Special Update #6
I have not made any decisions about whether or not to continue these Special Updates on a regular basis, or just periodically as news and events warrant, or discontinue them at some point. The primary purpose of these Updates has been to try to bring you information and analysis that is either not being reported by the media, or is not readily available to the public. Because of the business we are in, we have access to several news sources that are not widely available, or are accessible by subscription only.
So far, all of the response we have received about these Updates has been very positive, but we have only had feedback from a very small percentage of those clients and others who are on this e-mail list. In the absence of a clearer mandate, I will continue these Special Updates on an as- needed basis, and will make decisions about their continuance as I get a better feel for how useful you consider them. Please let me know. Also, any suggestions are welcomed.
Waiting For A "Second Shoe" To Drop?
Americans remain on alert should there be any follow-on terrorist acts in the US. The press is reporting today (Friday) that the FBI, CIA and NSA held a top secret briefing with members of Congress yesterday, telling them that there may be as many as 1,000-1,500 people in the US with ties to Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. According to the reports, they also told Congress that there is virtually a 100% chance that further terrorist attacks will occur in the US as soon as we attack Afghanistan or any other Middle Eastern country.
Attorney General Ashcroft has officially asked that the FBI be given authority to immediately DEPORT any foreigners who are found to be terrorists, or who have been aiding terrorists, or who have links to terrorists. The problem is, under current law, even if the FBI or law enforcement identifies a terrorist, they are limited in the actions they can take against that person or group, until they actually break the law. As we saw on 911, that's too late.
The left is having a conniption over this new proposal from Ashcroft. The liberals argue that this is too much power in the hands of the government, and that any foreigner should have at least a court hearing before they can be deported. Ashcroft responds by pointing out the obvious: many of these people are willing to kill themselves in committing their acts of terror, in which case they can never be apprehended or punished.
To the left I say, these people are GUESTS in our country. If the FBI or law enforcement has solid reasons to believe someone is a terrorist, or is related to same, I believe they should have the authority to deport that person quickly. If that person can prove that he is not a terrorist threat, then he could return.
It is increasingly troublesome, as more news dribbles out, that the government had intelligence that a large number of terrorists were in the US prior to 911, and that they were planning something big. But partly because of the legal limitations, the FBI and law enforcement did not round these people (or at least some of them) up. While we want to be careful not to surrender our precious freedoms, we need to change some of these laws.
Is There A Mole In the White House, the Secret Service or the NSA??
I'm sure you recall the situation on 911 when President Bush and Air Force One flew not directly back to Washington, but instead to Barksdale AFB in Shreveport, LA and then on to Offutt AFB in Omaha, NE and then finally to Washington late that evening. A few liberal morons suggested that perhaps the President was scared to return to Washington, and they were roundly blasted for making such suggestions.
You may also recall that White House officials said during the afternoon of 911 that the Secret Service had received an anonymous call from someone who said, "Air Force One is next." Later that same day, White House officials also said that the caller used some top secret code words that led them to fear that the terrorists might actually know the location of Air Force One. On the afternoon of 911, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer told the press that the government had "specific and credible information that the White House and Air Force One were potential targets."
While you probably have not seen much about this matter in the press, this story is still very much alive in debates in many places, as it should be. First and foremost, if the caller really did use top secret code words that perhaps included the transponder frequency code for Air Force One (and by the way, there are several Air Force Ones), then this would mean there is a MOLE (or moles) in the White House, the Secret Service or the National Security Agency. Obviously, this would be the worst possible scenario.
The White House has been silent about this matter, and the press has not had much to say about it either. But behind the scenes, the debate continues, primarily along two lines. Obviously, the first line is the mole angle. If this is true, what is being done about it? If this is true, it suggests that the terror organizations have been successful in infiltrating our security system. If this is true, steps have surely been taken to change the top secret codes that allow air traffic control and the military to track the position of Air Force One; otherwise, the President would not be traveling at will.
The other line of debate, however, is one which suggests that, while there probably was an anonymous caller (maybe even more than one) who said, "Air Force One is next," the White House may have simply fabricated the story about the top secret code words being used. What if the White House spokesman alluded to the secret code words to deflect those who were speculating that Bush, or his advisors, were scared to return to Washington.
In one sense, this whole debate is ridiculous. First of all, when President Bush took off from Florida, there were still several airliners in the sky that were unaccounted for. The Pentagon had already been hit. It would have been CRAZY for the President to have gone directly to Washington - whether or not there was any grave security threat - even though that's exactly what Bush reportedly wanted to do! Reportedly, Bush said, "I'm not going to let some tinhorn terrorist keep the president of the United States away from the nation's capital. The American people want to see their president and they want to see him now." In any event, NO ONE in the press should have even thought of criticizing the President or his advisors!!
Yet we still come back to the question: did the caller really use top secret codes that could only have come from someone very high up in the security system? While I am not about to say it didn't happen, several things make me wonder. First, if the terrorists really have infiltrated the security system, why would they tip their hand? Why would they call at all? Second, they would have known that upon making the threat, Air Force One would immediately get a fighter jet escort, which it did. I could go on and on with reasons why, if the terrorists have cracked our security system, they would NOT let the government know about it.
The fact is, we may never know the truth. We may never know if Karl Rove, or someone at the White House, fabricated the story about the secret codes to deflect the speculation that Bush was scared to return to Washington. We may never know if, in fact, someone or some group has infiltrated our top secret security system. Unfortunately, we can only hope it is the former and not the latter.
If you are active on the Internet, it is not hard to find dozens of stories about this, many of which go into much more detail than this, but very few of which can be verified.
Understanding The Immenseness of the Enemy & How Political Correctness Fits In
In his address to the nation, President Bush said the following about the terrorists: ". . .of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century ... they follow in the path of fascism, and Nazism, and totalitarianism." He also said they had "hijacked Islam." Day after day we hear talking heads blab about how the terrorists are but a tiny fraction of an otherwise peaceful, decent Muslim world. Yet here are some sobering numbers to think about.
Of the world's approximately 1.2 BILLION Muslims, an estimated 10-15% are of the militant "Islamist" strain. That's 100-150 MILLION people who, to a greater or lesser degree, are caught up with what amounts to the world's most dangerous cult. I have not seen these numbers reported anywhere in the mainstream media. Most Americans have no concept of this.
If you wonder why nations like Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Jordan, Indonesia and other potential "coalition" members are hesitant to openly support the US, it is because they fear that the many militant Islamists within their borders will rise up and destabilize their countries.
Not only is the media failing to report these figures, several news services have in the last week advised their writers and talking heads to refrain from using terms such as "terrorists" or "Islamic terrorists." Reuters news service, for example, instructed its 2,500 correspondents to refrain from using the term "terrorists." Stephen Jukes, Reuters' global head of news, defended the action as follows:
"We all know that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, and that Reuters upholds the principle that we do not use the word terrorist. To be frank, it adds little to call the attack on the World Trade Center a terrorist attack. We're trying to treat everyone on a level playing field, however tragic it's been and however awful and cataclysmic for the American people and people around the world."
Here we go again, folks! This is POLITICAL CORRECTNESS at work in the liberal media!! Rather than try to explain here, read the excellent article by David Kupelian in WorldNetDaily in the "Special Articles" section below.
For Once, Democrats Want to Spend Less Than the President
President Bush has asked for an additional emergency spending package totaling $75 billion. If you recall, Alan Greenspan recommended that Congress authorize emergency spending equal to apprx. 1% of GDP, or apprx. $100 billion. That number was to include the $40 billion which had already been authorized and the $15 billion already appropriated for the airlines/travel industry. That would leave apprx. $45 billion in additional spending to reach a total of $100 billion. Wednesday morning, however, the Bush administration asked for $75 billion in new spending, which would push the total up to $130 billion.
The Dems are having a tough time with this one. On the one hand, they don't want to be seen as grinches who don't want to help the economy recover. On the other hand, they say they are concerned about the deficit this new spending will create. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle came out this morning and said the Dems will only support an additional $50 billion, not the $75 billion the President wants.
Let me make this clear. If Clinton or a Democrat were in the White House, Daschle and the Dems would be all for spending more. They know this federal spending is very popular with Americans at this time, and it will only serve to keep Bush's approval ratings very high. Also, don't forget that the Dems still want to roll-back the Bush tax cuts. They haven't been talking about it since 911, but you can rest assured they will come back to it as soon as they believe there will not be political fallout from it.
Clinton Criticized for Failing to Take Bin Laden When He Had the Chance.
Former president Bill Clinton has been taking a lot of heat in the last week or so over his policy (or lack thereof) on terrorism during his administration. Reportedly, Sudan offered to hand over bin Laden at one point, but Clinton declined - unbelievable! A strong case can be made that 911 is largely the fault of Clinton and his administration. I will let you read for yourself in the links under "Special Articles" below.
On October 1, the US Supreme Court "suspended William Jefferson Clinton from the fraternity of lawyers who may argue the law in its chambers." What this means in simpler terms is, he has been DISBARRED! See the story in "Special Articles" below.
If Bill weren't in enough trouble of his own, Hillary has jumped from the frying pan into the fire this week as well. This week she compared the personal attacks she received when she tried to nationalize the health care system in 1994 to the terrorist attacks. Can you believe this? See her remarks in the "Special Articles" below.
October Issue of FORECASTS & TRENDS is on our Website.
The latest issue of F&T was posted on our website yesterday. Go to www.profutures.com to read it early. We will post it on our website each month as soon as I finish it. The latest issue of BETWEEN THE LINES is just about wrapped-up and it will be on the website shortly as well.
Do you ever think about how the Internet has changed our lives? I do a lot. Take this Update, for example. Without the Internet, it would take me at least a couple of days to pull together this much information. However, with the Internet and the many sources of information that are only on the Web, I can do it in a few hours. Each morning, Spencer Wright spends an hour or so visiting all the news and other websites we follow, and he sends me a list of links to stories he knows I will be interested in. So when I sit down to write one of these Updates, I can quickly pull in the links I provide to you. . . The Internet is something else!
I wish you a great weekend. I wonder if there will be fireworks in Afghanistan. Let's pray there are none in the US!
All the best,
David Kupelian on Islamist militants & political correctness.
Morris and Gingrich hammer Clinton.
Clinton didn't do enough...from Limbaugh.
Supreme Court upholds American values by banning Clinton.
Hillary compares personal attacks on her to the terrorist attacks!
Stratfor on the geopolitical price of war.
Other Articles of Interest
Russia relations at new high.
Some history on Afghanistan - should the King return?
Forecasts & Trends E-Letter is published by ProFutures, Inc. Gary D. Halbert is the president and CEO of ProFutures, Inc. and is the editor of this publication. Information contained herein is taken from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed as to its accuracy. Opinions and recommendations herein generally reflect the judgement of Gary D. Halbert (or another named author) and may change at any time without written notice. Market opinions contained herein are intended as general observations and are not intended as specific investment advice. Readers are urged to check with their investment counselors before making any investment decisions. This electronic newsletter does not constitute an offer of sale of any securities. Gary D. Halbert, ProFutures, Inc., and its affiliated companies, its officers, directors and/or employees may or may not have investments in markets or programs mentioned herein. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. Reprinting for family or friends is allowed with proper credit. However, republishing (written or electronically) in its entirety or through the use of extensive quotes is prohibited without prior written consent.