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Saturday, August 7, 2004

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©2004 Pierre-Paul Feyte

A Planet of Door Mats

SOTT Editorial

For many US and Western citizens, the only visible face to the "war on terror" is the primate-like grimace that they see every time Bush appears on their television screens, spouting some scripted jingoistic diatribe which contains two or three phrases repeated over and over ad nauseam, leaving those with a modicum of intellect with a deep seated, yet somehow undefined, sense of uneasiness at what they have just heard. Like the mysterious Men in Black of UFO lore, there is something not quite right about the president of the US, and we feel that, if we perhaps stared long enough, we might finally come to some horrible realisation of just what it is.

But the president is a private man, and in the absence of any way to confirm their suspicions, most people are forced to give the benefit of the doubt, and, like the US citizens interviewed in a report on yesterdays Signs page, to "hope" that the President really is a "decent human being", that he acts in the interest of what is "right". The fact that there are probably as many variations of what is "right" as there are US citizens, is not significant it seems, the important thing is that they all agree that the President should do what is "right" - whatever that is. In fact, we all already know what "right" is - it is the generally accepted idea, albeit unconsciously so, that the President has an intricate knowledge of the 300 million different opinions on what is "right", and will act according to those.

In short, the President and his men do exactly as they please, and who can blame them? If the population were dumb enough to allow them into power, or allow them to accrue enough power that they could elect themselves, then to hell with the electorate. By dint of their apathy, they have given up any responsibility for their future at the hands of their (un)elected leaders.

And so to war. It is the natural culmination of the aforementioned process of abdication by the public of all interest in, and responsibility for, their own lives or the world they live in. What did we expect? We as a population are a classic example of the doormat wife. With each new testing of the waters by the aggressive husband, we lay a little lower, turn the other, other, other cheek, once more. We believe the lies, give the benefit of the doubt time and time again, until the final and inevitable "coup de grace" comes.

For some however, that "coup de grace" comes sooner rather than later. Iraqis at the hands of the US military, Palestinians at the hands of the IDF, countless civilians at the hands of corrupt brutal regimes, and soon perhaps, Americans at the hands of their own government. But rest assured, the Signs are all around us that, if we continue to ignore and shut out "what is", no one will be spared.

Our only hope then is to unplug ourselves from the Matrix of false beliefs and illusions about ourselves and our reality. This does not mean that we are required to suddenly become "spiritual beings" - it is enough to begin with awakening to our own subjectivity in all its myriad and complex forms and to seek the truth in everything. In essence, to stop being a door mat.

Archaeological Cover-ups - A Plot to Control History?

The scientific establishment tends to reject, suppress or ignore evidence that conflicts with accepted theories, while denigrating or persecuting the messenger.

Extracted from Nexus Magazine, Volume 9, Number 3 (April-May 2002)
Will Hart


Any time you allege a conspiracy is afoot, especially in the field of science, you are treading on thin ice. We tend to be very sceptical about conspiracies--unless the Mafia or some Muslim radicals are behind the alleged plot. But the evidence is overwhelming and the irony is that much of it is in plain view.

The good news is that the players are obvious. Their game plan and even their play-by-play tactics are transparent, once you learn to spot them. However, it is not so easy to penetrate through the smokescreen of propaganda and disinformation to get to their underlying motives and goals. It would be convenient if we could point to a plumber's unit and a boldface liar like Richard Nixon, but this is a more subtle operation.

The bad news: the conspiracy is global and there are many vested interest groups. A cursory investigation yields the usual suspects: scientists with a theoretical axe to grind, careers to further and the status quo to maintain. Their modus operandi is "The Big Lie"--and the bigger and more widely publicised, the better. They rely on invoking their academic credentials to support their arguments, and the presumption is that no one has the right to question their authoritarian pronouncements that:

1. there is no mystery about who built the Great Pyramid or what the methods of construction were, and the Sphinx shows no signs of water damage;
2. there were no humans in the Americas before 20,000 BC;
3. the first civilisation dates back no further than 6000 BC;
4. there are no documented anomalous, unexplained or enigmatic data to take into account;
5. there are no lost or unaccounted-for civilisations.
Let the evidence to the contrary be damned!

Personal Attacks: Dispute over Age of the Sphinx and Great Pyramid

In 1993, NBC in the USA aired The Mysteries of the Sphinx, which presented geological evidence showing that the Sphinx was at least twice as old (9,000 years) as Egyptologists claimed. It has become well known as the "water erosion controversy". An examination of the politicking that Egyptologists deployed to combat this undermining of their turf is instructive.

Self-taught Egyptologist John Anthony West brought the water erosion issue to the attention of geologist Dr Robert Schoch. They went to Egypt and launched an intensive on-site investigation. After thoroughly studying the Sphinx first hand, the geologist came to share West's preliminary conclusion and they announced their findings.

Dr Zahi Hawass, the Giza Monuments chief, wasted no time in firing a barrage of public criticism at the pair. Renowned Egyptologist Dr Mark Lehner, who is regarded as the world's foremost expert on the Sphinx, joined his attack. He charged West and Schoch with being "ignorant and insensitive". That was a curious accusation which took the matter off the professional level and put the whole affair on a personal plane. It did not address the facts or issues at all and it was highly unscientific.

But we must note the standard tactic of discrediting anyone who dares to call the accepted theories into question. Shifting the focus away from the issues and "personalising" the debate is a highly effective strategy--one which is often used by politicians who feel insecure about their positions. Hawass and Lehner invoked their untouchable status and presumed authority. (One would think that a geologist's assessment would hold more weight on this particular point.)

A short time later, Schoch, Hawass and Lehner were invited to debate the issue at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. West was not allowed to participate because he lacked the required credentials.

This points to a questionable assumption that is part of the establishment's arsenal: only degreed scientists can practise science. Two filters keep the uncredentialled, independent researcher out of the loop: (1) credentials, and (2) peer review. You do not get to number two unless you have number one.

Science is a method that anyone can learn and apply. It does not require a degree to observe and record facts and think critically about them, especially in the non-technical social sciences. In a free and open society, science has to be a democratic process.

Be that as it may, West was barred. The elements of the debate have been batted back and forth since then without resolution. It is similar to the controversy over who built the Giza pyramids and how.

This brings up the issue of The Big Lie and how it has been promoted for generations in front of God and everyone. The controversy over how the Great Pyramid was constructed is one example. It could be easily settled if Egyptologists wanted to resolve the dispute. A simple test could be designed and arranged by impartial engineers that would either prove or disprove their longstanding disputed theory--that it was built using the primitive tools and methods of the day, circa 2500 BC.

Why hasn't this been done? The answer is so obvious, it seems impossible: they know that the theory is bogus. Could a trained, highly educated scientist really believe that 2.3 million tons of stone, some blocks weighing 70 tons, could have been transported and lifted by primitive methods? That seems improbable, though they have no compunction against lying to the public, writing textbooks and defending this theory against alternative theories. However, we must note that they will not subject themselves to the bottom-line test.

We think it is incumbent upon any scientist to bear the burden of proof of his/her thesis; however, the social scientists who make these claims have never stood up to that kind of scrutiny. That is why we must suspect a conspiracy. No other scientific discipline would get away with bending the rules of science. All that Egyptologists have ever done is bat down alternative theories using underhanded tactics. It is time to insist that they prove their own proposals.

Why would scientists try to hide the truth and avoid any test of their hypothesis? Their motivations are equally transparent. If it can be proved that the Egyptians did not build the Great Pyramid in 2500 BC using primitive methods, or if the Sphinx can be dated to 9000 BC, the whole house of cards comes tumbling down. Orthodox views of cultural evolution are based upon a chronology of civilisation having started in Sumeria no earlier than 4000 BC. The theory does not permit an advanced civilisation to have existed prior to that time. End of discussion. Archaeology and history lose their meaning without a fixed timeline as a point of reference.

Since the theory of "cultural evolution" has been tied to Darwin's general theory of evolution, even more is at stake. Does this explain why facts, anomalies and enigmas are denied, suppressed and/or ignored? Yes, it does. The biological sciences today are based on Darwinism.
Pressure Tactics: The Ica Stones of Peru

Now we turn to another, very different case. In 1966, Dr Javier Cabrera received a stone as a gift from a poor local farmer in his native Ica, Peru. A fish was carved on the stone, which would not have meant much to the average villager but it did mean a lot to the educated Dr Cabrera. He recognised it as a long-extinct species. This aroused his curiosity. He purchased more stones from the farmer, who said he had collected them near the river after a flood.

Dr Cabrera accumulated more and more stones, and word of their existence and potential import reached the archaeological community. Soon, the doctor had amassed thousands of "Ica stones". The sophisticated carvings were as enigmatic as they were fascinating. Someone had carved men fighting with dinosaurs, men with telescopes and men performing operations with surgical equipment. They also contained drawings of lost continents.

Several of the stones were sent to Germany and the etchings were dated to remote antiquity. But we all know that men could not have lived at the time of dinosaurs; Homo sapiens has only existed for about 100,000 years.

The BBC got wind of this discovery and swooped down to produce a documentary about the Ica stones. The media exposure ignited a storm of controversy. Archaeologists criticised the Peruvian government for being lax about enforcing antiquities laws (but that was not their real concern). Pressure was applied to government officials.

The farmer who had been selling the stones to Cabrera was arrested; he claimed to have found them in a cave but refused to disclose the exact location to authorities, or so they claimed.

This case was disposed of so artfully that it would do any corrupt politician proud. The Peruvian government threatened to prosecute and imprison the farmer. He was offered and accepted a plea bargain; he then recanted his story and "admitted" to having carved the stones himself. That seems highly implausible, since he was uneducated and unskilled and there were 11,000 stones in all. Some were fairly large and intricately carved with animals and scenes that the farmer would not have had knowledge of without being a palaeontologist. He would have needed to work every day for several decades to produce that volume of stones. However, the underlying facts were neither here nor there. The Ica stones were labelled "hoax" and forgotten.

The case did not require a head-to-head confrontation or public discrediting of non-scientists by scientists; it was taken care of with invisible pressure tactics. Since it was filed under "hoax", the enigmatic evidence never had to be dealt with, as it did in the next example

Censorship of "Forbidden" Thinking: Evidence for Mankind's Great Antiquity

The case of author Michael Cremo is well documented, and it also demonstrates how the scientific establishment openly uses pressure tactics on the media and government. His book Forbidden Archeology examines many previously ignored examples of artifacts that prove modern man's antiquity far exceeds the age given in accepted chronologies.

The examples which he and his co-author present are controversial, but the book became far more controversial than the contents when it was used in a documentary.

In 1996, NBC broadcast a special called The Mysterious Origins of Man, which featured material from Cremo's book. The reaction from the scientific community went off the Richter scale. NBC was deluged with letters from irate scientists who called the producer "a fraud" and the whole program "a hoax".

But the scientists went further than this--a lot further. In an extremely unconscionable sequence of bizarre moves, they tried to force NBC not to rebroadcast the popular program, but that effort failed. Then they took the most radical step of all: they presented their case to the federal government and requested the Federal Communications Commission to step in and bar NBC from airing the program again.

This was not only an apparent infringement of free speech and a blatant attempt to thwart commerce, it was an unprecedented effort to censor intellectual discourse. If the public or any government agency made an attempt to handcuff the scientific establishment, the public would never hear the end of it.

The letter to the FCC written by Dr Allison Palmer, President of the Institute for Cambrian Studies, is revealing:

At the very least, NBC should be required to make substantial prime-time apologies to their viewing audience for a sufficient period of time so that the audience clearly gets the message that they were duped. In addition, NBC should perhaps be fined sufficiently so that a major fund for public science education can be established.

I think we have some good leads on who "the Brain Police" are. And I really do not think "conspiracy" is too strong a word--because for every case of this kind of attempted suppression that is exposed, 10 others are going on successfully. We have no idea how many enigmatic artifacts or dates have been labelled "error" and tucked away in storage warehouses or circular files, never to see the light of day.
Data Rejection: Inconvenient Dating in Mexico

Then there is the high-profile case of Dr Virginia Steen-McIntyre, a geologist working for the US Geological Survey (USGS), who was dispatched to an archaeological site in Mexico to date a group of artifacts in the 1970s. This travesty also illustrates how far established scientists will go to guard orthodox tenets.

McIntyre used state-of-the-art equipment and backed up her results by using four different methods, but her results were off the chart. The lead archaeologist expected a date of 25,000 years or less, and the geologist's finding was 250,000 years or more.

The figure of 25,000 years or less was critical to the Bering Strait "crossing" theory, and it was the motivation behind the head archaeologist's tossing Steen-McIntyre's results in the circular file and asking for a new series of dating tests. This sort of reaction does not occur when dates match the expected chronological model that supports accepted theories.

Steen-McIntyre was given a chance to retract her conclusions, but she refused. She found it hard thereafter to get her papers published and she lost a teaching job at an American university.

Government Suppression and Ethnocentrism: Avoiding Anomalous Evidence in NZ, China and Mexico

In New Zealand, the government actually stepped in and enacted a law forbidding the public from entering a controversial archaeological zone. This story appeared in the book, Ancient Celtic New Zealand, by Mark Doutré.

However, as we will find (and as I promised at the beginning of the article), this is a complicated conspiracy. Scientists trying to protect their "hallowed" theories while furthering their careers are not the only ones who want artifacts and data suppressed. This is where the situation gets sticky.

The Waipoua Forest became a controversial site in New Zealand because an archaeological dig apparently showed evidence of a non-Polynesian culture that preceded the Maori--a fact that the tribe was not happy with. They learned of the results of the excavations before the general public did and complained to the government. According to Doutré, the outcome was "an official archival document, which clearly showed an intention by New Zealand government departments to withhold archaeological information from public scrutiny for 75 years".

The public got wind of this fiasco but the government denied the claim. However, official documents show that an embargo had been placed on the site. Doutré is a student of New Zealand history and archaeology. He is concerned because he says that artifacts proving that there was an earlier culture which preceded the Maori are missing from museums. He asks what happened to several anomalous remains:

Where are the ancient Indo-European hair samples (wavy red brown hair), originally obtained from a rock shelter near Watakere, that were on display at the Auckland War Memorial Museum for many years? Where is the giant skeleton found near Mitimati?

Unfortunately this is not the only such incident. Ethnocentrism has become a factor in the conspiracy to hide mankind's true history. Author Graham Hancock has been attacked by various ethnic groups for reporting similar enigmatic findings.

The problem for researchers concerned with establishing humanity's true history is that the goals of nationalists or ethnic groups who want to lay claim to having been in a particular place first, often dovetail with the goals of cultural evolutionists.

Archaeologists are quick to go along with suppressing these kinds of anomalous finds. One reason Egyptologists so jealously guard the Great Pyramid's construction date has to do with the issue of national pride.

The case of the Takla Makan Desert mummies in western China is another example of this phenomenon. In the 1970s and 1980s, an unaccounted-for Caucasian culture was suddenly unearthed in China. The arid environment preserved the remains of a blond-haired, blue-eyed people who lived in pre-dynastic China. They wore colourful robes, boots, stockings and hats. The Chinese were not happy about this revelation and they have downplayed the enigmatic find, even though Asians were found buried alongside the Caucasian mummies.

National Geographic writer Thomas B. Allen mused in a 1996 article about his finding a potsherd bearing a fingerprint of the potter. When he inquired if he could take the fragment to a forensic anthropologist, the Chinese scientist asked whether he "would be able to tell if the potter was a white man". Allen said he was not sure, and the official pocketed the fragment and quietly walked away. It appears that many things get in the way of scientific discovery and disclosure.

The existence of the Olmec culture in Old Mexico has always posed a problem. Where did the Negroid people depicted on the colossal heads come from? Why are there Caucasians carved on the stele in what is Mexico's seed civilisation? What is worse, why aren't the indigenous Mexican people found on the Olmec artifacts? Recently a Mexican archaeologist solved the problem by making a fantastic claim: that the Olmec heads--which generations of people of all ethnic groups have agreed bear a striking resemblance to Africans--were really representations of the local tribe.

The public does not seem at all aware of the fact that the scientific establishment has a double standard when it comes to the free flow of information. In essence, it goes like this... Scientists are highly educated, well trained and intellectually capable of processing all types of information, and they can make the correct critical distinctions between fact and fiction, reality and fantasy. The unwashed public is simply incapable of functioning on this high mental plane.

The noble ideal of the scientist as a highly trained, impartial, apolitical observer and assembler of established facts into a useful body of knowledge seems to have been shredded under the pressures and demands of the real world. Science has produced many positive benefits for society; but we should know by now that science has a dark, negative side. Didn't those meek fellows in the clean lab coats give us nuclear bombs and biological weapons? The age of innocence ended in World War II.

That the scientific community has an attitude of intellectual superiority is thinly veiled under a carefully orchestrated public relations guise. We always see Science and Progress walking hand in hand. Science as an institution in a democratic society has to function in the same way as the society at large; it should be open to debate, argument and counter-argument. There is no place for unquestioned authoritarianism. Is modern science meeting these standards?

In the Fall of 2001, PBS aired a seven-part series, titled Evolution. Taken at face value, that seems harmless enough. However, while the program was presented as pure, objective, investigative science journalism, it completely failed to meet even minimum standards of impartial reporting. The series was heavily weighted towards the view that the theory of evolution is "a science fact" that is accepted by "virtually all reputable scientists in the world", and not a theory that has weaknesses and strong scientific critics.

The series did not even bother to interview scientists who have criticisms of Darwinism: not "creationists" but bona fide scientists. To correct this deficiency, a group of 100 dissenting scientists felt compelled to issue a press release, "A Scientific Dissent on Darwinism", on the day the first program was scheduled to go to air. Nobel nominee Henry "Fritz" Schaefer was among them. He encouraged open public debate of Darwin's theory:

Some defenders of Darwinism embrace standards of evidence for evolution that as scientists they would never accept in other circumstances.

We have seen this same "unscientific" approach applied to archaeology and anthropology, where "scientists" simply refuse to prove their theories yet appoint themselves as the final arbiters of "the facts". It would be naive to think that the scientists who cooperated in the production of the series were unaware that there would be no counter-balancing presentation by critics of Darwin's theory.

Richard Milton is a science journalist. He had been an ardent true believer in Darwinian doctrine until his investigative instincts kicked in one day. After 20 years of studying and writing about evolution, he suddenly realised that there were many disconcerting holes in the theory. He decided to try to allay his doubts and prove the theory to himself by using the standard methods of investigative journalism.

Milton became a regular visitor to London's famed Natural History Museum. He painstakingly put every main tenet and classic proof of Darwinism to the test. The results shocked him. He found that the theory could not even stand up to the rigours of routine investigative journalism.

The veteran science writer took a bold step and published a book titled The Facts of Life: Shattering the Myths of Darwinism. It is clear that the Darwinian myth had been shattered for him, but many more myths about science would also be crushed after his book came out. Milton says:

I experienced the witch-hunting activity of the Darwinist police at first was deeply disappointing to find myself being described by a prominent Oxford zoologist [Richard Dawkins] as "loony", "stupid" and "in need of psychiatric help" in response to purely scientific reporting.

(Does this sound like stories that came out of the Soviet Union 20 years ago when dissident scientists there started speaking out?)

Dawkins launched a letter-writing campaign to newspaper editors, implying that Milton was a "mole" creationist whose work should be dismissed. Anyone at all familiar with politics will recognise this as a standard Machiavellian by-the-book "character assassination" tactic. Dawkins is a highly respected scientist, whose reputation and standing in the scientific community carry a great deal of weight.

According to Milton, the process came to a head when the London Times Higher Education Supplement commissioned him to write a critique of Darwinism. The publication foreshadowed his coming piece: "Next Week: Darwinism - Richard Milton goes on the attack". Dawkins caught wind of this and wasted no time in nipping this heresy in the bud. He contacted the editor, Auriol Stevens, and accused Milton of being a "creationist", and prevailed upon Stevens to pull the plug on the article. Milton learned of this behind-the-scenes backstabbing and wrote a letter of appeal to Stevens. In the end, she caved in to Dawkins and scratched the piece.

Imagine what would happen if a politician or bureaucrat used such pressure tactics to kill a story in the mass media. It would ignite a huge scandal. Not so with scientists, who seem to be regarded as "sacred cows" and beyond reproach. There are many disturbing facts related to these cases. Darwin's theory of evolution is the only theory routinely taught in our public school system that has never been subjected to rigorous scrutiny; nor have any of the criticisms been allowed into the curriculum.

This is an interesting fact, because a recent poll showed that the American public wants the theory of evolution taught to their children; however, "71 per cent of the respondents say biology teachers should teach both Darwinism and scientific evidence against Darwinian theory". Nevertheless, there are no plans to implement this balanced approach.

It is ironic that Richard Dawkins has been appointed to the position of Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He is a classic "Brain Police" stormtrooper, patrolling the neurological front lines. The Western scientific establishment and mass media pride themselves on being open public forums devoid of prejudice or censorship. However, no television program examining the flaws and weaknesses of Darwinism has ever been aired in Darwin's home country or in America. A scientist who opposes the theory cannot get a paper published.

The Mysterious Origins of Man was not a frontal attack on Darwinism; it merely presented evidence that is considered anomalous by the precepts of his theory of evolution.

Returning to our bastions of intellectual integrity, Forest Mims was a solid and skilled science journalist. He had never been the centre of any controversy and so he was invited to write the most-read column in the prestigious Scientific American, "The Amateur Scientist", a task he gladly accepted. According to Mims, the magazine's editor Jonathan Piel then learned that he also wrote articles for a number of Christian magazines. The editor called Mims into his office and confronted him.

"Do you believe in the theory of evolution?" Piel asked.

Mims replied, "No, and neither does Stephen Jay Gould."

His response did not affect Piel's decision to bump Mims off the popular column after just three articles.

This has the unpleasant odour of a witch-hunt. The writer never publicly broadcast his private views or beliefs, so it would appear that the "stormtroopers" now believe they have orders to make sure "unapproved" thoughts are never publicly disclosed.


So, the monitors of "good thinking" are not just the elite of the scientific community, as we have seen in several cases; they are television producers and magazine editors as well. It seems clear that they are all driven by the singular imperative of furthering "public science education", as the president of the Cambrian Institute so aptly phrased it.

However, there is a second item on the agenda, and that is to protect the public from "unscientific" thoughts and ideas that might infect the mass mind. We outlined some of those taboo subjects at the beginning of the article; now we should add that it is also "unwholesome" and "unacceptable" to engage in any of the following research pursuits: paranormal phenomena, UFOs, cold fusion, free energy and all the rest of the "pseudo-sciences". Does this have a familiar ring to it? Are we hearing the faint echoes of religious zealotry?

Who ever gave science the mission of engineering and directing the inquisitive pursuits of the citizenry of the free world? It is all but impossible for any scientific paper that has anti-Darwinian ramifications to be published in a mainstream scientific journal. It is also just as impossible to get the "taboo" subjects even to the review table, and you can forget about finding your name under the title of any article in Nature unless you are a credentialled scientist, even if you are the next Albert Einstein.

To restate how this conspiracy begins, it is with two filters: credentials and peer review. Modern science is now a maze of such filters set up to promote certain orthodox theories and at the same time filter out that data already prejudged to be unacceptable. Evidence and merit are not the guiding principles; conformity and position within the established community have replaced objectivity, access and openness.

Scientists do not hesitate to launch the most outrageous personal attacks against those they perceive to be the enemy. Eminent palaeontologist Louis Leakey penned this acid one-liner about Forbidden Archeology: "Your book is pure humbug and does not deserve to be taken seriously by anyone but a fool." Once again, we see the thrust of a personal attack; the merits of the evidence presented in the book are not examined or debated. It is a blunt, authoritarian pronouncement.

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Israel Leaves Its Destructive Calling Card In Gaza

By Eric Silver and Sa'id Ghazali in Jerusalem
The Independent - UK

The Palestinians of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip began to count the cost of a month-long Israeli invasion as the troops finally pulled out yesterday, leaving a trail of anger, despair and devastation behind them.

More than 42,000 olive, citrus and date trees had been uprooted, according to the local council. Altogether, 4,405 acres of orchards, vineyards and vegetable fields were flattened.

Officials accused the army of demolishing 21 houses and damaging a further 314. Five factories and 19 wells were also destroyed. They said the loss could reach as high as £70m.

The Israelis said they went in to stop Hamas militants firing rockets at Sderot, a town of 24,000 across the border inside Israel. One salvo killed a three-year-old boy and a middle-aged man there five weeks ago. A house was damaged earlier this week, and two more rockets fell on open ground yesterday.

Before pulling out, the army distributed leaflets with a cartoon showing rockets bouncing back at Beit Hanoun. "Terror," it read, "will kill you."

Two weeks ago Hamas gunmen shot dead a youth whose family tried to stop them firing rockets from their backyard for fear of reprisals, but the blockade may yet rebound on Israel.

Basel al Masri, a farmer who lost an acre and a half of grape vines, said: "Everybody here agrees that the militants should not fire from a densely populated area. But after this massive destruction, the people of Beit Hanoun will tell them to come and fire rockets from the tops of our houses."

Abdullah Musleh estimated that it would cost $400,000 (£220,000) to rebuild his floor tile factory. "They have no justification for doing this," he said.

"It is deliberate destruction of our economy. They have destroyed everything, three automatic pressing machines, the offices, the cement containers, even the marble floors under the machines. My 15 workers will be unemployed."

Abdel Kareem Abu Jarad and his extended family of 26 had their two-storey home commandeered as a base for the army. When they heard that the soldiers had gone they returned, only to watch a bulldozer razing the building.

Mr Abu Jarad said: "No rockets were fired near our house. There is no justification for all this brutality."

All their savings, $7,000 and 25,000 shekels (£6,500 altogether) in cash, had gone. Mr Abu Jarad said he suspected the soldiers of stealing them.

Captain Jacob Dallal, a military spokesman, said the orchards and buildings were used as a shelter for militants. "We don't want to be there," he added. "We just don't want the [missiles] to be fired from there. If the terrorist groups operate from among the civilian population and use private property to launch attacks, they also have to be accountable."

The Israeli media reported yesterday that Mousa Arafat, the Palestinian security chief, had met secretly with his Israeli opposite number to try to stop the rocket firings. But the people of Beit Hanoun have lost faith in their leaders.

Three Palestinian ministers set up a tent there yesterday to assess the damage but five gunmen burst in and ordered them to leave.

"We didn't see you when the Israeli army was destroying Beit Hanoun," one of them shouted through a loudhailer. "Go away. We don't want you here." As the locals applauded, the ministers left.

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Sisters of the 15 year old Palestinian Muwataz Amudi who was shot dead by Israeli troops.

Flashback: Mahmud, 10, went looking for songbirds ... and died in hail of bullets

Justin Huggler
Gaza Strip
The Independent
08 November 2003

Mahmud al-Qayed was out doing what he did every Friday - catching songbirds in cages to sell in the markets of Gaza. But yesterday the remote olive groves where the birds nest led him close to the fence separating the Gaza Strip from Israel. Too close for the soldiers guarding the fence.

They shot Mahmud, 10, four times, killing him as he tried to run.

The boy's father, Mohammed, was with him, and, at the funeral, he told how he took the bloodstained sweater from his son's dead body, and buried his face in it. [...]

This was not the first time a birdcatcher has been killed next to the fence here. Mahmud was the fifth to die here since the intifada began in 2000. He was the youngest, but before him a 15-year-old and a 13-year-old had also been killed. [...]

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Israeli Attack On Iran To Stir Explosive Autumn

Islam Online – August 4, 2004

CAIRO, ( - Israel could launch a massive strike at Iran's nuclear facilities in autumn, creating an explosive situation in the region with a possible fierce response from Tehran, Arab diplomats have expected according to a leading Arabic-language newspaper.

"Exploiting the November US presidential elections and the European concerns, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon could order a strike at Iran's nuclear facilities, similar to the ones Israelis executed in 1981 against Iraq's nuclear weapons program", the diplomats were quoted by the London-based newspaper Al Hayat on Wednesday, August 4.

Iran's continued development of its nuclear program, Israeli plans to block it and the US-European decision not to allow the Islamic Republic to join the nuclear club "would bring in a coming explosive autumn to the Middle East," the sources added.

The revelation came two days after The Sunday Times quoted Israeli officials as saying that Israeli Air Force has completed military preparations for a "preemptive" strike at Iran's Bushehr nuclear facility and will attack if Russia supplies Tehran with rods for enriching uranium.

The rods, currently stored at a Russian port, are expected to be delivered late next year after a dispute over financial terms is resolved, the British paper reported.

Military sources had said the raid would be carried out by long-range F-15I jets, overflying Turkey, with simultaneous operations by commandos on the ground.

Two-way Response

As Israeli officials have said they will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, Iran warned of a disastrous retaliation that will "wipe Israel off the face of earth, in the words of the public relations head of the Revolutionary Guards, Commander Seyed Masood Jazayeri on July 26.

Al Hayat, a London-based respectable newspaper, said such a retaliation "could swing the decision-making balance in the hardliners' favor".

The daily quoted experts as saying that Iran has two fields for response to an Israeli attack: Iraq and southern Lebanon.

Tehran, experts expected, could move Iraqi Shiite groups to launch attacks against US occupation forces, already facing a hellish situation amid a bubbling cauldron of chaos and anarchy in the war-scarred country. They can also provide these groups with human and logistic support.

The Islamic Republic could also use Southern Lebanon, controlled by the Lebanese resistance movement Hizbullah which can not stand neutral regarding an Israeli attack on Iran.

However, experts said it will be hard for the resistance group to open a large-scale military showdown with Israel for "imbalance of power and fears this could spill over to a Syrian-Israeli confrontation".

The Hizbullah fighters have forced Israel to end 22 years of occupation of southern Lebanon in May, 2000. But Israeli army still seize the strategic Shebaa Farms there.

Israel's chief of military intelligence, Major General Aharon Ze'evi-Farkash, reportedly told the Cabinet on Sunday, August 1, that Iran has supplied hundreds of Iranian-made missiles to Hizbullah, which can hit all of northern Israel and territory as far south as Tel Aviv, in addition to several dozen missiles that can reach the southern city of Beersheva.

Britain's Sunday Times this week quoted Israeli sources as saying that Israel is worried that a preemptive strike against Iran could provoke "a ferocious response," including attacks against Jewish and Israeli targets abroad, as well as Lebanese-based rocket attacks on northern Israel.

American Fears

The Arab diplomats said the United States, facing a hard brewing time in Iraq, seeks to escalate international pressures on Iran without use of force, which Washington fears could flare up the Iraq situation in consequence.

It is none of US President George W. Bush's interests to push American forces into a confrontation with Iran, the diplomats said.

"Bush is in the midst of presidential elections, in which he seeks to dissipate fears of voters seeking to hold him into account for deciding to go to war against the Iraqi regime on basis of misleading or unreliable intelligence," said the diplomats.

They also expressed relief over European efforts to defuse tension over Iran's nuclear program by encouraging Tehran to be " flexible and transparent to avoid international isolation or a military action".

"France, Britain and Germany still believe diplomatic efforts have not been exhausted yet, and channels of international laws should be first adopted away from military option," the diplomats added.

US diplomats have been reportedly working with European allies to bring the Iranian problem to the United Nations Security Council in hopes of imposing economic sanctions.

A report issued earlier this month by the Council on Foreign Relations asserted that the US should not let Israel act unilaterally against Iran.

The report, authored by former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and former Central Intelligence Agency chief Robert Gates, said: "Given the potential threat that Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons could pose, the full range of alternatives - including military options - for confronting Tehran must be examined. Yet the use of military force would be extremely problematic, given the dispersal of Iran's program at sites throughout the country and their proximity to urban centers."

Iran insists it only wants atomic energy. And so far, its nuclear program is in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Israel, India and Pakistan are the only countries with nuclear facilities that have not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which was initiated in 1968 to stop the spread of nuclear weapons through inspections and sanctions.

It is widely known that U.S. intelligence agencies routinely omit Israel from semiannual reports to Congress identifying countries developing weapons of mass destruction to protect the country from any economic or military sanctions.

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Flashback: US plans to attack seven Muslim states

Monday 22 September 2003

Presidential hopeful General Wesley Clark says the White House devised a five-year plan after the 9/11 strikes to attack seven majority-Muslim countries.

A former commander of NATO's forces in Europe, Clark claims he met a senior military officer in Washington in November 2001 who told him the Bush administration was planning to attack Iraq first before taking action against Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.

The general’s allegations surface in a new book, The Clark Critique, excerpts from which appear in the latest edition of the US magazine Newsweek.

Clark says after the 11 September 2001 attacks, many Bush administration officials seemed determined to move against Iraq, invoking the idea of state sponsorship of terrorism, "even though there was no evidence of Iraqi sponsorship of 9/11 whatsoever". [...]

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Israeli suspects face immigration hearing

Emma Poole and Suzanne Wilton
Calgary Herald
August 6, 2004

As many as 15 Israelis in Calgary are being linked to a door-to-door art scam that has for years puzzled authorities on both sides of U.S.-Canada border and raised the spectre of international espionage.

At least two of the foreigners were detained in Calgary and today will face the Immigration and Refugee Board. The board will determine whether they will be deported and banned from the country.

Guy Grinberg and Jacky Yakov Sr., believed to be in their 30s, are accused of working illegally in Canada.

The two were picked up Wednesday at a southeast car rental agency. They were allegedly peddling fake artwork at inflated prices.

Their arrest was followed by the roundup of more than a dozen other Israelis, who were questioned by authorities and then released. Their passports were seized.

This is the third time in a year immigration agents in Calgary have detained Israelis posing as art students. Similar incidents have unfolded in Saskatoon, Toronto and Ottawa during the same period.

But what exactly the supposed students are doing here remains a mystery, one that has intrigued law enforcement and intelligence agencies across Canada and the United States.

"I would assume that whether it's innocent or otherwise, it's the sort of thing that security agencies in both countries would or should be at least looking into," Canada's former top spy, Reid Morden, said Thursday from New York.

Three years ago, the U.S. National Counterintelligence Executive warned Americans about Israelis posing as art students who were targeting senior U.S. officials at home, adding it's possible the groups were comprised of non-Israelis posing as citizens of that country and connected to Islamic fundamentalist organizations.

Comment: This is a highly unlikely explanation for one simple reason: anyone connected to - or even suspected of having ties to - an Islamic fundamentalist organization in this day and age would not be deported without question. The individual would instead be detained indefinitely without charge and probably tortured. And yet, these "art students" seem to be able to just walk right out of the country, no questions asked...

Media and Internet sources have speculated on the theory that the art student guise is being used as a front for a sophisticated spy ring.

The Washington Post ran a story in 2002 citing a Drug Enforcement Agency report that 120 young Israelis, posing as art students and selling paintings door-to-door, had been arrested and deported from the U.S.

But no one has ever been able to determine whether the supposed students were running a bogus art scam or a spy ring.

Regardless, their stories tugged at the heart strings of victims, who handed over thousands of dollars for worthless works of art.

Comment: By way of deception...

Tales of victimization and strife in Israel caught Calgarian Enrico Festa "hook, line and sinker."

The Lion's Den Restaurant owner said a man first approached him about buying a painting in August 2003.

Festa said the man told him he was an Israeli art student who had recently fled the Middle East after a stint in the national military.

"He said they wanted to get away from all the violence and heartache in Israel," said Festa, who eventually forked over $120 for a scenic ocean portrait after being approached a second time. "It was well rehearsed, and they have the ability to show emotion."

During the sales pitch, the student engaged Festa in a political debate about the Middle East, he said.

Months later, when a pretty young woman, an art portfolio tucked under her arm, came to his door once again with a similar story, he relented.

"It was a nice little pitch," he said, adding the woman told him she was raising money to open an art gallery in downtown Calgary.

Jay Baydala didn't fall for the story.

"They introduced themselves to us as representatives of a school in Israel," said Baydala, whose office is down the street from the Lion's Den on Macleod Trail.

"They needed (the money) to set up a gallery in Vancouver."

It wasn't until after Calgary police issued a warning about the door-to-door art scam last week that Festa realized he'd been had.

He has turned over to immigration authorities the returned personal cheque he used to pay for the art, which was made out to Moran Marilus and cashed.

Immigration officials, meantime, remain tight-lipped about the case.

"None of the information is in the public domain at this time and an investigation is still continuing," said Richard Huntley, acting director for Citizenship and Immigration Canada in Calgary.

Huntley refused to confirm whether agents with the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service were involved.

With so many similar incidents occurring across the country, Morden, the head of CSIS from 1987 to 1991, said Canada's spy agency should look into the situation, if it hasn't already.

"They would be irresponsible if they didn't look at it, at least to reassure themselves these people are who they say they are."

A CSIS spokeswoman would not confirm its agents interviewed the Israeli citizens detained in Calgary. "We don't comment on any operational issues whatsoever," said Kathryn Locke.

Members of Calgary's Jewish community were surprised to learn of the scam.

"The behaviour of any individual belonging to any group should never be seen as a reflection on the group as a whole," said Nelson Halpern, president of the Calgary Jewish Community Council.

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Beware claims of door-to-door art salesmen: police

WINNIPEG - Some wealthy Winnipeggers have been taken in by a possible art scam.

Winnipeg police say a group of young people has been going door-to-door selling art which they claim was created at an academy in Israel.

Some people in affluent areas of the city have paid hundreds, and even thousands, of dollars for the work.

However, police say many of the pieces were bought through a distributor in Asia for between $20 and $50 apiece.

Police say selling something at an inflated price is not a criminal offence. However, they are issuing an alert to warn the public that the source of the art is being misrepresented.

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Comment: It seems those infamous Israeli "art students" have now shown up in both Calgary and Winnipeg at the same time. Calgary happens to be the virtual center of oil company operations in all of Canada. Winnipeg is very close to the US border, and is located in the geographical center of North America. We also note the following tidbits from from an informational brochure on Winnipeg (PDF format):

Motor Freight Service:
Winnipeg is serviced by over 30 motor freight carriers. Having developed and maintained its position as a transportation centre, Winnipeg is the headquarters for eight of the top ranking interprovincial general freight carriers.

Air Service:
The Winnipeg International Airport (YWG), operated by the Winnipeg Airports Authority Inc. is the only international airport between Toronto and Calgary capable of handling large freighter aircraft. YWG is competitively positioned as a 24-hour airport and serves nearly three million passengers, 152,000 aircraft movements, and handles approximately 113,000 metric tonnes of cargo annually.

Freight carriers remind us of two things: recent terrorism threats related to trucking, and moving companies...


Al Qaeda's Next Strike 

By Fred Burton 
"Stratfor Intelligence Report"


Al Qaeda likely has a number of sleeper cells still embedded in the United States, and logic dictates that Houston, Texas, is high on their target list. 


In our last Terrorism Intelligence Weekly, Stratfor discussed improvements in intelligence-gathering efforts that have aided the ability of Western governments to predict or pre-empt attacks. At the same time, however, the threat within the continental United States -- where al Qaeda is likely to attempt a major strike before the presidential elections -- also has intensified. Logic dictates that Washington, New York, Dallas, Houston or Austin, Texas, could be targeted in an attack that quite possibly would involve a "dirty bomb." 

Continuing with this line of reasoning, Houston appears to be the most likely target. [...]

Why Houston -- and How? 

For the next major al Qaeda strike, preoperational surveillance is likely under way. 

The timing for an attack within the United States is nearly perfect: while Americans are engrossed with Iraq, presidential politics and the rising price of oil. Logic dictates that cells are in place and awaiting a signal to act; as in the recent attack in the Saudi city of Yanbu, operatives could have had time to infiltrate the potential target, observing the lay of the land and the routines of security forces. 

Although Stratfor believes that strikes could be carried out against multiple targets of opportunity, certain factors -- including time and al Qaeda's targeting criteria -- lead us to conclude that Houston, Texas, is near the top of the list. Not only is it home to much of the nation's oil infrastructure, which carries significant economic implications, but it also is a city of 5 million people -- and the home of former President George H.W. Bush. A strike here would lend a personal nature to the attack that would send a clear message across the desk of President George W. Bush. 

In our view, the strike would be sophisticated and spectacular. It likely would involve either a dirty bomb deployed within the city, or a conventional attack against oil infrastructure, carried out on the scale of Sept. 11.

In this case, we believe a truck bomb is the most likely delivery mechanism -- perhaps a stolen delivery van, helping to mask the driver's intentions. This scenario was discussed by a sleeper cell in New York City before the first World Trade Center attack in 1993, and al Qaeda has shown a tendency to return to previous attack plans. The assailants might use a ramming car to break through perimeter fences while either shooting or running over security guards. However, it also is feasible that they could use legitimate company identification cards in order to slip past the guards. Once near the target, the explosive would be detonated, killing the attack team. [...]

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Comment: "Preoperational surveillance"? Does that have anything to do with all the Israelis running around in moving trucks? Gee, sounds like Mossad and Moving Companies... The reader might want to have a look at Victor Ostrovsky's book By Way of Deception where you will find that the above scenario was actually trademarked by Mossad a long time ago...



[...] Then there was that small army of Israeli "art students" who were arrested for trying to sneak into secured US Federal buildings and staking out 36 Department of Defense sites. Some of these suspicious "art students" even showed up at the homes of Federal employees. Ron Hatchett, a Department of Defense analyst, told Channel 11, KHOU news in Houston that he believed that the "art students" were gathering intelligence for future attacks. Here's an excerpt from the October 1, 2001 KHOU investigative report by Anna Werner:

"Could federal buildings in Houston and other cities be under surveillance by foreign groups? That's what some experts are asking after federal law enforcement and security officials - nationally and in Houston - described for the 11 News Defenders a curious pattern of behavior by a group of people claiming to be Israeli art students."

"Hatchett says they could be doing what he would be doing if he were a terrorist, sizing up the situation: "We need to know what are the entrances to this particular building. We need to know what are the surveillance cameras that are operating. We need to know how many guards are at this operation, when do they take breaks?" Says Hatchett: This is not a bunch of kids selling artwork."

"A former Defense Department analyst, Hatchett believes groups may be gathering intelligence for possible future attacks. "Some organization, thinking in terms of a potential retaliation against the U.S. government could be scouting out potential targets and … looking for targets that would be vulnerable." And a source tells the Defenders of another federal memo, stating that besides Houston and Dallas, the same thing has happened at sites in New York, Florida, and six other states, and even more worrisome, at 36 sensitive Department of Defense sites. "One defense site you can explain," says Hatchett, "well that was just a serendipitous, …….. Thirty-six? That's a pattern."

Remember the official motto of the Mossad - By Way of Deception Thou Shalt Do War. Are you getting the picture? Can you say "false flag operations"?

In a follow up report a few days later, KHOU Channel 11 revealed that Dallas was also targetted:

"11 News reported how people claiming to be "Israeli art students" might be trying to sneak into federal buildings and defense sites, and even doing surveillance. And at least one expert said he thought it could all be preparation for an attack. Well, now federal sources say they are not ruling out that all of this could be connected with the hijackings on September 11, because of events in another Texas city.

In Dallas, the so-called students hit early this year at the city's FBI building, the Drug Enforcement Administration and at the Earle Cabell Federal building, where guards found one student wandering the halls with a floor plan of the building."

So the Dallas INS went on the alert, finding and arresting 15 people in March. Thirteen claimed to be Israelis and two are professed Colombians. But according to sources, once again their passports were phony. And another federal source says some of those arrested also appeared to have lists of federal employees and their home addresses.

All 15 "students" have now been deported.

Now do you remember the Mossad's "warning" about the 200 "Al-Qaeda terrorists" said to have been preparing major attacks in the US? At the time of this writing, we are three years into the largest investigation in American history, and not one of these 200 "terrorists" has yet to be uncovered. But 200 Israeli spies were uncovered, among them many military members, electronics experts, wiretapping and phone tapping specialists, and explosives experts with the skill to bring down tall buildings. Logic and common sense leads to the conclusion that the "200 Al Qaeda terrorists" were in reality, 200 Israeli Zionist terrorists sent to frame the Arabs for terrorist attacks and drag America into a war.


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Mossad and Moving Companies: Masterminds of Global Terrorism?

by Laura Knight-Jadczyk

[...] Then, of course, there was the "Art Scandal."

It seems that Israeli 'art students' -Israelis posing as 'art students' selling their art [actually made in China], - were suspected of spying for Israel. They were detained by the FBI and later deported to Israel on account of visa violations. The FBI first took notice of them in January of 2001.

A highly detailed DEA report that was acquired by French intelligence analysts documented 180 cases of Israeli art students infiltrating DEA facilities. It provided names, drivers' license numbers, addresses and phone numbers of the Israelis. [DEA report 6/01; Insight3/11/02]

Despite official confirmations of the report, other U.S. officials denied its existence. In response, Intelligence Online released the documentto who published it on the Internet for the public. [DEAreport 6/01] The Associated Press also reported that it had a copy. [AP 3/9/02] The report acknowledged that the art students "may well be an organized intelligence-gathering activity." [DEA report 6/01; AP 3/5/02; Sun Sentinel 3/7/02]

Bill Carter, a spokesman for the FBI, said, "After an agency reported suspicious activities by those so-called students, the FBI conducted aninvestigation and determined that there was no credence to the assumption that this was an Israeli spying operation. None of the Israelis were charged with espionage and they were all deported by the INS for visa violations." [Forward3/15/02]

Now, here is where things get VERY INTERESTING!

You see, five of the so-called Israeli Art Students that weren't really art students, had been living at 4220 Sheridan St in Hollywood, Florida.

What is so interesting about that address?

It just so happens that four of the five so-called 9/11 hijackers that were on AA Flight 11 [Mohammed Atta, Abdulaziz Al-Omari, Walid and Waïl Al- Shehri] and one of the five hijackers [Marwan Al-Shehhi] from UA Flight 175 had at one time or another also resided in Hollywood, Florida.

Where in Hollywood?

Why, it just happens that Mohammed Atta, the presumed lead  hijacker had lived at 3389 Sheridan St, only a few blocks away from the Fake Israeli Art Students! [Le Monde  3/5/02; Reuters 3/5/02; Jane's Intelligence Digest, 3/15/02; Salon, 5/7/02]

Well, don't that just beat all! And to think, Florida Senator Bob Graham was having breakfast with Pakistani ISI chief Mahmoud-Ahmad on the morning of September 11 - the same ISI chief who was later linked to Mohammed Atta by virtue of the fact that he transferred a LOT of money to the guy.

Hmmm... I smell a rat somewhere!

Of course, the Israelis have a good reason for this: they were "investigating terrorists!"

We are assured by German news sources that: "between December 2000 and April 2001 a whole horde of Israeli counter-terror investigators, posing as students, followed the trails of Arab terrorists and their cells inthe United States. In their secret investigations, the Israelis came very close  to the later perpetrators of Sept. 11. In the town of Hollywood, Florida, they identified the two former Hamburg students and later terror pilots Mohammed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi as possible terrorists. Agents lived in the vicinity of the apartment of the two seemingly normal flight school students, observing them around the clock." [Der Spiegel 10/1/02]

I guess they didn't observe them "around the clock" enough to see when they were getting on those planes that were hijacked. A failure of intelligence? What's more, this truly pathetic "explanation" doesn't explain the joy of the Israelis at the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers, nor why Bob Graham was having breakfast with the guy who paid off Mohammed Atta...

Well, it gets deeper: In addition to the close proximity of the Israeli 'art students' to the Florida-based hijackers, other 'art students' in Texas, California, and Arkansas wereoperating close to several of the other hijackers suspected of taking part in the 9-11 attacks. [DEA report 6/01]

And if that doesn't just crumble your cookies, how about the fact that six of the students had mobile phones that had been purchased by a former Israeli vice consul in the U.S.?[Le Monde 3/5/02]

The passports of the students revealed that they had been visitors in several different countries including, Thailand, Laos, India, Kenya, Central and South America, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada.[Insight 3/11/02] [...]

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Comment: Wow - those poor, pitiful art students sure seem to be well-traveled...


Suspected Israeli spy alleged to be using Canadian passport

Last Updated Wed, 04 Aug 2004

OTTAWA - Canadian authorities are investigating reports that a suspected Israeli spy is using a stolen Canadian passport to travel through Asia.

Foreign Affairs spokesman Reynald Doiron confirmed that Ottawa is investigating allegations that Zev William Barkan is using a Canadian passport under the name Kevin William Hunter.

Barkan is alleged to be one of three suspected Mossad agents who tried to illegally obtain a New Zealand passport.

Two Israeli men were sentenced last month to six months in prison for their part in the New Zealand passport scheme. But they denied they belong to Mossad, Israel's secret service.

New Zealand imposed diplomatic sanctions on Israel following the incident.

The passport allegedly being used by Barkan was reported stolen in China in April.

In 1997, two Mossad agents were caught with phoney Canadian passports after a bungled assassination attempt of a Hamas leader in Jordan.

Canada filed a formal protest and received assurances from Israel that its agents would never again use Canadian passports.

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Passport to Terror: Israel's underground passport factory – a threat to US national security

by Justin Raimondo
August 6, 2004

In the world of international terrorism, both privatized and state-sponsored, passports and other identity papers are the coin of the realm. Terrorists targeting America are particularly eager to get their hot little hands on Canadian and New Zealand passports, for a number of reasons, most especially because the holders don't need visas across a wide swathe of the globe, including the United States. Now, as the orange alerts have us wondering when and where the next terrorist strike on American soil will occur, and U.S., British, and Pakistani agents bust up an important Al Qaeda operation, discovering how the terrorists procure travel documents provides important clues as to how they operate – and with whose complicity.

In April I wrote about the "passport farm" Israeli agents set up in New Zealand, in which four employees of the Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency, were caught trying to obtain a New Zealand passport in the name of a housebound paraplegic. Uriel Kelman and Eli Cara were arrested, in a much-publicized case, and jailed, while Prime Minister Helen Clark openly raged against what was undoubtedly an Israeli intelligence operation. Since then there have been a few rather interesting, albeit ominous, developments.

It turns out that the ringleader, Ze'ev William Barkan, who fled before New Zealand security could nab him, was and presumably still is a member of the Israeli diplomatic corps, having served at embassies in Vienna and Brussels. He was last seen in North Korea, traveling with a Canadian passport as "Kevin Hunter," where he turned up in Pyongyang as a "consultant" brought on to help the North Korean government build a "security fence" in order to keep their people in. Now that the East Germans have wound up in history's dustbin, the Israelis are the current experts in the field.

Barkan is a man of many skills, and one of them, according to an aid worker cited by the Sydney Morning Herald, is this:

"'He goes to Laos, Cambodia, Burma and Thailand and deals with gangs who rob tourists of their valuables and passports,' the aid worker said. 'Barkan is mostly interested in passports and there have been a number of Australian passports.' Intelligence analysts in New Zealand believe Barkan, a former navy diver in the Israeli Defence Force, was trying to secure a 'clean' passport for use in a sensitive Israeli undercover operation in the region, less risky than a forged passport." [...]

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Source: Attack to be in early September

August 3, 2004

WASHINGTON -- More financial institutions than previously disclosed may be at risk of attack, and an al-Qaida operative has told British intelligence that the group's target date is early September, intelligence sources said yesterday.

The operative, described as "credible" by British intelligence, told his debriefers that the attack would take place "60 days before the presidential election" on Nov. 2, according to a former senior National Security Council official. On Sept. 2 President George W. Bush is expected to address the Republican National Convention at Madison Square Garden.

Counterterrorism officials are analyzing data from a computer seized in Pakistan last month to see if financial institutions in addition to the five disclosed Sunday are at risk of attack, U.S. officials said yesterday.

The former senior National Security Council official said he was told by British intelligence that they are interrogating an al-Qaida operative who confirmed that financial institutions are being targeted and that an attack was planned for September. [...]

Comment: So what exactly is going on around the world? These apparent Mossad operations seem to be more than just simple "passport farming". It is certain that Israeli agents are very busy these days all over the world. Given the events surrounding 9/11, the global diagnosis doesn't seem too positive. Meanwhile, Sharon continues to push for all Jews to leave their current country of residence and return to their "homeland"...

Whatever Mossad is up to, it appears that an end to the "war on terrorism" isn't on the agenda.

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EU ends tariff-free Israeli trade

Reuters in Brussels
Friday August 6, 2004
The Guardian

Goods produced in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories will no longer be allowed to enter the EU tariff-free under an agreement signed yesterday.

Israel and the European commission agreed the deal to end a long-running and politically charged dispute over the "rules of origin" for products from the settlements, which Brussels had said breached Israel's free trade agreement with the EU.

The issue has been a focus for the EU's displeasure at Israeli settlement policies, highlighting differences over the legitimacy of the pre-1967 border.

Goods exported by Israel to the EU will now be labelled with a town of origin as well as the nationality, an Israeli official said. The deal appears to save Israeli face by using the word "Israel", but allows the EU to make its point by charging a tariff on goods from the occupied territories.

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Chart: Bush Ratings vs. Terror Alerts

Julius Civitatus
Thursday, August 05, 2004

I have put together a chart comparing Bush approval numbers to the timeline of terror alerts. (Thanks to Stuart Eugene Thiel for the amazing daily graphics that he prepares, comparing the approval ratings from different polls and media sources.) You can see it by clicking in the graphic below:

There are few things that are quite evident from the chart:

- Whenever his ratings dip, there's a new terror alert.

- Every terror alert is followed by a slight uptick of Bush approval ratings.

- Whenever there are many unfavorable headlines, there's another alert or announcement (distraction effect).

- As we approach the 2004 elections, the number and frequency of terror alerts keeps growing, to the point that they collapse in the graphic. At the same time, Bush ratings are lower than ever.

Update: for the record, we are not claiming that all these alerts are politically motivated. We are sure a considerable amount of these alerts were legit and caused by real and immediate information of potential threats. What is important to note is that many of these "immediate" terror alerts were later on discredited (in some cases they used old data, in other cases the announcements were less immediate and less urgent that we were lead to believe, as the press reported.) Those are the cases that could be interpreted as politically motivated, especially when they seemed to coincide with political news and events unfavorable to the administration.

Comment: For the record, we suspect that all these alerts probably are politically motivated, and/or based on false or nonexistent intelligence. If the shoe fits...

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Kerry's Freudian Slip: "We will double our special forces to conduct terrorist operations..."
July 30, 2004

Comment: Feeling a little left out, Kerry decides to accidentally tell the truth....

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Slowdown in 'chatter' worries officials

Friday, August 6, 2004

(CNN) -- A drop in so-called "chatter" among suspected terrorists is troubling some counterterrorism officials, who noticed a reduction in intercepted communications before the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, government sources said.

Diminished communication prompted the concern because the counterterror experts don't know why suspected terrorists would be talking less. But they noted that similar reductions have happened several other times during the past few years. [...]

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Cheney Opposed Intelligence Post in '92

By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer
August 6, 2004

WASHINGTON (AP) - As defense secretary, Dick Cheney urged a presidential veto of legislation that would have given a national intelligence director budget authority over spy agencies run by the Pentagon.

The letter Cheney wrote in 1992 addresses an issue now being debated: how much authority a national intelligence director should wield over budgets and personnel at America's 15 spy agencies. About 80 percent of the country's intelligence budget is controlled by the Defense Department.

The bipartisan Sept. 11 commission says the director should have full budgetary authority. President George W. Bush says the director should be able to "coordinate" the budgets, but not necessarily have the final say on how much agencies receive or how the money is spent.

Back in 1992, when both the Senate and House were considering bills to create a national intelligence director, Cheney told Congress that he would advise then-President George H.W. Bush to veto them as written.

Setting up a national intelligence director post would "seriously impair" the relationship between the heads of the Pentagon and the CIA, Cheney said in the letter obtained by the Federation of American Scientists.

It would assign "inappropriate authority to the proposed director of national intelligence who would become the director and manager of internal DOD activities that, in the interest of efficiency and effectiveness, must remain under the authority, direction and control of the secretary of defense," Cheney wrote on March 17, 1992 to Les Aspin, then chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

In another letter written the same day, Chester Paul Beach Jr., the Pentagon's acting general counsel, further outlined the Pentagon's opposition to changing the budgetary authority.

Beach said the Defense Department opposed provisions of both bills that "dramatically revise current programing and budgeting for DOD intelligence activities and give the director of intelligence far more extensive authority and responsibility for programs and budget matters than is now exercised" by the CIA director.

Kevin Kellems, spokesman for the vice president, said Cheney does not discuss his conversations with the president. Kellems said that "in general, I would caution against making the leap of equating one historical point in the past to a different point in the present or future."

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S.F. Man Says Beheading Video Is a Hoax

By RON HARRIS, Associated Press Writer

SAN FRANCISCO - A video aired Saturday that purportedly showed an American being decapitated in Iraq (news - web sites) was a hoax.

The man shown in the video, reached by The Associated Press in San Francisco, said he videotaped the staged beheading at his friend's house using fake blood.

Benjamin Vanderford, 22, said he began distributing the video on the Internet months ago in hopes of drawing attention to his one-time campaign for city supervisor. When his political aspirations waned, he thought the video would serve as social commentary.

"It was part of a stunt, but no one noticed it up until now," Vanderford said. "I did this for a couple of reasons. One is to attract attention. But two is to just make a statement on these type of videos and how easily they can be faked."

On the tape, Vanderford sat on a chair in a dark room, his hands behind his back, trembling and rocking back and forth. The tape showed a hand with a knife cutting at the motionless man's neck, but did not show any militants.

"We need to leave this country alone. We need to stop this occupation," he said on the video, adding that he had been offered for exchange with prisoners in Iraq. "Everyone's going to be killed this way." [...]

Comment: It is very significant that many of the details that lead to this being revealed as a hoax were also present in the Nick Berg beheading - yet the Berg tape is supposedly authentic...

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Private torture company back in business in Iraq

Interrogation contract: firm wins new $15m deal

CACI International, under scrutiny over whether it contributed to the abuse of Iraqi prisoners, was awarded a $15 million extension of its work in Iraq, the US Army said today. The award allows CACI's work supporting interrogations and other intelligence operations to continue while competitive bids are sought on a new contract for these services, a senior Army contracting official said.

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Iraqi Government Shuts Al-Jazeera Station

Saturday August 7, 2004
Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - The Iraqi government closed the Iraqi offices of the Arab television station Al-Jazeera for 30 days, accusing it Saturday of inciting violence.

A spokesman for Al-Jazeera called the closure "unwise'' and said it restrained freedom of the press.

"It is a regrettable decision, but Al-Jazeera will endeavor to cover the situation in Iraq as best as we can within the constraints,'' spokesman Jihad Ballout said.

Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi said the government convened an independent commission a month ago to monitor Al-Jazeera's daily coverage "to see what kind of violence they are advocating, inciting hatred and problems and racial tension.''

Based on the commission's finding, the National Security Committee ordered the monthlong closure, Allawi said.

Iraqi Interior Minister Falah al-Naqib said the closure was intended to give the station "a chance to readjust their policy against Iraq.''

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Savage: "When you hear 'human rights,' think gays. ... [T]hink only one thing: someone who wants to rape your son"

On the August 3 broadcast of Savage Nation, San Francisco-based radio host Michael Savage bashed the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and human rights activists in general, calling them "the worst people in America ... communist or Nazis or both" and told listeners, "When you hear 'human rights,' think gays. When you hear 'human rights,' think only one thing: someone who wants to rape your son. ... When you hear 'human rights,' think only someone who wants to molest your son, and send you to jail if you defend him. Write that down, make a note of it."

Savage's rant was a response to a letter sent by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission to the San Francisco Police Officers' Association in which "the commission chastised the association for promoting tickets to its membership offered by radio station KNEW to the 'Michael Savage Uncensored' event this past May," according to an August 2 article by

From the August 3 nationally syndicated broadcast of Savage Nation:

[T]he San Francisco Human Rights Commission, hold your nose-- When you hear the words "Human Rights Commission," you know what you're dealing with. Think of the worst people in America, they're the ones who go on to human rights commissions. They're neo-fascists in the guise of human rights activists. They wanna tell you what you can think, what you can't think. Who you can listen to, who you can read -- they're stinkers. They're communist or Nazis or both. ... So they're attacking the San Francisco Police Officer's Association, because the San Francisco Police Officer's Association received free tickets to my event, Michael Savage Uncensored. ... Now I'm extremely popular, but the San Francisco Human Rights Commission thinks that their Nazi background gives them an opportunity to say that I'm a hateful person because they don't like what I say about homosexuals. ... When you hear "human rights," think gays. When you hear "human rights," think only one thing: someone who wants to rape your son. And you'll get it just right. OK, you got it, right? When you hear "human rights," think only someone who wants to molest your son, and send you to jail if you defend him. Write that down, make a note of it. So anyway, let's get back to the serious stuff here.

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Talk Show Host Michael Medved Advocates Government Surveillance of 9/11 Skeptics

Prison Planet | August 5 2004

Neo-Con talk show host Michael Medved says that anyone who questions whether the government were behind 9/11 be closely watched and that people like Michael Moore are a danger to America.

This is the mindset that pervades modern day pro-government state propaganda. However, all the callers in this clip disagree with Medved and charge him with aiding the terrorists because of his endless attacks on the bill of rights such as supporting the production of identity papers on demand.

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US 'right to spy' on cyberspace gets approval

Wiretapping on internet and VoIP given green light

US broadband providers and internet phone services must comply with wiretapping requirements designed for the traditional phone network, the Federal Communications Commission said in a preliminary decision yesterday.

The FCC decision is a major step toward regulations designed to help police and spy agencies eavesdrop on all forms of high-speed internet access, including cable modems, wireless, satellite and broadband over power lines.

Houston airport using fingerprints, eye scan in security test

HOUSTON A test of a new screening method for frequent flyers has begun at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport, using fingerprint and eye scan matches on a special I-D card. It's the nation's third airport to let passengers who've registered with the Transportation Security Administration use an express lane that scans their biometric information. Minneapolis-St. Paul and Los Angeles started the 90-day test last month. Boston and Washington-Reagan are set to join later this month. After passengers submit fingerprints and an iris scan, they undergo a background check and are issued an i-d card.

When going through security, they insert the card, look into a mirror for the eye check and stick a finger in a sensor that checks fingerprints. They then walk through a scanner, but aren't searched unless the buzzer sounds.

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Scientists Make Case For Life On The Red Planet

By Charles Arthur
Technology Editor
The Independent - UK

Ten million years ago it was awash with oceans of water. Now it is desert dry. But research published today shows that organic life could still be lurking on Mars.

Scientists will be poring over a slew of papers published by the teams from the US space agency Nasa reporting the results garnered from the two rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, that landed at the beginning of this year and are still exploring opposite sides of the Red Planet.

Even before today's formal publication in the journal Science, many scientists were abuzz over the earliest of the findings, which suggested that water once flowed all over the surface, and is now sequestered beneath it, probably still in liquid form. Furthermore the gas methane, normally associated with biological activity, has been detected in the atmosphere.

"Their findings such as sedimentary rocks [which indicate oceanic activity] are very exciting," said Professor Colin Pillinger, of the Open University, who led the team that developed the European Space Agency's Beagle 2 lander.

"And they are also saying that there's methane in the atmosphere there - which must mean a continuous supply, or it would disappear. My preference is that [methane] is generated through a biological supply - even the reprocessing of already-dead biological material by another living source."

For Professor Pillinger the findings lend extra frustration to the loss of the Beagle 2 lander, last heard of heading towards the Martian atmosphere on Christmas Eve. But he declined to express regret: "We'll get there one day," he said. "I wrote a letter to Nasa three weeks ago suggesting a Beagle 3 lander as a stand-alone element to be included with their 2009 Mars Science Laboratory mission. " He has yet to hear back from the agency.

The work represents the most thorough geological examination ever of a planet other than Earth, offering key insights into how its development resembled and departed from that of our own.

The key surprise, said Dr Karl Miller, of the planetary science group at Lancaster University, was the discovery of rock outcrops - which in turn indicated how the planet's surface was eroded. He said: "Most of Mars is covered with a thin veneer of dust, from millions of years of wind erosion. That means you can't see much of what's been going on, geologically speaking."

But seeing an outcrop told scientists what they needed to know: that the rocks were formed by water action, and that huge volumes of water must have flowed over the surface.

"Currently, the surface of Mars is incredibly dry," Dr Miller said. "But we think there's water in the poles, as ice, and underground. It must have been driven to the surface by volcanic activity until relatively recently - about 10 million years ago. That's only 1 per cent of Mars's lifetime, because it is 4.5 billion years old. If it could happen then, it could happen again."

The deep-lying water had to be liquid, because it would be impossible for a volcano to melt enough ice quickly enough to flood the areas shown to have been affected. "It would require about one million cubic metres per second, which would be devastating on Earth," Dr Miller said.

The plethora of findings has deepened understanding of Mars, and justified the $820m (£510m) cost of the landers - which are still working, having long outlasted their planned mission of 90 Martian days, 92 Earth days. Funding to run the landers runs out at the end of September.

However, Dr Miller said it was still important eventually to send humans to investigate the planet. "A geologist can notice things and react in a way a machine can't," he said. "But right now you can't get humans out there, and robots are becoming extremely impressive - what these ones did wouldn't have been possible a few years ago."

Professor Pillinger cautioned: "I don't think it would be responsible to send people until we're sure that there's life there. And we should be very careful about bringing it back."

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Feline spirits force Orissa school to close

August 05, 2004 7:58:00 PM IST

(Dolagobind, Orissa) -
In a bizarre incident, a girl's school here has been closed after its students started behaving abnormally.

Teachers claim that at least a dozen girls have taken ill under mysterious circumstances in the past two weeks, all fainting without a cause, only to wake up and start behaving like cats.

Dolagobind, a remote hamlet in Orissa, has since been affected by so many incidents that necromancers have been called in to remove these so called evil spirits.

According to the teachers, all the affected girls are aged between eight to twelve. They were seen clawing their own faces and shrieking like felines. Some even fainted, leaving the management with no option but to shut the school.

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