the 9/11 Truth Movement
Canary in The Mine
Strike Flash Presentation by a QFS member
Picture of the Day
float featuring a caricature of US President George Bush makes
its way through the crowd during a carnival parade in Duesseldorf.
The shattered glass ( ...
and the milk it spilled)
By John Kaminski email@example.com
What if we what we thought was
healthy was actually killing us?
The only sound in the darkness was the voice of a woman on the phone
outlining her plans to awaken a sleeping citizenry with an accurate
video version of the crime of the century. But when a man listens
to a woman, he often doesn't hear her words, but instead drifts
off into the uncharted narrative of his own dreams.
Fifty years ago I stood in the kitchen of my childhood. The giant
glass of milk I always consumed before bedtime had accidentally
crashed onto the kitchen floor, spewing a white Rorschach blot across
the checkered linoleum. I loved milk, I told her. But her voice
chided through the line: no adult animal drinks milk; it isn't healthy,
because the excess protein putrefies in your digestive tract and
catalyzes all manner of debilitating ailments.
So we learn what we thought was essential to our well-being may
in reality be a recipe for needless misery, not to mention serious
injury. This passing thought, this shattered glass in my memory,
got me thinking about what we once learned was good and life-giving
can with the right information lead to the realization that we are
killing ourselves because we remain ignorant of basic facts.
This evolving image coalesced in my mind as she talked about the
need to convince people that 9/11 was really an inside job inflicted
on the American people by our own leaders. Hence this thought: what
we thought was good and pure can, without accurate information,
actually be a poison that we eagerly and happily guzzle down.
I have long insisted that the heart-wrenching trauma that was 9/11
is the key to understanding both the past and the future of American
history. If you choose to accept the official version of these horrible
events, you are continuing to ingest a poison that has killed millions
of innocent people, and will surely kill millions more.
Once you begin to contemplate the notion that our own leaders callously
engineered the whole tragedy simply to advance their own greedy
agenda, you open up a very unsettling window into the predatory
behavior of the United States, both throughout its bloody, falsely
reported history, and obviously also to a terrifying future of what
America's power-mad leaders have planned for the rest of the world
in the coming months and years.
Yet most Americans, willingly distracted by simpler concerns like
children and bank accounts, cannot — or will not — see
this, despite an avalanche of evidence that could, if we had an
uncorrupted court system, convict thousands of rich and famous men
of profoundly serious crimes.
Intellectually stunted by a one-size-fits-all educational system
and constantly deceived by clownlike media that deliberately ignore
certain negative events like fixed elections and toxic medicines,
a majority of the American people simply cannot bring themselves
to believe their leaders could be such cold-hearted villains, such
Could President Bush, who throbs the hearts of blue-haired ladies
across America and sends squadrons of superficial preachers into
convincingly feigned rhapsodies of Rapture fever, have supervised
the murder of 3,000 Americans just to get his geopolitical way?
To most Americans who have sworn their allegiance to their churches
and their country, the idea is too preposterous to consider. Yet
this allegiance, based on false information, is, for so many (including
those many Americans who are persuaded to physically fight for their
country), a fatal misstep.
But when we do open our minds to the endless string of lies, the
towers that couldn’t have fallen due to airplane crashes,
the phonecalls that couldn’t have been made with existing
technology, the so-called Arabs who never showed up on the passenger
lists (allegedly devout Muslims who ate pork and went to strip clubs),
the building that fell for no reason, the air defenses that failed
to respond, the deliberate lies, the stonewalled investigations,
the confiscated videos and tapes that would have more clearly revealed
what happened, and various other pieces of the puzzle that will
never in a million years fit together, we have an inkling that something
is really wrong, regardless of whatever allegiances we may profess.
That we have not been told the whole truth, and nothing but the
And then we recall bits and pieces of history that still stick
in our craws like bad fish. The window opens.
Historian William Blum always describes these matters best.
“From 1945 to 2003, the United States attempted to overthrow
more than 40 foreign governments, and to crush more than 30 populist-nationalist
movements fighting against intolerable regimes. In the process,
the U.S. bombed some 25 countries, caused the end of life for several
million people, and condemned many millions more to a life of agony
But one need not lurch into history books to taste that sour burp
of genuine American history. One need only not rely on newspapers
and look elsewhere for unspun info on the American genocides transpiring
this very day in Palestine, Iraq, Haiti, Colombia, Serbia, Afghanistan
and throughout Africa and Asia to acquire an accurate picture of
the way America really works.
It always comes as a shock to me to realize that today’s
majority of the American population was not alive for Watergate,
never mind that tragic spate of assassinations in the Sixties —
all of which were engineered by the same demonic faction of the
U.S. government that exerts its murderous impulses over all of us
So for you young victims of the American public school system,
let me recount just a little of the actual history of your country
that you may, in your media-induced, consumeristic coma, have missed.
Few Americans know that America's involvement in World War I was
triggered by a deliberate deception known as the sinking of the
Lusitania, which was a passenger ship torpedoed by a German U-boat
that changed public opinion in America from neutral to pro-war.
128 Americans died and America eventually went to war over the incident,
after first concealing that the Lusitania was covertly carrying
ammunition to Britain, and that fact had been deliberately leaked
to German intelligence to assure a suitable public affront to American
Many historians theorize that this period actually signalled the
end of the republic, since the most important legislative act ever
passed in American history, the Federal Reserve Act, gave control
of the currency to private bankers, who have been igniting wars
ever since for the purpose of making huge amounts of money.
This process remains the centerpiece of the American economy, and
is the reason you can bask in your self-depleting trivalities while
the rest of the world forever mourns the millions murdered by the
American war machine.
World War II was triggered by an almost identical process. Americans
did not want to participate in another European war, but it's well
known now that Franklin Roosevelt goaded the Japanese into attacking
Pearl Harbor, creating the necessary outrage and support for millions
more to die so the bankers could make money with that best moneymaker
of all — all out war.
And Vietnam. Surely you’ve heard by now. The famous Gulf
of Tonkin incident, in which the Vietnamese supposedly opened fire
on a U.S. ship, never happened. It was a total fabrication that
triggered 20 years of misery for all and killed up to four million
people, but the bankers who start these things made out like the
bandits they are. They even loaned money to the Russians who furnished
weapons to the Viets just to prolong this profitable operation as
long as possible.
Most of you still remember Saddam, the Iraqi stoolie put in power
by the Americans, and, thirty years later, declared to be the reincarnation
of Adolf Hitler.
Our leaders said Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, so we
bombed. But now we know he had no such weapons, and yet still we
The bad perpetrators of 9/11 were hiding in Afghanistan, they told
us, so we bombed. But when we had the chance to catch them, we didn’t
want to, and still we bomb.
What kind of lies have you been telling yourself that America is
the land of the free and the home of the brave? Are you still feeding
your children this crap? America is the land of racist mass murderers.
And you wave your flag and cheer as the rest of the world bleeds.
If 9/11 is the key to understanding American history, your own
ignorance of how America has behaved over time is the key to understanding
how America is raping and prostituting the world, and always has
been. And you cheer that. By our silence, we are all complicit in
these crimes, because we elected these fools. Every one of them.
We are the real fools.
Realizing all this is possible when you understand what happened
on 9/11, and what has happened in all of America’s foreign
adventures. America sees a commodity it likes, arranges with corporate
bigwigs how to steal that commodity for its big campaign donors,
invents a false story enumerating some perilous threat to the American
people, and goes off and murders millions.
America also kills thousands of your own sons and daughters just
to make it look authentic. And you cheer.
This is the key to understanding. Your own participation in mass
murder. Look in the mirror. And see how your opulent standard of
living is the direct result of all those people who were killed,
who are being killed as we speak, in your name. You are the mass
murderer. And you cheer. And then you lie about what’s really
happening. It’s the American way. And it always has been.
A toast, then. To the real American justice. The real history.
Your wonderful way of life. Raise your glass of champagne high in
a salute to our valiant heroes defending freedom and democracy around
the world. Then let the glass slip through your fingers, and crash
onto the kitchen floor. You may now choose — or not —
to see the blood you’re standing in.
John Kaminski’s Internet essays can be seen on hundreds
of websites around the world. They have been collected into two
anthologies, the latest of which is titled “The Perfect Enemy,”
about how the Zionist-controlled U.S. government created the terrorist
group knowns as al-Qaeda. For more information go to http://www.johnkaminski.com/
So a Tilton man claims to have
seen UFOs and we're expected to think it's a quirky story spun by
a poor, misguided and possibly delusional individual in our community
that can't be verified or regarded as anything important or substantial?
For those of us who have bothered to investigate the mountain of
evidence for UFO reality in the public domain, it is no-brainer
that mainstream newspapers like the Monitor are loath to cover the
phenomenon seriously. It's always safer to pursue a story about
a lone individual and marginalize him with the little green men
Fear of ridicule has been official U.S. government policy regarding
UFOs since 1953.
On May 9, 2001, the National Press Club in Washington held a conference
kicking off the Disclosure Project, a nonprofit organization headed
by Dr. Stephen Greer, the world's foremost authority on UFOs, that
is attempting to end the truth embargo concerning this subject.
It was the most highly attended event in that prestigious organization's
history, was seen via Internet simulcast by millions worldwide,
was lightly covered by the big media and then buried and forgotten
the next day.
Twenty-one government, military and intelligence eyewitnesses from
a pool that exceeds 400 identified, interviewed and vetted by the
Disclosure Project (http://www.disclosureproject.org) spoke that
day. They gave riveting testimony about their direct involvement
with top secret projects dealing with UFOs and related technologies
that, were they not militarized, could free us from our oil dependence.
I'm a member of Greer's organization. As a local Disclosure Project
representative, I'm authorized to show and intelligently discuss
the two-hour disclosure video assembled by Greer where the best
eyewitnesses are interviewed. Any organization interested in sponsoring
a screening can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I've spent five days with Greer and a small group that successfully
initiated UFO contact. Several of my photographs capturing UFOs
over Istanbul were donated to the UFO museum there.
Tilton's Mr. Spera validates what recent polls have shown: Well
over 50 percent of the U.S. population believes UFOs exist. Almost
as many think factions of the U.S. government have been engaged
in a cover-up. He should be commended for his courage in stepping
Project Beta, UFOs and official
Greg Bishop, the editor of the magazine The Excluded Middle, radio
host, author and lecturer has just provided the field of UFO research
with what is without doubt (in my opinion, at least) one of its
finest and most important, published contributions.
Published by Paraview-Pocket Books of New York, the subject matter
of Project Beta is an unusual and bizarre one. And I have no hesitation
in saying that were it not for the fact that the story is meticulously
detailed, referenced and researched by Greg, the reader might be
forgiven for thinking that they had stumbled upon the ufological
equivalent of a high-tech, X-Files-meets-The Manchurian Candidate
(the original, not the horrible re-make)-meets Robert Ludlum-style
However, Project Beta tells a very real story - and one that is
as disturbing and mind-blowing as it is informative.
Seasoned UFO researchers will be aware of certain aspects of this
story already as it has been "in the air" so-to-speak
for years, but Greg finally nails the case to the wall in detailed
fashion and for all to see under one cover.
In essence, the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction book relates the
fascinating and compelling story of New Mexico-based physicist Paul
Bennewitz, who - after stumbling upon Air Force and National Security
Agency secrets at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, that he believes
are connected to the activities of sinister extraterrestrials forces
flying around in their UFOs - is literally bombarded (both physically
and electronically) with a mass of disinformation, faked stories
and outright lies, all carefully provided to him by US Intelligence,
with the express intent of diverting him from his research and leading
him down the rocky path towards mental and psychological collapse.
While I would urge both anyone and everyone with an interest in
UFOs to read Greg's book, it is very unlikely to please some readers
- and particularly the I-want-to-believe crowd that foam at the
mouth whenever the words "underground alien base," "Roswell,"
and "alien abductions" surface.
As Greg carefully and skillfully demonstrates, many of the sacred
cornerstones upon which much of today's ufological lore are constructed,
had their origins not in far-off corners of the galaxy, but in the
fertile and imaginative minds of US military intelligence and the
The UFO truth that has captivated so many for so long might not
be "out there" after all - in fact, it may all be one
big con behind which a veritable plethora of classified, military
projects have been carefully hidden.
If there is any justice in the world for the now-deceased and tortured
Bennewitz, Project Beta will lead to the opening of floodgates of
cosmic proportions that lead to intense questions being asked at
a higher, official level about the Bennewitz affair.
Hopefully, those employed within the world of officialdom who manipulated
the man to the point of nervous collapse will be made to answer
for their actions - and hopefully the lack of mercy shown to Bennewitz
will be reflected upon them, in spades.
Project Beta by Greg Bishop is published by Paraview-Pocket Books,
New York, and is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all
good book-selling outlets.
The great bright light first
appeared above the village of Iwerne Minster in Dorset, scorching
a trail through the night skies. Just eight days later, an uncannily
similar object was seen above Devizes, Wiltshire, and that same
evening above Swindon.
This spate of UFO sightings last September was yesterday revealed
in previously secret documents disclosed to the Western Daily Press.
The files, released under the Freedom of Information Act, sparked
frenzied speculation among UFO experts that the West may have been
visited by extra-terrestrials. "We should not discount the
possibility," said James Bazil, a ufologist from Withywood,
Bristol. "We've got three different accounts painting a similar
"The West has been a hot spot for UFOs for many years. The
longest ley line in the country runs from Dundry, near Bristol,
down to Salisbury, and we think this may have something to do with
Ley lines are supposedly prehistoric routes across the landscape.
The classified files revealed that last year there were a total
of 88 UFO sightings reported to the Ministry of Defence's UFO unit,
five of which were spotted in the West Country.
The spree of West sightings began on September 24, when an object
was reported in at 3.50am above Iwerne Minster. The observer said:
"It looked like a great bright light and was really intense,
like a big ball of fire moving rapidly to the ground."
A report from Devizes recorded an object that "looked like
a big ball of fire coming down from the sky with a tail and sparks
coming off the end of it".
That same day an orange object was spotted above Swindon.
Denis Plunkett, head of Bristol branch of the British Flying Saucers
Bureau, said: "I think it's important we don't dismiss sightings
like this out of hand. There is a pattern here, which suggests there
could be UFO activity."
Although such reports might be discounted as meteor showers or
astronomical phenomena, other sightings are harder to dismiss.
A report from Surrey on May 20 last year, describes a UFO as having
"grooves and windows" but no room for humans. Even the
MoD inspector notes that the "witnesses have seen it so clearly".
Det Con Gary Heseltine, of British Transport Police in Leeds, runs
the database of police-reported UFO sightings, and he is convinced
there is something out there.
He said: "After 28 years of investigating the subject I would
have to say yes, and the public don't really get told what's going
"To my logical, police-trained mind, the officers provide
excellent witness testimony, promoting the 'nuts and bolts' evidence
that supports the extra-terrestrial hypothesis."
These latest files to be declassified by the MoD are not as complete
as reports from 1976-77, which were released last month.
Hundreds of documents kept secret by the Ministry's special UFO
department, known as S4F, detail many reports of a possible visit
by extra-terrestrial life forms.
In July 1997, Flt-Lt A M Wood reported "bright objects hanging
over the sea". The MoD document adds that the RAF officer said
the closest object was "luminous, round and four to five times
larger than a Whirlwind helicopter". The UFOs were reported
to be three miles out to sea at a height of 5,000
NEW YORK (AP) - The devil made
him do it, representatives for R&B singer Houston said in a
statement explaining how his eye was seriously gouged.
Houston's publicist issued a statement Thursday night denying reports
he tried to take his life by jumping from a London hotel window
last week. The statement said Houston "found himself in the
midst of a spiritual battle against the evil that runs rampant in
the entertainment industry."
Houston, whose 2004 single I Like That was used in a McDonald's
commercial, was found in his London hotel room with a serious eye
injury. He was briefly in hospital.
"I went to check on him before going to bed and I saw blood
on the floor," Houston's bodyguard, Marco Powell, said in the
"Houston was lying on his bed with a towel over his face and
I removed the towel to find his eye hanging out. He said he had
to get the devil off of his back and that's the only way he could
kill the devil."
Houston, whose full name is Houston Summers, is a Los Angeles resident.
He was raised strictly Christian and was "constantly at odds
with the temptations that come with success in the music business,"
the statement said.
The incident prompted a statement from Bushwick Bill of the rap
group The Geto Boys. In 1991, a severely intoxicated Bushwick forced
his girlfriend to assist him in a suicide attempt. She shot him
in the eye but he miraculously survived.
"Fame will make you crazy," Bushwick's statement said.
"I want Houston to know that he is in my prayers and that
I will ask God to give him peace of mind and peace of heart and
I hope his eye heals as well as his mind and his emotions."
Houston was recuperating Friday at his Los Angeles home. The condition
of his eye was not known.
"I still love all my fans. Please pray for me and know I'll
be back with some more hits," Houston said.
sky is falling, said Chicken Little. And now chickens are falling
from the sky.
Twice in the past six weeks plucked chooks have
plummeted on to two roofs at Fletcher, in Newcastle, NSW.
Both times, tiles were smashed, suggesting the birds had fallen
from a great height.
Police have been called and the search is on for an answer to the
One theory is that someone is using a giant slingshot to launch
the probably frozen birds into the air.
After the first chicken fell on to the roof of Stephen Leung on
January 2, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority thought it may have
fallen from an external luggage locker on a light plane.
That theory now seems less likely after a second chook came crashing
on to Warwick Slee's house sometime during the weekend. Mr Slee
lives less than 1km from Mr Leung.
The Slee family were away last week and returned home on Sunday
afternoon to a foul smell.
Mr Slee was trying to find the source of the smell when he noticed
three smashed tiles on his roof.
He climbed into the roof cavity and found the remains of a chicken.
"It was a bit of a shock," Mr Slee, 28, said.
"You don't expect a chook to come flying through your roof."
No person shall be elected to the office of the President more
than twice, and no person who has held the office of President,
or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which
some other person was elected President shall be elected to the
office of President more than once.
- AMENDMENT XXII, Passed by Congress March 21, 1947. Ratified
February 27, 1951.
In the wake of George W. Bush's first electoral victory, detractors
have focused on possible illegalities, mostly involving voting violations
that any incompetent needs in order to succeed. Perhaps all of this
hoopla makes people feel better but they are getting caught up in
the furor of the moment and losing sight of the true significance
of this election. It will be, perhaps, a mystery as to why Mr. Bush
won his first term as an elected president; but people were maybe
happy that a third term could not be had. And...
This is it folks. Those who figured, after this
election, we would be rid of George W. Bush might want to think
again. They are wrong: a third term can be had. The XXII Amendment
is quite clear on this. George W. Bush has
only been elected to the Presidency once. His first term he was
appointed, not elected. And, during his first term, he was not sitting
during part of some other President's term of office.
So... more is better. George W. Bush will be the second President
to sit three terms. That first President to do so had something
to do with bringing the country out of a deep depression-- without
the use of drugs. He established Social Security and certain legal
restrictions on businesses so that they would not grow out of order--or
get out of order.
During George W. Bush's first four year tenure in the office, he
successfully did Herbert Hoover one better. Mr. Bush created vast
unemployment. Mr. Bush created a deficit, a hole in the economy
that is miles wider than that that it took to sink the Titanic.
The social programs that have helped people, however minimally or
perversely (in some cases), have been gutted. Indeed, Mr. Bush has
done his best to not only marginalize virtually the entire population
of the country (making less than $100,000 per year). Four years
of Mr. Bush and his neo-con buddies has created horror worldwide
and havoc within our borders. Another four years will possibly result
in first state of serfdom since the Middle Ages and Feudalism, an
inescapable serfdom with the people getting just exactly what the
Communist Manifesto calls for: the absolute minimum to live on and
in and by. It will also work to enrage the rest of the world--or
bring it to its knees. [...]
Whatever George W. Bush is not able to accomplish
in eight years, he surely will in 12--or he will leave the country
so befuddled and bedraggled and beholden to his policies and hated
by everyone else that destruction will be inevitable. Again,
to think that he will not move to make it three terms as President
is a little naïve: this man and his cronies are experts at
utilizing the courts, else how could such incompetents manage to
gain such heights? Only the incompetent need rely on devious
means to assure success. And so it is that George W. Bush is more
than likely to already be planning to utilize the exact language
of the XXII Amendment with his very own non- election in 2000 to
create a third term presidency. He could,
too, strike the Amendment from law. All he needs is a majority in
Congress. He, like Hitler, has this hands down.
There were many during the making of the free United States of
America who thought that more protections were needed else the elected
would rise to tyranny. While we were not
looking, it has come to pass.
We can only hope that either George W. Bush
and his boys overstep their bounds and are dismissed or, like all
criminals, there is so much bickering and in-fighting that they
destroy themselves. I do not hold any hope for a successful
revolution: violence to end violence is just more of the same; rebels
seeking revenge is yet again more of the same; the Left has nothing
to offer that is not more of the same; there is no such thing as
a good government.
WASHINGTON - President Bush added Medicare
to the government's fix-it list Wednesday after new figures showed
the first full decade of the program's prescription benefit will
cost taxpayers $724 billion.
"There's no question that there is an unfunded liability inherent
in Medicare that Congress and the administration is going to have
to deal with over time," Bush told reporters.
"Obviously I've chosen to deal with Social Security first,"
he added. "Once we modernize and save Social Security for a
young generation of Americans, then it'll be time to deal with the
unfunded liabilities of Medicare."
The new figure for years 2006 through 2015 is
much higher than the $534 billion cost calculated for years 2004
through 2013. That's because under the previous decade-long projection,
the benefit didn't exist for two of the 10 years.
Congress passed the prescription drug benefit at the end of 2003,
but except for some low-income seniors, it delayed making it available
until January 2006.
Nonetheless, several lawmakers said Wednesday that they had been
"This new information further demonstrates what appears to
be an attempt to dupe Congress and win passage of the legislation,"
said one such lawmaker, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., calling
for an investigation by the Senate Finance Committee.
Some Republicans long skeptical of the administration's
estimates also expressed alarm at the escalating costs as more people
reach age 65 and qualify for it and drug prices continue to rise.
The administration estimates that the number of people covered by
the prescription benefit will rise in the first decade from 36.9
million people covered in 2006 to 45.8 million people in 2015.
"I do think we are going to have to go back and readdress
it," said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg, R-N.H.
Lawmakers used the revised estimate Wednesday
to revive proposals to allow drug importation from Canada and to
let the federal government negotiate drug prices. Both
are now forbidden.
Congress narrowly approved the drug legislation in 2003 after an
extraordinary all-night debate. At the time,
Republican leaders assured wavering lawmakers that the program would
cost $400 billion, including expected savings. The administration
estimated the cost at $534 billion two months later, after the law
The $724 billion figure is in documents obtained Wednesday by The
Associated Press and related to the president's Monday budget request
to Congress. Without anticipated savings included
in the calculation, the cost of the program over the next decade
could swell to $1.19 trillion, according to the documents.
White House Budget Director Joshua Bolten said the new price tag
of $724 million reflects $134 billion in savings the government
expects because states are paying some drug costs, $145 billion
more from beneficiaries' premiums and $200 billion in savings by
switching some Medicaid prescription benefits to Medicare.
Under the benefit:
- Participants must pay monthly premiums that are expected to average
$35 in 2006.
- The participants must pay out of their pockets the first $250
in pharmacy bills.
- Medicare will then pick up 75 percent of the next $2,000 in prescription
- Then a gap is built into coverage, during
which participants must pay all drug costs until the total tops
- The government will then pay 95 percent of prescription bills
above $5,100 a year.
WASHINGTON - The U.S. trade deficit narrowed
in December as oil import prices had their biggest monthly decline
in nearly 14 years, but the annual trade
gap still widened more than 24 percent in 2004 to a record $617.7
billion, the Commerce Department said on Thursday.
The December trade gap totaled $56.4 billion, only slightly below
the average estimate of Wall Street analysts surveyed before the
Commerce revised its estimate of the November trade gap to $59.3
billion, down from $60.3 billion, partly because of a computer error
by Canada's statistical agency, which understated U.S. exports to
Canada in November by $1.4 billion, the Commerce Department said.
Even with the downward revision, the November trade deficit remained
a record and the December trade gap was the second highest.
U.S. exports of goods and services were a bright spot in the December
trade report, at a record $100.2 billion. Annual exports were also
a record at $1.15 trillion, but were surpassed by record imports
of $1.76 trillion.
More than 25 percent of the annual trade
deficit reflects the shortfall in trade with China, which
hit a record $162 billion in 2004, up from last year's record $124
The rapid rise has lead to proposals in Congress to reduce imports
from China by slapping tariffs on their products. The United States
imported a record $196.7 million from China in 2004, while exporting
a record $34.7 billion to that country.
Despite the huge gap, China is one of the fastest growing markets
for U.S. exporters.
The bilateral trade deficits with Canada, Mexico
and the European Union also set records in 2004.
Oil import prices fell $4.52 per barrel in December for the largest
month-to-month decline since early 1991.
However, the United States still imported a record $94.1 billion,
mostly oil, from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting
Countries in 2004 and the trade deficit with those countries was
a record $71.9 billion.
To put the current U.S. trade gap in perspective,
in 1983 the U.S. deficit in goods and services trade was only $57.8
billion, roughly the size of recent monthly trade gaps. In 1998,
the total U.S. trade deficit was $164.9 billion, only slightly larger
than the 2004 trade gap with China alone.
WASHINGTON - President Bush's plan to expand
high school testing is facing a fight from some of the same leaders
in Congress who pushed through his first-term school agenda.
Bush wants Congress to require yearly reading and math tests in
grades nine through 11, further extending a greater federal role
in education. The No Child Left Behind law Bush championed requires
tests yearly in grades three to eight, and once during high school.
Congressional education leaders are wary, if not opposed, to the
way Bush wants to change high school, as outlined in his new budget
proposal. He wants to spend $1.2 billion on
high school "interventions," for example, but erase about
as much from vocational education.
That trade-off drew resistance from Rep. Mike Castle, chairman
of the House Education and the Workforce's subcommittee on education
reform. "It does not look likely" that Bush's testing
plan will go forward in Congress, said Castle, R-Del. [...]
But Democratic leaders say they have been burned by their first
go-round on the education law, which passed with highly touted bipartisan
support. Democrats say schools have not received
enough money and that Bush's new budget makes it worse by cutting
overall spending. [...]
Bush also wants to expand access to Advanced Placement testing,
increase competitive grants in math and science and reward teachers
whose students excel. Those plans are offset by cuts elsewhere in
"The resources the president are proposing are essentially
stolen from another critical program," said Carmel Martin,
chief education adviser for Sen. Edward Kennedy, the top Democrat
on the Senate education committee.
ABOARD THE USS O'BANNON - Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld told sailors on a destroyer off the French coast
on Wednesday to expect a "bumpy road" in Iraq as he prepared
to press NATO allies to do more to train Iraqi forces.
Separately, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said talks with
NATO allies in Brussels had been their most harmonious yet on Iraq
and had produced a number offers of troops to help get the NATO
training mission off the ground.
Rumsfeld arrived in Nice on the French Riviera ahead of an informal
meeting of NATO defense ministers, with the alliance's peacekeeping
mission in Afghanistan also on the agenda.
U.S. officials said Rumsfeld would urge alliance members to provide
more military personnel, equipment and funds to accelerate the training
of Iraqi security forces, or help in training Iraqis outside Iraq.
NATO has sent about 80 out of a planned 300 military officers to
Iraq to train officers intended ultimately to provide security for
their own country in place of U.S., British and other foreign troops.
Millions of Iraqis braved insurgent threats to vote in elections
on June 30, but violence has continued since.
"I wish I could assure you that everything
was going to turn out well (in Iraq). But I can't. I suspect that
there are going to be more people killed, that there'll be more
difficulties, that it will be a bumpy road, a tough road,"
Rumsfeld said aboard the USS O'Bannon.
"But I don't believe in the history of the world there's ever
been a country that has gone from a dictatorship, or a repressive
regime, or an authoritarian regime to a democracy smoothly,"
he added. [...]
WASHINGTON - A Pentagon investigation and
newly declassified documents confirm detainees' accounts of the
use of sexual tactics by female interrogators at the U.S. military
prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, The Washington Post reported on
At least eight detainees, in documents or through their lawyers,
have accused female interrogators of violating Muslim taboos about
sex and contact with women, including rubbing their bodies against
the men and touching them provocatively, the newspaper said.
The Pentagon investigation of U.S. detention and interrogation
practices worldwide has not been released publicly, the Post said.
But a senior Defense Department official familiar with the report
was cited as saying it generally confirms the detainees' allegations.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official
told the newspaper the investigation confirmed one case in which
an Army interrogator wore a tight T-shirt to make a Guantanamo detainee
uncomfortable. It also confirmed other cases in which interrogators
touched detainees suggestively, the report said.
The newspaper quoted Defense Department officials as saying two
female interrogators have been reprimanded for such tactics.
A Pentagon spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
Col. David McWilliams, a spokesman for the U.S. Southern Command
in Miami, which oversees operations at Guantanamo Bay, was quoted
as saying that it was premature to comment on whether the detainee
allegations were credible until a second military investigation
that focuses on Guantanamo Bay abuse allegations is complete.
TORONTO - The federal government has "abandoned"
a Canadian teenager being held as an "enemy combatant"
at a U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, broadening a shroud
of secrecy that has failed to ensure his humane treatment for nearly
three years, his legal team said Tuesday.
Toronto-born Omar Khadr, now 18, is accused of killing a U.S. army
medic in a battle in Afghanistan, planting mines to target U.S.
convoys and gathering surveillance at an airport in Afghanistan,
according to U.S. Defence Department documents released last fall.
He was first detained by U.S. forces in July 2002, and his lawyers
allege that newly declassified information - originally gathered
during their own interviews with the teen last year - describes
"acts of torture and abuses" committed against their client.
Canadian lawyers Dennis Edney and Nathan Whitling were set to join
their U.S. counterpart, Muneer Ahmad, and members of the Khadr family
to outline the claims at a Toronto news conference Wednesday.
"Newly declassified information will describe acts of torture
and abuses committed against Omar Khadr," the lawyers said
in a release Tuesday.
"The government of Canada will be called
upon to explain why it has abandoned this Canadian citizen."
The lawyers said that Ottawa will also be asked
to explain why it has assisted U.S. officials in Khadr's interrogation,
despite what they called "the notorious and ongoing denial
of fundamental human rights in Guantanamo Bay."
Other countries, they added, have acted to secure the humane treatment
and release of their own nationals - noting recent efforts by Britain
That was an allegation quickly denied by the government.
Rodney Moore, a Foreign Affairs spokesman, said government officials
have raised the issue of humane treatment of detainees with the
U.S. State Department in the last six weeks.
"I understand that Omar's lawyers are going to be alleging
abuse," Moore said Tuesday. "Certainly when allegations
of abuse first surfaced in Guantanamo Bay, Canada sought and received
renewed assurances from the U.S. that Omar Khadr was being treated
"And at that time we reminded the U.S. that detainees should
be treated humanely at all times."
Canadian officials, he added, have requested consular access to
Khadr to verify his well-being, along with access to his medical
records, and an independent medical assessment.
"To date we've not been provided with consular
or welfare access," Moore said, adding the U.S. continues to
acknowledge its willingness to treat all detainees in a manner consistent
with the Geneva Convention.
"We've noted during other contact with him that he seemed
well (when intelligence officials visited him in 2003 and 2004)
... but those were for intelligence purposes."
Ahmad said Tuesday the alleged abuse took place after the youth
was transferred to Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay, but he declined
to give further details. [...]
He added that Khadr's allegations would be consistent with other
reports that have recently come to light. According to declassified
notes released Monday, 11 detainees say U.S. troops in Afghanistan
and Pakistan abused them before they were sent to the prison camp.
The U.S. Justice Department has already opened an investigation
after FBI reports about harsh treatment at the base were made public.
The allegations - released through a lawsuit launched by the American
Civil Liberties Union - include claims of prisoners being chained
for up to 24 hours while left in their own feces and urine in rooms
that were excruciatingly hot or cold.
Khadr was 15 when he was first captured by U.S.
forces in Afghanistan and was designated an "enemy combatant"
and al-Qaida fighter at a military tribunal in Guantanamo in September.
He is accused of tossing a grenade that killed U.S. army medic
Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer on July 28, 2002 during an al-Qaida
shootout with U.S. Special Forces.
His petition is one of more than 60 cases pending in U.S. Federal
Court. His lawyers say under the Geneva Convention,
he should have been afforded special rights as a juvenile when captured
Khadr is one of four sons by the late Ahmed Khadr, an Egyptian-born
Canadian who had ties to Osama bin Laden and his Egyptian deputy,
Ayman Al-Zawahari. The elder Khadr died in a shootout in Pakistan
Also in 2003, Omar Khadr's elder brother,
Abdurahman, was released from Guantanamo Bay. He initially told
a story of being left by the Americans to fend for himself in Afghanistan,
but later admitted he was hired by the Central Intelligence Agency
and sent to Bosnia to try to spy on al-Qaida recruiters. [...]
The youngest Khadr brother, Karim, and family matriarch Maha Elsamnah
returned to Canada in April 2004, so the youngster could receive
treatment at a Toronto hospital. The 14-year-old was paralysed after
being shot in the spine during the same 2003 shootout that killed
Elsamnah admitted her family links to al-Qaida
and bin Laden during a CBC television documentary but later recanted.
All members of the family are Canadian citizens and, during the
late 1990s, moved between Toronto, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
I should have known better than to listen
in to the conversation immediately to my left, sitting as I was
in the Northwest Airlines World Club, in Detroit. Unlike most of
the folks who have paid their $450 for an annual membership--which
entitles one to little more than some free booze, cheese, crackers
and coffee, along with a comfy chair between flights--I am hardly,
after all, the typical "business traveler." I usually
spend my time in such places, hastily composing one or another radical
screed (like this one), while waiting to fly somewhere to deliver
a speech that will, in some small way, move forward the cause of
This is not the purpose for which the guy talking about mutual
funds in the cubicle next to me, is here.
But this time, I couldn't avoid hearing the discussion between
the two men, appropriately white and with matching blue suits and
red power ties, whose familiarity with a bottle of scotch had apparently
reached intimate proportions.
They were ruminating on the recent goings on at the University
of Colorado, where Ethnic Studies professor, Ward Churchill is under
siege for an article he composed back in the immediate aftermath
of 9/11; an essay in which Churchill sought to explain that a nation
really ought not be surprised when its policies abroad--which have
resulted in the slaughter of millions of innocent civilians--cause
some in those nations to "push back" and seek to exact
a similar collective death upon the people of that first country.
While Churchill's essay was indelicate in places,
it was hardly more so than any of the bloodthirsty things said by
representatives of the state or the denizens of talk radio around
that same time--folks who were itching to level Afghanistan, turn
the Arab world into a parking lot, or, as Bill O'Reilly put it,
put a bullet to the heads of any Afghans who weren't sufficiently
supportive of our ousting the Taliban for them.
I remember reading Ward's missive at the time, and being bothered
by the "little Eichmanns" reference (for those who worked
in the World Trade Center), not because I thought Churchill actually
believed these folks deserved to die, but because I knew the statement
would be taken out of context and used to smear not only him, but
the larger left of which we are both a part. In other words, Ward
was perhaps guilty of naiveté, assuming that people are far
more capable of discerning nuance and irony than they really are.
But to the two men in the World Club, he was guilty
of a lot more than that. To them, Churchill's most egregious crime
was not having died, "like all the other Indians."
I sh*t you not. One of the men, fuming about the article that now
has Ward facing down the barrel of a Board of Trustees looking for
any reason to fire him, despite tenure, turned to the other and
said: "Just when you thought we'd killed
all the Indians, one pops up talkin' some sh*t like this, and reminds
you that we didn't finish the job after all."
White guy number two laughs, in fact, damn near spits Dewar's and
soda all over the leather barca lounger he's plopped down in, finding
this affable romanticizing of genocide to be the funniest f*cking
thing he has apparently had the luxury of hearing, at least since
the last time he and his buddies sat around in a sports bar, farting,
and trading jokes about fags, or some such thing.
I was stunned, because just one day before,
I had speculated, only half-seriously, during an interview with
KPFK in Los Angeles, that this anti-Indian sentiment might lay beneath
some of the vitriol aimed Ward's way. After all, the attacks on
him have seemed so personal, so vicious, so much worse than even
the histrionics normally leveled at white leftists like Chomsky,
or Parenti, or Zinn, who said much the same thing about 9/11 after
that fateful day. The bombast has seemed
to include an unhealthy dose of racial resentment--absolute rage--at
the notion that a person of color and an Indian no less, should
dare to condemn the American empire. [...]
Even having concluded that racism was part of the reason for the
overwrought reaction to Churchill, I was utterly unprepared to hear
my suspicions confirmed in such a manner; probably because I've
grown so accustomed to white people lying about their racist views,
going out of their way in fact to deny them, at least around others.
As such, I couldn't even think of what to say. My inclination was
to ask for the guy's business card, pretending to have liked his
comment, and then send his address and phone number to the American
Indian Movement, so they could harass his pretty white ass for a
few months. But in the end, all I did was glare, a gesture the meaning
of which I'm sure was lost on them both, lubricated as they were
on second-rate blended whiskey.
And while these two guys might not be representative of the masses
of people so driven to distraction by Churchill's commentary, I
have little doubt but that, like the rest of the teeming hordes
out to see him fired, they regularly shrug off comments about civilian
deaths being justified, when made by representatives of their own
side. More to the point, they glibly accept,
as a consequence of war, the deaths themselves (not merely talk
about them) as justified, as in Iraq, where even the lowest of low-ball
estimates places the numbers of these around 15,000, and where the
highest reach above 100,000.
So what? they might say, in a tone and manner little different
from that echoed in the caves of Afghanistan that have served as
a home for bin Laden all these years.
They surely are not bothered by pundit Ann Coulter's
recent comments, to the effect that we should "nuke North Korea,"
so as to "send a message" to the rest of the world, and
because it would be, in her words, "fun."
They are not bothered by the comments of nationally
syndicated talk show host Jay Severin last year, to the effect that
the U.S. should tell the Arab world that unless "they"
stop killing our troops in Iraq, we will drop nuclear weapons throughout
the region, destroying all of the holiest sites of Islam, and killing
ten million people, without batting an eye.
They were not bothered when former Secretary of
State Madeline Albright rationalized the deaths of a half million
children in Iraq as a result of Western sanctions, by saying that
those deaths had been "worth it."
Dead people of color, the world over, or right here in the U.S.,
whose ashes they step over every time they walk out the door of
their homes, mean nothing to them. Their deaths are cause for no
tears, no contrition, no recompense, and certainly have never served
to disqualify those responsible (or those who applaud the carnage)
from positions of authority, in colleges, or government. Nor will
schools now move to block dear Madame Albright from speaking on
their campuses, as happened to Ward; nor will Ann Coulter find herself
a pariah for fantasizing about the incineration of folks whose only
crime was to be born North Korean.
But Ward Churchill, who has merely laid
out the facts about America's murderous ways around the globe--facts
that have not been disputed even once by any of his critics--is
to be silenced. Those who do the deed are cheered, re-elected
and get buildings named after them. Those who merely tell of their
exploits and suggest that perhaps there may be consequences, get
This is what happens, in a nation built on lies
from the beginning; whose empire has been constructed on the sands
of self-delusion; whose inability to tell the truth about itself
has now become the stuff of farce. Our lack of self-awareness, not
to mention the way in which Americans pride ourselves on how little
we know about the world, and how reflexively patriotic we can be,
would all be funny were it not so miserably pathetic, and ultimately
The sickest irony of the entire episode with Churchill is this,
of course: namely, if there is anyone whose views and actions lead
to the inevitable conclusion that the civilians in the World Trade
Center were legitimate, if unfortunate targets, it is the President
of the United States. It is he, whose doctrine of "preventative"
warfare, assumes by definition that it is acceptable to target buildings
that house offices tied to the government and military apparatus
of one's enemy, which, indeed the WTC did, and which of course describes
the Pentagon in its entirety.
It is Bush whose "shock and awe"
invasion of Iraq was planned, even though all agreed that thousands
of civilians would die in the process. And if such a mentality
is acceptable for Americans--one that reduces innocent civilians
to mere collateral damage and shrugs at their untimely demise as
if they were the sad but inevitable consequence of modern warfare--then
surely we must extend the same courtesy of barbarism to every nation
or group on earth with a bone to pick.
So the squealing of those on the right when it comes to Churchill--persons
who wholeheartedly endorse the notion of America's right to bomb
other nations, even if innocents will be killed, and knowing full
well that they will be--does nothing so much as call to mind the
line from Shakespeare, that "methinks the lady doth protest
too much." Or perhaps the psychological concept of projection,
whereby the patient displaces their own sickness onto others, finding
in them the very flaws and pathologies to which the patient him
or herself has been given over.
We're sort of like the national equivalent of a child, whose mommy
and daddy are trying desperately, against all hope, to maintain
the child's belief in Santa or the Easter Bunny, or even the tooth
fairy. And we rage against any who seek to dispel the myths out
of a desire to protect our children's "innocence." While
such deceptions are perhaps excusable when dealing with the fantasies
of real children, one would hope that a nation run by full-grown
men and women would ask a bit more of itself; would find truth more
valuable a commodity than innocence; would recognize that,
as James Baldwin explained, "Those who insist on maintaining
their innocence, long after that innocence has died, turn themselves
And so we have: a monster that sees no evil and hears no evil,
unless it comes from the despised "other," and who in
the process perpetrates its own version of the thing daily.
Tim Wise is the author of two new books: White Like Me: Reflections
on Race from a Privileged Son (Soft Skull Press, 2005), and Affirmative
Action: Racial Preference in Black and White (Routledge: 2005).
He can be reached at: email@example.com
My sources tell me that U.S. intelligence
has just uncovered a chilling pre-9/11 edict from Osama bin Laden
on the topic of striking the infidels where it hurts:
"What is necessary is cruel and strong reactions. We need
precision in time, place, and casualties...we must strike mercilessly,
women and children included. Otherwise, the reaction is inefficient.
At the place of action, there is no need to distinguish between
guilty and innocent."
Actually, not only do I not have any "sources,"
but that quote does not come courtesy of the reigning bogeyman...it's
a January 1, 1948 diary entry by one of Israel's founding fathers,
David Ben-Gurion (talking about the Palestinians, of course.)
It's the singer, not the song...and when those
crooning are Israeli, the tune they carry is never panned by the
American corporate media. Golda Meir can declare, "There was
no such thing as Palestinians; they never existed" while Menachem
Begin can conversely admit the existence of Palestinians but paradoxically
call them "beasts walking on two legs" and "cockroaches"
but the H Word isn't uttered.
Thanks to Ward Churchill, we have a good idea of what provokes
the H Word in today's McSociety. But is he really guilty of hate
speech for what he said? In the end, that's a matter of opinion...but
I do know what Churchill didn't say.
Ward Churchill didn't say this: "God told me to strike at
al Qaeda and I struck them. And then he instructed me to strike
at Saddam, which I did." That was George W. Bush, twice un-elected
president of the United States of Advertisement.
Ward Churchill didn't say this: "There are all kinds of atrocities,
and I would have to say that, yes, yes, I committed the same kind
of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed in that
I took part in shootings in free fire zones. I conducted harassment
and interdiction fire." That was John F. Kerry and he was still
considered soft (he just didn't hate enough, I guess).
Ward Churchill didn't say this: "My only regret with Timothy
McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building" or
this: "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders
and convert them to Christianity." That was the noted humanitarian
Ward Churchill didn't say this: "Covert action should not
be confused with missionary work." That was Nobel Peace Laureate,
Ward Churchill didn't say this: "Every immigrant who comes
here should be required within five years to learn English or leave
the country" or this: "Democracy has justified itself
by keeping for the white race the best portions of the earth's surface."
That was Mount Rushmore's own, Teddy Roosevelt.
Ward Churchill didn't say this: "The Antichrist is probably
a Jew alive in Israel today," or this: "Communism was
the brainchild of German-Jewish intellectuals," or this: "The
Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew." That was political
power broker and God's best friend, Pat Robertson.
Ward Churchill didn't say this: "I want you to just let a
wave of intolerance wash over you...Our goal is a Christian nation.
We have a biblical duty; we are called by God to conquer this country.
We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism." That was
the very holy Randall Terry, founder of "Operation Rescue,"
speaking to a like-minded audience.
Ward Churchill didn't say this: "Racism isn't holding blacks
back, it's their own laziness!" That was Bill Cosby (net worth:
And here's one more thing Ward Churchill didn't say: "Freedom
of speech...just watch what you say." That was Ice T (before
he started playing a cop on network TV).
One last note: The last time I checked Ward Churchill's most recent
book, "On the Justice of Roosting Chickens: Reflections on
the Consequences of U.S. Imperial Arrogance and Criminality,"
is ranked #365 at Amazon...thus proving yet again that hate sells.
Mickey Z. is the author of four books, most recently: "The
Seven Deadly Spins: Exposing the Lies Behind War Propaganda"
(Common Courage Press). He can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net.
Top U.S. Army analysts believe
the Israeli intelligence agency, the Mossad, to be "ruthless
and cunning" and "a wildcard" that "has the
capability to target U.S. forces and make it look like a Palestinian/Arab
This declaration was reported on the front page
of The Washington Times on September 10th 2001,
just one day before the September 11th strikes on the U.S.
which are blamed on "Arabs".
This charge reported by the paper was made by American Army officers
in a 68 page report prepared by some 60 officers at the U.S. Army's
School for Advanced Military Studies, a training ground for up-and-coming
Furthermore, just hours after the strikes hit America a well-known
pro-Israel analyst George Friedman proclaimed on his website, "The
big winner today, intended or not, is the state of Israel. There
is no question that the Israeli leadership is feeling relief"
in the wake of the terrorist attack on America as a result of the
benefits that Israel will glean.
The events of September 11th do require careful
attention in light of the fact that Israel has had a long and proven
record in planting "false flags"-orchestrated assassinations
and acts of terrorism for its own purposes and pinning those atrocities
on innocent parties.
One of the most famous instances in which Israel used a "false
flag" to cover its own trail was in the infamous Lavon Affair.
In 1954 several Israeli-orchestrated acts of terrorism against
British targets in Egypt were carried out. Blame for the attacks
was placed on the Muslim Brotherhood.
However, the truth about the wave of terror is found in a once-secret
cable from Colonel Benjamin Givli, the head of Israel's military
intelligence, who outlined the intended purpose behind the wave
"[Our goal] is to break the West's confidence in the existing
[Egyptian] regime. The actions should cause arrests, demonstrations,
and expressions of revenge. The Israeli origin should be totally
covered while attention should be shifted to any other possible
factor. The purpose is to prevent economic and military aid from
the West to Egypt."
The full extent of Israel's involvement did become public and the
government was rocked by the revelations.
More damaging though was the truth about Israel's use of a "false
flag" had come to international attention and demonstrated
how Israel was willing to endanger innocent lives as part of its
grand political strategy to expand its influence in the Middle East.
Placing the blame
Israeli "false flags" have been used time and again to
point the finger of blame on others, mainly Arabs.
On June 28, 1978, Israeli agents exploded a bomb under a small
passenger car in the Rue Saint Anne in Paris, killing Mohammed Boudia,
an organizer for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
Immediately afterward, Paris police received anonymous phone calls
accusing Boudia of involvement in narcotics deals and attributing
his murder to the Corsican Mafia.
A thorough investigation subsequently established that Mossad
special-action agents were responsible for the terrorist killing.
Blame the Libyans
One of Israel's most outrageous "false flag" operations
involved a wild propaganda story aimed at discrediting Libyan leader
In the early months of Ronald Reagan's administration, the American
media began 'promoting' a story that a "Libyan hit squad"
was in the U.S. to assassinate the president. It goes without saying
this piece of 'fact' inflamed public sentiment against Libya.
Suddenly, however, the "hit squad" stories vanished.
It was discovered that the source of the story was one Manucher
Ghorbanifar, a former Iranian SAVAK (secret police) agent who had
very close ties to the Mossad.
But doubts were being raised about Ghorbanifar; with the Washington
Post acknowledging the CIA itself believed he was a liar who "had
made up the hit-squad story in order to cause problems for one of
By then, the Los Angeles Times had already blown the whistle on
Israel's scare stories.
The Times reported; "Israeli intelligence, not the Reagan
administration, was a major source of some of the most dramatic
published reports about a Libyan assassination team allegedly sent
to kill President Reagan and other top U.S. officials . . . Israel,
which informed sources said has 'wanted an excuse to go in and bash
Libya for a longtime,' may be trying to build American public support
for a strike against [Qaddafi]."
In other words, Israel had been promoting
the former SAVAK agent, Ghorbanifar, to Washington as a reliable
source. When in fact, he was a Mossad disinformation operative waving
a "false flag"-yet another Israeli scheme to blame Libya
for its own misdeeds, using one "false flag" (Iran's SAVAK)
to lay blame on another "false flag" (Libya).
For all their postulations, it seems Israel's
relationship with militant groups is very cosy indeed.
There is increasingly solid evidence emerging
that the Mossad has had a long time relationship with the very groups
that Israel had always claimed were the country's "worst enemies".
Mossad's relationship with the groups included
the provision of financial and tactical support as the groups proved
to be extremely useful in advancing Israel's geo-political agenda.
It's pubic knowledge that the CIA sponsored Osama bin Laden's
early efforts in Afghanistan against the Soviets, and what has been
called "the second largest covert action".
What isn't so public is that the arms supplies pipeline to bin Laden
was under the direct supervision of the Mossad.
The former correspondent to American television stations ABC,
John K. Cooley, in Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International
Terrorism, writes: "Discussion of the input of outsiders to
training and operations in Afghanistan would be incomplete without
mention of Iran and the State of Israel. Iran's major role in training
and in supply is a matter of historical record. As for Israel, the
evidence is much sketchier. . .
Whether or not units of Israel's elite special forces trained
the militant groups…is a well-guarded Israeli secret.
Several Americans and Britons who took part in the training program
have assured the author that Israelis did indeed take part, though
no one will own to having actually seen, or spoken with, Israeli
instructors or intelligence operatives in Afghanistan or Pakistan.
What is certain is that of all the members of the anti-Soviet
coalition, the Israelis have been the most successful in concealing
the details and even the broad traces of a training role; much more
than the Americans and British. . . "
Additional confirmation about Israel's role comes from Sami Masri,
the former insider in the infamous Bank of Credit and Commerce International
(BCCI) who told Time magazine journalists that BCCI "was financing
Israeli arms going into Afghanistan. There were Israeli arms, Israeli
planes, and CIA pilots. Arms were coming into Afghanistan and [BCCI
was] facilitating it."
But Israel's ties with militant groups isn't just assigned to
Afghanistan. Ostrovsky reveals in his book, The Other Side of Deception,
that Mossad had a secret history of supporting militant groups for
its own purposes.
Ostrovsky points out that the Arab and
Muslim hating hard-liners in Israel believe the survival of the
state lies solely in its military strength and that "this
strength arises from the need to answer the constant threat of war."
As such Israeli hard-liners believe that peace with any Arab state
would weaken Israel and bring about its demise.
Ostrovsky writes in his book, "Supporting
the radical elements of Muslim fundamentalism sat well with the
Mossad's general plan for the region. An Arab world run by
fundamentalists would not be a party to any negotiations with the
West, thus leaving Israel again as the only democratic, rational
country in the region."
American columnist Jack Anderson, a devoted news conduit for the
Israeli lobby, wrote on April 25th, 1983, that one secret State
Department report speculated that if Palestine Liberation Organization
leader Yasser Arafat were to be dislodged, "the Palestinian
movement will probably disintegrate into radical splinter groups,
which, in combination with other revolutionary forces in the region,
would pose a grave threat to the moderate Arab governments."
Then, according to Anderson's account, the State Department reported:
"Israel seems determined to vent this threat . . . and can
be expected to greatly expand its covert co-operations with revolutionary
Anderson added that "two well-placed
intelligence sources" had explained that this meant that it
was in Israel's interests to "divide and conquer" by setting
various Palestinian factions against one another. This would then
help destabilize all of the Arab and Islamic regimes in the Middle
East. Anderson then stated flat out that the sources said:
"Israel had secretly provided funds to Abu Nidal's group."
British journalist Patrick Seale, an acknowledged authority on
the Middle East, devoted an entire book, entitled Abu Nidal: A Gun
for Hire, outlining and documenting his thesis that Nidal was largely
a surrogate for the Mossad all along.
Today Nidal has been replaced by Osama bin Laden in media headlines
as "the world's most wanted terrorist."
And in light of recent questions about the real nationalities and
identities of the purported hijackers who brought down the four
planes on Sept. 11, a Sept. 17 1972, column by Anderson pointed
out something that should be noted:
"Israeli agents-immigrants whose families
had lived in Arab lands for generations-have a perfect knowledge
of Arab dialects and customs. They have been able to infiltrate
Arab governments with ease."
GAZA (Reuters) - Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas fired three of his own security chiefs Thursday
after militants punctured a cease-fire
he had agreed with Israel by bombarding Jewish settlements in Gaza
After the attacks, Israel had put off security coordination talks
scheduled as a follow-up to Tuesday's groundbreaking meeting in
Egypt with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
But an Israeli official said troops would not retaliate after some
50 mortar bombs and rockets hit settlements
There were no casualties in the attacks
by militants who have refused to participate in Abbas's cease-fire
gesture and plans for him to reconvene with Sharon next week at
the Israeli leader's desert ranch remained in place.
Amir Lati, formerly the consular affairs officer
for the Israeli mission in the Australian capital of Canberra, was
asked to leave the country one month ago due to alleged sexual harassment
as well as security-related reasons, according to a report in Wednesday
editions of the Sydney Morning Herald.
According to the daily, which first reported on the affair, Lati
was asked to depart Australia for a short amount of time and was
declared persona non grata.
The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem instructed Lati to pack up his
belongings and return to Israel.
The Australian government is demanding Lati either resign his
post or risk expulsion for two reasons: "national security",
namely the suspicion that he was involved in espionage on Australian
soil, and "out of hours activities."
The newspaper reported that numerous women who
met Lati have come forward with complaints that he harassed them
with repeated telephone calls which "unnerved" them.
Australian media reports were rampant with speculation that the
security reasons for Lati's expulsion stems from the forged passport
affair involving two Mossad agents who were arrested by authorities
in New Zealand. Lati reportedly visited the agents in New Zealand.
It was also revealed that the Australian Security Intelligence
Organization (ASIO) will brief members of the opposition Labor Party
on the matter.
The case has received much public attention in Australia, so much
so that the matter has been submitted for deliberation in parliament.
Nonetheless, ASIO chief Dennis Richardson refused to comment on
the affair as have official spokespersons representing the Australian
The Mossad agents, Elisha Cara and Uriel Kelman, were apprehended
by New Zealand security forces while trying to obtain a New Zealand
passport under the guise of a citizen afflicted with a mental disability.
Two other alleged co-conspirators remain
Despite the fact that prosecutors did not charge them with security-related
offenses or espionage, the press in New Zealand as well as the country's
prime minister, Helen Clark, argued that the two suspects are Mossad
agents who were hoodwinked in the course of an espionage operation.
The Israelis struck a plea bargain with prosecutors, confessing
to fraud and attempted procurement of a false passport. They were
sentenced to six months in prison and were fined $50,000.
After serving half of their sentence, the two were released and
subsequently returned to Israel.
Lati served in the Israeli embassy in Canberra for a year and
a half, during which he assumed the post of charge d'affaires for
the Israeli mission in New Zealand.
Part of his responsibilities in his post included providing service
to visiting Israelis in distress. The Finance Ministry, under the
direction of director-general Ron Prosor, is currently conducting
its own investigation. The findings of the investigation have yet
to be made public.
Continuing strained relations with Israel
mean President Moshe Katsav has not been invited to extend an Australian
visit to include New Zealand next month.
Relations have been chilly since Israel's refusal to apologise
for what Prime Minister Helen Clark described as "utterly unacceptable"
behaviour surrounding two alleged Mossad agents, Uriel Zoshe Kelman
and Eli Cara, who tried to fraudulently obtain New Zealand passports.
The two were deported in September after serving two months of
their six-month prison sentences.
Miss Clark imposed diplomatic sanctions pending an apology from
Israel, including delaying approval for the appointment of a new
Israeli ambassador. As well, all Israeli officials who want to visit
New Zealand have to apply for visas and foreign ministry consultations
Miss Clark today said no apology had been forthcoming.
"No, they have maintained that they would not be further
addressing the matter until the court processes had been completed,"
"Shortly after the sentencing and conviction they lodged
an appeal. At some point, of course, the processes will be completed
and then they will have to make some judgments."
That could be sooner rather than later as the appeal, which was
to have been heard in early April, is understood to have been dropped.
However, the Government had had no formal notification of that.
Miss Clark said New Zealand had been "extremely careful"
over what it said about the matter but, given
the lack of an apology, Mr Katsav would not be invited to extend
his Australian visit to New Zealand.
"We never expected this sort of action from a government
with which we had friendly relations," she said.
"We made clear what we believed needed to be done to restore
It emerged at the weekend that Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv had uncovered
an Australian request for a senior Israeli diplomat to leave over
his links with Kelman and Cara.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Foreign Minister
Alexander Downer's office both refused to comment on the Canberra-based
Ma'ariv said the Australian government had summoned a senior Israeli
official to a meeting at which it requested the immediate recall
of the diplomat.
If this was not done, the diplomat would be declared
persona non grata and steps taken to deport him.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry then instructed the diplomat to return
Miss Clark said the Australian Government had briefed her on the
matter but that it was up to it to comment.
She could not confirm whether the diplomat was the same one who
visited Kelman and Cara in prison here.
"What I would say is that it's absolutely normal practice
for diplomats to visit prisoners in jail offshore. Our diplomats
regularly do visit New Zealanders who are in trouble and end up
in another country's prison," she said.
"So I wouldn't have seen anything extraordinary about an
Israeli official coming from the embassy in Canberra."
GENEVA - The European Union pressed on with
talks in Geneva to persuade Iran to give guarantees it is not developing
nuclear weapons but US Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice warned that Europe was not being tough enough.
"The Iranians need to hear that if they are unwilling to live
with verification measures... then the Security Council referral
looms," Rice told the US Fox News television channel, alluding
to Iran being referred to the UN Security Council for possible economic
"I don't know that anyone has said that as clearly as they
should to the Iranians," said Rice, who was in Brussels on
a European tour.
But in an apparent attempt to soften her criticism of the Europeans,
Rice later told a news conference: "I
think a diplomatic solution is in our grasp if we have unity of
message and unity of purpose."
US President George W. Bush said he was "very
pleased" with European leaders' response to Rice's call for
a harder line on Iran's nuclear program. [...]
SEOUL, South Korea - North Korea on Thursday
announced for the first time that it has nuclear arms and rejected
moves to restart disarmament talks any time soon, saying it needs
the weapons as protection against an increasingly hostile United
The communist state's pronouncement dramatically raised the stakes
in the two-year-old nuclear confrontation and posed a grave challenge
to President Bush, who started his second term with a vow to end
North Korea's nuclear program through six-nation talks.
"We ... have manufactured nukes for
self-defense to cope with the Bush administration's ever more undisguised
policy to isolate and stifle the (North)," the North
Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the state-run
Korean Central News Agency.
The claim could not be independently verified.
North Korea expelled the last U.N. nuclear monitors in late 2002
and has never tested a nuclear bomb, although international officials
have long suspected it has one or two nuclear bombs and enough fuel
for several more.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Washington would
consult allies before responding.
"I think we just have to first look at the
statement and then we need to talk with our allies," Rice told
Dutch RTL television while on a trip through Europe.
"The North Koreans have no reason to believe
that anyone wants to attack them," she added. "They have
been told they can have multilateral security assurances if they
will make the important decision to give up their nuclear weapons
program. So there is really no reason for this, but we will examine
where we go next."
Previously, North Korea had reportedly told U.S. negotiators in
private talks that it had nuclear weapons and might test one of
them. The North's U.N. envoy said last year that the country had
"weaponized" plutonium from its pool of 8,000 nuclear
spent fuel rods. Those rods contained enough plutonium for several
But Thursday's statement was North Korea's first public acknowledgment
that it has nuclear weapons.
North Korea's "nuclear weapons will remain (a) nuclear deterrent
for self-defense under any circumstances," the ministry said.
It said Washington's alleged attempt to topple the North's regime
"compels us to take a measure to bolster its nuclear weapons
arsenal in order to protect the ideology, system, freedom and democracy
chosen by its people."
Since 2003, the United States, the two Koreas, China, Japan and
Russia have held three rounds of talks in Beijing aimed at persuading
the North to abandon nuclear weapons development in return for economic
and diplomatic rewards. No significant progress has been made.
A fourth round scheduled for last September was
canceled when North Korea refused to attend, citing what it called
a "hostile" U.S. policy.
In recent weeks, hopes had risen that North Korea might return
to the six-nation talks, especially after Bush refrained from any
direct criticism of North Korea when he started his second term
On Thursday, North Korea said it decided not to
rejoin such talks any time soon after studying Bush's inaugural
and State of the Union speeches and after Rice labeled North Korea
one of the "outposts of tyranny."
"We have wanted the six-party talks but we are compelled to
suspend our participation in the talks for an indefinite period
till we have recognized that there is justification for us to attend
the talks and there are ample conditions and atmosphere to expect
positive results from the talks," the ministry said.
Still, North Korea said it retained its "principled stand
to solve the issue through dialogue and negotiations and its ultimate
goal to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula remain unchanged."
Such a comment has widely been interpreted as North Korea's negotiating
tactic to get more economic and diplomatic concessions from the
United States before joining any crucial talks.
In Vienna, a spokesman for the International Atomic Energy Agency
said that "North Korea remains our single highest priority."
"We know they have raw materials to build nuclear weapons.
We also know that they have a delivery system and they've expressed
their intentions to have a nuclear arsenal," spokesman Mark
In Japan, the top government spokesman said he wanted to confirm
the North's intentions.
"They have used this sort of phrasing every so often. They
didn't say anything particularly new," Chief Cabinet Secretary
Hiroyuki Hosoda told a regular news conference. [...]
More than a dozen years after
the collapse of the Soviet Union, America still keeps 480 nuclear
weapons in Europe, more than twice as many as previously believed,
according to an authoritative new study.
The Washington-based Natural Resources Defence Council says the
weapons are under US control and stored at eight bases in six countries
- Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Turkey.
The weapons are all gravity bombs. Three hundred are fitted to be
dropped by US planes, and 180 by planes from local air forces.
In Britain, 110 weapons are said to be stored at RAF Lakenheath
in Suffolk, home to 5,000 US military personnel and three squadrons
of F-15 aircraft.
The new report, 102 pages long, challenges the entire rationale
for keeping a nuclear arsenal of any size in Europe. Pentagon
officials say they are part of Nato's "strategic deterrence
mission" in the region, hinting that they could be employed
to counter a non-conventional threat from countries such as Iran
But the NRDC dismisses that reasoning as "obsolete
and vague". It argues long range nuclear missiles based in
the US render Europe-based ones superfluous. Indeed,
the presence of the latter is if anything counterproductive - "an
irritant" in relations with Russia, and a factor undermining
Washington's efforts to prevent countries such as Iran from acquiring
In what may be no coincidence, the report appears as Donald Rumsfeld,
the Defence Secretary, meets his Nato counterparts in Nice for talks
in which nuclear proliferation is to be a key topic. European members
are divided on the issue.
BAGHDAD - Iraq's borders will be closed for
six days from next week during an annual Shiite Muslim mourning
period, a government spokesman said.
The borders will be closed down from February 17 until February
22 for Ashura, said government spokesman Thaer al-Naqib.
He told AFP security officials had ordered the closure.
"This decision was taken as we are expecting a large number
of pilgrims and it is difficult to control the situation and protect
visitors and Iraqis," said the spokesman.
Ashura is the main Shiite mourning period and since the fall of
Saddam Hussein (news - web sites), hundreds of thousands of foreigners,
mainly from Iran, Pakistan and Gulf states have visited the Iraqi
holy cities of Kerbala and Najaf each year.
The main day of mourning this year is February 20.
An Iraqi official was seized and a journalist
for a US-funded Arab television station shot dead in attacks
that also saw four Iraqi police officers killed.
The four police officers were killed and two others wounded
when a roadside bomb blew up near their convoy in Samarra, north
Fighters have been waging a bloody campaign against the country's
security forces, killing more than 35 people
in attacks over the past two days.
Aljazeera learned that Abd al-Husain Khazaal al-Basri, a correspondent
with US-funded pan-Arab television station Al-Hurra, was killed
by unknown attackers in the southern city of Basra on Wednesday.
Al-Basri, who was also the head of the information department in
the Basra governorate, was shot dead near his house in al-Maaqal
Al-Basri's four year-old son was also killed
and his driver wounded.
The victim, in his 40s, was also a member of the Shia political
In other violence, Col Riad Gatia Allawi was captured in Dora district
in southern Baghdad, officials said. He is the interim Oil
Ministry's representative to the interim Interior Ministry.
Aljazeera also reported that Shaikh Ali al-Jiburi, head of the office
of the Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS) in al-Karkh district
in Baghdad, was arrested by US and Iraqi soldiers who raided
his house at dawn on Wednesday.
No further information on the arrest was available.
The US army said its troops killed a fighter near Balad, north of
the capital, as he was planting a bomb on Tuesday.
A US soldier has been killed in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul,
the US military said on Wednesday.
There were also reports that a gas pipeline linking Iraq's
northern oil hub of Kirkuk to the Baiji refinery had been damaged
by a rocket attack.
"A rocket hit the gas pipeline near al-Fatha, 90km southwest
of Kirkuk," an unnamed official at the North Oil Company said
"The attackers used rockets because the pipeline is located
in an area sealed off with barbed wire and well protected,"
he said, adding he hoped the blaze would be put out by the end of
According to the interim Iraqi government, attacks on oil infrastructure
have cost the country $7 billion-$8 billion in exports since the
March 2003 US-led invasion.
| Or maybe they don't. The disturbing parallels
between 1974, and Gerry Conlon's conviction, and 2005, when he was
Gerry Conlon jailed for life for the IRA's Guildford
* Britain hit by terrorist attacks
* Prevention of Terrorism Act, introduced after Guildford, allows
longer detention of suspects
* Judges sit without juries in terrorist trials in Northern Ireland
* Judge-only courts rejected for Britain
* Ministers reject ID cards
* European Court of Human Rights criticises Labour government policy
* 15 years later, convictions quashed. Anti-terror laws cited for
Gerry Conlon yesterday, 'Completely exonerated'
by an apologetic Tony Blair
* Britain fears terrorist attacks
* Anti-Terrorism Act allows for indefinite detention without trial
for foreign terror suspects
* Judges sit alone in immigration appeals involving terror suspects
* More judge-only hearings proposed
* Ministers support ID cards
* Law lords criticise Labour government policy
* Even as Tony Blair apologises, he backs tougher anti-terror approach
A FREE Presbyterian
minister has caused outrage by claiming that the Asian tsunami was
a "divine visitation" on "pleasure seekers"
breaking the Sabbath.
Writing in the Free Presbyterian Magazine, the Rev John MacLeod
compared the disaster to the biblical flood "on the world of
the ungodly" in the time of Noah.
In the article, Mr MacLeod wrote: "Possibly ... no event since
Noah’s flood has caused such loss of life by drowning as the
recent Asian tsunami.
"That so many of our fellow creatures should have perished
in so short a time, and in so awful a fashion, was a divine visitation
that ought to make men tremble the world over."
Mr MacLeod said: "To rule out the hand of God in this ...
is to forget that He is in sovereign control of all events. If the
sparrow falling to the ground is an event noted, and ordered, by
Him, how much is this the case when the souls of so many thousands
are parted from their bodies?"
He went on to say that some of the places most affected by the
tsunami "attracted pleasure seekers from all over the world".
"It has to be noted that the wave arrived on the Lord’s
Day, the day that God has set apart to be observed the world over
by a holy resting from all employments and recreations that are
lawful on other days," he said.
"We cannot but fear that it found multitudes unprepared for
the eternity into which they were ushered so suddenly."
Last night a tsunami survivor said Mr Mcleod should be ashamed
"The man is a disgrace and should be ashamed of himself."
Last month's Asian tsunami disaster
was a form of divine retribution for the world's support of the
planned pullout of settlers from the Gaza Strip, a former chief
rabbi of Israel has said.
"The all powerful one was angry with the nations that did
not help Israel, which wanted an evacuation, a disengagement [from
Gaza] ... and this provoked the earth to shake," Mordechai
Eliahu said in a religious publication distributed on Monday in
thousands of synagogues throughout Israel.
The top-selling Yediot Ahronoth said the rabbi was guilty of "extreme
stupidity" with his comments.
Right-wing rabbis have been among the instigators of the opposition
to the plan by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to pull troops
and settlers out of the Gaza Strip by the end of the year.
The number of people presumed dead in last month's tsunamis rose
to more than 286,000 on Monday when Indonesian authorities announcing
a further increase in the number of dead and missing.
Angry Christians in the eastern Indonesian
province of East Nusa Tenggara have attacked three police stations
in rioting that began over alleged blasphemy.
Local medai reported that dozens of protestors and police were
injured before calm was restored on Wednesday.
Church-goers became angry when a Protestant man committed
unspecified disrespectful acts during a mass at the Immaculata Cathedral
Catholic Church in Atambua district town of Belu.
Police apprehended the man and took him for questioning, but according
to a report on the Detik.com online news service, the Christians
demanded the suspect be released to face mob justice.
When police refused, angry Christians went on a rampage, said
Adjunct Senior Commissioner Ekotrio Budidarma, chief of Atambua's
Several clashes took place, leaving dozens of protestors and police
officers injured, Budidarma said. Calm was restored by Wednesday
evening, he said.
NAIROBI, Feb. 9 (Xinhuanet) -- A journalist
from the British Broadcasting Corp. was shot dead Wednesday in Somalia
by an unidentified militiaman, according to reports reaching here
The BBC confirmed that Kate Peyton, 39, an Africa producer for
the broadcaster, was shot while accompanied by another BBC journalist
who was not injured.
Peyton underwent surgery at a Mogadishu hospital. The BBC said
"it was later reported that she died from internal bleeding.''
The reason for the shooting was not immediately clear. [...]
MOSCOW - A series of explosions that swept
through a coal mine in Siberia killed at least 21 men and left four
Miners were trying to isolate a fire in the 20-year-old Yesaulskaya
mine, about 3,000 kilometres east of Moscow, when the first explosion
occurred at about 8 a.m. local time.
Several other blasts followed immediately and explosions continued
to be heard in the mine shafts for hours, hampering rescue efforts.
"A shockwave came and it hurled us all, thrown into somersaults
like in a circus," miner Andrei Pshenichnikov told a Russian
television channel from his hospital bed.
"Then I walked along the track, I don't remember how long.
I met security guards and they helped me." About 30 miners
were on the site at the time of the blast.
Sergei Vlasov, a spokesman for the Emergency Situations Ministry
in Moscow, said 21 miners had been confirmed dead by the end of
the day and four hadn't been found.
Four men remained in hospital with injuries that are not considered
life-threatening, while a fifth is in serious condition.
Officials speculated that the explosions could have been caused
by a buildup of methane gas.
At least 16 people were killed and 30 injured
when a passenger bus rear-ended another bus on the Pan American
highway along Peru's northern coast, officials said.
Both buses were travelling to Lima when the accident occurred
near the coastal town of Casma, about 315 kilometres north of the
capital, firefighter Ray Li told The Associated Press.
Li said survivors were taken to hospitals in Casma and the coastal
city of Chimbote for treatment.
Local media reports said that one bus had pulled over on the highway
because of a mechanical problem when it was hit from behind by the
Peru.21, a local newspaper, said most of the fatalities were on
the bus that rear-ended the parked bus.
No foreigners were aboard either vehicle, Li said.
Bus crashes are common in Peru, where drivers frequently speed
and pass other vehicles.
LUANDA : At least 38 people, including many
children, were killed and 70 injured when a truck rammed into a
crowd watching a carnival parade in the southern Angolan town of
Lubango, the Roman Catholic radio Ecclesia reported.
Witnesses quoted by the radio said that the truck's brakes apparently
failed and that it rammed into the crowd, mowing down many Angolans
who had turned out to watch the annual parade. [...]
GRAPEVINE - An investigation is under way after
an American Airlines captain reported that a laser beam hit his
jet as it approached Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
"The captain, who actually was not flying the approach --
the first officer was flying the approach -- but the captain personally
did see the laser for a second or two," Gregg Overman, a member
of the Allied Pilots Association, told Dallas-Fort Worth television
station KXAS on Tuesday.
The pilot was examined after Sunday night's incident and doctors
found no permanent damage to his eyes. [...]
Predatory killers often do
far more than commit murder. Some have lured their victims into
homemade chambers for prolonged torture. Others have exotic tastes
- for vivisection, sexual humiliation, burning. Many perform their
grisly rituals as much for pleasure as for any other reason.
Among themselves, a few forensic scientists have taken to thinking
of these people as not merely disturbed but evil. Evil in that their
deliberate, habitual savagery defies any psychological explanation
or attempt at treatment.
Most psychiatrists assiduously avoid the word evil, contending
that its use would precipitate a dangerous slide from clinical to
moral judgment that could put people on death row unnecessarily
and obscure the understanding of violent criminals.
Still, many career forensic examiners say their work forces them
to reflect on the concept of evil, and some acknowledge they can
find no other term for certain individuals they have evaluated.
In an effort to standardize what makes a crime particularly heinous,
Dr. Michael Welner, an associate professor of psychiatry at New
York University, has been developing what he calls a depravity scale,
which rates the horror of an act by the sum of its grim details.
And a prominent personality expert at Columbia University has published
a 22-level hierarchy of evil behavior, derived from detailed biographies
of more than 500 violent criminals.
He is now working on a book urging the profession not to shrink
from thinking in terms of evil when appraising certain offenders,
even if the E-word cannot be used as part of an official examination
"We are talking about people who commit breathtaking acts,
who do so repeatedly, who know what they're doing, and are doing
it in peacetime" under no threat to themselves, said Dr. Michael
Stone, the Columbia psychiatrist, who has examined several hundred
killers at Mid-Hudson Psychiatric Center in New Hampton, N.Y., and
others at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens, where he consults
and teaches. "We know from experience who these people are,
and how they behave," and it is time, he said, to give their
behavior "the proper appellation."
Western religious leaders, evolutionary theorists and psychological
researchers agree that almost all human beings have the capacity
to commit brutal acts, even when they are not directly threatened.
In Dr. Stanley Milgram's famous electroshock experiments in the
1960's, participants delivered what they thought were punishing
electric jolts to a fellow citizen, merely because they were encouraged
to do so by an authority figure as part of a learning experiment.
In the real world, the grim images coming out of Iraq -the beheadings
by Iraqi insurgents and the Abu Ghraib tortures, complete with preening
guards - suggest how much further people can go when they feel justified.
In Nazi prisoner camps, as during purges in Kosovo and Cambodia,
historians found that clerks, teachers, bureaucrats and other normally
peaceable citizens committed some of the gruesome violence, apparently
swept along in the kind of collective thoughtlessness that the philosopher
Hannah Arendt described as the banality of evil.
"Evil is endemic, it's constant, it is a
potential in all of us. Just about everyone has committed evil acts,"
said Dr. Robert I. Simon, a clinical professor of psychiatry at
Georgetown Medical School and the author of "Bad Men Do What
Good Men Dream."
Dr. Simon considers the notion of evil to be of no use to forensic
psychiatry, in part because evil is ultimately in the eye of the
beholder, shaped by political and cultural as well as religious
values. The terrorists on Sept. 11 thought that they were serving
God, he argues; those who kill people at abortion clinics also claim
to be doing so. If the issue is history's most transcendent savages,
on the other hand, most people agree that Hitler and Pol Pot would
"When you start talking about evil, psychiatrists don't know
anything more about it than anyone else," Dr. Simon said. "Our
opinions might carry more weight, under the patina or authority
of the profession, but the point is, you can call someone evil and
so can I. So what? What does it add?"
Researchers have found that some people who commit violent crimes
are much more likely than others to kill or maim again, and one
way they measure this potential is with a structured examination
called the psychopathy checklist.
As part of an extensive, in-depth interview, a trained examiner
rates the offender on a 20-item personality test. The items include
glibness and superficial charm, grandiose self-worth, pathological
lying, proneness to boredom and emotional vacuity. The subjects
earn zero points if the description is not applicable, two points
if it is highly applicable, and one if it is somewhat or sometimes
The psychologist who devised the checklist, Dr. Robert Hare, a
professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver,
said that average total scores varied from below five in the general
population to the low 20's in prison populations, to a range of
30 to 40 - highly psychopathic - in predatory killers. In a series
of studies, criminologists have found that people who score in the
high range are two to four times as likely as other prisoners to
commit another crime when released. More than 90 percent of the
men and a few women at the top of Dr. Stone's hierarchy qualify
In recent years, neuroscientists have found evidence
that psychopathy scores reflect physical differences in brain function.
Last April, Canadian and American researchers reported in a brain-imaging
study that psychopaths processed certain abstract words - grace,
future, power, for example - differently from nonpsychopaths.
In addition, preliminary findings from new imaging research have
revealed apparent oddities in the way psychopaths mentally process
certain photographs, like graphic depictions of accident scenes,
said Dr. Kent Kiehl, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry
at Yale, a lead author on both studies.
No one knows how significant these differences are, or whether
they are a result of genetic or social factors. Broken homes and
childhood trauma are common among brutal killers; so is malignant
narcissism, a personality type characterized not only by grandiosity
but by fantasies of unlimited power and success, a deep sense of
entitlement, and a need for excessive admiration.
"There is a group we call lethal predators,
who are psychopathic, sadistic, and sane, and people have
said this is approaching a measure of evil, and with good reason,"
Dr. Hare said. "What I would say is that there are some people
for whom evil acts - what we would consider evil acts - are no big
deal. And I agree with Michael Stone that the circumstances and
context are less important than who they are."
Checklists, scales, and other psychological exams are not blood
tests, however, and their use in support of a concept as loaded
as evil could backfire, many psychiatrists say. Not
all violent predators are psychopaths, for one thing, nor are most
psychopaths violent criminals. And to suggest that psychopathy
or some other profile is a reliable measure of evil, they say, would
be irresponsible and ultimately jeopardize the credibility of the
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - A woman concocted
a heartbreaking story of how her soldier husband died a hero in
Iraq - and then admitted the story was all a hoax.
"I think I need some serious counseling,"
24-year-old Sarah Kenney told The Daily Sentinel newspaper on Wednesday
editions. "This is the most serious lie I've ever told, but
I've been caught in many lies."
The touching story of how Spc. Jonathan Kenney
took a bullet meant for an Iraqi child on Jan. 29 was reported by
a score of Colorado media after a news release was sent to them
by the nonprofit group Homefront Heroes.
In reality, there is no record of a soldier with that name dying
in Iraq. Sarah Kenney is married to a man named Michael Kenney,
and he is neither currently in the military nor serving in Iraq.
Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger said Tuesday that
he had convened a team of investigators to look into the hoax and
see if any laws were broken.
Phyllis Derby, founder and president of Homefront Heroes, said
Kenney convinced her group the story was true. The account of the
fictitious man's death was then released to local media.
"I would have never thought in a billion
years that she was lying to me," Derby said. She said
the donations on behalf of the fictitious soldier would be returned.
The effigy of a black man hanging from a noose
and racial epithets scrawled across a Calumet City billboard have
touched off a police investigation and prompted at least one city
official to assure the community it is a place where blacks and
whites otherwise live together peacefully.
No arrests have been made, but Calumet Police Chief Patrick O'Meara
said Tuesday the department has "solid leads," including
the discovery of a spray-paint can possibly used in the crime.
Racially charged graffiti, the contents of which police declined
to discuss, was discovered by a city worker about 7:30 a.m. Feb.
2 on the billboard along Michigan City Road, along a stretch known
as the Calumet bike path.
Public works crews cleaned up the billboard, but on Saturday a
passerby -- again, about 7:30 a.m. -- noticed more graffiti. This
time, though, a life-sized effigy of a man with an Afro wig and
brown-painted skin was hanging from the billboard with a noose around
its neck, police said. [...]
A 10-year-old boy accused of attacking a teacher
with a pair of scissors has been charged with intent to commit a
Police said a 34-year-old teacher at a primary school in Tenterfield,
on NSW's northern tablelands, was attacked but not hurt about 10am
A 10-year-old boy was taken to Tenterfield police station in the
company of his parents and charged with being armed with the intent
to commit a serious indictable offence and intimidation, police
Brittan Elementary School near Yuba City is
the first in California to make some of its students wear ID badges
equipped with a new technology capable of tracking their movement
Described as the next generation of bar coding, the technology
already is used to track automatic payment of tolls on Bay Area
bridges as well as livestock, missing pets and inventory in warehouses.
For the past few weeks, Brittan's seventh- and eighth-graders
have been required to wear badges with the technology -- called
RFID, or radio frequency identification devices -- around their
necks. School officials say the badges are scanned and used for
attendance. But some parents and privacy advocates are outraged
that the badges were given to students without parents' knowledge
"I never heard of RFID until my kid came home wearing it,'' said
Michele Tatro, whose daughter Lauren, 13, is in eighth grade. "They
use this to track missing pets, not children. It's creepy, Big Brother
Tatro said kids now walk to and from school wearing the badges
-- which are scanned as they walk through classroom doors and include
photographs, names and grade level -- on lanyards around their necks.
She's worried that sexual predators could read the badges and be
able to call out to students by name.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, the
Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Electronic Privacy Information
Center are urging the school board to "terminate this ill-advised
Earnie Graham, principal of the K-8, 600-student school and district
superintendent, said parent concerns are overblown because the technology
is confined to the campus. [...]
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Police on a drug raid
burst into a home during a toddler's birthday party, startling children
who were getting ready to eat cake when the gun-toting officers
crashed the party.
Amid wails from children and a few parents -- and a phone ringing
incessantly with prospective drug buyers -- officers arrested a
pregnant woman and accused her of selling marijuana from the house.
Shannon Hills Police Chief Richard Friend, who led the raid, found
parents about to light candles on a cake adorned with green and
white cartoon characters and a big "2" on top.
''The kids were up in high-chairs eating pizza, and the cake was
just about to be lit and cut when we kicked the party off a little
early,'' Friend said Tuesday. ''We got them something they wish
they could return.''
Police did not know a birthday party was going on when they decided
to make the bust.
''The first thing I saw was the birthday table and cake, so I
yelled for everyone to put away their guns,'' Friend said. ''You
could see they had a nightmare-come-true. Everyone just froze and
looked at me. The parents started crying and then the kids started
Elizabeth Leah Sauls, 21, was hosting her niece's second birthday
party at the time of Friday evening's raid. [...]
A 14-year-old boy went into cardiac arrest
after police used a stun gun to subdue him, authorities said Tuesday.
More than a day after the Monday morning incident, the boy remained
unconscious at Children's Memorial Hospital, Cook County Public
Guardian Robert Harris said. Harris questioned why police used a
Taser on the boy, a ward of the state who was living at a residential
treatment center on the North Side.
"It's crazy stuff,'' he said.
But Chicago Police spokesman Dave Bayless said the boy lurched
at an officer after a violent outburst at the center, in which he
attacked three people and broke three windows. The boy has been
charged with three counts of aggravated battery to protected employees
and one count of aggravated assault.
Police said it was the first time anyone in the city had gone
into cardiac arrest after being hit by the Taser electronic gun,
which shoots wire barbs that give shocks of 50,000 volts of electricity.
14-year-old was not armed
The incident happened around 9:40 a.m. Monday, Bayless said. The
boy, described by Harris as a "big kid,'' became agitated and
out of control. He allegedly began shattering windows and battered
employees of the center, Bayless said.
But he did not have a weapon and was not believed to be under
the influence of drugs, Harris said. By the time police arrived,
the boy had calmed down, Harris claimed. Still, he refused treatment
for a severe cut to his hand, which was bleeding.
"It was my understanding he was just sitting
there,'' Harris said. "But he didn't want anybody to touch
Bayless said police officers warned the boy for
10 minutes that they were going to use the Taser on him if he didn't
The boy then allegedly swung his fist and leaped toward a sergeant,
who discharged the Taser, police said. The boy fell to the floor
and was handcuffed. Police then realized he was unresponsive, and
paramedics attempted to revive him. They
took him to the hospital in critical condition, police said.
Bayless said the sergeant followed the correct procedure for using
the Tasers, which are supposed to be used as an alternative to lethal
"When he has hit three people, broken three windows with
his bare hands, there is more urgency then simply telling him, 'We
need to get you to a doctor,' '' Bayless said.
But Harris said the force appeared excessive. "There has
to be other means other than Taser,'' he said.
Arizona-based Taser International spokesman Steve Tuttle said
it was "inappropriate to jump to conclusions as to the cause
of the subject's medical condition,'' but said the weapons are safe.
Chicago aldermen expressed concern about the weapons at hearings
More Houston police will soon be armed with
tasers, but there is visible proof that weapons are not without
The company claims their stun guns lack the power to kill. Some,
including medical examiners, disagree.
The danger is well documented, and although tasers are seen by
many as a better alternative to guns, at least 70 people have died.
A Houston man who was shot with a taser survived the shot, but
the rest of his life will be a struggle for him, and his family.
Jason Hodge curls up in a ball after learning his stuffed animal
has fallen on the floor of the hospital room where a video was taken
by his mother.
His mother says her life is now a living hell.
It was just a couple of weeks ago that Harris County deputies
were called to a hotel on the North Freeway to investigate a narcotics
When the first deputy arrived, he said he found two men that appeared
to be under the influence of drugs. One of the men, he said, took
off running. That man was allegedly Jason Hodge.
"To turn a 31-year-old into a 3-year-old and now I have to
take care of him," says his mother Kay Spencer.
Spencer's son, who did have cocaine in his body, has never been
the same. [...]
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) - A strong earthquake
struck Indonesia's tsunami-ravaged Aceh province Wednesday, shaking
buildings as terrified residents fled for higher ground in cars
and on foot while police shouted "Tsunami! Tsunami!''
Entire families jumped aboard nearby scooters
and passing vehicles and sped off, snarling traffic on the main
two-lane thoroughfare. Some headed to mosques, whose sturdy
foundations and upper floors offered protection from the killer
waves in the Dec. 26 disaster. Women screamed and sobbed.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
The 6.2-magnitude tremor struck about 8:30 p.m. and was centered
beneath the Indian Ocean floor, about 65 miles southwest of the
provincial capital of Banda Aceh, the Banda Aceh Geophysics Center
The U.S. Geological Survey registered slightly different readings,
estimating the quake's magnitude at 5.7 and its epicenter about
50 miles southwest of Banda Aceh. A magnitude-6 quake can cause
widespread damage if it is centered in a densely populated area.
The shaking lasted less than five seconds and was felt across
a wide swath of Aceh, on the northern tip of Sumatra island. Even
before the tremors subsided, police officers and soldiers began
shouting "Tsunami! Tsunami!'' causing mayhem for about a half hour.
Panicked residents evacuated buildings and raced in cars and on
foot for the highest ground, a hill on the outskirts of the city.
At one mosque, where dozens of frightened residents had gathered,
officials urged calm.
"Do not panic. God willing, nothing serious has happened,'' a
voice said over the loudspeaker.
Aftershocks have hit the region frequently since the December
earthquake, which registered a magnitude of 9.0, and the following
tsunami that killed more than 160,000 people in 11 Indian Ocean
nations. Most of the victims were in Aceh province, closest to the
Also Wednesday, a powerful earthquake rocked the Pacific seabed
near Vanuatu island, but there were no immediate reports of damage.
A Pacific warning network issued a bulletin saying the 6.7-magnitude
quake did not generate a tsunami. [...]
HONG KONG - An intense earthquake near some
Japanese islands more than 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) southeast
of Tokyo was recorded early Thursday, the Hong Kong Observatory
The quake estimated to be 6.2 on the Richter scale occurred at
1852 GMT Wednesday with its epicentre in the vicinity of Japan's
Bonin Islands 1,140 kilometres south-southeast of Tokyo, it said.
COLUMBIA CITY, Ore. -- A small earthquake rattled
northwest Oregon early Wednesday morning.
The magnitude 2.2 quake hit an area four miles northwest of Columbia
City, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
It occurred just before 2 a.m. and there were no reports of damage.
Pacific Northwest Seismograph Network reported the micro quake
was about 13 miles deep.
PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY - The gas and ash
trail of the Kluchevskoi volcano erupting in Kamchatka stretches
for over a hundred kilometers.
According to the Kamchatka experimental seismological center,
the trail can be clearly seen in satellite shots provided by the
Alaska volcano observatory.
Lava masses are flowing along the western slope of the volcano,
its temperature reaching about 1,100 degrees Celsius. The sharply
changing temperature added to the snow and ice causes powerful phreatic
explosions discharging ash. Lava fountains and volcanic bomb blasts
can be seen at the summit crater.
According to experts, the lava flowing down the Kluchevskoi slopes
will inevitably give way to powerful mudflows that are usually 500
meters wide at the front and are flowing east of the Klyuchi village
30 km away from the foot of the volcano. The mudflows carrying huge
stones with a diameter of up to three meters and tree trunks pose
a serious threat to people and equipment on their way. The local
residents have been warned about the risk. According to Vladimir
Valyavka, the deputy head of the regional air transport department
of the Russian Transport Ministry, the flights have not been cancelled
in the area, as the air routes run aside the erupting volcano and
are not exposed to any danger.
The Kluchevskoi volcano, the highest in Eurasia (4,822 meters
high), began erupting on January 17. The summit crater of the giant
can continue erupting for a month or a few years.
TOKYO : Eleven killer whales were declared
dead after being trapped between ice floes and concrete blocks on
the northern Japanese coast, but one managed to escape badly wounded
back into the ocean.
The 12 giant mammals were found trapped in floating ice off the
town of Rausu on the Shiretoko Peninsula, some 1,050 kilometers
(650 miles) northeast of Tokyo, on Monday. [...]
CARACAS : Heavy rains that have pounded Venezuela
since the weekend have left nine more people dead in the country's
northwest, raising the death toll to 14, local officials said Wednesday.
A mother and her five children were among nine people killed when
buildings collapsed in the coastal Carabobo state, local officials
Five other people were killed Tuesday, including three in Caracas,
according to an official toll.
Mudslides and rising waters have affect at least 5,000 people
across the country and caused chaos on the roads.
(New Zealand) - Tsunamis may pose more of a
threat to the Bay of Plenty than previously thought, according to
A geological study of the region's coastline has found traces
of six major tsunami events over the past 4000 years, each at least
five metres in height. Eleven smaller tsunamis - less than 3m -
have been recorded officially since 1840. [...]
In the past 160 years, the most substantial tsunamis to have affected
the Bay of Plenty and eastern Coromandel areas were generated by
"remote" or distant sources. The biggest, in 1868, 1877
and 1960, were triggered by very large earthquakes in the subduction
zone along the Chile and southern Peru coastlines of South America
- directly opposite and facing New Zealand's eastern seaboard.
Another tsunami in August 1883 was probably generated by an atmospheric
pressure wave from the Krakatau eruption in Indonesia.
The Niwa report before the committee suggested the greatest risk
to the Bay of Plenty was from tsunamis originating close to shore,
such as from an eruption of Mayor (Tuhua) Island or a fault movement
in the offshore Taupo Volcanic Zone.
A tsunami of that type could reach the coast in 30 to 60 minutes.
WASHINGTON -- While the deadly tsunami in the
Indian Ocean has focused attention on that part of the world, great
waves also pose a threat to the United States.
A tsunami struck the Virgin Islands in 1867 claiming 23 lives,
and geologic evidence shows giant waves have struck several times
over the last 3,500 years, affecting what is now Washington, Oregon
and northern California.
"We're not trying to scare you, we're just trying to inform
you," Kevin Krajicik said Tuesday, opening a Smithsonian Institution-sponsored
panel discussion of U.S. vulnerability to tsunami. Krajicik wrote
an article on tsunami scheduled for the March issue of Smithsonian
"It's a matter of when, not if,"
another tsunami will strike, added George A. Maul, head of
the department of marine and environmental systems at the Florida
Institute of Technology.
A 1755 earthquake that devastated Lisbon, Portugal, generated
a wave that caused damage in the Caribbean, he noted.
And there have been reports of a potential threat to the East
Coast of the United States from waves that could be generated by
landslides in the Canary Islands, across the Atlantic, added James
F. Luhr, a volcanologist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of
While one-fourth of the world's tsunami occur in the Pacific Ocean,
Maul noted that they can occur on any coast.
For example, on the American side of the
Atlantic Ocean, more than 2,500 people have been killed in the last
150 years by these waves striking the Virgin Islands, Panama, Jamaica,
Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and even Canada, Maul
added. The most recent, in 1991, killed two people in Costa Rica.
A U.S. tsunami warning program has been in operation about 10
years, focusing largely on Hawaii, Alaska and the Pacific Northwest,
where damaging waves have been recorded in recent history, noted
Laura S.L. Kong, director of the International Tsunami Warning Center
Tsunami, caused by undersea earthquakes or volcanoes, can travel
across the ocean at the speed of a jet plane, suddenly rising up
to as high as 90 feet when they reach the shore, she said. [...]
South Phoenix resident Jeff Woolwine took home
video of something odd in the sky last week.
Woolwine said a black object appeared around 8 a.m. one day last
week then swooped and moved over his apartment complex near 40th
Street and Baseline Road.
"At first we thought it was a black plastic bag," Woolwine
But Woolwine claims it was the size of a Volkswagen and said the
object held its shape the entire time it was on camera.
Woolwine said the object was "absolutely silent."
"I think the reason people might not have noticed it was
because it didn't make any sound," Woolwine said. "It
was very silent and it was cruisin'."
WASHINGTON - An outcast star is zooming out
of the Milky Way, the first ever seen escaping the galaxy, astronomers
reported on Tuesday.
The star is heading for the emptiness of intergalactic space after
being ejected from the heart of the Milky Way following a close
encounter with a black hole, said Warren Brown, an astronomer at
the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
The outcast is going so fast -- over 1.5 million mph -- that astronomers
believe it was lobbed out of the galaxy by the tremendous force
of a black hole thought to sit at the Milky Way's center. That speed
is about twice the velocity needed to escape the galaxy's grip,
Brown said by telephone.
"We have never before seen a star moving fast enough to completely
escape the confines of our galaxy," he said. "We're tempted
to call it the outcast star because it was forcefully tossed from
The star used to be part of a binary pair, waltzing
with its companion star close to the rim of the black hole. In this
case, "close" is a relative term; the actual distance
was probably about 50 times the 93 million-mile distance between
Earth and the sun.
As the two stars twirled around each other, they were pulled faster
and faster toward the edge of the black hole, one of those monster
drains in space whose gravity is so strong that nothing, not even
light, can escape once it is consumed.
While the companion star was captured by the black hole, the outcast
continued on its whirling path around its edge.
Objects go faster the closer they get to black holes and this star
was probably moving at extraordinary speed, perhaps as high as 20
million mph. That very speed, coupled with the speed of its twirling,
sent the outcast zooming toward the edge of the Milky Way and beyond.
At this point, the outcast is about 180,000 light-years from Earth,
in an outer region of the galaxy known as the halo. A light-year
is about 6 trillion miles, the distance light travels in a year.
BERLIN - Mail handlers at Germany's parliament
were surprised to receive a postcard addressed to Adolf Hitler,
some 60 years after the Nazi leader's death, it was reported.
According to the DPA press agency, the card was marked: "To
Fuehrer Adolf Hitler, Reichstag, German Parliament, Berlin, Germany,"
and was sent from an undisclosed address in England.
The German postal service marked on the card that the address was
incorrect and that the unidentified sender should be informed.
Without any reference to the deceased addressee, Deutsche Post
said all future correspondence should be sent to the "German
Bundestag, 11011 Berlin".
The Bundestag lower house could not be immediately reached for
An informal experiment to determine
the possibility of the presence an additional figure within Leonard
da Vinci's wall painting "The Last Supper"
Professor Julio Napolitani
The recent popularity of the novel "The da Vinci Code",
by American author Dan Brown has re-ignited interest in the parahistorical
theory previously propounded by the books "The Templar Secret"
and "Holy Blood, Holy Grail", that the term 'Holy Grail'
realtes not to the cup used by Christ at the last supper, but rather
to a Holy blood-line descended from the union of Jesus and Mary
Magdalene. Proponents of this theory suggest that Leonardo da Vinci's
wall painting "The Last Supper", at the Capella de Santa
Maria delle Grazie in Milan, contains coded information confirming
the existence of a child produced by such a union.
In support of this claim, theorists suggest that the figure of
St John, seated to the left of Christ in the painting, is actually
a representation of a female figure (Mary Magdalene) and that the
shape formed by the space between the two figures represents a 'V'
shape, symbolising the female vulva or uterus, which cryptically
indicates the fertility of the union of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.
However, while not wishing to dismiss these theories unduly, based
on previous research involving manipulated photographs from the
Soviet Union and considering the size and nature of the area (being
apparently lacking in any important detail which would require the
separation of the seated figures), the possibility was considered
that in the original image the area between the figures of St John
and Christ may have contained an additional figure, which has subsequently
been erased or obscured.
A parahistorical exercise was devised to test this hypothesis as
Due to the informal nature of this exercise and funding constraint,
a reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper"
was obtained via the internet. Using the 'Google' search engine,
an advanced image search was undertaken on the following criteria:
Keywords: da Vinci "The Last Supper"
Image size: large
File type: JPEG
Colour: Full colour only
A reproduction was selected from the search results on the basis
of image pixel dimension (the largest image available), image clarity
(the clearest reproduction) and assumed reliability and independence
of the source (the image used being a digital scan of a postcard
obtained from the Capella de Santa Maria delle Grazie, one of a
number of such scanned postcards made by an Italian writer detailing
his visits to various tourist locations in Italy).
The original digital image used for this exercise may be viewed
in full at:
The image was downloaded from the internet to a computer within
the department of parahistory and examined using digital imaging
software (photoshop v6), with particular attention to the area between
the figures of St John and Jesus.
Upon inspection of the image area detailed in (figure 2), it was
determined that an outline figure existed between the figures of
St John and Christ, the figure being apparently smaller than that
of others within the image. The standing figure is apparent facing
Christ, with head and torso visible directly in front of the darker
area of the pillar. Additionally, the figure appears to have two
arms, the left being raised, the right lower, the forearms extending
into the lighter area of the pillar to the right. Although no right
hand is apparent, lightness of the area of Christ's robe at the
point at which the hand would extend from the figure's right arm
suggests that the right hand may, originally, have been touching
the robe at this point.
Although the figure is apparently clothed and standing upright,
the facial features do not appear human. Notably, the figure appears
to have whiskers similar to those of a cat or dog and large, pointed
In (figure 2), the image area studied is shown unenhanced. (Figure
3) shows the result of initial digital enhancement of the key outlines
of the figure.
Figure 2: detail of image Figure 3: digitally enhanced detail of
Taking the results of this exercise into account and using established
parahistorical reasoning methods, it is determined that while da
Vinci may have intended to cryptically convey knowledge relating
to the existence of a Holy blood-line resulting from the union of
Mary Magdalene and Christ, the presence of the cat-like creature
standing immediately to the right of and touching Christ, indicates
that this, now erased figure, held a position of greater significance
than that of the others at the table.
Further, while evidence for this conclusion is provided by the
suppression of any reference in Biblical texts to marriage between
Jesus and Mary Magdalene or of any cat-like creature resulting from
the union, apocryphal texts, specifically the Gospel of Mary Magdalene
(Nag Hammadi) contain references to "corruption of the body",
which suggest that such a creature was central to biblical events
and, while apparently reviled by many of the apostles, enjoyed the
particular affection of Mary Magdalene.
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