -- David Kay quits, having found no WMDs. Source

Dec. 21, 2003 - Ridge raises the terror threat level just in time for the holidays. Source

March 15, 2004 -- Military families organize together to oppose the war. Source

March 16, 2004 -- Dems call for probe on Medicare cost cover-up. Source

March 17, 2004 -- Condoleeza opts of 9/11 Commission hearings. She repeats her refusal several times during the week, and later on appears on "60 Minutes" to explain her position. Source

March 18, 2004 - News report that a "high target" Al Qaeda leader has been "sorrouded" in the border with Pakistan. Cnn suggests it may be Bin Laden or al-Zawahri. Source Reports of fierce fighting continue. Source After the fighting ends, it is reported that it wasn't any "high value" target in the battle after all. Source

March 21, 2004 The State Department issues a terror alert. Source

March 21, 2004 -- Richard Clarke gives an exclusive to 60 Minutes about his book “Against All Enemies” just days before he is due to testify before the 9/11 Commission.

"In the aftermath of Sept. 11, President Bush ordered his then top anti-terrorism adviser to look for a link between Iraq and the attacks, despite being told there didn't seem to be one. The charge comes from the adviser, Richard Clarke, in an exclusive interview on 60 Minutes." Source

March 30, 2004 -- Rice continues to refuse to testify publicly in front of 9/11 Commission. Source

April 1, 2004 -- US contractors killed and mutilated in Iraq. Source

Same Day – The Pentagon issues a report that medical evacuations in Iraq hit 18,000. Source

Same day. Bush refuses to release Clinton papers to 9/11 Commission. Source

Also same day, Richard Clarke is all over the news. Source

April 2, 2004 - A bulletin sent from the FBI & Homeland Security warn of terrorists that may try to bomb buses and rail lines in major U.S. cities this summer. Source

May 10, 2004 -- Bush approval rating hits lowest point (46%) - Source

May 18, 2004 -- Colin Powell tells Meet the Press that he was deliberately mislead about WMD information. Powell's aide tries to cut him off mid-air. Source

May 18, 2004 – Former Abu Ghraib Intel Staffer Says Army Concealed Involvement in Abu Ghraib Abuse Scandal. Source

May 19, 2004 -- Newsweek reports that President Bush's top lawyer warned two years ago that Bush could be prosecuted for war crimes as a result of how his administration was fighting the war on terror. Source

Same day – White House stonewalls UN on papers about Halliburton’s contracts in Iraq. Source

Same day – Tom Ridge testifies before 9/11 Commission on this second day of hearings in NYC. Source

Same day - The 9/11 Commission begins another round of hearings in NYC. Source

May 19, 2004 -- Nothing but bad news about prisoner abuse in Iraq, including breaking news that the Pentagon was told about the abuses back in November. Source

Senate Armed Forces Committee holds hearings on Abu Ghraib abuses. Source

May 25, 2004 - Homeland Security issues a terror alert: Major terror attack possible this summer. Source

June 7, 2004 -- The Wall Street Journal publishes exclusive report demonstrating that the Pentagon provided legal rationales and loopholes in 2003 to use torture and methods of near-torture, and how to avoid various international treaties and US laws. Furthermore, the leaked memos suggest that they circumvent US and international laws, the US president should change the rules as they may see fit. All media outlets pick up on this explosive report. Source - Source

June 14, 2004 - VP Dick Cheney is caught lying about the alleged ties of Saddam Hussein to al Qaeda. Cheney is unable to provide any evidence to his assertions after journalists inquire. On June 15 Bush Bush defends Cheney's unsourced assertions but does not provide any evidence either that there was a "link" between Iraq and al Qaeda or the 9/11 attacks. Source

June 15, 2004 - The Justice Department announces to the press they have thwarted an imminent terror plot to bomb malls in Ohio. Somali immigrant arrested and charged on the case.Source

Later on it is revealed that the Somali immigrant had been arrested one year earlier for his connections to terrorism, but there was nothing "imminent" in that case. The suspect was arrested in Nov. 28, 2003, and the Court papers filed by the government allege that a plot dated to March 2000. His indictment wasn't announced until June 15, 2004. Source - Source

July 6, 2004 -- Kerry names Edwards as his running mate. Source

July 8, 2004 - Tom Ridge holds a press conference on terror alerts over the summer and during the conventions. Source

July 11, 2004 -- Senior White House officials discuss the possibility of delaying the elections in case of a terrorist attack. Source

July 22, 2004 -- The 9/11 Commission releases their findings. While many criticize the commission for not going far enough, their report includes many examples of inaction and lack of leadership from the Bush administration. Source

July 26-29 -- Democratic Convention shows party unity and strong leadership. Kerry/Edwards provide electrifying acceptance speeches. John Kerry's acceptance speech is praised even by some conservative analysts. Campaign appearances immediately following the convention draw larger-than-expected crowds.

August 1, 2004 -- White House Projects Highest Deficit Ever. Source

August 2, 2004 - The Department of Homeland Security raises the terror alert at several large financial institutions in the New York City and Washington areas. Source

Later it is revealed that much of the information that led the authorities to raise the terror alert was three or four years old. Source

Same day - Bush's daughters, Jenna and Barbara, visit the Citicorp Building in New York City. This is one of the buildings that Tom Ridge implied was under a dire and imminent threat from terrorists. It seems odd that the President's daughters would be allowed to visit a building supposedly about to be attacked by terrorists. Source
Can you connect the dots?

UPDATE (8/05/04 - 11:30am): Over the last 24 hours, Biltud and I have been working like crazy locating resources, adding new instances, and researching additional "coincidences" related to the use of "terror alerts." It's been quite a collaborative effort. Some readers have sent us news articles that we have missed. Please send us additional items that we may have overlooked. Thanks.

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