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George W. Bush, The Neocons, & The Nazis: Ties That Bind

By Glen Yeadon

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 fascist.

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 and leftists.

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 administration.

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 thought.

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 regime.

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 kill him.

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 patients.

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 and Harriman.

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 rule.

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.

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New Poll Shows Americans Suspicious of AIPAC Status

By Press Release
Sep 15, 2004, 04:00

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 government."

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."

Comment: US citizens would do well to wake up the influence that agents of Israel wield in US halls of power. If they do not, and continue to ignore the significant evidence showing that Israel was deeply involved in the 9/11 attacks, they will be totally unprepared if and when the next false flag operation is carried out.

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New Israeli spy probe has a 30-year history, insiders say

By Jim Lobe
Updated Sep 14, 2004

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 last year.

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 these sources.

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. [...]

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Flashback: Von Raab Accused of Harassing Israelis - Cases Dropped

July 14, 2003

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 writes.

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 into sand."

Von Raab did not return calls seeking comment for this article.

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Israeli Troops Execute Six Palestinians in Nablus
Sep 15, 2004
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.

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Israeli troops kill 10 Palestinians in West Bank
Thursday September 16, 2004

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 added.

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, medics said.

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.

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Britons held after raid blunder by Israeli police
Vikram Dodd, and Chris McGreal in Jerusalem
Wednesday September 15, 2004
The Guardian

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 terrorism laws.

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 to kibbutzs."

Ms Qureshi said the British consulate in east Jerusalem failed to assist them beyond advising them to leave the country as soon as possible.
"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.

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Israel's Iraqi Oil Pipeline

Thursday, September 16, 2004

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 they try?

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Annan: US invasion of Iraq was illegal
Thursday 16 September 2004, 16:50 Makka Time, 13:50 GMT

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," Annan said.

"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.

US transgression

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 time."


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 to Iraq.

"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.

Comment: Criminals will always attempt to find some justification for their criminal acts. The way was prepared in the fall of 2002 with the first UN resolution. From that moment on, the US claimed, in spite of denials by the countries opposed to the invasion, that they had the resolution necessary to go ahead with the war. Ambiguous wording is the trap. Each side can interpret it as they wish.

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Judge Orders U.S. to Open Iraq Records
By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press Writer
Wed Sep 15,10:51 PM ET

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 in Iraq.

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.

Comment: Uh-oh! Bush officials were chastised! I'm sure they are terribly worried as they prepare to once again steal the presidential election.

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US sorry for death of journalist
September 16, 2004

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 Sunday.

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.

Comment: Well, the US military's account of what happened during the helicopter strike is completely different from what others - including a journalist at the scene - have reported...

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Flashback: Violence Sweeps Baghdad; U.S. Gunship Fires on Crowd

By Ibon Villelabeitia
September 12, 2004

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 comment.

The surge in violence coincided with new American offensives to retake insurgent-held areas before elections due in January.


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. [...]

Comment: So - Reuters reported that there was no "well-aimed" shooting from the ground, and the US military itself previously claimed that they had to destroy the burning Bradley, "to prevent looting and harm to the Iraqi people". Of course, the "and harm to the Iraqi people" part is completely illogical, and was probably just thrown in to make US forces look better than what they are - an occupying force. We are thus left to conclude that the US military wanted to prevent looting of any equipment from their vehicle on the ground, so they blew it up and slaughtered everyone near it...

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Flashback: Palestinian Journalist Murdered as the Tape Rolls in Baghdad

Monday, 13 September, 2004
BBC News
Journalist Mazen 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 dead.

Fierce fighting

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 bed.

"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 news agencies.

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". [...]

Comment: Now, it might be disturbing to some Americans to learn that the US military, who follow the orders of political leaders, have, yet again, lied about the fact that they murdered Iraqi children in cold blood. But to actually be annoyed, Americans would have to first be exposed to such information, and the chances of the above report, or an objective analysis of it, being made available to the average American citizen by the US media is virtually nil.

The reason for such censorship, you see, is that the US mainstream media is not made up on independent organisations committed to "fair and balanced" news coverage, but rather it is essentially owned by individuals who owe their positions to various government and industry leaders - aka the "military-industrial complex".

We have all heard before the rhetorical and slightly derisory question; "what planet are you on?"

Well, the bottom line is that, "reality" for most people on this planet is so far removed from *actual* reality that they may as well be on another planet, which is perhaps not a bad thing, because if "the powers that be" have their way, this planet may not be around for much longer anyway.

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Flashback: 'He's just sleeping, I kept telling myself'
The Guardian

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 to run.

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 else."

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.

Comment: The Americans won't fire at an ambulance? Think again...

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Flashback: The Punishment of Fallujah

US Precision Strikes...on Ambulances

September 14, 2004

(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 forces.

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. [...]

Comment: Given the evidence that US soldiers routinely and intentionally kill civilians, one has to wonder if the issue of the inaccuracy of US weapons systems that defence officials are so fond of bringing up after the fact is at least in part a cover...

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Threat to bomb unis if women study with men
September 15, 2004 - 11:46AM

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."

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Musa: Gates of hell open in Iraq
Tuesday 14 September 2004, 18:02 Makka Time, 15:02 GMT

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 capital, Cairo.

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".

Divisive issue

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.

Comment: The reports on Iraq are starting to get sharper and sharper in their depiction of the state of affairs in the country. While these stories will not likely make in onto the front pages of the US newspapers, the horror that is Iraq is harder and harder to hide. Bush has only another seven weeks to maintain the illusion.

Iraq is falling apart.

Could this be the plan? The neocons and their Israeli buddies would love to see Iraq broken up into three or more states. The more divided the Arab world, the better for the Israelis and their hegemonic plans for the region. We have speculated that a certain amount of the kidnappings are being undertaken by Mossad, we know as well that Israel has agents in the Kurdish areas of Iraq. While the rest of the world looks on in horror at the events in occupied Iraq, Israel may well consider that as is going as planned.

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Iraq rebuilding efforts 'pitiful'
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 security.

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.

Effort 'embarrassing'

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 of stability.

"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 said.

"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 Times.

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.

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US soldiers battle their consciences
By Roshan Muhammed Salih
Thursday 16 September 2004, 12:13 Makka Time, 9:13 GMT

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

Comment: Webster is not the only US soldier who has decided not to return or go to Iraq. Young men sign up because they are sold on the adventure by recruiters who whitewash the realities of being a soldier. When the new recruits arrive in Iraq, confronted with the death, the hostility of an occupied people, and the reality of the situation, and feel themselves being turned into killing machines, some revolt and refuse to continue.

All change must begin with ourselves, that moment when we decide that no matter the consequences, we must stand up for the truth. Unfortunately, for every man or woman who attempts to obtain conscientious objector status, they are more poor and disenfranchised youths at home in the US to take their place.

Could this also be part of the "Bush strategy"? Ruin the economy to force more and more of America's young into the ranks of the military?

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The Bush Cartel Massacre: Have You No Decency, Have You no Shame? "Of Course Not, We're the Sopranos from Maine."
September 15, 2004

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 thing.

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 friends."

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 notes.

And Kevin Phillips is a guy who worked for and admired "Tricky Dick," so you know where his benchmark is.

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.

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Bush rebukes move by Putin to limit Russian democracy

Ewen MacAskill, diplomatic editor
Thursday September 16, 2004
The Guardian

A 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 for himself.

"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 latter himself.

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.

Comment: It appears that Bush has no shame. We would comment further, but the Russian foreign minister has said enough in the above article, for now.

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Sydney teen investigated over deadly weapon order
September 15, 2004 - 11:31AM

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 yesterday.

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.

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In the eye of the storm as the ID road show rolls in
Martin Wainwright
The Guardian
Wednesday September 15, 2004

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 dish.

"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 of shoplifting."

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 systems.

The government promises all data collected will be destroyed at the end of the survey.

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9/11 Baseball Coincidence

by Kevin Todd

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.


Q: (A) I want really to know what kind of mechanism is behind this 911 number coming up in the NY lottery. (V) Yeah, me too, and it wasn't only that it was something with the...
A: Warning. It ain't over!!!
Q: (A) Who was warning?
A: Mass consciousness signals to self about clear and present danger.

It ain't over folks. How hoodwinkable are we?

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Repressed memories at issue in trial

By Chris Bernard

BRENTWOOD - In the hearing to determine whether repressed memories should be admissible in a sex abuse trial, it was a battle of science on Friday.

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
that abuse.

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 criteria.

But painted on a broader canvas, much of the case so far has been about

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 agrees.

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 methodologies.

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 world.

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."

Comment: A reasonable argument, but what if a person was fooled, by a third party, into thinking that they were attacked by a lion, when, in reality there was no lion? They would then have the memory of an attack, a reality, that never existed. Due to their belief that the experience was real and the resulting very real trauma, they might start seeing lions everywhere. They could be made to jump out of their skin at the very suggestion of a lion. If a third party desired to, they would easily control another person or even a large group of people in this way.

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Air controllers report chaos, near misses in West
Wednesday, September 15, 2004

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 Wednesday.

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

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Small temblor rattles Yucca Valley
6:55 a.m. September 16, 2004

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.

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Strong quake shakes capital
From correspondents in Manila, Philippines
16 sep 04
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.

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Earthquake rocks western Greece, no casualties reported 2004-09-16 21:16:53
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 kilometers.

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Heavy rain causes flash flooding in Minnesota, leaving some stranded
10:29 PM EDT Sep 15

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 flash flooding.

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 Amazi said.

"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. [...]

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WWII bomber emerges from glacier

Tuesday, 14 September, 2004

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. [...]

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Kabbalah sect woman stabbed two in frenzy

September 14, 2004
By Joanna Bale

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 was told.

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."

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Ancient nuclear blasts and levitating stones of Shivapur

08/27/2004 10:56

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 times.

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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