Signs Supplement: The Suicide Bombing Cycle
Strike Flash Presentation by a QFS member
of the Day
From the Streets of Little Beirut
Numerous writers have compared the Bush tactics with those used
by Hitler, while others have documented the connection between Prescott
Bush and the Nazis. However, there is much more to what has lead
the Bush regime to transform the United Stated into a fascist police
state. Few people are aware that it is the Republican Party which
paid for Nazi broadcasts in the 1930s or that the GOP employed Nazis
in election campaigns. Fewer are aware that Herbert Hoover conspired
with top Nazi officials in Berlin to unseat Roosevelt in the 1940
election. Others have forgotten that George Bush senior as chairman
of the Republican Party set up the ethnic heritage groups of the
party as havens for former Nazis or that he employed known Nazi
war criminals on his campaign staff.
Moreover, as the New York Republican convention nears convening,
it is increasingly obvious that protestors will be dealt with brutally.
New weapons such as a sound blaster developed for the military are
already in place in New York blurring the lines between the military
and civilian affairs. Over fifty protestors are being tightly watch
and tailed, their only crime is their opposition to Bush. The Republican
governor has suggested that free speech is not a right but a privilege
that can be revoke. Additionally there is a massive operation going
on in Florida and other states to deny Blacks their right to vote.
Finally the Bush administration is using terror alerts to frighten
voters and to condition them to the possibility of a canceled election.
These and similar tactics are no different than the tactics Hitler's
brown shirts employed.
The fascist philosophy underlying the present Bush administration.
There are numerous connections between the Bush family and the
Nazis. Moreover, the philosophy of the neocons within the Bush administration
has already been connected with fascism. However, no article has
attempted to present an overview of the fascist connections within
the Bush administration. This article will begin to outline the
fascist connections between the present Bush administration and
the Nazis, using a two-prong approach. The philosophical roots of
Bush and the neocons can be traced back to one of America's notorious
Several authors have already noted the link between senior members
of the Bush administration and the fascist Leo Strauss. However,
exploring further the philosophical roots of Bush administration,
we see that this connection leads back to the robber barons and
the empire of J.P Morgan. Due to the natural congeniality between
the robber barons and the corporate state of fascism, most of America's
leading industrialists became America's leading supporters of fascism.
They were responsible for bringing Hitler to power and for building
Hitler's war machine.
Strauss is nominally portrayed as a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany.
However, Strauss wasn't the hapless Jewish refugee that he is purported
to be. Strauss adopted Zionism at the age of 17. There is a close
and sinister association between Zionism and the Nazis. Many of
the Zionists supported Hitler and the Nazis. In fact, the Nazis
concluded a transfer agreement with the Zionists. The Zionists were
attempting to limit the choices available for Europe's Jews to two
choices: immigrate to Palestine or perish in the Holocaust.
As a student, Strauss began studying the philosophers that provided
the basis for fascism: Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Schmitt. He became
a devoted lifelong follower of their philosophy. Strauss's philosophy
and views became increasingly fascist as his studies progressed.
The hallmark of Strauss's philosophy was his belief in totalitarian
government. He rejected all principles of natural law and believed
in keeping the masses ignorant and in general servitude.
Strauss left Nazi Germany with the warm commendation of the Nazi
jurist and philosopher Carl Schmitt. Schmitt was personally responsible,
in 1934, for arranging a Rockefeller Foundation scholarship for
Strauss, which enabled him to leave Germany, to study first in France
and then England. He arrived in the United States from Britain in
the fall of 1937. Briefly appointed Research Fellow in the Department
of History of Columbia University, he then became a member of the
graduate faculty at the New School for Social Research in 1938.
The New School of Social Research was founded in 1919, a year after
Willard Straight's death from influenza. Straight had been a partner
of J.P. Morgan. He believed that America's security depended upon
the British fleet and that it was in the United States own interest
to enter the war. At the same time, he saw the war as an opportunity
for American bankers and industrialists to make substantial gains
internationally at the expense of Britain. Morgan was an anglophile
and believed in the entry of the U.S. in the war. In 1915, Straight
left the Morgan empire for a position with the American International
Corporation, itself affiliated with the National City Bank.
In 1914, Straight and his wife Dorothy (maiden name, Dorothy Payne
Whitney) invited Herbert Croly to edit the first edition of the
New Republic, a new magazine funded by Straight. During WWI, J.P.
Morgan was obsessed with the media and endeavored to control it.
Providing backing for the New Republic had a threefold purpose for
Morgan. Firstly, it would keep him abreast of the thinking in left-wing
circles. He even had an inside man in the communist press. Secondly,
Morgan believed a magazine such as the New Republic allowed the
left to blow off steam, thus acting as a safety valve. Finally,
he also believed it would give him a power of veto on any actions
originated by the left, in case they ever went radical.
Funding the New Republic was not the only effort funded by Morgan
to gain control of the press. In 1915, he got together 12 leading
men within the newspaper business and commissioned them to determine
how one could control the national press. They agreed that, to control
the national press, all that was needed was to control 25 of the
most influential papers. Morgan immediately sent emissaries to purchase
the editorial policy of the 25 selected papers. Morgan also used
his money to form the American Legion and to craft it into a union
busting and redbaiting group of hired thugs that ran amok during
the 1919 Red Scare terrorizing and murdering countless union leaders
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) was another Morgan front
group aimed at controlling the American people. The CFR evolved
out of the Rhodes Roundtable group during WWI. Most of the early
members were Morgan employees who had met their English counterparts
during the Paris Peace Conference. The CFR was a bridging group
between the Morgans and the Rockefellers, and the Rockefellers provided
much of the financial support. As the Rockefeller fortune came to
outgrow the Morgan fortune, the CFR became more dominated by the
Rockefellers. Percy Rockefeller, a Skull and Bones member who served
on the board of the Morgan Guaranty Trust further strengthened the
bridge between the Morgan and Rockefeller dynasties.
The New Republic certainly fits the blueprint of Morgan's efforts
to control the media. Initially, all outside contributions had to
be unanimously approved by its editorial board. The New School for
Social Research followed in the footsteps of the New Republic. Straight's
widow and the wife of another J.P. Morgan partner, Mrs. Thomas Lamont,
were instrumental in establishing the New School. Two years later
in 1921, Alvin Johnson, the assistant editor of the New Republic
was named Director of the New School. Strauss remained at the Morgan-connected
New School for Social Research for ten years. In 1948, he accepted
a position at the Rockefeller founded University of Chicago.
Not only was Strauss a promoter of fascist ideology, but his entry
into the United States and his work there through most of his life
was supported financially by two of the most powerful American fascist
families. While the dealings of the Rockefeller-owned Standard Oil
Company with the Nazis during the war allowed the family the thin
pretense that they were not personally involved, other actions by
the Rockefeller family confirm their fascist ideology. It was the
Rockefeller Foundation that provided funding for much of the Nazi
research into eugenics, including the funding for the twin research
conducted in the concentration camps by Mengele.
Strauss's connections to the neo-cons within the Bush administration
are well known at this point. Numerous other neo-cons serving in
the Bush administration or the American Enterprise Organization,
who funded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), were
students and followers of Strauss. Not only can this be seen in
their dictatorial approach but it is also visible in their strong
pro-Israeli views. An interesting aspect of Strauss's tenure at
the University of Chicago is that it is during his tenure that both
David Rockefeller and John Ashcroft received their degrees from
the University of Chicago.
The Rockefeller family played a key role not only in funding Strauss
but also in destroying the economies of Third World nations. The
Rockefellers have used the University of Chicago and their various
family foundations to promote an economic policy of ruin. The laissez-faire
economics promoted by the Chicago school has failed numerous times
in the past and was one of the leading causes of the 1929 stock
market crash and resulting Great Depression. Such economic policies
only lead to global fascism and corporate rule, which are the prime
goal of the Rockefeller family.
This is evident in David Rockefeller's support of free trade agreements,
the World Trade Organization and the World Bank. These trade organization
and agreements have impoverished much of the Southern Hemisphere
with their draconian demands for privatization and cuts in social
spending. Moreover, these trade agreements effectively reduce the
government's role to that of an enforcer of corporate policies.
All of these free trade agreements contain a clause setting up a
tribunal comprised of corporations to settle all disputes, including
claims against the government. The clause effectively bypasses the
court systems in signatory countries. In effect, these clauses confer
supreme sovereignty to multinational corporations who answer to
no one. Under these clauses, corporations are free to claim environmental
laws, labor laws and other laws are harmful to the company and cause
it financial loss, which results in massive settlements against
the government and in the overturning of needed laws.
One of the chief advocates of these free trade agreements is Dick
Cheney, who has promised David Rockefeller that he would deliver
a hemisphere trade agreement before the end of the current Bush
Such unconstitutional trade agreements have become commonplace
as a result of the Rockefellers' ability to control and direct economic
thought in the United States. In essence, the Rockefellers maintain
a monopoly on economic theory. To understand how they gained such
control brings us back to the 1920s. During the 1920s, two economists
rose to prominence: Ludwig von Mises, and Friedrich A. Hayek. Both
were helped by Rockefeller money. Von Mises toured the United States
in 1926. The tour of American Universities was sponsored by the
Laura Spelman Rockefeller Foundation and was greatly successful
in promoting the views of the Austrian School of Economics. Hayek
tutored personally David Rockefeller in economics.
In 1950, von Hayek was brought to the United States to teach at
the University of Chicago. He didn't teach economics, he was actually
made a professor on the Committee on Social Thought. This was an
exceptionally dangerous position for a man that held the views von
Hayek did. In 1945, von Hayek's The Road to Serfdom was published.
This poorly written book was an attack on the concept of the nation-state.
In it, von Hayek argued that the nation-state was a hindrance to
peace, and socialism led to totalitarian systems, which treated
their citizens as serfs. In place of the nation-state von Hayek
proposed a supra-national authority or world federation consisting
of the financial elite.
This elite would then be free to rule the world according to their
own interest. In 1947, von Hayek created the Mount Pelerin Society,
made up of the financial elite of Europe, as a first step toward
his supranational authority. In the years since, the Mount Perlin
Society has been influential in creating numerous "conservative"
think tanks, which promote free market economic policies for the
Establishment. The society has expanded to include the following
think tanks: the Heritage Foundation in 1973, the Fraser Institute
in 1974, the Manhattan Institute in 1977, and the Pacific Institute
for Public Policy Research in 1978.
The influence of the Chicago University on modern economics is
unprecedented. Since 1969, most of the Nobel prizes in economics
have been awarded to the free traders, despite the spectacular failures
of laissez-faire economies.
Economists who dare publish articles opposing the thought of the
Chicago University, are quickly ridiculed, their works dismissed,
and their careers wrecked. All this is a testimony to the power
of the Rockefeller family and its control over economy and free
The connection between the University of Chicago and fascism was
renewed in the 1960s under Pinochet in Chile. It was the "boys
from Chicago", students of Milton Friedman, who destroyed the
economy and reduced the citizens to serfdom in Pinochet's fascist
Chile, where dissent was eliminated by right-wing death squads.
According to von Hayek's views, corporations are given the status
of sovereign nations while the nation-states are reduced to mere
quislings of the corporate state and enforcer of their laws. This
is the same agenda as that of the World Trade Organization, the
International Monetary fund and the many so-called "free trade
agreements." Many of the Bush neocons are further linked with
von Hayek by their beliefs in Mandeville. (Von Hayek rejected the
idea that man was created in the image of god and traced his philosophical
ancestry to the early eighteenth century Satanist, Bernard Mandeville.)
At this point, it becomes clear that the Bush administration's
philosophical roots are clearly grounded in fascist ideology and
in the fascist dogma of the corporate state. That these roots come
from two of America's richest families confirms fascism as a top-down
revolution by the elite to maintain their control and power. The
fascist roots of the Bush regime are manifested in the operative
side of its philosophy, through the Psychological Strategy Board
under Nelson Rockefeller. C D Jackson served in the Eisenhower administration;
he was in charge of the psychological warfare. Both Bruce and Howell
Jackson were part of the PNAC project, the blueprint for the Bush
The operative route: how the fascists manifested themselves.
A return to the partners of J.P Morgan provides the operative connection
between the Bush administration and fascism. Thomas Lamont was a
prominent figure in the 1934 fascist plot to remove Roosevelt from
office. The plot called for retired Marine General Smedley Butler
to lead the force --much of it consisting of American Legionnaires--
to take over the White House. Roosevelt would be given a chance
to step down and to cooperate with the plotters. If Roosevelt refused
to let the business leaders seize power, then the plotters would
However, Butler was an honorable man, and he leaked the information
concerning the plot to Roosevelt. Roosevelt knew he could not simply
dismiss it when it was connected with several leading industrialists
and bankers. To foil the plot, Roosevelt leaked information about
it to the press. The resulting commotion in the front pages of the
country's newspapers undermined any efforts by the plotters to proceed.
Butler described his military career as follows.
"War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe,
as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people.
Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted
for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses….
I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil
interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for
the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in
the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits
of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify
Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers
in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light
to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916.
In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested."
A third partner of J. P. Morgan, Henry Davison, financed the Yale
Aviation Club, of which his son Trubee was a member. Many of the
Aviation Club members were also members of the Skull and Bones secret
society at Yale. The club gained fame during WWI. Robert Lovett
led the unit during the war. Artemus Gates was another member. Trubee
was injured in a crash during training and never saw combat.
The most interesting aspect of this group of college aviation buffs
is how many of them later served in WWII on the targeting selection
committee. Henry Simpson, Secretary of War and a former Bonesman,
appointed John McCloy as his Assistant Secretary of War in charge
of intelligence. Robert Lovett was appointed Assistant Secretary
of War for air. Directly under Lovett was Trubee Davison. Davison
held the position of assistant chief of staff at A-1. Artemus Gates
served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy for air. James Stillman
Rockefeller served with the Airborne Command and Airborne Center
as assistant chief of staff.
Clearly the Department of War, and particularly the command for
air had an unusually high number of members from the Yale Aviation
Unit and the Skull and Bones. Moreover, these individuals all had
extensive ties to Wall Street firms, which had a history of doing
business with the Nazis. Certainly they were able to influence the
target selection in the air campaign against Germany. Lovett was
a lifelong advocate of what amounts to terror bombing, the bombing
of civilian centers.
The air campaign against Germany left eighty percent of the homes
destroyed. Factory production was only reduced by twenty percent.
However, much of the reduction in factory production came about
not by damage to the factories, but from delays and shortages of
parts caused by the disruption of the transportation system from
bombing damage. For example, Cologne was a city targeted for massive
bombing attacks. While the city lay in ruins, the Ford and I.G.
Farben plants escaped all but minor bomb damage. In Berlin, a city
that had been reduced to rubble from the bombing campaign, the Allies
chose the I.G. Farben building for their headquarters. It had escaped
all but minor damage from the bombs.
Robert Lovett and Prescott Bush were both Bonesmen employed by
Brown Brothers and Harriman. In fact, many of the top directors
and partners of Brown Brothers & Harriman were Bonesmen. It
was one of the main firms on Wall Street to have extensive dealings
with the Nazis.
The deals with the Nazis were so extensive at Brown Brothers &
Harriman that Prescott Bush had 23 firms seized from him for trading
with the enemy. Five firms were seized from Bush in 1942, another
18 firms were seized shortly after the war. The 18 firms had been
allowed to operate during the war only because seizing them had
been judged detrimental to the war effort and their continued operation
posed little risk to the Allies.
Before the firms were seized, Prescott Bush hired the Dulles brothers
to conceal the Nazi ownership in these firms. Any window of deniability
slammed shut the minute Bush hired the Dulles brothers to conceal
the Nazi's ownership. This is when it becomes treason by both Bush
and the Dulles brothers. It confirms that both parties knew that
the continued operation of these companies was in violation of U.S.
policy and of the Trading with the Enemy Act. Moreover, it confirms
that both parties freely chose to aid the Nazis when the U.S. was
at war with Nazi Germany.
The Wall Street law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell employed both
John Foster and Allan Dulles. Throughout the 1930s and the early
1940s, the Dulles brothers were busy cloaking Nazi ownership of
numerous corporations and their cartel arrangements with I.G. Farben.
Not only was their work treasonous in and of itself, it also delayed
the production of war materials and munitions.
Aside from his 23 corporations seized for violating the Trading
with the Enemy Act, Prescott Bush was a leader in the American eugenic
movement. The American eugenic movement was successful in the passage
of sterilization laws in many states for anyone judged unfit. These
laws served as the basis of the Nuremberg Laws passed by the Nazis.
Much of the Nazi eugenic research was funded, even during the war,
with money from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Foundation.
The Harriman's were also large financial backers of the movement.
After the war, John Foster Dulles, with the aid of Rockefeller
money, led a world tour of third-world nations stressing the danger
of population expansion of nonAryan races. George Bush, Prescott's
son, has followed in his father's footsteps in setting up population
control in third-world nations through the UN. In his first political
race, George Bush campaigned against the Civil Rights Act of 1964
and as a member of congress he warned of the danger of too many
Black babies. While population control may be a laudable goal, in
the hands of the Bush family it becomes another eugenic tool aimed
at eliminating nonAryan races.
Moreover, Cold Springs Harbor, the center of eugenic research in
the 1920s and 1930s is still operating. It is currently a leader
of the human genome project. While the genome project will undoubtedly
provide many future medical benefits, Cold Springs remains firmly
under the control of the same families involved in the American
eugenics movement. Current directors William Gerry and Allen Dulles
Jebsen are the grandsons of Harriman and Allan Dulles respectively.
The genome project provides the ideal cover to develop a genome-specific
bioweapon, a weapon with the sole purpose of committing genocide
on a massive scale. Such a weapon has been described by the PNAC
as a politically useful tool. The PNAC is the road map George W.
Bush is following as a "War President."
This is not the only link between the Rockefeller Foundation and
questionable programs. In 1931, with funding from the Rockefeller
Foundation, Dr. Cornelius Rhoads infected human subjects with cancer
cells. Rhoads later established the U.S. Army Biological Warfare
facilities in Maryland, Utah, and Panama. It was named the U.S.
Atomic Energy Commission. While there, he began a series of radiation
exposure experiments on American soldiers and civilian hospital
Following the war, Allan Dulles faced an investigation for treason.
While Dulles was crafty enough to escape the charges, one of those
aiding him in covering up his crimes was Richard Nixon. While still
serving in the navy, Nixon was given some captured documents to
review. The contents would have revealed Allan Dulles as a traitor.
In exchange for burying the documents Dulles agreed to fund Nixon's
first political campaign. Nixon's campaign benefited from large
contributions from a large New York bank connected with Brown Brothers
Captured Nazi documents reveal they had a comeback plan. Their
plan to regain power after the war revolved around using their friends
or other fascist sympathizers in other countries --and particularly
in the United States-- to do their bidding while rebuilding Germany.
The documents note that, as late as 1944, the Nazis were hoping
for a Republican victory in the presidential election because they
would get an easier peace. The second part of their plan aimed at
provoking a war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, which would
allow the Nazis to retake power in Germany without U.S. intervention.
Politically, Eisenhower had a tin ear, and he was politically naïve.
When John Foster Dulles approached him in Europe to run for election
in 1948, Eisenhower had no foreign policy concept formulated. He
was easily swayed by Dulles' idea of massive nuclear retaliation,
which led to the appointment of Dulles as secretary of state. While
Eisenhower was no Nazi and expressed his hatred of Nazis and Germans
in his letters to his wife, he allowed the American Nazis like the
Dulles brothers to gain a great deal of control over his administration.
Eisenhower appointed Allan Dulles as CIA Director, and Prescott
Bush and John Lovett were Eisenhower's close golfing buddies. Prescott
Bush was also the driving force in selecting Richard Nixon as Eisenhower's
running mate. Nelson Rockefeller was appointed to head the Psychological
Strategy Board. Numerous employees of Sullivan and Cromwell, the
two Wall Street firms most involved with the Nazis, held important
positions within the administration.
John McCloy and General Draper, both from the former Control Council
of Germany, fulfilled important roles in the Eisenhower administration.
Nothing was left to chance in the rebirth of the Nazis. In postwar
Germany, the three most powerful figures: John McCloy head of the
Control Council, Lewis Douglas, the head of the Finance Division
of the Control Council and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, were all
brothers-in-law. They all had wed daughters of Fredrick Zinsser,
a partner of JP Morgan.
While the American Nazis succeeded in gaining partial control of
the Eisenhower administration and were able to stoke the fires of
the Cold War, they failed to secure total control. Although these
American Nazis managed to dupe the tired old general, they never
succeeded in completely tricking him. Even after suffering a debilitating
heart attack the old general refused to turn over the reins of power
to Nixon, a man he loathed. Before leaving office, Eisenhower realized
he had been duped and left us his rather cryptic warning about the
military-industrial complex, suggesting the dangers of corporate
Since 1960, Eisenhower's warning has gone largely unheeded. Beginning
with the rise of fascism and the elitism within the Reagan administration,
the military keeps taking up a bigger portion of the budget, social
welfare has been largely eliminated --just as it was eliminated
in Nazi Germany. Today, under the regime of George W. Bush, it is
clear that the corporations within the military-industrial complex
are in control of the country. It allows Dick Cheney to pad his
retirement account at Halliburton with millions of dollars of Halliburton
overcharges for services not delivered in the Iraq War. Meanwhile,
many of the soldiers are sent into combat without body armor.
A recently disclosed top-secret document from the NSC reveals that
the NSC staff were instructed to cooperate fully with Dick Cheney's
Energy Task Force as it considered the "melding" of two
seemingly unrelated areas of policy: "the review of operational
policies towards rogue states," such as Iraq, and "actions
regarding the capture of new and existing oil and gas fields."
The document suggests that Cheney's Energy Task Force was actually
a discussion for geostrategic plans for oil, putting the issue of
war in the context of the captains of the oil industry sitting down
with Cheney and laying grand, global plans. This would confirm Bush's
plans for regime change in 60 countries and his support for rebel
forces opposing the democratic government of Venezuela as well as
the increasing hostility of the Bush administration towards Iran.
Too many people still believe that fascism can't happen here. It
is happening here today. The Gestapo is firmly in place in the form
of Ashcroft's justice department. The FBI no longer serves to protect
the citizens; instead it is being used to protect this regime, by
such means as the gagging of Sibel Edmonds, for instance. The FBI
is no longer primarily charged with criminal investigation instead
its being used to enforce this regime's policies and finally the
FBI, other federal law enforcement agencies and the military are
illegally spying on anyone opposed to this regime. Moreover, Representative
Porter Goss, Bush's choice to head the CIA has introduced legislation
that would allow the CIA to conduct operations inside the United
States including arbitrary arrests of American citizens.
Ike's military-industrial complex, the PNAC document, the World
Trade Organization, free trade agreements, and the George W. Bush
regime are all parts of the many-headed Nazi Hydra in America.
If George Bush declares a red alert or martial law or manages to
steal another election, will you be one of the first sent to the
concentration camps? Will you go quietly like a lamb? Will you allow
the Gestapo to haul away your neighbor, your wife, your son or daughter?
Will you live next to the crematories with your head in the sand
as the Germans did? Or will you oppose the regime and help reestablish
the constitutional republic?
The time to decide is now, tomorrow may be too late. The corporate
state of fascism has risen from the ashes of 9/11 like a giant phoenix.
It will consume all that opposes it. The Fourth Reich has risen.
Beware. Your life and freedoms depend on it.
A new Council for the National Interest/Zogby
poll commissioned after the publication of reports that AIPAC was
being investigated for espionage shows that Americans of all backgrounds
and ages strongly believe it acts as a foreign agent for the Israeli
government and should be registered as a foreign agent and lose
its tax exempt status.
The poll found 61% "strongly or somewhat agree" that
AIPAC should be asked to register as a foreign agent and lose its
tax exempt status, while only 12% strongly or somewhat disagree
that it should. 27% were unsure on the issue.
A majority of people within almost every subgroup agrees. This
includes 77% of 18-29-year-olds, 72% of Hispanics, and approximately
two-thirds of independent voters, 50-64-year-olds, residents of
the West region, Catholics, single adults, parents of children under
17, and men.
15% of Jewish Americans "strongly agreed" and 15% "strongly
disagreed" with the statement that AIPAC should register as
an agent of a foreign government and thereby lose its tax exempt
status. However, 60% were unsure. Three times as many "Born
Again Christians" agreed with the results than disagreed, with
almost one-third unsure. These are the traditional pro-Israel bases
of the Republican Party.
On August 30, it was reported that the FBI interviewed members
of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in connection with
the passing of classified material to the government of Israel by
a Pentagon analyst working in the office of the Undersecretary of
Defense Douglas Feith. Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan) subsequently
called for opening hearings into the leak to investigate whether
the Larry Franklin, the Pentagon analyst, was "acting at the
behest of his superiors" and whether a "rogue element
in the American government may have been working with a foreign
Said Eugene Bird, president of CNI, "The poll shows serious
doubts that Americans have about the activities of AIPAC. They strongly
endorse the position that we have long held, that AIPAC should register
as an agent of a foreign government and lose its tax exempt status.
For years, Congress has been duped by their illegal activities."
SEATTLE (IPS/GIN) - The burgeoning probe over claims that a Pentagon
official passed highly classified secrets to a Zionist lobby group
is part of a much broader network of FBI and Pentagon investigations
of prominent U.S. neo-conservatives and their ties to Israel dating
back some 30 years, according to knowledgeable sources.
The sources, who asked to not be identified, said the FBI has been
intensively reviewing a series of past counter-intelligence probes
that were started against several high-profile neo-cons but never
followed up with prosecutions, due to political pressure, to the
great frustration of counter-intelligence officers.
Some of these past investigations involve top
current officials, including Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz;
Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith, whose office
appears to be the focus of the most recently disclosed inquiry;
and Richard Perle, who resigned as Defense Policy Board (DPB) chairman
All three were the subject of a lengthy investigative story by
Stephen Green published by the progressive newsletter Counterpunch
in February. Mr. Green is the author of two books on U.S.-Israeli
relations, including "Taking Sides: America's Secret Relations
with a Militant Israel," which relies heavily on interviews
with former Pentagon and counter-intelligence officials.
At the same time, another Pentagon office concerned with the transfer
of sensitive military and dual-use technologies has been examining
the acquisition, modification and sales of key hi-tech military
equipment to third parties by Israel obtained from the United States,
in some cases with the help of prominent neo-conservatives who were
then serving in the government.
Some of that equipment has been sold by Israel—which
in the last 20 years has become a top exporter of the world's most
sophisticated hi-tech information and weapons technology—or
by Israeli middlemen, to Russia, China and other U.S. strategic
rivals. Some of it has also found its way onto the black market,
where terrorist groups obtained bootlegged copies, according to
Of particular interest in that connection are derivatives of a
powerful case-management software called PROMIS that was produced
by INSLAW, Inc. in the early 1980s and acquired by Israel's Mossad
intelligence agency, which then sold its own versions to other foreign
intelligence agencies in the Middle East, Asia and Eastern Europe.
But these versions were modified with a "trap door" that
permitted the seller to spy on the buyers' own intelligence files
and possibly the U.S., according to a number of published reports.
As Commissioner of Customs under President Reagan and President
Bush, a major responsibility of William Von Raab was to enforce
the laws against smuggling of critical technology out of the country.
The government program to stop the outflow of this technology was
called "Operation Exodus." Most of the technology was
headed toward the eastern bloc.
But some was headed to Israel.
In the current issue of American Conservative magazine, Von Raab
says that the arrests of a handful of Israeli citizens in California
"who had been caught red-handed with the complete ingredients
for cluster bombs" led to accusations by Secretary of State
George Schultz that Von Raab was "harassing Israelis."
("Nothing to Declare: One Nation is More Favored Than Others,"
By William Von Raab, American Conservative, July 14, 2003)
Schultz and others within the administration "packaged these
arrests with a series of other Israeli arrests for similar actions
to show, not a pattern of criminal activity by foreign agents, but
harassment by U.S. Customs agents against nice guys," Von Raab
To prove that he wasn't harassing Israeli citizens, a meeting was
set up between Von Raab and Morris Abram, the then chairman of the
Council of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, "the most
important member of the Jewish community that I could reach,"
Von Raab writes. Von Raab flew to New York and was accompanied to
the meeting with Abrams by the man in charge of all Customs agents,
assistant Commissioner Bill Rosenblatt.
"In the taxi from the airport to Manhattan, I asked Rosenblatt
what the plan was," Von Raab writes. "He pulled out a
loose-leaf binder marked Top Secret. All the pages inside were also
marked Top Secret. ŒWhat the hell are you doing?' I cried.
ŒDon't worry,' he said. ŒThis is just a bunch of routine
reports that I stamped Top Secret. There is nothing even confidential
here. I know these fellows. He will like this, feel he is being
brought in on the real information, and send us on our merry way.'"
Von Raab says that the meeting with Abram went very well, "he
liked the Top Secret binder -- Rosenblatt was right."
"Abram was deeply pleased that he was being given a look inside
our Operation Exodus," Von Raab writes. "He further seemed
to catch on quickly that I was not running anti-Israeli hit teams."
"We returned to Washington," Von Raab concludes. "James
Baker was pleased. George Schultz was appeased. The Israeli agents
were never prosecuted -- the cases against them vanished like water
Von Raab did not return calls seeking comment for this article.
| NABLUS, (IPC) -- The Israeli occupying forces
executed extra-judicially six members
of the Palestinian resistance and wounded others, close
to Dael Su’ter School in the perimeter of the Latin church at
the Al Razi Street of Nablus city in conjunction with a wide incursion
by the Israeli troops including 20 armored
personnel carriers, four tanks as two choppers were hovering overhead,
firing eight missiles towards the target in the heart of the city.
Palestinian medics declared that
the Israeli invading troops barred the ambulance and medics to enter
Al-Razi Street to evacuate the casualties to Raphedia hospital.
Witnesses said that the Israeli troops stormed and combed several
houses in the vicinity of the area at al Najeh Street, among were
the house of Jamal Al-Aloul, Suheil Al Keylani, and Al Nabulsi residential
apartment which has been turned into a military post, at the same
time, a similar attack against the residents houses was perpetrated
in Ghernatta Street and Basal market.
Our correspondent reported that a clash has been erupted at this moment
between the Israeli soldiers, firing live bullets and tear gas canisters
and the Palestinian stone throwers in al shuhda junction in the heart
of the city.
Medics said that two residents were wounded.
NABLUS, West Bank: Ten Palestinians, including
a young schoolgirl, were killed in separate army raids in the West
Bank on Wednesday.
Six people, including the 11-year-old girl,
were killed during an early morning offensive in the main northern
city of Nablus before four militants were shot dead when special
forces swooped on a garage in the nearby town of Jenin, Palestinian
medical and security sources said.
The victims of the Nablus operation, four of whom were members
Al-Aqsa Brigade, were shot dead after troops had encircled a house
in the Old City area. Around 20 jeeps and
tanks took part in the operation, with aerial cover from an Israeli
helicopter. "A soldier on lookout had spotted a group
of armed Palestinians who then forced their way into a house owned
by an 80-year-old man," the army’s regimental commander
in Nablus said. "We called on them to surrender but they refused
and then tried to flee from the house, opening fire," the colonel
The young girl, Maram al-Nahleh, was hit
by gunfire when she went out of her house and was watching them
taking away the bodies when soldiers posted on the roof of a house
shot at her, hitting her in the face," medics and grandmother
of the girl, Mouyassar Al-Nahleh said.
Clashes broke out between the soldiers and groups of stone-throwers
after news of the killings filtered through the city. Ten Palestinians
were wounded during the clashes, including
a 14-year-old boy, who was in a serious condition in hospital,
Four more Al-Aqsa Brigades fighters were killed several hours
later in a raid by Israeli special forces in Jenin. The soldiers
gunned down the four men in a garage in an industrial zone in the
north of the town. An Israeli military source confirmed the killing
of four Palestinian gunmen and arrest of two militants, adding that
a number of firearms had been retrieved.
Arafat told reporters said, "This
is another unforgivable crime against our people, against our cities,
our refugee camps, our sacred lands but the Palestinian people will
continue to be committed to the peace process."
Amid fears of possible reprisals, Israel has imposed a general
closure on the Palestinian territories for the start of the Jewish
new year holiday, which was to begin at sundown on Wednesday, while
police and army reinforcements have been deployed on the streets
of the major cities in Israel.
Three British Muslim women yesterday told
of their anger after Israeli police burst into their room in the
middle of the night, strip-searched them and arrested them under
The three - a Cambridge student, a teacher and a lawyer - were
arrested at gunpoint on Friday and yesterday were told to leave
Israel, even though the accusations have been dropped.
British Muslims yesterday called on the government to make an
official protest to Israel over its treatment of the women, one
of whom has recently worked at the Home Office.
The three - Hajira Qureshi, 20, Samra Ghafoor, 28, and Amina Shaikh,
28 - are expected to fly back to Britain within days.
At court hearings they were not allowed
to know the police's evidence against them, and a judge threw
out the case saying he did not want to harm them. They were ordered
to stay in Jerusalem before leaving Israel.
"They are only treating us like this because we are Muslims,"
said Ms Ghafoor, a primary school teacher in west London. "We
came to visit Muslim holy sites and to offer help to a charity that
teaches Palestinian children."
The women arrived in Israel last Tuesday and stayed at a hotel
in Jerusalem's old city. At 3.30am on Friday about 20 police and
security officials banged on their door.
"They started ransacking our room.
We were each taken to another room and strip-searched by a female
officer. Then we were taken and questioned for about 12 hours,"
said Ms Ghafoor. "The questioning was really silly. It was
just over and over: what are you doing here? Where do you teach?
At one point one of the arresting officers did mention something
about terrorism but he didn't ask anything specific."
The Israeli authorities yesterday refused to discuss the case,
but the women believe they may have come
under suspicion because they were planning to go to Nablus in the
West Bank to help Palestinian children as part of a charity, Project
Hope, which receives money from the Canadian government.
Ms Shaikh, a solicitor from south London, said that during interrogation
the Israelis realised they had arrested innocent people but were
too embarrassed to admit it.
Ms Qureshi said the judge's decision not to detain them showed
they posed no danger: "That shows we're not a security risk.
The judge himself said the evidence wasn't sufficient to hold us."
Their Israeli lawyer, Yail Nehorai, said: "The judge said
these three are nice girls and he didn't want to do them any harm.
There is no way that there could be anything against them because
there is no way the authorities would have agreed to them being
freed and talking to people if there were any chance they were terrorists."
Ms Qureshi won a six-week work placement at the Home Office this
summer as part of a scheme to identify young talent. She is due
to start the third year of a maths degree at Cambridge this month
and is an active member of the university's Islamic Society.
Its chair, Iqbal Nasim, said: "She went there for humanitarian
purposes. She's a very moderate Muslim, practicising, but far from
extreme. She speaks from her heart and is very sincere."
Massoud Shadjareh, chair of the Islamic Human Rights Commission,
called on the Foreign Office to protest officially to Israel about
the women's treatment: "It is outrageous
and racist not to allow British Muslims to support Palestinians
while British Jews can show their support for Israelis by going
Ms Qureshi said the British consulate in east Jerusalem failed
to assist them beyond advising them to leave the country as soon
"We got the impression they thought we were an embarrassment
and they just wanted us to leave as soon as possible. They did nothing
for us. They said there was nothing they could do," she said.
Why is Israel so interested in building an oil pipeline from Kirkuk
to Haifa? The whole idea sounds preposterous, given the likely reaction
from the whole Arab world. The not unreasonable perception would
be that the attack on Iraq was just to let Israelis steal Iraqi
oil. But the idea just won't go away (see here, and note the last
paragraph). As I have already written, it appears likely that Chalabi's
fall from grace is because he reneged on his agreement with the
neocons to give favorable treatment to Israel in its raping of the
resources of Iraq.
Chalabi reneged on his agreement presumably because the people
of Iraq simply wouldn't stand for the idea of a pipeline to Israel.
An oil pipeline would be an obvious target of fundamentalist terrorists,
both while it was being built and during the entire time it was
operational. It is difficult to see how it could ever be economically
viable, given the costs of protecting it and the inevitable sabotage
attacks. What could Israel be thinking?
And then it struck me. Israel dosn't want either the pipeline
or the oil it would carry. Israel wants to build a pipeline that
it knows will be attacked as it is being built. The attacks will
thus require the presence of Israeli troops to protect the contractors
building the pipeline. The Israeli troops will require a system
of roads to move along the pipeline and to communicate with Israel.
Small outposts to provide services for the contractors and the troops
will have to be built. The outposts themselves will have to be fortified,
surrounded by walls, and protected by more troops.
Once the pipeline is built, it will require even more protection
to prevent sabotage. With each attack, Israel will scream that it
is being attacked by 'terrorists'. It will insist on more American
military aid, and probably American troops, to help it protect the
ever expanding network of pipeline, outposts, and roads. The American
Congress will approve this as quickly as it possibly can. The zone
around the pipeline will have to be expanded to protect it from
'terrorism', and fortifications will have to be created to protect
the zone. Anyone who complains about this will be branded a sympathizer
of those who threaten Israel's deepest security interests and thus
its very existence. Anyone who even whispers a concern about the
pipeline and its zone will be branded an anti-Semite.
Suddenly, there is an armored corridor protected by Israeli and
American troops, and inhabited by Israeli 'settlers', stretching
from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates. This is the backbone of
Greater Israel. All that will be needed to finish the dream is to
continue to widen the zone. The genius of the plan is how it follows
the Israeli strategy in the Occupied Territories. Theft of the land
of the Palestinians and brutality against them creates a reaction
which is labeled 'terrorism'.
Camps of Israelis are introduced onto Palestinian lands in order
to promote Israeli 'security'. The settlers provoke more of a reaction,
so Israeli troops are required to protect the settlers. The troops
require a system of roads, and more settlers are introduced to increase
'security'. This system of violence and lies has worked so well
on the West Bank that the 'facts on the ground' - settlements, outposts
of troops, and roads - mean that it will be impossible to separate
the land of the West Bank to create any kind of viable Palestinian
state (the joke, of course, will be on the Zionists, when the world
eventually insists on the majority Palestinian population having
a vote). The attempt at creating Greater Israel based on the pipeline
will be based on exactly the same strategy of troops, settlers,
roads, and American aid, spiced with allegations of 'terrorism'
threatening Israel's very existence.
They won't get away with it, but how much harm will they do as
United Nations Secretary General
Kofi Annan has described the US-led invasion of Iraq as illegal
and a violation of the UN charter.
In an interview with BBC on Wednesday, Annan also expressed fears
that holding credible elections in Iraq may not be possible as planned
in January 2005 in view of the escalating violence.
"I am one of those who believe that there should have been
a second resolution from the UN Security Council to green-light
the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein's regime,"
"I have indicated that it was not in conformity with the UN
charter from our point of view, and from the charter point of view
it was illegal," he said.
Annan stressed it was for the Security Council to act on UN resolutions
to compel Saddam to abandon the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.
"It was up to the Security Council to approve or determine
what those consequences should be," he said.
He added that the US decision to go ahead and invade Iraq, with
British forces at its side, "was not in conformity with the
Security Council, with the UN charter".
Asked if he meant that the decision to invade was
illegal, Annan replied: "Yes, if you wish."
The secretary general also had a grim forecast for Iraq, saying
the current level of violence and unrest made credible elections
early next year look highly unlikely.
"I think there have been lessons for the US and lessons for
the UN and other member states," he said.
"I think that, in the end, everybody's concluded that it is
best to work together with our allies and through the UN to deal
with some of these issues," Annan said.
"I hope we do not see another Iraq-type operation for a long
Meanwhile, Britain, Australia and a former US official, insisted
on Thursday that their countries' military action in Iraq was legal.
"The legal advice that we had, and I tabled it at the time,
was that the action was entirely valid in international law terms,"
Australian Prime Minister John Howard told Australian radio.
Howard's view was echoed by Prime Minister Tony Blair's office,
which said the British government's top lawyer - Attorney-General
Lord Goldsmith - had reached the same conclusion before the invasion
was launched in March last year.
British Trade Secretary Patricia Hewitt said she respected Annan
but disagreed with him. "We spelt out at the time our reasons
for believing the conflict in Iraq was indeed lawful and why we
believed it was necessary," she said.
There was no official response from Washington, but Randy Scheunemann,
a former adviser to US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, said Annan
had no right to question the legal judgment of UN member states.
"To do this 51 days before an American election reeks of political
interference," he told the BBC.
Poland, another staunch backer of US-led military action in Iraq,
insisted the invasion was legal, listing UN resolutions relating
"It must be said that the decision which the international
community took on Iraq had a legal basis," the Polish Foreign
Ministry said in a statement.
NEW YORK - Suggesting the government was acting
as if it had something to hide, a federal judge Wednesday gave Washington
one month to release records related to the treatment of prisoners
U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein chastised
officials for moving at a "glacial pace" in responding
to nearly year-old Freedom of Information Act requests from the
American Civil Liberties Union and four other watchdog organizations.
"If the documents are more of an embarrassment than a secret,
the public should know of our government's treatment of individuals
captured and held abroad," Hellerstein wrote. "We are
a nation that strives to value the dignity of all humanity."
The groups brought a lawsuit in June, saying they wanted to expose
the treatment of detainees.
Hellerstein said though the government had raised "important
issues" of national security as a reason for the delays, "merely
raising national security concerns cannot justify unlimited delay."
Megan L. Gaffney, a spokeswoman for federal prosecutors in New
York, declined to comment.
Jameel Jaffer, an ACLU lawyer, was heartened by the action.
"Increasingly, the administration's response to requests has
been to stonewall or delay as long as possible until documents are
forced out of them by a court," he said.
THE US military apologised today for the death of a journalist
following a Baghdad helicopter strike and warned civilians to keep
out of combat zones despite US efforts to minimise collateral damage.
"I am sorry he lost his life," Major General Peter Chiarelli,
commander of US troops in Baghdad, told angry colleagues from Al-Arabiya,
whose fixer Mazen al-Tomaisi was killed on Sunday.
"We regret the loss of any innocent civilians
and we do everything in our power to limit these losses in combat
operations," Colonel Jim McConville, aviation commander in
the 1st Cavalry Division, told a news conference.
The 28-year-old Palestinian journalist had been working for the
pan-Arab satellite station as a fixer for over a year as well as
as a reporter for Saudi television, covering the Iraq conflict.
Tomaisi was killed after rushing down from his flat in Haifa Street
to give a report to a Reuters camera on clashes between US troops
and insurgents because Al-Arabiya's own crew were blocked from entering,
a colleague said.
"He just wanted to get the best footage. The sad part was
that six hours before he was at my engagement party," said
producer Nasseer Younis.
"He was hit in the thigh, the arm and the back. Residents
took him to hospital and he died there," Mr Younis added.
Two helicopters, laden with rockets, were dispatched to Haifa Street
after a suicide bomber drove a car into a Bradley armoured vehicle
and six soldiers were wounded in clashes with insurgents early on
Maj. Gen. Chiarelli and Col. McConville both insisted
that the pilots had done all they could to minimise collateral damage.
Told to destroy the Bradley to prevent looting, they had attacked
at close range for greater accuracy, despite the greater risk to
themselves, the US officers said.
Minutes before the air strike, a crowd of people, including a man
waving the black flag of suspected al-Qaeda operative Abu al-Zarqawi,
climbed on the Bradley and danced around the flaming vehicle.
Well-aimed ground fire was aimed at the helicopters,
said Col. McConville. One out of 14 rockets was dropped before the
aircraft made another sweep and fired six additional rockets. On
a third attack, they used machine-gun fire.
But the military said it would never be known if
Tomaisi and other civilians were killed in the helicopter strike,
by insurgent gunfire or when ammunition in the Bradley exploded
in the flames.
"The action taken by our soldiers and pilots was clearly within
their right. The rules of engagement allow pilots to protect sensitive
equipment," said Maj. Gen. Chiarelli.
"Please tell the Iraqi people to stay away from vehicles involved
in combat operations. Burning vehicles are particularly dangerous,"
said Maj. Gen. Chiarelli, warning that ammunition would explode
once it reached a certain temperature.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A U.S. helicopter gunship
fired at Iraqis milling around a burning U.S. vehicle in a Baghdad
street Sunday during fierce battles in which witnesses
and officials said 13 people had been killed and 61 wounded.
Elsewhere in the city, at least seven car bombs and various outbreaks
of violence killed nine Iraqis, and insurgents fired over a dozen
mortar bombs or rockets around the U.S.-occupied Green Zone compound.
It was one of the heaviest barrages in the capital
in months. "We've seen a tremendous increase in the number
of attacks," Brigadier General Erv Lessel, a U.S. military
spokesman, told Reuters.
South of Baghdad, three Polish soldiers were killed and three wounded
when they were attacked near Hilla.
In rebel-occupied Ramadi, west of Baghdad, U.S. tanks and helicopters
fired on a residential district, killing 10 Iraqis, including women
and children, a doctor said. The U.S. military had no immediate
The surge in violence coincided with new American
offensives to retake insurgent-held areas before elections due in
Heavy fighting erupted in Haifa Street, a thoroughfare in central
Baghdad notorious as a rebel stronghold. The crackle of gunfire
echoed for several hours as U.S. tanks and tank-like Bradley fighting
vehicles moved into the area.
Witnesses said a U.S. helicopter fired at
a group of Iraqis crowded round a burning Bradley. Reuters
Television images showed Iraqis running for cover shortly before
a blast felled Al Arabiya producer Mazen Tomeizi.
The Palestinian, who was working for the Dubai-based TV channel,
died soon afterwards. Reuters cameraman Seif Fouad, who had been
recording the scene, was also injured in the explosion.
"Mazen's blood was on my camera and face," Fouad said
from his hospital bed. He said his friend screamed at him for help:
"Seif, Seif! I'm going to die. I'm going to die."
The U.S. military said two of its helicopters
opened fire after coming under attack from the crowd. Reuters
television footage showed no evidence of shooting from the ground.
Earlier, the U.S. military had said a helicopter
destroyed the vehicle "to prevent looting and harm to the Iraqi
people" after four U.S. soldiers were lightly wounded in the
attack on the Bradley. [...]
Tumeisi is seen falling and his blood covers the lens
Sunday's bloody events on Baghdad's Haifa Street came amid some
of the fiercest fighting for months in the centre of the Iraqi capital.
But though they were captured by television cameras,
two very different accounts have emerged about what happened.
At least 13 people were killed and about 60 others were wounded
by US helicopter fire as they milled around the burning wreckage
of an American armoured vehicle that had been ambushed by insurgents
early in the morning.
News footage shows a few dozen curious Iraqis standing around the
Bradley Fighting Vehicle just before the missile strike.
In the foreground, Mazen Tumeisi, a Palestinian working for two
Saudi-owned TV networks, al-Arabiya and al-Ikhbariya, is preparing
to be recorded on camera as he describes the scene.
Suddenly a big explosion engulfs the street in smoke. Tumeisi collapses.
The lens is spattered with his blood.
As the camera swings around wildly, the fatally wounded journalist
can be heard groaning his last words: "I'm going to die. I'm
going to die. Seif [his cameraman]. Seif. I'm going to die."
As well as Tumeisi, two children - very possibly
the ones smiling at the camera moments earlier - were among the
According to media reports, the fighting started at about 0440
(0040 GMT) in Haifa Street, a notorious snipers' alley on the west
bank of the Tigris that is out of US military control.
The Bradley was hit by a roadside bomb after it had raced to the
scene following mortar bombs being launched at the nearby Green
Zone, seat of the Iraqi government and US forces.
Gun battles reportedly raged around the wreck for about an hour.
The attackers fired on the American rescue crew as they evacuated
the stricken vehicle.
The fighting had clearly died down by the time
the journalists arrived before 0800.
Most of the onlookers did not appear to be celebrating the "kill",
just standing around curiously staring at the burning wreck.
The first reports of the helicopter attack came
at 0756. As well as two missiles, the aircraft directed machine-gun
fire at the crowd, reports say.
As the smoke cleared, people carried away the
injured, leaving scattered shoes, pools of fresh blood and debris
littering the street.
"We were standing near the destroyed vehicle
when the helicopter started firing, so we rushed to safety in a
nearby building," said 24-year-old Alaa Hassan from his hospital
"I went back to the scene to help the wounded people when
the helicopter fired again and I was hit in the chest."
'To prevent looting'
The official US military statement significantly
shortens the timescale of events as reported by separate international
Instead of three hours after the ambush, when the
people on the scene were mainly curious locals and journalist, the
US says the helicopter strike was at 0730, 40 minutes after the
Bradley was attacked at 0650.
In the first explanation of events offered by
the US military early on Sunday evening, the helicopter was said
to have blown up the wrecked Bradley "to prevent looting and
harm to the Iraqi people".
A second explanation came a few hours later suggesting
that air support had been called in by the Bradley crew to prevent
looting, but the helicopters were fired on from the ground.
"Clearly within the rules of engagement,
the helicopters returned fire destroying some anti-Iraqi forces
in the vicinity of the Bradley," the US statement said.
In a phone call from Baghdad on Monday, the US
military was unable to clarify why none of the TV footage or press
pictures showed armed people at the scene or recorded any gunfire.
As for the discrepancies in the times of events - the military
spokesman told BBC News Online that the US timings were "approximate".
On Sunday, 13 Iraqis were killed and dozens
injured in Baghdad when US helicopters fired on a crowd of unarmed
civilians. G2 columnist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, who was injured in the
attack, describes the scene of carnage - and reveals just how lucky
he was to walk away
It started with a phone call early on Sunday morning: "Big
pile of smoke over Haifa Street." Still half asleep I put on
my jeans, cursing those insurgents who do their stuff in the early
morning. What if I just go back to bed, I thought - by the time
I will be there it will be over. In the car park it struck me that
I didn't have my flak jacket in the car, but figured it was most
probably just an IED (improvised explosive device) under a Humvee
and I would be back soon.
On the way to Haifa Street I was half praying that everything would
be over or that the Americans would seal off the area. I haven't
recovered from Najaf yet.
Haifa Street was built by Saddam in the early 80s, part of a scheme
that was supposed to give Baghdad a modern look. A long, wide boulevard
with huge Soviet high-rise buildings on both sides, it acts like
a curtain, screening off the network of impoverished alleyways that
are inhabited by Baghdad's poorest and toughest people, many of
whom are from the heart of the Sunni triangle.
When I arrived there I saw hundreds of kids and young men heading
towards the smoke. "Run fast, it's been burning for a long
time!" someone shouted as I grabbed my cameras and started
When I was 50m away I heard a couple of explosions and another
cloud of dust rose across the street from where the first column
of smoke was still climbing. People started running towards me in
waves. A man wearing an orange overall was sweeping the street while
others were running. A couple of helicopters in the sky overhead
turned away. I jumped into a yard in front of a shop that was set
slightly back from the street, 10 of us with our heads behind the
yard wall. "It's a sound bomb," said a man who had his
face close to mine.
A few seconds later, I heard people screaming and shouting - something
must have happened - and I headed towards the sounds, still crouching
behind a wall. Two newswire photographers were running in the opposite
direction and we exchanged eye contact.
About 20m ahead of me, I could see the American Bradley armoured
vehicle, a huge monster with fire rising from within. It stood alone,
its doors open, burning. I stopped, took a couple of photos and
crossed the street towards a bunch of people. Some were lying in
the street, others stood around them. The helicopters were still
buzzing, but further off now.
I felt uneasy and exposed in the middle of the street, but lots
of civilians were around me. A dozen men formed a circle around
five injured people, all of whom were screaming and wailing. One
guy looked at one of the injured men and beat his head and chest:
"Is that you, my brother? Is that you?" He didn't try
to reach for him, he just stood there looking at the bloodied face
of his brother.
A man sat alone covered with blood and looked around, amazed at
the scene. His T-shirt was torn and blood ran from his back. Two
men were dragging away an unconscious boy who had lost the lower
half of one leg. A pool of blood and a creamy liquid formed beneath
the stump on the pavement. His other leg was badly gashed.
I had been standing there taking pictures for two or three minutes
when we heard the helicopters coming back. Everyone started running,
and I didn't look back to see what was happening to the injured
men. We were all rushing towards the same place: a fence, a block
of buildings and a prefab concrete cube used as a cigarette stall.
I had just reached the corner of the cube when I heard two explosions,
I felt hot air blast my face and something burning on my head. I
crawled to the cube and hid behind it. Six of us were squeezed into
a space less than two metres wide. Blood started dripping on my
camera but all that I could think about was how to keep the lens
clean. A man in his 40s next to me was crying. He wasn't injured,
he was just crying. I was so scared I just wanted to squeeze myself
against the wall. The helicopters wheeled
overhead, and I realised that they were firing directly at us. I
wanted to be invisible, I wanted to hide under the others.
I turned back to the man with the twisted knee. His head was on
the curb now, his eyes were open but he just kept making the faint
sound. I started talking to him, saying, "Don't worry, you'll
be OK, you'll be fine." From behind him I looked at the middle
of the street, where five injured men were still lying. Three of
them were piled almost on top of each other; a
boy wearing a white dishdasha lay a few metres away.
One of the three men piled together raised his head and looked
around the empty streets with a look of astonishment on his face.
He then looked at the boy in front of him, turned to the back and
looked at the horizon again. Then he slowly started moving his head
to the ground, rested his head on his arms and stretched his hands
towards something that he could see. It was
the guy who had been beating his chest earlier, trying to help his
brother. He wanted help but no one helped. He was just there dying
in front of me. Time didn't exist. The streets were empty and silent
and the men lay there dying together. He slid down to the ground,
and after five minutes was flat on the street. [...]
In time, an ambulance came. I ran to the street as others emerged
from their hiding places, all trying to carry injured civilians
to the ambulance.
"No, this one is dead," said the driver. "Get someone
The ambulance drove away and we all scattered, thinking to ourselves:
the Americans won't fire at an ambulance but
they will at us. This scene was repeated a couple of times:
each time we heard an ambulance we would emerge into the streets,
running for cover again as it left.
Yesterday, sitting in the office, another photographer
who was looking at my pictures exclaimed: "So the Arabiya journalist
was alive when you were taking pictures!"
"I didn't see the Arabiya journalist."
He pointed at the picture of the guy with V-neck
T-shirt. It was him. He was dead. All the people I had shared my
shelter with were dead.
(Baghdad) - A plume of grey smoke billowed
above Fallujah yesterday as the US military claimed they were making
precision air strikes against insurgents in the city and local doctors
said that civilians were being killed and wounded.
The US army said its warplanes had bombed houses because it had
intelligence about the presence of fighters loyal to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi,
whom the US sees as the guiding hand behind many attacks on its
Dr Adel Khamis of the Fallujah General Hospital said at least 16
people were killed, including women and children, and 12 others
were wounded. Video film showed a Red Crescent
ambulance torn apart by an explosion. A hospital official said the
driver, a paramedic and five patients had been killed by the blast.
"The conditions here are miserable - an ambulance
was bombed, three houses destroyed and men and women killed,"
said Rafayi Hayad al-Esawi, the director of the hospital. "The
American army has no morals."
The US air force has claimed repeatedly since the invasion of Iraq
in March last year to be hitting hostile targets identified by US
intelligence. During the war it made 50 air strikes to kill senior
members of Saddam Hussein's regime some of which caused many civilian
casualties. Only after the war did US Defence
officials admit that all the air strikes had missed their target.
On Sunday US helicopters fired rockets into a crowd in Haifa Street
in central Baghdad killing 13 people including an Al-Arabiya television
correspondent killed as he was reporting. [...]
A militant group threatened today to attack
Iraqi universities if authorities continued to permit women to study
alongside men, according to a videotape broadcast on the Arab language
Al-Arabiya television station.
The group calling itself the Islamic Jihad Brigade in Iraq demanded
that the minister of higher education separate men and women at
all schools and universities. The video showed one man, his face
hidden by a kefiyah, reading a statement.
On one side stood a masked man with a rocket-propelled grenade
launcher. On the other side stood a masked man with a machine gun.
"You must isolate the men from women because of the immoral
attitudes existing in the private and public universities,"
the man reading the statement said. "If this is going to be
continue, we will hit the colleges and universities."
The group read a statement in front of a banner that read "There
is no God but Allah. Mohammed is the messenger of Allah."
Arab League chief Amr Musa has
sounded a strong warning about the situation in Iraq as ministers
from the pan-Arab grouping gather for a meeting in the Egyptian
The session opened on Tuesday against the backdrop of a devastating
blast in Baghdad that killed at least 47 people.
"The gates of hell are open in Iraq,"
Musa said while expressing hope that Arab countries can "help
Iraq through this crisis, re-establish sovereignty throughout the
country and end the American occupation".
His comments echoed a declaration by French President Jacques Chirac,
one of the most vocal opponents to the US-led war in Iraq, who compared
the situation there to a pandora's box.
During its two-day meeting, the Arab League is due to debate a
draft resolution issuing a blanket condemnation of violence against
police and civilians in Iraq.
Ministers "condemn all forms of terrorism in Iraq targeting
civilians, police, security force personnel and journalists, as
well as diplomatic missions and humanitarian or religious groups
bringing aid to the Iraqi people", the draft says.
Two French journalists and two Italian women aid workers are currently
being held captive in Iraq.
The draft also calls on the Arab League's 22 members to restore
diplomatic relations with Iraq to the level they were before last
year's invasion "in order to bolster the political efforts
being exerted by the interim Iraqi government".
The text urges Arab governments to provide training for Iraqi
government personnel, "including members of the police and
security forces", and to speed up dispersal of promised aid
for the country's reconstruction.
Relations with Iraq's US-backed interim government have been a
divisive issue in the Arab world, with some capitals leaning towards
the Iranian position of disparaging the unelected administration
as a creature of the United States.
Syria has been specifically accused by US officials of failing
to do enough to stem infiltration across its border with Iraq.
At the meeting, Arab ministers were also expected to discuss the
Middle East conflict amid renewed Israeli threats to expel Palestinian
leader Yasir Arafat, as well as a UN Security Council demand for
an end to foreign influence in Lebanon.
| A cross-party committee of the US
Congress has criticised the Bush administration for the slow progress
of reconstruction in Iraq.
Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee expressed frustration
that only $1bn out of a $18bn reconstruction fund approved last
year had been spent.
The committee said the US was failing to make use of one of its
most potent tools to influence Iraq's future.
Officials asked on Wednesday for funds to be diverted to improve
A classified US intelligence report on Iraq says
the country will continue to suffer from instability through to
the end of 2005, government officials have told the New York Times.
If Congress agrees to divert the funds, the change will mean nearly
$3.5bn will be shifted away from long-term projects such as water
and power and channelled instead to improving security, creating
jobs and increasing oil production.
Senator Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican described the rebuilding
effort in Iraq so far as "beyond pitiful".
"It's beyond embarrassing, it's now
in the zone of dangerous," he said.
Ron Schlicher, from the Bureau of near Eastern Affairs, told the
committee that projects had suffered from attacks by insurgents.
"We know that the provision of adequate security up front
is requisite to rapid progress on all other fronts," he said.
But Senator Hagel said the shift in funds did not "add up...
to a picture that shows that we're winning".
"It does add up to this: an acknowledgment
that we are in deep trouble," he said.
Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Richard Lugar,
said as Iraqis prepare for elections, they are looking for signs
"Few signs of stability are more convincing than successful
reconstruction projects that boost the economy, repair infrastructure
and restore municipal services," he said.
Senators Hagel and Lugar have long said that the US government's
plans for rebuilding Iraq were poor and based on the flawed assumptions
that Americans would be greeted as liberators.
"Our committee heard blindly optimistic people from the administration
prior to the war and people outside the administration... that we
just simply will be greeted with open arms," Senator Lugar
"The lack of planning is apparent."
Congress had agreed the $18.4bn reconstruction fund in November
as part of an $87bn package for Iraq and Afghanistan.
That pessimistic tone was echoed in a new intelligence report on
Iraq, the first since October 2002, officials told the New York
The document, commissioned in July, lists three possible outcomes
for the country over the next year - the worst being civil war and
the best being continuing instability.
The CIA has declined to comment.
When Sergeant Abd Allah Webster
was ordered to pack his bags and deploy to Iraq this February, he
refused with a heavy heart.
He knew the decision would put him at odds with his superiors and
potentially cost him his liberty.
But despite the consequences, he took a stand because he believed
his faith precluded him from killing fellow Muslims.
The veteran soldier claimed the Iraq war was illegal because America's
main justification for invading the country - to destroy alleged
weapons stockpiles - had been discredited.
Webster, who is currently incarcerated in an American base in Germany
after his conscientious objector (CO) application was turned down,
now faces a further year in jail.
The former sergeant, who has since been stripped of his rank, is
one of an increasing number of American soldiers who have applied
for conscientious objector status since the start of the Iraq war.
According to the US army, since 2003 it has received
96 applications, 48 of which have been approved.
This is more than four and a half times as many
as the army received in 2001 and in 2002.
But JE McNeil, executive director of the Washington-based Centre
for Conscience and War, says the military vastly underestimates
the true number of applications.
"Nobody knows the true figures but it is definitely
in the hundreds," she told Aljazeera.net.
There are moments when you cannot help but
laughing through the outrage.
It was clear from the first question out of Matt Lauer's mouth
that the White House had decided it was better to have Lauer try
and kill the messenger than to have General Electric make Kitty
Kelley disappear from the Today Show interview list.
What was clear was that Lauer was going to do Karl Rove's branded
character assassination work of killing the messenger in order to
discredit the message. Rove did it with Jim Hatfield in order to
inoculate Bush from the apparently true charges of past cocaine
use. He did it, one can speculate, with Al Gore by setting up "tapegate,"
in which an innocent secretary took the rap for Rove's effort to
smear the Gore campaign by sending them a "Bush Debate Preparation
Tape" (that would have been a laugh to watch). Rove did it
when he bugged himself during a heated campaign and made it appear
the opposition was the culprit.
Rove did it to Sandy Berger with the ludicrous charge that Sandy
Berger stuffed secret documents into his sox. Rove did it by orchestrating
or participating in the outing of Valerie Plame, a CIA operative
specializing in tracking the illicit sales of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Like a mob enforcer with a baseball bat, he just wanted to bash
up Joe Wilson's car and send a message to anyone that told the truth
about the Potemkin Village dark side of the Bush Dynasty -- and
this was his message: We will stop at nothing to silence truth tellers,
even if it means exposing a CIA operative whose work it was to keep
rogue nations from acquiring WMDs, the key excuse we used for going
to war with Iraq. Protecting America
comes second to protecting the carefully crafted image, power, and
financial interests of the Bush Cartel.
Oh, we could name other Rove victims. The list is as long as the
1,000 plus American war dead in Iraq. Remember John DeIulio who
called the Bush Administration "the Mayberry Machiavellis"
and said that they had no policies that were not politically motivated?
Well, Rove got to him right quick. Who knows what Karl had this
one-time Bush "faith-based" czar threatened with? Maybe
it was like the scene from the Godfather, where they bring the brother
of an FBI informant in from Italy just to let the guy know that
they can snuff his family out in a moment's notice. The informant
does the right thing and commits suicide. Jim Hatfield did the same
But DeIulio chose life and had a statement issued that he didn't
mean what he had said and he had no further comment. (Actually he
WROTE the comments, so they were pretty hard to disavow, but he
looked at this relatives and swallowed hard.) The guy was never
heard from again publicly, although he ended up as a Brookings Institution
fellow, never to speak the truth about the Bush Cartel again --
at least on the record. But, at last notice, all his relatives appear
safe and sound. So DeIulio got the message.
Well back to poor Kitty, Rove's most recent quail for dinner.
Kitty Kelley told Matt Lauer that the Bush family has carefully
crafted an image of the Donna Reed family, but they are really more
like the Sopranos. That's when we got our hearty laugh. You see,
Matt Lauer was clearly under White House/General Electric/NBC instructions
to slice and dice Kitty, so he indignantly asserted the following:
how can you trash a family that has three distinguished decades
of public service?
He kept accusing her of being overly "negative" toward
the Bush family. Yes, there are moments when you just have to laugh.
Otherwise you might toss a barbell at the TV set.
There it was, the Pro-Bush Cartel media Catch-22 in a nutshell.
The media is the megaphone by which the faux Bush family image is
transmitted, despite all evidence that they run a political operation
that is more like a crime family than the ethical WASPS-turned-swaggering-Texas-fundamentalists
that their handlers churn out like a Hollywood script. Kevin Phillips,
Richard Clarke, Joe Wilson and countless others have exposed the
dark mob underside of the Bush Dynasty, but Matt Laurer acts the
naive pretty boy on behalf of General Electric and the White House,
as if this were all sacrilege and he just has never heard such "nasty"
things before. I mean, how can you say such things about a man who
God has chosen to lead forth an army of Christian soldiers into
a world of endless war, the bankrupting of the middle class, and
endless corporate crony contracts (maybe to General Electric, owner
of NBC and major defense contractor. Naw!)
Where has Matt been living, Mars?
No, Matt's just a guy who wants to keep living the multi-millionaire
air head news celebrity high life, so he'll do what's he is told
to do -- and, in this case, the word came down from on high to serve
up Kitty, an easy target, for Karl's Thanksgiving platter.
Matt's not alone. Even the Chicago Tribune, which supports Bush
in a knee jerk fashion on its editorial page, but tends to have
a relatively (and we emphasize relatively) balanced national and
international news front section, jumped on the "forged documents"
bandwagon, citing postings on the infamous Free Republic website
as legitimate sources. God, when has the Chicago Tribune picked
up a story from BuzzFlash or another pro-democracy website? Let
us know if you find one.
Not only that, the Tribune went on to say that this was "the
second time in weeks that technology has overtaken a Kerry-Bush
campaign story and powered it into the headlines." We thought
that the next paragraph was going to be about how pro-democracy
news sites had exposed the Swift Boat liars both as Bush campaign
surrogates and as -- well -- liars. But, no, the Tribune was referring
to the emergence of the Rove-orchestrated Swift Boat allegations
themselves, not their debunking! We guess the Tribune missed the
fact that the Swift Boat liars had been totally discredited. It's
just damn hard to catch ALL the news nowadays, isn't it, especially
if it actually exposes the truth about the Bush Sopranos, right?
And as far as the alleged "forged documents," wouldn't,
as a recent pro-democracy web article by Mike Burke speculated,
it be the perfect Rovian touch to have planted forged documents
that actually contained the truth?
After all, you could discredit CBS and the nettlesome Bush National
Guard facts in one fell swoop. It has, as Burke notes, the mark
of Rove written all over it. If you have the media focus on memos
that are essentially true according to a compilation of the facts
surrounding Bush's record of service (and the secretary of the man
who allegedly wrote them, even though she thinks the memos themselves
may not be real as actual documents, they DO reflect the reality
and basic facts of Bush blowing off his Guard service, she confirms),
but get the press to focus on whether the memos are authentic or
not, then you discredit the facts by discrediting the memos. How
sweet a technique is that?
It's what Rove did with Jim Hatfield and the Bush cocaine use
issue. Discredit the messenger and discredit the fact. And, you
know what? Rove had Hatfield "exposed" about this time
in the 2000 campaign cycle. It put to rest the cocaine use issue
by pulling the rug from out under the messenger.
Remember when Sen. Kerry was overheard on C-Span, telling a voter
"these guys are a lying bunch of thugs." Let's hope he
remembers that every second of the day.
A BuzzFlash reader wrote us and said that he saw Zbigniew Brzezinski
on Charley Rose. He had this summary of Brzezinski's evaluation
of Bush foreign policy, "To win, you must divide your enemies
and unite your friends. We have united our enemies and divided our
It's the Mayberry Machiavellis alright.
As Kevin Phillips, the former Nixon aide and author of "The
New Republican Majority" wrote in his recent book on the Bush
Dynasty: "Few have looked at the facts
of the family's rise, but just as important, commentators have neglected
the thread -- not the mere occasion -- of special interests, biases,
scandals (especially those related to arms dealing), and blatant
business cronyism" Phillips writes in his preface. "The
evidence that accumulates over four generations [of the Bush family
dynasty] is really quite damning."
"Three generations of immersion in the culture of secrecy...deceit
and disinformation have become Bush political hallmarks," Phillips
And Kevin Phillips is a guy who worked for and
admired "Tricky Dick," so you know where his benchmark
To Phillips, however, the greatest threat to America posed by
the Bush dynasty is not its inherent unfitness to rule. What most
offends and angers Phillips is the threat that the imposition of
the Bush dynasty on America poses to democracy itself. The American
rebellion in 1776 represented the creation of a nation built on
the foundations of a government elected by the people, not determined
by the restoration to power of corrupt bloodlines.
No book makes a stronger case against an American sitting in the
White House who believes that he is in power because of hereditary
entitlement and divine choice. Patriots rebelled against King George
in 1776. Phillips notes that Americans have the opportunity to dethrone
the Bush dynasty at the polls in 2004.
The Bush Cartel victim most in need of resuscitation is democracy,
civility and the rule of law itself.
row between Russia and America over Moscow's response to the Beslan
tragedy escalated yesterday when George Bush voiced concern that
a sweeping Kremlin security overhaul "could undermine democracy".
Hours after Russia warned Washington not to meddle in its internal
affairs, Mr Bush expressed disquiet at moves by his Russian counterpart,
Vladimir Putin, to fight Chechen terrorism by amassing more power
"As governments fight the enemies of democracy,
they must uphold the principles of democracy," the president
said. "I'm ... concerned about the decisions that are being
made in Russia that could undermine democracy."
His remarks hinted at US unease that Mr Putin could use the "war
on terror" to roll back post-Soviet reform.
Mr Putin's chief initiative in response to the carnage at Beslan,
blamed on Chechen militants, has involved abolishing elections for
both constituency MPs and regional governors, and appointing the
Mr Bush warned: "Great democracies have a balance of power
between central gov ernments and local governments, a balance of
power within central governments between the executive branch and
the legislative branch and the judicial branch."
The issue is the biggest diplomatic spat between Russia and the
US for four years, in which relations between Mr Putin and Mr Bush
have been relatively good.
But when Colin Powell, the US secretary of state accused the Kremlin
earlier yesterday of "pulling back on some democratic reforms",
it drew a sharp riposte from Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister.
"The processes that are under way in Russia are our internal
affair," he said.
Although Mr Powell's rebuke was relatively mild, the Russian government
is not in the mood to accept such criticism so soon after the Beslan
atrocity, in which 320 people died, half of them children.
Mr Lavrov said the US had no right to impose its
model of democracy. "And it is at least strange that, while
talking about a certain 'pulling back', as he [Powell] put it, on
some of the democratic reforms in the Russian Federation, he tried
to assert yet one more time the thought that democracy can only
be copied from someone's model," Mr Lavrov said, adding pointedly,
in view of the outcome of the US 2000 election: "We, for our
part, do not comment on the US system of presidential elections,
for instance." He also pointed to repressive measures after
September 11. The US introduced a homeland security law that reversed
previous legal rights, and had held hundreds at Guantánamo
Bay in Cuba and the Bagram airbase in Afghanistan for more than
two years without trial.
The outgoing EU commissioner, Chris Patten, was more outspoken
than the US, telling the European parliament yesterday that a resolution
of the Chechen conflict lay in far-sighted and humane policies,
rather than in reversing democracy. He hoped "the government
of the Russian Federation will not conclude that the only answer
to terrorism is to increase the power of the Kremlin".
The British government has studiously stayed out of the row. The
Foreign Office decided last week to postpone its annual report due
to be published today, which would have been highly critical of
human rights in Chechnya.
The foreign secretary, Jack Straw, has so far refused to comment
on the changes in Russia. Asked on the BBC last week, he said it
was inappropriate so soon after Beslan.
A 17-year-old Sydney boy is under investigation
after Customs officials intercepted a parcel of illegal weapons
they believe he ordered from the United States.
The package was detected as it arrived in Australia from the US
The package contained one crossbow, on spiked handled hunting
knife, one wooden set of nunchakas, one three-balled flail, two
trench knives, two packets of paintball pellets and four assorted
BB pistols and pellets.
While no charges had yet been laid, the youth from Sydney's outer
suburbs could face charges relating to the illegal importation.
Customs NSW Regional Director David Collins said the deadly weapons
were detected when customs officers x-rayed the package at a freight
company's bond store in Mascot.
"These items are all restricted imports under Customs regulations,"
Mr Collins said.
The weapons have been seized and Customs investigations are continuing.
Big Brother dropped in on the genteel spa
town of Harrogate yesterday, with a mixture of chaos and cosiness
which would have deflated George Orwell.
For almost three hours the Home Office's biometric survey lorry
- potentially crucial to a national identity card system - stood
empty and forlorn in an Asda car park, surrounded by overturned
supermarket trolleys to keep shoppers' cars away.
Two of its crew sheltered from the drizzle in a car while a third
wrestled morosely with a hired generator, coils of wire and a satellite
"It's a very complicated technical operation, bear with us,"
said HQ in London, where data from 10,000
volunteer card-testers is gradually being fed into David Blunkett's
ID security system, complete with James Bond gizmos such as iris-scanning.
It was these which set Harrogate alight yesterday, once all the
glitches had been sorted and the sun came out (allowing the lorry
to demonstrate its mechanical awning, which worked first time).
A group of pensioners was first in line to have
a go at the three "unique personal" identification tests
- iris pattern, facial recognition and hi-tech, colour-screen fingerprinting
- which may be part of national security's future.
"I saw that the lorry was coming here on the TV last night
and I thought what a great idea," Theresia Rawley said, looking
forward cheerfully to having her eyes photographed by a machine
with a tinny, digitalised American woman's voice. "It's got
to be better than having to take your blooming gas bills along when
they want proof of identity at the bank or wherever. What's
the fuss about identity cards? I was born in Germany, they've had
them there all my lifetime and nobody gives it a thought."
Another volunteer - the government still needs 1,500 - had followed
the lorry from its original, proposed site outside Harrogate register
office, which was advertised in the local papers. In another homely
hiccough, there was no room to park it there, but the woman had
tracked it down to Asda in proper 007 style.
"I'm all for this sort of thing," she said. "If
you're not doing anything wrong, who cares who's watching you.
Look in Asda, they've got a notice saying that there's electronic
tagging and CCTV to make sure we don't have to pay more because
The survey welcomed everyone over 18 years of age yesterday, including
the Guardian, despite an earlier attempt by a BBC reporter to catch
it out by having two goes under different names. My fingerprints
were compared by satellite in a matter of seconds with some 1,000,000
records, including a temporary library of biometric volunteers,
which spotted the BBC fake.
The biometric tests, as well as the lorry roadshow,
are the early stage in a possible move to ID cards and "clever"
passports. Run by the UK Passport Office, the scheme aims to check
the practicality of the tests, generator problems and all, public
reaction and the most popular of the three identification
The government promises all data collected will be destroyed at
the end of the survey.
Saturday's game between
the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets had more connections
to the tragedies of 9-11 other than the fact that the game was in
New York, was played by teams representing two states that were
hit in the attacks, and featured a ceremony remembering the tragedy
three years to the date.
After the first nine innings the visiting Phillies had nine runs
on 11 hits. After the same nine innings the host New York Mets also
had nine runs on 11 hits.
The two teams played four additional innings, one for each plane
used in the attacks.
And when the game was over, the final score was New York nine and
Philadelphia 11. The game also featured three errors. Philadelphia
committed two errors equal to the number of planes that hit New
York. New York committed one error equal to the number of planes
that hit Pennsylvania.
BRENTWOOD - In the hearing to determine whether repressed memories
should be admissible in a sex abuse trial, it was a battle of science
At its core, the case is about claims made by 18-year-old Rhianna
Light that, when she was younger, her father, Exeter resident Phil
Bourgelais, sexually abused her. Light says she repressed and subsequently
recovered memories of
In 1996, a state Supreme Court ruling established criteria for
prosecutors to meet for repressed memories to be admissible in New
Hampshire courts. Last month, Assistant Rockingham County Attorney
Brad Bolton began his efforts to show that her case meets those
But painted on a broader canvas, much of the case so far has been
The prosecution's expert witness, Dan Brown, testified that, based
largely on his review of 85 scholarly studies in the field, repressed
memories are reliable. Brown also said most of the scientific community
On Friday, the court heard otherwise.
Dr. Harrison Pope, a Harvard psychiatrist acting as witness for
the defense, rebutted most of Brown's claims. He also disputed Brown's
For nearly 30 years, Pope has been a professor of psychiatry at
Harvard Medical School, teaching at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts.
His expertise, he said, lies in the design and interpretation of
studies and minimizing metholodogical
Pope said he is one of the 250 most-cited psychiatrists in the
Defense attorney Andrew Cotrupi spent some time Friday establishing
Pope's resume for the court, and comparing it to Brown's.
Immediately, Bolton took exception.
"I don't understand how (Pope) could be an expert in repressed
memories if he
doesn't believe they exist," he said.
Pope's testimony began simply.
"Trauma is memorable," he said.
People are more likely to remember Sept. 11, 2001
- the day the airliners crashed into buildings in New York and Washington,
D.C. - than, say, Aug. 11.
"If Mother Nature designed us to forget trauma,
that would seem very odd," he said. "If we forgot that
we were attacked by a lion, we'd walk in front of another lion."
LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Airplanes
passed dangerously close to each other in at least five instances
after a computer failure knocked out radio contact between pilots
and air traffic controllers across the West, a union official said
Two flights during the outage Tuesday "were
almost near-mid-air collisions," said Hamid Ghaffari,
local president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.
Three workers filed injury claims, saying they were traumatized
by seeing flights veer toward one another on radar without being
able to do anything, he said.
Federal Aviation Administration representatives did not immediately
respond to repeated calls for comment on Ghaffari's remarks.
Airport operations were back to normal Wednesday following the
radio failure at an FAA center at Palmdale, north of Los Angeles.
On Tuesday, hundreds of flights were grounded for up to about
three hours at airports in the Los Angeles region, Northern California
and Nevada, the FAA said.
During the outage, air traffic controllers could monitor planes
on radar but were unable to communicate with them. Pilots had to
switch to another radio frequency to communicate with other control
centers that took over flights in the region.
"We couldn't do anything," Ghaffari
said. "We can't do our job unless there is communication. If
there are no communications, you are helpless."
Under FAA rules, planes must remain at least five miles apart
horizontally and 1,000 feet vertically. In at least five cases,
that safety bubble was violated, and in two cases planes came within
about two miles of each other, Ghaffari said.
On-board safety equipment that includes a collision-avoidance
system helped avert disaster, Ghaffari said.
"That was the hero of the night," he said.
Ghaffari said a backup computer system was activated,
but it failed too
YUCCA VALLEY – A minor
earthquake shook the high desert Thursday but there were no immediate
reports of any injuries or damage, authorities said.
The magnitude-3.6 quake struck at 6:29 a.m. near Yucca Valley
about 120 miles east of Los Angeles, according to a preliminary
report from the U.S. Geological Survey.
A San Bernardino County sheriff's dispatcher said there has been
no reports of injuries or damage.
| A LARGE earthquake with a preliminary
magnitude of 6.2 jolted awake residents of the Philippines' capital,
but there were no reports of damage or casualties.
Some residents on the nearby island of Luzon fled into streets,
fearing their houses may collapse, when the temblor struck at 3:10
a.m. (0410 AEST), radio stations reported. There were power outages
in some areas. [...]
Shortly after the quake, a 5.2-magnitude temblor shook the bustling
southern port city of General Santos, about 1030km south of Manila,
causing no damage or casualties, officials said.
| ATHENS, Sept. 16 (Xinhuanet) --
An earthquake measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale rocked western Greece
early Thursday, but no injuries or damage were immediately reported.
The quake, which was strongly felt in the western city of Ioannina,
was recorded at 4:24 a.m. (01:24 GMT), with its epicenter 334 kilometers
northwest of Athens, according to the Athens Observatory's Geodynamic
Institute and the University of Thessaloniki's Geophysics Laboratory.
The quake caused some panic among residents in Ioannina and wasmore
strongly felt near the Greek-Albanian border.
Seismologists said that although the quake was of a short duration,
it was strongly felt due to its small epicentral depth of only 17
AUSTIN, Minn. (AP) - Emergency workers in
boats rescued people from cars and homes left stranded by rising
water Wednesday as heavy rain doused southern Minnesota and caused
Schools and roads were closed, a nursing home was evacuated and
fields were flooded. A car was swept away by rushing water moments
after its driver got out of the vehicle, Mower County Sheriff Terese
"We've got major flooding, it came up quick," Amazi
said. Rain began Tuesday and ended by late Wednesday morning.
In Austin, 145 kilometres south of Minneapolis, the Cedar River
overflowed its banks, forcing the city to close some streets and
forcing nearby residents to flee. The Spam Museum - a tourist draw
in Austin, where Hormel Foods is located - was evacuated.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who surveyed the damage by helicopter, said
he was "somewhat taken aback by the magnitude of it."
He said flooding severely damaged crops, schools and homes.
"The worst may not yet be over," he added. The river
was expected to crest later Wednesday. [...]
The bomber crashed soon after take-off
A long hot summer in Iceland has revealed previously hidden parts
of a British warplane that crashed on a glacier in May 1941.
The Fairey Battle bomber has been re-emerging slowly from the ice
since 1995, monitored by aviation enthusiast Hordur Geirsson.
"For the first time, we have seen the engine," he told
BBC News Online.
"This summer has been unbelievably warm and the winter was
mild. Three metres of ice has disappeared since spring."
Four servicemen died in the crash: a New Zealand-born Flight Officer,
Arthur Round, and three British airmen - Flight Sergeant Keith Garrett,
Flight Sergeant Reginald Hopkins and Pilot Officer Henry Talbot.
A DEVOTEE of the mystical Jewish Kabbalah sect murdered her former
boyfriend and great-grandmother after complaining that she felt
"controlled by the church".
Phiona Davis, a 25-year-old fashion student, was a member of the
London's Kabbalah centre, which was set up with a £3.65 million
donation from Madonna. Other followers of the controversial sect,
which encourages its members to donate 10 per cent of their income
to the movement, include Britney Spears, Demi Moore, the Beckhams
and Elizabeth Taylor.
Davis repeatedly stabbed Keith Fernandez, 27, her former lover,
at her home in Palmers Green, North London. Neighbours broke down
her front door after hearing shouting and screaming to find her
sitting astride Mr Fernandez covered in blood and holding a large
kitchen knife, the Old Bailey was told.
They fled to call the police as Davis stabbed Mr Fernandez repeatedly
with the kitchen knife and a smaller peeling knife while he tried
desperately to fight her off.
Mr Fernandez escaped, but Davis chased him down the street and
continued the attack. As she stabbed the telephone salesman 58 times,
witnesses described an "evil grin on her face" and she
was heard to say "this is done through God". Mr Fernandez
also had bite marks on his cheek, arm and chest. Davis calmly left
the scene by bus and police failed to find her.
The next morning, she visited her great-grandmother, Mary Skerritt,
81, and stabbed her 130 times. She then placed crosses around the
floor of Mrs Skerritt's flat and started several fires, the court
As the flat in Stoke Newington, North London, became engulfed in
flames, she stood outside holding her hands outstretched like Christ,
shrieking "I am the Messiah" and "Burn the demons".
Mr Evans added: "At the beginning of 2003, Miss Davis became
a regular worshipper at the Kabbalah Centre. In April 2003, Miss
Davis's general practitioner notes that Miss Davis had been involved
in prayer at church (and) she reported feeling controlled by the
church. She felt scared living alone, she was not eating or drinking
properly. She reported feeling that people from the Kabbalah Centre
were walking around her flat."
The great ancient Indian epic, the Mahabharata, contains numerous
legends about the powerful force of a mysterious weapon
The archaeological expedition, which carried out excavations near
the Indian settlement of Mohenjo-Daro in the beginning of the 1900s,
uncovered the ruins of a big ancient town. The town belonged to
one of the most developed civilizations in the world. The ancient
civilization existed for two or three thousand years. However, scientists
were a lot more interested in the death of the town, rather than
in its prosperity.
Researchers tried to explain the reason of the town's destruction
with various theories. However, scientists did not find any indications
of a monstrous flood, skeletons were not numerous, there were no
fragments of weapons, or anything else that could testify either
to a natural disaster or a war. Archaeologists were perplexed: according
to their analysis the catastrophe in the town had occurred very
unexpectedly and it did hot last long.
Scientists Davneport and Vincenti put forward an amazing theory.
They stated the ancient town had been ruined with a nuclear blast.
They found big stratums of clay and green glass. Apparently, archaeologists
supposed, high temperature melted clay and sand and they hardened
immediately afterwards. Similar stratums of green glass can also
found in Nevada deserts after every nuclear explosion.
A hundred years have passed since the excavations in Mohenjo-Daro.
The modern analysis showed, the fragments of the ancient town had
been melted with extremely high temperature - not less than 1,500
degrees centigrade. Researchers also found the strictly outlined
epicenter, where all houses were leveled. Destructions lessened
towards the outskirts. Dozens of skeletons were found in the area
of Mohenjo-Daro - their radioactivity exceeded the norm almost 50
The great ancient Indian epic, the Mahabharata, contains numerous
legends about the powerful force of a mysterious weapon. One of
the chapters tells of a shell, which sparkled like fire, but had
no smoke. "When the shell hit the ground, the darkness covered
the sky, twisters and storms leveled the towns. A horrible blast
burnt thousands of animals and people to ashes. Peasants, townspeople
and warriors dived in the river to wash away the poisonous dust."
Astounding mysteries of India's ancient times can be found in the
town of Shivapur. There are two enigmatic stones resting opposite
the local shrine. One of them weighs 55 kilograms, the other one
is 41 kilograms. If eleven men touch the bigger stone, and nine
men touch the smaller stone, if they all chant the magic phrase,
which is carved on one of the walls of the shrine, the two stones
will raise two meters up in the air and will hang there for two
seconds, as if there is no gravitation at all. A lot of European
and Asian scientists and researchers have studied the phenomenon
of levitating stones of Shivapur.
Modern people divide the day into 24 hours, the hour - into 60
minutes, the minute - into 60 seconds. Ancient Hindus divided the
day in 60 periods, lasting 24 minutes each, and so on and so forth.
The shortest time period of ancient Hindus made up one-three-hundred-millionth
of a second.
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