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Copyright 2005 Pierre-Paul Feyte

PODCAST!

PART TWO: Interview with Laura Knight-Jadczyk

US Military Plans For (Domestic) Terrorism
Monday, 8 August 2005

The US military is for the first time making its own plans for dealing with domestic terrorist attacks.

Under the plans, quick-reaction forces will be prepared to deal with 15 potential scenarios, including simultaneous bomb attacks.

The civilian authorities would usually expect to plan for and provide the vast majority of the resources and personnel for major domestic emergencies.

Now military resources such as sniffer dogs will be easier to deploy.

The Department of Defense has not traditionally taken a major role in domestic operations.

The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 prevents the military from taking part in any law enforcement, an important part of traditional "states' rights".

The department has stressed that the new plans are just a way of providing specialist help for the civilian authorities where units are closer to the scene of an attack or other emergency.

The Department for Homeland Security takes the lead in dealing on a national basis with terrorist attacks.

Planning process

A Department of Defense spokesman said: "It is vital to the defence of our nation that we plan for contingencies and actions necessary to deter, prevent and defeat current and emerging threats at home and abroad.

"This planning process is an extremely complex process encompassing numerous organisations including combatant commands, the Joint Staff, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and sometimes outside agencies before the plan is presented to the Secretary of Defense for approval.

"Traditionally, DoD resources and capabilities are provided only when local, state, and federal resources and capabilities have been exceeded or do not exist."

These resources might typically be sniffer dogs specialising in detecting explosives or search and rescue teams to find bodies in rubble.

Admiral Timothy Keating, head of the Northern Command, was quoted in the Washington Post as saying: "In my estimation, [in the event of] a biological, a chemical or nuclear attack in any of the 50 states, the Department of Defense is best positioned - of the various eight federal agencies that would be involved - to take the lead."

Comment: We have been saying for many, many months that it would only be a matter of time before the American people themselves would become the object of this phony war on terror. Did you really think that we were joking? That it would NOT happen? Think again, and this time, think seriously about it, before it is too late.

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USA TODAY Poll: 57% Say War Has Made USA More Vulnerable to Terrorism
By Richard Benedetto, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — American attitudes toward the war in Iraq continue to sour in the wake of last week's surge in U.S. troop deaths, a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll shows. (Related: Poll results)

An unprecedented 57% majority say the war has made the USA more vulnerable to terrorism. A new low, 34%, say it has made the country safer. The question is critical because the Bush administration has long argued that the invasion of Iraq was undertaken to make the USA safer from terrorism.

Comment: Nice timing here by the Bush gang. Just as Americans are beginning to wake up to the fact that they really have been lied to by their pathological leaders, the trap is already closing. Try to protest now, and you will quickly be labeled a "domestic terrorist".

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Flashback: US moves on to high terror alert
Guardian
March 19th 2003

Mr Ridge announced a tightening of controls at airports, railways and ports, as well as around nuclear and chemical plants, the White House, and monuments and landmarks across the nation. New York's mayor Michael Bloomberg fleshed out the city's own plan, Operation Atlas, including a significantly increased police presence and the use of radiation sensors on Manhattan streets.

Setting out the thinking behind Liberty Shield, Mr Ridge said al-Qaida remained the "principal threat," but said "Iraqi state agents" or even just "disgruntled individuals may use this time period to conduct terrorist attacks against the United States and our interests".

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Flashback: LOOK INWARD, AMERICA
Yahoo News
03/26/2003

It has become painfully obvious that America faces a threat from within. The threat comes not just from terrorists who have managed to penetrate America's porous borders - the 9/11 terrorists, for example - though that danger is real enough. It also comes from disgruntled Americans - converts to militarized Islam or to radical anti-Americanism. In a sense, these folks are more dangerous, because they often enjoy full rights as U.S. citizens: Not only do our laws protect them, but so does our culture.

Comment: Are you one of the 61 % of Americans that is "disgruntled" at the way your government is governing the country? Are you sick of the lies and propaganda peddled as truth? Are you considering exercising your "constitutional right" to protest and demand that something be done? You may find that you have left it a little too late. A cabal of fascist warmongers has long since taken control of the USA, and no dissent will be tolerated. Remember the words of George Bush: "you are either with us or you are with the enemy", now who do you think those words were really directed at?

But seriously, you still think we are joking, right? We mean, who is really going to believe that the "greatest Democracy on earth" would arrest one of it's citizens - say for example the mother of a US soldier killed in Iraq - for the mere act of protesting against the government, and claim that she is a threat to national security, or, to put it another way, a domestic terrorist...

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Cindy Sheehan to Be Arrested Thursday
by David Swanson
Mon Aug 8th, 2005

Cindy Sheehan phoned me from Texas a few minutes ago to say that she's been informed that beginning Thursday, she and her companions will be considered a threat to national security and will be arrested. Coincidentally, Thursday is the day that Rice and Rumsfeld visit the ranch, and Friday is a fundraiser event for the haves and the have mores. Cindy said that she and others plan to be arrested.

UPDATE:

I got Cindy on the phone and she continued to maintain that the threat of arrest was real, but said that it came to her via Diane Wilson. I spoke to Diane, who said that it came from Texas State Rep Lon Burman, a Democrat. She said that he was not speaking on behalf of or communicating any information from the Bush Administration or the Secret Service or the Sheriff's Department. But she maintained that what he had predicted was already starting.

Both Sheehan and Wilson said that the County Sherrif's deputies on Saturday identified several areas as county property on which they could stand. Now they claim that most of these area are private property, and that they had not known that. So, this afternoon the deputies forced Cindy and about 25 people with her onto one small area on one side of a road.

Wilson said that they threatened arrest if anyone refused to move to the proper small area. Cindy was skeptical of the claims about who owned the land. "Can you believe that on the road to the President's house they don't know exactly who owns it?"

Both she and Wilson said they expected they would get arrested Thursday. Cindy said, "I think we need as many people here on Thursday anyway, because Rice and Rumsfeld will be here....I'd rather not get arrested, but I'm willing to, I'm willing to have them pick me up and carry me away."

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Authorities Getting Ready To Throw Anti-War Protestors From Bush Ranch For Trespassing
By Greg Szymanski
August 8, 2005

Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son in Iraq last year, won't leave Crawford TX until she's arrested or personally meets with Bush. No trespassing signs are now going up near to the location where the group of about 50 anti-war protestors are camped out near the President's ranch while he vacations. In the event Sheehan and the group are told to leave, they have obtained legal counsel to protect their free speech rights.

Law enforcement authorities are taking steps to remove a group of about 50 peace activists camped near President Bush’s Crawford, TX, ranch, mounting an effort to accuse the Iraqi War protestors of trespassing.

Cindy Sheehan, a mother who lost her son in Baghdad and founded an anti-war group, traveled to the President’s ranch Saturday with other supporters, demanding answers from the vacationing President about his recent public statements regarding the “noble nature” of the Iraqi War.

Hadi Jawad, a spokesperson for the Crawford Peace House helping Sheehan and supporters with food and water during their protest, said today “it was a very fluid and changing situation right now” with authorities keeping a close eye on the group and warning them about the possible trespassing violation.

“A woman who owns the property across the road from where the group is camped out today began putting up no trespassing signs with law enforcement officials nearby,” said Jawad.

Sheehan and her group of anti-war protestors are camped out near the President’s ranch about 2 miles from Crawford on the side of Prairie Chapel Road.

Jawad said Sheehan tried to get as close to ranch as possible, choosing the Prairie Road location since Bush, who has not yet confronted the group, is due to pass by the protestors on Thursday on his way to a local fundraiser.

“We are digging in,” said Jawad, “and we are not planning to leave the location since Bush has no other choice but to pass by Cindy and the others on Thursday since it’s the only way he can get to the fund raiser unless he decides to go by helicopter.”

As a result of the no trespassing signs being put up around the protestors, Sheehan and the others are seeking legal counsel with the assistance of the ACLU in order that their free speech rights are protected in lieu of a police effort to move the protestors for trespassing.

“We are going to stand our ground and put up a legal fight,” added Jawad. “I was told today that nothing was going to happen so I am assuming the authorities are mounting its plan to remove the protestors. All I can is that we will challenge any attempt to be removed because Cindy is technically on the side of the road on public property.

“People are walking on the property across the road and that is where the lady who owns that vacant property is putting up trespassing signs.”

Sheehan, a vocal critic of the President’s war policy, said she was provoked to come to Crawford after Bush last week made public statements that she called “a pack of lies.”

Speaking to the nation in the wake of more than 24 Marines killed last week, Bush said, “We have to honor the sacrifices of the fallen by completing the mission and the families of the fallen can be assured that they died for a noble cause.”

And it was the words “noble cause” that sparked anger in Sheehan, the mother who lost her 24-year-old son, Casey, in 2004, and founder of the anti-war group called Gold Star Families for Peace.

Calling Bush’s statements callous and untrue, his words sparked Sheehan’s trip to the Crawford, where she plans to camp out until either she’s “arrested or gets answers to many questions” surrounding what she calls an illegal war.”

Since arriving Bush has not met with the protestors, but Sunday National Security Advisor, Steve Hadley, met with Sheehan, saying the President was “concerned and wanted a speedy return of the troops.”

However, Sheehan told Hadley his message wasn’t “good enough,” adding she arrived in Crawford to meet personally with Bush and nothing else would suffice, considering that “innocent lives were being lost every day.”

“We would like for Bush to explain this 'noble cause' to us, and I plan to ask him why his two daughters, Jenna and Barbara, are not in harm's way, if the cause is so noble,” said Sheehan from Crawford. “If he is not ready to send the twins, then he should bring our troops home immediately. We will demand a speedy withdrawal."

As Sheehan prepared for a long stay in the hot Texas summer heat, she added:

“I am tired of all the lies while young men continue to die. I want him to finally admit that my son, Casey, didn’t die for a noble cause, but died in order that President Bush’s friends could get rich and line their greedy pockets with oil money.

"We want our loved ones' sacrifices to be honored by bringing our nation's sons and daughters home from the travesty that is Iraq immediately. This war is based on horrendous lies and deceptions. Just because our children are dead, why would we want any more families to suffer the same pain and devastation that we are?”

Sheehan also recently expressed deep displeasure with Bush in an exclusive article in The Arctic Beacon and the American Free Press, discussing, in depth, a recent trip she made to the White House after being invited in the wake of her son’s death after only being in Baghdad five days during 2004.

Called to the White House supposedly to be consoled by the President, instead Sheehan reported just the opposite, saying she was greeted by an “arrogant and heartless man” who entered the private room to meet with Sheehan without even knowing anyone’s name, including her fallen son.

“It was a horrendous experience. I left feeling that this man was not even human. It was the worst experience of my life,” said Sheehan in the article that appeared a month ago about her private meeting with Bush.

Sheehan recounted her White House experience with Wolf Blitzer of CNN in a nationally televised interview Saturday, as she told viewers how the President was callous, cold and didn’t even know her family member’s names, including her own, when he entered the White House room for the personal visit in 2004, two months after her son was killed in combat.

In response to Sheehan’s comments and the article in the Arctic Beacon and American Free Press, officials now released a statement saying that Sheehan has changed her story since she originally said she was pleased with the Presidential visit.

Although Sheehan was unavailable for comment, all her past statements to the press, including the long interview with The Arctic Beacon and The American Free Press, indicate it would have been totally out of character for Sheehan to make such a statement unless taken totally out context by White House officials to discredit Sheehan.

Besides being founder of Gold Star Families for Peace, Sheehan is an active member of the large Washington D.C. group called After Downing Street, a large contigent of politicians and activists calling for a Congressional investigation over the infamous Downing Street Memo and whether Bush doctored WMD intelligence reports to justify the war in Iraq.

Along with members of Gold Star, Sheehan is being accompanied to the President’s ranch by members of the peace group Code Pink, Veteran's for Peace (VFP), Military Families Speak Out (MFSO), Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) and Crawford Peace House.

Comment:

"It was a horrendous experience. I left feeling that this man was not even human."

Enough said.

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A Mother's Texas Vigil

By Lakshmi Chaudhry, AlterNet. Posted August 10, 2005.

Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in the Iraq war, talks with AlterNet about her determination to speak to President Bush -- consequences be damned.

[Editor's Note: The audio for this interview is also available from AlterNet. Follow this link to listen and download the interview.]

Cindy Sheehan is a woman standing vigil in the eye of a gathering storm. The grieving mother -- who lost her son in the war on Iraq -- has been waiting outside President Bush's Crawford, Texas ranch to meet face-to-face with the commander-in-chief.

Her vigil is receiving widespread media coverage, and on Tuesday, 16 Democratic members of Congress signed a letter requesting Bush to meet with her. Sheehan has also launched a Web site, Meet With Cindy, to help promote her cause.

Even as other members of military families, activists and ordinary citizens rally to her cause, the right-wing attack machine has already kicked into gear, questioning her motives and distorting her statements. But it's to little avail -- Sheehan remains undaunted, even while facing threats of imprisonment.

She spoke with AlterNet on the phone from Crawford.

Let me first start and ask you about what everyone's most concerned about, which is the news that you might be arrested if you don't leave by Thursday as a national security threat. Who did you hear that from?

A Texas state legislator for Crawford called us and told us that yesterday I believe.

But you are planning to stay?

Oh yeah, there are only three ways I'm going to leave: If I meet with George Bush, if it's the end of August [and he leaves Crawford], or if I get arrested.

How do you feel about the prospect of getting arrested?

I'm ready, I'm doing the right thing, what are they going to arrest me for, being right?

As you must know, the right wing media has been in full attack mode, and they're suggesting that you're just a patsy, someone who's deluded, who's been brainwashed, a patsy for the anti-war movement. What is your response to that?

My response is "baloney." I'm not a patsy for the anti-war movement: war is wrong, this war is wrong, and our kids need to come home.

One of the things they're saying most recently is that you already met with President Bush. What was that first meeting like, what was going through your mind? Because I know in the full news report it came out that you did have reservations about the war already, even at the time of the first meeting.

Right, I did have reservations about the war before Casey was killed. But also, in that first meeting, I was in shock. We just buried Casey barely two months before. I think it's really ironic that they're so willing to assiduously scrutinize the mother of a war hero, a grieving mother, a mother filled with shock and grief, but they won't even scrutinize a president when he says Saddam has weapons of mass destruction, when everybody else is saying, "No, he doesn't." If the mainstream media and the right-wing media hadn't been such propaganda tools for Washington D.C., my son might still be alive.

What did the President say to you during that first meeting?

He first got there, he walked in and said, "So who are were honoring here?" He didn't even know Casey's name, he didn't, nobody could have whispered to him, "Mr. President, this is the Sheehan family, their son Casey was killed in Iraq." We thought that was pretty disrespectful to not even know Casey's name, and to walk in and say, "So who are we honorin' here?" Like, "let's get on with it, let's get somebody honored here."

So anyway, he went up to my oldest daughter, I keep calling her my oldest daughter but she's actually my oldest child now, and he said, "So who are you to the loved one?" And Carly goes, "Casey was my brother." And George Bush says, "I wish I could bring your loved one back, to fill the hole in your heart." And Carly said, "Yeah, so do we." And Bush said, "I'm sure you do," and he gave her a dirty look and turned away from her.

Did he talk to you directly?

Yeah, he talked to me directly, do I have to say what it is or can you read it somewhere else? [laughs] He came up to me, and he said, "Mom, I can't imagine your pain, I can't imagine losing a loved one, whether it be an aunt or an uncle, or a cousin," and I just stopped him and I said, "It was my son, Casey was my son. I think you can imagine it, Mr. President, because you have children. Imagine if one of your daughters was killed in this war. Trust me, you don't want to go there." And he told me, "You're right, I don't."

Now you're waiting to meet him for a second time. Have you gone through it in your mind? Are you optimistic it's going to happen, do you have any hope?

No, uh-uh.

So you haven't even imagined what might go down if it did happen by some miracle?

If it did happen, by some miracle, I would ask him what noble cause did my son die for. I would say to him, if the cause is so noble, has he encouraged his daughters to serve? And I would also ask him to quit using my son's sacrifice to justify his continued killing, when [Bush] says we have to complete the mission to honor the sacrifices of the loved ones. I want him to honor my son's sacrifice by bringing the troops home.

Let's talk about the good stuff now, the support you're receiving, I hear the Gold Star Families of Peace just announced their intention to send some of their members to join you in Crawford. So in a sense what started out as a very personal vigil has turned into a real ...

[interrupts] hold on a second ... [talks away from the phone] what did he say? No way!

You're just asking me about support, and [I just found out] Crawford Peace House has $5,000 in their PayPal account right now, because I've been asking people to support them. Gold Star Families for Peace has been getting donations so we can bring some of our members out to Crawford, people have been coming by with food and water and sleeping bags and tents and other camping equipment. Anything that we ask for, we get.

There's been so many organizations, and so many people who are wealthy and famous who are donating all kinds of money and support to us, but the American people are rallying around us. They are so happy to finally have a voice, they're so happy that somebody who has their same views is speaking out for them, and we've gotten hundreds and hundreds of emails and phone calls from all around the world, people saying, "Keep on doing what you're doing, you're doing the right thing, your son would be proud of you."

It just is amazing to me that this one little idea I had last Wednesday has snowballed into this major, major action for peace, and everybody in the country, well not everybody, but so many people in the country are so willing to work for peace and I really think this is historic and it's going to have a major effect on our attitudes, the way our country thinks. Because a majority of people want our troops home, the majority of people want people. And if we can keep the pressure and keep that up, maybe our young people will never be used so despicably again.

So what's your next step -- if the President continues to refuse to meet you, I heard that you might go to the White House, to follow him there?

That's right. If he doesn't meet with me in Crawford, then we're going to organize a permanent vigil in front of the White House until he meets with me. And we might even change it to instead of meeting with me, just bringing the troops home. I can't be there all the time because September is really busy for me, I'm going to be gone out speaking almost the entire month, I'm going to be in Italy for a week, and I have almost the entire month.

But I'll be back in D.C. on September 24 for the United for Peace and Justice big action there. So if we can have a permanent vigil in front of the White House, it could be something like it is here, we can have people, people can sign up to be there, so it will always be manned.

Well all I can say is everyone is very, very proud of the work you're doing and you're an inspiration for all of us.

Lakshmi Chaudhry is the former senior editor of AlterNet.

Comment: Read carefully her words:

"It just is amazing to me that this one little idea I had last Wednesday has snowballed into this major, major action for peace...."

One little idea snowballs. The flapping of the butterfly wings. Non-linear systems. "One little idea" implemented with a pure heart can have an undreamed of effect.

The United States is locked down in a climate of fear and anxiety. People are scared to open their mouths against the president and the Iraq occupation. Then Cindy Sheehan comes along and shows us that it is still possible to stand up for what is right, to demand accountibility from the leaders of the country. She won't accept the empty platitudes Bush's advisors gave her over the weekend. She won't accept that Bush justify the deaths of more and more Americans on the basis of those who have already died.

Importantly, Sheehan undertook her project with an open mind, with no idea of what the results would be, with no anticipation. She did it because it is was right. Period.

How can each of us apply this idea in our own lives? Many readers write to ask us what they can DO. We can't tell anyone else what to do. We don't know your abilities, your needs, the environment in which you live. Only each of you can determine that for yourselves. What we can do is point you to Cindy Sheehan's act, as well as her intention, and suggest that you reflect upon it.

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FLASHBACK!

Global Eye Master Plan
By Chris Floyd
Published: July 22, 2005

The United States long ago ceased to be anything like a living, thriving republic. But it retained the legal form of a republic, and that counted for something: As long as the legal form still existed, even as a gutted shell, there was hope it might be filled again one day with substance.

But now the very legal structures of the Republic are being dismantled. The principle of arbitrary rule by an autocratic leader is being openly established, through a series of unchallenged executive orders, perverse Justice Department rulings and court decisions by sycophantic judges who defer to power -- not law -- in their determinations. What we are witnessing is the creation of a "commander-in-chief state," where the form and pressure of law no longer apply to the president and his designated agents. The rights of individuals are no longer inalienable, nor are their persons inviolable; all depends on the good will of the Commander, the military autocrat.

President George W. Bush has granted himself the power to declare anyone on earth -- including any U.S. citizen -- an "enemy combatant," for any reason he sees fit. He can render them up for torture, he can imprison them for life, he can even have them killed, all without charges, with no burden of proof, no standards of evidence, no legislative oversight, no appeal, no judicial process whatsoever except those that he himself deigns to construct, with whatever limitations he cares to impose. Nor can he ever be prosecuted for any order he issues, however criminal; in the new American system laid out by Bush's legal minions, the Commander is sacrosanct, beyond the reach of any law or constitution.

This is not hyperbole. It is simply the reality of the United States today. The principle of unrestricted presidential power is now being codified into law and incorporated into the institutional structures of the state, as the web log Deep Blade Journal reports in a compendium of recent outrages against liberty.

For example, last Friday, a panel of federal judges -- including John Roberts, nominated for the Supreme Court this week -- upheld Bush's claim to dispose of "enemy combatants" any way he pleases, The Washington Post reports. In a chilling decision, the judges ruled that the Commander's arbitrarily designated "enemies" are nonpersons: Neither the Geneva Conventions nor American military and domestic law apply to such garbage. Bush is now free to subject anyone he likes to his self-concocted "military tribunal" system, a brutal sham that retired top U.S. military officials have denounced as a "kangaroo court" that tyrants around the world will cite in order to hide their oppression under U.S. precedent.

The kowtowing court ruling ignores the fact that the Geneva Conventions -- which lay down strict guidelines for the handling of any person detained by military forces, regardless of the captive's status -- have been incorporated into the U.S. legal code, Deep Blade points out. They cannot be abrogated by presidential fiat. And anyone who commits a "grave breach" of the Conventions by facilitating the killing, torture or inhuman treatment of detainees (e.g., stripping them of all legal status and subjecting them to rigged tribunals) is subject to the death penalty under U.S. law.

This is why the Bush Faction labored so mightily to advance the absurd fiction that the Geneva Conventions are somehow voluntary -- while simultaneously promulgating the sinister Fuhrerprinzip of unlimited presidential authority. The fiction was a temporary sop to the crumbling legal form of the Republic, a cynical perversion of existing law to keep justice at bay until the Fuhrerprinzip could be firmly established as the new foundation of the state.

It doesn't matter anymore if the president's orders to suspend the Conventions, construct a worldwide gulag, torture captives, spy on Americans, fabricate intelligence and wage aggressive war are illegal under the "quaint" strictures of the old dispensation; the courts, packed with Bushist cadres, are now affirming the new order, the "critical authority" of the Commander, beyond law and morality, on the higher plane of what Bush calls "the path of action."

This phrase -- with its remarkable Mussolinian echoes -- was incorporated into the official "National Security Strategy of the United States," promulgated by Bush in September 2002. That document in turn was drawn largely from a manifesto issued in September 2000 by a Bush Faction group whose members included Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Jeb Bush. Their detailed plan envisioned the transformation of America into a militarized state: planting "military footprints" throughout Central Asia and the Middle East, invading Iraq, expanding the nuclear arsenal, massively increasing the defense budget -- and predicating all these "revolutionary" changes on the hopes for "a new Pearl Harbor" that would "catalyze" the lazy American public into supporting their militarist agenda.

This agenda is designed, the group said, to establish "full spectrum dominance" over geopolitical affairs, assuring control of world energy resources and precluding the rise of "any potential global rival" that might threaten the unchecked wealth and privilege of the U.S. elite. The rule of law could only be a hindrance to such a scheme, hence its replacement by the Fuhrerprinzip and the "path of action."

There has been virtually no institutional resistance to this open coup d'etat. It's now clear that the American Establishment -- and a significant portion of the American people -- have given up on the democratic experiment. They no longer wish to govern themselves; they want to be ruled by "strong leaders" who will "do whatever it takes" to protect them from harm and keep them in clover. They have sold their golden birthright of American liberty for a mess of coward's pottage.

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'Lone Wolf' Attackers a Security Concern
By MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN
Associated Press
August 10, 2005

NEW YORK - Slumping in his prison clothes and pallid from a year behind bars, Shahawar Matin Siraj didn't look like much of a threat as he silently endured a routine hearing in federal court this month.

But the 23-year-old Pakistani immigrant stands accused of a scheme to attack a busy New York subway station with bombs hidden in backpacks.

As police seek to secure the nation's largest transit system in the wake of the London Underground bombings, they say they are concerned about angry, isolated men like Siraj as much as organized terror networks like al-Qaida.

"One of the department's ongoing concerns is the emergence of 'lone wolves,'" said Paul Browne, the New York Police Department's chief spokesman.

The first known plot against New York's subways was averted in 1997, police said, when officers acting on a tip burst into Palestinian-born Gazi Ibrahim Abu Mezer's Brooklyn apartment and shot him in the leg as he reached for a toggle switch on a pipe bomb. He was sentenced to life in prison after testifying he wanted to kill Jews riding the subway in Brooklyn.

Despite initial reports of Hamas ties, Mezer was acting with a single alleged accomplice, who was convicted of an immigration violation and deported after three years in prison.

Siraj was working at an Islamic bookstore in Brooklyn when he was approached in 2003 by an Egyptian-born police informant. The informant spent months secretly monitoring Siraj and his co-defendant James Elshafay.

As a result, police say they have recordings of the two men and the informant discussing how attacks on three spots - the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and subway stations at Herald Square near Macy's and next to Bloomingdale's on Manhattan's East Side - could damage the economy as part of a holy war against the United States.

Siraj and Elshafay were arrested last August and charged with conspiring to damage the Herald Square station, a charge with a maximum 20-year sentence.

Defense attorney Khurrum Wahid described Siraj as a hardworking immigrant entrapped by an informant who whipped his client into a rage over abuses against Muslims like the scandal at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, Wahid said.

"He manages to convince them that they need to do something," Wahid said. "He puts the idea of attacking the United States into their head."

Elshafay has stopped appearing at court hearings, and Wahid said he believes the 20-year-old man is cooperating with authorities.

Besides the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the attack of Sept. 11, 2001, the nation's most significant terrorist plots and attacks were by men acting alone or in pairs without ties to known radical networks, said Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at the Rand Corporation.

Their ranks include Theodore Kacyznski, Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph, as well as Palestinian-born Ali Abu Kamal, who shot a group of tourists at the Empire State Building in 1997, killing one. Others include Egyptian immigrant Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, who opened fire at an El Al ticket counter in Los Angeles in 2002, killing two.

"I think this is one of the major challenges that we face in the U.S.," Hoffman said. "The major incidents in the U.S. have not conformed to our stereotype of an established terror organization attacking a major iconic landmark."

The FBI worries most about a catastrophic attack by seasoned al-Qaida agents armed with a biological, chemical, nuclear or radiological bomb, said Tim Herlocker, special agent-in-charge of intelligence for the counterterrorism division of the FBI's New York office.

But second on the bureau's list of concerns are newer al-Qaida affiliates, he said, followed by lone wolf attackers.

The latter, Herlocker said, "probably do the least damage."

Nonetheless, he said, "The lone wolf, when influenced by day-to-day events, is harder to stop, harder to know about, much more difficult to defend against."

Comment: The inclusion of "lone wolf" terrorists on the "list of concerns" means that any individual can now be singled out as a "terrorist". What a convenient way to prosecute current and future prisoners in the war on terror who do not have proven links to "al-Qaeda"...

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Judith Miller's Secret Meeting
By Murray Waas
The American Prospect
August 10, 2005

Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, has told federal investigators that he met with New York Times reporter Judith Miller on July 8, 2003, and discussed CIA operative Valerie Plame, according to legal sources familiar with Libby's account.

The meeting between Libby and Miller has been a central focus of the investigation by special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald as to whether any Bush administration official broke the law by unmasking Plame's identity, or relied on classified information to discredit former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, according to sources close to the case as well as documents filed in federal court by Fitzgerald.

The meeting took place in Washington, D.C., six days before columnist Robert Novak wrote his now-infamous column unmasking Plame as a "CIA operative." Although little noticed at the time, Novak's column would cause the appointment of a special prosecutor, ultimately place in potential legal jeopardy senior advisers to the president of the United States, and lead to the jailing of a New York Times reporter.

The meeting between Libby and Miller also occurred during a week of intense activity by Libby and White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove aimed at discrediting Plame's husband, Wilson, who on July 6, 2003, had gone public in a New York Times opinion piece with allegations that the Bush administration was misrepresenting intelligence information to make the case to go to war with Iraq.

Miller was jailed in July -- two years to the day after Wilson's Times op-ed appeared -- for civil contempt of court after she refused to answer questions posed to her by Fitzgerald's grand jury regarding her contacts discussing Plame with Libby and other Bush administration officials. Ironically, even though she never wrote a story about Plame, she has so far been the only person jailed in the case.

Miller's Fate Hinges on a Waiver

The new disclosure that Miller and Libby met on July 8, 2003, raises questions regarding claims by President Bush that he and everyone in his administration have done everything possible to assist Fitzgerald's grand-jury probe. Sources close to the investigation, and private attorneys representing clients embroiled in the federal probe, said that Libby's failure to produce a personal waiver may have played a significant role in Miller's decision not to testify about her conversations with Libby, including the one on July 8, 2003.

Libby signed a more generalized waiver during the early course of the investigation granting journalists the right to testify about their conversations with him if they wished to do so. At least two reporters -- Walter Pincus of The Washington Post and Tim Russert of NBC -- have testified about their conversations with Libby.

But Miller has said she would not consider providing any information to investigators about conversations with Libby or anyone else without a more specific, or personal, waiver. She said she considers general waivers to be inherently coercive. Bill Keller, the executive editor of The New York Times, has previously said Miller had not been granted "any kind of a waiver... that she finds persuasive or believes was freely given."

Libby has never offered to provide such a personalized waiver for Miller, according to three legal sources with first-hand knowledge of the matter. Joseph A. Tate, an attorney for Libby, declined to comment for this story.

In response to questions for this article, Catherine J. Mathis, a spokesperson for the Times, said, "We don't have any comment regarding Ms. Miller's whereabouts on July 8, 2003." She also added, "Ms. Miller has not received a waiver that she believes to be freely given."

It is also unclear whether Miller would testify to Fitzgerald's grand jury even if she were to receive such a personalized waiver from Libby. Her attorney, Floyd Abrams, said in an interview: "Judith Miller is in jail and at continued jeopardy ... I have no comment about what she might do in circumstances that do not now exist."

But numerous people involved in the case said in interviews for this story that a personalized waiver for Miller by Libby could potentially pave the way for Miller's release. Miller's testimony, in turn, might be crucial to a determination as to whether anyone might be criminally charged, and even to a potential end to the criminal investigation.

At least two attorneys representing private clients who are embroiled in the Plame probe also privately questioned whether or not President Bush had encouraged Libby to provide a personalized waiver for Miller in an effort to obtain her cooperation. [...]

The Crux of Fitzgerald's Investigation

Just how crucial Miller's testimony -- most notably her meeting with Libby -- might be to concluding Fitzgerald's investigation is best underscored in part by a filing in federal court last March that his investigation had been "for all practical purposes complete" as long as six months earlier, except for the potential testimony of Miller and Time magazine correspondent Matthew Cooper.

The investigation had become "stalled," Fitzgerald asserted, almost entirely by the refusal of Miller and Cooper to testify. Declaring that "[t]he public's right to have this investigation concluded diligently should be delayed no further," Fitzgerald sought the jailing on civil contempt of court charges of both Miller and Cooper.

Facing civil penalties, Time magazine abruptly reversed course and turned over its confidential notes to Fitzgerald, while Cooper testified to the federal grand jury about his conversations with Rove, Libby, and others regarding Plame and Wilson. In contrast, Miller refused to cooperate with prosecutors and was ordered to jail.

More specifically, the importance prosecutors attach to learning what occurred during Miller's meeting with Libby is illustrated by a subpoena by Fitzgerald's grand jury of Miller on August 20, 2004, for "any and all documents (including notes, e-mails, or other documents) relating to any conversations, occurring on or about July 6, 2003 to on or about July 13, 2003, between Judith Miller and a government official whom she met in Washington D.C. on July 8, 2003, concerning Valerie Plame Wilson."

Miller was also ordered to bring to the grand jury "documents provided to Judith Miller by such government official on July 8, 2003."

Details of the subpoena to Miller were first disclosed in a story in Newsday by reporter Tom Brune.

In an affidavit prepared by Miller to respond to the request, Miller said she "did not receive any documents" from the person she met, but declined to say who the person was that she met on July 8.

In subsequent court papers filed in federal court by attorneys for Miller and The New York Times, the newspaper said that Miller "had no documents responsive" to Fitzgerald's request of any documents given to her on July 8, 2003.

But Miller's affidavit and other court filings by the Times -- and the narrow language contained therein -- did not say whether Miller might have read or reviewed any documents that might have brought to the July 8, 2003, meeting.

And an attorney in private practice who once worked closely with Fitzgerald while both men were federal prosecutors said that the specific nature of Fitzgerald's request was a "good indication that [Fitzgerald] has specific information ... or perhaps even a witness who saw, or had other information" that Libby "might have brought documents to the meeting with Miller."

In her affidavit, Miller also asserted: "I have never written an article about Valerie Plame or Joe Wilson. I did however contemplate writing one or more articles in July 2003, about issues related to Ambassador Wilson's op-ed piece. In preparation for those articles, I spoke and/or met with several potential sources. One or more of those potential sources insisted as a precondition to providing information to me, that I agree to maintain the confidentiality of their identity."

Timeline of a Smear

The Libby-Miller meeting and the publication of Novak's column unmasking Valerie Plame as a CIA "operative" came during an intensive period of time while senior White House officials were scrambling to discredit her husband, former Ambassador Wilson, who was then asserting that the Bush administration had relied on faulty intelligence to bolster its case to go to war with Iraq.

Wilson had only recently led a CIA-sponsored mission to Niger to investigate claims that Saddam Hussein was covertly attempting to buy enriched uranium from the African nation to build a nuclear weapon. Wilson reported back that the allegations were most likely the result of a hoax.

But President Bush had still cited the Niger allegations during his 2003 State of the Union address as evidence that Hussein had an aggressive program to develop weapons of mass destruction.

When Wilson sought out White House officials believing they did not know all the facts, he was rebuffed. He then went public with his criticism of the Bush administration. It was then that senior administration officials began their campaign to discredit Wilson to counter his criticisms of them.

Rove and Libby, and to a lesser extent then-deputy National Security Council (NSC) adviser Stephen J. Hadley (who is currently Bush's NSC adviser), directed these efforts. Both Rove and Libby discussed with Novak, Cooper, and other journalists the fact that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, and that she was responsible for sending him to Niger, in an effort to discredit him.

The manner by which Rove and Libby learned of Plame's employment as a CIA employee before they shared that information with journalists is central to whether any federal criminal laws regarding classified information were violated. Rove and Libby have reportedly claimed that they learned of the information from journalists.

But investigators have focused on whether Rove or Libby rather first learned about Plame's CIA employment and her possible role in recommending that her husband be sent to Niger from a classified State Department memo circulated to senior Bush administration officials in the days just prior to their conversations with journalists.

Dated June 10, 2003, the memo was written for Marc Grossman, then the undersecretary of state for political affairs. It mentioned Plame, her employment with the CIA, and her possible role in recommending her husband for the Niger mission because he had previously served in the region. The mention of Plame's CIA employment was classified "Secret" and was contained in the second paragraph of the three-page classified paper.

On July 6, 2003, Wilson published his New York Times op-ed and appeared on "Meet the Press." The following day, on July 7, the memo was sent to then-secretary of state Colin L. Powell and other senior Bush administration officials, who were scrambling to respond to the public criticism. At the time, Powell and other senior administration officials were on their way to Africa aboard Air Force One as members of the presidential entourage for a state visit to Africa.

Rove and Libby apparently were not on that trip, according to press accounts. But a subpoena during the earliest days of the Plame investigation demanded records related to any telephone phone calls to and from Air Force One from July 7 to July 12, during Bush's African visit.

On July 8, Novak and Rove first spoke about Plame, according to numerous press accounts. That was also the day that Libby and Miller met in Washington, D.C., to discuss Plame.

On July 9, then-CIA director George Tenet ordered aides to draft a statement that the Niger information that the President relied on "did not rise to the level of certainty which should be required for the presidential speeches, and the CIA should have ensured that it was removed." Rove and Libby were reportedly involved in the drafting of that statement's language.

Three days later, on July 11, Rove spoke about Plame to Cooper.

On the following day, July 12, an administration official -- apparently not Rove or Libby -- told Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus that Wilson was sent to Niger on the recommendation of his wife. But Pincus has said that he did not publish a story because he "did not believe it true."

Two days later, on July 14, Novak published his column disclosing Plame's employment with the CIA, describing her as an "agency operative" and alleging that she suggested her husband for the Niger mission.

According to Novak's account, it was he, not Rove, who first broached the issue of Plame's employment with the CIA; Rove at most simply said that he, too, had heard much the same information. Rove had provided a similar account to investigators.

On July 17, Time magazine posted its own story online, which said: "[S]ome government officials have noted to Time in interviews ... that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, is a CIA official who monitors the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. These officials have suggested that she was involved in her husband's being dispatched to Niger."

Because the information in the classified State Department memo and what was reported in Novak's column and the Time story were so strikingly similar, investigators have vigorously pursued whether Rove, Libby, and others learned of her CIA employment either from the memo, someone else in the administration, or other classified references to Plame circulating within the White House.

Fitzgerald's staff and grand jury have queried a slew of Bush administration officials as to who received and read the classified State memorandum; whether Rove or Libby learned that Plame was employed with the CIA either directly from the memorandum or from others who had read it; and whether any reporters had conversations regarding the matter with Rove and Libby.

Libby has reportedly told Fitzgerald that he first learned of Plame's identity from NBC Washington bureau chief Tim Russert. But Russert has told investigators that he never told Libby about Plame. Rove said that he first learned the information from his conversation with Robert Novak.

By saying that they learned the information from reporters, the stakes are dramatically raised for the two White House aides: If it turns out that it can be shown that they learned the information from a classified source, such as the State Department memo, they could be in legal jeopardy for disclosing classified information. And if they misled investigators or the federal grand jury on that question, that trouble could be compounded.

The one person with some of the answers as to whether Libby is telling the truth very well may be Judith Miller. But she currently is incarcerated in an Alexandria jail. Lewis Libby may possibly have the ability to ascertain Miller's release by simply signing a specific, personal waiver that she disclose what she knows.

But Libby does not appear to be willing to do that.

And the president of the United States -- at whose pleasure Libby serves and who has vowed to do everything possible to get to the truth of the matter -- does not appear to be likely to direct Libby to grant such a waiver any time soon.

Murray Waas is an investigative reporter. He will be reporting further about the Plame grand jury on his blog, Whatever Already. Copyright © 2005 by The American Prospect, Inc. This article may not be resold, reprinted, or redistributed for compensation of any kind without prior written permission from the author. Direct questions about permissions to permissions@prospect.org.

Comment: Judith Miller is not exactly an "innocent" journalist in this affair; she has always been loyal to the Neocon cause (see below). It appears she is nevertheless being sacrificed to protect those she has previously helped.

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Flashback: Embedded Reporter's Role In Army Unit's Actions Questioned by Military
By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 25, 2003; Page C01

New York Times reporter Judith Miller played a highly unusual role in an Army unit assigned to search for dangerous Iraqi weapons, according to U.S. military officials, prompting criticism that the unit was turned into what one official called a "rogue operation."...

Viewed from one perspective, Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent, nationally recognized expert on weapons of mass destruction and co-author of a best-selling book on bioterrorism, was acting as an aggressive journalist. She ferreted out sources, used her long-standing relationship with Chalabi to pursue potential stories and, in the process, helped the United States take custody of two important Iraqis. Some military officers say she cared passionately about her reporting without abandoning her objectivity, and some of her critics may be overly concerned with regulations and perhaps jealous of the attention Miller's unit received...

In a May 1 e-mail to Times colleague John Burns, The Post reported, Miller said: "I've been covering Chalabi for about 10 years, and have done most of the stories about him for our paper. . . . He has provided most of the front page exclusives on WMD to our paper."...

One military officer [...] says that Miller sometimes "intimidated" Army soldiers by invoking Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld or Undersecretary Douglas Feith... Rosenthal said.

Comment: This article chronicles the tale of how Judith Miller, reporter for the New York Times, used her connections with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Undersecretary Douglas Feith and Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmed Chalabi to influence the actions of this unit during their tour in Iraq. Miller is no ordinary journalist. She has been an effective propagandist for the Bush Reich. As noted by Robert Fisk, it was Miller who began the slander campaign against the UN weapons' inspectors back in September of 2002.

Miller writes blatantly in support of Israel. Kathleen Christisen points out:

In an analysis of the nationalistic reaction to the intifada throughout the Arab world written two weeks into the intifada, Judith Miller wrote that the "rift between Israeli Jews and the Arab citizens of Israel" was another "profound emotional scar" left by the violence. Her evidence of the "emotional scar" was that Israeli Jews "were horrified by the ferocity of this uprising, which closed off large sections of their country, and by the 'Death to the Jews' slogans chanted by the Arab protesters." She made no mention of an emotional scar for Israeli Palestinians, no mention at all of the fact that 13 unarmed Israeli--Palestinian demonstrators had recently been shot to death, no mention that Israeli police had never in Israel's history opened fire on demonstrators when they were Israeli Jews, and no mention of the fact that Israeli Jewish demonstrators had chanted "Death to Arabs" during demonstrations at the same time.

And M. Shahid Alam mentioned her in a list of neo-conservatives who have supported the work of Bernard Lewis.

This Zionist camp has been led for more than fifty years by Bernard Lewis, who has enjoyed an intimate relationship with power that would be the envy of the most distinguished Orientalists of an earlier generation. He has been strongly supported by a contingent of able lieutenants, whose ranks have included the likes of Leonard Binder, Elie Kedourie and David Pryce-Jones. There are many foot-soldiers too who have provided distinguished service to this new Orientalism. And no compendium of these foot-soldiers would be complete without the names of Daniel Pipes, Martin Kramer, Thomas Friedman, Martin Peretz, Norman Podhoretz, Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol and Judith Miller.

Lewis believes that the Arabs are incapable of putting in place democratic governments. He has also stated that Arabs are "different" than "we" are and that "we" must be "reasonable" in our expectations of "them", that no matter what "we" do, Arab countries will be led by "corrupt tyrants".

So Miller is the mouthpiece of this Zionist and anti-Arab (and therefore anti-Semitic) ideologue.

Douglas Feith is the co-author with Richard Perle and David Wurmser of a document entitled "Clean Break" written in 1996 for then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The two main points of this document were: 1) the necessity for the dismantlement of Iraq, and 2) the neutralisation of Syria. Feith is very close to the Zionist Organization of America. He also holds a large number of Israeli Bonds. These are people closely connected with the Likoud Party in Israel and believe that what is good for Israel is good for the US. They openly support the butchery of Ariel Sharon.

Steve Perry has a number of links on this at his Bush Wars page.

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Why Iran will lead to World War 3
by Mike Whitney
08/08/05

"As President Bush scans the world's horizon there is no greater potential flashpoint than Iran, the President and his Foreign Policy team believe the Islamic regime in Tehran is actively pursuing nuclear weapons." - Chris Wallace, FOX News

The facts about Iran's "alleged" nuclear weapons program have never been in dispute. There is no such program and no one has ever produced a shred of credible evidence to the contrary. That hasn't stopped the Bush administration from making spurious accusations and threats; nor has it deterred America's "imbedded" media from implying that Iran is hiding a nuclear weapons program from the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency). In fact, the media routinely features the unconfirmed claims of members of terrorist organizations, like the Mujahedin Klaq, (which is on the State Depts. list of terrorist organizations) to make it appear that Iran is secretively developing nuclear arms. These claims have proved to be entirely baseless and should be dismissed as just another part of Washington's propaganda war.

Sound familiar?

Iran has no nuclear weapons program. This is the conclusion of Mohammed el-Baradei the respected chief of the IAEA. The agency has conducted a thorough and nearly-continuous investigation on all suspected sites for the last two years and has come up with the very same result every time; nothing. If we can't trust the findings of these comprehensive investigations by nuclear experts than the agency should be shut down and the NPT (Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty) should be abandoned. It is just that simple.

That, of course, is exactly what the US and Israel would prefer since they have no intention of complying with international standards or treaties and are entirely committed to a military confrontation with Iran. It now looks as though they may have the pretext for carrying out such an attack.

Two days ago, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman formally rejected a plan submitted by the EU members that would have barred Iran from "enrichment-related activities". Foreign Minister Hamid Reza Asefi said, "The Europeans' submitted proposals regarding the nuclear case are not acceptable for Iran."

Asefi did the right thing; the offer was conspicuously hypocritical. The United States doesn't allow any intrusive inspections on its nuclear weapons sites even though it is the only nation that has ever used nukes in battle and even though it is developing a whole new regime of tactical "bunker-buster" bombs for destroying heavily-fortified weapons sites buried beneath the ground.

The US is also the only nation that claims the right to use nukes in a "first-strike" capacity if it feels that its national security interests are at stake.

The NPT is entirely designed to harass the countries that have not yet developed nuclear weapons and force them to observe rules designed by the more powerful states. It was intended to maintain the existing power-structure not to keep the peace.

Even so, Iran is not "violating" the treaty by moving ahead with a program for "enriching uranium". They don't even have the centrifuges for conducting such a process. The re-opening of their facility at Isfahan signals that they will continue the "conversion" process to produce the nuclear fuel that is required in nuclear power plants. This is all permitted under the terms of the NPT. They temporarily suspended that right, and accepted other confidence-building measures, to show the EU their willingness to find a reasonable solution to mutual concerns. But, now, under pressure from the Bush administration, the EU is trying to renege on its part of the deal and change the terms of the treaty itself.

No way.

So far, Iran has played entirely by the rules and deserves the same considerations as the other signatories of the treaty. The EU members
(England, Germany, and France) are simply back-pedaling in a futile effort to mollify Washington and Tel Aviv. Besides, when Iran re-opens its plant and begins work, the UN "watchdog" agency (IAEA) will be present to set up the necessary surveillance cameras and will resume monitoring everything that goes on during the sensitive fuel-cycle process.

Iran has shown an unwillingness to be bullied by Washington. The Bush administration has co-opted the EU to enforce its double-standards by threatening military action, but that doesn't' conceal the duplicity of their demands. Why should Iran forgo the processing of nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes if it is written right into the treaty? Would Israel or Pakistan accept a similar proposal?

Of course, not. Both countries ignored the treaty altogether and built their own nuclear weapons behind the back of the international community. Only Iran has been singled out and punished for COMPLYING with the treaty. This demonstrates the power of Washington to dictate the international agenda.

Iran's refusal puts the EU in a position to refer the case to the IAEA, where the board members will make their determination and decide whether the case should be sent to the UN Security Council. Whether the IAEA passes the case along or not makes little difference. Bush, Sharon and the western media will exploit the details in a way that condemns Iran and paves the way for a preemptive attack. The drive to war will not be derailed by mere facts.

Iran has weathered the media criticism and the specious claims of the Bush administration admirably. They have responded with caution and discipline seeking reasonable solutions to thorny issues. Never the less, they have been unwavering in defending their rights under the NPT. This consistency in behavior suggests that they will be equally unswerving if they are the targets of an unprovoked attack. We should expect that they will respond with full force; ignoring the threats of nuclear retaliation. And, so they should. One only has to look at Iraq to see what happens if one does not defend oneself. Nothing is worth that.

The Iranian people should be confident that their government will do whatever is their power to defend their borders, their national sovereignty and their right to live in peace without the threat of foreign intervention. That, of course, will entail attacking both Israel and US forces in Iraq. Whether or not the US actually takes part in the initial air raids is immaterial; by Mr. Bush's own standards, the allies of "those who would do us harm" are just as culpable as those who conduct the attacks. In this case, the US has provided the long-range aircraft as well as the "bunker-busting" munitions for the planned assault. The administration's responsibility is not in doubt.

We should anticipate that the Iranian government has a long-range strategy for "asymmetrical" warfare that will disrupt the flow of oil and challenge American interests around the world. Certainly, if one is facing an implacable enemy that is committed to "regime change" there is no reason to hold back on doing what is necessary to defeat that adversary. So far, none of the terrorist bombings in London, Spain, Turkey, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia or the US have implicated even one Iranian national. That will certainly change. Iranian Intelligence has probably already planned covert operations that will be carried out in the event of an unprovoked attack on their facilities. Iran is also likely to become an active supporter of international terrorist groups; enlisting more recruits in the war against American interests. After all, any attack on Iran can only be construed as a declaration of all-out war.

Isn't that so?

If Iran retaliates against Israel or the US in Iraq, then both nations will proceed with a plan that is already in place to destroy all of Iran's biological, chemical and conventional weapons sites. In fact, this is the ultimate US strategy anyway; not the elimination of the "imaginary" nuclear weapons facilities. Both the US and Israel want to "de-fang" the Mullah-regime so that they can control critical resources and eliminate the possibility of a regional rival in the future.

In the short term, however, the plan is fraught with difficulties. At present, there is no wiggle room in the world's oil supply for massive disruptions and most experts are predicting shortages in the 4th quarter of this year. If the administration's war on Iran goes forward we will see a shock to the world's oil supplies and economies that could be catastrophic. That being the case, a report that was leaked last week that Dick Cheney had STRATCOM (Strategic Command) draw up "contingency plans for a tactical nuclear war against Iran", is probably a bit of brinksmanship intended to dissuade Iran from striking back and escalating the conflict.

It makes no difference. If Iran is attacked they will retaliate; that much is certain.

It is always the mistake of extremists to misjudge the behavior of reasonable men; just as it is always the mistake of reasonable men to mistake the behavior of extremists.

We should not expect the Bush administration to make a rational choice; that would be a dramatic departure from every preceding decision of consequence.

The President of the United States always has the option of unleashing Armageddon if he so chooses. Normally, however, sanity prevails.

When the bombs hit the bunkers in Iran; World War 3 will be underway.

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Iran provokes an international crisis: France
AFP

PARIS, Aug 8 (AFP) - Iran's resumption of nuclear activities Monday has created a "grave crisis" that requires a united response from the international community, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said.

"The international community will react and will decide the response to give," he told AFP.

"I hope it will be united in the face of this grave crisis deliberately provoked by Iran."

The minister said French officials had received a letter from Tehran giving a negative answer to a package of EU incentives offered in exchange for Iran suspending nuclear work that could be used to build weapons.

The tone of the letter was "particularly alarming," Douste-Blazy said, adding that it was "contrary to the spirit of the negotiations we have held with Iran over the past two years.

"I call on Iran to listen to the voice of reason and to return to fully respecting the Paris accord" struck last November which set the framework for the trade package and the suspension of Iran's nuclear activities, he said.

The UN's atomic watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), confirmed Monday that Iran had begun the first stage of uranium ore conversion, an initial step in the nuclear fuel cycle.

Uranium conversion produces a gas that is the feedstock for enriching uranium into fuel for civilian nuclear power plants. In highly refined form, it can be the raw material for atomic bombs.

France, Britain and Germany, which headed the negotiations with Iran on behalf of the European Union, have called an extraordinary meeting of the IAEA board of governors on Tuesday to discuss Iran's violation of the Paris accord.

The board is expected to issue a final ultimatum to Iran, under threat of referring the matter to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions against the country.

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Bush Removed Federal Prosecutor To End Investigation

By Walter F. Roche Jr., Los Angeles Times | August 8, 2005

US attorney's demotion halted probe of lobbyist

WASHINGTON -- A US grand jury in Guam opened an investigation of controversial lobbyist Jack Abramoff more than two years ago, but President Bush removed the supervising federal prosecutor, and the probe ended soon after.

The previously undisclosed Guam inquiry is separate from a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia that is investigating allegations that Abramoff bilked Indian tribes out of millions of dollars.

In Guam, a US territory in the Pacific, investigators were looking into Abramoff's secret arrangement with Superior Court officials to lobby against a court reform bill then pending in Congress. The legislation, since approved, gave the Guam Supreme Court authority over the Superior Court.

In 2002, Abramoff was retained by the Superior Court in what was an unusual arrangement for a public agency. The Los Angeles Times reported in May that Abramoff was paid with a series of $9,000 checks funneled through a Laguna Beach, Calif., lawyer to disguise the lobbyist's role working for the Guam court. No separate contract was authorized for Abramoff's work.

Guam court officials have never explained the contractual arrangement. At the time, Abramoff was a well-known lobbying figure in the Pacific islands because of his work for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Saipan garment manufacturers, accused of employing workers in what critics called sweatshop conditions.

Abramoff spokesman Andrew Blum said the lobbyist ''has no recollection of his being investigated in Guam in 2002. If he had been aware of an investigation, he would have cooperated fully." Blum declined to respond to detailed questions.

The transactions were the target of a grand jury subpoena issued Nov. 18, 2002, according to the subpoena. It demanded that Anthony Sanchez, administrative director of the Guam Superior Court, turn over all records involving the lobbying contract, including bills and payments.

A day later, the chief prosecutor, US Attorney Frederick A. Black, who had launched the investigation, was demoted. A White House news release announced that Bush was replacing Black.

The timing caught some by surprise. Despite his officially temporary status as the acting US attorney, Black had held the assignment for more than a decade.

The acting US attorney was a controversial official in Guam. At the time he was replaced, Black was directing a long-term investigation into allegations of public corruption in the administration of then-Governor Carl Gutierrez. The probe produced numerous indictments, including some of the governor's political associates and top aides.

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Entertainers Urged to Apologize for Nazi Comparisons
By Susan Jones
CNSNews.com Senior Editor
August 09, 2005

(CNSNews.com) - A leading Holocaust Studies institute wants entertainers Harry Belafonte, Dick Gregory, and Woody Allen to retract their recent statements comparing the Bush administration, Israelis, and black conservatives to Nazis.

As Cybercast News Service reported, Belafonte over the weekend used a Hitler analogy when asked what impact prominent blacks such as former Secretary of State Colin Powell and current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had on the Bush administration's relations with minorities.

"Hitler had a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of the Third Reich. Color does not necessarily denote quality, content or value," Belafonte said in an exclusive interview with Cybercast News Service.

That's incorrect, said Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, which describes itself as a research and education institute focusing on America's response to the Holocaust.

"Some entertainers simply don't know much about history," said Medoff. "The fact is that there were no Jews in Hitler's hierarchy; the policies of America and Israel are not similar to those of Hitler; and African-American conservatives are not comparable to Nazis."

The Wyman Institute (located at Gratz College in suburban Philadelphia) is urging the three entertainers to publicly retract their "inaccurate and hurtful" remarks about Hitler and the Holocaust.

"Such analogies pollute public discourse by trivializing the brutal horrors committed by the Nazis," Medoff said.

"Hitler was a maniacal dictator whose regime systematically annihilated six million Jews, and launched a world war that caused the deaths of more than forty million people. How can any reasonable person put Hitler and the Nazis in the same sentence as American or Israeli leaders, or black conservatives?"

Comment: It can be done quite easily and reasonably actually. All one needs to do is look at the results of American foreign policy so far under the rule of the Bush gang or Sharon's Zionist Likud party. Hundreds of thousands have already been murdered, and the worst is surely yet to come.

Comedian Dick Gregory, also interviewed by Cybercast News Service, said that African-American conservatives "have a right to exist, but why would I want to walk around with a swastika on my shirt after the way Hitler done messed it up?"

Earlier this summer, comedian and filmmaker Woody Allen told the German magazine Der Spiegel: "The history of the world is like, he kills me, I kill him -- only with different cosmetics and different castings: so in 2001 some fanatics killed some Americans, and now some Americans are killing some Iraqis. And in my childhood, some Nazis killed Jews. And now, some Jewish people and some Palestinians are killing each other."

Comment: Remember, the Bush gang and Sharon and his cronies are not acting in exactly the same way that the Nazis did, so stop saying that.

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Electronic Harassment: A Real Threat
By Michele Moore

Suppose there was a technology that would allow you to secretly and silently stupefy and befuddle your adversaries, competitors and rivals without a trace. If the stakes were high enough in terms of money and power, would you use it? Can you be sure such weapons are not being used against you? The answer is, probably not.

It is an established fact that non ionizing microwave radiation, especially Extra Low Frequency ELF microwaves can induce sudden and dramatic changes in human psychological states, alter sleep patterns, cause headaches, memory loss and physiological changes. These ELF microwaves are invisible and virtually undetectable. Their effects are not widely known and the equipment to prove they are being used is not generally available.

Specific Electronic Threats:

• Microwaves pulsed at specific frequencies over stimulate the brain’s production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter associated with the storage of memory, inducing memory loss and a sense of timelessness and/or missing time.

• Other ELF microwave frequencies induce an aversive reaction characteristic of avoidance learning. Think of the impact of this if used during political debates.

• A weak (1 mW) 4 Hz magnetic sine wave can modify human brain waves in 6 to 10 seconds. The psychological effects of a 4 Hz sine magnetic wave are negative -- causing dizziness, nausea, headache, and can lead to vomiting.

The telephone and electric wiring in our homes and businesses can serve as gigantic transmitters and receivers. Technology to transmit specific ELF frequencies into our homes and businesses is readily available. It is not unlike the devices that allow you to install a telephone extension by sending radio frequencies through your electric lines.

Microwave transmissions can be focused quite narrowly over long distances. They can penetrate walls, glass and physical barriers just as cell phone transmissions do. Microwave transmissions aimed at a bed head board could literally cook a victim’s brain during sleep without their ever being fully aware of what is happening to them.

Ultra Sonics: It is also possible to hear and understand spoken words transmitted by pulsed-microwave analogs of a speaker's sound vibrations. The words could be inaudible to the people around listener and would seem to be the listener’s own thoughts. Imagine the implications for disseminating disinformation during corporate presentations.

Electronic harassment technology has come a long way since the Soviets bombarded the US Embassy with microwaves in the 1970's. A similar system was apparently used against the British women protesting the presence of American cruise missiles at Greenham Common Air Base also during the seventies. These devices employed electromagnetic radiation (EMR) of gigahertz frequency, pulsed at extremely low frequencies (ELF) to torture people physically and mentally, covertly from a distance.

Congressional inquiry into electronic harassment technologies, especially after the MKULTRA affair in the 1980's quickly drove the development and deployment of these electronic harassment devices into the hands of independent contractors where they remain today. These contractors move seamlessly and secretly between the government and private sectors.

Sadly, there is remarkably little information readily available about the status and use of electronic harassment devices in the world today. What is accessible is old and is often associated with extra terrestrial alien internet sites. Three fairly credible links are:

http://www.subversiveelement.com/MK_Psychotronic_weapons.html

http://www.subversiveelement.com/MKmartin5.html

http://www.whale.to/b/krawczyk.html

The threat of electronic harassment technologies to American businesses and freedom is real. Anyone involved in a contentious and competitive business situation needs to be aware these technologies exist so they can protect themselves and their interests.

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US sets date for biometric passports
Expatica
Aug 10, 2005

NANTES, FRANCE – The US Department of State announced today a timeframe for issuing electronic passports that supporters say will improve the government's ability to protect its borders and critics say are a dangerous step towards a Big Brother-like surveillance society.

The state department has publicized its plans to issue 'biometric' passports for some time; today the department solidified the calendar for issuing such passports, which will combine facial recognition technology, a radio-frequency chip that contains all the information written on the inside cover of the passport, and a digital signature intended to prevent unauthorized alterations.

The department confirmed that it will issue the first such passports this December, as anticipated. The current plan calls for all domestic passport agencies to issue them by October 2006. In anticipation of this changeover, the National Passport Center tacked on a $12 surcharge in March 2005 for all passport renewals; renewal by mail now costs $67 or $97 if you have to show up in person.

Critics are wary of the biometric passports for two reasons. First, they say the technology doesn't actually work very well and will cause even longer delays at security checkpoints, for example, when the facial reader doesn't recognize the carrier or when signals from multiple chips interfere with each other.

To address the specific complaint that chips may be susceptible to unauthorized reading, referred to 'skimming', the Department today said it would incorporate anti-skimming technology in the front cover. It provided no technical details as to how that would work.

The Department also said it is "seriously considering" using a technology called Basic Access Control intended to prevent the chip from being accessed until the passport is opened.

But an even more pressing worry, say civil liberties activists, is the potential use of such passports to require what will amount to a "global identity card" and give the government too much for tracking citizen's movements.

"What we are witnessing amounts to an effort by the U.S. government and others (whether conscious or not) to leapfrog over the politically untenable idea of adopting a national identity card, and set a course directly toward the creation of a global identity document," said a white paper from the ACLU issued last November.

The European Union likewise has comparable plans to create biometric passports, plans that have met with comparable opposition.

"These proposals are yet another result of the 'war on terrorism' which show that the EU is just as keen as the USA to introduce systems of mass surveillance which have much more to do with political and social control than fighting terrorism," wrote editor Tony Bunyan on his civil liberties online newsletter Statewatch.

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Officials Test Radio Tags at Canada Border
By WILLIAM KATES
The Associated Press
Tuesday, August 9, 2005; 9:37 AM

ALEXANDRIA BAY, N.Y. -- Security officials gathered Monday at a Canadian border crossing to mark the first test of a radio frequency identification system to be used by foreign visitors.

If successful, radio "tags" carried by travelers will be part of the standard registration process for those entering the United States.

The technology is like that used to speed passage at toll booths on many highways, said P.T. Wright, the operations director for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's US-VISIT Program.

Testing began last week at the Thousand Islands Bridge crossing from Canada. It also is being done at the Peace Arch and Pacific Highway crossings in Blaine, Wash., and two crossings in Nogales, Ariz.

The new technology could help relieve congestion at border crossings, while also helping authorities weed out potential terrorists, drug dealers and other criminals, officials say.

This is the second phase of US-VISIT, the screening system launched in 2004 at busy airports, sea ports and land crossings. The system requires scanning fingerprints and photographs of the visitor's face into a computer when someone who wants to enter the U.S. applies for a visa.

All foreign travelers using visas will also obtain their radio tags from U.S. Customs officials when they first register to enter the United States. The tag is embedded into a document, which the traveler presents to enter or leave the United States.

The crossing points are equipped with antennas that read the tags for a secured and coded serial number linked to a database with the information provided by the traveler.

The antennas can read the tags up to 30 feet away and recognize many tags simultaneously, Wright said. Ideally, travelers will be able to flash them going by at highway speeds, he said.

The first phase of testing will have a simple focus - to make sure the antennas can read each chip, that the system correctly relays that information and successfully matches it with the government's databases.

In the second phase, which will begin next spring, border agents will use the system at their checkpoints to identify travelers.

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Attack on London "a matter of time": police
www.chinaview.cn 2005-08-10 19:22:57

LONDON, Aug. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- British police called on businesses in the City of London to put in place their contingency plans for terrorist attacks, saying the attacks there is only "a matter of time," the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

James Hart, commissioner of the City of London Police, told the newspapers there had been "hostile reconnaissance" of the City on several occasions since the 2001 Sept. 11 attacks on America.

"Every successful terrorist group pre-surveys its target. There's no doubt we've been subject to that surveillance and that sort of thing has been successfully disrupted," he said.

Places staked out included iconic sites, businesses and prominent buildings, "anywhere where the maximum damage can be inflicted on the financial systems of the City of London and (where you can ) associate that with mass murder and maximum disruption," Hart said.

The commissioner blamed chief executives and boards for inadequate contingency planning. Although the London attacks on July 7 had prompted businesses to look again at contingency planning, he said, adding that only 50 percent of businesses had plans in place.

He pointed out that the City of London had been the subject of terrorist attacks for three decades.

"Look at the number of times we were hit by the IRA (Irish Republican Army). I think another attack is a question of when rather than if," Hart said, adding that the mind-set of would-be terrorists was the financial centers of western governments presented prime targets.

Comment: Expect more attacks in London. We've heard it from the horse's mouth. MI5 is on the prowl. Britons need to be whipped into hysteria for the next round of the "war on terror", the "clash of civilisations"!

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Ex-chief rabbis reiterate calls to refuse orders, resist pullout
Last update - 06:59 09/08/2005
By Haaretz Staff

Former chief rabbis Avraham Shapira and Mordechai Eliyahu once again called on soldiers to refuse orders under the disengagement, Israel Radio reported early Tuesday.

The rabbis published letters on the matter before dawn on Tuesday, in response to questions they had received from settlers.

The ex-chief rabbi was especially adamant that soldiers must not clear out graves and synagogues, if they are ordered to when evacuating settlements.

When asked about the graves, Eliyahu replied the settlers should pour fortified concrete over them until it is a meter thick and filled with metal.

Shapira said those who participate in these activities defile the sanctity of the spots. "Woe be unto a soldier or policeman and woe be unto his soul if they take part in this atrocity," the rabbi writes.

The former chief rabbi also said not every rabbi is qualified to make decisions regarding this complicated issue. He added this in response to rabbis who have objected to his stance on the subject.

"Only the greatest learned pupils of the generation may rule on these matters and anyone who has not achieved this level must avoid doing so," the rabbi said.

In the last few days, Shapira sent a letter to chief military rabbi Yisrael Weiss, who quoted the ex-chief rabbi in a speech. Shapira said Weiss must not quote him unless the army rabbi is prepared to follow his teachings and stop evacuating synagogues and clearing out graves.

Eliyahu told Gush Katif residents in his letter that they should view leaving their possessions in their homes as a "measure of piety." He said those who cannot adhere to this rule must at least pack at the last minute.

Shapira also addressed this issue, saying, "a soldier or policeman who damages the residents' property is a robber. It is every man's right to protect his property from any damage caused unlawfully. Every Jew must do all in his power to prevent such an offense."

The ex-chief rabbi also ruled that it is strictly forbidden to hand over lands to non-Jews. The rabbi said those who do so "will not have clean hands. Not in this world and not in the next."

The religious leaders had issued similar orders in the past, calling on soldiers to refuse orders to evacuate Gush Katif and some West Bank settlements under the disengagement, which is set to begin in under a week.

Comment: It appears that for these illustrious men of God, a dead Jew is worth more than the life of a Palestinian. Why? Because Yahweh said so.

3000 years ago.

That no one alive today was on hand to record this generous offer from Yahweh doesn't matter. That the basis of the special, "Chosen" character of the Jews comes from a text that claims the existence of "historical" figures and sites for which there is no archaeological or written evidence other than the famous "Word of God", doesn't count either. That two other religions base their legitimacy upon the same book and fairy stories, and are therefore less than objective in looking at the claims of Judaism, doesn't appear to be enough to dislodge the "faith" of the followers in the veracity of the beliefs.

God works in mysterious ways.

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Gov't: 40 families of Bedouin collaborators can move to Israel
Last update - 01:26 09/08/2005
By Aluf Benn and Yuval Yoaz, Haaretz Correspondents

The security cabinet decided Monday to permit 40 families of Bedouin collaborators with Israel to move here from the south Gaza village of Dahaniyeh. The decision is subject to approval by the government, which will discuss the issue next week.

The families had submitted a petition to the High Court of Justice asking to be relocated to Israel, as legal residents, during the disengagement, and requesting compensation payments similar to those the government is giving settlers being evacuated under the pullout.

"Some Dahaniyeh residents were employed in security activities for the State of Israel, and acted in operations that really advanced the state's security," the residents said in their petition. "In the eyes of Palestinians, the residents of Dahaniyeh are considered traitors and enemies destined for death."

The security cabinet decided Monday to establish a committee to discuss granting the families compensation and legal status in Israel. Some of the families already have Israeli identification cards. The committee will include Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, Interior Minister Ophir Pines-Paz and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.

The families will apparently enter Israel as temporary residents, and their homes, like those of the Gaza settlers, will be demolished.

The village of Dahaniyeh, inhabited by 67 Bedouin families originally from Sinai, is known as "the village of collaborators" because a majority of its residents have helped the government carry out security operations.

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Yeshiva student held for J'lem anti-Arab graffiti
Aug. 9, 2005 11:45 | Updated Aug. 9, 2005 14:06
By ETGAR LEFKOVITS

A 20-year-old yeshiva student was under arrest Tuesday for allegedly carrying out a series of acts of anti-Arab graffiti in the city, police said.

The suspect, Eliran Sabbach, who studies at a Jerusalem yeshiva in the city's Beit Yisrael neighborhood near Mea She'arim, is suspected of spray-painting the slogans "Death to Arabs" and "A good Arab is a dead Arab" in the Old City over the last month, as well as placing locks on the storefronts of Arab shops in the Muslim Quarter.

During his police interrogation, the suspect confessed to carrying out the acts, and told police that he did so because he was "hurting" over last month's Palestinian suicide bombing in Netanya in which five Israelis were killed, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said.

The suspect, who will be brought to a Jerusalem court Tuesday afternoon for a remand hearing, has said that he carried out the acts on his own.

A man who answered the phone in the chief Rabbi's office at the 'Or Chayim' Yeshiva, where the suspect studied, had no immediate comment Tuesday.

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Israel to make Gaza closed military zone
www.chinaview.cn 2005-08-10 15:29:24

GAZA, Aug. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- The Israeli army has decided to announce the Gaza Strip a closed military zone for Jewish settlers and Israelis as of Aug. 14, Israel Radio reported Wednesday.

The radio quoted security sources as saying that the Israeli army would only allow the settlers to evacuate from the Gaza Strip, but entry into the occupied area would be denied.

The radio also quoted Israeli army Southern Command Brigadier-General Guy Tsur as saying that settlers who refuse to leave voluntarily before forced evacuations begin on Aug. 17 their homes would be demolished and they would loose their homes contents.

The sources said that the Israeli disengagement from Gaza formally begins on Aug. 15 and the settlers must evacuate in two days or the Israeli police and army would enforce evacuation.

Comment: With no Jews in the Gaza, Israeli military operations can be conducted even more ruthlessly, as if that were possible, without needing to worry about inadvertant bombing of Jewish settlements. Gaza will become the site of a continual military operation against the Palestinians in the war of genocide being waged by the Zionist occupiers of Palestine.

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Senior US officials unsure about planned pullout from Iraq
www.chinaview.cn 2005-08-10 15:30:46

WASHINGTON, Aug. 9 (Xinhuanet) -- Given the increasing violence in Iraq, no one knows for sure when US troops could start a major pullout, two senior officials admitted Tuesday.

The accurate time of a large-scale withdrawal depends on Iraq's political progress, the security situation in the country and the capability of the newly-founded Iraqi forces, both Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard Myers and Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld told a news briefing at the Pentagon.

When asked about when Iraqi forces can take the lead in fighting militants, Myers replied, "nobody knows."

He described the issue as "event-driven" and it is going to be "driven by a lot of events."

The US military will wait until events on the ground could give a clear answer, said Myers.

Rumsfeld also offered no new thoughts on the pullout plan, saying any decision on the issue will be based on commanders' understanding of the security situation and the capabilities of the now 173,000-strong Iraqi security forces.

Earlier, Pentagon officials said they were considering a plan to gradually withdraw US forces from Iraq next year.

However, a Pentagon spokesman announced Monday that it is highly likely for the US military to temporarily raise the troop levels in Iraq, so as to enhance security during the country's October constitutional referendum and December's elections.

Local analysts pointed out that while the Pentagon envisions pulling some of the US troops out of Iraq next year once the situation is stabilized, the increasing violence has made a short-term reinforcement more urgent.

Comment: Ah, yes. The old ploy of raising troop levels to prepare for troop reduction. A grand plan. Rummy will send in more troops for October, then, after January, bring them home and announce that troop reductions have begun!

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US knew 9/11 hijackers before attacks
www.chinaview.cn 2005-08-10 15:05:56

BEIJING, Aug. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- A US military team identified four Sept. 11 hijackers, including ringleader Mohammed Atta, as a likely part of an al-Qaida cell over a year before the 2001 attacks, a former team member said on Tuesday.

Rep. Curt Weldon, a Pennsylvania Republican who is vice chairman of both the House Armed Services and Homeland Security committees, said the information have been provided to the staff of the Sept. 11 commission.

According to Weldon, the team named "Able Danger" identified Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi, Khalid al-Mihdar and Nawaf al-Hazmi as members of a cell the unit code-named "Brooklyn" because of some loose connections to New York City.

Sept. 11 commission co-chairman Lee Hamilton said Tuesday that Weldon's information, which the congressman said came from multiple intelligence sources, warrants a review. He said he hoped the panel could issue a statement on its findings by the end of the week.

"The 9/11 commission did not learn of any U.S. government knowledge prior to 9/11 of surveillance of Mohammed Atta or of his cell," said Hamilton, a former Democratic congressman from Indiana. "Had we learned of it obviously it would've been a major focus of our investigation."

The Sept. 11 commission's final report, issued last year, recounted numerous government mistakes that allowed the hijackers to succeed. Among them was a failure to share intelligence within and among agencies.

The issue resurfaced Monday in a story by the bimonthly Government Security News, which covers national security matters.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said he was unaware of the intelligence until the latest reports surfaced.

Comment: Well, of course, they knew about them. If they were going to be set up as patsies, they needed to be followed, contacted, and manipulated.

What was the real role of the patsies is not known. Hopsicker reports that Atta had attended a US military base in Alabama in 1996 for training and says the flight schools were CIA covers. Hopsicker, though, stresses the Saudi connection while saying nothing about Israel.

Atta's father says his son phoned him the day after the attack to say he was being set up.

The obvious spin that will be given to this latest report is that it illustrates once again that "US intelligence agencies failed", the official line since the beginning.

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Good News! Soon You'll No Longer Need an Expensive College Education to Work in the US
Watching the Economy Crumble
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
CounterPunch

The US continues its descent into the Third World, but you would never know it from news reports of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ July payroll jobs release.

The media gives a bare bones jobs report that is misleading. The public heard that 207,000 jobs were created in July. If not a reassuring figure, at least it is not a disturbing one. On the surface things look to be pretty much OK. It is when you look into the composition of these jobs that the concern arises.

Of the new jobs, 26,000 (about 13%) are tax-supported government jobs. That leaves 181,000 private sector jobs. Of these private sector jobs, 177,000, or 98%, are in the domestic service sector.

Here is the breakdown of the major categories:

• 30,000 food servers and bar tenders;
• 28,000 health care and social assistance:
• 12,000 real estate;
• 6,000 credit intermediation;
• 8,000 transit and ground passenger transportation;
• 50,000 retail trade; and
• 8,000 wholesale trade.

(There were 7,000 construction jobs, most of which were filled by Mexicans immigrants.)

Not a single one of these jobs produces a tradable good or service that can be exported or serve as an import substitute to help reduce the massive and growing US trade deficit. The US economy is employing people to sell things, to move people around, and to serve them fast food and alcoholic beverages. The items may have an American brand name, but they are mainly made off shore. For example, 70% of Wal-Mart’s goods are made in China.

Where are the jobs for the 65,000 engineers the US graduates each year? Where are the jobs for the physics, chemistry, and math majors? Who needs a university degree to wait tables and serve drinks, to build houses, to work as hospital orderlies, bus drivers, and sales clerks?

In the 21st century job growth in the US economy has consistently reflected that of a Third World country--low productivity domestic services jobs. This goes on month after month and no one catches on--least of all the economists and the policymakers.

Economists assume that every high productivity, high paying job that is shipped out of the country is a net gain for America. We are getting things cheaper, they say. Perhaps, for a while, until the dollar goes. What the cheaper goods argument overlooks are the reductions in the productivity and pay of employed Americans and in the manufacturing, technical, and scientific capability of the US economy.

What is the point of higher education when the job opportunities in the economy do not require it?

These questions are too difficult for economists, politicians, and newscasters. Instead, we hear that “last month the US economy created 207,000 jobs.”

Television has an inexhaustible supply of optimistic economists.

Last weekend CNN had John Rutledge (erroneously billed as the person who drafted President Reagan’s economic program) explaining that the strength of the US economy was “mom and pop businesses.” The college student with whom I was watching the program broke out laughing.

What mom and pop businesses? Everything that used to be mom and pop businesses has been replaced with chains and discount retailers. Auto parts stores are chains, pharmacies are chains, restaurants are chains. Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Lowes, have destroyed hardware stores, clothing stores, appliance stores, building supply stores, gardening shops, whatever--you name it.

Just try starting a small business today. Most gasoline station/convenience stores seem to be the property of immigrant ethnic groups who acquired them with the aid of a taxpayer-financed US government loan.

Today a mom and pop business is a cleaning service that employs Mexicans, a pool service, a lawn service, or a limo service.

In recent years the US economy has been kept afloat by low interest rates. The low interest rates have fueled a real estate boom. As housing prices rise, people refinance their mortgages, take equity out of their homes and spend the money, thus keeping the consumer economy going.

The massive American trade and budget deficits are covered by the willingness of Asian countries, principally Japan and China, to hold US government bonds and to continue to acquire ownership of America’s real assets in exchange for their penetration of US markets.

This game will not go on forever. When it stops, what is left to drive the US economy?

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Oil Prices Rise Following Mixed Report
By EDITH BALAZS
The Associated Press
Wednesday, August 10, 2005; 11:19 AM

Traders are nervous about threats to output around the world because of continued strong demand in the United States, China and beyond, with high prices only tempering fuel consumption slightly.

Energy markets have been particularly sensitive to a spate of refinery outages in recent weeks, briefly sending crude futures on Tuesday to record territory above $64 a barrel. The transition of power in Saudi Arabia last week following the death of King Fahd also unnerved markets, as did the security-related closure of the U.S. embassy earlier this week in the world's largest oil-producing nation.

Light, sweet crude for September delivery was up 23 cents to $63.30 in morning trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 87 cents to settle at $63.07 on Tuesday after reaching a new intraday high of $64.27 earlier.

While oil prices are about 40 percent higher than a year ago, they would need to surpass $90 a barrel to exceed the inflation-adjusted peak set in 1980.

OPEC has pledged to pump more oil if needed, though the market has tended to brush off such talk because with worldwide demand averaging some 84 million barrels a day, excess production capacity is limited to about 1.5 million barrels a day and the type of oil available - sour crude - is not the preferred variety for making transportation fuels. [...]

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Vaccines and Autism: Looking for the Truth? Study the Amish
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Huffington Post
Tue Aug 9, 1:55 AM ET

On Sunday morning's Meet the Press, Dr. Harvey Fineberg, president of the Institute of Medicine, debated New York Times reporter and author David Kirby about the strength of the science linking the current epidemic of neurological disorders among American children to the mercury-based vaccine preservative Thimerosal. The Institute of Medicine as well as the Centers for Disease Control and the
Food and Drug Administration base their defense of Thimerosal on four flimsy studies ginned up by the pharmaceutical industry and federal regulators who green-lighted the use of Thimerosal in the first place. Those fraudulent studies deliberately targeted European populations which were exposed to a fraction of the Thimerosal given to American children.

If Dr. Fineberg genuinely wants to test his assertions about Thimerosal safety with epidemiological data, he should commission a study comparing American children who were exposed to vaccines to the Amish, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Scientists or others, who, for religious reasons, did not receive Thimerosal-laced vaccines.

A recent survey by United Press found that autism is virtually unknown among Pennsylvania's large Amish populations -- a strong indication that vaccines are indeed a principal culprit of the epidemic.

Despite the repeated urgings of independent scientists and the families of autistic children, the federal agencies involved have refused to commission such a study and have closed federal vaccine files in order to derail the creation of those studies by outside scientists.

Comment: The fact that an independent and fair study is not allowed should be a fairly clear indicator as to whether or not Thimerosal causes autism - and who knows what else - in children.

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San Quentin Has Largest Riot Since 1982
By GARANCE BURKE
Associated Press
Tue Aug 9, 9:38 AM ET

SAN QUENTIN, Calif. - Forty-two inmates were injured Monday when a simmering dispute between two ethnic groups erupted into the largest riot at San Quentin State Prison in 23 years.

The fight broke out between white and Hispanic inmates in a medium security dormitory-style unit that houses roughly 900 prisoners, said Vernell Crittendon, the prison's public information officer.

Prison officials said as many as 80 inmates in several different buildings were involved in the tumult, which lasted six minutes. It took about 50 officers armed with batons and pepper spray to quell the fight, said Sgt. Eric Messick, a warden's administrative assistant.

Three seriously injured inmates were taken to area hospitals, authorities said. [...]

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Meteor over Reunion Island
Source

At least several hundred observers admired, Thursday night, a disintegrating meteorite in the sky over Reunion. Then we lost any trace as it appears to have fallen into the Indian Ocean. But who knows that a meteorite was found on Reunion in 1983? And today we are ready to try and uncover the mysteries of the "meteorite of Sanite Rose". [...]

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Tension Headaches Cut In Half With Acupuncture
August 2005
Mercola

A study in the British Medical Journal showed that acupuncture is an effective technique for treating tension headaches. What’s more, “minimal” acupuncture techniques -- needles inserted superficially into the skin at nontraditional points -- work almost as well as the full, traditional version used in China.

Eight-Week Trial

Researchers in Germany divided 270 patients with similar symptoms into three groups for a randomized, controlled trial. Over an eight-week period, one group was treated with full traditional acupuncture, one with minimal acupuncture, and one with neither method.

Headache Rates Cut In Half

Headache rates dropped by almost half among those in the “traditional acupuncture” group. On average, they experienced 7 fewer days of headaches in the four weeks following the trial than they did in the four weeks preceding it.

Those in the “minimal acupuncture group” fared almost as well, with an average drop of 6.6 days with headaches. The third group only saw an average drop of 1.5 days -- just a tenth less than what they had experienced prior to the study.

The researchers concluded that acupuncture works as well or better for tension headaches than treatments already accepted.

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Computers addict dies after games marathon
10/08/2005 - 07:49:06

A South Korean man died of exhaustion in an internet café after playing computer games non-stop for 49 hours, police said today.

Lee, 28, who lived in the southern city of Taegu, who was identified only by his last name, collapsed on Friday after having eaten minimally and not sleeping.

He refused to leave his keyboard while he played the battle simulation game Starcraft.

Lee was quickly moved to a hospital but died after a few hours, due to what doctors are presuming was a heart attack, police said.

He had been sacked from his job last month because he kept missing work to play computer games, police said.

Computer games are enormously popular in South Korea, home to professional gamers who earn big money through sponsorships and television stations devoted to broadcasting matches.

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