Today's conditions brought to you by the Bush Junta - marionettes of their hyperdimensional puppet masters - Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions.... The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen."
If you can't stand the heat of Objective Reality, get out of the kitchen!

November 22, 2003

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The Police state marches on: Blood and rubber bullets over Miami. Congress is planning to allow US intelligence agencies to snoop for any info they want on any citizen. Say goodbye to the fourth amendment. Not that a whole lot of Americans know what the fourth amendment says. Actually, Congress is just making legal what is already being done, so the FBI won't face any more inquiries. We include more COINTELPRO coverage in today's Signs.

Israel meanwhile is plotting to unilaterally blow up Iran nuclear power plants and is also warning that Europe is next for "terror attacks" - lets face it, they should know... The Bush Reich also warns the US about terror attacks - again.

A cargo plane taking off from Baghdad is hit by a missile. Britain claims they foiled a chemical attack.

US forces now claim catching Bin Laden isn't important. Wasn't Osama supposed to be responsible for 9/11? The propaganda assault on Muslims has expanded, with language attempting to associate every last one of them with terrorists. Blowing the head off an Iraqi child needs to be justified, as perpetual war for peace casts a dark pall over the earth.

A rare meteor sighting in New Mexico, bomb tests in Florida, hypersonic weapon funding, Dr. David Kelly and more in today's Signs.

And, of course, today is an anniversary...


Today is the 36th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 242. This resolution was passed following the war in June 1967 in which Israel invaded its Arab neighbors after claiming it had been attacked. This excuse never seems to fail. It was also the war in which the Israelis attacked the US communications ship the Liberty. They were worried that the US would find out the Israelis struck the first blow.

During the war, the Israelis captured the Sinai peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights. The Sinai was returned to Egypt after the peace accords of the late seventies. The West Bank and Gaza Strip remain under Israeli domination and occupation. Israel "annexed" the Golan Heights in 1981 and has steadily increased settlements there.

U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 242

NOVEMBER 22, 1967

The Security Council,

Expressing its continuing concern with the grave situation in the Middle East,

Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security,

Emphasizing further that all Member States in their acceptance of the Charter of the United Nations have undertaken a commitment to act in accordance with Article 2 of the Charter,

Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:

(i) Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;

(ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;

Affirms further the necessity

(a) For guaranteeing freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area;

(b) For achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem;

(c) For guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every State in the area, through measures including the establishment of demilitarized zones;

Requests the Secretary General to designate a Special Representative to proceed to the Middle East to establish and maintain contacts with the States concerned in order to promote agreement and assist efforts to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement in accordance with the provisions and principles in this resolution;

Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on the progress of the efforts of the Special Representative as soon as possible.

Adopted unanimously at the 1382nd meeting.

Comment: A pdf file of the original document from the UN. Israel has always refused to implement this resolution, although it is the first to scream when one of its Arab neighbors doesn't abide by the UN. It can do this because it is so consistently supported by the US.

Things have only gotten worse in the intervening years. Israel has refused to give up the West Bank. Not only that, it has adopted policies to drive the Palestinians out for good: the wall, murder, harassement are the daily lot of those who remain, as we document on these pages day by day.

Curious, though perhaps not really, that two of the seminal events of this era happened on November 22, that is, on 11/22.

With the 40th anniversary of JFK's assassination, the media propaganda machine is going into overdrive to kill any idea that Kennedy's death was the result of a conspiracy. The House Select Committee on Assassinations found in 1979 that JFK's death was likely due to a conspiracy. A far cry from the Warren Commission whitewash. Now the debunkers are coming out to put that finding into question. We shouldn't be surprised. Kennedy's assassination is a key moment in the unfolding of US history. This was the moment when the military-industrial complex made certain that they would retain control. And they needed the complicity of the US population to do it.

How?

By having them buy the lie. Eighty percent of the US do not believe Oswald acted alone, but what have they done about it?

Of course, with all the theories, counter theories, facts and counter facts surrounding this event, many of which were put into place for the purpose of confusing the population and covering the tracks of those responsible, this event is, indeed, a "lesson in ambiguity." But our conclusions about this do not necessarily agree with those of the prof in the following:

JFK killing: a lesson in ambiguity

REUTERS[ FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2003 04:24:06 PM ]

DALLAS: The shots rang out in Dallas 40 years ago, and the students' research papers on assassination conspiracy theories were due on the desk of Southern Methodist University professor Tom Stone earlier this week.

Stone has been teaching a course for 10 years on the John F Kennedy presidential assassination at SMU, a university in Dallas located a few miles north of where Kennedy was gunned down on November 22, 1963.

The course called "On the Trail of the Assassin(s)" considers the assassination as a work of critical reading, teaching wide-eyed college youths in the English department that there is no absolute truth, but a whole lot of ways to navigate through contradiction.

"If I went into class the first day and said, 'This is really a course on critical reading and critical thinking,' the students would probably run for the door," Stone said.

Stone, who sports a full beard and a voice big enough to fill a classroom even when he speaks in hushed tones, describes himself as a child of the 1960s.

He said he started the course because he wanted to teach students some of his views on the assassination, but over the years realised the history of JFK's fateful day in Dallas was an exceptional platform to teach students that there were numerous ways to interpret a text.

The class is possibly the only college course on the Kennedy assassination that is a part of an English literature curriculum.

"Students begin to read more sceptically and more critically, which is a basic tool for an English class," Stone said. In the Kennedy case, for every fact there is a counter fact. The evidence is internally contradictory. They never reach certainty and the comfort of a clear-cut right answer."

[...] Teacher Stone subscribes to the theory of Oswald as a single gunman, who was probably encouraged or influenced by an outside force. He said after the course that the students are usually evenly divided between those who see Oswald acting alone as the gunman and those who see a conspiracy of some sorts behind the assassination.

"The thing about the Kennedy case is because there are no definite answers, people read their own concerns into it," Stone said. After the course, students should have picked up an important lesson on education.

"You are going to know more and understand less."

Comment: "Knowing more and understanding less" is certainly a stage one goes through. It is important to learn to set aside preconceptions, to look only at the data at hand. But this raises the question of how far you need to go to find new data. Ambiguity is necessary for one's own progress as an obstacle to work against, that is, learning to change one's perspective, moving in and out of a situation or event, to see longer term patterns.

The Kennedy assassination, when viewed from "up close", is ambiguous. As Prof. Stone says above, "For every fact there is a counter fact." But when viewed within the context of the development of the US in the 20th century, the ambiguity dissolves like the stripping away of a thousand veils. This is why one needs to suspend judgement. One cannot make a decision about the Kennedy assassination alone, isolated from the rest. But when multiple events are viewed, such as the assassinations of JFK, his brother Robert, Martin Luther King, John Lennon, the interest of the National Security State in the phenomenon of UFOs, mind control programs, Operation Paperclip which brought over former Nazis to work in the US, the establishment of the network of former Nazis and collaborators in the "Stay-behind" network to carry out covert activities for the dark forces within the US, and the events of 9/11 and the subsequent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq among others, the consistent sense of "something is very wrong with this picture" is best explained by the hypothesis of a long-term conspiracy on the part of very powerful people in positions of power. When this history is viewed in the context of the last four thousand years of human history, the hypothesis of a long-term conspiracy against the best interests of the whole of humanity becomes the best explanation.

But there will remain those who argue over the "facts":

Kennedy's assassin acted alone: Expert

AP[ THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2003 11:27:20 AM ]

SOMERVILLE, Massachsetts: A new analysis of a tape recording made 40 years ago by a Dallas police officer, may cast further doubt on the theory that President John F Kennedy's assassin did not act alone.

For decades, conspiracy theorists -- and some scientists -- have held that a sound on the tape is a gunshot from the grassy knoll fired by someone other than Lee Harvey Oswald. But forensic acoustics expert, Bob Berkovitz, analysed the recording and found it is extremely unlikely the sound was gunfire.

"The theory that the noise represents a grassy knoll gunshot is not supported by the computer-based analysis," said Berkovitz, chairman of Sensimetrics Corp, which specialises in research on speech and hearing.

[...] The House Select Committee on Assassinations, after hearing reports from acoustics experts, who said there was a high probability that the tape contained four gunshot sounds -- rather than the three Oswald is believed to have fired -- found in 1979 that the assassination was probably the result of a conspiracy.

But a special panel of the National Academy of Sciences, led by a physicist from Harvard, who would later win the Nobel Prize, disputed the evidence of a fourth shot in 1982.

[...] G Robert Blakey, former chief counsel of the House committee and now a law professor at Notre Dame, said he was curious about Berkovitz's analysis, but he stood by the House investigation. "Did Oswald have help? I think there's a high probability that there was a shot from the grassy knoll," he said.

[...] Berkovitz, who worked on the project for nine months, also said he used a computer program to calculate whether sounds on the tape represented echoes of the grassy knoll shot bouncing around Dealey Plaza. He said his analysis found a very high probability that the sounds were not echoes, a finding diametrically opposed to the findings that had swayed the House committee.

Noting that previous studies were carried out more than two decades ago, Berkovitz said, "I think it may well be that having some better tools at my disposal caused me to have different results."

James Barger, one of the scientists, who consulted for the House committee, said he stood by his research.

He said he was confident the sound was recorded at the time of the assassination, and noted that three of the sounds found in the tape in his research were spaced exactly the way the three shots were in Abraham Zapruder's film of the shooting.

Comment: We are fond of the expression "the devil is in the details." But what are the details? That this recording of a shot has been "proven" to be something else? Or the likelihood that this type of technology is being used by the alphabet soup agencies to create phoney evidence? Or that the people who are behind this conspiracy will stop at nothing to promote the "lone nut" theory?

The person who does not wish to question his firm belief that the US government is the leader of the "free world", is the "bastion of democracy," etc, will decide the "detail" is that Berkovitz "proved" the "gunshot" was something else. Those who remain unsettled by the discrepencies in this, and who take a look at the larger picture, will come away with a different conclusion.

The role of television in forming false memories, in brainwashing the US population and in creating a populace where critical thinking is replaced by the need for the next, rapid-fire fix of a news "experience" (waiting for Michael Jackson's plane to arrive, anyone?), cannot be overemphasized. And once more we are taken back to the day of Kennedy's assassination...

The day television came of age

VINAY MENON

In many ways, the death of John F. Kennedy gave birth to television.

Sure, the medium was around long before Nov. 22, 1963. But on that surreal day, as shots rang out in Dallas and confusion engulfed a nation, television was forced to awkwardly mature.

As the 40th anniversary approaches, dozens of specials, documentaries and retrospectives will air on U.S. networks, each attempting to bring context and insight to one of the most iconic moments of the 20th century.

Now, four decades after the assassination, 80 per cent of Americans subscribe to some version of conspiracy; Lee Harvey Oswald, they believe, was not the lone gunman. [...]

Comment: When you consider the importance of TV in dumbing down the population, this article is saying more than the author realizes...

However, consider for a moment that 80% of the US population believes there was a conspiracy. That is 4 out of every 5 people! And yet, what has changed? what have any of these individuals DONE about it? Did it cause them to look clearly at the events of 9/11 and question the Bush Reich's official story? Or does it help them to understand the recent bombings in Turkey?

The coverup continues - Major media complicit in the continuing coverup of the Kennedy assassination

by voxfux

Forty years ago, John F. Kennedy was assassinated by the same ultra right wing elements in the United States who rule today. When these extremists assassinated Kennedy they seized a moment in history and radically transformed America into a wasteland of lost opportunities, forever killing the hopes that this country once had to be a decent nation. And America has never been able to recover from those stolen opportunities by the extremist right wing. America is now spiraling deeper and deeper into the abyss of fascism.

Complicit in this plot to rob America of it's rightful future was the CIA under Allen Dulles and the FBI under J. Edger Hoover.

Today the conspiracy to coverup the true facts surrounding the right wing's assassination of Kennedy continues with a massive coordinated effort by the CIA controlled major media to obliterate the facts surrounding the conspiracy to kill Kennedy and reinforce the widely dismissed and disbelieved lie that Oswald acted alone.

The 40th anniversary of Kennedy's assassination has become once again a field day for the right wing extremists who control the media to churn out lie after lie about how Oswald acted alone. With bogus 3D reenactments designed to fool the eye and boggle the mind.

It is a chilling reality today that there is such divide between what is really real and what the official media backed presentation of that reality is. Nearly the entire major media is nothing more than a huge brainwashing machine churning out disinformation carefully scripted by the puppet-masters of the New World Order. CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX are all under the complete control of the New World Order industrialists. Nearly all "news" on these channels are lies.

Soon America will descend into a military dictatorship and any resemblance to great nation it once was will be lost forever.

LBJ aides say JFK documentary a smear

Film alleges Johnson had role in JFK assassination

Thursday, November 20, 2003

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- A television documentary claiming Lyndon B. Johnson helped plot the Kennedy assassination was condemned as an absurd smear by Johnson's family and former staff members.

A History Channel film that aired Monday alleges that then-Vice President Johnson and members of his staff were responsible for President Kennedy's 1963 killing, said LBJ Foundation Chairman Tom Johnson, no relation to the former president.

"I do not know of a greater injustice to the reputation of a former president -- especially to be on The History Channel," Tom Johnson, who worked in the Johnson White House, said in an interview Tuesday.

He and Jack Valenti, another former Johnson staff member and current president of the Motion Picture Association of America, issued a joint statement on behalf of the Johnson family and others.

"Sadly, President Johnson and the staff members who are wrongly smeared by the conspiracy theorists are no longer alive to defend themselves," the statement said. "In televising this production, The History Channel has distorted history beyond recognition."

It was the second recent TV project about a former president to draw criticism. CBS yanked its November miniseries "The Reagans" after supporters of former President Reagan said it distorted his legacy while he suffers Alzheimer's disease.

The latest program aired as part of an umbrella series titled "The Men Who Killed Kennedy," a package of documentaries about various conspiracy theories regarding Kennedy's death, said channel spokeswoman Lynn Gardner.

The films in "The Men Who Killed Kennedy" series are from producer Nigel Turner and have aired before on cable TV, channel spokeswoman Gardner said. Monday's film, titled "The Guilty Men," was based in part on the book "Blood, Money & Power: How L.B.J. Killed J.F.K." by Barr McClellan, she said.

"The History Channel does not say that any of these theories are correct nor does not in any way say that the theory in this program is correct," the channel said in a statement. "We are, however, presenting a point of view that has been meticulously researched.

"By presenting different viewpoints we enable our viewers to decide to agree or disagree with them and to arrive at their own conclusions," the channel said.

'Garbage, ugliness'

Lyndon Johnson became president upon Kennedy's death.
Kennedy was shot in Dallas on November 22, 1963. The Warren Commission concluded Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole assassin, but claims of more extensive plots continue to fascinate the public.

"I'm puzzled, bewildered, that a distinguished enterprise like the History Channel would put on the air such garbage, such ugliness," Valenti said in an interview. "It makes one sick."

Another former LBJ aide, journalist Bill Moyers, hadn't seen the program but called its premise "absurd." Liz Carpenter, who was press secretary to Lady Bird Johnson, called the program "outrageous."

Attorneys were being consulted but it was unknown if any legal action could be taken, said Tom Johnson, also a former president and CEO of CNN.

The documentary was "exceptionally upsetting" to Johnson's widow, who recently suffered a stroke, and daughters Luci and Lynda, Tom Johnson said. President Johnson died in 1973.

The family did not try to block the program's broadcast as in the case of organized Republican efforts against CBS' "The Reagans," Tom Johnson said. The Reagan drama was shifted to cable channel Showtime and is showing November 30.

"We left the decision on editorial content and accuracy up to the History Channel," Tom Johnson said.

LBJ was Secretly Jewish

Genealogical and historical evidence strongly suggests that the 36th US President and his wife were secretly Jewish. This is highly significant when one considers that President Johnson joined America and Israel at the hip, a policy that has now been in place for nearly 40 years, and a policy which most of the world does not understand or endorse.

Comment: See here for more.

Flashback: Nixon: Warren report was the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated

1 March, 2002
By Kevin Anderson
BBC News Online Washington Correspondent

Richard Nixon left the White House in disgrace as the only president in US history to resign, and with the release of 500 hours of taped conversations covering the time of the Watergate break-in, researchers hope to find new clues to how much the president knew of the "third-rate burglary".

500 hours of tape have been released

The tapes are of the first six months of his second term of office, covering not only the Watergate break-in but also his historic trip to China and the continuing war on Vietnam.

Congress had once battled the president for release of the tapes, and now for the first time researchers and historians can record them to review them for new insights into the past.

But some questions will go unanswered as gaps remain on the tapes - gaps in key conversations that might have revealed how much Nixon knew about the break-in.

Hardball politics

Nixon had the Secret Service install recording equipment in the White House, and the 1,000 tapes represent the first six months of 1972 as he turned his attention to winning re-election.

His political career had been a mixture of triumph and disappointment. After serving in Congress, he served as President Dwight Eisenhower's vice president.

He narrowly lost the 1960 presidential election to John Kennedy, and two years later, he lost the election for governor of California.

Nixon did not want to lose again.

He was a fierce political competitor. When running for Congress in 1946, he printed his opponent's voting record on pink paper to suggest that he had Communist sympathies.

And as Nixon considered his re-election bid in 1972, he was looking for ways to beat his opponents.

In May of 1972, Arthur Bremer attempted to assassinate White House hopeful George Wallace.

The tapes reveal that Nixon wanted to pin the blame on supporters of Democrats George McGovern and Edward Kennedy, whom he might face in the November elections.

"Just say he (the shooter) was a supporter of McGovern and Kennedy," he said to HR "Bob" Haldeman, his chief of staff, and Charles Colson, then special counsel to the president.

"Now, just put that out!" Nixon said, his voice rising for emphasis. "Just say you have it on unmistakable evidence."

Kennedy's assassination

In the same conversation, Nixon gave new fodder for conspiracy theorists who question whether Lee Harvey Oswald was the only shooter involved in the assassination of President John Kennedy.

Referring to the report by the Warren Commission, "it was the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated," Nixon said. He did not elaborate why he questioned the report.

The tapes also record a conversation between President Nixon and former Treasury Secretary John Connally who was in the car with President Kennedy when he was killed.

It contains graphic details of the shooting. [...]

JFK Jr. was hot on trail of JFK's killers

From the Nov. 18 edition of GLOBE , which was on the stands last week:

JFK JR'S MISSION TO FIND DAD'S KILLERS

The disturbing details he learned about that deadly day in Dallas

JFK JR. spent his adult life on an astounding secret mission that he shared with only a few of his closest confidants - mulling over classified documents in a determined bid to unmask exactly who was behind his father's assassination 40 years ago.
And now, GLOBE can exclusively reveal the shocking secrets uncovered by the gutsy Camelot heir . . .

It was JFK Jr.'s belief following his 20-year investigation that the guilty parties were 10 to 15 . . . military generals and disgruntled CIA operatives who were angry at his father's plan to keep America out of the growing Vietnam conflict.

This clandestine group, stung by the U.S. military failure at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba, wanted to crank up the American war machine and win in Vietnam at all costs . . . and JFK stood in their way.

[JFK, Jr.] burned the midnight oil to uncover the tiniest clue, starting at age 18, say close friends. . . .

"He refused point blank to believe the official version that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone shooter," says the friend. He came to his conclusion after watching the famous Zapruder footage frame by frame . . . and reviewing autopsy reports and forensic evidence on Oswald’s gun.

He doggedly sifted through papers that few other people cpuld get their hands on, documents at the JFK Library in Boston and top secret files that his close friends in Washington, D.C., obtained for him. . . .

Says the source, one of JFK Jr.'s closest friends for more than a decade before his fatal airplane crash July 16, 1999: "He would never have published his findings - he was doing it just for himself." . . .

JFK Jr.'s personal investigation took him to Dallas, where he visited the assassination site at Dealy Plaza while he was in law school in 1988. Wearing a baseball cap pulled low to hide his face. . .

In 1997, JFK Jr. made his way to Cuba, where he interviewed Fidel Castro for his George magazine. The Cuban dictator, too, wanted to clear the air.

"John told me Castro looked him straight in the eye and told him, 'It is important to me that you know I had nothing to do with your father's assassination,'" says the source. "John said he nodded and smiled because he knew Castro wasn't involved." ...

A friend at the Russian Consulate in New York allowed JFK Jr. to view KGB files on the assassination and Oswald, who lived in Russia for a while. Again, he knew the Russians were not involved in the case.

In the end, JFK Jr.'s conclusion echoed that of Oliver Stone: Certain generals and CIA honchos set up Lee Harvey Oswald as the patsy and there were four other shooters, disguised as hobos....

"John was driven - there's no other word for it - to find out the truth," the source tells GLOBE. "He spent time, energy and money, and he pulled a lot of strings to go places and get his hands on crucial evidence.

"He vowed to find the identities of the guilty parties before he died but, ironically, not long after John told me he had just about wrapped up his investigation, he was killed in the crash."...

Comment: LibertyThink was kind enough to include the full text of the article here. Sherman Skolnick makes some interesting assertions in his article ROCKEFELLER IN THE WHITE HOUSE? regarding the assassination of JFK, Jr.:

A Friday after July 9, 1999, was when the Bush Crime Family benefitted from the airplane sabotage killing John F. Kennedy, Jr.(July 16, 1999). Kennedy was supposed to have kept it secret, that he was planning to announce August 1, 1999, that approaching the age similar to his late father, he was going to run for President. JFK Jr. made a mistake to inform some in the Gore campaign camp. [Using later a false item, Newsweek Magazine blunted this by stating that JFK Jr. was planning to run for U.S. Senator from New York.]

Some perceived Kennedy Jr. as scandal-free, charming, and likely to pull a big successful Presidential vote in 2000 [if he survived]. [More details in our four-part series on the web, "What Happened to America's Golden Boy?"]

THE LINCOLN-KENNEDY COINCIDENCES

Fast-forward 40 years: Zapruder's effects on pop culture are still felt 4 decades after JFK's murder

GEOFF PEVERE
ARTEFACTS

DALLAS, TEXAS—What if?

Forty years to the day of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the event still compels one question more forcefully than any other.

Let's suppose, for example, Abraham Zapruder hadn't been convinced by a persistent coworker to leave work, go home and get his movie camera that day.

[...] The notoriously contentious conclusion of the Warren Commission, that the president was killed by a solitary gunman, acting alone, named Lee Harvey Oswald, would never have been cast into such enduring doubt without the questions still raised by the Zapruder film: If Oswald fired the shot that caused the fatal head wound from the rear, why does the president jerk backwards?

[...] While some images provided what seemed to be the most compelling contradiction of the Warren Commission's findings, other images made iconic by the event pressed the opposite speculation. Was the shot of Oswald in his backyard — with a rifle, pistol and subversive political tract — a fake? And if it was manipulated, couldn't all images be acts of trickery? Simultaneously in the assassination's aftermath, seeing undermined believing and believing contradicted seeing.

If the bullet entered from behind, why does the impact seem to explode like an exit wound?

Who shot John F. Kennedy? It was me...

| By Michael Yardley | 22-11-2003

I have had some odd commissions in my life, but my recent assignment for American television - to be the firearms consultant and gunman in a re-enactment of the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas - certainly ranks as one of the most interesting. As a historian with a special interest in arms, I had always wondered if the shooting feat allegedly performed by Lee Harvey Oswald on November 22, 1963 was possible.

[...] So, dozens of conspiracy theorists not withstanding, it was possible. We had more runs after this. On every occasion when car and gun worked, I was able to make the hits. Moreover, my pattern of hits was very similar to those on JFK and I was able to make all three aimed shots in less than eight seconds.

Later tests in Dealey Plaza with a rifle modified to fire a laser beam did not simplify the conclusions. I had proved Oswald could have done it alone, but I soon discovered that the final shot - the killing shot - if taken from the Grassy Knoll, Badgeman or Walkway positions (all positions forward of the presidential vehicle) would have been much easier. At least I was able to rule out the storm drain as a potential second sniper position.

Where does this leave us? With the fact that the shots could be made with the Carcano. I do believe Oswald fired three shots from the Depository. I do not believe he was a "lone nut". His background as an ex-marine and defector to Russia is deeply suspicious. He was probably being run as someone's agent.

Moreover, my practical experience of the second gunman positions leads me to suspect that there could well have been another shooter. Of what can one be certain? That Oswald was a patsy.

Kids from the village of Jabara, in one of the enclaves, on their way home from school in the village of a-Ras, east of the separation barrier, 25 October, 2003.(Photo: Eyal Dor-Ofer, 2003)

New apartheid orders: 11,400 Palestinians need permits to live in their homes

Report, B'Tselem, 21 November 2003

In early October 2003, the OC Central Command ordered the area between the separation barrier in the northern section of the West Bank (Stage 1) and the Green Line a closed military area for an indefinite period of time.

This area, known as the "seam area," covers a total of 96,000 dunams [4 dunams = 1 acre], or 1.7 percent of the West Bank. The area includes twelve Palestinian villages, containing 11,400 residents, and ten settlements, in which 22,000 people live.

The prohibition on entering and being in the seam area without a permit from the Civil Administration, applies only to Palestinians. Israeli citizens, including settlers living in the seam area, Jews from around the world, and tourists visiting Israel are allowed to enter and stay in this area as they wish.

Follow the money: CEO salaries of pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli advocacy groups and charities

Nigel Parry, The Electronic Intifada, 19 November 2003

People in the Palestinian solidarity community regularly bemoan the fact that pro-Israeli advocacy groups are far more vocal, far more organised, and have far more political influence than their Palestinian counterparts. This is not happening as a result of some strange magic. The simple fact is that pro-Israeli advocacy groups receive far more in donations than do pro-Palestinian advocacy groups.

EI's Nigel Parry visited charitynavigator.org, a public website offering financial and other information about charities, and compiled a list of what the directors and CEOs of advocacy groups on both sides of the conflict are earning. Compensation is an excellent indicator of the amount of administrative resources organisations have access to, that enables them to spread their message. By way of comparison, EI's entire annual budget for 2003 was less than any of the amounts listed below.

Susan Michael
USA Director
International Christian Embassy Jerusalem - USA
Compensation : $51,459

Barbara Gottschalk
Executive Vice President
Seeds of Peace
Compensation : $60,000

Deanna Armbruster
Executive Director
American Friends of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam
Compensation : $66,354

Yossi Baumol
Executive Director
American Friends of Ateret Cohanim
Compensation : $69,996
Astonishingly, this is an Israeli settler religious school, based in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem. US taxpayers can get a tax break while supporting a violation of international law.

Makboula Yasin
Executive Director
United Palestinian Appeal
Compensation : $90,907

Andrew Goldsmith
Executive Vice President
One Israel Fund
Compensation : $91,115

Ilana Hartman
Executive Vice President
America-Israel Friendship League
Compensation : $112,500

Andrea Levin
Executive Director
CAMERA
Compensation : $123,583

Morton Klein
National President
Zionist Organization of America
Compensation : $134,747

Debra Wasserman
Executive Director
Israel Policy Forum
Compensation : $139,379

Sandra Rubin
Executive Director
Jerusalem Foundation
Compensation : $145,000

Philip Baum
Executive Director
American Jewish Congress
Compensation : $150,000

Debra DeLee
President, CEO
Americans for Peace Now
Compensation : $205,990

Norman Rosenberg
Executive Director
New Israel Fund
Compensation : $212,160

Ellen Marson
Executive Director
Hadassah The Women's Zionist Organization of America
Compensation : $214,363

Israel Singer
Secretary General
World Jewish Congress
Compensation : $286,242

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
President, CEO
International Fellowship of Christians and Jews
Compensation : $322,912

David A. Harris
Executive Director
American Jewish Committee
Compensation : $372,152

The Night of the Panthers

The murder of Alex Rackley and the arrest of the New Haven Black Panthers was the end of the ´60s

Comment: The Hartford Advocate does a good job of setting the scene of those terrible days in 1969, in New Haven. After a long and terrible COINTELPRO campaign, and infiltration by psychopaths the Black Panthers were ruined. We are not saying the Panthers were saints. It can be rather difficult to discover unbiased information from either side, but they were a response to incredible pressure African-American peoples were/are subject to under the "greatest democracy on earth".

[...] Over the next two years, there would be two tumultuous murder trials that turned the city of New Haven into a tear-gas and National Guard-filled war zone, further sparking protests that were unprecedented in the state's history, closing down Yale University and eventually forcing the resignation of Yale's then-president Kingman Brewster.

It fueled more dissent around the country, as the revelations that came to light during the trials about illegal surveillance of Black Panthers and other political opponents of the Nixon administration and the Vietnam War embittered more young people toward their government, leading to even more desperate and destructive acts of dissent. [...]

The Black Panthers were warned about the COINTELPRO campaign, but even they did not fully believe that such a thing was possible. Their lack of awareness of objective reality and understanding of the true depth of evil that has been the main current in American government and our reality was their undoing. A shocking example of the COINTELPRO campaign was the Black Panther Coloring Book:

[...] This coloring book, which was purported to be from the Black Panthers, had actually been rejected by them when it was brought to them by a man later revealed to have intelligence connections. Not to be troubled by the fact that the Panthers found the coloring book revolting, the FBI added even more offensive illustrations, and mass mailed it across America. It so infuriated the white population that they stopped listening to the legitimate grievances of the black people. [...][More images available. Click on image.]

These are the kinds of tactics the US will and does resort to, yet there are still people ignorant of reality and can't imagine that their government will lie to them about something as important as 9/11. Ignorance is not bliss. Welcome to the Police State.

Between The Twin Attacks Of September And Istanbul

Wafic Kanso Al-Hayat 2003/11/22

Even terrorism can be governed by a certain logic or be politically used to serve the 'justice' of its perpetrators. If many Arabs and Muslims among those who were prejudiced by the September 11 attacks tried to search for a certain 'logic' for the New York and Washington attacks and the bombing of the two American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, or the attack of the USS Cole in Aden's harbor in Yemen, or other attacks that targeted Western interests and institutions, trying to justify them with he American 'eternal' bias against Arabs and Muslims, it is difficult for these people to come up with a logic for bin Laden's random strikes, whether it is attack against the Muhya compound in Riyadh whose victims were Arabs and Muslims or Istanbul's recent twin attacks.

It is clear that the latest attacks in Istanbul were targeted at Turkey's secularism and its strong coalition with the U.S., its NATO membership, and its insistence on trying to become part of the West through an EU membership, not to mention its relations with Israel.

But such 'logic' overlooks the fact that in Ankara today, there is an Islamic democratic government governed by a delicate equilibrium, and the army and its secularist enemies are just waiting for the first opportunity to see its end. It is a government, which strong coalition with Washington did not stop it from shutting its borders to the American forces, on the eve of the war against Iraq, and from responding to the Turkish public opinion following the war, when it withdrew its proposal to send forces to Iraq under U.S. leadership.

This government has avoided as much as possible from following the course of its predecessors which had always fallen into the lap of the Hebrew state; it did this by trying to arabize and Islamize its foreign policy as much as possible. But the last two strikes will be leading it to step up its level of cooperation with Washington and Tel Aviv, in the realm of security and intelligence, even to support Sharon's government against international terrorism!

This terrible situation is only equal to the bad timing of its strikes: the two attacks against the British institutions came simultaneously with the anti-war protests whereby tens of thousands of British in London demonstrated against George Bush's visit, holding him accountable, and his ally Tony Blair, for the justifications of the war over Iraq and the fate of the weapons of mass destruction. So these attacks gave both men the opportunity to catch their breath and remind the people that the evil and terrorist forces are targeting the good nations and the civilized world.

These two attacks also coincided with Israel's opposition of the Security Council resolution for adopting the Roadmap in its original version, in a bid to end the Palestinian-Israeli struggle. So the news about Istanbul's massacre overshadowed this refusal, just as the two attacks against the Jewish synagogues before had coincided with the news of the European referendum, which showed that about 60 percent of Europeans considering Israel as a threat to world peace. This pushed the Hebrew state to link the attacks to the rise of the new wave of anti-Semitism in the world and the instigation of Jews in Arab and Islamic countries and in Europe.

Once again, terrorism succeeded in adding a new loss to our successive failures.

Comment: Coincidence? We think not.

Israel predicts Europe next in line after Istanbul bombings

21 November 2003

In the wake of the devastating bombings against British interests in Istanbul, Israeli officials and experts predicted Friday that the next target of global terrorism would be Europe.

"The Europeans are not really aware of the seriousness of this phenomenon of international terrorism, which has not hit them yet," Israeli government spokesman Avi Pazner told AFP. [...]

Comment: More than likely Mossad will soon show the Europeans what "international terrorism" is all about.

U.S. warns al Qaeda could attack soon
Concerns follow recent terrorist bombings overseas

Friday, November 21, 2003 Posted: 9:37 PM EST (0237 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The federal government issued a public statement late Friday to warn of potential terrorist attacks as the Muslim religious holiday Ramadan comes to an end early next week.

The statement, issued by the Department of Homeland Security, says recent terrorist bombings overseas have prompted concern for potential terrorist threats "to the United States and abroad."

The national terrorism alert level will remain at yellow, signifying an "elevated" threat.

Request To Re-Open Inquest Into Dr. Kelly's Death

From Rowena Thursby
11-20-3

November 18, 2003

Nicholas Gardiner
Oxfordshire Coroner

Dear Mr Gardiner,

Re: The Death of Dr David Kelly & the Hutton Inquiry

I am writing to express my deep concerns over the way the inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly has been conducted.

In such a high profile case it is surely questionable that an inquest - where evidence is heard under oath with a jury present - be replaced by an inquiry where evidence is not given under oath and witnesses are not subpoenaed and there is no jury. I understand many witnesses refused to appear at the Inquiry and requested that their statements be withheld. In a straight inquest you, as coroner, would have powers to subpoena witnesses and require them to give evidence under oath.

This would both broaden the scope from that of the Inquiry and increase the reliability of testimonies.

In addition, if Lord Hutton's final report reflects the way the Inquiry has been treated in the media, there is a great danger that anomalies regarding the circumstances of Dr Kelly's death may be disregarded or glossed over in favour of political concerns. If I may, I will in this letter outline some of these anomalies which, in my view, throw a suicide verdict into question.

The Body Moved and Items Appeared Beside It

According to testimonies the first people to see the body of Dr Kelly were the SEBEVs (volunteers) Louise Holmes and Paul Chapman. They both described the position of the body as "against" a tree. Neither of the volunteers reported seeing any of the items around the body seen by other witnesses - watch, knife, bottle of water, cap. Nor were they asked by legal counsel whether they had seen them.

Chronologically the next body-witness was DC Coe, who described the body as laying on its back. After him came two police constables PCs Franklin and Sawyer, who also described the body as laying on its back.

In fact all witnesses subsequent to the volunteers, including the pathologist (Dr Nicholas Hunt), described the body as laying on its back and having beside it various items - watch, knife, bottle of water and cap.

The body-witnesses' testimonies indicate that the body appears to have moved after being seen by the volunteers and before being seen by all subsequent witnesses, and that the items next to the body seem to have appeared after the volunteers had left the death scene [...]

What am I to infer from these anomalies? If five witnesses say that DC Coe was with two men and he says he was with only one, then it is necessary to find out who is telling the truth. Similarly, if some witnesses say these officers are in plain clothes and others say they are in uniform then that needs to be clarified also. On the face of it, it looks as though DC Coe is not telling the truth about being accompanied by only one officer and that PCs Franklin and Sawyer could also be mistaken about the two officers being "uniformed".

This is surely a matter for cross-examination or much more rigorous scrutiny.

Paucity of Blood

When asked at the end of their testimonies if they have anything to add, each ambulance crew member, paramedic (Vanessa Hunt) and ambulance technician (David Bartlett), independently emphasizes that in their view, there was surprisingly little blood at the scene for an arterial bleed. These assertions may be the most important of the whole Inquiry. The implication from the ambulance crew surely is that if there was very little visible blood produced at the scene for an arterial bleed, then death may not have taken place at that spot or in that manner. Yet far from being probed or examined in any detail as they should have been, these assertions were alternately denigrated by counsel Mr Dingemans, and ignored by counsel Mr Knox.

Vomit Stains from Mouth to Ear

PC Sawyer reported a dark stain (he thought vomit) from the right corner of the mouth to the right ear. David Bartlett also reported that the body had two stains running from both corners of the mouth to each ear. Such stains are clearly consistent with Dr Kelly having vomited in a "laying-on-his-back" position but not in a "sitting-up-against-a-tree" position.

Ambulance Crew Saw no Wounds

Both ambulance crew witnessed the left hand positioned palm-up, and as Dr Hunt reports, it was the left wrist which was wounded. Thus both ambulance crew must have had a good view of the area of the arm and wrist where the five incisions reported by Dr Hunt were made. Yet neither of the ambulance crew members reports seeing any wounds. The blood may have dried onto the wounds and completely covered them but this question needs further exploration.

Ulnar Artery not Radial

The fact that the ulnar artery was severed, but not the radial artery, where the latter is generally far more accessible (closer to the surface) than the former (which is deeper) strongly suggests that the knife-wound was inflicted by drawing the blade from the inside of the wrist (the little finger side closest to the body) to the outside. This is an action that may well have been performed by another party. Yet Dr Hunt's testimony made no mention of the direction in which any of the cuts had been made. I understand that this should be normal procedure for a pathologist's report.

Conclusions

In summary, the points presented above lead to the following possible conclusions:

1. If an arterial bleed was the major cause of death (as stated by Dr Hunt) then there would have been more blood present at the scene of death than was seen by the ambulance crew. Very little blood at the scene suggests that Dr Kelly did not die where his body was found. While Dr Hunt and the forensic biologist (Roy Green) suggest that blood may have disappeared into leaf litter, no evidence has been publicly presented to demonstrate that this was in fact the case.

2. If the cause of Dr Kelly's death was an arterial bleed and there was very little blood at the place where he was found, this suggests he died elsewhere. As has been shown, testimonies suggest that at one point the body was sitting-up, and then later on, laying on its back. This reinforces the suggestion that Dr Kelly did in fact die in a different place and was moved to the copse on Harrowdown Hill. The body may initially have been positioned incorrectly to be consistent with livor mortis and the vomit stains on his face, and had to be repositioned. It is also possible that those setting up the "suicide-scene" were in fact disturbed in their work by the volunteers and that the reason Louise Holmes and Paul Chapman did not see any items surrounding the body was because they had not yet been placed in position.

3. DC Coe was in charge of the scene during the period when the body was moved. It is reasonable to infer from this that either he moved it himself or was aware of others doing so. Secondly, but equally importantly, DC Coe contradicts no fewer than five other witness testimonies when he claims to have been accompanied by just one (and not two) other officers. His testimony appears to be particularly unreliable.

4. Both PCs Sawyer and Franklin report that DC Coe had two uniformed officers with him - contradicting all other testimony. This suggests that their testimony needs rigorous cross-checking with that of witnesses who assert the officers were in plain-clothes.

5. The fact that the ambulance crew state that they did not see actual wounds could indicate that the five incisions in the body's left arm (or some of them) may have been inflicted after they (the ambulance crew) left the scene. An independent examination of the body, or the cause of death evidence, by a second pathologist may be required to ascertain if this is the case.

6. It is remarkable that the ulnar artery was severed rather than the radial given that the radial is far easier to cut - and hence less painful - when attempting suicide. This evidence suggests that the wrist may have been cut by another party.

I trust that you find sufficient material evidence in the above to conclude that Dr David Kelly may well not, in fact, have taken his own life and that another party was involved. If Lord Hutton's final report concludes that Dr Kelly did commit suicide, I would like to strongly recommend your original inquest into Dr KellyÕs death be resumed so that testimonies can be made under oath and with a jury present.

Yours sincerely

Rummy’s Nuclear Weapons Could Trigger World War III

Rumsfeld’s plan to develop so-called "mini" nuclear weapons has many people across the globe fearing the very worst.

American Free Press
By Gordon Thomas

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is backing the creation of a new generation of low-yield nuclear weapons—dubbed "mini-nukes." The weapons would be used to attack al Qaeda bases in mountainous regions of Afghanistan, where conventional penetration bombs have so far failed to destroy the organization’s underground camps.

Details are contained in a top-secret Pentagon document, Future Strategic Strike Force. It has been produced by the Defense Science Board (DSB). It has a Pentagon brief to "transform the nation’s armed forces to meet the demands placed on them by a changing world order." The weapons could be tested as early as next year.

Last September, in a barely reported decision, the Senate eased restrictions on nuclear testing at the army’s test range in Nevada. No new test has taken place there since 1992. The DSB report was produced by a group of scientists employed at Los Alamos and by Pentagon strategists.

They have concluded that in the war against terrorism, it is "essential to revamp our nuclear arsenal. We envisage a completely new arsenal of small-scale missiles whose explosive impact would be easier to control and which could be targeted against terror groups and small aggressive states."

Though North Korea and Iran are not named, Pentagon sources say that the "mini-nukes would be ideal for targeting them." A copy of the report has already been sent to Israel—and its defense chiefs have expressed "a strong interest" in ordering the mini-nukes. Rumsfeld has himself told senior Defense Department officials that the need for a "bolder approach" in dealing with America’s enemies is "now long overdue."

A senior Pentagon analyst said that Rumsfeld told the officials that there is an "urgent need to discard our old Cold War thinking about nuclear weapons only being weapons of mass destruction with widespread fallout. The fact is that America’s nuclear capability is a hangover from those days when we had to match the Soviets. What we need now are nuclear weapons that fit into our new security needs. Mini-nuke fallout would be limited to the target area."

During President Bush’s visit to London, senior Department of Defense officials, who were traveling with the president, met with their counterparts in Britain’s Ministry of Defense to discuss the role Britain can play in having mini-nukes replace the larger nuclear weapons stockpiled from the time of the Cold War. Among the topics on the London agenda were an enhanced mini-neutron bomb and a specifically designed "bunker buster, capable of destroying terrorist cells deep underground."

But already the prospect of mini-nukes has aroused fear and anger among others. During Rumsfeld’s visit to Japan and South Korea, he received a cool reception for his plans to launch mini-nukes.

"Such weapons would, in the case of North Korea, produce a massive retaliation from their own nuclear arsenal," said Yoshio Takamara, a Tokyo-based defense analyst. "It would not only be against South Korea and U.S. forces there, but also against Japan. The use of mini-nukes in this region would probably trigger World War III."

The mayor of Hiroshima, Tadatoshi Akiba, told American Free Press: "Any policy of the United States to add to the world’s nuclear arsenal is to be deplored. Any attack will surely not stop at one mini-nuke. A dozen of them could cause as much damage as the original atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. We are still the only city that has suffered such unique devastation. And we are still living with the results."

Mohammed el-Baradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said: "Developing new weapons will only encourage other countries to violate the nuclear nonproliferation treaty."

But all the signs are that Rumsfeld is prepared to have the mini-nukes in place as soon as possible.

N.Korea says Rumsfeld worse than Hitler

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has issued a blistering attack on Donald Rumsfeld, saying the U.S. defence secretary is worse than Adolf Hitler.[...]

"It is nothing surprising that Rumsfeld talked such nonsense as he put Hitler into the shade in man-killing and war hysteria. But we can never pardon him for malignantly slandering our dignified and inviolable political system whether he is a political dwarf, human scum or hysteric," the agency said on Saturday.

"If his vituperation represents the stance of the Bush administration, it can not but cast a doubt about the prospect of the six-way talks," it said. [...]

Canadian Forces' new unmanned spy plane crashes in Afghanistan

07:56 AM EST Nov 22
TERRY PEDWELL

KABUL (CP) - One of the Canadian army's new unmanned surveillance aircraft came crashing to the ground Friday, temporarily halting the spy plane's testing program.

"We actually don't know what happened," said Lt.-Col. Dana Clarke, director of the unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV, program. "Observers on the ground saw it when it came in for its normal recovery," said Clarke. "Everything looked normal."

Bush rewards military allies

Saturday 22 November 2003, 14:33 Makka Time, 11:33 GMT

President George Bush has rewarded six European allies for backing the "war on terrorism" and the invasion of Iraq, by promising to ease resitrictions on military aid.

Washington suspended military assistance in July to Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia - along with many others - for failing to shield Americans from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

But in a memorandum issued by the White House on Friday, Bush said it was "important to the national interest of the United States" to waive the aid restrictions "for only certain specific projects that I have decided are needed" to support NATO's expansion as well as US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Free to help

The seeming gift comes at a price, however. The partial lifting of military aid restrictions frees up the six countries to provide their sponsor with greater support in its ongoing military operations worldwide.

Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia have either deployed forces to Iraq or have committed to do so.

U.S. General Says Bin Laden 'Out of the Picture'

By Yousuf Azimy
November 22, 2003

BAGRAM, Afghanistan (Reuters) - A senior U.S. general said on Friday that al Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden had "taken himself out of the picture" and that his capture was not essential to winning the "war on terror."

General Peter Pace, vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at U.S. military headquarters just north of Kabul that the 11,500-strong U.S.-led force hunting al Qaeda and Taliban militants was not focusing on individuals. [...]

"It is not an individual that is as important as is the ongoing campaign of the coalition against terrorists," he said.

America's new ambassador to Kabul Zalmay Khalilzad said earlier this week that the U.S. military would "redouble" its efforts to find bin Laden and other al Qaeda and Taliban leaders. [...]

He said U.S.-led forces were winning their war against "terrorists" in Afghanistan, despite nearly 400 people being killed in just over three months in the bloodiest period since the Taliban's ouster two years ago. [...]

Comment: "The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him." - George W. Bush, September 13, 2001

U.S. Warns of Possible Al Qaeda Plot on U.S. Interests

By Deborah Charles
Fri Nov 21, 9:31 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government has issued an advisory warning of al Qaeda's "continued desire" to plot a terrorist attack on American interests abroad, but there has been no change in the U.S. terror threat level, officials said on Friday.

A senior intelligence official said a classified advisory was sent to law enforcement and security personnel late on Thursday regarding "al Qaeda's continued desire to plot or plan terrorist attacks with an emphasis on U.S. interests abroad." [...]

Another official said the advisory mentioned increased fears of violence when the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan ends early next week. He said the government was concerned because suicide bomb attacks in the Middle East had been occurring steadily over the past weeks. [...]

Patriot Act Expansion Moves Through Congress

by Jim Lobe
November 21, 2003


WASHINGTON -- Congress is poised to approve new legislation that amounts to the first substantive expansion of the controversial USA Patriot Act since it was approved just after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and the Pentagon.

Acting at the Bush administration's behest, a joint House-Senate conference committee has approved a provision in the 2004 Intelligence Authorization bill that will permit the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to demand records from a number of businesses--without the approval of a judge or grand jury--if it deems them relevant to a counter-terrorism investigation.

The measure would extend the FBI's power to seize records from banks and credit unions to securities dealers, currency exchanges, travel agencies, car dealers, post offices, casinos, pawnbrokers and any other business that, according to the government, has a "high degree of usefulness in criminal, tax or regulatory matters." Such seizures could be carried out with the approval of the judicial branch of government.

Comment: The man above has designs on your freedoms. Contrary to government propaganda, it is not "terrorists" that hate Americans because of their freedom, it is people like John Ashcroft and the so called "elite" that plan on removing the last vestiges of the illusion of democracy in the US.

Panel faults FBI on use of informants

By LOLITA C. BALDOR
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON – A House committee concluded Thursday that the FBI shielded from prosecution known killers and other criminals whom it used as informants to investigate organized crime in New England.

The scathing report also found the FBI attempted to impede the congressional investigation into the long-running scandal. [...]

First Amendment survey finds knowledge lacking

By George Archibald
THE WASHINGTON TIMES     

More than two-thirds of college students and administrators who participated in a national survey were unable to remember that freedom of religion and the press are guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

In surveys conducted at 339 U.S. colleges and universities, more than one-fourth of students and administrators did not list freedom of speech as an essential right protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution.

More than three-fourths did not name freedom of assembly and association or the right "to petition the government for a redress of grievances." [...]

Vancouver man cleared of arms charges remains in jail

VANCOUVER - A Vancouver man acquitted of charges related to a counter-terrorism school in New Mexico is still being held in jail [...]

His defence countered that Hudak was a victim of a government setup.

Miami Police Open Fire On FTAA Protesters With Rubber Bullets

November 20, 2003

Riot police fire rubber bullets and used long batons, plastic shields, concussion grenades and stun guns at hundreds of demonstrators opposed to ongoing talks aimed at creating a hemisphere-wide free trade zone, in downtown Miami Thursday, Nov. 20, 2003.

 

A protestor holds a rag to her head to stop the bleeding from a wound after being hit by a rubber bullet during a Free Trade protest in downtown Miami, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2003.

Comment: Americans should take a good look at the police in the first picture above. The US fascist police state is already here. All the signs are pointing to that likelihood that in the very near future Americans will be seeing a lot more of the jack-booted thugs on their streets.

The Bubble of American Supremacy

A prominent financier argues that the heedless assertion of American power in the world resembles a financial bubble—and the moment of truth may be here

by George Soros
December Issue: The Atlantic Monthly

It is generally agreed that September 11, 2001, changed the course of history. But we must ask ourselves why that should be so. How could a single event, even one involving 3,000 civilian casualties, have such a far-reaching effect? The answer lies not so much in the event itself as in the way the United States, under the leadership of President George W. Bush, responded to it.

Admittedly, the terrorist attack was historic in its own right. Hijacking fully fueled airliners and using them as suicide bombs was an audacious idea, and its execution could not have been more spectacular. The destruction of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center made a symbolic statement that reverberated around the world, and the fact that people could watch the event on their television sets endowed it with an emotional impact that no terrorist act had ever achieved before. The aim of terrorism is to terrorize, and the attack of September 11 fully accomplished this objective.

Even so, September 11 could not have changed the course of history to the extent that it has if President Bush had not responded to it the way he did. He declared war on terrorism, and under that guise implemented a radical foreign-policy agenda whose underlying principles predated the tragedy. Those principles can be summed up as follows: International relations are relations of power, not law; power prevails and law legitimizes what prevails. The United States is unquestionably the dominant power in the post-Cold War world; it is therefore in a position to impose its views, interests, and values. The world would benefit from adopting those values, because the American model has demonstrated its superiority. The Clinton and first Bush Administrations failed to use the full potential of American power. This must be corrected; the United States must find a way to assert its supremacy in the world. [...]

The supremacist ideology of the Bush Administration stands in opposition to the principles of an open society, which recognize that people have different views and that nobody is in possession of the ultimate truth. The supremacist ideology postulates that just because we are stronger than others, we know better and have right on our side. The very first sentence of the September 2002 National Security Strategy (the President's annual laying out to Congress of the country's security objectives) reads, "The great struggles of the twentieth century between liberty and totalitarianism ended with a decisive victory for the forces of freedom—and a single sustainable model for national success: freedom, democracy, and free enterprise."

The assumptions behind this statement are false on two counts. First, there is no single sustainable model for national success. Second, the American model, which has indeed been successful, is not available to others, because our success depends greatly on our dominant position at the center of the global capitalist system, and we are not willing to yield it.

The Bush doctrine, first enunciated in a presidential speech at West Point in June of 2002, and incorporated into the National Security Strategy three months later, is built on two pillars: the United States will do everything in its power to maintain its unquestioned military supremacy; and the United States arrogates the right to pre-emptive action. In effect, the doctrine establishes two classes of sovereignty: the sovereignty of the United States, which takes precedence over international treaties and obligations; and the sovereignty of all other states, which is subject to the will of the United States. This is reminiscent of George Orwell's Animal Farm: all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

To be sure, the Bush doctrine is not stated so starkly; it is shrouded in doublespeak. The doublespeak is needed because of the contradiction between the Bush Administration's concept of freedom and democracy and the actual principles and requirements of freedom and democracy. Talk of spreading democracy looms large in the National Security Strategy. But when President Bush says, as he does frequently, that freedom will prevail, he means that America will prevail. In a free and open society, people are supposed to decide for themselves what they mean by freedom and democracy, and not simply follow America's lead. The contradiction is especially apparent in the case of Iraq, and the occupation of Iraq has brought the issue home. We came as liberators, bringing freedom and democracy, but that is not how we are perceived by a large part of the population.

It is ironic that the government of the most successful open society in the world should have fallen into the hands of people who ignore the first principles of open society. At home Attorney General John Ashcroft has used the war on terrorism to curtail civil liberties. Abroad the United States is trying to impose its views and interests through the use of military force. The invasion of Iraq was the first practical application of the Bush doctrine, and it has turned out to be counterproductive. A chasm has opened between America and the rest of the world. [...]

The terrorist attack on the United States could have been treated as a crime against humanity rather than an act of war. Treating it as a crime would have been more appropriate. Crimes require police work, not military action. Protection against terrorism requires precautionary measures, awareness, and intelligence gathering—all of which ultimately depend on the support of the populations among which the terrorists operate. Imagine for a moment that September 11 had been treated as a crime. We would not have invaded Iraq, and we would not have our military struggling to perform police work and getting shot at. [...]

The war on terrorism as pursued by the Bush Administration cannot be won. On the contrary, it may bring about a permanent state of war. Terrorists will never disappear. They will continue to provide a pretext for the pursuit of American supremacy. That pursuit, in turn, will continue to generate resistance. Further, by turning the hunt for terrorists into a war, we are bound to create innocent victims. The more innocent victims there are, the greater the resentment and the better the chances that some victims will turn into perpetrators. [...]

Israel Will Attack Iran’s Nuclear Sites

By Gary Fitleberg on 11/21/03

Israel is prepared to launch an attack on Iran's nuclear sites in order to paralyzed them and prevent them for being operational, the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel reported.

The paper said that Israeli security officials fear that the Iranian capabilities of manufacturing nuclear arms have reached an advanced stage, and that the Mossad believes that Iran is already able to manufacture weapons-grade uranium.

According to the report a special Mossad unit received orders two months ago to prepare a comprehensive and detailed plan for the attack.

The magazine quoted an Israeli fighter pilot as saying that the mission was complicated but technically feasible.

According to the report, Israel has information on six nuclear sites in Iran, three of them previously unknown to the rest of the world, and plans to have F16 fighter planes attacks the sites simultaneously.

Israel modified missiles to enable submarine-based nuclear strike

The Los Angeles Times also reported that U.S. and Israeli officials say Israel has modified U.S.-made Harpoon cruise missiles so it can launch nuclear warheads from submarines.

The State Department and Pentagon declined to comment on the report, as did an Israeli military spokesman, in line with that nation's policy of refusing to say if it has nuclear weapons.

Israel is regarded as the only nuclear power in the Middle East. [...]

US left in delicate position over Iran nuclear demands

WASHINGTON (AFP) Nov 21, 2003

The US Department of State on Friday backed off demands to take Iran's nuclear program before the UN Security Council.
Deputy State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said Washington hoped the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would "take firm action" in response to an IAEA report on Iran's suspect nuclear activities. [...]

The United States wants the IAEA to declare Iran in non-compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty. But it has failed to agree with Britain, France and Germany on a resolution in response to the report detailing almost two decades of hidden nuclear activities. [...]

DHL plane hit by missile over Baghdad

BAGHDAD (AFP) Nov 22, 2003

A civilian plane belonging to international express courier DHL was hit by a SA-7 surface-to-air missile over Baghdad on Saturday forcing it to make an emergency landing, the US military said.

"A DHL plane took off from Baghdad airport this morning and was hit by a SAM-7 surface-to-air missile," said a military official who asked not to be identified.

"It caught fire, it turned around and came back to the airport where it safely landed. The fire was taken out. There are no injuries," he added. [...]

DHL, the formerly US-owned courier now owned by German giant Deutsche Post, confirmed that its staff had suffered no injuries. [...]

Turkey Sitting Over Volcano Of Terrorism

Sami Shoursh Al-Hayat 2003/11/22

Most probably, last week's attacks in Istanbul weren't merely aimed at prejudicing the domestic situation, whether politically or economically. They were rather terrorist attacks with preplanned targets and purposes; in other words they carried bloody messages to different countries and parties: the United States, Britain and Israel, in addition to Turkey itself which has close relations with all three countries. In the same context, considering the way and manner of their execution, these attacks were not the result of local terrorism, mainly because of the use of booby-trapped trucks and suicide bombers. Therefore, they were perpetrated by international terrorists that depended on internal and external elements. For this reason, it came as no surprise when Al Qaeda and a small Turkish organization, known as the Islamic Great Eastern Raiders' Front, claimed responsibility for these attacks, without any clear significance to their purposes behind killing innocent civilians.

But along with this, it is a great mistake for Ankara to consider the reasons, motives and sources of these bombings based on the external dimension: the difficulties of the political situation and the regional tension in the Middle East, and how the security conditions in Iraq are negatively affecting the internal conditions of the neighboring countries including Turkey, in addition to Turkey's geopolitical strategic position in the world and region. It would also be a mistake to claim that throughout its modern history, it did not witness operations of this nature and that the organizations and the Turkish political parties had never at any point resorted to violent actions of that dimension of bloodshed and ruthlessness, regardless of the level of extremism of such parties.

Chemical Terror Plot Foiled in Britain, Paper Reports

Fri Nov 21, 8:51 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - The Financial Times newspaper reported on Saturday that an attempt by a London-based terror group to buy half a ton of toxic chemicals was foiled after the supplier became suspicious and alerted police.

It said the group had attempted to buy 1,102 pounds of the toxin saponin from Amersham Biosciences late last year but the sale was refused after staff became concerned about the size of the order. [...]

The Financial Times quoted experts as saying the chemical could have been mixed with another toxin, such as ricin, and smeared in public places, causing widespread poisoning.

Saponin is sometimes used in laboratories to enhance the transmission of molecules through biological cell walls, while ricin is highly toxic, with less than one milligram sufficient to kill an adult. [...]

Comment: Perhaps this is another case of "dual use technology" that is being used to the advantage of those perpetrating the phony war on terror:

From Encyclopeadia Britannica:

Saponin - Any of numerous substances, occurring in plants, that form stable foams with water, including the constituents of digitalis and squill that affect the heart and another group that does not affect the heart.
Saponins affecting the heart have been used as arrow and spear poisons by African and South American natives. Digitalis, from purple foxglove...

From Hyperdictionary.com:

SAPONIN
Pronunciation: 'sapunin
Definition: A substance found in soybeans and many other plants. Saponins may help lower cholesterol and may have anticancer effects.

From TotalSkinCare.com:

Saponin - These are naturally or synthetically occurring products derived from sugar. They commonly foam in water, and are often used in shaving creams or shampoos.

How Mossad got American to bomb Libya and fight Iraq

Muslims round on 'British way' minister

By George Jones, Political Editor
The Telegraph

A Foreign Office minister caused outrage yesterday when he told Muslims they must make a choice between the "British way" of political dialogue and Islamic terrorism. [...]

Inayat Bunglawala, a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, said they did not need lectures from a representative of a Government "that has conducted an unlawful war against Iraq". He said the Muslim community had consistently condemned terrorism, including the latest attack on the British consulate and the HSBC bank in Turkey.

"The attacks only emphasise that the disastrous war in Iraq has not reduced the risk of terrorism, as our own Governments had us believe beforehand, but has exacerbated it,"said Mr Bunglawala. [...]

'Religious right relishing Road Map's collapse'

Fundamentalist leaders want Bush to add Palestinians to list of targets for war against terrorism

Comment: It appears that psychopaths every where want Armageddon, and they won't be happy until the concentration camps are filling up.

Chavez film puts staff at risk, says Amnesty

Recriminations after documentary on Venezuelan coup attempt is dropped from a Vancouver festival

Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles
Saturday November 22, 2003
The Guardian

An award-winnning documentary about the coup last year that briefly ousted the Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, has become the subject of a bitter dispute. Last week, it was withdrawn from an Amnesty International (AI) film festival because Amnesty staff in Caracas said they feared for their safety if it were shown.

The film, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, was made by two Irish film makers, Kim Bartley and Donnacha O'Briain. They were preparing a documentary about Mr Chavez, with his cooperation, before the coup and were inside the presidential palace in April 2002 when the events unfolded.

The film has since been shown on television by the BBC, by RTE in Ireland, and elsewhere in Europe. This week it won two prizes at the Grierson documentary awards in Britain.

Mr Chavez was briefly removed from office by a military coup but returned to power after 48 hours. The political situation was then, and remains, highly polarised. The president as portrayed by his opponents is a dangerous, anti-US communist, while Chavez supporters see the opposition as the privileged seeking to preserve their powers from the underprivileged.

The film portrays Mr Chavez in a sympathetic light. It was shown on the public television channel in Venezuela earlier this year. The private television channels are all opposed to Mr Chavez.

Last week, the film was due to be shown at the AI film festival in Vancouver. The organising committee came under pressure from Chavez opponents in Venezuela and eventually decided not to show it.

John Tackaberry of AI said yesterday that the decision had been taken only after Amnesty staff in Venezuela had said that, if it were shown, it would present "some degree of threat to their physical safety".

They told colleagues that, even if Amnesty ran a standard disclaimer, the organisation would be associated with the film, thus endangering its staff.

Comment: The above article does not state where the physical safety risks are coming from. It is well known that the CIA were involved in the attempted coup, as they have been in so many others, so we wonder if the threats over the showing of this film come from the Venezuelan opposition or their American financiers.

Directors quit Black board

Audit committee resigns after he refuses to step down
Hollinger crisis deepens over unauthorized payments

ROB FERGUSON
BUSINESS REPORTER

Four high-profile directors of Conrad Black's troubled Hollinger Inc. quit suddenly last night after the board rejected their calls for the resignations of Black and a top lieutenant.

The surprise move threw Black's newspaper empire deeper into turmoil in a week that began with Black resigning as chief executive of a subsidiary, Chicago-based Hollinger International Inc., after receiving $7.2 million (U.S.) in unauthorized payments.

Gone from the board of Toronto-based Hollinger are Fredrik Eaton, once of department store fame, Allan Gotlieb, a former Canadian ambassador to the U.S., former CTV head Doug Bassett, and lawyer Maureen Sabia.

The four comprised the board's audit committee, which had been investigating unauthorized payments to Black and three key executives.

Sources said the audit committee had recommended that Black, chairman and chief executive of Toronto-based Hollinger Inc., and president and deputy chairman David Radler, step down.

Morocco jails 15 for terror plots

Saturday 22 November 2003, 15:10 Makka Time, 12:10 GMT

A court in Rabat has sentenced 15 people to 20 years in prison for plotting terrorist attacks while 26 other defendants were given jail terms ranging from two to 15 years.

Three of the 45 defendants in the so-called "Agadir terrorist cell" were acquitted and another one was fined 3000 dirhams (33 euros), a judicial source said on Saturday.

Sudan peace accord 'likely soon'

Saturday 22 November 2003, 13:14 Makka Time, 10:14 GMT

Sudanese rebel leader John Garang says he sees a good chance of reaching a peace agreement with the government by the end of the year.

The US State Department on Friday said Garang had given Secretary of State Colin Powell a fresh undertaking to tie up a deal this year.

"We hope that we will reach a final, just and comprehensive agreement before the end of the year," said Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) chief Garang after Friday's meeting in Washington with Powell.

[...] The negotiators have three main points to settle - the status of three disputed areas and how to share power and wealth.

Sudan's war erupted in 1983 when Garang's SPLA took up arms to end domination of the mainly Christian and animist south by the Muslim north.

The war has left 1.5 million people dead and four million displaced.

Ethnic clashes kill 15 in India

Saturday 22 November 2003, 11:47 Makka Time, 8:47 GMT

At least 15 immigrant settlers have been gunned down by suspected separatist rebels in India's troubled northeastern state of Assam in a fresh outbreak of ethnic violence.

The attacks followed a two-day lull in the state which earlier this week saw widespread looting and killing of people from neighbouring Bihar state in a conflict triggered by a competition for jobs.

At least 34 settlers had been killed before Saturday's attack.

Georgia 'on verge of revolution'

Georgia's main opposition leader has vowed to "trample" the country's leadership as supporters gathered for protests in the capital Tbilisi.

Mikhail Saakashvili said a "bloodless revolution" was going on after official results gave the government victory in parliamentary elections.

Amid the tension, the new parliament is set to convene on Saturday.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called for "maximum restraint" and urged leaders to seek a political solution.

Opposition storms Georgian chamber

Saturday, November 22, 2003 Posted: 9:51 AM EST (1451 GMT)

TBILISI, Georgia (CNN) -- Georgia's President Eduard Shevardnadze was hustled out of the country's parliament after anti-government protesters stormed the building.

Masked men with machine guns in pick-up trucks surrounded the president's car as he left the scene. Other politicians had fled the chamber also.

A spokesman for Shevardnadze was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying the opposition had carried out a "coup." But it was unclear whether the president, who is believed to be at the ministry of defense, was going to stand down.

EU body shelves report on anti-semitism

By Bertrand Benoit in Berlin
Published: November 21 2003 21:10 | Last Updated: November 21 2003 21:10

The European Union's racism watchdog has shelved a report on anti-semitism because the study concluded Muslims and pro-Palestinian groups were behind many of the incidents it examined.

The Vienna-based European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) decided in February not to publish the 112-page study, a copy of which was obtained by the Financial Times, after clashing with its authors over their conclusions.

Members of Iraq authority in bribes probe

By Demetri Sevastopulo in Washington, Nicolas Pelham in Baghdad and Roula Khalaf in London
Published: November 21 2003 21:50 | Last Updated: November 21 2003 21:50

Two officials of the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad and the Iraqi minister of communications are being investigated by the Pentagon over allegations of taking bribes.

Potentially lucrative licences to build and operate mobile phone networks in Iraq were announced last month by Haider al-Abadi, communications minister, in favour of three Middle-Eastern consortia - Orascom Iraq, Asia Cell and Atheer. The announcement was welcomed as an important milestone on the road to rebuilding Iraq. The CPA is to award contracts for Iraq's reconstruction worth about $18.5bn over the next four months or so.

But an administration official close to the CPA and someone close to the defence department say the Pentagon's inspector-general has launched an investigation into the Orascom contract, partly because of allegations from a rival bidder that failed to win one of the mobile licences.

A Pentagon spokesman confirmed that there was an "ongoing preliminary inquiry" into the contracts.

Economist says the middle class is on the losing end

By L.M. SIXEL
Houston Chronicle


Companies may be hiring once again, but the drumbeat of bad news has hardly abated.

· Eight million workers face the threat of losing overtime pay if proposed rule changes by the Labor Department succeed.

· Each day, the list grows for mutual funds under investigation by federal and state authorities for questionable and illegal trading.

· 15.2 percent of Americans lack health insurance. In Texas, the situation is even worse. About 25 percent say they don't have health insurance, the highest rate in the nation.

So where's the lower- and middle-class outrage?

Maybe it just hasn't gotten bad enough, says Paul Krugman, a Princeton University economics professor whose columns appear occasionally in the Chronicle and twice a week in the New York Times.

"We'll have the march of the millions of assistant vice presidents in Washington, D.C., when they realize it's not the poor versus the rich, but it's the middle class that's on the losing end of everything," said Krugman, author of a new book, The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century.

Krugman, in Houston recently to pitch his book, likened America today to the 1920s, a time of great injustice and inequality.

The distribution of income -- with so much concentration at the top -- is much like it was in 1929, he said. And corporate corruption, coupled with the stock market crash that year, led to the creation of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

It wasn't until things got really terrible that the federal government responded with programs to boost the economy and generate jobs under the New Deal, said Krugman, whose academic specialty is foreign currency crises.

But until the situation gets really bad, most folks don't pay a lot of attention. They're focused more on their families and other personal commitments than on how the administration's policies affect their jobs or quality of life.

There is discontent, Krugman said, but part of the problem is that people aren't getting very good information.

He cites as an example the argument by President Bush's supporters that his tax cuts went mostly to the lower and middle classes.

"They smear anyone who gets in the way," said Krugman, whose prominence has turned him into one of the leading targets of conservatives.

33 Years Later, Draft Becomes Topic for Dean

By RICK LYMAN and CHRISTOPHER DREW
The New York Times
November 22, 2003

In the winter of 1970, a 21-year-old student from Yale walked into his armed services physical in New York carrying X-rays and a letter from his orthopedist, eager to know whether a back condition might keep him out of the military draft.

This was not an uncommon scene in 1970, when medical deferments were a frequently used avenue for those reluctant to take part in the unpopular war in Vietnam. And this story would have little interest save that Howard Dean was the name of the young man. Now, 33 years later, he finds himself a leading Democrat in the quest for the party's nomination to be president of the United States.

Dr. Dean got the medical deferment, but in a recent interview he said he probably could have served had he not mentioned the condition.

"I guess that's probably true," he said. "I mean, I was in no hurry to get into the military."

But now that he is running for president, in a race when many Democrats believe they need a candidate with strong national security credentials to challenge President Bush, the choices Dr. Dean, a former Vermont governor, made 33 years ago are providing ammunition for critics. [...]

In 2000, George W. Bush drew similar attacks and issued a similar denial for landing his spot in the Texas Air National Guard. And Bill Clinton's machinations to avoid military service led to accusations that he was a draft-dodging product of the 1960's, a label he was never entirely able to shake. [...]

Dr. Dean may well draw the early heat on the issue because he has pushed near the front of the Democratic pack. Beyond that, two of his opponents — General Clark, a West Point graduate who served in Vietnam and rose to command NATO forces, and Mr. Kerry, who served two tours in Vietnam and came away with a Bronze Star, a Silver Star and three Purple Hearts — regularly remind voters of their military credentials. [...]

Comment: Most people in power in the US government managed to avoid military service, just as their children manage to avoid service today - yet none of these politicians seem to have a problem sending others people's children to their deaths. America's obsession with those who perform military service is also rather interesting. Candidates remind the people of their military service records, as if slaughtering people makes one a better leader in the eyes of the average citizen.

U.S. Detonates 'Mother of All Bombs' in Florida Test

By Will Dunham

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The most powerful conventional bomb in the U.S. arsenal exploded in a huge, fiery cloud on a Florida test range on Friday after being dropped by an Air Force cargo plane in the last developmental step for the nearly 11-ton "mother of all bombs." [...]

A plume of smoke rose more than 10,000 feet in the air and was visible 40 miles away in Pensacola, Florida. [...]

US begins hypersonic weapons program

NewScientist.com

The US military has begun development of an ultra-high speed weapons system that would enable targets virtually anywhere on Earth to be hit within two hours of launch from the continental US.

Ten companies have been given grants by the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Pentagon for six-month "system definition" studies. If the Pentagon likes the results, a three-year design and development phase will begin.

The ultimate aim, slated for around 2025, is a reusable Hypersonic Cruise Vehicle (HCV) that can take off from a conventional runway in the US and strike targets up to 16,700 kilometres (10,350 miles) away. [...]

Biometric cards will not stop identity fraud

New Scientist

A plan to introduce biometric ID cards in the UK will fail to achieve one of its main aims, New Scientist has learned. The proposed system will do nothing to prevent fraudsters acquiring multiple identity cards. [...]

Italian TV satire suspended

[...] Many Italians believe that Berlusconi himself might be behind the decision to scrap the programme. [...]

"But she, and professionals like her, must understand that there is a limit of civility that cannot be overstepped, and first and foremost that satire cannot become a disguise for a political message." [...]

New Coalition Raises Concerns About E-Voting

Elizabeth Heichler
IDG News Service

BOSTON -- A host of computer scientists and activists have joined forces to form the National Committee for Voting Integrity (NCVI) and to throw down a gauntlet to presidential candidates, inviting them to take a stance on electronic voting.

The group seeks to require a mechanism for voters to verify ballot choices rather than simply enter them via a touch screen without confirmation, as many current Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) systems do. [...]

Rare Type Of Meteor Lights Up Sky

November 21, 2003
thenewmexicochannel.com

Sandia Labs Catches Object On Videotape

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A lot of people saw it, they just didn't know what to make of it.

A light streaked across the New Mexico sky about dusk Thursday evening. There were a lot of theories as to the cause of the flash of light, but the experts at Sandia National Labs said it was a meteor.

Thanks to a unique camera system at the lab, the meteor was videotaped and experts have been able to study what was a very remarkable sight. In the accompanying photograph, taken from Sandia Labs' camera, you see the meteor highlighted in a box. The photo is a spherical image of the entire sky, with the horizon to the left ringed by city lights.

Terry Connors had just flown his plane into Double Eagle Airport from Los Alamos when he spotted the meteor.

"It was quite amazing because the first thing we noticed kind of a bright flash, and then you saw the long bright trail of a meteor that you would normally see, but it was still daylight so you could also see the vapor trail that it left," Connors said. "Rather than just dying out, there was a bright green explosion at the end of the trail and then that was the end of the event, except the vapor trail stayed around for another 5 or 10 minutes."

As an Air Force veteran, Connors said he's seen a lot of meteors, but nothing like what he saw Thursday. But Sandia senior engineer Dick Spalding said he's confident that's what it was on the tape.

"It caught a meteor -- a thing that moved through the sky with the speed and direction that we generally associate with a meteor -- so we think that's what people saw," Spalding said.

Comment: Just in time. We have a nice display that coincides with nearly every media outlet picking up the story about the great destruction of the dinosaurs from a meteor impact. They all have various titles of dramatic impact such as, Space rock caused 'great dying' .

Strange lights in the night sky make for wide eyes

Jose Antonio Vargas, Key Davidson
The San Francisco Chronicle
Friday, November 21, 2003

Was it the Northern Lights, shooting stars -- or both?

It depends which federal agency you ask.

According to the National Weather Service, the "red ball of light" described by frantic callers to radio programs and police stations throughout the Bay Area Thursday night was the aurora borealis, better known as the Northern Lights, rarely seen this far south. It was visible across the country.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, however, it was a part of the legendary Leonid meteor shower, as tiny rocks burn up while plunging from space. It should have peaked before dawn Nov. 19, said Joshua Taylor, a petty officer with the U.S. Coast Guard. [...]

If you buy the aurora hypothesis, then you're blaming the sun, like Steve Markkanen of the National Weather Service. The sun has been throwing quite a fit recently, spewing out electrically charged particles that make Earth's upper atmosphere glow spookily like a silk scarf or a child's balloon when you electrify it by rubbing it in the dark. [...]

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported on its Web site Thursday that the geomagnetic storm activity during the previous 24 hours was "extreme," the worst possible rating. Typically, the site notes, "extreme" geomagnetic storm activity can mean that people as far south as Florida and southern Texas can see the light. It could affect radio transmissions and disorient space satellites. By Thursday evening, however, the rating had decreased to "strong," two stages below "extreme." In "strong" geomagnetic storms, light can be visible as far south as Illinois and Oregon. [...]

Puerto Rico Floods: Bush Declares Disaster

US president George Bush has declared a disaster in Puerto Rico following floods and landslides that forced hundreds from their homes and caused damage running into millions of dollars. [...]

Nine dead in flooding from Eastern storms

Friday, November 21, 2003 Posted: 3:56 AM EST (0856 GMT)

BALTIMORE, Maryland (AP) -- Searchers on Thursday found the body of a third construction worker swept away as storms flooded roads and overflowed creeks across Appalachia and the Eastern Seaboard.

At least nine people have died and emergency crews from Tennessee to Pennsylvania have rescued dozens of drivers from vehicles stalled in high water as the storms moved northeastward.

Paris air is as dirty today as in the 19th century

PARIS (AFP) Nov 21, 2003

The notion that cities in western Europe have cleaned up their acts after the unbridled air pollution of the Industrial Revolution has been dented by an unusual study that has delved into Paris's atmospheric past.

Using data taken by a long-forgotten scientist who set up an experiment on top of the Eiffel Tower in the 1890s, it found that the air in Paris today is just as dirty as it was 110 years ago, at a time when the city was expanding at breakneck speed and was recklessly burning coal, the dirtiest of fossil fuels. [...]

But the figures show that the particulates spewed up by coal have been replaced by those from burning petrol and diesel.

The website of Airparif, the agency that monitors airquality in Paris, says that the daily average level of fine particulates in 2001 was 70 microgrammes per cubic metre of air.

The goal is to bring this down to 50 in 2005 by encouraging cleaner vehicles and greater use of public transport. [...]

Glowing fish to be first genetically changed pet

Fri November 21, 2003 04:59 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A little tropical fish that glows fluorescent red will be the first genetically engineered pet, a Texas-based company has said.

The zebra fish were originally developed to detect environmental toxins, but Alan Blake and colleagues at Yorktown Technologies, L.P. licensed them to sell as pets. [...]

Comment: So do yo think that if we were bred by beings from another dimension, they would buy and sell us? Nah! That's just too outrageous!

Charles Dawson: 'The Piltdown faker'

On the 50th anniversary of the unmasking of the Piltdown Man hoax, archaeologist Dr Miles Russell explains why he believes local solicitor Charles Dawson was the man behind it all

In his life Charles Dawson achieved recognition as the greatest British antiquarian and amateur palaeontologist.
Within the social circles of his home county, his discoveries earned him the title "the Wizard of Sussex".

He was also a well-respected solicitor, doing much to benefit his local community.

Hard to believe then that this is the same man accused of being the mastermind of the most infamous scientific fraud in history.

Did the outwardly genial "Dr Jekyll" persona of Charles Dawson really mask an intrinsically evil and scheming "Mr Hyde"?

Vietnamese boy sold as dog meat

05:38, Nov 22 2003

HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnamese drug addicts kidnapped a mute teenager, bundled him in a sack and sold him to a dog-meat eatery as a stray canine, state media say.

The Gia Dinh Xa Hoi (Family and Society) newspaper said the two addicts grabbed the homeless 13-year-old from a busy market in Halong city.

[...] The kidnappers tied up the boy, bundled him into a sack and sold him to the restaurant for 300,000 dong, the newspaper said.

The restaurateur, shocked to find the boy, fed him and released him.

Comment: This heartwarming story is for all of who who think we only concentrate on the "bad."

And Finally . . .

Mayor cancels alien landing over abduction fears

The mayor of a Brazilian town says he has cancelled a planned landing by an alien spaceship during this week's Brazil v Peru football match.

Elcio Berti told Estado de Sao Paulo online: "I cancelled the landing because I was worried they might abduct one of the Brazilian footballers." [...]

The Queen displays her footballing skills

Ananova.com
14:41 Friday 21st November 2003

The Queen has demonstrated her footballing skills during a visit to an army base in Hampshire. [...]



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