LAURA KNIGHT-JADCZYK AND JOE QUINN
Since the 9/11 attacks, no book has provided a satisfactory answer as to WHY the attacks occurred and who was ultimately responsible for carrying them out - until now.
"Germs are not aware that they will be burned alive or buried deep in the ground along with the human body whose death they are causing."Applied to the topic of this essay, the saying is not just a metaphor; it is deeply and frighteningly accurate. Imagine a world that believes in global warming that is hit by the sudden onset of an ice-age. Studies reveal that ice ages are probably preceded by periods of freak weather patterns (check) hot spots and cold spots (check) torrential, localized rains and flooding (check) increased comet dust in the atmosphere (check), increased volcanism (check) a series of particularly cold and harsh winters (check) interspersed with localized heatwaves and drought (check); and then, finally, the watershed winter comes when the increased heating from within the planet itself (evidenced by the increasing volcanism) and its concomitant increased evaporation of the seas, combines with the cooled and lowered upper atmosphere, and the snow begins to fall and fall... and fall... and fall. Convert the extraordinary rains that have fallen in parts of the upper northern hemisphere in the past few years to snow volumes, and you can easily see that entire regions could be quickly buried under many meters of snow that, assuming that the albedo effect does not rapidly take over and prevent the snow from melting, by the time it did melt, multiplied millions of living things - including people - would have perished, buried along with the pathological leaders they have erroneously believed had their best interests at heart.
"For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."
- Some dude, somewhere, a long time ago.
Charges in Kenya corruption scandal
Jeevan Vasagar - 16 March 2006
Kenya's attorney-general yesterday signalled his willingness to tackle the country's biggest corruption scandal by charging five men, including the former governor of the central bank, with fraud.
The "Goldenberg" scandal was made public 14 years ago and cost Kenyan taxpayers 400m, but no one has been found guilty and no politician has faced charges.
The scandal involved the payment of massive cash subsidies for fictitious exports of gold and diamonds by a firm called Goldenberg International.
"If you look at the list, what you see is civil servants taking the fall," said Mwalimu Mati, executive director of the anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International. "Politicians, as in all other corruption scandals, are left untouched. These people had a role to play but they surely can't have been the only ones involved. There were people involved in facilitating the money coming out of the treasury, and people involved in the political cover-up."
Of the five men indicted, three have faced charges before: the former deputy governor of the central bank, Eliphaz Riungu, the former treasury permanent secretary, Wilfred Karunga Koinange, and Kamlesh Pattni, who was a director of Goldenberg International.
Their cases never came to a full trial and proceedings were halted after the president, Mwai Kibaki, came to power in December 2002. Mr Kibaki set up an inquiry which reported last month. The inquiry said former president Daniel arap Moi must have been aware of the scam and urged the attorney-general to consider pressing charges against George Saitoti, a former finance minister. Mr Saitoti, an education minister in the new government, resigned from the cabinet last month, but denies involvement.
The two new names on the list are Eric Kotut, the central bank governor under Mr Moi, and James Kanyotu, a former intelligence chief who was a director of the firm.
At a time when Kenya faces a severe drought, the scandal is a reminder of the sleaze and economic stagnation of the Moi years. The former president denies involvement.
The hardship suffered by herdsmen in Kenya's arid north is partly blamed on neglect by the failure of successive governments to build roads or help develop the region.
The charges over Goldenberg, a scandal which epitomised the corruption of the Moi government, come at a time when the new government is reeling from its own corruption scandal.
Mr Kibaki's finance minister and justice minister resigned after being named in connection with the Anglo Leasing scandal, in which millions of pounds were looted from the treasury in dodgy contracts for police and military equipment.
Foreign donors and Kenyans have been appalled by the government's heavy-handed treatment of the press. Earlier this month armed police shut down a TV station and burned copies of an opposition newspaper after the arrest of three of its journalists over a story about a secret meeting between the president and an opposition leader. The IMF has reportedly postponed a decision on loans to Kenya because of worries over corruption.
In return, Iran requested the following:
- Iran would use its influence to support stabilization in Iraq.
- Iran would open its civilian nuclear energy program to full international inspections.
- Most importantly, Iran would end its support of Hamas and Hezbollah.
Then U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney turned down the offer and chastised the Swiss for even passing it along.
- A halt to US hostile behavior.
- Abolition of all economic sanctions.
- The pursuit of MEK (an Iranian terrorist group in Iraq) leadership and the repatriation of their members.