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Friday, May 1, 2009

Drug dealer gets 60-year prison sentence - Yahoo Local - SunHerald.com

Drug dealer gets 60-year prison sentence

- rfitzgerald@sunherald.com

GULFPORT — Circuit Judge Jerry Terry sentenced a Gulfport man to 60 years without parole after the defendant was found guilty of selling crack cocaine to an undercover officer.

Jurors in the trial of Larry Press “Preston” Wells deliberated 17 minutes Thursday before returning the verdict in a two-day trial.

The 50-year-old was convicted of possession with intent to distribute. 

The drug sale involved less than 1/10th of a gram of crack cocaine.

Assistant District Attorney Joel Smith said Wells was prosecuted as an habitual offender on an enhanced offense.

Wells has four prior felony convictions since 1993. Three of those are for drug sales.

Habitual-offender status requires a day-for-day prison term without eligibility for early release, Smith said. 

The new drug conviction qualified for an enhanced or double penalty.

Without the double penalty, Wells faced up to 30 years in prison without early release.

Smith said Gulfport police had arrested Wells in an undercover operation targeting street-level drug dealers in the Magnolia Grove area on May 24, 2007.

The jury heard an audio recording of Wells getting in an unmarked car with an undercover officer, leaving the vehicle and returning with “a 40,” street slang for $40 in crack.

“The jury could hear the defendant say, ‘you’ve got to take a hit off of this crack pipe before I give you the cocaine,’ Smith said. “The officer refused the request and gave a pre-determined arrest signal that went out over the audio wire.”

Wells was convicted of forgery in 1993. He was convicted of a drug sale in 1993 and convicted on two drug sales in 2000, Smith said.

Drug dealer gets 60-year prison sentence - Yahoo Local - SunHerald.com

Monday, April 27, 2009

Truthdig - Cartoons - Feeling Dirty

Truthdig - Cartoons - Feeling Dirty

Bush new Saddam wasn't a threat and went to war anyway.

In October of 2002, 5 months before Bush sent our troops into Iraq, he received from his 16 top intelligence agencies a report. In that report he was told that Saddam didn't have any nuclear capabilities at that time and that the only way he would use chemical or biological weapons against Americans is if he were first attacked. But 7 days later, after Bush got this report, he said "we don't want the smoking gun to come in the form of a mushroom cloud". he knew it wasn't true when he said it. he said that "Saddam has the capability to hit America in 45 minutes". this was another lie to convince the American people into war with Iraq. A country that the intelligence agencies were telling him were no threat against America whatsoever unless we attacked him first. The report "judged" that Saddam had wmd but that he wouldn't use them unless he was attacked. The evidence they received this information from was from a source called "curveball" whom The German and English intelligence agencies told us was unstable and a known fabricator. no other source gave evidence of wmd. yet this administration, knowing the reputation of this source, used this information to scare people into going to war with Iraq. As we've found out since, and as we knew before from a report from Hans Blix, there were no wmd and no reconstitution of any wmd programs. Bush knew this and still we went to war. This man sent our soldiers off to die for a war that he claimed was self defense because Saddam was a threat to America, and it wasn't true. here is the part of the report dealing with Saddam and the likelihoods he would attack America

Public Record Oct, 2002 National Intelligence estimate. 5 months before invading Iraq.


(The claim Bush made in one of his speeches that Saddam had unmanned areal vehicles that could strike within the U.S.)
* Baghdad's UAVs could threaten Iraq's neighbors, U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf, and if brought close to, or into, the United States, the U.S. Homeland.

o An Iraqi UAV procurement network attempted to procure commercially available route planning software and an associated topographic database that would be able to support targeting of the United States, according to analysis of special intelligence.

o The Director, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, U.S. Air Force, does not agree that Iraq is developing UAVs primarily intended to be delivery platforms for chemical and biological warfare (CBW) agents. The small size of Iraq's new UAV strongly suggests a primary role of reconnaissance, although CBW delivery is an inherent capability.

(remember now, Bush knew this before his January 28th 2003 state of the union speech when he repeated this.)

* Iraq is developing medium-range ballistic missile capabilities, largely through foreign assistance in building specialized facilities, including a test stand for engines more powerful than those in its current missile force.

We have low confidence in our ability to assess when Saddam would use WMD. (i address the fact that saddam didn't have wmd later in the post)

* Saddam could decide to use chemical and biological warfare (CBW) preemptively against U.S. forces, friends, and allies in the region in an attempt to disrupt U.S. war preparations and undermine the political will of the Coalition.

* Saddam might use CBW after an initial advance into Iraqi territory, but early use of WMD could foreclose diplomatic options for stalling the US advance.

* He probably would use CBW when be perceived he irretrievably had lost control of the military and security situation, but we are unlikely to know when Saddam reaches that point.

* We judge that Saddam would be more likely to use chemical weapons than biological weapons on the battlefield.

* Saddam historically has maintained tight control over the use of WMD; however, he probably has provided contingency instructions to his commanders to use CBW in specific circumstances.

Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or CBW against the United States, fearing that exposure of Iraqi involvement would provide Washington a stronger cause for making war.

Iraq probably would attempt clandestine attacks against the U.S. Homeland if Baghdad feared an attack that threatened the survival of the regime were imminent or unavoidable, or possibly for revenge. Such attacks--more likely with biological than chemical agents--probably would be carried out by special forces or intelligence operatives.

  • The Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) probably has been directed to conduct clandestine attacks against US and Allied interests in the Middle East in the event the United States takes action against Iraq. The US probably would be the primary means by which Iraq would attempt to conduct any CBW attacks on the US Homeland, although we have no specific intelligence information that Saddam's regime has directed attacks against US territory.

you get that? Saddam, it was believed, would only use Chemical or Biological weapons in self defense. Bush knew this and tried to make the American people believe he was a threat to the homeland.

remember when bush said this in his 2003 state of the union address?

"Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production."

Here is what the NIE told him before he made that statement:

"Although we assess that Saddam does not yet have nuclear weapons or sufficient material to make any, he remains intent on acquiring them. Most agencies assess that Baghdad started reconstituting its nuclear program about the time that UNSCOM inspectors departed--December 1998."

we now know, due to the 2008 congressional investigation that Saddam hadn't been working on nukes since before 2003 (most likely since the first gulf war when weapons inspectors moved in and stayed until 1998.

Also in his 2003 State of the Union Address (SOTU) Bush claimed that Saddam was not disarming. That his intelligence agencies were telling him that.

"The dictator of Iraq is not disarming. To the contrary; he is deceiving. From intelligence sources we know, for instance, that thousands of Iraqi security personnel are at work hiding documents and materials from the U.N. inspectors, sanitizing inspection sites and monitoring the inspectors themselves. Iraqi officials accompany the inspectors in order to intimidate witnesses."

Unfortunately for Bush, Hans Blix, Iraq's chief UN weapons inspector, was that intelligence source and he told Bush that he hadn't found ANY wmd of any kind. And that to achieve certainty he wouldn't need years or days, but months. Bush immediately shut down the inspectors in Iraq when he got this news. Why would a man who doesn't want war shut down inspections that are proving that the man he's so afraid of can't hurt him? Here is what Hans Blix told the UN security counsel on March 7th before Bush invaded Iraq on March 19th:(this is one reason the UN did not authorize war with Iraq):

Inspections in Iraq resumed on 27 November 2002. In matters relating to process, notably prompt access to sites, we have faced relatively few difficulties and certainly much less than those that were faced by UNSCOM in the period 1991 to 1998. This may well be due to the strong outside pressure.
Some practical matters, which were not settled by the talks, Dr. ElBaradei and I had with the Iraqi side in Vienna prior to inspections or in resolution 1441 (2002), have been resolved at meetings, which we have had in Baghdad. Initial difficulties raised by the Iraqi side about helicopters and aerial surveillance planes operating in the no-fly zones were overcome. This is not to say that the operation of inspections is free from frictions, but at this juncture we are able to perform professional no-notice inspections all over Iraq and to increase aerial surveillance."
"There were about 700 inspections, and in no case did we find weapons of mass destruction," said Hans Blix, the Swedish diplomat called out of retirement to serve as the United Nations' chief weapons inspector from 2000 to 2003"

So why did bush say that Saddam was not cooperating with the inspectors and he was deceiving them? If you really didn't want to go to war, wouldn't this be the exact kind of news you'd want to hear? Yea! we don't have to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of human beings! there are no signs of weapons! But that's not what Bush did, when he found out that Blix and his inspectors weren't finding anything, he shut them down and took "disarmament" into his own hands. Why would he do that?

Bush claimed that intelligence told him that there were mobile bio and chemical weapons (bcw) in his speech.

Bush SOTU speech January 28th 2003:
“From three Iraqi defectors we know that Iraq, in the late 1990s, had several mobile biological weapons labs. These are designed to produce germ warfare agents, and can be moved from place to a place to evade inspectors. Saddam Hussein has not disclosed these facilities. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed them.”

But Blix testified that 12 days before Bush's SOTU speech he had told the White House:
"As I noted on 14 February, intelligence authorities (from that one source, curveball) have claimed that weapons of mass destruction are moved around Iraq by trucks and, in particular, that there are mobile production units for biological weapons...
...Food testing mobile laboratories and mobile workshops have been seen, as well as large containers with seed processing equipment. No evidence of proscribed activities have so far been found. Iraq is expected to assist in the development of credible ways to conduct random checks of ground transportation."

more to come... i want any of you to explain this away with out right wing talking points. i want to see the evidence. These excerpts are from official UN, NIE and White house documentation. They cannot be disputed honestly. only through spin or cherry picking without giving the whole picture including this evidence. you can find a line that says "Saddam has wmd" but if the next line is "he wouldn't use it unless he were attacked" you're leaving out the most important part of the assessment. let's be honest now and assess this and come up with reasons that bush would edit out what was really said in the nine and totally ignore what Hans Blix was saying before he invaded Iraq with the lives of potentially millions at stake.