Today's conditions brought to you by the Bush Junta - marionettes of their hyperdimensional puppet masters - Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions.... The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen."
If you can't stand the heat of Objective Reality, get out of the kitchen!
May 20, 2003
As always, Caveat Lector!
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IMPEACH GEORGE BUSH!
successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure
uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other
possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are
viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside.
This country, with its institutions, belongs to the
people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the
existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right
of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or
"It is dangerous to be
right in matters on which the established authorities are
Faith of consciousness is freedom
Life is religion. Life experiences reflect how one
interacts with God. Those who are asleep are those of little faith
in terms of their interaction with the creation. Some people think
that the world exists for them to overcome or ignore or shut out.
For those individuals, the worlds will cease. They will become
exactly what they give to life. They will become merely a dream in
the 'past.' People who pay strict attention to objective reality
right and left, become the reality of the 'Future.'
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May 19, 2003 09:44 AM ET
RIYADH (Reuters) - The al Qaeda group blamed for last week's triple suicide bombings in Saudi Arabia has a wider network of agents operating in the kingdom than initially believed, U.S. officials said Monday.
May 19, 2003 09:01 AM ET
TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Monday Israel would consider expelling Palestinian President Yasser Arafat if he blocked efforts by his new prime minister to halt militant violence against Israelis.
May 19, 2003 08:24 AM ET
GAZA (Reuters) - A Palestinian suicide bomber on a bicycle injured three Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip on Monday in the latest in a series of attacks that have dimmed hopes for a new U.S.-backed peace plan.
Monday 19th May 2003
(AP) - A suicide bomber has attacked a shopping mall in the northern Israeli city of Afula, killing at least four people.
Up to 15 others have been wounded, some seriously.
It is the fifth bombing in two days.
"Our people are there treating the wounded," Israeli rescue services worker Doron Kotler told Army Radio.
He said the explosion occurred at the entrance of to a shopping centre.
Rescue Army Radio reported that the bomber was a woman.
The blast went off near one of the entrances to the Shaarei Amakim mall, where shoppers were queuing for a security check.
Comment: It is the Sharon Nazis that don't want peace in Palestine, the land stolen by the Zionists from the Palestinians, justified by a book recounting the fictitious history of a made-up people wandering the desert at the orders of a vicious and genocidal god. Manipulations inside of manipulations. The dead man on a stick religion encourages this belief because it is necessary to justify their own existence. Belief in Yahweh or the Christian fairy tales, outrageous stories that would be at home in the Weekly World News, is considered sane and normal, while the real work to understand the hyperdimensional control system is "debunked" and marginalized. The materialist pseudo-science so entrenched in modern life that tells us the world started out of nothing and will return to nothing is just as ridiculous. How is it that the fundamentalist Christian beliefs of a puppet like Bush and the hard-core science of the life-denyers can work together so well in the world if they are supposedly so antagonistic? It is because they are both illusions, a false dichotomy that serves the same end: to keep us from the Truth of our real natures and the world around us. And until we refuse to accept the lies, until we are willing to break out of the warm and cosy ignorance that maintains our daily existence, we will continue to be food.
CBC On-Line News
SIDON, LEBANON - As many as seven people are dead after violent clashes in the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon.
Guerrillas loyal to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat fought with militants from the extremist al-Nour group on Monday.
It was the worst violence in the Ein el-Hilweh camp in a year.
Witnesses say the sound of machine guns and mortars could be heard inside the camp near the southern port city of Sidon.
A photographer and a reporter were said to be among the injured.
Days of clashes
Monday's fighting follows days of clashes between the two groups.
On Saturday, the leader of al-Nour was critically wounded during a shootout that erupted after a guerrilla's funeral near the camp. Two other people were killed.
Ein el-Hilweh, which houses 75,000 people, is the largest of Lebanon's 12 Palestinian refuge camps.
It is run by rival Palestinian groups. The Lebanese army maintains checkpoints outside the camp, but soldiers do not go inside.
By Jane Macartney,
(Reuters) - The Egyptian who guards the elusive Osama bin Laden has taken over as al Qaeda's military commander following capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of September 11, a terror expert said on Monday.
Saif al-Adel, who is believed to have turned 40 last month, has a $25 million price on his head on the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists. The United States had indicted him over the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Al Qaeda turned to al-Adel after Mohammed's arrest in Pakistan in March removed the military commander whose careful years of planning resulted in the devastating September, 2001 strikes on New York and Washington, said Rohan Gunaratna, author of "Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror."
"They chose him because he is their most competent man and he fits into the typical al Qaeda, Islamic jihad mindset," said Gunaratna, now based in Singapore.
Al-Adel has shown ruthless efficiency in his role as chief of al Qaeda's security and above all in protecting bin Laden, the world's most wanted man, said Gunaratna.
As a highly structured organisation, he said, Bin Laden's al Qaeda would have made a point of formally appointing a successor to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
Al-Adel may bring a different style to future attacks.
"They will become much more secretive, much more discreet, they will learn from mistakes of the past," said Gunaratna. Al Qaeda's reputation for secrecy will be further enhanced, he said.
Al-Adel's photograph on the FBI's most wanted list shows a clean-shaven, narrow- faced young man. He is believed, like bin Laden, to be hiding along the porous Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
His responsibilities at the heart of al Qaeda have involved registration and screening of new members, developing communications systems and above all protecting his chief.
"He is an extraordinarily bright man," said Gunaratna. "He has to be given credit for the survival of Osama bin Laden and this demonstrates that he can match the penetration capabilities of those who want to capture bin Laden."
He has yet to make his mark as the new commander.
"The current spate of operations were planned and prepared by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and by Tawfiq bin Attash," he said of last week's strikes in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia that killed 34 including 15 suicide bombers and the weekend attacks in Casablanca, Morocco that killed 41, including 13 suicide bombers.
"These had been in the planning stage for a long time."
Attash, a one-legged former fighter in the Afghan anti-Soviet war and a Saudi of Yemeni origin believed to have been a bodyguard to bin Laden, was arrested in Pakistan this month.
Comment: For a secret organization, someone sure knows one heck of a lot about the internal workings.
BAGHDAD -At a roadside produce stand on the outskirts of Baghdad, business is brisk for Latifa Khalaf Hamid. Iraqi drivers pull up and snap up fresh bunches of parsley, mint leaves, dill, and onion stalks.
But Ms. Hamid's stand is just four paces away from a burnt-out Iraqi tank, destroyed by - and contaminated with - controversial American depleted-uranium (DU) bullets. Local children play "throughout the day" on the tank, Hamid says, and on another one across the road.
No one has warned the vendor in the faded, threadbare black gown to keep the toxic and radioactive dust off her produce. The children haven't been told not to play with the radioactive debris. They gather around as a Geiger counter carried by a visiting reporter starts singing when it nears a DU bullet fragment no bigger than a pencil eraser. It registers nearly 1,000 times normal background radiation levels on the digital readout.
The depleted-uranium bullets are made of low-level radioactive nuclear-waste material, left over from the making of nuclear fuel and weapons. It is 1.7 times as dense as lead, and burns its way easily through armor. But it is controversial because it leaves a trail of contamination that has half-life of 4.5 billion years - the age of our solar system.
Texas links to Iraq oil revealed
05/18/03: (The Guardian) NEW YORK: The US-led effort to rebuild Iraq was facing more criticism on Friday after the Texan businessman installed to run the country's oil industry admitted having financial links to a company bidding for reconstruction work.
Philip Carroll acknowledged in an interview with the Los Angeles Times that he could be accused of a conflict of interest because of his relationship with a Californian company, Fluor, that has formed a joint venture with the British construction company Amec to bid for work to rebuild Iraq estimated to cost about six billion US dollars.
The disclosure will pile more pressure on to the Bush administration for its handling of the rebuilding programme. [...]
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Lawlessness in oilfields and a warning of a possible nuclear emergency reared up to confront Iraq's U.S. administration as thousands of Iraqis took to the streets of Baghdad Monday to demand their own government.
The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency said it was alarmed by almost daily reports of looting and destruction at nuclear sites, warning that the theft of radioactive material posed a security threat and a danger to health. Oil officials said the looting and lack of security were also hampering efforts to restore oil output, vital for the devastated country's economic recovery after the U.S.-led war to oust Saddam Hussein's government.
In the northern oil city of Kirkuk, more than 10 people were killed in clashes at the weekend between Arabs and Kurds, local police said. Tension between majority Arabs and Kurds has been a major concern in the city, partly driven by disputes over land or property seized under Saddam's "Arabization" campaign.
Reports of looting at nuclear sites prompted International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohamed ElBaradei to issue a fresh call to Washington to let his experts back into Iraq.
He said he had seen reports describing uranium being tipped out of containers that were taken for domestic use, and radioactive sources being stolen and removed from their shielding.
He said he was especially concerned about the "potential radiological safety and security implications of nuclear and radiological materials that may no longer be under control."
By Evelyn Leopold
(Reuters) - In hopes of getting strong U.N. support, the United States made some concessions in its quest to lift 13-year-old trade sanctions against Iraq, somewhat enhancing the role of the United Nations and opening the door for the return of U.N. arms inspectors.
But the resolution, expected to be adopted by Friday, still gives the United States and Britain wide-ranging powers to run Iraq and control its oil industry until a permanent government is established, which could take years.
The text, the third version distributed on Monday, seeks to accommodate some of the criticism by France, Russia, China and other U.N. Security Council members, particularly what they see as an attempt to sideline the United Nations but obtain privileges the world body has under international law.
While few expect any country to veto the text, the United States wants a large majority in the 15-nation council.
Without U.N. action to lift the sanctions, imposed when Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait in 1990, Washington would be in a legal no man's land, with many firms unwilling to engage in trade with Iraq, and oil exports open to lawsuits.
Russia's U.N. Ambassador Sergei Lavrov said he "welcomed the mood of the co- sponsors to really try their best to respond to as many question as they can." But he said council members wanted "more clarity" at the lack of any time limit or renewal of the resolution.
In deference to Russia, which was favored in contracts by the ousted government of President Saddam Hussein, the resolution phases out the existing U.N.-run oil and civilian supply network over six months instead of four months.
It does not guarantee that all contracts in the so-called oil-for-food pipeline will be honored, such as the $4 billion owed Russian firms, but leaves time to sort them out.
'NEVER SAY NEVER'
On the political role of the United Nations, the draft calls for a high-level special representative with "independent responsibilities." The envoy would "work intensively" with the United States and Britain "to facilitate a process leading to an internationally recognized, representative government of Iraq" but his or her duties are still vague.
U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said Washington could offer further changes but it was unlikely. "Never say never," he said. "But ... we have gone just about as far as we can in meeting the concerns expressed by other delegations."
The resolution, he said, foresaw no role for U.N. arms inspectors. But the new text mentions their mandate in U.N. resolutions since 1991, and opens the door for their return to verify Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction.
Most controversial is shielding Iraq's oil revenues and a special Development Fund set up to administer them until 2008 from any lawsuits, attachments or claims. This is usual for a fund administered by the United Nations but not one over which the world body has no power.
However, the new text says buyers of Iraqi oil are not necessarily immune from suits, such as cases of oil spills.
Money from the fund can be spent by the United States and Britain for the benefit of the Iraqi people. An international board, including the United Nations, will monitor the fund.
Troubling to international law experts is the rewriting of the 1949 Geneva Conventions on the duties of occupying powers, such as the United States and Britain. They are not supposed to create a new permanent government or commit Iraq to long-term contracts, such as oil exploration, under the Geneva treaties.
"The United States is asking the Security Council to authorize it to do a series of things that would otherwise violate international law under the guise of ending sanctions," said Morton Halperin, a former State Department official and director of the Open Society Institute in Washington.
"The purpose of this resolution is to relieve the United States of both its obligations and the limits of what it can do as an occupying power under international law by having the Security Council supersede the requirements of the Geneva Convention," he said in an interview.
Comment: The United States considers that it is a law to itself. It has no need to listen to others, and it is clear that they will go ahead and do what they wish in Iraq, with or without the support of the UN. If they get some form of UN support, they will relegate any UN officials to empty-shell patsies. What happened to Koffe Annan after the US went ahead without UN support for the war? What happened to this "august" international body? If in time of war the US ignored it, why would they ignore it now that they have their hands on the spoils, on the oil that they so ardently insisted they were not after?
Monday 19th May 2003
Jacques Chirac says the Anglo-American resolution on post-war Iraq gives an insufficient role to the United Nations in rebuilding the country.
But France remains convinced it is still possible to sensibly improve the text, and satisfy both Paris and Washington, his spokeswoman said.
Mr Chirac told Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne: "At the current time, the role prescribed for the United Nations by the (resolution) project is insufficient."
The US is pressing for a vote on a resolution ending the economic embargo on Iraq, legitimising US and British control of the country, and handing UN control of Iraq's oil wealth to the victorious allies.
France, Russia and China, who banded together to oppose the war before its outset, are pushing for a larger UN role in the effort.
By ANNIE LACROIX-RIZ
IN 1941-42 the United States intended that France, together with soon-to-be defeated Italy, Germany and Japan, was to be part of a protectorate run by the Allied Military Government of the Occupied Territories (Amgot). According to the agreement of November 1942 between Admiral Jean-François Darlan and US General Mark Clark, which secured France's commitment to the Allied cause, Amgot would have abolished its national sovereignty, including its right to issue currency.
Some US historians believe this plan stemmed from President Franklin D Roosevelt's antipathy towards Charles de Gaulle. Roosevelt saw him as a dictator-in-training and sought to prevent him from ruling post-Putain. (Marshal Henri-Philippe Putain led the pro-Nazi government of unoccupied France at Vichy,1940-44.) The argument that Roosevelt intended to establish universal democracy is compelling but wrong (1).
The US was concerned that France, although weakened by its 1940 defeat, might reject the plan, especially if its presidency went to De Gaulle, who had vowed to restore French sovereignty. It feared France might use its nuisance capacity as it had when it opposed pro-German US policies after the first world war. France would not have wanted to relinquish its empire, rich in raw materials and strategic bases. The US had long called for an open door policy for goods and investments in all colonial empires (2). The US relied on twin strategies: ignoring De Gaulle, and dealing with Putain's regime with a combin ation of accommodation and toughness. It realised that Vichy, like the Latin American regimes dear to its heart, was more malleable than a government with broad popular support.
The US plan for a "Vichy-sans-Vichy" took shape. French elites supported the idea: they clung to the Vichy regime, which had restored privileges taken away by the pre-war republican government, and were eager to make a painless transition from German rule to the pax americana.
Excluded from the Yalta conference in 1945 and dependent on the US, France became a key part of the US sphere of influence. But only vigorous resistance, internal and external, had saved it from becoming a US protectorate.
By Ayla Jean Yackley
(Reuters) - A large explosion rocked a cafe in the center of Turkey's capital Ankara early on Tuesday, killing one person, police said.
The cause of the blast, which occurred at around 9 a.m. (2 a.m. EDT), was not immediately clear. Charred metal and glass were strewn across a road outside the three-story cafe, located in the city's main commercial district of Kizilay.
At least one other person was injured in the explosion at the street cafe, frequently visited by students, the state-run Anatolian news agency reported...
Several guerrilla groups, including leftist militants and Kurdish rebels, have carried out attacks on civilian targets in Turkey, a popular tourist destination, during recent years.
Explosions also frequently occur due to faulty gas and electricity systems.
A small bomb exploded outside the British consular general in Istanbul in early April, which police suspected was carried out by demonstrators protesting against the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
The story of a Texas woman charged with murdering her sons is strikingly similar to the tale of Yates, who killed her five children last year
By Anne Belli Gesalman
May 17, 2003 - The similarities are almost eerie. A respected, loving mother from Texas kills her children, then later tells authorities she "had to" for religious reasons. In jail she behaves erratically, irrationally-not at all like the beautiful, creative, hard-working, even athletic, woman she's always been. Family and friends are in disbelief.
INDEED, THE CASE of Deanna LaJune Laney evokes dark memories of that of Andrea Yates, the Houston mother serving a life sentence in prison, who admitted to drowning her five children in the family bathtub two years ago. Laney, a 38-year-old homemaker from New Chapel Hill in east Texas, admitted to a 911 dispatcher and deputies last week that she'd crushed the heads of her two young sons with rocks and severely injured a third while her husband was asleep. She has been charged with two counts of capital murder and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
[...] When asked by a deputy why she killed her children, Laney said, "I had to," according to the affidavit. She told the dispatcher that God had told her to. But why she believed that has those who know her at a loss.
[...] "She was the sweetest person you ever met," Dawn Mayne, a friend and former neighbor tells NEWSWEEK. "I can't make any sense of it. The Dee I knew would never do that."
[...] Like Yates, Laney is a devout Christian woman who home schooled her children and seemed absorbed in their lives. After teaching them in the mornings, Laney often spent afternoons with them riding their two horses or playing on their large 5-acre lot. Just a few weeks ago, Mayne says, she watched Laney teach one of her sons how to ride a mini motorcycle, her long legs dangling from the rear. She loved to bake, and often brought neighbors cakes and cookies. "She was just a wonderful mom," says Mayne. "Who missed the warning signs? Were there warning signs?"...
A look at the numbers from the war
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has ordered the U.S. military to collaborate on a "lessons learned" study of the Iraq war. That will take months, but the air commander, Lt. Gen. Michael Moseley, has had a team from his "analysis and assessments" staff compile some raw numbers. Some highlights of the 16-page report:
423,998 U.S. MILITARY personnel were deployed; other Coalition forces sent an additional 42,987 troops. The total is roughly equivalent to the population of Albuquerque, N.M.
The war lasted 720 hours.
The allies flew more than 41,400 sorties. That consumed 18,622 tons of fuel, enough to keep a Boeing 737-300 airliner aloft for about 12 years.
The Coalition flew 1,801 aircraft-all but 138 were American.
The Iraqis were showered with 31,800,000 leaflets bearing 81 different messages. End to end, the leaflets would have made 120,454 rolls of toilet paper.
Coalition forces lost 20 aircraft, but only 7 as a result of enemy fire.
Search-and-rescue teams flew 55 missions and saved 73 people.
80 aircraft were flown to gather intelligence; they took 42,000 pictures of the battlefield, transmitted 3,200 hours of video and eavesdropped on 2,400 hours of Iraqi communications.
Known costs: $917,744,361.55 -an amount equivalent to 46 minutes, 10.5 seconds' worth of total U.S. economic output in 2001.
Comment: It is one of the great "Truths" of American life that the Pentagon is wasteful and can't account for its money, that it spends hundreds of dollars for a toilet seat or a hammer. But what if this is just the cover story, just something floated to hide a much less benign explanation. What if this money is being diverted to the Top Secret programs that no one is suppoed to know about and that are not accountable to elected officials. Richard Dolan discusses these Above Top Secret projects in his book UFOs and the National Security State.
We see this tactic at work regularly: look at the supposed concern on the part of Bob Graham ( the man meeting with the Pakistani intelligence chief the morning of 9/11 to pay off the "terrorists" ) for the White House's refusal to cooperate with the 9/11 investigation, an investigation that wants to convince us that the problem with 9/11 was that the US intelligences agencies knew but didn't act. As if that was all! This story covers up the fact that 9/11 was planned within the walls, or basement tunnels, of the Pentagon itself. It was carried out by operatives with links to US intelligence agencies. It was designed to justify the invasion of Afghanistan, of Iraq, as well as the imposition of a totalitarian state in the US. Expensive indeed, all these new manifestations of the Bush Reich's New World Order.
Then start to factor in the mind control programs in place and the covert work of the cosmic COINTELPRO operation. Isn't this a much more logical explanation for the missing Defense money than hammers and toilet seats?
May 19, 2003
By JOHN CHUCKMAN
Britain's Prime Minister Blair has now claimed that the war in Iraq was justified by the discovery of mass graves. The ugly truth is that mass graves have become pretty common things since the beginning of the twentieth century, although many of the world's most savage and horrific acts left no such evidence, as in the case of America's napalming, carpet-bombing and throat- cutting millions in Vietnam.
No one can be genuinely surprised to learn that a dictator kills people, especially those who rebel against him, but no one should slip into shabby abuse of the word genocide as many reporters do and as politicians like Blair are happy to allow them to do. Genocide is the effort to destroy a whole class or kind of people, not the killing of a group of rebels or enemies.
Of course, we've not seen even a modest discovery of the weapons of mass destruction Mr. Blair went on and on about for months to justify the invasion of a country that was threatening no other country. Blair went through several iterations of producing what were called dossiers, although they proved utterly unconvincing, with no genuine evidence. There was what proved to be a cribbed graduate-student paper used on one of his supposedly top-secret intelligence efforts.
[...] Blair knows perfectly well that these recently-discovered dead go back many years to uprisings in Iraq after the first Gulf war. The graves can be no surprise since virtually every detail of the uprisings was known to British and American governments. The CIA had many informers, both inside Iraq and as refugees, it had genuine information from spy satellites and high-flying aircraft, it had telephone and Internet interceptions, and it had information from Mossad, people who keep a very close watch on that neighborhood. This information would have kept the two governments about as well informed as Hussein himself.
For some reason, I don't recall any great outrage expressed at the time. I don't recall the British or American governments doing anything, or even threatening to do anything, at the time. Could that possibly be because the uprisings in Iraq were actively encouraged from outside? The United States did this knowing full well that it had no intention of helping those it incited to revolt, and it did this knowing the dreadful price that would be exacted by Hussein for the rebels' almost-certain failure.
[...] Blair says that because a mass grave has been found which may contain 3,000 bodies (although in Conrad Black's Telegraph we early find "up to 15,000." One wonders why not "up to half a million" while you're at it?), invading Iraq against all international laws and public opinion, killing at least 3,000 more people (I tend to include the poor conscripts who die for their country and not just the unambiguous civilians), including scores of children, was justified.
I wonder would Blair's assessment also apply to the estimated 500 tons of depleted uranium ammunition used in Iraq, hideous stuff, really a form of dirty bomb, whose vapors and dust will continue injuring and killing children for many years? And I suppose Blair is counting the razor-like shards of the cluster bombs that have crippled and lacerated so many children? Pitching a city of 5 million into chaos with no electricity, no water, no hospitals, no security, and no jobs was justified? Has he allowed for the pillaging and destruction of those priceless archeological treasures, the entire world's heritage?
Tuesday May 20, 2003
Foreigners can soon expect to be electronically photographed and fingerprinted when entering the United States, under a high-tech new border security system, a top US official said.
"Through our virtual border, we will know who violates our entry requirements, who overstays and violates the terms of their stay and who should be welcome again," Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security Asa Hutchinson said Monday.
Biometric identification of the 23 million tourists, students and business travelers who enter US territory using a visa will begin January 1, 2004, Hutchinson said at a conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington.
The tracking system, called US Visitor and Immigrant Status Identification Technology (US VISIT), will alert officials if an individual has terrorist connections, past convictions or visa violations. Foreigners will be screened when entering and leaving the country.
[...] "But today we face new and unprecedented dangers. Some who cross our borders do not yearn to breathe free. They yearn to destroy freedom. They do not seek a better life, but an opportunity to weaken America and to take innocent lives," he continued, alluding to the 19 hijackers responsible for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
At least two of them could have been stopped if US VISIT had been in operation at that time, affirmed Hutchinson. One held a student visa but did not attend class and another had previous visa violations. He added that the new system is not designed to intimidate those coming to visit, work, or study in the US legally.
[...] Countries whose citizens do not need a visa to enter the United States will be urged to adopt biometric identification methods as soon as possible.
"We will not let visa waiver countries be a gap that terrorists can exploit," said Hutchinson...
Comment: "At least two of them..." And what of the other 17? This has little to do with making the US more secure and everything to do with instituting draconian controls. But remember that the "terrorists" were training at an airport in Florida that is well-known for its connections to the CIA. The supposed "leader" of the group, Mohammed Atta, had trained at a US military base in Alabama in the 1990s sponsored by the Saudi government. He was clearly "known". They were paying him.
The Bush Reich wants you to be scared, very scared. And if you follow the news, you should be, but not of the straw men erected on Fox News...
''WATCHING AMERICA with Pride, not Prejudice.'' This is the Orwellian motto of the New Jersey-based Community Anti-Terrorism Training Institute, or CAT Eyes, an antiterrorist citizen informant program being adopted by local police departments throughout the East Coast and parts of the Midwest. Mike Licata, a high school teacher and retired Air Force officer, created the CAT Eyes program in cooperation with ex-military SWAT officer Jason McClendon and businessman Tony Elghossain.
In a recent telephone interview, Licata said he wants to use CAT Eyes to create what he calls ''a modern civil defense network,'' converting neighborhood watch groups into antiterrorist informant cells. These groups, constantly watching for signs of terrorist activity in their neighborhoods and workplaces, would report suspicious activities directly to the FBI. Said Licata: ''I envision 100 million Americans looking for indicators of terrorism and promptly reporting it to a central database where it would get analyzed.''
According to Licata, city and town police departments in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Ohio have adopted the program, as well as the Washington, D.C., Park Police, and scattered cities in Florida, Nevada, and California. University police departments, including at MIT, are also adopting the program.
Licata singles out the Boston police for praise, noting that they have assigned 20 community service officers to conduct citizen trainings. He will, no doubt, use his increasing local successes to leverage bids for state and federal funds. Licata says he is trying to develop a statewide program with the Virginia governor's office and is currently drafting funding proposals to the Department of Justice and to President Bush's CitizenCorps program.
Licata has few qualms about the prospect of CAT Eyes-trained citizens spying on their neighbors. ''If I felt that my neighbor of 10 years was doing fund-raising for a group, I'd turn 'em in,'' says Licata. After all, he says, the FBI will ''just investigate them -- and if you're wrong, you're wrong. And if you're right, that's a big thing!'' ...
Moreover, with or without racial profiling, CAT Eyes could severely curtail our expectations of privacy. If Licata comes even close to his stated goal of 100 million informers, CAT Eyes would dwarf the citizen informer programs of the most repressive totalitarian states, making them appear amateurish by comparison.
Even communist East Germany, a tightly controlled society with more informants per capita than either Stalinist Russia or Nazi Germany, was not as ambitious about citizen surveillance as CAT Eyes. In its heyday, the East German secret police, or Stasi, is generally believed to have had about 2 million informers, or about one-eighth of the East German population.
CAT Eyes wants to train more than one in three Americans to be FBI informers. As the number of such informers rises, participants in even the smallest of dinner parties and water cooler gossip sessions could reasonably fear that expressing controversial opinions or admitting to ''suspicious'' associations would attract the attention of the FBI. ...
A country that encourages neighbors to spy on neighbors is a not just a sick society but a weak one. Cooperation and solidarity will never flourish in an America suffused by the paranoia and mutual suspicion inevitably generated by an informer culture -- yet those are exactly the assets we need if we are to confront the terrorist threat with our national values intact.
Analysts saw protesters as terrorists
Days before firing wooden slugs at anti-war protesters, Oakland police were warned of "potential violence'' at the Port of Oakland by the California's anti-terrorism intelligence center, which admits blurring the line between terrorism and political dissent.
The April 2 bulletin from the California Anti-Terrorism Information Center (CATIC) offered more innuendo than actual evidence of protesters' intent to "shut down'' the port and possibly act violently. CATIC spokesman Mike Van Winkle said such evidence wasn't needed to issue warnings on peace protesters.
can make an easy kind of a link that, if you have a protest group
protesting a war where the cause that's being fought against is
international terrorism, you might have terrorism at that
(protest),'' said Van Winkle, of the state Justice Department. "You
can almost argue that a protest against that is a terrorist
Washington may be trying to win hearts and minds in Iraq. But those recalcitrant Saddam supporters who don't want to hear of it are being forced to listen to a very different message. Some U.S. military units have taken to exposing uncooperative Iraqis to long doses of heavy-metal music or even popular children's songs in an effort to convince them not to resist Coalition forces. "Trust me, it works," says one U.S. operative on the ground. "In training, they forced me to listen to the Barney 91I Love You' song for 45 minutes. I never want to go through that again."
The idea, explains Sgt. Mark Hadsell, is to break down a subject's resistance through sleep deprivation and annoyance with music that is as culturally offensive and terrifying as possible. Hadsell's personal favorites include "Bodies" from the "XXX" soundtrack and Metallica's "Enter Sandman." "These people haven't heard heavy metal before," he explained. "They can't take it. If you play it for 24 hours, your brain and body functions start to slide, your train of thought slows down and your will is broken. That's when we come in and talk to them." The sledgehammer riffs of Metallica, that's understandable. But can children's songs really break a strong mind? (Two current favorites are the "Sesame Street" theme song and the crooning purple dinosaur Barney-for 24 hours straight.) In search of comment from Barney's people, Hit Entertainment, NEWSWEEK endured five minutes of Barney while on hold. Yes, it broke us, too.
Comment: The work to export and impose US culture around the world is long-standing US psyop operation. From movies to music to Macdonalds, the world has been "softened up" for the imposition of the US Empire. As long ago as the early years of the 20th century, a US senator, in a quote much appreciated by filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, suggested that films precede trade. Get people looking at US films and the economic conquest will follow.
by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for
May 19, 2003
The Honorable Kofi Annan, Secretary General The United Nations (via fax)
Dear Mr. Secretary General,
We are former intelligence officials who have served many years at senior levels of the US intelligence community. As the role of intelligence on Iraq assumed critical importance over the past several months, we established Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) as a collegial body to monitor the unfolding of events...
We turn to you now because it has become inescapably clear that the issue of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq remains a most urgent one. We see no viable alternative to renewed UN involvement if this key issue is to be dealt with effectively. This letter is an appeal to you and Security Council members to pursue that objective with a renewed sense of urgency...
We find it deeply troubling, therefore, that two months after US and British forces invaded Iraq no weapons of mass destruction have been found. Statements by those close to the Bush administration have served to compound the confusion. On April 10, for example, Defense Policy Board member (and former Deputy US Representative to the UN), Kenneth Adelman, predicted that such weapons would be found "pretty soon, in the next five days." He now concedes that the situation is "very strange," and suggests that Saddam Hussein may have launched "a massive disinformation campaign to make the world think he was violating international norms, and he may not have been."
Comment: EXCUSE ME!!!!!!!! Saddam and the Iraqi government repeatedly denied having any WMD. It was the Bush Reich, in spite of the findings of the UN investigators, in spite of all the evidence, in spite of the international world community, who insisted and insisted and insisted that Iraq had these weapons! What kind of mind games are they trying to play on us here? What kind of contortions and mental gymnastics do they think we are capable of if they believe that we will buy these lies?
Well, it has worked so far, hasn't it? Many Americans still buy into it, still give up their free will to the Cabal that rigged and stole the 2000 election, that organized and perpetrated the "attacks" of 9/11, and then used this as an excuse to fan the flames of a phoney war on terror all with the goal to impose a totalitarian state on the US. And millions of people are still buying into it! Wake up, America! You are being led to the slaughter along with the Palestinian and Jewish peoples.
Thousands of Shiite Muslims have taken to the streets of Baghdad in the biggest anti-US demonstration since the end of the war in Iraq.
American troops looked on but did not intervene as up to 10,000 people gathered in front of a Sunni Muslim mosque in the capital's northern Azimiyah district.
The crowd, some carrying portraits of Iran's late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and other noted Shiite clerics, then marched to the nearby Kadhamiya quarter, home to one of the holiest Shiite shrines in Iraq.
"We decided to gather outside a Sunni mosque to show unity between Shiites and Sunnis," said Rashid Hamdan, a march organiser.
He said the procession was organised by religious groups from Baghdad's al- Thawra suburb - formerly known as Saddam City, where an estimated two million Shiites live.
The crowd chanted "No Shiites and no Sunnis, just Islamic unity," sang religious songs, and carried banners reading "No to the foreign administration," and "We want honest Iraqis, not their thieves."
That appeared to be a reference to Ahmad Chalabi, head of the Iraqi National Congress and one of the key players in current round of US-led discussions to form a new government.
He was convicted in 1992 by a Jordanian court of embezzlement and fraud, and some Iraqis have criticised him harshly. Chalabi says he was set up.
The noisy but peaceful protest appeared to be well organised. Participants were sprayed with water to cool them off, and monitors followed the crowd to ensure they stayed peaceful.
May 19, 2003
"Now it's true that the war removed an evil tyrant. But a democracy's decisions, right or wrong, are supposed to take place with the informed consent of its citizens. That didn't happen this time. And we are a democracy - aren't we?" - From Paul Krugman's "Matters of Emphasis" NY Times 3/29/03
"I read the news today, oh boy..." John Lennon - A Day in the Life
Well, didn't we do gang-busters in Iraq, huh? I saw on CNN that a train was up and running again in Baghdad commandeered by a conductor smiling with his thumbs up. Schools are opening and the Iraqi people are liberated and naming their kids "Dubya." Democracy is just around the corner with fair elections and a sunny new day is coming when all Iraqis will love America and watch Fox News and dine in style on a "Whopper" with cheese and onion rings while they watch and wait for Wal-Mart to come to town. I just get such a warm and squishy, patriotic feeling everyday as I open my Gannett owned local newspaper (all four pages of it) and get the latest news of our victory. Boy, those Hussein people were really mean and nasty, weren't they? Good thing we got 'em, huh? We are so cool and so powerful! What a great war, I mean, hardly anybody got hurt or anything.
And then - I still get shivers when I think about it - that magic moment. Commander in Chief, George W. came swooping down on that landing deck of the Lincoln to proclaim the end of the war! Oh, every time I think about it my socks just start rolling up and down. And the press just couldn't get enough of just how good he looked in that flight suit! Tom Cruise, eat your heart out!
Kind of makes you wanna throw up, doesn't it?
But those are the images they want you to see. Protest and chaos? Nah, not in Iraq. If you didn't see it on TV, then it just isn't happening. That's the way the media has been behaving for a long time now. Well, at least the American liberal media that is. Not a one pointed out the fact that night that here was a president who had shirked his tour of duty during Viet Nam, bumming a ride on a jet in order to look like a military kind of guy. Here was a president who was AWOL for 18 months merely posing with real soldiers for a photo-op to be used in a future campaign commercial - at tax payer expense. Here was an aircraft carrier full of actual patriots, away from home longer than any other fighting group, being told they would have to wait one more day to see their families so president "Top Gun" could go for a ride for the cameras. Here was a president masquerading as an actual soldier - something he was too afraid and too privileged to do for real when it was his time - coming across to the world and those of us who knew better as nothing more than a pathetic clown in a flight suit. Here was a president without a sense of shame while the American media gushed and wet themselves over this county's most fortunate son.
[...] Meanwhile, members of the foreign press, including the British, fessed up to hurting themselves from laughing so hard at the antics of the man- child who calls himself "president" on that night. Despite what Fox or any of the others might try to convince us of, it was not a proud moment. To anyone who knows the truth about Georgie-Boy, it was the ultimate humiliation. But, who cares? Except for the fact that the eight hundred thousand to a million dollars it cost to put on such a show could have been put to better use - especially now.
Lies and deception have become worthy headlines - as long as Bush benefits from them - and we are poorer as a country for it...
By RON FOURNIER
WASHINGTON - White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, the public face of the Bush administration through two wars and a terrorist attack, said Monday he will resign in July to enter the private sector.
"I love this job," Fleischer told reporters at his informal Monday morning briefing. "I believe deeply about President Bush as a man and I believe deeply in his policies, but it's my time to go."...
Fleischer clashed at times with the White House press corps and had an uneasy relationship with some senior Bush aides, but he said the departure was his idea. He notified Bush of his decision Friday. The president ended the conversation "by kissing me on the head," the spokesman said...
In the run-up to war with Iraq, Fleischer denied reports that Bush was meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair abroad. The trip was announced the next day.
He once fumbled on the whereabouts of the vice president. Asked why Dick Cheney did not attend a Sept. 11 anniversary event, Fleischer said the vice president was at a meeting of Bush's top aides.
When it was pointed out to him that Bush's top aides were at the anniversary event, Fleischer stammered.
CBC News On-Line
WASHINGTON - Dismantling the al-Qaeda terrorist network will be a long and new kind of war, said U.S. President George Bush on Monday at a news conference.
Bush, who was meeting with Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyom also said, that the U.S. is still confident that the Israeli-Palestinian peace process will move forward as planned despite recent suicide bombings.
"We're still on the road to peace. It's just going to be a bumpy road. And I'm not going to get off the road until we achieve the vision," Bush said.
Bush also voiced concerns that al-Qaeda is active and according to the FBI, may be planning new attacks in the U.S. and U.S. interests overseas.
Bush said the May 12 attacks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, showed that "we've got to be diligent, that we've got to understand there's an al-Qaeda group still actively plotting to kill."
Bush, who elevated the diplomatic status of the Philippines to that of a "major non-NATO ally", said alliances with countries like the Philippines is vital to combat terrorism around the world.
Under the designation, the Philippines gets increased access to American defence equipment and supplies.
Arroyo pledged to continue to fight al-Qaeda and its partner organizations in her part of the world. "Terrorism knows no borders," she said.
The Abu Sayyaf rebels operating in the Philippines have been linked to al-Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden.
Comment: Terror as an excuse to expand the American Empire. Increased access to American weapons means more warbucks for Bush's war merchant cronies. And with a falling US dollar, the prices of these weapons are going to be even cheaper. Business must be booming.
The bombings in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh on May 12 "indicate that the al Qaeda network remains active and highly capable," says an FBI bulletin dispatched to state and local law enforcement agencies around the country.
That warning was echoed by the Saudi ambassador to the United States, who said new intelligence suggested there could be more terror attacks.
"There is chatter, a high level of chatter regionally and in other international spots" about possible attacks in Saudi Arabia or the United States, said Prince Bandar bin Sultan.
Bandar told reporters Monday in Riyadh, "my gut feeling tells me something big is going to happen here (in Saudi Arabia) or in America."
In Washington, President Bush said Monday that the attacks in Saudi Arabia show that Americans need to remain alert at home. He said the al Qaeda organization is still "actively plotting" to kill. But he said the U.S. is "slowly but surely" dismantling the group.
For now, the alert level for the U.S. remains at yellow, but the Department of Homeland Security is reexamining the intelligence to determine whether it merits raising the threat level to orange, for high alert, reports CBS News Correspondent David Martin .
Commentary, William O. Beeman, Pacific News Service, May 14, 2003
The brutal bombings in Riyadh that killed at least 30 people were far from random, irrational acts directed primarily at Americans, writes PNS contributor William O. Beeman. Their target -- a U.S.-based company that trains the Saudi National Guard –- suggests local, anti-monarchist motivations and attackers who may have little or no connection to Osama bin Laden.
President Bush characterized the May 12 suicide bombing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as being carried out by “killers whose only faith is hate.” In fact, the devastating attack was a calculated, political act that was probably not orchestrated by al Qaeda and not directed primarily against the United States.
A thorough understanding of the incident -- a repeat of a similar attack that took place in 1995 -- might help the United States to act in a responsible and measured manner.
Both the recent bombings and the 1995 attack were made against the same target. This was the Vinnell Corp., a Fairfax, Va., company recently acquired by Northrop-Grumman that trains the 80,000 member Saudi Arabian National Guard under the supervision of the U.S. Army.
The Vinnell operation represents everything that is wrong with the U.S.-Saudi relationship in the eyes of anti-monarchist revolutionaries. The corporation, which employs ex-military and CIA personnel, has close connections with a series of U.S. administrations, including the current one. It has had a contractual relationship to train the Saudi Arabian National Guard since 1975. The corporation was instrumental in the American “Twin Pillars” strategy, whereby both the Saudi Arabian regime and the Shah of Iran would serve as U.S. surrogates in the Gulf region to protect American interests against the possible incursion of the Soviet Union.
Even before the first Gulf War, when the United States established a formal military presence in Saudi Arabia, Vinnell was a “stealth” military presence in the Kingdom. It was seen as a military colonizing force. The Saudi Arabian National Guard, by extension, was seen as a de-facto American military force.
Additionally, the Guard has the specific duty of protecting the Saudi Royal Family, which the revolutionaries see as corrupt. Without the National Guard, the family would be weakened, perhaps to the point of dissolution.
Thus, since the Vinnell operation looks to revolutionaries like a body of United States-sponsored mercenaries shoring up the National Guard, and by extension, the royal family, striking the Vinnell operation is a logical strategy to damage the Saudi regime.
There is another reason for attacking Vinnell. The dissidents know that the United States has agreed to withdraw the 5,000 troops stationed at the Saudi Arabian Prince Sultan Air Force Base. However, the withdrawal would not cover the Vinnell contract employees, who presumably will stay in Saudi Arabia and keep propping up the regime. Since the revolutionaries want all Americans out of Saudi Arabia, they are looking to the ouster of this group as well as the troops based at the Prince Sultan base.
Furthermore, the compound that was bombed was a relatively easy target. It was not as heavily defended as an embassy or ministry.
This is not the first attack involving Vinnell. In 1995, the terrorists attacked the Saudi National Guard Headquarters, where the Guard was trained by Vinnell. The bomb killed six people and injured many more. Among the dead were five U.S. citizens, including two soldiers. Two Saudi opposition groups took responsibility for the blast, the Tigers of the Gulf and the Islamic Movement for Change. Both have previously criticized the ruling Saudi monarchy and U.S. military presence.
The facts of this earlier attack call into question the theory that the al Qaeda operation was responsible for the May 12 bombing. Ali al-Ahmed, executive director of the Washington-based Saudi Institute for Development and Studies, said on the PBS NewsHour of May 13 that this was a “home-grown operation” that borrowed ideas from al Qaeda but was not directed by Osama bin Laden.
Americans have become used to thinking of al Qaeda as the primary terrorist opponent of the United States. The Bush administration has encouraged a public view of al Qaeda as a highly organized group with omnipotent, worldwide reach. This has led to a general view that every group espousing violent political change is an emanation of Osama bin Laden’s machinations. The view is inaccurate. Insofar as it has a structure at all, al Qaeda is a group of loosely affiliated cells, many of which have no knowledge of the operations of the others.
Groups opposed to the Saudi regime have been in continual existence for decades, predating bin Laden’s activities. As soon as their leaders are arrested or killed, they regroup and renew their attack. It is more likely that al Qaeda, a relatively new organization, sprung from these earlier groups, rather than the other way around.
Currently the United States is wedded to a bipolar, black-and-white view of the world. On one side are the United States and its friends. On the other are the dark forces of terrorism.
So strong is this formulation, and so self-centered the American worldview, that Washington no longer seems able to entertain the thought that there might be revolutionary groups that have entirely local reasons for their actions. This tragic attack might well have taken place if the United States had not had a presence in Saudi Arabia. However, the existence of a quasi-military command force in the form of the Vinnell Corp. virtually guaranteed that Americans would be caught in the cross fire of what was arguably a local revolutionary action.
Beeman (William_beeman@brown.edu) is director of Middle East Studies at Brown University. He has lived and worked in the Middle East for more than 30 years.
Comment: WARNING! The article you are about to read is not a joke. It is a terrifying look deep inside the mind of a psychopath.
By Michael Schrage
Sunday, May 11, 2003; Page B02
[E]ven if Iraq proves utterly free of WMD -- or if it merely possesses a paltry two or three bio-weapons vans -- the coalition's military action was the most rational response to Saddam's long-term policy of strategic deception. Saddam Hussein bet that he could get away with playing a "does he or doesn't he?" shell game with a skeptical superpower. He bet wrong.
The real story here is less about the failure of intelligence, inspections or diplomacy than about the end of America's tolerance for state-sponsored ambiguities explicitly designed to threaten American lives. Does an American policy to deny unfriendly nation-states the policy option of creating ambiguity around WMD possession and the support of terrorism make the world a safer place? The Bush administration has made a game-theory-like calculation that it does. That's a calculation that could prove as important and enduring to global security as the Cold War's deterrence doctrine of "mutually assured destruction."
Iraq provides the single most important and dramatic case study in the Bush administration's efforts after Sept. 11, 2001, to eradicate ambiguity as a viable strategic deterrent for unfriendly regimes. Hussein's Iraq may or may not have had impressive caches of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. But his regime surely behaved as if it might. Iraq's WMD threat remained credible for more than 20 years because that's precisely what Hussein wanted the world to believe. After all, he had successfully deployed chemical weapons against both Kurds and Iranians. He'd earned his credibility...
Comment: With US backing. He got the chemicals from the Americans.
This behavior by Iraq's regime was completely rational. Hussein's calculated cultivation of WMD ambiguity is a tactic torn directly from the tough-minded Cold War game-theory scenarios of nuclear deterrence. Brilliantly crafted by defense analysts such as former Harvard economist Thomas Schelling and the Rand Corp.'s Herman Kahn, this literature stresses the strategic importance of "signaling" -- that is, the critical behaviors potential combatants choose to display to either clarify or obscure their ultimate intentions. For years, "strategic ambiguity" worked very well for Hussein. His WMD ambiguity enhanced his survivability.
Comment: It also works well for psychopaths...
In fact, WMD ambiguity was at the core of Iraq's strategy. Why? Because if it ever became unambiguously clear that Iraq had major initiatives underway in nuclear or bio-weapons, America, Israel and even Europe might intervene militarily. If, however, it ever became obvious that Iraq lacked the unconventional weaponry essential to inspiring fear and inflicting horrific damage, then the Kurds, Iranians and Saudis might lack appropriate respect for Hussein's imperial ambitions. Ambiguity thus kept the West at bay while keeping Hussein's neighbors and his people in line. A little rumor of anthrax or VX goes a long way.
Inspections agreements -- no matter how coercive -- never could have worked because they never addressed the fundamental issue: Hussein's desire to preserve WMD ambiguity in order to preserve Iraq's perceived influence and power. Removing that ambiguity would have removed Hussein's ability to bully, bluster and blackmail the world. Perversely, U.N. Resolution 1441's poorly implemented inspection protocols fed the worst fears of both sides. Iraq's perfunctory compliance and deceitful history guaranteed that the United States would distrust the U.N.'s lackluster assurances of compliance. By contrast, Iraq's desire to be feared guaranteed that it would always manufacture just enough ambiguity to preserve its aura of menace. The inspectors' tortured attempts to appear evenhanded succeeded only in generating even greater ambiguities about both Iraq's willingness to comply and the weapons in its possession. And Secretary of State Colin L. Powell's dramatic yet desperate presentation before the U.N. Security Council was harshly attacked by critics who maintained that, yes, America's WMD evidence was inconclusively ambiguous.
Similarly, inspection proposals calling for "thousands" of intrusive inspectors, declaring all of Iraq a "no-fly" zone, and immediately bombing any sites that Iraq refused or delayed access to -- acts of war in everything but name -- seemed designed to ferret out WMD deceptions without in any way undermining the sovereignty or the totalitarian rule of the deliberate deceivers. Talk about a truly perverse outcome!
To the very end of his brutal regime, Saddam Hussein behaved as if preserving WMD ambiguity and preserving his power were one and the same. Even when he was directly threatened by the United States, his policy of WMD ambiguity remained unchanged. If he did have active WMD programs, he could at any time have quietly invited in French, Russian and German technicians to help dispose of them. Word would have gotten around. Or, after Sept.11, he could have preemptively invited in U.N. inspectors as a prelude to lifting sanctions. Could he have done this without appearing weak? Yes. He could easily have preserved internal credibility by killing a few thousand more Kurds or chopping the ears off suspected dissidents. And regional balance-of-power issues could have been handled by a particularly brutal political assassination in Kuwait, for instance.
If Iraq really didn't have any WMD, Hussein's challenge would have been even easier. Several top Iraqi scientists could have left or "defected" to the West and talked about how their standard of living collapsed after Hussein stopped building weapons. Saddam could have allowed his French friends and Russian suppliers relatively free access to all parts of the country to further signal that he had nothing to hide. Of course, none of this happened. To the contrary, France unwittingly revealed just how effective Hussein's strategic ambiguity program was when its U.S. ambassador announced shortly after the war began that his country would support the coalition if the Iraqi leader used any weapons of mass destruction.
But suppose Hussein was bluffing. Suppose Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction of any significance. That shouldn't matter at all. To the contrary, why should the international community respect totalitarian brinkmanship based on a bluff? A brutal despot who bets his regime on a bluff deserves to lose everything.
America's diplomatic failure to reduce strategic ambiguity inevitably led to a military success that did. Those nation-states and regimes invested in bluff and "double games" to manage their relationships with the United States would be wise to learn from Iraq's experience that "preemptive ambiguity removal" is probably their optimal strategy for self-preservation. Syria's Bashar Assad may understand this in a way that North Korea's Kim Jong Il does not.
The Bush administration, appropriately interpreting Iraq's refusal to remove WMD ambiguity in violation of numerous international agreements as an overtly hostile act, has sent an unambiguous signal that it will take all steps necessary to eliminate such ambiguity. To be sure, this sort of policy may not inherently make the world a safer place. But policies that permit rogue states to wield greater influence by creating greater uncertainty about their weapons of mass destruction are guaranteed to make the world an even more dangerous place. Making every effort to increase the risks and reduce the rewards for regimes dependent on WMD ambiguity for their legitimacy should be a global responsibility -- not just an American one.
Michael Schrage is a senior adviser to the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Comment: "Ambiguity"! Iraq continually denied it had these weapons. So we see the Bush propaganda machine going into over-drive, coming up with new explanations for a sleep-walking populace. Where is "Truth" in all of this? These people have no repect for the Truth, or they believe it is something to be resticted to the elite that runs things. Lies and decption for the population. And this will continue as long as Americans allow it to happen. The United States has the government it deserves. If they want this to change, they will have to wake up and smell the coffee. They will have to refuse the lies. Unfortunately, time is running out. The restrictions are becoming more and more severe. The "ambiguity" of who is a "terrorist" and who is exercising their democratic right to dissent is becoming heightened.
Ambiguity is a deadly weapon in the hands of those for whom civil rights are nothing more than paper. Remember the woman in Florida who overheard the conversation in a diner and believed it was a discussion about a planned terrorist attack? The highway system got shut down as a consequence. Ambiguity. Or the man in the bar in the Dakotas who made the joke about the "burning Bush." That ambiguity landed him in jail. The ambiguity of the American people over whether they want to really SEE the world or remain asleep, that is a deadly ambiguity, too. Deadly for themselves and for the planet as a whole.
The repeated references to game-theory are revealing...although more of the mindset of US strategists. For a discussion of game theory, check out this article: To Be or Not To Be.
By David Walsh
The pollution of the American body politic continues unabated. US media pundits, whose lies about Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction” have been exposed by events, are rapidly inventing new falsehoods to justify the old ones.
Michael Schrage, a “senior adviser to the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,” has penned a column, published in the May 11 edition of the Washington Post, headlined, “No Weapons, No Matter. We Called Saddam’s Bluff.”
As though it were hardly worth discussing, Schrage acknowledges that the rationale for the aggressive, pre-emptive war may have been false. Tens of thousands of Iraqi lives lost, the laying waste of the country? No matter.
Schrage, described in a previous Washington Post column as a “a pro bono consultant to various branches of the Defense Department,” has been a columnist for the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Fortune magazine and various other publications. He has also written for the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal...
[Schrage's] tortured, impossible language expresses the corrupt and dishonest outlook at work here. Let us recall that Bush officials claimed that Iraq definitely possessed chemical and biological weapons and was on the verge of developing nuclear weapons. On December 5 White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters: “The president of the United States and the secretary of defense would not assert as plainly and bluntly as they have that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction if it was not true, and if they did not have a solid basis for saying it.”
Now Bush administration apologists such as Schrage speak rather of a “long-term policy of strategic deception,” of “state-sponsored ambiguities” that “threaten American lives” and of “ambiguity” as a “deterrent for unfriendly regimes.” Schrage has the distinction of introducing the phrase “WMD ambiguity” into the English language. It is one worthy of the CIA-police mentality.
Does Schrage think his readers are fools? The regime of Saddam Hussein practiced no “ambiguity” about its supposed stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, it did not play a “does he or doesn’t he” game, as he claims. The Iraqi government, through official and unofficial statements issued by numerous officials and state bodies, resolutely denied that it possessed any such weapons.
A few examples:
On November 16, Iraqi president Saddam Hussein wrote a letter to that country’s parliament reiterating his government’s denial that it had any banned weapons programs. He explained his regime’s acceptance of UN Resolution 1441: “We hope that the method we have chosen will result in the truth coming out, which is that Iraq is free of weapons of mass destruction.”
On December 4 Gen. Hossan Mohammed Amin, the chief Iraqi liaison officer with UN weapons inspectors, told reporters: “Iraq is free of weapons of mass destruction.”
The following day Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz commented to ABC News, “We don’t have weapons of mass destruction. We don’t have chemical, biological or nuclear weaponry.”
Hussein told former British Labour Party MP Tony Benn, in an interview aired on BBC’s Channel Four on February 4: “I tell you, as I have said on many occasions before, that Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction whatsoever. We challenge anyone who claims that we have, to bring forward any evidence and present it to public opinion.”
In a 20-page letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, announced February 20, 2003, Iraqi ambassador to the UN Mohammed Aldouri refuted allegations that Iraq still had weapons of mass destruction or supported terrorism.
In an interview with Dan Rather of CBS News, aired on February 26, 2003, Hussein asserted that the aim of the US military build-up in the Middle East was “to cover up the big lie that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction such as biological, chemical and nuclear weapons.”
As late as March 8, only days before the US attack began, Iraq’s state-owned television broadcast a statement declaring that the facts presented to UN weapons inspectors “prove Iraq is free of weapons of mass destruction.”
As to its ties to terrorism, the Iraqi regime was equally unambiguous.
Tariq Aziz told ABC News on January 30, “Everybody in the region and in the world knows that Iraq has no connection with Al Qaeda.”
In the Benn interview, Saddam Hussein commented: “If we had a relationship with Al Qaeda and we believed in that relationship, we would not be ashamed to admit it. Therefore, I would like to tell you directly and also through you to anyone who is interested to know, that we have no relationship with Al Qaeda.”
Hussein told Dan Rather in the interview broadcast February 26: “Iraq has never had any relationship with Al Qaeda and I think that Mr. bin Laden himself has recently, in one of his speeches, given such an answer that we have no relation with him.”
Either the Iraqi regime was mendacious in making these statements, although the US government has provided no credible evidence to suggest that it was, or it was telling the truth (which even Schrage admits is a possibility). Wherein lies the ambiguity, the dark cloud of uncertainty hanging over the world and creating a threat to American lives? What is the substance of this ambiguity which, according to Schrage, had to be answered by invasion and occupation?
All of this is a clumsy and nonsensical attempt to justify a war of aggression based on lies and mass deception, and everyone at the Washington Post, including the columnist himself, knows it.
Schrage claims that “Hussein’s Iraq may or may not have had impressive caches of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. But his regime surely behaved as if it might. Iraq’s WMD threat remained credible for more than 20 years because that’s precisely what Hussein wanted the world to believe. After all, he had successfully deployed chemical weapons against both Kurds and Iranians.”
How did the Hussein regime behave in the recent period as if it might have such weapons? By resolutely and repeatedly denying on every possible occasion that it had them? By submitting to the most extensive and intrusive weapons inspections in modern history, allowing UN inspectors unfettered access to any venue they sought to examine?
Schrage’s argument works against him. When the Iraqi regime had biological and chemical weapons (either provided by the US or used with its tacit agreement), it employed them against Iran and Kurdish forces allied to Iran. When, in the run-up to the recent war, it did not have them, it did not pretend that it did, but protested loudly against the charge.
Schrage writes: “Inspections agreements—no matter how coercive—never could have worked because they never addressed the fundamental issue: Hussein’s desire to preserve WMD ambiguity in order to preserve Iraq’s perceived influence and power. Removing that ambiguity would have removed Hussein’s ability to bully, bluster and blackmail the world. ... The inspectors’ tortured attempts to appear evenhanded succeeded only in generating even greater ambiguities about both Iraq’s willingness to comply and the weapons in its possession.”
It takes a particular type of twisted mentality to invent this scenario. Schrage asserts that Iraq’s compliance with the inspections regime was “perfunctory,” in order to justify the contention that the Iraqi regime desired to preserve its “aura of menace.” But the UN inspectors themselves acknowledged that Iraq’s compliance was far from perfunctory, and they frankly admitted that they had, as of the US-British invasion, found no evidence of existing banned weapons or weapons systems.
As for Hussein’s “ability to bully, bluster and blackmail,” this is the world turned upside down. At the time of the outbreak of war in March, Iraq had been under sustained attack by the US for nearly 15 years. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis had died as a result, the country’s infrastructure had been devastated, its military severely compromised.
Bullying, bluster and blackmail comprised the modus operandi of Washington. Iraq’s supposed “aura of menace” was created and sustained by the White House and Pentagon and their media acolytes to provide a pretext for American aggression. People in neighboring countries were oblivious to the “menace.” The vast majority of the population of countries in the region, registered in numerous opinion polls, expressed no fear of the Hussein regime and opposed the US attack.
Schrage dismisses the public insistence by the Hussein regime that it did not possess weapons of mass destruction. The Iraqis were “signaling” something quite different. How? When? Where? Schrage provides not one serious scrap of evidence for this claim. Aside from asserting that Iraq “reluctantly and churlishly” acquiesced to UN inspections initiatives, Schrage’s only proof of “ambiguity” is that Gen. Amin at a January press conference, while disclosing that Iraq had destroyed various chemical weapons years ago, simultaneously revealed that it had also destroyed the associated records and “appeared to smile” as he did so!
If the Iraqis “really didn’t have any WMD,” the regime had an easy option, according to Schrage: “Several top Iraqi scientists could have left or ‘defected’ to the West and talked about how their standard of living collapsed after Hussein stopped building weapons. Saddam could have allowed his French friends and Russian suppliers relatively free access to all parts of the country to further signal that he had nothing to hide. Of course, none of this happened.”
What did happen is the Iraqi regime complied, notwithstanding the devastation caused by the UN-backed sanctions and the refusal of the UN to oppose US-British bombing or the infiltration of the inspections program by CIA spies, to the demands of the “international community.” The US, for its part, could have cleared up any supposed WMD “ambiguity” by presenting to the world its alleged proofs of Iraqi weapons violations. Of course, it could not do so because it had no proof. It was lying all along.
Bush will push cuts every year, the Post says. But that’s not what he said as a candidate:
MONDAY, MAY 12, 2003
A CULTURE OF LYING (PART 1): A front-page report in Sunday’s Post helps reveal a culture of lying. Headline: GOP Eyes Tax Cuts as Annual Events. “Congress will soon pass the third tax reduction in as many years for President Bush,” the authors say. “Yet the impressive trio of reductions is but a small step toward the administration’s goal: nonstop tax cuts.” Dana Milbank and Dan Balz then dished out their nugget:
MILBANK AND BALZ: White House officials have told allies they will attempt a new tax cut every year Bush remains in office, and there is already talk of another round. A new tax cut every year! Milbank and Balz named some sources: MILBANK AND BALZ: Paul Weyrich, a conservative with ties to Bush, said he was told at a White House meeting that “we intend to try to offer a new tax cut every year”—a view top Bush aides have expressed to a number of business lobbyists. Grover Norquist, an anti-tax advocate who works closely with Bush aides, predicts: “You’ll have a tax cut each year. I state it that way in all of the (White House) meetings, and I never get an argument.” According to Milbank and Balz, White House spokesman Dan Bartlett didn’t exactly confirm these claims. But unless he was taken out of context, he didn’t exactly deny them either. “Steps in 2001 and beyond have been in the right direction,” Bartlett said, “and the president believes by reducing the tax burden more we can improve our economy.” On yesterday’s Meet the Press, Treasury Sec John Snow sidestepped questions about this article. Will more tax cuts be proposed every year? According to Milbank and Balz, Weyrich, Norquist, and “business lobbyists” have been told just that. And you’d surely be a fool to doubt it; Paul Krugman’s column in last Friday’s New York Times described the mammoth cut in revenues implied by certain versions of the current tax package. But there’s one major problem with all these tax plans—they fly in the face of what the public was told by Candidate Bush back in Campaign 2000. Even when he debated Gore, Bush was surrounded by a culture of lying (more tomorrow). But the proposals he’s made in the past few years contradict what he said when he applied for his job. The Post story highlights the culture of deceit which now drives budget policy inside Washington.
What did Bush say in Campaign 2000? As of September 2000, budget authorities were projecting a $4.6 trillion federal surplus over ten years. And here’s what Bush told fifty million viewers at the start of Bush-Gore Debate I:
BUSH (10/3/00): I want to take one-half of the surplus and dedicate it to Social Security, one-quarter of the surplus for important projects, and I want to send one-quarter of the surplus back to the people who pay the bills. I want everybody who pays taxes to have their tax rates cut.
Bush’s math was quite fuzzy in this presentation (more tomorrow). But during his more lucid moments, Bush made that highlighted pledge quite clear. Of the $4.6 trillion projected surplus, $2.4 trillion was in “payroll taxes”—payments made to Social Security. Like everyone else in the 2000 race, Bush pledged that he wouldn’t spend that money. His representation was clear throughout. Bush had counted every penny—and when it came to federal tax cuts, $1.3 trillion was all we could afford. Again, everyone said this at the time, press and politicians alike. Everyone said that, with the baby boomers’ retirement approaching, we had to start using those SS surplus to pay down the national debt. Three years later, Bush’s continuing tax cut plans fly in the face of what he pledged as a candidate. Now we hear that the cuts will continue. But then, a culture of lying has only grown as our vaunted commander-in-chief has turned emperor. All week, we’ll explore that culture of deception—and we’ll look at the trembling members of our national press who know that it shouldn’t be discussed....
By Dan Shingler
05/19/03: Pop quiz: In which country can a tenant be evicted for protesting against the government?
Answer: The United States of America.
That's what the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees Union's District 1199, based in Albuquerque, found out last month when they were evicted from their offices on San Mateo Boulevard.
Comment: The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines freedom as: "the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action." What the Bush Reich is pushing on America and the world isn't even remotely close to freedom; it is a totalitarian empire designed to close minds, limit choice, and terrify into submission.
[...] Simonson said that, in addition to the Hospital Workers Union, he has heard of tenants in apartment complexes and even members of homeowners associations who have been told they can't have antiwar signs on display.
"It really points out how little protection we have for our free speech in both the state and U.S. constitutions," Simonson said.
Comment: It's only going to get worse...
Report said commando raid was unnecessarily theatric
From Jamie McIntyre
Monday, May 19, 2003
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Any charge that the U.S. military misrepresented the facts of Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch's rescue April 1 from an Iraqi hospital to make the mission appear more dramatic or heroic is "void of all facts and absolutely ridiculous" the Pentagon said Monday.
Responding to a BBC report that called the Pentagon accounts of the rescue "one of the most stunning pieces of news management ever conceived," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said, "I think that allegation is ridiculous, I don't know how else to respond. The idea that we would put a number of forces in danger unnecessarily to recover one of our POWs is just ridiculous."
[...] The BBC report quoted witnesses and hospital officials as stating the United States knew that there were no Iraqi forces at the hospital when it conducted the commando raid, and that the United States special operations forces had used Hollywood theatrics, including blank ammunition, to make on a show of rescuing private Lynch.
[...] John Kampfner, the veteran BBC correspondent behind the documentary, said his reporting was based on interviews he conducted in Nasiriya after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime.
Kampfner also told CNN that he requested the Pentagon's raw footage of the rescue operation in an effort to verify the U.S. account. He said the Pentagon declined his request.
Comment: Another media bite carefully staged-managed by the Bush Reich and the Rumsfeld Cabal, following upon the staged events in Baghdad, where hired crowds "welcomed" US soldiers and tore down Saddam's statue. By the way, what ever happened to Saddam? Where did he get to? The US doesn't seem to give a hoot know that they have their hands on the oil.
by MICHAEL S. LADAH
I couldn't help but recall the cautionary remarks made by Dr. Sayegh, and the many other Palestinian scholars, when I first read the 'road map' in its entirety. I read it again and again, comparing the steps required by the Palestinians and the Israelis during each of its three phases. Specifically, I identify three main problems:
1) The first phase of the plan outlines what each side is expected to do to build the confidence of the other in restoring the peace discussions. It requires immediate implementation. The "unconditional cessation of violence" by the Palestinians, the freezing of "all settlement activity" by the Israelis and the Israeli withdrawal "from Palestinian areas occupied from Sept. 28, 2000" feature prominently in this first phase. However, there is no mention of the ongoing illegal construction of the infamous Sharon's Wall, Israel's Berlin Wall, which is being built on West Bank land and which is expected to reduce the size of the West Bank considerably once completed. While the world was busy with Iraq, the Israeli government decided to relocate the position of the wall in some areas by as much as 50 kilometers further into the West Bank. Most of the U.S. mainstream media was either too busy with the Iraq war to report this development or it purposely decided not to cover it. Apparently the Wall is not considered significant enough by those who designed the road map, in spite of Israel's clear objective of annexing even more West Bank land on which colonial Israeli settlements exist. Those members of the PNA who have been overly anxious to implement the road map should, as their first order of negotiating business, demand that the illegal construction of the wall be halted and that the completed sections be dismantled. If Israel decides to go ahead with a separation wall, they should be forced by the Quartet to build it on their side of the 1967 border, not on the Palestinian side.
2) The second phase, with a time line of June 2003 through December 2003, focuses on "the option of creating an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders and attributes of sovereignty." Unless there is a catch here, and most likely there is, there is no reason for the borders of the Palestinian state to be provisional. Since the road map is predicated on UNSCR 242, 338 and 1397, as its provisions clearly specify, the borders should not be subject to any negotiations. The statement quoted above contradicts the referenced UNSCRs. The 1967 borders are clear as daylight.
Also, it is obvious that the statement "with attributes of sovereignty" implies that such a state will not be a sovereign state; a state that does not have all attributes of sovereignty is not sovereign. Why, then, should there be two states, side by side, with one sovereign (Israel) and the other not sovereign (Palestine).
3) In the third phase, the parties "reach final and comprehensive settlement status agreement that ends the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in 2005, through a settlement negotiated between the parties based on UNSCR 242, 338, and 1397, that ends the occupation that began in 1967, and includes an agreed, just, fair, and realistic solution to the refugee issue, and a negotiated resolution on the status of Jerusalem."
Since discussions ever began between the Palestinians and the Israelis, the Israelis have always negotiated from a position of (military) strength and the Palestinians from a position of weakness. How can an agreement that results from this disparity be "just, fair and realistic" without the full involvement and protection of the world community? The Palestinians will once again be intimidated, threatened and given ultimatums to accept what Israel puts on the table, even if such proposals are not just, fair or realistic. A legitimate frame of reference for the borders and the refugees issue already exists under international law as specified in the UNSCRs referenced above. They should be guaranteed by the Quartet. An agreement between the two parties can not be negotiated. A solution must be arbitrated and imposed on both parties on the basis of the historical development and the referenced UNSCRs.
By MICHAEL J. SNIFFEN The Associated Press
May 20, 2003
WASHINGTON (AP) -- To thwart terrorists, the Pentagon is developing a computer surveillance system that would give U.S. agents fingertip access to government and commercial records from around the world that could fill the Library of Congress more than 50 times.
The library's collection of more than 18 million books would be dwarfed by the size of the computerized files the government wants to mine for clues that terrorists are planning attacks.
The prospect of what the Pentagon calls the Total Information Awareness system has alarmed privacy advocates on both ends of the political spectrum. In February, Congress barred use of the still-to-be-developed system against American citizens and ordered a full description of the plans developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. That report was to be delivered to Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
[...] In advice to would-be TIA contractors, DARPA disclosed that the project will require "gathering a much broader array of data than we do currently" and break down barriers that keep separate data already collected by a host of agencies.
"The amounts of data that will need to be stored and accessed will be unprecedented, measured in petabytes," the agency instructions said. A byte amounts to the electronic representation of one letter of the alphabet, and a petabyte is a quadrillion -- 1,000,000,000,000,000 -- bytes.
DARPA, which developed the Internet, is again trying to expand the boundaries of existing technology. Among the largest databases on the Internet is an archive of the last five years of Web pages; it consumes 100 terabytes, or one-tenth of a petabyte...
Comment: The amount of information the government will have for each and every man, woman, and child in America is simply stunning. This system is not about combatting terrorism - it is about control...Total Control.
Mon May 19, 2003 11:06 AM ET LONDON
(Reuters) - After intensive research, scientists have concluded that politicians lie. In a study described in Britain's Observer newspaper, Glen Newey, a political scientist at Britain's University of Strathclyde, concluded that lying is an important part of politics in the modern democracy.
"Politicians need to be more honest about lying," he told the newspaper....
But the main cause of lying is increased probing by the public into areas that the government would rather not discuss candidly. If voters only asked fewer questions, politicians would tell them fewer lies.
Bill Clinton famously lied about his affair with Monica Lewinsky, while earlier philandering U.S. presidents never had to lie about their affairs, because nobody ever asked.
"When journalists or parliamentary colleagues start to probe at that area which the government wants to keep secret, you are more likely to be pushed further and further toward the territory of lying," Newey said.
Comment: Notice the clever manipulation going on in this article: the use of Clinton and Monica as the example test case, as if that were what government lying was really about. What about claiming Iraq has WMD in order to justify the sacking and occupation of a country? And the turn of logic that suggests politicians are becoming bigger liars because they are asking more questions. You want truthful politicians, the article implies? Well, then, shut up and accept everything they do and say. No more questions....
Mon May 19, 2003 11:06 AM ET LONDON
(Reuters) - A hungry ferret caused chaos on a commuter train in central England on Sunday, leaping from passenger to passenger before ducking into the driver's cab and devouring his lunch. The wild ferret jumped on to the northbound Midland Mainline train as it picked up passengers at Leicester Station.
"It ran up and down the train causing more than a little consternation -- although it is hard to say if the ferret or the passengers were more frightened," a company spokeswoman said.
"It then got into the driver's cab and ate his lunch -- a cheese sandwich I think -- before he realized what was going on," she told Reuters.
The Toronto Star
Saudi envoy warns of more attacks
LONDON—The U.S.-led war on Iraq gave Al Qaeda the opportunity to reinvigorate its weakened terrorist network with new recruits and more funding, say experts on terrorism.
The Iraq war "clearly increased the terrorist impulse," said Jonathan Stevenson, senior fellow for counter-terrorism at London's International Institute for Strategic Studies.
The U.S.-led invasion, at least in the short term, drew more people toward Osama bin Laden's vision of a global clash between Islam and the West, Stevenson said yesterday....
Stevenson believes U.S. President George W. Bush's administration knew full well the war would initially increase support for Al Qaeda. But U.S. officials estimated the long-term impact of setting up a democratic government in Iraq would outweigh the short-term pain of more terror attacks, he said.
Other experts, however, believe that the U.S., and those European countries that supported the war, badly miscalculated...
U.S. officials partly tried to justify the Iraq war by insisting there were links between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's ousted regime — an assertion most experts continue to believe is unsubstantiated...
Garfield believes Al Qaeda continues to plan "something big" in the way of an attack in Europe or North America. But police crackdowns and increased security co-operation across borders have foiled attempts to carry out such plans since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.
Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, told reporters in Riyadh yesterday: "There is chatter, a high level of chatter regionally and in other international spots" that something could happen in Saudi Arabia or the United States.
Comment: 9/11 was ochestrated within the Pentagon. Another strike by the phony terrorists, once more orchestrated by this gang, would be the excuse for the final stage in the clampdown internally within the US as well as the justification for the further occupation of the Middle East. The puppet masters want to annihilate the Semitic peoples. This is their goal. Those in power in the US, those carrying out this scheme, likely do not realize that they, too, are pawns. Manipulations within manipulations. There is always another layer to the onion we are peeling...and onion falling out of control down a bottomless rabbit hole.
The Toronto Star
WASHINGTON (AP) — Watch your step! The Pentagon is developing a radar-based device that can identify people by the way they walk, for use in a new anti- terrorist surveillance system.
Operating on the theory that an individual's walk is as unique as a signature, the Pentagon has financed a research project at the Georgia Institute of Technology that has been 80 to 95 per cent successful in identifying people.
If the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, orders a prototype, the individual "gait signatures" of people could become part of the data to be linked together in a vast surveillance system the Pentagon agency calls Total Information Awareness.
That system already has raised privacy alarms on both ends of the political spectrum, and Congress in February barred its use against American citizens without further congressional review.
Nevertheless, government documents reviewed by The Associated Press show that scores of major defence contractors and prominent universities applied last year for the first research contracts to design and build the surveillance and analysis system...
And the target doesn't have to be doing a Michael Jackson moonwalk to be distinctive because the radar detects small frequency shifts in the reflected signal off legs, arms and the torso as they move in a combination of different speeds and directions.
"There's a signature that's somewhat unique to the individual," Greneker said. "We've demonstrated proof of this concept."
The researchers are anticipating ways the system might be fooled.
"A woman switching from flats to high heels probably wouldn't change her signature significantly," Greneker said. "But if she switched to combat boots, that might have a difference."
Comment: Ambiguity. Remember? And what if you put on a pair of shoes that changes your gait into that of a suspected "terrorist"? The system is 80 to 95 per cent successful. What about those others? Is this "ambiguous" enough?
In both the UK and Russia for example, levels of alcoholism are on the rise, so who is to say that this isn't as much a health menace as smoking?
First there was California, then New York and now it's time to spread the fight and tackle the problem in Europe too starting with Ireland. However, disgusting and all a habit as smoking may be it, all of this does pose the question of where do you stop once you get into the realm of legislating for public health? [...]
Anti-smokers will doubtless point to the unique dangers from second hand smoke but that argument can be extended into other areas too. The actions of a drunk driver can cause equally lethal damage to the lives of innocent third party bystanders around them. Similarly so, the treatment of alcoholism can put enormous strains on the health service of any country.
And yet we saw what Prohibition did in the early 1920s in America arguably achieving little more than providing organised crime in that country with one of it's biggest pay days ever before it was repealed.
Even more worrying than this is the questionable sincerity of anti- smoking campaigners in the first place who claim that their efforts are for the benefit of society at large. Where are these people when it comes to more important issues such as housing, employment and education? If, as some people predict, a ban on smoking in bars results in staff being laid off because of loss of revenue, where will those same campaigners be then to help them out whilst they seek alternative employment? ...
Of course if it's not your decision, then we are back to where we started with you letting someone else decide for you how much of this, that and the other you can have from now on in life.
Is that what we want then or can we just use our own common sense and decide for ourselves?
Comment: The nico-nazis have gone international. Next stop, Ireland. Creeping totalitarianism will cover the planet... I don't think the Russians, Irish, French, Italians, etc will give up their ciggies in as docile a fashion as the Californians did, but then who would have thought the New Yorkers would have gone without a whimper?
Just what is with this anti-smoking campaign? In the U.S., one can sit in a room full of non-smokers and someone will bring up smoking as an evil equivalent to wife beating or sheltering Saddam Hussein. Is the campaign a test of the propaganda machine? Is it a distraction from the more certain causes of cancer? Such as above ground nuclear testing? Or is that too much like a conspiracy?
With the end of above-ground testing of nuclear weapons it was widely assumed Americans would no longer have to worry about cancer-causing Strontium-90 contaminating their food or drinking water. However, tooth study sponsored by the Radiation and Public Health Project (RPHP) indicates that radiation exposure did not stop when bomb testing stopped. In fact, Americans have continued to ingest levels of Strontium-90 at rates equal to those during the Cold War.
"The levels of Strontium-90 should have declined to almost undetectable levels by now," says Dr. Ernest Sternglass, an Radiation and Public Health Project co-director and radiologist, who played a key role in the original banning of atmospheric testing. "Therefore the only plausible explanation is that Strontium-90 has continued to escape from either underground tests or from nuclear reactors."
Virtually everyone in the United States was exposed to radioactive fallout from Cold War nuclear testing, contributing to about 11,000 cancer deaths, according to an unpublished study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The radioactive exposure also contributed to a minimum of 22,000 U.S. cancer cases overall, according to a progress report provided to Congress last year (Associated Press, 3/2/02).
Fallout from above-ground nuclear testing by the US, the UK, and the former Soviet Union between 1951 and 1962 was more widespread than commonly believed, and could cause cancer in an estimated 80,000 Americans ( Financial Times , 3/1/02).
"Any person living in the contiguous United States since 1951 has been exposed to radioactive fallout," the study says, "and all organs and tissues of the body have received some radiation exposure." A 1997 assessment by the National Cancer Institute found that 11,300 to 212,000 thyroid cancers could have been caused by radioactive isotope iodine-131 produced in nuclear explosions at the Nevada Test Site alone.
It seems unbelievable that the government of the US would put so many of its own citizens at risk of cancer and death, all for the sake of developing weapons of mass destruction that would kill millions if used. But not only did the US government do that; they are still performing nuclear tests and putting citizens at risk today. The government currently pays compensation to "down winders," those hit by radiation from the Nevada test site. And human suffering is not the only consequence of past and present nuclear testing; the radioactive fallout has caused irreversible environmental contamination that will last for generations.
A lot is being said these days in Washington about the danger of weapons of mass destruction Ð in Iraq or other "rogue" states. Meanwhile, the criminals in power in Washington are getting away scot-free. Top government officials, past and present, should be held responsible for the untold suffering and loss of life that have been caused by nuclear testing.
NASA funded scientists, using an atmospheric computer model, proved for the first time dust from China's TaklaMakan desert traveled more than 12,400 miles (20,000 kilometers) over two weeks and landed on the French Alps. Chinese dust plumes have reached North America and Greenland, but had not been reported in Europe. [...]
This study looked at dust that traveled from February 25 to March 7, 1990. "The dust particles traveled around the world in about two weeks, and along their journey, crossed China, the North Pacific, North America and the North Atlantic Ocean," Ginoux said.
Research conducted in 1994 showed, over the 20 years prior, a score of red dust events coated the snow cover in the French Alps and PyrŽnŽes mountains. The red dust topping these European mountain ranges was sampled and stored in bags for comparison with dust from other parts of the world. Scientists analyze the minerals and compositions of certain distinctive elements (isotopes) of the dust to identify its origin. Information about the origins and final locations of dust are important to help determine any effects from heavy metal, fungal, bacterial and viral distribution that may be associated with it.
Archaeologists have discovered what they describe as a previously unknown ancient civilisation in Central America.
picture has emerged after several years' research
Researchers have been working on the site at El Cascal de Flor de Pino, near the town of Kukra Hill for six years.
They've found evidence of an ancient town and several outlying villages, which developed around 2,700 years ago and lasted for a thousand years.
There are monuments, petroglyphs (rock paintings) and pottery, and most remarkably, an area where many huge columns were formed out of rock - columns which may have been used at burial sites.
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