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Saturday, July 17, 2004

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New Book!

The High Strangeness of Dimensions, Densities and the Process of Alien Abduction

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The recent news that members of the Bush Reich were working to find a legal means of postponing the November elections in the event of a "terrorist" attack should be disturbing to Americans. Alternative commentators have been signaling the encroaching tyranny of the laws passed by the Administration since 9/11, while the mainstream media have been lap dogs to the gradual loss of rights. The following article puts all the pieces in one place. We urge all of our readers to go to the Global Research web site and read the article in its entirety, along with the many links giving the necessary background information.

We are highlighting the main points, points that underscore the loss of liberties and the threat of a complete clampdown on the media, the Internet, and the right to assemble and express your dissent. If a code red alert, the highest state of alert in the new, easy-to-use, colour-coded system, is declared, Americans' right of assembly will be a thing of the past. Civil government will be replaced by a military government.

Sound far-fetched? Then read on....

Coup d'Etat in America?

by Michel Chossudovsky
13 July 2004

Based on so-called  "credible" reports, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has warned that Osama is now "planning to disrupt the November elections". A large scale attack on American soil is said to be planned by Al Qaeda during the presidential election campaign:

"... Credible reporting indicates that Al Qaeda is moving forward with its plans to carry out a large-scale attack in the United States in an effort to disrupt our democratic process...  This is sobering information about those who wish to do us harm... But every day we strengthen the security of our nation." (Quoted in AP, 8 July 2004)

"Possible targets" include the Democratic National Convention in July and the Republican Convention in New York in August.

Barely a few days prior to Tom Ridge's spectacular announcement, a spokesman of Northern Command Headquarters at Patterson Air Force Base in Colorado, confirmed that Northcom (which has a mandate to defend the Homeland) was "at a high level of readiness" and was proceeding with the (routine) deployment of jet fighters over major cities as well as the posting of troops at key locations. (Atlantic Journal and Constitution, 3 July 2004).

Canceling or Postponing the Elections

This new terror warning by Homeland Security, not to mention the impending military deployment, has served to create an aura of insecurity concerning the November presidential elections.

Meanwhile, postponement of the election has become a talking point on major news channels including CNN, following the release of a letter by the Director of the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, calling for so-called "guidelines" to cancel or reschedule the election in the case of a terror attack (For details see http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO407C.html )

Legal procedures for canceling/rescheduling the elections are under study, at the request of DHS Secretary Tom Ridge, by the Justice Departmentís Office of Legal Counsel, which is examining the legal and constitutional implications. (Washington Post, 14 July, 2004)

The Military and Intelligence apparatus working in liaison with Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) are indelibly behind this process, pointing to the unthinkable: the possibility of a Coup d'Etat in America.

Meanwhile, the cancellation / rescheduling of elections issue is presented to public opinion as a mere technical question, as a means to "protecting democracy," in the case of a terror attack. CNN has asked people "to vote" on their website, on whether they think the elections should be held in the case of a terror attack. It all sounds very democratic. [...]

Code Red Alert and Martial Law

The possibility of a code red terror alert has been announced time and again since September 11 2001, with a view to galvanizing public opinion across the country in support of an emergency situation, if and when it occurs. The terror alerts have become part of America's day to day life:

"at each threat condition [yellow, orange, red], federal departments and agencies would implement a corresponding set of "Protective Measures" to further reduce vulnerability or increase response capability during a period of heightened alert. (see http://www.fema.gov/pdf/areyouready/security.pdf

Supported by a barrage of media propaganda, these repeated terror alerts have created an environment of fear and intimidation, a wait and accept attitude, a false normality. US citizens are led to believe that a military solution is required to protect democracy.

In other words, the possibility of an impending attack on America by this "outside enemy" has been accepted by the American public; this tacit acceptance has set the stage for the adoption of "the highest threat level": code red alert.

What the US public is not aware of is that a code red alert suspends civilian government, it triggers a whole series of emergency procedures. It is tantamount to a Coup d'Etat. (Although in many regards the Coup d'Etat has already taken place under the post-9/11 anti-terrorist legislation and the rigging of the 2000 elections which brought George W. Bush into the White House.)  

[...] A code red alert, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) , would create conditions for the ("temporary" we are told) suspension of the normal functions of civilian government, implying the cancellation or postponement of federal and State elections.

According to FEMA, code red would:

Increase or redirect personnel to address critical emergency needs; Assign emergency response personnel and pre-position and mobilize specially trained teams or resources; Monitor, redirect, or constrain transportation systems; and Close public and government facilities not critical for continuity of essential operations, especially public safety. (FEMA, http://www.fema.gov/pdf/areyouready/security.pdf )

Northern Command would take over. Several functions of civilian administration would be suspended, others could be transferred to the jurisdiction of the military. More generally, the procedure would disrupt government offices, businesses, schools, public services, transportation, etc.

A secret "Shadow government" under the classified "Continuity of Operations Plan" was installed on September 11, 2001.(See  http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A20584-2002Feb28?language=printer ). Known internally as "Continuity of Government" or COG, the secret Shadow government would become functional in the case of a red code alert, redeploying key staff to secret locations.

Code red alert would, according to FEMA, also preclude and repress any form of public gathering or citizens' protest which questions the legitimacy of the emergency procedures and the installation of a police state. The emergency authorities would also exert tight censorship over the media and would no doubt paralyze the alternative news media on the internet.

Code red alert would trigger the  "civilian" Homeland Emergency response system. The latter is already in place including DHS Ready.Gov instructions, the  Big Brother Citizen Corps, not to mention the USAonWatch or Neighborhood Watch Program which has a mandate to "identify and report suspicious activity in neighborhoods" across America. [...]

The Northern Command (Northcom)

The Northern Command (Northcom) (based at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado) was set up in April 2002 specifically in the context of the pre-emptive war on terrorism.

The creation of Northcom is consistent with the de facto repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act. In fact, the position of a  "Homeland Defense Command" leader "in the event of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil", had already been envisaged in early 1999 by Clinton's Defense Secretary William Cohen. (http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Civil_Liberties/Posse_Comitatus_Law.html ).

Following the Bush Administration's decision to create Northcom, the White House instructed Justice Department lawyers "to review the Posse Comitatus law in light of new security requirements in the war on terrorism." The 1878 Act was said to "greatly restrict the military's ability to participate in domestic law enforcement". (National Journal, Government Record, 22 July 2002) 

The role of Northern Command is defined in the Pentagon's "Joint Doctrine for Homeland Security (JP-26)"      The latter constitutes a blueprint on how to defend the Homeland. Even in the case where the enemy is fabricated, and this is known at the highest levels of military-intelligence, a military coup d'Etat would become operational in terms of the detailed command military/ security provisions contained in this document (click here to consult JP-26)

According to Frank Morales, "the scenario of a military take-over of America is unfolding." And Northern Command is the core military entity in this takeover and militarisation of civilian institutions.

Northcom has a mandate to "defend the homeland" against this illusive "outside enemy", which is said to be threatening the security of America.  Amply documented, the outside enemy (Al Qaeda)  is a  "CIA intelligence asset". (There is an extensive bibliography on this subject. (See See http://globalresearch.ca/articles/11SEPT309A.htmlhttp://globalresearch.ca//by-topic/sept11/ , http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CRG204A.html )

Northcom Command Mission includes a number of "non-military functions" including "crisis management" and "domestic civil support" implying "military support to federal, state and local authorities in the event of a terror attack."   

"the preparation for, prevention of, deterrence of, preemption of, defense against, and response to threats and aggression directed towards U.S. territory, sovereignty, domestic population, and infrastructure; as well as crisis management, consequence management, and other domestic civil support."  (See http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/dod/northcom.htm )

Northcom has what David Isenberg describes as "a Creeping Civilian Mission" . Since its inception, it has been building capabilities in domestic intelligence and law enforcement. It is in permanent liaison with the DHS and the Justice Department. It has several hundred FBI and CIA officers stationed at its headquarters in Colorado. (National Journal, 1 May 2004). It is in permanent liaison, through an advanced communications system, with municipalities and domestic civilian law enforcement agencies around the country. (See Isenberg, op cit

Meanwhile the CIA, which has a unit operating out of Northcom, has extended its mandate to issues of "domestic intelligence".

According to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge (22 Dec. 2003):  "If we go to [code] Red ... it basically shuts down the country."  In which case, a national emergency is declared. Northern Command deploys its forces on air, land and sea. Several functions of civilian government are transferred to Northcom headquarters, which already has the structures which enable it to oversee and supervise civilian institutions. 

In other words, Northcom's  "command structure" would be activated in the case of a code red terror alert. But Northcom does not require, in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 DAA, a terror alert, an attack or a war-like situation to intervene in the country's civilian affairs. [...]

According to Morales:  "the 'war on terrorism' is the cover for the war on dissent." (Ibid)

The jurisdiction of the Northern Command now extends from Mexico to Alaska. Under ("bi-national") agreements signed with neighboring countries, Northern Command can intervene and deploy its forces and military arsenal on land, air and sea in Canada (extending into its Northern territories), throughout Mexico and in parts of the Caribbean. (See http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/dod/northcom.htm )  

Taken together, the existing legislation grants the military extensive rights to intervene in any "emergency situation", in practice, without the prior approval of the Commander in Chief.

Concluding Remarks

America is at the crossroads of the most serious crisis in its history.

An Al Qaeda sponsored terrorist attack is being contemplated as a "trigger mechanism" for carrying out a Coup d'Etat.

Whether it is going to be carried out is another matter. The statements of the Bush administration regarding the possibility of a red code alert must, nonetheless, be taken seriously.

The coded terror alerts and "terror events" which have been announced by DHS are part of a disinformation campaign carried out by the CIA, the Pentagon, the State Department and Homeland Security.

US intelligence is not only involved in creating phony terror warnings, it is also firmly behind the terror groups, providing them with covert support.( See http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO301B.html )

Documented by official police sources, at least two of the DHS's high profile post 9/11 terror alerts were fabricated. (http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO402A.html ) [...]

Elections or no Elections?

The "war on terrorism" is a war of conquest, which supports American (and British) economic and strategic interests. Its underpinnings are supported by both Democrats and Republicans.

While a  Coup d'Etat triggered by a code red alert is a distinct possibility in the months ahead, we must understand that the militarisation of civilian institutions in America is an ongoing process.

The Coup d'Etat entrenches the militarisation process.  It suspends civil liberties and the antiwar movement outright. It makes any form of reversal back to civilian forms of government much more difficult to achieve.

Militarisation, however, as distinct from an outright Military Coup d'Etat, does not exclude the electoral process.

Under a Kerry-Edwards administration, the military-intelligence apparatus --which constitutes the backbone of the "war on terrorism" and of the police state-- would remain functionally intact. So would Northern Command and the various Big Brother functions of the Department of Homeland Security.

One can indeed speculate on what might happen from now until the November presidential elections.

Whether the elections take place or not, the contours of a functioning police state under the facade of Constitutional government have already been defined:

  • the Big Brother surveillance apparatus,

  • the militarisation of justice and law enforcement,

  • the disinformation and propaganda network,

  • the support to terrorist organizations,

  • political assassinations and torture manuals,

  • concentration camps,

  • extensive war crimes and the blatant violation of international law...

Comment: In sections of the article we have cut for this page, Chossudovsky discusses the fact that many of the plans that will be used for implementing this "coup" were put into place under Clinton. He emphasises that both major parties in the US are in on it. Therefore, the elections in November will not change the momentum towards greater repression and control, towards the complete militarisation of the American economy and social structure.

Another important point is that the PTB may decide not to use the code red alert at this time. But, as Chossudovsky insists, the march towards tyranny will continue. If the rulers decide to maintain the soft sell before the election, it is only a tactical move on their part, but the pieces are still being put into place for control over the media, denial of free assembly and free speech. Free speech in the United States is becoming a thing of the past... the more overt muzzling of the population is becoming accepted. See the Elton John story below.

We wish to draw the reader's attention to the following paragraph:

Code red alert would, according to FEMA, also preclude and repress any form of public gathering or citizens' protest which questions the legitimacy of the emergency procedures and the installation of a police state. The emergency authorities would also exert tight censorship over the media and would no doubt paralyze the alternative news media on the internet.

You know this is coming. We know this is coming. The US government wants to shut down alternative news media. This process has already started, as the problems that Signs of the Times and others are having with PayPal and Google show -- at least to those who aren't blinded by their wishful thinking. You know the type: "It can't happen here." For the moment, the moves are subtle, with possible alternative explanations designed to sucker in the gullible. But read the paragraph above once more. Censorship will be imposed under code red.

And our friends in high places are discussing these plans and how best to implement them with the minimum of protest as you read these words.

Think of it. In two or three months, Signs of the Times might no longer be available to American readers. If Northcom takes command, bringing in Canada and Mexico, then the entire North American continent might be off-limits to real news. Is that too outrageous an idea? The evidence is all around us, even in mainstream news reports.

A little over a week ago the BBC reported on the fact that the US government, in the name of "homeland security" has radically changed the requirements for foreign journalists to enter and stay in the US. Up to now foreign journalists could renew their visas while still in the US, now most will be kicked out when their current short term visas expire and will have to renew them from their home country - a process that can take up to 6 months.

We all already know how locked down and biased the US media is. With no international 'observers', the US government will be free to, literally, do anything they choose, and the rest of the world will be none the wiser. No international outcry, no appearances to keep up. Now that most of the US people have given up so much of their free will to their 'leaders', it is time to close the trap it seems. Still too crazy an idea to believe?

What about the idea that an American government, with the complicity of Israel -- or is that the Israeli government with the complicity of the Americans, or are the two the same? -- orchestrated 9/11? If you are reading these pages, then you are likely willing to consider such an hypothesis. Is the idea of martial law and a crackdown on dissidents easier or harder to believe?

Who is leading the opposition? Is there an opposition?

Elton attacks 'censorship' in US

Elton John has said stars are scared to speak out against war in Iraq because of "bullying tactics" used by the US government to hinder free speech.

"There's an atmosphere of fear in America right now that is deadly. Everyone is too career-conscious," he told New York magazine, Interview.

Sir Elton said performers could be "frightened by the current administration's bullying tactics",

The singer likened the current "fear factor" to McCarthyism in the 1950s.

"There was a moment about a year ago when you couldn't say a word about anything in this country for fear of your career being shot down by people saying you are un-American," he told the magazine.

The singer said things were different in the 1960s.

"People like Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, The Beatles and Pete Seeger were constantly writing and talking about what was going on.

"That's not happening now. As of this spring, there have been virtually no anti-war concerts - or anti-war songs that catch on, for that matter," he said.

It isn't the mainstream music industry. It isn't the mainstream media. It is sites such as ours, sites such as those listed on the left column of our page, who are bringing news and commentary that talk about what is really going on in the world.

And they could all be gone in a matter of months. A call to a few ISPs, some new filters added to the filter technology already in place at work, and dissident sites vanish.

Like that.

Not only the sites, the books they sell, the magazines, the pdf files and archives they have. Every voice of dissent silenced.

If it doesn't happen before November, it will come later. It is not a question of if, it is a question of when.

For the moment they continue their subversive methods via their corporate backers such as PayPal, picking off sites one by one, making it difficult for us to continue our work exposing the lies of Bush and their preparations for martial law. We depend upon reader support, as do many of the other alternative sites. Please keep this in mind as you think over the elements discussed by Chossudovsky. Help the sites that are bringing you the truth. Buy their books and give donations. Get the materials in hand that you will need to explain the truth to people after they pull the plug.

Tomorrow, it may be too late.

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CIA convinced terrorists planning 'something big'

July 15, 2004

CIA acting director John McLaughlin says warnings that terrorists are plotting "something big" against the United States are based on "very, very solid" information.

Mc McLaughlin has likened the threat reports to those that preceded the September 11, 2001 attacks.

In an interview with National Public Radio, he said the US had ample warning of an attack before September 11 but no specifics on the timing and targets.

"We did have conviction that something big was coming at us," Mr McLaughlin said. "We have that same conviction now.

"The reason I say that it is serious is that I think the information I've seen is very, very solid. We have very little doubt about the information we have in terms of its sourcing and its authenticity."

Mr McLaughlin would not comment on whether the intelligence gave specifics but said the agency had developed much more intelligence on Al Qaeda and its intentions since September 11.s

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge warned last week that "credible reports" indicated Al Qaeda planned to carry out a large-scale attack in the United States to disrupt the US elections.

Mr Ridge said precise knowledge of the time, place and method of attack was lacking.

But he said security was being stepped up at the sites of the Democratic and Republican nominating conventions this summer.

Asked whether Americans should cancel vacation plans or stay away from Boston and New York during the conventions, Mr McLaughlin said people should go about their business.

"But citizens themselves need to keep their eyes open and be alert," he said.

Comment: If we were Democract or Republican Representatives, planning to go to one of this summer's conventions, we would be on the look out for last minute, big name cancellations. After all, the "Commission for the Continuity of Government" was not created for fun...

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Interviews Of Muslims To Broaden

FBI Hopes to Avert A Terrorist Attack

By Mary Beth Sheridan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, July 17, 2004; Page A01

FBI agents have launched a series of interviews of Muslims and Arab Americans in the Washington area and across the country, hoping to glean information that could prevent a major terrorist attack during this election year.

A few dozen voluntary interviews of community leaders, students, businesspeople and others have been conducted so far, according to attorneys and Muslim activists. Authorities said they do not know how many people will be contacted, but the effort is expected to expand significantly in the next week or so.

The new round of questioning is also far more targeted than an earlier program of voluntary interviews with men from Arab and Muslim countries, which followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and was criticized for being ineffective and using profiling.

"This is not a general population. They are identified by intelligence or investigative information," said an FBI official who spoke on condition of anonymity, in line with department policy. He added that the questioning did not signify that the people were under investigation themselves.

The questions being posed vary widely, according to attorneys, activists and interviewees. Several people in California and Arizona have been asked whether they knew anyone who had recently been in the Pakistani border region of Waziristan, regarded as a possible refuge for al Qaeda figures. They were also asked about Abu Nour, which agents identified as a mosque and school in Syria that was popular with American converts to Islam, the attorneys and activists said.

"We were told by the FBI agents that they're concerned there could be a coming threat from people who are recent converts to Islam," said Stacy Tolchin, a San Francisco lawyer who accompanied a Turkish Kurdish immigrant to an interview this week.

Law enforcement officials decided to step up efforts to contact Muslims and Arab Americans because of intelligence reports that al Qaeda is planning a large-scale attack in coming months in the United States, Attorney General John D. Ashcroft said recently.

"While we currently lack precise knowledge about when, where and how they are planning to attack, we are actively working to gain that knowledge," Ashcroft said in a news release July 9. "As part of that effort, we are again reaching out to partners in the Muslim and Arab American communities for any information they may have."

Law enforcement officials appear to be using different approaches in the interviews. In some cases, they have asked prominent local Muslim figures to simply pass on any helpful information, activists said. Asim Ghafoor, a Muslim attorney in Washington who was visited by two FBI agents about a week ago, said they noted that he had represented various Muslim organizations and charities and asked, "Is there anything we need to know?" He said he assured them that there was not.

Other interviews are highly specific. James Hacking, a Muslim activist in St. Louis, accompanied a U.S. graduate student of Iranian descent to an interview with the FBI this week. The student was asked about Iranian groups based in the Middle East and in the United States and whether he knew people who had been in contact with the Iranian Mission to the United Nations, Hacking said.

The young man did not have such information, Hacking said.

"I recognize the FBI are in a tough spot. They're just trying to do their job. They have information they want to investigate," Hacking said. But he added that he was uneasy that a U.S.-born person was singled out. The young man declined to offer information about people he knew.

Some of the interview subjects were also asked broad questions, such as their opinion of the U.S. invasion of Iraq or of the Syrian government, activists said.

Those being sought for interviews appear to represent a broad spectrum. Attorneys and activists said they had heard from students, high-tech professionals, Muslim leaders and others who had been contacted. Most were immigrants, but at least one African American Muslim and some U.S.-born residents were also included.

Comment: In other words, the government has absolutely no real evidence that an attack is about to happen, but they're going to harass any Arab they can find anyway. The American fascism machine is already rolling, crushing everything in its path - and there probably isn't much anyone can do to stop it. Compare the recent stories in the US media about "questioning" the actions of the Bush administration with this story about interviewing random Arabs - even US citizens - about possible connections to terrorist activity. Something has definitely changed in the US, but it isn't that people are waking up. The screws are tightening...

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FBI Warns al-Qaida May Recruit Non-Arabs

AP
Sat Jul 17, 6:01 AM ET


WASHINGTON - The FBI is cautioning local authorities the al-Qaida terror network may be recruiting non-Arabs less likely to attract notice as they carry out attacks in the United States.

Al-Qaida especially wants operatives who have American citizenship or legal residency status, the FBI's counterterrorism division said in its weekly bulletin to 18,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide.

"Finding operatives with U.S. status would greatly facilitate al-Qaida's ability to carry out an attack within the United States," said the bulletin, obtained Friday by The Associated Press.

The new warning comes amid a continuous stream of intelligence indicating that al-Qaida is determined to strike the United States in the summer or fall. Officials have said the terror network blamed for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks hopes to inflict mass casualties again and disrupt the political process in this presidential election year.

The FBI bulletin does not mention a possible time, place or method of attack. Security is expected to be especially tight at this summer's political conventions, which begin July 26 with the Democratic Party's gathering in Boston. The Republican convention is Aug. 30-Sept 2 in New York.

Using non-Arabs might make it easier for al-Qaida to circumvent security measures in Europe and the United States, the bulletin said. Of special concern are people with ties to Islamic extremist groups in North Africa and parts of Asia outside the Middle East.

Still, the FBI said, almost all al-Qaida operatives in the past have traveled at least once to South Asia, particularly Afghanistan and Pakistan, for "consultation and training."

Afghanistan was the site of al-Qaida terror training camps before the U.S. invasion of that country in 2001 and al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is believed to be hiding out in remote regions of Pakistan, where the terror network has many sympathizers.

Because of its hardline Muslim views, al-Qaida favors using male operatives between the ages of 18 and 35 in its attacks, the FBI said. But women could also be recruited, especially from areas considered more liberal on the subject such as North and East Africa and the eastern Mediterranean, the FBI notice said.

Despite its warning about non-Middle Easterners, the bulletin said police and security personnel should not discount the possibility that Arabs could still be used in a U.S. attack, particularly if they are already in the United States.

Comment: In addition to being suspicious of all Arabs, all patriotic Americans should now also turn in their non-Arab friends and neighbors who seem to question the war on terror. After all, either you are with Bush, or you are with the terrorists. While this article doesn't go quite that far, does anyone really doubt that this is the next step?

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9/11 Commission Finds Ties Between al-Qaeda and Iran

Senior U.S. officials have told TIME that the 9/11 Commission's report will cite evidence suggesting that the 9/11 hijackers had previously passed through Iran

By ADAM ZAGORIN AND JOE KLEIN
Friday, Jul. 16, 2004

Next week's much anticipated final report by a bipartisan commission on the origins of the 9/11 attacks will contain new evidence of contacts between al-Qaeda and Iran - just weeks after the Administration has come under fire for overstating its claims of contacts between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

A senior U.S. official told TIME that the Commission has uncovered evidence suggesting that between eight and ten of the 14 "muscle" hijackers - that is, those involved in gaining control of the four 9/11 aircraft and subduing the crew and passengers - passed through Iran in the period from October 2000 to February 2001. Sources also tell TIME that Commission investigators found that Iran had a history of allowing al-Qaeda members to enter and exit Iran across the Afghan border. This practice dated back to October 2000, with Iranian officials issuing specific instructions to their border guards — in some cases not to put stamps in the passports of al-Qaeda personnel — and otherwise not harass them and to facilitate their travel across the frontier. The report does not, however, offer evidence that Iran was aware of the plans for the 9/11 attacks.

The senior official also told TIME that the report will note that Iranian officials approached the al-Qaeda leadership after the bombing of the USS Cole and proposed a collaborative relationship in future attacks on the U.S., but the offer was turned down by bin Laden because he did not want to alienate his supporters in Saudi Arabia.

The Iran-al Qaeda contacts were discovered and presented to the Commissioners near the end of the bipartisan panel's more than year-long investigation into the sources and origins of the 9/11 attacks. Much of the new information about Iran came from al-Qaeda detainees interrogated by the U.S. government, including captured Yemeni al-Qaeda operative Waleed Mohammed bin Attash, who organized the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole, and from as many as 100 separate electronic intelligence intercepts culled by analysts at the NSA.

The findings were sent to the White House for review only this week. But Commission members have been hinting for weeks that their report would have some Iran surprises. As the 9/11 Commission's chairman, Thomas Kean, said in June, "We believe....that there were a lot more active contacts, frankly, with Iran and with Pakistan than there were with Iraq."

These findings follow a Commission staff report, released in June, which suggested that al-Qaeda may have collaborated with Hezbollah and its Iranian sponsors in the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers, a key American military barracks in Saudi Arabia. Previously, the attack had been attributed only to Hezbollah, with Iranian support. A U.S. indictment of bin Laden filed in 1998 for the bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa said al-Qaeda "forged alliances . . . with the government of Iran and its associated terrorist group Hezbollah for the purpose of working together against their perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States." But the Commission comes to no firm conclusion on al-Qaeda's involvement in the Khobar disaster.

Since 9/11 the U.S. has held direct talks with Iran — and through intermediaries including Britain, Switzerland and Saudi Arabia — concerning the fate of scores of al-Qaeda that Iran has acknowleded are in the country, including an unspecified number of senior leaders, whom one senior U.S. official called al-Qaeda's "management council". The U.S. as well as the Saudis have unsuccessfully sought the repatriation of this group, which is widely thought to include Saad bin Laden, the son of Osama bin Laden, as well of other key al-Qaeda figures.

Comment: In bringing up the USS Cole attack, it seems that Mossad has left another fingerprint...

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FLASHBACK: The USS Cole bombing against the backdrop of Israeli "Black Propaganda" Operations

by Michael Gillespie

Many in the Arab and Muslim communities in the United States are inclined to suppose that Israel may be responsible for the terror-bombing of the USS Cole in the Yemen port city of Aden on October 13. Although few Americans would suspect Israel, a trusted U.S. ally, of such a dastardly act, they may well be wrong while better informed and more experienced Arab and Muslim observers may be correct.

The Israeli intelligence agencies have a long history of carrying out what have been called "black propaganda" operations. Such covert actions are designed to create suspicion and inflame animosity between Israel's perceived enemies in the Middle East and Americans. While Israel's deadly surprise attack on the USS Liberty on June 6, 1967, is now widely viewed as having been carried out for the purp twoof keeping the USS Liberty's electronic monitoring capabilities from uncovering and reporting to Washington on the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)'s military preparations in advance of the attack on the Golan Heights, which would have allowed the Johnson administration to apply diplomatic pressure to forestall the IDF's aggression against Syria, there are many other clear examples of Israeli intelligence agencies engaging in "black propaganda" for the purpose of damaging the public image of Arabs and Arab states and organizations and fomenting trouble between Arabs and Arab states and organizations and the U.S. government.

Lets look at just three examples. The hi-jacking of the Italian cruise ship the Achille Lauro by "Palestinian terrorists" was later reliably reported by former IDF arms dealer Ari Ben-Menashe in his 1992 book, "Profits of War: Inside the Secret U.S.-Israeli Arms Network", to have been ordered and funded by Mossad. Ben-Menashe revealed that Israeli intelligence organizations regularly engaged in "black operations," espionage activity designed to portray Palestinians and others in the worst possible light. "An example," wrote Ben-Menashe, "is the case of the 'Palestinian' attack on the cruise ship Achille Lauro in 1985. That was, in fact, an Israeli 'black' propaganda operation to show what a deadly, cutthroat bunch the Palestinians were." According to Ben-Menashe, Israeli spymasters arranged the attack through "Abu'l Abbas, who, to follow such orders was receiving millions from Israeli intelligence officers posing as Sicilian dons. Abbas . . . gathered a team to attack the cruise ship. The team was told to make it bad, to show the world what lay in store for other unsuspecting citizens if Palestinian demands were not met. As the world knows, the group picked on an elderly American Jewish man in a wheelchair, killed him, and threw his body overboard. They made their point. But for Israel, it was the best kind of anti- Palestinian propaganda."

It should be noted that in April 1996, Abbas returned to Gaza and in a show of support for Yasser Arafat apologized for the hi-jacking and the killing of the American Jewish passenger Leon Klinghoffer without mentioning him by name, saying, "The hi-jacking was a mistake, and there were no orders to kill civilians." Abbas made no mention of Mossad involvement in the hi-jacking according to the April 23, 1996 Associated Press report.

The attack by over 150 U.S. warplanes on Libya, on April 14, 1986, which caused great destruction and over 40 civilian deaths including that of Col. Qaddafi's adopted daughter, was carried out only after Mossad field agents entered Libya in February of 1986 and placed a "Trojan" radio transmitter there to broadcast false signals, according to former Mossad field officer Victor Ostrovsky writing in The Other Side of Deception: A Rogue Agent Exposes the Mossad's Secret Agenda in 1994. The spurious signals duped American intelligence officials monitoring the broadcasts causing them to believe the Libyan government was sponsoring terrorism in Europe and was responsible for the deadly April 5, 1986, terror-bombing of the La Belle discotheque in Berlin which took the lives of two American soldiers and a Turkish woman. Reports that Spanish and French intelligence agencies were not fooled by the Israeli "Trojan" transmitter broadcasts lend credence to suggestions that American intelligence officials may have been unable to resist political pressure for retaliation or perhaps exercised judgment that was influenced by Israeli sympathies. If, as it appears, Libya was not responsible for the bombing of the Berlin night spot and the loss of three lives, the question of who was remains unanswered, as does another obvious question: Was it the Mossad? Ostrovsky also revealed Israeli espionage that occurred on American soil, in Washington, DC. in 1979. In his scathing 1990 expose, By Way of Deception: A Devastating Insiders Portrait of the Mossad,

Ostrovsky reported that Mossad agents bugged the home of a Middle Eastern diplomat during the administration of Jimmy Carter in order to embarrass the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew Young, after Young sought to establish informal talks with PLO representatives. When Young met with the unofficial United Nations PLO representative Zehdi Labib Terzi "accidentally" in the home of a friendly diplomat, Kuwaiti Ambassador Abdalla Yaccoub Bishara, listening devices planted surreptitiously and without Terzi's knowledge by Mossad field officers recorded every word of the diplomats conversation. The incident soon became front-page news in the Zionists' most prominent U.S. propaganda organ, The New York Times, and President Carter caved in to public pressure and asked for Young's resignation. Thus, that early effort to establish relations between the U.S. government and the PLO became a footnote in history when, on September 23, 1979, Young resigned from his position. Young, an African American, has never since served in the upper levels of government.

Quite apparently, the Mossad and other Israeli intelligence organizations have long enjoyed the ability to operate more or less freely in the United States and around the world. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) attempted to rein in Israel's intelligence organizations activities in the USA with an investigation of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in the early 1990s. The ADL, which is nothing less than the Mossad's right arm in the U.S.A. disguised as a civil rights monitoring organization, was forced to curtail its operations for a period of time during the 1990s following the limited success of the investigation, which the FBI, bowing to political pressures, passed on to the Office of the San Francisco District Attorney. Press accounts of the FBI/SFDA investigation were limited relative to the obvious importance of the story, and some major American news organizations simply ignored the ADL spy scandal altogether.

The remarkable effectiveness of Israel's current propaganda campaign against Palestinians makes it abundantly clear that Israel's intelligence assets in mainstream broadcast news organizations, most of which are subsidiaries of Zionist-owned or managed entertainment industry conglomerates, are able to exert consistent and heavy influence on, if not absolute control over, the public discussion here in the USA and abroad about almost all matters related to Israel, Palestine, and the Middle East.

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Iranian leaders threaten U.S.

'White House's 80 years of exclusive rule' will become 'Hell'

July 14, 2004
WorldNetDaily.com

In recent weeks, prominent Iranian figures within the government and in newspapers close to the regime have threatened the United States and Europe.

The threats include "use of all means of force" against "enemy" targets "within and outside Iran," according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI.

In a speech to the residents of the city of Hamedan on July 5, Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei said: "We, the Iranian people, within the borders of our country, will cut off any hand that harms our scientific, natural, human, or technological interests. We will cut off the hand that is sent to invade and work against our people's interests. We will do this with no hesitation. ... If the enemy has the audacity to harm and invade, our blows against it will not be limited to the borders of our country. ... If someone harms our people and invades [our country], we will endanger his interests anywhere in the world."

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Political Bureau head Gen. Yadollah Javani wrote in the conservative daily Kayhan, which is close to Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei on July 8, Iran must respond to "threats" from the West.

"To deal with the invader, Iran will use all its capabilities within and outside Iran," he said.

Javani said the "converging of millions of Iranian youth imbued with the spirit of Shehada [martyrdom] in the Basij forces ... along with a courageous leader, the trend of the Islamic awakening, and the consolidation of many supporters around Iran's Islamic revolution can [all] go into action in times of crisis and play their part in light of these threats."

The general said Iran has in its possession "long-range smart missiles which can reach many of the interests and vital resources of the Americans and of the Zionist regime in our region."

"Thus," he continued, "if the enemies show stupidity and make any mistake towards Iran, [Iran] will certainly use all the means and capabilities at its disposal."

Iran enjoys a "high deterrent ability," Javani said, "and if the enemy acts in madness and wants to try his luck, he will, as the leader said, quickly see his black fate, and will regret acting against Iran's Islamic regime."

In an editorial, the July 6 edition of Kayhan stated: "The entire Islamic Middle East is now a volatile and tangled trap, and will be set off by the smallest bit of silliness – and will reap many victims of the sinful adventurers. ... Indeed, the White House's 80 years of exclusive rule are likely to become 80 seconds of Hell that will burn to ashes everything that has been built."

Iran's "counter-reponse," the editorial said, "is likely to be called 'sudden death' and 'the Angel of Death suddenly revealed.' That very day, those who resist [Iran] will be struck from directions they never expected. The heartbeat of the crisis is undoubtedly [dictated by] the hand of Iran."

Iran previously has threatened the U.S. and Europe with the recruitment and training of thousands of Iranian volunteers by Iran's Revolutionary Guards for suicide attacks.

The country also has resumed, by order of Khamenei, a project for long-range Shihab 4 and Shihab 5 missiles, capable of reaching Europe and the U.S.

In addition, senior Revolutionary Guards officials have spoken of a plan to eliminate "Anglo-Saxon civilization" using missiles and martyrdom [suicide] bombers, and about "29 sensitive targets" in the West, already identified by Iranian intelligence with the aim of blowing them up.

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U.S. Developing New Bunker Busters

The Massive Ordinance Penetrator, or MOP, would be about one-third heavier than the 21,000-pound (9375 kg) Massive Ordnance Air Blast, MOAB, dropped twice last year in "live" tests at a range in Florida. On Friday, the Air Force's Air Armaments Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, said it planned to award a contract for the "technology demonstration" work as early as mid-September, based on a perceived need for such a weapon

Comment: Again, this story is nowhere to be found in the Western press. Apparently it is not important enough to Americans since it will not be used on them...yet

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'Here you go. Here's Iraq. Take it' 'We threw' power at them: U.S. official

MITCH POTTER
Jul. 17, 2004. 03:08 AM

BAGHDAD—Leaning in close, the mid-level American administrator speaks more in a hiss than a whisper. His tone is confessional, drenched in frustration.

"We didn't hand over power to the Iraqis. We threw it at them," he confides, casting a guilty glance toward the many eyes filling the chandelier-lit room. Nobody else heard him. Good. This kind of talk could cost him his job.

"There was no orderly transition. Nothing gradual. Just, 'Here you go. Here's Iraq. Take it'."

"None of us had any idea sovereignty was going to switch two days early," he continues, speaking on the promise of anonymity. "So we didn't even get the last contracts finished. It was chaos. More than a billion dollars in plans never went through. Huge appropriations were just left on the table, undone."

It is dinner hour at the Great Hall of Saddam Hussein's presidential palace, deep within Baghdad's hermetically sealed Green Zone. Barely two weeks earlier, America's presence here was downsized, on paper, from occupational power to invited guest, by decree of the United Nations and the interim Iraqi regime taking its place.

On the surface, little appears to have changed since that surprise ceremony of June 28, a low-key series of handshakes marking the jumped-up transfer of sovereignty. Suicide bombs and assassinations continue as before. The same 160,000 coalition troops remain spread across Iraq, as before.

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Global Eye: Mob Rule

By Chris Floyd
Published: July 16, 2004

Anyone who wants to understand the reality of modern America should pick up Gus Russo's latest book, "The Outfit." With diligent research and relentless candor, Russo strips away the facade of the United States' pious national myths, showing in great detail how the criminal underworld -- and the even more criminal "upperworld" of big business and politics -- have fused in a deadly symbiosis that underlies the nation's power structure.

You could begin unravelling this dirty skein at almost any point in the last century, but let's join the story at a critical juncture: 1960, when Democrats Jack Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson battled for the right to face Republican Richard Nixon in the presidential election. Of course, bribery, corruption, violence and vote rigging have long been an integral part of America's glorious electoral heritage -- a shining example to all the world -- but the 1960 election was the first time that the country's mobsters intervened so directly, and so decisively, in the national ballot.

[...] But that's the way it works. "In the corrupted currents of this world," as Claudius notes in "Hamlet," "the wicked prize itself buys out the law." It's how you climb the greasy pole of power. Especially if you weren't born to the purple, a scion of America's nobility, those august clans who made their now well-laundered fortunes through slavery (Washington, Jefferson et al), gun-running and war profiteering (the Bushes), bootlegging and stock fraud (the Kennedys), military conquest (Texas, California, the vast Indian lands), ethnic cleansing (the Indian population slashed from 8 million to 120,000 during the 19th century), graft and terrorism (the du Ponts consolidating their hold on the gunpowder industry by firebombing their rivals; the Rockefellers burning down the oil derricks of their competitors).

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Killers Gouge Out Eyes of Jordanian Driver in Iraq

Sat Jul 17, 7:39 AM ET

RAMADI, Iraq (Reuters) - Insurgents shot and killed a Jordanian truck driver in western Iraq on Saturday and then gouged out his eyes and left his body lying by the side of the road, witnesses and police said.

The driver, identified as Ayid Nassir, a Jordanian father of two, was carrying supplies from Amman to Baghdad when he was attacked outside the town of Ramadi, 65 miles west of Baghdad, at about 6 a.m. (2200 EDT Friday).

Reuters Television pictures showed at least seven bullet holes in the windshield of his yellow Mercedes truck and others in the body of the vehicle. The driver was hit at least four times, including two wounds each to his head and chest.

Pictures taken at a Ramadi hospital shortly after the attack showed that he had also had his eyes gouged out using a sharp instrument. Truck drivers traveling with Nassir's convoy said the mutilation took place after he was shot dead.

"The poor man. He was working for himself, just trying to make a living," said a policeman at the scene.

Truck drivers are regularly attacked on the desert highway from Jordan to Baghdad, which passes close to the towns of Ramadi and Falluja, violent and insecure places essentially under the control of Sunni Muslim insurgents.

U.S. forces have a presence on the outskirts of Ramadi and Falluja, but have avoided going into them since pulling back afer a month of heavy urban clashes in April and early May.

Comment: He was just trying to make a living.... The same could be said for most Iraqis before the US invaded and occupied their country. Now they live under an American puppet government, led by former Mukhabarat agent Iyad Allawi, that is setting itself up to be as brutal - if not more so - than Saddam's old regime.

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Was our son murdered by the CIA?

JENNY SHIELDS
The Scotsman
Sat 17 Jul 2004

IT HAS been a difficult month for Robin and Daphne Wild. In July last year, their son Richard was murdered in Iraq, shot in the back of the head as he crossed the road in Baghdad.

Since then, the parents of the Cambridge University graduate have tried to piece together the events of that day. Mr and Mrs Wild - who feel they have been hindered, rather than helped, by the Foreign Office at every turn - have come to a startling conclusion; they believe their son's murder was ordered by the CIA.

The Wilds are intelligent, educated people, not generally given to conspiracy theories or flights of fancy. The tale of their horrendous year is told in simple, moving terms, with a constant air of disbelief at what has happened.

"We are not naive, we know unpalatable things are done," says Mrs Wild. "But when you are drawn into it, it is terrifying."

She is shivering as she speaks, as a squally wind and heavy mist casts a summer chill over the Wilds' baronial home in the shadow of the Eildon hills in the Scottish Borders. As she wonders if she should light a fire, Mrs Wild recalls how different things were last summer.

"It was blazing hot and everyone was outside, hunting for shade," she remembers. Richard had come home for a few days and the family spent many fruitless hours trying to dissuade him from going to Iraq. It was his first foreign trip as a freelance journalist and his parents were alarmed. "He wouldn't listen to us," says Mr Wild.

Mrs Wild was irritated by her son's stubbornness, but the family still had a very happy few days before he left. "One afternoon, it was very warm and I was having a nap at the bottom of the garden. Richard and a girlfriend were walking round, laughing. There was a heavy scent of roses and I thought, 'Enjoy this day, hold on to it, remember it'."

Two weeks later, Richard was dead. He was 24.

The youngest of the Wilds' three children enjoyed a gilded youth: dux of the local prep school, head boy at Sedbergh School, a good degree from Jesus College, Cambridge. He was also a talented sportsman, tall, handsome and effortlessly popular with a huge circle of friends.

An early flirtation with investment banking and a short spell at Sotheby's left him unfulfilled. He decided he wanted to be a journalist, badgering news organisations and writing articles. He spent six months at ITN working as a logger - monitoring hours of TV footage from the Gulf war - and made himself useful.

Last spring, he began making plans to go to Iraq. His parents insist he was not a gung-ho war junkie, but was more interested in covering the aftermath of the war. Richard spent a small fortune on kit - video camera, laptop, satellite phone - and hitched a lift with the BBC from Amman to Baghdad. His death made news, but he wasn't the first journalist to die; the story ran for a day, some papers carried a report of his funeral and that was it.

Mr and Mrs Wild heard about their son's death in a late-night Foreign Office call. "We were told he had been surrounded by an angry mob and shot. They have never presented us with new information; we have had to put the pieces together ourselves," says Mr Wild.

"There was no equivocation [from] the Foreign Office," his wife continues. "They seemed to have a very clear idea of what had happened and so of course we believed it, absolutely. We had no reason to question what we were being told."

Initially, the Wilds believed Richard died immediately. They later discovered that a young Iraqi medical student went to his aid. "Somehow he managed to get Richard to a hospital; Richard was in a very bad way but still breathing," says Mr Wild. "But no-one came to help Richard and maybe it's as well - there would have been no quality of life."

The Wilds, both 63, understand the assassin parked in the university car park and waited for Richard to come out of the natural history museum. He crossed to the taxi rank where Richard was standing and shot him in the back of the head, then walked into a crowd and disappeared.

Shortly after Richard was shot, two British journalists - Michael Burke, an independent TV producer for whom Richard was working two days a week, and Lee Gordon - arrived at the British office in Baghdad to report the incident. "They weren't even let into the building; all they got was a brusque exchange over the intercom," says Mrs Wild. "The official said they knew about the shooting, but said it had nothing to do with them. Richard, they were told, had been in the army so they should be told about it."

Mrs Wild is outraged by this: "In 1996, he had a gap year commission which involved a short time at Sandhurst and being a platoon commander for six months - hardly an army career."

Beneath the outward composure as the Wilds tell their story is a seething anger at the way they have been treated. In the immediate aftermath of his death, Mrs Wild publicly railed against her son's foolhardiness in going to Iraq, saying it was "no place for a rookie". Now her anger is directed at the government.

"We don't expect to ever know the whole story - and we won't spend the rest of our lives trying to," says Mrs Wild. "But we wanted people to know that the story the Foreign Office gave us was not the truth."

They say the repatriation of Richard's body was handled incompetently - and when he was finally flown home, there was more heartbreak. "We discovered that he had lain, unrefrigerated, in the Baghdad heat for ten days - for a mother to discover that her child was actually left to rot is something almost too cruel to bear," says Mrs Wild.

The Wilds buried their son in a small country churchyard close to home and were trying to adjust to life without him when their lives were turned upside down again last autumn. They were contacted by Michael Burke, who had returned from Iraq with some of Richard's possessions. He suggested a meeting and the Wilds saw him at Euston station; they were surprised at Mr Burke's insistence that their conversation should not be overheard. Mr Wild recalls: "We were sitting in that glorious pale autumn sunlight and for the next two hours, we heard things that made hair on the back of our necks stand up."

As a former chief dental officer for England and Wales, Mr Wild "knows how things work"; yet even he could barely believe what Mr Burke - who had spoken to eyewitnesses - told him. "Far from being picked off on the spur of the moment by a mob, we were being told our son had been assassinated, probably by the CIA. He had not been in Baghdad long but he was asking questions, rocking the boat, maybe making himself unpopular. As a journalist he was not 'on message'. We think he knew something that could have destabilised, or certainly embarrassed, the coalition and that's why he was killed."

More than this, the Wilds have resigned themselves to never finding out. They will not spend the rest of their lives campaigning and harrying government for answers. "Political assassinations involve cover-ups," says Mrs Wild. "We do not have the resources to find out exactly what went on, but we have certainly found out more than we were told."

They are relieved to hear that Yunis Kuthair, a freelance Iraqi journalist who had been investigating Richard's death, has been released from Abu Ghraib prison, but whether he, or anyone, will ever be able to shed more light on Richard's death, they don't know. [...]

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Kerry Backs Much of Pre-Emption Doctrine

By KEN GUGGENHEIM
Friday July 16, 2004 11:46 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Friday he would be willing to launch a pre-emptive strike against terrorists if he had adequate intelligence of a threat.

Kerry offered some support for one of the most controversial aspects of President Bush's national security policy, even as he criticized the president for not reforming intelligence agencies after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

"Am I prepared as president to go get them before they get us if we locate them and have the sufficient intelligence? You bet I am," he said at a news conference at his Washington headquarters.

The Bush administration laid out the doctrine of pre-emption months before the Iraq war began in March 2003. It argued that the United States cannot rely on its vast arsenal to deter attacks and must be willing to strike first against potential threats. Critics of the policy say the Iraq war shows how the country could be driven to war by flawed intelligence.

Kerry said the intelligence needs to be improved so that the word of a U.S. president "is good enough for people across the world again."

But he added, "I will never allow any other country to veto what we need to do and I will never allow any other institution to veto what we need to do to protect our nation." [...]

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Five French citizens kidnapped in Gaza

By IBRAHIM BARZAK
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
Friday, July 16, 2004 12:26 p.m. PT

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- Five French citizens were kidnapped by Palestinian gunmen late Friday in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian security officials said, the third abduction in the territory in less than 10 hours.

The officials said the two women and three men were abducted by gunmen as they drank coffee in the southern town of Khan Younis.

Witnesses said the five were taken to the headquarters of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in the center of the town and the building was surrounded by about 25 armed men.

Earlier Friday, Col. Khaled Abu Aloula, director of military coordination in the southern part of the territory was taken from his car as he returned to Gaza City from Khan Younis.

Palestinian security officials said the kidnappers were Palestinian policemen who had recently been fired from their jobs. The officials said that earlier in the day Aloula had refused their request to help reinstate them.

Also Friday, Palestinian militants abducted Palestinian Chief of Police Ghazi Jabali in a highway ambush but released him after several hours.

Jabali was kidnapped by militants who exchanged gunfire with his bodyguards on the highway, just south of Gaza City. Two bodyguards were wounded.

Comment: Why exactly would the Palestinians kidnap foreign citizens just after the International Court of Justice decided that Israel's "security barrier" is illegal? It seems that someone wants to pull the entire world into their conflict, and we are not speaking of the Palestinians...

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Clark hints at chilling motive

Jul 16, 2004

The Prime Minister has speculated that Israel may have wanted New Zealand passports in order to carry out assassinations in another country.

On Thursday suspected Israeli spies Urie Kelman and Eli Cara were sentenced to six months jail for trying to fraudulently obtain a New Zealand passport.

Minutes after the sentencing Helen Clark suspended diplomatic relations with Israel and said she was still waiting for an official apology.

Now she has compared the New Zealand fraud to a previous case in Canada involving an assassination attempt.

"I can't comment on what they might have done but I can point to the precedent when the Canadian passport system was penetrated and agents involved in an assassination attempt in another country were using those false passports," says Clark.

She says it is "entirely a possibility" that the same scenario could be applied to the New Zealand case.

Israel is now trying to repair the damage of New Zealand's move to cut diplomatic ties.

Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom says the two countries have a very long history of good relations.

"We will do everything we can in order to improve our relations and bring them back to the same stage that they were before," says Shalom.

But former diplomat Terrence O'Brien says the New Zealand-Israel relationship was already thin, with low levels of trade and no embassy in either country.

Meanwhile, lawyers acting for the two Israelis are considering appeals, despite both men pleading guilty.

They claim their clients were denied a fair trial because the government leaked information about their connections with the spy agency, Mossad.

Clark denies this and says when the lawyers tried to run that argument at an earlier stage of the judicial proceedings "they got nowhere".

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Attack on Jewish cemetery in NZ linked to passport plot

David Fickling in Sydney
Saturday July 17, 2004
The Guardian

A Jewish cemetery has been desecrated in Wellington, New Zealand's capital, in an attack linked by community leaders to the backlash from a false passport plot involving suspected Mossad agents.

Fourteen graves had their headstones knocked over, while three swastikas and the words sieg heil were carved into the turf and footpath nearby.

The desecration is believed to be the first such attack in New Zealand, which has a small Jewish community of fewer than 10,000 people in a population of 4 million.

It came within hours of the suspension of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and Israel, after two alleged Mossad agents were jailed for their involvement in attempts to obtain a fraudulent passport in the name of a tetraplegic Auckland man.

Helen Clark, the prime minister, suggested yesterday that the passport, believed to have been intended for the fugitive suspected Mossad agent Zev Barkan, might have been used in a covert assassination plot.

Silvan Shalom, Israel's foreign minister, has expressed regret for the plot, but Ms Clark said a direct government-to-government apology and an acknowledgement that the jailed men were Mossad agents was needed. Analysts believe that is unlikely while the men are in jail as such an admission might endanger their lives.

Ms Clark told New Zealand national radio that an apology had been sought three months ago. She had earlier condemned the scandal as a "sorry indictment" of Israel.

David Zwartz, the president of New Zealand's Jewish Council, said the attacks had taken place in a climate of "government-sanctioned anti-Israelism" after the trial.

Comment: Notice the clear intent to associate anti-Israelism with anti-Semitism. This ploy has been used often by certain "Jewish" groups and organisations that have clear government affiliations. These groups have little if anything to do with popular Jewish opinion or concern for the welfare of ordinary Jews, and more to do with spreading propaganda to enable Sharon to pursue his brutal oppression of the Palestinians. On a broader level such tactics also serve to increase the temperature of the Middle East conflict and embroil it in a conflict of proportions unseen in our recent history, clearly a cherished goal of certain people in power in the US and Europe.

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Isolated from the Human Community

Israel Builds Another Wall

By M. SHAHID ALAM
July 17, 2004

Before I built a wall I'd like to know
What I was walling in or walling out.
- Robert Frost

On July 9, 2004, fourteen of the fifteen Justices on the International Court of Justice delivered an 'advisory opinion' on Israel's apartheid barrier that accurately reflects the world's growing moral outrage against Israel's determination to push the Palestinians to the wall and beyond. Appropriately--and yet, to our shame--the only contrary opinion was rendered by Justice Thomas Buergenthal, an American.

The Justices declared that the wall being built by Israel, "the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around Jerusalem, and its associated régime, are contrary to international law."

The Justices informed Israel that it is "under an obligation" to stop work on the wall, dismantle those portions of the wall that have been built, annul the legislative régime erected to support its construction, and render compensation for the damage it has already inflicted on the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.

Finally, the Justices called upon the United Nations--especially the General Assembly and the Security Council--to "consider what further action is required to bring to an end the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and the associated régime, taking due account of the present Advisory Opinion."

In these dark times, when American power has tied itself irrevocably--for the foreseeable future--to every Zionist aim against the Palestinians, be it ever so indefensible, the moral clarity of these judicial opinions will bring hope and encouragement to ordinary humans who do not always find it easy to sustain their struggle in the face of new oligarchies that practice their dark craft in the name of the men and women they trample upon methodically. Countering concerted pressure from the United States and its allies, the fourteen Justices, five from the European Union, have decided to apply the universal principles of justice to the actions of an Occupation that in its malicious intent, its devastating effects, its lengthening history, and its potential for fueling wars has no parallels in recent times.

Yet, as predictably as it is tragic, the Zionists in Israel and their allies in the United States--both Christians and Jews--have responded to ICJ's 'advisory opinion' with hollow clichés that carry little conviction except with a segment of Americans, some of whom are avowed Christian Zionists, others white supremacists, but most have been coaxed into hating Palestinians by a media that is both mendacious and malicious in the ways in which it constructs the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The Palestinians are terrorists and anti-Semites to boot; the Israelis, under threat and in peril, are their innocent victims.

In editorials and speeches ringing across Israel and America, a thousand apologists are protesting that beleaguered Israel is building a 'security fence'--not a wall--whose only purpose is to safeguard innocent Israeli civilians against the primordial violence of Palestinians. In the columns of the New York Times, of July 13 2004, a former Israeli Prime Minister, explains that this "security barrier" is "temporary," it extends into "less than 12 percent of the West Bank," and it does not kill Palestinians, it merely harms their "quality of life" while saving Israeli lives. The unsophisticate that he is, the Israeli Prime Minister of course cannot appreciate that a 'reduced' quality of life easily feeds into higher mortality. There are smarter ways of killing than in death camps with poison gases.

If the League of Nations, in the early stages of the Nazi campaign of ethnic cleansing, had had the moral courage to ask the Permanent Court of International Justice--the predecessor to the ICJ--to pass judgment on the legality of this campaign that, at this stage, included the herding of Jews into concentration camps, how might the Nazis have responded to an 'advisory opinion' that declared the herding of Jews to be in violation of international law and called the Nazis to immediately cease such actions?

The Nazis might have chosen one of several arguments in their defense. Given the overt racism of the times, they could have appealed to their historical right--as communicated by the World Spirit--to exclusive ownership of the German Deutschland; the Jewish interlopers in Germany had to be removed to make room for the original and rightful owners. Had they taken a defensive line, they might argue that the 'relocation' of Jews was a temporary measure, undertaken in the face of clear intelligence of British plans to use Jews as a fifth column in their war against Germany. Alternatively, they might claim that this was a humanitarian move, gathering Jews into districts set apart for them and where they would be free to observe the halacha, which they had been unable to do in the past. They were only making amends for past lapses. And, of course, they might have claimed that the Justices were ganging up against them, singling them out, driven by a new wave of anti-Germanism fomented by the British and Americans.

There is a terrible irony in the chorus of loud Zionist condemnations that have greeted the ICJ's ruling. To the eternal shame of the times, when the Jews were being herded into the concentration camps--where most of them would die--they had very little help from the Allied powers, the self-designated keepers of world conscience. The United States closed its doors to Jewish immigration. Certainly, there were no rulings from the Permanent Court on the barbarity of German plans of genocide. Bitterly, and justifiably, the Jews have accused the world of letting them die in the Nazi terror. No Courts, no governments offered effective support, material or moral.

No one came to the support of the Palestinians either, as the British awarded their country to the Zionists, as the British after occupying Palestine allowed European Jews to settle the country, form militias, and prepare to drive out the Palestinians. No Western publics raised a voice when 800,000 Palestinians were terrorized into fleeing their homes in 1948 and stripped of their right to return. No Western publics supported the Palestinians when they began to resist the Israeli occupation of West Bank and Gaza. Instead, taking the cue from Israel, the Western powers branded the Palestinians as terrorists, and refused to recognize their existence as a people. The moral indignation of the Western publics has only been aroused in the past decade, starting with the First Intifada, which revealed the brutal face of the Israeli Occupation, crushing, pulverizing, expropriating a mostly unarmed people.

Yet the Zionists today relentlessly accuse these Western publics of anti-Semitism, of singling them out because they are Jews. For too long, the Zionists have acted with impunity against the Palestinians, because they have succeeded in using the Holocaust to shield themselves against the censure of Western publics. That makes the Occupation a perfect crime, without any perpetrators. Better yet: the perpetrators became the primary victims of those they victimize.

However, lately, world conscience has been stirring, waking up to the insufferable conditions imposed upon Palestinians by the Israeli Occupation. World conscience is affirming itself in a hundred ways: in the Internationals who risk death to stop the demolition of Palestinian homes; in the willingness of the Belgian Court to try Ariel Sharon for war crimes; in the reminders by South Africans that this Occupation is worse than the Apartheid they had endured; in the academics who initiated a movement to boycott Israeli academics; in the students protesting investments in the Israeli economy; in the world-wide marches, protests and activism against the Israeli Occupation. And now the International Court of Justice has spoken, loudly and clearly, against Israel's apartheid wall.

Indeed, increasing numbers of Israelis are speaking out--even members of their armed forces, those who have seen the ugliness of the Occupation at first hand because they were its direct enforcers. Hundreds of Israeli soldiers have refused to 'serve' in the West Bank and Gaza, risking jail sentences. Other Jewish voices are being raised, warning that Israel is losing its soul, that the Occupation is brutalizing young Israeli men and women, who then brutalize their families, their spouses, their children. Increasingly, Israeli soldiers are taking their own lives. This is not a distant colonial Occupation, thousands of miles away from the European home base, that could be held down by a handful of soldiers and hired natives. Every Israeli--indeed a large segment of world Jewry--participates in this Occupation.

Is there a danger that the world may to begin to look upon Israel as the moral equivalent in our own times of a Nazi Germany? This 'moral equivalence in our times' does not require that Israel duplicate all the crimes of Nazi Germany. Instead, the world will be asking if, relative to the morality and the constraints of our times, Israel has gone as far as Nazi Germany did in more barbarous times, when the extermination of 'inferior races' was regarded as the right of White Europeans.

It would appear that as Israel builds the apartheid barrier whose intent is to wall the Palestinians in, sealing them inside a few miserable Bantustans, it is simultaneously building another wall, invisible but no less solid in construction, that is walling Israel out, disconnecting it from the human community, its laws, its hopes and its sympathies. Increasingly, in the years ahead, the world will be asking this question unless it can see an end to the Israeli Occupation in sight.

M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University. Visit his website at http:msalam.net. He may be reached at m.alam@neu.edu.

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Palestinian government in chaos amid abductions

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Palestinian government called a state of emergency Saturday and summoned the Cabinet for an urgent meeting as the Gaza Strip slid into chaos, after gunmen kidnapped two security officials and four French volunteers.

The wave of abductions prompted two senior security officials in the Palestinian Authority to quit, although their resignations were rejected by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

"This is a true disaster," Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia said Saturday outside his offices in the West Bank city of Ramallah, shortly before meeting with Arafat. "This is a level of chaos that we have never seen before."

The four French citizens, who were working on an electrical project in the southern city of Khan Younis, were later released unharmed. The gunmen said they acted to draw world attention to Palestinian suffering caused by Israel's occupation.

The rapid series of developments reflected the growing tension by militant groups and individuals seeking to strengthen their positions before Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon fulfills his pledge to withdraw Israeli forces and some 7,500 settlers from Gaza late next year.

The events also represented a serious challenge to the Palestinian leadership, including Yasser Arafat, who has been criticized by militants for blocking reform and turning a blind eye to corruption.

The crisis appeared to be racing toward a breaking point, with one Palestinian official predicting the government meeting could be the last for Qureia's government. A security panel headed by Arafat declared the state of emergency after midnight.

The French Foreign Ministry said the French citizens had been in Gaza for several days working on an electricity project set up by an association of Evry-Palestine. Evry is a poor suburb of Paris largely inhabited by Middle Eastern immigrants.

The four were kidnapped while drinking coffee at a cafe in Khan Younis and held them at the offices of the Red Crescent Society there.

The two Palestinian security officials who offered to resign were the head of the Palestinian intelligence service, Maj. Gen. Amin al Hindi, and the head of Preventive Security in the Gaza Strip, Rashid Abu Shbak — both well known figures in the Palestinian hierarchy [...]

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Earthquake shakes Tokyo buildings

Date: 17/07/04

A moderate earthquake shook buildings in Tokyo and parts of eastern Japan but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The quake, which struck just after 3pm (1600 AEST), measured 5.5 on the Richter Scale and was centred off the coast of Chiba prefecture east of Tokyo, about 60km under the sea floor, the Meteorological Agency said.

The tremor lasted for about 30 seconds, and was felt along Japan's eastern seaboard.

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Moderate Earthquake Rattles Ankara

CihanNews: 7/17/2004

ANKARA (CIHAN) - A moderate earthquake rattled the Turkish capital Ankara on Friday morning at 1:05 a.m.. However, there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

The tremor measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale was felt strongest in the Keciören district of Ankara where residents left their houses and went out into the streets until their fears subsided.

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Did Meteorite Strike Central Florida?

July 16, 2004

CASSELBERRY, Fla. -- Speculation about a July Fourth meteorite strike in Seminole County has many area residents searching their yards for answers.

From Oviedo, to Maitland, to Casselberry, witnesses claim to have heard a large boom and saw bright flashes of light across the evening holiday skies, WESH NewsChannel 2 reported.

It's creating a meteorite buzz on local radio stations, WESH NewsChannel 2 reported.

"I saw this crazy light, and it was really bright," said Casselberry resident Diana Felise. "The entire house was rattling. We thought the pictures were going to fall off the wall."

If a meteor did strike the area, it is believed to have hit somewhere around Red Bug Road and state Road 434, but Casselberry police officials said they're convinced it was nothing more than a big bolt of lightning since there was a severe storm in the area that night.

"Lightning, thunderstorms, welcome to Florida," said Lt. Dennis Stewart of the Casselberry Police Department.

Many residents, however, still believe it was a meteorite. Rick Wega shot video of the bright lights and remains convinced it was not a storm-induced effect.

"The way it shook the ground isn't like no other lightning," said Wega, "I’ve been around a lot of lightning."

Experts, on the other hand, said that until someone finds a piece of a meteorite in the area, it will remain an unsolved mystery.

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Six Killed by Strong Winds in Siberia

AP
July 17, 2004

MOSCOW - At least six people were killed when strong winds swept through a central Siberian region, downing power lines, ripping up trees and toppling billboards, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported Saturday.

Winds with gusts of 70 mph blew through the city of Irkutsk and regions surrounding Lake Baikal Friday evening, ITAR-Tass reported.

Two people were killed by falling trees in Irkutsk and the nearby city of Angarsk. Another was electrocuted in Irkutsk by a downed power line and one person drowned in the Angara River when winds capsized his boat, ITAR-Tass reported.

Another person was electrocuted in the village of Usolya-Sibirski, near Irkutsk, by a downed power line and one person died in the hospital from a severe concussion after being struck by a falling tree.

Several dozen people were hospitalized throughout the region.

Thousands were left with power and drinking water for at least several hours in Irkutsk and outlying regions, ITAR-Tass reported.

Irkutsk is about 2,600 miles east of Moscow.

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Execution possible for killer who said he was foe of devil

Demian Bulwa
San Francisco Chronicle
Friday, July 16, 2004

Convicted murderer Justin Helzer faces a death penalty hearing after a Contra Costa County jury on Thursday ruled him legally sane, rejecting a defense argument that the troubled man had "caught" a form of madness from a megalomaniacal older brother.

Helzer, 32, his brother Glenn Helzer and their former roommate Dawn Godman brutally killed five people in the summer of 2000. They wanted to raise money for -- among other strange and ambitious schemes -- a self-awareness group they believed would thwart Satan and hasten Christ's return to Earth.

Justin Helzer's attorneys argued he was so submissive to his brother, who masterminded the killings, that he suffered from a rare condition called "shared delusional disorder," believing his brother was a prophet and that the slayings were divinely sanctioned.

But after deliberating for nearly two days, the jury concluded that Justin Helzer knew his crimes were morally wrong. Judge Mary Ann O'Malley ordered jurors to return Wednesday for the death penalty hearing. [...]

The trio declared war on Satan on July 30, 2000, before kidnapping Annette Stineman, 78, and Ivan Stineman, 85 -- a Concord couple who once employed Glenn Helzer as their stockbroker -- to extort $100,000 from them.

The third victim, Selina Bishop, the 22-year-old daughter of blues guitarist Elvin Bishop, was befriended by Glenn Helzer to do one simple act -- cash the Stinemans' checks. The three victims were dismembered with a saw, then stuffed into gym bags and dumped into the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

Finally, Glenn Helzer fatally shot Bishop's mother, Jennifer Villarin, 45, and her companion, 54-year-old James Gamble, at Bishop's apartment in Marin County because Villarin had seen his face.

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Police seek canine killer

The Times Reporter
July 16, 2004

OHIO - Dover police said Thursday they still are searching for whoever decapitated a dog and left the remains in a trash can in Maple Grove Cemetery.

Police Capt. Brett Swigert said the department received a few calls Thursday about a man in a black cape who was spotted at the cemetery the night before the dog was found.

The dog's remains were found on July 8, but the information was not made available until Wednesday.

Swigert said police mostly have ruled out that the act had anything to do with cult or Satanic activities. The dog had been wrapped in a green bag and appeared to have been burned before it was placed in the trash can. The 50- to 60-pound animal is believed to have been a Rottweiler, boxer or pit bull.

"I don't think we're looking for an occult person," Swigert said Thursday. "I think we're looking for someone who is just mean."

Swigert encouraged the man who was spotted at the cemetery that night to come forward. A woman walking her dog told police she saw a man in a black cape and black stocking cap entering the cemetery. The fact that the man was wearing the cape and hat on such a hot night aroused her suspicion. [...]

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Crazed Surgeon Amputates Patient's Penis, Chops it Up

A Romanian surgeon who underwent a fit of madness while operating on a man's testicles proceeded to amputate his penis and cut it into three pieces. "We are shocked by what has happened.

It is the first time we have had such a case," said Sorin Oprescu, head of the Bucharest emergency hospital where the operation took place. Doctor Ciomu had been banned from entering an operating theatre for two months pending the results of an investigation by the medical council, Oprescu said.

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Men Start Night Patrols Here to Keep 'Ghost That Rapes Women' Away

Saiyedwadi is a small locality comprising lower-middle and middle-class families. And the rumours have spread like wildfire. Be it an old man or a three-year-old _ everyone can tell you about this "ghost that rapes women''. "I have not seen him but I know what he looks like. He's tall, about six-and-half feet, has shoulder-length hair, a marked face. He wears black shorts and knee-length shoes.

His shoes have springs, which help him jump over terraces,'' says Jahagir Khan, a resident. Seventeen-year-old Mohammad Rayeez says: ``He carries a sharp-edged weapon, probably a dagger with him. He spends the day on a tree and comes out only at night.''

Comment: Is that 'monkey' Spring Heeled Jack back in town?...

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And Finally...

I'm like Mandela: Martha Stewart

BY ERIN MCCLAM
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Jul. 17, 2004. 10:00 AM

NEW YORK — First, Martha Stewart declared she is used to hard work and is not afraid of prison.

Later, in an interview with ABC News, the homemaking expert repeated that she would be able to handle it and compared her plight to that of anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela.

"I could do it," she said, according to excerpts released by ABC late Friday. "I'm a really good camper. I can sleep on the ground. There are many, many good people who have gone to prison. Look at Nelson Mandela."

Comment: ???

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