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June 17, 2003

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Car Explodes in Baghdad, Two Dead

Mon June 16, 2003 03:11 PM ET

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A civilian car exploded in a neighborhood of northwest Baghdad on Monday evening, killing a woman and a young girl, residents said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the explosion but it happened at an intersection where U.S. forces had had checkpoints until half an hour before the blast.

The car, a red Volkswagen Passat, was destroyed by the explosion.

Earlier on Monday, a civilian car was destroyed as it drove through a Baghdad tunnel in an explosion U.S. troops and Iraqi police said was probably caused by a land mine.

Two Iraqis were wounded in that blast.

US forces raid militia 'hideouts'

Monday, 16 June, 2003, 16:33 GMT
BBC


US troops backed by helicopters have stepped up the hunt for fighters loyal to Saddam Hussein, raiding towns and villages in central Iraq.

Soldiers poured into the town of Khaldiyah, 70 kilometres (45 miles) west of Baghdad on Monday, arresting nine men and seizing guns and explosives.

It comes after at least four American soldiers were hurt by rocket-propelled grenades in two separate incidents on Sunday.

Thousands of troops are taking part in the new operations, called Desert Scorpion, which US Central Command has called a combat and humanitarian operation designed to pinpoint Saddam Hussein loyalists. [...]

Four injured in Baghdad blast as Bush slams occupation critics

Tuesday June 17, 6:30 AM

An explosion in a Baghdad tunnel injured four people amid a US military campaign to root out resistance in western Iraq, as US President George W. Bush slammed critics of the US-led occupation.

The US military said seven soldiers were wounded Sunday in separate ambushes as troops launched a massive sweep of western Iraq to root out resistance and ease Iraqis' resentment. The blast Monday occurred as a taxi was passing through the tunnel beneath Tayaran Square in central Baghdad.

The driver, Sabah Shameel, 53, was taken to Baghdad's al-Kindi hospital where doctors said they amputated part of a finger. Three passengers sustained minor injuries. US troops, who were patrolling nearby, said the blast was deliberate but could not immediately confirm its cause.

"We are not sure if it's a bomb or a land mine," First Lieutenant Christopher Scherrpa said.
[...]

U.S. troops raid more Iraqi homes in search of weapons, suspected insurgents

(AP/Saurabh Das)
NADIA ABOU EL-MAGD

RAMADI, Iraq (AP) - Led by informants, U.S. soldiers swept into homes of Iraqis suspected in ambushes on Americans, rousing sleeping families and digging up backyards in lightning raids Monday to find weapons and remnants of Saddam Hussein's regime.

At least 28 Iraqis were detained, most taken away blindfolded and handcuffed, in the sweep in Baghdad and several towns, but the U.S. military announced no major weapons discoveries.

Despite the U.S. campaign to put down resistance across Iraq's Sunni heartland where Saddam's support was strongest, attacks by his hard-core backers persisted. Insurgents ambushed two U.S. convoys, wounding 10 Americans, the military said.

The two rocket-propelled grenade attacks reinforced the belief that Saddam loyalists were reorganizing. Residents of homes raided over the past two days warned that the U.S. operations were only fuelling hostility and anti-American attacks.

For weeks, American forces have been targets of hit-and-run assaults, most in the central "Sunni belt" north and west of Baghdad. About a dozen U.S. soldiers have been killed by hostile fire since May 1, when President George W. Bush declared major combat over.

The latest ambushes came Sunday...

The U.S. Central Command blamed the ambushes on hard-core loyalists of the ousted regime who "continue to put innocent civilians at risk."

Last week, the military launched its biggest combat operation since the war, sending thousands of troops through central Iraqi towns. On Sunday, after banning Iraqis from having any weapons heavier than an assault rifle, the military began its latest sweep - Operation Desert Scorpion - to root out arms and militants.

The operation spread to Baghdad on Monday: Troops from the army's 1st Armored Division hit three homes and arrested 13 people, including three suspects in a June 1 grenade attack on U.S. soldiers guarding a mosque in Baghdad's Azamiyah neighbourhood, where support for Saddam remains high...

In the Ramadi area, about 100 kilometres west of Baghdad, the raid began at 5:15 a.m., when families were still asleep outside their homes to escape the heat indoors.

"These are coalition forces. Please stay in your homes and open your doors. Thank you for your co-operation," blared a warning in Arabic from a loudspeaker as an armoured column rolled in.

Within an hour, the troops were gone, taking four brothers from the Saleh home and two brothers from the nearby home of the Mejwal family.

"There are no weapons of mass destruction here," said Omar Saleh, 40, the elder brother of the four detainees. "This is not liberation, nor democracy nor freedom."

Clothes and sheets were scattered on the floor, drawers were opened and their contents were strewn, and a splintered wooden cupboard bore the imprint of a boot. But a framed picture of Saddam was left undisturbed on the wall.

Minutes after the soldiers left, the Saleh house was crowded with neighbours who tried to comfort the weeping mother.

"The resistance is going to increase," said Abdul Qader Fahd, 30, a teacher. "Dealing with civilians like this is terrorism."

Comment: So the fighting continues in Iraq. The fighting continues in Afghanistan. The US is fomenting dissent in Iran. The US is sending observers into Israel and may have to use its troops to reinforce the Zionist occupation of Palestine... or is there another agenda? Things sure have changed since the Bush Reich stole the election in 2000, organized the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon, brought in its Patriot Act, ignored its international obligations in numerous treaties it had signed, bombed Afghanistan and Iraq because of their links to the Saudi hijackers, "hijackers" who had been trained at an airport used by the CIA for its illegal activities...and on and on. Can you remember what the world was like before 9/11, before the rigged election of 2000? Can you go back that far and remember when the really important debate in the US was whether or not Clinton could keep his libido in check? Remeber how outraged the Christian Right was at the immorality of it all? These same "Christians" who are so gleeful now that the infidels, that is, women and children, are being killed in the Bush Reich Crusade? That military spending is up. That free speech in the United States of Hypocrisy means speech that concords with the Bible. Can you see how outrageous this all is?

Or is the water coming to a boil so slowly that you are feeling just so warm and sleepy that everything seems great?

Bush denounces critics of Iraq policy

U.S. forces seize weapons, make arrests in two Iraqi towns

Monday, June 16, 2003 22:47 GMT

(CNN) -- As U.S. troops searched for Saddam Hussein loyalists in central Iraq, President Bush on Monday strongly defended the U.S.-led war to topple Saddam's regime against "revisionist historians" he suggested were trying to diminish the threat once posed by the deposed Iraqi leader.

"This nation acted to a threat from the dictator of Iraq," Bush said during a speech to business leaders in New Jersey. "Now there are some who would like to rewrite history -- revisionist historians is what I like to call them.

"Saddam Hussein was a threat to America and the free world in '91, in '98, in 2003. He continually ignored the demands of the free world, so the United States and friends and allies acted."

To applause, Bush added, "And this is for certain: Saddam Hussein is no longer a threat to the United States and our friends and allies." [...]

Comment: He isn't? According to Bush, Saddam is on the loose and the warehouses and underground bunkers packed full of WMDs haven't been found yet. Oh, and there's the possibility that Saddam is hanging out with Bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda gang. It seems Bushy is not being logical or consistent with his declarations. Too bad that most Americans are so busy trying to keep their jobs and their families secure that they don't even notice Bush's lies and contradictions.

War Poll Uncovers Fact Gap Many Mistakenly Believe U.S. Found WMDs in Iraq

by Frank Davies

WASHINGTON - A third of the American public believes U.S. forces have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, according to a recent poll. Twenty- two percent said Iraq actually used chemical or biological weapons.

Before the war, the U.S. media often reported as a fact the assertions by the Bush administration that Iraq possessed large stockpiles of illegal weapons.

During and after the war, reports of possible weapons discoveries were often trumpeted on front pages, while follow-up stories debunking the reports received less attention.

But such weapons have not been found in Iraq and were not used.

Before the war, half of those polled in a survey said Iraqis were among the 19 hijackers on Sept. 11, 2001. But most of the Sept. 11 terrorists were Saudis; none was an Iraqi.

The results startled even the pollsters who conducted and analyzed the surveys. How could so many people be so wrong about information that has dominated news coverage for almost two years?

"It's a striking finding," said Steve Kull, director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, which asked the weapons questions during a May 14-18 poll of 1,256 respondents.

He added: "Given the intensive news coverage and high levels of public attention, this level of misinformation suggests some Americans may be avoiding having an experience of cognitive dissonance."

That is, of having their beliefs conflict with the facts. Kull noted that the mistaken belief that weapons had been found "is substantially greater among those who favored the war."

Pollsters and political analysts offer several reasons for the gaps between facts and beliefs: the public's short attention span on foreign news, fragmentary or conflicting media reports that lacked depth or skepticism, and Bush administration efforts to sell a war by oversimplifying the threat.

"Most people get little whiffs and fragments of news, not in any organized way," said Thomas Mann, a scholar at the Brookings Institution, a centrist- liberal think tank. "And there have been a lot of conflicting reports on the weapons."

Before the war, the U.S. media often reported as a fact the assertions by the Bush administration that Iraq possessed large stockpiles of illegal weapons.

During and after the war, reports of possible weapons discoveries were often trumpeted on front pages, while follow-up stories debunking the reports received less attention.

"There were so many reports and claims before the war, it was easy to be confused," said Larry Hugick, chairman of Princeton Survey Research Associates. "But people expected the worst from Saddam Hussein and made connections based on the administration's policy."

Bush has described the preemptive attack on Iraq as "one victory in the war on terror that began Sept. 11." Bush officials also say Iraq sheltered and helped al-Qaeda operatives.

"The public is susceptible to manipulation, and if they hear officials saying there is a strong connection between Iraq and al-Qaeda terrorists, then they think there must be a connection," Mann said.

"Tapping into the feelings and fears after Sept. 11 is a way to sell a policy," he added.

Polls show strong support for Bush and the war, although 40 percent in the May survey found U.S. officials were "misleading" in some of their justifications for war. A majority, 55 percent, said they were not misleading.

Several analysts said the murky claims and intelligence data about lethal weapons and terrorist ties allowed most people to see such news through the filter of their own political beliefs.

And GOP pollsters said any controversy over weapons won't change public attitudes, because ridding Iraq of an oppressive regime was reason enough for war for many Americans.

"People supported the war for national-security reasons, and that shifted to humanitarian reasons when they saw evidence of Saddam's atrocities," Republican strategist Frank Luntz said. "There's an assumption these weapons will be found because this guy was doing so many bad things."

Several analysts said they were troubled by the lack of knowledge about the Sept. 11 hijackers, shown in the January survey conducted for Knight Ridder newspapers. Only 17 percent correctly said that none of the hijackers was Iraqi.

"That really bothers me, because it shows a lack of understanding about other countries - that maybe many Americans don't know one Arab from another," said Sam Popkin, a polling expert at the University of California-San Diego who has advised Democratic candidates. "Maybe because Saudis are seen as rich and friendly, people have a hard time dealing with them as hijackers."

Hugick said his analysis showed those who were misinformed were not necessarily those who had less education.

"I think a lot of people are just confused about the threats out there," he said.

Comment: So the poor American people believe the lies of the Bush Reich because they have short attention spans. Well, sure they do. They have been manipulated, brainwashed, and subjected to various mind control techniques for decades. The school system teaches them that they are special, the "chosen people" of democracy, that justifies the same sort of arrogance in international affairs that we see from those religious "chosen people" in Israel. But isn't the real issue that they were lied to by the Bush Reich? That the media, a wholely owned and operated subsidiary of the Pentagon, repeated these lies day after day? If the follow-up stories debunking the WMD headlines were buried in the back pages, is there not a reason for this?

And now the same scenario is being used on Iran....

US clouds Iraqi civilian deaths

By Derrick Z. Jackson
Boston Daily Globe

WHENEVER REPORTERS asked about civilian deaths in the invasion of Iraq, US military officials reflexively plunged into a numbing prattle about the precision of our weaponry, precaution to avoid needless carnage, and promises to investigate possible mistakes. [...]

Americans should be shocked that journalists are piecing together a history of the war that our military is trying to bury with the bodies.

The AP report said it took pains to exclude from its count all records of hospital deaths that did not distinguish between civilians and soldiers. It also noted that many other victims didn't die in hospitals but were lost in the rubble or buried immediately, according to Islamic custom. As a result, it said, ''hundreds, possibly thousands of victims in the largest cities and most intense battles aren't reflected in the total.'' [...]

World Opposed to Bush and Iraq War, BBC Poll Says

LONDON (Reuters) - A majority of people around the world view President Bush unfavorably and think the United States was wrong to invade Iraq, according to a BBC poll published on Monday.
 
The poll, which surveyed more than 11,000 people in 11 countries, showed 57 percent of those asked had "a very unfavorable or fairly unfavorable attitude toward the American president," the British broadcaster said in a statement.

Some 56 percent felt the United States was wrong to attack Iraq, including 81 percent of Russian respondents and 63 percent of those polled in France.

In Jordan and Indonesia, well over half of those asked felt the United States posed a greater danger to world peace and stability than al Qaeda.

In five of the 11 countries polled, a majority of respondents believed the United States was more dangerous than Iran, named by Bush as part of an "axis of evil" with Iraq and North Korea ( news -web sites ).

And in eight of the 11, respondents said the United States was more dangerous than Syria, a country which Washington accuses of sponsoring terrorism.

However, attitudes toward America, rather than the Bush administration, were slightly more positive. [...]

Comment: So why is nothing changing? A majority agree that the current "war without end" is wrong, but nothing changes, the war machine rolls on, to what end? And when we finally realise where we have been lead, what then will we be able to do about it?...

ISRAEL'S SURPRISE ATTACK

The few undisputed facts of Israel's attack on the LIBERTY are essentially these. When the Arab-Israeli Six Day War broke out, the administration of President Lyndon Johnson sent the LIBERTY spy ship into the eastern Mediterranean to determine whether Russians or Egyptians were piloting six Cairo-based Soviet bombers flying missions against Israel. The ship carried sophisticated electronic eavesdropping equipment, her crew of roughly 300 men consisted of communi- cations specialists from the National Security Agency along with U.S. Navy officers and sailors.

As the LIBERTY neared Gaza in broad daylight, Israeli reconnaissance aircraft overflew her at least twice. A short while later, unmarked Israeli warplanes streaked in, strafing, bombing, and rocketing the lightly armed ship in international waters. When the aircraft withdrew, Israeli torpedo boats appeared, firing at least one torpedo that struck the LIBERTY dead center.

After the assault finally ended, 34 Americans were dead and 171 were wounded. At least three of the wounded were not expected to live. Israel claimed -- and still does -- that the incident was a tragic case of mistaken identity. Israeli Defense Force commanders and pilots said they thought they were attacking an Egyptian freighter. In Washington, the Johnson administration instantly accepted Israel's claim, and that has been the government's official position on the matter ever since. The LIBERTY's survivors and their supporters, however, have argued for decades that Israel was fully aware it was attacking an American vessel. They have both hard and circumstantial -- though not conclusive -- evidence to back their case.

The debate over these opposing claims still rages. What cannot be debated, though, is that almost immediately folllowing the assault, the U.S. government acted as if it had something to hide. The LIBERTY's survivors were quickly transferred to disparate and distant assignments and were threatened with jail if they ever discussed the attack with anyone, including family members. They were watched and monitored. Meanwhile, the government and the upper echelons of the Navy portrayed the attack and its aftermath as a non-event. [...]

USS Liberty: Did Israel commit one war crime to hide another?

By James M. Ennes, Jr.
Washington Report

[...] US refusal to investigate violates Geneva Conventions

For years, USS Liberty survivors have asked Members of Congress to investigate the circumstances of the attack.

The Israeli version is untrue. We did fly a flag. We did identify ourselves. We were in international waters. They did not stop firing after seeing our flag as they claim, but continued to fire for another 40 minutes. The attack lasted 75 minutes and was not brief or accidental as Israel claims. We did not "attempt to hide" or escape when detected, as Israeli has charged. These things are easy to prove. More important are the war crimes discussed by Commander Jacobsen. These things should have been investigated in 1967. Yet U.S. officials have ignored the offenses for 29 years, refusing to investigate or even to acknowledge them.

That refusal is itself a crime. The United States, as a signatory to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, is "under the obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed" violations of the conventions, and to see that violators are brought to trial.[...]

Navy Refusal to investigate violates Navy Regulations

When the Liberty was attacked, Captain Joseph Tully in the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga received the ship's call for help and immediately sent jet aircraft to her assistance. Tully's jets were recalled almost immediately by orders from Washington.[...]

Sharon Vows Tough Line After Hamas Rejects Cease-Fire

By GREG MYRE with IAN FISHER

JERUSALEM, June 16 - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel said today that Mideast diplomacy would make no headway until Palestinian violence stops, and he pledged to "hound the terrorists" until Palestinian security forces clamp down on them.

Mr. Sharon's tough talk in Israel's parliament, the Knesset, came only hours after a visiting Egyptian delegation failed to win a cease-fire pledge from Hamas and other militant Palestinian factions during two days of talks in the Gaza Strip.

The developments pointed to the formidable obstacles against any quick progress on the international peace plan, which has been jeopardized by last week's violence that left almost 60 dead.

Still, Israeli and Palestinian officials renewed security talks over the weekend, and further discussions are considered likely on a proposal for withdrawing Israeli troops from northern Gaza and having Palestinian security forces take their place. [...]

Hamas condemns Bush's call to fight militants

Monday 16th June 2003
© Associated Press

Palestinian militant group Hamas has condemned the US President's call to deal harshly with militants, saying it amounts to "a new aggression" against Palestinians.

The group has claimed responsibility for last week's attack on a bus in Jerusalem killing 17 people.

An unidentified Hamas official says in the statement that George Bush's call will not make Hamas change its strategy to fight Israel.

He is calling on Arabs and Muslims to reject and confront the "American aggression and incitement". [...]

The Rantisi Attack - Children of Death

By URI AVNERY
June 16, 2003
Counterpunch.org

A week after the ship of peace was solemnly launched on its perilous voyage from Aqaba harbor, it was hit by a torpedo. It is not yet clear whether it is wrecked or can continue on its way in spite of the damage.

The story of its voyage so far: An Israeli helicopter gunship tried to kill Abd-al-Aziz al-Rantisi, one of the leaders of the political wing of Hamas. He miraculously survived. Immediately afterwards the gunships killed other Hamas leaders. Clearly, this was the beginning of a campaign to kill the leaders of all the wings of Hamas--military, political, social, educational and religious.

Such a campaign is, of course, the outcome of long preparations, which take weeks and months. It was evidently planned even before the Aqaba summit conference convened, but postponed by Sharon in order to afford President Bush his moments of photographic glory on the shore of the Red Sea. Immediately after the President and his entourage went home, radiant with success, the machinery of death went into action.

In establishing intent, all courts around the world act upon a simple principle: a person who carries out an action with predictable results is held to have intended that result. That is true for this campaign, too.

The killing of the Hamas leaders (together with their wives, children and casual bystanders) is intended to attain the following results: (a) acts of revenge by Hamas, i.e. suicide bombings, (b) the failure of the Palestinian Authority's efforts to secure the agreement of Hamas to a cease-fire, (c) the destruction of Abu Mazen's political standing right from the start, (d) the demolition of the Road Map, (e) compensation for the settlers after the removal of some sham "outposts". [...]

Comment: Ask yourself, if we credit Hamas with having intelligent leaders who are interested in furthering the Paelstinian cause, they must surely see the above manipulation by Sharon and the Zionists which is designed to cause their further demonisation and ultimate destruction and the Palestinians. The conlusion we come to then is that Hamas are complicit in furthering the Israeli agenda.

Hamas, Hezbollah at focus of mounting blacklist bids

By Haaretz Service and Agencies

In indications of mounting international prsssure on militant Islamic organizations, the European Union is considering listing Hamas as a terrorist organization, and Australia announced that it is banning Hezbollah, thus joining close allies the United States and Canada in formally listing the Lebanese organisation as a "terrorist group."

The EU, which has already listed Izz a Din al-Kassam, Hamas' military wing, as a terrorist organization, will do the same to its political wing unless Hamas backs the peace process and abandons suicide bombings, said Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, who presided over the EU of foreign ministers Monday. The EU said

the military and political wings of the organization were increasingly intertwined.

Those opposing the road map to Middle East peace, jointly drafted by the United States, the EU, Russia and the United Nations, "will face consequences," the EU foreign ministers said in a statement after a meeting.

He said the EU was "revisiting" its decision to distinguish between Hamas' military and political wings.

"Hamas Izz a Din al-Kassam... is already on the EU list [of terrorist groups]. Ministers are now urgently examining the case for wider action against Hamas fund-raising," the EU statement said. [...]

Comment: It seems that in light of the (continuing) American brutalisation of Iraq and it's people, European "leaders" have decided that it is better to be friends with the school yard bully than his enemy, that way you may get a portion of the spoils. Given that anyone that can read can easily see the supportive role that Hamas plays towards Israel, it is hard to believe that any European leader is not fully aware that Hamas is simply doing Sharon's bidding by "rejecting peace". As such, it is extremely cynical for European leaders to apportion blame to Hamas for terrorist acts and thereby condem both the Paelstinaiasn and Isrealis to continued bloodshed that may ultimately lead to their destruction. Eternal war is not what the Palestinian or the Israeli people want, it is what Sharon and the other Zionists in Israel and those self-styled "New American century" advocates want, and they will stop at nothing to get it.

Toward a Comprehensive Strategy

Project for the New American Century

1150 17th St NW Suite 510 Washington, DC 20037 September 20, 2001

The Honorable George W. Bush President of the United States Washington, DC

Dear Mr. President,

We write to endorse your admirable commitment to "lead the world to victory" in the war against terrorism. We fully support your call for "a broad and sustained campaign" against the "terrorist organizations and those who harbor and support them." We agree with Secretary of State Powell that the United States must find and punish the perpetrators of the horrific attack of September 11, and we must, as he said, "go after terrorism wherever we find it in the world" and "get it by its branch and root." We agree with the Secretary of State that U.S. policy must aim not only at finding the people responsible for this incident, but must also target those "other groups out there that mean us no good" and "that have conducted attacks previously against U.S. personnel, U.S. interests and our allies." In order to carry out this "first war of the 21st century" successfully, and in order, as you have said, to do future "generations a favor by coming together and whipping terrorism," we believe the following steps are necessary parts of a comprehensive strategy.

Osama bin Laden
We agree that a key goal, but by no means the only goal, of the current war on terrorism should be to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, and to destroy his network of associates. To this end, we support the necessary military action in Afghanistan and the provision of substantial financial and military assistance to the anti-Taliban forces in that country.

Iraq
We agree with Secretary of State Powell's recent statement that Saddam Hussein "is one of the leading terrorists on the face of the Earth…." It may be that the Iraqi government provided assistance in some form to the recent attack on the United States. But even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism. The United States must therefore provide full military and financial support to the Iraqi opposition. American military force should be used to provide a "safe zone" in Iraq from which the opposition can operate. And American forces must be prepared to back up our commitment to the Iraqi opposition by all necessary means.

Hezbollah
Hezbollah is one of the leading terrorist organizations in the world. It is suspected of having been involved in the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Africa, and implicated in the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983. Hezbollah clearly falls in the category cited by Secretary Powell of groups "that mean us no good" and "that have conducted attacks previously against U.S. personnel, U.S. interests and our allies." Therefore, any war against terrorism must target Hezbollah. We believe the administration should demand that Iran and Syria immediately cease all military, financial, and political support for Hezbollah and its operations. Should Iran and Syria refuse to comply, the administration should consider appropriate measures of retaliation against these known state sponsors of terrorism.

Israel and the Palestinian Authority
Israel has been and remains America's staunchest ally against international terrorism, especially in the Middle East. The United States should fully support our fellow democracy in its fight against terrorism. We should insist that the Palestinian Authority put a stop to terrorism emanating from territories under its control and imprison those planning terrorist attacks against Israel. Until the Palestinian Authority moves against terror, the United States should provide it no further assistance.

U.S. Defense Budget A serious and victorious war on terrorism will require a large increase in defense spending. Fighting this war may well require the United States to engage a well-armed foe, and will also require that we remain capable of defending our interests elsewhere in the world. We urge that there be no hesitation in requesting whatever funds for defense are needed to allow us to win this war. There is, of course, much more that will have to be done. Diplomatic efforts will be required to enlist other nations' aid in this war on terrorism. Economic and financial tools at our disposal will have to be used. There are other actions of a military nature that may well be needed. However, in our judgement the steps outlined above constitute the minimum necessary if this war is to be fought effectively and brought to a successful conclusion. Our purpose in writing is to assure you of our support as you do what must be done to lead the nation to victory in this fight.

Sincerely,

William Kristol, Gary Bauer, Jeffrey Bell, William J. Bennett, Jeffrey Bergner, Eliot Cohen, Seth Cropsey, Midge Decter, Thomas Donnelly, Aaron Friedberg, Hillel Fradkin, Francis Fukuyama, Frank Gaffney, Jeffrey Gedmin, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Charles Hill, Bruce P. Jackson, Eli S. Jacobs, Michael Joyce, Donald Kagan, Robert Kagan, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Charles Krauthammer, John Lehman, Clifford May, Richard Perle, Martin Peretz, Norman Podhoretz, Randy Scheunemann, Gary Schmitt, William Schneider, Jr., Richard H. Shultz, Henry Sokolski, Stephen J. Solarz, Vin Weber, Leon Wieseltier, Marshall Wittmann.

Comment: These are the global terrorists "par excellance", along with Rumsfeld, Cheney, Jeb Bush etc. who's names also appear on the website.

Five Countries Exempt Americans from World Court

WASHINGTON ( Reuters ) - Five governments -- Egypt, Mongolia, Nicaragua, the Seychelles and Tunisia -- have signed secret agreements exempting U.S. personnel from prosecution in the International Criminal Court, according to a State Department document on Monday.

The State Department said last week that several governments that signed the agreements asked not to be named. Their identities will become public at some stage because the administration has to inform the U.S. Congress of the agreements.

Comment: Of course who would want the world to know that you are supporting the exemption from prosecution of a mass murderer.

Conspiracy theories thrive after Wellstone plane crash

Kevin Diaz
Star Tribune Washington Bureau Correspondent

 
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- When federal investigators released a report last month about the plane crash that killed Sen. Paul Wellstone, some members of Congress hoped it would dispel talk that his plane was sabotaged.

It didn't.

In Internet chat groups, political Web sites and the published reports of several leftist academics, conspiracy theories about Wellstone's death last October maintain a life of their own, particularly in northern Minnesota. [...]

Comment: The idea that Wellstone was murdered is not so far fetched see: THE SECRET HISTORY OF AIRPLANE SABOTAGE, by Sherman H. Skolnick, and one begins to think that this is business as usual.

HOW STUPID DO THEY THINK WE ARE?

Zbigniew Brzezinski and the CFR Put War Plans In a 1997 Book - It Is "A Blueprint for World Dictatorship," Says a Former German Defense and NATO Official Who Warned of Global Domination in 1984, in an Exclusive Interview With FTW

by Michael C. Ruppert

Summary

"THE GRAND CHESSBOARD - American Primacy And It's Geostrategic Imperatives," Zbigniew Brzezinski, Basic Books, 1997.

These are the very first words in the book: "Ever since the continents started interacting politically, some five hundred years ago, Eurasia has been the center of world power."- p. xiii.?Eurasia is all of the territory east of Germany and Poland, stretching all the way through Russia and China to the Pacific Ocean. It includes the Middle East and most of the Indian subcontinent. The key to controlling Eurasia, says Brzezinski, is controlling the Central Asian Republics. And the key to controlling the Central Asian republics is Uzbekistan. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Uzbekistan was forcefully mentioned by President George W. Bush in his address to a joint session of Congress, just days after the attacks of September 11, as the very first place that the U.S. military would be deployed...

As FTW has documented in previous stories, major deployments of U.S. and British forces had taken place before the attacks. And the U.S. Army and the CIA had been active in Uzbekistan for several years. There is now evidence that what the world is witnessing is a cold and calculated war plan - at least four years in the making - and that, from reading Brzezinski's own words about Pearl Harbor, the World Trade Center attacks were just the trigger needed to set the final conquest in motion. [...]

Senior US Officials Cozy up to Dictator Who Boils People Alive

Independent human rights groups estimate that there are more than 600 politically motivated arrests a year in Uzbekistan, and 6,500 political prisoners, some tortured to death. According to a forensic report commissioned by the British embassy, in August two prisoners were even boiled to death.

The US condemned this repression for many years. But since September 11 rewrote America's strategic interests in central Asia, the government of President Islam Karimov has become Washington's new best friend in the region.

Iranies of Iran

By William Bowles

05/16/03: ( Information Clearing House )  I had to delve back into the archives to get a handle on the current bizarre and totally hypocritical US attitude toward Iran. Now let me get this straight: in 1979 there was a popular revolution which overthrew the US-installed regime of the Shah of Iran, who had been put in power, when in 1958, a popular revolution threatened US oil interests in Iran (who had already ousted British control of Iranian oil following WWII).

Then in the early days of the 1979 popular revolt in Iran, the US backed the mullahs who represented the most reactionary elements of Iranian society and who had a dual hatred; one of the left-leaning and secular leaders of the popular revolt and which challenged the hegemony of the mullahs (who owned most of the land), and also of the Shah’s modernising (read Western) objectives, which also challenged the mullahs control of the people through the mosques. [...]

American Administration To Overthrow Iranian Regime

Pravda

[...] Former Prince of Iran Reza Pahlavi predicted in the beginning of June that protests would start in Iran, although the prince was a little wrong in the date of his prediction. He said that the "revolution" would start in Iran in July. Pahlavi said the Iranian army was not happy with ayatollahs' regime either. It is hard to say, if that affirmation is true or not. Nevertheless, the army's support is a serious argument in the political life of Islamic countries. On the other hand, one should be very careful when judging about the extent of the public dissatisfaction in Iran, for coincidences are too obvious. American media reported at the end of May that the US administration was preparing certain extreme measures about Iran, paying a lot of attention to the preparation of a people's revolt. However, White House officials later rejected that information. US National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice announced soon after that that Washington would like to see a democratically elected government in Iran. Actions of protest took place in Iran a week or two later. [...]

Comment: The Iranian government is blaming the U.S. based TV stations for inciting the student led riots. Perhaps. But, also a few well placed CIA agents or Iranians on the CIA payroll are probably playing the students like a well tuned fiddle. The CIA has been doing this kind of thing for so long, and it is well enough documented that it is rather ridiculous that more Americans don't see throught it rather than swallowing what the monopoly media tells them.

"CIA operations follow the same recurring script. First, American business interests abroad are threatened by a popular or democratically elected leader. The people support their leader because he intends to conduct land reform, strengthen unions, redistribute wealth, nationalize foreign-owned industry, and regulate business to protect workers, consumers and the environment.

So, on behalf of American business, and often with their help, the CIA mobilizes the opposition. First it identifies right-wing groups within the country (usually the military), and offers them a deal: "We'll put you in power if you maintain a favorable business climate for us." The Agency then hires, trains and works with them to overthrow the existing government (usually a democracy). It uses every trick in the book: propaganda, stuffed ballot boxes, purchased elections, extortion, blackmail, sexual intrigue, false stories about opponents in the local media, infiltration and disruption of opposing political parties, kidnapping, beating, torture, intimidation, economic sabotage, death squads and even assassination.

These efforts culminate in a military coup, which installs a right-wing dictator. The CIA trains the dictator's security apparatus to crack down on the traditional enemies of big business, using interrogation, torture and murder. The victims are said to be "communists" [or these days "terrorists"] but almost always they are just peasants, liberals, moderates, labor union leaders, political opponents and advocates of free speech and democracy. Widespread human rights abuses follow."
- Steve Kangas, The CIA: America's Premier International Terrorist Organization

Iran rejects tougher nuclear checks

Monday, 16 June, 2003, 16:19 GMT
BBC


Iran has confirmed that it will not sign up to tougher, short-notice inspections of suspected nuclear sites.

The European Union joined growing international pressure on Iran on Monday, saying Tehran should comply with the measures "urgently and unconditionally".

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has also urged Iran to agree to strengthened inspections under an additional protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

But Iran said a ban on the country's access to nuclear technology would have to be lifted before it can agree to such a move.

The head of the IAEA, Mohammed ElBaradei, said Iran had failed to report some of its nuclear activities - an accusation Tehran rejects. [...]

Intellectuals Join Iran Reform Effort

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer

TEHRAN, Iran - More than 250 university teachers and writers added their voices to students' bold demands for democratic reforms in Iran, telling supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei he must answer to the people and abandon the idea that he is God's unchallenged representative on Earth.

The reformists' statement, published Monday in the newspaper Yas-e-nou, was an encouraging sign for the students who demonstrated for about a week and even called for Khamenei's death before their protests were broken up by police and hard-line government backers.

Many Iranians are believed to be frustrated with the rule of Muslim clerics, but the cost of speaking out can be high, including prison sentences. Most Iranians looked on as protesters clashed with police and pro-clergy militants last week, and without support from other segments of society, the students have little hope of success or even maintaining momentum for demonstrations.

Those who signed the statement did so even though the protests were put down by violence and politicians who have made similar calls have been arrested in the past. The signatories included two aides to reformist President Mohammad Khatami (news - web sites): Saeed Pourazizi, an official in the president's office, and Saeed Hajjarian, who is widely regarded as the architect of Khatami's reform program.

The Bush administration endorsed the demonstrators, saying they "are asking to join the modern world," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Monday. He said U.S. support is limited to that and nothing more. [...]

EU Backs Possible Use of Force Against WMD Threats

By Paul Taylor
Mon Jun 16, 1:29 PM ET

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - The European Union, in a significant shift toward U.S. thinking, said on Monday use of force might be necessary where diplomacy failed to address threats from weapons of mass destruction.

EU foreign ministers adopted a strategy to combat the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons for the first time, including a reference to possible military action as a last resort against states or "terrorists" that acquired such arms.

They also demanded that Iran, accused by Washington of trying to develop atomic arms, accept tougher U.N. inspections of its nuclear program immediately and unconditionally if it wants a trade deal with the 15-nation bloc.

The EU said preventive measures such as treaties, dialogue and inspections should be the first line of defense against the proliferation of the world's most dangerous weapons.

But "when these measures (including political dialogue and diplomatic pressure) have failed, coercive measures under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter and international law (sanctions, selective or global, interceptions of shipments and, as appropriate, the use of force) could be envisioned," it said. [...]

Comment: A significant shift toward U.S. thinking? The only thing that "Old Europe" ever wanted was some semblance of sanity, logic, and reason from Bush and Co. Proof of Iraq's alleged WMDs would also have helped quite a bit.

EU tells Iran to accept nuclear monitoring

By Stephen Castle in Luxembourg
17 June 2003

The European Union fell into line with the United States yesterday, warning Iran to accept tough new nuclear inspections and saying it might back the use of force against countries stockpiling weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

In a shift to a more hardline position, EU foreign ministers sent a firm warning to the Iranian government and made a second declaration designed to bring them closer to Washington on the issue of how to deal with security threats. Yesterday's statement linked completion of an EU-Iran trade deal with a change of policy from the government in Tehran over nuclear inspections.

The move reflects growing fears that international controls over nuclear non- proliferation are crumbling and that Iran could be at the head of a new push among states in the Middle East to go nuclear...

With American pressure on the regime in Tehran growing, yesterday's EU declaration marks a hardening of policy. President George Bush has welcomed the popular demonstrations against the Iranian government.

Officials accepted that there had been a change of emphasis from the European Commission, which has previously laid more stress on the importance of dialogue with Iran, and of encouraging reformers within its government. Trade between the EU and Iran amounts to about 13bn (£9.2bn) a year, making Europe Iran's main trading partner.

Yesterday the EU said "deepening of economic and commercial relations between the EU and Iran should be matched by similar progress" in other areas such as human rights, non-proliferation, anti-terrorism and the Middle East peace process.

In its second declaration the EU also backed the US assertion that a combination of international terrorism and the spread of WMD posed new dangers around the globe. The combination of the two "would represent an additional threat to the international system with potentially uncontrollable consequences", said the EU foreign ministers' statement.

EU will back war over weapons of mass destruction only when diplomacy fails

04:36 AM EDT Jun 17 BY ROBERT WIELAARD

LUXEMBOURG (AP) - The European Union said Monday it could accept going to war to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction but only after exhausting all diplomatic means.

At a meeting, the EU foreign ministers issued a strategy paper in response to the significant differences in the run-up to the Iraq war between Washington and European capitals over how to deal with weapons of mass destruction.

Ideally, according to the strategy paper, war would need the approval of the United Nations Security Council. But the EU foreign ministers left open the question of whether approval was mandatory, saying the council "should play a central role."

Cristina Gallach, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy and security chief Javier Solana, said the reference to the role of the UN had been left intentionally ambiguous in order to satisfy all sides in the debate...

Although adopted by all 15 EU countries, it is not legally binding, leaving open the possibility of a repeat of the sort of transatlantic friction that preceded the Iraq war.

Comment: Look at international politics. It is all game playing. Where are the "principles"? Statements are left vague in order to get everyone to sign on, then the same piece of paper can be used to justify any position whatsoever later on. Remember what happened at the UN over Iraq. Last fall, a declaration was signed that both the United States of Atrocities and those opposed to the Coalition of the Willing to Do Anything to Suck Up to the Bush Reich could cite to justify their positions. This would be comical if there were not human lives involved.

Human lives will continue to be involved until humans wake up and refuse to accept it. As long as this kind of activity is accepted by the population, it will continue. But we know already that this world is their world. They fit here. This is their natural habitat. A world of dog eat god, er, god eat dog, uh, god eat god...Yahweh eats everybody. Those who worship the dead man on the stick are manouvering those who worship the fire in the bush into place for Armeggeddon. Those who believe the Bible is a prediction of things to come, indelible, unchangeable, rather than a record of times past, a cyclical time that repeats, not based upon the word of a tyrannical god of power, but due to the workings of the universe itself, a record left to us by our ancestors to warn us, to help us prepare our salvation, not the annihilation of others.

Is this not outrageous? Is this not unbelievable? To worship a dead man on a stick? To believe that you're part of a "chosen people"? Look at the consequences.

The lies of our leaders

Americans believe it's no longer important to tell the truth

By John Kaminski
skylax@comcast.net

06/16/03: President Bush and virtually the entire American power structure lied to the whole world when they said Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction that were an imminent threat to the safety of the so-called free world.

Now beyond any doubt, these assertions have since been exposed as falsehoods. Still, few Americans really give a damn, and business goes on, in the foreshadow of a massive worldwide economic collapse, as usual.

President Bush and virtually the entire American power structure lied when they said we needed to invade Afghanistan to bring to justice the alleged perpetrators of the 9/11 horror. Shortly after the invasion began, Gen. Tommy Franks announced it wasn't important to capture the so-called ringleader, Osama bin Laden, even as the Afghanis' Taliban government offered to furnish him for trial in a neutral country. The real objective, Franks said during the attack, was to subdue the whole country.

With the fictional al-Qaeda network still being used as a pretext for permanent war against the entire world by the United States and bin Laden still uncaptured, it has become obvious to everyone that the reason for obliterating Afghanistan with nuclear weapons and murdering tens of thousands of innocent people was something other than capturing a suspected terrorist, although none of us are quite sure what that reason was. Talk of Enron, oil pipelines and geopolitical strategies are generally censored from the television news.

The situation is identical is Iraq. What was the purpose of blasting several thousand innocents into heaven when the situation it produced is actually more of a threat to our security than was the continued dictatorship of Saddam Hussein? None of us are quite sure what that reason was, although we all have our favorite suspicions: oil, Israel, expenditure of military stockpiles and creation of lucrative contracts for corporate supporters of the war machine to revive a disintegrating American economy.

Those two lies - justifying depraved mass murder in two defenseless countries - now stand as the ranking horrors in American history. In the 227 years of our history, from the smallpox blankets of Colonial days to Waco, America has done nothing worse (although many military adventures, notably the Philippines in 1899 and Vietnam in the the 1960s, were almost as bad and unjustifiable).

But the real question as America sinks into the suffocating hell of a totalitarian dictatorship is this.

If our leaders have been proved to be liars about the sick and sinful destruction of humanity in Afghanistan and Iraq, why do a majority of Americans still accept what these same lying leaders said about the 9/11 atrocity, that it was the work of foreign terrorists who envied our freedom! As Gerard Holmgren once so aptly said, this is the most ridiculous of all conspiracy theories to believe.

To a special few, responsibility for the 9/11 butchery has always been obvious. Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote about the need for it in a book, and the Republican-dominated Project for a New American Century recommended it as a desirable event for achieving its goals.

But most simpleton Americans are afraid to even contemplate such a frightening possibility. They would prefer to believe the lie, without really realizing what will happen to them if they do. [...]

Britain: Not Quite A Parallel Media Universe

By Norman Solomon
June 17, 2003

LONDON -- The people of Britain and the United States are living in parallel, yet substantively different, media universes. Bonds of language and overlaps of mass culture are obvious. But a visit to London quickly illuminates the reality that mainstream journalism is much less narrow here than in America.

One indicator of a robust press: Nearly a dozen ideologically diverse national daily papers are competing on British newsstands.

Granted, the picture isn't all rosy. Tabloids feature lurid crime headlines and include exploitive photos of bare-breasted women. Several major newspapers reflect the distorting effects of right-wing owners like Rupert Murdoch (who has succeeded in foisting the execrable Fox News on the United States). And the circulation figures of Britain's dailies show that the size of press runs is inversely proportional to journalistic quality, with the Sun at 3.5 million and the Daily Mail at 2.3 million -- in contrast to two superb dailies, the Guardian (381,000) and the Independent (186,000).

Yet the impacts of the Guardian and the Independent, along with the Observer on Sunday, are much greater than their circulations might suggest. They're unabashed progressive newspapers that combine often-exemplary journalism with a willingness to take on the powers that be. Those papers function with vitality in news reporting -- and left-oriented political commentary -- that cannot be consistently found in a single U.S. daily newspaper. Overall, in British newsprint, the spectrum of thought ranges so wide that a progressive-minded American might be tempted to take up residence here.

In comparison, the leading "liberal" dailies across the Atlantic -- the New York Times and the Washington Post -- are mouthpieces of corporate power and U.S. empire. If the Times and the Post were being published in London, then British readers would consider those newspapers to be centrist or even conservative.[...]

Dyke [director general of the BBC] commented: "Personally, I was shocked while in the United States by how unquestioning the broadcast news media was during this war." And he added: "For the health of our democracy, it's vital we don't follow the path of many American networks." [...]

The willingness of news media to challenge leaders is a vital sign of democracy. But overall, in the United States, the pulse is weak.

People First

Feeding the people and providing health care should be more important than a nuclear program or tax cuts for the obscenely wealthy.

By Molly Ivins

06/16/03: In the "physician, heal thyself" department, please note the response of White House press spokesman Ari Fleischer to a bulletin from North Korea that said: "The intention to build up a nuclear deterrent is not aimed to threaten and blackmail others, but to reduce conventional weapons. North Korea hopes to channel manpower resources and funds into economic construction and the betterment of people's living."

Fleischer piously replied: "Perhaps from this glimpse of North Korea acknowledging that its own people suffer as a result of North Korea's policies, it will help North Korea to now make the right decisions. And the right decisions are to put their people first, to feed their people, to get health care to their people...."

Not only should feeding the people and getting health care to the people be more important than a nuclear program, it should even be more important than tax cuts for the obscenely wealthy. The United States now spends $400 billion a year on the military -- that's 50.1 percent of all discretionary spending (non-discretionary includes Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid). These priorities are not exactly setting a great example for North Korea.

Look at what's happening here, beloveds. The Houston Chronicle reported on June 11: "Soccer moms, firefighters and community activists overflowed City Council chambers Tuesday, pleading that their programs not be eliminated or reduced in the already squeezed 2004 budget. The crowd of supplicants grew so large at one point that police had to direct people to the council's annex building.

"The list of wants and needs was long. Competitive sports groups don't want their park leagues dropped. Firefighters want staffing levels maintained on trucks. And community groups want a southwest Houston health clinic reopened and free after-school programs continued." [...]

Liberty Is Security

By William Raspberry
Monday, June 16, 2003

Every once in a while, someone will circulate a petition asking Americans to endorse a set of principles that have been paraphrased to disguise the fact that they are the same principles contained in the Bill of Rights. And whenever it happens, large numbers of Americans say no.

Many do so, no doubt, because they are leery of signing anything. But many others, I suspect, really don't like the idea that public school teachers shouldn't be allowed to lead their students in prayer, or that people should be allowed to say awful things about our government in public, or that the press should be free of any government control, or that the courts should let guilty people go free because of "technicalities."

The occasional petitions ought to remind us how easily we can be persuaded to give up rights we imagine we will never need -- and how cavalierly we regard the rights of people who strike us as "strange" or "dangerous."

Home-schooling standoff in Waltham

By Melissa Beecher
CNC Staff Writer Friday, June 13, 2003

WALTHAM -- A legal battle over two home-schooled children exploded into a seven-hour standoff yesterday, when they refused to take a standardized test ordered by the Department of Social Services. [...]

Murder up, but violent crime down?

FBI National Press Office Preliminary Uniform Crime Report, 2002
For Immediate Release June 16, 2003 Washington D.C.

Preliminary data for 2002 released today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program indicate a 0.2- percent decrease in the Nation's Crime Index from the 2001 figure. The Crime Index is calculated using the seven UCR Part I offenses: four violent crimes that include murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault and the three property crimes that include burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft.

According to the preliminary data, overall violent crime decreased 1.4 percent. Among individual violent crimes, murder and forcible rape both showed increases, 0.8 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively. The number of robberies in 2002 decreased 1.2 percent from the 2001 total, and the number of aggravated assaults declined 2.0 percent. [...]

The volume of violent crime overall decreased in all four regions. Violent crime was down 2.8 percent in the Northeast, 1.3 percent in the South, 1.2 percent in the Midwest, and 0.6 percent in the West. As for property crime, the overall total in the West rose 3.4 percent, and that in the South increased slightly (0.1 percent). Conversely, the volume of property crime reported by agencies in the Northeast declined 3.4 percent, and that reported by agencies in the Midwest decreased 2.2 percent.

By region, the number of murders in the West rose 5.2 percent, and the number in the South increased 2.1 percent. The Northeast saw a 4.8-percent decline in the number of murders and the Midwest, a 2.8- percent decrease.

Comment from a QFS member: Apparently they have removed murder and rape from violent crime and made it a stand alone "individual" crime. Slick trick, eh? "More people than ever killed and raped, bit overall violent crime is down." Who buys this nonsense?

Man 'baked murder victim's arm'

Monday, 16 June, 2003, 15:41 GMT

Richard Markham dumped Tristian Lovelock's severed head and other body parts across parkland in Basingstoke, Hampshire, the jury at Winchester Crown Court heard on Monday.

He then fled to the United States after leaving messages on friends' answering machines boasting of the killings, said prosecutor Michael Parroy QC.

Mr Markham, 28, formerly of St Nicholas Court, Basingstoke, denies murdering Mr Lovelock, 25, a carpenter, between 29 May and 1 June last year.

Jurors heard that police were led to his home by a trail of blood on 31 May.

They found Mr Lovelock's partially cooked arm in a roasting tin next to a plate with a knife and fork in the kitchen, the court heard. [...]

Spook On The Spot Can the CIA chief effectively lead the search for weapons of mass destruction?

By TIMOTHY J. BURGER AND JAMES CARNEY
Time Magazine

Sunday, Jun. 15, 2003 After weeks of pressure to explain what it knew about the alleged weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq before launching the war there, the Bush Administration has placed the issue in CIA Director George Tenet's lap. Administration officials have been subtly pointing the finger in his direction, saying all their knowledge of Iraq's weapons programs came from Tenet's agency. That apparently didn't apply to a British intelligence report, cited by President Bush in his State of the Union speech, that claimed Iraq had tried to purchase uranium from an unnamed nation later identified as Niger. The report has since been discredited, having been based on forged documents. The CIA had, in fact, looked into the report in February 2002 and found it dubious. At first the White House claimed that the CIA, if it had had any reservations about the intelligence, had not communicated them. Then, after other U.S. officials revealed that the CIA had sent a cable to the White House in March 2002 that cast doubt on the Niger report, Bush aides insisted the warning was too vague to raise red flags.

Now Bush has put Tenet in the hot seat, placing him in charge of the hunt for the wmd. Tenet announced last week that he was bringing in former U.N. weapons inspector David Kay as his adviser in the search. Sources tell Time that Kay will be in overall charge of the operation of 1,300 soldiers and civilians, which was previously overseen by the Pentagon, and will report directly to Tenet.

All this responsibility may or may not be what Tenet is seeking. On July 11 he will become the third longest-serving CIA director, and sources tell Time he had been mulling retirement before the weapons controversy. The new assignment offers him a chance to go out either as a hero--or a scapegoat. "The spin is that somebody's got to be in charge so that it's being done in an organized fashion," says an intelligence official. "The more cynical view is that they have handed the whole bag of s*** to him."

Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke resigns

WASHINGTON (AFP) Jun 16, 2003

Victoria Clarke, the Pentagon spokeswoman best known for "embedding" hundreds of reporters from around the world with US combat units during the Iraq war, has resigned for personal reasons, the Defense Department announced Monday.

"She will be sorely missed," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in a statement. He praised her as a "gifted communicator."

"During her remarkable two years of service in the Department of Defense, she has developed countless new methods to tell the story of our fighting forces, and bring their courage, dedication and professionalism into sharp focus for all Americans," he said.

The White House also paid tribute to Clarke. [...]

Comment: Yet another resignation. One wonders if this is simply some fine tuning, or preparation for the main act?

Comet Impacts on the Sun

Comment from a QFS member: Here's a site that has some SOHO images from 05-24/27-03 that capture a large cometary impact with our sun. Note the insuing CME activity. I'd wager that this is the event that is responsible for our global heatwave and turbulent solar surface. Mr. McCanney is a tireless self promoter and tends to refer alot to Planet X, but you gotta love that he captured these images before NASA scrubbed them from their site. The links to the clips are at the very bottom of this page.

This page (about 1/3 way down) has a great naked eye pic of comet neat, and what appears to be Cassiopia:

Western Wildfires Linked To Variations In Climate

Scientists from the California Applications Program at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, have found a link between variations in climate and the severity of wildfires that spans a range of regions and ecosystems across the Western U.S. over the last two decades. [...]

Handout Photos Don't Tell the Whole Story

Media Gets Less Access at White House

[...]Both newspapers would serve their readers better if they told the White House they won't be publishing any more handout photos. They won't do this, of course, because it will be difficult to get anyone else to go along with them.
What this means is that the public gets a distorted, Rose-Garden picture of the Bush Presidency -- aided and abetted by the news organizations it counts on to provide them with an independent account of White House behavior.

"We are between a rock and a hard place," said Michel duCille, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner at The Miami Herald before becoming photography editor of The Washington Post in 1988. "Sure, we could boycott them. But it won't stop anything. The wires will still send out the photos.

"We should be capturing our images with our photographers," duCille added. "We should be making our own journalistic decision making. We are getting pictures that the White House wants us to have. They wouldn't give us something if it made them look bad." [...]

Bioterrorism project falls into intelligence gap

By Siobhan Gorman
National Journal

[...] As proposed, BioShield would fund pharmaceutical companies in the latter stages of developing vaccines for those bioterror agents deemed most likely to pose a threat to the nation. The problem is that no one at the department responsible for recommending which vaccines to fund appears to be sitting down with the latest intelligence to rank potential bioterror agents, the scariest of which number at least 80.

"The department is focused on all threats," says spokesman Brian Roehrkasse. Presumably this is where Redmond's bioterrorism army of one should come in. Perhaps before the federal government devotes $6 billion to vaccine R&D, it should spend some money on intelligence-modeling to figure out what vaccines are needed most—lest BioShield become a big-ticket handout for pharmaceutical companies. [...]

MONKEY POX? BUCKLE UP

Jon Rappoport
No More Fake News

[...] since 1994, various state health departments, in conjunction with the CDC, have been launching programs of airdropping and hand-distributing millions of biscuits designed to immunize raccoons against rabies.

Two of the involved states? Texas and Ohio. Remember that.

These biscuits contain a genetically engineered vaccine that happens to contain THE VACCINIA VIRUS, which of course is the heart of the SMALLPOX VACCINE.

Hello?

The New England Journal of Medicine (Vol.345, no.8) describes the case of an Ohio woman who was bitten by her dog while attempting to pull one of these biscuits from his mouth.

She contracted smallpox.

I mean, why not? The vaccine in the biscuit contains the smallpox virus. [...]

Churchill 'betrayed East German rising'

Jeevan Vasagar in Berlin and Beate Steinhorst
Tuesday June 17, 2003
The Guardian

A German historian has accused the British of "betraying" an anti-communist uprising in the early years of the German Democratic Republic which was eventually put down by Soviet tanks.

In a book published to coincide with today's 50th anniversary of the uprising, Hubertus Knabe claims that the western powers, in particular Britain led by Winston Churchill, declined to intervene because they feared a reunited Germany.

Churchill rebuked a British commander who protested about the execution of a west Berlin student caught in the east and praised the Russians for their restraint. [...]

NASA lets Congress see secret interviews

By Kevin Spear, Gwyneth K. Shaw and Jim Leusner
Orlando Sentinel


TIMELINE WASHINGTON -- The board investigating the shuttle Columbia tragedy will give Congress -- but not the public -- limited access to transcripts of confidential interviews conducted during its nearly five-month probe, under terms of a deal announced Friday. [...]

Nicotine By-product Reduces Alzheimer's Telltale Plaques

[...] one potential upside was discovered recently when research suggested that cigarette smoking may delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease. Findings published online this week by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicate that nornicotine, a by-product of nicotine, could be responsible for this protective effect. [...]

28 countries sign international anti-tobacco pact

Jun. 16, 2003. 02:58 PM

GENEVA (AP-CP) — Twenty-eight countries from across the globe signed a United Nations anti-tobacco treaty at the first opportunity today, with supporters saying it would get the requisite number of signers and take effect within a year.

"This is really a historic moment," Greek health minister Costas Stefanis told reporters. "I think the signing of this treaty indicates the will of the people to go against the organized interests of the tobacco companies. It is a victory for public health throughout the world."

The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control — the World Health Organization's first treaty — was adopted last month after four years of often-bitter negotiations between nations. It provides for restrictions on tobacco advertising and sponsorship; tougher health warnings; limits on language like "low-tar" and "light"; and restrictions on public smoking. [...]

"When the United States signs is up to it, but we hope it will be sooner rather than later," Yach said. He said the country's two neighbours, Canada and Mexico, are both expected to sign within the next few weeks. [...]

The countries that signed on Monday were: Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Britain, Burundi, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Gambia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Iran, Italy, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Paraguay, South Africa, Spain and Sweden. [...]

Researchers Create Wireless Sensor Chip The Size Of Glitter

Berkeley - Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have successfully tested a wireless sensor chip so small that if someone were to sneeze, it just might blow away. The new "smart dust" chip integrates sensors and transmitters onto a platform that measures a mere 5 square millimeters, or slightly bigger than a fleck of glitter. [...]

Remote Sub Can Patrol Shores; AUVs Find New Purpose In Anti-terror Age

Researchers, led by Mark Patterson, associate professor of marine science, at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science at the College of William and Mary have developed an artificial neural network for use with an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) named Fetch. [...]


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