Signs Supplement: The Suicide Bombing Cycle
Strike Flash Presentation by a QFS member
of the Day
and the People
|It is naiveté
in the extreme to think that an American government would not sanction
the deaths of American citizens. Reference historical sources or the
of the Times "Time Line" for evidence of the truth of
Governments have been committing crimes against their own people
since the dawn of time. Commit a horrific crime against members
of their own populace, blame it on your proposed "enemy"
- who happens to have something that you desire, and/or is considered
a political competitor/threat in some way or another - then go in,
attack said enemy, and steal what it is that you want, and/or neutralize
It is predatorial, yes, psychopathic, yes. Extreme service to self,
yes, but it is also simple and logical, at least from the amoral,
emotionless point of view of a megalomaniac. But then, most politicians
actually seem to be power obsessed by nature. That is why they become
politicians - in order that they can express their predatorial natures
in the best way possible, to satisfy their insatiable desire for
power over others and wealth, generally speaking. Those few leaders
who were not so have been rare and have normally found themselves
"neutralized" in fairly short order. Politics is a dangerous
business. It is the epitome of the Darwinian idea of "survival
of the fittest", and in politics, this means that the common
man is prey and considered expendable. Competitors for the "food"
are wiped out by those with the most power, strength and wealth.
It's not a pretty picture, but that's the reality.
Sir Thomas More (1478-1535) was an English writer and statesman,
well-acquainted with the workings of governments. He was a favourite
of Henry VIII's until the King decided he wished to divorce Katherine
of Aragon. More was opposed to this, and lost his life for disagreeing
with his king. He wrote in his book, "Utopia" :
"Therefore I must say that, as I hope for mercy, I can have
no other notion of all the other governments that I see or know,
than that they are a conspiracy of the rich, who, on pretence of
managing the public, only pursue their private ends, and devise
all the ways and arts they can find out; first, that they may, without
danger, preserve all that they have so ill-acquired, and then, that
they may engage the poor to toil and labour for them at as low rates
as possible, and oppress them as much as they please; and if they
can but prevail to get these contrivances established by the show
of public authority, which is considered as the representative of
the whole people, then they are accounted laws; yet these wicked
men, after they have, by a most insatiable covetousness, divided
that among themselves with which all the rest might have been well
supplied, are far from that happiness that is enjoyed among the
Things haven't changed since Thomas More was alive. I daresay that
they have worsened. Nor were they any different in times past. That's
the reality we live in, painful to face as it is. And there seems
to be really precious little one can do about it, apart from honor
the Truth when it finally hits us in the face, and stand up for
In the US, people are under the ILLUSION that they possess true
power. They are under the ILLUSION that they are living in a democracy.
They are under the ILLUSION that they are free. They wish for these
things and they honor these principles, yet the last thing they
will do is allow objective evidence to suggest to them that they
are living in a dream world, that there is and always has been a
serious discrepancy between what their leaders say and what their
"Good German" syndrome
People still blame the Germans for allowing Hitler to do the evil
that he did, and in particular for pretending not to see the Holocaust
as it occurred around them.
Germans at the time thought:
* I didn't vote for him
* most people don't support him
* I engaged in some forms of protest
* although the forms of protest I engaged in were mocked and derided
by the government and by those in the media, I did everything I
could do and I sure felt good about myself as I protested
* if it weren't for the fact that the government would arrest and
possibly kill me, I would have done more
* I didn't see anything directly, so I wasn't sure of how bad it
* people in positions of high authority
convinced me that whatever they were doing was for the best
* I live in a civilized, democratic country,
certainly the most civilized and democratic that has ever been,
and my country wouldn't do evil things
* these people were going to destroy our country, so what we had
to do was just self-defense
* why do you blame us when we're the victims?
* there are many people in my country who support our government
with a radical fervor, many of them my neighbors and relatives,
and I want to get along with them or I fear their reaction should
I dare to express dissent
* anyone who expresses the least amount of dissent faces the general
hatred of the public
* anyone who expresses the least amount of dissent may lose his
or her job or livelihood
* anything I might have done wouldn't have made any difference
* the people who are doing the work of the government are 'our
troops', and must be supported in whatever they have to do on our
* the alleged victims of my government aren't fully human, and
their lives aren't worth even the slightest inconvenience or risk
to our lives
* the alleged victims of my government have a false and evil religion,
and my true religion gives me the right to eliminate them
* after the sufferings we've faced, no one can dare tell us what
* what my country is doing is actually for the improvement of the
lives of what busybodies describe as its 'victims'
* my country right or wrong (no, sorry, that is someone else -
the Germans weren't that stupid)
* our leaders are particularly blessed and wise, with a direct
line to God, and would never do the wrong thing.
The word fascism has come to mean any system of government resembling
exalts nation and sometimes race above the individual, uses violence
and modern techniques of propaganda and censorship to forcibly suppress
political opposition, engages in severe economic and social regimentation,
and espouses nationalism and sometimes racism (ethnic nationalism).
In an article in the 1932 Enciclopedia Italiana, written by Giovanni
Gentile and attributed to Benito Mussolini, fascism
is described as a system in which "The State not only is authority
which governs and molds individual wills with laws and values of
spiritual life, but it is also power which makes its will prevail
abroad.... For the Fascist, everything is within the State and...
neither individuals or groups are outside the State.... For Fascism,
the State is an absolute, before which individuals or groups are
Mussolini in a speech delivered on October 28, 1925, stated the
following maxim that encapsulates the fascist philosophy: "Tutto
nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato."
("Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing
against the State".)
| Attorney general shows
himself as a menace to liberty.
Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft's announced desire for camps for U.S. citizens
he deems to be "enemy combatants" has moved him from merely
being a political embarrassment to being a constitutional menace.
Ashcroft's plan, disclosed last week but little publicized, would
allow him to order the indefinite incarceration of U.S. citizens
and summarily strip them of their constitutional rights and access
to the courts by declaring them enemy combatants.
The proposed camp plan should trigger immediate congressional hearings
and reconsideration of Ashcroft's fitness for this important office.
Whereas Al Qaeda is a threat to the lives of our citizens, Ashcroft
has become a clear and present threat to our liberties.
The camp plan was forged at an optimistic time for Ashcroft's small
inner circle, which has been carefully watching two test cases to
see whether this vision could become a reality. The cases of Jose
Padilla and Yaser Esam Hamdi will determine whether U.S. citizens
can be held without charges and subject to the arbitrary and unchecked
authority of the government.
Hamdi has been held without charge even though the facts of his
case are virtually identical to those in the case of John Walker
Lindh. Both Hamdi and Lindh were captured in Afghanistan as foot
soldiers in Taliban units. Yet Lindh was given a lawyer and a trial,
while Hamdi rots in a floating Navy brig in Norfolk, Va.
This week, the government refused to comply with a federal judge
who ordered that he be given the underlying evidence justifying
Hamdi's treatment. The Justice Department has insisted that the
judge must simply accept its declaration and cannot interfere with
the president's absolute authority in "a time of war."
In Padilla's case, Ashcroft initially claimed that the arrest stopped
a plan to detonate a radioactive bomb in New York or Washington,
D.C. The administration later issued an embarrassing correction
that there was no evidence Padilla was on such a mission. What is
clear is that Padilla is an American citizen and was arrested in
the United States--two facts that should trigger the full application
of constitutional rights.
Ashcroft hopes to use his self-made "enemy combatant"
stamp for any citizen whom he deems to be part of a wider terrorist
Perhaps because of his discredited claims of preventing radiological
terrorism, aides have indicated that a "high-level committee"
will recommend which citizens are to be stripped of their constitutional
rights and sent to Ashcroft's new camps.
Few would have imagined any attorney general seeking to reestablish
such camps for citizens. Of course, Ashcroft is not considering
camps on the order of the internment camps used to incarcerate Japanese
American citizens in World War II. But he can be credited only with
thinking smaller; we have learned from painful experience that unchecked
authority, once tasted, easily becomes insatiable.
We are only now getting a full vision of Ashcroft's America. Some
of his predecessors dreamed of creating a great society or a nation
unfettered by racism. Ashcroft seems to dream of a country secured
from itself, neatly contained and controlled by his judgment of
For more than 200 years, security and liberty have been viewed
as coexistent values. Ashcroft and his aides appear to view this
relationship as lineal, where security must precede liberty.
Since the nation will never be entirely safe from terrorism, liberty
has become a mere rhetorical justification for increased security.
Ashcroft is a catalyst for constitutional devolution, encouraging
citizens to accept autocratic rule as their only way of avoiding
massive terrorist attacks.
His greatest problem has been preserving a level of panic and fear
that would induce a free people to surrender the rights so dearly
won by their ancestors.
In "A Man for All Seasons," Sir Thomas More was confronted
by a young lawyer, Will Roper, who sought his daughter's hand. Roper
proclaimed that he would cut down every law in England to get after
More's response seems almost tailored for Ashcroft: "And when
the last law was down and the devil turned round on you, where would
you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? ... This country's planted
thick with laws from coast to coast ... and if you cut them down--and
you are just the man to do it--do you really think you could stand
upright in the winds that would blow then?"
Every generation has had Ropers and Ashcrofts who view our laws
and traditions as mere obstructions rather than protections in times
of peril. But before we allow Ashcroft to denude our own constitutional
landscape, we must take a stand and have the courage to say, "Enough."
Every generation has its test of principle in which people of good
faith can no longer remain silent in the face of authoritarian ambition.
If we cannot join together to fight the abomination of American
camps, we have already lost what we are defending.
Jonathan Turley is a professor of constitutional law at George
The mother of a soldier killed in Iraq was arrested Thursday after
interrupting a campaign speech by first lady Laura Bush. As police
hauled her away, she shouted, "Police brutality." Wearing
a T-shirt with the message "President Bush You Killed My Son,"
Sue Niederer of nearby Hopewell screamed questions at the first
lady as the audience tried to drown her out by chanting, "Four
more years! Four more years!"
She pressed on, refused to leave and eventually police removed
her from the firehouse rally.
|The mother of a South
Brunswick man killed in Iraq was arrested yesterday after interrupting
a speech by first lady Laura Bush during a campaign event in a Hamilton
firehouse. Sue Niederer wore a shirt with a photo of her son, Army
Lt. Seth Dvorin, that read "President Bush You Killed My Son."
Dvorin died in February, and Niederer said she asked the first lady
why her daughters and the children of other politicians weren't serving
in Iraq. "At that point, it became chaotic and I was pushed and
shoved," said Niederer, of Hopewell. "They engulfed me.
It wasn't plain, ordinary folks, but people in suits with earphones."
The crowd chanted "Four more years" as Secret Service agents
surrounded Niederer and escorted her outside. Once outside, Niederer
said she was handcuffed and placed in a police van after trying to
speak to reporters. She was charged w! ith trespassing.
had a ticket to get in," said Niederer, adding that Hamilton
police kept her ticket as evidence. "I was in there legitimately."
Iraqi victims of the US military lie dead on a Baghdad street
Last 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.
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.
Drafts of a report
from the top US inspector in Iraq conclude there were no weapons
stockpiles. But they say there were signs that fallen Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein had dormant programs he hoped to revive at a later
time, according to people familiar with the findings.
In a 1,500-page report, the head of the Iraq Survey Group, Charles
Duelfer, will find Saddam was importing banned materials, working
on unmanned aerial vehicles in violation of UN agreements and maintaining
a dual-use industrial sector that could produce weapons. Duelfer
also says Iraq only had small research and development programs
for chemical and biological weapons.
WASHINGTON - Inside
dusty, barricaded camps around Iraq, groups of American troops in
between missions are gathering around screens to view an unlikely
choice from the US box office: "Fahrenheit 9-11," Michael
Moore's controversial documentary attacking the commander-in-chief.
"Everyone's watching it," says a Marine
corporal at an outpost in Ramadi that is mortared by insurgents
daily. "It's shaping a lot of people's image of Bush."
The film's prevalence is one sign of a discernible countercurrent
among US troops in Iraq - those who blame President Bush for entangling
them in what they see as a misguided war. Conventional wisdom holds
that the troops are staunchly pro-Bush, and many are. But bitterness
over long, dangerous deployments is producing, at a minimum, pockets
of support for Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry, in part because
he's seen as likely to withdraw American forces from Iraq more quickly.
"[For] 9 out of 10 of the people I talk to, it wouldn't matter
who ran against Bush - they'd vote for them," said a US soldier
in the southern city of Najaf, seeking out a reporter to make his
views known. "People are so fed up with Iraq, and fed up with
"The military continues to be a Bush stronghold, but it's
not a stranglehold," Feaver says. Three factors make the military
vote more in play for Democrats this year than in 2000, he says:
the Iraq war, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's tense relationship
with the Army, and Bush's limited ability as an incumbent to make
sweeping promises akin to Senator Kerry's pledge to add 40,000 new
troops and relieve an overstretched force.
"The military as a whole supports the Iraq war," Mr.
Feaver says, noting a historical tendency of troops to back the
commander in chief in wartime. "But you can go across the military
and find pockets where they are more ambivalent," he says,
especially among the National Guard and Reserve. "The war has
not gone as swimmingly as they thought, and that has caused disaffection.
"Nobody I know wants Bush," says
an enlisted soldier in Najaf, adding, "This whole war was based
on lies." Like several others interviewed, his animosity
centered on a belief that the war lacked a clear purpose even as
it took a tremendous toll on US troops, many of whom are in Iraq
involuntarily under "stop loss" orders that keep them
in the service for months beyond their scheduled exit in order to
keep units together during deployments.
"There's no clear definition of why we came here," says
Army Spc. Nathan Swink, of Quincy, Ill. "First they said they
have WMD and nuclear weapons, then it was to get Saddam Hussein
out of office, and then to rebuild Iraq. I
want to fight for my nation and for my family, to protect the United
States against enemies foreign and
domestic, not to protect Iraqi civilians or deal with Sadr's
militia," he said.
Specialist Swink, who comes from a family of both Democrats and
Republicans, plans to vote for Kerry. "Kerry protested the
war in Vietnam. He is the one to end this stuff, to lead to our
exit of Iraq," he said. 'We shouldn't be here'
Other US troops expressed feelings of guilt over killing Iraqis
in a war they believe is unjust.
"We shouldn't be here," said one
Marine infantryman bluntly. "There was no reason for invading
this country in the first place. We just came here and [angered
people] and killed a lot of innocent people," said the marine,
who has seen regular combat in Ramadi. "I don't enjoy killing
women and children, it's not my thing."
As with his comrades, the marine accepted some of the most controversial
claims of "Fahrenheit 9/11," which critics have called
biased. "Bush didn't want to attack [Osama] Bin Laden because
he was doing business with Bin Laden's family," he said.
Another marine, Sgt. Christopher Wallace of Pataskala, Ohio, agreed
that the film was making an impression on troops. "Marines
nowadays want to know stuff. They want to be informed, because we'll
be voting out here soon," he said. " 'Fahrenheit 9/11'
opened our eyes to things we hadn't seen before." But, he added
after a pause, "We still have full faith
and confidence in our commander-in-chief. And if John Kerry is elected,
he will be our commander in chief."
WASHINGTON - Standing beside Iraq's interim
leader, President Bush contended Thursday that insurgents could
"plot and plan attacks elsewhere, in America and other free
nations," if the United States pulled out. He said his top
commander there has not asked for more troops but if he did, "I'd
listen to him."
After meeting with interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, Bush said
he expects violence in Iraq to escalate as the country moves toward
elections scheduled for January. Even so, Allawi discounted the
need for more foreign soldiers.
"To have more troops, we don't need," Allawi said, suggesting
that Iraq instead should train its own security forces.
Before meeting with Bush, Allawi told a joint meeting of Congress
that his country is moving successfully past the war that ousted
Saddam Hussein and vowed that elections will take place next year
as scheduled, "because Iraqis want elections on time."
Despite struggles and setbacks, "the
values of liberty and democracy" are taking hold in his country,
Allawi proudly exclaimed. "We could hold elections tomorrow"
in 15 provinces, he said, even though terror operatives hope to
disrupt them. [...]
Gunmen killed a senior official of Iraq's North
Oil Co. in the northeastern city of Mosul Thursday, officials said.
Sana Toma Sulaiman, the deputy director of the company's oil products
department in the Nineveh province, was shot dead as he was on his
way to work in a taxi, said Hazim Jallawi, a spokesman for the Nineveh
governor's office, according to The AP.
Meanwhile, American warplanes bombed targets in
east Baghdad slum of Sadr City, killing at least one person and
injuring 12, hospital officials said Thursday.
According to eyewitnesses, an American Bradley fighting vehicle
was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and caught fire.
Elsewhere, American occupation soldiers
sealed off the city of Samarra and called in air strikes.
"The Americans have struck last night and this morning Al-Qadassiyah
neighborhood with Apache helicopters. Three people were killed,
including one old woman. Those three bodies were brought out from
the wreckage," conveyed police chief Colonel Mohammed Fadel,
according to AFP.
Twenty-one cars were burnt or damaged in the strikes,
UNITED NATIONS - France, one of the harshest
critics of the war that brought down Saddam Hussein, stressed it
would not commit troops for Iraq despite appeals from the United
States and United Nations.
As Iraq Prime Minister Iyad Allawi met in Washington with US President
George W. Bush and hailed the war as a success, France poured cold
water on any slim hope it might send forces to help ease the post-war
"As everyone knows, France did not approve of the conditions
in which the conflict was unleashed. Neither today nor tomorrow
will it commit itself militarily in Iraq," French Foreign Minister
Michel Barnier said.
"In Iraq, violence is exploding. Only when
the Iraqis themselves take control of their future ... will the
country be able to escape the chaos which could destabilise the
entire region," Barnier told the UN General Assembly.
The bitter divisions over the war have re-emerged in the opening
days of the two-week annual debate of world leaders at the United
Nations, especially after a pointed exchange Tuesday between Bush
and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
Annan has asked for nations to contribute
troops to help protect UN staff who are working to help prepare
for elections in Iraq before the end of January -- but no nations
have yet committed any forces. [...]
Most senior US military
officers now believe the war on Iraq has turned into a disaster
on an unprecedented scale
'Bring them on!" President Bush challenged
the early Iraqi insurgency in July of last year. Since then,
812 American soldiers have been killed and 6,290 wounded, according
to the Pentagon. Almost every day, in campaign speeches, Bush speaks
with bravado about how he is "winning" in Iraq. "Our
strategy is succeeding," he boasted to the National Guard convention
But, according to the US military's leading strategists and prominent
retired generals, Bush's war is already lost. Retired general William
Odom, former head of the National Security Agency, told me: "Bush
hasn't found the WMD. Al-Qaida, it's worse, he's lost on that front.
That he's going to achieve a democracy there? That goal is lost,
too. It's lost." He adds: "Right now, the course
we're on, we're achieving Bin Laden's ends."
Retired general Joseph Hoare, the former marine commandant and
head of US Central Command, told me: "The idea that this is
going to go the way these guys planned is ludicrous. There are no
good options. We're conducting a campaign as though it were being
conducted in Iowa, no sense of the realities on the ground. It's
so unrealistic for anyone who knows that part of the world. The
priorities are just all wrong." [...]
Amid the glare of a news conference last
Thursday, Attorney General John Ashcroft trumpeted the opening of
the government's latest terrorism prosecution, the indictment of
two men for financially aiding Islamic groups that support terrorists.
A few days earlier, with no fanfare, another major terrorism case,
this one brought by military authorities, came to an end. Army
Capt. James Yee - accused just a year ago as the "big fish"
in a spy ring intent on helping al-Qaeda - learned that he would
get an honorable military discharge. The designation offered symbolic
exoneration. Months earlier, the criminal charges were dropped.
The juxtaposition of the two cases illustrates a trend in the Bush
administration's domestic war on terrorism: Too
many major prosecutions open with a bang but end with a whimper.
In recent months, several high-profile Justice Department or military
cases have collapsed - but not before they damaged lives, trampled
constitutional rights and squandered resources that could have been
focused on real threats.
The common thread is that authorities, fixated on preventing terrorism
at any cost, ignored or avoided evidence that might have disproved
their theories. Such zealous pursuits undermine the very values
that terrorists are seeking to destroy - individual rights and the
rule of law.
Among the key cases that have unraveled:
Detroit terrorism. In June 2003, three North African men arrested
a week after 9/11 were convicted in what was heralded as the government's
first major post-9/11 terrorism trial. This
month, a federal judge threw out the convictions and dismissed the
terrorism charges after the Justice Department found that the prosecutors
had withheld evidence that undermined their case. The judge
wrote that the prosecution's zeal to convict trumped "its broader
obligation to the justice system and the rule of law."
Spanish bombing. Last May, U.S. authorities detained Portland,
Ore., lawyer Brandon Mayfield, a Muslim convert, in connection with
the March 11 train bombing in Madrid. They said his fingerprint
was found at the scene, and Mayfield was jailed for 14 days. But
they were wrong, and a judge threw out the case. Spanish
authorities had raised doubts about the fingerprint match early
on. Now, two Justice Department probes are focused on the FBI's
blunder and the conduct of prosecutors.
Military spying. Last September, the Army accused Yee, a Muslim
chaplain then assigned to the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,
of being a spy and held him in solitary confinement for 76 days.
While the government suggested he could face the death penalty,
it actually charged him with only minor infractions. They
were dropped last spring. The military said it didn't want to release
sensitive information, but former military judges and prosecutors
say the case collapsed for lack of evidence.
Related criminal charges against an Army Reserve colonel were dropped
last month, and a third case against an Air Force translator is
The Justice Department defends its record. It says its own probe
revealed the Detroit errors and that 189 of 357 individuals arrested
for terrorism have been convicted.
That's a dubious defense. The Detroit probe
was indeed thorough, but it occurred only after a federal judge
ordered prosecutors to reveal why they had withheld exonerating
evidence. Where were high-level Washington officials when
prosecutors were misleading a court for more than a year?
The conviction record, meanwhile, says little. The Justice Department
is unable or unwilling to provide supporting details.
In any case, no amount of convictions excuses overreaching that
punishes innocent people.
Thwarting terrorism requires aggressive prosecution, as long as
authorities distinguish between those who pose real danger and those
who don't. Prosecuting the innocent only undermines cherished American
values without making the nation safer.
Former CIA agent Ray McGovern went over what
he considers the failures of the intelligence community and current
administration over the past few years. He has 27 years of experience
as a CIA analyst to draw upon and has dealt with every administration
from Kennedy to Bush Sr.
"It's difficult for people to learn the truth about things
like Iraq," said McGovern, a member of the Veteran Intelligence
Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), which is comprised of more than
40 former employees of agencies such as the CIA, the Defense Intelligence
Agency, Department of State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research,
Army Intelligence, the FBI and the National Security Agency.
"We have hundreds of years worth of experience in government
service and intelligence to draw on so we feel a civic responsibility
to do our best to spread as much truth as we can this fall,"
He began his lecture by describing the CIA. He explained that the
agency is supposed to be the one place in government with no political
agenda, and could be very disastrous if it obtains one.
McGovern told a story about CIA officials who
gave false information about enemy troop numbers in Vietnam to President
Johnson. The lie led to a surprise of U.S. forces by the Tet Offensive
in 1968. In this war of attrition, the agency wanted to make it
look like the United States was doing better than it really was,
"Picture the Vietnam Memorial in Washington; it's a big 'V'
shape. Now picture it with just one side of the 'V'. It might have
been that way if some people had told the truth," McGovern
He also criticized the 9/11 Commission's final report, saying the
committee was comprised of political extremists who couldn't reach
"It wasn't a bipartisan commission; it was more like a bipolar
commission," McGovern said. "To say that no one could
prevent 9/11 was a bold-faced lie. It basically let the president
and everyone responsible off the hook."
He went on to talk about the faulty intelligence attorney general
John Ashcroft used when he announced that terrorist attacks may
occur before or around election time, saying that elections might
have to be postponed if the United States is attacked.
"There might be a real or staged terrorist
attack in order to postpone the elections," McGovern said.
"This might seem outlandish; I hope it is."
He mentioned how the Bush administration wanted to involve the
country with the war in Iraq for certain reasons other than fear
of weapons of mass destruction, which was just a more media-friendly
explanation for the war.
"I have initials for why I think we went
to war in Iraq," McGovern said. "O.I.L. O-I-L, O is for
oil, I is for Israel and L is for logistics, as in when we have
Iraq we have a foothold and a number of bases strategically placed
in the Middle East so we can be in control over there and also to
Next he brought up civil liberties in the United States and how
they have declined in the past few years.
"I used to say when I was a kid growing up when someone told
me not to do something, 'It's a free country,'" McGovern said.
"I ask you to think about it now."
In the audience was Nahla al-Arian, wife of imprisoned former professor
Sami al-Arian. She explained to McGovern how she and her husband
came to America to be free and described their current situation.
Then she asked him why the government would target Palestinian activists.
His initial response was just, "I'm sorry," then he paused
to collect his thoughts and said that things like that come all
the way from the top down.
McGovern had a speaking engagement at the University of Florida
later in the afternoon, and will also be lecturing at UCF soon on
his and the VIPS's quest to spread the truth.
"No one has a corner on the truth. We don't
have a corner on the truth, but it is certain that Fox News does
not," McGovern said. "That most people get their 'news'
from Fox News is extremely troubling."
NEW YORK - Judith Miller, the embattled foreign
The New York Times, seems ready to go to jail rather than testify
before a grand jury trying to find out who leaked the name of a
CIA operative to several Washington, D.C,. reporters.
"I can't tell you what I am going to do yet," Miller
said in an upbeat voice during the first of two cell phone interviews.
But later, when told that Lucy Dalglish, executive director of The
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, seemed sure that she
would stonewall prosecutors, Miller elaborated a little.
"What I know of Judith Miller, there is no way in hell that
she will be willing to testify," Dalglish had told E&P.
When that quote was read to Miller, she laughed and said: "I
think that's right, and it's what my lawyer would say, too."
The special prosecutor is trying to determine who leaked the name
of a CIA agent to Robert Novak. So far, Glenn Kessler and Walter
Pincus of The Washington Post, Matthew Cooper of Time Magazine,
and Tim Russert, host of NBC's Meet The Press, have given sworn
depositions in their lawyers' offices.
They gave their testimony after their sources waived their confidentiality
agreements. But The Times believes that the Bush Administration
forced White House officials and others to sign the waivers, making
them invalid. A source who did not voluntarily waive his right to
keep his name private might sue the newspaper later for violating
Australia vowed swift action to plug gaps in its air security
after an incendiary device was found on a jet operated by domestic
airline Virgin Blue.
The embarrassing find Thursday comes just days after Canberra vowed
new measures to prevent airborne terrorist attacks after the deadly
September 9 bombing at its embassy in Jakarta. That attack prompted
promises of new checks on flights out of Jakarta and tightened measures
at domestic airports.
The attack has made security arguably the top issue in the campaign
for the October 9 election. Transport Minister John Anderson vowed
not to leave "holes unplugged" after Monday's find aboard
a 737-300 at Sydney airport.
"I can tell you that we are engaging in training exercises,
doubling and rechecking training levels right now as a result of
this. We've already swung into action on that one," Anderson
told national radio.
"We will do whatever is necessary here. We do not intend to
leave holes unplugged."
An initial police report has concluded the device contained thermite,
a chemical used in grenades. It was found wrapped in a cardboard
toilet roll tube with a firework sparkler attached as a 30-second
Virgin Blue commercial operations chief
David Huttner said a baggage handler found the device in the cargo
hold. The finder had failed to follow correct safety procedures
in taking it directly to airport security officials, he said.
However, he denied that it could have exploded on its own.
"It was not something that goes boom, it was something that
burns which means somebody had to be there to light it," Huttner
said. "It was clearly placed there by
somebody who had access to the airfield because it didn't go through
The aircraft had just flown in from Maroochydore on the touristic
Sunshine coast of Queensland state. Huttner
suggested a disgruntled airport worker may have planted the device
deliberately, saying a passenger could not have taken it as it was
found in the cargo hold, a suggestion strongly disputed by trade
"We believe it was an airport worker with an agenda,"
Officials of the Transport Workers Union said it was "absurd"
to suggest that a disgruntled worker might have staged the incident
and criticised training procedures for airline staff.
A transport ministry spokesman said the device did not appear to
have been on the aircraft in flight and said there were concerns
procedures had not been correctly followed. The staff member in
question had recently undergone security training, the spokesman
The embassy bombing has been claimed by Islamic extremist network
Jemaah Islamiah (JI), the group blamed for the 2002 Bali bombings,
which killed 88 Australians. It has prompted concerns about a possible
new terrorist attack on an Australian target before the election.
Analysts have suggested Islamists may be trying
to influence the vote outcome, as a bloody attack on trains in Spain
did there in March.
Virgin Blue, the Australian joint venture between British carrier
Virgin Atlantic and Australia's Patrick Corp., was set up in 2001
as a low-cost carrier following the collapse of domestic airline
Australia is widely seen as among the top targets of Islamic extremists
due to Prime Minister John Howard's strong support of last year's
US-led invasion of Iraq. However, to date
no successful terrorist attack has been carried out on Australian
Experts warn of flaws
in postmortem blood tests
Miscarriages of justice are "almost
certainly" taking place because of a mistaken belief that it
is possible to calculate from blood analysis at a postmortem examination
how many tablets somebody swallowed before they died, a group of
eminent scientists and doctors says today. An article by
the group in the British Medical Journal was written after the death
of the Iraq arms expert David Kelly and the Hutton inquiry which
concluded that Dr Kelly killed himself by cutting his wrists and
The evidence at the inquiry has "led
to the exchange of acrimonious views, including allegations of conspiracy
and murder," they note. The Hutton inquiry heard from
a forensic toxicologist that Dr Kelly could have swallowed between
29 and 30 tablets of a strong painkiller called Coproxamol which
he had been prescribed for back pain. But, say the authors of the
BMJ editorial, the measurement of toxic substances in the blood
after death is a very inexact science.
Blood that is not circulating after death is not the same as before
death, said Robert Forrest, professor of forensic toxicology at
Sheffield University and one of the authors. "After death,
drugs which are bound in tissue move back into blood." [...]
RELIANCE on inaccurate
methods of measuring drug levels in the blood after death have "almost
certainly" led to miscarriages of justice, experts claimed
today. The case of Government weapons expert Dr David Kelly was
used as an example where differences of opinion have been expressed
over the interpretation of toxicology results. Forensic scientists,
writing in the British Medical Journal, said the science of measuring
levels of drugs in the body after someone had died was far from
robust and based on flawed evidence.
They said that measuring the toxicology - drug concentration levels
- in living patients was straightforward, involving factors such
as how the drugs were administered and the number of doses. But
for dead subjects, this information was almost never available,
meaning conclusions about drug levels were incomplete.
The experts, in! cluding US, UK and Australian professors, said
their editorial was partly prompted by the the Kelly affair where
a central issue concerned the interpretation of toxicology results.
When someone dies
violently and suspiciously, the usual question investigators want
to answer is who had a murder motive. Did the deceased have enemies?
Had he been threatened by anyone? Was there anyone who stood to
gain from his death? If so, did the party or parties in question
have anything in their past to indicate that they might be capable
of murder, and did they have the opportunity to commit the crime?
In Forrestal’s case, the answers are yes, yes, yes, yes,
and yes. For over a year he had been subject to a vilification campaign
in the press the likes of which hardly any public official has ever
had to endure in America. Leading the campaign, from the left and
the right, respectively, were America’s two best-known and
most powerful syndicated columnists, Drew Pearson and Walter Winchell.
They painted Forrestal as a corrupt tool of Wall Street and the
oil companies who put the interests of his cronies ahead of concern
for the well being of refugees from European persecution. His big
offense was that he was outspoken in his opposition to the creation
of the state of Israel. The entire foreign policy establishment,
led by Secretary of State Marshall, felt the same way, but the strong-willed
Forrestal was the lightning rod for the supporters of Israel. He
had received threatening telephone calls and he complained of being
followed and electronically bugged. It has also been credibly reported
that the Zionists attempted to blackmail him over the financial
assistance that his investment banking firm, Dillon, Read, had given
to the Nazis prior to World War II.
One might argue that because Israel had already been recognized
by the United States by the time Forrestal died, and because he
had been removed from the Truman cabinet and discredited by his
breakdown and hospitalization, he was no longer a threat to the
supporters of Israel. But he was a man of prominence, wealth, and
determination who intended to buy a newspaper and to write a book
that threatened to expose a number of Roosevelt-Truman administration
secrets, especially related to the machinations that brought the
United States into World War II and the wartime policies that advanced
the interests of the Soviet Union. His voluminous diary was confiscated
by the Truman White House and its full contents have never been
Most importantly, though, it was feared that he would continue
to work against the interests of Israel. The animus toward Forrestal
continues to the present day in Zionist circles, who continue to
characterize this most able and dedicated of public servants as
an anti-Semite and a nut. [...]
But one should not overlook the ruthless record of the Israelis,
from the assassinations of Lord Moyne and Count Bernadotte and the
bombing of the King David Hotel, all of which pre-dated the Forrestal
death, right up to the more recent massacres in Qana and Jenin and
the systematic assassination of Palestinian leaders.
And although the communists might well have had many infiltrators
in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, no one has ever suggested
that they dominate America’s news media. It is the news media
that has vigorously sold the story that James Forrestal committed
suicide and has kept silent about the fact that the only serious
government investigation of the death has been kept secret from
the American public. The news media also heavily publicized the
books by Rogow and Hoopes and Brinkley, which sell the suicide line,
but they published not one single review of the critical book by
| VIENNA, Austria (AP) - Brazil has
emphasized that its commitment to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty
may not be open-ended, and it continues to resist access by UN inspectors
to technology that can be used to make nuclear arms, diplomats said
The diplomats, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of
anonymity, referred to comments made by Brazil at the general conference
of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is currently exerting
heavy pressure on Iran over the same issue.
Eduardo Campos, Brazil's minister of science and technology, told
the session on Wednesday that his country
had approved the treaty meant to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons
on condition of a "cessation of the nuclear arms race at an
early date, and to the complete elimination of all atomic weapons."
The treaty calls on nuclear-armed countries
to disarm as quickly as possible. Still, the diplomats, who
are familiar with Brazil's nuclear program, said the IAEA was concerned
about the fact that Brazil chose to emphasize the link between total
nuclear disarmament and its own commitment to the treaty.
This comes at a time when Brazil is disagreeing with the agency
on how to inspect its uranium enrichment program - technology that
can be used to make nuclear arms.
"The IAEA has duly noted the comment," said one of the
Although Brazil signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty in
1997 and said its nuclear program has purely peaceful objectives,
questions about its commitment continue to simmer.
The government confirmed in June that IAEA inspectors had been
denied access in February and March to centrifuges at a facility
in Resende, about 100 kilometres southwest of Rio de Janeiro.
It cited the need to protect industrial secrets and said the centrifuges
were, and will remain, off-limits for visual inspection.
The centrifuges are used to enrich uranium so it can be used for
fuel in nuclear reactors and potentially in bombs.
Uranium enrichment is also at the core of
the IAEA'S dispute with Iran. The nuclear watchdog agency
has threatened to turn the issue over to the UN Security Council,
a mover that could lead to sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
IAEA spokesman Mark Gwozdecky said the agency has "made some
progress" in the dispute with Brazil, but suggested a deal
was not yet finalized, saying IAEA officials "remain in discussions
with the Brazilian authorities" over full access to the centrifuges.
One of the diplomats said the agency continued to insist on enough
"visual access . . . to do proper verification" that there
is no illegal removal of enriched uranium from the facilities.
| Iran has warned Israel it will react
"most severely" if Israel uses force to try to destroy its
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi was responding to reports that
the United States is to sell Israel hundreds of "bunker-busting"
Israel urged the United Nations Security Council to take action
to stop Iran's nuclear programme.
The US and Israel have accused Iran of seeking to develop nuclear
weapons, a charge Iran denies.
Iran recently defied calls by the UN's nuclear watchdog to suspend
all enrichment-related activities, insisting its nuclear programme
was for peaceful purposes only.
According to reports, the US is to sell Israel
5,000 hi-tech bombs, including 500 one-ton "bunker-busters",
which can penetrate two metre (6.5ft) thick walls.
In 1981, Israel bombed Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor when it believed
Saddam Hussein was close to producing a nuclear bomb.
Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said the UN must deal with
the threat of Iranian nuclear weapons before it is too late.
"[The Iranians] are trying to buy time, and the time has come
to move the Iranian case to the Security Council in order to put
an end to this nightmare," he told reporters after meeting
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
"We know that the Europeans are trying now to engage with
the Iranians, but we know that the Iranians will never abandon their
plans to develop nuclear weapons. They're only trying to hide it."
However, Kamal Kharrazi said Israel, not Iran, was a threat to
"Israel has always been a threat, not only against Iran, but
When questioned about Israel's reported purchase of the bombs,
Mr Kharrazi said, "be sure that any action by Israel certainly
will be reacted by us most severely".
| LONDON (AP) - Yusuf Islam, the former
pop star known as Cat Stevens, returned to Britain Thursday saying
he was "totally shocked" that he was barred from entering
the United States.
U.S. officials, who had ordered Islam taken off a London-to-Washington
flight on Tuesday, said he was on a security watch list because
of suspicions that he was associated with potential terrorists.
"I'm totally shocked," Islam told a swarm of reporters
as he came through the arrivals area at Heathrow Airport.
"Half of me wants to smile, and half of me wants to growl.
The whole thing is totally ridiculous," he said, speaking softly
and appearing calm.
"Everybody knows who I am. I am no secret figure. Everybody
knows my campaigning for charity, for peace. There's got to be a
whole lot of explanation."
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw complained Wednesday to U.S.
officials about their treatment of Islam, telling U.S. Secretary
of State Colin Powell "that this action should not have been
taken," the Foreign Office confirmed.
The Foreign Office declined to say what he meant by "this
action" - whether it was Islam's detention, or his inclusion
on the watch list.
Straw's protest was a reversal of the Foreign Office's hands-off
position earlier Wednesday, when a spokeswoman had said "the
reasons for his detention and return are obviously a matter for
the U.S. and not for us." [...]
U.S. Homeland Security spokesman Brian Doyle would only say that
the intelligence community has recently obtained information that
"further heightens concern" about Yusuf Islam.
"Yusuf Islam has been placed on the watch lists because of
activities that could potentially be related to terrorism,"
Doyle said. "It's a serious matter."
Islam said he had not been questioned by British police on his
arrival. He said he was consulting lawyers and hoped to find out
why he was barred.
"People make mistakes. I just hope they made a big mistake.
We'll see," he said.
Summary - (Sep 23, 2004) The
Chandra X-Ray Observatory took this image of a pulsar surrounded
by high-energy particles as it plows through interstellar space.
The pulsar is hurtling to the left in this image at a speed of 2.1
million kph (1.3 million mph), and the particles are being blasted
back like the tail on a comet. The pulsar is known as "The
Mouse", aka G359.23-0.82, and it was discovered in 1987 by
radio astronomers using the Very Large Array in New Mexico. Because
it's moving so quickly and interacting so visibly with its environment,
astronomers have a unique opportunity to understand pulsar magnetic
fields, and how they eject material.
|Buried in the image are objects that
shone not long after the Big Bang
Scientists studying the deepest picture of the Universe, taken by
the Hubble Space Telescope, have been left with a big poser: where
are all the stars?
The Ultra Deep Field is a view of one patch of sky built from 800
The picture shows faint galaxies whose stars were shining just
a few hundred million years after the Big Bang.
But the image's revelation that fewer stars than expected were
being born at this time brings into question current ideas on cosmic
"Our results based on the Ultra Deep Field are very intriguing
and quite a puzzle," says Dr Andrew Bunker, of Exeter University,
UK, who led a team studying the new data.
"They're certainly not what I expected, nor what most of the
theorists in astrophysics expected." [...]
"There is not enough activity to explain the re-ionisation
of the Universe," Dr Bunker told the BBC. "Perhaps there
was more action in terms of star formation even earlier in the history
of the Universe - that's one possibility.
"Another exciting possibility is that
physics was very different in the early Universe; our understanding
of the recipe stars obey when they form is flawed."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy will
soon announce whether Lockheed Martin Corp. or Raytheon Co. will
build a $6.4 billion communications system to beef up satellite
services for U.S. troops, the White House and State Department,
a spokesman said on Tuesday.
Last Thursday, the Pentagon's Defense Space Acquisitions Board
approved the Mobile User Objective System, or MUOS, of four to eight
satellites that will provide narrowband communications to ships,
aircraft, submarines and ground forces.
That decision paved the way for the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare
Systems Command to make a contract award within the next two weeks,
spokesman Steven Davis said.
Sources familiar with the process said a decision could come as
early as Friday.
The system, slated to become operational in 2010, would provide
10 times more throughput, or volume of information that can be transmitted,
than the current Ultra High Frequency Follow-On System, built by
Chicago-based Boeing Co.
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration will
give "50,000 lucky individuals"
chosen in a lottery up to a 16-month jump on Medicare prescription
drug coverage, paying for costly medications for cancer and other
illnesses this year.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson estimated that
500,000 to 600,000 Medicare recipients without prescription drug
coverage are eligible for the program Congress wrote into last year's
prescription drug law.
"There'll be a lottery to be chosen as one of 50,000 lucky
individuals," Thompson said at a news conference Thursday to
announce the program. More than 450,000 others
must wait until prescription drug insurance under Medicare begins
in 2006. [...]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A key gauge of future
economic activity weakened for a third straight month in August
as costlier oil spread worry among consumers and businesses, a report
from a business research group showed on Thursday .
The Index of Leading Indicators, issued by the Conference Board,
fell 0.3 percent in Aug to 115.7 after a matching 0.3 percent decline
in July and a 0.1 percent drop in June, raising questions about
the durability of the economy's expansion.
The index measures a basket of 10 indicators of performance from
consumer confidence to applications for new building permits, and
is intended to signal the economy's direction three to six months
down the road.
Its steady decline contrasts with a view expressed
on Tuesday by Federal Reserve policymakers, who voted to raise U.S.
interest rates for a third time in three months, that economic output
has "regained some traction" since summer.
"We doubt this signals an imminent further sharp downturn
in growth but the data make uncomfortable viewing and are not consistent
with the Fed's view that the economy is regaining traction,"
said economist Ian Shepherdson of High Frequency Economics Ltd.
in Valhalla, N.Y. [...]
With Floridians still
recovering from the economic destruction caused by hurricanes Charlie,
Frances and Ivan, Jeb Bush and his corporate allies are determined
to make matters even worse for low-income Floridians.
Jeb and his big business supporters are working to defeat a November
ballot initiative that would raise the minimum wage in Florida by
one dollar, to $6.15 an hour for most employees. If the measure
passes, the Florida minimum wage would have a yearly cost-of-living
adjustment equal to the inflation rate to ensure that the value
of the minimum wage does not erode over time.
The front group created by corporations to fight the initiative
claims that the modest increase in the minimum wage "would
cost businesses billions, lead employers to cut benefits and slow
job growth in Florida." The proof? They polled themselves as
to what they thought the impact would be.
Real economic analysis, released yesterday by the Center for American
Progress and the Political Economy Research Institute, demonstrates
that the minimum wage increase would significantly benefit low-income
Floridians and have a negligible impact on the state's business
community. For more information on the effort to pass the initiative,
check out Floridians
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Insurance payments to
victims of Hurricane Frances are expected to reach $4.4 billion,
making it the fourth most costly storm in U.S. history, an insurance
industry group said on Thursday.
The sum is on top of $7.4 billion in claims expected from Hurricane
Charley, and another large payout is expected after claims are toted
for Hurricane Ivan. [...]
MIAMI - The remnants of deadly Hurricane
Ivan, which rampaged through the Caribbean and then into the U.S.
Gulf Coast a week ago, killing more than 100 people, have reformed
in the Gulf of Mexico as a tropical storm threatening the Texas
and Louisiana coasts.
By 8 a.m. EDT on Thursday, Ivan was about 95 miles southeast of
Cameron, Louisiana, with top winds of 45 mph, the U.S. National
Hurricane Center said.
It was moving west-northwest at about 15 mph on a course that would
likely take its core ashore on the northeastern Texas coast in the
next day, the center said.
Ivan could strengthen before coming ashore and was expected to
dump as much as 10 inches of rain in its path.
Ivan, at one point one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes
on record, made a devastating 10-day trek through the Caribbean
before hurtling ashore in the United States near Gulf Shores, Alabama,
just west of the Florida Panhandle. [...]
CHICAGO - At a time when restaurants typically
put away their patio furniture, sweaters replace T-shirts and sailboats
are plucked from the water, Midwesterners are out enjoying activities
usually reserved for July and August — not weeks past Labor
Day. Summer is here. Finally.
"We're getting the summer we never had and now we're making
up for it," said Bill Snyder, who produces the weather segments
of the WGN-TV news in Chicago.
Alyssa Theisen certainly did. The 4-year-old, wearing a dress,
darted right into a fountain in Chicago's Millennium Park on Wednesday,
surprising her mother.
"She just ran into the water," Angie Theisen said. "I
didn't bring her (swim) suit. I thought it was too late."
At Chicago's Monroe Harbor on Lake Michigan, sailors thought the
water would be a lot less crowded.
"Very few boats are gone for the season," said Joe Williams,
the harbor master. "The weather is keeping them in the water."
Blocks away at Rock Bottom Brewery and Restaurant, general manager
Nicole Allison said the rooftop patio is more crowded than it's
ever been in September.
"Typically this time a year we close (the patio) past sundown
— it's too chilly," she said. "Now we stay open
up there until midnight."
How weird is it? In Chicago, Wednesday marked
the 14th day of the month with temperatures reaching 80 degrees,
and Thursday was expected to be the 15th. In August there were 10.
"You might as well throw your calendar away," said Shawn
Joyce, a Chicago police sergeant keeping an eye on a lakefront beach
peppered with sunbathers.
It's looking like this will be only the fifth
September in Chicago since records started being kept in the late
1800s that will end with an average high temperature above the average
high for August, Snyder said.
It's the same story in other parts of the Midwest.
In Iowa, state climatologist Harry Hillaker said he expects September
to end up being warmer than August for only the second time in the
state since 1897.
In Minnesota's Twin Cities, September is well on its way to being
the sixth warmest on record, following an August that was the sixth
coldest, said Pete Boulay, assistant state climatologist. It was
84 degrees on Wednesday afternoon. On Aug. 10, the high was 59 degrees.
LISBON - Portuguese health authorities issued
heat alerts for three more regions because of forecasts that temperatures
will rise above 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit) in much of the
centre and south of the country over the next few days.
The public health authority said in a statement Wednesday that
it had issued a yellow alert level, phase two of a four-phase emergency
series of measures, for the central region of Santarem as well as
for the southern regions of Portalegre and Setubal.
Officials had already issued yellow alerts on Tuesday for the southern
regions of Evora and Beja as well as for the central region of Castelo
Health authorities advised people in the affected regions to seek
cool environments for at least two hours of the day, drink plenty
of water and avoid alcoholic beverages in order to counter the effects
of the high temperatures.
With the alert raised to yellow, hospitals in the six areas are
required to boost their capacity to deal with patients and increase
the monitoring of the effects of heat on the population.
Scorching temperatures caused 80 heat-related
deaths in Portugal's southern province of Algarve, one of Europe's
top tourist destinations, at the end of July, according to preliminary
health ministry estimates.
The deaths occurred between July 24 and 27 when temperatures soared
to above-average levels, reaching 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees
Fahrenheit) in many parts of the coastal region.
GONAIVES, Haiti - The death toll from devastating
floods in northern Haiti topped 1,000, with another 1,200 missing
and possibly dead, and more than 900 injured, a UN spokesman in
the impoverished nation said.
And with relief agencies battling mud and high water to get aid
to a quarter of a million people affected by the flooding, tension
rose in the city of Gonaives where famished residents tried to plunder
trucks carrying emergency supplies, another UN official said.
"Our official toll at this stage is 1,013
people dead, 1,200 missing and 918 wounded," said Toussaint
Kongo-Doudou, the spokesman for the UN peacekeeping mission that
is playing a key role in the relief efforts.
He said that in view of the high number of people missing and feared
dead, the death toll was certain to rise further.
Most of the fatalities were in the northern city of Gonaives, where
many streets remained under water Wednesday, four days after Hurricane
Jeanne caused deadly floods and mudslides in the Caribbean nation.
"As waters go down, we are finding more bodies," Kongo-Doudou
Numerous bodies were believed to be buried in the mud, or under
floodwaters. Others washed out to sea.
With human remains rotting away in the sweltering heat and piled
up in morgues that have no electricity for refrigeration, officials
started burying the dead in mass graves. [...]
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