Tuesday, July 05, 2005                                               The Daily Battle Against Subjectivity
Signs Logo
Printer Friendly Version
Fixed link to latest Page


at Birth?

If you like music but don't like Bush, then check out the latest Signs of the Times production, You Lied. The words are now translated into French, German, and Spanish.


Yahoo News
By Ted Rall Mon Jul 4 2005

NEW YORK--In war collaborators are more dangerous than enemy forces, for they betray with intimate knowledge in painful detail and demoralize by their cynical example. This explains why, at the end of occupations, the newly liberated exact vengeance upon their treasonous countrymen even they allow foreign troops to conduct an orderly withdrawal.

If, as state-controlled media insists, there is such a creature as a Global War on Terrorism, our enemies are underground Islamist organizations allied with or ideologically similar to those that attacked us on 9/11. But who are the collaborators?

The right points to critics like Michael Moore, yours truly, and Ward Churchill, the Colorado professor who points out the gaping chasm between America's high-falooting rhetoric and its historical record. But these bête noires are guilty only of the all-American actions of criticism and dissent, not to mention speaking uncomfortable truths to liars and deniers. As far as we know, no one on what passes for the "left" (which would be the center-right anywhere else) has betrayed the United States in the GWOT. No anti-Bush progressive has made common cause with Al Qaeda, Hamas, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan or any other officially designated "terrorist" group. No American liberal has handed over classified information or worked to undermine the

But it now appears that Karl Rove, GOP golden boy, has done exactly that.

Last week Time magazine turned over its reporter's notes to a special prosecutor assigned to learn who told Republican columnist Bob Novak that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent. The revelation, which effectively ended Plame's CIA career and may have endangered her life, followed her husband Joe Wilson's publication of a New York Times op-ed piece that embarrassed the Bush Administration by debunking its claims that
Saddam Hussein tried to buy uranium from Niger. Time's cowardly decision to break its promise to a confidential source has had one beneficial side effect: according to Newsweek, it indicates that Karl Rove himself made the call to Novak.

One might have expected Rove, the master White House political strategist who engineered Bush's 2000 coup d'état and post-9/11 permanent war public relations campaign, to have ordered a flunky underling to carry out this act of high treason. But as the Arab saying goes, arrogance diminishes wisdom.

Rove, whose gaping maw recently vomited forth that Democrats didn't care about 9/11, is atypically silent. He did talk to the Time reporter but "never knowingly disclosed classified information," claims his attorney. But there's circumstantial evidence to go along with Time's leaked notes.

Ari Fleischer abruptly resigned as Bush's press secretary on May 16, 2003, about the same time the White House became aware of Ambassador Wilson's plans to go public. (Wilson's article appeared July 6.) Did Fleischer quit because he didn't want to act as spokesman for Rove's plan to betray CIA agent Plame? Another interesting coincidence: Novak published his Plame column on July 14, Fleischer's last day on the job.

If Newsweek's report is accurate, Karl Rove is more morally repugnant and more anti-American than
Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden, after all, has no affiliation with, and therefore no presumed loyalty to, the United States. Rove, on the other hand, is a U.S. citizen and, as deputy White House chief of staff, a high-ranking official of the U.S. government sworn to uphold and defend our nation, its laws and its interests. Yet he sold out America just to get even with Joe Wilson.

Osama bin Laden, conversely, is loyal to his cause. He has never exposed an Al Qaeda agent's identity to the media.

"[Knowingly revealing Plame's name and undercover status to the media]...is a violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act and is punishable by as much as ten years in prison," notes the Washington Post. Unmasking an intelligent agent during a time of war, however, surely rises to giving aid and comfort to America's enemies--treason. Treason is punishable by execution under the United States Code.

How far up the White House food chain does the rot of treason go? "Bush has always known how to keep Rove in his place," wrote Time in 2002 about a "symbiotic relationship" that dates to 1973. This isn't some rogue "plumbers" operation. Rove would never go it alone on a high-stakes action like Valerie Plame. It's a safe bet that other, higher-ranking figures in the Bush cabal--almost certainly
Dick Cheney and possibly Bush himself--signed off before Rove called Novak. For the sake of national security, those involved should be removed from office at once.

Rove and his collaborators should quickly resign and face prosecution for betraying their country, but given their sense of personal entitlement impeachment is probably the best we can hope for. Congress, and all Americans, should place patriotism ahead of party loyalty.

Comment: The news that Karl Rove was behind the outing of Valerie Plame as a CIA agent in the Middle East should come as no surprise. Rove has proven time and again that there is no level to which he will not stoop to ensure that he achieves his obsessive goals. At this particular point in the history of this planet, where high-level government deception and duplicity seem to be at an all-time high, we are grateful for the fact that while there seems to be no limit to what our so-called leaders will try to get away with, there IS a limit to their ability to cover-up their misdeeds. As regards the role of 'we the people'; while we cannot expect that our corrupt officials will be called to account for their misdeeds (they pretty much control the criminal justice department) we can play a vital balancing role by refusing to be fooled by the propaganda that inevitably follows their flagrant acts of criminality.

Click here to comment on this article

One-On-One Interview With Ray McGovern, Former CIA Senior Analyst, Who Warns U.S. Headed Down A Fascist Road And Highly Critical Of President Bush and Neo Con Explanations OF WMD, 9/11 And Manipulation of Intelligence Gathering

McGovern says back in the 'old days' he told it straight,' an integrity trait sorely lacking at the CIA under the dogmatic Bush administration.
By Greg Szymanski
July 2, 2005

Ray McGovern's Irish eyes were smiling the moment he joined the CIA as a young, principled and energetic analyst during the Kennedy administration. [...]

That, however, was back in the 'old days' when he said CIA analysts still were allowed to present the truth, live up to the U.S. Constitution and not be sent packing if they did. That, he adds, was back in the days when a man was still able to go home after a long day's work, look at himself in the mirror and even crack a smile.

But after 27 years of distinguished service ending right after the cold war, the retired and highly decorated senior analyst isn't smiling anymore. He hasn't been smiling since the "crazies", as he calls them, returned to Washington.

In fact, he hasn't cracked a wide open Irish smile at all since the return of the neo-cons, returning like a bad B movie and putting a strange evangelical stranglehold on the two things he cherishes most: the CIA and the Constitution.

With the neo con invasion of political animals void of dignity and truth, the highly articulate and analytical thinker probably can't help himself from searching for that special four leaf clover in his pocket or wondering if the luck of the Irish finally has run out on America.

And he probably can't help himself from saying an extra prayer to St. Patrick at night, asking him to block the fascist path taken by the neo cons and to restore some semblance of honor, dignity and truth to the agency and country he loves dearly.

But at a time when emotions are running high and patience low, talking to McGovern is like talking to a breadth of fresh air and steady voice of reason, a calm and patient voice who insists on gathering all the facts but nevertheless demanding nothing less than the truth.

He is a man who analyzes first, talks later and never bends reality to fit a political policy, calling that "the cardinal sin' in the intelligence gathering community, a sin the Bush administration recently committed when assessing WMD intelligence concerning the Iraqi invasion.

Recently, McGovern has helped lead the charge, along with a number of Democratic Congressmen and other high-powered civic leaders, demanding an open and honest investigation into allegations President Bush doctored WMD intelligence reports to justify war and essentially lied to the American people and Congress.

The serious allegations, which could send our gun-slinging President down the lonely path of impeachment, are coming on the heels of authenticated - official documentation - from the chief of British intelligence, Sir Richard Deerlove, claiming Bush "fixed the intelligence reports (WMD) around the (Iraqi war) policy."

The controversy has created an uproar among millions of Americans seeking truth and at least 122 Congressmen seeking to open an official investigation with subpoena power, asking Bush, Condaleeza Rice, Dick Cheney, former CIA chief George Tenet and others to come clean about the allegations of doctored WMD intelligence data.

"Wouldn't it be better if rather than making $30,000 speeches, George Tenet came before Congress and the American people and told us about the conversation he had, or didn't have, with the head of British intelligence regarding the WMD issue," said McGovern this week in a lengthy telephone conversation regarding a wide variety of subjects, including the infamous Downing Street Memo, a document which has even been authenticated by Prime Minister Tony Blair.

"Other people ask me, well, maybe President Bush wasn't aware of Iraqi intelligence. What a question! To those critics I simply ask: What's worse, I ask you? A President who lied to the American people about what he knew or a President who made a decision to send innocent Americans to war without knowing or even bothering to uncover the truth? This is why we need to know the truth and set the record straight and nothing less is acceptable." [...]

"I supported the impeachment of Nixon and took heat from my liberal friends for supporting Clinton's impeachment," said McGovern. "The allegations against President Bush are, in comparison, far more serious since they go to the heart of Article 1 of the Constitution and to the heart of what the Founding Fathers wanted to protect against. And, that being, a King or ruler, like existed in England at the time revolution, ever be allowed in America to declare war on a whim or by his own choosing.

"But if these highly credible documents prove true, this is exactly what President Bush decided to do when he lied to Congress and the American people, leading us into a war based on his own political agenda.

"It appeared he tried to use all agencies of government to trick Congress into declaring war. So, regarding impeachment, let the American people and Congress be the judge after an honest investigation is held."

Turning to the subject he holds most dear, McGovern offered his criticism and recommendations for cleaning up the CIA and protecting against organizational changes in the intelligence gathering community, claiming both problems need immediate attention.

"We are now left with people at CIA who now trim their sails with only what the administration wants to hear," said McGovern, adding the cream no longer rises to the top at the CIA, being replaced with government hacks intending to bend the department's will and integrity into to nothing but a political sounding board.

"And this type of politicking is dangerous, dangerous for our country and dangerous for the world. In my day, I would go toe-to toe with the likes of Kissinger before the end of the cold war. When I got back to the office, my boss would say, 'Did you win, Ray?' And I would tell him no, but then he would ask, 'Did you tell the truth, Ray?' And I would say of course I did and then he would smile and say, 'Good job, Ray. Give 'em hell!

McGovern then paused a moment, adding:

"This type of independent thinking, vital for the health of our nation, is gone. Now we have individuals bubbling to the top of the CIA who are being pressured right in the halls of the CIA with the likes of Cheney standing over their shoulders and, of course, bending to that political pressure and passing it down.

"In the 27 years I worked at CIA I never saw a sitting Vice President walk through our offices. But since the Bush administration, I personally know of at least seven trips made by Cheney to CIA obviously with the intent of pushing around his political muscle."

Regarding the recent 9/11 Commission's drastic recommendations for intelligence gathering methods adopted by the administration now bundling domestic and foreign services under one department head, McGovern claims the so-called reforms have made the situation worse.

"What you have is a body of former somebody's who know nothing about intelligence gathering now making recommendations about improving it," said McGovern, referring to the members of the 9/11 Commission.

Taking an enormous subject and condensing it down to its basic elements as only a true CIA analyst could do, McGovern said the words of retired Army Gen. William Odom, once head of Army intelligence, explains the flawed intelligence gathering design under Bush in a single sentence.

"No organizational design will compensate for incompetent encumbrance."

Bringing up 9/11 only since Bush referred to it repeatedly in his recent speech to the nation justifying the continuance of the unpopular Iraqi war, McGovern said it's the last policy strategy the administration has left in its political arsenal since the WMD threat looms as Bush's "Achilles Heel."

"This is really all they have left but even 9/11 presents another serious case of many unanswered questions," said McGovern. "Why are there so many unanswered questions that George W. Bush will not answer?

"When you have so many loose ends and unanswered questions, it creates nothing but suspicion. In fact, I applaud all the serious people trying to get to the bottom of the truth about 9/11, despite the media blackout, which is another serious issue facing the American people."

Besides delving into the obvious inconsistencies in the government's official story about the manner in which the WTC fell and the breakdown of air traffic defense systems,. McGovern turned to the actions of the President on the morning of 9/11 when he sat before a group of school children in a Florida elementary school.

"Why is it he remained for 25 minutes after being alerted about the attack," questioned McGovern, adding when in the background at first Secret Service agents could be heard saying 'let's get out of here.' "Obviously, they were overruled by somebody, somebody who knew something.

"Now, think about it, America is under attack and they have to be thinking, 'we need to get the President out for his own protection.' Why would they let him remain unless they knew he was safe and actually knew what was going on?"

Asked if this also put a group of school children and an entire elementary school also in danger, McGovern added:

"I never thought of that. But it's true. Why would he jeopardize the lives of innocent children unless someone knew something?" [...]

McGovern now works at 'Tell the Word,' a publishing ministry of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC. He writes and speaks for the arm of Tell the Word called 'Speaking Truth to Power' and many of his articles on intelligence issues have appeared regularly in national publications.

Reminding everyone what he stands for and what the CIA should embody, a statement in his biography provides an excellent clue:

"The ethos of intelligence analysis in those days (the days McGovern worked in the CIA) was reflected in the scripture passage chiseled into the marble entrance to CIA headquarters. 'You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'

For more informative articles, go to www.arcticbeacon.com where donations are accepted to keep the truth flowiing in the wake of a media blackout on important issues facing the American people.

Comment: While it is good that there are former intelligence analysts like McGovern who are coming out and denouncing the neocons, let's not forget the actions of the CIA and other US intelligence agencies during these "years of integrity". Their idea of what's good for the rest of the world isn't necessarily shared by those they chose to dictate to.

People in power are concerned with, well, power - and in the case of US intelligence and US corporations, US power in various domains. The following article by George Monbiot shows how clever these psychopaths are in turning popular discontent to their own ends, in this case, the question of aid to Africa.

Click here to comment on this article

Africa's new best friends

The US and Britain are putting the multinational corporations that created poverty in charge of its relief
George Monbiot
Tuesday July 5, 2005
The Guardian

I began to realise how much trouble we were in when Hilary Benn, the secretary of state for international development, announced that he would be joining the Make Poverty History march on Saturday. What would he be chanting, I wondered? "Down with me and all I stand for"?

Benn is the man in charge of using British aid to persuade African countries to privatise public services; wasn't the march supposed to be a protest against policies like his? But its aims were either expressed or interpreted so loosely that anyone could join. This was its strength and its weakness. The Daily Mail ran pictures of Gordon Brown and Bob Geldof on its front page, with the headline "Let's Roll", showing that nothing either Live 8 or Make Poverty History has done so far represents a threat to power.

The G8 leaders and the business interests their summit promotes can absorb our demands for aid, debt, even slightly fairer terms of trade, and lose nothing. They can wear our colours, speak our language, claim to support our aims, and discover in our agitation not new constraints but new opportunities for manufacturing consent. Justice, this consensus says, can be achieved without confronting power.

They invite our representatives to share their stage, we invite theirs to share ours. The economist Noreena Hertz offers, according to the commercial speakers' agency that hires her, "real solutions for businesses and individuals. Hertz teaches companies how to be smart and avoid the frictions that surface when corporate interests conflict with private life ... the political right is not necessarily wrong." Then she stands on the Make Poverty History stage and calls for poverty to be put at the top of the agenda. There is, as far as some of the MPH organisers are concerned, no contradiction: the new consensus denies that there's a conflict between ending poverty and business as usual.

The G8 leaders have seized this opportunity with both hands. Multinational corporations, they argue, are not the cause of Africa's problems but the solution. From now on they will be responsible for the relief of poverty.

They have already been given control of the primary instrument of US policy towards Africa, the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The act is a fascinating compound of professed philanthropy and raw self-interest. To become eligible for help, African countries must bring about "a market-based economy that protects private property rights", "the elimination of barriers to United States trade and investment" and a conducive environment for US "foreign policy interests". In return they will be allowed "preferential treatment" for some of their products in US markets.

The important word is "some". Clothing factories in Africa will be allowed to sell their products to the US as long as they use "fabrics wholly formed and cut in the United States" or if they avoid direct competition with US products. The act, treading carefully around the toes of US manufacturing interests, is comically specific. Garments containing elastic strips, for example, are eligible only if the elastic is "less than 1 inch in width and used in the production of brassieres". Even so, African countries' preferential treatment will be terminated if it results in "a surge in imports".

It goes without saying that all this is classified as foreign aid. The act instructs the US Agency for International Development to develop "a receptive environment for trade and investment". What is more interesting is that its implementation has been outsourced to the Corporate Council on Africa.

The CCA is the lobby group representing the big US corporations with interests in Africa: Halliburton, Exxon Mobil, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Starbucks, Raytheon, Microsoft, Boeing, Cargill, Citigroup and others. For the CCA, what is good for General Motors is good for Africa. "Until African countries are able to earn greater income," it says, "their ability to buy US products will be limited." The US state department has put it in charge of training African governments and businesses. The CCA runs the US government's annual forum for African business, and hosts the Growth and Opportunity Act's steering committee.

Now something very similar is being set up in the UK. Tomorrow the Business Action for Africa summit will open in London with a message from Tony Blair. Chaired by Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, the head of Anglo American, its speakers include executives from Shell, British American Tobacco, Standard Chartered Bank, De Beers and the Corporate Council on Africa. One of its purposes is to inaugurate the Investment Climate Facility, a $550m fund financed by the UK's foreign-aid budget, the World Bank and the other G8 nations, but "driven and controlled by the private sector". The fund will be launched by Niall FitzGerald, now head of Reuters, but formerly chief executive of Unilever, and before that Unilever's representative in apartheid South Africa. He wants the facility, he says, to help create a "healthy investment climate" that will offer companies "attractive financial returns compared to competing destinations". Anglo American and Barclays have already volunteered to help.

Few would deny that one of the things Africa needs is investment. But investment by many of our multinationals has not enriched its people but impoverished them. The history of corporate involvement in Africa is one of forced labour, evictions, murder, wars, the under-costing of resources, tax evasion and collusion with dictators. Nothing in either the Investment Climate Facility or the Growth and Opportunity Act imposes mandatory constraints on corporations. While their power and profits in Africa will be enhanced with the help of our foreign-aid budgets, they will be bound only by voluntary commitments: of the kind that have been in place since 1973 and have proved useless.

Just as Gordon Brown's "moral crusade" encourages us to forget the armed crusade he financed, the state-sponsored rebranding of the companies working in Africa prompts us to forget what Shell has been doing in Nigeria, what Barclays and Anglo American and De Beers have done in South Africa, and what British American Tobacco has done just about everywhere. From now on, the G8 would like us to believe, these companies will be Africa's best friends. In the name of making poverty history, the G8 has given a new, multi-headed East India Company a mandate to govern the continent.

Without a critique of power, our campaign, so marvellously and so disastrously inclusive, will merely enhance this effort. Debt, unfair terms of trade and poverty are not causes of Africa's problems but symptoms. The cause is power: the ability of the G8 nations and their corporations to run other people's lives. Where, on the Live 8 stages and in Edinburgh, was the campaign against the G8's control of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the UN? Where was the demand for binding global laws for multinational companies?

At the Make Poverty History march, the speakers insisted that we are dragging the G8 leaders kicking and screaming towards our demands. It seems to me that the G8 leaders are dragging us dancing and cheering towards theirs.

Comment: It is so easy to co-opt a movement. There are research organisations and think tanks that specialise in figuring out how to manipulate and engineer society to turn a popular movement into a fifth column for the forces they claim to be opposing.

Click here to comment on this article

AU: Rich countries must fulfill promises
www.chinaview.cn 2005-07-05 14:03:18

BEIJING, July 5 -- African Union Commission Chairman Alpha Oumar Konare calls on the world's richest nations to fulfil their promises of aid to the continent.

African Union Commission Chairman Alpha Oumar Konare calls on the world's richest nations to fulfil their promises of aid to the continent.

Konare opened the AU summit in Libya Monday, saying that since the 1970s, rich nations have not kept promises.

He says Group of Eight nations, meeting this week, must keep their debt relief promises to the poorest countries in the world.

He also calls on African nations to explore their own resources to fight poverty.

Meanwhile, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi urged continental leaders Monday not to go begging at the summit of rich nations in Scotland, instead urging self-reliance and rejecting of conditional aid from the West.

In a speech at the opening ceremony of the summit, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called upon Africa to accelerate the pace towards fulfilment of UN-sponsored development goals.

Heads of state and government representatives attended the African Union's 5th summit, Monday in Sirte.

Click here to comment on this article

Show your Independence on the 4th; Burn a Flag
By Mike Whitney
July 03, 2005

"This 4th of July, I ask you to find a way to thank the men and women defending our freedom, by flying the flag"
- George W. Bush, Fort Bragg address 6-28-05

"If the flag needs protection at all, it needs protection from members of Congress who value the symbol more than the freedoms that the flag represents."
- Jerrold Nadler, (D-New York)

"Some folks are born made to wave the flag, ooh, they're red, white and blue. And when the band plays "Hail To The Chief", oh, they point the cannon at you, Lord"
- John Fogerty, "Fortunate Son"

"ICH" - - It's odd that Congress would pass a bill banning flag burning on the same week that reports confirmed the US military used napalm in Iraq. Apparently, it's alright to incinerate Iraqis, but not okay to burn a 5'x7' piece of tri-colored cloth.

For the Republican faithful, the action was just another cynical demonstration of feigned patriotism meant to divert attention from an increasingly bloody war. Only a handful of these uber-nationalists ever served a day in uniform so they try to limit their loyalty to meaningless displays of political buffoonery. No one believes for a minute that any one of these stuffed-shirts would ever venture into an angry crowd to save Old Glory from the torch. They'd rather pontificate from the safety of the House, where their high-flown rhetoric can be mistaken for courage.

If the Congressman were sincere in their regard for the Bill of Rights they'd honor the basic tenets of the 1st amendment; (that) "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech;" a clear defense of unpopular forms of expression, like flag burning. Instead, they choose to ignore the principle behind the icon and flaunt their ignorance like a badge of honor.

The Supreme Court got it right in a 1989 ruling that settled the issue of flag burning: "If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable. Punishing desecration of the flag dilutes the very freedom that makes this emblem so revered, and worth revering."

The Court decided that flag burning was "symbolic speech" and was protected under the 1st amendment. The act, however offensive, belongs in the same category as "virulent ethnic and religious epithets, vulgar repudiations of the draft, and scurrilous caricatures".

Unfortunately, the Congress is so subsumed in the prevailing culture of chauvinism and religious zealotry that our founding principles have been tossed on the slag heap and replaced with a hard-right ideology and empty proclamations of devotion. As the polls indicate, Congress has devolved into little more than a staging ground for the regular emission hot gas from windy politicos.

The flag burning issue is mainly a way for puerile congressman to entertain themselves while the matters of state are conducted by an iron-fisted White House. Never the less, freedom of expression is central to our constitutionally protected civil liberties and should be taken seriously. And, besides, maybe it takes a smoldering flag or two to wake up a somnolent nation.

"The flag", Einstein wrote, "is proof that man is still a herd animal". We gather around these tribal symbols to identify ourselves with the gaggle of humanity, excluding "the other" as a vital threat to our survival. Entire industries (Public relations) evolve in order to harness this fear of external threats and exploit it for their own purposes. The Bush Administration has been particularly astute at marshalling the dormant energy of terror and putting it to use in carrying out its radical agenda. As America's center has shifted, so too its symbols have been transformed by the policies. Now, an American flag on the lapel of a sports-coat immediately pigeon-hole's one as a hard-right ideologue or a "Ditto-head". Similarly, an American flag bumper sticker identifies one as a Bush-supporter as surely as a "yellow ribbon" car-magnet. In other words, the flag has lost its original meaning and no longer includes the values of all the people. It is entirely the province of Christian fundamentalists, neocons, super-nationalists, and war-mongers.

Let's face it; the flag is Bush and Bush is the flag.

Democrats vehemently refute this, but it is true nonetheless. The principles that may have imbued the flag with some real meaning have long since disappeared. Five years of Bush have transformed a perfectly decent bit of weaving into a menacing symbol of brute force and intolerance. The question isn't whether someone has the right to burn the flag but, rather, who really cares if they do?

No reasonably decent individual would ever defend a banner that waves over torture-camps like Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib. So, why should we take the provincial attitude that the flag is still sacrosanct?

It's not. It has morphed into the mottled image of its corporate owners; a ruddy, savage emblem of marching armies, windowless jail cells, and sneering, well-groomed men in blue suits.

The flag has become a stage-prop for executive speechifying; a tawdry backdrop for Bush's war-oratory. It's become companion for fatuous politicians who think that valor can rub off through proximity or osmosis. It's morphed into a blood-splattered pennant waved in front of high-school boys; drawing them to the killing fields in Iraq and Afghanistan; a bloody shroud that cloaks the national idol of aggressive war. It's become a beacon of dwindling freedom; hanging limply behind the concertina-wire and cement abutments at the White House fortress.

This isn't your flag anymore, or mine. Perhaps, we should just burn it and preserve the memory.

The stars-and-stripes no longer fly over "purple mountains majesty or fruited plains", but over the warlord dominated drug-colony in Afghanistan and the battered Green-Zone ramparts in occupied Iraq.

The flag has fallen from its once lofty perch and merged with the sludge of corporate profiteering, calculated sadism and pre-emptive war. No dousing of gasoline could ever compare to the disgrace brought on by Bush's laser-guided munitions, messianic proselytizing, and orgy of carnage.

In such times, flag burning becomes the ultimate form of non-violent dissent; a commanding symbol of individual defiance and protest. It registers the absolute contempt of the citizen for the policies of the state and provides a venue for a lawful and appropriate demonstration of personal outrage.

It is senseless to carry on about personal liberty if the citizen is not free to take an unpopular point of view and rail against the government. Free speech needs to be protected particularly if it IS "offensive". Flag burning is the benchmark for measuring the extent of our personal freedom. We shouldn't deny ourselves that right for the sake of political correctness.

Any attempt by the Congress to prevent this form of expression will only generate greater distain for the authority of the state. Let Congress stick to its own business and leave the 1st amendment alone.

Why not enjoy the "last throes" of the Republic? Express yourself while you can; defend your personal liberty; burn a flag on Independence Day.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com

Copyright: Mike Whitney. All rights reserved. You may republish under the following conditions: An active link to the original publication must be provided. You must not alter, edit or remove any text within the article, including this copyright notice.

Click here to comment on this article

July 4th and the end of America, land of the free
Mike Adams
July 4 2005

Happy July 4th. On this, the 229th birthday of our nation, we find the very foundation of our nation in grave danger as our (elected?) leaders continue to destroy many of the rights and freedoms our forefathers worked so hard to put in place. It is no coincidence that, this very week, our President has created a domestic spy service called the National Security Service. That's the NSS, not to be confused with the SS of Nazi Germany, which had much the same function in pre-war Germany.

Amendment IV: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Not to be outdone in the race to a police state, the Supreme Court lobotomized the 4th Amendment last week. There is no longer anything resembling "private property" in this country. There is only the illusion of ownership, as long as it is allowed by your government. At the stroke of a pen, any government (city, state, federal) can seize your land and your home, for any reason.

In other words, the State is now the true owner of all land and all property. The very term "owner" refers to the person or organization that controls the use of that land. If you don't control its use, you are not the owner. The State is. You just pay rent. And if you don't cooperate with government takeover of your land, they can always declare you a terrorist and seize your land under The Patriot Act.

Speaking of The Patriot Act, this misguided act allows the U.S. government to secretly tap your phone lines without a court order. It also allows the feds to rifle through library records in order to spot "terrorist readers" who apparently frequent these institutions of knowledge. Libraries are terrorist training camps, didn't you know?

Amendment VI: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Think the Bill of Rights still applies in this country? The 6th Amendment has been nullified by the practices taking place at Guantanamo Bay. The U.S. government simply kidnaps anyone they want, ships them off to Gitmo, then leaves them there to rot, without being charged, without a trial, and without legal representation. By calling them "enemy combatants," the Bush Administration seemingly avoids having to abide by the Geneva Convention as well, which requires certain standards of treatment for prisoners of war

Amendment XIV: ...nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
As the Bush Administration runs rampant over the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, do you feel any safer from terrorists? Do you feel like this administration is protecting your life, liberty and property? Are you any freer or safer today than you were five years ago?

Of course not. We're all in far more danger, and we're all less free. Our Constitution and its Bill of Rights lie in shambles. The very fact that this is happening reckons back to the purpose of the Bill of Rights in the first place: to ensure that no government tramples on its people.

You see, our nation's forefathers understood that the greatest threat to freedom was not an enemy nation, but rather a nation's own government. The Bill of Rights was created for the sole purpose of limiting the power of government over the people. Our forefathers knew that all governments eventually get out of control and become oppressive regimes. So they purposefully created the Bill of Rights in an effort to guarantee that no government could deprive its citizens of free speech, freedom to bear arms, the right to own land, and other rights necessary for the prosperity of a free nation.

That our own government is systematically destroying the Bill of Rights is proof that our forefathers were correct.

I wonder: when will all the Bush-supporting people in this country realize they're driving us head-first into a police state? No administration in the history of this country has done more to take away our personal freedoms than this one. And yet half the country is rallying behind this President.

The people have no idea what they've done. They've sent this country spiraling down the dark path of a police state. They've looked the other way while our rights and freedoms were stolen. They've supported an unjustified attack on a foreign state that will only serve to breed more terrorists who understandably hate this country and its people. The Bush Administration has created a terrorist breeding ground that will haunt this nation for a hundred years or more.

So happy 4th of July. It's a national holiday that celebrates the founding of a great nation. But this 4th of July, that great nation no longer exists. Instead, we have a police state, operated under the illusion of freedom. The illusion of Democracy. The illusion that your vote counts. The illusion that by giving up your freedoms, you'll gain security.

This July 4th, I'm not watching any fireworks displays. Why? Because I know what they stand for, and I can't stand to witness such blatant hypocrisy in the night sky. Don't people realize they're watching a fireworks display that symbolizes all the very freedoms and rights that are right now being taken away from them?

To watch a fireworks display and smile is to live in utter ignorance of what is happening to our nation. It's an apt distraction, however. What better time to pull the rug of freedom out from under peoples' feet than to catch them staring blankly into the sky?
If you truly watch a July 4th fireworks display this year, friends, watch it and weep. Weep for the memory of a once-great nation that used to cherish the freedoms of its citizens. Weep for the damned souls of those leaders who have misled us. Weep for our children who will never know a free America.

Weep for the lost dreams of our forefathers who tried an experiment called Democracy, where governments were run for the benefit of the people; where elected leaders represented the interests and needs of the common folk; where our rights and freedoms were guaranteed under rule of law.

This July 4th, that experiment has run its course, and it has failed. Goodbye, America, land of the free. Make way for Amerika, land of Homeland Security.

Click here to comment on this article

Harvest of Pain and Sorrow

War without end. Rape of Mother Earth by faceless corporations. Exploitation of the poor. Subjugation of the masses. 9/11/01 marked the beginning of a new era of profound fear and suffering for the human race. Contrary to the Ministry of Truth of the United States government, the terrorists are not the source of this misery. A malevolent force has taken root in the United States. This force is rendering damage terrorists can only fathom in a dream, and is actually responsible for creating the terrorists. Psychological manipulation and economic enslavement of Americans have enabled our government to covertly inch the United States closer to tyranny with each passing day. With an arsenal of weapons which include a complicit mainstream media (i.e. Fox), an obscenely wealthy plutocracy (i.e. the Bush clan), and an equally affluent consortium of monolithic corporations (i.e. Haliburton) at their disposal to extinguish individual freedom, the US government becomes less of a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people" with each passing day. While the murder, mayhem and destruction perpetrated on 9/11 was wicked and tragic, the spiritual subjugation of hundreds of millions of Americans is a travesty with much broader implications. Our Whitehouse warns of the dire consequences of "rogue nations" attaining nuclear capabilities, but fails to acknowledge that the nation with the most potent nuclear capabilities is governed by rogues.

Bush spreads fear and loathing, not "freedom and liberty"

Much of the rest of the world takes a very dim view of the United States. I draw this conclusion based on opinion polls, numerous foreign media publications, the existence of Hugo Chavez (and others like him who dare to challenge the American regime), the hatred that has inspired terrorist attacks here and abroad, and direct feedback I have received from many citizens of other countries. It does not take much analysis to reach the conclusion that people of other nations are justified in their antipathy toward the Unites States. Our leadership is corrupt, imperialistic, and morally reprehensible. Imagine living in another nation, under the menacing shadow cast by a bullying nation which possesses a nuclear arsenal large enough to destroy the world many times over, attempts to force its form of government on other nations covertly and overtly, clearly outlines its imperialistic designs for global domination through The Project for the New American Century (http://www.newamericancentury.org/), and which wields its immense military and economic might with a profound spiritual emptiness, a narcissistic disregard for the well-being of humanity, and a profound ignorance concerning other nations and cultures.

Many Americans find themselves captive to the invisible chains binding their psyche, which is not an enviable position. However, people throughout the rest of the world are subject to economic and military attacks orchestrated by the twisted puppeteers Americans call leaders. Examples are numerous, and include Iraq, My Lai, Dresden, Hirohsima/Nagasaki, the Philippine-American War, the slaughter of Native Americans, and the numerous ruthless dictators the United States government has installed and supported in the interest of "defeating the Communist threat".

Rotten at the core

America's leaders rule by propaganda and lies. Virtually every word which Scott McClellan, George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld utter is a lie. Propaganda of Orwellian proportions perpetually emanate from the White House, channeled through enthusiastic cheerleaders masquerading as journalists (i.e. Michelle Malkin). In his 1983 novel exploring the essence of evil in humanity, People of the Lie, the Hope for Healing Human Evil, Scott Peck could easily have been describing the people who are governing America today when he stated that evil is:

“The exercise of political power—that is, the imposition of one’s will upon others by overt or covert coercion…”

Peck asserted that human evil exists predominately in the seemingly ordinary, benign people with whom we interact on a daily basis. Hitler was an extreme example of one who was overtly evil. In a sense, people like Hitler are less dangerous than those who engage in evil practices in a disguised manner. Hitler's malevolence was blatant and discernable. Peck's "people of the lie" are wolves in sheep clothing. They live and work amongst us wearing the guise of respectability and "goodness". Beneath their cloak of benevolence, their obsession with attaining their definition of success and preserving their positive image in the admiring eyes of others is the root of their evil. It ensures that they will live in a nearly perpetual state of distorted thinking and lies. A nearly insatiable narcissistic need for the recognition and validation of others drives them to act without empathy or compassion. "People of the lie" aggressively act to harm those who get in their way or threaten their image. As common wisdom indicates, lies compound themselves. "People of the lie" engage in a vicious cycle of committing iniquitous acts to further their goals of success followed by weaving an intricate web of deceit to convince themselves and others how good they are. Once they have "covered their tracks" and sustained their image, they begin the cycle again.

Behold a flesh and blood example

Karl Rove, an incarnate example of those profiled in People of the Lie recently reared the ugly head of his narcissism when he remarked:

"Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers."

"[Conservatives] saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war."

Ironically, it is Rove who desperately needs the therapy. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the world desperately needs for Karl Rove to seek therapy. Rove, the architect of both of Bush's seizures of the Oval Office, and a man with discrete yet incredibly powerful influence within the Bush administration, is the principal person of the lie amongst the many people of the lie who rule the United States. Partisan politics and ideology are irrelevant. Some very sick and dangerous people are at the helm of the most powerful nation in the world, and Rove is at the nexus.

For evidence of Rove's spiritual and intellectual illness, one needs to look no further than his statements concerning 9/11. Creating false dichotomies are typical rhetorical weapons used by people of the lie, who are afflicted with a psychological illness known as narcissistic personality disorder. With broad brush-strokes, Rove essentially limited the response of 9/11 to two possibilities: invite the enemy over for a tea party or launch a war. There are multiple possibilities that exist beyond these two.

One example would be to pursue justice against the responsible parties. Someone needs to remind Mr. Rove that instead of capturing Osama Bin Laden and impeaching President Bush for his negligence in allowing the attacks to happen, our government launched a war against a sovereign nation which had nothing to do with the attacks.

Another possible response, which this highly narcissistic administration is incapable of considering, would be for the United States to change its imperialistic, domineering ways. In an evasion of responsibility typical of those with a psychological malady, the administration refuses to acknowledge that their behavior caused the emergence of hatred and terrorism against the United States. By fighting the war in Iraq, our government continues to exacerbate the problem by creating a terrorist breeding ground and affording the terrorists a chance for live training in urban combat. Besides creating terrorists, the United States is inciting the wrath of the moderate Arab world with our leaders' decision to continue the occupation of Iraq indefinitely.

Who gets the credit (or blame)?

Veils of secrecy (an earmark of a tyranny) in the Bush administration prevent public knowledge of just how much power Karl Rove wields in the White House. According to Whitehouse.gov, the official presidential website, Rove carries the titles of Assistant to the President, Deputy Chief of Staff, and Senior Advisor. I will not waste time speculating about his level of influence, but Rove dose bear a majority of the responsibility for the damage the Bush administration is inflicting on the world by virtue of his successful efforts to infect the White House with Bush. Rove is a genius of monumental proportions when it comes to political strategy and winning elections. Without Karl Rove, there is little possibility that George Bush would be sending the poor and middle class to the horrors of a war based on lies, killing thousands of innocent Iraqis, acting as Robin Hood's antithesis, raping the environment, deepening the divisions amongst the American people on social issues, spending the United States into bankruptcy, increasing the hatred for America around the globe, and further destabilizing an already chaotic world.

Besides making the Bush debacle possible by orchestrating both highly dubious presidential victories, Rove has provided Bush and the socially conservative faction of the Republican Party with a broad-based strategy to increase their strangle-hold on America. His multi-pronged attack includes targeting groups which have traditionally been the largest monetary contributors to the Democratic Party. Attacking trial lawyers with tort reform was a hit on a significant source of Democratic funding. It is no coincidence that under Bush, union membership and power is at an all-time low. Offering strong support for Israel has been a play to garner the support of the Jewish people, who are but 2% of the US population but have historically provided 40% of the Democratic campaign contributions. Bleeding the public coffers dry and lowering the taxes on the wealthy are pages out of Rove's playbook which have "necessitated" lowering federal subsidies of social welfare programs, which Rove and his fellow social conservatives seek to abolish.

Where there's smoke, there's fire, and he will burn you

Rove's history reflects a man who has struggled with applying the basic principles of spiritual and mental health, such as honesty, integrity, and taking responsibility for one's actions. Like the hypocritical Bush and Cheney, he evaded service in Vietnam by staying in school, but has been a huge proponent (and arguably one of the principal architects) of the war in Iraq. In his early political career, he was a strong supporter of Richard Nixon. As a leader of the College Republicans, he was involved with Nixon's 1972 presidential campaign, from which the Watergate scandal arose. His chief mentor, Don Segretti, exercised successful smear campaigns against many Nixon-era politicians and later went to federal prison for illegal campaign tactics. Rove's career has been littered with direct and indirect involvement in a string of unethical, dirty and sometimes illegal campaign tactics. While his direct involvement has seldom been proven, unethical tactics follow Karl Rove like a flock follows its shepherd.

In the 1986 Texas gubernatorial race, Rove campaigned for Republican Bill Clements against Democrat Mark White. Polls showed the election would have been close, but at the eleventh hour, Karl Rove made an unsubstantiated claim that his office had been bugged. White lost. In the 1994 election, George W. Bush was running against popular incumbent Anne Richards. A mysterious whisper campaign near Election Day spread rumors throughout much of eastern Texas that Richards' staff was dominated by lesbians. Bush won. In the 2000 presidential primary, John McCain had a solid shot at winning the Republican nomination until a smear campaign portrayed him as having been a "stoolie" while a Vietcong prisoner of war, a homosexual, the father of a black child out of wedlock (the reality is that he and his wife adopted a black child), and that he was married to a drug addict.

Perhaps Rove's most heinous and cowardly political attack (for which he has yet to be found guilty) was the leak of the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Plame had the misfortune of being the wife of Joseph Wilson, a US ambassador who challenged the Bush administration's allegations that Saddam Hussein had attempted to buy uranium from Niger. When someone threatens the falsely constructed reality of a narcissistic personality disorder, that person becomes the target of retribution at virtually any cost. Since Wilson represented a threat to the success and image of his precious president, Rove (allegedly) leaked the information about Plame to columnist Robert Novak, who disclosed it in his July 14, 2003 column. Risking Ms. Plame's life by revealing her identity as a member of the CIA in retaliation for Bush's lies and image demonstrates the lack of empathy or conscience associated with a narcissist. In September of 2003, the Justice Department launched an investigation which, for unexplained reasons, has been slow and inconclusive. Mr. Rove, as a subject of the investigation, does have counsel.

Rove has been implicated in his schemes on at a few occasions. Early in his career, he stole letterhead from the campaign office of Illinois Democrat Alan Dixon and printed invitations for "free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing." He distributed them to homeless shelters. The stunt embarrassed Dixon, but did not cause him to lose the election. It was a rare occasion: Karl Rove failed and was caught. In another rare instance in 1992, according to Esquire magazine, Rove misfired again when George H W Bush fired him from his campaign for leaking information to his favorite columnist, Robert Novak. Getting caught twice with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar further strengthens the likelihood that Rove had a hand in many other reprehensible acts, particularly in light of the Robert Novak connection.

Foreclosure of Dr. King's Dream

While the United States never fully realized the ideals envisioned by our founding fathers in the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution, Americans made great strides towards them through the course of history. Tireless efforts by leaders and thinkers like Eugene Debs, Upton Sinclair, FDR, Martin Luther King, Jr., and even the oft-maligned Jimmy Carter brought Americans much closer to curing our social and political ills during the Twentieth Century.

Finding their roots in the Nixon era, and cementing them in the Reagan area, social conservatives have utilized the undeniable talents of men like Karl Rove to re-infect America with the diseases of imperialism and economic subservience. According to Scott Peck, narcissists like Karl Rove readily attain power because of their lack of empathy, their desire to win at virtually any cost, and their obsession with manipulating others into believing they are wonderful people. Recognizing that he lacked the necessary personal charisma, Rove has ingeniously fulfilled his narcissistic needs using George W. Bush as his proxy.

More's the pity for humanity. While high functioning, and obviously successful by society's measures, Karl Rove shows many outward signs of having the undiagnosed and untreated spiritual malady known as narcissistic personality disorder. As American Progress Action Fund suggested in a recent newsletter, and as I am suggesting, it is Karl Rove who needs therapy. His ailment is causing tremendous human suffering as he satiates his narcissistic desires by facilitating the spread of tyranny in the most powerful nation in the world. Rove has sown the seeds and tended the fields well as the cultivator of humanity's blight, the Bush administration, social conservatism, and tyranny. Thanks to his efforts, humanity is reaping a bountiful harvest of pain and sorrow.

For more on Scott Peck's novel and narcissistic personality disorder:




How to Detect Evil.htm

For information about the struggle for social justice and human rights and hope for humanity:




Click here to comment on this article

Pentagon Weighs Strategy Change to Deter Terror
The New York Times
July 5, 2005

WASHINGTON, July 4 - The Pentagon's most senior planners are challenging the longstanding strategy that requires the armed forces to be prepared to fight two major wars at a time. Instead, they are weighing whether to shape the military to mount one conventional campaign while devoting more resources to defending American territory and antiterrorism efforts.

The consideration of these profound changes are at the center of the current top-to-bottom review of Pentagon strategy, as ordered by Congress every four years, and will determine the future size of the military as well as the fate of hundreds of billions of dollars in new weapons.

The intense debate reflects a growing recognition that the current burden of maintaining forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the other demands of the global campaign against terrorism, may force a change in the assumptions that have been the foundation of all military planning.

The concern that the concentration of troops and weapons in Iraq and Afghanistan was limiting the Pentagon's ability to deal with other potential armed conflicts was underscored by Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a classified risk assessment to Congress this spring. But the current review is the first by the Pentagon in decades to seriously question the wisdom of the two-war strategy.

The two-war model provides enough people and weapons to mount a major campaign, like the Persian Gulf war of 1991 or the invasion of Iraq in 2003, while maintaining enough reserves to respond in a similar manner elsewhere.

An official designation of a counterterrorism role and a shift to a strategy that focuses on domestic defense would have a huge impact on the size and composition of the military.

In a nutshell, strategies that order the military to be prepared for two wars would argue for more high-technology weapons, in particular warplanes. An emphasis on one war and counterterrorism duties would require lighter, more agile forces - perhaps fewer troops, but more Special Operations units - and a range of other needs, such as intelligence, language and communications specialists.

Civilian and military officials are trying to decide to what degree to acknowledge that operations like the continuing presence in Iraq - not a full-blown conventional war, but a prolonged commitment - may be such a burden that it would not be possible to also fight two full-scale campaigns elsewhere.

In effect, the unusual mission in Iraq, which could last for years, has not just taken the slot for one of the two wars; it has upended the central concept of the two-war model. It is neither a major conventional combat nor a mere peacekeeping operation. It does not require the full array of forces, especially from the Navy and the Air Force, of a conventional war, and it takes far more troops than peacekeeping ordinarily would.

The force of 138,000 troops in Iraq is only 13,000 smaller than it was at the height of the offensive on Baghdad two years ago, yet the administration describes the campaign not as a major conventional war, but as the leading effort in the nation's fight against terrorism.

"The war in Iraq requires a very large ground-force presence," said Loren Thompson, an analyst at the Lexington Institute, a policy research center in Arlington, Va. "War with China or North Korea or Iran, the other countries mentioned in the major review scenarios, would require a much more capable Navy and Air Force."

Mr. Thompson added that "what we need for conventional victory is different from what we need for fighting insurgents, and fighting insurgents has relatively little connection to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons. We can't afford it all."

The Pentagon's sweeping study, called the Quadrennial Defense Review, is not due to be completed until early next year, when it will be submitted to Congress with the administration's annual budget request. Yet debate over the review cannot ignore the mounting costs of the war in Iraq, approximately $5 billion a month.

A description of the major issues discussed in the classified review was gathered from interviews with more than a half-dozen civilian officials and military officers from across the armed services who are directly involved in the process.

The current military strategy is known by a numerical label, 1-4-2-1, with the first number representing the defense of American territory. That is followed by numbers representing the ability to deter hostilities in four critical areas of the world, and to swiftly defeat two adversaries in near-simultaneous major combat operations The final number stands for a requirement that the military retain the capability, at the same time, to decisively defeat one of those two adversaries, which would include capturing a capital and toppling a government.

"We have 1-4-2-1 now, and we are going to look at that," said Ryan Henry, who serves as principal deputy under secretary of defense for policy.

Asked where the military's heavy commitment to the fight against terrorism fits into the current strategy formula, Mr. Henry said, "It wasn't there when they came up with 1-4-2-1." If a new strategy emerges from the review, he said, it might be "something that doesn't have any numbers at all."

Several officials involved in the review characterized the debate as "an effort to create a construct that will bring a better balance" among domestic defense, the antiterrorism campaign and conventional military requirements.

After years of saying American forces were sufficient for a two-war strategy, "we've come to the realization that we're not," said another Defense Department official involved in the deliberations, who was granted anonymity because he could not otherwise discuss the talks, which are classified. "It's coming to grips with reality."

Senior leaders are trying to develop strategies that will do a better job of addressing the requirements of antiterrorism and domestic defense, while acknowledging that future American wars will most likely be irregular - against urban guerrillas and insurgents - rather than conventional.

Tentative proposals by midlevel staff members on holding a summer summit on the review have been shelved, and the debate is now driven by weekly meetings that officials say have brought new discipline to a sprawling process.

Under Gordon R. England, nominated to succeed Paul D. Wolfowitz as deputy defense secretary, more than 150 questions that the review should address have been sorted into 36 major themes. They include such things as balancing reserve and active-duty forces; the role of other agencies in domestic security; combat medicine; the ability of foreign coastal powers to keep American forces at a distance; and the ability to attract people with important skills, such as a knowledge of the Arabic language.

The review is analyzing in detail what would happen if the United States had to fight China, North Korea or Iran.

In preparing for the review's presentation to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, the highest-level decisions are made at round-table discussions held about three times a month and managed by Mr. England and Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the nominee to succeed General Myers as the chairman. Although no draft of the review has been presented to Mr. Rumsfeld, he already has, in broad terms, endorsed efforts that would transform the military into a lighter, more mobile force.

General Pace declined through a spokeswoman on Friday to discuss the review.

"Whether anybody believed we could actually fight two wars at once is open to debate," one senior military officer said. "But having it in the strategy raised enough uncertainty in the minds of our opponents that it served as a deterrent. Do we want to lose that? We don't want to give any adversary the confidence that they could take advantage of us while we're engaged in one major combat operation."

Click here to comment on this article

The Rumsfeld Solution; "liberating Iraq, one journalist at a time"
Mike Whitney, Axis of Logic

July 3, 2005 -- "The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is calling on the United States to investigate 3 new cases of journalists killed in Iraq in the last week...This brings to 17 the number of journalists and media staff killed by US soldiers." -- Iraq Press

Last week, Yasser Salihee, a reporter for Knight Ridder news agency, was assassinated in a perfectly executed gangland-style hit a few miles outside of Baghdad. He was struck by a single bullet to the head by an American sniper. Salihee's murder resulted from his extensive coverage of the torture and murder of "suspected insurgents" by US-backed death-squads.

Many readers will remember Donald Rumsfeld rushing-off to Baghdad a few months ago to ensure that the "newly elected" Iraqi government didn't fiddle with the new regime he'd installed in the Interior Ministry. With the help of former CIA-operative Iyad Allawi, Rumsfeld put together a cadre of thugs who operate under the rubric of "The Wolf Brigade". ( also referred to as "Rumsfeld's Boys"). Salihee had uncovered the gruesome details of how this counterinsurgency unit really works; roaming the countryside in white Toyota Land Cruisers, dressed as police, rounding up anti-occupation suspects, and either killing and torturing them as they see fit. These special units are similar to the death squads that were used by Ronald Reagan in El Salvador during the 1980s. Now they are thriving in Iraq under the auspices of the Defense Dept; operating freely behind the façade of a democratically elected Iraqi government.

The Wolf Brigade has enlisted members of the Republican Guard as well as former members of Saddam's feared secret police, the Mukhabarat. Both groups are intimately familiar with torture and the other instruments of state terror. Since the elections the Brigade has played a major role in the crackdown throughout the Sunni Triangle that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of innocent Iraqis. Salihee was following these developments when he was gunned down.

He discovered that corpses, which were being dumped off at the Baghdad morgue, showed the signs of being killed in a "methodical fashion. Their hands had been tied or handcuffed behind their backs, their eyes were blindfolded and they appeared to have been tortured. In most cases the dead men looked as if they had been whipped with a cord, subjected to electric shocks, beaten with a blunt object and shot to death, often with single bullets to their heads."(Free Arab Voice) Eyewitness accounts said that many of the victims had been apprehended by people dressed as police who bore all the hallmarks of the Wolf Brigade.

There's been a steep increase in the number of murders since the elections. "Before March 2003...the morgue handled 200 to 250 suspicious deaths a month, about 16 of which included firearm injuries." Now there are "700 to 800 suspicious deaths a month, with some 500 having firearm wounds." Many of these have been killed execution-style with a single bullet-wound to the head.

Rumsfeld's post-election change in Strategy

The complexion of the conflict has changed dramatically since the election. The Pentagon no longer expects to win the war, so the strategy has changed to inciting widespread violence with the ultimate goal of destroying Iraqi society and dividing up the nation. Every random act of violence should be analyzed with this in mind. Rumfeld's three-pronged attack now includes a stepped-up counterinsurgency campaign (killing and detaining hundreds, if not thousands of innocent Sunnis), a savage Dresden-type, slash and burn strategy of the main Sunni cities (so far, Haditha, al-Qaim and Karabila have received the "Falluja treatment"), and a "no-holds-barred" assault on the press; ensuring that only sanitized reports emerge from America's embedded journalists.

Salihee, of course, veered from the Pentagon strategy and paid with his life. He leaves behind a wife and a daughter of two years. Regrettably, Night-Ridder has tried to paper-over the death of Salihee saying that, "(Civilians) die anonymously, every day, at checkpoints and in raids and in suicide attacks. They are crushed when bombs fall on their homes; they are caught in crossfire between insurgents and American troops. Like Yasser, they die on lovely summer days, while looking forward to splashing in the pool, enjoying some rare time off. Little is known about the innocent Iraqis who pay the ultimate price for a war conducted in the name of their liberation."

Very prosaic, but total rubbish. Salihee was murdered, Godfather style. The only noteworthy aspect of the incident is that it was performed with much greater proficiency than the attack on Italian journalist Guliana Sgrena. It looks like there's been a decided upgrade in the talent level of the Pentagon's assassination teams.

Salihee's Death in Perspective

The Bush administration has developed a coherent strategy for quashing the free press. It's clear that they regard the free flow of information as every bit as dangerous as a bomb-wielding Ba'athist. Those who aren't already co-opted into the fold have been subjected to withering attacks from government-friendly stations and news agencies. Hence, CBS anchor, Dan Rather is sent packing while Time magazine executives are left groveling before a national audience. Similarly, private citizens like Ward Churchill have withstood the scathing assault of an astonishingly competent right-wing media machine that can descend on its prey at a moments notice and leave little behind save a few bleached bones. At the same time, the BBC, NPR and PBS have all been penetrated by hostile forces bound to poison the few remaining bastions of independent reportage and purge those errant journalists whose coverage eschews the Pentagon filter.

This is 'Information Warfare' on a grand scale; a conflict that the Bush administration intends to win no matter how many people are sacrificed in the process. Don't think that Dahr Jamail, Patrick Cockburn or Robert Fisk don't understand the meaning of Salihee's death. It's painfully clear. The Defense Secretary is determined to see that only one storyline will surface in Iraq. Anyone who dares to deviate from the accepted narrative can expect to find himself slumped over in the front seat of his car with blood issuing from his forehead. As Rumsfeld warned earlier this year, "People need to be very careful about what they say, just as they need to be careful about what they do."

We've been forewarned.

Click here to comment on this article

China Tells Congress To Back Off Businesses

Tensions Heightened by Bid to Purchase Unocal
By Peter S. Goodman
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, July 5, 2005; A01

SHANGHAI, July 4 -- The Chinese government on Monday sharply criticized the United States for threatening to erect barriers aimed at preventing the attempted takeover of the American oil company Unocal Corp. by one of China's three largest energy firms, CNOOC Ltd.

Four days after the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a resolution urging the Bush administration to block the proposed transaction as a threat to national security, China's Foreign Ministry excoriated Congress for injecting politics into what it characterized as a standard business matter.

"We demand that the U.S. Congress correct its mistaken ways of politicizing economic and trade issues and stop interfering in the normal commercial exchanges between enterprises of the two countries," the Foreign Ministry said in a written statement. "CNOOC's bid to take over the U.S. Unocal company is a normal commercial activity between enterprises and should not fall victim to political interference. The development of economic and trade cooperation between China and the United States conforms to the interests of both sides."

Those words, the latest rhetorical volley in an escalating trade battle, officially elevated the takeover battle for Unocal into a bilateral issue involving Washington and Beijing, raising the stakes of the outcome.

CNOOC's bid comes as China's emerging force in the global economy continues to sow international tensions over competition for natural resources, impacts on the environment, trade balances and security relationships. The deal would be the latest in a string of Chinese purchases of foreign companies as Beijing encourages domestic firms to seek new markets abroad and secure raw materials for China's aggressive industrialization. The Chinese government has urged energy companies in particular to buy foreign oil fields as China's consumption soars, deepening worries about the country's access to supplies.

Already, CNOOC's bid has taken China across a new threshold: It has unleashed the first takeover battle between a Chinese company and a U.S. firm, the oil giant Chevron Corp., which has its own deal to buy Unocal, for $16.5 billion. If completed, CNOOC's purchase -- its bid is for $18.5 billion -- would be the largest foreign takeover ever made by a Chinese firm.

But as the price of oil continues to soar, underscoring the finite supply of global stocks, some members of Congress portray China's appetite for energy as a threat to U.S. interests. They are painting CNOOC's effort to buy Unocal as an attempt to siphon off oil that would otherwise land in the United States, a proposition that analysts call dubious because most of Unocal's outstanding contracts supply customers in Asia. [...]

Click here to comment on this article

Gunmen attack top diplomat of Pakistan in Baghdad
www.chinaview.cn 2005-07-05 19:32:58

BAGHDAD, July 5 (Xinhuanet) -- Pakistani envoy to Iraq escaped unhurt when unknown gunmen opened fire at his convoy in western Baghdad on Tuesday, police said.

The gunmen in two cars shot at the convoy in western district of Manssur, but they fled the scene after the bodyguards returned fire, police said.

Nobody was hurt in the attack, which came a few hours after another group of gunmen shot and wounded the top Bahraini diplomat in western Baghdad.

The whereabout of Egypt's envoy, who was kidnapped by gunmen in Baghdad last weekend, remained unclear.

Click here to comment on this article

Bahrain's top diplomat shot in Baghdad, mortar attack kills girl
08:57 AM EDT Jul 05

BAGHDAD (AP) - Bahrain's top envoy in Baghdad was wounded Tuesday in the second attack against an Arab diplomat here in a week. A major Sunni Arab group called on Sunnis to take part in future elections - a move that could be a blow to the insurgency.

Elsewhere, gunmen ambushed a minibus taking seven Baghdad airport employees to work Tuesday, killing four women and wounding three men, police and hospital official said. A roadside bomb targeted a U.S. security convoy Tuesday near the Iranian Embassy, causing no U.S. casualties but injuring one Iraqi, officials said.

The Bahraini diplomat, Hassan Malallah al-Ansari, was shot on his way to work in the Mansour district of western Baghdad, said Dr. Muhanad Jawad of Yarmouk Hospital. Al-Ansari was treated for a shoulder wound and was released, witnesses said.

The incident occurred three days after gunmen kidnapped Egypt's top envoy to Iraq, Ihad al-Sherif, and both attacks appeared to signal an insurgent campaign to discourage Arab countries from bolstering diplomatic ties to the U.S.-backed Iraqi government.

The tiny Gulf state of Bahrain is a close American ally and home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, which played a support role during the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

In the attack on the airport employees, two bands of gunmen in separate cars ambushed the minibus on the dangerous airport road at 7 a.m. near the Amariyah crossroad in west Baghdad, police Capt. Talib Thamir said.

A mortar attack missed a U.S. military base and struck central Samarra, killing a 13-year-old girl and wounding four civilians, police said. The city is 95 kilometres north of Baghdad.

More than 1,400 people have been killed in insurgent attacks since Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari announced his new government, dominated by Shiites and Kurds, on April 28.

Despite the ongoing violence, Iraq's embattled government appeared to be making progress in moves to woo the country's Sunni Arab minority, which forms the core of the insurgency. Many Sunnis boycotted the Jan. 30 election, meaning the community is not strongly represented in the new National Assembly.

On Monday, Dr. Adnan Al-Dulami, spokesman of the General Conference for Sunnis in Iraq, called on fellow Sunnis "to organize themselves to take part in the coming elections and to start to register their names at the offices of the electoral commission."

Al-Dulami said Sunni clerics would soon issue a religious decree repeating the call. Clerics spearheaded the January boycott, saying any election held with U.S. and other foreign troops in the country would be invalid.

Following al-Dulaimi's call, Humam Hammoudi, head of the committee to draft a new constitution, said 15 Sunnis had been approved to join the committee and would begin work Wednesday. The inclusion of Sunnis on the committee had been delayed because majority Shiites and Kurds had accused nominees of links to Saddam Hussein's Baath party.

There was still no word Tuesday on the fate of the kidnapped Egyptian envoy, al-Sherif. Witnesses said the abductors accosted him Saturday night in western Baghdad and shoved him into the trunk of a car after pistol-whipping him. They accused him of being an American spy, witnesses said.

Egypt announced last month that it would become the first Arab country to post an ambassador to Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

On Monday, a hardline Sunni Arab cleric, Harith al-Dhari, condemned all kidnappings, calling them "a bad phenomenon that emerged after the occupation of Iraq by America and its allies."

Al-Dhari heads the Association of Muslim Scholars, which is believed to have contacts with some insurgent groups. Sunni Arabs are estimated to make up about 20 per cent of Iraq's 26 million people and dominated Iraqi political life for generations until the collapse of Saddam's regime in 2003.

Click here to comment on this article

Massive power cut strikes east Georgia
www.chinaview.cn 2005-07-05 10:54:33

TBILISI, July 4 (Xinhuanet) -- A massive power failure struck east Georgia, including the capital of Tbilisi, on Monday night due to the breakdown of a high-tension wire that transmits electricity from the west part of the country to the east.

The Itar-Tass news agency reported that the accident happened at 23:15 p.m. local time (2015 GMT) when most subway trains were already in or approaching the platform.

Therefore, it did not take long to evacuate passengers from the railway carriages.

Local television stations, which had suffered similar power outages in recent years, turned to self-prepared emergency power supplies and continued to work.

Click here to comment on this article

World environmentalists meet in Cuba
www.chinaview.cn 2005-07-05 15:26:32

BEIJING, July 5 -- Experts from 30 countries are attending the 5th International Convention on Environment and Development this week in Havana, Cuba.

The event addresses issues like water basin management, coastal eco-systems, protected areas, environmental education and more.

The Cuba-sponsored conference has held meetings every other year since 1997, aiming to promote environmental protection in the Latin America and Caribbean region, ensuring sustainable development.

Present at the five-day meeting are representatives from many Latin American nations, Europe, Asia, and international organizations like the International Union for Nature Conservation and the UN Program for the Environment.

Click here to comment on this article

Blair lays out EU position to French in Le Figaro
PARIS, July 3 (AFP)

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has taken his dispute with French President Jacques Chirac over the direction of the European Union to the French people directly, writing a column in Monday's Le Figaro newspaper in which he defends his idea of EU budget reform and calling for a economically vibrant Europe.

The current internal EU crisis, triggered by the French and Dutch rejection of a proposed EU constitution, was not a sign the European Union was failing, but rather that many of its policies needed revising, argued Blair, whose country this month took up the rotating, six-month EU presidency.

"The crisis we face is not one of political institutions. It is a crisis of
political leadership," he wrote, according to an advance English-language transcript supplied by his office.

"The purpose of political leadership is to get the policies right for today's world. For 50 years Europe's leaders have done that. Now, almost 50 years on, we have to renew," he said.

Blair -- who is next to meet Chirac on Wednesday along with other leaders of the Group of Eight developed nations -- reiterated his position calling for the liberalisation of the EU economy while keeping principles of its existing social security regimes intact.

Significantly, he repeated his insistence that Britain would bow to demands from France and other EU countries for it to give up its multi-billion-euro rebate from the EU budget only if further reductions were made to costly EU agricultural subsidies which greatly benefit French farmers. Chirac has refused to link the two issues and has ruled out cuts to the subsidies.

That latter ground of contention proved insurmountable at an EU summit last month which collapsed amid acrimonious exchanges between Blair and Chirac.

Their respective governments have since signalled that no backdown on either side was forthcoming -- especially not during Britain's EU presidency.

Blair acknowledged that "Europe is in the midst of a profound debate about its future" but added: "It's a debate, however, that should not be conducted by trading insults. Nor should there be an attempt to shut off new ideas by representing those who want change as intent on betraying the European ideal."

While he personally backed the EU constitution as a "sensible set of rules for the enlarged EU," he said many Europeans did not think it addressed the problems they felt were upending their traditional lives: "Globalisation, job security, … pensions and living standards."

What was needed, Blair asserted, was a Europe that kept its "caring social dimension" while creating jobs and prosperity to keep pace with US productivity rates and increased competition from countries such as India.

"We have to modernise our social model," he wrote.

"We need to do more -- and faster -- on jobs, labour market participation, school leavers and lifelong learning. We need more investment in knowledge, in skills, in active labour market policies, in science parks and innovation, in higher education, in urban regeneration, in help for small businesses."

Reforming the budget was key to that plan, Blair said.

"We need a fundamental review of how this budget is spent. I have said that the British rebate is on the table as part of this review," he said, though he added that even with the rebate Britain was paying more into the budget than France.

The prime minister touched on other issues beyond the economic and social spheres, saying better coordination was required on immigration, fighting crime, and boosting Europe's joint defence capabilities.

"Such a Europe... would be a confident Europe" that would "capture the imagination and support of the people of Europe," he said.

Comment: Blair isn't speaking to the French people through Le Figaro, he's speaking to those parts of it that voted in support of the EU constitution. Le Figaro is a right-wing, neoliberal paper. Voting in France showed a strong split between the urban elite of Paris and the rest of the country.

Click here to comment on this article

Chirac: 'The only thing the British have ever given European farming is mad cow'
By Toby Helm and Henry Samuel
The Telegraph

Anglo-French tensions heightened last night after Jacques Chirac delivered a series of insults to Britain as London and Paris fought to secure the 2012 Olympic Games and faced fresh disagreement at the G8 summit.

The president, chatting to the German and Russian leaders in a Russian cafe, said: "The only thing [the British] have ever given European farming is mad cow." Then, like generations of French people before him, he also poked fun at British cuisine.

"You can't trust people who cook as badly as that," he said. "After Finland, it's the country with the worst food."

"But what about hamburgers?" said Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, referring to America.

"Oh no, hamburgers are nothing in comparison," Mr Chirac said.

Mr Putin and Gerhard Schröder, the German chancellor, laughed. Mr Chirac then recalled how George Robertson, the former Nato secretary general and a former defence secretary in Tony Blair's Cabinet, had once made him try an "unappetising" Scottish dish, apparently meaning haggis.

"That's where our problems with Nato come from," he said.

Mr Schröder and Mr Putin laughed again.

Unfortunately for the leaders, all of whom will be guests of Britain at the G8 summit opening at Gleneagles tomorrow, the remarks were recorded by a journalist without their knowledge and published in the French newspaper Liberation.

No 10 reacted with disbelief, saying it would not respond to such undiplomatic comments. British officials were particularly angered by the mad cow remark, saying that France had exacerbated the BSE crisis by refusing to accept British beef after it had been declared safe.

Mr Chirac, Mr Schröder and Mr Putin were meeting to prepare for the G8 summit and celebrate the 750th anniversary of Kaliningrad, formerly Königsberg, which was annexed by Russia in 1945. Lorraine Millot, the Liberation reporter who overheard them, said Mr Chirac spoke in French and his counterparts in German. At least three interpreters were present.

Miss Millot said she also heard Mr Chirac say it was not his fault that he had been half an hour late for the Queen at a royal banquet to mark the centenary of the entente cordiale in November. He said "the British did not respect protocol".

The Prime Minister, in Singapore to push London's bid for the Olympics against the favourite, Paris, was said to be furious when told of the comments. But officials said that, as the holder of the G8 and EU presidencies, he was determined to retain the moral high ground. [...]

Comment: Tony Blair, Bush's lapdog, is determined to "retain the moral high ground"??? In all fairness, though, one certainly can't expect the psychopath to appreciate humorous comments intended to poke fun at him.

Click here to comment on this article

French foreign minister makes first trip to US
PARIS, July 3 (AFP)

The first in-depth talks between the current foreign ministers of France and the United States take place Monday when Philippe Douste-Blazy heads to Washington to meet his US counterpart Condoleezza Rice.

The two briefly met on the sidelines of a Group of Eight preparatory meeting in London nearly two weeks ago but have not had a chance for prolonged face-to-face discussions over their countries' up-and-down relations since taking their respective posts.

Douste-Blazy, a 52-year-old cardiologist with no foreign policy experience, was shifted from his previous portfolio as France's health minister to head the foreign ministry a month ago in a cabinet reshuffle ordered by President Jacques Chirac following the French rejection of the EU constitution in a referendum.

Rice took up her duties as secretary of state in January in US President George W. Bush's second administration after serving as national security advisor in the first administration.

The timing of Douste-Blazy's trip is significant.

He will be arriving in Washington on Monday, the US Independence Day which recalls, in part, France's strong military role in helping the one-time British colony win nationhood. He will attend celebrations at the US Federal Reserve as guest of the central bank's president, Alan Greenspan.

His trip will end as Chirac, Bush and other leaders in the Group of Eight nations attend a summit in Scotland.

On Tuesday, Douste-Blazy will meet French business leaders living in the United States and representatives of the US Jewish community before lunching with Rice.

Discussions between the two ministers are expected to range over a number of topics, including cooperation in fighting terrorism, French and US sponsorship of the peace process between the Israelis and Palestinians, and their countries' initiatives for Africa.

The differences over the US-led war in Iraq would, as always, hover in the background of the meeting, though both the French and US governments have climbed down from the sharp rhetoric exchanged in the past, instead emphasising different areas of agreement.

Possible previously unsuspected behind-the-scenes cooperation between French and US espionage services was revealed Sunday in a Washington Post story that spoke of a Paris installation known as Alliance Base where CIA officers and their Australian, British, Canadian, French and German counterparts jointly plan anti-terrorism operations under the command of a French general.

The French foreign ministry said Douste-Blazy and Rice may also discuss transatlantic relations in light of the internal EU crisis triggered by the French rejection of the EU charter and exacerbated by a power struggle between Chirac and British Prime Minister Tony Blair over the EU budget.

Later Tuesday, the French minister is to see the head of the American Federation of Labour trade union, John Sweeney, and then journalists and representatives of US think tanks.

On Wednesday, Douste-Blazy is to go to New York for a meeting with former president Bill Clinton at the latter's home before heading to Chicago for talks with a rising star in the US Democratic Party, Senator Barack Obama, and the city's mayor, Richard Daley.

Click here to comment on this article

France and US form secret antiterror partnership

France and the United States are cooperating on a unique antiterror partnership, tasked with analysing the transnational movements of terror suspects and developing operations to catch or spy on them, the Washington Post reported Sunday.

The top secret counter terrorist centre in Paris, code-named Alliance Base, was set up by the US and French intelligence services in 2002, according to US and European intelligence sources cited by the Post.

The existence of the centre had not been previously disclosed.

Funded largely by the CIA's Counterterrorist Center, Alliance Base consists of small numbers of US intelligence case officers working with handfuls of foreign operatives, often in tentative arrangements.

Beginning in July 2003, its French and US commanders have worked side by side there with National Security Agency representatives at the Paris-based centre, according to the daily.

Such small-scale joint intelligence work has been responsible for identifying, tracking and capturing or killing the vast majority of committed jihadists who have been targeted outside Iraq and Afghanistan since the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, the Post wrote.

Neither the CIA nor French officials would comment to the daily about Alliance Base.

John McLaughlin, the former acting CIA director who retired recently after a 32-year career, described the relationship between the CIA and its French counterparts as "one of the best in the world."

"What they are willing to contribute is extraordinarily valuable," he told the Post.

Click here to comment on this article

Inside Guantanamo Bay
CBC News Viewpoint | July 4, 2005 | Rosa Hwang

Under different circumstances, Guantanamo Bay would be a premium vacation destination – an ideal escape from the real world. Located on the southern tip of Cuba, the crystal blue clarity of the water and the picturesque landscape make for a paradise.

But, of course, reality being what it is, Guantanamo, rather than being a paradise, is more akin to a paradise lost – at least for its infamous residents.

Prior to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Guantanamo Bay primarily operated as a U.S. naval base – the only one on communist soil, largely quiet since the end of the Cold War. Aside from the landmines and the barbed-wire fences that keep hostile Cuba from intruding, the base seems more like a sleepy tropical suburb, rather than the object of controversy.

But since 9-11, Gitmo – as it's called – has become the world's most famous penal colony, currently home to more than 520 prisoners from 42 different countries. All captured, say the Americans, as a result of the ongoing global war on terror. A holding centre, President Bush insists, for the most dangerous terrorists seeking to harm freedom-loving Americans.

I was part of a three-person CBC News television crew that spent several days on the base. We were allowed rare access behind the mesh of razor wire that houses, as the U.S. administration characterizes them, evildoers who are "the worst of the worst."

"Welcome to Guantanamo," said one of the military officers who searched my bags after deplaning, "We hope you enjoy your stay here."

Somehow that greeting seemed inappropriate, given what Gitmo has become famous for.

We were made aware of two certainties right away. One, the heat, humidity and mosquitoes would remain intense for the duration of our stay. And two, we would be escorted everywhere we went. Our military chaperones were exceedingly polite, but they made it clear we'd never be allowed to wander on our own.

The day before our tour of Camp Delta – the detention facility where the current inmates reside – we were taken to Camp X-ray, the temporary facility the military used to house the first set of prisoners in 2002.

Camp X-ray is essentially a crudely-assembled set of outdoor cages, now empty. The only occupants I saw there were banana rats – possum-like rodents common to Cuba. The open-air cages, no larger than pens where one might kennel dogs, were deserted long ago.

But standing in one of the small cells, the stories of prisoners urinating and defecating on themselves were not hard to imagine. Neither were the stories of suicide attempts. And clearly, living in these cages, if it rained, the inmates got wet. If the sun was particularly harsh, many of the cages offered little protection.

The demeaning images of Camp X-ray on television don't do justice to the real thing.

There was, of course, a reason why the Camp X-ray tour came before Camp Delta. Our escort made much of the fact that although X-ray housed its last prisoner three years ago, the media still continued to show those images of shackled men in orange, living in squalor, forcefully being herded around by their military captors. Conditions at Camp Delta are better, he insisted.

He was right. Camp Delta was a vast improvement.

"What we have here is a typical detainee cell," explained our Camp Delta tour guide, Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony Mendez, who looked and sounded as tough as his job demanded he be. "Every detainee is allowed comfort items, according to their level of compliance."

The guard force at Camp Delta adheres to a kind of positive reinforcement policy. The more compliant the prisoner, the more "comfort items" – like games and books – he is entitled to. The less compliant the prisoner, the fewer "comfort items" he would have.

The detainees we got closest to were neither shackled nor isolated, but they were kept away from us at all times by at least several feet and a chain-link fence.

Each prisoner is given a copy of the Qur'an, explained Mendez, and five times a day the familiar Muslim call to prayer could be heard over Camp Delta's speakers system.

"They are given prayer beads, prayer rugs, prayer oils – whatever they need to practise their Muslim faith," said Mendez. "Guards do not touch the Qur'an unless absolutely necessary. If we do have to touch the Qur'an, we do so with gloves on."

At Camp Delta, Christians handling the Qur'an is apparently a blasphemous act. It's a rule unique to Guantanamo. Muslims on the outside have no problem with non-Muslims touching the Qur'an, provided it's done with respect.

The compliant prisoners have access to an outside yard, which includes an eating area, a ping-pong table and a couple of soccer balls. The prisoners are colour co-ordinated, explained Mendez. Those wearing white are most compliant to camp rules. Those in orange are least compliant.

We only observed detainees in white. What happens to the non-compliant prisoners wearing orange is largely classified, but one got the feeling they weren't spending their days playing ping-pong or soccer.

Identities are not allowed at Camp Delta. The guards and the inmates are anonymous to each other – for everyone's protection, said Mendez. The names stitched into the military uniforms are covered with black tape. Our visitor badges were turned over to hide our media affiliation.

For the duration of our tour, Mendez and the other guards referred to their captives as "detainees" or "enemy combatants." They were careful not to label them as "prisoners."

It wasn't mere semantics.

"Prisoners" would be entitled to rights under the Geneva Conventions. They would have to be charged and evidence against them would have to be laid out in a fair trial to determine guilt or innocence. The rights of "detainees" or "enemy combatants" are less defined.

Because the U.S. administration doesn't classify their captives as "prisoners" – even though that's essentially what they are – they can be kept there, without charge or trial, for as long as the government deems it necessary. Camp Delta prisoners are not afforded the same due process Americans proudly proclaim every accused person under U.S. law is entitled to.

The adage "innocent until proven guilty" doesn't apply to the detainees – which is why Amnesty International has condemned Guantanamo as part of what it calls "the gulag of our times" and others have labelled it as "a legal black hole."

What we saw at Camp Delta seemed hardly a gulag. The prisoners appeared to be well fed and kept in quarters typical of any medium- to maximum-security U.S. prison. The cells are sparse, yet neat. The guard forces are serious, yet professional.

The detainees seemed to spend most of their time battling the oppressive heat, dust and bugs, as opposed to battling allegedly abusive guards. The so-called "evildoers" appeared more weary than ominous. For the most part, they regarded us with mild curiosity.

But, of course, we were only allowed to see what the military wanted us to see.

Our tour of Camp Delta was brief and focused, but the questions about Guantanamo linger. What about the coercive interrogations? Mishandling of the Qur'an? The military denies they take place. What about the allegations of abuse? Torturing suspects to extract confessions? Ridiculous, we were told.

And what about the 200 or so prisoners you've already released without explanation? Why release them if they are, in fact, al-Qaeda terrorists? Highly classified, they bristled.

In other words, although we were allowed behind that mesh of razor wire that confines men the Bush administration classifies as "the worst of the worst," Guantanamo Bay remains a mystery.

Is it a gulag or an essential tool in the war on terror? All we really learned is that it's something in between.

Click here to comment on this article

Protesters Demand Guantanamo Shutdown
Mon Jul 4, 6:59 PM ET

NEW YORK - Feminist author Gloria Steinem on Monday joined about 200 protesters to demand the closure of the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, saying holding prisoners indefinitely without charging them violates the values upon which the United States was founded.

Steinem compared Guantanamo to the kind of autocratic rule early colonists were trying to flee.

"They came to escape the very things — detention without due process, bias, a religious government ... that we protest today," Steinem said.

Some detainees have been held at the camp in Cuba for more than three years without being charged. The U.S. government contends the prisoners are enemy combatants and are not entitled to constitutional protections.

Rachel Meeropol, a lawyer with the Center for Constitutional Rights that has filed lawsuits in federal court challenging the detentions, also addressed the crowd.

The Bush administration "has claimed the power to kidnap men anywhere in the world and hold them, interrogate them, detain them without any process of law," said Meeropol, the granddaughter of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were executed in 1953 after being convicted of conspiring to commit espionage for the Soviet Union.

Click here to comment on this article

Hamas set to steer clear of Palestinian government until elections
Sun Jul 3, 9:23 AM ET

GAZA CITY (AFP) - The radical Islamist movement Hamas looked likely to resist calls from Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas to enter a national unity government before it takes part in legislative elections.

Abbas is to travel to Damascus this week for talks with exiled leaders of militant factions, such as Hamas supremo Khaled Meshaal and Islamic Jihad's Ramadan al-Shalah, on bringing them into a broad coalition.

The offer, first announced by Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qorei last week, has already been rejected by Jihad and looks likely to be binned by the much larger Hamas faction.

Hassan Yussef, the leader of Hamas's political wing in the
West Bank, indicated Sunday that it was not the right time to join forces with Abbas's dominant

He said Hamas would rather await the outcome of legislative elections which are pencilled in for January.

"We are not interested in being in the PA just for the sake of it," he told AFP. "We believe that the right way to do it is through elections but we will announce our official response soon."

Abbas's offer is a further reflection of his desire to work with the militant factions despite their status as blacklisted terrorist organisations in the eyes of the United State and
European Union.

But while Hamas, responsible for the majority of anti-Israeli attacks during the near five-year Palestinian uprising, is keen to enter the political mainstream, analysts say that it knows its bargaining power will be much increased with an impressive showing at the ballot box.

Ghazi Hamad, editor of the pro-Hamas newspaper al-Risala, said the movement had concluded that its previous policy of boycotting elections was a mistake.

"Hamas believes that its previous political approach was a failure and has made it clear that formulating a new policy is its top priority," he told AFP.

"This will enable them to have a different support base than the one they have had in the past.

"But I think it will be much better for Hamas if it enters the government after the elections as its negotiating power will have been strengthened." [...]

Comment: Hamas, which is very likely controlled by Israel, is obviously reluctant to embrace politics and legality because, in such a case, Sharon's justification to continue his brutal oppression of the Palestinian people under the guise of "fighting terrorism" would be dealt a serious blow. Every tyrant needs a boogeyman. Bush has the mythical CIA-creation "al-Qaeda", Sharon has Hamas.

Click here to comment on this article

‘I acted in God’s name’
By Tal Rosner

Ultra-Orthodox man charged with three counts of attempted murder over Jerusalem gay parade stabbing

JERUSALEM – An ultra-Orthodox man suspected of stabbing three people during Jerusalem’s Gay Pride Parade last week says he acted in God’s name.

“I came to murder on behalf of God. We can’t have such abomination in the country,” Yishai Shlisel said during his interrogation.

On Tuesday, Shlisel was indicted on three counts of attempted murder at the Jerusalem District Court.

According to the indictment, Shlisel purchased an 18-centimeter (approximately 7 inches) knife in preparation for the attack. During the parade, he stabbed three people, two 18-year-olds and one 50-year-old man. [...]

Comment: While we would all like to think that such acts are the domain of extreme right wing orthodox Jews, the truth is that many members of Sharon's Likud party, not to mention the extremem right-wing Pro_Israeli Washington NeoCons, are possessed by the belief that they too are doing the work of some sort of "god". While they many be aware that the Old and New Testaments are mostly ficticious, that does not rule out the possibility that they too worship a "god," in their own way, perhaps even the "god" that was the inspiration for most of the world's religious texts.

Click here to comment on this article

Israeli president warns extremists opposed to Gaza pullout could kill Sharon
08:57 AM EDT Jul 05

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel's president warned Monday that Jewish extremists opposed to this summer's pullout from Gaza and part of the West Bank could assassinate Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

President Moshe Katsav issued the warning as settler leaders tried to rein in extremists by issuing a code of conduct for opposing the pullout, and a court extended the detention of a Jewish youth filmed in Gaza stoning a Palestinian who was already unconscious.

As the mid-August start date for the evacuation nears, opponents - many driven by religious beliefs - are readying more extreme measures to try to stop it. Protesters, most of them Orthodox Jewish teenagers, have blocked main highways several times. Police have reported foiling plots to sabotage water and electricity supplies.

An extremist Israeli opponent of concessions to the Palestinians assassinated prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, and Katsav told army radio it could happen again.

"They are definitely likely to try and carry out extremist acts . . . like killing the prime minister," he said.

Many Orthodox Jews believe no government has the right to relinquish any part of the biblical "promised land," which includes the West Bank and Gaza. Some rabbis who guide the settlers have urged soldiers to disobey orders to take part in the evacuation and are suspected of tacitly endorsing violent opposition.

Katsav urged settler leaders, particularly rabbis, to temper their calls. He said it was likely extremists would misunderstand statements by some rabbis that the pullout endangers Israel's existence.

"Some misguided individuals may come and say 'I need to save the state of Israel because the rabbis say Israel is in danger'," Katsav said.

Rabin's killer, Yigal Amir, cited rabbinical rulings as his justification for shooting the prime minister.

Protests turned violent last week when a small group of extremists took over buildings in Gaza, clashing with security forces and Palestinians. Extremists also scattered spikes and oil on the main Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway and blocked highway intersections.

Meanwhile, a Hamas spokesman said the Islamic group has decided not to join Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas's government. Sami Abu Zuhri said the group made the decision late Monday, turning down an invitation from Abbas.

Israel opposes a role for Hamas in the Palestinian government before it lays down its arms, but Abbas prefers to co-opt the militants rather than confront them.

Click here to comment on this article

Egyptian judges allege vote fraud
Saturday, 2 July, 2005,

Judges in Egypt say May's referendum on constitutional reform was marred by widespread fraud.

The referendum on whether to allow rival candidates to contest the presidency in September was approved by more than 80% of voters.

The judges said turnout in the booths they oversaw was very low but in government-supervised booths it was recorded at 100% in some cases.

The judges threatened to refuse to supervise September's polls.

An elected body representing Egypt's judiciary said the judges would only take part if they were allowed to oversee all stages of the electoral process.

It said the overall turnout for the referendum was far lower than the government figure of 53%.


Six opposition parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood, had called for a boycott of the referendum.

They said the amendments contained too many constraints for anyone to challenge President Hosni Mubarak and his ruling National Democratic Party.

One judge, Tariq Tawil, told the BBC there was photographic evidence fraud had been committed.

He said judges had taken pictures of bundles of ballots tied up with string that were found in some boxes.

The judges have compiled a nine-page report, some of which was published in Saturday's Al-Masri al-Yom newspaper.

"During the counting, one judge noticed that a civil servant was cancelling many ballots. When asked what he was doing, he answered that he was cancelling all the no ballots," the report said.

The judges had been able to supervise only about 5% of more than 50,000 polling stations.

May's vote was marred by clashes, including the beating of opposition protesters by government agents and supporters.

Elections in Egypt generally suffer voter apathy bred by decades of authoritarian rule and ballot rigging, analysts say.

President Mubarak, who has ruled Egypt for almost 25 years, is widely expected to seek another term in office.

Comment: Long ago, the Mubarak regime sold it's soul to US and Israeli interests. It is not surprising then that Mubarak is taking a leaf out of the NeoCon's book and using any means necessary to stay in power.

Click here to comment on this article

Boy appears in court after stabbing baby over game
Ellie Gibson 09:50 05/07/2005

The influence of videogames on violent behaviour is back in the news in the UK, after an 11 year-old boy appeared in court yesterday to explain how he was driven to commit a violent act after playing a PlayStation 2 game.

But for once, Rockstar is not being blamed for the incident - the title in question was not Manhunt or an instalment in the GTA series but THQ's The Incredibles, based on the Disney/Pixar film of the same name.

The boy, who has not been named, told police became frustrated when he kept "dying" in the game while his seven month-old nephew cried in a nearby room. In a fit of rage, he stabbed the baby in the stomach with a knife.

"I was a bit like a volcano. An erupting volcano," the boy said. "I paused the PlayStation. I went to the kitchen and collected the knife. Without realising it, I stabbed him."

At the time of the incident the boy's step-father was sleeping and his mother was visiting a friend.

Ten minutes after stabbing the baby the boy arrived at the friend's house, telling his mother: "I have done something awful. Something really bad has happened to [the baby]."

On returning home, the boy's mother found the baby bleeding in a carry cot. The baby was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery, and remained there for six days.

Gavin Burrell QC said that the stabbing occurred at a time when the family was experiencing a great deal of strain - the boy's sister was in hospital and his mother was caring for her own children along with the baby.

The boy, who had always been "the baby of the family", felt pushed out, and said he "wanted to send it back," his mother told the court.

Prior to the incident the boy was caught playing truant, and told a teacher: "There is a lot going in my head."

Crying, he explained that his family was caring for a baby who was noisy, saying: "The baby is doing my head in." He also told teachers that he was being bullied.

The boy's mother said her son cared for the baby deeply, and saw him more as a brother than a nephew. The boy has seen the baby once since the incident and was said to be happy, kissing his nephew and waving to him.

Burrell told the jury that there was "really no dispute" about the fact that the boy had injured his nephew. "The sole issue here is the extent of the child's mental intention when he stabbed the baby," he said.

The boy denies attempted murder and wounding with intent. The trial continues.

Click here to comment on this article

Bird flu: World is on the edge

ASIA'S bird flu outbreak is at a critical stage where it could easily become a human pandemic, health experts warned yesterday, urging mass poultry vaccinations to prevent a crisis.

Dr Shigeru Omi, of the World Health Organisation, said at the opening of a three-day United Nations conference on bird flu that the virus has "tightened its grip" on the region and is capable of springing major surprises.

Cases of human infection have been reported in Vietnam, with others likely in Cambodia and Indonesia, while fears are growing that infected migratory birds in China could spread the virus to India and Pakistan.

"We believe we are at the tipping point. Either we ... reverse this trend or things will get out of hand," Dr Omi said. "We must have an all-out war against this virus."

The flu, which has killed 54 people in Asia, currently appears to spread to people only when they come into close contact with sick poultry.

But medical experts fear that the H5N1 bird flu strain could mutate into a form that easily passes between people and trigger a global pandemic because people have developed no resistance to the strain.

"The virus has behaved in ways that suggest it remains as unstable, unpredictable and versatile as ever," Dr Omi said.

The pandemic threat has been enforced by its re-emergence in China's Qinghai province, where it killed 6,000 wild migratory birds last month.

Mr Omi said China must investigate outbreaks in Qinghai more rigorously and show more transparency about the reported misuse of an anti-viral drug on poultry.

Officials there must determine whether apparently healthy birds might have been infected without showing symptoms, Mr Omi said.

China has said it would conduct such testing, but needs international help.

Health experts have warned that migratory geese and gulls in Qinghai could spread the virus when they fly south this summer, possibly to places such as India and Pakistan.

Another concern in China is the use of amantadine, a human anti-viral drug, by farmers on poultry, possibly reducing its effectiveness to treat bird flu in people.

China said last month it was dispatching experts to stop the practice, but has not said how widely the drug - meant to treat humans only - is being misused.

Joseph Domenech, the Food and Agriculture Organisation's chief veterinary officer, said Chinese officials were not being open enough about the situation. "We are asking Chinese authorities to be more trans-parent and give more details," he said.

Dr Omi noted that there have been 64 human cases of bird flu in Asia this year, mainly in Vietnam, compared to 44 cases in 2004. Of the 64, 22 died, compared to 32 fatalities for all of last year, he said.

Vietnam is now "chronically infected," while Cambodia and possibly Indonesia also have reported their first human cases, he said.

Dr Omi said that mass vaccinations of poultry and more efforts to develop new poultry vaccines were needed in order to avoid a human pandemic.

"Avian influenza is not just an Asian problem," Mr Domenech said. "No poultry-producing country is safe from the occurrence of the avian influenza as long as there are pockets of infections in Asia."

Mr Domenech told the conference that Asia needs about £57 million over the next two years to fund a viable programme to fight bird flu, but so far only one-tenth of that amount has been raised.

He said pledges from donors such as the European Union and the United States were "still not enough and still not coming quick enough."

In most of rural Asia, poultry, domestic animals and farmers live in close proximity, often sharing the same room, increasing the chances of the virus jumping species.

Efficient inspections were also recommended to eliminate sick birds from live markets.

Click here to comment on this article

Big shake's 'unlikely' as quake swarm rattles on

By Elaine Fisher

A swarm of about two dozen earthquakes which have been rocking parts of the Western Bay and Eastern Waikato continued today with another shake at 1.43am.

The latest tremor was within 5km of Te Aroha, measured 2.9 on the Richter scale and was 6km deep. It shook the town.

Scientists say the shake is the latest in a series of up to 20 earthquakes centred near Te Aroha which have also rattled homes in the Katikati and Waihi area since last Friday.

In an unrelated tremor, an earthquake measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale also shook Wanganui at 12.37am this morning.

Click here to comment on this article

Strong Earthquake In Northwest Sumatra
July 05, 2005 11:20 AM

KUALA LUMPUR, July 5 (Bernama) -- A strong earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale occurred at 9.52am Tuesday in northwest Sumatra, 79km from Gunungsitoli and 526km southwest of Kuala Lumpur.

According to the Malaysian Meteorological Services Department, the earthquake occurred at 1.8 degrees North and 97.1 degrees East of northwest Sumatra.

"Tremors may be felt in West Coast Peninsular Malaysia. No tsunami expected," it said in a statement.

The department had earlier sent short messaging service (SMS) warning alert on the earthquake.

Click here to comment on this article

Low Intensity earthquake hits northern India
New Delhi, July 4
Posted on 05 July, 2005

A low intensity earthquake, measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale, hit Himanchal Pradesh-Jammu and Kashmir border today, the Meteorological Department said.

The epicentre of the quake, which occurred at late in the night, was at a latitude of 33.1 degrees north and a longitude of 76.5 degrees east in Himanchal Pradesh, a Met report said.

Click here to comment on this article

Tropical Storm Watch Issued for La. Coast
The Associated Press
Monday, July 4, 2005; 11:23 PM

MIAMI -- A tropical storm watch was issued Monday along the entire Louisiana coast as a tropical depression gained strength in the Gulf of Mexico.

The watch was issued for about 280 miles along the Louisiana coast from the mouth of the Mississippi River to Sabine Pass, Texas. A watch means tropical storm conditions are possible within 36 hours.

Meanwhile, a second tropical depression formed in the southeast Caribbean that could become a tropical storm Tuesday. It was headed toward South Florida by the end of the week.

At 11 p.m EDT, Tropical Depression 3 was about 360 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River and moving north-northwest at 13 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The depression had top sustained winds of 35 mph, and could strengthen into a tropical storm with top sustained winds of at least 39 mph, forecasters said.

Early Monday, the system made landfall over the Yucatan Peninsula. Forecasters said it could have dropped 10 inches of rain in some areas.

Tropical Depression 4 was about 100 miles west-northwest of Grenada and moving west-northwest at about 17 mph. That track could bring it to Haiti by Wednesday and approaching south Florida by Friday. The system had top sustained winds of 30 mph.

The depressions are the third and fourth of the Atlantic hurricane season, which began June 1 and ends Nov. 30. The next tropical storm would be named Cindy, followed by Dennis.

Click here to comment on this article

Rip Tide Pulls Men to Their Deaths in N.H.
Associated Press
July 5, 2005

HAMPTON, N.H. - It was a tragic end to the holiday weekend: Two men dead after trying to rescue a 10-year-old boy who had been pulled into the Atlantic Ocean by a powerful rip tide at a popular Seacoast tourist spot.

Officials said Carlos Reyes, 35, of Marlboro, Mass., and about 10 other people went into restricted waters around 6 p.m. Monday after Reyes' son was swept away by a strong undertow in waist-deep water.

When authorities arrived, all 12 people were stuck in the current. Officials rescued 10 of them, including Reyes' son. But Reyes and Alex Tapia, 26, of Worcester, Mass., were pulled unconscious from the water and pronounced dead.

Police say that area of water was restricted because of the current, but lifeguards had gone off duty around 6 p.m.

"We felt that the situation should not have been this drastic," said chief lifeguard Jim Donahue.

Donahue said rip tides have been especially severe this season because of strong storms in May. Lifeguard captain James DeLuca said extra guards were on duty during the day Monday to patrol areas where there were known to be rip tides.

"We've never had beach conditions like that before," he said. "They were swimming in a bad area after the lifeguards went off duty."

Jerry Dobrov, 54, of Atkinson, said he was at the beach with his family. He left briefly to feed a parking meter and when he returned he saw ambulances and eight or nine lifeguards in the water looking for people.

Dobrov said he saw the head of an older man bobbing in the water.

Through the day, Dobrov said, lifeguards had been keeping swimmers from particular areas of the beach to avoid undertows.

"We came to see the fireworks. We got them," he said.

In New Jersey, meanwhile, two veteran parachutists died Monday after their chutes became entangled during a jump, police said. The two victims, a man and a woman, were jumping from an airplane operated by the Freefall Adventure Skydiving School based in Gloucester County.

The names of the victims were not immediately released. Police said the 33-year-old man was from Florida and had made 1,600 jumps; the 23-year-old woman had made 1,000 jumps.

Click here to comment on this article

40,000-year-old footprint of first Americans
By Roger Highfield, Science Editor
The Telegraph
Filed: 05/07/2005

A plastic replica of a 40,000-year-old, size eight foot has shattered previous theories of the identity of the first humans to walk in the Americas.

Scientists made the foot from tracks left on the shore of an ancient volcanic lake in central Mexico.

The traditional view is that the first settlers walked across the Bering Strait, from Russia to Alaska, at the end of the last ice age around 11,500 to 11,000 years ago.

But the discovery of footprints in the Valsequillo Basin by a British-led team provides new evidence that humans settled in the Americas as early as 40,000 years ago, suggesting that there were several migration waves at different times by different groups.

The team, led by Dr Silvia Gonzalez from Liverpool John Moores University, has completed dating the footprints, which Dr Gonzalez found in an abandoned quarry with her Liverpool colleague Prof David Huddart and Prof Matthew Bennett, of Bournemouth University, in September 2003. The findings supported the theory that the first colonists might have been seafarers who took an "island hopping" route from Australia and Polynesia, when sea levels were lower, to the west coast, said Prof Bennett.

"There was a lot of sea ice at this time in the northern Pacific. People could have come around on the edge of the sea ice and then down the western seaboard of North America to Baja California and to Mexico," he said.

The first stage of their research, on show this week at the Royal Society in London, analysed 269 footprints, both animal and human.

DNA tests are being conducted on the remains of ancient Americans to see if genetics can help to solve the puzzle. New funding of £212,000 from the Natural Environment Research Council will allow the team to carry out more extensive investigations and to calculate the height, pace and stride of the human population present 40,000 years ago.

"The footprints were preserved as trace fossils in volcanic ash along what was the shoreline of an ancient volcanic lake," said Dr Gonzalez. They were scanned using laser technology and reproduced using rapid prototyping technology.

Click here to comment on this article

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

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

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

Send your comments and article suggestions to us Email addess

Fair Use Policy

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