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 24, 2003

As always, Caveat Lector!
The material presented in the linked articles does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editors. Research on your own and if you can validate any of the articles, or if you discover deception and/or an obvious agenda, we will appreciate if you drop us a line! We often post such comments along with the article synopses for the benefit of other readers.

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Let The Games Begin
May 16

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May 13


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Esoteric Christianity

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Something Wicked This Way Comes


OPs: The Other Race

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"In the beginning of a change,
the patriot is a scarce and brave man, hated and scorned.
When his cause succeeds however,
the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."
Mark Twain

"Fear not the path of truth,
fear the lack of people walking on it."
Robert Francis Kennedy

The most 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.
Allan Bloom
The Closing of the American Mind

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 overthrow it.
Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address

"It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong."

Faith of consciousness is freedom
Faith of feeling is weakness
Faith of body is stupidity.
Love of consciousness evokes the same in response
Love of feeling evokes the opposite
Love of the body depends only on type and polarity.
Hope of consciousness is strength
Hope of feeling is slavery
Hope of body is disease.

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.'
Cassiopaea, 09-28-02


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Earthquake bulletins

International aid arrives as Algeria quake toll tops 1,600

Saturday May 24, 4:41 AM

Algeria's prime minister warned that the official provisional figure of 1,600 dead in Wednesday's earthquake was bound to rise, while exhausted rescue teams still clawed through mountains of rubble in a hunt for the living.

"The toll, alas, is going to get worse," premier Ahmed Ouyahia told a news conference, explaining that the heavy loss of life was due to the high population density in the hardest-hit areas.

Over 7,200 have also been reported injured, while hundreds are listed as still missing, presumably trapped in buildings that collapsed in the shock...

Blix casts doubt on WMDs

The Guardian
Friday May 23, 2003

The chief UN weapons inspector, Hans Blix, said he was starting to suspect Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction in advance of the war on Iraq, a German newspaper reported today.

"I am obviously very interested in the question of whether or not there were weapons of mass destruction, and I am beginning to suspect there possibly were none," Mr Blix told the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel.

If that were the case, he said, Iraq's evasive behaviour in recent years could be due to Saddam Hussein's fixation with Iraqi honour and a wish to dictate the conditions under which people could enter the country...

Congress Questions "Existence" Of Iraq's WMDs

"This could conceivably be the greatest intelligence hoax of all time," said Harman

WASHINGTON, May 24 ( & News Agencies) - As the lack of hard evidence on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) has been a thorn in the side of the U.S.-led forces in post-war Iraq, the Congress on Friday, May 23, demanded CIA to determine whether the U.S. intelligence community erred in its pre-war assessments of Iraq's weapons programs or links with al-Qaeda network.

[...] "The committee wants to ensure that the intelligence analysis relayed to our policymakers from the intelligence community was accurate, unbiased and timely," said the letter, signed by committee vice-chairman Porter Goss, a Republican, and committee member Jane Harman, a California Democrat.

[...] In the Senate, as well, Democrats were attacking U.S. intelligence services, whose performance, said John Rockefeller of West Virginia, had been "wholly unimpressive."

Rockefeller called for internal investigations by the Pentagon and CIA to determine whether the Bush government had been manipulating documents to show that Iraq had tried to buy uranium from Niger for its nuclear program while the CIA was denying it...

Expert questions authenticity of al-Qaeda tape

COPENHAGEN: A Danish terrorism expert on Thursday questioned the authenticity of a taped message attributed to al-Qaeda which threatened Norway, saying the speaker meant Denmark but made a mistake.

Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, on Wednesday called on Muslims to carry out more suicide attacks against Western targets, citing Norway alongside the United States, Britain and Australia, in a taped message attributed to him. Terrorism expert Lars Erslev Andersen said he believed the audiotape "was not authentic", saying the speaker meant to name Denmark, a staunch US ally in the war on Iraq along with Britain and Australia.

Andersen said Al-Zawahiri would never have confused the two Scandinavian countries, casting doubt on the identity of the speaker. "I think he (the speaker) must be thinking of Denmark or Poland, which participated in the war on Iraq, and not Norway, which did not take part," he said.

"I think it is a mistake," he said, adding: "Al-Zawahiri knows these two countries well. Confusing them this way can only indicate that it is the voice of someone else on the al-Qaeda tape."

Al-Zawahiri is known to have visited Denmark many times in connection with his role as editor, until 1996, of the Islamic newsletter "Al Moujahidoun" which is published in Copenhagen.

However, he never lived in Denmark, Islamic sources in the country said. Norwegian officials have meanwhile expressed surprise at finding their country on the list of al-Qaeda targets.

Following the message and possible confusion over Denmark and Norway, Copenhagen police stepped up security around foreign embassies, including those of the United States, Britain and Israel which are considered potential targets.

On 9/11, U.S. radar was facing wrong way

'Cold War vestige' guided air defenses

Star-Ledger Staff

WASHINGTON -- A top U.S. air defense official testified yesterday that an outdated "cold war" view of the world before the 9/11 attacks blinded the nation to mounting evidence that hijacked airliners were becoming the terrorist's weapon of choice.

Maj. Gen. Craig McKinley, commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, said even the nation's radars were, in retrospect, turned the wrong way, looking out to sea for incoming invaders rather than searching the skies for threats from within the country.[...]

Comment: Today's newest excuse . . . now hurry up and give up your freedoms so you can be safe. If you have not yet read the grimly humourous essay Debunking conspiracy theorists' paranoid fantasies about Sept. 11, by Gerard Holmgren than you are missing out.

Wild weapons chase

by Brendan O'Neill

[...] US forces are in turmoil over their failure to find Saddam's weapons. On 5 February, six weeks before the war started, US secretary of state Colin Powell told the UN Security Council that Saddam had 'hundreds of tons of biological and chemical agents' (2). On the eve of the war on 19 March, President Bush said America refused to 'live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder' (3). One war, two months and a defeated regime later, and still there's no sign of Saddam's hundred-ton threat to world peace.
America's desire to make good its prewar claims about Iraq's deadly weapons is no doubt a big part of its ongoing hunt. In their clashes with the UN and spats with chief weapons inspector Hans Blix, US spokesmen continually emphasised the urgency of 'disarming Saddam' (4). Now they want to show Blix and co that they were right all along.

Yet such considerations alone do not explain the intensity of America's hunt for WMD - and why the weapons thing is now stirring up strife within the US elite itself. America's search for WMD has become bound up with its search for a sense of mission. Since 11 September, America has defined its international role in defensive terms, as standing up to evil regimes and amorphous terror groups 'over there'. In the absence of a positive mission to project around the world, US officials hope that the discovery of bad things in Iraq will be enough to justify America's international role.

The desperate scrabbling around in Iraq's burnt-out buildings is as much a search for America's foreign policy as it is for Saddam's illegal stockpile.[...]

Ex-President Bush Says Son Misunderstood on Europe

MADRID (Reuters) - Former President George Bush said Friday some people had misunderstood his son's attitude toward Europe.
"I know there is a perception in some quarters here in Europe that this administration of his hasn't reached out to our friends and allies as much as some would like. I know that this is a misperception," the father of the current President Bush told a business conference in Madrid.[...]

Comment: Poor misunderstood Bush, Jr., got his daddy to do a little pr campaign for him. Read the above article, to hear Bush, Sr. regale the audience with homespun tales of his humility. Meanwhile Bush, Jr is busy sacrificing Americans to his psychopathic agenda, dismantaling the American economy, curtailing freedoms and severing all ties to the rest of the world. When Bush is done with us, he will have his daddy's friends set him up nicely, but where will we be?

Post-9/11 satire barks and bites

Saibal Chatterjee
Cannes, May 23
Hindustan Times

A brilliant satire about the post-9/11 American Empire by veteran French-Canadian director Denys Arcand struck an instant chord at the 56th Cannes Film Festival. Les invasions barbares (Invasion of the Barbarians) is a funny, irreverent and deeply poignant depiction of a society that is grappling with issues it can barely grasp.

Who Benefits?

Lifting the Sanctions on Iraq


U.S. Ambassador John D. Negroponte called the lifting of sanctions "the turning point of a historical page that should brighten the future of a people and a region." It simply will not do so. Thirteen years of sanctions has drastically altered the fundamental nature of Iraq's economy; history has shown repeatedly that the infrastructure of economic warfare always outlives the war itself. To distract attention from this fact, representatives to the UN from the United States continued to chastise Saddam Hussein for diverting money from the "oil for food program" to his personal bank accounts.

No doubt Hussein is guilty, but this is really beside the point. The United States, with its long history of love-hate relationships with dictators, should know by now that dictators welcome sanctions and embargos.

Sanctions allow dictators to blame the world, often rightfully, for their domestic problems. By portraying the country as under attack, they are able to reduce internal dissent. In response to sanctions, dictators are often relieved of the duty of serious social spending and can justify to its citizen's the increase in military spending...

Afghan Leaders In Talks With The Taliban

by Yvonne Ridley
Information Clearinghouse

05/23/03 Afghan leader Hamid Karzai has held top secret talks with members of the former Taliban government. The dramatic move could see a return to power of some of the most senior members of the Taliban, once described by Tony Blair as the most evil, brutal regime in the world.

However President Karzai praised the Taliban's "good elements and said the movement had done a "great service to our war torn country". The interim leader, who is becoming increasingly isolated, has lost all power and influence outside of the capital Kabul. However, news of his attempt to broker a peace deal with his old enemies is bound to cause shock waves across the world.

The Taliban delegation was led by the former Health Minister Mullah Abbas who was last in the capital as British and American bombs rained down out the outbreak of war in October 2001. The meeting will certainly cause huge embarrassment to British Prime Minister Tony Blair who celebrated the demise of the Taliban so publicly after the fall of Kabul. Foreign Office officials said they were ''aware'' of the peace move but preferred to remain muted last night.

Although it is quite clear President Karzai's initiative was done with the backing of the Bush Administration, White House spin doctors also remained unusually muted in their response to the meeting. A senior delegation of Taliban, led by Mullah Abbas, slipped in to Kabul for the top secret several days ago after being given assurances of their personal security as some are thought to be on America's "wanted" list.

[...] "Karzai saluted some of the Taliban and said that their movement had done a great service for the country. It was a very tense, and at times emotional, meeting and one of many to come", a Taliban source told Globe-Intel. He said the interim leaders main bodyguards, all American, were kept outside of the meeting, adding: "It was just as well because while there was praise for the Taliban there were few good words for the United States."

[...] An anti-American wave is also sweeping across the country because of the military presence and a series of US blunders which have led to the deaths of Afghan civilians. These include the death of 11 Afghan children who were killed when a laser guided missile hit their home in Bermil near the Pakistan border as revealed exclusively in the Sunday Express last month...

CIA to review pre-war advice

Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
Friday May 23, 2003
The Guardian

The CIA has launched a review of intelligence assessments of Iraq's banned weapons programme and its links with al-Qaida, to see how the intelligence community's pre-war pronouncements compared with reality.

The idea of a review, which emerged yesterday from interviews with unidentified officials by the New York Times, had first been raised with the CIA last October by the defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld.

However, the failure of US forces in Iraq to find hard evidence for repeated claims by US intelligence agencies that Saddam Hussein was building weapons of mass destruction could make the review politically explosive, the New York Times said.

It quoted officials as saying that the review did not mean the US had given up all hope of finding Saddam's banned weapons.

Even so, closer scrutiny of the intelligence community's assessments of the threat posed by Saddam before the war could make for uncomfortable reading.

It could worsen a feud which has been running since last year, with CIA analysts complaining that ideologues from the Pentagon were exerting pressure for assessments to bolster the case for war on Iraq.

Those tensions deepened when the Pentagon set up a special cell to review intelligence on Iraq - an action seen as a rebuke to the CIA from Mr Rumsfeld for its failure to come up with the definitive link between Saddam Hussein's Iraq and al-Qaida.

But yesterday it appeared that the CIA had been handed the advantage. The review will reportedly be conducted by a team of retired CIA officials, and will be under the control of the director, George Tenet. They will also have the authority to study documents from outside agencies.

Russia staging Pop Idol for prisoners

Story filed: 13:49 Friday 23rd May 2003

Russia is staging its own version of Pop Idol in the country's prisons where inmates are competing for a recording contract and freedom.

The competition, open to the country's 748 high-security prisons, aims to discover a new national pop sensation.

The winner will be legally bound to perform a number of live concerts and will also be given a recording deal.

Prison wardens have been told to filter out applicants guilty of particularly gruesome crimes, but a number of convicted killers have nevertheless been allowed to enter.

[...] The competition is being sponsored by Troika, one of Moscow's biggest radio stations, which denies it is exploitation.

"There's lots of talented people out there in those prisons, and this is just the way for them to be discovered," a spokesman said...

Central Command: Suspected gold shipment recovered

U.S.: Bars could be worth $500 million

Friday, May 23, 2003 Posted: 11:09 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. troops seized what is believed to be a massive gold shipment Friday during a routine traffic stop near the Iraqi border with Syria, U.S. Central Command announced.

Soldiers with the Army's 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment found about 2,000 bars -- each weighing 40 pounds -- while searching a Mercedes truck driven by two men.

The bars have not yet been tested to determine their contents, Central Command said, adding that they could be worth as much as $500 million, depending on their purity and karat weight.

The men said they were paid $350 to pick the truck up in Baghdad and drive it to an unnamed person in the Iraqi town of Qaim near the Syrian border, along a known smuggling route. They said they were told the bars were bronze, the Central Command statement said.

The bars are now in custody of the 3rd Cavalry.

Coalition forces have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars believed to have been taken by members of Saddam Hussein's regime before the start of the war.

WHO Links SARS to Three Small Mammals

May 23, 11:52 AM EDT
Associated Press Writer

GENEVA (AP) -- The World Health Organization has traced the SARS virus to the civet cat and two other small mammals in China, and researchers are investigating a possible link between the animals and the SARS outbreak in humans, an official said Friday.

Researchers from the University of Hong Kong examined 25 animals representing eight species in a live animal market in southern China and found the virus in all six masked palm civets they sampled, as well as in a badger and a raccoon dog.

Klaus Stohr, chief SARS virologist at the WHO, said Friday it was impossible to tell from the study whether any of the animals spread the virus to humans or whether they caught the virus from people.

"All these animals could have been infected by feed which was given to them at the market," Stohr said. "Very often these markets have one major supplier of feed."

[...] "This is corroborative evidence that there make be a link between the wildlife and the emergence of SARS."

[...] Taiwan reported 55 new SARS cases Friday but no new deaths. The island's total number of infections is 538 and the death toll is 60 - the third-highest toll after mainland China and Hong Kong.

In Canada, health officials say they fear that four people in a Toronto hospital may be ill with SARS. All four are in a respiratory isolation ward, two in critical condition. If confirmed, they would be the city's first new SARS cases since April 19.

Sars 'comes from racoon-like animal' eaten as delicacy

Story filed: 07:03 Saturday 24th May 2003


Medical researchers says they have found the Sars virus in a racoon-like creature which is a popular delicacy in China.

University of Hong Kong researchers say they have successfully isolated a type of coronavirus that caused Sars in an animal called the masked palm civet.

They say it appears to have spread the Sars virus to humans.

Microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung says the scientists tested a large number of game animals eaten by people in China's Guangdong province.

They have found coronavirus in four of the civet cats.

Civet cats are not true cats, but short-haired mammals with long bodies, short legs, and tails. They resemble small raccoons or weasels.

"Looking at the genetic information, it is highly likely that the virus has been jumping from the civets to humans," Dr Yuen Kwok-yung said.

Toronto fears fresh Sars outbreak


24 May 2003

Hundreds of people have been advised to go into quarantine after health chiefs announced a new cluster of 20 or more possible Sars cases in Toronto.

The new scare came hours after the US Centres for Disease Control reinstated a travel alert for Canada's largest city.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation lifted its travel advisories related to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) against Hong Kong and the Chinese province of Guangdong, saying the outbreaks are under control there.

In Taiwan, a US disease investigator was rushed home after developing symptoms of the often-deadly virus on the job.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome has spread to more than 8,000 people around the globe, and the death toll stood yesterday at 689, the vast majority of them in Asia...

Blair faces war crimes suit

May 23, 2003

Greek lawyers say they are going to sue British officials - including Prime Minister Tony Blair - for their role in the Iraq war.

The Athens Bar Association says it will file a suit against Britain at the International Criminal Court - the recently created tribunal for cases of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

The lawyers call the attacks by the United States and British forces against Iraq "crimes against humanity and war crimes".

They have listed a number of international treaties they say the two countries have violated.

These include the United Nations Charter, the Geneva Conventions, the Hague Convention and the International Criminal Court's statute.

Dimitris Paxinos, the head of the lawyers' association, told the BBC the lawsuit will be filed within a fortnight.

He said American officials could not be prosecuted as the US is not a signatory to the ICC's founding treaty...

US citizens 'cannot be exempt from ICC'

The US has withdrawn from the ICC

By Chris Morris
BBC correspondent in Brussels
Thursday, 29 August, 2002, 01:35 GMT

Legal experts at the European Commission in Brussels say EU nations have no right to exempt American citizens from prosecution at the newly-created International Criminal Court.

An internal EU document says any country which agrees to the Bush administration's request to exempt US citizens would be acting against the object and purpose of the ICC.

The pressure group Human Rights Watch has urged the European Union to stand firm against American plans to dilute the power of the court.

The International Criminal Court was established in July after more than 60 nations had ratified its charter.

But the US had already withdrawn its support and Washington had urged individual European countries to conclude bilateral deals which would give its citizens protection from prosecution...

[And there is only one reason that the Bush Reich would seek such protection: they are guilty of war crimes, and intend to commit more in the near future.]

Tigar to Ashcroft: "Secrecy is the Enemy of Democratic Government"

May 23, 2003

Activist attorney Lynne Stewart, who was court-appointed to defend the blind Sheik Abdel Rahman in charges arising out of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, is charged with aiding and abetting her client's "acts of terrorism" by speaking to the press about her client's politicial position. She is being criminally prosecuted for doing what lawyers do--advocating and speaking for her client. In the world according to John Ashcroft, the lawyer becomes synonymous with the client. This is an unheard of spin on the attorney-client relationship, one that defies hundreds of years of history of professional obligation and duty. Ashcroft has made lawyers--as well as their clients--targets in his war on civil liberties. He would vilify lawyers who uphold the highest tradition of their profession.

Now Michael Tigar, an activist himself, who has spent his lifetime representing controversial clients and causes (and as the target of an FBI false smear tactic, former Supreme Court Justice Brennan withdrew his offer to the young Tigar to clerk for him), is representing Lynne Stewart. No case could be more fitting for him than this one. And in this terrorist trial, the government has an attorney who won't be timid in calling the judge and the prosecutors on their illegal conduct.

In a letter Tigar wrote to Judge Koeltl on May 21, Tigar lambasts the prosecutor's suggestions that it, and it alone, will decide what evidence Tigar and his client get to see. Though the prosecutor refers to the documents as "classified," no proof, let alone rationale, of their classified status has been disclosed. Morever, the prosecutors say that as to the documents they will let Tigar and his team see, they, the prosecuors and/or their agents, will "monitor" Tigar and his staff to see what they do with the information. Of course, they may also be monitoring his meetings with his client. Ashcroft wrote that into law a couple of years ago...

Son Of Patriot Act Goes From Bad To Worse

By Jim Marrs

In early 2003 there was an effort underway within the Justice Department to further expand the provisions and powers of the PATRIOT Act. And it was all done in such secrecy that even ranking members of congress did not know this act was in preparation.  

Even Mark Corallo, deputy director of the Justice Department's Office of Public Affairs appeared unaware of the draft legislation. "This is all news to me. I have never heard of this," he told members of the Center for Public Integrity, a Washington-based group dedicated to "public service journalism." This center obtained a copy of the document and made it public in early 2003.  

A spokesman for the House Judiciary Committee, Jeff Lungren, said, "We haven't heard anything from the Justice Department on updating the PATRIOT Act. They haven't shared their thoughts on that. Obviously, we'd be interested, but we haven't heard anything at this point."  

After reviewing the draft legislation, Dr. David Cole of the Georgetown University Law School said raises a "lot of serious concerns." "It's troubling that they have gotten this far along and they've been telling people there is nothing in the works." He added the proposed changes "would radically expand law enforcement and intelligence gathering authorities, reduce or eliminate judicial oversight over surveillance, authorize secret arrests, create a DNA database based on unchecked executive `suspicion,' create new death penalties, and even seek to take American citizenship away from persons who belong to or support disfavored political groups."  

Innocently entitled the "Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003," this expansion of both police and government powers was kept deep within the confines of the Justice Department until leaked to the public. As usual, the corporate controlled mass media made little of the story but it sparked outrage on the Internet and from some columnists.  

Editorial page writer Errol Louis of the New York Sun wrote, "[This] document is a catalog of authoritarianism that runs counter to the basic tenets of modern democracy." Columnist Jim Hightower termed it "Ashcroft's Latest Assault on Liberty."  

A dissection of the PATRIOT Act expansion by Timothy H. Edgar, Legislative Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, revealed the legislation would diminish personal privacy by removing checks on government power by:  

  • Making it easier to initiate surveillance and wiretapping of U. S. Citizens under the authority of the little-known Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). (Sections 101, 102 and 107)  
  • Permitting the government, under certain circumstances, to bypass the FISC altogether and conduct warrantless wiretaps and searches. (Sections 103 and 104)  
  • Sheltering federal agents engaged in illegal surveillance without a court order from criminal prosecution if they are following the orders of Executive Branch officials. (Section 106)  
  • Creating a new category of "domestic security surveillance" that permits electronic eavesdropping of entirely domestic activity under looser standards than provided for ordinary criminal surveillance. (Section 122)  
  • Using an overly broad definition of terrorism that could cover some protest tactics such as those used by Operation Rescue or the protesters at Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, as a new predicate for criminal wiretapping and other electronic surveillance (Sections 120 and 121)  
  • Providing for general surveillance orders covering multiple functions for high-tech devices and by further expanding pen register and trap and trace authority for intelligence surveillance of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent foreign residents. (Sections 107-124)  
  • Creating a new and separate crime of using encryption technology that could add five years to any jail sentence for crimes committed with a computer. ((Section 144)  
  • Expanding the PATRIOT Act's definition of nationwide search warrants and giving the government secret access to credit reports with consent or judicial process (Sections 125 and 126)  
  • Enhancing the government's ability to obtain sensitive personal information without prior judicial approval and providing new penalties for failure to comply with written demands for such records. (Sections 128 and 129)  
  • Allowing for the sampling and cataloging of innocent Americans ' genetic [DNA} information without a court order or the individual's consent. (Sections 301-306)  
  • Permitting sensitive personal information to be shared with state and local law enforcement agencies despite any connection to anti-terrorism measures, (Section 311)  
  • Terminating court-approved limits on police spying, put in place to prevent Mc-Carthy-era style police persecution based on political or religious affiliation. (Section 312)  
  • Permitting searches, wiretaps and surveillance of U.S. citizens on behalf of foreign governments - to include dictators and human rights abusers' - in the absence of Senate-approved treaties. (Sections 321-322)  
  • Authorizing secret arrests in immigration, material witness and other cases where the detained person is not criminally charged. (Section 201)  
  • Threatening public health by severely restricting access to crucial information concerning health risks by facilities that use dangerous chemicals. (Section 202)  
  • Diminishing corporate responsibility by grant immunity to businesses that provide information to government terrorism investigations even if such actions are taken with disregard for the customer's privacy and show reckless disregard for the truth. (Section 313)  
  • Undermines basic constitutional rights by overly broad definitions of "terrorism" and "terrorist organization" which could result in stripping a native-born American of citizenship if they wittingly or unwittingly support any organization deemed terrorist by government officials. (Section 501)  
  • Creating 15 new categories of the death penalty, including one should a death result from otherwise peaceful protests such as Operation Rescue. (Section 411)  
  • Permitting arrests and extradition of American citizens to any foreign country including ones with bad human rights records, in the absence of a Senate-approved treaty and unfairly targeting immigrants by opening sensitive personal visa files to local law enforcement agencies and extended jail terms for common immigration offenses. (Sections 322, 311 and 502)  
  • Permitting summary deportations of American citizens deemed a threat to national security by Attorney General Ashcroft, even with no evidence of criminal activity, intent or terrorism. (Section 503)  
  • Completely abolishing fair hearings for American citizens convicted of minor criminal offenses through a retroactive "expedited removal" procedure and preventing any court from questioning the government' s unlawful actions by explicitly exempting these cases from habeas corpus review. (Section 504)  

ACLU counsel Edgar noted that the constitutional protection of habeas corpus (the right to a hearing to determine if any criminal offense has been committed) has not been exempted since the War Between the States.  

Edgar added that despite the Justice Department's efforts to characterize both the PATRIOT Act and its proposed expansion as minor tinkering with statutory language, "the DOJ's modest descriptions of the powers it is seeking, and the actual scope of the authorities it seeks, are miles apart." "The USA PATRIOT Act undercut many of the traditional checks and balances on government power, " he explained. "The new draft legislation threatens to fundamentally alter the constitutional protections that allow us as Americans to be both safe and free. If adopted, the bill would diminish personal privacy by removing important checks on government surveillance authority, reduce the accountability of government to be public by increasing government secrecy, further undermine fundamental constitutional rights of Americans under an already over broad definition of `terrorism,' and seriously erode the right of all persons to due process of law."  

Many of the provision of the expansion of the PATRIOT Act seem to be so draconian and reprehensible that many people felt it could never be passed in the light of day. But, as noted by Professor Cole, author of Terrorism and the Constitution, this legislation may lay awaiting yet another pretext to make it law.  

He said PATRIOT Act II "is troubling as a generic matter that they have gotten this far along and tell people that there is nothing in the works. What that suggests is that they're waiting for a propitious time to introduce it, which might well be when a war is begun. At that time there would be less opportunity for discussion and they'll have a much stronger hand in saying that they need these things right away."  

Quantum computer draws closer

By Dr David Whitehouse
BBC News Online science editor

Scientists have "entangled" two sub-atomic particles separated by about a millimetre, a feat that might pave the way for powerful quantum computers in the future. Quantum entanglement on a chip: Significant scaling up When two particles are entangled they are somehow connected because the fate of one depends upon the other, no matter how far apart they are.

US army chief says Iraqi troops took bribes to surrender

By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
The Independent
24 May 2003

Senior Iraqi officers who commanded troops crucial to the defence of key Iraqi cities were bribed not to fight by American special forces, the US general in charge of the war has confirmed.

Well before hostilities started, special forces troops and intelligence agents paid sums of money to a number of Iraqi officers, whose support was deemed important to a swift, low-casualty victory.

General Tommy Franks, the US army commander for the war, said these Iraqi officers had acknowledged their loyalties were no longer with the Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, but with their American paymasters. As a result, many officers chose not to defend their positions as American and British forces pushed north from Kuwait.

"I had letters from Iraqi generals saying: 'I now work for you'," General Franks said.

It is not clear which Iraqi officers were bribed, how many were bought off or at what cost. It is likely, however, that the US focused on officers in control of Saddam's elite forces, which were expected to defend the capital. The Pentagon said that bribing the senior officers was a cost-effective method of fighting and one that led to fewer casualties.

"What is the effect you want?" a senior Pentagon official said. "How much does a cruise missile cost? Between $1m and $2.5m. Well, a bribe is a PGM [precision guided missile) AD it achieves the aim but it's bloodless and there's zero collateral damage...

The Message Fact or Fiction?


More intriguing was Temple's newly declared policy in regard to the publishing of Times reports in the News. He announced that "New York Times stories that use anonymous sources must be approved in advance" by the same editor or editors noted above -- an astonishing development, because it suggests that in a few short weeks, the Times has gone from being among the most trusted news purveyors on the planet to a publication viewed with suspicion by its peers.

The Rocky's procedural shift will place a sizable burden on newsroomers. After all, a great many stories out of Washington, be they from the Times, the Washington Post or any other major news agency, wouldn't exist if not for officials or those in their orbit who anonymously leak data that might otherwise remain hidden from the public. In the memo, Temple implies that he made the move despite the inevitable workload boost after a Times spokeswoman identified in the column as Catherine Mathis, vice president of corporate communications, "told me...that it has 'no formal policy.' Its 'practice has been for the executive editor to reserve the right to ask the question, and to withhold the story if it is not answered. But the question may or may not be asked in individual cases, depending on the importance of the story and the track record of the writer.'" As Temple thundered in his column, "It appears, based on the Times' own coverage, that the paper...has a lower standard of internal checks and balances when it comes to anonymous sources than a lot of other far less distinguished American newspapers, including the News."

Bush And Newspapers Lie Because We Do, Too

by Walt Brasch

The nation's journalists were surprised, shocked, and outraged. Jayson Blair, a 27-year-old New York Times national correspondent, had lied and cheated his way through a four-year career at the paper that not only claims to have the highest journalistic standards but also believes it's the national record. At the time he resigned under pressure at the end of April 2003, Blair had not only left a trail of innumerable factual errors, but had fabricated quotes, "covered" stories in other states while not leaving New York, and plagiarized from metropolitan newspapers.

[...] In an unprecedented 14,000 words of explanation and apology almost two weeks after the "resignation," the Times excoriated the chain-smoking, Scotch-drinking, cocaine-using Blair for having "committed frequent acts of journalistic fraud," wailed that it was the worst "black-eye" in the newspaper's 152-year history, and promised to take steps not to allow it to occur again.

But, it will occur again, just as it had occurred for decades, not just at the Times but in all the media.

During the nineteenth century, in their quest for political power and circulation, newspapers not only exaggerated and fabricated, they also played innumerable hoaxes upon their readers. In the twentieth century, "jazz journalism" replaced "yellow journalism," but reporters still looked for ways to meet their publishers' needs to sell papers. Journalists have come a long ways since then. But, as in any profession, there are still significant holes of ethics.

TV shows sponsored by Ford in the 1960s and 1970s either shot away from New York City's Chrysler Building, or electronically eliminated it. The National Geographic digitally altered the pyramids for "aesthetic" reasons for one of its covers. Janet Cooke, who won a Pulitzer Prize for a feature about an eight-year-old boy who was addicted to cocaine while in his mother's womb, was stripped of her prize and fired from the Washington Post in 1981 when the story proved to be as much fiction as her resume.

NBC-TV broadcast a story about fish that were supposedly killed on government land, but it was footage of a different forest--and the fish weren't dead. NBC also came under a firestorm of protest when the public learned that to enhance a story about truck safety, the network's "Dateline" staff rigged a GM truck with an explosive to illustrate how easily those trucks burst into flame. FOX-TV obliterated the distinction between news and hucksterism when it "interrupted" its coverage of the 1997 Super Bowl with a "special report" by news anchor Catherine Crier. The breaking news? The Blues Brothers "escaped" and were about to headline the half-time show.

[...] As much as journalists may want to believe these are isolated examples, they aren't. As much as the public wants to believe that the problem occurs only in journalism, it doesn't. About 75 percent of college students admit to cheating, according to a 1999 survey conducted by Donald McCabe, a Rutgers University professor. A year later, a survey conducted by the editors of Who's Who Among American High School Students revealed that 84 percent of high school students believe cheating was common. A study by the Center for Academic Integrity revealed that about 15 percent of all students say they bought research papers, and more than half admit to having copied passages, without attribution, from published sources.

More important, students don't see that cheating, lying, or plagiarizing are necessarily immoral or unethical. Almost half of high school students, according to the Josephson Institute of Ethics, believe "a person has to lie or cheat sometimes in order to succeed." College graduates pad their resumes; references lie in their recommendations. Psychologist Robert Feldman of the University of Massachusetts found that among 11-16 year old students, there was a high correlation between lying and popularity. Feldman told the Associated Press, "Politicians have known for a very long time that telling people what they want to hear is a very good social tactic." Politicians and CEOs, aided by hordes of PR professionals, also know they can spin the truth because the media, often faced by increased work loads and diminished resources, have largely abrogated their roles of cynical watchdogs.

Americans lie on their income tax returns, on claims to insurance companies, and about the condition of their used car which they're about to unload. They lie about productivity to their bosses, and use "sick days" to play golf. And when it comes to managers and executives, Enron, Adelphia, Halliburton, and dozens of others may not be exceptions to how many corporations do business.

The nation's journalists shouldn't be shocked, surprised, or outraged about Jayson Blair's theft of honesty--they, like most Americans, are all part of the problem.

Does Stossel Deserve a Promotion?

Common Dreams
MAY 23, 2003 4:38 PM

NEW YORK - Starting tonight, ABC reporter John Stossel will have a new job at 20/20: co-anchor. Barbara Walters' former partner John Miller departed in January, and ABC chose Stossel to fill his role. According to a recent report in TV Guide (5/10/03), one source at ABC says that picking Stossel makes sense: "These are conservative times... the network wants somebody to match the times."

One might hope ABC would be more concerned with hiring a journalist with a record of credible and accurate reporting than with matching the perceived political climate. For years, Stossel's work has been notable for bungled facts and twisted logic, all in service to his conservative "free market" agenda. (See Extra!, 3-4/03.) In a 1998 report (2/3/98), Stossel dismissed complaints about rising CEO salaries, saying that "factory wages were up, too-- up 70 percent" in the last 15 years. But wages for manufacturing workers had risen only if you don't adjust for inflation; in terms of purchasing power, factory workers' wages had fallen by more than 6 percent since 1983. In a 1999 special (9/19/99), one of Stossel's main sources claimed that Hong Kong is "the only government in the world that makes a surplus, a big surplus." In fact, 11 countries-- including the U.S.-- had run a budget surplus the previous year.

Stossel's methods have also been called into question-- most memorably when he cited research that didn't actually exist about pesticide residues in organic produce (New York Times, 7/31/00).

In a recent email to viewers (5/16/03) Stossel lashed out at his critics, "the activists of the totalitarian Left, which try to get people like me fired, or silenced." FAIR, however, has never called on ABC to fire him. We have frequently asked for Stossel's reports-- more opinion pieces than news stories-- to be balanced with commentary from an opposing point of view, and we've encouraged viewers to ask ABC whether the numerous inaccuracies and distortions in Stossel broadcasts meet the network's standards.

Up until now, ABC has for the most part ignored the thousands of letters pointing out the unreliability of Stossel's reporting. Now, apparently, it's decided that the appropriate response is a promotion.

On the streets of Baghdad, there are no heroes or villains. Only victims

By Phil Reeves in Baghdad
The Independent
24 May 2003

Haider Tahab was so quiveringly angry that the blood vessels at his temples seemed ready to burst. He kept returning to deliver another blast of point-blank invective, as if driven by a compulsion that would only fully be relieved once he had hit someone.

Bobbing above the heads of the people crowded behind him was a crude wooden coffin, which they were trying to load on to the roof of a white mini-van. They seemed as furious as he. "Down Bush! Up Saddam!" he bellowed into my face. "The Americans have turned into murderers and thieves."

Scenes such as this, albeit with a different script, are commonplace in Gaza or the West Bank after a 36-year occupation in which thousands have been shot dead by the Israeli army. But we were in Baghdad only a month after the Americans had routed one of the most repressive and corrupt regimes of the modern age and promised a new era of democracy, freedom and prosperity.

As the crowd tied the coffin to the van's roof to be driven 100 miles south to the Shia holy city of Najaf for burial, Mahadi Mehsen drew a contemptuous comparison between the two occupied peoples. "We are not like the Palestinians," he said, shouting above the wails and cries of anger. "All of us will be Fedayeen. We will take revenge if they don't stop this."...

UK firms scramble to share in spoils of war

By Kim Sengupta
The Independent
24 May 2003

British firms scrambling for contracts in the reconstruction of Iraq were told yesterday that the Government would ensure they got a "fair chance" to grab a division of the spoils.

As protesters waved placards and chanted "vultures, vultures", the first steps in the slicing of one of the biggest commercial bonanzas in history took place in London yesterday.

The initial business deals for rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure amount to $1.1bn (about A3687m). But this could increase to $100bn under the rapid recalculations being carried out.

Yesterday British, European and Asian firms gathered at a seminar in London organised by the Bechtel conglomerate. Later, the British contingent attended one held by Trade Partners UK, an arm of the Department of Trade and Industry.

Bechtel, which has close and controversial ties with the US administration, has been awarded the biggest contract so far - $680m - by the US Agency for International Development (USAid). The company has said that as much as 90 per cent of the work would be passed on in sub-contracts.

[...] Among the Iraqi firms taking part is the Iraqi Reconstruction Group. Its representative, Abbas al-Husseini, said: "We don't want Bechtel to be a centre of hate. Please don't do it for the Iraqi people but withthe Iraqi people."

Victims of the peace decide Americans are worse than Saddam

From Anthony Browne in Khan Bani Saad
Times Online
May 23, 2003

THE small dank cells with cold stone floors, tiny windows and iron bars for a door used to house criminals and the victims of Saddam Hussein's regime. Now Khan Bani Saad prison, overlooked by watchtowers and surrounded by razorwire, is filled with families who are victims, not of the war, but of the peace.

Sabrir Hassan Ismael, a mother of six, held her three-year-old daughter Zahraa in the cell that is now their living room and bedroom, and cried: "Look at me; look at my family. We live in prison. We can't buy food because we don't have money. We have no gas to cook.

[...] Before the end of the war Mrs Sabrir lived with her husband, a local mayor, on a farm in the town of Khanaqin, close to the Iranian border. They are members of the Arab Saraefien tribe that had survived unscathed through the Iran-Iraq war, the Gulf War in 1991 and the invasion of Iraq. As opponents of Saddam they even welcomed the American invasion.

But it is the peace, and the disintegration of Saddam's grip, that has destroyed their lives. On April 11, two days after the fall of Saddam, Kurdish fighters entered Khanaqin, ordering all 15,000 Arabs to leave within 48 hours.

"There were so many Kurdish fighters we couldn't count them. They came into our house, and fired into the air, and grabbed me by the shoulder and said we had to leave in 48 hours or they would kill us," said Mrs Sabrir's son, Amar Hassan Tahar, 26.

[...] The tribe has appealed for help to the coalition forces, but no one has even visited them. They have eaten or sold almost all their animals, and have only a week left of food. Now they hate the Americans.

"None of the American promises has happened. It is unbelievable what has happened," Mr Yassim said.

His son concludes: "We have discovered that Saddam is better than the Americans."

Hadeb Hamed Hamed, the tribe's sheikh, sat on mats on the prison officer's porch, and said: "The Americans promised us food and medicine and freedom. But we have lost our homes, our land, our crops. Now we live in prison with nothing, and they ignore us.

"It is the allied forces that have done this to us. When we run out of food, I don't know what we will do."

In fact, he does know, because with starvation looming, he has been talking about it with the other elders.

"If we don't have a solution, we will fight the Americans even if they kill us. It is better than sitting here with nothing and just dying," he said.

So the blood may spin in American eyes

By Akiva Eldar

[...] Sharon's attack on the road map, like the outpost attack he strategized, is being done through subterfuge. That's why the Israeli public relations establishment enlisted the services of three leading American experts on U.S. public opinion, in other words, spinmeisters.

Republican consultant Frank Luntz, Democratic consultant Stanley Greenburg (who worked for Bill Clinton and on Ehud Barak's peace campaign), and political consultant Jennifer Laszlo-Mizrahi.

Luntz was here last week to meet with the heads of the Israeli government's public relations team, including Gideon Meir, the Foreign Ministry's deputy director general for communications and information, and the prime minister's media adviser Ra'anan Gissin. He presented them with the results of polls and focus group studies conducted by his company in Chicago and Los Angeles during the first 10 days of the Iraq war.
Meir says the wise recommendations provided by Luntz and his colleagues have become the guiding lights of the Israel and Jewish public relations effort in the U.S. The million dollar plus research was paid for by Jewish donors.

Luntz laid out his recommendations in a lengthy detailed memo. The purpose of the document, he says at the opening, is to help Israel supporters get their message across about the best way to "solve" (the quotes are in the original) the Israel-Palestinian conflict, before the world's attention is drawn to the road map.

"There will certainly be some people," says Luntz, "particularly those on the political left, who will oppose whatever words you use, but the language that follows will help you secure support from a large majority of Americans." In places, he provides verbatim speeches for pro-Israeli opinion makers.

Some selected quotes from the Luntz memo:

"The good news is that the American people firmly believe that if the Palestinians want to demonstrate sincere commitment to peace, they must abide by the tenants of the president's soon-to-be-released road map. The not-as-good news is that they expect exactly same from Israel and they demand it immediately.

"Among virtually all respondents regardless of political party, Americans responded quite favorably to the language from President Bush for two reasons: `a balanced approach' and `shared responsibilities.' Keep those terms in mind and use them whenever possible.

"The emergence of Mahmoud Abbas as the new Palestinian Prime Minister comes exactly at the wrong time. His ascent to power seems legitimate. He is a fresh face, and a clean-shaven one at that. He speaks well and dresses in Western garb. He may even genuinely want peace. Just as President Bush had begun to make headway in drawing attention on the need for a reformed Palestinian leadership, the Palestinians throw us this curveball. Is it a concern that he is a Holocaust denier? Absolutely. Will that fact convince Americans that he cannot represent the Palestinian people in an honest bid for peace? Hardly. Americans don't want to hear about the Holocaust anymore, and they particularly don't want to hear it from the Jewish community. Nevertheless, you need more substance on Abbas before you can tell the American people you question his devotion to peace.

"It is essential that you use positive language when asked about Abbas. However, that does not mean you must compliment Abbas himself. While knocking him down now does little to help your long-term goals, building him up is also counterproductive. Therefore you must remain positive about the peace process and indifferent about Abbas until he defines his role.

"The settlements are our Achilles heel, and the best response (which is still quite weak) is the need for security that this buffer creates. `Security' sells. Security has become the key fundamental principle for all Americans. Security is the context by which you should explain Israeli need for loan guarantees and military aid, as well as why Israel can't just give up land.

"Above all else, reaffirm your position that first terrorism stops, and then negotiations begin."

War profiteering

The following recommendations are drawn from what Luntz learned about American public opinion regarding the war in Iraq. "Link Iraqi liberation with the plight of the Palestinian people. If you express your concern for the plight of the Palestinian people and how it is unfair, unjust and immoral that they should be forced to accept leaders who steal and kill in their name, you will be building credibility for your support of the average Palestinian while undermining the credibility of their leadership ... Yes, this IS a double standard but that's just the way things are. A little humility goes a long way. You need to talk continually about your understanding of `the plight of the Palestinians' and a commitment to helping them.

"Humility is a bitter pill to swallow, but it will inoculate you against critiques that you have not done enough for peace. Admit mistakes, but then show how Israel is the partner always working for peace.

"Democracy loves company. So far, one of Israel's most effective messages has been that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. It's time to take that message one step further. Emphatically state that while you are proud of Israel's democracy, you would much rather be the first democracy in the Middle East than the only democracy in the Middle East. This may seem simplistic, but the message works when delivered this way and in this order. Americans sincerely hope that Iraq - a former adversary - can become a partner in peace once a representative government is installed. This is exactly what Israel has asked of the Palestinian Authority for so long: to establish a legitimate government that will become a partner in peace.

"When you want to identify with and align yourself with America, just say it. Don't use George Bush as a synonym for the United States. Half the Democrats support the war even if they don't support George Bush. You antagonize the latter half unnecessarily every time you compliment the President. Don't do it.

"The children component is particularly important. It is essential that you talk about `the day, not long from now, when Palestinian children and Israeli children will play side-by-side as their parents watch approvingly.'

"The language in this document will work, but it will work best when it is accompanied with passion and compassion. Too many supporters of Israel speak out of anger or shout when faced with opposition. Listeners are more likely to accept your arguments if they like how you express them.

"Find yourself a good female spokesman. In all our testing, women are found to be more credible than men. And if the woman has children, that's even better.

"Of course rhetorical questions work, don't they? Asking a question to which there is only one answer is hard to lose. It is essential that your communication be laced with rhetorical questions, which is how Jews talk anyway. (Luntz is Jewish.)

Average Americans

Under the headline, "Words that work," Luntz recommends verbatim scripts such as the following, which he recommends for Israeli spokesmen: "During the Gulf War, Iraq attacked Israel with Scud missiles 39 times. Israel stood by each time, not knowing if the next missile contained biological and chemical weapons. Israel chose restraint instead of war, because it was what the U.S. asked. It was Israel's way to support our ally, America, and its troops during the Persian Gulf War. We put supporting American priorities higher than our own. But now, with our national security at stake, we need America's financial help."

"Advocates of Israel will do well if they adopt the language that follows," says Luntz: "`We are hoping to find a Palestinian leadership that really does reflect the best interest for the Palestinian people.'"

And he suggests Israeli and Jewish spokesmen tell Americans, "`We know what it is to live our lives with the daily threat of terrorism. We know what it's like to send our children off to school one day and bury them the next. For us, terrorism isn't something we read about in the newspaper; it's something we see with our own eyes far too often. We don't want to sign a meaningless agreement that isn't worth the paper it is printed on. We want something real. If there is to be a just, fair and lasting peace, we need a partner who rejects violence and who values life more than death. As a matter of principle, the world should not force Israel to concede to those who publicly deny our right to exist or call for our annihilation. Just as the American government pledges to secure for you life, liberty, and the chance to pursue happiness, so must Israel's government guarantee that we will be secure and free.'"

Sylvan glades

Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, like many an elected official in Israel, doesn't do much homework when he meets with European officials. This week he met with a delegation from the European Parliament that was visiting Israel. The MPs, led by a member of the Italian Radical Party, support an initiative to bring Israel into the European Union. The Europeans would have been happy to hear Shalom say at the end of the meeting that he was grateful for their support for Israel. They couldn't believe their ears when Shalom said, "Israel would be happy to be accepted into the EU."

For years, prime ministers and foreign minsters have been very careful about jumping on the EU bandwagon. Shalom could have found piles of working papers in the Foreign Ministry detailing the numerous problems involved in Israel joining the EU - separation of religion and state, strict rules about civil rights, cancelation of protective tariffs on imports in competition with local goods, or the EU's difficulty with Israel's immigration laws, like the Law of Return. Above all, he would have learned that the EU does not open its doors to countries that are not living in peace with their neighbors, nor to countries occupying another people's land.

French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin is the next high-ranking guest from overseas. His Israeli colleague, who devoted his one free night in Turkey recently to a meeting with an Israeli footballer playing for a Turkish team, might consider discussing shaping policy in the light of history. That's the subject of one of de Villepin's books. Or they could discuss modern poetry. Three collections of poetry written by the visiting minister have already been published.

Airline, barred rider settled


By Matthai Chakko Kuruvila
Mercury News

A Salinas software-company manager who alleged he was forcibly removed from a San Jose-bound Northwest Airlines flight three months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks merely because he looked Middle Eastern received an apology and monetary damages from the airline in a settlement announced Wednesday.

Judge Throws Out Death Sentence

BRIGHTON, Colo. (AP) A judge on Friday threw out the death sentence for a man convicted of murder, ruling that jurors were improperly influenced by the Bible and passages describing God's view on punishment as they deliberated.

Twins' mom suffers for hard choice

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[N]othing has been tougher to endure than the turmoil swirling around Rice since Monday, when the 32-year-old mother of five went to police with a secretly recorded audiotape of her twin sons allegedly plotting to kill two siblings.

But Rice said she can't forget their chilling words captured on tape. She also points out their alleged confessions to police, recent theft of her three Ginsu-type kitchen knives and previous statements that they would kill anyone who "messed with" them.

There's also the hole they started to cut through the wall of their trailer - an escape route they had planned to use after killing their brothers, ages 10 and 15, Rice said. That would have allowed them to avoid activating a security system she recently had installed to stop them from running away from home.

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