Thursday, August 04, 2005                                               The Daily Battle Against Subjectivity
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Bush Insider Claim WTC Collapse Bogus Gets 'Huge Response' And Read By Millions Worldwide
By Greg Szymanski

When Morgan Reynolds called the official story about 9/11 bogus, it seemed like the whole world stopped for a moment to listen.

It seemed like a lighting bolt hit the heart of the government story, cracking it into a million unexplainable pieces.

And when the dust settled from his explosive statements, the highest-ranking member of the Bush team to make such an accusation said he wasn’t expecting any "invitations to the White House anytime soon."

Two weeks ago, the former chief economist in the Labor Department during President Bush’s first term told the world he thought the WTC fell from a controlled demolition, indicating 9/11 was "an inside government job."

Reynolds, a respected economist and former Republican conservative, made his claims after researching many aspects of 9/11, including scientific and engineering data for and against the government story.

He presented his findings on the Internet in a long, detailed article, concluding:

"It is hard to exaggerate the importance of a scientific debate over the cause(s) of the collapse of the twin towers and Building 7. If the official wisdom on the collapses is wrong, as I believe it is, then policy based on such erroneous engineering analysis is not likely to be correct either.

"The government's collapse theory is highly vulnerable on its own terms. Only professional demolition appears to account for the full range of facts associated with the collapse of the three buildings.

"More importantly, momentous political and social consequences would follow if impartial observers concluded that professionals imploded the WTC. Meanwhile, the job of scientists, engineers and impartial researchers everywhere is to get the scientific and engineering analysis of 9/11 right."

Considering his place among the Republican faithful, once the media got its "claws into his controversial remarks," his words quickly spread with the help of cyberspace like an out of control wildfire.

Not only did millions read his story on the Internet, but Reynolds controversial comments then drew instant attention from numerous mainstream newspapers, radio and television stations, including UPI, MSNBC, FOX News and over a dozen other major market local radio and TV stations.

It was a story that "grew wings," a story Reynolds never expected would get so much attention and such a large audience.

"I had a huge response and it really was amazing. I never expected so many people to respond so passionately," said Reynolds this week in a telephone interview. "I literally received hundreds and hundreds of emails, some agreeing with me and others, of course, disagreeing.

"After it was all said and done, as things are starting to finally quiet down now, I would guess it was about 5 to 1 in favor of what I was saying. However, I never imagined how much support there was out there for what I was suggesting occurred on 9/11."

Without mincing words, as he did in his article, Reynolds quickly changed the subject, again placing the blame squarely on the government for not coming clean about what happened on 9/11, saying it’s important to get to the bottom of a "story that dwarfs all others in comparison."

"What it boils down to is that the government and the mainstream media are not digging into the 9/11 controversy because they are hiding something," said Reynolds. "From a media point of view, it’s the story of the century and they are not even trying to connect the dots."

Continuing to throw some punches at his former employer, he added:

"It’s nothing new. The government has always lied about so many things. Look at the Downing Street Memo, for example, the document confirming that the Bush administration lied to us about its motives for getting into the war.

" If they lied to us about this, what else? Well, 9/11 is just another example."

To add more fuel to the hot 9/11 controversy, William Rodriguez, the WTC janitor who heard and felt a strong explosion in the basement levels of the north tower just seconds before the jetliner crashed into the top floors, recently came forward to tell his story, adding further credibility to Reynolds’ conclusions.

Rodriguez claims a massive underground explosion brought down the towers. His story is strengthened further by 14 other eye witnesses who can verify his claims, as well as a burn victim from the basement explosion who he helped to safety.

Immediately following 9/11, Rodriguez tried to tell his story, but claims the 9/11 Commission and the mainstream media have systematically censored his words in order to protect the official government story, a story ignoring the possibility of explosives being used to bring down the WTC.

Commenting on Rodriguez, Reynolds said:

"It’s not a coincidence that there was first an explosion below and then the jetliner explosion seconds later above. At least there should have been a thorough investigation since the timing of the explosions strikes me as an impossibility if you believe, as the government contends, that only a jetliner brought down the towers."

Reynolds added that nobody from the Bush administration has officially contacted him about his statements suggesting 9/11 was an "inside job," but said he was aware that "administration operatives" have carried his message into the halls of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

"How high up it went, I just don’t know," he added.

Asked if he was going to continue to research and write about 9/11, Reynolds said:

"Yes, of course, I see it as a citizen’s duty and I hope to do some more writing on the subject very soon."

For more informative articles, go to where donations are accepted to keep the news flowing in the wake of media apathy.

Comment: Reynolds states:

"After it was all said and done, as things are starting to finally quiet down now, I would guess it was about 5 to 1 in favor of what I was saying. However, I never imagined how much support there was out there for what I was suggesting occurred on 9/11."

In these words we have a clue to how many people in the US REALLY do not believe the official government party line. But, with the US mainstream media almost totally in thrall to the US government, ordinary people have no way of knowing that a majority of their fellow citizens may well already believe that their government is lying to them about the reality of the 9/11 attacks. All the more reason to keep reading sites like Signs of the Times.

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The Neo-Shill Media
When Armageddon Gets No Press

August 2, 2005

What has become of the print and TV media watchdogs who hounded President Nixon from office because he lied about when he learned of a minor burglary of no consequence in itself?

What became of the watchdog media that bayed after President Reagan because some low level neoconservative officials sold arms to Iran and diverted the money to anti-communist insurgents in Latin America?

President Clinton was impeached by the House, though not convicted by the Senate, for lying about a sexcapade with a White House intern.

Now that we really need them, the watchdog media has hired out as public relations and propaganda shills for the Bush administration and the neocon network.

The entire Bush administration-not merely the president-is involved in the most extraordinary lies and fabrication of false intelligence claims in order to lead America into an unwarranted and illegal invasion of Iraq, an invasion that has cost the US taxpayers $300 billion and resulted in the deaths and maiming of tens of thousands of people.

The sordid affair has been revealed in leaked top secret Downing Street memos, which were prepared for UK prime minister Tony Blair and his cabinet. Unlike the Nixon episode, there is no need to search for a "smoking gun." Smoking guns have been printed all over the pages of the London Times. Yet hardly a peep from the watchdog media.

The August 1 issue of The American Conservative reports that Vice President Cheney has instructed the US Strategic Command to prepare a plan to spread the war by attacking Iran with tactical nuclear weapons in the event of another terrorist attack on the US. Appalled US Air Force officers have leaked the story, but you have not learned of it from the tamed media.

A federal prosecutor seems to be closing in on Karl Rove, president Bush's righthand man, and on Scooter Libby, vice president Cheney's righthand man. The two are suspected of leaking the identity of a covert CIA agent, a felony. Both have had to hire lawyers. But there is no demand for accountability from the US media.

American civil liberties have been trounced by the "Patriot" Act. Torture of detainees is now a routine practice of the US government and defended by the attorney general. Senators and military officers who try to place constraints on the inhumane treatment of detainees are stonewalled by the White House.

The mainstream media has been co-opted as propaganda organ for the Bush administration. How did this come about?

It came about through media concentration. There are no longer independent voices in the mainstream media. American news reporting is a corporate operation run with a view to advertising profits and the accommodation of government in order to protect holdings of valuable federal licenses. For reporters and editors, knowing what to say and not to say is the main qualification for job security.

A person who wants to find out anything must go online and spend time learning the sites that are trustworthy.

The Internet, thought invaluable for spreading news, hasn't the impact on the public of a story pounded over and over on TV news or newspaper front pages. Exposure on the Internet doesn't have the same embarrassment factor as exposure on TV news and the New York Times front page.

The public is still socialized into taking its cue from the old TV and print media. This media is now heavily controlled, partly through job fears of editors and reporters.

This raises the question whether government officials who have broken the law and betrayed trust will be held accountable.

Consider the implications if the Bush administration escapes accountability:

The executive branch will have established itself as above the law.

The executive, armed with a compliant media, will have war-making power subject only to successful PR spin. It means the final end of the people's right to declare war via elected representatives in Congress.

The few remaining restraints on the executive's ability to detain people indefinitely without charges will be removed. This power will silence the Internet.

Spiteful neighbors, employees, former spouses, whomever will gain the power to report any disliked person. The anti-terrorist apparatus needs victims to demonstrate its effectiveness, and as warrants, hearings, and evidence are no longer required, Americans will simply disappear like Soviet citizens in the Stalin era.

The "imperial judiciary" will disappear overnight. No checks and balances will remain.

Gentle reader, you can continue with this theme in "How the Worst Get on Top," a chapter in F.A. Hayek's classic, The Road to Serfdom. You might as well learn what it is going to be like as you are already half way there.

The worst rise rapidly as the honest depart the corrupt system. Two US Military prosecutors, Major Robert Preston and Captain John Carr, resigned after denouncing rigged Guantanamo trials of detainees as "a severe threat to the reputation of the military justice system and a fraud on the American people." (see

Altogether now, let's yell, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any longer."

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Americans "worried" about role in world: poll 2005-08-04 08:07:40

BEIJING, Aug. 4 -- Americans are worried about their role in the world, the US reputation in Muslim nations and rising deaths in Iraq, but have no idea how their fears could be remedied, according to a poll published yesterday.

Three out of four Americans polled by Foreign Affairs journal and Public Agenda were worried both about losing trust abroad and concerned about hatred of the United States in Muslim nations.

Two-thirds of those polled believed that the world had a negative view of the United States and one in 10 actually used the word "bully" to describe foreign perceptions of their country.

Eighty-two per cent of those surveyed worried a lot, or somewhat, that the Iraq War was leading to too many casualties.

"Americans are broadly uneasy about the quality of our relations with the rest of the world, especially Muslim nations," said Public Agenda Chairman Daniel Yankelovich.

"The questions reveal widespread doubts about the country's current course. But there is no consensus on which direction to take."

As to how the United States should wield power in the world, those surveyed were undecided.

Comment: From being worried to actually taking steps to do something about it, quite the leap. How long will it take? How bad will it have to get?

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Bush Remarks On 'Intelligent Design' Theory Fuel Debate
By Peter Baker and Peter Slevin
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, August 3, 2005; A01

President Bush invigorated proponents of teaching alternatives to evolution in public schools with remarks saying that schoolchildren should be taught about "intelligent design," a view of creation that challenges established scientific thinking and promotes the idea that an unseen force is behind the development of humanity.

Although he said that curriculum decisions should be made by school districts rather than the federal government, Bush told Texas newspaper reporters in a group interview at the White House on Monday that he believes that intelligent design should be taught alongside evolution as competing theories.

"Both sides ought to be properly taught . . . so people can understand what the debate is about," he said, according to an official transcript of the session. Bush added: "Part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought. . . . You're asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, and the answer is yes."

These comments drew sharp criticism yesterday from opponents of the theory, who said there is no scientific evidence to support it and no educational basis for teaching it.

Much of the scientific establishment says that intelligent design is not a tested scientific theory but a cleverly marketed effort to introduce religious -- especially Christian -- thinking to students. Opponents say that church groups and other interest groups are pursuing political channels instead of first building support through traditional scientific review. [...]

Comment: Of course! Tell all the American children about "god", that wonderful, loving deity that speaks personally to Bush and tells him to send the US military to massacre the children of other nations. By doing so, Bush and his psychopathic pals in the White House can ensure that there will be a continuous supply of cannon fodder who will march off to wage war on innocent people and die for ideals that are nothing but lies.

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President Makes It Clear: Phrase Is 'War on Terror'
The New York Times
August 4, 2005

GRAPEVINE, Tex., Aug. 3 - President Bush publicly overruled some of his top advisers on Wednesday in a debate about what to call the conflict with Islamic extremists, saying, "Make no mistake about it, we are at war."

In a speech here, Mr. Bush used the phrase "war on terror" no less than five times. Not once did he refer to the "global struggle against violent extremism," the wording consciously adopted by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other officials in recent weeks after internal deliberations about the best way to communicate how the United States views the challenge it is facing.

In recent public appearances, Mr. Rumsfeld and senior military officers have avoided formulations using the word "war," and some of Mr. Bush's top advisers have suggested that the administration wanted to jettison what had been its semiofficial wording of choice, "the global war on terror."

In an interview last week about the new wording, Stephen J. Hadley, Mr. Bush's national security adviser, said that the conflict was "more than just a military war on terror" and that the United States needed to counter "the gloomy vision" of the extremists and "offer a positive alternative."

But administration officials became concerned when some news reports linked the change in language to signals of a shift in policy. At the same time, Mr. Bush, by some accounts, told aides that he was not happy with the new phrasing, a change of tone from the wording he had consistently used since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

It is not clear whether the new language embraced by other administration officials was adopted without Mr. Bush's approval or whether he reversed himself after the change was made. Either way, he planted himself on Wednesday firmly on the side of framing the conflict primarily in military terms and appeared intent on emphasizing that there had been no change in American policy.

"We're at war with an enemy that attacked us on September the 11th, 2001," Mr. Bush said in his address here, to the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group of state legislators. "We're at war against an enemy that, since that day, has continued to kill."

Mr. Bush made a nod to the criticism that "war on terror" was a misleading phrase in the sense that the enemy is not terrorism, but those who used it to achieve their goals. In doing so, he used the word "war," as he did at least 13 other times in his 47-minute speech, most of which was about domestic policy.

"Make no mistake about it, this is a war against people who profess an ideology, and they use terror as a means to achieve their objectives," he said.

Gen. Richard B. Myers of the Air Force, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on July 18 in an address to the National Press Club that he had "objected to the use of the term 'war on terrorism' before, because if you call it a war, then you think of people in uniform as being the solution."

General Myers said then that the threat instead should be defined as violent extremists, with the recognition that "terror is the method they use."

On Wednesday, in its efforts to hammer home the point that the "war" phraseology was still administration policy, the White House sent e-mail messages to reporters after Mr. Bush's speech with some excerpts of an address delivered Tuesday by Mr. Rumsfeld. In that speech, Mr. Rumsfeld backed away from the new language he had been employing in recent weeks.

"Some ask, are we still engaged in a war on terror?" Mr. Rumsfeld said. "Let there be no mistake about it. It's a war. The president properly termed it that after Sept. 11. The only way to defend against terrorism is to go on the attack."

In a telephone interview on Wednesday evening, a spokesman for the Pentagon, Lawrence Di Rita, sought to play down any disagreement between Mr. Rumsfeld and the president, citing the secretary's speech on Tuesday, in Dallas.

"The secretary doesn't feel this is push back," Mr. Di Rita said. "He feels it's an important clarification."

In introducing the new language, administration officials had suggested that the change reflected an evolution in the president's thinking nearly four years after the Sept. 11 attacks and had been adopted after discussions among Mr. Bush's senior advisers that began in January.

The new slogan quickly become grist for late-night comics and drew news coverage that linked it with the emergence of a broad new approach to defining and attacking the problem of Islamic extremism through diplomacy and efforts to build closer ties to moderate Muslims, as well as through military action.

Mr. Bush arrived in Texas on Tuesday, and is spending the rest of the month at his vacation home in Crawford. After winning a string of legislative victories before Congress recessed for the summer, Mr. Bush also used his appearance here to try to build support for the issues that will be at the top of his agenda when he returns to Washington.

He said that he would continue to push to overhaul Social Security and that he would press ahead with his call for a new approach to immigration despite the deep divisions it has exposed in his party.

Eric Schmitt contributed reporting from Washington for this article.

Comment: It seems Bush's advisors decided to take matters into their own hands, and Bush had to remind them that he is the fuhrer.

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N.Y. politicians support profiling in terror checks
Wednesday, August 3, 2005; Posted: 11:15 a.m. EDT

NEW YORK (AP) -- Middle Easterners should be targeted for searches on city subways, two elected officials said, contending that police have been wasting time with random checks in efforts to prevent terrorism in the transit system.

The city began examining passengers' bags on subways and buses after the second bomb attack in London two weeks ago. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have said several times that officers will not engage in racial profiling.

But over the weekend, state Assemblyman Dov Hikind said police should be focusing on those who fit the "terrorist profile."

"They all look a certain way," said Hikind, a Democrat from Brooklyn. "It's all very nice to be politically correct here, but we're talking about terrorism."

On Tuesday, Republican City Councilman James Oddo said the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attack by Middle Eastern men in hijacked airplanes prompted him to publicly declare his support for Hikind's statements.

"The reality is that there is a group of people who want to kill us and destroy our way of life," he said. "Young Arab fundamentalists are the individuals undertaking these acts of terror, and we should keep those facts prominently in our minds and eyes as we attempt to secure our populace."

Oddo commended Hikind for "rushing headlong against the strong undertow of political correctness."

Hikind said he planned to introduce legislation allowing police to racially profile, and Oddo said he intended to introduce a resolution in the City Council supporting the measure.

The director of the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Wissam Nasr, said their push for racial profiling is offensive and ignorant.

"Terror comes in all shapes and sizes, and certainly there's no legislation or system that's going to identify terrorists on the spot," Nasr said.

The New York Police Department said in a statement that racial profiling is "illegal, of doubtful effectiveness and against department policy."

The Republican mayor reiterated Tuesday that it is against the law and doesn't work. "I'm against it for fairness reasons, and we're not going to do it," he said.

Comment: Given the number of "Arab terrorists" that continue to be imprisoned without charge by the Bush administration, it would be foolish to assume that people who "look like terrorists" will be any safer inside the US.

The war on terror is all about fear. The people could be forced to accept total control over their lives, but a more clever and insidious tactic is to make the people ask that their freedom be removed for the sake of "security". As the battle against "terrorists" around the world escalates, there will no doubt come a time when suspected terrorists will be rounded up en masse and imprisoned or deported in a similar manner to what the US did to Japanese Americans during World War II.

As we saw with the London bombings, when the people begin to ask too many questions of their government, even a "failed terrorist attack" is enough to stir up enough emotion in enough people to slip new laws, restrictions, and policies into place. The process is continued slowly but surely until it is one day complete.

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NYPD Officials Reveal Details Of London Bombing
8:06 pm EDT August 3, 2005

NEW YORK -- The suicide bombers cooked up their explosives using mundane items like hydrogen peroxide. They stored them in a fancy commercial refrigerator that was out of place in their grimy flat. And cell phones likely were used to set them off.

Those details from the July 7 London bombing emerged on Wednesday at an unusually wide-ranging briefing given by the New York Police Department to city business leaders.

The briefing -- based partly on information obtained by NYPD detectives who were dispatched to London to monitor the investigation -- was part of a program designed to encourage more vigilance by private security at large hotels, Wall Street firms, storage facilities and other companies.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly warned the materials and methods used in the London attack were easily adaptable to New York.

"Initially it was thought that perhaps the materials were high-end military explosives that were smuggled, but it turns out not to be the case," Kelly said. "It's more like these terrorists went to a hardware store or some beauty supply store."

The NYPD officials said investigators believe the bombers used a peroxide-based explosive called HMDT, or hexamethylene triperoxide diamine. HMDT can be made using ordinary ingredients like hydrogen peroxide (hair bleach), citric acid (a common food preservative) and heat tablets (sometimes used by the military for cooking).

HMDT degrades at room temperature, so the bombers preserved it in a way that offered an early warning sign, said Michael Sheehan, deputy commissioner of counterterrorism at the nation's largest police department.

"In the flophouse where this was built in Leeds, they had commercial grade refrigerators to keep the materials cool," Sheehan said, describing the setup as "an indicator of a problem."

Among the other details cited by the NYPD officials:

-- The bombers transported the explosives in beverage coolers tucked in the backs of two cars to the outskirts of London.

-- Investigators believe the three bombs that exploded in the subway were detonated by cell phones that had alarms set to 8:50 a.m.

-- Similar "explosive compounds" were used in the attempted attack in London on July 21. However, the detonators were hand-activated, not timed.

Sheehan said the NYPD was troubled by information it had received about the bombers' links to "organizations," but he did not name any groups.

"We know those same types of organizations that they're affiliated with are very much present in New York City," he said. "That's something we're studying very, very carefully. ... This could happen here."

After the briefing, police spokesman Paul Browne said the department had clearance from British authorities to present the information about the July 7 attack, which killed 52 people.

The session at police headquarters in lower Manhattan was attended by officials from police departments and law enforcement agencies in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and other jurisdictions. The officials were in the city discussing plans to beef up security along Amtrak's New York-Washington route.

Comment: The British authorities would have released the information themselves, but since the British population is sufficiently terrorized at the moment, they figured why not let the Yanks break the news and get some mileage out of it?

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World police chiefs: Shoot suicide bombers in head
Aug. 4, 2005 8:23

An international organization representing the heads of police departments across the world has issued new guidelines recommending that officers who confront a suicide bomber should shoot the suspect in the head, the Washington Post reported.

The recommendations by the International Association of Chiefs of Police take a more aggressive posture than typical lethal-force guidelines for police departments, the newspaper reported on its Web Site late Wednesday. It said the guidelines were published July 8 - before the London police, acting on a similar policy, on July 22 fatally shot a Brazilian electrician in the head because they mistook him for a suicide bomber.

In the United States, the National Bomb Squad Commanders Advisory Board is developing the first national guidelines for responding to suicide bombers, the newspaper said.

Police in Israel and Britain, which have a long history of dealing with terrorist attacks, have adopted a national policy of shooting a suspected suicide bomber in the head to prevent detonation of a bomb.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police, responding to the July 7 attacks on three London subways and a double-decker bus that killed 52 people, produced a training guide for dealing with suicide bombers for its 20,000 members, the newspaper said.
The Post said the guidelines recommend that if an officer needs to use lethal force to stop someone who fits a certain behavioral profile, the officer should "aim for the head" to kill the person instantly and prevent the setting off of a bomb.

The association's behavioral profile says a suicide bombing suspect might exhibit "multiple anomalies," including wearing a heavy coat or jacket in warm weather or carrying a briefcase, duffle bag or backpack with protrusions or visible wires, the newspaper said.

The profile also said suspects may display such characteristics as nervousness, an unwillingness to make eye contact, excessive sweating, or mumbling prayers or "pacing back and forth in front of a venue," the newspaper said.

The Post said the police chiefs' guidelines say an officer does not have to wait until a suspected bomber makes a move in order to use deadly force, but just needs to have a "reasonable basis" to believe that the suspect can detonate a bomb.

Comment: So, what is a "reasonable basis"? A nervous man wearing a heavy coat on a warm day who is carrying a briefcase or backback and wearing sunglasses. You have the profile, now load those guns and start shooting!

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Outspoken journalist abducted, killed in Iraq

By Brandon Bailey
Mercury News

Freelance journalist Steven Vincent went to Iraq because he believed in the U.S. effort there, but he wasn't afraid to write critically about the war and its messy aftermath.

That combination of passion and dedication may have cost Vincent his life.

The former Sunnyvale resident was abducted, shot and dumped on the streets of the port city of Basra on Tuesday, authorities said. Just two days earlier, the New York Times had published an essay in which Vincent criticized the Iraqi police for corruption and ties with Islamic extremists.

He was the first American journalist killed in such an attack since the war began in 2003, though others have died in different circumstances. And unlike mainstream reporters who try to avoid espousing personal views, Vincent openly said he'd been inspired by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and wanted to use his writing skills to fight Islamic extremism. [...]

In his opinion piece for the New York Times on Sunday, Vincent quoted sources who accused Shiite police in Basra of assassinating members of Saddam Hussein's former Baath Party, which brutally oppressed Shiites for decades.

Quoting an Iraqi officer, Vincent described "a sort of `death car:' a white Toyota Mark II that glides through the city streets, carrying off-duty police officers in the pay of extremist religious groups to their next assignment.''

He also criticized the British military for allowing Islamist extremists to exercise power in the city. Vincent had been strongly critical of Iraqi extremists in earlier writing, but he also wrote on other topics during his three visits to Iraq since the war began.

A prolific freelancer, he described the efforts to form an Iraqi police force for the Christian Science Monitor and discussed the work of Iraqi painters for the magazine Art in America. Before 2001, Vincent had been an art writer in New York for the Wall Street Journal and other publications.

While in Iraq, he analyzed the emerging political landscape for conservative publications such as National Review, while depicting the struggles of ordinary Basra residents in his blog, In the Red Zone ( [...]

Roth said his friend admitted being frightened for his safety. "I don't know why he was killed,'' Roth said. "Just by being an American journalist, he was a target.''

But some in Iraq said they suspected the worst.

"He wrote an article about radicalism in Basra and how security has been left in the hands of the militias,'' said Mehdi Abdul Karim, a hotel receptionist who'd befriended Vincent in Basra. "This led to his death. He paid with his life for that article.''

Comment: Note that the likely cause of this journalists death was his criticism of the Iraqi government and police force, both of which are under the direction of agencies of the US government. With that idea in mind, consider the following article...

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New US black operations unit said to have arrived in Baghdad.

In a dispatch posted at 3:55 GMT Wednesday, Quds Press reported that it had learned from "exclusive sources" that a special American detachment had arrived in the country about a week ago with the task of carrying out "dirty operations" that could be blamed on the Iraqi Resistance in an effort to try to erode mass support for the independence movement.

The sources said that the American unit, dubbed "gnawing rats," was to carry out assassinations, sabotage of government installations and random bombings, all of which could be blamed on the Iraqi Resistance.

The sources said that the American black operations unit had been formed six months ago and underwent special training enabling the commandos to recognize the political, natural and social ?geography? of Iraq. Among the soldiers in the unit are Arab-Americans who have received training in the Iraqi spoken dialect of Arabic.

The command of the unit is directly subordinated to the supreme US military command in the Pentagon rather than to the local US military occupation command in Baghdad, the sources told Quds Press. Its headquarters is said to be in one wing of the as-Sujud Presidential Palace in the occupied Iraqi capital.

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Bush vows to fight on in Iraq, rejects pullout date
Thursday August 4, 12:07 AM

GRAPEVINE, Texas - In the wake of the deaths of 14 U.S. Marines in Iraq, President George W. Bush said on Wednesday the best way to honor the dead is to complete the mission and he rejected any early U.S. withdrawal.

"We're at war. We're facing an enemy that is ruthless. If we put out a (pullout) timetable the enemy would adjust their tactics. ... The timetable depends on our ability to train the Iraqis, to get the Iraqis ready to fight and then our troops will come home with the honor they have earned," Bush said in a speech.

Bush was sticking to a familiar position despite the grim news that 21 Marines have been killed in three days in Iraq, including 14 on Wednesday in the deadliest roadside bomb attack since the Iraq war began. [...]

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Inconsistencies in the War on Terror
Why Extradict Hamdi Isaac and Not Posada Carriles?

August 3, 2005

The day after his detention in Rome, the Ethiopian Hamdi Isaac received the news that he would be extradited to London. He was told in no uncertain terms that he had no recourses available: no right to a bond, no immigration hearing to attend, no administrative proceedings to delay his extradition. It was enough for Italian authorities that he was wanted by London for the terrorist attacks this past July 21. According to the Italian news agency, ANSA, Hamdi´s extradition will be expedited.

Why are things so different in the United States? In what legal limbo can a terrorist who is accused of 73 counts of premeditated murder find shelter? What is the status of Venezuela's request for the extradition of Luis Posada Carriles?

The inconsistency in this so-called war against terrorism is glaring. Whereas Hamdi´s extradition to London will take place in a matter of days, Luis Posada Carriles´case languishes, and after a more than a month and a half the United States has yet to even name a prosecutor to handle the extradition case in court.

The United States instead stubbornly insists on plodding along with an immigration case, premised on the inconsequential charge of Posada´s visa violations. The authorities want to hypnotize us with the immigration case in El Paso, so that we forget the extradition matter pending in Washington. They want to show us the undocumented immigrant detained in El Paso since May, so that we do not discover the terrorist that they sheltered for more than four decades.

A storm, however, may be brewing in El Paso. Washington didn't count on the legal audacity and courage of a previously unknown administrative judge in El Paso. A few days ago, Judge William Abbott told one of Posada´s lawyers that it doesn't matter if it was the United States that organized and planned his client's actions. According to news reports, the attorney was astonished to hear Judge Abbott tell him that under U.S. immigration laws there is no such thing as good terrorism and bad terrorism. Terrorism is terrorism, period.

Posada Carriles´ asylum application is a Pandora's Box. From it spring, as hidden demons from a bottle, the secret intelligence agencies and sacred cows of American political institutions who, alongside local dictators, unleashed a campaign of terror in Latin America for decades.

Despite the distasteful consequences to some, immigration law is quite clear. To stand a chance of winning, an asylum applicant must testify and tell the truth under penalty of perjury. To have Posada Carriles under oath, answering questions about his life as a CIA agent, is his superiors´ worst nightmare.

Posada has never been a loose cannon. He was a disciplined and key agent in Washington's dirty war in Latin America. Will he explain on the stand under whose orders he acted?

Will Judge Abbott be given as evidence the admissions that Posada made to the New York Times in 1998, claiming credit for masterminding the string of bombs that exploded in several Cuban hotels and restaurants the previous year, resulting in the death of an Italian tourist. He is already examining Posada´s record of conviction in Panama for the attempted murder of Fidel Castro with C-4 explosives in a university auditorium crowded with students. Posada´s testimony about these terrorist acts will be riveting and fraught with danger for his accomplices and superiors.

It is evident that Judge Abbott wants to get to the heart of the immigration case at bar, and we applaud the efficient way he goes about his job. But the Immigration Court in El Paso is the wrong forum to hear about the crimes of Luis Posada Carriles. It's an administrative forum within the executive branch of the government. The maximum sanction it can impose on Posada is to deny him asylum and recommend he be expelled from the country. It can neither convict nor punish.

The Italians know it, and they instead promise to expedite Hamdi´s extradition to London. The United States knows it as well, yet thus far it refuses to begin Posada´s extradition proceedings. Why?

There is an arrest warrant for Luis Posada Carriles in Caracas for 73 counts of first degree murder. Posada escaped from a Venezuelan jail in 1985 in the midst of his criminal trial. The case against him is still pending.

The children, widows and loved ones of those who perished in a ball of fire in that passenger plane above a sun drenched beach on October 6, 1976 have a right to see him prosecuted for homicide. To try him in the United States for immigration violations makes a mockery of their pain and is an affront against the war on terrorism.

José Pertierra is an attorney. He represents the government of Venezuela in Washington, D.C.

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Report Says U.S. Secretly Held 2 Prisoners
The Associated Press
Wednesday, August 3, 2005; 11:00 PM

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Two Yemeni men say they were held in solitary confinement in secret, underground U.S. detention facilities in an unknown country and interrogated by masked men for more than 18 months without being charged or allowed any contact with the outside world, Amnesty International charged Wednesday.

Amnesty and human rights lawyers argued that the report added to long-standing claims that the United States has held "secret detainees" in its war on terror.

"We fear that what we have heard from these two men is just one small part of the much broader picture of U.S. secret detentions around the world," Sharon Critoph, a researcher at Amnesty International who interviewed the men in Yemen, told The Associated Press by telephone.

Navy Lt. Commander Flex Plexico, noting that it was difficult to respond to a report he hasn't seen said, "We have said many times that the Department of Defense does not engage in the practice of renditions" - the transfer of terror suspects to third countries without court approval.

Comment: Even if the DOD itself didn't engage in rendition, all it has to do is hand over "terrorists" to the CIA...

Plexico, a spokesman for the department, said it was important to note that training manuals of al Qaida terrorist network "emphasize the tactic of making false abuse allegations."

U.S. officials have denied allegations of secret detention facilities, saying they hold terror suspects only at the U.S. Naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In June, U.S. officials denied a suggestion from the U.N.'s special expert on torture, Manfred Nowak, that some undeclared holding areas could include American ships cruising international waters. Others have suggested "high-value" detainees could be held secretly in Diego Garcia, a British-held island in the Indian Ocean that the United States rents as a strategic military base.

Lawyers who represent detainees at Guantanamo have long believed that the CIA or other U.S. government agencies have used clandestine jails for terror suspects.

"The fact that there are underground CIA facilities somewhere where people are being tortured has been known for a while," Michael Ratner of the U.S. Center for Constitutional Rights in New York City told the AP in a telephone interview.

In the report released in Washington, Amnesty said it interviewed Salah Nasser Salim Ali and Muhammad Faraj Ahmed Bashmilah in a jail in Yemen in late June. The group also spoke to a Yemeni government official who said the men were being held in that country only because it was a condition of their release from U.S. custody.

Ali told the rights group that he was originally detained in Indonesia in August 2003 and then flown several days later to Jordan; Bashmilah said he was detained in Jordan in October 2003 while on a trip to visit his mother.

Both men claimed they were tortured by Jordanian intelligence agents for four days and then flown to what they believe were underground jails in an unknown location.

Once there, they were held in solitary confinement for more than 18 months, interrogated daily by U.S. guards and blared Western music all day and night. No charges were ever filed against them, they said.

The men said their first jail was underground, surrounded by high walls and that it took more than 4 hours to fly there from Jordan. After six to eight months they were transferred to a modern prison run by U.S. officials a three-hour plane journey away that also appeared to be underground.

Comment: After the huge number of reports of torture at the hands of US soldiers and intelligence agents that have come to light, we are supposed to believe that it is all al-Qaeda's fault? Then again, given that "al-Qaeda" is a CIA/Mossad creation (see next article), Plexico's statement is true in a twisted sort of way...

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Flashback: 9/11 and the "War on Terrorism"
Selected articles and essays
by Michel Chossudovsky
September 12, 2004

"Millions of people have been misled regarding the causes and consequences of September 11. When people across the US and around the World find out that Al Qaeda is not an outside enemy but a creation of US foreign policy and the CIA, the legitimacy of the bipartisan war agenda will tumble like a deck of cards." (Michel Chossudovsky, War and Globalization, The Truth behind September 11, 2002)

Global Research E-Monograph and Reports Series, No. 1, 2004

Copyright Michel Chossudovsky and the Centre for Research on Globalization 2004. All Rights Reserved.


As the election campaign unfolds, the "war on terrorism" has become the main if not the sole election issue. Ironically, Osama bin Laden has become a central figure of the election debate.

Whatever it takes"… said President Bush:

"[We will] fight the terrorists across the Earth, not for pride, not for power, but because the lives of our citizens are at stake."

Senator Kerry has promised to do even better:

"As President, I will fight a smarter, more effective war on terror. We will deploy every tool in our arsenal: our economic as well as our military might; our principles as well as our firepower."

In other words, the tragic events of 9/11 are being used by both political parties to galvanize public opinion in support of America's war agenda.

9/11 is being used as a justification to wage a pre-emptive war against "rogue states" and Islamic terrorists, which are "threatening the security of Homeland".

Meanwhile, the "war on terrorism" has diverted attention from all other issues, including the militarization of America and a looming social and economic crisis, marked by rising levels of poverty and unemployment.

Comment: Think about this for a moment - America's attention has been diverted away from the militarization of the country and a looming social and economic crisis. The US economy does not seem to be improving. A serious economic meltdown would be the perfect opportunity for those in power to expand their plans and seize the reins of the budding empire more firmly. It's a good plan - after all, it worked for Hitler. Many Germans were more than willing to join the Nazi party and fight for their fuhrer. They had status, power, and a sense of belonging that was lacking when they were out of work with nowhere to go.

Across the land, the image of an "outside enemy" is instilled in the consciousness of Americans. Al Qaeda is threatening America and the world. The repeal of democracy under the Patriot legislation is portrayed as a means to providing "domestic security" and upholding civil liberties.

The Big Lie

This evolving bipartisan consensus is based on a lie. Confirmed by congressional transcripts, intelligence and news reports, this illusive outside enemy is a creation of the US intelligence apparatus.

The enemy of America is "Made in America". This is an inescapable fact.

The "Islamic Militant Network" (the forerunner of Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda), was created and sustained by the CIA. CIA-sponsored guerrilla training in Afghanistan and Pakistan were integrated with the teachings of Islam. The madrasas were set up by Wahabi fundamentalists financed out of Saudi Arabia, with the support of Washington.

The Reagan, Bush senior and Clinton administrations actively supported the Islamic brigades during the Soviet-Afghan war and its aftermath. The Taliban were the "graduates" of the CIA sponsored madrasas. They would not have been able to form a government, had it not been for US military aid, channeled through Pakistan.

Confirmed by official congressional documents, US support to Al Qaeda continued after the Cold war.

Ironically, during the Clinton administration, it was the Republicans who were accusing Bill Clinton of having links to the Islamic Militant Network in Bosnia and Kosovo. A 1997 document emanating from the House Republican Party Committee entitled "Clinton-Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Help Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base", accused Clinton of working hand in glove with Al Qaeda in Bosnia:

"The Clinton administration's hands-on involvement with the Islamic network's arms pipeline included inspections of missiles from Iran by U.S. government officials... [T]he Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), a Sudan-based, phoney humanitarian organization ... has been a major link in the arms pipeline to Bosnia... TWRA is believed to be connected with such fixtures of the Islamic terror network as Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (the convicted mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing) and Osama bin Laden, a wealthy Saudi émigré believed to bankroll numerous militant groups."
- (Congressional Press Release, Republican Party Committee (RPC), U.S. Congress, Clinton-Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Help Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base, Washington DC, 16 January 1997, available on the website of the Centre of Research on Globalisation (CRG) at .

Needless to say these Congressional documents, while revealing the outright lies behind US foreign policy, were not meant to be read by the broader public.

US Support to Al Qaeda (1999-2001)

US and NATO support to Al Qaeda continued during the wars in Kosovo (1999) and Macedonia (2001). Three weeks before 9/11, the US government and the "Islamic Militant Network" were working hand in glove in supporting and financing the self-proclaimed National Liberation Army (NLA), involved in the terrorist attacks in Macedonia. US military advisers mingle with Mujahideen within the same paramilitary force, Western mercenaries from NATO countries fight alongside Mujahideen recruited in the Middle East and Central Asia. And the US media calls this a "blowback" where so-called "intelligence assets" have gone against their sponsors!

Needless to say, the Republicans and the Democrats are complicit. They accuse one another of having links to Al Qaeda. Yet successive Democratic and Republican administrations have been involved from the outset of the Soviet Afghan war in 1979 in developing and sustaining Al Qaeda as a US sponsored "intelligence asset".

In other words, if the Democrats were to win the 2004 presidential elections, continuity in US foreign policy would be maintained. More importantly, the "war on terrorism" and the lies concerning Al Qaeda and 9/11 would also be maintained.

The 9/11 Commission Report

The 9/11 Commission Report is devoid of a historical perspective. While it provides all the appearances of a constructive critique of the US government, it serves to uphold the myth of an outside enemy.

Following the publication of the 9/11 Commission Report, the unfolding consensus is there were "intelligence failures. "They knew but failed to act".

This line of reasoning is appealing to many 9/11 critics and Democrats, because it tends to place the blame on the Bush administration. Yet in a bitter irony, the very process of expressing public outrage on the failures of senior Bush officials in waging an effective "war on terrorism", the Report has contributed to reinforcing the myth of the "outside enemy", which is being used to justify the largest military build-up since the Vietnam war.

The foreknowledge issue is an obvious red herring. It serves to present Al Qaeda as a threat, as an "outside enemy", when in fact Al Qaeda is a creation of the US intelligence apparatus.

Both the 9/11 Commission Report and the earlier Joint Senate-House Inquiry constitute a cover-up. The function of these reports is to destroy the historical record of US covert support to internationalism terrorism, while creating the illusion that America and "Western Civilization" are threatened. In turn, the various terrorist warnings and code orange alerts have created, across America, an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.

Refuting the Myth of the Outside Enemy

In response to the 9/11 Commission Report, we bring to the attention of our readers a compilation of articles on 9/11 and the "war on terrorism".

This collection includes most of my recent writings on 9/11, together with a few of earlier texts written the immediate wake of September 11 2001.

The material contained in this collection will eventually be the object of a full-length book, as a sequel to my earlier book entitled War and Globalization, the Truth behind September 11.

However, in view of the urgency and the need to inform public opinion, at this critical juncture in our history, we decided to bring this collection out in the context of The CRG's E-Reports and Monograph Series.

The Table of Contents provided below provides a link to key articles on different aspects of 9/11 and the war on terrorism.

It does not, however, purport to provide an exhaustive review of 9/11 issues. Its main objective is to refute the myth of "the outside enemy", which has served as a justification for war and the repeal of civil liberties.

Michel Chossudovsky, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), 8 September 2004 [...]

Comment: Click here to see the table of contents and read some of Chossudovsky's other articles on the war on terrorism.

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Nuclear fears grow as Iranian president takes office
Last Updated Wed, 03 Aug 2005 10:45:52 EDT
CBC News

Iran's new president, Mahoud Ahmadinejad, took office on Wednesday amid growing international pressure over his country's nuclear program.

Ahmadinejad, 48, is a hardline conservative and a strong supporter of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say in matters of state in Iran's system of clerical rule.

In Wednesday's ceremony, Khamenei issued a statement confirming Ahmadinejad as the new president.

"I therefore ... approve the vote of the nation and appoint Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran," the statement said.

Ahmadinejad pledged to work hard, to champion the cause of international justice, and to rid the world of weapons of mass destruction.

European powers, meanwhile, were taking a more sombre tone Wednesday, as Iran resumed nuclear processing activities at its plant in Isfahan.

The plant is used to convert raw uranium into a gas. It can then be enriched and purified into fuel for nuclear power reactors or the core of a nuclear bomb.

Tehran has insisted it wants nuclear reactors only to generate energy, despite American accusations it's trying to make atomic weapons.

On Tuesday, European powers warned Iran that, in resuming its nuclear processing activities, it risks triggering an international crisis and it could face UN sanctions.

Comment: The hypocrisy continues as Ahmadinejad takes his office. Israel, alone, in the Middle East, has the right to nuclear weapons; Israel alone has the right to ignore the UN and other international bodies; Israel alone has the right to kill its opponents.

And how did Israel get the bomb in the first place????

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How the UK gave Israel the bomb

Documents reveal that Britain supplied heavy water without safeguards against military use, enabling the production of nuclear weapons

David Leigh
Thursday August 4, 2005
The Guardian

Britain secretly supplied the 20 tons of heavy water to Israel nearly half a century ago which enabled it to make nuclear weapons, according to Whitehall documents which have been discovered at the Public Records Office.

Officials in the Macmillan government deliberately concealed the deal from the US, according to the files, which were discovered by BBC Newsnight and broadcast last night.

Historians and politicians have been startled by the discovery, which sheds new light on the process by which Israel was able to circumvent attempts to restrict membership of the "nuclear club" to the great powers.

Most of those involved are now dead, but Lord (Ian) Gilmour, who was active in Conservative politics during that era, said last night: "I would have been astonished and found it absolutely unbelievable." He said he did not believe Harold Macmillan or his ministers knew anything about the sale, which Britain permitted without demanding safeguards against military use.

"They've gone out of their way to do it without safeguards," he said. "One would have thought that any reasonably educated civil servant wouldn't have dreamed of doing anything like this without consulting a minister but as far as I can see they didn't."

A nuclear specialist, Frank Barnaby, said: "I had no idea at all the British were involved."

The sale, in two successive 10-ton shipments to Israel from a British port, went to Israel's secret underground reactor at Dimona in the Negev desert.

Dr Barnaby said the deal appeared "rather foolhardy" and added: "I would have thought a cautious government would have in no way been seen to be doing anything to help the Israeli nuclear programme."

The primary motive for the sale, according to the documents, appeared to be commercial. The British atomic energy authority was able to get rid of a consignment of heavy water worth £1.5m, or £20m in today's prices, which it had bought from Norway but no longer had a use for.

The deal was structured as a resale to Norway, which then traded the consignment on to Israel. This enabled British officials to say they had no responsibility themselves for imposing safeguards.

But, according to the documents, the deal was concealed from the US, which was hostile to proliferation, because the Eisenhower administration might have insisted on unacceptable conditions which would have scuppered the sale.

When Robert McNamara became the US defence secretary in 1961, he and President Kennedy strived to stop Israel from going on to build nuclear weapons. He told Newsnight last night that he had never known of Britain's behaviour at the time.

"The fact Israel was trying to develop a nuclear bomb should not have come as a surprise but that Britain should have supplied it with heavy water was indeed a surprise to me," he said.

"It's very surprising to me that we weren't told because we shared information about the nuclear bomb very closely with the British."

The origins of the heavy water used in the Dimona reactor remained almost entirely unknown until the revelations of Mordechai Vanunu, a disaffected Dimona technician, in the 1980s.

It was disclosed then that the 20 tons originated from Norway. But Norway itself continued to remain silent about the true nature of the deal.

Heavy water, made by a laborious electrolysis process, is so called because it contains extra neutrons. It was a crucial element of the kind of basic nuclear reactor then being built by Israel with French help, which used natural uranium rather than the more advanced technology involving enriched uranium fuel.

Comment: And Vanunu remains in virtual captivity in Jerusalem, the Israelis refusing to allow him to leave the country, saying he is still a threat to national security.

Another Israeli partner in the development of nuclear weapons was South Africa, a country that also participated in the development of ethnic specific weapons.

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Israeli economic corruption rises

Jewish state scores low marks with regard to government corruption and influence, leadership efficiency, implementation of law and political stability; Ranks far lower than most developing countries

By Ynetnews

TEL AVIV – Israeli economic corruption has increased since the year 2000, making it one of the most fraudulent in the world, local and international reports showed on Wednesday.

A 2005 World Bank report said Israel was one of the most hazardous nations, citing its unstable and inefficient government and its relatively high level of corruption among its leadership, as well a low ranking in law enforcement.

Economists from the Business Data Israel information group, decreased ratings in the quality of Israeli leadership hurts the country’s foreign investments, raises the premium risks of capital markets and hurt allocations of trade resources.

The efficiency of Israel’s leadership, which includes public services, currently ranks at 80.8 percent, BMI reported. Such a score is considered low in comparison to other developed nations such as The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States, France and Spain, whose average rank stood at 87.7 percent.

The ranking score of Israel’s ability to implement law, which related to the faith put into its legal system, was 74.4 percent, far lower than those of other countries. Spain ranked at 85 percent, France at 88.9 percent, the United States at 92.3 percent, Germany at 93.2 percent, the United Kingdom at 93.7 percent and the Netherlands stood at 95.2 percent.

Regarding government corruption, which includes the use of authority to achieve private and personal profits, Israel was given a score of 80.8 percent. Italy scored lower at 74.9 percent, while the average rank among developed countries was 91.4 percent.

Israel currently ranks lower than any developed country regarding the issue of government influence over the free market, which includes supervision over prices and banks, with a score of 71.9 percent. The average rank was 90.6 percent.

Finally, Israel scores the lowest among all Western nations regarding political stability, which includes the risks the government faces with regard to foreign sources, such as terror, bombings and local violence, with a rank of a mere 15 percent – far from the average score of 83.5 percent.

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Aborted takeover will also affect US 2005-08-04 08:29:37

BEIJING, Aug. 4 -- China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) has to bear the cost of its abandoned bid for the American oil company Unocal.

But the fallout from the bid will not only affect the Chinese side. The idea of the United States as a self-appointed champion of the free market has become questionable.

On Tuesday CNOOC, China's third largest oil and gas producer, withdrew from the Unocal takeover battle with Chevron.

Despite making an offer of US$18.5 billion over Chevron's US$17.4 billion, the Chinese company decided to pull back due to unacceptable risk resulting from the unfavourable political environment in the United States.

Such an end to CNOOC's overseas foray, the largest takeover bid ever attempted by a Chinese company, was indeed unsatisfactory, though expected given the rising opposition to the deal among US politicians. [...]

The unjustified US opposition, largely politically motivated, will certainly more or less poison the current prevailing mood as bilateral economic ties between China and the United States are enhanced.

The high-profile takeover battle demonstrated to the world that the United States is not a free economy as it claimed to be. In the US market, an asset for sale has not gone to the buyer that most prized it, because of regulatory concerns fuelled by bogus fears and hidden interests.

Apparently, Unocal shareholders chose to accept the cheaper offer free of regulatory risk. But the politicized regulatory matter has, in fact, deprived them of the chance to maximize value, as the market should allow.

The implications may not be what US policy-makers intended when foreign investment is badly needed to finance the soaring trade and budget deficits to sustain economic growth.

However, the explicit message the takeover battle sends to the world is that American business is defined by political needs.

That practice will incur many unknown costs for foreign investors. In the long run, the casualty will be on US competitiveness if the market is to play second fiddle to protectionism with political patronage.

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D.C. Airspace May Be Restricted for Good
The Associated Press
Wednesday, August 3, 2005; 10:51 PM

WASHINGTON -- The government wants permanently to restrict a wide swath of airspace over the Washington area and make it a crime if a private pilot knowingly enters a zone that extends from Maryland to Virginia.

Pilots have strayed hundreds of times since the government temporarily restricted airspace over the capital just before the start of the Iraq war in 2003. In many cases, fighter jets, which are prepared to shoot down a plane, have escorted an errant plane to an airport.

The FAA, in a notice to be published on Thursday, said the restrictions are necessary because of the continuing threat of terrorism.

"The success of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon and reports demonstrating terrorist groups' enduring interest in aviation-related attacks indicate the need for continued vigilance in aviation security," the FAA said.

The agency said there is no information suggesting that terrorists have an imminent plan to use airplanes to attack the U.S. capital.

The current restrictions went into effect in February 2003, when the FAA expanded the zone over Washington before the war in Iraq. Similar limits were imposed after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The restricted airspace includes an outer ring that has a radius of about 30 miles to 45 miles and an altitude of 18,000 feet.

The zone extends east beyond Baltimore, west beyond Dulles International Airport in Virginia, north to Gaithersburg, Md., and about 30 miles south of Washington.

A plane that flies into this zone must file a flight plan, emit a special signal so air traffic controllers can follow it and maintain radio contact with the ground.

An inner ring extends about 15 miles from the Washington Monument. Most flights are prohibited from flying into this area. [...]

One proposal would revoke for two years to five years the license of pilots who violate the inner ring and impose as much as $100,000 in fines. Pilots who fly into the outer ring could be fined up to $5,000.

The FAA proposal would allow the government to impose criminal penalties - fines and up to a year in prison - on anyone who knowingly or willingly enters the outer zone.

People have 90 days to comment on the proposal.

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Astronaut May Face Another Shuttle Repair
Aug 3, 11:22 PM (ET)

SPACE CENTER, Houston (AP) - With a gentle tug of his gloved right hand, Discovery astronaut Stephen Robinson removed two worrisome pieces of filler material from the shuttle's belly Wednesday in an unprecedented space repair job that drew a big sigh of relief from NASA.

But he may have to go out again to fix yet another trouble spot.

Robinson was barely back inside the shuttle and out of his spacesuit when Mission Control informed the crew there was a chance that a fourth spacewalk may be needed Friday to deal with a torn thermal blanket below a cockpit window.

The concern is that a roughly 1-foot section of the blanket could rip away during re-entry, whip backward and slam into the shuttle, perhaps causing grave damage. Engineers expect to know by Thursday afternoon whether the danger is real and whether any blanket trimming is required.

There was no immediate response from the exhausted but exhilarated astronaut.

He and his six fellow astronauts awoke late Wednesday for some time off to enjoy their trip to orbit. They also planned to honor those who died in the Columbia tragedy during a tribute from space.

It took Robinson just seconds earlier Wednesday to pull out each short dangling strip of ceramic-fiber cloth, which engineers had feared might cause the shuttle to overheat during its descent through the atmosphere and lead to another Columbia-type disaster.

Robinson never had to pull out his forceps or his makeshift hacksaw, which he took along just in case the material was stuck between the thermal tiles and he needed to employ more force.

It was a delicate operation: Robinson had to be careful not to bump into the shuttle's fragile thermal tiles and make things worse.

Standing on the end of the international space station's 58-foot robot arm, he tugged out the first piece as the two linked spacecraft passed over Massachusetts. By the time he had pulled out the next fabric strip 10 minutes later, he had crossed the Atlantic and was zooming over the French coast.

"That was the ride of the century!" Robinson exclaimed.

"Steve, we trained for four years. You're going to spend the next four years signing autographs," said his spacewalking partner, Soichi Noguchi. [...]

Officials insisted it was absolutely safe to simply remove the fillers. Their primary purpose in those two spots was to prevent the silica glass fiber thermal tiles from rubbing against each other and chipping during liftoff.

With the gap filler problem behind them, teams of engineers and thermodynamic experts turned their attention to the torn, crumpled blanket beneath the commander's side window. Blanket samples were rushed from Cape Canaveral, Fla., to California for wind tunnel testing.

The blanket is covered with a quiltlike fabric and stuffed like a pillow, and serves as insulation. The insulation would blow harmlessly away if the blanket came apart; the concern is where the top layer of fabric might go and how much damage it might do at high descending speeds, despite its less than 1-ounce weight, said deputy shuttle program manager Wayne Hale.

"Worst case, we could do some structural damage and that's obviously not something that we want to incur," Hale said Wednesday night.

The blanket was apparently ripped by debris during the July 26 liftoff, the first shuttle flight since Columbia disintegrated on re-entry 2 1/2 years ago. It is a type of blanket problem never seen before, Hale said.

"I think in the old days, we would not have worried about this nearly so much," Hale said, referring to NASA's pre-Columbia days. He said he believes the likelihood of a repair is low, but noted: "We're just pounding this flat. We're not going to leave any stone unturned at this stage, to make sure the crew's safe during entry."

Discovery and its crew of seven are scheduled to return to Earth on Monday.

Comment: A reader wrote the following in our guestbook:

Does anyone else think that the space shuttle is getting a lot of airtime from the TV news media? The story of this mission has often led the TV news here in the UK despite the search for "Muslim bombers", blah, blah, blah.

The mission so far seems one of continuous nail-biting drama, well if some guy pulling some fabric out from between a couple of tiles is your particular thing. The TV news media certainly think that it's gripping stuff.

It seems more like another great American distraction to me. Remember what happened the month after the last shuttle mission?

I wonder how the drama will end and whether the script has already been written. Tune in tomorrow for another exciting adventure with Uncle Sam in Outer Space!

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Thessaloniki, 4 August 2005 (13:28 UTC 2)

The earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale that was recorded at 8:47am today between northern Evia and the island of Skiathos central Greece, 120 kilometers north of Athens and 180 kilometers south of Thessaloniki, was characterized as an isolated incident by Thessaloniki's Aristotle University Geophysics Laboratory seismologist Dimitris Panagiotopoulos.

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Strong Earthquake Shakes Nicaragua

By FILADELFO ALEMAN, Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, August 3, 2005

A strong earthquake shook Nicaragua and northern Costa Rica before dawn Wednesday, but no injuries or damages were reported.

The magnitude 6.3 earthquake was centered 75 miles southeast of Managua, the Nicaraguan capital, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center. It hit at 5:03 a.m. at a depth of 6.2 miles.

Nicaraguan authorities also reported a second earthquake of magnitude 4.5 about an hour and a half later in nearly the same location.

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Nicaragua warns of eruption of Concepcion Volcano 2005-08-04 11:25:47

MANAGUA, Aug. 3 (Xinhuanet) -- Nicaragua's disaster prevention agency on Wednesday warned of an impending eruption of the country's Concepcion Volcano.

A recent series of seisms in Ometepe Island in Nicaragua Lake could be a sign that Concepcion Volcano "has awaken" pending an eruption, according to the Disaster Prevention and Management System (SINAPRED).

The condition of Concepcion warrants "special attention" because the quakes are "a symptom of the start of an eruption process," said SINAPRED Executive Director Cristobal Sequeir.

Claudio Gutierrez, of Nicaraguan Territorial Studies Institute (INETER), also warned that some 10 earthquakes measuring above 4.0on the Richter scale and 20 minor ones "could mean there is an eruption coming."

The official said "never before have we had so strong earthquakes close to the volcano." [...]

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Forest fires stretch Portuguese emergency services
04/08/2005 - 12:05:22

Portuguese firefighters battled forest blazes overnight while 10 major outbreaks still raced out of control today.

More than 1,000 firefighters were deployed across the country as temperatures in some regions were forecast to exceed 45C (113F), the Civil Protection Service said. Strong winds drove night-time fires across roads and through firebreaks.

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Flu could infect half world's people in year

WHO in talks to stockpile antiviral drugs in case of global outbreak

Ian Sample, science correspondent
Thursday August 4, 2005
The Guardian

An outbreak of flu in rural south-east Asia could spread around the globe in three months and infect half the world's population within a year, unless strict measures to contain it are introduced, scientists said yesterday.

The warning comes from researchers who used computer models to investigate what would happen if the avian flu virus, which is currently rife among poultry in areas of China, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, mutated into a form that spread easily among humans.

Scientists believe it is only a matter of time before the virus, known as H5N1, mutates to become more infectious to humans, possibly by swapping genes with the human flu virus.

"This is the event we're all scared might happen at any time," said Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London and the leading author of the study. "We'd be faced with an event worse than the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic."

The avian flu virus has killed more than 50 people in Asia, more than half of those who have been infected. Almost every death was traced back to the person coming into contact with infected poultry in the countryside. The Spanish pandemic of 1918 is believed to have claimed up to 40 million lives worldwide.

Professor Ferguson's team modelled the spread of a mutated avian flu virus among 85 million people living in Thailand and a strip of neighbouring countries. After watching how quickly the virus spread around the globe, they tested various strategies for containing an outbreak. "Until now, the idea of stopping an outbreak hadn't been investigated," he said.

If an outbreak was detected in its infancy, with less than 50 people infected, models show it could be contained by administering antiviral drugs to the 20,000 people closest to those infected, the researchers report in the journal Nature today. Combined with other measures, such as shutting schools and workplaces, it would take around 60 days to contain the outbreak, with the number of cases totalling no more than around 200.

To deal with the worst case scenario of an avian flu outbreak, the scientists called for an international stockpile of 3m courses of antiviral drugs to be set up, ready to be deployed anywhere in the world within a few days of an outbreak being detected.

A spokeswoman for Roche, which manufactures the antiviral drug Tamiflu, confirmed that the company is in talks with the World Health Organisation about building a stockpile of the drug, but refused to give further details. The WHO already has 120,000 courses of Tamiflu, but with Britain and France each waiting for orders of 15m courses from Roche, the company will have to decide which takes priority.

Prof Ferguson's research is reported alongside a second study published online today by the US journal Science, which modelled an outbreak of flu among half a million people living in Thailand.

Ira Longini and his team at Emory University in Atlanta also found that antiviral drugs could be used to contain an outbreak by giving them to healthy people closest to those infected. Flu vaccines, even relatively poor ones, would also help quash a nascent outbreak, he said.

According to Professor Longini's model, 100,000 courses of Tamiflu would be enough to prevent a flu outbreak becoming a pandemic as long as the virus had a "reproductive number" - the average number of people each infected person goes on to infect - of no more than 1.6. Measles, one of the most infectious diseases has a reproductive number of around 15. Typically, each person infected with flu infects two others.

Prof Longini said the creation of an international stockpile of drugs should take precedence over orders from individual countries. "The WHO should get priority ... and the richer nations should chip in, because it's in their interests to stop it before it reaches their shores," he said.

Creation of the stockpile is just the first hurdle. The WHO, in conjunction with the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, will have to tread carefully with governments to ensure the policies are adopted and that outbreaks are spotted quickly enough.

A scientist close to the programme said: "The big issue is surveillance. If these models are right, and there may be problems with them, the outcome depends on getting an early warning of an outbreak."

Comment: In the worst case, half of the world's population could become infected in six months. The means of prevention are to shoot up the population with vaccines, and who knows what the vaccines contain?!

The historical records are full of plagues. Legend associates plagues with comets and rats. Well, the rats are in power, so the comets shouldn't be long in coming.

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Pig-borne disease in China stumps experts
Last Updated Wed, 03 Aug 2005 16:09:47 EDT
CBC News

Disease experts are baffled by reports of a pig-borne bacteria outbreak that is being blamed for killing 37 Chinese farmers through internal bleeding.

Experts say an outbreak among humans is rare and not generally deadly. Some leading health and disease experts, such as Canada's Marcelo Gottschalk, wonder if the suspect streptococcus suis bacteria has combined with other strains or a virus to amplify its effects.

"Something is different," Gottschalk, who studies the bacterium at the Université de Montréal, told the Associated Press.

"We are worried and we are wondering what is happening."

Gottschalk said he would like to have the strain to study in his lab, the only one in the world dedicated to studying streptococcus suis.

He said he is mystified how the strain has infected 200 people in China since June when only perhaps 20 people contract it in Thailand in a year.

Farmers in southwestern Sichuan province who butchered, handled or ate infected pigs suffered vomiting, fever and bleeding under skin.

The disease is slow to develop in humans, but can progress to meningitis and hearing loss. Antibiotic treatment cures most cases. No human-to-human transmission cases have been reported.

Meanwhile, authorities in Beijing have confiscated about 3,600 tonnes of pork from Sichuan province, state media reported, but it wasn't clear where the meat was found or what happened to it.

Experts with the World Health Organization and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization have also questioned what they called the strange behaviour of the bacteria.

"One explanation is you have additional problems and it's not just streptococcus suis that's causing it," Juan Lebroth, an FAO official in animal health, said from Rome.

A pioneer of studying the bacteria said it is commonly found in healthy swine, but is a chronic condition that may turn deadly if pigs are kept in crowded and unclean pens.

"They're describing death in 24 hours," said Thomas Alexander, former deputy director of the Cambridge School of Veterinary Medicine in England. "What they're describing doesn't fit the picture."

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Researchers: Outbreak of bird flu could be stopped
Indianapolis Star

Atlanta -- A globe-spanning epidemic of avian influenza could be stopped at its source, averting millions of deaths, if health authorities act fast enough, two multinational research teams said Wednesday.

But they cautioned that controlling the disease will take not just fast recognition of an outbreak but immediate deployment of as many as 3 million doses of preventive drugs.

The researchers said their analyses, published this week in the journals Nature and Science, should be taken as warnings of the difficulties of containing influenza rather than permission to relax global vigilance.

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Ice shelf collapse was biggest for 10,000 years
By Steve Connor, Science Editor
04 August 2005

The disintegration of the huge Larsen B ice shelf in Antarctica was an unprecedented event in the past 10,000 years of geological history, a study has found.

Research by scientists from Hamilton College in New York, based on the scrutiny of six ice cores from the vicinity of the ice shelf, found that a collapse of this size had not happened during the period since the end of the last Ice Age.

The piece of ice which sheered away from Larsen B into the sea in 2002 was roughly the size of Luxembourg. The study, published in the journal Nature, shows that the ice shelf had been thinning over the millennia but went through a more rapid loss in recent decades, probably due to global warming.

In March 2002, scientists announced the Larsen B ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula had entered a phase of rapid break-up with more than 50 billion tons of ice spilling into the Weddell Sea to form thousands of massive icebergs. It had been known for many years that the ice shelf was thinning and in retreat but the speed of its final collapse astonished scientists. It took just 35 days for the Larsen B ice shelf to fall away completely after a Nasa satellite detected the first ruptures in the 1,255 square miles of ice at the end of January 2002.

Although the disintegration of ice shelves does not itself cause sea levels to rise (because they are already floating), their loss is thought to speed up the flow of ice from ice sheets on land, causing sea levels to rise. Larsen B's smaller neighbour, Larsen A, broke off in 1995 and other much bigger ice shelves nearby, such as the Ross and Ronne, are also considered to be at risk of disintegrating, according to studies by the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge.

Researchers have measured a 2.5C increase in average temperatures in the Antarctic peninsula over the past 50 years and many scientists believe there is little doubt that this rise can be linked to global warming and climate change exacerbated by man-made pollution.

The latest study by a team led by Eugene Domack analysed oxygen isotopes and the microscopic plankton called formanifera, which are found in ice cores dating back 10,000 years. "We infer from our oxygen isotope measurements in planktonic formanifera that the Larsen B ice shelf has been thinning throughout the Holocene [from the present to 10,000 years ago], and we suggest that the recent prolonged period of warming in the Antarctic peninsula region, in combination with the long-term thinning, has led to collapse of the ice shelf," the researchers said.

Comment: But, really, you don't need to worry about these changes in the weather because, according to the fundie Christian thought pervading America's (un)elected leaders, Jesus is coming back to save us any day now.

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Beating Hurdles, Scientists Clone a Dog for a First
The New York Times
August 4, 2005

South Korean researchers are reporting today that they have cloned what scientists deem the most difficult animal, the dog.

The group worked for nearly three years, seven days a week, 365 days a year and used 1,095 eggs from 122 dogs before finally succeeding with the birth of a cloned male Afghan hound. The surrogate mother was a yellow Labrador retriever.

Dogs have such an unusual reproductive biology, far more so than humans, scientists say, that the methods that allowed cloning of sheep, mice, cows, goats, pigs, rabbits, cats, a mule, a horse and three rats, and creation of cloned human embryos for stem cells, simply do not work with them.

Woo Suk Hwang, the principal author of the dog cloning paper, being published in the journal Nature, wrote that the puppy, an identical twin of the adult Afghan but born years later, was delivered by Caesarean section on April 24. The pregnancy lasted a normal 60 days and the newborn pup weighed 1 pound 3.4 ounces and was named Snuppy.

Not Snoopy. The scientists named him for Seoul National University puppy.

Cloning researchers were awed at the achievement, but not everyone shared their admiration. [...]

The reason that other researchers are so impressed, said Mark E. Westhusin, a cloning researcher at Texas A&M University, is that with dogs, "their reproductive biology makes them a nightmare." Cats, in what might seem a turnabout, are biologically much less finicky.

Dr. Westhusin cloned the first cat, in 2002, on his second try. But, he said, after trying for a few years to clone a dog, "I quit."

His work with cats and dogs was sponsored by a private company, Genetic Savings & Clone of Sausalito, Calif. Its chief executive, Lou Hawthorne, said the company had spent seven years and more than $19 million in its attempts to clone a dog. It just opened a lab in Madison, Wis., with 50 employees. But, so far, no dogs have been cloned.

Other researchers say dog cloning is so hard, they will not try it. George E. Seidel Jr. of Colorado State said Genetic Savings & Clone approached him and "I refused." As for the South Koreans, who succeeded in what is the Mount Everest of cloning, it was "simply a heroic effort, a brute force heroic effort," Dr. Seidel said.

Snuppy is the second coup this year for the Seoul researchers. In May, Dr. Hwang's lab announced that it had created cloned human embryos and extracted stem cells from them. The dog project is separate, and its goal, Dr. Hwang explained in an e-mail message, is to use dogs to study the causes and treatment of human diseases.

Dogs have long been used to study human diseases. Rabies, in fact, was first discovered in dogs, insulin was discovered in dogs, and the first open heart surgery was in dogs. Eventually, the team hopes to make dog embryonic stem cells and test them in the animals as treatments.

Dogs presented a number of challenges to the researchers. Ovulation is once or twice a year, but not predictable, and no one has found a way to induce ovulation by giving dogs hormones.

Eventually, the South Koreans discovered, through trial and error, a signature spike in the hormone progesterone that signaled ovulation.

With other animals, scientists collect mature eggs from ovaries, but the eggs dogs ovulate are immature. They mature in the oviduct and so far it has proved impossible to extract eggs from a dog's ovary and mature them in the laboratory.

So the researchers had to pinpoint when to pluck a mature egg from the oviduct, and needed surgery to retrieve it, instead of the kind of needle suctioning used in other animals.

The next step in cloning of any other animal is to replace the egg's genes with those of an adult and let the cloned embryo grow in the lab for several days.

But no one has been able to grow dog embryos in the lab. So the South Koreans quickly started the cloning. They removed the genetic material from the eggs and replaced it with skin cells from the ears of Afghan hounds. When the altered eggs were starting to develop into embryos, the researchers anesthetized a female dog, slipped the eggs into the animal's oviduct, and hoped the eggs would grow into early embryos, drift into the uterus, and survive. They found they had less than four hours after starting the process to get the eggs into the female dogs.

Ordinarily, researchers give hormones to female animals that are to serve as surrogate mothers, preparing them to become pregnant with a cloned embryo. Not so with dogs. No one knows how to prepare a dog for pregnancy, so the researchers used the same dogs for egg donors and for surrogate mothers, 123 dogs in all.

In the end, three pregnancies resulted. One ended in a miscarriage, one was carried to term but the puppy died a few weeks later of respiratory failure, and one resulted in Snuppy. [...]

Comment: Man's Best Friend is indeed quite an enigma, as the next article demonstrates...

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Flashback: Ancient Civilisations: Six Great Enigmas
June 25, 2005

Enigma 2: The Origin Of Dogs – Biogenetic engineering

Now we turn to a mystery that nearly equals the pyramid, though it is a little known conundrum hidden in the mists of remote antiquity. Let us start with a simple question that appears to have an obvious answer: what is a dog? It turns out geneticists in the past decade have shown the answer is not so obvious. In fact, generations of anthropologists, archaeologists and wildlife biologists turned out to be dead wrong when it came to the origins of "man's best friend".

Prior to DNA studies conducted in the 1990s, the generally accepted theory posited that dogs branched off from a variety of wild canids, i.e., coyotes, hyenas, jackals, wolves and so on, about 15,000 years ago. The results of the first comprehensive DNA study shocked the scholarly community. The study found that all dog breeds can be traced back to wolves and not other canids. The second part of the finding was even more unexpected – the branching off occurred from 40-150,000 years ago.

Why do these findings pose a problem? We have to answer that question with another question: how were dogs bred from wolves? This is not just difficult to explain, it is impossible. Do not be fooled by the pseudo-explanations put forth by science writers that state our Stone Age ancestors befriended wolves and somehow (the procedure is never articulated) managed to breed the first mutant wolf, the mother of all dogs. Sorry, we like dogs too, but that is what a dog is.

The problems come at the crucial stage of taking a male and female wolf and getting them to produce a subspecies (assuming you could tame and interact with them at all). Let us take this one step further by returning to our original question, what is a dog? A dog is a mutated wolf that only has those characteristics of the wild parent, which humans find companionable and useful. That is an amazing fact.

Think about those statements for a moment. If you are thinking that dogs evolved naturally from wolves, that is not an option. No scientist believes that because the stringent wolf pecking order and breeding rituals would never allow a mutant to survive, at least that is one strong argument against natural evolution.

Now, if our Paleolithic ancestors could have pulled off this feat, and the actual challenges posed by the process are far more taxing, then wolf/dog breeders today certainly should have no problem duplicating it. But like the Great Pyramid, that does not seem to be the case. No breeders have stepped up to the plate claiming they can take two pure wolves and produce a dog sans biogenetic engineering techniques.

The evolution of the domesticated dog from a wild pack animal appears to be a miracle! It should not have happened. This is another unexplained enigma.

Signs Special Reporter Ignacious O'Reilly Comments: This article discusses several other enigmas including the Great Pyramid, Mohenjo Daro, Sumeria, Teotihuacán, and High Technology In Stone Age Peru. If you're interested in unraveling these enigmas, a good place to start in my opinion is The Secret History of the World by Laura Knight-Jadczyk. Sure, I work with her and have some sort of vested interest in that sense. However, it was Laura's research into these questions that provoked me to do my own. I was a complete skeptic on ancient civilizations until I stumbled upon her website. Reading her work was a revelation because every time she started talking about this stuff, I would recoil, and then a little voice in the back of my head would say, "Ignacious, you claim to be open-minded. How much research have you actually done into these subjects? Is your dismissal due to knowledge or prejudice? Is this really YOUR idea, or is it something handed down to you from someone else?"

I had to admit that I had not done the research. I had not investigated these questions myself. So I did, and I found that my opinions changed. There is a mass of evidence for the existence of civilisations prior to the Sumerian.

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East Kingston woman reports second UFO sighting
By Adam Dolge

EAST KINGSTON - It’s happened again. An East Kingston resident said she saw a "silver-cigar" shaped object in a daytime sky last week.

This time it was a homemaker who, like the first person to give an account of witnessing an unidentified flying object, wished to use only her first name, "Lucienne."

The sighting allegedly happened about noon on Monday, July 25. Lucienne said she was standing in a meadow behind her house on North Road when she saw the long object in the sky. She described it as a pill shape, because it had rounded ends and was longer than it was wide. Dark spots lined the object, which she said appeared to be windows.

Lucienne said the incident lasted about 30 seconds, and she didn’t have time to run into her house to get binoculars. When she saw the object she yelled for her husband, but he was too far away to hear.

This report comes about a week after a 48-year-old Navy veteran claimed to have seen a similar object when he was in the back yard of his home in Exeter. "David," as he wished to be identified, said he saw the object at about 3 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20. He provided a detailed account to the National UFO Reporting Center in Seattle.

Lucienne said she didn’t read the first article in the News-Letter about David’s account until Wednesday, July 27. When she read the second article about people questioning the validity of David’s account, she contacted the News-Letter because, she said she believes, she saw the same object in the sky just days after his encounter.

Like David’s account, Lucienne said that, before the object disappeared, it stretched out to about twice its original size. But, unlike David’s account, Lucienne said the object did not change color, and she did not see any flames under the object. Also, the "windows" on the object did not extend to each end; rather, each end of the object was solid and without windows.

Lucienne wrote down her observations so that she’d have documentation, but she had not submitted the information to UFO authorities as of Monday.

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