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June 10, 2003

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Many Americans Unaware WMD Have Not Been Found

41% said they believed that the US has found such weapons.

06/09/03: (PIPA) A striking finding in the new Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) Knowledge Networks poll is that many Americans are unaware that weapons of mass destruction have not been found in Iraq.

While 59% of those polled correctly said the US has not found Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, 41% said they believed that the US has found such weapons (34%) or were unsure (7%).

Steven Kull, director of PIPA, comments: "For some Americans, their desire to support the war may be leading them to screen out information that weapons of mass destruction have not been found. Given the intensive news coverage and high levels of public attention to the topic, this level of misinformation suggests that some Americans may be avoiding having an experience of cognitive dissonance."

"To some extent this misperception can be attributed to repeated headlines that there has been a promising lead in the effort to find evidence of such weapons' headlines that are not counterbalanced by prominent reporting that these leads have not been fruitful. But there is also reason to believe that this misperception may be unconsciously motivated, as the mistaken belief is substantially greater among those who favored the war."

Among those who approved of the decision to go to war and were not just supporting the president (53% of the sample), a majority of 52% said the US has found weapons of mass destruction (48%) or did not know (4%).

Among Republicans who said they follow international affairs very closely -- and thus may also be more exposed to headlines reporting promising leads -- an even larger percentage -- 55% --said weapons have been found, with just 45% saying they have not.

Another widespread misperception is that Iraq actually used chemical or biological weapons in the war.

Twenty-two percent held this misperception, with 9% being unsure, while 69% correctly said that Iraq had not used such weapons. However, unlike the question of whether weapons have been found, there is no greater tendency to hold this belief among those who support the war, or are Republicans who follow international affairs closely, than there is in the general population.

The desire to reduce cognitive dissonance may also be skewing some Americans' memory of the government's rationale for going to war.

Asked, "Thinking back to when the US government was making the case for going to war with Iraq, according to the government, what was the most important reason for going to war with Iraq?"

60% said "the evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction," and 19% said "the evidence that Iraq was working with the terrorist group al'Qaeda." But 20% said the most important reason was "the fact that Saddam Hussein was an oppressive dictator."

Asked for the second most important reason, another 32% chose "the fact that Saddam Hussein was an oppressive dictator," while weapons of mass destruction were chosen by 24% and links to al'Qaeda by 42%.

Event Horizon: Incoming and Fast!

By Richard Sauder, PhD
2003 Copyright Richard Sauder
6-9-3


The central reality of the early 21st Century is the total certainty of imminent, massive, deep-rooted change in every sphere of reality that is meaningful to the human race. This change will not be long in arriving, not at all -- indeed, we are already being buffeted by the first, outlying squalls of the rapidly approaching level-five hurricane that will soon be upon us with the full force of its fury.

The imperial warmongering of the Bush administration represents an attempt by a certain faction of the self-anointed, so-called global 'elite' to use the American military juggernaut as a violent tool to stage manage the oncoming apocalypse. (About which, more below.) Their objective is to try to control a series of large, upcoming, epochal events that are essentially uncontrollable and unmanageable. But this will not deter those who fancy themselves to be humanity's 'superiors'. They will soldier on, literally, with their aircraft carrier battle groups, their nuclear missiles, their stealth bombers, their genetically engineered viruses, and their rampaging armies equipped with night vision goggles, GPS-coordinated weaponry, drunk on self-induced illusions of patriotism, nationalism, blood, guts and gore.

It is a nightmarish vision they have and they want to impose it on the rest of the planet by brute force. Indeed, they have already begun to do this. If you are an Iraqi who has been disemboweled or decapitated by a cluster bomb that came whistling in from an American Air Force B-52 cruising overhead at 40,000 feet -- then the apocalypse has already arrived for you. And in this case, the apocalypse is stamped 'Made in America'.
Full article here See also That Old 'BLACK MAJIC' Doesn't Have Me In Its Spell - How About You?

USS Liberty: How past relates to the future

Linda S. Heard 
Gulf News


USS Liberty Dead in the Water, BBC4's documentary broadcast on the 36th anniversary of Israel's attack on the unarmed American spy-ship the USS Liberty served as a chilling warning to all those lucky enough to be able to tune in, given its unsociable broadcast slot.

Israel's claim that it attempted to sink the Liberty under the mistaken belief that it was El Queseir - a decrepit Egyptian coastal transport ship, less than half the size of the Liberty - is an old one, discredited by Liberty survivors.

For decades survivors have accused the U.S. of covering up the real reasons the vessel was targeted, implying that successive American administrations have put Israel's interests before the truth.

More than USS Liberty Dead in the Water's shocking suggestion that Israel may have pre-planned a deliberate bombardment of an American ship by air and sea - so as to bring the Americans onboard their cause, assuming they would believe that Egypt was behind the attack - we learned how close the Middle  East came to nuclear devastation on that warm June day.

After Liberty's astonished crew managed to send out an SOS signal using a makeshift antenna, a U.S fleet of war some 500 miles away received an order to dispatch two nuclear-armed fighter jets to exact a terrible retribution on Cairo.

These were recalled by the then U.S. Defence Secretary literally minutes before they could drop their deadly nuclear load. In usual American double-standard style when it comes to the Mid-East, Israel escaped coming under a similar threat when it was discovered to be the perpetrator.

In fact, the case was closed by order of President Lyndon B. Johnson even though he personally doubted Israel's version of events.

It is surely ironic that while the Bush administration puts out lurid warnings concerning the nuclear programmes of Iran and North Korea, America is the only nation, which has ever actually used them, and is abnormally silent when it comes to Israel's nuclear arsenal.

Officially, Israel doesn't possess nuclear weapons and is, therefore, not compelled to allow IAEA inspectors around its Dimona site. In reality, it has one of the most advanced nuclear and missile launch capabilities on the planet.

In June last year, the Israeli daily Haaretz quoted two top Israeli space experts, who both declared that Israel now has the capacity to fire missiles at targets anywhere on earth with the launch of its Ofek5 satellite.

A few days after the Ha'aretz report, Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy told Ha'aretz that the Mossad is convinced that Iran is developing intermediate and long-range missiles, weapons-grade nuclear capabilities, as well as VX gas and biological weapons.

Halevy added: "Israel cannot spare any effort to foil, prevent or delay the attainment of mass destruction by countries like Iran, Iraq, Syria and Libya."

"Thanks" to the U.S. and Britain, one's down with three to go, or rather four if you add North Korea, which openly admits that it has nuclear weapons and the capability of launching them as far as Hawaii and Alaska.

In the case of Iraq, U.S., British and Israeli "intelligence" has been proven lacking in substance since not only have no proscribed weapons been found in that country sincethe invasion, even the two much-lauded trailers - once supposed mobile bio-labs -are now thought to have been used innocuously to chemically produce hydrogen for artillery weather balloons.
Britain's Observer broke the story last Sunday, backing up claims by senior Iraqi officials at the Al Kindi Research, Testing, Development and Engineering facility in Mosul that the trailers were linked to weather balloons with its report that such a system was sold to the Iraqis in 1987 by the British.

Without even a puff of smoke from a toy pistol to support its Iraqi WMD accusations, the coalition has been illuminated as a nuclear aggressor, coercing sovereign nations to toe its line, or else end up like Iraq.

Perhaps it isn't Iraq or Iran's alleged nuclear capabilities that we should be worrying about, but those of the U.S., Britain and Israel. This powerful axis either has them, threatened to use them, or actually has.

But far from a desire to dilute worldwide fears as to its nuclear arsenal, one of the first things the Bush administration did was to shred the ABM Treaty, and work on developing a nuclear shield.

Further, we were recently informed by The Guardian that "the Bush administration is planning a secret meeting in August to discuss the construction of a new generation of nuclear weapons, including mini-nukes, bunker-busters and neutron bombs, designed to destroy chemical or biological agents."

Opponents of the development of smaller nukes argue that they blur the distinction between conventional and non-conventional weapons, making the use of nuclear arms somehow 'more palatable'.

Head of the Los Alamos Study Group, a nuclear watchdog organisation, said the meeting would prepare the ground for a U.S. breakaway from global arms control treaties and the moratorium on conducting nuclear tests.

The publisher of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Stephen Schwartz, indicated that these new American nuclear strategies opened it up to charges of hypocrisy.

"How can we possibly go to the international community and say, 'How dare you develop these weapons,' when it's exactly what we're doing?" asks Schwartz.

The answer is that America has challenged the international community and it will continue doing so simply because it can. It isn't functioning from a higher moral imperative.

It isn't operating from a basis of what's fair and what isn't but from an overwhelming sense of its own and Israel's survival, nay the furtherance of their joint global hegemony. Britain is needed to add a touch of respectability.

The U.S. isn't crying crocodile tears because it is looking more and more that the former Iraqi regime complied with UN Secur-ity Council Resolution 1441 and was, therefore, illegally invaded.

It isn't embarrassed because much of its intelligence concerning Iraqi weapons has been discredited or that its claims that Iraq was harbouring members of Al Qaida remain unsubstantiated. On the contrary, it is now directing the exact same accusations towards Iran while attempting to stir up dissent against the Iranian government.

We live in a dangerous world, one in which anything could happen at any moment.

If the two nuke-carrying U.S. jets, referred to in Dead in the Water, hadn't been recalled at the ninth minute, one of the most ancient cities in the world - Cairo - would now be dust, and we can only imagine what the broader regional consequences might have been. What is to prevent something similar happening today?

The Arab street is ominously silent these days, while Arabs watch in disbelief as their leaders unfailingly comply with American demands. The U.S. and Britain have strolled into a brother Arab nation under spurious pretexts, announced that they are occupying powers and taken control of its valuable natural resources.

Even so, American leaders are given the red carpet treatment by Jordan and Egypt, with photographs taken at the recent Sharm El Sheikh roadmap summit showing Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and George Bush smiling and interacting like long lost blood brothers.

As U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said at a Pentagon briefing on the "war on terror", "There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know."

When it comes to the capabilities and intentions of the U.S., the Arabs are beginning to discover much that they didn't know and might have felt more comfortable never knowing via courageous reportage from respected networks like the BBC as well as via the Internet.

America's pre-emptive invasion of Iraq and its trigger-happy readiness to nuke Cairo in 1967 may be just the tip of the iceberg. The clock can't be turned back, but Arab leaders must surely ponder on how the past relates to the future and what's more to the point, what, if anything, they can do to avert what is looking more and more like a bleak and stormy period ahead. Appeasement should be viewed as a sticking plaster on an ever suppurating wound, and not a long-term solution.

DM Mofaz on the Aqaba Summit

IsraelNN.com
Jun-04-03

"If the Palestinians will not incinerate the terrorist infrastructure themselves, we will have no choice but to do so ourselves."

Thus said Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz this evening during an address he delivered to a gathering of families who lost loved ones in the service of military intelligence, the Mossad and the General Security Services. Regarding the Aqaba summit and the currently renewed diplomatic process, Mofaz said that the guiding principle is "that security comes before peace." [...]

Comment: It sounds like Mofaz's ideas and The Bush Doctrine are similar. As we have discussed before on the Signs page, there is this little problem of, "The United States, in its attempt to fight the Soviets, allied themselves with people like Osama bin Laden. The United States, mainly the CIA, provided the Afghan mujahedin with arms and resources. Bin Laden was an ally long before he became a foe, just as the Israeli Mossad helped found Hamas, hoping it would undermine the PLO's authority in the Palestinian territories. That, too, backfired." [ Analysis: Riding the third wave of terror, Claude Salhani, Published 5/27/2003, UPI]

Another link of interest: Canada: Spying for Israel is a "War Crime"

Israel dumps Bush
  
Sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, have confirmed Israel has turned on President Bush and will do everything in her power to keep him out of the White House after completing his current term. Early removal is highly unlikely but not something to be ruled out.

Hints of Israeli lobbies in America not being fully supportive of Bush arose when an internal AIPAC memo was leaked, giving specific instructions to AIPAC personnel not to publicly support Bush or endorse his policies.

Rumors have surfaced of a deal that was made in which Israeli intelligence agents, who were operating in Iraq at the time, would assist the U.S. in locating Saddam's alleged WMD's and possibly plant them to bolster President Bush's presidency and justification for war. Backing out of their promise will prove destructive to Bush's chances for another term in the White House.

What drove the nail in the coffin for Bush was his support for the newest "road map" which seeks to establish a Palestinian state in 2005. In comments to Arab leaders, which he believed were not being recorded but were in fact caught on tape, he stated he would see to it that Israel followed through with their promises and did everything they could to dismantle settlements and calm IDF violence in the occupied territories.

The latest media assault on Bush is the culmination of frustration Israeli lobbies have had with the President, who may attempt to block some future plans the state may have in strengthening itself, against terrorism or for other reasons.

Comment: Is any part of this post true? We don't know, but we thought we would include this interesting rumor from libertyforum.org for your persusal. It does have a plausible ring to it, and if true, may very likely backfire ruining many lives caught in the crossfire. Let's not forget the Bush clan's link to Nazis. If Israel ditches Bush, will not Bush ditch Israel.

Translation from the Polish of the Newsweek article on Prescott Bush and the Nazis

NOTE: The following is a translation of the Polish Newsweek article from Information Clearing House

The Bush family reaped rewards from the forced labour prisoners in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Prescott Bush, the grandfather of the US president George W bush, during WW2 had financial links with the nazis, thanks to whom he made his fortune as a banker.

Prescott Bush was a director and shareholder of the United Banking Corporation, which acquired from the nazi industrialist Fritz Thyssen, the Consolidate Silesian Steel Corporation, where prisoners from Auschwitz worked.

During the summer in 1942, this was reported in the American press and the US government examined the books of UBC. On the 20th of October, the government commenced action against the company under the trading with the enemy act (sic) which Franklin D. Roosevelt enacted a week after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

The company could continue to function under the limitations that it's functions would not result in any help being given to the Nazis. Only in 1943, Prescott Bush distanced himself from UBC and had even engaged in the collection of funds for the victims of the war in his role as president of the National War Fund.

Ending Zionist Influence: Where Left Meets Right

by Belinda Green Monday
SF Independent Media
June 09, 2003 at 09:54 PM

There are alot of "strange bedfellows" these days, like the Zionist Jews and the Christian Right, and the Left and the Right.[...]

Every dog has its day, and now it is quite obvious to everyone, finally, that the Neo-con dogs are having their day, and having their way with the US government, and media, I might add.

However, just as White Supremacy has been marginalized and delegitimized after quite a run of domination of US politics, so shall Jewish Supremacy, otherwise known as Zionism, too be marginalized and delegitimized in US politics. Zionism is the new, new racism. The veil has been lifted. We can all see Zionism for the violently racist ideology it is. There can be no justification for ethnic cleansing no matter who does it to whom.

As more and more people shed their fear of being called the ubiquitous, now meaningless, slur "anti-Semitic" meant to squelch any criticism of Zionism and Israel, and as they learn more and more about the atrocities that Israel has been committing for decades with the help of billions of US tax payers' dollars, there can be little doubt that tolerance of this violently racist ideology will diminish and completely disappear. Strident opposition to Zionism is now emerging finally.

More and more American citizens are making demands that our US tax dollars stop flowing to Israel's ethnic cleansing campaign of Palestine for a Jewish supremacist state. These include demands that our government pressure Israel to abide fully by International Laws and UN Resolutions. Until Israel's racist government is completely dismantled, and replaced with a true secular democracy, with equal rights for all regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or sex, including all the Palestinian refugees, American citizens, on the Left, the Right and in between, are not going to want their government to have anything whatsover to do with Israel.

As a matter of fact, Israel should have a new name: Palestine-Israel will do, as well as a new flag that is representative of all its citizens, not the current exclusionist Israeli flag with its Star of David, which has been severely tarnished with the fascist, murderous nature of Zionism. [...]

Comment: Of course someone has jumped on this article. SF Indymedia allows readers to post comments on their articles, and "not amused" has posted: "this article is antisemitic and repulsive! i have come a long way since stamping this description on a peace (sic) of literature yet this reeks of cultural antisemitic jargon. disgusted"

We guess that "not amused" has forgotten that the Arabs are Semites too.

Rare joint attack on Israeli army

Reuters
09/06/2003

 
Gaza City - Three Palestinian militant groups combined for a rare joint attack that killed four Israeli soldiers yesterday, defying peace vows made by Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas at a Middle East summit.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, also facing resistance to his acceptance of a new U.S.-backed "roadmap" to peace, was jeered by nationalists during a speech on the plan to a gathering of his right-wing Likud party last night.

Disguised as Israeli soldiers, three gunmen from Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades attacked an army post near the Erez crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip, the military said. All three were shot dead in a gunbattle.

Israel Dismantles 10 Settler Outposts in West Bank

Tue June 10, 2003 02:29 AM ET
By Gwen Ackerman

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel tore down 10 Jewish settler outposts by Tuesday morning under initial steps on the ground toward implementing a U.S.-backed "road map" to peace and Palestinian statehood.

The removal of the clusters of caravans on lonely hilltops, which began on Monday, set Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on a path to confrontation with settlers he had long championed. But he drew Palestinian derision.

"This is a theatrical and insignificant step," said Nabil Abu Rdainah, a top aide to Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.

Secretary of State Colin Powell welcomed the Israeli move, which followed a pledge Sharon made at a peace summit on June 4 with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and President Bush in the Jordanian city of Aqaba. "I'm pleased that Israel is now discharging the commitment it made to the international community at the Aqaba summit," Powell said in Chile.

The army said it had removed "unauthorized structures" at 10 outposts. Deputy Defense Minister Zeev Boim said 15 outposts, including the 10 already dismantled, would go at this stage. [...] Abbas urged militants on Monday to stop attacking Israelis. The Islamic group Hamas rebuffed his call but said it would consider renewing cease-fire talks it has broken off with him.

Denouncing Hamas and others as extremists seeking to "blow up peace," Bush said in Washington: "I understand there's going to be a lot of work to do, but I'm prepared to believe." In the latest violence, Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip shot dead two Palestinian gunmen trying to infiltrate a Jewish settlement, and shot dead a Palestinian militant avoiding arrest in the West Bank, the army said.

Comment: As we have said, the "roadmap to peace" is a farce. The image of Bush as the "peacemaker" in between Sharon and Abbas was pure theatrics designed to win him votes and nothing else. In return however, Sharon will no doubt have secured further US backing for his genocidal plans.

"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.

Israelis Vow to Fight to Keep Settlements

By STEVE WEIZMAN
Associated Press Writer

AMONA, West Bank (AP) - Israeli soldiers began tearing down settlement outposts in the West Bank on Monday - one of Israel's obligations under a new Mideast peace plan - but settlers threatened to turn out by the thousands to frustrate the effort.

Blunt US warning to Palestinians


The failure to end violence against Israelis is threatening the creation of a Palestinian state, the White House has said. President Bush's spokesman said continuing attacks by Palestinian gunmen hurt the implementation of the US-backed peace plan under which Israel has agreed to the principle of a Palestinian nation.

The blunt warning came just hours after the Palestinian prime minister said he wanted to resume talks to persuade militant groups to agree a ceasefire. For its part, Israel began removing the first of several unauthorised settlements from occupied Palestinian territory

Comment: And so we see the setup. The "roadmap" is simply a way to generate more justification for Sharon's genocidal activities in Palestine (and perhaps unwittingly the whole of the middle east)

U.S. Soldiers Face Growing Resistance

Attacks in Central Iraq Become More Frequent and Sophisticated

By William Booth and Daniel Williams
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, June 10, 2003; Page A01

TIKRIT, Iraq, June 9 -- Attacks on American troops are growing in frequency and sophistication across central Iraq, a crescent of discontent and hostility where many Iraqis remain opposed to the U.S. occupation of their country.

Almost every day, well-organized groups of assailants using assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars are ambushing U.S. Army convoys, patrols, checkpoints, garrisons and public offices used by troops to interact with the civilian population.

[...] In Tikrit early Saturday morning, U.S. troops were besieged at the central building used by the military to deal with Iraqi civilians seeking help. Army officers today recalled the assault as sophisticated and organized. "They were definitely not some kids with pistols. It was well planned and well executed. They knew where we were in the building. They had done reconnaissance," said Army Maj. George Pitt in Tikrit, about 90 miles north of Baghdad.

The Tikrit attack began with small-arms fire. "They were probing us, seeing how we reacted. That's how we would have done it," Staff Sgt. Jaime Carrasco said. "They knew how to use their weapons."

Shots were fired from protected positions on rooftops across the street and from behind a berm. U.S. troops later found spent shells, rucksacks and food -- signaling patience and preparation, Carrasco said.

Then, suddenly, the small-arms fire died down, and the U.S.-occupied building was hit by at least six to eight volleys of rocket-propelled grenades.

"Look at the shot groups," Carrasco said, pointing to the pocked mortar and gaping holes on the third floor of the building. "See how tight they are."

The rocket-propelled grenades hit their targets within four feet of each other. One barely missed a window. Another projectile penetrated a metal door, flew across the room and exited through the back wall. The grenades were fragmentary devices, designed to spew shrapnel upon impact. Only one did, and the wall below impact was flecked with deep gouges. "This is very, very lucky thing," Carrasco said. "Somebody was looking out for us."

Carrasco said he believed the assailants knew that this was the room where the infantry soldiers guarding the building at night slept or relaxed on their breaks. After the rocket-propelled grenades were fired, the U.S. forces returned fire.

During the fight, a group of military police three houses away were also attacked. "This was coordinated. Two locations. Same time," Carrasco said. Five soldiers were wounded, one seriously. A military policeman was shot in the face outside the building and drowned in his own blood; medics performed an emergency tracheotomy, but he died. The Pentagon has identified him as Pvt. Jesse M. Halling, 19, of Indianapolis, of the 401st Military Police Company, based at Ft. Hood, Tex. Pitt said military investigators do not know who attacked them or why. [...]

Comment: Imagine that was your son or daughter... shot in the face and drowned in their own blood...sacrificed for no other reason but to satisfy the power lust of our so called leaders...

U.S. Says Saddam Uncertainty Fuels Attacks

Tue June 10
By Tabassum Zakaria

LISBON (Reuters) - The United States has said its failure to find Saddam Hussein may be emboldening the fallen leader's Baath party supporters to attack U.S. forces in Iraq.

The former Iraqi president has not been seen since the fall of the Iraqi capital Baghdad two months ago.

"It might give heart to the Baathists who may want to hope that they can take back that country, which they are not going to succeed in doing," Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said late on Monday.

"We'll just keep looking for him. We'll find him," he told reporters on a flight to Portugal at the start of a four-day European visit that includes stops in Albania, Germany and Brussels for NATO meetings.

An American soldier, shot dead at a checkpoint near the Syrian border late on Sunday, was the latest killed in a spate of attacks on U.S. troops since they toppled Saddam.

Since Baghdad fell on April 9, 39 U.S. soldiers have been killed by enemies and 41 in accidents, bringing total deaths in the Iraq campaign to 182.[...]

Comment: Perhaps Saddam was spirited out of power by the US in the same way that they spirited him into power 30 years ago. Afterall, Saddam could be as useful as that other US asset Osama bin Laden, popping up when and where needed in order to justify their drive for world dominance?

US soldier shot dead in west Iraq

Gunmen have shot and killed another US soldier in Iraq - reportedly after approaching a checkpoint he was manning and asking for medical help. [...]

The US soldier was the third to be killed in Iraq in five days, in what appears to be an emerging pattern of local resistance in several parts of the country. [...]

There were 85 attacks on US forces in May alone - almost triple the number of the previous month.

Bush Asserts Iraq 'Had a Weapons Program'

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush insisted Monday that Iraq had a weapons program, and the White House asked for patience during a search for evidence to prove it. [...]

"Iraq had a weapons program,'' Bush said. "Intelligence throughout the decade (of the 1990s) showed they had a weapons program. I am absolutely convinced with time we'll find out they did have a weapons program.''

Bush did not use the phrase "weapons of mass destruction.'' Nor did he promise any remnants of any "weapons program'' will be found. [...]

Fleischer said most Americans feel safer because of the Iraq invasion and are willing to allow more time to the search for banned weapons.

"I think there's an interesting lesson here on patience,'' Fleischer said. "The president has it. He will continue to have it.''

Bush Adamant Iraq Had Banned Weapons 'Program'

Mon June 9, 2003 02:21 PM ET
By Patricia Wilson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush stated flatly on Monday that Iraq had a weapons of mass destruction program and rejected the idea of Washington's credibility being at stake in the search for banned arms.

But he stopped short of repeating previous vows that the weapons themselves would be found.

"Iraq had a weapons program," Bush told reporters after a meeting with his Cabinet at the White House. "Intelligence throughout the decade showed they had a weapons program. I am absolutely convinced with time we'll find out they did have a weapons program." [...]

Bush urges patience in search for Iraq's weapons program

President says evidence will be found; lawmakers weigh intelligence probe

Associated Press
June 10, 2003 WASHINGTON - President Bush insisted yesterday that Iraq had a weapons program, and the White House asked for patience during a search for evidence to prove it.

As lawmakers considered an investigation into the handling of intelligence that led to war, the White House said it would not resist such an inquiry. [...]

Sen. Carl Levin, ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, said he wants a full congressional investigation into prewar intelligence. "I think that the nation's credibility is on the line, as well as [Bush's]," the Michigan Democrat said.

Bush sidestepped a reporter's question yesterday on a link between U.S. credibility and weapons he said Iraq had.

"The credibility of this country is based upon our strong desire to make the world more peaceful, and the world is now more peaceful after our decision," Bush said. [...]

No formal congressional investigation is under way....

Comment: It is almost inconceivable for Bush to say "The world is now more peaceful after our decision..." We are talking MAJOR PSYCHOPATH here...

Despite violence, Bush 'optimistic' about peace

By Elizabeth Bumiller
THE NEW YORK TIMES


WASHINGTON — Despite a wave of bloodshed over the weekend in the Middle East, President Bush said on Monday that he remained "optimistic" about forging peace between the Israelis and Palestinians and that he would follow through on the promises he made to both sides on the Gulf of Aqaba.

Bush made his comments at the White House on Monday morning after Palestinian militant groups carried out three shootings in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that killed five Israeli soldiers. Five Palestinian assailants were also killed. [...]

Iraq war 'could have been illegal'

BBC

Was the evidence over Iraqi WMDs manipulated?

Lawyers for peace campaigners CND are arguing the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has made the legality of the war questionable.

The group is pressing for a judicial review into the attorney general's advice to the government that attacking Iraq was legal. [...]

US criticised over Muslim checks

BBC

Malaysia and Pakistan have reacted angrily to new American regulations to register people from selected Arab and Muslim countries on arrival in the US.

Under the new policy, the US Immigration and Naturalisation Service (INS) will routinely fingerprint, photograph and question potential entrants, checking their pictures and prints against criminal and terrorist databases. Because of the acts of a few people, the whole Muslim world seems to have been labelled Mahathir Mohammad
The policy is aimed at preventing a repeat of the security lapses which allowed the 11 September hijackers to live undetected in the US for so long. [...]

The measures, introduced nationwide on Tuesday, could potentially apply to any of the 35 million foreign visitors who come to the United States every year.

But all citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Sudan will be targeted, and visitors - especially men - from other Muslim and Middle Eastern countries may also be subject to the new measures. [...]

Dr Mahathir said he was upset at the American measures. "Because of the acts of a few people, the whole Muslim world seems to have been labelled," he said.

US threatens mass expulsions

BBC

More than 13,000 Arab and Muslim men in the US are facing deportation after co-operating with post-11 September anti-terror measures, it has been revealed.

They are among 82,000 adult males who obeyed a government demand to register with the immigration service earlier this year, on the grounds they come from 25 mainly Muslim countries said to harbour terror groups.

Only 11 of those who registered, and of the tens of thousands more screened at airports and border crossings, have been found to have links with terrorism. [...]

The vast bulk of those facing deportation proceedings were found to have lapses in their immigration status. By co-operating fully with the demand to register, many had hoped to be treated leniently.[...]

"There's been a major shift in our priorities," Jim Chaparro told the New York Times. He is acting director for interior enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security - which has now absorbed the old immigration service. "We need to focus our enforcement efforts on the biggest threats. If a loophole can be exploited by an immigrant, it can also be exploited by a terrorist," he said.

Comment: First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.

--Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945

Famine-struck N Koreans 'eating children'

By Mark Nicol
The Telegraph

Cannibalism is increasing in North Korea following another poor harvest and a big cut in international food aid, according to refugees who have fled the stricken country.

Aid agencies are alarmed by refugees' reports that children have been killed and corpses cut up by people desperate for food. Requests by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to be allowed access to "farmers' markets", where human meat is said to be traded, have been turned down by Pyongyang, citing "security reasons". [...]

North Korea's ability to feed itself has been hit by floods, deforestation and lack of farm fertilisers and equipment.
The WFP says Japan provided 500,000 tons of food aid in 2001, making it the biggest donor, but sent nothing last year. Food aid from America has been cut from 340,000 tons in 2001 to 40,000 tons so far this year. Washington has pledged to send a further 60,000 tons if Pyongyang lifts restrictions on the operations of agencies such as the WFP.

Ashcroft is Coming! Ashcroft is Coming!

One Way or Another He's Gonna Getcha

By ELAINE CASSEL
Counter Punch

FBI Director Robert Mueller recently agreed with President Bush's assessment that "we" had Al Qaeda on the run." Of course Osama and Saddam are out there somewhere, but whatever Al Qaeda is (see Steve Perry's post that queries whether there really is an Al Qaeda), we have routed them.

[...] this week, John brought together some of his favorite prosecutors from around the country and hauled out boxes of files. Old files. Old surveillance files. Maybe on you and me.

And John said to his disciples, charge these people. I don't care with what. They must have done something or we wouldn't have a file on them. Charge them with inhaling marijuana, or jaywalking, or copying a VHS tape, or writing an article, or attending a mosque, or voting Democratic (or Green, or Libertarian). Charge them. Indict them. Tell the judge they are terrorist threats (remember, terror is what I say it is) and don't let them out on bail. Set their trials for 18 months away, like we did with that professor in Florida, who won't see the sun shine until at least January 2005. Maybe when they have been locked up for a few months, without lawyers, mind you. I forgot to tell you that. No lawyers. They are a threat to national security. Terrorists will not have the benefit of my Constitution. And mark those you think have done something really bad--like speak out in favor of Palestinian rights, or human rights. I will get George to name them unlawful combatants. Then they can get shipped out of the country. Call Putin up. See if he will get some of those gulags out of mothballs for us. [...]

[...] Ashcroft promised that he would be asking for new terrorism tools, saying that the Patriot Act did not go far enough. He dismissed criticisms of the long and secret detentions of aliens, as reported by his own Inspector General. He would do it again, he said.

And you may be next..

Bush's determination surprised Israel

By Aluf Benn
Haaretz

U.S. President George W. Bush's resolve to move the Israeli-Palestinian peace process forward surprised many Israelis, who believed that the current administration in Washington fears stepping into the Middle East quagmire and will make do with diplomatic lip service only.

But Bush has undergone a change, as discovered by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at their meeting in Aqaba last Wednesday. Bush did speak of his desire for an Israeli-Palestinian accord in the past too, but not with much enthusiasm. This time, Sharon discerned a messianic passion he hadn't seen before. The practical expressions of U.S. involvement have been the multitude of trips to the region made by high-ranking U.S. officials since the war in Iraq, the Israeli government's forced acceptance of the road map, the meticulous staging of the Aqaba summit, and the decision to place the handling of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the top of the agendas of National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Planting Weapons of Mass Destruction, Karl Rove, And "Sympathy for the Devil"

A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL

You know it's coming.

As BuzzFlash and many other Internet sites pointed out again and again beginning last fall, Bush and Blair were lying about WMD's to mount a war for oil. There were other covert reasons for the Iraq war (see BuzzFlash's "The Perfect War" and "Endgame"), but the WMD's were clearly the "red alert" that was the justification for attacking Iraq immediately to achieve those publicly unrevealed goals. [...]

So you just got to figure that any day now, Karl Rove is going to roll out some grand distraction.[...]

LaRouche Says Charges Against Cheney Constitute Grounds For Impeachment

June 7, 2003

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 7 -- In the midst of a growing mountain of evidence that Vice President Dick Cheney led a battery of senior Bush Administration officials, in repeatedly using what was known to be a forged document from a foreign government to corral Congressional and public support for the Iraq War, Democratic Presidential pre-candidate Lyndon LaRouche issued a sharply worded statement insisting on a full investigation documenting exactly what Vice President Cheney knew, when he knew it, and precisely what he did contrary to what he knew to be the truth. [...]

Rumsfeld Asks Allies for More Postwar Aid

Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld Says Specter of Saddam May Be Prolonging Problems in Iraq

The Associated Press

LISBON, Portugal June 10 — On a four-day visit to Europe, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is thanking nations that supported the U.S.-led war in Iraq and asking for more postwar help to keep the peace there.
He said the failure of the U.S.-led coalition to prove deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is dead may be fueling continued violence and resistance in the country.

"There are people who may fear that he could come back," Rumsfeld said Monday.

"If they fear he could come back, they might be somewhat slower in an interrogation to say what they know" and it could "give heart" to some from Saddam's Baathist Party who hope "that they can take back that country."

Rumsfeld said 41 countries are considering assistance to Iraq and some half dozen have committed forces. He didn't name them, but he said the first forces should be ready in September.

"We have a very aggressive effort to bring in forces from other countries in sizable numbers," Rumsfeld said.

He spoke during a flight to Portugal, where he was to thank officials Tuesday for their support in a war that was unpopular in much of the rest of Europe. [...]

Comment: In other words, come clean up and pay for the mess we made, putting everyone in the unenviable position of either bowing to his demands or allowing the Iraqi population to continue suffering with starvation, sewage tainted water, radiation sickness, violence, etc. The kind of dilema everyone finds themselves embroiled in when interacting with psychopaths.

Lies and statistics: How the master of spin changed two words - and possibly the world

Sunday June 8, 2003: (The Observer)

If Alastair Campbell, as is alleged, wanted the Blair dossier on Iraq 'sexed up' then that was only appropriate given the fact that Campbell was at one time employed by the sex magazine Forum before, that is, he took on a job with Robert Maxwell.

Given that kind of pedigree should anyone be remotely surprised that a document prepared by Campbell and his staff to justify the invasion of Iraq should be any more trust worthy than Jeffrey Archer's CV?

It was known some time ago that a section of the Campbell dossier was nothing to do with our intelligence services, so much admired by Mr Blair, but had been simply copied from the internet from various articles in academic journals. But last week it was shown that Campbell had not only plagiarised these articles but that they too had been 'sexed up'. [...]

Comment: "It seems to me very hard for somebody in Congress to argue with a straight face that he or she was deceived. Anyone who was sitting there throughout the last two years heard all of the arguments that are now being made, had an opportunity to read all the intelligence. There has been nothing new in the arguments...to dredge all of this [up] as somehow a national scandal or people being beguiled or so forth is nonsense unless people are totally naïve." Sen Richard Lugar

''Further fanning of the flames''

By Ash Pulcifer
YellowTimes.org Columnist

In December of 2002, the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press released a study titled, "What the World Thinks in 2002." The study, containing poll results from 27 countries around the world, examines how the global community perceives the United States. The results of this study were shocking, as it showed that positive attitudes toward the United States had plummeted since the election of the Bush administration.

The study, discussed in greater detail in "Fanning the flames of resentment," found that in 19 of the 27 countries polled, attitudes toward the United States had shifted dramatically. From Western Europe to Latin America, genuine anger toward the United States was sharply increasing. Most worrying, in Muslim-majority countries, feelings toward the United States had turned dangerously negative; many Muslims believed, and still do, that the "war on terrorism" is actually a "war on Islam."

Iran Says U.S. Pressure Over Nukes Will Backfire

Mon June 9, 2003 07:38 AM ET
By Parinoosh Arami

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran warned Monday that foreign pressure over its nuclear capabilities, branded a threat to peace by Washington, would backfire and harden Iran's position.

Since its rapid conquest of Iraq, Washington has tightened the screw on neighboring Iran, which it accuses of sheltering al Qaeda fugitives, backing terrorism and developing nuclear arms.

"Excessive pressure on Iran would untie the hands of those who do not believe in dialogue," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi. "Even those who favor constructive talks would not accept the language of force and threat." [...]

Where did the feisty Americans go?

ROBERT STEINBACK
Miami Herald

It will be a question historians will debate perhaps for centuries to come. How did a president remain solidly popular with the American people, even though...

U.S. forced to print Saddam banknotes

By Andrew Marshall

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - They have torn down his statues and peppered his portraits with bullet holes, but Iraq's interim U.S. rulers have been forced to print millions of new banknotes bearing the face of Saddam Hussein.

Officials sitting at makeshift desks in the plundered and fire-ravaged central bank building say printing presses began cranking out vast quantities of Saddam dinars last week to ease a cash crisis that has enraged Iraqis.

The problem lies with the purple-and-yellow 10,000-dinar notes, worth about 6 pounds, that Saddam's government introduced in the last years of its rule. [...]

The new evil empire

The Idaho Statesman -  Letters

[...] We now have a mercenary army of professional killers who only obey their warlords. Marines are so brainwashed they would kill American citizens if ordered. In fact, they have been training for this very thing in nationwide “urban warrior” drills.

America has now become the evil empire, with an all-powerful Caesar, commanding his mercenary killers to commit mayhem and wreak havoc and destruction worldwide.

Powell: US Not Headed Toward War with N. Korea

David Gollust

Secretary of State Colin Powell says North Korea's latest statement on its nuclear weapons ambitions will not change the Bush administration's determination to resolve the issue through diplomacy. Mr. Powell spoke on the sidelines of an Organization of American States meeting in the Chilean capital, Santiago.

Mr. Powell says a nuclear-armed North Korea threatens the region and "will not be tolerated" but says it does not mean the United States is heading for war with Pyongyang. The Secretary spoke to reporters here after a statement by North Korea's official news agency Monday that was seen by some analysts as Pyongyang's most explicit statement to date that it is seeking nuclear weapons. [...]

'24' masks an insult as entertainment
 
By Steven Zak

You've heard the 9/11 conspiracy theories: The real culprits behind the attacks were President Bush, the CIA, Israel - take your pick. The latest in the litany of such lunacy, though, comes not from the mad Middle East but from the creators of the Fox series "24." [...]

Where are the Grownups?

By Ernest Partridge
Co-Editor, "The Crisis Papers."
June 9, 2003

"The main thing needed to make the world happy is intelligence. And this, after all, is an optimistic conclusion, because intelligence is a thing that can be fostered by known methods of education."
Bertrand Russell

[...] The United States has, throughout its history, been known as “the land of opportunity” where, through a system of public education, open competition, and authentically “free enterprise,” the talented and industrious might achieve personal wealth, prestige and power.

Our vaunted liberties, for which we have been justly renowned and envied, has drawn millions of immigrants to our shores, where they have enriched our culture and enhanced our prosperity.

And finally, our accomplishments in science and scholarship are second to none. American scientists (many of them immigrants) have won a disproportional share of Nobel Prizes. The academic freedom and scholarly discipline of our graduate schools continue to draw the very best students from around the world.

Two years of unparalleled corruption of the Congress and the Executive, and the political capitulation of the Supreme Court, does not undo all of that. But if present trends continue through another Presidential term and beyond, all bets are off.

For all the justice and liberty that we cherish in our political tradition, all that we share with our prosperity, and our well-deserved international esteem, is about to be swept away, as the United States of America may be facing its greatest political and economic crisis in its history. For the United States of America has, through electoral fraud and judicial malfeasance, been taken over by a gang of radical anarchist oligarchs (who falsely label themselves “conservatives”), who are guided by dogma and “instinct,” rather than practical experience, expertise and science. This regime is undeterred by law, treaties, or world opinion. They have effective control of the media, while the “opposition” political party has proven itself incompetent and impotent.

The ruinous program of this regime is no secret. Quite the contrary, it is as clear and explicit as the political program set forth in Mein Kampf. The Bill of Rights? Read the USA PATRIOT Act, and “Patriot II” waiting in the wings. The Geneva Accords? Consider the stockades of Guantanamo. The United Nations, NATO and the international treaties? Read the “Project for a New American Century” (PNAC). The social contract and a century of progressive social programs? Consider the Bush budget and tax legislation, and contemplate a projected future of ever-increasing national debt and eventual federal bankruptcy, as the oligarch-anarchists endeavor to “shrink the government until they can drown it in a bathtub.”

In the words of the normally restrained Financial Times of London, “the inmates have taken control of the asylum.”

Yet the talent, initiative, intellect, political sophistication, and the moral insight and dedication which brought the United States to its pinnacle of prosperity, vitality and international esteem just two years ago, still resides within our borders.

But where? The voices of protest and dissent are muted, and the opposition is disorganized and demoralized.

Where are the grownups – now that we all so desperately need them? [...]

Comment: Although the author begins with a healthy dose of wishful thinking American-style, the remainder of the article is an interesting commentary on the complicity of different elements of American society.

Powell Urges OAS to Act on Cuba

'Democratic Transition' Sought for Island

By Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 10, 2003; Page A18

SANTIAGO, Chile, June 9 -- Secretary of State Colin L. Powell today challenged Western Hemisphere nations to work with the United States toward the goal of ending 43 years of Communist control in Cuba.

"My government looks forward to working with our partners in the OAS to find ways to hasten the inevitable democratic transition in Cuba," Powell told foreign ministers from the Organization of American States at their annual general assembly here.

The OAS long has been reluctant to deal with the issue of Cuba, which it suspended from membership in 1962. To the extent that there has been a majority view in the 35-nation body, it has coalesced around disapproval of a U.S. trade embargo and restrictions on the travel of American citizens to the island.

But the Bush administration sees Cuban President Fidel Castro's widely denounced crackdown on political activists this spring as an opportunity to persuade other countries to join it in increasing economic and political pressure on Castro's government.

Although the administration failed last month in an effort to win an OAS resolution denouncing Cuba, the European Union last week agreed to scale back ties with the Castro government to protest the arrests and lengthy prison sentences given to 75 political dissidents and independent journalists.

Asked at a news conference here this evening whether the United States planned to make Cuba the next target of a pre-emptive military attack, Powell said, "There are no plans to take preventive or pre-emptive action with respect to Cuba." Instead, he said, he was looking for at least verbal disapproval. "If we would call ourselves a community of democracies, we have a responsibility to speak out," Powell said. [...]

Comment: This is how it starts, the US seemingly acting within international law, expressing concern about certain nations, shining the spotlight on the next to be awarded democracy US style. All it takes then is some trumped-up charge and its "chocks away" once more for the US war machine, blood and guts flying. What side of the fence will you be on when the next US lead massacre occurs?. Blindly regurjitating government/CNN drivel about "terrorists" and "dictators"? Or opening your eyes and taking a stand for what IS?

Fidel Castro Cracks Down on European Union

Vasily Bubnov
06/09/2003 16:35

Fidel Castro: "We must all remain calm, because a gang, a mafia, has joined the Yankee imperialists ... disgracefully serving the Nazi-fascist government of the United States." This is Fidel Castro's opinion of the European Union, not Cuban dissidents who have settled in Florida. Until recently, the EU has been more loyal to Cuba than the USA, but everything changed in April, after Castro ordered the execution of three ferry hijackers who had tried to make their way to the United States. Dozens of dissidents were arrested as well and then sentenced to long terms in prison. The EU turned its back on Fidel Castro afterward, although it appears Castro was not very upset. On the contrary, Castro got his second wind.

Thousands of people have been participating in meetings and demonstrations to support the Cuban government for last one-and-a-half months. Of course, this is not the first time they have occurred. However, Castro's present zeal reminds everyone of the 1960s, when he had just come to power. Yet, there is a difference. Castro's denunciations of American imperialism used to be "ritual" ones, but now there exists the possibility of military conflict between Cuba and the USA. The Cubans believe that the USA will target Cuba after the successful operation in Iraq - not Iran or North Korea, but Cuba.

Cubans have reasons to believe so. George W. Bush has stressed before that "dictatorships have no place in the Americas." During Bill Clinton's presidency, it seemed that Washington was waiting for Fidel Castro to pass away, thinking that the Cuban regime would collapse afterward on its own. However, George W. Bush's administration is not going to indulge Havana at all. This means that the pressure on Cuba (political, ideological, economic) will continue growing. Repression and arrests against dissidents in Cuba give the American administration a very good opportunity for interfering in the life of the island. [...]

Alert Issued as U.S. Monkeypox Cases Grow to 37

By Michael Conlon
Monday, June 9, 2003; 5:05 PM

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Officials in three states tried on Monday to track down pet prairie dogs believed spreading "monkeypox," a smallpox-like illness not seen before in the Western Hemisphere that may have infected 37 people.

Only six of the victims were being treated in hospitals, officials said, and they were expected to recover with bed rest. The disease, caused by monkeypox virus, is not believed to spread person-to-person.

But in light of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome scare and an approaching summer season when mosquito-borne West Nile virus was likely to again pose a deadly threat, health officials were moving to attack the newly diagnosed problem.

Stephen Ostroff of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Infection, said there were 33 confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox under investigation. Locally, officials listed more -- 22 in Wisconsin, 10 in Indiana and five in Illinois.

"We don't know how many animals or humans have been involved and we don't know the scope of the problem," Ostroff told reporters in Atlanta. [...]

Smallpox has been eradicated worldwide and children born after 1980 have not been vaccinated against it. Smallpox vaccinations, however, offer protection against monkeypox, meaning that adults who were vaccinated earlier are most likely to have immunity against it.

Children, however, are at risk. In Africa, the mortality rate for young children can be as high as 10 percent.

Vaccines considered in monkeypox scare

By Anita Manning, USA TODAY
6/9/2003 11:04 PM

The number of people in the Midwest possibly infected with monkeypox, a close relative of smallpox, jumped Monday to at least 34. Health officials are considering whether to recommend smallpox vaccination for people who may have been exposed to infected prairie dogs and other exotic pets.

Monkeypox is not as severe or as contagious as smallpox, but experts admit they don't know how it would behave if it spread widely here because no one has seen a case in the USA until now.
[...]

The worry now, said infectious disease specialist Kurt Reed of the Marshfield (Wis.) Clinic, is keeping the virus from spreading to squirrels, mice or other local animals. "Everyone hopes this is a one-shot deal for the history books, but look what happened with West Nile virus." West Nile emerged in 1999 in New York City and has spread nationwide and into Canada.

Iran: Failure to tell IAEA of 1991 uranium imports did not 'violate' treaty

ASSOCIATED PRESS

TEHRAN, Iran, June 8 — Iran admitted Sunday it failed to inform U.N. authorities that it imported a small quantity of uranium 12 years ago but said that failure did not violate the international Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Gholamreza Aghazadeh, Iran's nuclear energy chief, also urged the International Atomic Energy Agency to widely publish the report it released to member nations last week on Iran's nuclear program.

The Bush administration accuses Iran of wanting to build a nuclear bomb and wants the U.N. agency to declare Iran in breach of the treaty. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. [...]

U.S. says Iran harbors al Qaeda 'associate'

By Bill Gertz
THE WASHINGTON TIMES

A top al Qaeda associate in Iraq has fled to neighboring Iran, where he and several senior al Qaeda leaders apparently remain under the protection of the Iranian government, U.S. intelligence officials say.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi fled Iraq within the past several weeks and is in Iran, the officials told The Washington Times.

Al-Zarqawi was identified in a U.N. briefing given in February by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell as an "associate and collaborator of Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda lieutenants."

That link was a key element in the U.S. case that Saddam Hussein's Iraq was tied to al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, a stance repeated yesterday by President Bush in response to a New York Times report that said two al Qaeda captives had said the group did not cooperate with Saddam.

"I guess the people that wrote that article forgot about al-Zarqawi's network inside of Baghdad that ordered the killing of a U.S. citizen named [Laurence] Foley," Mr. Bush said. "And history in time will prove that the United States made the absolute right decision in freeing the people of Iraq from the clutches of Saddam Hussein."

U.S. intelligence officials believe that al-Zarqawi helped the terrorists who killed Mr. Foley, a U.S. diplomat, in Amman, Jordan, in October.

Iran's government have denied Bush administration assertions that Tehran was harboring al Qaeda terrorists. But the Iranian government has recently stated that it had detained several al Qaeda members, although it has not identified any.

American intelligence officials said Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security, and the Qods Division of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, a unit of hard-line Islamist shock troops, are deeply involved in supporting terrorists, including al Qaeda.

A U.S. official said the Bush administration wants Iran to turn over al-Zarqawi to the United States because of his connection to the Foley killing, although it could not be learned whether the State Department has made a formal request. [...]

Vaccines fueling autism epidemic?

By Kelly Patricia O Meara
June 9, 2003 5:00 p.m. EST

The mother of an autistic child wonders aloud when health officials will wake up to the epidemic that has claimed not only her son but hundreds of thousands of other children in the United States, with no end in sight. She muses, "Maybe someday this will be as important as SARS and we'll get the same attention. God knows we need it."

Autism is a severely incapacitating developmental disability for which there is no known cure. According to a recently released report by the California Department of Developmental Services, or DDS, entitled Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Changes in the California Caseload: 1999-2002, the rate of children diagnosed with full-syndrome autism in the Golden State between 1999 and 2002 nearly doubled from 10,360 to 20,377. The report further revealed that "between Dec. 31, 1987, and Dec. 31, 2002, the population of persons with full-syndrome autism has increased by 634 percent." That is a doubling of autism cases every four years, and the staggering increases are not limited to California.

Infants are being inoculated with vaccines containing toxic ingredients that can be harmful — or fatal.

[...] For years there has been a debate about the cause or causes of autism, but the vast majority of finger-pointing has been directed at childhood vaccines as the culprit. And considering what is put into the vaccines injected into hours-old infants, it is easy to understand why they are at the top of the list of suspects: formaldehyde (used in embalming), thimerosal (nearly 50 percent mercury), aluminum phosphate (toxic and carcinogenic), antibiotics, phenols (corrosive to skin and toxic), aluminum salts (corrosive to tissue and neurotoxic), methanol (toxic), isopropyl (toxic), 2-pheoxyethanol (toxic), live viruses and a host of unknown components considered off-limits as trade secrets. These are just part of the vaccine mixture.

For those who believe there are elements in vaccines that may be responsible for the increased number of autism cases and other neurological disorders, thimerosal currently is at the top of the list of possible culprits being investigated. [...]

Geier insists, "I'm pro-vaccines, but the bottom line is that our kids are getting massive amounts of mercury. Mercury has been withdrawn from everything, including animal vaccines, yet we keep injecting it into our children. Everyone should absolutely refuse to take a vaccine shot that has thimerosal in it, and they should insist on reading the vaccine package insert. Our data showed that the more mercury children received in their childhood vaccines the more neurodevelopment disorders there are. We've looked at this every possible way and every time there's massive evidence to support it." [...]

Germany In 1933: The Easy Slide Into Fascism

By Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers
June 9, 2003

If my email is any indication, a goodly number of folks wonder if they're living in America in 2003 or Germany in 1933.

All this emphasis on nationalism, the militarization of society, identifying The Leader as the nation, a constant state of fear and anxiety heightened by the authorities, repressive laws that shred constitutional guarantees of due process, wars of aggression launched on weaker nations, the desire to assume global hegemony, the merging of corporate and governmental interests, vast mass-media propaganda campaigns, a populace that tends to believe the slogans and lies it's fed without asking too many questions, a timid opposition that barely contests the administration's reckless adventurism abroad and police-state policies at home, etc. etc.

The parallels are not exact, of course; America in 2003 and Germany seventy years earlier are not the same, and Bush certainly is not Adolf Hitler. But there are enough disquieting similarities in the two periods at least to see what we can learn -- cautionary tales, as it were -- and then figure out what to do with our knowledge. [...]

The ever-growing US military footprint

By David Isenberg

The war in Iraq is over, so that means that the troops are coming home and the United States is reducing its presence - what military planners like to call its "footprint" in the region, right? Well, wrong, actually.

Contrary to much of the recent news coverage about Pentagon pronouncements on the US seeking to reduce its presence in Saudi Arabia, the fact of the matter is that when one looks at the big picture, the US has a huge military presence in the region. And it is not going anywhere. Considering the rhetoric that has come out in the past month from the neoconservative camp and administration officials about their unhappiness with countries such as Syria and Iran, the US military ability to reach out and touch someone must be taken very seriously.

Comment: See the full article for the ever-expanding list of US bases around the world.

British Scientist Puts Odds for Apocalypse at 50-50

Mon Jun 9,
By Deena Beasley

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - This is the way the world might end: A genetically engineered pathogen is released, debris from an erupting "supervolcano" blocks the sun or scientists in the biggest "bioerror" of them all accidentally trigger a matter-squeezing "big bang."

The demise of civilization has been predicted since it began, but the odds of keeping Planet Earth alive and well are getting worse amid a breakneck pace of scientific advances, according to Martin Rees, Britain's honorary astronomer royal.

Rees calculates that the odds of an apocalyptic disaster striking Earth have risen to about 50 percent from 20 percent a hundred years ago.

The 60-year-old scientist, author of the recently published "Our Final Hour," says science is advancing in a far more unpredictable and potentially dangerous pattern than ever before.

He lists as mankind's biggest threats: nuclear terrorism, deadly engineered viruses, rogue machines and genetic engineering that could alter human character. All of those could result from innocent error or the action of a single malevolent individual.


BIOTECHNOLOGY COULD CHANGE HUMAN NATURE

"For the first time ever, human nature itself isn't fixed. Biotech drugs and genetic engineering are empowering individuals more than ever before," Rees said.

With rapidly advancing DNA technology, "even a single person could cause a disaster," Rees warned, noting that the United States, after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and anthrax scare, is well aware of this threat.

Thousands of people have the ability to engineer viruses and bacteria to cause deadly plagues. Even if one such "weirdo" didn't kill many people, that type of biological terrorism would profoundly change daily life, the scientist warned.

Nanotechnology -- the subject of a recent Michael Crichton thriller about the havoc caused by runaway microscopic machines -- are also a potent threat, he said.

If the field advances far enough, rogue self-replicating nanotechnology machines -- feeding on organic material and spreading like pollen -- could devastate a continent within a few days, Rees said.

The dangers of global warming (news - web sites) are also addressed in the book, subtitled "A scientist's warning: How terror, error, and environmental disaster threaten humankind's future in this century -- on Earth and beyond."

Rees does not discount the possibility of disaster caused by scientific experiments involving particle accelerators. "Perhaps a back hole could form, and then suck in everything around it," he cautions.

So what's to be done? The British scientist calls for better regulation and inspection of sensitive data and experiments. "We need to keep track of those who have potentially lethal knowledge," Rees said.

Jizan ‘UFO’ Just a Big Balloon — Governor

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