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June 7, 2003

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Six die in Kabul bus bombing
Saturday, June 7, 2003

The explosion knocked the bus off the side of the road.

(CNN) -- As many as six people were killed Saturday -- including three German peacekeepers -- in an apparent suicide attack on a bus near Kabul, Afghanistan.

A news release from U.S. Central Command said 36 people -- including eight members of the International Security Assistance Force -- were injured in the blast, which was set off when the suicide bomber's vehicle approached the bus and detonated.

The bus was traveling near the Afghan National Army training facility in Kabul around 8:30 a.m. local time (midnight ET), when the explosion knocked the bus off the side of the road.

Soon after the explosion, dozens of German peacekeepers formed a cordon around the street, not allowing any vehicles past. Witnesses described a chaotic scene, with bits of metal strewn around.

Before Saturday's attack, 15 peacekeepers had died on duty in Afghanistan, all of them in accidents.

In addition, 62 Spanish peacekeepers died in May when their plane crashed in Turkey as they were returning home after a four-month tour of duty in Afghanistan.

On May 29, a German soldier died and another was injured when their vehicle ran over a land mine. German officials said they believed the deaths were caused by an old land mine.

On May 15, two Norwegian peacekeeping troops were shot and injured as they were traveling on a road north of Kabul. Two days earlier, a British soldier was slightly wounded when an Afghan man threw a grenade at a peacekeeping base.

Some 5,000 peacekeepers are in Kabul. Germany and the Netherlands are currently in joint command of the force, but are due to hand over control to NATO in August.

At about that time, the German and Dutch forces are scheduled to return home and be replaced by about 1,800 Canadian soldiers.

Comment: Yes indeedy, let us not forget that the US "liberated" Afghanistan also...

Missing Weapons Of Mass Destruction:

Is Lying About The Reason For War An Impeachable Offense?
Friday, Jun. 06, 2003

President George W. Bush has got a very serious problem. Before asking Congress for a Joint Resolution authorizing the use of American military forces in Iraq, he made a number of unequivocal statements about the reason the United States needed to pursue the most radical actions any nation can undertake - acts of war against another nation.

Now it is clear that many of his statements appear to be false. In the past, Bush's White House has been very good at sweeping ugly issues like this under the carpet, and out of sight. But it is not clear that they will be able to make the question of what happened to Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) go away - unless, perhaps, they start another war.

In an apparent attempt to bolster the President's credibility, and his own, Secretary Rumsfeld himself has now called for a Defense Department investigation into what went wrong with the pre-war intelligence. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd finds this effort about on par with O. J.'s looking for his wife's killer.

Comment: Or akin to the US government investigating the events behind 9/11

Worse than Watergate? A Potential Huge Scandal If WMDs Are Still Missing

Krugman is right to suggest a possible comparison to Watergate. In the three decades since Watergate, this is the first potential scandal I have seen that could make Watergate pale by comparison. If the Bush Administration intentionally manipulated or misrepresented intelligence to get Congress to authorize, and the public to support, military action to take control of Iraq, then that would be a monstrous misdeed.

As I remarked in an earlier column, this Administration may be due for a scandal. While Bush narrowly escaped being dragged into Enron, it was not, in any event, his doing. But the war in Iraq is all Bush's doing, and it is appropriate that he be held accountable.

To put it bluntly, if Bush has taken Congress and the nation into war based on bogus information, he is cooked. Manipulation or deliberate misuse of national security intelligence data, if proven, could be "a high crime" under the Constitution's impeachment clause. It would also be a violation of federal criminal law, including the broad federal anti-conspiracy statute, which renders it a felony "to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose."

ROSEN: Weapons of Mass Deception

By Ruth Rosen, San Francisco Chronicle
June 6, 2003

The Bush administration faces a growing credibility gap that may turn into one of the most serious political scandals in our nation's history. Watergate may one day seem minor-league by comparison.

What I'm about to describe is not a conspiracy. It is the story of a group of men determined to implement a long-held vision. ....

The Buck Stops with Bush
The Big Lie

June 6, 2003

The Bush administration told the American people over and over again that war against Iraq was necessary because Saddam Hussein was lying about not having weapons of mass destruction. We were told that Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction were an imminent threat to the United States. We were told that our government knew where those weapons of mass destruction were located. And yet, after another brutal war in which thousands of innocent civilians were killed, the Bush Administration can produce no evidence that Saddam Hussein had the weapons of mass destruction.

Prior to the war, the Bush administration offered detailed descriptions of Iraq's weapons programs, including the claims famously made by Colin Powell before the UN Security Council. Bush administration claims included assertions that Iraq had a program for enriching uranium, that it had weaponized thousands of liters of biological weapons, including anthrax and botulism, and that Iraq could launch these weapons on very short notice.

Prior to the war, when Saddam Hussein opened his palaces to UN inspectors, destroyed missiles with ranges barely longer than UN restrictions and allowed the US to send U-2 spy planes over Iraq, the Bush Administration said it was too little, too late.

Prior to the war, when the Chief UN Weapons Inspector, Hans Blix, said that the inspectors were receiving increased cooperation from the Iraqis and pleaded for more time to continue their work, George Bush said he was growing impatient.

Prior to the war, when members of the Security Counsel of the United Nations said they were not ready to support the use of force against Iraq, George Bush demonstrated his disdain for international law and the Security Counsel of the United Nations by launching a preventive war against Iraq.

The failure to find weapons of mass destruction after the war is causing widespread skepticism throughout the world about the justification for going to war. It has become a major political scandal in the UK, where prior to the war Tony Blair echoed the Bush administration's claims of Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction. [...]

It is a truth that also leaves the American people in an uncomfortable position. It would seem that we were also "conned into a war" by Mr. Bush and his administration. [...]

The buck stops with Mr. Bush. Lying about the reasons for war and misleading the American people into supporting a war has the look and feel of "high crimes and misdemeanors," for which the Constitution provides impeachment as the remedy.

As Iraqis' Disaffection Grows, U.S. Offers Them a Greater Political Role

New York Times

BAGHDAD, Iraq, June 6 — The imam at one of Baghdad's largest mosques urged more than a thousand listeners today to wage a jihad, or religious war, against American occupying forces in Iraq.

Speaking at Friday Prayers, Imam Mouaid al-Ubaidi denounced the Americans as invaders and aggressors and implicitly praised recent guerrilla attacks against United States soldiers as self-defense by people who are being "strangled."

The unusually bellicose sermon by the Sunni Muslim cleric came just hours before American officials, responding to growing Iraqi disenchantment, offered to give Iraqis more authority in an American-controlled interim administration that is expected to be formed next month.

Heightened frustrations with the American occupation is believed to be inciting attacks like the one mounted in the central Iraqi town of Falluja on Thursday. One American soldier was killed and five others injured when a grenade or a mortar round hit their encampment, 30 miles west of Baghdad. It was the latest in a string of shootings and bombings that has left eight soldiers dead in less than two weeks.

"There are only two powers now in the world," Mr. Ubaidi said in his Friday sermon. "One is America, which is tyrannical and oppressive. The other is a warrior who has not yet been awakened from his slumber, and that warrior is Islam. [...]

His voice rising in power and anger, the cleric recited a poem from the Koran to defend those who attack American forces. "How can you blame a person who is being strangled if he hurts the person who is strangling him?" he said. "How can you blame the person who is being oppressed who hurts the person who is oppressing him?"

The mood among listeners was at least as militant as that of the imam. "They have destroyed our institutions, our people and our security," said Majid Hamid al-Bayati, a lawyer. "They have totally erased us."

Schoolgirl is feared dead amid spate of rapes and abductions in Baghdad

By Victoria Firmo-Fontan in Baghdad
07 June 2003

They say that abductions and rape in "liberated Iraq" are only rumours.

But on 22 May, Baida Sadik left her home in Shaab City, Baghdad, for school and never returned. Her fellow students said they saw her being shoved at gunpoint into a car. It was just after 8am.

She is - or was - 16 years old. The dark-haired, green-eyed Baida had pleaded with her uncle to be allowed to return to school amid Baghdad's post-war anarchy because she knew that her future depended on her studies - she wanted to become a nurse. But the full story of her ordeal may never be known. Her sister Nagham fears she is already dead.

For weeks, the reported rape and kidnapping of young women in Baghdad was treated with a mixture of scepticism and fear. But the tens of thousands of families who kept their daughters from school - or insisted US troops guard their classes - appear to have had good reason to worry.

At the al-Kindi University Hospital in Baghdad, Dr Ahmed Assafi, the emergency room resident, says he has treated five young women who were raped in the aftermath of the war. But he says many other cases are never officially reported because of the Arab "honour" code towards women.

"Baghdad has become a jungle, where anyone can disappear - and without anyone daring to intervene," Dr Assafi said as he prepared to help a middle-aged Iraqi man who had been shot in the head by thieves trying to steal his car.

The latest rape case treated by the doctor was a female student at the Shaab City Secondary School. Like Baida, she was abducted on her way to school but, in this case, the kidnappers threw acid in her face to prevent her ever being able to identify them. The men spent two hours in the car raping the blinded girl. [...]

Comment: Just another example of the wonderful freedoms the Iraqis are now enjoying, courtesy of the Bush Reich.

Downsizing in Disguise

The Nation

The streets of Baghdad are a swamp of crime and uncollected garbage. Battered local businesses are going bankrupt, unable to compete with cheap imports. Unemployment is soaring and thousands of laid-off state workers are protesting in the streets.

In other words, Iraq looks like every other country that has undergone rapid-fire "structural adjustments" prescribed by Washington, from Russia's infamous "shock therapy" in the early 1990s to Argentina's disastrous "surgery without anesthetic." Except that Iraq's "reconstruction" makes those wrenching reforms look like spa treatments. [...]


By Tom Newton Dunn, Defence Correspondent
The Mirror

A SENIOR soldier in army intelligence was arrested in Iraq yesterday over child pornography.
Obscene images had been found on the married staff sergeant's laptop computer.

Investigators are already conducting three inquiries into war crimes allegations, including torture of Iraqi PoWs and the deaths of civilians.

Report doesn't back weapons claims
Did U.S. officials exaggerate Iraqi threat in push for war?

WASHINGTON, June 6 —  The Pentagon’s intelligence agency had no hard evidence of Iraqi chemical weapons last fall but believed Iraq had a program in place to produce them, the agency’s chief said Friday. The assessment suggests a higher degree of uncertainty about the immediacy of an Iraqi threat — at least with regard to one portion of its banned weapons programs — than the Bush administration indicated publicly in building its case for disarming Iraq, with force if necessary.

[...]The administration began building its case against Iraq last August in a series of speeches by Vice President Dick Cheney. “There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction,” Cheney told a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention on Aug. 26. “There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us.”
[...]  “We do know that the Iraqi regime has chemical and biological weapons,” Rumsfeld told the House Armed Services Committee on Sept. 18. “His regime has amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons — including VX, sarin, cyclosarin and mustard gas.”[...]

Revise and Conquer

In the end, the "weapons of mass destruction" that the Christian Coalition had sworn were "armed and ready" to unleash unspeakable carnage on the world turned out to be -- by Bush's own admission -- a couple of trucks, which contained not a speck of hazardous material.

By Chris Floyd
Moscow Times

Holocaust revisionism took decades to rear its ugly head, but the whitewashers of war crimes in the Bush Regime are trying to pervert the facts of history mere weeks after their Leader triumphantly declared "mission accomplished" in the war on Iraq. "Weapons of mass destruction?" Never heard of 'em. Never mentioned 'em. Maybe we'll find some. Not that important. Time to move on. Hey, how about a tax cut?

But even as revisionist-in-chief George W. Bush was staging his somber photo-op in Auschwitz last week, the web of lies he and his little buddy Tony Blair concocted to "justify" launching an act of military aggression -- on the very Hitlerian grounds of "preventive war" -- was being shredded by their own intelligence services. In an unprecedented move, U.S and British spies went public to denounce the cartoonish manipulation of professional intelligence data by the war-hungry leaders. Reports of Saddam's "imminent threat" were "sexed up" on Blair's order, said British spooks, while American agents said Bush was spoon-fed a stew of uncorroborated confabulation by a "special team" of ideological hatchet-men overseen by Pentagon honcho Don Rumsfeld. Congressional and parliamentary probes are now afoot. [...]

Some Analysts of Iraq Trailers Reject Germ Use

New York Times

American and British intelligence analysts with direct access to the evidence are disputing claims that the mysterious trailers found in Iraq were for making deadly germs. In interviews over the last week, they said the mobile units were more likely intended for other purposes and charged that the evaluation process had been damaged by a rush to judgment. [...]

So many governments to overthrow, so little time

By Pat M. Holt
Christian Science Monitor

WASHINGTON –The Bush administration is reported to be considering "destabilizing" - in other words, covertly overthrowing - the Iranian government because of its suspected ties to Al Qaeda terrorist groups. This would be precisely the wrong thing for the United States to do in Iran. If we are to meddle in Iran at all, our efforts ought to be directed against the Islamic clergy and not the elected politicians.

Overthrowing the wrong government would be consistent with a long record by the US, going back to the aftermath of World War II. We paid street mobs to demonstrate against Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh after he nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. Mossadegh went into exile and Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi returned.

This was not all bad. For 26 years, the shah provided a generally pro-American government. He also ran an efficient and vicious secret police, but there was stability in the Persian Gulf. The Shah made huge arms purchases. He sold oil to Israel. He promoted Westernization. Young women wore blue jeans on the streets; movies were well-attended, boys and girls held hands in public. All of this was distasteful to conservative Islamist elements, but the US was riding high, and the CIA was on a roll. [...]

Occupation: our gift to the world

Land grabbers and the militarized outposts that protect them are lionized as "pioneers", noble adventurers who overcome hardships and flee religious persecution to "settle" (implying, of course, "taming" the savage natives) and conquer. The lands are invariably "empty" lands, "virgin lands", where human survival is in doubt - against the elements and against all odds - were it not for the incredible courage and perseverance of these hardy souls, who are equally invariably fulfilling some version of the European/American "manifest destiny": murder as contract labour for God, I guess.

By Daniel Patrick Welch

06/05/03: As a writer I never quite know where the conversations in my head leave off and the paper begins. The internet, moreover, has turned writing into one big conversation, kind of like hip hop, where writers bounce and rip off each others' stuff, constantly tinkering and flavouring their own lyric. Maybe that's just a lame introduction, or a way to excuse taking credit. Hey - it's not like I work for the New York Times or anything. At any rate, an article I read got me thinking. Actually, it wasn't really the article, so much as the conversation that led to someone sending me the article. Come to think of it, it wasn't really that conversation, but another one I remember from... Oh well, you get the point. Like I said, I'm never really sure where one thing ends and another begins.

On the internet, though, I am free to promote as much synergy as I want through the power of hot links. The excerpt I read was written by Egyptian writer Samir Amin, probably unknown to most Americans. The excerpt led me to his original article, The American Ideology, which got me to thinking... Or, like I said, kept my train of thought whizzing along.

I was thinking about the falling dollar and how this is all going to be great for American exports - or it would be if we had any to speak of. Okay, you got me again - actually I was thinking about Americans' refusal or inability to deconstruct the cowboy mythology. But when you think about it, it really is the most American of exports, from movies to fashion to world domination. See? I knew I could get you to free-associate with me. Just stay with me here. It's not just Americans: even most of the world still uses the whole cowboy thing to refer to macho posturing, backslapping, the whole Marlboro-fratboy continuum. But, of course, this fundamentally misses the crucial point, as Amin eloquently points out. The logical anti-hero to the cowboy myth is not outlaws, farmers, "the law", etc. - but, of course, Indians. Just as with the wreckage of slavery, the displacement and extermination of the indigenous population is at the centre of American development. The American "experiment" could not exist except for the European invasion, conquest, "settlement" and genocide of the original inhabitants of the American continent. Actually, this bit is what Amin might go so far as to call "common knowledge".

The part that is almost always missing is how these European settlers were destroyed by the experience, turning into monsters that could out-Nazi even the Nazis. The warping of this consciousness and the poisoning blindness it necessitates has infected the American perspective forever. By ignoring/rationalizing/"understanding"/pimping off of the sickest elements of this original crime, the heirs to this virus have been doomed forever to misunderstand and misjudge the obvious historical parallels in its wake.

Like it or not, we are stuck watching reruns of the same boring movie, but we are powerless to change the channel. So why not just admit that, as Americans, we are still good at something, and still have a few finely-crafted exports to offer the world. George Carlin had a great bit after the first Gulf War about what America is good at, but he mostly stopped at "putting large holes in other peoples' countries". [...]

The American Ideology

North Americans have come to regard themselves as the "chosen people" -- in practice, a synonym for the Nazi term, Herrenvolk. This is the threat which we are facing today. And this is why American imperialism (not "Empire") will be even more brutal than its predecessors, most of whom never claimed to have been invested with a divine mission.

06/05/03: (Al-Ahram Weekly) Today, the United States is governed by a junta of war criminals who took power through a kind of coup. That coup may have been preceded by (dubious) elections: but we should never forget that Hitler was also an elected politician. In this analogy, 9/11 fulfils the function of the "burning of the Reichstag", allowing the junta to grant its police force powers similar to those of the Gestapo. They have their own Mein Kampf -- the National Security Strategy --, their own mass associations -- the patriot organisations -- and their own preachers. It is vital that we have the courage to tell these truths, and stop masking them behind phrases such as "our American friends" that have by now become quite meaningless.

Political culture is the long-term product of history. As such, it is obviously specific to each country. American political culture is clearly different from that which has emerged from the history of the European continent: it has been shaped by the establishment of New England by extremist Protestant sects, the genocide of the continent's indigenous peoples, the enslavement of Africans, and the emergence of communities segregated by ethnicity as a result of successive waves of migration throughout the 19th century.

France wants Iraq's disarmament completed: ministry

PARIS (AFP) Jun 06, 2003

The French government wants the process of disarming Iraq to be completed in order to secure the stability of the region, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Friday.

"France wants Iraq's disarmament to be completed and certified, in order to strengthen regional security and stability," spokesman Francois Rivasseau told reporters in Paris.

Paris supports the return of United Nations weapons inspectors and nuclear experts to Iraq, where they would cooperate with the US-British coalition to ensure that Iraq is weapons-free, Rivasseau said.

He said the inspectors should "provide confirmation of the disarmament and implement a long-term monitoring system adapted to the new situation in Iraq".

Rivasseau called for the UN Security Council to "reevaluate without delay the mandate of both organisations" to provide for their return to Iraq. [...]

Evidence of Iraq weapons was "big bluff": German UN inspector

BERLIN (AFP) Jun 06, 2003

A German member of the UN team investigating Iraq's alleged programme of weapons of mass destruction has accused US authorities of presenting false evidence against the regime, the German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel reports in its Saturday edition.

[...] He told Der Spiegel that US Secretary of State Colin Powell did not present truthful evidence to the UN Security Council in a famous February 5 speech.

It was "all a big bluff," Franck said.

"Basically, it was all a show for the American public...

Pentagon report found 'no reliable evidence' of WMD in Iraq

By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
07 June 2003

A report by the Pentagon's intelligence agency concluded last year there was "no reliable evidence" to prove Saddam Hussein had developed chemical weapons - further undermining claims from Washington and London that the Iraqi regime presented a genuine threat to the West.

A leaked copy of the report by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) reveals that, despite extensive analysis, experts were unable definitively to conclude Iraq was either stockpiling or producing weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The report's contents will add to the considerable pressure Tony Blair and President George Bush face as their pre-war claims come under intense scrutiny.

"There is no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical weapons, or whether Iraq has - or will - establish its chemical warfare agent production facilities," a summary page of the DIA report said. [...]

Trapped by Their Own Lies
Cracks in the Consensus?

June 6, 2003

It's too early to predict how far things will go, but it does appear that the Bush political juggernaut, much like the army's tanks and armored personnel carriers in Iraq, has begun to show signs of breaking down from overuse.

The big issue at the moment is the administration's blatant lies about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction--the justification for the American/British war of aggression against Iraq.

The obvious fact that, after all, Iraq did not have such weapons any more by the time of the invasion is leading for mounting calls, both in the U.S. Congress and the British Parliament, for an investigation of the run-up to war, and into how intelligence information was manipulated or manufactured. Perhaps even more important, the American media, which for over half a year played lapdog to Bush and his warhawks, is starting to report more critically about the issue for the first time.

On May 26, media critic Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post published an article airing a set of vitriolic emails between New York Times Iraq bureau chief John Burns and one of the paper's in-house cheerleader for pre-emptive war, reporter Judith Miller, whose thinly sourced stories repeatedly and breathlessly touted discoveries of WMD sites only to have each discovery subsequently debunked. Those emails make it clear, Kurtz writes, that Miller's only real source for these stories was Ahmad Chalabi, the convicted swindler being promoted as a potential Iraqi leader by Bush's warhawks in the Pentagon.

Citing New Yorker writer Seymour Hersh, Kurtz suggests that Chalabi was a key source of WMD "evidence" for the infamously biased "intelligence unit" known as the Cabal set up in the Pentagon by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld last fall, when he found he couldn't get what he wanted from the CIA. Kurtz goes on to say, "Chalabi may have been feeding the (New York) Times and other news organizations the same disputed information." [...]

Big Boss Man
His Own Little Country

June 6, 2003

Well, GW finally has it, his own little country, completely stocked with oil wells that will make money--something he could never do down here in Texas.

There you have it, the only problem is that there are these pesky Iraqis who won't go along with his plans, they keep protesting, asking for clean water, for electricity, for medicine, for security. It's obvious they are ungrateful to GW, Rumsfeld and Tommy Franks for rescuing them, for liberating them. Beside, before these three musketeers rode in, these ungrateful wretches had clean water, food, medicine, law and order and security (even though they didn't like the local sheriff); now, they have nothing--which shows how ungrateful they are. Those of us down in Texas, we don't cotton to people not appreciating what we've done for them.

Well, I believe GW has made up his mind that he's going to teach them to enjoy their liberation. He's got a plan now to keep his troops there and maybe send in some new troops as well. Furthermore, the new sheriff he's appointed has told those ungrateful people that whoever is seen with a gun will be shot. Now that will make everyone happy, because they can be shot with no trial. That will save a lot of money, time and discussion; damn lawyers, laws and other things just get in the way. As one fellow told me the other day, a lawyer from Washington, DC, it sounds as if they are going to give them a little bit of American justice--Ashcroft and Rumsfeld style. Just round them up or shoot them, forget the courts and the laws, because, just like in America where the Justice Department has made clear, laws and other legal matters just get in the way of enforcing justice.

I know those Iraqis kind of wonder what's going on because we can have guns here in Texas, because we're the good guys, and they can't have any there because we know they're lying when they say they need the guns to protect themselves from bandits and thieves. Hell, we know that's just another lie, another way to keep those guns. Put plain, they don't deserve to have those guns because they can't be trusted to obey the way they should when we tell them to sit down and shut up.

So, the Iraqis had better get used to it because GW intends to make those oil wells pay off and he isn't going to leave until they do. He's made clear to his dad that though he may have failed at owning a baseball team, finding oil in Texas, in being a student and in raising his daughters properly, he's not going to let this plum fall through his hands.

He's going to show his mom and dad that he can be just as successful as Jeb; remember, GWs dad said, "We always thought Jeb would be the one to become president." I know that hurt GW to the core; it also upset Barbara Bush, because GW was always her favorite. Some say she didn't talk to old man Bush for a few weeks; but as he told some friends down at the fishing hole, didn't matter none, he was used to it--in fact, he thought it was a relief because she was always telling him what to do when he was in the White House and afterwards as well.

So GW has his own little country over there in Iraq, he has all the oil he can use and can sell the rest for some good money. They just have to get those Iraqis under control and let them know that this is ours now, we own that country and any of them that don't like it can pack their bags and leave. We have invested a lot of money to get this country, and damn if we're going to let it go. It's ours and there ain't a thing the UN, or those French frogs or German sausage eaters can do about it--and don't mention those Ruskies because they won't dare interfere either. And those pesky Hezbollah and those Iranians had better stay out of this, otherwise GW will let them know who is boss--and I mean, BOSS.

So there you have it folks, a report from down here in Dallas on our boy, George.

I hope he doesn't mind me calling him George, because when a fellow gets that big, some want to call him King or Your Excellency or some such name. By golly, that's an idea, we'll have to give that some thought. Because you know, no king in the history of the world has ever had the power George has had. I'd better be careful what I say, GW may not like it.

Defense Mechanism: Rumsfeld's bid for bureaucratic hegemony

By Michael Wallach
The American Prospective Online

Everyone knows nation building is for sissies and not nearly as much fun as blowing things up. And for Republicans, there may be nothing better than capitalizing on war fervor to blow up a union. So it should come as no surprise that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, perhaps bored by the post Iraq-war world, is once again picking fights at the Pentagon.

You may recall that before September 11 saved his job, Rumsfeld spent his first nine months in the Bush administration earning the enmity of just about everyone around him. Recently, of course, he's been riding high: In the days after the Iraq War, he strutted through press conferences with an almost comically self-satisfied air -- threatening Syria, scowling at those who had criticized his war plans. Now, having vanquished Saddam Hussein's army (and having let every American know just whom they should credit for that victory), Rumsfeld re-entered the public spotlight yesterday -- this time to battle his own employees. [...]

Polarization - The Plow Of Fascism
By James Neff 6-1-3

To hear the pundits of the far right say it, one gets the distinct impression that anyone left-of-center is not only immoral, unpatriotic and un-American, but worse, guilty by association with terrorist groups and sympathizers of known terrorists. Whether its the oft painted picture of protesters being something just short of communist insurrectionists, or the perpetual drone of rightist views as if everyone on the left secretly knows they are wrong and are deliberately working for "evil," the ultra-conservative right has never more villainized and demonized free-thinkers outside the status quo than right now.

Media is working overtime to cram pack everyone under increasingly defamatory labels which will either sanctify them or pronounce them anathema against the almighty Bush/Rightist/NeoCon regime and its unfolding "plan", sold to the people as the last bastion of truth, justice and the American way; a glory somehow lost during the Clinton administration and now miraculously revived by mighty St. Bush. Anything that falls outside of it is, frankly, regarded as diabolically evil. Anyone who questions it MUST be working for anti- American, godless commie forces and Lord forbid you actually protest what they propose or enact.

The general view of many on the right is certain that those of the left, though not personally involving themselves in seditious or criminal activity, quietly, secretly look the other way and approve of it when other groups do. It's this kind of unprecedented paranoia that is fueling the polarization in this country. It's just as rank as when one hears someone suggest that those who are not personally involved in radical pro-life movements probably secretly enjoy the bombing of abortion clinics and if someone gets hurt, oh well, it's just "collateral damage" in the war for the unborn. We've all heard such things suggested, commented, noted. But do we realize this subtle brainwashing?

Suspect Thy Neighbor! It's the American Way.

The goal of the greater Conspiracy is to bring about nothing short of a psychic and intellectual civil war here. They want us so busy attacking one another and at each other's throats, suspicious of one another's "true" motives, that the great evils they commit throughout the world go almost unnoticed.

And every faction is working overtime to label and assail another group. The Jews are to blame for everything, according to one faction. The Christian-right, from another. The Republicans, or the Democrats, leftists, rightists, papists, escapists, drug culture, counter-culture, etc, etc. It's always someone and only that someone, some group or mindset or race or people who are the core problem and if only there was a way to rid ourselves of them everything would be peachy.

Bullshit. Plenty of cogs in the machine being blamed and no one looking at the machine itself.

The new breed of ultra-right conservatives act as if questioning the government is a great offense against America itself, an act so unpatriotic even Jesus (who is a devout Republican and Bush supporter, doncha know!) is wounded. I always thought it would take someone completely off the psychological map of human reason like a Pat Robertson as President before we'd see this kind of insanity take serious root, but the endless straw man tactics and polarization techniques so widely used by the soul-sold rightists evidence that it takes far less than a lunatic like Robertson to sway the masses.

What began with the Reagan revolution ( the very author of contemporary 'symbolism over substance', ironically, to quote Limbaugh, the great Reagan booster) has resulted in just that under the direction of a somewhat dim, plodding oil-man from Texas who can't get enough of red, white and blue splattered glory, to the extent that a shockingly self-righteous nationalism has developed which truly looks like the birth pangs of a Nazi-like Reich.

Many people automatically tune out when they hear such a comparison, but that is because media and educators have spent the last 50 years building Hitler and the Nazi regime into an inimitable demonic monster never to be repeated again, when in reality there are dozens of Hitler's all over the planet, from Mugabe to the recently deposed Saddam Hussein. The comparison of power and influence, not exact acts, is what is being overlooked and brushed aside, and these comparisons are quite legitimate.

Bush strikes me as the kind of automatized devotee who would let friends or loved ones suffer or die if the present peril meant sparing a flag or Bible from a fire (ie, see Gene Wilder as the misguided Rabbi in "The Cisco Kid"). Instead of understanding and actualizing what America means and is supposed to be/become, it suffices for the NeoCons and their rightist drones to be symbolically and externally patriotized, painted superficially with red, white and blue, and never mind the true need for justice much less Constitutional fidelity.

While the Patriot Act threatens to carve away at our liberties in the name of 'homeland defense', people are being decoyed and distracted to pay attention to petty political squabbles of the right and left. And more horrifying are those who are fully aware of what is happening, and boldly declare that they don't mind giving up certain Constitutional and civil liberties in order to safeguard our nationalistic interests (defined usually with terms like "our freedom," which stands as a complete oxymoron). It's like saying one is willing to lose all ones teeth to cavities, a little here and a little there, in order to preserve the heritage of chewing.

The present power in the political pulpit is seeking to make opposition to its views and decisions an illegal and traitorous act of sedition! When protesters are classified as terrorists or terrorist sympathizers, when fear of federal retribution or criminal proceedings unprotected by Constitutional rights and safeguards force books to cease printing, websites to shutdown, voices to be silenced... we have a fascist state. The intimidation alone of a government no longer bridled by Constitutional standards protecting the peoples rights is all it takes to lay the foundation stone of fascism.

And this has already taken place. When a man can be imprisoned for making a biblical reference to the 'burning BUSH' in public as though he were a menace to society, when a person can find himself dragged from a library computer terminal by federal agents for having typed 'Bush is out of control' in a private chat channel, when a man can be shoved behind bars for the mere suspicion of a crime classified/labeled as "terrorist" and have no address of grievance, no access to due process and no Constitutional protection/rights whatsoever... fascism is firmly here. It's not coming. It's not around the corner. It's already a tree in full bloom with fruit to bear. And self-satisfied, self-righteous nationalists are feeding on that fruit, feeling comfortable and protected from an utterly invented evil.

UN arms inspectors arrive in Baghdad as weapons debate widens

Saturday June 7, 10:22 AM

UN nuclear experts were set to begin inspection of a plundered nuclear plant, as international debate swirled around the use of Iraqi weapons as a justification for war.

The seven inspectors from the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arrived Friday as chief UN arms inspector Hans Blix publicly questioned the credibility of the coalition experts charged with searching out Iraq's arsenal.

[...] With the debate over Iraq's weapons raging on in London and Washington, Blix pressed the UN Security Council on Thursday to allow his inspectors back into Iraq to restart searches.

"I do not want to question the integrity or the professionalism of the inspectors of the coalition, but anybody who functions under an army of occupation cannot have the same credibility as an independent inspector," Blix told reporters.

On Friday Blix told the BBC that he had been disappointed by US and British intelligence his team received in the weeks before the war.

"I thought, 'My God, if this is the best intelligence they have and we find nothing, what about the rest?'" [...]

"Admit your lies", former UN inspector Ritter tells US, Britain

GENEVA (AFP) Jun 06, 2003

The United States and Britain should admit they lied when claiming the ousted Baghdad regime had weapons of mass destruction, Scott Ritter, a former UN senior weapons inspector in Iraq, said in an interview published here Friday.

Ritter, speaking to the Swiss daily Le Temps, called on US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair to "have the courage to be held responsible" for telling lies to the public into backing the conflict. [...]

Hamas Leaders Rebuff Appeal For Cease-Fire

Abbas Is Condemned as 'Collaborator'

By Glenn Frankel
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, June 7, 2003; Page A14

JERUSALEM, June 6 -- Palestinian militants today said they were breaking off talks with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas aimed at ending attacks on Israelis, saying Abbas had betrayed their cause at a U.S.-led peace summit this week.

Sheik Ahmed Yassin, founder and spiritual leader of the Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas, rejected Abbas's calls for a cease-fire and said Palestinians should continue waging war on Israel. "Our resistance will continue," he told reporters in the Gaza Strip. "This is our choice, and we have no alternative."

Later this evening, several thousand demonstrators gathered in Gaza City and elsewhere in the Gaza Strip to denounce Abbas as a "collaborator." In his meeting two days ago with President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at Aqaba, Jordan, his critics say, Abbas failed to mention such hot-button issues as the fate of Jerusalem, the release of political prisoners and the right of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel. [...]

Some of the militants have insisted they will not agree to a cease-fire until Israel ends assassinations of Palestinians suspected of terrorist acts, releases all political prisoners and lifts restrictions on Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's movements. Others have indicated they would not agree to a cease-fire under any circumstances. But some analysts believe the radical groups may eventually be forced to accede to a truce.

While both sides traded accusations, violence continued. The Israeli army reported killing two Hamas gunmen in an exchange of fire Thursday night near the West Bank town of Tulkarm. The army said the men were part of a cell planning to carry out a suicide attack inside Israel. Police in Jerusalem reported finding the bodies of a 27-year-old Israeli man and 17-year-old woman, victims of a knife attack that police said appeared to be an act of terrorism.

Comment: How convenient for Sharon "the butcher of Jenin" that Hamas (coincidentally founded and funded by Israel) have rejected the peace talks. He will have no choice but to continue his genocidal war and further occupation of Palestine. The whole thing stinks, the so-called "roadmap to peace" is set up to fail before it even begins. It is nothing more than a publicity stunt to make the US and Israel look like peace-makers while portraying the Palestinians as "terrorists" for not accepting an unacceptable offer. Of course, Hamas can be instructed by Israel to carry out a few "suicide" bombings just to drive the message home.

"I want to tell you something very clear, don't worry about American pressure on Israel, we, the Jewish people control America, and the Americans know it."
Ariel Sharon to Shimon Peres, October 3rd, 2001, as reported on Kol Yisrael radio.

Eric Rudolph, portrayed as anti-Semite, now represented by Jewish lawyer

Associated Press
Jun. 6, 2003 07:05 AM

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Eric Rudolph, the accused Olympic bomber portrayed over the years as a rabid hater of Jews, now finds himself represented by a Jewish lawyer who says he's seen no evidence of anti-Semitism from his client.
In an interview Thursday on NBC's "Today" show, court-appointed defense attorney Richard S. Jaffe said he knew all about Rudolph's supposed beliefs but said his client didn't have a problem with his Jewish faith.

"There's been a public perception painted of Eric Rudolph that's far from accurate," said Jaffe, who specializes in death penalty cases and has helped get three Alabama inmates off death row.

Jaffe's rabbi at Birmingham's Temple Beth-El said he wasn't concerned about a member of his congregation representing a man who has been depicted as violently anti-Semitic.

"I myself detest Eric Rudolph," said Rabbi Brian Glusman. "I would certainly support the death penalty for him. But I also believe he's entitled to a good defense."

Rudolph, arrested Saturday behind a grocery store in rural western North Carolina, is accused of detonating a powerful bomb that exploded outside a Birmingham abortion clinic on Jan. 29, 1998, killing a police officer and critically injuring a clinic nurse.

He also is charged with setting off a bomb that killed one person and injured 150 others in a park in downtown Atlanta during the 1996 Olympics. Authorities also accused Rudolph in a pair of 1997 bombings in Atlanta at a lesbian nightclub and a building that housed an abortion clinic.

Rudolph's sister-in-law Deborah Rudolph, who worked with authorities to develop Rudolph's profile during his five years on the run, said her brother-in-law denied that the Holocaust had ever happened, and claimed that the Jews now control the media and the government. His derisive nickname for the television set was "the electronic Jew."

Comment: Another chain in the link is reinforced: Those who openly discuss Jewish related issues, much as one may discuss African issues, American issues, Arab issues, etc. can now be branded as terrorists or potential terrorists. Some one seems to be dilegently working toward taking such discussions off the table, to put it mildly.

Anti-Sharon violence feared

By Gideon Alon

The security establishment fears possible incitement and insurrection against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon following his support for a Palestinian state and his declared intention to evacuate illegal outposts and settlements.

Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein intends to call a special meeting next week with the IDF, Shin Bet, police and
senior State Prosecutor's officials to discuss the rising protests and threats against Sharon, which could escalate
into violence. "We must not forget that less than eight years ago Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a young Jew because of his decision to promote the peace process. In view of the threats on Sharon, we must take every step to ensure such a terrible event never recurs," a senior legal source said.

Rubinstein and the security officers will discuss steps to prevent radical right-wing leaders and rabbis from inflaming the public against Sharon and other ministers.

Anti-Israel German Politician Did Not Kill Himself: Friends

Moellemann had urged the German government to recognize Islam as an official religion 

By Khaled Schmitt
IOL Germany Correspondent 

BERLIN, June 6 ( – Friends of Germany’s former deputy chancellor Juergen Moellemann, who died Thursday, June 5, in a parachute jump, refuted media reports he committed suicide to escape state prosecution over his pro-Arabs and Muslims and anti-Israel stances.

They asserted he intended to set up a new party and called on Arab and Muslim communities to join up.
One of the prominent German politician’s close associates added there was nothing that could have possibly pushed him to commit suicide.

A former advertising executive and a vigorous self- promoter, Moellemann has enjoyed a high morale at recent days, he said.

The same argument was supported by an eyewitness who told the NTV news channel the deceased handled his parachute easily and calmly before his skydiving, excluding any possible suicide attempt.

"Moellemann went into freefall and apparently did not manage to open the reserve parachute," said state prosecutor Wolfgang Reinicke, who is investigating the death.

No suicide note had been found and police were trying to determine the circumstances surrounding the fatal fall in a barley field near the western town of Marl, he added.

His parachute opened normally, but on the way down it separated from his harness "for reasons that are entirely unclear," Reinicke told a news conference.

He then fell away from the chute at under 3,200 feet and the reserve parachute did not open, an experienced parachutist who saw the fatal jump was quoted as saying.

Reinicke put three possibilities for the death of Moellemann, a former economy minister and deputy chancellor from 1991 to 1993 when the Free Democratic Party (FDP) was junior partner in a coalition with the conservatives under Helmut Kohl.

"We are of course investigating all possibilities. The range of possibilities in such a case is very large. You can put them in three categories — an accident, a suicide or sabotage, for instance manipulation of the parachute by another person."

Vicious Campaign

Moellemann recently came under a ferocious campaign from the FDP and media outlets for his anti-Israeli remarks and his sympathy with Arab causes.

A lawmaker and leader of the German-Arab Friendship Society, he was a combative maverick known for his pro-Arab positions.

Moellemann had complained of being victim of a witch hunt after his war of words with leading Jewish members of the party and his criticism of Michael Friedman, deputy head of Germany’s Jewish community and Israeli Premier Ariel Sharon.

Although he gained the largest number of votes in the last free elections, the prominent politician was ostracized from the FDP in March allegedly because his popularity slump on his anti-Israel stance.

On Thursday, prosecutors searched Moellemann’s home, office in Muenster, western Germany, over charges of violating elections laws by receiving Arab donations to finance a leaflet criticizing the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories during his election campaign.

The leaflet dubbed Israel an "occupation state" and reaffirmed support for Palestinian resistance attacks against Israeli targets.

Moellemann had stressed he would do the same should any country occupy Germany, accusing Sharon of practicing state terrorism against armless Palestinians.

He was the first German official in the 1970s to establish strong relations with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and its chairman Yasser Arafat.

Moellemann is also known for his close ties with other Arab leaders.

In 2001, he exhorted the German government to recognize Islam as an official religion and support the Supreme Council for Muslims and the Islamic Council, the largest Islamic organizations in Germany, with 40,000 million marks a year.

Comment: A Mossad operation is not such a strange assertion. Signs posted a UPI article some time ago, Israel to kill on U.S., allies' soil, which states "Israel is embarking upon a more aggressive approach to the war on terror that will include staging targeted killings in the United States and other friendly countries, former Israeli intelligence officials told United Press International [...]

"The Israeli statements were confirmed by more than a half dozen U.S. foreign policy and intelligence officials in interviews with UPI." [...]

"'Mossad is definitely being beefed up,' a U.S. government official said of the Israeli agency's budget increase. He declined to comment on Tel Aviv's geographic expansion of targeted killings.

"An FBI spokesman also declined to comment, saying: 'This is a policy matter. We only enforce federal laws.'"

The article quotes former Israeli intelligence officials as saying it is for war on terror purposes of course, but Mossad has been known to assassinate those who are out spoken advocates of Arabic issues. FBI deftly side steps it's supposed duty to Americans, and allows another secret service to operate within U.S. borders. The Mossad has effectively declared war on the whole world.

Renowned Polish Film Producer Charged

Associated Press Writer

WARSAW, Poland (AP) - A producer of the Oscar-winning films ``The Pianist'' and ``Schindler's List'' was charged Friday with influence peddling, deepening a bribery scandal that has gripped the nation and touched the government.

Prosecutors also are investigating why Prime Minister Leszek Miller initially failed to report the alleged crime.
Lew Rywin, 58, is accused of soliciting a $17.5 million bribe from Agora SA, the publisher of the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper, in exchange for his lobbying the government for favorable media laws that would allow Agora to buy a nationwide broadcaster.

"The indictment is based on undeniable proof that we obtained in questioning over 70 witnesses'' said Zygmunt Kapusta, chief appeals prosecutor in Warsaw, who is running the investigation.

Kapusta said prosecutors opened a separate investigation of Miller's failure to notify them when he learned of the alleged bribe attempt last July from Gazeta Wyborcza's chief editor. Polish law requires top state officials to inform prosecutors of any corruption attempts.

Gazeta Wyborcza went public in December with allegations that Rywin solicited the bribe, claiming he represented Miller and "a group holding power.'' The newspaper cited a conversation with Rywin that its chief editor secretly taped.

Rywin, who has denied any wrongdoing, could face up to three years in prison if convicted. Prosecutors have confiscated his passport.

Miller strongly denies any role in the reported scheme, and has said he did not immediately report the allegations because he considered them "absurd.'' He is to testify before the investigative panel for a second time later this month.

Rywin made a statement to the panel but refused to answer questions in nationally televised testimony that attracted high-viewing figures.

The scandal has contributed to the government's declining popularity, which has plunged as a result of Poland's economic woes and unemployment at nearly 19 percent - its highest level since communism ended in 1989.
The alleged bribery attempt relates to a government bill that would have restricted private ownership of television and radio stations. Agora, which owns several local radio stations, had expressed interest in buying nationwide commercial Polsat television.

The government and private media later reached a compromise on the bill, one reason Miller argues that the bribe charge makes no sense.

Rywin's Heritage Films co-produced Roman Polanski's "The Pianist,'' which won three Academy Awards this year, and co-produced Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's List,'' which won the 1993 Academy Award for best film. Both films were partly filmed in Poland.

French-led peacekeepers arrive in DRC Congo
The first French troops have arrived in Democratic Republic of Congo. They're part of the deployment of around 1,400 peacekeepers who are to attempt to put an end to ethnic fighting in the north-eastern Ituri region. The bulk of the French-led force, made up of troops from a number of EU countries and others such as South Africa and Canada, is to arrive over the weekend. A number of mass graves have been found near the town of Bunia in recent weeks. Germany's parliament, the Bundestag has approved a limited role for German troops. The scope and nature of the German contribution is to be decided later this month.

Smartcams Take Aim at Terrorists

by Kari L. Dean
Wired News

These distributed digital video arrays, or DIVAs, are collections of really smart cameras able to detect and identify an individual in a crowded train station and track him wherever he goes -- out of the station, into the parking lot, onto the freeway and so on.

They also notify authorities when they "think" the individual engages in suspicious activity or meets with questionable cohorts...

"The biggest challenge we have is defining what is 'an interesting event,'" said Trivedi, who confirmed that the Department of Defense would assist in identifying visual cues and circumstances to trigger the intelligent cameras from casual observation to active surveillance.

New devices catch liars in the act
Brain monitors prove more reliable than polygraphs
ASSOCIATED PRESS, PHILADELPHIA, June 6 —  In the quest to build a better lie detector, scientists are seeking to go beyond the body’s indirect signals to the very seat of deceit: the brain. One researcher has built a headband outfitted with lights and detectors able to "see" blood-flow changes in the brain. Another uses magnetic resonance imaging to snap several split-second pictures.

BRITTON CHANCE, a biophysicist at the University of Pennsylvania, leads the headband project, which uses near-infrared light to peek at the brain's prefrontal cortex, the place where people make decisions - and where lies are born.

Research subjects wearing the headband are told to answer some questions truthfully and others deceptively.
At the moment a subject makes the decision to lie, before even uttering it, there's a milliseconds-long burst of blood flow. Those bursts are read by the sensors and show up as spikes on a laptop computer.

One day, Chance said, the headband might not be needed at all. Perhaps one would need only point a sensing device at people — making it possible to test someone's truthfulness without their knowledge.
"We're interested in covert detection of prefrontal activity, where the subject may not be told the experience is occurring. That's in the future but it is possible,"he said. "Obviously, there are ethical problems."

"There's only one thing worse than a lie detector that doesn't work, and that's a lie detector that does work,"said physicist Robert Park, a longtime polygraph critic. "It's the last invasion of privacy that you can imagine, and it frightens me that we seem to be almost able to do it"” [...]
Barry Steinhardt, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s technology and liberty program, warns that none of the new technology has been proven to work like the scientists claim.

But if it does, Steinhardt said, "then it would become another weapon in the arsenal of those who want to put us into a surveillance society where every action, every deed and one's very thoughts can be monitored, categorized and correlated."

New tool for Big Brother or terrorist spotter?


The battle against terrorism is getting a boost thanks to an automated surveillance system for detecting and tracking faces in a crowd being developed at UCSD.

A federal interagency organization for combating terrorism, the Technical Support Working Group, has awarded $600,000 to the 18-month project led by Mohan Trivedi, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at UCSD's Jacobs School of Engineering. The surveillance system links a network of 360-degree cameras that interact intelligently, with the use of sophisticated computer algorithms developed at UCSD's Computer Vision and Robotics Research laboratory.

"We have a network of cameras that does tracking of people as they're walking," said Trivedi. "Based upon some analysis, it can also provide fine resolution images of human body parts that can be useful."

Trivedi said the new multi-camera, anti-terrorist security system being perfected would be useful in public places like airport lounges, where people are constantly moving around. He added that computer-controlled cameras can be cued in to observe and track behavior patterns or changes, such as people lingering in one spot for too long.

"With our system," said Trivedi, "there really doesn't have to be any human being who is actually analyzing these camera images. This is real artificial intelligence with the machines sensing and analyzing things they've been programmed for, like traffic patterns." [...]

UCSD Computer Vision Group Led by Cal-(IT)2's Mohan Trivedi Awarded Three Federal Grants for Homeland Security-Related Research

San Diego, Sept. 4, 2002 -- The Computer Vision and Robotics Research (CVRR) Laboratory at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) has won federal funding for three separate research projects, including one of the first awards from the group that coordinates inter-agency U.S. counter-terrorism research.

"Homeland security has become a major focus for our group,"said Mohan Trivedi, CVRR director and professor of electrical and computer engineering at UCSD's Jacobs School of Engineering. "We are making great strides in the area of computer vision, and we expect all of these projects to yield real-world results in the next 12 to 18 months."

Trivedi--leader of Cal-(IT)2's Intelligent Transportation and Telelmatics layer at UCSD--is working on technologies that range from a handheld computer that lets the user customize views of a remote crisis site, to camera-network surveillance systems that are programmed to alert authorities in the event of suspicious activity. [...]

90-million dollar funding boost for Australia's special forces

ABC Radio Australia News

The Australian Government plans to spend an extra 90 million dollars to purchase equipment and training systems for Australia's special forces.

The Defence Minister, Robert Hill, says Cabinet has approved the one-off expenditure to equip the expanded S-A-S unit based in Sydney.

Last month, the government unveiled its plan to recruit an additional 300 troops.

Senator Hill, who will release details of the extra funding at the Liberal Party National Convention in Adelaide today, says the money will boost Australia's counter-terrorism measures.

"They're training systems but they're also weapons systems such as sniper rifles, rocket grenade launches, mortars. All of the sort of hardware that special forces use. What they're used for, could be a range of different things, but our counter-terrorism capability is obviously, to protect Australians in the event of any terrorist threat to Australia or Australians."

Amplifying Officials, Squelching Dissent

FAIR study finds democracy poorly served by war coverage

By Steve Rendall & Tara Broughel

Since the invasion of Iraq began in March, official voices have dominated U.S. network newscasts, while opponents of the war have been notably underrepresented, according to a study by FAIR.


Nearly two thirds of all sources, 64 percent, were pro-war, while 71 percent of U.S. guests favored the war. Anti-war voices were 10 percent of all sources, but just 6 percent of non-Iraqi sources and 3 percent of U.S. sources. Thus viewers were more than six times as likely to see a pro-war source as one who was anti-war; with U.S. guests alone, the ratio increases to 25 to 1. [...]

Jailing the messenger

With the media suffering self-inflicted wounds, the CIA spies an opening

By Michael Moran

The latest opinion polls show the American public takes a dim view of its media outlets in the post 9/11 world - numbers punctuated by a roiling fraud and fabrication scandal that has shaken The New York Times. With big media back on its heels, the CIA fired its own broadside this week, publishing an "unclassified" memorandum that recommends using espionage laws to prosecute media outlets that publish or broadcast leaked information from government officials if that information turns out to be classified.

THE MEMORANDUM, "The Consequences of Permissive Neglect" , argues that the U.S. media has become an "open vault of classified information on U.S. intelligence collection sources and methods" which "pose a serious, seemingly intractable problem for U.S. national security." In effect, the CIA wants the vault sealed shut.

The CIA memorandum, written by James B. Bruce, a senior official on the agency's "foreign denial and deception committee," surprisingly has received no national media attention so far, even though it goes straight to the heart of the current government-media relationship. These memoranda, generally written by active CIA staff or recent retirees, do not represent official CIA policy. But they have in the past been used as a way for the intelligence agency, which technically is not supposed to tamper in domestic politics, to get on the record with Congress and with the public on issues that it regards of critical importance.        


The proposal to treat leaks of classified information as a criminal act is, in itself, is not unusual or particularly controversial. Virtually every president, at one time or another, demands that his cabinet investigate the source of particular leaks to the media " usually those that prove politically embarrassing, but also some which are judged to be potential violations of the Espionage Act of 1917 .

But Bruce's memorandum goes far beyond that, proposing to target the media itself, which Bruce sees as part of an "unholy alliance" of officials with security clearances and their journalist accomplices.

"That's a dramatic change," says Tom Rosenstiel, a former Newsweek and Los Angeles Times correspondent who is now vice president of the Committee of Concerned Journalists.

"Let's be blunt. These guys really don"t believe in the 1st Amendment," he says. "They believe in secrecy, not sunshine, they believe in control, not pluralism. They want to intimidate and chill the press, and they want to criminalize the free flow of discussion, and they want to use September 11 as the lever to do this." [...]

The Usual Violence Against Protestors Directed Toward Mainstream Press

According to a June 3, 2003 Seattle Post-Intelligencer article:

Police used pepper spray and rubber bullets to disperse a downtown march and rally last night by activists protesting an annual police intelligence-training seminar.

[...] Protesters [...] at one point numbered about 400 and had a permit for their march [...]

[...] At about 8:30 p.m., police reported a segment of the remaining crowd was hurling sticks and bottles, police spokeswoman Deanna Nollette said. A fight broke out after police tried to arrest a protester in front of their "fence line," Nollette said, because the person had damaged property and possibly tried to start a fire. At that point, she said, the crowd surged.

Police then used pepper spray and rubber bullets to break up the gathering.
A Post-Intelligencer photographer was sprayed and hit by a rubber bullet.
An Associated Press photographer also was doused with pepper spray.

Comment: Check the link to see photos of the indiscriminate use of pepper spray. Veritable plumes of the stuff.

U.S. says new report on Iranian weapons troubling

6/6/2003 9:20 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Iran has not fully disclosed the extent of its atomic program to the U.N. nuclear agency as required by international treaty, the agency said Friday as its inspectors left for Tehran.

The State Department found the International Atomic Energy Agency report and Iran's nuclear program deeply troubling, department spokesman Richard Boucher said in Washington.

The long-awaited report comes 10 days before the IAEA meets to discuss Iran's programs. The United States wants the IAEA to declare Iran in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty at the June 16 session.

A diplomat from an IAEA member country said the report indicated that Iran failed to declare the import of some nuclear material and its subsequent processing.

Another diplomat said Iran agreed to accept the inspection team to defuse accusations it was working on a nuclear program. Both diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity.

Still, the report was critical.

"Iran has failed to meet its obligations under its safeguards agreement with respect to the reporting of nuclear material, the subsequent processing and use of that material and the declaration of facilities where that material was stored and processed," the first diplomat quoted the report as saying. [...]

Iran will build nuclear bomb

18:45 2003-06-06

'The Iranian regime is not transparent with regard to its nuclear programme,' Vyacheslav Nikonov, the president of the Politics foundation, announced today at a press conference. He believes that 'Iran does not intend to build civilian nuclear reactors, and is going to create a nuclear bomb.' 'Iran does not have enough fuel for a single reactor, but it has enough for several nuclear bombs,' Nikonov said.

Vladimir Lukin, the deputy speaker of the State Duma, said that if Russia doesn't want to create a threat to its own security, 'it shouldn't surround itself with small and medium-sized nuclear states.'

U.N. Nuclear Agency Says Iran Breached Agreements

By Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, June 7, 2003; Page A19

The U.N. nuclear agency has concluded that Iran failed to comply with its international safeguard agreements by secretly acquiring 1.8 metric tons of uranium from China a decade ago and converting it into metal, informed diplomatic sources said yesterday. The finding could hasten a showdown with the Bush administration over Iran's rapidly expanding nuclear program.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, in a confidential report, acknowledges recent cooperation by Iran on nuclear matters but says the Islamic republic still had not fully accounted for its uranium and had not adequately explained programs that the United States fears are intended to produce nuclear weapons.

"The number of failures by Iran to report facilities and activities in a timely manner, as it is obliged to do, is a matter of concern," said the report, released to diplomats in advance of a key IAEA meeting June 16. Portions of the report were obtained by The Washington Post.

The Bush administration, which has monitored Iran's expansion of its nuclear infrastructure in recent months with increasing alarm, yesterday described the IAEA report as "deeply troubling." Earlier this year, Iran's ruling clerics acknowledged the construction of a massive uranium enrichment facility and disclosed plans to expand uranium mining. [...]

While giving Iran credit for attempting to come clean on its nuclear program, the report's strong criticism is fresh ammunition for Bush administration hawks who favor a confrontational approach toward Iran.

"It puts on Iran on notice," said David Albright, a former IAEA inspector in Iraq and president of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security. "There's a clock ticking, and Iran cannot delay answering to the IAEA much longer."

Comment: It is curious first of all that Iran was able to "secretly acquire" 1.8 tons of uranium, and second that it took 10 years for anyone to notice. Secondly, and more importantly it must be said that whole thing has, by this stage, gone far beyond the ridiculous, and has entered the realm of propaganda so crass, infantile and insulting to our collective intelligences, that anyone that is not:

a) rolling on the floor laughing
b) rolling on the floor crying
c) rolling on the floor in a rage

should immediately have a brain scan to check for activity.

U.S. withdrawal from Korea's DMZ could change dynamic along the border

Associated Press Writer

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- For decades, South Korea has regarded U.S. troops guarding the border with North Korea as a "tripwire" -- a guarantee that the United States would intervene immediately if the communist North attacked, because American troops would be the first in the line of fire.
Now the Americans say they are pulling back, and the withdrawal threatens to change the dynamic along the border.

The Pentagon says it can better deter North Korea by moving U.S. troops farther south from the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas. But while the allies have yet to say when the relocation will occur, many South Koreans are already wondering about the repercussions.
"When people hear the news, their immediate reaction often is, 'What? Who's going to defend the border? Are the Americans moving south so that they can leave our country fast when the war breaks out?"' said Song Young-sun, an analyst in Seoul's Korea Institute of Defense Analysis. [...]

SARS, cleanup campaign may test ties between HK people and their pets

HONG KONG (AP) - In its recovery from SARS, Hong Kong is launching a full-scale cleanup and stiffer hygiene standards to prevent more disease outbreaks - and many dog and cat owners are nervous.



June 6. For some time, dear reader, I have been trying to get on the late-night Coast to Coast AM radio show and talk about the Virus Hunters and their fraudulent work. These days that work is called SARS.
Coast to Coast has millions of listeners. For a short period, I was a regular on the show, when Hilly Rose sat in for Art Bell.

I very much want to expose the real deal on SARS to that audience. Maybe you can help. Maybe you know someone who knows someone. Maybe you can collect people and send the show a fax or an email. Put on your thinking cap and let's see if we can wage a revolution against the White Coats who are waging war against the populace.

If you've been reading this site for awhile, you know I have the goods on these people, and I have spotted the holes in their so-called research. My archive link on this page will give you access to all my SARS articles, if you need to get up to speed.

We have a chance to do something here. Last night's show from Toronto was a good start. Let's create some momentum.

I know, I'm not supposed to make such a bald request in public. I'm supposed to play it cool, work through inside connections, and all that. But I'm way past that. I just don't care. The truth is there for anyone who cares to look at it. SARS is a hoax from top to bottom, and that hoax has brought devastation to many people.
What do you say?


I was on a radio show last night broadcast out of downtown Toronto. The Lenny Bloom Cloak and Dagger show.
It was a rip-roarer, and on an AM station. For an hour, by phone, I was given the chance to lay out the case against SARS as a phony disease launched as part of an economic terror op against Canada.

I announced that a class-action suit against WHO and CDC and complicit Canadian officials is in the planning stage.

Many thanks to the show's two hosts and the people in Canada who paved the way for my appearance.
There is now an email address for people who want to: get further info on when I'll be going to Toronto to give a talk on SARS; who want to provide information (whistleblower-type) on the SARS scam in Canada or have stories about their own economic devastation suffered at the hands of the phony SARS promoters; who want to join in on the class-action suit.

If a few corporate heavy hitters in Toronto (who have suffered economic losses) and some opposition-party politicos sign on to a suit, the press in Canada will cover it.

This is a window of opportunity to expose the chronic liars within the virus-hunter clique that has fabricated science.

A sample list of demands for information from these WHO/CDC virus hunters:

Prove that you actually isolated the coronavirus you claim is causing SARS.
Prove that the virus is causing human illness.
Expose all your research data to independent neutral scientists.
Provide medical statistics culled from every case of suspected or probable or definite SARS, including recent (toxic) flu shots, prior medical history of disease or toxic reaction to medical drugs, and treatment for SARS with drugs such as (toxic) steroids and (toxic) Ribavirin.
Explain why you have ignored repeated statements from your top SARS scientist in Canada, Dr. Frank Plummer, who, for example, on May 1, told a SARS summit in Canada that he was now finding the coronavirus in ZERO percent of SARS cases. This BURIAL of this incredible revelation makes you culpable and open to very serious criminal and civil charges.

In particular, reveal your complete data on the use of the PCR test in identifying the so-called coronavirus in SARS patients. Prove that your chains of inference were valid and based on solid premises---as opposed to being mere guesses.

Explain how you can say this virus is causing illness when, in fact, if it appears in patients at all, it is present in such small amounts as to be negligible and irrelevant.

Prove that you are doing more than simply re-shuffling ordinary flu and pneumonia under a new meaningless label, SARS.

That would be a start.

Once the ball starts rolling, I think I will be able to bring some scientists into the fray. The investigation. Scientists who do not accept baloney on the run.

The Guardian of London—typically one of the world's best mainstream newspapers—has had some problems this week

On 31 May 2003, the paper ran an article headlines "Straw, Powell Had Serious Doubts Over Their Iraqi Weapons Claims." Citing transcripts of unknown origin provided by an anonymous "diplomatic source," the article said that Britain's Home Secretary and the US's Secretary of State had a "secret meeting" in which they "expressed serious doubts about the quality of intelligence on Iraq's banned weapons programme." Certainly sounds plausible, given all the other revelations about bad intelligence, nonexistent reports, plagiarized reports, faked reports, and pressure on intelligence agencies to cook their findings. It's of a piece with US News and World Report 's revelation that, several days before the alleged meeting mentioned above, Powell was rehearsing his WMD speech for the UN. He threw the papers into the air, saying, "I'm not reading this. This is bullshit."

But now the Guardian has retracted its story about Straw and Powell's meeting. The article is still on the site , but now it's preceded by this disclaimer:

In our front page lead on May 31 headlined "Straw, Powell had serious doubts over their Iraqi weapons claims," we said that the foreign secretary Jack Straw and his US counterpart Colin Powell had met at the Waldorf Hotel in New York shortly before Mr Powell addressed the United Nations on February 5. Mr Straw has now made it clear that no such meeting took place. The Guardian accepts that and apologises for suggesting it did.
Such a vague statement only muddies the waters. If the meeting never took place, that must mean the whole article is bunk. The two officials didn't express their suspicions to each other. The "Waldorf transcript" is as phony as the forged documents about Iraq importing uranium from Nigeria. The Guardian 's diplomatic source either hoodwinked the paper or was himself duped.

But this retraction begs the question: Why has the Guardian become so sure that the meeting didn't take place? What ironclad proof did Straw present to utterly convince them that the 10-minute confab never happened?
And if the whole article is bogus, why leave it on the Web? After all, the same newspaper just removed another article that it says was wrong.

Utility's Papers Point to GOP Donations

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP)--Key Republicans, including House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, solicited campaign donations from a financially strapped utility that was seeking their help in winning an exemption from a federal law, according to internal company records. [...]

Inmate lockdown due to budget cuts

By Greg Botonis
The Daily News

LANCASTER -- State prison inmates are being confined to their cells around the clock in an effort to reduce guards' overtime pay and keep the prison's budget deficit from escalating further.

As of last week, with a month remaining in the fiscal year, the Lancaster prison's budget deficit was estimated at about $1.9 million. Officials said layoffs, pay cuts or elimination of inmate programs could be necessary if next year's budget is cut. [...]

Bush Tax Policy Favors Robber Barons

By Bill Gallagher

06/06/03: (Niagara Falls Reporter) DETROIT -- The presidency of George W. Bush is a domestic and international disaster and it's bound to get worse. The swaggering Texan's poll numbers remain in the stratosphere as the American people buy the string of lies, distortions and deceptions that buttress the administration's agenda at home and around the world.

The Bush economic plan is the greediest, most reckless and rapacious raid on the public treasury in American history. The corporate robber barons and monopolists of the 19th century stole from and exploited the poor while the government looked the other way. This band of thieves uses government to rob from the poor to reward the rich, and sends the bill to the children and grandchildren of the middle class.
George W. Bush simply doesn't care. The deliberate creation of structural deficits is aimed at forcing drastic cuts in Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, while sparing the administration's sacred cows -- military spending and corporate welfare.

When the reality of his recklessness comes home, Bush will be back at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, enjoying the benefits of his dirty work and the praise of his corporate sponsors, the ones who made it all possible.
The radical shift of tax obligation from the rich to the middle class will already be done, and all the fat cats will have to do is play golf and cash their fat dividend checks. People looking for work, living on paychecks, paying mortgages, college tuition and medical bills -- they can just eat cake.[...]

Man, what next?

By the Editor, The Star
June 6, 2003

For eons man has debated issues related to human existence: Where do we come from? When did we learn to think? How old is modern behaviour? What came first - tools or brains?

And this week, paleo-anthropologists at the Sterkfontein Research Institute took one step closer to uncovering some of these mysteries.

The discovery of a crucial fragment of the pelvis of an early hominid skeleton has opened new doors to those dedicated to studying our past. A reconstruction of the pelvis indicates that it flared out horizontally in our ancestor, whereas in modern man the structure is more vertical. But it also does not have the same elongated shape of the ape pelvis.

Further, although it is clearly that of a bipedal individual, it was not walking in the same way as modern humans or apes.

It seems the peculiar structure of the hominid's pelvis could be associated with a tree-climbing habit. But while this hominid still climbed trees, it differed from the modern apes with their relatively long arms and knuckle-walking gait.

Could this then mean that modern man did not evolve from primates but instead from another line of hominids? This find might reveal much about our ancestors but it also raises more questions.

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