As Mind Control
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and extensive previously unpublished details, at long last, Laura Knight-Jadczyk's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!
of the Day
Remember back in 2000, and all
the hue and cry about a stolen election and thousands of deliberately
disenfranchised voters? That really was something eh? Without doubt
many Americans were not aware of just how serious the matter was.
After all, the Democrats all but accused the Republicans of rigging
the election and demanded a recount, and in the greatest democracy
on earth to boot!
Now that really was headline news.
Strangely however, it didn't make the headlines in the way and
to the extent that one might have expected in the "land of
But no matter, what's done is done, and even though an American
President was appointed by a few Florida judges who were friends
of the Bush family, rather than elected by the people, we can just
put it down to a quirk in the system. After all, we have the US
media to rely on to keep us all abreast of any issues and to hold
politicians to account.
Rather disturbing however, was the news that, in the recent 2004
elections, the very same issue raised its ugly head again, and even
more unsettling was the fact there was is little or no mention of
it in the US press.
Now what could have caused that?
Even so, the final line of defence in any democracy is the people
right? And if there is enough evidence and enough ordinary people
who are motivated, democracy can be put back on track. In fact,
that seems to be exactly what is happening right now...
George Bush's victory in the
US presidential election will be challenged in Ohio's supreme court
today, when a group of Democratic voters will allege widespread
President Bush clinched re-election by winning the state of Ohio
on November 2 by a margin of 136,000 votes over the Democratic candidate,
John Kerry. Despite claims of fraud and technical glitches, Senator
Kerry decided that they were not big enough to affect the result
and conceded the election on November 3.
However, Cliff Arnebeck, a lawyer representing a group of voters
challenging the Ohio result, claimed new analysis
of various anomalies suggested it was rigged.
"We'll be calling for a reversal of the result based on evidence
developed in the course of litigation," Mr Arnebeck told The
Guardian yesterday. "Exit polling and substantial irregularities
excluded votes that should have been counted. There is evidence
that votes cast for one candidate were moved to the column of the
Mr Arnebeck, a legal adviser to a liberal group, Alliance for Democracy,
said the "contest of election" lawsuit will be presented
to a judge from the Ohio supreme court today on behalf of at least
25 disgruntled voters. He said he expected other voters and organisations
to join the case.
Ohio's secretary of state, Kenneth Blackwell, has until Monday
to certify the result. His office did not return calls seeking comment
yesterday but his spokesman, Carlo LoParo, told the Associated Press
news agency: "There are no signs of widespread irregularities."
Mr Arnebeck said that hearings held in Ohio cities have brought
to light new evidence of malpractice. He
said one voter of a pro-Republican group caught destroying Democratic
registration documents in Nevada before the election, had also been
operating in Ohio.
Critics of the Ohio count have also pointed to the case of an electronic
voting machine found to have credited President Bush with 3,893
extra votes in a suburb of Columbus where only 638 people voted.
State officials have said those votes will not be included in the
final certified totals.
There have also been complaints focused on punch card ballots,
of the type which caused chaos in Florida in 2000. Voting involves
making a hole in the ballot against the chosen candidate by punching
out a small piece of card, a chad, with a stylus.
In the 68 Ohio counties where the ballots were used this year,
according to some groups protesting at this year's election, vote
counters were unable to determine a vote for the president, but
did register votes for other offices.
The veteran civil rights leader, Reverend Jesse Jackson, is spearheading
the call for an Ohio recount. "We can live with winning and
losing. We cannot live with fraud and stealing," he said earlier
The election challenge will be reviewed by a single judge out of
the seven members of Ohio's supreme court, who may let the election
stand, declare another winner, or throw out the result, forcing
a recount or even a new vote. The ruling can be appealed to the
Exit polls on election day suggested that
the election could be heading towards a Kerry victory, deepening
the despair in Democratic ranks at the Bush win. The anomaly was
blamed on the exit polls, but Mr Arnebeck argued that it was evidence
57 Rural Counties Affected -
Vote Fraud Suspected
Rural Oklahoma Voting machines know how to count backwards.
(Oklahoma City) November 18, 2004 - Rural Oklahoma Voting machines
know how to count backwards.
That looks like what the secretly programmed machines did for Sen.
Kerry in President Bush's easily won Presidential Election victory
All 77 counties use the Optech Eagle voting machines and Tabulator's
made by ES&S, Sen Hagel's republican company.
The respectable, conservative "Tulsa World" newspaper
reported Nov 3rd that Kerry was winning in 57 of the states's rural
counties., with 70% of the vote counted. Turns out that the famous
November 3rd report was probably not supposed to be printed.
It represented the counting when the tabulating was about 70% "complete,"
as they used to say in the old Soviet Unon.
The "official" State of Oklahoma Election Board vote
totals released later show Kerry not winning; but, losing in all
the state's 77 counties, including the 57 rural counties. Yea, somebody
really messed up, big time, and published a partially completed
and, I guess you would haver to call it, "fixed" vote.
A simple comparison of total votes for Kerry between the staid
establishment mouthpiece, the "Tulsa World" newspaper
and the so-called "official" final vote totals at the
State Election Board show fewer votes for Kerry in 57 counties than
the "Tulsa World" does.
Fifty-seven of the 57 counties clearly demonstrate that Sen Kerry
lost 37,982 votes to the ES&S Optech Machines. During the same
time period President Bush gained a whooping 393,825 votes.
Nice, slick, easy way to win an election. As a man once said "He
stole it fair and square!"
In other words, Kerry lost votes already cast by voters. The voting
machines counted backwards. What could be simpler than that?
Who programs these things, eh? Why, ES&S Corp., of course.
It turns out the every vote in the state, all 1.4 Million of them
cast, were counted on the same type of flawed machine, programmed
originally by the Hagel's ES&S company.
Whether they knew the difference or not is not known; but, spokesmen
for the State Election Board would only say the Machines and Tabulators
were fron Optech. They breathed not a word anout ES&S.
Who really won? Well, nobody really knows! Most people in Oklahoma
still think President Bush won his Presidential election. Wrong!
Time for a re-count, this time by hand!
Not that Oklahoma's very few Electoral Votes make much difference
in the grand scheme of things. Except, of course, fraud is suspected
in Ohio, too. A recount is already guaranteed in Ohio. What will
Oklahoma officials do?
"Film at 11." Fat chance!
People in the Great Flyover State of Oklahoma all know that the
Professional Hairdo Anchors in the Oklahoma TV stations and the
Radio Celebrities will not touch this with a 30 Foot Pole since
their right wing owners keep them on a real short leash.
But, the money is good and the living is easy in Oklahoma, where
"The Oklahoma Observer" says 20% of the people can't even
read. This makes TV and radio even more important.
If these small state celebrities are reading this, and you know
they are, then these parasites know the truth. I dare you, Kelley!
Go for it! Get a life, dude! (Kelly Ogle is a local TV personality
in Oklahoma City who specializes in "happy talk" transitions.)
Watch for more election 2004 reports here as I get to them. Please
circulate and distribute IMC this report widely. You know that none
of us can depend on the so-called dominant press to do so in the
great state of Oklahoma or the USA anymore.
Meantime, I reminded of the Salsa ad for some company. When informed
that somebody had bought Salsa from a company in New York City,
an ole boy hollers off screen "Get a rope!"
By the way, what are YOU going to do about
MEMPHIS, Tennessee (CNN) -- The
1968 assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was the result
of a conspiracy and not the act of a lone killer, a jury in a civil
suit found Wednesday.
In a civil suit -- brought by an individual plaintiff or group
of plaintiffs instead of the state -- the plaintiffs must merely
show "a preponderance of evidence"
against the defendant, rather than prove "beyond a resonable
doubt" that a crime was committed, as in a criminal trial.
The family of the slain civil rights leader sued
Loyd Jowers, a retired businessman who claimed six years ago that
he paid someone other than convicted assassin James Earl Ray to
kill King in Memphis.
Prior to Wednesday's verdict, several investigations of the slaying
had found that Ray acted alone -- or that he may have had only limited
But the King family's lawyer, William Pepper, claimed
that King was the victim of a vast conspiracy and that the FBI,
CIA, the Mafia and the military were involved.
The Kings had sought unspecified damages and were awarded a token
$100. They wanted the verdict to lend support to their call for
a fresh investigation of the killing.
Ray confessed to killing
Jowers' attorney, Lewis Garrison, agrees that there was a conspiracy
to murder King. He named as participants the
U.S. government, the Memphis police, the state of Tennessee and
James Earl Ray.
Ray confessed to killing King and was sentenced to 99 years in
prison. He spent the rest of his life claiming to be innocent and
trying to get a trial. He died from liver disease in 1998.
Ray's guilty plea was upheld eight times by state and federal courts.
A congressional committee concluded in 1978 that Ray was the killer
but he may have had help before or after the assassination. The
committee did not find any government involvement in the murder.
Pepper said King was killed because of his opposition to the Vietnam
War and plans for a huge march on Washington.
At the trial, Pepper said the order to kill King was issued by
the head of organized crime in New Orleans to a Memphis produce
dealer who got Jowers to handle the payoff and murder weapon. An
Army sniper squad was in place to shoot King if the Mafia hit failed,
The FBI, CIA, the media, Army intelligence and state and city officials
helped cover up the assassination, said Pepper, who also represented
Ray in his efforts to get a trial.
Pepper called witnesses who claimed that
King's police protection was pulled back moments before the shooting,
that Army agents had him under surveillance and that a police officer
who was at King's side after he was shot later went to work for
Juror David Morphy said he believed the assassination
was too complex to be carried out by one person.
"We all thought it was kind of a cut-and-dried case, with
the evidence that Pepper brought forth that there were a lot of
people involved, everyone from the CIA, military involvement in
it -- Jowers was involved in it, we felt," he said.
Jowers did not testify
The six black and six white jurors in Shelby County Circuit Court
took three hours to reach their conclusion.
Lewis Garrison, Jowers' lawyer, told the jury that while they could
reasonably conclude King was the victim of a conspiracy, his client's
role was minor at best.
In 1993, Jowers told ABC that he hired King's killer as a favor
to an underworld figure who was a friend. He did not identify the
purported killer, but said it wasn't Ray.
The 73-year-old Jowers, who has never repeated the claim but has
not recanted it either, was sick for much of the trial and did not
In 1968, Jowers owned a small restaurant, Jim's Grill, across the
street from The Lorraine Motel, where King was killed. On the day
of the assassination, Ray, a prison escapee from Missouri, used
an assumed name to rent a room in a rooming house above Jim's Grill.
Justice Department probe continues
Shelby County prosecutor John Campbell, who has investigated the
assassination, said Jowers' claims have no merit, saying several
of Jowers' friends and associates said he was hoping to get a movie
or book deal.
"We looked at this off and on for five years ... and I've
still seen nothing that would change my opinion," Campbell
Last year, Attorney General Janet Reno ordered a limited probe
by the Justice Department into two allegations of a conspiracy in
the King murder. One was Jowers' claim; the other was a statement
by former FBI agent Donald Wilson that he found papers in Ray's
car that might support a conspiracy.
"Our review is still ongoing," Justice Department spokeswoman
Carol Florman said. She would not comment on the Memphis case.
A movie about Martin Luther to
be released this week on DVD speaks to us in our current peril.
It describes how one man had the courage to defy the Power Elite
of his day and actually succeeded.
Starring Joseph Fiennes, "Luther" was a box office hit
in Germany in 2003. It had a limited release in the US where it
went largely unnoticed, thanks to our ever vigilant mass media.
Intelligent, tasteful and truthful, "Luther" is a reminder
of what movies can be when Hollywood is not involved.
"Thrivent," a German-based non-profit Lutheran financial
services corporation financed the lavish $25 million production.
It is directed by Eric Till and also stars Alfred Molina and Sir
The movie vividly recreates the story of how Martin Luther (1483-1546)
spearheaded long overdue reform that led to the Protestant Reformation
and the growth of national independence.
Specifically Luther challenged the Catholic practice of selling
"indulgences" or forgiveness for sins. This included onerous
payments so that deceased loved ones would not go to hell. The money
was used to finance wars.
The parallels with our own times are striking. A satanic criminal
NWO cabal controls the government which, thanks to the mass media,
masquerades as the arbiter of reality and defender of God.
To protect us from "hell" i.e. the "terrorists,"
we have to forfeit our civil rights and money to this new world
state religion. Our sons and daughters are shipped off to Iraq to
slaughter people who are opposed to NWO occupation. Thousands of
them are killed and maimed. We are all implicated morally because
we pay taxes.
The head of Turkey's parliamentary human rights group recently
accused Washington of genocide in Iraq and behaving worse than Adolph
"The occupation has turned into barbarism," Reuters quoted
Mehmet Elkatmis, head of parliament's human rights commission, as
saying in Friday's Yeni Safak newspaper.
"The U.S. administration is committing genocide...in Iraq.
Never in human history have such genocide and cruelty been witnessed...This
occupation has entirely imperialist aims," he told the human
rights commission on Thursday.
We are in the position of Germans during the Hitler
era. One day we could be asked, "What did you do to prevent
We are taught that we have entered an enlightened era, that the
world no longer needs principled acts of defiance and self-sacrifice.
Our minds are trivialized we can't even conceive issues of this
magnitude. Morally we are being prepared for our own destruction
because morally we are complicit in cultural and physical genocide.
At the very least, we are facing enslavement. But like sheep grazing
in the shade of a rising abattoir, we remain in denial.
How can we declare that we are vehemently against the Iraq War
and the NWO?
Our first impulse is to keep out heads down. To remain silent.
To hide. To find individual solutions. To play along.
Why are we so cowardly?
Marin Luther was summoned before the Diet of Worms in 1521. He
was told to renounce his writings on pain of heresy and death. He
did not flinch.
"Is it not manifest that the Popes...entangle, vex and distress
the consciences of the faithful? The endless extortions of Rome
engulf the property and wealth of Christendom..."
If he were to recant, he would "strengthen this tyranny and
open a wider door to so many and flagrant impieties."
Luckily Luther had powerful friends among the German Princes who
wished to rebel against the Roman yoke.
Powerful friends or not, we must take a principled stand. We must
speak out publicly, organize and act.
At the very least, we must do what is within our power to oppose
For example I found out this week that my bank the CIBC here in
Canada funds the homosexual lobby group "Egale." It is
a bother but I must change banks and let them know why. We must
demand to know the political activities of all the companies we
The Canadian Broadcasting Commission, the publicly funded propaganda
outlet of the New World Order has been championing the pro-NATO
elements in Ukraine. It is a bother but I must let the CBC know
I am disgusted by their bias.
Ultimately the New World Order is a cosmic conspiracy against God.
Satan and God have a wager. Satan believes that man is not made
in the image of God but is a selfish perverse animal.
Cattle are bred or slaughtered.
On a moral level, we need to act to prove we are men. This is not
only about saving our butts. It's about saving our souls.
"Luther" is available from Nov. 30 2004 at amazon.com,
Blockbuster, Hollywood and Best Buy.
KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's opposition
scored a key win Wednesday in its drive to overturn what it says
was a rigged election, when parliament sacked the government of
Prime Minister and president-designate Viktor Yanukovich.
Several hurdles remain before opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko
can claim outright victory in a crisis that has threatened to tear
apart the ex-Soviet state that sits between former master Russia
and an expanded European Union.
The vote passed at the second attempt through secret ballot at
an unruly sitting of the assembly, with Yushchenko's backers sporting
orange scarves and ties -- his campaign color.
Outside, tens of thousands of his supporters followed the debate
through loudspeakers, cheering wildly at every procedural measure
and embracing as the outcome was announced.
"It is an important and serious victory for us but there is
still a lot to be done," parliamentary deputy Mykola Tomenko
told the crowd in nearby Independence Square, taken over by opposition
supporters since the disputed Nov. 21 presidential election.
The opposition has vowed to use "People Power" to win
demands for a new election soon.
Approval came just before the start of efforts by international
mediators to help settle the crisis. Deputies had also voted to
create an interim "government of national trust."
Outgoing President Leonid Kuchma made clear he would not easily
give up his battle with the opposition, rejecting its key demand
the presidential run-off his protege won be held again.
"Any rerun would simply be a farce. I cannot see it in any
other way and I will never support it as it would be unconstitutional,"
he told a meeting of economic officials.
The Supreme Court was sitting for a third day to decide whether
the election was fraudulent.
If it rules in favor of the opposition, the Central Election Commission
will have to revoke the victory it handed to Yanukovich and can
then either set a repeat vote or a completely new election which
would take up to three months to complete.
Yanukovich himself becomes acting prime minister, a position he
can hold under the constitution for two months. But, crucially for
the opposition, it means he has effectively lost his administrative
power base to help in a new election.
But there is widespread speculation that Kuchma will drop him and
look for a new protege to challenge Yushchenko.
President Bush called for a peaceful resolution.
Bush said he had spoken by telephone to Polish President Aleksander
Kwasniewski, one of the international mediators trying to broker
a way out of a standoff that has paralyzed government and is beginning
to hit Ukraine's economy.
The sides have been deadlocked, neither quite able to deliver the
final blow and aware that one false step could trigger mass violence
in a country which has voted largely along linguistic and cultural
So bitter has the political debate become that the losing side
faces being completely shut out of power.
"It's very important that violence not break out there, and
it's important that the will of the people be heard," Bush
Kuchma, whose 10-year rule is tarnished by scandal and poor economic
management, has suggested he might agree to the longer process of
a new election from scratch.
Analysts say he may hope that by dragging out the crisis, opposition
supporters will tire of spending day after day on the streets and
night after night in tents in wintry weather.
CLOSER TIES TO WEST
The world view of the two rivals differs widely, with Yushchenko
looking to the European Union that has expanded up to Ukraine's
borders as crucial to hopes of raising the economy.
Yanukovich looks to achieve that goal with traditional partners
in the former Soviet Union, especially Russia which has dominated
Ukraine for centuries and is its main source of energy. More exports,
however, go to the European Union.
The divide inevitably colors the attitudes of the mediators.
The EU views Ukraine, with its industrial and agricultural might
still to be exploited, as a future member.
For Russia, it is part of the family. Its loss to the embrace of
the West would underline the Kremlin's dwindling influence in a
region it once ruled.
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who arrived in Kiev Tuesday
and met Kuchma, said any solution "had to lie in Ukraine's
legal framework, ruling out any use of force."
Kwasniewski, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus and Boris Gryzlov,
a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, were arriving
Wednesday to attend talks.
DONETSK, Ukraine - Angry pensioners in eastern
Ukraine jostled for a place in line to a bank Tuesday as a crisis
over a bitterly disputed presidential election spilled into the
"If only they would let me withdraw at least 1,000 hryvnas
(190 dollars)," said 76-year-old Yulia Kopran, one of thousands
of Ukrainians who have rushed to convert their hryvnas into foreign
currency over the past few days.
The run on bank deposits was sparked by a crisis that followed
a November 21 runoff presidential vote, including mass opposition
demonstrations and threats of separatism by southeastern regions.
"This is an artificially created problem, it's the political
instability that is making people do this," said Irina Panaseyko,
chief accountant of the Ukrainsky Biznes Bank in Donetsk.
The rush to buy up dollars and euros prompted the central bank
Tuesday to impose limits on purchases of foreign currency, barring
individuals from buying more than 1,000 dollars at a single location.
"If individuals want to buy more than 1,000 dollars (755 euros)
they have to wait until the next day," a spokeswoman said,
but added that people could visit several exchange booths and change
1,000 dollars each time.
Meanwhile currency exchange booths throughout the city of Donetsk
had stopped selling foreign currency and many of the city's bank
machines had "out of order" signs taped to their windows.
The crisis also spilled into other sectors, as
the southern Crimea republic instituted price controls on bread
and the region of Dniepropetrovsk advised its cities to monitor
prices on food and fuel daily.
The central bank has resorted to massive intervention to keep the
hryvna stable, spending up to 400 million dollars out of reserves
of some 10 billion dollars in the past week, analysts say.
"There are enough central bank reserves for
the moment but it all depends on how long it goes on for,"
said Andriy Blinov, head of International Centre for Policy Studies.
"The situation is such today that the economy is hostage to
the political situation," added Blinov, also warning of a spurt
The central bank also ordered banks not to process non-cash exchange
transactions in excess of 50,000 dollars and the early payment of
fixed-term deposits, the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS reported.
Businesses are to be limited to withdrawing 80,000 hryvna (15,038
dollars) in cash per month, and individuals limited to daily withdrawals
of 1,500 hryvna per day from their bank accounts.
Ukraine's average monthly wage in October was
Donetsk is a bastion of support for pro-Russia Prime Minister Viktor
Yanukovich, and is one of more than a dozen regions which have threatened
to grab more autonomy from Kiev if Western-leaning opposition leader
Viktor Yushchenko becomes president.
Although ballot results handed victory to Yanukovich, Yushchenko
claims that the government helped rig the vote to steal the election
and is demanding that he either be declared the winner or that a
new vote be held.
Hamburg - German
authorities have secret documents that could be important to the
retrial of a man accused of helping the Hamburg-based Sept. 11 pilots,
but U.S. authorities will not allow them to be submitted as evidence,
the government told a court Tuesday.
A federal appeals court in March ordered the retrial of Mounir
el Motassadeq on charges of more than 3,000 counts of accessory
to murder and membership in a terrorist organization after ruling
he had been unfairly denied testimony from Al Qaeda captives in
U.S. custody when originally convicted in 2003.
When Motassadeq's retrial opened in August, Washington
appeared to be backing down slightly, permitting the German court
to introduce summaries of U.S. interrogations of Ramzi Binalshibh
and Khalid Shaikh Mohamad.
Mohammed is thought to be the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks
and Binalshibh is believed to have acted as the liaison to Al Qaeda
for the Hamburg cell, which included suicide hijackers Mohamad Atta,
Marwan Al Shehhi and Ziad Jarrah.
But in a letter read to the court Tuesday, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's
office said that, though German intelligence has some of the full
interrogation transcripts, it has not been
able to get permission from the United States to have them introduced
To turn them over without U.S. permission would damage German intelligence
services' ability to work with its American counterparts and thus
"endanger the interests of the state," said the letter,
written by Schroeder's intelligence coordinator Ernst Uhrlau.
The United States refused to allow the transcripts
or summaries to be introduced at Motassadeq's first trial.
The 30-year-old Moroccan is accused of helping pay tuition and
other bills for members of the Hamburg cell, allowing them to live
as students as they plotted the attacks.
He acknowledges being a friend of the suicide hijackers but maintains
he knew nothing of their plans to attack the United States.
In the summaries read to the court as the retrial opened, Binalshibh
backed that up, saying only he and the three Hamburg-based suicide
pilots -- but not Motassadeq -- knew of the Sept. 11 plot.
The U.S. Justice Department warned that it doubted the credibility
of the statements, however, and Uhrlau in his letter again warned
that they should be "treated with caution."
In testimony last week, German federal agent Juergen Maurer said
Binalshibh's and Mohamad's statements were self-contradictory, and
that their evidence also contained contradictions of known facts
and of reports from other suspects.
He would not elaborate, saying that the material is classified.
politicians and police are blaming U.S. officials for this week's
release of Mounir el-Motassadeq, the only man convicted in the Sept.
11, 2001, terror attacks in the United States, pending a retrial.
Klaus Buss, the interior minister in the state of Schleswig-Holstein,
said Thursday in a radio interview that U.S. officials had refused
to allow terror suspect Ramzi Binalshibh to appear before the court
in Germany and thus had “provided the essential cause“
for the Moroccan's release.
Chairman of the 9/11 cover-up
bin Laden business associate) Thomas Kean made some veiled threats
on NBC's Meet the Press Nov. 28, 2004:
MR. RUSSERT: Governor Kean, you said Americans are not going to
be as safe. Do you believe if we don't pass this bill now, you,
in effect, are risking lives?
MR. KEAN: I think you could put it just that way, yeah, because
we know there's another attack coming. You and I can't say
if it's next week or six months from now. But it's coming. And unless
we take steps now--and 80 percent of the American people want this
bill passed. Unless we take these steps now, it's going to be the
new Congress going to come in; there are inefficiencies in the way
the new Congress organizes, always. It's going to take at least
six months. So six months where none of these things will happen:
not better security at the borders, not more help for local people,
nothing. Nothing. And I don't think we can wait that long, and I
think it does, in essence, risk lives.
WASHINGTON — On the evening of Oct.
14, a young Marine spokesman near Fallouja appeared on CNN and made
a dramatic announcement.
"Troops crossed the line of departure," 1st Lt. Lyle
Gilbert declared, using a common military expression signaling the
start of a major campaign. "It's going to be a long night."
CNN, which had been alerted to expect a major news development,
reported that the long-awaited offensive to retake the Iraqi city
of Fallouja had begun.
In fact, the Fallouja offensive would not kick off for another
three weeks. Gilbert's carefully worded announcement was an elaborate
psychological operation — or "psy-op" — intended
to dupe insurgents in Fallouja and allow U.S. commanders to see
how guerrillas would react if they believed U.S. troops were entering
the city, according to several Pentagon officials.
In the hours after the initial report, CNN's Pentagon reporters
were able to determine that the Fallouja operation had not, in fact,
"As the story developed, we quickly made it clear to our viewers
exactly what was going on in and around Fallouja," CNN spokesman
Matthew Furman said.
Officials at the Pentagon and other U.S. national
security agencies said the CNN incident was not an isolated feint
— the type used throughout history by armies to deceive their
enemies — but part of a broad effort underway within the Bush
administration to use information to its advantage in the war on
The Pentagon in 2002 was forced to shutter its controversial Office
of Strategic Influence (OSI), which was opened shortly after the
Sept. 11 attacks, after reports that the office intended to plant
false news stories in the international media. But
officials say that much of OSI's mission — using information
as a tool of war — has been assumed by other offices throughout
the U.S. government.
Although most of the work remains classified, officials say that
some of the ongoing efforts include having U.S. military spokesmen
play a greater role in psychological operations in Iraq, as
well as planting information with sources used by Arabic TV channels
such as Al Jazeera to help influence the portrayal of the United
Other specific examples were not known, although U.S.
national security officials said an emphasis had been placed on
influencing how foreign media depict the United States.
These efforts have set off a fight inside the Pentagon over the
proper use of information in wartime. Several top officials see
a danger of blurring what are supposed to be well-defined lines
between the stated mission of military public affairs — disseminating
truthful, accurate information to the media and the American public
— and psychological and information operations, the use of
often-misleading information and propaganda to influence the outcome
of a campaign or battle.
Several of those officials who oppose the use of misleading information
spoke out against the practice on the condition of anonymity.
"The movement of information has gone from the public affairs
world to the psychological operations world," one senior defense
official said. "What's at stake is the credibility of people
in uniform." [...]
One recent development critics point to
is the decision by commanders in Iraq in mid-September to combine
public affairs, psychological operations and information operations
into a "strategic communications" office. An
organizational chart of the newly created office was obtained by
The Times. The strategic communications office, which began
operations Sept. 15, is run by Air Force Brig. Gen. Erv Lessel,
who answers directly to Gen. George W. Casey, the top U.S. commander
Partly out of concern about this new office, Gen. Richard B. Myers,
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, distributed a letter Sept.
27 to the Joint Chiefs and U.S. combat commanders in the field warning
of the dangers of having military public affairs (PA) too closely
aligned with information operations (IO). [...]
Pentagon officials say Myers is worried that U.S. efforts in Iraq
and in the broader campaign against terrorism could suffer if world
audiences begin to question the honesty of statements from U.S.
commanders and spokespeople.
"While organizations may be inclined to create physically
integrated PA/IO offices, such organizational constructs have the
potential to compromise the commander's credibility with the media
and the public," Myers wrote.
Myers' letter is not being heeded in Iraq,
officials say, in part because many top civilians at the Pentagon
and National Security Council support an effort that blends public
affairs with psy-ops to win Iraqi support — and Arab support
in general — for the U.S. fight against the insurgency.
Advocates of these programs said that the advent of a 24-hour news
cycle and the powerful influence of Arabic satellite television
made it essential that U.S. military commanders and civilian officials
made the control of information a key part of their battle plans.
"Information is part of the battlefield in a way that it's
never been before," one senior Bush administration official
said. "We'd be foolish not to try to use it to our advantage."
And, supporters argue, it is necessary to
fill a vacuum left when the budgets for the State Department's public
diplomacy programs were slashed and the U.S. Information
Agency — a bulwark of the nation's anticommunist efforts during
the Cold War — was gutted in the 1990s.
"The worst outcome would be to lose
this war by default. If the smart folks in the psy-op and civil
affairs tents can cast a truthful, persuasive message that resonates
with the average Iraqi, why not use the public affairs vehicles
to transmit it?" asked Charles A. Krohn, a professor
at the University of Michigan and former deputy chief of public
affairs for the Army. [...]
Advocates also cite a September report by the Defense Science Board,
a panel of outside experts that advises Defense Secretary Donald
H. Rumsfeld, which concluded that a "crisis" in U.S. "strategic
communications" had undermined American efforts to fight Islamic
The study cited polling in the Arab world
that revealed widespread hatred of the United States throughout
the Middle East. A poll taken in June by Zogby International revealed
that 94% of Saudi Arabians had an "unfavorable" view of
the United States, compared with 87% in April 2002. In Egypt, the
second largest recipient of U.S. aid, 98% of respondents held an
unfavorable view of the United States. [...]
Yet some in the military argue that the efforts at better "strategic
communication" sometimes cross the line into propaganda, citing
some recent media briefings held in Iraq. During a Nov. 10 briefing
by Marine Lt. Gen. John F. Sattler, reporters were shown a video
of Iraqi troops saluting their flag and singing the Iraqi national
"Pretty soon, we're going to have the 5 o'clock follies all
over again, and it will take us another 30 years to restore our
credibility," said a second senior Defense official, referring
to the much-ridiculed daily media briefings in Saigon during the
According to several Pentagon officials, the strategic
communications programs at the Defense Department are being coordinated
by the office of the undersecretary of Defense for policy, Douglas
Dwarf Known as Al Qaeda
The threat posed by the group is hugely overblown.
| By Dirk Laabs, Dirk Laabs is a journalist
based in Germany.
November 30, 2004
The German federal police, the BKA, was once
famous for its relentless, coolly efficient pursuit of terrorists.
Hundreds of BKA agents eliminated the first three generations of
the Red Army Faction, a terror organization that killed scores of
politicians and civilians in the 1970s and 1980s. Then the hunt
was on for the fourth generation. Hundreds of millions of dollars
were invested; again, legions of agents were dispatched.
But finally, in 1997, BKA experts admitted there may never have
been a fourth-generation Red Army Faction. The experts had been
hunting a phantom. Lone-wolf terrorists or isolated veterans had
committed the few, random attacks that occurred.
It was a striking example of how a police force
— and a whole nation — fell for propaganda from the
terrorists, which was pumped up by almost obsessive media hype.
Looking at the current reporting on Al Qaeda, the question is: Is
history repeating itself?
This month, at the BKA's annual conference, Germany's top investigators
and international experts discussed what they had discovered since
Sept. 11 about Al Qaeda and the international Islamist terror network.
The main thing they have learned is that there
is less than meets the eye.
Yes, Al Qaeda was once centralized, structured
and powerful, but that was before the U.S. pulverized its camps
and leadership in Afghanistan.
In other words, this battle in the war on terror might already
be over. It's as an ex-CIA agent once said:
"I quit the agency at the end of the Cold War because I was
tired of politicians making me describe the Soviet Union as a 20-foot
giant — when it was really only a dwarf."
For more than three years, Al Qaeda has been described by investigators,
academics and self-styled experts as an almost uncontrollable menace.
It was said to work closely with organized crime, to have access
to unlimited funds, to have hidden those funds in gold and diamonds,
to be capable of moving its money with a sophisticated finance system
to whatever country Osama bin Laden chose to attack next.
The media tended to believe the worst and amplify it. The general
idea was that a perfect crime such as 9/11 needed a perfect organization
behind it. Most of the descriptions of Al Qaeda proved more legend
Al Qaeda never had a "macro-financing" structure, said
Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere, the dean of Europe's anti-terrorism
investigators. In fact, analyzing the clusters
of activists, he found that there were never large flows of external
money financing any attack. In nearly a decade of searching,
all Bruguiere was able to find was "micro-financing" activists
raising the little money they needed to survive and commit their
crimes through credit card or debit card fraud. They
turned out to be petty thieves, not grand gangsters.
The terrorists did not need a lot of money to finance the attacks
in Madrid, Bali and Tunisia. "They could carry around the money
they needed in cash," said Nikos Passas of Northeastern University
There is, according to Passas, no evidence that Al Qaeda ever invested
in the gold market or in African diamonds. It never moved money
around the world through the traditional and untraceable informal
money transfer systems known as hawalas. It used Western Union.
That didn't stop the United Nations and the United States from
harnessing the hawalas with rigid controls, which hurt the hundreds
of small businesses in the United States, the Middle East and Pakistan
that rely on them.
Meanwhile, authorities pay little or no attention to much simpler
ways to transfer money globally. PayPal, for example, which has
become the de facto international bank of the Internet, is open
to anyone with a credit card.
All too often, investigators have fallen for myths — many
times fed by the terrorists themselves. The BKA has constructed
profiles of 60 radical Islamists. "There was no pattern, no
model … every activist had individual motives to become radical,"
a German investigator said.
But being less structured doesn't mean the
terrorists are less dangerous or easier to stop. Quite
the contrary. The smaller the fish, the tighter the net needed to
catch it. "We take every case seriously now precisely because
there is no pattern," one German investigator said.
Investigators admit that 3 1/2 years after 9/11, they know next
to nothing about the motives of Islamic terrorists. Knowing so little
means they have few means to predict — or prevent —
Tehran warns nuclear freeze is
temporary, European trio to reward Iran.
Iran boasted Tuesday it had humiliated the United States at a board
meeting of the UN atomic watchdog by agreeing to what it reiterated
was only a temporary freeze of its suspect nuclear programme.
"The Islamic republic has not renounced the nuclear fuel cycle,
will never renounce it and will use it," top national security
official and nuclear negotiator Hassan Rowhani told a news conference.
"We have proved that, in an international institution, we
are capable of isolating the United States. And that is a great
victory," he added.
On Monday the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) spared
Iran the fate of being referred to the UN Security Council for possible
sanctions after Tehran agreed in a deal with Britain, France and
Germany to suspend its uranium enrichment programme.
The United States accuses Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, a charge
vehemently denied by Tehran. It had been pressuring the IAEA's 35-nation
board of governors to send the case straight to New York.
Rowhani, who smiled and joked with reporters during a nearly two-hour-long
press conference, claimed that the US envoy to the IAEA "was
enraged and in tears, and everybody said that the Americans had
failed and we had won".
He also asserted that Iran had only agreed to the suspension for
the duration of negotiations with the European trio that should
yield lucrative incentives for the Islamic republic.
Iran and the European trio are to begin talks in December on a
package of rewards to Iran for suspending enrichment, the key process
using centrifuges to make fuel for nuclear reactors -- or the explosive
core of atomic bombs.
"The suspension will only last as long as the negotiations.
It should be a question of months and not years. We should not feel
during the negotiations that they are trying to gain time,"
Europe is ready to negotiate on trade, transfers of peaceful nuclear
technology and help on security issues. But the talks will also
be aimed at producing "objective guarantees" that Iran
will not divert its nuclear programme towards making an atomic bomb.
Both sides admit this will be a tough task in the light of Iran's
determination to produce its own nuclear fuel. [...]
The United Nations secretary
general is poised to recommend the first major overhaul of the UN
in its 60-year history which will back the use of pre-emptive military
strikes with the approval of a more proactive Security Council.
Kofi Annan is due to present a report tomorrow by a team of 16
high-level experts after he formed the panel a year ago in the midst
of the Iraq crisis and asked it to come up with solutions for dealing
with the challenges to global security in the 21st century.
The 93-page report considers the fierce polarisation of positions
in the run-up to the Iraq war, that pitted the US and UK against
France and Russia, and says that the council "needs to work
better than it has".
Although implicitly criticising the US "war
on terror", the report recognises the international community
needs to be concerned about the "nightmare scenarios combining
terrorists, weapons of mass destruction and irresponsible states
and much more besides, which may conceivably justify the use of
force, not just reactively, but preventively and before a latent
threat becomes imminent". [...]
The Red Cross has accused President
George Bush's administration of overseeing the intentional physical
and psychological torture of prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay.
Disintegrating security in Baghdad
was underlined in a sombre warning yesterday from the British embassy
against using the airport road or taking a plane out of Iraq.
The embassy says a bomb was discovered on a flight inside Iraq
on 22 November. It shows that insurgents have been able to penetrate
the stringent security at Baghdad airport. The embassy says its
own staff have been advised against taking commercial planes.
The warning is in sharp contrast to more optimistic statements
from US military commanders after the capture of Fallujah in which
they have spoken of "breaking the back of the insurgency".
The embassy says that the road between Baghdad and the international
airport, perhaps the most important highway in the country, is now
too dangerous to use. The advice says starkly: "With effect
from 28 November, the British embassy ceased all movements on the
Baghdad International airport road."
American human rights lawyers
began an attempt in Germany to prosecute Donald Rumsfeld for war
crimes yesterday. A case against the US Defence Secretary could
embarrass Gerhard Schröder's coalition government.
Peter Weiss and Michael Ratner of the Centre for Constitutional
Rights said they had submitted evidence to Germany's federal state
prosecutor in connection with torture at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.
He said: "Torture at Abu Ghraib has not been properly addressed
by the US courts. The point is to make sure that people who torture
have nowhere to hide." His action aims to use a 2002 law which
lets prosecutors bring charges against those suspected of war crimes
irrespective of nationality or where the crimes were committed.
Yesterday we received the following from a US reader:
For a year and a half, the team at Cassiopaea has been describing
exactly what is now happening, and I've been watching it unfold
in horror. I try not to focus on fear or the pain I feel at the
suffering my country is causing, but I am not that strong. I resist
my impulse to run screaming into the streets demanding a stop,
an impeachment, prosecution for war crimes, because Iknow that
screaming will land me in jail - or worse.
I have begun to envy the dead in their peace, since more of each
day is taken up with the pain and with convincing myself to stay
alive just in case my energy matters here in some small way. The
thought of making things worse with my leaving keeps me here,
because the pain I feel will never approach the pain and suffering
my people are causing, and even the thought of making that worse
glues me to this place. So, I stay, futile, and guard against
a day I might not cry for those we hurt and kill; a day I lose
my soul to what my country has become.
It has become clear that Israel
played a major role in the battle for Fallujah, despite the American
concern to conceal this fact.
What news leaked of officers, soldiers, and even rabbis of dual
citizenships that took part in the battles, some of which were killed
by the resistance's bullets, is only the tip of the iceberg. The
killing of an Israeli officer in Fallujah exposed the existence
of a large number officers, snipers, and paratroopers in Iraq. Based
on Israeli press statistics, Israel currently has no fewer than
1,000 officers and soldiers scattered around the American units
working in Iraq. In addition, 37 rabbis are operating within the
American troops, which leads to believe that the real number is
greater; since Ha'aretz admitted that others are concealing their
Jewish identities, which makes them self-driven Israeli citizens.
Currently, there is a recruitment campaign coinciding with the
escalation of the operations in Iraq, which seeks to send further
assistance there. Amongst these campaigns is the incitement of Rabbi
Irving Elson in his latest speech given in New York to allocate
further "Fighting Rabbis" and encourage them to enlist
in the American forces, in addition to another rabbi's advisory
stating that those killed in Fallujah are "martyrs."
America needs the Israelis' experience in gang wars in order to
manage the battles in the Iraqi cities; given that two generations
of its armed forces lack this experience since the end of the Vietnam
War. However, the Israeli role is neither technical nor complementary
to the American plan. Rather, it is part of the vision established
by its military and political leadership prior to the launching
of the war, which aims at annulling any regional role for Iraq and
eliminating any threat it might cause to its future. The
Israeli plan became clear due to various headlines, most prominent
of which is dispatching Mossad operatives to establish offices and
networks in the north, south, eliminate the Iraqi scientists and
intensify the real estate purchase of property and land in the north;
specifically in Arbil, Kirkuk and Mosul. This comes as a
completion of the previous project, launched ten years prior to
the fall of Baghdad, through Jewish Turks.
Israel encourages the Kurdish leaderships to decentralize from
Baghdad in administering their regions but at the same time, it
aims at having the Kurdish parties play a pivotal role in the post-war
Iraq due to the historical relations that it had established with
the Kurds. More likely, Israel has advanced in developing the plan
announced previously by the minister of infrastructure Joseph Paritzky
that aims at laying oil pipelines from Iraq to Israel passing through
Jordan; since a Turkish security report recently published by Jumhuriyet
confirmed Israel's attempts to activate the line towards Haifa as
soon as possible. Based on this vision, the
Israelis believe that the American forces are incapable of imposing
security and stability in Iraq. This obliged the Israelis to develop
their own channels with the local powers beginning at the fulcrum
point in the north and advancing in the implementation plan, which
they had prepared prior to the fall of the former regime.
However, they are now avoiding a confrontation with Turkey, which
is worried from their expansion in the north.
In this course, Israel incites the Iraqi Jews to the forefront
in order to head the bridge of organizing the relations with the
new government and specifically intensify the trade initiatives
with Iraq through Jordan. It also wants it to have a word in Iraq's
destiny through the indirect influence at the Sharm El-Sheikh summit,
which infuriated both Syria and Turkey.
The vast and unexpected expansion of the
Israeli role in various fields in Iraq, confirms that Israel is
the major beneficiary in the continuity of the war, same as it is
the first beneficiary from the American escalation with Iran regarding
its nuclear file. Iraq is not Russia, and Iran is not China,
hence they cause no threat to the U.S., nevertheless, they both
represent a threat to the Hebrew state.
In conclusion, it is possible to say that the Likudniks, who control
decision-making posts in America, are using Bush's campaign against
terrorism as a cover-up to accomplish Israel's objectives in Iraq.
Hence, the purpose of the Fallujah battle is to break the backbone
of the resistance and pave the way for the completion of the Israeli
a killer obsessed with hatred of Palestinians.
I had promised Arafat that his people would not get any harm.
Sharon, however, ignored this commitment entirely.
Sharon's word is worth nil."
Ambassador Philip Habib -
Ronald Reagan's Special Middle East Envoy*
MER - MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 11/3/1998: History takes strange
turns indeed. The very man who has been at the heart of Israel's
campaign to massacre, disenfranchise, and push under the Palestinians
is now Israel's Foreign Minister, in charge of negotiating the "final
settlement". The very man who has championed Israel's settlements
and masterminded the "by-pass roads" and apartheid-style
"autonomy" is now mandated to "negotiate" with
the Palestinians. The very man who set up his personal settlement
in the Muslim Quarter of the old city of Jerusalem, flying the Israeli
flag and a Jewish Menorah on top of his building for all to see,
this is the man the Israelis now thrust forward to finish off the
What a disgrace. What an abomination. What a disaster.
Sharon led the invasion of Lebanon in 1982 as
Defense Minister. He bludgeoned, bombed, and lied his way, killing
tens of thousands of civilians as he went, creating an Israeli as
well as an international crisis as his forces laid siege to Beirut.
The youngest tank commander in Israel's history, Eli Geva, finally
refused Sharon's orders and was allowed to resign from the army
rather than face imprisonment. Desperate, though of course working
in coordination with the Israelis, the Americans orchestrated the
PLO's departure from Lebanon, Arafat and his men fleeing to Tunis.
A short time later, totally contrary to all assurances, Sharon
personally orchestrated Israel's ally, the right-wing Lebanese Phalange,
to slaughter thousands of defenseless Palestinians in the refugee
camps of Sabra and Shatilla. Israeli searchlights illuminated the
camps, while Israeli army personnel watched through binoculars,
as the death squads spread unchallenged through the camps.
Much of the world -- including many prominent Jews -- branded Sharon
a genocidal war criminal. Even the Israelis themselves, after a
partial white-wash investigative commission, publicly declared that
Sharon has been "indirectly" responsible for the massacres
and forced his removal as Defense Minister.
That was the overall context for Ambassador Philip Habib, Special
Envoy of President Ronald Regain, calling Sharon an obsessed "killer".
The following commentary about Sharon's becoming Foreign Minister
and his role at the Wye negotiations is from a recent column by
Professor Edward Said published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 9/28/1982:
The latest outrage concerns a report published in the US press
on Saturday 10 October. In reports of General Ariel Sharon's appointment
as foreign minister of Israel, a leading Palestinian figure -- a
minister, negotiator, and long-time spokesperson for Arafat -- was
quoted as registering a quite remarkable reaction to Sharon: we
are prepared, he said, "to forget history".
Remember that this Israeli military man was responsible (the Israeli
court at the time said "indirectly") for the massacres
of Sabra and Shatila, but for our leaders this is perhaps too long
ago to count as an obstacle to dealing with the man. Sharon's record
of crimes against Palestinian civilians in any case is a very long
one. He was directly responsible for the "pacification"
of Gaza in 1971, when numerous citizens were killed or unjustly
imprisoned, their houses demolished and the whole area transformed
into an Israeli jail. As the head of Force 101, as it was proudly
called, he inherited (after having participated in creating it)
the tradition of attacking Arab civilians, the massacre at Qibya
being only one example. Sharon used to boast that Israel could invade
and destroy any Arab country at will. His whole career was compiled
out of regular assertions of Israeli arrogance, all of which ended
up in exorbitant losses of Arab civilian life.
Appointing him as foreign minister -- an act which seems to have
shocked many Israelis for whom Sharon was a source of national shame
as well as the author of a 1981 "peace plan" whose principal
points seem to have been annexation and the creation of Bantustans:
exactly the "peace" situation of today -- was Netanyahu's
way of humiliating the Palestinians still further, forcing them
to deal with a man first of all whose hands were literally dripping
with Palestinian blood, second, whose intentions are known everywhere
as radically hostile to Palestinians, and third, who persisted in
regarding Arafat as a war criminal. He wouldn't shake Arafat's hand,
By way of response, and forgetfulness, Arafat announced that he
would in fact shake Sharon's hand. And then, as I said above, one
of his closest aides went on record as being prepared "to forget
history" and deal honestly and in good faith with Sharon.
Forget history: the phrase has a certain stink about it that emanates
directly from the sty of corruption and dishonesty in which the
Palestinian leadership from top to bottom now swims. Why this unholy
zeal to forget the butcher of Sabra and Shatila? Of Gaza? Of Sinai?
A man who directly supports' the settlers and who has planted himself
and his gigantic belly in the middle of Arab Jerusalem, "his"
house surrounded by a small brigade of guards, an Israeli flag waving
disdainfully from its roof. A man whose hatred and contempt for
Palestinians is unparalleled in Israel today. A man who not only
wishes us no good at all, but who has in fact done us harm for three
decades. Forget history, says the distinguished Palestinian minister.
I realize that all I can do is to write these lines in disgust and
protest, to record what is being forgotten and to mark what should
not be erased from collective memory. But that we are driven to
have not just correct but cordial relations with a proven war criminal
simply outrages one's conscience beyond credibility.
Were this the only instance of Arab lack of dignity, it would be
bad enough. But it isn't. Last winter, when I was in Palestine...,
Sharon was sent to Jordan to meet with its leaders.
Our Israeli soundman, whose politics were liberal, told me that
he was mystified as to why Arabs seem to respect this dreadful man.
To many of us Israelis, he said to me, he's a war criminal. Why
do the Arabs like him so much?
I must confess to having been tongue-tied, as I am again now. But
merely forgetting about it can go too far, obviously. So it is our
duty to remind these forgetful rulers of ours that there is no way
that Sharon's crimes against humanity will be forgotten, despite
the Palestinian Authority's forgiving spirit. The danger is, however,
that, having already forgotten their own people, and certainly its
right of return, as well as its rights of residence on its own land,
the great keepers of the Palestinian revolution, as Fatah still
refers to itself, will forget themselves too. Do you suppose it
is impossible that they may apologize to Sharon for Palestinian
existence, ask his continued indulgence and beg him to let us live
on a little longer?
As it is, the deal that they have accepted of nine per cent withdrawal
plus three per cent to be left as a nature reserve is misleadingly
referred to as a gain, even though our leaders never point out that
the 10 per cent contains only one or at most two per cent that will
transfer land from the Israeli area C to Palestinian area A, plus
some land from C to the jointly controlled area B. All in all, then,
forgetfulness is a disastrous method of procedure, whose ultimate
benefit is to the Authority's own survival under Israeli and US
Passengers should vehemently
protest these ridiculous Transportation Security Administration
bully airport screeners' pat-down searches and write to their congressmen.
Furthermore, more should complain by asking for the TSA screener's
name and badge number.
It's gone way too far. The TSA is more based on people who have
watched way too much TV and fantasized about cop shows. I can tell
you that in most other places in the world, like western Europe
for instance, they do not embarrass you or treat you so poorly as
here. Does it tell you something when they have a curtained booth
if they desire to wand you further (i.e. Switzerland)? [...]
Of course that would be beyond the 10 minute maximum wait Mr. Norman
Mineta had wanted when this TSA was formed. Forget that logic of
interviews. And, the newer U.S.-visit program? I wonder how many
of our western European friends we've run off from visiting or conducting
business on our soil? Fingerprinting, photographing and treating
them like criminals, too.
Ridiculous for such lower risk persons. I wouldn't come here if
I didn't have to. Three years past 9-11 and we still haven't learned
squat on handling people at the country's airports. I think we're
becoming a police state.
| US Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has
announced his resignation from President George Bush's cabinet.
He said he was stepping down to pay "more attention to personal
Mr Ridge was appointed by President Bush to be the first White
House homeland security adviser within weeks of the 11 September
He said he would remain at the head of the 180,000-strong department
until 1 February next year, unless the Senate confirms his successor
He was charged by Mr Bush with rethinking security arrangements
and preventing further attacks on US territory.
"I will always be grateful for his call to service,"
Mr Ridge said on Tuesday.
"There will always be more to do, but today, America is significantly
stronger and safer than ever before," he said.
Mr Ridge was responsible for raising the national security level
to "orange alert" on six occasions because of fears of
an imminent terrorist attack.
He has always fiercely denied accusations
that some alerts were timed to boost support for Mr Bush.
For the past four years on Black
Friday, three Newark sisters have been trekking to the Christiana
Mall to celebrate a global anticonsumerism movement called "Buy
This year, they got arrested after police asked the women to leave.
Anna White, 30, said she and her sisters Laura, 28, and Rachel,
25, and their friend Terri Carter went to the mall about 11:30 a.m.
Friday on their annual junket to not shop.
They were dressed in Santa hats and white T-shirts printed with
the words "NOTHING - What you've been looking for." The
back of the shirts read: "Ask me about NOTHING."
Buy Nothing Day began 13 years ago a way for people to engage in
symbolic protest against the "frantic consumer binge"
by refusing to shop for 24 hours, according to Adbusters Media Foundation,
a Vancouver, British Columbia-based organization that sponsors the
The foundation is "a global network of artists, activists,
writers, pranksters, students, educators and entrepreneurs who want
to advance the new social activist movement of the information age,"
according to the group's Web site.
White said she doesn't work for Adbusters.
"I like doing quirky things like this," she said. "It
seemed like a fun way to get people to think about alternative ideas."
The activists had fliers to hand out. But White said they would
only do so if someone came up to them to ask what NOTHING is all
"We didn't want to violate the mall's soliciting rules,"
But one of the women was armed with a video camera, which violates
A security guard told the women they would have to leave because
they were, in effect, soliciting - a reaction.
White said she and her sisters then left the mall through the Lord
& Taylor exit and headed to their car parked near J.C. Penney.
Outside, a state trooper told them that they were on private property
and would have to leave.
En route to their car, White said they were surrounded by four
or five state troopers who took them into custody and charged them
with criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor.
"They handcuffed us and took us to the [state police] satellite
office," White said. "I guess they thought if we let three
people dress up in Santa Claus hats, then what's next."
But state police spokesman Lt. Joseph Aviola's version of the story
"These people were in the mall and were observed talking to
patrons and also had a camera in their possession," Aviola
said. "They were asked by management to leave the mall and
they refused twice. They were told if they didn't leave that they
would be arrested."
Aviola said a trooper walked the women to their vehicle.
White said that never happened. She maintains that they were walking
to their car when troopers arrested them.
"We don't understand because we were following directions
to leave," she said. "I don't know how you can get to
your car if you can't walk to it through the mall parking lot."
Aviola said mall security told police 20 minutes after the women
were told to leave that they were still milling around in the parking
lot. He said they were congregating around cars "with a tripod
set up with a cord running from it and appeared to be videotaping
in the parking lot."
White denied that.
"They showed up last year and were told not to come back,
and they came back this year," Aviola said. "It's private
property, and they were told if they don't abide by the rules they
would be arrested."
Now, it's up to a magistrate to decide their fate Jan. 15. If convicted,
the women could be fined $25 plus court costs.
"I definitely am up for it again next year, but I don't want
to get arrested," White said. "That was not our intention
this year, either."
A moderate earthquake occurred at 18:25:30
(UTC) on Tuesday, November 30, 2004. The magnitude 5.5 event has
been located in the SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION. (This event has
been reviewed by a seismologist.)
REAL, Philippines - Terrified survivors were
fleeing the northeastern Philippines as a new storm bore down on
the area where floods and landslides have killed more than 400 people
and left nearly 200 missing.
Typhoon Nanmadol was early Friday expected to slam into the east
coast of the main island of Luzon. Entire villages were washed away
by a storm earlier this week and three towns were cut off and suffered
The new typhoon is packing winds of 175 kilometers (108.5 miles)
per hour over the Pacific Ocean and is already bringing driving
rain and strong winds to the devastated region, the government weather
The worst-hit coastal towns of Real, Infanta and General Nakar
suffered 364 dead and 139 missing, said the civil defense office
in Manila. At least 48 people were killed and 38 missing elsewhere
on Luzon. [...]
MIAMI - Everything about the Atlantic hurricane
season was big -- lots of powerful storms that spawned hundreds
of deadly tornadoes, many deaths, an unprecedented onslaught on
Florida, a huge damage toll and millions evacuated.
As the six-month season drew to a close
on Tuesday, it was just getting bigger. Tropical Storm Otto was
born in the Atlantic Ocean and forecasters said they reclassified
August's Tropical Storm Gaston to Hurricane Gaston.
By the numbers, the 2004 season has produced 15 storms, nine of
them hurricanes. Six were "major" hurricanes with sustained
winds of more than 110 mph.
"The amazing thing was only three of the storms did not have
an impact on land," said U.S. National Hurricane Center director
Max Mayfield. Officials said 9.4 million people along the U.S. Atlantic
and Gulf of Mexico coasts came under evacuation orders this season.
Florida took the brunt of the damage in
the United States, with hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan
and Jeanne walloping the state within a six-week span, the first
time a single state was hit by four hurricanes in one season since
1886, NHC officials said.
Damage from the four storms may exceed the $25 billion-plus toll
of Hurricane Andrew, the killer 1992 storm against which all others
in Florida are measured. "Future hurricanes will continue to
bring higher and higher damages as long as we continue to develop
the coastlines," Mayfield said.
In the Caribbean, Grenada, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, the Dominican
Republic and Haiti sustained serious losses. Ivan damaged 90 percent
of Grenada's housing stock, and Jeanne, as a tropical storm, spawned
floods that killed about 3,000 people in Haiti, the poorest country
in the Americas.
Hurricane Ivan was a nightmare for the oil industry, thrashing
through the Gulf of Mexico's most productive oil and gas fields
and wrecking platforms and undersea pipelines.
Damage from the storm, which helped push oil prices to over $55
a barrel this fall, has so far cut more than 32 million barrels
from an already tightly supplied market.
That is more than twice the impact on U.S. oil
production caused by powerful hurricanes Isidore and Lili in 2002.
Producers have still not fully recovered their output, with about
10 percent of their normal production still shut.
Even as the official season, which runs from June
1 to Nov. 30, waned, hurricane forecasters named the 15th storm.
Otto was born on Tuesday about 810 miles east of Bermuda with 45
mph winds. It poses no threat to any land.
Study of Tropical Storm Gaston, which hit South Carolina three
months ago, convinced experts that it had achieved the sustained
74 mph winds needed to be classified a hurricane, giving the 2004
season nine hurricanes.
The last decade brought more Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes
than any 10-year period in history. That trend could continue for
another two or three decades, officials said.
But for Florida, where thousands of residents are still struggling
with cleanup, roof repairs and temporary housing from four hurricane
strikes, a rerun of 2004 is highly unlikely.
"It's a very, very rare event,"
Mayfield said. "I wouldn't expect it again."
GENEVA - A ground-breaking treaty aimed at
curbing tobacco sales and advertising will come into force in three
months' time after Peru became the 40th country to sign up, a WHO
"This is a major public health treaty, which will give people
protection from tobacco for the first time," said Iain Simpson
of the Geneva-based World Health Organisation (WHO).
The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the first ever international
public health treaty, was agreed by the WHO's 192 member states
in 2003 after four years of negotiations and a tussle between tobacco
multinationals and anti-smoking campaigners.
Forty countries needed to ratify the treaty for it to enter into
force and the signatures were collected relatively quickly, said
"This reflects the fact that it is hugely important,"
he told AFP.
"There are 40 countries at the moment but we hope there will
be many more."
Countries who sign up will be obliged to ban adverts and sponsorship
promoting tobacco products, forbid sales to minors, force companies
to print larger health warnings on cigarette packs, use taxation
to reduce consumption and clamp down on smuggling.
QUAKERTOWN, Pa. - It's a glum day for optimists. After 24
years of community service, the Quakertown Optimists Club is calling
it quits. They're holding their last meeting on Thursday, citing
"I feel sad," club president Bernard Kensky said.
Kensky said that fewer club members were taking part in sporting
and scholastic activities for children, and fewer kids were getting
involved in club events.
The group worked with schools to hold essay, spelling and public
speaking contests for students, sponsored a youth bowling league
and organized golf tournaments and football and basketball events.
A bicycle derby sponsored by the club and the Quakertown police
department drew only 12 children last year, down from previous attendance
of 50 to 70 children, Kensky said.
The Optimist Club is an international organization that formed
in 1920. The Quakertown chapter started in 1980 with 35 members,
but dropped to 15 members this year.
"Four or five people would come to meetings and only two or
three people would help out with the activities," Kensky said.
"I don't know why people stopped getting involved."
Quakertown is about 35 miles north of Philadelphia.
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