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!

June 5, 2003

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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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Mossad and Moving Companies:
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Let The Games Begin
May 16

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May 13


Signs of the Times Archives


American Coup d'état - 9/11 and after

Esoteric Christianity

To Be or Not To Be

Splitting Realities

Something Wicked This Way Comes


OPs: The Other Race

Cosmic COINTELPRO Timeline

Physics and the Mysterious

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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

"I read the news today, oh boy..."
John Lennon

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.'
Cassiopaeans, 09-28-02


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Wolfowitz: Iraq war was about oil

George Wright Wednesday June 4, 2003

Oil was the main reason for military action against Iraq, a leading White House hawk has claimed, confirming the worst fears of those opposed to the US-led war. The US deputy defence secretary, Paul Wolfowitz - who has already undermined Tony Blair's position over weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by describing them as a "bureaucratic" excuse for war - has now gone further by claiming the real motive was that Iraq is "swimming" in oil.

[...] Mr Wolfowitz's frank assessment of the importance of oil could not come at a worse time for the US and UK governments, which are both facing fierce criticism at home and abroad over allegations that they exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein in order to justify the war.

Amid growing calls from all parties for a public inquiry, the foreign affairs select committee announced last night it would investigate claims that the UK government misled the country over its evidence of Iraq's WMD.

The move is a major setback for Tony Blair, who had hoped to contain any inquiry within the intelligence and security committee, which meets in secret and reports to the prime minister.

In the US, the failure to find solid proof of chemical, biological and nuclear arms in Iraq has raised similar concerns over Mr Bush's justification for the war and prompted calls for congressional investigations.

Mr Wolfowitz is viewed as one of the most hawkish members of the Bush administration. The 57-year old expert in international relations was a strong advocate of military action against Afghanistan and Iraq.

Comment: While the above article has been retracted by the independent it is clear that the what was said still stands. Perhaps this is just a process of acclimatization for the American public. Bush and Co. know that they cannot continue to manufacture justification for their planned Middle East rampage and expect the public to swallow it, so better to get them used to no justification whatsoever.

Bush safe from Iraq weapons fallout

WASHINGTON (AFP) Jun 05, 2003

The US administration sought Wednesday to quash attacks on the credibility of its Iraq weapons intelligence even though no immediate political threat is seen to President George W. Bush.

The US and British leaders have come under mounting pressure over the handling of evidence of weapons of mass destruction used to justify the Iraq war.

While British Prime Minister Tony Blair has suffered badly, Bush has remained out of the firing line. [...]

Analysts experts have become increasingly critical of the way in which intelligence evidence was used before Bush declared war on Saddam Hussein.

James Lindsay, a Brookings Institution specialist and former adviser to the Clinton White House, said "the administration got it wrong" over the weapons information.

"It's hard to believe the Iraqis could have had the amounts of chemical weapons the administration was talking about" before the war, declared Lindsay.

But he added: "It doesn't matter. The US people will say Saddam Hussein was a son of bitch. Most Americans have the very firm belief George Bush did not lie."

Polls indicate most Americans do not believe they were deliberately misled by the administration even if most believe the information they were given was not right. [...]

"For America this war was cathartic. It was about regaining a sense of pride and confidence after September 11. Even after Afghanistan there was still an existential need to kick some butt and Saddam Hussein was an easy target," said Pena.

Criticism is also muted in Congress from Bush's Republicans and the opposition Democrats.

The Senate Intelligence and Armed Services committees are to hold joint hearings into whether an intelligence breakdown occurred. But there are few accusations against the president. [...]

Comment: Of course most Americans will never believe that their President would ever deliberately mislead them. Like the German people under Hitler, the majority of Americans are under Bush's spell. Perhaps the Bush Reich was counting on that when they turned the heat up on Mr. Blair for having an independent thought or two regarding affairs in the Middle East.

Manufacturing the Iraq War
Shaky Evidence and Bad Intelligence

June 4, 2003

Here's what we know so far about Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction: of the 600 or so sites identified by United States intelligence and Iraqi officials as places where the country biological weapons may be hidden, about 100 of these sites have been searched over the past six weeks and not a single spec of anthrax or other WMD has been uncovered. [...]

The lack of evidence and public blunders by other high-ranking officials in the Bush administration is endless. [...]

To suggest today, nearly two months after the war in Iraq started, whether there may have been an intelligence failure now that WMD have yet to be found is to suggest there was some sort of intelligence in the first place. [...]


by Gary Jones And Tom Newton Dunn
Jun 4 2003

TROOPS hunting for Saddam's weapons of mass destruction have searched 87 "prime" sites in Iraq - and have found nothing.

Nineteen were "highest-priority" zones identified by US Central Command, military sources revealed yesterday.

But instead of chemical or biological weapons, searchers uncovered a training facility for Iraq's Olympic swimming and diving teams, a drinks distillery and a factory making car license plates. [...]

The Al Hayat site, ranked 26th out of 87 and described as a possible Saddam-run Special Security Organisation facility, turned out to house a collection of vacuum cleaners. [...]

Worse was to follow, according to military sources. A feared weapons store was, in fact, a US artillery HQ.

Even an intelligence tip on a secret hoard of documents backfired. Files reported removed from a chemical lab were simply a thesis by a graduate student frightened his work might be destroyed. [...]

Fabrications as magic potion

02 June 2003
Daytona Beach News-Journal

Toward the end of "Rambo III," the last of the great war comedies, Rambo and his latest POW catch are surrounded by about half the Soviet army, somewhere in Afghanistan. All seems lost. But poet-warrior that he is, Sylvester Stallone's Homeric hero fires a two-worded obscenity at the oncoming Russians and starts shooting his howitzer of a gun even as a monsoon of bullets and artillery rains around his magnificent pectorals.

It's a terrifically funny bit of war fiction that looked impossible to top -- until that front-page account in The Washington Post of April 3 about Pfc. Jessica Lynch: How she "fought fiercely and shot several enemy soldiers" after Iraqis ambushed her company, "firing her weapon until she ran out of ammunition," how she "continued firing at the Iraqis even after she sustained multiple gunshot wounds and watched several other soldiers in her unit die around her," how she was "fighting to the death," how "she did not want to be taken alive." And all that just in the first three paragraphs of the story. [...]

If the fabrication of the Jessica Lynch story is a harmless lie, it is nevertheless emblematic of the Bush administration's sordid deceptions that led to the very lethal, very costly Iraq war and its equally pointless aftermath. For the media, Vietnam had its Five O'Clock Follies. But Iraq was (and still is) an around-the-clock sham. At least in Vietnam the press learned to call trickery by name. Regarding Iraq, and admirable exceptions aside, much of the press remains a stooge, stage-managed as surely as that $250,000 set built at Central Command Headquarters in Qatar, where the press corps gets its daily fix of fictions. [...]

But the mother of all inventions -- the one about chemical and biological weapons -- continues to metastasize hilarious variations. If it isn't a rusty truck from the Sumerian era that could have been a bioweapons lab, it's the absolutely trustworthy testimony of an anonymous ex-Saddam official whose friend's supervisor's second cousin by marriage might have once seen a fishy yellow substance stored in suspicious barrels in an Ali Baba cave that may or may not have been part of the plot in Sheherazade's 12th night. For all this, we're at war in a land that never should have mattered more to us than its mirages and sand piles. Still, the venal inventions continue. Our top gun president depends on them. [...]

Bush: My vision for the Mideast

U.S. president gives 'Texan talk' to Arab leaders
Meeting sets stage for summit with Sharon, Abbas

Jun. 4, 2003. 06:08 AM

AQABA, Jordan — In his first-ever venture into Mideast peacemaking, U.S. President George W. Bush yesterday departed from a carefully choreographed script with "Texan talk" that revealed his inner religious convictions on bringing an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In quotes inadvertently captured by an open microphone during a closed-door encounter with five Arab leaders, Bush spoke of a God-given duty to deliver a Palestinian state.

"I'm the kind of person who when I say something, I mean it," Bush told the gathering of Arab leaders at the Egyptian seaside resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

"I mean that the world needs to have a Palestinian state that is free and at peace. And therefore, my government works with all parties concerned to achieve that vision," he said.

"The Almighty God has endowed each individual on the face of the Earth ... expecting each person to be treated with dignity. This is a universal call. It's the call of all religions - that each person must be free and treated with respect.

"And it is with that call that I feel passionate about the need to move forward so that the world can be more peaceful, more free and more hopeful," Bush said.

Bush's surprisingly candid comments were captured on the eve of today's historic three-way summit at Aqaba, where he is expected to play mapmaker between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas.

On the table is the so-called road map to peace, a document that could well prove the single most difficult challenge of Bush's presidency.

Bush had blunt words for Israel as well yesterday, demanding action on the controversial question of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza, where an estimated 200,000 Israelis live on land Palestinians hope will become their state.

"Israel's got responsibilities. Israel must deal with the settlements," Bush told the Arab meeting, which was attended by Abbas, the long-time aide to Yasser Arafat favoured by the U.S. as the Palestinian to steer the road map.

"Israel must make sure there's a continuous territory that the Palestinians can call home."

(An aide later explained that Bush had meant to say "contiguous," an important nuance emphasizing Bush's desire for a Palestinian state that is not divided into separate parts.) [...]

Comment: It is interesting that Bush speaks of treating all people with dignity and respect. Where is the dignity and respect for the suffering Iraqi people? And what of the post-9/11 detainees who did nothing wrong and yet are not just denied a fair trial, but any trial at all?

Bush drives leaders to photo session

SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt (AP) -- As the golf cart swerved into view from around a corner and behind palm trees at the outset of two days of Middle East peacemaking it became clear: President Bush, grinning widely, was in the drivers seat.

Taking the wheel of the large cart, Bush ferried the five Arab leaders he had come here to cajole into supporting his peace agenda to their picturesque seaside photo opportunity. There, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak delivered a statement on the Arab leaders' behalf pledging to fight terror, embrace an internationally crafted peace plan and support a new Bush-backed Palestinian leader. [...]

They arrived a jovial group, Bush and Mubarak glad-handing the rest and a multitude of aides thronging the leaders-only cart. [...]

The experience was no doubt a thrill for Bush, who doesn't get to drive vehicles of any sort very often. He is said to relish being able to take his pickup truck for spins around his 1,600-acre Texas ranch when he retreats there from the much more restrictive confines of the White House.

However spontaneous, the cart ride also served to reinforce the impression of a Bush White House extraordinarily skilled at stage-managing presidential events.

Comment: "Come on boys, let me take you for a spin down the roadmap to destruction!"

The Isaiah Crowd
How Their Neo-Christianity is Killing Us

June 4, 2003

"And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground."

--Isaiah 21:9

The poverty-smashed country of Iraq was never so grand as its ancestor, that fertile valley between the Tigris and Euphrates from which came the Sumerians, the Akkadians, and the birth of human civilization. The great city of Babylon will always tower over Baghdad itself. The mythical aura never dimmed, in part because this was not just the civilization of Iraqis and their predecessors; it was OUR civilization, human civilization. It was the inevitable migrations of Babylonians and their descendants that gave us Greece.

If Babylon has fallen, and it has, what does it say about civilization and the human values that allow such wanton destruction? The oldest artifacts of civilized society came from Mesopotamia, now in near ruins, the victim of its modern treasure, black oil.

While bodies lay still unburied in the streets of Baghdad, Anglo-American soldiers from the invading armies watched these irreplaceable treasures stolen and smashed, while they guarded oil refineries. The image may possibly become a symbol for the barbarism of the recent invasion.

A further symbol of the nature of this vulgarity lies in the words of Donald Rumsfeld, regarding the looting: "They keep showing the same picture over and over; some guy carrying a couple of vases. There's not twenty vases in the whole country!" Rumsfeld, of course, knew nothing of what he was saying but added greatly to the picture of a bunch of "good ole" beer-swilling cowboys now running things. No artsy-fartsy sissies, these boys, Rumsfeld may as well have said.

Religious fanaticism is woven throughout this terrible tapestry, as it has been throughout most of the history of our species. Violence is almost always the product of fanaticism. When Isaiah of the Christian bible writes that "Babylon is fallen," he is not lamenting; his words ring of no sorrow or loss.

In the First Gulf War, for example, an F-16 fighter/bomber had "Isaiah 21:9" written on its bombs. Why Isaiah?

To this writer's taste, Isaiah was a pretty bloodthirsty fellow, certainly not someone I would have wanted my daughter to bring to dinner. In separate verse, he foretold the deaths of the people of Babylon:

"Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword. Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished." (Isaiah 13:15-16)

Yup, it's all in that bible that George W. waves around at his photo ops. "Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes..." the whole thing, in the book that is accepted as proof that George W. Bush is a man of god.

But here is the point: The U.S., in destroying Iraq and the history of our own culture, has clarified its anti-cultural, anti-intellectual, anti-compassionate, anti-inclusive stance in a way that portrays the United States, depicting itself as the white-hatted Christians, with accurate shock and awe. Few times in our spotted history have shown us to be as clearly the bad guys as this rape of Babylon. Old tired eyes can spot all the mud and grime on those white hats in a nanosecond.

In complacent but rather emotional ignorance, many Americans believe that we achieved a great victory by militarily destroying a country that never had a moment's chance against the military machine that consumes half the globe's expenditure of materials designed to kill people. It may be that Costa Rica, which has no army, could have defeated Iraq in the state to which it had been relegated by twenty-three years of war and sanctions. A few thousand eager farmers armed with machetes would have provided a truer balance with the "power" of Iraq than the world's greatest military might, literally sagging with weapons of global destruction.

And here it comes, but it's honest experience. I notice this daily: There is a direct correlation between the number of flags on an SUV and the pisces/"I ride with Jesus" stickers. These people, who seem challenged to comprehend the simplicity of "Thou shalt not kill," know that war and fundamentalist religion have a connect like kissing cousins, if only because they both FEEL so damned good. [...]

Bush's 'Double Jeopardy' for U.S. Troops

Robert Parry

If George W. Bush orders U.S. forces to unleash his "shock and awe" onslaught against Iraq without United Nations sanctions, he will be opening American servicemen to a kind of double jeopardy. First, they will be risking their lives in a combat strategy far riskier than is publicly acknowledged. Second, any significant taking of civilian life could leave both officers and enlisted men liable for future war-crimes charges.

Bush, who himself avoided military service in Vietnam and appears to have gone AWOL from his Vietnam-era National Guard duty, is putting young American soldiers and their officers in an unprecedented predicament. They are being told to invade and to conquer a country that is in the process of disarming under U.N. supervision. [...]

Trust Colin Powell?

The U.S. news media promoted two "themes" about Secretary of State Colin Powell's trip to the United Nations where he buttressed George W. Bush’s case for war with Iraq by presenting satellite photographs of trucks outside buildings and snippets of intercepted conversations.

While the "evidence" on its face didn't seem to prove much of anything, the media's first "theme" was that Powell is a trustworthy man of principle, a straight talker who wouldn't be part of some cheap propaganda ploy. The second "theme" was that Powell’s appearance before the United Nations was a kind of sequel to Adlai Stevenson’s convincing case that Soviet missiles had been installed in Cuba in 1962.

But both themes - Powell's trustworthiness and the Cuban missile precedent - may be misleading, as articles ... from the Archives will demonstrate.

Powell's press clippings aside, his real history is one of consistent political opportunism. [....]


Iraqis Say They Will Defy U.S. On Council Plan

Groups Vow to Select Interim Rulers

By Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, June 4, 2003

BAGHDAD, June 3 -- Iraqi political leaders vowed today to press ahead with plans to hold a large national conference aimed at selecting a transitional government despite a decision by the top U.S. civilian administrator here to call off the assembly and appoint an interim advisory council with limited authority.

"The U.S. cannot cancel a conference that is led by Iraqis," said Entifadh Qanbar, a spokesman for the Iraqi National Congress, a coalition of exiles that had opposed former president Saddam Hussein's government and now is seeking to shape the country's new political system. "We believe it is very important for Iraqis to go on with this."

Qanbar said his group and other political parties would organize a national meeting next month where delegates representing Iraq's varied political, religious and ethnic groups would decide on the form and membership of a transitional administration. He said that body then would insist on assuming authority for many basic governance tasks from the U.S. government.

Such a meeting could prompt a confrontation between the U.S. occupation authority and several Iraqi political groups, such as the INC, that are widely regarded as key American allies in postwar Iraq. Should those parties insist that leaders elected at the meeting be recognized as the country's legitimate transitional government, it could strain their relations with the United States, possibly hindering U.S. efforts to work with some of the best-organized and most pro-Western political groups in Iraq. [...]

New resistance organization in Iraq

14:34 2003-06-04

A new resistance organization calling itself The Army of Prophet Mohammed has surfaced in Iraq. The Wednesday issue of Al-Zaman newspaper printed its first announcement, in which the Army urged the servicemen of the former Iraqi army, national guards and members of the BAATH Party to organize resistance and start attacking the US troops. "It is time to show the world that you are real men," the announcement read.

It also called on Iraqis to stop cooperating with the occupiers and help those, who attack US soldiers, to hide from persecution. In the Army's opinion, cooperation with occupational troops only "puts off their exit from Iraq." Further on, the new organization warned all those, who belong to the Iraqi opposition or "arrived in Iraq together with the occupational troops." "Traitors will be executed," the announcement said.

The authors of the message demanded that Iraqi imams urged believers to excite jihad.

Iraqis not ready for democracy, says Blair's envoy

Anthony Browne in Baghdad
Times On-line

THE British diplomat charged with bringing democracy to Iraq said yesterday that the country’s political culture was too weak, and radicals too powerful, to proceed with elections for an interim government. [...]

The Silent Genocide from America

Mohammed Daud Miraki, MA, MA, PhD
Director Afghan DU & Recovery Fund

When Bush jr. said, "we will smoke them out…" he lived up to his promise, making life an unattainable reality for the unborn and unsustainable reality for the living sentencing the Afghan people and their future generations to a predetermined death sentence.

"After the Americans destroyed our village and killed many of us, we also lost our houses and have nothing to eat. However, we would have endured these miseries and even accepted them, if the Americans had not sentenced us all to death. When I saw my deformed grandson, I realized that my hopes of the future have vanished for good, different from the hopelessness of the Russian barbarism, even though at that time I lost my older son Shafiqullah. This time, however, I know we are part of the invisible genocide brought on us by America, a silence death from which I know we will not escape." (Jooma Khan of Laghman province, March 2003)

These words were uttered by an aggrieved Afghan grandfather, who saw his own and that of others' familial extinction at the hands of the United States of America and her allies. Another Afghan, who also saw his demise, said:
"I realized this slow, yet certain death, when I saw blood in my urine and developed severe pain in my kidneys along with breathing problems I never had before. Many of my family members started to complain from confusion and the pregnant women miscarried their babies while others gave birth to disabled infants" (Akbar Khan from Paktika province, February 2003)

The perpetuation of the perpetual death in Afghanistan continues with the passage of each day . . .

Comment: Check the link for an extensive listing of the weapons of destruction used in Afghanistan. This is what the Iraqi people have to look forward to, the continued decline of civilization, health and freedom as warlords and religious zealots fill the vacuum created by the "Bush Doctrine."

Study Links '91 Gulf War Vets and Birth Defects


Washington - Children of veterans of the 1991 Gulf War are more likely to have three specific birth defects than those of soldiers who never served in the gulf, a government study has found. [...]

Rogue spies out to get us - Labour
By Tom Baldwin

Ministers accuse agents of fuelling the crisis over Iraqi arms

ROGUE elements within the intelligence services are using the row over weapons of mass destruction to undermine the Government, senior Cabinet ministers claimed last night.
They said that the Government was the victim of “skulduggery” and that people were out to “settle scores” with the Prime Minister and Alastair Campbell, his Communications Director. Other ministers suggested that some figures within the intelligence establishment were motivated by their political opposition to a Labour Government.

The concerted counterattack against charges that Tony Blair exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein — hours after Downing Street insisted that there was no need for a public inquiry into the row — appeared to be designed to minimise the bitter clashes expected in the Commons today.

The allegations about rogue intelligence officers, reminiscent of claims that MI5 sabotaged Harold Wilson’s Labour Governments in the 1960s and 1970s, are likely to be seized upon by critics who believe the Government has been badly rattled by allegations that chime with opinion polls showing that public trust in Mr Blair has fallen sharply.

They could also be seen as an attempt to rally Labour MPs behind a shadowy common enemy and stop the seeds of rebellion spreading through the back benches. Ministers have accused dissident Labour MPs of being motivated by a sinister hidden agenda and whips are concerned about former Cabinet ministers, such as Clare Short, Robin Cook and Frank Dobson who have fuelled successive revolts against the Government. “They must really hate us,” one member of the Whips’ Office said.

Downing Street is incensed that denials from Mr Blair and John Scarlett, chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, have failed to prevent claims that it doctored the dossier on Iraq’s weapons being given credence. John Reid, the Leader of the Commons, told The Times: “There have been uncorroborated briefings by a potentially rogue element — or indeed rogue elements — in the intelligence services. I find it difficult to grasp why this should be believed against the word of the British Prime Minister and the head of the Joint Intelligence Committee.

Comment: John Reid can't see it, perhaps the next article will provide some elucidation.

The Niger connection: Tony Blair, forged documents and the case for war
By Andrew Grice Political Editor and David Usborne in New York
05 June 2003

Tony Blair was under mounting pressure yesterday after he refused to withdraw discredited claims by the secret intelligence service MI6 that Saddam Hussein tried to buy uranium to make nuclear weapons.

The controversy over documents supplied by MI6 and exposed as crude forgeries by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) before the war in Iraq now threatens to erupt into a full-blown political scandal on both sides of the Atlantic.

Yesterday the Prime Minister stood by the dossier on Saddam's alleged weapons of mass destruction (WMD) issued by the Government last September, which included the claim that Iraq had "sought the supply of significant quantities of uranium from Africa" even though it had no active civil nuclear power programme.

On the same day the Foreign Affairs Committee in the US Congress was given secret testimony that Niger had provided Iraq with 500 tons of uranium oxide for its secret nuclear bomb programme.

The Government's dossier on WMD also contained Mr Blair's assertion that Iraq was able to launch chemical and biological weapons within 45 minutes, which is now widely discredited.

The threat of Saddam acquiring nuclear weapons became a linchpin in both governments' campaigns to build a case for war. But the allegation was blown apart in March by the IAEA, after a cursory investigation.

Yesterday Robin Cook, the former foreign secretary, urged Mr Blair to withdraw his claim in the Commons last September that Saddam was "actively trying to acquire nuclear weapons capability".

The Prime Minister said at the time: "We know that Saddam has been trying to buy significant quantities of uranium from Africa, although we do not know whether he has been successful."

Mr Cook, who resigned from the Cabinet over the Iraq war, challenged Mr Blair in the Commons, asking whether he had been advised that the documents on which the claim was based were forged. He asked Mr Blair to correct the record now by saying that "he regrets in all good faith he gave the House information which has since turned out to be wrong".

Mr Blair refused to do so, insisting there was intelligence to back up the claim. He said: " I'm not going into the details of what particular intelligence it was. But there was intelligence judged by the Joint Intelligence Committee at the time to be correct." He said the Government was not in a position "to say whether that is so or not" until after the investigation to be carried out by Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee.

When the Prime Minister is quizzed by the committee, he is expected to say that the Government had more than one source for the allegation. One British official said: "There were a number of sources for the text in our dossier on that and we stand by it."

Last night the IAEA expressed surprise that Mr Blair did not take the opportunity offered by Mr Cook to abandon the allegation. Melissa Fleming, a spokeswoman for the IAEA, said: "These were blatant forgeries. We were able to determine that they were forgeries very quickly."

US makes new plans for war on Pyongyang
By Shane Green, Herald Correspondent in Tokyo
June 4 2003

The United States is said to be developing new plans for a war in North Korean that would bypass the demilitarised zone dividing the two Koreas and target the leadership in Pyongyang.

The plan is based on the success of US-led forces in Iraq in quickly reaching the capital, Baghdad.

US officials quoted by Reuters said the plan would involve the consolidation of the US and South Korean forces in two areas away from the demilitarised zone.

If war broke out, the forces would skirt the demilitarised zone and head for Pyongyang. "This is Kim Jong-il's worst nightmare," one official said.

It was estimated that the recently announced $US11 billion ($17 billion) upgrade of the capabilities of US forces in South Korea would give them the ability to "take down" North Korea's heavy presence on the border within an hour of war breaking out.

The report coincided with a visit to South Korea and Japan by the US Deputy Defence Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz.

Mr Wolfowitz, speaking in Tokyo after meeting Japan's Defence Minister, Shigeru Ishiba, would not be drawn on the reported plans.

"We don't discuss military plans for good operational reasons," he said.

But he said the US wanted to update its "force posture" so it could counter a North Korean attack "more quickly and more effectively".

In South Korea on Monday Mr Wolfowitz warned of a "devastatingly effective" response against any North Korean military aggression.

The US has 37,000 troops in South Korea, including 15,000 members of the Second Infantry Division deployed near the demilitarised zone. But it appears likely they will be moved as part of a realignment of US forces in the country.

Mr Wolfowitz said this realignment should not be delayed.

"It is not something that should wait until the nuclear problem is solved, as though somehow it's going to weaken our posture. To the contrary, it's part of an effort to strengthen our overall posture on the peninsula, including . . . a very substantial investment by the United States in some 150 systems that will enhance our ability to provide for early defence against a North Korean attack."

Mr Wolfowitz acknowledged that North Korea now had "certain advantages over us which they continue to press". He did not specify what these were, but North Korea has an estimated 11,000 pieces of artillery aimed at the South Korean capital, Seoul, only 50 kilometres from the demilitarised zone.

Mr Wolfowitz said the US also had "some considerable advantages", pointing to the "remarkable military capabilities" demonstrated in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He said the US believed it was important to "update our force posture from where it was 10 years ago, to take advantage of those capabilities".

North says South Korean warships intent on sparking sea clash

SEOUL - North Korea said Tuesday South Korea had repeatedly sent warships into its territorial waters in the Yellow Sea in an attempt to trigger a naval battle.

Six South Korean sailors were killed in a skirmish in the Yellow Sea off the west coast of the Korean peninsula in June last year.

Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), quoting a navy spokesman, said South Korea planned to provoke another clash and blame it on North Korea. That would provide a pretext for US attack on the Stalinist state, it said.

Pyongyang says Washington is planning a military strike to resolve the nuclear crisis that began with the US disclosure in October that North Korea had admitted to pursuing nuclear weapons despite a 1994 accord to freeze its nuclear program.

The KCNA statement came two days after South Korean warships fired warning shots on North Korean fishing boats they said had crossed the maritime border into South Korean waters.

That was the latest in a serious of violations reported by South Korea of the Northern Limit Line (NLL), the maritime border drawn by the US-led United Nations Command during the 1950-53 Korean War that North Korea refuses to recognize.

The North Korean navy spokesman said the South Korean reports of violations were false and issued a protest at the firing of warning shots, “rattling the nerves of KPA (North Korean) soldiers.”

“These disturbing developments remind one of last year when the South Korean military authority dispatched warships to the waters under the North’s control in an unbroken chain and sparked a naval conflict ...” the spokesman said.

“The South Korean military authority has already worked out a scenario for another “West Sea skirmish’ and is now staging a prelude to it.”

South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun warned last week that ”special” care was needed to prevent maritime incursion from sparking another sea battle.

Disputes over the NLL and its surrounding rich fishing grounds have led to two naval battles in recent years.

An inter-Korean skirmish in June 1999 left up to 30 North Koreans believed killed. That was followed by the June 29 clash last year.

Comment: Seems like there's another Gulf of Tonkin in the offing...

U.S. Seeks Ability to 'Take Down' N. Korea Quickly

By Carol Giacomot

TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. plans to transform allied forces at the Korean demilitarized zone would be aimed ensuring U.S. and South Korean forces could begin "taking down" the North's frontline from the first hour of a war, a senior U.S. defense official said Monday.

General Leon Laporte, commander of U.S. forces in South Korea, was working on a plan which was "quite a transformation in the way both our countries would be postured," the official said.
"While we can't completely compensate for the fact that North Korea has so much stuff right up forward on the DMZ, we could begin taking it down from the first hour of the war and that would make a big difference," the official said.

"It would save lives and ultimately it has to strengthen deterrence."

The communist North has thousands of loaded artillery pieces aimed at Seoul and half of its army is deployed within 40 miles of the DMZ dividing the peninsula, the world's most heavily fortified border.

The United States has branded North Korea, which it suspects of building nuclear weapons, part of an "axis of evil" along with pre-war Iraq and Iran. For its part, North Korea has accused the United States of using the nuclear issue as an excuse for an eventual attack. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the present U.S. military posture at the North-South border "sacrifices a good deal of military capability for the symbolism of having some American soldiers on the DMZ. "It means if North Korea were to attack we would spend a lot of the first period of time ... reorganizing and regrouping in order to start hitting back," he added.

Hunt is on for ancient 'global warming' documents

21:24 Wednesday 4th June 2003

Experts are hunting for ancient tablets in Iraq that may hold the key to understanding global warming.

Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell told the Commons that the Government was taking steps to identify and protect the nearly 5,000-year-old Sumerian Tablets.

Experts say they constitute "the longest single, largely-unbroken climate record known on earth".

The fate of the artefacts - thought to be the oldest scripts in the world - was raised by Father of the House Tam Dalyell in a short debate.

He said it was vital to preserve written records of "extreme global climate fluctuations in the last 5,000 years".

Scientists had to refer to previous such events in a bid to understand what was happening today, he said, and the longer the record the better.

Mr Rammell told him: "Foreign Office officials have spoken to Professor Richard Grove at the University of Sussex who is a leading expert on these issues.

"He has explained that these tablets date back to 2900BC and are thought to be the oldest scripts in the world.

"He has said that these tablets contain important data on climactic events of the time and are of huge importance to developing our understanding of climate change today and that it was vital efforts were made to find and secure these treasures.

"I am therefore more than pleased to be able to confirm that we are now taking steps on the ground to identify and protect the Sumerian tablets along with other antiquities."

Comment: They are only about two months late. Iraqis and U.S. troops smashed or stole all the antiquities from sites like the National Museum in Baghdad.

Woman suicide bomber kills 15 near Russian air base
AP 05 June 2003

A woman suicide bomber blew up a bus carrying personnel from a military air base in southern Russia near Chechnya today, killing at least 15 people and injuring more than 40.

The bus was travelling from the city of Mozdok in the North Ossetia region to the nearby base and was waiting at a closed railroad crossing when a woman in a white coat - the usual uniform for medical personnel - approached and detonated explosives.

Six people were killed at the scene and nine others died in a hospital. More than 40 people on the bus - an air crew and maintenance workers from the Prokhladny air base - were wounded, many seriously.

Mozdok is the main headquarters for Russian forces who have been fighting rebels in Chechnya for most of the past decade.

Belgium Finds Nerve Gas Ingredient in Letters

Wed June 4, 2003 01:55 PM ET
By Gilles Castonguay

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Letters containing a nerve gas ingredient were sent to the Belgian prime minister's office, the U.S. and British embassies and a court trying al Qaeda suspects in Brussels, the federal prosecutor said Wednesday.

Two postal workers were taken to hospital after being exposed to the chemicals in the letters at mail depots.

No one else was injured by the 10 letters sent to a variety of targets, also including the Saudi Arabian embassy, three ministries, an airport and a port authority.

The brownish-yellow powder contained phenarsazine chloride, an arsenic derivative used in nerve gas, as well as hydrazine, an agent used as a rocket propellant, the Health Ministry said. Both substances are also found in pesticides.

The letters contained no more than a spoonful of the chemicals -- not enough to be life-threatening -- but caused irritation to the eyes and skin and affected breathing, Health Ministry spokeswoman Anne-Francoise Gally said.

Police suspect the letters came from a single source in Belgium, said a spokeswoman for the federal prosecutor's office, overseeing the investigation. [...]

The apparent attack came as 23 suspected collaborators of the al Qaeda Muslim militant network stood trial in Brussels on charges of fraud, possession of firearms, recruiting for a foreign armed force and other crimes. [...]

Third World attacks failure of Evian to tackle its problems

By John Lichfield in Evian
04 June 2003
The Independent

The G8 summit of the world's richest countries ended yesterday with a ringing cry of economic confidence and the generation of more statements than ever before.

But pressure groups for the Third World complained - and officials close to the summit admitted - that this had been a choreographed summit of fixed smiles that evaded all the most contentious issues, from the plunge of the dollar to the explosion of Aids in Africa.

Unlike many previous G8 summits, there were no splits or squabbles. But there also seems to have been little attempt to narrow differences, and therefore no opportunity for argument. The main concern had been to present a united front, which would persuade markets and investors that the arguments over the Iraq war had ended and that they could look forward to modest growth in the world economy [...]

Eyewitness: Zimbabwe torture victim

Tuesday, 25 March, 2003, 10:36 GMT

Zimbabwe has seen hundreds of arrests since last week's strike, with allegations made of brutal treatment. Patricia, an official with the Movement for Democratic Change in Harare, told the BBC of her ordeal.

I was fast asleep at 1pm when I heard them knocking at my door. I thought they were thieves. The soldiers pushed the door open.

They were many, some were in civvies.

They had guns, ropes, baton sticks. They asked who Patricia was.

I said: "I am Patricia".

They asked if I was the secretary of the MDC.

I said "Yes".

They said: "Bring your particulars of the MDC."

I said: "I don't have any."

They said: "You are a prostitute of [MDC leader Morgan] Tsvangirai, so we are going to take this condom and put it on this gun and get it into you, because Tsvangirai is doing this to you and you enjoy having sex with him".

I told them I had never had sex with Tsvangirai and they said: "That is your boyfriend and you should suffer for this."

They put the gun inside me and they asked me if I was enjoying it.

I said: "It is painful."

They said: "It is not painful because when you have it with Tsvangirai you'll be smiling."

They forced me to make noises as though I was having sex with a man.

I did.

When my brother heard that I was being assaulted, he came out from his house to my room and said: "What is happening?"

He was told to shut up and was beaten and made to get into the toilet.

They opened the taps and water was running all over his body and asked: "Why are you living with this MDC person here? We want to kill her."

They started beating me up.

They took the urine from my kid and said: "Drink it."

I first refused but the way they were beating me and they wanted to put the gun again, so I had to drink it.

After drinking it, they said they wanted to see the urine flowing.

I said: "I don't have any urine."

They said: "We know you have it. You have to do it now before we kill you."

So I had to do the urine standing.

They said: "We want to see it flowing by your feet."

So I did.

I am afraid of meeting them again. I don't know what they will do.

They have already killed me.

I have to carry on. I just want revenge.

Zimbabwean troops beat man to death in bid to end strike
By Basildon Peta Southern Africa Correspondent
05 June 2003

Zimbabwean soldiers beat an opposition supporter to death yesterday as a government crackdown intensified on the third day of a national strike aimed at toppling President Robert Mugabe.

Many Zimbabwean shops and businesses remained shut yesterday in defiance of a threat from President Mugabe to seize businesses taking part in the largest-ever protests against his rule. He is also threatening to expel expatriate businessmen and workers who defy his orders to return to work.

The main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said Mugabe agents yesterday raided a private hospital and abducted several of its injured supporters who were awaiting treatment. The MDC said that an opposition supporter, Tichaona Kaguru, died in hospital after being tortured and assaulted by the soldiers putting down the anti-Mugabe protests.

Zimbabwean business leaders told The Independent that they had been given orders to stop taking part in the week-long protest or risk losing their investments.

They said expatriate businessmen and workers had been told their work permits would be withdrawn and risked deportation if they continued to take part in the strike which has paralysed Zimbabwe.

The MDC called the strike to force Mr Mugabe to either resign or negotiate a settlement of the Zimbabwe crisis.

[...] The MDC claims that hundreds of its supporters have been severely beaten by Mr Mugabe's soldiers and army during the protests. Stan Mudenge, the Foreign minister, has reportedly justified the government action against the strike by telling foreign diplomats based in Harare yesterday that no government could tolerate any "illegal" protest.

Italian senate backs PM immunity

Wednesday, 4 June, 2003, 22:32 GMT

The Italian upper house of parliament has approved legislation which effectively grants immunity from prosecution to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

It could indefinitely block the trial where he stands accused of bribing judges to further his own business interests.

Mr Berlusconi introduced the legislation, which grants leading politicians immunity from prosecution, after his lawyers failed to have corruption charges against him dropped.

The centre-right Italian prime minister denies any wrongdoing, claiming he is a victim of left-leaning Milanese prosecutors. [...]

Comment: This is the nature of "democracy" in this world. This is the type of democracy that the US is a shining example of. You have an amoral crook at the helm, with a servile, docile public, so weak-willed that should they ever begin to suspect the true nature and intentions of their rulers, such suspicion can be instantly dismissed via some puerile sideshow, as easy as distracting a monkey with a banana.

The Enronization Of Public Policy

Arianna Huffington
June 4, 2003

Has there ever been a clearer, more irrefutable example of our political leaders' lack of a moral compass than the clandestine, eleventh-hour elimination of a promised child tax credit for almost 12 million of America's poorest children?

It's a move that is so cold-hearted and so profoundly dishonorable that it could only have been made by people who have lost all moral direction.

A magnetic compass should always point north; a moral compass should always point out what is moral -- and immoral. Heaping billions on the rich while ensuring that one out of six American kids doesn’t get a penny is dead wrong.

But that's exactly what Congressional Republicans did -- and what President Bush signed off on.

This is not a right/left issue. It's a right/wrong issue. But the GOP's self-appointed morality czars have been deafeningly silent on this bit of economic indecency. I guess Bill Bennett was too busy shaking the hands of every one-armed bandit in Vegas to notice.

Adding to the obscenity is the fact that while the Congressional hatchet men were hacking up the $3.5 billion child tax credit in the name of keeping the total tax cut under $350 billion, they let stand billions in corporate tax dodges and accounting cons, including the use of offshore tax havens.

The White House labeled this particular piece of supply-side porn the Jobs and Growth Act. I guess the Leave No Corporate Loophole Behind Act didn't focus group as well.

The last few years have shown us what happens when an entire subculture loses its moral compass: Enron, Tyco, Adelphia, WorldCom, et al. And it's becoming increasingly clear that the current administration has embraced the unethical ethos of the corporate oligarchy from which so many of its members came -- and which all of them continue to serve. The same inability to distinguish right from wrong that characterized the corporate scandals is now dominating public policy.

It's the Enronization of Washington. [...]

House Passes 'Partial Birth' Abortion Ban

By Joanne Kenen
Wed June 4, 2003 10:20 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives easily approved a ban on a procedure critics call "partial birth" abortions on Wednesday, a measure supported by President George W Bush and championed for nearly a decade by anti-abortion groups.

If the bill, approved 282-139, withstands legal challenges, it would be the first time a specific form of abortion has been criminalized since the 1973 Supreme Court Roe versus Wade ruling that upheld abortion rights [...]

Space Is The Ultimate High Ground

by Staff Sgt. A.J. Bosker
Air Force News
Washington - Jun 04, 2003

Space is the ultimate high ground and gives American forces a tremendous advantage on the battlefield, according to the Air Force's director of space operations and integration at the Pentagon.

"We must dominate space," said Maj. Gen. Judd Blaisdell, "because it would be very difficult to conduct a war without our space assets and the capabilities they provide."

For example, he said, satellites allow American forces to communicate globally, providing "reach-back" capability and performing real time command and control and battle management.

"They also give us the bandwidth needed to operate our unmanned aerial vehicles," the general said.

Space platforms also warn American forces of enemy missile launches, he said. The older systems, initially designed to detect strategic intercontinental ballistic missiles, were adapted in Operation Desert Storm to detect Iraqi Scud missile launches.

"We're now pushing to replace these with the new space-based infrared systems which would be able to more accurately detect the smaller tactical or theater ballistic missiles," he said. "(These systems) will also be able to relay this information to other assets enabling us to strike these launch platforms or (intercept the missiles in flight)." [...]

Russia launches military satellite

MOSCOW (AFP) Jun 05, 2003

Russia late Wednesday launched a Kosmos-3M rocket carrying a military satellite from its Plesetsk space center, in the north of the country, a spokesman for the military space corps said.

The satellite was placed into orbit early Thursday, the ITAR-TASS news agency quoted the spokesman as saying.

Russia has already launched two military satellites this year, and plans to launch nine more by the end of the year, the defense ministry said last month. [...]

New Nanoscale Device Reveals Behavior Of Individual Electrons

Madison - Jun 04, 2003

Laptop computers can generate enough heat that, in rare cases, they actually catch fire. While engineers have a great grasp of how to control electrical charge in circuits, they have a hard time getting rid of the heat created by flowing electrons. What's missing is a fundamental understanding of how individual electrons generate heat.

A new device developed by University of Wisconsin-Madison Electrical and Computer Engineering Associate Professor Robert Blick promises to change that. In addition, it will provide insights into harnessing quantum forces for communication and computing.

Blick, along with his graduate student Eva Hoehberger and colleague Werner Wegscheider, developed something similar to an incredibly small trampoline for bouncing individual electrons. It operates as an artificial atom, or a membrane, suspended over a semiconductor cavity.

Featured on the cover of the June 9 issue of Applied Physics Letters, the tool will allow researchers to study for the first time, in detail, the influence of heat dissipation on single electron transport in these transistors. [...]

In the longer term, the tool could reveal important secrets that allow researchers to exploit the power of quantum computing and communication.

In a conventional computer, the presence of a group of electrons shows up as a negative charge and represents the "zero state" in binary logic, called a bit. When that charge is missing, the "one state" is represented.

But a quantum computer deals with the quantum mechanics of electrons, which can be used to define so-called quantum bits or qubits. Unlike bits, these qubits can exist in more than one state at once.

This frees quantum computers to calculate all the possible solutions to a complex problem simultaneously, rather than running through them one-by-one like their slower, serial counterparts.

Key to developing a practical quantum computer, however, involves understanding exactly what represents information and how to get it out of the device.

Blick's system, when tuned to the zero-dimension state, will add to this understanding - it will allow researchers to observe an individual electron near the qubit level as it approaches what's known as the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.

This law of nature holds that as soon as you try to exactly determine the whereabouts of a quantum mechanical particle, you can no longer be certain of where it is going, since any action to measure the particle changes the particle's condition.

"An electron spread out as a wave, as a fermionic particle, has a scale of some five nanometers and this is exactly what we can address with our device." Blick says. "We can study information processing on the quantum level and see whether the Heisenberg principle gives us a real obstacle, or whether we can find ways around it by using quantum-nondemolition techniques."

Prince asks scientists to look into 'grey goo'

By Roger Highfield, Science Editor
Daily Telegraph

Fears by the Prince of Wales that armies of microscopic robots could turn the face of the planet into an uninhabitable wasteland have prompted the nation's top scientists and engineers to launch an inquiry. [...]

Homeland Insecurity: U.S. Schools, Middle Class, Poor Take Shelling

Village Voice

The Council on Foreign Relations estimates the cost of occupying Iraq with 75,000 troops at $20 billion a year. But the real cost is likely to be higher since we have 125,000 troops in Iraq now. How long they will be there is anybody's guess, because commanders were reported as saying last week that the fighting is not yet over.

If the Iraq war adds to the growing deficit, so does the fact that under Rumsfeld's command the Pentagon has somehow lost track of $1 trillion worth of materiel. According to a study from the GAO, conducted late last year, those losses include 56 planes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin cruise missile command launch units.

Then there are the little things, like the cost of blowing up Saddam's bunker. Bush said he had to start the war early on March 20 so as to kill Saddam, his sons, and other top officials at a secret meeting in a bunker. According to reports last week, that bunker did not exist.

But consider what it cost, according to estimates by an analyst at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation:
Two stealth fighters, at $1,500 an hour each for three hours: $9,000
Two Navy Prowlers as escort, at $4,000 an hour. Total for three hours: $24,000
Two bunker-buster bombs, at $60,000 a pop. Total: $120,000
Two Tomahawk missiles, at $750,000 to $1 million each. Total: $2 million

The grand total? Somewhere between $1.6 million and $2.2 million to take out a nonexistent bunker.
That might not seem like much, the way the Pentagon throws around money, but it would pay for at least 1 million school lunches (at $2.14 each) for kids from poor families [...]

Surgeon General Favors Tobacco Ban

By Marc Kaufman
Washington Post Staff Writer

Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona said yesterday that he supports the banning of tobacco products -- the first time that the government's top doctor and public health advocate has made such a strong statement about the historically contentious subject.

Testifying at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on smokeless tobacco and "reduced risk" tobacco products, Carmona was asked if he would "support the abolition of all tobacco products." [...]

Brazil activists target Monsanto


The MST has won millions of supporters around the country.

Members of the million-strong landless movement in Brazil (MST) have invaded a farm owned by biotech giant Monsanto in the central state of Goias.

It is the third protest of this kind against Monsanto property this year, and the company has urged the government to take back the land, warning that repeated invasions "damage the image of the country".

It has filed for a repossession order from a court but no decision has yet been announced.

There is torrid debate in Brazil over whether genetically modified (GM) crops should be let in amid mounting pressure on the government from the multinationals.

Comment: Even if GM food is not dangerous there is this little thing Monsanto has about patenting their seeds, and then actively prosecuting farmers who save seeds to grow next years crop, rather than buying seeds from Monsanto. They effectively control the food supply, then they buy water rights. God forbid if the farmers lose a crop, and then don't have the money to purchase seeds. The power of life and death - a psychopath's dream.

Country music in battle over patriotism, free speech

The Tennessean

Some fear intolerant atmosphere will lead to self-censorship

As thousands of country fans stream into Nashville this week for Fan Fair, the country music community is wrestling, perhaps as never before, over issues of patriotism and free speech.

Some fans and observers say country music, in responding to Sept. 11 and subsequent global events, has gone beyond its traditional support of America and the armed forces and begun to cultivate an atmosphere that's intolerant of dissent from the Bush administration's strategies in the war on terror.[...]

UFO sightings around the Grampians National Park will be the subject of a new documentary

The Standard

A group of investigators from the Victorian section of the Australian UFO Research Network will compile the footage with the aim of attracting an international TV market.

The members plan to spend as long as six nights during June staking out sites in the Grampians.

Spokesman Jason Groves, of Warrnambool, said that during the past three years there had been many reports of strange lights from in and around the Grampians. [...]

Dragonflies 'invisible to their victims'

Researchers have found dragonflies know how to make themselves invisible to airborne prey and territorial rivals.

They make themselves invisible by using a system even more sophisticated than the radar avoiding technology of America's stealth aircraft.

Using ultra-precise positional sensing and flight control, a dragonfly can move in such a way that it appears to an enemy to be a stationary object blending into the background.

The "motion camouflage" technique allows the creature to stalk its victim undetected.

Scientists in Australia made the discovery after using stereo cameras to record territorial air battles between rival male dragonflies.

By studying the insects in three dimensions, the researchers established how motion camouflage works.

They described how an attacking dragonfly adjusts its position so that its image always occupies the same spot on the target's retina. Camouflaged against the background, the dragonfly becomes invisible even though it is moving.

The scientists, led by Akiko Mizutani, from the Australian National University in Canberra, wrote in the journal Nature: "Deployment of this sophisticated technique by the oldest airborne predator tricks the victim's retina into perceiving the stalker as stationary even while it darts about in pursuit."

The researchers reconstructed 15 three-dimensional dragonfly flight trajectories, six of which showed clear evidence of motion camouflage.

In many cases, the pursuing dragonfly flew away from its rival rather than towards it in order to maintain the disguise. Sometimes a dragonfly would imitate near and far fixed objects during a single pursuit, showing it could combine different types of motion camouflage.



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