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and extensive previously unpublished details, at long last, Laura Knight-Jadczyk's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
Volumes 1 and 2 now!
of the Day
US soldier is seen with an inscription on his helmet calling for vengeance
in the former insurgent stronghold of Fallujah, 50 kms west of Baghdad.
JFK Shows The Way
Last year on November 22, the
40th anniversary of the murder of JFK, we dedicated a significant
portion of the Signs page to looking again at the overwhelming
evidence that Kennedy was the victim of a US government-inspired
plot. We are not sure if it was simply because we feel that everything
that can be said about the event has already been said, or if we
have lost hope that anyone really cares anymore, but this year,
on the 41st anniversary, we completely ignored it.
To be honest, we tire of stating endlessly that which is patently,
almost absurdly, obvious to anyone with two neurons in contact with
one another. Sure, we understand the various factors that lead a
majority of American citizens to continue to believe, against all
evidence, that Oswald did it, but that doesn't really help when
having to face the fact that, in our world, those guilty of the
worst crimes usually get away scott free.
Sitting there brooding on this and other depressing facts, as we
are wont to do, an interesting article caught our eye. The title
Video Game Recreates Kennedy Assassination"
A ray of hope perhaps? Had someone finally latched on to the stupendous
idea of programming the minds of the world's gaming-obsessed youth
with the truth about the JFK murder?
Not exactly. The body of the story went on to say the following:
A new video game to be released on Monday allows players to simulate
the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
The release of "JFK Reloaded" is timed to coincide
with the 41st anniversary of Kennedy's murder in Dallas and
was designed to demonstrate a lone gunman was able to kill the
Ewing said the game was designed to undermine
the theory there was some shadowy plot behind the assassination.
"We believe passionately there was no conspiracy," he
Traffic Games said the objective was for a player to fire three
shots at Kennedy's motorcade from assassin Lee Harvey Oswald's
digitally recreated sixth-floor perch in the Texas School Book
Points are awarded or subtracted based on how accurately the
shots match the official version of events as documented in by
the Warren Commission, which investigated Kennedy's assassination.
Shooting the image of Kennedy in the right spots in the right
sequence adds to the score, while "errors" like shooting
first lady Jacqueline Kennedy lead to deductions.
Each shot can be replayed in slow motion, and the bullets can
be tracked as they travel and pass through Kennedy's digitally
recreated body. Players can choose to see blood by pressing a
"blood effects" option.
Players can view the motorcade from a number of angles, including
the perspective of filmmaker Abraham Zapruder and a view from
the "grassy knoll" where some
conspiracy theorists believe a second gunman was stationed.
It was the sort of story that has the potential to put us "over
the edge" so to speak, but just as we felt that the last vestige
of enthusiasm we possessed might have been squashed, we were gripped
by a strangely invigorating idea. While it may be true that the
vast majority of ordinary people simply do not, or are unable, to
care anymore, it is clear that there is one group that is still
very much concerned about making sure their voice is heard and their
message received. We are talking about the same group that was responsible
for the assassination of JFK, and a host of other heinous crimes
leading right up to the present day and the criminal "war on
We realised that there is still a battle to be joined, and success
or failure can not be measured by the extent of the apathy or disinterest
of the people, but rather by the evidence for the continued manipulation
of the people by the "powers that be". The simple logic
is that, if such "power brokers" are still exerting significant
efforts to brainwash the masses and obscure the truth, then there
must still be something to fight for. Our job then, and that of
any "truth seeker", is not to fight to free the individual
or collective per se - for each must choose for themselves if they
love the truth over all else - but rather to fight for the concept,
the very idea of truth, and its existence in this world.
There is never a point then when we can 'throw in the towel' or
decide that all is lost, for while we still have breath, we still
have work to do. It has been suggested that the universe keeps its
options open right up until the last moment, and while the odds
may not look good, we are not about to shrink from our responsibility,
as we see it, to do all we can to keep the fire of truth alive,
right up until the last moment.
Each tactical move that the 'control system' makes in an attempt
to bury the truth and further stack the deck in their favor, will
be responded to with the truth itself. At present there are still
a handful of dedicated 'seekers after truth', but if they should
fall by the wayside, then we shall carry on the task, alone if need
be. Like we said, while we have breath in our bodies.
Such is the state and nature of our world and those that control
it, that defending the truth very often means exposing the lies
and deception that attack it. The truth then is not always pleasant
to behold, and the articles and commentary on today's page portray
the current situation on our planet in a particularly truthful way.
The first is an excerpt from George Orwell's book "1984"
and describes very succinctly the present dynamic between the "leaders"
and the people.
WAR IS PEACE
Excerpted from the book
"1984" by George Orwell
The splitting-up of the world
into three great superstates was an event which could be and indeed
was foreseen before the middle of the twentieth century. With the
absorption of Europe by Russia and the British Empire by the United
States, two of the three existing powers, Eurasia and Oceania, were
already effectively in being. The third, Eastasia, only emerged
as a distinct unit after another decade of confused fighting. The
frontiers between the three superstates are in some places arbitrary,
and in others they fluctuate according to the fortunes of war, but
in general they follow geographical lines. Eurasia comprises the
whole of the northern part of the European and Asiatic land-mass,
from Portugal to the Bering Strait. Oceania comprises the Americas,
the Atlantic islands including the British Isles, Australasia, and
the southern portion of Africa. Eastasia, smaller than the others
and with a less definite western frontier, comprises China and the
countries to the south of it, the Japanese islands and a large but
fluctuating portion of Manchuria, Mongolia, and Tibet. [...]
Since each of the three super-states is unconquerable, each is
in effect a separate universe within which almost any perversion
of thought can be safely practised. Reality
only exerts its pressure through the needs of everyday life - the
need to eat and drink, to get shelter and clothing, to avoid swallowing
poison or stepping out of top-storey windows, and the like. Between
life and death, and between physical pleasure and physical pain,
there is still a distinction, but that is all. Cut off from contact
with the outer world, and with the past, the citizen of Oceania
is like a man in interstellar space, who has no way of knowing which
direction is up and which is down. The rulers of such a state are
absolute, as the Pharaohs or the Caesars could not be.
All the beliefs, habits, tastes, emotions, mental attitudes that
characterize our time are really designed to sustain the mystique
of the Party and prevent the true nature of present-day society
from being perceived. Ownership of the print
media made it easy to manipulate public opinion, and the film and
radio carried the process further.
At this moment, in April 1984 (as Winston writes his diary) Oceania
was at war with Eurasia and in alliance with Eastasia. In no public
or private utterance was it ever admitted that the three powers
had at any time been grouped along different lines. Actually,
as Winston well knew, it was only four years since Oceania had been
at war with Eastasia and in alliance with Eurasia. But that
was merely a piece of furtive knowledge which HE happened to remember.
Officially the change of partners had never happened. Oceania
was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had ALWAYS been at war
with Eurasia. The enemy of the moment
always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any
past or future agreement with him was impossible. Everything
faded into mist. The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten,
the lie became truth.
All that was needed was unending series of victories
over your own memory. 'Reality control,' they called it: in Newspeak,
In the ramifications of Party doctrine Julia had not the faintest
interest. Whenever he began to talk of the principles of Ingsoc,
doublethink, the mutability of the past, and the denial of objective
reality, and to use Newspeak words, she became bored and confused
and said that she never paid any attention to that kind of thing.
One knew that it was all rubbish, so why let oneself be worried
by it? She knew when to cheer and when to boo, and that was all
one needed. If he persisted in talking of such subjects, she had
a disconcerting habit of falling asleep. Talking to her, he realized
how easy it was to present an appearance of orthodoxy while having
no grasp whatever of what orthodoxy meant. In
a way, the world-view of the Party imposed itself most successfully
on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept
the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully
grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not
sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening.
By lack of understanding they remained sane. They simply
swallowed everything, and what they swallowed did them no harm,
because it left no residue behind, just as a grain of corn will
pass undigested through the body of a bird.
It was rather a shock to him when he discovered from some chance
remark that she did not remember that Oceania, four years ago, had
been at war with Eastasia and at peace with Eurasia. It
was true that she regarded the whole war as a sham: but apparently
she had not even noticed that the name of the enemy had changed.
In the end he succeeded in forcing her memory back until she did
dimly recall that at one time Eastasia and not Eurasia had been
the enemy. But the issue still struck her as unimportant. "Who
cares?" she said impatiently. "It's
always one bloody war after another, and one knows the news is all
But in some ways Julia was far more acute than Winston, and far
less susceptible to Party propaganda. Once
when he happened in some connexion to mention the war against Eurasia,
she startled him by saying casually that in her opinion the war
was not happening. The rocket bombs
which fell daily on London were probably fired by the Government
of Oceania itself, 'just to keep people frightened'. This
was an idea that had literally never occurred to him. She told him
that during the Two Minutes Hate her great difficulty was to avoid
bursting out laughing. But she only questioned the teachings of
the Party when they in some way touched upon her own life.
He picked up the children's history book and looked at the portrait
of BIG BROTHER which formed its frontspiece. The
hypnotic eyes gazed into his own. It was as though some huge force
were pressing down upon you - something that penetrated inside your
skull, battering against your brain, frightening
you out of your beliefs, persuading you, almost, to deny the evidence
of your senses. In the end the Party
would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to
believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner
or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the
validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality,
was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was
common sense. And they would kill you for thinking otherwise.
The Party told you to reject the evidence
of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.
His heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against
him, the ease with which any Party intellectual would overthrow
him in a debate, the subtle arguments which he would not be able
to understand, much less answer.
And yet he was right! They were wrong and
he was right. At one time it had been a sign of madness to
believe that the earth goes round the sun.
Being a minority, even a minority of one, did not make you mad.
There was truth and there was untruth, and
if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were
not mad. The obvious, the silly, and the true had to be defended.
Truisms are true, hold on to that! The solid world exists, its laws
do not change. Stones are hard, water is wet, objects unsupported
fall towards the earth's centre. With the feeling that he was speaking
directly to O'Brien, and also that he was setting forth an important
axiom, Winston wrote:
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two
make four. If that is granted, all else follows.
Why do terrorists hate America
enough to give up their lives in order to deal the country such
mortal blows? Of course it's not America the terrorists hate; it's
American foreign policy. It's what the United States has done to
the world in the past half century -- all the violence, the bombings,
the depleted uranium, the cluster bombs, the assassinations, the
promotion of torture, the overthrow of governments, and more. The
terrorists -- whatever else they might be -- are also rational human
beings; which is to say that in their own minds they have a rational
justification for their actions. Most terrorists
are people deeply concerned by what they see as social, political
or religious injustice and hypocrisy, and the immediate grounds
for their terrorism is often retaliation for an action of the United
Most Americans find it difficult in the extreme
to accept the proposition that terrorist acts against the United
States can be viewed as revenge for Washington's policies abroad.
They believe that the US is targeted because of its freedom, its
democracy, its modernity, its wealth, or just being part of the
But government officials know better.
A Department of Defense study in 1997 concluded that: "Historical
data show a strong correlation between US involvement in international
situations and an increase in terrorist attacks against the United
States." Former president Jimmy Carter, some years after he
left the White House, was unambiguous in his concordance with such
a sentiment: "We sent Marines into Lebanon
and you only have to go to Lebanon, to Syria or to Jordan to witness
first-hand the intense hatred among many people for the United States
because we bombed and shelled and unmercifully killed totally innocent
villagers -- women and children and farmers and housewives -- in
those villages around Beirut. ... As a result of that ... we became
kind of a Satan in the minds of those who are deeply resentful."
The terrorists responsible for the bombing of the World Trade Center
in 1993 sent a letter to the New York Times which stated, in part:
"We declare our responsibility for the explosion on the mentioned
building. This action was done in response for the American political,
economical, and military support to Israel the state of terrorism
and to the rest of the dictator countries in the region."
For more than four months the most powerful nation in history rained
down a daily storm of missiles upon one of the poorest and most
backward people in the world. Eventually, this question pressed
itself onto the world's stage: Who killed
more innocent, defenseless people? The terrorists in the United
States on September 11 with their flying bombs? Or the Americans
in Afghanistan with their AGM-86D cruise missiles, their AGM-130
missiles, their 15,000 pound "daisy cutter" bombs, their
depleted uranium, and their cluster bombs? By year's end,
the count of the terrorists, victims in New York, Washington and
Pennsylvania stood at about 3,000. The total count of civilian dead
in Afghanistan was essentially ignored by American officials and
just about everyone else, but a painstaking compilation of numerous
individual reports from the domestic and international media, aid
agencies, and the United Nations, by an American professor -- hunting
down the many separate incidents of 100-plus counts of the dead,
the scores of dead, the dozens, and the smaller numbers -- arrived
at considerably more than 3,500 through early December, and still
The American scorched-earth bombing of Afghanistan may well turn
out to be a political train wreck. Can it be doubted that thousands
throughout the Muslim world were emotionally and spiritually recruited
to the cause of the next Osama bin Laden by the awful ruination
and perceived injustice? That is to say, the next generation of
terrorists. Indeed, in December, while the American bombs were still
falling on Afghanistan, a man -- British citizen Richard Reid, who
was a convert to Islam -- tried to blow up an American Airlines
plane en route to the United States with explosives hidden in his
shoes. At the London mosque that Reid had attended, the cleric in
charge warned that extremists were enlisting other young men like
Reid and that agents aligned with radical Muslim figures had stepped
up recruiting efforts since September 11. The cleric said that he
knew of "hundreds of Richard Reids" recruited in Britain.
Reid, described in the press as a "drifter," reportedly
traveled to Israel, Egypt, the Netherlands, and Belgium before arriving
in Paris and boarding the American Airlines plane. This
raises the question of who was financing him. The freezing
of numerous bank accounts of alleged terrorist groups throughout
the world by the United States may have rather limited effect.
Americans do not feel any more secure in their places of work,
in their places of leisure, or in their travels than they did a
day before their government's bombings began.
Has the power elite learned anything? Here's James Woolsey, former
Director of the CIA, speaking in December in Washington, advocating
an invasion of Iraq and unconcerned about the response of the Arab
world: The silence of the Arab public in the wake of America's victories
in Afghanistan, he said, proves that "only fear will re-establish
respect for the U.S." What, then, can the United States do
to end terrorism directed against it? The
answer lies in removing the anti-American motivations of the terrorists.
To achieve this, American foreign policy will have to undergo a
If I were the president, I could stop terrorist
attacks against the United States in a few days. Permanently.
I would first apologize to all the widows and orphans, the tortured
and impoverished, and all the many millions of other victims of
American imperialism. Then I would announce, in all sincerity, to
every corner of the world, that America's global interventions have
come to an end, and inform Israel that it is no longer the 51st
state of the USA but now -- oddly enough -- a foreign country. I
would then reduce the military budget by at least 90% and use the
savings to pay reparations to the victims. There would be more than
enough money. One year's military budget of 330 billion dollars
is equal to more than $18,000 an hour for every hour since Jesus
Christ was born. That's what I'd do on my first three days in the
White House. On the fourth day, I'd be assassinated.
One isn't supposed
to say this, but many people believe that Israel now holds the White
House, the Senate, and much of the American media in its hands.
This is what is known as an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.
The odd thing is that it is held by many
Israelis. In an essay reprinted in the May 27th issue of
The New York Times, Ari Shavit, an Israeli columnist, reflected
sorrowfully on the wanton Israeli killing of more than 100 Lebanese
civilians in April: "We killed them out
of a certain naive hubris. Believing with absolute certitude that
now, with the White House, the Senate, and much of the American
media in our hands, the lives of others do not count as much as
In a single phrase -- "in our hands" -- Shavit has lighted
up the American political landscape like a flash of lightning.
Notice that Shavit assumes as an obvious fact what we Americans
can say publicly only at our own risk. It's surprising, and refreshing,
to find such candor in an American newspaper (though his essay was
reprinted from the Israeli paper Haaretz).
The prescribed cant on the subject holds
that Israel is a "reliable ally" of the United States,
despite Israel's long record of double-dealing against this country,
ranging from the killing of American sailors to constant espionage
and technology theft. The word "ally" implies that
the relationship exists because it's in the interests of this country,
though Israel's lobby is clearly devoted to the interests of Israel
itself, and it's childish to suggest otherwise.
You expect that from the Israeli lobby; lobbies are lobbies, after
all. But it's unnerving that the White House,
the Senate, and much of the American media should be "in our
hands," as Shavit puts it. Bill Clinton,
a lover of peace since his college days, raised no protest when
the Israelis drove 400,000 innocent Lebanese out of their homes
in "retaliation" for rockets launched into Israel (wounding
one Israeli) by a faction over whom those 400,000 had no control.
Congress, of course, was supine as usual at this latest extravagance
of Israeli "defense." Congress too is "in our hands."
A recent article in The Washington Post likened the Israel lobby's
power to that of the gun and tobacco lobbies. But
there is one enormous difference. Newspapers like the Post aren't
afraid to criticize the gun and tobacco lobbies. They will say forthrightly
that those lobbies seek goals that are dangerous for this country.
They don't dare say as much of the Israeli lobby.
But much of the press and electronic media are
"in our hands" in a more active sense: They supply misleading
pro-Israel propaganda in the guise of news and commentary, constantly
praising Israeli "democracy" and ignoring Israel's mistreatment
of its non-Jewish minorities -- mistreatment which, if any government
inflicted it on a Jewish minority, would earn it the fierce opprobrium
of our media.
No decent American would think of reducing American Jews to the
status of Palestinians in Israel. The idea is almost absurd. Yet
Americans are taxed to subsidize the oppression of Palestinians,
on the flimsy pretext that they are helping an "ally"
in America's own self-interest to be hated and despised by the whole
All this is interesting less for what it tells us about Israel
than for what it tells us about America. Frank
discussion of Israel is permitted in Israel, as Shavit's article
illustrates. It's rarely permitted here. Charges of anti-Semitism
and a quiet but very effective boycott will be the reward of any
journalist who calls attention to his own government's -- and his
own profession's -- servitude to Israeli interests.
Very few in America are doing anything to change this sorry state
of affairs. Shavit wrote his article in the desperate hope of turning
back his countrymen and his government from a morally and politically
perilous course. At least he can hope. It's
harder for us, when our own government isn't in our hands.
A powerful group of neo-conservative
war hawks is launching a bold new public relations campaign attacking
anyone who disagrees with Bush's war on terrorism.
At a Tuesday gathering of the National Press Club,
members of the new Americans for Victory Over Terrorism (AVOT) declared
their intention to "take to task those
groups and individuals who fundamentally misunderstand the nature
of the war we are facing."
Those groups and individuals, AVOT claims,
need to be resisted both here and abroad. A full-page AVOT advertisement
carried in the March 10 Sunday New York Times pointed
to radical Islam as "an enemy no less dangerous and no less
determined than the twin menaces of fascism and communism we faced
in the 20th century." At the
same time, the $128,000 ad lambasted those at home "who are
attempting to use this opportunity to promulgate their agenda of
'blame America first.'"
"Both [internal and external] threats," the ad continues,
"stem from either a hatred for the American ideals of freedom
and equality or a misunderstanding of those ideals and their practice."
To expose the internal "threats,"
AVOT has compiled a sample list of statements by professors, legislators,
authors and columnists that it finds objectionable. The strategy
appears similar to an earlier, much-criticized effort to monitor
war dissidents by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA),
a group founded by Lynne Cheney, the wife of Vice President Dick
Cheney, and neo-conservative Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman.
AVOT's list of speakers it considers threatening include:
- Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who said, "Some of us, maybe
foolishly, gave this president the authority to go after terrorists.
We didn't know that he, too, was going to go crazy with it."
- President Jimmy Carter, who assailed Bush's use of the phrase
"axis of evil," arguing that it was "overly simplistic
- Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who accused the president of "canceling,
in effect, the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments"
and called the war "the patriot games, the lying games, the
war games of an unelected president."
- American Prospect editor Robert Kuttner criticizing "Bush's
dismal domestic policies" and his "dubious notion of a
- Lewis Lapham, the editor of "Harper's Magazine," who
in a recent editorial said that Washington itself has used terrorist
tactics during the 1990s, including the bombing of civilian targets
in Baghdad and the Balkans.
Who exactly is behind AVOT's efforts? The newly-formed organization
is headed by a formidable array of right-wing luminaries. At the
top of the list is former Secretary of Education and drug czar William
Bennett, AVOT's chairman. The group's Senior Advisors include former
CIA director R. James Woolsey; former Reagan Pentagon official Frank
Gaffney; William P. Barr, attorney general under George Bush, Sr;
and mega-political donor Lawrence Kadish. AVOT is a project of Empower
America -- also co-chaired by Bennett -- whose principal members
include conservative political operatives Jeane Kirkpatrick, Jack
Kemp, Vin Weber and William Cohen.
During the press conference, Bennett insisted that, "We do
not wish to silence people," adding that for now, AVOT plans
to hold teach-ins and public education events, particularly on college
In response to AVOT's criticism, Harper's Lewis Lapham said Bennett
is a "wrong-headed jingo and an intolerant scold." He
added that AVOT appeared to be a new "front organization for
the hard neo-con (neo-conservative) right," which has gained
unprecedented influence in the Bush administration, particularly
among the top political appointees in the Pentagon and Dick Cheney's
office. "This is the war-monger crowd," he said.
Indeed, AVOT is being initially funded primarily
by Lawrence Kadish, chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition
(RJC) and a top donor to the Republican Party. Kadish, a real estate
investor in New York and Florida, was cited by Mother Jones Magazine
as one of the country's top individual donors, having given $532,000
to the GOP. His RJC has long tried to build links between the Republican
Party, including its Christian Right component, and American Jews.
Bennett, Gaffney, and Woolsey are all veteran
members of a neo-conservative network of groups with overlapping
boards of directors that have long championed rightwing governments
in Israel and, among other things, urged strong U.S. action against
both Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the Islamic government in Iran,
as well as Palestine Authority President Yasser Arafat.
Both Gaffney and Bennett, for example, were two
of about three dozen mainly neo-conservative signers of an open
letter sent to Bush in the name of the "Project for a New American
Century" nine days after the Sept. 11 attacks. It called not
only for the destruction of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network,
but also to extend the war to Iraq, and possibly to Iran, Syria,
Lebanon and the Palestine Authority unless those nations ceased
their alleged support of terrorist groups opposed to Israel.
Woolsey, meanwhile, was sent by the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board
to Britain in late September to gather evidence that could link
Iraq to the Sept. 11. He and has since become one of the most visible
commentators in the media in favor of extending the war to Baghdad.
Woolsey is also on the board of the Jewish
Institute for National Security, a hawkish pro-Israel group.
AVOT is also linked through many channels to Richard Perle, chair
of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board (which sent Woolsey on his
Iraqi quest). Perle, like Jeane Kirkpatrick, perches full time at
the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a neo-con think-tank that
has emerged as the hub of an "axis of incitement" -- a
small but potent network of like-minded, ultra-hawkish officials,
analysts and opinion-makers. It appears that AVOT
is the latest institutional offspring of that network, which is
united by a passionate belief in the inherent goodness and redemptive
mission of the United States; the moral cowardice of liberals and
European elites; the existential necessity of supporting Israel
in the shadow of the Holocaust and in the face of Arab hostility;
and the primacy of military power.
These beliefs came through clearly at Tuesday's press conference.
Woolsey, for example, told reporters he agreed with those who are
"calling the war we're in now World War IV." But Gaffney
was the most strident of the speakers at the event, saying that
we should be skeptical of our "new-found friends" in the
war on terror.
"[We must] pay special attention to friends like Saudi Arabia
and Egypt whose ongoing use of media are creating problems for our
allies," (implying Israel), Gaffney said. Any criticism of
the administration's conduct of the war, he added, could be "interpreted
in such a way as to hurt national resolve...(and) embolden the enemy."
"ICH" -- What remains today of the
entity once known as the United States can be seen by escaping the
still-omnipresent hypnotic fog that spans the land of the free and
the home of the brave, from coast to coast, spawned by the smoldering
inferno and avalanching debris of three years ago, when the human
species once-more entered into dimensions familiar and frequent
yet malicious and frightful, where all semblance of reality seemed
to disappear inside the smoke of crashing airliners and collapsing
Only by escaping the all-encompassing haze of fear, hatred and
vengeance – that cocktail of conditioned ignorance born on
9/11 that continues to smother and imprison the minds of millions
of Americans – can we begin to discern what was done to us,
and what subsequently continues to be done to us and our way of
life. Only then can we pragmatically stand at the doorstep of reality,
banging on its heavy-metal doors, eager to be welcomed inside, seeking
desperately to understand the true identity of a world that has
been made mad by warmongers, greed mongers, profiteers and criminal
monsters disguised as men.
Inside the clouds of 9/11 lay hidden sinister
plans and malevolent intentions, indoctrinated minds and their brainwashed
existence. Inside this tempestuous cloud of debris, dust, smoke,
asbestos, chemicals, particulates and human flesh lie hidden war
criminals and crimes against humanity that continue to run unobstructed,
free to continue their reign of terror, sending the world into the
abyss of perpetual war and suffering, immune from the conformist
and placid sheep living in their realm whose existence continues
to be lived in extravagant ignorance fed by bread and circus, tele-trash
conditioning and dumbed-down education.
It is inside the clouds of 9/11 that the
most successful psychological warfare technique ever devised by
man can be seen for what it is, namely, the devastatingly successful
mechanism by which an entire nation was transformed from placid
isolationists going about their daily god-fearing lives into blood-thirsty
seekers of vengeance and gluttonous purveyors of human malice. The
genius of those exploiters of 9/11, with its horrific mass death
and carnage, its violent destruction of buildings and human life,
was in bombarding American citizens, through the television and
using the mouths of media lackeys, with ceaseless images of what
transpired that day along with voices of vengeance, hatred and war,
thereby shaking the foundations of reality and the constructs of
security hundreds of millions believed themselves to live under.
Suddenly a new reality emerged and fear,
that most controlling emotion in the human animal, that passion
clouding the mind and our logical, analytical thinking, was unleashed
throughout the nation. Insecurity blanketed the country as
images of falling buildings and crashing airlines paralyzed an entire
populace. Our world came crashing down along with the World Trade
Center, and in its debris-filled clouds did we find ourselves in,
not knowing what to make of what had without notice transpired,
not understanding the violence we had just witnessed, not comprehending
a world gone mad. Our fear blinded us, and immediately rage and
hatred permeated from our pores. We are but animal primates, after
all, and our emotions began to control our thinking human brain.
Calls for vengeance soon filled our televisions, broadcast directly
into our homes. We had been attacked; thousands of our citizens
had been murdered in a most heinous crime against humanity.
America found itself a nation devoid of rational thought; its population
was now controlled by animal instinct, now easily manipulated by
those longing for a new Pearl Harbor. Hundreds
of millions became pawns in the sinister plots of a few elite; Americans
were now willing to do anything, follow anyone, destroy everything
responsible for such great suffering.
We became easily molded clay in the hands of the exploiters, the
warmongers, greed addicts and profiteers whose interests suddenly
seemed attainable. An entire populace was theirs, hundreds of millions
ready, willing and able to do anything to right what had been made
wrong. With a collective paranoia rampant throughout the nation
and an enveloping fear and schizophrenia invading an entire populace,
those in power and those that control could do anything they pleased.
Almost immediately, the seeds of blame were sowed onto a population
needing an enemy and scapegoat from which to focus its collective
wrath. Rather quickly and conveniently Muslims
were blamed without a single investigation or an act of prudence.
Arab names immediately appeared on passenger manifests, impossible
to find passports were suddenly said found in the remains of the
World Trade Center, parked cars containing copies of the Koran along
with flying instructions in Arabic were quickly discovered, images
of dancing Palestinians made the airwaves, even though the images
were of children recorded months before, ambiguous video of hijackers
at so-called airports circulated, and all around, the corporate
media, with its many Zionist interests
lurking freely, besieged our conscious with Arab bogeymen and Muslim
motives, immediately finding itself an enemy to castigate and blame.
It all fell into place like a jigsaw puzzle, all too soon, all
too convenient, all too surreal and all seemingly
pre-arranged, as if scapegoats had already been decided upon to
validate already predetermined wars in the Middle East. Yet
we never wondered, we never questioned how everything had come to
be so expeditiously. Hypnotized to the images of that malicious
day we remained, immersed by fear and hatred and rage and calls
for vengeance. We fell into the trap of a new Pearl Harbor, the
interests that be had what they wanted, a militarized, paralyzed
and vengeance mobilized citizenry, ready to believe anything, ready
to unleash war on America’s new enemy. The barrage was ceaseless,
the drums of war now beat strongly, before the American people knew
it, those responsible for 9/11 had been chosen. The wheels had been
set in motion.
Thus, in the American mind the placement of the Arab as evildoer
extraordinaire was firmly implanted, fictionally concocted as hating
our freedoms and our way of life, seen as a destroyer of liberty
and American ideals, an inhuman barbarian alien to our construct
of civilization that had to be destroyed.
An entire Middle East and an entire race of people had become the
enemy, and soon America’s army of killing machines would unleash
hell into lands and onto innocent peoples having absolutely nothing
to do with 9/11. The new Soviet, the new Communist, the new
Indian and Viet Cong, the new Nazi and Japanese warrior, the new
Filipino and Spaniard and Mexican and English did America now have
from which to feed its long, centuries old addiction to war.
In the unenlightened mind of millions, a few thousand fanatics
could not be distinguished from hundreds of millions. One
face was imputed on all Arabs, and so an entire race, an entire
religion, both alien and unknown to dumbed-down Americans, had to
be labeled evildoers. A culture not understood and feared,
dark-skinned and non-Christian, oppressed by decades of American-sponsored
dictators, exploited by American foreign policy, robbed of their
land by Zionist entities, and possessing the black blood needed
to run through the veins of the American Empire was thus chosen
as the perfect enemy needed for perpetual war and perpetual profit.
With a seething yet blind American public, irrational in mind,
devoid of analytical and logical thinking, thanks to the psychologically
devastating imagery of 9/11 exploited by both government and media,
the Arab world became a land of barbarians, of untermensch, of savages,
heathens and pagans. Once more history, and the mind of the masses,
were repeating themselves, eager to label as sub-human those it
wanted conquered and annihilated, thereby validating in the American
mind the certain death, destruction and devastation their complicit
hatred would birth. The Islamic faith became enemy number one, and
in the American mind the angel of death was asked to spill the blood
of the Arab world through the instruments of death so cherished
in the land of rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air.
It was 9/11 and the massive manipulation
that followed that condemned Afghans and Iraqis alike to slaughter
and mass murder by a delusional and thoroughly mind-controlled military
and a callous and apathetic American populace whose sheer hunger
for Middle East blood can only be surpassed by its enormous quantity
of ignorance and insatiable thirst for oil. Just
like Germans living in Hitler’s time, millions of Americans
turned a blind eye, playing ignorant fools even as tens of thousands
of Muslims were being slaughtered, even as reality becomes obvious
and truths are made manifest. The dead and maimed are dark-skinned
Arabs, after all, a lower level of human than average Joe Six-pack,
much like Africans, Vietnamese and Latin Americans.
Through systemic and methodical manipulation of American minds,
using the captivating and controlling power of televised imagery,
warmongers in office and those in corporatist America blitzkrieged
the populace with an incessant bombardment of 9/11 images, both
live and taped, replayed over and over and over again, that mutated
a once pacific citizenry into a ravaging and crazed army of vengeance.
With a clearly distinguished enemy, inhabiting lands deemed necessary
for the imperial aspirations of the Pax Americana and the Zionists
in Washington, the Capitalistic Crusade could commence, the military-industrial
complex’ assembly lines could now forever spit out instruments
of death and profit, gas pipelines could be built and controlled,
and oil could gluttonously be pillaged at the expense of 25 million
Iraqis, 100,000 of whom now lie buried in graves, rubble or sand
Thanks to two towers collapsing, thanks to airlines used as guided
missiles, thanks to avalanches of ash-colored debris rushing New
York’s streets and thanks to the impregnating horror of human
wickedness forever paralyzed into our collective minds the warmongers,
the greed addicts and the profiteers, those with vested interests
in a new Pearl Harbor, those seeking profit and wealth through death
and destruction, those seeking free reign to destroy Palestinians
and their culture, and those opportunists now transforming America
into corporatist dictatorship have succeeded in shackling the collective
will of the American people, making us impotent creatures easily
controlled, now unable to fight for our nation, even as it is eviscerated
and gutted, even as it implodes into the dustbin of human refuse.
Somewhere in the abyss of negative energy
Joseph Goebbels is laughing, proud at those who took the reigns
of propaganda manipulation from his grave. Somewhere he is
enjoying the fabulous gift granted to those now using us as marionettes
in a game of ideology, power, delusion and human malevolence. Impotent
millions stand, infected with the virus of fear, hatred and vengeance,
unable to escape the fictions mouthed by corporate media and those
in power, unable to escape the clouds of 9/11 that make eyes blind,
hearts cold and minds numb.
Unable to grasp or comprehend the greatest lie ever told the American
people, millions linger in silent complicity and acquiescent submission,
preferring not to know the evils done in their name, choosing to
remain ignorant to the human malice their vote has retained in power,
basking in the comforts prevalent in America while tuning out the
untold suffering American foreign policy continues to spawn, becoming
pawns in a global chess match where tens of thousands lie dead,
hundreds of thousands wounded and maimed in both body and mind,
and millions desperately surviving day to day, trying to evade the
human hell unearthed by the greatest terrorist state in the world
The gift of 9/11 to those in control, the invaluable images, sounds
and dastardly horrors orchestrated so very well by the neocons,
Zionists, corporatists, military-energy-industrial complex and the
Bushites, both for their independent and united vested interests,
has made an already deeply entrenched war culture an even more menacing
and violent populace, marching steadfastly to the tunes of the drums
of war and the trumpet sounds of ceaseless death, maiming and destruction.
This is the new America. This is what we
The psychological effects of 9/11 and its myriad collection of
images, from multiple cameras and angles, cannot be underestimated
or ignored when seeking to understand the transformation of America
into what it is today: imperial warmonger and terrorist nation abroad
and autocratic usurper of rights, freedoms and democracy at home.
September 11th accounts for 59 million marching drones and brainless
citizens captured by the hypnotizing allure emanating from the comforting
sounds of Pied Piper Bush’s magical flute, that combination
of Rovian propagandist repetition and dumbed-down talk, that has
sculpted a fictional war president out of a mountain-size monument
to elitist mediocrity. It accounts for a vast majority of citizens
completely unaware of the incessant corporate media conditioning
and manipulation that has formed a most successful controlling mechanism,
making half the population placid, conformist and pacified members
of society and the other half a warmongering frenzy of blood-thirsty
sharks eager to follow every last dictate of those in power.
In the American mind, most notably apparent in those who voted
against their own interests, voting the ticket of fear and insecurity
for another four years, the taped and replayed
images of 9/11, never before witnessed by human eyes or bombarded
into the human mind on such a grand scale, created a psychological
pestilence that attached itself to tens of millions of Americans.
This virus has made eyes blind to the reality of what transpires
around them. It has created millions of citizens living in a vegetative
state, unable or unwilling to see truths even when it is placed
in front of their faces. It accounts for a sickness prevalent
in the United States, where what is is ignored and what isn’t
is believed, where a callous indifference to innocence destroyed
and maimed is superceded by fear of gay-marriage, Bible-banning
and women’s rights. The suffering of hundreds of thousands,
perhaps millions of Afghans and Iraqis is seen as necessary so that
we can put closure on the conditioned fear and thirst for vengeance
sprouted by 9/11.
In our diluted world, the chosen enemy must suffer the same fate
we did on 9/11, yet on a much more massive scale, because we are
America, we are the all-powerful, the merchant of good, the defender
of freedom and democracy, the bastion and protector of humanity.
Nothing could be further from the truth. We
have been so brainwashed into believing that our government and
elected leaders are the epitome of good that we fail to realize
just how brazenly malevolent they really are. America
is the Evil Empire, the Great Satan, a nation made worse after 9/11,
its citizenry now complicit in the crimes against humanity the government
has for decades unleashed onto the world. Today 9/11 has
been surpassed dozens of times over through the death of over 100,0000
Iraqis, most women and children, and in the sheer wickedness of
America’s assault on the Iraqi nation. If the death of 3,000
Americans is terrorism, what then should we call the extermination
of over 100,000 Iraqis, the maiming and injury of countless more,
and the importation into their nation of a human hell that is destroying
the very fabric of that ancient civilization?
A war culture on steroids has become the antithesis of humanity,
a cancer upon all humankind, a growing tumor spreading disease and
hatred throughout the peoples of the world. We are hypocrites, preaching
the values of morality yet enthralled by human wickedness; we wear
Jesus on our sleeves yet fail to implement his message; tens of
millions of Bible-thumper fundamentalists, the American Taliban,
calling themselves Christians, take comfort in the death of 100,000
Muslims; these same call for the protection of Israel and the destruction
of Palestinians, even when Jesus was himself Arab, an ancestor of
today’s indigenous peoples of Palestine (I guess if you believe
in creationism and the Rapture you must also believe Jesus was Scandinavian-white,
blond, blue-eyed, with European facial features). We call those
that behead barbarians and animals yet our bombs and missiles behead
and maim thousands more and we call ourselves the essence of enlightened
In today’s America, compassion and empathy have been replaced
by malice and moral cowardice. Fear mongering, more than anything
else, decided the 2004 election. Racism and hatred, the need for
vengeance and the seeking of sadistic suffering upon those seen
as sub-human helped re-select the war criminals in office. It was
a desire to destroy an alien culture unknown and misunderstood,
scapegoated as America’s next enemy, in a long line of distinguished
evildoers from which war has been harvested, that sent millions
of brainwashed conduits for perpetual war to the voting booth. It
was a desire to inflict the same carnage that befell our shores,
the same fear reeking from our pores, that gave Bush so many votes.
In 59 million Americans Bush got validation to continue his vicious
circle of violence, and in the monstrous destruction of Fallujah,
with over 6000 dead, hundreds of bodies rotting in the streets,
swarmed by millions of flies, a third of its buildings in rubble,
the wickedness America and its people have become can the world
The wickedness perpetrated on 9/11 released
a racism and xenophobia that has existed in the United States since
its inception, from the extermination and subsequent imprisonment
of the Indian to the enslavement and apartheid of blacks to the
destruction of Vietnam and the Philippines to the bigotry against
Mexicans living in stolen land to the discrimination and exploitation
of today’s immigrants. There exists in America today
a hatred for Arabs and Muslims, wisely planned by those whose hands
toy with our marionette strings, that has released into the air
the winds of allowed carnage upon a population of innocent human
This is a blatant racism, guided and exponentially increased by
the atrocities of 9/11, that fails to separate monsters from normal
people like you and me, wanting nothing more than to live in peace
and happiness. In the death of over 100,000 Iraqis, and the maiming
in body and mind of countless more, for a war of choice and not
necessity, in an illegal and criminal war of aggression and profit,
for no moral justification and no humanist reason whatsoever, with
little or no opposition and protest from citizens, the seeds of
American racism have firmly been planted yet again.
This phenomenon can best be seen with the rise of the so-called
Christian Crusaders, the American Taliban, tens
of millions of believers in fundamentalist interpretation of the
Bible, those espousers of everything Christ whose actions resemble
everything Satan, self-described lovers of ‘moral values,’
crusaders of life even as they subsidize and vote for death, haters
of progress and secularism, fearful of gay and Arab bogeymen, seeking
the male control of women’s reproductive choice as well as
the continued dumbing-down of America’s children. These
millions have been brainwashed into believing their Dear Leader
is a catalyst of God itself, a conversant with the Almighty, a second
coming of the ‘savior’ sent to protect them in times
of great insecurity and what they perceive as the nearing of biblical
Through the fear and insecurity so ingeniously implanted by those
in power into the American psyche, Christian lovers of moral values
have become the vessel of convenience for those whose interests
lie in perpetual war against the Arab world. Claiming the moral
high ground, this army of unenlightened sheep seeks the entrance
to the kingdom of God even as they foam at the mouth at the grisly
truth of 100,000 dead innocent Arab and Muslim people in far off
lands and even as their insatiable addiction to kill, maim and destroy
resurrects in them the Nazis of the past and manifests the monsters
of the present.
Yet when their Dear Leader herds them to pasture, telling them
the Almighty condones the present Crusade in Iraq, so full of imported
suffering and exploding rage, only the death of American mercenaries
and killing machines matter. Forgotten are the children, the women,
the ancients, the innocent and the plethora of Iraqi policemen who
have died at the hands of the military industrial complex. Forgotten
are the rapes, the cold-blooded killings, the torture, the dehumanization,
the suffering, the bombings, the assassinations and the human hell
created by American forces that now breathe life in Iraq. When
Iraqis are subhuman, however, only the lives of the occupiers and
invaders matter. American racism at its worst.
These are American Christian values, that pestilence concocted
by false prophets and indoctrinated into unenlightened millions
roaming the isolated netherworld of ignorance and extremist theology,
that have made the United States the ultimate terrorist state and
a most dangerous manifestation of the inherent evil in human existence.
In truth, these values have lived as long as the nation itself,
hibernating for years until that time when enemies are needed and
warmonger leaders appear to shepherd the masses into the jaws of
Infecting the masses with these moral values is oftentimes too
easy. All that is needed are new Pearl Harbors that serve to blind
and mobilize, alien cultures or nations chosen, and a corporate
media that acts as official government loudspeaker, with its vast
array of prostitutes regurgitating official company and government
diatribe directly into the homes of millions. Fear, racism, hatred,
xenophobia, homophobia, ignorance and unenlightenment are a product
of a dumbed-down populace, thanks to education and television, systematically
made sheep by the system in which they live. American Christian
values reflect this reality.
Escaping the Clouds
The day before 9/11 and the day after are two different worlds,
– as much as two days divided by a cataclysmic event could
be – never again to interconnect in the sands of time and
the order of human civilization. A paradigm shift that altered the
future course of humanity befell the world, and a way of life that
dissolves more and more with each passing day is eroding. For a
few, it was the miracle welcoming in a new Pearl Harbor from which
to mobilize the masses to their lunatic world vision. For others,
it was the manna from heaven needed to help justify in the populace’s
minds the pre-ordained invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq for oil
profits and corporatist power. For the majority of us, 9/11 and
its aftermath continues to lead us towards a police state and undemocratic
despotism at home, fear and insecurity in the world, and perpetual
war in our daily existence.
America has been transformed for the worse, with only a few elite
basking in the splendor of their long-sought reality. Millions
continue to be plagued by trance-like ignorance, like bobble-head
dolls agreeing with every dictate their masters command.
Warmongers and greed addicts have found their habitat; profiteers
are being enriched by our stolen treasure; other nations prosper
at our ill-conceived wars.
Soon more wars will follow, along with a
draft that will rob Americans of their children, sent to fight delusional
wars for profit-making and power-grabbing crusades, sacrificed
in body and mind for the continued expansion of greed and the Almighty
Dollar. The world no longer seems safe; the post 9/11 world has
been hijacked by fundamentalist extremists in America and beyond,
taken over by a small cabal of zealots and corporatists doing with
us and the planet as they wish, pitting poor versus poor, caste
versus caste and religion against religion in wars which only those
in power benefit from.
Just as we breathe, our futures are being stolen from us and our
children. Just as our heart beats, our morality is being eroded
from under us. Just as we live, so our complicity
in mass murder is becoming a reality. Three-hundred million
Americans have become complacent witnesses to terrorism done in
our name, yet nothing is done to bring justice to the world, nothing
is done to put an end to madness, nothing is done to halt the crimes
of our leaders.
We have been trained well to be the obedient, complacent, conformist,
acquiescent, law abiding lapdog of the Establishment, unwilling
to question authority, seek accountability, demand justice, resist,
protest or dissent. Given a bone or a treat we simply wag our tails
in contentment, eager to fall back asleep and forget the whipping
our masters give us and the world.
In the clouds of 9/11 do we find ourselves immersed in, unable
to escape the all-encompassing debris that continues to make blind
millions upon millions of eyes, making foggy our ability to reason
and analyze reality.
In the clouds of 9/11 can a lost America be found, missing for
three years, disintegrating like a morning mist from the world of
today. Instead, a new America is rising, full
of violence and indifference, full of conquest and arrogance, full
of lack of empathy and thirst for inflicting pain and suffering.
Just as America roams the thick cloud cover of 9/11, unable to
find its missing self, so too has our psychology been lost among
the ruins and the dust. Missing it remains, making
us unaware of what we have become, similar to the millions of Germans
who in the 1930’s allowed the Nazis to rampage across the
world, their minds hypnotized and oblivious to the crimes against
humanity being perpetrated in their name, pretending as if nothing
was happening, pretending their leaders were pure and altruistic.
In the thick debris cloud of 9/11 can we see what has happened
to this nation. In here can we see what we have become. In here
can we see what our own minds have mutated into and what they continue
to let happen in our name.
In the clouds of 9/11 do we find ourselves trapped in, unwilling
to awaken from our nightmare, unable to stop the madness and uncertain
what the future course this nation will take. In the clouds of 9/11
lie the answers and solutions as to how to salvage a sinking ship.
If we are to right what has been made wrong, then, the maze of fog
and haze and debris and violence must we escape, finding light where
only gray ash exists, finally reaching an enlightenment America
so desperately needs.
Manuel Valenzuela is social critic and commentator, international
affairs analyst, Internet columnist and author of Echoes
in the Wind, a novel now published by Authorhouse.com. A collection
of essays, Beyond the Smoking Mirror: Reflections on America and
Humanity, will be published in early 2005. His articles appear regularly in
alternative news websites including informationclearinghouse.info.
His unique style and powerful writing is read internationally and
seeks to expose truths and realities confronting humanity today. Mr.
Valenzuela welcomes comments and can be reached at manuelATvalenzuelas.net. A
collection of his work can be found visiting his archives and
by searching the Internet
Behaving like the Soviet secret police
won't make America safer
The Lubyanka Prison's heavy oak main door swung open. I went in,
the first western journalist to enter the KGB's notorious Moscow
headquarters -- a place so dreaded Russians dared not utter its
name. When they referred to it at all, they called it "Detsky
Mir," after a nearby toy store.
After interviewing two senior KGB generals, I explored the fascinating
museum of Soviet intelligence and was briefed on special poisons
and assassination weapons that left no traces. I sat transfixed
at the desk used by all the directors of Stalin's secret police,
on which the orders were signed to murder 30 million people.
Descending dimly lit stairs, I saw some of the KGB's execution
and torture cellars, and special "cold rooms" where naked
prisoners were beaten, then doused with ice water and slowly frozen.
Other favoured Lubyanka tortures: Psychological terror, psychotropic
drugs, prolonged sleep deprivation, dazzling lights, intense noise,
days in pitch blackness, isolation, humiliation, constant threats,
savage beatings, attacks by guard dogs, near drowning.
Nightmares from the past -- but the past has
According to a report leaked to the New York Times, the Swiss-based
International Red Cross has accused the Bush administration for
a second time of employing systematic, medically supervised torture
against suspects being held at Guantanamo Bay, and at U.S.-run prisons
in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The second Red Cross report was delivered to the White House last
summer while it was trying to dismiss the Abu Ghraib prison torture
horrors as the crimes of a few rogue jailers.
According to the report's allegations, many
tortures perfected by the Cheka (Soviet secret police) -- notably
beating, freezing, sensory disorientation, and sleep deprivation
-- are now routinely being used by U.S. interrogators.
The Chekisti, however, did not usually
inflict sexual humiliation. That technique, and hooding, were developed
by Israeli psychologists to break
resistance of Palestinian prisoners. Photos of sexual humiliation
were used by Israeli security, and then by U.S. interrogators at
Abu Ghraib, to blackmail Muslim prisoners into becoming informers.
All of these practices flagrantly violate the Geneva Conventions,
international, and American law. The Pentagon and CIA gulags in
Cuba, Iraq and Afghanistan have become a sort of Enron-style, off-the-books
operation, immune from American law or Congressional oversight.
Suspects reportedly disappear into a black hole, recalling Latin
America's torture camps and "disappearings" of the 1970s
and '80s, or the Arab world's sinister secret police prisons.
The U.S. has been sending high-level anti-American suspects to
Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and, reportedly, Pakistan, where it's alleged
they are brutally tortured with violent electric shocks, savage
beatings, drowning, acid baths, and blowtorching --
the same tortures, ironically, ascribed to Saddam Hussein.
Protests over this by members of Congress, respected human rights
groups, and the public have been ignored. President George W. Bush
just named Alberto Gonzales to be attorney general, his nation's
highest law officer. As White House counsel, Gonzales wrote briefs
justifying torture and advised the White House on ways to evade
or ignore the Geneva Conventions.
Grossly violating the Geneva Conventions undermines international
law and endangers U.S. troops abroad. Anyone who has served in the
U.S. armed forces, as I have, should be outraged that this painfully
won tenet of international law and civilized behaviour is being
trashed by members of the Bush administration.
If, as Bush asserts, terrorism suspects, Taliban, and Muslim mujahedeen
fighters not in uniform deserve no protection under the laws of
war and may be jailed and tortured at presidential whim, then what
law protects from abuse or torture all the un-uniformed U.S. Special
Forces, CIA field teams, and those 40,000 or more U.S. and British
mercenaries in Iraq and Afghanistan euphemistically called "civilian
Behaving like the 1930s Soviet secret police will not make America
safer. Such illegal, immoral and totally un-American behaviour corrupts
democracy and makes them no better than the criminals they detest.
The 20th century has shown repeatedly that when
security forces use torture abroad, they soon begin using it at
home, first on suspected "terrorists," then dissidents,
then on ordinary suspects.
It's time for Congress and the courts to wake up and end this
shameful and dangerous episode in America's history.
|WASHINGTON - Europe seems increasingly likely
to be the target of the next major Qaeda attack, a trend that could
intensify when scores of Qaeda-affiliated militants who left European
countries to fight in Iraq return home, several top terror analysts
Europe is vulnerable in ways that the United States is not, said many
of those attending what was described as the largest conference ever
on Al Qaeda, the group behind the Sept. 11 attacks.
Europe's large, growing and poorly integrated Muslim population, its
prisons and fundamentalist mosques where extremism is nurtured and
laws that constrain the European police more than their American counterparts
are all factors, said the analysts, who included
former CIA counterterror officials and foreign terror specialists.
Experts at the conference Thursday, sponsored by the nonprofit New
America Foundation, said that they did not expect new attacks to match
the breadth of the Sept. 11 attacks, in large part because of improved
security. Instead, they expect more operations
resembling the coordinated March 11 bombings in Madrid, which killed
"We are blind to the real danger
facing us," said Marc Sageman, a former CIA case officer who
worked in Islamabad, Pakistan, with the Afghan mujahedeen, where Osama
bin Laden had his terrorist roots.
The danger, Sageman said, was not more Sept. 11-style attacks but
"a succession of Madrids, Casablancas, Istanbuls" - smaller,
but still highly deadly, coordinated attacks. [...]
FALLUJAH, Iraq -- The US military is drawing
up plans to keep insurgents from regaining control of this battle-scarred
city, but returning residents may find that the
measures make Fallujah look more like a police state than the democracy
they have been promised.
Under the plans, troops would funnel Fallujans
to so-called citizen processing centers on the outskirts of the
city to compile a database of their identities through DNA testing
and retina scans. Residents would receive badges displaying their
home addresses that they must wear at all times. Buses would
ferry them into the city, where cars, the deadliest tool of suicide
bombers, would be banned.
Marine commanders working in unheated, war-damaged downtown buildings
are hammering out the details of their paradoxical task: Bring back
the 300,000 residents in time for January elections without letting
in insurgents, even though many Fallujans were among the fighters
who ruled the city until the US assault drove them out in November,
and many others cooperated with fighters out of conviction or fear.
One idea that has stirred debate among
Marine officers would require all men to work, for pay, in military-style
battalions. Depending on their skills, they would be assigned
jobs in construction, waterworks, or rubble-clearing platoons.
"You have to say, 'Here are the rules,' and you are firm
and fair. That radiates stability," said Lieutenant Colonel
Dave Bellon, intelligence officer for the First Regimental Combat
Team, the Marine regiment that took the western half of Fallujah
during the US assault and expects to be based downtown for some
Bellon asserted that previous attempts to win trust from Iraqis
suspicious of US intentions had telegraphed weakness by asking,
" 'What are your needs? What are your emotional needs?' All
this Oprah [stuff]," he said. "They
want to figure out who the dominant tribe is and say, 'I'm with
you.' We need to be the benevolent, dominant tribe.
"They're never going to like us," he added, echoing
other Marine commanders who cautioned against raising hopes that
Fallujans would warmly welcome troops when they return to ruined
houses and rubble-strewn streets. The goal,
Bellon said, is "mutual respect."
Most Fallujans have not heard about the US plans. But for some
people in a city that has long opposed the occupation, any presence
of the Americans, and the restrictions they bring, feels threatening.
"When the insurgents were here, we
felt safe," said Ammar Ahmed, 19, a biology student
at Anbar University. "At least I could
move freely in the city; now I cannot."
A model city
US commanders and Iraqi leaders have declared their intention to
make Fallujah a "model city," where they can maintain
the security that has eluded them elsewhere. They also want to avoid
a repeat -- on a smaller scale -- of what happened after the invasion
of Iraq, when a quick US victory gave way to a disorganized reconstruction
program thwarted by insurgent violence and intimidation.
To accomplish those goals, they think they
will have to use coercive measures allowed under martial law
imposed last month by Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. [...]
BAGHDAD - At least 17 Iraqi civilians working
for a US contractor were killed and 13 others wounded on Sunday
when they were ambushed on their way to work in Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's
hometown north of Baghdad, the US military said.
"Seventeen Iraqi civilians working for a US civilian contractor
were killed and 13 wounded when anti-Iraqi forces attacked them
at 9:30 am (0630 GMT) northwest of Tikrit," Master Sergeant
Robert Powell told AFP.
"The civilians were travelling to
work in civilian buses when men in two pick-up trucks attacked them
with small arms fire," he said.
The area was secured by national guards and US forces, and civilians
were evacuated to Tikrit hospital.
Sheikh Hassan Yusuf, the recently
released Hamas leader, talks to Donald Macintyre
Hamas will not ask Palestinians to boycott the presidential elections
and will react "responsibly" to any official call for
a ceasefire from the Palestinian Authority leadership, one of the
faction's leaders said yesterday.
Sheikh Hassan Yusuf was speaking on the eve of talks in Damascus
between Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Liberation Organisation chairman,
and Khaled Mashaal, the head of Hamas. Sheikh Hassan said Hamas
was "seriously" considering participation in elections
for the Palestinian Legislative Council next year.
In the longer term, Sheikh Hassan, who was released two weeks ago
after a 27-month sentence in an Israeli prison, repeated that the
faction, which is formally committed to the elimination of Israel,
would be ready for a two-state agreement based on pre-1967 borders
at least in the interim, and said "any subject" would
be open for discussion after that.
Sheikh Hassan, the most prominent West Bank spokesman for Hamas,
called previous attacks on Israelis "occupation crimes"
and said talk of a ceasefire without a halt to Israeli "targeted
killings" and incursions was "insignificant". But
although he has told the Palestinian media that he is not striking
new positions, his remarks yesterday appeared to advance the faction's
thinking on several fronts in what he called the new "reality"
after the death of Yasser Arafat. Mr Abbas, known as Abu Mazen,
has made clear he is seeking a period of calm from all factions,
a demand he is expected to discuss with Mr Mashaal.
Though coupled with a stipulation that Hamas activists will not
vote in the 9 January election, the decision not to call for a boycott
- and to consider standing for PLC seats - reverses the stance the
faction had at the last elections in 1996, in accordance with its
rejection of the Oslo accords and the Palestinian Authority itself.
Sheikh Hassan said: "The position of Hamas on elections is
that it is not going to vote or have a candidate but it is not calling
on the people to boycott the elections. There is a lot of pressure
from the Palestinian street to have a role in the [PLC] elections
and we are very much considering that."
Sheikh Hassan, who said Hamas had been "considering"
a halt to suicide bombings if Israelis ceased killing civilians,
said that discussion of a ceasefire was not new and Hamas had joined
other factions during Mr Abbas's premiership last year in "testing"
Israel's willingness to agree to a hudna, or ceasefire. Many Palestinian
leaders blame Israel for the collapse of the ceasefire in 2003 by
continuing assassinations of militants.
Asked if Hamas was prepared to mount a second "test",
he said: "Abu Mazen has not yet made an official request to
do that. When he does, our response will be responsible and in the
interests of the Palestinian people." Asked about prospects
for an initial reduction in militant violence during the election
campaign, he added: "We don't have an initiative for a hudna
but we have practised it before. Hamas reads the reality and makes
its strategy according to the reality."
A senior Israeli security official cast doubt late last week on
the centrality of Sheikh Hassan's role in the Hamas leadership.
Last Thursday Mahmoud al-Zahar, a physician who is the senior Hamas
leader and one of the movement's founders, said Hamas was ready
to consider a temporary halt to attacks against Israel "if
Israel stops its aggression against the Palestinian people".
Despite scepticism in some Israeli official circles about the sincerity
of Hamas's intentions - especially about extending any ceasefire
beyond 9 January - a senior Israeli security source said that if
the Palestinian leadership succeeded in mobilising its security
apparatus, Hamas could fall into line for fear of a repeat of the
PA crackdown on the faction in 1996.
Much of the Hamas leadership were arrested and Hamas accused some
Palestinian security heads of helping the Israelis to kill or arrest
The senior Israeli security official accused Iran of being the
paymaster of Hamas and Islamic Jihad but said the local leadership
had its own views and added: "If Iran thinks the Palestinian
Authority and Fatah are going to come out stronger than Hamas, then
it will live with a ceasefire." If not it would continue with
"terror" against Fatah as well as Israelis.
Palestinian sources say Sheikh Hassan told Shin Bet, the Israeli
domestic intelligence agency, before his release that Mr Abbas and
Ahmad Qureia, the Palestinian Prime Minister, were Israel's "last
chance" for a settlement, but that Israel needed to reciprocate
in any reduction of militant violence.
Sheikh Hassan denied Hamas was funded by the Iranian government
and called on European governments to drop its proscription of the
faction, saying money given to it for charitable purposes was used
only for such purposes. He said that, unlike Osama bin Laden, Hamas
was a "nationalist" movement and "has no problem
with America or Europe".
UKRAINE's opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko says he is determined
to find out the facts behind a suspected poisoning attempt in the
lead-up to the country's election.
faces ... Mr Yushchenko this weekend, left, and earlier this
His face remains disfigured as a result of a mystery illness that
struck during the bitterly-fought campaign.
"Soon the world will know what happened," he said from
his office in Kiev yesterday.
"I will reveal all the details of what they gave me to look
The Opposition leader said he fell ill after
attending a dinner hosted by the Ukraine's secret police in the
weeks leading up to the election.
Doctors who treated Mr Yushchenko in Vienna found it difficult
to find the cause of the condition - which was severe.
Mr Yushchenko's family has now gone into hiding
in fear of their safety.
"Even today, my family cannot live in Kiev," he said
to London's Sunday Telegraph.
"My children can't go to school. I believe the worst is behind
us, but still it is not safe for my family. It will not be safe
before we have completed the political transformation of this country."
Mr Yushchenko has both US and Ukrainian citizenship. He and his
wife have three children, and appeared together on stage at a demonstration
on Friday in Kiev.
New elections are scheduled in the country for December 26 following
weeks of protests over alleged fraud in the November 21 poll.
Details of the new poll were agreed upon last week in a bid to
end the stalemate which has existed since the last election result
was announced. [...]
TORONTO - Canada's Immigration and Refugee
Board will hear Monday why Jeremy Hinzman, a former paratrooper
with the U.S. army, should be granted refugee status in Canada.
Rather than serve in Iraq, Hinzman deserted the army and came
to Canada in January seeking sanctuary in a Quaker hall outside
He considers the Iraq conflict immoral and illegal and while
he refuses to speak his mind until his hearing is over, back in
July, Hinzman, 25, put his position into perspective:
"My life isn't that significant, but also it's not so worthless
as to be killed or to go kill innocent people."
Canada has not granted refugee status to American citizens in
the past, but Hinzman's supporters are counting on a precedent in
international law to help the American.
Gerry Cordon, a Hinzman supporter, says a soldier who refused
to fight in Saddam Hussein's army in the invasion of Kuwait, successfully
sought refugee status.
To help his client, Hinzman's lawyer plans
to present evidence of a systematic pattern of U.S. war crimes in
Iraq, including attacks on civilian population centers, and the
torture and murder of prisoners, at Monday's hearing.
The board will also hear eyewitness testimony of the killing of
Iraqi civilians from former Marine Sgt. Jimmy Massey.
Massey, who served in Iraq, says he's witnessed
instances of civilians being shot – not as a mistake, but
with cold deliberation.
MONTREAL - Federal Transport Minister Jean
Lapierre says he wants a report explaining how security uniforms
and badges disappeared from airports across the country.
More than 1,000 uniforms and parts of uniforms were lost or stolen,
and nearly 100 security badges went missing over a nine-month period,
CBC News reported after uncovering documents from the federal agency
responsible for making air travel safe.
"I want a report by Monday morning on all the details of
all those elements," Lapierre said when asked for his reaction
Lapierre also gave assurances that all airports in Canada are
"now double checking the identity of every employee that comes
"Since 1 p.m. this afternoon, at the 89 airports across the
country, we're double-checking the identification cards, not only
when (employees) enter the premises, but also during the work shift,"
Lapierre told reporters. [...]
BEIJING : Sixteen people were killed and eight
were injured when a truck plunged into a river in southwest China's
Guangxi region Sunday, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
A farm truck carrying 32 passengers drove off the road and into
a river in Zhaoping County when the driver attempted to overtake
another vehicle, it said.
The other passengers were rescued but their condition was unknown,
Xinhua said. [...]
LILLE, France : A French soldier barricaded
himself inside an explosives depot in northern France, threatening
to blow up the building and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of
"We are trying to make contact with him to find out exactly
what his motives are. We believe he was recently told he must take
compulsory retirement," an official said Sunday.
Some 400 people have been told to leave their homes at Connantray-Vaurefroy,
near Chalons-en-Champagne about 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of
Paris. They were being given shelter at a gymnasium in a nearby
A security cordon was set up around the depot manned by some 70
police, army and fire-brigade officers. Traffic was barred from
entering the zone.
The soldier, who is aged about 50, "left a written message
indicating his plan" to blow up the depot, the official said.
"We're surveying the situation to get a clearer picture of
the man and what's driving him," said Jean-Luc Guillemoto,
cabinet director at the prefecture of the Marne district.
|ALMATY - Twenty-three coal miners died on Sunday
when a methane gas blast tore through a mine owned by a global Indian
steel producer in the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan, the latest
accident to strike the Soviet-era industry.
The explosion tore through one of the tunnels some 50 metres (165
feet) below ground as the night shift crew arrived for work at the
Shakhtinskaya mine in the central steppe region of Karaghandy.
The region, which produces much of the coal for this nation of
15 million people, has been hit by similar accidents in the past,
most recently in 2002 when 17 people were killed.
"Eighty-seven people were in the mine at the time, of whom
three were injured and 23 died -- a commission has been formed that
is working on establishing the cause," Zhanibek Sadykanov,
spokesman for Karaghandy's regional administration, said. [...]
STRANGE flashes of light, vibrations and loud
rumblings heard early today by residents along the New South Wales
coast could be caused by a meteorite, according to one expert.
The flashes are said to have occurred about 4am AEDT. ABC Radio
received reports from listeners from Coffs Harbour to Wollongong.
Rob McNaught, from the Siding Springs Observatory at Coonabarabran,
says it has all the hallmarks of a meteorite which came within 20km
of the earth's surface, the ABC reported.
One caller, Dorothy, from near Macksville, told the ABC Mid-North
Coast Breakfast program of her experience.
"I'd only just got out of bed and I was looking out a northerly
facing window and to me it just lit up the hills," she said.
"It didn't seem to come out of the sky like lightning does...
I thought it might have been a vehicle light's flashing, but it
was too much of a flash for that and it may have been five minutes
later that there was a low rumble."
BERLIN, Germany (AP) -- An earthquake struck
western Germany near the French border early Sunday, but there were
no reports of major damage or injuries, officials said.
The magnitude 5.4 quake, with an epicenter near the German town
of Waldkirch, occurred about 2:52 a.m. (0152 GMT), Germany's geological
center in Freiburg said.
France's national seismological center had earlier reported that
the quake had a 4.9 magnitude.
German and French authorities said hundreds of people telephoned
seeking information about the temblor, but there were no reports
of major damage or injuries.
The earthquake could be felt in a 250-kilometer (150-mile) radius,
seismologist Wolfgang Bruestle said. He said the epicenter was lucky
to escape much damage.
"That is really amazing for this strength," Bruestle
WILLOW CREEK, Calif. - A magnitude-4.3 earthquake
shook Humboldt County about 20 miles east of Eureka on Saturday,
The quake struck at 5:48 p.m. and was centered about 13 miles
south southeast of Willow Creek, according to a preliminary report
by the U.S. Geological Survey.
A dispatcher for the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department said
there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries related to
Algiers - A tremor shook the Algerian capital
on Sunday, slightly injuring 46 people days after an earthquake
hit the same area, officials said.
The state seismological institute said the tremor measured 4.7
on the Richter scale, and hit at about 9am just off the coastal
town of Zemmouri.
A devastating quake in the region killed 2 300 people in May last
"It's a tremor linked to the earthquake of 2003, which is
still capable of generating strong aftershocks and may continue
to do so for some time," said a spokesperson from Algeria's
seismic authority, CRAAG.
Zemmouri is located in the seismically active Boumerdes province,
east of the capital. The tremor was also felt in Algiers.
Frightened local residents fled their homes.
A 5.7-magnitude earthquake in Boumerdes on Wednesday injured 100
people, slightly damaged buildings and temporarily cut off the coastal
area from electricity and communications.
TOKYO — A rapidly expanding low-pressure
system brought typhoon-class winds to the Japanese archipelago from
Saturday night to Sunday night, causing blackouts, stranding ships
and paralyzing some air and land traffic.
In Tokyo, winds of 144 kilometers per hour — the
strongest ever in the capital — were recorded early
Sunday morning. Elsewhere in the metropolitan area, they reached
172 kph in Chiba and 150 kph in Yokohama.
A tropical cyclone is racing towards the shores
of Somalia and is expected to hit the coast on Monday at the latest,
the UN Development Programme (UNDP) warned in a statement issued
"The system is heading fast inland towards Somalia and will
likely hit the neighbouring livelihood zones in Kenya and Ethiopia
as well," the statement said. The three countries lie on and
to the south of the Horn of Africa. [...]
JAKARTA, Dec. 5 (Xinhuanet)-- The death toll
of the flood which took place in a number of districts in East Java
province in Indonesia has increased to 11 up to Sunday, mainly residents
of Blitar district.
Thousands of disaster-related victims from Blitar are now living
in the location of refugees, according to the official Antara news
The local officials in the province said the districts of Blitar
and Kediri are the two worst areas hit by the flood which was caused
by heavy rain in last days in East Java as tens of villages in the
two districts are still submerged in a 40 to 50 cmdeep water.
BEIJING - The death toll from a landslide
in southwest China's Guizhou Province has risen to 30.
Fourteen people are still missing after the disaster, which occurred
early on Friday.
Rescue work is continuing, but officials say it is becoming more
difficult to clear the site, with the increasing accumulation of
rock and soil.
Officials have ruled out finding any of the buried victims alive
after a huge mass of earth crashed down on the village in the early
hours of Friday. Large excavating machines and more than 1,000 rescuers
were trying to dig through the mud when the operation was suspended
late Saturday. [...]
QUEBEC (CP) - Marine scientists are on high
alert for a crab invasion in the St. Lawrence River.
A single Chinese mitten crab, one of the most invasive species
in the world, was found in the river near Quebec City this fall.
It is the first discovery of the crustacean in Canadian waters where
conditions are right for it to thrive, according to some scientists.
The prolific crustacean plays havoc with shore-based fisheries
by overwhelming nets. It also digs tunnels deep into fragile riverbanks,
Alarmed federal scientists are calling on fishermen and boaters
to report any more sightings of the crab which has spread rapidly
around the world from China.
"It is very invasive, it can reach incredible numbers in
a very short, sudden population explosion," said Yves de Lafontaine,
an aquatic ecosystems analyst with Environment Canada in Montreal.
The critter can travel more than 500 kilometres in its four-year
lifetime, reaching as far as Cornwall, Ont., if it establishes a
breeding population in the St. Lawrence.
Named for the dense patch of dark hair on some of the crabs' claws,
mitten crabs live most of their lives in fresh water but breed in
salt water, making the St. Lawrence River a potentially perfect
Over several decades, the voracious crawler has moved to England,
Germany and California. The crab often travels in the ballast of
ships, but scientists in California believe it was intentionally
released in the San Francisco Bay. [...]
EVEN the sceptics are questioning the origins
of a strange light that hovered over Darwin on Saturday night.
Several readers phoned the Northern Territory News late on Saturday
night to describe the unidentified flying object that captured their
But neither the RAAF or the airport were able to shed any light
on the flashing green, blue and red lights witnesses saw.
Laboratory technician Julie Lynn was relaxing on the balcony with
husband Nigel at their Leanyer home when they noticed the UFO about
A self-described sceptic, Mrs Lynn believes there is a perfectly
reasonable explanation for why the UFO hovered above Darwin - she
just has no idea what it could be.
"It was fascinating to watch," she said.
"I was quite looking forward to curling up on the couch and
watching a movie but it had our attention until we went to bed after
"It hovered in the one place for at least two hours but had
moved significantly when we checked on it again before we went to
"I can't believe there are UFOs or little green men out there
- there must be an obvious explanation.
"And we weren't drinking so it wasn't something we imagined."
The UFO was described as being shaped like three
connected ball-shaped spheres that flashed blue, green and red from
as many as six different light sources.
It first appeared in a south-easterly direction and was moving
Department of Defence spokeswoman Kelly Cooper said the UFO was
definitely not a secret military aircraft or RAAF-related.
The airport also denied the UFO could have been a plane waiting
to land in Darwin.
Mysterious blasts, flashes in
the sky have Tyngsboro residents rattled
TYNGSBORO Looking south from his home on Curtis
Road Tuesday night, Chris Lyons saw the bright flash light up the
About three seconds later came the boom a deep
thump that shook his entire house.
From Hudson, N.H., to the Chelmsford line, the eastern half of
Tyngsboro has been rocked with well over a dozen of these mysterious,
pulsating booms over the past five weeks, rattling both windows
Lyons said he knows a thing or two about explosives. As a youngster,
the engineer used to mess around with M-80s or fashion homemade
explosives under proper adult supervision, of course out of black
gunpowder and aluminum piping.
"Those are like sparklers compared to what is going on here,"
Lyons said. "If this were in a house, there would not be a
board left. The house would be pulverized.
"Ten sticks of dynamite might not completely blow up a house,"
Lyons added. "But what happened that night ... I can't even
describe it. For a guy who's not afraid of this stuff, my God, I
felt very intimidated.
"All I could think of, to tell you the truth, was my son going
to school the next day, and it was unsettling," Lyons said.
All reported incidents have occurred after dark, mostly between
7 and 9 p.m. Nearly all of them have been reported on Mondays and
When the bangs were first heard in late October,
police called the Federal Aviation Administration, thinking they
might have been sonic booms from aircraft. They were not.
Residents didn't report the incidents at first, thinking they were
related to demolition or construction projects that might be happening
in the area. Blasting permits are only allowed during daytime hours,
and none were issued during this time period.
Callers initially reported seeing bright flashes of light in the
hills west of the Firehouse Restaurant & Lounge which is about
a half-mile south of the Tyngsboro Bridge and to the east, near
the banks of the Merrimack River. Most of the flashes were white,
but other eyewitnesses have reported seeing orange and red flashes.
One resident said she saw blue lightning-like streaks.
"I didn't think anything of it," said Jackie Baker, who
lives down the road from the Firehouse Restaurant. "But then,
when it shook the house... ."
On Nov. 1, police received dozens of calls reporting at least six
incidents between about 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. The Lowell and Chelmsford
police departments also investigated similar complaints stemming
from the same incidents.
Tyngsboro patrol cars were even in the area during all of the bangs,
but officers could not pinpoint their location. Riding on all-terrain
vehicles the next day, other officers searched the expansive woods
west of the Boston University Corporate Education Center campus,
where some thought the blasts might have originated.
More booms were heard Nov. 2, Nov. 9, Nov. 23
and Nov. 30.
"It was very loud," said Henry Moulton, who lives on
Lawrence Road, just south of the school complex on Norris Road.
"Something like a bomb exploding in World War II."
"I thought it was in my back yard," said Moulton's wife,
Yvette. "I thought maybe the swimming pool had blown up."
It took nearly 10 minutes for Henry Moulton to get through to the
police dispatcher, whose telephone line was flooded with dozens
of similar calls.
What is especially baffling is that, to date, no one has reported
finding any evidence of explosions, such as burn marks, splintered
wood or rock or other debris.
"There's got to be something, somewhere," said Ellen
It would seem unlikely that the blasts are being caused by dynamite
or more modern explosives. In the wake of 9-11, even blasting caps
must be painstakingly accounted for, making it nearly impossible
to misplace such materials without drawing attention from federal
investigators. Some residents suspect the blasts could be homemade
concoctions of fertilizer, chemicals or explosive gases.
"We definitely want to get to the bottom of this ... absolutely,"
said Selectman Kevin O'Connor.
Deputy Police Chief Richard Burrows said the police don't know
what's causing the low-pitched booms and are looking for the public's
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