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"You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you'll stop the terrorism." - Cindy Sheehan

P I C T U R E   O F  T H E  D A Y

Grand Montagne - Petit Avion
©2005 Pierre-Paul Feyte

Supernova Storm Wiped Out Mammoths?
By Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

Sept. 28, 2005— A supernova blast 41,000 years ago started a deadly chain of events that led to the extinction of mammoths and other animals in North America, according to two scientists.

If their supernova theory gains acceptance, it could explain why dozens of species on the continent became extinct 13,000 years ago.

Mammoths and mastodons, both relatives of today's elephants, mysteriously died out then, as did giant ground sloths, a large-horned bison, a huge species of armadillo, saber-toothed cats, and many other animals and plants.

Richard Firestone, a nuclear scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, who formulated the theory with geologist Allen West, told Discovery News that a key piece of evidence for the supernova is a set of 34,000-year-old mammoth tusks riddled with tiny craters.

The researchers believe that in the sequence of events following the supernova, first, the iron-rich grains emitted from the explosion shot into the tusks. Whatever caused the craters had to have been traveling around 6,214 miles per second, and no other natural phenomenon explains the damage, they said.

They think the supernova exploded 250 light-years away from Earth, which would account for the 7,000-year delay before the tusk grain pelting. It would have taken that long for the supernova materials to have showered to Earth.

Then, 21,000 years after that event, the researchers believe a comet-like formation from the supernova's debris blew over North America and wreaked havoc.

Firestone said they think the formation created superheated hurricanal winds in the atmosphere that rolled across North America at 400 kilometers per hour (about 249 mph).

"The comet (-like event) was followed by a barrage of hot particles. If that didn't kill all of the large animals, then the immediate climate changes must have," said Firestone.

Firestone said smaller animals could have sought shelter more readily, by going into caves or underground.

The findings were presented at last weekend's "World of Elephants" international conference in Hot Springs, S.D.

In addition to the tusk evidence, the scientists said arrowheads from North America's prehistoric Clovis culture, which went extinct around 13,500-13,000 years ago, Icelandic marine sediment, as well as sediment from nine 13,000-year-old sites in North America, contain higher-than-normal amounts of radiation in the form of potassium-40 levels.

Potassium-40 is a radioactive isotope, meaning a molecule that emits radiation.

Magnetic particles also were unearthed at the sites. Analysis of these particles revealed they are rich in titanium, iron, manganese, vanadium, rare-earth elements, thorium and uranium.

These elements all are common in moon rocks and lunar meteorites, so the researchers think the materials provide additional evidence that North America was bombarded 13,000 years ago by material originating from space.

Luann Becker, a University of California at Santa Barbara geologist, told Discovery News she was not surprised by the new supernova theory, since extinction events have been linked to similar comet or asteroid impacts before.

"What is exciting about Dr. Firestone's theory is that it can be easily tested," Becker said, and indicated she hopes future research will yield additional clues from North American and other sediment layers.

Comment: While the existence of radiation and other factors makes the theory "easily tested", as is pointed out above, and while we have no doubt that the earth was bombarded by comets at the time Firestone says, we do have some questions about his hypothesis of first cause in this instance: that it was a supernova that sent in the space rocks. Our hypothesis is one that is less reassuring. Supernovas are rare. Cyclical comet swarms caused by other triggers may not be.

For more on our hypothesis, and just where in the cycle we may be, please see the article Independence Day.

We have quoted Firestone and Topping's work on radiometric dating of the Northeast US, work that strongly suggests a massive bombardment that reset the carbon clocks. You can find out more about this in The Secret History of the World.

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John Pilger blames Basra on the British
John Pilger
Monday 3rd October 2005
Here are questions that are not being asked. Were explosives and a remote-control detonator found in the car of the two SAS men "rescued" from prison in Basra on 19 September? If true, what were they planning to do with them? Why did the British army put out an unbelievable version of the circumstances that led up to armoured vehicles smashing down the wall of a prison?

According to the head of Basra's governing council, which has co-operated with the British, five civilians were killed by British soldiers. A judge says nine. How much is an Iraqi life worth? Is there to be no honest accounting in Britain for this sinister event? Do we simply accept the customary arrogance of the Defence Secretary, John Reid? "Iraqi law is very clear," he said. "British personnel are immune from Iraqi legal process." He omitted to say that this fake immunity was invented by Iraq's occupiers.

Watching "embedded" journalists in Iraq and London attempting to protect the British line was like watching a satire of the whole atrocity in Iraq. First, there was feigned shock that the Iraqi regime's "writ" did not run outside its American fortifications in Baghdad and that the "British-trained" police in Basra might be "infiltrated". Jeremy Paxman wanted to know how two British soldiers - in fact, highly suspicious foreigners dressed as Arabs and carrying a small armoury - could possibly be arrested by Iraqi police. "Aren't they supposed to be on our side?" he demanded.

Although reported initially by the Times and the Mail, all mention of the explosives allegedly found in the SAS men's unmarked Cressida vanished from the news. Instead, the story was the danger the men faced if they were handed over to the militia run by the "radical" cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. "Radical" is a gratuitous embedded term; al-Sadr has actually co-operated with the British. What did he have to say about the "rescue"? Quite a lot, none of which was reported in this country. His spokesman Sheikh Hassan al-Zarqani said the SAS men, disguised as al-Sadr's followers, were planning an attack on Basra ahead of an important religious festival.

"When the police tried to stop them," he said, "[they] opened fire on the police and passers-by. After a car chase, they were arrested. What our police found in the car was very disturbing - weapons, explosives and a remote-control detonator. These are the weapons of terrorists."

The episode illuminates the most enduring lie of the Anglo-American adventure. This says the "coalition" is not to blame for the bloodbath in Iraq - which it is, overwhelmingly - and that foreign terrorists orchestrated by al-Qaeda are the real culprits. The conductor of the orchestra, goes this line, is Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian. The demonry of al-Zarqawi is central to the Pentagon's "Strategic Information" programme, set up to shape news coverage of the occupation. It has been the Americans' single unqualified success. Turn on any news in the US and Britain, and the embedded reporter standing inside an American (or British) fortress will repeat unsubstantiated claims about al-Zarqawi.

Two impressions are the result: that Iraqis' right to resist an illegal invasion - a right enshrined in international law - has been usurped and de-legitimised by callous foreign terrorists, and that a civil war is under way between the Shias and the Sunnis. A member of the Iraqi National Assembly, Fatah al-Sheikh, said last month: "There is a huge campaign for the agents of the foreign occupiers to enter and plant hatred between the sons of the Iraqi people and spread rumours in order to scare the one from the other. The occupiers are trying to start religious incitement and if it does not happen, then they will try to start an internal Shia incitement."

The Anglo-American goal of "federalism" for Iraq is part of an imperial strategy of provoking divisions in a country where the communities have long overlapped, even intermarried. The Osama-like promotion of al-Zarqawi is integral to this. Like the Scarlet Pimpernel, he is everywhere but nowhere. When the Americans crushed the city of Fallujah last year, the justification for their atrocious behaviour was "getting those guys loyal to al-Zarqawi". But the city's civil and religious authorities denied he was ever there or had anything to do with the resistance.

"He is simply an invention," said the imam of al-Kazimeya Mosque in Baghdad. "Al-Zarqawi was killed in the beginning of the war in the Kurdish north. His family even held a ceremony after his death." Whether or not this is true, al-Zarqawi's "foreign invasion" serves as Bush's and Blair's last veil for their "war on terror" and botched attempt to control the world's second-biggest source of oil.

On 23 September, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, an establishment body, published a report that accused the United States of "feeding the myth" of foreign fighters in Iraqi, who account for less than 10 per cent of a resistance estimated at 30,000. Of the eight comprehensive studies into the number of Iraqi civilians killed by the "coalition", four put the figure at more than 100,000. Until the British army is withdrawn from where it has no right to be, and those responsible for this monumental act of terrorism are indicted by the International Criminal Court, this country is stained.

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Zarqawi's war whoops
I raqis lived through another round of bloodletting this week as controversy swirls around Zarqawi's alleged call to fight the Shia people of Iraq, reports Nermeen Al-Mufti from Baghdad

The cycle of violence in Iraq claimed the lives of more than 250 civilians and left 600 wounded in Baghdad in the past few days. Tens of other victims of fighting were reported across the rest of the country.

"Only the poor people are being targeted every day," says Ammar Abbas, a poor worker, as he stands in Al-Urouba Square in Kadhimiya. The square was the recent target of a suicide car bomb that killed 120 people.

"We, Shiites and Sunnis, wait days to have an opportunity to work. Why are they targetting the poor?" Abbas added.

Abbas and dozens of other construction workers returned to the bombing site one day after the explosion.

Meahwhile, at the "Green Zone", high-ranking officials are living and working in a safer environment enjoying security, no curfew, and electricity.

"We feel as if we are not in Iraq. We feel as if we are in an American country," a son of a high-ranking police officer told Al-Ahram Weekly. The families and children of those officials are either outside Iraq or enjoying "security" and "special laws" inside Iraq. The flare in violence took place against the backdrop of insurgency leader Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi's declaration of war against Shiites. Al-Zarqawi, Al-Qaeda's top man in Iraq, several Sunni groups including the Association of Muslim Scholars, the Iraqi Islamic Party, and the Islamic Army issued statements asking Zarqawi "not to begin such war against the Iraqis".

"Such a war will backfire against the Iraqi resistance," Sunni Sheikh Ahmed Al-Ubaidi told the Weekly.

The Association of Muslim Scholars suggested that "Shiites should avoid mass gatherings." But leading Shiite cleric and head of the Supreme Council Islamic Revolution in Iraq Mohamed Said Al-Hakim urged Shiites to participate in such gatherings.

Leading up to last Monday, when the latest such celebration was held to commemorate the birthday of the last Shiite Imam Al-Mahdy, many areas in Baghdad were blocked while Iraqi National Guard (ING) and police officers patrolled the streets. Moqtada Al-Sadr's Al-Mahdy army also began guarding the routes connecting Baghdad to Karbala which are crossed by tens of thousands of pilgrims heading to celebrations in the holy city.

"We reached an agreement with the Interior Ministry to guard the roads," Al-Sadr spokesman Hashim Al-Hashimi in Baghdad told the Weekly.

But confidence in the agreement was shaken when a member of Al-Mahdy army was killed by the Americans in Latifiya and another leading member was arrested in Basra.

"We will continue our task of protecting our followers and those living in poor districts," Al-Hashimi added.

University of Baghdad Political Science Professor Jinan Ali says there is more to the Zarqawi threat than appears on the surface.

"The so-called war against Shiites began after Moqtada Al-Sadr announced his opposition to drafting the constitution," says Ali. ""Most of the Shiites targeted are Moqtada's followers intended to force them to cast a "Yes" vote in the coming referendum".

Many Iraqis are now wondering whether Zarqawi is a real figure or not.

"Zarqawi is a good pretext for striking any Iraqi city or town," Professor Ali explains.

"If Zarqawi is defending the Sunnis and his followers are operating in the Sunni areas, why were Najaf and Sadr city (mostly Shiite areas) targeted by the Americans and Iraqi forces several times before?"

Many Iraqis believe the Americans and the government are behind the Zarqawi communiqué of targeting Shiites.

"Do you think that Zarqawi, if he is real, is ready to gain more enemies by such a communiqué?" asks Al-Ubaidi.

"The government and Americans are ready to do everything to get the so-called constitution approved. They are trying to exclude Sunnis from the political process in Iraq; they are forcing the Iraqi resistance toward more severe fights."

Many people wonder why members of the government usually remain silent about the issue. Government critics claim these members either believe in the American agenda in Iraq or they receive the large salaries they are allotted. Every member in the National Assembly receives $8000 per month.

One explanation expressed by a former member of the Iraqi National Congress lays the blames squarely on the United States.

The politician, who belonged to the Iraqi Opposition Front in exile during the rule of Saddam Hussein, cites a 1998 meeting with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to make his point.

"I asked her if the Americans had a plan to protect the Iraqis during the attack on Iraq and after the toppling of the regime," said the politician, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"Her answer was: 'we don't care'."

Comment: The infamous Madeleine Albright, the same person who responded in 1996 that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children on account of the embargo "was worth it".

How much clearer can it get? How many more times do we need to hear that the Americans are in Iraq to free the Iraqis and bring them democracy?

Of course, that is really meant for internal consumption. The Iraqis don't vote for the US president, even if it is his henchmen who are effectively managing the country of Iraq, working carefully to dismember it, to turn it into three weakened countries. Millions of Americans are told that the Iraqi people are better off, and they believe it. Who would question the president?

Well, millions do, and hundreds of thousands of them marched on Washington recently, but it was buried in the back pages of the mainstream press while the wing nuts on Fox news tell us it was "a very poor turnout".

Really. This stuff is just getting a little old, is it? Several readers have written in to mention the bombing in Bali, a story we have not yet mentioned on the Signs page. Yes, we were aware of it, the bombing, the convenient tourist video that showed a backpacked man, the explosion. But we all know what it was about, don't we? We know that the big al Qaeda-blamed bombings are the work of the intelligence agencies of the US, Britain, and, of course, Israel. We decided to allow our readers a moment to reflect upon the event themselves.

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Foreknowledge of the Bali Terror Bombings?

According to Indonesian & Australian reports

by Michel Chossudovsky
October 2, 2005

Queensland's Premier Peter Beattie couldn't resist a joke. He leaned towards the microphone and said:

"We might announce a coup. Men and women of Australia...".
(Canberra Summit Press Conference, 27 September 2005). 

The October 1st Bali bombing occurred a few days after a special meeting of The Council of Australian Governments in Canberra, during which the State premiers agreed to the adoption of far-reaching antiterrorist measures. The day following the Canberra Summit, the Australian media warned, based on reliable sources, that a terrorist attack was looming.

Two distinct sources, Indonesia late August and Australia, late September, point to an "imminent" terror attack. 

1. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono warns that terrorist attacks "may happen in September or October"

In late August, the President of Indonesia warned in no uncertain terms that JI was preparing an attack:

"According to an AP report of 29 August; President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono "had ordered increased surveillance. 'We know the terrorists cells are still active, they are still hiding, recruiting, networking, trying to find new funding and even planning ... for another strike,' he said. 'Last night, I instructed the security minister, the head of the intelligence agency and the police chief to conduct more active operations into the detection and prevention (of the) act of terrorism that may happen this year ... in the months of September and October.'" (ABC Australia 29 August 2005, italics added)

A related report published by the Indonesian newspaper Banjarmasin Post's website on 2 September refers explicitly to Jemaah Islamiyah's "Moneyman" Noordin Mohamed Top, prime suspect in the October 1 Bali bomb attack:

"Noordin M. Top, the fugitive for several bombings in Indonesia has apparently been staying at the home of one of his associates in Yogyakarta. Moh Ridwan, the Head of Wonogiri village, Jatirejo, Yogyakarta, told the press this on Thursday (1 September).

According to him, around the end of July 2005, Noordin arrived at the home of his friend, Joko Tri Hermanto, to take part in Shalat Isya [evening prayers]. Recently Joko was arrested by members of the Police Headquarters Detachment 88 Anti-Terrorist Unit. During the arrest officials found ten kilograms of TNT 500 rounds of 38 calibre ammunition. During questioning Joko Tri admitted that Noordin had stayed at his home.... 

Ridwan said that Noordin and Dr Azahari were the Police Headquarters' number one fugitives, but they were not in the house when it was raided. [passage omitted]

Separately, intelligence expert Dynno Chressbon, viewed that there were indications that there would be another bigger terrorist act. Besides finding something looking like a bomb [in a hotel in Kuta, Bali, on 31 August], around ten days ago, one of the Al-Qa'idah spokesmen, who made the statement on the Al-Jazeera TV station warning of the attack on the WTC [World Trade Centre], said that Al-Qa'idah would carry out an attack on one of the tourist cities in the Asia region.

"I predict that this will possibly be in Thailand and in Indonesia, namely Bali. Therefore, if 10 kg of TNT were found in Yogyakarta, it could be to supply something in Bali, Ambon and other areas."(Banjarmasin Post website, in Indonesian, 2 September 2005, translation BBC Monitoring,  italics added)) 

2. Australian Media: "Terror Attack Looming"

Three days before the Bali bombings of October 1st,  the Australian press published several reports pointing to an imminent terrorist.  These reports were based on statements of the Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Mr. Aldo Borgu: 

"the Indonesia-based terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah could try to carry out another major attack soon and Australians could again be its target, an advisory group has warned."

Australian Strategic Policy Institute terrorism specialist Aldo Borgu said JI had tried to carry out a major attack every 12 months and another could be due soon.

The organization was behind the Bali nightclub bombings in 2002, the bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta in 2003 and the 2004 Australian embassy bombing.

Mr. Borgu said that despite the damage JI had suffered it was still capable of carrying out annual attacks.

"There is still a possibility that one might be in the offing some time soon," he said.

The institute's view contradicts that of former foreign minister Gareth Evans, who now heads the International Crisis Group. Mr. Evans said this week that JI had been smashed and no longer posed a serious threat. (Terror attack looming: alert, The Age (Australia), 29 September 2005   italics added))

Mr. Aldo Borgu has close links to Australia's intelligence and Homeland Security community. He was previously senior adviser in the Australian Ministry of Defense and strategic analyst for Australia's  Defense Intelligence Organisation (DIO)   Reproduced at the foot of this article is the transcript of  the Australian ABC TV interview with Mr. Aldo Borgu

The Canberra Counter-Terrorism Summit

The October 1st Bali bombing occurred barely a few days after the holding of a special meeting of The Council of Australian Governments in Canberra, during which the State premiers agreed to the adoption of far-reaching antiterrorist measures.

Leader of the federal opposition Labor Party, Kim Beazley, made his pitch on Sunday, suggesting that state police should be given the power to lock down entire suburbs if they suspect or fear a terrorist act.

The federal attorney-general, Philip Ruddock, has been dismissive of the plan. The president of the Australian Council of Civil Liberties, Terry O'Gorman, is alarmed, saying federal, state and territory leaders appear to be attempting to outbid each other. He says he is worried basic human rights will be abandoned. "In essence they're getting out there thumping their chests and say look at us, look what we're proposing," he said.

But premier of the state of New South Wales, Morris Iemma, says the alarm is misplaced. "I believe it is possible for us to be tough on terror and at the same time protect people's rights." he said. All five premiers say they are confident of a good outcome at Sunday's meeting. (ABC Radio Report, 26 September 2005)

On the 27th of September, at the conclusion of the Summit,  Howard secured the unanimous agreement of all six premiers and two chief ministers "to the biggest changes to Australia's counter-terrorism regime since 2001":

Although state and territory leaders at the Council of Australian Government meeting won several concessions from the Prime Minister -- notably the 10-year sunset clause on new legislation including police powers authorizing preventative detention for up to 14 days -- in the end Howard achieved everything of substance he wanted.

"The laws that we have agreed to today are in fact draconian laws but they are necessary laws to protect Australians," admitted Queensland Premier Peter Beattie after the states signed up. "If it wasn't for the threat of terrorism, we would never agree to such laws as we have here." (The Weekend Australia, 1 Oct 2005)

"The deal was reached after Prime Minister John Howard agreed to a 10-year sunset clause and a review of the legislation after five years. The laws includes allowing police to hold terrorism suspects for up to 14 days and broad stop, search and question powers. There will also be greater use of security cameras and Australians could be fined if they leave their baggage unattended at airports. After the meeting, Mr. Howard said they are unusual laws for unusual times.

"If we weren't living in a terrorist environment none of us would be here," he said.

"They're not the sort of things any of us, whether we are liberal or labor, would want to be proposing in an environment where we didn't face this shadowy elusive and lethal enemy." (ABC Asia Pacific Report, 28 Sept 2005)

The significance of the Canberra summit was reviewed in an incisive article by Michael Head, published in late August by the World Socialist Web Site, shortly after the announcement by Prime Minister Howard of the holding of the Canberra Summit:

Over the past five years, the Howard government has, with Labor’s parliamentary and political support, already used the “war on terror” as a pretext to introduce a barrage of laws, each granting unprecedented powers to the federal government and its security agencies.

“Terrorism” has been made punishable by life imprisonment and defined so widely that it covers many traditional forms of political dissent. Cabinet has been given the power to outlaw organisations that it labels terrorist. The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) has been authorised to secretly detain and interrogate people without trial, even if they are not suspected of links to terrorism. Terrorist trials can be held behind closed doors. The military can be called-out to combat “domestic violence,” that is, civil unrest.

Now further inroads into democratic rights are being prepared. Howard has nominated new items for the summit agenda: counter-terrorism legal frameworks, preventing advocacy of terrorism, surface transport security, identity security and “enhancing community understanding of and engagement in the national counter-terrorism arrangements”.

Under the heading of “legal frameworks,” Howard and his Attorney-General Philip Ruddock have foreshadowed an array of moves. These include extending to possibly three months the time that anyone can be detained for interrogation by ASIO. Such detentions are currently limited to one week, with ASIO able to apply for extensions. Those detained are prohibited from notifying anyone, except for a lawyer. If the detention period were extended, it would mean that people could disappear into ASIO’s custody for up to three months without trace.

Ruddock has also ordered a review of his powers to ban organisations as “terrorist.” This follows an ASIO recommendation that he did not have grounds to outlaw Hizb ut-Tahrir, a fundamentalist group that advocates the non-violent establishment of an Islamic state, or caliphate, throughout the Middle East. The proscription power is currently limited to organisations that the attorney-general is “satisfied on reasonable grounds” are “directly or indirectly engaged in, preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering the doing of a terrorist act (whether or not the terrorist act has occurred or will occur)”. (Michael Head,, 27 August 2005). 

In an interview on Oct 2nd, Prime Minister Howard suggested that:

"there is still the risk of a domestic attack in this country and we have to prepare for it and we have to understand, based on the London experience that you can have an attack from within in the most unsuspecting of circumstances"

The October 1st Bali bombings have served to dispel the concerns by human rights organizations regarding the ongoing repeal of the Rule of Law in Australia. While the new counter-terrorism legislation is  yet to be formally enacted,  it is supported by both the government and the opposition Labor party. 

Comment: The original article at the GlobalResearch web site has the articles upon which this story is based.

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Munich Olympics Massacre

Steven Spielberg is currently filiming "Munich", a movie about the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre of 11 Israeli athletes, allegedly by Palestinian kidnappers. The official story unfolded as follows:

At 04:30 on September 5, eight members of the Palestinian group Black September, clad in tracksuits and carrying guns and grenades in duffel bags, scaled a two-metre chain-link fence and entered two apartments being used by the 11 member Israeli Olympics team at 31 Connollystrasse, Munich, Germany and took them hostage.

The group demanded the release and safe passage to Egypt of 234 Palestinians jailed in Israel, and an additional two in German prisons. Israel's response was immediate and absolute: there would be no negotiation. The German authorities, under the leadership of Chancellor Willy Brandt and Minister for the Interior Hans-Dietrich Genscher rejected Israel's offer to send an Israeli special forces unit to Germany. The German police who took part in the operation had no special training in hostage rescue operations.

According to journalist John K. Cooley, the attack was a particular nightmare for the Germans because the hostages were Jews. Cooley writes that the Germans offered the Palestinians an unlimited amount of money if they would release them. They also offered to substitute high-ranking Germans for the Israeli athletes. Both offers were refused (Cooley 1973).

Execution deadlines shifted first by three hours, and then by five more as German authorities attempted to negotiate. German police chief Manfred Schreiber and Ahmed Touni, head of the Egyptian Olympic team, negotiated directly with the kidnappers, repeating the offer of an unlimited amount of money. According to Cooley, the reply was that "money means nothing to us; our lives mean nothing to us." The Tunisian and Libyan ambassadors to Germany also helped try to win concessions from the kidnappers, but to no avail.

A small squad of German police was dispatched to the Olympic village. Dressed in Olympic sweatsuits and carrying machine guns, these were members of the German border-police, untrained in any sort of counter-terrorist response, and without specific tactics in place for the rescue. The police took up positions awaiting orders which never came.

In the meantime, camera crews filmed the police actions from the East German apartments, and broadcast the images live to television. With televisions on, the terrorists were able to watch the police as they prepared to attack. Footage shows the terrorists leaning over to look at the police who were in hiding on the roof. In the end, the police left the premises.

Failed rescue

The kidnappers demanded transportation to Cairo. The authorities feigned agreement and at 10.10 p.m. two helicopters transported both the kidnappers and their hostages to nearby Fürstenfeldbruck airbase, where a Boeing 727 aircraft was waiting. The kidnappers believed they were on their way to Riem, the international airport near Munich. The authorities planned an assault on the kidnappers at the airport.

Five German snipers were chosen to shoot the kidnappers, none of whom had any special training. All had been chosen simply because they shot competitively on weekends. During a subsequent German investigation, an officer identified as "Sniper No. 2" stated: "I am of the opinion that I am not a sharpshooter."

The snipers were positioned at the airport but the authorities were surprised to discover that there were eight kidnappers. No tanks or armored personnel carriers were at the scene. According to John Cooley, either one or two Israeli officers assisted with the operation. Both Simon Reeve and Serge Groussard, author of The Blood of Israel, name Mossad chief Zvi Zamir and Victor Cohen, one of Zamir's senior assistants, as the Israeli officers at Fürstenfeldbruck, but as observers only. Zamir has repeatedly stated that he was never asked by the Germans for advice or assistance at any time during the rescue attempt. There is no concrete evidence to back up a New York Times report that Israel's Defence Minister Moshe Dayan was also present.

A dummy jet was on the tarmac, with five or six armed German police inside, dressed as flight crew. They were to overpower the terrorists who would inspect the plane, and give the German snipers a chance to eliminate the terrorists remaining at the helicopters. At the last minute, as the helicopters were arriving on the tarmac, the German police aboard the airplane abandoned their mission, without contact to or from any central command.

The helicopters landed just after 10:30 p.m., and the four pilots and six of the kidnappers emerged. While four of the Black September members held the pilots at gunpoint, Issa and Tony walked over to inspect the jet, only to find it empty. Knowing they had been duped, they jogged hastily back toward the helicopters, and at approximately 11:00 p.m., the German authorities gave the order to the police snipers positioned nearby to open fire.

According to Simon Reeve, the German rescue operation was a disaster:

There was instant chaos. The four German members of the chopper crews began sprinting for safety in all directions. Issa and Tony began running back towards the helicopters, as the third sniper near Wolf opened fire on them. His first shot missed, ploughing into the tarmac near Issa, who steadied himself and then began sprinting in a zigzag towards the helicopters. The sniper fired again, hitting Tony in the leg. He collapsed on the tarmac (Reeve 2001, p 113).

The five German snipers did not have radio contact with each other and were unable to coordinate their fire. Later it was discovered that one of the snipers never fired a shot, and yet another sniper was positioned directly in the line of friendly fire, without any protective gear. None of the rifles were equipped with either scopes or night-vision devices. In the ensuing chaos, two kidnappers standing near the pilot were killed, and a third was mortally wounded as he fled the scene. The three remaining exposed kidnappers scrambled to safety, and began to return fire and shoot out as many airport lights as they could from behind the helicopters, out of the snipers' line of sight. A German policeman in the control tower, Anton Fliegerbauer, was killed by the random gunfire. The helicopter pilots fled, but the hostages, who were tied up inside the craft, could not. A stalemate developed. During the gun battle, wrote Groussard, the hostages secretly worked on loosening their bonds. Teeth marks, mute evidence of the hostages' determination, were found on some of the ropes after the gunfire had ended.

The Germans had not arranged for armored personnel carriers ahead of time, and only then were they called in to break the stalemate. Since the roads to the airport had not cleared, the carriers finally arrived around midnight. According to Cooley, at four minutes past midnight, by now into September 6, one of the kidnappers jumped out of the easternmost helicopter. He turned and sprayed the hostages with gunfire, killing Springer, Halfin, and Friedman, and wounding Berger in the leg (he would ultimately be the last hostage to die, succumbing to smoke inhalation). The kidnapper then pulled the pin on a grenade and tossed it back into the cockpit, where it detonated. While the first helicopter was burning, writes Cooley, the surviving kidnappers kept fire trucks at bay by shooting at them.

Before the fire from the first helicopter explosion could reach the gas tank of the western helicopter, Issa and another kidnapper emerged from behind it and began firing at the police, who killed the pair with return fire. The five hostages in the second helicopter died of gunshot wounds during the battle. A police investigation indicated that one of their snipers, and a few of the hostages may have been shot inadvertently by the police. However, a Time Magazine reconstruction of the long-suppressed Bavarian prosecutor's report indicates that a third kidnapper (Reeve identifies Adnan Al-Gashey) strafed the remaining five hostages—Gutfreund, Shorr, Slavin, Spitzer and Shapira—with fatal gunfire. In some cases, the exact cause of death could not be established because the corpses of the hostages in the eastern helicopter were burned almost beyond recognition in the explosions and subsequent fire.

Three of the remaining kidnappers lay on the ground, two of them feigning death, and were captured by police. Jamal Al-Gashey had been shot through his right wrist, and Mohammed Safady had sustained a flesh wound to his leg. Adnan Al-Gashey had escaped injury completely. Tony, the final kidnapper, escaped the scene, but was tracked down using dogs and tear gas 40 minutes later, and was shot dead after a brief gunfight. By around 12:30 a.m., the battle was over.

On October 29, a German Lufthansa jet was hijacked and demands were made for the release of the three Palestinians members being held for trial. The men were subsequently released by Germany. Some commentators suspect that the German government released the terrorists to avoid the embarrassment of having to deal with them (Reeve 2001). In the film "One Day in September," evidence is cited that German authorities had actually worked with the hijackers to engineer the event. This would allow Germany to release the hostages in good international standing, while distancing themselves from the terrorists, and any further operations in Germany. In the film, General Wegener of the German Army replies to these charges as "Very possible. Quite possible."

Reading a little about this event that is soon to become internationally known (again), it would appear that the Israeli government, in concert with the West Germans, made all possible efforts to sabotage the rescue efforts and ensure that the 11 Israeli athletes would die in the ambush. Certainly much more could have been done to increase the chances of the survival of the hostages, yet as we have seen on so many occasions since, the Israeli government will stop at nothing to provide justification for the belligerent stance it has taken towards its Arab neighbors in the Middle East, including the sacrifice of its own citizens.

Eitan Haber served as the spokesperson of the slain Israeli Prime Minister Ishaq Rabin, and was the man who wrote Rabin’s speeches. Along with Michael Bar Zohar, Haber published "The Quest for the Red Prince” wherein he states:

"German Policemen waited at the airport and opened fired at the Palestinian group and their hostages, two years after the incident took place it was revealed that all of the killed were by German snipers in spite of the fact that everyone believed that the Palestinians killed them".

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Jund El Sham Threatens to Slay Mehlis, Calling him Mossad Officer October 5, 2005

A throat-slitting threat has been served against Lebanon's reigning authority by a group calling itself Jund El Sham, which also threatened to slaughter German Prosecutor Detlev Mehlis, who is heading a U.N. team investigating Rafik Hariri's assassination.

"We will slaughter without hesitation the reigning Lebanese authority and those who make up the majority in Parliament for collaborating with the West… to impose a new tutelage over Lebanon," Al Mustaqbal quoted Jund El Sham leaflets distributed in the northern Lebanese township of Rahbeh in Akkar as saying.

"We shall overthrow this authority by all means," Jund El Sham vowed in the leaflets that included Mehlis as a slaying target "because he is one of the senior-most officers of the Mossad," Israel's secret service, according to the newspaper that speaks for the Hariri family and Saniora.

Mehlis is currently in Vienna, writing his final report on the outcome of the probe into Hariri's murder.

Comment: See our report on the Hariri murder for the real deal.

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In Kurdistan, Mossad is an embarrassment to the U.S.
Oct 2nd 2005

The secret long standing ties between Iraq’s Kurds and Israel, which were resumed after the former leader Saddam Hussein was ousted by the U.S.-led occupation, came to a crushing end in the past few months, under pressure from Washington.

After Jalal Talabani was nominated to the presidency of the Republic of Iraq in spring 2005, "a conflict of interest appeared between the two allies", said an expert in Middle East safety. "In order not to be criticized by the Shiites and the Sunnis, the new Head of the State Talabani could not allow the further development of a relationship that is condemned by the immense majority of the Iraqis. The Kurdish two-sided-game was stopped," which forced some of the Israeli agents to leave the north of Iraq. Only one hundred of them still remain, the expert suggests, adding that Israeli businessmen practically only act through Kurdish or Jordanian intermediaries.

However, this helped tighten the partnership between Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, and the Kurdish leadership, who combined their effort in thirty years struggle against the nationalist regime of Baghdad. Israel has long sought to contain the Iranian influence over Iraq through backing the Kurds' federal aspirations. "After the hostilities, the Israelis, anxious to see thousands of so-called Iranian pilgrims entering Iraq, tried in vain to convince the Americans to close the border between Iran and Iraq", said Patrick Clawson, deputy manager of the American research center "The Washington Institute for Near East Policy".

But the United States, willing to preserve their relationship with their Iraqi Shiites allies, rejected the Israeli demands. Thus, Israel decided to act on its own. The Israeli government deployed instructors, often disguised as businessmen in Erbil and Souleymanieh, to improve the training of the peshmerga, the Kurdish militiamen. According to French military estimates, not less than 1,200 agents either from Mossad or from the Israeli military intelligence operated in Kurdistan earlier in 2004, trying to set up strong Kurdish commandos to counter Iraq’s Shiites in the South. [...]

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Our Kurdish Problem
Justin Raimundo
Oct 5th 2005

The Kurds are "cleansing" their domain – and provoking a civil war in Iraq

It didn't take long for the "liberated" Iraqis to turn on each other. While no one expected the Sunni Arabs of central Iraq to take the de-Ba'athification of the country lying down, the Iraqi "constitution" had barely been printed up and distributed before large cracks began to appear in the edifice of the nascent Iraqi state. "President" Jalal Talabani, head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), just the other day called on the Iraqi prime minister to resign, and while he backtracked a bit later on, the future of a united Iraq is looking grim. On the eve of Iraq's long-awaited constitutional referendum, the country shows every sign of imploding.

The Kurds didn't even wait for the ink to dry on the proposed constitution before they started pushing for de facto independence – and pushing Arabs and Turkmen out of Kurdish-controlled cities. Eager to seize control of oil-rich Kirkuk [.pdf], which they claim as their historical Jerusalem, the two major Kurdish factions are demanding that the city be turned over to them – and that thousands of Arabs and others settled there during the reign of Saddam Hussein be uprooted and sent back to wherever.

That the ethnic cleansing of Kurdistan hasn't been completed yet is Talabani's biggest beef: the goal of the two big Kurdish parties, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP), has always been the creation of a "pure" Kurdish state, and the politics of post-Saddam Iraq have speeded up the implementation of their program. The Kurdish parties are mobilizing all their resources in preparation for the coming census, which will determine the voter lists for the upcoming parliamentary elections in January. They want to ensure that they control not only the three provinces in which they hold a majority – Dohuk, Irbil, and Suleimaniya – but also seek to grab control of Kirkuk, which is split almost evenly between Kurds and Arabs, and includes a sizable Turkish minority that hardly looks forward to Kurdish dominance.

Kirkuk was a garrison city maintained by the Ottomans as their local military base until the breakup of the Ottoman empire, when it reverted to the Arabs. It wasn't until oil was discovered in the 1920s that the Kurds came to their "Jerusalem" – as their propaganda portrays it – when the oil companies had to bring in workers. The population remained fairly evenly divided between Arabs and Kurds, even under Saddam Hussein – whose "resettlement" policies were aimed at driving an Arab wedge into Kurdish resistance to Ba'athist rule. However, today, in "liberated" Iraq, the Kurdish party militias (known as "peshmerga," which translates as "those who are willing to die"), are carrying out an ethnic cleansing of their own. Middle East expert Dilip Hiro recounts the sad story:

"Assisted by Kurdish-dominated local security forces, tens of thousands of Kurds have forced Arabs from their homes, creating at least 100,000 new refugees living in squalid camps in north-central Iraq. This has engendered widespread anti-Kurdish feeling among Arabs in the region and beyond. Anti-Kurdish graffiti, attacking Kurds for collaborating with the 'infidel occupiers,' is a commonplace in the Shia districts of Kirkuk. … Viewing Iraq as a whole, it is safe to say that if the country slides into a civil war, it would not be between Sunnis and Shias, but between Arabs and Kurds – and it will start in Kirkuk…."

Arab and Turkmen families are being turned out at gunpoint. The Kurds, unleashed by their American "liberators," have engaged in a program of systematic kidnapping, in which anyone who resists their rule is "disappeared" and spirited away to an underground jail, as the Washington Post reported. A grand total of 50 have so far been released, and the U.S. military is taking credit for negotiating this display of Kurdish magnanimity. Since the abductions were carried out under U.S. auspices, and often with the assistance of American Army units in the region, this is less admirable than it seems. Hundreds, perhaps more, still languish in Kurdish prisons, where they are routinely tortured.

The Kurds have enjoyed a largely undeserved reputation as the most democratic, admirable, and American-like of Iraq's minorities, mainly on account of their Official Victim status. They were, after all, treated horribly by the Ba'athists: Saddam slaughtered them by the thousands, ruthlessly crushing a series of rebellions against Baghdad's rule – albeit at the invitation of the Kurdish Democratic Party, which today shares power with Talabani and the PUK.

Now that they are on top, however, the Kurds are instituting their own reign of terror, one with the potential to be every bit as brutal as the Ba'athist version. Meet the new boss – same as the old boss. It's an old song, and the lyrics aren't any different when they're sung in Kurdish.

The Kurds are the Kosovars of the Middle East: that is, they are unrelentingly aggressive, fanatically tribal, and willing – nay, eager – to place themselves completely at the disposal of the Americans (or whomever) in order to achieve their dream of an ethnically pure Kurdish state. Theirs is the bloody legacy of 19th-century romantic nationalism, which caused two world wars and birthed twin totalitarian monstrosities, national socialism and Bolshevism. Rival nationalist and supranational ideologies initially fought it out on the battlefields of Europe, but the scene of the collision has lately shifted to the Middle East – portending a tragedy that towers above the first.

To envision the future of Kurdistan, one has only to look at the reality of Kosovo today: the result of the "liberation" of that former province of Yugoslavia has been the forced removal of practically all the Serbs and the establishment of a thugocracy lorded over by the Kosovo "Liberation" Army. In a single year, over 300 Serbian Orthodox churches were destroyed by Kosovar terrorism, all under the watchful eye of the NATO occupiers. Today, Kosovo is run by the Albanian equivalent of the Mafia: the main industries are drug-smuggling, human trafficking, and the contraband arms trade. The place is a terrorists' shopping mall.

Like Kosovo, Kurdistan is dominated by various clans, each with their traditional territory and ancient grievances. The Kurds, however, have it worse, in some ways, because they are saddled with two competing gangs of thugs, the PUK and the KDP, which extort protection money from smugglers and local businessmen and often engage in internecine wars. The two parties are ostensibly devoted to the idea of Kurdish independence, but in the past both have been so busy colluding with outsiders – the KDP cuddling up to Saddam, the PUK allying with Iran – and advancing their own narrow partisan and economic interests that this goal has often been forgotten. Yet now the Kurds are remembering it and pressuring their leaders to act.

The U.S., which needs them to fight the insurgency, is cooperating in every way possible short of calling for their formal independence. U.S. forces, ostensibly pursuing insurgents coming in through neighboring Syria, have attacked the Turkmen city of Tal Afar, effectively supplementing the Kurdish ethnic cleansing campaign by bombing the area and leveling the city.

As Patrick Cockburn, writing in the [UK] Independent, reminds us:

"Days after the fall of Saddam the Kurdistan Democratic Party appointed its own mayor called Abdul Haleq in the city. He ran up a yellow Kurdish flag outside his office. He was told by local people to take it down or die. He refused and was killed the following day. His office, along with the yellow flag, was burned by an angry crowd."

Now the Kurds – wielding the American military as their instrument – have had their revenge. The yellow flag will soon be raised over the smoking ruins of the city, and the voter registration rolls will be filled with Kurdish – and not Turkish – names. "Democracy" triumphs once again, and we all ought to be properly inspired. Why, it's almost enough to bring tears to my eyes.

Aside from the overwhelming American presence, there is also the less obtrusive but no less important presence of the Israelis. Seymour Hersh broke the story of how the Israelis have penetrated Kurdistan in the wake of the American invasion and are using it as a forward base from which to keep a close eye on the Iranians. This piece, which first appeared in Le Figaro, reports some trouble on that front, a "conflict of interests" between the Israelis and Talabani, who has a history of good relations with the Iranians and has to keep up the pretense of upholding the fictitious unity of the Iraqi state:

"Yet the conflict helped retighten the partnership between Mossad, the Israeli secret service, and Kurdish officials – allies for thirty years against the nationalist regime in Baghdad. For Israel, it was a question of promoting the Kurds' federal aspirations and of containing Iranian influence in Iraq. 'After the hostilities, the Israelis, worried to see thousands of so-called Iranian pilgrims penetrate Iraq, tried in vain to convince Americans to close the Iran-Iraq border,' Patrick Clawson, Associate Director of the American research center Washington Institute for Near East Policy, explained to Le Figaro. But the United States, anxious not to obstruct their Iraqi Shi'ite allies, played deaf.

"The Israelis, observing that their allies were getting stuck, then decided to take things in hand. In Erbil and Suleymanieh, Israeli instructors, often disguised as businessmen, were charged with improving the training of the Peshmerga, the Kurdish militia. According to French military intelligence, at the beginning of 2004, about 1,200 agents from Mossad or from Israeli military intelligence were operating in Kurdistan. Their mission: to get Kurdish commando groups on their feet that would be strong enough to counter the Shi'ite militias in southern Iraq, the latter more or less manipulated by Tehran."

Due to growing American displeasure, however, the number of Israeli agents in Kurdish territory has now supposedly been reduced to around 100. Or perhaps the others are merely keeping a low profile. Have the Israelis meekly submitted to the Americans and largely abandoned Kurdistan? Le Figaro doesn't give us any reason to believe it:

"'We've gotten strong pressure from Washington to stop our maneuvers with the Kurds,' confides an Israeli sent to Erbil under academic cover. 'The Americans are no longer in agreement with Israeli plans,' he asserts. Washington no longer wants to tolerate a presence embarrassing for its interests."

Well then, what is this Israeli "academic" doing there, exactly? Washington may not want to tolerate the Israelis egging on the Kurds, but U.S. policymakers and military leaders may not have much choice. The Kurdish-Israeli relationship, as author Georges Malbrunot avers, is some 30 years old and not about to be dissolved by an American edict. Kurdistan is crawling with Israeli agents who have the ability to make plenty of trouble for the central government in Baghdad – and the Americans.

A three-way civil war, pitting the Kurds against both the Shi'ite south and the Sunni-led insurgency, is a looming possibility, one made more probable by the American (and Israeli) presence, which acts as a spur to Kurdish separatism. This would be but the prelude to a regional struggle that would draw in not only Iran but also Turkey and Syria, which have their restive Kurdish minorities, as well as Jordan and perhaps even the Saudis.

It isn't just Iraq that's imploding: it's the entire region. This is what the neocons have always wanted: Michael Ledeen hails "creative destruction" as the operating principle of the "revolutionary" Bush Doctrine, which is supposed to be spreading capital-D Democracy throughout the Middle East.

However, as we are seeing in Kurdistan, and throughout Iraq, what is spreading is not democratic liberalism but sectarian hatred – and war. A civil war, to start, morphing quickly into a regional conflagration.

The irony is that all the factors supposed to be standing in the way of this tragic result – the U.S. military, the Iraqi "constitution," the once and future elections – are only exacerbating the crisis. The Americans level Tal Afar – and encourage the Kurdish rampage. The "constitution," which is supposed to settle outstanding ethno-religious conflicts and regional rivalries, instead only worsens them. The elections are an occasion of a scrambling for advantage, with the majority Shi'ites holding the upper hand – a result, as we have seen, that the Kurds are not about to accept without a fight.

As Iran and Israel face off on Iraqi terrain and the country falls into chaos and civil war, U.S. troops are caught in the crossfire – and still our politicians do nothing. Both parties, as Cindy Sheehan has discovered in her meetings with Republican and Democratic warmongers alike, are committed to our foreign policy of global intervention, especially when it comes to Iraq. Chuck Schumer's aide told her the war is "good for America" – a crackpot belief shared by John McCain and the neocon-run Republican party.

As we fall into the Middle Eastern abyss, there is no one to throw us a rope or so much as an outstretched hand: we are falling, falling, falling, imagining what it will feel like when we hit bottom.

Comment: Of course, if the Kurds are pushing for, and appear to be achieveing, civil war and the dissolution of Iraq as a single entity, and they have a 30 year history with the Mossad, whose agenda might we suspect is really being served?

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More Israeli Jews favor transfer of Palestinians, Israeli Arabs - poll finds 
By Amnon Barzilai 
10/04/05 "Haaretz"

Some 46 percent of Israel's Jewish citizens favor transferring Palestinians out of the territories, while 31 percent favor transferring Israeli Arabs out of the country, according to the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies' annual national security public opinion poll.

In 1991, 38 percent of Israel's Jewish population was in favor of transferring the Palestinians out of the territories while 24 percent supported transferring Israeli Arabs.

When the question of transfer was posed in a more roundabout way, 60 percent of respondents said that they were in favor of encouraging Israeli Arabs to leave the country. The results of the survey also reveal that 24 percent of Israel's Jewish citizens believe that Israeli Arabs are not loyal to the state, compared to 38 percent who think the Arabs were loyal to the state at the beginning of the intifada.

The poll, overseen by Prof. Asher Arian, also finds that Jewish public opinion is Israel has become more extreme on issues of foreign affairs and defense as well as on possible concessions by Israel during peace talks in particular.

A representative sample of 1,264 Jewish residents of Israel were polled for the survey last month in face-to-face interviews.

Israeli-Arabs pose a threat to Israel's security, according to 61 percent of the Jewish population, while around 80 percent are opposed to Israeli-Arabs being involved in important decisions, such as delineating the country's borders, up from 75 percent last year and 67 percent in 2000.

Some 72 percent of Jewish Israelis are opposed to Arab parties being part of a coalition government, compared to 67 percent last year and 50 percent in 1999. 

This overall shift to the right has been coupled by a significant fall in support for the Oslo process; down from 58 percent last year, to 35 percent this year. Support for the establishment of a Palestinian state has also dropped from 57 percent last year to 49 percent this year.

Only 40 percent of Jewish Israelis support transfering control of Arab areas of East Jerusalem to the Palestinians as part of a peace agreement, compared with 51 percent last year. There has also been a fall in the number of people willing to leave the settlements as part of an agreement with the Palestinians: 49 percent are in favor of Israel leaving the settlements, apart from large blocs, under a permanent status agreement, compared to 55 percent last year.

Around 41 percent of those polled said that the acts of Palestinian violence have made them less open to compromise, while just 10 percent said that the on-going violence has had the opposite effect. 

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Rumors of rescue copters under fire unfounded
Knight Ridder Newspapers

NEW ORLEANS - Among the rumors that spread as quickly as floodwaters after Hurricane Katrina, reports that gunmen were taking potshots at rescue helicopters stood out for their senselessness.

On Sept. 1, as patients sweltered in hospitals without power and thousands of people remained stranded on rooftops and in attics, crucial rescue efforts were delayed as word of such attacks spread.

But more than a month later, representatives from the Air Force, Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security and Louisiana Air National Guard say they have yet to confirm a single incident of gunfire at helicopters.

Likewise, members of several rescue crews who were told to halt operations say there is no evidence they were under fire.

So many rumors were swirling that the facts still haven't been sorted out. A picture is emerging of heroic but harried rescue workers from dozens of organizations forced to make snap decisions with only slender threads of information and no reliable communications.

The storm created so much confusion that government officials cannot even agree on whether they ever issued an order to halt flights or other rescue efforts.

Sometimes the mere rumor that they had was enough.

On the morning of Sept. 1, Mike Sonnier was directing rescue helicopters at his company, Acadian Ambulance, when one of his pilots called to say the military had suspended flights after gunfire was reported in the air near the Louisiana Superdome.

Sonnier immediately shut down flights. "Until I can confirm that this did happen or didn't happen, it's not a chance that I can take," he said.

Sonnier said that when he checked with the National Guard about two hours later, he was told it was OK to fly. At that point, Acadian resumed operations. Even today, it's not clear whether a military order to stop flying was ever actually made.

Lt. Pete Schneider, a spokesman for the National Guard, which was handling Superdome evacuations, said it was a civilian who told guardsmen in the area that shots had been fired. Schneider said flights continued despite the danger.

But a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security said Superdome flights were temporarily suspended because of gunfire.

In another case of rumor amplified by the media, an Acadian Ambulance medic aboard a helicopter reported Aug. 31 that he had been unable to drop supplies at a hospital in suburban Kenner because of armed crowds on the roof. But the medic never went to the hospital, turning back after hearing a warning over military radio.

Acadian Chief Executive Richard Zuschlag repeated the story to the media, unaware that his crew had been acting on a military radio report. Zuschlag said he learned only in the past week that his crew had not actually seen the crowds.

A spokeswoman for Kenner Regional Medical Center said Sunday that she knew of no such incident.

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U.S. may use military quarantine to contain flu
Oct. 4, 2005

Bush says Pentagon could be put in charge of areas hit by avian influenza

WASHINGTON - President Bush, increasingly concerned about a possible avian flu pandemic, revealed Tuesday that any part of the country where the virus breaks out could likely be quarantined and that he is considering using the military to enforce it.

“The best way to deal with a pandemic is to isolate it and keep it isolated in the region in which it begins,” he said during a wide-ranging Rose Garden news conference.

The president was asked if his recent talk of giving the military the lead in responding to large natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and other catastrophes was in part the result of his concerns that state and local personnel aren’t up to the task of a flu outbreak.

“Yes,” he replied.

Pentagon in charge

After the bungled initial federal response to Katrina, Bush suggested putting the Pentagon in charge of search-and-rescue efforts in times of a major terrorist attack or similarly catastrophic natural disaster. He has argued that the armed forces have the ability to quickly mobilize the equipment, manpower and communications capabilities needed in times of crisis. [...]

Comment: Ah yes, how convenient, FEMA "bungled" the Katrina response, so the OBVIOUS solution is to allow the military to take care of any future catastrophes. If we didn't know better, we would suggest that FEMA deliberately "bungled" the rescue effort in New Orleans so as to provide plausibility to Bush's benevolent suggestion that this winter's bird flu victims should be corralled at gun point into military quarantine camps.

Of course, you need not only be sick to warrant the attention of the jack-booted thugs of the Bush regime, just try publicly stating anything that in any way reveals the truth about the state of "freedom and democracy" America...

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University of Arizona Professor Reported to FBI for "Hating" America
Monday, September 27th, 2004

A series of ads have been running in student newspapers across the country charging that universities are dominated by liberal or left-wing professors. The ads are paid for by well-funded groups like Students for Academic Freedom and the Independent Women's Forum. Some of the ads encourage students to report any so-called anti-American faculty or statements made by professors. And that is apparently what happened to David Gibbs, an Associate professor of History and Sociology at the University of Arizona. After his Spring course "What is Politics?", a student wrote the following on an anonymous evaluation form:

"I believe that the university should check into David Gibbs. He is an anti-American communist who hates America and is trying to brainwash young people into thinking America sucks. He needs to go and live in a Third World country to appreciate what he has here. Have him investigated by the FBI. FBI has been contacted."

AMY GOODMAN: We're joined by professor David Gibbs. Associate Professor of History and Sociology at the University of Arizona. David Gibbs, this will be the first part of our conversation in the last few minutes. What happened in your class? What did you say and what did your student do?

PROFESSOR DAVID GIBBS: Well, I teach a class, a large freshman class called, “What is Politics?” that focuses on propaganda and deception, and I emphasize incidents of the government lying and things like that. The semester that I taught it, which was last spring, the Independent Women's Forum being a -- the conservative activist group put into the local newspaper, a local student newspaper, an advertisement that basically argued that there's a kind of left wing domination of the universities and students should fight that with the strong implication they should monitor their professors and report them, at least that’s how I read it. And that semester I began getting instances of that happening, specifically on my evaluation. I got, for example, a student who said I’m anti-American communist who hates America and is trying to brainwash young people into thinking that America sucks. I should be investigated by the FBI, and the FBI has been contacted. Another student on a weblog during the summer said he took my class and also said that he didn't like my politics and suggests that students shouldn't take my class but should drop by and try to disrupt it. There have been a number of instances like that which I hadn't had before.

AMY GOODMAN: What does it mean if a student were to report you? What happens then?

PROFESSOR DAVID GIBBS: I don't really know whether or not the FBI was in fact contacted, I cannot say. I'm not particularly losing sleep over the prospect of an 18-year-old calling the FBI about my politics. I think, though, it’s indicative of a larger national trend, which is conservative activist groups with lots of money and connections to the Republican Party trying to encourage and even to some extent orchestrate students and local conservative groups like those at the University of Arizona to go and basically harass faculty if they don't like their politics.

AMY GOODMAN: Does it change what you do?

PROFESSOR DAVID GIBBS: It hasn't changed what I do, no. Whether it does with other faculty, I cannot say. Yeah, this is a group Independent Women's Forum. I looked on the website, and they're putting these ads similar to the one put in the University of Arizona Wildcat and student newspapers across the country.

AMY GOODMAN: It's a full-page ad that says, “Top ten things your professors do to skew you. They push their political views, liberal opinions dominate, they don't present both sides of the debate, conservative viewpoints practically non-existent. Classrooms are for learning, not brainwashing. They force you to check your intellectual honesty at the door. They make you uncomfortable if you disagree. Grading should be based on facts not opinion. Education? More like indoctrination.” That’s the ad. We'll continue our conversation after the show and broadcast it later on Democracy Now! Professor Gibbs, thank you for being with us.


Comment: Read the history of the Nazi takeover of Germany. This sort of thing went on all the time in the early days of Hitler's regime. It is now an orchestrated campaign within the United States. One of the early incidents was the list of dangerous professors drawn up by David Horowitz's Center for the Study of Popular Culture, professors who should be boycotted and harassed in the defense of free speech.

The right has money, and they are willing to put their bucks to work for their radical agenda, because the installation of a fascist regime in the US is definitely a radical agenda.

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How Rotten Are These Guys?
By Robert Parry
October 5, 2005

The separation of the Bush political machine from organized crime is often like the thin layer of rock between a seemingly ordinary surface and volcanic activity rumbling below. Sometimes, the lava spews forth and the illusion of normalcy is shattered.

In the weeks ahead, a dangerous eruption is again threatening to shake the Bush family’s image of legitimacy, as the pressure from intersecting scandals builds.

So far, the mainstream news media has focused mostly on the white-collar abuses of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay for allegedly laundering corporate donations to help Republicans gain control of the Texas legislature, or on deputy White House chief of staff Karl Rove for disclosing the identity of a covert CIA officer to undercut her husband’s criticism of George W. Bush’s case for war in Iraq.

Both offenses represent potential felonies, but they pale beside new allegations linking business associates of star GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff – an ally of both DeLay and Rove – to the gangland-style murder of casino owner Konstantinos “Gus” Boulis in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 2001.

These criminal cases also are reminders of George H.W. Bush’s long record of unsavory associations, including with a Nicaraguan contra network permeated by cocaine traffickers, Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s multi-million-dollar money-laundering operations, and anti-communist Cuban extremists tied to acts of international terrorism. [For details on these cases, see Robert Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq.]

Now, George W. Bush is faced with his own challenge of containing a rupture of scandals – involving prominent conservatives Abramoff, DeLay and potentially Rove – that have bubbled to the surface and are beginning to flow toward the White House.

Mobbed Up

On Sept. 27, 2005 – in possibly the most troubling of these cases – Fort Lauderdale police charged three men, including reputed Gambino crime family bookkeeper Anthony Moscatiello, with Boulis’s murder. Boulis was gunned down in his car on Feb. 6, 2001, amid a feud with an Abramoff business group that had purchased Boulis’s SunCruz casino cruise line in 2000.

As part of the murder probe, police are investigating payments that SunCruz made to Moscatiello, his daughter and Anthony Ferrari, another defendant in the Boulis murder case. Moscatiello and Ferrari allegedly collaborated with a third man, James Fiorillo, in the slaying. [For more on the case, see Sun-Sentinel, Sept. 28, 2005.]

The SunCruz deal also led to the August 2005 indictment of Abramoff and his partner, Adam Kidan, on charges of conspiracy and wire fraud over a $60 million loan for buying the casino company in 2000. Prosecutors allege that Abramoff and Kidan made a phony $23 million wire transfer as a fake down payment.

In pursuing the casino deal, the Abramoff-Kidan group got help, too, from DeLay and Rep. Robert W. Ney, R-Ohio, the Washington Post reported. Abramoff impressed one lender by putting him together with DeLay in Abramoff’s skybox at FedEx Field during a football game between the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys.

Ney placed comments in the Congressional Record criticizing Boulis and later praising the new Abramoff-Kidan ownership team. [Washington Post, Sept. 28, 2005]

After the SunCruz sale, tensions boiled over, as Boulis and Kidan got into a fistfight. Kidan claimed that Boulis threatened his life. Two months later, however, Boulis was the one who was shot to death when a car pulled up next to him and a gunman opened fire. Lawyers for Abramoff and Kidan say their clients know nothing about the murder.

Police, however, are investigating financial ties between the Abramoff-Kidan group and Moscatiello and Ferrari.

In a 2001 civil case, Kidan testified that he had paid $145,000 to Moscatiello and his daughter, Jennifer, for catering and other services, although court records show no evidence that quantities of food or drink were provided. SunCruz also paid Ferrari’s company, Moon Over Miami, $95,000 for surveillance services.

Kidan told the Miami Herald that the payments had no connection to the Boulis murder. “If I’m going to pay to have Gus killed, am I going to be writing checks to the killers?” Kidan asked. “I don’t think so. Why would I leave a paper trail?”

Kidan also said he was ignorant of Moscatiello’s past. In 1983, Moscatiello was indicted on heroin-trafficking charges along with Gene Gotti, brother of Gambino crime boss John Gotti. Though Gene Gotti and others were convicted, the charges against Moscatiello – identified by federal authorities as a former Gambino bookkeeper – were dropped.

White House Ties

Abramoff’s influence has reached into Bush’s White House, too, where chief procurement officer David H. Safavian resigned last month and then was arrested on charges of lying to authorities and obstructing a criminal investigation into Abramoff’s lobbying activities.

Rep. Ney and former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed were among influential Republicans who joined Safavian and Abramoff on an infamous golf trip to Scotland in 2002. Safavian is a former lobbying partner of anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, another pillar of right-wing politics in Washington and another longtime Abramoff friend. [Washington Post, Sept. 20, 2005]

Abramoff also has boasted of his influence with Bush’s top political adviser Karl Rove.

While helping the scandal-plagued conglomerate Tyco International Ltd. fend off new taxes and insure continued federal contracts, Abramoff cited his influence with Rove as well as powerful congressmen, including DeLay, according to a written statement by Tyco general counsel Timothy E. Flanigan.

Abramoff told Tyco officials that “he had contact with Mr. Karl Rove” about Tyco’s concerns, said Flanigan, who made the disclosures to the Senate during his confirmation hearing as Bush’s nominee to be deputy attorney general.

A White House spokesman said Rove had no recollection of a discussion with Abramoff about Tyco, but Rove’s personal assistant Susan Ralston had previously worked as Abramoff’s secretary. [Washington Post, Sept. 23, 2005]

College Republicans

The roots of these latest scandals reach back a quarter century to the early days of the Reagan Revolution. During that heady period for young conservatives, Abramoff and Norquist won control of the College Republicans organization in Washington, with Abramoff as chairman and Norquist as executive director.

In the book, Gang of Five, author Nina Easton wrote that the Abramoff-Norquist leadership transformed the College Republicans into a “right-wing version of a communist cell – complete with purges of in-house dissenters and covert missions to destroy the enemy left.”

Under Abramoff and Norquist, the College Republicans also allegedly began tapping into Rev. Moon’s mysterious well of nearly unlimited cash. In 1983, Rep. Jim Leach of Iowa, then chairman of the GOP’s moderate Ripon Society, released a study saying the College Republican National Committee “solicited and received” money from Moon’s Unification Church in 1981.

Leach said the Korean-based Unification Church has “infiltrated the New Right and the party it wants to control, the Republican Party, and infiltrated the media as well.”

Before Leach could finish the press conference, Norquist disrupted the meeting with accusations that Leach was lying. For its part, Moon’s Washington Times dismissed Leach’s charges as “flummeries” and mocked the Ripon Society as a “discredited and insignificant left-wing offshoot of the Republican Party.”

To this day, largely through lavish spending on right-wing causes, Moon has made his cult-like movement a political powerhouse within conservative circles. However, evidence has continued to mount that Moon’s operation is a complex web of secretive businesses and groups that launder millions of dollars from suspicious sources in Asia and South America into the U.S. political system.

Moon has subsidized not only media outlets, such as the pro-Republican Washington Times, but conservative infrastructure, including direct-mail operations, think tanks and political conferences. Moon’s organization also has funneled money directly into the pockets of former President Bush and other leading politicians. [For details, see Secrecy & Privilege.]

Abramoff and Kidan, the co-defenders in the SunCruz fraud case, also became friends from their time with the College Republicans.

After leaving the College Republicans, Abramoff and Norquist moved over to a Reagan-support organization called Citizens for America, which sponsored a 1985 “summit meeting” of anti-communist “freedom fighters” from around the world.

The Nicaraguan contras – who were gaining a reputation for brutality, corruption and drug trafficking – were represented at the summit, as was Angolan rebel leader Jonas Savimbi, who was condemned by human rights groups for gross abuses, including widespread murders, rapes and mutilations.

As the Cold War was ending in 1989, Abramoff tried his hand at movie producing, churning out an anti-communist action thriller called “Red Scorpion,” which was subsidized by South Africa’s white-supremacist regime. [For details, see’s “The Tale of Red Scorpion.”]

In Power

The Republican conquest of the U.S. Congress in 1994 gave Abramoff’s career another twist as he found himself in position to exploit his close ties to hard-line conservatives, such as DeLay and House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Abramoff signed up with the lobbying firm of Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds before moving to Greenberg Traurig.

Last year, on the tenth anniversary of the Republican takeover, conservative writer Andrew Ferguson lamented Abramoff’s key role in getting Republicans to forsake their rhetorical war on big government and corruption, in favor of dividing up the spoils.

“For 25 years Abramoff has been a key figure in the conservative movement that led to the 1994 Republican Revolution, which once promised ‘to drain the swamp’ in Washington, D.C.,” Ferguson wrote.

But instead, Abramoff became “the first Republican to discover that pretending to advance the interests of conservative small-government could, for a lobbyist, be as insanely lucrative as pretending to advance the interests of liberal big-government,” Ferguson wrote. “The way a winner knows he’s won is by cashing in his chips.”

Abramoff scored big by representing Indian tribes that needed political clout for their gambling operations.

Ferguson wrote, “Abramoff's ingenuity quickly earned him a reputation as the premier lobbyist for Indians in Washington – though he only worked for casino-owning tribes, who were, after all, the only ‘free market laboratories’ that could afford Washington lobbyists. He regularly arranged fact-finding trips for congressmen and their staffs to the casinos, especially those with golf courses.

Branching out, Abramoff represented the textile industry in the Marianas islands, a U.S. protectorate that could stick “Made in the USA” labels on clothing produced in sweatshops free from U.S. labor regulations. Abramoff flew in congressmen for tours and a chance to play golf at a scenic course. DeLay was so impressed that he hailed the islands as “a perfect Petri dish of capitalism.” [Weekly Standard, Dec. 20, 2004]

Abramoff had learned the flexible ethics of Washington politics during the final days of the Cold War when ideology justified rubbing shoulders with corrupt “freedom fighters.” But he and his legion of protégés managed to adapt those dubious lessons to the “free market” era of Republican rule.

The end result has been a noxious “crony capitalism” that has seeped into nearly all U.S. government policies, from the War on Terror to the Iraq War to the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort.

Now the ground under George W. Bush and the Republican congressional majority is beginning to shake as fissures crack the surface, warning of a volcanic eruption that could transform the political landscape of Washington.

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Neo-Cons for a "Strong Europe"
By Pascal Riche

Here is a little scoop : Bill Kristol, Robert Kagan, Gary Schmitt and other members of PNAC (the Project for a New American Century) are launching a new club called “Committee for a Strong Europe.” They just began inviting politicians and pundits from both side of the Atlantic to join. The honorary chairmen will be the former Spanish prime minister José Maria Aznar and Senator John McCain.

By “Strong Europe”, of course, they don’t mean “A Europe in which governments would be strong enough to say no to any crazy American military invasion plan,”  but the statement of principle of the committee is so broadly crafted than many people could sign it. The purpose is to promote democracy, to have a stronger economy, to keep confidence in our values, etc.

However, knowing where this statement comes from, when I read  “We believe both the United States and Europe should invest adequately in their armed forces so as to have strong militaries capable of serving in a wide variety of missions around the world”,  I can’t help but hear a little whispering voice adding: “it’s especially true for you, you goddamn tight-fisted European wimps!”

Comment: Those of you who read French can learn more about the new neo-conservative strategy for Europe by reading Thierry Meyssan's recent article on the subject.

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Mysterious illness claims four more lives in Toronto
Last Updated Tue, 04 Oct 2005 19:50:59 EDT
CBC News

An outbreak of a mysterious illness at a nursing home in Toronto claimed four more lives bringing the death total to ten.

But despite the increasing death toll and two new cases, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health said on Tuesday that the outbreak at Seven Oaks Home for the Aged in Toronto's east end was abating.

"Although the condition of some of the ill residents has worsened and unfortunately four have died, others are improving," Dr. David McKeown said. "We are confident this outbreak is under control," he added.

The new fatalities included two women aged 94 and 82 and a 92 year old man. Details of the fourth victim were not immediately known. In all, 70 residents, 12 employees and two visitors at the Seven Oaks seniors residence have been affected by the outbreak and 40 residents had been admitted to hospital.

Dr. McKeown said given how ill some of the elderly patients are there is a strong possibility of further deaths. However he said that while the outbreak was "more serious" than average, it was just one of hundreds of similar outbreaks that occur every year.

The outbreak is believed to have started September 25, peaking four days later when 20 new cases were reported.

Doctors have ruled out Influenza, avian flu and SARS and say it's possible they may never be able to identify the exact bug that caused the illnesses.

Seven Oaks is not under quarantine but remains closed to new admissions and visitors.

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Hurricane Stan kills 46 people in Central America
Last Updated Tue, 04 Oct 2005 16:20:05 EDT
CBC News

Hurricane Stan slammed into the port city of Veracruz, Mexico on Tuesday with winds of 128 km per hour. The heavy rains and punishing waves of the Category 1 hurricane forced the evacuation of thousands of residents and several offshore oil platforms after killing 46 people in Central America.

Mid-afternoon Tuesday found the storm centred 136 km southeast of Veracruz, population 425,000 people and was moving southwest at 11 km per hour.

Veracruz's busy port was closed, schools cancelled classes and officials at a nearby nuclear power plant prepared the facility for the hurricane's arrival. Thousands of residents abandoned their homes and stayed in dozens of shelters set up along the coast. Rivers overflowed into residential areas of Veracruz and high winds tore the roofs off houses in this normally laid-back colonial port. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Wind and rain from Hurricane Stan also reached Central America, causing floods and landslides leaving at least 38 people dead in El Salvador. Rain was still falling in much of Central America on Tuesday, driving thousands from their homes in El Salvador and Guatemala. Forecasters are predicting the storm could dump up to 25 centimetres in some areas and are predicting the rains could continue for up to a week causing more landslides and flooding.

Officials are reported scattered power outages.

All three of Mexico's Gulf Coast crude oil loading ports were closed on Tuesday. The three, Coatzacalos, Dos Bocas and Cayo Arcas handle most of the 1.8 million barrels a day of crude oil exported by state-owned oil monopoly, Pemex. So far, the storm hasn't affected the company's production of 3.4 million barrels a day of crude oil.

Pemex is the world's third largest oil producer, and most of its exports are sent to the United States. The port closures were not expected to affect oil prices.

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By Beth Neil
5 October 2005
ONE moment, Natalie Seed was happily walking down the street, the next she had collapsed in a heap on the floor.

On one side was her mother Jacqui trying to bring her round, while on the other was an old lady, whacking her with a walking stick.

"When I came round she was ranting on about the youth of today," remembers Natalie.

"She was going on about how we're always taking drugs and drinking. I was too out of it to have a go back but it makes me furious even now. People are so ignorant."

Natalie, 21, hadn't touched a drop of drink and the only drugs she'd ever taken were those designed to keep her epilepsy under control.

She was diagnosed, aged six, following a playground fall which fractured her skull. She was too young then to appreciate the devastating impact it was going to have on her life. But by the age of nine she was having a terrifying 12 seizures a day.

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And Finally...

Bush Sells Louisiana Back to the French

Signs News Network

BATON ROUGE, LA. - The White House announced today that President Bush has successfully sold the state of Louisiana back to the French at more than double its original selling price of $11,250,000.

"This is a bold step forward for America," said Bush. "And America will be stronger and better as a result. I stand here today in unity with French Prime Minister Jack Chirac, who was so kind to accept my offer of Louisiana in exchange for 25 million dollars cash."

The state, ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, will cost hundreds of billions of dollars to rebuild.

"Jack understands full well that this one's a 'fixer upper,'" said Bush. "He and the French people are quitep repared to pump out all that water, and make Louisiana a decent place to live again. And they've got a lot of work to do. But Jack's assured me, if it's not right,t hey're going to fix it."

The move has been met with incredulity from the already beleaguered residents of Louisiana.

"Shuba-pie!" said New Orleans resident Willis Babineaux. "Frafer-perly yom kom drabby sham!"

However, President Bush's decision has been widely lauded by Republicans.

"This is an unexpected but brilliant move by the President," said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. "Instead ofs pending billions and billions, and billions of dollars rebuilding the state of Louisiana, we've just made 25 million dollars in pure profit."

"This is indeed a smart move," commented Fox News analyst Brit Hume. "Not only have we stopped the flooding in our own budget, we've made money on the deal. Plus, when the god-awful French are done fixing it up, we can easily invade and take it back again."

The money gained from 'The Louisiana Refund' is expected to be immediately pumped back into the rebuilding of Iraq.

Mexico wants to begin talks concerning the purchase of Texas.

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NEW! 9/11: The Ultimate Truth is Available for Pre-Order!

On the fourth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, Laura Knight-Jadczyk announces the availability of her latest book:

In the years since the 9/11 attacks, dozens of books have sought to explore the truth behind the official version of events that day - yet to date, none of these publications has provided a satisfactory answer as to WHY the attacks occurred and who was ultimately responsible for carrying them out.

Taking a broad, millennia-long perspective, Laura Knight-Jadczyk's 9/11: The Ultimate Truth uncovers the true nature of the ruling elite on our planet and presents new and ground-breaking insights into just how the 9/11 attacks played out.

9/11: The Ultimate Truth makes a strong case for the idea that September 11, 2001 marked the moment when our planet entered the final phase of a diabolical plan that has been many, many years in the making. It is a plan developed and nurtured by successive generations of ruthless individuals who relentlessly exploit the negative aspects of basic human nature to entrap humanity as a whole in endless wars and suffering in order to keep us confused and distracted to the reality of the man behind the curtain.

Drawing on historical and genealogical sources, Knight-Jadczyk eloquently links the 9/11 event to the modern-day Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She also cites the clear evidence that our planet undergoes periodic natural cataclysms, a cycle that has arguably brought humanity to the brink of destruction in the present day.

For its no nonsense style in cutting to the core of the issue and its sheer audacity in refusing to be swayed or distracted by the morass of disinformation that has been employed by the Powers that Be to cover their tracks, 9/11: The Ultimate Truth can rightly claim to be THE definitive book on 9/11 - and what that fateful day's true implications are for the future of mankind.

Published by Red Pill Press

Scheduled for release in October 2005, readers can pre-order the book today at our bookstore.

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