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Note that "America" is shown coming from the sea. So who really owns the USA?

Israeli Spy Ring Busted! Developing ...
Justin Raimondo
antiwar.com

Larry Anthony Franklin, 58, a Pentagon analyst whose specialty is Iran, was arrested by federal agents today when he turned himself. He is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., later today.

Franklin was observed last year by federal agents revealing top secret information to two employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), longtime foreign policy director Steve Rosen, and his deputy Keith Weissman, at a restaurant in Arlington, Virginia. A raid on his home turned up 83 classified U.S. government documents [.pdf]. According to the indictment, "approximately 38 were classified 'Top Secret.' 37 were classified 'Secret,'" and "approximately 8" were marked "Confidential."

The real stunner: "The dates of these documents spanned three decades."

This, I think, gives us some indication that Franklin's arrest is about to dredge up something much larger than anyone now imagines. Remember, the FBI counterintelligence stumbled on Franklin in the course of a much more extensive investigation that has been going on for at least two years. According to the Washington Post:

"The counterintelligence probe, which is different from a criminal investigation, focuses on a possible transfer of intelligence more extensive than whether Franklin passed on a draft presidential directive on U.S. policy toward Iran, the sources said. The FBI is examining whether highly classified material from the National Security Agency, which conducts electronic intercepts of communications, was also forwarded to Israel, they said."

So much for the preemptive attempts by Israel's amen corner to deride the charges as much ado about nothing: a draft presidential directive, as David Frum claimed in National Review, that anyone who had the 35 cents to pay for a copy of the Washington Post could have access to. NSA intercepts are the crown jewels of our intelligence hoard, which could not only reveal specific and very sensitive information, but might also indicate U.S. sources and methods of intelligence-gathering.

I have written about this case extensively, and will surely be writing more. The trial should be interesting, to say the least. Suffice to say now that Franklin's treason is just the tip of the iceberg: what we are looking at is a longstanding conspiracy by Israeli agents inside the U.S. government to not only funnel classified materials to Tel Aviv, but to manipulate and bend U.S. foreign policy to serve Israeli interests.

The indictment also states that Franklin handed over classified materials to "a foreign official and to members of the news media on other occasions."

Which "foreign official"? Gee, I wonder if anyone in the Israeli embassy is packing his or her bags and hightailing it back home.

Guess which "members of the news media" -- now that's a fun game to play.

This is one trial that is going to be very interesting. Get out the popcorn, and the dip-and-chips: maybe they'll run it on Court TV....

CORRECTION: Franklin has not been indicted. The arrest warrant was generated by the complaint, which was backed up by an affidavit setting forth probable cause.

Comment: The Franklin spy case is one of many instances where Israel has spied on its best friend. The next article gives an overview.

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Israeli Spying: The Mother of all Scandals
What Really Happened

Once again, Israel has been caught with spies at the highest levels of the US Government.

At the heart of the investigation are two people who work at The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a powerful pro-Israel lobby in Washington. The FBI investigation, headed up by Dave Szady, has involved wiretaps, undercover surveillance and photography that CBS News was told document the passing of classified information from the mole, to the men at AIPAC, and on to the Israelis.

CBS sources say that last year the suspected spy, described as a trusted analyst at the Pentagon, turned over a presidential directive on U.S. policy toward Iran while it was, "in the draft phase when U.S. policy-makers were still debating the policy." This put the Israelis, according to one source, "inside the decision-making loop" so they could "try to influence the outcome." [CBS News]

Once again Israel denies wrongdoing, or faced with incontrovertible evidence (in this case one of the spies has reportedly cooperated with the FBI) dismisses the spying with the claim that such spying is harmless, because Israel and the United States are such good friends.

Well, let us take a closer look at that idea of “harmless espionage” by recalling Israel’s most famous failed spy, Jonathan Pollard.

Jonathan Pollard is an American of Jewish descent, born in Galveston Texas, who established a career as an intelligence analyst for the US Navy. There have been many theories offered as to why Pollard decided to betray his country of birth to the Jewish state, but that Pollard did betray his country of birth to Israel is beyond all doubt. Pollard’s defense was that he did not spy so much against the United States, only that he spied for Israel, sending them documents that in his opinion the US should have shared with Israel anyway.

That it was never Pollards job to decide what documents Israel should have was apparently irrelevant. Pollard arrogated that authority to himself. From his position of trust within the US Navy, Pollard delivered over 1000 classified documents to Israel for which he was well paid. Included in those documents were the names of over 150 US agents in the Mideast, who were eventually “turned” into agents for Israel.

But by far the most egregious damage done by Pollard was to steal classified documents relating to the US Nuclear Deterrent relative to the USSR and send them to Israel. According to sources in the US State Department, Israel then turned around and traded those stolen nuclear secrets to the USSR in exchange for increased emigration quotas from the USSR to Israel. Other information that found its way from the US to Israel to the USSR resulted in the loss of American agents operating inside the USSR. Casper Weinberger, in his affidavit opposing a reduced sentence for Pollard, described the damage done to the United States thus, "[It is] difficult to conceive of a greater harm to national security than that caused by... Pollard's treasonous behavior."

This should end the suggestion that Israel’s spies are harmless. They are not. The United States’ nuclear deterrent cost an estimated five trillion taxpayer dollars during the 50s and 60s to build and maintain, and less than $100,000 for Pollard to undermine. Israel waited 13 years to admit Pollard had been spying for them, and now lobbies for his release, having granted him Israeli citizenship.

Pollard is hardly the only Israeli spy operating in the United States. He just had the misfortune to get caught. Here are just a few examples of the Israeli spy operations that have been detected.

1947. Information collected by the ADL in its spy operations on US citizens is used by the House Select Committee on Unamerican Activities. Subcommittee Chair Clare Hoffman dismisses the ADL’s reports on suspected communists as “hearsay."

1950 John Davitt, former chief of the Justice Department's internal security section notes that the Israeli intelligence service is the second most active in the United States after the Soviets.

1954 A hidden microphone planted by the Israelis is discovered in the Office of the US Ambassador in Tel Aviv.

1956 Telephone taps are found connected to two telephones in the residence of the US military attaché in Tel Aviv.

1954 "The Lavon Affair". Israeli agents recruit Egyptian citizens of Jewish descent to bomb Western targets in Egypt, and plant evidence to frame Arabs, in an apparent attempt to upset US-Egyptian relations. Israeli defense minister Pinchas Lavon is eventually removed from office, though many think real responsibility lay with David Ben-Gurion.

1965 Israel apparently illegally obtains enriched uranium from NUMEC Corporation. (Washington Post, 6/5/86, Charles R. Babcock, "US an Intelligence Target of the Israelis, Officials Say.")

1967 Israel attacks the USS Liberty, an intelligence gathering vessel flying a US flag, killing 34 crew members. See "Assault on the Liberty," by James M. Ennes, Jr. (Random House). In 2004, Captain Ward Boston, Senior Legal Counsel for the Navy’s Court of Inquiry into the attack swears under oath that President Lyndon Johnson ordered the investigation to conclude accident, even though the evidence indicates the attack was deliberate. Given the use by Israel of unmarked boats and planes, and the machine-gunning of USS Liberty’s lifeboats, the most likely explanation is that USS Liberty was to be sunk with all hands, with evidence left to frame Egypt for the sinking. This would have dragged the US into the war on Israel’s side.

1970 While working for Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, Richard Perle is caught by the FBI giving classified information to Israel. Nothing is done.

1978, Stephen Bryen, then a Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffer, is overheard in a DC hotel offering confidential documents to top Israeli military officials. Bryen obtains a lawyer, Nathan Lewin, and the case heads for the grand jury, but is mysteriously dropped. Bryen later goes to work for Richard Perle.

1979 Shin Beth [the Israeli internal security agency] tries to penetrate the US Consulate General in Jerusalem through a “Honey Trap”, using a clerical employee who was having an affair with a Jerusalem girl.

1985 The New York Times reports the FBI is aware of at least a dozen incidents in which American officials transferred classified information to the Israelis, quoting [former Assistant Director of the F.B.I.] Mr. [Raymond] Wannal. The Justice Department does not prosecute.

1985 Richard Smyth, the owner of MILCO, is indicted on charges of smuggling nuclear timing devices to Israel (Washington Post, 10/31/86).

1987 April 24 Wall Street Journal headline: "Role of Israel in Iran-Contra Scandal Won't be Explored in Detail by Panels"

1992 The Wall Street Journal reports that Israeli agents apparently tried to steal Recon Optical Inc's top-secret airborne spy-camera system.

1992 Stephen Bryen, caught offering confidential documents to Israel in 1978, is serving on board of the pro-Israeli Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs while continuing as a paid consultant -- with security clearance -- on exports of sensitive US technology.

1992 "The Samson Option," by Seymour M. Hersh reports, “Illicitly obtained intelligence was flying so voluminously from LAKAM into Israeli intelligence that a special code name, JUMBO, was added to the security markings already on the documents. There were strict orders, Ari Ben-Menashe recalled: "Anything marked JUMBO was not supposed to be discussed with your American counterparts."

1993. The ADL is caught operating a massive spying operation on critics of Israel, Arab-Americans, the San Francisco Labor Council, ILWU Local 10, Oakland Educational Association, NAACP, Irish Northern Aid, International Indian Treaty Council, the Asian Law Caucus and the San Francisco police. Data collected was sent to Israel and in some cases to South Africa. Pressure from Jewish organizations forces the city to drop the criminal case, but the ADL settles a civil lawsuit for an undisclosed sum of cash.

1995 The Defense Investigative Service circulates a memo warning US military contractors that "Israel aggressively collects [US] military and industrial technology." The report stated that Israel obtains information using "ethnic targeting, financial aggrandizement, and identification and exploitation of individual frailties" of US citizens.

1996 A General Accounting Office report "Defense Industrial Security: Weaknesses in US Security Arrangements With Foreign-Owned Defense Contractors" found that according to intelligence sources "Country A" (identified by intelligence sources as Israel, Washington Times, 2/22/96) "conducts the most aggressive espionage operation against the United States of any US ally." The Jerusalem Post (8/30/96) quoted the report, "Classified military information and sensitive military technologies are high-priority targets for the intelligence agencies of this country." The report described "An espionage operation run by the intelligence organization responsible for collecting scientific and technologic information for [Israel] paid a US government employee to obtain US classified military intelligence documents." The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (Shawn L. Twing, April 1996) noted that this was "a reference to the 1985 arrest of Jonathan Pollard, a civilian US naval intelligence analyst who provided Israel's LAKAM [Office of Special Tasks] espionage agency an estimated 800,000 pages of classified US intelligence information."

The GAO report also noted that "Several citizens of [Israel] were caught in the United States stealing sensitive technology used in manufacturing artillery gun tubes."

1996 An Office of Naval Intelligence document, "Worldwide Challenges to Naval Strike Warfare" reported that "US technology has been acquired [by China] through Israel in the form of the Lavi fighter and possibly SAM [surface-to-air] missile technology." Jane's Defense Weekly (2/28/96) noted that "until now, the intelligence community has not openly confirmed the transfer of US technology [via Israel] to China." The report noted that this "represents a dramatic step forward for Chinese military aviation." (Flight International, 3/13/96)

1997 An Army mechanical engineer, David A. Tenenbaum, "inadvertently" gives classified military information on missile systems and armored vehicles to Israeli officials (New York Times, 2/20/97).

1997 The Washington Post reports US intelligence has intercepted a conversation in which two Israeli officials had discussed the possibility of getting a confidential letter that then-Secretary of State Warren Christopher had written to Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat. One of the Israelis, identified only as “Dov”, had commented that they may get the letter from "Mega”, the code name for Israel’s top agent inside the United States.

1997 US ambassador to Israel, Martin Indyk, complains privately to the Israeli government about heavy-handed surveillance by Israeli intelligence agents.

1997 Israeli agents place a tap on Monica Lewinsky’s phone at the Watergate and record phone sex sessions between her and President Bill Clinton. The Ken Starr report confirms that Clinton warned Lewinsky their conversations were being taped and ended the affair. At the same time, the FBI’s hunt for “Mega” is called off.

2001 It is discovered that US drug agents’ communications have been penetrated. Suspicion falls on two companies, AMDOCS and Comverse Infosys, both owned by Israelis. AMDOCS generates billing data for most US phone companies and is able to provide detailed logs of who is talking to whom. Comverse Infosys builds the tapping equipment used by law enforcement to eavesdrop on all American telephone calls, but suspicion forms that Comverse, which gets half of its research and development budget from the Israeli government, has built a back door into the system that is being exploited by Israeli intelligence and that the information gleaned on US drug interdiction efforts is finding its way to drug smugglers. The investigation by the FBI leads to the exposure of the largest foreign spy ring ever uncovered inside the United States, operated by Israel. Half of the suspected spies have been arrested when 9-11 happens. On 9-11, 5 Israelis are arrested for dancing and cheering while the World Trade Towers collapse. Supposedly employed by Urban Moving Systems, the Israelis are caught with multiple passports and a lot of cash. Two of them are later revealed to be Mossad. As witness reports track the activity of the Israelis, it emerges that they were seen at Liberty Park at the time of the first impact, suggesting a foreknowledge of what was to come. The Israelis are interrogated, and then eventually sent back to Israel. The owner of the moving company used as a cover by the Mossad agents abandons his business and flees to Israel. The United States Government then classifies all of the evidence related to the Israeli agents and their connections to 9-11. All of this is reported to the public via a four part story on Fox News by Carl Cameron. Pressure from Jewish groups, primarily AIPAC, forces Fox News to remove the story from their website. Two hours prior to the 9-11 attacks, Odigo, an Israeli company with offices just a few blocks from the World Trade Towers, receives an advance warning via the internet. The manager of the New York Office provides the FBI with the IP address of the sender of the message, but the FBI does not follow up.

2001 The FBI is investigating 5 Israeli moving companies as possible fronts for Israeli intelligence.

2001 JDL’s Irv Rubin arrested for planning to bomb a US Congressman. He dies before he can be brought to trial.

2002 The DEA issues a report that Israeli spies, posing as art students, have been trying to penetrate US Government offices.

2002 police near the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station in southern Washington State stop a suspicious truck and detain two Israelis, one of whom is illegally in the United States. The two men were driving at high speed in a Ryder rental truck, which they claimed had been used to "deliver furniture." The next day, police discovered traces of TNT and RDX military-grade plastic explosives inside the passenger cabin and on the steering wheel of the vehicle. The FBI then announces that the tests that showed explosives were “false positived” by cigarette smoke, a claim test experts say is ridiculous. Based on an alibi provided by a woman, the case is closed and the Israelis are handed over to INS to be sent back to Israel. One week later, the woman who provided the alibi vanishes.

2003 The Police Chief of Cloudcroft stops a truck speeding through a school zone. The drivers turn out to be Israelis with expired passports. Claiming to be movers, the truck contains junk furniture and several boxes. The Israelis are handed over to immigration. The contents of the boxers are not revealed to the public.

2003 Israel deploys assassination squads into other countries, including the United States. The US Government does not protest.

2004 Police near the Nuclear Fuel Services plant in Tennessee stop a truck after a three mile chase, during which the driver throws a bottle containing a strange liquid from the cab. The drivers turn out to be Israelis using fake Ids. The FBI refuses to investigate and the Israelis are released.

2004 Two Israelis try to enter Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, home to eight Trident submarines. The truck tests positive for explosives.

This brings us to the present scandal. Two years into an investigation of AIPAC’s possible role as a spy front for Israel, Larry Franklin, a mid-level Pentagon Analyst is observed by the FBI giving classified information to two officials of AIPAC suspected of being Israeli spies. AIPAC hires lawyer Nathan Lewin to handle their legal defense, the same lawyer who defended suspected Israeli spy Stephen Bryen in 1978.

Larry Franklin worked in the Pentagon Office of Special Plans, run by Richard Perle, at the time Perle (who was caught giving classified information to Israel back in 1970) was insisting that Iraq was crawling with weapons of mass destruction requiring the United States to invade and conquer Iraq. There were no WMDs, of course, and Perle has dumped the blame for the “bad intelligence” on George Tenet. But what is known is that the Pentagon Office of Special Plans was coordinating with a similar group in Israel, in Ariel Sharon’s office.

With two suspected Israeli spies (at least) inside the office from which the lies that launched the war in Iraq originated, it appears that the people of the United States are the victims of a deadly hoax, a hoax that started a war.

The leaking of the investigation of AIPAC to the media on August 28th, 2004 gave advance warning to other spies working with Franklin. The damage to the FBI’s investigation was completed when United States Attorney General John Ashcroft ordered the FBI to stop all arrests in the case. Like the Stephen Bryen case and the hunt for “Mega”, this latest spy scandal seems destined by officials who have their own secret allegiances to protect, barring a massive public outcry.

The organization at the heart of the latest spy investigation, AIPAC, wields tremendous influence over the US Congress. Through its members and affiliated PACs, AIPAC directs a huge flow of campaign cash in favor of, and occasionally against, Senators and Representatives solely on the basis of their willingness to support Israel. As an example, in 2002, U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, D-Birmingham received so much help from pro-Israeli pacs that 76% of his campaign budget came from OUTSIDE the state of Alabama, mostly from New York.

Let me repeat that. A Congressman AIPAC wanted elected received more money from pro-Israel groups outside his state than from his own constituents inside his state. Who is that Congressman going to be thinking of when he votes in Congress?

So here is the mother of all scandals.

For two years, the FBI has suspected AIPAC of spying for a foreign country, and for those two years (and for decades before) that group suspected of spying for Israel has been reshaping the US Congress for the benefit of a foreign government.

And THAT is the mother of all scandals.

Think about that as billions of your tax dollars flow to Israel while your roads and schools crumble and decay and services are cut.

Think about that as the coffins come home with your loved ones inside.

Think about that when you and a million of your fellow citizens march down the streets of America opposing wars built on lies and deceptions and wonder why the government just doesn’t want to listen to you any more.

Comment: Yup, the mother of all scandals. Wanna bet this one goes nowhere?

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'Abu the Terrorist' was really Mossad
judicial-inc

Author Patrick Seale wrote:

Abu Nidal was undoubtedly a Mossad agent. Practically every job he did benefited Israel.

Confirming Seale's theory are top Middle East terrorism experts, including intelligence officers in Arab countries, and even within Abu Nidal's own organization.

All the European and Mid-East terror experts agree that Nidal was Mossad.

He was a protégé of Menacham Begins ... ran free for 30 yrs ...used to kill unwanted Palestinians

Seale pointed out the senseless and extremely brutal attacks only benefited Israel. Nidal had two thrusts .... He killed Palestinians that were a threat to Israel, and hijacked American and European jets. [...]

The 1972 Munich Olympic massacre

Abu's organization, Black September, invaded the Munich's Olympic village, and took the Israeli Olympics team hostage. There was a standoff, and the Germans agreed to let the Nidal's operatives escape. They go to an airport were they are ambushed, and some of the terrorists were killed as well as 11 Israelis .

Israel has the Mossad assassinate the 11 Arabs connected, but don't touch Abu Nidal.

The odd part --- Abu Nidal killed from 1972 till 2002, and the Mossad never retaliated and killed him?[...]

The Abu Nidal Organization had operated for over 30 years, and was responsible for over 900 deaths. Targets included hijackings, bombings, and assassination of troublesome Palestinian leaders.

Abu Nidal AKA Sabri al-Banna, was was born in 1937, and there are various versions of his history.

One version has his family losing everything, in 1948, to the Jews, and he drifted from refugee camp to camp. He finally wound up in Saudi Arabia, where he started his terror organization, - Black September.

Another version has him as a son of an Arab mother and a Jewish father. He was outcast by his 1/2 brothers, and sisters, and was educated in Israel, and then Cairo.

He worked out of Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Lebanon. He died in August of 2002.

Comment: Gosh, the great "Palestinian terrorist" was a Mossad agent all along!?

Nidal was the man responsible for Black September, the massacre of Israel Olympic athletes in Munich. He was responsible for the hijacked plane that finished with a shoot-out at Entebbe. If there was an event that marked the Palestinians as "terrorists", these were surely near the top. For the next three decades, Israel's right-wing denounced Arafat as a "terrorist" and refused to deal with him. Black September certainly was key in justifying that stance.

And it turns out that it was just another Mossad false flag operation...

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Israel, Iran, Mossad and a Nuclear False Flag Attack
by R. Leland Lehrman
505.982.3609 - leland@33o.com

April 18th, 2005 - Public Advisory

New information and threats, including this commercial video (available from the Iran Freedom Foundation home page) and other neoconservative rants regarding an "Iranian" nuclear threat have prompted an essential update to this piece regarding the extensive record of recently arrested Israeli, not Iranian operatives, often around nuclear facilities in America.

This campaign designed to prepare the American people to blame Iran for a possible upcoming nuclear terrorist attack fits the description of a Mossad false flag operation, especially because of Israel's numerous, even flagrant recent violations of American nuclear security.

Israel's long record of using terrorism and especially "false flag" terrorism - covert military operations designed to pin blame on an enemy - is extensive and well documented, beginning with the bombing of the Hotel King David by Menachem Begin's Irgun fighters, through the Lavon Affair and recently includes the bust up of a phony al Qaeda cell that was in reality manufactured by the Mossad.

For those still under the illusion that Israel has always been a US ally, please note the USS Liberty Incident , wherein Israeli fighter planes and torpedo boats nearly sunk an unarmed US intelligence vessel in international waters, and also the US Army War College's assesment of the Mossad: "Wildcard. Ruthless and cunning. Has capability to target US forces and make it look like a Palestinian/Arab act." - Washington Times . Even the US army acknowledges that Israel can and does engineer "false flag" attacks.

Here's why they say history repeats itself. America, doesn't this sound a bit too familiar: "As during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, the neocons have embarked on another inane search for monarchic exile groups to prop up as future leaders of a "free and democratic" Iran. This effort, according to the Financial Times, is led by a gruesome twosome -- Iran-Contra scumlord, Michael Ledeen, and Swift Boat washup, Jerome Corsi -- along with AIPAC and a laundry list of wingers in congress." - Max Blumenthal

"A prominent backer of the Alliance [for "Democracy" in Iran - forerunner to the Iran Freedom Foundation] is Jerome Corsi, well known for his role in the Swift Boat Veterans and POWs for Truth campaign against John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate... The Alliance says it is in partnership with the rightwing Hudson Institute. Alliance members are also inspired by Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute, an influential neoconservative policy group, who is a veteran campaigner for regime change. " - Financial Times

The Hudson Institute, the ultraconservative, organic food bashing home of neocon all star Meyrav Wurmser, co- author of the famous Project for a New Pearl Harbor, I mean Project for a New American Century document, Rebuilding America's Defenses provides insitutional cover for this poorly disguised covert intelligence operation. Hudson Institute features the Bilderberger criminal, "Lord" Conrad Black as one of its trustees. Here's what New World Order genius-in-chief Henry Kissinger has to say about the Hudson Institute:

“Hudson Institute is today one of America's foremost policy research centers, in the forefront of study and debate on important domestic and international policy issues, known and respected around the globe, a leader in innovative thinking and creative solutions to the challenges of the present and the future.” - Henry A. Kissinger

This recent propaganda effort streaming through wild-eyed right-wing rags like World Net Daily is well-organized and may perhaps indicate that the "provocation" designed to legitimate the planned June 2005 war with Iran, is about to occur. Neocon bullhorn World Net Daily blares: "NUCLEAR WAR-FEAR: Iran nuke commercial hits TV markets. Spot depicting atomic terror attack in NYC to be seen in 20 cities."

Citizens can afford to waste no time informing the President, the Pentagon, Congress, State Officials, FBI Counter Intelligence and the press that we are aware of the intent of this propaganda campaign and are not fooled. Recent Israeli and US efforts to publicly distance themselves from war plans for Iran may be part of a campaign to appear peaceful, such that a terrorist attack falsely blamed on Iran with the full force of the international media will look all the more brutal and undeserved.

We have seen these types of "terrorist attacks" both real and imagined used to legitimate foreign military adventures that are deceptively sold to an unwitting public as if they were in our "National Interest," or "Promote Democracy." No, no, as Major General Smedley Butler put it in 1935: War is a Racket.When was the last time this Administration warned us about mushroom clouds over US cities? Where are those weapons of mass destruction today?

Read on for the details of the Israeli agents arrested near US nuclear facilities or in other suspicious circumstances. All instances documented in mainstream press. [...]

Comment: Iran is being portrayed as a country of wild-eyed, religious fanatics bent on nuclear destruction. Sound like any other country we know?

The psychopath has the tendency to accuse its victims of its own crimes. So does Psych-Ops. Read on...

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Flashback!: Psychological Warfare

Paul Linebarger
This is from Paul Linebarger's Psychological Warfare, 1954 edition, pages 128-131, which is the "primer" for PSYOPS operations. Linebarger's fear was that this would be used in peace time. It appears that this is very much the case, particularly when examining the activities of the US and Israel...

"Over and above the direct contribution to straight news or intelligence, enemy propaganda in times of war or crisis affords a clue to enemy strategy. If the co-ordination is not present the propaganda may do the enemy himself harm. But the moment co-ordination is present, and one end of the co-ordinate is handed over to us, we can start figuring what the co-ordination is for. Sometimes propaganda is sacrificed for weightier considerations of security; German propaganda gave little advance warning of a war with the USSR, and Soviet propaganda gave none. In other instances, the co-ordination does give the show away.

Comment: The Manhattan project is one instance of this.

"In 1941-42 the Japanese radio began to show an unwholesome interest in Christmas Island in its broadcasts to Japanese at home and abroad. Christmas Island, below Sumatra, was pointed out as a really important place, and tremendously important to Naval strategy. Subsequently the Japanese armed forces went to and took Christmas Island. The home public was delighted that this vital spot had been secured. Of course Christmas Island was not as important as Japanese radio said it was, but the significant thing was that radio talked about it AHEAD OF TIME. For what little it was worth the Japanese had given us warning......"

Comment: This section one paragraph later applies to Israel in particular but also applies to Iran.

"A nation getting ready to strike à la Pearl Harbour may prepare by alleging American aggresion. A nation preparing to break the peace frequently gets out peace propaganda of the most blatant sort, trying to make sure that its own audience (as well as the world) will believe the real responsibility to lie in the victim he attacks. Hitler protested his love of Norwegian neutrality; then he hit, claiming that he was protecting it from the British. No hard and fast rules can be made up for all wars or all beligerents. The Germans behaved according to one pattern; the Japanese another."

"For example, the German High Command sought to avoid bragging about anything they could not accomplish. They often struck blows without warning but they never said they would strike a blow when they knew or believed they could not do it. The British and Americans made a timetable of this, and were able to guess how fast the Germans thought they were going to advance in Russia. Knowing this, the British and Americans planned their propaganda to counter the German boasts; they tried to pin the Germans down to objectives they knew the Germans would not take, in order to demonstrate to the peoples of Europe that Nazi Germany had finally bitten off more than it could chew."

"Later the Allies remembered this German habit when the Nazis on the radio began talking about their own secret weapons. When the British bombed the V-1 ramps on the French coast, the German radio stopped that talk. The British had additional grounds for supposing that the ramps thay had bombed were part of the secret weapons that the Germans bragged about. The British further knew that the Germans would try to counter the psychologigal effect of the annouoncement of Allied D Day with some pretty vivid news of their own. When the German radio began mentioning secret weapons again, the British suspected the Germans had got around damage done to the ramps. D-Day came; the Germans, in one single broadcast designed to impress the Japanese and Chinese, announced the secret German weapon was about to be turned loose, and that more such weapons would follow. One day later the first V-1 hit London."

Comment: And the final chapter ends thus:

"For peacetime purposes, it is to be rermembered that tough enemies may hide their scientists, their launching ramps, or their rockets, they cannot hide their occasion for war, nor their own readiness measures. No government can afford to seem the plain unqualified aggressor. Propanal [Propaganda Analysis] may prove to be one of the soundest war-forecasting systems available to usin a period of ultra destructive weapons. Psychological mobilization may be disguised; it cannot be concealed."

Comment: Since the re-appointment of GW, the US has been talking "peace" and "diplomacy", while at the same time portraying Iran and Syria as "terrorist states". A close reading of the above tells us what is in store...

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The Larry Franklin / AIPAC Case -- A Memo to the Media

The Gorilla in the Room
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
I'm sure all of my regular readers have heard about Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin surrendering to the FBI today to face charges of illegal disclosure of classified information to AIPAC. This post is some background for members of the media, since I'm starting to get a decent amount of traffic from media-linked domains via Google, and want to clue you in to the questions you should be asking to get to the bottom of this story and not fall victim to AIPAC's attempts to "spin" this.

Here's what you should be aware of, and some questions you should be asking over the next few weeks:

1) The charges made public today are just the tip of the iceberg. Franklin was only charged with one count of improper disclosure of classified information, apparently related to potential dangers to U.S. forces in Iraq. A much larger issue relates to Iran, since it's already come out that Franklin also gave senior AIPAC officials Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman a draft presidential decision directive which would have (if approved) made regime change rather than negotiation official U.S. policy toward Iran.

2) The "big picture" in this case is much more about what intelligence types call an "agents of influence" operation rather than just espionage. The reason Franklin (and possibly whoever at a higher level sent him) wanted AIPAC to know about the draft directive was to coordinate pressure on Congress and the Bush Administration to back military strikes on Iran, a major policy goal of the Israeli government.

3) The draft presidential directive was written by Michael Rubin, a former mid-level Pentagon official in Doug Feith's office who is now at the American Enterprise Institute, a neoconservative think-tank. One of the big questions is: Did anyone "send" Franklin to leak this, or did he just do it on his own?

4) Franklin was cooperating with the FBI's investigation in mid-2004, then stopped, and retained the services of Washington superlawyer Plato Cacheris. The obvious question is who approached Franklin to get him to stop cooperating? And who is paying for his legal defense? Franklin has been working for a government salary his entire life, and he's not a rich man. Did pro-Israel interests or donors offer to finance his defense in order to secure his non-cooperation with the FBI?

5) Apart from the charges, what else does the FBI have on AIPAC? If they have wiretaps of years of conversations, they probably know a lot about what the pro-Israel lobby did to help support the push for war in Iraq. After all, the Office of Special Plans at the Pentagon was very heavily staffed with political appointees with very close personal ties to Israel. (This is the truth that dare not speak its name, but it's critical to understanding how the U.S. got snookered into invading Iraq.) AIPAC never had an overt policy of pushing for a U.S. invasion of Iraq, but anyone with friends on Capitol Hill knows that AIPAC's members were buttonholing congressmen in 2002 to secure their votes for the war resulution "unofficially." If the wiretrap transcripts become available in the trial, that should shed some light on this. AIPAC is going to try to spin this as being about two individuals, that's why Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman were fired in April. Don't buy it. Steve Rosen is one of the main people who built the lobbyibg powerhouse into what it is. Their Board of Directors dumped him in a last ditch attempt to avoid the storm that is coming, adopting the "couple of bad apples" defense for the organization.

6) Larry Franklin also was on the trip to Europe in December 2001 that included Harold Rhode and Michael Ledeen, the purpose of which was to meet with Manucher Ghorbanifar about the sales pitch for a war with Iran. This trip also just happens to have happened at the same time the Italian military intelligence service (SISMI) started circulating the bogus Niger uranium document which was instrumental in misleading the U.S. into war in Iraq. Clearly, that document came from somewhere. Who was trying to feed disinformation to us? Does Larry Franklin know?

I know that these questions lead in directions where the media generally doesn't go -- did we really invade Iraq at least in part as a result of the influence of the Israel lobby? Are we being pushed into a confrontation with Iran the same way? That's the real question raised by this case. AIPAC and its defenders are going to try to spin this investigation as motivated by antisemitism. I would urge you not to buy into that without carefully evaluating such charges yourself. They've been caught receiving classified information illegally so that they could lobby for war with Iran, and now they're trying to change the subject.

Comment: With what we know of the US press, do we think for a minute that the journalists who read the above blog will be permitted to follow the leads given above?

What is curious is that we are certain there are millions if not tens of millions of Americans who are outraged at what is going on. You can read the horror on blogs and so-called "liberal" discussion groups, but it isn't going anywhere. Obviously, there is a danger to someone who attempts to broadcast the truth. Is that what is keeping people cowed and in line?

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WHY US? (On the academic boycott)

Tanya Reinhart
Yediot Aharonot, May 4, 2005. Translated from Hebrew by Mark Marshall.

A boycott decision, like that passed by Britain’s Association of University Teachers to boycott two Israeli universities, naturally raises a hue and cry among Israelis. Why us? And why now, “just when negotiations with the Palestinians might be renewed”?

It may be worthwhile, however, to consider how the world perceives us. In July 2004, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that Israel must immediately dismantle those parts of the wall that were built on Palestinian lands. We disregarded the ruling. We are turning the West Bank into a prison for Palestinians, as we have already done in Gaza in the course of 38 years of occupation, every one of which is a violation of UN resolutions. Since 1993 we have been engaged in negotiations with the Palestinians, and in the meantime we continued expanding settlements. In its judgement, the Court recommended to the UN that sanctions be imposed on Israel if its ruling is not obeyed. The Israeli reply - no need to worry! As long as the United States is behind us, the UN will do nothing.

In the eyes of the world, the question is what can be done when the relevant institutions do not succeed in enforcing international law? The boycott model is drawn from the past: South Africa also disregarded UN resolutions. At that time as well, the UN (under U.S. pressure), was reluctant to impose immediate sanctions. The South African boycott began as a grass roots movement initiated by individuals and independent organizations. It grew slowly but steadily until it finally became an absolute boycott of products, sport, culture, academia and tourism. South Africa was gradually forced to abrogate apartheid.

The international community is beginning to apply the same model to Israel in all domains, from the Caterpillar bulldozers that demolish Palestinian homes, to sports and culture. In the eyes of the international community, the relevant question is whether the Israeli Academy is entitled, on the basis of its actions, to be exempt from this general boycott. Many in the Israeli Academy oppose the occupation as individuals. But in practice, no Israeli university senate has ever passed a resolution condemning, for example, the closure of Palestinian universities. Even now, when the wall cuts off students and lecturers from their universities, the protest of the Academy is not heard. The British boycott is selective two universities were selected to signal to the Israeli Academy that it is being watched. But the Israeli Academy still has the option of removing itself from the cycle of passive support of the occupation.

One puzzle still remains Why just us? Why is Israel being singled out? What about Russia in Chechnya? What about the United States? What the U.S. did in Falluja, no Israeli general has yet dared to try. Indeed, the logic behind a boycott of Israel dictates that a boycott of the great powers is fully justified. It is only because at the moment there is a greater likelihood of success in stopping a small state, that Israel became the focus. Still, if an effort is made to save first the Palestinians and at least stop the wall, can we condemn that effort as unethical? Is it more ethical to refrain from trying to save anyone until it is possible to save everyone?

As usual, we believe that the solution lies in the realm of force. When the Valencia basketball team tried to boycott Israel in March 2004, and announced that it would not participate in the League Championship if it took place in Israel, the steamroller was set in motion; there were threats, there were mutterings about contracts, until Valencia was forced to relent and play here. Similarly, in the case of the academic boycott, the global Israeli lobby has tracked down, one by one, those who have declared support of the boycott, and have tried to make their lives miserable. The attempt by Haifa University to dismiss Dr.Ilan Pappe in 2002 was not instigated because of the Teddy Katz affair, but because Dr. Pappe openly supported the boycott and signed the original British petition calling for it.

It is possible that the bulldozer, which has come to symbolize Israel, will succeed in reversing the decision of the AUT in England. But will this prevent researchers from boycotting us quietly, without involving the media? Perhaps it would be more worthwhile for the Israeli Academy to direct its anger at the government and demand that it finally put a stop to this wall.

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Shareholder Proposal: Insurer to Investigate 9/11
PRWEB
5/2/2005

A proposal by a small shareholder to withhold approval from the Board of Directors for failure to investigate signs of insurance fraud on 9/11 has been published on the website of the Allianz Group, one of the world’s largest insurers, in preparation for its May 4th annual meeting.

Allianz Group published a shareholder proposal on April 20th faulting management for ignoring signs of insurance fraud on 9/11/2001. Allianz carried a significant portion of the insurance coverage on the WTC, and stands to pay a corresponding portion of the $3.5 billion payout currently being litigated in New York. In his proposal, shareholder John Leonard, a California native and a publisher of books on 9/11, pointed to reports that building WTC 7 apparently collapsed by demolition, and for no plausible reason related to the 9/11 attacks. Management replied that it relied on official US government reports which made no mention of such evidence.

The Allianz Group is incorporated in Germany and has approximately 570,000 shareholders. Under German Stock Companies law, publicly held companies are required to publish shareholder proposals that meet certain criteria.

Comment: This is merely one of the many as yet unexplained anomalous events that occured on September 11th 2001.

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Sex, Lies and "Sexing Up"
SOTT Comment

Today the British people go to the polls in a general election that will decide if Tony Blair will be returned as head of the British government. The election carries all the weight of last year's US election, where the main bone of contention was the US invasion of Iraq and the reasons for it and its legality, if any. Of course, spin master general Karl Rove did his best to distract everyone from Iraq by making gay marriages and (Christian) "morality" the central issue. In any case, based on the many reports of voting irregularities that were never addressed by the US government or the US media, it seems that Bush's re-election was never in doubt. As Stalin said, it is not the voters, but the ones who count the votes that matter.

Since last week's release of the details of exactly what the British Attorney General actually told Blair about the legality (or otherwise) of sending British troops to support the US invasion of Iraq, Blair has been forced onto his back foot, going so far as to make the wholly unbelievable claim that he has "never told a lie", (presumably about anything never mind something as important as the justification for sending British troops to war).

Yet for almost two years before the latest accusations that he actually DID LIE to the British public, Blair has also been accused of having "sexed up" the threat from Saddam that led to the Iraq invasion; Lord Hutton's whitewashed report that exonerated Blair and his propagandist spin doctor Alistair Campbell notwithstanding.

Indeed, in light of the latest revelations of the Attorney General's case for the illegality of war, it would seem that if anyone should be exonerated it is ex-BBC Chief Greg Dyke and BBC reporter Andrew Gillligan who made the initial claims of wrongdoing and who, along with murdered Microbiologist Dr David Kelly, were used as scapegoats when the whole "sexing up" question was first raised back in May 2003.

Getting to the point: much like the Bush administration's bogus claims (complete with dubious badly drawn pictures) about Iraqi "WMD laboratories" that were presented to the UN, the simple fact is that a Sept. 2002 British government-approved dossier on the status of the Iraq's WMDs stated that Iraq could deploy weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes, a claim that was wholly false and deliberately inserted to "sex up" the dossier. This much is beyond doubt. Even though, for two years, Blair has been accused of "sexing up" a dossier, it is only now, just before a general election, that the word "lie" has surfaced.

But what exactly is "sexing up"? In essence, Blair was being accused of making the argument for Saddam's WMDs more convincing to the British public, an act that was instinctively associated with the idea of sex by the mainstream media. While the bogus dossier itself made no reference to sex, clearly it was the manipulative and fear-enducing EFFECT that the false claims had on the British public and the similarity to the effects of that other great enticer of humanity - sex - that led to the association being made.

In the murky world of intelligence operations and operatives, a tactic called the "honey trap" is renowned for its high success rate. The idea is simple: a target (usually male) is enticed with an apparently genuine promise of a sexual encounter by a female intelligence operative for the purpose of intelligence gathering, blackmail, or murder. Basically, the target is fooled, conned, or in other words, lied to.

The British and American public have been lied to over and over again about the rationale and real reasons for the invasion of Iraq. Long before now the word "lie" should have been used to describe the clearly duplicitous actions of not only Blair, but Bush and the rest of the corrupt US administration also. Today at the polls, the British public would be well advised to take this, perhaps their last, chance to exercise what is left of their Democratic rights; that is, if it is not already too late...

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Fraud fears over postal vote theft
MURDO MACLEOD
POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT

EUROPEAN experts in electoral fraud are set to investigate the UK’s "flawed" postal ballot system amid fears thousands of votes could be stolen on May 5.

The Council of Europe (CoE), which oversees democracy and human rights across the continent, is poised to send legal experts to the UK to investigate how easy the British system is to rig and recommend changes.

The news is a major embarrassment for the UK, which is a founder member of the CoE, because the organisation usually investigates the voting systems of countries with little history of democracy, such as the former Eastern Bloc nations.

The move comes amid growing evidence of widespread misuse of the postal ballot system and the setting up of a new police hotline dedicated to reporting incidents of voting fraud.

Last week, Scotland on Sunday reported that the major parties had lobbied to have tough safeguards aimed at stopping political activists "stealing" votes scrapped. [...]

Comment: With the Bush administration having set the precedent that stealing an election is all in a day's work for your average Westgern "Democracy", it surely can't be long before America's allies follow suit.

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Ex-BBC chief slates Blair as "Danger To Democracy"
GERRI PEEV
POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT

TONY Blair was yesterday branded a "danger to democracy" by Greg Dyke, the former director general of the BBC, who accused the Prime Minister of sexing up the legal advice on the Iraq war.

The former Labour supporter said he was severing his 40-year link to the party to switch to the Liberal Democrats because he could not vote for a government that would be led by Mr Blair.

At a Liberal Democrats news conference in London yesterday, Mr Dyke said: "I do genuinely believe that our democracy has been undermined in the years since the Blair government, and I think another Blair government would pose further dangers to our democracy."

Mr Dyke, whose yellow shirt embodied the party colours of the Liberal Democrats, compared the operation run from Downing Street to the White House under Richard Nixon, accusing Mr Blair of undermining Cabinet government.

Admitting he had been in favour of the war when the government warned that Iraq posed a threat, Mr Dyke said this belief was shattered by the Butler inquiry into the use of intelligence to make the case for war.

This was the pivotal point at which he realised that the controversial BBC story by Andrew Gilligan was true - the dossier was "sexed up" and people inside Downing Street knew it was, Mr Dyke said.

He had been motivated to speak publicly for the Lib Dems following the publication of the Attorney General’s caveat-filled advice last week.

"It’s now, I think, very clear that the Blair government tried to do to the legal opinion [of the Attorney General on the Iraq war] exactly what they did to the intelligence," Mr Dyke said. "They chose the bits they liked and they ignored the rest."

The former BBC chief was one of the "scalps" claimed by the government after the Hutton inquiry into the sexed-up dossier claims. However, yesterday, the millionaire insisted his new-found allegiance to the Lib Dems had nothing to do with revenge for losing his job. Rather, it was the positioning of Labour as a "centre-right" party that had turned him off. [...]

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Proof Bush Fixed The Facts

Ray McGovern
May 04, 2005

Ray McGovern served 27 years as a CIA analyst and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. He works for Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour. 

"Intelligence and facts are being fixed around the policy."

Never in our wildest dreams did we think we would see those words in black and white—and beneath a SECRET stamp, no less.  For three years now, we in Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) have been saying that the CIA and its British counterpart, MI-6, were ordered by their countries' leaders to "fix facts" to "justify" an unprovoked war on Iraq.  More often than not, we have been greeted with stares of incredulity.

It has been a hard learning—that folks tend to believe what they want to believe.  As long as our evidence, however abundant and persuasive, remained circumstantial, it could not compel belief.  It simply is much easier on the psyche to assent to the White House spin machine blaming the Iraq fiasco on bad intelligence than to entertain the notion that we were sold a bill of goods.

Well, you can forget circumstantial. Thanks to an unauthorized disclosure by a courageous whistleblower, the evidence now leaps from official documents—this time authentic, not forged.  Whether prompted by the open appeal of the international Truth-Telling Coalition or not, some brave soul has made the most explosive "patriotic leak" of the war by giving London's Sunday Times the official minutes of a briefing by Richard Dearlove, then head of Britain's CIA equivalent, MI-6. Fresh back in London from consultations in Washington, Dearlove briefed Prime Minister Blair and his top national security officials on July 23, 2002, on the Bush administration's plans to make war on Iraq.

Blair does not dispute the authenticity of the document, which immortalizes a discussion that is chillingly amoral.  Apparently no one felt free to ask the obvious questions.  Or, worse still, the obvious questions did not occur.

Juggernaut Before The Horse

In emotionless English, Dearlove tells Blair and the others that President Bush has decided to remove Saddam Hussein by launching a war that is to be "justified by the conjunction of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction."  Period.  What about the intelligence?  Dearlove adds matter-of-factly, "The intelligence and facts are being fixed around the policy."

At this point, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw confirms that Bush has decided on war, but notes that stitching together justification would be a challenge, since "the case was thin."  Straw noted that Saddam was not threatening his neighbors and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran.

In the following months, "the case" would be buttressed by a well-honed U.S.-U.K. intelligence-turned-propaganda-machine.  The argument would be made "solid" enough to win endorsement from Congress and Parliament by conjuring up:

  • Aluminum artillery tubes misdiagnosed as nuclear related;
  • Forgeries alleging Iraqi attempts to obtain uranium in Africa;
  • Tall tales from a drunken defector about mobile biological weapons laboratories;
  • Bogus warnings that Iraqi forces could fire WMD-tipped missiles within 45 minutes of an order to do so;
  • Dodgy dossiers fabricated in London; and
  • A U.S. National Intelligence Estimate thrown in for good measure.

All this, as Dearlove notes dryly, despite the fact that "there was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action." Another nugget from Dearlove's briefing is his bloodless comment that one of the U.S. military options under discussion involved "a continuous air campaign, initiated by an Iraqi casus belli"—the clear implication being that planners of the air campaign would also see to it that an appropriate casus belli was orchestrated.

The discussion at 10 Downing St. on July 23, 2002 calls to mind the first meeting of George W. Bush's National Security Council (NSC) on Jan. 30, 2001, at which the president made it clear that toppling Saddam Hussein sat atop his to-do list, according to then-Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neil, who was there. O'Neil was taken aback that there was no discussion of why it was necessary to "take out" Saddam.  Rather, after CIA Director George Tenet showed a grainy photo of a building in Iraq that he said might be involved in producing chemical or biological agents, the discussion proceeded immediately to which Iraqi targets might be best to bomb.  Again, neither O'Neil nor the other participants asked the obvious questions.  Another NSC meeting two days later included planning for dividing up Iraq's oil wealth.

Obedience School

As for the briefing of Blair, the minutes provide further grist for those who describe the U.K. prime minister as Bush's "poodle."  The tone of the conversation bespeaks a foregone conclusion that Blair will wag his tail cheerfully and obey the learned commands. At one point he ventures the thought that, "If the political context were right, people would support regime change."  This, after Attorney General Peter Goldsmith has already warned that the desire for regime change "was not a legal base for military action,"—a point Goldsmith made again just 12 days before the attack on Iraq until he was persuaded by a phalanx of Bush administration lawyers to change his mind 10 days later.

The meeting concludes with a directive to "work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any military action."

I cannot quite fathom why I find the account of this meeting so jarring.  Surely it is what one might expect, given all else we know. Yet seeing it in bloodless black and white somehow gives it more impact.  And the implications are no less jarring.

One of Dearlove's primary interlocutors in Washington was his American counterpart, CIA director George Tenet.  (And there is no closer relationship between two intelligence services than the privileged one between the CIA and MI-6.)  Tenet, of course, knew at least as much as Dearlove, but nonetheless played the role of accomplice in serving up to Bush the kind of "slam-dunk intelligence" that he knew would be welcome.  If there is one unpardonable sin in intelligence work, it is that kind of politicization.  But Tenet decided to be a "team player" and set the tone.

Politicization:  Big Time

Actually, politicization is far too mild a word for what happened.  The intelligence was not simply mistaken; it was manufactured, with the president of the United States awarding foreman George Tenet the Medal of Freedom for his role in helping supervise the deceit.  The British documents make clear that this was not a mere case of "leaning forward" in analyzing the intelligence, but rather mass deception—an order of magnitude more serious.  No other conclusion is now possible.

Small wonder, then, to learn from CIA insiders like former case officer Lindsay Moran that Tenet's malleable managers told their minions, "Let's face it. The president wants us to go to war, and our job is to give him a reason to do it."

Small wonder that, when the only U.S. analyst who met with the alcoholic Iraqi defector appropriately codenamed "Curveball" raised strong doubt about Curveball's reliability before then-Secretary of State Colin Powell used the fabrication about "mobile biological weapons trailers" before the United Nations, the analyst got this e-mail reply from his CIA supervisor:

"Let's keep in mind the fact that this war's going to happen regardless of what Curveball said or didn't say, and the powers that be probably aren't terribly interested in whether Curveball knows what he's talking about."

When Tenet's successor, Porter Goss, took over as director late last year, he immediately wrote a memo to all employees explaining the "rules of the road"—first and foremost, "We support the administration and its policies."  So much for objective intelligence insulated from policy pressure.

Tenet and Goss, creatures of the intensely politicized environment of Congress, brought with them a radically new ethos—one much more akin to that of Blair's courtiers than to that of earlier CIA directors who had the courage to speak truth to power.

Seldom does one have documentary evidence that intelligence chiefs chose to cooperate in both fabricating and "sexing up" (as the British press puts it) intelligence to justify a prior decision for war.  There is no word to describe the reaction of honest intelligence professionals to the corruption of our profession on a matter of such consequence.  "Outrage" does not come close.

Hope In Unauthorized Disclosures

Those of us who care about unprovoked wars owe the patriot who gave this latest British government document to The Sunday Times a debt of gratitude.  Unauthorized disclosures are gathering steam.  They need to increase quickly on this side of the Atlantic as well—the more so, inasmuch as Congress-controlled by the president's party-cannot be counted on to discharge its constitutional prerogative for oversight.

In its formal appeal of Sept. 9, 2004 to current U.S. government officials, the Truth-Telling Coalition said this:

We know how misplaced loyalty to bosses, agencies, and careers can obscure the higher allegiance all government officials owe the Constitution, the sovereign public, and the young men and women put in harm's way.  We urge you to act on those higher loyalties...Truth-telling is a patriotic and effective way to serve the nation.  The time for speaking out is now.

If persons with access to wrongly concealed facts and analyses bring them to light, the chances become less that a president could launch another unprovoked war—against, say, Iran.

Comment: Gee, they cooked the books. Coming from a good buddy of Ken Lay, we don't find this at all surprising. It is the way the psychopath works. Any subterfuge is permitted if it aids in getting what he wants. This is the modus operandi of the Bush Reich. Look at the current debate over Social Security. Bush doesn't care that Americans are largely opposed. He'll continue finding justifications until the opposition wilts.

Here's another take from Greg Palast on the same issue:

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Impeachment Time: "Facts Were Fixed."
A BUZZFLASH GUEST NEWS ANALYSIS
by Greg Palast

Here it is. The smoking gun. The memo that has, "IMPEACH HIM" written all over it.

The top-level government memo marked "SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL," dated eight months before Bush sent us into Iraq, following a closed meeting with the President, reads, "Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam through military action justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WDM. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

Read that again: "The intelligence and facts were being fixed...."

For years, after each damning report on BBC TV, "Isn't this grounds for impeachment?" Vote rigging, a blind eye to terror and the bin Ladens before 9-11, and so on. Evil, stupidity and self-dealing are shameful but not impeachable. What's needed is a "high crime or misdemeanor."

And if this ain't it, nothing is.

The memo, uncovered this week by the Times, goes on to describe an elaborate plan by George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair to hoodwink the planet into supporting an attack on Iraq knowing full well the evidence for war was a phony.

A conspiracy to commit serial fraud is, under federal law, racketeering. However, the Mob's schemes never cost so many lives.

Here's more. "Bush had made up his mind to take military action. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbors, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran."

Really? But Mr. Bush told us, "Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."

A month ago, the Silberman-Robb Commission issued its report on WMD intelligence before the war, dismissing claims that Bush fixed the facts with this snotty, condescending conclusion written directly to the President, "After a thorough review, the Commission found no indication that the Intelligence Community distorted the evidence regarding Iraq's weapons."

We now know the report was a bogus 618 pages of thick whitewash aimed to let Bush off the hook for his murderous mendacity.

Read on: The invasion build-up was then set, says the memo, "beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections." Mission accomplished.

You should parse the entire memo and see if you can make it through its three pages without losing your lunch.

Now sharp readers may note they didn't see this memo, in fact, printed in the New York Times. It wasn't. Rather, it was splashed across the front pages of the Times of LONDON on Monday.

It has effectively finished the last, sorry remnants of Tony Blair's political career. (While his Labor Party will most assuredly win the elections today, Prime Minister Blair is expected, possibly within months, to be shoved overboard in favor of his Chancellor of the Exchequer, a political execution which requires only a vote of the Labour party's members in Parliament.)

But in the US, barely a word. The New York Times covers this hard evidence of Bush's fabrication of a causus belli as some "British" elections story. Apparently, our President's fraud isn't "news fit to print."

My colleagues in the UK press have skewered Blair, digging out more incriminating memos, challenging the official government factoids and fibs. But in the US press ...nada, bubkiss, zilch. Bush fixed the facts and somehow that's a story for "over there."

The Republicans impeached Bill Clinton over his cigar and Monica's affections. And the US media could print nothing else.

Now, we have the stone, cold evidence of bending intelligence to sell us on death by the thousands, and neither a Republican Congress nor what is laughably called US journalism thought it not worth a second look.

My friend Daniel Ellsberg once said that what's good about the American people is that you have to lie to them. What's bad about Americans is that it's so easy to do.

Comment: The US press isn't covering the story? We are shocked, simply shocked!

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Marine cleared of Falluja mosque killing
Thursday 05 May 2005, 14:21 Makka Time, 11:21 GMT

The US Marine Corps has ruled that no charges will be filed against a Marine in the fatal shooting of a wounded and unarmed Iraqi in a Falluja mosque last November in an incident shown in a television pool report, a spokesman has said.

After a five-month investigation, the Marine Corps determined that the Marine corporal fired in self-defense and will not face court-martial, spokesman Lieutenant Colonel T.V. Johnson said.

"The commanding general of the First Marine Division determined that the action of the Marine involved in the incident was pretty much consistent with the established rules of engagement and the law of armed conflict," Johnson told CBS Radio.

NBC News reported earlier that the decision was based partly on the fact that Marines had been warned fighters were feigning death and booby-trapping bodies and that the corporal apparently feared for his life when he fired the shots.

Second incident investigated

The Marine was seen in images on the dramatic videotape that was shared with other news organizations. NBC said a second Marine remains under investigation for shooting another unarmed man in the mosque.

The US military opened the investigation into possible war crimes after the incident was recorded by an NBC television crew embedded with the Marines.

The Iraqi was one of five wounded left in the mosque after the Marines fought their way into the formerly rebel-held city of Falluja.

Comment: An unarmed and wounded Iraqi is gunned down by a freaked out marine and it is within the rules of engagement of armed conflict.

Sit back a minute and imagine if it had been an Iraqi who had killed an unarmed and wounded GI. Can you see the headlines in the US papers? Can you hear the howling coming from the right-wing pundits? They'd be demanding blood, demanding the execution of the Iraqi and if he wasn't turned over, they'd be demanding that his hometown and the entire country be bombed into the stone ages, another Fallujah.

The hypocrisy is so transparent, the double standard so brazen, how can the Iraqi people think for a minute that the US is there to help?

What is sickening is that this is just one incident among many, one incident caught on tape and broadcast around the world while there are no doubt countless others that never make it into the news. Meanwhile, US Army mechanic Blake Lemoine, who refused to return to Iraq on ethical grounds, is serving a 7 month sentence in jail. Is this proof enough of the nature of the people who call themselves our "leaders"??

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Judge Throws Out England's Guilty Plea
By T.A. BADGER
Associated Press
Wed May 4, 7:11 PM ET

FORT HOOD, Texas - A military judge Wednesday threw out Pfc. Lynndie England's guilty plea to abusing Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison, saying he was not convinced the Army reservist who appeared in some of the most notorious photos in the scandal knew her actions were wrong at the time.

Comment: Here we have evidence of the corruption inherent in the US justice system and the its complicity with the war crimes of the US government in Iraq.

The mistrial marks a stunning turn in the case and sends it back to square one.

The case will be reviewed again by Fort Hood's commander, Lt. Gen. Thomas Metz, who will decide what charges, if any, England should face. If she is charged, the case would go back to a military equivalent of a grand jury hearing, an Article 32 proceeding, prosecution spokesman Capt. Cullen Sheppard said.

The military judge, Col. James Pohl, entered a plea of not guilty for England on a charge of conspiring with Pvt. Charles Graner Jr. to maltreat detainees at the Baghdad-area prison and a related charge.

The mistrial came after Graner, the reputed ringleader of the abuse, testified as a defense witness at England's sentencing hearing that pictures he took of England holding a naked prisoner on a leash at Abu Ghraib were meant to be used as a legitimate training aid for other guards.

Other photos showed England smiling while standing next to nude prisoners stacked in a pyramid and pointing at a prisoner's genitals.

England maintained the same stoic look she has had throughout the proceeding. During a recess before the plea deal was thrown out, England peeked at a sketch artist's drawing of Graner on the stand. "Don't forget the horns and the goatee," she said.

When England pleaded guilty Monday, she told the judge she knew that the pictures were being taken purely for the amusement of the guards.

Pohl said her statement and Graner's could not be reconciled.

"You can't have a one-person conspiracy," the judge said before he declared the mistrial and dismissed the sentencing jury.

Under military law, the judge could formally accept her guilty plea only if he was convinced that she knew at the time that what she was doing was illegal.

By rejecting the plea to the conspiracy charge, Pohl canceled the entire plea agreement. The agreement had carried a maximum sentence of 11 years in prison, but the prosecution and defense had a deal that capped the sentence at a lesser punishment; the length was not released.

Neither prosecution nor defense lawyers would speak to reporters after the deal was discarded. England, shielded by her defense team, would not comment outside the courtroom.

Allen Rudy, a Dallas attorney, said Wednesday he could not recall a military plea being scrapped under such circumstances during his 25 years as a Navy lawyer and judge.

"That is a shocker," Rudy said. "But (Pohl) has to protect the defendant in that situation. ... He has to make sure (England) wasn't talked into it by her lawyer or her parents or someone else."

During defense questioning, Graner said he looped the leash around the prisoner's shoulders as a way to coax him out of a cell, and that it slipped up around his neck. He said he asked England to hold the strap while he took photos that he could show to other guards later to teach them this prisoner-handling technique.

Comment: Yeah, right...

At that point Pohl halted Graner's testimony and admonished the defense for admitting evidence that ran counter to England's plea on the conspiracy charge and one count of maltreating detainees.

The judge did not discuss the other five counts to which England had pleaded guilty.

Graner, who is said to be the father of England's infant son, was found guilty in January and is serving a 10-year prison term for his role in the scandal.

In a handwritten note given to reporters Tuesday, Graner had said he wanted England to fight the charges.

"Knowing what happened in Iraq, it was very upsetting to see Lynn plead guilty to her charges," he wrote. "I would hope that by doing so she will have a better chance at a good sentence."

Comment: With the help of Col. Pohl, it looks like Graner will get his wish.

Graner maintains that he and the other Abu Ghraib guards were following orders from higher-ranking interrogators when they abused the detainees.

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Israel inquiry over teen deaths
BBC

An Israeli army commander has been suspended after the fatal shooting of two Palestinian teenagers during a protest against the West Bank barrier.

The boys, aged 14 and 15, were among a group throwing stones at bulldozers and troops in Beit Lakia, near Ramallah.

Army sources initially said troops used live fire only because "there was a danger to their lives". A full inquiry into the incident will now be held.

A top general called the commander's conduct "unreasonable", reports say.

"The company commander was suspended in light of errors - both in the way he conducted himself and in the way in which he led his force," the army is quoted as saying.

Barrier building

An initial investigation said the officer - from the Combat Engineering Corps - decided his men should open fire at the lower body of one of the ringleaders of Wednesday night's protest.

Before that, the army said, he had attempted to disperse the crowd of 300 protestors using tear gas and rubber bullets.

Some protestors had surrounded troops and were throwing stones and metal objects, the army says.

"The troops were surrounded and he (the commander) felt that their life was in danger," an army source is quoted saying by AFP.

Palestinian activists named the dead teenagers as Jamal Jaber and Uday Mofeed.

They said the protest began against the destruction of farmland for the construction of the barrier that Israel is building - often jutting deep into the occupied West Bank.

The Stop the Wall group says protestors were chased by Israeli soldiers using live ammunition.

Crowds of villagers then swarmed onto the streets in an effort to protect them, but troops followed and continued shooting, the group says.

'Violation'

The Stop the Wall group says the two boys were evacuated by ambulance to Ramallah, but both bled to death before they reached hospital after being held up by Israeli troops at a permanent checkpoint.

"This is a violation of the ceasefire. Israel is looking for excuses to raise tensions and to depart from implementing... understandings," Palestinian official Nabil Abu Rdeina told Reuters news agency.

Israel says its West Bank barrier, a network of fortified fences and concrete walls, is a defence against Palestinian suicide bombers.

Palestinians say the barrier is a means of cementing Israel's hold on occupied Palestinian land.

Comment: The boys only crime was to throw stones at tanks and armed soldiers, yet we should also remember this story about another recent protest at the separation wall where it is stated:

"During the clashes, undercover security forces mingled with the demonstrators and began to throw stones at the soldiers and police. Demonstrators said the undercover security forces had provoked the police and soldiers into opening fire with rubber bullets and tear gas. The demonstrators said they had not thrown stones at the soldiers and police."

It would appear that the Israeli and American "high command" have the same mindset. As has happened so often in the past, look for the two soldiers mentioned in this story to be exonerated in the future, after the initial press coverage has died down. If the soldier who killed British journalist James Miller was let off, the killer of two Palestinian teenagers will certainly be freed.

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Israel freezes handover of West Bank towns to Palestinians, straining truce
07:44 AM EDT May 05
JOSEF FEDERMAN

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel on Wednesday froze the planned handover of West Bank towns to the Palestinians, accusing Palestinian security forces of failing to honour commitments to disarm militants in areas already under their control, and two Palestinian youths were shot dead by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank.

The developments were the latest signs of trouble for an already strained ceasefire. Palestinian security and hospital officials said Israeli soldiers shot and killed the two 17-year-old cousins after nightfall Wednesday. [...]

The Palestinian Authority issued a statement calling the killing a violation of the ceasefire. The truce, declared Feb. 8, has considerably reduced violence, but isolated incidents continue.

Palestinian officials called the decision to stop the handover of towns "unfortunate" and said they had struck a deal to collect militants' weapons, despite a top commander's announcement Wednesday that he has no plans to disarm the gunmen by force.

Under the ceasefire agreement, Israel pledged to pull its forces out of five West Bank towns, while the Palestinians promised to disarm militants. But Israel has pulled out of only two of the towns, Jericho and Tulkarem.

Israel has repeatedly said it is not moving forward because the Palestinians have failed to crack down on gunmen in these areas. During Wednesday's meeting of the security cabinet, a group of senior government ministers, Mofaz confirmed he has frozen the process, participants said.

"The defence minister said that because the thing most central to us - that terror activity will not be launched from any town we hand over - was agreed to but not implemented (by the Palestinians) ... the defence minister requested a postponement in the handover," Interior Minister Ophir Pines-Paz told Israel TV. [...]

Comment: So, while the Palestinians are supposed to be disarming their "gunman", Israeli gunmen are shooting down Palestinians, yet it is the Palestinians who are to blame for the tensions. The curious logic of the Israeli government is nothing more than an excuse to not implement the withdrawal, a withdrawal they have in fact no intention of implementing. Israel will do everything in its power to put it off. They will say the expected consoling phrases when Bush pushes them, sometimes, but they continue their butchery in deeds.

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Berlusconi renews support for US
BBC

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has said the US bears some blame for the killing of an Italian agent, but it will not hurt relations.

He told parliament that the US had implicitly acknowledged some problems at the checkpoint where US forces shot dead Nicola Calipari in March.

US and Italian reports differed sharply on the events leading up to the killing, which caused outrage in Italy.

But Mr Berlusconi said Italy remained Washington's close friend and ally.

He said Italy had no intention of rushing troops out of Iraq before their job was done.

'Dark areas'

Mr Calipari was killed when his car came under fire by US troops on 4 March as he escorted a newly freed Italian hostage, journalist Giuliana Sgrena, to Baghdad airport.

The US insists that its soldiers were not at fault and followed their rules of engagement.

Mr Berlusconi - whose speeches to both houses of parliament came a day after US President George W Bush called him to repeat his regret over the incident - said that the two inquiries into the sequence of events differed on several important points.

He said that the absence of intent on the part of the soldiers did not mean that there was no-one to blame for the fatal shooting, adding that US forces had changed procedures at checkpoints since the killing.

"If you change the rules then, implicitly, you admit that the previous rules were not working," he said.

Many "dark areas" in the sequence of events remained, he said, and pledging full government co-operation with Italy's own ongoing criminal investigation.

Mr Berlusconi cited a string of mistakes made by US troops at the checkpoint but dismissed claims that his relationship with the US had been damaged by the incident.

"The friendship and loyalty of the Italian government towards the US - based on the immutable foundations of liberty and freedom - is beyond discussion," he said.

Despite increasing opposition to Italian troop involvement in Iraq and outrage following Mr Calipari's death, Mr Berlusconi said that pulling troops out was not an option.

"There is no reason to say 'Let's all go home' - it would be incomprehensible."

Comment: So Silvio has found his out: the US was implicitly acknowledging their responsibility! Whether this will fly with the Italian public is another question.

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US bears responsibility for agent's death: Berlusconi
AFP
Thu May 5, 6:55 AM ET

ROME - US troops bear some responsibility for the death of an Italian agent in Iraq but the incident should not affect the Italian troop presence there or relations between Rome and Washington, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi told parliament.

He stressed ties between the United States and Italy had not been hurt by the row over the fatal shooting of Nicola Calipari last March, which sparked outrage and rekindled calls for Italy to pull out of Iraq.

But he reiterated Italy's view that US soldiers must shoulder some blame, highlighting "irregularities" committed by the US patrol "whose mobile checkpoint was not announced" and "who did not have precise instructions."

"The absence of intention does not rule out responsibility," he said Thursday.

However, he insisted "the friendly ties between Italy and the United States cannot be called into question."

"And I want to dispel any possible confusion: there is no link between the killing of Calipari and our country's mission in Iraq," he added.

Any withdrawal of Italy's 3,000 troops from Iraq will be done "uniquely in consultation" with the allies, he said.

"The withdrawal of troops will be gradual and will take place when the situation in Iraq has normalised," he added.

Comment: Apparently, Berlusconi has to check with Bush first to make sure it's okay to pull Italian troops out of Iraq. Since the situation in Iraq isn't even close to stabilising, the prime minister will continue to ignore the wishes of the Italian people...

Relations between Rome and Washington soured over the release of sharply differing accounts of Calipari's shooting at a US checkpoint on March 4 as he was escorting a freed hostage to Baghdad airport.

The US account exonerated US troops for any blame over the incident, in which Calipari was killed and the freed hostage, journalist Giuliana Sgrena, was injured.

But the Italian version released late Monday blamed the killing on the "inexperience" of US troops acting under stress and without proper rules of engagement.

Outrage over Calipari's killing, fuelled by a feeling that the US military has dismissed legitimate Italian concerns and acted arrogantly to protect its own men, has led to renewed calls for Rome to withdraw its troops from Iraq.

On the eve of his appearance in parliament, Berlusconi received a soothing phone call from US President George W. Bush who reiterated his regret over the incident.

Berlusconi's office said the two leaders had a "long and cordial conversation" during which Bush called Calipari "a heroic servant of Italy" and a "valued friend" of the United States.

US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, similarly, held a "long and cordial" phone conversation with her Italian counterpart Gianfranco Fini a day earlier, both of them stressing bilateral relations would not be harmed by the dispute.

According to an Italian government statement, Bush, in his call, restated his "personal condolences and those of the administration and people of the United States."

However White House spokesman Scott McClellan revealed that Bush and Berlusconi had not directly discussed the difference between the two accounts of the shooting.

Berlusconi faced down massive street protests to send Italian troops to southern Iraq in June 2003 in a gesture to his ally Bush, two months after the formal overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime.

Parliament voted in March to prolong the mission in Iraq for another six months, and Berlusconi has already said Italy could begin withdrawing its troops in September, if Italy's allies agreed.

Even within Berlusconi's ruling right-wing coalition, calls have mounted for a timetable for withdrawing Italian troops from Iraq.

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Scrapping Global Treaties
By Laura Flanders, AlterNet. Posted May 4, 2005.
This ad was on the CNN site today. Notice the soldiers, the image of the "yellow peril". If you didn't know better, you'd actually believe that North Korea was a real danger to the United States!

North Korea may be firing missiles, but when it comes to nuclear proliferation and eroding international controls, the biggest bully on the block right now is in Washington.

News that North Korea fired a missile into the Sea of Japan drove White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card into high dudgeon: "I think they're looking to kind of be bullies in the world," he told Fox News Sunday. It takes one to know one.

World leaders, scientists and citizens from around the globe were gathering for a month-long meeting at the United Nations as the North Korean news broke. Their project: to review world progress on stopping the spread of nuclear weapons. Specifically, the UN conferees are reviewing the status of the 35-year-old Non Proliferation Treaty on Nuclear Weapons.

North Korea's apparent test played right into White House hands, guaranteeing that as the NPT negotiations began, all fingers were pointing at Kim Jong Il and his Axis of Evil fellows in Tehran. But when it comes to nuclear proliferation and eroding international controls, the biggest bully on the block right now is in Washington.

In the world of Bush's bully-boys global treaties are just for girlie men. The North Korean test proves that the treaty system's limp -- that was the spin being put on the NPT conference even before anything fell into Sea of Japan, and it's exactly what W.'s candidate for UN representative, John "I'm here to stop the vote count" Bolton has been saying for years, ever since he first got the job of under secretary of state for arms control. His preference is for U.S. world control.

"Decades of stillborn plans, of wishful thinking, of irresponsible passivity." That's how Bolton once described the '70s and '80s -- the era of global arms treaties.

"States that sponsor terror and pursue WMD must stop," he told the Heritage Foundation back in 2002. "States that renounce terror and abandon WMD can become part of our effort. But those that do not can expect to become our targets."

I couldn't agree more. So, who's sponsoring terror? By the State Department's account, Sudan is. The Islamic regime that once welcomed Osama bin Laden and that Colin Powell accused of supporting genocide in Darfur remains on the most recent U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. Yet according to a huge and under-appreciated story by Ken Silverstein in the Los Angeles Times the U.S. considers the government of Sudan an ally. Sudan has been providing access to terrorism suspects and sharing intelligence data with the United States, reports Silverstein. Maj. Gen. Yahia Hussein Babiker, a senior official in Sudan's government tells Silverstein, "American intelligence considers us to be a friend." Sudan, he says, has achieved "a complete normalization of our relations with the CIA."

Then there's Washington's other new-found friend, the president of Uzbekistan who received a presidential welcome at the White House. During last week's televised news conference, President Bush defended sending unconvicted U.S. detainees abroad for interrogation. Some call it kidnapping, others "extraordinary rendition." "We operate within the law, and we send people to countries where they say they're not going to torture the people" Bush told the world. He lied.

According to an unnamed intelligence official speaking to The New York Times, the U.S. has sent "dozens" of detainees to torture chambers in Uzbekistan where, according to a February 2001 State Department report, Uzbek police routinely beat, asphyxiate and boil prisoners' body parts. What the Times calls Bush's "rough ally" (!) Uzbekistan has received half a billion dollars in U.S. aid for its security agencies.

Is a person who terrorizes another person only a terrorist if he's not wearing the uniform of an allied nation?

As for WMDs, if the UN discussions garner serious public attention this month, North Korea and Iran -- the Axis of Evil cheats -- are likely to come in for all the criticism. But who's doing more to proliferate nuclear weapons? The have-nots or the haves?

Back in 1973, the officially recognized nuclear powers -- America, Russia, China, Britain and France -- agreed to disarm. That was the bargain they drew up with the rest of the signatories. What's the U.S. done? George W. refused to support a comprehensive nuclear test-ban treaty. He scrapped the anti-ballistic missile treaty with Russia. The members of his administration routinely cast doubt on the value of negotiating global treaties at all. At the very same time, this administration's been seeking more, fancier weapons and new ways to use the nukes already in our arsenal.

Since his first term, Bush has appropriated money for studying all sorts of WMDs like the "robust nuclear earth penetrator" intended to vaporise deeply buried targets such as stocks of chemical and biological weapons. And according to press reports this week, the United States is considering selling 100 so-called "bunker buster" bombs to Israel -- raising fears that Israel might use them in a first-strike attack on Iran. As one weapons analyst put it, "They're designed to destroy deeply buried high-value assets such as command centers or nuclear weapons facilities. Draw your own conclusions." A bunker bomb attack on a nuclear facility -- now that'd be pretty. No wonder Iran feels nervous.

So what's the problem, the NPT or the erosion of the NPT? Former President Carter wrote this week that the U.S. is the biggest culprit: "While claiming to be protecting the world -- and Americans from proliferation threats -- American leaders not only have abandoned existing treaty restraints but also have asserted plans to test and develop new weapons including antiballistic missiles earth penetrating bunker busters an perhaps some new small bombs. They have abandoned past pledges and now threaten first use of nuclear weapons against non nuclear states. "

So what do you think -- do you agree with Bolton? "States that sponsor terror and pursue WMD must stop?" I think he's right.

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Ethics Pressure Squeezes a Few Out the Door
By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, May 2, 2005; C01

Has journalism become an ethical cesspool, or just been forced to adopt greater standards of cleanliness?

In the past month alone, four reporters for major newspapers have been ousted, and a columnist was suspended, for ethical missteps. The drip-drip-drip of disclosures about sloppiness, fabrication and plagiarism have further eroded the media's reputation, leading to a one-strike-and-you're-out policy at many outlets.

"There are people in important jobs, well respected by their colleagues and readers, who've made mistakes like this, but they made the mistakes 30 years ago and didn't get their careers destroyed," says New York Times ombudsman Dan Okrent. In today's climate, he says, "we're hypersensitive because we have to be hypersensitive."

Julia Wallace, editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, says of such cases: "My gut is that we are more aggressive about pursuing them and more aggressive about talking about them openly." Wallace recalls how the Chicago Sun-Times editorial page editor was bounced in 1995 for plagiarizing from The Washington Post -- and quietly given a top circulation job. (The executive, Mark Hornung, resigned last year in a Sun-Times circulation scandal.)

Media bosses are getting tougher on wayward staffers not just because of a greater sense of professionalism, but because outsiders -- led by bloggers and other critics -- have stepped up the pressure. In the Internet age, there's no rug under which to sweep these problems.

"Because we are self-policing so much better, it makes it seem like there's a tremendous cascade of ethical violations," says Thomas Kunkel, dean of the University of Maryland's journalism school. "There used to be a lot more in the way of shenanigans and monkey business that we either didn't know about or, if it was caught, it was winked at. There was a boys-will-be-boys quality about it -- they were mostly boys -- and they would get a slap on the wrist at best."

Last week, the Tampa Tribune accepted the resignation of Brad Smith after he admitted fabricating a story about a woman emerging from a night of club-hopping to find her Jeep towed. The woman was home, having lent the car to a friend with whom Smith was socializing when the towing took place.

Also last week, the Journal-Constitution said reporter Al Levine never spoke to the fans and area residents he had quoted at the Daytona 500, lifting material in February from the Daytona Beach News-Journal and last year from the Orlando Sentinel. Wallace says she had to fire the 23-year veteran, who apologized, because he committed plagiarism twice.

Earlier, the Los Angeles Times dismissed Eric Slater over errors in a story about fraternity hazing at California State University-Chico, though he strongly disputes the paper's suggestion that he never visited the school. The Boston Globe dropped freelancer Barbara Stewart for writing about a scheduled seal hunt as if it had happened, though she says her only mistake was failing to confirm that the event, which wound up being delayed, had taken place.

In the highest-profile case, the Detroit Free Press reinstated its suspended sports columnist, Mitch Albom -- and took unspecified action against four editors -- after he apologized for writing about two alumni at a college basketball game before it took place. The ex-players never showed up. (Albom wrote yesterday that he "went from sorry, to shocked, to saddened, to silent," feels "terrible" at the impact on his newspaper and considered his mistake "a humbling reminder to slow down.")

In recent weeks, the Boston Herald severed its relationship with columnist Charles Chieppo, who had contracts with the Massachusetts governor and a state agency, and Florida television reporter Mike Vasilinda was reported to have earned more than $100,000 from contracts with Gov. Jeb Bush's office and state agencies.

The transgressions take many forms. The Miami Herald fired a critic last year for plagiarizing his own earlier work at the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Macon, Ga., Telegraph ousted a reporter for attributing information from a Ringling Bros. Web site to a circus spokesman.

A few decades ago, it was not unusual for journalists to accept Christmas gifts from sources, take junkets from organizations they covered or collaborate with government officials.

In 1945, legendary columnist James Reston helped Sen. Arthur Vandenberg with a speech on foreign policy. In 1960, then-Washington Post Publisher Philip Graham helped broker John Kennedy's selection of Lyndon Johnson as his running mate. In the early 1970s, says Kunkel, he knew an Indiana sportswriter who routinely made up quotes from the coaches he covered.

Okrent, who got his Times job in the wake of the Jayson Blair scandal, says a new era of journalistic aggressiveness -- inspired, in his view, by the Watergate film "All the President's Men" -- has spawned corner-cutting and worse by would-be stars. He also cites what Slate's Jack Shafer has dubbed "the Romenesko Effect" -- the immediate publicizing of what would have been purely local flaps on the Poynter Institute media Web site run by Jim Romenesko.

Some of the transgressors "wouldn't have gotten fired five years ago, pre-Romenesko," Okrent says.

Romenesko says new technology enables him to discover far-flung incidents. By plugging certain search terms into Google News, the all-computer/no-humans service, he gets e-mail alerts about journalistic misbehavior -- such as the two staffers for the Kalamazoo, Mich., Gazette fired last week for drinking while reporting a story on a game called "beer pong" and other alcohol use by young people.

"With the Internet and the ability to expose these scandals, both mini- and maxi-, we just know more about them," Romenesko says.

When he was at the Milwaukee Journal in the 1970s, "there was one guy who just fabricated stuff," but "nobody knew outside the newsroom." As for the overall state of media ethics, "it may have been worse in those days, considering half the people in the newsroom were drunk."

The Gannon File

Jeff Gannon's seamy past leaked out months before he asked President Bush a loaded question during a news conference.

As a correspondent for the now-defunct Web site Talon News, says the forthcoming issue of Vanity Fair, Gannon was hammering Tom Daschle during the South Dakotan's campaign to hold onto his Senate seat. Daschle aides traced an e-mail -- ostensibly from a constituent who wanted reaction to one of Gannon's stories -- to an Internet profile of Gannon, wearing only dog tags and boxer shorts. "The Daschle campaign spread the word, but no reporters bit," the magazine says.

Gannon doesn't deny advertising online as a $200-an-hour gay escort, but describes himself as the victim of "a full-scale jihad" by liberals. Vanity Fair says he falsely told friends he had been a Marine -- Gannon says he displayed military paraphernalia and "didn't disabuse anyone of that notion" -- and owes nearly $21,000 in back taxes. Gannon believes God bestowed a White House assignment on him so that he could atone for past transgressions, Vanity Fair says.

In defending his name change, the man born as James Guckert says Jeff Gannon has a "nice ring to it -- like Wolf Blitzer, which isn't his real name either." Actually, Mr. Guckert, it is his real name. [...]

Comment: This article is the kind of con job the mainstream press pulls on their readers when the heat starts going up. Oooh! Ethics! We fired someone for lying about the Daytona 500! We fired someone who lied about a towed vehicle! Wow! Aren't we clean!

The ethical problems with the news in the US go far beyond a few faked stories about cars, sports events, and coaches quotes. Let's start with how it has been a mouthpiece for the White House. Kurtz mentions Jeff Gannon. Is he mentioning the 16 nights Gannon spent at the White House? Kurtz brushes off the gay whore aspect and gives Gannon the last word. Readers of alternative news sources know that there is so much more to this story that the Washington Post is refusing to touch. Why don't the readers of the Post have the same information?

Then there is everything related to 9/11. Where are the stories about what really happened that day? Is it ethical to print the official line when it is obviously false? When Cheney and Bush are hustled into the bunker for a dangerous cloud, do these models of ethical behaviour ever ask the question of why Bush was "allowed" to sit in a Florida classroom for so long rather than being whisked out to Jeb's local bunker? Maybe they didn't think there was a real threat? And what would that imply?

Where are the mainstream investigations of the lies about Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon, the ones that don't parrot the Bush line? Peak oil gets coverage in the mainstream press with no questioning of the premise or the claim that we are running out of oil. Why is that? It is ethical?

Or the Israeli spy rings and "art students" in the United States. Where is the in-depth, investigative reporting that would uncover the truth on this question? Israeli moving companies, anyone?

Then we come to the reporting of the occupation of Iraq. Where are the stories about US war crimes in Fallujah, for example? The city was razed. The hospitals were the first targets. Where is the indignation? Where is the courage to report the truth rather than the Bush Reich line?

And the weapons of mass destruction and the lies used to convince the American people that Saddam was a dangerous and immediate threat to the country and its people?

Or what of the capture of Saddam's double? Who in the US press is doing anything to verify if the man in custody is the real Saddam. Our research based on photos indicates that it is not the same man. It is likely one of Saddam's doubles.

What about Osama and his new, best friend in Iraq, al Zarqawi? The US reports on Zaqarwi as if he were still alive and on Osama as if he really was the don Corleone of Terror, Inc.

What about Israel? Why is every major paper in the US towing the Likud line? Why are the Palestinians always "terrorists" while the butchers in uniform of the IDF are just poor saps doing their job? Where is the truth about the apartheid wall, about the destruction of homes and olive groves, about thousands upon thousands of Palestinians walled in and separated from their land, their friends, their family?

What about the last two presidential elections? Is it ethical to cover-up the truth that both elections were rigged? That there is no longer the freedom to vote in the US because the results are decided in advance?

No, to read the Washington Post, America's journalistic ethical problems have to do with plagiarism and the occasional fictitious story.

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Global Eye: Buried Treasure
By Chris Floyd
April 29, 2005

It seemed, at first, like nothing more than a novelty item in the news briefs, the kind of odd, meaningless side-fact thrown off by most major stories: "New Pope, President's Brother Had Link in Swiss Group." But a look beneath the surface of this innocuous connection reveals a vast web of sinister alliances -- and moral corruption on a world-shaking scale.

The network links a bewildering line-up of players -- the Bushes, the Vatican, bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and China's Communist overlords, among others -- in a staggering array of crime and turpitude: prostitution, pedophilia, mass death and war profiteering. Yet this is not some grand "conspiracy theory," a serpent's egg hatched in Bilderberg or Bohemian Grove. It's simply the way the Bush boys do business, trawling the globe for sweetheart deals and gushers of blood money from the war and terror they foment.

At the center of this particular nexus is the unlikely figure of Neil Bush, the feckless, fraudulent brother of the current president. Neilsy, as he's known in the family, is most famous for costing American taxpayers $1 billion to bail out a savings-and-loan he had ruined with secret insider loans to his own business partners. For this massive fraud, he was fined -- by his father's administration -- the princely sum of $50,000, which was actually paid by one of his dad's political bagmen, of course.

You see, the Bushes are robber barons, not capitalists: They never risk any of their own money in the competition of the marketplace. Nor do they ever pay the price when their deals go belly-up. Just ask George W., whose first business was jump-started with secret cash from the bin Ladens, laundered through their U.S. frontman, James Bath -- who was also hired by W.'s dad, then-CIA director George Bush Sr., to set up offshore companies for shifting CIA money and aircraft between Texas and Saudi Arabia, the Texas Observer reported.

Neilsy's latest business ventures include a partnership with one of China's own influence-peddling oligarchs: Jiang Mianheng, son of former President Jiang Zemin. He's paying Bush $2 million for "advice" in a field – the semiconductor industry -- which Neilsy cheerfully confesses he knows nothing about. Bush also trousered $1 million for "introductions and advice" from the CP Group, a Bangkok conglomerate spreading bipartisan gravy around Washington. In return for supplying his paymasters with a golden conduit to the White House, Neilsy received a special perk: free prostitutes, served up fresh to his hotel room during business trips to Asia.

But between his sessions of bouncy-bouncy with trafficked women, Neilsy was also sitting down with hard-line cleric Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the former soldier for Nazi Germany now translated to glory as Pope Benedict XVI. The two men were board members of an obscure Swiss institute ostensibly devoted to "interfaith dialogue." Although the organization did have some prominent ecumenical figures on the board, none of them could say exactly why pimp-daddy Neilsy was invited to join, Newsday reported.

Perhaps there's a clue in the group's incorporation. Dunn & Bradstreet lists the supposedly nonprofit foundation as a "management trust," designed for "purposes other than education, religion, charity or research." The group's spokesman says this designation was a "mistake," and anyway, the institute is hastily being "re-launched" with a "new focus" on its religious mission. But a cynic -- i.e., anyone with the slightest acquaintance of Bush business practices -- might think that a "management trust" masquerading as a religious charity would be an excellent place to launder money or park assets away from the taxman's prying eyes.

Meanwhile, Ratzinger spent his time on the Swiss board trying to bury the Vatican's massive pedophilia scandal, the London Observer reported this week. In a secret 2001 letter, he ordered Church officials to prevent police from learning about abuse allegations -- a theological innovation more commonly known in the United States as "obstructing justice." Given this criminal high-wire act, perhaps the good cardinal thought it prudent to cultivate some personal ties with a presidential sibling.

Whatever Neilsy and Das Panzerkardinal were up to in Switzerland, Ratzinger repaid their camaraderie with a decisive intervention in brother George's 2004 election, issuing a fatwa that essentially condemned any Catholic voting for John Kerry to eternal hellfire. With the Vatican's iron hand on the scales, Bush reaped an extra six percent of the Catholic vote -- a huge boost in a tight race.

But it's Neilsy's long-time partnership with Syrian-born businessman Jamal Daniel that has provided the true mother lode: war profiteering. Daniel, also a boardmate in the Swiss adventure with Ratzinger, is a principal in New Bridge Strategies, a firm set up by top Bush insiders to steer corporate clients to the fountains of blood money flowing from George W.'s conquest of Iraq. The company makes frequent use of Neilsy's "introductions" and Middle East connections, The Financial Times reported. It also operates a profitable sideline in mercenaries.

Daniel brings his own unique connections to the regional porkfest: His family was instrumental in the creation of the Baath Party in Syria and Iraq, The Financial Times noted. And of course, the Bush Family's covert arm, the CIA -- whose headquarters bears the name of George Sr. -- assisted not one, but two, Baathist coups in Iraq, including the bloody upheaval that brought Saddam Hussein's family faction to power, historian Roger Morris reported. Still later, the CIA would supply Osama bin Laden and his fellow extremists with weapons, money and terrorist training: a shrewd investment whose long-term consequences -- the current "war on terror" -- are still paying fat dividends for Bush coffers.

Sure, thousands die and millions suffer from these dirty deals -- but it's not a "conspiracy." It's just business -- the Bush way.

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Grenades Damage British Consulate in N.Y.
By JUSTIN GLANVILLE
Associated Press Writer 5 minutes ago
May 05, 2005

NEW YORK - Two makeshift grenades exploded outside a building housing the British Consulate early Thursday, Election Day in Britain, causing slight damage but injuring no one, officials said.

Officials stressed that it was not clear whether the consulate itself had been targeted. The midtown Manhattan office building houses a variety of domestic and foreign companies.

"We do not at this point have any idea who did it or a motive," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, adding the explosion was caused by "a relatively unsophisticated explosive device." There were no threats or phone calls, he said.

Investigators were questioning a foreign national they said was found loitering near the building shortly after the explosion. But police said the man was not considered a suspect.

The grenades had been placed inside a cement flower box outside the front door of the building.

After piecing together the shrapnel, police determined the devices were toy grenades that had been filled with gunpowder. Officers estimated that one was the size of a pineapple; the other the size of a lemon.

No timing device was used, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

The blasts, which Kelly said happened around 3:35 a.m., shattered a panel of glass in the building's front door and ripped a one-foot chunk from the planter.

The British consulate is on the 9th and 10th floors of the building, the mayor said. He said he expected it would be open for business later in the day.

Offices of other foreign diplomatic representatives were checked as a precaution and nothing was found, Kelly said. Security videos in the area were being reviewed, he said.

In London, a Foreign Office spokeswoman, asked whether British authorities believed the blast was terror-related, said only: "Investigations are ongoing."

"We're not speculating about whether it's connected to the election," she added. Calls to the British Embassy in Washington were not immediately returned.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair is seeking a third term in office. With the country's economy doing well, Blair's Labour Party was widely expected to win despite anger over his support of the Iraq war.

The 14-story glass and metal building, on 3rd Avenue at 51st Street less than a mile from the United Nations headquarters, has retail shops on the lower level.

The closure of streets around the site caused some rush hour disruptions. For a few hours, trains on one subway line skipped the stop close to the site.

In Chicago, police closed a portion of Michigan Avenue near the British Consulate for about 30 minutes to search the area as a precaution, police spokeswoman Laura Kubiak said.

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Tax Receipts Exceed Treasury Predictions

Early Surge Lowers Deficit Projections
By Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 5, 2005; Page E01

After three years of rising federal budget deficits, a surge of April tax receipts brought unexpected good news to fiscal policymakers -- the tide of government red ink appears to be receding.

The Treasury Department this week reported there would be a $54 billion swing from projected deficit to surplus in the April-to-June quarter, after an unanticipated gush of tax payments poured into the Treasury before the April 15 deadline. That prompted private forecasters to lower their deficit projections for the fiscal year that ends in September.

Budget analysts inside and outside the government said the positive turn is likely to be short-lived. Indeed, after a four-year absence, the Treasury Department announced yesterday it is considering reissuing its 30-year Treasury bond to help finance long-term government debt, jolting the bond markets and pushing down the price of existing 30-year securities.

But in the short term, many forecasters said the budget deficit appears to have crested.

"I think it has turned the corner," said David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor's, the credit rating agency. "My guess is 2004 will have been the worst year."

For that fiscal year, the government recorded a $412 billion deficit, the largest ever in nominal dollar terms, although not as large as some of the deficits of the 1980s when measured against the size of the economy. The 2004 mark was up from 2003's $378 billion deficit, which topped 2002's $158 billion deficit.

In January, Bush administration officials projected that the streak would continue, with a deficit of $427 billion for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. But that estimate was widely regarded as inflated and many forecasters believed the total would be more like $400 billion.

April, however, turned out to be a far better month than anticipated. Taxpayers were confronted with unexpected tax bills, many from capital gains and the alternative minimum tax, a parallel income tax system designed to hit the rich but that is increasingly pinching the middle class. The Treasury announced this week that it will repay $42 billion in federal debt in the third April-to-June quarter, instead of borrowing $12 billion.

Wall Street analysts reduced their deficit forecasts this week, from around $400 billion to around $370 billion. In nominal dollar terms, that would still be the third-highest deficit on record. Even measured against the size of the economy, "it's still a high number," said Brian Bethune, director of financial economics at Global Insight Inc., a Massachusetts forecasting firm. "It needs to come down." [...]

Comment: There, see? There's nothing to worry about when it comes to the US economy. Bush's outstanding tax plan ensures that the middle class will be bled dry to finance the massive deficit. Just ignore the fact that if the middle class is in dire straits financially, they have even less purchasing power to stimulate the economy and will increasingly rely on credit, thereby expanding the already-massive level of personal debt. And nevermind about the housing bubble, falling foreign investment in US treasuries, the weakness of the dollar, and the ever-increasing cost of the "War on Terror". If the US is not careful, someone might take advantage of its precarious finances to initiate a collapse...

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2 Brits nabbed with $3 trillion in fake US fed notes
ABS CBN

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Thursday said it has arrested two British nationals with $3 trillion fake US federal bank notes in their possession, DZMM reported.

NBI Director Reynaldo Wycoco identified the suspects as Paul Edward John Flavell and Sam Beany. The two listed their address as Unit 305 CEO Apartments in Jupiter Street, Makati City.

The suspects were not physically present during the press conference called by Wycoco at the NBI office in Taft Avenue, Manila. Only the suspects' photographs were shown to reporters.

Wycoco said NBI agents have also launched a manhunt for two other British nationals involved in the syndicate.

The two other suspects are Seki Mehmet Bayram and Peter Whittkamp.

Flavell and Beany's arrest came following a tip from international cargo forwarder DHL Philippines Inc. on April 14, Wycoco said.

The tip was about a shipment consigned to two foreigners, which was pending at the company warehouse.

The forwarder said the cargo was bound for Zurich, Switzerland.

The NBI dispatched a team to the DHL office. The agents were able to chance upon the suspects as they were paying the airway bill amounting to P53,967.

Company records show the suspects paid using a credit card.

Wycoco said Flavell and Beany did not resist arrest after they were made to open the cast-iron boxes containing bogus federal bank reserve certificates.

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Coulter's F-bomber a future journalist?

Student heckler wrote for college paper, Ann rips liberals who throw food, curse
WorldNetDaily.com
May 5, 2005 1:00 a.m. Eastern

The University of Texas student arrested after asking an obscenity-filled question of WorldNetDaily columnist Ann Coulter is a former reporter for the college's newspaper, and is said to be defending his actions in more graphic language.

Ajai Raj, 19, a sophomore whose major is English at the Austin campus, was taken into custody and charged with disorderly conduct following his vulgar question and lewd hand gestures following a speech by the conservative pundit Tuesday night.

"He worked for us for about two weeks, then he just stopped showing up," Robert Inks, managing editor of the Daily Texan, told WND. "He was not acting on behalf of the newspaper [at the Coulter speech]. The guy was speaking completely on his own."

An open letter from Raj posted on DemocratsUnderground.com suggests no remorse for his actions.

I have no regrets. Was I jackass? Yes. Oh, Christ, yes. But here's the question people ought to ask themselves. Did I deserve to be arrested? Did the cops need to rough me up for saying bad words at what was at least masquerading as an open dialogue? Do the people of Texas – hell, of America – feel that "potty mouth" belongs on the list of punishable crimes along with "aggravated assault" and "armed robbery"? ...

I know I didn't slay the insidious evil that is Ann Coulter, but I did give her pause. She can easily go to another college or hoedown or whatever and spew her tired rhetoric without worrying about me. But I'm not the only one who feels this way. Other people will call her on her s---.

Online messageboards have been kept busy with reaction to Raj.

  • "Ajai, you're a hero! Coulter is an obnoxious pig who spreads hatred and stupidity wherever she goes. It's good to know that there are some smart people around who don't fall for her B.S."
  • "Twerps like this make my day! The more that Joe Average hears about this type of stupidity from liberal Democrats, the more they vote Republican. Keep up the good work, dorkbreath."
  • "In a little place called reality, you would get your head caved in for sport. You are a waste of human flesh and a wussy to boot."

A search of the Daily Texan's archives indicates three stories written by Raj between March 9 and March 23, covering the lack of diversity at UT, the state's attorney general encouraging open records, and the death of a UT freshman who was hit by a taxi while walking home from a party.

In an essay dated April 18 posted on PartyCampus.com, Raj says he was arrested this spring on marijuana charges.

"When me and the motley members of my cell block were led in front of a judge, I learned that, according to our 'justice' system, a straight-A college kid holding a bag of weed is as bad a criminal as a guy who beats his wife and kid. ... I learned that every single cop in this God-forsaken county thinks he's the King of S--- Mountain, and that they missed their chance to be comedic wunderkinds. It takes a real man to make fun of a guy who's in a futile situation and has nothing to do but take your s---."

Coulter, who was previously attacked with a custard pie at an October appearance at the University of Arizona, said last night on Fox News Channel's "Hannity & Colmes" program that liberal-minded students have been let down by their instructors.

"They're buffeted along by a liberal media, they have liberal public schoolteachers, they go to college, they have liberal professors," Coulter said. "They don't know how to argue, they can't put together a logical thought. ... Liberals – they throw food, they curse."

Comment: That's an interesting comment coming from someone who uses emotional manipulation to fire up her audiences. See the next article for more information...

Coulter, a best-selling author as well as columnist, says she was defending traditional marriage at the event, when Raj came to the microphone to ask his question.

"I defended it by pointing out that marriage promotes civilization. You have a lack of barbarity and savagery – what you don't see in societies without a marriage institution. I said nothing about sodomy. I didn't say it was unnatural or immoral or that he would be struck down by God. And he stood up and said. 'Well, you say you respect the sanctity of marriage, well what about a man who goes home every night and F's his wife in the A?' So even taking out the obscenities, his question doesn't make any sense. What does that have to do with my point? ... Who was he trying to persuade by that?"

According to the police report, Raj then ran back toward his seat, making a motion with his hand "simulating masturbation," and was arrested as an officer escorted him from the library, with Raj's supporters chanting "Let him go!"

"Intelligent questions are a little more fun than someone standing up and engaging in a Tourette's syndrome at the mic, but that's kind of funny, too," Coulter said.

She jokingly noted there was another student at the event who may have been more deserving of arrest, as he said he supported his fellow Arabs and was very angry with Coulter.

"I said, 'Which Arabs are you supporting, the ones who flew planes into the buildings, or the ones who just voted in Iraq?'" Coulter said. "He wouldn't answer."

Comment: Raj's actions do not exactly help promote the truth. In fact, he simply supplied Coulter with even more ammunition for her fanatical "liberal"-bashing quest. We note that he makes a very interesting point in his post to DemocratsUnderground.com:

I have no regrets. Was I jackass? Yes. Oh, Christ, yes. But here's the question people ought to ask themselves. Did I deserve to be arrested? Did the cops need to rough me up for saying bad words at what was at least masquerading as an open dialogue? Do the people of Texas – hell, of America – feel that "potty mouth" belongs on the list of punishable crimes along with "aggravated assault" and "armed robbery"? ...

Raj poses an interesting question. Unfortunately, most of the reports we read make no mention of his question. Instead, they focus on his foul language and lewd behaviour. The controlled media is all too happy to tell the story of how another "crazy liberal" shot himself in the foot. When confronted with the type of propaganda and emotional manipulation used by the likes of Coulter, responding in an emotionally charged manner is not an optimal solution by any means. What would have happened if Raj had asked intelligent questions, or even pointed out Coulter's bias or manipulations? We would certainly be reading quite a different article about the college student, even if it still exhibited the general bias of the mainstream US media.

The Neocons, the media, Christian fundamentalists, and conservative mouthpieces like Coulter have huge sums of money backing them up. Those individuals, groups, and publications like Signs of the Times who are attempting to shine the light of truth upon the world of lies generally have very little financial support. Furthermore, we must fight an official culture where the rules of game theory strongly favor the psychopaths in power. The battle is constant, and always uphill. It is for these very reasons why we must each learn to remain as objective as possible in our arguments, and not get caught up in emotional thinking. In creating the Signs page each day, we have firsthand experience in just how difficult this task can be. The word "monumental" comes to mind.

In the end, it seems that our only hope is to increase our objectivity as observers of this world gone mad. We cannot hope to change anything. Instead, we can all simply continue to attempt to shine the spotlight upon the manipulations and lies of the powers that be. The flapping of even one pair of butterfly wings can have amazing nonlinear effects. As an example, consider the Pentagon Strike flash presentation created by a QFS member. The intention behind the creation of the video was to simply pose questions by pointing out inconsistencies in the official version of events along with facts about 9/11 that have not been adequately addressed. Well over 300 million people have now viewed the video, with tens of thousands of new visitors still watching it each day. Ultimately, the "success" of the video cannot be judged by these numbers alone. Some people disregard everything in the video, while others have started to ask questions and research the matter themselves. There even seems to be a COINTELPRO operation in effect that is designed to convince the 9/11 truth movement that the issue of what struck the Pentagon is completely unimportant. It is most curious that this effort began only after the spread of the Pentagon Strike flash presentation. It is clear that the video has made huge waves, waves which we had never anticipated or predicted.

How many people would have even finished watching the Pentagon Strike video - no matter how many facts it presented or good questions it posed - if its content was simply emotional ranting and foul language directed at the powers that be?

Although the effects of tiny flapping butterfly wings can be amazing, we must each first make a sincere effort and begin to rid ourselves of the effects of decades of propaganda that has reduced us all to mere emotional reaction machines. It is only through metamorphosis that the caterpillar becomes the butterfly.

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Flashback: Ann Coulter causes stir at KU

Heckling, standing ovations interrupt right-wing commentator
By Mike Belt, Journal-World
Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Conservative columnist and author Ann Coulter was greeted with a mixture of standing ovations and heckling after she took center stage Tuesday night at Kansas University's Lied Center.

As soon as she stepped up to the microphone, Coulter fired off one zinger after another about liberalism while promising to answer questions from left-wing members in the audience who could "thrash their way to a coherent thought."

"I've come to find I like liberals a lot more," Coulter said early in her speech. "They're kind of cute when they're cold, shivering and afraid."

Comment: Spoken like a true psychopath! It is particularly curious that Coulter accuses her opponents of having to "thrash their way to a coherent thought" when it is obvious that her speech was centered around riling up the emotions of the audience instead of attempting any kind of rational, coherent dialogue.

Coulter spoke as the 37th J.A. Vickers Sr. Memorial Lecture Series lecturer to a crowd estimated by KU officials at about 1,800 people. The lectures, which began in 1971, were established through a gift to the Kansas University Endowment Association by the Vickers family of Wichita.

Coulter received several standing ovations during her speech, but she also found herself interrupted several times by a small, scattered group of hecklers.

"I think there are some people in the audience who meant to be at the sexual reorientation class down the hall," Coulter said, in response to the heckling.

Comment: Then she uses another tried and true tactic: insulting and belittling her opponents.

Moments later Coulter stopped and called for assistance from students when hecklers started in again and no one of authority was seen trying to stop them.

"Could 10 of the largest College Republicans start walking up and down the aisles and start removing anyone shouting?" Coulter asked. "Otherwise, this lecture is over."

Several people responded, leaving their seats to confront the hecklers, and verbal confrontations erupted in parts of the auditorium. One of those who answered Coulter's call was Michael Conner, a Shawnee freshman.

"All I did was say they shouldn't stop her from speaking," Conner said of confronting some audience members in the back of the auditorium.

Comment: When some audience members take the bait and respond to her insults and name-calling, she then demands that such individuals be removed or she's going to leave. At that point, there was absolutely no chance for a balanced and constructive question and answer period, because anyone who dared to take a stand against Coulter had been removed or silenced out of fear.

Later, when heckling broke out again, a couple of uniformed KU Public Safety Department officers appeared and escorted about six people out of the auditorium.

Coulter resumed her critical remarks, calling Sen. Ted Kennedy a "human dirigible" and the Democrats' "spiritual leader." She also made fun of the Democrats' dalliance with filmmaker Michael Moore and former presidential candidate John Kerry, who she said got away with telling "big, fat, enormous lies."

Despite Kerry's loss, Democrats think their political stances and ideas just "need new labels for their bottles," Coulter said.

She also blasted the nation's judicial system for its handling of the Terri Schiavo case. "We no longer have a single check on the judiciary," she said.

Comment: Don't worry, Ann - soon there won't be any checks on the judiciary. Heck, at the rate things are going in the "Land of the Free" there probably won't be a judiciary at all...

Coulter's appearance spurred mixed emotions among those who came to see her. About a dozen protesters stood outside the center before her speech, carrying signs bearing quotes from her books and columns. Ron Warman Jr. dressed up in a clown suit to express his dislike of Coulter.

Comment: Note that the comment the author makes is not that Coulter's appearance resulted in rational discussion between grown-ups, but rather than it "spurred mixed emotions".

"I think she's a clown or a witch," the 45-year-old Lawrence man said.

Some of the protesters, such as Robert Richardson, said they were members of the Society of Open-Minded Atheists and Agnostics.

"We're just not open-minded enough to like Ann Coulter," Richardson, 28, of Lawrence, said.

Others, such as Mollie Devine, 26, said she was a big fan of Coulter.

"I love her," the Lawrence woman said. "She doesn't back down. She's also funnier than the other (conservative) columnists."

Comment: Indeed, Coulter reminds us of one of the armored bulldozers that the Israelis use to run over the homes and lives of the Palestinians and those who try to help them.

Mary Anne Smith, 38, said she welcomed a chance to hear a noted right-wing conservative speak.

"We hear so much of the liberal side in Lawrence," she said. "I'm excited she came here, and this is not a very easy place to come."

John Altevogt, a conservative GOP activist from Wyandotte County, also welcomed Coulter.

"Ann Coulter is logical, rational and an independent thinker," he said. "In essence, everything the left hates in their womenfolk."

Comment: Apparently, insulting those who do not agree is considered logical, rational, and independent thinking these days in America.

Unhappy with controversy

Others said they were displeased with the hecklers, including brothers Richard and Alfred Dyer, who sat in front of a few hecklers they described as acting like children.

"I think they did a disservice by heckling her," Alfred Dyer, 54, Tonganoxie, said.

"She's got a right to be treated in a civilized manner," Richard Dyer, 53, Lawrence, said.

Comment: Don't the "liberals" she insults also have the right to be treated in a civilized manner?

John Hoopes, 46, Lawrence, said the event reminded him of watching the "Jerry Springer Show."

Comment: The Jerry Springer Show appeals to our basic emotions and animal nature. Ann Coulter uses the same tactic. Bush and his gang use the same tactic. They use the tactic because it works. If it ain't broke, why fix it?

Coulter was paid $25,000 for her appearance, which was paid from the Vickers endowment fund, said Toni Dixon, director of communications for the KU School of Business. State and university money were not used, she said.

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Cisco slammed for RFID staff tracker

Wireless RFID server tracks personnel via tags embedded in uniforms
Iain Thomson
vnunet.com
04 May 2005

Cisco has come under fire from privacy groups as it prepares to launch a wireless RFID server that can track people and equipment using existing Wi-Fi networks.

The Wireless Location Appliance 2700 is designed to track RFID tags down to a few metres and display the location on a central map.

Alarms can be raised if the tag moves out of a predefined area, allowing companies to track equipment and, more controversially, personnel.

"This can track your most valuable assets and people," said Phil Dean, manager of applications networking for Cisco EMEA.

However, the technology was slammed by privacy group Liberty. "This latest product undermines employee privacy even further and reinforces the slur that workers cannot be trusted," said Dr Caoilfhionn Gallagher, policy officer at Liberty.

"Using RFID in fixed objects is one thing, using it in moving objects and embedded in uniforms is another. This allows employers to track behaviour and movement during work hours."

The server was developed by AirSpace before the company was bought by Cisco. It damps down fluctuating levels of Wi-Fi coverage throughout a walled building to obtain an accurate fix on the tags.

It will only work with active RFID tags, which carry a power source, rather than the smaller passive systems that only activate when scanned. The active tags cost at least $5 each, which would boost the cost of widescale deployment.

The server will be available in June and will cost about £8,000.

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Council listens in to Soho crowds
Iain Thomson
vnunet.com
04 May 2005

Westminster Council is piloting a scheme to install microphones on lampposts to augment CCTV coverage with audio snooping.

Seven microphones are now in place in and around the Soho area of London. Stage two of the project will see microphones put up in "noise hotspots" in the coming months, including the Lissom Grove and Churchill Gardens housing estates.

"Currently if a resident complains about noise the offenders could have stopped by the time an official can get to the scene," said a council spokesman.

"The microphones only activate if noise levels reach above a certain threshold. There isn't someone listening in to everyone 24 hours a day."

Both the cameras and microphones can be moved and focused on any problems. The microphones will use the existing Wi-Fi network that links the cameras to Westminster's central monitoring station.

The council insists that there are no plans to introduce blanket coverage across Westminster.

One of the problems the microphone designers faced was how to deal with London's pigeons. The spokesman confirmed that the cameras had been designed "with London's avian population in mind".

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Malaysia to fingerprint all new-born children
By John Oates
Published Wednesday 4th May 2005 09:28 GMT

Malaysia’s National Registration Department is doubtful that it would be useful to fingerprint all babies born in the country.

Malaysian police are proposing all new-borns should have their fingerprint and footprints taken before they leave hospital, according to the BBC. The National Registration Department is concerned that prints from such a young child will be unreliable for identifying the terrible toddlers.

The NRD is “keeping an open mind” but is worried that such fingerprints will still be changing and so won’t be useful for identification, according to the Malaysian Star. Police believe software could allow for such changes in the prints.

Malaysians are already required to give fingerprints at age 12 when they receive their “MyKad” ID card. Their prints are taken again when they are 18. Malaysia is aiming to have everyone over the age of 12 carrying a smart ID card by the end of the year.

Civil liberties groups in the country have attacked the proposal as intimidating and likely to create a climate of fear.

Newborn kids are already issued a “MyKid” - similar to an ID card but without fingerprints or photos.

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Scientists: Life on Mars Likely
Wired News
By Rowan Hooper
May. 02, 2005

Not so long ago it was unthinkable for respectable scientists to talk about life on Mars. Such talk was best left to X-Files fans. But no longer.

Evidence is building to suggest biological processes might be operating on the red planet, and life on Mars, many scientists believe, is now more a likelihood than merely a possibility.

Tantalizing evidence is accumulating that suggests the red planet is alive, but incontrovertible proof is still lacking. And while the European Space Agency is keen to send a lander to find it, a history of failed life-finding missions at NASA makes Americans more cautious.

"The life on Mars issue has recently undergone a paradigm shift," said Ian Wright, an astrobiologist at the Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute at the Open University in Britain, "to the extent now that one can talk about the possibility of present life on Mars without risking scientific suicide."

Much of the excitement is due to the work of Vittorio Formisano, head of research at Italy's Institute of Physics and Interplanetary Space.

In February, Formisano presented data at the Mars Express Science Conference at Noordwijk in the Netherlands. If scientists had been quietly excited before seeing Formisano's data, they were frenetic afterward.

Formisano showed evidence of the presence of formaldehyde in the atmosphere. Formaldehyde is a breakdown product of methane, which was already known to be present in the Martian atmosphere, so in itself its presence is not so surprising. But Formisano measured formaldehyde at 130 parts per billion.

To astrobiologists it was an incredible claim. It means huge amounts of methane must be produced on Mars. (While methane lasts for hundreds of years in the atmosphere, formaldehyde lasts for only 7.5 hours.) "It requires that 2.5 million tons of methane are produced a year," said Formisano.

"There are three possible scenarios to explain the quantities: chemistry at the surface, caused by solar radiation; chemistry deep in the planet, caused by geothermal or hydrothermal activity; or life," he added.

And, with no known geological source of formaldehyde on Mars, it's clear where Formisano's suspicions lie.

"I believe there is extremely high probability that microbial subsurface life exists on Mars," he said, while acknowledging that although he believes in Martian life, he can't yet prove it. [...]

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Phoebe moon may be captured comet
Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 May, 2005, 17:48 GMT 18:48 UK
Phoebe orbits in the opposite direction to Saturn's regular moons

Saturn's pock-marked moon Phoebe could be a comet that was captured by the gravity of the ringed planet.

Data from the Cassini spacecraft suggests it originated in the frozen outer Solar System region called the Kuiper Belt - a reservoir for comets.

Two studies of Phoebe are carried in this week's issue of Nature magazine.

The tiny satellite is very different in its chemical composition to Saturn's larger moons and circles the planet in the opposite direction to them.

"It could have been a comet," said co-author Ralf Jaumann of the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

"Phoebe has a long journey behind it. It comes from the outer Solar System and probably rounded the Sun a few times before it was captured by Saturn's orbit. But we really don't know."

Phoebe and the objects that populate the Kuiper Belt are remnants of primordial objects that served as the building blocks of planets in our Solar System.

The saturnian satellite could itself be between 4 and 4.4 billion years old.

Icy bodies

During the formation of the planets, gravitational interactions ejected some so-called icy planetesimals like Phoebe into distant orbits to join a native population of similar cosmic bodies.

This process formed the region we know today as the Kuiper Belt.

Phoebe itself must have migrated inwards and was captured by Saturn's gravity after the ringed planet formed from its planetary nebula.

Analysis of Phoebe's surface shows that it is one of the most complex Solar System objects yet studied.

Scientists have identified water-ice, possible clays, iron-bearing minerals and organics such as aromatic compounds, alkanes and nitriles on the 220km-wide Saturnian satellite. More complex organics also seem to be there, but scientists are yet to characterise them.

The observations come from Cassini's Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (Vims).

Dr Jaumann thinks clays could have formed through heating if Phoebe came close to the Sun before being captured by Saturn, forcing water ice to react with silicates.

"When we finally understand Phoebe, we will also understand the Kuiper Belt objects," Dr Jaumann explained.

Phoebe's surface composition also suggests that chemical activity in the first half billion years of the Solar System may have been more complex than previously thought.

"However, we have only seen the surface and this has probably undergone some alteration. But Phoebe has probably not had much alteration through high pressure or heating," Dr Jaumann added.

Cassini collected data on the moon during a close flyby on 11 June 2004.

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Earthquake Rocks Banda Aceh Again
May 05, 2005 16:36 PM

BANDA ACEH, May 5 (Bernama) -- An earthquake measuring 5 on the Richter scale on Thursday morning rocked Naggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD) provincial capital of Banda Aceh and Aceh Besar district, the Antara News Agency reported.

Head of the Mata'Ie Geophysical office Syahnan said that the tremor occurred at 8.14am (local time) for several seconds with its epicenter in the sea about 125 km west of Meulaboh, capital town of West Aceh district.

There was no immediate report of casualty or damage.

On Wednesday, two tectonic earthquakes, measuring 4.7 and 5.5 on the Richter scale, respectively, also jolted Banda Aceh.

In addition, head of the Mata Ie Geophysical office Syahnan earlier said aftershocks were felt on the average of 20 times everyday in Aceh following the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami on Dec 26, 2004.

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