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CoIntelPro Co-Opts 9/11 Investigators?
SOTT Analysis
11/10/2004

Just when we thought there was a chance for some semblance of a public awakening to the truth about 9/11, (or at least to the truth that there is something definitely amiss with the official story of what happened that day), it seems that a few of the most prominent 9/11 investigators have suddenly turned the focus, and the knives, upon each other. We find it very interesting that this issue erupts in the wake of the waves made by our Pentagon Flash Presentation and write-up in the Washington Post. Can we say CoIntelPro? Probably.

Michael Ruppert, ex-cop turned private investigator of "From the Wilderness" fame, is currently embroiled in a spat with Daniel Hopsicker of Mad Cow Productions and Victor Thorn of WingTV. The bone of contention it seems, despite what the warring parties say, is ownership of the claim to the 'real deal' of the 9/11 attacks.

Hopsicker's main issue is two-fold. Firstly he sees the entire 9/11 truth movement as nothing more than a CoIntelPro operation of setting up a false opposition to distract from the real issue, which, in Hopsicker's opinion is that the US government was complicit in the 9/11 attacks by way of their funding of the terrorists. Hopsicker has done some admirable investigative work and has uncovered some extremely suspicious goings on in Florida, all of it related it seems to the 9/11 attacks. However, he is in no way inclined to believe any allegations of missing 757s at the Pentagon and dismisses outright any claims of "pods" or explosions at the WTC. Instead, Hopsicker seems determined that the truth about 9/11 should stay on course - his course.

By way of evidence to back up his assertions, Hopsicker makes much of the fact that the 9/11 Truth Organisation, of which Ruppert is a leading light, has been infiltrated with one too many New Agey and, dare we say it, "UFO" types, not to mention John Grey the author of the puerile yet fabulously successful book: "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus". Hopsicker further shocks us with the revelation that the entire 9/11 truth organisation is probably being funded by criminal Saudi organisations. He states on his website and in one of his recent emails to MadCowProd subscribers:

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 journalism.

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.

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 more.

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 Internet Promoters."

Sound like anybody you know?

There are a number of things that make us very suspicious of Hopsicker. Firstly, he is promoting, albeit subtly, the Saudi Arabia 9/11 connection, which Senator Bob Graham, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation, also exposed when he said:

"It was as if the president's loyalty lay more with Saudi Arabia than with America's safety,"

and

"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,"

We ask ourselves: Does Hopsciker really think that Senator Bob Graham is going to come out with the real truth for all to hear? It is extremely unlikely, especially given that, according to Agence France Presse and the Times of India Graham himself was deeply involved in the 9/11 conspiracy, sitting down to breakfast on the morning of the attacks with Pakistani intelligence chief General Mahmoud Ahmad who had ordered the wiring of $100,000 to the alleged chief hijacker Atta.

Hopsicker is by all accounts an intelligent guy, so why would he buy a 9/11 story that is being peddled by one of the people that Hopsicker himself is accusing of being involved in the conspiracy? Why indeed.

We are also a little wary of Hopsicker's outright rejection of the suggestion that something other than a 757 hit the Pentagon and that there are indeed anomalous objects on the underside of "Flight 175" that hit the WTC. The evidence would seem to contradict Hopsicker's assertions and his attempts to discredit anyone investigating the matter further again puts him in the Bob Graham camp.

Victor Thorn of WingTV.net has wasted no time in jumping on the band wagon, posting a 36 page "report" entitled "Mike Ruppert exposed" which delves into Ruppert's alleged dirty underwear and asking him 10 questions, to which Ruppert responded in his usual pithy style. Thorn's accusations include everything from Ruppert's emotional nature to his business dealings and the number of people he has sued in the last 5 years. Much of the information however seems to have been culled from Hopsicker's investigations. The problem with Thorn's broadside on Ruppert is that, on the face of it, there seems to be little or no motivation other than Thorn's curiosity as to what makes "Ruppert tick". Thorn states:

"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."

Thorn goes on to relate a number of recent phone calls to Ruppert where he invites Ruppert to answer the charges on his show WingTV, which Ruppert turns down "rather rudely", according to Thorn. In Ruppert's response to Thorn's 10 questions we discover the reason for Ruppert's lack of enthusiasm to collaborate with Thorn. It appears that a few years back, in his book "The New World Order Exposed", Thorn reviewed Ruppert's film "Truth and the Lies of 9/11". Of Thorn's work and the review Ruppert stated:

"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"

This, it would seem, is more than likely the real motivation for Thorn's attacks on Ruppert, yet sadly it has nothing to do with discovering the truth of 9/11.

Interestingly, WingTV.net, Thorn's apparently avowed 9/11 conspiracy site, received a glowing report from right-wing Bush-loving American Partisan. What's up with that?

What then are we to make of all of this? If we assume that all parties involved are "on the level" with no hidden agendas, then we must say that we are amazed that independent researchers of the caliber of Ruppert and Hopsicker seem to be fully unaware of the operational modes of CoIntelPro, a subject which together, they have spent a lifetime investigating. Perhaps it is foolish pride, arrogance, or the years of research that has convinced both of them that they could spot a setup a mile away, but it appears that neither of them can see that their little tiff only serves the goals of those who wish to distort, obfuscate, and discredit all those that desire to know the truth about 9/11.

Even more amazing is the fact that both Ruppert and Hopsicker can easily find common ground on the most important issue - that the government lied about the events of 9/11. Yet both men, in attempting to discredit each other, seem happy to allow the same government to use them to make it increasingly doubtful that those lies will ever be convincingly exposed, and simultaneously convince the public that the entire 9/11 conspiracy movement is corrupt - which, at this stage, may well be the case.

In all of this we should rely on the maxim "by their fruits you shall know them" as a way to assess the sincerity or otherwise of any 9/11 investigator. Mike Ruppert has produced a wealth of valuable information and has been untiring in his efforts to reveal the truth. Yet to quote that other famous maxim "the road to hell is paved with good intentions". It is very possible that the 9/11 truth movement has indeed been infiltrated by government agents. Unless Ruppert wakes up and realises that Counter Intelligence Operations have many faces and are designed to be imperceptible to all but the most scrupulous, he will be made guilty by association.

Once again we see that the greatest weakness of truth seekers is to underestimate the enemy, leaving them open to attacks from the least expected quarters.

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Zelikow: Losing to the Bacteria

By Nicholas Levis
911Truth.org
newyorkcity@snafu.de

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 9/11.

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 population?

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 is untrue.

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 theory."

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 psychologically reassuring."

"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 gain.

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, said, 'No.'"

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 therapist.

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 attacks.

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 FBI.

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 after "redactions."

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 this gem:

"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 reporting?

Or is the Post too busy making fun of "conspiracy theory"?

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The Ugly American
By GWYNNE DYER
TheDay.com
Published on 10/10/2004

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 in private?

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 self-glorification?

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 instrument.

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 else.

Gwynne Dyer is a London-based independent journalist.

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The CIA 'old guard' goes to war with Bush
By Phillip Sherwell in Washington
The Telegraph
Filed: 10/10/2004

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 programmes.

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 briefings.

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 intelligence world.

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 disaster."

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.

Comment: It appears that the CIA is none too happy with Bush and many members of his administration. The comment about relations between the White House and the CIA being at their lowest point since JFK was president is particularly interesting. After all, look what happened to JFK...

On the other hand, it seems that the Neocons are tightly linked to the Zionists controlling Israel. By simply asking the question "Who benefits?" from 9/11, the war on terror, and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, one might realize that Israel has a vested interest in the policies and actions of the White House. Add the disturbing evidence of Mossad involvement in the events of 9/11, and the picture becomes dark indeed.

Now add to the mix the fact that Bush's main opponent in the upcoming election is also an ardent supporter of the war on terror, the clampdown on civil liberties, and Israel, and the picture becomes even more cloudy...

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Kerry warns Arafat
News24.com
10/10/2004 16:39

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 said.

"I will not give one inch in our efforts to do that."

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 reject terrorism."

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 Clinton.

Comment: So, it seems that Kerry is as pro-Zionist as Bush, and Edwards is no better...

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US Vice President Candidates Agree On Arafat

Gary Fitleberg
October 9, 2004

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" Yasser Arafat.

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 for peace."

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" homicide bombers.

Gary Fitleberg is a Political Analyst specializing in International Relations with emphasis on Middle East affairs.

Comment: And just in case there is any doubt that a Kerry/Edwards administration will continue and even expand the war on terror both at home and abroad...

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Flashback: Kerry and Edwards Will Use Campaign to Push Domestic Spy Agency

MSNBC
July 7, 2004

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 deputies.

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. [...]

Comment: Just imagine for a moment what a new domestic intelligence agency would do, given the following article about the FBI illegally spying on a 1960s freedom movement leader...

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Papers: FBI Trailed 1960s Movement Leader
Associated Press
Sun Oct 10,10:16 PM ET

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 country.

Comment: The FBI feared that the freedom of speech movement would spread to other college campuses across the country... Are we talking about the same USA here that prides itself on its wonderful freedoms, including freedom of speech?

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 emergency.

Comment: Read that last sentence again. This happened before the war on terror, and Savio had not broken any federal laws...

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."

Comment: The FBI, the very agency that illegally spied on an American who did not break the law and was simply fighting for freedom of speech, now claims that they have changed its ways. There, see? Nothing to worry about... Nevermind that any agency that would take such actions should quite obviously not be trusted to tell the truth.

With the recent developments in the war on terror, does anyone actually believe that there aren't new lists of "dangerous individuals" - who have never even broken the law - who are to be detained in the event of a national emergency??

Now ask yourself why both Bush/Cheney and Kerry/Edwards support the creation of a new domestic intelligence agency...

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Washington Ferries May Be Eyed for Attack
AP
Sun Oct 10,10:21 PM ET

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 Sunday.

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.

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Rumsfeld: Iraq Must Grow Own Govt. System
By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer
October 11, 2004

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 elections.

"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. [...]

Comment: Well, isn't that an interesting comment: "Sovereignty without the ability to protect it isn't sovereignty." Doesn't that mean that Bush was lying when, according to White House transcripts, he stated:

"Earlier today, 15 months after the liberation of Iraq, and two days ahead of schedule, the world witnessed the arrival of a free and sovereign Iraqi government."
-GWB, June 28, 2004

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Insane reality spins the head
Jimmy Breslin
Newsday, Inc.
October 10, 2004

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 husband.

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 from Jamaica.

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.

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Sexual assaults haunt victims after military discharge
By ROXANA HEGEMAN
Associated Press Writer
October 9, 2004

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 traumatized.

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 again."

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 said.

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, she said.

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. military."

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 Army.

"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 seriously.

"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 bombed.

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 was consensual.

"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 attacker.

"I need to have some type of justice, so I can rest," Longee said.

Comment: If justice doesn't exist within the US military, how can anyone believe that US soldiers can bring any semblance of democracy or justice to the people of Iraq?

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Bin Laden 'no longer top target'
Christina Lamb
The Sunday Times
October 10, 2004

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 effect."

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. [...]

Comment: Is this the same Osama Bin Laden who is supposed to be the mastermind behind the attacks on September 11th? How fortunate for the Bush administration that the American public seems to quickly forget such details...

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Beaumont students watch 'Fahrenheit 9/11' in class
Associated Press
Oct. 9, 2004, 10:29AM

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 terrorist attacks.

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 election.

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.

Comment: It seems that Kurth decided for his family that Fahrenheit 911 wasn't worth watching, and now he wants to decide for everyone else's children as well. Would he have had a problem if another movie supporting his views was shown in the school instead?

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Weak Jobs Growth Drags Down Dollar
By Justyna Pawlak
October 11, 2004

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." [...]

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US seizes webservers from independent media sites
Rachel Shabi
The Guardian
Monday October 11, 2004

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 authorities.

"It is not an FBI operation," said its spokesman, Joe Parris.

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" action .

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."

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And Finally...

Man Sets Record for Burgers in Mouth

AP
Sun Oct 10,10:42 AM ET

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 broke two.

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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