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August 8, 2003

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Functionally insane Americans

By David McGowan

August 2, 2003—There have been many attempts made, by both the legal and mental health communities, to define "insanity." But it seems to me that that term can be most succinctly defined as: "a disconnection from reality." And the severity of any individual's insanity is a function of the degree of that person's disconnection from reality.

That definition, of course, is entirely dependent on how "reality" is defined. From the point of view of the state, "reality" is whatever the shapers of public opinion say it is. Anyone who disagrees with the voices of authority is, therefore, insane. From that perspective, people such as, for instance, yours truly, are completely bonkers.

But if we base our definition on a relatively objective reality, then most of the people that I know are, without question, insane. Most of my relatives are insane. Most of my friends are insane. Most of the people that I work with are insane. Damn near everyone in the country is at least mildly insane. A very large majority are moderately to severely insane. And according to polls, at least a third are stark raving mad.

These people hold beliefs that are clearly delusional—that have absolutely no connection to reality. And they persist in holding these beliefs even when not a shred of evidence can be produced to support them. And no, I'm not talking about people who believe in UFOs, reincarnation, and the Loch Ness Monster. And I'm also not talking about people who believe in some supreme spiritual entity.

I'm talking about people who believe that 'weapons of mass destruction' have been uncovered in Iraq . . . who believe that 'weapons of mass destruction' were used against our troops over there . . . who even believe that 'weapons of mass destruction' is something other than a arbitrary term cooked up recently by Uncle Sam to describe weapons systems possessed by our 'enemies,' regardless of the actual destructive capability of those systems.

The functionally insane also believe that Iraqis were among the hijackers who allegedly commandeered the planes on September 11, 2001. It is difficult to fathom, but these people are so crazed that they have actually taken the government's already fanciful conspiracy theory, which is itself totally disconnected from reality, and they have made it even more ludicrous by adding some Iraqis to the mix. I'm betting that a few years down the road these same people will also believe that there were a couple of Liberians on one of the planes, as well as an Iranian guy, a couple of North Koreans, a Syrian, and perhaps a Cuban or two. Maybe even a French couple.

Reader's comment on a story from yesterday:

Wolfowitz said: "I'm not sure even now that I would say Iraq had something to do with it," Wolfowitz said in the interview...

This is NLP: embedded in the statement about Iraq not being connected to 9/11 is the statement, "Iraq had something to do with it."

I have noticed this NLP embedding about Iraq and 9/11 multiple times on CNN, too; the conscious mind is told that there is no connection, the subconscious is told the exact opposite.

Example: "We want to be clear that there is no evidence that IRAQ WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR 9/11." See?

September 11 - US Government accused

A Portugal-based investigative journalist has presented THE NEWS with version of the September 11th attacks that has to date failed to attract the attention of the international press. The report, compiled by an independent inquiry into the September 11th, World Trade Centre attack, warns the American public that the government’s official version of events does not stand up to scrutiny.

A group of military and civilian US pilots, under the chairmanship of Colonel Donn de Grand, after deliberating non-stop for 72 hours, has concluded that the flight crews of the four passenger airliners, involved in the September 11th tragedy, had no control over their aircraft.

In a detailed press communiqué the inquiry stated: “The so-called terrorist attack was in fact a superbly executed military operation carried out against the USA, requiring the utmost professional military skill in command, communications and control. It was flawless in timing, in the choice of selected aircraft to be used as guided missiles and in the coordinated delivery of those missiles to their pre-selected targets.”

[...] Colonel Donn de Grand said that if President Bush is lying it would not be the first time that the American people had been mislead by its government. He cited the recently published official government archives describing President Roosevelt’s duplicity in deceiving Americans about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, which triggered the US entry into WWll.

He also highlighted the role of the country’s government in misleading its citizens in respect of the Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba, and the events that brought about the Spanish American war in the late 19th, century. “Whilst considering who committed this act of war on September 11th,” he said, “albeit Russia, China, an Islamic country or NATO, we must also consider that the enemy may well be within the gates.

“Not for the first time the American public might be being mislead, by those with ulterior motives, into lending its support to a war, this time against Iraq, that has no bearing whatsoever on the interests of the people of the USA.” So far the mainstream American news media has failed to publish or broadcast any details regarding the independent inquiry. Similarly, the White House, whilst having received a copy of the report, has remained silent on its findings.

Claims military involved in Jakarta blast

08/08/2003 12:50:39
ABC Radio Australia News

An advisor to the Indonesian government claims the armed forces may have been involved in the recent car bomb attack on the Marriott Hotel in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. A car bomb killed at least 10 people and injured scores more at the luxury hotel.

The advisor, Jawanda, has told our South East Asia correspondent Peter Lloyd that attempts to blame Muslim extremists for the suicide bombing may be premature.

He says Indonesia's naval intelligence has launched an informal investigation into the possibility the attack may have been part of a campaign to undermine the president, Megawati Sukarnoputri.

"That is already in the works," he said. When asked if there are people who want to undermine President Megawati, Jawanda said yes. "Undermine, but at the same time to make a path for them taking the power, so, creating the political tension," he said.

Comment: This sounds like an operation straight out of the CIA "how to overthrow a government" manual. Perhaps the Indonesian president has not been "playing ball" with the US interests in the region, and this is somewhat of a shot across the bow to either get in line or have the forces of "the land of the free" come and show him what democracy is all about. Indeed the results seem to have been similar to the 9/11 attacks according to this article. Alternatively the CIA could merely providing the Indonesian government with fuel for their "fight against terrorism". Indeed the Indonesian police say that the recent bombing in Jakarta bore several similarities to the Bali attack last October which killed 202 people, which means that it wasn't a "terrorist attack"

Jakarta bomb triggers fears of prolonged terror action

By John Burton

The bomb attack this week on the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta has increased fears that Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, might be on the brink of a prolonged terrorist campaign.

Regional terrorism experts say the most troubling aspect of the Jakarta blast was that it proved Jemaah Islamiah (JI), the regional militant Islamic group linked to al-Qaeda, could still mount a big attack in spite of the arrest of nearly 200 suspected supporters in south-east Asia since 2001. [...]

Although known for its moderate Islam beliefs, Indonesia is considered a fertile recruiting ground because of poverty, ethnic conflicts between Muslims and Christians, and an increase in anti-American sentiment over the Iraq war. [...]

Downing Street plans new Iraq WMD report

By Kim Sengupta and Paul Waugh
The Independent
08 August 2003

Downing Street is planning to publish yet another Iraq weapons dossier in September, in time for the Labour Party conference.

[...] No evidence has been unearthed so far that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. But members of the ISG are said to be optimistic that they will find plans to develop WMD "programmes".

According to a report in The Economist, MI6 is also confident that the investigations will vindicate last September's Iraq dossier. The magazine says that there appears to be "hard evidence" of cover-up programmes designed to conceal WMD.

"We would hope to be able to demonstrate, in the fullness of time, that almost all the information in the [September] dossier was accurate," an insider" told the magazine

Inocencio Arias admite que si no aparecen las armas de Sadam todo 'se pondría en tela de juicio'
(in Spanish)

El Mundo, Internacional
Europa Press

The Spanish ambassador to the UN, Inocencio Arias, stated that the existence of WMDs was the "main reason" that Spain participated in the recent attack on Iraq, and if none are found it will be "a matter for the courts" [...]

Adding indifference to injury
At least 20,000 civilians were injured in the Iraq war: Why are the occupiers ignoring their suffering and their needs?

Iraqi Body Count
August 7th 2003

Extraction of media-reported civilian injuries from the Iraq Body Count database and archive of war reports provides evidence of at least 20,000 civilian injuries on top of the maximum reported 7798 deaths. 8,000 of these injuries were in the Baghdad area alone, suggesting that the full, countrywide picture, as with deaths, is yet to emerge. [...]

Straight & Narrow

By Chris Floyd

Pope John Paul George Ringo II (or was Pete Best really one of the original apostles? The doctrinal debates rage on) launched his broadside against homosexual marriage last week in a well-timed one-two punch with President George W.M.D. Bush, who pronounced his own anathema on gay monogamy. In a rare incarnation at a formal press conference (only his eighth blessed appearance since the Lord appointed him to office), Bush sidestepped unimportant issues like, oh, launching unjust wars on the basis of known lies, and instead thrust boldly into the open maw of gay sex -- a rampaging obsession with his "core supporters" on the hard Christian right.

(Bush also took the opportunity to warn Americans of imminent terrorist attacks from al-Qaida -- before taking himself off for a monthlong vacation at his fortified ranch in Texas. Well, discretion is the better part of valor, they say. And no one knows that better than Ole AWOL Bush.)

With the linguistic precision for which he is so justly famous, Bush told reporters that unspecified "lawyers" in the White House were working on unspecified measures to make sure that "someone like me" doesn't have to "compromise on issues such as marriage." It wasn't immediately clear if someone who wasn't like Bush would be allowed to compromise on issues such as marriage, but no doubt it will all come out in the wash. At any rate, we will probably see a Bush-sponsored "Preserve Gay Promiscuity" Act in Congress real soon.

Perhaps Bush's eagerness to protect his homosexual subjects from the ravages of matrimony was inspired by the recent travails of his brother, Neil. (Yes, the same Neil Bush whose insider savings-and-loan scamming cost taxpayers $1 billion to clean up during Daddy's presidency.) Neil, who has ditched the old ball-and-chain for a racier model, admitted during his rancorous divorce proceedings that he'd engaged in extramarital sex with "three or four women" during supposed business trips. Three, four, who can say? They all look alike to a really manly man. Especially one who has as much trouble with numbers as Neil does.

Al Gore's Speech On President Bush's Iraq Policy

Thu Aug 07 2003 11:48:22 ET

Moreover, the global capital markets have begun to recognize the unprecedented size of this emerging fiscal catastrophe. In truth, the current Executive Branch of the U.S. Government is radically different from any since the McKinley Administration 100 years ago.

The 2001 winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics, George Akerlof, went even further last week in Germany when he told Der Spiegel, "This is the worst government the US has ever had in its more than 200 years of history...This is not normal government policy." In describing the impact of the Bush policies on America's future, Akerloff added, "What we have here is a form of looting." [...]

Sharonic delusion

Sharon's tactics are tried and tested, their outcome consequently well-known

Ibrahim Nafie

Ariel Sharon insists that Egypt must release Azam Azam, an Israeli Druze currently serving a 15 year sentence for espionage, if it expects to continue to play a part in the peace process. The Israeli prime ministers' recent statement to this effect underscores once again how warped his thinking is on questions of peace and security.

Sharon, prime minister since February 2001, champions the Israeli ultra right, which holds that recourse to force is the only way Israel can realise security and compel the Arabs to reach a political settlement.

[...] It is striking that Sharon issued this statement immediately after President Mubarak had stated that Sharon, should he summon the necessary will, was the individual best poised to conclude a peace agreement with the PA. In so saying Mubarak honed in on the crucial issue, which is that Israel's current leadership lacks the desire to pursue negotiations with the PA. Once again, too, the Israeli government missed the point of Mubarak's statement. To Egypt, it is not the role it plays that counts but rather the need to ensure that the peace process on the Palestinian track continues until the Palestinians obtain their legitimate rights in full.

{...] I believe that the US can sympathise with Egypt's position. Washington, too, had to contend with Israeli pressure to release a convicted spy -- Jonathan Pollard, the US naval officer found guilty of transmitting naval intelligence to Israel. Undeterred by the damning evidence against Pollard Netanyahu, during the Wye River talks in 1998, pressed Clinton to allow Pollard to fly back with Netanyahu to Tel Aviv. Just before that, Cabinet Secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister Dani Naveh visited Pollard in prison and awarded him a medal and Israeli nationality. Although Clinton had indicated that he was willing to release Pollard, he was overridden by the relevant committees in Congress. This did not prevent the government of Ehud Barak, during Camp David II in July 2000, from picking up where Netanyahu had left off, even though this effort failed as well and Pollard remains behind bars in the US serving out his sentence. There is, thus, nothing new in the game Sharon is playing.

Eyes wide shut

The Israeli army controls the consciousness of the Israeli public by keeping it ignorant of the realities of occupation,

Ran HaCohen

How do Israelis view current developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? The key term appears to be ignorance. Except for a few hundred peace activists Israelis have no idea of the realities of occupation: they have at best an extremely vague idea of what the checkpoints, the siege, the apartheid wall or the economic catastrophe in the territories look like. It is an institutionalised ignorance: it has been Israel's policy for at least 10 years to keep the Palestinians out of Israeli consciousness.

The roots of the process can be traced to the Oslo years. The continuous "closure" of the occupied territories, combined with a massive import of foreign workers to push out Palestinians from the labour market, left the Israeli street virtually free of Palestinians. Israelis who used to visit the territories for shopping or tourism have been deterred by actual violence and by official warnings and prohibitions.

The physical separation is complemented by the media. Israel's public television channel has not nominated a "territories reporter" for three years. Ha'aretz is the only Israeli newspaper which regularly gives good information about the occupied territories, but it is marginalised even within this small-circulation daily. [...]

Powell says U-S not ready to penalize Israel on fence construction

Washington-AP -- Secretary of State Colin Powell indicates the US isn't ready to punish Israel just yet over its construction of a security fence. [...]

Powell also took aim at Syria -- saying the US isn't satisfied with officials in Damascus. He says Syria hasn't done enough to shut down terrorists. [...]

Comment: So the previous press release that the media uncritically published was just a song and dance pretending to care for Palastinians. While Powell is up there blabbing he decides to beat the war drum a bit, and inject the word Syria into American's mind yet again, reinforcing the perpetual "war for peace" idiocy.

A call to violence

A right-wing US lawmaker urges Israel to ignore the truce and go on killing Palestinians, writes Ali Abunimah* from Chicago

As President Bush met with Palestinian premier Mahmoud Abbas and his Israeli counterpart Ariel Sharon in Washington last week, one of Bush's closest allies in Congress was in Israel. Tom DeLay, the influential leader of the Republican majority in the US House of Representatives was accorded the privilege of addressing members of the Knesset on 30 July. His speech was so extreme it prompted Labour Party lawmaker Danny Yatom to comment, "Geez, Likud is nothing compared to him."

In his speech, DeLay, a representative from a suburban district near Houston, Texas, dismissed the unilateral cease-fire by Palestinian factions, which has resulted in a virtual cessation of violence against Israeli civilians and occupation forces, as nothing more than a "90-day vacation" for "terrorists" and "murderers". He urged Israel to ignore the truce and go on killing Palestinian activists. DeLay informed the Israeli lawmakers that he was an "Israeli at heart", and acknowledged that Palestinians "have been oppressed and abused", though only by their own leaders, never by Israel. DeLay's central point was that the entire burden of ending the decades-old conflict lay on the shoulders of the Palestinians. Knesset members gave DeLay a standing ovation.

[...] DeLay is an avowed Christian Zionist and fundamentalist -- an influential constituency for the Bush administration. A key tenet of Christian Zionists is absolute support for Israel, whose establishment and existence, they believe, heralds Armageddon and the return of Jesus Christ. In the final conflagration, this belief system holds, Jews gathered back into Israel would either convert to Christianity or perish and go to Hell.

[...] Last October, Sharon's minister of tourism and leader of Israel's pro-ethnic cleansing Moledet Party, Benny Elon, appeared with DeLay at the Washington convention of the influential Christian Coalition. The crowd of thousands cheered and waved Israeli flags as Elon called openly for the expulsion of all Palestinians from Israel and the occupied territories, and cited Biblical authority for this ultimate "solution". DeLay also received an enthusiastic welcome when he called for activists to back pro- Israel candidates who "stand unashamedly for Jesus Christ". Such comments, which reveal the absolute contradiction between avowed support for Israel and a theology that views Jews as damned, has gotten DeLay into trouble before. Washington Post columnist Mary McGrory suggested that DeLay's sponsorship of a May 2002 congressional resolution that gave unconditional support to Israel's campaign of assassinations and violence against Palestinians might have been prompted by a need to appease ill feelings caused by a speech he gave in Pearland, Texas. According to McGrory, the speech "sounded like a warning to non-Christians that they might not be saved". The resolution passed by 352-21.

DeLay papers over such problems with glib statements that "Jesus Christ was a Jew," and "The Jewish people were God's chosen people."

Why Do Arabs Hate The West, Especially The U.S.?

Zuheir Abdullah
Al-Hayat 2003/08/8

Since 1948, the primitive Arab fascism was given free reign, and boosted by the backwards soldiers, from the officers to reactionary parties (sometimes self-dubbed progressive), and other times allied with fundamentalist Islam. It has nothing to offer to its people except empty slogans revolving around the themes of resistance and struggle, for no voice can be louder than that of the fight, and consequently, corruption spread, and this Arab fascism was constantly being defeated in its Don-Quichotte-like-battles with any foreign force (except its people, as it always vanquished them).

All around the world, extremist slogans and concepts are falling one after the other; but in the Arab world, they have reached such a level that many simple-minded people and ignorant persons were unfortunately brainwashed and turned into the fuel of this extremism. When discussing with many Arab citizens, even those claiming to be educated, about the reason for our backwardness, you get a preset answer to the effect that the West with the U.S. in particular are stopping the Arabs from progressing. If this hypothesis is true, then why did certain Arab and Islamic countries, such as Malaysia and Dubai, manage to achieve progress (even if partially)? [...]

Anti-globalisation activists descend on southern France

Friday August 8, 12:09 PM

Thousands of anti-globalisation protesters began converging in southern France ahead of a three-day rally taking aim at upcoming World Trade Organization (WTO) talks in Cancun, Mexico, with militant French farmer Jose Bove leading the charge. [...]

Pentagon says attacks on US forces decline because of anti-Baathist offensive

WASHINGTON (AFP) Aug 08, 2003

Rather than alienating Iraqis, the US military's offensive against former Baathists in Iraq has resulted in a decline in attacks on coalition forces over the past few weeks, senior Pentagon officials said here Thursday.

The Pentagon's assessment appeared at odds with those of Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, the commander of coalition ground forces, who told the New York Times he had decided to limit the scope of the raids because of growing signs they were alienating Iraqis. [...]

Deleted Material from the Website for Guantanamo Bay

Battle Brews Over Detainee's Rights

By Tom Brune

August 6, 2003 (Newsday) Washington - Accused "dirty bomb" terrorist suspect Jose Padilla has been isolated in a naval brig for more than a year, ever since President George W. Bush classified him as an "enemy combatant" and called him a "threat to the nation."

But last week, nine thick friend-of-the-court briefs were filed in Padilla's appellate case, arguing against what they see as just as serious a threat to the nation: Bush's assertion that he can, as commander-in-chief, order the military to detain an American citizen picked up on U.S. soil indefinitely without charges, a trial or access to a lawyer.

"The precedent the executive [Bush] asks this court to set, represents one of the gravest threats to the rule of law, and to the liberty our Constitution enshrines, that the nation has ever faced," said one brief by 14 retired federal appellate judges and former government officials, including Abner Mikva, Harold Tyler and Philip Allen Lacovara. [...]

Living Terror: Lab secrets in dispute

By Dee Ann Divis and Nicholas M. Horrock
United Press International

WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- A battle between a Texas university and an advocacy group could force a showdown on how much Americans are allowed to know about bioterrorism research in their communities.

The Sunshine Project of Austin, Texas, is seeking the minutes of a key local safety committee that sets and monitors precautions taken during potentially dangerous experiments with recombinant DNA -- artificially created DNA -- often made by splicing together DNA molecules from different organisms.

Such DNA research will play a significant role in roughly $10.5-billion worth of Bush administration programs to develop countermeasures against bioterror weapons. Minutes of the meetings of such committees, called Institutional Biosafety Committees, or IBCs, could provide insight into biodefense research, including the degree of risk involved. The risk information is increasingly important as nearly two dozen new biodefense labs are being built or proposed across the nation -- many of them in the middle of densely populated areas. [...]

Sshhhh, someone may hear you exercising free speech

Is free speech the latest casualty of the war in Iraq?

THESE ARE troubling times for Americans who cherish their freedom.

A few days ago, a public official called me over to his car to discuss his displeasure with the war in Iraq and the way the Bush administration is handling the nation's economy. This well-respected man would talk only from his vehicle, saying he was fearful of criticizing the president or his policies in public.

Before our conversation ended, the man told me of other public officials who also are fearful of speaking out. "You have to be careful what you say in public these days," he added.

I instinctively looked around to see if anyone was hiding in the gathering twilight. For a moment, I felt like I was in Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin. Never did I think I would live to see the day when an honest man was afraid to speak his mind on political issues in America. [...]

Court Orders Sex-Offender Status for Minnesota Man Without a Sex-Crime Conviction

The crackdown

John Ashcroft has deported more Arabs and Muslims in 2002 than all the foreigners deported in the infamous Palmer raids of 1919.

Robert Younes writes from Maryland

The United States is moving to deport 13,000 Arabs and Muslims to the Middle East. These are men and woman who came to the US to seek a better life and were subsequently caught up in the wave of hysteria about Middle Easterners after the tragedy of 11 September 2001.

Almost all of the people involved have either overstayed their visas, entered the US illegally, or have an infraction of US immigration laws. Armed with new legislation, it appears that the Bush administration is applying the laws without exception and without exercising any discretion when reviewing individual cases.

[...] In addition, a recent Justice Department report found "significant problems" in the way that many immigrants arrested after 11 September were treated. Many were chained and verbally abused, held without bail and denied access to lawyers. Worse yet, many arrested after 11 September were held incommunicado for months on the basis of secret evidence to which the detainees and defence attorneys were denied access.

One report on National Public Radio described the separation of a Syrian family who had been in America for more than 12 years. Three of their four children, all American-born, were placed in detention with their parents and another was placed in a government children's centre.

Ashcroft Memo Targets Lenient Sentences

By CURT ANDERSON, Associated Press Writer
Thu Aug 7, 4:51 PM ET

WASHINGTON - Attorney General John Ashcroft wants prosecutors to closely monitor which judges impose more lenient sentences than federal guidelines recommend, a step some critics say could limit judicial independence.

Ashcroft directed U.S. attorneys nationwide to promptly report to Justice Department headquarters when a sentence is a "downward departure" from guidelines and not part of a plea agreement in exchange for cooperation. [...]

"It's telling judges from the get-go, 'If you want to depart that you will be put on a list and you will be watched,'" said Ryan King, research associate with The Sentencing Project, a nonprofit group seeking alternatives to prison. "We're no longer judging a case on the merits." [...]

President Bush in April signed into law the wide-ranging child protection legislation that, among other things, will establish a national "Amber Alert" communications network to respond to child abductions.

Tucked into that measure was a provision sponsored by Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Fla., intended to make it more difficult for federal judges to depart from federal sentencing guidelines and easier to appeal light sentences. [...]

Postal Service Researches 'Smarter' Mail

Security cited, but some are wary of proposed tracking system.

Dan Verton, Computerworld
Thursday, August 07, 2003

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A presidential commission charged with studying ways to make the U.S. Postal Service more efficient has recommended that the agency work with the Department of Homeland Security to develop sender identification technology for all U.S. mail.

In a final report released last week, the President's Commission on the U.S. Postal Service says sender identification technologies such as "personalized stamps" that embed digital identification information would not only improve mail tracking and delivery operations but would also enhance the security of the entire mail system. [...]

Masters of deceit

Convicted felons responsible for thousands of deaths are calling the shots at the White House

Isabel Hilton
Thursday August 7, 2003
The Guardian

The announcement that Admiral John Poindexter's latest brainwave - to encourage betting on the likelihood of a terrorist attack - had been terminated was characteristically bland. It began: "The Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced today that DARPA's participation in the Futures Markets Applied to Prediction (FutureMAP) program has been withdrawn"

The language does not betray the repugnant nature of the project, but then Poindexter is expert at disguising repugnant projects in bland language. He came to prominence in the Reagan administration, where the word "freedom" was used to justify renewed support for Latin American military dictatorships guilty of some of the most egregious human rights abuses on the planet. President Jimmy Carter had frozen them out, but Ronald Reagan's election meant a renewed round of invitations to Pentagon cocktail parties for Latin American torturers. [...]

Comment: This article outlines the illegal activities of White House insiders such as Poindexter, Powell, Armitage, and Abrams.

Website against media terrorism

Terrorists suspected of having been involved in the Kennedy assassination thought to be the same as those engaged in operations against Cuba and other countries for 44 years

Granma Daily

One of the central articles on the web page is an interview with retired General Fabián Escalante on his upcoming book in which he narrates his experiences of U.S. aggression against Cuba from 1959 to 1963. The author refers to suspicions that Cuban counterrevolutionaries were involved in the assassination of President J. F. Kennedy, many of whom were named by the Warren Commission. Their names reappear in the frustrated Bay of Pigs invasion, in the Watergate scandal, military repression in South America, the dirty Contra war against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and the guerrilla movement in El Salvador, and the murder of ex Chilean foreign minister, Orlando Letelier, among other incidents in the last 44 years.

The author highlights U.S. government links with the mafia and terrorist individuals of Cuban origin located in Florida. He cites the loose ends not investigated in the Kennedy assassination, such as alleged assassin Oswald’s links with Cuban counterrevolutionaries. He also notes that President Kennedy’s U.S. tour was diverted in Denver, for reasons that have not been clarified, nor by whom it was ordered, and evidence that the object of the president’s slaying was to blame Cuba and create a pretext for launching an aggression against the island.

US seeks tougher security at foreign airports over missile threat

WASHINGTON (AFP) Aug 07, 2003

The United States has sent aviation security experts to Iraq, Europe and Asia amidst fears that terrorists could use shoulder-fired missiles to shoot down passenger jets, officials said Thursday.

Brian Roehrkasse, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman, said US experts have been sent to help improve security in Basra and Baghdad in Iraq, as well as in a number of Asian and European airports, which he declined to specify. [...]

U.S. Won't Resume Nuclear Tests for Now

The Associated Press

Secretary of State Colin Powell said Thursday a resumption of U.S. nuclear testing could not be ruled out forever but there was no need to test now.

"The president has no intention of testing nuclear weapons," Powell said at a news conference. "We have no need to." [...]

Some Bush administration officials have suggested that tests may be necessary if there is a decision to develop new U.S. nuclear weapons.

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the private Arms Control Association, said, "It's useful that the secretary is reinforcing the current commitment to the test ban."

However, Kimball said in an interview, "That commitment is not solid, given the view of others in the administration that nuclear testing might be needed to develop and produce new types of nuclear weapons."

He said nuclear testing "definitely should be on the agenda with Russia because the United States and Russia continue to be concerned about activities at each other's test sites and there is an important opportunity to reach agreement on transparency measures to allay concerns about cheating."

Comment: "The president has no intention of testing nuclear weapons". Indeed, shrub is not going to test nuclear weapons, first he has to learn how to pronounce the word "nucular" correctly. With the above little comment, Powell seeks to perpetuate the myth that Bush, as president, is anything but a puppet. The very idea that "the president of the USA" is the "commander in chief" and was elected by the people for his proven ability to lead the country onwards and upwards is such a ridiculous concept that it is surprising that anyone believes it, yet millions do.

I suppose there is a red telephone - "the hotline to the White House" - that is used to call Shrub for his expert opinion on matters of extreme importance when no one else can figure out what to do, right? This enduring image of the president that has been presented to Americans is for one reason only: Deception.

Driven out of Eden

Our desire to holiday in an earthly paradise has created a hell for those we shut out

George Monbiot
Tuesday August 5, 2003
The Guardian

It is surely one of the most brazen evasions of reality ever painted. John Constable's The Cornfield - completed in 1826 and now hanging in the National Gallery's new exhibition, Paradise - evokes, at the very height of the enclosure movement, a flawless rural harmony.

Just as the commoners were being dragged from their land, their crops destroyed, their houses razed, the dissenters transported or hanged, Constable conjures the definitive English Arcadia. A dog walks a herd of sheep into the deep shade of an August day. A ruddy farm boy drinks from a glittering stream, his donkey quietly behind him. In the background, framed by great elms, men in hats and neckerchiefs work a field of wheat. Beyond them, a river shimmers through water meadows. A church emerges from the trees to bless the happy natives and their other Eden.

In the midst of a rural hell, Constable invents his heaven. It is a glittering lie, and we should not be surprised to read in the gallery's brochure that this is "one of the nation's favourite paintings, reproduced countless times and in thousands of homes". For what Constable has done is what human beings have always done, and continue to do today. Confronted by atrocities, we invoke a prelapsarian wonder. We construct our Gardens of Eden, real or imagined, out of other people's hell.

The timing of the exhibition is good, as it is in this season that we leave our homes in search of paradise. In doing so, we immiserate other people. It is not just the noise with which we fill their lives while pursuing our own tranquillity. In order to create an Eden in which we may disport ourselves in innocence and nakedness, we must first commission others to clear its inhabitants out of the way. Like Constable, we are adept at hiding this truth from ourselves.

[...] Today, we find such lies repeated on our television screens, in the travel and wildlife programmes that seek to persuade us that all is well in the white man's playground. The BBC's recent series on Congo, filmed in the midst of the massacres there, informed us that "Congo may once have been known as the 'heart of darkness' - today it seems more like a bright, beautiful wilderness." It ignored the killings altogether.

Paradise is the founding myth of the colonist. Unable to contemplate the truth of what we do, we extract from our fathomless collective guilt a story of primordial innocence.

Canadian deputy PM touted as new NATO boss

BRUSSELS (AFP) Aug 07, 2003

Canadian Deputy Prime Minister John Manley is being touted to succeed George Robertson as NATO chief, in a major departure for the 19-nation military alliance, diplomats said Thursday. [...]

Calif. Recall Leader Says He Won't Run

The Associated Press Thursday, August 7, 2003

SAN DIEGO - The millionaire congressman who largely funded the effort to recall Gov. Gray Davis abruptly pulled out of the race to replace him Thursday, a day after actor Arnold Schwarzenegger jumped in.

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, who made his fortune selling car alarms and pumped $1.7 million of his own money into the recall effort, announced he would not run in a tearful news conference.
[boo hoo]

Comment from a reader and California resident: It is said that California is the Granola state, because it is filled with fruits, flakes and nuts. Today I shake my head and work ever more feverishly toward getting myself out of here. The psychopath circus has come to town.

Darrell Issa, the psychopathic, gun waving, convicted car thief, US Representative who started the whole media feeding frenzy to oust Governor Gray Davis, has folded up his tent and walked away from his attempt to weasel his way into the governor's mansion. His reason: He doesn't stand a chance, now that the Austrian weightlifter has announced his run. One pundit said about Arnold: "We could have a governor who can explain Bush's domestic policy, in it's original German."

Gary Coleman for California governor

By Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
MSNBC Aug. 6

Whatchoo talkin' about, Willis?

Gary Coleman, the 4-foot 8- inch actor who gained fame as Arnold Jackson on "Diff'rent Strokes," is a candidate for California governor, thanks to the northern California alternative newspaper East Bay Express.

Comment: And there are still people that would try to convince us that the world has NOT gone mad...

Bush May Consider Schwarzenegger Support

Associated Press Writer
August 7, 2003, 7:22 PM EDT

CRAWFORD, Texas -- President Bush is leaving the door open to campaigning for California Republican gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger if it could help tip the balance in a close recall election, officials said Thursday. [...]

Schwarzenegger met in April with Karl Rove, President Bush's top political adviser. White House officials said at the time that Schwarzenegger simply dropped by to talk about an after-school program that California voters approved last year and to see what he could do to support U.S. troops overseas.

After The Asteroid Hits

While Hollywood has explored the possibility of an asteroid or comet colliding catastrophically with the Earth, off-screen there are no plans for civil defense in case an unexpected impact occurs, no international agreements on how to respond if a threatening asteroid is detected, and no current studies of deflection technology. Although the probability of a fatal impact is extremely small, the consequences would be so great that it is necessary to understand and establish realistic societal goals, scientists said at the 2003 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), held this year in Denver. [...]

About 2000 such objects are believed to exist in near-Earth space. Between a quarter to one-half of them will eventually impact the Earth. But the average interval between such impacts is long--more than 100,000 years. One of the more notable impacts occurred in 1908, when a relatively small asteroid struck Tunguska, Siberia, downing hundreds of miles of forest. [...]


PM Illustration by Paul DiMare

[...]Recently declassified Cold War era data compiled by scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), in New Mexico, suggest the Earth takes more nuclear-weapon-sized hits than previously believed. In the '80s, scientists estimated that a doomsday rock was a once-in-100-million-years event. The "new" data--which was drawn from a network of ultrasensitive sensors designed to locate nuclear blasts--reduces the odds to once every 10 million years.

And it isn't just these planet-crushers we have to worry about. A small object can cause a tremendous amount of damage. The data revealed that a 7-ft. object can produce a 1-kiloton blast, the equivalent of igniting 1000 tons of high explosives. Between 1975 and 1992, the sensors detected the sonic signatures of 136 explosions ranging in size from 1/2 kiloton to a Hiroshima-sized 15 kilotons.

In 1990, Congress ordered NASA to study the threat posed by asteroids and comets. [...]

Comment: The article continues with various methods scientists have been discussing in dealing with NEO's on a collision course, some sound like they come from a science fiction novel. The article is from Popular Mechanics. The same magazine that promised we would have flying cars by the turn of the century.

Signs Supplement - Meteors, Asteroids, Comets, and NEOs,

No sign of reprieve as Europe swelters in heatwave

Friday August 8, 3:27 AM

There was no sign of a let-up to the European heatwave as temperatures remained close to record levels across much of the continent, leaving an exhausted population gagging for some cool. [...]

Authorities in Switzerland reported that Alpine glaciers as high up as 4,000 metres (13,000 feet) were melting in the unaccustomed heat, creating dangerous conditions for climbers and hikers and leading to the closure of some walking routes.

In France state-owned rail operator SNCF shut down part of the line between the eastern towns of Nancy and Belfort after tracks buckled. The metal reached a temperature of 51 degrees Celsius (124 Fahrenheit) on Tuesday, officials said. [...]

The heatwave was caused by an anticyclone which has anchored itself firmly over the west European land mass, holding off rain-bearing depressions over the Atlantic and funnelling hot air north from Africa. [...]

Europe Gasps in Heat, Dutch Schools Go Tropical

By Ian Simpson
Thu Aug 7,12:52 PM ET

LISBON (Reuters) - Europe sweltered on Thursday in a heatwave that has killed at least 35 people, fanned wildfires, devastated crops and forced some Dutch schools to adopt a "tropical roster." [...]

Meteorologists blame the heat on high pressure reaching from west of the Iberian Peninsula into central Europe, along with a depression from North Africa into the peninsula. The combination is pumping hot air from North Africa and interior Spain north. [...]

Students on the Netherlands' northern islands are working on a "tropical roster," attending school from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. [...]

Comment: Hmm, just what is causing the heat wave? The experts do not seem to agree. Perhaps there is more than just one cause. So much science that is reported in the media seems fixated on finding that one cause for everything. We have discussed this before on the Signs page in reference to the one germ theory for all the illness that mysteriously keep springing up. We live in a complex, dynamic universe, and for some reason many do not take that into account when developing hypotheses which are then trotted out as fact.

Homes evacuated, scenic tourist routes closed by fires in Italy

Friday August 8, 12:53 AM

Firefighters battling wildfires in the hills around the port city of Genoa evacuated hundreds of people from their homes as fresh winds and high temperatures fanned summer blazes ravaging much of Italy. [...]

Heatwave Claims Its First Victims In England

Reuters 2003/08/6

The heatwave gripping Britain claimed its first victims after two boys drowned while cooling off during near-record temperatures, police said on Wednesday.

Two 17-year-old boys died in separate accidents on Tuesday as temperatures reached about 35 degrees Celsius.

Weather experts give fire and drought warnings as the heatwave continues

Aug 8

THE heatwave sweeping Europe could last till September, meteorologists said yesterday, with the risk of further deaths, dried out rivers, and forest fires.

In Scotland, police warned that remote Highland regions could see a repetition of the wildfires that ravaged rural areas in April, as the hot, dry conditions were predicted to continue tomorrow.

However, while England is on the brink of breaking the 100F mark on Saturday, thunderstorms north of the border are predicted to destroy hopes of the 1908 Scottish record of 32.8C being exceeded.

Scientists at the CNR research centre in Italy said that the heatwave, helped along by intense monsoon activity in Africa, is among the five worst in the past 150 years.

It had claimed 38 lives by last night through fires and soaring temperatures. The latest casualty was a 41-year-old Croatian policeman who died of heart failure triggered by the heat while guarding the American embassy in Zagreb [...]

Shivering in the Surf

Atlantic's Sudden Temperature Dive A Midsummer Mystery for Scientists

By John F. Kelly
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 7

David Quillin, a surfer from Maryland's Eastern Shore, knows what cold seawater feels like: It makes exposed flesh feel like it's burning, sets hands and feet to tingling, numbs the body and, after repeated dunkings, produces a painful "ice cream" headache.

The 38-year-old architect expects all of this when he surfs the frigid waters off Ocean City in January. He didn't expect it in the middle of summer. But it's just what Quillin encountered when he paddled his board into the surf two weeks ago.

"I've never experienced it in my whole life," he recounted, "where the water right along shore could be that radically cold."

Quillin isn't alone in his observation. [...]

Savage weather kills 14 in Indian ski resort

SHIMLA, India (AFP) Aug 08, 2003

At least 14 people were washed away and killed when a savage downpour caused flash-flooding in the popular northern Indian ski resort town of Solan Nallah, police said Friday. [...]

Tornado Destroys About 500 Florida Homes

Thu Aug 7,10:31 PM ET

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. - About 500 homes were damaged or destroyed by a tornado that touched down Thursday in north Palm Beach County, flipping semitrailers, snapping power poles and tearing roofs off businesses. Only minor injuries were reported. [...]

Thunder Storms And Lightning Killed Three People In Yemen

AP 2003/08/6

Lightning killed three people in the Yemeni capital Wednesday during a storm that flooded homes, police said.

Police said the three men were killed when lightning struck their home in northern Sanaa. Houses in central San'a were inundated by rain water rushing down from the hills. People in the area fire shots into the air as distress calls.

The rains also damaged roads and brought down electricity and telephone lines in the capital.

At least 10 people have been killed in July due to torrential rains, and six others died in June in this impoverished nation at the southern end of the Arabian peninsula.

Lightning strikes spark 200 new B.C. fires


KAMLOOPS, B.C. — Lightning has started 200 more fires across British Columbia, an official said this morning.

"Since midnight it was a little over 1,700 strikes," said Steve Bachop, fire information officer with the B.C. Forest Service.

We're going to have some lightning fires that are popping up today."

Lightning accompanied thunderstorms that brought a little bit of rain to the parched province, welcome especially in the Kamloops area, where crews are fighting three major fires that at the peak displaced 10,000 people

Lightning: The Shocking Story

National Geographic

Lightning strikes somewhere on the surface of the earth about 100 times every second. [...]

Climate Change Spurs Epidemics


[..] With predictions that ENSO [El Nino-Southern Oscillation] will become stronger and more variable in coming years under a global warming scenario, understanding how its connection to human disease changes will be increasingly important, says Pascual. Often, it's difficult to tell whether disease cycles are driven by environmental factors or by processes intrinsic to disease transmission. The professor and her co-workers recently developed a method that makes it possible to distinguish between the two possibilities. [...]

Quake jolts northern Japan

From correspondents in Tokyo
08 Aug 03

AN earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale jolted northern Japan today, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries. The quake struck at 9.51 am local time in Miyagi, some 350km north of Tokyo. Its focus was about 10km deep, an agency official said.

No tidal wave warning was issued. In July, the Miyagi region was hit by powerful earthquakes including one registering 6.2 on the Richter scale. No lives were lost in the quakes.Japan-quake

Quake jolts Rangamati again

By UNB, Rangamati
Aug 7, 2003, 00:49

A mild tremor jolted Barkal upazila twice on Wednesday.
Residents said tremor shook the area at about 4:00am and 9:30am, but no damage or casualty was reported.

Meanwhile, an expert team of Dhaka University’s Geology Department visiting the earthquake prone area for the last two days, has suggested the government to shift inhabitants of Kolabunia from both sides of the Karnafuli River.

They said although there is no possibility of major earthquake, danger looms large of big landslide.

Moderate earthquake shakes Algeria


Quake measuring 4.4 on Richter scale shakes northern Algeria where major quake killed thousands in late May.

California Announces New Earthquake Shelter System

The California Office of Emergency Services (OES) has announced plans for a comprehensive new earthquake shelter system that will be implemented throughout the state. [...]

Environmentalists burn while Bush promotes park plan

August 6, 2003

President Bush has issued his prescription for what ails the deteriorating national park system, but environmentalists and conservationists are becoming increasingly wary about his actions.[...]

Improving the national parks, generally in a state of disrepair owing to a $4.9 billion maintenance backlog, was a major cog in Bush's 2000 campaign. He is hoping that any progress on this front will help his re-election effort.

[...] Early last month, Interior Secretary Gale Norton gave the president a progress report. It showed that $2.9 billion has either been spent or committed to park maintenance, that 900 projects were completed and another 900 have been scheduled. The president's initiative, Norton said, was on track.

The report establishes "the good work the Interior Department is doing to safeguard these treasures and provide a better experience for visitors," she said.

However, conservationists offer a different view. They complain that although $2.9 billion has been spent on the maintenance backlog, all but $363 million were funds shifted from other vital parks programs, like conservation, that are now under-funded as a result.

Elliott Negin, a spokesman for the Natural Resources Defense Council, compared the shifting of funds to a shell game. "He's not putting his money where his mouth is," Negin said.

Comment: For another great perspective on the Bush Reich privatization plan, see this Flash animation by cartoonist Mark Fiore.

Four die of West Nile virus in United States

Friday August 8, 12:45 AM

The West Nile virus has claimed four lives in the United States in one week, and to date in 2003, 153 cases have been reported in 15 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced.

The first deaths from the virus this year occurred between July 31 and August 6 in three states, Alabama, Colorado and Texas, according to officials.

Comment: Here we go again. Readers might want to take a look at the facts about West Nile Virus. According to a Colorado news site, there were 4,156 recorded West Nile cases in the Unites States in 2002. Of these cases, only 284 resulted in death. That's a 6.8% mortality rate, with less than 0.002% of the population actually contracting the virus at all. But never mind the pesky facts, RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!

Measles nearly endemic as parents refuse MMR jabs

By Steve Connor, Science Editor
08 August 2003

Measles is on the verge of becoming endemic in Britain because of the reluctance of some parents to inoculate their children with the three-in-one MMR vaccine, researchers say.

Scientists have predicted that outbreaks of the viral disease will get worse as the proportion of unvaccinated children in the population increases. And the new research warns that if the number of unprotected children continues to grow at the present rate, a national epidemic is inevitable.

Roman dig backs ancient writers' portrait of megalomaniac Caligula

Ruins reveal ruler extended palace into Forum temple

John Hooper in Rome
Friday August 8, 2003
The Guardian

British and American archaeologists digging in the Roman Forum said yesterday they had uncovered evidence to suggest that the emperor Caligula really was a self-deifying megalomaniac, and not the misunderstood, if eccentric, ruler that modern scholars have striven to create.
For several decades historians have been lifting their eyebrows at the Latin authors' portrait of Caligula as a madman who came to believe he was a god.

But Darius Arya of the American Institute for Roman Culture said a 35-day dig by young archaeologists from Oxford and Stanford universities had reinstated a key element in the traditional account. [...]

Mars is Melting

August 7, 2003

The south polar ice cap of Mars is receding, revealing frosty mountains, rifts and curious dark spots.

It's not every day you get to watch a planetary ice cap melt, but this month you can. All you need are clear skies, a backyard telescope, and a sky map leading to Mars.

Actually, you won't need the sky map because Mars is so bright and easy to find.

Just look south between midnight and dawn on any clear night this month. Mars is that eye-catching red star, outshining everything around it. It's getting brighter every night as Earth and Mars converge for a close encounter on August 27th.

Mars has gotten so big in recent weeks that even a backyard telescope will show details on the planet's surface: dust clouds, volcanic terrains, impact basins. Best of all is the polar ice cap. The southern hemisphere of Mars is tipped toward Earth and its bright southern cap, which reflects more sunlight than any other part of the planet, is remarkably easy to see.

Don't wait too long to look, though, because the ice is melting. [...]

Update: Area farmer may sue over crop circle case

Radio station backs off its earlier claim of responsibility


News Staff Reporter HOWELL TOWNSHIP - A farmer is threatening to file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission and perhaps a lawsuit against a Detroit radio station for "lying" about creating a mysterious crop circle on his land. [...]

Comment: The farmer may be up against COINTELPRO. There have also been rumors circulating that Lucy Pringle, the famous aerial photographer of crop formations, has had her life threatened.The Signs Team has not found confirmation if there is any truth to the rumor or not.


Thursday, August 7

The latest report of a UFO over Hemel Hempstead was made today. There have been over 20 reports over the past two weeks of unexplained bright objects in the sky.

Today's report came from Deaconsfield Road where Ray Tomlin saw two strange objects giving off a bright orange light shortly before 1am.

He's mystified as they made no noise, but moved too fast to have been any sort of hot air balloon.

Just six mouse-clicks apart

By Lucy Beaumont

Email users are only six mouse-clicks away from anyone else in cyberspace, a team including two Australian researchers at New York's Columbia University has found.

Drawing on the six degrees of separation theory, the experiment involved more than 60,000 participants in 166 countries who registered online. [...]

Firefighters admit defeat in battle against rats

By David Usborne in New York
The Independent
08 August 2003

Rats in New York are a fact of life. They scurry between the rails in subway stations. They startle late-night strollers, shooting across the pavement and vanishing into piles of rubbish bags.

The city's residents know they are there and ignore them. But sometimes, they just can't. The fire station in Queens has been battling rats for several weeks and, finally, the rodent army has triumphed. [...]

Dog becomes dying vagabond's best friend

Woman Gets Bottled Message From Father Lost At Sea In 1977

AP 2003/08/6

More than 26 years after her father died at sea, a Norwegian woman was shocked to receive a message from him in a bottle. The crinkled note, with her father's handwriting in red marker pen, aroused "powerful feelings" in her, Guri Abelsen said Wednesday.

Abelsen said her father, Ola Abelsen, had told her he wrote a message in a bottle which he had thrown into the sea from his fishing boat, Utvik Senior, in February 1977.

Later that month, the boat sank with Abelsen and eight other men on board, after disappearing off the Norwegian coast.

The Secret Ingredient of the Pyramids

THAT PYRAMID EFFECT: A model of the Pyramids, made out of cake ingredients, is displayed at the Indian Consumer Exhibition in Madras. The cake, which weighs in at 300kg, is one of seven edible reconstructions of the wonders of the ancient world (photo: AFP)

Comment: Gives new meaning to Dine-asty. We wonder, if you wore one on your head, would it sharpen your thoughts? Most Egyptologists could use some sharpening of their thoughts. A civilization as stagnant as theirs for so many centuries reminds us of the Neanderthals. Where is the divine creative spark that permits one to make something genuinely new? It is apparent that it was missing in the Land of the Pharoahs.

Hawks grounded after Chihuahua attack

Trained hawks employed to keep pigeons from making a mess on visitors in a Manhattan park have been grounded because one of the birds mistook a Chihuahua as its lunch...

And Finally...

Toy company announces new product : The AWOL Doll

JK News Wire

HA Toys president of development, Chick McGee, briefed reporters today on their new product, the AWOL Doll, that will compete with KB Toys Elite Force Aviator series.

The new 13" action figure modeled after infamous President George Dubya Bush comes complete with a quart of Coors Light, a rolled up $100 bill, a modified lighter, and an empty coke can.

Mr. McGee expects the AWOL Doll to exceed sales of HA Toys' Benedict Arnold and George Washington Dolls, which recently came under fire by the Christian Coalition because they are accompanied by several poseable mistresses, and removable wooden teeth.

Exacting in detail and fully equipped with authentic paraphernalia, this limited-edition action figure is a meticulous 1:6 scale recreation of the Commander-in-Chief's appearance during his historic week while AWOL from the National Guard. This fully poseable figure features a realistic head sculpt, fully detailed pajamas, realistic Coors Lite Bottle, Rolled up $100, Coke can and modified lighter. The realism and exacting attention to detail demanded by today's 12-inch action figure enthusiast are met and exceeded with this action figure. This incredibly detailed figure is a fitting addition to the collection of those interested in U.S. Tyrant memorabilia and toy action figures.


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