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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

Storm - September 9, 2005
©2005 Pierre-Paul Feyte

Kiss of Death

Does Zarqawi have an infinite supply of lieutenants/deputies/aides/associates/second-in-commands/etc., or do we just arbitrarily declare that every 100th insurgent we capture or kill is "a top aide" to Zarqawi?

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Below is an almost comprehensive list (I'm sure I missed a few) of Zarqawi's "top lieutenants" we've captured, killed, or acknowledged over the last two and a half years. I count 33.

Abu Azzam (9/27/05)

  • "The No. 2 official in the al-Qaida in Iraq organization.'
  • "The top deputy to Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi."

Mohammed Salah Sutton, aka Abu Zubair (8/14/05)

  • "A lieutenant of al-Qaida terror boss Abu Musab al Zarqawi."

Abu Abd al-Aziz (7/13/05)

  • "Zarqawi's 'main leader in Baghdad'"

Khalid Suleiman Darwish, aka Abu Alghadiya (6/26/05)

  • A Syrian dentist...was described by Arab media as the 'number two' in Iraq's al Qaeda network and tipped to succeed its leader Abu Musab Al Zarqawi."

Mohammed Khalaf Shakar, aka Abu Talha (6/17/05)

  • "A top lieutenant of terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi."

Mullah Mahdi, aka Abu Abdul Rahman (6/4/05)

  • "Suspected deputy of terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi"

Abu Karrar (5/27/05)

  • "The Washington Post quoted a Zarqawi lieutenant by the nom-de-guerre of Abu Karrar as saying the Jordanian militant was shot and wounded in fighting with US forces near the western city of Ramadi."

Mullah Kamel al-Assawadi (5/25/05)

  • "Described as one of al-Zarqawi's top lieutenants."

Agha Umar (5/25/05)

  • "A top aide to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi"

Amar Adnan Muhammad Hamzah al-Zubaydi, aka Abu al-Abbas (5/9/05)

  • "A high-ranking aide to terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi."

Ghassan Muhammed Amin Husayn al-Rawi (4/26/05)

  • "A key associate of Iraq's most wanted militant, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi."

Hamza Ali Ahmed al-Wdimizyar, aka Abu Majid (beginning of April-05)

  • "Zarqawi associate"

Salman Aref Abulkadir Khwamurad al-Zardowe, aka Abu Sharif (beginning of April-05)

  • "Zarqawi associate"

Taifor Abulsattar Malallah (3/8/05)

  • "One of the 'princes' of Musab al-Zarqawi's terrorist group."

Talib Mikhlif Arsan Walman al-Dulaymi, aka Abu Qutaybah (2/25/05)

  • "Iraqi forces have captured a man described as a trusted aide to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi."

Mohammed Najm Ibrahim, aka Mohammed Najm (2/25/05)

  • "Zarqawi lieutenant"

Adel Mujtaba, aka Abu Rim (2/20/05)

  • "A propaganda chief of al-Qaeda's frontman in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi"

Anat Mohammed Hamat al-Kays, aka Abu Alid (1/28/05)

  • "High-level Zarqawi lieutenant"

Sami Mohammed Ali Said Jaaf, aka Abu Omar Kurdi (1/25/05)

  • "A senior aide to Abu Musab al Zarqawi"
  • "The 'most lethal' top lieutenant of Al Qaeda's leader in Iraq."

Ismael Jeddan (1/23/05)

  • "The raids also netted a man identified as Ismael Jeddan, an alleged associate of al-Zarqawi."

Ali Hamad Ardani Yasin Isawi (1/20/05)

  • "top lieutenant"

Inad Mohammed Qais (1/20/05)

  • "The deputy prime minister for national security affairs, Barham Salih, later told a news conference that authorities have arrested a third Zarqawi lieutenant."

Salah Salman Idaaj Matar Luhaybi, aka Abu Sayf (12/31/04)

  • "Zarqawi's chief of operations in Baghdad"

Fadil Hussain Ahmed al-Kurdi, aka Abu Ubaydah al-Kurdi, aka Ridha (12/30/04)

  • "A senior member of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's network."

Abdul Aziz Sa'dun Ahmed Hamduni, aka Abu Ahmed (12/22/04)

  • "Zarqawi-linked leader"

Hassan Ibrahim Farhan Zyda (12/14/04)

  • "An aide to Iraq's most-wanted man, Jordanian Islamist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi"

Abu Saeed (11/26/04)

  • "A lieutenant of Iraq's most feared terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi"

Nameless (10/23/04)

  • The US military has arrested a 'senior leader' in the network run by Jordanian mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi."

Omar Yusef Juma'a, aka Abu Anas al-Shami (9/25/04)

  • "A senior aide of the Jordanian al Qaeda mastermind, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi"

Umar Baziyani (6/4/04)

  • "A top aide of al-Qaeda suspect Abu Musab al-Zarqawi"
  • "His capture removes one of Zarqawi's most valuable officers from his network."

Abu Mohammed Hamza (2/24/04)

  • "A key lieutenant to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi."

Hassan Ghul (2/23/04)

  • "The letter was found on al-Zarqawi lieutenant Hassan Ghul, a Pakistani captured in Iraq."
  • The letter in reference was a "17-page letter to senior al Qaeda leaders written by terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who asked for help starting a Muslim civil war between Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites."

Nameless (4/30/03)

  • "An associate of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been captured in the Baghdad area."

From the looks of it, I think everyone in Iraq is about two-degrees from Zarqawi.

Note also that after many of these announcements, we were told that it would be a "fatal blow" to the Iraqi insurgency or that we were oh-so close to capturing Zarqawi himself.

(hat tip to this site for pointing out to me a few that I missed).

Comment: The article above, as well as the next, show clearly the joke that constitutes US reporting from Iraq. It is propaganda, pure and simple, designed to hoodwink the US public into thinking that all is well, that the light is at the end of the tunnel, etc.

At some point, the best weapon is ridicule, which is what the next article does.

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Make Your Own

Moon of Alabama

[top | important | most wanted | close | key] al-Zarqawi [aide | lieutenant | associate | "cell prince" | figure] [captured | arrested]

(some date) (some place in Iraq)

[Iraqi | US | US and Iraqi] forces have [nabbed | captured | arrested] [a | one | two] [senior | middle] [figure | operations chief | terrorist operative] of [Jordanian | al-Qaeda-linked | Iraq's most wanted] terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi.

(arabic name), also know as (other arabic name), was [detained | picked up]  on (some date) during an [Iraqi police | US military | US and Iraqi] [raid | road block | operation] in (some place in Iraq).

[spokesman | US General | Iraqi minister] said ["major catch" | "significant impact" | "big step forward"].

Some examples:

June 16, 2005 U.S. Says It Has Captured Al Qaeda Leader for Mosul Area

American and Iraqi military forces have captured Al Qaeda's top leader in the Mosul area of Northern Iraq, the United States military announced today, a man who associates said always wore a suicide vest and vowed that he would never be taken alive.

The military described the captured insurgent, Muhammad Khalaf Shakar, also known as Abu Talha, as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's most trusted operations agent in Iraq.
"He was known as the 'emir of Mosul,' " Lt. Gen. James T. Conway said of Mr. Shakar during a Pentagon briefing today. "He is a key lieutenant in Al Qaeda - that has been established. .."
The general said he believed the capture could reduce the rate of insurgent attacks in Northern Iraq. "In terms of impact, we think it will be significant," he said. "He has been in charge of the operation up there for a long time. Mosul, as you know, has become more and more a focal point for insurgent activities. So we have to think that the No. 2 won't be as capable as he."

June 5, 2005 Militant linked to Zarqawi arrested

Iraqi forces have arrested a senior militant leader who is linked to Jordanian mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and believed responsible for overseeing an array of deadly attacks in Iraq.

A Defence Ministry spokesman says Mullah Mahdi, sometimes known as Abu Abdul Rahman, was detained after a raid backed by US troops in the northern city of Mosul on Friday.

May 25, 2005 Top aide to al-Zarqawi arrested north of Baghdad

"The Iraqi security forces backed by US troops captured on Monday Agha Umar, a top aide for Zarqawi, in Baquba, some 60 km northeast of Baghdad," the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

May 25, 2005 US: al-Zarqawi aides arrested

Described as "one of the most wanted people" in northern Iraq, Mullah Kamel al-Assawadi was arrested after he allegedly tried to pass an Iraqi checkpoint, a US military statement said on Wednesday.
The Iraqi Defence Ministry also announced the arrest in Baquba on Tuesday of al-Zarqawi's secretary for Diyala province, Agha Omar, without providing further details. [see above]

May 9, 2005 Gains seen after new arrest of al-Zarqawi aide

Both men arrested are said to be close aides to al-Zarqawi, whose group is thought to be responsible for most of the suicide bombings and kidnappings in Iraq.

Amar Adnan Muhammad Hamzah al-Zubaydi was arrested in a Baghdad raid on May 5, the military said, while Ghassan Amin was captured in western Iraq in late April along with two associates.

April 19, 2005 Iraqi Security Forces Capture Two Zarqawi Associates

Iraq Security Forces are detaining two men suspected of working for al-Qaeda-linked terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Iraqi government said in a statement e- mailed from the capital, Baghdad.

Hamza Ali Ahmed al-Widmizyar, known as Abu Majid, and Salman Aref Abdulkadir Khwamurad al-Zardowe, also called Abu Sharif, were arrested at the beginning of April during a raid on the city of Ramadi, the government, said without explaining why the information was only released today.

March 12, 2005 Female Al Qaeda member arrested

US troops have detained a female Al Qaeda member headed by Iraq’s most wanted man, Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, US military officials said on Friday.

She is “someone who was picked up” within the last 30 days “and is part of the Zarqawi network. She is at Camp Cropper,” Major General William Brandenburg, the head of US military detention operations in Iraq, said, adding that she was one of three females in custody.

March 9, 2005 A Zarqawi cell "prince", six others captured in Baquba

Iraqi security forces arrested a leader of one of Musaab Al-Zarqawi's terrorist cells in Baquba, northeast of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad on Wednesday.

An Iraqi police source told reporters that soldiers of the Iraqi Army captured Taifor Abdulsattar Malallah one of the "princes" of Musaeb Al-Zaraqi's terrorist group in Baquba.

March 1, 2005 Major Arrests Show a Shift in Iraq

The Iraqi government has arrested several key figures in the insurgency in the past two weeks, mainly aides to Zarqawi. One of the highest-profile captures was of Talib Mikhlif Arsan Walman al-Dulaimi, also known as Abu Qutaybah, who arranged safe houses and meetings for Zarqawi and was arrested Feb. 20 along with another man who occasionally served as Zarqawi's driver. Iraqi officials say Abu Qutaybah's contacts in the Anbar province of western Iraq, which has been an insurgency hotbed, make him a major catch.

February 26, 2005 Top al-Zarqawi aide captured

Iraqi forces have arrested a top lieutenant of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, another indication that they are close to capturing Iraq's most wanted man, security officials said Friday.

The aide, Taleb Mikhlef al-Dulaimi, was "responsible for determining who, when and how terrorist leaders would meet with al-Zarqawi," the Iraqi government said in a statement. Al-Dulaimi was captured in a Feb. 20 raid in the town of Anah, about 150 miles west of Baghdad.

January 28, 2005 Three Top Zarqawi Lieutenants Arrested

Iraq's interim government today announced the capture of three men it described as top lieutenants of Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi,..
According to Qasim Dawood, the Iraqi government's minister of state for national security, Zarqawi's chief of operations in Baghdad was captured Dec. 31 and another top lieutenant was caught west of the capital on Jan. 20. There was no immediate explanation for the delay in announcing the captures.

A government statement said the Baghdad operations chief, identified as Salah Salman Idaaj Matar Luhaybi, alias Abu Sayf, had met Zarqawi four times in December. The other top aide, Ali Hamad Ardani Yasin Isawi, had 40 meetings with Zarqawi in the past three months, the statement said.

The deputy prime minister for national security affairs, Barham Salih, later told a news conference that authorities have arrested a third Zarqawi lieutenant, Inad Mohammed Qais, Reuters news agency reported. Qais was said to be an al Qaeda member serving as a military adviser. It was not immediately clear when or how he was seized.

January 24, 2005 Zarqawi's 'Most Lethal' Lt. Nabbed

Iraqi security forces have arrested the "most lethal" top lieutenant of al Qaeda's leader in Iraq — a man allegedly behind 75 percent of the car bombings in Baghdad since the U.S.-led invasion, the prime minister's office said Monday.

Sami Mohammed Ali Said al-Jaaf, also known as Abu Omar al-Kurdi, was arrested during a Jan. 15 raid in Baghdad, a government statement said Monday. Two other militants linked to Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's terror group also have been arrested, authorities announced Monday.

January 8, 2005 Zarqawi-linked leader arrested

U.S. occupation forces announced the arrest of a key leader in al-Zarqawi’s network in Iraq.

The military said in a statement on Saturday that Abdul Aziz Sa'dun Ahmed Hamduni, also known as Abu Ahmed, was arrested on December 22.

The statement also said that Abu Ahmed was coordinating attacks in the northern city of Mosul, adding that he served as the deputy of the top leader in the city, identified as Abu Talha.

December 15, 2004 Iraq says aide to Zarqawi killed, two arrested

An aide to Iraq's most-wanted man, Jordanian Islamist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been killed in Iraq and two others captured, Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said Tuesday.

"I have been told that an individual by the name of Hassan Ibrahim Farhan Zyda from Zarqawi's group has been killed and that two of his deputies have been arrested," Allawi told the interim national assembly.

December 12, 2004 US Marines Arrest 2 Zarqawi-linked Insurgent Leaders

The men were arrested on December 8 and 12 during raids in the city of Ramadi, which is part of the restive al-Anbar province.  The military did not announce the arrests until Saturday.

The Marines say Saleh Arugayan Khalil and Bassim Mohammed Hazem were cell leaders for a local Zarqawi-affiliated terrorist group called the "Harun terrorist network" that operates in and around Ramadi.

November 25, 2004 Iraq says top Zarqawi aide arrested in Mosul

One of the leaders of the top US foe in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi ,was arrested in the northern city of Mosul, national security adviser Qassem Daoud said Thursday. "We arrested a few days ago Abu Said, one of the leaders of the Zarqawi network in the city of Mosul," Daoud told reporters.

He did not elaborate on the identity of the rebel leader and his rank in Zarqawi's Al-Qaeda linked organisation, but said information which led to the arrest came partly from local residents.

October 23, 2004 Senior Terrorist Arrested in Iraq

The U.S. military has arrested a "senior leader" in the network run by Jordanian terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (search), along with five others during overnight raids in the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah (search), officials said Saturday.

July 7, 2004 Zarqawi's brother-in-law arrested in Jordan: family

Jordanian authorities have arrested a brother-in-law of suspected Al Qaeda operative Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, following his appearance in a documentary on Al Jazeera television, according to family sources.

Saleh al-Hani, 38, was arrested at his home in Zarqa, north-east of Amman, by plainclothes policemen who gave no explanation for his arrest, the sources told AFP.

April 30, 2003 Associate of Al Qaeda-Linked Fugitive Caught in Baghdad

An associate of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been captured in the Baghdad area, a defense official confirmed to Fox News on Tuesday.

The name of the associate was not released but he was described as a midlevel terrorist operative.

Comment: Does the template come out of the Pentagon, or do the reporters no longer even need it, having been embedded for so long that the thought control has become habit.

Not only has al Zarqawi become a mythical figure, there is still the original Islamic bogeyman, Osama bin Laden, who appears from time to time when he is needed to bolster the sagging fortunes of the American president. To whit, the last-minute campaign endorsement of old family friend George W. from Osama days before last year's presidential election.

Well, Osama is back, at least via his buddies at the CIA.

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Bin Laden to surface after new attack on US soil: ex-CIA expert
Oct 05 9:34 PM US/Eastern

Osama bin laden is expected to remain in hiding until he stages another attack on the United States, an ex-CIA expert who had tracked the terror mastermind for two decades warned in an interview.

"As soon as he hits us in the United States again we'll see how important he is in the Islamic world," Michael Scheuer, the former head of the "bin Laden unit" at the CIA, told AFP in an interview.

Despite his low profile, bin Laden remains powerful, Scheuer said, shrugging off reports that the Al-Qaeda chief was isolated and his communication network shattered due to a relentless hunt for him.

"We mistake quiet for defeat or irrelevance. And all quiet is disquiet," said Scheuer, a fierce critic of the Bush administration and its "War on Terror" policy since he left the CIA in November last year.

Comment: Yes, this fierce critic would have us treat the phoney Islamic threat with even more seriousness than we do now.

Scheuer said that bin Laden's right-hand-man Ayman al-Zawahiri, who last appeared on a video aired 10 days before the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, seemed to have temporarily taken over the Al-Qaeda leadership apparently for the boss to prepare for another US strike.

Bin Laden last surfaced in a video footage aired on the eve of the US presidential elections in November last year. In the tape, declared authentic by the authorities, the Saudi-born radical directly admitted he ordered the September 11 attacks.

Asked why he thought the al-Qaeda leader had not resurfaced since then, Scheuer said: "I don't think we are going to hear from him until he attacks us again.

"His feature on the eve of the election was simply to say that: This is it, I have warned you four times. I punched my ticket in the Islamic world, I've given you all the warning that the religion requires me.

"I think that's why Zawahiri is taking the lead at the moment," said Scheuer, the author of the best-selling book "Imperial Hubris," which was originally published anonymously as required by the CIA.

The United States has offered rewards of up to 25 million dollars each for bin Laden and Al-Zawahiri.

Pakistan said last month that bin Laden was now isolated as his communication network had been shattered.

One key Al-Qaeda suspect revealed under interrogation that bin Laden was using couriers travelling on foot or horseback instead of communicating by satellite telephone or the Internet to avoid being detected, according to Pakistan's chief military spokesman, Major General Shaukat Sultan.

But Scheuer, currently an adjunct professor of security studies at Georgetown University, said, "I'm one that believes that we have not destroyed their (Al-Qaeda's) capability to attack us.

"I think bin Laden still commands the international media at a moment's notice if he decides to make a media appearance. He is very important. So, I think again there is lot of whistling past the graveyard at the moment."

Scheuer earlier Wednesday told a forum organized by the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, that Al-Qaeda would survive even without bin Laden, "who is a unique combination of a 12th century theologian and a 21st century CEO."

Ersel Aydinli, a former counter-terrorism expert with the Turkish police, said bin Laden failed in his bid to drum up support from Muslims to join his jihadist struggle.

"But even if he is captured or killed, probably we still have to deal with the legacy beyond him," he said, adding that the Al-Qaeda had broken up into various "splinter groups with potential for multiple attacks.

"The good news is that it looks like Osama bin laden and Al-Qaeda have really failed in terms of getting enough attention for their call for jihad in a violent way," he said.

Aydinli, who teaches at George Washington University, said field research he conducted last summer among Muslim communities in the Middle East and Europe revealed that there was still continuing debate over bin Laden's role.

"There is a huge debate whether he served or he really hindered the Muslim world's interests," he said.

Comment: Not to worry, he's off George Bush's "I'm gonna go after that guy and get him list". Besides, the U.S. spent all it's juice going after Saddam...

You know the "war on terror" over there in Iraq? Where there were no WMD's or anything else Bush claimed... And all that legislation to keep us safe so we could go to Iraq and die, and now people are still gonna die in the U.S. because Osama is still under the bed!

Readers will also remember this report from last June when the Bush administration informed us that it knew where he know, this guy who is "in hiding" until the next big attack.

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FLASHBACK! June 20, 2005

CIA chief says he has 'excellent idea' where Osama bin Laden is

06:31 AM EDT Jun 20

NEW YORK (AP) - The director of the CIA says he has an "excellent idea" where Osama bin Laden is hiding, but that Washington's respect for sovereign countries makes it more difficult to capture the al-Qaida chief.

In an interview with Time for the magazine's June 27 issue, Porter Goss was asked about the progress of the hunt for bin Laden.

"When you go to the question of dealing with sanctuaries in sovereign states, you're dealing with a problem of our sense of international obligation, fair play," Goss said. "We have to find a way to work in a conventional world in unconventional ways [that are acceptable to the international community]."

Comment: What???!!! "International obligation"???!!! "Fair play"???!!! What drug is this man on? These are the same people who lied to the world about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, about the links between Saddam and the 9/11 hijackers (Saddam met with Rumsfeld way back in 1983 long before Rumsfeld and his friends started planning 9/11), and who would now have us believe that the Downing Street memo is either a forgery or says something other than what it says.

Asked whether that meant he knew where bin Laden is, Goss responded: "I have an excellent idea where he is. What's the next question?"

Goss did not say where he thinks bin Laden is, nor did he specify what country or countries he was referring to when he spoke of foreign sanctuaries. But American officials have long said they believed bin Laden was hiding in rugged mountains along the Afghan-Pakistani border.

Comment: The part of the quote in brackets above was taken from Xinhua, the Chinese news service, which had a more complete version of Goss's words. The next article raises the issue of how it was that a Pakistani TV station was able to find Osama when Pakistani intelligence can't...

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FLASHBACK! June 20, 2005

CIA 'knows Bin Laden whereabouts'


[...] The CIA chief did not mention Pakistan by name in his interview with Time.

But his comments come after a row between Islamabad and the departing US ambassador to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, who has frequently accused Pakistan of sheltering terror suspects.

The US envoy was angered last week after Pakistani television station Geo interviewed a senior Taleban commander in Afghanistan, who said both Bin Laden and Taleban leader Mullah Omar were alive and well.

"If a TV station can get in touch with them, how can the intelligence service of a country which has nuclear bombs and a lot of security and military forces not find them?" asked Mr Khalilzad in an interview with an Afghan television station.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokesman called Mr Khalilzad's remarks "irresponsible".

Pakistan was the main backer of Afghanistan's hardline former Taleban rulers until President Musharraf joined the war on terror in late 2001.

Hundreds of terror suspects, including a string of men alleged to be senior al-Qaeda figures, have been arrested in Pakistan since then.

Comment: Khalilzad's remarks are an obvious smokescreen. If there is a group of deviants anywhere in the world with the technological wherewithal to locate the mysterious Mr. bin Laden, it is certainly the CIA and the NSA. They monitor communications by everybody! Telephone, email, you name it. So for the US Ambassador to point the finger at Pakistan is rather amusing. As amusing as Porter Goss's comment above.

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Execs Ponder Role of User-Generated News
AP Business Writer NEW YORK
Oct 05 12:32 PM US/Eastern

The avalanche of high quality video, photos and e-mailed news material from citizens following the July 7 bombings in London marked a turning point for the British Broadcasting Corporation, the head of its global news division said Wednesday.

Richard Sambrook, director of the BBC World Service and Global News Division, told a conference the broadcaster's prominent use of video and other material contributed by ordinary citizens signaled that the BBC was evolving from being a broadcaster to a facilitator of news.

"We don't own the news any more," Sambrook said. "This is a fundamental realignment of the relationship between large media companies and the public."[...]

Tom Curley, the president of the AP, noted that the news cooperative has used material such as photos contributed by users for many years, pointing out recent examples including video from the tsunami in Asia and photos from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"This is something we do every day," Curley said. However, the emerging area of citizen-generated news was still in the "first inning," Curley said. "There are lots of opportunities _ The audience is growing."

Another member of the opening panel, Farai Chideya, a correspondent for National Public Radio Inc. in Los Angeles and founder of blog called, expressed concern that many big stories may be affecting people who don't have broadband access to the Internet, resulting in a risk that they could be excluded from citizen-generated news.

Chideya said it "breaks my heart" that many poor people and people of color may not be able to participate in the online generation and dissemination of news. The big question, she said, was how to get people "in the caboose of the digital train" involved.

Chideya suggested a "middle ground" where journalists can collaborate with non-journalists, such as distributing tape recorders to people in the area hit by Hurricane Katrina to collect sound, which could then be culled and edited by NPR journalists.[...]

Comment: The above is a practical solution. Thing is, we don't want the mainstream media doing it - people need to band together to do it!

As our daily collection shows, the mainstream media can't be trusted. If they are coming up with ideas to use "user reporting", you know it is only to gain control over it. Exclusive deals will keep video out of the hands of people, locked away in vaults. Edited versions that confirm the government propaganda will appear while the originals will disappear.

The statement "We don't own the news anymore" is true to the degree that people can go outside of the news companies and exchange the news on their own, a fact with the Internet. It will no longer be true if the news organisations between vacuuming up the raw material and presenting it after it has been "culled and edited" by journalists, as this culling and editing is precisely the process by which raw data is transformed into propaganda.

The public are "consumers" of news, not producers, and consumers they must remain.

We saw above how the news spins and twists data and fabricated data in the mythologising of al Zarqawi. Next we'll take a look at how it is doing it right now with the developing story of spies in Washington. Israel has long spied on its ally. Hey, what's a little sharing of data between friends. The Larry Franklin case has been developing now for about a year.

Judith Miller, the neocon spokesperson who has long masqueraded as a reporter for the New York Times, recently spent time in jail for not revealing her sources in the outing of Valerie Plame, even though she didn't even write an article on the subject. After having been humiliated, if she is capable of feeling a sentiment like humiliation, she was turned into a valiant fighter for freedom of the press. Miller is something of a spy, herself. She pranced around Iraq and served as the mouthpiece of Chalabi, before the man was discredited in the mainstream press.

So there has been an awful lot of information management, to put a very polite term on the activities we have been describing, and they tend to centre around everyone's favourite Middle Eastern democracy, the State of Israel. So while this is going on, what do we find headlined on Drudge?

A story about a Filipino who was spying for the opposition in the Philippines.

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Espionage Case Breaches the White House

Accused Marine Worked in Vice President's Office

Oct. 5, 2005

Both the FBI and CIA are calling it the first case of espionage in the White House in modern history. Officials tell ABC News the alleged spy worked undetected at the White House for almost three years. Leandro Aragoncillo, 46, was a U.S. Marine most recently assigned to the staff of Vice President Dick Cheney.

"I don't know of a case where the vetting broke down before and resulted in a spy being in the White House," said Richard Clarke, a former White House advisor who is now an ABC News consultant.

Federal investigators say Aragoncillo, a naturalized citizen from the Philippines, used his top secret clearance to steal classified intelligence documents from White House computers.

In 2000, Aragoncillo worked on the staff of then-Vice President Al Gore. When interviewed by Philippine television, he remarked how valued Philippine employees were at the White House.

"I think what they like most is our integrity and loyalty," Aragoncillo said.

Classified Material Transferred by E-Mail

Officials say the classified material, which Aragoncillo stole from the vice president's office, included damaging dossiers on the president of the Philippines. He then passed those on to opposition politicians planning a coup in the Pacific nation.

"Even though it's not for the Russians or some other government, the fact that it occurred at the White House is a matter of great concern," said John Martin, who was the government's lead espionage prosecutor for 26 years.

Last year, after leaving the Marines, Aragoncillo was caught by the FBI while he worked for the Bureau at an intelligence center at Fort Monmouth, N.J.

According to a criminal complaint, Aragoncillo was arrested last month and accused of downloading more than 100 classified documents from FBI computers.

"The information was transferred mostly by e-mails," said U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie at the time of Aragoncillo's arrest.

Since that arrest, officials say Aragoncillo has started to cooperate. He has admitted to spying while working on the staff of Vice President Cheney's office.

Comment: The killer comment in this article is the one hilighted in red. What a joke! This administration is an extension of the Likud Party in Israel. Top members serve as advisors to Israel prime ministers when they are not in office in Washington. Many have dual US/Israeli citizenship. Yet the big story is a Filipino spy in the White House! Good work there, guys.

But, the Franklin story is not dead. Oh, no. It's a headline in... Al Jazeera!!!

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US official admits spying for Israel
Al Jazeera
Thursday 06 October 2005, 9:33 Makka Time, 6:33 GMT

A top US Defence Department analyst with expertise in the Middle East has pleaded guilty to giving classified information to an Israeli embassy official and members of a pro-Israel lobbying group.

Lawrence Franklin, 58, said in court on Wednesday that he was frustrated with government policy and that he had hoped the two members of American Israel Public Affairs Committee could influence policy with their connections at the National Security Council.

He also admitted giving classified information to a political official at the Israeli embassy, but said the information he received from the official was far more valuable than what he gave.

"I knew in my heart that his government had this information," Franklin said.

"He gave me far more information than I gave him."

Franklin pleaded guilty to two conspiracy counts and a charge of unlawful retention of national defence information.

US District Judge T S Ellis III set sentencing for 20 January. 

Franklin, who was one of the Pentagon's policy experts on Iran and the Middle East, was indicted in June on five charges.


The two AIPAC officials who allegedly received the information, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, also have been charged with conspiring to obtain and disclose classified US defence information.

AIPAC fired Rosen and Weissman in April. Both AIPAC and Israel deny any wrongdoing.  

According to the indictment, Franklin met periodically with Rosen and Weissman between 2002 and 2004 and discussed classified information, including information about potential attacks on US troops in Iraq. 

Rosen and Weissman would subsequently share what they learned with reporters and Israeli officials.

On at least one occasion, Franklin spoke directly to an Israeli official.

Rosen, a top lobbyist for Washington-based AIPAC for more than 20 years, and Weissman, the organisation's top Iran expert, allegedly disclosed sensitive information as far back as 1999 on a variety of topics, including al-Qaida, terrorist activities in Central Asia, the bombing of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia and US policy in Iran, according to the indictment.

Franklin at one time worked for the Pentagon's No 3 official, policy undersecretary Douglas Feith, on issues involving Iran and the Middle East.

Comment: And Franklin is only the tip of the Israeli spying iceberg.

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US officials brace for decisions in CIA leak case
Wed Oct 5, 9:07 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The federal prosecutor investigating who leaked the identity of a CIA operative is expected to signal within days whether he intends to bring indictments in the case, legal sources close to the investigation said on Wednesday.

As a first step, prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was expected to notify officials by letter if they have become targets, said the lawyers, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Fitzgerald could announce plea agreements, bring indictments, or conclude that no crime was committed. By the end of this month he is expected to wrap up his nearly two-year-old investigation into who leaked CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity.

The inquiry has ensnared President George W. Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, and Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby. The White House had long maintained that Rove and Libby had nothing to do with the leak but reporters have since named them as sources.

Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, declined to say whether his client had been contacted by Fitzgerald. In the past, Luskin has said that Rove was assured that he was not a target.

Libby's lawyer was not immediately available to comment.

"It's an ongoing investigation and we're fully cooperating," said Cheney spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride.

The outcome of the investigation could shake up an administration already reeling from criticism over its response to Hurricane Katrina and the indictment of House Republican leader Tom DeLay on a conspiracy charge related to campaign financing.

New York Times reporter Judith Miller testified to the grand jury on Friday about the conversations she had with Libby.

Plame's diplomat husband, Joseph Wilson, has accused the administration of leaking her name, damaging her ability to work undercover, to get back at him for criticizing Bush's Iraq policy.

Fitzgerald's agreement to limit the scope of Miller's testimony to her conversations with Libby -- a proposal he rejected a year earlier -- suggested that Libby had become "the focus of interest," said one of the lawyers involved in the case.

After initially promising to fire anyone found to have leaked information in the case, Bush in July offered a more qualified pledge: "If someone committed a crime they will no longer work in my administration."

Comment: It will be interesting to see if Patrick Fitzgerald goes for the jugular when he delivers his report. We suspect the negotiations are going on hot and heavy behind the scenes. Who will take the rap? Has Libby be brought in to take the fall for Rove? Clearly, Rove and Cheney would be involved, but, then, as Citizen Spook has so well argued, Wilson and Plame themselves may also be part of the plot.

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The Real Sharon

Mistrust as an asset

Yossi Beilin
09:18 , 10.04.05

For fifty years Ariel Sharon tried to fool us. Now we are willing to fool ourselves

It may be rather unusual, but it is a fact: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's most valuable asset is his lack of credibility. For fifty years at least, since David Ben-Gurion wrote that he (Sharon) could have been an excellent military leader had he been accustomed to telling the truth, Sharon built himself an image of a cynical bulldozer who does what he likes and never blinks when lying - adopting the strategy with his supporters and foes alike.

In the past this image had negative repercussions for Sharon as it turned him into someone who can only dream of taking central stage and dictating a policy. Today, it seems to me that if a heavenly angel were to propose to do away with that image and turn him into a trustworthy person in the eyes of the people, the prime minister would do everything in his power to prevent it from happening.

Sharon's pullout from Gaza was not his plan. He was elected prime minister twice, and only after a year had passed on his second term did he pull out this experiment, that is the disengagement plan. He understood well that a withdrawal of this nature will boost Hamas and weaken the Palestinian Authority, yet nevertheless he went for the plan because he was under pressure (the Road Map scared him, the Geneva Initiative peace program and the broad support it received at home and abroad troubled him, and the police investigation into his affairs left him no choice but to go for disengagement, a move which seemed hallucinatory to him two years earlier).

Following this decision, Sharon was treated like the weakest student in the classroom who succeeded however low his grades. If you were to make a small effort you can become Einstein, they told him. When Labor searched for an excuse to occupy cabinet chairs, it praised him as its prophet. President George W. Bush whose ratings on the international arena were sinking in the sea, jumped at the opportunity as a last resort for salvation. Europe found in Sharon a new De Gaulle. President Hosni Mubarak reached the conclusion that only Sharon can do it. On the other hand the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas, for whom the pullout was a deliberate slap on the cheek, had no choice but to welcome the Israeli withdrawal.

Who is the real Sharon?

Do you remember Charlie Chaplin in "Modern Times" in the sequence where he picks up a red ribbon on a rod that fell off a truck, naively lifts it up, and turns into a socialist leader escorting a crowd? That's Sharon. He wanted to take leave of some trouble, to gain time, and to use the Gaza pullout as a cover to expand settlements in the West Bank.

At the moment, as many are willing to see in him a man of peace following his limited deed, he is no doubt interested in preserving a newly-earned status that surprised and flattered him so much, provided that the maintenance of this image does not carry a heavy price tag. How is this achieved? That's the time to capitalize on his mistrust and make the best of it - turn it into a valuable asset. He pledged to make no further territorial concessions and to return to the framework of the Road Map (which he evaded at some point where he invented the "pre-Road Map"), only if certain unattainable conditions arise (such as a Palestinian civil war). But who will believe Sharon?

In his own party they argue that he veered to the left of the leftist Meretz-Yachad party, his closest allies are speaking of more withdrawals, partial agreements and other ideas, fruits of their imagination. Meanwhile Sharon makes public appearances day and night, swears that no man speaks in his name and insists that his policy has not changed. Those who believe him will continue to convince themselves that the father of the settlement industry has another face, one that will follow through the work of Yitzhak Rabin. Fifty years of investment have not gone down the drain.

For fifty years Sharon has been trying to fool us. Now we are willing to fool ourselves. Sharon who postpones meetings with Abbas and who sets conditions to every political motion is the real Sharon.

Yossi Beilin is Chairman of the Meretz-Yachad party

Comment: Beilin was one of the people behind the Geneva Agreement. He is a former minister in the Labour Party. His description of Sharon, while focusing on the lying that is so consistent in his career, is kind. However, it does indicate that this trait, that we return to over and again on this page, is not only a fruit of our imagination. Others see it, too.

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Security fears as flu virus that killed 50 million is recreated
Ian Sample, science correspondent
Thursday October 6, 2005
The Guardian
Scientists have recreated the 1918 Spanish flu virus, one of the deadliest ever to emerge, to the alarm of many researchers who fear it presents a serious security risk.

Undisclosed quantities of the virus are being held in a high-security government laboratory in Atlanta, Georgia, after a nine-year effort to rebuild the agent that swept the globe in record time and claimed the lives of an estimated 50 million people.

The genetic sequence is also being made available to scientists online, a move which some fear adds a further risk of the virus being created in other labs.

The recreation was carried out in an attempt to understand what made the 1918 outbreak so devastating. Reporting in the journal Science, a team lead by Dr Jeffery Taubenberger at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Maryland shows that the recreated virus is extremely effective. When injected into mice, it quickly took hold and they started to lose weight rapidly, shedding 13% of their original weight in just two days. Within six days, all mice injected with the virus had died.

In a comparison experiment, similar mice were injected with a contemporary strain of flu, and although the mice lost weight initially, they recovered. Tests revealed that the Spanish flu virus multiplied so rapidly that after four days, mice contained 39,000 times more flu virus than those injected with the more common strain of flu.

The government and military researchers who reconstructed the virus say their work has already provided invaluable insight into its unique genetic make-up and helps explain its lethality. But other researchers warned yesterday the that virus could escape from the laboratory. "This will raise clear questions among some as to whether they have really created a biological weapon," said Professor Ronald Atlas at the centre for deterrence of biowarfare and bioterrorism at the University of Louisville in Kentucky.

Publication of the work and the filing of the virus's genetic make-up to an online database followed an emergency meeting last week by the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, which concluded that the benefits of publishing the work outweighed the risks. Many scientists remained sceptical. "Once the genetic sequence is publicly available, there's a theoretical risk that any molecular biologist with sufficient knowledge could recreate this virus," said Dr John Wood, a virologist at the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control in Potters Bar.

Comment: What kind of psycho would want to reanimate a virus that killed 50 million people? And do we for a minute believe that the information they have gathered is not going to make its way, if it hasn't already, into the hands of military researchers working on biological weapons, or even ethnic specific weapons?

Folks, these people are sick. What else can you say? And as we saw yesterday, Bush is preparing the ground to use the next flu pandemic to declare martial law.

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Rising bank fees hit consumers
By Kathy Chu, USA TODAY

Record-high bank fees are making it harder for consumers such as Felipe and Racheli Vidal to stay financially afloat.

The Vidals say there were hit with $926 in overdraft fees between July 2004 and last July for spending $1,248 more than they had in their accounts.

The penalties came out to nearly three-quarters of the amount they overdrew. Sometimes, the fees were more expensive than the actual transaction: An $8.40 meal of Wendy's chicken nuggets and drinks in April ended up costing the Vidals three times that amount in penalties.

"I'm admittedly poor at managing my bank account, not knowing where my money is," says Felipe, 36, who lives in Miami Lakes, Fla., with his wife and two daughters. "People don't pay attention, and frankly, institutions are taking advantage of that weakness."

After Vidal told Eastern Financial Florida Credit Union that he had been interviewed by USA TODAY, it said it would refund his fees. Eastern Financial Senior Vice President Gary Lanier says it "was a fair and reasonable thing to do."

Not everyone is so lucky. Last year, banks, thrifts and credit unions collected a record $37.8 billion in service charges on accounts, more than double what they got in 1994, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the National Credit Union Administration. These fees provide a more stable source of income to banks than products tied to fluctuating interest rates.

Bounced-check and ATM fees are setting records. Consumers are paying higher service charges for checking accounts. Banks are requiring higher balances on interest-bearing accounts, says. And banks that issue credit cards are increasing fees for late payments and over-the-limit charges to as much as $39 per violation. Make this mistake once or twice, and your interest rate could hit 30%.

"These are not things that are subject to price competition," says Greg McBride of "No bank is going to advertise low bounced-check fees."

Banks say the costs of providing products and services are high, and they have to recoup their investment through fees. Fee increases are a normal part of business because banks and thrifts "are for-profit ventures," says Sam Davis, president of Strunk & Associates, which advises financial institutions. "Financial institutions shouldn't have to be apologetic or defensive about making money." [...]

More than 80% of large banks charge courtesy-overdraft fees, and a third kick in additional fees if overdrafts aren't paid back in an average of five days, Consumer Federation of America says. Last year, consumers paid about $10 billion in overdraft loans, the Center for Responsible Lending estimates. Those fees make up more than a quarter of banks' and credit unions' overall service-charge income.

Unlike other types of bounced-check protection, any money lent by the bank is taken out of the consumer's next deposit. The fees and the short time given to pay back the overdraft often translate to "triple-digit interest rates," says Jean Ann Fox of the Consumer Federation of America. "Banks have essentially gone into the business of payday lending."

Banks disagree. They say courtesy overdraft protects those who unwittingly write checks or make purchases for which they have no money. Typically, customers are covered for up to $500 in transactions. "For people who are running a little short on money, it allows them to go in and pay the bills," says Robbie Polin, chief executive of Springfield State Bank in Springfield, Ky.

Courtesy overdraft could save consumers money. The fee is generally the same as what the bank charges for a returned check. The difference is that because the bank is paying the check, the merchant won't assess an additional fee.

Where the practice really dents wallets, however, is when banks let customers take out more than they have at an ATM or through a debit-card purchase, generally without an alert that they are about to overdraw or will incur a fee. In these cases, customers aren't facing merchant fees, and likely the only consequence of the transaction being denied is that they would have to put back their groceries.

"What concerns us most is that often with the debit or ATM transaction, the institution knows that you don't have the money, and they have the ability to stop it," says Eric Halperin of the Center for Responsible Lending. "The smaller the dollar amounts these transactions are, the costlier the loan."[...]

Courtesy overdraft is often tacked onto free checking accounts, making them far from free if you don't read the fine print.

These accounts, by law, can't require a minimum monthly balance or charge a monthly fee. But that doesn't mean that banks can't charge you for a host of services, such as getting copies of checks, inquiring about balances and spending more than you have.

Susan Murray, 26, a New York City artist, signed up for a free account two years ago. But she says she didn't sign up for the $30 fee the bank charged when it covered a $2 debit-card purchase at a deli.

She asked to have the feature taken off the account at that time, so she was angry when she was hit with five additional courtesy-overdraft fees — including a fee for a $2.15 payment to eBay — totaling $150 on June 16. This was more than double her $70 overdraft.

"They call the overdraft fee a courtesy, which I don't really understand, because I couldn't think of any instance where I would say, 'Pay this amount and then I'll pay you $30,' " says Murray.

Almost every bank offers free checking today, and many offer free online banking. The introduction of these features at a time when banks are raising fees is a calculated move to attract new customers and keep existing ones. These products also give banks a running start in pitching more services.

The strategy is similar to when "grocery stores used to offer milk at a really low price to get customers in the door," says Brenda Marlin, of the ABA Marketing Network.

Free checking can be a good deal for those who want a basic, no-frills account. But these accounts often have restrictions, and those who don't pay attention could be switched to costlier products.

Stacy and Sven Davies of Chicago found this out last year when First American Bank converted their "free checking" into a premium account after six months of inactivity.

The account held $1.62 at the time. This wasn't enough to meet the premium account's balance requirement, so they were charged $12. This overdrew their account and, after a short grace period, the bank began charging them a $3 daily overdraft fee.

John Ward, president of First American in Elk Grove Village, Ill., says the bank sends customers a notice after five months of inactivity, warning them a deposit or withdrawal should be made in 30 days.

If nothing happens, customers could be switched to the premium account and charged a fee if they don't maintain a minimum $500 balance because, "There is substantial expense to maintaining a checking account," Ward says. Continuous overdraft fees help "offset the cost of handling on a daily basis an overdraft on our books."

The couple — who racked up $60 in fees they refused to pay — protested and eventually got a letter saying the debt was cleared. But the bank's policy still irks them. "If you were looking to build a relationship with your customers, why would you build into your policies a procedure that would automatically stick it to them if they didn't do anything with the account?" asks Sven, who left the bank.

Comment: Many American families are living paycheque to paycheque. If an expected expense arises, such as medical bills, they can be put into bankruptcy. The Congress has looked at this and kindly severely tightened the bankruptcy laws so that the poorest citizens of the US can't get out from under their crippling debt.

This is the logical outcome of the elevation of the individual to god, and the constant denigration of any concept of networking and community, when it occurs outside the old boys network. Americans are raised to consider any form of social safety net as socialistic or communistic, so they long ago stopped fighting for their rights.

How convenient.

But at the same time as the dispossessed gave up the fight for their collective rights, the elite have been using their networking skills to pass bill after bill of tax relief, to siphon billions of dollars from the government budget into the bank accounts of corporations like Haliburton, and to assure the arms merchants don't go hungry this Christmas.

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Blunt Money Laundering; DeLay, Successor Swapped Donations

DeLay, Successor Blunt Swapped Donations

By JOHN SOLOMON and SHARON THEIMER, Associated Press Writers
October 6, 2005

Tom DeLay deliberately raised more money than he needed to throw parties at the 2000 presidential convention, then diverted some of the excess to longtime ally Roy Blunt through a series of donations that benefited both men's causes.

When the financial carousel stopped, DeLay's private charity, the consulting firm that employed DeLay's wife and the Missouri campaign of Blunt's son all ended up with money, according to campaign documents reviewed by The Associated Press.

Jack Abramoff, a Washington lobbyist recently charged in an ongoing federal corruption and fraud investigation, and Jim Ellis, the DeLay fundraiser indicted with his boss last week in Texas, also came into the picture.

The complicated transactions are drawing scrutiny in legal and political circles after a grand jury indicted DeLay on charges of violating Texas law with a scheme to launder illegal corporate donations to state candidates. [...]

None of the hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations DeLay collected for the 2000 convention were ever disclosed to federal regulators because the type of group DeLay used wasn't governed by federal law at the time.

DeLay has temporarily stepped aside as majority leader after being indicted by a Texas prosecutor. Blunt — who had been majority whip, the No. 3 Republican in the House — has taken over much of that role in DeLay's absence.

Spokesmen for the two Republican leaders say they disclosed what was required by law at the time and believe all their transactions were legal, though donors might not always have know where their money was headed.

"It illustrates what others have said, that money gets transferred all the time. This was disclosed to the extent required to be disclosed by applicable law, said Don McGahn, a lawyer for DeLay. "It just shows that donors don't control funds once they're given."

Blunt and DeLay planned all along to raise more money than was needed for the convention parties and then route some of that to other causes, such as supporting state candidates, said longtime Blunt aide Gregg Hartley.

"We put together a budget for what we thought we would raise and spend on the convention and whatever was left over we were going to use to support candidates," said Hartley, Blunt's former chief of staff who answered AP's questions on behalf of Blunt.

Hartley said he saw no similarity to the Texas case. The fact that DeLay's charity, Christine DeLay's consulting firm and Blunt's son were beneficiaries was a coincidence, Hartley said.

Much of the money — including one donation to Blunt from an Abramoff client accused of running a "sweatshop" garment factory in the Northern Mariana Islands — changed hands in the spring of 2000, a period of keen interest to federal prosecutors.

During that same time, Abramoff arranged for DeLay to use a concert skybox for donors and to take a golfing trip to Scotland and England that was partly underwritten by some of the lobbyist's clients. Prosecutors are investigating whether the source of some of the money was disguised, and whether some of DeLay's expenses were originally put on the lobbyist's credit card in violation of House rules.

Both DeLay and Blunt and their aides also met with Abramoff's lobbying team several times in 2000 and 2001 on the Marianas issues, according to law firm billing records obtained by AP under an open records request. DeLay was instrumental in blocking legislation opposed by some of Abramoff's clients.

Noble said investigators should examine whether the pattern of disguising the original source of money might have been an effort to hide the leaders' simultaneous financial and legislative dealings with Abramoff and his clients.

"You see Abramoff involved and see the meetings that were held and one gets the sense Abramoff is helping this along in order to get access and push his clients' interest," he said. "And at the same time, you see Delay and Blunt trying to hide the root of their funding.

"All of these transactions may have strings attached to them. ... I think you would want to look, if you aren't already looking, at the question of a quid pro quo," Noble said.

Blunt and DeLay have long been political allies. The 2000 transactions occurred as President Bush was marching toward his first election to the White House, DeLay was positioning himself to be House majority leader and Blunt was lining up to succeed DeLay as majority whip, the third-ranking position in the House.

The entities Blunt and DeLay formed allowed them to collect donations of any size and any U.S. source with little chance of federal scrutiny.

DeLay's convention fundraising arm, part of his Americans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee (ARMPAC), collected large corporate donations to help wine and dine Republican VIPs during the presidential nominating convention in Philadelphia in late summer 2000. DeLay's group has declined to identify any of the donors.

Blunt's group, a nonfederal wing of his Rely on Your Beliefs Fund, eventually registered its activities in Missouri but paid a $3,000 fine for improperly concealing its fundraising in 1999 and spring 2000, according to Missouri Ethics Commission records.

Both groups — DeLay's and Blunt's — were simultaneously paying Ellis, the longtime DeLay fundraiser who was indicted along with his boss in Texas in the alleged money laundering scheme. [...]

On April 14, 2000, Concorde Garment Manufacturing, based in the Northern Marianas Islands that was part of Abramoff's lobbying coalition, contributed $3,000 to Blunt's group.

Hartley said the donation was delivered during a weekend of fundraising activities by Blunt and DeLay but his boss did not know who solicited it.

Concorde, derided for years in lawsuits as a Pacific island sweatshop, paid a $9 million penalty to the U.S. government in the 1990s for failing to pay workers' overtime. The company was visited by DeLay.

The company was a key member of the Marianas garment industry that the islands' government was trying to protect when it hired Abramoff to lobby DeLay, Blunt and others to keep Congress from imposing tougher wage and tax standards on the islands.

After the November 2000 election, Abramoff's firm billed its Mariana Islands clients for at least one meeting with Blunt and three meetings with Blunt's staff, billing records show. Abramoff's team also reported several meetings with DeLay and his staff on the issue, including one during the presidential convention.

On May 24, 2000 — just before DeLay left with Abramoff for the Scottish golfing trip — DeLay's convention fundraising group transferred $100,000 more to Blunt's group. Within three weeks, Blunt turned around and donated the same amount to the Missouri Republican Party.

The next month, the state GOP began spending large amounts of money to help Blunt's son, Matt, in his successful campaign to become Missouri secretary of state. On July 25, 2000, the state GOP made its first expenditure for the younger Blunt, totaling just over $11,000. By election day, that figure had grown to more than $160,000.

Hartley said Blunt always liked to help the state party and the fact that his son got party help after his donation was a coincidence. "They are unrelated activities," he said.

Exchanges of donations occurred again in the fall. Just a few days before the November election, DeLay's ARMPAC gave $50,000 to the Missouri GOP. A month later, the Missouri GOP sent $50,000 to DeLay's group.

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AOL Time-Warner Censors Alex Jones Websites
Nationwide blackout a clear attempt to shut down free speech or just an error?
Prison Planet | October 5 2005

Has Time Warner's ISP, Road Runner, blocked access to all of Alex Jones' flagship websites across the entire United States or is this a wider Internet blackout issue?

We were first alerted to this problem early this morning when several locals in Austin reported that they were unable to access, or Prison

Austin Time Warner had previously shut down access to our websites on a whim, claiming they were 'hate material' but in all cases had quickly restored them after receiving complaints.

However, this latest attack on free speech is occurring nationwide, with Time Warner subscribers from New York to California reporting that their access to the websites is being blocked. Is this deliberate or an Internet-wide issue? Only time will tell.

The last attempt to shut us down came shortly after the London Bombing, which saw our traffic go through the roof after we released a plethora of articles exposing government involvement.

The consequence of this is that Prison alone on some days gets more hits than the Britney Spears website or Rush Limbaugh.

Previously we reported that UK ISPs like Tiscali were blocking their subscribers from accessing the website after the 7/7 bombings.

It is obvious that those in high places are showing their disapproval. This only vindicates all the information we have been putting out.

How can a website that merely reports and comments on mainstream media articles be described as 'hate' unless there's a different agenda afoot? How can Bill O'Reilly get on Fox News and call for assassinating Prime Ministers and Pat Robertson on the 700 Club do the same and yet we get censored for being hateful? We have never called for violence against anyone and actively encourage peaceful exchange of information.

This is part of a growing trend of authoritarian censorship of the Internet in preparation for the emergence of Internet 2, where only government approved websites will be allowed to exist and the old Internet will be shut down.

Monolithic corporations in lock-step with government are following the Chinese model, where any website mildly anti-establishment is immediately shut down and its owners arrested. The vast majority of Internet cafes in China were shut down in 2002 after the government started a fire in one Beijing cafe and then demanded all the rest be shut down for 'safety reasons'.

Under anti-terrorism laws in Italy, Internet cafe owners are forced to take photo ID's of all their customers and install key-logging and filter software which blocks any websites the government chooses.

Today's actions by Time Warner may fall into the same category. The First Amendment is continuously under siege by jack-booted totalitarians in suits that graciously lick the boots and follow the orders of the establishment lackeys.

In 2002 Dell Computers cancelled an order placed by Weigand Combat Handguns because the company name triggered a security alert. The word 'combat' was not accepted by Dell's post-9/11 security alert system. This is an example of the inane and sweeping nature of these filtrations systems and the blanket idiocy applied to these cases.

We are urging all our readers to boycott any Time Warner/Road Runner ISP service and cancel your subscription with them. They have proven themselves time and time again to be an anti-American freedom hating tool of the establishment. Even if this latest incident turns out to be a technical error, their past history of censorship should concern everyone.

We urge you to double your efforts in spreading the truth. Copy and distribute our articles more than ever. We are under a direct assault, the only response needs to be a massive and powerful counter-offensive. To all alternative media websites, please post this article as we are all in the same boat, we are all under enemy fire.

Time Warner are already receiving a deluge of complaints and according to some are now claiming that this is an 'error' that they are looking into and citing other websites that have also been affected, even though these websites are having no problems.

We will update this article as and when Time Warner restores access to Alex Jones' websites. If they fail to do so we will carry telephone numbers and e mail addresses for people to make their complaints. If this is a technical error it should be solved ASAP, if it is something more then we will continue to pursue it.

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Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible
By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
Times Online
October 05, 2005

THE hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has published a teaching document instructing the faithful that some parts of the Bible are not actually true.


The Catholic bishops of England, Wales and Scotland are warning their five million worshippers, as well as any others drawn to the study of scripture, that they should not expect “total accuracy” from the Bible.

“We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision,” they say in The Gift of Scripture.

The document is timely, coming as it does amid the rise of the religious Right, in particular in the US.

Some Christians want a literal interpretation of the story of creation, as told in Genesis, taught alongside Darwin’s theory of evolution in schools, believing “intelligent design” to be an equally plausible theory of how the world began.

But the first 11 chapters of Genesis, in which two different and at times conflicting stories of creation are told, are among those that this country’s Catholic bishops insist cannot be “historical”. At most, they say, they may contain “historical traces”.

The document shows how far the Catholic Church has come since the 17th century, when Galileo was condemned as a heretic for flouting a near-universal belief in the divine inspiration of the Bible by advocating the Copernican view of the solar system. Only a century ago, Pope Pius X condemned Modernist Catholic scholars who adapted historical-critical methods of analysing ancient literature to the Bible.

In the document, the bishops acknowledge their debt to biblical scholars. They say the Bible must be approached in the knowledge that it is “God’s word expressed in human language” and that proper acknowledgement should be given both to the word of God and its human dimensions.

They say the Church must offer the gospel in ways “appropriate to changing times, intelligible and attractive to our contemporaries”.

The Bible is true in passages relating to human salvation, they say, but continue: “We should not expect total accuracy from the Bible in other, secular matters.”

They go on to condemn fundamentalism for its “intransigent intolerance” and to warn of “significant dangers” involved in a fundamentalist approach.

“Such an approach is dangerous, for example, when people of one nation or group see in the Bible a mandate for their own superiority, and even consider themselves permitted by the Bible to use violence against others.”

Of the notorious anti-Jewish curse in Matthew 27:25, “His blood be on us and on our children”, a passage used to justify centuries of anti-Semitism, the bishops say these and other words must never be used again as a pretext to treat Jewish people with contempt. Describing this passage as an example of dramatic exaggeration, the bishops say they have had “tragic consequences” in encouraging hatred and persecution. “The attitudes and language of first-century quarrels between Jews and Jewish Christians should never again be emulated in relations between Jews and Christians.”

As examples of passages not to be taken literally, the bishops cite the early chapters of Genesis, comparing them with early creation legends from other cultures, especially from the ancient East. The bishops say it is clear that the primary purpose of these chapters was to provide religious teaching and that they could not be described as historical writing.

Similarly, they refute the apocalyptic prophecies of Revelation, the last book of the Christian Bible, in which the writer describes the work of the risen Jesus, the death of the Beast and the wedding feast of Christ the Lamb.

The bishops say: “Such symbolic language must be respected for what it is, and is not to be interpreted literally. We should not expect to discover in this book details about the end of the world, about how many will be saved and about when the end will come.”

In their foreword to the teaching document, the two most senior Catholics of the land, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, and Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Archbishop of St Andrew’s and Edinburgh, explain its context.

They say people today are searching for what is worthwhile, what has real value, what can be trusted and what is really true.

The new teaching has been issued as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of Dei Verbum, the Second Vatican Council document explaining the place of Scripture in revelation. In the past 40 years, Catholics have learnt more than ever before to cherish the Bible. “We have rediscovered the Bible as a precious treasure, both ancient and ever new.”

A Christian charity is sending a film about the Christmas story to every primary school in Britain after hearing of a young boy who asked his teacher why Mary and Joseph had named their baby after a swear word. The Breakout Trust raised £200,000 to make the 30-minute animated film, It’s a Boy. Steve Legg, head of the charity, said: “There are over 12 million children in the UK and only 756,000 of them go to church regularly.

That leaves a staggering number who are probably not receiving basic Christian teaching.”



Genesis ii, 21-22

So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man

Genesis iii, 16

God said to the woman [after she was beguiled by the serpent]: “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

Matthew xxvii, 25

The words of the crowd: “His blood be on us and on our children.”

Revelation xix,20

And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had worked the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with brimstone.”


Exodus iii, 14

God reveals himself to Moses as: “I am who I am.”

Leviticus xxvi,12

“I will be your God, and you shall be my people.”

Exodus xx,1-17

The Ten Commandments

Matthew v,7

The Sermon on the Mount

Mark viii,29

Peter declares Jesus to be the Christ

Luke i

The Virgin Birth

John xx,28

Proof of bodily resurrection

Comment: For a somewhat more in-depth look at the historicity of the Bible than that proposed by the good Bishops of the Catholic Church, we suggest you check out chapter ten of Laura's book The Secret History of the World.

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Did Bush administration attack peace movement with military grade biological bacteria?
Bob Fitrakis
October 4, 2005

What do we make of the Saturday, October 1 Washington Post headline “Poison Found in Air During Anti-War Protest”?

Washington D.C. Public Health Director Greg A. Pane posed the right question in the Post article, “Why that day? That’s what is not explained.” Pane pointed that it was “just this 24-hour period and none since.”

The Post noted that Pane found “. . . it was puzzling that the finding was from a day when the mall was packed with people.”

Puzzling? Indeed. Biohazard sensors detected tularemia bacteria at the mall on Saturday, September 24.

Equally puzzling was an earlier Post report: “Weekend protesters hit travel snags.” The article reported that Amtrak trains from New York City were turned back, cancelled or delayed from heading to the nation’s capitol for the biggest peace demonstration since the Vietnam War era. Also, Metro subway cars coming into the capitol were disrupted by repairs.

Federal officials are still pondering the death of five people on U.S. soil and scores of others who were infected with U.S. military-grade anthrax in the fall of 2001.

The wholly implausible “working hypothesis” put forward by Pane is that the bacteria found in rodents, rabbits and other small animals just happened to occur on the same day the trains failed to run on time and more than quarter of a million people assembled to directly challenge the Bush regime’s illegal war in Iraq.

Coincidence theorists. You gotta love ‘em and their great faith in believing in the statistically improbable occurrence of events, rather than an alternative hypothesis: that friends of Bush (FOBs) planted the tularemia bacteria, just as they most likely sent anthrax to Democratic senators and the media.

Tularemia is one of six major bacterial bioterrorism agents, according to the Sherlock Bioterrorism Library serving the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Ft. Detrick, Maryland.

The BBC notes that tularemia is “one of the most infectious germs known to science,” and that it “takes just 10 microbes to bring on disease in humans.”

Tularemia emerged as a “plague-like disease” during a 1911 outbreak of “rabbit fever” in Tulare Lake in California. The disease progresses rapidly in humans with patients suffering from headache, fatigue, dizziness, muscle pains, loss of appetite and nausea. The disease progresses to inflamed and reddened face and eyes. The disease next attacks lymph nodes and glands, often with life-threatening complications.

Fortunately, tularemia is relatively rare in nature. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health there are generally five or fewer cases that occur each year naturally. The Kansas City Missouri Health Department tells us that most cases that occur naturally are found in “south, central and western states,” not Washington D.C.

Unfortunately, tularemia has been long used as a military biological weapon. We should consider the presence of tularemia a shot across the bow to the peace movement from an administration willing to cheat, steal, torture, lie and kill to further its political agenda. Karl Rove, the president’s brain, brags of his worship of Machiavelli and will do anything to keep his Texas prince in power.

This history of tularemia suggests it is a long-standing weapon used by fascists, militarists and authoritarians.

Japanese germ warfare research units operating in Manchuria between 1932-45 admit to possessing the tularemia bacteria.

The Sunshine Project reported in May 2003 that the German Ministry of Defense “remains engaged in a controversial biodefense research project involving tularemia bacteria that has been genetically engineered to withstand antibiotic treatment.”

Both the United States and the Soviet Union possessed the military strain Francisella tularensis during the Cold War. Dr. Kenneth Alibek (formerly known as Kanatjan Alibekov) the number two man in the former Soviet Union’s biochemical operations describes in great detail in his book “Biohazard” how the Soviets deployed Francisella tularensis against the Nazis in the Battle of Stalingrad.

In another one of those bizarre coincidences, Ken Alibek was also involved in the U.S. anthrax project run by the nonprofit Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio. Considered the DIA’s and the CIA’s favorite nonprofit contractor, Battelle has been involved, according to the New York Times and the Columbus Dispatch, with manufacturing the infamous trillion spores per gram Ames (as in Iowa) silica-impregnated anthrax. Officially, the work is done for “defensive” purposes in order to produce a vaccine.

Battelle was in partnership with BioPort of Lansing, Michigan in officially producing the anthrax vaccine for the United States.

The New York Times reported in 1998 that BioPort’s owners included Admiral William Crowe, Jr., a former chair of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff and Ambassador to Britain during the Clinton years. One of Crowe’s partners is the mysterious Fuad El-Hibri, a German citizen of Lebanese descent and a reported business associate of the bin Laden family.

BioPort is partly owned by a top-secret British biowarfare consortium Porton International. Laura Rozen pointed out in a article that El-Hibri, then BioPort’s CEO, “made a fortune” for Porton International from its monopoly on the anthrax vaccine during the first Gulf War.

The New York Times reported that the CIA ran a top secret anthrax project through Battelle code-named “Clear Vision.” There was also another anthrax project at Battelle’s central Ohio West Jefferson labs called “Project Jefferson.”

Alibek has been listed as both a classified consultant with the CIA and Battelle. A 1998 New Yorker article outlines the joint work of Alibek and William C. Patrick, III. Patrick wrote a report on the potential of sending anthrax through the mail.

Unless federal officials are willing to think the unthinkable, but obvious, and have the tularemia samples independently tested, we’ll never know whether a deliberate attack occurred against peaceful U.S. citizens exercising their First Amendment rights, or some freakish and bizarre coincidence occurred.

In another coincidence, it was the Battelle Memorial Institute that “botched” the exit polls in the 2002 election that would have served as protection against the unexplainable defeat of Senator Max Cleland of Georgia who was up 9-12 points in the tracking polls just prior to Election Day.

The Free Press calls for an independent investigation of the tularemia bacteria found on the mall on September 24, not to be conducted by any federal officials in the Bush administration or Battelle. With Minister Louis Farrakhan calling for a Million More March on Washington for October 14-16, it is more important now than ever.

Bob Fitrakis is the author of The Fitrakis Files: Spooks, Nukes and Nazis. He is editor of the Free Press and He has a Ph.D. in Political Science and a J.D. The story of the 2004 stolen election in Ohio he co-authored with Harvey Wasserman is listed as number three in Project Censored's most censored stories of the year.

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Peace march coincidences
Wednesday, October 05, 2005

There was a big peace demonstration in Washington on September 24, accompanied by the usual coincidences:

  1. A few days before the demonstration, the Pentagon conducted a highly classified 'demonstration' in the Washington metropolitan area called Granite Shadow. William M. Arkin writes (found via Cannonfire "It's impossible NOT to presume conspiracy"):

    "A spokesman at the Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region (JFHQ-NCR) confirmed the existence of Granite Shadow to me yesterday, but all he would say is that Granite Shadow is the unclassified name for a classified plan.

    That classified plan, I believe, after extensive research and after making a couple of assumptions, is CONPLAN 0400, formally titled Counter-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Concept Plan (CONPLAN) 0400 is a long-standing contingency plan of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) that serves as the umbrella for military efforts to counter the spread of weapons of mass destruction. It has extensively been updated and revised since 9/11.

    The CJCS plan lays out national policy and priorities for dealing with WMD threats in peacetime and crisis - from far away offensive strikes and special operations against foreign WMD infrastructure and capabilities, to missile defenses and 'consequence management' at home if offensive efforts fail"


"Granite Shadow is the twin to Power Geyser, a program I first revealed to The New York Times in January. The JFHQ spokesman confirms that Granite Shadow and Power Geyser are two different unclassified names for two different classified plans.

In the case of Power Geyser, the classified plan is CJCS CONPLAN 0300, whose entire title is classified. According the military documents, the unclassified title is 'Counter-Terrorism Special Operations Support to Civil Agencies in the event of a domestic incident.' It is another Top Secret/SPECAT plan directing the same special mission units to provide weapons of mass destruction recovery and 'render safe' in either a terrorist incident or in the case of a stolen (or lost) nuclear weapon. Render safe refers to the ability of explosive ordnance disposal experts to isolate and disarm any type of biological, chemical, nuclear or radiological weapon.

The obvious question is why there is a need for two plans. My guess is that Power Geyser and CONPLAN 0300 refers to operations in support of a civil agency 'lead' (most likely the Attorney General for a WMD attack) while Granite Shadow and CONPLAN 0400 lays out contingencies where the military is in the lead. I'll wait to be corrected by someone in the know.

Both plans seem to live behind a veil of extraordinary secrecy because military forces operating under them have already been given a series of 'special authorities' by the President and the secretary of defense. These special authorities include, presumably, military roles in civilian law enforcement and abrogation of State's powers in a declared or perceived emergency."

It would be just like these guys to plan their little martial law practice in such a way as to provide a bonus as they play with isolating and disarming their planted biological weapons (the eventual plan is for the Pentagon to be both cause and cure of disease outbreaks, so the public will be begging for martial law). Which leads to . . .

  1. Detectable concentrations of tularemia bacteria, a known biological weapon, were found at exactly the place where the march was held at the time of the march. Bob Fitrakis writes (or here):

    "Coincidence theorists. You gotta love 'em and their great faith in believing in the statistically improbable occurrence of events, rather than an alternative hypothesis: that friends of Bush (FOBs) planted the tularemia bacteria, just as they most likely sent anthrax to Democratic senators and the media."


"Unless federal officials are willing to think the unthinkable, but obvious, and have the tularemia samples independently tested, we'll never know whether a deliberate attack occurred against peaceful U.S. citizens exercising their First Amendment rights, or some freakish and bizarre coincidence occurred."

  1. Amtrak suspended southbound rail service out of New York on the morning of September 24, allegedly because a beam fell onto electrical wires in New Jersey. This affected "the travel plans of at least hundreds and possibly more than 1,000 protesters, organizers said."

  2. Trains in Northern Virginia, bringing protestors from the South, were delayed as they were sharing a single track to allow for repair work on a switch, work that had been planned for several weeks. Bob Fitrakis again (or here):

    "The paper duly noted that the repair had been planned 'for several weeks.' They failed to report that the rally had been planned for several months."

The unsolved anthrax attacks, with their timing and direction at prominent Democrat leaders, eased the passage of the Patriot Act, which until the attacks was not guaranteed to become law. The FBI pronounces itself 'stymied' in investigating the matter, although a quick read of the internet provides lots of convincing evidence of the identity of the perpetrator (the timing and content and target of the anonymous warning letter, sent at a time after the anthrax was mailed but before its existence became known to the public, coupled with the fact the anthrax had to have originated in Fort Detrick, is damning). The tularemia clearly wasn't intended to hurt anybody. It was the release of information about the tularemia which was intended to be a shot across the bow of any future protests. It is not difficult to believe, especially given the transparent cover-up being conducted by the FBI, that the next time it will be anthrax.

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Earthquake strikes the South Pacific island of Tonga – no injures or damage
12:03 2005-10-06

A magnitude 6.1 earthquake shook the South Pacific nation of Tonga, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injury, police said Thursday.

The quake occurred late Wednesday and was centered under the sea 115 kilometers (75 miles) northeast of the Tongan capital, Nuku'alofa, at a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles), said the U.S. Geological Survey data center in Denver, Colorado.

Residents in the capital felt the ground sway at 11:07 p.m. local time Wednesday (11.07 GMT), and said it lasted for about 30 seconds.
"It wasn't a big jolt, just a swaying motion that happened as people were going to bed," resident Mary Fonua said.

There were no reports of a tsunami triggered by the undersea shake, and no tsunami alert issued by the Pacific tsunami warning center based in Hawaii, reports the AP.

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Earthquake Rattles Three Argentine Provinces
Buenos Aires, Oct 5 (Prensa Latina)

A 5.6 magnitude earthquake hit Wednesday the northern Argentine province of Tucuman and was felt in neighboring Catamarca and Santiago del Estero, with no human losses. According to the National Institute of Seismic Prevention (INPRES) the trembling registered at 07:59 local time and its epicenter was located 50 kilometers southeast of San Miguel de Tucuman city. The quake intensity reached 3 or 4 degrees on the Mercalli Modified Scale in Tucuman capital, and 3 degrees in Estero and Catamarca, noted the INPRES. The seismic activity, which lasted less than 10 seconds, caused a big shake and alarm among the people, although calm quickly returned after verifying there were no human or material losses. Experts said that Tucuman is an active zone, crossed by an important geological fault.

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Early Blizzard Knocks Out Power in West
Oct 5, 10:59 PM (ET)
Associated Press Writer Blake Nicholson in Bismarck, N.D., contributed to this report.

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Portions of Montana, the Dakotas and Wyoming were hit by a slow-moving snowstorm that knocked out power, closed roads and dumped up to 2 feet by Wednesday night.

Thousands of power outages were reported and some schools were closed by the storm, which began Tuesday. Drifting snow contributed to road closings, and the National Guard was called out in North Dakota to aid the Highway Patrol in rescuing stranded motorists.

By nightfall, hundreds of people in vehicles, including three buses, had been rescued with equipment ranging from snow plows to bulldozers, said Rick Robinson of the state Department of Emergency Services.

There were no reports of injuries.

"It's really treacherous - heavy, deep snow. Visibility is just really poor. It's so heavy that vehicles just can't push through it," North Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Mark Bethke said.

As much as 11 inches of snow had fallen in southeastern Montana by Wednesday morning. Billings had received 10.8 inches and set a record for snowfall Tuesday with 9.9 inches, National Weather Service meteorologist Tom Humphrey said.

At least 11,000 customers throughout the region lost power for a time as trees fell on power lines, officials said.

The storm, which moved in from the Rockies overnight, dropped up to two feet of snow in parts of western and central North Dakota, and winds up to 50 mph created blizzard conditions in some areas.

"It is, on our records, probably one of the earliest ones, as far as our recorded history goes, in 126, 130 years," said Sam Walker, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Bismarck, N.D.

The storm came just a few days after North Dakota had temperatures in the 90s. Warmer weather was forecast to return in the coming days.

In Utah, the ski industry was looking up.

Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort received its first snow of the year Tuesday with 6 inches atop 11,000-foot Hidden Peak. More snow was falling Wednesday.

"There are still projects to be done before winter arrives, but this first snowfall has put smiles on the faces of people all around Snowbird," said Snowbird President Bob Bonar.

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Python Explodes After Eating Alligator
Associated Press Writer
Oct 05 3:40 PM US/Eastern

Alligators have clashed with nonnative pythons before in Everglades National Park. But when a 6-foot gator tangled with a 13-foot python recently, the result wasn't pretty.

The snake apparently tried to swallow the gator whole _ and then exploded. Scientists stumbled upon the gory remains last week.

The species have battled with increasing frequency _ scientists have documented four encounters in the last three years. The encroachment of Burmese pythons into the Everglades could threaten an $8 billion restoration project and endanger smaller species, said Frank Mazzotti, a University of Florida wildlife professor.

The gators have had to share their territory with a python population that has swelled over the past 20 years after owners dropped off pythons they no longer wanted in the Everglades. The Asian snakes have thrived in the wet, hot climate.

"Encounters like that are almost never seen in the wild. ... And we here are, it's happened for the fourth time," Mazzotti said. In the other cases, the alligator won or the battle was an apparent draw.

"They were probably evenly matched in size," Mazzotti said of the latest battle. "If the python got a good grip on the alligator before the alligator got a good grip on him, he could win."

While the gator may have been injured before the battle began _ wounds were found on it that apparently were not caused by python bites _ Mazzotti believes it was alive when the battle began. And it may have clawed at the python's stomach as the snake tried to digest it, leading to the blow up.

The python was found with the gator's hindquarters protruding from its midsection. Its stomach still surrounded the alligator's head, shoulders, and forelimbs. The remains were discovered and photographed Sept. 26 by helicopter pilot and wildlife researcher Michael Barron.

The incident has alerted biologists to new potential dangers from Burmese pythons in the Everglades.

"Clearly, if they can kill an alligator they can kill other species," Mazzotti said. "There had been some hope that alligators can control Burmese pythons. ... This indicates to me it's going to be an even draw. Sometimes alligators are going to win and sometimes the python will win.

"It means nothing in the Everglades is safe from pythons, a top down predator," Mazzotti said.

Not only can the python kill other reptiles, the snakes will also eat otters, squirrels, endangered woodstorks and sparrows.

While there are thousands of alligators in the Everglades, Joe Wasilewski, a wildlife biologist and crocodile tracker, said its unknown how many pythons there are.

"We need to set traps and do a proper survey," of the snakes, he said. At least 150 have been captured in the last two years.

The problem arises when people buy pets they are not prepared to care for.

"People will buy these tiny little snakes and if you do everything right, they're six-feet tall in one year. They lose their appeal, or the owner becomes afraid of it. There's no zoo or attraction that will take it," so they release the snakes into the Everglades.

A reproducing snake can have as many as 100 hatchlings, which explains why the snake population has soared, Wasilewski said.

The Burmese snake problem is just part of a larger issue of nonnative animal populations in South Florida, he said. So many iguanas have been discarded in the region that they are gobbling tropical flowers and causing problems for botanists, Wasilewski said.

A 10- or 20-foot python is also large enough to pose a risk to an unwary human, especially a small child, he added.

"I don't think this is an imminent threat. This is not a 'Be afraid, be very afraid situation.'"

Comment: If this isn't just a complete metaphor of the battling going on behind the scenes in global politics, we don't know what is!

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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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