Sunday, December 19, 2004
The Daily Battle Against Subjectivity 

Signs of The Times

 
SITE MAP

Daily News and Commentary

Glossary

The Signs Quick Guide

Note to New Readers

Archives

Search

Message Board

Books

 
 
SOTT Podcast logo
Signs of the Times Podcast
 
Pentagon Strike logo
Pentagon Strike Flash by a QFS member
 

High Strangeness
Discover the Secret History of the World - and how to get out alive!

 

High Strangeness
The Truth about Hyperdimensional Beings and Alien Abductions

 

The Wave
New Expanded Wave Series Now in Print!

 

Support The Quantum Future Group and The Signs Team

How you can help keep Signs of The Times online...

 
The material presented in the linked articles does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editors. Research on your own and if you can validate any of the articles, or if you discover deception and/or an obvious agenda, we will appreciate if you drop us a line! We often post such comments along with the article synopses for the benefit of other readers. As always, Caveat Lector!

(Bookmark whatsnew link! In case site is down, info will be there!)

 
Printer Friendly Version    Fixed link to latest Page

New Travel Log! The Quantum Future Group Goes to Rennes-le-Chateau

New Article! Fallen Stars

New Signs Supplements!

911 Eye-witnesses

Pentagon Strike Flash Presentation by a QFS member

New Publication! 'The Wave' finally in book form!

The Wave: 4 Volume Set
Volume 2

by Laura Knight-Jadczyk

With a new introduction by the author and never before published, UNEDITED sessions and extensive previously unpublished details, at long last, Laura Knight-Jadczyk's vastly popular series The Wave is available as a Deluxe four book set.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 pages.

The Wave is an exquisitely written first-person account of Laura's initiation at the hands of the Cassiopaeans and demonstrates the unique nature of the Cassiopaean Experiment.

Order Volumes 1 and 2 now!



Picture of the Day

Adolf Hitler. Time Magazine's "Man of the Year" 1938
George Bush. Time Magazine's "Man of the Year" 2004

George W. Bush and The Aliens

Excerpts from UFOs and The National Security State by Richard Dolan
commentary by Laura Knight-Jadczyk

Several times over the past several months I have come across the idea that somebody "has it in" for the U.S. of A., and that they are using a "Fifth Column" to destroy it from within. Certainly, it is baffling to observe the current U.S. administration carrying out polices that anyone with two neurons firing know will lead only to destruction, and worse still, to see that so many Americans blindly support these destructive policies whose only end is - and I won't mince words - death and destruction of the American people and the American ideals.

Yesterday a reader sent me some comments posted on a message board on the internet out of which only one paragraph really interested me. It said:

It seems that a grouping of international corporate entities and financial institutions have decided that America at this late stage is only good for projecting military force, and so it will use up American resources to advance its own agenda until there is not much left of American power and credibility.

Well, even if I am not precisely certain that this identification of those who wish to see America destroyed is correct, I do see that the comment is a succinct description of what is happening in America. And it grieves me to no end.

Bush has declared that he will not bring back the draft, and I am reasonably certain that he will keep his word on that. He doesn't have to bring back the draft. When the economy gets so bad that the only place young men and women can get employment and a roof over their heads is in the military, that is where they will be. And that is certainly what looks to be ahead in the very near future.

But still, there is the problem: what is behind it all? What is the point? Why, or WHO would want to destroy America, its ideals, its leadership that held so much promise not too many years ago? Can it simply be the hubris of a small group of men who literally cannot see the end results of their actions as Hitler could not see the end of his Thousand Year Reich in less than twelve years?

I have shaken my head repeatedly and wondered is that REALLY the intention of the Bush Reich? Destruction of America?

No, I don't think it is. The destruction of Germany and the German cultural inheritance was not Hitler's intended outcome either. And so, we must see that there is actually someone, something, somewhere else, pulling the strings.

From the 1940s to the 1970s, military personnel from the United States and many other nations encountered unidentified flying objects, visually and on radar, sometimes at close range. These instances happened not scores of times, but hundreds of times, perhaps even thousands. Sometimes the encounter was nothing more than a solid radar return of an object moving at an incomprehensible speed, performing impossible maneuvers. Sometimes it included the violation of sensitive airspace. Often it involved the dispatch of one or more jets to intercept the object. At times, crew members claimed to see a metallic, disc-like object, sometimes with portholes, sometimes with lights, frequently engaged in what appeared to be intelligent, evasive maneuvers. In a very few cases, it involved the crash and military retrieval of a UFO. In a few others, it involved injury and even death to military personnel. In the large majority of instances recorded in [Richard Dolan's book, UFOs and the National Security State}, military personnel who encountered UFOs were adamant that they did not see a natural phenomenon.

This is clearly a serious development, and it was treated as such by those groups we may call the national security state. The CIA, NSA, and all branches of military intelligence received UFO reports and discussed the matter as something of serious concern. There is also evidence, provided by former Blue Book chief Edward Ruppelt, of an "Above Top Secret" group with access to all UFO data, a group that straddled the worlds of government, military, and industry.

At the same time, the military created the fiction, for public consumption only, that the UFO problem was nothing to be concerned about - certainly not the result of little green men. Aided by a heavy[handed official media and culture, it tried to convince the public that the air force's Project Blue Book was the appropriate tool for looking into this purely academic concern. Blue Book was fundamentally a public relations tool, not an investigative body. Throughout its existence, it was under orders to debunk. [...]

Some intelligence agency, most likely CIA, appears to have surveilled civilian UFO groups... In 1952, the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) was founded in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, by Coral Lorenzen. It soon became one of America's most influential and respected UFO organizations. Months before the first appearance of the organization's periodical, the APRO Bulletin, a man claiming an intelligence background became an active supporter and attempted to lead the organization into "metaphysical areas of research." Coral Lorenzen said she "gently parried" these attempts. She later discovered light embossing on a letter she received from him, and used a soft pencil to discern what looked like an intelligence report about her. During the summer of 1952, two suspicious men posing as painting contractors called on her and engaged her in conversation. The men did not seem interested in selling any services. After they left, they parked their car where they had a clear view of the back of her home. These two men also visited APRO's treasurer and secretary the same day, but apparently not any other homes in the neighborhood.

It is worth mentioning that, by 1952, 74 percent of the CIA's money (and 60 percent of personnel) went toward covert operations. ... Contrary to the 1947 National Security Act, which stipulated that the CIA's activities be confined outside the United States, the agency had already infiltrated and financed many U.S. labor, business, church, university, student, and cultural groups, usually channeling the money through various foundations. In 1952, it began opening the mail through a new program known as HT Lingual, which targeted correspondence between U.S. citizens and communist nations. For twenty[one years, with FBI help, the program photographed two million envelopes and opened 215,000 letters. No one, not even the president was exempt. By 1952, also, the CIA was using unwitting subjects to test the effects of LSD. [...]

In March 1965... FBI offices were asked to compile lists of reliable reporters who could be called on for COINTELPRO work. Hoover was meanwhile busy gathering data on antiwar groups as well as members of Congress. That summer, US Army intelligence agents began to infiltrate and spy on a wide range of political groups involving about one thousand investigators and three hundred officers collecting questionable political utterances. [...]

The CIA also controlled an army of thirty-six thousand men... which cost perhaps $300 million annually. Although Congress never authorized this activity, there was little to fear, considering the agency's classified budget and its many private sources of income.

The HtLingual program remained aggressive. By the early 1970s, the New York City component examined over 2 million mail items per year, photographed over thirty thousand envelopes, and opened eight thousand to nine thousand letters. In 1971, CIA Director Richard Helms gave a rare public address, in which he insisted that the CIA did not surveil domestic targets. "The nation must to a degree take it on faith," he said, "that we who lead the CIA are honorable men, devoted to the nation's service."

Meanwhile, CIA mind-control guru Sid Gottlieb had developed a strong interest in electronic stimulation of the brain, which he persuaded Helms to support. The idea was to program a human being to attack and kill upon command, to be done through the CIA's Operation Often.

The NSA was examining over 150,000 telegrams per month, as part of Operation Shamrock. [...]

Hoover, increasingly paranoid about exposure of the enormity of FBI activities, severed all relations with the CIA in the spring of 1970, and soon thereafter with all other intelligence agencies. [...]

One of Nixon's most persistent goals was the reorganization of the intelligence community, an immense undertaking. The most famous result of his efforts was the Huston Plan, named after Tom Huston, his point man on the project. At the June 1970 meeting in the Oval Office, all the main players attended: Haldeman, Ehrlichmann, Huston, and intelligence chiefs Hoover (FBI), Helms (CIA), Adm. Noel Gaylor (NSA), and Lt. Gen. Donald Bennet (DIA). Nixon made it clear he wanted a major effort against domestic dissidents. The group was chaired by Hoover and named the Inter Agency Committee on Intelligence (ICI). Even the formidable presence of the now cautious Hoover, however, could not prevent its far-reaching recommendations: expanded mail openings, resumption of illegal entries and "black bag" jobs, electronic surveillance of Americans and foreigners within the US, an increase in the number of "campus sources," and expansion of the army's counterintelligence mission.

Nixon endorsed the plan in mid-July but would not sign it, nor would Haldeman and Ehrlichmann. Who, then, at the White House, put his name to this dramatic authorization? Why, Nixon's young staffer, Tom Huston. Hoover easily torpedoed the plan on July 23, when he announced that he would certainly go along, just as soon as he received written authorization from the president for all these break-ins and wiretaps. Thus, the plan to "institutionalize burglary as presidential policy" failed. In practice, it made little difference, as these agencies were already engaging in many of the practices for which they sought approval. They did not cease simply because official sanction was not forthcoming. In some cases, they even expanded their activities.

The first cracks in the facade appeared in 1971. With intelligence community break-ins widespread, Hoover ended the COINTELPRO program in April, not du to any recognition of impropriety but to fear of exposure. The bureau continued to be aggressive against its COINTELPRO targets, but was less systematic. Hoover's fears proved well justified, for in May 1971, burglars broke into the FBI Field Office at Media, Pennsylvania, escaping with about a thousand documents and exposing the FBI's massive surveillance of blacks, students, radicals, and other mischievous groups. The word "COINTELPRO" escaped into society.

Then, on June 13, 1971, the New York Times began publishing a series of highly sensitive documents known as the Pentagon Papers. These were a classified history of the Vietnam War, leaked by Daniel Ellsberg, whom the White House immediately sought to smear and discredit. In September, a group of Cuban-Americans connected with the CIA, along with G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt, broke into the office of Ellsberg's psychiatrist. These people were Richard Nixon's personal covert action squad, nicknamed the "plumbers group." In April 1972, it was almost certainly Nixon people who broke into the home of CBS White House correspondent Dan Rather.

Also in April 1972, the residence of J. Edgar Hoover was broken into twice. According to Hoover biographer Anthony Summers, the second break in allowed for the placement of a poison (thiophosphate) into Hoover's personal toilet articles. The chemical is a compound used in insecticides, highly toxic if taken orally, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. It causes fatal heart seizure and is detectable only if an autopsy is performed within hours of death. J. Edgar Hoover died between 2. a.m. and 3 a.m. on May 2, 1971. He received no autopsy, and the cause was ascribed to cardiac arrest, although Hoover's doctor claimed he had been in good health. That morning, about twenty government agents methodically ransacked Hoover's residence, but Hoover's secretary destroyed countless files before anyone reached them. The official establishment lionized and glorified Hoover, and twenty-five thousand people flocked to the Capitol to pay homage to him. Nixon called him "a great force for good in our national life." Privately, Nixon feared Hoover even in death. A year later, he spoke of the old Director as though he were still alive: "He's got files on everybody, goddamnit!"

Shortly after Hoover's death, Nixon's plumbers group burglarized the Chilean embassy in Washington. Then, on June 17, 1972, they were caught while breaking into the Democratic National Committee in Washington's Watergate Office Building. Many believe Watergate was just the tip of the iceberg, since there had been at least a hundred similar types of break-ins, all apparently politically motivated, all unsolved, an unknown number of which were connected to Nixon. ... It took some time before the FBI realized the break-in was not a CIA operation. [...]

Nixon's several failed attempts to reorganize the intelligence community showed that he was no better than his predecessors at controlling this sprawling octopus. Dissatisfied with and mistrustful of Helms, Nixon fired him following his reelection to the presidency in November 1972. Helms now began two months of vigorous cleanup at the CIA, closing down such vulnerable programs as Operation Often. During his last days as CDI in January 1973, Helms ordered Gottlieb, also on his way out to destroy all files relating to MK-Ultra, MK-Search, and related endeavors in mind control. Among other things, Helms was worried that the lawsuits of Ewen Cameron's former patients could blaze a trail straight to Langley Inexplicably, Gottlieb failed to destroy about 130 incriminating boxes in the archives. Had he destroyed these, MK-Ultra might have remained unknown to this day. Meanwhile, the CIA was also working to prevent the publication of an expose by former agent Victor Marchetti. HTLingual and the NSA's Minaret programs also ended in 1973, the latter in order to prevent exposure during the Weathermen Trial. [...]

James Schlesinger, a CIA outsider, replaced Helms, then named William Colby as head of clandestine services. At Colby's urging, Schlesinger soon ordered CIA employees to report all suspected violations of the law, or of the CIA's charter, to the CIA's Inspector General. The result was a 693 page report called "Potential Flap Activities," known more commonly as The Family Jewels. It discussed Operation Chaos, bits of MK-Ultra (although nothing significant), illegal domestic wiretaps and bugging, and so on. As amazing as these revelations were, there is little doubt that much, much more never surfaced. Schlesinger fired about one thousand CIA officers, then left the agency in July 1973 to take over at the Pentagon. [...]

Classified information spilled out throughout 1973. People learned that the FBI actually wiretapped reporters and White House officials. ... The National Security apparatus suddenly looked vulnerable... and the president most of all... [Shortly thereafter, Nixon fell from power.] [...]

In 1969, and into the early 1970s, the American National Security state was at its most expansive. This belied a losing effort in Southeast Asia. But while the Vietnam front was being lost and domestic dissent remained widespread, the UFO front appeared to be won. Flying saucers were relegated to a remote corner of cold war history as a curiosity in cultural paranoia and mass hysteria.

The UFO phenomenon, however, did not go away after the Condon Report debunked it. Odd, unexplained, and even fantastic events continued to be reported by sober, reliable people. Although the intense media fixation of 194-s or 1960s was no longer the rule in the 1970s, evidence for the reality of UFOs as something extraordinary, and even alien, did not escape the public.

Nor, it appears, the classified world. JANAP-146 and CIRVIS remained in effect, for example, indicating that UFO reports were still being routed through those channels. Moreover, journalist Howard Blum noted that since 1972, the NSA had been "secretly monitoring and often assessing worldwide allegations of UFO activity." It was mandatory, Blum wrote, to "Flash-report" Fort Meade on all intercepted flying objects; "and these installations are required to track and Flash-report on any signals or electronic intelligence that might have an extraterrestrial origin." In February 1974, the French Defense Minister, Robert Galley, confirmed in a radio interview that his department was very interested in UFO reports and "that it had been interested since the great wave of 1954..." His department's records contained "some baffling radar/visual incidents." The UFO phenomenon was global, Galley said, and he expressed his conviction that "we must regard these phenomena with an attitude of completely open mind... It is undeniable that there are facts that are unexplained or badly explained."

The great advantage to UFO secrecy henceforth was the official deniability that the military now possessed. Previously, those who disbelieved air force denials about UFOs always replied with the unanswerable question: then why investigate UFO reports through Project Blue Book? Now, however, the air force no longer officially investigated UFOs. With Blue Book gone, the last link to official sanction was removed from the UFO problem, and it was taken in toto to where the national security elite had always wanted it to be: deep within the classified world. [...] [UFOs and The National Security State]

The compiled evidence - which includes government documents - suggests that a group of specialists working in the shadows of the numerous national security organizations, set up and executed the most massive cover-up in the history of government; and that the Human Potential movement and the subsequent New Age movements, were key elements of this cover-up. In other words, they not only have used the "colorful community" of alternative ideas as an unwitting tool of disinformation, it is highly probable that most of it was literally created by them as COINTELPRO. Though the name stands for "Counterintelligence Program," the targets were not enemy spies. The FBI set out to eliminate "radical" political opposition inside the US. What a lot of people do not realize is that this was a high level psychological operation specifically set up to vector "ideological" trends - beliefs, etc.

[T]he cover up of UFO information is nothing unique. A state capable of conducting terminal mind-control experiments, biological spraying of American cities, illegal mail and cable interceptions, nationwide domestic surveillance by its military, human plutonium and syphilis injections, sundry coups and assassinations, ongoing media manipulations and flat-out public lying on a continual basis, would surely be capable of lying about UFOs, too. Indeed, it was the very institutions involved in such unsavory and subterranean activities that were most interested in maintaining UFO secrecy.

What could they have been so concerned about? As everyone likes to ask, why the secrecy? Surely, if the military truly believed what it said for years about UFOs - that they are usually misidentifications of natural phenomena - it would hardly be interested in the problems. But that is not the case. [...]

[I]t is within the national security apparatus, and not among civilians, where most of the pieces to this puzzle exist. UFOs have national security implications, if for not other reason than that they have involved the military personnel of many nations. The subject is therefore subject to secrecy protocols, a situation that has existed for over fifty years, and is unlikely to end any time soon. ... The military dimension to the UFO problem remains locked away within the classified world.

Some believe this is as it ought to be. Can the public really handle the truth about aliens? If the presence of others constitutes a threat to humanity, for example, what could the average person even do about it? There are those who believe that secrecy about UFOs is in the public's best interest. Whatever the value of this sentiment - which I do not share - the "public interest" has never been the main concern of those making the decisions. Ultimately, a national security apparatus exists not to protect the public but itself. The attachment of American to the fiction of a representative government, or - God forbid - a democracy, has clouded their ability to see their society for what it is: an oligarchy that uses the forms of democracy to appease and distract the public. [It is] folly to imagine that an oligarchy is not concerned with maintaining its position, to the exclusion of all else.

If we accept the reality of an alien presence, as the UFO evidence suggests, we must be willing to consider that presence as a threat. The record of military encounters with UFOs suggests that this is the case. Since the public is completely unprepared to meet this threat, one can only hope that those groups which have been dealing with it will act in the public interest. During the period of review [covered by Dolan's book], those groups did not always work in the public interest when it came to other matters. There is little reason to believe it was, or is, any different regarding an alien presence.

Since the 1970s, the subject of UFOs has become more complex. Encounters are as widespread as ever, and even more plentiful than in the early years. At the same time, UFOs have received a thoroughly schizophrenic cultural treatment. Within popular culture, UFOs and aliens possess a cachet they never had during the cold war. Yet, the bastions of "official culture" - academia, mainstream media, government, and the elements of national security - continue to ignore the subject or else treat it as a joke. One can plainly see that neither ABC Nightly News nor the American Historical Review deems the subject worthy of analysis. [...]

Throughout most of the [last] century's last three decades, very little effort was expended by the larger organizations either to end government UFO secrecy or, it appears, to reach the public with a coherent message. Instead, they have spent their efforts squirreling away huge amounts of data for... who knows what end?

In addition to these, there now exist organizations that serve in a kind of professional debunking capacity. The military and intelligence community continue to show myriad connections with UFO organizations, and several instances of UFO disinformation planted by intelligence personnel are known. The result has been three decades of fragmentation and perennial wheel-spinning [...]

UFOs have continued to intersect with the militaries of the world. Unauthorized airspace violations by unknown vehicles continue to occur; attempted interceptions continue to take place; secrecy orders are as severe as ever. For all of our sophisticated, secret, technology, these objects do not appear to be under our control. Through the cultural static, that signal is clear. [UFOs and The National Security State]

Now, let us take a few logical steps. The UFO problem emerged into the national consciousness in 1947, or thereabouts. Not long afterward, a lot of people began asking a lot of questions. The government wasn't answering, and so the people began to band together to find out the answers for themselves. They started forming groups. And this is where things get just a bit curious.

The thing that was most threatened by the UFO/alien issue seems to have been the Standard Monotheistic Religions. Religion seems to be a necessary component of political control. Social control - that is the mainstay of religion - was most definitely under threat. In fact, what seems to be true is that it is not even clear that religions - as we know them - would have survived a full disclosure. So the logical conclusion is that part of the main reason for the cover-up was to "protect the religious status quo."

As things stood at the time, protecting the religious status quo - mainly the social controls that stem from religion - was iffy at best. After a century of scholarly investigation into many religious texts, and the raising of many questions about the "old time religion," there were a lot of people in society who were most definitely turning away from religious dogma. It's fairly simple to take the next logical step and see that a combining of the questions of those who were disenchanted with religion, with the questions of those who wanted to know just what the heck was going on in terms of possible "extraterrestrials," was seen as a dangerous and explosive mixture. Something had to be done.

The activities of COINTELPRO in attempting to neutralize political opposition have been pretty well exposed by many others, but we are now considering the fact that, in addition to political activists, it seems that COINTELPRO has particularly targeted groups that are seeking the truth about the interactions between the US government and Ultra Terrestrials, or so-called "aliens."

That a longtime cover-up of these matters has been in effect is certainly evident to any careful researcher. The COINTELPRO files show the US Government targeted a very broad range of religious, labor and community groups opposed to any of its agendas, and it is only logical to assume that the same type of operation would be created to cover up the "alien agenda." Such a theoretical COINTELPRO operation also goes far in explaining why, when the sincere researcher of UFO phenomena enters this field, he or she discovers only lies, lies, and more lies; confusion and disinformation. That is most definitely the signature of COINTELPRO.

Considering all of the above, would anybody care to suggest that it did not also occur to the Powers that Be that the chief means of diverting attention and covering up the truth of the so-called "alien agenda" would be to literally fund and create the "New Age" and "Human Potential movement" so that it would follow their agenda of keeping secrets by creating lies? In other words, it is extremely likely that the most successful and popular of Metaphysical teachers - those who can get their books published and promoted by big publishing houses, those who appear on television shows, those who have regular radio shows, and so on - are COINTELPRO agents - either consciously or as dupes of those who are.

The objective seems to be to attack and "neutralize" those who are seeking the answers. Those who are sincere, who do bona fide research and seek to explicate the truth, are infiltrated, attacked, and marginalized according to standard COINTELPRO procedures.

What all of this seems to suggest is that the Powers That Be (PTB) have developed COINTELPRO to an all new level of Social Shaping, Cultural Brainwashing, and the main targets of this activity would include virtually anyone who is seeking the truth about the shifting realities of our world in ANY context. The cases of COINTELPRO activities against political groups must be no more than the tip of the iceberg, given that the great bulk of COINTELPRO-type operations remain secret until long after their damage has been done.

By all indications, domestic covert operations have become a permanent feature of US politics and Social Programming, and it is hardly likely, considering the evidence, that the New Age and Human Potential fields are exempt.

The implications of this are truly alarming.

Those who manage to get close to the truth of these matters, despite the many obstacles in their path, face National covert campaigns to discredit and disrupt their research and reputations. Clearly, COINTELPRO and similar operations under other names also work to distort academic and popular perceptions of the problems facing our world. They have done enormous damage to the search for the Truth.

"Terrorism is changing. New adversaries, new motivations and new rationales have surfaced in recent years to challenge much of the conventional wisdom..." wrote Dr. Bruce Hoffman, Director of RAND. And he was right. The only problem is, the reader is largely unaware of the definition of "new adversaries" that might be implied in his remarks. What he means by "terrorists" is anyone who challenges the "received wisdom" of the Powers That Be.

Dolan lays out the evidence and disabuses us of the notion that the UFO activity could be human, technological breakthroughs as such naive conspiracy theorists propose. As he says, "all of the indicators point to a definitive NO." He then points out that, every single person who actually studies the UFO problem [yours truly included - who began as a flaming skeptic] - becomes convinced that it IS a problem of Alien invasion of our planet. Every official study of UFOs persuaded the researchers that aliens were the explanation for the data. But that data has been denied, and when denial no longer worked, it was obscured by the noise, the smoke and mirrors that prevail today in UFO research and the New Age and Human Potential movements. Do we think that this is coincidence?

Another evident production of "noise" is the nonsense that passes today as "channeling" or "alien contacts". Indeed, our own work involves what can certainly be called inspirational material, but as we have noted repeatedly, it is not your usual "channeled" info, nor do we treat it as such. For us, a controlled channeling experiment is the 10% inspiration that must be matched by the 90% perspiration of real research.

With a broad historical awareness of the facts, a firm grounding in the realization that most of what is out there is deliberate disinformation, the individual who surveys the plethora of "alternative information" in books and on the Internet, can easily recognize the "noise" factor produced by the Secret State. Dolan tells us:

By the early 1970s, there were already means available to alter the moods of unsuspecting persons. A pocket-sized transmitter generating electromagnetic energy at less than 100 milliwatts could do the job. This is no pie-in-the-sky theory. In 1972, Dr. Gordon J.F. McDonald testified before the House Subcommittee on Oceans and International Environment on the issue of electromagnetic weapons used for mind control and mental disruption. He stated:

[T]he basic notion was to create, between the electrically charged ionosphere in the higher part of the atmosphere and conducting layers of the surface of the Earth, this neutral cavity, to create waves, electrical waves that would be tuned to the brain waves. ...About ten cycles per second. ...You can produce changes in behavioral patterns or in responses.

The following year, Dr. Joseph C. Sharp, at Walter Reed Hospital, while in a soundproof room, was able to hear spoken words broadcast by 'pulsed microwave audiogram.' These words were broadcast to him without any implanted electronic translation device. Rather, they reached him by direct transmission to the brain.

Electrical Stimulation of the brain can produce hallucinations. If you put hallucinations together with words, you can produce just about anything that you want in the way of "noise" to obscure the truth - including the "shape-shifting reptoids-as-humans," or a "gray dude in the bathroom," or a "Guardian Alliance," or a "Nibiruan Council," or an "Ashtar Command," or talking whales and dolphins, etc. You name it - they can produce it via voices in the head and hallucinations and transmissions of frequencies that produce ecstatic states, healings, or whatever. And so it is that the human element of the Cosmic COINTELPRO operation manages their many "agents" of disinformation - pied pipers leading the masses of New Age seekers - so that whatever the real truth is remains their secret. And that's exactly the way they want it.

Notice the dates in the above quote from Dolan's book telling us that in the early 70s certain technologies were being developed that could "broadcast" signals over the entire nation. We certainly suspect that this technology was developed further in the subsequent years. The question is: what did they do with it? Better yet, what ARE they doing with it? Can it have anything to do with the perceptions of the American people, including the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001?

What strikes me as an essential turning point in this COINTELPRO operation was the beginning of the "planned expose" of two particular items that hold sway in certain "conspiracy" circles to this very day: Alien Abduction and Satanic Ritual Abuse.

The Gray alien scenario was "leaked" by Budd Hopkins. Whitley Strieber's alien abduction books, including Communion, followed a few years after. Prior to the publication of these books, the ubiquitous "Gray aliens" had never been seen before. In fact, a review of the history of "contact" cases show that the type and variety and behavior of "aliens" around the world are quite different across the board. Even Betty and Barney Hill's alleged abductors were not your standard "Gray aliens."

But, along came Budd, followed by Whitley and his glaring alien on the cover, and suddenly the Grays were everywhere. In respect of Whitley and his Grays, allow me to emphasize one of Dolan's comments quoted above:

"By early 1969, teams within the CIA were running a number of bizarre experiments in mind control under the name Operation Often. In addition to the normal assortment of chemists, biologists, and conventional scientists, the operation employed psychics and experts in demonology."

Remember what Dolan revealed above about Operation Often?

Meanwhile, CIA mind-control guru Sid Gottlieb had developed a strong interest in electronic stimulation of the brain, which he persuaded Helms to support. The idea was to program a human being to attack and kill upon command, to be done through the CIA's Operation Often.

One has to wonder just how many so-called "abductees" may be victims of such programming: "Manchurian Candidates" just waiting for the signal to "go off" to start killing their neighbors and friends. What is also scary is the number of abductees that have fled to religion to find protection against the "demonic" aliens. In light of the ties between nearly all Christian "evangelicals" with the CIA, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral commission, the Bush family and Bush Sr's "New World Order", we have to consider that fanatical Christian fundamentalism can also be a production of "Operation Often."

This, of course, brings us to the parallel event of that period of time: Satanic ritual abuse. SRA is the name given to the allegedly systematic abuse of children (and others) by Satanists. As it happens, keeping our timeline in mind, it was in the mid to late 1970s that the allegations of the existence of a "well-organized intergenerational satanic cult whose members sexually molest, torture and murder children across the United States" began to emerge in America.

There was a panic regarding SRA triggered by a fictional book called Michelle Remembers. The book was published as fact but has subsequently been shown by at least three independent investigators to be a hoax. No hard evidence of Satanic Ritual Abuse in North America has ever been found, just as no hard evidence of abductions by Gray aliens has ever been found. That doesn't mean that neither have ever, will or do happen, but we have to ask some serious questions about any phenomenon that is so widely circulated by what we know to be a controlled press acting at the behest of a Secret Government.

It is a fact that such allegations were widely publicized on radio and television talk shows, including Geraldo Rivera's show. Religious fundamentalists promoted the hysteria and, just as during the Inquisition, endless self-proclaimed "moral entrepreneurs" both fed the fires of prosecution and earned a good living from it.

Most of the early accusations of satanic ritual abuse were aimed at working-class people with limited resources to fight back, and with a few exceptions, the media and other groups that are ordinarily skeptical either remained silent or joined in the feeding frenzy of accusations. The few professionals who spoke out against the hysteria were systematically attacked and discredited by government agencies and private organizations.

The question has to be asked: If there are thousands of baseless accusations of SRA and thousands upon thousands of cases of unverifiable alien abductions, how do they originate?

Most of the SRA cases are said to originate with children. Since there is a widespread belief that children wouldn't make up stories of eating other children or being forced to have sex with giraffes after flying in an airplane while they were supposed to be in day care, the stories are often taken at face value by naive prosecutors, therapists, police officers and parents. Researchers have found that children are unlikely to invent stories of satanic ritual abuse on their own. So again, where do the stories come from? Accusing the therapists, district attorneys, police and parents of inducing such stories from children doesn't seem to be a very productive answer. Yes, it may happen in some cases, but certainly doesn't seem likely in the vast number of cases.

Now, let's go back and think about our timeline. As it happens, Michelle Remembers was published in 1980, co-written by Michelle Smith and Lawrence Pazder, M.D. Budd Hopkins finished Missing Time in December of 1980, with an "afterward" by Aphrodite Clamar, Ph.D.

It's looking pretty "coincidental" from where I sit.

When we consider the fact that Operation Often employed "the normal assortment of chemists, biologists, and conventional scientists" and "psychics and experts in demonology," we begin to think that electronic COINTELPRO includes a whole supermarket of new "beliefs" - Gray aliens and "alien contacts" for the New Age crowd and a whole range of "sexual/ritual abuse scenarios" for those who are not open to the alien shtick, not to mention fanaticism among Christians.

Are Manchurian candidates being created among all strata of American Society based on some sort of "free-formal imaging," and, depending on the conscious acceptance of one or another version, it takes on its individual characteristics in the conscious minds of the millions of victims?

Are the public productions, books by Tim La Haye - of the "Left Behind" series - Hopkins, Strieber, and the SRA scandals, just variations on the closing of the circuit by the conscious mind accepting or creating one or the other scenario as the explanation for the constant bombardment of such signals as described in Dolan's book?

Is it the job of COINTELPRO to create "bogus organizations" that produce various "explanations" to close the circuit and "make it real" in the person's mind? One has to wonder about the name of the program: Operation Often in terms of the claims of abductees - victims of repeated and "often" abductions - as well as the claims of those who suggest the SRA explanation. In all of the above scenarios, the believer is being "herded" into a "response camp" of faith in alien saviors, or faith in Jesus to save them from the demonic/satanic Illuminati, Jews, Pagans - take your pick.

Let me make it clear that I am in no way suggesting that "abductions" or some whacked out satanic rituals do not ever take place somewhere, under some circumstances; we all know that George Bush and John Kerry are members of a cult that very well may engage in such practices. What I am suggesting is that the Gray Alien and SRA phenomenon, as well as fanatical Christian fundamentalism most certainly were not restricted in any way by COINTELPRO and/or the mass media and "Official Culture," and may indeed be the smoke and mirrors that hides a far more insidious state of affairs.

In essence, Dolan's book shows us the history of how the many levels of society have been duped and deceived - or directly controlled - from the average citizen, to the seeker of higher truths, to the scions of science and industry, to the hallowed halls of government. Each "type" has been targeted in the way most likely to "manage" them best. Those who cannot be "managed" generally die, as scientist James McDonald - and others - did.

But all the while, the UFOs kept coming, and people kept seeing them, but it seems they have stopped asking questions...

Click here to comment on this article


Forced Entry For Blood, Oil and Israel
Dec 18, 2004
By Albert M. Jabara

Under all conceivable civil and criminal laws, ‘Forced Entry’ into the property of others to steal, kill, destroy, reconfigure original border and layout structure to deface the truth of a culture or religion is generally considered illegal.

U.S. and U.K. military forced their entry into Iraq; devastated the population; maimed, killed and destroyed; now they rob the worth and wealth of the entire country. All took place under pretext of regime change, weapons of mass destruction, or another lie yet to be told. This illegal invasion has brought shame; it dishonored every American citizen. George W. Bush has clearly scarred the reputation, integrity and human dignity of Americans. United States of America is rapidly declining on all fronts: socially, economically and ethically. It is becoming an outlaw country by breeding outlaw states like Israel, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Saddam’s crimes against his own people, war against Iran and the invasion of Kuwait were all orchestrated by the U.S. Administration. In each case, the U.S. objective was the same to provide cover to change the map of the Middle East. From the point view of the U.S. neoconservative surveyors, their war against the Middle East will only end when all objectives are fulfilled to the full satisfaction of the apartheid state, Israel.

This conspiracy has spanned for nearly twenty years and was crystal clear to a lot of Arab and Muslim thinkers and ordinary citizens. The sad fact here is that this conspiracy was never taken seriously by Arab leaders. U.S. officials and emissaries sent to the Region have proven sophistication in conniving; they promised friendship and delivered atomic weapons to Israel. They illuminated pure lies and converted them into believable tales. Arab leaders believed the illuminated lies and decided to allow time to prove otherwise. Ill-deeds, the U.S. administration delivered to the Region stand naked under the sun, right in the heart of Iraq, in Afghanistan and in occupied Palestine. George W. Bush, Toni Blair and Ariel Sharon lecture on peace and terrorism. In the meantime, they kill women and children, destroy culture and history. Just look at the devastation of Iraq, Afghanistan and the deplorable plight of Palestine and Palestinians. Justice is crucified. Morality is dead. Decency is paraded under banners of drugs, filthy sex and theft. Court houses, judges and attorney generals do not consult law books for just verdicts. They take direct orders from U.S. neo-gangsters and killers. A hope for a world order is the simplest farce that does not deserve a laugh. The entire world population needs to rise against U.S. sick mind and ambition before we all become a total reject. Remember, the earth is a genuine mother, physically and spiritually attached to every decent human. At any one point in the human history when filth prevailed, the earth and its Creator rocked the universe and destroyed all destructive means and weapons, including killers and murderers.

U.S. and U.K. leaders and their generals must be brought to justice and tried for thefts, crimes against humanity and be isolated from the world community all together. The question is! Is there a leader in the world today willing to initiate such a legal action? Brave men died before the birth of Zionism. I am not aware of a mother’s womb that is capable of conceiving, carrying and delivering the next baby who can save the world from total destruction. We know for certain, evil mothers are continuously conceiving and delivering the likes of George W. Bush, Toni Blair and Ariel Sharon.

Today the world community must share considerable part of the blame for the destitute of the Iraqi people, the destruction of their country and the mass murder of many Iraqis. Complicity to crimes committed by the U.S. and U.K. troops is a crime by itself enforced by Regional countries that provided military and other logistic assistance. The international community, namely China, Germany, Russia and France stood by and did nothing to prevent this historic crime against humanity. They did, however, voice strong disagreement to the war against Iraq; this was not enough to stop blood flow on Iraqi’s streets, in homes, hospitals, schools, daycare centers and other public places. Occupiers speak of mass graves, suicide bombing, and foreign terrorist cells being built rapidly. They fail to recognize U.S. and U. K. bombs dropped on Iraqi civilians and military personnel. They fail to recognize the one million Iraqi children who died from starvation and depleted uranium. Now you tell me who are bigger terrorists and murders? [...]

Click here to comment on this article


Behind Canada's Mideast shift
Dec. 18, 2004. 09:10 AM
LYNDA HURST

Has `even-handed' Canada swung to Israel's side? Surprise No vote
at U.N. signals marked change


Every year at the United Nations, a predictable series of anti-Israel, pro-Palestine resolutions are placed before the General Assembly.
And every year, in an attempt to appear unbiased, Canada joins Europe in abstaining on the more ferociously worded of them. The United States, colours permanently nailed to the pro-Israel mast, routinely opposes them.

But this year, the script changed.

On Dec. 1, Canada joined the U.S. in voting No to a resolution extending the mandate of the Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Why? Because it had "reservations about its work and objectives."

That explanation was lost, however, in the frenzy of speculation ignited by the surprise No vote: Had "even-handed" Canada just quietly swung over to Israel's side?

No one seemed to notice that on the same day, it voted in favour of or abstained from five other, less inflammatory pro-Palestinian resolutions.

A few days after, Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew belatedly explained that the contentious vote signalled the start of a new "principled" approach at the U.N.

From now on, Canada would not automatically align with any one, but judge each of the 20 or so annual resolutions on its own merit, weighing the content and language against its Middle East policy.

And that policy is not changing, stressed Pettigrew.

Ottawa still advocates a two-state solution in the Middle East. It still supports the Palestinian right to self-determination, but not the use of terrorist attacks. It still defends Israel's right to live in peace and security, but not its settlement expansion. Only now, Canada truly will be the balanced, honest broker it claims to be.

On the face of it, how could there be a problem?

But there is.

In the realm of Canada's Mideast policy, things are not always what they seem. "Nuance" is the currency; polar-opposite perceptions the norm.

Why the shift? Why now? Why not? are easy questions to ask, not necessarily to answer.

Officially, it's because Prime Minister Paul Martin wants to play a stronger, more credible role on the world stage, especially in the Middle East. And it happened now because this is the first General Assembly of his tenure at which Canada could formally distance itself from resolutions that it believes hinder the pursuit of peace.

A laudable goal, say foreign policy critics, but it's not the way to go about it, not the best time even to try.

They argue that the recent death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is an opportunity to push for peace, not to alienate the Palestinians or other Arab states. It's illogical to change the voting pattern now.

One long-time consultant to the foreign affairs department says many officials there and at the Canadian International Development Agency were caught by surprise and are infuriated by the sudden shift:

"There are layers of tension there right now," he says. "It's a mess. I've never seen things quite as nasty."

Many in Ottawa continue to favour the status quo, saying that no matter how distasteful the rhetoric, the General Assembly is the only place Palestinians feel they get a fair hearing, if only a symbolic one. Everyone knows that the binding votes occur at the Security Council, which has passed 70 of them in Israel's favour.

Many officials also feel that hiving off from the European majority is a high risk.

"We're asking for trouble," says career diplomat Steve Hibbard, until this summer Canada's representative in Ramallah. "We're not in a position to part from the herd. The Palestinians will think our Mideast policy is being dominated by the U.S. That's what we've been trying to get away from."

U.S. President George W. Bush was in Canada on the day of the tradition-breaking vote. But that was just a coincidence, say analysts. Ottawa is forging its own line, not bowing to any Washington request: the U.S., to understate considerably, is not viewed as an "honest broker" in the Mideast and Canada doesn't want to be too closely associated.

To Canada's pro-Israel lobby, the shift is simply a "small and welcome readjustment," says Paul Michaels of the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy, an umbrella group formed earlier this year.

"We'd like to think our arguments had some effect on this happening, but there were a number of factors, it wasn't uni-causal. This isn't an earth-shattering change," he says.

For a true policy shift, says Shimon Fogel, chief executive of the Canada-Israel Committee, the senior lobbying group, "Canada would have to say: `The U.N. treats Israel so disgracefully that we will vote for it across the board.'

"They haven't done that, nor did we expect it."

The switch didn't come out of the blue, he says. The "different stakeholders" knew it was coming because Martin had promised to do it during his election campaign this spring. Even though many foreign affairs staff are "not comfortable with switching from the status quo," says Fogel, serious discussions have been happening for months about a more activist international role for Canada.

He pauses, and sardonically adds: "But, of course, it's the all-powerful Jewish lobby."

Click here to comment on this article


Occupation forces kidnap nine-year-old Palestinian child for interrogation
by palestine-info.co.uk
Dec 18, 2004, 23:08

Bethlehem - Zionist terrorist forces last night kidnapped the nine-year-old child Warid Jamal Zawahra from Karkafa suburb in Bethlehem and took him to Jilo barrier where he was subjected to cruel questioning.

Palestinian sources quoted family of the child as saying that he went outside to play with his friends at 04.00 pm and did not return.

The family members quoted other children as saying that a Zionist foot patrol arrived to the scene and arrested Warid at around 04.30 pm.

The soldiers scared and terrorized the child to force him divulge his familyís telephone number and other information.

He was released at 08.00 pm and arrived home in a very bad shape, the family members reported, noting that he had to walk a long way in order to return home.

The boy could not go to school today and remained in bed since his return.

The sources noted that Waridís brother Shadi, 17, was sentenced to four months jail term and another seven-month suspended sentence along with a 200 dollars fine by a Zionist court.

Click here to comment on this article


Leaflets of fear
Nigel Parry,
The Electronic Intifada,
15 December 2004

[A] leaflet was dropped on Gaza this morning from Israeli military helicopters. The translation says:

TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

Your life is being harmed by irresponsible elements who exploit you by firing missiles from in between your houses at the Israeli settlements. These missiles backfire on you causing only destruction and loss of your source of living without leaving you any road to hope.

Be aware !!! that firing missiles from your area will compel the Israeli Defense Forces to act in your area and to hit missile-launching elements in any place they act from.

Get rid of terror which leads you to the bottom.

Follow the road of hope.

Do not allow the terrorists to come close to your area.

It is clear from reports from multiple human rights organizations that Israel's actions in Gaza are not necessarily related to any Palestinian shooting at Israeli settlements. Case after case reported on the international human rights newswires speak of people shot inside their homes with bullets.

With telescopic sights standard issue to all soldiers manning watchtower positions around settlements and on the Gaza-Egyptian border, there can be no doubt that these cases include many unlawful and willful acts of killing.

Since the beginning of the Intifada, EI has received many reports from trusted sources of indiscriminate Israeli shelling and firing at Palestinian neighborhoods -- without there having been any fire from the Palestinian side -- on a daily basis.

In recent weeks, case after case has surfaced in the Israeli media highlighting the abuse and killing of Palestinian civilians throughout the Intifada prompting one Ha'aretz writer to note that the situation of "feigned innocence of the IDF's top brass, which has "suddenly" discovered that immoral acts are being committed by soldiers in the territories, is extremely grave. Suddenly, the IDF command has discovered that soldiers are desecrating dead bodies, shooting at children, humiliating people at checkpoints and shooting the wounded in order to confirm the kill. The truth, of course, is otherwise: They have known about these grave acts all along. They heard about what happens at the checkpoints and knew the details of shooting incidents in which civilians were killed." ("The message to the soldiers was clear", Reuven Pedatzur, Ha'aretz, 13 December 2004).

If we look at one week in Gaza, as reported by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Israel's pattern of targeting Palestinian civilians and civilian property is unmistakable.

On December 2nd, PCHR reported that, "At approximately 16:30, Israeli troops positioned in a military post in Tal Zo'rob area in the southwest of Rafah, opened fire at Palestinian houses in Zo'rob neighborhood.† A Palestinian child, 8-year-old Khalil Hisham Buraika, was injured by shrapnel in the head when he was near his house.† At approximately 17:10, Israeli troops positioned at the Egyptian border, south of Rafah, opened fire at Palestinian houses in al-Salam neighborhood near the border.† A Palestinian woman, Fathiya Mohammed al-Akhras, 52, was wounded by a live bullet in the right hand when she was inside her house."

On December 3rd, PCHR reported that, "At approximately 12:00, Israeli troops positioned in military posts in the vicinity of 'Morag' settlement, north of Rafah, opened fire at Musabbeh neighborhood.† A Palestinian woman, Raiqa Mansour Tabasi, 60, was wounded by a live bullet in the left shoulder when she was inside her house."

On December 4th, PCHR reported that, "At approximately 18:00, Israeli troops positioned in military posts in the west of Rafah opened fire at Palestinian houses in Tal al-Sultan neighborhood to the east.† A Palestinian child, 15-year-old Nidal Mohammed Abu Hilal, was wounded by a live bullet in the left leg when he was near his house. †At approximately 19:45, Israeli troops positioned at the Egyptian border, south of Rafah, opened fire at Palestinian houses in al-Salam neighborhood near the border.† A Palestinian civilian, 20-year-old Mohammed Mahmoud Abu Hassanain, was wounded by a live bullet in the buttocks when he was inside his house."

On December 5th, PCHR reported that, "At noon, Israeli troops positioned at the Egyptian border, south of Rafah, opened fire at Palestinian houses in al-Brazil neighborhood near the border.† Two Palestinian civilians, including a schoolchild, were wounded: Mohammed 'Abdul Fattah Mansour, 11, wounded by shrapnel in the head; and 'Abdul 'Aziz Farraj Abu Mour, 40, seriously wounded by a live bullet in the chest.†Also at noon, Israeli troops positioned at the Egyptian border, south of Rafah, opened fire at residential areas in the town.† A Palestinian physician, Mohammed 'Ata Hamed Hamad, 30, was seriously wounded by a live bullet in the chest, when he was nearly 900 meters away from the border.†At approximately 14:30, Israeli troops positioned at the Egyptian border, south of Rafah, opened fire at Block J in Rafah refugee camp, adjacent to the border.† A Palestinian child, 13-year-old Bustan Mufid Sha'at, was wounded by a live bullet in the left leg."

On December 6th, PCHR reported that, "At approximately 13:30, Israeli troops positioned in military posts in the vicinity of "Gadid" settlement, southwest of Khan Yunis, opened fire at Palestinian houses in Baten al-Samin area to the east.† A Palestinian child, 5-year-old Ahmed Mohammed al-Bashiti, was seriously wounded by a live bullet that entered the back and settled in the chest when he was on the roof of his house."

On December 7th, PCHR reported that, "At approximately 10:10, Israeli troops positioned at the Egyptian border, south of Rafah, opened fire at Palestinian houses in al-Brazil neighborhood, adjacent to the border.† A Palestinian civilian, 25-year-old Mohammed 'Abdul Karim Qeshta, was wounded by a live bullet in the left knee as he was on duty as a traffic man.††At approximately 14:30, Israeli troops positioned in military posts in the vicinity of "Neve Dekalim" settlement, west of Khan Yunis, opened fire at Palestinian houses in al-Nimsawi neighborhood and Khan Yunis refugee camp.† A number of live bullets hit the buildings of Nasser Hospital, nearly 700 meters away from the source of fire.† A Palestinian woman, 50-year-old Fatema Khamis 'Ennaba, was injured by shrapnel from a live bullet in the left shoulder."

On December 8th, PCHR reported that, "At approximately 17:00, Israeli troops on a tank positioned near "Morag" settlement, south of Khan Yunis, opened fire at Palestinian houses in Gizan al-Najjar area to the north.† A Palestinian civilian, 20-year-old Mohammed Hassan al-Najjar, was wounded by a live bullet in the neck."

PCHR usually identifies situations in which killings and injuries resulted during an exchange of fire. However, typically even clashes see indiscriminate Israeli fire against Palestinian non-combatants. It is believed that the majority of the week's events involve unilateral Israeli firing at Palestinian areas, not clashes between two sides. Reports from the week which did involve Palestinian militants were not included in the list above.

Looking at the list of casualties above, are we expected to accept that boys aged 5, 8, 11, 13 and 15; men aged 20, 20, 25, 30, and 40; and women aged 50, 52, and 60 -- were all wounded in the course of Israeli military actions against Palestinian militants?

Are we supposed to believe that 52-year-old Fathiya al-Akhras was entertaining some Hamas militants with a cup of tea while they shot at Israeli military positions from her living room window? Or that Mohammed Qeshta, the "traffic man", continued to direct pedestrians across the street after some lads from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades showed up and set up a mortar position next to him? These are not credible situations in which "retaliation" can be argued to be taking place, unless we subscribe to the most base, dehumanizing and -- in these two particular cases -- comical beliefs about Palestinians.

Most of the casualties detailed in the list above were shot in or near their homes during the day, not a favorite time for militant groups to be firing mortars at settlements for obvious reasons stemming from the disparity in military technology on the two sides. When this does take place, it almost always takes place when it is dark.

No Palestinian in Gaza believes that Israel acts in their area only when Palestinian militants are "firing missiles" from the area! The sheer scale and daily frequency of indiscriminate fire at Palestinian neighborhoods make the notion ludicrous to anyone with on the ground experience. During the first three-and-a-half years of the Intifada, Israel demolished 1,800 homes in Gaza's Rafah refugee camp alone, and this was even before either the massive military campaigns of "Operation Rainbow" in May or "Operation Days of Penitence" in September 2004.

Israel is not so self-deceived as to believe Palestinians will ignore this evidence from their own bitter and extensive personal experience, or believe that Palestinians will accept that the false premise offered by the propaganda leaflet will actually guarantee their safety. The Israeli military and Palestinians in Gaza know very well how the realities on the ground play out, even if the commercial media remains confused. The leaflet portrays a situation completely contrary to these well-known realities.

With all this in mind, the leaflet achieves a much more sinister goal, that of threatening a powerless Palestinian civilian population with more violence which they can do nothing to stop. The leaflet represents a desperate act of general intimidation aimed at driving even more Palestinians from their homes with the threat of future violence.

This is utterly contrary to international law. Article 33 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War explicitly states that, "No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited... Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited."

Click here to comment on this article


Pay Attention, Mr. President...

A Man Who Confers with God Should Have Good Hearing

By DAVE LINDORFF
December 18, 2004

My old friend John Hess makes the astute observation that President Bush must have been having an ADD moment when he was discussing with his God the issue of a new Homeland Security Secretary. Surely the Lord knew about Bernie Kerick's ethical issues.

That may explain a lot of things.

It's kind of disturbing to hear that this president is acting as an agent of God and takes his counsel from the Big Guy, when you look at some of the dumb-ass decisions that he has made.

To name a few:

Invading Iraq.

Invading Iraq with a bare-bones military.

Failing to realize that Iraqis would not greet the U.S. invaders with open arms.

Failing to guard essential infrastructure in Iraq after the initial invasion.

Spending billions on a non-functioning ballistic missile defense system.

Cutting taxes on corporations and the rich to create jobs.

Destroying a well-functioning retirement system and replacing it with a national 401K-type system that has already left retirees penniless in Britain, Chile and other places it's been tried.

Trying to debate while wearing a hidden earpiece.

Eating pretzels while watching TV.

Now, thanks to the perceptive pundit Hess, we can rest our minds. It's not the Lord who has been giving bad advice; it's his messenger who has been failing to pay attention.

Who knows, he may be having these conversations with God while playing video games, or running on his treadmill?

We the People need to start putting political pressure on the president's handlers to make sure that the president has some quality time each day to sit in some quiet room free of such distractions, where he can commune with his Maker and carefully jot down the message of the day.

This could spare us all a great deal of unnecessary angst, suffering and death.

So, in the interest of a better America and a better world, please write to Karl Rove and Andrew Card, c/o the White House. Tell them: "Please establish some quiet time and a Communing Room for the president so he can get his messages from God accurately and completely.

"And Please, check to see that his ears have been cleaned."

Click here to comment on this article


Torture Begins at the Top
By Joe Conason
Salon.com
12/17/04

Renewed exposure of prisoner abuse, torture and even murder by American military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan is widening already deep divisions between the Pentagon and the intelligence community - and creating an untenable situation for Donald Rumsfeld, the beleaguered secretary of defense. A recently disclosed FBI memo indicates that "marching orders" to abandon traditional interrogation methods came from the defense secretary himself.

In recent days, a coalition of human rights groups led by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights has brought new cases of abuse to public attention. Using the Freedom of Information Act, they have pried thousands of pages of previously secret documents from the Defense Department and other agencies.

Even after the shock of Abu Ghraib, these substantiated stories of cruelty, sadism and lawlessness are stunning. Files from the Navy's Criminal Investigative Service describe how U.S. Marines ordered four Iraqi teenagers to kneel while a gun was "discharged to conduct a mock execution"; how they inflicted severe burns on a detainee's hands with flaming alcohol; and how they tortured another detainee with an electric transformer, making him "dance." In June, a Navy investigator revealed in an e-mail that his caseload of "high visibility" cases of abuse was "exploding." As a result of such offenses, at least two Marines were convicted and sent to prison.

If justice has been done in a few cases, the ACLU documents show that abuses were more common - and more extreme - than the Bush administration had previously conceded. More important, however, the documents show that the impetus for abuse came from above, not below. The use of coercive and violent methods spread from Guantánamo Bay, where alleged Taliban and al-Qaida prisoners are incarcerated, to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The documents also show that officers from the CIA, the FBI and the Defense Intelligence Agency lodged "heated" objections to the abusive methods of interrogation used by the military, denouncing them in previously secret memoranda as not only unethical but useless and destructive.

Comment: Apparently, we are meant to believe that US intelligence agencies find torture abhorrent... And yet, how many time has the CIA engaged in the overthrow of democratic governments in other countries in order to install dictatorial regimes favorable to the US? How many times have CIA agents taught the secret police of those regimes how to torture members of the political opposition? What about stories of US intelligence agents that helped and even directed the torture of civilians in Iraq? What about the stories of Mossad involvement in the same crimes against humanity?

There are all topics which we have previously addressed on Signs of the Times. If you don't know the answers to these questions, however, don't just take our word for it - do your own research and see what you find.

In the files released by the government, FBI officials with special expertise in counterterrorism and interrogation techniques recorded their ongoing debate with Army officers about the harsh, coercive techniques authorized by the Pentagon. They were as concerned about the efficacy of those methods - which they believe often produce poor intelligence - as with possible violations of law and regulations. But the commanders overseeing the military interrogations simply dismissed the sharp warnings of the law enforcement and intelligence officers.

Comment: Horse hockey.

The abuses continued, in some cases even after the initial furor over Abu Ghraib. What's more, an internal FBI memo indicates that the directive to discard traditional restraints came from the very highest civilian official in the Pentagon: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

That revealing memo is dated May 10, 2004, a time when the Abu Ghraib revelations were humiliating the United States before the entire world. An e-mail, it is addressed to FBI counterterrorism officer Thomas J. Harrington from an agent whose name is redacted (along with much else), and its subject is captioned "Instructions to GTMO [Guantánamo] Interrogators." The memo's obvious purpose is to set down, for the record, the FBI's opposition to the Pentagon's use of coercive and abusive methods when questioning the Guantánamo detainees. It describes the FBI's fundamental disagreement over interrogation tactics with Gen. Geoffrey Miller and Gen. Michael Dunlavey, then the military commanders at Guantánamo Bay.

"I will have to do some digging into old files," the unnamed author begins. "We did advise each supervisor that went to GTMO to stay in line with Bureau policy and not deviate from that ... I went to GTMO ... We had also met with Generals Dunlevy & Miller explaining our position (Law Enforcement Techniques) vs. DoD [Department of Defense]. Both agreed the Bureau has their way of doing business and DoD has their marching orders from the SecDef [Secretary of Defense]. Although the two techniques [of interrogation] differed drastically, both Generals believed they had a job to accomplish."

The e-mail goes on to recall how, during the questioning of one prisoner, the Pentagon interrogators wanted to "pursue expeditiously their methods" to "get more out of him ... We were given a so-called deadline to use our traditional methods."

Scott Horton, a New York lawyer and president of the International League for Human Rights, has spent months investigating the role Bush administration officials played in the torture scandal. He says there is mounting evidence - including the May 10 FBI e-mail - that strongly suggests that Rumsfeld and his top intelligence aides were directly responsible for the wholesale abandonment of legal and ethical norms as well as international treaty obligations. Now that Republican senators and neoconservative ideologues are publicly turning their backs on the defense secretary, perhaps even he may someday be held accountable for this disgraceful stain on the honor of the U.S. armed forces.

Comment: This is all rather old news. Remember this story from six months ago?

Click here to comment on this article


Flashback: Rumsfeld ordered Torture

By Richard A. Serrano Times Staff Writer
June 9, 2004

WASHINGTON — After American Taliban recruit John Walker Lindh was captured in Afghanistan, the office of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld instructed military intelligence officers to "take the gloves off" in interrogating him.

The instructions from Rumsfeld's legal counsel in late 2001, contained in previously undisclosed government documents, are the earliest known evidence that the Bush administration was willing to test the limits of how far it could go legally to extract information from suspected terrorists.

The Pentagon and Congress are now investigating the mistreatment of inmates at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in late 2003 and trying to determine whether higher- ups in the military chain of command had created a climate that fostered prisoner abuse.

What happened to Lindh, who was stripped and humiliated by his captors, foreshadowed the type of abuse documented in photographs of American soldiers tormenting Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

At the time, just weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. was desperate to find terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. After Lindh asked for a lawyer rather than talk to interrogators, he was not granted one nor was he advised of his Miranda rights against self-incrimination. Instead, the Pentagon ordered intelligence officers to get tough with him.

The documents, read to The Times by two sources critical of how the government handled the Lindh case, show that after an Army intelligence officer began to question Lindh, a Navy admiral told the intelligence officer that "the secretary of Defense's counsel has authorized him to 'take the gloves off' and ask whatever he wanted."

Lindh was being questioned while he was propped up naked and tied to a stretcher in interrogation sessions that went on for days, according to court papers.

In the early stages, his responses were cabled to Washington hourly, the new documents show.

A Defense Department spokesperson said Tuesday evening that the Pentagon "refused to speculate on the exact intent of the statement" from Rumsfeld's office to the military authorities interrogating Lindh. [...]

Lindh, who pleaded guilty in return for a 20-year federal prison sentence for aiding the Taliban, was a young Northern California Islamic convert who joined the Taliban army before Sept. 11, attended a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan and was captured soon after U.S. troops invaded the country.

While Lindh was being interrogated in Afghanistan and later aboard a ship, senior Bush administration officials were strategizing on how to handle other prisoners being rounded up in Afghanistan, with an eye toward flexibility in interrogating them.

In a series of memos from late 2001 to early 2002, top legal officials in the administration identified the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as a safe haven offshore that would shield the secret interrogation process from intervention by the U.S. judicial system.

The memos show that top government lawyers believed the administration was not bound by the Geneva Convention governing treatment of prisoners because "Al Qaeda is merely a violent political movement or organization and not a nation- state" that had signed the international treaty.

However, the memos also show that Secretary of State Colin L. Powell warned the White House that a tougher approach toward interrogation "will reverse over a century of U.S. policy and practices in supporting Geneva Conventions and undermine the protections of the law of war for our troops, both in this specific conflict and in general." [...]

The military, in contrast, has maintained in previous court documents that Lindh was treated well and that he was read his rights under the Miranda law against self-incrimination.

But the new records raise new questions.

According to the government documents, when Lindh was first under interrogation at the schoolhouse, authorities realized that as an American he was drawing the attention of the Defense and Justice departments. There was some initial discussion of whether Lindh, as an American, should be advised of his right against self-incrimination before military intelligence officers talked to him.

One Army intelligence officer said in the documents that he had been advised that "instructions had come from higher headquarters" for interrogators to coordinate with military lawyers about Lindh.

"After the first hour of interrogation, [the interrogator] gave the admiral in charge of Mazar-i-Sharif a summary of what the interrogators had collected up to that point," the documents say. "The admiral told him at that point that the secretary of Defense's counsel has authorized him to 'take the gloves off' and ask whatever he wanted."

The Army intelligence officer responded that if a "criminal investigator" wanted to later question Lindh, "that was fine."

But in the meantime, the officer said, he was "interested in tactical information. He was in the business of collecting [intelligence] information, not in the business of Mirandizing."

The officer did ask to be faxed a Miranda form, according to the documents, "but he never got it. He never gave Lindh a Miranda warning."

Rumsfeld's legal counsel is not named in the documents. The office was headed by William J. Haynes II.

On Dec. 14, 2001, Haynes' deputy, Paul W. Cobb Jr., told Lindh's San Francisco lawyers that "our forces have provided him with appropriate medical attention and will continue to treat him humanely, consistent with the Geneva Convention protections for prisoners of war."

But court documents suggest that Lindh was treated much as the prisoners later were at Abu Ghraib. Along with nudity and the sleep and food deprivation, Lindh was allegedly threatened with death. One soldier said he "was going to hang." Another "Special Forces soldier offered to shoot him."

At other times, soldiers took photos and videos of themselves smiling next to the naked Lindh, another image eerily similar to the Abu Ghraib photos.

Such actions appear to be in violation of the Geneva Convention, which requires that prisoners have adequate clothing, food and sleep and not be threatened or subjected to degrading treatment.

As the interrogation of Lindh was going on, officials in Washington were privately working out details for handling other prisoners from Afghanistan.

On Dec. 28, 2001, John Yoo, then deputy assistant attorney general, told Haynes at the Pentagon that Guantanamo Bay was a perfect place for detainees because it was not a part of the sovereign United States and therefore not subject to the federal courts. But, Yoo cautioned, "there remains some litigation risk that a district court might reach the opposite result."

The holding of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay without charge or a court hearing has been challenged by several defense lawyers, and the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this month on whether the government went too far.

Comment: Rummy seems to be in quite a bit of "hot water" these days...

Click here to comment on this article


Rumsfeld signature rubber stamped on condolence letters
AFP
December 19, 2004

WASHINGTON, United States - A new wave of criticism is set to hit US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld after he admitted did not personally sign Pentagon condolence letters to families of soldiers killed in Iraq and that a signature stamping device had been used instead.

But he has vowed to do so in the future, according to a Washington Post report.

"I wrote and approved the now more than 1,000 letters sent to family members and next of kin of each of the servicemen and women killed in military action," Rumsfeld said in a statement to the military newspaper Stars and Stripes.

"While I have not individually signed each one, in the interest of ensuring expeditious contact with grieving family members, I have directed that in the future I sign each letter," the defense chief said, according to the Post.

An outcry ensued after the Stars and Stripes reported in late November that the Pentagon was using a signature device to stamp Rumsfeld's signature on the letters, and quoted recipients who said they were insulted.

Several top Republicans, including senator and former presidential candidate John McCain, have recently criticized Rumsfeld, whom Bush has asked to stay on amid a cabinet re-shuffle in the wake of the November elections.

Former Senate majority leader Trent Lott said he hoped Rumsfeld would step down sometime next year, accusing him of not listening enough to his officers.

The defense chief has drawn fire since seeming to dismiss the concerns of a US soldier in Kuwait who asked about the lack of armor for US military vehicles in Iraq.

Comment: It may appear that things look bad for the "SecDef", but don't get your hopes up that Rummy will be forced to resign. The following two articles are from May 2004, when the Abu Ghraib torture was big news in the US:

Click here to comment on this article


Flashback: Senate Questions Rummy's Coverup: He crumbles and turns petulant under grilling by senators

James Ridgeway
May 7th, 2004 2:00 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee Friday morning to talk about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners, went through the motions of taking responsibility (Rumsfeld: "It took place on my watch"), issued almost perfunctory apologies, and then tried to explain away the Abu Ghraib torture story as old news.

But under questioning, first by John McCain and then by Ted Kennedy, Rummy began to crumble, unable to describe for the senators such basic things as the chain of command and what instructions the guards had been given. Time and again, Rumsfeld returned to the line that this is an old story: "The idea that this is a story broken by the media is simply not the fact."

As for the issue of U.S. apologies, Rumsfeld said in a petulant tone, "There have been many apologies here today."

[...] Was the torture systemic? Levin pointed out that White House counsel Alberto Gonzalez did not want to conform to the Geneva conventions so as to gain added "flexibility." Rumsfeld, however, told the senators at Friday's hearing that prison personnel were told to operate within the Geneva conventions. In the past, however, when questioned about their applicability to the U.S. prison at Guantánamo Bay, Rumsfeld has shrugged off the Geneva conventions.

Comment: Many expected Rumsfeld's resignation...

Click here to comment on this article


Flashback: Bush Apologizes for Iraqi Prisoner Abuse

FOX News
Friday, May 07, 2004

WASHINGTON — President Bush on Thursday apologized for the "humiliation" some Iraqi prisoners suffered at the hands of U.S. troops as he said that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is safe in his job. [...]

The president rejected calls from some Democratic members of Congress that he should fire Rumsfeld. [...]

Comment: We all know what happened to Rumsfeld after this: nothing!

Click here to comment on this article


U.S. Army Aims to Halt Paperwork with IBM System
By Eric Auchard
Reuters
Fri Dec 17,11:31 AM ET

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - No more passing the buck.

The U.S. Army has enlisted IBM and a handful of other companies to create an automated record-keeping system that ends the need for electronic forms to be printed out, signed and delivered up the military service's chain of command.

IBM, the world's largest computer company, together with PureEdge, an electronic forms supplier, and Silanis, a digital signature technology maker, said on Thursday it has created a complete system to take the paperwork out of Army bureaucracy.

Terms were not disclosed. The project is being managed by contractor Enterprise Information Management Inc. (EIM).

When fully implemented over the next decade, the forms management system could save well over a billion dollars a year in unnecessary paperwork and administrative procedures, according an Army Audit Agency report.

"It's anticipated it will offer $1.3 billion in cost avoidance per year," Jim Acklin, the civilian project manager working for the Army Publishing Directorate, said of the potential cost savings the project hopes to realize. [...]

Comment: Well, the Third Reich took advantage of IBM's services, and millions of Jews, Poles, Ukrainians, and others died as a result, so it is only fitting that the Fourth Reich do the same...

Click here to comment on this article


US free press faces tough challenge
The Daily Star
Friday, December 17, 2004

Boston: America's First Amendment turned 213 years old on Wednesday, but supporters of the bulwark of personal liberty and free press are hardly celebrating.

The free press -- a linchpin of America's proud democracy -- faces its toughest challenge in a generation thanks to legal assaults that have left one US journalist in home detention and others facing prison. A flurry of well-publicised scandals at some of the country's top news organisations has sullied the media's image and only made matters worse.

With other nations expecting America to lead the world in press freedoms, the stakes could not be higher, said Committee to Protect Journalists Executive Director Ann Cooper.

Comment: We're not sure whether to laugh or cry...

"The very big concern for us is if journalists are imprisoned in these cases it sends a terrible message around the world," she said.

Imprisoning journalists is typically associated with tyrannies and dictatorships, making it ironic that US judges in the past six months have threatened at least eight reporters with sanctions or jail time for not naming sources, said First Amendment Center Ombudsman Paul McMasters. [...]

Comment: Ironic? The author simply assumes - against all evidence to the contrary - that the US is the Land of the Free. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and was born of duck parents, do we assume for no good reason that it is a lion?

Click here to comment on this article


A.C.L.U.'s Search for Data on Donors Stirs Privacy Fears
By STEPHANIE STROM
December 18, 2004

The American Civil Liberties Union is using sophisticated technology to collect a wide variety of information about its members and donors in a fund-raising effort that has ignited a bitter debate over its leaders' commitment to privacy rights.

Some board members say the extensive data collection makes a mockery of the organization's frequent criticism of banks, corporations and government agencies for their practice of accumulating data on people for marketing and other purposes.

Daniel S. Lowman, vice president for analytical services at Grenzebach Glier & Associates, the data firm hired by the A.C.L.U., said the software the organization is using, Prospect Explorer, combs a broad range of publicly available data to compile a file with information like an individual's wealth, holdings in public corporations, other assets and philanthropic interests.

The issue has attracted the attention of the New York attorney general, who is looking into whether the group violated its promises to protect the privacy of its donors and members. [...]

Click here to comment on this article


Hungry and homeless ranks swell in US cities

By Rick Kelly
17 December 2004
WSWS.org

The demand for emergency shelter and food in US cities has risen significantly over the past year, straining a tattered social safety net beyond the breaking point, according to a report released Tuesday by the US Conference of Mayors. The “Hunger and Homeless Survey” covering America’s 27 largest cities showed that requests for food aid increased by 14 percent in 2004, while the demand for shelter rose by 6 percent.

The most striking conclusion of the survey was that working families now constitute one of the largest groups in need of regular emergency assistance. Contrary to the image portrayed by the mass media, those going homeless and hungry in America are not just the “down and out,” the alcohol or drug-dependent, mentally ill or people otherwise unable to earn a living. They include many people who are working, but earn so little that they cannot make ends meet.

Chronic poverty afflicts wide sections of the working class, particularly those employed in the predominantly low-paid and casual service industry. Of all adults requesting food assistance, 34 percent were employed. Children and their parents accounted for fifty-six percent of all recipients of food aid. Families now make up 40 percent of the total homeless population in the United States.

These stark figures are another indication of the economic and social catastrophe confronting millions of Americans. While Bush boasted of an economic recovery during the presidential campaign, the reality is that only a small layer at the top has seen significant income gains in 2004. For millions of Americans, mass layoffs and the spiraling cost of living—particularly food, housing and fuel expenses—have made it increasingly difficult to get by.

“Working poor, unemployed, multi-generational, single and traditional parent families have to make difficult decisions as whether to pay for utilities, rent, medicine, gas, health or car insurance,” city authorities in Louisville reported. “Food is being pushed further down the list of priorities.”

“The time when households used food assistance facilities primarily for emergency situations is long over,” noted officials in Philadelphia. “At least 86 percent of the people receiving assistance from the food cupboards return every month. The network is used to sustain families every month so they can use their limited resources on rent, heat, medical bills, and transportation.”

The report included a number of case studies. In Phoenix, the Robertsons, a married couple and their three children, became homeless after the father lost his job at a telemarketing company. He struggled to develop his own landscaping business, while his wife worked day labor jobs. “The family has no money and is having trouble accessing services because they do not have appropriate documentation, and do not have the money to pay for new birth certificates... Currently the Robertsons are on a waiting list of a large family shelter, but will need appropriate identification to enter the program.”

In St. Paul, a 24-year-old woman, Tara, her husband Martin, and their three young children became homeless after she lost her job as a home healthcare worker, which paid $6.20 per hour. The family was forced to move into a shelter run by the local Catholic church.

Assistance for the poor remains grossly inadequate. Charity organizations are overwhelmed by the demand, and both the federal and state governments have gutted the budgets for social programs over a number of years.

The survey reported that in the past 12 months, one in five requests for food assistance went unmet—nearly a 50-percent increase over the previous year. Twenty-three percent of requests for emergency shelter were turned down, and this rejection rate rose to 32 percent for homeless families.

In many cities, the shortfalls are far higher than these averages. In New Orleans, 66 percent of food requests were rejected, and in San Francisco 50 percent. In Los Angeles, 66 percent of all shelter requests made by families were turned down, and in Boston 50 percent.

The report provides a glimpse into some of the innumerable hardships and indignities suffered by those who seek assistance. More than half of the responding cities routinely forced homeless families to be broken up in order to be accommodated in emergency shelter.

Food pantries forced to cut portions

Two-thirds of all cities surveyed reported that emergency food assistance facilities, in a desperate attempt to meet demand, were forced to cut back on the quantity of food they provided. Restrictions are also enforced on the number of times people are permitted to receive food.

Punitive government welfare cutbacks and restrictions, introduced by both the Clinton and Bush administrations, have only added to the hardship. “According to the Boston Medical Center Pediatric Emergency Department,” the report noted, “25 percent of homeless families interviewed in their clinic had been cut off of welfare benefits within the past year (compared to 11 percent of non-homeless families) due to failure to comply with behavioral or procedural requirements, such as not being able to provide a mailing address to the welfare office.”

The swelling of the ranks of the working poor has seen a parallel increase in the demand for subsidized housing. Requests for such housing by low-income families and individuals increased in 68 percent in the surveyed cities. Applicants for public housing now wait an average of 20 months before they receive any assistance. Fifty-nine percent of the surveyed cities are refusing to accept any new applications because they already have long waiting lists.

City authorities reported that they expect no improvement in hunger and homelessness in 2005. Eighty-eight percent said that they anticipate another increase in the demand for food assistance, and 92 percent expect a rise in requests for emergency shelter.

The Conference of Mayors made a somewhat bizarre attempt to put a positive spin on the survey’s findings. Bill Purcell, mayor of Nashville and chair of the conference’s task force on hunger and homelessness, admitted that the “bad news is that the increased demand [for assistance] is all over the country.” He then added: “The good news here is that the increase in demand overall has slowed somewhat.”

In other words, the “good news” is that things are getting worse but—at least for the moment— at a slower rate. Every year the survey, first conducted 20 years ago, has registered an increase in the demand for food and shelter assistance.

Over the last year, the demand for food aid increased 17 percent, while requests for emergency shelter rose by 13 percent. In 2003, the demand for both food and shelter increased by 19 percent. As the survey demonstrates, the continued growth in the numbers of working people who are unable to earn enough to house and feed themselves has already overwhelmed the limited assistance programs that exist in America.

To focus on a decline in the rate at which hunger and homelessness is growing only confirms that the government and the corporate-controlled two-party system are unwilling and unable to take any action to alleviate the suffering.

What emerges from the survey is a devastating portrait of the human cost of American society’s unprecedented level of social inequality. While the wealthiest strata are anticipating a lucrative new year (see “America’s super-rich look forward to a merry Christmas”), millions of people will spend the holiday season in desperation and destitution.

Click here to comment on this article


Losing control

Paul Rogers
9 - 12 - 2004

After failure in Fallujah, what next for beleaguered United States forces in Iraq?

The United States assault on the Iraqi city of Fallujah in November 2004, launched just after the American presidential election, was intended to break the back of the insurgency in Iraq. It was heralded by assertions that Fallujah was out of control, that it had become a central logistics base for the insurgency across much of central and northern Iraq, and – not least – that the subjugation of Fallujah would be an essential prerequisite to the Iraqi elections planned for 30 January 2005.

The Fallujah operation was followed almost immediately by vigorous military action against insurgents in other towns and villages in central Iraq. United States strategists, while not persuaded that the taking of Fallujah would bring the insurgency to an immediate end, believed that these actions as a whole would be a decisive turning-point in a war that would otherwise soon be heading towards its third year.

Routes of turmoil

It is now clear that the reality in central Iraq is radically different from these American projections and expectations (see last week’s column in this series, “No direction home”, 25 November 2004). There are five recent indicators of this, which together seem almost to model the developing dangers of the insurgency as a whole.

The first is an apparently minor change of policy reported on 3 December, concerning the route between Baghdad airport and the heavily-protected "green zone" that houses the Iraqi government and the thousands of American officials attached to the US embassy and other agencies. This twenty-kilometre road has now been deemed too dangerous for US government personnel to use. In future, they will be flown to and from the airport by helicopter (see Bradley Graham, "US Embassy Bans Us of Airport Road", Washington Post, 3 December 2004).

The airport highway is nowhere near Fallujah, Ramadi, Samarra, Mosul or any other centre of insurgency; it runs through the heart of Baghdad. Yet it has been rendered unsafe, although around 1,000 troops from the US army's 1st cavalry division have been guarding it.

Around six months after the termination of the Saddam Hussein regime in April 2003, small-arms fire along the airport road began to make travel insecure. The US military responded by deploying armoured vehicles and checkpoints. These initially seemed to have an effect, but the insurgents quickly adapted by exploding bombs planted on the roadside. The frequent military checks deterred these to some extent, but in the last two months the insurgents have started to use suicide bombs concealed in ordinary cars. The only sure answer would be to close the entire highway to all but official vehicles, but the negative symbolic impact of this for the United States would be considerable.

Instead, flying to and from the airport has become the only option. Thus, the highway that connects possibly the two most significant American locations in Iraq is now considered too precarious for US forces to use.

The second indicator of the failure of the Fallujah assault to have its intended effect is the level of US casualties. The US armed forces lost 136 troops in November, the worst death toll of any month since the war started in March 2003. Almost half of these deaths occurred in incidents away from Fallujah; indeed, there are indications that the rate of attacks on US and Iraqi security forces increased from sixty-to-seventy a day before Fallujah to nearly double that number during the assault.

The number of US troops wounded was also exceptionally high; from 4-30 November, 1,265 US soldiers and marines were wounded– again the worst month since the war began. Almost half of the injuries were serious, involving mass airlifts from Iraq to the Landstuhl military hospital in Germany for later evacuation to the United States.

The third indicator is the continuing level of violence across much of Iraq. In the past week alone, attacks on US and Iraqi security forces (and especially the Iraqi police) have been at an almost unparalleled intensity. More than ninety people were killed and scores more 100 injured in the three days to 5 December. A particular feature was the persistent raiding of police stations, many of them resulting in the seizure of large quantities of weapons and ammunition to replenish insurgents’ own stocks.

Indeed, an important aspect of the violence is the high level of intimidation being applied to those working for the Iraqi regime or for United States forces. According to US military sources, 338 Iraqis linked to the government or American forces have been killed since 1 October. These include thirty-five police chiefs, mayors and middle-ranking appointed officials; in the northern city of Mosul alone, 136 people have been killed in the past month.

In a single town, Abu Ghraib, five members of the town council have been killed in recent weeks and two kidnapped; reconstruction projects are consistently destroyed, sometimes within days of their being completed; and the local commander of the Iraqi national guard battalion has survived six assassination attempts within ten days (see Josh White, "Town Reflects Rising Sabotage in Iraq", Washington Post, 9 December 2004).

A fourth indicator is the decision to bring in to Iraq an additional 12,500 US troops. Almost all of these are frontline combat troops, including two battalions from the 82nd airborne division, currently held in reserve in the United States to respond to emergencies overseas.

The fifth and perhaps most telling indicator is a report from the CIA's bureau chief in Baghdad, about to return to Washington after a year in Iraq. This speaks bluntly of a deteriorating security situation, with no prospect of improvement in the near future. According to the New York Times, the bureau chief was highly regarded in intelligence circles and headed a bureau of some 300 people, making it the largest overseas CIA station since Saigon at the height of the Vietnam war (see Douglas Jehl, “Iraq deteriorating, CIA warns” (International Herald Tribune, 8 December 2004).

Whose turning-point?

In the midst of this turmoil, and despite the increasing number of Iraqi political voices within Iraq calling for a delay in the election timetable, the Bush administration insists that the nationwide vote will go ahead in January. This is both part of a wider process of public denial in Washington that the situation in Iraq is becoming untenable, yet also evidence that excuses are already being found for the developing failure.

A component of this denial is the belief that much of the insurgency is being directed by Ba'athists based in Syria (see Thomas E Ricks, “Rebels Aided by Allies in Syria, U.S. Says”, Washington Post, 8 December 2004). This puts more of the onus on Syria, a situation certain to be welcomed by the Ariel Sharon government in Israel. It is also a return to the idea that the insurgency is organised to a considerable extent on a hierarchical basis, and that it should therefore be possible to destroy or detain its leadership in Iraq and possibly even in Syria.

The problem with this mindset is that it replicates the approach to Fallujah, which has signally failed to crush or even diminish the insurgency. Some analysts believe that US military intelligence simply does not understand the nature of the insurgency, and that it is far more dispersed and organic than is normally recognised.

As dangerous to US plans is the wider impact of its military operations across the middle east. The cumulative effect of the persistent and detailed reporting in the region of civilian casualties in Fallujah and many other Iraqi urban centres, and of the numerous instances of torture and other forms of violence against detainees in Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and Afghanistan, is further to increase the bitter anti-American popular mood. This is an invaluable aid to al-Qaida and its affiliates, and encourages more recruits to the insurgent cause within and beyond Iraq.

A month after the start of the latest assault on Fallujah, it is now apparent that it has been counterproductive within Iraq and the wider Arab and Muslim world. What was expected to be a turning-point for the United States could even turn out to be a turning-point for the insurgents.

Click here to comment on this article


A poll governed by fear: millions will get no chance to vote, and the war will go on

Independent.co.uk
By Patrick Cockburn in Baghdad
19 December 2004

The 30 January election will go ahead, even though violence is unabated and the campaign may worsen divisions

The Iraqi election on 30 January, for which campaigning began last week, will be one of the most secretive in history. Iraqi television shows only the feet of election officials rather than their faces, because they are terrified of their identity being revealed. It will be a poll governed by fear.

Those fears were amply borne out yesterday when insurgents launched attacks on election offices in northern Iraq. Two people were killed and eight wounded when mortars landed on an election office in Dujail, one of many around the country registering and educating potential voters. Two Iraqis were killed in execution-style shootings and four American contractors were wounded by a roadside bomb in other incidents.

When Iyad Allawi, the interim Prime Minister, announced his slate of candidates for the 275-member National Assembly in Baghdad last week, it was to a small audience of American security guards. The venue had been changed at the last minute to baffle potential assassins, and foreign journalists deemed it too dangerous to attend.

Shopkeepers distributed registration forms, tucked into the bags of monthly rations on which most Iraqis depend for survival. In Sunni districts in Baghdad some shopkeepers, fearing execution by the resistance, had begged their customers not to reveal where they got the forms.

There is now little doubt that the elections will go ahead. The Sunni political powers, fearing mass abstention by their constituents, would like a delay. But they could provide no convincing argument that the security situation will be any better in six months. Hoshyar Zebari, the powerful foreign minister, argued that "a delay in holding the election would be taken as a sign of weakness", and the interim government is doing what it can to manipulate public opinion.

Announcements that former members of the Saddam regime will go on trial this week, starting with the notorious "Chemical Ali", Ali Hassan al-Majid, are seen as electioneering more than anything else. The same applies to news yesterday that judges had begun interrogating him and another top suspect.

It is doubtful if the election, at least at first, will mark a real change in the balance of power between the three main communities in Iraq: the Shia, the Sunni and the Kurds. Nor is it likely to see a shift in authority from the US to Iraqis. The outcome could simply be a photocopy of the present government. [...]

Comment: So here it is, "Democracy" in Iraq, little more than a charade for international, and especially American, public opinion. One of the candidates, interim PM Allawi, is a CIA asset. The others are all sanctioned and approved as being loyal to the US. What of the Iraqi people? What of "representative leaders"? Truly Bush was not lying when he declared that he would be exporting American-style democracy to Iraq.

Click here to comment on this article


Sabotage Stops Iraq's North Oil Exports
Reuters
Sat Dec 18, 8:33 AM ET

BAGHDAD - Saboteurs blew up Iraq's northern export pipeline for the second week in a row on Saturday, halting oil flows to Turkey's Ceyhan port, oil officials said.

A bomb that exploded overnight blew off a section of the twin pipeline near the oil center of Baiji, they said.

The pipeline runs from the Kirkuk oil fields to the IT-1A storage tanks near Baiji, where oil accumulates before it is pumped further north to Ceyhan.

Storage tanks at IT-1A were full before the attack, but technical problems have been hampering pumping to Ceyhan, one official said.

The northern pipeline, which can carry around 500,000 barrels per day (bpd), was also attacked on Dec. 10. Exports through Turkey have been volatile since, lowering the level of Iraqi crude oil stored at Ceyhan.

Sabotage against the northern pipeline network has been intense since U.S. forces attacked the Sunni Muslim city of Falluja near Baghdad last month.

Another domestic oil pipeline was hit near Baiji on Saturday, the latest in attacks that have crippled operations of refineries and helped to create severe shortages of fuels, especially in Baghdad.

In the mostly Shi'ite south, exports have been steady. Shipping data showed two tankers loading from the Basra offshore terminal, formerly known as Mina al-Bakr, at 1.2 million bpd on Saturday.

The tanker Front Duchess was loading 13,000 barrels per hour and the Magdalene 38,000 barrels per hour.

Comment: There seems to be plenty of oil for Iraqis even with the pipeline attacks - it's just not being given to the Iraqi people.

Click here to comment on this article


Revealed: the handwritten notes made by soldiers after Mousa died

Independent.co.uk
By Severin Carrell
19 December 2004

The death of Baha Mousa is recorded in a terse and simple entry in the British Army logbook, and written in slightly shaky handwriting.

Timed at 22.42 on 15 September 2003, the three-line note reads: "Prisoner died in custody deceased at 2205 after CPR [resuscitation] from 2150 - Baha Nashen Mohamed - one of suspects from hotel raid yesterday."

And someone had scratched a line through the word "after" - perhaps in an attempt to distance the soldiers who tried to bring Baha Mousa back to life after the abuse and torture that allegedly caused his death.

Word of the hotel receptionist's death spread extremely quickly. Within minutes, the logbook reveals, the news had surged through the upper ranks of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment - the battalion that had arrested and interrogated Mr Mousa - and the Army's brigade headquarters.

Within 30 minutes of his death, military detectives of the Special Investigation Branch (SIB) were alerted. From then, their investigation into what has become one of the most notorious incidents of the occupation of Iraq should have been a textbook example of British justice in action. Instead, said two senior High Court judges last week, the official military inquiry was slow, shambolic and failed to meet the basic legal standards of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Comment: The very idea of British, or any other "justice", is an oxymoron, given that, by its very definition, a system of justice is designed by a small and select group of individuals. It is remarkable that any person in possession of all of their faculties would, even for one second, seriously consider the idea that such a system of justice would in any way be fair and balanced.

Click here to comment on this article


Russian Lawmakers Advance Counterterrorism Measures
By SOPHIA KISHKOVSKY
Published: December 18, 2004

MOSCOW, Dec. 17 - Russia's lower house of Parliament overwhelmingly voted to give preliminary approval on Friday to a counterterrorism law that would hand the Kremlin broad powers to declare states of emergency, restrict free speech and clamp down on communications, organizations and the news media in cases of terrorist threats or attacks.

Legislators voted 385 to 47 in favor of the law, which must pass two more readings in the lower house, the Duma, before being handed over to the upper chamber, the Federation Council. The main opposition came from the Communist Party and the handful of independent members of the Duma.

Like President Vladimir V. Putin's recent overhaul of the political system, which included replacing the election of governors with appointments by the Kremlin, the legislation, if passed, would notably increase his power and would be another blow to democratic freedoms. Critics of the legislation called it another sweeping consolidation of Mr. Putin's increasingly authoritarian rule.

"The Communist Party voted against the law for one simple reason," said Leonid N. Dobrokhotov, an adviser to the party, in a telephone interview on Friday. "It is based on the habits of the regime, and precedents show that the battle against terrorism is used for one goal: encroaching on the rights of citizens."

Other liberal parties that have opposed Mr. Putin's consolidation of power failed to make the threshold for Duma seats in elections last December and are represented by a handful of legislators who won direct elections representing local districts. Those direct elections will also be eliminated by Mr. Putin's changes.

Lawmakers are considering the counterterrorism law after another stretch of attacks linked to Russia's decade-long war in Chechnya. In the biggest recent attack, in September, a hostage crisis at a school in Beslan, in nearby North Ossetia, ended in a cataclysm that left 330 people dead. In that case, as in most other similar attacks, the Kremlin and security officials stressed the links of attackers to international terrorism.

The law would create a three-level public alert system that echoes the one in the United States. In fact, American antiterrorism measures were cited in the Duma's debate as justification for the legislation.

Among other measures, the law would allow a 60-day clampdown in areas where terrorist threats are suspected, including telephone tapping, spot checks and restrictions on movement. After an attack, news media restrictions would also take effect, giving security officials the authority to limit coverage to what they deem acceptable, although Russian television is already with very rare exceptions loyal to the Kremlin.

United Russia, a pro-Kremlin party that unfailingly supports Mr. Putin, controls the Duma and orchestrated the measure's swift approval with little debate. Lyubov K. Sliska, the deputy speaker of the Duma, told Rossiya, the state television channel, "There's no need to whip up any passions."

"When a distressing incidents happens in our country, we always see there are problems and gaps in our existing legislation," she said.

Comment: It seems Russia and the U.S. are trying to outdo each other in the race to become the first totalitarian police state. No matter which wanna-be dictator wins this contest, it is certain that it will be the ordinary citizens of each country who suffer most.

Click here to comment on this article


Update: Fantino gets Taser issue revived

Dec. 17, 2004. 06:51 AM
CATHERINE PORTER
CITY HALL BUREAU

Coroner tells police board members stun guns save lives
Outgoing chief returns controversial subject to the agenda


The Toronto Police Services Board will reconsider arming more officers with stun guns after a top forensics expert insisted Tasers can save lives.

Ontario's Deputy Chief Coroner James Cairns told board members that Tasers are typically used to subdue delirious people who could die if not taken to hospital and treated.

Without access to Tasers, police are forced to use guns, as people in such a state are almost "superhuman" and impervious to pepper spray and clubbing with batons, Cairns said.

"There is evidence that the Taser has definitely saved lives," Cairns told the board, which only last month voted against equipping about 500 more officers with stun guns until further medical research is done.

Board member Alok Mukherjee said he had been "almost convinced" to change his vote on the stun guns, and the board unanimously decided to readdress the issue again next month, rather than in the spring.

"We all want to save lives," Mukherjee said. [...]

Click here to comment on this article


Fla. Officer Uses Taser on 12-Year-Old Boy

Guardian.co.uk
Sunday December 19, 2004

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. (AP) - Police used a Taser on a 12-year-old boy who attacked another special-needs student, the third time this fall authorities in South Florida have used a stun gun on children.

Police said the student was Tasered on Dec. 10 after he tried to stab another student with a pencil on a school bus, then kicked and threatened an officer.

The boy was charged with several offenses, including aggravated assault and resisting a police officer with violence. He was released from custody.

Pembroke Pines police Cmdr. David Golt said the officer used the Taser properly.

In November, a Miami-Dade County police officer used a Taser on a 12-year-old girl who was caught skipping class. Officials said the officer faces disciplinary action for inappropriately using his Taser.

Two months ago, a Miami-Dade schools security officer used a Taser on a 6-year-old-boy. The boy was holding a shard of glass and had cut himself.

Click here to comment on this article


British cops arrest Libyan, blow up luggage at regional airport
December 18, 2004

DARLINGTON, England (AP) - British police arrested a Libyan man and blew up his luggage Saturday in a security scare that closed a small regional airport for about two hours.

No traces of explosives were found in an initial check of the luggage at Durham-Tees Valley Airport, police said.

It was not immediately clear why the 35-year-old man's baggage aroused suspicion but he was arrested under the Terrorism Act, police said.

Passengers were evacuated from the flight, which was destined for London Heathrow airport and army experts carried out a controlled explosion on the suspect's luggage.

Police said the suspect was an electrical engineer employed by a Libyan oil company and had been studying in Britain for six months. He had a ticket for a connecting flight to the Libyan capital Tripoli, police said.

Richard Whitehouse, commercial manager at the airport, said six flights and about 750 passengers were delayed by the temporary suspension of operations.

Click here to comment on this article


Update: Private Guard at Home Site Charged With Arson
By GARY GATELY
Published: December 17, 2004

BALTIMORE, Dec. 16 - A 21-year-old security guard who worked at a new subdivision in southern Maryland was arrested Thursday and charged with setting fires to houses there in the worst case of residential arson in the state's history, federal authorities said.

The guard, Aaron L. Speed of Waldorf, Md., was arrested at his home not far from the Hunters Brooke subdivision in Indian Head, where blazes set early on Dec. 6 caused some $10 million in damage, destroying 10 houses in various stages of construction and damaging 16 others.

Mr. Speed had been an employee of Security Services of America, a company based in Morehead City, N.C., that had been hired to guard the development, a law enforcement official said. A woman who answered the phone at the company's headquarters declined to comment Thursday night. [...]

Local opponents had joined environmental groups in lawsuits intended to block construction of the Hunters Brooke development, about 25 miles south of Washington in an area once dominated by tobacco fields. The subdivision sits near an environmentally sensitive bog, which had led to speculation that environmental extremists may have set the fires.

That prospect stirred fear and alarm among those who had bought the new houses, priced at $400,000 to $500,000.

The arrest of Mr. Speed helped allay concerns that ecoterrorists had set the fires, said Eugene T. Lauer, the Charles County administrator.

"No question about it, it's a relief they caught someone," Mr. Lauer said. "I think it'll bring some closure, hopefully, to people who were going to live in that neighborhood and to the county. It's definitely a relief if it's not related to ecoterrorism."

Lisa Wright, whose niece Tamara Speed is married to Mr. Speed, said Thursday night that his arrest stunned family members.

Ms. Wright said Mr. Speed had cooperated with the F.B.I. during the investigation and had reported seeing a blue van leaving the subdivision the morning of the fires. Investigators, she said, had searched the Waldorf home where Mr. Speed and his wife and their young son, Aaron Jr., lived with Mr. Speed's parents.

"He's a good provider for his family; he works hard," Ms. Wright said. "He was trying to help these people find out what was going on, who did this."

She said he also believed that investigators had begun to "harass" him and used him as a "scapegoat to make an early arrest."

Ms. Wright, who lives in Indian Head near the subdivision, said that in April one of Mr. Speed's twin sons had died at 10 weeks old. His wife, Ms. Wright said, is pregnant.

Click here to comment on this article


Revealed: Haiti bloodbath that left dozens dead in jail

Sunday December 19, 2004
The Observer

Reed Lindsay is the only journalist to get into the Port-au-Prince prison since a riot three weeks ago when, it is said, guards executed inmates

At first the smoke billowing from the national penitentiary in the Haitian capital seemed of no consequence.

On 1 December, US Secretary of State Colin Powell was visiting Haitian President Boniface Alexandre. The UN peacekeeping force in the capital, Port-au-Prince, was preoccupied with guarding the national palace where Powell's visit was taking place. But meanwhile, in the prison, something terrible was unfolding.

According to official reports, prisoners in a three-storey cell block called 'Titanic' had rioted, breaking free from their cells, setting fire to mattresses and brandishing water pipes as weapons. Prison guards called in a special police unit to help put down the uprising, and officials later said that seven prisoners had been killed and more than 40 detainees and guards wounded during the fracas.

But according to prisoners and others interviewed by The Observer, this is a woeful understatement. The government, they say, is concealing a savage bloodbath in which dozens of detainees were killed by police and guards. [...]

'I saw everything,' said Ted Nazaire, 24, a prisoner who was released two days after the riot and is now in hiding. 'It was a massacre. More than 60 were killed.'

Nazaire said police opened fire on the detainees, and then went from cell to cell, forcing prisoners into a passageway and methodically executing them. [...]

Prisoners and police say the riot was motivated by the decision to transfer some detainees to another penitentiary, combined with mounting frustration at the slow progress of their legal cases. Only 17 of around 1,100 prisoners at the national penitentiary have been convicted of a crime, and many detainees have not seen a judge. [...]

Click here to comment on this article


Two face death after Iran morality trial

David Smith
Sunday December 19, 2004
The Observer

Human rights groups urge Britons to help save abused women from execution by hanging and stoning

Two women convicted of crimes against morality in Iran are facing imminent execution, one by being buried up to her chest and stoned, Amnesty International said last night.

One of the women, a 19-year-old with a mental age of eight who was forced into prostitution by her mother, is to be flogged and executed. An official said yesterday he was waiting for orders on whether to stone or hang her. The other woman was convicted of adultery and is due to be stoned to death this month in accordance with Iran's severe penal code.

Amnesty issued an urgent warning that time was running out for both women and urged the international community to tackle Iran over its executions of women and child offenders. In August another mentally ill girl, 16-year-old Atefeh Rajabi, was hanged in a street for having sex before marriage.

The 19-year-old, known as 'Leyla M', was a prostitute by the age of eight and was raped repeatedly, according to a Tehran newspaper report. She gave birth when aged nine and was sentenced to 100 lashes for prostitution at about the same time. When she was 12 her family sold her to an Afghan to be his 'temporary wife', while her mother became her new pimp, 'selling her body without her consent', the report said.

At 14 she became pregnant again, receiving a further 100 lashes before giving birth to twins. When her temporary marriage ended, her family sold her again, to a 55-year-old man who was married with two children and did not object to Leyla's clients coming to his house.

Last month, Leyla, appearing at a court in the central Iranian city of Arak, was sentenced to death on charges of 'acts contrary to chastity' by controlling a brothel, having intercourse with blood relatives and giving birth to an illegitimate child. The sentence has now been passed to the supreme court for confirmation. She apparently 'confessed' and faces being flogged before being executed.

Iran has executed at least three child offenders in 2004 and 11 others are believed to have been sentenced to death, according to Amnesty. Under the penal code, girls as young as nine and boys as young as 15 can be executed.

Interviewed by an Iranian journalist in her cell, Leyla was asked if she understood she was to be put to death. 'Yes, that's what they are saying,' she replied. 'But people in prison say this is a lie. They want to frighten you a bit.

'I haven't done anything. My mother told me to go to a man's house and I did. If she said don't, I wouldn't have. I was frightened. If I didn't listen to her, she would have harmed me. She beats me - my father, too.'

Asked when she was first forced to have sex, Leyla said: 'I was eight, the first time my mother took me to a man's house. It was a horrible night. I cried that night. Cried a lot. The day after she [my mother] came after me and took me home and bought chocolate and crisps for me.'

Leyla has been robbed of the consolation of spending time with her children. 'We used to play together before I went to prison. For some time they were with my mother and then they went to my father. I don't know where they are at the moment.'

She said of her father: 'He is a very bad-tempered man. He frightens me. But I liked him when he bought me goodies.'

Asked if her mother had visited her on death row, Leyla said: 'No, she hasn't. If you see my mother, tell her that she promised to bring me crisps and chocolate. Also tell her not to forget my red dress.' [...]

Click here to comment on this article


French spy satellite launched into orbit

Saturday, December 18, 2004

PARIS, France (AP) -- A European rocket roared into space from a pad in South America on Saturday, placing into orbit a surveillance satellite billed as giving France's military new abilities to spy worldwide.

The unmanned craft lifted off smoothly from a launch center in Kourou, French Guyana, at 1:26 p.m. local time (4:26 p.m. GMT) -- the third and last launch of an Ariane-5 rocket this year, Arianespace said.

The satellite and six smaller scientific ones were placed into orbit about an hour after liftoff. It was the first time in 11 years that an Ariane rocket carried as many as seven satellites on a single launch.

The Helios 2A military satellite, the rocket's main cargo, is to rotate in sun-synchronous orbit around 435 miles above the Earth, Arianespace said.

"The success of the Helios 2A launch is a great step forward for our space policy," Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said at Ecole Militaire. "Mastering space is an imperative for tomorrow," she said, calling for greater space cooperation in Europe.

The French military will "benefit from additional capabilities, more precise images and faster reaction speed," she said at a screening room at the Paris academy.

Among expected functions, the satellite is to monitor possible weapons proliferation, prepare and evaluate military operations and digitally map terrain for cruise missile guidance, the French Defense Ministry said in a statement Friday.

Helios 2A, weighing 4.6 tons, is said to be able to spot objects as small as a textbook anywhere on Earth.

Equipped with infrared sensors, it is expected to allow France's military to gather information at night from space for the first time.

Among its predecessors, Helios 1B, which was launched in 1999, suffered a power problem and the military let it disintegrate in the upper layers of the atmosphere two months ago. The first satellite in the series, Helios 1A, went up in 1995 and is still operating.

Also in the payload Saturday was the Parasol satellite, which is to help study the effect of cloud cover and aerosols on global warming and the greenhouse effect, believed to occur when carbon dioxide emissions trap the sun's heat in the atmosphere.

Parasol is part of a French-American space observation mission involving six satellites that can study the world's atmosphere and help give a complete idea of how human activity affects the environment.

The launch marks the 165th Ariane mission since the European launcher first began operating in 1979. Arianespace is the commercial arm of the 13-country European Space Agency.

Click here to comment on this article


India successful in using remote viewing techniques and satellite technologies for counterintelligence and strategic intelligence
Sudhir Chadda, Special Correspondent
December 13, 2004 

RAW India's equivalent of CIA has advanced quite a bit in recent days. Sources close to New Delhi report that RAW is using advanced satellite technologies and remote viewing techniques to look into foreign intelligence activities within India. Remote viewing is the paranormal activities with psychics that can sense into the future and unknown. CIA in America has used remote viewing for many years. Many times remote viewing has worked very well for the CIA and the Russian intelligence.   

Recent days India has seen a massive amount Pakistan's ISI agents arrested all over the country. The situation has gone so bad for Pakistan and Al-Queda that they are looking for reasons what is really happening. Taking clue from CIA, RAW Indian counterpart started remote viewing techniques many years back. They also tried to correlate the remote viewing readings with high tech feedbacks like satellite sensing and imaging. This is being further validated with the agents' report in the field. The net results for RAW and CBI (Central Bureau of Intelligence - equivalent of FBI) are astounding. 

Sources say India has locked in close surveillance over most of foreign agencies within the country. RAW has recently expanded the efforts for strategic intelligence. This include spying over Pakistan, China and the Western nations. 

The reason for the success is attributable to traditional Indian cultural richness in spirituality and paranormal activities.

The remote viewing activities are nothing new for India. Indians traditionally have been doing it for thousands of years. But now India is doing it for a reason.

Satellite technologies are also helping understand movement of Pakistan's ISI supported militants in South Asia. Sources close to RAW say Pakistan's ISI is more active in Bangladesh and North East India than Kashmir these days. In the field, the agents are confirming these information. 

According to some remote viewers, Bangladesh has recently seen enormous amount of violence related to election. Pakistan's main goal is not Kashmir at this time. It is to hijack Bangladesh again and start a covert front on the east of India. 

Remote viewing if applied in a wrong way can cause catastrophe and total embarrassment. An ideal example would be the WMD information in Iraq. Seventy-three thousand pages of secret documents have recently been declassified in the United States. The information unveiled the activity of two special groups that worked with extrasensory individuals. The CIA had to acknowledge that it used remote viewers and other individuals possessing paranormal abilities for intelligence purposes. 

According to Pravda.Ru CIA's remote viewers initiated quest for WMD in Iraq. Obviously they were wrong at least based on what we know today. 

CIA's remote viewing activities has been not all that failure. 

"Psychic spy" Joseph McMoneagle also known as "remote viewing agent #001" was shown a spot on the map of the USSR, where the mysterious secret object was supposedly located, as CIA agents thought. McMoneagle put his finger on the map and described the image that he saw in his mind: 

"It is a congregation of low stone and concrete buildings. A huge underground warehouse filled with lethal weapons,  not only missiles. There are other square and round items there. I see a very high column of smoke, bearing some semblance to a huge lifting crane, rising above the area (it was most likely the smoke of a nuclear blast). The people inhabiting that place are sick. Their hair is receding, their bones are putrefying. They deliver sick children, and they are still obsessed with some idea." 

It was quite an eloquent description for secret agents to understand, what kind of an object was located in Semipalatinsk (which is now a town in the republic of Kazakhstan). Then CIA Director Richard Helms moved the paranormal espionage from the category "Research" to the category "Practice." Joseph McMoneagle's success as a remote viewer increased the funding of such unusual activities, not to mention the improved moral aspect. The US authorities spent about $2 million a year on a rather small group of 20 extrasensory individuals in the 1990s. 

Other achievements of American psychic agents include: factories making weapons of mass destruction in third world countries, including Iraq (it is not ruled out that the information about WMD in Iraq sprang from remote viewers.) Extrasensory intelligence officers also developed certain recommendations to recruit CIA agents and rendered some other services too. 

India's achievement in remote viewing and use of advanced technologies is remarkable in recent days. According to some international experts what really worked for India is not just remote viewing but the availability of the field agents who could confirm the clues from the remote viewers. 

Click here to comment on this article


Meteor Suspected in Jakarta Blasts
Sunday Dec 19, 2004
The Sydney Morning Herald
A large explosion was heard over Jakarta today after a suspected meteor was seen streaking across the sky over the Indonesian capital.

The blast, which came as the country is on heightened alert after warnings of an imminent extremist attack, caused brief alarm but astronomers said it was likely caused by a large meteor exploding as it fell to Earth.

Dozens of people telephoned Jakarta's el-Shinta radio to describe an object, white in appearance, crossing the sky west of Jakarta and a violent noise followed by what they said sounded like an echo. The explosion could be heard in Tangerang, just west of Jakarta, the southern suburb of Depok and as far away as Bogor, some 60 km south of the capital.

"It is difficult to say what it was because there were no clear timings between the sighting and the blast, but from what the various accounts said, it is very likely to have been a falling meteor," said astronomer Muji Raharto.

Hours after the sightings were reported at around 7.30am (1130 AEDT), it was still unclear what the object was or where it exploded. Police said they had no reports of any fallen objects and said they were still investigating the origin of the explosion.

Indonesia's security forces have been on alert after warnings from the Australian government last week that Islamic militants blamed for a series of deadly bombings in the country were planning an imminent attack in the run-up to Christmas.

Meanwhile, meteorologists in both Jakarta and Tangerang said there had been no seismic irregularities registered in those areas. Officials at Jakarta's international airport said their radars were incapable of picking up meteors.

Raharto, from the Boscha astronomical observatory in Bandung, West Java, said only specialised radar can detect falling space debris and to be visible in daylight, the falling meteor would have to be substantial in size. He also said that the suspected meteor could have exploded as it entered Earth's atmosphere, explaining the absence of any evidence of a large impact.

Raharto also said that based on the witnesses saying they heard what appeared to be an echo after the explosion, the suspected meteor could have exploded over a region with high relief, such as the hills around Jakarta. He said that it was very unlikely that the falling object was part of an obsolete satellite as some witnesses cited a clear tail behind the object.

Comment: So our planet is being rained on by meteorites; big deal, right? Forget all about the fact that there is historical evidence to support the idea that there exists a comet cluster traveling on an orbit that brings it into contact with the earth every 3600 years and that there may well be a smaller cycle within that cycle of 1600 years. Ignore the fact that the period known as the "dark ages" in Europe, which began around the middle of the 5th century AD and destroyed much of the landmass and social infrastructure of Western Europe, was very likely caused by meteorite impacts. Most importantly of all, give no credence to the fact that, assuming the 1600 year cycle is accurate, we are now overdue for this millennium's 'performance'. Shut out those annoying streaks in the sky and loud booms that are happening with alarming frequency all over the planet, and go back to the concerns of your little lives.

Click here to comment on this article


Minor earthquake hits Rann of Kutch
India Daily
Dec. 18, 2004

A slight quake was recorded in the Rann of Kutch area in Gujarat early on Saturday morning, the meteorological department said. The quake, measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale and classified as 'slight,'' occurred at 0533 hrs on Saturday morning. Its epicentre was at a point 23.6 degrees North latitude and 70.0 degrees East longitude in the Rann of Kutch area.

Click here to comment on this article


The Megatsunami: Possible Modern Threat
By Robert Roy Britt
Senior Science Writer
posted: 14 December 2004

SAN FRANCISCO -- Volcanic landslides that generate huge and devastating tsunamis tend to occur during historically warmer times on Earth, a new study suggests. Scientists don't know exactly why, but since the global climate is warming as you read this, the apparent connection was tossed out this week as a reason for scientists to be concerned about the threat now.

Tsunamis are waves that race across the ocean without much fanfare but grow to frightening proportions when they reach land. The waves are deep, and while they may appear just a few inches or feet tall on the open ocean, they can soar to the height of a multi-story building as they are forced upward near the shore.

A tsunami can be generated by the sudden uplift of the seafloor in an earthquake, or by the paddle-like effect of a landslide crashing into the sea from, say, an island volcano. Yet while quake-generated tsunamis have been observed from their genesis to the disastrous end, scientists have never witnessed a significant open-ocean tsunami generated by a landslide.

Evidence exists at various locations around the world for megatsunamis, as scientists call the largest of these events. They seem to occur every 100,000 years or so, said Gary McMurtry of the University of Hawaii.

These monsters can be hundreds of feet tall and, depending on local topography, race miles inland.

One controversial event, about 110,000 years ago, appeared to create a 1,600-foot wave in Hawaii. Yes, you read that right: Nearly one-third of a mile, or about half a kilometer.

But the evidence -- marine fossils way up there where there's no sea -- is controversial. Perhaps the islands have been rising and carried the fossils up, critics suggest.

McMurtry's team looked at marine fossils at the Kohala volcano on the main island of Hawaii, which is known to be sinking about an inch per decade. The fossils simply could not have started at a lower elevation, McMurtry said Monday at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union held here. A submarine landslide from the giant Mauna Loa volcano has been dated to the same time and, the thinking goes, caused the tsunami.

McMurtry and his colleagues also re-examined evidence for a tsunami that may have struck Bermuda and other locations in the Atlantic 420,000 years ago.

Scientists agree that submarine landslides caused by the collapse of island volcanoes -- think of the destruction of Mount St. Helens -- could generate these megatsunamis. Evidence for such landslides can be found in topography scans of seafloors around various island volcanoes, McMurtry points out.

"These giant landslides seem to occur during periods of higher than normal sea level -- like we have now," he said.

High sea levels tend to correspond with wetter climates, he said. What this has to do with landslides is not known. But perhaps, McMurtry figures, excess rainfall can serve as a trigger for the cleaving of a volcano-in-waiting. [...]

Click here to comment on this article


Arctic lights blamed on climate change

By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor
19 December 2004

Eskimos and scientists report a strange "lightness at noon" that is turning the usual all-day darkness of the high Canadian Arctic into twilight, apparently in defiance of natural laws. Canadian government officials say it may be the result of an unusual atmospheric phenomenon caused by global warming.

Inuit hunters are telling the government's weather station at Resolute Bay - Canada's second most northerly village, 1,000 miles from the North Pole - of a new light in the sky.

And Wayne Davidson, the Canadian government official who runs the station, says he believes it it caused by climate change.

For the past five years, Mr Davidson says, there has been a growing light along the horizon in the middle of the day in winter. "The entire horizon is raised like magic, like the hand of God is bringing it up," he says.

But Mr Davidson's investigations, backed by other scientists, suggest a more prosaic explanation. Warmer air, from global warming, is overlaying the cold air of the Arctic and the interface between the two creates a kind of "mirror in the sky" which reflects the sun's rays from further south.

Click here to comment on this article


What Hope For Humanity?

SOTT Editorial
19/12/2004

This world is inexpressibly depressing. Words do not do it justice, but we will try. Look around you at the world in which you live. Remove your blinkers, rise out of your complacency and the concerns your "little life" and have a good look around. Bush and the Neocons plan to overhaul the American Welfare system, which in reality means doing away with it, and recreate the policies of the Thatcherite years during the 80's in Britain where the bulk of state care for its citizens was done away with in order to allow big business to prey mercilessly on the meager resources of the many "have nots". Of course, with the US already the living embodiment of capitalism in action there are precious few state hands-outs to rescind, but even these will be done away with as the plans of the Neoconservatives are implemented. On the "Homeland Security" front, civil rights clampdowns progress apace, yet imperceptibly enough so that a view of the final destination passes under the radar of the average, otherwise occupied with their little life, citizen.

Domestic policy is intrinsically linked with foreign policy. War costs money, especially the sort of unjustified, never-ending war of conquest that the Neocons are waging in Iraq and the broader Middle East. It seems that the international "bankers" who ultimately dictate US policy at home and abroad have decided that America is good for little else than projecting war.

The incessant rhetoric of the past 50 years, and the distorted public perception that it produced, was designed to lead us to the present moment when the facade can finally be dropped, exposing the real purpose of the country once foolishly thought to be the "greatest democracy on earth".

Within the next 5 years, when the geopolitical world map has been reconfigured to their liking and the usefulness of US military might has been exhausted, the plug will be pulled no doubt. Those "bleeding heart" liberal Americans who by then have refused to adopt the Neocons' cold-hearted "survival of the fittest" mentality, will be allowed to reap the rewards of their choice and suffer the effects of amoral capitalism taken to illogical extremes.

Meanwhile, Iraq is in flames, death stalks the country on a daily basis, ordinary Iraqi citizens along with American soldiers are dying by the dozen every week, and few, other than those who are left to pick up the pieces, seem to care. The death of Arafat, far from signaling a "new hope", has merely cleared the way for Sharon and his masters to begin implementing the "final solution". Sharon and Israel's entire existence is predicated on the need for an eternal "terrorist" threat. Hamas and other Israeli-sponsored "Palestinian terror groups" will ensure that the world knows that there can be no dealing with Palestinians. There will be no peace.

At some point a pretext for an attack on Iran will be manufactured. Iran may *appear* to attack first. Israel, backed by the US, will respond. Any number of scenarios may result, but one thing is certain, Afghanistan and Iraq were but the first steps; the carnage and bloodshed has only just begun.

Increasing our perspective one more order of magnitude and away from global political machinations, we notice that our planet is being regularly bombarded with meteorites (although we do not doubt that this "little detail" is a central factor in shaping the policies of the major political players.) By way of a little test, try asking a relative or friend about the extent of their awareness of this most troubling phenomenon. You will surely be surprised and alarmed at just how ill-informed the average person is about matters that may soon effect them in a very direct and 'cataclysmic' way.

Coming back down to earth, humanity continues to show that, despite all of our technological prowess, as far as our basic instincts are concerned, we share more in common with animals than any other form of life.

Click here to comment on this article


Readers who wish to know more about who we are and what we do may visit our portal site Cassiopaea.org



Remember, we need your help to collect information on what is going on in your part of the world!

We also need help to keep the Signs of the Times online.


Check out the Signs of the Times Archives

Send your comments and article suggestions to us


Fair Use Policy

Contact Webmaster at signs-of-the-times.org
Cassiopaean materials Copyright ©1994-2014 Arkadiusz Jadczyk and Laura Knight-Jadczyk. All rights reserved. "Cassiopaea, Cassiopaean, Cassiopaeans," is a registered trademark of Arkadiusz Jadczyk and Laura Knight-Jadczyk.
Letters addressed to Cassiopaea, Quantum Future School, Ark or Laura, become the property of Arkadiusz Jadczyk and Laura Knight-Jadczyk
Republication and re-dissemination of our copyrighted material in any manner is expressly prohibited without prior written consent.

.