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November 21, 2003

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It is nearly official. A military government and martial law is coming to the United States as announced by Gen. Tommy Franks, in all places, Cigar Aficionado. All it will take is for the Bush Reich to organize another terrorist strike bigger than 9/11, and the "terrorists" will have won. We have no doubt that some plan is in the pipeline. Forces of entropy announce their intentions for those who have eyes to see. In this little preview of the upcoming article, he appears to actually announce the end of, "freedom and liberty we've seen for a couple of hundred years in this grand experiment that we call democracy."

Rubbing his hands together in anticipatory glee not readily apparent from the tone of the article, Franks must be so excited at the prospect that he couldn't keep his mouth shut and revealed the Reich's hand. Typical psychopathic behavior. The only thing that remains to be seen is how this new coup d'etat will be accomplished. The little known Rockefeller funded and controlled "Commission for Continuity of Government" gives us an idea perhaps, set up, as it is, to take over in the event that large numbers of congress suddenly expire - now how might that happen??

In the meantime, New York City refuses to hand over information to the 9/11 Commission. Can't have anyone publicly put the pieces together, before martial law is declared. NYC invokes the concern for victims ploy, playing us all for suckers.

Another criminal, Richard Perle, announces that the Iraq Invasion was illegal, but he doesn't care.

The US media is once again "distracted" from reporting the real news. And, once again, Bush and his cronies benefit. In the UK, protestors topple Bush - or at least a fake statue resembling him.

The Arab press sees the bombings in Istanbul as promoting the war agenda of Ariel Sharon and the growing anger against Israel as the result of the Zionist state's actions, not "anti-Semitism." Can't argue with that.

A new book investigates how billions of dollars of loot stolen by the Japanese during WWII ended up in the CIA's coffers while Muslim's flee the US since 9/11, much to the satisfaction of the US Custom's people. Tomorrow, we'll look more into one of the ways this money was spent.

Iraq's Oil Ministry and two hotels are blasted by rockets. Want to conduct an unjustifiable invasion? Just contact the Office of Special Plans in the US, or Operation Rockingham in the UK. Australia learns American commanders hid intelligence from them, while anti-US sentiment around the world increases.

The FBI reveals that its bullet analysis techniques are inaccurate. Don't worry, though - once martial law is declared, US readers won't have to worry about the accuracy of ballistics tests. "Justice" will be dispensed according to the whims of the psychopaths that run The Greatest Democracy on Earth. The Police State flexes its muscles in Miami.

Giant earthquakes and killer meteorites are popular topics in newspapers the world over again. A thirty million year old civilization exposed, more policemen come forward with UFO reports, and mystery booms rattle North Carolina.

Gen. Franks Doubts Constitution Will Survive WMD Attack

John O. Edwards
NewsMax.com
Friday, Nov. 21, 2003

Gen. Tommy Franks says that if the United States is hit with a weapon of mass destruction that inflicts large casualties, the Constitution will likely be discarded in favor of a military form of government.

Franks, who successfully led the U.S. military operation to liberate Iraq, expressed his worries in an extensive interview he gave to the men's lifestyle magazine Cigar Aficionado.

In the magazine's December edition, the former commander of the military's Central Command warned that if terrorists succeeded in using a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) against the U.S. or one of our allies, it would likely have catastrophic consequences for our cherished republican form of government.

Discussing the hypothetical dangers posed to the U.S. in the wake of Sept. 11, Franks said that "the worst thing that could happen" is if terrorists acquire and then use a biological, chemical or nuclear weapon that inflicts heavy casualties.

If that happens, Franks said, "... the Western world, the free world, loses what it cherishes most, and that is freedom and liberty we've seen for a couple of hundred years in this grand experiment that we call democracy."

Franks then offered "in a practical sense" what he thinks would happen in the aftermath of such an attack.

"It means the potential of a weapon of mass destruction and a terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event somewhere in the Western world – it may be in the United States of America – that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass, casualty-producing event. Which in fact, then begins to unravel the fabric of our Constitution. Two steps, very, very important."

Franks didn't speculate about how soon such an event might take place.

Already, critics of the U.S. Patriot Act, rushed through Congress in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, have argued that the law aims to curtail civil liberties and sets a dangerous precedent.

But Franks' scenario goes much further. He is the first high-ranking official to openly speculate that the Constitution could be scrapped in favor of a military form of government.

The usually camera-shy Franks retired from U.S. Central Command, known in Pentagon lingo as CentCom, in August 2003, after serving nearly four decades in the Army.

Franks earned three Purple Hearts for combat wounds and three Bronze Stars for valor. Known as a "soldier's general," Franks made his mark as a top commander during the U.S.'s successful Operation Desert Storm, which liberated Kuwait in 1991. He was in charge of CentCom when Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda attacked the United States on Sept. 11.

Franks said that within hours of the attacks, he was given orders to prepare to root out the Taliban in Afghanistan and to capture bin Laden. [...]

Flashback: Foundations are in place for martial law in the US

Ritt Goldstein July 27 2002

Recent pronouncements from the Bush Administration and national security initiatives put in place in the Reagan era could see internment camps and martial law in the United States.

When president Ronald Reagan was considering invading Nicaragua he issued a series of executive orders that provided the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with broad powers in the event of a "crisis" such as "violent and widespread internal dissent or national opposition against a US military invasion abroad". They were never used.

On July 20 the Detroit Free Press ran a story entitled "Arabs in US could be held, official warns". The story referred to a member of the US Civil Rights Commission who foresaw the possibility of internment camps for Arab Americans. FEMA has practised for such an occasion.

FEMA, whose main role is disaster response, is also responsible for handling US domestic unrest.

From 1982-84 Colonel Oliver North assisted FEMA in drafting its civil defence preparations. Details of these plans emerged during the 1987 Iran-Contra scandal.

They included executive orders providing for suspension of the constitution, the imposition of martial law, internment camps, and the turning over of government to the president and FEMA.

A Miami Herald article on July 5, 1987, reported that the former FEMA director Louis Guiffrida's deputy, John Brinkerhoff, handled the martial law portion of the planning. The plan was said to be similar to one Mr Giuffrida had developed earlier to combat "a national uprising by black militants". It provided for the detention "of at least 21million American Negroes"' in "assembly centres or relocation camps".

The preface to the article also provided the revelation that the national plan he had worked on, under Mr Giuffrida, was "approved by Reagan, and actions were taken to implement it".

Disturbingly, the full facts and final contents of Mr Reagan's national plan remain uncertain. This is in part because President Bush took the unusual step of sealing the Reagan presidential papers last November. However, many of the key figures of the Reagan era are part of the present administration, including John Poindexter, to whom Oliver North later reported.

Criticism of the Bush Administration's response to September11 echoes Mr Smith's warning. On June 7 the former presidential counsel John Dean spoke of America's sliding into a "constitutional dictatorship" and martial law.

U.S. Congress proposes Amendment to be able to elect its own members

Saturday, November 15, 2003

The misgivings of Howard Philips, 2000 U.S. presidential candidate for the Constitution Party, were evidently not unfounded -- in fact the situation is much worse. A Dec. 4, 2002 story New US Constitution to be written by private orgs (Brookings, Carnegie, etc.) contained a transcription of Howard Phillips on the radio show Radio Liberty regarding "Continuity of Government" (in case a terrorist attack wipes out a significant percentage of Congress):

"Their recommendation that governors be given the authority to fill vacancies in the U.S. House of Representatives would fundamentally alter the nature of the Congress, just as the Seventeenth Amendment did. Now as you know, Stan, the Seventeenth Amendment changed the procedure for the election of Senators. Previously they were chosen by Legislatures, and after the Seventeenth Amendment, they were chosen by big money and big media, called "popular election."

Under our Constitution, the Senate is supposed to represent the States; the House is supposed to represent the people. But under one of the proposals being considered by COG, the Continuity of Government Commission, governors would be given the authority to fill vacancies which occurred in the wake of a catastrophe in the House of Representatives. That would mean that governors and state governments rather than the people themselves would, in effect, be the point of accountability for the government in Washington. It would be one more dagger in the heart of the principle of accountability, which is the very core of our system of government as envisioned by the founders.

Ostensibly, Senator Cornyn (R-TX), allows the states to elect or appoint replacement Congress members -- the worst case scenario outlined by Howard Phillips. But Cornyn's proposed Constitutional Amendment is much worse than that -- it gives Congress the power to decide the mechanism of replacement, and for now it's left up to the states. According to a Nov. 5, 2003 Sen. Conryn press release:

“My proposal specifically refrains from choosing sides in this debate. The constitutional amendment simply defers the question to Congress, and the implementing legislation simply defers the question to the states.”

This is verified by a reading of S.J. Res. 23: The Congress may by law provide for the case of death or inability of Members of the House of Representatives, and the case of inability of Members of the Senate, in the event that one-fourth of either House are killed or incapacitated, declaring who shall serve until the disability is removed, or a new Member is elected.

But wait, there's more -- it gets worse. Read more for yet another grab-for-power loophole...

The proposed Amendment concludes:

Any procedures established pursuant to such a law shall expire not later than 120 days after the death or inability of one-fourth of the House of Representatives or the Senate, but may be extended for additional 120-day periods if one-fourth of either the House of Representatives or the Senate remains vacant or occupied by members unable to serve. That means that if a state elects or appoints a replacement, Congress can keep the replacement out for up to four months.

The Conryn press release confirms where these ideas came from:

Cornyn was joined by members of the AEI-Brookings Continuity of Government Commission in unveiling the legislation. And the states will likely bite off on this, because for now, Congress is giving election/appointment authority to the states. But the Amendment wording opens the door to a bait-and-switch as it gives ultimate authority to Congress itself -- to appoint its own members. It's a new type of democracy.

Comment: Imagine that! Long ago a commission was set up to provide for the bizarre scenario in which a large number of the members of congress might suddenly die en masse! Now how in the world could that possibly happen? Could a terrible "terrorist" get into Capital building and blow away most of the sitting members?? Apparently someone in the US thinks this is very likely, so likely that detailed plans have been drawn up and laws passed to ensure that if and when it happens Congress will be replaced by non-elected representatives. Now there's democracy for ya!

The commission is funded and controlled by the Rockefeller foundation owned "Brookings Institute" among others. The plans have been carefully laid, and it seems that there will soon be another faked terror attack, another coup d'etat in the US, and this time there will be no going back. Check out this link for further details on what the elite have in store for the US population.

A Reader Comments: I'd like to recommend that folks read the Continuity of Government Commission's report "Preserving our institutions..." First of all, it is authored by what is essentially right-wing interests, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Brookings Institution. I found that its real purpose (to legally get away with a coup d'etat) is pretty transparent.

Basically, it starts out like a movie script, describing a scenario in which most of congress is killed, and warning against the anarchy that would follow should the remains of government not be considered authoritative. It goes on and on about why current provisions to replace members won't work in a crisis. It lamely tries to put to rest the concerns that thinking people might have about its proposed plan. It basically harps on and on about how all alternative plans will fail and that only their plan will work -- they even provided draft text of the constitutional amendment so it can be slapped right in without having to think too much about it.

Check out the following passage regarding the provision to allow the governors of the House and Senate to simply appoint new members for the seats "vacated" by the killed or incapacitated. They're addressing the concern that a shift of power from one party to another could result:

The commission understands the concern about the change in partisan balance after an attack. It does not, however, recommend a requirement that a temporary appointee be of the same party as the member who vacated the seat. There are several reasons the commission does not recommend such action. First, in the event of a devastating attack, the commission feels that governors would not try to play politics in a time of national crisis.

The whole document is like this -- transparent. In the above paragraph, they say that they "understand the concern" but they recommend doing nothing about it (clearly leaving the door open for it to be done, deliberately). They don't back this recommendation up with any logic, but rather with "the commission feels that governors would not try to play politics in a time of national crisis." ! ! ! Are they kidding?!!! Dick Cheney, as VP, is president of the Senate. Wouldn't this give him the power to simply appoint the whole Senate?

I find it revolting that (A) one of the allegedly most respected think tanks in America is so stupid, and (B) such a stupid think tank is so respected, and (C) they think that their audience, congress, is so stupid, and (D) congress might actually be as stupid as they think.

But more likely, they're all in on it together and they believe that the rest of us are the stupid ones who will let it slide. Even more revolting is the probability that they are, in general, correct, thanks to decades of carefully engineered "dumbing down."

This has been my daily "shock." Thanks, as always, to the Signs team for providing it.

Comment: We wonder if most of the members of Congress are aware that the current Criminals in Charge are planning to off them?

Crimes Against Nature

Bush is sabotaging the laws that have protected America's environment for more than thirty years

By Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

George W. Bush will go down in history as America's worst environmental president. In a ferocious three-year attack, the Bush administration has initiated more than 200 major rollbacks of America's environmental laws, weakening the protection of our country's air, water, public lands and wildlife. Cloaked in meticulously crafted language designed to deceive the public, the administration intends to eliminate the nation's most important environmental laws by the end of the year. Under the guidance of Republican pollster Frank Luntz, the Bush White House has actively hidden its anti-environmental program behind deceptive rhetoric, telegenic spokespeople, secrecy and the intimidation of scientists and bureaucrats.

The Bush attack was not entirely unexpected. George W. Bush had the grimmest environmental record of any governor during his tenure in Texas. Texas became number one in air and water pollution and in the release of toxic chemicals. In his six years in Austin, he championed a short-term pollution-based prosperity, which enriched his political contributors and corporate cronies by lowering the quality of life for everyone else. Now President Bush is set to do the same to America. After three years, his policies are already bearing fruit, diminishing standards of living for millions of Americans.

Comment: American citizens have no idea what lies in store. Thanks to Bush and his "elite" masters, "living standards" in the US are set to take a very dramatic down turn. How does a nice police cell sound? What about a wooden box in an internment camp? Appetizing? In the final analysis, you get what you ask for.

9/11 Commission Orders New York to Hand Over Documents

By PHILIP SHENON

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 — The federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 terror attacks announced today that it had subpoenaed New York City for a variety of police tapes and other material about the attacks. It said that the city's refusal to hand over the material had "significantly impeded the commission's investigation."

The 10-member commission said that the subpoena required the city to turn over tapes and transcripts of emergency 911 calls made that day, as well as transcripts of hundreds of interviews of firefighters that were conducted after the terrorist attacks.

The city's failure to produce these important documents has significantly impeded the commission's investigation," the panel said in a statement, adding that the initial request for the materials was made more than four months ago. "Given its statutory deadline, the commission cannot wait any longer for these vital records."

City officials said that the city has withheld the tapes and documents from the commission in hopes of reaching an agreement that would allow the city to edit the materials to remove "personal last-words" commentary by victims of the attacks that was captured in many of the police and fire department tapes. [...]

Terror And Counter-Terror

Salameh Nematt Al-Hayat 2003/11/20

Since the September 11 attacks, the U.S. administration has been adopting a strategy aimed at scaring the American public opinion, the entire world even, from the threat of terrorism, and using this to justify certain domestic and foreign controversial policies. Regardless of how credible the information used by the Republican administration - and it is considerably questionable - to describe the nature of the real or assumed threats, the majority of Americans live today in the fear that the threat could be, as the administration claims it to be, real. Even though there hasn't been any terrorist attack on their soil for over two years, a large share of the American people believe in Bush's doctrine according to which the terrorists should be fought in their own countries, to avoid the possibility of confronting them in American cities.

[...] President Bush spares no occasion, including his London speech, to refer to the September 11 attacks and the threat of terrorist organizations or regimes obtaining weapons of mass destruction, and to offer prospects for overcoming this problem in the future. At the same time, Bush is calling for change in the Middle East towards democracy, even as he pressures the countries in the region to fight terror in ways that are not only undemocratic, but also could turn these countries into police states making them worse than they are today. Some of these regimes have taken advantage of fighting terror to quell any opposition to their repressive policies. These regimes know that America is more intent on fighting terror than on fostering democracy, and that it is ready to keep silent on these regimes' actions as long as they play their role in fighting terror.

The natural result for this policy of fear, domestically and internationally, is that the Americans have provided the likes of bin Laden with a victory, as know that the most they can do through their criminal acts is spread terror, which in turn leads to counter-terrorism policies, which serve their goal in destroying freedom, pluralism, and the respect of human rights.

Muslim Exodus from United States Unravels Tightknit Enclaves

Chicago Tribune

Nov. 18--On the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Shakeel Ahmed loaded his wife and five children into the family's green 1994 Mercury mini-van, their years in America reduced to a pair of cardboard boxes stuffed with children's clothes.

The rest they left behind: a television, furniture, pots and pans, blankets and pillows. Ahmed figured he had little time to waste because word had spread through the sweet shops and mosques around Devon Avenue, the heart of Chicago's South Asian community, that the federal government was deporting illegal immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries.

As he drove down Devon for the last time, Ahmed's thoughts turned to a cabdriver friend who had left with his family just two days before. Another companion they'd played cricket with in Washington Park had left months earlier. Now it was his turn. "I never cry in my life," he said. "The day I left Chicago, tears came out of my eyes."

And so the Ahmeds joined the vanguard of those fleeing America, not only from Devon but from Warren Road in Dearborn, Mich., Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn and the other main streets of America's Muslim and Arab enclaves.

Federal officials saw this as a bonus: immigration enforcement, free of charge to U.S. taxpayers. But the targeting of men from Muslim countries in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks affected more than just the men who were deported and their families. It sent aftershocks rumbling through the American neighborhoods where they lived and, in many cases, thrived.

George W. Bush Loves Michael Jackson

By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Friday 21 November 2003

A number of explosions tore through the British consulate in Turkey today, killing scores of people. George W. Bush is in England, surrounded on all sides by enraged British citizens whose massive protests have required nearly every police officer in London to be put on the line of defense.

This is happening in a nation that has been, both in government and among the populace, one of the strongest allies America has ever known. There are a couple of wars happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, neither of which are going very well. A great many soldiers and civilians have died in the last year. Osama bin Laden is still on the loose, and after nearly 750 days, the American people have still been given no explanation for why September 11 happened.

It is 3:16 p.m. on Thursday afternoon as I write this. CNN has been covering, with total exclusivity, a parking lot outside a police station for the last hour. They covered an airplane landing. They covered the same airplane sitting still on the tarmac. They covered the airplane slowly moving into a hangar. All the while, talking head after talking head explored every conceivable facet of the parking lot, the plane, the tarmac, and the hangar, as well as a variety of parallel issues. No stone of data was left unturned.

Why? Michael Jackson is about to surrender to police.

In the last two years, CNN has not devoted this much energy and coverage to any story in the manner that is unfolding right now. Enron, the stock market, the reasons for September 11, the nomination of Henry Kissinger to chair the investigation into that event, the disinformation that was pushed by the Bush administration before the attack on Iraq, the civilian casualties during the attack on Iraq, the American troop casualties during and after the attack on Iraq, the missing weapons of mass destruction, the missing Osama bin Laden, the war in Afghanistan that is far from over, the outing of a CIA agent by the Bush administration in an act of political revenge, and about two hundred other explosive stories did not get the attention that Michael Jackson is getting now.

One talking head just said, "I'm waiting for a white Bronco to pull up."

The other talking heads laughed and kept on going. A detailed discussion progressed about the tail numbers on Michael Jackson's plane, along with questions about how all this will affect Jackson's fans. We're approaching the two-hour mark in the coverage.

For a while we had the Petersons to obsess the mainstream television media. Then we had Kobe Bryant, and for a bit both stories ran concurrently with 'Breaking News' announcements throughout daily coverage. Neither managed to seize national attention, and so periodically CNN and the other networks were forced to mention that the fighting in Iraq is getting a lot of Americans killed, the promised weapons of mass destruction have not been found, and no one but Dick Cheney can say that Iraq was involved in September 11 without looking like a total blithering idiot.

And then, like a surgically enhanced cavalry charge, Michael Jackson blasts to the forefront to rescue the mainstream media from perhaps being required to cover matters of substance. The ability for these talking heads to natter on for weeks and weeks about Jackson, previous charges against him, his musical history, his personal oddities, his baby-dangling antics, and "Oh my goodness, what do we tell the children?" is pretty much bottomless, but we will spend the next several weeks, again, racing to that bottom as quickly as television signals can travel through a coaxial cable.

A black Bronco just left the airplane hangar, and is driving slowly, slowly to the police station. CNN is on it. CNN is all over it.

One of the shots on my television an hour ago showed a gaggle of reporters and cameras gathered outside the police station, waiting for Jackson to arrive. The talking head working the microphone at that moment mistakenly called those people "journalists." This is not journalism, and those people are not journalists. This is entertainment television passed off as news of import. This is more poison poured into our national discussion. This is the grand bull moose gold medal winning distraction of all time.

George W. Bush should send Michael Jackson flowers and a thank-you note, and send more flowers to CNN. The Republican Party effected an historic takeover of Congress in 1994, during a time when the only television coverage one could find focused on OJ Simpson. The timing was exquisite.

We're right back, today, to that marvelous chapter in American journalism history.

TV news viewers who think they are getting the hard truth from the mainstream media just forgot Bush exists, forgot the hundreds of thousands of protesters who have dogged his state visit to Britain, forgot the attacks in Iraq, forgot the dead soldiers, forgot September 11, forgot everything except a mutant in a Bronco who lives in a place called Neverland.

They just showed Jackson in handcuffs. The talking heads almost fainted. God bless America.

Rockets Slam Into Iraq Oil Ministry, Hotels

By Luke Baker and Andrew Hammond
November 21, 2003

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Guerrillas fired rockets from donkey carts on Friday into Iraq's Oil Ministry compound and two Baghdad hotels used by foreign contractors and journalists, in the latest strikes on targets linked to the U.S.-led occupation.

Iraqi police found a third cart loaded with 21 rockets near the Italian and Turkish embassies. A U.S. soldier said a fourth cart also carrying rockets had been found in the same area.

Flames and smoke belched from the Oil Ministry complex, which controls Iraq's most important industry, crucial for funding reconstruction after decades of conflict and sanctions.

Guests streamed out of the heavily fortified Sheraton and Palestine hotels, which face each other near the banks of the Tigris river, after rockets punched holes in their walls, scattering concrete and broken glass. [...]

The very secret service

David Kelly referred obliquely to Operation Rockingham. What role did this mysterious cell play in justifying the Iraq war?

Michael Meacher
The Guardian
Friday November 21, 2003

David Kelly, giving evidence to the prime minister's intelligence and security committee in closed session on July 16 - the day before his suicide - made a comment the significance of which has so far been missed. He said: "Within the defence intelligence services I liaise with the Rockingham cell." Unfortunately nobody on the committee followed up this lead, which is a pity because the Rockingham reference may turn out to be very important indeed.

What is the role of the Rockingham cell? The evidence comes from a former chief weapons inspector in Iraq, Scott Ritter, who had been a US military intelligence officer for eight years and served on the staff of General Schwarzkopf, the US commander of allied forces in the first Gulf war. He has described himself as a card-carrying Republican who voted for Bush, but he distinguished himself in insisting before the Iraq war, and was almost alone in doing so, that almost all of Iraq's WMD had been destroyed as a result of inspections, and the rest either used or destroyed in the first Gulf war. In terms, therefore, of proven accuracy of judgment and weight of experience of the workings of western military intelligence, he is a highly reliable source.

In an interview in the Scottish Sunday Herald in June, Ritter said: "Operation Rockingham [a unit set up by defence intelligence staff within the MoD in 1991] cherry-picked intelligence. It received hard data, but had a preordained outcome in mind. It only put forward a small percentage of the facts when most were ambiguous or noted no WMD... It became part of an effort to maintain a public mindset that Iraq was not in compliance with the inspections. They had to sustain the allegation that Iraq had WMD [when] Unscom was showing the opposite."

Rockingham was, in fact, a clearing house for intelligence, but one with a predetermined political purpose. According to Ritter, "Britain and America were involved [in the 1990s and up to 2003] in a programme of joint exploitation of intelligence from Iraqi defectors. There were mountains of information coming from these defectors, and Rockingham staff were receiving it and then selectively culling [picking out] reports that sustained the [WMD] claims. They ignored the vast majority of the data which mitigated against such claims." [...]

One of its tactics, which Ritter cites, is its leaking of false information to weapons inspectors, and then, when the search is fruitless, using that as "proof" of the weapons' existence. He quotes a case in 1993 when "Rockingham was the source of some very controversial information which led to inspections of a suspected ballistic missile site. We ... found nothing. However, our act of searching allowed the US and UK to say that the missiles existed."

A parallel exercise was set up by Donald Rumsfeld in the US, named the Office of Special Plans. The purpose of this intelligence agency was the provision of selective intelligence which met the demands of its political masters. Similarly, in the case of the UK, Ritter insists that Rockingham officers were acting on political orders "from the very highest levels". [...]

CIA releases 5 million pages of declassified records in 2003

www.chinaview.cn 2003-11-21 10:24:30

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 (Xinhuanet) -- The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) released more than 5 million pages of declassified records to the public in the 2003 fiscal year, which included such documents as intelligence policy files and translated summaries of foreign publications.

All the declassified records, including 1.5 million pages released on Sept. 30, the last day of fiscal 2003, in the form of digital images in a full-text searchable database called CREST, were made public at the National Archives facility in College Park, Maryland, the CIA said on Thursday.

[...] The CIA has in all released about 545,000 documents or 8.7 million pages in the CREST system, including Cold War finished intelligence documents, documents that chronicle major CIA programs such as the U-2 airborne system development and deployment, and translated summaries of foreign publications.

The intelligence agency has also made public thousands of reelsof motion picture film and millions of ground-level photographs ofvirtually every country in the world at the College Park facility.

Since its inception in 1995, the CIA Declassification Center has released some 27 million pages of formerly sensitive records.

Global Eye -- Gag Rule

By Chris Floyd

Although the "conquest" of Iraq has unraveled into murderous chaos, at least the Bush Regime is winning its ferocious battle against another dangerous foe: American soldiers who were captured -- and tortured -- by Saddam Hussein's forces in the first Gulf War.

The Bushists' relentless fight to block the American captives from receiving any compensation from Iraq has eerie echoes of a similar move, more than 50 years ago, to prevent American victims of Japanese torture from filing legal claims against their tormentors. The two cases seem tied by a common ulterior motive: protecting war booty used as slush funds for "black ops" and crony kickbacks.

The 1951 peace treaty "ending" the American post-war occupation of Japan (of course, U.S. troops are still there), contained a curious provision, devised in secret by U.S. envoys. It blocked almost all claims for reparations "arising out of any actions taken by Japan and its nationals in the course of the prosecution of the war." Considering that tens of millions of people were killed, robbed or forced into slave labor by Japanese forces, this shadowy codicil was generous indeed. Thus for half a century, American victims of Japan's slave labor program have had their claims to compensation stymied by their own government. Why such legal protection for indefensible evils? U.S. historian Chalmers Johnson tells the sorry tale in this week's London Review of Books.

As Japanese armies rampaged through Asia, they grabbed a staggering amount of loot from the conquered populations. New research reveals that Emperor Hirohito set up a secret organization, Golden Lily, to keep this swag under imperial control, dispatching family members to oversee the operation. Civilian slaves and POWs were used to build elaborate underground stashes throughout the conquered territories; when sites were completed, the workers -- and often the Japanese officers supervising them -- were buried alive with the treasure, to ensure secrecy.

After Japan surrendered in 1945, American forces found some of these hoards, worth billions of dollars. Washington decided to keep the finds secret; publicizing them would have destroyed the fiction at the heart of the American-installed post-war government: that the Emperor -- and most of the Japanese ruling elite -- had been nothing but powerless figureheads in the wartime regime.

Instead, Washington used the money to bankroll covert operations by the newly formed CIA: an untraceable slush fund, free of Congressional oversight, stashed under various fronts in 176 banks in 42 different countries. Over the years, the money helped the Agency overthrow governments, subvert elections, smuggle cash to despots like Saddam Hussein, arm terrorist paramilitaries in Latin America, establish its own venture capital funds to infiltrate the business world, and so on and sickeningly on. [...]

The Looting of Asia: Gold Warriors: America's Secret Recovery of Yamashita's Gold

by Sterling Seagrave and Peggy Seagrave | Verso, 332 pp, £17.00

Reviewed by Chalmers Johnson

[....] Most important, John Foster Dulles, President Truman's special envoy to Japan charged with ending the occupation, wrote the peace treaty of 1951 in such a way that most former POWs and civilian victims of Japan are prevented from obtaining any form of compensation from either the Japanese Government or private Japanese corporations who profited from their slave labour. He did so in perfect secrecy and forced the other Allies to accept his draft (except for China and Russia, which did not sign). Article 14(b) of the treaty, signed at San Francisco on 8 September 1951, specifies: 'Except as otherwise provided in the present Treaty, the Allied Powers waive all reparations claims of the Allied Powers, other claims of the Allied Powers and their nationals arising out of any actions taken by Japan and its nationals in the course of the prosecution of the war, and claims of the Allied Powers for direct military costs of occupation.' As recently as 25 September 2001, three former American Ambassadors to Japan - Thomas Foley, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Michael Armacost, the president of the Brookings Institution, and Walter Mondale, Carter's Vice-President - wrote a joint letter to the Washington Post denouncing Congress for its willingness even to think about helping former American slave labourers get around the treaty.

Why do these attitudes protecting and excusing Japan persist? Why has the US pursued such divergent policies towards postwar Germany and Japan? Why was the peace treaty written in the way it was? Many reasons have been offered over the years, including that Japan was too poor to pay, that these policies were necessary to keep postwar Japan from 'going Communist', and that the Emperor and Japanese people had been misled into war by a cabal of insane militarists, all of whom the occupation had eliminated from positions of responsibility. The explanation offered in the Seagraves' book is considerably more sinister. It concerns what the United States did with Japan's loot once it discovered how much of it there was, the form it took, and how little influence its original owners had.

Almost as soon as the war was over, American forces began to discover stupendous caches of Japanese war treasure. General MacArthur, in charge of the occupation, reported finding 'great hoards of gold, silver, precious stones, foreign postage stamps, engraving plates and . . . currency not legal in Japan'. His officials arrested the underworld boss Yoshio Kodama, who had worked in China during the war, selling opium and supervising the collection and shipment to Japan of industrial metals such as tungsten, titanium and platinum. Japan was by far the largest opium producer in Asia throughout the first half of the 20th century, initially in its colony of Korea and then in Manchuria, which it seized in 1931. Kodama supplied heroin and liquor to occupied China in return for gold coins, jewellery and objets d'art, which the Japanese melted down into ingots.

Kodama returned to Japan after the surrender immensely rich. Before going to prison he transferred part of his booty to the conservative politicians Ichiro Hatoyama and Ichiro Kono, who used the proceeds to finance the newly created Liberal Party, precursor of the party that has ruled Japan almost uninterruptedly since 1949. When Kodama was released from prison, also in 1949, he went to work for the CIA and later became the chief agent in Japan for the Lockheed Aircraft Company, bribing and blackmailing politicians to buy the Lockheed F-104 fighter and the L-1011 airbus. With his stolen wealth, underworld ties and history as a supporter of militarism, Kodama became one of the godfathers of pro-American single-party rule in Japan. [...]

War critics astonished as US hawk admits invasion was illegal

Oliver Burkeman and Julian Borger in Washington
Thursday November 20, 2003
The Guardian

International lawyers and anti-war campaigners reacted with astonishment yesterday after the influential Pentagon hawk Richard Perle conceded that the invasion of Iraq had been illegal.

In a startling break with the official White House and Downing Street lines, Mr Perle told an audience in London: "I think in this case international law stood in the way of doing the right thing."

President George Bush has consistently argued that the war was legal either because of existing UN security council resolutions on Iraq - also the British government's publicly stated view - or as an act of self-defence permitted by international law. [...]

Comment: Lets take a look at this criminal: As Jeff Koopersmith notes in his article, Richard Perle: Dead Man Walking "Don't hold you breath waiting for Republican Senator John Warner, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to convene hearings into the conduct of Bush's Iraq-War-architect-cum-industrialist Richard Perle and examine his accountability for unethical conduct as Chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board."

Jeff asks the question, "Who is Richard Perle, anyway?" and provides some of the answers. We will quote a few:

• Perle is the current Chairman of the Defense Policy Board, a group of eighteen civilians who advise the Pentagon and more or less represent the White House. High ranking officers within the Pentagon are rumored to call Perle "The Bomber" because of his predilection to go to war at the drop of a hat.
• Perle is also a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute - a hard-line right wing "think tank".
• Perle is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Foundation for Defense of Democracy (FDD) -- a right wing pro-Israel group that conducts "research" and "educates" various audiences on international terrorism. Perle shares his place on the FDD board with such luminaries as Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, and Gary Bauer, all of whom are well known for their adamant ultraconservative viewpoints (and, in the case of Bauer, a walking argument for psychiatric evaluation).
• Perle is also a board member of the Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs (JINSA).
• Perle is a former chairman and chief executive officer of Hollinger Digital, Inc., the media management and investment arm of Hollinger International, a company that publishes newspapers (including both London's Telegraph newspapers and the Jerusalem Post) -- and much, much more.
• Perle is a former director of Jerusalem Post.
• Perle was a former assistant secretary of defense for international security policy in the Regan Administration.

Jeff then points out the current scandals Perle is embroiled in, yet this criminal still strolls about the world delivering pro-war speeches:

[...] The reader should also note that Richard Perle was purportedly investigated in the 1980s for possible ties to the Israeli espionage case involving Jonathan Jay Pollard via an FBI summary of a 1970 wiretap which some say recorded Perle discussing classified information with someone inside the Israeli embassy.

He came under fire again in 1983 when newspapers reported he received substantial payments to represent the interests of an Israeli weapons company. Perle denied this was a conflict of interest, insisting that although he received payment for these services after he had assumed his position in the Defense Department, he was between government jobs when he worked for the Israeli firm.

Then came this week's revelation.

It seems that Perle is vamping for bankrupt Global Crossing -- a snake oil firm that now wants to be bought by the Communist Chinese. This has the moderate and liberal crowd seething. No fewer than 16 big city newspapers have called either for Perle's resignation from the Defense Policy Board or a congressional investigation. [...]

Someone like this criminal has little use for international law, unless they want to twist it to do Mossad's bidding and bomb Iran or Syria. Have no doubt, the war for peace will be expanded.

Bleak Outlook for U.S. in Iraq Says Blix

11/20/2003 21:38

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - "There's a hatred against the United States and you have 130,000 American troops sitting there as a big target," said Hans Blix as he leaned forward to make his point about the future of Iraq and its military occupation.

"The borders, although guarded, are not watertight. Weapons of mass destruction may not be there but conventional weapons are and the U.S. does not have the capacity to guard it all," Blix added. "The outlook is bad."

His time over as chief U.N. weapons inspector, he has a bone to pick with those who took the United States and Britain to war with Iraq on claims that Baghdad could wage quick and terrible destruction.

"This was the basis upon which the war was sold and justified and today I think no one would say Iraq constituted a danger in the Spring of 2003," said the 75-year-old Swede.

Sitting in the Stockholm flat where he has lived for more than 30 years between assignments, Blix now watches Iraq and the Middle East from the sidelines. But he gives notice that far from disappearing into history as a footnote, his voice will continue to be heard.

First there is a book he is writing, to be called "Weapons of Mass Destruction," which he says will exhume issues and facts that some might prefer to remain buried.

Then there is a new commission against weapons of mass destruction -- paid for by Sweden and supported by international think-tanks -- he is putting together and heading. [...]

He also says the Americans are wrong to assume that Iran used a civilian energy program to develop a nuclear bomb -- another point of tension with several European countries.

Blix says his new international commission on weapons of mass destruction, announced by Sweden in July, is close to being formed and among the participants will be a leading but as yet unidentified American. The commission will report its findings in 2005 -- but don't expect Blix to be silent in the meantime.

MYSTERY SURROUNDS DEATH OF STATE DEPT. OFFICIAL

by Wayne Madsen
From The Wilderness
November 20, 2003

WASHINGTON -- In a case eerily reminiscent of the death of British Ministry of Defense bio-weapons expert, Dr. David Kelly, an official of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research Near East and South Asian division (INR/NESA), John J. Kokal, 58, was found dead in the late afternoon of November 7. Police indicated he may have jumped from the roof of the State Department. Kokal's body was found at the bottom of a 20 foot window well, 8 floors below the roof of the State Department headquarters near the 23rd and D Street location. Kokal's death was briefly mentioned in a FOX News website story on November 8 but has been virtually overlooked by the major media.

Interestingly, the FOX report states that State Department officials confirmed Kokal's death to The Washington Post yet the Post - according to an archive search - has published nothing at all about Kokal's death.

Kokal's INR bureau was at the forefront of confronting claims that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. Washington police have not ruled out homicide as the cause of his death. Kokal was not wearing either a jacket or shoes when his body was found. He lived in Arlington, Virginia.

However, a colleague of Kokal's told this writer that the Iraq analyst was despondent over "problems" with his security clearance. Kokal reportedly climbed out of a window and threw himself out in such a manner so that he would "land on his head." At the time Kokal fell from either the roof or a window, his wife Pamela, a public affairs specialist in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, was waiting for him in the parking garage. Mrs. Kokal had previously worked in Consular Affairs where she was involved in the stricter vetting of visa applicants from mainly Muslim countries after the Sept. 11 attacks.

State Department officials dispute official State Department communiqués that said Kokal was not an analyst at INR. People who know Kokal told the French publication Geopolitique that Kokal was involved in the analysis of intelligence about Iraq prior to and during the war against Saddam Hussein.

Another INR official, weapons expert Greg Thielmann, said he and INR were largely ignored by Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton and his deputy, David Wurmser, a pro-Likud neo-conservative who recently became Vice President Dick Cheney's Middle East adviser. Kokal's former boss, the recently retired chief of INR, Carl W. Ford, recently said that Bolton often exaggerated information to steer people in the wrong directions.

A former INR employee revealed that some one-third to one-half of INR officials are either former intelligence agents with the CIA or are detailed from the agency. He also revealed it would have been impossible for Kokal to have gained entry to the roof on his own. INR occupies both a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) on the sixth floor that has no windows and a windowless structure on the roof that has neither windows nor access to the roof, according to the former official. The other windows at the State Department have been engineered to be shatter proof from terrorist bomb attacks and cannot be opened.

INR and other State Department officials report that a "chill" has set in at the State Department following Kokal's defenestration. A number of employees are afraid to talk about the suspicious death. It also unusual that The Northern Virginia Journal, a local Arlington newspaper, has not published an obituary notice on Kokal.

Comment: The truth of what really happened to Kokal is so patently obvious that to even comment on who is responsible would likely insult the intelligence of our readers. Such is the nature of the world we live in.

US hid vital war data from allies

By Marian Wilkinson, United States Correspondent
The Age
November 21, 2003

Australian officers were denied access to critical US intelligence during the Iraq war, potentially putting their lives at risk, under a policy described by a senior US Air Force intelligence officer as "damn silly".

Australian and British officers were sometimes asked to leave the room during US intelligence briefings, even though some of the information came from Australian and British intelligence services, a conference in Washington was told this week.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, at a joint news conference with Australian Defence Minister Robert Hill on Wednesday, conceded there was a problem but it was being fixed. [...]

Official warns anti-U.S. mood is growing

11/20/2003

PULLACH, Germany (AP) — Anti-American and anti-Western sentiment is growing out of anger at the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Germany's foreign spy chief said Thursday.

August Hanning, head of the Federal Intelligence Service, said the U.S. occupation of Iraq has become a new rallying point for a resurgent al-Qaeda.

"Successes on the military front alone will not lead to a solution," Hanning said in a speech to a conference on the Middle East in Pullach, near Munich, where his agency is based.

"We are in the process of losing the battle for people's minds." [...]

Australian PM stunned by Turkey bombings, slams London protestors

AFP
Friday November 21, 11:17 AM


Australian Prime Minister John Howard said he was horrified by the latest Istanbul bomb attacks and lashed out at "perverse" anti-US protestors in London for not demonstrating against terrorism.

As Australia warned its citizens to avoid Turkey, Howard said he was stunned by the images of devastation from the two huge bomb attacks that killed at least 27 people and injured 450 in Istanbul.

"It's another example of the murderous, indiscriminate character of terrorism," he told commercial radio.

Howard said he was struck by the events in Turkey and the massive protest by more than 100,000 people in London against a state visit to Britain by US President George W. Bush.

"It struck me as rather perverse," he said. "They have a right to do so, but I have a right to question why they don't pour their bile and energy of demonstration into an attack on those people who are responsible for perpetrating these things." [...]

Comment: They are attacking "those people" who are responsible for perpetrating terrorism.

Everywhere is a target now, says Straw

Ananova.com
08:16 Friday 21st November 2003

The "ruthless fanatics" who killed 27 people in Istanbul can target anywhere in the world, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has warned.

As he visited the scene of one of the suicide bomb blasts that struck the Turkish city, Mr Straw said the blasts looked like being the work of al Qaida "associates".

"I'm afraid to say that with these ruthless fanatics who we now face, everywhere is a target. [...]

Speaking from the bomb site, he said: "This is an attack on civilisation, it is indiscriminate." [...]

Protesters cheer as Bush effigy is toppled

Thousands of anti-war protesters have cheered as an effigy of George Bush was toppled as part of a huge demonstration against his controversial visit to the UK.

As Mr Bush was entertained in Buckingham Palace, a few hundred yards away in London's Trafalgar Square a papier-mache statue was dragged to the ground by anti-Bush protesters.

The bronze-colour statue was meant to recreate the moment Saddam Hussein's bronze statue was toppled over in Baghdad earlier this year.

The Stop The War Coalition has claimed up to 200,000 people from across the UK joined the protest, making it the biggest weekday demonstration ever held in this country.

Schoolchildren, students, pensioners and workers were joining the start of the march near Euston Station more than three hours after it set off.

Marchers carried banners accusing President Bush of being a war criminal, while others blew whistles and horns, chanted anti-war slogans or wore unflattering masks of the Prime Minister or the President.

Frontman for music group Blur, Damon Albarn, joined the 350,000 anti-Bush protestors in london yesterday

Peace protest paralyses London

By Arthur Neslen
Friday 21 November 2003


Popular anger at the occupation of Iraq spilled into the heart of London on Thursday, as hundreds of thousands of people protested in what organisers said was the largest ever weekday demonstration in British history.

Police estimated the numbers marching at 110,000. But Chris Nineham, a spokesman for the Stop the War Coalition, said that 350,000 had joined the protest.

"We've shown the warmongers that far from disappearing, we're still growing," he said, "and we'll stay on the streets until we win".

The anti-war MP Alice Mahon said she thought a quarter of a million had taken part. "I've lived through the Vietnam demonstrations, the protests against Thatcher and the Poll Tax," she told Aljazeera.net, "and this is one of the biggest I've ever seen.”

Prince Charles: ''American policy on the Middle East is complete madness''

19-11-2003

Prince Charles has not been to the US for the last six years on the advice of the British Foreign Office, The Guardian newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The Prince of Wales has strong pro-Palestinian views and is privately critical of US policy in the Middle East conflict, according to the report.

British diplomats fear that Prince Charles's views might have created embarrassment on a visit to Washington.

A source, who is familiar with the discussions over possible visits by the Prince of Wales to the US, said: "It [concern over Charles travelling to the US] revolves around the perception that the Prince of Wales is fairly Arabist. He has, in American terms and international terms, fairly dodgy views on Israel.

"He thinks American policy on the Middle East is complete madness and he used to express that quite loudly to a lot of people, including ministers and various ambassadors."

The source added: "The system basically thinks that he is unsound on America and he has not really wanted to go anyway. He doesn't much like American culture."

Comment: Puts the recent Charles-bashing in the media in a different light. Or does it? When you are dealing with enigmas wrapped in mysteries shrouded by millennial conspiracies, there are no easy answers.

Ayoon wa Azan (Nakba, Disaster, Tragedy And Catastrophe)

Jihad Al Khazen Al-Hayat 2003/11/20

I have kept for many years a file on Conrad Black, the publisher of Daily Telegraph, and his wife, the Likudist journalist Barbara Amiel. I started with it the day I read an interview conducted by the friend of Ariel Sharon with our friend, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi. We all thought that peace would come soon after the Oslo Accords, and we were preparing for it. I realized that instead of holding Hanan Ashrawi accountable for her comments, Amiel was talking about she was thinking or the harsh look in her eyes.

I couldn't pretend to be sorry for the fall of Black. On the contrary, I admit I was pleased when I heard he gave up his post as executive manager of the Hollinger Group, which is the company that owns the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Telegraph, Jerusalem Post as well as the Spectator, and other publications distributed over three continents.

Plane diverts after note threat

Associated Press
10:37 Friday 21st November 2003

A plane bound for London returned to New York early today after a flight attendant found a threatening note on a seat in the aircraft.

Virgin Atlantic Flight 10 departed from Kennedy Airport but returned just over an hour into the flight.

Darrin Kayser, a spokesman for the federal Transportation Security Administration, said he did not have information about the contents of the note or whether any arrests were made.

The FBI is investigating the incident.

More than 250 passengers aboard the plane were evacuated and rescreened, Kayser said.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, conducted a search of the aircraft using sniffer dogs.

Dozens of Demonstrators Arrested in Miami

By KEN THOMAS

MIAMI (AP)--Police in riot gear fired rubber bullets and tear gas and used batons, plastic shields, concussion grenades and stun guns in clashes Thursday with hundreds of demonstrators protesting talks aimed at creating a hemisphere-wide free-trade zone.

At least 36 demonstrators were arrested on charges including aggravated assault, unlawful assembly, resisting arrest, trespassing and burglary.

Police said two officers suffered minor injuries. At least three demonstrators were treated at a hospital for minor injuries.
The clashes took place before and after a march by 8,000 to 10,000 union members.

Officials from 34 nations are taking part in the Free Trade Area of the Americas talks in Miami this week. The goal is to reduce or eliminate trade barriers everywhere in the Western Hemisphere except Cuba. [...]

Comment: Welcome to the Police State. More photos here.

FBI Bullet Analyses Flawed, Imprecise

By JOHN SOLOMON, Associated Press Writer
November 21, 2003

WASHINGTON - In a finding that could affect thousands of criminal cases, the National Academy of Sciences has concluded that some techniques the FBI has used for decades to match bullets to crimes are flawed or imprecise.

The study, expected to be released in the next few weeks, makes about a half-dozen recommendations to improve the FBI lab's science used to match bullets through their lead content. [...]

Court limits in-car FBI spying

By Kevin Poulsen
SecurityFocus

An appeals court this week put the brakes on an FBI surveillance technique that turns an automobile driver's on-board vehicle navigation system into a covert eavesdropping device, after finding that the spying effectively disables the system's emergency and roadside assistance features. [...]

Many legitimate requests for public documents denied (USA)

By JIM LEE
The Capital

A test of state agencies has revealed that people seeking public records have about a 60 percent chance of getting what they are legally entitled to and often face improper questioning. [...]

G.O.P. to Run an Ad for Bush on Terror Issue

By JIM RUTENBERG
The New York Times
November 21, 2003

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 — After months of sustained attacks against President Bush in Democratic primary debates and commercials, the Republican Party is responding this week with its first advertisement of the presidential race, portraying Mr. Bush as fighting terrorism while his potential challengers try to undermine him with their sniping.

The new commercial gives the first hint of the themes Mr. Bush's campaign is likely to press in its early days. It shows Mr. Bush, during the last State of the Union address, warning of continued threats to the nation: "Our war against terror is a contest of will, in which perseverance is power," he says after the screen flashes the words, "Some are now attacking the president for attacking the terrorists." [...]

Israel's cheque to shot student's family bounces

By Inigo Gilmore in Jerusalem and Nicola Woolcock
The Telegraph

A cheque sent by Israel's ambassador to compensate the family of a student shot in the head by the country's defence force has bounced, his relatives said last night.

The £8,370 payment was promised to the family of Tom Hurndall to cover the cost of his repatriation to Britain.
But a day after depositing the cheque, his parents received a letter from their bank, saying it had been rejected because of insufficient funds in the Bank of Israel account.

Mr Hurndall, 22, has remained in a persistent vegetative state since being shot by an Israeli soldier while protecting children in the Gaza Strip seven months ago. He is in a hospital in Putney, south-west London. [...]

Comment: We discovered the site Jews for Justice for Palestinians, while browsing the site for the Tom Hurndall fund, after noting they had made a donation to help cover the costs to Tom's family. The Wall Defeats the Roadmap: A Guide to the Wall and its implications With background material, statistics, maps, and readings is online for free or hardcopy purchase.

The groups purpose is for, "lobbying for Israeli withdrawal to the pre-June 1967 borders and settlement withdrawal in order to establish a viable, contiguous Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, fair sharing of sovereignty in Jerusalem and fair settlement of refugee problem, as the only basis for a just and sustainable peace." Of course, one rarely finds such people with these kinds of ideas in the mass media, which makes us suspect that we are supposed to consider all Jewish people to be of one mind. One could conclude that the Jewish people are being set up once again, but not like all those who are crying anti-Semitism think or say they think, as they attempt to whip up a frenzy of fear.

Anti-Semitism is a ridiculous response by those who are conditioned to viewing the world in black and white. We prefer paying attention to the real, more complex reality. Which means one can criticize Israel, Zionist policies and even the Judeo religion and not be anti-Semitic. Just like we can criticize the Bush Reich, examine Christianity and get upset that the majority of Americans refuse to see the swiftly approaching, complete police state and not be unAmerican, or whatever other term that has been made up for propaganda purposes.

Anatomy of a News Report on Palestine

by Les Blough
19-11-2003

The following analysis examines a typical news report on Palestine by the corporate media. In the report, a Reuters reporter, Eli Berelzon, writes a story of a Palestinian soldier attacking the Israeli army and killing two Israeli soldiers. It is a story of what appears to be a successful Palestinian military operation against the Israeli Army ... but it’s not presented that way - not at all. You may think, “But Eli only reported the facts!”. Ah, but how were they presented?

“It’s not enough for journalists to see themselves as mere messengers without understanding the hidden agendas of the message and the myths that surround it” - John Pilger.

Report on truce by mid-December denied; Israel to accept only US involvement in implementing road map

20-11-2003,13 :44

Palestinian factions agreed to attend a truce conference in Cairo in 12 days, officials said Thursday.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei, who took office last week, has made a cease-fire a top priority.

Qurei said the Cairo truce talks would start Dec.2 , and representatives of all 13 factions are invited. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other groups have already said they would attend. Nafez Azzam, an Islamic Jihad leader, said the group "will deal positively with any ideas that will serve the interests of our people," The AP reported.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad denied an Israeli report that a cease-fire would go into effect by Dec.15 .

Meanwhile, the Israeli Prime Minister office issued a statement Thursday saying that Israel would accept only United States involvement in implementing the road map.

The statement came the day after the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to formally adopt the road map as a means of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The New Israeli Geography Erasing History Of Villages

Saeda Hamad Al-Hayat 2003/11/21

According to the new Israeli geography, the village of Azoon Atmeh in the district of Qalqilia is no longer part of the occupied Palestinian West Bank. The separation wall has 'moved' it westward, locking it between an iron gate and the fictional Green line. And yet, according to Israel's plan, the village itself and its 3,000 inhabitants will not be part of the state of Israel.

To enter the Palestinian village, one must come from within the Green line, where Palestinians who do not reside in the village are forbidden to cross the iron gate to the West Bank and enter it. The village inhabitants are allowed to cross the military gate toward neighboring villages, but only during the hours set by the soldiers. The scene is all the more surprising because Israelis describe the wall as a security wall, but in the village and around its houses, there are houses of the Jewish settlement of Shaar, which are only separated from the Palestinian houses by a fence. The village is just a few meters away from the village of Kfer Qasem, and there is no material separation between the village and the Green line after the military barrack was removed, leaving only an Israeli military patrol to control the passing cars.

[...] The Israeli wall that isolated the village from the rest of the West Bank is not as dangerous as the 'maps' Israeli forces distributed about the fence that would encircle the village and transform it into a huge prison, the people would carry out new identities that are not Eastern nor Western, not Palestinian nor Israeli.

According to the map, those people would lose the majority of their agricultural land. They would be totally destroyed. They would suffer hunger, unemployment and poverty. The people know that the Israelis do not care about the security issue; they only want to take over the most fertile lands in the West Bank.

What's New In Anti-Semitism?

Azmi Bishara Al-Hayat 2003/11/20

[...] Mixing the Jews with the Zionists is what Israel wants in order to justify why it is not differentiating between criticizing Zionism and anti-Semitism. Criticizing oneself is not contradictory to these truths: 1- anti-Semitism is a European phenomenon that led to the Nazi holocaust. 2- The widest spread form of racism in the Western countries is the hostility to Arabs and Muslims and not anti-Semitism. 3- Not all who are anti-Semitic are anti-Israel for some of them deal with it and consider it as a model of a militarily cultured nation. 4- The Western political and ideological traditions that opposed anti-Semitism and called for equality are today criticizing Israel and its occupation. The Israeli propaganda is hostile to many trends that refuse the anti-Semitism.

Hence, Israel chooses the people it wants to punish for anti-Semitism according to its interests, and it accuses others of anti-Semitism while it has no proof at all they are. [...]

Many organizations in the world were established to account those who are anti-Semitic. Ever since the majority of the organized Jewish Diasporas in the world were united in solidarity with Israel, there is a trend to transform every criticism against Israel into a form of anti-Semitism.

This is one of the reasons why the Palestinian issue is complicated. Israel complains about the international concern with the Palestinian issue. The truth is that the international concern with the Palestinian issue should be seized by Palestinians through a liberation and democratic speech even though anti-Semitism. In fact, any solidarity step toward the Palestinians should be accompanied with compensation to Israel or else, it would be accused of anti-Semitism.

The Palestinian issue was born from the international concern ever since the Balfour promise. Without it, there wouldn't be a Palestinian cause or it would have been settled a long time ago just like any other colonial cause. However, the Palestinian cause was born specifically when other people took their independence and was even more aggravated when other issues wee settled. Hence, the Palestinian people are not to be envied for the international concern.

It is no longer possible to separate these two issues and set away the international concern. We only hope we can. The pivotal question is how to deal with it in a way that refuses anti-Semitism as a source to prove the justice of the Palestinian cause and refuses as well Israel's attempt to use anti-Semitism to silence any voice raised against Israel and its practices and refuses to liberate it from racism.

Patrick Seale: Sharon has ignited the fire of anti-Semitism

| Special to Gulf News | 21-11-2003

Is a new wave of anti-Semitism sweeping the world? Are Jews once again in danger of becoming the targets of irrational hate and persecution as they were under the Nazis? Is the deadly virus which caused the Holocaust – that unfathomable and eternal stain on the conscience and history of Europe – beginning to reappear?

[...] But are Jews today truly facing anti-Semitism – that is to say hatred of Jews because they are Jews – or is it something else? Is it not rather a response – highly critical in the case of Europeans, enraged and vengeful on the part of many Arabs and Muslims – to the violence which Sharon is daily inflicting on Palestinians?

The equation is simple: Sharon kills Palestinians, seizes their land, demolishes their houses, imprisons them behind walls; so, unable to hit back at Israel, Muslims vent their anger on Jews. It cannot be said often enough that criticising and opposing Israeli policies must not be confused with anti-Semitism. It is not what Israel is but what Israel does which is the source of the problem, a distinction recognised by many peace-loving Israelis who complain that Sharon is exploiting the bogey of anti-Semitism to cloak his anti-Arab actions.

Zionists Do Not Represent Jews

November 15, 2003

From the inception of the Zionist State and particularly in recent times, the impression has been created in the World that there is some connection between the State, which falsely calls itself Israel, and the Jewish people as a whole. Therefore, we who continue to uphold the never-changing tradition of the Jewish people find it proper to again clarify the following points:

A Jew is one who remains faithful to the laws of the Jewish religion, that is, the Holy Torah and its commandments.

The Jewish people became a people before they had their own land, and continued to exist as a people also after they went Into exile, because our very peoplehood is based exclusively on the Torah.

The Holy Land was given to the Jewish people on the condition that they observe the Torah and its commandments. When they failed to do this, their sovereignty over the land was taken from them, and they went into exile. From that time, we are prohibited by the Torah with a very grave prohibition to establish a Jewish independent sovereignty in the Holy Land or anywhere throughout the world. Rather, we are obligated to be loyal to the nations under whose protection we dwell.

This situation has existed for close to 2000 years when the Jewish people were dispersed throughout all corners of the world. During this time, the Jews always remained faithful to the country in which they lived.

The Jewish people are grateful to all those merciful nations which have allowed them to observe Torah and the commandments undisturbed.

From ancient times, the relations between the Jewish and Islamic peoples have always been those of peace and brotherhood, and friendship always reigned between them. The proof of this is the fact that for centuries, in all the Arab lands, hundreds of thousands of Jews lived in honor and amidst mutual esteem.

Jews throughout all generations yearned to grace the sacred soil of the Holy Land and to live there. However, their sole purpose was to fulfill the commandments dependent upon the land and to absorb Its holiness. Never, G-d forbid, did they have any nationalist or sovereign intent whatsoever which, as mentioned above, is forbidden to us. Indeed, also here in the Holy Land, our fathers lived in neighborly harmony with the Palestinian residents of the land, helping one another, to mutual benefit.

Until about two hundred years ago, the vast majority of Jews observed the Torah and the commandments in entirety. Jewry's leaders were Torah scholars, who directed the people according to the Torah. They were loyal citizens in the host nations where they dwelled and to the local laws. They prayed for the welfare of their respective governments. To our sorrow, at that time a small number of Jews slowly left their observance of Torah and commandments. Together with this, they began to deride the spiritual leadership of their people. This assimilation was the basis upon which, one hundred years ago, the ideology of Zionism was born. Its founders were assimilated Jews who had abandoned the Torah.

Immediately at the founding of the Zionist movement, masses of Jews under the leadership of their Rabbis, launched a heavy battle against Zionism. Their attack was directed not only at the non-religious Zionist idea, but rather, primarily at its opposition to the Torah-ordained path that Jewry must follow while in exile. As such, the Zionists incited the nations of the world, demanding political sovereignty over the Holy Land while remaining oblivious to the resentment this would arouse In the Palestinian Arabs, the land's veteran inhabitants. As stated, the leaders of Orthodox Jewry vehemently opposed the movement with all force. [...]

The Zionists have no right of any sovereignty over even one inch of the Holy Land. They do not represent the Jewish people in any way whatsoever. They have no right to speak in the name of the Jewish people. Therefore, their words, declarations and actions are not in any way representative of the Jewish people. This is because the Zionists' seizing of power over the Holy Land is antithetical to Jewish law, and also because the Zionists do not behave like Jews at all rather, they desecrate the sanctity of the land.

We once again clarify that it is our desire to live in peace with our Arab and Palestinian neighbors, as we did before the Zionist revolution, and as Jews all over the world till today live, accepting the yoke of rulership of their host nation, with complete loyalty. Our sole desire is to serve our G-d and to fulfill His commandments with a perfect heart and to delight in the radiance of the sanctity of the Land.

Arab Perspective: Synagogue bombings will only serve Israeli interests

| By Dr Marwan Asmar | 21-11-2003

In its editorial, Al Sharq (Qatar) [...] goes on to point out the attacks in Istanbul, which killed and injured 277, will only increase cooperation between Turkey and Israel in the field of security, and maybe lead to a harsher Turkish stand with regard to Iraq.

[...] The killing of Jews and the bombing of the synagogues in Turkey will only serve the interests of Israel and those against Arabs and Muslims, says Ahmed Al Rub'ie in Ashraq Al Awsat (UK-based). The explosions are a present to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the Zionist media machine to refocus public attention away from the atrocities by Israel and its policy of colonisation against the Palestinians, he adds.

Several arrested for Istanbul bomb attacks

By FT Reporters
Published: November 20 2003 9:33 | Last Updated: November 21 2003 9:04

Abdullah Gul, Turkish foreign minister, on Friday confirmed there had been "some arrests" in connection with the deadly bomb attacks on British targets in Istanbul, but declined to specify the exact number of people involved or whether the bombers had been identified.

"Some people have been arrested but it is too early to give information about them," Mr Gul told a joint press conference with Jack Straw, UK foreign secretary.

Turkish daily Hurriyet reported that police had arrested seven people in connection with the attacks, which struck just as Tony Blair met President George W. Bush in London to reaffirm their alliance against international terrorism.

Bomb attacks aimed more at Britain than Turkey

By Roula Khalaf in London and Mark Huband
Published: November 20 2003 21:27 | Last Updated: November 20 2003 23:02

When a speaker purporting to be Osama bin Laden last month called for an intensification of the jihad, or holy war, against the US, Britain and all who assisted in the Iraq occupation, security analysts predicted a new wave of terror.

Just as a message from the al-Qaeda chief in April provoked assaults in Saudi Arabia and Morocco the following month, his latest audio tape, broadcast on pan-Arab al-Jazeera television on October 18, appears to have unleashed a series of deadly strikes.

It started with the bombing of a mostly Arab housing compound in Riyadh, the Saudi capital. Then terrorists struck in Turkey at two synagogues in Istanbul on Saturday and at British targets on Thursday.

Hasan Quni, professor of international politics at Ankara University, sai Thursday's bombings were directed more at the UK than Turkey. "This is a sort of an answer to [President George W.] Bush's visit to Britain," he said.

UK to fight against terrorism with Turkey: Straw

www.chinaview.cn 2003-11-21 17:16:12

ANKARA, Nov. 21 (Xinhuanet) -- Visiting British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Friday his country will continue to fight terrorism together with Turkey following Thursday's deadly blasts inIstanbul, killing at least 27 people and wounding over 450.

At a joint press conference held in Istanbul with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, Straw said Turkey has been chosen as a target by terrorists because of its democracy progress, stressing the civilized world is now facing global terror threat.

The British foreign secretary also said at the conference that his country is willing and determined to see Turkey to become a full member of the European Union as soon as possible.

Earlier, Straw said that devastating bombings in Istanbul would strengthen rather than harm Turkey's prospects of joining the European Union while touring sites of the Thursday's blasts with Gul.

"Far from this hurting Turkey's application to join the European Union, it will increase the determination of all of us to see Turkey a full member of the European Union."

Congressman Dennis Kucinich Takes on Voting Fraud

Congress OKs testing drugs in children

By Marilyn Elias, USA TODAY
Thu Nov 20

Congress on Wednesday passed a landmark bill giving the Food and Drug Administration the authority to require drug manufacturers to test new medicines in children.

The bill also gives the agency the power to require testing of older drugs widely prescribed to kids if companies don't do the studies voluntarily.

More than half of medicines taken by children have not been tested in them for safety and effectiveness, said Dianne Murphy, director of pediatric drug development at the FDA. The drugs often are prescribed "off-label," which allows medicine to be given to children if it's safe for adults. But researchers have long warned that younger bodies react to drugs differently. [...]

Court gag on Palace 'foot in the door man'

By Joshua Rozenberg, Legal Editor
The Telegraph

The Queen was granted a High Court injunction last night to prevent publication of any further disclosures by a reporter who obtained a job in the Royal Household. [...]

Granting the injunction, at least until next Monday, Mr Justice Lewison said there was a "real prospect" that the Queen would succeed in her application for a permanent order preventing Parry from revealing any more information obtained during his two months' as a footman. A similar claim succeeded in 1990. [...]

Comment: Some of the most shocking revelations are about the Queen's tacky decor apparently. The Royal Family are losing that air of mystery and looking more and more like tacky hoodlums.

Russia insists on resuming weapons inspection in Iraq

www.chinaview.cn 2003-11-21

MOSCOW, Nov. 21 (Xinhuanet) -- Russia reiterated Friday that the UN weapon inspectors should return to Iraq to restart the search for the weapons of mass destruction, stressing a definitive conclusion can only be made after they have completed their mission.

"It is necessary to make a decision on issues relating to Iraqiweapons of mass destruction," Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotovsaid in an interview with Interfax.

"This can be done with the help of mechanisms established by the UN Security Council, in particular, through the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC)," he said.

IAEA fails to agree on resolution over Iran's nuclear

www.chinaview.cn 2003

VIENNA, Nov. 20 (Xinhuanet) -- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) failed to reach consensus on a resolution drafted by Germany, France and Britain on Iran's nuclear on the first day of the IAEA Board of Governors conference Thursday.

The United States insisted on accusing Iran of "breaches" of its safeguard obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), while the revised version of the draft resolution by Germany, France and Britain didn't meet the US demand, which resulted in little progress on the first-day agenda of Iran's nuclear issue.

According to an Austrian diplomat, most of the board members agreed to criticize Iran's concealment of its atomic program, but did not hope to see the issue being taken to the United Nations, for fear of making Iran give up collaboration with the IAEA.

US accuses Iran of trying to make nuclear weapons

21/11/2003

The United States accused Iran of trying to make nuclear weapons in harsh comments at a key UN atomic agency meeting today.

It reflected the split between Washington and key European nations about how far to go in censuring Tehran for its past activities.

Unable to bridge that rift, delegates at a board of governors’ meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna decided to adjourn their dispute until next week in hopes of finding a compromise that bridged the transatlantic divide.

IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said the meeting would reconvene on Wednesday.

That, she said, would give a chance for high-level negotiations to continue in the capitals of the 35 board members.

The move follows failure by delegates to reconcile US wishes for strong censure of Iran’s past covert nuclear activities and European hopes of encouraging Tehran’s new-found openness by refraining from overtly harsh language or any formulation that would result in Security Council involvement.

Addressing delegates, US Ambassador Kenneth Brill assailed Iran for “violations and lies” that stretched over 18 years, including enriching uranium, processing small amounts of plutonium and other activities that Washington says point to a weapons agenda.

Comment: We hope are readers are getting this. The US is accusing Iran of trying IN THE PAST to make nuclear weapons. We have heard some obtuse, obnoxious and arrogant statements in our time, but this one is up there with the worst of them. Remember, "war is peace" killing innocent people, suspending the constitution, faking terror attacks, are all necessary for your safety.

Russia Surfaces in IAEA's Probe of Iran

By George Jahn
The Associated Press

VIENNA, Austria -- The International Atomic Energy Agency has identified Russia, China and Pakistan as probable suppliers of some of the technology Iran used to enrich uranium in its suspect nuclear programs, diplomats said Thursday.

The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity as a key IAEA board meeting on how to react to Iran's nuclear activities adjourned until Friday.

While Iran has acknowledged nearly two decades of concealment, it has recently begun cooperating with the agency in response to international pressure.

The session's adjournment just hours after it started let delegates consult on the wording of a resolution that would satisfy both U.S. calls for strong condemnation of Iran's past coverups and European desires to keep Iran cooperating by focusing on its recent openness.

On Wednesday, Washington rejected a proposed European draft resolution that would urge Iran to continue cooperation with the agency but refrain from harshly condemning it for concealing parts of its nuclear program, saying it was prepared to opt for no resolution rather than a toothless one.

That "weak resolution is already history," said one diplomat, suggesting that a compromise resolution satisfying both sides was in the works.

Comment: Remember a year ago when the UN was debating what to do with Iraq? They passed a "compromise resolution" that was so weasel-worded that everyone could say they got what they wanted. Bush could argue that he didn't need to go back to the UN for a resolution permitting his invasion. Wanna bet they're gonna do the same thing again? The negotiators want a piece a paper they can take back to their political bosses that can be waved in front of their populations to say, "Look, we got what we wanted." None of them care about the Iranians or the Iraqis or the Afghans or any of us...

Egypt's Mubarak down with 'flu'

The Egyptian president has cancelled an important public appearance on grounds of "severe flu and fever".

The cancellation came a day after Hosni Mubarak, 75, stopped in the middle of a keynote televised address and walked out for 40 minutes.

State TV said that Mr Mubarak, who is the West's key ally in the Arab world, had "suffered a health crisis".

25 injured in mosque blast in western India

www.chinaview.cn 2003-11-21 19:39:16

NEW DELHI, Nov. 21 (Xinhuanet) -- At least 25 people were injured when a bomb ripped through a mosque at Parbhani in Marathwada region of Maharashtra state on Friday, Minister of State for Home Kripashankar Singh said in Bumbai.

Georgia Confirms Validity of Vote

By Misha Dzhindzhikhashvili
The Associated Press

Georgian Interior Ministry troops guarding the headquarters of the Central Elections Commission in Tbilisi on Thursday.

TBILISI, Georgia -- Georgia's election commission on Thursday confirmed the validity of the country's parliamentary elections, putting the party supporting President Eduard Shevardnadze in first place and shrugging off the opposition's claim that the vote was rigged.

The pro-Shevardnadze For a New Georgia bloc came in first with 21.32 percent of the vote, while the Revival party, which sometimes has been critical of the government but sided with Shevardnadze in the post-election crisis, finished second with 18.84 percent, said Eka Melkadze, a spokeswoman for the Central Elections Commission.

Huge ancient earthquake discovered

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Scientists said Thursday they have uncovered evidence of a giant earthquake that struck the U.S. and Canadian west coasts early in the year 1700.

Based on Japanese writings from that year, as well as new geologic evidence, investigators have concluded an earthquake of magnitude 9 struck the region and created a huge tidal wave known as a tsunami, which traveled across the Pacific Ocean and caused significant damage in Japan. The quake, unprecedented in America in modern times, released as much energy within a few minutes as the entire country consumes in a month, they said.

The earthquake apparently ruptured the full length of an enormous fault known as the Cascadia subduction zone, which runs more than 600 miles along the Pacific coast from southern British Columbia to northern California. Previously, this fault was thought to be inactive.

A 9-magnitude quake could threaten tall buildings from Vancouver, British Columbia, to San Francisco, scientists said. It also would warp large areas of seafloor, thereby setting off ocean waves that could again reach the far side of the Pacific Ocean.

The Cascadia fault currently is locked, they said, meaning it is accumulating energy for a future destructive event, sometime in the next 200 years.

3.5 earthquake reported in Hand and Beadle counties

SIOUX FALLS (AP) — The earth moved a little in Hand and Beadle counties Thursday evening.

An earthquake with a magnitude of 3.5 hit the area a little after 7 p.m. [...]

Oxford Scientist Launches Sharp Critique of Religion

November 20, 2003

Despite the massive costs religion has imposed on human society, it persists because children do not question their parents’ beliefs, renowned Oxford scientist Richard Dawkins argued in a fiery lecture last night at Lowell Lecture Hall.

Before a packed house of 450 community members, faculty and students, Dawkins argued that the widespread presence of religion —despite its lack of obvious benefits—suggests that it was not an evolutionary adaptation. [...]

Society provides a breeding ground for the “virus” of religion by labeling children with the religion of their parents. Children, in turn, absorb these beliefs because they are conditioned to do so. Though it is universal, Dawkin said, religion is not widely beneficial. Rejecting the theory of many of his contemporaries, Dawkins argued that religion has not helped people to adapt or to survive. Beyond acting as a source of solace, religion provides no protection against diseases or physical threats. “A person who is faced with a lion is not put at ease when he’s told that it’s a rabbit,” Dawkins said.

Religion, in Dawkins’ view, not only provides false comfort—it is actively divisive and harmful. Designated as Christians or Muslims by their parents, children are apt to face the discrimination associated with these labels, Dawkins said. Dawkins pointed to the example of Protestant fundamentalists in Belfast spitting at young Catholic girls merely because their parents labeled them Catholic. [...]

Although most audience members responded with approval to the controversial remarks, some found fault with his assumptions. One questioner accused Dawkins of basing his theory on the unproven premise that religion is false. Lauren E. Tulp ’07 was also not entirely convinced by Dawkins’ theory. A practicing Roman Catholic, she said, “It was presumptuous to assume that everyone in the room was an atheist.”

Dawkins did, however, concede that there is a sort of religious quality that characterizes scientific phenomena. “The sense of transcendence is something that is shared by those who don’t call themselves religious,” Dawkins said.

Professor ponders parallel worlds

By Victor Greto
Staff reporter
11/20/2003

You could either feel awe-inspired or small, listening to Max Tegmark's lecture at the University of Delaware on Wednesday afternoon on the probability of the existence of parallel universes mimicking or diverging from our own.

Tegmark, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania, discussed the multiverse (more than one "uni-" verse) with a standing-room-only group of more than 50 budding physicists and assorted philosophy, biology and science majors at a UD Department of Physics and Astronomy lecture.

Of course, your reaction depends upon your point of view.

If you're still reeling from the counter-intuitive fact that the Earth is not located at the center of the universe - let alone the solar system; that our solar system is tucked away in some obscure outer arm of a milky swirl of stars; and that our galaxy is but one of a lot more hurtling at enormous speeds through icy and indifferent space - Tegmark's theories that multiple versions of yourself probably exist out there, somewhere, makes old-fashioned common sense seem even more irrelevant.

"There may be at least a thousand parallel universes out there," Tegmark told his audience, and it's all based on the latest measuring capabilities and mathematical equations devised by physicists in the past few years.

Tegmark has published many articles about the subject in academic periodicals and more mainstream magazines, including "Scientific American." Born in Sweden, he earned a doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley and post-doctorate degrees in Europe and at Princeton.

According to Tegmark, the most popular and simplest cosmological model today predicts that there is another you not a short distance from us doing - exactly or approximately, depending on those unpre- dictable quantum mechanics - what you're doing now: eating breakfast, riding in a carpool, or wrinkling your brow and rolling your eyes.

Your alter ego thinks he or she's your true self, of course, just like you do. Hearing that eerie "Twilight Zone" theme music yet?

As Tegmark argued, if space is infinite and the distribution of matter is relatively uniform, then even the most unlikely events must take place somewhere.

In other words, there are an infinite number of inhabited planets with people who not only look like you, but have nearly the same sort of experiences.

Study suggests asteroid that killed dinosaurs was a sequel

Friday, November 21, 2003
BY PAUL RECER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- A mysterious cataclysm 251 million years ago, which resulted in the extinction of 90 percent of all life, may have been caused by a mountain-sized asteroid striking the Earth, researchers report this week in the journal Science.
The effect of the Permian-Triassic Extinction was broader than the meteorite impact that snuffed out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

The new study, based on meteorite fragments found in Antarctica, suggests the event was triggered by a space rock that smashed into a southern land mass. "It appears to us that the two largest mass extinctions in Earth history ... were both caused by catastrophic collisions," the report says. [...]

Seasonal Ozone Hole Disappeared

GENEVA - The seasonal "ozone hole" over the South Pole has disappeared again after reaching record size earlier this year, U.N. officials said Thursday.

The hole is a thinner-than-usual area in the protective layer of gas high up in the Earth's atmosphere. It has been forming in the extremely low temperatures that mark the end of Antarctic winter every year since the mid-1980s, largely due to chemical pollution.

This year, the hole peaked at 10.81 million square miles in mid-September — matching the record size set three years ago. [...]

Idaho School District Calls In Sick

DEARY, Idaho -- The flu has closed the doors at an Idaho school district this week. The Whitepine School District said all classes and after-school activities have been canceled through Friday because of a flu outbreak.

About 39 percent of kids throughout the district missed school earlier this week because of the virus -- including nearly half of all junior and senior high school students.

The district said crews will open the windows and disinfect everything before students come back in

College student 'fired arrow at native American teacher'

Cyber bullies prey on girl (New Zealand)

A 12-year-old girl has become the victim of a hi-tech and very public form of bullying which Internet watchdogs fear could become more widespread.

A schoolyard spat between two Lower Hutt girls led to one taking her revenge by setting up a website encouraging abuse of the other.

The home page contained foul comments about the victim, and included a guest book filled with similar comments from fellow students. The messages included various threats to "bomb" the victim's computer with viruses. [...]

German Archeologist suggests exploring ancient civilization in Pakistani Salt Range

[...] The local administration examined and tested these fossils from international laboratory and it was confirmed that these fossils are more than 30 million-year old. Secretary General Press Club Chakwal Khawaja Babar Salim told that all the evidences for the first man of human civilization was found in the salt range area and if research work should be done we are confident that the first human man must had been appeared in the salt range area of Pakistan. [...]

Did UFO buzz Bold? (UK)

by Steve Leary
This is Cheshire

ST.HELENS secured its lasting place in UFO history this week - via its own official entry in a mysterious X-Files style database.

Detective Constable Gary Heseltine, founder of the unique PRUFOS (Police Reporting UFO Sightings) records system, highlighted the almost-forgotten incident in the skies above the town as one of major " Defence Significance."

And - despite its initial logging on police files 25 years ago - Gary insisted that there was STILL NO convincing logical explanation for what happened above Bold Power Station in January 1978.

Then onlookers watched in disbelief as a shining light buzzed the installation, and appeared to dart down to take a closer look. But none were quite as astonished as two patrolling police officers who immediately logged in the spectacular sighting with disbelieving colleagues in the radio room.

DC Heseltine - a serving CID officer with British Transport Police in the South of England - explained last night: " The Ministry Of Defence still maintains that there has never been a case of Defence Significance. As a police officer, I find that position untenable and here is why.

"Having served in the Armed Forces I know that in the event of war in this country, all types of installation throughout Britain have been categorised for importance and vulnerability. For example oil fields, power stations, military installations are all key enemy targets which if hit would affect the infrastructure of Britain."

And he added later: " It follows that any attempt to survey or interfere with these types of installations would by definition have to be of 'Defence Significance.'"

The PRUFOS dossier contains 84 official sightings - reported by a total of 212 policemen and policewoman in the years between 1950 and 2002. And researcher Heseltine highlighted the St.Helens incident as one of the three MOST significant to take place at official installations during the Seventies while the Cold War was still raging.

But the serving sleuth claimed the speed of the craft over Bold indicated other-worldly powers, rather than a top-secret Soviet spy plane! Chronicled as No.44 in the database, the report observed: " Two uniformed officers - PCs Lowe and Roberts - observed a high speed UFO that hovered above Bold Power Station before darting across the landscape and doing likewise overFiddler's Ferry Power Station.

" This occurred during the Cold War and again multiple police witness corroboration was provided. Power Stations would be targeted in the event of war in Britain, and are thus regarded as key installations from a national defence point of view. "

Gary, who believes that Ets may have been monitoring the strategic strengths and weaknesses of various world powers, also highlighted two important instances of St.Helens style incidents.

In August 1976, a craft hovered over Buncefield Oil Terminal nr Hemel Hempstead for several minutes before vanishing.
The report - No.35 in the PRUFOS records - noted: " Checks with Luton Airport ruled out conventional craft."

Some years earlier in October 1967, two policemen spotted a stationary UFO hovering above HMS Dolphin - a submarine base - for several minutes.

UFO expert Heseltine - ones of scores of police officers to go public about strange phenomena - said later that the St.Helens incident indicated an extra-terrestrial visitation. [...]

Loud Booms Shake and Rattle County (North Carolina, USA)

BY MEGAN WARD
thepilot.com

The Moore County 911 center was flooded with calls early Sunday morning from residents who reported hearing loud explosions.

Two sets of explosions were heard throughout the county in the early morning hours. Similar reports poured into 911 centers in Anson, Chatham and Orange counties as well.

In Moore County, calls started coming in from residents in the Robbins area at 1:17 a.m. Residents reported hearing two loud explosions, said Mike Cameron, supervisor of the Moore County E-911 center.

The calls died down but picked up again about 5:20 a.m. This time, the calls came from Pinehurst and Aberdeen residents. Callers reported hearing the same noise that people in the northern part of the county heard a few hours earlier — two loud booms.

County dispatchers answered nearly 300 calls about the explosions. Many callers reported the explosions set off burglar alarms, knocked picture frames off the walls, and shattered windows.

"They heard stuff falling on the roof, "Cameron said. "People asked if it was safe to go outside, if we were under attack."
Some people initially thought an exploding methamphetamine lab could have been the source of the loud booms. Local law-enforcement officers who were patrolling the area could not find any evidence of an explosion.

"If there had been an explosion, we would have found evidence of that," Cameron said.

The cause of the booms remains a mystery.

One possibility could be a sonic boom, which is caused when an aircraft flies faster then the speed of sound.

Master Sgt. Bob Blauser, public affairs superintendent for Pope Air Force Base, said the base has no planes that could produce a sonic boom.

"Whatever it was, it wasn't a result of anything at Pope Air Force Base," Blauser said.

Officials from Seymour Johnson and Shaw Air Force bases and Cherry Point Marine Air Station said they had no aircraft capable of creating a sonic boom flying in the area at those times.

Ben Nelson of Westmoore, an off-duty 911 dispatcher, was lying on his couch talking on the phone with his girlfriend when he heard and felt a thunderous boom followed by a smaller one.

"It shook my house and actually moved the couch several inches off the wall," Nelson said.

He thought a plane had crashed in his yard. He ran upstairs to check on his mother, who he said was already out of bed. Then he ran outside to see if a plane had crashed.

He saw a commercial jet flying in the distance.

"It wasn't military," he said

Nelson, who was in the Air Force for four years and heard sonic booms before, said this was not a sonic boom.

"A sonic boom is a low-pitched thump," he said. "This was more concentrated. This was louder and sounded closer."
Because the sound was heard twice and four hours apart in surrounding areas also leads him to believe the sound was not a sonic boom.

"I've sat and thought about it, thought about it, talked about it with work people and friends," he said. "I don't know what it was…. But somebody knows something."

Comment: See our Signs Supplement: Sonic or "Mystery" Booms for reports of these occurrences from around the world.

Travolta saves trapped students

Ananova.com
11:30 Friday 21st November 2003

John Travolta has rescued 26 students trapped in a lift.

He was visiting a New York college to give a lecture when he heard that the students due to meet him were stuck.

Travolta reportedly prised the doors open and said: "Hey kids, it's JT - everything's cool."

Fine wine costs tourist a fortune

Ananova.com
08:49 Friday 21st November 2003

A British tourist accidentally ordered a £1,000 bottle of wine in a Prague restaurant.

Andy Freegard was dining with girlfriend Helen Kelly when he picked a Chateau Margaux 1987 Premier Grand Cru Classe which he thought was £20.

Mr Freegard, an estate agent from Sandhurst, Berkshire, misread the price on the wine list. He got worried when waiters started flocking to his table to sniff the cork, says The Sun.

Miss Kelly then asked the head waiter for the price in sterling, she said: "He just coolly replied '£1,000'. We were both completely shell-shocked."

Mr Freegard added: "We realised something was not right when the standard of service improved dramatically. And when they brought out the decanter I was very concerned.

"After we learned the truth we knew we couldn't send it back. Taking each sip was heartbreaking, knowing it was £50 worth a gulp. In my defence, I was tired and it was dark in the restaurant."

Wine expert Alex Britton said: "The Margaux is undeniably one of the best wines in the world."


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