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Tuesday, July 6, 2004

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Microbiology - A Dangerous Profession, For All Of Us

SOTT Analysis
06/07/04

A little over a week ago, on Saturday June 27th 2004 at around 6pm, a small Cessna plane crashed into a field about 3 miles from Dunkeswell airfield in Devon, in the Southwest of England. The plane had taken off just a few minutes earlier from the same airfield and was apparently making an unscheduled return when it crashed. Eyewitnesses claim to have heard the plane's engine "spluttering" before it crashed into a field, almost breaking the light aircraft in two.

On board the plane were 6 people, 4 of whom died. The dead included a part time skydiving instructor and Major in the British Marines, two civilian parachutists and a long term senior scientist at the UK biological and chemical research facility at Porton Down - Dr. Paul Norman.

Air Crash Victim Was WMD Defence Expert

03 July 2004

The pilot of an aircraft which crashed killing four of its occupants was an "international figure" in weapons defence, it emerged yesterday.

Dr Paul Norman, 52, died at the scene when the Cessna 206 he was piloting nosedived into a field between Beacon and Luppitt, near Honiton, Devon, last Sunday.

Dr Norman, from Salisbury, Wiltshire, was the chief scientist for chemical and biological defence at the Defence and Science Laboratory at Porton Down.

Yesterday, friend and colleague Steve Eley released a statement which read: "Paul was a great deal larger than life. He has left an enormous number of friends, all of whom have lost an irreplaceable part of their lives."

Dr Norman was a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He gained two degrees in Liverpool, then conducted post-doctoral research in the UK, USA and Canada. He had worked at Porton for 18 years, developing protective equipment against chemical weapons.

Mr Eley said: "He was an international figure in his field, travelling the world and giving lectures and workshops on defending against the scourge of weapons of mass destruction.

One could argue that there is nothing necessarily curious or strange about someone dying in a plane crash, and, all things being equal we would agree. But all things are not equal. The reason this seemingly innocuous story stands out is that it means that we must add one more name to the long list of prominent microbiologists and chemical and biological warfare researchers and scientists who have died in curious circumstances since the 9/11 attacks.

The death of Dr. Norman brings the total to 14 (some claim the number is even higher). What are the odds that 14 of the world's top microbiologists, all involved in some way with the research and development of chemical and biological weapons in western countries, the majority of them being westerners themselves, would die in the space of 3 years? Not only that but most of these people died from anything but "natural causes"...

The mysterious deaths of top microbiologists

It all began with Don Wiley.

On November 15th, Harvard Professor Don Wiley left a gathering of friends and colleagues some time after 10:30 PM. The next morning, Memphis police found his rental car stopped on a bridge, with a full tank of gas and keys still in the ignition. There was no financial or family trouble. Indeed Wiley was supposed to meet his family at the Memphis airport to continue on to an Icelandic vacation. Neither was there any history of depression or mental illness.

In the report printed in the New York Times on November 27th, the FBI's Memphis office distanced itself from the case saying that the available facts did not add up to a suspicion of foul play. I guess at the FBI it's a perfectly everyday occurrence for a Harvard Professor to stop his rental car on a bridge in the middle of the night before he is supposed to leave for Iceland and just walk away into the Tennessee dark.

The NYT report of November 27th also downplayed Professor Wiley's expertise in virology, quoting Gregory Verdine, a professor of chemical biology at Harvard, said, "If bioterrorists were to abduct Don Wiley, they'd be very disappointed," because his research was in studying the component parts of viruses, and "that doesn't really help you make a more dangerous version of the virus."

But this statement is not consistent with the facts of Professor Wiley's full range of knowledge. Wiley has, in conjunction with another Harvard Professor, Dr. Jack Strominger, won several academic prizes for their work in immunology, including a Lasker prize. Don Wiley is a Harvard professor, but he is also a researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the National Institute of Health. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is located in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and performs biological research, sometimes jointly funded by the Department of Defense and the NIH. Don Wiley's peers at Harvard include professors such as John Collier performing research on Anthrax.

So, contrary to the dismissive tone of the New York Times report, Professor Wiley would be of great value to anyone developing biological weapons. This makes the FBI's obvious disinterest in the case highly questionable, indeed reminiscent of the FBI's obvious disinterest in the numerous witnesses in Oklahoma City who had seen Tim McVeigh in the company of additional perpetrators not to mention the witnesses who had seen additional bombs.

Especially in light of the events of 9/11, the vanishing of a scientist with Professor Wiley's expertise in virology and immunology should have been expected to be an issue of critical national importance, yet the official tone of the government was that this is nothing to worry about. Move along citizen, nothing to see.

In the context of the Anthrax letters being sent through the mail, any disappearance of any microbiologist under questionable circumstances should have set off alarm bells across the nation. but it didn't. Professor Wiley was assumed to have committed suicide, end of story.

The professor's colleagues expressed doubts about the official "suicide" explanation for his disappearance.

Then, more biologists started to die under suspicious circumstances.

The Very Mysterious Deaths of Five Microbiologists.

The body count of infections disease experts continued to climb. Connections to weapons research began to surface.

As many as 14 world-class microbiologists died between 9/11/1 and 3/2/2, and on 6/24/2 yet another microbiologist was added to the list.

Still the US Government acted as if nothing was amiss, as silent on the question of dead microbiologists as they are on the question of the Israeli spies and their connection to 9-11.

In fact, the official silence on the question of how so many top experts in infectious diseases could die in such a short time span is deafening.

Now, statistically, it's possible, even likely, that one or two of these microbiologists legitimately were killed in random accidents. But for so many to die in such a short while exceeds all reasonable bounds of statistics. Prudence would demand an investigation, not the "ho hum" attitude of the government which even today continues to issue dire warnings to the general population of how much we are all in danger from "bioterrorism".

So, let's take a moment and step away from the perpetual fear-mongering of the media (and Rumsfeld) as they assure us another attack IS coming (with a certainty which suggests inside information on the subject) and assume for a moment that some party has indeed decided to "liquidate" weapons research infectious disease experts.

There is really only one reason to kill off a bunch of scientists. To keep them from doing something they are able to do.

What were these scientists able to do? Maybe blow the whistle if an artificially created disease was about to be used in a manner those who created it did not approve of.

Regardless of the exact reason, there does seem to be a clear pattern of targeted microbiologists, and paired with it, an obvious government disinterest in the matter.

I leave it to you to figure out why.

In conducting his work into chemical and biological agents at Porton Down. it seems that the late Dr. Norman, perhaps like many scientists in his field, was motivated by honest, if naive, intentions. For example, he was chief scientist for chemical and biological defence at the facility. A report on the crash states:

"Dr Norman, who was married with a 14-year-old son and a 20-year-old daughter, was the chief scientist for chemical and biological defence at the Ministry of Defence’s laboratory at Porton Down, Wiltshire.

He travelled the world lecturing on defending against the scourge of weapons of mass destruction, a friend and colleague said today.

Steve Eley, chief scientist for hazard reduction at Porton Down, said: "Paul was a great deal larger than life, and has left an enormous number of friends, all of whom have lost an irreplaceable part of their lives."

Furthermore, in his long career, Dr. Norman had been involved in organising a NATO Advanced Research Workshop (under the auspices of FEMA) entitled "Environmental Aspects of Converting CW (Chemical Weapons) Facilities to Peaceful Purposes and Derivative Technologies in Modeling, Medicine and Monitoring."

Indeed, it would seem the Dr. Norman was a pacifist at heart.

Interestingly, the abovementioned colleague of Dr. Norman, Steve Eley, has been involved in research into the Plague, contributing to a recent research paper entitled:

"Epidemiologic Determinants for Modeling Pneumonic Plague Outbreaks"

Where it is stated:

"Pneumonic plague poses a potentially increasing risk to humans in plague nonendemic regions either as a consequence of an aerosolized release or through importation of the disease. Pneumonic plague is person-to-person transmissible. [...]

Yersinia pestis causes an enzootic vector-borne disease infecting rodents and fleas; humans can also become infected when exposed to zoonotic reservoirs. Infection in humans usually occurs in the form of bubonic plague when fleas that have previously fed on plague-infected rodents bite them. Secondary pneumonic plague may then occur if infection spreads to the lungs. Persons with secondary pneumonic plague become infectious and can transmit the disease to other persons by the respiratory route, causing primary pneumonic plague (1,2). Primary pneumonic plague is also person-to-person transmissible and can sustain cycles of human transmission independent of flea and rodent vectors. Bubonic plague can usually be treated successfully with antibmicrobials; however, secondary pneumonic plague and primary pneumonic plague require prompt antimicrobial treatment. Symptoms develop rapidly and are usually fatal (1,3,4). [...]

Plague is also recognized as a potential weapon for bioterrorists (3,8–11) and has been used, or considered for use, as a biologic weapon in the past. From the 14th to the 18th century in Europe, attempts were made to spread plague in besieged cities by catapulting plague victims over the walls (12). During the 1930s, the Japanese military attempted to spread plague in China by dropping plague-infected fleas from aircraft (12). As late as the 1990s, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was developing plague as an aerosol agent to cause primary pneumonic plague in target populations (9). Recent training exercises in the United States have been conducted to test the abilities of healthcare systems to cope with large-scale aerosolized releases of Y. pestis into urban populations (13,14).

Using mathematical models based on historic data, we quantitatively assess the transmissibility and potential health effects of primary pneumonic plague outbreaks under a range of assumptions. In this initial analysis, we consider only the immediate health effects due to primary pneumonic plague and not the possible long-term effects due to potentially establishing the pathogen in rodent reservoirs and subsequent risks for bubonic plague. Based on available epidemiologic evidence, the modeling assumes that persons, once infected, experience a nonsymptomatic latent period followed by a symptomatic infectious period during which they can transmit primary pneumonic plague to other persons. Thereafter, if infected persons are untreated they will die. The reported case-fatality rate is close to 100%

The most alarming part of the above is the statement that: "mathematical models" are used to "assess the transmissibility". Clearly the dissemination of a manufactured disease has been developed to a fine art.

It seems reasonable to suspect that many scientists involved in research into chemical and biological weapons, do so in the belief that the fruits of their labors will be used to further the goals of peace rather than war. As naive as this may sound to seasoned "objectivists" like ourselves, we are still aware of the power of wishful thinking. Who can blame scientists like Dr. Norman for wanting to believe that there is a way for them to reach the top of their profession and still maintain their moral integrity? It is very likely then that, in order to ensure their continued loyalty, at least some leading scientists are told only partial truths about the nature of the research in which they are involved - or indeed, the full extent of the planned applications of the results of that research.

The name of the research facility at Porton Down has undergone many changes over the years, the words "chemical" and "defence" have been consistently used, giving the impression that...well....that it was used only for research into "defence" against "chemical" weapons. In 1991, however, the UK "Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research" moved to the Porton Down facility and its name was changed to the "Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment", reflecting the addition of biological warfare agent research to the list of "services" that Porton Down offered.

Despite the name, we do not doubt that there exists another department at Porton Down that deals with what might be termed "chemical and biological offence". After all, research into defending against a biological or chemical attack requires a knowledge of the agents involved that is equal to if not greater than that of the attacker. Furthermore, it was at Porton down in the 1950's that at least one unwitting British army serviceman was subjected to chemical agent (Sarin) tests that caused his death, and at least one scientist at the facility who died in 1962 of the plague. This more sinister side to life at Porton Down came to light in 1999 and later in 2001 when an independent medical probe was launched into claims that not only Maddison, but 20,000 other "volunteers" were duped into participating in dangerous tests at Porton Down which resulted in serious side effects and death for many.

Porton Down probe launched

Monday, 30 July, 2001

The government is launching an independent medical investigation into the health of 20,000 volunteers involved in biological and chemical weapons trials at its Porton Down defence establishment.

Many volunteers exposed to nerve gas and other chemical and biological agents at the laboratories on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire say the tests left them with long-term ill health.

There is compelling evidence that some were given highly dangerous doses.

And some say they were tricked into participating in the tests by being told they would be researching the common cold.

The two-year scientific study will examine the death rates of all volunteers at the chemical and biological warfare research centre since 1939.

And there will be more detailed scrutiny of those exposed to the most dangerous substances.

Several Cornish servicemen were exposed to the deadly nerve gas sarin during experiments between the 1950s and 1980s.

And Wiltshire police investigating their claims have found an unusually high death rate among the volunteers.

The MoD's chemical and biological weapons research centre has tested 3,000 service personnel in human volunteer experiments since 1945.

More than 300 ex-servicemen claim to have suffered disabilities ranging from breathing difficulties to kidney complaints as a result of tests carried out at the centre run by the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (Dera).

We are convinced that we are sick because of those experiments we took part in

The Co-ordinator of the Porton Veterans' Support Group, Ken Earl, said he was "absolutely delighted" by the news of the inquiry.

He told the BBC's Today programme: "There are a lot of very sick people out there and a lot of widows.

"And we are convinced that we are sick because of those experiments we took part in."

The Junior Defence Minister, Dr Lewis Moonie, agreed the tests had been "potentially dangerous" but added that they had been necessary to show what effects nerve gas and nitrogen mustard gas would have on people and whether they could be protected against it. [...]

It was revealed earlier this year that a coroner had applied to hold a fresh inquest into the death of an airman who took part in one of the experiments.

It is claimed that 20-year-old Mr Maddison died 45 minutes after 200mg of the deadly nerve agent sarin was dripped onto a patch of uniform taped to his arm at Porton Down.

The original inquest into his death was held 48 years ago behind closed doors, where a coroner concluded he died of asphyxia.

The coroner's report was never released and the only relative allowed into the inquest was the airman's father, who was sworn to silence under the Official Secrets Act.

It appears that at the time of his death, Maddison's father was told "it's an official secret that we murdered your son, so shut up". Without doubt this attitude from the UK "authorities" towards a UK citizen is extremely disconcerting. We might tend to think that such a stark infringement of basic human rights would not occur today, if it were not for the equally alarming comments of the UK Junior Defence Minister, Dr. Lewis Moonie (symbolic name?), who states:

"The tests had been necessary to show what effects nerve gas and nitrogen mustard gas would have on people and whether they could be protected against it."

If a relative or son of the Junior defence minister had been the subject of the tests, we wonder if he would still be so cavalier about the use of live human subjects for chemical and biological testing...

Porton Down - a sinister air?

BBC News
August 20, 1999

A sinister air surrounds the subject of chemical weapons, quite different from the power politics of the nuclear arms race.

And some of the mystery is attached to the name of Porton Down, the secret chemical weapons centre in Wiltshire.

The centre, made up of forbiding buildings in 7,000 acres near Salisbury, was set up in 1916 at the height of WWl.

Patrick Mercer, a retired army officer, spent several weeks there on courses designed to tell soldiers about chemical warfare.

"It was hideous," he said, "a hutted camp, where it seemed to do nothing but rain. There were a series of bunkers to which you were thrust from time to time to be gassed with CS gas and to go through ghastly exercises underground wearing a gas mask."

During WWII Porton Down started researching a new menace - biological weapons, but during the Cold War chemical weapons became the top priority.

For many years, the mere fact that there was a chemical weapon research centre there was secret, but after it was admitted in the late 1960s, it became the most controversial military establishment in the UK.

To test the effectiveness of nerve agents such as Sarin, servicemen were offered about £2 and a pass for three days' precious leave if they voluteered to take part in tests.

Rob Evans, a journalist researching a book into the experiments, said the main reason people volunteered was because they were bored with life at their own military establishments.

"They wanted to get away for any type of break, just anything. As soon as something came up. . .they would step forward, say yes, I'll take that.

"But sadly very few actually knew what Porton Down was, or what they were letting themselves in for."

Allegations

Wiltshire detectives are investigating allegations that in 1953 one serviceman, Ronald Maddison, died after taking part in a Sarin gas experiment. It is claimed that he thought he was taking part in a programme designed to find a cure for the common cold.

But the Maddison death was not the only thing to go wrong at the centre.

Rob Evans said: "The two most embarrassing accidents, and they are more tragic than embarrassing, were the death of Ronald Maddison and also the death of one of their own scientists Geoffrey Bacon in 1962, who died of plague."

Since the end of WWI, 20,000 people have taken part in experiments at Porton Down, and it is thought that there are a further 300 servicemen waiting to begin legal actions against the Ministry of Defence.

As mentioned, the probe into Maddison's death, and the illegal testing of chemical agents on many others, was launched in 2001 - but something else of note here also happened that same year. The "Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment" at Porton Down changed its name to "The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory" - a feeble attempt to divert attention from what is really happening behind locked doors in the bowels of Porton Down?...

As we noted above, the death of Dr. Norman brings to (at least) 14 the number of high profile microbiologists who have died in mysterious circumstances since the attacks of September 11th 2001. By now, the entire world is aware that 9/11 also heralded the beginning of the "terrorist" threat and the interminable "war on terror". Are the two linked? We think so...

Research into more and more efficient ways to kill human beings has been ongoing for many years. The Nazis, funded by Prescott Bush and the Rockefellers, among others, were extremely interested. Later, under operation paperclip the US government brought Nazi scientists to the US to continue the experiments. Under the brutal apartheid regime in South Africa, efforts were made to develop a black specific weapon. Israel has conducted similar experiments into a biological weapon that would, allegedly, only target Arabs. However, with Sephardic Jews and Arabs being almost identical, any such attack would kill both Arabs and Jews - but perhaps that is part of the plan also. See our supplement on Ethnic Specific Weapons for more.

"Ethnic-cleansing weapons" within 10 years: report

Agence France Presse, 23 January 1999

LONDON, Jan 21 (AFP) - Advances in genetic research raise the possibility of biological weapons, available within 10 years, that would attack one ethnic group but leave others untouched, according to a report published Thursday.

Given the availability of bomb-making instructions and "recipes" on the Internet, the British Medical Association said, the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention of 1972 needs "urgent" strengthening.

While "genetic weapons which target a particular ethnic group are not currently a practical possibility", the report concludes "it would be complacent to assume they could never be developed in the future".

The report "Biotechnology, weapons and humanity" by the BMA, which represents all Britain's doctors, predicted their existence within "five or 10 years" and warned of their attractiveness to terrorists.

"Scientific knowledge has been quickly exploited for weapons development in the past," said Vivienne Nathanson, of the BMA, adding she saw no reason why this trend would alter with genetics.

The report explains that genetic research into humans leads almost every day to further understanding of the differences in disparate human groups.

Such differences were apparent in blood groups or varying resistence to disease, such as developed by certain groups in west Africa against malaria.

Two key developments were highlighted by the experts. One is the Human Genome Project which aims to map the entire human genetic blueprint by 2003.

The other is gene therapy, a technology still in its infancy, which uses "vectors" such as harmless viruses to carry corrective DNA into malfunctioning cells.

The BMA warned that theoretically nothing could stop the development of "viral vectors or micro-organisms" (bacteria, virus, etc) capable of targeting an enemy group with a particular genetic make-up while sparing their neighbours.

"In short, if there are distinguishing DNA sequences between groups, and if these can be targeted in a way that is known to produce a harmful outcome, a genetic weapon is possible," said the report.

Far from being science fiction, it cited a report in the strategic military magazine Jane's on worries expressed by US Defence Secretary William Cohen in June 1997 about "certain types of pathogens that would be ethnic specific so that they could eliminate certain ethnic groups".

"The scientific community is very close to being able to manufacture" such weapons, said Cohen.

There have also been sporadic reports of Israeli developing such weapons to use against Arabs and white South Africans targeting blacks in a similar fashion.

On November 15, Britain's Sunday Times reported Israel was working on an "ethnic" biological weapon which will hit Arabs and not Jews by distinguishing between their genetic differences.

Quoting Israeli military sources and western intelligence services, the report said researchers were trying to isolate distinctive "Arab" genes in order to develop a virus, transmitted by air or water, which would target them specifically.

The programme, based in the top secret Ness Ziona germ warfare laboratory south of Tel-Aviv, is complicated by the fact that Jews and Arabs are genetically close, both being of semitic origin, the report said.

The BMA did not argue that all genetic research should stop, recognising its possibilities for saving lives and advancing medical treatment.

But the report stressed: "Getting rid of of weapons once they are produced is very difficult; governments may be reluctant to give up weapons that the rest of the world finds unacceptable."

The BMA said it was particularly anxious to see effective verification procedures introduced to ensure compliance with the biological weapons ban, and stressed that vigilance by doctors and scientists was "vital".

"We still have the chance to strengthen the ban on these weapons," said Nathanson. "We must do so now and we must make sure the ban is policed effectively."

Note, the above article was published in 1999, and it was estimated then that ethnic specific weapons would be available in "5-10 years". Well, we are now in 2004...

Does Israel Have Smart Germs?

by Eric Margolis

Israel is developing a biological 'ethnic bomb' that kills Arabs, but leaves Jews unharmed. So claimed the respected London Sunday Times on 15 November, citing Israeli military and western intelligence sources.

In 1986, the Times broke the story of Israel's covert nuclear weapons arsenal, based on evidence supplied by an Israeli nuclear technician, Mordechai Vanunu, who was subsequently kidnapped from Rome by Israeli agents. Vanunu is currently serving 18 years solitary confinement in Israel.

Numerous reliable sources assert Israeli scientists at super-secret Nes Ziona bio-warfare laboratory near Tel Aviv are attempting to engineer deadly micro-organisms that only attack DNA within the cells of victims with distinctive Arab genes. Some leftwing Israeli parliamentarians have accused the government of 'carrying on the work of Dr Mengele,' the notorious Nazi geneticist.

At least one of Israel's world-renowned scientific institutes is also said to be deeply involved in the biowarfare project. Nes Ziona roduces a wide range of chemical and biological weapons: it is reportedly larger than all Arab and Iranian biowarfare laboratories - combined.

Embarrassingly for Israel and the US, Dutch authorities recently revealed an Israeli cargo plane that crashed in Amsterdam in 1992 was secretly carrying precursor chemicals for the deadly nerve gas, Sarin. The chemicals, supplied by a US company, with full US government export approval, were consigned to Nes Ziona.

A 1993 report by Russian intelligence said Israel began producing chemical weapons in the mid-1960's, had a very large stockpile, and was conducting advanced research into 'physiologically active substances.'

Israel's government strongly denies accusations it is making a 'gene bomb,' insisting they are disinformation planted by Arab sources to justify Iraq's biowarfare program. Many scientists say such a weapon is impossible - a fiction right out of Fu Manchu. However, Porton Down, Britain's biowarfare centre, admits genetic-specific weapons are theoretically possible.

South Africa's Truth Commission revealed the apartheid government conducted extensive efforts in mid 1980 to produce a 'pigmentation' bio-weapon that would kill blacks, but not whites. South Africa's director of biowarfare stated his team had been unable to develop a weapon.

I learned of this project while in South Africa in 1988.It was referred to as a 'Kafir buster,' and designed for use in urban warfare, primarily against mobs of uncontrollable rioters. My sources say South Africa was much closer than admitted to developing an 'ethnic bullet.' This technology, claim a number of sources, was passed on or sold to Israel. Former allies South Africa and Israel also extensively shared nuclear technology.

Why would Israel need bioweapons? Israelis say to counter Iraq's small, but still worrying, biowar capability. But Israel's huge nuclear arsenal adequately deters any potential Iraqi attack. It's very hard for me to believe little Dr Mengele's at Nes Ziona are developing fiendish weapon to 'cleanse' the region of Arabs. Besides, Arabs are a genetic hodgepodge, lacking uniform DNA. Many Sephardic Jews and Arabs are genetically similar.

A selective 'ethnic bomb' would only be useful at close quarters. Israel cannot employ its tactical nuclear weapons - nor advanced neutron bombs - near its own borders. Even nuclear strikes on Damascus, Golan, Beirut, or Cairo would carry clouds of radioactive dust over Israel. Short of mass extermination, targeted genetic weapons would only make sense used against the West Bank and Gaza, in Jordan, or to open gaps in echeloned Syrian fortified lines before Damascus.

US intelligence says Russia is also working on targeted bioweapons, likely aimed at Chinese, as well as newly engineered germs resistant to all known drugs. Many Russian scientists have emigrated to Israel, already a world leader in biology, bringing a cornucopia of biowarfare secrets with them.

Let's hope these reports are false. Ethnically targeted bioweapons are truly terrifying - and, if they spread, a excellent way to speed the human race to extinction. In fact, these 'smart germs' make nuclear weapons look downright medieval.

Of course, it is unlikely that all of this research is conducted merely in the interest of scientific research alone. If government agencies spend millions, or billions, on research into the development of deadly pathogens and ethnic specific weapons, it is reasonable to assume that they plan to use them at some point. It would not, however, be in keeping with the duplicitous nature of government for it to be seen as actually intending, or responsible for, such a barbaric act if it were to occur. So who to blame?

Enter the "terrorists"...

Genetic weapons: a 21st-century nightmare?

Ethirajan Anbarasan

Most of the nearly 30,000 scientists who were involved in biological research in the USSR during the 1980s are now out of a job because of the country’s economic difficulties. Last year, some of them disclosed that they had been approached by certain countries which have shown particular interest in learning about microbes that can be used in war to destroy or protect crops, as well as genetic engineering techniques that could be used to make deadly germs for which there may be no antidotes.

One prospect that alarms arms control experts is that biological weapons will fall into the hands of terrorist or cult groups.

Who of us, at this stage, has not had their world view affected by the sudden appearance of the ubiquitous "terrorist threat"? Ask the average person in the street (even a high profile scientist) about "terrorists" and they will probably inform you that they are "crazy extremists" who will stop at nothing to wreak death and destruction wherever and whenever they can. Looking deeper into this phenomenon however, it is becoming more and more plausible that the the entire "terrorist threat" has it origins, and plays a major part in a covert plan to create the means by which governments themselves can carry out their plans to reshape the demographics of our planet and usher in a new, much reduced, "World Order".

Such is the pervasiveness of the phony "terrorist" threat that, today, unscrupulous politicians could easily convince well meaning scientists to push the boundaries of ethics and morality under the guise of "defence" against the machinations of the evil "terrorists". A responsible scientist could be given phony evidence, much like that provided to the UN security council by the British and American governments on Iraq's WMDs, that "terrorists", or "terrorist nations", are developing deadly forms of plague or flu (or an entirely new ethnic specific virus) and that his work is needed to develop a vaccine. The reality however, might well be that his or her research will be used to wipe out large portions of the population by the very same governments that are pushing the reality of the "terrorist threat".

Of course, if such a scientist were to become aware of this, he or she would be very likely to meet with a sudden, "freak" and tragic "accident".

There is much evidence to believe that such a plan is real, and has been in the making for many, many years. Following the formula of problem creation, in order to provide and implement the problem solution, it seems that The Powers That Be now sit poised to lay the final part of the puzzle that will bring to fruition their self fulfilling prophecy.

Consider the following speech for example, given by John Steinbrunner, a Rockefeller Brookings institute senior Fellow and Director of the Center for International and Security Studies. Note also the date, a full 6 months prior to September 11th 2001, which provided the justification for the profound world wide changes, which he claims are needed:

The Changing Face of International Security:

Challenges for the New Millennium

Comments delivered by John Steinbrunner, Ph.D.
at the 1845th Stated Meeting of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
New York, March 19, 2001

My assignment this evening is to present an overview of the international security situation in about five minutes. I want to beg forgiveness in advance for any sins of compression I may commit in attempting to do that.

The basic theme of my remarks can be concisely stated. There are strong reasons to believe that we are in the initial stages of a major transformation of international security relationships involving a shift in the organizing principles of policy. The suggestion is that predominant reliance on active military confrontation, which was established during the cold war and has been preserved in more polite form in the aftermath, is likely to yield to principles of accommodation. Were that to be accomplished, the familiar practice of deterrence would be subordinated to the more refined practice of reassurance, and the operational pattern of military forces would be altered accordingly. One can expect this to occur not because human societies are spontaneously becoming more reasonable with each other but rather because they are being subjected to massive pressures that force them to be.

These transforming pressures are commonly denoted by the term globalization, and there are some truly major developments that lurk behind that term. One of the most important is the widely noted phenomenon of information technology. Over the past five decades there have been very large efficiency gains in the handling of information. The costs of storing a unit of information and of processing it at a given location have declined by a factor of 100 million for some important applications and continue to decline. The cost of transmitting a unit of information over long distance has declined by a factor of a million and also continues to decline. These advances have enabled human organizations to operate on a global scale as they are increasingly doing.

Simultaneously there has been a surge in the total human population and a resulting increase in the aggregate effects of its activities. Since 1950 the number of living human beings has increased by one billion every 12 to 14 years. Barring some cataclysm, that process will continue through at least 2025. There are, moreover, two notable distributional features of this surge. More than 97% of the population increase is occurring at the lowest levels of income and wealth, and overall population concentration is shifting from 2/3 rural in 1950 to what is projected to be 2/3 urban by 2025.

So far, at least, the pattern of economic growth associated with these events has been disproportionately concentrated at the top of the economic spectrum. At the bottom, where virtually all of the population surge is occurring, there has been a net decline in standard of living over the course of two decades – at least in the United States, where measurement of that somewhat elusive notion is most advanced. That pattern poses fundamental problems of social equity. Its indefinite continuation would presumably pose grave dangers to the basic consensus required to operate any society.

If those dangers are to be mastered, then the apparent decline in the economic fortunes of the poorest populations will have to be reversed, and there are in turn serious implications of that basic criterion. Total economic product will have to increase by a factor of five over five decades if comprehensive improvement is to be achieved. Total energy production will have to increase by a factor of three and food production will have to double. All of these accomplishments will have to occur while human induced carbon gas emissions are held under 500 parts per million annually, if potentially catastrophic effects on global climate patterns are to be reliably avoided. That means that over the course of the next five decades, the technical basis of energy production will have to shift from predominant reliance on fossil fuels – over 70% at the moment – to equally predominant reliance on non-fossil fuels. Current market rules will not generate the necessary technical transformation on that schedule, and indeed will present major resistance on behalf of fossil fuel technologies. There are as yet no institutional arrangements capable of organizing this transition.

Although the consequences of this situation extend well beyond the traditional boundaries of security policy, there are major implications within those boundaries as well. Most notably:

1. The pattern of nuclear deterrent force operations inherited from the cold war and preserved so far in the aftermath is unreasonably dangerous. In particular, Russia does not have the financial resources required to maintain a standard, rapid reaction, massive retaliation capability against the imposing offensive potential of United States forces. The possibility of a catastrophic failure within a beleaguered Russian command system presents the greatest physical danger to the United States. Elimination of this danger would require a transformation of strategic force operations not yet officially contemplated in either country.

2. The balance of conventional force capability so heavily favors those countries included in the United States alliance system that it creates significant problems of equity for all those countries not included, representing in all some 85% of the world population. The incentive thereby provided to acquire protective deterrent capability against a minority coalition whose economic and technical capacity cannot be matched is an inherent danger for all concerned. It promises to drive a process of weapons proliferation that in its advanced stages could be unmanageable.

3. The so far uneven and inequitable process of globalization appears to be generating episodes of communal violence that the entangled communities and formally responsible sovereign states cannot resolve. The record of belated and incompletely effective international reaction to these episodes documents an obvious defect in prevailing policy. Although international interest in controlling communal conflict is often denied in advance, once it occurs the outbreak of episodes approximating genocide anywhere in the world is recognized by voting populations as a significant threat to the basic conditions of civilization. It seems evident that this inherent interest will have to be recognized and more adroitly defended than it has been so far.

4. The remarkable and relentless advance of technology – biotechnology in particular is introducing the possibility of creating massive destruction with small scale operations capable of evading detection, interdiction or retribution. Since basic access to the technology in question is inexorably spreading and cannot realistically be prevented, it seems evident that sophisticated methods for regulating actual use will have to be developed. There is available technology for protective monitoring, but its effective application would require more refined rules and a substantial revision of existing attitudes and security relationships.

5. The momentum of human-induced carbon gas emissions has the inherent potential to trigger changes in global climate patterns that could in principle be catastrophic to the human species as a whole. Although the timing and character of such changes cannot as yet be specified with confidence, the inherent danger is well enough documented to pose an immediate problem of prudential judgment. It seems evident that very demanding preventive measures will have to be undertaken well before normal scientific standards of proof can be met. Neither the concepts nor the institutions required to accomplish this have yet been developed.

Editorial note: John Steinbrunner, Ph.D. is Professor of Public Policy at the School of Public Affairs at the University of Maryland, and Director of the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) He is also a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and an Academic Advisor to the Carnegie Corporation of New York. His most recent book is entitled Principles of Global Security (Brookings Institution Press, 2000).

In simple language, Steinbrunner is subtly advocating the same radical overhaul of the global power balance that is espoused by the Neocons in their "Project for the New American Century". Steinbrunner, like the recent Pentagon report, claims that the current state of our planet is no longer tenable and predicts, again like the recent Pentagon report, that war on a global scale will soon, once again, define human existence. Overpopulation, lack of food, endemic poverty in many countries, toxic emissions, the environment, natural cataclysms, all threaten our very existence. Of course, in such treatises, there is never any mention of how our planet came to be in such a lamentable state, or that there may have been an orchestrated campaign by certain groups to bring us to the brink on which we are now perched.

No mention of the self fulfilling prophesy of the power elite. Yet the evidence suggests that this is in fact what has occurred.

Netanyahu says Iraq-Israel oil line will open in near future

REUTERS
21.06.2003

Netanyahu later told Reuters the government was in the early stages of looking into the possibility of reopening the pipeline, which during the British Mandate sent oil from Mosul to Haifa via Jordan.

"It's not a pipe-dream," Netanyahu said.

In April, a source at the National Infrastructure Ministry told Reuters Israel and Jordan would hold talks on reopening the pipeline, which Israel believes would lower fuel costs by 25 per cent.

The source said that the Israeli section of the pipeline was in good condition but did not know about the Jordanian section.

Jordanian officials denied they would meet Israeli officials, citing cold relations with the Jewish state since the outbreak of a Palestinian uprising in late 2000.

The United States, Israel's closest ally, toppled Iraqi President Saddam Hussein during an invasion that began in March. A US-led coalition now runs Iraq and many Arabs voice concern over the control Washington can exercise over Iraq's oil wealth.

Iraq owns the world's second largest oil reserves.

Comment: Yes indeed, the entire Iraq invasion had absolutely, positively NOTHING to do with the demands of Israel or Iraq's oil....

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Iraqi Militants Claim to Behead Marine

Sunday July 4, 2004
By NADIA ABOU EL-MAGD
Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraqi militants claimed on a Web site Saturday that they beheaded a captive U.S. Marine, in what would be the fourth decapitation of a foreign hostage in the region since May.

A group calling itself the Ansar al-Sunna Army said in its written statement that Lebanese-born Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun had been lured into a trap involving a love affair with an Arab woman.

Lebanon's state-run news agency reported early Sunday that Hassoun had been killed. The National News Agency cited the Foreign Ministry, which was informed of the death by Lebanon's charge d'affairs in Baghdad. The agency did not say how Hassoun's death had been confirmed.

"We would like to inform you that the Marine of Lebanese origin, Hassoun, has been slaughtered. You are going to see the video with your very eyes soon,'' said the statement, signed in the name of the group's leader, Abu Abdullah al-Hassan bin Mahmoud. [...]

Comment: Are Mossad at it again?...Oops, false alarm....

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Militant group denies killing US Marine

By Stephen Khan
05 July 2004

Confusion surrounded the fate of a US Marine last night after an Iraqi militant group denied they had killed him, despite claims on two Islamic extremist websites that 24-year-old Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun had been beheaded.

The so-called Army of Ansar al-Sunna branded as false on its own website a statement in its name claiming he had been killed. "This statement that claimed to be from us has no basis in truth ... and we have an official website through which we publish statements," the group said at a new internet address. Its previous site appeared to have been shut down.

Comment: It appears that it is becoming increasingly difficult for the Mossad to keep the story straight. The problem is, you see, when you tell so many lies, it is difficult to keep track of them, even within your own rag tag bunch of mind programmed phony "Iraqi militants"...

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A video nasty: Terror chief shows off his deadly work

By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
06 July 2004

The deadly efficiency of the foreign-led militants behind a series of terror attacks and assassinations across Iraq became clear yesterday with the release of a chillingly professional promotional video.

The group of militants is led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian blamed by the US for many of the deadliest attacks over the past year, and for wielding the knife that decapitated the American hostage Nick Berg. The video's starkest message to the fledgling government of Iraq is that Zarqawi's men - many of them foreign fighters - are now well organised, embedded inside Iraq, and can strike at a time and method of their choosing.

The sophisticated tape includes scenes such as a suicide bomber heading off on a mission, waving goodbye to his chanting colleagues as he climbs into the cab of a tanker packed with explosives. "I sacrifice myself for my religion," he says before leaving. Moments later the explosion can be heard and a massive ball of fire fills the screen as the suicide bomber reaches his target: an American position under a bridge west of the troubled city of Fallujah.

The video also shows the suicide car bomb attack on 17 May that killed the Iraqi Governing Council leader Izzadine Saleem. The car in which the cameraman is sitting is so close that the windscreen is cracked by the force of the blast. Seven others were killed in the attack.

The release of the tape, produced by the group Attawid wal Jihad (Unity and Jihad), came yesterday as US forces killed at least 10 people in a missile strike on a house in Fallujah. In recent days there have been a series of such strikes on what the US says are "safe houses" used by Zarqawi's network. It was not immediately clear whether the Americans were acting with the agreement of the new "sovereign" Iraqi government. [...]

The tape, complete with graphics and professional-quality editing and camerawork, is the latest raising of the stakes by militants since the return of partial sovereignty to Iraq by the US last week. "This video speaks of a danger more organised than the one viewed through the snippets of the intelligence and glimmers of insight the public [has] previously seen," wrote Michael Ware, the Time magazine reporter who obtained the tape.

"It does not bode well for the immediate future of Iraq's fledgling government, nor the ultimate exit plans for the 130,000 US troops still [in Iraq]."

Mr Ware, who has interviewed a number of insurgents over the last year, said the tape was intended to send a very clear message to coalition troops and foreigners. "We can get you. You cannot stop us."

He also said the video, like a corporate recruitment product, was designed to lure new fighters - and funding - to Zarqawi's network. "It is a very, very sophisticated part of Zarqawi's information campaign, stamping him as the star of the new global jihad inspired by Osama bin Laden," Mr Ware said.

The video suggests that foreign fighters have been able to develop a reasonably sophisticated network inside Iraq. The footage features interviews and statements from Saudis, Algerians, Libyans, Jordanians and fighters from other countries. One bomber claims to have lived in Italy and played hockey for a leading club.

It also appears to confirm the central role played by Zarqawi within the insurgents' community. The voice of the Jordanian-born extremist, currently the most wanted man in Iraq, only appears briefly on the recording and it seems to have been taken from an audio tape he released last month threatening the new Iraqi government. [...]

Comment: First of all, we should state that it is possible that Zarqawi is actually dead, and it is only his ghost, resurrected by the US spin doctors, that is carrying out these attacks.

Secondly, we have commented repeatedly that it is highly unlikely that a so called "Iraqi militant", fighting against the US occupation would mount attacks that kill Iraqis rather US soldiers at a ratio of about 10:1. A sentiment that has been echoed by Iraqi leaders.

Thirdly, this video comes from a reporter for Time Magazine, a Zionist publication, and as such should be immediately suspect. Note the comment by the reporter that the video was, "designed to lure new fighters to Zarqawi's network". What kind of idiotic analysis is that? What "fighters" in their right mind would be lured to a group where the first mission would be a suicide bombing? Either Zarqawi is a very poor propagandist, or someone is trying to feed us a line here. Of course, there is the argument that they are simply crazy Arabs, and they delight in killing themselves for Islam, but we find that such an argument has more to do with the mind programming effect of too much CNN than objective research and investigation.

Fourthly, Zarqawi is alleged to have carried out the beheading of Nick Berg, but there are so many inconsistencies with the Berg video that we can dismiss it as pure US and/or Israeli negative propaganda against Arabs. Perhaps this new video is not being released to the public, as the Berg video was, because it too would show similar glitches that suggest it is the product of the covert OPs boys in Iraq.

In the last paragraph above we have yet another of those anomalous little glitches that suggest that something is not quite right. If this video was produced by Zarqawi and his band of merry men, why does his voice only appear briefly on the tape, and why was the brief snippet taken from an totally different tape that was released last month? Mirroring the Saddam trial debacle, perhaps Mossad and the CIA are unwilling to take the chance that someone will notice something wrong with the voice.

We have found that the best way to get to a closer approximation of the truth is to actually analyse the news as opposed to assimilating the "news bites". For example the following four stories are all freely available to the general public and lead us to a slightly different conclusion than the simplistic - Zarqawi = "evil terrorist behind all attacks"...

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Iraqi Group Threatens to Kill Al-Zarqawi

Tuesday July 6, 2004
By TAREK EL-TABLAWY
Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A group of armed masked men threatened Tuesday to kill Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, saying that he was murdering innocent Iraqis and defiling the Muslim religion.

In a videotape sent to al-Arabiya television, the previously unknown group, which called itself the ''Salvation Movement,'' ordered al-Zarqawi to leave the country immediately and questioned how he could justify the killing of innocent civilians and his threats to assassinate interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.

The threat came a day after U.S.-led coalition forces, who have been targeting Zarqawi, launched an air strike in the restive city of Fallujah on a suspected safe house used by his followers. The attack killed 15 people, witnesses said.

In the video, three men with rocket propelled grenades and other weapons, flanked by an Iraqi flag, delivered the threats. The man speaking had a clear Iraqi accent.

"We have started preparing ... to capture him and his allies or kill them and present them as gift to our people.'' one of the men, whose faces were covered with Arab headscarves, said in the video. "This is the last ultimatum to those who give him shelter. This is the last warning. If you don't stop, we will do to you what the coalition forces have failed to do.''

Al-Zarqawi, said to be connected to al-Qaida, is believed to be behind a series of coordinated attacks on police and security forces that killed 100 people only days before U.S. forces handed over power to an Iraqi interim government.

Comment: Again we see that our previous analysis was on the mark. The above group, perhaps ACTUAL Iraqi insurgents, are a little nonplussed that Zarqawi has been killing Iraqi civilians, if indeed it was him...which we doubt.

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Fallujans deny al-Zarqawi in their midst

Friday 25 June 2004

Iraqi fighters in Falluja, their faces hidden behind chequered cloths, have denied in a taped message that al-Qaida-linked Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was holed up in their city.

"The American invader forces claim that al-Zarqawi, and with him a group of Arab fighters, are in our city," a masked man read from a piece of paper on Friday.

"We know that this talk about al-Zarqawi and the fighters is a game the American invader forces are playing to strike Islam and Muslims in the city of mosques, steadfast Falluja."

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U.S. denies reports al-Zarqawi captured

Mon, 28 Jun 2004

BAGHDAD - There are conflicting reports that one of Washington's most wanted men has been captured in Iraq.

Al-Arabiya television reported Monday that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is in custody, but the head of the U.S. military in Iraq denied the reports.

Al-Zarqawi, who is considered an ally of Osama bin Laden, is thought to be in Iraq and operating his own militant network.

He is believed to be behind more than a dozen high-profile attacks in Iraq, including beheading American civilian Nick Berg last month.

The United States is offering a $10-million reward for information leading to his capture or death.

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Saudi envoy claims link between Zionists and Al Qaeda

By Christopher Hart
27/06/2004

The Saudi ambassador to London has reinforced controversial claims by the kingdom's royal family of a link between "Zionists" and recent al-Qaeda terror attacks in the country.

In a television interview, to be broadcast today, Prince Turki al-Faisal is asked about comments made by Crown Prince Abdullah, Saudi Arabia's de facto leader, that "Zionist hands" have been behind the attacks.

The ambassador replies: "When you're under attack by people who come and kill your countrymen and visitors to your country, and you see at the same time an attack on the kingdom from the outside, from Zionist circles, it is natural to make a connection."

He declined to expand on his remarks yesterday but his comments were condemned by Lord Janner of Braunstone, the former Labour MP. "In my view it is highly offensive and he must realise that the statement is totally unfounded."

"No terrorism serves the interests of Zionism. The allegation by the Crown Prince was rubbish and he must know that."

Prince Abdullah made his original remarks when he addressed a conference of leading Saudi officials and academics last month after an attack on contractors at the Yanbu oil facility that left six Westerners - including two Britons - dead.

"Zionism is behind it," he said. "It has become clear now. It has become clear to us. It is not 100 per cent, but 95 per cent that Zionist hands are behind what happened."

In his interview today, Prince Turki contends that Saudi Arabia has been subjected to concerted attacks by "so-called 'experts' with Zionist connections" for 50 years, and particularly since the terror atrocities of September 11, 2001.

"Is it beyond any comprehension or understanding that such attacks come at us from the Zionists on one side and from al-Qaeda on the other side and not make connection between them?" he asked.

Comment: So who are these "Iraqi freedom fighters" that are hated by actual Iraqi militants, kill large numbers of Iraqi civilians and simply serve to further demonise the Arab population in the eyes of westerners by carrying out "beheadings". Who do they serve? Clearly they are not actual Mossad or CIA operatives, those boys in black Ops are far to cowardly and clever for that.

Well, one possibility is that they are hired hit men - Kosovans, Russians, Chechens, South Africans. But there is a problem with this theory. To date there have been no reports of caucasian "Iraqi militants" among those killed by US forces. If the Iraqi insurgents were non-Middle Eastern hit men, at least one would have shown up by now. In fact, the only place we have reports of these type of hired guns is among the many contract "security personnel" that guard the employees of US contractors like Haliburton etc. In any case, the above Time magazine acquired video claims that

"The footage features interviews and statements from Saudis, Algerians, Libyans, Jordanians and fighters from other countries. One bomber claims to have lived in Italy and played hockey for a leading club."

So we are looking for predominantly Middle Eastern men, from various countries, all of whom are accessible to US and Israeli agents, and who are willing to be persuaded to carry out attacks, when and where US and Israeli intelligence agencies need them.

Now we wonder where you might find a bunch of guys like that....

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Disappearing Prisoners

Are they dead? Are they alive? Where is the media? Does anybody out there care?

Nat Hentoff - Village Voice
July 2nd, 2004

In a front-page article December 26, 2002, The Washington Post revealed that prisoners at a CIA interrogation center at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan were being subjected to abuses that veered on torture:

"The picture that emerges is of a brass-knuckled quest for information . . . in which the traditional lines between right and wrong, legal and inhumane, are evolving and blurred."

The media largely ignored the story, with the notable exceptions of The Economist and the indispensable Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker.

What was happening at Bagram Air Base soon disappeared from the news, but the revelations of our repellent abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib interrogation cells, where Saddam Hussein's torturers had previously operated, raised widespread questions about American adherence to the Geneva Conventions and other international human rights standards. The first whistle-blower was a soldier, specialist Joseph Darby: "I didn't want to see any more prisoners being abused, because I knew it was wrong."

However, in the rush of reports, the CIA and its then leader, George Tenet, were hardly mentioned. But a startling probe on ABC's Nightline on May 13, 2004, "The Disappeared," focused on super-secret CIA interrogation operations overseas, about which ABC News' Chris Bury said:

"We don't know where they are being held. We don't know how many of them there are. We don't know what the rules are."

This prison system is "so secret that its very existence is classified. The inmates are believed to make up a who's who of the top Al Qaeda leadership. But even their names are classified. Some of them may never be released. For all practical purposes, they have just disappeared." They are called "high-value" detainees.

As Chris Bury continued, these prisons, set up after 9-11, "may be unprecedented in American history. They operate entirely outside the U.S. judicial system, according to a set of rules approved by the Justice Department [that] are also top secret." (Emphasis added.)

Clearly, the others accountable for this wholly hidden gulag include Donald Rumsfeld and George W. Bush. Without going into Nightline's in-depth analysis of "the disappeared," Newsweek, in its superb report, "The Roots of Torture . . . The Road to Abu Ghraib" (May 24, 2004), provided background to the CIA's secret prison system:

By early 2002, the president, assured by his counsel, Alberto Gonzales, and other administration lawyers that he could approve secret, unsparing rules for interrogations, "signed a secret order granting new powers to the CIA. . . . [T]he president's directive authorized the CIA to set up a series of secret detention facilities outside the United States, and to question those held in them with unprecedented harshness.

"Washington then negotiated novel 'status of forces agreements' with foreign governments for the secret sites. These agreements gave immunity not merely to U.S. government personnel but also to private contractors."

On the May 13 Nightline broadcast, reporter John McWethy noted, "This system was both approved and heartily endorsed by President Bush." And George W. Bush himself appears briefly and states, "You need to have a president who understands you can't win this war with legal papers. We've got to use every asset at our disposal."

As McWethy pointed out, The New York Times, on the day of the broadcast, had revealed one technique being used on the CIA's prisoners: "water boarding." Al Qaeda leader Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was, said the Times, "strapped down forcibly, pushed under the water and made to believe he might drown." Nightline also noted "three investigations into the deaths of prisoners who were being interrogated by CIA agents in Iraq and Afghanistan."

But except for "water boarding, we know nothing specific of what is being done to the other unnamed prisoners in the CIA's secret cells. They have, as Chris Bury said, "in effect disappeared. . . . Since when are people in American custody allowed simply to disappear into a black hole?" On May 11, The Washington Post reported that this system is no longer limited to "senior Al Qaeda detainees."

Also on Nightline was Jack Cloonan. After 27 years in the FBI, Bury said, Cloonan "was the senior agent on the FBI's bin Laden squad in New York, and he headed the investigation of senior Al Qaeda official Khalid Shaikh Mohammed."

One day, from his New York office, Cloonan was giving directions to interrogators at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. The target was giving information about Zacharias Moussaoui and Richard Reid.

"I told them," Cloonan said on the program, "that I wanted them to follow their procedures that we had adopted as if they were talking to this person in New York. ...I had a suspicion that things like [what we're talking about] were going to happen...

"What are we going to do with these people [in the secret CIA cells] when we're finished exploiting them? Are they going to disappear? Are they stateless?... What are we going to explain to people when they start asking questions about where they are. Are they dead? Are they alive? What oversight does Congress give?"

On the front page of the June 27 Washington Post, Dana Priest reported: "The CIA has suspended the use of extraordinary interrogation techniques approved by the White House pending a review by [the] Justice Department. . . . The 'enhanced interrogation techniques,' as the CIA calls them, include feigned drowning."

The decision applies to such CIA interrogation centers "as those around the world." But many are utterly secret. So how will we know what's being done there?

Comment: Ever since we realised that the entire war on terror was a con job, we have wondered just why the US continued to capture and interrogate various Middle Eastern men. Ok, so it served the purpose of giving the war on terror a real feel to the US population, but why keep them so long? Why, for god's sake, would they interrogate people that they KNEW had no information on terrorism? If they caught Osama, a CIA asset, would they interrogate him to find out which CIA agent he had talked to most recently? Clearly not. But now, we come to the idea that these people are in fact being used in a completely different way.

We have always claimed that the entire war on terror was created by the US, and now we have a theory on the details of how they actually do it. Ever heard of a Manchurian candidate? Greenbauming? Some form of physical or psychological torture is almost always the first step in creating a mind controlled slave. We are also rethinking the details of Sharon's uncanny ability to call up a "suicide bomber" when and where he needs it.

But hey, let's look on the bright side, the Chinese are doing it too!...

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Beijing 'brainwashes Sars hero'

Tuesday, 6 July, 2004

The Chinese doctor who exposed Beijing's Sars cover-up last year is undergoing "brainwashing sessions" in custody, according to media reports.

Jiang Yanyong is being interrogated about his letter denouncing the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, said sources quoted by the Washington Post.

The authorities have said Mr Jiang, 72, will be held until he "changes his thinking", the newspaper said.

Mr Jiang was detained on 1 June - days before the 15th Tiananmen anniversary.

His wife, Hua Zhongwei, was also taken into custody and went on hunger strike. She was released on 15 June and told not to speak to reporters.

It is not uncommon for China to subject dissidents to "re-education classes" to force them to develop a politically correct mentality, analysts say.

'Educating' Jiang

Mr Jiang - a doctor in China's People's Liberation Army - is being held under 24-hour supervision at an undisclosed location, the Washington Post said.

A man tries to stop tanks on Tiananmen Square during the 1989 crackdown
The 1989 Tiananmen crackdown shocked the world

The authorities have threatened to keep him in custody until he "raises his level of understanding" about the crackdown on the student-led rallies for democracy on the Tiananmen Square, it said, quoting one of the sources familiar with the situation.

Mr Jiang - whose February letter urged China's Communist party to reconsider its treatment of the pro-democracy students - has reportedly refused to back down.

He said he would continue to "face the problems confronting me with the principle of seeking truth from facts," the newspaper said, citing a person close to Mr Jiang's family.

In response to the Washington Post questions, the Chinese government said in a statement: "Jiang Yanyong, as a soldier, recently violated the relevant discipline of the military."

"Based on relevant regulations, the military has been helping and educating him," the statement added.

Mr Jiang's family said they had not heard from him in more than a month, apart from a single handwritten note, the UK's Times newspaper reported.

"We are very concerned and have no idea when or if he will come back," a family member told the newspaper.

Sars whistleblower

Mr Jiang became a hero to many Chinese after in March 2003 he exposed the real extent of the Sars (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic by questioning official statements that had played down the crisis.

His actions led to the sacking of China's health minister and of the Beijing mayor.

Despite the political stand-off with the government, Mr Jiang soon became a celebrity.

And in an apparent U-turn later that year, his face appeared on the front pages of state-run media who praised Mr Jiang's moral courage.

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UN atomic energy agency chief arrives in Israel

TEL AVIV (AFP)
Jul 06, 2004

The UN's atomic energy agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei flew in to Israel on Tuesday for talks with senior leaders aimed at ridding the Middle East of nuclear weapons, his spokesman said.

ElBaradei, the director general of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), arrived at Tel Aviv international airport around 6:00 pm (1500 GMT), said IAEA spokesman Mark Gwozdecky.

Before leaving neighbouring Egypt, ElBaradei earlier told reporters that the aim of his "discussions with Israeli officials is to close the gap between Israel's position and that of other countries in the Middle East".

ElBaradei is expected to hold talks with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom during the visit due to end on Thursday.

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Sharon sticks to nuclear policy

Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 July, 2004, 08:52 GMT 09:52 UK

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says his country's "ambiguous" nuclear policy is working and will continue.

His comments came hours before the head of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, was due to arrive in Israel.

Mr ElBaradei is expected to press for a nuclear arms-free zone in the region.

Israel is widely believed to have a large stockpile of nuclear warheads, but it refuses to confirm or deny that it has a nuclear deterrent.

Ahead of Mr ElBaradei's visit, Israel released photos of its nuclear plant in the Negev desert for the first time.

The images appear on a new website for the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission, and analysts believe Israel has about 200 warheads at the plant in the town of Dimona.

But there is little sign that Israel is set to be more open about its nuclear activities, the BBC's diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says.

Mr Sharon, quoted by Israeli Army Radio, said the country did not intend to change its "no show, no tell" policy of nuclear ambiguity.

Israel's nuclear programme

"I don't know what he [ElBaradei] is coming to see," Mr Sharon said.

"Israel has to hold in its hand all the elements of power necessary to protect itself by itself.

"Our policy of ambiguity on nuclear arms has proved its worth, and it will continue," Mr Sharon added, without elaborating.

In December, Mr ElBaradei urged Israel - a member of the IAEA - to surrender its alleged nuclear weapons.

But, unlike Iran and North Korea - two nations whose alleged nuclear ambitions have recently come under international scrutiny - Israel has never signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, designed to prevent the global spread of nuclear arms.

As a result, it is not subject to inspections or the threat of sanctions by the IAEA.

Deterrent

The new Israeli website provides only the most basic information about the country's nuclear activities, though it does highlight that Israel's nuclear programme dates back to the early 1950s, our correspondent says.

Since then Israel is widely believed to have become a fully fledged nuclear armed power.

When compared with India and Pakistan - other states that have relatively recently developed nuclear arms - Israel's deterrent is probably the most sophisticated, our correspondent says.

It can be delivered by long-range ballistic missiles or advanced warplanes. Some reports suggest that Israel is even developing a submarine launched missile that might carry a nuclear warhead.

Washington's sympathy

The uncertainty surrounding Iran's nuclear ambitions will only serve to confirm the Israeli government's long-held view that a nuclear deterrent is essential to guarantee Israel's long-term security, our correspondent says.

He adds that it is a view with which Washington has long had sympathy.

The key to Israel's position is its government's studied ambiguity on nuclear matters and that is unlikely to change whatever Mr ElBaradei may say, our correspondent says.

He says this ambiguity means that Israel can have its nuclear cake and eat it.

Israel's conventional military superiority over its neighbours means that it is unlikely to have to resort to nuclear weapons, our correspondent says.

And with so many other uncertainties in the region, he adds, there is very little pressure on the Israeli government to bring its nuclear deterrent to the negotiating table.

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Israeli government deceiving U.S., says ex-general

ASSOCIATED PRESS

JERUSALEM — In a display likely to increase U.S. displeasure with Israel, an opposition legislator and former general today showed photos of four West Bank outposts he said proves the government is deceiving Washington by expanding the enclaves instead of taking them down.

In new fighting, Israeli troops raided the West Bank city of Nablus and a Gaza refugee camp early Tuesday. Two Palestinians, including a teenager, were killed and at least four soldiers wounded in exchanges of fire, the army and medics said.

The settlement watchdog group Peace Now said it has counted 53 outposts Israel is required to dismantle under the U.S.-backed "road map" peace plan, or nearly twice the 28 named in a government list handed to the Americans last week.

"There is a clear-cut case of flagrant deception and a breaking of the promise to the Americans," legislator Ephraim Sneh from the Labour party told reporters in displaying the "before" and "after" photos.

U.S. officials in Israel declined comment. However, they have publicly rebuked Israel in recent weeks, a sign of growing impatience with its handling of the outposts, seen as seeds of future settlements.

Asaf Shariv, an aide to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said the government's list of 28 is accurate, and declined comment on the deception charge. Officials said last week that of the outposts on Israel's list, fewer than half would be removed, and others were being "legalized."

Also Monday, rabbis representing Jewish settlers accused the head of Israel's Shin Bet security service of inciting against them. The Shin Bet chief, Avi Dichter, had told the cabinet he was concerned about growing militancy among those opposed to the government's planned evacuation of 8,000 settlers in 2005, as part of a withdrawal from Gaza and parts of the West Bank.

Some settler leaders and rabbis in the West Bank and Gaza have portrayed settlement evacuation as a crime, implying that violent resistance is justified, while insisting they are not urging settlers to break the law.

In the latest such comment, Uri Elitzur, a settler leader and former top aide to ex-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told Israel Radio on Monday that to remove someone from his soil is "worse than rape."

The heated debate dominated Israeli talk shows. The threat posed by Jewish extremists has been an issue since Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in 1995 by an ultra-nationalist Jew. At the time, several rabbis were suspected — though never convicted — of having encouraged the assassin with their rulings.

Sharon said Monday he feels at risk. "It saddens me that one who has spent his whole life defending Jews in Israel's wars now needs to be protected from Jews out of fear that they will harm him," the Haaretz daily's website quoted Sharon as telling members of the moderate Shinui Party, a coalition partner.

In the Nablus clash early Tuesday, Israeli troops exchanged fire with Palestinians, and the army said four soldiers were wounded, including one seriously. Witnesses said a roadside bomb went off during the incursion, killing a Palestinian man.

In the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis on Monday, a Palestinian teenager was shot dead by Israeli troops as he walked a few hundred yards from a Jewish settlement, Palestinian medics said. The army had no immediate comment.

And in a West Bank shootout Monday, Israeli troops killed Khaled Elhawi, the local leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades in the town of Jenin, the army said.

An 18-year-old Al Aqsa gunman, who is suspected of having killed a settler in a weekend shooting ambush, was wounded and captured in Monday's battle, the army said. Al Aqsa is a violent group with ties to Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement.

In his presentation on outposts, Sneh showed reporters photos he said document the expansion in four enclaves. Photos taken in 2002 show a few mobile homes in each outpost. By 2004, they had permanent structures and paved roads.

The photos were taken by Peace Now, which said it plans to issue a new report on outpost expansion in the coming days.

Settlers began setting up outposts in 1998, to prevent the transfer of land to the Palestinians in interim peace deals. At the time, Sharon, then foreign minister, urged settlers to seize West Bank hilltops.

The road map plan, launched last year, requires Israel to dismantle outposts established after March 2001, when Sharon became prime minister. According to Peace Now, 53 outposts fall in that category, and another 44 were established before the cut-off date. The road map never got off the ground, with both Israel and the Palestinians failing to fulfil their obligations.

Israel has dismantled a few outposts, most of them uninhabited. Peace Now estimates that about 1,500 settlers live in the enclaves.

Sneh, a former military governor of the West Bank, said the government has been channelling funds to the outposts it had promised to dismantle. He noted it would be impossible to pave roads without government blessing, and said that much of the expansion occurred in the past year, after Israel accepted the road map.

Israel's state comptroller reported in May the Housing Ministry funnelled nearly $6.5 million US to illegal settlement construction in the West Bank between January 2000 to June 2003, more than half of it to outposts.

"There is no sign that anything has changed, before or after the road map," said Peace Now spokesman Dror Etkes. He said five outposts were established after the launch of the road map, which envisions a Palestinian state by 2005.

Comment: Whether in waging war, or in pretending to dismantle outposts, "by way of deception" seems to be the modus operandi of the Zionists controlling Israel.

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Riot erupts in Israeli prison

www.chinaview.cn 2004-07-06 16:37:00

JERUSALEM, July 6 (Xinhuanet) -- A riot broke out on Tuesday in an Israeli security prison where hundreds of Palestinians are being held, wounding at least two jailors, Israeli radios and prison sources said.

The disturbance has been brought under control after anti-riot units were called in to drive the prisoners back to the cells, Israeli prison sources said.

The two guards were wounded by the inmates with boiling oil when about 120 inmates rioted at Gilboa prison in the Galilee region, northern Israel, Israel Radio said.

Israeli Army Radio reported that at least one jailor, who is a section commander, was injured during the riot and was evacuated to a nearby hospital.

A security alert was immediately placed on all other security prison facilities after the Gilboa riot broke out, the radio said.

Additional boiling pots of oil were found after the riot was contained, and several of the inmates are currently being interrogated, according to the reports.

About 6,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned in Israeli jails and around 800 of them are detained at Gilboa.

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Israeli officer, four Palestinians killed as quartet discuss peace process

July 6, 2004

NABLUS, West Bank (AFP) - An officer in an elite Israeli army unit and four Palestinians were killed in a gun battle in the northern West Bank as diplomats from the Middle East quartet gathered in Jerusalem in a bid to revive the moribund roadmap peace plan.

The five were all killed during an operation around the Ain Beit Ilma refugee camp aimed at arresting wanted Palestinian activists, a brief Israeli army statement said Tuesday.

Three soldiers were also wounded, one seriously, during the operation in the Nablus region.

Two of the four Palestinians were armed while the others were civilians, Palestinian security and hospital sources said.

The armed men holed up in a building that was encircled by soldiers who opened fire, while a helicopter gunship fired two rockets at it, Palestinian security sources said.

One of the armed Palestinians was Yamen Faraj, 27, the local head of the Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades, military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. He was killed along with Amjad Arar, one of his lieutenants.

The other dead Palestinians were named as 52-year-old academic Dr Khaled Salah and his 15-year-old son, Mohammed.

The dead Israeli officer was named as 25-year-old Captain Moran Vardi.

The latest deaths brought to 4,159 the number of people killed since the start of the intifada or uprising in September 2000, including 3,162 Palestinians and 925 Israelis. [...]

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Beggar's Banquet

By Chris Floyd

And so it's come to this. The American people -- proud heirs of a bold revolutionary spirit now marking the 228th anniversary of its fiery eruption into the world -- have been reduced to thanking the robed Olympians on the U.S. Supreme Court for preserving a few crumbs of the nation's once-vast ancient liberties.

This week, the justices ruled that the unelected strongman they appointed president in December 2000 does not have the unqualified right to arrest people without charges and put them in a dungeon forever -- at least not without allowing his victims to float up briefly in some conveniently undefined judicial "process." Not necessarily "a regular civilian court," mind you -- maybe a military tribunal, the justices suggested helpfully. And the defendants will be presumed guilty unless they can somehow prove themselves innocent -- with only limited, government-monitored contact with their attorneys. But at least the Bushists will have to produce a scrap of paper now and then to justify their body-snatching operations.

Except, of course, for the countless people now being "disappeared" in secret CIA prisons around the world or "rendered" to the rape rooms and torture pits of Bush's foreign tyrant pals. These wretched souls fall entirely outside the scope of the Court's rulings, which apply only to those areas where the United States holds "territorial jurisdiction," such as Guantanamo Bay, legal website Scotus.com reports. Doubtless there will now be a mass dispersal of the Guantanamo captives to the CIA gulag and other foreign parts. In fact, the newly "sovereign" client state of Iraq -- run by the unelected CIA terrorist and ex-Baathist stalwart, Iyad Allawi, now busy preparing martial law for his "liberated" people -- could prove invaluable in this regard.

The Supremacists also upheld the L'il Commander's self-bestowed right to use his "enemy combatant" popgun -- a sinister novelty, wholly without precedent, which allows him to zap captives into a legal limbo where neither U.S. law nor the Geneva Conventions apply. But they did place some restrictions on how far Junior can spray his little zapper, apparently limiting it to those actually captured on a battlefield -- at least for now.

For this week's decisions are only a brief respite. The Court's barrage of complex, multilayered opinions left plenty of wiggle room for White House weasel-worders to continue their pursuit of unbridled presidential power. After all, the Regime has publicly defined the entire world as the "battlefield" of the war on terror. "Enemy combatants" are everywhere, and Bush's arbitrary power to bestow this mark of Cain on anyone he pleases was not rejected in principle by the Court, which practically begged the Regime's rubber stamps in Congress to come up with some "enabling acts" to sanctify the Leader's tyrannical longings. Bush's authoritarian claims will simply be slapped with a new coat of paint -- a nod to limited judicial review, some butt-covering legislation -- then trotted out again.

Still, at this advanced stage in the long decay of the American Republic, even a crumb of liberty is better than no liberty at all. The Court, jealous of its prerogatives -- and perhaps piqued at Bush's attempt to hog all the terrorist-bashing fun for himself -- has, temporarily and partially, hobbled the Regime's vigorous march toward 21st-century fascism. For this relief, much thanks. Of course, our gratitude might have been greater if the justices hadn't illegally foisted the tinpot tyrant on the nation -- and the world -- in the first place. Although they've now given their creature a light rap on the knuckles, Bush can hardly be blamed for following their example of partisan lawlessness.

Meanwhile, behind all the somber headlines and earnest commentary on the Court's decisions, behind the glittering public facade of august institutions locked in noble agon over constitutional principle, the Bush Regime's true reality -- the ugly world of "black ops" -- keeps grinding on unabated. Here, in this dank, subterranean realm, where drug-running warlords, private armies, silent assassins, mafia chieftains, terrorist gangs, heads of state and Establishment worthies all mingle in a fog of crime, collusion and double-cross, the law is a dead letter. Here, no courts challenge Bush's most brazen appropriation of unrestrained power -- the arbitrary, unchecked, unbalanced power to kill anyone on earth, without charges, without trial, without warning.

As we've reported here for years (since Nov. 2, 2001, in fact), just after the Sept. 11 attacks Bush initiated a series of executive orders giving himself the authority to order the death of anyone he deems a terrorist -- or even a "terrorist suspect." No hearing or evidence or notice is required for this dread judgment; there is no oversight, no appeal. In 2002, he extended this arbitrary license to kill to lower-ranking CIA agents, who can strike on their own initiative and even add targets -- including U.S. citizens -- to the hit lists without any presidential supervision, The New York Times reports.

This runaway murder racket is no secret; Bush himself openly boasted about it in his 2003 State of the Union address. After detailing the number of terrorists he had arrested, he laughingly told Congress that an unspecified number of other "terrorist suspects" -- just suspects -- "were no longer a problem." The assembled statesmen roared their approval. No public official, in Congress or the courts, has ever challenged Bush's breathtaking assertion of life-and-death sway over the entire world.

So yes, we're glad that the Supreme Court has put a few weak fetters on some of the more blatant aspects of Bush's rampant Caesarism. But the rotten state of the Republic -- its once-proud people scrambling for crumbs in the fetid mud of Bush's Murder Incorporated -- is not something any patriot can celebrate on Independence Day.

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U studies terrorism at your table

Mary Jane Smetanka
Star Tribune, July 6, 2004

When most Americans think about possible terrorism targets in this country, they usually focus on skyscrapers, government buildings and stadiums, not on something as humble as the food they eat.

But federal officials are homing in on the possible threat to the nation's food supply, to the tune of a three-year, $15 million grant to the University of Minnesota for a national Center for Food Protection and Defense. A campus visit today by federal Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman will officially launch the program that was announced in April.

The two will see a small demonstration of the wide range of work that will be done, from using molecular biology and technology to detect incredibly small amounts of dangerous substances in food to figuring out who has access to that salmon or steak before it reaches your barbecue. [...]

Companies involved include General Mills, Cargill, 3M and Hormel. Though the grant is for three years, officials hope it acts as seed money for extended grants to carry on a massive job.

"Our charge is to protect and defend safe food from intentional contamination," Busta said. "The vulnerability in food is immense. ... We hope we can make it sufficiently difficult, [so] if and when terrorists decide to look at [attacking the food supply], they will say, 'We'll try something else.' "

Past incidents

There have been scattered incidents of food terrorism in the United States. In a bizarre 1984 attempt to influence an Oregon county election, members of the Rajneeshee religious cult contaminated salad bars in 10 restaurants with salmonella. More than 750 people became ill. In 1996, a dozen workers at a Dallas medical center became ill after eating commercially prepared blueberry muffins and doughnuts at work. The dysentery was caused by an uncommon form of the organism shigella that turned out to have come from the medical center's lab. A worker who had contaminated the pastries served jail time for the crime.

The possibility of an attack on the food supply "is absolutely real," said Michael Osterholm, who is co-principal investigator on the project and directs the university's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. "Unfortunately, over the years I've developed the reputation as Bad News Mike. But these predictions come true. I have no doubt that an attack on our nation's food supply will happen."

Protecting the food supply is so complex that "it's like this huge Rubik's cube of prevention," he said. Food comes to the United States from a variety of sources around the world, is transported by ship, train, truck and air, passes in and out of private and public hands, through processing and packaging plants and on to markets and restaurants. Until now, most work on protecting the food supply has been on preventing what Osterholm called "Mother Nature-made events," such as accidental e-coli or salmonella contamination. That's very different from trying to gear up the food production and distribution system to prevent intentional contamination. [...]

The two other large homeland security research grants went to Texas A&M University for work on animal disease and to the University of Southern California, which is working on risk and economic analysis of terrorism events.

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US airstrike in Iraq kills 12 as government readies emergency measures

Mon Jul 5, 5:00 PM ET

FALLUJAH, Iraq (AFP) - At least 12 people were killed Monday in a US airstrike on a suspected hideout of Islamic militant Abu Mussab Zarqawi here as Iraq's caretaker government put the final touches to emergency security measures.

The country's hostage crisis raged on, as a shadowy Islamic group said it had freed a US marine it had threatened to behead, but marines said they had no knowledge of whether the Lebanese-born man had really been released.

The strike on Fallujah occurred at 7:15 pm (1515 GMT) when US warplanes dropped four 500-pound (227-kilogram) bombs and two 1,000-pound bombs "against a Mujahedeen safe house," said a US military spokesman.

"After consultations between Iraqi government officials and multinational forces-Iraq, Iraqi security forces provided clear and compelling intelligence to conduct a precision strike this evening on a known Zarqawi safe house in southeastern Fallujah," Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said in a statement.

It was the deadliest single incident since the US-led coalition handed official power to a caretaker government on June 28.

Hospital sources said at least 12 people were killed and five wounded in the attack on a house in the Shuhada neighbourhood of the restive Sunni Muslim city, 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Baghdad.

Volunteer Amer Hassan said he saw "eight bodies pulled out," as he lifted debris frantically and dozens searched for people buried in the wreckage.

The attack is the fifth such raid over the past two weeks in Fallujah, where previous air strikes targeted other suspected safe houses used by the Al-Qaeda-linked Zarqawi.

In a bid to tackle hotbeds like Fallujah, Iraq's national security advisor said emergency security measures, to be unveiled by the end of the week, will include the right to slap down curfews and arrest suspects more easily.

"We were ironing out the creases, crossing the 'ts and dotting the 'is," Muwaffaq al-Rubaie told reporters.

The measures, intended to crush a 14-month insurgency, will include curfews, restrictions on movement and "preemptive arrests," allowing police to detain people on strong suspicions that they were involved in misdeeds, Rubaie said.

It was not clear whether such arrests would require a warrant.

The announcement of the sweeping security measures was originally set for Monday, but the government delayed it amid last-minute tweaking.

In an explanation for the delay, Allawi told reporters that he wanted to ensure "human and citizen rights guarantees". [...]

Comment: Let's see if we have this straight: Allawi wants to make sure that the new "Iraqi" government doesn't violate the human and civil rights of people he plans on preemptively arresting without evidence or a warrant? It seems the US-controlled dictatorship in Iraq that has replaced Saddam's regime is finally up and running.

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U.S. to Release 300 Abu Ghraib Prisoners

AP
Mon Jul 5, 3:38 PM ET


BAGHDAD, Iraq - About 300 detainees will be released from Abu Ghraib prison this week, the latest group to be freed from the detention facility west of Baghdad, the U.S. military said Monday.

The detainees will be set free on Monday and Tuesday, Lt. Col. Barry Johnson told The Associated Press.

Some 5,500 other detainees remain in custody, Johnson said. About 2,200 are held at Abu Ghraib, and 2,700 are being held at Camp Bucca near Umm Qasr in the far south of the country, he said. [...]

U.S. authorities have released more than 2,000 detainees from Abu Ghraib in the last two months.

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Musharraf Sees Iron Curtain Between West, Muslims

By Peter Starck
Mon Jul 5, 6:10 PM ET

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - An iron curtain is descending between the West and the Muslim world, Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf warned on Monday.

Political injustices, poverty and illiteracy are fueling religious fundamentalism and terrorism, he said in a speech while on a visit to Sweden, urging rich countries to help Muslim nations with investment and socio-economic reforms.

Most of Pakistan's 150 million people are Muslims, and a third of them live in poverty.

Many people in the Islamic world "feel deprived, hopeless, powerless" and could be "indoctrinated by distorted views of Islam," Musharraf said.

"A new iron curtain seems to be falling," he said. "This iron curtain somehow is dividing the Muslim world on one side and the West on the other side. This is very dangerous," he told Reuters in an interview after the speech.

"Muslim states are seen as the source of terrorism," he said, warning of new "depths of chaos and despair" and more "terrorism and an impending clash of civilizations" if the West, particularly the United States, and Muslim countries failed to eradicate the root causes of anger and resentment. [...]

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Kerry picks Edwards as running mate

July 6, 2004

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (AFP) - Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry announced that his former rival John Edwards, a charismatic senator with a strong support base in the South, will be his running mate.

"I am pleased to announce that, with your help, the next vice president of the United States of America will be Senator John Edwards from North Carolina," Kerry, 60, told supporters here Tuesday, praising Edwards's "guts and determination and political skill."

He said Edwards shares his commitment to "restoring old and rebuilding new alliances that make America stronger."

Turning to Iraq, he said: "John Edwards and I would never think about sending young Americans, sons and daughters, into harm's way anywhere in the world without telling the American people the truth." [...]

Comment: Horse hockey! Remember all the promises Bush made before he was "elected" in 2000? Remember how things changed after he was sworn in, and especially after 9/11?

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Stupid White Movie: What Michael Moore Misses About the Empire

By ROBERT JENSEN

I have been defending Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" from the criticism in mainstream and conservative circles that the film is leftist propaganda. Nothing could be further from the truth; there is very little left critique in the movie. In fact, it's hard to find any coherent critique in the movie at all.

The sad truth is that "Fahrenheit 9/11" is a bad movie, but not for the reasons it is being attacked in the dominant culture. It's at times a racist movie. And the analysis that underlies the film's main political points is either dangerously incomplete or virtually incoherent.

But, most important, it's a conservative movie that ends with an endorsement of one of the central lies of the United States, which should warm the hearts of the right-wingers who condemn Moore. And the real problem is that many left/liberal/progressive people are singing the film's praises, which should tell us something about the impoverished nature of the left in this country.

[...] The claim that "Fahrenheit 9/11" is a conservative movie may strike some as ludicrous. But the film endorses one of the central lies that Americans tell themselves, that the U.S. military fights for our freedom. This construction of the military as a defensive force obscures the harsh reality that the military is used to project U.S. power around the world to ensure dominance, not to defend anyone's freedom, at home or abroad.

Instead of confronting this mythology, Moore ends the film with it.

[...] The problem is not just that the Iraq War was fundamentally illegal and immoral. The whole rotten project of empire building has been illegal and immoral -- and every bit as much a Democratic as a Republican project. The millions of dead around the world -- in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia -- as a result of U.S. military actions and proxy wars don't care which U.S. party was pulling the strings and pulling the trigger when they were killed. It's true that much of the world hates Bush. It's also true that much of the world has hated every post-WWII U.S. president. And for good reasons.

It is one thing to express solidarity for people forced into the military by economic conditions. It is quite another to pander to the lies this country tells itself about the military. It is not disrespectful to those who join up to tell the truth. It is our obligation to try to prevent future wars in which people are sent to die not for freedom but for power and profit. It's hard to understand how we can do that by repeating the lies of the people who plan, and benefit from, those wars.

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Blair accepts Iraqi weapons may never be found

July 6, 2004

LONDON (AFP) - British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in a significant change of stance, said he now accepted that weapons of mass destruction might never be found in Iraq.

"I have to accept that we haven't found them, that we may not find them," said Blair during a question-and-answer exchange with senior members of the British parliament.

"We don't know what has happened to them," Blair added Tuesday. "They could have been removed. They could have been hidden. They could have been destroyed."

He defended last year's invasion of Iraq, however, saying it was justified after many years of UN Security Council resolutions condemning Saddam Hussein's pursuit of chemical, biological and nuclear arms.

"I do not believe there was not a threat in relation to weapons of mass destruction... We have found very clear evidence of intent and desire," the prime minister said.

"I genuinely believe that those weapons were there and that is why the international community came together as they did... Whether they were hidden, removed or destroyed, (Saddam) was in clear breach of UN resolutions." [...]

Comment: Well Tony, then we believe that you are either delusional or a liar - maybe a little of both. Sure, Saddam broke UN resolutions, but then so did Israel. Let's not forget that the US also broke numerous international laws when it tortured its prisoners in the name of fighting "terrorism". How embarrassing for Tony, how sad for UK citizens that he is their "leader" and how frightening for the rest of us to think that many people will actually believe his drivel and lies.

Another related article states:

Mr. Blair mounted a robust defence of Britain's relationship with the US, saying other countries would 'give their eye-teeth' to be in a similar position.

Give their eye-teeth? They'll have to, along with much more, much as Tony has done in the past two years since embarking upon George's lap.

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Call Girls and Strippers Ready For Republican Convention

By Jose Martinez
Ny Daily News Staff Writer

With thousands of Republicans set to invade the city this summer, high-priced escorts and strippers are preparing for one grand old party.

Agencies are flying in extra call girls from around the globe to meet the expected demand during the Aug. 30-Sept. 2 gathering at Madison Square Garden.

"We have girls from London, Seattle, California, all coming in for that week," said a madam at a Manhattan escort service. "It's the week everyone wants to work."

"It's going to be big," agreed one operator at a midtown escort service.

Charging from $300 to upwards of $1,000 for an hour of companionship and a whole lot more, escorts said they can always count on conventioneers for big business.

"It doesn't matter what party you come from," said Robyn Few, a $500-an-hour California call girl who now runs Sex Workers Outreach Project, an advocacy group. "When you want to buy sex, you will."

That's the hope among escort services expecting a windfall from randy Republicans.

"We've got everything organized - the hotels, the flights, the advertisements," said another escort service operator. "We'll probably have 60 girls that week, instead of the usual 30."

Political conventions have long been a boon for the sex industry.

At the 1992 Democratic convention in New York, bikini-clad female oil wrestlers dropped their tops on a flatbed truck in front of Madison Square Garden.

At the 1996 Republican convention in San Diego, an escort service in search of delegate dollars changed its name to GOP: Good Old-Fashioned Pleasure.

While many escort agencies operating on the sly out of Manhattan hotels and apartment buildings welcome the influx of potential customers, others are wary of increased police attention.

"We're just being very secure," said a woman who runs an agency in midtown. "So we won't be taking on any out-of-towners."

NYPD spokesman Sgt. Kevin Hayes said, "Our quality-of-life and crime reduction efforts will remain intact."

Tracy Quan, author of the autobiographical novel, "Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl," said she worries cops will crack down on the most visible sex workers.

"I get depressed whenever there's a big political convention because I know the street girls are going to be hassled, arrested and treated like criminals," Quan said. "All in the name of 'cleaning up' our city for these people from out of town."

The players on the legal end of the city's sex industry have no such worries - and strip club owners are salivating at the prospect of crowds equipped with bunches of big bills.

Clubs have started booking private parties for delegates anxious to ogle topless beauties after a day of watching fully clothed politicians boast about family values.

"We have our show down to a science," said Lonnie Hanover, a spokesman for Scores, the upscale topless club. "We'll be full every night with what we think are the best-looking girls in the industry."

Hanover said Scores - which recently opened a branch just blocks from the Garden - has lined up several big-name entertainers for the convention. "But we don't reveal them," he said.

Comment: In a society where a gathering of the members and delegates of the ruling political party come together to engage in an orgy of sex, can any of us really complain about the state of our world?

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Wave of Companies Issue Earnings Warnings

July 6, 2004

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The number of companies that issued negative outlooks outnumbered those that upgraded their earnings forecasts by more than two to one last week, according to Reuters Estimates.

Cyclical consumer goods and technology companies made up 42 percent of the downgrades, citing inventory build-up, pricing pressure and weak sales as the reasons for the earnings shortfalls. [...]

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Some 4,000-year-old canal unearthed in Zhejiang

www.chinaview.cn 2004-07-06 21:17:25

HANGZHOU, July 6 (Xinhuanet) -- Archaeologists in the eastern province of Zhejiang have unearthed a section of ancient canal dating back more than 4,000 years in Huzhou city of east China's Zhejiang Province.

The 15 meters wide and 2 meters deep canal with unknown length was discovered by archaeologists during a recent excavation at the Pishan Ruins, a historic site with a history of 5,300 years.

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UN issues locust plague warning

By Richard Black
BBC Science correspondent
Monday, 5 July, 2004, 22:31 GMT 23:31 UK

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says a plague of desert locusts could soon hit several north African states.

It says this year's locust swarm looks like being the worst for 15 years.

About $9m has been pledged for assistance, but the FAO says more money and resources are urgently needed.

The FAO says the first swarms of locusts have moved from their spring breeding grounds into Mauritania, Mali and Senegal, with many more to come.

It issued its first warning of a coming locust plague back in February, when unusually high rates of breeding were detected south of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and Algeria.

Darfur danger

Major insecticide spraying programmes were initiated, some funded by western donors, aiming to cut the plague off at source.

Clearly they have not worked. The first swarms have now moved into Mauritania, Senegal and Mali, and the FAO says Niger and Chad will also see swarms in the next few weeks.

Summer rains have started in the area, which means the insects will lay more eggs as they travel.

Swarms could eventually reach the Darfur region of Sudan, where conflict has already created a major humanitarian crisis.

Locusts can eat their own weight in food every day, which means a single swarm can consume as much food as several thousand people.

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20 feared drowned in Arunachal flash floods

Tuesday, July 06, 2004 09:53:00 AM

GUWAHATI (India): At least 20 people were feared drowned overnight and more than 15,000 people uprooted from their homes in flash floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains in Arunachal Pradesh, officials said Tuesday.

A police spokesman said at least 20 labourers were feared drowned when floodwaters trapped them Monday while they were collecting stones from a quarry close to the swollen Pakke river in the western Seppa district, about 430 km from Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar.

"There could be many more casualties as reports of people missing or getting drowned in the area have been pouring in thick and fast," a police official in capital Itanagar said by telephone.

"The area is totally cut off and in many places the water level is as high as five metres above normal." [...]

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Wildfire threatens Yukon miners

Canadian Press

Dawson City — A team of Yukon government employees headed into a fire evacuation zone Monday to warn gold field miners about an encroaching forest fire.

The government declared a state of emergency on the weekend for the gold fields south of this historic Klondike gold rush town. [...]

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2 wildfires threaten Arizona observatory

By AMANDA LEE MYERS
Associated Press Writer

SAFFORD, Ariz. — Firefighters widened a defensive ring around a mountaintop observatory Monday, trying to hold back two wildfires and protect a powerful telescope under construction.

The crews in southeastern Arizona used bulldozers and fire retardant around the Mount Graham International Observatory, which has two operating telescopes and the $120 million soon-to-be-completed Large Binocular Telescope. The ground crews were helped by an air tanker plane dropping retardant.

"The building's not going to burn, but the smoke and heat could do some real damage to the instruments inside," said Pruett Small, a fire official.

Researchers from around the world use the observatory, which is an extension of the University of Arizona. When fully operational in 2005, the Large Binocular Telescope will be the world's most technologically advanced optical telescope. It's expected to yield images nearly 10 times sharper than those from the Hubble Space Telescope.

The observatory, consisting of eight buildings, encompasses 8 1/2 acres of pine forest on Mount Graham's 10,470-foot Emerald Peak and is surrounded by a 200-foot-wide clearing. It also has a sprinkler system that officials said would be turned on if flames came within a quarter-mile.

One of the two threatening fires was a lightning-sparked blaze that had grown to more than 6,200 acres by Monday. It was burning less than a mile southeast of the $200 million-plus observatory. [...]

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What Did You Say That Drug Was Made Of?

By Sitaraman Shankar
July 6, 2004

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Paion GmbH, a German biotech company considering an initial public offering (IPO), has licensed its stroke treatment based on vampire bat saliva to Forest Laboratories, the companies said on Tuesday. [...]

Desmoteplase is a genetically-engineered version of a protein in the saliva of vampire bat Desmodus rotundus that enables it to suck blood from its prey by preventing clotting.

The bat is just eight centimeters long and lives solely on blood. It needs about 50 grams of the fluid daily, sucking it in after puncturing the skin of cattle and horses with its sharp teeth. Clotting during the meal -- it can take half an hour's feeding to satiate a bat -- can stop it feeding.

Paion has said desmoteplase is effective even if given up to nine hours after a stroke. [...]

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Cough Syrup 'No Better Than Sugar'

TWO ingredients commonly used in cough syrup are no better than sugar water in suppressing night-time coughing in children, a new study claims. The two ingredients are dextromethorphan - often listed as DM - and diphenhydramine, an antihistamine. Ian Paul, assistant professor of paediatrics at Penn State Children’s Hospital in the United States, said: "Our study showed that the two ingredients used in most over-the-counter medications were no better than a placebo... in providing night time relief for children with cough and sleep difficulty as a result of upper respiratory infection

Comment: A veritable Sign of the Times if we ever saw one. Of course, such abuse by pharmaceutical companies has been going on since the very first corporate pill pusher. In fact, it was probably for the express purpose of exploiting the susceptibility that drug companies were created.

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Driving out the demons

by Orlando Radice
July 06, 2004

His name is theatrical, he has a huge crucifix and he has said that Harry Potter is an incarnation of the Antichrist. Welcome to the world of Gabriele Amorth, the Vatican's top exorcist and to millions of Catholics a big gun in the battle with the dark side: he is the author of An Exorcist Tells His Story (translated into 14 languages), the subject of numerous national television interviews and a powerful voice in a world where sin is in and ‘miracles' get television coverage.

"I am very busy," he tells me on the phone. "I have six exorcisms to do this afternoon. I am afraid to report that occultism, Satanism and black magic are becoming very popular here," he says, and adds enigmatically, "the forces are on the march."

I almost laugh, but Amorth has a point. These days, Italians are indeed refreshing their historic affair with mysticism. There is Padre Pio, a not–long–gone Catholic guru whose lurid claims to sainthood now harness a seven–million strong pilgrimage to his tomb every year (the shrine even has a dedicated TV programme). And last year, Italians spent over 450m euros on fortune tellers, faith–healers, holy men and joss–stick burners of every flavour.

Oh, and then there are the exorcists. Currently waving crosses and sprinkling holy water in every diocese of the country (exorcists get their licences to practice from bishops), their number has grown from 20 to over 300 in just ten years.

It is tempting to assign Amorth to the same kitsch landscape as Padre Pio and the numerous mystics that populate the peninsula. He most recently labelled young girls' dolls as ‘Satanic' and is well known for carrying out telephone exorcisms on distressed housewives (most of his clients are women).

Still, there is considerably more to Amorth than meets the sceptical eye. His background is impressive: a former partisan commander trained in law, brother of a judge, and son of lawyers, he is also a professional journalist (he has been a regular contributor to the weekly magazine Famiglia Cristiana and is an associate editor of the monthly Madre di Dio). And now, at 80 years old, he is easily the most respected exorcist in Italy. A priest for 50 years and an exorcist for 15, he is the president of the International Association of Exorcists, which he co–founded.

Neither is Amorth necessarily the doomsaying anti–progressive that one would expect. For one thing, Amorth doesn't see his activities as a replacement for clinical medicine. Indeed, he says: "I only receive people who have already been to a doctor first and come to me when all else fails." His answer–phone message advises just that, although, he says: "my telephone filter doesn't always work and most people I see are not possessed. Many are suffering from a mental illness. In that case I call the hospital and try to fix them an appointment." [...]

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It's Fun for Powell at the 'YMCA'

Sat Jul 3
By SLOBODAN LEKIC, Associated Press Writer

JAKARTA, Indonesia - U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) donned a hard hat and tucked a hammer in his belt Friday, performing a version of the Village People's hit "YMCA" at the conclusion of Asia's largest security meeting.

Tradition dictates that the meeting wrap up with a night of song and dance, provided by the diplomats themselves.

In 1997 Madeleine Albright, then secretary of state, bowled over the ministers when she performed a musical skit dressed as Evita Peron.

On Friday, Powell danced alongside five other U.S. officials sporting costumes that included an Indian headdress.

The group blasted out a version of the 1970s disco classic, to the delight of foreign ministers from across the Asia-Pacific and Europe.

"President Bush, he said to me: 'Colin, I need you to run the Department of State. We are between a rock and a hard place," Powell and his colleagues sang to the tune of the disco classic.

The after-dinner show is an annual highlight of the ASEAN Regional Forum, a time for ministers to loosen up after discussing security issues.

The event is closed to the press, but reporters regularly go out of their way to get the scoop.

The Russian delegation, headed by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, sang a version of the Beatles "Yellow Submarine" as a woman waving a Russian flag ran around the dinner tables.

Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh read a poem before his delegation burst into a song.

"I'm not worried — but the audience should be," Singh said before attending the gala dinner.

Comment: !!!

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