From Volume 7, Issue 41 of EIR Online, Published Oct. 7, 2008

United States News Digest

Outcry Builds vs. Domestic Military Deployment

Oct. 2 (EIRNS)—Speaking at his international webcast on Oct. 1, Lyndon LaRouche warned that a "desperate" Bush Administration "might try to use military force, to force through the kind of legislation, the bailout, which is being attempted now."

One facet of the military operation about which LaRouche warns was described in an Army Times story on Sept. 8, reporting that an active duty Army brigade has been assigned to U.S. Northern Command (NorthCom) for 12 months, beginning Oct. 1. On Sept. 30, another military newspaper, Stars and Stripes, re-published the information.

There is a serious outcry mounting against this. On Oct. 1, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, wrote a column in the Seattle Post Intelligencer, warning of "an active duty military force that could be used to suppress public protest" during a failure of the financial system. "Military participation in domestic operations" was outlawed with the Posse Comitatus Act in 1878, writes Goodman, but she notes that Sen. John Warner's (R-Va.) National Defense Authorization Act for FY2007 "included a section that allowed the president to deploy the armed forces to 'restore public order' or to suppress 'any insurrection.' While a later bill repealed this, President Bush attached a signing statement that he did not feel bound by the repeal."

A high-level retired intelligence analyst told EIRNS today that this report "is something to be watched," as did a well-placed Washington source who has been emphasizing that the Paulson bailout is unconstitutional.

With the spotlight on this kind of illegal military operation, there is rapid backpedaling on the reporting. A Defense Department official told Goodman that the Army brigade would only be used for "humanitarian" missions, and its weapons, both lethal and nonlethal, would be locked up. A NorthCom official told Homeland Security Today, "This response force will not be called upon to help with law enforcement, civil disturbance or crowd control, but will be used to support lead agencies involved in saving lives, relieving suffering and meeting the needs of communities affected by weapons of mass destruction attacks, accidents or even natural disasters." Army Times had also issued, on Sept. 30, a retraction of its original story, clarifying that nonlethal weapons can only be used in combat zones, such as Iraq, and not for domestic purposes.

New York Mayor Bloomberg Improves on Julius Caesar

Oct. 2 (EIRNS)—New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg today improved on the political technique of Julius Caesar, by responding on the first instance of "public outcry" that he take control, rather than waiting for the third such outcry. Bloomberg said he would ask the City Council to change New York's term limits law so that he can run for another four years in office, to deal with the "unprecedented challenges" brought on by the financial meltdown.

This morning's New York Times provided the "public outcry," in an op-ed by Ronald Lauder, titled "In New York, a Willing Suspension of Term Limits." Lauder recited his own past successful campaigns for term limits, and then called for them to be lifted temporarily, so that Bloomberg can run for a third term. Although there are other worthy candidates, Lauder said, "a prosperous future depends on a mayor with a deep understanding of finance, governance, and politics." Lauder also praised banker Felix Rohatyn for his Big MAC takeover of the city in the 1970s.

$15 Billion Rail Bill Ready for Final Vote

Oct. 1 (EIRNS)—The Senate today passed, by a vote of 74 to 24, a $15 billion rail safety and rail passenger investment bill. The House had already passed this bill, H.R. 2095. The final bill includes the Senate "Lautenberg-Lott bill" and a House bill authorizing $14 billion over five years, to be spent on building and improving passenger rail corridors, including an 80/20 Federal/state grant program for states to build out their rail networks. It also will fund Amtrak at a sustainable level, with emphasis on capital improvements to its Northeast corridor, between Washington and Boston. Another $1 billion is dedicated to rail safety projects.

Clinton Backers Adopting 'FDR'

Sept. 29 (EIRNS)—The most serious of the backers of Sen. Hillary Clinton's 2008 Presidential campaign are preparing to launching an initiative to address the present crisis, and to reform the Democratic Party, which is being dismantled as an instrument for defending the interests of the lower 80% of family-income brackets, by the backers of the Obama Presidential campaign. The new movement is to be called "For Democratic Reform," or "FDR." In their initial post, they define the objectives as "to take back and reform the Democratic Party and re-establish the proper relationship of the government and the people."

The group's short-term goals include supporting "liberal and progressive Democrats in Congress," while acting "to unseat Howard Dean, Donna Brazile, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid from power...." Long-term goals include electoral reform, and expanding "upon the Four Freedoms and other core Democratic principles." In announcing this new initiative, one of its principals, who blogs as "Riverdaughter," wrote, "A number of Clinton bloggers and organizers have begun to coalesce and form an initiative to reform the party and take it back. We are calling our initiative For Democratic Reform or FDR. (It's intentional)."

This initiative comes out of a process of discussion over how to effectively respond to the Gestapo-style takeover of the Democratic Party, orchestrated by George Soros and his small circle of financial predators, on behalf of the candidacy of their patsy, Barack Obama. Those who are founding "FDR" have been working for the good of the nation, in what they say is following through on the intentions that brought them to support Senator Clinton, in the first place. The initial posting on their of their goals includes a statement from Harley Schlanger, the Western States spokesman for LaRouche PAC, calling for restoring the FDR-era Glass Steagall Act, which separated commercial and investment banking.

Gore Calls for Civil Disobedience Against Coal Plants

Sept. 29 (EIRNS)—Speaking at the recent Clinton Global Initiative confab, Al Gore called for "civil disobedience" against the construction of new coal plants. In the United States, there are 28 coal plants under construction. "I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration," the malthusian madman proclaimed.

Iran Blockade Bill on Hold for Now

Sept. 28 (EIRNS)—According to House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Howard Berman (D-Calif.), a bill that would establish authority for a blockade of Iran, HCR 362, has been removed from the agenda of the 110th Congress. The resolution has 270 co-sponsors, more than a majority of the House, and so Berman's decision to block a vote was decisive, if the announcement holds.

A blockade of a nation is universally considered to be an act of war.

The bill, ostensibly aimed at preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons technology, includes a provision "prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran's nuclear program."

A spokesman for Berman told the New York Times, "If Congress is to make a statement of policy, it should encompass a strategy on how to gain consensus on multilateral sanctions to change Iran's behavior." The spokesman confirmed that Berman agreed with the critics of the bill, who denounced it as a back-door authorization of preventive war. A coalition of groups, including the National Iranian American Council, had attacked the bill, which came out of the May 2008 annual convention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington, at which time, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had told Congressional leaders that economic sanctions against Iran were no longer successful, and a naval quarantine was required.

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