Article - The Blair Belief Project
Strike Flash Presentation by a QFS member
of the Day
Yesterday, the Washington Post ran a story
Theories Flourish on the Web, which featured links to the SOTT
Flash presentation as well as the main website Cassiopaea.org.
Having our website featured in a mainstream American newspaper
will no doubt provide much exposure to the work we do here, and
as a result may prove to be both a boon and a curse.
By reaching a large audience, the Post story will give those people
who have doubts about the "official version" of 9/11,
an opportunity to examine many of the unknown or suppressed facts
surrounding the "alleged" terrorist attacks at the Pentagon and
On the other hand, it will also galvanize those who have a vested
interest in keeping these facts hidden from public view, to begin
a deliberate campaign of ridicule, name-calling and debunking in
order to marginalize our efforts as "conspiracy" or "fringe".
A good example of this comes from the Washington Post discussion
forum, that in less than 24 hours after printing the story,
has already collected over 130 posts.
Seems we have touched a nerve.
Here are some samples of comments posted...
- the Internet just gives every NUT a larger voice. Ordinarily
you would never hear from these nutjobs. There will always be
fruitcakes that think the government did this to itself. These
folks should start their day with 0.5 mg of Haldol.
- The Post isn't under any obligation to investigate every fruitcake's
- Even goof balls with a computer and time on their hands can
act like they are contributing something.
- The conspiracy theory story and pentagon 9/11 theory is pure
- What an absolute crock of horse pucky!
- crackpot conspiracy theories are nothing new, [...] the theories
themselves are as ridiculous as ever.
- Right "morons" and "idiots" make better
- Also Weird Knuckleheads
- Hey, the Post runs an article and all the nuts coming running.
I think they might have given a furlough at the asylum today.
- Shame on you (and the other conspiracy theorists) for making
a mockery out of their loss.
- You truly are a dolt. Don't you have to be back at the institution???
- No doubt. Say, how was the food in the asylum?
- When I hear birdbrained conspiracy theories I can only regard
them as entertainment.
- Like tipping over a garbage can and watching the all the dogs
- You didn't get the joke, which is too bad, because it's on
- I want GWB out of the White House badly, but I'm not about
to result to tomfoolery to do so, and I advise you to consider
the same. This is just foolishness.
- there are a lot of dilusional people out there .... Up the
dosage .. 10mg Haldol.
- virtually everything you think or believe could be garbage.
You must be very very insecure.
- Ok I think you really need a prescription change ... up the
- Refuting b.s. is a waste of my time which to be honest is what
most of this thread is. Im just enjoying the banter about some
wild psychotic dilusion.
- What these brainwashed people do then?
- Back in pre-history before the Dawn of the Internet, these
Ten Percenters were scattered and dispersed. Forced to wear tall
pointy caps, objects of village ridicule, wandering the streets
muttering to themselves in self-deluded mania, we all knew them
for what they were -- KOOKS! [...] Moreover, cleverly constructed
internet sites give the air of legitimacy to the unalduterated
conspiracy lunacy disseminated by these Ten Percenters.
- Man, not only are your theories half-baked, you're also sending
messages to yourself!
- Ridiculing wack jobs is hardly "silencing free speech".
These morons on free make fools of themselves 24 hours a day in
this forum, nobody's stopping them.
- All you do is make REAL conspiracies look even dopier.
- Well duh! It's obvious the plane was sucked up by the Bermuda
Triangle, where the passengers were kidnapped by aliens. This
was all organized by the Isrealis.
Apart from this last comment (that even though posed as sarcasm,
hits dangerously close to the truth in referring to Israeli involvement),
one can see a definite pattern in the opinions of those who refuse
to look objectively at the facts of 9/11.
When confronted with a mountain of evidence that strongly suggests
U.S. government complicity in the Sept. 11th attacks, they choose
to remain in denial, and instead resort to name-calling, insults
They attack our intelligence with words like moron, idiot, dolt,
birdbrain, dope and knucklehead.
They attack our sanity with phrases like nutjob, fruitcake, crackpot,
psychotic, delusional, brainwashed, half-baked, whackjob, fools,
mania, kooks, and lunacy, needing to be drugged with Haldol and
locked up in an asylum.
They attack in every way they can, calling us insecure, weird,
ridiculous, goofballs who should be ashamed of ourselves.
(And if you think the above is harsh, take a look at the Signs
to see what kind of feedback we are getting.)
And what is our crime? What did we do to provoke such hostility?
We started asking questions.
Because we are interested in the truth.
We decided to take a hard and honest look at the most significant
tragedy of our era. From the very beginning, the "official
version" of events just didn't add up, and upon closer inspection,
is now clearly shown to be full of holes.
After doing a great deal of research, we came to some surprising,
but highly probable conclusions, as to who was the real mastermind
behind the 9/11 attacks.
All objective evidence indicates that it was an inside job.
On September 11th, 2001, elements within the American goverment
murdered or were complicit in the murder, of 3000 of it's own citizens.
It is this reality that most people are deathly afraid to consider.
And because we even dare to suggest it as a possibility, we are
attacked and ridiculed.
It is likely that some of the negative responses come from agents
or deliberate disinformation artists.
However, there are still those people who are genuinely offended
by the work we have done, because it challenges everything they
Following the exposure the Washington Post story will bring, we
may expect even more attacks like those above in the days to come.
So the question remains, what is it that makes certain people react
in such negative and hostile ways to the simple voicing of a different
What is it about 9/11 in particular that makes normally intelligent
and reasonable adults cringe with horror at the mere suggestion
that their own government would pull off such a dastardly crime?
In a word... investment.
When one is so deeply invested into a belief or idea, so much so
that their entire being is intertwined and dependant upon the "absolute
truth" of that idea, then any evidence that contradicts their
cherished belief system is met with intense anger and hosility.
Such people, having no outlet for the cognitive dissonance that
the objective facts create, must attack those who present the evidence.
In essence, it is their way of trying to shoot the messenger.
Somehow, they hope that by shooting the messenger, the message
will be killed as well.
Unfortunately for them, the truth never does go away, and if ignored
long enough, has a tendancy to come roaring back in chaotic and
Their condition is understandable, for many of us here had similar
doubts and went through the same trauma when we first came across
Being an American, it's not an easy thing to hear that the country
you've grown up in, the country you've been taught since birth is
open, democratic and free; would ruthlessly kill it's own people
to further a selfish and sinister agenda.
When presented with the facts, one can either flee from the harsh
reality they present and retreat into the comfort of belief, lies
and illusion, or instead one can acknowledge the truth without flinching.
One can stare into the face of uncertainty, dive into the unknown,
and let go of literally everything that we've been conditioned to
believe to be true.
It's all about choice.
The truth hurts.
The realization is life-shattering.
Once you SEE the terror of the situation, there is no going back.
Follow the links.
Do the research.
Come to your own conclusions.
The light is shining on the door... it is up to you to walk through
"All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed and
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
~ Arthur Schopenhauer
UNEXPLAINED. Tenths of a second
before the Boeing crashes against the south tower, the television
cameras tracking the plane record a form resembling a protuberance
on its underbelly.
Two and a half years after 9/11 many questions remain as to the
circumstances surrounding the attacks on the Twin Towers. One of
these unknowns is the nature of certain forms or marks which can
be seen on the fuselage of the plane which crashed into the south
tower of the World Trade Center. "La
Vanguardia" asked Boeing about these marks, who claimed they
were unable to respond for reasons of national security and referred
it to the independent commission which has been conducting an inquiry
since 31 March into what happened.
In the frozen images of various film shots of the final run of
United Airlines flight 175, there are three
strange shapes discernible, which the aeronautical experts consulted
find difficult to explain. They consist of two long shapes
located underneath the fuselage, one towards the bow and the other
towards the stern of the plane. There is a third, seemingly pyramidal
in shape, on the underbelly, almost in the center of the plane.
Boeing's department of commercial aviation,
with headquarters in Seattle, examined the photographs for ten days
and, having announced an explanation for the phenomenon, declined
to make a statement on what it saw. Finally
a spokesman stated that Boeing was unable to offer an opinion "for
security reasons" and because it had not officially participated
in the investigation of the attacks.
Various aeronautical engineers at official Spanish centers have
found no clear explanation for the reflections or shapes which can
be observed on the hijacked plane. However,
digital analysis of the stills, carried out at the Escola Universitària
Politècnica de Mataró, concludes that the "objects
discerned cannot be due to shadows caused by the angle of incidence
of the sun upon the plane as they always appear as the same shape
and size, although their luminosity varies." This result
was reached having subjected the photographs to a digital image
process "which would respond to changes in luminance"
which can be seen with the naked eye and which, in principle, would
make no sense, given that the fuselage of commercial airplanes is
cylindrical and flat, according to the cited technical report.
The author, who has had extensive professional experience in digital
image processing, artificial neuronal networks and biometry, says
in the report that "the same treatment" was applied to
each of the photographs "using three standard digital image
processing algorithms", the technical data of which are detailed
at length in the dossier. Having clarified that "the
images studied are taken from different angles of observation",
it establishes that the "objects detected present distinct
luminosity as they are in relief" and adds that "this
is the only possible explanation", finally pointing out that
"the objects detected can be clearly distinguished from the
The reconstruction of the events leading up to the horrific attack
on the second tower show that preparations for the United Airlines
flight UA-175 from Boston to Los Angeles were routine on the morning
of 11 September 2001. The aircraft, a B-767-222, registration N612UA,
left the United terminal at Logan International airport at 7:58
and was in the air by 8:15. There were 56 passengers on board, including
five Al Qaeda terrorists armed with box-cutters. The captain was
fifty-year-old, ex-Naval pilot, Victor Saracini.
The aircraft followed its usual route until 8:47, when, at the
level of George Washington bridge, which joins the north side of
Manhattan to New Jersey over the River Hudson, it changed course
veering sharply left. The hijackers, having slit the throats of
several stewardesses, had taken control of the cockpit. For twelve
minutes the Boeing flew over the Hudson following its western shore,
until it again made another tight left turn. Right before it was
the south tower of the World Trade Center, into which it crashed
At the time live television cameras were broadcasting a fire in
the north tower, caused by the impact of an American Airlines B-767
which had taken place at 8:48. Millions of viewers witnessed live
the UA-115 (sic) fly into the south tower, between floors 78 and
84, causing a much greater explosion than the one caused minutes
earlier by the American Airlines plane.
The official investigation by the Federal Aviation Authority determined
that the Boeing crashed into the building at a velocity of 937 kilometers
per hour. Another study by the Massachusetts Technology Institute,
however, established a speed of 859 kilometers per hour at the moment
Neither of the two investigations mentioned there
was any strange form attached to the aircraft. Their conclusions
form part of the half million documents serving as a departure point
for the ten members of the national commission looking into the
causes of the attacks.
[...] Seven minutes
later, as Mr Bush, his entourage and the accompanying press corps
were boarding Air Force One, American Flight 77 swooped low over
the suburbs of northern Virginia and slammed into the Pentagon.
Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defence, was
in his office on the eastern side of the building, in a meeting
with Christopher Cox, the defence policy committee chairman of the
House of Representatives. Mr Rumsfeld, recalls Mr Cox, watched the
TV coverage from New York and said: "Believe me, this isn't
over yet. There's going to be another attack, and it could be us."
Moments later, the plane hit. Mr Rumsfeld
ran to the point of impact and helped load the wounded on to stretchers
before retreating to the secure National Military Command Centre,
beneath the building.
Q: This is a question
that's been asked by many Americans, but especially by the widows
of September 11th. How were we so asleep at the switch? How did
a war targeting civilians arrive on our homeland with seemingly
Rumsfeld: [...] It is a truth that a terrorist can attack any time,
any place, using any technique and it's physically impossible to
defend at every time and every place against every conceivable technique.
Here we're talking about plastic knives and using an American Airlines
flight filed with our citizens, and the missile
to damage this building and similar (inaudible) that damaged
the World Trade Center. The only way to deal with this problem is
by taking the battle to the terrorists, wherever they are, and dealing
E. Howard Hunt talks about Guatemala, the Bay of Pigs, and what
really happened to Che.
| By Ann Louise Bardach
Updated Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2004, at 5:04 AM PT
MIAMI, Aug. 25, 2004 - E. Howard
Hunt is one of the most notorious spies of the 20th century. The
son of an influential Republican leader in upstate New York, Hunt
began his career as a founding member of the OSS, the precursor
of the CIA in the 1940s. After beginning as an intelligence operative
in China, Hunt trailblazed the path for the CIA in Latin America
from 1950 to 1970, ever on the lookout for the Communist menace.
By his account, he was the architect of the 1954 U.S.-backed coup
("Operation Success") in Guatemala that deposed democratically elected
President Jacobo Arbenz. Adept at psych ops (propaganda and subversion)
and running "black flights" (covert operations), he also played
a role in the Bay of Pigs: He was responsible for propaganda operations
and the organization of a post-Castro government. Such exploits
and excesses led to the scaling back of the CIA's prerogatives following
hearings by the Church Committee in 1976.
In July 1970, Hunt went into "private practice," taking with him
the tools he acquired during his 25 years in the intelligence business.
His most famous black-bag jobs were breaking into Daniel Ellsberg's
psychiatrist's office and, later, Watergate, where Hunt's "plumbers"
cadre, recruited from among his Cuban exile comrades, rifled and
bugged the offices of the Democratic Party in May and June of 1972.
Since pleading guilty to his role in Watergate and spending "33
months in 13 federal prisons," Howard Hunt has lived in Miami where
he met and married his second wife of 27 years, Laura. An expert
storyteller, Hunt has had a second career as a spy novelist. The
couple live in a modest ranch house at the end of a cul-de-sac in
north Miami. Posted around his door are warnings against trespassing,
which seems somehow appropriate for a man with a history of illegal
Hunt answered the door in a wheelchair. One of his legs has been
amputated due to atherosclerosis, and for the past few months, he's
battled lymphoma localized in his jaw (it is now in remission).
He wears a hearing aid and sports rimless, bifocal glasses. While
no longer the dapper spymaster, he remains salty and unremorseful.
As a general rule, Hunt said, he doesn't talk about Watergate or
"the old days." But with his 86th birthday soon to occur
on Oct. 9, he was feeling a bit more chatty.
Slate: You started the CIA's first bureau
in Mexico in 1949. Did you first start working on Guatemala from
Hunt: In Mexico, I had a few agents from Washington
with me, and I had recruited a few others … [including] a young
Catholic priest. So the priest came to me one time, and he said,
"I'm sending down several young men to Guatemala to get a view of
the situation there. It's not good." He said, "My people were beaten
up and put into jail, and then exiled from the country." And he
sort of sat back expectantly. And I said, "That's certainly not
right. I'll let Washington know what's going on in Guatemala." So
I retold the story of Guatemala and the treatment of my young Catholic
friend. I found that there was a lot of intense interest in what
I had to say.
Slate: We're talking about the time after
1952, the year Jacobo Arbenz was elected president of Guatemala.
Hunt: He was in power then, yes. But his wife
was by far the smarter of the two and sort of told him what to do.
She was a convinced communist. … I waited for orders [from Washington].
A couple of [CIA and military] officers came down to join me, and
it became apparent that there was going to be an effort to dislodge
the communist management [laughs] of Guatemala. Which indeed
happened. We set up shop and had some very bright guys working against
Arbenz, and the long and short of it was that we got Arbenz defenestrated.
Out the window. [Laughs]
Slate: But President Arbenz ended up
in exile—not really out the window?
Hunt: Yeah. In Czechoslovakia. With his very bright
and attractive wife.
Slate: So it seems you were the architect
for the Guatemalan operation?
Hunt: It was mine because nobody else knew more
than I did. I would say that I had more knowledge about it than
anybody did. I knew all the players on both sides.
Slate: How did you run the Guatemalan
Hunt: We set up the first Guatemalan operation/shop
at Opa-Locka [airport in Miami, formerly an Army base]. There were
three barracks, and we used the airstrip to fly in people from Guatemala
and to send our people into Guatemala. These were known as "the
black flights." They always occurred at night; they are a secret
and officially do not exist as having happened.
Slate: Do you think the Guatemala coup
Hunt: Yes—it did. And I'm glad I kept Arbenz from
Slate: How did you do that?
Hunt: By passing the word out to the people at
the airport who had Arbenz to "let him go."
Slate: To whom did you give the word?
Hunt: It was a mixed band of CIA and Guatemalans
at the airport and their hatred for him was palpable.
Slate: You were worried they would assassinate
him right there?
Hunt: Yeah. … And we'd [the CIA and the United
States] get blamed for it.
Slate: Some 200,000 civilians were killed
in the civil war following the coup, which lasted for the next 40
years. Were all those deaths unforeseen?
Hunt: Deaths? What deaths?
Slate: Well, the civil war that ensued
for the next 40 years after the coup.
Hunt: Well, we should have done something we never
do—we should have maintained a constant presence in Guatemala after
getting rid of Arbenz.
Slate: Did you ever actually meet Jacobo
Hunt: They [he and his wife] were neighbors of
mine—years later—on the same street in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Slate: What were you doing there?
Hunt: I was the CIA chief of station.
They had come from [exile in] Czechoslovakia, and nobody in Washington
had told me they were coming and so it was a big surprise to me,
to my wife and me. We went to the country club for dinner one evening
and lo and behold, the Arbenzes were seated a few tables away.
Slate: What did you do?
Hunt: Well, nothing. I sent a cable to Washington
saying, "In the future when we have important arrivals, please let
me know." It's the least they could do.
Slate: I'd like to talk about Cuba now.
Did you have a lot of responsibility during Bay of Pigs?
Hunt: Leading up to it.
Slate: How so?
Hunt: I came to Miami, and of course there were
[Cuban] exiles, all anxious to take weapons in hand and charge back
[to Cuba]. And the CIA was given the responsibility of a twofold
action against Cuba. There was the psychological warfare branch
which I headed [propaganda, covert operations], and the paramilitary
which oversaw the training [of Cuban exiles] that took place in
My [other] responsibility was to form and manage the future government
of Cuba. At that point I formed the Cuban government-in-exile with
Manuel Artime [Bay of Pigs veteran designated by the United States
to succeed Castro]. I had told them [the exile trainees] to meet
me in my safe house in Coconut Grove. An FBI guy whom I knew came
to me and he said your neighbor has reported you to the police saying
that men are coming and going at all hours of the night. … He said
he thought it was a gay brothel.
Slate: Did you go to Cuba after Castro
took power in January 1959?
Hunt: I did go to Cuba. I went there under a very
flimsy cover. Batista was out—it was 1959. I'd been sent to Havana
to nose around and get a grass-roots feeling and talk to the proverbial
taxi drivers and find out what their likely response would be to
a possible U.S. invasion. And I did. And I told them don't count
on it because it's not going to happen. But that is exactly what
Slate: Did you help in the planning of
Bay of Pigs?
Hunt: Not the military [planning]. And I couldn't
find anybody who thought that it was a good plan.
Slate: What were the objections?
Hunt: There was an objection on the part of Dean
Rusk, secretary of state under Kennedy. He didn't want a "go-and-see
invasion"—that was the term he used. And our people [CIA planners]
had planned an invasion that combined both a seaborne assault and
an airlift. Dean Rusk was a great naysayer—he was not a fellow with
useful ideas. When our plan was submitted to Rusk for his OK, he
said, "This is too noisy, you gotta do something else." So the assault
point was moved to the Bahia de Cochinos—the Bay of Pigs. Which
had nothing in its favor. It was a beach that came down from the
jungle. A lot of mosquitoes. Our people made that beach landing
and they were scooped up pretty soon thereafter.
Slate: Did you ever think there was a
way to get rid of Castro, short of a military coup?
Hunt: No. When Castro went into Cuba and took
over, this was the moment—with all the chaos and disorganization—that
our forces could have gone in and unseated him. But we always confronted
this dreadful organization called the Department of State. Who needs
Slate: What was your feeling about Batista?
Hunt: Well, I thought he ran a good government
there. There was a lot of corruption, but there's always been corruption
in Latin America. We can't be too purist about these things.
Slate: Let's talk about the finals days
and execution of Che. Do you know what the real story was there?
Hunt: I do. El Che was becoming a popular threat
to Castro. Castro was a gradualist; his view was that great changes
couldn't take place immediately. But El Che had a different idea—he
had wanted the entire continent of Latin America to become Communist.
And Castro, sort of to get rid of him, said, "Take a band down to
Bolivia. Here's money, and radio phones, and all that." So Che went
down there. But Che's very first [radio] transmissions were picked
up by our people at the National Security Agency. The agency was
able to track him wherever he went with his little forlorn band.
The Bolivians wanted to get rid of him as soon as possible, and
our people kept the Bolivian army informed as to where he was.
Slate: So you knew where he was all the
Hunt: Yes. There was no question about where he
was or what he was trying to do. The Bolivians had gone through
this kind of BS before, and they wanted to put an end to it as soon
as possible. Eventually they just said, "We're gonna put an end
to this farce," and they rounded up this little band of Che's, and
they didn't kill anybody except Che.
Slate: I thought it was Felix Rodriguez,
the Bay of Pigs Cuban exile, who says he killed Che.
Hunt: No, the Bolivians did.
Slate: What did the Americans want to
do with Che?
Hunt: We wanted deniability. We made it possible
for him to be killed.
Slate: Do you think anybody back then
was thinking this guy would become a cult figure, that he might
be more trouble dead than alive?
Hunt: No, nobody had the foresight for that. …
What I thought was great foresight was that the Bolivian colonel
had Che's hands cut off.
Slate: Why did he do that?
Hunt: So he couldn't be identified by fingerprints.
That was a pretty good idea—if you don't want somebody identified.
People still shiver a little when they think about hands being cut
Slate: Did that idea come from the Bolivian
colonel or from the CIA?
Hunt: I have no idea. But I talked with Felix
about it. I said, "You were there when Che expired." He said they
had taken him into this room, and they shot him there and killed
him. And they had kind of a medical examination table. They put
his body on that and cut off his hands. They fooled around for a
day or so before they disposed of the body. And that was done in
a very sloppy fashion. The colonel had a shallow grave dug and his
remains were dumped in there.
Laura Hunt: [Interjects] For all we know,
Felix [Rodriguez] did shoot him.
Hunt: It was just important that it was done.
Slate: Maybe Rodriguez arranged for the
Bolivians to do the killing and then took credit?
Hunt: What we certainly didn't want was a public
monument to Che. We wanted his memory to vanish as soon as possible.
But it never did. Even my son goes on about Che.
Slate: What do you think of Felix Rodriguez
campaigning these days against John Kerry, who questioned him at
the Iran-Contra hearings?
Hunt: I think that's great! Felix can do no wrong
in my book.
Slate: What led you to leave the CIA?
Hunt: I found out the CIA was just infested with
Democrats. I retired in '70. I got out as soon as I could. I wrote
several books immediately thereafter.
Slate: I still don't understand how you
get involved in Watergate later. Through the CIA?
Hunt: I had been a consultant to the White House.
I greatly respected Nixon. When Chuck Colson [special counsel to
Nixon] asked me to work for the administration, I said yes. Colson
phoned one day and said, "I have a job you might be interested in."
This was before Colson got religion.
Slate: How long were you in prison for
the Watergate break-in?
Hunt: All told, 33 months.
Slate: That's a lot of time.
Hunt: It's a lot of time. And I've often said,
what did I do?
Slate: Did you get a pardon?
Hunt: No. Never did. I'd applied for one, and
there was no action taken, and I thought I'd just humiliate myself
if I asked for a pardon.
Laura Hunt: He was sort of numb because all of
this happened to his wife and his family, his children went into
drugs while he was still in prison.
Slate: Wasn't your first wife killed
in a plane crash?
Laura Hunt: She was killed when her plane crash-landed
at Chicago's Midway Airport. And there was all this speculation
from conspiracy buffs that the FBI blew the plane up or something
… so that she would never talk, all this ridiculous stuff.
Slate: How do you feel about Chuck Colson?
Hunt: He failed to come to my assistance, which
would have helped Nixon and me.
Slate: Do you hold anyone responsible
Hunt: No, I don't.
Slate: And you didn't apologize?
Hunt: No. It never occurred to me to apologize.
Slate: Should Nixon have resigned?
Slate: I know there is a conspiracy theory
saying that David Atlee Phillips—the Miami CIA station chief—was
involved with the assassination of JFK.
Hunt: [Visibly uncomfortable] I have
Slate: I know you hired him early on,
to work with you in Mexico, to help with Guatemala propaganda.
Hunt: He was one of the best briefers I ever saw.
Slate: And there were even conspiracy
theories about you being in Dallas the day JFK was killed.
Hunt: No comment.
Laura Hunt: Howard says he wasn't, and I believe
Slate: Any regrets?
Hunt: No, none. [Long pause] Well, it
would have been nice to do Bay of Pigs differently.
Ann Louise Bardach covers politics for Slate.
She is the author of Cuba
Confidential: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana and the
editor of Cuba:
A Traveler's Literary Companion.
battle for reality
Fantasy terror threats conceal real plan to reduce population
| By John Kaminski
While watching the inane vice-presidential
debate the other night, I nearly swallowed my gum when I heard vice-presidential
challenger John Edwards say, "I agree that we needed to invade
Afghanistan." I had had pretty much the same reaction earlier
when his running mate John Kerry had informed a worldwide TV audience
that, despite the high number of innocent people killed in Fallujah
and other cities, he would attack Iraq "much harder" than
the current mass murderer in charge of America's latest immoral
This demonic double whammy hammered home in my mind that for the
U.S. election of 2004, there is no real opposition, no genuine choice,
only differences in styles of mass killing, and a message to the
world that America is united behind its curdled policies of utter
injustice and contempt for everyone on the planet.
The absence of a presidential candidate who would even begin to
admit to the truth of America's lies dooms us here at home to a
dark future of permanent war, and the rest of the world to random
extermination depending on the resources they may possess that others
more powerful may covet.
The indelible message to the world is that since there is no candidate
calling for actual peace and an accurate understanding of the processes
now turning the world into a shooting gallery, that all Americans
unanimously favor this all-out push toward world domination, and
preemptive obliteration of all who stand in their greedy way.
But is this really the case, or is this merely what America mainstream
mass media say is the case? In other words, do we as supposedly
free people really control our own destiny, or do others control
it for us in our names?
While it seems true that the peace coalition in
the United States seems miniscule in this era of increasing corporate
control of the mind, it is perhaps instructive to look at the behavior
of the American people before and during past wars to get a better
idea of what's actually going on here and now.
I am reminded of the trenchant essays of Scott Nearing in 1916,
when he pointed out that Woodrow Wilson was the peace candidate
who vowed to keep us out of the European war, then shortly thereafter,
after a hysterical newspaper campaign vilifying fictitious German
baby eaters, got us into the War to End All Wars.
Or the behind-the-scenes manipulation of Japan which compelled
it to invade Pearl Harbor, which Franklin Roosevelt then used as
an excuse to attack Germany.
Or the famous Gulf of Tonkin incident which 40 years later we learned
never happened, but at the time was used to rationalize a U.S. invasion
of Vietnam that produced millions of deaths in a pointless war that
to this day no one can adequately explain?
Or the young lady, later learned to be employed by the Hill &
Knowlton ad agency, who came to Washington to tell the world that
babies were being ripped from their incubators by Iraqi soldiers
in a campaign to convince Americans that we should start bombing
Iraq. That now-disproved bit of theater happened almost 15 years
ago, yet we have not stopped bombing Iraq ever since.
How many of you out there still believe that you actually control
what happens in your own lives? And how many of you have reached
the point where you have decided the time is long past that something
be done about this?
The controlling mechanism of this present burst of American aggression
throughout the world is of course the tragedy of 9/11, an apparent
attack by foreign extremists on American landmark that to this day
has never been adequately investigated or explained.
And yet, the American people have by and large
accepted their government's clumsy story without a peep of a demand
for documentation, provable evidence, or a thorough investigation.
The great 9/11 coverup must be considered in the context of previous
political events in which the American people accepted the facile
lies of its leaders without demanding more information or an honest
accounting of these extremely suspicious events.
Or, more succinctly, had Americans demanded more forthright explanations
of the three big assassinations back in the 1960s — JFK, RFK
and MLK — it is very likely that none of these subsequent
catastrophes to the American conscience ever would have happened.
But we didn't. And we still don't.
As a result, the war machine rolls on, with the mayhem creeping
ever closer to home.
Almost no one I know of believes the official version of what happened
in the murder of President Kennedy. After 40 years of discussion,
it seems like Michael Collins Piper's "Final Judgment"
furnishes the final word on the matter, that JFK was dusted because
he demanded Israel open its nuclear facilities for inspection, and
that he wanted to diminish the power of the Federal Reserve, so
these two entities got together and concocted an elaborate scheme
to blame a CIA groupie for the crime and used a CIA hit team to
do the deed, with the fatal shot actually being fired by the driver
of the presidential limo. You haven't read that in the New York
Times lately, have you?
Once JFK's successor LBJ took over, there was a rapid rise in the
amount of money funneled to Israel, a trend that since has never
diminished, even though Israel destroyed an American ship (another
famous noninvestigation) and basically took over the American political
system through bribes and blackmail. Again, no mainstream media
coverage of that.
Jump to the 1990s, right after the Bush family completed its plundering
of America's savings and loan industry, adding billions to the family
bank account. Not much in the newspapers about that, and certainly
not the real story.
The 1990s began with the invasion of Panama (actually it was '89),
about which NBC reported 45 Panamanians died, but an Oscar-winning
documentary later revealed a death toll of 4,000.
Then came the Gulf War, when the U.S. told Saddam Hussein it was
OK to invade Kuwait, but later bombed the hell out of him for doing
it. There was some coverage of this, but most Americans didn't pay
attention to it.
Then came World Trade Center 1, where two FBI informants gathered
a couple of other Egyptians together to drive a truck full of explosives
into a New York City parking garage. America's mainstream media
called it a terrorist attack.
Then came Waco, which was kind of like Vietnam, in that today no
one can really explain why it happened or what was the dark secret
behind the government's massacre of 84 (or 103) men, women and children
who just happened to be esoteric religious fanatics. The only thing
most of know for sure is that the government lied before, during
and after the event, and the mainstream managed to cover it up,
despite covering it live.
Then an FBI sniper fired a bullet through the head of a young mother
holding her baby, and the mainstream media said the government was
fighting a white supremacist terrorist in Idaho. The sniper later
received a medal.
Then the Murrah Building in Oklahoma exploded and the government
blamed a glazed-eyed white Patriot for doing it. Funny how McVeigh
supposedly used a truck full of fertilizer parked outside the building,
yet the building exploded outwards. But again, mainstream media
and the federal judges ignored all the contrary evidence and quickly
(supposedly) fried the fingered felon.
Six years later came 9/11, and most Americans have never even thought
about the facts that their government quickly destroyed the evidence
and never — NEVER! — conducted an investigation into
how those buildings fell and WHO did it. The government simply named
the perpetrators it chose to name (all of whom probably were using
false identities), and began making war on other countries which
had no clear connection to the fingered false identities.
What is wrong with this picture? And worse, what is wrong with
the American people that they have conceded control of their own
destinies to a process and a government that is so clumsily incompetent
that it can't even invent believable stories for their citizens
to swallow? And yet we swallow, endlessly, pathetically.
Do you suppose it's TV? If people can sit and watch the lame imitations
of life they see on the boob tube and think this is actual, real
life, can they swallow their government lying to them and believe
it's the truth? Is that what's going on here?
Or is it the schools? Are our school curricula
so manipulative and mind- controlling that people who attend 12
years of U.S. schools not only can't think critically but can't
even identify complete lies which are paraded before their faces?
Is this what is happening?
Whatever is happening, it is leading to the death and demise of
everything we hold dear.
The American manufacturing base has been destroyed and most decent
jobs are being shipped overseas because American labor has priced
itself out of existence.
Mass consumption food is no longer safe to eat because of food
additives and lack of government regulation.
You can't drink tapwater anywhere in America anymore, but President
Bush insists environmental regulations are too stringent.
Virtually all of America's vaccinations are tainted by mercury
and other harmful substances, which create brain damage in children
and sudden death in adults. Yet we line up, ever docile, to take
them, and the maladies they bring.
Our soldiers, when they're not being killed by an outraged enemy
fighting for its own freedom against their corporate oppressors,
are being killed by the ammunition they are forced to handle and
the vaccinations they are ordered to take. Still
we wave our flags and gladly sacrifice our children.
Wait ... this is a very long list; let's get to the point.
We have forfeited control of reality to our mass media. How many
times have you heard someone say, "I don't believe something
is really real until I see it on television. Then I know for sure
it's really happening."
This is the new American paradigm, both a fear of independent self-
determination and a horror of not being part of the crowd. People
are afraid to think for themselves, and to question what is being
rammed down their throats as consensual truth.
It turns out what is being rammed down our throats
is killing us, and not thinking for ourselves will, in very short
order, lead to our own deaths, because the plan is to reduce the
population to what they call sustainable levels, and the chances
are very good that you are not part of that plan.
This all could have been avoided if somebody, way back when or
even yesterday, had had the courage to stand up and say, "This
is not what is really happening. You are lying to us." Said
it to the media and/or the government in sufficient numbers.
But we didn't. With each lie they get away with, the lies simply
get worse, the death toll gets higher. Now we've reached the point
where the government is openly trying to kill many of us, and we're
sitting there smugly saying, "Well, this doesn't really affect
me." Or "Perhaps some other people need to be excluded
in the interests of the health of the human race."
Well, Bunky, that person, whether you realize
or not, sooner or later, is going to be you.
You had a chance to stop it — even now you do — but
you didn't, and you don't.
And all because you let other people tell you what
reality really is. The rule is .... if you can't make your own decision,
they'll make it for you. And surely you know what their decision
Next time you speak with a politician, or a government employee,
talk as if your life is on the line. Because it is.
John Kaminski is a writer who lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida.
Mostly he writes essays that appear in various websites on the Internet.
These have been collected into two anthologies, "America's
Autopsy Report" and "The Perfect Enemy." For information
go to http://www.johnkaminski.com/
Don't Americans Care?
Do you know who Halliburton is? Dick Cheney? How about Karl Rove?
Alas, most Americans don't
| By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
October 6, 2004
Let's be honest. Percentage-wise, few people
in America really give much of a crap about what's going on in the
hallowed halls of politics and power.
This is what we in the media and maybe you in the media-consuming
audience tend to forget far too easily: This country is simply jam-packed
with millions of people who have no time for, or interest in, politics,
or media, or environmental policy, or education, or global issues,
or which presidential candidate lied his ass off about which aspect
of his military career and which Orange Alert is totally bogus and
how many soldiers are dying for what imbecilic war.
It seems hard to believe. But the general rule of thumb is that
major cities are slightly more attuned due to aggressive media saturation
and how issues tend to make themselves known more urgently, more
immediately, whereas Middle America is a scattershot conglomeration
of the politically apathetic and the actively disenfranchised, full
of people far too busy with their lives and kids and jobs and zoning
out on "Fear Factor" and "Monday Night Football"
to care about following the elitist, ever dire dramas playing out
on the nation's gilded stages.
Most Americans, in other words, have no idea what
the hell a Halliburton is. Or a Karl Rove. Or a Donny "Shriveled
Soul" Rumsfeld. Or a Lockheed Martin. Or a Carlysle Group.
Or have any idea that Saddam had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11.
Or that WMDs were never found. Or that President Bush has taken
more vacation time than any president in U.S. history. Or that Jesus
thinks Dubya is "sort of a dink." Or where Iraq is on
Fact is, in the past decade, TV-news ratings -- cable and network,
combined -- has shrunk to a fraction of its former numbers. Newspaper
subscriptions have been either flat or dropping for just about as
long. Newsmagazines, radio, historical nonfiction: flat or dropping
fast. Even the Internet, that vast teeming customizable firestorm
of news and info streaming in from all over the planet, even the
awesome Net draws far more people to its porn and gossip and shopping
departments than any e-news joint could ever wet dream.
Is this unfair? Does it sound elitist and biased? It's not. There
have been studies. And reports. And alarming indicators of all kinds
telling us time and again that, for example, fully 50 percent of
eligible Americans don't even bother to vote (a 15 percent drop
since 1964), and many have no idea who's on the Supreme Court or
what Congress does, and many can't even point to France on a globe.
Voter turnout, comparatively, in Italy, Spain,
the U.K., or Germany? Anywhere from 75 to 92 percent, every time.
The sad fact is, the United States ranks 139th out of 172 countries
in voter turnout. Wave that flag proudly, baby.
You've seen the headlines. Alarming numbers of American high school
students can't even identify the current vice president, much less
name a half dozen presidents from history. Far too many citizens
can't name the capital of their own home state or recognize their
own senators, much less discern how Bush's environmental policy
is poisoning their water or how Ashcroft wants to scan their email
and tap their phones and suck the pith from their souls. A
whopping 49 percent of Americans aged 18-25 can't find New York
on a map, and 11 percent can't even locate the United States. Now
HALF of Americans aged 18-25 cannot find New York on a map! And
a little over one tenth can't even locate the US!! Think about it...
A recent report by the Organisation for
Economic Co-Operation and Development states that upward of 60 percent
of Americans ages 16-25 are 'functionally illiterate', meaning
they can't, for example, fill out a detailed form or read a numerical
table (like a time schedule).
A recent Florida study shows at least 70
percent of recent high school graduates need remedial courses --
that is, basic reading and math -- when they enter community college.
These are kids who, you can be assured, think Colin Powell is that
nasty British dude on "American Idol." [...]
Maybe this, then, is the most pressing question of our time: How
to get the vast majority of Americans to care? To pay attention?
To read? To effect change and demand accountability from bumbling
spoon-fed leaders who count on voter apathy and force-fed ignorance
to cram through their environmental rollbacks and homophobic laws
and draconian Patriot Acts? Is it even possible? Are we too far
How to make America more like, say, Europe, where
knowledge of current events and political intrigue is not only hugely
important to the vast majority of citizens but is also deeply woven
into the very fabric of daily life, an integral part of the educational
system and the café conversation and the workplace water-cooler
chats, and to ignore it is considered, well, irresponsible and even
a mite traitorous?
True, part of why they care so much is because America is the foremost
bully on the block and it pays to know what makes the bully tick.
And whine. And kill. In short, as the theory goes, most Americans
don't give a damn because we're on top and we own everything and
have more nukes than anyone and we're never the ones getting invaded.
It's our unofficial motto -- America: We Don't
Have to Care.
And this very column is frequently slapped with the accusation
that it merely "preaches to the choir," and if I really
want to affect minds I should consider tempering or sanitizing my
opinions for a more "moderate" mainstream readership,
as if the nation was chock-full of opinionated, well-read, temperate
thinkers ready to be gently informed of new ideas, when in fact
this group is but a fraction, a sliver, far overshadowed and overpowered
by the real majority in America: The detached. The disinterested.
The intellectually lazy.
So, what's the solution? It is as simple as dramatically changing
the way we educate our children, our population? Is it desanitizing
our vacuous history textbooks and making media studies and political
science and current events as mandatory to the educational diet
as macho sports and bad lunches and playground kickball?
Or maybe it's a new national draft? Will
that galvanize the rest of the populace sufficiently? How
about Iraq devolving even faster into Vietnam 2.0? Is it 10,000
dead U.S. soldiers and nary an imprisoned terrorist or fresh barrel
of oil to show for it? How about five bucks a gallon? Ten? Is it
legalizing pot and banning guns? What will it take?
Maybe another massive national catastrophe? Maybe a 9/11 cubed,
and cubed again, something unthinkably horrific and unleashed upon
the innocents and the children and the puppies, something that so
jars and infuriates and undermines our desperate empire that even
the cold-blooded neoconservative Right can't possibly leverage our
sorrow and pain for its own political gain? Very possible. After
all, nothing like a little hard-earned apocalypse to make you consider
Or maybe it's something entirely different, maybe some sort of
potent, unimaginable spiritual enlightenment that looks like revelation
and smells like Vishnu and sounds like harmonic convergence and
tastes like Buddha and has nothing whatsoever to do with fundamentalism
or Christianity or Bush's angry homophobic flag-wavin' God. The
mystics say we're very close. They claim the next decade will offer,
to those who care to participate, one helluva transformational vibrational
Whatever it looks like, we can rest assured we're still not out
of the dark, dank woods just yet. Our national apathy is well protected,
our intellectual ignorance secure and our fears well fed and carefully,
perpetually reinforced by the Powers That Be and the fact that the
overall 50 percent voter turnout never moves by more than a point
or two, usually downward.
And the Establishment, it only smiles knowingly,
and nods, and says there there now. It'll be all right. Just go
back to sleep.
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the terrorist leader
believed to be responsible for the abduction of Kenneth Bigley,
is 'more myth than man', according
to American military intelligence agents in Iraq.
Several sources said the importance of Zarqawi, blamed for many
of the most spectacular acts of violence in Iraq, has
been exaggerated by flawed intelligence and the Bush administration's
desire to find "a villain" for the post-invasion mayhem.
US military intelligence agents in Iraq have revealed a series of
botched and often tawdry dealings with unreliable sources who, in
the words of one source, "told us what
we wanted to hear".
"We were basically paying up to $10,000
a time to opportunists, criminals and chancers who passed off fiction
and supposition about Zarqawi as cast-iron fact, making him out
as the linchpin of just about every attack in Iraq,"
the agent said.
"Back home this stuff was gratefully received and formed
the basis of policy decisions. We needed a villain, someone identifiable
for the public to latch on to, and we got one."
The sprawling US intelligence community is in a state of open
political warfare amid conflicting pressures from election-year
politics, military combat and intelligence analysis. The Bush administration
has seized on Zarqawi as the principal leader of the insurgency,
mastermind of the country's worst suicide bombings and the man behind
the abduction of foreign hostages. He is
held up as the most tangible link to Osama bin Laden and proof of
the claim that the former Iraqi regime had links to al-Qa'eda.
However, fresh intelligence emerging from around Fallujah, the
rebel-held city that is at the heart of the insurgency, suggests
that, despite a high degree of fragmentation, the insurgency is
led and dominated not by Arab foreigners but by members of Iraq's
Pentagon estimates have put the number of foreign fighters in the
region of 5,000. However, one agent said: "The
overwhelming sense from the information we are now getting is that
the number of foreign fighters does not exceed several hundred and
is perhaps as low as 200. From the information we have gathered
we have to conclude that Zarqawi is more myth than man. He isn't
in the calibre of what many politicians want to believe he is.
"At some stage, and perhaps even now, he was almost certainly
behind some of the kidnappings. But if there is a main leader of
the insurgency he would be an Iraqi. The insurgency, though, is
not nearly so centralised to talk of a structured leadership."
Military intelligence officials complain that their reports to
Washington, are largely being ignored. They accuse the Pentagon
of over-reliance on electronic surveillance and aerial and satellite
reconnaissance carried out for the CIA.
In recent weeks American military command in Iraq has claimed
a series of precision air strikes on targets in Fallujah identified
by the CIA as housing known associates of Zarqawi.
It has denied that there were any civilian casualties,
despite television footage showing dead and wounded women and children
being pulled from the rubble of flattened homes.
Some US military spies maintain that this is evidence of continued
dependency on technology over old-fashioned human intelligence.
Both President George W Bush and Tony Blair have, to varying degrees,
conceded that intelligence on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction
programme was misleading. But both continue to maintain that the
continued violence since Saddam was ousted is because Iraq is now
the front line in the war on terrorism.
Yet it now seems that the intelligence on which such claims are
based is haphazard, scanty and contradictory.
No concrete proof of the link between Zarqawi
and bin Laden was offered until US officials this year trumpeted
the discovery of a computer disk, allegedly intercepted by Kurdish
peshmerga guerrillas. Among its files was an apparent draft of a
letter from Zarqawi to bin Laden.
"We will be your readied soldiers, working under your banner,
complying with your orders and indeed swearing fealty to you publicly
and in the news media," the letter read.
That seemed proof enough for the US government.
"Zarqawi is the best evidence of the connection to al-Qa'eda
affiliates and al-Qa'eda," Mr Bush said in June.
But senior diplomats in Baghdad claim that
the letter was almost certainly a hoax. They say the two
men may have met in Afghanistan but it appeared they never got on
and there has been a rift for several years.
One diplomat claimed that there was evidence to suggest that Zarqawi's
aides may have passed on information to the Americans that led to
the arrest of Ramzi bin al-Shibh, one of the main planners of the
September 11 attacks.
The diplomats describe Zarqawi as deeply ambitious. His actions
are aimed as much at boosting his position in the Islamic terrorist
fraternity as striking at America. He achieved that in April when
a grisly and apparently authentic video showing the beheading of
the contractor Nick Berg. The footage was released under the title
"Sheikh Abu Musab Zarqawi executes an American with his own
hands and promises Bush more".
A diplomat commented: "That catapaulted Zarqawi to exactly
where he wanted to be - giving Osama a run for his money as US public
enemy number one. But, the video apart, intelligence on the Jordanian
Intelligence reports are contradictory even on whether he is missing
Initial claims of a Long John Silver character
with an artificial leg were disputed by more recent alleged sightings
of the 38-year-old apparently fully limbed and looking rather sprightly.
On Tuesday, September 28th, a new federally-funded,
FEMA-directed citizen training program began in my town called CERT.
CERT stands for "Community Emergency Response Team."
A quick internet search reveals that my town isn't the only one
participating. Nearly every town in America has its own CERT program,
it would appear.
My neighbor's teenage son attended CERT's initial orientation
meeting and later showed me the equipment and materials he was given.
He received free of charge a backpack containing
hundreds of dollars worth of gear, including a hard hat, reflective
garb for checkpoint/traffic-control duty, a high beam flashlight,
eye guards, etc.
In the near future, he said, he'll also be given
(again, free of charge) a special radio over which he can tap into
the county's emergency communications net.
Then, he showed me his 300 page CERT training manual along with
his training schedule for upcoming weeks.
The CERT training program is intensive. It's scheduled to last
for only a little over a month.
In the short span of just 35 days, CERT trainees will learn the
1) Disaster preparedness
2) Disaster fire safety
3) Disaster medical operations
4) Light search and rescue
5) CERT Organization
6) Disaster psychology
But what really caught my eye were the last two items on CERT's
On Tuesday, October 25th, CERT trainees will receive training
on "Terrorism and CERT."
Then, exactly one week later, CERT's training program will conclude
with a "Disaster Simulation & Examination".
This final day for the CERT training program,
the day when CERT will climax with a "disaster simulation,"
is none other than Election Day!
Is this mere coincidence? I can't believe
that it is. CERT is a nationwide FEMA-sponsored citizen training
program, after all. I assume, in every town and hamlet, fledgling
CERT teams are following this exact same training schedule. And
that means a nationwide "disaster simulation" is scheduled
for all of them come Election Day!
As 9-11 demonstrated, federal drills and simulations
can sometimes be used to provide cover for preparations for what
are, in fact, premeditated events timed to coincide exactly with
the drills and simulations.
Does the timetable for the CERT program portend something like
a second 9-11 come Election Day?
Will the same spooks who staged the 9-11 faux-terror event perpetrate
another faux-terror event come November 2nd?
The CERT training timetable parallels exactly the training timetable
for the Texas State Guard leaked by a brave guardsman to talk radio
host Alex Jones. He told Alex that elite units
of the Texas State Guard were being intensively trained to be ready
for martial-law-style deployments come the first week of November.
Needless to say, in light of this leak to Alex, when I learned
that Election Day was scheduled to be the day when FEMA's CERT training
program climaxes with a "disaster simulation," chills
went down my spine.
If, in fact, a second 9-11 does happen
come Election Day, there won't be much doubt about who did it. Like
the original, it too will have had to have been an inside job.
How else could our next domestic terror event be timed to coincide
exactly with the "disaster simulation" set to conclude
FEMA's CERT training timetable?
I am writing this in hope that it will open
some eyes, enrage, and disgust everyone that reads it.
I am a PROUD mother of a U.S. Marine. My eyes have been opened
and I am now enraged and disgusted with "OUR GOVERNMENT!
My son is now in Iraq. Before he left Camp LeJuene,
my side of the family and his wife had to get money together because
my son had to spend over $300 to buy things he was "REQUIRED"
to have in his gear. If he were missing one thing, he would not
have been allowed to come home on his Block Leave to see his family
before being deployed to Iraq! Almost $100 of this money had to
be spent on a third set of "new and improved" Digital
Cammies. He was lucky! He had been issued one set and had already
bought a second set. Some of the Marines were not even issued one
set so they spent almost $300 on just their Cammies. Money is being
deducted from their pay for "equipment". My son has never
really been sure WHAT equipment, but he paid for it.
I was enraged when I found out that the Flack
Jacket (their bullet proof vests) were the woodland version, the
ones that are supposed to blend in with TREES! No one in Sierra
Battery was issued Desert Flack Jackets! These marines will look
like a group of trees in the middle of the desert!
Soon after my son arrived in Kuwait, his eyes were hurting so bad
from the dust and sand in the air that he could hardly stand to
blink. He noticed some Marines were wearing eye-protectors. He asked
where they had gotten them. A Marine told him that he was "ISSUED"
a pair. Sierra Battery was NOT issued any! My
son had to spend another $100 at the PX to buy himself a pair TO
PROTECT HIS EYES!! Wouldn't you think that if the soldiers
need their eyes protected in the environment our government is sending
them into, that the military would make sure to issue a pair to
every single soldier?! HOW DARE THEY!!!
President Bush said we "must support our military personnel."
I did not know he meant literally! Support with money to buy equipment
they MUST have because it is required or needed to protect their
health, eyes, and for their VERY LIVES!!
What in the hell is $137 BILLION paying for? The
new rifles they were supposed to be issued were not. Some military
personnel do have the new rifles that have been modified for the
desert conditions. NOT MY SON! How many of our sons, daughters,
husbands, and wives are in this situation? Do we need to buy their
Support our Military? Why is the government not fully supporting
and protecting our Military? Issue everything they need or do not
send them until they have it!
I was not fortunate enough to have been born RICH. I have to scrounge
to help my son. My family, his wife, and her family got together
to help my son purchase everything he was "required" to
have. I have met other Marines and their families who are in the
Apparently our "Commander and Chief" meant SEND YOUR
MONEY TO SUPPORT YOUR CHILDREN AND RELATIVES, because the government
is unable to do so. This administration is NOT PUTTING THEIR MONEY
WHERE THEIR MOUTH IS!! [...]
WASHINGTON - The Education Department is advising
school leaders nationwide to watch for people spying on their buildings
or buses to help detect any possibility of terrorism like the deadly
school siege in Russia.
The warning follows an analysis by the FBI and the Homeland Security
Department of the siege that killed nearly 340 people, many of them
students, in the city of Beslan last month.
"The horror of this attack may have created significant anxiety
in our own country among parents, students, faculty staff and other
community members," Deputy Education Secretary Eugene Hickok
said in a letter sent Wednesday to schools and education groups.
The advice is based on lessons learned from the Russia siege.
But there is no specific information indicating a terrorist threat
to any schools or universities in the United States, Hickok said.
Federal law enforcement officials also have urged local police
to stay in contact with school officials and have encouraged reporting
of suspicious activities, the letter says.
In particular, schools were told to watch for activities that
may be legitimate on their own - but may suggest a threat if many
of them occur.
Among those activities:
- Interest in obtaining site plans for schools, bus routes and
- Prolonged "static surveillance" by people disguised
as panhandlers, shoe shiners, newspaper or flower vendors or street
sweepers not previously seen in the area.
- Observations of security drills.
- People staring at or quickly looking away from employees or
vehicles as they enter or leave parking areas.
- Foot surveillance of campuses involving individuals working
The effort is the latest by the Education Department and other
federal agencies to encourage school officials to maintain and practice
a plan for responding to emergencies.
"It's a positive sign that they're finally discussing this
after years of downplaying or denying even the possibility of a
terrorist strike on schools," said Kenneth Trump, a Cleveland-based
school safety consultant who has worked with officials in more than
40 states. "Public officials are in fear of creating fear,
but we have to put the cards on the table, educate people in the
school community and make sure they are well prepared."
After the terrorist takeover of the Russian school, President
Bush asked his top advisers to review their strategies for dealing
with hostage situations, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has
The federal government is advising schools to take many steps
to improve the security of their buildings. Those include installing
locks for all doors and windows, having a single entry point into
buildings and ensuring they can reach school bus drivers in an emergency.
The Education Department sent its letter by e-mail Wednesday to
school police, state school officers, school boards, groups representing
principals and many other organizations.
The Homeland Security Department also sent a bulletin to federal,
state and local emergency officials to provide fresh guidance based
on the review of the school siege in Russia.
WASHINGTON: An article published in the Current
Research in Social Psychology journal has revealed that when
the US government issues a terrorist warning, presidential approval
ratings jump by leap and bounds.
Robb Willer, the assistant director of the Sociology and Small
Groups Laboratory at Cornell, tracked 26 instances of federal agency
report that showed an increased threat of terrorist activity in
the United States between February 2001 and May 2004.
Simultaneously he also tracked the 131 Gallup Polls in the same
period, and found presidential approval ratings quite positive in
relation to the warnings on terror.
"Results showed that terror warnings
increased presidential approval ratings consistently. They also
increased support for Bush's handling of the economy. The
findings, however, were inconclusive as to how long this halo effect
lasts," said Willer.
Willer pointed to the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks
on the United States as an example of the tendency. After 9/11,
approval of Bush's job performance jumped from 51 per cent on Sept
10, 2001, to 86 per cent on Sept 15, 2001, in a Gallup Poll. Similarly,
approval for Bush's handling of the economy jumped from 54 per cent
on July 11, 2001, to 72 per cent on Oct 5, 2001.
| LONDON, Oct. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- British
Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt on Friday became the
first government minister who directly apologized for using inaccurate
intelligence to justify the US-led war against Iraq.
"All of us who were involved in making an incredibly difficult
decision are very sorry and do apologize for the fact that information
was wrong," Hewitt said when she appeared on BBC One's Question
"What we said at the time and in the
dossier about the stockpiles of weapons was wrong and we have apologized
for that," said Hewitt, who claimed that she was speaking
on behalf of the entire cabinet led by British Prime Minister Tony
She was responding to members of the audience who challenged her
comment that Blair had already apologized for the inaccuracy of
Blair told the annual conference of his ruling Labor Party last
week that he "can apologize for the information that turned
out to be wrong, but I can not, sincerely at least, apologize for
removing (former Iraqi President) Saddam (Hussein)."
On Hewitt's comments, major opposition Conservative Party policy
coordinator David Cameron told the BBC that the government was "apologizing
for the wrong thing."
"Yes, the information about weapons of mass destruction (WMDs)
was wrong. What the apology is required for is the way in which
the information was presented to Parliament," Cameron said.
British opposition parties have urged Blair to come to the parliament
to make a full statement aimed at explaining why Britain went to
war on a false premise, after the US-led Iraq Survey Group released
a report on Thursday saying it had found no evidence that Saddam
had chemical, biological or nuclear weapons when Iraq was invaded.
The British government published an Iraq's weapons dossier in
September 2002, claiming that Iraq could deploy chemical and biological
weapons within 45 minutes of an order to do so.
Blair, the staunchest US ally over Iraq, used the claim as a major
justification for the Iraq war.
Thursday morning, US authorities
issued a federal order to Rackspace ordering them to hand over Indymedia
web servers to the requesting agency. Rackspace, which provides
hosting services for more that 20 Indymedia sites at its London
facility, complied and turned over the requested servers, effectively
removing those sites from the internet.
Since the subpoena was issued to Rackspace and not to Indymedia,
the reasons for this action are still unknown to Indymedia. Talking
to Indymedia volunteers, Rackspace stated that "they cannot
provide Indymedia with any information regarding the order."
ISPs have received gag orders in similar situations which prevent
them from updating the concerned parties on what is happening.
It is unclear to Indymedia how and why a server
that is outside the US jurisdiction can be seized by US authorities.
At the same time an additional server was taken down at Rackspace
which provided streaming radio to several radio stations, BLAG (linux
distro), and a handful of miscellanous things.
The last few months have seen numerous attacks
on independent media by the US Federal Government. In August
the Secret Service used a subpoena in an attempt to disrupt the
NYC IMC before the RNC by trying to get IP logs from an ISP in the
US and the Netherlands. Last month the FCC shut down community radio
stations around the US. Two weeks ago the FBI requested that Indymedia
takes down a post on the Nantes IMC that had a photo of some undercover
Swiss police and IMC volunteers in Seattle were visited by the FBI
on the same issue. On the other hand, Indymedia and other independent
media organisations were successfull with their victories for example
against Diebold and the Patroit Act. Today however, the US authorities
shut down IMCs around the world.
The list of affected local media collectives includes Ambazonia,
Uruguay, Andorra, Poland, Western Massachusetts, Nice, Nantes, Lilles,
Marseille (all France), Euskal Herria (Basque Country), Liege, East
and West Vlaanderen, Antwerpen (all Belgium), Belgrade, Portugal,
Prague, Galiza, Italy, Brazil, UK, part of the Germany site, and
the global Indymedia Radio site.
Washington and London have been accused of
a concerted effort to smear France in an attempt to distract from
the main conclusions of America's official report on Iraq's non-existent
A section of the 1,000-page report by the chief US weapons inspector
in Iraq contains allegations about Baghdad's attempts to bribe and
subvert French politicians in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq
The war went ahead after France, a permanent member of the UN Security
Council, threatened to veto military action, saying that more time
was needed for the UN inspection effort, and fearing that war would
destabilise the region.
The report does not suggest that such bribes were
ever actually offered or accepted, but rather that Iraqi intelligence
had told Saddam Hussein they had "targeted" France for
treatment of this kind.
Efforts appeared to be under way yesterday
to draw public attention away from the absence of weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq by suggesting that senior figures in France
and Russia - which was also anti-war - may have been paid to support
Saddam's regime. The ultra-nationalist Russian politician
Vladimir Zhirinovsky, whose name is on the list, repeated his denial
that he benefited from Saddam's bribes yesterday.
The report also partially repeats a list naming figures from all
over the world - including a French oilman said to be close to the
French President, Jacques Chirac - who received preferential treatment
in the allocation of oil export licences.
However, unlike the first list published by the Iraqi newspaper
al-Mada in January, which detailed the beneficiaries of a kickback
scheme devised by Saddam, this one carries the official approval
of the US authorities.
All the American names, and all but one of
the UN names, have vanished. The names of US companies and individuals
had been removed "because of US privacy laws". [...]
M. Pasqua, once a close associate of M.
Chirac, has been a marginal figure in French politics, excluded
from the President's inner councils for almost a decade.
M. Maugein is an oil man who could legitimately have sought contracts
under the oil-for-food programme with Iraq. Both men have previously
denied taking any money from Iraqi oil export licences.
The report also says Iraqi intelligence identified "ministers
and politicians, journalists, and business people" who could
help Iraq in its prime goal of lifting the UN sanctions. The report
also suggests that French businessmen were interested in sanctions-busting,
saying that it had found evidence of procurement transactions that
included "negotiations for possible WMD-related mobile laboratories".
The French government reacted angrily to the accusations in the
Duelfer report yesterday. The allegations had already been denied
by the individuals and companies concerned and the French government
had no reason to believe that they were true, said the French foreign
ministry spokesman Hervé Ladsous.
A senior official in the foreign ministry
said that he thought that France was the victim of a clumsy smear
campaign. "If there were French individuals who were involved
in corrupt dealings with Iraq, they should be investigated,"
the official said. "But to suggest
that there was a concerted bribing of French politicians is absurd.
You only have to look at what is happening in Iraq every day of
the week to see why there was no support for the war in France last
| HANOI, Oct 7 (AFP) - French President
Jacques Chirac warned Thursday of a "catastrophe" for global
diversity if the United States' cultural hegemony goes unchallenged.
Speaking at a French cultural centre in Hanoi ahead of Friday's
opening of a summit of European and Asian leaders, Chirac said France
was right to stand up for cultural and linguistic diversity.
The outspoken French president warned that the world's different
cultures could be "choked" by US values.
This, he said, would lead to a "general world sub-culture"
based around the English language, which would be "a real ecological
Citing Hollywood's stranglehold over the film industry as an example,
Chirac stressed that only with government assistance could
countries maintain their cultural heritage.
Vietnam is a former French colony, but only around 375,000 of its
81 million people speak French. English is considered by most people
a far more valuable and practical second language, particularly
PARIS (AFP) - France announced it was stepping
up security around embassies and other "sensitive sites"
after the morning's bomb blast outside the Indonesian embassy which
slightly injured 10 people.
"Protection of sensitive sites, notably diplomatic missions,
will be reinforced," the interior ministry said.
Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin was earlier briefed by
intelligence chiefs on the significance of the attack.
The bomb went off at around 5:00 am (0300GMT) in the exclusive
Passy neighbourhood of the French capital, where several embassies
are based. It broke windows and damaged several cars but caused
no serious destruction.
Villepin described the blast as a "criminal act" but
the authorities were keeping an open mind about a possible terrorist
in four Americans holds a negative stereotype of Muslims, and almost
one-third respond with a negative image when they hear the word
"Muslim," according to a new national poll commissioned
by a Washington-based Islamic advocacy group.
Officials with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which
sponsored the survey, called the findings alarming. Although the
organization was aware that hate crimes and discrimination against
Muslims had increased since the 2001 terrorist attacks, "we
did not know [anti-Islamic sentiment] was that deep," the council's
executive director, Nihad Awad, said yesterday at a news conference.
He and other council officials urged that American Muslims increase
their outreach and that U.S. officials speak out against anti-Islamic
The violence in Iraq, including the beheadings of hostages by Muslim
radicals, might be fueling the negative attitudes, Awad said.
The telephone poll of 1,000 Americans was conducted from June 23
to July 2 by Genesis Research Associates, a Southern California
When asked if they agreed with such statements as "Muslims
teach their children to hate unbelievers" and "Muslims
value life less than other people," between 26 percent and
29 percent of respondents said they did. Fifty-one percent said
Islam encourages the oppression of women.
When respondents were asked what comes to mind when they hear the
word Muslim, 32 percent responded with a negative image and 2 percent
offered a positive image. The remaining 67 percent gave a neutral
response, which CAIR officials called somewhat encouraging.
"We take comfort in this finding," said Awad, adding
that "the majority of Americans are open-minded and receptive"
to learning more about Islam.
Other hopeful results from the poll, council officials said, were
that 64 percent said terrorists are misusing the teachings of Islam;
63 percent agreed that Muslims have family-oriented values; and
47 percent said Muslims have contributed to civilization. And 47
percent of the poll's participants said American Muslims are cooperating
in the war on terror, with 21 percent disagreeing with that statement
and the other respondents having no opinion.
But when asked whether Muslims are as active as they should be
in condemning terrorism, 50 percent said no and 46 percent said
The council's board chairman, Omar Ahmad, said that Muslims "have
condemned 9/11, they have condemned every act of violence in the
name of Islam." He noted that a petition condemning violence
and posted on the council's Web site has garnered 700,000 online
Council officials also cited several projects they have begun to
teach Americans about Islam, including a national ad campaign and
a program to put books about Islam into all public libraries.
Ahmad said the organization commissioned the poll after its annual
civil rights report in May counted more than 1,000 incidents of
alleged harassment, violence and discrimination against American
Muslims in 2003, an increase of 70 percent from 2002.
Among the poll's other findings:
- People younger than 45, African Americans and people with Muslim
friends or colleagues generally had more favorable views about Islam
than did other Americans.
- Those with the most negative attitudes
tended to be white males who had no more than a high school education
and who described themselves as conservative or Republican.
- Almost half of those polled (49 percent) disagreed with the statement
that the war in Iraq was justified because Muslims attacked the
United States on Sept. 11, 2001. Twenty-nine percent agreed with
the statement, and 23 percent had no opinion.
NEW YORK, Oct 4 (IPS) - Agents of the Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are again contacting Arab and Muslim
Americans for what they describe as "voluntary interviews,"
as the Bush administration launches a new anti-terrorism campaign
designed to thwart efforts to disrupt the U.S. elections.
In conjunction with the FBI campaign, an agency of the Department
of Homeland Security (DHS) is initiating a separate programme in
major metropolitan areas that will target Arab communities prior
to the Nov. 2 polls.
According to the 'Washington Post', the
campaign will probably include rounding up and arresting hundreds
of aliens from Middle Eastern and other countries known to be havens
Human rights groups see the initiatives as repeats
of the massive sweeps carried out by the government immediately
following the Sep. 11, 2001 attacks on New York's Twin Towers and
the Pentagon, operations that reportedly netted more than 5,000
The Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) says the DHS project
"consists of a stepped-up effort to arrest a number of non-citizens
whose immigration paperwork is 'out of status'."
The Washington, DC-based advocacy group says it is "troubled
by the idea that immigration sweeps are being portrayed by the Bush
administration as successes in the 'war on terror'."
"To date it is unclear whether the ICE initiative will be
selectively carried out against only Arabs and Muslims," adds
the ADC, repeating "its strong objection to any selective enforcement
initiative that is based solely on race, national origin or religion."
In September, DHS Secretary Tom Ridge told reporters al-Qaeda
is continuing to make plans to disrupt the election.
Attorney General John Ashcroft often uses
high-profile press conferences to announce arrests for alleged terror-related
crimes. But such events are rarely organised when these charges
are dismissed or substantially reduced.
Numerous legal experts, and the websites of many human rights
groups and Arab and Muslim-American organisations, have questioned
the effectiveness of the government's approach to Arabs and Muslims.
Supporters of the measures, including President George W Bush,
point out the United States has not been attacked since 9/11. Echoing
a finding of the commission that recently completed an exhaustive
probe of the attacks, Bush says the nation is "safer than it
was before Sep. 11, though not yet safe."
The assertion has become a central pillar of the president's re-election
But how can the average U.S. citizen judge the effectiveness of
the government's strategy to protect the homeland? One way is to
examine the record.
Between Sep. 11, 2001 and Sep. 1, 2004, the Justice Department
obtained one terror-related conviction. Two Moroccan immigrants
were convicted in Detroit in June 2003 of being a "sleeper
cell" for al-Qaeda, the terrorist group that carried out the
9/11 attacks, and of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.
But the Detroit cases were deeply flawed by prosecutorial malfeasance
and, on Sep. 2, 2004, after the defendants
had spent more than three years in jail, their convictions were
"Until that reversal," wrote civil liberties law authority
David Cole, in 'The Nation' magazine, "the Detroit case had
marked the only terrorist conviction obtained from the Justice Department's
detention of more than 5,000 foreign nationals in anti-terrorism
sweeps since 9/11."
"So (Attorney General John) Ashcroft's record
is 0 for 5,000."
Cole, a law professor at Georgetown University, told IPS: "If
the attorney general is 0 for 5,000 thus far in terms of actual
terrorist convictions for those foreign nationals subjected to preventive
detention after 9/11, it makes you wonder why he's now planning
Little is known about most of the 5,000 detainees. The reason
is that they were rounded up and held by what used to be the Immigration
and Naturalisation Service, now part of the DHS.
As described by author Mark Dow in his
book, 'American Gulag', the prisoners were locked up, many for extended
periods, in INS jails -- America's most secret prison system. Some
were eventually deported for visa violations -- not for terrorism
-- and others were finally released. No
one was ever charged with a terror-related crime.
The Justice's Department's inspector general, testifying recently
before a congressional committee, confirmed that hundreds of non-nationals
picked up in the post-Sep. 11 sweeps were deprived of basic human
rights. Most of those detained were Muslim males of Middle Eastern
or South Asian origin.
Organisations representing Arab and Muslim-Americans continue
to object to what they claim is government harassment of members
of their community.
The ADC says the government's action "constitutes selective
enforcement of immigration laws based on national origin à
In a statement on its website the group said it "finds this
form of collective intimidation of our community extremely curious
a month before a hotly contested election (and) as an effort to
divide communities and reinforce the fear that individuals already
According to a poll conducted in September in four closely-contested
states, Bush is gaining on Kerry in support from Arab-Americans,
although the Democratic challenger still has the support of 49 percent
of decided voters, versus 31.5 percent for Bush.
The ADC is also concerned "this initiative could be perceived
by the community as intimidation to U.S. citizens (and) an inhibitor
to voting, especially those newly registered to vote." It adds,
"Measures to combat terrorism should not be confused with immigration
In a Sep. 30 statement the DHS's immigration and customs enforcement
(ICE) division said it had been working at a "heightened level"
for several months as part of an inter-agency programme that will
continue until the presidential inauguration in 2005.
It added, "ICE is not conducting a 'round-up' or a 'sweep'
in any community; ICE is not profiling based on race or religious
affiliation; ICE is not instituting a blanket detention policy."
Just as some are questioning the legitimacy of the sweeps only
one month prior to the vote, others have
queried recent national terrorism alerts, particularly one issued
the day after Democratic presidential challenger John Kerry was
officially nominated to run against President George W Bush.
Many people in the Arab and Muslim-American community are already
angry at the government's treatment of Yusuf Islam, the former pop
singer Cat Stevens. Islam was removed from a plane bound for Washington
from London last month when his name showed up on a government "watch
A DHS spokesman said Islam was denied admission to the United
States "on national security grounds."
Advocacy groups are also upset by the recent treatment of two
other well-known Muslims. Moderate Swiss Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan,
named by 'Time' magazine as one of the 100 most likely innovators
of the 21st century, was on his way to teach at Notre Dame University's
International Peace Studies Institute when the DHS revoked his work
visa under a provision of the USA Patriot Act.
Oregon lawyer and U.S. citizen Brandon Mayfield, a 37-year-old
convert to Islam, was jailed for several weeks as a material witness
because the FBI charged -- in error -- that his fingerprints were
found on a backpack used in the Madrid train bombings in March.
Mayfield got an apology from the Justice Department.
Meanwhile, federal, state and municipal
law enforcement agencies are reporting record numbers of anti-Islamic
hate crimes, including murders, beatings, arsons, attacks on mosques,
shootings, vehicular assaults and verbal threats. The
FBI reports that hate crime incidents rose 1,600 percent in the
Nonetheless, FBI Director Robert Mueller says he is "vitally
concerned that the rights of Arab Americans, Muslims and Sikhs be
According to the Al-Manar report which was
published on the first page of its edition number 673, The
American forces killed 1400 Iraqi prisoner since they occupied Iraq
and buried most of them in the desert, far away in the countryside.
These prisoners died during torture sessions made by the torture
teams, who cut parts of the prisoners bodies.
Al-Manar says that there are over 30,000 Iraqi prisoners spread
in different American jails. There is 2100
women and girls among the prisoners, some of them are minors.
All the women prisoners have passed through terrible torture sessions,
some of them were raped.
Al-Manar points out that the torture instructions were sent in
written to the jail guards and to the interrogators. The torture
experts were following these instructions and this led to abuse
of the the Iraqi prisoners. There torture
team seriously harmed 37 children under the age of 13.
Al-Manars sources confirmed that there
are Israeli experts of torture taking part in the torture of the
Iraqi prisoners. The Israeli torture experts team has transferred
to the country of Israel some of the Iraqi political prisoners and
military officers to continue the investigation sessions there.
Some of these prisoners have already died. The American torture
teams add different kinds of inhuman torture in the Iraqi jails
besides to the physical torture. They were
forcing the prisoners to take different kinds of medicine during
the torture session. The medical torture provoked serious
symptoms on the prisoners health who had taken the medicine.
Al-Manar mentions that the officers in charge of torturing the
detainees at the Iraqi prisons were sending daily reports for Washington
with detailed information about the torture methods used at the
Iraqi prisons. The reports mentioned that the Iraqi prisoners were
also tortured in a prison in Qatar.
Al-Manar said that the American persons whose names have been
spread in the news in relation to the now well-known scandal regarding
torture of Iraqi prisoners were paid by other higher officers and
political addresses in order to hide the real facts behind the torture
of the Iraqis. There are high military and
political officers involved in this case, but they are hiding behind
the lower rank personnel.
Al-Manar sources ended the report saying that there are some American
military personnel from the Intelligence and the military police
who have more information about the torture in Iraq and who have
written documents which were sent to President
Georg Bush himself as well as to Pentagon and the military officers.
These officers have disappeared. One
of these officers was responsible for burying the Iraqi prisoners
after their death.
played an active role in the occupying forces' attacks on Najaf,
Sadr City, Tall'Afar, Mosul, Samarra, Falluja, and some areas in
Tikrit, Ramadi, and Baqubah.
With the increased crackdown on the Iraqi people, the presence
of Zionist forces has become more evident, to the extent that Israelis
have taken over some military operations in Tall'Afar, Samarra,
and Falluja, informed sources in Iraq, including two Iraqi National
Guard officers, said.
One of these officers told the Mehr News Agency that Israeli commandos
significantly increased their presence in Iraq after some Israeli
jet pilots joined the occupying forces.
U.S. occupation troops have been using the experiences of these
commandos in suppressing the Palestinian people, he added.
The Iraqi National Guard officer said the Zionist commandos are
now stationed at the Baghdad airport, just south of Falluja, and
in two palaces of toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, adding
that one of their headquarters came under missile attack last month.
He said the U.S. military is making serious efforts to prevent
contact between the Israeli forces and members of the new Iraqi
National Guard and police, even though these commandos may have
contact with Baathist commanders who have taken over the security
According to certain reports, there are over 200 Zionist troops
in Iraq dressed in U.S. Army uniforms and under the command of a
fully-equipped intelligence network.
A short time ago, the head of Israeli military intelligence, General
Aharon Zeevi, acknowledged that Tel Aviv should compensate the United
States for the Iraqi quagmire.
Aharon even warned that the U.S. may put pressure on Israel to
modify its policies toward the Palestinians because of the problems
it is facing in Iraq.
The Zionist general admitted that the deeper the U.S. sinks in
the Iraqi quagmire, the more Israel should pay.
After the occupation of Iraq, reports surfaced about the extensive
activities of Israeli companies and Jewish organizations in Iraq,
especially in the north of the country. The reports also said that
the Jewish companies attempted to buy Iraqi land at high prices.
Even though these reports have been dismissed by Iraqi officials,
some media outlets have occasionally published reports about the
clandestine activities of the Israeli intelligence service Mossad
and the active presence of Israeli companies in Iraq.
In addition, some time ago senior Israeli officials ordered the
Mossad to provide a report on the country as the Iraqi crisis worsened.
The intelligence service received help from Iraqi and other Middle
Eastern experts and some research centers which have ties with the
Israeli military and security services in compiling the report.
A single draft of the 40-page report has been delivered to Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon. Some other organizations have received drafts
of the report.
The report says that Israeli security and commercial companies
have succeeded in earning great profits from the Iraqi market. It
adds that Israel is preparing to insert specialized security groups
into sensitive Iraqi centers with the consent of the Iraqi interim
The report argues that security and military cooperation with any
side would be like opening a brilliant chapter of cooperation and
diplomatic ties and would also be in the best interests of Israeli
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - A series of tornadoes ripped
through parts of Bangladesh on Thursday, killing seven people and
injuring hundreds more.
Five people died when the storm touched down on a field where
a large number of Muslim devotees had gathered to pray.
The storm lasted just a few minutes but destroyed several houses
and uprooted trees.
In southwestern Faridpur, one person died and 40 people were injured
when a tornado hit the area. Another tornado in northwestern Bogra
left one dead and 30 injured.
Meanwhile, five people died in heavy rains in the Indian city
of Calcutta, when their homes collapsed. Parts of the city have
been flooded, along with hundreds of villages.
VANCOUVER, Wash. - Magma forcing its way to
the top of Mount St. Helens has forced a bulge up to 100 feet higher
since Tuesday, bringing the festering deformity as high or higher
than the old lava dome inside the crater, scientists said this morning.
Despite that, and another belching of steam from vents in the
crater about 9:30 a.m. today, the volcano danger warning level is
still reduced. And scientists continue to say St. Helens is in for
an extended period of fits and starts.
"We're going to see more of this; we're going to see more
explosions," said Jake Lowenstern, a U.S. Geological Survey
Earthquakes have picked up slightly since a lull Tuesday night,
but they are still relatively minor, coming about one a minute and
never rating more than a one on the Richter scale, Lowenstern said.
The supposition is that the majority of the thick rock barring
the magma's rise in the crater has been broken up, so there's less
rumbling as the magma moves up.
Nonetheless, the magma is still beneath the surface, though how
deep is a matter of speculation. Some scientists think it could
be right under the lava dome in the crater, while others think it
could be more than several hundred meters down. None has oozed to
the surface yet.
The alert level remains at 2, on a 3-point scale, meaning scientists
don't believe lives or property is in immediate peril.
This morning Bruce Duffe, an engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers
in Portland, reiterated that a sediment dam on the North Fork of
the Toutle River would be sufficient to hold back the majority of
mudflows that the volcano might generate and dissipate them so that
the effect to downriver towns would be no worse than a typical winter
Winds today are blowing to the northeast, so any ash that might
puff out of St. Helens would again drift toward small timber towns
in eastern Lewis County, where a tiny dusting of ash fell this week.
Meantime, Secretary of Agriculture Ann M. Veneman arrived at Mount
St. Helens this morning and was planning to tour the volcano, then
hold a news conference this evening.
It's not uncommon for volcanoes to cough to life, then pause a
while, then cough to life again, scientists say.
"We still have a volcano in a period of unrest," said
Rob Harper of the state Emergency Management agency.
The mountain calmed amid a major weather change, with as much
as 3⁄4-inch of rain pouring into the crater Tuesday night,
USGS officials said.
The rain helped trigger small lahars, or mudslides, overnight
Tuesday that rolled north into Spirit Lake. The moisture also appeared
to freshen the volcanic landscape north of the mountain with soft
hues of green.
But even if the eruptions were to continue into the winter, melting
snow, the scientists said they don't think lahars are a serious
threat to communities in the shadow of the volcano.
The mountain is under continuous study by volcanologists, geologists,
hydrologists, seismologists and other scientists who have years
of collective experience tracking Mount St. Helens and other volcanoes
around the world.
They say periods of quiet lasting days or weeks are not unusual
as gas-rich magma works its way to the surface.
For example: Mount St. Helens' May 18, 1980, eruption, which claimed
57 lives, came after a drop in seismicity. The volcano first began
rumbling nearly two months earlier, with a 4.1-magnitude earthquake,
10 times stronger than any quake in the last weeks.
The 1980 earthquakes continued until the last week of April, then
subsided sharply. They started again May 8, according to Thom Corcoran,
author of "Mount St. Helens: Story Behind the Scenery."
Scientists have consistently discounted the possibility that Mount
St. Helens would erupt now with the ferocity of 1980. The volcano
was a different mountain then. That eruption included an enormous
landslide and a massive lateral blast that did much of the damage.
For now, scientists are reviewing two broad scenarios:
In one, magma would quietly ooze to the surface and rebuild the
lava dome in the crater. In the other, the magma would trigger a
substantial, explosive eruption, producing large ash clouds that
could send dust over downwind communities.
Even with the lull, there is a sort of slot-machine psychology
in play at Mount St. Helens and at the scientific command post in
Vancouver, a feeling that the very second you stop watching, the
next pull of the handle will bring on the jackpot.
Larry Mastin, a USGS scientist, said the thermal energy pent up
inside the volcano makes him lean toward the explosive-eruption
"People should be prepared for an eruption, possibly without
warning, in the next days or weeks ahead," he said.
But the question remains a topic of debate among scientists.
"There's vigorous discussion of which will occur," said
Steve Malone a University of Washington seismologist. "We're
having a good time guessing, but nobody is certain."
MOUNT ST. HELENS, Wash. Scientists
say swelling magma caused Mount St. Helens' crater floor to rise
as much as 100 feet in the past couple of days, but that there's
no need to raise the alert level.
One volcano expert says "the skids are greased" for the
magma to flow easily, noting that earthquake rates are low.
But Jake Lowenstern says there's no way to know when the magma
will reach the surface.
Experts say there's still an outside chance that a plume of ash
might rise 15 miles into the air, but they say there's no indication
that any eruption is imminent or that Mount St. Helens would threaten
lives or property.
The University of Washington says earthquake activity is starting
to pick up again at Mount Saint Helens.
Activity reportedly dropped off after the volcano threw steam and
ash Tuesday, causing scientists to lower the alert level to a level
However, the UW Seismology Lab in Seattle recorded a slight increase
in earthquake activity Wednesday morning.
Scientists admit the volcano is restless and while they do think
there will be an eruption they're not sure if it will happen in
days, weeks or months.
| MEXICO CITY (AP) - Western Mexico's
Volcano of Fire showed increased seismic activity Wednesday, as swarms
of small temblors accompanied continued eruptions of thick, block-like
lava, vapour and ash.
"There has been a marked increase in seismic activity Wednesday
in comparison with previous days," according to a statement
by the civil defence department of the state of Jalisco, which borders
The peak, also known as the Colima volcano, sprang back to life
Sept. 29, when it unleashed a towering column of smoke and ash,
as ropes of burning orange lava poured out from its 3,820-metre
A light coating of ash dusted nearby communities that are home
to about 600 people in the first eruptions, but authorities said
there was no immediate danger to nearby towns.
Over the past three days, there have been about 32 eruptions that
tossed material at least 400 metres into the air, but the ash and
lava "does not at present pose a risk to the inhabitants of
nearby communities," according to the statement.
The volcano straddles the border of Colima and Jalisco states,
480 kilometres west of Mexico City.
A major Volcano of Fire eruption in 1999 sent glowing rock five
kilometres down its slopes and fired a plume of ash more than eight
In 1913, an explosion created a crater 500 metres deep, blasted
fast-moving flows of hot ash down the volcano's slopes and rained
ash on Guadalajara, 120 kilometres to the north.
Vulcanologists consider the Colima volcano to be one of the most
active and potentially the most destructive of the volcanoes in
It has erupted violently dozens of times since its first recorded
eruption in 1560.
A strong earthquake occurred at 08:27:53 (UTC)
on Friday, October 8, 2004. The magnitude 6.8 event has been located
in the SOLOMON ISLANDS. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)
| TOKYO (AP) — A strong earthquake
with a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 shook northern Japan early Friday.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
A strong earthquake shook the
central Aegean Sea island of Astipalea early today, but did not
cause any damage or injuries.
The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.2 and struck at 4.02am
(0102 GMT), said the Athens Geodynamic Institute.
Its epicentre was located on the seabed near the island of Astipalea,
about 190 miles east of Athens.
LONDON, Oct 7 ( IranMania) -
An earthquake measuring 5.2 on the open-ended Richter scale on Wednesday
hit the far southeastern Iranian town of Jiroft, but there were
no immediate reports of casualties or serious material damage, according
"We have no reports of damage or victims, but the quake was
felt in Kerman," situated 240 kilometers (145 miles) to the
north, Kerman province's natural disasters office director Mohsen
Salehi told the state news agency.
Jiroft has a population of 208,000, and is situated not far south
of the city of Bam -- devastated in a quake in December 2003 that
killed 31,000 people.
Iran is criss-crossed by seismological faults, and tremors and
quakes are an almost daily occurrence.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) --
A major earthquake shook Manila on Friday night, sending high rises
swaying, knocking out power to some areas and sending frightened
residents into the streets. There were no immediate reports of injuries
The shaking lasted for more than a minute and was felt in provinces
north of Manila on the main Philippine island of Luzon.
The Philippines is along the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire,"
where earthquakes and volcanic activity are common. A magnitude
6.2 quake shook Manila and surrounding areas of Luzon three weeks
A magnitude 7.7 earthquake in 1990 killed nearly 2,000 people on
| A strong earthquake measuring 5
on the Richter scale was recorded in FYROM close to the city of Bitola
and was felt in Greece's border regions of Florina, Kastoria and Pella.
No damages were recorded.
According to Thessaloniki's Aristotle University Geophysics Laboratory,
the earthquake was recorded at 3:47 am this morning and its epicenter
was located 154 kilometers northwest of Thessaloniki.
Aristotle University Seismologist Manolis Skordilis stated that
the region north of Bitola, where the earthquake's epicenter was
located, has no high seismic activity and underlined that two days
will have to pass before reaching any conclusions.
Is there a magnetic north pole on the moon? If a prisoner in
a lunar jail got over the walls, could he find his way south of
the border using a compass?
This question has a number of interesting points to it. First of
all, the south-of-the-border thing. On the moon? South of what border?
Second, the question itself is kind of interesting. Third, it turns
out that it is from a prisoner, although not one from a lunar prison.
It's from some guy locked up down in Florence. He didn't say why
he's locked up. I bet I don't want to know. Anyway, I guess he's
got plenty of time on his hands to wonder about stuff like the moon's
OK, here's the deal: The moon does not have a global magnetic field
the way we do here on Earth, so a compass wouldn't do you much good.
It's possible that the moon once did have a global magnetic field
when it still had a liquid core and was spinning enough to get that
magnetism thing going.
However, that was probably about 3.6 billion years ago, and eventually
the core solidified or froze up or whatever, and that was the end
of that. Try not to worry about it.
This is not to say the moon doesn't have any magnetic fields at
all, it's just that they aren't like ours.
It has at least a couple of fairly big magnetic fields, maybe as
large as 100 square miles or so. They are anti- podal to a couple
of the moon's largest craters. Antipodal means they are on the opposite
side of the moon from the craters. One theory holds that these antipodal
magnetic fields were created by something called shock magnetization.
When you take a rock and whack it with a hammer
or a whopping great meteor, it loses its magnetic field and takes
on the field of the stuff around it. This gets a little complicated
and involves huge clouds of debris and lots of heat and ionized
plasma and so on and so forth, but they think that's what created
the magnetic fields, shock magnetization.
So on Earth, our global magnetic field creates a magnetosphere
that protects us from nasty old solar winds. On the moon, this obviously
isn't the case, which is why if you have your druthers, you don't
want to get sentenced to prison on the moon.
However, parts of the magnetic fields the moon does have are strong
enough to deflect solar winds, which is good to know, I suppose,
but offhand I can't think why.
| BOULDER, COLO. - Sea ice in the
Arctic is melting at an increasing rate, researchers at the University
of Colorado say.
Satellite information shows the ice coverage was 13.4 per cent
below its average in September, the university's National Snow and
Ice Data Center (NSIDC) said.
"This is the third year in a row with extreme ice losses,
pointing to an acceleration of the downward trend," NSIDC's
Walt Meier said.
The ice loss is roughly equal to the area of Ontario.
The decline in 2003 was 12 per cent. The long-term average is eight
Global warming may be to blame, although natural shifts in the
climate are probably contributing to the melting, the researchers
Another U.S. study suggests it will soon be the Antarctic's turn.
While the climate there has been cooling for 30 years, the trend
is likely to rapidly reverse, researchers from NASA's Godard Institute
of Space Studies concluded.
The prediction, based on a model, matched observations, they said.
While there are factors that are working against melting, "global
warming is expected to dominate in future trends," said researcher
Georgiy Mamedov visited Manitoba to push for a shipping route between
Murmansk and the port of Churchill on Hudson Bay.
"I think it has huge potential," he said.
While the route is covered by ice eight months of the year, the
shipping season is a week longer than it used to be.
| MONTREAL - Imagine an ocean on the
Prairies and mountains higher than the Himalayas in Ontario.
That's part of the picture unveiled by Lithoprobe, a 20-year examination
of Canada's ancient geological history. Named for the probe of the
lithosphere (the earth's outer shell) the project used 20-tonne
trucks dubbed "dancing elephants" to generate some of
Since 1984, more than 800 university, government and industry scientists
have been examining the movements of ancient continents, oceans
and islands, piercing together the evidence to draw a map of Canada's
They call it "Canada's basement," a view of the country
80 kilometres deep and 6,000 wide.
"Underneath the surface of Alberta, we found a subsurface
mountain range," said Dr. Ron Clowes, Lithoprobe's head and
a professor of earth and ocean sciences at the University of British
Even more spectacular, "There was once an ocean ... on the
scale of the current Pacific" under modern day Saskatchewan
Often working in groups of four, the dancing elephants –
more properly called vibroseis trucks – created seismic waves
by co-ordinated bouncing on a pad. The waves are reflected back
from the earth, but the reflections vary, depending on what the
The reflected waves are then recorded, producing data and charts.
The information is already being used by mining companies to explore
for minerals, and is providing data on the process that might lead
the volcano in Mount St. Helens, Wash., to erupt.
GUWAHATI (AFP) - At least 38 people have died
and hundreds have been injured as torrential rains lash parts of
Bangladesh and India, inundating large towns and forcing thousands
to flee their homes, officials said.
Eleven people died in landslides in Guwahati, taking the overnight
death toll to 18 in the northeastern Indian city, officials reported
Witnesses said cars and homes were submerged by the worst deluge
in a decade in Assam's biggest city.
Guwahati residents took to makeshift bamboo rafts, an AFP reporter
said from his flooded office in the town.
In neighbouring Bangladesh, at least 11 people died and hundreds
more were injured by a series of tornadoes that ripped through towns
and villages on Thursday, officials said.
Eight people were killed when a whirlwind crashed into a field
where a large number of Muslims had gathered to pray in central
Bangladesh on Thursday, a police official said. Eight of the injured
were in serious condition.
In the eastern Indian city of Calcutta, which also adjoins Bangladesh,
rains caused by a low pressure in the Bay of Bengal, have claimed
nine lives since Thursday, officials said.
ISTANBUL (AFP) - Heavy rainstorms flooded
roads and homes and paralysed traffic in Istanbul, but there were
no immediate reports of deaths or injuries, rescue officials said.
Five schools were closed in the worst-hit area of Alibeykoy, a
low-lying neighborhood on the European side of this city that spans
two continents, while dozens of kilometers (miles) of jams halted
traffic on the beltway and the two bridges linking Europe and Asia.
"More than 30 kilos (eight gallons) of rain
per square meter (10.8 sq feet) fell on Istanbul over the past few
hours, peaking at 100 kilos (26 gallons) in some areas," Cengiz
Ozturk, a spokesman for the city's Disaster Coordination Center,
"Traffic is paralysed, there are lots of accidents, cellars
and ground floors are flooded, but we have no reports of dead or
missing," he said.
By midday, firemen in this sprawling city of 12 million had been
called on more than 600 times, Ozturk said, while media reports,
quoting firemen, said flood waters had reached heights of more than
1.5 meter (five feet) in some areas.
The main road was inundated in the leafy Bosphorus suburb of Istinye
where the Istanbul Stock Market is located on the European side
of the city and flood waters mixed with waste gushed out of sewage
Istanbul's notoriously inadequate sewage system quickly overflows
with almost every heavy rain, and most of the damage occurs in low-lying
neighborhoods with almost non-existant infrastructure that mushroom
around the city as a result of uncontrolled urbanization.
Heavy rains in August, said to be the worst in
decades, had again flooded Alibeykoy, where Istanbul Mayor Kadir
Topbas had pledged to expropriate property and move people to safer
areas, but action has yet to be taken.
Dozens of houses and workplaces were isolated by flood waters in
Beykoz, on the Asian shore, and firemen came to the rescue of a
stranded school bus, the Anatolia news agency reported.
Two subway stations were evacuated and there were power cuts in
some areas, city officials said.
Ironically, the downpour, which began around midnight (2100 GMT)
Wednesday and is expected to last for three more days, according
to the weather department, came after a 40-hour cut in the water
supply in wide swathes of the city's European side.
SUZUKA, Japan - The qualifying sessions for
the Japanese Grand Prix were cancelled and moved to Sunday because
of the threat of a typhoon scheduled to hit the Suzuka track.
Typhoon Ma-on is due to hit the region at 9:00 am local time (0000
GMT) on Saturday and officials have decided to close the track because
of concerns over possible winds of up to 200km/h. [...]
The typhoon, which is yet to hit land, has
intensified in strength to a super typhoon but it is understood
that once it has passed through the weather will improve significantly.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - AT&T Corp. will
cut another 7,400 jobs and reduce the value of its assets by $11.4
billion, spurred by its retreat from traditional consumer telephone
services, the company said on Thursday.
The company said the new job cuts, which raises its total cuts
to 20 percent of its work force this year, and other cost measures
would boost operating profits in the second half of the year.
The moves are part of efforts by the third-largest U.S. telephone
company to shift its focus to business services and cut costs amid
a price war for long-distance telephone services and increasing
competition from the dominant U.S. local telephone companies. [...]
NEW YORK - Bank of America Corp. will cut
an additional 4,500 jobs from its ranks, increasing the number of
jobs lost since its FleetBoston Financial acquisition by 36 percent
The extra job cuts will begin this month as it simplifies operations,
the No. 3 U.S. bank said on Thursday.
Bank of America expects severance costs of $150 million over the
next three quarters beginning with the third quarter of 2004.
The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank, which currently employees
178,000 people, said the cuts will occur across the company but
primarily in support positions.
"The primary driver of head count reductions was the consolidation
of divisions," said Jeffery Harte, an analyst with Chicago-based
Sandler O'Neill & Partners L.P. "What they really did was
find additional cost savings, and the bottom line is improved efficiencies
are a good thing." [...]
LONDON - Oil prices scaled new heights at
$53 for U.S. crude Thursday on concerns over tight winter heating
fuel supplies and an unexpected strike at Nigerian oil terminals.
U.S. light crude set a record at $53 a barrel -- marking
a surge of $20, or more than 60 percent, this year -- before
settling at $52.67 for a gain of 65 cents. London crude also struck
a new peak, at $49.20 a barrel, before ending at $48.90 a barrel,
up 91 cents.
"Where it ends, who knows?" said
Jan Stuart, an analyst with Fimat USA. "What's going to happen
when the winter hits? I'd say we have a better than fifty-fifty
chance of hitting $60 by year end." [...]
He is the conservative bastion
of the US supreme court, a favourite of President Bush, and a hunting
partner of the vice-president. He has argued vociferously against
abortion rights, and in favour of anti-sodomy laws.
But it turns out that there is another side to Justice Antonin
Scalia: he thinks Americans ought to be having more orgies.
Challenged about his views on sexual morality, Justice Scalia surprised
his audience at Harvard University, telling them: "I
even take the position that sexual orgies eliminate social tensions
and ought to be encouraged."
we need your help to collect information on what is going on in your part
of the world!
We also need help to keep
the Signs of the Times online.
out the Signs of the Times Archives
your comments and article suggestions to us
Fair Use Policy
Contact Webmaster at signs-of-the-times.org
Cassiopaean materials Copyright ©1994-2014 Arkadiusz Jadczyk and Laura Knight-Jadczyk. All rights reserved. "Cassiopaea, Cassiopaean, Cassiopaeans," is a registered trademark of Arkadiusz Jadczyk and Laura Knight-Jadczyk.
Letters addressed to Cassiopaea, Quantum Future School, Ark or Laura, become the property of Arkadiusz Jadczyk and Laura Knight-Jadczyk
Republication and re-dissemination of our copyrighted material in any manner is expressly prohibited without prior written consent.