Global Game of Survivor: America's Next Four Years
Strike Flash Presentation by a QFS member
Publication! The Wave finally in book form!
Wave: 4 Volume Set
With a new
introduction by the author and never before published, UNEDITED sessions
and extensive previously unpublished details, at long last, Laura Knight-Jadczyk's
vastly popular series The Wave is available as a Deluxe four
book set. Each of the four volumes include all of the original illustrations
and many NEW illustrations with each copy comprising approximately 300
is an exquisitely written first-person account of Laura's initiation at
the hands of the Cassiopaeans and demonstrates the unique nature of the
Volume 1 now. Available at the end of November!
The Dia de los Muertos of the US Left
| By JOHN ROSS
November 16, 2004
Even as I sasheyed down 24th Street with a
hangman's noose around my neck and a crown of skulls adorning my
tonsure in the Mission barrio's 30th-odd Dias de los Muertos procession,
ABC-Disney was already calling Florida for Bush and hope itself
was busy dying. All of a sudden, this Aztec ritual celebration of
life, death, resuscitation, and death all over again seemed the
aptest metaphor for the calamity that was about to engulf our nations.
By 4 AM the next morning, even as the last ballots were being cast
in Columbus Ohio, Bush had surged to a purported three million plus
lead in the popular vote and Kerry was on the brink of conceding
Ohio, ostensibly to avoid another extended spasm of partisan malfeasance
a la 2000 but bottom line, to save the empire from itself. I awoke
with the bitter bile of four more years on the tip of my tongue.
My inexplicable conviction that the Dems would score a landslide
knockout had shipwrecked on the smiley shores of Good Morning America.
Where had I gone so wrong?
I had just trekked the breadth of the country from the Republican
National Convention up and down the eastern seaboard into the breadbasket
of North America and thence deep into the heart of Texas, a journey
of 10,000 miles, had conversed and overheard conservation with and
between dozens and dozens of fellow passengers on Spaceship USA.
Never once had I met a professed Bushite or a "Values Voter"--
do you buy them by the pallet-load down at Wal-Mart?-- or even,
for chrissakes, a supporter of their pinche war! Yet the results
would seem to shout out that there are 3,000,000 more of them than
us. But where do they live?
This is not a nation divided geographically between bi-coastal
blues and rock-solid reds everywhere else but around the fringe
of the Great Lakes (a map that looks surprisingly like one of the
slave and free states on the edge of the Civil War), not a map split
between global franchises like Starbucks and Wal-Mart, or even rival
This is two nations, each claiming to be the United States of North
America. We cohabit the same territory, sort of like Palestinians
and Israelis. But more and more, they are all around us now. We
mingle with them at airports and follow them on freeways. They have
already moved in next door, perhaps into our own homes incubating
down in the basement like the pods in "Invasion of the Body-Snatchers.
They are coming in with the fluoridation.
Make no mistake about it, comrades; we now live
under an evangelical theocracy. Those who are not Born Again will
soon get the death penalty. Those who are not taken up in the Rapture
will burn in the hellfires of Nuclear Armageddon. I predict that
within four more years, certain states of a southern persuasion
are going to enact laws making handling snakes and speaking in tongues
The Great Satan Osama's apparition on the eve of
the election was positively biblical. Radiating Koranic karma and
old testament patriarchy, costumed in a golden prayer shawl, his
beard fulminating dire prophecy, Osama seemed a paid political announcement
for the End Time-- although what Bin Laden actually proposed (trading
guarantees of your security for our security) was an offer of peace
and not the bloody Jihad as Bush, Kerry, and their respective followers
seemed to interpret it.
From the get-go, Al Qaeda and its Jihadist associates currently
starring in Iraq set the agenda for this catastrophic election.
The fear of God and the God of Fear, theirs and ours, is at the
root of the new crusade that was the calling card of both candidates
as Bush and Kerry marched in lockstep towards destiny's precipice,
whooping it up about killing terrorists, pulverizing the infidels,
and safeguarding the Holy North American Empire.
We on whets left of the Left who allowed ourselves
to be duped by John Kerry into believing that when he thundered
that he would do a better job of winning the war in Iraq, he really
meant that he would end the occupation, have only our own souls
to flagellate. Suspended belief or cognitive dissonance aside, we
too were, as my old homeboy Saul Landau chortled last week, "faith-based
Besides Osama, whose Al Qaeda subsid in Qatar long ago announced
its endorsement of the incumbent's re-election ("his stupidity
and religious fundamentalism will be beneficial to the Islamic Cause"),
the Bushites were sanctified by that astute Christian theologian
Karl Rove. Reverend Rove's strategy of piling up 11 anti-gay marriage
initiatives in mostly Bush states (although Prop I is alleged to
have put the President over the top in Ohio), encouraging a Christian
landslide that won his boss a popular majority and was God's way
of showing whose side He's really on. Winning the popular vote was
inimical to the Bush gang's strategy of re-occupying the White House
in the face of worldwide clamor for their eviction. Indeed, it was
the loss of the popular vote in 2000 that nearly queered the deal
to steal that election. [...]
Bush's re-election is going to be understood by
the rest of the world as a declaration of war on their lives and
their lands-- although the fourth world war has raged for a long
time, up until now it has been a largely undeclared one.
This time around, the U.S. North American people are not getting
off the hook so easily. They will not be pardoned as they were back
in 2000 when they haplessly allowed Bush and his electoral goons
to snatch the vote in Florida and claim a mandate the rest of the
world condemns as fraudulently obtained. This time around, there
are no nuances. We are all complicit. Prepare
yourself accordingly. If I were you, I'd stay out of big city skyscrapers
for the next four years.
The Declaration of World War IV or Four More (or five more) Wars--
Iran, Syria, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela-- is the price of
Bush's re-election. If, in fact, he was re-elected.
Start adding up the what about and see what the sum total of stolen
votes amounts to. What about those 58,000 absent absentee ballots
in Broward County Florida? What about the long lines of early voters
I saw in Austin and San Antonio and El Paso, so long you had to
make an appointment to come back to cast your ballot? What about
the long lines of early voters in Florida, mostly Afro-Americans?
What about black voter suppression in the South and Midwest, the
leaflets stuffed into the mailboxes in the Milwaukee projects warning
black voters they could lose their children if they voted under
false pretenses or if they were ever convicted of a felony? I'm
old enough to remember Mississippi Freedom Summer-- how could I
forget being chased all over that lynch law state by armed peckerwoods?
The Bushwas' black voter suppression project of 2004 was how the
Klan and the White Citizens Council operated back then. The recent
decision by the Justice Department (now under the command of the
first Mexican American to call the Geneva Convention 'quaint') that
only that agency and not offended voters could bring voting rights
suits. cuts right to the quick of black voter suppression in 2004.
And what about Columbus Ohio where tens of thousands of new voters
were registered in the inner city only to have their registrations
declared invalid by Elections Czar Ken Blackwell, this year's Katherine
Harris, because the forms were not on 24 weight bond paper? And
what about the switcheroo on polling places in the Ohio capital--
so few were set up in Afro-American neighborhoods that the avalanche
of expectant voters did not subside until long after midnight, an
unsubtle hint to folks of color that their suffrage wasn't wanted
there. How many went home without casting a ballot?
What about New Mexico, a hotly contested state where Gore only
beat Bush by 300 votes last time around and now hundreds of ballots
were "lost" in the liberal enclave of Taos (Donald Rumsfeld
has a home there) and hundreds of voters not registered on the books
voted in a nearby conservative county? Sounds a lot like old Mexico
flimflam to me.
What about punch-card fraud, electronic disenfranchisement, and
"spoilage"? Indeed, the confluence of all this Republican
chicanery bears an impressive resemblance to what the long ruling
(seven decades) Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) used to
euphemize as electoral "alchemy."
And what about John Kerry throwing in the towel
in Ohio with a 156,000 provisional votes still to be counted and
Bush holding a 136,000-vote lead? Was the fix in-- again?
No one in his left mind is going to believe these
results. One panel of foreign experts invited to observe the process
by Global Exchange concluded that the presidential elections of
2004 were less credible even than those of Kazatzstan earlier this
Despite all the Internet chatter, no one in my immediate circle
is going to the mat for a duplicitous fool like John Kerry who we
willingly allowed to delude us into voting up as an anti-war candidate.
It would be embarrassing.
Instead, we should be rejoicing that we are now unencumbered by
deceiving Democrats. Now we can once again say and do what we think
without obtaining permits from the Party with its absurd paranoia
about tipping the election to the Bushites. We are free to plot
and pursue a Left-wing agenda again without being spanked by the
accursed liberal machine - 2004 was, as Jim Petris correctly testified,
the most right-wing, anti-labor election in decades, maybe centuries.
With Sweeney and his lambs laying down for the slaughter, the only
mention of "class" (as in "working class" or
" class struggle") in an economy that has lost more jobs
than under any president since the Great Depression was that of
the "middle" one.
What's left of the U.S. Left has two obligations to the people
of the world. One is to oppose Washington's imperialist aggressions,
and the other is to both build an electoral alternative and an alternative
On the second score, the Left flunked the 2004 urine test miserably.
The Greens' "safe states" strategy handed over all the
political capital that threat of a third party had accrued in 2000
when the Democrat delusionally considered that Nader had stolen
the election for Bush. So long as they remained so deluded, a Green
Nader candidacy-- and the promise of Nader to withdraw from the
race in exchange for an anti-war plank in the Party platform, was
a hole card the Greens backed down from playing-- was the fix in
again and again?
Although California was hardly a swing state, there were no Green
candidates on the ballot I cast on Valencia Street in San Francisco
this November 2nd-- I had to write in the only Green whose name
the Bay Guardian knew to exist in the neighborhood.
But elections are a poor criteria by which to
measure democracy, and an even worse weapon for effecting meaningful
change. Peace with justice does not come without outrage and pain
and vote taking is designed to drain the rage from political movement.
For months, we abstained from taking the streets-- August 29th
at the Republican National Convention when a half million of us
gave the Bushwas a humongous collective finger, was a jubilant exception
to this rule-- cowed by the idiotic logic that mass demonstrations
would hurt Dean or Kerry or whatever patsy the Dem candidate was
going to be.
In Mexico, we have this word "corraje"-- it means both
pissed off and courageous. Now we must move back onto the public
thoroughfares with renewed corraje.
There may be no entity called "The Movement" functioning
in the U.S. of North America these days but there is plenty of momentum
and not all of it eschews the creative re-arrangement of public
and private property as a weapon of resistance in the fourth world
war. Frustration with the electoral process always seems to breed
such strategies. During my coast-to-coast junket, I was often shadowed
by survivors of the Weather Underground touring with their movie.
Their audiences were always bigger and more enthusiastic than mine.
We have been at this juncture before. Back in 1968 when, like now,
both candidates wanted to decimate the gooks, we ran a pig for president
and declared war on the farce of electoral politics. The biggest
and toughest mobilizations, the ones that brought the war back home,
came after the anti-war movement divorced itself from those still
wedded to the electoral option.
Whatever the true count was November 2nd, we can be assured that
we account for half of the United States of North America. There
are in fact two countries out there, equal in mass and weight but
not in spirit. Our United States of North America is inclusive,
multi-racial, multi-cultural, pluri-lingual. We are diverse. We
Their United States of North America is a closed
Christian Caucasian cell, one that would exclude the Other, that
loves the death penalty, and demands divine retribution. Like Ashcroft,
it cannot dance.
Our United States of North America demands peace with justice,
exudes solidarity, stands resolutely with the earth, and resists
the globalization of corporate greed. Theirs
is so inflated with neo-con, neo-imperialist helium that it has
drifted off the face of the planet. Our America is determined to
On election night 2004, I was exactly where I needed to be, in
the swirling midst of the Dias de la Muerte procession in my old
neighborhood of La Mision. We marched that night as a community
to remember those who have sweetened the earth before us and to
proclaim our freedom from the death politics of The Bush people.
The task right now remains to build such communities of resistance
everywhere in this land. For the rest of the
world, our success is a matter of life and death. For us too, it
is the only way we are going to survive Bush's Rapture.
John Ross is the author of the instant cult classic "Murdered
By Capitalism--A Memoir of 150 Years of Life & Death on the
Ross will speak at Evergreen in Olympia Washington Nov. 19th,
Laughing Horse Books in Portland Nov. 22nd, and Simon Fraser University
and the Vancouver Public Library Nov. 25th-26th (if Canadian authorities
choose to admit him.) Ross will make a final offering at Cody's
in Berkeley Nov. 30th before returning to Mexico.
WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush is beginning
his second term with a volatile intelligence crisis on his hands
as resignations of senior CIA officials underscored the low morale
at the intelligence agency amid fears of a purge.
Central Intelligence Agency Director Porter Goss warned in an email
to CIA employees Monday that more personnel and organizational changes
were coming, an intelligence official said Tuesday.
Goss has tapped the current head of the agency's counter-terrorism
center as deputy director of operations, succeeding Stephen Kappes,
who resigned on Monday along with associate deputy director of operations,
Michael Sulick, the official said.
"The work of the agency is continuing. The men and women of
the intelligence community have an important job to do and will
move ahead to get done what has to get done," said the official.
"There are always changes that are made when a new director
Goss, a former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, took
office two months ago with a mandate to reform the agency in the
wake of intelligence failures in Iraq and the September 11, 2001
attacks on the United States.
But morale at the agency has suffered and some mid-level officers
eligible for retirement are leaving, said Vincent Cannistraro, a
former CIA counter-terrorism chief.
"He's got a mandate to carry out change and
reform, and certainly there are changes that are necessary. But
the way they are doing it is more like using a meat cleaver, rather
than a pruning shear," said Cannistraro.
"The effect is demoralization in the middle rank, which is
very unfortunate because that is the area where you need to have
people totally dedicated, totally on alert, particularly on the
threats such as terrorism, which is a primary mission," he
Driving the changes, in part, is administration
anger over intelligence leaks that undercut Bush's positions on
Iraq during the elections, prompting suspicion among conservatives
that "rogue" elements in the CIA had sided with the Democrats.
"It's not a side issue. It's a major issue,"
said Cannistraro. "Some of the leaks embarrassed the vice president."
They included disclosures of US intelligence warnings of possible
insurgency in Iraq, that intelligence findings on Iraq's weapons
of mass destruction were hedged, and that no substantive connection
was found between Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.
"I guess the most serious incident from the vice president's
point of view is the fact that he kept saying there was a connection
between Saddam Hussein and Zarqawi and Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda,"
said Cannistraro, referring to Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
"The agency kept providing analyses that
said, 'No, that wasn't the case.' But worse than that then they
leaked it before election that there wasn't a connection. I think
that drove the vice president over the edge," he said in an
CIA's Deputy Director John McLaughlin announced last week that
he is stepping down. He was followed by Kappes and Sulick who submitted
their resignations after a confrontation with Goss's chief of staff
According to the Washington Post, Kappes and Sulick resigned in
protest over Murray's treatment of another senior official, the
associate deputy director for counter-intelligence.
The Post said Murray had warned her she would be held responsible
if information from the personnel file of a Goss appointee to the
post of executive director was leaked to the press.
Goss's first appointee to that position, Michael Kostiw, withdrew
his name following news reports that he had left the agency 20 years
earlier under a cloud because of a shoplifting incident.
Goss' aloofness and reliance on aides who came
with him from Congress to oversee key areas of the intelligence
community have added to the morale problems, according to former
Goss has not spoken in person to CIA employees about the current
crisis, the intelligence official said.
Michael Scheuer, who headed the CIA unit that tracked
Osama Bin Laden from 1996 to 1999, said he quit the agency last
week in part to speak out publicly against the "scapegoating"
of the CIA's clandestine services for intelligence failures that
lie with US leaders.
"I think clearly the agency needs to loose some of its senior
officers who are kind of chronically risk averse, but Mr. Kappes
is surely not one of those people," he said in an interview.
"He is a distinguished officer, he has done a lot of hard
things in his career in dangerous places. His loss is, I think,
a substantial one," he said.
For three plus years, families of those
murdered on September 11, 2001, and survivors of that horrible day
have been raising legitimate, valid questions about what really
happened. They have done so, along with more and more Americans,
because there are unanswered questions that have been met with silence
and stonewalling. Because upon closer scrutiny,
there are more holes in the official version than a mountain range
of Swiss cheese. Yet, other Americans, primarily those who
describe themselves as Christian conservatives, call anyone who
raises questions about 9-11 traitors, wackos, off the wall and so
These are people who haven't looked into the matter any deeper
than what they saw on the news that day. These are people who listen
to popular "conservative" pundits on TV and radio who
tell their listeners and viewers not to pay any attention to all
these wackos. People who have family serving in the military who
are deployed in the Middle East and are terrified that this whole
"war on terrorism" just might have been built on a mountain
of lies, an unbearable thing to contemplate. [...]
My heart bleeds for all these families who have sons, husbands,
brothers and sisters serving in the Middle East. More than a thousand
of our own have died, close to 10,000 seriously wounded. It is now
estimated that we have killed 100,000 people in Iraq, mostly civilians
including women and children. We are dropping bombs with depleted
uranium and if people don't know the consequences of this, I respectfully
recommend they get the truth. The bottom line
is that this "war on terrorism" is a direct result of
September 11, 2001 and justification for Bush's unconstitutional
invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. That's what scares the
hell out of the Bush faithful: the possibility they've been had
and "My, God, what have we done?"
The New Pearl Harbor
I have finished reading The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions
about the Bush Administration and 9/11 (200 pgs) by Professor David
Ray Griffin. This book is quite different than Crossing the Rubicon
(657 pgs). On page 15 of Crossing, author Michael Ruppert comes
right now with this statement: "...the
evidence will inexorably prove our case: that the United States
government not only had complete foreknowledge of the attacks on
September 11th, it also needed them and deliberately facilitated
them, and even helped plan and execute them using techniques long
understood in the world of covert operations." This
is a very strong statement and before one writes it off as looney
conspiracy stuff, they should read this book backed up with 900
foot note sources. [...]
For those about to launch more hate mail excoriating me for bringing
up this subject, I would ask these angry GOP Bush faithful to ask
themselves how come five of the 19 so-called
hijackers have been proven to be alive and wondering why their names
and faces are on the FBI list of dead terrorists? How
could the FAA, NORAD, the CIA and FBI all be so incredibly incompetent
- all at the same time? There is no proof a commercial airliner
hit the Pentagon. More than likely it was a military plane, a "friendly,"
which is why the Pentagon's sophisticated missile defense system
didn't fire at the incoming plane. If Flight 77 didn't hit the Pentagon,
where are the passengers? Based on the military exercises going
on that day, many of us believe we know what happened, but only
a truly independent investigation with a lot of high level government
officials put under oath, including Bush, is going to give us the
Tell the families of 9/11 to shut up and go away!
That was actually a demand shouted at me in an e-mail by some
chowder head who crowed that Bush is the best president since Ronald
Reagan! Where does Dunderhead get off demanding that these good,
decent, Americans who have lost their loved ones shut up and go
What kind of Americans don't want the truth, no matter how painful?
Have we become a nation of cowards? How can we be the home of the
brave and the land of the free if our people are too afraid to question
Is that what it's come down to in this country: question 9/11
and just because it's a Republican in the White House, you're suddenly
a traitor? I would like some jackass to say that to my face.
I am becoming increasing ashamed of my fellow countrymen who practice
cosmetic patriotism, spout all kinds of warm, fuzzy rhetoric, but
when it comes down to finding out the truth and nothing but the
truth, even if it is critical of their favorite president, the messenger
is now evil. I challenge all these media pundits and those Americans
who haven't looked past Dan Blather to read Crossing the Rubicon
and The New Pearl Harbor. Then come back and tell me you don't have
serious questions about the official fairy tale sold the American
people about September 11, 2001.
"The buildings should have easily
withstood the thermal stress caused by pools of burning jet fuel."
- Kevin Ryan
An executive at Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the company that
certified the steel used in the construction of the World Trade
Center, has questioned the common theory that fuel fires caused
the Twin Towers to collapse.
In a letter dated Thursday (11/11, complete text below), UL executive
Kevin Ryan called on Frank Gayle, director of the government team
that has spent two years studying how the trade center was built
and why it fell, to "do what you can to quickly eliminate the
confusion regarding the ability of jet fuel fires to soften or melt
Kevin Ryan is Site Manager at Environmental Health Laboratories
(EHL) in South Bend, Indiana. This is a division of UL, the product-compliance
and testing giant. Because UL certified the WTC steel for its ability
to withstand fires, the steel's performance on September 11 is obviously
of concern to the company. While Ryan's letter
does not constitute an official statement from Underwriters Laboratories,
it suggests incipient disagreements between UL and NIST about the
true cause of the WTC collapses.
Gayle is deputy chief of the Metallurgy Division at the National
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and head of the "NIST
and the WTC" team. A draft of the government agency's final
report on the WTC collapses is due in January.
Ryan copied the letter to Gayle in e-mails to David Ray Griffin,
author of the New Pearl Harbor, and to Catherine Austin Fitts, who
is a member of the 911Truth.org board. Griffin requested and received
permission to distribute Ryan's letter to other parties. The letter
was published Friday (11/12) at septembereleventh.org, the site
of the 9/11 Visibility Project.
911Truth.org called Ryan Friday to confirm his authorship. Ryan
made it clear he is speaking for himself only, not on behalf of
his laboratory or the company, but others at UL are aware of his
The letter raises disturbing questions, pointing
out that the temperatures of fuel fires in the towers on September
11 appear to have been far too low to cause a failure of the structural
A chemist by profession, Ryan said he considers Gayle to be a
good scientist and an honest person. Given the impact of September
11 on events around the world, Ryan said everyone needs to know
the full truth of what really happened on that day.
In a related development, the New York Times reported Friday (11/12)
that the NIST team under Gayle is planning
to hold some of its deliberations in secret. "The announcement
has been sharply protested by advocates for families of the 9/11
victims, who said they were considering a lawsuit to force the agency
to open the meetings to the public," the Times wrote.
As the Times noted, the NIST investigation was started in 2002
after lobbying by, among others, the Skyscraper Safety Campaign,
an organization created by Monica Gabrielle and Sally Regenhard,
both of whom lost family on September 11.
Gabrielle told the Times that NIST should have "one job,
and one job only - to find out the truth of what happened to those
buildings and to report to the public about it. You don't owe industry,
the Port Authority or federal agencies anything. You owe it to the
public - the truth, no matter where it goes."
The video footage is of an execution: a US marine raises his rifle
towards an unarmed prisoner on the floor of a Falluja mosque, then
The bullet strikes his head, blood hits the wall behind and the
body goes limp.
The US military is investigating the shooting
as a possible war crime and has pulled the soldier and his
unit out of the Falluja fight. The shooting was captured by a US
news crew embedded with the unit.
The marines of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment, entered the wrecked
mosque on Saturday after hearing noises from within.
One of their unit had been killed the day before while checking
the booby-trapped body of a dead rebel, and the accused soldier
was recovering from a bullet wound to the face.
Five wounded prisoners lay on the floor, left there by another
unit that had taken the mosque by storm on Friday.
A marine shouts out: "Did you shoot them? Did they have any
weapons on them?"
Another says: "These are the two wounded that they never
Another voice shouts: "He's f---ing faking he's dead. He's
faking he's f---ing dead."
There is another shout: "He's breathing."
At that point the accused soldier raises his rifle
and shoots one of the prisoners in the head. Another marine can
then be heard saying: "He's dead now."
The NBC reporter with the 3rd Battalion, Kevin
Sites, said the prisoner "did not appear to be armed or threatening
in any way". A Sky TV report said all the five prisoners were
US TV networks did not show images of the shooting because they
were too graphic, but broadcast an audio track of the shots.
A Marine Corps spokesman at the Pentagon, Major Douglas Powell,
said an investigation into the shooting was being conducted by the
Naval Criminal Investigative Service and would focus on "possible
law of war violations".
No charges had been brought against any
of the marines, he said. "As soon as the video was brought
to the attention of the Marines Corps leadership by the reporter
they immediately pulled the unit off the front lines and launched
an investigation," he said.
"They're not doing combat operations any more." [...]
DUBAI (Reuters) - Arabs were torn between
seething rage at images of a U.S. soldier shooting dead a wounded
Iraqi in a mosque and dismay at Iraqi insurgents in Falluja for
turning holy mosques into battlegrounds.
Viewers said images, which Arab televisions aired repeatedly of
a Marine killing a severely injured Iraqi, fueled growing hatred
against America and helped create more "terrorists."
"I am not a jihadist, I am just a normal Muslim but such scenes
are pushing me to Jihad," said Dubai-based engineer Abdallah.
"We don't expect this from the representative of democracy
in the world."
"This is one of the things we saw on TV. God knows how many
crimes they have committed which we have not seen," he added."
In Saudi Arabia -- the birthplace of Islam and of al Qaeda leader
Osama bin Laden, whose group carried out bombings in the country
-- residents said insurgents were to blame for taking their battle
"If I was in the U.S. soldier's place I would
have killed all the insurgents because they are mercenaries,"
said Saudi Zaher al-Saleh, a 32-year-old teacher. "They have
turned the mosques into battlefields and they're killing civilians."
Islamist extremists called for revenge through their Web sites
and cursed pro-U.S. Muslim leaders for remaining silent.
"Oh God your enemies have killed your believers
in one of your houses. God take revenge for us," one chatter
Some Muslims saw the killing as a personal affront.
"It's as if they had killed every one of us. Today, it's that
poor man, tomorrow, it will be me," said Sherine Mohamed, 27,
a financial analyst. "Even if militants didn't respect mosque
sanctities, U.S. soldiers should have done so because they claim
to help Iraqis."
Muslims said pictures showing Marines lounging
with their guns in a Falluja mosque were "insulting."
They said soldiers "sullied the ground with their boots"
at the mosque where Muslims are obliged to take off their shoes
in respect for the house of God.
"They are entering dangerous waters. If they think they are
getting rid of terrorists this way, they are mistaken. They are
creating more terrorists than killing them," added Abdallah.
International human rights groups said the killing could amount
to a war crime and showed the need to better train U.S. forces about
the laws of war.
The U.S. military opened an investigation into whether the Marine
acted in self-defense, broke U.S. military law or committed a war
crime in the fatal shooting of a wounded Iraqi in Falluja, the scene
of fierce fighting between U.S. forces and Iraqi and Islamist militants
in the past week.
That shooting was caught on videotape by an NBC television crew
embedded with the Marines.
The United Arab Emirates' Al-Ittihad newspaper said the killing
was "shocking and provocative" and demanded Washington
investigate the "horrifying crime."
"If this crime goes unpunished it will set a dangerous precedent
in U.S. policies and will destroy everything (good) it has done
for Iraq," it added.
Arab animosity toward U.S. presence in Iraq has ratcheted up since
the Abu Ghraib prison scandal that resulted in the sentencing of
several U.S. soldiers.
Lebanon's Shi'ite Muslim Hizbollah TV al-Manar led its newscasts
with the shooting and said it showed "the ugliness of the actions
that occupation forces are carrying out in Iraq."
"U.S. forces violating laws and committing
atrocities is not new. What has surfaced is only a small part of
what Iraqis are facing," said Shehab al-Ahdal, editor-in-chief
of Yemen's al-Nahar newspaper.
BAGHDAD, Nov 16 (IPS) - At least 800 civilians
have been killed during the U.S. military siege of Fallujah, a Red
Cross official estimates.
Speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of U.S. military reprisal,
a high-ranking official with the Red Cross in Baghdad told IPS that
"at least 800 civilians" have been killed in Fallujah
His estimate is based on reports from Red Crescent aid workers
stationed around the embattled city, from residents within the city
and from refugees, he said.
"Several of our Red Cross workers have just returned from
Fallujah since the Americans won't let them into the city,"
he said. "And they said the people they are tending to in the
refugee camps set up in the desert outside the city are telling
horrible stories of suffering and death inside Fallujah."
The official said that both Red Cross and Iraqi Red Crescent relief
teams had asked the U.S. military in Fallujah to take in medical
supplies to people trapped in the city, but their repeated requests
had been turned down.
A convoy of relief supplies from both relief organisations continues
to wait on the outskirts of the city for military permission to
enter. They have appealed to the United Nations to intervene on
"The Americans close their ears, and that is it," the
Red Cross official said. "They won't even let us take supplies
into Fallujah General Hospital."
The official estimated that at least 50,000
residents remain trapped within the city. They were too poor
to leave, lacked friends or family outside the city and therefore
had nowhere to go, or they simply had not had enough time to escape
before the siege began, he said.
Aid workers in his organisation have reported that houses of civilians
in Kharma, a small city near Fallujah, had been bombed by U.S. warplanes.
In one instance a family of five was killed just two days ago, they
"I don't know why the American leaders did not approach the
Red Cross and ask us to deal with the families properly before the
attacking began," said a Red Cross aid worker, who also spoke
on condition of anonymity.
"Suddenly they attacked and people were stuck with no help,
no medicine, no food, no supplies," he said. "So those
who could, ran for the desert while the rest were trapped in the
If the U.S. forces would call a temporary cease-fire "we
could get our trucks in and get the civilians left in Fallujah who
need medical care, we could get them out," he said.
Mosques have organised massive collections of food and relief
supplies for Fallujah residents as they did last April when the
city was under attack, but these supplies have not been allowed
into the city either.
The Red Cross official said they had received
several reports from refugees that the military had dropped cluster
bombs in Fallujah, and used a phosphorous
weapon that caused severe burns.
The U.S. military claims to have killed 1,200 "insurgents"
in Fallujah. Abdel Khader Janabi, a resistance leader from the city
has said that only about 100 among them were fighters.
"Both of them are lying," the Red Cross official said.
"While they agree on the 1,200 number, they are both lying
about the number of dead fighters." He added that "our
estimate of 800 civilians is likely to be too low."
The situation within Fallujah is grim, he said. If help does not
reach people soon, "the children who
are trapped will most likely die."
He said the Ministry of Health in the U.S.-backed interim Iraqi
government had stopped supplying hospitals and clinics in Fallujah
two months before the current siege.
"The hospitals do not even have aspirin," he said.
"This shows, in my opinion, that they've had a plan to attack
for a long time and were trying to weaken the people."
Washington: For the first time in decades,
the US Army has issued a field guide to counterinsurgency warfare,
an acknowledgment that the kind of fighting
under way in Iraq may become more common in the years ahead.
The army field manual on counter-insurgency operations is the
first since the early Vietnam era, and the first ever intended for
the kind of regular army units now embroiled in battles in Iraq,
as opposed to the special operations forces who have taken the lead
in previous counterinsurgencies.
Under orders issued in February, the manual was prepared on a
crash basis by the army's Combined Arms Centre in Fort Leavenworth,
Kansas, and was distributed to officers in Iraq and other places
beginning last month. An introduction says the "aftermath of
instability" in Iraq that followed the toppling of Saddam Hussein's
government underscored the need for an updated army guide to counterinsurgency
Until now formal US military doctrine for fighting insurgencies
has been so limited that many marines were sent to Iraq with copies
of the Marine Corps Small Wars Manual, issued in 1940. The most
recent army manuals on the subject, written principally for special
operations forces, were prepared in 1963 and 1965, in the early
stages of the Vietnam War.
The new guide contains instructions on
matters such as searching a family car and setting up a hasty checkpoint.
Other passages deal with the role played by "transnational
insurgent", like the foreign fighters in Iraq, and emphasise
the role of intelligence, rather than Vietnam-era search and destroy
missions, in seeking out insurgents.
The guide also includes a stark warning about
the dangers of prolonged counter-insurgency operations, saying that
the longer US forces take the lead in such efforts, the greater
the resentment they breed among the host-country population.
Army officers who have recently returned from year-long duty in
Iraq applauded the doctrine, but said its methods were nothing new
to field commanders, who have been employing and refining such tactics
for months. The guide's distribution last month came nearly 18 months
after the insurgency in Iraq began in May last year, following President
George Bush's declaration of an end to major combat operations.
LONDON - Last year's U.S.-led invasion of
Iraq and ousting of President Saddam Hussein has, if anything, made
the world more dangerous, French President Jacques Chirac said on
the eve of a state visit to key U.S. ally Britain.
The French leader's interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation,
excerpts of which were aired Wednesday, indicate little chance of
success for British Prime Minister Tony Blair's efforts to mend
Franco-American ties damaged by the Iraq war.
"I'm not at all sure that one can say
the world is safer," Chirac said. "There is no
doubt there has been an increase in terrorism."
"To a certain extent Saddam Hussein's departure was a positive
thing but it also provoked reaction such as the mobilization in
a number of countries of men and women of Islam which has made the
world more dangerous."
The full interview with the BBC is to be aired Wednesday evening
as Chirac prepares to fly to Britain Thursday to meet Blair, Queen
Elizabeth and business leaders to celebrate 100 years of Entente
Cordiale -- an agreement that brought about French-British cooperation
after a long history of rivalry.
Chirac, whose strong opposition to the war prompted Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld to dismiss France as part of "Old Europe,"
has questioned what Blair has gained from his unstinting support
of the invasion.
In a newspaper interview Tuesday, Chirac said he had urged Britain
before the invasion to press President Bush to revive the Middle
East peace process in return for London's support for the war.
"Well, Britain gave its support but I did
not see much in return," Chirac was quoted as saying in the
Times. "I am not sure that it is in the nature of our American
friends at the moment to return favors systematically."
Blair's support for the war prompted bitter faction fighting inside
his ruling Labor Party and torpedoed his public approval ratings
ahead of elections expected by mid-2005.
A poll in the Independent newspaper Wednesday
showed that 64 percent of the British public believed that having
good relations with continental Europe was more important than maintaining
close ties with Washington.
In the Times interview, Chirac recalled a Franco-British summit
last year when he asked Blair to try to influence U.S. policy on
the Middle East.
"I said then to Tony Blair: 'We have different positions on
Iraq. Your position should at least have some use'. That is to try
to obtain in exchange a relaunch of the peace process in the Middle
The French leader questioned whether Britain could
act as a bridge between the United States and Europe to help heal
the transatlantic rift.
"I am not sure, with America as it is
these days, that it would be easy for someone, even the British,
to be an honest broker," he said. [...]
MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin said that
Russia would in the coming years acquire new nuclear weapon systems
which other nuclear powers do not yet have and are unlikely to develop
in the near future.
"We have not only conducted tests of the latest nuclear rocket
systems," Putin said in televised remarks to a meeting of generals
representing the various branches of Russia's armed forces. "I
am sure that in the coming years we will acquire them.
"Moreover, these will be things which do not exist and are
unlikely to exist in other nuclear powers," he added.
Putin failed to specify what type of systems he was referring to
but Russia has been seeking to upgrade its nuclear arsenal after
the United States announced plans in 2001 to develop a missile defense
shield in abrogation of its 1972 ABM Treaty with Moscow.
Washington argues its shield would only be capable of defending
the United States from attacks from so-called "rogue states"
and could not stand up to Russia's massive Soviet-era nuclear arsenal.
However Putin has since mentioned plans for Russia
to also develop a similar system along with new types of intercontinental
missiles that Moscow claims could penetrate any space shield put
up by the United States.
Putin said Wednesday that Russia still viewed
terrorism as the greatest threat to its national security but should
also not forget about the nuclear threat.
"We understand that the moment we turn our attention from
such elements of our defenses as a nuclear missile shield, then
we will be facing new threats," Putin said.
"That is why we will continue to persistently develop our
armed forces on the whole, including its nuclear arsenal potential,"
OSAMA bin Laden now has religious approval
to use a nuclear device against Americans, according to a senior
CIA analyst who led the hunt for the terrorist chief.
A prominent Saudi Arabian theologian had provided a 'rather long
treatise' that concluded that Osama was entitled to use the weapon
because America was responsible for 'millions of dead Muslims around
the world', said Mr Michael Scheuer, the former head of the CIA
unit dedicated to tracking Osama.
Mr Scheuer resigned from the CIA last Friday to enable him to speak
freely about what he regards as the agency's failures to take Osama
seriously prior to the attacks of September 11, 2001, London's Sunday
In an interview broadcast on the CBS 60 Minutes programme in the
United States last night, Mr Scheuer said Osama was criticised in
some Muslim circles because he failed to provide advance warning
of the 9/11 attacks. According to some interpretations of Islamic
law, he should first have offered to help convert his victims to
Mr Scheuer argued that Osama's recent video appearance amounted
to a warning of a future attack, the Times said. [...]
Last week, as the ferocious battle for Falluja
began, the neo-conservative "scholar", Robert Kagan, paid
a triumphal visit to Australia. Kagan was received by the Prime
Minister. An edited version of the lecture he delivered was published
in five newspapers. He was interviewed, respectfully, by almost
every serious public affairs program on the ABC.
Unhappily there was virtually no discussion of the pivotal role
Kagan had played in the origin of the invasion of Iraq. He is one
of the more prominent of the group of neo-conservatives who came
together in the mid-1990s in a bid to change the direction of US
foreign policy. In 1996 Kagan co-authored
with William Kristol, in the journal Foreign Affairs, a neo-Reaganite
manifesto, calling for the worldwide imposition of American ideals
through the deployment of overwhelming US force.
In 1998 he was a signatory of a letter to President Bill Clinton
calling for the immediate overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Immediately
after the September 11 attacks in 2001, Kagan and Kristol began
to put the case for the immediate invasion of Iraq in increasingly
strident editorials in the influential Rupert Murdoch-financed Weekly
They argued that Saddam was involved in September
11. They called him "the world's most dangerous dictator".
They claimed he was on the verge of producing a nuclear bomb.
The pair waxed lyrical about Bush's "axis of evil" speech,
which represented, they hoped, the beginning of a new era in world
history. They backed the case for the invasion on the basis of their
certainty about the existence of Saddam's vast arsenal of weapons
of mass destruction. They were probably the last people in the world
to maintain the faith. As late as May this year the pair argued
that even President Bush had been "intimidated by the new conventional
wisdom that Saddam has done away with his WMD".
This melancholy record of warmongering misjudgment
did not prevent a national red carpet from being rolled out for
For those who remain interested in understanding what has occurred
since the invasion of Iraq, two important sources of information
have recently appeared.
In late October the results of a sophisticated American study
of post-invasion deaths were published by the prestigious medical
journal, The Lancet. For this study interviewers were sent to 33
randomly selected neighbourhoods across Iraq. Their questions concerned
household deaths in the 15 months before, and the 18 months after,
the invasion of Iraq.
One selected town was Falluja. In the 30 houses where interviews
took place there had been reportedly more than 50 deaths since the
invasion, mainly as a result of US air strikes. If Falluja was included
in the calculations, the death toll since the invasion was 2.5 times
higher than in the period before the invasion. If it were excluded,
the toll was 1.5 times higher.
In the final calculation Falluja was excluded. The study estimated
that even so, the most likely number of excess deaths caused by
the US invasion was 98,000. Of these 98,000 about 60,000 were estimated
to have been caused by violence since the invasion.
Because the sample was small, the margin for error was acknowledged
to be large. The figure of excess post-invasion deaths might be
considerably lower than 98,000. Equally, it might be considerably
higher. The right-of-centre Economist magazine has praised the study.
Only a few of the findings can be outlined here. In Baghdad the
annual murder rate is 4500. Dozens of kidnappings take place each
day. The dangers from crime and the insurgency are so great that
most Iraqis no longer feel safe even in their neighbourhoods.
In all the major cities of Iraq electricity supply is far worse
than before the invasion. The dangers from exposed sewerage are,
however, probably even more serious. Water-borne disease is spreading.
Sixty per cent of Iraqi's rely on rations; 50 per cent live beneath
the poverty line.
Because of insecurity, by mid-2004 less than $US500 million ($651
million) of the $US18 billion reconstruction funds voted by Congress
had been able to be spent. Iraqi public opinion has almost totally
lost hope in the occupation forces.
In May 2004 80 per cent of Iraqis had "no confidence at all"
in their capacity to improve their security situation. While 90
per cent of Iraqis are keen to have free elections, the same percentage
now yearn for the emergence of a political strongman who can take
charge of the fearful chaos into the which the country has fallen.
Meanwhile, in Australia, when one of the intellectual cheerleaders
of this unutterable disaster pays us a visit, we hang on his every
foolish word. A nightmare, in which we are deeply implicated, has
descended upon Iraq. How long will it take before we see what we
VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran obtained weapons-grade
uranium and a design for a nuclear bomb from a Pakistani scientist
who has admitted to selling nuclear secrets abroad, an exiled Iranian
opposition group said on Wednesday.
The group, which has given accurate information before, also said
Iran is secretly enriching uranium at a military site previously
unknown to the United Nations, despite promising France, Britain
and Germany that it would halt all such work.
"(Abdul Qadeer) Khan gave Iran a quantity of HEU (highly enriched
uranium) in 2001, so they already
have some," Farid Soleiman, a senior spokesman for the National
Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), told reporters.
"I would doubt it was given enough for a
weapon," he added.
Soleiman said Khan, who ran a global nuclear black market that
supplied Libya and Iran with uranium-enrichment technology until
it was shut down earlier this year, also gave Iran a Chinese-developed
warhead design sometime between 1994 and 1996.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said Khan's network
gave Libya the bomb design and is trying to find out whether Iran
got it too. But it has no proof it did.
Pakistan's mission to the U.N. in Vienna told Reuters it had no
knowledge of this allegation and no information to provide. [...]
IRAN ENRICHING URANIUM "AS WE SPEAK"
Soleiman said Iran was enriching uranium, a process of purifying
it for use as fuel for power plants or bombs, at a site in northeastern
Tehran as part of a continuing covert program to develop nuclear
"It continues to enrich uranium as we speak," Soleiman
said. He said the site had an unknown number of centrifuges, which
purify uranium by spinning at supersonic speeds, as well as other
technologies used to enrich uranium.
"There are more sites involving uranium enrichment in Iran,"
Soleiman said, adding he could not give details
on them until they were verified by the group's sources inside Iran.
Soleiman said Iran was aiming to get a bomb by the middle of next
year, two years ahead of Israel's latest estimate for when Tehran
would be "nuclear capable."
Iran promised the European Union on Sunday to freeze its enrichment
program, sparing it a referral to the U.N. Security Council for
possible sanctions and opening the door to political and economic
"carrots" France, Britain and Germany are offering.
Soleiman said the enrichment site, called the Center for the Development
of Advanced Defense Technology, was run by the defense ministry
and located in Lavizan, near a site where the United States suspects
Iran conducted secret nuclear work before demolishing all the buildings
and carting off the rubble.
Soleiman said enrichment equipment from the razed site in Lavizan
was moved to this new enrichment site to hide it from the IAEA.
He said the NCRI sent the IAEA a letter about the 60-acre top-secret
site a few days ago.
Iran told France, Britain and Germany on
Sunday it would freeze all activities related to enrichment while
the two sides negotiate a permanent deal on Iran's nuclear program.
This will protect Iran from being referred to the U.N. Security
Council when the IAEA board of governors meets on Nov. 25.
The IAEA said in a new report on its two-year investigation of
Iran's nuclear program that Iran had not diverted any of its declared
nuclear materials to a weapons program, but did not rule out the
possibility secret atomic activities existed.
The NCRI established its reputation as a nuclear whistleblower
in August 2002 when it said the Islamic republic had not declared
a massive uranium enrichment plant at Natanz and a heavy water facility
at Arak. The allegation was later confirmed and Iran declared the
facilities to the IAEA.
On February 24, Newsweek broke what may be
the biggest story of the Iraq crisis. In a revelation that "raises
questions about whether the WMD [weapons of mass destruction] stockpiles
attributed to Iraq still exist," the magazine's issue dated
March 3 reported that the Iraqi weapons chief who defected from
the regime in 1995 told U.N. inspectors that Iraq had destroyed
its entire stockpile of chemical and biological weapons and banned
missiles, as Iraq claims.
Until now, Gen. Hussein Kamel, who was killed shortly after returning
to Iraq in 1996, was best known for his role in exposing Iraq's
deceptions about how far its pre-Gulf War biological weapons programs
had advanced. But Newsweek's John Barry-- who has covered Iraqi
weapons inspections for more than a decade-- obtained the transcript
of Kamel's 1995 debriefing by officials from the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) and the U.N. inspections team known as UNSCOM.
Inspectors were told "that after the Gulf War, Iraq destroyed
all its chemical and biological weapons stocks and the missiles
to deliver them," Barry wrote. All that remained were "hidden
blueprints, computer disks, microfiches" and production molds.
The weapons were destroyed secretly, in order to hide their existence
from inspectors, in the hopes of someday resuming production after
inspections had finished. The CIA and MI6 were told the same story,
Barry reported, and "a military aide who defected with Kamel...
backed Kamel's assertions about the destruction of WMD stocks."
But these statements were "hushed up by the U.N. inspectors"
in order to "bluff Saddam into disclosing still more."
CIA spokesperson Bill Harlow angrily denied the Newsweek report.
"It is incorrect, bogus, wrong, untrue," Harlow told Reuters
(2/24/03) the day the report appeared.
But on Wednesday (2/26/03), a complete copy of the Kamel transcript--
an internal UNSCOM/IAEA document stamped "sensitive"--
was obtained by Glen Rangwala, the Cambridge University analyst
who in early February revealed that Tony Blair's "intelligence
dossier" was plagiarized
from a student thesis.
In the transcript (p. 13), Kamel says bluntly:
"All weapons-- biological, chemical, missile, nuclear, were
Who is Hussein Kamel?
Kamel is no obscure defector. A son-in-law
of Saddam Hussein, his departure from Iraq carrying crates of secret
documents on Iraq's past weapons programs was a major turning point
in the inspections saga. In 1999, in a letter to the U.N.
Security Council (1/25/99), UNSCOM reported that its entire eight
years of disarmament work "must be divided into two parts,
separated by the events following the departure from Iraq, in August
1995, of Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel."
Kamel's defection has been cited repeatedly by George W. Bush and
leading administration officials as evidence that 1) Iraq has not
disarmed; 2) inspections cannot disarm it; and 3) defectors such
as Kamel are the most reliable source of information on Iraq's weapons.
Bush declared in an October 7, 2002 speech: "In 1995, after
several years of deceit by the Iraqi regime, the head of Iraq's
military industries defected. It was then that the regime was forced
to admit that it had produced more than 30,000 liters of anthrax
and other deadly biological agents. The inspectors, however, concluded
that Iraq had likely produced two to four times that amount. This
is a massive stockpile of biological weapons that has never been
accounted for, and capable of killing millions."
Secretary of State Colin Powell's February 5 presentation to the
U.N. Security Council claimed: "It took years for Iraq to finally
admit that it had produced four tons of the deadly nerve agent,
VX. A single drop of VX on the skin will kill in minutes. Four tons.
The admission only came out after inspectors collected documentation
as a result of the defection of Hussein Kamel, Saddam Hussein's
In a speech last August (8/27/02), Vice President Dick Cheney said
Kamel's story "should serve as a reminder to all that we often
learned more as the result of defections than we learned from the
inspection regime itself."
Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley recently wrote
in the Chicago Tribune (2/16/03) that "because of information
provided by Iraqi defector and former head of Iraq's weapons of
mass destruction programs, Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel, the regime had
to admit in detail how it cheated on its nuclear non-proliferation
The quotes from Bush and Powell cited above refer to anthrax and
VX produced by Iraq before the 1991 Gulf War. The administration
has cited various quantities of chemical and biological weapons
on many other occasions-- weapons that Iraq produced but which remain
unaccounted for. All of these claims refer to weapons produced before
But according to Kamel's transcript, Iraq
destroyed all of these weapons in 1991. According to Newsweek,
Kamel told the same story to CIA analysts in August 1995. If that
is true, all of these U.S. officials have had access to Kamel's
statements that the weapons were destroyed. Their repeated citations
of his testimony-- without revealing that he also said the weapons
no longer exist-- suggests that the administration might be withholding
critical evidence. In particular, it casts doubt on the credibility
of Powell's February 5 presentation to the U.N., which was widely
hailed at the time for its persuasiveness. To clear up the issue,
journalists might ask the CIA to release the transcripts of its
own conversations with Kamel.
Kamel's disclosures have also been crucial to the arguments made
by hawkish commentators on Iraq. The defector has been cited four
times on the New York Times op-ed page in the last four months in
support of claims about Iraq's weapons programs-- never noting his
assertions about the elimination of these weapons. In a major Times
op-ed calling for war against Iraq (2/21/03), Kenneth Pollack of
the Brookings Institution wrote that Kamel and other defectors "reported
that outside pressure had not only failed to eradicate the nuclear
program, it was bigger and more cleverly spread out and concealed
than anyone had imagined it to be." The release of Kamel's
transcript makes this claim appear grossly at odds with the defector's
The Kamel story is a bombshell that necessitates a thorough reevaluation
of U.S. media reporting on Iraq, much of which has taken for granted
that the nation retains supplies of prohibited weapons. (See FAIR
Media Advisory, "Iraq's
Hidden Weapons: From Allegation to Fact
Kamel's testimony is not, of course, proof that Iraq does not have
hidden stocks of chemical or biological weapons, but it does suggest
a need for much more media skepticism about U.S. allegations than
has previously been shown.
Unfortunately, Newsweek chose a curious way to handle its scoop:
The magazine placed the story in the miscellaneous "Periscope"
section with a generic headline, "The Defector's Secrets."
Worse, Newsweek's online version added a subhead that seemed almost
designed to undercut the importance of the story: "Before his
death, a high-ranking defector said Iraq had not abandoned its WMD
ambitions." So far, according
to a February 27 search of the Nexis database, no major U.S. newspapers
or national television news shows have picked up the Newsweek story.
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration's
prewar claims that Saddam Hussein had built a fleet of trucks and
railroad cars to produce anthrax and other deadly germs were based
chiefly on information from a now-discredited Iraqi defector code-named
"Curveball," according to current and former intelligence
U.S. officials never had direct access to
the defector and didn't even know his real name until after the
war. Instead, his story was provided by German agents, and
his file was so thick with details that American officials thought
it confirmed long-standing suspicions that the Iraqis had developed
mobile germ factories to evade arms inspections.
Curveball's story has since crumbled under doubts raised by the
Germans and the scrutiny of U.S. weapons hunters, who have come
to see his code name as particularly apt, given the problems that
beset much of the prewar intelligence collection and analysis. [...]
An Iraqi defector nicknamed Curveball who wrongly
claimed that Saddam Hussein had mobile chemical weapons factories
was last night at the centre of a bitter row between the CIA and
Germany's intelligence agency.
German officials said that they had warned American colleagues
well before the Iraq war that Curveball's information was not credible
- but the warning was ignored.
It was the Iraqi defector's testimony that led the Bush administration
to claim that Saddam had built a fleet of trucks and railway wagons
to produce anthrax and other deadly germs.
In his presentation to the UN security council in February last
year, the US secretary of state, Colin Powell, explicitly used Curveball's
now discredited claims as justification for war. The Iraqis were
assembling "mobile production facilities for biological agents",
Mr Powell said, adding that his information came from "a solid
These "killer caravans" allowed Saddam to produce anthrax
"on demand", it was claimed. US officials never had direct
access to the defector, and have subsequently claimed that the Germans
Yesterday, however, German
agents told Die Zeit newspaper that they had warned the Bush administration
long before last year that there were "problems" with
Curveball's account. "We gave a clear credibility assessment.
On our side at least, there were no tricks before Colin Powell's
presentation," one source told the newspaper.
Officially, Germany's intelligence agency, the BND, has refused
The revelation is embarrassing for the Bush administration and
appears to bolster the contention that it used dubious intelligence
in a partisan manner in the critical few weeks before the invasion
It has now emerged
that Curveball is the brother of a top aide of Ahmad Chalabi, the
pro-western Iraqi former exile with links to the Pentagon.
Recently, American officials have admitted that Curveball's information
was false. [...]
NEW YORK The man who set himself on
fire outside the White House Monday is a key informant in a terrorism
funding case. And the incident has
cast the prosecution into uncertainty.
Mohamed Alanssi was to have testified in New York against Sheik
Ali Hassan al-Moayad (hah-SAHN' ahl maw-YAHD'), who is accused of
funneling money to Hamas and Osama bin Laden.
Before lighting his clothes on fire, Alanssi sent letters to the
F-B-I and The Washington Post, complaining of the U-S government's
treatment of him. A request to be allowed to visit his sick wife
in Yemen has gone unanswered.
Prosecutors are not saying how the incident affects the case.
Defense lawyers contend it shows how much pressure Alanssi was under
to make up accusations.
| The George Bush Presidential Library Foundation
today announced that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will
receive the 2004 George Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service
at Rudder Auditorium on the Texas A&M campus on November 30. Former
President Bush will present the award to the California Republican,
who will join former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, former German
Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts
as Bush Award recipients. Following the presentation of the award,
Governor Schwarzenegger will deliver remarks on public service. [...]
LONDON (Reuters) - The dollar crashed through
key barriers to a record low on the euro and a 7-month low on the
yen on Wednesday, as concern mounted a forthcoming G20 finance ministers'
meeting would do little to halt its slide.
Many analysts expect the G20 officials to put
new pressure on China to let its yuan currency rise against the
dollar, a move seen pushing up Asia currencies against the greenback,
which was causing dollar selling pressure in anticipation.
Policymakers are jostling for position ahead of the meeting and
U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow, on a visit to London, said the
U.S. could not impose currency values but countries could not devalue
their way to prosperity.
"It's difficult to go against this move in the short-term,
we are seeing the new range above $1.30 -- you have all these factors
such as the current account deficit working versus the dollar,"
said Johan Javeus, FX strategist at SEB.
By 1015 GMT, the dollar bought 104.65 yen after touching 105.53,
its lowest level since April and sliding 0.7 percent from New York
Against the euro, the dollar stood at $1.3030 after briefly falling
to $1.3035, according to Reuters data.
Traders said real money accounts, like asset managers,
were selling dollars and buying all Asian currencies and that options
barriers around $1.3010 had been broken, exacerbating the euro's
The dollar also fell to a nine-year low
against a basket of currencies and an 8-1/2 year low on the Swiss
Japan's ruling party is eyeing an overhaul
of the post-war constitution to allow the military to use force
in international missions and let a woman ascend the throne.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party plans to decide on the changes
next month and announce a final draft in November 2005, the Yomiuri
Shimbun said, citing party sources.
It would mark the first revision of the pacifist 1947 constitution
imposed by the United States at the end of World War II, in which
Japan renounced war and the right to maintain a military.
With some 550 Japanese troops in Iraq and Japan facing threats
from North Korea, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has said the
founding document should be revised "in the light of common
(Toronto) - Police Chief Julian Fantino wants
almost 500 more of his officers equipped with Tasers, the stun guns
at the centre of a controversy over whether they save lives or lead
to more deaths.
Fantino firmly believes that the Tasers are "life-saving,"
and wants the Toronto Police Services Board this week to approve
their use. The devices are used to disable aggressive people by
shocking them with an electrical current of up to 50,000 volts.
"It is considered by many experts to be the best less-lethal
weapon currently available to law enforcement and has been credited
with ... saving of hundreds of lives," Fantino says in a report
to be discussed by the board this Thursday.
Nine months ago, the provincial government approved the use of
Tasers by front-line supervisors. But in September, the police services
board decided not to include Tasers in the 2005 capital budget.
They could decide Thursday to overturn that decision.
The Toronto police now have 24 Tasers — limited to the tactical
and emergency response units.
"We ought to put (more) Tasers in place as soon as possible,"
said Councillor Case Ootes, a police board member. "The fundamental
argument is it's a better way to subdue those individuals who are
out-of-control than use other means." [...]
TORONTO (CP) -- Hollinger International is
selling the Jerusalem Post and related publications for $13.2 million
US cash to an Israeli publishing company that is partnering with
Canada's CanWest Global Communications Corp., the companies announced
Leonard Asper, president and CEO of CanWest, said the Winnipeg
company "has harboured a long standing interest in the Jerusalem
Post because of its well-established brand." [...]
BOISE - UFOs are showing a keen interest in
our nuclear weapons facilities, says
investigator Robert Hastings, who has spent countless hours analyzing
documents dealing with UFO sightings at nuclear missile launch sites
and research labs in the United States over the past several decades.
"You have reference to these objects hovering, racing away
at blinding speed," he told Idaho 2 News. "There is no
evidence we have an aircraft that can do that or anyone else on
Hastings, who has devoted countless hours researching UFOs and
the U.S. government's reaction to them, was in Boise for a lecture
and slide show Monday at Boise State University.
Hastings believes we are being visited by aliens who have
mastered a faster than light form of space flight. And he speculates
they have not openly revealed themselves to avoid public panic.
"What they're doing is engaging in a decades long psychological
preparation process whereby slowly but surely people on earth understand
this is real, they're here,"
Hastings believes three UFOs with aliens on board did crash at
Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 and points to a 1950 memo to FBI Director
J Edgar Hoover saying three so-called flying saucers had been recovered
"each one occupied by three bodies of human shape but only
3 feet tall "
And he says the spectacular UFO sighting earlier this year off
the Yucatan Peninsula were the real deal. But Hastings is not a
believer in the theory aliens and earthlings are working together
at Area 51, the top secret base in the Nevada desert, as some suggest.
In the end, Hastings says what's missing -- so far -- is physical
evidence, but he says the story is far from over.
(Australia) - A BRILLIANT green ball seen
shooting across the night sky on Saturday could be part of two meteor
showers expected in northern skies this month.
Stuart Elletson was driving his taxi along Primrose St, Belgian
Gardens, at 9.25pm on Saturday when he saw what he believes was
Mr Elletson described the sight as a "bright emerald green"
ball that flew across the sky in an arc for about 10 seconds.
"I was looking out the window and the next thing I saw in the
sky was a burning, bright light," Mr Elletson said.
"It was orange in colour at first and then it went off towards
Pallarenda and it was bright emerald green.
"It definitely wasn't a shooting star."
Director for the Centre for Astronomy in the School of Maths and
Physics at James Cook University Associate Professor Graeme White
said hearing Mr Elletson's description, he was "almost certain"
the taxi driver had seen a meteor. [...]
On your Nov.
9th page, you included a short blurb about a large CME
headed towards earth that could cause aurora activity, but I haven't
seen any follow-up regarding this. (This is understandable given
absurd amount political upheaval occurring over the last week.)
Today, I came across a page containing photos of the resulting
activity in Nebraska. I formerly lived in Nebraska for many years,
and never saw any aurora activity. That must have been a very
powerful CME for there to be as much activity as these photos show
so far south.
Campaigners demand urgent assessment of the
risks to Everest
Environmentalists are calling for Mount Everest should be put on
a UN danger list because of global warming.
Melting glaciers have swollen lakes and increased the risk of
catastrophic flooding in the Himalayas, they say.
The move to save the world's highest peak is part of a new campaign
to force reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon
| BANGKOK: One of the world's largest conservation
conferences gathers here to meet the threat of an unprecedented loss
of animal and plant species mainly through environmental damage caused
The World Conservation Congress opens with the release of the
annual red list of threatened species which is expected to paint
a gloomy picture of the state of the planet's wildlife.
One in four mammals and one in eight birds are known to be at
risk and hundreds more species are expected to be added to the list
for this year's edition. Last year's report said 12,259 species
More than 5,000 scientists, activists and government representatives
are expected to attend the nine-day conference designed to highlight
the growing threat to wildlife amid rampaging development in parts
of the world. [...]
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