Friday, July 08, 2005                                               The Daily Battle Against Subjectivity
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The flame of liberty has died


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, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.

Note from a Reader and a Response
SOTT Mailbag

A quote from the sign

"We are neither liberal nor conservative, neither left nor right. We strive to present the news from the point of view of the Soul. Our concern is how the events on the planet, not only those within the US, affect our spiritual evolution"

please tell me how this is helping evolution of spirit with comments and songs like this by the sign of the times

"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, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese."

All I see is the same finger point and hateful comments that the bush and his people do. How does this make anyone better? How does it help us grow?

Is this how we help the spiritual evolution?

Do you think that these type of games are childish?

The truth speaks for itself it does not need childish comments or games. The truth is harder to see when you add your games.

We are here for the truth.

s. (United States)

Comment: "The truth speaks for itself" according to our letter-writer. We are curious to know how S. thinks this transparency of the truth works. We hope he will reply and explain because our experience shows us that finding the truth is very hard work, and let us be clear that we do not think that we "have" the truth.

Perhaps we have a different understanding or definition of what is meant by the word "truth" than our reader, and he will be able to clarify that for us. For our part, finding the truth is a process of acquiring knowledge about our world in order to have the most accurate description, analysis, and understanding of our reality as possible, as close as we can come to an objective view and understanding of that reality. As we say, knowledge protects.

As we work to acquire this knowledge, we learn that there are others who are actively at work to hide the truth, to suppress it, to wrap it up in a thousands lies, and this occurs in every domain where man sets his hand.

There are many different levels to knowledge. There is scientific knowledge in the language of mathematics such as the equations that describe quantum and classical physics. Obviously more needs to be done to create the theory that will embrace the two. Such a theory might well put ideas of hyperdimensions on a firm scientific foundation so that we could understand more of the various anomalous manifestations that are described in myth and legend, as well as of modern Fortean phenomena. It might even permit us to move in different ways through space/time.

Another scientific understanding that is sorely lacking is the description of the human body that would give us a scientific understanding of the alchemical transformation. Were our understanding of physics complete, then it might also help us to comprehend our place in the grand scheme of the cosmos and show how, where, and why the alchemical transformation fits into it.

These are only a few examples, but there is quite clearly much, much more work to be done to arrive at these mathematical and scientific descriptions of reality.

Moving to a level of reality with which we are more familiar, we come to our planet and in our solar system. We know almost nothing about these systems. There are discoveries made regularly that put into question our understanding of the solar system. The Voyager spacecraft, having left the solar system, is encountering a drag on its movement that current theory cannot explain. There are conflicting theories as to the formation of the solar system, not to mention the possibility of electrical transference between celestial objects. Is the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter the remains of a planet that blew up long ago? Is there life on other planets of our system, or was there? Might this life once have been similar to ours, with beings that might pass as "men"?

These are not questions with easy answers. We think that working towards the truth means working to find them without excluding answers that might appear unbelievable to us beforehand.

Moving from the heavens to our own planet, what do we really know of its history or of the history of mankind? There is a truism that history is written by the victors, but to what extent do we take that into account when we learn or recite the history that we consider "ours"? There is general agreement that Hitler was a madman. As we look back to the Germany of the 1930's, we pause to ask how it was that a "madman" could have become the leader of a country that had produced so many of the lasting works of European culture? To what extent does the victor's portrayal of "Hitler as madman" now hinder us from seeing what is happening in the United States?

Moreover, there are people alive today who were alive when Hitler came to power who can give us first-hand reports, and yet we still fall victim to simplistic explanations of "a madman". How much more problematic is it, then, when we look at events that occurred two or three hundred years ago, the American revolution for example? Or two thousand years ago when a man who has come to be known as Jesus of Nazareth walked the earth? Hundreds of millions of people believe the "history" of the gospels. How easy is it to see the truth of the life of the man known as Jesus amidst the passions and belief structures built on his name?

And what if we go back many, many thousands of years?

Is the myth of Atlantis only a myth, or were there flesh and blood Atlanteans behind the myth, people similar to ourselves who may have faced the same pressures and choices, finding themselves on the verge of a catastrophe that destroyed them? If so, are there things we could learn from that history so that we might make different choices to avert the catastrophe our civilisation appears to be racing towards with such nonchalance?

And were there other civilisations prior to that? How would it change our ideas of ourselves and of our species if we were to learn that we are but one of a long line of civilisations that have risen and fallen, stretching back hundreds of thousands of years? Would we learn some humility?

Bringing ourselves very close to home, there is another level of knowledge that comprises the level of knowledge of ourselves. Many people identify very strongly with their bodies. They believe that when the body dies, they will die, that nothing will continue to exist except in the memories of those who knew them. Western culture is very much under the sway of such a conception of existence with its emphasis on technological toys that are said to improve our way of life. What they mean by this is that it improves our physical existence by atomizing large parts of it, but at what cost to other aspects of ourselves?

But are we really no more than bits of flesh and bone animated by a high level of complexity achieved through evolution?

Others believe that life continues in another form, be it in Heaven at the right hand of the Almighty, or as a long series of incarnations. Is there a way of making the choice between these options clearer, a way of weighing the decision through the acquisition of knowledge?

Perhaps, here, there can never be a certain response because it would interfere with our free will, our ability to chose based upon our level of being.

Here we come to what is, for us, fundamental: who we are, that is, our level of BEing, determines what we SEE. Who we are determines how close we are able to come to perceiving reality objectively, uninfluenced by our socialization, our education, by the programmes laid down in our central nervous systems during our early years. This realisation opens up a new understanding of our work to achieve the scientific understanding of the world because it may well be that only people who have undertaken the work on themselves necessary to be able to see themselves as objectively as possible will be able to come to an objective understanding of the deeper mysteries of the universe.

In this sense, even if the truth did speak for itself, it would fall upon deaf ears until we developed our ability to listen to it.

If the description of the inner make-up of our species as given by the alchemists, by Gurdjieff and in the teachings of esoteric Christianity, and in other esoteric traditions is correct, the truth that speaks is within ourselves, it is part of those higher centres with which we have long lost contact. The work of rooting out our programmes, our subjectivity, is what clears the channels so to speak to permit us to reestablish the link with our higher self.

Our experience has shown us that one way to do the work on the self to renew this link is to watch our world as closely as we can. The editors of the Signs page are not mathematical physicists who can work out the equations of the grand "Theory of Everything". But we can work on a different level by bringing to light the lies and manipulations in the social world. We are not taught in school a true history of our planet or of the development of human civilisations. We are not taught about the cyclic catastrophes that wreak destruction on human society. We are not taught about ourselves in ways to make us critical thinkers with an accurate knowledge of how what is commonly known as our psychology works. We are not taught to see the material world as a place where we have lessons to learn before we are able to move on; we are taught to wallow in its sensual pleasures, taught that this is all there is, so make the most of it while you're here.

Yes, there are religious and philosophical systems that would have us place more emphasis on questions of the spirit, but most people pay lip service to them, if they pay any attention to them at all.

Finally, we come to the point that in our world there are forces actively at work hiding, obscuring, and muddying the truth. One of the arms in this battle is programming us with ideas such as "the truth speaks for itself".

If the truth speaks for itself, then why do so few people see it?

Take the events of 9/11 as an example. We all saw two airplanes hit the towers of the WTC. It was broadcast and replayed endlessly. We saw the fire at the Pentagon and the hole in the ground in Pennsylvania. We saw the FBI images of 19 Arab men who we were told had done this heinous act. We were given as proof that they had conveniently left an Arabic language flight manual in their rented car. We saw images of Osama bin Laden speaking out about the role of the United States in the Islamic countries and calling his people to jihad.

The truth speaks for itself, right?

Yet others looked again. They questioned why the towers fell after the impacts and fires when no other steel-framed building had ever collapsed after such a fire. They asked why the towers came down so carefully, falling neatly in their footprints as if they had been professionally demolished. They asked why the hole on the façade of the Pentagon was only a few metres wide and why the lawn outside showed no signs of the crash of such a large plane. They asked how it was possible for a plane to disappear, vapourised by the heat, while the bodies inside that plane did not and were supposedly identified using DNA testing. They asked why the firemen who were on the scene within minutes reported they saw no parts of the plane that first morning. They asked how it was possible for a plane that crashed in a field in Pennsylvania to have its parts spread over a radius of 8 miles unless it had been shot down out of the sky by the military jet seen circling over the crash site. They asked why it was that the "crash" came just at the moment the passengers were wrestling control of the jet back from the "hijackers". They asked why Mohammed Atta's father was able to receive a phone call from his son the day after 9/11 claiming he was being framed. They asked why seven of the alleged hijackers are still alive and proclaiming their innocence.

And they ask why these facts are not being reported in the mainstream press in the United States.

There are forces that do not want the truth to be spoken, who work actively to spread the lie. It is work to separate the two, to find the truth amidst the real and planted evidence. First of all, one must understand that there is such an entropic force at work, moving beyond the simple idea that people just see things differently or that people make mistakes.

No. There are people who consciously choose to lie and to manipulate others with those lies.

The question for those who wish to align themselves with the truth is what to do in the face of such an opponent -- for it is an opponent. There is an unbridgeable gulf here in our world, on our level of existence, between the truth and the lie, between creativity and entropy. We are engaged in spiritual warfare.

Therefore, to reach your desired aim, it is first of all necessary to stifle your own wills and finally to extinguish and kill them all together. And in order to succeed in this, you must constantly oppose all evil in yourself and urge yourself towards good. In other words, you must ceaselessly fight against yourself and against everything that panders to you own wills, that incites and supports them. So prepare yourself for this struggle and this warfare and know that the crown -- attainment of your desired aim -- is given to none except to the valiant among warriors and wrestlers.

But if this is the hardest of all wars -- since in fighting against ourselves it is in ourselves that we meet opposition -- victory in it is the most glorious of all... [Unseen Warfare, edited by Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain and revised by Theophan the Recluse, St Vladimir's Seminary Press, p. 81]

What do the words of these men, describing an interior battle with the self, have to do with standing up for the truth in the face of the lies of the Bush Reich?

We discussed above the relationship between our level of BEing and our ability to SEE. The work on ourselves is the work to root out the lies we tell to ourselves, the lies told by the "wills" mentioned in the citation above. Many of these lies are unconscious. We are not even aware we are lying to ourselves. We know ourselves so little that we do not know why we do many things, why we say what we do; our actions and words are carried out and spoken by programming of which we are not aware. We are reactors, not actors.

As we learn to see the lies in ourselves, we can then see them in others, and seeing the lies in others may help us to see them in ourselves. One of the big lies that we have bought is the lie that we are here to change the world, to make it a better place. We apply this lie in our relationship where we try and change each other, a quest that is always doomed to failure, leading to pain and suffering for all involved.

As above, so below; as below, so above. An objective reading of the world shows us the same dynamic, that no matter how hard people have tried to make the world more just, they have failed. They seek to bend the world to their idea of what it should be, just as we try and bend our mate to our conception of how he or she should be. Yes, things change. We have what is called technological progress, but this progress affects only the outer shell of things. It is an expression of our own inner mechanicalness. To believe in progress is to believe a lie.

Refusing a lie as a conscious choice is also an alchemical act. Something within ourselves changes. We become magnetized to the truth. Each time we choose to defend the truth, this magnetizing becomes stronger. For those who have not yet begun to work on themselves, standing up for the truth in the face of Bush's lies can be a step towards seeing the higher truth that we cannot impose our will upon the world as they realise that things are as they are for a reason.

Spiritual work is neither separate from nor isolated from our daily lives; this is the premise of what is known as the Fourth Way. We are in a world where men like Bush rule. By studying them we can learn about psychopathy. By seeing the majority of the people around us react in ways so foreign to our own, we can understand the organic portal. We thus gain knowledge of this world, to better protect ourselves from its draining influences and to better learn how not to be feeders ourselves. These lessons help us to really SEE that the world is as it is for a reason and that it is arrogant and presumptuous of us to think that we can impose an answer or a way of life on anyone else.

The most we can do is learn to use our own free will consciously and with awareness of the effects of each of our choices. And then we can begin to give back to this world to even the balance for all that we have been given.

The Pentagon Strike flash is an example of this giving back. As of January, over 300,000,000 people had seen it. By now it may be well over that number. In a world where the truth is hidden to such a degree that many people are not even aware of what questions to ask, the Pentagon Strike served as one means of heightening people's awareness of the questions the official story tries to gloss over. Such a heightening of awareness might be the first step for some of them to finding their way out of the labyrinth. It was a selfless and creative act, a giving back to the universe with no anticipation of what its effect might be. It presented questions on the Pentagon crash in a way that made it accessible to people who otherwise might never have come into contact with these questions. It opened a door to the truth.

We may never know all of the details about what happened at the Pentagon that day, about what happened to the people who were on the real Flight 77, where they landed and how they were killed. For that we can thank those who are working so long and hard against the truth.

We can thank Darren Williams for his contribution to unmasking that cover-up.

The song You Lied that our reader finds "childish" and "name-calling" might serve the same purpose. We don't know yet. It presents an overview of Bush's reign in a format that makes it readily available to a wider audience than the Signs page. It is another way to pass through the wall of deceit the administration has imposed upon the American people.

Each of us sees the world in a slightly different way depending upon our background, our culture, the way we were raised, and our language. We each bring a piece of the puzzle to the table when we consciously decide to align ourselves with the truth, when we magnetize ourselves with each conscious choice to stand for the truth, with our creativity. Each piece that is shared with others brings us all a step closer to that truth.

The truth does not speak for itself. It must be spoken by each of us, through us, in each of our choices, our words, and our acts. If we do not, then truth will not be manifest upon our earth.

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Former Mossad Head Calls for World War After 7/7 Attacks
Efraim Halevi
THE JERUSALEM POST
July 7, 2005

The multiple, simultaneous explosions that took place today on the London transportation system were the work of perpetrators who had an operational capacity of considerable scope. They have come a long way since the two attacks of the year 1998 against the American embassies in Nairobi and Dar-Es-Salaam, and the aircraft actions of September 11, 2001.

There was careful planning, intelligence gathering, and a sophisticated choice of timing as well as near-perfect execution. We are faced with a deadly and determined adversary who will stop at nothing and will persevere as long as he exists as a fighting terrorist force.

One historical irony: I doubt whether the planners knew that one of the target areas, that in Russell Square, was within a stone's throw of a building that served as the first headquarters of the World Zionist Organization that preceded the State of Israel.

It was at 77 Great Russell Street that Dr. Chaim Weizmann, a renowned chemist, presided over the effort that culminated in the issuing of the Balfour Declaration, the first international recognition of the right of the Jewish people to a national home in what was then still a part of the Ottoman Empire.

Comment: On 9/11, an aircraft struck the Pentagon, giving certain 9/11 insiders at the Pentagon the perfect alibi. Now we have the London bombings, and the Zionists and their primary tool of death and destruction - the Mossad - also have the perfect alibi. In the immortal words of George W. Bush: "There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, it's probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. It fool me. We can't get fooled again."

We are in the throes of a world war, raging over the entire globe and characterized by the absence of lines of conflict and an easily identifiable enemy. There are sometimes long pauses between one attack and another, consequently creating the wrong impression that the battle is all over, or at least in the process of being won.

Generally speaking, the populations at large are not involved in the conflict, and by and large play the role of bystanders. But once in a while, these innocents are caught up in the maelstrom and suffer the most cruel and wicked of punishments meted out by those who are not bound by any rules of conduct or any norms of structured society.

Comment: Not surprisingly, that's an accurate description of how Mossad conducts itself.

For a while, too short a while, we are engrossed with the sheer horror of what we see and hear, but, with the passage of time, our memories fade and we return to our daily lives, forgetting that the war is still raging out there and more strikes are sure to follow.

Comment: As the former head of Mossad, the author is certainly in a position to know...

It cannot be said that seven years after this war broke out in east Africa, we can see its conclusion. We are in for the long haul and we must brace ourselves for more that will follow. The 'Great Wars' of the 20th century lasted less than this war has already lasted, and the end is nowhere in sight.

There will be supreme tests of leadership in this unique situation and people will have to trust the wisdom and good judgment of those chosen to govern them. The executives must be empowered to act resolutely and to take every measure necessary to protect the citizens of their country and to carry the combat into whatever territory the perpetrators and their temporal and spiritual leaders are inhabiting.

Comment: In other words, we should all give up our civil liberties and refrain from questioning the actions of our leaders. Thus, the "terrorists" win. That doesn't make much sense, now does it?

The rules of combat must be rapidly adjusted to cater to the necessities of this new and unprecedented situation, and international law must be rewritten in such a way as to permit civilization to defend itself. Anything short of this invites disaster and must not be allowed to happen.

Comment: And don't forget to change international law so that oppression and torture are perfectly legal!

The aim of the enemy is not to defeat western civilization but to destroy its sources of power and existence, and to render it a relic of the past. It does not seek a territorial victory or a regime change; it wants to turn western civilization into history and will stop at nothing less than that.

It will show no mercy or compassion and no appreciation for these noble values when practiced by us. This does not mean that we can or should assume the norms of our adversaries, nor that we should act indiscriminately. It does mean that the only way to ensure our safety and security will be to obtain the destruction, the complete destruction, of the enemy.

Comment: Indeed, the Mossad has never acted indiscriminately. Read Victor Ostrovsky's book By Way of Deception to get an idea of how and why the Israeli agency acts as it does.

MUCH HAS been said in recent years about the vital need for international cooperation. There is no doubt that this is essential. Yet no measure of this will suffice and it cannot replace the requirement that each and every country effectively declare itself at war with international Islamist terror and recruit the public to involve itself actively in the battle, under the direction of the legal powers that be.

Comment: Translation: "We, the Zionists, will stop at nothing until every country in the world embraces our policy of annihilation and eradicates those darn Arabs from the face of the earth." Unfortunately, the Zionists fail to accept the very real possibility that their crusade will result in their own annihilation. Fortunately, there are many non-Zionist Jews who are appalled at the completely "un-Jewish" actions of their Zionist leaders.

In the past, governments have been expected to provide security to their citizens. The responsibility is still there, in principle. But in practice, no government today can provide an effective 'suit of protection' for the ordinary citizen. There can be no protection for every bus, every train, every street, every square. In these times the ordinary citizen must be vigilant and must make his personal contribution to the war effort.

Comment: Come on everybody, turn in your terrorist neighbors! Let's turn the whole world into a larger version of Nazi Germany!

Private enterprise will have to supplement the national effort in many walks of life.

Comment: You knew that one was coming...

The measures that I have outlined above will not be easily adopted
overnight. When the US entered World War Two, Congress approved the momentous decision by a majority of one vote. Profound cultural changes will have to come about and the democratic way of life will be hard-pressed to produce solutions that will enable the executive branch to perform its duties and, at the same time, to preserve the basic tenets of our democratic way of life. It will not be easy, but it will be essential not to lose sight of every one of these necessities.

Comment: In other words, democracy will die. It is already dying. Does anyone really expect our psychopathic leaders to ensure our freedoms when they are mesmerized by their new awe-inspiring power over life and death? As the old saying goes, power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.

This war is already one of the longest in modern times; as things appear now, it is destined to be part of our daily lives for many years to come, until the enemy is eliminated, as it surely will be.

The writer, who heads the Center for Strategic and Policy Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, is a former head of the Mossad.

Comment: We have no doubts that the "enemy" will be eliminated. The question is how much suffering and strife will be required before enough people will awaken to the lies and deception that currently blanket the globe.

Yesterday, we asked who benefits from the 7/7 attacks in London. Today, the answer is crystal clear.

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Zionists finally strike London
Colin Deane – July 7, 2005

The near simultaneous explosions that rocked London today look more like the handiwork of the Zionist, British intelligence services rather than the phantom terrorist network, Al-Qaeda.

Just like the attacks on the world trade centre, such a well planned and executed operation could not have been the work of a highly decentralised terrorist network. Such an attack would have taken considerable technical expertise and large scale planning and communications.

Even the slightest mistake by the alleged perpetrators would have alerted the security services and every means at their considerable disposal would have been employed to foil the operation (Successfully). E-mails and phone calls would have been intercepted. Secret service agents in conjunction with London's four and a half million CCTV cameras would have followed the suspects and tracked their every move.

The average member of the British public appears on CCTV three hundred times a day. Radical Islamic groups in particular are subject to near constant surveillance by the intelligence services and the planning of such an event would have been discovered long before its planned execution.

Even the IRA never managed to execute such a complex terrorist attack on British soil. Not to mention the fact that MI5 later admitted that it was members of the intelligence services that planned and executed the majority of terrorist attacks on British soil that were blamed on the IRA at the time.

Coming at a time when world leaders are meeting at Gleneagles for a G8 meeting, less than twenty four hours after the 2012 Olympics was awarded to London and on the 60th anniversary of the end of the second world war, the timing couldn't have been better. What a perfect opportunity for the globalists to launch their latest assault against an unsuspecting public.

It was only a matter of time until London such as New York, Madrid and Bali was attacked. The only question was 'when'? It had seemed as though America's main ally in the Iraq war was long overdue for a staged terrorist attack. The globalists simply had to wait for the right time to strike.

In typical 'false flag terror attack' style, the mainstream media claimed that a group calling itself the 'Al-Qaeda Organization in Europe' had accepted responsibility for the attacks; an organization that no one has heard of before! No doubt fox news, the BBC and all the other Zionist controlled media establishments will be churning out the same recorded feed of carnage for the next few days, occasionally interspersed with images of Osama Bin Laden firing an AK-47.

Despite the level of control exercised over the media by elite, it is the mainstream media that provides the biggest clues to governmental prior knowledge and the resulting cover-up.

Original press reports claimed that the Israeli minister, Binyamin Netanyahu had been warned an hour before the first explosion and as a result remained in his hotel room.

Here's an excerpt from the Israel national news:

"The Israeli Embassy in London was notified in advance, resulting in Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu remaining in his hotel room rather than make his way to the hotel adjacent to the site of the first explosion, a Liverpool Street train station, where he was to address an economic summit."

The slip-up was realized and since then several media establishments, including sky news and the associated press, hurriedly edited the articles.

The attacks came at a time when the British government is trying to foist a biometric ID card on the general public. What better excuse is needed to further this agenda than a shocking 'terrorist' attack directly on British soil.

"Order Out Of Chaos"

It now looks as though the government will have little resistance to the latest step in pushing the public towards a high tech police state. The popular backbench revolt that so worried Blair now looks as though it will lose its momentum in the face of such a tragedy.

Tony Blair will use the fateful day of the 7th of July 2005 as swift and expedient political capital to push through a whole range of draconian measures, possibly to bolster the case to invade Iran and Syria and all at the expense of the dead and the maimed.

Don't listen to claims by the Zionist controlled mainstream media that this was the work of organizations linked to Al-Qaeda. Don't listen to any such organizations that are quick to claim responsibility. There is no doubt that this was the work of the minions employed by the dark and subversive secret-government, often referred to as the illuminati.

The ultimate aim of this outrage, just like WTC attacks, is to scare the public into submission; to scare the public into parting with basic civil liberties and to bring us all into one world government.

Little can explain the true nature of the London bombings more accurately than the words of Britain's most senior police officer, Sir Ian Blair, given in a press conference later in the day:

"While it is a confused situation - it must be a confused situation with multiple sites like this - coordinated effort is slowly bringing order out of the chaos."

Dark days indeed.

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Analysis: Al-Qaida's G8 Mistake
by Martin Walker
UPI
Jul 07, 2005

London - While al-Qaida showed their customary ruthless skill in planning the London bombings, their choice of target may become a major strategic mistake.

London was not the only victim of the spate of bombings of the trains and buses of the London transit system.

The bombers clearly meant to sow not only panic but financial disruption, hitting stations in the heart of the city of London, where most of world's daily $1.5 trillion trades in currency are made. That plan failed. The London markets - which did not close - quickly sank 3 percent, but then recovered.

The other symbolic target of the bombers, the G8 summit, may have been taking place 400 miles to the north, but the presence of U.S. President George W. Bush as a guest of Tony Blair, the twin authors of the war and the occupation of Iraq, made the Gleneagles summit into an event worth disrupting for al-Qaida.

Or did it? By attacking the country currently hosting the G8 summit, al-Qaida has once again made it clear that its enemy is the West as a whole, all the advanced industrialized nations, including the next G8 invitees such as India, China and Brazil.

And when the G8 leaders declared Thursday that the attack on London was an attack on them all, the real isolation of al-Qaida, and the utter emptiness of their political agenda, became brutally clear.

But this G8 was rather different. By bombing Britain at this time, al-Qaida also made it clear that it did not give a hoot about world poverty, about Africa, about the relief of debt, or about global warming.

Al-Qaida's bombers also spat in the face of the millions of young people who turned up or tuned in to the Live 8 concerts over the weekend, who were moved by the appeals of the artists and singers to make a difference and use their voices and their votes and their civic pressure to urge their political leaders to tackle poverty and climate change.

To his credit, and despite formidable opposition in the Bush White House and the central banks of the world, Tony Blair tried to make this G8 summit stand for something different, for some serious commitments to issue that engage the passions of tens of millions of voters in Europe, Japan, North America and around the world.

Blair went as far as a serious political leader can go to support the Live 8 campaigners, and to give Bono and Bob Geldof the blessing the British government on their political endeavors.

And now, thanks to al-Qaida, this G8 summit at Gleneagles will be remembered not for what it did for Africa (which was a very great deal, in securing debt relief), and not for what it achieved in bridging the gap between the rhetoric of the Bush White House and the Kyoto protocol, but for the London bombings.

There is a contrast, if not a clash of civilizations. The West's leaders try to help Africa, and Islam's extremists try to explode their efforts by killing London commuters.

The al-Qaida website claims that "Britain is burning with terror and fear and panic." Not so. The world's TV audience can see that London is coping just as it did with Hitler's blitz, with the same stiff upper lip with which is greeted the bombs of the Irish Republican Army. It will take more than a few Islamist fascists, however vicious and ruthless, to make Londoners show fear and panic.

More ironic still, the West is trying to help Africa clamber out of poverty; the sheikhs of Araby are plunging Africa deeper into penury. The oil bill for sub-Saharan Africa is this year going to be $10 billion higher than it was a year ago - and most of that money is heading for the coffers of the country that produced most of the 9/11 terrorists.

These ironies will not be lost on a new generation of Westerners, of Japanese and Russians and Brazilians, and quite possibly of Indians and Chinese, just coming of age.

The Live 8 concerts will probably make this G8 summit the first political event in which these young people took a serious interest, and they have seen it blown out of the headlines by bombers who view the grander goals of Live 8 with contempt and as an opportunity for the most bloodily vicious form of exploitation.

Some of them might even have agreed with Chris Martin of Coldplay, probably the hottest band in the world these days, who described the Live 8 concerts as "the biggest thing that's ever been organized, probably in the history of the world."

Not really, not when al-Qaida has a new act to put on stage; not when it's time for another of Osama bin Laden's greatest hits.

Of course, the London bombings may have nothing to do Osama. Al-Qaida is now the McDonalds of terrorism, a franchise operation in which the name and the uniforms and product do not vary, but get delivered by a host of different operators and franchisees. Al-Qaida is the ultimate virtual corporation, a brand name for a media-savvy entity that exists in cyberspace.

And doubtless al-Qaida's London franchisees thought they were being really clever in hitting not just against Blair's Britain, as one of 'Crusader countries" with troops in Iraq, but also hitting the G8 as a whole when all the world's media was gathered to watch it grapple with the real issues of poverty and climate change that Blair had laid before it.

What they hit instead was the sense of idealism and hope that millions of young people had invested in this G8, and they are likely to remember who spoiled their party.

Comment: In summary, al-Qaeda shot itself in the foot again with the London attacks. The only people who benefited from the attacks are the Zionists and Neocons and all their pals like Tony Blair who are pushing for more and more control over the lives of ordinary people in the name of safety, security, and battling "evildoers". Years ago, we were told that the communists threatened the world. Today, it's Islamic terrorists. Same song, different verse.

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Britain paid price for US, Israeli policies: Iranian cleric
AFP
Fri Jul 8, 7:37 AM ET

TEHRAN - Islamic Iran unanimously condemned the bomb attacks in London as "unacceptable and inhumane", but a top cleric nevertheless argues the blasts were direct result of US and Israeli policies.

"You talk about Al-Qaeda. Have you forgotten who has bred Al-Qaeda?" Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani asked at a prayer sermon at Tehran University.

"It's the illegitimate child of America and Israel, but you name it Islam. This savagery is not Islam. It is coming from inside of you and it is now punching you," he said in comments directed at British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Iran has linked the rise of Al-Qaeda to US policy in the 1980s, when the CIA and Saudi Arabia pumped billions of dollars into hardline Islamist groups battling the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and went on to back the Taliban militia -- which Iran opposed.

"You created all this to plague us, but now it is plaguing you. You have done that before, by equipping Saddam with weapons to fight us, but now you are bogged down in Iraq," he said, referring to US backing for Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein when he fought Iran in the 1980s.

"You have to learn from this and come to your senses."

Hours after Thursday's blasts killed more than 50 people and injured a further 700, Iran's foreign ministry "condemned the terrorist attacks that caused deaths and injuries among British citizens," the state news agency IRNA reported.

Foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi also expressed "Iran's sympathy with the families of the victims of these terrorist acts" and denounced "the use of violence to achieve objectives."

Ayatollah Kashani repeated that condemnation.

"Iranians condemn the killing of women and children, young and old in the London bombings and offer condolences to the families of the victims," he told worshippers.

Such acts, he said, were "unacceptable and inhumane".

But the top cleric went on to condemn US President George W. Bush, who has labelled Iran the world's number-one sponsor of terrorism.

"Where have you reached by cracking down on terrorism? It has happened again because you do not want to use your head," Ayatollah Kashani said, drawing the usual chants of "Death to America, Death to Israel".

"You train terrorists and state terrorism. If you want to succeed you have to leave Palestine alone," he added. "Acting against terrorism must be honest ... and you will not succeed unless you wise up and change your ways."

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It's Up to the Anti-War Movement to Restrain the Thirst for More Revenge
By MIKE MARQUSEE
Counterpunch.org
July 7, 2005

This morning, the suffering, grief and terror that have visited so many innocents in recent years came to London. We have not paid the kind of price that people have paid in Fallujah, Najaf or Jenin, but it is a steep price nonetheless. And its root causes are the same.

The bomb blasts were grimly predictable. Indeed, they had been widely and repeatedly predicted ­ not least by rank-and-file Londoners, who knew that by taking Britain into Iraq side-by-side with the USA, Tony Blair had placed their city in the firing line.

As I write, the wreckage is being cleared and the casualties counted. But Blair has already appeared on television to address the nation, pledging to defend "our values" and "our way of life" against those who would "impose extremism on the world". He spoke of the unity of "civilised nations" in resisting "terrorism". While the delivery may be slicker, his "us" vs "them" world-view was indistinguishable from Bush's. Even by Blair's standards, it was a performance of nauseating hypocrisy, as he sought to seize the moral high ground in relation to violence and destruction that he himself helped unleash.

The Labour government, egged on by the Conservative opposition and the right-wing press, will now seek to play on fear and drum up vindictive feelings. At this stage, however, it is unclear how the British population will respond. Will the mood more resemble post 9/11 USA or Spain in the wake of the Madrid carnage?

Coming the day after London's Olympic triumph, the attacks are a grim reminder that media-hyped feel-good boosterism will do nothing to mitigate the UK's plummeting global standing. Blair's closeness to Bush, his championship of the US neo-liberal model in the European Union, his aggressive pursuit of the "war against terror" have all diminished Britain in the eyes of Europe and the world.

This is a reality of which many people in Britain are acutely aware. Opposition to the invasion of Iraq spread across every sector of British society, and was overwhelming in London. Subsequent revelations concerning the bogus claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction have further embittered public opinion ­ and made the Prime Minister, according to every poll, one of the least trusted and most disrespected individuals in the country.

Of course, Blair was able to overcome this decided disadvantage and get himself re-elected in May thanks to the absence of meaningful opposition within the established political system. That absence will be felt acutely in the days to come as Britain wrestles with the consequences of the bomb blasts.

The Blair government will doubtless seek to use this morning's atrocity to escalate its alarming attacks on civil liberties. The country's 1.5 million strong Muslim population, already subject to police harassment, will come under increased pressure. (Commentators have been quick to claim that the bombs may be the work of people hiding anonymously within the "law-abiding Muslim community".) Anti-globalisation protesters ­ currently gathered outside the G8 summit at the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland ­ will be branded as "terrorists" and dealt with accordingly.

Fomenting and exploiting fear has been a speciality of the Blair regime. Asylum seekers, teenagers wearing hoods, militant Muslims, anarchists, paedophiles the list of targets is lengthy and frighteningly flexible. Whenever there is a need to distract people from the impact of the government's neo-liberal economic policies, from its failure to rebuild the public sector, from its misbegotten foreign adventures, a new scapegoat is conjured up. The bomb blasts may aid this process, but there is also reason to hope that this time there will be substantial public resistance.

On 15th February 2003, some two million people gathered in London to demonstrate against the imminent attack on Iraq. I remember speaking to a neighbour who told me proudly that he was going on the march ­ his first ever protest march ­ because he was damned if he was going to let Tony Blair endanger his children's lives by making London a prime target for attack.

Everything that has happened since then ­ the exposure of lie after lie, the deaths of British soldiers, the refusal of ground realities in Iraq to conform to Blair's scenario - has further entrenched popular resentment of the war, widely seen as a result of Blair's determination to court favour with George Bush. The prime minister calculates that the bomb blasts will unite British people behind their government and that a touch of well-rehearsed statesman-like gravitas will refresh his image. Much of the media will pump out the message that we are all under threat from faceless barbarians irrationally opposed to "our way of life". It will be up to the anti-war movement to articulate a different analysis, to remind people that this attack is a consequence of our role in dishing out brutality in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine, and to insist that no amount of moralistic posturing by our leaders can substitute for a desperately needed change in policy.

Mike Marqusee is the author of Chains of Freedom: the Politics of Bob Dylan's Art and Redemption Song: Muhammed Ali and the Sixties. He can be reach through his website: www.mikemarqusee.com

Comment: Indeed, it is up to each of us to shine the light of truth upon the dark corner of lies where Bush and Blair hide. While our song You Lied is targeted at the lies spread by Bush, the tune applies equally well to Tony Blair, who has parroted every lie uttered by the Bush government since 9/11.

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When the cops are the crooks

Staged bombings terrorize everyone while the real perps keep getting richer
By John Kaminski
skylax@comcast.net
Friday, July 8, 2005

How long are we going to permit this vicious tomfoolery to continue?

Every time there's an embarrassing incident, a charge of official malfeasance, or some nasty revelation to cover up, the powers that be stage a terrorist incident - randomly throw away the lives of an arbitrary number of innocents - and then blame some fantasy enemy as an excuse to further ratchet up the corrupt oppression of ordinary people.

Notice how the accused perpetrators are never caught - often, as with 9/11, never even adequately identified - or if they are, they turn out to be some brainwashed patsy like John Hinckley or Timothy McVeigh, both of them (and all the assassin-type villains who have been publicly caught and liquidated since JFK's public murder) obviously incapable of carrying out the demonic deeds they are so sensationalistically accused of - without some serious assistance.

The London bombings remind me of the Madrid, Istanbul, and Bali bombings. No one is ever caught. Stereotypically rabid Arabs are blamed. And innocent people everywhere suffer the consequences.

When are we going to put together the pieces and see that this worldwide terror threat that is so ballyhooed in the totally corrupt establishment press is nothing more than stage-managed chaos designed to further consolidate the profit-making power of the super-rich, that all these senseless murders are nothing more than anecdotal sacrifices to the financial plans of the capitalist titans who control most of the world and covet the rest of it?

Will we ever realize what this awful game really is?

We've had plenty of chances, a half-century's worth, at least.

And we've flubbed every single one. We've failed to halt this demonic progression of corporate totalitarianism every time. And as a direct result, each new calculated terror gambit has been a little bit worse.

Yes, plenty of people do see what this demented game is, but they are not the powerful people. It remains the eternal shame of the American people that not a single person in the U.S. representative form of government has had the courage to even acknowledge that serious questions exist about the government-sponsored massacres on 9/11 in New York City or on 4/19 in Oklahoma City.

Oh sure, a few trendy liberals have dipped their toes in the water and mentioned in a barely audible murmur that maybe the Iraq war - which is surely the most cruel and irresponsible action the U.S. government has ever taken (in a long, sorry list of reckless actions taken that have used hollow lies as their justification) - is not quite on the up and up, but even those timid would-be patriots have received no support from the mindlocked corporate media.

And as a result, people are afraid to speak out, for fear of losing their jobs, or even their families, or - in the cases of someone like Paul Wellstone or Hunter S. Thompson - their lives.

So what I want to know is how long we are all going to cower in fear, and continue to make believe that the big U.S. newspapers and TV networks are telling the truth, when it should be clear (IMHO) that they are lying - just like their president and Congress - about just about everything?

It should be clear by now that if we continue to do this, they're going to pick us off, one by one.

But who will have the courage to stand up and say - Hey, wait a minute! This is our own government doing these things to us at the behest of the influential people who control them. How else could Halliburton keep getting all those contracts as judges' heads snap in the opposite direction whenever the subject is mentioned? How else could all those pharmaceutical companies get senators to legislate them immunity for putting poisons in their medicines that create millions of vegetative children?

How much longer are we going to tolerate this egregious level of corruption? Surely we must realize that everything we thought we held dear has already been destroyed by this kind of behavior. I mean, does everybody still secretly harbor the fantasy they will turn into Kenneth Lay and suddenly be able to bilk the public out of hundreds of millions of dollars and then escape because they are protected by their contributions to the Republican National Committee? Is that the new American dream?

I was thinking about these things one recent day as I was riding the train into New York City and perusing its formidable skyline, which of course is now forever missing those two tall square edged towers that used to be the symbol of American fortitude. They are still there, in my mind, ghost towers in the sad shadow of memory, exuding horrifying memories of smoke and dust and little stick figures forever falling into the uncaring abyss of time.

And I was thinking about why they weren't there anymore, those two tall towers, and remembering some of the things I'd said about that over these past three years, and maybe I was reviewing how I should go on talking about them as the train rattled down the the tracks toward Secaucus.

I have among other things said that the entire Congress and thousands of people who work for the federal government should be indicted as accomplices to mass murder and treason for abetting all the horrible things that the American government has done to the rest of the world - not to even mention its own people - over these past few years, and I began to think about that.

I've been one to advocate not voting at all because the process has become so corrupted, and I've insisted that in order to fix what is wrong with America and the world the whole rotten system has to come down. Ship everyone in Congress to Guantanamo and let all those innocent Arabs and Afghanis go home to their families where they belong.

But then I started to think about what the system really is - people who rely on their government for their disability checks in order to breathe and eat for another day; millions of government employees at all levels who raise families on their paychecks, worry about medical bills, and try to get their kids into college; millions of other who wouldn't even live more than a few days should the whole system suddenly crash.

And yet, there it was, staring me in the face, right where the ghost towers stood. The system that made all these people's lives (including mine) so palatable, so enjoyable, so viable, was the same system that invented (with the help of Israeli intelligence, British bankers and the Muslim brotherhood) the al-Qaeda terror concept, and under the tutelage of the Mossad, MI-5, and the CIA, was setting off all these bombs all over the world and blaming them on fantasy Arabs so that sad amputees could get on buses in Queens and news vendors could hawk the venomous, hate-crime-advocating New York Post on oily street corners in Manhattan and thereby feed their families and find a little joy in their mundane little lives, which were really not that different from mine.

And I thought (as I have so many times), what a warped deal this whole thing is. Do we really have to kill so many, and lie so often, to get so little, even though we need every bit of it?

So then I turned off my mind and turned back to my cuddly companion and thought how lucky I was to be in this time and space, healthy and happy if a little overcritical and introspective.

Later I would think that we are each one of us all alone in this world, and that if we didn't insist on being honest and not killing people we didn't have to kill, would the world fall apart because of that? In other words, is all this dramatic killing necessary to enable we Americans to live the bounteous lives we have become accustomed to?

And if it is necessary - if George W. Bush is really right about the way the world is - is this any kind of world I would want to be a part of? I don't think so. And yet, as a sometimes thoughtless American, I take part in the bounty, I reap the dividends of (relative) affluence and amusements that America affords me, and that everyone in the world continues to covet.

So in that sense, I share in the responsibility for the trauma America's war machine wreaks around the world.

So if forced to make a choice, which one would I choose? The powers that be are continuing to blow up innocent people to make America a soft and sweet place to live. Could it be such a place without the carnage? Without the lies?

Is our dalliance with Super Bowls and Xanax directly dependent on murdering people of color who happen to be sitting on oil we desire?

Is why most of us don't say anything about what our government does to innocent bystanders because we are deep down the same kind of people as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, and can look the other way when somebody has to be eliminated in order to provide us with our creature comforts?

If we are that kind of person, then we shouldn't be upset about 9/11, about our government's killing 3,000 of our own citizens, or about blowing up a few people in London, because it needed to be done so we could play our iPods in peace.

But if we are not that kind of person, isn't it about time we realized that the 9/11 massacre - just like the London bombing - is something that will inevitably happen to us, because we have tolerated violence in the name of profit for more than 200 years, and we have profited mightily from it. Did you really think we could live our whole lives without paying for what we have done to the world?

You who are reading this right now - pretend, just for argument's sake, you are an American. What do you think is a fair price you should pay for what you have done to the world?

And when the cops are really the crooks, who will you turn to for help, that one fine day, when the bomb the power elite put there to convince the public the enemy is nearby, is ticking on YOUR bus?

John Kaminski is an internet essayist whose stories have been seen on hundreds of websites around the world. They have been collected into two anthologies titled "America's Autopsy Report" and "The Perfect Enemy" and are for sale on his website, http://www.johnkaminski.com/, as is the booklet "The Day America Died," written for those who still believe the government's false story of what happened on September 11, 2001.

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Officials: Timing Devices Discovered in London
ABC News
July 7, 2005

In what appears to be the first major break in the London terrorist attacks, U.S. authorities tell ABC News that police in London have recovered key parts of the timing devices that set off the bombs, suggesting they were planted in packages or bags and left behind.

There also are reports that police may have discovered two unexploded bombs as they sifted through the wreckage of the four bombs that did go off. At least several dozen people were killed in the attacks, and hundreds of others were injured while traveling on subways and a double-decker bus. Scotland Yard has denied finding undetonated explosive devices in the wreckage.

The bomb parts and timing mechanisms should provide important evidence that could help determine who was behind the attacks, sources told ABC News.

Officials now believe that all the bombs were detonated by timing devices. Earlier today, British investigators had believed that the bomb on the bus was the work of a suicide bomber, sources said.

Who Is Responsible?

The London bombings are similar in many ways to the coordinated blasts on Spanish trains in Madrid 16 months ago that killed 200 people.

The most important piece of evidence in Madrid was the discovery of a backpack in the rubble. A cell phone inside had been wired as a bomb detonator, and the phone led police to the terrorists. They were able to track where it had been sold, who had sold it and who had bought it.

Police say twice in the last three years they have disrupted plans to attack the London subway system. High on the list of suspects in today's attack is the same man who has been terrorizing Iraq - Abu Musab al Zarqawi. Officials say he and Osama bin Laden have talked of expanding attacks to Europe and the United States and have been recruiting people in the Islamic world and western Europe to carry out the attacks.

The only claim of responsibility came today on an Islamist Web site, posted by a previously-unknown group. The site claimed the attacks on London were carried out because of the presence of British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, but there was no way to determine the authenticity of the claim or the group.

Comment: That Zarqawi is a busy man, much like the elusive CIA asset Osama Bin Laden.

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U.K. Officials Face Big Task in Bombings
By BETH GARDINER
The Associated Press
Thursday, July 7, 2005; 11:43 PM

LONDON -- Hours of closed-circuit television footage to scrutinize, tons of debris to sift through, small traces of explosives to examine.

British investigators - their skills honed by anti-terror work from decades of Irish Republican Army bombings - find themselves at the start of a daunting task to track down those responsible for Thursday's deadly explosions in London.

"There is real passion now in the police to make arrests quickly before further attacks can be carried out," said Charles Shoebridge, a security analyst and former counterterrorism intelligence officer.

Based on evidence recovered from the rubble, investigators believe some of the bombs were on timers, a U.S. law enforcement official said on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

Investigators doubted that cell phones - used to trigger last year's train bombings in Madrid - were used to detonate the bombs Thursday because reception is spotty in the Underground's tunnels, the official said.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Thursday's bombings - which came the day after London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympics and as British Prime Minister Tony Blair prepared to open a G-8 summit in Scotland - have the "hallmarks of an al-Qaida-related attack."

Shoebridge said a second attack was likely "because there's no reason for them not to, they've broken their cover,"

Comment: Was there a follow-up attack after 9/11? After 3/11?

"They will now try to exploit whatever freedom they have left" to kill again, because it is likely they will eventually be caught, Shoebridge added.

A group calling itself "The Secret Organization of al-Qaida in Europe" said in an Internet statement that it staged the blasts in retaliation for Britain's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. Police said they couldn't confirm the authenticity of the statement.

Comment: Isn't it strange how the authenticity of such statements can never be verified, but officials nevertheless have no problem quickly arresting and detaining "Muslim terrorists" without charge for years on end?? But hey, any old Arab will do, right? Our leaders will do whatever it takes to ensure that the illusion of "al-Qaeda" is maintained at any cost...

A senior U.S. counterterrorism official said the claim is considered "potentially very credible" because it appeared on a Web site that in the past has been used for extremist postings, the message appeared soon after the attacks and does not appear rushed. [...]

Comment: And yet one British broadcast yesterday claimed that verses of the Koran included in the message were misquoted. It sounds like the "terrorists" were either rushed or not Arabs at all. Today, this particular detail is nowhere to be found in the press...

One issue hampering the investigation is fear that the tunnels themselves may have been damaged in the blasts, the official said. It could be some time before engineers determine the tunnels are safe enough to allow investigators to collect evidence, the official said. [...]

The cell phones used in the March 11, 2004, attacks, which left 191 dead in Madrid, led investigators to some of the attackers. One bomb failed to go off, and the subscriber identity card inside that phone eventually led investigators to the suspects, although they haven't found the plot's masterminds.

After New York's World Trade Center was attacked with a truck bomb in 1993, one of the conspirators gave investigators a hand by trying to retrieve a deposit he'd put down on the vehicle destroyed in the blast.

Police in London may get a break like that too, but they also have a lot of hard slogging ahead of them.

Comment: Think about that. An attack on the scale of 9/11 was allegedly organized by Muslim terrorists. After the evil scheme goes off without a hitch, one of the supposed terrorists decides to retrieve the deposit he put down on a vehicle involved in the attacks. Now add to this event the discovery of an Arabic flight manual found in a vehicle and magic indestructible passports that helped the US investigation of 9/11... "Al-Qaeda" is pretty incompetent for an organization that is supposed to be so cunning, coordinated, skilled, and well-funded.

London is crammed with closed-circuit television cameras - 1,800 in its train stations, 6,000 in the Underground network and some on buses.

Shoebridge said detectives will have to watch thousands of hours of tape - slowly and carefully.

Investigators will try to find on tape the point at which bombs were placed, then trace back the movements of the bomber, a task that could involve hundreds of cameras, Shoebridge said. Most of London's Underground cameras are in stations, not subway cars. [...]

Comment: No doubt one of the "terrorists" will be caught on video holding a giant sign with his name and address written on it...

Shoebridge said investigators also will check records of cell phone calls made in the bombed areas just before the explosions, a job that might be difficult if investigators can't determine where bombers boarded the trains.

Forensic evidence will be key. If any of the perpetrators were suicide bombers, there will be body parts to examine for clues. If not, detectives will search for DNA or fingerprints.

They'll also have to examine recent intelligence - including the phone and e-mail intercepts routinely collected as part of anti-terrorism work - to see if any clues were missed or if any of the communications contain information that looks significant in hindsight, Shoebridge said.

Old interviews with informants will be re-examined and new ones conducted.

In the end, authorities will have to identify "whatever failings exist, if any, in the intelligence system that allowed this attack to take place, because it is an intelligence failure," Shoebridge said.

Comment: There you have it: it was a failure of intelligence. Expect new draconian legislation in the UK in the coming weeks and months.

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ID cards 'wouldn't stop attacks'
BBC

Identity cards would not have stopped the London bombings which claimed the lives of 37 people and injured many more, Charles Clarke has said.

But on balance, the home secretary says, he believes ID cards would help rather than hinder the ability to deal with particular terrorist threats.

He also suggested that in future civil liberties may have to be curtailed.

Consideration would need to be given to checks on people boarding tube trains, ID cards and data exchange, he says.

He also insisted that the small reduction in the threat level made before the bombings had made no difference to the attacks.

Asked by BBC Radio 4's Today programme if ID cards could have prevented Thursday's atrocity, Mr Clarke said: "I doubt it would have made a difference.

"I've never argued ... that ID cards would prevent any particular act.

"The question on ID cards, but also on any other security measure actually, is on the balance of the ability to deal with particular threats and civil liberties, does a particular measure help or hinder it?

"I actually think ID cards do help rather than hinder.

"If you ask me whether ID cards or any other measure would have stopped yesterday, I can't identify any measure which would have just stopped it like that."

Alternative solutions

In a separate interview on BBC Breakfast, Mr Clarke was asked about how people could be kept safe in the wake of the attacks.

"I don't think any of us want to live a life where we have to go through security checks every moment of our lives and so we have to find the right way to move forward," he said.

"The key thing is to study after these terrible events what needs to be done and discuss properly what alternative solutions there are."

Asked if that meant civil liberties being curtailed, he said: "I always hope not.

"But whether we look at identity cards or you look at exchange of data or you look at particular types of checking machinery when you get on a tube train or whatever it might be, those are issues that have to be debated.

"Today isn't the time for those debates. Today is the time to track down the perpetrators and see that we can try and make the arrests that are necessary.

"People will have to look at the options and decide which is the right way to proceed." [...]

Comment: ID cards serve a purpose only when they are used to verify someone's identity -- unless the real excuse is to build a large database that is used to monitor citizens without their knowledge. If they are going to be put into circulation in order to stave off "terrorist attacks" -- and we are of course here accepting the argument only to better analyse it -- then checkpoints will be needed, no matter what the good minister says above about "today" not being the time to debate it.

We'll see what arguments he brings to the table when parliament debates the ID cards again in January.

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More on London bombs
Xymphora
Friday, July 08, 2005
More on London bombs:
  1. I prefer the hybrid model for all these attacks, by which I mean the involvement of real Islamic terrorists guided by an intelligence agency. The intelligence agency funds much of the operation, chooses the targets and the time, and provides technical assistance. The Islamic terrorists provide most of the manpower. In some cases the terrorists are completely fooled into participating (probably what happened in Madrid, a Spanish police operation with Muslim men tricked into being in the wrong place at the wrong time), and in some cases they go along with the promptings of the intelligence agency as the operation fits into their own agenda.

  2. Problems in the taking of responsibility may either indicate a mistake by the sponsoring intelligence agency, or, more likely, a lack of education in the al Qaeda 'cell' coupled with the lack of communication necessary in an operation that relies on independent cells.

  3. Did you notice how much better the Wikipedia article is than anything in the old-fashioned mainstream media?

  4. Blair was riding high with the Olympic win and the G-8 summit, so it is unlikely that he was aware of the operation. That is not to say that there was no British government involvement.

  5. The attack will almost certainly allow the imposition of fascistic ID cards on the British population, a goal that was dead prior to the attacks due to the complete rejection of the idea by the British public.

  6. From WagNews:

    "The bombings come just a day after London was selected to host the 2012 Olympic games, and after a world focus on London as part of the Live 8 concert events. Were the attack to have taken place just 24hrs. before - it would have scuppered London's bid for the games."

    The timing was very fine. It did not ruin the British Olympic bid, as the British plutocrats dearly wanted the Olympics, but it needed to happen before the G-8 Summit started. It can now be used to start a new war in the Middle East, to protect Bush from having to commit on climate change, and to shelter Bush and Blair from recent revelations about the lies which led to the attack on Iraq.

  7. The Israelis got caught in a big mess attempting to claim that they were not given prior warning by British officials, when they clearly were given such warning, and Netanyahu changed his plans because of the warning. Much is being made of this, but to me it indicates no Israeli involvement (well, at least not by the mainstream Israeli government). Had Israel been involved in the attack, it would have been much better prepared to spin it properly. The confusion is evidence of innocence.

  8. The attack appears to be technically identical to the Madrid attack. Bombs in bags triggered by cellphones. Some are trying to argue that the sophistication of the attack means that the West now has to throw all caution to the winds and engage in a full fledged war against Islam. This is nonsense. Rather than being sophisticated, the attack was absurdly simple. It could be repeated anywhere in the world tomorrow. There is no defense against it. That alone should prompt us to conclusively reject the insane Zionist model that we can somehow fight a war against terror. The only appropriate response is to find out what's bugging the Islamic world, and negotiate a rational agreement. That would involve the same three completely reasonable requests we have always faced:

    • a fair resolution of the Palestinian problem, which would involve the creation of a viable Palestinian state (so this predictable response is completely backasswards);

    • removal of Western troops from Islamic countries (moving them from Iraq to Afghanistan doesn't count!); and

    • replacement of corrupt Western toady regimes in Middle Eastern countries.

    Each of these requests is completely just, and progress needs to be made before more innocent people are killed.

  9. It appears that the old deal between the British government and international terrorism - that London would host terrorist organizations from around the world, and not interfere with their international operations, on condition that they not attack London - is now over.

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Rove-Plame: The Word from Aspen
By Arianna Huffington
July 6, 2005

How is it that the second most powerful man in America is about to take a fall and the mainstream media are largely taking a pass? Could it be that the fear of Karl Rove and this White House is so great that not even the biggest of the media big boys are willing to take them on? Does the answer to that one go without saying?

Chatter about the Rove story has come to dominate the downtime at the Aspen Institute's five-day Ideas Festival. Whenever participants are not in sessions, they're gathering in small groups and dissecting, analyzing, and speculating about the outcome of this surprisingly slow-breaking scandal.

One such discussion took place just after David Gergen had finished a conversation with Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life, which has sold 25 million copies in hardback! A cluster of high-powered media insiders quickly switched over to "The Gossip-Driven Reality." The well-informed suppositions were flying faster than the peloton at the Tour de France. I can tell you what was said, I just can't tell you who was saying it (Just look at it as an anonymous twist on the HuffPost BozBlog).

According to the players, the key to whether this story has real legs -- and whether it will spell the end of Rove -- is determining intent. And a key to that is whether there was a meeting at the White House where Rove and Scooter Libby discussed what to do with the information they had gotten from the State Department about Valerie Plame being Joe Wilson's wife, and her involvement in his being sent on the Niger/yellowcake mission. If it can be proven that such a meeting occurred, then Rove will be in deep trouble -- especially if it is established that Rove made three phone calls leaking the info about Plame and her CIA gig: one to Matt Cooper, one to Walter Pincus, and one to Robert Novak.

Other than intent, the other big legal question raised was: will Rove be able to get away with claiming that he did not know Plame was an undercover agent?

We all know what happened after Rove placed those calls. The question is, what will happen now?

From the way they've acted so far, the mainstream media would rather this scandal just go away (bloggers take note).

Just look at the way Newsweek handled the Rove-outed-Plame story in this week's edition. The editors obviously knew they had a hot story and could have pushed it hard. Instead, it's clear that they lawyered it within an inch of its life -- a bunch of legal eagles with faint hearts removing any juice and most of the meat from it.

As one of the Aspen wags put it: "Once Newsweek flushed the Koran down the toilet, you can bet they'll think twenty times before they pull down the handle again."

Want another example? Just look at how the White House press corps is dealing with the story: by avoiding it completely.

Today's press gaggle took place aboard Air Force One on the way to Scotland. Now, given that Rove may or may not be the subject of a federal investigation, one would think that our intrepid White House reporters might, you know, ask the White House spokesman about that.

But if you do a text search for the word "Rove," you'll see that not a single press person thought that the fact that the President of the United States' most trusted advisor is, at the very least, a key player in a criminal investigation was worth a single question to Scottie McClellan. Not a one.

This is all the more significant because of the role McClellan may eventually play in Rove's fate. As Newsweek reported and I blogged about, when this story began heating up, McClellan went out of his way to defend Rove -- saying that he'd been "assured" that Rove was not involved in the leaking.

"Rove will have no compunction about lying through his teeth to save himself, counting on the fact that Cooper's e-mails are, apparently, not cut and dried," one of the group said. And it doesn't hurt that Rove's underlings would rather fall on their swords than tell the truth... which, in the Bush White House, is seen as selling out. All of which would leave McClellan to "take one for the team and eat major crow about all the assurances he'd given the press." Of course, if they continue to avoid asking him about it, he may not even have to do that.

As the group started walking to the next seminar, my mind turned back to the Gergen-Warren conversation. Near the end, a woman stood up, identified herself as Jewish and asked Warren if she would be saved. He told her that he believed that you can only be saved through Jesus Christ. I only wished I had stood up and asked Warren: What will it take for Karl Rove to be saved?

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The One Very Good Reason Karl Rove Might Be Indicted
By Lawrence O'Donnell
The Huffington Post
July 7, 2005

Two years ago, when I first read the federal law protecting the identities of covert agents, my reaction was the same as everyone else who reads it -- this is not an easy law to break. That's what I said on Hardball then in my first public discussion of the outing of Valerie Plame, and that's what I said on CNN the other night. Let's walk through the pieces that would have to fall into place for Karl Rove to have committed a crime when he revealed Plame's identity to Matt Cooper.

First, and most obviously, Valerie Plame had to be a covert agent when Rove exposed her to Cooper. It's not obvious that she was. The law has a specific definition of covert agent that she might not fit -- an overseas posting in the last five years, for example. But it's hard to believe the prosecutor didn't begin the grand jury session with a CIA witness certifying that Plame was a covert agent. If the prosecutor couldn't establish that, why bother moving on to the next witness?

Second, Rove had to know she was a covert agent. Cooper's article refers to Plame as "a CIA official." Most CIA officials are not covert agents.

Third, Rove had to know that the CIA was taking "affirmative measures" to hide her identity. Doesn't seem like the kind of thing a political operative would or should know.

Fourth, Rove had to be "authorized" to have classified information about covert agents or at least this one covert agent. Doesn't seem like the kind of security clearance a political operative would or should have.

I'll be surprised if all four of those elements of the crime line up perfectly for a Rove indictment. Surprised, not shocked. There is one very good reason to think they might. It is buried in one of the handful of federal court opinions that have come down in the last year ordering Matt Cooper and Judy Miller to testify or go to jail.

In February, Circuit Judge David Tatel joined his colleagues' order to Cooper and Miller despite his own, very lonely finding that indeed there is a federal privilege for reporters that can shield them from being compelled to testify to grand juries and give up sources. He based his finding on Rule 501 of the Federal Rules of Evidence, which authorizes federal courts to develop new privileges "in the light of reason and experience." Tatel actually found that reason and experience "support recognition of a privilege for reporters' confidential sources." But Tatel still ordered Cooper and Miller to testify because he found that the privilege had to give way to "the gravity of the suspected crime."

Judge Tatel's opinion has eight blank pages in the middle of it where he discusses the secret information the prosecutor has supplied only to the judges to convince them that the testimony he is demanding is worth sending reporters to jail to get. The gravity of the suspected crime is presumably very well developed in those redacted pages. Later, Tatel refers to "[h]aving carefully scrutinized [the prosecutor's] voluminous classified filings."

Some of us have theorized that the prosecutor may have given up the leak case in favor of a perjury case, but Tatel still refers to it simply as a case "which involves the alleged exposure of a covert agent." Tatel wrote a 41-page opinion in which he seemed eager to make new law -- a federal reporters' shield law -- but in the end, he couldn't bring himself to do it in this particular case. In his final paragraph, he says he "might have" let Cooper and Miller off the hook "[w]ere the leak at issue in this case less harmful to national security."

Tatel's colleagues are at least as impressed with the prosecutor's secret filings as he is. One simply said "Special Counsel's showing decides the case."

All the judges who have seen the prosecutor's secret evidence firmly believe he is pursuing a very serious crime, and they have done everything they can to help him get an indictment.

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Bush is biggest obstacle to a conservative court
BY ROBERT NOVAK
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST
July 7, 2005

Conservatives who have spent more than a decade planning for this moment to change the balance of power on the Supreme Court are reeling from blows delivered by two dissimilar political leaders: Edward M. Kennedy and George W. Bush. Sen. Kennedy has succeeded with the news media in establishing a new standard of ''mainstream conservatism'' for a justice. President Bush has put forth ''friendship'' as a qualification for being named to the high court.

Bush is by far the bigger obstacle in the way of a conservative court. While Kennedy's ploy presents a temporary problem, Bush's stance could be fatal. The right's morale was devastated by the president's comments in a USA Today telephone interview published on the newspaper's front page Tuesday: ''Al Gonzales is a great friend of mine. When a friend gets attacked, I don't like it.''

Bush is a stubborn man, who sounded like he might really nominate Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in the face of deep and broad opposition from the president's own political base.

Adding to the tension is word from court sources that ailing Chief Justice William Rehnquist also will announce his retirement before the week is over. That would enable Bush to play this game: Name one justice no less conservative than Rehnquist, and name Gonzales, whose past record suggests he would replicate retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on abortion and possibly other social issues. Thus, the present ideological orientation of the court would be unchanged, which would suit the left just fine. [...]

Comment: Horse hockey. While we do not doubt that Bush will play some kind of game to get his Supreme Court nominations approved, to suggest that the appointment of Alberto Gonzales would keep the "ideological orientation" of the court unchanged because of his stance on abortion is ridiculous. This is the same Alberto Gonzales who crafted the memo that essentially presented a legal justification for the use of torture by US forces. Bush and his gang need control of the Supreme Court if their imperialist crusade is to continue to grow. We would also note that this article was written by Robert Novak, the journalist who identified Valerie Plame as a CIA agent.

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Gonzales: "I'm not a candidate"

AG still may be nominee for court
By Jim Hughes
Denver Post Staff Writer
07/07/2005 03:59:58 AM

"People have been waiting for 11 years for a Supreme Court vacancy, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Wednesday in Denver, and so people have very strong views about this. (Post / Craig F. Walker)

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Wednesday welcomed President Bush's request for Supreme Court-watching activists to "tone down the heated rhetoric" after conservatives launched a vocal campaign against Gonzales' possible nomination to replace outgoing Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

"I would react the same way if I saw a friend attacked," Gonzales said in Denver two days after a USA Today article quoted Bush as saying: "Al Gonzales is a great friend of mine. When a friend gets attacked, I don't like it."

Conservative activists last week said they feared Gonzales might not add a truly conservative voice to the high court when it came to issues such as abortion and affirmative action. [...]

Comment: It seems that the real agenda here is to divert attention away from the ultra-conservatism and misdeeds of Bush's potential nominees in order to focus the debate on relatively inconsequential topics like abortion and affirmative action. A real debate would be about how Bush's nominees would vote on legislation that reduces civil liberties and other truly relevant topics related to the war on terror such as torture.

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West turns blind eye as police put Saddam's torturers back to work
From James Hider in Baghdad
The Times Online
07/07/05

IRAQI security forces, set up by American and British troops, torture detainees by pulling out their fingernails, burning them with hot irons or giving them electric shocks, Iraqi officials say. Cases have also been recorded of bound prisoners being beaten to death by police.

In their haste to put police on the streets to counter the brutal insurgency, Iraqi and US authorities have enlisted men trained under Saddam Hussein's regime and versed in torture and abuse, the officials told The Times. They said that recruits were also being drawn from the ranks of outlawed Shia militias.

Counter-insurgencies are rarely clean fights, but Iraq's dirty war is being waged under the noses of US and British troops whose mission is to end the abuses of the former dictatorship. Instead, they appear to have turned a blind eye to the constant reports of torture from Iraq's prisons.

Among the worst offenders cited are the Interior Ministry police commandos, a force made up largely of former army officers and special forces soldiers drawn from the ranks of Saddam's dissolved army. They are seen as the most effective tool the coalition has in fighting the insurgency.

"It's a gruesome situation we are in," a senior Iraqi official said. "You have to understand the situation when the special commandos were formed last August. They were taking on an awful lot of people in a great hurry. Many of them were people who served in Saddam's forces . . . The choice of taking them on was a difficult one. There was no supervision. There still really isn't any, and that applies to all the security forces. They're all doing this."

"This", said Saad Sultan, the Human Rights Ministry official in charge of monitoring Iraq's prisons, includes random arrests, sometimes without a warrant, hanging people from ceilings and beating them, attaching electrodes to ears, hands, feet and genitals, and holding hot irons to flesh.

Four of his 22 monitors have already quit their jobs, leaving a handful of lawyers to inspect scores of prisons.

"Two months ago I could go into a prison and more than 50 per cent of the people had been ill-treated," Mr Sultan said. Six months ago the situation had been even worse.

Reports of torture and abuse are commonplace. Omar, a 22-year-old student, said that he was picked up in a night raid on his home in Baghdad by police commandos, who dragged him away from his family to a detention facility. No one told him where he was or what he was accused of, he said. As he was marched into prison, policemen lined up to beat him and his fellow detainees. The prisoners' handcuffs were tightened until the men screamed.

The next day, he and his neighbour were blindfolded and transported to another facility, where his neighbour collapsed unconscious during a beating. He was then led into an interrogation room, where a policeman attached electrodes to his thumbs and toes. "I immediately asked what they wanted and he said something like, 'You have been targeting police and national guardsmen'. Without waiting for my response, he switched on the electricity, then kept on turning it off and on until I could hardly breathe.

"I screamed under torture," Omar said. "It's not a place to prove your courage. These guys are trying to kill you for nothing." He was released without charge after 12 days.

The abuse has not gone unnoticed by the coalition, but little has been done to address it. A US State Department report in February stated that Iraqi authorities had been accused of "arbitrary deprivation of life, torture, impunity, poor prison conditions - particularly in pre-trial detention facilities - and arbitrary arrest and detention." A Human Rights Watch report also noted that "unlawful arrest, long-term incommunicado detention, torture and other ill-treatment of detainees (including children) by Iraqi authorities have become routine and commonplace".

Evidence of extra-judicial killings by the security forces has also come to light. Mr Sultan is investigating the case of three members of the Badr Corps, the paramilitary wing of one of the main Shia parties in government, who were arrested by police, handcuffed and beaten to death.

An Iraqi official said that the Iraqi National Guard, the US-trained paramilitary police, regularly disposed of the corpses of its victims by throwing them in the river. "The problem is that some people have still got that training from the past," he said. "You have ten or twelve of them in the same unit working, and if they seize terrorists they will torture or kill them."

He added that while the de facto death squads were not part of government policy, little was being done to counteract them. "These are exceptional times. It's an emergency."

General Adnan Thabet, the commandos' commander and a special adviser to the Interior Minister, was a senior officer under Saddam. He was sentenced to death for plotting against the former dictator and was tortured after his sentence was commuted.

He denied any allegation of torture, but admitted: "This is a dirty war. We are the only ones with the nerves to fight it."

Comment: As the occupying power in Iraq, US leaders know exactly what is occurring in Iraqi prisons. The US trained the security forces and unleashed them upon an already battered Iraqi public. Saddam's Regime has been replaced by a fascist US puppet government, complete with death squads. Who are the real terrorists here?

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Bush was right, but too late
By Robert Fisk
07/07/05

I belong to that generation of undergraduates who cut their teeth on linguistics. Lancaster University in its second year of existence: Class of '67, if I'm not mistaken, was as innovative as it was a bit odd. "Digs" were on the Morecombe seafront, lectures in a converted chapel and tutorials in an old linen factory. But the books we studied invariably included the immensely boring Zelig Harris and the stunningly brilliant Noam Chomsky.

Less famous then than now, it was Chomsky who introduced me to the "foregrounded element." That is when someone places words in such an order that a new meaning is attached to them or deliberately leaves out a word that we might expect. The big bad man emphasizes the meanness of the man. But the bad big man makes us think of size. "Big" has been "foregrounded." Real linguists won't like the above definition but journalists, I fear, sometimes have to distort in order to make plain.

Presidents too, it seems. Because I did a little linguistic analysis on George W. Bush's Fort Bragg address to Americans on June 28 and came up with some pretty strange results. First, of course, was his use of the words "terrorism" and "terror" 33 times.

More interesting was the way in which he deployed these massed ranks of terrorists. If you divided his speech up into eight parts, "terrorists" or "terror" popped up eight times in the first, eight times in the second, three times in the third, nine in the fourth, two in the fifth, none at all in the sixth, a measly three in the seventh and again none at all in the eighth.

The columns in which "terror" disappeared were full of different clichés. Challenge, a good constitution (an Iraqi one, of course), a chance to vote, a free society, certain truths (I won't insult you by telling you where that was snitched from), defending our freedom, flying the flag, great turning points in the story of freedom, prevail (one of Churchill's favorite words) and no higher call.

Put through Chomsky's machine, Bush's speech begins by frightening the audience to death with terrorism and finishes triumphantly by rousing them to patriotic confidence in their country's future victory.

It wasn't actually a speech at all. It was a movie script, a screenplay.

The bad guys are really bad but they're going to get their comeuppance because the good guys are going to win.

Other elements of the Bush speech were, of course, woefully dishonest.

It's a bit much for Bush to claim that "terrorists" want to "topple governments" when the only guys who've been doing that -- in Afghanistan and Iraq -- were, ahem, ahem, the Americans.

There are plenty of references to the evil nature of "the enemy" -- tyranny and oppression, remnants, the old order -- and a weird new version of the Iraqi-9/11 lie. Instead of Saddam's non-existent alliance with al-Qaida, we now have the claim from Bush that the Iraqi "terrorists who kill innocent men, women and children on the streets of Baghdad are followers of the same murderous ideology that took the lives of our citizens" on Sept. 11, 2001. Whoops! It's no longer the Saddam regime that was involved in these attacks, it seems; it's now the post-Saddam insurgents who are part of the same gang.

It's strange that for a White House that writes screenplays, the words of Osama bin Laden appear so uninteresting. Whenever Bin Laden speaks, no one bothers to read through his speech. The questions are always: Was it him? Is he alive? Where is he? Never: What did he say?

There are real perils in this. Let me show you why. On Feb. 13, 2003, bin Laden's latest audiotape was broadcast by the Arabic satellite channel, al-Jazeera. This, remember, was five weeks before the Anglo-American invasion.

In that message, bin Laden made a statement in which he said that "it is beyond doubt that this crusader war is ... directed against the family of Islam, irrespective of whether the Socialist party and Saddam survive or not ... Despite our belief and our proclamation concerning the infidelity of socialists, in present-day circumstances there is a coincidence of interests between Muslims and socialists in their battles against the Crusaders."

And there you have it. Bin Laden, who hated Saddam -- he told me this himself, in person -- made a call to his followers to fight alongside an Iraqi force that included Saddam's Iraqi Baathist "Socialists." This was the moment when Iraq's future guerrilla army fused with the future suicide bombers, the message that would create the detonation that would engulf the West in Iraq. And we didn't even notice. The U.S. "experts" waffled about whether bin Laden was alive -- not what he said. For once, Bush got it right -- but he was too late. Always, as they say, read the text.

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DoE Seeks Star Trek Phasers For Nuclear Plants
by Martin Sieff
UPI
Jul 08, 2005

Washington - The Department of Energy is turning to old Star Trek phasers to protect its 103 civilian nuclear plants.

Energy weapons capable of harmlessly stunning intruders are being developed and should be in general use by 2008. But many experts warn they will be inadequate and unnecessary for the real security dangers nuclear plant guards would face.

U. S scientists have unveiled details of a project that aims to develop Star Trek-style ray guns that could keep "security adversaries" out of DoE nuclear sites, the vnu.com web-site in the Netherlands reported this week.

The DoE's Office of Security and Safety Performance Assurance together with the Department of Defense, is "exploring the potential" of directed-energy weapons based on millimeter-wave rays, vnu.com said.

The report comes amid increasing fears that the 103 civilian nuclear power stations in the United States and the Department of Energy's other nuclear facilities are insufficiently guarded.

A recent in-depth investigation by Time magazine found that there are only 8,000 full-time guards employed to cover all the nuclear power plants in America, giving an average of only 80 per power plant, of whom not more than 60 and probably even less would be on duty on any given shift.

The magazine also reported that the guard towers around the plants are called "iron coffins" by the guards who man them and that they could not repel even a .50-caliber rifle bullet.

The appeal of the weapon is that it would permit security guards in nuclear power stations and other facilities to fire more freely against assailants who had penetrated into the plant without having to worry that stray bullets would smash crucial pieces of machinery.

Terrorists who had penetrated into such installations would not be worried about inflicting such damage and would therefore have the potential advantage in any shoot-out.

The proposed new weapons being developed have been designated Active Denial Technology (ADT). And they are an emerging class of non-lethal weaponry using 95GHz millimeter-wave directed energy, vnu.com said.

According to the DoE, the technology is capable of rapidly heating human skin to a pain level that has been demonstrated as "very effective at repelling people" without apparently burning the skin or causing other secondary effects.

ADT emits a 95GHz non-ionizing electromagnetic beam of energy that penetrates approximately 1/64 of an inch into human skin tissue, where nerve receptors are concentrated.

Within seconds, the beam will heat the exposed skin tissue to a level where intolerable pain is experienced and natural defense mechanisms take over. This intense heating sensation stops only if the individual moves out of the beam's path or the beam is turned of, vnu.com said.

The sensation caused by the system has been described by test subjects as feeling like touching a hot frying pan or the intense radiant heat from a fire. Burn injury is prevented by limiting the beam's intensity and duration, the web-site said.

Sandia National Laboratories, a Nuclear Security Administration lab, will investigate how the technology could be used on adversaries by developing a small ADT system to protect U.S. nuclear sites.

However, the project still faces many technical challenges, so Sandia has launched partnerships with the Raytheon Corporation and the Air Force Research Laboratory as both organizations have significant experience with earlier ADT developments, vnu.com said.

The idea of developing energy-directed hand-weapons to be able to inflict non-lethal and non-destructive damage in guarding technologically complex installations is not a new one.

In the mid 1990s the US Air Force funded development of an ADT prototype which resulted in several ongoing projects, such as the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate's Vehicle Mounted Active Denial System Force Transformation's project Sheriff program, vnu.com said. [...]

The effects of the new technology promise to be far-reaching. It could offer reliable non-lethal force weapons that would prove invaluable in prison security, riot control and even to beat cops. [...]

Comment: More "non-lethal" toys for the stormtroopers!

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Unocal may back bid by China's CNOOC if it meets conditions - report
AFX UK Focus
2005-07-07 00:40 GMT

BEIJING - Unocal Corp has told CNOOC Ltd it will consider withdrawing its backing for a 16.5 bln usd bid by Chevron Corp in favour of the Chinese company's 18.5 bln usd offer if it pledged to meet a number of conditions, the Financial Times reported.

The newspaper, citing people close to the situation, said the conditions include requests for divestments and other demands from US regulators.

The paper said CNOOC and Unocal have been in negotiations over the state-controlled group's landmark bid for the last 10 days.

The US oil and gas group has set out what it would take for the Chinese offer to be declared "superior" to Chevron's.

Negotiations have also focused on specific pledges CNOOC might be prepared to make to defuse US regulators' concerns, the paper said.

The CNOOC bid, launched last month, was pitched at a premium to Chevron's offer partly because of fears Washington could block the Chinese group's takeover.

With the price of CNOOC's bid so far fixed at 67 usd a share, the talks have turned to other details in the merger agreement, such as a "material adverse change" clause as well as the treatment of Unocal management, employees and the pension plan.

People close to the situation warned that CNOOC had not taken a final decision on whether to comply with Unocal's requests. [...]

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Israeli troops arrest 10 Palestinians
AFP
Fri Jul 8, 7:25 AM ET

JERUSALEM - Israeli troops overnight arrested 10 Palestinians, including six suspected members of the radical Islamic Jihad faction.

Three alleged Jihad militants were arrested in the northern
West Bank city of Jenin during an Israeli incursion, in which troops opened fire but no one was injured, military sources said Friday.

Another three were picked up in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, where another four Palestinians in possession of hunting rifles were also arrested.

Late last month, Israeli troops detained well over 70 suspected Islamic Jihad members across the West Bank, after the group claimed responsibility for a series of attacks despite its allegiance to a de facto truce.

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Hurricane Dennis Kills Five in Haiti
By STEVENSON JACOBS
Associated Press
July 8, 2005

MORANT BAY, Jamaica - Hurricane Dennis swept away a bridge and peeled tin roofs off homes in Haiti, killing at least five people as it strengthened to a Category 4 storm and headed straight for Cuba. Forecasters said it could reach the U.S. Gulf Coast by Sunday.

The Hurricane Center in Miami said the eye was swirling over water about 100 miles south of the Cuban coast and moving to the northwest at about 15 miles an hour.

The hurricane's winds neared 135 mph as it sideswiped Jamaica on Thursday. Forecasters predicted the storm could hit the United States anywhere from Florida to Louisiana by Sunday or Monday, raising fears that oil production in the Gulf of Mexico would be disrupted by the fourth storm in as many weeks.

Thunderstorms swept over the Dominican Republic, southern Haiti and northeast Jamaica. The Cayman Islands and Cuba were under hurricane warnings, including the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay holding some 520 terror suspects.

Hurricane Center forecasters warned the Sierra Maestra Mountains in southeastern Cuba could get 15 inches of rain, while Jamaica's coffee-producing Blue Mountains could see 10 inches. Hurricane force winds reached 50 miles from eye and tropical storm force winds another 140 miles.

In the southwestern Haitian town of Grand Goave, an Associated Press Television News reporter saw at least four people killed when a wood and metal bridge collapsed. Witnesses said the river came suddenly rushing over the bridge.

Elsewhere on the dangerously deforested island, wind gusts uprooted a palm tree and sent it into a mud hut, killing a fifth person in the southern town of Les Cayes, the Red Cross said. Many homes and roads in the south were flooded, some by as much as three feet of water.

The Florida Keys were under a hurricane warning Thursday and ordered tourists to evacuate, and the southern Florida peninsula was on tropical storm watch, expecting severe conditions within 36 hours.

In Jamaica, Prime Minister Percival Patterson urged people in low-lying areas to evacuate. [...]

The hurricane center warned the eye could pass over central Cuba sometime Friday afternoon. In the communist-run island, where the military-style government has been praised by the United Nations for its extensive hurricane preparedness plans, more than 100,000 people had been evacuated in the island's southeast, civil defense officials said on state television.

There were no immediate plans to evacuate detainees or troops from the U.S. detention center's Camp Delta at Guantanamo Bay, located on Cuba's extreme southeast end about 150 yards from the ocean, Gen. Jay Hood said.

Troops put heavy steel shutters on sea-facing cell windows as heavy surf sent splashes of salt spray over the razor wire fence. Officials said Camp Delta was built to withstand winds up to 90 mph. [...]

Comment: The camp was designed to withstand winds up to 90 mph, and yet the hurricane's winds neared 135 mph on Thursday...

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Drought-hit Portugal battles wildfires, homes threatened
AFP
July 08, 2005

LISBON - Hundreds of firefighters were on Friday battling several wildfires in central and northern Portugal which threatened homes and forced the closure of several roads, including the nation's busiest highway.

Five water-dropping aircraft and more than 200 firefighters were at the scene of the biggest blaze near Albergaria-a-Velha, some 250 kilometres north of Lisbon, emergency services workers said.

The wildfire led local authorities to close a stretch of the nation's main highway, linking Lisbon to second-city Oporto in the north, for over seven hours because of the heavy smoke and threat to vehicles from the flames.

Local residents scrambled to protect their homes by using buckets of water and tree branches to put out the flames, images on state television RTP showed.

"Firefighters have the fire in their hands, it is getting controlled," the mayor of Albergaria-a-Velha, Joao Agostinho, told the television station.

"We could have had a catastrophe here," he added.

Firefighters suspect arsonists may be responsible for the blaze, which erupted in the early hours of Friday and was fueled by winds of up to 120 kilometres (75 miles) and hour, the mayor added.

Further north firefighters in the district of Oporto were battling some 30 wildfires of various sizes.

The fires caused ashes to rain down on downtown Oporto, private radio TSF reported.

Local officials said they had asked the army for help in the battle against the wildfires, which come as Portugal is facing its worst drought in decades.

Wildfires destroyed 21,504 hectares (53,115 acres) of brush and forest during the first six months of the year, compared with an average of 15,751 hectares during the past five years, agriculture ministry figures show.

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Catastrophic Sand Avalanches, Sea Level Changes Found In Gulf Of Mexico
SPX
July 08, 2005

Gulf of Mexico TX - An international team of marine research scientists working for the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) have found new evidence that links catastrophic sand avalanches in deep Gulf waters to rapid sea level changes.

By analyzing downhole measurements and freshly retrieved sediment cores, IODP scientists are reconstructing the history of a basin formed approximately 20,000 years ago, when sea level fell so low that the Texas shoreline shifted almost 100 miles to the south.

The data are important to reconstructing climate change history and gathering insights about the development and placement of natural resources, particularly gas and oil deposits.

"The basin we chose to study is the ultimate sink of sediments transported by the Brazos and Trinity Rivers," explains cochief scientist Peter Flemings of Pennsylvania State University's Geosciences Department.

"Over the last 120,000 years, the basin accumulated enough sand and mud to cover the entire city of Houston with a 20-foot thick layer."

During the last glacial period, sediments discharged by rivers such as the Brazos and Trinity formed beaches and deltas near the continental shelf's edge.

Catastrophic submarine sand avalanches, called turbidity currents, carried the sediments into the deep-water Gulf of Mexico, where they accumulated in bowl-shaped basins.

Carlos Pirmez, a research geologist with Shell International E&P in Houston and a member of the science party explains, "Bowl-shaped basins such as the Brazos Basin IV are now buried thousands of meters beneath the Gulf of Mexico seafloor and host billions of barrels of oil and gas. Sediment records we acquire from the young basin off Texan shores will boost our understanding of how deeply buried reservoirs are formed, and how oil and gas can be drained from them more effectively."

Jan Behrmann, Fleming's cochief and a professor at Germany's University of Freiburg emphasizes that, "The goal of this expedition is not to explore or drill for oil, which lies much deeper than the sediments we recovered. But in the next several months, this science party will analyze sediment samples and will gain understanding of when and how turbidites form. We will then have a better picture of why and where these important deposits are formed."

The expedition scientists plan to obtain detailed measurements of changes in sediment and fluid properties to enable prediction of the mechanics of catastrophic underwater flows known as turbidity currents.

These currents are akin to underwater avalanches and carry large amounts of sand and mud in suspension, sometimes for hundreds of miles, at speeds up to 70 miles per hour near the seabed.

Sediments from these currents constitute an important piece of evidence in the study of sea level and climate change. Often, large petroleum reservoirs are found in the porous and permeable turbidite sands in deep water.

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Scientists Use Meteors To Investigate Climate Change And Giant Waves At 'Edge Of Space'
University of Bath
2005-07-06

A new research radar based in Antarctica is giving scientists the chance to study the highest layer of the earth's atmosphere at the very edge of space.

Using the new radar, scientists will be able to investigate climate change and explore the theory that while the lower atmosphere is warming, the upper atmosphere is cooling by as much as 1 degree centigrade each year.

They will also be able to find out more about the complex waves, tides and other mechanisms that link this region - known as the mesosphere - to the lower regions of the atmosphere.

At heights of around 80-100km (50-62 miles) the mesosphere is notoriously difficult to investigate and is the least-explored part of the earth's atmosphere.

The low air pressure at this altitude means that it is impossible to fly aircraft in the mesosphere and even the huge weather balloons that are used to measure stratospheric ozone cannot climb high enough to reach this altitude.

Satellites begin to burn up when they enter the mesosphere, so the new radar - just installed at the Rothera research base in Antarctica in a joint project between the University of Bath and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) - will help scientists explore the region using remote sensing.

"Fortunately, nature provides us with an excellent answer to the problem of investigating the mesosphere," said Professor Nick Mitchell who heads the project in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Bath.

"Meteors, or 'shooting stars', burn up in the mesosphere. The meteors drift just like weather balloons so we can use a radar on the Earth and bounce radio waves off the meteors to find how fast they are moving and so measure the winds at the edge of space.

"The fading of the radio echoes from the meteors also lets us measure the temperature of the atmosphere. We can detect thousands of meteors in any one day and with this information study the waves and tides that flow around the planet on a continuous basis.

"The mesosphere has been called the miner's canary for climate change; meaning that it is very sensitive and the changes there may be larger than in any other part of the atmosphere.

"Evidence of these changes comes from sightings of noctilucent clouds, very unusual clouds seen only in polar regions and known to be in the mesosphere. These clouds don't seem to have been observed before 1885 and may mark the onset of a long-term cooling of the upper atmosphere". [...]

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Study Finds Shuttle Exhaust Is Source Of Mysterious Clouds In Antarctica
SPX
July 07, 2005

Washington DC - A new study, funded in part by the Naval Research Laboratory and the NASA reports that exhaust from the space shuttle can create high-altitude clouds over Antarctica mere days following launch, providing valuable insight to global transport processes in the lower thermosphere.

The same study also finds that the shuttle's main engine exhaust plume carries small quantities of iron that can be observed from the ground, half a world away.

The international team of authors of the study, which appears in the July 6 issue of Geophysical Research Letters, used the STS-107 Shuttle mission as a case study to show that exhaust released in the lower thermosphere, near 110 kilometers altitude, can form Antarctic polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs).

The thermosphere is the highest layer in our atmosphere, with the mesosphere (between 50-90 kilometers above the Earth), stratosphere, and troposphere below.

New observations presented by the research team from the Global Ultraviolet Imager (GUVI) on NASA's Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere, Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) satellite reveal transport of the STS-107 exhaust into the southern hemisphere just two days after the January 2003 launch.

Water from the exhaust ultimately led to a significant burst of PMCs during the 2002-2003 southern polar summer, observed by the Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet (SBUV) satellite experiment. The inter-hemispheric transport followed by Antarctic PMC formation were unexpected.

PMCs, also known as noctilucent clouds, appear near 83 kilometers altitude and are made up of water ice particles created through microphysical processes of nucleation, condensation, and sedimentation.

They typically appear in the frigid polar summer mesosphere where temperatures plummet below 130° Kelvin (-220° F). Little is known about the specific processes that lead to PMC formation.

According to the study's lead author, Dr. Michael Stevens, a research physicist at the E.O. Hulburt Center for Space Research at the Naval Research Laboratory, the research produced multiple groundbreaking science results.

"This research is exciting in that it extends a new explanation for the formation of these clouds by demonstrating the global effect of a Shuttle exhaust plume in a region of the atmosphere that has traditionally not been well understood," said Stevens.

Some believe that the impact of anthropogenic change in the lower atmosphere is reflected in these upper atmospheric clouds.

Although historically PMCs have only been seen in the polar region, in recent years PMCs have been spotted at lower latitudes as far south as Colorado and Utah, renewing interest and sparking debate on the implications.

However, the findings of this work, "call into question the interpretation of the impact of late 20th century PMC trends solely in terms of global climate change," Stevens said.

The team concludes that the water from a space shuttle's exhaust plume can contribute a remarkable 10-20 percent to PMCs observed during one summer season in Antarctica.

A key piece of data that confirmed the plume's arrival in Antarctica was the ground-based observation of iron atoms near 110 km. The presence of iron at this altitude originally perplexed scientists because there is no known natural source there.

The data imply that iron ablated, or vaporized, by the main engines of the Shuttle was transported along with the water plume, arriving in Antarctica three to four days after the January 2003 launch.

Both the water plume and the presence of iron demonstrate that the mean southward wind inferred from the team's data is much faster than gleaned from global circulation models or wind climatologies.

"This tells us something new and exciting about transport in this region of the atmosphere," said Stevens.

"It can be so fast that a shuttle plume can form ice over Antarctica before other loss processes can really take effect. We must take great care in interpreting the long-term implications to observations and features of these clouds because of this contribution from the shuttle and the potential contribution from many other smaller launch vehicles."

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BTK killer blames 'demon' for murders
USAToday.com
7/8/2005 3:51 AM

WICHITA (AP) - Confessed BTK serial killer Dennis Rader made his first public apology for the murders that horrified a community for a quarter-century, blaming a ''demon'' that got inside him at a young age.

"I have a lot of remorse. I'm very sorry for them. It is something I wouldn't want to happen to my family," he told KAKE-TV. The interview was conducted Saturday; some of it was aired Wednesday night with additional portions to air Thursday.

Rader, who pleaded guilty last week to 10 first-degree murders in the Wichita area from 1974 to 1991, nicknamed himself BTK, for "Bind, Torture, Kill," as he taunted media and police with cryptic messages about the crimes. He faces sentencing Aug. 17.

"I just know it's a dark side of me. It kind of controls me. I personally think it's a - and I know it is not very Christian - but I actually think it's a demon that's within me. ... At some point and time it entered me when I was very young," said Rader, who was once president of his Lutheran church.

Rader, 60, said his problems began in grade school, with his sexual fantasies that were "just a little bit weirder" than other people's.

"Somewhere along the line, someone had to pick something up from me somewhere that there was a problem," he said. "They should have identified it."

Rader said he felt for Dale Fox when he saw him cry on television while talking about the 1977 strangulation of Fox's daughter Nancy - a crime Rader has admitted - and said his own relatives also suffer.

"I am going to pay for it with a life sentence. The final victims are my ... family," he said.

Rader told the court last week that sexual fantasies drove him to kill. He told KAKE he was "totally unprepared" for the court's request for details of the crimes.

"I just wanted to get the facts out as quick as I could, try to not get too emotionally involved," he said.

On Thursday, the family of Vicki Wegerle, who was killed in 1986, filed a civil lawsuit seeking unspecified damages against Rader - the second such action. A wrongful death suit was filed last week by the family of Marine Hedge, who was slain in 1985; that lawsuit is seeking more than $150,000 in damages.

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