Democrats Were Charged To End A War, Not Start One

Mike Gravel shows a lot of guts and a heap of common sense in a new article at CommonDreams.org

Joe Lieberman wrote the resolution authorizing the invasion of Iraq that was passed with Democratic support on October 11, 2002. Lieberman’s new resolution setting up a Bush-Cheney invasion of Iran passed by 76 to 22 with Democratic backing on September 26, 2007. These are two dates that will live in infamy in the 21st century. Led by Senator Clinton, it was another sad day for the Senate and for Senate Democrats, who were elected to the majority in November in order to end a war, not start a new one.

The Unwarranted Influence of America’s Global “Defense” Corporation

another great article from IntelligentFuture.org via Information Clearinghouse

You know your country’s “democratic” leadership and rationale for war are in trouble when the anointed most-evil enemy makes more sense than they do.

Although for all we know Bin Laden’s “annual message to Americans” originated below Dick Cheney’s office where Bin Laden is living in luxury chained to a pool table, its contents ring with refreshing logic relative to what usually passes for truth in and around the White House.

Analyzing his message alongside bipartisan excuses for war — and juxtaposed with President Dwight “Ike” Eisenhower’s keep-an-eye-on-the-defense-industry speech of January 1961 — only Bin Laden’s words and Eisenhower’s warnings stand up to current United States Department of Defense statistics.

Outsourcing trends, hugely accelerated in the 1990s, have made the Department of Defense the largest corporate entity in history. Few big corporations in the world don’t have a handy cash-cow D contract, and small businesses and schools are especially welcome to apply. ($900 per toilet seat? Let’s sell those!)

DoD contracts get dished out everyday for everything from children’s books, cosmetics, organic dinners, and movie theater tickets to good old-fashioned nano weaponry.

Defense is the world’s top user of fossil fuels, contributor to climate change, and most financially alluring industry. All considered, the industry has the strongest lobby power in Washington and everywhere else. Defense is also the world’s foremost motivator of advanced science and technology, a global network capable of an entirely new direction in economics — dependent, of course, on whether it’s a good D policy or a bad D policy.

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Storm Worm Botnet More Powerful Than Top Supercomputers

from Information Week.

The growing Storm Worm botnet has enough distributed power to launch a damaging attack.

The Storm worm botnet has grown so massive and far-reaching that it easily overpowers the world’s top supercomputers.

That’s the latest word from security researchers who are tracking the burgeoning network of Microsoft Windows machines that have been compromised by the virulent Storm worm, which has pounded the Internet non-stop for the past three months. Despite the wide ranging estimates as to the size of the botnet, researchers tend to agree that it’s one of the largest zombie grids they’ve ever seen — one capable of doing great damage.

“In terms of power, [the botnet] utterly blows the supercomputers away,” said Matt Sergeant, chief anti-spam technologist with MessageLabs, in an interview. “If you add up all 500 of the top supercomputers, it blows them all away with just 2 million of its machines. It’s very frightening that criminals have access to that much computing power, but there’s not much we can do about it.”

Sergeant said researchers at MessageLabs see about 2 million different computers in the botnet sending out spam on any given day, and he adds that he estimates the botnet generally is operating at about 10% of capacity. “We’ve seen spikes where the owner is experimenting with something and those spikes are usually five to 10 times what we normally see,” he said, noting he suspects the botnet could be as large as 50 million computers. “That means they can turn on the taps whenever they want to.”

No one could provide detailed and specific comparisons between the strength of the botnet and the top supercomputers, mainly because it is hard to know for sure the size of the botnet or the power of each computer that is part of the botnet.

Adam Swidler, a senior manager with security company Postini, told InformationWeek that while he thinks the botnet is in the 1 million to 2 million range, he still thinks it can easily overpower a major supercomputer. “If you calculate pure theoretical throughput, then I’m sure the botnet has more capacity than [IBM’s] BlueGene. If you sat them down to play chess, the botnet would win.”