Article - The Blair Belief Project
Strike Flash Presentation by a QFS member
of the Day
An urgent communication from Daniel Hopsicker
Friends of the MadCowMorningNews,
In five years of investigating officially-sanctioned drug smuggling,
arms dealing and the Mob and Intel-led financial fraud which inevitably
swirl around both, I have only communicated through my investigative
That's the way it should be. I'm a writer and an
investigative reporter, not a social activist. (I did my duty
in that regard back during the Vietnam War, when I led a student
strike against the Vietnam War while a student at UCLA.)
But with the recent discovery that Mike Ruppert thinks its all
right to take money from people we've been investigating for over
five years, that now needs to change.
The 'pod people,' the Pentagon missile theorists,
and 9/11 Armchair Adventurers are trying to take over and subvert
any real 9/11 investigation.
We're not going to let them. But we need help--financial, moral,
& strategic. Because the playing field has changed...
Standing in the shadows behind Michael C. Ruppert and his phony
9/11 'Truth Movement' is a money man who owes everything he has
to Adnan Khashoggi and a company incorporated by Barry Seal's
attorney, Michael Roy Fugler... yes, the very same man who is
currently suing us (three years after "Barry & the 'boys'
came out) for 'emotional distress.'
If you believe in the tooth fairy, you might believe this is
just a coincidence.
It is, instead, the shoddy tradecraft of third rate wanna-be's
too incompetent to qualify for more-glamorous posting. 'White
Noise' from this sponsored disinformation campaign (see our current
series of stories) designed to drown out real revelations, like
the ones in "Welcome the Terrorland," the first full-length
investigative look into Mohamed Atta and his terrorist thugs in
Florida, backed up by official court documents, eyewitness accounts...
Facts both big and small: Mohamed Atta dressed like a Mobster,
wore gold jewelry, had a stripper girlfriend, was already a licensed
pilot when he entered the US., drank daily, did cocaine, had seven
close German associates in Florida, sent regular emails to a list
which included people working for U.S. Defense Dept. contractors...much
The effort is led by the “Saudi Genesis” companies
created by Khashoggi underlings to spam Americans wherever they
could find them. There's an infomercial division; author and speaker
bureau; even a guy named “Larry."
"Larry James - Internet secrets revealed! Larry reveals
what he considers to be the most important key to shameless self-promotion
on the Internet. This article has loads of shameless examples!
This article appears in the book, "Confessions of Shameless
Sound like anybody you know?
"It was as if the president's loyalty
lay more with Saudi Arabia than with America's safety,"
"I think we lay out the case in this book
of the extent to which Saudi Arabia was a key part of making 9/11
happen, and yet this administration has taken every step to obfuscate,
avoid and cover up Saudi Arabia's actions,"
"I noticed that Ruppert was threatening
to sue 9-11 researcher Dick Eastman. (I can't remember exactly
what this lawsuit entailed, but I'm pretty sure it revolved
around an argument they were having about whether or not a Boeing
757 hit the Pentagon on the morning of 9-11.) Anyway, my first
thought was: how many people has Mike Ruppert threatened to bring
lawsuits against now? But then an even better idea popped into
my mind: why don't I invite Ruppert and Eastman onto WING
TV and get both sides of the story."
"After two minutes of looking at the coverof
your (Thorn's] book, I realized that under no circumstances would
I ever be affiliated with you or sell your products"
An open Letter to
Philip Zelikow and The Washington Post
NEW YORK, Oct. 8, 2004 -- Philip Zelikow, a high-level national
security adviser to both Bush administrations, acknowledges that
America faces a new infectious disease: lack of faith in the U.S.
government's 9/11 Commission report.
As executive director of the freshly-retired Kean Commission, Zelikow
was a principal author of the 567-page document, which purports
to explain everything that matters about September 11th, 2001.
Sales of the 9/11 report have far outpaced those of his earlier
study in statecraft, "Germany Unified and Europe Transformed."
He co-wrote that book in 1999 together with one of his closest associates
from the original Bush White House, Condoleeza Rice.
Despite blockbuster sales for the 9/11 report, Zelikow tells the
Washington Post he is alarmed by the concurrent spread of "conspiracy
theories" about the attacks, which he describes as pathogens:
"Our worry is when things become infectious, as happened with
the [John F. Kennedy] assassination," Zelikow says. "Then
this stuff can be deeply corrosive to public understanding. You
can get where the bacteria can sicken the larger body."
It's too late, Dr. Zelikow. The "bacteria" are winning,
and your own work is to blame.
Perhaps the disease would have slowed if you had showed the courage
to step down as executive director last March - when your resignation
was demanded by the same Sept. 11 families who had fought the White
House for 14 months to gain a 9/11 Commission in the first place.
They saw a grave conflict of interest in your having participated
in White House briefings on al-Qaeda in 2000 and 2001. You did so
on behalf of the incoming Bush administration, along with Dr. Rice,
Richard Clarke and Sandy Berger, all of whom later testified to
the Kean Commission.
"It is apparent that Dr. Zelikow should never have been permitted
to be Executive Staff Director of the Commission," the Family
Steering Committee wrote.
They asked you to resign, and to take your rightful place on the
other side of the table, as a witness to be questioned in the investigation,
in public and under oath.
Perhaps this might have restored some credibility to a Commission
badly damaged a few months earlier when its most outspoken member,
Max Cleland, resigned after condemning it as a whitewash.
But you ignored the families and stayed on, undeterred. You continued
to steer the Commission and its agenda.
You stayed on, as one of only two staff members or commissioners
with relatively unrestricted access to White House documents. (The
other was Jamie Gorelick, a former high official in the Clinton
administration and close associate of George Tenet. Small world.)
A few weeks later, we were treated to a star turn at the hearings
by your co-author, Dr. Rice, as one of the most important witnesses
before the Commission, even as you conducted behind the scenes.
And now you worry that people won't buy what you have to say about
Guess what? They don't.
A representative poll of eight hundred New York state residents
by Zogby International found less than 40 percent of them say they
believe the 9/11 Commission report answered all of the important
questions about Sept. 11.
Sixty-six percent of New York City residents are therefore calling
on the state attorney general to open a new criminal investigation,
one based on the 383 questions of the Family Steering Committee,
most of which the 9/11 Commission report simply ignores.
The same poll found that 41 percent of state residents believe
high officials knew about 9/11 in advance, and "consciously"
allowed the attacks to proceed. That view is shared by one-half
of New York City residents - the very people who would have the
most reason to be well-informed about Sept. 11.
But 41 percent of the good people in upsate New York, a microcosm
of Middle America, also believe there was foreknowledge, as do 30
percent of the state's registered Republicans.
What would the same poll questions reveal, if they were posed to
residents of the entire United States? Or to a sampling of the world
Isn't this big news? Half the people in the city where the worst
attacks occurred believe their own government may have been involved.
Why wasn't it in the papers, alongside the Bush-Kerry polling numbers?
Shouldn't the papers be examining the unanswered questions that
make people think this way?
What have the papers given us instead?
Zelikow's worry about the spread of heretical ideas is apparently
shared by the Washington Post, which published his comments yesterday
in a pop-psychology piece by Carol Morello, analyzing the souls
who have fallen prey to "conspiracy theories" about 9/11.
Morello's first step is to define what the "conspiracy theorists"
think in the narrowest possible way. She focuses on a single notion
- that the crash of a Boeing 767 does not explain the pattern of
damage at the Pentagon. Her article pretends that this is the central
hypothesis for all who question the official story of 9/11, which
Before the Pentagon anomaly first arose as an issue among American
researchers of 9/11 (in Nov. 2001), a broad case for doubting the
government's claims had already been built. It was based in ample
evidence of foreknowledge on the part of high U.S. officials, contradictions
in investigators' statements about the alleged hijackers, and many
other indications of complicity in the attacks by elements other
than the Bin Ladin networks.
This constantly growing body of evidence caused Sept. 11 families
and advocates for disclosure to lobby for an independent investigation.
It ultimately became the basis for a vibrant "9/11 truth movement."
But Morello's presumption - that uncertainty about what happened
at the Pentagon is the sole issue of concern - allows her to ignore
all that. All that really matters to her is what makes these conspiracy
theorists tick, and whether they can be cured.
As Philadelphia Daily News reporter Will Bunch pointed out, Morello
is merely knocking down her own strawman. In a college debate, she
would lose the point.
If we must psychologize rather than argue, as Morello does, then
I daresay she is in avoidance. Taking on the facts of 9/11 with
an open mind would perhaps force her, in Zelikow's words, "to
repudiate much of [her] life identity," which relies on rejecting
ideas that her society characterizes as outlandish, as "conspiracy
But what is "conspiracy theory"? Morello rounds up the
usual suspects among experts who treat disbelief in official stories
as a pathology.
Michael Barkun, author of "A Culture of Conspiracy" and
much-cited in these matters, wisely informs us that "conspiracy
theories are one way to make sense of what happened and regain a
sense of control. Of course, they're usually wrong, but they're
"Usually wrong"? Why does Prof. Barkun hedge his bets?
We need to unpack our terms. "Conspiracy theory" describes
the official 9/11 report as well as it does the alternative views.
The events of Sept. 11 obviously were not the product of a single
perpetrator, but of a criminal conspiracy.
Criminal conspiracy is treated in countless volumes of what prosecutors
call conspiracy law or racketeering statutes. Another word for it
is organized crime. Any attempt to explain a criminal conspiracy
constitutes a theory. Prosecutors devise theories based on initial
clues, and then try to see which of them best fit the evidence overall.
Convictions often follow.
Morello, and Zelikow, are not concerned about "conspiracy
theories" per se. They are applying the term selectively, to
include only hypotheses in which elements of the U.S. government
were themselves involved in the attacks for political and financial
If Cheney says Saddam Hussein backed the 9/11 attacks, as the vice-president
did on many occasions despite his recent protestations to the contrary,
this is not called a conspiracy theory, although it obviously involves
a theoretical conspiracy. Yet this is the most important 9/11 conspiracy
theory to date, because it was used to justify the invasion of Iraq.
If Zelikow tells us that 19 men agreed to hijack four planes and
fly them into buildings and evaded all detection (although those
identified as the ringleaders had been under observation by U.S.
and allied agencies for years beforehand) this is not labeled conspiracy
theory, although it describes a conspiracy.
The only theories branded as "conspiracies," and thus
subject to ridicule and dismissal without examination, are those
that suspect wrongdoing from the U.S. government - which did its
best to hide and destroy evidence, and then sent out a top adviser
to both Bush administrations, Zelikow, to investigate what happened.
In the case of the Pentagon, the government has suppressed videotapes
of the attack taken from a nearby hotel, a gas station, highway
surveillance cameras, and the Pentagon's own cameras. At a press
conference following the Kean Commission hearings of Dec. 8, 2003,
the chair and co-chair promised that this evidence would be released,
to help dispel speculation.
That evidence has not been released, and Zelikow suggests to the
Post that there is no need:
"Asked if there were unreleased photographs of the attack
that would convince the doubters, Zelikow, of the 9/11 commission,
Is it any wonder that people don't believe Dr. Zelikow? First the
government suppresses evidence. Then its chief investigator of 9/11
justifies this by saying it would be pointless to release the evidence,
and shifts the blame to the "conspiracy theorists," who
are pathologically incapable of believing the truth.
The New Yorkers who are unsatisfied with the 9/11 Commission report
are not supposed to get answers; they are remanded to the nearest
For three years, the Washington Post has joined America's other
major press organs in ignoring the unanswered questions that cause
so many people to reject the official conspiracy theory of the 9/11
You would think the Zogby poll results, which were at least mentioned
on washingtonpost.com if not in the newspaper itself, would finally
move the Post to file some real stories.
This isn't the place to go into every item the Post has failed
to report about Sept. 11 - one might start by reading the book mentioned
in Morello's article, "The New Pearl Harbor" by David
Ray Griffin - but I submit that DC journalists would normally want
to explore the following question:
What about the reports that the Pakistani secret service ISI wired
$100,000 to Mohamed Atta? The ISI is often credited as the creator
of the Taliban, and its operatives have been linked to the Bin Ladin
networks. ISI is also linked to CIA, as historically close allies.
The ISI director, Mahmud Ahmed, was on a two-week visit to Washington
and met for breakfast at the Capitol on the morning of Sept. 11,
2001 with the heads of the congressional intelligence committees,
Bob Graham and Porter Goss. A month later, when Pakistani strongman
Pervez Musharraf reshuffled his cabinet on the eve of the Afghanistan
invasion, he forced Ahmed to resign, acting on a request from the
After 9/11, Graham and Goss oversaw the 858-page report of the
congressional joint inquiry into 9/11. The term ISI never occurs
in their report, at least not in the 75 percent of the text published
In all of the Washington Post coverage of Goss's recent confirmation
hearings as director of the CIA, wasn't his breakfast with the ISI
chief worth an article?
The 9/11 Commission report fails to mention reports of a Pakistani
connection, not even to explain them away, but at least it offers
"To date, the U.S. government has not been able to determine
the origin of the money used for the 9/11 attacks. Ultimately the
question is of little practical significance... Similarly, we have
seen no evidence that any foreign government - or foreign government
official - supplied any funding." (p. 172)
So who financed the attacks is of little significance. Now we know
the first rule of the Kean Commission: Don't follow the money!
Does the Washington Post agree?
The Kean Commission "discussed the theories," Zelikow
tells the Post. "When we wrote the report, we were also careful
not to answer all the theories. It's like playing Whack-A-Mole.
You're never going to whack them all."
Now we know the second rule of the Kean Commission: Don't test
theories. Just whack them if you can, and otherwise do your best
to ignore them.
We shall conclude with two more of the "moles" that Zelikow
and the Commission refused to whack. Is the Washington Post willing
to take a swing?
First: The owner of World Trade Center Building 7, Larry Silverstein,
interviewed for a PBS documentary of 2002 ("America Rebuilds"),
seems to reveal that this building's little-reported collapse on
the afternoon of Sept. 11 was the result of a decision to intentionally
demolish the building.
Isn't this worthy of a follow-up call to Mr. Silverstein's offices?
Is it possible to wire a 47-story skyscraper for a controlled demolition
within a few hours? If not, what does this imply?
Second: The 9/11 Commission report revised the older NORAD and
FAA timelines of air defense response on Sept. 11. For more than
two years, these two agencies presented a series of conflicting
chronologies to explain the failure of standard operating procedure,
under which the errant flights of Sept. 11 should have been intercepted
by jet fighters as a routine matter of reconnaissance.
Last June, the Kean Commission issued a staff statement that radically
contradicted all accounts upheld until then by either NORAD or FAA,
establishing an entirely new timeline. This is now Chapter 1 of
the 9/11 Commission report.
It exonerates everyone of blame for the failures of 9/11, in keeping
with the dictum of Kean's vice-chairman, Lee Hamilton: "We?re
not interested in trying to assess blame, we do not consider that
part of the commission?s responsibility."
Given the complexity of this issue, it may be asking too much of
the Washington Post to figure out if the new timeline holds water
- it most assuredly does not. But if the Commission's version is
right, then officials at NORAD and the FAA were issuing false accounts
for more than two years. Isn't that, at least, an issue?
Are none of our taxpayer-financed public officials going to be
held accountable for what they say and do? Can the official story
of 9/11 be changed every few months without consequence?
Sen. Mark Dayton of Minnesota doesn't think so. At hearings on
the 9/11 Commission report, Dayton said NORAD officials "lied
to the American people, they lied to Congress and they lied to your
9/11 commission to create a false impression of competence, communication
and protection of the American people."
This, at least, made the Minneapolis Tribune. But where is the
follow-up? Isn't the reality that either NORAD or the 9/11 Commission
(or both) must be lying about what happened on Sept. 11 worthy of
coverage in the newspaper that was once synonymous with investigative
Or is the Post too busy making fun of "conspiracy theory"?
This is the true frontier of transportation,"
said Marion Blakely, head of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration,
when SpaceShipOne, designed, built and flown by American private
citizens, flew into space for the second time in two weeks and won
the $10 million Ansari-X prize. Then Richard Branson of Virgin enterprises
made a deal with Mojave Aerospace Venture, the team headed by Burt
Rutan and funded by Paul Allen, billionaire co-founder of Microsoft,
to develop a fleet of larger spacecraft based on Rutan's design
and start commercial space flights in 2007-8.
It took us all back to the romantic early years of aviation, when
thrusting entrepreneurs teamed up with iconoclastic engineers and
bold pilots to create whole new technologies in a weather-beaten
hangar. There we were once again, at the airstrip out in the desert,
watching mavericks mold our future. It was a great achievement,
redolent of the 1930s and yet relevant to the future.
Then Brian Binnie had to go and ruin it.
Mr. Binnie, a 51-year-old former U.S. Navy test
pilot who flew SpaceShipOne on its second trip to the edge of space,
celebrated his feat by climbing on top of the vehicle, holding up
an American flag twice as big as he was, and intoning: "Let
me say that I thank God that I live in a country where this is possible."
Suddenly it wasn't the romantic, sepia-toned past any more. We were
yanked back to the crude nationalist bombast of the present, and
it didn't feel good at all.
Let us imagine for a moment that it had been a Japanese team, not
an American one, that was the first to get its space vehicle up
twice in a fortnight and win the Ansari-X prize. And suppose that
the successful pilot had then climbed up on his vehicle, unfurled
a huge Rising Sun flag, and thanked his ancestral gods that he lived
in a country where such a thing was possible. You
might not have said anything out loud, but what would you have thought
Well, that's what most people elsewhere think when
Americans do it, too. When Mr Binnie thanks God that he lives in
"a country where this is possible," does he think that
God has changed His nationality since 1957 (when He chose the Soviet
Union to be the first country into space)? And by the way, how did
He get a Green Card?
The problem with even commenting on this sort of stuff is that
you soon start sounding as petty as those you criticize, and churlish
to boot. Why not let Mr. Binnie – who is only a test-pilot
after all, not a statesman – have his little moment of nationalist
After all, there are plenty of nationalists in the backwoods of
China, Russia and India who are just as convinced that God, Destiny
or some other Cosmic Authority has chosen their nation as His chief
Americans are hardly unique in their fervent nationalism, though
they do register very high on the scale for a developed country.
When the World Values Survey asked the citizens
of 14 countries if they were "very proud" of their nationality
in 1999-2000, no European countries except ultra-nationalist Ireland
and Poland reached the 50 percent mark. Americans
ended up at 72 percent, between the Indians and the Vietnamese.
Yet most Americans do not even recognize that they are nationalists
like everybody else, living in a country with a highly nationalistic
foreign policy. They believe that their "patriotism,"
since it is not tied to some specific ethnic group, is somehow different
from other peoples' nationalism. In fact, it is very like the nationalism
of other multi-ethnic countries like Canada, Brazil, South Africa
and India, being based mostly on shared ideals and at least some
elements of a shared history.
The problem is not the fact of American nationalism – a huge
surge of nationalist sentiment was inevitable in the United States
after the appalling events of 9/11 – but the in-your-face
coarseness with which it is increasingly being expressed. A psychologist
might wonder how much this is driven by the need to deny the inevitable
relative decline in America's power over the coming two or three
decades, as first the Chinese economy and then the Indian grow to
rival the U.S. economy in size. In any event, triumphalism has become
a normal mode of expression right across the U.S. political and
media spectrum in the past few years.
Brian Binnie crowed about how his God had
put his country ahead of all the rest because that is the example
he has been shown by his leaders and his media. A generation
ago, even ordinary American spacemen knew better than to behave
like that. Neil Armstrong didn't say "This
proves that America is best" when he became the first human
being to set foot on the Moon. He said "That's one small step
for a man; one giant leap for mankind."
Nationalism is a normal phenomenon, generally unattractive to people
who do not share the nationality in question but useful as social
glue in holding large numbers of people together. But it has gone
beyond that now in the United States. Much of the public space is
taken up by ritualistic self-congratulation of the crudest kind,
and Brian Binnie was just going with the flow. Legitimate pride
in real accomplishments is one thing; arrogance and hubris are something
Gwynne Dyer is a London-based independent journalist.
A powerful "old guard" faction in
the Central Intelligence Agency has launched an unprecedented campaign
to undermine the Bush administration with a battery of damaging
leaks and briefings about Iraq.
The White House is incensed by the increasingly public sniping
from some senior intelligence officers who, it believes, are conducting
a partisan operation to swing the election on November 2 in favour
of John Kerry, the Democratic candidate, and against George W Bush.
Jim Pavitt, a 31-year CIA veteran who retired
as a departmental chief in August, said that he cannot recall a
time of such "viciousness and vindictiveness" in a battle
between the White House and the agency.
John Roberts, a conservative security analyst,
commented bluntly: "When the President cannot trust his own
CIA, the nation faces dire consequences."
Relations between the White House and the agency
are widely regarded as being at their lowest ebb since the hopelessly
botched Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba by CIA-sponsored exiles under
President John F Kennedy in 1961.
There is anger within the CIA that it has taken all the blame for
the failings of pre-war intelligence on Saddam Hussein's weapons
Former senior CIA officials argue that so-called "neo-conservative"
hawks such as the vice president, Dick Cheney, the secretary of
defence, Donald Rumsfeld, and his number three at the defence department,
Douglas Feith, have prompted the ill-feeling by demanding "politically
acceptable" results from the agency and rejecting conclusions
they did not like. Yet Colin Powell, the less hardline secretary
of state, has also been scathing in his criticism of pre-war intelligence
The leaks are also a shot across the bows of Porter Goss, the agency's
new director and a former Republican congressman. He takes over
with orders from the White House to end the in-fighting and revamp
the troubled spy agency as part of a radical overhaul of the American
Bill Harlow, the former CIA spokesman who left
with the former director George Tenet in July, acknowledged that
there had been leaks from within the agency. "The intelligence
community has been made the scapegoat for all the failings over
Iraq," he said. "It deserves some of the blame, but not
all of it. People are chafing at that, and that's the background
to these leaks."
Fighting to defend their patch ahead of the future review, anti-Bush
CIA operatives have ensured that Iraq remains high on the election
campaign agenda long after Republican strategists such as Karl Rove,
the President's closest adviser, had hoped that it would fade from
the front pages.
In the latest clash, a senior former CIA agent revealed that Mr
Cheney "blew up" when a report into links between the
Saddam regime and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the terrorist behind the
kidnappings and beheadings of hostages in Iraq, including the Briton
Kenneth Bigley, proved inconclusive.
Other recent leaks have included the contents of classified reports
drawn up by CIA analysts before the invasion of Iraq, warning the
White House about the dangers of post-war instability. Specifically,
the reports said that rogue Ba'athist elements might team up with
terrorist groups to wage a guerrilla war.
Critics of the White House include officials who have served in
previous Republican administrations such as Vince Cannistraro, a
former CIA head of counter-terrorism and member of the National
Security Council under Ronald Reagan.
"These have been an extraordinary four years for the CIA and
the political pressure to come up with the right results has been
enormous, particularly from Vice-President Cheney.
"I'm afraid that the agency is guilty of
bending over backwards to please the administration. George Tenet
was desperate to give them what they wanted and that was a complete
With the simmering rows breaking out in public,
the Wall Street Journal declared in an editorial that the administration
was now fighting two insurgencies: one in Iraq and one at the CIA.
In a difficult week for President Bush leading up to Friday's presidential
debate, the CIA-led Iraqi Survey Group confirmed that Saddam had
had no weapons of mass destruction, while Mr Rumsfeld distanced
himself from the administration's long-held assertion of ties between
Saddam and the al-Qaeda terror network.
Earlier, unguarded comments by Paul Bremer, the former American
administrator of Iraq who said that America "never had enough
troops on the ground", had given the row about post-war strategy
on the ground fresh impetus.
With just 23 days before the country votes for its next president,
both sides are braced for further bruising encounters.
Gaza City - US presidential hopeful John Kerry
has warned that if he won next month's election there would be no
reprieve for Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
"We have been at this for a long time. Mr
Arafat has proven his unwillingness and incapacity to be able to
act as a legitimate partner in the peace process," Kerry said
in a Florida campaign rally on Saturday.
Kerry also said his job if elected would be to
"hold those Arab countries accountable that still support terrorists,
Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Aqsa Brigades, and others."
The Democrat hopeful also praised Israeli Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon for his "courageous" plan to withdraw from the
Gaza Strip next year.
Speaking two days after bombings at two Egyptian Red Sea resorts
that killed at least 34 people, most of them Israelis, Kerry warned
that the Jewish state under attack.
"People are trying to continue to create
havoc... Israel remains under assault, kids blown up on buses, people
sitting at restaurants, trying to live their lives," Kerry
"I will not give one inch in our efforts to
President George W Bush has riled US allies in Europe and the Middle
East by refusing to deal with Arafat, saying he had links to terrorism
and could not be trusted to make peace.
On Friday, in the second presidential debate Bush repeated his
stern line on the Palestinian leader.
"I wouldn't deal with Arafat because I felt like he had let
the former president down and I don't think he's the kind of person
that can lead toward a Palestinian state," Bush said.
"People in Europe didn't like that decision," he said.
"But it was the right thing to do. I believe Palestinians
ought to have a state, but I know they need leadership that's committed
to a democracy and freedom, leadership that would be willing to
Kerry said the proper posture for a US president was to help create
conditions which would allow Palestinian leaders to emerge who could
be trusted to build peace with Israel.
But he did not offer specifics on how his plan would differ from
that of Bush, who amid escalating Israel-Palestinian violence has
steered clear of playing the active role of his predecessor Bill
Both vice presidential candidates said Yasser
Arafat is not a partner for peace.
As Vice President Dick Cheney faced off in Cleveland on Tuesday
night against Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), one of their few points
of agreement was the need for Israel to continue isolating the Palestinian
Authority/Palestine Liberation Organization "Chairman of Terror"
Edwards said Israel has a right to defend itself
against rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip. "They don't have
a partner for peace right now," Edwards said. "They certainly
don't have a partner in Arafat, and they need a legitimate partner
Cheney agreed. "There has to be an interlocutor you can trust
and deal with. And we won't have that, we don't have it now, in
a Yasser Arafat," he said. "There has to be reform of
the 'Palestinian' system."
Both men also drove home distinctions between the parties on Israel:
Edwards said a President John Kerry would be tougher on financial
support in Saudi Arabia for Arab "Palestinian" terrorists;
Cheney said ousting Saddam Hussein cut off funding for Arab "Palestinian"
Gary Fitleberg is a Political Analyst specializing in International
Relations with emphasis on Middle East affairs.
The selection of Sen. John Edwards as John
Kerry's running mate has raised concerns inside the FBI and among
civil-liberties groups that the North Carolina senator will use
the campaign to promote his controversial proposal to create a new
domestic spy agency.
For the past 18 months, Edwards has been perhaps
the Senate's foremost champion of a much-debated proposal to strip
the bureau of its intelligence-gathering functions and turn them
over to a new domestic spy agency patterned after Britain's M.I.5.
Edwards's promotion of the idea has created friction between him
and FBI Director Robert Mueller who, along with other bureau officials,
has warned that such a move would spark renewed turmoil within the
U.S. intelligence community that would hinder the war on terrorism.
It also has stirred the fears of civil-liberties groups, who believe
such an agency would inevitably end up spying on political dissidents
and religious groups.
But Edwards has refused to back down-and there are signs that Kerry
himself may be warm to the idea. "He thinks it's still the
way to go," said Mike Briggs, Edwards's Senate press secretary
on Wednesday when asked about the M.I.5 proposal.
Indeed, in an op-ed article for a North Carolina newspaper as recently
as two months ago, Edwards wrote "that the FBI has failed as
an intelligence agency." He also dismissed Mueller's own efforts
to reform the FBI to make it more attentive to intelligence gathering,
as opposed to strict law enforcement.
Despite receiving numerous briefings from the FBI
director on the subject, which Edwards would have received as a
member of both the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Intelligence
Committee, "I have heard nothing that gives me confidence that
the proposed changes will enable the FBI to more effectively collect
intelligence on the plans and intentions of terrorists," Edwards
wrote in a May 2, 2004, op-ed in the Raleigh News and Observer.
Although Kerry himself has talked more vaguely about reforming
intelligence in his major campaign speeches, a little noticed "Defending
the American Homeland" plan on his campaign Web site seems
to reach a similar conclusion as Edwards on the subject.
"Many of the examinations of 9/11 have raised serious questions
about whether the FBI is the right agency to conduct domestic intelligence
collection and analysis," the Kerry plan states in a section
entitled "Reforming Domestic Intelligence." "America
needs an independent intelligence capability that focuses explicitly
on domestic intelligence." A senior Kerry campaign official
said that language-taken from a fact sheet handed out after a Kerry
speech to a firefighters' group in March 2003-was not intended to
specifically endorse an M.I.5 over a beefed up intelligence function
within the FBI. "We've been back and forth on this issue-and
it's still not determined," the campaign official said.
The idea of creating a new domestic spy agency first received wide
currency in the wake of the September 11 attacks and has been debated
intensely by the 9/11 commission. The panel is due to make its recommendations
for intelligence reform later this month. But sources inside the
commission say the prospect of such a major overhaul-along with
its profound implications for civil liberties-has caused many panel
members to shrink from such a step and favor less sweeping recommendations
to improve intelligence gathering inside the country.
Indeed, top FBI officials had until this week concluded that Mueller's
own reform efforts-including a recent proposal to create a new "intelligence
directorate" within the FBI-had pretty much put the matter
to rest. "We're not too worried about that," said one
senior bureau official about the M.I.5 proposal.
Now, however, the prospect that the Kerry-Edwards ticket might
push the M.I.5 idea could swiftly change the political dynamic.
Since late 2002, in speeches and on the Senate floor, Edwards has
argued that the failures of the FBI to pick up the trail of the
9/11 hijackers graphically shows the bureau's fundamental deficiencies
in intelligence gathering. As a law-enforcement agency, the FBI
is by culture and practice focused on arresting, prosecuting and
convicting criminals-not collecting fragmentary bits of intelligence
about potential terrorists and then analyzing the information to
make sense of it, he has said.
"Asking a law-enforcement agency to manage intelligence is
like trying to jam a square peg into a round hole," Edwards
said in a December 2002 speech to the Brookings Institution. "The
FBI … builds cases rather than connecting dots, and it keeps
information secret rather than getting it to those who can use it
stop the terrorists."
Edwards's repeated pounding away on the subject early last year
annoyed top FBI officials. Some privately expressed irritation,
suggesting that the politically ambitious first-term senator had
seized on the idea as a vehicle for his presidential campaign. At
one point, Mueller appealed to Edwards to hold off introducing legislation
on the subject until the FBI director could brief him about what
he was doing to correct the problem. Edwards went ahead and introduced
his bill anyway in February 2003-and then took Mueller up on his
offer, a sequence that did not go down well among some of Mueller's
Mueller's own reform efforts have revolved around making terrorism
the FBI's top priority, beefing up the bureau's own intelligence
and analytic functions and bringing in fresh managers with backgrounds
in the intelligence community. But bureau officials argue that creating
an entirely new agency dedicated solely to spying inside the United
States would only create new bureaucratic rivalries-especially because
the bureau law-enforcement agents would still be needed to develop
evidence for criminal prosecutions. "You can't separate criminal
prosecutions, terrorism and foreign intelligence," said one
top FBI manager.
Civil-liberties groups have other concerns
about the Edwards plan. For decades, FBI agents who seek to develop
evidence about potential domestic threats have operated under tight
Justice Department guidelines; those guidelines require there be
grounds to believe targets are engaged in criminal acts.
A new domestic spy agency
would not be so encumbered, the critics say.
In an effort to insulate himself from such
criticism, Edwards had proposed steps to curb potential excesses
by a domestic spying agency, such as requiring approval from the
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for infiltrating domestic
political or religious groups. But
some civil-liberties advocates say such steps would be insufficient-the
FISA court has historically acted as a rubber stamp, critics say-and
that a domestic-intelligence agency such as Edwards has advocated
would inevitably be tempted to spy on legitimate dissenters.
BERKELEY, Calif. - FBI investigators trailed
a 1960s student protest leader for more than
a decade despite having no evidence he broke any federal laws, a
newspaper reported Sunday.
Hundreds of pages of FBI files, obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle,
showed that investigators collected personal information about Mario
Savio, including documents on his marriage and divorce, without
a court order. The FBI also obtained copies
of Savio's tax returns in violation of federal rules.
According to the files, the FBI feared the Free
Speech Movement that Savio helped lead at the University of California,
Berkeley in 1964 would spread to other college campuses across the
The movement started in response to the college's ban of political
activity on campus. Savio led a massive sit-in in December 1964
to protest the move, resulting in 800 student arrests.
The FBI files showed that Savio was designated
a "key activist" by the agency, and was placed on a list
of people to be detained without warrant in the event of a national
Savio died in 1996.
LaRae Quy, an FBI spokeswoman in San Francisco,
refused to comment on Savio's case but said the FBI now operates
with a greater concern for First Amendment rights.
California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, who was involved in the
Free Speech Movement as a student at Berkeley in the 1960s, called
the FBI's treatment of Savio "outrageous."
SEATTLE - Federal authorities believe Washington
state's ferry system has been under surveillance and could be a
possible target for a terrorist attack, The Seattle Times reported
An FBI assessment determined that 19 suspicious incidents reported
by law enforcement officers, ferry workers and passengers since
the Sept. 11 attacks were highly likely or extremely likely to involve
terrorist surveillance, the Times reported.
"We may well be the target of preoperational terrorist planning,"
said U.S. Attorney John McKay.
McKay and other security officials said the assessment helped prompt
new security requirements that began Saturday on the Washington
ferries, the nation's largest ferry system.
Suspicious incidents included individuals asking
questions about ferry operations or taking photos of stairwells,
car decks and workers, according to a document obtained by the Times.
A man who is a subject of an FBI terrorism investigation allegedly
was involved in three incidents: one two days after the 2001 attacks
in which he allegedly videotaped an oil refinery, a bridge and Navy
flight operations; another involving the videotaping of a ferry's
car deck in September 2003; and a third the following day in which
a ferry was videotaped as it was loaded and unloaded.
Patrick Adams, Seattle FBI special agent in charge,
said he does not think the man poses "an immediate threat to
anyone here in the Seattle area," but declined to elaborate.
Edmund Kiley, chief of security for Washington State Ferries, said
security is better than in past years. Thousands of cars are screened
daily by explosives-detecting dogs, Kiley said, and more Washington
State Patrol troopers are present.
In late 1999, a terrorist plot was thwarted when an Algerian man
with a car full of explosives was arrested in Port Angeles, Wash.,
as he left a ferry from British Columbia. Ahmed Ressam, who had
trained at Osama bin Laden's terrorism camps in Afghanistan, was
convicted of plotting a terrorist attack on Los Angeles International
Airport during millennium celebrations.
KIRKUK, Iraq - After listening to two U.S.
Army officers describe recent progress in battling the insurgency
and stabilizing northern Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld
swung his chair around and faced four senior Iraqi commanders who
had sat silently through the briefing.
For them he had a simple message, one that says much about the
state of affairs in Iraq nearly four months after the Americans
gave the Iraqis political control and three months before their
"Sovereignty without the ability to protect
it isn't sovereignty," he said. Iraqis must take the seeds
of security that the U.S. military has planted, he said, and grow
their own political and economic system.
"We can help, but we can't do it. You have to do it."
The question that was left unanswered, amid the continued violence
of a brutal insurgency, is how long it will take to achieve sufficient
security in Iraq to break its dependence on U.S. troops and treasure.
I am looking at a portrait of absolute national
insanity yesterday morning. We are in Fort Totten in Bayside, in
Queens, but it is a symbol of what is going on in this country,
and what this country is causing in the world.
The president is a dumb guy who gets people killed. He and his
people forget he lost the last election and had it stolen for him.
If you could see through his endless rapid blinking on Friday night,
he seemed to show that he is not completely sane. He has a religious
belief in his lies. In the Friday night debate, George Bush, who
lied America into war, did say one truthful thing: "This is
going to be a long, long war."
There are five buses parked yesterday at the curb in front of a
two-story brick building of the 'th Quartermasters Company, an Army
Reserves unit. They are going to Iraq.
Standing at the buses are families all crying openly. A grandmother
cries. Next to her, a daughter cries. Clinging to them are little
children, bewildered and weeping. A man with a wet face has a sleeping
baby on his shoulder. On these buses, a parent - the old rules shattered,
55 of them being women - shipping out of here for Iraq. A woman
with centuries of Central America on her face says the only man
in her house is the young man on the bus.
Lanise LaPorte, 25, is walking with her boyfriend: She is dark,
and as small as you get.
"We're going to war, man, that's where we're going."
How do you like it? How do you like listening to George Bush at
night and then coming here in the street by the war buses with little
Lanise LaPorte in uniform and going to the real war?
You keep reading and hearing about "undecided
voters." Anybody who is undecided at this time doesn't have
much of a mind to make up.
And here is Ashley Abraham, age 6, with her back to me. Brown hair
is down her back. She is at the open door to the steps going up
to a bus. Ashley is reaching up with a can of iced tea for her mother,
Darlin, who is in Army camouflage, a sergeant, at the top of the
steps, by the driver. The mother holds a long rose. She has a round
face that is busy keeping up with Ashley, with the brother and sister
and with the husband. She is the mother of three going away on this
bus to Iraq.
Ashley keeps holding the can up to the mother.
As my eyes follow the extended arm, I lose balance. Somewhere, in
another universe, people argue about the proper program for Iraq
and the progress being made, and when you hear these words from
the night before in your ear now, everything everywhere suddenly
becomes shrieking people in padded rooms. Of course your head spins.
You're lucky you don't go on your face.
Behind me, people cry. In front of me is a mother with a rose and
a family on her hands and the mother says, "Thank you, dear"
to Ashley and then says to the older sister, who is standing a few
feet away, "Don't give him a bad time now," meaning a
brother who is nearby. "I love you." She looks at her
She takes the iced tea for a moment. A sip and she hands it back
to Ashley, who then steps away as the door closes, and she holds
the iced tea to her mouth with one hand and waves with the other
to her mother, the mother of three, who is going off to war.
Her president says she is going to spread freedom to the Middle
East. Liberty to Muslims on the sands of Iraq.
"My granddaughter. Tomica Hardy. She's on
the bus already," Anna Hardy was saying. She is 59 and comes
The soldier's mother, Patricia Pouncy, 36, was with her.
"Young children don't know what they're fighting
for," the grandmother said. "We're hopin' she don't fight.
I tell you."
A hiss, and the buses pull away and into the gray cool morning.
ANDALE, Kan. - At 22, Natalie Longee is already
a veteran in the war on terror. She has guarded prisoners at Guantanamo
Bay and escorted truck convoys in Iraq. She has heard the bombs,
survived ambushes and seen the cost of war first hand. And she is
But it's not the war that has her most rattled. It is the fear
than she will be raped again.
Six months since her military discharge, Longee joins the ranks
of veterans seeking help from the trauma of sexual assaults perpetrated
by fellow soldiers.
"I am not just scared of bombs," Longee said. "I'm
scared people are going to come in. I am scared of rape happening
The Department of Veterans Affairs now routinely asks all veterans
that come to it for services whether they suffered sexual trauma
in the military. What the VA found was that
that between 20 and 25 percent of women veterans told them they
were sexually assaulted, said Carol O'Brien, director of
the Center for Sexual Trauma Services at the Bay Pines VA Medical
Center in St. Petersburg, Fla. Between 1 and 2 percent of men also
said they experienced a sexual assault.
Those VA numbers are far higher than official military estimates,
victim advocates contend, because many victims are afraid to report
it to superior officers.
Sexual assault in the military differs from rape in civilian life
because the military experience is all-encompassing, O'Brien said.
Victims often have to go to work the next day with their attacker
and have less control over their lives than do civilians.
"People in the military see the military environment as family,
their protector, and they expect that to be a very safe environment.
... When sexual assault happens in the military, it is something
that flies in the face of everything they expected," O'Brien
The Bay Pines VA hospital, which offers a treatment
program for sexual post traumatic stress disorder, has a months-long
waiting list. Half of its military sexual trauma patients are men,
Two VA hospitals now offer such residential treatment programs
for military sexual trauma, including the VA facility in Menlo Park,
Calif. But all veterans hospitals across the nation have at least
one military sexual trauma coordinator, said Connie Larosa, deputy
field director for the VA's central region.
Lt. Col. Joe Richard, a spokesman for the Pentagon, said the military
is making an effort to improve reporting and prevention of sexual
crimes. Heading that effort is Air Force Brig. Gen. K.C. McClain,
who was appointed last month to a newly created position as policy
chief for matters related to sexual assault prevention and response.
"Those service members are given every opportunity to stay
in the military and address and treat the serious problem and seek
the legal remedies that are required," Richard said. "Nobody
is going to be allowed to get away with sexual assault in the U.S.
The military investigated 1,012 alleged cases
of sexual assault last year, compared to 901 the previous year,
according to a Pentagon report.
Among one of the most publicized at the time was the rape of Sgt.
Andra Wood at a desert post in Kuwait in November. Wood - a member
of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division in Fort Lewis - was hit
in the back of the head near the showers at Camp Udairi shortly
after she got off guard duty in the middle of the night.
When she regained consciousness, she was tied, gagged and unclothed.
Wood said in a March interview with the television
show "Dateline NBC" that the Army initially denied her
counseling and asked her to take a polygraph. She said Army officials
told her the best therapy was to go back with her unit, which was
getting ready to go into Iraq.
Her mother, Barbara Wharton, told The Associated Press in a phone
interview from her Pennsylvania home that the NBC interview subsequently
made things "very much worse" for her daughter in the
"After the interview we learned they were going to court martial
her and one of the charges was adultery," Wharton said. "That
is when I flew to Fort Lewis because I just had enough of the Army."
Jeff Young, spokesman for Fort Lewis, did not specifically address
Wood's case when contacted for comment but instead issued a general
statement saying the Army takes allegations of sexual assault very
"Soldiers have access to and are provided medical treatment,
psychological counseling and spiritual support," he said. "Any
allegation of sexual harassment by a soldier is investigated thoroughly."
Wood, 23, did not respond to an AP request for an interview. Her
mother said her daughter gets upset whenever the subject of her
sexual attack comes up.
Subsequent to her discharge in April, Wood has been getting counseling
through the VA, Wharton said.
That same sense of career loss also haunts Longee as she struggles
to cope with her military discharge and her subsequent medical treatment
for her sexual trauma and post traumatic stress disorder.
Now back at her Kansas home, Longee gingerly held a small glass
pendant that came from a chandelier in Saddam Hussein's mansion
as she talked about her deployment. And this, she said, is a fragment
from the marble floor of the palace of his son, Odai, after it was
Her story also initially received widespread media attention after
she went public with it following the alleged rape on Jan. 6, 2003,
at the Fort Hood barracks.
Longee accused a fellow soldier whom she had befriended during
their deployment in Cuba of sexually attacking her. She had let
him stay in her barracks room to finish playing a video game, while
she fell sleep. She accused him of raping her, he claimed the sex
"We all trusted each other because we were deployed,"
Longee said. "That is why I can't understand why that happened."
After a military hearing earlier this year, the
Army dismissed the two charges of rape and one of attempted forcible
sodomy against her accused attacker. It concluded there was insufficient
evidence of the use of force or lack of consent.
"It's not just the rape - it's what happened afterward. ...
I don't think I will ever be able to get over it," Longee said.
Longee was deployed to Iraq shortly after the incident - something
she said she initially welcomed because it got her away from daily
contact with her alleged attacker at Fort Hood.
But while in Iraq, Longee said she was taunted
by her superiors and fellow soldiers for reporting the sexual assault.
She said she had to discuss intimate details of the rape with military
investigators over a satellite phone within earshot of others.
Her team leader in Iraq was the former roommate
of her accused attacker in Fort Hood. A mock rape was staged in
front of her, she said.
But at the hearing for her alleged attacker, much of the testimony
focused on her own mother's criminal past as well her mother's contacts
with the media and her efforts to raise money to hire an attorney,
according to redacted transcripts obtained by the AP and interviews
with the family.
The investigating officer wrote in his report following the hearing
that Longee was not a credible witness. He
cited inconsistencies in her testimony and her failure to cry for
help during the alleged attack.
Dan Hassett, media relations officer at Fort Hood, said the Army
has no comment on Longee's allegations or her case.
Following a long hospitalization after her discharge, Longee is
now back in Andale and getting outpatient treatment at the VA hospital
in Wichita. She still wants the military to prosecute her alleged
"I need to have some type of justice, so I
can rest," Longee said.
COALITION commanders in Afghanistan have
begun playing down the importance of Osama Bin Laden - in
sharp contrast to the statements made earlier this year that he
would be caught by the end of 2004.
"From the Afghan point of view we don't want to focus too
much on Bin Laden," said Major-General John Cooper, deputy
commander of the American-led coalition forces.
"He is not necessarily the major player. He
will be caught one day but his whereabouts today won't have a huge
Cooper, the most senior British officer in Afghanistan, admitted
that after three years of searching the hills and valleys of Afghanistan,
the coalition forces had no idea where their other main target,
the Taliban leader Mullah Omar, is hiding. "We don't even know
which country he's in," he said.
Cooper refused to reveal whether the coalition had any idea where
Bin Laden was. "Saddam (Hussein) was caught as a result of
circumstances and good intelligence and I'm sure one day the same
will happen with Bin Laden," he said.
The attempt to shift attention away from Bin Laden may be a reflection
of frustration at being unable to find him.
President George W Bush was so eager to capture
the Al-Qaeda leader before next month's election that the strength
of the US forces in Afghanistan was almost doubled to 19,000 men.
However, deteriorating security in Iraq has forced the Pentagon
to move Taskforce 121, the commando team behind the capture of Saddam,
away from Afghanistan. It has returned to Iraq to search for Abu
Musab al-Zarqawi, the terrorist believed to be responsible for the
murder of Kenneth Bigley. [...]
BEAUMONT -- A Southeast Texas businessman
is upset that his son's English class watched Michael Moore's scathing
documentary on President Bush and his handling of events after the
Michael Kurth, a veteran, said he was opposed to the film "Fahrenheit
9/11" based on its R rating and political partisanship. His
son Matthew, 17, said that he put his head on his desk and tried
to sleep through it.
"It bothered me," he said.
Moore's condemnation of Bush's actions regarding the Sept. 11,
2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon became the
first documentary to top the $100 million mark domestically. In
the film, Moore examines the Bush administration's alleged financial
ties to Saudi Arabia and the bin Laden family.
"It is spun to a very liberal viewpoint," the businessman
said. "It is absolutely wrong for teachers to take a political
position with some of these kids at legal voting age."
Michael Ryals, principal of Pathways Learning Center, said that
he previewed part of the film before he allowed the teacher to show
it in class Friday.
"I didn't hear anything that was offensive to me," he
told the Beaumont Enterprise in today's editions, adding that he
did not know of the R rating.
Ryals said one student told him of another movie
that takes an opposing view and he urged the student to bring it
Monday for review to see if it could be shown.
Pathways is an alternative school for students moved from their
home campuses for disciplinary reasons. Kurth said his son is at
the school for 40 days after having too many tardies.
Beaumont Independent School District spokeswoman Jolene Ortego
said she spoke to Kurth and assured him the matter would be addressed
by Monday morning.
School board trustee John Williams said R-rated films should not
be shown without parental consent.
Kurth, 39, said he watched it to see all sides
and decided he did not want his family to see it, then was "livid"
to hear that his son's class was viewing it weeks before the general
Earlier this summer, thousands of people watched the documentary
in Crawford, Bush's adopted hometown, where Moore's staff had made
arrangements to send a copy after learning that no theaters in the
Waco area had been showing the film. A Waco theater subsequently
agreed to screen the film.
LONDON (Reuters) - The dollar fell to a one-month
low against the yen and held near a recent one-week low versus the
euro on Monday after weak U.S. jobs data raised questions about
future interest rate hikes in the United States.
On Friday, the dollar lost more than a cent against the euro when
payrolls data showed the U.S. economy creating
far fewer jobs than was expected and added to speculation
the Federal Reserve could pause in its gradual rate-hike campaign.
There was little new data available on Monday to take the market's
attention away from the disappointing jobs figures, and trading
was thin due to market holidays in Japan and the United States.
"There are fears that the U.S. economy may
now finally weaken," said Benedikt Germanier, foreign exchange
strategist at UBS in Zurich.
"Employment is not out of the woods yet and there is no reason
to buy the dollar." [...]
American authorities have shut down 20 independent
media centres by seizing their British-based webservers.
On Thursday a court order was issued to Rackspace, an American-owned
web hosting company in Uxbridge, Middlesex, forcing it to hand over
two servers used by Indymedia, an international media network which
covers of social justice issues and provides a "news-wire",
to which its users contribute.
The websites affected by the seizure span 17 countries.
It is unclear why, or to where, the servers have been taken. The
FBI, speaking to the French AFP, acknowledged that a subpoena had
been issued but said this was at the request of Italian and Swiss
"It is not an FBI operation," said its spokesman, Joe
Rackspace told Indymedia that it had been served
with a court order under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, under
which countries assist each other in investigations such as international
terrorism, kidnapping and money laundering
It is unclear why such a treaty would apply in
this context. A UK Indymedia journalist said: "The authorities
may just be using this as a trawling exercise. We don't know."
It is also unclear if the Home Office was involved.
The Metropolitan police said it was not aware of the move.
The UK Indymedia site is now working, because it was backed up
on another server, unlike others which are still shut down.
One of the servers was to be used to stream web radio coverage
of the European Social Forum conference in London next week.
Aidan White, the general secretary of the International Federation
of Journalists, condemned the "intolerable and intrusive"
Tim Gopsill of the NUJ said: "If the security
services of the UK or US can just walk in and take away a server,
then there is no freedom of expression."
SINGAPORE - Spurred on by shouts of "shove
it in, shove it in," 19-year-old Ezra Nicholas set a world
record by stuffing more than three McDonald's hamburgers into his
mouth - without swallowing - at the close of Singapore's contest
to be the world's wackiest.
Nicholas jumped up, pumped his fists in the air
and shouted, "Yes! I am the Burger King!" as he spat out
the last bits of the 3 and one-fifth burgers that could put him
in the Guinness Book of World Records.
"I just thought to myself, I've got to do this, I've got to
do this," Nicholas said. "I'm on
top of the world right now, because everyone's going to know that
I can shove more than three burgers in my mouth!" [...]
Over the weekend, 20 Singaporeans attempted to smash 10 unusual
records and put the tiny island nation on the map. But they only
On Saturday, 50-year-old Jeffery Koh became the world's fastest
eater of dry biscuits by swallowing three cream crackers in a mere
14.45 seconds, smashing the previous mark of 49.15 seconds set by
Britain's Ambrose Mendy in 2002. [...]
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