Saturday-Sunday, April 23-24, 2005                                               The Daily Battle Against Subjectivity
Signs Logo
Printer Friendly Version
Fixed link to latest Page

P I C T U R E   O F   T H E   D A Y

©2005 Pierre-Paul Feyte

An Analysis by
April 2005


When I was 11 years old I sat next to my friend and fellow class clown Jeffery, quietly thinking of ways to torture the unsuspecting substitute teacher. Jeffery and I were competing comedians, always trying to "get over" on each other in school. Jeffery was good and there were no limits to what he would do.

On this particular day we sat next to each other, sharing one of the double desks with which Brooklyn school children of the 70's were so familiar. As our unsuspecting substitute turned his back to write something on the black board, Jeffery raised his arm and launched all his own books across the room in the direction opposite from where I was seated, immediately turning towards me with a look of horror and shock plastered on his face. The teacher, alarmed by the noise of the book launching, spun around only to see Jeffery's books scattered around the room. His loose leaf binder had opened up and produced an explosion of confetti in the form of notes and homework sheets.

A quick glance our way by the teacher brought into view a shocked Jeffery, who appeared to be the victim, sitting right next to me and staring at me with an expression of, "What the hell did you just do?" splashed on his face. I sat there, speechless, as the person on the right side of Jeffery's books prior to their launch to the left. I had nothing to say because the truth was simply not believable and no convincing lie presented itself.

Anyone witnessing this scene from the teacher's vantage point could only come to one conclusion, Jesse did it. Even if I tried to explain that Jeffery launched the books, who would believe me? After all, who would have done this to his own property? Jeffery would have to spend the next hour or so reassembling his loose leaf binder. There is no way he would have done this to himself. No way, except for one thing...he did do this to himself, his motive...comedy. I was the patsy for two good reasons. First, I was sitting right there when it happened, and second - I had a history of being a clown. I understood why people thought I was guilty and let me be the first to commend Jeffery for executing the perfect crime. He did the unthinkable and set up a patsy with his convincing claim of innocence.

In this sad, but true story, I was kicked out of the class by our substitute teacher. I was only 11 years old but I knew enough to understand that there was no way in hell that anyone would believe me if I told the truth and said that Jeffery was guilty of tossing his books . And so, having no proof that I was blameless, I swallowed my defeat and walked out of the room wondering what form my revenge against Jeffery would take.

The point to be made is this: sometimes, the more outrageous an action, the easier it is to get away with. Sometimes, there is no way that people can connect the criminal with the crime: the very idea of guilt is so far out of the norm as to be unthinkable.

Very simply, it is possible to escape blame if you do something that nobody in the world believes you could do. If the deed is egregious enough, even if some proof of your culpability surfaces, you'll be on safe ground. If people cannot imagine your involvement in an unthinkable action, they will simply not believe you could possible be complicit in its commission. Think about it.


Flashback to a heinous crime of the recent past: When Susan Smith appeared before the public to beg the kidnapper of her children to return them to her, the nation cried with her. Her description of the guilty assailant was so very believable. It fit right into the criminal stereotype that had been etched into the psyche of Americans by the corporate media. And for a few very long days, everyone believed her.

But there was one huge problem with her story. It was Susan Smith, herself, who killed her children. Yes, the unbelievable was true. A young mother had actually allowed her own children to drown. It was inconceivable. It just couldn't be. But it was.

Susan Smith had tried to throw the blame for her crime to a reasonable patsy. Had her story gone unchallenged, she might have gotten away with it. As it was, her crime fell apart because there was an effective investigation. Smith had no way of curtailing or controlling the inquiry into her crime. And as a result, justice was done, and Susan Smith was eventually charged and convicted of murder.

Truth and reality often can be totally unbelievable. It is very possible for people to totally deny assertions presented to them, even when provided with very credible of evidence that corroborates what they are told. A perfect example of such denial occurred when eye witness accounts of the Holocaust began coming out of war torn Europe. The unimaginable horror of what was being reported was simply too terrible to believe. It was easier to deal with the information as some sort of exaggeration and overreaction. Humans simply could not do this to other humans.

Think about what we know about acts of genocide in the Congo or Rwanda or Darfur? The art of denial is a well honed form of human self protection. Sometimes it is far easier to close one's eyes to the truth than to acknowledge what is very painful. Think about that as well.


In this post 9/11 era, most Americans are unable even to consider the possibility of US government complicity in the attacks on our nation even when confronted with a mountain of evidence. In contrast, many of these same people accept far less believable scenarios simply on the basis of faith and without a single shred of evidence such as believing in the existence of a God. Tragically, they seem to have the exact same blind trust in the Bush administration.

At close inspection, the official version of 9/11 is outrageously full of holes. When those of us who are knowledgeable discuss the evidence that has been unearthed about that day, there is so much to reveal that we don't know where to start or where to stop. When tapped for what we know, we have so much to expose that the torrent of information that rushes can sound like the meaningless rant of a lunatic. Regardless of how credible or tangible the evidence, when rolled out in front of the public, it often sounds too far fetched or irrational to believe.

The facts that have come out about 9/11 differ so greatly from the official story that they almost defy validity. On the contrary, the official version is so simple as to be perfectly believable. It places the entire blame on the work of a handful of terrorists who hated us for our freedom. Case closed.

It is important to keep in mind that the 9/11 issue is not simply a question of whose version of a story is correct. This is a case in which millions of people would be taking a great risk. They would have to consider that the very government they have trusted and supported for more than four years may have participated in an unthinkable atrocity. That, in itself, may be impossible. By opening their minds to an objective examination of what has been discovered about the 9/11 attacks, millions of Americans would have to abandon their blind faith in this administration, and reject the mistaken belief that those in charge of our nation can do no wrong. That, too, may be impossible.

Herein lies the paradox. If the American people want truth they must acknowledge that they have been deceived. If that were to happen, and if they were to accept the facts that have been uncovered by the independent 9/11 research community, their faith in their government would be irreparably destroyed. In the long run, it is far easier to maintain one's faith in a deceptive government than to deal with the painful details of that deception.

The consequence of such denial is that people end up believing what they must, rather than what is true. As time passes, they totally erase the distinction between fact and fiction in order to believe in their government, and they find themselves living in the America of 2005.

The greater tragedy of course, is the nature of the deception that has been accepted. There are lies, and there are lies. There are deceptions, and there are horrendous deceptions that alter history. It is one thing for Jeffery to have gone unpunished for throwing his own books around so he could claim the crown of class clown. Thirty years after the fact, our mutual friends now believe the truth, and we can laugh at what went on.

It would have been another thing altogether to have allowed Jeffery to perpetrate a Columbine-like massacre to claim that same crown. There is no way that could have resulted in denial, and there is no way that any one would have dared to laugh.


Ironically, it's almost funny when the fact-based 9/11 research community gathers to discuss the events of that day. The official government version of what happened loses so much credibility in the light of the available facts, films, testimony & chronicled history that it is almost impossible not to laugh in disbelief when we start to share what we know. The evidence that has been amassed is so persuasive as to rip the official version of 9/11 to shreds. And still, there is no one but ourselves to hear us.

We go on and on and on like people obsessed because as responsible citizens of the world we have assigned ourselves the task of exposing the truth. But we also have to accept the obstacles we face. We must understand how and why people refuse to believe what we say despite all the evidence in our possession. To explain that phenomenon I think about my friend Jeffery and his book launch. He did something no one believed he could possibly have done. As a result, he carried it off.

The people who were responsible for the attacks of 9/11 did something so unbelievable that most people would not believe they did it, even if presented with conclusive evidence of their guilt. As a result, they also carried it off, and the evidence be damned.

In the end, there is always the comment by those who would discredit the research and the evidence that has been uncovered. The defenders of the official version of 9/11 inevitably ask how so many people could keep a secret. "Wouldn't someone have blown the whistle by now?" is the constant challenge by the champions of denial. How naïve they are.

At the higher levels of government the issue is no longer about secrecy, but about survival. The extent of the 9/11 crimes are so great that a very real scenario of self preservation has arisen. Exposing the truth about 9/11 would virtually mean the end of the United States of America as a viable power. If the good people in our government and in our intelligence community exposed the truth, America would never ever regain its credibility in the world. We would never again be respected or trusted. We would immediately relinquish our leadership position in the world and sink to the position of a rogue nation that had committed an unforgivable atrocity against its own people for political purposes. We would expose the huge betrayal of trust that has been developed and nurtured over our 230 year history as a nation.

The minute any ranking government official was charged with complicity in 9/11, this nation would be no more. We would never recover. The people who were involved in 9/11 know this. They know that there is more at stake than their exposure. They know that once they did what they did, they would never be held accountable. As I did with Jeffery, let me be the first to admit that these folks committed the perfect crime. Not in the sense that they would not be discovered, but in the sense they knew it would do more harm to the country to expose them than it would to play along with them.

The perpetrators of 9/11 knew they were they protected by the blind loyalty of the American people who would refuse to believe they could have been involved. But they had another ace in the hole as well. They knew that no one who cared for the nation would reveal the truth, for to seek justice would in essence bring down the nation.

Bottom line: the truth is out there, the evidence is real. But there are none so blind as those who will not see. Think about that, and weep for us all.

Comment: Consider the following two quotations from this article:

"Sometimes, there is no way that people can connect the criminal with the crime: the very idea of guilt is so far out of the norm as to be unthinkable."

"We would expose the huge betrayal of trust that has been developed and nurtured over our 230 year history as a nation."

A careful and thorough re-examination of US history will clearly reveal that the idea of the complicity of elements of the US government in 9/11 is not so far out of the norm as to be unthinkable. Successive US governments have been overthrowing democratically-elected regimes and financing brutal dictators for ages. Latin American countries are a prime example.

The lie is therefore far more grand than many people are willing to admit. After all, who would believe that the last 230 years of US actions have all been leading up to what is occurring now? How could such an endeavor possibly have been organized over such an extraordinary span of time?

The disbelieving American would not only have to admit that the current government is corrupt and willing to sacrifice US citizens to further its own nefarious aims, but that it is quite possible that America as a whole was never the "greatest democracy on Earth" as we were all told.

The question remains: How can any of this be possible? Furthermore, just the what the heck can we do about it, if anything?

For some potential answers, we highly recommend Laura Knight-Jadczyk's groundbreaking and eye-opening work, The Secret History of the World - And How to Get Out Alive.

Click here to comment on this article

Moussaoui Pleads Guilty in 9/11 Conspiracy
Apr 22, 7:31 PM (ET)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Zacarias Moussaoui pleaded guilty Friday to conspiring with the Sept. 11 attackers and declared he was chosen by Osama bin Laden to fly an airliner into the White House in a separate assault.

Over the objection of his lawyers, Moussaoui calmly admitted his guilt in a courtroom a few miles from where one of the hijacked planes crashed into the Pentagon in 2001, setting up a showdown with prosecutors who quickly reaffirmed they will seek Moussaoui's execution.

"I will fight every inch against the death penalty," Moussaoui told U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema as he became the only person convicted in a U.S. court in connection with the Sept. 11 plot that killed nearly 3,000 people.

The unshackled Moussaoui, wearing a beard and green prison jumpsuit, told the judge he had not been promised a lighter sentence for his guilty pleas. Then he added, "I don't expect any leniency from the Americans."

Moussaoui, a 36-year-old French citizen, pleaded guilty to six felonies, four of which carry the death penalty. They accuse him of conspiring with the 19 hijackers and al-Qaida leaders in a broad plot to kill Americans using commercial airliners as weapons. The conspiracy included the Sept. 11 attacks.

In a "statement of facts" compiled by prosecutors and signed Friday by Moussouai, he acknowledged lying to federal agents after his arrest in August 2001 to avoid exposing the Sept. 11 hijackers.

The pleas ended a three-year legal drama during which Moussaoui attempted to fire his lawyers, ranted against Brinkema and prosecutors and produced arguments over national secrets and access to captured al-Qaida leaders that reached the Supreme Court.

Before accepting the guilty pleas, Brinkema complimented Moussaoui, who in the past had derided her in handwritten court filings.

"He has a better understanding of the legal system than some lawyers I have seen in court," the judge said.

Prosecutors will seek to put Moussaoui to death, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said at a news conference shortly after Moussaoui's hearing ended. "The fact that Moussaoui participated in this terrorist conspiracy is no longer in doubt," he said, hailing Moussaoui's "chilling admission of guilt."

Moussaoui was arrested on immigration charges in August 2001 after drawing attention at a Minnesota flight school because he had said he wanted to learn to fly a Boeing 747 although he had no pilot's license. He was in custody on Sept. 11.

In contrast with previous court appearances where he angrily taunted his accusers, Moussaoui on Friday occasionally joked, calmy answered questions and described for the first time how he was being trained to fly a jet in to the White House. It was not clear when that attack was to occur.

"How do you plead?" Brinkema asked him for each of the six felony counts. Each time, he answered, "Guilty."

The judge asked Moussaoui to review the lengthy statement of facts in which prosecutors laid out their case against him. He appeared to carefully review it as hushed court spectators watched intently. Brinkema asked if he understood it.

"Yes, I have read more than 10 times this statement," he said. "I pondered each paragraph and find it factual."

In the statement, Moussaoui said bin Laden had personally selected him to take part in an attack on the White House with a commercial airliner.

Bin Laden told Moussaoui, "Sahrawi, remember your dream," according to the statement. Abu Khaled al Sahrawi was one of the names Moussaoui used.

Brinkema asked defense lawyer Alan Yamamoto, the only attorney Moussaoui has been willing to talk to in recent weeks, if he was satisfied his client understood what he was doing by pleading guilty.

"When I have spoken to him, we have disagreed," Yamamoto said. "He is facing the possibility of death or life in prison. He has told me that he understands that."

Prosecutor Robert Spencer told the court he believed Moussaoui should be ordered to pay restitution to the Sept. 11 victims.

When the judge noted that part of the penalties could include a $250,000 fine, Moussaoui replied, "I wonder where I will get the money."

Before he formally entered the plea, he was asked if he understood the statement could be used against him to prove he was guilty. "Absolutely, I do understand that," he said.

A few seconds later, he added, "Where do I get the pen?"

Outside the courthouse, family members of Sept. 11 victims expressed satisfaction with the outcome and their gratitude to the government for pursuing the case.

Dominic J. Puopolo Jr. of Miami Beach, Fla., whose mother from Dover, Mass., died on American Airlines Flight 11 that crashed into the World Trade Center, said he had "a tremendous feeling justice is being served." He said, "I promised my mother shortly after she was murdered I'd somehow have justice."

Comment: Believe this sudden turnaround and we have a nice oceanfront lot in Arizona to sell you...

Click here to comment on this article

Flashback: Terrorism on Trial
by Dahlia Lithwick
New York Times
August 2, 2002

Last week the alleged "20th hijacker," Zacarias Moussaoui, changed his plea for a third time in pretrial proceedings in federal court in Virginia. Mr. Moussaoui has now tried every possible plea: attempting not to plead at all, pleading no contest, pleading guilty and, finally, pleading not guilty to conspiring in the events of Sept. 11.

Some see his erratic behavior as evidence of insanity. Others argue that Judge Leonie M. Brinkema is shamefully letting a crazy man represent himself. But there is a third party to this case, and it deserves its share of the blame for Mr. Moussaoui's conduct: the United States government, which deliberately charged him with a crime that it couldn't prove.

Most of the public and much of the news media may believe the government has a solid case against Mr. Moussaoui. With a careful reading of the indictment in the case, however, this certainty begins to falter. The indictment is a colorful and dramatic depiction of the Sept. 11 attacks, detailing the assembling of the hijackers and their preparations in a perfect narrative arc.

But the story it tells is hardly an airtight case against Mr. Moussaoui. Periodically, the indictment splices in parallel activities of Mr. Moussaoui - weaving his actions into the story of what happened Sept. 11 the way Tom Hanks was spliced into historical footage in "Forrest Gump." The indictment never connects him to the other 19 hijackers - who were interconnected with one another - and never suggests he even met them. Save for a single money transfer to Mr. Moussaoui from someone also transferring funds to the group, nothing in the indictment ties him to these men beyond his membership in Al Qaeda.

Scrutinizing the indictment, three possibilities emerge: the government is not presenting crucial evidence tying Mr. Moussaoui to the Sept. 11 attacks; the government has no evidence tying Mr. Moussaoui to the Sept. 11 attacks; or federal conspiracy law is so infinitely elastic that Mr. Moussaoui could receive the death penalty for simply buying knives, learning to fly and training in Qaeda camps.

Most trial watchers assumed the first possibility was true: the government could tie Mr. Moussaoui to Sept. 11, but chose not to do so in the indictment. But Mr. Moussaoui, who fired his lawyers, opted for door No. 3. He made it clear last week that he'd been operating under the assumption that under United States law, he was guilty of conspiring to kill thousands of Americans on Sept. 11, simply because he was a member of Al Qaeda and had operated a guest house. He did not change his plea until Judge Brinkema painstakingly explained to him: "If you're standing in court today and saying, 'I am a member of Al Qaeda and provided a guest house, but I never intended or I never agreed to kill or maim persons in the United States,' then you're not agreeing to this particular conspiracy." Mr. Moussaoui simply made the mistake of taking the government's expansive reading of conspiracy law at face value.

This may explain a good deal of Mr. Moussaoui's bizarre conduct to date. He behaves like a paranoid lunatic because, until last week, he believed he was facing the death penalty for Sept. 11 just for being a member of Al Qaeda. Under the government's version of the law - the only version to which he had access - he assumed he was being paraded in a show trial that was more about revenge than justice.

There are several reasons the government may have charged Mr. Moussaoui with a conspiracy he never knew about. It could be hoping to leverage a better plea bargain. By charging him with a capital crime, it can disqualify any juror who opposes the death penalty, thus ensuring a more conservative jury. Most profoundly, finding him guilty of conspiring in the attacks would begin to avenge the atrocities of Sept. 11.

But this is no way to fight terror. Frankly, military tribunals or a life sentence in a military brig would be preferable.

No one is arguing Mr. Moussaoui is innocent. It's increasingly clear he was training for a different mission, and good lawyering will allow us to prosecute him for whatever he intended to do. But as egregious as Mr. Moussaoui's sins may be, our legal system must reflect the principles by which we live: no one should be found guilty of a crime he did not commit. Unless we intend to try every Qaeda member we can find with capital conspiracy for Sept. 11, we must try Mr. Moussaoui for whatever crimes he committed, and not for the crimes we wish we could avenge.

Click here to comment on this article

Flashback: The Trial of Zacarias Moussaoui
NYT Editorial
Late Edition - Final , Section A , Page 16 , Column 1
July 28, 2003

ABSTRACT - Editorial says Justice Dept is trying to trample Bill of Rights in trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, so-called 20th hijacker, by denying him right to see evidence critical to his defense and then suggesting it might transfer his case to military tribunal if it does not like judge's ruling on matter; says war on terrorism has not repealed Constitution, and Judge Leonie Brinkema must ensure that it applies fully in Moussaoui's case [...]

Click here to comment on this article

Flashback: U.S. refuses judge's order in Moussaoui trial
Thursday, September 11, 2003

Tempting the judge presiding over the Zacarias Moussaoui trial to dismiss the case, federal prosecutors said Wednesday they will not cooperate with her latest order to permit two top al Qaeda captives to testify on Moussaoui's behalf.

"The government cannot, consistent with the interests of national security, comply with the court's order," prosecutors said in papers filed with U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema in Alexandria, Virginia.

Moussaoui, 35, a French citizen of Moroccan descent and the lone U.S. defendant in connection with the September 11 terror plot, maintains that he had no role in the attacks, but admits belonging to al Qaeda, the Islamic terrorist group behind them.

He said he was not called upon to act in the September 11 attacks and is not guilty of any conspiracy related to them. Instead, he has argued that he was waiting to participate in a later plot outside the United States.

Moussaoui faces six charges of conspiracy -- to commit terrorism transcending national boundaries; to commit aircraft piracy; to destroy aircraft; to use weapons of mass destruction; to murder United States employees; and to destroy property.

Part of his defense requires testimony from two top al Qaeda operatives captured in Pakistan more than six months ago and are being held in undisclosed military locations by the United States.

Last month, Brinkema ordered the government to make available Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the reputed architect of the September 11 attacks, and Mohamed al- Hawsawi, an alleged financier of the 19 hijackers who crashed planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania, killing some 3,000 people.

Brinkema ordered videotaped depositions via satellite by December 5.

The Justice Department opposes the order, prosecutors said, in part "because the deposition will result in the disclosure of classified information."

Prosecutors have also argued the depositions would disrupt ongoing interrogations of the detainees and subvert President Bush's constitutional powers as commander-in-chief to conduct the war on terrorism.

However, Brinkema has decided the detainees' testimony is necessary for a fair trial, saying they might clear Moussaoui of involvement in the September 11 conspiracy or at least spare him a death sentence.

"The government realizes that the attorney general's objection means that the depositions cannot go forward and obligates the court now to dismiss the indictment unless the court finds that the interests of justice can be served by another action," prosecutors said.

Even before Brinkema ordered access to Mohammed and al-Hawsawi, Moussaoui's trial was delayed by a parallel dispute over access to accused September 11 coordinator, Ramzi Binalshibh, who allegedly wired thousands of dollars to Moussaoui in the United States.

Attorneys assisting Moussaoui's defense have suggested that the government might choose to declare Moussaoui an enemy combatant and move his case to a military tribunal instead of allowing him to talk with detained al Qaeda members.

"These unprecedented depositions of three enemy combatants would needlessly jeopardize national security at a time of war with an enemy who has already murdered thousands of our citizens," prosecutors said.

Prosecutors indicated they plan to pursue appeals of Brinkema's orders and any legal sanctions she might impose, including dismissal.

A government appeal of the earlier Binalshibh order is already pending before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

"I'm disappointed we won't get the witnesses, because they exculpate my client," said Frank Dunham, one of the defense attorneys assisting Moussaoui, who is representing himself.

In her opinion last month, Brinkema said the testimony of Mohammed "supports the defense contention that Moussaoui was not involved in the September 11 operation and supports the claim that Moussaoui was not part of the September 11 plot, because the defendant was in the United States at the time, but was not contacted" by the plotters.

Prosecutors have distanced themselves from statements by government officials asserting that Moussaoui would have been the 20th hijacker on September 11 had he not been jailed on an immigration violation a month before the attacks.

Instead, prosecutors now allege, Moussaoui, who attended two flight schools in the United States in 2001, was destined to pilot a fifth hijacked plane into the White House.

Click here to comment on this article

Shipman hanged himself out of despair and to secure his wife's finances, inquest jury concludes
Helen Carter
The Guardian
Saturday April 23, 2005

The serial killer Harold Shipman hanged himself in his jail cell because he could not face the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison and wanted to ensure his wife was financially secure, an inquest jury concluded yesterday.

In a lengthy narrative verdict, the jurors at Leeds crown court said that a contributing factor was "knowing if he lived beyond 60 years of age, the pension lump sum due to his widow, Primrose Shipman, would be reduced yearly until 65".

Shipman was found hanging in his cell at Wakefield prison, West Yorkshire, in January 2004 on the eve of his 58th birthday. His wife had been due to visit him in prison the following day and had spoken to him on the telephone the night before, when all appeared well.

Shipman had his GP's pension stopped by the then health secretary, Alan Milburn, following his conviction for murdering 15 patients in 2000. But his wife was still entitled to a widow's pension if he died before the age of 60.

During the nine-day hearing, extraordinary details emerged about Shipman's life in prison. He liked to play Scrabble, joined a card school and was writing a biography of Napoleon. He enrolled in an English literature course and studied the peninsular wars. He kept his cell free of clutter - but had a radio, jigsaw, books and newspapers.

He also kept a secret prison diary in which he spoke of his deep despair. One of the diary entries read: "Phones tapped. Letters read. Probably get away with this as the POs [prison officers] are so lazy." Another entry spoke of him "sobbing with despair" in his cell following a visit from his wife, and questioning whether the new year would be worth seeing through if an appeal was not successful.

There were allegations that he had been told by prison officers to "go and hang himself" - but these claims were rejected by the jury yesterday.

Shipman was later found by a public inquiry to be responsible for 250 patients' deaths in Hyde, Greater Manchester, Todmorden, and Pontefract, West Yorkshire.

The jury said: "It was clear from the evidence - the diary entries, phone call entries, conversations with prisoners and prison staff - that Mr Shipman had great affection for his wife and family whom he regarded as his priority."

They found Shipman was "neither bullied nor goaded" into taking his own life. [...]

Comment: Interesting what a man will do after a time in prison, eh? He might hang himself or he might suddenly plead guilty to a crime he did not commit...

Click here to comment on this article

The Silencing of Sibel Edmonds

Court won't let public hear what FBI whistleblower has to say
by James Ridgeway
Village Voice
April 21st, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The unsettling story of whistleblower Sibel Edmonds took another twist on Thursday, as the government continued its seemingly endless machinations to shut her up. The U.S. Court of Appeals here denied pleas to open the former FBI translator's First Amendment case to the public, a day after taking the extraordinary step of ordering a secret hearing.

Edmonds was hired after 9-11 to help the woefully staffed FBI's translation department with documents and wiretaps in such languages as Farsi and Turkish. She soon cried foul, saying the agency's was far from acceptable and perhaps even dangerous to national security. She was fired in 2002.

Ever since, the government has been trying to silence her, even classifying an interview she did with 60 Minutes.

Oral arguments in her suit against the federal government were scheduled for this morning, but yesterday the clerk of the appeals court unexpectedly and suddenly announced the hearing would be closed. Only attorneys and Edmonds were allowed in.

No one thought the three-judge appeals court panel would be especially sympathetic to the Edmonds case. It consists of Douglas Ginsburg, who was once nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court by President Reagan. He withdrew after it was revealed he had smoked pot as a college student; he later joined the appeals court. Another member, David Sentelle, was chair of the three-judge panel that appointed Ken Starr to be the special prosecutor investigating Clinton. Karen LeCraft Henderson was appointed a federal judge during the Reagan period, then put on the appeals court by the elder President Bush.

In making a plea to open the Edmonds hearing, the ACLU noted appellate arguments normally are accessible to the public. "When the United States asked the Supreme Court to close part of the oral argument in the Pentagon Papers case - a case that involved classified information of the greatest sensitivity - that motion was denied," the ACLU said. "Likewise, in an appeal in the ongoing prosecution of Zacarias Moussaoui, an alleged conspirator in the September 11th terrorist plot, the court rejected the government's move to close the entire hearing."

Edmonds, an American citizen, was born in Iran and grew up in Turkey. She speaks Farsi, Turkish, and other languages of central Asia. She was hired by the FBI in the hectic aftermath of 9-11 to translate various top-secret materials collected by the bureau from wire taps, surveillance reports, interviews with agents, etc.

In that capacity she began observing the bureau's bizarre, even surreal practices, including such things as sending people to Guantanamo to translate statements by prisoners who spoke Farsi. Only trouble was the translators weren't speakers of Farsi, but were instead Kurds speaking a Turkish dialect. She stumbled across various mistranslations and interpreters who were not able to make accurate translations. Then she discovered someone was signing her initials to approve translations she never made. And she observed translations being doctored or blocked by the actions by one translator or another. She discovered one translator whose relative was working for an embassy which the FBI had under surveillance.

When Edmonds protested to her supervisors, she has said, the ignored her or told her off, at one point calling her "a whore." Eventually she was fired by a supervisor who told Edmonds he'd look forward to meeting her again - in jail.

Taking her protests to Congress, she won support from the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who exchanged letters with the Justice Department's Inspector General's office, which said it was making an investigation. In the midst of all this, then attorney general John Ashcroft stepped in and threw down a gag order by invoking the arcane states secrets privilege, under which the government can classify whatever materials it wishes in the interests of national security. Last year, the Edmonds case was dismissed by a federal district court judge. The government had never even bothered to file an answer to her complaint.

The case that was argued this morning concerned a complaint by Edmonds that the government was denying her First Amendment rights. Only after she was fired did Edmonds go to the Congress. She is saying she played by the rules and was squashed by the government without cause or explanation. And when she went outside the official channel to reveal what was going on within the bureau, the government responded by classifying her previous attempts to speak out, including press accounts written before the classification came down. One of them was a 60 Minutes segment.

"The federal government is routinely retaliating against government employees who uncover weaknesses in our ability to prevent terrorist attacks or protect public safety," said Ann Beeson, associate legal director of the ACLU. "From firing whistleblowers to using special privileges to cover up mistakes, the government is taking extreme steps to shield itself from political embarrassment while gambling with our safety."

Click here to comment on this article

Chief Of Police Gets Implanted With VeriChip To Accelerate Wider Adoption Of Device
DELRAY BEACH, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 22, 2005--

With Hospital Emergency Room Infrastructure To Provide Secure ID and Medical Record Access For VeriChip Patients, Thought and Opinion Leaders to Play Key Role in Adoption of VeriChip(TM)

VeriChip Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Applied Digital (NASDAQ: ADSX), announced today that the Bergen County, New Jersey Chief of Police has been implanted with the VeriChip. Chief of Police Jack Schmidig, a member of the police force for over 30 years, received a VeriChip as part of the Company's strategy of enlisting key regional leaders to accelerate adoption of the VeriChip. With hospital emergency room infrastructure forming, patients will have the ability to provide secure ID and medical record access in an emergency or clinical situation.

Click here to comment on this article

The U.S. and the Escalating Threat to the World
by Nabila Harb/FAV co-editor

See Also: Iraq and the Dangers of the Policy of Appeasement

The U.S. and its Coalition of the Morally Bankrupt have used their invasion of Iraq as a means through which to achieve many goals apart from its primary goal of gaining control of Iraq and its natural resources. This war has been a vehicle through which the U.S. not only elevated propaganda to new heights at the expense of the truth, but actually undertook the murder of independent journalists. By targeting journalists for murder, a clear threat was delivered to any one daring to publicise any facts in opposition to the U.S. and Coalition goals. Now the example of the invasion is being utilised as a concrete threat to any other nation that dares to demonstrate any opposition whatsoever to international U.S./Zionist goals. Victory has not been won by the Coalition in Iraq by any means, and yet, by destroying buildings, statues and other symbols of the legitimate Iraqi leadership and by encouraging widespread looting, the Coalition is hoping to convince the Iraqi people as well as the international community of its power to give life or death to whomsoever it wills.

Bogus accusations of 'pursuing weapons of mass destruction' were part of the foundation upon which the Coalition based its invasion of Iraq. Now, even as the country of Iraq continues to resist, the U.S. warns other nations to 'draw the appropriate lesson from Iraq.' In particular, the U.S. threatens Iran, Syria and Korea with the possibility of a U.S. or 'Coalition' invasion, should they attempt to retain the right to oppose U.S. foreign policy. John R. Bolton, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, warned Syria and other countries in the region to 'open themselves' up to 'new possibilities for peace'. In other words, no one has the right to self-defence or defence of the homeland. 'New possibilities for peace' require capitulation to U.S./Zionist aims and are predicated upon total disarmament by any country that is in a position to threaten the Zionist entity.

Bolton declared that: 'With respect to the issue of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the post-conflict period, we are hopeful that a number of regimes will draw the appropriate lesson from Iraq that the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction is not in their national interest.'

Of course, proliferation of nuclear arms is not only allowed but encouraged in the case of the Zionist entity, an illegal political entity that never signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty and one that has threatened the U.S. government with the possibility of becoming a 'rogue state' if the U.S. should ever waver in its support. In 1986, Francis Perrin, high commissioner of the French atomic energy agency from 1951 to 1970, told the press that France and the illegal Zionist entity had worked for two years in the late 1950s to design an atom bomb. Perrin declared, inter alia, that: 'We [France] thought the Israeli bomb was aimed against the Americans, not to launch it against America but to say 'if you don't want to help us in a critical situation we will require you to help us, otherwise we will use our nuclear bombs.'

Indeed, the Zionists vowed before the current American invasion of Iraq that, should Iraq attack the Zionist illegal entity, they would feel free to use nuclear weapons in response. This is the same Zionist entity that attempted to conceal its own nuclear capacity from the world for decades. In fact, despite all propaganda to the contrary, it was only Iraq who possessed no weapons of mass destruction, and the American invasion had nothing whatsoever to do with the 'threat', actual or potential, from a nation weakened by over a decade of punitive sanctions.

An U.S. Air Force report from 1999 declared the Zionist entity to be building a nuclear naval force meant to respond to any nuclear strike by such countries as Iran or Iraq. The number of Zionist nuclear weapons cited in the report was 400 atomic and hydrogen weapons, double that of previous assessments. Some of these 400 nuclear and thermonuclear weapons could be deployed by the Zionist navy on the fleet of three German-built Dolphin-class diesel submarines, giving the Zionist entity a second strike capability with nuclear cruise missiles. The same report declared that: 'the first basing options for the new second-strike force of nuclear missile capable submarines include Oman, located strategically near Iran' but that the Zionist entity might be able to use Jordanian air space for a nuclear strike on Iran. It stated finally that: 'Israel's Defense Ministry has requested from the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon authorisation for a retaliatory nuclear strike.'

In the spring of 2002, the Zionist entity contemplated a 'pre-emptive strike' against Iran. The Coalition invasion of Iraq made it unnecessary for the Zionists to carry out their own threats against Iraq, but they still remain eager to see both Iran and Syria weakened significantly or destroyed. The Bush administration now has made it clear that it could be persuaded to turn its aggression next towards either Syria or Iran.

Iran, despite its rather despicable attempts to curry favour with the U.S. by abetting the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and its own compliance with international law in terms of its nuclear programmes, has not won either security or safety with the U.S. and its allies. In terms of nuclear weapons, Iran, unlike the Zionist entity, is party to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, has accepted full scope safeguards and is entitled to import nuclear reactors and other technologies under the provisions of the treaty. The International Atomic Energy Agency regularly has inspected all of Iran's declared nuclear facilities, reports it to be in full compliance with the NPT and has found no evidence of a nuclear weapons effort. Since 1991, the IAEA invoked authority to conduct special inspections of undeclared sites and Iran allowed the IAEA to visit any site upon request. The agency failed to uncover any non-sanctioned activites in any of its several visits. Despite all of this, Iran remains a potential target for the next act of American/Zionist aggression and will not be removed from Bush's characterisation as part of his 'axis of evil'. Demonstrations of disgraceful jubiliation at the Coalition's current successes in Iraq will change nothing.

In reality, it should be far more frightening to contemplate nuclear weapons at the disposal of the Zionists, an aggressive colonialist racist regime proven to have expansionist aims towards the Arab Nation than nuclear power in the hands of Syria, Iran or Korea. In fact, the only nation that has used nuclear weapons and used them on a civilian population is the United States, the nation that demonstrated its aggressive, law-defying nature once again in its invasion of the sovereign country of Iraq.

A U.S. poll was taken to show that half of the United States population would support U.S. military action against Iran if it continued to move toward nuclear weapons development and 42 percent of those surveyed said the United States should take action against Syria if it were helping Iraq. Polls only represent the views of those chosen to participate, and one hopes that this is not the opinion of the people of the United States, but only of those brainwashed by official U.S./Zionist propaganda. Even so, it is a rather frightening prospect, and if a valid poll, definitely supports the notion of culpability of the people of the United States for the blood shed and crimes committed by its government.

Bolton continued to elaborate upon his threat by stating that: 'I think Syria is a good case where I hope that they will conclude that the chemicals weapons program and the biological weapons program that they have been pursuing are things that they should give up. It is a wonderful opportunity for Syria to foreswear the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and, as with other governments in the region, to see if there are not new possibilities in the Middle East peace process. He concluded by stating that the priority of the United States was the 'peaceful elimination of these programmes.'

The U.S./Coalition invasion of Iraq is a demonstration of how 'peaceful elimination' is achieved. Indeed, it is obvious that other nations do need to 'draw the appropriate lesson from Iraq'. The U.S. and its allies must be stopped now. Half-hearted attempts to support Iraq while attempting to placate the U.S. will accomplish nothing.

The real lesson to be drawn from Iraq is that one must not acquiesce in self-destruction at the hands of the enemy. Iraq actually attempted to conform to the dictates of the United Nations with respect to its weapons and resources for self-defence while the United States never had any intention of forswearing its own plans for invasion. While Iraq destroyed weapons at the behest of U.N. inspectors, the United States amassed troops and weapons in preparation for invasion.

Indeed, it is interesting to look at the example of North Korea and its response to U.S. pressure. In a statement made on the 6th of April, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea demonstrated clear recognition of the dangers that face any nation that dares to oppose U.S. world domination and gave its own response to recent threats made by the U.S.

Stating that 'the DPRK has so far made every possible effort to ensure stability and peace in the Korean Peninsula and the region', it accused the United Nations Security Council first of dealing with the nuclear issue on the peninsula in such a manner as to make it a 'prelude to war' to be 'misused by the U.S. as an excuse for war.'

One can hear the echo of similar United Nations discussions and resolutions on Iraq here and recall the recent U.S. manipulation, bullying and ultimate disregard of the international community in its inexorable aim to invade Iraq.

The DPRK then stated very forcefully that: 'The U.S. intends to force the DPRK to disarm itself. The Iraqi war shows that to allow disarming through inspection does not help avert a war but rather sparks it.'

Furthermore, that: 'Neither international public opinion nor the U.N. Charter could prevent the U.S. from mounting an attack on Iraq. This suggests that even the signing of a non-aggression treaty with the U.S. would not help avert a war.'

And finally:


Syria and Iran should take note and respond in like fashion. The DPRK continues by rejecting the entire fabric of deceit upon which the U.S. relies to support its worldwide aggressions, stating that:

'The U.S. is seriously mistaken if it thinks that the DPRK will accept the demand for disarming while watching one of the three countries the U.S. listed as part of an 'axis of evil' already subject to a barbarous military attack.'

In conclusion, the DPRK vowed that, should the U.S. target North Korea, the DPRK would have 'no other option but to beef up the deterrent force for war by mobilising all the potentials.'

In like manner, Syria and Iran must recognise the need for absolute resistance to the U.S. foreign policy 'programme'. Unity against the U.S. is vital. The lesson to be learned from the U.S./Coalition invasion of Iraq is that the U.S. is ruthless in its programme to eliminate any potential threats to its own status as the most powerful dictator in the international community. At the heart of U.S. world domination plans are Zionist interests and this never was more obvious than when the U.S. chose to invade Iraq, a country without any so-called 'weapons of mass destruction' rather than taking any action towards Korea, a nation possessing nuclear deterrent power. The Zionists have no interest in Korea at present, but they do have an interest in increasing their sphere of control within the Arab Nation and Iran. The appointment of Jay Garner, a Zionist puppet, to supervise the so-called 'post-Saddam Hussayn' admininstration of Iraq is damning evidence of U.S./Zionist collaboration.

Furthermore, Iraq was chosen as the first target probably because the U.S. believed that it would have United Nations support and because it was able to invade Iraq in the First Gulf War without any effective resistance from the Arab Nation as a whole. Despite Arab opposition to the first U.S. invasion of Iraq, and the anger and frustration with respect to the economic sanctions that punished Iraq for over a decade, the leaders of the Arab Nation made it clear that they would not actually oppose a second U.S. invasion. Moreover, much of the military apparatus for a second invasion of Iraq was in place and indeed, the U.S. and British had been invading parts of Iraq throughout the past decade, under spurious claims of 'enforcing' the sanctions.

Iraq, therefore, was a much easier target than Syria, Iran or Korea. The oil resources in Iraq made it irresistable to Western governments determined to take multi-national control over Arab resources and radically diminish the power of OPEC.

An invasion of Syria certainly would be in Zionist interests, perhaps even more than the invasion of Iraq, but Iraq posed an easier target in terms of the degree of passivity that the U.S. could expect from the rest of the world, even if most of the world opposed a military invasion of Iraq. After all, the brutal economic sanctions against Iraq had been allowed to proceed year after year without any sort of effective intervention from any one.

Iraq is by no means defeated, and the U.S. cannot claim true victory of any sort at this point in time. Even so, it is vital for every country to take note of the unequivocally aggressive nature of U.S. foreign policy and to respond as the DPRK responded. No one can afford to wait to see what ultimately happens in Iraq, hoping that perhaps the United States will become so entangled in a long war of attrition that it will not be able to open another front. After all, the United States proved itself willing to invade Iraq even while continuing military actions in Afghanistan, and it carried out attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq simultaneously.

There is no middle path here, and a policy of appeasement with respect to the United States will not grant safety, peace or security to any nation. Any country that decides to work with the United States in an attempt to win either U.S./Zionist friendship or tolerance is committing suicide. The U.S./Zionist aims to destroy the Arab Nation and Iran will not waver. Any U.S. 'road map' for Palestine ultimately will facilitate Zionist security in the region, and thus must be repudiated categorically.

Like an abusive marriage, any so-called alliance with the U.S. or the Zionists operates to the benefit only of the abusive partner. Any gains for the victim are illusory at best. Independence from U.S. control is the only path to true survival.

Comment: It is about time that people raise the issue of appeasement. Yes, in recent history it refers exclusively to the appeasement of Hitler by the European powers prior to WW2. Today, the expansionist, militaristic power in the world is the United States of America. It refuses to listen to the counsel of the international community; it's official policy is that it can attack other countries at will. Both the USA and the Zionist entity, as it is referred to in this article, place themselves above the rest of humanity. They do not need to play by the same rules as the rest of the world.

Click here to comment on this article

Global Eye

Gut Check
By Chris Floyd
Published: April 22, 2005

With fresh indictments last week, the UN oil-for-food scandal took an unexpected turn into the Labyrinth -- the tangled skein of war profiteering and state terrorism that has seen the Bush Family's lust for blood money emerge in three of the darkest criminal episodes in modern American history: Iran-Contra, Iraqgate and the BCCI affair.

Texas oil baron David Chalmers of Bayoil and his partners were hit with criminal charges for allegedly cutting deals with Saddam Hussein in the notorious skim operation that outflanked UN sanctions and diverted funds intended for humanitarian relief. Prosecutors were shocked -- shocked! -- to find such collusion and corruption in the oil business.

Of course, the fact that three U.S. presidents -- the two George Bushes and their new best pal, Bill Clinton -- actually brokered massive backroom oil deals for Saddam that dwarfed Bayoil's petty chiseling, plus the fact that Saddam's nation-strangling thievery has since been eclipsed by the epic rapine of Bush II's Babylonian Conquest, in no way mitigates the seriousness of the Chalmers indictment. But somehow we doubt you'll be seeing those august statesmen sharing leg irons with old Davy anytime soon.

Chalmers is a longtime denizen of the Labyrinth. In the mid-1980s, he joined up with Chilean gun-runner Carlos Cardoen, the Financial Times reported. Cardoen was a CIA frontman used by Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bush I to funnel cluster bombs and other weapons secretly to Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War. At Reagan's direct order, Saddam received U.S. military intelligence, billions of dollars in credits and a steady supply of covert "third-country" arms to sustain his war effort, even though the White House was fully aware of Saddam's "almost daily use" of illegal chemical weapons, The Washington Post reported. Later, Bush I, as president, would also mandate the sale of WMD material to Saddam, including anthrax -- long after Saddam notoriously "gassed his own people" at Halabja.

As in the present UN scandal, Saddam paid for his covert cluster bombs with oil. Chalmers would move the actual black stuff and broker its sale for the CIA and Cardoen, taking a cut in the process. Since 1999, Chalmers has been doing the same thing on behalf of Italtech, owned by another crony in the old Cardoen gun-running scheme. The Texas baron must be aghast to find himself in hot water for an activity that was once blessed at the highest levels. Perhaps he neglected to cross the requisite Bushist palms with sufficient silver -- or else, as with many a Bush minion, he's just been tossed overboard as chum for the sharks when he's no longer of any use.

But let's be fair. Helping Saddam kill people with chemical gas was not the only reason why Reagan and Bush I aided their favorite dictator. They had bigger fish to fry -- using the Constitution as kindling for the feast.

In 1986, George Bush I visited the Middle East with a secret message to be passed to Saddam via Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak: "Drop more bombs on Iran's cities." How do we know this? From the sworn testimony of Howard Teicher, the National Security Council official who accompanied Bush and wrote the official "talking points" for the trip. Ostensibly, Bush urged this mass killing of civilians as a strategy to halt Iran's gains at the front. But as The New Yorker reported -- 13 years ago -- there was another layer to this covert plot.

A fierce aerial offensive by Saddam would force Iran to seek more spare parts for its U.S.-made planes and anti-aircraft weapons, inherited from the ousted Shah. Bush was already waist-deep in the Iran-Contra scam, which involved selling Tehran U.S. military goods through back channels, then funneling the secret profits to the Contras, the gang of right-wing insurgents and CIA-trained terrorists in Nicaragua. Congress had forbidden U.S. aid to the Contras, so Reagan and Bush used the mullahs (and Central American drug lords) to run their illegal terrorist war. More innocent deaths in Iran meant more backdoor cash for the Contras. A win-win situation!

When Bush I became president, he clasped Saddam even closer, sending him billions in U.S.-backed "agricultural credits" through BNL, an Italian bank tied up with BCCI -- the international "financial consortium" that was actually "one of the largest criminal enterprises in history," according to the U.S. Senate. BCCI laundered money and financed arms dealing, terrorism, smuggling and prostitution, while corrupting government officials worldwide with bribes and extortion.

As Bush well knew, Saddam was using the BNL cash for arms, not food; indeed, that was the point of the exercise. When some honest U.S. officials threatened to unravel the BNL gun-running scam, Bush appointed Cardoen's own lawyer to a top Justice Department post -- overseeing the investigation of his former boss. Under heavy White House pressure, the case was quickly whittled down to the usual "bad apple" underlings carrying out some minor fraud.

But perhaps Papa Bush was just being fatherly. Earlier, another BCCI offshoot bank had bailed out one of Bush Junior's many business failures with $25 million in cash. That deal had been brokered by mysterious Arkansas tycoon Jackson Stephens, one of the Bush family's biggest campaign contributors. Curiously enough, Stephens was also a top moneyman for another leading politician: Bill Clinton. When Clinton took office, he obligingly deep-sixed the continuing probes into BCCI, Iraqgate and Iran-Contra.

That's how the system really works. All the guff about law, democracy and morality is just cornball for the yokels back home -- and for the cannon fodder sent off to die in the elite's commercial and dynastic wars. The Labyrinth -- that knotted gut of blood and bile -- has poisoned us all.

Click here to comment on this article

Army Clears Top Abu Ghraib Case Officers
Associated Press
Apr 22, 7:44 PM (ET)

WASHINGTON - The Army has cleared four top officers - including the three-star general who commanded all U.S. forces in Iraq - of all allegations of wrongdoing in connection with prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib and will not be punished, officials said Friday.

Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, who became the senior commander in Iraq in June 2003, two months after the fall of Baghdad, had been faulted in earlier investigations for leadership lapses that may have contributed to prisoner abuse. He is the highest ranking officer to face official allegations of leadership failures in Iraq, but he has not been accused of criminal violations.

After assessing the allegations against Sanchez and taking sworn statements from 37 people involved in Iraq, the Army's inspector general, Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Green, concluded that the allegations were unsubstantiated, said the officials who were familiar with the details of Green's probe.

Green reached the same conclusion in the cases of two generals and a colonel who worked for Sanchez.

The officials who disclosed the findings spoke only on condition of anonymity because Congress has not yet been fully briefed on Green's findings and the information has not yet been publicly released. Green had scrutinized the actions of Sanchez and 11 other officers.

Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib were physically abused and sexually humiliated by military police and intelligence soldiers in the fall of 2003. Photos of some of the abuse created a firestorm of criticism worldwide.

Congress has hotly debated the question of accountability among senior Army and Defense Department officials who were in positions of responsibility on Iraq detention and interrogation policy. Some Democrats have accused the Pentagon of foisting all the blame onto low-ranking soldiers.

In a statement Friday that did not mention specific cases, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, R-Va., said that as soon as all Pentagon assessments of accountability are complete he will hold a hearing "to examine the adequacy of those reviews" and to hear senior civilian and military officials address the issue.

Warner said he strongly agrees with one investigation report that concluded last year that commanders should be held accountable for their action or inaction and that military as well as civilian leaders in the Pentagon "share this burden of responsibility." [...]

Some have said the blame should rest with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, although none of the 10 investigations done so far has concluded that he was directly at fault. [...]

Sanchez has been at the center of the Abu Ghraib controversy from its start.

He issued a policy on acceptable interrogation techniques on Sept. 14, 2003, then revised it on Oct. 12, about the time the abuses were happening. The Army inspector general found in an investigation last year that the policies were ambiguous and subject to misinterpretation by soldiers.

A separate investigation by a panel headed by former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger concluded that Sanchez should have taken stronger action in November 2003 when he realized the extent of problems among military intelligence and military police units running Abu Ghraib. [...]

Sanchez and his former top deputy, Maj. Gen. Walter Wojdakowski, were cited in the Kern-Fay-Jones report for failure to "ensure proper staff oversight of detention and interrogation operations" in Iraq, specifically at the Abu Ghraib prison.

It was left to Green, the Army inspector general, to weigh the gravity of the various allegations against Sanchez and other senior officers and determine whether they could be substantiated. In only one case - that of Janis Karpinski, an Army Reserve brigadier general who commanded the 800th Military Police Brigade at Abu Ghraib - did Green decide that the allegations were substantiated. She has been suspended from her command and given a written reprimand.

In addition to clearing Sanchez, the Army inspector general has determined that there should be no punishment given to Wojdakowski or to Maj. Gen. Barbara Fast, who was Sanchez's intelligence chief in Baghdad, or to Col. Mark Warren, Sanchez's top legal adviser at the time. [...]

Comment: The verdict is not a surprise. Nobody thought for a minute that any of the big wigs would get their hands rapped. That's how it was organised from the start.

Those that are most certainly guilty are adjudicated innocent; those that are most certainly innocent, are tortured into compliance. Black is white and white is black. Right is wrong and wrong is right.

Click here to comment on this article

Aid worker uncovered America's secret tally of Iraqi civilian deaths
By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
The Independent
20 April 2005

A week before she was killed by a suicide bomber, humanitarian worker Marla Ruzicka forced military commanders to admit they did keep records of Iraqi civilians killed by US forces.

Tommy Franks, the former head of US Central Command, famously said the US army "don't do body counts", despite a requirement to do so by the Geneva Conventions.

But in an essay Ms Ruzicka wrote a week before her death on Saturday and published yesterday, the 28-year-old revealed that a Brigadier General told her it was "standard operating procedure" for US troops to file a report when they shoot a non-combatant.

She obtained figures for the number of civilians killed in Baghdad between 28 February and 5 April, and discovered that 29 had been killed in firefights involving US forces and insurgents. This was four times the number of Iraqi police killed.

"These statistics demonstrate that the US military can and does track civilian casualties," she wrote. "Troops on the ground keep these records because they recognise they have a responsibility to review each action taken and that it is in their interest to minimise mistakes, especially since winning the hearts and minds of Iraqis is a key component of their strategy."

Sam Zia-Zarifi, deputy director of the Asia division of Human Rights Watch, the group for which Ms Ruzicka wrote the report, said her discovery "was very important because it allows the victims to start demanding compensation". He added: "At a policy level they have never admitted they keep these figures."

Exactly how many Iraqi civilians have been killed in the last two years is unclear. Iraq Body Count, a group that monitors casualty reports, says at least 17,384 have died. But the group bases its totals only on deaths reported by the media, and says it can therefore only "be a sample" of the total actually killed. Its website says: "It is likely that many if not most civilian casualties will go unreported by the media. That is the sad nature of war."

A peer-reviewed report published last year in The Lancet and based on an extrapolation of data suggested that 100,000 civilians may have been killed during the invasion and its aftermath. One of the report's author, Dr Richard Garfield, professor of nursing at Columbia University, said: "Of course they keep records and of course they pretend they don't. Why is it important to keep the numbers of those killed? Well, why was it important to record the names of those people killed in the World Trade Centre? It would have been inconceivable not to. These people have lives of value.

"We are still fighting [to record] the Armenian genocide. Until people have names and are counted they don't exist in a policy sense."

Ms Ruzicka, from California, was killed in Baghdad after her car was caught in the blast of a suicide bomber who attacked a convoy of security contractors on the road to the city's airport. She was in Iraq heading, Civic, the organisation she set up to record and document civilians killed or injured by the US military, and to seek compensation. She carried out a similar project in Afghanistan.[...]

'The public must know how many have died'

This is an edited extract of an article written by Marla Ruzicka a week before her death:

In my two years in Iraq, the one question I am asked the most is: "How many Iraqi civilians have been killed by American forces?" The American public has a right to know how many Iraqis have lost their lives since the start of the war and as hostilities continue.

In a news conference at Bagram air base in Afghanistan in March 2002, General Tommy Franks said: "We don't do body counts." His words outraged the Arab world.

During the Iraq war, as US troops pushed toward Baghdad, counting civilian casualties was not a priority for the military. Since 1 May 2003, when President Bush declared major combat operations over and the US military moved into "stability operations", most units began to keep track of civilians killed at checkpoints or during patrols by US soldiers.

Here in Baghdad, a brigadier general explained to me that it is standard procedure for US troops to file a spot report when they shoot a non-combatant. It is in the military's interest to release these statistics.

A number is important not only to quantify the cost of war, but as a reminder of those whose dreams will never be realised in a free and democratic Iraq.

Click here to comment on this article

Slain U.S. Activist's Project Stalls
By JAMIE TARABAY, Associated Press Writer
Sat Apr 23, 3:37 AM ET

BAGHDAD, Iraq - The 12-year-old orphan remembers Marla Ruzicka as a smiling blonde apparition who gave him a glass of juice and changed his clothes when bullet splinters in his spine made it painful to move and walking virtually impossible. The American activist took up Rakan Hassan's cause, securing a surgeon in the United States to perform the operation he needs to recover from the attack that killed his parents. But Ruzicka died before she could complete her mission, cut down by the same relentless violence that has shattered the lives of the many Iraqis she tried to help.

Ruzicka was killed with her Iraqi translator and another foreigner on April 16 when a car bomb exploded as they drove in two vehicles along the treacherous road leading to Baghdad's airport. She will be buried Saturday in her hometown of Lakeport, Calif.

At first, the Hassan children were told Ruzicka died in a car accident, their relatives offering a more benign version of the truth to the youngsters still longing for their parents, Kamila and Hussein.

But Intisar Hassan, the eldest at 24, learned the truth when she watched the news that night on television. She began to cry.

"That woman who was killed was a nice woman," Intisar Hassan said by telephone from the family's concrete-block home in Tal Afar, 90 miles east of the Syrian border. "She was kind and nice, and we hoped at the time she would be able to help Rakan get better."

At the time of her death, Ruzicka was in contact with officials from the U.S. Embassy and State Department to arrange Rakan's medical evacuation. Since then, however, his cause has stalled. The embassy said Friday it was still processing his case.

Everyone who knew the 28-year-old activist - from the Iraqi families she helped, to the U.S. Senators and war correspondents she lobbied - extolled Ruzicka's relentless campaign for compensation for the innocent victims of war.

A one-woman human rights movement, Ruzicka was instrumental in securing millions of dollars in aid for distribution in Iraq. She'd been traveling to and from the country since U.S.-led forces invaded in March 2003, often going door-to-door to meet wounded Iraqis and collect the figures for her surveys on the number hurt and killed.

She badgered the military for numbers and Washington for money. She sweet-talked journalists and soldiers alike into helping her out. And everyone got a hug.

Ruzicka refused to accept the official line that the U.S. military does not keep track of civilian casualties, writing in an op-ed piece the week before she was killed that this position "outraged the Arab world and damaged the U.S. claim that its forces go to great lengths to minimize civilian casualties."

An Associated Press survey of deaths in the first 12 months of the occupation found that more than 5,000 Iraqis died violently in just Baghdad and three provinces. Since then, however, neither U.S. nor Iraqi officials have produced a complete tally.

Ruzicka thought she was close to uncovering the figures. [...]

The U.S. military did not immediately respond to her claims.

Ruzicka was on her way to visit an Iraqi girl injured in a bomb blast when she was killed, according to her colleagues from the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict, the organization she founded.

As for Rakan, he now lies motionless on a bed borrowed from neighbors, staring listless and depressed at the walls of a bleak, dank room, waiting for help to walk through the door again.

Rakan's parents were killed when a U.S. military foot patrol fired on the family's car one dark, starless night in January in the border town of Tal Afar. The incident was widely reported, but Ruzicka was one of few foreigners to risk traveling north to meet Rakan and his seven siblings earlier this month.

Comment: Remember the shooting in Tal Afar?

That shooting was the incident where the father's face was obliterated by machine gun fire from US forces as the children rode in the back seat.

Click here to read Signs coverage of the event, or view the original photos on the BBC web site.

Rakan said he felt sorry for Ruzicka's parents "because she cared about me. I should care about her family in return."

Still struggling with the loss of his own parents, Rakan said through a translator that he wanted to send a message to Clifford and Nancy Ruzicka, preparing to bury their much-loved daughter on the other side of the world.

"I say to her parents: God bless her soul, God give them strength to endure this tragedy," he said. "I lost her, they lost her and every poor Iraqi has lost her."

Click here to comment on this article

We killed chopper survivor: Zarqawi
Correspondents in Baghdad
April 23, 2005

THE group led by Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has reportedly claimed responsibility for shooting down a helicopter, killing all on board.

The 11 victims - including one who suffered a broken leg and was allegedly shot after the crash - died on Thursday after the Bulgarian Mi-8 helicopter was brought down with a missile.

A video posted on Islamic websites and shown in part on al-Jazeera television, carrying the logo of the Islamic Army in Iraq, reportedly shows the aftermath of the attack.

In the video, a voice can be heard saying in Arabic, as the survivor is shot: "We are applying God's law."

The group said it killed the survivor "in revenge for the Muslims who have been killed in cold blood in the mosques of tireless Fallujah before the eyes of the world and on television screens, without anyone condemning them".

It was apparently referring to the shooting by an American soldier of a wounded Iraqi in a Fallujah mosque on November 13 during a US offensive in the city.

The group has also claimed responsibility for attempting to assassinate interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi on Wednesday.

A car bomb targeting Dr Allawi's motorcade killed two policemen. It was the fifth attempt on his life.

Six of the helicopter occupants were American, three were Bulgarian and two were identified by Bulgaria as Filipinos and by the Canadian company that owned the helicopter as Fijian.

At least 13 foreign security specialists have been killed in Iraq in the past two days. [...]

Comment: Every now and then, when things in Iraq take a turn for the worse, and it seems like the American people might actually start to think about the evil that their troops and government are perpetrating in Iraq, "al-Zarqawi" and "al-qaeda" pop up, as if to remind us all that this is a "war on terror" and revisit the memories of 9/11." Not one to miss an opportunity, the mythical "al-Zarqawi", who possibly died two years ago, did not stop at claiming responsibility for the downed chopper full of US mercenaries, he also owned up to targeting interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's convoy with a suicide bomb, fired off a few warning shots at British troops, and found time to get in touch with his good friends the "un-named US officials" and inform them that he has a dirty bomb:

Zarqawi said to have 'dirty bomb'

WASHINGTON: Abu Musab Zarqawi, believed to be linked to Al Qaeda, is preparing a radiological explosive - or dirty bomb - for an attack, according to a report published by the Washington Times.

The right-wing newspaper ,which has good sources in the intelligence community, attributes the report to unnamed US officials, who also say that analysts are unable to confirm the reliability of the information's sources.

According to correspondent Bill Gertz, "The classified reports have been distributed to US intelligence agencies for several consecutive months and say Zarqawi, Al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, has stored the nuclear device or dirty bomb in Afghanistan, said officials familiar with the intelligence. One official said the intelligence is being questioned because analysts think Al Qaeda would not hesitate to use a nuclear device if it had one. However, the fact that the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) has reported the nuclear threat in several classified reports distributed since December indicates concern about it."

In short, he did everything but take responsibility for 9/11, but then most Americans already believe he was somehow involved. "al-Zarqawi" has done much to further Bush's war on terror (read: war on the Middle East), but then again, the concept of the devil has also been somewhat of a boon for the Catholic Church, and the boogeyman can be a really handy tool for parents of rebellious children.

Click here to comment on this article

Gertz: Abu the Terrible has Nuke
Kurt Nimmo
April 21, 2005

I am convinced Bill Gertz is a CIA plant. Gertz works for the Washington Times, a newspaper founded, owned, and controlled by Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, a whacked out religious mind-meld cult if ever there was one (see Behind the Times: Who Pulls The Strings at Washington's No. 2 Daily?). Since the Washington Times is already far right-wing territory, it is a near perfect platform for Gertz (billed as "defense and national security reporter for The Washington Times, a position he has held since 1985?), as a CIA operative, to launch a disinformation campaign in regard to terrorism: viz., Abu Musab Zarqawi has a nuke and plans to use it. Of course, as usual, "analysts are unable to gauge the reliability of the information's sources" in regard to the Abu Nuke, but that sure didn't prevent the editors over at Moonie Central from cooking up a big old scary headline: Reports reveal Zarqawi nuclear threat.

"Recurrent intelligence reports say al Qaeda terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi has obtained a nuclear device or is preparing a radiological explosive-or dirty bomb-for an attack, according to U.S. officials," warns Gertz. "The classified reports have been distributed to U.S. intelligence agencies for several consecutive months and say Zarqawi, al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, has stored the nuclear device or dirty bomb in Afghanistan, said officials familiar with the intelligence."

Notice how it is now a foregone conclusion that Abu Musab Zarqawi-who was reported killed some time ago-is "al Qaeda's leader in Iraq." (Gertz tells us Abu is "formally" linked to al-Qaeda.) If the corporate media "reports" spurious "facts" long enough, they simply become gospel. "We were basically paying up to $10,000 a time to opportunists, criminals and chancers who passed off fiction and supposition about Zarqawi as cast-iron fact, making him out as the linchpin of just about every attack in Iraq," a military intelligence agent told Adrian Blomfield of the UK Telegraph last year. "Back home this stuff was gratefully received and formed the basis of policy decisions. We needed a villain, someone identifiable for the public to latch on to, and we got one."

Gertz continues:

A report by the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction faulted U.S. intelligence agencies for not understanding al Qaeda's unconventional weapons programs in Afghanistan prior to 2001, when U.S. forces helped oust the Islamist Taliban government.

Is it possible al-Qaeda did not have an "unconventional weapons program," as assumed by the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (i.e., Bush's nine eleven white wash commission)? Of course, we know "al-Qaeda" (or what would latter become al-Qaeda for the sake of political expediency) was awash in conventional weapons, courtesy of the United States government. For instance, we know that "the United States funneled more than $ 2 billion in guns and money to the mujaheddin [in Afghanistan] during the 1980s, according to U.S. officials. It was the largest covert action program since World War II," according to Steve Coll of the Washington Post (see Anatomy of a Victory: CIA's Covert Afghan War).

But what about the dead Abu Musab Zarqawi getting a suitcase nuke or two from the dead Osama bin Laden?

As Carey Sublette notes, the Osama-has-a-nuke story originated from a story that appeared in an Arabic language newspaper, al-Watan Al-'Arabi, in 1998. "Nearly all of the claims that have circulated since then about bin Laden's nuclear capabilities are derived directly from this report," writes Sublette. "The unsourced claims made in Al-Watan Al-'Arabi did not attract immediate attention in the West. It was not until about a year later that stories began surfacing in English repeating these assertions. For example, a story in the 25 October 1999 issue of the Jerusalem Report (quoted in Bin Laden has several Nuclear Suitcases) asserted that Osama bin Laden's terrorist organization al Qaeda has acquired a number of these devices in exchange for a '$30 million in cash and two tons of Afghan heroin', a claim taken directly from Al-Watan Al-'Arabi." (It should be noted that the Jerusalem Report is owned by Conrad Black, who also owns the Strausscon influenced Jerusalem Post and several other Israeli newspapers and periodicals.) "The Jerusalem Report story provided as the source of this allegation Yossef Bodansky, an apparently a free-lance analyst with connections to Israeli intelligence and conservative Republican think tanks. Bodansky's source for this information was not disclosed."

In other words, it appears the original Osama-has-nukes-and-wants-to-irradiate-your-kids story was dreamed up by Israeli intelligence and so-called "conservative Republican think tanks," more than likely of the PNAC-JINSA-AEI variety, i.e., the Likudite influenced Strausscons.

In short, the story ranks high on the bullshit meter.

Of course, now that Osama is persona non grata, and Abu the Terrible is the locus of Islamic turpitude, it stands to reason that the al-Qaeda nuke fairy tale, apparently cooked up by the Likudite-Strausscon alliance, take on a new life. It is Bill Gertz's responsibility, as CIA (or Israeli intelligence) propagandist, to roll out a new booga-booga story designed to scare the pants off little girls and weak-kneed American adults no longer able to use their cerebral cortexes, thanks to decades of incessant televised propaganda.

Gertz wraps up his scary parable as follows:

The reported threat of nuclear terrorism comes amid other intelligence indicating that Zarqawi is planning an attack on the United States. Still other intelligence says Zarqawi was planning a chemical weapons attack in Europe, officials said…. In February, U.S. intelligence and security officials said information showed bin Laden had asked Zarqawi to focus future attacks on targets inside the United States. The threat was contained in a classified bulletin to state and local security officials.

In other words, a dead terrorist with a highly improbable bomb will attack the Great Satan, probably between now and a generation or two-remember, we are engaged in a generational war, as our fearless leader and his minions keep telling us-although there is no evidence and even if the government had evidence they wouldn't tell us about it, but instead issue a "classified bulletin to state and local security officials," who routinely complain that they don't have the money to protect us, let alone secure the borders (another fairy tale is that terrorists, reportedly Chechens, are sneaking into the country with suitcase nukes).

Click here to comment on this article

Nine die in Iraq bombing at Baghdad mosque
23 April 2005
Khaleej Times

BAGHDAD - A car bomb killed nine people outside a Baghdad mosque packed with Shiite worshippers.

Another 26 people were wounded by the blast during the main weekly Muslim prayers, in what appeared to be the latest in a string of sectarian attacks by Sunni Arab insurgents against Iraq's Shiite majority community.

"Six of those hurt are in a serious condition," said a staffer at the capital's Kindi hospital where many of the casualties were treated.

An interior ministry official said the attack might have been a suicide operation.

"Some witnesses said they saw a bomber in the car, a white BMW, but we are checking these reports," he said.

Shiite leaders swiftly condemned the bombing.

Sheikh Sadreddin al-Kubbanji warned the faithful at prayers in the Shiite holy city of Najaf that they faced "calculated terrorist acts aimed at dividing Shiites and Sunnis." [...]

Comment: As we noted yesterday, someone appears to be waging a dirty war to incite Iraq's Sunni and Shia populations to civil war. While the Shia Cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is doing everything in his power to prevent ethnic clashes between Iraqi civilians, someone is desperately trying to undercut him. Now, we wonder, who might this be? Who has the resources and know-how from years of covert black Ops and False Flag operations to carry out such a campaign of deceit? Who would benefit most from the break-up of Iraq?

Click here to comment on this article

World Affairs Brief

What was the purpose of Donald Rumsfeld's visits to Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan last week? According to Alex Jones's news service, "There was no official statement on the agenda of the meetings with top Azerbaijan government officials. But the very next day, the commander of NATO forces in Europe, General Johns, issued a statement in the local press saying that the U.S. planned to deploy military bases in the Caspian region in order to ensure regional security.

"Azerbaijan is seen as one of the launch pads for launching an attack on Iran, which some see coming as early as June. Local analysts say that the deal was already all but tied up and Rumsfeld's visit was simply part of the finalization process."

The US has been quietly expanding military bases all over Central Asia, but particularly in the south surrounding Iran. We can discount US denials that there is "no intention to attack Iran" as strangely reminiscent of George Bush's denials that he had no intention of invading Iraq. My Israeli sources say that the IDF is preparing against a multi-nation Arab attack on Israel in 2006. The US intervention in Iran and Syria may be either fomenting that conflict or attempting to cut both countries down to size beforehand.

It does appear that US and British black operations are trying to cause social unrest in Iran, in order to destabilize the country and provide an excuse to intervene. Al Jazeera has been banned from the country for supposedly publishing inflammatory material leading to the recent riots in Iran among the country's Arab minority. According to various reports, three people have died in ethnic clashes in Iran's southwestern Khuzestan province over the past few days. What al Jazeera actually did was become the first to broadcast the news of the demonstrations, thus alerting the rest of the Arab world to the growing unrest in Iran's Khuzestan region. But it also called upon other Arabs to join in "peaceful" demonstrations to act in solidarity with others. The Iranians feel this is provocative. It might well be, despite the fact that Arabs make up only 3% of the population of Iran. Keep in mind that al Jazeera has roots in a BBC outfit from London that was known to be a front for British intelligence.

US Hypocrisy: I must continually point out to my readers the huge gap in consistency between the US policies toward Iran and North Korea. As the AP commented, "The United States has repeatedly said it has no intention to attack the North, and has sought to convince Pyongyang to return to international disarmament talks that have been on hold since last June." Why the double standard? Iran isn't anywhere near as dangerous to the world as North Korea, which already has missiles capable of reaching parts of the US.

In point of fact, North Korea continually flaunts its claims of increasing production of nuclear weapons, and still the US pledges not to intervene. But for some reason, the North Koreans are bargaining for something more than US verbal assurance of non-aggression. The AP story continues, "North Korea said Thursday that the international standoff over its nuclear ambitions could be resolved if the United States gives up what Pyongyang alleges are its plans to overthrow the communist regime by a nuclear attack."

Apparently, it hasn't been lost on the Pyongyang that Cuba secretly received such written assurances from the US that Cuba would not be attacked or undermined politically. North Korea wants the same thing in writing. The US is probably unwilling to give such a guarantee, not because it actually intends to attack, but because it fears Kim Yong Il can't be trusted not to wave that piece of paper before the world and expose the Bush administration for the hypocrite it is.

The larger question: A question I am often asked about a US attack on Iran is how Russia, an ally of Iran, would react to such an attack. My answer is to remember Russia's betrayal of Iraq, of which it was also an ally. I think Russia will sacrifice Iran and/or Syria as well. Doing so furthers Russia's long range goal of painting the US as the "bully of the world," eventually justifying Russia's long-planned pre-emptive nuclear strike on America-that will forever change the world's balance of power. The only reason Russia might react otherwise is if it intends for a larger Middle East war to serve as a flash point for the Russia/China attack on the West and the ensuing World War III. In that case, we would see the Iran/Syria/Egypt coalition strike back with missiles both at US forces in Iraq and at Israel. I think, however, that it is still too early for the big war. Watch out during the next decade, when China will reach mega-power status.

RICE IN RUSSIA-PLAYING RUSSIAN ROULETTE Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice put out dozens of mixed signals concerning Russia during her two-day visit to the country, voicing concerns and provocations on one hand, and calming words on the other.

Reuters reported, "Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Tuesday called the Kremlin's tight grip on power and the media 'very worrying' and urged Russian President Vladimir Putin not to cling on to power beyond his present term." Of course, the latter caution is a red herring, as neither Putin nor Yeltsin before him are the real leaders in Russia. They cover for "former" Communist leaders like Boris Berezovsky and other wealthy "exiles" who made themselves wealthy by signing over large blocs of Russian industry to themselves before going underground.

Rice continued: "The centralization of state power in the presidency at the expense of countervailing institutions like the Duma (parliament lower house) or an independent judiciary is clearly very worrying." Savvy Russia watchers have always known, however, that the majority of "opposition" parties in Russia are also controlled entities, like Solidarity was in Poland. Real dissidents are relegated to small parties that are never allowed to gain a large following.

Then, when Russia reacted with feigned offense at the Secretary's remarks, she responded with soothing words. The AP quoted her as saying that "there is a considerable amount of individual freedom" in Russia nowadays. "One can't imagine reverting back to Soviet times," Rice declared. She went even further, according to Reuters, claiming that "despite serious setbacks to Russian democracy, there is no sign that the country is poised to return to its totalitarian past." No sign? What world does she live in? There are, in fact, no signs of real democracy in Russia. Worse, the US seems to be not-so-subtly sowing the seeds of future unrest within most of the former Soviet States still under the yoke of Russia's euphemistically named "Commonwealth of Independent States." Look at the Ukraine, and now Belarus.

As the Washington Times reported, "The United States and its NATO allies ventured into the former Soviet Union yesterday, where Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice clashed with her Russian counterpart at the close of a tough trip that contrasted sharply with her February visit to Europe. With the alliance holding its first high-level meeting on ex-Soviet soil, Miss Rice took time to meet with opposition leaders of Belarus (one of the ex-Soviet states that has a rabid Communist as leader), a nation heavily dependent on Russian economic aid.

"'While it may be difficult and long and at times even far away, there will be a road to democracy in Belarus. We admire your courage, and we admire your dedication and we want you all to know you are in our thoughts,' Miss Rice told a group of seven dissidents who drove from the Belorussian capital of Minsk for the meeting." That's no small provocation to Russia, even though almost all "dissidents" the US chooses to meet with are plants provided by Moscow-like Vaclav Havel turned out to be in the phony "Velvet Revolution" in Czechoslovakia. Once again, despite the soothing words, it appears as if there is a globalist strategy to antagonize Russia into someday striking out at the West, and simultaneously facilitating that strike.

At this same NATO meeting, Russia and NATO signed an agreement that allows Russia access to transit routes for transporting troops and military equipment through NATO countries. The signing in Vilnius, Lithuania of the Status of Forces Agreement by Russia and NATO comes at the alliance's first-ever ministerial meeting on the soil of a former Soviet republic. This symbolism is meant to give a powerful message of accommodation with Russia, while sending signals that the US is intervening in CIS internal affairs-which gives Russia an excuse for eventual pre-emptive retaliation against the US.

Click here to comment on this article

I'll gladly stay behind
Thursday, April 21, 2005

A neighbor recently insisted I read the Left Behind series. "Especially now after 9/11," he said, "and the blessed countdown for the Rapture has begun."

"Why are you so ... well, cheerful, about the end of the Earth?" I asked him.

He gazed at me with the true alarm of deep pity. "I'm afraid you'll have a rough time of it here during the Tribulations -- plagues of locusts, frogs, viruses ... the Earth attacked by tsunamis, volcanoes, dark legions of the unsaved."

"Don't you love any of us you believe will suffer so?" I said.

This gave my neighbor a moment's pause. But then he admitted with some chagrin. "You can't blame us born-agains for at last getting our heavenly rewards. We've waited thousands of years for End Times."

My neighbor's fervor sent me to search the Internet for the Rapture Index -- a "prophetic speedometer," which concludes that we've hit 153, and the warning, "Fasten Your Seatbelts." Giddily, the Rapturers anticipate ecological collapse, Mideast holy wars and Christian Zionists as evidence of the Second Coming. In a twinkling, they say, the righteous will ascend, dropping golden dental work, our nightgowns and perhaps even some spouses.

All this might seem darkly comic, if not for a Time magazine poll that 56 percent of Americans "believe the prophecies in the Book of Revelation will come true." And that the Left Behind books are the biggest selling fictional series in the United States.

In complex and challenging times, apocalypse is such a simple answer. This fight-or-flight fear is hardwired into our reptilian, forest-slashing, migrating, pioneering species -- leave the Old World behind, find a New World. No need to really change, adapt or evolve, just find another planet or heaven to plunder for our own rewards. After all, the dark side of fundamentalism is consumerism.

The next time I saw my neighbor he sported a new bumper sticker: "This Vehicle Will Be Unmanned in Case of Rapture." It was a surprisingly sunlit Seattle day and we strolled down to our backyard beach on the Salish Sea to continue our End Times talk. We sat down on driftwood and watched the comic black-and-white tuxedo harlequins diving and popping up in the waves. A Great Blue Heron swooped in with the caw of a dinosaur bird. How could this ancient bird fly with such huge wings? How did she escape extinction? Somehow the Great Blue had adapted and survived beautifully.

"So," my neighbor asked excitedly, "what did you think of the Rapture Index?"

"Doesn't the Scripture say, 'For God so loved the world?' " I asked. "Well, I'm going to start a Real Rapture Index with signs and wonders of how beautiful and sacred this Earth is. Another mantra is: For we so love the world ... ."

My neighbor looked at me, startled, then fell very quiet as we watched a harlequin float past, his bright beak dripping a tiny fish. Happy, so happy in this moment. The Great Blue cawed hoarsely and stood on one leg in a fishing meditation. Wave after bright wave lapped our beach and the spring sunshine warmed our open faces.

I put my arm around my neighbor, the driftwood creaking slightly under our weight.

"Listen," I said softly, "I want to be left behind."

Left Behind to figure out a way to fit more humbly into this abiding Earth, this living and breathing planet we happily call home, we call holy.

Slowly my neighbor took my hand and we sat in silence, listening to waves more ancient than our young, hasty species, more forgiving than our religions, more enduring. Rapture.

Brenda Peterson is a novelist and nature writer, most recently of "Animal Heart" from Sierra Club Books.

Click here to comment on this article

Oh Rapture!

One of the major problems America faces is a large population of religious fundamentalists who have become as fanatical in their own way as any Middle Eastern Ayatollah. At present, they are caught up in their own version of the myth of the end of the world, and hope that by working to bring it about, they'll get to sit at the right hand of their deity and to hell with everyone else. No doubt fistfights will break out over who gets to sit closest, but that is a subject for another article.

So fervent is the belief of the mythoholics that they are ready and willing to sacrifice money, children, civil rights, freedom, even life itself (so long as it is someone else's) to bring about the final rapture and end of the world. Never mind that the guy selling this belief is a child molester and makes money off of these fables, the seekers (and there is one born every minute) do so want to believe!

So, I thought it might be appropriate to list some of the many other times in history that religious fanatics of all kinds have decided the world was about to end, what they did about it, and what really happened to those who followed them when the world did not end as scheduled. [...]

Comment: Click here to read the amazing list...

Click here to comment on this article

Rice Accused of Suppressing Terror Info
By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer
Fri Apr 22,11:25 PM ET

WASHINGTON - A senior House Democrat who has been sharply critical of State Department reporting on terrorism is accusing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of denying Congress and the public important information about the number of incidents.

"There appears to be a pattern in the administration's approach to terrorism data: favorable facts are revealed while unfavorable facts are suppressed," Rep. Henry A. Waxman of California said in a letter to the department's acting inspector general, Cameron R. Hume.

The question is "whether political considerations played a role in Secretary Rice's decision" to hand off a State Department report to a government counterterrorism center, Waxman said. He requested an inspector general's investigation.

State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said of the request, "it's a matter under consideration." The department is "committed to being responsive to Congress and to contributing to an informed public debate," he said.

Waxman's letter followed an announcement Monday that the department had decided to stop publishing its annual statistical account of terror incidents worldwide, turning the task over to a government center established last year by Congress — the National Counterterrorism Center. [...]

Click here to comment on this article

Another Republican Backs More Review of Bolton
By Vicki Allen
Fri Apr 22, 8:15 PM ET

WASHINGTON - The nomination of John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations was cast in further doubt on Friday when a fourth Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said more time was needed to review his record.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said the senator felt the committee "did the right thing delaying the vote on Bolton in light of the recent information presented to the committee."

Asked if Bolton, an outspoken critic of the United Nations, had Murkowski's support, spokeswoman Kristin Pugh said, "I can't speculate on how she would vote."

She said Murkowski was traveling and could not be reached.

Before the recent allegations that Bolton threatened and bullied subordinates and sought to influence U.S. intelligence assessments improperly, Pugh said Murkowski had met with Bolton and expressed support.

Since then, she said, Murkowski had decided the accusations merited further examination. [...]

Click here to comment on this article

Powell joins critics of 'problematic' Bush choice for UN ambassador
By Rupert Cornwell in Washington
The Independent
23 April 2005

The stakes over the arch-hardliner John Bolton's confirmation to be American envoy to the United Nations have grown even higher, with a veiled attack on the nominee by Colin Powell, and public criticism of Mr Bolton's conduct from a former US ambassador who worked with him on the North Korea nuclear issue.

It emerged yesterday that General Powell, who was President George Bush's first secretary of state, has been in touch with two wavering Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, telling them in private conversations that Mr Bolton was a tough operator but "very problematic", according to The Washington Post and The New York Times. [...]

His views still carry much weight among Republican moderates, and he has sent two clear signals of how he feels. The first was his failure to sign a letter from former Republican secretaries of state and defence endorsing the nominee; the second was a statement by his former chief-of-staff Lawrence Wilkerson that Mr Bolton would make an "abysmal" ambassador to the UN. [...]

Mr Bolton has already been beset by charges that he bullied subordinates, and sought to manipulate intelligence. In a new setback, Thomas Hubbard, former US ambassador to South Korea, has challenged testimony by Mr Bolton to the committee earlier this month and accused him of rude and undiplomatic behaviour in his handling of delicate negotiations with North Korea to persuade it to give up its nuclear weapons programme.

This week the 18-member panel postponed a vote on whether to send Mr Bolton's nomination to the full Senate. It now plans to hold the vote on 9 May.

Click here to comment on this article

The One-Sided Class War

Three years into an economic recovery, workers are losing ground--so much so that the mainstream media are finally having to take notice.

Once inflation is taken into account, compensation for nonsupervisory workers in the private sector--about 80 percent of the workforce--dropped 0.4 percent in 2004. Analyses in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times blamed the usual suspects: globalization and the outsourcing of jobs overseas, a slack labor market and weak unionization rates. (Source: State of Working America, 2004-05) [...]

The economic reality for U.S. workers today bears increasing similarities to their counterparts in less developed countries: a small and shrinking sector of better-paid workers amid a sea of low-paid and often temporary labor, a country where unions are weak and any economic gains for workers are under constant threat, and where the state has abandoned almost all pretence of a social safety net.

That, said Sylvia Allegretto of the liberal Economic Policy Institute (EPI), is the real character of what George W. Bush calls "the ownership society."

Until the 1970s, "corporations provided health care and pensions, and the government was there when they failed," she told me. "Today, fewer employers provide health care, and there is less of a government safety net. It is a huge shifting of risks from big business and the government onto workers' backs. An ownership society? To own something, you have to be able to afford it." [...]

The pattern of wage stagnation and decline has worsened the precarious situation of U.S. workers. While overall real pay last declined in the early 1990s, hourly wages either declined or stagnated throughout the period between 1973 and 1995. Beginning in the mid-1990s, tight labor markets finally pushed up pay, particularly among low-wage workers. Unions were able to reverse some of the downward trends--workers went on strike at UPS in 1997 and General Motors to win more full-time jobs; at Bell Atlantic/Verizon, workers struck twice to win better pay and benefits.

But the recession of 2001 and the weak recovery since unraveled many of these gains. Although real wages continued to grow slowly during the recession, the economy shed large numbers of jobs, particularly in manufacturing, which saw 41 straight months of employment decline. [...]

The result is that while the U.S. economy in 2004 generated 2.2 million jobs, that total is 1.4 million less than expected, based on averages from previous economic recoveries. About 20 percent of the jobless today are among the long-term unemployed--people who have been 27 weeks without a job-- "an unprecedented development in the post-[Second World War] period," according to the EPI. [...]

The numbers add up to this conclusion: The success of the U.S. economy has been decoupled from improvements in the lives of U.S. workers. The idea that increases in productivity will automatically lead to wage increases and improvements in living standards--the assumption of liberal Keynesian economists and union leaders alike--has been shattered. [...]

The latest wage statistics underline the point: It's no longer true--if it ever was--that a rising economic tide will lift all boats. It's class war from above that's allowed America's rulers to accumulate their vast power-- and it will require class war from below for workers to make any significant gains.

Click here to comment on this article

A House Divided Against Itself: Lessons From Congressional Passage Of The Debt-Slavery Bankruptcy Bill
Evan Augustine Peterson III, J.D.
April 22, 2005

Christmas came early this year for credit-card corporations, courtesy of Capitol Hill. After an eight-year multimillion dollar lobbying effort by financial-industry giants, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed their heinous "Debt Slavery" Bankruptcy Bill (S. 256/H.R. 685) last week by a lopsided 302-126 vote.

Members of the House briefly debated this important matter before they voted.

However, the speeches on both sides tended to be surprisingly simplistic, given the complexity of the bankruptcy bill, largely because the Republican majority leadership chose to display their contempt for democratic processes by:

  • disallowing votes on the 35 amendments the Democrats had proposed;
  • ordering the House Rules Committee to allocate only one hour -- far too little time -- for substantive debate on this complicated 500-page bill; and
  • ordering the House moderator to rudely interrupt every Democratic speaker when they lined up one-by-one to register their objections to the bill in brief biting statements.

When the shallow-but-acrimonious debate ended, 229 Republicans (98.7%) and 73 Democrats (36.1%) supported the bill by voting "yes," whereas no Republicans (0%) and 125 Democrats (62%) opposed the bill by voting "no." Additionally, three Republicans (1.3%) and four Democrats (1.9%) abstained.

The Senate passed the same bill in March by an equally lopsided vote of 74-25, with Senator Hillary Clinton abstaining. And Mr. Bush signed it on April 20th, so it will become this nation's federal bankruptcy law six months from enactment. [...]

NOW President Kim Gandy said of the Republicans: "Once again George W. Bush and his Congressional enablers have rewarded their corporate allies at the expense of low- and middle-income working people, single mothers, minorities, veterans and the elderly. This bill further shreds the safety net for even the most financially troubled people. It is a reckless move for Congress to squeeze families in economic and health crises while providing loopholes for corporate executives to skirt their debts. These payouts to big business must stop immediately."

Two Overarching Conclusions: Morally Bankrupt And Deeply Divided.

The lopsided House and Senate votes favoring this bill -- 302-126 and 74-25, respectively -- were tantamount to a Congressional declaration of MORAL BANKRUPTCY. Why? Sadly, "money talks and social justice walks" inside the Capitol Hill bribe-ocracy.

Our Congresspersons knew full well that they were allowing the financial industry's predatory lending practices to continue unabated, and yet sharply limiting individual access to debt-liquidating personal bankruptcies. That might be the correct formula for winning political support from the financial industry, but it's certainly not the politics of social justice!

They knew that the foreseeable social consequences of this bankruptcy bill over time will be that millions of financially-desperate Americans will either commit suicide because they cannot see any way out of debt slavery, or be forced into the homeless underground, or commence a life of crime. These socially-destructive consequences are the real legacy of supposedly "compassionate" conservatives' bankruptcy bill. [...]

Comment: The author forgot the another possible career move for financially-desperate Americans: the military.

Click here to comment on this article

The US Dollar Cheats the World
by Bill Bonner

It is widely believed that the Chinese are eating our lunch. Their factories hum and belch smoke, while ours go silent and send up weeds in the parking lot. This phenomenon is commonly called "globalization." But it is also commonly misunderstood.

In the reverie of modern Americans, globalization means the rest of the world sends you things you don't have to pay for. The burden of today's little essay is two-fold. The first part is easy; we point out that anyone who thinks such a thing is a fool. The second point is harder – and more important.

The world has been globalized for a long time. An Englishman in 1910 could sit in his parlor off St. James Park and drink tea that came all the way from Ceylon in cups that came all the way from China. Then, putting down his drink, he could pick up a Cuban cigar, put it to his lips...and perhaps sprinkle a few ashes on the carpet that he had bought in Egypt...or the leather boots he had ordered from a shop down the street that sold Italian goods. He could buy stocks in New York as easily as he could pick up oranges from Spain or the latest French novels to make their way across the channel.

But as Niall Ferguson points out in the current issue of Foreign Affairs magazine, globalization is not without its disappointments. In 1910, England had been a great world power...and one of the world's greatest economies...for two centuries. But global competition had recently edged the British out of the top spot. American GDP surpassed it at the turn of the century. Germany marched by a few years later. Relatively, England, that "weary Titan," was in decline.

Still, why would the English complain? They lived well – perhaps better than anyone else. Even if they didn't, they thought they did. The rest of the world was content too. People liked buying and selling. People in Europe liked globalization, because it brought them oranges in the wintertime. People in the warm latitudes liked it – now they had someone to sell their oranges to. Even then, people spoke of the "annihilation of distance," and assumed that more miles would be destroyed in the years to come.

Globalization is nothing more than the extension of the division of labor across international boundaries. Our little village in France has the vestiges of a self-contained community. As recently as the end of WWII, almost everything people needed was produced right there. The farms grew wheat. Farmers raised vegetables...and cows...pigs...chickens. There was a machine shop...a forge...a woodworking atelier. There still remain the 'Versailles' boxes, in which lemon trees were planted. The boxes allowed the trees to be moved into heated space in the winter. Otherwise, they would freeze and die.

But as distance was annihilated, commerce in lemons was born. There was no longer any need to plant lemon trees in transportable wooden boxes when the lemons themselves could be shipped, quickly and cheaply, by the millions. One country can produce lemons. Another can produce machine gun cartridges. divide up the labor, work more efficiently, and produce more things at lower cost. Everyone involved gets a little richer.

There are really only two ways to get what you want in life, dear reader. You can do so honestly...or dishonestly. You can get it by working for it...or by stealing it. You can get it by trade and commerce...or by force and fraud. You can get it by civilized methods...or by barbaric ones. You can get rich by "economic means" or by "political means," as the great German sociologist, Franz Oppenheimer put it. Globalization is merely an elaboration of the economic means of getting things. It requires civilized relationships to make it work; people have to get along with each other in order to trade. They must rely on others – even other people in strange, faraway places – for their daily bread. They must also be able to count on the medium of exchange that they trade goods and services in. If they can't trust the money, they are not likely to want to do business.

The end of history has been announced several times. But it never seems to arrive. People always tend to think that what is will remain...that trends in place right now will continue at least indefinitely, and perhaps forever. The odds of anything going wrong, they tell themselves when the going is good, are like the extreme edges of a bell curve – vanishingly small. But people badly "underestimate the persistence of history's traditional side, the rise and fall of empires, the rivalry of regimes, and the disastrous exploits of great men," wrote French historian Raymond Aron. That is to say, they tend to ignore the political means that tend to mess things up...and the rare, fat tail events that make history interesting.

Such a fat tail event happened in 1914. A European war disturbed nearly 100 years of peace and progress. People thought the war could not happen. And if it did happen, they said, it would be short and sweet. They were wrong on both points. Globalization had entered a shrinking phase.

Then, on April 2, 1917, Woodrow Wilson stood before Congress and announced that the world's biggest economy was about to shift to "political means" to get what it wanted. Instead of merely doing business with the Entente powers, America, too, was going to get involved in killing people. This day marked not only another big setback for also establishes a frontier for where one empire ended and another began. Britain ceased being the world's hegemonic imperial power. Henceforth, the United States was the cock of the walk...the Alpha nation...the biggest damned bull in the field.

There are times when civilization goes forward. And there are times when it goes in the other direction. Woodrow Wilson slammed the United States into reverse in 1917. It has been backing up ever since, in the sense that Americans rely more on force and fraud to get what they want. Gun-toting soldiers now defend America's many supposed interests all over the world – even in places where America seems to have no interests. The U.S. government takes far more of its citizens' money than it did in 1917...and provides detailed instructions to Americans on such a wide variety of matters that one can scarcely toss a chicken out the window or blow up an outhouse without asking permission of the authorities.

But we're not complaining. For while the U.S. Empire was growing, so was world trade. In the free world until 1989...and now almost everywhere...a "pax dollarum" greatly aided the cause of globalization throughout the second half of the 20th century. But this new globalized commerce has a fraudulent side to it. The hegemonic power is using political means, even while it shops. During the last big boost in the division of labor, in the 19th century up until 1914, the money in which transactions were calibrated was backed by gold. No country – not even an imperial one – could cheat.

If a country consumed more than it produced, other countries found themselves with surpluses of the laggard nation's currency. They then could ask for gold in settlement. Gold was real, the ultimate money. When a nation's gold horde was in danger, it quickly adjusted its policies to correct the imbalance. The dollar, on the other hand, is merely a piece of paper, backed by nothing more than the full faith and credit of the United States treasury. How good a promise is that? No one knows for sure. Niall Ferguson explains why it may be worth less than many think:

"A rising proportion of Americans may consider themselves to have been 'saved' in the Evangelical sense, but they are less good at saving in the economic sense. The personal savings rate among Americans stood at just 0.2 percent of disposable personal income in September 2004, compared with 7.7 percent less than 15 years ago. Whether to finance domestic investment (in the late 1990s) or government borrowing (after 2000), the United States has come to rely increasingly on foreign lending. As the current account deficit has widened (it is not approaching 6% of GDP), U.S. net overseas liabilities have risen steeply to around 25% of GDP. Half of the publicly held federal debt is now in foreign hands; at the end of August 2004, the combined U.S. Treasury holdings of China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan were $1.1 trillion, up by 22% from the end of 2003."

The odd thing about the spurt of globalization in the last five years is that it's so lopsided. The U.S. takes...but it doesn't give. It borrows...but it doesn't pay back. It buys...but it doesn't sell. It imports...but it doesn't export. The only reason foreigners put up with those shenanigans is because they receive paper currency in payment. They assume their dollars will be as valuable in the future as they are now. They assume the trends of the last 50 years will continue unchanged. They assume that no terrorists will knock off an archduke...and no fat tail will plop itself down in the currency markets. They assume that someone, somewhere, had the situation under control. And yet..."If the private market – which knows that with high probability the dollar is going down someday – decides that that someday has come and that the dollar is going down now," writes Brad DeLong, "then all the Asian central banks in the world cannot stop it."

What will happen when the world figures out that the United States is pulling a fast one? We don't know. But like the period following the sinking of the Lusitania, we're sure it will make the history books.

Click here to comment on this article

Talks aimed at easing Japan, China tensions
Last Updated Sat, 23 Apr 2005 08:41:03 EDT
CBC News

JAKARTA - The leaders of Japan and China met Saturday at the close of the Asian-African Summit to try to mend a serious rift between their two countries.

The secretary general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, who was in Jakarta for the summit, told reporters he was hoping good things would come from the meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Chinese President Hu Jintao.

"I hope that the meeting between the two leaders will help reduce the temperature a little bit and set their relations back on track," he said.

Koizumi and Hu smiled and shook hands before sitting down to begin the talks, which were closed to the media.

Click here to comment on this article

Row over secret classroom filming
Pupils at six secondary schools in England are to be shown swearing, fighting and downloading porn in a documentary filmed with hidden cameras.

They were filmed by a teacher using cameras in a button and a briefcase. [...]

She says she saw chairs being smashed, pupils fighting in class and that she was sworn at by pupils and was falsely accused of touching them.

Other bad behaviour by pupils included verbal abuse, general rowdiness and the use of mobile phones or CD players.

Teaching sometimes became impossible, she said.

Five's senior programme controller, Chris Shaw, said: "I hope this film will open every parent's eyes to the chaos that reigns in many classrooms and makes meaningful teaching almost impossible."

Click here to comment on this article

No chill in Russia-US relations: Putin
Saturday April 23, 1:33 PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin denies there had been a cooling in relations between Moscow and the United States, saying he had "very good personal ties" with President George W. Bush.

"Russia and the United States have a great deal of common interests and joint work. This lies at the basis of our very good personal relations with the US president," Putin said in an interview with Israel's First channel, a text of which was provided by the Kremlin press service.

Putin described Washington and Moscow's position on Iran's nuclear program and the Middle East peace process as "very close".

"I know the US president voiced his support for the (Middle East) roadmap peace plan, and I am of the same opinion," he said.

The roadmap is a phased plan which aims to end nearly five years of violence in the region by creating an independent Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice earlier this week praised Russia as a US strategic partner but slammed Moscow for backsliding on democratic reforms, voicing concern about Putin's centralization of power and clampdown on independent broadcast media.

Rice criticized the judiciary, warned Putin against illegally seeking a third term in 2008 and cautioned that "people are watching" to see how state moves against the oil giant Yukos and its jailed chairman play out.

Putin brushed off the concerns, saying they were Moscow's internal affairs.

"We can share no opinions on Russia's internal affairs, because Russia's internal affairs are our business," even though "we find our partners' opinion interesting, if it is objective and friendly, not an instrument to gain their own interests", he said.

"As for 2008, we have the constitution, and we will act according to the Russian law, not the view held by our partners, however respected," Putin added.

Putin is due to visit Israel on Wednesday and Thursday, in the first visit by a Moscow leader to the Jewish state.

Click here to comment on this article

Poland Hunts Jewish Commandant Wanted for Crimes Against Humanity

Poland is demanding that Israel extradite for trial a Jewish man accused of brutal tortures and mass killings in a Soviet concentration camp.

Solomon Morel, 86, was commandant of a death camp at Swietochlowice, Poland after World War II. The camp's population included many innocent Polish men, women, and children of German descent whose homes, businesses and belongings had been seized by Jewish communist authorities. The victims were then herded into numerous concentration camps, one at Swietochlowice.

Morel was indicted in 1994 by a Polish court and ordered to face charges of "crimes against humanity." Among the crimes the Jewish commandant allegedly committed: murders by bashing the heads of babies against stone walls; bludgeoning inmates to death with stools and clubs; inflicting extreme pain by forcing objects up inmates' anus; forcing women and children to parade around nude in subfreezing temperatures; making inmates eat human feces; and starving people to death.

Upon his indictment, Solomon Morel, assisted by the Israeli government, fled to Tel Aviv, Israel where he has been hiding out. American television's 60 Minutes program tracked him down and located Morel in that city. His whereabouts are known to the Israeli authorities.

Up to 80,000 people are believed to have died as a result of torture, deprivation, and starvation in post-World War II concentration camps, all of which were headed by Jewish commandants.

According to a report in London's The Telegraph, newspaper (January 2, 2005) and in John Sack's investigative book, An Eye for An Eye, "Stalin deliberately picked Jews as camp commandants in the knowledge they would show little mercy to the inmates."

The Polish public prosecutor leading the Morel case, Eva Kok, insisted that the claims could not be "swept under the carpet." She added: "The Israelis are extremely efficient in pursuing people they have accused of such crimes - and they must accept that other nations want to do the same."

(Note: For additional information on Solomon Morel and the Jews who committed barbaric acts in Soviet concentration camps, Power of Prophecy offers John Sack's eye-opening exposé book, An Eye For An Eye, $15 plus S&H. Order by phone 1-800-234-9673, or write to Power of Prophecy, 1708 Patterson Road, Austin, Texas 78733)

Click here to comment on this article

Anti-Semitism hits U.K. schools
Hate leaflets spark union resignations

Student leaders turning 'blind eye'
Apr. 23, 2005. 08:25 AM

LONDON - Young, hip, educated - and anti-Semitic.

Is this the latest trend on elite British campuses?

The recent refusal by the biggest university students' union in the country to condemn anti-Semitic attacks suggests that, sadly, this could be the case.

The group, known as the National Union of Students (NUS), with 5.5 million members and headquarters in a London building named for Nelson Mandela, failed to support three Jewish students who resigned from its executive last week, in protest of a lack of action amidst growing anti-Semitism on campus.

Student union leaders allowed anti-Jewish leaflets to be distributed at their general meeting in London - without comment. The literature contained material saying that Jews are part of a plot for worldwide domination.

Further, the executive declined to investigate complaints about a comment that burning down a synagogue is a "rational act." Leaders have refused for months to take action over anti-Semitic slurs and actions, which are occurring at some of the world's finest schools, according to reports.

The issue hit the front page in the U.K. because one of the students involved is Luciana Berger, 23, who is romantically linked to Euan Blair, the eldest son of British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

She left the NUS conference in tears, after a resignation speech in which she accused student leaders of turning a "blind eye" to anti-Semitism on campus.

"(The union) says it is proud of its policy of diversity, but it should be ashamed. The situation cannot be allowed to get worse," Berger told reporters, adding that she has been spat on and called a "dirty Zionist pig."

The controversy is occurring this spring as international organizations mark 60th anniversary dates of the end of World War II, during which the Nazis exterminated 6 million Jews. This week, there were ceremonies at the Bergen-Belsen camp where Anne Frank died in the gas chamber.

It is also occurring amidst a sharp increase in anti-Semitic acts across Britain - up 42 per cent to 532 incidents in 2004 - and a feeling of isolation among Jewish students.

"We are being lumped into groups of good Jews and bad Jews," Danny Stone, from the Union of Jewish Students, told the Toronto Star. "Good Jews oppose the Israeli army and the occupation of Palestine and bad Jews support Zionism. But the truth is it's easy to dislike any Jew.

"It has become acceptable for the intelligentsia to go beyond harbouring racist thoughts and actually put them into practice," he added. "We're very upset about the climate here."

He stressed that statistics cover reported incidents only, adding that many go unreported.

In The Sunday Telegram last weekend, Berger accused all political parties, including Blair's Labour party, of inflaming racial tensions over issues of immigration and asylum in the campaign for the May 5 vote. There is a nasty undertone to campaign language and she said it is urgent that people do not remain silent.

"One lesson we learn from the Holocaust is that when silence prevails, evil triumphs," James Smith, director of the Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre, said in a statement this week.

"We are acutely aware of where anti-Semitism and racist hatred ultimately lead. It is essential that the lessons of the Holocaust are applied by our student community - the future leaders of British society."

To date, the student union executive has not investigated the resignations.

A spokesperson said leaders are waiting for a written complaint from Berger, and the other students, before taking action.

"We need the reasons for their resignations in writing. We must ensure that everything is done properly," insisted the official, asking to remain anonymous because she doesn't sit on the executive.

She was unable to explain why reasons are necessary, given that Berger detailed what's going on in a speech to delegates at the NUS meeting, before resigning. As well, complaints in writing have poured into NUS headquarters for months, without results. Letters of protest have continued in recent days.

NUS president Kat Fletcher was not available for comment.

"You and other members of (the union executive) should be leading by example," Simon Goliogorsky, of the Union of Jewish Students, wrote to Fletcher last week.

He criticized their "collective disinterest in fighting anti-Semitism (on) campuses such as Leeds, Oxford, the School for Oriental and African Studies (at the University of London) and Birmingham, (where) Jewish students have suffered from acts of violence and verbal abuse because they are Jewish."

Jason Pearlman, a spokesperson for the influential Board of Directors of British Jews, says there is a correlation between the rise in anti-Semitic incidents in Britain and British policy in the Middle East - both support for the Israeli government and participation in the invasion of Iraq.

He is concerned that "liberal and open-minded" people who oppose British policy on the Middle East seem to feel it is justified and acceptable that British Jews are punished as a consequence.

"It is very tangible. We feel it in the streets. Thank God, there have been no deaths yet, but is getting ugly," he said.

At 22, he added that he finds it particularly distasteful to hear anti-Jewish sentiment from his peers.

Berger has been particularly critical of the "liberal left" in her comments.

In another letter to NUS leaders, Jewish union student Martyn Redstone asked why they continually ignore complaints, including an article in a leading student magazine advocating suicide terrorism by Palestinians.

As well, a speaker at a recent school forum said: "I am not going to say whether it is right or wrong to burn down synagogues. I can see that it is a rational act."

Redstone added that Fletcher should have pledged to investigate reports of anti-Semitic incidents.

The National Union of Students underscores its message of "equality, diversity and democracy at its core" on its website, and boasts: "We are proud of our record in tackling racism, fascism and anti-Semitism where it occurs."

Says Jewish student activist Stone: "Except where it occurs right under their noses."

Comment: The trouble with an article such as this is that it is so abstract and vague in its relating of "anti-Semitic" incidents that one is unable to tell whether there is really a problem, or whether it is another case such as we have recently seen in New York at Columbia University where incidents are either made up or completely distorted. Reading the article above, one would have the impression that the brown shirts are set to march again. Yet we have seen in other countries, such as France, where some of the most spectacular cases of "anti-Semitism" are actually faked by Jews seeking to build up sympathy for themselves and Israel.

Israel is an arrogant, self-righteous, and blood-thirsty country, a country in perfect resonance with the God they claim gave them the deed to the land some three-thousand years ago. (Please note that we do not think that all people in Israel fit this description, nor do we think that all Jews do either. But the policies of the country since its inception, be they Labour or Likud governments, has been one of genocide towards the Palestinians.) The supporters of Israel think that their country should be free from any criticism whatsoever, regardless of their politics or their actions. They also continue to bask in the role of the poor victim when in fact they are quite well off as a population in the Western countries. For instance, their influence in the United States far outweighs their 2.5% or so weight within the population.

However, to even raise the question is to ask for a brow beating.

Obviously, denouncing an individual because he or her is Jewish is an incorrect as it is to criticise anyone for their religion or cultural background. However, it is certainly correct to criticise the political positions of people who are working to wipe out the Palestinians and it is reasonable to look at the power held by particular groups in society. But we are supposed to look elsewhere when it comes to Jewish actions and Jewish power.

We think that one of the real issues is that Judaism teaches that the Jews are special, that they are better than everyone else. Israel's supporters would have us think that the Palestinians hate the Jews because of who the Jews are, rather for for what they do: steal land, destroy homes, kill civilians, fence them in behind a huge concrete and barb wire wall, etc. But Judaism teaches that the goyim as somehow less than human and so such treatment is not regarded as unusual or even wrong. It is how things are and what needs to be done to assure God's kingdom in Israel.

Many Jews are horrified by this attitude. Some of them even turn their back on their birth heritage. We see the same attitude, that "we know better than they do", among many Americans who think it is quite right for the US to have its military stationed around the globe in order to intervene militarily to "bring freedom" anywhere the US thinks is necessary to expand US economic influence. It has been the outlook of the leaders of every empire throughout history.

So Israeli and Jewish arrogance is the manifestation of a human affliction that strikes regardless of colour, language, or religion. The criminal actions bred by this affliction must be discussed and pointed out whenever and wherever they appear, regardless of who is doing the act. No group is above the law.

Click here to comment on this article

Abbas to meet Sharon before US trip 2005-04-23 18:55:30

RAMALLAH, April 23 (Xinhuanet) -- Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is expected to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon before his visit to Washington in May, Palestinian and Israeli sources said on Saturday.

Abbas met with Sharon in February, when they agreed on a mutual ceasefire at a summit at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat met on Friday with Sharon's advisor Dov Weisglass. They discussed matters concerning a meeting between Abbas and Sharon, but no date has been set.

Meanwhile, Palestinian sources said Saturday that Abbas congratulated Israeli President Moshe Katsav and Sharon on the Jewish holiday of Passover.

Speaking to Katsav and Sharon separately over phone, Abbas expressed his hope that Passover would be a beginning for peace for all people.

Click here to comment on this article

Israel universities - statement by AUT general secretary Sally Hunt
22 April 2005

AUT Council today decided to boycott Haifa University and the Bar-Ilan University.

The executive committee will issue guidance to AUT members on these decisions.

Council delegates also referred a call to boycott the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the executive committee will investigate the background to this and will report in due course.

Council delegates also agreed to circulate to all local associations a statement from Palestinian organisations calling for an academic boycott of Israeli institutions.

Click here to comment on this article

IBM, Israeli Ministry to Back Open-Source Startups
By Eric Auchard
Fri Apr 22, 4:19 PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO - IBM and the chief scientist of Israel's Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor on Friday said they have agreed to a pact to foster development of open-standards technology by Israeli start-ups.

The pact calls for IBM to provide hardware, technology expertise and sales and marketing support, while the Israeli Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor will supply funding to Israeli start-ups. No financial terms were disclosed.

IBM officials said individual companies might stand to receive government grants of up to $100,000 or more. IBM is the biggest, but not the exclusive, technology vendor taking part in the Israeli industrial research and development program. [...]

"It is not money (that) we are providing," said Meir Nissensohn, IBM Israel general manager. "We are providing access to technology, experts, (research) centers and access to global markets." IBM seeks to combine such innovations into their own broader lines of hardware and software, he added.

Israel is home to 4,000 technology companies, second only to California's Silicon Valley in its concentration of technological innovation.

IBM is working with more than 700 software vendors in Israel, and has active marketing or sales relationships with 150 firms, the company said.

Israeli companies that Armonk, New York-based IBM is already are working include start-ups like Actimize, CashU and ItemField, along with established companies such as Nice Systems Ltd. and Retalix Ltd.

Gabriel Tal, an executive with an arm of IBM's sales and distribution in Israel, is looking to support software developers in the area of computer security systems and storage management, for example.

The goal of the agreement is to help accelerate the adoption of open standards in Israel, while at the same time helping Israeli start-ups expand in Israel and globally.

Open standards is an approach to technology development in which inventors make the underlying progamming code publicly available for other developers to build on and extend. It contrasts with the proprietary, or closed development approach most major technology companies, led by Microsoft Corp., have used to maximize their control over products they build. [...]

Click here to comment on this article

Pope Benedict woos media
By Peter Gould
BBC News, Vatican City
It was hardly an intimate gathering, but I got my audience with Pope Benedict.

The world's media have been swarming all over the Vatican since the death of John Paul II.

Over the past month, we have seen some extraordinary sights in and around St Peter's Square.

We witnessed the vigils for the dying pope, and marvelled at the millions who came to say farewell.

There was the solemn splendour of a papal funeral, and the excitement of the white smoke that greeted the election of his successor.

Today, Benedict XVI called us in, 4,000 of us, to thank us for our journalistic efforts.

Lucky tourists

The tension of the past weeks seemed to have evaporated. No more police cordons and arguments about passes and access. Even the usually stern Swiss Guards were smiling.

We were ushered into a vast audience hall used by popes to greet pilgrims. Even with so many journalists present, the hall was only half full.

The Vatican quietly allowed in groups of startled tourists, to fill up some of the vacant seats behind us.

They couldn't believe their luck. They were expecting a stroll around St Peter's Square in the sunshine. Instead they got to see the Pope.

"Fortuna, fortuna," said one couple from Sicily, in disbelief: "We were so lucky!"

It was a smart move by the Vatican. Pilgrims, being less cynical than hardened journalists, could be relied on to cheer and clap in the right places.

In fact, the papal minders need not have worried. The journalists were neatly attired for the occasion, with male correspondents wearing suits and ties.

And when the pope walked in, everyone stood and applauded, in many cases with real enthusiasm.

Having been shown due respect, Benedict XVI seemed prepared to forgive us for all those reports saying how many Catholics were alarmed by his election.

'Thanks for the coverage'

Sitting on a papal throne that looked too big for his small frame, the pope pulled out his gold-rimmed reading glasses and proceeded to address us in Italian, English, French and German.

"Thanks to all of you, these historically important events have had worldwide coverage," he said.

"I know how hard you have worked, far away from your homes and families, for long hours and in sometimes difficult conditions."

The international media made a mental note to pass on the Pope's words to their editors.

I noticed that the pontiff was wearing the red leather slippers that I had seen a few days earlier in the window of the papal tailors.

At the end of the audience, which lasted about 15 minutes, Benedict XVI rose to give us his blessing.

Then with a friendly wave and the words "Grazie, arrivederci!" he left the stage.

This was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a press conference. There was no opportunity for the media to ask any questions, polite or otherwise.

Some journalists were disappointed that the Pope's remarks contained nothing of substance to give us a clue about the direction his papacy will take.

Controlled papacy

The style was also a little different from the audience for the press given by John Paul II, back in 1978.

Then, in a media melee, the new pope shook hands with reporters, and responded to their shouted questions.

Today's proceedings were more dignified and everything was firmly under control. In fact, some people believe control may be the watchword for this papacy.

However, the way some British newspapers have reported the background of the Pope - including his enforced membership of the Hitler Youth - has irritated the media in Germany.

"It is so silly, but they do the same at every football match," said one German TV journalist.

"They use the language of the war when we should be looking forward, not bringing up the past."

Following the media profiles, the new Pope has surprised many people with his engaging manner, which is rather at odds with his image as a hard-line conservative.

On Sunday, at his inaugural mass, he has the opportunity to win more hearts and minds.

Comment: Sounds like the Pope, as with any modern politician, but especially his friend George Bush, knows how to organise a press meeting in such a way as to give good television while delivering nothing of substance.

Click here to comment on this article

Boston Globe retracts fabricated story on seal hunt
Last Updated Fri, 15 Apr 2005 21:39:24 EDT
CBC News

ST. JOHN'S, NFLD. - The Boston Globe on Friday retracted a story by a Halifax-based freelance writer that purported to describe the opening of the seal hunt.

The story, which was published Wednesday, contained details that "hunters on about 300 boats converged on ice floes, shooting seal cubs by the hundreds, as the ice and water turned red."

However, the seal hunt was actually delayed until Friday morning due to bad weather.

The newspaper said the story should not have been published, and the Globe has discontinued use of correspondent Barbara Stewart.

"The author's failure to accurately report the status of the hunt and her fabrication of details at the scene are clear violations of the Globe's journalistic standards," the Globe said in an editor's note on its website.

"Because the freelancer was not reporting from the scene, Globe editors should have demanded attribution for any details she provided about the hunt itself," the newspaper said.

The Boston Globe is owned by The New York Times Co.

Click here to comment on this article

Earth's gravity may lure deadly asteroid
By Nigel Hawkes
Times Online

A HUGE asteroid which is on a course to miss the Earth by a whisker in 2029 could go round its orbit again and score a direct hit a few years later.

Astronomers have calculated that the 1,000ft-wide asteroid called 2004 MN4 will pass by the Earth at a distance of between 15,000 and 25,000 miles - about a tenth of the distance between the Earth and the Moon and close enough to be seen with the naked eye.

Although they are sure that it will miss us, they are worried about the disturbance that such a close pass will give to the asteroid's orbit. It might put 2004 MN4 on course for a collision in 2034 or a year or two later: the unpredictability of its behaviour means that the danger might not become apparent until it is too late. [...]

Click here to comment on this article

Impact risk scale revised
April 19, 2005
Robert Adler

Astronomers tone down the Torino Earth-impact scale.

After 5 years of frequently controversial warnings about possible-but- unlikely asteroid encounters, astronomers have modified the Torino impact hazard scale. They hope the revised scale will let them inform the public about near-Earth objects (NEOs) without causing needless alarm.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology astronomers created the Torino scale in 1999 to alert the public to the risk of asteroids or comets striking Earth. The scale ranked Earth-approaching objects from zero, virtually no risk of impact or damage, to ten, a certain "global climatic catastrophe." [...]

The new scale suggests that public attention is merited only if there is more than one chance in 100 of a regionally damaging impact within a decade.

Previously, a NEO rating of 2 on the Torino scale would have been described as "meriting concern." Now, however, it will carry the comment, "While meriting attention by astronomers, there is no cause for public attention … or concern."

Many astronomers support the change. "This is a step toward making the public aware of this very low probability but high risk phenomenon," says Yeomans.[...]

Robert Adler is a freelance science writer living in Santa Rosa, California. He is the author of Science Firsts: From the Creation of Science to the Science of Creation (Wiley & Sons, 2002).

Click here to comment on this article


MINETTO - Amateur astonomer Joseph Bush said he can, and does, spend hours at a time with his eye to the lens watching the Moon.

"I've been fascinated with the Moon since I was a kid," said Bush. He remembers his first telescope was from the Montgomery Ward catalog - a far cry from the remote-controlled, 1,900mm Meade 125 scope he uses now.

"I can pick up a marble sitting on the Moon with this thing," he added, nodding at his telescope.

Which is why at 4 o'clock in the morning on clear nights, while most of us are asleep in our beds, Bush can be found out on his back deck or front yard staring into space.

Bush said although he has no formal training in astronomy, he has been researching and reading everything he can, particularly about the Moon.

"People say the Moon is dead, but it's still alive," he said. "I've got (photos with) eruptions coming off of the Moon."

Bush takes pictures with a 35mm camera attached to the telescope, using 110 speed black-and-white film to eliminate what he calls "noise," or spots, on the photos you would normally get with color film. He pointed out as there is no atmosphere on the Moon, he cannot say the short-lived eruptions are volcanic, but suggests it is high-pressure steam being released.

Bush claims he is the only man who has caught an eruption on the Moon on film. He keeps up a e-mail correspondence with Dr. James B, Garvin, lead scientist for Mars Exploration with NASA.

"When I sent him my photos, they actually turned the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to check it out," he said.

According to an e-mail received from Garvin by Bush, this is indeed unusual as the HST is used primarily for space observations much further away than the Moon, which is "only" about 384,403 kilometers (238,857 miles) from Earth, a figure that changes as it orbits Earth.

Because of how busy the HST is for what Garvin describes as "critical astrophysical observations, finding time to make lunar observations with it is difficult.

"This is why it is important for people such as yourselves and other Earth-based telescopic observers to continue to look at the Moon," writes Garvin.

Although he prefers the manual method, his state-of-the-art telescope is equipped with a remote control which can pinpoint about 40,000 different celestial bodies. All you need to do, explained Bush, is set the telescope up so it is facing dead north, select the body you want to view and press "go to" on the remote.

"I once actually caught a meteor as it slammed into the Moon," said Bush. "I saw a blue flash and then I could see dirt flying all over when it hit."

Bush said it is common to see meteorites, pieces of a meteor, hitting the Moon's surface, however, but it was a rare occurrence to catch a meteor strike.

"The Moon is our sister planet," he said. "It keeps us in orbit, governs our seas and it takes a lot of (meteorite) hits for us."

He said by Lake Ontario and in particular, Fair Haven, are great places to set up because they are so clear. Bush has a photo of what is called a star burst, which is when a star explodes.

"It's so far away, it probably actually exploded millions of years ago, and we are just seeing it now," he said.

Because he watches the Moon so often and for hours at a time, Bush has seen things he said he cannot identify, which he calls, of course, UFOs (unidentified flying objects).

"Everything I've taken (photos) so far as the UFOs have come from the southwest (sky)," he said. "I've picked up some small unidentified objects between 700-900 miles out."

When it comes to UFOs, he said his colleagues at NASA, such as Garvin, of course will neither confirm nor deny these sightings as UFOs. But, this does not deter Bush, who understands NASA's stance on the matters of UFOs. He continues to send NASA all of his sightings, under the enthusiastic encouragement of Garvin who writes, "Both Dr. (Anne) Kinney, our leading astronomer and director at NASA headquarters, and myself are very impressed with your work and interest and look forward to continued interactions."

Bush resides in Minetto with his wife, Betty.

Click here to comment on this article

Scientist seen as latest 'victim' of Iceman
Barbara McMahon Wednesday April 20, 2005 The Guardian

He had lain in his icy tomb on an Alpine glacier in northern Italy for 5,300 years, a perfectly preserved Stone Age warrior, complete with fur robes, leather shoes and bow and arrow.

But since being found 14 years ago, five of the people who came in close contact with Oetzi the Iceman have died, leading to the inevitable question: is the mummy cursed?

Konrad Spindler, head of the Iceman investigation team at Innsbruck University, died on Monday, apparently from complications arising from multiple sclerosis. But that has not stopped his name being linked to a string of strange deaths related to the mummy.[...]

The other "victims" of the mummy include the forensic expert Dr Rainer Henn, who placed the cadaver in a body bag with his bare hands, and who died in a road accident on his way to a conference to discuss his famous subject.

The Alpine guide Kurt Fritz organised the transportation by helicopter of the mummified remains, and was killed by a snowslide in an accident in the mountains, in an area he knew well. He was the only one of a party of climbers to die.

Then there was journalist Rainer Hoelz, who filmed the recovery of the Iceman, and who died of a brain tumour.

The fourth death was that of Helmut Simon, the German tourist who spotted the Iceman in 1991 while on a walking trip with his wife. He became bitter that he was not recognised or financially compensated for his discovery.

Last October he failed to return from a mountain hike and was found dead eight days later, the victim of a 300ft fall. Local newspapers recorded that his body was found frozen, under a sheet of snow and ice.

A possible sixth victim has also been named, that of Dieter Warnecke, the man who helped find the missing 69-year-old and who died of a heart attack after attending his funeral.[...]

Click here to comment on this article

Caucasians preceded East Asians in basin
By Robert J. Saiget AFP

URUMQI, China -- After years of controversy and political intrigue, archaeologists using genetic testing have proved that Caucasians roamed China's Tarim Basin 1,000 years before East Asian people arrived.

The research finding -- which the Beijing government apparently delayed releasing, fearing it could fuel Uighur Muslim separatism in China's western- most Xinjiang region -- is based on a cache of ancient dried-out corpses that have been found around the Tarim Basin in recent decades.

The discoveries in the 1980s of the undisturbed 4,000-year-old "Beauty of Loulan" and the 3,000-year-old body of the "Charchan Man" are legendary in international archaeological circles for the fine state of their preservation and for the wealth of knowledge they bring to modern research.

In historic and scientific circles, the discoveries along the ancient Silk Road were on a par with finding the Egyptian mummies.

But the separatists in Xinjiang have embraced the Caucasoid mummies as evidence that the Uighurs do not belong in China, forcing Beijing to slow the research.

"It is unfortunate that the issue has been so politicized, because it has created a lot of difficulties," said Victor Mair, a specialist in the ancient corpses and co-author of "The Tarim Mummies."

The desiccated corpses, which avoided natural decomposition because of the dry atmosphere and alkaline soils in the Tarim Basin, have given historians a glimpse of life in the Bronze Age.

Mr. Mair, a University of Pennsylvania professor who played a pivotal role in bringing the discoveries to Western scholars in the 1990s, has struggled to take samples out of China for genetic testing. One recent expedition was allowed to take five samples out.

"From the evidence available, we have found that during the first 1,000 years after the Loulan Beauty, the only settlers in the Tarim Basin were Caucasoid," Mr. Mair said.

East Asian peoples began showing up in the eastern portions of the Tarim Basin only about 3,000 years ago, he said, while the Uighurs arrived after the collapse of the Orkhon Uighur Kingdom, largely based in modern-day Mongolia, about the year 842.

A study last year by Jilin University also found that the mummies' DNA had Europoid genes.

Meanwhile, Yingpan Man, a nearly perfectly preserved 2,000-year-old Caucasoid mummy, was allowed this month to leave China for the first time, and is being displayed at the Edo-Tokyo Museum.

The Yingpan Man, discovered in 1995 in the region that bears his name, has a gold foil death mask -- a Greek tradition -- covering his blond bearded face, and wears elaborate golden embroidered red and maroon garments with seemingly Western European designs.

His nearly 6-foot-6 body is the tallest of all the mummies found, and the clothes and artifacts discovered in the surrounding tombs suggest the highest level of Caucasoid civilization in the ancient Tarim Basin region.

When the Yingpan Man returns from Tokyo to Urumqi, where he has long been kept out of public eye, he is expected to be finally put on display when the Xinjiang Museum opens this year.

Click here to comment on this article

Who Wrote the Reptilian Agenda?
Phenomena Magazine
Monday, April 18, 2005

In a Collector's Edition entitled "Secrets of the Da Vinci Code," published by US News and World Report, there is a brief interview with James Robinson, general editor of the Nag Hammadi Library. In response to Dan Brown's reference to the Nag Hammadi texts as scrolls, Robinson points out: "They are codices – books with individual pages. They are actually the oldest example we have of leather-bound books."

Amazingly, whatever the significance of their content (and we have just barely begun to comprehend what that might be), the Nag Hammadi Codices (NHC) are rare original artifacts, the earliest surviving examples of bound books. A close reading of these arcane materials shows that Gnostics were deeply concerned with alien intrusion into human affairs. The entities they called Archons appear to be identical to the ET's of modern Ufology. Both Grey and Reptilian types are explicitly described in the codices. I would estimate that up to one-fifth of the core material in the NHC concerns the Archons, their origin, methods and motives.[...]

So, the earliest surviving books contain a description of Alien intrusion, but what about the earliest known writings? Archeologists tell us that cuneiform writing was invented in Mesopotamia around 3200. The cuneiform record gives us the most extensive repertoire of stories about human prehistory. Cuneiform texts such as Atrahasis, Enuma Elish, and Enki and World Order, present stories of a non-human race called the Annunaki, "those who from heaven to earth came," as Zecharia Sitchin translates that term. Sitchin is known for densely researched books on the Annunaki, whom he identifies with the Biblical Nefhilim, "the Watchers" of the Book of Enoch. These are alien entities who "came into the daughters of men," as Genesis says.

The story of the Annunaki describes how an alien race intervenes deeply in human evolution. Sitchin and others accept this plot as if it were an actual record of events in prehistory. Cuneiform tablets describe how two Annunaki leaders, Enki and his half-sister Ninhursag, produced a hybrid, slave race from the indigenous ape-like peoples of the planet. Hence, an alien "interbreeding program" is central to the Annunaki narrative. It is an indisputable fact that this story is written down in the oldest surviving records, but is the story itself a fact?

Both the oldest writings and the earliest books tell us the same story. Isn't this amazing? To my knowledge, little or no attention has yet been given to this odd "coincidence."

However, there is a world of difference in the way the story is treated in these two sources. The cuneiform record tells the intervention scenario as if it were (pre)historical fact, a set of events that really happened. In the NHC, the story of the Annunaki (Archons) is introduced in a cosmological perspective, and then it is analyzed. In other words, the Gnostics had a view of the cosmic origins of the Annunaki, and they also took a critical approach to intervention. The cuneiform record is just a story, without critical commentary. The description of alien interbreeding occurs in both cases, but the NHC tell us the attempt failed:

"The Archons came to Adam. When they saw Eve talking to him they said to each other, 'What sort of creature is this luminous woman?' … Now come, let us lay hold of her and cast our seed into her, that she may become soiled and unable to access her inner light. Then those who she bears will be under our charge… But Eve, being a free power, laughed at their decision. She put mist in their eyes [and escaped them]." (The Origin of the World, 116)

This is one of several NHC passages that show Eve outwitting the Archons. It presents a mythological event, and comments on the outcome of that event. In the Gnostic view, the Archon/Annunaki do attempt to interbreed with humanity, but fail. Other texts describe how Eve leaves her "phantom image" which the Archons defile, but they are unable to actually access her body, i.e., human genetic structure.

The "Reptilian Agenda" is a modern interpretation and extension of the Sumerian cuneiform story, but it ignores the Gnostic version of that story, and the critical commentary. Sitchin's weak points are his inability to present a convincing case for the origin and motives of the Annunaki, and his failure (or refusal) to describe their physical appearance. Most ET theorists who follow him assume the Annunaki are Reptilians: for instance, R. A. Boulay in Flying Serpents and Dragons (an excellent book, by the way, and more deeply researched than Sitchin in some ways). The entire Reptilian Agenda stands or falls on how we view the cuneiform accounts, the oldest version of the alien intrusion plot.

But who wrote the cuneiform stories? The answer is, scribes in the service of the Sumerian theocrats. This answer is not complete, however, because scribes write things down, they do not originate what they write. Who then originated the cuneiform intervention stories taken down by scribes? I propose that it was soothsayers and advisors in the service of the theocrats. No ancient court was without a psychic channeller, if not a whole team of them. If we assume the critical distance of the Gnostics, we can understand how psychics advising the theocrats would produce a story to fit the need of their masters: specifically, the need to see themselves as descendents of "gods" and, at the same time, as slaves )albeit privileged ones) to a higher race that claims to have produced them. This message is schizophrenic, and as such it is totally consistent with channeled material and the mentality that produces it.

If the cuneiform stories are the product of psychic channeling in ancient times, the Reptilian Agenda, the modern elaboration of those stories, needs to be entirely reexamined in the light of Gnostic Archon theory. The first step in confronting the Reptilian menace, whatever it is, is to set the story straight.

Comment: Indeed, we couldn't agree more. We should point out that our own sources were talking about the entire Alien question from a gnostic/sufi perspective as early as 1994. David Icke, who became infamous when he published his book The Greatest Secret in 1999, only managed to twist and distort the true nature of the phenomenon and its true origin - hyperdimensional realities.

Click here to comment on this article

Paranoid Conspiracy Theories: Deception in the Suppression of David Icke
Richard Finnegan

The primary purpose of this paper is to explore the free speech implications of the censorship campaign that has been waged against David Icke in Canada by Richard Warman and other members of the Canadian and Ontario Green parties, who were, at least initially, assisted in their efforts by various non-governmental organizations (NGOs)....This paper will examine the nature and extent of the campaign against David Icke, the justifications that have
been used to support it, and the various deceptive and dangerous tactics that have been used to enforce it. [...]

Click here to comment on this article


Readers who wish to know more about who we are and what we do may visit our portal site Quantum Future

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

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

Send your comments and article suggestions to us Email addess

Fair Use Policy

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