Today's conditions brought to you by the Bush Junta - marionettes of their hyperdimensional puppet masters - Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions.... The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen."
If you can't stand the heat of Objective Reality, get out of the kitchen!
July 1, 2003
FRONT PAGE STORY - 03/08/2002
A Portugal-based investigative journalist has presented THE NEWS with version of the September 11th attacks that has to date failed to attract the attention of the international press. The report, compiled by an independent inquiry into the September 11th, World Trade Centre attack, warns the American public that the government’s official version of events does not stand up to scrutiny.
A group of military and civilian US pilots, under the chairmanship of Colonel Donn de Grand, after deliberating non-stop for 72 hours, has concluded that the flight crews of the four passenger airliners, involved in the September 11th tragedy, had no control over their aircraft.
In a detailed press communiqué the inquiry stated: "The so-called terrorist attack was in fact a superbly executed military operation carried out against the USA, requiring the utmost professional military skill in command, communications and control. It was flawless in timing, in the choice of selected aircraft to be used as guided missiles and in the coordinated delivery of those missiles to their pre-selected targets."
The report seriously questions whether or not the suspect hijackers, supposedly trained on Cessna light aircraft, could have located a target dead-on 200 miles from take off point. It further throws into doubt their ability to master the intricacies of the instrument flight rules (IFR) in the 45 minutes from take off to the point of impact. Colonel de Grand said that it would be impossible for novices to have taken control of the four aircraft and orchestrated such a terrible act requiring military precision of the highest order.
A member of the inquiry team, a US Air Force officer who flew over 100 sorties during the Vietnam war, told the press conference: "Those birds (commercial airliners) either had a crack fighter pilot in the left seat, or they were being manoeuvred by remote control."
In evidence given to the enquiry, Captain Kent Hill (retd.) of the US Air Force, and friend of Chic Burlingame, the pilot of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon, stated that the US had on several occasions flown an unmanned aircraft, similar in size to a Boeing 737, across the Pacific from Edwards Air Force base in California to South Australia. According to Hill it had flown on a pre programmed flight path under the control of a pilot in an outside station.
Hill also quoted Bob Ayling, former British Airways boss, in an interview given to the London Economist on September 20th, 2001. Ayling admitted that it was now possible to control an aircraft in flight from either the ground or in the air. This was confirmed by expert witnesses at the inquiry who testified that airliners could be controlled by electro-magnetic pulse or radio frequency instrumentation from command and control platforms based either in the air or at ground level.
All members of the inquiry team agreed that even if guns were held to their heads none of them would fly a plane into a building. Their reaction would be to ditch the plane into a river or a field, thereby safeguarding the lives of those on the ground.
A further question raised by the inquiry was why none of the pilots concerned had alerted ground control. It stated that all pilots are trained to punch a four-digit code into the flight control’s transponder to warn ground control crews of a hijacking - but this did not happen.
During the press conference Captain Hill maintained that the four airliners must have been choreographed by an Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS). This system can engage several aircraft simultaneously by knocking out their on-board flight controls. He said that all the evidence points to the fact that the pilots and their crews had not taken any evasive action to resist the supposed hijackers. They had not attempted any sudden changes in flight path or nose-dive procedures - which led him to believe that they had no control over their aircraft.
THE NEWS, in an attempt to further substantiate the potential veracity of these findings, spoke to an Algarve-based airline pilot, who has more than 20 years of experience in flying passenger planes, to seek his views. Captain Colin McHattie, currently flying with Cathay Pacific, agreed with the independent commission’s findings. However, he explained that while it is possible to fly a plane from the ground, the installation of the necessary equipment is a time-consuming process, and needs extensive planning. THE NEWS will publish a full interview with Captain McHattie in next week’s edition.
The FBI also came in for criticism for the various pieces of contradictory evidence it has published regarding the suspects. Questions are now being asked as to how incorrect information was given out regarding the ID cards of the suspects, and the seat numbers they supposedly occupied after boarding the flights.
None of the suspects named by the FBI appeared on any of the official passenger lists. A further point was how the FBI had managed to retrieve the passport of one of the suspects amid the molten and twisted remains of thousands of tons of steel and rubble brought about by the Twin Towers collapse.
Dr. Paul Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury, and presently Senior Research Fellow at Stamford University, has lent his support to the independent inquiry findings. He also claims that Osama Bin Laden was not responsible for September 11th. The doctor has challenged President Bush to make public the so-called "irrefutable evidence" incriminating Bin Laden.
Colonel Donn de Grand said that if President Bush is lying it would not be the first time that the American people had been mislead by its government. He cited the recently published official government archives describing President Roosevelt’s duplicity in deceiving Americans about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, which triggered the US entry into WWll.
He also highlighted the role of the country’s government in misleading its citizens in respect of the Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba, and the events that brought about the Spanish American war in the late 19th, century. "Whilst considering who committed this act of war on September 11th," he said, "albeit Russia, China, an Islamic country or NATO, we must also consider that the enemy may well be within the gates.
"Not for the first time the American public might be being mislead, by those with ulterior motives, into lending its support to a war, this time against Iraq, that has no bearing whatsoever on the interests of the people of the USA."
So far the mainstream American news media has failed to publish or broadcast any details regarding the independent inquiry. Similarly, the White House, whilst having received a copy of the report, has remained silent on its findings.
Comment:"The media work their
standing joke about CONSPIRACIES, so that anyone who begins to see
through the curtain is thought of as a nut with delusions. This is
a very important point, because clues about conspiracies are
actually everywhere. They are as easy to find as pebbles in a
stream. So people must be trained to feel a certain negative reflex
kick in when they start to bend down and pick up one of those
pebbles. [...] And then people eat up the lies as if that is the
“patriotic” thing to do. They eat the lies as they wave
the flag. They take pride in their own status as mind-control
06/30/03: (The Japan Times) A group of Japanese lawyers unveiled documents Monday "indicting" U.S. President George W. Bush for war crimes allegedly committed against the Afghan people since the United States-led coalition began its antiterrorism campaign in Afghanistan in October 2001.
"This is an act that breaks international rules, such as the idea of (honoring) human rights, that have been formed over so many years," said Koken Tsuchiya, former president of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations and head of the 11-member prosecutors' team in the tribunal. "We decided this case has sufficient reason to be brought to court."
A civic tribunal will be held in Tokyo, with the first hearing scheduled for July 21.
The charges against Bush, according to the indictment, include aggression, attacks against civilians and nonmilitary facilities and the torturing and execution of prisoners.
They said the indictment will be handed to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo next week.
The tribunal is being organized by Tokyo Zokei University professor Akira Maeda and others.
Mon June 30, 2003 07:49 PM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - Forget anthrax and smallpox. Influenza could easily be turned into the next weapon of mass destruction, scientists said on Tuesday. They sounded their warning as researchers come close to completing the blueprint for the virus of the 1918 'flu epidemic that killed up to 40 million people globally.
"Taken together with the fact that influenza virus is readily accessible and may be causing more deaths than previously suspected, the possibility for genetic engineering and aerosol transmission suggests an enormous potential for bioterrorism," the University of Texas scientists said.
Writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, the team led by Dr Mohammed Madjid noted that last century a series of 'flu epidemics from Spain to Russia and Hong Kong had killed millions of people as the virus naturally mutated.
They pointed out that sequencing of the genome of the 1918 Spanish 'flu epidemic was nearly complete, opening the door to unscrupulous scientists to build an even more potent virus. [...]
Q: (L) Are there going to be any
other kinds of violence, such as bombs or airplanes being flown
into buildings, or release of
The Israeli army removed the main checkpoints on the main north-south highway, allowing Palestinians free movement along it for the first time in more than two years.
The two sides are discussing an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank - as required by the US-backed peace plan known as the roadmap - after three main groups of Palestinian militants declared a ceasefire.
The first full day of the truce was marred when a Palestinian faction killed a foreigner working for an Israeli company in the northern West Bank. [...]
ALEXANDRA ZAVIS, Associated Press Writer
JERUSALEM - Israel agreed to return the West Bank town of Bethlehem to Palestinian control after its pullback Monday from the Gaza Strip, crucial steps that advance a U.S.-backed "road map" to Palestinian statehood and raise hopes that 33 months of violence may be nearing an end.
The two sides' prime ministers also set a meeting to plan their next moves, as bulldozers tore down Israeli checkpoints and traffic flowed freely in Gaza for the first time in months. Palestinian police took control of the Gaza town of Beit Hanoun on the heels of the departing Israeli troops. [...]
GAVIN RABINOWITZ, Associated Press Writer Sunday, June 29, 2003
Israel's Shin Bet security agency has held Palestinian prisoners incommunicado for weeks at a time at a secret detention center in violation of international law, The Associated Press has learned.
Prisoners say they are blindfolded and kept in black, windowless cells. When they ask where they are, they are told: "On the moon."
Israel refuses to say where the center is located or who is being kept there, but hints foreigners are among the prisoners.
The state's attorney confirmed the existence of the center, known as facility 1391, in a June 9 response to a Supreme Court petition filed by the HaMoked human rights group over missing detainees Bashar and Muhammed Jodallah. But Israel would only say the center was located on a secret army base, arguing that revealing the location would jeopardize national security. [...]
By The Associated Press
CNN erred in giving more programming time to the family of a Palestinian suicide bomber than to his Israeli victims and tried to rectify the mistake, the network's top news executive said Sunday during a damage-control visit to Israel.
CNN's coverage of recent suicide bombings has provoked anger in Israel and led a local cable company to start carrying CNN's chief U.S. competitor, Fox News Channel. Fox said it expects others to follow suit. Recent comments from CNN founder Ted Turner describing both Israel and the Palestinians as terrorists have fueled Israeli anger.
Interviewed on Israel Television, Eason Jordan, CNN's president of newsgathering, said his company strives for fairness.
"On occasion we make mistakes but that's not because there's any bias," he said. "CNN is not pro-Palestinian or anti-Israeli. We're fair, we're responsible in our reporting, we try to be as accurate as we possibly can be."
[...] Jordan said the company was taking criticism from both sides, with Palestinian officials he met Saturday accusing CNN of serving Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
"They believe that CNN is the propaganda arm of the Sharon government," he said.
Comment: "Every time we do something, you
[Shimon Peres] tell me America will do this and will do that... 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, Israeli Prime Minister,
homicidal psychopath, Jewish Mafia member, Knesset, Tel Aviv,
October 3, 2001.
By Anat Balint, Ha'aretz Correspondent
The Satellite and Cable Commission decided Thursday to allow Israeli cable companies to remove CNN from their programming. The decision was approved by a large majority, following a stormy discussion on the issue.
The central argument for the decision was the availability of three foreign news networks other than CNN: BBC, Fox News and Sky News.
About a week ago, three cable companies filed separate requests to the Commission to end the CNN broadcasts. The cable companies wrote that they were unable to reach an agreement with CNN on payment rates for the news broadcasts...
A senior CNN official harshly criticized the cable companies' tactics in the negotiations, which he said included attacks on the network's coverage of Israel and the conflict with the Palestinians, while taking advantage of the sensitive political situation.
Prior to the Commission's decision, the official said that the cable companies were given "a very fair offer at a rate we didn't make available anywhere else in the world."
CNN is currently a part of the cable companies' basic programming package which every subscriber receives without paying extra fees. A few weeks ago, some cable companies began broadcasting Fox News, a competitor of CNN.
Comment: Maybe what cable television needs is a news channel that isn't totally controlled by mega-companies and their power-mongering puppetmasters...
(Filed: 01/07/2003) There were no signs of celebration in Beit Hanoun and little in the way of optimism even after Israeli tanks pulled out of this devastated area of the Gaza Strip yesterday. [...]
Later, the Israelis handed over control of the main north-south road, so that for the first time in two and a half years Palestinians can travel freely along it.
Some Palestinians hoisted flags along the route to mark the occasion but the principal emotions were bewilderment and shock at the devastation left behind by the Israelis.
Many local people spoke of their anger as they sifted through the wasteland of damaged buildings, uprooted trees and ploughed-up roads. [...]
Another man, Abdul Hamid Shanti, walked up and examined the area where his orange trees and all his life's savings had been swept away. He gazed towards the Israeli miltary watchtower and camp on the far hilltop.
"They say they have pulled out but they are still here," he said with a wry smile. "I do not believe peace is coming."
Comment: "Zionism! An ideology that is antithetical to Judaism, one fomented by unabashed atheists, heretics and even some ostensibly 'religious' collaborators who have sold their souls to the irreligious Zionists for money and power. [...] Anti-Jewish prejudice is the lifeblood of Zionism! Without it, Zionism could not survive! Zionism seeks to label anyone opposing its policies as 'anti-Semitic,' which is utterly false, both logically and factually!" Rabbi Yisroel P. Feldman, during a rally hosted by the New England Committee to Defend Palestine, to protest the "Boston Celebrates Israel Festival" in Boston, Mass. on Sunday, June 15, 2003
Helen & Harry Highwater
A Missouri company has been fined $6,000 for answering a customer's question and not reporting to the federal government that the question was asked. The question that's punished by law is: Are any of these products made in Israel, or made of Israeli materials?
The Kansas City Star reports:
We ask: Why is this question forbidden? Why is any question forbidden?
It sounds more like the USSR than the USA, to punish people for asking a forbidden question, or for not immediately reporting to the government that someone else asked a forbidden question.
Only a few years ago, during South Africa's apartheid era, it was considered the height of good moral backbone to ask whether a product came from that country. Today, many Americans are asking such questions about products they suspect came from France, after the French government declined to join "Operation Iraqi Freedom."
The article doesn't make it clear whether these restrictions apply only to US companies selling stuff outside the US, or whether the law applies to everyone. Either way, it's reprehensible.
Comment: Unknown News, after posting their commentary above took all kinds of flack: zionist attempts at censorship along with the usual anti-semitic ranters. In their own words: "Our article on the US law forbidding boycotts of Israel has brought out all the loonies. Over the weekend, 35 people sent us blatantly anti-Semitic emails, and 27 wrote emails that amounted to accusations of anti-Semitism for writing the article. We read the first few of these loony letters, shaking our heads, and deleted the rest. All 62 of you are all invited to take a Mediterranean cruise together — and we hope your ship sinks.
"We don't believe a word of such claptrap from either side, and we don't care to share your stupid, petty hatreds. We're sure as shit not going to turn our dialogue page over to people who preach lies "explaining" everything from Jewish blood-sucking circumcision to how Arabs are bred to blow things up by heredity, tradition, and inferior genetics. To some people, the world will always come down to Jews and gentiles, or some other offensive form of us and them. Your equal and opposite mutually codependent insanities bore us, so we've blocked each and all of your email addresses. Your future hate emails addressed to us will (as the kids say) bounce back and stick to you.
"Meanwhile, to reiterate the amazingly obvious: The article we wrote was about a law breaching freedom of speech in America. The law prohibits companies and, apparently, individuals from discussing a boycott of Israel — but that volatile noun — Israel — neither excuses the censorship nor makes it worse. We would be just as enthusiastically offended by a law banning boycotts against Methodists, Armenians, or math teachers."
By Haim Shadmi
[Isaac Fidelis] left his home on Natan Street in Tel Aviv's Hatikva quarter Sunday night after saying good night to his wife, Uche, her sister Victoria Agaon and her husband Ignatius, who Fidelis calls "my brother" according to Nigerian custom, and went to roam the city streets before turning in for the night in a public park.
Ever since the men in blue started to burst into the homes of foreign workers unannounced, Fidelis, 38, spends his nights in public parks, yet another place he never thought he would lay his head while in Israel. He falls asleep between bushes, on flower beds, until the sun rises and he returns home for a quick shower before heading off for work. He says that all the African men do this.
At 10.30 P.M., he spoke to his wife to wish her good night. They married half a year ago and Uche is in her second month of pregnancy with their first child. Ignatius and Victoria were also looking forward to their first child. The doctor said she was due to give birth this week. Ignatius stayed to sleep with his wife because of her advanced state of pregnancy.
Suddenly, at 4.20 A.M. a huge explosion broke the night's silence, and buried an entire family's dreams. [...]
By Michael Moore
Letter From Michael Moore To George W. Bush
Dear Lt. George W. Bush,
I hope you don't mind me referring to you by the only true military rank you ever achieved, that being the one from your on-again, off-again "days" in the, um, Texas Air National Guard. Ever since I saw you in that flyboy outfit, landing on that ship, I assumed you now wanted to be addressed by your military title, as opposed to the civilian rank imposed on you by your dad's friends.
So, Lieutenant, I was wondering, would you do me a favor?
Could you PLEASE do better than a ROSE BUSH?
I saw the guy on TV yesterday that your boys found, the Iraqi who said he had "planted" some nuclear plans in his "back yard" in Baghdad -- 12 years ago -- "under a rose bush."
Woo boy. That's a good one. Do you really think we are as dumb as we look? I know our fascination with "American Idol" and Scott Peterson may make us Americans look a little light in the head, but when it comes to lying to us to lead us into war, we really do demand a bit more of an EFFORT and a FOLLOW-THROUGH.
You see, George, it's not the lying and the doctoring of intelligence that has me all upset. It's that you've had control of Iraq for over two months now -- and you couldn't even find the time to plant just a few nukes or vats of nerve gas and at least make it LOOK like you weren't lying to us.
You see, by not faking some evidence of weapons of mass destruction, it shows that you thought no one would mind if it turned out you made everything up. A different kind of president, who believes that the American public would be outraged if they ever found out the truth, would go to great lengths to cover up his subterfuge...
MROUE, Associated Press Writer
NAJAF, Iraq - American troops moved in force Monday to arrest the U.S.-appointed mayor of this holy Shiite town, removing him on kidnapping and corruption charges and detaining 62 of his top aides, officials said.
The arrest came as a sweep in a wide swath of central Iraq moved into its second day. The sweep, dubbed operation Sidewinder, is designed to capture Saddam Hussein loyalists and curb a wave of attacks on American soldiers. So far, however, no major fugitives have been reported arrested, and some soldiers say their efforts have been plagued by faulty intelligence and bad luck.
The arrest of the mayor of Najaf, Abu Haydar Abdul Mun'im, came less than three months after he was installed by American troops after they entered the town in April. The former Iraqi army colonel was unpopular from the start with the local population because of his military background. [...]
Comment: This is nothing new, given that Bush has appointed known criminals to government positions in the USA.
Tuesday, July 1,
blast occurred shortly after midnight and there was no immediate
confirmation of what caused the explosion.
A U.S. military spokesman described the damage to the mosque as "minimal," saying it appears the explosion took place in a building next to the Muslim house of worship.
But video from the scene contradicted the U.S. account. [...]
Local residents said scores of people were also injured in the blast, which happened in a desert area near the town of Haditha, about 260 kilometres (160 miles) north-west of the capital, Baghdad on Saturday.
A spokesman for US Central Command in Baghdad said that the dump was Iraqi, not American.
Because of that, he said, US forces in the area were not taking responsibility for caring for the wounded.
"There are quantities of dead and wounded, but we don't know exactly how many," he told BBC News Online. [...]
Ghazali in Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip
"I cried in blood," Fawzi al-Kafarneh told me as we walked through the ruins of his brick factory in Gaza, "all my savings of 20 years are blown away."
Unshaven and disheveled, the 58-year-old Palestinian man talked ceaselessly to himself in a low voice yesterday, sweating profusely under his flowing, tan-coloured shirt.
The Israeli army wrecking crews left his factory in smithereens as they left, much like the orange groves, homes and other factories that used to line the main road into Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza. Finally, after months under curfew - which kept workers from their jobs, farmers from their fields and children from schools - the relief is palpable.
After 1,000 days of fighting and intermittent occupation, Israeli and Palestinian commanders shook hands as bulldozers dismantled checkpoints allowing Palestinian traffic to flow freely again in the Gaza Strip. The pullback - first in Gaza, and in Bethlehem and other West Bank towns later this week, is part of the American-backed peace plan, which has gained momentum since the Iraq war.
Today the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, will meet his Palestinian counterpart, Abu Mazen, to discuss further confidence-building measures.
But it is a bitter return to normal life for the Palestinians. Just nine months before the start of the latest uprising, Mr al-Kafarneh invested $300,000 (£180,000) to build his factory. He now has late-onset diabetes and high blood pressure and sees no prospect of rebuilding his life, along with that of his four sons, who worked with him. "Now my family - 37 people - will eat bread and drink water. We have no livelihood," he said. [...]
Peterson | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
DOURA AND FALLUJAH, IRAQ – Starting at dawn Monday, American soldiers searching for weapons on the southern outskirts of Baghdad knocked on door after door, visiting house after house. On 2,300 separate visits, they were let in by quietly cooperative Iraqis, and then moved on.
The last major sweep of the two-week-long Operation Desert Scorpion netted just eight Kalashnikovs, a sniper rifle, and a handful of pistols. But it also showed how many Iraqis - despite a recent surge of lethal anti-US attacks - are resigning themselves to American occupation.
Nearly three months after the fall of Baghdad, and amid still chronic shortages of basics like electricity, Iraqis and US military and civilian officials alike say relations are beginning to mature, as both sides adjust to the new reality across Iraq.
"We are now in a situation where there is no substitute for the Americans in our city," says Taha Bidawi Hamid, mayor of Fallujah, 30 miles west of Baghdad, where US troops killed 16 protesters in late April. Now Mr. Hamid works closely with US forces to dole out school-building and other contracts, while calming the frayed nerves of families who have lost relatives, and want revenge against US forces.
"There is a debate," the mayor says. "When you go to the street, people say: 'We are against the Americans.' But sheikhs, imams, and educated people say: 'Don't hurt the Americans, because that hurts us, too.'"
Mayor Hamid even presided over a meeting last Friday during which religious leaders in Fallujah "agreed that it was no longer allowed to shoot Americans in the city, and instead to work with the Americans. All of them agreed."
That shifting attitude reflects the results of a first-ever poll of Iraqis, reported by CBS earlier this month, that nearly two-thirds of Baghdad residents want US forces to stay until Iraq is stable and secure, and that only 17 percent want US troops to go home immediately. Iraqis say that result is accurate, but by default: While they are grateful the US has removed Saddam Hussein, and note that US troops are now critical to reestablishing yearned-for security, they still don't approve of their stay here.
"They are occupiers," says Fallujah truck driver Nouri Khalil, clicking his small wooden prayer beads while waiting for business on a sweltering street corner. "But if they leave, there will be no security. We want the Americans to form an Iraqi government, so they can go." [...]
July 01, 2003
Scott Peterson is currently in Baghdad. He traveled extensively in Iraq and Iran before the Iraq war. Since the end of hostilities, he has reported on conditions there. [...]
Does the average Iraqi on the street believe the US will pull out before a lasting democracy or an orderly government is established?
The average Iraqi on the street remains unsure of US motives in his country. One officer told me today, about this mismatch of expectations, that most Iraqis believed that when the regime collapsed, the Americans would "drive up and park with the full American dream: a house, two-car garage, white picket fence and a dog." Instead, there is only one thing that Iraqis - nearly three months after the war - can point to as an improvement since the fall of Saddam Hussein: freedom of speech. Other than that, the litany of complaints is long, and that means the window of opportunity for the US to put together a credible interim government is swiftly closing.
How easy is it for people in Baghdad to get food and basic necessities for cooking, cleaning, and healthcare?
Chaos still reigns in terms of most public services. Electricity remains the most troublesome, as temperatures climb toward 120 degrees. Food is not as big a problem, but sporadic water, spotty power, and chronic insecurity means that few new jobs are being created. Lack of electricity has meant that some hospital emergency wards have had to shut their doors from time to time. Iraqis say repeatedly - and seem to believe - that the US chief administrator for Iraq, Paul Bremer is "punishing" them for resistance to the US occupation, with the electricity cuts. The reality is that the weakness of the electrical grid, and sabotage, are thwarting efforts to put the system back together. Military engineers have met every day for more than a month to solve the problem - but Iraqis rarely believe that.
How would you describe life in Baghdad now for an average Iraqi? In the daytime? After dark? Do US troops go on even higher alert after the sun goes down?
Life in Iraq has been hard since the start of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, but many remember when everything "worked" in Iraq in the 1970s. So, Iraqis spend their days trying to get by. Insecurity has changed their way of living, though. Iraqis have told me that they can't go out and buy shoes anymore, unless they travel - for safety - as an entire family together. And few venture very far after dark. US troops certainly go on a higher alert after dark, but with their night-vision capability, they have many more advantages than those who want to wage guerrilla-style attacks against them. [...]
Conflict doesn't resemble Vietnam, Rumsfeld says
Tuesday, July 1, 2003 02:00 GMT
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- As a new poll shows Americans are taking a dimmer view of U.S.-led coalition efforts in Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Monday that the fighting there would continue "for some time."
Only 56 percent of Americans view the current fighting as going well in Iraq, according to a new CNN/USA Today Gallup poll. That is much lower than the 70 percent in late May and the 86 percent in early May who thought the fighting was going well. [...]
Although the percentage of those who believe going to war in Iraq was worthwhile has fallen to 56 percent from 73 percent in April, more than two-thirds believe having U.S. troops in Iraq now is worthwhile.
However, the series of raids on coalition forces has led to questions of whether Iraq is turning into another Vietnam: A guerrilla conflict marked by high U.S. casualties.
Rumsfeld criticized reporters' questions about the terms "guerrilla war" and "quagmire," saying they drew too heavily on the U.S. experience in Vietnam. [...]
The poll also found little difference in the number of those who believe the Bush administration deliberately misled the public about Iraqi weapons -- 37 percent now, up from 31 percent earlier in June. More than half said it would matter a great deal if they were to become convinced that they were mislead. [...]
BAGHDAD (AP) — Amnesty International said today it has gathered evidence that points to U.S. violations of international law by subjecting Iraqi prisoners to "cruel, inhuman or degrading" conditions at its detention centres here.
The report coincides with a two-day UN conference on human rights that began in Baghdad today. The conference, which focuses on abuses committed during the rule of Saddam Hussein, will co-ordinate investigations into the regime's alleged killings of some 300,000 Iraqis.
London-based Amnesty International said hundreds of Iraqis held at U.S.-run tent camps and former Iraqi government prisons have been denied the right to see families or lawyers or have a judge review their detention.
The prisoners include those suspected of looting and other crimes as well as political suspects, including former high-ranking members of Saddam's regime.
Iraqis released from U.S. detention reported having their wrists tightly bound with plastic handcuffs and sometimes being denied water and access to a toilet in the first night of arrest. Amnesty said its investigators saw numerous ex-detainees with wrists still scarred by the cuffs a month after their arrests. [...]
Monday June 30, 2003
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Amnesty International said Monday it has gathered evidence that points to U.S. violations of international law by subjecting Iraqi prisoners to "cruel, inhuman or degrading'' conditions at its detention centers here.
The report coincides with a two-day United Nations conference on human rights that began in Baghdad on Monday. The conference, which focuses on abuses committed during the rule of Saddam Hussein, will coordinate investigations into the regime's alleged killings of some 300,000 Iraqis.
London-based Amnesty International said hundreds of Iraqis held
at U.S.-run tent camps and former Iraqi government prisons have
been denied the right to see families or lawyers or have a judge
review their detention.
The PM's man finds few protectors in the press
Tuesday July 1, 2003
"Marketing and presentation have taken over politics. The real power resides with [Alastair] Campbell, who controls the words and images [and has] revelled for the past six years in the power he was given by Tony Blair ...
"Mr Campbell told the pathetic posse of MPs questioning him last week that to accuse a prime minister of taking his country to war on false pretenses was a very serious matter. Quite so. As an unelected propagandist, he shouldn't have been allowed anywhere near the decision making process involved. The fact that he and his blustering attack on the BBC are now the story - not whether the prime minister wilfully deceived us over Iraq - is the true measure of how Tony Blair... allowed himself to be humiliated and undermined by a 'servant'."
Scotsman Editorial, June 30
Alex Bell Herald, Glasgow, June 30
"It's not whether we trust the BBC more - it's simply that we may no longer trust the government. In that sense, Mr Campbell is also a mere distraction, if a slightly more novel one. He's a paid official with no democratic mandate. The real issue is, did we go to war to combat an invented threat? That is down to Tony Blair. Not the security forces, or the spies, or spin doctors, or anyone else... Worse though, now we are thinking about trust: will we put our faith in a rushed report by MPs who merely quizzed some of the key players?"
Independent Editorial, June 30
"It is healthy for our democracy that Mr Campbell should have appeared before MPs to account for himself. But ultimately... he is merely the spokesman for his boss, and it is Mr Blair who must be held responsible for taking the nation to war on the basis of assertions which turn out to be untrue."
Tony Parsons Daily Mirror, June 30
"Mr Straw and Mr Blair had already made up their minds to go to war... It was a done deal. Mr Campbell's dossiers had bugger-all to do with it...
"Many people despise Mr Campbell. But he was a good, honest
journalist, and I have seen nothing at all to convince me that the
man is a liar... What counts is why did we attack Iraq?
Increasingly, nobody seems to know... Crucifying the spin-doctor, a
modern variation on shooting the messenger, will hardly give this
story a happy ending."
Microsoft Word bytes Tony Blair in the
in February 2003, 10 Downing Street published a dossier on Iraq's
security and intelligence organizations. This dossier was cited by
Colin Powell in his address to the United Nations the same month.
Dr. Glen Rangwala, a lecturer in politics at Cambridge University,
quickly discovered that much of the material in the dossier was
actually plagiarized from a U.S. researcher on Iraq.
Anyone got several million dollars to spare? If so it appears that the government and the Washington Times think you might be interested in an F-22 Raptor. This link appears on a Washington Times article (appearsperiodically as one of a number of ads). If this is not evidence of blatant "war mind" programming of the public then we don't know what is...
WASHINGTON, June 30 — American intelligence officials now believe that North Korea is developing the technology to make nuclear warheads small enough to fit atop the country's growing arsenal of missiles, potentially putting Tokyo and American troops based in Japan at risk, according to officials who have received the intelligence reports.
In the assessment — which they have shared with Japan, South Korea and other allies in recent weeks — officials at the Central Intelligence Agency said American satellites had identified an advanced nuclear testing site in an area called Youngdoktong. At the site, equipment has been set up to test conventional explosives that, when detonated, could compress a plutonium core and set off a compact nuclear explosion.
Some intelligence officials say they believe that the existence of the testing range is evidence that North Korea intends to manufacture much more sophisticated weapons that would be light enough to put onto its growing arsenal of medium- and long-range missiles. [...]
Comment: Given the extraordinary accuracy that U.S. intelligence agencies are known for, it's far more likely that Youngdoktong is a baby formula factory.
The US is now sending $11 billion in high-tech equipment - part of a redesign of the South's defense.
Marquand | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
TOKYO AND HONOLULU – As the US prepares to reduce and redeploy troops that have long guarded the DMZ in South Korea, it is also sending a huge array of state-of-the-art military equipment onto a peninsula confronting a nuclear crisis.
Along with a new Pentagon study of tactical nuclear weapons that would penetrate the deep tunnels and entrenched artillery positions of North Korea's military, the $11-billion infusion of weaponry has raised concerns in Seoul that Kim Jong Il, the North's isolated leader, will interpret the buildup as a prelude to war or "regime change."
The new materiel includes precision-guided rockets, Patriot missile-defense units, attack helicopters, and a rotating strike force team. [...]
Peter Popham, in Venice
Europe gets its first taste of being ruled by an Italian billionaire media magnate tomorrow, when Italy assumes the European Union's rotating presidency for the next six months, with Silvio Berlusconi at its head.
A shiver of dire anticipation ran through the continent at the weekend, with French, German, Spanish and British newspapers expressing foreboding. The German newspaper Die Zeit, referring to the new immunity law by the Italian Prime Minister extracted himself from a trial for bribing judges that was close to reaching a verdict, commented, "Berlusconi is putting himself above the law."
The paper argued that Europe should take developments in Italy as seriously as it did the election of the neo-fascist leader Jorg Haider in Austria three years ago, which prompted the EU to impose sanctions.
Der Spiegel, the German news weekly, labels Mr Berlusconi "The Godfather" on the cover of its latest issue, and comments, "at home he dismantles justice, subjugates television, has laws tailored to his needs. And now ... he will represent Europe."
Comment: Sounds like Berlusconi and Bush are two of a kind.
Military plane crashes west of Algerian capital,
killing 17 people
Fire raged through several houses after the C130 Hercules transport crashed in the neighbourhood of Beni Mered shortly after takeoff from the Boufarik military airport, 40 kilometres southwest of the capital. Hours after the crash, confusion surrounded the number of deaths with rescuers saying 17, state-run Algerian television putting the toll at 15, and Col. Zoubir Sbaa of the Algerian military saying 12...
KINSHASA, Congo Congo's president signed a new power-sharing government into being Monday, joining Congo's existing government and rebels in an administration meant to lead the central African nation out of nearly five years of war.
If it holds, the transition government stands as a major step toward ending a war that has split Africa's third-largest nation.
President Joseph Kabila, signing the government into being in a decree, called on Congo's belligerents to "draw a line between the past and the present, and look toward a bright future."
The pact divides 36 ministries among the government, rebel movements and pro-government militias, political parties and representatives of civil society, in line with a December peace accord.
The main obstacle to formation of the transition government was removed over the weekend, when the government and two rebel groups agreed to divide control of branches of the military and top military posts among them.
[...] Ethnic fighting is rife in lawless northeast Congo, and Congo's riches there provide a powerful disincentive for armed factions there to give up fighting and yield control to a government. Mistrust between the new government partners, as Nyarugbo said, remains strong...
Forces loyal to President Charles Taylor repelled the rebels
The United Nations Security Council has adjourned its emergency debate on the conflict in Liberia without a decision on whether to send an international force to monitor the ceasefire.
Members agreed to follow developments closely and reconvene next week to continue to discuss the situation.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan had called for the urgent deployment of a multinational force to protect Liberian civilians from clashes between government troops and rebels...
West African leaders and Mr Annan have urged the US to lead a peacekeeping force to Liberia in order to avoid a "major humanitarian tragedy".
Liberia was founded by freed US slaves and the population also looks to the US for help...
The United States itself had made no commitment to helping Liberia.
"We've been looking more broadly at the overall situation to see what contribution we could make and how we might help work with others to calm that," said state department spokesman Richard Boucher.
"We're determined to help the people of Liberia find a path to peace."...
Comment: "We've been looking more broadly at the overall situation to see what contribution we could make and how we might help work with others to calm that," said state department spokesman Richard Boucher. "We're determined to help the people of Liberia find a path to peace."
If that path to peace is anything like the so-called "help" the Bush Reich said they were giving the Iraqis to gain their to-date-unreceived "freedom" then the people of Liberia had better watch their backs! The only thing the Bush Reich is interesting in helping is themselves.
Stories by Sola Ogundipe
HISTORY was made June 16, 2003 as 28 countries from Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Oceania, South America and the European Community converged at the Geneva headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) to ratify the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) — the only global health treaty to be produced in decades. By participating to swiftly sign and then ratify this all-important Convention on the first day, a country is seen as exhibiting more proof of the solid political commitment to put an end to the estimated five million annual deaths resulting from tobacco use throughout the world.
The initial signature does not yet bind signatory countries to the treaty, rather is an expression of political support and of good faith to abide by the principles it enshrines in the interim period until ratification. As soon as 40 countries ratify the Convention, it becomes law for those countries and thereafter, for other countries that ratify it...
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) - A bomb ripped through a mosque in southern Kandahar on Monday as worshippers gathered for the final prayer of the day, wounding 16 people, four of them seriously, a religious leader said.
No one claimed responsibility for the remote-controlled bomb, which was hidden beneath a vest in the mosque, said Mullah Abdullah Fayaz.
Fayaz and local officials said they suspected militants from the former Taliban regime or their allies placed the bomb because he had condemned their interpretation of Islam...
OSLO, Norway – Rocks deep below the North Sea or the Ohio River in the United States could become burial grounds for global warming despite opposition from environmentalists who fear a leaky, short-sighted fix.
Governments and companies around the world are studying ways to pump greenhouse gases – created by power stations, oil platforms or steel mills – into deep, porous rocks where they might be trapped for millions of years and curb a rise in temperatures.
The United States signed a charter last week with the European Union's executive Commission and 12 countries including Russia, China, Japan, Canada and Brazil to research the technology in a "Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum."
But some environmentalists say the idea is costly and like trying to sweep one of the planet's greatest problems under the carpet. [...]
CO2 is the main gas blamed for blanketing the planet and driving up temperatures, disrupting the climate with more frequent floods, droughts and storms that could trigger everything from desertification to higher sea levels. [...]
June 28, 2003
The Environmental Protection Agency's first comprehensive report on the state of the environment is mute on global warming and says little about the growing threats of pesticides and industrial pollution. The draft report did say the nation's land, air and water were better off than they were 30 years ago. That is no surprise because landmark environmental laws were passed and the EPA was created three decades ago.
The document says of global warming, "This report does not attempt to address the complexities of this issue." Change — probably for the worse — might occur by the time the report becomes final, after a new administrator succeeds Christie Whitman, who left office Friday.
An early version included two pages on the general scientific consensus about the threat posed by global warming, believed to be caused primarily by the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. The White House insisted that there was no such consensus and ordered the section rewritten.
Rather than serve up "pablum," as she put it, Whitman purged the two pages. At least she will be remembered for having stuck to her guns during her final days in office. The next EPA administrator must be watched closely to make sure that the pablum or flat-earth science is not reinserted.
A defensive White House official says the administration has produced a number of reports about global warming. But what matters is not what an administration says, but what it does...
PARIS, June 27, 2003
During a weeklong trip in Europe, Conrad Lautenbacher, head of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, tackled an environmental debate in which the United States has often been at odds with other countries in recent years.
Lautenbacher said current environmental observation methods, such as those involving satellites or floating buoys on the seas, don't provide a complete picture of environmental threats.
"We need to reach the next level of observing systems ... to make wise policy decisions in the future," he told reporters at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, summing up the message of his trip to Germany, England and France.
While dozens of monitoring systems exist in the United States alone, U.S. officials want both developed and developing nations to unite behind a global system to watch environmental changes...
The push builds on the U.S. administration's belief that scientific information isn't complete enough to accurately determine the breath of threats to the environment.
For example, the United States has rejected the 1997 Kyoto accord on greenhouse gas reduction, which has been signed by dozens of countries, saying it is too costly for the economy and relies on uncertain environmental forecasts.
Lautenbacher defended U.S. environmental policies, saying "the
world has misunderstood or not fully absorbed what the U.S. is
doing on the International Treaty for Climate
You've got to hand it to those clever little problem-solvers at the White House. What a bunch of brainiacs. They have resolved the entire problem of global warming: They cut it out of the report!
This is genius. Everybody else is maundering on about the oceans rising and the polar icecaps melting and monster storms and hideous droughts, and these guys just … edit it out.
"The editing eliminated references to many studies concluding that warming is at least partly caused by rising concentrations of smokestack and tailpipe emissions, and could threaten health and ecosystems," reports The New York Times. Presto -- poof!
What do they care about health and ecosystems? Think of the possibilities presented by this ingenious solution. Let's edit out AIDS and all problems with drugs both legal and illegal. We could get rid of Libya and Syria this way -- take 'em off the maps...
Speaking of said same tax cut, too bad about the children of the working poor. Congress just announced that it's too busy to get around to restoring the child tax credit to 6.5 million low-income families (known to The Wall Street Journal as "lucky duckies" because, you see, they pay little or no income tax -- they only pay 19 percent of their meager incomes in other taxes).
FYI: If you put "George W. Bush" and "lies" into the Google search engine, you get 250,000 references in nine-tenths of a second.
Comment: The Bush Reich doesn't care about the environment. The Bush Reich doesn't care about "teaching poor kids to read, helping old folks in nursing homes, setting up community gardens, and a thousand other good and useful tasks -- many of which get the young people started on careers in that kind of work." What the Bush Reich cares about is setting up the planet for massive destruction to "cull the human herd" down to what they think is a more manageable number (in the millions in stead of billions), where they hope they can then more easily wield total control over everybody and everything. And they'll lie, cheat, steal, murder, plunder, pillage, spray us with chemtrails, poison our food and water, and bombard everyone with electromagnetic (EM) radiation every single day trying to get their way.
From Session with the C's on February 22 1997:
A: Climate is being influenced by three factors,
and soon a fourth.
And then from session with the C's on February 19, 2000:
Q: You also made a remark once that ice ages occur
much, much faster than people ever thought...
Robert B. Gagosian
Prepared for a panel on abrupt climate change at the
Are we overlooking potential abrupt climate shifts?
Most of the studies and debates on potential climate change, along with its ecological and economic impacts, have focused on the ongoing buildup of industrial greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and a gradual increase in global temperatures. This line of thinking, however, fails to consider another potentially disruptive climate scenario. It ignores recent and rapidly advancing evidence that Earth’s climate repeatedly has shifted abruptly and dramatically in the past, and is capable of doing so in the future.
Fossil evidence clearly demonstrates that Earthvs climate can shift gears within a decade, establishing new and different patterns that can persist for decades to centuries. In addition, these climate shifts do not necessarily have universal, global effects. They can generate a counterintuitive scenario: Even as the earth as a whole continues to warm gradually, large regions may experience a precipitous and disruptive shift into colder climates.
This new paradigm of abrupt climate change has been well established over the last decade by research of ocean, earth and atmosphere scientists at many institutions worldwide. But the concept remains little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of scientists, economists, policy makers, and world political and business leaders. Thus, world leaders may be planning for climate scenarios of global warming that are opposite to what might actually occur.
[...] Are ‘little ice ages’ and ‘megadroughts’ possible?
Scientists are investigating whether changes in ocean circulation may have played a role in causing or amplifying the “Little Ice Age” between 1300 and 1850. This period of abruptly shifting climate regimes and more severe winters had profound agricultural, economic, and political impacts in Europe and North America and changed the course of history.
During this era, the Norse abruptly abandoned their settlements in Greenland. The era is captured in the frozen landscapes of Pieter Bruegel’s 16th-century paintings and in the famous painting of George Washington’s 1776 crossing of an icebound Delaware River, which rarely freezes today. But the era is also marked by persistent crop failures, famine, disease, and mass migrations. “The Little Ice Age,” wrote one historian, “is a chronicle of human vulnerability in the face of sudden climate change.”
Societies are similarly vulnerable to abrupt climate changes that can turn a year or two of diminished rainfall into prolonged, severe, widespread droughts. A growing body of evidence from joint archaeological and paleoclimatological studies is demonstrating linkages among ocean-related climate shifts, “megadroughts,” and precipitous collapses of civilizations, including the Akkadian empire in Mesopotamia 4,200 years ago, the Mayan empire in central America 1,500 years ago, and the Anasazi in the American Southwest in the late 13th century. [...]
Lebec, Calif. — A wildfire that raged across dry, grass-covered hills was partially contained Monday and residents who had been told to evacuate were allowed to return home.
The fire, about 65 kilometres southeast of Bakersfield, Calif., began Sunday afternoon when a vehicle caught fire on the side of the Golden State Freeway, near Fort Tejon State Historic Park, officials said. It was the second wildfire in Kern County during the weekend.
The fire had blackened about 450 hectares by Monday and was 50 per cent contained, officials said.
In the Northwest, authorities in Oregon evacuated campgrounds and cabins Sunday because of a windblown fire near 17 kilometres west of La Pine. The blaze quadrupled in size overnight, growing to nearly 6,500 hectares by Monday morning. It was 30 per cent contained and full containment was expected by Saturday, officials said.
Utah authorities recommended evacuation for about 100 people and closed a stretch of highway between Gunlock, Utah, and Mesquite, Nev., because of a fire about 15 kilometres west of Apex, Utah. The blaze spread quickly through 2,500 hectares of grass, pinion and juniper trees and brush in the Beaver Dam Mountains. Firefighters were hampered by high temperatures, erratic wind and steep terrain.
Elsewhere, the 15,000-hectare fire atop southern Arizona's Mount Lemmon was 65 per cent contained by late Sunday, said fire information officer Art Morrison. The human-caused fire began June 17 on the peak northeast of Tucson and destroyed 317 homes or cabins and seven businesses in the summer vacation community of Summerhaven.
June 30, 2003 20:45 GMT
Under legislation approved by the Senate and now pending in the House, Ridge would move from 18th to eighth, behind Attorney General John Ashcroft and in front of Interior Secretary Gale Norton, in the line to succeed the president in a disaster.
The measure sped through the Senate without debate last Friday. [...]
Nothing but lip service
For example, the White House griped that various pay-and-benefits incentives added to the 2004 defense budget by Congress are wasteful and unnecessary — including a modest proposal to double the $6,000 gratuity paid to families of troops who die on active duty. This comes at a time when Americans continue to die in Iraq at a rate of about one a day.
Similarly, the administration announced that on Oct. 1 it wants to roll back recent modest increases in monthly imminent-danger pay (from $225 to $150) and family-separation allowance (from $250 to $100) for troops getting shot at in combat zones...
On This Day, In 1946 Atomic Testing begins using the Nagasaki-type implosion bomb at Bikini Atoll
"If we fight a war and win it with H-bombs, what history will remember is not the ideals we were fighting for but the methods we used to accomplish them. These methods will be compared to the warfare of Genghis Khan who ruthlessly killed every last inhabitant of Persia." Hans A. Bethe
David Fickling in
States of the Pacific region agreed yesterday to send peacekeepers to the Solomon Islands, brought to the brink of civil war by more than three years of unrest. [...]
Australians will make up threequarters of the force, and the deployment has been claimed by the Australian foreign minister, Alexander Downer, as emblematic of a new doctrine of intervention in the Pacific. He told ABC radio last week: "Sovereignty in our view is not absolute. Acting for the benefit of humanity is." [...]
July 1 2003 The United States Navy has developed a plan to double the number of aircraft carriers available for missions around the world.
The move comes as the Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, moves to increase the global presence of US military forces to fight the war on terrorism.
Interview with Arthur Spitzer, legal director of the ACLU's
Washington, D.C. office conducted by Scott Harris
The ruling, expected to be appealed, is yet another victory for the Bush administration, whose rewriting of judicial procedures has been challenged by civil liberties groups. Speaking for the White House, Attorney General John Ashcroft has cited the war against terrorism as the justification for a steady erosion of rights accorded to immigrants and citizens. Recent court decisions have affirmed the Bush administration's right to hold secret hearings; indefinitely detain and deny access to attorneys to U.S. citizens labeled "enemy combatants" and declared that Afghan prisoners held at the U.S. Guantanamo Naval base in Cuba are not subject to protections embodied in U.S. constitutional law. [...]
To track domestic terrorist threats against the military, the Pentagon is creating a new database that will contain "raw, non-validated" reports of "anomalous activities" within the United States.
According to a Department of Defense memorandum, the system, known as Talon, will provide a mechanism to collect and rapidly share reports "by concerned citizens and military members regarding suspicious incidents."
Talon was described in a May 2 memorandum to top Pentagon brass from Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. In the memo, Wolfowitz directed the heads of military departments and agencies to begin producing Talon reports immediately.
A similar reporting system proposed by Attorney General John Ashcroft was shelved last year following opposition from privacy groups and others. Known as Operation TIPS, the Department of Justice system was intended to enlist civilian workers nationwide to report possible terrorist activity. [...]
Lee Tien, staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an online rights group, said Talon raises many of the same questions as those that plagued the unsuccessful Operation TIPs.
"What is the value in accelerating the speed of the rumor mill?" said Tien. "You have a wealth of really weak data that ends up percolating its way through the system. How will they ensure that there's no opportunity for people's dossiers to become tainted?" [...]
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States could begin cutting military aid to countries that fail to sign an agreement exempting American military and other personnel from prosecution in the International Criminal Court. [...]
If it's allowed to stand, an FCC ruling will feed media merger mania
BY BILL CLINTON
[...] For more than 60 years, the FCC allowed companies to own a number of local TV stations, provided that no single company owned enough to reach more than 35% of the population of the United States.
But on June 2, by a 3-to-2 vote, the FCC raised the limit to 45%, giving big media firms the chance to gobble up many more local TV stations. In fact, a single giant corporation will be able to control up to three of the television stations in America's nine largest cities.
The FCC also opened the door to local TV-newspaper mergers in many places, so you'll be getting your news and information from the same company regardless of whether you're turning on the TV or opening the newspaper.
Why is this bad? Because more monolithic control over local media will reduce the diversity of information, opinion and entertainment people get. Interesting local coverage will be supplanted by lowest-common-denominator mass-market mush.
[...] The lack of diversity and independence in the broadcast media may be why you didn't hear much about this big issue on TV or radio in recent months.
Comment: Read the next story to see the power of mega-media-merger already in action, and why you might never see a real story of what happened to Jessica Lynch on CBSNews...
By EDWARD WASSERMAN
The affair of Jessica Lynch, the U.S. Army private who was injured in Iraq and rescued in a commando raid, seems unrelated to monopoly control of the media. But the handling of her story offers good reason to cheer Senate elders for moving to reverse the ideologically besotted Federal Communications Commission decision to trash safeguards against deepening concentration of media ownership.
In the latest development of the Lynch story, CBS News, desperate to get the 19-year-old West Virginia girl for an exclusive on-camera interview, sweetened the pot dramatically.
CBS can do this. As fans of monopolistic excess know, CBS belongs to Viacom, which also owns all things Paramount, 39 TV stations, MTV, VH1, Showtime, Comedy Central, The Movie Channel, Sundance, Nickelodeon, Simon & Schuster and the huge Infinity radio network, plus such trifles as Blockbuster Video and several big movie and TV producers.
So in wooing young Lynch, CBS News wasn't confined to offering flowers for Mom, a limo to the studio and a backstage tour. Viacom's honchos dangled a two-hour CBS News documentary, a TV movie produced by CBS Entertainment, the possibility of co-hosting an MTV special and a book deal with the venerable Simon & Schuster.
[...] But that's not the most vexing ethical quandary with the Lynch affair. The real problem is that nobody knows what the facts of the story really are. So what exactly is Viacom buying?
[...] But Viacom would hardly buy the story of a supply clerk whose superiors landed her in a fine mess and who spent agonized days in a sparsely equipped enemy hospital, tended by kindly but ineffectual doctors until she was rescued in a needless display of videotaped bravado.
No, the parent of CBS News -- one of the world's great news organizations, the home of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite -- can only be falling over itself to invest in a different Lynch story, the one built by Pentagon propagandists around blinding courage and patriotism, the one that may well be make-believe...
Comment: Fiction is more profitable than the truth. Media outlets know this, and they'll use it to suppress the truth every chance they get, because the major media outlets are puppets of those who seek to ultimately control absolutely everything.
By Howard Rosenberg
[...] By making Lynch an all-American metaphor epitomizing the best of us, the TV movies will yield a pro-war rub-off, bulking up support for the U.S. decision to invade Iraq.
Theatrical movies also burn in searing historical images that shape our perceptions of the past in powerful ways, influencing our feelings about the present. Yet ...
From the credible documentaries of "American Experience" on PBS to the incredible distortions of fact by many small-screen movies, TV for years has been this culture's greatest pop historian, claiming to beam enlightenment to the multitudes.
It's a pat on the back NBC and A&E will surely give themselves when airing their planned movies about 20-year-old Lynch, ripped-from-war, quickie biographies likely to contain at least as much fiction and speculation as fact.
But do these opportunists care? Nah.
[...] "All made-for-TV movies based on fact have some fiction in them," Jeff Zucker, president of NBC Entertainment, said recently. Well, that's comforting to know.
On Wednesday, Howard Kurtz offered a scoop in the Washington Post about the imperious conduct of New York Times reporter Judith Miller in Iraq ("Embedded Reporter's Role in Army Unit's Actions Questioned by Military"). I've disparaged the substance of Miller's WMD reporting for more than six months, devoting many columns to her dubious stories. But should we automatically assume that Miller's behavior—as distinct from her reporting—is beyond the pale?
[...] But let's uncouple our judgment of what Miller writes (faulty and biased copy, basically) from the methods she used to cover the Iraq story. Viewed in this light, Miller starts to look like a victim of a turf battle in which one military faction used the Washington Post to punish another—MET Alpha—by trashing Miller. Government sources routinely use the press to punish their bureaucratic enemies; it just isn't something journalists like to acknowledge. For example, in the orgy of finger-pointing last summer about who was responsible for letting two 9/11 hijackers into the country, the FBI told its CIA-disparaging story to Newsweek, and the CIA ripped the FBI in the Washington Post.
I think that's what's going on in the Kurtz story.
Comment: The real point of the Miller story
is that she is imposing her neocon political views on her
reporting. She is a shill for the Bush Reich. So the spin given to
it by the writer of this reporter is a case of
whitewashing..."sure, Miller's not a pleasant person, but..." The
focus is moved away from her politics to her
The week before last, a rumor swept Washington that Ronald Reagan had died. The story first wound its way through Republican circles, then moved on to the State Department, and finally reached House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert's office.
The source of the report was ABC News. But the staff of ABC News never actually thought Mr. Reagan was dead. Rather, it seems, the word spread as the staff took part in one of the division's now common breaking-news drills, which news executives concocted to make sure the division never again gets caught off guard by breaking news, as it was during the space shuttle Columbia disaster and the start of Gulf War II.
The division's initial slowness to aggressively cover those events infuriated the prickly yet powerful affiliates. The division has promised it will never happen again.
So, during the last couple weeks, producers, camera operators, correspondents, technicians and even Peter Jennings, on a couple of occasions, have scrambled to cover a host of potential tragedies, from a major bridge collapse to a terrorist attack in New York. The results have been shown on the ABC News internal television system, with on-screen writing that labels them as test material.
Comment: More propaganda. Imagine spending your career attempting to force mice to contract a virus which has never been isolated in the first place so one can develop genocidal drugs. It must pay well. See The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson/ The United Nations Centre for Human Rights, United Nations Office at Geneva
Legal proceedings against
the "Deutscher Bundestag", the Parliament of the Federal Republic
of Germany: Because of the intentional continuation of acts of
killing and manslaughter (220a StGB Germany) by the German
Parliament. During the last six years proofs have been collected
for the following actions that have taken place inside Germany: The
State intentionally is using non-valid tests to persuade healthy
persons to take a deadly long-term medication. The persons,
The document of the German Bundestag DS 12/8591 holds proof that the Bundestag had already known in 1994 that neither Montagnier (1983) nor Gallo (1984) had isolated any virus in connection with AIDS. Based on this the Bundestag safeguarded the persistent lie of the AIDS information campaign (RKI) from 9th March 1995 about the successful isolation of a virus in connection with AIDS. As a consequence of non-tolerating this lie and because of non-tolerating the deadly consequences of this lie, the trial took place on 15th January 2001.
It is impossible – as far as laboratory conditions are concerned – to develop a valid Virus-antibody-test, if the virus has not been isolated before. Every layman understands that an individual proof for an infection with a virus is impossible, if the existence of the virus has never been generally proven. This knowledge of the German health authorities, that the tests are not validated, can be proven via the authorities` documents themselves. The error concerning the test's validity is spread and supported by the authorities – against better knowledge.
With two more petitions the Bundestag safeguarded the default of the responsible authorities, not to carry out the law (§63 AMG, Stufenplan II), to do studies and observations to protect persons taking the AIDS-Medicine, the chemotherapy AZT (Pet. 5-13-15-2002- 058744 and Pet. 5-13-15-212-023567a).
The health authorities and the Bundestag know that there will be no test method to prove an HIV-Infection, as long as HIV has not been isolated. And there is no doubt that AZT – as well as the HIV- medications in general – are deadly themselves when used as long-term- medication. In the course of the proceedings of the petitions the Bundestag created an apparent peace of law – by means of deliberately untruthful statements. President of the German Parliament Wolfgang Thierse regards untruthful behaviour of this kind (as shown by the Bundestag) as being justified by the Bundesverfassungsgericht (Federal Constitutional Court). A videotape documenting an interview (28th June 1995) shows that his predecessor in office, Prof. Rita Süssmuth did know, that there had never been any proofs for a virus in connection with AIDS and that there are no proofs for the claims of infectivitiy. [...]
Healthy people are intentionally lead into a deadly medication via tests with invalid results - and then die. The criminal law of the BRD and especially § 220a StGB (Genocide) protects citizens from act of killings organised by a state which is deliberately misleading the public. It also protects the citizens binding the legal authorities to take actions after perusal. The prosecuting attorneys attended the trial on 15th January 2001 at the Landgericht Dortmund and learned about the facts – in front of the public. Their passivity afterwards serves as a further proof for their further intention in this matter.
Planting of homicide evidence is alleged: Search
team director faces tampering charge
A Midland woman who has received international acclaim using a cadaver-sniffing dog to crack homicide cases was charged in federal court Monday with planting evidence at crime scenes. [...]
Anderson, the director of the Great Lakes Search and Rescue of Michigan K-9 Unit, in Midland, conducts about 200 searches a year, according to news reports. She has searched for mass graves in Bosnia and Panama, and helped search for victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism attacks at the World Trade Center.
[...]About 6 percent of kids and 1 percent of adults suffer from this parasomnia - the word for bizarre sleep behavior - which occurs when there's a glitch between sleep cycles, and the sleeper is stuck in a confusing and frightening state between deep sleep and wakefulness. The disorder has long been a sideshow in sleep science, but new research is shedding light on what makes some people go bump in the night and may help curb the disturbing spells. [...]
By Tim Fields
ROCKVILLE -- The farmer stood alone at the edge of his 80-acre wheat field on Saturday, and in the early morning quiet, he stared across a sea of stalks and saw something strange.
Larry Balestra walked into
the field and waded through the waist-high grass, and with every
step, it slowly came into view.
AN investigation has begun after sightings of a legendary "ape-like" beast in the forests of central China, state press said today.
The mythical creature was apparently seen by six people, including a journalist, in the Shennongjia Nature Reserve in China's Hubei province yesterday afternoon, the Xinhua news agency reported. [...]
TOKYO (AP) — The world's deepest-diving submarine is lost in the choppy Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan, dealing a blow to deep-sea research on everything from earthquakes to rare bacteria, an official said today.
Kaiko, which entered the record books in 1995 by diving 10,911.4 metres to the bottom of the Challenger Deep — the ocean's deepest point, snapped its tether as a typhoon approached in late May and has been missing ever since.
The Japan Marine Science and Technology Centre, which runs the bright yellow, 3.1-metre-long unmanned submersible, will decide Thursday whether to continue so-far fruitless searches for the vessel, spokesman Tomoaki Kanai said.
"We have no idea why it broke free. This is a first. But if we lose it, it's going to have a big impact on deep-sea research," Kanai said.
Equipped with two robot arms and four television cameras, the 1.8 billion-yen ($20.3-million Cdn) Kaiko is the world's only probe capable of plumbing the ocean's deepest points. [...]
Mon Jun 30, 8:56 AM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - This burglar could have used some lessons from Santa Claus.
A man became wedged in the chimney of an Italian family restaurant in Queens, New York, for almost three hours during an early Friday break-in, police and the owners said. [...]
Last Updated Mon, 30 Jun 2003 23:25:22
WASHINGTON - Between 1962 and 1973, the Pentagon involved more than 5,800 service members in its secret testing of dangerous chemical and biological agents.
Findings released Monday by the Pentagon said that during a 10-year period, 50 tests were conducted by the military to see how these chemical agents measured up.
Some of the tests used non-lethal bacteria and other experiments tested ways to use submarines to distribute biological weapons.
Officials said the tests were done to study the combat uses of biological and chemical weapons and how to protect American troops from such attacks.
It was originally believed that simulated agents were used in the testing, but last year the Defence Department admitted that real chemical and biological weapons were used.
One test called Blue Tango, involved spraying two types of bacteria, including E. coli, in a rain forest in Hawaii in 1968 to gauge how the bacteria would linger in the vegetation.
Another test, Folded Arrow, involved spraying bacillus globigii from a submarine over part of Oahu, Hawaii, and over several boats off the coast in 1968 to gauge how Venezuelan equine encephalitis would be carried by wind.
"It bespeaks the time, the early '60s, when we were in the Cold War, and we were concerned that Russia and perhaps China had chemical and biological capabilities that could be used against American troops and against us in the homeland," said an official with the Defence Department's Deployment Health Support Directorate.
The U.S. scrapped its biological weapons program in the late 1960s and agreed in a 1997 treaty to destroy all its chemical weapons.
Comment: For more on these tests, and others, see our Cosmic COINTELPRO Timeline.
June 30, 2003 04:35 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Shuttle Columbia commander Rick Husband and pilot William McCool knew that insulating foam hit the craft after liftoff, but were told it was "not even worth mentioning," according to an e-mail released on Monday.
Investigators have said the foam strike seconds after launch is the most probable cause of the Feb. 1 disaster, in which the craft disintegrated over Texas as it re-entered the atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts aboard...
"There is one item that I would like to make you aware of," Stich wrote. "This item is not even worth mentioning other than wanting to make sure that you are not surprised by it in a question from a reporter."...
"We have seen this same phenomenon on several other flights and there is absolutely no concern for entry," Stich added.
Cassiopaeans comment on the Shuttle "Event":
Q: One of the first questions we want to ask
tonight is about the event of the Space Shuttle that was lost.
First, was it an explosion, or was it just disintegration, or
Q: A direct hit by what?
Q: (S) What was the source of the EM pulse?
Q: Well, I thought Bush was a puppet of the
Consortium? (A) Well, we know that the military are scrambling
planes to go after UFOs…there are even reports of firing on
them and there have been reports of military jets being
disintegrated by UFOs. The UFOs are, somehow, in cahoots with the
consortium. It seems that Bush and the gang are not in control of
the Consortium and maybe they needed to be "reminded?"
Q: (L) You once before said that Bush knows very
little anyway - or that the "White House" level is pretty much in
the dark about the plans of the Consortium - even if they are
carrying them out. So, you are suggesting that they are being
driven by forces of which they are unaware and do not
Q: (L) I would like to know about this supposed
"body guard" of Saddam recently presented by MOSSAD? Was he one of
Saddam's former bodyguards?
Q: (L) Piece of cake to produce a bodyguard, I
guess. (A) He is saying exactly what the Israelis want him to say.
He is not revealing any particular data that counts. It is just
general things. Anybody could say such things and be called a
"bodyguard." (L) Exactly. Okay, you say that an EM pulse brought
down the shuttle. (A) Where did the EM pulse come from?
Q: (A) Does NASA know about the cause?
Q: (L) Which explains why they are so anxious to
convince everyone that it was NOT sabotage. Like Wellstone's death,
there was "no question" about it being a terrorist attack. The
likelihood is that the Bush Junta was behind Wellstone's death. In
both cases they "know" the cause and want to divert the attention
away from it. But, in the case of the shuttle, they aren't "dirty,"
but they most definitely do NOT want anyone to realize that they
also are not "in charge." It makes me think of the remark the C's
made a few years ago about the reason for the Military Industrial
Complex build-up and manipulations. C's said that the REAL enemy is
"out there" and that war was just a "cover" to prevent the masses
from realizing what they were really doing. Maybe Bush and the gang
are really convinced, in their own minds, that they are acting to
"protect" humanity from this threat. Meanwhile, they are simply
being driven to fulfill the agenda of the Consortium. And it is so
interesting that the shuttle broke up over Palestine, Texas…
as though it was saying to Bush: this is what is going to happen to
you: Palestine is going to be your destruction. But, of course,
Bush would be incapable of perceiving it in that context. Is it so
that a message was intended in this event?
Q: (L) In other words, everyone's reaction to the
event will depend on their own context. There is the view that it
was a "message to Bush." Bush and gang will, of course, see it only
as a stimulus to faster and more "decisive" military action. So, it
will really work on them the way it is wanted. (A) And of course,
we wonder how they will make use of this event.
Monday June 30, 2003
BOSTON (AP) The man whose lawsuit helped reveal the scope of the sex scandal in the Roman Catholic Church said Monday he has no memory of how he was found facedown in a river, but he denies it was a suicide attempt.
"All I know is that when I came out of it in the hospital, six days later, my head was throbbing, in the back, and I had a black eye in the front,'' Patrick McSorley said in his first public appearance since he was found in the Neponset River on June 18. "I'm not sure what led up to this.''
McSorley said he had gone to downtown Boston to get a boat license, and decided to go for a walk with a friend, whom he refused to identify, in Pope John Paul Park. He said the injuries happened when he was separated from the friend for several minutes, though he had no memory of how that occurred.
McSorley said he has occasionally had near-fainting spells in the past. He also said he was not robbed...
A lawsuit filed by McSorley, an alleged victim of defrocked priest John Geoghan, helped unveil the breadth of the clergy sexual abuse within the church. The lawsuit was among the first of hundreds eventually filed against the Boston Archdiocese claiming clergy sex abuse.
church settled with 86 plaintiffs, including McSorley, for $10
million in 2002. Hundreds of other cases are still
Mon June 30, 2003 09:00 AM ET
VIENNA (Reuters) - A woman lay awake during surgery for 45 minutes, unable to move or call for help, after staff forgot to hook up the machine pumping out anaesthetic, the Austrian daily Kurier reported Monday.
The woman was temporarily paralyzed because she had been given a muscle relaxant, and her ordeal ended only after a replacement doctor who came into the operating room saw tears in her eyes and noticed the machine was not connected properly.
The woman, who was undergoing abdominal surgery, is suing for 70,000 euro ($79,970) in damages, the hospital in the Austrian province of Carinthia confirmed.
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