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Picture of the Day

Mural - Falls Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland 2004

The above mural adorns a wall along the Falls Road in West Belfast. It was drawn by normal working class citizens and members of the local community. It serves well to illustrate the fact that, despite the claims of our many (mainly American) detractors, we, and other so called "conspiracy theorists" are not the only ones who see clearly the truth about the nature of the current US regime.

The people who painted the mural, having experienced first hand the brutality, lies and media manipulation meted out to them by successive British governments and their agents, are well able to recognise tyranny when they see it. The average American, on the other hand, who, to date, has only experienced the effects of state aggression from the point of view of the aggressor and via a television screen, and only then under the guise of "freedom and democracy", is generally unable to either understand the true nature of government or empathise with those that it systematically abuses and murders.

Due to this endemic lack of what might be called humanity, and the fact that they are constantly lied to and regularly manipulated via fear-based programming, Americans find themselves in the role of unwitting mouthpieces for their "elected" representatives and facilitators of their immoral plans.

The real irony, of course, is that even a cursory look at history and human nature shows that such 'useful idiots', when they are no longer useful, themselves become the enemy and the object of the classic double-cross by their former "allies".

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Now it's Bush's turn to squirm
Sidney Blumenthal
Thursday September 9, 2004
The Guardian

Evidence of the president's fudged war record emerged in time to undermine the Republicans' triumphal march

Republicans marched out of their convention intoxicated with the sensation of victory. President Bush, the "war president", was the most honest, moral, decisive, and strongest leader in the world. (The unvarying encomiums eerily echoed those of the brainwashed soldiers about the sleeper agent in The Manchurian Candidate: "Raymond Shaw is the kindest, warmest, bravest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.")

After Bush's defiant speech - "Nothing will hold us back!" - his lead was reported by Time magazine to have climbed to 11 points, which was inhaled like pure oxygen by the Republican cadres. (Both John Kerry's and Bush's internal polls gave Bush only a four-point lead.)[...]

"Our strategy is succeeding," Bush told his jubilant rallies.

Bush campaigns before the faithful; distressing facts are dismissed with sarcasm and ideology is implacable. Yet at this moment of disdain a discovery that cast light on Bush's character suddenly emerged, having the potential to alter the momentum of the campaign.

On Wednesday, the Boston Globe published documents proving that Bush, whose spotty record in the National Guard was always mysterious, "fell well short of meeting his military obligation". Maj Gen Paul A Weaver Jr., who retired in 2002 as the Pentagon's director of the Air National Guard, was quoted: "It appears that no one wanted to hold him accountable."

That night, CBS's 60 Minutes broadcast the first interview with former Texas lieutenant governor Ben Barnes, who explained how he contrived to get young George his safe posting in the "champagne unit" of the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam war. The programme also revealed further documents showing he never fulfilled his service.

Abruptly, the Republican marchers stumble as Kerry is galvanised. "His miscalculation was going to war without planning carefully and without the allies we should have had," he said yesterday. Meanwhile in the White House, aides anxiously wonder how to explain the president's haunted past and his long years of hiding it and who will have the task of facing the cameras.

Comment: It has been a little disconcerting to see the Republicans beat up on Kerry for his war record when Bush was AWOL. Kerry was out there in the wilds of Vietnam doing what Bush and Cheney were only dreaming of doing: killing yellow-skinned commies and their supporters, ie., the innocent peasants who got napalmed so that America could be free and CIA-run drugs could be cheap.

The election is about war, but no one in the two parties is running on a platform of being against war. No, they are finding different ways of distinguishing themselves of being for war. War is big business and big business is paying the bills for the campaigns. Whichever candidate wins, the military-industrial complex will be back in power.

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A New Problem, or The Wrong Word?
Dana Milbank
Tuesday, September 7, 2004; Page A08

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo., Sept. 6 -- The God-fearing folk of this rural hamlet must have been mighty scandalized Monday evening when President Bush dropped by to tell them about a previously unappreciated problem.

"We've got an issue in America," the president said in discussing the need to limit malpractice awards. "Too many good docs are getting out of business. Too many OB/GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country."

For Bush, it was the second time in three days that he announced an unintended policy position. In Erie, Pa., on Saturday, he said: "I went to the Congress last September and proposed fundamental -- supplemental funding, which is money for armor and body parts and ammunition and fuel."

Presumably he meant "money for body armor and parts."

Comment: Then again, maybe not.

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No place like home for the Bush vote
The Scotsman, Wed 8 Sep 2004

AS SOON as the wheels touched the tarmac at Dallas airport, the previously shy stewardess grabbed the microphone and made horse noises while the plane braked.

"Woaaah boy. Woaaah," she said, and made clip-clop sounds while the aircraft taxied to the gate. The man beside me said it was a regular stunt. "Welcome to Texas," he said. "You'll find things different here."

Politically, I had entered a parallel universe. The airport bookshops were transformed: instead of the usual Bush- hating tomes, it was selling The French Betrayal of America and the intriguingly titled Why the United Nations is Worse than You Think.

Comments from a reader: Parallel universe. Yes, that would be a pretty good way to describe many parts of America, particularly small town America, I think. I know that from an early age I certainly felt as though I was living in one reality and most of those around me were living in another.

I stopped for lunch at a diner and saw a bottle of ‘W' ketchup, a condiment taking Republican tables by storm since Teresa Heinz Kerry became a fixture of her husband's run for the presidency.

Comment: Hmmm. A Heinz boycott. All the evil in the world is produced by Democrats and Arabs apparently. I wonder, when will it become a criminal offense to use Heinz products? Take a look at this: FDA Denies Politics in Total Ban on Heinz Products.

My first port of call was an electronics shop called Radio Shack on the outskirts of Dallas where David Jackson, a 52-year-old black shop attendant, described himself as a Democrat - voting for Mr Bush.

"That man's got balls," he said, in a deep Texas accent. "He knew what had to be done in Iraq, and he went straight in there. You have to admire that kind of courage in a man."

Comment: Well, he's got something, but I'm not sure that it is "balls". Bats, maybe - in the belfry. Or too much Texan DNA...

Music on the local radio seemed about a different lifestyle: not sex and desire, but marriage, love and horses. Even songs about being cheated on ("that ain't my truck in her drive") were stamped with the DNA of Texas.

Comment: Hmm. Pretty scary stuff, that Texan DNA.

I decide to take a different tack - seek out Democrats in Texas, seeing as Republicans are crawling out of the walls. I am directed to an up-market shopping mall, on the logic that foreign clothes (Prada) and foreign politics (voting Democrat) go together.

Comment: Did you catch that? Democrats are "foreigners". Doesn't take much of a stretch of imagination to understand then that many who think this way will consider people from other nations animals that either need to be patronized or eliminated if they have been deemed to have gone "rabid".

At a French-style café (in Texas) two women are having lunch, eating fruit salad and drinking cappuccinos, and I overheard one talking about her drama class trip to Rome.

She ticks all the boxes marked "Democrat". She is shocked at the very suggestion. "I'm a Roman Catholic," she explains, as if this spoke for itself. But Mr Kerry, I offer, is a practising Catholic. "Not if he doesn't believe in the church's fundamental teaching - the right to life," she said, meaning opposition to abortion.

Worse, it emerges, Mr Kerry has been excommunicated for his sins. This, as it turns out, is a widely held myth. Some priests have said he should be denied communion. But in Texas, it's gone down as fact.

Comment: Yes, everything that the "prophet" George and his minions utter from their mouths goes "down as fact". No need to fact-check, no need to research anything further, when a "prophet", a "messenger of god" has spoken, now is there? George Bush - the Texan "messiah". No need to fact-check when you've got it straight from the "horse's mouth", as it were, now do you?

Here is a 19-year-old drama student staunchly and instinctively Republican. None of her peers, she says, are Democrats - which she attributes to the success of the education system.

Comment: Yes, the mind-control program - oops, education system - certainly seems to have been successful. Democrats are "foreigners". Terrorists in the making. Arabs are foreigners, too, but "ultra-foreign" since they come from some place "over there" - who the hell knows where, exactly. Worse, they are rabid animals and probably leave the womb with a machine gun in their hands.

I try again - to Starbucks, where Susan Martin, a 52-year-old Barista, was taking a break.

She was just as fired-up as the liberals in San Francisco, but from the opposite side of the debate. The Bush administration, she believes, is leading the US into the most noble chapter of its history - and is midway through a vital election.

Comment:"Most noble chapter of its history"??? Oh yes. It is certainly "noble" to send innocent men, women and children to their deaths for the sake of power and wealth - to make them sacrifices upon which the foundations of an empire will be built. Noble indeed.

"This is not a political election. It's a spiritual election. It's about the kind of freedom our ancestors fought for and spilled their blood for," she says.

Comment: Yes, it does seem to be a "spiritual" election, but what kind of "spirit"? What kind of soul? Or perhaps it would be better described as an "aspiritual" election, indicating the total lack of spirit or soul of those involved?

She adds: "[If Mr Kerry is elected] we will be loosening our grip on freedom. If we stop fighting for the oppressed overseas, we'll stop doing it here as well. That's why President Bush has got to win."

Comment:"Fighting for the oppressed overseas"??!! Excuse me? How does one fight for the oppressed overseas by occupation and murder of innocents? Hello? Is anybody home? Is there anybody in there?

This is naked neo-conservatism - the kind of talk seen in Britain as a bizarre and slightly twisted ideology forged by a handful of right-wing academics. Yet in Euless, Texas, it was coming from the heart of a Starbucks worker.

And she traces the Bush mission to John F Kennedy, Democratic Party icon, reciting his inaugural address by heart: "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden... to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

Democrats who criticise Mr Bush's foreign policy, she says, are betraying JFK's legacy. "If they put those words into a Bush speech, no-one would notice. History brings us such people - Churchill, Eisenhower." And now, she says, George W Bush.

My last chance to find a Democrat is at the party's own headquarters.

The nerve centre of John Kerry resistance in Dallas looks more like a guerrilla hideaway. It is tucked inside a run-down industrial block, next to a garage and opposite a lonely Mexican carryout .

After checking my credentials to ensure I am not a Republican spy, they let me sit in on a meeting of candidates who are discussing how to subvert the enemy from within.

Their strategy is partly given away by an ethnic map of Dallas showing the city's main concentration of Hispanics. It is the political equivalent of oil drilling - each area of minorities is a potential well of voters.

One discusses a visit to "Anglos" (white men with Stetsons). "Don't bother, it's 99.9 per cent Republican," he's told. "Save it for people who will listen." [...]

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The Polls Come Back to Earth
t r u t h o u t | Staff Report
Tuesday 07 September 2004
It has been a wild week for numbers. Immediately after the Republican Convention, Time and Newsweek released poll numbers indicating a significant bounce for George W. Bush, and an 11 point lead over John Kerry. A few days go by, however, and the air appears to have been let out of the tires.

The new Rasmussen poll has the two Presidential candidates tied 47.3% to 47.3%. This leads to an inescapable conclusion: If all these numbers are correct - Time, Newsweek and Rasmussen - then Mr. Bush has suffered an historic cratering in his poll numbers within 100 hours of the close of his party's convention.

But perhaps the ballyhooed post-convention lead enjoyed by Bush never existed at all. Pollster John Zogby says, "I have Mr. Bush leading by 2 points in the simple head-to-head match up - 46% to 44%. Add in the other minor candidates and it becomes a 3 point advantage for the President - 46% to simply is not an 11 point race. It just isn't."

It should be noted that Rasmussen provided the core data for both the TIME and Newsweek polls. Their independent interpretation of the very same data produced dramatically different conclusions than those reached by TIME and Newsweek.

The 'Bush bounce' after the convention has either disappeared completely, or never existed at all. Neither bodes well for the incumbent. Gallup, which has on many occasions appeared to be working as a PR arm of the Bush election campaign, paints an interesting political perspective: "Bush's two-point convention bounce is one of the smallest registered in Gallup polling history, along with Hubert Humphrey's two-point bounce following the 1968 Democratic convention, George McGovern's zero-point bounce following the 1972 Democratic convention, and Kerry's "negative bounce" of one point among registered voters earlier this year. Bush's bounce is the smallest an incumbent president has received."

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Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war
by Jack MacAndrew
September 8, 2004

"America," said Bush, "is called to lead the cause of freedom in a new century....freedom is not America's gift. It is the Almighty God's gift."

If there was ever any doubt, the acceptance speech of President George Walker Bush as the presidential candidate of the Republican Party of the U.S.A., excised it when he proudly proclaimed himself God's missionary on earth to bring God's gift of freedom to the world.

"America," said he from an altar-like podium especially constructed for the occasion, "is called to lead the cause of freedom in a new century....freedom is not America's gift. It is the Almighty God's gift."

The night before, Vice President Dick Cheney trashed the UN as any kind of civilized arbiter of world affairs. The Republican United States of America will apparently have no truck with such sissified dialogue.

"George W. Bush will never seek a permission slip to defend the American people," he thundered, and got thunderous applause in return.

Why should he, one might ask, when George W. Bush gets his instructions to create Imperial America directly from the Almighty.

That proposition puts this American election in everyone's interest.

With a smirk, George W. declared that all Texans walk the walk as he does, with that bowleggety swagger that comes from strapping a hogleg mounted .44 revolver to the hip.

And so, in a set-up reminiscent of a thousand Hollywood westerns, George W. has swaggered out onto the dusty street in search of his effete eastern prey, the interloper John Kerry.

It is the election as shoot-out — a High Noon showdown at the ballot box with John Kerry in the Gary Cooper role.

If the Republican National Convention in New York told us one thing, it is that the two parties are separated by one letter in one word — crass and class — but there is an enormous gulf in sensibility between them as they fight for the American electorate.

Consider the keynote speakers:

The Democrats introduced a fresh 45-year-old first time Senate seat seeker improbably named Barack Obama, son of a Kenyan goat herder and an American aid worker — a perfect example of the American Dream.

Obama took the Democratic convention by storm, as well as every political pundit from Portland, Maine to Point Barrow, Alaska.

He was eloquent, mannerly and the soul of sweet reason who talked of the need for a united America.

The Republicans trotted out a Democratic Party turncoat Senator named Zell Miller, a bitter and twisted old man who spewed venom with a crazed glint in his eyes to roars of approval from the multitude.

It was a crazy speech, irrational, illogical and built on a tissue of lies. It tried to make the case that to oppose the "Commander-in-Chief" was treason and that John Kerry himself was treasonous.

The crowd loved it.

It was unbridled hate, live and venomous, and the Republicans loved it, every vile syllable.

So the question is: can you win an election based on the crassest of emotions — hate and fear?

In the immediate aftermath of the Republican Convention, CNN reported with obvious enthusiasm that the Republicans had received their hoped for "bounce" and opened up an 11-point lead over the Democrats.

Curiously, two other polls released the same day did not reflect the "bounce." They went unreported.

A state-by-state analysis of the infamous Electoral College, gave the Republicans a 30-point lead over the Democrats.

Without question, hate and fear are the two strongest emotional motivators impelling human response. They are also the most destructive, to an individual, and to a society — and maintained over a period of time, ultimately become self destructive.

But in the meantime, they can cause a lot of hurt to a lot of people. Coupled with the notion that hate and fear can be mobilized into a quest for world imperial power, the scary meter goes right off the clock.

Bush and his Republican legions apparently believe they can win the hearts, if not the minds, of enough Americans by characterizing John Kerry as one of Ah-nold Whatsisname's "girlie men."

That, they believe, will be an expression of God's will on earth.

It is a frightening thought, given H. L. Mencken's aphorism that..."No one ever went broke underestimating the taste [and intelligence] of the American people."

Politics is, after all, an emotional exercise.
So is religion.
God of Love, God of Hate.
Crass and Class.
Take your pick.
John Kerry has 60 days.

Comment: The poor people who think that Kerry is an improvement over Bush!

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Soon you will enter a deep trance...
Sally Appleton
The Telegraph

Some doctors use it to treat insomnia, asthma and eczema. Others to calm migraines and irritable bowels, and to reduce anxiety. Yet, even though the use of hypnosis is on the increase across the medical profession, no one understands how it works. Some experts even believe the "trance" induced by hypnosis can happen to us all when we are daydreaming, engrossed in a bestseller or commuting to work. [...]

Hypnosis is now one of the most commonly used complementary therapies, with an estimated 353,000 consumers every year in England. To meet this demand, more and more health professionals are being trained in its use. General practices in 12 per cent of primary care groups in England offer hypnosis to patients. This results in nearly one-and-a-half million private and NHS appointments with hypnotherapists every year, at a cost to private users of £34 million and to the NHS of more than £5 million.

Despite this increase in medical use and a boom in hypnosis research, experts still don't agree how it works and such understanding could make it even more effective. Scientists at the British Association's Festival of Science in Exeter will continue the long-running debate on the subject tomorrow.

Hypnosis attempts to direct a person's thoughts, feelings and behaviour by "suggestions" that instruct him or her to concentrate on particular images or ideas. This can be achieved with the help of a hypnotist or through self- hypnosis. For example, a "suggestion" to reduce the pain of having a tooth extracted might invoke an image of pain being controlled like the volume on a television set. So if the dial is turned down, the pain can be reduced. Likewise, the image of lying on a beach in the sun can help some people to experience less pain.

People usually need a series of hypnosis sessions, starting with a "hypnotic induction", which increases relaxation and allows people to become absorbed in their inner thoughts. During hypnosis, subjects are usually aware of their environment, can remember most of what happens and cannot be made to do things against their will.

Scientists agree that there is a pattern or "orchestra" of brain activity during hypnosis that some refer to as a trance. A trance can be described as a state of mind in which a person's attention is focused, he or she is absorbed in a specific activity and is switched off from what is going on around them. This brain activity depends on the type of "suggestion" that the patient is given and can occur in a number of parts of the brain, including the cortex that controls the "higher" brain functions such as perception, sensation, thought and memory and the lower parts that control unconscious processes such as breathing, heart rate and muscle movement.

One view suggests that the brain achieves an altered state of consciousness, a unique trance, during hypnosis.

Prof Helen Crawford, of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia, an expert in the neurophysiology of pain relief through hypnosis, says she has concrete physiological evidence to show that the brain achieves a state of focused attention during hypnosis. She says there is something "dramatically different" about the brain activity in people during hypnosis, for pain relief, compared with when they are not hypnotised.

She describes a change in the pattern of brain activity during hypnosis, characterised by a significant increase in theta waves of about 5-7Hz recorded by electroencephalograph (EEG) monitors.

However, support among experts for an alternative explanation appears to be growing. Although proponents of this rival theory do not dispute that research has reliably shown physiological changes in the brain during hypnosis, they do not believe these changes are confined to hypnosis.

They propose that the pattern of brain activity seen during hypnosis can be found during everyday experiences when attention is focused: for example, being absorbed in a piece of music or driving a long distance. This explanation makes the brain activity seen during hypnosis seem less special, since it suggests this can happen to us all.

One of the authors of a British Psychological Society report on hypnosis, Dr Graham Wagstaff of the University of Liverpool, believes the physiological evidence cited by some scientists to support the idea that the brain is in a unique "trance" during hypnosis has been over-interpreted. "If you give anybody an instruction, you will get physiological changes in the brain," he says. "To establish that hypnosis invokes a special physiological state of the brain, you have to show that the person is not capable of doing that when not hypnotised." [...]

"There are question marks," acknowledges another author of the report, Dr Michael Heap of Wathwood Hospital, Rotherham, who has frequently used hypnosis to treat psychological conditions. Dr Heap says the traditional idea that you are in some special state of consciousness, a unique trance, during all forms of hypnosis is very unlikely. [...]

We may not know how it works, but it certainly seems to. Phyllis Alden, of Derbyshire Royal Infirmary, is a clinical psychologist who has used hypnosis to treat patients for the past 20 years. She says hypnosis can be so effective in reducing pain that patients can even stop using conventional painkillers. She believes the hypnotic state is simply capitalising on our natural capacity to focus our attention.

"Hypnosis involves the focusing of attention to the point where you can make what you imagine feel real at the same time as being able to switch off from what is real," she says. "That is what makes hypnosis work. I don't think it is a lot more complicated than that. You don't have to formally induce this state called hypnosis to get some of these things to happen." [...]

As the debate continues, it highlights how little is known about the closely related and fundamental scientific question of human consciousness. These complex questions are likely to continue to baffle scientists for many more years.

In the meantime, millions of people will continue to benefit from hypnosis, even though this lack of understanding seems to be at odds with the health service drive for evidence-based medicine.

Hypnosis: the history

Hypnosis was first recognised by the ancient Egyptians and Greeks as a way of inducing dreams to solve people's problems.

Franz Mesmer (1734-1815), an Austrian doctor, is regarded as the modern "father of hypnosis". However, the medical profession rejected what was later termed mesmerism".

James Braid (1796-1860), a Scottish doctor, coined the terms "hypnosis" and "hypnotism" from the Greek god of sleep, Hypnos. Scientists now know that hypnosis and sleep are two very different physiological states.

A swinging watch was commonly used in the early days of hypnotism to allow people to fixate on an object and go into a "trance".

Scottish surgeon James Esdaile (1808-1859) used hypnotism as an anaesthetic during countless major operations he performed in India. However, the British medical profession rejected the use of hypnosis in this way in favour of new anaesthetic drugs.

In 1892, the British Medical Association (BMA) . rst formally recognised that hypnosis had therapeutic benefits.

Hypnosis was used to treat the physical and psychological effects experienced by soldiers in the two world wars.

Although public demonstrations of hypnosis have been popular throughout history, stage hypnotism as a form of television entertainment, was pioneered by an American, Ormond McGill, who also wrote the "bible" of stage hypnosis, The Encyclopedia of Stage Hypnotism, in 1947.

In 1955, the BMA first supported the teaching of hypnosis in medicine.

Comment: For another practical application of hypnosis, look at the following....

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Israel's Mossad Still Leading Suspect In Assassination of Sweden's Anna Lindh
by Trowbridge H. Ford, Ph.D. (Columbia, 1967)

In any murder inquiry, investigators should look for suspects who had the motive, means, and opportunity for committing the crime. In an assassination, a politically-motivated killing, the same holds truth, though finding suspects is more difficult because of the greater need and ability of their employers to hide their identity, and how they did the deed.

Only intelligence services of most tenuous states these days resort to clear, conspiratorial acts of violence - like Pinochet's secret police organization (DINA) blowing up critics Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt in a car in front of the Chilean Embassy in Washington on September 21, 1976 - for fear that they will be fatally exposed by their opponents, leading to the regime's collapse. On the other hand, the conspiracy must not be so clever that no one is convicted of the killing - what unexpectedly happened because of Soviet spying in the 1986 assassination of Swedish statsminister Olof Palme - because everyone will conclude that it must have been one, most likely by the people who wanted him dead.

Consequently, the secret intelligence services of developed states, especially America's Central Intelligence Agency, Israel's Mossad, and Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, have spent countless amounts of money, and endless research by scientists to develop assassins who will do the desired acts on demand, and without any recall of what they have done. Of course, here we are talking about Manchurian Candidates, but the name is a misnomer as the most important research and operations in the field were done by the Americans and the Israelis, not the North Koreans.

The primer on the subject is John Marks' The Search for the "Manchurian Candidate", but in reading it, one must realize that the search was successful, and Manchurian Candidates have often been used in many operations around the world. The classic cases have used drugs to prepare the mind for manipulation, psychic driving of a positive and negative nature to create a false manic-depressive condition, and hypnosis to implant a secret agenda in the candidate's subconscious which will be acted upon in an elevated state. The most sinister trigger of the process has been achieved by a form of remote viewing instead of hypnosis where the handler commands the subject's subconscious to action through extremely low frequency sound messages and images directly into the brain from a nearby location. Marks, in short, has just exposed the most benign tip of the projects.

The task for covert operatives, especially the CIA's William King "Executive Action" Harvey, and Israel's Major Benjamin Shalit, has been to find just the right kind of loner, one with a most disassociated makeup which can be determined by proper personality assessment, and who can be driven upon demand, ideally from a remote source, with little chance of anything being dragged out of him later by any investigator. Experience has shown that even with the right type of loner, operatives must not try to make him do anything that he is consciously or unconsciously opposed to, and even successful assassins, especially ones with split personalities, can be exposed if they later experience stable, nuturing relationships. The best insurance against this ever happening is for operatives to see that any successful Manchurian Candidate is either killed on the spot, or locked up in prison for life.

The evidence of this being the case in political assassinations is everywhere if one only thinks about it. Nearly all the important political assassinations or attempted ones of the last half century have involved loners of this nature. For example, James Earl Ray was programmed by Harvey's people in Los Angeles and New Orleans to kill Dr. Martin Luther King after he was moved into position with binoculars and a rifle with a telescopic sight to trigger the shooting in Memphis, while Sihran Sirhan was driven by similar people to be a decoy shooter for assassin Thane Eugene Cesar in the murder of RFK a few months later on the West Coast. The attempted assassination of Governor George Wallace in 1972 by loner Arthur Bremer, arranged by Harvey in Milwaukee when he was leading Nixon's Plumbers, was very similar to the MLK one. [...]

In sum, assassinations by developed states today almost always require a single gunman or decoy to seemingly do the deed, preferably Manchurian Candidates, so one should never discount a probable political conspiracy because of police claims that the assassin was a loner. He almost has to be, or else the plot could result in serious consequences, even war, if prevented, or discovered after the fact. Even in the Palme assassination, Stig Bergling, the convicted Soviet spy, was set up to appear to be the party policeman who killed the statsminister for Moscow while on prison release to get married, and then had escaped to the USSR for his honeymoon - what the CIA's Rod Carlson tried to arrange through the American Embassy in Stockholm, but Bergling had enough sense to decline, leaving the void Swedish police have yet to decipher.

All this seems most relevant in discussing the murder of Foreign Minister Anna Lindh. The Mossad certainly had the motive, capability, and apparently the opportunity to kill the most troublesome Swedish politician since Palme. Ever since Ariel Sharon was elected Israel's Prime Minister in his own right in early 2001, the government in Tel Aviv has increasingly sought to end the peace process with the Palestinians under the Olso Accords in a way which would secure her demise as part of the war on terror, starting with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, while achieving the release in America of the Mossad's Jonathan Pollard for allegedly spying for the Soviets.

Pollard had been set up for spying in the run-up to Palme's assassination to persuade Moscow that it had all the protection it needed to prevent a first strike from the West - what Washington planned to take full advantage of with more sophisticated satellites, a cargo container full of sensitve sensors transported across the USSR at the time, taps of key communication cables in Moscow and the Barents Sea, and double agents to make it look as if the Soviet response to the set up was a first strike of their own against Sweden.

While the real spying by the Agency's Aldrich "Rick" Ames, and the FBI's Robert Hanssen prevented this from happening after Palme was assassinated, Washington locked up Pollard for life in an attempt to defuse the growing confusion about what had happened, and why. Sharon, as part of his election mandate, made Pollard's release from prison an integral condition of Irsael's on-going diplomatic relations with Washington. Then fellow Likud Member of Parliament Gilad Erdan made such a fuss about Pollard's plight that Jewish agencies, as far away as the Orthodox Union in America, were calling for pardoning him, what President Clinton had granted sleazy Marc Rich, and Al Schwimmer, the arms dealer who was supposed to arrange the HAWK missile shipment through Sweden in November 1985 - the fiasco that led to Palme's assassination.

Lindh was soon doing things, especially during Sweden's presidency of the European Commission, which made her Sharon's leading antagonist while his election manager, Meir Dagan, was clearing the way through special operations for the elimination of Iraq's regime, and ultimately the Foreign Minister herself.

Dagan's agenda was headed by eliminating Yasser Arafat, and the Oslo Accords - what brought him into direct conflict with Lindh who did not consider the PLO leader a terrorist, wanted their implementation at the expense of illegal Jewish settlements, and was ultimately calling for the EU to break diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv. To help promote Lindh's agenda in Palestine, MI6 agent Alistair Crooke, veteran security adviser to the EU's special envoy to the Middle East, worked with Palestinian militants, especially Hamas, to arrange a ceasefire so the Mitchell Plan could be implemented.

To prevent this initiative from getting anywhere, Dagan arranged in July 2002 for the IDF to bomb Sheikh Salah Shehadeh's house, killing him and 14 other people, nine of whom were children. Then there was Lindh's strong criticism of Kofi Annan's report on the IDF's invasion of Jenin the following month, killing up to 500 Palestinians she claimed.

Dagan earned the Mossad's Director Generalship in September by arranging the assassination of deepest agent Abu Nidal in Baghdad, what cleared the way for the Coalition's war on Iraq. Nidal knew where many of the West's skeletons were buried, especially arms shipments and armed attacks in the lead-up to the Palme assassination, and Saddam Hussein believed that what he could divulge was a great deterrent to an attack. While one of Dagan's kidons, four-man special operations squads, was allegedly trying to kill the Iraqi leader, another one cut down Nidal in the same fashion that Gerald Bull was eliminated, leaving Iraqi security forces to explain lamely that they had killed Nidal because he had documents linking him to an unnamed enemy, obviously Israel.

During the past year, Lindh actions - promising Palestinians political asylum while protesting the Iraqi war, the isolation of Arafat at Abu Mazen's expense, the treatment of so-called unlawful combatants from Afghanistan in Cuba, and the targeting of militants, especially by America, of any sort - just moved the Mossad to give teeth to Sharon's permission .."to carry out assassinations," as UPI reported in January, "of suspected terrorist targets on the U.S. and other allies' soil." The Foreign Minister had worn down the last opposition to her assassination in Washington by being so demanding about the release of three Swedish citizens, charged falsely with working for Al-Qaeda while helping fellow Somalis.

While the Mossad was infiltrating agents into, and recruiting co-religionists in friendly countries to carry out these missions, counterterrorists in Europe and North America were dragooned into the process. Britain was so afraid that an air liner would be shot down over Heathrow - like what nearly happened to an El Al liner in Africa, and resulted in Dagan being named the Mossad's DG - that MI5 called out the Army to meet the alleged threat. The FBI, in cahoots with the Russian intelligence service, trapped a New Jersey arms merchant into buying doctored missiles for the same purpose in the States.

The clock starting ticking for Lindh's assassination when MI5's Director General Eliza Manningham-Buller gave an unprecedented lecture in June, warning that an unconventional terrorist attack upon a West European city by Osama bin Laden or one of the Islamic networks loosely affiliated with him was just "a matter of time." Thanks to allowing 15 Mossad agents (katsas) to help Britain in its counterterrorist efforts, the country had unrivalled expertise in fighting terrorism, she explained.

Gordon Thomas added in his May 16, 2003 article, "Mossad's Killing Machine comes to Britain," an Israeli kidon was even in Britain, tracking down, and killing at close quarters. An MI5 source told Thomas that "...they are equiped with long and short-blade knives and piano wires to strangle" their victims. The kidons, composed of men and women in their late twenties, were trained to melt into the local community.

In this context, it seems most likely that Swedish security forces again followed Britain's lead - as they had in the Palme case to their detriment about providing reliable bodyguard protection for their leading public officials - allowing katsas and their kidons to take up positions in Stockholm to protect the city from terrorist attacks. How else could Säpo, the Swedish security service, have denied Lindh repeated calls from the Foreign Ministry for bodyguard protection, claiming that she was under no threat? Of course, the Israelis were the greatest threat to the Foreign Minister, as Jewish extremists were constantly contending that she was"the greatest apologist of terrorsim," deserving to be assassinated - what they gleefully repeated when it happened.

During the summer, Dagan's people apparently found a Serb in Stockholm - like the ones who had assassinated the Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic in March while he was on his way to a meeting with Lindh - to give them cover for what they planned. Djindjic, who Tel Aviv wanted murdered because of his alleged supplying Saddam with vital, illegal war materiel in the run-up to the war, was the first European political leader since Palme to be assassinated. Djindjic had infuriated Slobodan Milosevic's followers in just the way Lindh had Sharon's - sending the former President to The Hague to answer war crimes charges - and bloody pre-emptive action, Dagan's specialty, seems what the situation called for. If a Serb could solve the problems with Djindjic, another one could solve the ones with Lindh.

While the 24-year-old suspect may prove to be innocent despite all the claims by the newspapers, and leaks from the police - as happened in the Palme case with Victor Gunnarsson and Christer Pettersson, and was repeated in this one with a 35-year-old suspect - it seems much more likely that the conspirators planned very carefully for a convincing fall guy this time to avoid another fiasco which would make Sweden's police the laughing stock of the world. This suspect appears to have all the credentials for a knife attack he couldn't recall since this was what actually happened when he repeatedly attacked his father with a knife, for which he received a suspended sentence. He also made threatening phone calls, and was convicted of illegal gun possession. In sum, this suspect is an ideal fall guy, a loose cannon, just waiting for someone to pull his trigger. [...]

Trowbridge H. Ford, Ph.D. (Columbia, 1967)

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At least eight dead in bomb attack on Australian embassy in Jakarta
Thursday September 9, 7:58 PM
A car bomb exploded outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta, killing at least eight people and injuring nearly 170 just weeks before Australia -- a key US ally in Iraq -- votes in general elections.

Police said the blast had all the hallmarks of the Al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terror group, which has staged a string of deadly attacks in Indonesia.

The blast punched windows out of tower blocks and badly mangled the security perimeter around the embassy.

Glass showered down from office blocks as people fled, dragging wounded friends and colleagues behind them shortly after the explosion, which shot a tall plume of smoke into the sky and left smouldering debris in the street.

National police chief Da'i Bachtiar said he suspected the attack was carried out by a top JI bombmaker, Malaysian Azahari Husin. He is being hunted for the 2002 Bali bombings and last year's attack on Jakarta's Marriott Hotel.

"Our suspicion is that it was by the same group, especially the bomb maker, Dr. Azahari. This is what we can conclude from the modus operandi and our investigation," Bachtiar said.

A total of 202 people, including 88 Australians, were killed in the October 2002 nightclub bombings on the resort island of Bali. The August 2003 car bombing of the Marriott Hotel left 12 dead.

Thursday's attack came two days before the third anniversary of the September 11 attacks and ahead of the September 20 presidential election in Indonesia and October 9 polls in Australia.

It followed fresh warnings from the United States and Australia that militants may strike again in Indonesia.

There were scenes of chaos in the business and residential district of Kuningan as those caught in the force of the blast attempted to flee.

"It was like an earthquake, like thunder," said Budi Harianto, 30, who was was slightly wounded in the leg as he queued at the embassy to get a visa.

Mariani Reksoprojo of Indonesia's health ministry said eight people were confirmed dead and 168 injured. Of the injured, 85 were discharged from hospital after receiving medical attention.

The explosion at around 10:30 am (0330 GMT) prompted the immediate evacuation of the embassy and caused a sharp drop of nearly four percent on the Jakarta stock market, although prices later recovered.

Witnesses said a police truck and a taxi in front of the embassy had been blown apart and the high steel fence surrounding the building was damaged.

President Megawati Sukarnoputri cut short a visit to attend a royal wedding in Brunei to return to Jakarta. Speaking on a tour of the blast site and a hospital she defended her government's efforts to tackle terrorism.

"We should continue to battle terrorism and this is something we have already done so far," she said, echoing international condemnation of the attack.

Megawati faces a challenge on September 20 from her former security minister Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who made a hospital visit.

Australia votes in general elections on October 9 in which the conservative government's staunch support for the US invasion of Iraq is a key issue. Australian Prime Minister John Howard said his country would not bow to terrorism.

"This is not a nation that is going to be intimidated by acts of terrorism. We are a strong, robust democracy," Howard told reporters.

In March an attack on trains in Madrid just before a Spanish election was credited with causing the defeat of a conservative administration which had also allied itself with the United States over Iraq.

Australian Foreign Minister Downer, who is due to fly into Jakarta later Thursday, said the attack was a deliberate strike on Australian interests.

"It is clearly a terrorist attack, it was outside the Australian embassy, you would have to conclude that it was directed towards Australia," he said.

Downer said it was still unclear whether the bombing was a suicide bombing like previous attacks on the Marriott and in Bali. One security guard quoted by state media said he had seen a van draw up to the embassy moments before the explosion.

Both Australia and the United States last week raised new warnings urging their citizens to avoid Western hotels in Jakarta.

Comment: On March 11, 2004, the day of the train bombing in Spain, we wrote the following:

There has been speculation in the Spanish press that Aznar's ruling "Partido Popular" and his potential successor Mariano Rajoy might be defeated in the upcoming election. Looking at the US and the effects of a well timed terror attack, and the political boon it provided for the Republican party, we might speculate that the today's bomb is a timely gift to Aznar and his now likely successor Mariano Rajoy. The attack also benefits Bush and Sharon and the Neocons in the Pentagon, all of whom have played the terror card for all it is worth, and all of whom depend upon continued "terror" attacks to justify their positions.

Once again, we find the so-called terrorists shooting themselves in the foot by giving John Howard a "gift". Perhaps CIA/Mossad's technique is being refined a bit for the Australian election.

Also keep in mind that the alleged perpetrators of this latest attack, Jemaah Islamiyah, are said to be linked to Al-Qaeda. In the Spanish bomb attack, ETA was blamed - and ETA is alleged to have links to Hamas...

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Flashback: Israeli Roots of Hamas Are Being Exposed
by Dean Andromidas
Executive Intelligence Review
January 18, 2002

Speaking in Jerusalem Dec. 20, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer made the connection between the growth of the Islamic fundamentalist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and Israel's promotion of the Islamic movement as a counter to the Palestinian nationalist movement. Kurtzer's comments come very close to EIR's own presentation of the evidence of Israel's instrumental role in establishing Hamas, and its ongoing control of that organization.

Kurtzer said that the growth of the Islamic movement in the Palestinian territories in recent decades—"with the tacit support of Israel"—was "not totally unrelated" to the emergence of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and their terrorist attacks against Israel. Kurtzer explained that during the 1980s, when the Islamic movement began to flourish in the West Bank and Gaza, "Israel perceived it to be better to have people turning toward religion rather than toward a nationalistic cause [the Palestinian Liberation Organization—ed.]." It therefore did little to stop the flow of money to mosques and other religious institutions, rather than to schools. [...]

The ambassador's comments are an acknowledgment of what any serious Middle East observers knows: Hamas has always been seen as a tool by which Israel could undermine the nationalist movement led by Palestinian Authority President and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat. Similar statements by Arafat have been dismissed by Israel as "cranky" propaganda. In an interview with the Dec. 11 Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Arafat said, "We are doing everything to stop the violence. But Hamas is a creature of Israel which at the time of Prime Minister [Yitzhak] Shamir [the late 1980s, when Hamas arose], gave them money and more than 700 institutions, among them schools, universities and mosques. Even [former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak] Rabin ended up admitting it, when I charged him with it, in the presence of [Egpytian President Hosni] Mubarak."

Comment: It seems that Hamas is a creation of Israel, and ETA is related to Hamas. Keeping in mind that the Australian embassy bombing was allegedly conducted by the Al-Qaeda-friendly group Jemaah Islamiyah, we have the following revelation about Al-Qaeda and Mossad:

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Flashback: Mossad agents Killing Oz Tourists to Steal their Identity to use in fake al-Qaeda Operations

by Bev Taylor
Monday July 19, 2004 at 02:19 PM

The Israeli Mossad agent Zev Barkan has been running Asian criminal gangs used to obtain Australian Identity documents and other passports stolen from Australians Killed in Asia, a New Zealand security official has said.

I was contacted by a New Zealand official, who has intelligence connections in Asia while I was shopping in Toul Tom Pong Market in Phnom Penh and provided documents to support this information on the condition that it remain anonymous and I not publish the documents considering the risk to officials if the source of this leak was identified, this New Zealand official said Barkan was connected to an Israeli terrorist cell operating out of Thailand.

"He goes to Laos, Cambodia, Burma and Thailand and is running gangs that he pays to kill tourists, and steal their Identity papers passports then cover it up, most just disappear or their deaths have been reported as accidents, drownings and such, they like to throw their victims off the side of tour boats" said a New Zealand security official

Barkan has been named by New Zealand authorities as the kingpin in a passport theft ring for which two Israelis with Australian links were jailed for six months last week in Auckland.

One of the jailed men, Eli Cara, 50, had his rented home in Turramurra raided by ASIO in March. A short time later, he was arrested in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Government has named Barkan, Cara and the other convicted man, Uriel Kelman, as Mossad agents.

Barkan fled New Zealand before police moved in. There are reports that Barkan, using a Stolen Canadian Identity documents, has now made a move to North Korea out of reach of authorities.

"Barkan is mostly interested in passports and identity documents, there have been a number of Australian killed for their passports."

Intelligence analysts in New Zealand believe Barkan, a former navy diver in the Israeli IOF (sic), was trying to secure clean passports for use in Israeli terrorist operations in the region.

Barkan had grown up in Washington as Zev Bruckenstein, where his father was director of religious studies at a synagogue.

A New Zealand security official says his services have uncovered an Israeli operation to create al-Qaeda cells in Thailand. The security official in Thailand said Israeli terrorist are posing as operatives of al-Qaeda.

Over the past nine months we have been investigating eight cases, 11 people informed us of this Israeli operation, asking Thai Landers to join al-Qaeda. One email had even been signed by the al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden. a New Zealand official said.

A New Zealand official said his services had traced back to Israel the phone calls and emails - purportedly from Germany and Lebanon and Pakistan.

We investigated the origin of those calls and found out they all came from Israel.

The people the Israelis tried to recruit were then given stolen Australian documents, and received money and weapons.

The money was provided by Israel directly to the recruits or was transferred from bank accounts in Jerusalem or Israel, said the New Zealand official.

Comment: Note that the above article comes from the Melbourne Indymedia site. It appears that it was excerpted, in part, from a report in the Sydney Morning Herald of july 19th entitled "Mossad agent linked to Asia scam".

The author of the Indymedia article above appears to have changed the words "sensitive Israeli undercover operation" in the SMH story to: "Israeli terrorist operations" in the above article. While this is likely to be a truer reflection of the nature of the operation given that the Mossad agent was involved in the murder of innocent tourists, we do not espouse such arbitrary changes to original texts without making the reader aware of it.

So - it appears that Israel's Mossad has been very, very busy creating fake terrorist groups to convince numerous nations to battle "Arab terrorists". For more information, the reader may wish to read Laura-Knight Jadczyk's article Mossad and Moving Companies: Masterminds of Global Terrorism?

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Israel Kills 4, Including 9-Year-Old, in Gaza
By Nidal al-Mughrabi
September 9, 2004

JABALYA, Gaza Strip (Reuters) - Israeli forces thrust into Gaza's largest refugee camp on Thursday, killing four Palestinians including a 9-year-old boy, as the army tightened its grip on the northern part of the coastal strip.

Scores of gunmen fought a column of tanks and armored vehicles as Israeli troops took up positions in and around the teeming Jabalya camp, a militant stronghold, in an operation the army said was aimed at stopping rocket fire into Israel.

Helicopter gunships fired missiles into the camp of 100,000 inhabitants as Israeli forces sealed it off in Israel's biggest incursion in the northern Gaza Strip in months.

Munir el-Deqqes was shot in the chest while playing with friends outside his grandfather's house, witnesses said. "How can anyone blame children playing in the street?" said the boy's uncle. "Munir was a victim of blind Israeli retaliation."

At least 35 people, including militants and civilians, were wounded by Israeli fire, medics said.

A military source said soldiers had shot only at armed men. It was the latest chapter in Israel's military response after suicide bombers killed 16 people in southern Israel last week.

The raid marked a widening of Israel's incursion that began on Wednesday when forces swept in and seized control following a barrage of makeshift rocket strikes in southern Israel.

The latest spiral of violence could further complicate Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to withdraw troops and settlers from the occupied Gaza Strip by the end of 2005. [...]

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US and Euro 3 differ over deadline on Iran's nuclear program
Thu Sep 9, 6:55 AM ET

VIENNA (AFP) - The United States and three major European countries differ over setting a deadline for Iran to fully suspend uranium enrichment activities ahead of a meeting next week of the UN atomic agency, diplomats said.

The United States and the so-called Euro 3 of Britain, France and Germany are preparing resolutions for Monday's meeting in Vienna of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that highlight their different approaches to cracking down on Iran's nuclear program, which Washington charges is secretly developing nuclear weapons.

The Euro 3, who stress constructive engagement with Iran, want to avoid setting a deadline for Tehran to fully suspend uranium enrichment activities while the United States takes a harder line as it seeks to bring Iran before the UN Security Council.

But the Euro 3 seem to have moved closer to the United States over an IAEA investigation of Iran that began in February 2003, as both sides agree that "this process is not going to go on forever," a diplomat close to the atomic energy agency told AFP.

Several diplomats said that while the IAEA's 35-nation board of governors may not reach a decision on Iran at its meeting this month, the crunch may come at the next board meeting in November, which would be after the US presidential election. [...]

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AP Poll: Fear of Terror Attack Persists
By WILL LESTER, Associated Press Writer
Thu Sep 9, 6:02 AM ET

WASHINGTON - Americans today are as fearful of becoming victims of terrorism as they are of losing their jobs or having their homes burglarized.

Almost all of the people questioned in an Associated Press poll say they remember what they were doing when they learned about the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon — and seven in 10 say those memories are among their most vivid.

Such a highly charged atmosphere could play to the advantage of President Bush, who counts his handling of terrorism as a leading strength.

Those who were worried about another terrorist attack, including women with those concerns, were more likely to support the president. Those who were less worried were more likely to support Democrat John Kerry.

Almost four in 10 in an Associated Press poll say they sometimes worry about the possibility of another terrorist attack — about the same number who worry about getting burglarized or losing a job.

In a measure of the trauma of Sept. 11, the AP-Ipsos poll found that 98 percent remember exactly what they were doing three years ago when hijackers flew jetliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing almost 3,000.

Those memories can resurface with the most routine cues — a plane flying overhead, a siren from a passing ambulance or news about the ongoing war in Iraq. [...]

Comment: This article on the AP poll is particularly interesting for the simple reason that it is supposed to show that Americans are afraid of another terrorist attack - yet according to AP, "Almost four in 10...say they sometimes worry about the possibility of another terrorist attack". That means that less than 40% of those polled are worried about another attack. That isn't even a majority of Americans.

The article does continue on to talk about how 98% of those interviewed say they remember what they were doing on 9/11. So what? Who doesn't remember what they were doing that day? Along with the reference to news of the Iraq war bringing back memories of the completely unrelated events of 9/11, it seems the entire point of this article is to promote fear and stir up old or buried emotions related to 9/11.

The best way to control the people is to remove their ability to think - and nothing clouds thinking better than intense negative emotions provoked by repeated and deliberate false alarms. It is essentially a process of desensitising and distorting the accuracy of our own internal warning system, thereby leaving us as 'sitting ducks' when a real attack from a totally unexpected quarter occurs.

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Vanunu seeks Palestinian citizenship
Wednesday 08 September 2004, 0:20 Makka Time, 21:20 GMT

Israel's nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu has said he wants to be a Palestinian citizen and was planning to present his request to Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat.

"I want to ask the Palestinian Authority and chairman Arafat: 'If you want, I would like to be a Palestinian citizen'," Vanunu told Israeli private television late on Tuesday.

The Israeli, who has taken refuge in St George's Anglican cathedral in occupied east Jerusalem since his release in April, has frequently said he wants to leave Israel where he is widely reviled for not only for exposing Israel's nuclear arsenal and clandestine weapons programme, but also for converting to Christianity.

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Russia threatens global anti-terror strikes
Last Updated Wed, 08 Sep 2004 13:58:55 EDT
MOSCOW - Russia's military is ready to launch pre-emptive strikes at terrorist bases anywhere in the world, one of the country's top generals said Wednesday.

Azamat Mukagov, 20 months old, a Beslan survivor, lies in a hospital bed, Moscow. (AP photo)

"As for carrying out preventive strikes against terrorist bases, we will take all measures to liquidate terrorist bases in any region of the world," Col.-Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky, chief of the Russian General Staff, told reporters.

"It does not mean that we are planning nuclear strikes," he said. "The forms and methods will depend on the circumstances."

Comment: Bush set the pace and now his soul-brother Putin is following the example. The noose is getting tighter.

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US exposes more illicit nuclear activity by South Korea
WASHINGTON (AFP) Sep 09, 2004
South Korea may have been involved in illicit nuclear activity even before its recently disclosed experiment to enrich uranium, the United States said Wednesday as North Korea warned of a nuclear arms race.

"Our understanding is that over 20 years ago, the South Koreans did experiments involving trace amounts of plutonium," a senior US official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Highly enriched uranium and plutonium could be used to make nuclear bombs.

Seoul last week admitted that South Korean scientists had carried out an unauthorised experiment at its state-run nuclear research center to enrich uranium four years ago but says it was not linked to any weapons program.

The clandestine activity embarrassed both the United States and its ally South Korea at a time when they are trying to pressure North Korea to end its nuclear weapons drive through six-party talks hosted by China.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team went to South Korea to carry out a probe last week and its findings will be discussed at a four-day board meeting of the nuclear watchdog starting Monday.

Asked whether the United States had been talking to South Korean on any activity beyond the uranium enrichment experiment, specifically involving plutonium, US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said: "I think I'd just have to say in general terms we are in touch with the South Korean government."

He said Washington was aware of what the South Koreans had reported to the IAEA on nuclear experiments conducted in past years.

"We have confidence that the agency will pursue all these matters, including any questions that might arise from the declaration," Boucher told reporters.

"So at this point, as far as other possibilities and things, I withhold comment," he said.

On whether South Korea had indulged in illicit nuclear activity other than what it had already admitted, Boucher said: "Our understanding is that all these activities were in the past and some of them quite a while back in the past."

During the military dictatorship of Park Chung-hee in the 1970s, Seoul launched a secret nuclear weapons program, but the United States reportedly persuaded it to abandon the plan.

Boucher reiterated that the United States was satisfied South Korea was reporting its nuclear activities to the IAEA.

But North Korea has stepped up criticism of its southern neighbor and accused the United States of practising "double standards."

"We view South Korea's uranium enrichment program as part of armament race in the Northeast Asian region," Han Song-ryol, deputy chief of North Korea's mission to the United Nations, told the Yonhap News Agency.

"It will be difficult to prevent the spread of armament race in the region due to the South's nuclear experiment.

Han said Pyongyang would take issue with the matter, casting doubt on multilateral talks aimed at resolving the impasse over North Korea's nuclear weapons program, Yonhap said.

The fourth round of six-nation talks, involving China, the two Koreas, Japan, Russia and the United States, aimed at persuading Pyongyang to give up its nuclear ambitions, are expected in Beijing this month.

Global environmental group Greenpeace has said that South Korea's illicit nuclear activity revelation was a "stark warning" about the nuclear threat on the Korean peninsula and the wider Northeast Asian region.

Japan currently has a plutonium stockpile of some five tonnes of plutonium, it says. North Korea is believed to have already acquired nuclear weapons.

China is the region's only "official nuclear power."

Comment: South Korea is the homeland of that great American, friend of the Bush family, owner of the Washington Times, and Messiah, Sun Myung Moon. The connections between the CIA and the Korean counterpart, the KCIA, are well-known. Is this the reason that South Korean nuclear development is given a special treatment while the mere mention of nukes in the hands of the Iraqis or the Iranians calls down the wrath of Dubya?

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Illiteracy shockingly high in L.A.

By Rachel Uranga
L.A. Daily News
Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Continued immigration and a stubborn high school dropout rate have stymied efforts to improve literacy in Los Angeles County, where more than half the working-age population can't read a simple form, a report released Wednesday found.

Alarmingly, only one in every 10 workers deemed functionally illiterate is enrolled in literacy classes and half of them drop out within three weeks, said the study by the United Way of Greater Los Angeles.

"It's an emergency situation," said Mayor James Hahn, adding that poor literacy rates could jeopardize the region's economy by driving out high-tech businesses and other industries that pay well.

In the Los Angeles region, 53 percent of workers ages 16 and older were deemed functionally illiterate, the study said. [...]

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Hurricane Ivan Pummels Grenada, Kills 15
By HAROLD QUASH, Associated Press Writer
September 9, 2004

ST. GEORGE'S, Grenada - Hurricane Ivan grew into the deadliest of storms overnight Thursday, packing winds of 160 mph as it made a beeline for Jamaica after pummeling Grenada, Barbados and other islands, causing at least 15 deaths.

As dazed survivors emerged from half-destroyed homes in Grenada — where at least 12 people were killed and 90 percent of the 100,000 islanders' homes were damaged — Jamaican leader P.J. Patterson urged his people to pray.

"We have to prepare for the worst case scenario. Let us pray for God's care," Patterson said Wednesday night. "This is a time that we must demonstrate that we are indeed our brothers' and sisters' keeper."

The most dangerous storm to hit the Caribbean in years already pummeled Barbados and other islands Tuesday before setting its deadly winds and rains, blamed for three other fatalities in Barbados, Tobago and Venezuela, on a course projected to take it directly over Jamaica, Cuba and into the heart of the hurricane-weary southern United States.

The storm strengthened early Thursday to become a Category 5 on a scale of 5. It packed sustained winds of 160 mph with higher gusts as it passed north of the Dutch Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. [...]

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Fla. Urges New Evacuations As Ivan Nears
By ADRIAN SAINZ, Associated Press Writer
September 9, 2004

MIAMI - Tourists and residents were told Thursday to leave the Florida Keys to avoid mighty Hurricane Ivan, even as Floridians still struggled with the destruction and misery left by Hurricanes Frances and Charley.

Forecasters said Ivan — which strengthened early Thursday to 160 mph — could reach the island chain as early as Sunday, making it the third hurricane to hit Florida in a month.

Charley struck southwest Florida on Aug. 13 with wind of 145 mph, causing an estimated $6.8 billion in damage and 27 deaths. Frances hit the state's eastern coast early Sunday with 105 mph wind, leaving $2 billion to $4 billion in insured damage and at least 15 dead in the state.

Ivan has already killed at least 15 people as it tears through the Caribbean, the most powerful hurricane to hit there in a decade. Ninety percent of the homes in Grenada were damaged, looting erupted and a prison was destroyed, leaving criminals on the loose.

At 8 a.m., Ivan's center was about 455 miles southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, or about 1,000 miles southeast of Miami. It had top sustained winds of 160 mph.

National Hurricane Center forecasters predict that Ivan could hit the Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane, with winds of 131 to 155 mph, late Sunday or early Monday. [...]

Remnants of Frances continued to create problems Thursday.

In Ohio, where up to 7 inches of rain fell, two deaths were attributed to the storm. In Asheville, N.C., tens of thousands of people remained without drinking water early Thursday after a major water line from a reservoir washed out. [...]

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Typhoon subsides after killing at least 31
Japan Times
September 9, 2004

The death toll from Typhoon Songda rose to 31 Wednesday, with at least 14 people still missing and more than 900 injured mainly in Hokkaido and western Japan. [...]

Hokkaido felt the full force of the typhoon, the agency said. The city of
Sapporo experienced winds of up to 180 kph before noon. [...]

Airlines canceled 106 domestic flights and two international flights Wednesday, affecting more than 14,000 passengers. On Tuesday, 82 domestic flights and two international flights were scrubbed, affecting nearly 13,000 travelers.

Songda is the seventh typhoon to land on Japan proper this year, breaking the record of six in a single season. [...]

Songda followed close behind Typhoon Chaba, which left at least 13 people in Japan dead, and Megi, which killed at least 10.

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M6.2 quake rattles central, western Japan
Thursday, September 9, 2004 at 07:16 JST
TOKYO — An earthquake measuring a magnitude of 6.2 on the Richter scale jolted wide areas in central and western Japan at 11:58 Wednesday night, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

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Three Killed in N.C. Shooting Spree
Thu Sep 9, 2:49 AM ET

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A former corrections officer went on a shooting spree at a mobile home community, killing two people and wounding two others before killing himself, police said.

One of the dead was believed to be the shooter's wife. At least one of the wounded had life-threatening injuries.

A SWAT team, hostage negotiators and dozens of officers responded to the shooting Wednesday afternoon and police surrounded a mobile home, believing the shooter was inside. A police helicopter hovered overhead, and an armored tank pulled close to the home in western Mecklenburg County.

Comment: A SWAT team, dozens of officers, a helicopter, and a tank - all for one man??

Residents of the mobile home park received an automated telephone message telling them to lock their doors and stay inside.

For about 2 1/2 hours, police tried to make contact with the man, police spokesman Keith Bridges said. When officers entered the home, they found the suspected shooter and a woman believed to be his wife shot to death. [...]

Police said the gunman, whose name they had not released, had worked in law enforcement, most recently for the N.C. Department of Correction. It was not immediately clear whether he was still employed there. [...]

Comment: A corrections officer goes on a murderous rampage, and yet people find it hard to believe that US prisons can be as bad as Abu Ghraib...

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Puppy Shot Man Trying To Kill Dogs
September 9, 2004

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- A man who was trying to shoot seven puppies was shot himself when one of the dogs made the .38-caliber revolver discharge, deputies said.

Jerry Allen Bradford, 37, of Pensacola, was charged with felony animal cruelty, the Escambia County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.

Bradford was being treated at an undisclosed hospital for the gunshot wound to his wrist, said sheriff's Sgt. Ted Roy.

Bradford said he decided to shoot the 3-month-old puppies in the head because he couldn't find another home for the shepherd-mix dogs, according to the sheriff's office.

On Monday, he was holding two puppies, one in his arms and another in his left hand, when the dog in his hand wiggled and put its paw on the trigger, making the gun discharge, the sheriff's report said.

The revolver and a rifle were seized from the home, deputies said.

Deputies found three of the puppies in a shallow grave outside Bradford's home, Roy said. The other four appeared to be in good health and were taken by Escambia County Animal Control, which planned to make them available for adoption.

"That should never have to happen," said Bruce Rova, director of the Escambia County Animal Shelter. "There are so many options people have. We'll try to find them a new home."

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