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!

May 5-19, 2004

During this period we were experimenting with bolog-like format

The content below is saved from this blog.


As always, Caveat Lector!
The material presented in the linked articles does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editors. Research on your own and if you can validate any of the articles, or if you discover deception and/or an obvious agenda, we will appreciate if you drop us a line! We often post such comments along with the article synopses for the benefit of other readers.


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Contributing Editors
Laura Knight-Jadczyk
Sam Montgomery
Scott Ogrin
Joe Quinn
Henry See

Send your comments and suggestions to sottSPAMNOT@cassiopaea.com.


Columns

Laura Knight-Jadczyk

Mossad and Moving Companies:
Masterminds of Global Terrorism?

Let The Games Begin
May 16

Will the World End on Thursday?
May 13



Signs of the Times Archives

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To Be or Not To Be

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Something Wicked This Way Comes

Ascension

OPs: The Other Race

Cosmic COINTELPRO Timeline

Physics and the Mysterious


The Bogdanov Singularity


Quantum Future School


IMPEACH GEORGE BUSH!
Articles of Impeachment and the FAX number of your representative. Download, print and FAX.


"In the beginning of a change,
the patriot is a scarce and brave man, hated and scorned.
When his cause succeeds however,
the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."
Mark Twain


"Fear not the path of truth,
fear the lack of people walking on it."
Robert Francis Kennedy


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


The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside.
Allan Bloom
The Closing of the American Mind


This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.
Abraham Lincoln
First Inaugural Address


"It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong."
Voltaire


Faith of consciousness is freedom
Faith of feeling is weakness
Faith of body is stupidity.
Love of consciousness evokes the same in response
Love of feeling evokes the opposite
Love of the body depends only on type and polarity.
Hope of consciousness is strength
Hope of feeling is slavery
Hope of body is disease.
Gurdjieff


Life is religion. Life experiences reflect how one interacts with God. Those who are asleep are those of little faith in terms of their interaction with the creation. Some people think that the world exists for them to overcome or ignore or shut out. For those individuals, the worlds will cease. They will become exactly what they give to life. They will become merely a dream in the 'past.' People who pay strict attention to objective reality right and left, become the reality of the 'Future.'
Cassiopaea, 09-28-02


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1084996467|sogrin|PayPal Update|

On the May 5, 2004 Signs page, we wrote the following:

The final years of civilization as we know it promise to be exciting. In the years since Bush and cronies stole the last US presidential election, the road to chaos has been steamrollered and paved. Down that road at full throttle have come, internally in the US, the Patriot Act, which has abridged many rights that Americans had considered as fundamental and a theocracy where the Constitution of the United States takes a back seat to the Bible. In foreign policy, well, it amounts to do as we say or we'll bomb the hell out of you or use trade sanctions.

Maneuvers to impose full control over civilian populations are being implemented. The clampdown on free expression has started. Of course, all of these draconian measures are being imposed under the name of defending liberties.

And clearly, if they are going to want to impose as close to total control as possible, they are going to need to restrict the movement of money and the means people have to earn a living outside of "accepted channels."

We use the service PayPal to collect payment on orders of our books, cups, and t-shirts, as well as a means of accepting donations from people who wish to support our work.

The following arrived yesterday:

Date sent: Tue, 04 May 2004 06:02:43 -0700
From: service@intl.paypal.com
To: ***@cassiopaea.com
Subject: Notification of Limited Account Access

Dear Arkadiusz Jadczyk,

We regret to inform you that your PayPal account has been limited for violating the Offensive Material Acceptable Use Policy. PayPal, at its sole discretion, prohibits the sale of items which graphically portray violence or victims of violence, and lack substantial social, artistic or political value.

The policy related to this issue is listed at the following URL.

In order to reinstate your account, please either remove the graphic violence or products, or remove PayPal as a payment option from your website. Then, complete the on-line check list that appears on your PayPal account. Please note that disagreement with the Acceptable Use Policy is not an appeal.

Please understand that enforcement of our policies is not reflective of seller status or volume of sales. This action has been taken only after careful consideration of the severity of the violation, or your accounts history of previous offenses for this violation. We have reviewed each offense to verify that the correct action was taken by PayPal at the time.

If you have any questions, please email us at aup@paypal.com

We thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Sincerely,
PayPal Compliance Department

------------------------------------------------------------------

Please do not reply to this e-mail. Mail sent to this address cannot be answered. All of the information necessary to restore your account access is available on the PayPal website. For assistance, log in to your PayPal account and choose the "Help" link in the header of any page.

------------------------------------------------------------------

PayPal Email ID PP519

------------------------------------------------------------------

PayPal (Europe) Limited is authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Authority in the United Kingdom as an electronic money institution.

In other words, PayPal has frozen our account.

Their excuse: their policy "prohibits the sale of items which graphically portray violence or victims of violence, and lack substantial social, artistic or political value."

We tried contacting PayPal to find out which of our products or pages was the offensive item. They were unable to give us the answer. The woman who answered the phone read out the same blurb as in the email. When we asked for the specific items or pages, she informed us that she was not privy to that information. She told us to send in the appropriate form on their web site.

This we did, but having now done some research on PayPal, we are not confident that we shall we be hearing from them any time soon. Apparently, PayPal freezes the accounts of 2000 of its customers every day, as this story from a disgruntled former PayPal user discusses:


It turns out that we did hear from PayPal after all. The following e-mail arrived yesterday:

Date sent: Tue, 18 May 2004 19:28:10 -0700
From: service@paypal.com
To: ***@cassiopaea.com
Subject: Notification of Limited Account Access

Dear Laura Jadczyk,

The PayPal User Agreement states that PayPal, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to close an account for any violation of the User Agreement, including the Acceptable Use Policy. Under the Acceptable Use Policy, PayPal may not be used in the sale of items or support of organizations that promote hate, violence, or racial intolerance. This includes pictures showing victims of violence. The complete Acceptable Use Policy addressing Offensive Material can be found at the following URL.

Due to the violation of PayPal's Acceptable Use Policy, your account will be closed. If you have a remaining balance, we will be issuing this to you by check. Please be sure that your account information is accurate, as PayPal cannot be held responsible for incorrect information provided by the account holder.

Please note that accounts found in violation of PayPal's Offensive Material Policy will not be reinstated. Enforcement of our policies is not reflective of seller status or volume of sales. This action has been taken only after careful consideration and have reviewed each offense to verify that the correct action was taken by PayPal at the time.

You will need to remove all references to PayPal from your website(s) and/or auction(s). This includes not only removing PayPal as a payment option, but also the PayPal shopping cart and logo. We thank you in advance for your cooperation. If you have any questions, please contact the PayPal Compliance Department at aup@paypal.com.

Sincerely,
PayPal Compliance Department
PayPal, an Ebay Company

------------------------------------------------------------------

Please do not reply to this e-mail. Mail sent to this address cannot be answered. All of the information necessary to restore your account access is available on the PayPal website. For assistance, log in to your PayPal account and choose the "Help" link in the header of any page.

------------------------------------------------------------------

PayPal Email ID PP520

------------------------------------------------------------------

We also received a link to the The Free Network Project web site from a QFS member. It seems that Paypal has been very busy freezing the accounts of sites that it deems inappropriate:

17th May, 2004 : Paypal suspends Freenet donations account

Paypal has frozen the account we use to accept donations over the web, they refuse to give any reason other than "use of an anonymous proxy", which suggests that someone at Paypal took a dislike to the goals of our project, since I have never used an anonymous proxy to access Paypal (this being the activity I assume they sought to prevent). It is fortunate that Johann Gutenberg did not rely on Paypal to fund his work on the printing press, which also allowed anonymous publication of information, since his account would probably have been frozen too.

If you are concerned about whether your account might be at risk due to your political opinions you may wish to speak to their PR contact Hani Durzy at (408) 376 7458. If you are an investor and you would like to see what other political opinions Paypal doesn't like, you may want to speak to their Investor contact Tracey Ford at (408) 376 7205.

They have said that they will refund our outstanding balance ($550) by check, but all of the projects subscriptions have been canceled which is a significant setback. Other means of accepting donations, including E-Gold, are still active. Anyone wishing to make a donation by check should email me directly. Unfortunately neither of these methods are as convenient as Paypal, but we will do our best to find an alternative ASAP.

What is Freenet?

Freenet is free software which lets you publish and obtain information on the Internet without fear of censorship. To achieve this freedom, the network is entirely decentralized and publishers and consumers of information are anonymous. Without anonymity there can never be true freedom of speech, and without decentralization the network will be vulnerable to attack.

Communications by Freenet nodes are encrypted and are "routed-through" other nodes to make it extremely difficult to determine who is requesting the information and what its content is.

Users contribute to the network by giving bandwidth and a portion of their hard drive (called the "data store") for storing files. Unlike other peer-to-peer file sharing networks, Freenet does not let the user control what is stored in the data store. Instead, files are kept or deleted depending on how popular they are, with the least popular being discarded to make way for newer or more popular content. Files in the data store are encrypted to reduce the likelihood of prosecution by persons wishing to censor Freenet content.

The network can be used in a number of different ways and isn't restricted to just sharing files like other peer-to-peer networks. It acts more like an Internet within an Internet. [...]

It appears that the lockdown of the internet is taking place under our very noses. Web sites such as Cassiopaea.org and Freenet have no recourse against the censorship that is quietly occurring right now. While many have been expecting a sort of "Internet 9/11" event, the powers that be have already begun clamping down. As we wrote above:

And clearly, if they are going to want to impose as close to total control as possible, they are going to need to restrict the movement of money and the means people have to earn a living outside of "accepted channels."

Perhaps we should all consider the possibility that the movement of money will not simply be restricted, but completely controlled to the extent that it will not be possible at all for web sites such Cassiopaea to accept any donations or payments from anyone. In the short run, there are other payment options available. We are working as fast as we can to set up an alternative payment system. But even if other payment mechanisms are not jammed by the puppet masters, the actual content of web sites devoted to the search for truth may itself become illegal very soon. It is already dangerous to criticize Israel's actions against the Palestinians. Even if one makes a distinction between Jews and the Zionists that seem to control the Israel/US alliance, one is still branded an anti-Semite.

We will continue to publish Signs of the Times as long as we possibly can. If information on the internet is controlled, one can bet that printed material on certain topics will be banned. Total control means total control.

Any readers that have not read Laura Knight-Jadczyk's groundbreaking work Ancient Science may wish to purchase a copy sooner rather than later.

Other anti-PayPal sites:

PayPalSucks

PayPalWarning.com


|||10|| 1084990893|sogrin|Official: al-Qaida Seeks Chemical Strike|By KATHERINE PFLEGER SHRADER, Associated Press Writer
Tue May 18,11:05 PM ET


WASHINGTON - The top intelligence official at the Homeland Security Department, worried about an increased risk of attack in coming months, says al-Qaida wants to strike on U.S. soil with something other than a conventional explosive ¨ perhaps with a chemical or biological weapon.

Retired Lt. Gen. Patrick Hughes said in an Associated Press interview that America has gotten better at predicting and safeguarding itself against attacks since Sept. 11, 2001.
But Hughes said he fears that new terrorists "are being made every single day on the streets of the Middle East."

As Homeland Secretary Tom Ridge prepares to testify Wednesday before the Sept. 11 commission in New York, Hughes and his deputies at the agency's information analysis division say the nation's security has improved since the terrorist attacks claimed nearly 3,000 lives.

"We had a dark age on 9/11," Hughes said in the interview Monday evening. "Now, we are trying to make ourselves more secure in a way that is palatable and constitutionally right."

Still, significant threats remain, especially now, as high "background noise" from terrorists and heightened sensitivity during the election year has officials on guard for a possible attack whose nature they can't quite pin down.

Hughes marks the orange alert at the holidays as the start of a new era of threats. [...]

Still, for reasons Hughes can't explain, there was no attack at the holidays. Ridge, too, has said he believes an attack was averted.

Perhaps, Hughes said, it comes down to the work of the government, here and overseas: Passengers and flights, most originating out of Europe, were searched in extraordinary ways. Some were canceled. [...]

Comment: It is Hughes' job to protect America. He's not sure why there were no attacks during the orange alert around the holidays. He thinks that bothering a whole lot of travelers from Europe helped prevent an attack, but he's not really sure. Thus, the good Lieutenant General protects America by doing things that may or may not work, and after he thinks that the threat has subsided, he's not sure if anything he did helped or not. Essentially, Hughes has little idea about anything related to terrorist attacks. It seems that the only thing that is certain about Hughes' job is that he will be the fallguy if an attack happens on his watch.
|||8|| 1084988734|sogrin|Reuters, NBC Staff Abused by U.S. Troops in Iraq|By Andrew Marshall
Tuesday, May 18, 2004 6:37 p.m. ET


BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. forces beat three Iraqis working for Reuters and subjected them to sexual and religious taunts and humiliation during their detention last January in a military camp near Falluja, the three said on Tuesday.

The three first told Reuters of the ordeal after their release but only decided to make it public when the U.S. military said there was no evidence they had been abused, and following the exposure of similar mistreatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.

An Iraqi journalist working for U.S. network NBC, who was arrested with the Reuters staff, also said he had been beaten and mistreated, NBC said on Tuesday.

Two of the three Reuters staff said they had been forced to insert a finger into their anuses and then lick it, and were forced to put shoes in their mouths, particularly humiliating in Arab culture.

All three said they were forced to make demeaning gestures as soldiers laughed, taunted them and took photographs. They said they did not want to give details publicly earlier because of the degrading nature of the abuse.

The soldiers told them they would be taken to the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, deprived them of sleep, placed bags over their heads, kicked and hit them and forced them to remain in stress positions for long periods. [...]
|||8|| 1084988457|sogrin|Doctrine of 'kill, kill and kill again' angers British officers|By Kim Sengupta
The Independent
19 May 2004


Senior British officers are angry and despondent at what they see as a US doctrine in Iraq of "kill, kill and kill again", and are determined that their troops should not be under direct American command, according to a report.

The simmering tension between the militaries of the two allies has been highlighted in the American magazine, Newsweek, which also describes how a British officer unsuccessfully urged his US counterparts to do the "decent thing" and free the Iraqi inmates from the notorious Abu Ghraib prison. [...]

Comment: Speaking of freeing innocent and severely traumatized Iraqis from Abu Ghraib:
U-S military to release 472 prisoners from Abu Ghraib on Friday

AP
May 19, 2004


Baghdad, Iraq - The U-S military says it'll set another 472 prisoners free from Abu Ghraib (grayb) prison on Friday.

More than 290 detainees were released from the jail last Friday.

Abu Ghraib has been at the center of the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal. It's also known as the site of numerous executions and tortures during Saddam Hussein's reign.

The facility has been used to hold detainees considered security risks.

It is now widely known that America tortures inmates in the notorious Iraqi prison in ways worse than what Saddam used to do, according to some former prisoners. It seems that it was just the right time to magically transform hundreds of the "security risks" back into regular Iraqis by releasing them. Yes, dear readers, this is one of the marvels of the US system of justice: innocent people can be detained, beaten, abused, humiliated - and then, having been completely "reformed" and stripped of any shred of dignity or humanity, they can be released back into the general public.
|||8|| 1084986997|sogrin|Washington to stop funding Iraqi whose misleading WMD claims hastened war|By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
The Independent
19 May 2004


Washington said yesterday that it was to cease funding the Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi, the former exile whose "intelligence reports" and claims about Americans' likely reception among his countrymen helped push the Bush administration to war.

Officials said the Pentagon would stop paying Mr Chalabi's group, the Iraqi National Congress (INC), $340,000 (˙192,000) a month at the end of June, when the US is due to return sovereignty of Iraq.

Entifadh Qanbar, an INC spokesman in Washington, said: "After 30 June, we expect all funding by US agencies to be ceased because the Iraqi government will be sovereign."

The decision underlines Washington's growing frustration and disillusionment with the INC, which í for several years í had the ear of the administration as it supported the ousting of Saddam Hussein. The US í either through the CIA or the State Department í has provided tens of millions of dollars to the INC in exchange for information about Iraq and defectors from the regime.

Although it suited the neo-conservative hawks in the administration to latch on to much of what the INC was saying, most í if indeed not all í of the predictions it made about the situation America would discover in Iraq have been proved wrong. [...]

Comment: Tens of millions of dollars for a bunch of lies... But then, groups like the CIA are in the business of lying. The CIA also happens to be in the terror business - death squads, assassinations, overthrowing governments, drug running - the kinds of things that have happened in Afghanistan and Iraq.
|||8|| 1084985968|sogrin|Anti-American sentiment rising in Asia|AFP
Wednesday May 19, 2:57 PM


Anti-American sentiment is rising in Asia, in sharp contrast with the dramatic improvement in government-to-government ties between the United States and the region, experts told a forum convened here to gauge America's role in Asia.

"In fact I would say that anti-American sentiment is growing at a disturbing rate and has never been that bad as it has become today," former senior South Korean diplomat Kim Kyong-won told the conference in Washington.

He said US-Northeast Asia inter-governmental relations at present had blossomed to "unprecedented" levels, with Washington close to governments in China, South Korea and Japan. [...]
|||2|| 1084985803|sogrin|Israel forges ahead with bloody southern Gaza raid|May 19, 2004

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AFP) - Israeli troops forged ahead with a massive operation in the southern Gaza Strip which has already left at least 20 Palestinians dead in one of the bloodiest raids of the whole intifada.

Four more Palestinians were taken to hospital in the early hours after being shot by Israeli troops in the Tal al-Sultan area of Rafah, the scene of the worst violence.

Israeli military sources said the four had been shot while approaching troops who have fanned out across the impoverished town on the southern tip of Gaza.

The Palestinian leadership has accused the Israelis of conducting a "war of extermination" while the UN Security Council is considering its response to events.

Twenty people were killed on Tuesday on the first day of the operation, including two children who were hit by Israeli bullets while playing at home.

While there were no reports of new fatalities on Wednesday, Palestinian medics said the number of wounded had risen to around 50, 10 of whom were in a serious condition. [...]

Most of the phone lines are down, while the water and electricity networks have been destroyed.

"The Israeli army destroyed the generator for the sewage pumping station and waste is now spilling into the streets. The health situation is horrible," said Hassan Abu Yusef, a Tal al-Sultan resident.

Comment: When Palestinians accuse the Israelis of a war of extermination, this is the type of event to which they are referring. The disease that will result from this one act could end up killing countless Palestinians. Does this sound like a war against terrorists, or an attempt to wipe out an entire people?

"I also saw an Israeli bulldozer starting to demolish a building as people were still inside. No notice was given."

"In people's homes, no one can even come close to the windows because you can get shot at any moment or killed by shrapnel," Abu Yusef told AFP.

Israeli troops were blaring announcements through loudspeakers every two hours confirming that a total curfew was still in force.

The army said it had only demolished seven houses in Rafah since the start of "Operation Rainbow", including one belonging to a member of the radical Islamic Jihad faction who shot dead a woman resident of a nearby Jewish settlement and her four children on May 2.

The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees says more than 1,000 people were made homeless during a programme of demolitions in Rafah last week.

The UN Security Council discussed a proposed resolution overnight condemning the demolition of houses in Rafah and calling for it to stop immediately.

But the measure, which diplomats said had broad support on the council, was met with a counter-proposal by the United States, which has regularly blocked council action criticising Israel. [...]
|||8|| 1084982879|sogrin|Declaration On Zionism And The State Of Israel|From Neturei Karta on behalf of Torah true Jews to the Palestinian People and the Arab and Muslim world.

5-17-4

A statement delivered by Rabbi Yisroel D. Weiss of Neturei Karta Int. at a rally in Times Square, New York City on May 14, 2004, organized by many major American-Muslim organizations in commemoration of Al-Nakba Day (The day of the creation of the 'State' of Israel) --

Torah true Jews mourn the fifty six years of the illegitimate State of Israel in Palestine and express their solidarity and deep sympathy with the Palestinian People in their suffering and struggle against the Zionist oppression.

The practical outcome of Zionism in the form of the State known as 'Israel', is completely alien to Judaism and the Jewish Faith and has been and continues to be the cause of untold suffering and bloodshed both Jewish and non-Jewish.

With a continuing chain of events over more than half a century, ranging from the withholding of the 'right of return' from the Palestinian refugees and leading currently to such issues as the 'wall' and 'extra judicial assassinations', Zionism has proven to be one of the greatest desecrations of God's name and the Jewish religion.

The Jewish Religion is a spiritual belief handed down through the generations for thousands of years. It is a basic part of the Jewish belief, to accept willingly, the Heavenly decree of exile affecting the Jewish People and not to try and fight against it or to end it by our own hands.

In practical terms, exile for us means that Jews must be loyal subjects of the countries in which they live and not attempt to rule over the established indigenous populations of those countries. The Torah certainly forbids us to form a State of our own. This applies whether in the world at large or in Palestine.

The Zionist movement, however, which was founded approximately 100 years ago based on secular nationalistic aims, was a complete abandonment of our religious teachings and faith in general, and in particular an abandonment of our approach to our state of exile and to the peoples among whom we live.

The ideology of Zionism is secular and atheistic and advocates taking the law into ones own hands by trying to force the outcome in the form of a State. Irrespective of the cost in life and property to anyone who stands in the way. The Zionist ideology is the antithesis of Jewish religious values and is an embarrassment and a disgrace to the Jewish People.

One must add to the wrongs of Zionism and the state of "Israel", the fact, that in order to achieve an ill conceived nationalistic ambition, a shocking contravention of the Jewish Religious values of natural and humanitarian justice was committed, in setting up an illegitimate sectarian regime in Palestine, completely against the wishes and over the heads of the established population, the Palestinians, both Arab and God fearing Jew. This inevitably had to be based on illegal confiscation of property and loss of life.

According to the Torah and Jewish faith, the present Palestinian Arab claim to rule in Palestine is right and just. The Zionist claim is wrong and criminal. Our attitude to the 'State of Israel' is that the whole concept is flawed and illegitimate. It is a tragedy for the Palestinians and also for the Jewish people.

Furthermore, the Zionists have made themselves to appear as the representatives and spokespeople of all Jews, thus, with their actions, arousing animosity against the Jews. But, their claim is simply not true! Zionism is not Judaism. Zionists cannot speak in the name of Jews.

Finally, we stress that the connection between Arab and Jew goes right back into ancient history. Mostly the relationship was friendly and mutually beneficial. Historically, the situation frequently was that when Jews were being persecuted in Europe they found refuge in the various Arab and Muslim countries. Our attitude to Muslims and Arabs can only be one of friendliness and respect.

We are awaiting the annulment of Zionism and the peaceful, speedy, dismantling of the State of Israel, and would welcome the opportunity to dwell in peace in the holy land under Palestinian rule.

Ultimately we await the revelation of God's glory through out the world, when all mankind will recognize the one God and serve Him together in harmony and happiness. AMEN

RABBI COHEN - London, U.K.
RABBI WEISS - New York, U.S.A.
RABBI HIRSH - Jerusalem, Palestine.
|||8|| 1084982376|sogrin|Brussels lifts EU ban on GM food|May 19, 2004

BRUSSELS (AFP) - The European Union defied public opinion and green campaigners by effectively lifting a five-year-old ban on bio-engineered food.

The EU's executive commission endorsed an application by Swiss biotech company Syngenta to import a genetically modified (GM) sweetcorn, BT-11, into the 25-nation bloc. [...]

Syngenta was given approval to import the GM tinned sweetcorn into the 25-nation bloc for 10 years, provided the cans are clearly labelled as containing GM products.

A number of other companies are hoping to follow the trail blazed by Syngenta. The EU is analysing another 33 applications for the breeding or cultivation of GM crops in Europe. [...]
|||7|| 1084982025|sogrin|Blair hit during Commons protest|BBC
Wednesday, 19 May, 2004, 13:23 GMT


The House of Commons has been suspended during Prime Minister's question time after what appeared to be purple powder was thrown at Tony Blair.

Mr Blair was speaking during his weekly half-hour appearance in the Commons when a projectile filled with purple powder hit him on his back.

MPs were immediately evacuated. Tests suggest the powder was "benign" and not dangerous. [...]

Matt O'Connor, spokesman for Fathers 4 Justice, said two members of the group were involved in the incident to highlight MPs' failure to help fathers gain access to children through the courts.

"They were fighting for equal rights for dads. Purple is the international colour of equality," he said. [...]

"Thank God it has not led to danger and fatality," Mr Blunkett added. [...]

The MP, who was in the chamber during question time, said he heard a large shout from the public gallery area from an individual who appeared to be "running forward".

Blair calm

"He threw what looked like a paint ball at the prime minister and shouted Fathers 4 Justice," he said.

"At that point the prime minister remained remarkably calm, I thought, if not a bit confused and the Speaker quite rightly suspended the session.

"Police were then seen rushing into the chamber to try to arrest the individual. There was absolutely no panic at all.

"I am absolutely convinced what happened today was a serious security breach and it could have put the prime minister's life at risk."
|||8|| 1084981009|sogrin|Poll suggests ID card backlash|BBC
Wednesday, 19 May, 2004, 09:58 GMT


The government could face a public backlash to its proposals on ID cards a new survey has found.

Up to 5 million people (28%) would demonstrate against ID cards the survey conducted by online research firm YouGov found.

One million would be prepared to go to prison rather than register for a card.

The survey paints a different picture to the recent MORI poll which found that 80% of UK citizens were in favour of cards. [...]
|||8|| 1084980448|sogrin|Congress to choose India's new PM|BBC
Wednesday, 19 May, 2004, 10:59 GMT


Congress MPs in India are about to meet with expectations high that they will approve the man who began the country's economic reforms as prime minister.

Manmohan Singh is a former finance minister and, if selected, would become India's first Sikh prime minister.

Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi appears to have resisted late efforts to persuade her to change her mind about turning down the post.

Hundreds of emotional supporters are still besieging her house.

Senior Congress members had earlier resigned from their posts to put pressure on Mrs Gandhi to rethink her decision. [...]

Congress activists angered over Mrs Gandhi's decision smashed windows at the party offices on Wednesday.

She and her close aides have been meeting alliance partners through Wednesday morning, all of whom have said they will support her choice for the post.

Vigil

Riot police have now been deployed in the sweltering heat outside Mrs Gandhi's Delhi residence which is under siege from Congress party supporters.

When news filtered through to them of the Congress party efforts to make Mrs Gandhi change her mind, they burst into cheers of "Bring back Sonia Gandhi". [...]

A Reader Comments:
I work with a large number of people of Indian descent. They are, for the most part, disturbed by the results of the latest election. The reasons for their concern are many:

1) The result was a surprise (i.e. contradicted both polling results and exit polls the day of the election)

2) The current government was "doing well" with the economy expanding, jobs being created, relative peace with Pakistan, etc.

3) The winning coalition is highly influenced and supported by the communists who, generally speaking, wish to return to a more isolationist international set of policies (which fly in the face of the economic success)

4) This was a rather transparent power grab using the magical name "Gandhi" for its own marketability's sake, by someone who is essentially a foreigner.

There are other reasons I cannot easily capture because I do not fully understand, but it is relatively clear to me that something about this smells.

There are more registered voters in India than people in the population of the USA. Historically, votes were counted by paper ballot by local committees, and these results communicated up through government channels, etc. This process took days. In our Internet "instant gratification" era, this was perceived to be backwards. The solution was to convert the voting system largely over to the automated electronic voting machines. This eliminates the delay and allows such a massive vote to be presented as a result, essentially in near real time, but most importantly, does not yield an audit trail.

I cannot pin my finger on it, but I believe the Indian election results was actually an experiment. The experiment was to rig the election of an entire country using the electronic voting machines (and of a country where the side effects of the choice were not likely to be seen as strategically important) and to see if "anyone noticed".

If this is the case, the experiment seems to have been a wild success because I have not seen any serious consideration of the possibility that the election was rigged. Of extreme interest is that the person who started this process, Sonia Gandhi, has essentially stepped aside. To me, this is a bizarre result, but I do not claim to be able to appreciate the subtleties of government forming in the Parliamentary System.

Regardless of the particulars of the election outcome, it seems that overt manipulation is not widely suspected and the illusion of democracy remains. This does not bode well for the future of "democracy" in the good ole USA, but it does bode well for the preservation of the illusion.

In the US, John Kerry also seems to be characterized as a "foreigner" with a magical name: JFK. One may also observe that the Indian election may not have been the only experiment - the train bombing before the Spanish elections was regarded by some as a "test" by terrorists. Of course, it could just as easily been a test by the powers that be.

In any case, definite links between these events are hard to pin down at this point. What isn't so difficult to see is the effects that such events are having upon the world's population: fear, confusion, and anger. E-voting systems are sweeping the globe, making it easier than ever to rig elections. Threats from terrorists, real or imagined, have nearly paralyzed the American masses. It appears that world leaders and their puppet masters are leading the sheeple in a certain direction that does not appear to be beneficial for the herd.

|||2|| 1084978308|sogrin|Thousands in Tehran anti-US march|BBC
Wednesday, 19 May, 2004, 09:39 GMT


Thousands of Iranians have marched on the streets of Tehran to protest against US and UK policy in Iraq.

Demonstrators also hurled petrol bombs at the British embassy but no serious damage was reported.

The protesters held placards and chanted slogans denouncing coalition troops for fighting in the Iraqi cities of Najaf and Karbala, sacred to Shias. [...]

Their ranks were swelled by up to 3,000 more, some of whom then broke away from the main demonstration.

Petrol bombs and bricks were hurled at the building by protesters who were kept at a distance by a cordon of riot police. [...]

Wednesday's march drew to a climax in Tehran's enormous Inghelab (Revolution) square, where protesters burned American, British and Israeli flags. [...]
|||8|| 1084974280|sogrin|Typhoon Causes 19 Deaths in Philippines|By AARON FAVILA, Associated Press Writer
May 19, 2004


VIRAC, Philippines - A powerful typhoon slammed into the Philippines, causing at least 19 deaths on eastern islands in the archipelago. Hundreds of people were left homeless, officials said Wednesday, as the storm blew toward Japan.

Typhoon Nida, with winds of 90 mph and gusts of up to 115 mph, triggered landslides and capsized a ferry, and several more people were feared dead. [...]

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo declared a disaster in eight eastern provinces, allowing officials to draw money for relief efforts from emergency funds.

In Catanduanes province, hundreds of houses were destroyed by landslides and strong winds in three villages in the mountainous town of Gigmoto, leaving about 700 families homeless, the government's disaster response agency said.

Nida, the fourth typhoon to hit the archipelago this year, also stranded more than 15,000 people after authorities halted sea travel to prevent accidents. As the weather improved, some ferries were allowed to sail, officials said. [...]
|||11|| 1084973778|sogrin|Moon rock goes missing|May 19, 2004

VALLETTA (Reuters) - A small moon rock donated to Malta in 1970 by then U.S. President Richard Nixon has been stolen from the island's National Museum of Natural History.

In-Nazzjon newspaper said on Wednesday it was not clear how the theft occurred. The stone was found missing on Tuesday.
|||7|| 1084970465|sogrin|Disaster may have killed ancients|By Paul Rincon
BBC News Online science staff
Wednesday, 19 May, 2004, 08:59 GMT


The remains of 28 early humans found buried at the bottom of a cave shaft in northern Spain may belong to a group that died suddenly in a "catastrophe".

Experts conducted an analysis to determine whether it was likely the bodies accumulated in the shaft over years or were dumped at the same time.

They concluded the 350,000-year-old death chamber may have held the victims of a disease outbreak or a massacre.

The study details are published in the Journal of Anthropological Research.

"We still don't know how they died. But what does seem increasingly clear is that the death of these people could have been simultaneous," Jose Bermudez de Castro, co-director of the Atapuerca excavation, told BBC News Online. [...]

The bodies in the pit belong to a hominid species called Homo heidelbergensis, which may have been the common ancestor of the Neanderthals and modern humans (Homo sapiens).

However, exactly how the bodies came to be deposited at the bottom of the shaft has always perplexed and intrigued those researchers that have excavated the site. [...]
|||5|| 1084968802|sogrin|
Picture of the Day
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Č2004 Pierre-Paul Feyte


|||9|| 1084899923|jquin|Sarin Nerve Agent Bomb Explodes in Iraq|Mon May 17
By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA, Associated Press Writer


BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. soldiers found a roadside bomb containing sarin nerve agent in Baghdad, the military said Monday. The device, which partially detonated, was apparently a leftover from Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s arsenals. It was unclear whether more such weapons were in the hands of insurgents.

Soldiers who removed the bomb experienced symptoms consistent with low-level nerve agent exposure, U.S. officials said. No one was wounded in the partial blast Saturday, and the dispersal of sarin from the bomb was very limited, the military said.

If confirmed in subsequent testing, the discovery would be the first evidence of a banned weapon in Iraq (news - web sites) since the war began. The Bush administration based its case for the war on the existence of such weapons. [...]

Comment: Wow! What a surprise! Apparently 'ol Bushy was right all along! Hey, but lets face it, if anyone was going to find WMDs in Iraq it was the US, especially since they put them there...

Flashback: U.S. Unloading WMD in Iraq

March 15 2004

TEHRAN (Mehr News Agency) "Over the past few days, in the wake of the bombings in Karbala and the ideological disputes that delayed the signing of Iraq's interim constitution, there have been reports that U.S. forces have unloaded a large cargo of parts for constructing long-range missiles and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the southern ports of Iraq.

A reliable source from the Iraqi Governing Council, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Mehr News Agency that U.S. forces, with the help of British forces stationed in southern Iraq, had made extensive efforts to conceal their actions.

He added that the cargo was unloaded during the night as attention was still focused on the aftermath of the deadly bombings in Karbala and the signing of Iraq's interim constitution.

The source said that in order to avoid suspicion, ordinary cargo ships were used to download the cargo, which consisted of weapons produced in the 1980s and 1990s.

He mentioned the fact that the United States had facilitated Iraq's WMD program during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq and said that some of the weapons being downloaded are similar to those weapons, although international inspectors had announced Saddam HusseinGăÍs Baath regime had destroyed all its WMD. The source went on to say that the rest of the weapons were probably transferred in vans to an unknown location somewhere in the vicinity of Basra overnight.

"Most of these weapons are of Eastern European origin and some parts are from the former Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc. The U.S. obtained them through confiscations during sales of banned arms over the past two decades" he said.

This action comes as certain U.S. and Western officials have been pointing out the fact that no weapons of mass destruction have been discovered in Iraq and the issue of SaddamGăÍs trial begins to take center stage. In addition, former chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix has emphasized that the U.S. and British intelligence agencies issued false reports on Iraq leading to the U.S. attack.
|||2|| 1084874805|jquin|Fireballs in the sky over Prince Albert|PRINCE ALBERT - The skies were alive over Prince Albert Saturday afternoon.

Gord Harding isn't sure what he saw; he thinks it might have been five or six meteorites. He believes they were travelling too fast to have been aircraft.

Harding was at Birch Hills, about 40 kilometres southeast of Prince Albert, when a loud noise overhead caught his attention.

"First I thought it was a plane", says Harding. "And then I looked and there were five, and they were all just roaring when they went over top."

Harding took photographs of the objects as they streaked northwestward, toward Prince Albert. One of the photographs actually shows six trails of smoke or vapour in the sky.

After taking the photos, Harding called his wife in Prince Albert, and she looked out and watched as they passed over the city.

Meanwhile, police in Prince Albert say they did not received any calls from people wondering what was in the skies overhead.
|||11|| 1084839599|jquin|Rumsfeld's secret OK led to Abu Ghraib interrogations|US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved a secret program that encouraged interrogation methods used at Abu Ghraib prison, where Iraqi prisoners were abused, a US magazine reported.

Rumsfeld had approved "a highly secret operation" last year, which "encouraged physical coercion and the sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners in an effort to generate more intelligence
|||8|| 1084839472|jquin|How a secret Pentagon program came to Abu Ghraib|The roots of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal lie not in the criminal inclinations of a few Army reservists but in a decision, approved last year by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, to expand a highly secret operation, which had been focussed on the hunt for Al Qaeda, to the interrogation of prisoners in Iraq.

RumsfeldĂs decision embittered the American intelligence community, damaged the effectiveness of Tlite combat units, and hurt AmericaĂs prospects in the war on terror. According to interviews with several past and present American intelligence officials, the PentagonĂs operation, known inside the intelligence community by several code words, including Copper Green, encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners in an effort to generate more intelligence

Comment: The main goal in all of this is to effect the desensitisation of the American and world public to the brutal, inhumane actions of the people that run the show here on the BBM. As each step is taken each of us is presented with a choice to either See it for what it is and reject it or to attempt to justify it in some way and thereby condone it. If we choose the latter we align ourselves with the entropic dynamic and ourselves take one step closer to annihilation.
|||8|| 1084838928|jquin|Local disc jockeys who laughed at beheading are fired|The radio station KNRK at 94.7 FM is issuing an apology to its listeners after talk show hosts Marconi, Tiny and sidekick Nickie J. laughed at and ridiculed the beheading of American Nick Berg. The three were fired Thursday afternoon, after airing the audio recording of Berg's murder repeatedly on Wednesday and laughing at the incident. [...]
|||3|| 1084838759|jquin|BERG BEHEADING IS A BUSH "PSY OP"|Just in the nick of time, as the crusaders were going into meltdown over the outrage of the sexual perversions and torture photos of iraqi prisoners being released into the semiosphere, the word came down from up top, "We need a distraction, an atrocity, an outrage and we need it NOW!"

It's the classic "CIA, Black Op" it appears that The CIA arranged for some of their Iraqi musclemen (most likely Ahmed Chalabi) to cut off the head of what appears to be an American intelligence agent cutout for a staged atrocity, "made to order." It looks like a "Sheep dip" operation. Berg is an Oswald. A patsy. A made to order, fall guy. A sleeper, waiting to be activated, this time as a sacrificial lamb to distract the comatose masses as they sit there and say, "Take my rights but protect my precious flesh."
|||8|| 1084837417|jquin|UK considers electronic borders|Government agencies collaborate on plans to track every UK arrival and departure

The government is working on plans to electronically track every person crossing UK borders to help fight crime, terrorism and illegal immigration [...]

Comment: The process of clamping down on civil liberties was never going to happen overnight, to do so would leave open the possibility that the majority might actually awaken. The actual process is one in which the restrictions are put in place slowly, one by one, with many diversions and seeming justifications. In this way, not only is physical imprisonment assured, but it is done with the tacit consent of the inmates, directly involving them in their own demise and denying them any right to reclamation.
|||8|| 1084836726|jquin|An ugly prison record|Given the way it treats its own inmates, America shouldn't be shocked at the abuse of Iraqis, by

Christopher Reed

For a nation founded on slavery and genocide, Americans retain an astonishingly enduring faith in their continuing righteousness. They are sounding this note again as the prison torture scandal continues in Iraq.

In a column in the New York Times last week, Middle East analyst Thomas Friedman warned that the revelations created the "danger of losing America as an instrument of moral authority and inspiration in the world."

Does he not read the world's newspapers? Uncle Sam as moral authority?


Other U.S. pundits similarly harrumphed about America's endangered integrity and leadership. President George W. Bush himself said the prison mistreatments were not the American way.

But they were, and they are.

Friedman's column was headlined, "Restoring our honour," but the abuse of prisoners surprises nobody who reads newspapers or scans the Internet. Americans have been mistreating and torturing their fellow Americans in their own lock-ups for decades. What honour is there to restore?

In "liberal" California, horror stories have appeared for years from hellholes such as Pelican Bay prison, where they house "the worst of the worst" ¨ and also inflict the worst brutalities. A prisoner dumped in scalding water so his skin peeled off like old varnish; prisoners left naked outside in rainy and bitter weather for days; multiple beatings and rapes; several unexplained deaths.

In Corcoran prison, California, guards held their own Roman gladiator games with prisoners pitted against each other in fights to the near death. A disliked and defenceless prisoner was placed in the same cell as the biggest and baddest sex criminal ¨ known as the Booty Bandit ¨ to be duly raped to the amusement of the prisoner's supposed guardians.

Pelican Bay is such a fearful place, with prisoners kept under perpetual scrutiny while unable to see any other human being, a psychiatrist told a court that many were going insane.

A federal judge finally ordered reforms, as did another over Corcoran, but there is little evidence that either have become proper places even to house the worst.

Similar reports surface across America. Texas is especially bad.

Significantly, private, for-profit prisons have some of the worst records.

They often have such poor medical facilities that prisoners die from curable conditions, as Harper's magazine revealed in an exhaustive inquiry last year.

California holds more prisoners than Britain, France, Germany, and Canada combined, yet jails are still grossly overcrowded. Conditions in many southern U.S. prisons resemble some of the worst of the developing world, with prisoners sleeping on filthy floors overrun by rats.

In 1999, it was reported that 13 women at California's state-run Chowchilla female detention centre had died the previous year from negligent, or non-existent, medical care. Amnesty International reported in 1999 that male guards in several U.S. states routinely raped female prisoners.

In a book published in 2001, Going Up The River, former Wall Street Journal reporter Joseph Hallinan told of visiting a prison in Alabama where chained inmates still broke boulders with sledgehammers.

The sheriff of Phoenix, Ariz. was re-elected by loyal voters after bringing in female convict chain gangs. All this has been going on since Saddam Hussein was a young man.

It has worsened in recent years, despite a massive prison-building program that now incarcerates 2 million, the world's largest prison population.

Yet Americans have mostly ignored the disgrace of their penal system.

They became so fearful of crime, they lost consideration for the lives of criminals. Any idea of rehabilitation has been abandoned. Even when scandals over mistreatment do emerge, many say the inmates deserve it.

This does not excuse commentators such as Friedman, or the shocked, shocked, demeanour of U.S. news anchors and commentators.

Yet the details from Iraq itself support the view that prisoner abuse in Iraq was inevitable.

At Abu Ghraib prison, the alleged main perpetrator is staff sergeant Ivan "Chip" Frederick, 37, the senior of six non-officers charged with cruelty and other mistreatment. He is a part-time military policeman called up last year for service in Baghdad ¨ and was a prison guard for six years in Virginia.

Another reflection on the role of private enterprise in U.S. incarceration is the background of Brigadier-General Janis Karpinski, also a military police reservist in Iraq.

When she was put in command of Abu Ghraib and its thousands of Iraqi inmates last year, she had never done penal work before. In the army she was an intelligence officer and in private life, a business consultant.

Shortly before her suspension from duty she told a Florida newspaper that her prisoners were living so well, she was worried they wouldn't want to return home.

Another American living in dreamland.

Comment: Clearly America has always been morally bankrupt, it was simply a matter of defining "morality" and it was then possible to get away with murder and still have the people believe they were the epitome of righteousness. We have been saying it for quite some time now - there is a clearly a massive gulf between "what is" and what the average person believes. Such a reality does not come about by accident. ALL of the evidence points to the likelihood that the current situation on this planet has been deliberately and consciously engineered, it cannot have come about any other way. As such, it is not an outlandish statement to say that in all probability the human race is in some way an experiment...
|||2|| 1084819400|jquin|Deliberate Anomalies|5-16-4

It is a sad thing, deeply deeply sad, for a young man to have his head cut off for the sake of someone else's politics. Anyone who could look at these pictures and videos without feeling profound revulsion must have a few cards missing from their deck.

So it takes a certain amount of fortitude to take a really good look at these nasty images to get to the many anomalies in the first place, but that is the task of a detective isn't it?

Unfortunately, in today's news environment, every one of us who wish to be responsible citizens must also become a detective.

Because of the prevailing culture of lies, deceit and treachery, everyone of us with an active mind must continually examine and question everything put before us by the mass media. Still, the strain is difficult for a sensitive mind to bear. To every parent, every child, every person who has lost a son, a brother, a daughter a mom or a dad, a grandparent, on any side in the terror wars of the past few years, my heart goes out to you.

It would be nice if we could just point to one person and say "hey, he did it all." But we can't. Yes there are certain persons who have done much to bring about this situation. The international bankers for instance, are greatly to blame. So are their puppets in Washington and Tel Aviv. But the bankers only have money because you and I continue to pay our mortgages and rents every month.

Because we shop at the super stores where they buy and sell, because we own stock in the system.

It would be nice if we could just find the right scapegoat to blame for all this mayhem wouldn't it? If we could pin a list of crimes onto the neck of some hapless village idiot from Texas who has a hard time getting the lid off his beer bottle, and who has been known to choke on a pretzel. And he is greatly at fault for thinking he can tell the players without a program. But in the long run, he is just a patsy too, another dummy with someone pulling his strings, who has never had to do a days honest work in his life, and wouldn't know one if it bit him on the ass.

How many gallons of gas did you put in your car or truck this week my friend? All are guilty. Some more, some less, but the way the war works is that hundreds of thousands of young men and women join up with the army, and then they practice shooting deadly weapons, and they abandon their own better judgments, and then they go and murder people on orders because they have lost all their self possession. And they have all those weapons because some other folks went to college for years to learn how to invent them. And yet more folks worked for decades in arms factories building these infernal machines, even though laws in every state of the union forbid the making of infernal machines. But if some nebulous bunch of criminals get together and call themselves the US Govt. then all of a sudden what is criminal behavior for you or me, is high virtue with holy water on it for them.

This is the same Govt. that holds an indefinite prison term over your heads if you fail to pay into their protection racket kitty. Hello? Yes, they steal the portion of your pay that the landlords (agents, along with the real-estate racketeers, of the Banks.) don't take. If a robber comes up to you and takes your pay from your pocket at gunpoint on the street, you can call a cop. If your landlord decides he wants a new Mercedes, and bumps your rent up again this month, and you live in a town with 0 to 1% vacancies, just you try to call a cop. Hell, when the cops do show up it will just be to evict you. That is part and parcel of what I mean by the evil being spread around fairly everywhere.

So why is everyone so surprised that the Berg beheading tape is so obviously flawed? Joe six-pack, that famous American cartoon character who none the less makes up almost half the electorate, will swallow it whole without even giving it the usual catfish mouthing first. So it works for him you see.

He is going to be enjoying watching this video. It is must see TV, for him it is just an extension of what passes for reality. Jill six-pack right there by his side, voted for Bush in 2000, and loves Jesus and looks forward to the second coming again tonight if you follow me. So for them, what we see as defects, are just the stamp of honest amateurs at work blowing off a little more steam. They don't care who did it, any more than the good citizens of the prairie cared who the Indians were they shot and raped and butchered at the Little Washita back in the late 19th century.

But you and I have a different view of things, because we are more humane in our hopes, and more aware in our fears.

* We see the orange jumpsuit

* We see the yellow Abu Graib prison walls

* We see the government issue white plastic chair

* We see the miss-match between the face and the build of the man in the video and Bergs family's snap shots of their missing son.

* We see the men in black, fat and lazy, well-fed and insolent,

* We see the one on the far left standing at military parade rest.

* We see that this is a tape made with at least two cameras, one on standard time, one on the 24 hour clock.

* We see the light tone of the skin of the hands of some of the men.

* We see the wedding ring on the left hand, the sinister hand, the hand that Islam reserves for toilet functions.

* We notice the voices in the background not sounding like Arabs.

* We have read of the death last year of the man being blamed for doing this foul deed.

Yes, my friends, we are not so foolish as to swallow these lies whole.

* We are aware that once you have someone's voiceprint, you can digitize it, and run it through a voice generating software program, and put any words into their mouths you want.

* We have heard native speakers of Arabic tell us that the voice on the tape does not have the accent they would expect from the man who is being blamed.

* We have read of the weird association of Mr. Berg with those the Govt. has named as being part of the 911 hijack plot. Hijack plot? Hello? Well ,you and I both know that is a whole other can of worms there, isn't it now?

But no one seems to have caught on that all these discrepancies - and more - that are in this video are there for a reason. They want you to know who did it. They, yes that THEY, the same old THEM as always. Bob Dylan said it long ago, "...the executioners face is always well hidden..." But THEY are more than willing to tip their hand to us today, because they don't care if we know, and they want us to know that they don't care. They are as much as telling everyone with a brain in their head, "Hey you with a brain in your head, watch this!" They are really saying "Get out the way you summer patriots, we can do you as easy as we can do this Berg dude!"

Feeling a little chilly around here? Still got the guts to join me in my protests? They can only keep thumbing their noses at ya if you let 'em.

Hitler had a crew like this, he called them Die Raben. They were SS officers. After the war, WWII the CIA hired most of them to work in South America. Looks like their bastard sons are still alive. Tell me again, how many brave American men lost their lives to give Hitler an invitation to blow his own brains out? And who else do we know who lives in a bunker? What do you think its going to take to turn this thing around?

So, if you were disgusted by the this video like I was, but still had the integrity to look into the details of it, then you ought to be bright enough to get the subtext of the intent of those loose ends. Add this to what you now know about the 911 cover-up, and get a glimpse of the MO of our enemy. Now, who could have done a thing like that, and why? Not much of a mystery, really, is it?

|||2|| 1084809100|jquin|Baghdad bomb kills Iraqi president|17/04/2004

The head of the Iraqi Governing Council has been killed in a suicide car bombing near a US checkpoint in central Baghdad.

As the current council president, a rotating position, he was the highest-ranking Iraqi official killed during the US-run occupation.

The killing was the second of a member of the US-appointed council since last year and dealt a massive blow to US efforts to stabilise Iraq ahead of a handover of sovereignty to Iraqis on June 30.

Abdel-Zahraa Othman, also known as Izzadine Saleem, was among four Iraqis killed in the blast, according to Redha Jawad Taki, a member of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, a Shiite Muslim organisation.

His death came about six weeks before the United States plans to transfer power to Iraqis on June 30 and underscores the risks facing those perceived as owing their positions to the Americans.

Saleem, the name he went by most frequently, was a Shiite and leader of the Islamic Dawa Movement in the southern city of Basra. He was a writer, philosopher and political activist, who served as editor of several newspapers and magazines.
|||2|| 1084808539|jquin|French Jew Admits Staging Hate Calls|FPP.co.uk 5-15-4

The head of French Friends of Israel's Likud Party admitted staging anti-Semitic phone calls to himself. Alex Moise received a two-month suspended sentence and a $1,000 fine from a Paris court Thursday for giving a false statement and for wasting the court's time. Moise filed a complaint in January [2004] claiming he had received anti-Semitic phone calls and threats but later admitted that he himself had made the calls.

Describing Moise as a "friend and a serious worker for the community," Sammy Ghozlan, president of the Bureau For Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, told JTA he is "shocked that a community leader would do something like this in the current climate."

Comment: Given the baselessness of many claims of "anti-semitism" and the ridiculousness of the claim that "a new wave of anti-semitism is sweeping the world", the above type of activity among "respectable" Jewish organisations is not in the least surprising. Just as Sharon's goal to completely destroy the Palestinians will not happen naturally, Jewish organisations, in their drive to make worldwide anti-semitism a "fact", are also forced to provide both the threat and the solution.
|||2|| 1084807868|jquin|Volcano erupts in southern Japan, spewing smoke|TOKYO (AP) - A volcano erupted in southern Japan on Saturday, shaking the nearby area with an explosion and spewing smoke high into the air, an official said. There were no reports of damage or injuries.

The explosion of Mount Sakurajima registered as "large'' on the Meteorological Agency's scale for both the sound and the strength of the tremors it caused, an official at the local agency office in Kagoshima said.
|||11|| 1084807753|sogrin|Indian Markets Crash on Turmoil|By Giri Venkatesan and Braden Reddall
Mon May 17, 5:41 AM ET


BOMBAY, India (Reuters) - Indian stocks plunged as much as 17.5 percent on Monday in their biggest one-day fall ever as it became clear that a new leftist-backed government could be unstable and slow the pace of economic reform.

India's communist parties decided on Monday not to join Sonia Gandhi's Congress-led coalition, but only support it from outside. This added to investor fears over the stability of the new government, which is likely to be sworn in on Wednesday.

The rupee and bonds both fell, having been boosted over the past year by record levels of foreign investment pouring in to Asia's third-largest economy. The stock market crash wiped out as much as $40 billion in investor wealth. [...]
|||2|| 1084807432|sogrin|U.S. athletes told to cool it at Olympics|By Simon Hart
LONDON SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

NEW YORK ¨ American athletes have been warned not to wave the U.S. flag during their medal celebrations at this summer's Olympic Games in Athens, for fear of provoking crowd hostility and harming the country's already-battered public image.

The spectacle of victorious athletes grabbing a national flag and parading it around the stadium is a familiar part of international sporting competition, but U.S. Olympic officials have ordered their 550-strong team to exercise restraint and avoid any jingoistic behavior. [...]

|||8|| 1084795671|sogrin|US, Britain plan to speed up Iraq pullout: The Times|Sun May 16,10:16 PM ET

LONDON, (AFP) - London and Washington are drawing up plans to pull coalition forces out of Iraq "as soon as possible", a senior British source was quoted as saying in The Times.

"We are not about to cut and run. But the aim is to have a strategy which enables the Iraqis to take control as quickly as possible and allows us to leave as quickly, as soon as possible," the anonymous source told the influential daily paper.

The "gear change" has been agreed by London and Washington, according to the source.

Elsewhere The Times said that the deployment of additional British troops in Iraq was being delayed to avoid the impression that they were a direct replacement for Spanish troops who are withdrawing following a change of government in Madrid. [...]

Comment: Horse hockey. It is clear that Britain has little intention of pulling out of Iraq in the near future. The U.S. will also be adding more troops to their occupation force as the following article illustrates:

S.Korea Says U.S. Plans to Shift Some Troops to Iraq

By Jack Kim
May 17, 2004


SEOUL (Reuters) - The United States plans to shift a brigade of about 4,000 troops stationed in South Korea to deter North Korean aggression and redeploy them in Iraq, Seoul's Foreign Ministry said Monday.

South Korea agrees with the plan and will be discussing with the U.S. government the timing and composition of the pullout, South Korean officials said. [...]
|||8|| 1084793514|sogrin|

New Article: Jupiter, Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and the Return of the Mongols - Laura Knight-Jadczyk

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Part 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4,Part 5, Part 6,Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13


|||1|| 1084743506|jquin|US guards 'filmed beatings' at Guantanamo Bay terror camp|Senator urges action as Briton reveals Guantanamo abuse

David Rose and Gaby Hinsliff
Sunday May 16, 2004
The Observer


Dozens of videotapes of American guards allegedly engaged in brutal attacks on Guantanamo Bay detainees have been stored and catalogued at the camp, an investigation by The Observer has revealed.

The disclosures, made in an interview with Tarek Dergoul, the fifth British prisoner freed last March, who has been too traumatised to speak until now, prompted demands last night by senior politicians on both sides of the Atlantic to make the videos available immediately.

They say that if the contents are as shocking as Dergoul claims, they will provide final proof that brutality against detainees has become an institutionalised feature of America's war on terror.

In the wake of the furore over the abuses photographed at Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has continued to insist they were the work of a few rogue soldiers, and not a systemic problem.

The disclosures come as the top American commander in Iraq, Lieutenant-General Ricardo Sanchez, announced he has barred all coercive interrogation practices, including forcing prisoners into stress positions for long periods and disrupting their sleep, except in very rare circumstances.

British military police made four arrests over allegations that British troops abused Iraqi prisoners. All four men were later released without charge, pending fur ther interviews. It is the case of Dergoul, however, that is likely to be the most damaging. The 26-year-old, from Mile End in east London, spent 22 months at Guantanamo Bay from May 2002. Today he tells The Observer of repeated assaults by Camp Delta's punishment squad, known as the Extreme Reaction Force or ERF.

Their attacks, he says, would be prompted by minor disciplinary infractions, such as refusing to agree to the third cell search in a day - which he describes as an act of deliberate provocation.

Dergoul tells of one assault by a five-man ERF in shocking terms: 'They pepper-sprayed me in the face, and I started vomiting. They pinned me down and attacked me, poking their fingers in my eyes, and forced my head into the toilet pan and flushed.

'They tied me up like a beast and then they were kneeling on me, kicking and punching. Finally they dragged me out of the cell in chains, into the rec[reation] yard, and shaved my beard, my hair, my eyebrows.'

|||8|| 1084743063|jquin|Rancid from Top to Bottom|Green Lights for Torture

By ALEXANDER COCKBURN

So there were WMDs in Iraq after all. They're called digital cameras. Partly because of them the US faces one of the most humiliating defeats in imperial history. But there's also a clear paper trail. Not just the long and copiously documented record of US torture, with many of its refinements acquired by the CIA from the Nazis after World War Two, but the more recent lineage of encouragement.

Within in a few days of the Trade Towers going down in September, 2001, a vacationing FBI agent told an acquaintance of mine in Puerto Vallarta that torture was being used on detainees in the US. On May 3, 2004, two such detainees, a Pakistani called Javaid Iqbal and an Egyptian, Ehab Elmaghraby, filed a civil complaint with a US court describing their beatings in the Brooklyn Detention Center, being forced to walk naked in front of female guards, put in a tiny cell lit 24 hours a day without blankets, mattress or toilet paper. Both were expelled from the US, pleading guilty to charges unrelated to terrorism. The Detention Center was harshly criticized in a 2003 DOJ report for serious maltreatment of inmates.

By early November, 2001, public opinion here in the US was being softened up for the use of torture. At the start of November the Washington Post published a piece by Walter Pincus citing FBI and Justice Department investigators as saying that "traditional civil liberties may have to be cast aside if they are to extract information about the Sept 11 attacks and terrorist plans." Pincus reported that "alternative strategies under discussion are using drugs or pressure tactics, such as those used occasionally by Israeli interrogators."

Jonathan Alter, Newsweek's in-house liberal pundit, confided to his readers in the weekly's edition for November 5, 2001, that something was needed to "jump-start the stalled investigation." His tone was facetiously upbeat, in line with the "just hazing" approach now promoted by the pain-averse Rush Limbaugh. Alter: "Couldn't we at least subject them [detainees] to psychological torture, like tapes of dying rabbits or high decibel rap?" Alter also made respectful reference to Harvard's pride, Alan Dershowitz, then running around the country promoting the idea of "torture warrants" issued by judges and recommending needles under detainees' fingernails, and to Israel, where (in Alter's terms) "until 1999 an interrogation technique called 'shaking' was legal. It entailed holding a smelly bag over a suspect's head in a dark room", a decorous way of referring to how Palestinians were nearly suffocated by having their heads stuffed in sacks of excrement by Israeli toturers.

It was not far into the war in Afghanistan that Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld made plain his views of the treatment of prisoners, after horrifying accounts began to surface of the treatment of Taliban POWs.

Recall that after the surrender of the Kunduz fortress in November 2001 hundreds of Taliban were taken prisoner along with an American called John Walker Lindh. Rumsfeld had originally stated that the US was "not inclined to negotiate surrenders". He then amended this to say that the Taliban should be let out of the net but that foreign fighters should expect no mercy: "My hope is they will either be killed or taken prisoner."

It turned out they endured both Rumsfeld's options. A year later Jamie Doran, a British television producer, aired his documentary establishing beyond reasonable doubt that hundreds of these prisoners - with no distinction between Taliban or "foreign fighters"- died either by suffocation in the container trucks used to transport them towards the Shebarghan prison, or by outright execution near Shebarghan.

On the basis of interviews with eyewitnesses, Doran said U.S. soldiers were present when the containers were opened. "When the containers were finally opened, a mess of urine, blood, faeces, vomit and rotting flesh was all that remained ... As the containers were lined up outside the prison, a [U.S.] soldier accompanying the convoy was present when the prison commanders received orders to dispose of the evidence quickly. Newsweek's investigation into the Afghan atrocities ("The Death Convoy of Afghanistan," 26 August 2002) stated that "American forces were working intimately with 'allies' who committed what could well qualify as war crimes."

Witnesses also stated "600 Taliban PoWs who survived the containers' shipment to the Shebarghan prison ... were taken to a spot in the desert and executed in the presence of about 30 to 40 U.S. special forces soldiers" (The Globe and Mail, 19 December 2002). Other U.S. soldiers are said to have involved themselves directly and enthusiastically in the "dirty work" of prisoner torture and the disposal of corpses. "The Americans did whatever they wanted," stated one Afghan witness. "We had no power to stop them. Everything was under the control of the American commander."


John Walker Lindh was kept in a coffin sized box. As his lawyer later stated, the photographs left no doubt as to what kind of treatment he had endured. Part of his lawyer's final deal with the prosecution was a dropping of any possible charges of torture.

From May , 2003, the Red Cross was complaining to US army commanders and to proconsul Bremer in Iraq, to Rumsfeld, assistant defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice about frightful treatment of Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib and elsewhere. "The elements we found were tantamount to torture," Pierre Kraehenbuehl, operations director for the Swiss-based International Committee of the Red Cross, told reporters in Geneva at the end of the first week in May, 2004, after the Wall Street Journal disclosed the contents of a major Red Cross report. "They were clearly incidents of degrading and inhuman treatment."

Kraehenbuehl said said the ICRC investigations showed "a pattern, a broad system" rather than "isolated acts of individual members of the coalition forces." During an unannounced October visit to Abu Ghraib, for example, the ICRC monitors witnessed "the practice of keeping persons completely naked in totally empty concrete cells in total darkness for several consecutive days," the report said.

The Red Cross teams also saw guards forcing male prisoners to parade around in women's underwear, according to the summary report. When an ICRC official complained to the military officer in charge, the report says, the American explained that the practice was "part of the process." The ICRC report said the suspects were "beaten severely by [coalition forces] personnel" and one man, identified as 28-year-old Baha Daoud Salim, died. In the words of the report, "His co-arrestees heard him screaming and asking for assistance."

The Red Cross began making its complaints just about the time, back in May and June 2003, the U.S. was on a full-press diplomatic campaign to compel other countries to sign bilateral agreements exempting U.S. citizens, whether military or civilians, from the potential jurisdiction of the new International Criminal Court (ICC) in Rome.

What's clear enough is that the quality of US leadership from the very top down, both civilian and military, is rancid. Accountability has long gone out of the window. The venality and corruption of Bremer's coalition officials and many of Sanchez's officers have naturally allowed many in the armed forces to degenate into criminal thuggery. Iraqi families complain that after US troops have searched and smashed up their homes, the occupants return to find their safes broken open and their savings and valuables stolen.

The Red Cross report cites some coalition military intelligence officers as reckoning that "between 70 per cent and 90 per cent of the persons deprived of their liberty in Iraq had been arrested by mistake."

It's ironic how the great moral crusade for freedom and democracy in Iraq has foundered on a photo of Private Lynndie England hauling around The Other on a dog leash. Even the images of torture degrade one's moral instincts with appalling speed. I'd love to see a photo of Anne Coulter clipping the leash on Rush Limbaugh, though not being Muslim he probably wouldn't care. Remember, being forced to strip naked and have one's genitals menaced by savage dogs is something Muslims apparently find abhorrent. Those Others are a bunch of ninnies, aren't they? Not like us Christians.
|||2|| 1084741778|jquin|Israel 'to step up demolitions'|Sunday, 16 May, 2004

The Israeli army has said it plans to destroy hundreds more homes in the Gaza Strip, after Israel's Supreme Court said demolitions could go ahead.

Chief of Staff Lt Gen Moshe Yaalon said the homes along the border with Egypt needed to be destroyed to prevent them being used by Palestinian militants.

The court earlier rejected an appeal by Palestinians against the destruction.

The US has joined a growing chorus of international condemnation, saying it opposes the demolition policy.

UN relief officials estimate that Israel has destroyed more than 80 buildings in the Rafah camp during the past few days, leaving about 1,100 Palestinians homeless.

'Self-defence'

The Supreme Court on Sunday lifted a temporary injunction banning the military from demolishing any more homes.

Opponents argued that the demolitions were an illegitimate act of revenge, after 13 Israeli soldiers were killed by Palestinian militants in the area last week.

Military officials told the court the demolitions were only carried out to defend soldiers' lives and that no homes were needlessly destroyed.

In delivering its ruling, the court said the army was entitled to carry out demolitions for reasons of self-defence.

Israel says militants have used the buildings as shelter from which to attack troops patrolling the 50-metre wide (160 feet) border with Egypt, known as the Philadelphia Corridor, and as cover to smuggle weapons through tunnels from Egypt.

Gen Yaalon said hundreds of homes near Israel's border with Egypt are earmarked for destruction.

"If we get to this point we will destroy them," he said.

Dozens of Palestinians reportedly started to evacuate their homes in the Rafah camp after the court issued its ruling.

"I don't know what to take. I will start with clothes or the refrigerator or the television," said Abed al-Majid Abu Shamala, 52, preparing to leave a four-storey building.

Israel rebuked

There has been widespread international condemnation of the Gaza demolitions.

The head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNWRA), Peter Hansen, said he was "extremely alarmed" at the planned demolitions, describing it as "collective punishment".

The Palestinian cabinet said the demolitions were tantamount to "ethnic cleansing".

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said the destruction violated international law.

And US Secretary of State Colin Powell, voicing rare criticism of Washington's closest Middle East ally, said that although Israel had the right to defend itself, the US did not think the demolitions were "productive".


Mr Powell also rebuked Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for urging Palestinians to "terrorise the enemy".

He said Mr Arafat was making it "exceptionally difficult" to move the peace process forward. [...]

Comment: In the above it is stated that the Israeli army is entitled to carry out the demolitions for reasons of "self defence", but when you have stolen and are ilegally occupying the land of another people, can efforts to maintain such a situation really be called self defence? Perhaps, but only if you are happy to admit that you are defending the indefensible.

While it is being claimed that US criticism of Israeli policy is "rare", the truth is that Powell's comment, given the severity of the situation, cannot really be called criticism. To label what amounts to ethnic cleansing as not "productive" has the same effect on Israel as saying "good job". Not only that, but Powell does not specify what he means by "productive". In following up his "criticism" by blaming Arafat for the lack of progress in the peace, perhaps Powell was subtly suggesting that the IDF should take care of Arafat?

|||2|| 1084741717|jquin|Undersea volcano spewing rocks |17.05.2004

The first direct observation of an active underwater volcano spewing rocks and molten sulphur has been made by New Zealand marine geologist Dr Cornel de Ronde.

Dr de Ronde has just returned from a voyage to the ocean floor in the western Pacific where scientists also saw liquid carbon dioxide rising from the sea floor.
|||11|| 1084738174|jquin|UFO sighted by 2 during newspaper delivery|By ALONZO WESTON
TODD WEDDLE/St. Joseph News-Press

After witnessing an unidentified flying object in the early hours of May 4, Ivana Calhoun, a carrier for the St. Joseph News-Press, painted the scene. ŠIĂm positive I saw it but what it was, I donĂt know,Ă she said.

A couple of rural St. Joseph News-Press carriers 100 miles apart see the same UFO!

You havenĂt picked up the Weekly World News by mistake. Ivana Calhoun and David Stafford both claimed they did see something strange zip past their windshields one morning this month.

That Mrs. Calhoun, who was delivering papers in rural McFall, Mo., saw the same object Mr. Stafford saw while traveling through Grayson Mo., makes it even stranger.

˘IĂve never seen nothing like it, and IĂve seen plenty of shooting stars. IĂm out there every night. I know what they look like,÷ Mrs. Calhoun said.

Mr. Stafford said heĂs driven the same road a million times and never seen anything like it, either. Not for several months, at least.

"About nine months ago," he said, "I saw one on the side of me, like following me."

For Mrs. Calhoun, Tuesday morning, May 4, didnĂt seem out of the ordinary. She noticed a full moon peering out from behind a wisp of cloud in the dark blue sky. She noticed the quiet. Besides that, everything else was so routine she could probably have delivered the papers in her sleep.

After delivering a paper on her route, she slowly backed her silver 2004 Toyota RAV down his gravel driveway, like she always does. She knew from habit to drive slowly and look in her rearview mirror. She wanted to make sure Mr. SpierĂs two huge St. Bernard dogs were out of the way.

But this morning she saw something else.

"I looked in the left side mirror to make sure the dogs werenĂt back there, then coming from the left side, I saw it," Mrs. Calhoun said.

About 50 feet away and 50 feet upward in the sky, Mrs. Calhoun said she saw a fluorescent orange sphere the size of a basketball zip across her windshield. The orb flew in a straight line and didnĂt make a sound, she said. In less than three seconds, it was gone.

"There was no glow, no halo coming from behind it, but a straight orange line that tapered to a brown color then tapered to a black color," she said. "You know how a cigarette in the dark, when you wave it through the air, leaves a trail behind it? ThatĂs what it looked like to me, but the line wasnĂt attached to it."

It so happened that Mrs. Calhoun was on her cell phone talking to Mr. Stafford at the time.

He was just leaving Grayson, Mo., when he saw the same "Day-Glo" orange object about 30 feet away.

"We described it to each other, and it was the exact same thing," Mr. Stafford said. "I thought it was a falling star, but it was going parallel to the ground. Both of us were going south."

And both of their watches read 3:45 a.m.

The only difference for Mr. Stafford this time was that the UFO didnĂt chase him.

"This one here didn't scare me. It was like it was going away from me, and that was OK," he said.

After she got home that morning, Mrs. Calhoun couldnĂt get the whole thing out of her mind. She had to do something to prove to herself what she saw.

˘I was still upset,÷ she said. "ThatĂs why I had to draw a picture." [...]

|||4|| 1084631367|hsee|Polish PM resigns after losing parliamentary confidence vote|

www.chinaview.cn 2004-05-15 10:27:27

WARSAW, May 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Polish Prime Minister Marek Belka lost a parliamentary vote of confidence on Friday and resigned shortly after the vote.

The lower house of parliament voted 262-188 against Belka, who was appointed prime minister on May 2 after his unpopular predecessor Leszek Miller stepped down. No one abstained out of the 450 parliamentarians present.

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www.chinaview.cn 2004-05-15 10:27:27

WARSAW, May 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Polish Prime Minister Marek Belka lost a parliamentary vote of confidence on Friday and resigned shortly after the vote.

The lower house of parliament voted 262-188 against Belka, who was appointed prime minister on May 2 after his unpopular predecessor Leszek Miller stepped down. No one abstained out of the 450 parliamentarians present.

The result was anticipated as Belka required 226 votes in the 460-seat lower house to gain the green light to rule. His ruling Democratic Left Alliance only occupies 172 seats in parliament.

Belka tabled a letter of resignation to President Kwasniewski shortly after the vote. The president accepted his resignation, but said he will re-appoint Belka.

Under Polish Constitution, the parliament now has 14 days to find another candidate and form an alternative cabinet. But if the new candidate fails to clear the parliament, the president will have another chance to designate a potential prime minister.

Belka will stay on leading a caretaker government during the time.

||2|| 1084631214|hsee|France: U.S. must accept end of occupation |

www.chinaview.cn 2004-05-15 15:43:29

BEIJING, May 15 (Xinhuanet) -- The United States must accept that its occupation of Iraq will end when it transfers power to an interim Iraqi government on June 30, even though U.S. troops will lead the force that stays in the country, the French foreign minister said.

Michel Barnier said the Bush administration needs to understand that there must be "a real break" and that the caretaker Iraqi government must be consulted about the movements and operational use of the multinational force.

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www.chinaview.cn 2004-05-15 15:43:29

BEIJING, May 15 (Xinhuanet) -- The United States must accept that its occupation of Iraq will end when it transfers power to an interim Iraqi government on June 30, even though U.S. troops will lead the force that stays in the country, the French foreign minister said.

Michel Barnier said the Bush administration needs to understand that there must be "a real break" and that the caretaker Iraqi government must be consulted about the movements and operational use of the multinational force.

Barnier spoke Thursday at a news conference after a working dinner with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan which focused on efforts by U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi to put together an acceptable transitional government to assume sovereignty from the U.S.-led coalition.

He heads to Washington Friday for a meeting of foreign ministers of the Group of Eight major industrialized nations, where Iraq will also lead the agenda.

France was a staunch opponent of the war in Iraq, and Barnier ruled out sending any French troops to be part of the multilateral force. But he said France will work "in a constructive spirit" on a new U.N. resolution dealing with the transfer of sovereignty, and he stressed that France and America "have always been friends and allies."

The U.N. Security Council has been holding informal discussions on the elements that need to be in a new resolution. No draft is expected until after Brahimi returns from Baghdad and makes his final recommendations on the makeup of a caretaker government.

"We have to make sure that this government has all the levers of sovereignty and control," Barnier said. "What we need is for the Americans and the occupation forces to understand and accept this real break on July 1 — and the break will be confirmed with the elections in January."

"The Iraqi government has to be in a position to manage its affairs, to handle the economy, the justice, manage its natural resources, manage the internal security forces — at least the law enforcement officials. And also, it has to have a say in the use of the multilateral force that will be in Iraq from July until January," he said.

Barnier, making his first trip to the United States as foreign minister, said "the most sensitive issue" in the discussions on a new resolution is the relationship between the interim government and the multinational force.

After elections in January, when a "fully legitimate government" will be elected, he said, "it will be that government's duty to say whether the multilateral force should stay on or not."

But Barnier stressed that the period between July and January was a "blurred period" that the Security Council would have to discuss in depth.

||2|| 1084630460|hsee|Sharon’s Surreal Diplomacy Sends Bush’s Mideast Policies Reeling |

Richard H. Curtiss, Arab News

WASHINGTON, 13 May 2004 — President George W. Bush met with King Abdallah II of Jordan on May 6, after the king had postponed their earlier meeting, scheduled shortly after the US president’s April 14 meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. At that meeting — and apparently without having previously consulted US allies — the American president endorsed Sharon’s unilateral “disengagement” plan, to the outrage of the Arab world. Right up to the start of his meeting with Abdallah, it was not certain exactly what Bush would say. Some Bush advisers hoped that he would provide a sweetener by making his previous assurances with Israeli prime minister less definite, given Sharon’s history of broken promises.

|

Richard H. Curtiss, Arab News

WASHINGTON, 13 May 2004 — President George W. Bush met with King Abdallah II of Jordan on May 6, after the king had postponed their earlier meeting, scheduled shortly after the US president’s April 14 meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. At that meeting — and apparently without having previously consulted US allies — the American president endorsed Sharon’s unilateral “disengagement” plan, to the outrage of the Arab world. Right up to the start of his meeting with Abdallah, it was not certain exactly what Bush would say. Some Bush advisers hoped that he would provide a sweetener by making his previous assurances with Israeli prime minister less definite, given Sharon’s history of broken promises.

Unfortunately, their conversation seemed to result in nothing new. Bush showed the king extraordinary respect, and made it clear that he was listening — but failed to provide the assurances the king sought. Abdallah hoped to leave the White House with a presidential declaration that the Palestinians would be compensated for land and refugee trade-offs. Bush, however, said only, “The United States will not prejudice the outcome of the final status issues...all final status issues must still emerge from negotiations between the two parties.”

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice is now scheduled to meet with Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qorei. According to a White House official, she will tell Qorei that “there are real opportunities here and the Palestinians should seize those opportunities.”

It is hard to believe, however, that Rice will be any more successful than Bush has been.

When Secretary of State Colin Powell met on May 4 with members of the Quartet — the US, United Nations, Russia and the European Union — there was a lot of repair work to do. Bush had just robbed the store to give Sharon whatever he wanted between now and the US elections in early November. Sharon then went back to his own Likud constituency to show how much he had stolen. But his constituency had different ideas. Or so it seemed — unless Sharon is even more Machiavellian than others in his party realized.

The Likud’s hard hard-liners insist that they must never give back anything to the Palestinians. They therefore ignored Sharon’s plan, and turned it down decisively. Having been definitively rebuffed, Sharon simply ignored the referendum outcome, saying he would make some modifications in his plan. He failed to indicate, however, whether it would be more or less extremist than the plan endorsed by Bush and rejected by Likud.

Meanwhile, at their May 3 meeting, the Quartet decided — in the absence of any indication of Sharon’s next move — simply to go ahead and continue on its path.

To make matters even worse — if that was possible — when Powell met with the press in New York following the Quartet meeting, all the American reporters wanted to ask about were the ghastly revelations breaking daily from Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison. The world was stunned by what US soldiers had been doing, generally between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., when most of the prison personnel were off duty and the sadists went out to play. Powell, a former general and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, obviously was deeply distracted, and didn’t put his usual tightly controlled spin on his words.

As The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler wrote, “Bush’s comments, made with Ariel Sharon at his side, had alarmed diplomats overseas because some perceived that the United States and Israel had cut their own deal on Sharon’s plan to unilaterally separate from the Palestinians.”

Diplomats warn, Kessler continued, that “Israel should not try to maintain control over Gaza’s air and sea access.”

“The US is committed to the basis upon which the peace process rests,” Powell said. “And we are in conversation with our other Arab friends to see what assurances and comments they may need from us to make sure that they know that the president has not abandoned them.”

Wrote Steven Weisman of The New York Times: “The lengthy (Quartet) statement had been hammered out over the past week in what diplomats said was a crosscurrent of tensions between the Bush administration and its Quartet partners.”

The statement represented an effort by the international community to reinsert itself into the peace process, including laying the groundwork for financial assistance to the Palestinian areas to be vacated by Israel.

Following Bush’s April endorsement of the withdrawal scheme, his aides have been trying to get the other Quartet partners to follow suit. According to Weisman, however, “Those partners balked because they charge that Israel is using the withdrawal as a substitute for negotiating with the Palestinians.

“Accordingly, they demanded that the statement put out Tuesday include language suggesting that Israel had to continue negotiating with the Palestinians and that the withdrawal had to amount to a complete end of the ‘occupation.’”

Europeans, Russians and the United Nations are furious with Bush for having endorsed some of Israel’s territorial claims at his meeting with Sharon. The Bush administration regards endorsement as a way to help ensure that the withdrawals go through. European and other diplomats, however, charge the president was motivated by US domestic politics. Sharon’s withdrawal plan itself is in disarray.

The backlash in Arab and European countries is particularly intense, but Bush administration officials argued that Sharon’s plan has the seeds of a breakthrough in the stalled peace process. The Likud Party’s overwhelming rejection of the plan, however, has left the administration’s credibility in the Middle East in tatters. The tilt toward Israel will not soon be forgotten in the Arab world, and will make it harder for the Bush administration to claim that the president’s support of Sharon has produced results. In fact, the Likud vote comes when the image of the United States already is greatly damaged by accounts of psychological and sexual abuse of Iraqi prisoners by some US soldiers.

— Richard H. Curtiss is executive editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs magazine.

||2|| 1084628658|hsee|Chaos|

Whew! Does anyone remember back to those heady days in April when Condi Rice was set to testify before the Congressional Committee investigating 9/11? Remember way back when the press was full of stories of Condi being on the ropes? There were sites discussing how she was on the way out, the sacrificial black lamb. Where is she now? Same place she was before: advising the idiot king.

Now it is Rumsfeld's turn to be subjected to a pseudo-media scrutiny...and are we expecting that the outcome will be any different? It is as if one by one the criminals in power in Washington will come under examination and will be absolved of any wrongdoing; one by one these butchers of Iraqis, Afghanis, and Americans will be subjected to their fifteen minutes of media "torture", only to be found innocent of their crimes before the ultimate court, US public opinion.

And what is the outcome? Not the material world outcome, the esoteric outcome. What effect does it have on your soul to participate in such a scam and to do nothing? We are not speaking of any esoteric consequences for Bush, Rummy, and their like. They appear to have made their choice to walk in the shadows. We are talking about the consequences for you and me, for the plebs who watch the spectacle in the Electronic Coliseum, and who do nothing.

"Oh, but Signs of the Times editors, we will throw them out in November! Just you wait! Look what just happened in India! Atal Bihari Vajpayee was defeated against all expectations! And look at Spain where Aznar was given the democratic justice he warranted!"

Trouble is, look who the opposition is in the US - John Kerry, the man who stated that Bush was only 99% in favour of Israel while he went that extra 1% and was 100% behind Israel! Well, who is being elected here, the president of the US or the PM of Israel? Given the US is in Iraq to defend Israeli interests, it looks to be the latter.

Not that there is a solution. Some Patriot sites have the fantasy that a group of "Patriotic" generals will step up and defend the Constitution. A means to bring the bloodletting home onto US soil?

Perhaps the current attempt to portray the US military in a bad light through the photos of US soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners is a counter-move on Rummy's part against such an attempt. One must ask the question why the pictures came out when they did, to be followed so quickly by the video beheading of Nick Berg that so conveniently turned attention away from the question of torture. Many commentators are questioning the official story on the video. Some say the "terrorists" don't have the physical bearing of Arabs. Another mentions that the leader is wearing a gold ring, and suggests that Moslems are not supposed to wear gold. Others point to the accents, saying that it is not the accent of a Jordanian, therefore it can't be al-Zarqawi, while others report he was killed in battle. A list of some discrepencies can be found here.

The military trying to deflect attention? The CIA? Israeli intelligence?

Who is pushing the world further and further into chaos? Who is double-crossing whom?

We get the distinct feeling that there is a force at work in this world setting everyone against everyone, stoking the flames for a world-wide holocaust.

But, of course, that is absurd, isn't it?


|||10|| 1084628246|hsee|'Mover' is son of top Likud Official|May 12--Venice,FL.
by Daniel Hopsicker


The leader of the two Israelis arrested after leading police on a high speed chase in a moving van last Saturday in rural Tennessee is the son of the spokesman for the Likud Party of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the MadCowMorningNews has learned.
|||2|| 1084627876|hsee|From a Reader| While perusing John Rappoport's site I came across his reporting on the how American translators' "mistake" in translating the message results in linking Al Qaeda to the event. Here is a snippet from the May 12 CNN transcripts with CNN's Senior Editor of Arab Affairs, Octavia Nasr, to which John R. refers:

O'BRIEN: Responses throughout the Middle East are reflected, of course, in Arab TV coverage. Our senior editor of Arab affairs, Octavia Nasr, who watches Arab the Arab television assiduously, is here to give us a little sense of what's being said and perhaps more important in this story, what is being shown and not shown. The big question is, of course, on this tape, just horrific tape, which is available on the Web, obviously. Are places like Al-Arabiya, Al Jazeera, are they showing it in its entirety?

OCTAVIA NASR, CNN SR. EDITOR FOR ARAB AFFAIRS: No. Arab viewers of the big networks, as well as the local TV stations did not see the actual execution. They did see at the beginning of this tape, just like we saw here on CNN and most Western networks, you saw the beginning of the tape right before the beheading. They reported on it, and as a side story. It certainly isn't playing as a big story or as the story.

O'BRIEN: That's very interesting. When we hearken back to Danny Pearl, "The Wall Street Journal" reporter who was killed in Pakistan in 2002, the entirety of that, which included a beheading, was shown on these outlets. What happened? What changed?

NASR: What changed is the learning. And also the reaction to showing gruesome pictures and atrocities and the reaction from viewers and authorities alike. Also, it has been a few years since then. Back then, there was no Al-Arabiya. Al-Arabiya is brand new. It started a few weeks before the war last year.

Again, it's a learning process. It seems that the networks are responding to their viewers. Remember, Al Jazeera is seen all over the world, the Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia, all over the world. And viewers there are not accepting of these images as people in the Arab world are.

O'BRIEN: Well, let me ask you this. You've had a chance to really listen to this tape and get a sense who might be responsible, just by deciphering, say, accents. And certainly, there in the Arab world, they're very attuned to that. And given the fact of who this may or may not be, does that have some effect on how it is being played?

NASR: Yes, and if you listen to these voices that we're hearing on Arab networks, Iraqis are condemning this execution. And they're saying these are foreigners. These are not Iraqis. They do not represent us and so forth.

Now, of course, the original claim was that Zarqawi is the actual man who performed this execution. Our experts listened to the accent, as you said, and they determined the accent is not Jordanian...

O'BRIEN: He is a Jordanian who is working supposedly, allegedly, at the behest of al Qaeda in Iraq. So go ahead.

NASR: Right, he is very close to bin Laden, and works, you're right, as an agent of al Qaeda in Iraq. Now, the accent is not Jordanian so that takes the Jordanian element out of the story immediately.

O'BRIEN: Interesting. All right, now one final thought here. You did a very careful translation of your own, of the statement. And in it, you see no reference to al Qaeda. And yet the official U.S. government translation does. Explain how that happened.

NASR: Oh, I find it very interesting, because out of the blue, there is a mention of al Qaeda on the U.S. government translation. It says: "Does al Qaeda need any further excuses?" Any speaker of the Arabic language is going to notice a difference between the word al Qaeda, which means "the base," and al qaed, which means "the one sitting, doing nothing."

My translation says: "Is there any excuse for the one who sits down and does nothing?" Basically they're telling people, you have no excuse for not doing anything, for not acting and defending Islam and so forth. Whereas the U.S. government translation has this factual error, I'm sure it's an honest mistake, but basically it sort of adds al Qaeda to the statement, which is not on the statement.

O'BRIEN: All right, Octavia Nasr, we don't know exactly how that got in there. We'll try to get more on that. We appreciate you bringing that all to light and appreciate your insights, of course.
|||13|| 1084621737|hsee|Israel's Failed Assassination Attempt on U.S. Ambassador Documented |By Andrew I. Killgore

Had Mossad, IsraelĂs secret intelligence organization, succeeded, it would have been the perfect crime¨the crime of the century. The plan was breathtaking in concept: to assassinate the American ambassador to Lebanon, in Lebanon, with American weapons, intended for IsraeliĂs defense only. Everything about it would point to Lebanon as the culprit.

But fate intervened, and things went wrong. The tires on Ambassador John Gunther DeanĂs limousine automatically reinflated when they were shot out in 1979 (see November 2002 Washington Report, p. 15). The light tank shell simply bounced off the carĂs armor. And, horror of horrors, Lebanese intelligence had retrieved the empty shell casing on which was written, ˘Made in the United States of America.÷ |By Andrew I. Killgore

Had Mossad, IsraelĂs secret intelligence organization, succeeded, it would have been the perfect crime¨the crime of the century. The plan was breathtaking in concept: to assassinate the American ambassador to Lebanon, in Lebanon, with American weapons, intended for IsraeliĂs defense only. Everything about it would point to Lebanon as the culprit.

But fate intervened, and things went wrong. The tires on Ambassador John Gunther DeanĂs limousine automatically reinflated when they were shot out in 1979 (see November 2002 Washington Report, p. 15). The light tank shell simply bounced off the carĂs armor. And, horror of horrors, Lebanese intelligence had retrieved the empty shell casing on which was written, ˘Made in the United States of America.÷

MossadĂs specialty was dirty tricks, even if (or perhaps because) it was not very good as an intelligence organization. Its modus operandi had always been the same: pull off a dirty trick but make it appear somebody else had done it. An early example was the Lavon Affair, named for Pinhas Lavon, IsraelĂs minister of defense back in 1953. This Mossad operation persuaded some Jewish men in Egypt to burn U.S. Information Service libraries on the assumption that Egyptian President Jamal Abdul Nasser would be blamed. But one of the incendiary devices went off prematurely, and the young spies were caught. Some of them were executed. This provoked a scandal in Israel, and in the ensuing investigation it eventually turned out that LavonĂs signature authorizing the operation had been forged at the behest of Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. A dirty trick within a dirty trick!

Then came the June 8, 1967 attack on the USS Liberty, killing 34 Americans and wounding 171. Perpetrated by the Israeli air force and navy, this was not a Mossad operation, but it was suffused by the same spirit of stealth and trickery. During the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, unmarked Israeli jets raked the all-but-unarmed spy ship Liberty, steaming slowly off EgyptĂs Sinai Peninsula, with napalm and machine gunfire.

The Liberty was flying a large American flag, and the shipĂs designation, in English, was clearly visible on a cloudless day. But Israel said it thought it was attacking an Egyptian transport ship. Israel pleaded ˘a tragic accident÷ and still pleads that miserable lie today.

Now, thanks to Ambassador John Gunther Dean, the full taste of MossadĂs evil will be available at former President Jimmy CarterĂs Presidential Library in Atlanta, Georgia. A part of the National Archives, the Carter Center will contain 42 files on DeanĂs service as ambassador to Lebanon. The overwhelming majority of the material is unclassified and thus readily available to researchers, scholars and journalists.

The Dean papers¨which include documents, messages, reports and telegrams¨constitute hard evidence on the stultifying influence of the Israeli lobby as Dean tried to get answers from the Department of State on the Israeli assassination failure. Nobody was willing to talk with him because the subject was just too ˘sensitive.÷

The papers include documentation of efforts by the Palestinians to help the U.S. with the American hostages in Iran. They demonstrate that, unlike today, the United States administration considered the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) ˘valid interlocutors÷ in the search for a negotiated settlement of the Palestine-Israel conflict. In fact, PLO leader Yasser Arafat and an assistant made a special visit to Iran, where they succeeded in gaining the immediate freedom of several of the American diplomatic hostages. Arafat performed a real favor for the United States for which he never received any thanks¨perhaps because, once again, it would have been too ˘sensitive.÷

By June 2004 all other papers in DeanĂs possession will be housed in the National Archives. Among the information they will contain will be the role of certain congressmen with respect to nuclear proliferation. Some of the American legislators struck Dean as motivated more by fear of Pakistan obtaining ˘the Islamic bomb÷ than they were by defending U.S. policy of preventing the proliferation of arms.

Andrew I. Killgore, a retired foreign service officer and former U.S. ambassador to Qatar, is publisher of the Washington Report.||2|| 1084621436|hsee|Coalition troops 'may quit Iraq'|

The US, UK, Italy and Japan say they will pull their troops out of Iraq, if asked by a new Iraqi government.

The four countries made their position clear following a meeting of the Group of Eight (G8) foreign ministers.

It is the first time the members of the coalition have said what would happen if the new Iraqi government told them to pull out their troops.

But US Secretary of State Colin Powell said he did not think that prospect at all likely.

"I'm not losing any sleep over it," he said.

But he added that US would withdraw its soldiers if requested to do so.


|||2|| 1084621355|hsee|Bremer hints at US pullout from Iraq|

Friday 14 May 2004, 15:59 Makka Time, 12:59 GMT

The US overseer for Iraq, Paul Bremer, has aired the possibility of an American pullout from the country, saying the United States did not stay where it was "not welcomed".

"If the provisional government asks us to leave we will leave," he said, referring to a post 30 June administration after the handover of sovereignty.

"I don't think that will happen but obviously we don't stay in countries where we're not welcome," he said at a working lunch in Baghdad with Iraqi officials from Diyala province.

[...] An opinion poll conducted for the CPA and quoted by Thursday's Washington Post showed that 80% of Iraqis mistrust the coalition authority and 82% disapprove of US and allied occupation forces in their country.

Comment: Of course, it isn't insurrection, civil war, or polls showing over 80% of Iraqis want them to leave that will convince the US to honour a statement such as that made by Bremer. After all, even though Spanish opinion was against the invasion, Aznar went anyway and Bush didn't sit down with him and say, "Gosh, do you really think this is a good idea, after, all, most of your countrymen are against it! Why don't you sleep on it?"


|||2|| 1084621245|hsee|Rice Has Iraq, Terror on Her Mind|

Combined Reports
Friday, May 14, 2004. Page 3.

U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice arrives late Friday for talks with President Vladimir Putin, the U.S. Embassy confirmed Thursday.

The talks are expected to touch on the future of Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as issues considered central to the U.S.-Russia strategic relationship, like cooperation on the war on global terror, regional conflicts and economic ties, an embassy official said on condition of anonymity.

[...] France and Russia -- two main critics of last year's war -- want the Bush administration to grant the new Iraqi caretaker government greater control over the country's security forces. Washington, however, wants to place Iraqi and foreign armed forces in the country under the command of U.S. generals after the June 30 hand-over, The Washington Post reported Thursday.


|||2|| 1084621109|hsee|Soldier charged in Iraqi abuse scandal strikes plea deal; absolves higher-ups|

04:55 AM EDT May 15
BETH GORHAM

WASHINGTON (CP) - The first American soldier to face trial in the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal says his colleagues joked around as they beat and sexually humiliated their captives but claimed that his superiors were unaware of what they were doing.

"If they saw what was going on, there would have been hell to pay," Specialist Jeremy Sivits says in two legal statements released to some U.S. newspapers. Sivits, who faces a court-martial next Wednesday in Baghdad, implicated some of his colleagues, saying they stripped prisoners and forced them to masturbate. One jumped on a pile of detainees, "then stomped on either the fingers or toes" as they screamed, he said.

A prisoner with bullet wounds in his leg was handcuffed to a bed while a soldier hit him with a police baton, said Sivits, who reportedly reach a deal with prosecutors and is expected to plead guilty.

Comment: Do any of our readers think for a moment that this is true? That this soldier was doing these without the knowledge of his superiors? What about the dual nationality professionals who were brought in, the ones who were specialised in humiliating, demeaning, abusing, and killing Arabs from years of experience with the Palestinians?

[...] It's also having an impact on the popularity of President George W. Bush as he seeks re-election this fall.

His approval rating in the most recent Gallup poll released this week fell to 46 per cent, the lowest of his presidency. A Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday suggested a 44 per cent rating.

U.S. government lawyers have advised against the release of hundreds of even more gruesome pictures and videos, some depicting corpses and several forms of sexual abuse, taken by U.S. soldiers.

Ironically, one reason they give is they would violate a Geneva Convention rule against revealing images that degrade prisoners.

Two top Pentagon officials admitted Thursday that interrogation tactics approved for use at Abu Ghraib violated the convention, which prohibits physical and mental torture of detainees.

They include putting prisoners in stressful positions, sleep deprivation, threats from dogs and isolation for more than 30 days.


|||2|| 1084620083|hsee|Abu Ghraib: the rule, not the exception|

Americans are no novices to inflicting pain and humiliation, says torture expert MILES SCHUMAN. U.S.-sanctioned torment has a long and diverse pedigree

By MILES SCHUMAN
Friday, May 14, 2004 - Page A19

The International Committee of the Red Cross has revealed over the past days that the gross human-rights abuses of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison were not confined to a few soldiers. Indeed, it appears they were well-known to U.S. government and military officials while they occurred. As a physician who has worked with many survivors of torture in Canada -- and has lived in Guatemala, Haiti and Mexico, working with survivors of state-sponsored violence -- the images of the detainees in Abu Ghraib represent a hauntingly familiar pattern of abuse.

The black hood covering the faces of naked prisoners in Abu Ghraib was known as la capuchi in Guatemalan and Salvadoran torture chambers. The metal bed frame to which the naked and hooded detainee was bound in a crucifix position at Abu Ghraib was la cama for a former Chilean patient who survived the U.S.-installed regime of General Augusto Pinochet. In her case, electrodes were attached to her arms, legs and genitalia, just as they were attached to the Iraqi detainee poised on a box, threatened with electrocution if he fell off. The Iraqi man bound naked on the ground with a leash attached to his neck, held by a smiling young American recruit reminds me of the son of peasant organizers who recounted his agonizing torture at the hands of the tonton macoutes, U.S.-backed Jean-Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier's right-hand thugs, in Port-au-Prince, in 1984.

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Americans are no novices to inflicting pain and humiliation, says torture expert MILES SCHUMAN. U.S.-sanctioned torment has a long and diverse pedigree

By MILES SCHUMAN
Friday, May 14, 2004 - Page A19

The International Committee of the Red Cross has revealed over the past days that the gross human-rights abuses of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison were not confined to a few soldiers. Indeed, it appears they were well-known to U.S. government and military officials while they occurred. As a physician who has worked with many survivors of torture in Canada -- and has lived in Guatemala, Haiti and Mexico, working with survivors of state-sponsored violence -- the images of the detainees in Abu Ghraib represent a hauntingly familiar pattern of abuse.

The black hood covering the faces of naked prisoners in Abu Ghraib was known as la capuchi in Guatemalan and Salvadoran torture chambers. The metal bed frame to which the naked and hooded detainee was bound in a crucifix position at Abu Ghraib was la cama for a former Chilean patient who survived the U.S.-installed regime of General Augusto Pinochet. In her case, electrodes were attached to her arms, legs and genitalia, just as they were attached to the Iraqi detainee poised on a box, threatened with electrocution if he fell off. The Iraqi man bound naked on the ground with a leash attached to his neck, held by a smiling young American recruit reminds me of the son of peasant organizers who recounted his agonizing torture at the hands of the tonton macoutes, U.S.-backed Jean-Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier's right-hand thugs, in Port-au-Prince, in 1984.

The very act of photographing those tortured in Abu Ghraib to humiliate and silence parallels the experience of an American missionary, Sister Diana Ortiz, who was tortured in Guatemala in 1989. Before the U.S. Congressional Human Rights Caucus, she reported: "My hand was burned over 100 times with cigarettes. I was gang raped repeatedly. . . . My last few minutes in detention, I met Alejandro, whom the torturers referred to as their boss. He was tall and fair-skinned and spoke halting Spanish, with a thick American accent. His English was American, flawless, unaccented. When I asked him if he was American, his answer was evasive: 'Why do you want to know?' He reminded me that my torturers had made videotapes and taken photos of the parts of the torture I was most ashamed of. He said if I didn't forgive my torturers, he would have no choice but to release those photos and tapes to the press [Congressional Human Rights Caucus Briefing on Torture, June 25, 1988]."

The same sadistic choreography has taken place at the U.S. military base at Bagram in Afghanistan, where named witnesses informed The New York Times that detainees were stripped and hooded "with their arms raised and chained to the ceiling, their feet shackled."

This infernal landscape illustrates methods of torture consistent with U.S. military-intelligence teaching manuals. One example from the manuals produced by the U.S. Army's School of the Americas and declassified by the U.S. government, advises that in order to forcibly recruit spies, "The counterintelligence agent could cause the arrest of the employees' parents, imprison the employee, or give him a beating as part of the placement plan." It suggests that many other techniques could be used, limited only by the agent's imagination.

A 1986 report by the El Salvador Human Rights Commission, founded by Archbishop Oscar Romero, and smuggled out of the infamous Mariona Prison in San Salvador, refers to 40 kinds of torture inflicted on political prisoners, and the presence of Americans as supervisors. Graduates of the School of the Americas include military officers and leaders implicated in torture and mass murder in Guatemala, El Salvador, Chile, Argentina and Haiti, among other Latin American countries.

Two CIA manuals obtained by The Baltimore Sun in 1997, have specific relevance to the torture methods used on prisoners at Abu Ghraib. One manual written by the CIA in 1963, titled Kubark Counter-Intelligence Interrogation, states: "Interrogations conducted under compulsion or duress are especially likely to involve illegality. . . . Therefore, prior approval at the higher level must be obtained for the interrogation of any source against his will under any of the following circumstances: If bodily harm is inflicted; if medical, chemical or electric methods or materials are used to induce acquiescence."

Such methods could not have been far from the thoughts of those who applied electric wires to the Iraqi detainee pictured at Abu Ghraib. In his case, there was reportedly no potential current to cause shock. But as aptly noted by The Guardian in this connection, the CIA's 1983 Human Resource Exploitation Manual, used in Honduras, advises: "The threat of coercion usually weakens or destroys resistance more effectively than coercion itself. The threat to inflict pain triggers fears more damaging than the immediate sensation of pain."

The types of torture practised by individuals representing the U.S. government or their surrogates have varied slightly from place to place over time, depending on the particular social, cultural or religious norms that need to be subverted, in order to inflict the greatest pain and humiliation.

This subversion often goes hand in hand with gender-based violence. Examples include the rape of nuns such as Diana Ortiz by, and under the supervision of, male torturers, and the sexual assault of Muslim men by, and under the supervision of, enlisted women.

The ultimate purpose of torture, however, is always the same. It is not the extraction of information, which is notoriously unreliable under such conditions.

It is, rather, the destruction of one's voice and identity, the transformation of a human into an object (thus the hood over the face), like the Orwellian deconstruction of thousands of former lives into "collateral damage," or the "rendering" of individuals to another country for so-called interrogation.

From my experience as a physician, the Abu Ghraib images are not an exception to the rules. They represent the rules, I believe, by which the U.S. government and military exercise power over a non-servile population to optimize the economic and political interests of an elite few in the U.S. and abroad. What is not the norm, what is exceptional, is the graphic revelation to the world of these horrors. In his book A Miracle, A Universe, New Yorker writer Lawrence Weschler crystallizes the torturer's message to the tortured: "Scream. Scream as much as you like. It doesn't matter. No one is listening. No one will ever hear you. No one will ever know." The torturer, like the state sponsoring him, depends on the obscurity of the victim and silence of witnesses to continue his crimes.

We are all witnesses now.

Miles Schuman, a family physician in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut, counselled refugees, and documented torture for the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture and the Clinique Santé Accueil in Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, and in Cambodian refugee camps in Thailand.

||2|| 1084619972|hsee|What instructing US military interrogators taught me|

By Charles D. Smith
Special to The Daily Star
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

In early 2003, I lectured to army reservists at Fort Huachuca in Arizona, the center for army intelligence in the United States and the training facility for the army's interrogators. They were being trained to replace regular army interrogators at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who had been sent to Iraq. Two reservists (one possibly from my group) are now under investigation for abuses of prisoners at Guantanamo in 2002 and 2003. Colonel Thomas Pappas, the former head of a planning section at Fort Huachuca and commander of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, has been cited in the much-publicized report by General Antonio Taguba for abuses inflicted by members of that brigade at the Abu Ghraib prison.

My role was to introduce reservists to Arab and Islamic culture and history and, I thought, to explain to them why many Middle Easterners, though they admired proclaimed American values, hated US policy in the Middle East. The reservists ranged in age from the early 20s to 50s, came from all sectors of society and included several women. They were accompanied by an army supervisor who was familiar with basic Middle Eastern history and who interrupted me occasionally to correct statements he thought were too sympathetic to Islam or Arab culture.

|

By Charles D. Smith
Special to The Daily Star
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

In early 2003, I lectured to army reservists at Fort Huachuca in Arizona, the center for army intelligence in the United States and the training facility for the army's interrogators. They were being trained to replace regular army interrogators at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who had been sent to Iraq. Two reservists (one possibly from my group) are now under investigation for abuses of prisoners at Guantanamo in 2002 and 2003. Colonel Thomas Pappas, the former head of a planning section at Fort Huachuca and commander of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, has been cited in the much-publicized report by General Antonio Taguba for abuses inflicted by members of that brigade at the Abu Ghraib prison.

My role was to introduce reservists to Arab and Islamic culture and history and, I thought, to explain to them why many Middle Easterners, though they admired proclaimed American values, hated US policy in the Middle East. The reservists ranged in age from the early 20s to 50s, came from all sectors of society and included several women. They were accompanied by an army supervisor who was familiar with basic Middle Eastern history and who interrupted me occasionally to correct statements he thought were too sympathetic to Islam or Arab culture.

None of the reservists showed animosity toward Arabs before me. However, a regular soldier did make openly racist references to Arabs during a break between lectures. He may have represented small a minority, but his role in a supervisory position could have easily influenced behavior during interrogations.

I had wrongly assumed a certain awareness of the Middle East among my students. This was corrected after my first talk, when two women admitted they had no background on the subject and asked me if Iranians were Arabs. Redrafting my lectures to a more basic level, I also showed films to offer an understanding of US Middle East policy as viewed by Arabs and Muslims generally.

I showed Gilberto Pontecorvo's classic film "The Battle of Algiers," on the French suppression of the first stage of the Algerian revolt in 1954-55. I used it to explain why people rebelled, in the context of lecturing on European imperialism and nationalist responses to this following World War II. I also noted that many Muslims regarded the United States as imperialist, particularly because it favored Israel in the conflict with the Palestinians. The reservists' supervisor told me he liked the film because it showed how the French had crushed the Algerian revolt - the opposite lesson from what I intended.

"The Battle of Algiers" includes scenes of French soldiers torturing Algerians to get information on the mastermind of the revolt. At the time I naively assumed that Fort Huachuca, as a base for military intelligence, was responsible for gathering information through technology and that interrogations meant asking questions based on an awareness of the general historical background of prisoners. With University of Arizona colleagues, I believed it was better for an academic to offer such information rather than government specialists possibly lacking sufficient expertise - or under pressure to distort information. Now, given the public scrutiny afforded by the Abu Ghraib scandal, I have learned much more.

For example, all interrogators at Fort Huachuca are instructed in the Geneva Conventions and the laws forbidding physical or mental torture during interrogations. But the institution's manual also states that applications of some interrogation techniques "may approach the line between lawful and unlawful actions." Given this, it is not surprising that some interrogators in the field may cross that line if under pressure to acquire information - or that they develop a sense of unrestricted power that their superiors may allow, or indeed encourage.

In a 1971 Stanford University psychology experiment, students were randomly assigned as "guards" or "prisoners" in an imaginary detention facility for two weeks to test their behavior. Supervisors canceled the experiment after three days because the "guards" began placing bags over the heads of their "prisoners," forced them to strip and encouraged them to perform sexual acts. The "guards" no longer viewed their "prisoners" as fellow students.

If this was possible at an elite university, how much more likely was such behavior on the part of military personnel with little education or training and with no knowledge of their prisoners' backgrounds? Clearly, at Abu Ghraib a lack of education and contempt for people of a different culture were important factors. Consider the photo of a female soldier with a leash around the neck of a naked Iraqi, or the sexual overtones of the prisoner with women's panties on his head.

Still, officers from military intelligence, a number of whom are in the photos, supervised the soldiers. These individuals ordered the "softening up" of prisoners before interrogation, and knew what they were doing. The officers share responsibility for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners, as do those in the higher echelons of the Pentagon and the administration. Neither Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld nor Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Richard Myers read the full Taguba report when it was completed, and President George W. Bush only learned about the Abu Ghraib photos from watching CBS News in April.

To be sure, such torture (and far worse) is practiced by many countries, including Arab countries and Israel. The US is not alone in "crossing the line" in interrogating prisoners - Americans or foreigners. Yet will anything be learned from this experience? I wonder. Despite praise for my efforts from personnel at Fort Huachuca, I was not invited back and, now, would not do so if asked. Government employees were hired instead, and one of them asked me if I would review his material to see if it was accurate. The incident suggested that at least some of the new lecturers are uneasy about their levels of expertise.

More broadly, Bush participated last Thursday in a National Day of Prayer. Instituted in 1952, the event has been taken over by evangelical Christians. Muslims and persons of other faiths were excluded from the ceremonies on Capitol Hill and in state capitals nationwide. One Christian spokesperson justified this exclusion on the grounds that Muslims were "outside the Judeo-Christian tradition."

Such ignorance of Islam as a monotheistic religion that is part of the Judeo-Christian tradition is not surprising. More serious is the lack of sensitivity of an avowedly Christian president who claims he is reaching out to the majority of the world's Muslims, while partaking in ceremonies that exclude American Muslims at the national level. Perhaps it was to be expected, then, that Bush did not initially apologize for Abu Ghraib, and later only did so under pressure from advisers. Such attitudes suggest that future incidents like those in Iraq are possible not because the military ignores the rules, but because American leaders display exclusionist principles, if only for political purposes, which many citizens absorb.

Charles D. Smith is professor of Near Eastern studies at the University of Arizona. He wrote this commentary for THE DAILY STAR

||2|| 1084619622|hsee|An ugly prison record|

Given the way it treats its own inmates, America shouldn't be shocked at the abuse of Iraqis, by Christopher Reed
May 10, 2004. 01:00 AM

For a nation founded on slavery and genocide, Americans retain an astonishingly enduring faith in their continuing righteousness. They are sounding this note again as the prison torture scandal continues in Iraq.

In a column in the New York Times last week, Middle East analyst Thomas Friedman warned that the revelations created the "danger of losing America as an instrument of moral authority and inspiration in the world."

Does he not read the world's newspapers? Uncle Sam as moral authority?

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Given the way it treats its own inmates, America shouldn't be shocked at the abuse of Iraqis, by Christopher Reed
May 10, 2004. 01:00 AM

For a nation founded on slavery and genocide, Americans retain an astonishingly enduring faith in their continuing righteousness. They are sounding this note again as the prison torture scandal continues in Iraq.

In a column in the New York Times last week, Middle East analyst Thomas Friedman warned that the revelations created the "danger of losing America as an instrument of moral authority and inspiration in the world."

Does he not read the world's newspapers? Uncle Sam as moral authority?

Other U.S. pundits similarly harrumphed about America's endangered integrity and leadership. President George W. Bush himself said the prison mistreatments were not the American way.

But they were, and they are.

Friedman's column was headlined, "Restoring our honour," but the abuse of prisoners surprises nobody who reads newspapers or scans the Internet. Americans have been mistreating and torturing their fellow Americans in their own lock-ups for decades. What honour is there to restore?

In "liberal" California, horror stories have appeared for years from hellholes such as Pelican Bay prison, where they house "the worst of the worst" — and also inflict the worst brutalities. A prisoner dumped in scalding water so his skin peeled off like old varnish; prisoners left naked outside in rainy and bitter weather for days; multiple beatings and rapes; several unexplained deaths.

In Corcoran prison, California, guards held their own Roman gladiator games with prisoners pitted against each other in fights to the near death. A disliked and defenceless prisoner was placed in the same cell as the biggest and baddest sex criminal — known as the Booty Bandit — to be duly raped to the amusement of the prisoner's supposed guardians.

Pelican Bay is such a fearful place, with prisoners kept under perpetual scrutiny while unable to see any other human being, a psychiatrist told a court that many were going insane.

A federal judge finally ordered reforms, as did another over Corcoran, but there is little evidence that either have become proper places even to house the worst.

Similar reports surface across America. Texas is especially bad.

Significantly, private, for-profit prisons have some of the worst records.

They often have such poor medical facilities that prisoners die from curable conditions, as Harper's magazine revealed in an exhaustive inquiry last year.

California holds more prisoners than Britain, France, Germany, and Canada combined, yet jails are still grossly overcrowded. Conditions in many southern U.S. prisons resemble some of the worst of the developing world, with prisoners sleeping on filthy floors overrun by rats.

In 1999, it was reported that 13 women at California's state-run Chowchilla female detention centre had died the previous year from negligent, or non-existent, medical care. Amnesty International reported in 1999 that male guards in several U.S. states routinely raped female prisoners.

In a book published in 2001, Going Up The River, former Wall Street Journal reporter Joseph Hallinan told of visiting a prison in Alabama where chained inmates still broke boulders with sledgehammers.

The sheriff of Phoenix, Ariz. was re-elected by loyal voters after bringing in female convict chain gangs. All this has been going on since Saddam Hussein was a young man.

It has worsened in recent years, despite a massive prison-building program that now incarcerates 2 million, the world's largest prison population.

Yet Americans have mostly ignored the disgrace of their penal system.

They became so fearful of crime, they lost consideration for the lives of criminals. Any idea of rehabilitation has been abandoned. Even when scandals over mistreatment do emerge, many say the inmates deserve it.

This does not excuse commentators such as Friedman, or the shocked, shocked, demeanour of U.S. news anchors and commentators.

Yet the details from Iraq itself support the view that prisoner abuse in Iraq was inevitable.

At Abu Ghraib prison, the alleged main perpetrator is staff sergeant Ivan "Chip" Frederick, 37, the senior of six non-officers charged with cruelty and other mistreatment. He is a part-time military policeman called up last year for service in Baghdad — and was a prison guard for six years in Virginia.

Another reflection on the role of private enterprise in U.S. incarceration is the background of Brigadier-General Janis Karpinski, also a military police reservist in Iraq.

When she was put in command of Abu Ghraib and its thousands of Iraqi inmates last year, she had never done penal work before. In the army she was an intelligence officer and in private life, a business consultant.

Shortly before her suspension from duty she told a Florida newspaper that her prisoners were living so well, she was worried they wouldn't want to return home.

Another American living in dreamland.

Christopher Reed is a Los Angeles-based reporter who has written extensively on prison conditions in the United States.

||2|| 1084619491|hsee|Israeli link possible in US torture techniques: In exchange for interrogation training, did Washington award security contracts?|

By Ali Abunimah
Special to The Daily Star
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

CHICAGO, Illinois: The head of the American defense contracting firm implicated in the torture of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison has close ties to Israel and visited an Israeli "anti-terror" training camp in the occupied West Bank earlier this year.

Jack London, chairman, president and CEO of CACI International Incorporated, traveled to Israel in January this year as part of a high-level delegation of US Congressmen, defense contractors and pro-Israel lobbyists, sponsored and paid for in part by the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah, a pro-Israel lobbying and fundraising group, and Greenberg Traurig, LLP, a prominent Washington law and lobby firm.

The purpose of the visit, according to a CACI press release, was "to promote opportunities for strategic partnerships and joint ventures between US and Israeli defense and homeland security companies."

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By Ali Abunimah
Special to The Daily Star
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

CHICAGO, Illinois: The head of the American defense contracting firm implicated in the torture of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison has close ties to Israel and visited an Israeli "anti-terror" training camp in the occupied West Bank earlier this year.

Jack London, chairman, president and CEO of CACI International Incorporated, traveled to Israel in January this year as part of a high-level delegation of US Congressmen, defense contractors and pro-Israel lobbyists, sponsored and paid for in part by the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah, a pro-Israel lobbying and fundraising group, and Greenberg Traurig, LLP, a prominent Washington law and lobby firm.

The purpose of the visit, according to a CACI press release, was "to promote opportunities for strategic partnerships and joint ventures between US and Israeli defense and homeland security companies."

As one of the highlights of the visit, London was presented with the Albert Einstein Technology Award by Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz at a gala dinner at Jerusalem city hall, for "achievements in the field of defense and national security."

Delegates also spent several hours in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights with Housing and Construction Minister Effie Eitam, a former Israeli general, who is notorious for his view that Israel should "transfer" - that is, expel - all the Palestinians.

According to the official itinerary for the Jan. 11-17 Defense Aerospace Homeland Security Mission, obtained from the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah, London's trip included a visit to Beit Horon, "the central training camp for the anti-terrorist forces of the Israeli police and the border police," in the occupied West Bank. The visitors were also "briefed by top experts," and were able to "witness exercises related to anti-terror warfare."

Two CACI employees, Steven Stephanowicz and John Israel, were named in the leaked report by US Major General Antonio M. Taguba on the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison. Taguba wrote that Stephanowicz, a "contract US civilian interrogator," "allowed and/or instructed MPs (military police), who were not trained in interrogation techniques, to facilitate interrogations by 'setting conditions' which were neither authorized or in accordance with applicable regulations/policy. He clearly knew his instructions equated to physical abuse."

John Israel, an interpreter, did not have the appropriate security clearance, according to Taguba.

Although Taguba recommended that Stephanowicz be terminated and his security clearance revoked, a May 5 statement from CACI confirmed, "at present, all CACI employees continue to work on site providing the contracted for services to our clients in that location." It added: "We have not received any information to stop any of our work, to terminate or suspend any of our employees."

Although no evidence has emerged directly linking CACI's involvement in the Abu Ghraib atrocities to Israel, it has long been known that the US military has been interested in "learning" from Israel's experience attempting to suppress the Palestinian uprising. In March 2003, for example, the AP reported that the "the (US) military has been listening closely to Israeli experts and picking up tips from years of Israeli Army operations in Palestinian areas and Lebanese towns."

This cooperation has included briefings of US personnel by Israeli officers, and, according to AP, "In January and February (2003), Israeli and American troops trained together in southern Israel's Negev Desert ... Israel has also hosted senior law enforcement officials from the United States for a seminar on counterterrorism."

Meanwhile, more evidence has emerged undermining the US thesis that the abuses at Abu Ghraib was the work of a "few bad apples." The Guardian reported that the "sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison was not an invention of maverick guards, but part of a system of ill-treatment and degradation used by special forces soldiers that is now being disseminated among ordinary troops and contractors."

This system, known to insiders as "R2I," short for resistance to interrogation, also includes such methods as "hooding, sleep deprivation, time disorientation and depriving prisoners not only of dignity, but of fundamental human needs, such as warmth, water and food." These are all techniques long employed by Israel.

The visit of the US delegation that included the CACI head exposes a rarefied web of influence sharing in which US government officials and congressmen, defense contractors and lobbyists parcel out huge contracts, and siphon significant portions off to Israel.

As Batya Feldman of Israel's Globes financial news service put it, the visit provided Israeli companies with "an excellent opportunity to encounter big bucks in homeland security."

To help Israeli companies pry some of these "big bucks" loose, the visit included seminars for Israeli companies given by US pro-Israel lobbyists called "How to Approach the Homeland Security Department," and "How to Sell to the US Defense Department."

Israeli participants would have had a chance to test the helpful tips, since present on the trip were Assistant Secretary for Homeland SecurityRobert Liscouski and many leading US legislators, including top members of the US House and Senate Armed Services Committees, which jointly oversee tens of billions of dollars in military spending.

||2|| 1084619309|hsee|Israelis launch fresh Gaza strike|

Israeli helicopter gunships have carried out strikes in Gaza City, apparently targeting the militant group Islamic Jihad.

The attacks early on Saturday hit a building on the seafront, and then offices in the city.

However, both buildings were empty and casualties are thought to be light.

The raids came after two Israeli soldiers and at least two Palestinians died in clashes at Rafah refugee camp, in the southern Gaza Strip.

The fighting occurred as troops moved in to demolish homes and expand a buffer zone along the Egyptian border.

Toll from latest violence

  • 14 May - Two Israeli soldiers and one Palestinian killed in the Rafah refugee camp
  • 13 May - 12 Palestinians reported dead in Israeli raids on Rafah refugee camp
  • 12 May - Five Israeli soldiers killed by a rocket fired by Palestinian gunmen near Rafah
  • 11-12 May - 14 Palestinians killed during Israeli incursion in Gaza City
  • 11 May - Six Israeli soldiers killed by an anti-tank bomb in Gaza City

Comment: Look what has been happening while world attention has been focused on the beheading of Nick Berg. Israel has been killing even more Palestinians, razing even more Palestinian homes. This comes the week after Bush tells the Jordanian king that the Palestinians will receive a letter of assurances, too. What a joke. Unfortunately, it is the sort of frat boy joke that goes bad and kills someone...only in this case it is thousands.


|||2|| 1084619104|hsee|Gas prices soar across Canada|

Last Updated Fri, 14 May 2004 23:51:48

OTTAWA - Record high gas prices are hitting consumers across the nation, and like the weather, people keep complaining about it. But no one seems willing to fix it.


|||2|| 1084619005|hsee|Hundreds forced from homes after Indonesian volcano erupts|

15/05/2004 18:30:32 | ABC Radio Australia News

Hundreds of people on an eastern Indonesian island have reportedly been forced from their homes by a volcanic eruption.

Mount Sirung on Pantar Island in East Nusa Tenggara province began spewing smoke and dust about two days ago.

A local government official said hundreds of residents within one or two kilometres of the volcano had been moved further away.

No damage had yet been reported.

In February more than 5,000 people were forced from their homes when Mount Egon on nearby Flores island began spewing smoke.


|||11|| 1084618925|hsee|Volcano erupts in southern Japan, spewing smoke|

TOKYO (AP) - A volcano erupted in southern Japan on Saturday, shaking the nearby area with an explosion and spewing smoke high into the air, an official said. There were no reports of damage or injuries.

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TOKYO (AP) - A volcano erupted in southern Japan on Saturday, shaking the nearby area with an explosion and spewing smoke high into the air, an official said. There were no reports of damage or injuries.

The explosion of Mount Sakurajima registered as "large'' on the Meteorological Agency's scale for both the sound and the strength of the tremors it caused, an official at the local agency office in Kagoshima said.

Officials could not tell how high the smoke rose due to cloudy weather, he said.

The 1,117-meter (3,686-foot) high Sakurajima is one of Japan's most active volcanoes. Clouds of ash constantly drift from its crater. It sits in Kagoshima Bay, about 950 kilometers (590 miles) southwest of Tokyo.

An eruption in October 2000 blew ash five kilometers (three miles) into the air and blanketed a nearby city in dust.

Japan is among the most seismically active countries in the world, with 108 active volcanoes. The nation lies in the "Ring of Fire'' _ a series of volcanoes and fault lines that outline the Pacific Ocean.-AP

||11|| 1084618816|hsee|Cell fone fireball|

By BRIAN HARMON
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Pumping gas and gabbing on the cell phone can be a combustible mix - and Matthew Erhorn is singed proof of that.

Erhorn, a 21-year-old SUNY-New Paltz student, caught on fire Thursday night at a Mobil station near the college when his ringing cellular phone ignited vapors near the gas pump, firefighters said.

He escaped with just minor burns, but his mishap fuels the debate over whether a cell phone can really set off an explosion at a gas station.


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Č2004 Pierre-Paul Feyte



|||9|| 1084572839|jquin|Rumblings of military coup in the US?|Donald Rumsfeld has a new war on his hands - the US officer corps has turned on the government

Sidney Blumenthal
Thursday May 13, 2004
The Guardian


Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, told George Bush in February about torture at Abu Ghraib prison. From the limited detail Rumsfeld recalled of that meeting, it can be deduced that Bush gave no orders, insisted on no responsibility, did not ask to see the already commissioned Taguba report. If there are exculpatory facts, Rumsfeld has failed to mention them.

Under Bush, the team of Cheney and Rumsfeld spread across the top rungs of government, drawing staff from the neoconservative cabal and infusing their rightwing temperaments with ideological imperatives. The unvarnished will to power took on a veneer of ideas and idealism. Iraq was not a case of vengeance or power, but the cause of democracy and human rights.

The fate of the neoconservative project depends on Rumsfeld's job. If he were to go, so would his deputy, the neoconservative Robespierre, Paul Wolfowitz. Also threatened would be the cadres who stovepiped the disinformation that neoconservative darling Ahmed Chalabi used to manipulate public opinion before the war. In his Senate testimony last week, Rumsfeld explained that the government asking the press not to report Abu Ghraib "is not against our principles. It is not suppression of the news." War is peace.

Six National Guard soldiers from a West Virginia unit who treated Abu Ghraib as a playpen of pornographic torture have been designated as scapegoats. Will the show trials of these working-class antiheroes put an end to any inquiries about the chain of command? In an extraordinary editorial, the Army Times, which had not previously ventured into such controversy, declared that "the folks in the Pentagon are talking about the wrong morons ... This was not just a failure of leadership at the local command level. This was a failure that ran straight to the top. Accountabilty here is essential - even if that means relieving leaders from duty in a time of war."

One high-level military strategist told me that Rumsfeld is "detested", and that "if there's a sentiment in the army it is: Support Our Troops, Impeach Rumsfeld". [...]

In 1992, General Colin Powell, chairman of the joint chiefs, awarded the prize for his strategy essay competition at the National Defence University to Lieutenant Colonel Charles Dunlap for The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012. His cautionary tale imagined an incapable civilian government creating a vacuum that drew a competent military into a coup disastrous for democracy. The military, of course, is bound to uphold the constitution. But Dunlap wrote: "The catastrophe that occurred on our watch took place because we failed to speak out against policies we knew were wrong. It's too late for me to do any more. But it's not for you."


The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012 is today circulating among top US military strategists.
|||2|| 1084572818|sogrin|Vatican Warns Catholics Against Marrying Muslims|
By Shasta Darlington
Fri May 14, 2004 12:43 PM ET


VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican warned Catholic women on Friday to think hard before marrying a Muslim and urged Muslims to show more respect for human rights, gender equality and democracy.

Calling women "the least protected member of the Muslim family," it spoke of the "bitter experience" western Catholics had with Muslim husbands, especially if they married outside the Islamic world and later moved to his country of origin.

The comments in a document about migrants around the world were preceded by remarks about points of agreement between Christians and Muslims but they seemed likely to fuel mistrust between the world's two largest religions. [...]

It said one possible problem was with Muslim in-laws and advised future mothers that they must insist on Church policy that children born of a mixed marriage be baptized and brought up as Catholics.

If the marriage is registered in the consulate of a Muslim country, the document said, the Catholic must be careful not to sign a document or swear an oath including the shahada, the Islamic profession of faith, which would amount to converting. [...]
|||2|| 1084571264|sogrin|Terror Fears Push Oil Prices to New High|By ANUSHA SHRIVASTAVA, AP Business Writer
Fri May 14, 9:59 AM ET


NEW YORK - Oil prices soared to a record Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, crossing $41 a barrel and settling at the highest point in the 21-year-history of crude futures trading in New York.

June light, sweet crude oil futures settled at $41.08, up 31 cents from Wednesday, after touching an intraday high of $41.10. [...]

|||8|| 1084570932|jquin|Editor sacked over 'hoax' pictures|Friday 14 May 2004

Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan has been sacked following pressure over faked photos of soldiers abusing an Iraqi prisoner. The Queen's Lancashire Regiment earlier told a press conference the Mirror had to apologise for running the pictures and endangering British troops.

In a news conference in Preston on Friday afternoon, the regiment demonstrated to reporters the aspects of uniform and equipment which it said proved the photographs were fake.

"The photos that were published in the Daily Mirror have done great damage to the reputation of our troops, who are serving under some of the most difficult conditions in Iraq.''

Earlier Colonel Black, a former regiment commander of the QLR, said the pictures put lives in danger and acted as a "recruiting poster" for al-Qaeda.

Downing Street refused to comment on Morgan's resignation, saying it was a matter for the Mirror board.

The regiment's Brigadier Geoff Sheldon said the vehicle featured in the photographs had been located in a Territorial Army base in Lancashire and had never been in Iraq.

Comment:   Okay, so the photos were faked, but by who? The above article states that the vehicle used in the photos was found at a territorial army base in the UK. What was it doing there?! Is it safe then to assume that members of the territorial army "faked" the pictures? If so, was it sanctioned? By whom? Is this yet more evidence that there is indeed a psychlogical operation being conducted for the "benefit" of the western public? On the one hand we have actual acts of torture being staged, while on the other we have "fake" acts of torture being staged. In the final analysis however, the result is the same.

There is a technique used in interrogations called "good cop - bad cop". The process involves one interrogator first traumatising the victim and then a second interrogator placating the victim. The psychological effect is that the victim, subjected to such radical swings in his perception of "what is", eventually experiences a degree of mental breakdown where normal rationalisations and thought processes are impossible. A person "prepared" in such a way is essentially "open" to suggestions from his interrogators about what is and is not true.

As a result of the recent torture pictures and now the publicised "beheading" of Nick Berg, the American and western population are basically being subjected to a remote, global version of "good cop bad cop", and surprisingly, it is working.

|||2|| 1084570921|sogrin|American Troops Release Nearly 300 Iraqis|By FISNIK ABRASHIMay 14, 11:20 AM (ET)

ABU GHRAIB, Iraq (AP) - Nearly 300 Iraqi detainees, some weeping and waving to friends, were released from the Abu Ghraib prison on Friday, a day after Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld made a surprise visit and insisted the Pentagon did not try to cover up abuses there.

One bus carrying 40 prisoners left the jail and drove to an American military base in west Baghdad, where tribal leaders awaited some of them. One by one, prisoners got out, kneeled, and prayed beside the bus. Others left on the same bus, bound for other Baghdad neighborhoods.

Hundreds of relatives of those detained had stood outside the prison since early morning, waiting for their release. U.S. Marines blocked off both lanes of a highway as the first bus left the prison compound. At least five other buses left the prison.

The U.S. military released 293 prisoners and planned to release another 475 prisoners on May 21, said Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the chief U.S. military spokesman in Iraq. [...]

Comment: How exactly should one take this news? A total of 768 prisoners are now being released. Surely the US would never free dangerous, evil terrorists. The most likely explanation, then, is that the US has wrongly imprisoned at least 768 innocent Iraqis. While we certainly are not surprised, it is interesting that these prisoners are being released now amidst the already huge Iraqi prison "scandal".
|||8|| 1084559901|jquin|The Bottom Line on the Nick Berg Decapitation|Signs of the Times Editorial

Clearly the agenda of the Bush junta, and therefore that of their controllers, is to mould public perception in a very specific way. The entire "war on terror" is designed to keep the people in a state of permanent, yet not outright, fear. This form of subtle or slightly subconscious fear has a very interesting psychological effect on the average citizen. Fear inhibits rational and logical thought processes and promotes blind belief in the words of those that present themselves as the protectors of the people from the threat.

The tactic of first creating a problem, to allow for the provision of the solution which you want to implement, is commonly known. This is the underlying ethos that has lead to the current "war on terror". There was no threat from "Arab terrorism" prior to 9/11, so "the powers that be" simply created the appearance of a problem and now are implementing the solution. Of course, all of the "solutions" that have been and continue to be implemented, such as clamping down on civil liberties, waging a indefinite "war on terror", demonising the Arab people in the minds of westerners, and polarising the peoples of the world into two distinct camps, existed long before the manufactured problem which supposedly gave rise to them. We see evidence of the truth of this in the fact that plans for the Iraq invasion were drawn up in the mid 1990's.

Naturally it is not enough for "the powers that be" to simply claim that there is a terrorist threat. To fully convince the population, they must provide apparent evidence of the reality of the threat. We can no longer believe our eyes, if indeed it was ever advisable to do so.

Clearly, "Arabs" and "Muslims" in general have been chosen as the physical representations of the ever present, all pervasive, yet bogus threat to westerners, and Americans in particular. Osama Bin Laden and "al-Qaeda" were created and used for this specific purpose. 9/11 was carried out to traumatise the American people, leaving them "wide open", from a psychological point of view, to believing whatever the "elite" wished them to believe. At this stage of the programming, the "elite" want the world to believe that all Arabs are little more than animals, intrinsically evil and barbaric, and that they hate western democracy and westerners simply because they are "good", as Bush recently claimed in reference to Berg's death.

To get back to the key point. The agenda of the Bush administration, and the puppet masters that control them, is to co-opt belief and thereby implicate the masses of humanity in their plans for world conflict. In a very real way, simply by believing the lies and illusion about the state of the world, - that Arab terrorists want to kill us because they hate us because we are good and they are evil, and we must kill them first - Bush and Co are able to actually make this our reality. The clear evidence that the beheading of Nick Berg was part of this plan is in the simple deduction that, if the Arab "terrorists" are NOT working for the Bush cabal, why would they carry out acts such as the public beheading of a US citizen that simply play into the hands of those that want to demonise the Arab world? What kind of Arab freedom fighters are these?

As yet the population of this planet have not been physically imprisoned, and perhaps we will never be, but for eons we have allowed the powers that be to enslave us by way of the one thing that has the potential to set us free ű our minds and our "view" of reality. The one tangible and enduring thing that we really contribute to life is the vision of the world that we reflect back through what we See. Up until now, most of us have been reflecting the lies and illusions foisted upon us by our controllers. We have the power to change this state of affairs. To do so, we must, at every turn, reject lies and seek only, and always, the Truth.

|||2|| 1084559607|jquin|Death of Nick Berg: Bush-Cheney-Pentagon PsyOps? |by URI DOWBENKO

Who's responsible for dumping Nick Berg, an unarmed American Jew, wearing an orange jumpsuit (with a Star of David scrawled on his back) in the middle of hostile Arab territory?

The Soviets used to call it disinformatsiya. The Pentagon calls it PsyOps, or "psychological operations." It has been effectively used to divert attention from the Abu Ghraib prison scandal of Americans torturing Iraqi civilians, 90% of whom were "arrested by mistake," according to a recent Red Cross report.

This Psychological Operation is aimed at the American Public as Faux News and other channels of disinformation propagate the images of the beheading of Nick Berg to their own advantage.

Bush-Cheney has gotten its sacrificial victim -- an expendable Jew. His father,Michael Berg, even dared complain about the unconstitutional USA Patriot Act. Worse yet, he even dared to sue the US Government for the release of his son, arrested and held in Iraq for 13 days. No charges were filed against the late Nick Berg.

The decapitation of Nick Berg was fodder for the Bush propaganda- meisters of the radio like Michael Weiner, whose radio stage name is Michael Savage.

This elegant Pentagon PsyOps got the American booboisie once again focused on the co-called bad guys, al-Qaeda, even though the "terrorists" who did the dirty deed have been pronounced dead for many months. Like Orwell's 1984, the rabble has one again been fixated on "The Enemy."

Compared to the beheading of the hapless Berg -- what's a little torture by US occupation troops?

Berg's death gave Bush-Cheney a chance to say how much they deplored the atrocity -- a grand theatrical gesture for the mindless.

Bush said, "The actions of the terrorists who executed this man remind us of the nature of the few people who want to stop the advance of freedom in Iraq. Their intention is to shake our will. Their intention is to shake our confidence. Yet, by their actions, they remind us of how desperately parts of the world need free societies and peaceful societies. And we will complete our mission."

It was nothing less than brilliant Bush-Cheney-Pentagon PsyOps for the Global Theater.

What's a little rape and torture from that perspective?

However the Pentagon PsyOps meisters have got to be wondering now.

How long will this Berg distraction last?
|||2|| 1084539181|hsee|Silent Earthquake Shakes The Region|PUGET SOUND REGION - An earthquake has been rumbling under Western Washington for weeks, and no one has felt a thing.

After analyzing data, scientists think this quake could end up releasing as much energy as the magnitude 6.8 Nisqually quake of 2001.

The tremors were initially recorded in the Chehalis area and will travel all the way north to Vancouver Island.

"Rather than an earthquake when it goes jerk, this one very, very, slowly slips, " explained Steve Malone from the University of Washington. "So, it really doesn't generate any shaking but it relieves the same amount of stress over a large area that a larger earthquake would."

The slow earthquake started at the end of April and might not end for several more days, maybe even weeks.

The University of Washington is the only place in the United States documenting this strange occurance.
|||11|| 1084486411|jquin|Nick Berg decapitation|The below is from today's Al-Jazeera report on the death of Nick Berg

"As the body of Berg arrived back home, mystery surrounded not only his disappearance but also why he had been held by Iraqi police for about two weeks and questioned by FBI agents three times."

We commented - "Then again, there is speculation that Berg may have been working for a different organisation altogether..."

In researching further the possible Israeli angle, a few pointers come to mind about Nick Berg.

We know that MOSSAD has some extremely heavy links to telecommunications generally and according to Ostrovsky and others the U.S. is postively seething with false operators and fronts for MOSSAD. It is also true that Zionists are hot-footing it over there in quick time to take advantage of the business opportunities - remember that David Feith is also reponsible for "reconstruction" and also part of the Jewish pressure network wthin the Bush Junta. Berg is said to have been sympathetic to the American invasion and his Prometheus Towers may well have been set up within a "false flag" operation consciously or unconsciously on his part. Why were the FBI SO interested in the guy if he was just repairing radio towers? Perhaps he was extending MOSSAD operations?


He was: "jailed by Iraqi officials at a checkpoint in Mosul. On April 5, the Bergs filed a lawsuit that said their son was being held illegally by the U.S. military in Iraq. The next day, he was released."

"Berg was in Baghdad from late December to Feb. 1 and returned to Iraq in March. He did not find work and planned to return home at the end of March."

What was he doing during that time - being recruited?

Then again, right after the "revelations" of torture we conveniently have the evil "al-Qaeda", in true "Islamic style", beheading the innocent American to promote reactions like this from the Washington Post:


"The treatment of the captives at the Abu Ghraib prison pales in comparison to the public execution of Nick Berg [front page, May 12]. Being humiliated without being identified, as in the case of the hooded prisoner, does not compare with being publicly beheaded so your family and the world can see. It's outrageous that the president apologized to the families of the captive Iraqis for their treatment If the prisoners' treatment resulted in, or could result in, intelligence that could lead to saving American lives, then it is justified in my opinion. We as Americans may play at a higher level of morality, but nevertheless, let's not sacrifice our men and women just because we don't want to humiliate a few prisoners. After all, it could be worse for them."

Seems like a crude swing of the pendulum back into the camp of the "war on terror" - "just look at what they did to our boys"! Then look at this from http://www.aztlan.net/fake_video.htm

Nick Berg decapitation video declared "a fraud" by medical doctor

"The first casualty of war is the truth and this one has been no exception. La Voz de Aztlan obtained a copy of the video showing the beheading of American Nick Berg of Philadelphia and immediately something very odd was readily apparent. Not only were the purported screams of Nick Berg not in synchrony with the decapitation but their was also a total lack of blood spurting out as his jugular and other veins and arteries were being cut.

We forwarded the video to Doctor Raul Castro Guevara, a surgeon and forensic expert in Mexico City for his expert opinion. He wrote back and commented, "No hay manera que el individuo en el video estaba vivo y su corazon funcionando cuando le estaban cortando la cabeza. En estos casos, el corazon impela sangre con gran presion, y se corta las arterias del cuello, hay una gran cantidad de sangre que salpica por todos lados. En mi opinion el video es un fraude."

Doctor Raul Castro Guevara is saying that there is no way that the individual in the video was alive and his heart pumping while his neck was being cut. The doctor adds that in these cases, while the heart is pumping, cutting a person's artery in the neck, would cause copious amounts of blood to spurt all over the immediate environment. He says that in his opinion the video is a fraud.

We hope that our readers view the video and see for themselves. We will provide a copy to any of our subscribers that have been supportive of our publication. Send a request to La Voz de Aztlan at Fake_Video@Aztlan.Net

If you are able to view the video, please pay close attention to the five so called Al queda terrorists making the political statement. Look at their height, weight, skin color and their mannerisms. Do you think these people are Arabs or Iraqis?"
The CIA reckon it's the terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in the video who killed Berg:

But according to the Washington Post this same leader was killed back in March:


Sounds very much like this was set up. There is no love lost between the FBI and MOSSAD, though the latter and the CIA may have an uneasy alliance. Was Berg killed used and spat out as a double whammy of convenience? It looks like the CIA is on first here with a little help from MOSSAD as though it is a kind of replication of covert activities in the U.S.

I'm still sure who is jostling for what here. American/Israeli interests, U.S.military, CIA, MOSSAD. Factions within factions, backscratching and backstabbing ad nauseum...

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Č2004 Pierre-Paul Feyte


|||9|| 1084483324|hsee|Announcement: The Signs page is moving to a blog format|The new format for Signs of the Times will permit us to update the page regularly during the day rather than producing a page a day. Moreover we will be expanding beyond the news. What will we be doing? Time will tell. We hope to have more time to do longer, more in-depth articles. The subjects? We'll see where our wanderings lead us. But we will continue to report everything from the same point of view, that of a soul freed from the limited and confining attachment to outcomes based upon Left or Right, Liberal or Conservative, Race, Colour, Creed, Religion, Nationality, and the other filters that so colour and inflame the passions on the planet, while at the same time refusing the arrogance of pseudo-esoteric or spiritual points of view that maintain the suffering of this world does not concern us.

As with any large change, Murphy's Law is bound to be in effect. Please bear with us as we work out the bugs in the new software.|The Signs page is moving to a blog format.

One year ago, on May 12, 2003, the current team took over the production of the Signs page from Laura who had begun it the previous spring.

Starting the Signs page was not part of any grand plan. It was a fun idea. Laura thought that having a page that tracked the weirder side of the world would be amusing, collecting data on the state of the world: anomalies, hauntings, UFO sightings, as well as earth changes and some political news. So in the spring of 2002 she started up, adding a few items each day or week when she came across news that caught her eye.

Not long thereafter the page started to get more political. This was a natural result of charting the anomalous events, since it was clear that there was an intense interest in "anomalous" occurances from certain political factions. As Bush's hysteria against Saddam in the summer of 2002 picked up, it was obvious that a huge manipulation of public opinion in the US was beginning, using the emotions unleashed by the events of 9/11. Laura was outraged at what she saw, and she knew that someone had to stand up for the truth. Again, this was not done with any anticipation that she could change things. It was simply natural for someone who loved the truth to stand up for it.

As the leaves turned in the fall of 2002, more and more people starting tracking these things and sending in articles to Laura. Slowly the Signs page started taking on a life of its own within the web site.

This progression illustrates an important point about the work. Laura started doing something because it seemed like it would be fun. She was allowing the creative principle to act through her, without anticipation of any results, without any other goal than to report as accurate a picture of the world as possible.

In the spring of 2003, the web site as a whole was redesigned. A new team took over the page. With a small group working long hours every day, the Signs page took on an important profile. It became the main portal to the site. The more mundane slant of the Signs page in analysing current affairs stories, albeit with slightly more controversial commentary, was in itself an important step in opening up the Cassiopaea site to those readers who were not yet ready to consider the more esoteric teachings that make up the main body of the site.

Over the last year, the page has evolved. It started as reports on the news with comments. From time to time we would find a story, we would begin to pull on the thread, and we would end up with a new understanding of things such as Ethnic Specific Weapons. Other days we would write a longer commentary. Some were turned into Signs Supplement, while other supplements were created from combing the Signs archives for articles on particular subjects.

Now, a year later, the commentary and long comments have taken a greater and greater place. The Signs of the Times page has become, to our knowledge, the only news site on the web that tries to report on the events on our planet from the point of view of the soul, free from any taking of sides down here in the trenches. We stand only for the truth.

We know that this world cannot be changed. We know that it is this way for a reason. We are here because we fit, and we will fit until we learn the lessons necessary to "graduate." It is not a page for everyone; it is not a page for those who still feel they have a stake in the outcome of any of the national or planetary squabbles. There are no "good guys", there is no "good side."

After a year, we are feeling somewhat constricted by the current format. We have had the impression recently that we were repeating ourselves.

It is time for a radical change.

The new format for Signs of the Times will permit us to update the page regularly during the day rather than producing a page a day. Moreover we will be expanding beyond the news. What will we be doing? Time will tell. We hope to have more time to do longer, more in-depth articles. The subjects? We'll see where our wanderings lead us. But we will continue to report everything from the same point of view, that of a soul freed from the limited and confining attachment to outcomes based upon Left or Right, Liberal or Conservative, Race, Colour, Creed, Religion, Nationality, and the other filters that so colour and inflame the passions on the planet, while at the same time refusing the arrogance of pseudo-esoteric or spiritual points of view that maintain the suffering of this world does not concern us.

As with any large change, Murphy's Law is bound to be in effect. Please bear with us as we work out the bugs in the new software.||1|| 1084448445|hsee|Does Rumsfeld Want to Discredit the Military?|We brought up the idea a few days ago that the publication of pictures of US torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners might be part of a campaign by the Bush regime to discredit the military. Recent news appears to support this idea.

First, there appear to be thousands of photos of this abuse and torture. It is well-documented.

Second, it is the soldiers on duty who appear to be taking the brunt of the blame, even if it has come out that military intelligence, the CIA, or even dual nationality "guest" advisors who encouraged the abuse. Note that we are not attempting here to deny that the individual soldiers were responsible as well, we are simply noting that this was done under orders, that there was a chain of command involved, and that it is easy to blame the foot soldier and ignore the officer or "guest" advisor who may have been extremely forceful in communicating their desires.

Third, there appears to be long-standing disagreements between Rumsfeld and the military brass who objected to his plans for the invasion, who are now bearing the brunt of the lack of planning for the transition period beween the fall of Saddam and what they are so ingeniously calling the "transfer of sovereignty."

Fourth, there are rumours on various patriot web sites that certain "patriotic" generals are willing to step in and carry out a coup to restore the Constitution. Is this only patriot and militia fantasizing, or does it go deeper?

Fifth, numerous "former" CIA analysts have been writing critical articles about the Bush administration and the way it has been ignoring the CIA and forcing CIA intelligence to conform to the political platform of the neocons. These articles appear to have as their goal to piggy-back on hatred of Bush to increase support for the CIA.
New prisoner abuse images 'far worse'

Thursday 13 May 2004, 8:13 Makka Time, 5:13 GMT

New images of Iraqi prisoner abuse have left members of the US Congress horrified and shaken.

After viewing them on Wednesday in a presentation organized by the Pentagon at Capitol Hill, members said the photos contained disturbing images of torture and humiliation.

Some top Republicans urged the pictures not to be released publicly, saying they could endanger US forces overseas.

"I would state, though, from at least my perspective, that what we saw is appalling," said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.

"There were some awful scenes. It felt like you were descending into one of the wings of hell and sadly it was our own creation," said Senator Richard Durbin.

Special viewing

Senators and members of the House of Representatives had a chance to look at more than 1,200 images in separate secure rooms during the presentation.

Republican Jane Harman said the new pictures showed "cruel and sadistic torture."

"I expected that these pictures would be very hard on the stomach lining and it was significantly worse than anything that I had anticipated" said Senator Ron Wyden. "Take the worst case and multiply it several times over."

Some photos showed military dogs snarling at cowering prisoners while others depicted Iraqi women prisoners being forced to disrobe.

"There were several pictures of Iraqi women who were disrobed or putting their shirts up. They were not smiling in the pictures, thatĂs for sure," said Ben Nighthorse Campbell after the viewing.

Comment: While the Congressmen were seeing the pictures, Rumsfeld was defending the use of "military interrogation techniques" that break the Geneva Convention.
Rumsfeld defends methods

A few hours before the pictures were screened, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld defended military interrogation techniques, rejecting complaints that they violate international rules and may endanger Americans taken prisoner.

Rumsfeld told a Senate committee hearing that Pentagon lawyers had approved methods such as sleep deprivation and dietary changes as well as rules permitting guards to make prisoners assume stressful positions.

But Senator Durbin said some of the approved techniques "go far beyond the Geneva Convention," a reference to international rules governing the treatment of prisoners of war.

Comment: Ah, "assuming stressful positions." It sounds so innocuous, doesn't it? We're not talking torture here, we are talking "military interrogation techniques."

But, of course, the issue is that the Defense Department had approved these techniques, the same techniques used by the Israelis on the Palestinians, and the same techniques that Saddam used on his prisoners. So what's yer problem? They are approved!

And while we are looking at "approved methods", there is this article in which FBI agents don't like what they see.
CIA interrogations 'too brutal'

US officials have said the CIA's methods of interrogating suspected al-Qaeda leaders are too brutal, the New York Times reports.

Unnamed counter-terrorism officials told the paper that CIA methods were so severe, the FBI had directed its agents to stay out of many of the interviews.

The techniques are said to have been authorised by the Bush administration after the 9/11 attacks on the US.

None of the detainees, held in secret locations, are thought to be in Iraq.

The paper cites one case of a detainee who was subjected to a technique known as water boarding, in which a prisoner is strapped down, forcibly pushed under water and made to believe that he might drown.

Some have been hooded, soaked with water, roughed up and deprived of food, light and medication.

At least one CIA employee was disciplined for threatening a detainee with a gun during an interrogation.

Secret rules

The paper says FBI officials have advised their director, Robert Mueller, that the techniques would be prohibited in criminal cases.

Defenders of the secret interrogation rules say the methods stop short of torture and serious injury.

Current CIA officers are said to be worried that public outrage at the treatment of detainees in Iraq might lead to a closer examination of their treatment of al-Qaeda prisoners.

"Some people involved in this have been concerned for quite a while that eventually there would be a new president, or the mood in the country would change, and they would be held accountable," one was quoted as saying.

"Now that's happening faster than anybody expected."


The whereabouts of high-level al-Qaeda detainees is a closely guarded secret, and human rights groups have been denied access to the prisoners.

Officials say some have been send abroad.

"There was a debate after 9/11 about how to make people disappear," a former intelligence official told the paper.

The government was advised that if the CIA was considering procedures which violated the Geneva Convention or US laws prohibiting torture and degrading treatment, it would not be held responsible if it could be argued that the detainees were in the custody of another country.

Comment: Notice this last line, and see how it applies here:
Berg family points finger at FBI

Thursday 13 May 2004, 11:46 Makka Time, 8:46 GMT

Family and friends of slain Nicholas Berg are angry that the US government denied he was in their custody in Iraq.

As the body of Berg arrived back home, mystery surrounded not only his disappearance but also why he had been held by Iraqi police for about two weeks and questioned by FBI agents three times.

Berg's family disputed US officials' claims that he was never in US custody.

"The Iraqi police do not tell the FBI what to do, the FBI tells the Iraqi police what to do. Who do they think they're kidding?" Berg's father, Michael, told reporters from his home in a Philadelphia suburb on Wednesday.

Comment: Then again, there is speculation that Berg may have been working for a different organisation altogether... Ah, what a tangled web we weave...
|||2|| 1084401175|jquin|Mexico Air Force Video Creates UFO Stir|Tue May 11, 2004

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The Mexican Air Force has released footage of what a UFO expert said were 11 invisible unidentified flying objects picked up by an infrared camera as they whizzed around a surveillance plane.

A long-time believer in flying saucers, journalist Jaime Maussan told a news conference on Tuesday the objects were real and seemed "intelligent" after they at one point changed direction and surrounded the plane chasing them.

"They were invisible to the eye but they were there, there is no doubt about it. They had mass, they had energy and they were moving about," he said, after showing a 15-minute video he said the Defense Ministry gave him permission to publicize.

The ministry confirmed to Reuters it had provided the video, filmed by the Air Force on March 5 over the eastern coastal state of Campeche.

"We are not alone! This is so weird," one of the pilots can be heard yelling, after the plane's crew switched on an infrared camera to track the objects, first picked up by radar.

The film, recorded by a plane looking for drugs trafficking near the Gulf of Mexico, shows 11 objects as blobs of light that hover in formation or dart about, sometimes disappearing into cloud.

Mexico's most popular nightly news broadcast showed the video on Monday night.

Interviewed by Mausson on another section of the video, the pilots said they grew nervous when the objects, still invisible, turned back during a chase and surrounded the plane.

"There was a moment when ... the screens showed they were behind us, to the left and in front of us. It was at that point that I felt a bit tense," said Maj. Magdaleno Castanon.

Comment: At this point we might be thinking that this story seems reasonable. We have a sightings of UFOs reported by Mexican Air force pilots, who, we assume, are in a position to know the difference between a weather balloon and an aircraft. The average open minded person might be thinking that there really is something strange about the fact that, over the years, there have been so many reported sightings of UFO's, many of them reported by respectable "sane" people. Not to worry though, all it takes is one final line from the "liberal media" to effectively extinguish any burgeoning spark of objective inquiry from the reader.

Mexico has a long history of fanciful UFO sightings, most of which are dismissed by scientists as space debris, missiles, weather balloons, natural weather phenomena or hoaxes.
Without overtly dismissing the reported sighting, the Reuters journalist that penned this report ensures that the reader is left with the idea that it in just another "hoax". Note the word "fanciful". Immediately the reader is programmed with the idea that all previous sightings in Mexico are the product of the fantastical imaginings of those that report them. On whose authority is this judgment made? Why, "scientists" of course - that mysterious bunch of "experts" who are referenced and quoted so often and whose position as "scientists" makes them the authority on astronomy, armaments manufacturing, meteorology, climatology, and even "prankology".
|||4|| 1084400777|jquin|Iraq Kidnapping|Yesterday we carried the story of the videotaped beheading of Nick Berg, the US national kidnapped by unknown "Iraqi insurgents" in Iraq. The US administration has been quick to, yet again, pin the blame on the mythical al-Qaeda. We have reported often on the evidence to suggest that al-Qaeda is a CIA/Mossad asset and, as such, a very useful scape goat to cover up their own activities in promoting the never ending "war on terror". Today in the UK "Scotsman" paper, a few comments in an article on the death of Mr Berg caught our attention...

Devastated family weep at release of brutal tape

[...] Mr Berg was in Baghdad from late December to 1 February and returned to Iraq in March. He did not find any work and planned again to return home on 30 March, but his daily communications home stopped on 24 March. He later told his parents that he had been jailed by Iraqi officials at a checkpoint in the northern city of Mosul.
 So first of all Mr. Berg was arrested by Iraqi officials. Later we see that he was arrested and held "illegally" by the US military

On 5 April, the Bergs filed a lawsuit in federal court in Philadelphia, contending that their son was being held illegally by the US military.

The next day Mr Berg was released. He told his parents he had not been mistreated.

The Bergs last heard from their son on 9 April, when he said he would come home by way of Jordan, Turkey or Kuwait. But by then, hostilities in Iraq had escalated.
Then the Bergs encounter problems with US officials in attempting to gain information about the whereabouts of their Son...
Mrs Berg said the family had been trying for weeks to learn where her son was, but that federal officials had not been helpful.

"I went through this with them for weeks," she said. "I basically ended up doing most of the investigating myself."
It is rather apparent that Mr. Berg, supposedly a simple contractor, was of some significant interest to Iraqi officials, the US military, and tragically in the end, a third unknown group allegedly associated with "al-Qaeda". Later in the article the following comment is made:

[...] The killing was reminiscent of the kidnapping and videotaped beheading of Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter, in 2002 in Pakistan. Four Islamic militants have been convicted of kidnapping him, but seven other suspects - including those who allegedly slit his throat - remain at large.
The comment that Nick Berg's death was reminisent of the kidnapping and killing of Daniel Pearl is most interesting. At the time Pearl's death was also attributed to Islamic militants associated with al-Qaeda. However, a book entitled "Who killed Daniel Pearl" by French author Bernard-Henri LTvy detailed the author's investigation into Pearl's death. The bulk of his investigation invloved following the trails of Pearl's own investigations into the Pakistani intelligence agency "ISI" and it's possible links to "al-Qaeda". Amazingly, Levy's conclusions seem to ignore the main body of his research and to a large extent he attributes the killing to the fact that Pearl was a reporter, an American, an Israeli, or possibly a CIA or Mossad agent. It is almost as if the Levy opts for these rather simplistic conclusions because he is reluctant, for whatever reason, to believe that which his own investiagtions seem to suggest:

Finally, there is a fourth reason, which complicates everything, and of which LTvy is less admittedly less certain. LTvy speculates that Daniel Pearl died because he knew too much; specifically, he had uncovered certain secrets that none of the parties involved in his murder, specifically the ISI and Al Qaeda, could afford to let Pearl publicize. After carefully retracing Daniel Pearl's last steps, LTvy hypothesizes that he had uncovered hard evidence that Pakistan had assisted Bin Laden with his attempts to acquire the technology to make nuclear weapons. The evidence he presents, though far from conclusive, certainly gives one pause for thought.
What do we know of the Pakistani ISI? Well, certainly that they are closely linked with the CIA and Mossad, and also with the purported hijackers of the planes that crashed into the WTC that day. In fact, according to Agence France Presse and the Times of India, on the morning of September 11th General Mahmoud Ahmad, the head of the ISI who had ordered the wiring of $100,000 to Mohammed Atta the head hijacker, was in the U.S. having breakfast with Florida's senator, Bob Graham - the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Also present at breakfast was Pakistan's ambassador to the U.S. Maleeha Lodhi. There were other members of the Senate and House Intelligence committees present.

It certainly makes us wonder why Pearl was really murdered and by whom, and if Levy is correct about what Pearl was uncovering prior to his death, we wonder why Mossad aka "al-Qaeda" would want to equip themselves with a nuclear device and what they might use it for... September 11th Part II? In relation to Nick Berg's death, we also wonder who really was responsible and if the perpetrators' alleged link to "al-Qaeda" is much closer to the truth than we might think...

|||2|| 1084398907|jquin|From a Reader:|The senate is investigating abuses...how can anyone read that or view those proceedings without laughing out loud at the hypocrisy and lies? I am so sick and tired of seeing shriveled old white men, fat old white men, bald old white men stutter and stammer through questions that have been written for them, which they usually don't understand, for the benefit of a complacent public too asleep/mind controlled/afraid to even respond emotionally, intellectually or even subconsciously to this living hell that is amerika. It used to vaguely interest me to stop and listen to these idiots and pick out blatant manipulations and lies that fly by at the speed of light - but now it just makes me sick to my stomach.

As a child, while reading the "official" history of Nazi Germany (shifted and sculpted to warp our young minds), I remember trying to wrap my mind around how people could let their country, their neighbors, their family members, their leaders do that to one another and to every one else. I thought with some vehemence that, if I had been there, I would not have been complacent - I would have stood up and done or said something - I would have seen it for what it was and gone to the ends of the earth to try to stop it. Twenty five years later and I am there - here - and I do see it for what it is - and I find myself frozen with rage and confusion over what to do - how do I stop it?? How do I go to the ends of the earth to try to stop it? How? I don't know how and I get more sick everyday from watching it progress step by step toward the silence, stench and darkness of a culture built on death. I usually face it with more inner balance than I have right now, but lately I have been hit over the head by it, over and over and over from every direction, inside and out - and, today, I am tired and fed up. My apologies to anyone who reads this, for that exhaustion.
|||2|| 1084393250|hsee|New bird flu strain discovered in Fraser Valley|Last Updated Tue, 11 May 2004 20:23:31

VANCOUVER - A strain of avian flu that has never been seen in the Fraser Valley has been discovered in the area.

The strain was discovered among geese and ducks at an Abottsford farm. A school across the road was immediately closed down.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control said the strain is different from the H7 virus discovered in the Fraser Valley last March that forced the slaughter of 19 million chickens and turkeys.

Scientists said they couldn't rule out the possibility the strain is the H5 virus responsible for the deaths of people in Asia.

But they have urged people not to panic, saying even if it's an H5 subtype, it doesn't mean it will be the same virus as in Asia.

Test results are expected in 48 hours.
|||7|| 1084392292|sogrin|Rumsfeld Backs Iraq Interrogation Methods|By KEN GUGGENHEIM
Associated Press
May 12, 2004

WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld defended military interrogation techniques in Iraq on Wednesday, rejecting complaints that they violate international rules and may endanger Americans taken prisoner.

Rumsfeld told a Senate committee that Pentagon lawyers had approved methods such as sleep deprivation and dietary changes as well as rules permitting prisoners to be made to assume stress positions.

Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also noted that the rules require prisoners to be treated humanely at all times.

But Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill. said some of the approved techniques "go far beyond the Geneva Convention," a reference to international rules governing the treatment of prisoners of war. [...]

Comment: "Stress positions"?! And how about "dietary changes" - one might imagine that Rumsfeld was not talking about changing the type or quality of food, but rather about withholding food entirely. It is certainly interesting to see how the US government believes that humane treatment includes sleep deprivation, starvation, and the shackling of prisoners in painful positions for hours on end - otherwise known as torture.


|||8|| 1084389661|sogrin|Venus puts on show for first time in 721 years |By David Stringer
May 13 2004

British stargazers are praying that bad weather will not scupper their chance of witnessing one of the rarest events in astronomy - last seen 721 years ago.

Amateur observers and schoolchildren are hoping to watch the six-hour transit of Venus across the sun on June 8.

Venus will appear as a small black disc as it moves in an angular orbit across the bottom of the sun - but will be seen in the UK only if there are no clouds between 6am and 12.30pm.

Though the planet last made a transit in December 1882, it could not be properly observed from the UK and the event has not been seen clearly since 1283.

Transits of Venus across the sun are among the rarest of planetary alignments and have occurred only six times since the invention of the telescope, in 1631, 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874 and 1882.

The events occur in irregular pairs and though another is scheduled for 2012, it will not be visible in Britain.


|||7|| 1084389065|hsee|'Junk' throws up precious secret|By Julianna Kettlewell

BBC News Online science staff


A collection of mystery DNA segments, which seem to be critical for the survival of many animals, are causing great interest among scientists.

Researchers inspecting the genetic code of rats, mice and humans were surprised to find they shared many identical chunks of apparently "junk" DNA.

This implies the code is so vital that even 75 million years of evolution in these mammals could not tinker with it.

But what the DNA does, and how, is a puzzle, the journal Science reports.

Excess baggage?

Before scientists began laboriously mapping several animal life-codes, they had a rather narrow opinion about which parts of the genome were important.

Comment: "A rather narrow opinion", indeed. In how many areas does science have a narrow opinion? To think that there would be so much "junk" DNA is strange, is it not? Doesn't it seem more plausible that it showed the limits of our knowledge?

Why does man, then, consider "solutions" that suggest the problem is with nature?
|||7|| 1084388161|hsee|Spring snowstorm brings winter back to Prairies |WINNIPEG - Snow ű lots of it ű fell on parts of Western Canada and northwestern Ontario on Tuesday, causing police to issue travel advisories and shut down highways.

WestJet cancelled all flights into and out of Winnipeg for most of the afternoon.

In southern Alberta people were struggling to cope with the snowfall. Calgary was expecting up to 10 centimetres of snow.

But southeastern Saskatchewan was expected to be hit the hardest, with up to 40 centimetres of snow expected. People experienced everything from thunderstorms to rain and snow. Thousands of people were left without electricity early on Tuesday as power lines went down between Estevan, Midale and Stoughton. | ||11|| 1084387082|sogrin|Presidential push fails to quell GOP fear of Patriot Act|By Alexander Bolton
The Hill
May 12, 2004

A group of libertarian-minded Republicans in Congress is blocking President Bush’s effort to strengthen domestic counterterrorism laws and reauthorize the USA Patriot Act, which the president has made one of his top domestic priorities this year.

As a result of this opposition, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, was forced last week to cancel panel consideration of legislation that would have given law-enforcement officials more tools to pursue suspected terrorists. [...]

Jeff Lungren, a spokesman for the Judiciary Committee, said work on the Sensenbrenner bill was canceled last week because committee Democrats had demanded more time to examine it. Lungren emphasized that it was not related to the Patriot Act.

But a group of lawmakers, including some Republicans, saw it differently.

One GOP lawmaker on the panel — who asked to remain anonymous to avoid angering the chairman — said Republicans had also objected to the legislation. The lawmaker added that Sensenbrenner had informed his GOP colleagues the panel would consider the measure shortly before the scheduled markup. [...]


|||2|| 1084387032|hsee|Nasa Announces Site of "Great Dying" Meteor Crater|Researchers funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation have located the site of an impact crater. The crater is believed to be associated with the largest extinction event in Earth's history about 250 million years ago.

The researchers will report their findings and reveal the site of the crater at 2 p.m. EDT, Thursday, May 13, 2004, during a press teleconference.

Comment: Don't worry. It happened a long time ago. No, a really, really long time ago. Ans if we are talking about it now it is only to underline how safe we really are.

Honest.

We promise.

Have we ever lied to you before...
|||7|| 1084307702|sogrin|Pa. family angry with American government over son's brutal death|By JASON STRAZIUSO
The Associated Press
5/11/2004,2:34 p.m. ET

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (AP) — The family of an American civilian shown beheaded on an Islamic militant Web site huddled in in tears Tuesday after learning of the existence of the graphic videotape.

The video showed Nick Berg, 26, in a staged execution carried out by an al-Qaida affiliated group. The video said the killing was to avenge the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers.

"My name is Nick Berg, my father's name is Michael, my mother's name is Suzanne," the man said on the video before being killed. "I have a brother and sister, David and Sara. I live in ... Philadelphia."

Berg's family said U.S. State Department officials on Monday had told them Berg was decapitated. The family, though, had wanted that information to remain private.

When told about news of the Web site Nick Berg's father, brother and sister, collapsed to the ground in a tearful hug in their front yard.

"I knew he was decapitated before," said the father, Michael Berg. "That manner is preferable to a long and torturous death. But I didn't want it to become public."

Michael Berg lashed out at the U.S. military and Bush administration, saying his son might still be alive had he not been detained by U.S. officials in Iraq without being charged and without access to a lawyer.

Nick Berg, a small telecommunications business owner, spoke to his parents on March 24 and told them he would return home on March 30. But Berg was detained by Iraqi police at a checkpoint in Mosul on March 24. He was turned over to U.S. officials and detained for 13 days.

His father, Michael, said his son wasn't allowed to make phone calls or contact a lawyer.

FBI agents visited Berg's parents in West Chester on March 31 and told the family they were trying to confirm their son's identity. On April 5, the Bergs filed suit in federal court in Philadelphia, contending that their son was being held illegally by the U.S. military. The next day Berg was released. He told his parents he hadn't been mistreated.

Michael Berg said he blamed the U.S. government for creating circumstances that led to his son's death. He said if his son hadn't been detained for so long, he might have been able to leave the country before the violence worsened.

"I think a lot of people are fed up with the lack of civil rights this thing has caused," he said. "I don't think this administration is committed to democracy."

The Bergs last heard from their son April 9, when he said he would come home by way of Jordan.

Berg had traveled several times to Third World countries to help spread technology, his family said. He had previously traveled to Kenya and Ghana, where they said he had purchased a $900 brick-making press for a poor village, the family said.

Berg's mother, Suzanne Berg, said her son was in Iraq to help rebuild communication antennas.

"He had this idea that he could help rebuild the infrastructure," she said.

Michael Berg described himself as fervently anti-war, but said his son disagreed with him.

"He was a Bush supporter," Berg said. "He looked at it as bringing democracy to a country that didn't have it."

Suzanne Berg said she was told her son's body would be transported to Kuwait and then to Dover, Del. She said the family had been trying for weeks to learn where their son was but that federal officials had not been helpful.

"I went through this with them for weeks," she said. "I basically ended up doing most of the investigating myself."

Comment: The alleged Al-Qaeda video includes the following statement:
"For the mothers and wives of American soldiers, we tell you that we offered the U.S. administration to exchange this hostage with some of the detainees in Abu Ghraib and they refused. So we tell you that the dignity of the Muslim men and women in Abu Ghraib and others is not redeemed except by blood and souls. You will not receive anything from us but coffins after coffins ... slaughtered in this way."
First we have the release of torture photos by the mainstream US media, which appears to have suppressed such information in the past. Now the decapitation of an American citizen who supported Bush is the latest headline, and his family is decrying the Bush administration. Are we to assume that Al-Qaeda would not have known about the torture occurring in Iraq if they were indeed involved in the recent "resistance" in Iraq? Several of the detainees who were allegedly tortured were released well before the photos hit the American presses. The Red Cross voiced its concerns back in February. So, why now? If one considers that Al-Qaeda seems to be a CIA/Mossad creation, the picture becomes more clear. Bush may not have as many friends as he thought. On the other hand, a huge event - such as another terrorist attack on US soil - could be used to "justify" the actions of Shrub and his administration.


|||8|| 1084307354|hsee|
Picture of the Day
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Č2004 Pierre-Paul
Feyte


|||9|| 1084280838|jquin|Customs denies harassing Israeli|The Prime Minister says Customs is denying claims made by a senior Jewish Agency official that he was subjected to a humiliating search and interrogation at Auckland Airport last week.

Shai Hermesh has reportedly protested to the Israeli Foreign Minister about the incident, including claiming that he was treated like a drug dealer during a three-hour ordeal.

Helen Clark says in a report to the government, New Zealand Customs has denied Hermesh was travelling on a diplomatic passport.

She says Customs rejects the allegation that he was interrogated for three hours, while a Customs officer also denies saying that 'all Israelis are drug dealers and spies'.

Clark says according to Customs' account of the incident, Hermesh was in the search area for less than an hour and a half.

The airport incident comes less than a month after the arrest in Auckland of two Israelis who have been charged with fraudulently attempting to obtain New Zealand passports.

The pair are alleged to be Mossad spies.

Comment: Of course, any attempt to call a spade a spade where Israeli officials or intelligence agents are concerned can always be dismissed as a result of the "wave of anti-semitism" sweeping the known universe. As Joseph Sobran astutely noted, it seems to be the case that the real definition of an anti-semite is not someone who hates Jews, but rather someone that is hated by Jews - usually because they simply tell the truth.
|||2|| 1084278943|sogrin|Soldier: Foul photos of inmates were prized|By John Simerman
KNIGHT RIDDER NEWSPAPERS
Mon, May. 10, 2004

ANTIOCH, Calif. - Long before the world saw shocking photos of U.S. soldiers abusing Iraqi detainees, Sgt. Michael Sindar and other military police serving at the Abu Ghraib prison saw all they wanted of them.

Pictures of abuse and humiliation of Iraqis, taken with digital cameras, were burned onto CDs that circulated widely among prison personnel, said Sindar, 25. Peeks could be had in the chow hall.

"It was like a commodity," Sindar explained. "Whatever pictures you had, whoever had the most foul picture out there, everyone wanted to see what it was."

Brutality was also in the air. Sindar recalled a 14-year-old Iraqi with a broken arm being hurled to the ground and then mocked by U.S. soldiers as the boy wept and wet himself in the prison intake center. [...]

Sindar and other MPs who served at Abu Ghraib now blame weak senior officers for failing to restrain American bullies there, let alone set clear standards for treating Iraqi detainees. From the MPs' accounts, it's clear that problems at Abu Ghraib extended beyond just a few bad apples to a leadership system that failed to temper the outbursts of poorly trained and war-wearied soldiers.

"The thing with the soldiers there, they think because we're Americans, you can do whatever you want," said Spc. Ramon Leal, 25, of San Jose, Calif. [...]

Strong, who treated both soldiers and Iraqi inmates for injuries, said he would watch soldiers for violent tendencies or signs of combat stress.

"You can see these guys messed up ... running up and down the halls naked, or when they're not eating, losing weight," Strong said. "There were probably 30 people that went on medication while they were over there - Prozac, Zoloft, those kind of drugs."

Alcohol was widely available: cans of vodka or bottles sent from home. Soldiers would pay translators to buy beer or whiskey. Soldiers who complained said their gripes were dismissed.

One 870th soldier started Alcoholics Anonymous meetings inside Abu Ghraib.

"A.A. meetings in the prison," mused Master Sgt. Greg Rayburn, a medic. "Obviously there was a need for it."

Strong, 50, said he found himself hitting Iraqi prisoners and recognized in himself how anger could turn into brutality.

"You get a burning in your stomach, a rush, a feeling of hot lead running through your veins, and you get a sense of power," Strong said.

"Imagine wearing point-blank body armor, an M-16 and all the power in the world, and the authority of God. That power is very addictive." [...]
|||8|| 1084277012|hsee|US Senate to probe military on Iraq abuse|Tuesday 11 May 2004, 11:20

A Senate committee is set to question the army general who reported on abuses of Iraqi detainees by US occupation soldiers.

Following on from Friday's all-day grilling of Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the Senate Armed Services Committee will first hear from US Army Major General Antonio Taguba on Tuesday, who wrote a report outlining the abuses.

On Tuesday afternoon, the committee will question Under Secretary of Defence Stephen Cambone, who is in charge of intelligence, and other Pentagon officials about the scandal that has sparked international outrage and calls from Democrats for Rumsfeld's resignation.
|||2|| 1084276503|hsee|Earthquake jolts northwest China|BEIJING, May 11 (Xinhuanet) -- An earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter Scale hit Delhi City in northwest China's Qinghai Province at 07:27 am Tuesday, according to China's Seismological Forecast Network.

The epicenter of the earthquake was about 60 kilometers west ofthe urban area of Delhi City at north latitude 37.4 degrees and east longitude 96.7 degrees.
|||11||

 


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