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Monday, June 28, 2004

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Zionism: A Conspiracy Against Jews

Bankers Backed Nazism And Zionism

By Henry Makow Ph.D
6-27-4

In 1935 the steamer "Tel Aviv" made its maiden voyage from Nazi Germany to Haifa with Hebrew letters on its bow and a Nazi flag fluttering from its mast. The Captain of the Zionist-owned ship was a member of the Nazi Party. A passenger described the spectacle as a "metaphysical absurdity." Actually it made perfect sense. The ship transported German Jews who had taken advantage of the "Haavara" program, which allowed them to exchange their money for its value in German products in Palestine. As a result, the fledgling Jewish colony received about 70,000 highly educated German Jews and 140 million Reichmarks worth of German industrial equipment. This laid the foundation of Israel's economic infrastructure. The arrangement also boosted the Nazi economy at a time when Jews worldwide were boycotting German goods. (My source here is "The Secret Contacts" by Klaus Polkehn a prominent German journalist. It is included in Olivia O'Grady's The Beasts of the Apocalyse, 2001, 421- 447.)

Why retell this story of Zionist-Nazi cooperation? Because "Jewish" leaders have been exploiting their "lesser brethren" for a long time, and are doing so today. Ordinary Jews pay the price and this price could rise. In my opinion, Zionism is a movement to deceive Jews into advancing the objectives of British imperialism. (See, "The Jewish Conspiracy is British Imperialism")

Of course, Zionists who have built their lives on a false premise naturally will reject this view. Specifically, Jews helped the British-Jewish elite colonize the oil-rich Middle East under the pretext of Jews needing a national home. Despite the appearance of neutrality, the British (and Americans) financed, trained and equipped the Jews. (John Coleman, Diplomacy by Deception p. 107.)

The "British" are really the London-based international banking cartel associated with names like Rothschild and Rockefeller. It doesn't answer to any government. Its goal is to colonize the world and everyone in it. Jews are a means to this end. As seen in Iraq, Zionists (a.k.a Neocons) play a major role in the colonization of the Middle East.

The important thing to remember is that Israel is the creation of this cartel; both Israel and the US are its tools. Iraq is only a phase in the emerging New World Order, which represents a continuation of the goals of "British" imperialism. John Kerry will take up in Iraq where George Bush leaves off. Democracy is a charade.

NAZIS MADE TO MEASURE FOR ZIONISM

In 1925, Germany's 500,000 Jews were overwhelmingly indifferent or actively hostile to Zionism. The German Zionist movement had only 9000 members. The "Central Union of Germans of the Jewish Faith " represented most German Jews and favored active participation in German life. Its main focus was on combating anti-Semitism.

Zionists, on the other hand, welcomed the Nazis' anti Semitic policies. Like the Nazis, they believed in race-based national character and destiny. Like the Nazis, they believed Jews had no future in Germany. The Zionists did not protest Nazi persecution such as the removal of 2000 Jewish scholars and scientists from German universities in 1933. The Nazis rewarded this "restraint" by allowing the Zionists to go about their work unhindered.

All other Jewish and anti fascist organizations were disbanded and their members imprisoned. The Nazis required all Jews to join the Zionist-led "Reich Union" whose goal was emigration. Jews were to be converted to Zionism at any cost. The Zionists were able to publish books and newspapers critical of the Nazis so long as the audience was restricted to Jews.

The cooperation extended to political and economic spheres. Adolph Eichmann set up agricultural training camps in Austria to prepare young Jews for Kibbutz life. He visited Palestine and conferred with Zionist leaders who confessed their true expansionist goals. There was even talk of a strategic alliance between Nazi Germany and Jewish Palestine.

His report is in Himmler's Archives. (440-447) [For more on Zionist-Nazi cooperation, see online Lenni Brenner "Zionism in the Age of Dictators" http://www.marxists.de/middleast/brenner Also, Lenni Brenner, 51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration With the Nazis (2002)] The cooperation may have extended to the Jewish Holocaust and explain why most Jews passively accepted their fate. In his book, "The Holocaust Victims Accuse" Rabbi Moshe Shonfeld claims that Zionist- led Jewish Councils ("Judenrats") collaborated with the Nazis and deceived non Zionist Jews. See my "Zionism: Compulsory Suicide for Jews." http://www.savethemales.ca/091202.html

Europe's Jews were worth more dead than alive to Zionists and their financial sponsors. The Holocaust provided a political and moral rationale for the establishment of the Jewish state.

WHO WAS HITLER?

Hitler was sponsored by the banker oligarchy, and may have been their pawn. Certainly the Nazis received millions of dollars from New York and London. Ernst ("Putzi") Hanfstaengl was close to both the bankers and Hitler and funnelled money to the Nazis during their formative years. http://www.reformation.org/roosevelt-and-hitler.html See also Antony Sutton "Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler" Chapter Eight http://www.reformation.org/wall-st-hitler.html

But when Hitler began to print his own money, he may have alienated these sponsors. See "Rothschild Conducts Red Symphony" http://www.savethemales.ca/000275.html The bottom line is that both Nazism and Zionism were sponsored by the same banking cartel and had complementary goals. The rise of anti Semitism in Europe served to create the State of Israel, which President Assad of Syria described as a "dagger in the heart of the Arab nations." (Ed: And we note that anti-semitism is still used by Sharon to futher his goals)

THE BANKSTER AGENDA

All money is created in the form of debt to the privately owned banking cartel. Imagine if you could create money out of thin air. Imagine you have the credit cards of all the nations in your pocket. Your first impulse is to lend money to your nominees so they can buy most of the world's real wealth for you.

Your second impulse is to establish a totalitarian system ("world government" globalization) to prevent any nation from challenging this system or defaulting on their "debt" to you. To make them accept "world government," you need to weaken them by having them fight among themselves, run up huge debts for armaments (which you will sell them), kill off the cream of their manhood, and become demoralized and decadent.

You accomplish this through your ownership of politicians and the press and your control of MI-6, CIA who will carry out assassinations and acts of terror. This is the real history of the last 300 years. "World government" is really about using debt to enslave us; it is an international loan collection agency. Naturally you will shroud this with talk about tolerance, human rights and preventing war.

A quote from a 1924 edition of the American Banker's Association Digest sums up what is currently happening:

"When, through the process of law, the common people lose their homes, they will become more docile and more easily governed through the strong arm of government applied by a central power of wealth under leading financiers. These truths are well known among our principal men who are now engaged in forming imperialism to govern the world. By dividing the voter through the political party system, we can get them to expend their energies in fighting for questions of no importance. " http://www.members.shaw.ca/theultimatescam/The Bank of Canada.htm

Now consider the words of an Illuminati defector, Svali. "The conflict in the Middle East is only to the advantage of the Illuminists. They HATE Israel, and hope one day to see it destroyed, and are biding their time. One of the olive branches offered by the UN when it takes over is that they will prevent war in the Middle East, and this will be greeted with joy by many. At the same time, the Illuminati covertly supply guns and funds to BOTH sides to keep the conflict fuelled. They are very duplicitous people...These people love the game of chess, and see warfare between nations as creating an order out of chaos." In a personal email, she added: "I have always wondered this, though, why some of the highest ranking financial families in the group (Baron Rothschild of France is one of the 13 European lords, or "kings" that run the group in Europe, and sits on the World Council) are Jewish, yet the group espouses hatred of their own race." http://www.savethemales.ca/141002.html

CONCLUSION

Ben Hecht said that reading the daily news to understand current events is like telling the time by looking at the second hand. You have to look at the decade and century hands to see what is really going on in the world. The Rothschild-Rockefeller banking cartel is behind most political (and cultural) trends and its goal is to destroy the nation state, true democracy, religion, culture, marriage and family, in order to degrade humanity to animal status in advance of totalitarianism.

In the "war on terror," they have created a boogeyman to justify a system of repression that will be necessary when they call in their "loans." I used to be a Zionist and believed that Jews needed a homeland because of anti Semitism. I realize now that, like most of history, this view was mostly contrived. Anti Semitism is caused because many Jews serve (consciously or unconsciously) the bankers' harmful agenda. Zionism and Communism are examples.

Most Jews are now totally identified with Israel, which is a tool of the Rothschilds' demented megalomania. If past is preface, this cannot end well for Jews or anyone.

Comment: We have been alluding to the above for almost a year now. We have consistently stated that the ordinary Jews are being set up. What Makow does not answer in the above is, why do these so called Jews seem to hate Jewish people? This is a question that we hope to answer very shortly...

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Bin Laden Aimed To Link Plot to Israel

By Marc Perelman
June 25, 2004

In an interim staff report released last week, the presidential commission investigating the September 11, 2001, attacks shed new light on the role of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Al Qaeda's worldview.

The disclosures seem to weaken Israeli claims that the issue was only a secondary priority for Osama bin Laden, and they could rekindle the debate about whether U.S. support for Israel is hindering national security.

In a 20-page report titled "Outline of the 9-11 Plot," the commission, which is to issue a final report at the end of July, describes bin Laden's willingness to time the attacks against America with two visits by Prime Minister Sharon, one in Jerusalem and one in Washington.

The report claims that Khalid Sheikh Mohamed, or KSM, the alleged mastermind of the attacks who was arrested in March 2003 in Pakistan, told his U.S. captors that bin Laden "wanted to punish the United States for supporting Israel."

This is why, according to KSM, bin Laden asked him to conduct the attacks "as early as mid-2000" in response to the outcry prompted by the visit of then-opposition leader Sharon to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the report states. Even though the Al Qaeda hijackers had barely arrived in the United States to take flight lessons, the Saudi renegade allegedly argued that it would be enough if they smashed planes to the ground without hitting specific targets. The report claims that KSM talked him out of the plan.

Bin Laden, however, reportedly asked him again a year later to hasten the preparations of the plot when he learned that Sharon, now prime minister, would visit the White House in June or July 2001, according to the report. [...]

It noted that Mohammed Atta, the Egyptian ringleader of the plot, chose the second week of September to ensure that Congress, "the perceived source of U.S. policy in support of Israel" would be in session. Atta, who lived in Germany with several other hijackers, "denounced what he described as a global Jewish movement centered in New York City which, he claimed, controlled the financial world and the media."

In a chilling detail, the report also mentions that KSM indicated that Mullah Omar, the former Taliban leader in Afghanistan, "opposed [Al Qaeda's plan to attack] the United States for ideological reasons but permitted attacks against Jewish targets."

"Bin Laden, on the other hand, reportedly argued that attacks against the United States needed to be carried out immediately to support the insurgency in the Israeli-occupied territories and to protest the presence of U.S. military forces in Saudi Arabia," according to the report.

Comment: Are we seeing some preemptive damage limitation here? How could Israel be implicated in the 9/11 attacks when Israel itself was on bin-Laden's "most wanted list"? Israel is a victim of not just Palestinian "terror" but al-Qaeda "terror" too, see?

The truth is that Israel is not in the sights of Bin Laden, but the 9/11 commission (controlled by Zionists) and their supporters in the US media, like the author of this article Marc Perelman, are attempting to convince us that it is. Note also that the commission is attempting to tie Osama and al-Qaeda to the IDEA of a global Jewish movement centered in New York City which, Osama's henchman Mohammed Atta claimed "controlled the financial world and the media."

The evidence points to the likelihood that there is indeed a global Jewish movement centered in New York City which controls the financial world and the media, but by associating this outrageous truth with Atta, the powers the be ensure that it will be rejected out of hand. Conversely, the equally outrageous lie that Bin Laden was factoring Israel into his attack plans, will be taken as truth because it fits into the entirely false idea of a "war on terror".

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Gaza Militants Blow Up Israeli Army Post

By Nidal al-Mughrabi
27/06/2004

GAZA (Reuters) - Palestinian militants blew up an Israeli army post in the Gaza Strip Sunday, wounding at least six soldiers in the explosion from a huge bomb hidden in a tunnel beneath.

Israeli Channel 10 Television said one soldier was believed dead, but emergency services were uncertain there had been fatalities. They said one soldier had been trapped in the rubble after the blast near a Jewish settlement.

The attack was certain to fuel argument in the Jewish state over Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to evacuate troops and settlers from the territory by the end of 2005.

Rescue efforts were hampered by Palestinian gun and mortar fire directed toward the scene, on the route to the Gush Khatif settlement bloc. The militant Islamic Hamas movement and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed group in President Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction, claimed joint responsibility.

They called it retaliation for Israel's assassination of two top Hamas leaders earlier this year as well as the killing of a leader of the al-Aqsa Brigades in the West Bank city of Nablus Saturday.

The factions said 1,500 kg of explosives were hidden at the end of a 350 meter (yard) tunnel under the post.

Cheering crowds of tens of thousands of Palestinians filled the streets of Gaza City in celebration. Gunmen fired in the air and youths set off pipe-bombs.

"God pleased our hearts. An eye for an eye," they chanted.

Violence has surged in Gaza since February, when Sharon announced the plan to quit the desert territory, which many Israelis see as a costly liability.

The cabinet approved his initiative in principle on June 6 despite opposition from pro-settler right-wingers. They say it would be "a victory for Palestinian terror" and are against ceding land captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

Militants sworn to destroying Israel want to portray any withdrawal as a success for their efforts, while the army is determined to smash them before pulling out of the strip.

A Palestinian policeman and a teen-ager were shot dead by Israeli troops shortly after the explosion at the army post, medics and witnesses said. An Israeli army commander at the scene said troops fired toward gunmen.

Scores of Palestinians were killed in a huge raid into Gaza last month following the deaths of 13 Israeli soldiers in ambushes.

Israeli forces Sunday ended their deadliest raid in the West Bank for months after killing the commander of the al-Aqsa Brigades militant group.

Israeli security sources said Nayef Abu Sharkh, 38, was responsible for numerous attempts to dispatch suicide bombers to Israel. A senior Fatah official said Abu Sharkh had been at odds with Arafat over empowering new leaders within the movement and ending corruption.

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Gaza rockets kill two in Israel

Monday, 28 June, 2004

Palestinian rockets have slammed into an Israeli town killing two people - one of them a three-year old child.

At least nine other people were injured in the southern town of Sderot after two rockets launched from the nearby Gaza Strip landed near a kindergarten.

Militants often fire rockets into Israel from Gaza, but this is the first time they have killed Israelis.

Israeli security sources said two rockets landed near a Sderot school and shopping centre.

A man was killed as well as the three-year-old boy. The child's mother was among the injured.

Television footage from the scene showed a child's shoes lying in a pool of blood in the street. [...]

Palestinian militant groups Hamas and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades both separately claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they were avenging the deaths of leaders and activists killed by Israel, including seven militants shot dead in the West Bank over the weekend.

Comment: It is not surprising that Hamas, as an Israeli asset, can be relied on to carry out attacks against the IDF, when and where Sharon needs them. In playing both sides of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Sharon essentially neutralises any real Palestinians resistance. What do you do when your adversary is prepared to kill his "own people" in order to justify further attacks against you? Is anyone going to believe you if you make such a claim?

In this way Sharon can feel confident that the outcome of the Middle East crisis will not be complicated by the threat of peace. When Sharon feels that his plans needs a boost, he can simply drop his guard, and allow his own personal "Palestinian terrorists" (aka Hamas) to infiltrate Israeli territory or an Israeli target and carry out an attack. Sharon cannot claim this tactic as his own however, it is well known in the world of international politics, and has been used often to great effect, most notably in New York City, the day before September 11th 2001...

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Flashback: Heightened Security Alert Had Just Been Lifted

Curtis L. Taylor and Sean Gardiner STAFF WRITERS
September 12, 2001

The World Trade Center was destroyed just days after a heightened security alert was lifted at the landmark 110-story towers, security personnel said yesterday.

Daria Coard, 37, a guard at Tower One, said the security detail had been working 12-hour shifts for the past two weeks because of numerous phone threats. But on Thursday, bomb-sniffing dogs were abruptly removed. [...]

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Israel: Fence in north has cut terror penetrations to zero

By Haaretz Service
27/06/2004


Deputy Defense Minister Ze'ev Boim said Sunday that terrorist infiltrations had been reduced to "zero" in areas in which the West Bank separation fence had been built.

Boim was speaking ahead of a cabinet meeting Sunday to discuss construction and evaluation of the barrier.

He said 200 kilometers of the barrier along the Seam Line border with the West Bank had been operating for 10 months. "It has gone from a situation of 600 terrorist operations and criminal activities a year, to zero. It saves lives, and creates quality of life." [...]

The cabinet is to hear reports on the three major sections of the fence, beginning with the northern sector, which includes areas near the militant focus of Nablus.

In the southern sector, from the Tunnels Road in Bethlehem area, south along the Hebron-Be'er Sheva highway, work is to be completed by the end of next year.

Construction of the central sector, a 106-kilometer stretch from Elkana settlement to Jerusalem, has been stalled by demonstrations and petitions to the High Court of Justice over the route, which in many areas cuts eastward from the pre-1967 war Green Line border, effectively placing many Palestinians and much of their land on the "Israel" side of the fence.

Comment: How easy it is for Israel to again create "facts on the ground" by ordering its private "terrorist organisation, Hamas, to stop the suicide bombings, thereby creating the appearance that the wall is working.

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Captive US marine faces execution in Iraq

Monday 28 June 2004

A US marine captured by a purported Iraqi resistance group is to be decapitated unless certain prisoners held in occupation prisons are released.

In a video broadcast by Aljazeera on Sunday, the Islamic Retaliation Movement/Armed Resistance Wing said US marine Hassoun Wassef Ali would be beheaded if detainees in US-led occupation prisons were not freed.

The group claims to have taken Ali - of Pakistani origin - captive after "infiltrating a US military base in Iraq".

The video received by Aljazeera shows a kneeling, blindfolded, moustached man in camouflage military garb. A hand holding a long sword is seen standing behind Ali.

US occupation forces acknowledged that a US marine had been reported missing.

US marine corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun has been missing in Iraq since last Monday, a spokesman for the US Marine Corps confirmed in Baghdad late on Sunday.

"Although we can't confirm that he has been taken hostage, we can confirm that that he has been absent from his unit since June 21," Major Douglas Powell said.

Hassoun was attached the the First Marine Expeditionary Force, and his unit was operating west of Falluja, Powell said.

Pakistani driver seized

Just hours earlier, an unidentified group of purported Iraqi fighters threatened to behead a Pakistani driver working for a US-occupation contractor within three days.

The captors also urged Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to shut down his country's embassy in Iraq.

The second captive was named as Yusuf Amjad, an employee of US contractor Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR).

KBR is a subsidiary of the giant Halliburton company which was once headed by US Vice President Dick Cheney.

Like other contractors for the US-led occupation, it has suffered mounting attacks on its staff.

"This man was taken after an attack on a US base in Balad," said one of the masked fighters on a tape obtained by Al-Arabiya.

"You must release our prisoners held near the US base in Balad, in Dujail, in Yathrib, in Samarra and near Abu Ghraib. You have three days from the date of this recording and after that we will behead him. We have warned you."

Comment: Think for a moment, of the actual results of the spate of hostage taking in Iraq by so-called "militants". To date NOTHING has been achieved by the "militants". Not ONE of their demands have been met, yet they seem unconcerned and determined to continue. Indeed, it seems that it is recognised in 'official' circles that there is no hope that the acts of kidnap and beheading will ever achieve the stated demands of the "militants".

For example, CNN military analyst David Grange has this to say about the taking of hostages in Iraq:

"Well, there’s not going to be any compromise, so it doesn't matter how many more are taken. The U.S. government and most of the other coalition governments will not give in."

On the other hand, we notice that these kidnappings and beheadings have achieved a very definite result on the thinking of the average westerner, particularly the average American. The more conservative message boards and news sites are awash with condemnation of these killings, with commentators lambasting the crazy Arab fundamentalists and calling for their extermination, while at the same time using the killings to laud America as the great democracy. The problem is that, in the mind of the average uneducated, ethno-centric American, images and accounts of the beheadings tend to be interpreted as representative of the natural inclination of all Arabs. The US and Israel have made no secret of their intentions to "reform" the Arab world, after all, Israel will benefit greatly from it. The demonisation of all Arabs, by way of staged killings of westerners which are then attributed to Arabs, is a very effective way for the US government to garner support from the western public for its long term plan to sow widespread death and destruction in the Middle East, while claiming to be spreading freedom and democracy.

With the twisted logic understandable only by a mind obsessed with its own self importance and possessed by cravings for power, the directors of these policies actually believe that they are working for the good of the masses. They see their actions as creating order out of chaos, or better said, control out of free will. It appears also that they fully accept that many people will have to die before "order" (control) can be restored to their planet.

Five key questions raised by the murder of Nick Berg are:

1) Are American intelligence teams killing other Americans in Iraq, specifically U.S. soldiers, to maintain the illusion of continued violence?

2) Why is it necessary to create the illusion of a crazed, violent, implacable enemy in the Middle East? What is the real situation?

3) Are all the stories we see on network news manufactured illusions, or just the important ones?

4) Are all Islamic terrorists American agents, or just some of them?

5) Besides Nick Berg, how many Americans have been murdered by their own government to create nation-rattling news events since the appointment of
George W. Bush to the presidency? 3, 300, 3000?

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Iraq handover of sovereignty completed

Low-key ceremony comes two days early

Monday, June 28, 2004 Posted: 1356 GMT

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Members of Iraq's interim government took an oath of office Monday just hours after the United States returned the nation's sovereignty.

Led by Iraq's interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, each member of the new government placed a hand on the Koran and promised to serve with sincerity and impartiality. Iraqi flags lined the wall behind them.

Allawi called national unity "a sacred duty" and called for the international community, including Arab nations, "to work together to handle problems in the area in a civilized manner."

"We will not forget who stood by and against us," Allawi said at the swearing in ceremony, a clear warning to insurgents trying to topple the government.

But, he said, "the transformation from dictatorship to civil society" is "a major task" likely to take many years.

The handover of sovereignty took place earlier in the day, at 10:26 a.m. Baghdad time. The transfer of power came two days before the June 30 deadline previously announced by the U.S.-led coalition.

Some Iraqis dismissed the event as meaningless as long as U.S. troops occupy the nation and some said the handover was a step in the right direction. (Full story)

The preparations for the possibility of an early transfer were started a week ago, according to a senior U.S. official.

The low-key transfer ceremony happened inside the Coalition Provisional Authority's "Green Zone" headquarters in Baghdad.

Coalition Administrator Paul Bremer -- now the former administrator -- read his letter contained in the transfer document:

"As recognized in U.N. Security Council resolution 1546, the Coalition Provisional Authority will cease to exist on June 28th, at which point the occupation will end and the Iraqi interim government will assume and exercise full sovereign authority on behalf of the Iraqi people. I welcome Iraq's steps to take its rightful place of equality and honor among the free nations of the world. Sincerely, L. Paul Bremer, ex-administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority."

Bremer handed the transfer document to the head of the Iraqi Supreme Court, who then gave it to President Sheikh Ghazi al-Yawar. Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and the deputy prime minister also attended.

"This is a historic and happy day for us in Iraq," al-Yawar said. "It is a day that all Iraqis have been looking forward to. This is the day that we take our country back into the international community.

"We want a free and democratic Iraq, and we want a country that is a source of peace and stability for the whole world."

The interim Iraqi leaders expressed thanks to the coalition officials and troops, saying their sacrifices would not be in vain.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair welcomed the early handover, saying it was an attempt to "seize the initiative" over insurgents, his spokesman said. "We obviously welcome it because it's their decision and it's them taking control," the spokesman said. "What's important now is that the Iraqi people can see Iraqi leaders taking charge in Baghdad."

In Baghdad prior to his departure, Bremer -- dressed in a business suit but wearing tan combat boots -- said he was proud to have been able to return sovereignty. He said he was confident the new government was ready to meet the challenges ahead.

Bremer boarded a helicopter less than an hour later to begin his trip out of Iraq after 14 months as the administrator, according to coalition military spokesman Mark Kimmett. Within two hours, he was out of the country.

Asked by reporters attending the ceremony about why the handover was stepped up by two days, an Iraqi official said Prime Minister Allawi requested it because "every day matters" and they were ready to crack down on violence.

The decision to speed up the ceremony came Monday morning as Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari met with coalition leaders gathered in Istanbul, Turkey, for the NATO summit. [...]

A Reader Comments:

As explanations go, as to why the transfer happend early, that one is sort of vague. I'm seeing it differently, because of something I heard yesterday. My friend called his family in Iraq yesterday, and they were very worried. The word going around is that within the next three days or so, fighting is going to break out all over the country. I asked between who, and why. He said - everyone, the Turkmanis and the Kurds, Arabs and Americans, Arabs and Turkmanis...etc. Especially around Kirkuk.

As to the why, I said I didn't understand the whole notion of 'let's set a date, and all just go fight one another'. He answered that, it's his country and *he* didn't understand. But this fight is being "advertised" almost. The family said that the Americans were considering instituting a curfew for the country because of the word on the street. I searched yesterday night to see if word had spread to the internet, but nothing. Then I found this story this morning.

The above might explain the "Low-key ceremony" two days early. Give power away a quickly as possible, before all hell breaks loose.

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America will wake up to the deaths of their children in Iraq

27 June 2004

Campaigning journalist John Pilger has vehemently opposed the Bush-Blair ‘war on terror’. With power due to be handed to the Iraqi people on Wednesday, Torcuil Crichton asked for his thoughts on that country’s future, and the prospects for world peace

Comment: Note that the "power" has been handed over today...

Torcuil Crichton: What do you believe is the endgame for Iraq?

John Pilger: No-one can predict these things. What I can say is that the uprising in Iraq will continue and the American public may well wake up to the deaths of thousands of its sons and daughters. And just as the mutiny of soldiers and their families and supporters hastened the end in Vietnam, so the same may well happen in Iraq.

TC: Where do you think the “war on terror” will be in 10 years’ time?

JP: The long-term prediction may, just may, be the decline of the American empire, for the same internal reasons of “overstretch” that the Soviet Union collapsed.

TC: What should Britain do with regards to its “special relationship” with the US?

JP: Britain should do what the majority of Britons want. The troops should be brought home now. They have no right to be in Iraq; their presence itself is atrocious, quite apart from the abuses we read about almost every day. The “special relationship” is a sub-imperial relationship; it has no value for the rest of us.

TC: Can the European Union act as a counter to the US’s global influence?

JP: Yes, but apart from a few bursts of pique from the French president, there is no sign of that happening in the near future.

TC: What do you think of your former employer, The Mirror, being stripped of its aggressive anti-war stance?

JP: It’s a great shame. As I understand it, Piers Morgan was working to a long- term strategy, hoping to secure a place in the market and a renewed identity for the paper similar to that which The Mirror once had. Circulation may have dropped, but I think it would have levelled out once people got used to The Mirror’s difference from other tabloids, which are in serious decline. Circulation will drop even faster if The Mirror returns to trivia only.

TC: Can journalism really make a difference?

JP: Yes, journalism can make a difference. Information is power; without it, we are immobilised. Look at the invasion of Iraq. Had the American media fulfilled its constitutional role and challenged and exposed Bush’s lies, instead of channelling and amplifying them, there would have been no invasion, and thousands of Iraqis would be alive today.

TC: Is television now more important than print?

JP: Television and print journalism are different. Television is the source of most people’s information and it has an instant impact. If newspapers complement television, rather than following it slavishly, they prosper, because people look to them to make sense of what they’ve seen on the news. Sadly, more often than not, they are disappointed.

TC: What to you is “committed” journalism?

JP: There is only one form of “committed” journalism we should value, and that is journalism that reflects a commitment not to some spurious equivalence of opposites but to the truth: to stripping away façades and blowing away smokescreens and never accepting the “official truth” of important events.

TC: Given Australian prime minister John Howard’s support of Bush and Blair, how do you feel these days about Australia? Are you ashamed at all to be Australian?

JP: Because human beings do terrible and stupid things, are you ashamed of being a human being? Why should I feel ashamed of my birthright simply because John Howard is prime minister? The problem for Australian society is a colonial mentality that endures. When Australians are moved to demand that their politicians end their obsequiousness to great power, that will be a day to celebrate.

TC: You paint a very cynical view of the world. Is it a cynical world? Or is it simply you that’s cynical?

JP: I have never painted a cynical view of the world. I wrote a book called Heroes, which pays tribute to the struggles of ordinary people all over the world. You confuse the majority of people with those in power. Too often journalists believe being cynical about their readers and viewers ordains them as journalists. It doesn’t; they should redirect their scepticism to the powerful, instead of courting them; for it is they who are truly cynical.

Comment: But surely we can rely on the British media to uphold the standards of objective reporting?...Apparently not anymore.

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BBC to Launch Al-Jazeera Competitor

LONDON (AP - 24 June 2004) - The British Broadcasting Corp. said Thursday it will launch a 24-hour Arabic-language TV news channel to compete with the Qatar-based satellite station Al-Jazeera.

The channel will be broadcast across the Middle East and Europe.

The new channel's $50 million in annual costs will be covered by the Foreign Office, which also provides funding for the BBC World Service's radio network.

The BBC is hoping to rival Al-Jazeera, which has aired many of Osama bin Laden's speeches and has been accused of anti-Western bias.

"After discussions about the changing media scene in the Middle East, and in the light of the growing impact of regional satellite TV services in Arabic, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office asked the BBC World Service to develop a proposition for a BBC Arabic television service,'' the BBC said.

The channel will offer a mix of news, information, discussion programs and documentaries, the network said.

Most programs will be broadcast from London but the channel will have staff based across the Middle East.

The venture follows the recent launch of the U.S. government-funded Al-Hurra TV station, which has been denounced by some Muslim clerics as "propaganda.''

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History or hyperbole?

TIM HARPER

When White House strategists drew up the last triumphal week before Wednesday's handover to an interim Iraqi government, it surely didn't look like this.

Mea culpas, a profane outburst from the vice-president, an attack on journalists and a subsequent apology from the deputy defence secretary.

Danger from an angry filmmaker, a broadside from the son of a Republican icon, the release of hundreds of documents to try to convince Americans that torture of prisoners is not official policy.

An agitated president in a confrontation with an Irish television interviewer, the questioning of the president by the FBI, the first poll numbers showing a majority of Americans believe it was a mistake to send troops to Iraq.

And more than 100 dead in five Iraqi cities in one meticulously co-ordinated day of death.
The parade had hit the ditch before anyone could cue the band.

Debate in Washington revolves around a central question: Will Wednesday become known as a day of history or hyperbole? [...]

Friday, Bush lost his patience with an interviewer on Irish television in advance of a European Union summit.

"Let me finish ... may I finish?'' Bush said, holding his finger aloft, as the interviewer tried to counter his claim that the world is safer without Saddam Hussein in power.

"Let me finish. Let me finish. You ask the questions and I'll answer them, if you don't mind.''

Meanwhile, Fahrenheit 9/11, director Michael Moore's 116-minute attack on Bush and his war policy has so rankled some high-ranking Republicans, party chairman Ed Gillespie said he thought Shrek 2 was more factual and one conservative group was moving to have the Federal Election Committee shut down Moore's advertising for the movie because it could be deemed election advertising.

Then Ron Reagan, the son of late president Ronald Reagan, took to the airwaves denouncing Bush and his party as a home for bigots.

"We lied our way into the war,'' Reagan said on CNN.

Bush also had to endure questioning for more than an hour by a special prosecutor probing his administration's role in illegally disclosing the name of a CIA agent, the wife of former ambassador Joseph Wilson, an outspoken critic of the president's pre-war claims about weapons of mass destruction. [...]

American troops will also be immune from prosecution in Iraqi courts and would instead face U.S. justice.
That is particularly contentious in the wake of the abuse and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners by Americans at Abu Ghraib prison.

Saddam Hussein will be "legally'' under Iraqi custody, but physically, he will continue to be held by Americans, meaning, for all intents and purposes, nothing has changed and Iraqis are a long way from trying their tormenter.

While the Bush administration has gone to great pains to publicly state that an interim government has the legal right under full sovereignty to kick the troops out, Wolfowitz said last week no planning has even been done for that possibility. [...]

Pollster James Zogby, on a CNN-televised town hall meeting Friday, likened the June 30 handover to Bush's infamous May 1, 2003, "Mission Accomplished'' speech on an American aircraft carrier.

Wednesday's handover is all about selling hype and ideology over reality, but reality will again "rear its ugly head,'' he said.

Phyllis Bennis, a Middle East expert with the left-leaning Institute for Policy Studies, said the Bush administration is rewriting the meaning of sovereignty.

"It is not a sovereign government if it is put into power by an occupying force,'' she said.

"They have no right to counter any of the orders of (Coalition Provisional Authority head) Paul Bremer. The U.S. political authority has given itself immunity against prosecution. The Iraqi government cannot tell the Americans not to go back in and bomb Fallujah or launch strikes in Ramadi.''

Bennis is the lead author of a study on the cost of the Iraqi war, released to coincide with the handover.

It was done, she said, because the Bush administration is trying to "masquerade'' war failures by installing an interim government.

According to the numbers she compiled, 952 coalition troops have been killed since the war began and 5,134 Americans have been wounded.

The study finds between 50 and 90 civilian workers, contractors and missionaries have been killed and 30 journalists have perished.

It also says that anywhere from 9,436 to 11,317 Iraqi civilians have been killed in the war, which Bennis says has cost U.S. taxpayers $126.1 billion (U.S.).

When committed money already in the pipeline is spent, the war will have cost every American household $3,415, Bennis says.

That money could have been used to purchase 678,200 new fire engines, pay the salaries of 3 million elementary school teachers or provide health care for 27 million uninsured Americans. [...]

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'Saddam, US had pre-war deal'

24/06/2004 16:52 - (SA)

Moscow - Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein cut a deal with the United States before the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, former Russian prime minister Yevgeny Primakov said in an interview published on Thursday.

"There was an understanding with the Americans, as paradoxical as it may seem," Primakov told the Russian daily Gazeta in a lengthy interview.

"Why weren't the bridges of the Tigris blown up when the American tanks approached Baghdad? Why weren't Iraqi aviation and tanks used, and where are they now?" asked Primakov, a former head of the Russian secret service and a specialist in Arab affairs who was formerly on good terms with Saddam.

"Why was there an immediate ceasefire? Why was there practically no resistance a year ago?" he added.

Primakov, who now heads Russia's chamber of trade and industry, also cast doubt on the authenticity of footage of Saddam's reported capture that circled the world on December 14.

"They showed two soldiers with guns with palm trees in the background near the hole (where Saddam was reportedly hiding). At that time of year, date palms are never in bloom," he said.

"Finally, any man can tell you that such a long beard (as Saddam had when he was reportedly caught) could not grow in seven months," he said.

"All evidence suggests that Saddam surrendered earlier and the story of the hole was invented later," he said.

Primakov, who was also Russian foreign minister, made two secret trips to Iraq at the request of President Vladimir Putin, shortly before the invasion by US and British troops.

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Flashback: Iraqi Commander Swears he saw USAF fly Saddam out of Baghdad

Bill Dash
Alamo Christian Ministries Online
10/16/2003

Film will soon be made public of an Iraqi Army officer describing how he saw a US Air Force transport fly Saddam Hussein out of Baghdad. The explosive eyewitness testimony was shot by independent filmmaker Patrick Dillon, who recently returned from a risky one-man odyssey in Iraq. In the film, the officer, who told Dillon that he commanded a special combat unit during the battle for Baghdad airport and whose identity is temporarily being withheld, explains in detail how he watched as the Iraqi dictator and members of his inner circle were evacuated from Iraq's capital by what he emphatically insists were United States Air Force cargo planes. [...]

Dillon says his film lends major support to what many have believed for years: that Saddam was little more than an american tool, a stage-managed "evildoer", just one in a long line of useful villains bought and paid for by the United States in order to better manipulate international politics and commerce. The gutsy New York based filmmaker, who risked his life amid the chaos of postwar Iraq, says that much of the Iraqi populace believes Saddam is not dead and they worry he could still exact revenge from afar. While many Iraqi civilians initially welcomed American forces, Dillon told me most Iraqis, having now had a bitter taste of American occupation, feel enraged with the US and its soldiers. Dillon said living conditions in Iraq are horrible and that little of significance is being done to relieve the situation.

Based on what he saw during his travels, Dillon told me he's convinced the war and its sweeping devastation of the Iraqi nation is in reality a mind boggling charade. Rather than liberating Iraq, its actual purpose is to corral Iraq's huge oil reserves and to serve as a pretext for channelling tens of billions in largesse to favored American corporations like Haliburton and Bechtel. As an example, Dillon pointed to how US air strikes systematically obliterated every last Iraqi telecommunications facility from one end of the country to the other, a measure he maintains vastly exceeded all practical military necessity. Then, without even the pretense of a competitive bid, Washington gifted WorldCom, the near bankrupt US telecom giant responsible for the greatest fraud in financial history, with a huge multi-billion dollar contract to build Iraq a new nationwide state-of-the-art telephone system.

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Iraq's missing oil billions

Monday 28 June 2004

Billions of dollars from Iraq's oil fund cannot be accounted for by the US occupation authority - which was given responsibility for the country's finances by the UN.

Reports by Christian Aid and the Liberal Democrats, Britain's third-largest political party, said there were glaring gaps in the handling of $20 billion generated by Iraq's oil.

The Christian Aid report on Sunday also said the majority of Iraq's reconstruction projects had been awarded to US companies, which charged up to 10 times more than their Iraqi equivalents.

The UN gave the US occupation authority responsibility for the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI) after the fall of Saddam Hussein in May 2003.

But it stipulated that expenditure must be shown to be in the country's best interests and that all revenue should be paid into a simple fund.

However, Christian Aid and the Liberal Democrats said that no audit on the money had been carried out until April 2004.

Unaccountable spending

Christian Aid spokeswoman Helen Collison said that for an entire year it "has been impossible to tell with any accuracy what the CPA [Coalistion Provisional Authority] has been doing with Iraq's money". [...]

"The cost of reconstruction of Iraq is considerable and those countries who are being asked to contribute will want to know that Iraq's own resources are making a maximum contribution."

Christian Aid said that Iraqi companies had been awarded contracts worth a miniscule total of $500,000 since April 2004.

The report also claimed around $2 billion of Iraqi money was given to mostly US companies for poorly thought-out projects of no lasting benefit.

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Who's on first? Who's on second? Who's really the terrorist?

Just a glimpse down the rabbit hole

By Dr. Kosmotar J. Katzspliff
Online Journal Contributing Writer

"If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." ¡X Samuel Adams

June 25, 2004

Unocaledonia and Conocopia You might know them formally as Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Great New Western Frontier now has assimilated these third world countries into the Bush-Cheney reorganization program for the "New World Order" and their global plutocratic policies. So without further ado or remorse, Let's have a really big welcome for Boy George Bush and his band of thieves performing their new fabulous hit that all America loves; "Everybody in my administration wants to rule the world."

If you believe Mr. Bush only wants to bring democracy and freedom to Afghanistan and Iraq you probably also believe that General Electric only sells light bulbs and toasters. Well, think again, my little Bushkins and Sheep'ziz; the proof lies in the pudding and the main "ingredient" is oil.

Who's On First?

Right after we bombed Afghanistan into the Stone Age, as Mr. Bush promised we would in retaliation to the September 11 "terror attacks, we saw a new figure emerge to lead Afghanistan, Harmid Karzai. But just who is the new Afghan president?

Harmid Karzai is a former Unocal consultant. During the Reagan administration he was a top contact for the CIA and maintained close relations with CIA Director William Casey, Vice President George H. W. Bush, and their Pakistani Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) Service interlocutors.

After the Afghanistan war with Russia, Karzai and a number of his brothers moved to the United States under the auspices of the CIA. Karzai continued to serve the agency's interests, as well as those of the Bush Family and their oily friends in negotiating Unocal's proposed Central Asian Gas Pipeline Project.

The Taliban itself is a creation of American and British politics. In the 1980s, the tribal army that produced them was funded by the CIA and trained by SAS units to fight the Russian Invaders.

The hypocrisy does not stop there. When the Taliban took Kabul in 1996, Washington said nothing. Why? Because the Taliban mullahs were soon on their way to Sugar Land, Texas, to be entertained by executives of Enron and the oil company Unocal, with the complicity of CIA operatives on Enron's payroll. Our government, Enron and Unocal funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to the Taliban for years. It goes without saying that much of the Taliban moolah went to fund and arm "al Qaeda terrorists" within Afghanistan. Again we were doing battle against a monster of our own creation.

Dick Cheney, former Halliburton CEO and now vice president, used to serve on the Kazakhstan Oil Advisory Board with executives from Chevron and Texaco.

Oddly, Chevron and Texaco merged only days before the bombs began to fall on Afghanistan. The resulting company, ChevronTexaco, will have a 45 percent interest in Kazakhstan's huge Tengiz oil field near its border with Afghanistan (ExxonMobil has a 25 percent interest). The Tengiz field is just part of the Caspian oil reserves.

This was what it was all about, the gooey, oily truth. As it has been widely reported, the Bush administration was negotiating with the Taliban early in 2001 to work out the deal for Unocal's pipeline. The administration allegedly told the Taliban it could choose between "a carpet of gold or a carpet of bombs." We all know what it was in the end.

On Friday December 27, 2002, it was reported that Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan signed a framework agreement for a US $ 3.2 billion gas pipeline project passing through their three countries. In a ceremony held in Pakistan at the Presidential Palace with the three leaders, Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, President Saparmurat Niyazov of Turkmenistan and Afghan President Hamid Karzai signed the document that closed the long awaited deal of blood money for oil.

Who's On Second?

Daddy Bush has always been cozy with Texas oilmen and is a member of the $12 billion private equity firm, the Carlyle Group, which invests heavily among many defense contractors, including (drum roll please!) Halliburton. The Carlyle Group and Halliburton will get rich off the Iraq war and the longer it last, the richer they will become.

Also worth mentioning Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) a major source of research and development expertise for our government owns laboratories in West Jefferson, Ohio. According to The New York Times, the laboratories are center to a top-secret defense project named "Operation Jefferson." In a September 2001 article, the Associated Press reported that an "anonymous Pentagon official," was quoted in reference to "Operation Jefferson," in which "a new and highly lethal strain of anthrax" had been developed.

Prior to the string of Anthrax attacks following 9-11, BMI hired bio-weapons researcher William C. Patrick III, who holds five secret patents in producing weapons grade anthrax, to investigate the implications of mailing powdered anthrax through the postal system. "Strangelovian Bio-Billy" or Mr. Patrick is also a consultant to the FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the CIA. Spooky, huh, Sherlock? Oh! Coincidently BMI is in partnership with Michigan-based Bioport, which holds a virtual monopoly on military anthrax vaccine production in the US. By even more coincidence, the Carlyle Group is a major shareholder in Bioport.

Wherever you look they turn up with their dirty fingers. Carlyle's influential movers and shakers include such heavyweights as former Secretary of State James Baker, ex-Secretary of Defense and ex-Deputy CIA Director CIA Frank Carlucci, former President and former CIA Director George H.W. Bush, and former British Prime Minister John Major. President [sic] Hubba Dubya Bush has also held board membership.

What is even more fascinating is the first anthrax fatality in the post 9-11 mailing was Bob Stevens, a photo editor for American Media Inc., who was in custody of two important reputed pictures of George W. Bush. One allegedly was a photo of Dubya lying in the satanic ritual coffin while engaging in homosexual acts with one of his fellow Skull & Bonesman at Yale. The other an alleged photo of him apparently drunk and/or stoned, dancing nude on a tavern bar or table.

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Iraq War Analysis Paints Grim Picture

Jim Lobe

Unless you own a lot of stock in Halliburton or other big defence, security, or construction companies, chances are the Iraq war has turned out to be a pretty bad investment, both in human lives and taxpayer dollars, according to a new assessment by a progressive Washington-based think tank, the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).

WASHINGTON, Jun. 24 (IPS) - In what it claims is the first comprehensive accounting of the costs of the war on the U.S., Iraq, and much of the rest of the world, IPS concludes that not only have U.S. taxpayers paid a "very high price for the war," they have also become "less secure at home and in the world."

Citing a number of recent studies, the report, 'Paying the Price: The Mounting Costs of the Iraq War,' also notes that the 151.1 billion dollars that will have been spent through this fiscal year could have paid for comprehensive health care for 82 million U.S. children or the salaries of nearly three million elementary school teachers. According to one study cited in the 54-page report, the war and occupation will cost the average U.S. household at least 3,415 dollars through the end of this year. [...]

While the financial costs of the war are enormous, according to the report, the costs in blood, both for U.S. citizens and Iraqis, are by no means insignificant.

More than 850 U.S. troops have been killed since the start of the war on Mar. 19, 2003, just over 700 of them since U.S. President George W. Bush declared the end of major hostilities on May 1, 2003, making the post-combat phase of the war by far the bloodiest U.S. engagement since the Indochina conflict.

In addition more than 5,134 troops were wounded through Jun. 16, 4,593 of them since the official end of combat. Nearly two-thirds of the wounded, according to the report, received injuries serious enough to prevent them from returning to duty.

But despite precision bombing and other weapons and tactics designed to reduce "collateral damage", the toll among Iraqis has been far more dramatic, according to the report whose principal author was Phyllis Bennis, IPS' main Middle East analyst.

As of Jun. 16, it estimates that between 9,436 and 11,317 civilians have been killed as a direct result of the U.S. invasion and ensuing occupation, while an estimated 40,000 Iraqis have been injured. In addition, during "major combat" operations both during the invasion and after May 1, 2003, the report estimates that between 4,895 and 6,370 Iraqi soldiers and insurgents were killed as of mid-June. [...]

"We have played a large part in destroying this country," said Bennis, who recalled the first Gulf War and the 13 years of U.S.-backed U.N. sanctions that had already weakened much of Iraq's infrastructure before the war.

Washington's invasion and occupation have also exacted other costs for which the United States may have to pay for a very long time, according to the report, which cited a recent assessment by the conservative International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) that the Iraq war has greatly increased recruitment by al Qaeda and similar radical groups. The London-based think tank estimated al Qaeda's membership at 18,000 with 1,000 active in Iraq..

That assessment also echoes the conclusion of a new book by a top active-duty Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer to be released next week that "(t)here is nothing that (al Qaeda chief Osama) bin Laden could have hoped for more than the American invasion and occupation of Iraq." The author, "Anonymous," until recently headed the CIA efforts to track down bin Laden and is considered an expert on al Qaeda.

Washington has also dealt a serious blow to its own standing and credibility in the larger world, as well as in Arab and Islamic nations, according to the report, which cites recent surveys of public opinion in more than two dozen countries, including its closest European allies; the weakening of the United Nations and international law resulting from both the precedent created by going to war unilaterally and in the inhumane treatment of detainees in both Afghanistan and Iraq; and the alienation of the Iraqi public.

"Rather than winning hearts, U.S. actions have destroyed lives," said Anas Shallal, an Iraqi-American who founded the Mesopotamia Cultural Society and contributed to the report.

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Majority in US now call war a mistake

26.06.2004

For the first time since the start of the war in Iraq, a majority of Americans say the US-led invasion was a mistake, according to a USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll issued on Thursday.

Amid continuing violence in Iraq and questions about the justification for the war, 54 per cent of the 1005 Americans polled say it was a mistake to send US troops into Iraq, compared with 41 per cent three weeks ago.

It was the first time since Vietnam that a majority of Americans has called a major deployment of US forces a mistake.

The poll also found that for the first time a majority also say the war in Iraq has made the United States less safe from terrorism.

Fifty-five per cent say the war has increased US vulnerability, compared to 56 per cent in a December poll.

Despite changing attitudes towards the war, the poll gave Bush a statistical dead heat with presumptive Democratic nominee John Kerry. Bush edged out Kerry 48 per cent to 47 per cent. Three weeks ago, Kerry led 49 per cent to 43 per cent.

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Don't You Dare Disrespect the Fuhrer!

Angry White House pulls RTE interview

Irish Independent
June 26 2004

THE White House has lodged a complaint with the Irish Embassy in Washington over RTE journalist Carole Coleman's interview with US President George Bush.

And it is believed the President's staff have now withdrawn from an exclusive interview which was to have been given to RTE this morning by First Lady Laura Bush.

It is understood that both RTE and the Department of Foreign Affairs were aware of the exclusive arrangement, scheduled for 11am today. However, when RTE put Ms Coleman's name forward as interviewer, they were told Mrs Bush would no longer be available.

The Irish Independent learned last night that the White House told Ms Coleman that she interrupted the president unnecessarily and was disrespectful.

She also received a call from the White House in which she was admonished for her tone.

And it emerged last night that presidential staff suggested to Ms Coleman as she went into the interview that she ask him a question on the outfit that Taoiseach Bertie Ahern wore to the G8 summit.

Comment: Click here to listen to an MP3 of the recent interview with Mr Bush conducted by RTE's PrimeTime program. The file is 10.7 MB, but it's worth it to hear Bush's evasiveness.

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Questions the Irish TV interviewer could have asked Bush:

1. What exactly happened on September 11 and at what time was President Bush informed?

2. Why was President Bush scheduled to visit a school in Florida?

3. Who scheduled the time of the visit?

4. When exactly did Bush learn about the first crash into the WTC?

5. How could he have seen that on TV?

6. Why didn't he interrupt his school meeting as soon as he learned of the first plane crash?

7. Did Bush ever wonder how Bin Laden was able to hear the first plane crash live on the radio?

8. Which radio station he was listening to?

9. Can Bush explain how Bin Laden's Home Video was found only two weeks after it was produced?

10. Why did Bush decide to release Bin Laden's Home Video?

11. What is the purpose of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC) in Fort Benning, Georgia, where terrorists have been trained for undercover agents in South America? Bush stated "if any government sponsors the outlaws and killers of innocents, they have become outlaws and murderers themselves". So what does he think about Fort Benning?

12. What is the role of Zalmay Khalilzad (former UNOCAL) in the National Security Council ?

13. What is the current role of Zalmay Khalilzad (former UNOCAL) in Afghanistan?

14. When was Bush's last contact with anyone from ENRON?

15. Why was China admitted to the WTO on September 13 after 15 years of unsuccessful attempts?

16. Why did Bush postpone the release of Ronald Reagan's records?

17. How does Bush feel about the need to investigate the CIA's mistakes?

18. Does Bush agree with senators John McCain, Joseph I. Lieberman, Porter J. Goss, former C.I.A. clandestine case officer and a Florida Republican, Richard C. Shelby and Ron Paul, US Congressman, who want an investigation and have said "Secret government is winning out over open government"?

19. Did he know before he left his hotel that morning on the way to the school that the 1st tower had been hit? ABC news reported that morning that he was asked by reporters if he was aware of events in NYC and he answered yes. If so, why did he later say he first heard of it was when he was at the school?

20. Why did Bush continue to sit in that classroom reading to children when he should have been conferring with his advisors?

21. Why did Bush say that he and Card initially thought it was an accident involving a small plane?

22. Given all the information sources available to the POTUS and his staff how could his people not have known the kind of plane involved?

23. Why didn't they know at this point, as did the FAA and NORAD, that aircraft were hijacked? The Batallion Chief in the 9/11 video was seen and heard asking for military backup immediately after the building was hit.

24.How come the NYFD knew it was terrorism right away but the POTUS and his aides just calmly went about their business? [...]

1. Why did George Bush leave Barksdale Air Force Base aboard Air Force One and flew to an Air Force base in Nebraska on 1:48 PM on September 11 and returned to Washington at 4:30 PM?

2. What exactly did Donald Rumsfeld do that day before he arrived at the Pentagon around 3:55 PM?

3. How did Rumsfeld know at 5:30 PM on September 11 that the plane in Pennsylvania could have been headed for one of three possible targets: Camp David, the White House or the U.S. Capitol building?

4. Can he explain why early media reports told us that no squadrons of combat- ready fighter jets have been at Andrews and later changed their reports that they haven't been on high alert only?

5. Why was Air Force Lt. Col. Vic Warzinski, another Pentagon spokesman, so sure on September 11 that aircraft was coming your way?

6. What did the D.C. Air National Guard in Washington do on September 11?

7. Can he explain what those 3 fighters did from 9:40AM until 9:55AM when they finally turned towards Flight 93 and were 60 miles out at 10:06am?

8. Can he explain why Air Traffic Controllers in a Nashua Telegraph article did report an F-16 was circling Flight 93 and was in visual range at the time of crash?

9. Can he confirm a witness report that National Guard F-16's have been at Hancock field in Syracuse NY in the air early that morning before 9AM?

10. How could the hijackers know how to disable defense systems?

11. What was the official reason that fighters of the 305th Air Wing, McGuire Air Force Base, NJ did not intercept the 2nd hijacked plane in NYC? This would have been possible within 7 minutes after 8:48 AM

12. Why did none of the 459th Aircraft Squadron (Andrews AFB) fighters intercept the plane which crashed into the Pentagon? Andrews AFB is 10 miles from Washington DC.

13. Col. Ken McClellan, Air Force spokesman said on September 11, that Mohammad Atta attended the International Officer's School at Maxwell/Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery, and was seen by eye-witnesses? What was McClellan doing there? Why did he later deny the report?

14. Why did he decide not to shutdown ECHELON base Bad Aibling in Germany as planned for 2002?

15. What is the reason that none of any Air Force fighters reached the hijacked plane in time?

16. Many eye- and witnesses think that the plane in Pennsylvania was shot down. What is the scientific explanation why the magazine of the airplane was found many miles away?

17. Why did Jack Kelly, idefense.com, inform USA Today only 12 minutes after the first crash (8:48AM), that terror groups using Web encryption may have been responsible? And why was he so sure before the second crash at 9:03 PM?

18. Did Kelly serve with the U.S. government where he managed several significant programs for the information warfare and intelligence communities?

19. Did Joseph J. Esposito, Chief of NYPD try to contact the Pentagon at 9:06 AM on September 11? What was their reaction?

20. Why didn't General Elwood "Pete" Quesada of the FAA inform President Bush between 8:15 and 9:05 about four simultaneously hijacked planes? Who did he inform and what was their reaction? [...]

24. How did they find a passport that just "happens" to belong to one of the hijackers in the WTC rubble and they can't locate even ONE flight recorder?

25. Why no investigative reporting of the Pentagon scene? The photos do not show much, but then photographers were not allowed, initially, to photograph the scene, if I remember correctly.

26. Why was the series of recommendations Al Gore also put together in 1996 on airport security called by Republican congress "paranoid" and too harsh. Why did the airline industry, lobbying against it, consider it too expensive and impractical.

27. Why was the Hart-Rudman report on the potential dangers of terrorism in the homeland. The results of the research ignored by Bush?

28. Why were FISA warrants disallowed by Bush?

29. Why did the US pull the plug on Muslim websites Monday September 10, 2001?

30. Why did the Saudi bin-Laden-group have a website with a PRE-SET expiration date of Sept. 11, 2001?

31. Why were the bin Ladens flown out of the U.S. on private jets the day after the 9/11?

32. Why did Cheney say that everyone in the White House started taking Cipro on September 12 when the first anthrax letter wasn't postmarked until September 18.

33. Why did Bush dissolve the Bin Laden Task Force? What would have happened had this focused and knowledgeable group been in place 9 months before 911? [...]

11. What exactly was found on Z. Moussaoui's computer after 9/11, when local agents were given a Federal Intelligence Security Act (FISA) warrant, which they had requested six weeks previously? This ties directly into the question of the administration's dealings with the Taliban, its reluctance to investigate Saudi nationals, etc.

12. Why the attack on Cynthia McKinney for asking: 1) why has there been no investigation of the 9-11 attack? and 2) did Bush/CIA/NSA know of it beforehand, and allow it to happen?

13. Why is the Bush administration so strongly against a real investigation into the events of 9-11?

15. Why did Bush toss the Hart-Rudman terror security study (developed over a 2 year period) and instead assign responsibility to Cheney and FEMA?

16. Why did Ashcroft stop flying commercial, citing an unidentified "threat" in July 2001? Why did the FBI and Justice not identify the form, origin and time of the threat?

17. Why did Bush stay in Texas for the month of August and Cheney in Wyoming? [...]

56. Why did the FBI ignore Bin Laden's family, who left the United States without further investigation. [...]

128. Why did Tommy Thompson, The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, and other Bush cabinet members meet secretly (i.e. illegally) in Oct. 2001 with officials of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) to develop plans for their Emergency Preparedness Task Force? [...]

150. Why did General Mahmud Ahmad, former head of the ISI quit his position?

151. Why did retaliation against the Taliban begin the day he stepped down?

152. Who in the ISI paid $100.000 to Mohammad Atta?

153. Why does Ahmad think that another secret service was involved in the WTC attack? Which Secret Service was he referring to? Did other ISI official's believe that? Did officials of the CIA believe that? Did some officials of the Mossad believe that?

154. What was the purpose of Ahmad's visit to Washington on 9/11? [...]

1. Did two U.S. carrier battle groups arrive in the Gulf of Arabia just off the Pakistani coast before 9/11?

2. Did 17,000 U.S. troops join more than 23,000 NATO troops in Egypt for Operation 'Bright Star' on 9/11? What was the purpose of both of these operations? [...]

7. What exactly did Cheney decide to do on September 11th?

8. Did he speak with an Air Force Commander or Lt. Gen. Charles F. Wald on that day?

9. When did he inform the president about the hijacked airplanes on September 11?

10. Who called the White House on September 11 at 9:30 AM about a possible threat?

11. Why was no air security at the White House or the Pentagon at 9:30 AM?

12. When and who gave the approval to evacuate the White House at 9:45 AM? [...]

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Bush and Hitler: What The 'Torture Memos' Reveal

by Edward Spannaus

In the Spring of 1941, as Nazi Germany was preparing to invade the Soviet Union, Adolf Hitler issued an infamous edict which has become known as the "Commissar Order," to govern the conduct of German armed forces on the Eastern Front. This order provides a largely-unnoticed precedent for the "legal" rationalizations found in a number of hitherto-secret Bush Administration legal memoranda, which have recently come to light.

As is documented in William L. Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Hitler outlined this policy during a meeting with the heads of the three armed services and key army field commanders early in March 1941: "The war against Russia will be such that it cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion. This struggle is one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful, and unrelenting harshness. All officers will have to rid themselves of obsolete ideologies.... German soldiers guilty of breaking international law will be excused. Russia has not participated in the Hague Convention and therefore has no rights under it."

On May 13, 1941, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, the head of the Armed Forces High Command, issued an order in Hitler's name, severely limiting functions of the military courts martial system, and virtually giving immunity to German forces for war crimes against Russians: "With regard to offenses committed against enemy civilians by members of the Wehrmacht, prosecution is not obligatory, even where the deed is at the same time a military crime or offense." The army was explicitly instructed to go easy on any such German offenders, "remembering in each case all the harm done to Germany since 1918 by the 'Bolsheviki.' "

Underlying such orders was the legal philosophy set forward by the "Crown Jurist of the Third Reich," Carl Schmitt, whose writings have unfortunately undergone a revival in the United States in recent years.

Schmitt contended that, in times of emergency and crisis, the actions of the Leader were not subordinate to justice, but constituted the "highest justice." In passages which remind one of the legal defenses of "necessity" and "self- defense" posed by John Ashcroft's Justice Department (DOJ) today, Schmitt wrote: "All law is derived from the people's right to existence. Every state law, every judgment of the courts, contains only so much justice, as it derives from this source. The content and the scope of his action, is determined only by the Leader himself."

President George W. Bush's counsel, Alberto Gonzales, addressed a memorandum to the President on Jan. 25, 2002, about four months into the "war of terrorism." Gonzales noted that Bush had called the war against terrorism "a new kind of war," which "renders obsolete" and "quaint" some of the provisions of the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war. [...]

Bush's directive stated that "none of the provisions of Geneva apply to our conflict with Al-Qaeda..." [...]

Aug. 1, 2002 saw the most infamous of the "torture papers," DOJ/OLC chief Bybee's memorandum to Gonzales entitled: "Standards of Conduct for Interrogations, under the Convention Against Torture and the U.S. Anti-Torture Act (18 U.S. 2340-2340A)." This memorandum was reportedly drafted by the DOJ for the CIA, and sent directly to the White House without consultation with either the State Department, or the Joint Chiefs and Joint Staff legal experts. It is an extremely detailed, 50-page memorandum, giving the most lenient interpretation conceivable, of the anti-torture treaty and laws. The memo states at the outset:

We conclude below that Section 2340A proscribes acts inflicting, and that are specifically intended to inflict, severe pain or suffering, whether mental or physical.

Those acts must be of an extreme nature to rise to the level of torture within the meaning of Section 2340A and the Convention.

We further conclude that certain acts may be cruel, inhuman, or degrading, but still not produce pain and suffering of the requisite intensity to fall within Section 2340A's proscription against torture.

We conclude that for an act to constitute torture as defined in Section 2340, it must inflict pain that is difficult to endure.

Physical pain amounting to torture must be equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of body function, or even death.

For purely mental pain or suffering to amount to torture under Section 2340, it must result in significant psychological harm of significant duration, e.g., lasting for months or even years....[...]

We conclude that, under current circumstances, necessity or self-defense may justify interrogation methods that might violate Section 2340A."

When the White House officially released this memo (it already having been leaked), DOJ attorneys suddenly disavowed it, telling reporters that it would be "repudiated" and "replaced." But the official who signed it, Jay Bybee, is now a federal appellate judge, sitting on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. [...]

Jan. 15, 2003: Rumsfeld rescinded his approval of the more severe techniques, and directed General Counsel Haynes to set up a DOD working group "to assess the legal, policy, and operational issues relating to the interrogation of detainees held by U.S. Armed Forces in the war on terrorism."

The documents do not show what triggered Rumsfeld's January moves, but the Washington Post reported on June 24, that sometime in December, two Navy interrogators heard military intelligence personnel talking about using techniques which they considered "repulsive and potentially illegal." Their concerns were brought to DOD General Counsel Haynes by Navy General Counsel Alberto Mora. Haynes apparently ignored Mora's appeals until Mora threatened to put them in writing.

The Pentagon Working Group

Rumsfeld's directive to Haynes said that the Working Group "should consist of experts from your Office, the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy [Feith], the Military Departments, and the Joint Staff. He also directed Haynes "to report your assessments and recommendations to me within 15 days."

The Working Group reportedly was wracked with bitter controversy, especially between the DOD civilian and uniformed lawyers. Senior Army, Air Force, and Marine lawyers wrote classified dissenting memos, as did the Navy's Mora, in opposition to the position taken by DOD civilians and the DOJ to allow tougher interrogation techniques to be used.

The dissenters argued that the information obtained by the use of coercive techniques was not reliable, and that the tougher methods could endanger U.S. military personnel detained by other countries.

Part of a draft of the report, dated March 6, 2003, was recently leaked to the media, causing a firestorm of protest from experts in military law and international law. The full, just-declassified report, dated April 4, 2003, was released to the public by the DOD on June 22. It is clear from a reading of the Working Group Report that it incorporated the now-repudiated August 2002 DOJ Bybee memorandum, which had justified torture so long as it doesn't result in organ failure or death.

Almost half of the 50-page Bybee memo was incorporated virtually verbatim into the Working Group Report. This included:

  • a nine-page section analyzing the anti-torture statute;
  • six pages arguing that the anti-torture statute would be unconsitutional if it infringed on the President's inherent authority as Commander-in-Chief to do whatever he wants in war-time; and arguing, in essence, that nothing that the President orders can be the subject of a criminal statute;
  • seven pages setting forth legal defenses that could be raised in the event of a prosecution for torture or war crimes, emphasizing the Carl Schmitt- like defenses of "necessity," and "self-defense."

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Hitler image used in Bush campaign Web ad

By Jennifer C. Kerr, Associated Press Writer | June 27, 2004

WASHINGTON -- Adolf Hitler's image has surfaced again in the White House race. President Bush's campaign contains online video, removed from a liberal group's Web site months ago and disavowed, that features the Nazi dictator.

The Bush Internet video, which was sent electronically to 6 million supporters, intersperses clips of speeches by Democrats John Kerry, Al Gore and Howard Dean with the footage of Hitler.

Democrats want the video pulled from the site. Campaign aides said it would remain.

Republicans had criticized the group MoveOn.org in January because it briefly posted an ad contest entry that linked Hitler and Bush. It showed images of Bush with text saying, "God told me to strike at al-Qaida," before turning to images of Hitler with the words, "And then He instructed me to strike at Saddam." The submission ended with the words, "Sound familiar?" on a black and white screen.

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McAleese warns Bush over torture of POWs

Henry McDonald, Ireland editor
The Observer
Sunday June 27, 2004

President Mary McAleese voiced strong concerns over the maltreatment of Iraqi POWs by coalition forces during a private meeting with George Bush yesterday.

The Irish President told her US counterpart during a 30-minute meeting that there was deep disquiet about the war in Iraq among the people of Ireland and the EU. In what was described as a busy and very honest meeting, she said Irish people as a whole shared the shock and disappointment of the American people as scenes from Abu Ghraib had emerged. [...]

Standing beside Ahern and the outgoing President of the European Commission Romano Prodi, Bush said he accepted that the images of prisoners tortured and abused at Abu Ghraib prison had further fuelled anti-Americanism around the world. 'I don't like it when the values of our country are misunderstood because of the actions of some people overseas.'

However Bush appeared less concerned about his own negative image among Europeans. 'My job is to do my job and I will do it the way I think is necessary. We will set a vision. I will lead and we will just let the chips fall where they may.'

In a barb against criticism from international human rights organisations concerned over the treatment of Iraqi POWs, Bush pointed to the record of Saddam's regime. 'There were rape rooms. There were mass graves. But I didn't hear international organisations say anything about that.'

Bush's press conference on the lakeside lawn in front of the 16th century castle had to be delayed for more than half an hour due to protests on the main road into the Dromoland estate.

A small group of anti-war protestors managed to breach the ring of steel, guarded by 4,000 Irish police officers and 2,000 soldiers, erected around the castle grounds. The demonstrators blocked the N18 Galway-to-Limerick road despite numerous Garda checkpoints, 6,000 security personnel and a police helicopter overhead. [...]

Comment: Let's run that by one more time... Dubya sez: " the values of our country are misunderstood because of the actions of some people overseas." SOME PEOPLE OVERSEAS??!! Say what?!

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9/11 Panel Links Al Qaeda, Iran

Bin Laden May Have Part in Khobar Towers, Report Says

By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, June 26, 2004

While it found no operational ties between al Qaeda and Iraq, the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has concluded that Osama bin Laden's terrorist network had long-running contacts with Iraq's neighbor and historic foe, Iran.

Al Qaeda, the commission determined, may even have played a "yet unknown role" in aiding Hezbollah militants in the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers complex in Saudi Arabia, an attack the United States has long blamed solely on Hezbollah and its Iranian sponsors.

The notion that bin Laden may have had a hand in the Khobar bombing would mark a rare operational alliance betsween Sunni and Shiite Muslim groups that have historically been at odds. That possibility, largely overlooked in the furor of new revelations released by the commission last week, comes amid worsening relations between the United States and Iran, which announced on Thursday that it would resume building equipment necessary for a nuclear weapons program.

The Sept. 11 panel's findings on Iran have been eclipsed by the continuing political debate over Iraq, which the commission said had not developed a "collaborative relationship" with al Qaeda despite limited contacts in the 1990s. That appeared to conflict with previous characterizations made by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and other administration officials in their justifications for launching the war against Saddam Hussein.

In relation to Iran, commission investigators said intelligence "showed far greater potential for collaboration between Hezbollah and al Qaeda than many had previously thought." Iran is a primary sponsor of Hezbollah, or Party of God, the Lebanon-based anti-Israel group that has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States.

The commission's Republican chairman, former New Jersey governor Thomas H. Kean, also said in a television appearance last week that "there were a lot more active contacts, frankly, with Iran and with Pakistan than there were with Iraq."

But perhaps most startling was the commission's finding that bin Laden may have played a role in the Khobar attack. Although previous court filings and testimony indicated that al Qaeda and Iranian elements had contacts during the 1990s, U.S. authorities have not publicly linked bin Laden or his operatives to that strike, which killed 19 U.S. servicemen. A June 2001 indictment of 14 defendants in the case makes no mention of al Qaeda or bin Laden and lays the organizational blame for the attacks solely on Hezbollah and Iran.

Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert who heads the Washington office of Rand Corp., said that although bin Laden's then-fledgling group was an early suspect in the blasts, "the evidence kept pointing to an Iranian connection, so people tended to discount a bin Laden connection."

"What the commission report is raising is that the relationship might have been much tighter and was in fact operational and not just spiritual," Hoffman said.

U.S. officials who have worked on the Khobar case are more skeptical. A law enforcement source with knowledge of the case, who declined to be identified because of the ongoing criminal investigation, said authorities searched carefully for an al Qaeda connection but found no basis for it.

Comment: Are we all sitting comfortably? Now that Iraqi "sovereignty" has been handed over, are we ready for part two? This will involve pretty much the same trumped up charges of WMDs as we saw in part one - "Iraqi shock and awe", only this time, Iran, or some other Middle East nation will be the benefactor of US charges.

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Airport to Test Advance Security Checks

By ASHLEY H. GRANT, Associated Press Writer
June 27, 2004

ST. PAUL, Minn. - A select group of frequent fliers is getting a chance to bypass extra security inspections at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, but to do that they must submit to background checks in advance.

On Monday, Minnesota's largest airport becomes the first in the country to start signing up a hand-picked group of people for a 90-day pilot program for the Transportation Security Administration.

Only frequent fliers contacted by Northwest Airlines are eligible. Northwest spokesman Thomas Becher said 1,600 people had expressed interest as of Friday, and only 30 of those contacted were not interested. [...]

Comment: Of course, everyone will jump at the chance to get through security faster - besides, only terrorists have something to hide, right? Forget about the fact that people are voluntarily giving up their right to privacy...

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Iran to press on with nuclear construction

ALI AKBAR DAREINI
ASSOCIATED PRESS

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran will resume building centrifuges for its nuclear program on Tuesday despite international objections, but will continue to hold off enriching uranium, the foreign ministry said today.

The head of the UN nuclear watchdog said he hopes Iran will reverse its decision, a setback in international attempts to resolve the standoff with Tehran over its nuclear program.

"I hope that this decision is of a temporary nature. I hope it will be reversed," Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told a news conference in Moscow, where he was attending a conference on nuclear power.

"Iran needs to do the maximum to build confidence after a period of confidence deficit. I look at this whole suspension of enrichment as part of this confidence building," he said.

Iran had suspended the building of centrifuges, along with the enrichment of uranium, under international pressure, part of the IAEA's attempts to determine whether Iran's nuclear program is peaceful or aims to produce weapons, as the United States contends.

Tehran reversed the suspension on construction after the IAEA approved a European-drafted resolution that rebuked Iran for past cover-ups in its nuclear program.

An Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hamid Reza Asefi, said his country has notified the IAEA that it would resume building centrifuges as of Monday. He invited the IAEA and European countries to monitor the centrifuge construction.

"Concerning building and assembling centrifuges, we declared to the IAEA and Europeans that we will do that according to regulations, under IAEA supervision," he said at a news conference.

However, he said Tehran will remain committed to suspension of actual uranium enrichment - injecting gas into centrifuges.

Uranium in its natural form contains too low a concentration of fissionable isotopes to be used as fuel for reactors or weapons material and must be put through an enrichment process.

The United States accuses Iran of trying to build nuclear weapons. Iran maintains its nuclear program is entirely peaceful, geared toward production of nuclear energy.

"Iran needs to come clean and fully co-operate with its international obligations," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Sunday.

"Iran's continued failure to comply with the IAEA and continued failure to (halt) all enrichment-related reprocessing activities only reinforces the concerns we have expressed," he added. "It runs counter to the commitment Iran has made to the international community."

In an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Bush's national security adviser Condoleezza Rice called Iran's nuclear program a "very tough situation" but "one that still has a diplomatic solution within sight."

"But the Iranians every day demonstrate why the United States has been so hard on them and why the president put Iran into the axis of evil when he talked about Iraq, North Korea and Iran back in his State of the Union address in January 2002."

Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Hasan Rowhani, had said Iran was reconsidering its suspension of some uranium activity in response to the failure of the three European countries to help close Iran's nuclear dossier.

According to Rowhani, the three European powers promised in February to work toward closure by June if Iran stopped making centrifuges. It did so in April.

Asefi insisted Iran's nuclear policy has not changed and he stressed that the country will continue to co-operate with the IAEA.

"Nothing important has happened . . . Europeans failed to respect their commitments. Therefore, there is no reason for us to keep our moral promise," he said. "We remain committed to voluntary suspension of uranium enrichment."

Though he was critical of Britain, France and Germany, Asefi said Iran's new decision didn't mean Tehran would end its dialogue with Europeans. Rather, he said, a dialogue between Iranian and European experts is planned "in the coming days."

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Uranium storage in Tennessee planned despite concerns

June 27, 7:01 pm ADT

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. - Construction of an above-ground storage complex for bomb-grade uranium will begin in August despite auditors' concerns about the design, federal officials said.

An earlier proposal had called for partially burying the Y-12 National Security Complex, but U.S. Department of Energy spokesman Steven Wyatt said building the $250 million facility above ground will be "more flexible and cost-effective."

That decision comes despite a March DOE inspector general's report that questioned whether such a design would provide enhanced security. It also said the structure, which is expected to be completed in 2007, would cost more than a below-ground facility to build and operate.

Uranium stocks from around the Y-12 plant are to be consolidated in the new facility under heightened security,

The approved design was recommended by BWXT, which replaced Lockheed Martin as Y-12's contractor in late 2000. Lockheed Martin had proposed partially burying the uranium vaults at the weapons plant.
Critics say an above-ground facility could harm security efforts.

"Instead of guarding one side of the building, you have to guard five," Peter Stockton, a security analyst with the nonprofit watchdog group Project On Government Oversight, said of the design earlier this year.

Dennis Ruddy, president of BWXT and the plant's general manager, disagrees, saying that burying the vaults wouldn't automatically enhance security.

"Then you've got to have sensors in the building that would tell you if somebody is burrowing in under the ground," Ruddy said. "If the facility is sitting out there and you've got a guard tower on every corner, you just have to look out the window to see if anybody's monkeying around."

In a May policy speech, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said the Y-12 uranium facility would be a model for "applying security oriented construction techniques and technology to the problem of securing materials."

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Mexicans stage massive anti-crime march

Associated Press

Mexico City — Hundreds of thousands of Mexicans wearing white staged a silent march through the heart of their country's capital Sunday to protest kidnappings, violent crimes and the failures of law enforcement to curb them.

The march was the largest here in recent history, completely filling Mexico City's central plaza and packing surrounding streets.

As protesters crossed the city, they did not chant or cheer but instead shared stories of how many people had been victims of violent crime. Marchers wore black ribbons in memory of victims killed during kidnappings and robberies, with some wearing T-shirts or carrying signs with images of the dead.

Buses brought protesters from states as far away as Chihuahua on the Texas border. Those who fit into the Zocalo square sang the national hymn, facing a gigantic Mexican flag.

"Let's give the death penalty to kidnappers and bring the army in to fight corrupt police," read a banner held aloft by Victor Miranda, a labourer from the poor neighbourhood of Ixtacalco.

Mr. Miranda's nephew, Jorge Jose Contreras, disappeared June 8 and the family suspects he has been kidnapped, although no request for ransom has been made.

Clementina Gonzalez, 60, related how she was held up at gunpoint on a Mexico City street. When assailants tried to stuff her in a car, she fled and was shot in the leg.

"We have all been kidnapped by fear," Ms. Gonzalez said. "We cannot leave our houses. Our children cannot play in the street. If that's not kidnapping, what is?"

Mexico City businessman William Ritchey complained that his maid had been kidnapped.

"This is the kind of thing that happened in Colombia, and 15 years ago people started leaving Colombia just for this reason," he said.

Language professor Victoria Terreros, 32, recalled being held up at gunpoint with her parents outside a Mexico City church as they arrived for a wedding.

She said government corruption and a timid public share the blame for Mexico City's high crime rate.
"It's all of us for not applying more pressure like we're doing now," Ms. Terreros said.

The event was organized by business and citizens' groups. Marchers denied it was a political protest, countering accusations by leftist Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador that the demonstration was meant to discredit him.

Mr. Lopez Obrador, a potential president candidate in 2006, has sought to downplay the recent surge in public frustration over crime by noting that matters are worse elsewhere in Mexico and by downplaying new revelations about metropolitan crime.

Most Mexicans oppose the death penalty, but the march was sprinkled with signs demanding capital punishment for violent criminals.

In the days before the march, Mexican President Vicente Fox put new pressure on Congress to approve his proposed reform of the country's outdated, corrupt and inefficient justice system.

"We're not dealing with a program created by the powerful," Mr. Fox said Friday. "The government only is echoing civil society, articulating its demands."

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EU leaders to appoint new president

By Paul Taylor
Monday June 28, 05:15 PM

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU leaders will nominate a tandem of Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Manuel Durao Barroso as the next European Commission president and Javier Solana of Spain as Europe's future first foreign minister at a brief special summit on Tuesday.

Less than two weeks after failing acrimoniously to find a consensus figure to head the European Union executive, the 25 leaders will meet for 45 minutes at 6 p.m. (5 p.m. British time) to endorse a compromise package of top personnel decisions.

The 48-year-old conservative Portuguese leader told a presidential-style news conference at a NATO summit in Istanbul, Turkey, that he would announce his decision on Tuesday after consulting national leaders.

Outgoing Commission President Romano Prodi, whose five-year term ends on October 31, telephoned Barroso to congratulate him, describing him in a statement as "the right person to hold this office of great responsibility and sensitivity".

A strong Atlanticist and economic liberal, Barroso advocates gradual European integration with a special eye to the needs of small member states who make up the majority of EU countries.

He emerged as a compromise candidate after the leaders, split between supporters and opponents of the U.S.-led war in Iraq and of federal EU integration or a union of nation states, were unable to agree on Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt or British EU External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten. [...]

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China executes 17 to mark International Anti-Drugs Day

BEIJING (AP) - Chinese authorities executed 17 people on drug charges to mark International Anti-Drugs Day, state news media said Sunday.

The executions were carried out Saturday in Shanghai and Chongqing and came a day after authorities announced 11 other executions scheduled to mark the day. Among those executed Saturday, Lin Shengfu was convicted of smuggling 1.8 kilograms of heroin from Myanmar to Shanghai in 2003, Xinhua News Agency said.

Lin was among 78 drug convicts whose punishments were imposed in Shanghai on Saturday, Xinhua said. It didn't identify any of the others or give details of their cases.

Other cases announced earlier involved heroin, opium and ephedrine - a component of methamphetamine.

China executes hundreds of people every year on drug charges.

Amnesty International appealed to China on Saturday to abandon the use of executions in drug cases.

"No convincing evidence has ever been produced that the death penalty deters would-be traffickers and users more effectively than any other punishment," the human rights group said.

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Pot houses linked to Asian mob

By Bruce Owen

Marijuana plants thrive in a large hydroponic indoor grow operation police discovered in a Winnipeg home.

CITY police and RCMP believe the province's explosive jump in large-scale hydroponic marijuana grow operations is connected to an Asian-based organized crime network that extends across the country and around the world.

More than 70 large indoor grow operations have been found in Manitoba this year, a sign the group appears to be well organized in buying and financing newer residential homes and quickly converting them into clandestine grow houses.

There are also indications some of the low-level suspects arrested at several of these grow houses were recruited in Western Europe and came to Winnipeg solely to grow pot.

Winnipeg Police Chief Jack Ewatski said the rise in grow houses allegedly backed by Asian crime is putting a strain on police resources, as they now have to catch up to identify ringleaders and how entrenched they are in Winnipeg and other Canadian cities.

The RCMP, a recently formed city police Asian organized crime unit and Immigration Canada officials are trying to piece together how the group is interconnected and how some arrived in Canada.

The cases in Winnipeg and other major Canadian cities also raise questions about Canada's efforts to tighten immigration controls since the terrorist attacks in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. [...]

The investigation is still in its infancy, but this much is known so far, according to sources:

  • The majority of the accused are Canadian citizens.
  • At least four of the accused charged since Jan. 1 had arrived in Winnipeg from Western Europe within the past six months; three had Dutch passports and one had a German passport.
  • Each of the four had secured foreign citizenship after claiming refugee status in those countries.
  • None of these people was documented in Immigration Canada's database, meaning they were allowed to clear Canada Customs on six-month visitor's visas without any follow-up by authorities until they were arrested by city police.
  • Two of those arrested for growing marijuana have similar charges against them for allegedly doing the same thing in another Canadian province.
  • One of the 11 accused is now alleged to have overstayed a six-month visitor's visa, but no immigration proceedings have taken place yet because the criminal charge must be dealt with first in court.
  • Two of those charged were caught by police March 22 as they drove out of the city. They are alleged to have been behind two of the grow operations in Winnipeg and were found in a car packed with personal possessions and $18,000 Cdn in cash and about $1,000 US. One of them also faces a charge of marijuana cultivation in Hamilton, Ont. [...]

The Canada Revenue Agency is also looking at the Winnipeg cases. Officials are also examining how the homes used to grow the marijuana were purchased and whether taxes were evaded.

Sources say the purpose of delving into the backgrounds of the accused and their relationship to one another is to find out whether they are connected to an established crime group.

Police have little information right now, other than the suspects' ethnic background, to show they are involved in a criminal enterprise.

Many have claimed they cannot speak English and, when a translator is supplied, have not furnished police with any information.

The Criminal Intelligence Service Canada (CISC), in its 2003 annual report, defined Asian-based organized crime in Canada as loosely knit networks of individuals who are highly mobile, entrepreneurial, culturally and linguistically diverse, and with numerous criminal associates nationally and internationally, particularly in the United States and Southeast Asia. [...]

Those arrested in grow houses are believed to be recruited in exchange for being helped to enter Canada. They are considered the bottom rung of the ladder and do not know much, if anything, about who is distributing the drugs and profiting from it.

CISC also says these criminal groups will remain active in Canada in large-scale marijuana cultivation in order to take advantage of the high profits, low risk and relatively lenient sentences.

Mann said the accused in Manitoba do not have any known criminal background. Police have said in the past that typically, first-time offenders charged with growing marijuana get conditional sentences -- not jail time.

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Feds probe drug company's "payoffs" to doctors

By Gardiner Harris
The New York Times

The check for $10,000 arrived in the mail unsolicited. The doctor who received it from the drug maker Schering-Plough said it was made out to him personally in exchange for an attached "consulting" agreement that required nothing other than his commitment to prescribe the company's medicines.

Two other physicians said in interviews that they, too, received checks unbidden from Schering-Plough, one of the world's biggest drug companies. "I threw mine away," said the first doctor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of concern about being drawn into a federal inquiry into the matter.

Those checks and others, some said to be for six-figure sums, are under investigation by federal prosecutors in Boston as part of a broad government crackdown on the drug industry's marketing tactics. Virtually every big global drug company — including Johnson & Johnson, Wyeth and Bristol-Myers Squibb — has disclosed in securities filings that it has received a federal subpoena, and most are juggling subpoenas from several investigations.

Details of the Schering-Plough tactics, gleaned from interviews with 20 doctors, as well as industry executives and people close to the investigation, shed light on the shadowy system of financial lures that pharmaceutical companies have used to persuade physicians to favor their drugs.

Schering-Plough's tactics, these people said, included paying doctors large sums to prescribe its drug for hepatitis C and to take part in company-sponsored clinical trials that were little more than thinly disguised marketing efforts that required little effort on the doctors' part. Doctors who showed disloyalty by testing other company's drugs, or even talking favorably about them, risked being barred from the Schering-Plough money stream.

Schering-Plough says the activities under investigation occurred before its new chief executive, Fred Hassan, arrived in April 2003, and that it has overhauled its marketing to eliminate such inducements.

At the heart of the investigations into drug-industry marketing is the question of whether drug companies are persuading doctors — often through payoffs — to prescribe drugs that patients do not need, or should not use, or for which there may be cheaper alternatives. Investigators also are seeking to determine whether companies manipulate prices to cheat the federal Medicaid and Medicare health programs.

Most of the big drug companies, meanwhile, also are grappling with a welter of suits filed by state attorneys general, industry whistle-blowers and patient-rights groups over similar accusations.

In many ways, the investigations are a response to the evolution of the pharmaceutical business, which has grown into a $400 billion behemoth that is among the most profitable industries on earth.

Offering treatments for almost any affliction and facing competition in which each percentage point of market share can represent tens of millions of dollars, most drug makers now spend twice as much marketing medicines as they do researching them. Their sales teams have changed from a scattering of semiretired pharmacists to armies of attractive young women and men who shower doctors with attention, food and — until the drug industry recently agreed to end the practice — expensive gifts.

A code of conduct adopted in 1990 by the American Medical Association suggests that doctors should not accept any gift worth more than $100, but the guidelines are widely ignored. [...]

Schering-Plough, which had sales of $8.33 billion last year, has set aside $500 million over the past two years to cover its legal problems — mainly for expected fines from the Boston investigation and from a separate inquiry by federal prosecutors in Philadelphia investigating whether Schering-Plough overcharged the Medicaid program.

Besides looking into whether Schering-Plough paid doctors large sums to prescribe the company's drug for hepatitis C, prosecutors are investigating whether many company-sponsored clinical trials simply were another way to funnel money to doctors.

Nine liver specialists who were interviewed say the system worked like this: Schering-Plough paid physicians $1,000 to $1,500 per patient for prescribing Intron A, the company's hepatitis C treatment. In conventional clinical trials, participants are given drugs free, but the doctors said that the patients or insurers paid for their medication in these cases. Because patients usually undergo Intron A treatment for nearly a year and the therapy costs thousands of dollars, Schering-Plough's payments to physicians left plenty of room for the company to profit handsomely, the doctors said.

In return for the fees, physicians were supposed to collect data on their patients' progress and pass it along to Schering-Plough, the doctors said.

But many physicians were not diligent about their recordkeeping, and the company did little to insist on accurate data, according to several doctors.

One of the nation's most prominent liver-disease specialists, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of angering big drug makers, called the trials "purely marketing gimmicks."

Schering-Plough did more than encourage doctors to place patients on Intron A, many of the physicians said. They said the company would remove any doctor from its clinical program — and shut off the money spigot — if he or she wrote prescriptions for competing drugs, took part in clinical trials of alternatives to Intron A or spoke favorably about treatments besides Intron A.

Six specialists in liver disease said Schering-Plough also paid what it called consulting fees to doctors to keep them loyal to the company's products.

The letter accompanying a check for $10,000 explained that the money was for consulting services that were detailed on an accompanying "Schedule A," one doctor said. But when the doctor turned to the attached sheet, he said, "Schedule A" were the only words printed on an otherwise blank sheet of paper.

Hassan and other top executives declined to discuss past marketing practices. Richard Kogan, the company's previous chairman and chief executive, declined to be interviewed. [...]

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Watching TV 'blocks sleep hormone in children'

By Philip Willan in Rome
The Independent
28 June 2004

Exposure to television can influence melatonin levels in children and possibly contribute to the premature onset of puberty, according to a study by scientists from the University of Florence.

The study found a 30 per cent increase in levels of the sleep-regulating hormone in children who had abstained from watching television for a week, the Rome daily La Repubblica reported yesterday.

The findings are based on a study of 74 children from the Tuscan town of Cavriglia who volunteered to forego television, video games and computers for a week last month in the interests of science. Aged between six and 12, the children normally watched an average of three hours' television a day. Urine samples taken at the beginning and end of the experiment showed a significant rise in melatonin levels, particularly among the younger children, by the end of the television-less week. As well as blacking out the video screens, parents were asked to reduce the intensity of artificial lighting in their homes during the experiment.

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland, a pea-sized organ just above the middle of the brain. Exposure to light during the day inhibits its production, which normally begins around 9pm, with rising levels of melatonin in the blood making people feel sleepy. Scientists are less certain about the role of the hormone in regulating the onset of puberty, an issue the Florence researchers intend to pursue. In Western societies, the arrival of puberty has advanced by about a year since the 1950s, when television became common.

Comment: In Laura's series, The Wave, she writes as follows:

The next excerpt is the most interesting. It is a from a Bioelectromagnetics Research Laboratory paper first presented at a workshop to discuss possible biological and health effects of Radio Frequency Electromagnetic waves. The workshop was held by the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington, Seattle. The paper was later presented to "Mobile Phones and Health, Symposium," October 25-28, 1998, University of Vienna, Austria which says in part:

...We carried out a series of experiments to investigate the effect of RFR exposure on neurotransmitters in the brain of the rat. The main neurotransmitter we investigated was acetylcholine, a ubiquitous chemical in the brain involved in numerous physiological and behavioral functions.

We found that exposure to RFR for 45 min decreased the activity of acetylcholine in various regions of the brain of the rat, particularly in the frontal cortex and hippocampus. Further study showed that the response depends on the duration of exposure. Shorter exposure time (20 min) actually increased, rather than decreasing the activity. Different brain areas have different sensitivities to RFR with respect to cholinergic responses [Lai et al., 1987b, 1988b, 1989a,b].

In addition, repeated exposure can lead to some rather long lasting changes in the system: the number of acetylcholine receptors increase or decrease after repeated exposure to RFR to 45 min and 20 min sessions, respectively [Lai et al., 1989a].

Changes in acetylcholine receptors are generally considered to be a compensatory response to repeated disturbance of acetylcholine activity in the brain. Such changes alter the response characteristic of the nervous system. Other studies have shown that endogenous opioids are also involved in the effect of RFR on acetylcholine [Lai et al., 1986b, 1991, 1992b, 1996].

Since acetylcholine in the frontal cortex and hippocampus is involved in learning and memory functions, we carried out experiments to study whether exposure to RFR affects these behavioral functions in the rat. Two types of memory functions: spatial 'working' and 'reference' memories were investigated.

Acetylcholine in the brain, especially in the hippocampus, is known to play an important role in these behavioral functions. In the first experiment, 'working' memory (short-term memory) was studied using the 'radial arm maze'. This test is very easy to understand. Just imagine you are shopping in a grocery store with a list of items to buy in your mind. After picking up the items, at the check out stand, you find that there is one chicken at the top and another one at the bottom of your shopping cart. You had forgotten that you had already picked up a chicken at the beginning of your shopping spree and picked up another one later. This is a failure in short-term memory and is actually very common in daily life and generally not considered as being pathological. A distraction or a lapse in attention can affect short-term memory. [...]

RFR exposure can completely alter the behavioral strategy of an animal in finding its way in the environment.

...What is significant is that the effects persist for sometime after RFR exposure. If I am reading a book and receive a call from a mobile phone, it probably will not matter if I cannot remember what I has just read. However, the consequence would be much serious, if I am an airplane technician responsible for putting screws and nuts on airplane parts. A phone call in the middle of my work can make me forget and miss several screws. Another adverse scenario of short-term memory deficit is that a person may overdose himself on medication because he has forgotten that he has already taken the medicine.

Lastly, I like to briefly describe the experiments we carried out to investigate the effects of RFR on DNA in brain cells of the rat. We [Lai and Singh 1995, 1996; Lai et al., 1997] reported an increase in DNA single and double strand breaks, two forms of DNA damage, in brain cells of rats after exposure to RFR. DNA damages in cells could have an important implication on health because they are cumulative. Normally, DNA is capable of repairing itself efficiently. Through a homeostatic mechanism, cells maintain a delicate balance between spontaneous and induced DNA damage. DNA damage accumulates if such a balance is altered. Most cells have considerable ability to repair DNA strand breaks; for example, some cells can repair as many as 200,000 breaks in one hour. However, nerve cells have a low capability for DNA repair and DNA
breaks could accumulate. Thus, the effect of RFR on DNA could conceivably be more significant on nerve cells than on other cell types of the body.

Cumulative damages in DNA may in turn affect cell functions. DNA damage that accumulates in cells over a period of time may be the cause of slow onset diseases, such as cancer. ...Cumulative damage in DNA in cells also has been shown during aging. Particularly, cumulative DNA damage in nerve cells of the brain has been associated with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and Parkinson's diseases.

Since nerve cells do not divide and are not likely to become cancerous, more likely consequences of DNA damage in nerve cells are changes in functions and cell death, which could either lead to or accelerate the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Double strand breaks, if not properly repaired, are known to lead to cell death. Indeed, we have observed an increase in apoptosis (a form of cell death) in cells exposed to RFR (unpublished results).

However, another type of brain cells, the glial cells, can become cancerous, resulting from DNA damage. This type of response, i.e., genotoxicity at low and medium cumulative doses and cell death at higher doses, would lead to an inverted-U response function in cancer development and may explain recent reports of increase [Repacholi et al., 1997], decrease [Adey et al., 1996], and no significant effect [Adey et al., 1997] on cancer rate of animals exposed to RFR. [...]

Interestingly, RFR-induced increases in single and double strand DNA breaks in rat brain cells can be blocked by treating the rats with melatonin ... [Lai and Singh, 1997]. Since it is a potent free radical scavenger, this data suggest that free radicals may play a role in the genetic effect of RFR. [Lai and Singh, 1998].

Further to this:

Work in the Laboratory of Neurochemistry at the Barrow Neurological Institute principally concerns molecules critically involved in such signaling called nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). nAChR act throughout the brain and body as "molecular switches" to connect nerve cell circuits involved in essential functions ranging from vision and memory to the control of heart rate and muscle movement.

Defects in nAChR or their loss cause diseases such as myasthenia gravis and epilepsy and can contribute to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and schizophrenia.

nAChR also happen to be the principal targets of tobacco nicotine. ...nicotine-like medicines show promise in the treatment of diseases such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Tourette’s syndrome and in alleviation of anxiety, pain, and depression, suggesting involvement of nAChR in those disorders.

...We have shown that numbers and function of diverse nAChR subtypes can be influenced by many biologically active substances, ranging from steroids to local anesthetics, and by agents acting on the extracellular matrix, the cytoskeleton, on second messenger signaling, and at the nucleus. We also have shown that chronic nicotine exposure induces numerical upregulation of many diverse nAChR subtypes via a post-transcriptional process that is dominated by effects on intracellular pools of receptors or their precursors.[Lukas, 1999]

Let's say it in plain language: Research shows, however, daily infusions of nicotine actually INCREASE the number of acetylcholine receptors by up to 40 %.

Now, nicotine is a most interesting drug. Nicotine mimics one of the body's most significant neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. This is the neurotransmitter most often associated with cognition in the cerebral cortex. Acetylcholine is the primary carrier of thought and memory in the brain. It is essential to have appropriate levels of acetylcholine to have new memories or recall old memories.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC) is the acetyl ester of carnitine, the carrier of fatty acids across Mitochondrial membranes. Like carnitine, ALC is naturally produced in the body and found in small amounts in some foods. ...Research in recent years has hoisted ALC from its somewhat mundane role in energy production to nutritional cognitive enhancer and neuroprotective agent extraordinaire. Indeed, taken in its entirety, ALC has become one of the premiere “anti-aging” compounds under scientific investigation, especially in
relation to brain and nervous system deterioration.

ALC is found in various concentrations in the brain, and its levels are significantly reduced with aging.(1) In numerous studies in animal models, ALC administration has been shown to have the remarkable ability of improving not only cognitive changes, but also morphological (structural) and neurochemical changes. ...ALC has varied effects on cholinergic activity, including promoting the release(2) and synthesis(3) of acetylcholine. Additionally, ALC promotes high affinity uptake of choline, which declines significantly with age.(4) While these cholinergic effects were first described almost a quarter of a century ago,(5) it now appears that this is only the tip of the ALC iceberg. [Gissen, VRP's Nutritional News, March, 1995]

It turns out that Alzheimer's, a veritable epidemic in our country, is directly related to low levels of acetylcholine. In Alzheimer's disease, the neurons that make acetylcholine degenerate, resulting in memory deficits. In some Alzheimer's patients it can be a 90 per cent reduction! But, does anyone suggest smoking and exercising the brain as a possible cure?

Nope.

Another interesting little snippet found in a doctoral dissertation by Galen Knight says:

Thyrotropin is the single most important modulator of thyroid function. However, several of its effects are mimicked by neurotransmitters, acetylcholine and catecholamines...

Which suggests to us that low thyroid function can be partly ameliorated by nicotine.

How does nicotine act?

There are two major types (or classes) of acetylcholine receptors in the body, and they are commonly named by the other drugs which bind to them: nicotine and muscarine. Muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) can bind muscarine as well as ACh, and they function to change the metabolism...

Acetylcholine acts on nicotine acetylcholine receptors to open a channel in the cell's membrane. Opening such a channel allows certain types of ions (charged atoms) to flow into or out of the cell. ...When ions flow, there is an electrical current, and the same is true in the nervous system. The flowing of ions, or the passing of current, can cause other things to happen, usually those "things" involve the opening of other types of channels and the passing of information from one neuron to another.

Nicotinic AChRs are found throughout the body, but they are most concentrated in the nervous system (the brain, the spinal cord, and the rest of the nerve cells in the body) and on the muscles of the body (in vertebrates).

We say that nicotine acts like ACh at the receptors to activate them, and both substances are called agonists. The opposite type of drug, something that binds to the receptors and does not allow them to be activated is called an antagonist.

...When a substance comes into the body that can interfere with ACh binding to muscle nAChRs, that chemical can cause death in a relatively short time (because you use muscles to do things like breathe). A class of chemicals in snake and other poisonous venoms, neurotoxins, do exactly that. If you are bitten by a krait or a cobra, for example, and enough venom gets into the blood, there will be enough of their neurotoxin in your body to shut down the diaphragm muscle expands your lungs. Without that muscle functioning, the person ceases to breathe and dies of asphyxiation.

One of the reasons we know so much about these receptors is precisely that-- plants and people have used substances [acetylcholine antagonists] which cause paralysis and asphyxiation for a long time. Plants use them to prevent being eaten by herbivores. Animals use similar substances to paralyze their prey. At least one human neuromuscular disease is related to nAChRs, and that is myasthenia gravis...

So, as you can see, nAChRs are important to life. ...All known nicotinic receptors do share some common features. They are composed of 5 protein subunits which assemble like barrel staves around a central pore. ...When the ligand (ACh or nicotine) binds to the receptor, it causes the receptor complex to twist and open the pore in the center. [Pugh]

Did you notice that it says that "animals use similar substances [acetylcholine antagonists - things that act AGAINST acetylcholine] to paralyze their prey?

We begin to suspect that there is something rather sinister in the campaign against smoking in a world where our leaders think nothing of torture, genocide, starvation, collapsing economies, and destruction of the global ecology.

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US experts say global warming faster than thought

WASHINGTON, June 24 (AFP)-

A new US supercomputer has shown that global temperatures could be rising more than scientists had thought, experts said Thursday.

The computer at the National Center for Atmospheric Research projects that temperatures could rise by 2.6 degrees Celsius (4.7 degrees Fahrenheit) if countries continue to emit large amounts of carbon dioxide.

The previous estimates were a rise of about two degrees Celsiusdegrees Fahrenheit).

Information from the Community Climate System Model, known as CCSM3, will be presented to the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change, an international body of experts established by the United Nations to assess the environmental impact of climate change.

According to the US National Science Foundation (NSF), a variety of models in the past have been used to understand the effects of carbon dioxide, a common greenhouse gas emitted by cars and power plants.

Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide have increased significantly in recent decades to about 370 million parts per million today and levels are continuing to rise.

If carbon dioxide emissions were to double, most scientific models agree that this would signifigantly increase global temperatures.

But, the models have been unable to produce consistent results in trying to determine the impact of other sources global warming, such as radiation from clouds or thunderstorms and the effect aerosol gases have on the environment.

Clifford Jacobs, an NSF scientist, said that with the new models "the degree of uncertainty has narrowed."

"We have a higher degree of confidence in these results than in the previous results."

Jacobs said scientists now hope their models will become sophisticated enough to predict how climate change will affect specific regions, such as in Africa or the American Midwest.

He hopes the scientific breakthrough will "better inform the ongoing debate" over global warming.

"The key question is: How much of the change is a natural variability and how much of the change is caused by activities of mankind on the face of planet," he said.

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Magnitude 4.5 Earthquake Strikes Midwest

By F.N. D'ALESSIO, Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO - A brief earthquake struck the Midwest early Monday, rattling windows and awakening sleeping residents from Wisconsin south to Missouri and from Indiana west to Iowa.

No injuries were reported from the quake, which occurred about 1:11 a.m. CDT.

Brian Lassige, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Colorado, said the quake was magnitude 4.5, and its epicenter was about eight miles northwest of Ottawa in northern Illinois, close to the small village of Troy Grove. The rural area is about 70 miles west of Chicago.

Initial reports indicated no major damage from the temblor, although police agencies and radio stations within the quake area were inundated with telephone calls.

"It was mayhem around here for a while," said Pattie Burke, a dispatcher for the Ottawa Police. "We had more than 200 calls from residents in a short period of time, all of them wanting to know what had happened. A lot of them seemed to think a truck had crashed into their house.

"Here in the station, it felt like an aircraft was about to crash right here."

The quake was felt at three nuclear power plants in Illinois: Quad Cities, LaSalle and Dresden. [...]

Reports of the shaking came from at least as far east as Valparaiso, Ind., and as far west as the Quad Cities, and from Wisconsin in the north to the St. Louis area in the south. [...]

Joe Knapp of Delafield, Wis., just west of Milwaukee, said he was asleep and awoke when the bed began shaking. "Everything was just rolling back and forth," Knapp said.

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Magnitude 6.7 Quake In Southeastern Alaska

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Large Meteor Observed Over South East Texas

Stan 6-27-4

It'll be interesting to see if this gets reported in the mainstream media. At 04:15 06/27/04 an operator at a major Petro-Chem complex in Texas City, Texas observed a brightening of the sky on one of the unit video cameras. No sooner than his attention was diverted to the camera he observed a very bright streak across the sky in his field of view which is westerly.

At this point he rushed out side the control room in time to see a very large colorful meteor streaking across the sky west to east at a high altitude. This was also observed by other employees at the plant. Simultaneously another employee in League City, Texas was walking from his house to his car, leaving for work, and observed the same object. He described it as lighting the sky about as bright as a full moon with a nebulous head similar to a comet. It was leaving streamers of blue, red, yellow and green behind resembling the tail of a comet. He described it as larger than an airliner at low altitude but was very high and appeared to skip off the atmosphere and dissappear.

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Did June 3rd Puget Sound Meteor Cause Micro Quake?

By Michael Goodspeed 6-27-4

The majority of news accounts of the June 3rd meteor over Washington state near Puget Sound have described the meteor as approximately between the size of a "baseball" and a "computer monitor.' I am not a scientist, so I am genuinely curious if a baseball-sized or monitor-sized meteor can cause a "micro- earthquake," measuring 1.6 on the richter scale. [...]

SEATTLE - Bright flashes and sharp booms were reported in the skies over the Puget Sound area early Thursday, and experts said a meteor or falling "space junk" may have been the source. Nothing unusual was detected on National Weather Service radar, and authorities also ruled out aircraft problems or military flight tests. Toby Smith, a University of Washington astronomy lecturer who specializes in meteorites, said scientists were looking into the cause of the skybursts reported over a wide area about 2:40 a.m. [...]

Also, at the same time there was a reported earth tremor in the Washington Puget Sound region at 2:39:57 AM. (See report below) Magnitude 1.6 - PUGET SOUND REGION, WASHINGTON 2004 June 3 09:39:57 UTC Preliminary Earthquake Report Pacific Northwest Seismograph Network A micro earthquake occurred at 09:39:57 (UTC) on Thursday, June 3, 2004. The magnitude 1.6 event has been located in the PUGET SOUND REGION, WASHINGTON.

Comment: Anyone worried yet? Meteors and fireballs abound, but humanity slumbers on, 100% dependent on the government owned media to tell them what to think about reality, which, day by day they seem more and more distant from...

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Once-in-lifetime sighting of meteor: Right place at right time

By Allison Rudd and NZPA

Two Port Chalmers men who saw a meteor fall to earth on Saturday might never see another, an astronomy veteran said yesterday.

"You have to be in just the right place at the right time to see one. They were very lucky. It is usually a once-in-a-lifetime thing," Alan Gilmore said.

Mr Gilmore, who has been studying the skies for 45 years, is resident superintendent of Canterbury University's Mt John Observatory, near Lake Tekapo.

Ollie Scheupbach contacted the Otago Daily Times yesterday to say he and a friend, Gary McFarlane, had spotted a bright light in the sky about 9pm on Saturday.

They were fishing at Back Beach when they saw the light heading from east to west at high speed.

"It was a blue-white, hard-out light. It began spiralling and a little chunk broke off the side. Then it disappeared," Mr Scheupbach said.

He knew it was not an aeroplane. "It was too big to be anything natural. It was huge - like a really, really big flare."

Mr Gilmore said two other people had contacted him about the meteor - a motorist in the Lake Tekapo area and a person from Timaru.

From the descriptions given, Mr Gilmore surmised the meteor - about the size of a basketball - had fallen into the sea off the west coast of New Zealand.

"One person reported seeing a large glow in the sky. That usually indicates a terminal fireball which occurs with a sea landing. It was obviously bright . . . It was multicoloured too. It sounds like it put on quite a display of colours."

Based on the reports, Mr Gilmore estimated the meteor was between 70km and 100km above Earth and was travelling about 10km a second.

Meteors are pieces of rock from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, 700 million kilometres from Earth.

Meteors fell to earth almost every day. Several sightings were reported in New Zealand annually.

Comment: If life were linear, it might be the case that "It is usually a once-in-a-lifetime thing". Unfortunately, if you follow the news reports, as we do, you will notice that reports of meteor sightings are much more frequent now than they were a couple of years ago. Reports of meteors crashing through people's roofs are more common. Something's afoot, only the mass media won't put the pieces together for you. You need to do it yourselves, while avoiding the nonsense such as the Aussie Bloke hoax. The Aussie Bloke hoax only makes sense in an environment where it is important to heap ridicule on the possibility of death from the skies, where the powers that be wish to stop people from asking questions about noticeable changes in their environment. If "hoax" is firmly established in our minds as the first and most heavily weighted link with the idea of catastrophes caused by meteors or comets, then people will close their eyes to what is happening around them.

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NASA - "This object has the possibilty of impacting the Earth."

Rense.com
By Ian Gurney
6-26-4

Over the last couple of months I've read with interest the furore generated by "Aussie Bloke" and his claims of an imminent earth impactor of some kind. I've also noted Michael Goodspeed's anecdotal stories about missile readiness at Fort Greely, the arrival of Toutatis, the deployment of many of the worlds naval units and the intercepted conversation from Snowballnet.

I intend to talk about Toutatis a little nearer September 29, but for the moment I would like to concentrate on what could be a current threat to our planet.

I was initially skeptical about "Aussie Bloke's" claims, which have now been proved a hoax, but I've spent a good deal of time over the last six weeks researching and investigating the possibilities of an impact event or any other celestial happenings of interest in the last week of June.

As has been mentioned on Rense.com, we are currently being treated to a good nightime display from the Taurid meteors and on Sunday, June 27 at 01h GMT (which corresponds to Saturday, June 26 at 9:00 p.m. EDT) the Earth should be passing through the June Bootids meteor shower, ejected by Comet Pons-Winnecke.

Coincidentally, I have found that on June 27 and June 29 the Earth is also subject to an extremely close approach by two little known asteroids. The first, on June 27, is designated 25143 Itokawa. Information is sparse on Itokawa, but what is known is that the asteroid is approximately 0.36 kilometers wide and on June 27 it will come within 0.0128968 Astronomical Units of Earth. An Astronomical Unit (AU) is equal to 149,597,871 kilometers, so Itokawa will pass us bye at less than a million miles

The June 29 asteroid is designated 2004 MC. It was only discovered ten days ago, on June 15 and will come even closer to Earth than Itokawa. 2004 MC will come within 0.0097 Astronomical Units of the planet, less than 850 thousand miles, a very near miss, and because of the late discovery of the asteroid NASA is unsure of the size of 2004 MC and its orbital path is not absolutely certain.

On June 21 NASA's Near Earth Orbit Dynamic Site said of 2004 MC "This object has the possibilty of impacting the Earth". This statement was, however, removed on June 22, just one day after it appeared.

Co-incidentally, on June 21 Asteroid 2004 MR1, an asteroid measuring some 35 metres wide, missed Earth by only 0.0038 Astronomical Units, about 350 thousand miles.

Whether or not Itokawa and 2004 MC do pose a threat to Earth I cannot say. However, one thing is sure, both these objects are coming very, very close to us in the next few days. For more information on the orbit simulations of the asteroids and observation information, please check the links below.

Itokawa:-
Orbit Simulation:-
http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/db_shm?rec=25143

http://newton.dm.unipi.it/cgi-bin/neodys/neoibo?objects:Itokawa;main

2004 MC:-
Orbit Simulation:-
http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/db_shm?sstr=2004 MC

http://newton.dm.unipi.it/cgi-bin/neodys/neoibo?objects:2004MC;main

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What’s so big about "small objects"?

If an asteroid’s orbit brings it to within 0.05 astronomical units (AU) of Earth's orbit, it is categorized as “potentially hazardous” unless it has an absolute magnitude H greater than 22.0, which corresponds to a diameter on the order of 135 meters/yards. Larger H means less bright, thus smaller size. And 0.05 AU is about 19.5 times the distance between Earth and Moon (0.00256 AU).

To be discovered and tracked, such objects usually must come close (a few are Earth’s nearest neighbors, coming closer than the Moon). They are exposed samplings of distant asteroid populations, they have within their own population tomorrow’s meteors, and their discovery and follow-up represents today’s best amateur and professional asteroid observing work.

Small objects Discovery & follow-up for 21-27 June

This last week was another in which only recently discovered small asteroids were tracked — four announced this week and four from last week. That's eight of the 555 small NEAs currently listed by JPL, which speaks of the difficulty in keeping tabs on Earth's nearest and smallest neighbors, which have an average observation arc of 44 days. And the importance of keeping tabs is underscored by the fact that, of these eight, one has impact solutions, as did two others, and all but one would be classified as “potentially hazardous” if larger. One will fly past Earth at 3.7 lunar distances (LD) on Tuesday, the 29th.

Two of this past week's discoveries came from Spacewatch. The first was from its 0.9m telescope and FMO Project, and the second from its 1.8m telescope. Another was caught by the Observatory of Rome's CINEOS project at Campo Imperatore, and LINEAR found one.

Twenty-four observatories participated in this work...

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Russian Fireballs?

Sky watchers in eastern parts of North America saw an impressive display of meteor-like objects around 10:52 p.m. EDT on June 26th. These were probably fragments of a Russian rocket motor decaying and breaking apart in Earth's atmosphere. The pieces were bright, slow-moving, with "incandescent sparking tails," according to some observers. Stay tuned for details.

NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS: Northern summer has arrived, and that means it's time to watch out for noctilucent clouds (NLCs). On some summer nights, just after sunset, NLCs snake across the sky glowing electric blue-white. In Rostock, Germany, Olaf Squarra took these pictures of NLCs shimmering above a local power plant. "The video spans about 5 and a half minutes," says Squarra.

Noctilucent clouds are a mystery: They hover 80 km above Earth at the very edge of space. Some researchers believe they're a sign of global warming. Others say they're caused by space dust and rocket exhaust. Whatever they are, they're beautiful. Normally a high-latitude phenomenon, NLCs have been seen in recent years as far south as Colorado and Virginia.

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Loud noise was sonic boom, not exploding meteor

HARTVILLE, Mo. (AP) — The object that produced a loud boom over Webster County came not from outer space — but from St. Louis.

Some NASA experts thought that the boom, heard — and felt — on the morning of June 19, was the sound of a meteor exploding in the atmosphere. It turned out to be a sonic boom, from a new F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet on a test flight from the Boeing-McDonnell Douglas plant in St. Louis.

"He was flying high — over 40,000 feet — and was testing the plane to get to Mach 1," said Boeing spokesman Jim Keller. "We checked and he had gone supersonic at 9:14 a.m."

All new F/A-18 jets undergo similar supersonic tests before delivery, Keller said.

"They're being tested regularly, under the control of FAA flight controllers in Kansas City," he said.

The explanation satisfied scientists' curiosity — and prompted one Hartsville resident to fire off an angry letter to Gov. Bob Holden.

"When these aircraft do this it causes my windows to crack," Mary Katzenberger wrote. "I (also have) windows that had small cracks that are much larger because of this. My dear old dog was throwing up all day from it. Our neighbor's cattle stampeded ..."

"If, Dear Governor, you can find some way of stopping this dangerous use of our fighting aircraft, I with many other residents of the city and county of Hartville will be very grateful to you."

Katzenberger told the Springfield News-Leader she heard a similar boom in February.

"We have a lot of Amish families out here, and a lot of women drive those horse-drawn buggies," she said. "You don't want to spook their horses with a sonic boom."

Holden's office received the letter but had no immediate response.

But Keller, the Boeing spokesman, said the tests are necessary.

"It's kind of the price of freedom," he said. "We build these planes and we have to test them. Sonic booms come with the territory."

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NASA Spacecraft Detects Volcanic Activity In Antarctica

Jun 28, 2004

Antarctica, the coldest place on Earth, is also home to volcanic fire. Looming above the frigid sea is Mount Erebus, a volcano that has erupted frequently over the last 200 years. For the first time, software on a NASA spacecraft has discovered a new eruption on Erebus and reprogrammed the spacecraft for a repeat observation without human input. [...]

After taking an image of Erebus, the software detected heat from the lava lake at the summit of the volcano and rescheduled the spacecraft to acquire additional images within hours. News of the detection was rapidly transmitted to scientists as well as data from the two observations.

"Normally, it would take weeks to learn that a remote volcano was active." said Stu Frye, the Earth Observing-1 System Engineer at Goddard." But, now we can gather multiple images of the eruption's progression before news of the event becomes widely known". [...]

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Floods Hit Guam As Typhoon Strikes Area

Mon Jun 28, 8:27 AM ET

HAGATNA, Guam - The Northern Mariana Islands were under a typhoon warning Monday as Tropical Storm Tingting was upgraded to typhoon status. As the storm moved through the region, it dumped record-breaking rains, causing flooding and mudslides on neighboring Guam.

Saipan and Tinian were under a typhoon warning as the storm moved northwest at about 9 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

As of early Monday afternoon, the storm had maximum winds of 75 mph with gusts of 90 mph, with damaging winds extending up to 140 miles from the center, forecasters said.

The center of the typhoon was located 100 miles north-northeast of Saipan, 175 miles north-northeast of Rota and 230 miles north-northeast of Guam. [...]

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Heavy Rains Cause Flooding in Colo. Areas

By P. SOLOMON BANDA
Associated Press Writer
Sun Jun 27,11:23 PM ET

DENVER - More than 2 inches of rain along the Rocky Mountain foothills Sunday afternoon flooded streets and basements, destroyed a house, sent mud down a hillside and forced the rescues of several people.

A 12-year-boy riding his bicycle through a creek was swept nearly a mile downstream by a wall of water in Colorado Springs, said firefighter spokesman Capt. Randy Royal. He was transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries and evaluation for hypothermia.

"He's lucky he survived that," Royal said.

Several other people needed to be rescued by passers-by and firefighters as creeks quickly turned into raging rivers.

"It surprised them," Royal said. "It was a lot of rain in a short amount of time." [...]

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Absolutely powerful, absolutely entertaining

By Brad Oswald
Sun Jun 27 2004

POWER corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. And if your absolute power is accompanied by the belief that you have a God-granted right to do whatever you want, well, chances are you're not a very pleasant person to be around.

And that's precisely the case in Henry VIII, the expansive and colourful Brit-import drama that airs tonight and Tuesday at 8 p.m. on CBC. It's a sweeping and beautifully crafted yarn filled with the most wretched collection of excesses -- lust, sex, violence, greed, conceit, delusion and demented ambition -- all bundled up in the person of one man.

Comment: This reads like a recent biography of George W. Bush, but no! It's a television ad for Henry VIII.

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