From Volume 8, Issue 6 of EIR Online, Published Feb. 10, 2009

United States News Digest

Army Suicides Spike in January

Feb. 6 (EIRNS)—On Jan. 29, the Army reported that 2008 was its worst year for suicides, with 128 confirmed, and another 15 suspected; but 2009 already looks as though it could be much worse. Yesterday, the Army issued a press release reporting seven suicides for the month of January, with 17 more suspected. If most are confirmed as suicides, more soldiers will have killed themselves than the 16 the Pentagon has reported as having died in combat. "This is terrifying," one Army official told CNN. "We do not know what is going on."

Veterans advocate Steve Robinson attributes the problem to three things: lack of manpower resulting in repeated deployments to the war zone by the same people over six years; lack of understanding of the traumatic effects of exposure to combat; and lack of leadership on the part of the highest levels of the Army to effectively address the problem. These factors cause to people feel helpless and hopeless, Robinson said, which leads to suicide. Army leaders frequently deny that "the force is broken," but in Robinson's view, the rising suicide rate, which follows growing rates of drug abuse, alcohol abuse, domestic violence, and homelessness, are indicators that the force is indeed broken.

Soros Lies: No Split Between UN Drug Office and Obama Administration

Feb. 5 (EIRNS)—Drug legalizer George Soros is carrying out a lying campaign to insert his so-called "harm reduction" policy into negotiations now taking place at the United Nations Office for Drug Control in Vienna, over a declaration being prepared for signing at the world drug summit of the Commission on Narcotics Drugs in mid-March.

A Soros-inspired press campaign falsely claims that the American delegation now negotiating in Vienna comprises holdovers from the Bush Administration who are pushing a hard line, contrary to alleged Obama Administration policy.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Mission in Vienna, Susan Doman, told EIR that this assertion by the press is wrong. There is no difference between the negotiating position of the U.S. delegation and Washington. She reiterated that the delegation takes orders from the Obama Administration, with whom it is in constant contact, and no one else.

The U.S. position, held since 1998, i.e., under the Clinton Administration, views inclusion of "harm reduction" as an endorsement of drug legalization, and has therefore opposed it.

Soros Finances Dirty Campaign Against Rangel

Feb. 5 (EIRNS)—Nazi collaborator George Soros's Open Society Institute (OSI) has been caught funding the dirty operations oust House Ways and Means Committee chair Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.). While a horde of "sunshine" organizations are putting FDR Democrats in Congress under the microscope—funded by the donations of financiers like Soros and the Rockefellers—apparently the sun never shines on Wall Street.

The Sunlight Foundation, to which Soros's OSI contributed $250,000 in 2008, is the "authority" quoted in today's New York Times for the charge that Rangel omitted some assets over the last 30 years from his financial disclosure reports. Sunlight Foundation "senior fellow" Bill Allison told the Times, "The Ethics Committee clearly needs to take a close look at Rangel's filings." The article points to royalties from Rangel's published autobiography, which he widely promoted. Rangel said months ago that he had hired a forensic accountant to reconstruct his financial statements, because there were errors.

Rep. John Carter (R-Tex.)—a staunch defender of disgraced former Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay—has revived House Minority Leader John Boehner's call for Rangel to resign as chair of Ways and Means, until the Ethics Committee releases its findings. Under House rules, Carter's resolution must be considered by Feb. 10. Rangel's spokesman said, "This is a cheap political stunt from a flailing political party desperate to change the subject from their failed economic policies of the past."

California Treasury Runs Dry; Arnie Blames Lawmakers

Feb. 2 (EIRNS)—As of this morning, the flow of funds from the coffers of the California state government have dried up, and the state is beginning to delay payments of up to $3.5 billion. The first hit will be approximately 2 million people expecting state tax refunds—nearly $2 billion in refunds are on hold. Additionally, more than $515 million in payments to state vendors are on hold, and $280 million in supplemental payments to those with developmental disabilities. The only payments which are protected and will be made are those to keep the schools open, and payments on the state debt.

The number of people who need assistance is increasing each day. The number receiving food stamps has jumped 13.8%, while the number of those receiving cash assistance from the state—including the most vulnerable—has gone up 5.9%. There was a net job loss in the state in 2008 of more than 257,000 jobs, which caused a jump in the official unemployment rate to 9.3%. The median home price in California, which had led the nation in price inflation, is down nearly 50% since the Spring of 2007. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who famously bragged in 2007 that he had solved the state's annual budget crisis, is blaming members of the State Assembly and Senate, taking no responsibility for his own role. Perhaps he believes that his stewardship over the state is merely a sequel to one of his awful movies, "True Lies."

Lincoln Has Replaced Churchill in the White House

Feb. 1 (EIRNS)—For eight years, a bronze bust of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill stood in George Bush's Oval Office. It was loaned to him by then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair, as a "symbol of the enduring special relationship with America." Shortly before the inauguration of Barack Obama, it was put into storage. The TimesOnline reports that "recent photographs show that a bust of Abraham Lincoln, one of the new President's heroes, has been moved to take the position once occupied by Churchill."

"Mr. Obama shows little evidence of the Anglophilia that led his predecessors to pepper speeches with quotations from Churchill," the Times observes. "Instead, there have been suggestions that he has reason to disdain the former Prime Minister." This refers to the fact that, in 1952, Churchill declared an emergency in Kenya, and sent in troops to crush the Mau Mau countergang, which the British themselves had created. President Obama's grandfather was one of the many Kenyans detained without a trial, and tortured by the British.

British historian Tristram Hunt has suggested that perhaps Britain could lend the President a work to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Thomas Paine's death, since Paine was British born, and one of the "fathers of the American Revolution," and was quoted in Obama's inaugural address.

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