May 15, 2003

The Writing on the Wall Series #24: Warning! Core Breach Is Imminent!

Hello everyone

Since there is so much important material to network, this one is a three-part compilation.

Hoping you'll have time to read this through ;-)

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator

This compilation is archived at

"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root."

- Henry David Thoreau, Walden


1. Villagers suffer radiation sickness after looting nuclear power plants
2. Conspiracy Crusader Doubts Official 9/11 Version
3. No Difference between Republicans and Democrats?
4. When Democracy Failed: The Warnings of History
5. ACLU Releases Report on Suppression of Dissent in a Post 9/11 America
6. Privilege Revoked
7. If This is Freedom, What is Exactly Dictatorship?
8. Clare Short Resigns: Spotlight on Brown
9. Voices call to end sanctions, and occupation

See also:

The U.S. real economy is in virtual shambles. It is the most debt- ridden country in the world, with every American having an average debt of $12,000. Its position is worse than that of Indonesia when it imploded in 1998, and it is even worse than that of Argentina. In February and March of 2003 another half a million Americans were laid off from their jobs. U.S. has a record trade deficit of nearly 5% of GDP, a $6.3 trillion dollar deficit (55% of GDP which is $9 trillion) and is looking at annual budget deficits in the hundreds of billions. There is massive debt manipulation, unaffordable tax cuts, massive current account deficits, trade deficits, corporate accounting fraud running into billions, unsustainable credit expansion, and near zero personal savings. The dollar is surviving all this economic turmoil only because it is the international fiat currency (i.e."petro dollar") for global oil transactions. The U.S. prints billions of these fiat petro-dollars to be used by other countries when purchasing oil from OPEC and other producers. These dollars are then recycled back into the U.S. via Treasury Bills or other assets such as U.S. stocks, real estate, etc.

Extinction Nears For Whales And Dolphins (May 14)
Some whales, dolphins and porpoises are now so endangered they could vanish within a decade, scientists say. The warning comes from an international group of cetacean experts at IUCN-The World Conservation Union. They say species like the baiji (the Yangtze River dolphin) are unlikely to last for another 10 years.

Study Shows 90 Percent Decline In Stocks Of Big Oceangoing Fish (May 14)
Scientists reported a 90 percent decline in large predatory fish in the world's oceans since a half century ago, a dire assessment that drew immediate skepticism from commercial fishermen. Analyzing nearly 50 years of data, two marine scientists at Dalhousie University in Canada say in Thursday's issue of Nature that commercial fishing killed off all but 10 percent of populations of large prized tuna, swordfish, marlin and other fish species.

Porpoises Die Along Coast; Sonar Suspected (May 13)
At least a half-dozen dead porpoises have washed up along the Washington and Canadian coasts in recent weeks, according to the Center for Whale Research in Friday Harbor. The announcement yesterday came one week after whale watchers noticed a shrill pinging sound and saw porpoises and a pod of endangered killer whales fleeing from the waters southwest of San Juan Island. The U.S. Navy confirmed that a destroyer, the USS Shoup, used its sonar when it passed through the area.

The Oily Americans - Why the world doesn't trust the U.S. about petroleum: A history of meddling (May 12),9171,1101030519-450997,00.html
For more than a half-century, American foreign policy dealing with oil has typically been manipulative and misguided, often both at the same time.

Terror crackdown has not reduced al-Qaida threat, warns thinktank, Iraq war and internet aids network (May 14),12469,955489,00.html
Al-Qaida remains a "potent" international terrorist network with more than 18,000 trained members at large in up to 90 countries, and could take a generation to dismantle, a leading international affairs thinktank warned yesterday. The warning came in the annual strategic survey of the International Institute for Strategic Studies whose author, Jonathan Stevenson, said the Riyadh bombings "bore the hallmarks" of an al-Qaida operation. The bombings "may be the first indication that the regime change in Iraq in the short term is going to cause a terrorist backlash and be an inspiration for terrorists", he added. Although the audacity and sheer power of the American-led invasion could have a "suppressive effect" on terrorists, it was equally likely that the conflict "increased al-Qaida's recruiting power", he said.

'Scaring America half to death' (May 13)
May 13 The distorted account of terrorism has had extraordinary psychological effect on many in the United States, causing them to think they are exposed to a degree of personal risk that has virtually no foundation in statistics, or indeed in common sense Foreign ministers of the Group of Eight leading industrial nations met in Paris on Monday to affirm that terrorism remains a "pervasive and global threat." Just three days earlier, the State Department had announced that terrorism is at its lowest level in 33 years.

Sharon rejects US pressure on settlements (May 14),3604,955376,00.html
Israel will not surrender sovereignty of Jewish towns to Palestinian state, PM warns before Washington talks on Middle East peace deal

Israeli reaction to 'road map' prompts U.S.-Egypt clash (May 13)

America challenges GM crops ban (May 14),3604,955270,00.html




Villagers suffer radiation sickness after looting nuclear power plants

By Inigo Gilmore in Baghdad

Filed: 11/05/2003

Doctors fear that hundreds of Iraqis may be suffering from radiation poisoning, following the widespread looting of the country's nuclear facilities.

Seven nuclear facilities have been damaged or effectively destroyed by ransackers since the end of the war. Technical documents, sensitive equipment and barrels containing radioactive material are believed to have been stolen.

Many residents in villages close to the huge Tuwaitha Nuclear Facility, about seven miles south of Baghdad, were showing signs of radiation illness last week, including rashes, acute vomiting and severe nosebleeds. As Saddam Hussein's regime collapsed last month villagers began looting barrels of the uranium oxide, known as "yellowcake", from the site, which they then emptied to use to store water, milk and yoghurt.

In Al Riyadh village, about a mile from the site, 13-year-old El Tifat Nasser fell ill after her brothers visited the facility on a dozen occasions and returned with barrels. "She is bleeding twice a day through her nose and she is very sick," said her mother, Sabieha Nasser, 48. "We are very worried."

Local hospitals have seen an influx of patients complaining of similar symptoms. "A lot of people seem to be affected," said one doctor. "It is deeply worrying."

Villagers said Iraqi officials arrived recently with Geiger counters. One said the men had measured areas where locals had emptied the contents of stolen barrels. "The Geiger counters were screaming," he said, adding that the officials had then instructed them to cover the areas in concrete. The failure to secure the nuclear sites has fuelled criticism of American forces in Iraq. It is known that at the Tuwaitha facility there were significant quantities of partially enriched uranium, caesium, strontium and cobalt.

Besides Tuwaitha and the adjacent Baghdad Nuclear Research Centre, the Ash Shaykhili Nuclear Facility, the Baghdad New Nuclear Design Centre and the Tahadi Nuclear Establishment have all been looted.

It is not yet clear what has been lost in the ransackings. There was unrestrained looting among chemical stores and scientific files that some experts believe could, in the wrong hands, allow the manufacture of a "dirty bomb". Many of the files, and some of the containers that held radioactive material, are missing.

All of the facilities have attracted close scrutiny from the International Atomic Energy Agency and from United States experts who claimed that Iraq, despite IAEA inspections, was working to develop nuclear weapons. The warehouses at Ash Shaykhili have been destroyed by ransacking and fire and the enrichment processing equipment is either missing or burnt.

Alarmed by the reports, the IAEA's director-general, Mohamed El Baradei, last week sent a letter to reiterate earlier demands that the US grant the agency access to Iraq's nuclear sites, but so far there has been no response.

Mohammed Zaidan, the former chief agricultural engineer at Tuwaitha, said he had visited the nuclear site with Dr Hamid Al Bahli, a nuclear scientist, on April 7 when American troops were approaching from the south. The soldiers, he said, assured the men they would secure Tuwaitha, but two weeks later they returned to find there were no American soldiers, only hundreds of people looting the facility and dogs rolling around in the contaminated uranium oxide.

"The soldiers had promised us they would secure the site but they did not and we wonder why," he said. "Perhaps it was because they always knew there were no real weapons there, despite all their claims. But, nevertheless, these materials represent a major health hazard and before long we may start to see people developing cancer and deformed babies because they did not stop the looting.


See also:

Seven Nuclear Sites Looted (May 10)
Iraqi Scientific Files, Some Containers Missing (...) Daoud Awad, who ran the electrical design department at Tuwaitha, said in a brief interview that he "saw with my own eyes people carrying the containers we used to put radioactive materials in." The containers slightly resemble jugs commonly used for milk, he said, "and they didn't know what was inside." "I saw some papers on an experiment, and the people threw the papers on the floor and took the table," he said. "If they knew how valuable the papers were, they would have kept the papers, not the table." "How could they leave a place like this without protection?" he asked. "It's not an ordinary place. It's too dangerous."

Looting included Nuclear Material (May 10)
In the wreckage of Saddam's nuclear research centre, villagers take their pick of lethal spoils.



Conspiracy Crusader Doubts Official 9/11 Version

May 11, 2003

Toronto Star

by Michele Landsberg

Barrie Zwicker gazes calmly into the camera, hands clasped, voice clear and resonant, looking the quintessential Canadian progressive: a colorful knitted vest over an open-collared shirt, a neat little beard, a personality that radiates boyish, almost naive friendliness.

Not a shard of irony, not a sliver of petulant, up-to-date narcissism. Perfect. You couldn't possibly be more agreeable or less threatening. Then, of course, he ruins it all by asking questions. They are questions that 99 per cent of Canadian journalists have not dared or deigned to ask, and that most Canadians would prefer not to hear.

In these strange times, asking direct and probing questions about 9/11 will get you instant put-downs.

Zwicker grins as he mimics the upward eye-roll and patronizing hand-flap that go along with the phrase "conspiracy theorist."

As Vision TV's media critic for the past 15 years, and as a journalist with a long list of solid credentials (he's worked at The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star, taught at Ryerson University, and was awarded a Southam Fellowship at the University of Toronto), Zwicker should be safely out of the line of fire. It's a measure of his determination to challenge conventional wisdom that he has willingly kept his head up, instead of down, and tried to look facts right in the eye.

"You know, the people who just shrug off these questions with the `conspiracy theorist' epithet should be asked what they stand for. Unquestioning acceptance of the official narrative? Sure, there are outlandish theories out there - aliens, Atlantis - but there have also been real and huge conspiracies," Zwicker told me in an interview in his home office.

I knew about some of those conspiracies. Last January, I wrote a column about American declassified documents that verify a long history of top-level conspiracies. The U.S. government, its military and its secret service have plotted to justify wars and impose their control on other countries through intricate secret schemes of drug-running, gun smuggling and assassination. They even considered rigging fake terrorist attacks that would cost American lives in order to stir the public to war-ready outrage.

Immediately, I was deluged with hundreds upon hundreds of approving e-mails from American citizens. Some of them praised the TV work of Barrie Zwicker - a Globe and Mail colleague of my youth.

I sat down, with a fair degree of skepticism, to watch Zwicker's video, The Great Deception, which challenges the U.S. government's account of what really happened on 9/11. Slowly, a frightening chill came over me. These were the very questions I had asked myself on 9/11 and for several weeks after. Failing to find easy answers, I had locked the subject away.

Why did the United States Air Force fail to scramble interceptor jets - in defiance of all long-standing rules and well-established practice - for almost two hours after it was known that an unprecedented four planes had been hijacked?

How could the world's most powerful military fail to react throughout a prolonged, horrifying attack on the financial and political capitals of the nation?

How did the FBI know the exact identities of the hijackers within 24 hours of the attacks? If their files were so readily to hand, why hadn't they been apprehended earlier? After all, several conscientious FBI agents had raised the alarm about a number of known Al Qaeda sympathizers at U.S. flight schools, and had been ignored.

Why did Donald Rumsfeld call for a war on Iraq (not Afghanistan) the morning after the Saudi hijackers had accomplished their attack? Why did the two squadrons of fighter jets at Andrews Air Force base, 19 kilometers from Washington, not zoom into action to defend the White House, one of their primary tasks?

Why did George Bush sit for half an hour in a Florida classroom, listening to a girl talk about her pet goat, after his chief of staff told him about the second plane? For that matter, why did he pretend that he first learned of the attacks in that classroom, when he had actually been briefed as he left his hotel that morning?

Why has there been no public investigation into the billions of dollars "earned" by insider trading of United and American Airlines stock before 9/11?

I went to interview Zwicker because I was fascinated by his courage in raising these unpopular questions and wanted to know what made him persist. I saw the answer for myself. At nearly 69, Zwicker has boundless energy, intellectual as well as physical. (This is an environmentalist who gave up cars in 1966 and who bicycles thousands of kilometers across country for fun).

He has a restless scientific curiosity, coupled with humanistic principles absorbed from his United Church minister father. At age 12, as a fledgling skeptic growing up in Swan River, Manitoba, Zwicker couldn't merely accept the common schoolboy belief that Coca-Cola contained acid powerful enough to dissolve a penny. Into five bottles of Coke he dropped a penny, a nail, a piece of leather, a strip of cloth and a cube of bread. Next morning, he found all intact.

In his teens, anguished at his loss of faith, he turned to his father. "Out there in his garden, near the sweet peas, he put his arm around my shoulder and said `Barrie, follow the truth, wherever it leads you.'" Zwicker and his wife Jean (they've been married 40 years and have a grown son and daughter) are avid gardeners and theatre fanatics with subscriptions to nearly every series in town. His energy seems equaled only by his good humor and relentless pursuit of honest fact.

You can catch Zwicker's Eye Opener media critique on the current affairs show, 360 Vision, Thursdays at 8 p.m. on VisionTV. He has sold more than 1,000 of his Great Deception videos at near-cost. You can order one for $38 (that includes shipping) by calling 416-651-5588.

And if you call him a conspiracy theorist, call me one, too, because I agree with Zwicker when he says, "I don't know exactly what happened, but something smells very fishy." Even more rank-smelling is the refusal of most Canadian journalists to ask embarrassingly uncool questions about one of the worst catastrophes of our time.

Michele Landsberg's column usually appears in the Star Saturday and Sunday.


See also:

Bush May Invoke 9/11 Executive Privilege And Secrecy (by Tom Flocco, May 3)
Proof of prior knowledge of the September 11 attacks is continuing to trickle out of the purportedly "leak-proof" White House, as more corroborative chickens of 9/11 are coming home to roost -- even as President Bush is considering invoking executive privilege to keep the clamps on evidence that could alter the political landscape for the nation's conquering "top-gun."

U.S. Blocking The Unveiling Of Congress' Sept. 11 Probe (May 6)
But Part Of The Information Is On The Web Or In Other Reports - Washington - The Bush administration and the nation's intelligence agencies are blocking the release of sensitive information about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, delaying publication of a 900-page congressional report on how the terrorist assault happened. Intelligence officials insist the information must be kept secret for national security reasons. But some of the information is already broadly available on the Internet or has been revealed in interim reports on the investigation, leading to charges that the administration is simply trying to avoid enshrining embarrassing details in the report.


An Interesting Day: President Bush's Movements and Actions on 9/11

Senator Bob Graham Claims Bush Administration Blocking Release Of 9/11 Report (May 9)

Check Out These Two Flash Animations

Phone, Fax And eMail Bush To Stop Blocking The 911 Investigation
The following is from Mindy Kleinberg of September 11th Advocates, widow of Alan Kleinberg who was killed at Cantor Fitzgerald in WTC Tower One. 
...If you could possibly send this message out to anyone who wants to help I would appreciate it. The NewsWeek article [ September 11 Showdown -- ] talks about the
White House looking to exert executive privilege on many relevant documents that are needed in order for the Commission to properly do its investigation. We would appreciate it if people would either call [ Comments: 202.456.1111 / Switchboard: 202.456.1414 ] fax [ Fax: 202.456.2461 ] or email
[] a letter to the White House letting them know that they are outraged by the possibility of this administration trying to block pertinent information from getting to the Independent Commission. Preventing the truth from coming out will cause this country to remain in peril. Sincerely , Mindy Kleinberg
- To review Mindy's compelling testimony during the first open hearings held by the National Commission please visit:

Graham Alleges a 9/11 'Coverup' (May 12)
Democratic Florida Senator, running for the presidency, says intelligence failures are being kept secret, endangering Americans.

Because Bush won't answer America's Questions: "Question W" - Announcing the Launch of... -
It is growing massive. It has become newsworthy. It can be devastating. And yet, it's so simple. WHAT PEOPLE ARE DOING: George W. Bush can run, but he can no longer hide from our questions. "Question W" draws attention to the hundreds of questions the world has about this administration and its policies. (Recommended by Goldi> who wrote: "Some really cool and creative ideas here!")

Read also "ACLU Releases Report on Suppression of Dissent in a Post 9/11 America" below




By Jackie Alan Giuliano, Ph.D.

No Difference between Republicans and Democrats?

“In the great night my heart will go out; Toward me the darkness comes rustling. In the great night my heart will go out.”

- Papago prayer

“I will nurse this autumn carefully, treat its brittleness gently, smooth its crumbling edges, its weeping afternoons.”

- Wendy Smyer Yu

It has come to light this week that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been secretly negotiating with huge hog and chicken farming operations to suspend the rules of the Clean Air Act as well as Superfund laws for these mega-polluting operations. This is just another in a long series of assaults on our precious life support systems by the Bush administration.

It has also become apparent that the number of civilian deaths in Iraq, currently numbered in the thousands, may become larger after the war than during the bombardment. It seems that the thousands of unexploded missiles and bombs we left behind are killing and maiming children by the dozens every day.

I wonder if any of the Greens and other independent voters who proudly proclaimed that there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans still feel that way today? Sadly, many of them still don't get it.

Hog and chicken farms are huge polluters, not to mention perpetrators of unspeakable horrors against the animals within their walls. Some of these large hog farms produce twice as much effluent as the entire human population of major cities. In hog farms, contamination of underground water supplies is rampant, and there is serious air pollution from ammonia, methane, and hydrogen sulfide gases that rise from the evaporation ponds where millions of gallons of pig excrement is pumped.

The inhumane treatment of factory farmed hogs and chickens have long been documented. Besides being subjected to a variety of diseases and psychological traumas, confined hogs are allowed very little movement during their six month life. After being jammed into trucks for transport to the slaughter house, a process that kills over 80,000 pigs each year, they are supposed to be stunned to death before being processed. However, stunning is very imprecise, and many conscious animals have been videotaped hanging upside down, kicking and struggling, while a worker tries to stick a knife in their neck. If the worker is unsuccessful, the pig will be carried on to the scalding tank where he/she will be boiled alive.

Yet while these carefully orchestrated obscene assaults on our world and its people are being carried out by the Bush administration, some Greens I have spoken with in the last few weeks are still carrying a torch for an idealistic dream world that cannot exist today. This lack of a grasp on reality may insure a Republican victory again, like it did in 2000 when many Democratic votes were siphoned off by those who voted for lackluster Green Party presidential candidate, Ralph Nader.

I heard an interview about people's concerns for the next election and one woman summed it up for me. She said that we don't have the luxury of voting for the candidate that satisfies what is in our hearts. We must select the Democratic candidates - whoever they are - who can win.

This attitude doesn't mean that we give up on our dreams. I think that a healthy practicality can exist that forces one to act in ways that might seem out of step with one's dreams and one's heart.

For example, while in my heart I want to live in a progressive paradise where everyone challenges assumptions, calls things by their right names, and has compassion for every living thing, I also know that such a place is essentially impossible to achieve right now given the reality of who is in power.

It can exist in my own life, but given the nature of a dynamic population like in the United States that has been raised on very wrong assumptions about the way things work, it may never be possible on a national or global scale. That doesn't mean that those ideals don't reside firmly in my heart and drive my every action. But it does mean that I can look at things around me with a sober realism and know that in order to move toward the direction of my dream, I will need to do certain things.

It is a fallacy to think that a third party is the way to achieve the progressive, compassionate reality that lives in some of our hearts. It is natural to want to wipe a slate clean and start over, but it isn't always necessary. There are usually plenty of ways to work with the ingredients that are already on the shelf.

In fact, the desire to throw it all away and start fresh may come from some of the very things in our culture that many resent and rebel against. Throwing things out is a uniquely American attitude. Most other cultures are much better at using existing resources and ingredients already on the shelf than Americans are because of the very thorough brainwashing we have received about throwing away the old. In Western ways of thinking, new is almost always considered better, and that which is old is considered outdated.

So, the desires I have in my heart for what the world should look like that I teach and write and talk about are what is important to me. They remain constant even though I know that certain political realities exist. Here are some of those realities as I see them:

A third party movement has no chance in this next election or maybe even in the next 10 elections. Before a third party can win elections, a LOT of other things must come together. For one thing, a cohesive third party movement has to exist that is skilled enough, financed well enough, and based on a strong collaborative movement among the population. NONE of those things exist right now. And as serious as things are now, it is too dangerous to use a vote for President as a way to make a political statement. There are plenty of other avenues for that.

The Democratic Party, while firmly entrenched in the corporate world order, has many principles that leave room for the values in our hearts to be manifested in actions. Let's support them to get President George W. Bush out of the White House while working on what needs to be done to create a viable third party.

While progressives, Democrats, and all the reset of the disenfranchised ponder and reflect and ruminate, the extreme right wing has been creating cohesive alliances, broadly collaborating, pooling resources, buying radio and television stations across the country, and getting their candidates voted into low profile, but important, local roles on school boards and city councils across the country. They are well organized, they work together, and they are gaining momentum at a rapid pace.

Lots of progressives have big bucks, but there is no cohesive movement out there to approach them, to collect their millions, and to do some of the things that the right wing is doing so well. Considering the many Hollywood liberals out there, hundreds of millions of dollars should be available immediately. I have worked with some of those people, and I know that many are ready to give in a heartbeat. But there is no one coordinated group out there to ask them.

Not enough people in the progressive movements know what they are fighting for. Most people in the progressive movements have never really learned how the U.S. system of government and economics works. They complain about how unfair it is while being full participants in everything from resource consumption to taking part in retirement plans that have tobacco company stocks. And who can blame them - we lead a rich, good life. So we look pretty ridiculous complaining about the system.

But the right wing has very identifiable, easy to understand principles, most of which are based on the principle that he who has the most money wins. It is easy to get people to rally behind them, and when you throw in God and also don't mind lying, you've got it made.

If you look at the Green Party platform (, it is beyond fantasy. One of their planks is "Free, quality public education from pre-school through graduate school at public institutions." It sounds great, yet their taxation plan essentially makes it a crime to be rich and creates taxes that would never be approved of in a million years.

Yet other major countries already provide free education and health care. In Australia, for example, you get all the free education you want, up to being a Ph.D. or M.D. or whatever. They pay for it by having everyone, no matter who they are, pay a 50 percent tax on their income. Yet nowhere in their platform does the U.S. Green Party recommend practical, real world solutions to problems. They act like they are in some kind of science fiction parallel universe.

So, we get to keep our dreams - they are what keep us focused. But the way to implement our dreams is over decades, not over months or years. Those in power have been running the show for nearly a thousand years. It's not going to take us that long to get it back, but we can't do it unless we learn from their successes and start being very, very practical.

Bush's plans are the most serious threat to world security since the times of the Roman Legions. We have to set aside theory, ideals, and the hope to satisfy the ideals in our hearts. We have to be profoundly practical and work together to insure that a candidate who can win challenges Bush - and in the near term that can only be a Democrat.


1. Find out who your Congressional representatives are and email them regularly. Tell them it is time to protect environmental legislation and for sweeping environmental protections. If you know your Zip code, you can find them at:

2. Visit the Center for a New American Dream and see that another way is possible at:

3. Learn about the civilian death toll in Iraq from Iraq Body Count at:

4. See the "Frontline" report on the new Bush U.S. world doctrine at:

5. Visit the Environmentalists Against War website at:

6. Read about factory farm pollution at:

7. Learn about the abuses of factory farming at the Farm Animal Sanctuary at: and the Humane Farming Association at:

{Jackie Alan Giuliano, Ph.D. is a writer and teacher in Seattle and the author of "Healing Our World," A Journey from the Darkness Into the Light," available at: and "Of This Earth, Reflections on Connections," available at: Please send your thoughts, comments, and visions to him at: and visit his website at:}


Forwarded by Mona LaVine> who wrote: "I was stunned by the parallels. It is clear that history is repeating itself."



When Democracy Failed: The Warnings of History

by Thom Hartmann

The 70th anniversary wasn't noticed in the United States, and was barely reported in the corporate media. But the Germans remembered well that fateful day seventy years ago - February 27, 1933. They commemorated the anniversary by joining in demonstrations for peace that mobilized citizens all across the world.

It started when the government, in the midst of a worldwide economic crisis, received reports of an imminent terrorist attack. A foreign ideologue had launched feeble attacks on a few famous buildings, but the media largely ignored his relatively small efforts. The intelligence services knew, however, that the odds were he would eventually succeed. (Historians are still arguing whether or not rogue elements in the intelligence service helped the terrorist; the most recent research implies they did not.)

But the warnings of investigators were ignored at the highest levels, in part because the government was distracted; the man who claimed to be the nation's leader had not been elected by a majority vote and the majority of citizens claimed he had no right to the powers he coveted. He was a simpleton, some said, a cartoon character of a man who saw things in black-and-white terms and didn't have the intellect to understand the subtleties of running a nation in a complex and internationalist world. His coarse use of language - reflecting his political roots in a southernmost state - and his simplistic and often-inflammatory nationalistic rhetoric offended the aristocrats, foreign leaders, and the well-educated elite in the government and media. And, as a young man, he'd joined a secret society with an occult-sounding name and bizarre initiation rituals that involved skulls and human bones.

Nonetheless, he knew the terrorist was going to strike (although he didn't know where or when), and he had already considered his response. When an aide brought him word that the nation's most prestigious building was ablaze, he verified it was the terrorist who had struck and then rushed to the scene and called a press conference.

"You are now witnessing the beginning of a great epoch in history," he proclaimed, standing in front of the burned-out building, surrounded by national media. "This fire," he said, his voice trembling with emotion, "is the beginning." He used the occasion - "a sign from God," he called it - to declare an all-out war on terrorism and its ideological sponsors, a people, he said, who traced their origins to the Middle East and found motivation for their evil deeds in their religion.

Two weeks later, the first detention center for terrorists was built in Oranianberg to hold the first suspected allies of the infamous terrorist. In a national outburst of patriotism, the leader's flag was everywhere, even printed large in newspapers suitable for window display.

Within four weeks of the terrorist attack, the nation's now-popular leader had pushed through legislation - in the name of combating terrorism and fighting the philosophy he said spawned it - that suspended constitutional guarantees of free speech, privacy, and habeas corpus. Police could now intercept mail and wiretap phones; suspected terrorists could be imprisoned without specific charges and without access to their lawyers; police could sneak into people's homes without warrants if the cases involved terrorism.

To get his patriotic "Decree on the Protection of People and State" passed over the objections of concerned legislators and civil libertarians, he agreed to put a 4-year sunset provision on it: if the national emergency provoked by the terrorist attack was over by then, the freedoms and rights would be returned to the people, and the police agencies would be re-restrained. Legislators would later say they hadn't had time to read the bill before voting on it.

Immediately after passage of the anti-terrorism act, his federal police agencies stepped up their program of arresting suspicious persons and holding them without access to lawyers or courts. In the first year only a few hundred were interred, and those who objected were largely ignored by the mainstream press, which was afraid to offend and thus lose access to a leader with such high popularity ratings. Citizens who protested the leader in public - and there were many - quickly found themselves confronting the newly empowered police's batons, gas, and jail cells, or fenced off in protest zones safely out of earshot of the leader's public speeches. (In the meantime, he was taking almost daily lessons in public speaking, learning to control his tonality, gestures, and facial expressions. He became a very competent orator.)

Within the first months after that terrorist attack, at the suggestion of a political advisor, he brought a formerly obscure word into common usage. He wanted to stir a "racial pride" among his countrymen, so, instead of referring to the nation by its name, he began to refer to it as "The Homeland," a phrase publicly promoted in the introduction to a 1934 speech recorded in Leni Riefenstahl's famous propaganda movie "Triumph Of The Will." As hoped, people's hearts swelled with pride, and the beginning of an us-versus-them mentality was sewn. Our land was "the" homeland, citizens thought: all others were simply foreign lands. We are the "true people," he suggested, the only ones worthy of our nation's concern; if bombs fall on others, or human rights are violated in other nations and it makes our lives better, it's of little concern to us.

Playing on this new nationalism, and exploiting a disagreement with the French over his increasing militarism, he argued that any international body that didn't act first and foremost in the best interest of his own nation was neither relevant nor useful. He thus withdrew his country from the League Of Nations in October, 1933, and then negotiated a separate naval armaments agreement with Anthony Eden of The United Kingdom to create a worldwide military ruling elite.

His propaganda minister orchestrated a campaign to ensure the people that he was a deeply religious man and that his motivations were rooted in Christianity. He even proclaimed the need for a revival of the Christian faith across his nation, what he called a "New Christianity." Every man in his rapidly growing army wore a belt buckle that declared "Gott Mit Uns" - God Is With Us - and most of them fervently believed it was true.

Within a year of the terrorist attack, the nation's leader determined that the various local police and federal agencies around the nation were lacking the clear communication and overall coordinated administration necessary to deal with the terrorist threat facing the nation, particularly those citizens who were of Middle Eastern ancestry and thus probably terrorist and communist sympathizers, and various troublesome "intellectuals" and "liberals." He proposed a single new national agency to protect the security of the homeland, consolidating the actions of dozens of previously independent police, border, and investigative agencies under a single leader.

He appointed one of his most trusted associates to be leader of this new agency, the Central Security Office for the homeland, and gave it a role in the government equal to the other major departments.

His assistant who dealt with the press noted that, since the terrorist attack, "Radio and press are at out disposal." Those voices questioning the legitimacy of their nation's leader, or raising questions about his checkered past, had by now faded from the public's recollection as his central security office began advertising a program encouraging people to phone in tips about suspicious neighbors. This program was so successful that the names of some of the people "denounced" were soon being broadcast on radio stations. Those denounced often included opposition politicians and celebrities who dared speak out - a favorite target of his regime and the media he now controlled through intimidation and ownership by corporate allies.

To consolidate his power, he concluded that government alone wasn't enough. He reached out to industry and forged an alliance, bringing former executives of the nation's largest corporations into high government positions. A flood of government money poured into corporate coffers to fight the war against the Middle Eastern ancestry terrorists lurking within the homeland, and to prepare for wars overseas. He encouraged large corporations friendly to him to acquire media outlets and other industrial concerns across the nation, particularly those previously owned by suspicious people of Middle Eastern ancestry. He built powerful alliances with industry; one corporate ally got the lucrative contract worth millions to build the first large-scale detention center for enemies of the state. Soon more would follow. Industry flourished.

But after an interval of peace following the terrorist attack, voices of dissent again arose within and without the government. Students had started an active program opposing him (later known as the White Rose Society), and leaders of nearby nations were speaking out against his bellicose rhetoric. He needed a diversion, something to direct people away from the corporate cronyism being exposed in his own government, questions of his possibly illegitimate rise to power, and the oft-voiced concerns of civil libertarians about the people being held in detention without due process or access to attorneys or family.

With his number two man - a master at manipulating the media - he began a campaign to convince the people of the nation that a small, limited war was necessary. Another nation was harboring many of the suspicious Middle Eastern people, and even though its connection with the terrorist who had set afire the nation's most important building was tenuous at best, it held resources their nation badly needed if they were to have room to live and maintain their prosperity. He called a press conference and publicly delivered an ultimatum to the leader of the other nation, provoking an international uproar. He claimed the right to strike preemptively in self-defense, and nations across Europe - at first - denounced him for it, pointing out that it was a doctrine only claimed in the past by nations seeking worldwide empire, like Caesar's Rome or Alexander's Greece.

It took a few months, and intense international debate and lobbying with European nations, but, after he personally met with the leader of the United Kingdom, finally a deal was struck. After the military action began, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain told the nervous British people that giving in to this leader's new first-strike doctrine would bring "peace for our time." Thus Hitler annexed Austria in a lightning move, riding a wave of popular support as leaders so often do in times of war. The Austrian government was unseated and replaced by a new leadership friendly to Germany, and German corporations began to take over Austrian resources.

In a speech responding to critics of the invasion, Hitler said, "Certain foreign newspapers have said that we fell on Austria with brutal methods. I can only say; even in death they cannot stop lying. I have in the course of my political struggle won much love from my people, but when I crossed the former frontier [into Austria] there met me such a stream of love as I have never experienced. Not as tyrants have we come, but as liberators."

To deal with those who dissented from his policies, at the advice of his politically savvy advisors, he and his handmaidens in the press began a campaign to equate him and his policies with patriotism and the nation itself. National unity was essential, they said, to ensure that the terrorists or their sponsors didn't think they'd succeeded in splitting the nation or weakening its will. In times of war, they said, there could be only "one people, one nation, and one commander-in-chief" ("Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer"), and so his advocates in the media began a nationwide campaign charging that critics of his policies were attacking the nation itself. Those questioning him were labeled "anti-German" or "not good Germans," and it was suggested they were aiding the enemies of the state by failing in the patriotic necessity of supporting the nation's valiant men in uniform. It was one of his most effective ways to stifle dissent and pit wage-earning people (from whom most of the army came) against the "intellectuals and liberals" who were critical of his policies.

Nonetheless, once the "small war" annexation of Austria was successfully and quickly completed, and peace returned, voices of opposition were again raised in the Homeland. The almost-daily release of news bulletins about the dangers of terrorist communist cells wasn't enough to rouse the populace and totally suppress dissent. A full-out war was necessary to divert public attention from the growing rumbles within the country about disappearing dissidents; violence against liberals, Jews, and union leaders; and the epidemic of crony capitalism that was producing empires of wealth in the corporate sector but threatening the middle class's way of life.

A year later, to the week, Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia; the nation was now fully at war, and all internal dissent was suppressed in the name of national security. It was the end of Germany's first experiment with democracy.

As we conclude this review of history, there are a few milestones worth remembering.

February 27, 2003, was the 70th anniversary of Dutch terrorist Marinus van der Lubbe's successful firebombing of the German Parliament (Reichstag) building, the terrorist act that catapulted Hitler to legitimacy and reshaped the German constitution. By the time of his successful and brief action to seize Austria, in which almost no German blood was shed, Hitler was the most beloved and popular leader in the history of his nation. Hailed around the world, he was later Time magazine's "Man Of The Year."

Most Americans remember his office for the security of the homeland, known as the Reichssicherheitshauptamt and its SchutzStaffel, simply by its most famous agency's initials: the SS.

We also remember that the Germans developed a new form of highly violent warfare they named "lightning war" or blitzkrieg, which, while generating devastating civilian losses, also produced a highly desirable "shock and awe" among the nation's leadership according to the authors of the 1996 book "Shock And Awe" published by the National Defense University Press.

Reflecting on that time, The American Heritage Dictionary (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1983) left us this definition of the form of government the German democracy had become through Hitler's close alliance with the largest German corporations and his policy of using war as a tool to keep power: "fas-cism (fbsh'iz'em) n. A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism."

Today, as we face financial and political crises, it's useful to remember that the ravages of the Great Depression hit Germany and the United States alike. Through the 1930s, however, Hitler and Roosevelt chose very different courses to bring their nations back to power and prosperity.

Germany's response was to use government to empower corporations and reward the society's richest individuals, privatize much of the commons, stifle dissent, strip people of constitutional rights, and create an illusion of prosperity through continual and ever-expanding war. America passed minimum wage laws to raise the middle class, enforced anti-trust laws to diminish the power of corporations, increased taxes on corporations and the wealthiest individuals, created Social Security, and became the employer of last resort through programs to build national infrastructure, promote the arts, and replant forests.

To the extent that our Constitution is still intact, the choice is again ours.

Thom Hartmann lived and worked in Germany during the 1980s, and is the author of over a dozen books, including "Unequal Protection" and "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight." This article is copyright by Thom Hartmann, but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog, or web media so long as this credit is attached.


See also:

FCC Secretly Allowing Monopolizing of the Media
"Most people in this country have no idea what's about to happen to them even though their very democracy is at stake.'' WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Communications Commission's two Democrats said Friday they are frustrated by lack of information on the agency's review of media ownership rules and their chairman's refusal to make proposed changes public. (...) Sens. Ernest Hollings of South Carolina, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota said eased ownership restrictions will leave a few giant media companies in control of what people see, read and hear. "The country is really standing on a cliff when it comes to media concentration,'' Wyden said. "When you go over that cliff you are going to be fundamentally changing what this country is about, and not for the better.'' CLIP

MEDIA CHALLENGE! "Stop the FCC" - an urgent message from Peace Coalitions
The FCC's latest media deregulation scheme must be stopped. With this call Media Challenge! focuses on Senator John McCain. And we join forces with MoveOn's new online emergency petition drive to Congress and the FCC, "Stop the FCC." The FCC's radical plan - expected to be enacted by June 2 - would allow a handful of media giants to gobble up each other and many independent media outlets. FCC Commissioner Michael Copps has said this is the most important FCC vote in a generation and can dramatically undermine our democracy. As difficult as it is to get the media to cover social justice issues, imagine how much harder it will be if Fox, GE and Clear Channel radio gain even more power locally and nationally.

- Go to Sign the petition.
- Write a letter to your local paper pointing out what is going on - a story the media is ignoring.

"The Lies Are Brilliantly Crafted" (May 11)
Exclusive Interview: Greg Palast with Marc Ash -- Your book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy is currently number 5 on The New York Times Best Seller list. Why?
Greg Palast: The USA is home to the largest, longest, deepest river of burbling bullshit known to man - home of the brave and of double-talk, nonsense, half-truths, Tom Brokaw, disinformation, baloney, CNN, white lies, black lies and Katie Curic - laughably called 'US media.' "And here, the President is waving to us from his helicopter!" ... And we're fed up TO HERE with it. So someone had to write a book with the facts that dare not speak their name in America: how the Bush clan fixed the election in Florida, spiked the investigation of the bin Ladins, peddled America like a cheap tart to every corporate John with campaign loot, let the World Bank eat Argentina for breakfast and encouraged Pat Robertson to commit unnatural acts with our Bill of Rights. ( ) "Independent'' media in America is better called "starvation'' media: journalists that want to do real reporting don't survive long - Bob Parry, who uncovered the Iran-Contra scandal, lost his job at the AP, Seymour Hersh was pushed off the New York Times - and I'm in exile. Investigative reporting is a quick career path to disemployment. The 'dependent' media is killing us with poisoned lies. And some of the lies are brilliantly crafted. Let me give you an example: The New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle and god knows how many others ran a photo in June 2001 under the screamer, "100,000 MARCH AGAINST VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT.'' Hugo Chavez. It had to be true: there was the photo. And I was there, in Caracas, so I know it was true. But what the Times and Chronicle DIDN'T show you was the demonstration, nearly twice as large, of Venezuelans marching IN SUPPORT of their President. So the Dependent Media effectively Stalinized the photos. CLIP - Greg Palast's completely updated US. edition of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, now in its tenth week on the NYT bestseller list, is available from Penguin Plume at booksellers and via

Senate GOP backs down on Patriot Act (May 9)
New York Times - WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans backed down yesterday from an effort to make permanent the Patriot Act's sweeping anti-terrorism powers, clearing the way for passage of a less divisive measure that would still expand the government's ability to spy on foreign terrorist suspects in the United States. In an agreement finalized over the last week, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, dropped his effort to extend provisions of the Patriot Act whose broad powers to investigate and track terrorists suspects were scheduled to expire in 2005. As a result, the Senate voted 90-4 to approve a measure expanding the government's ability to use secret surveillance tools against terrorist suspects who are not thought to be members of known terrorist groups. (...) The overwhelming passage of the measure masked intense behind-the-scenes maneuverings in recent weeks over the powers that the federal government had been given to fight terrorism. Hatch led a push beginning last month to attach to the bill an amendment that would have repealed time restrictions built into the Patriot Act of 2001. (...) "Since a compromise was worked out, we decided not to offer" the amendment repealing the Patriot Act's time restrictions, she said. "But that doesn't change his position. He continues to be opposed to the sunset provisions of the Patriot Act," she said.

Bush Was Like Hitler, Says Weapons Man (May 7)
Scott Ritter, a former United Nations weapons inspector, has compared the invasion of Iraq to Hitler's invasion of Poland. He told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper that 130 Americans had died "for a lie", adding: "I see no difference between the invasion of Iraq and the invasion of Poland in 1939." Both invasions were based on what he said was an artificial argument of self defence. President George W Bush had used the September 11 attacks as Hitler used the 1933 burning of the Reichstag to repress domestic dissidents.

The Rape Of Iraq (May 9, 2003)
During the buildup to the last world war, it was common to speak of Nazi Germany's "rape of Czechoslovakia," or "rape of Poland." What characterized Germany's modus operandi in these countries was the use of overwhelming military force, the complete elimination of their governments and all civic institutions followed by the takeover of their economies for the benefit of German capitalism.

U.S. Diplomats Decry `Military Coup' (May 9),0,5953630.story

The Grim Recent History Of Iraq: Facts and Shivers (May 7)
Much of the world already views the United States as a dangerous global bully. Some even see us as war criminals in violation of the Geneva Conventions because they say we recklessly embarked on an invasion of Iraq that killed civilians, many of them children.

Pearle Told Investors They Could Profit From War (May 7)




ACLU Releases Report on Suppression of Dissent in a Post 9/11 America

May 8, 2003

NEW YORK-- Taking their cue from the Bush Administration, law enforcement officials across the country have interrogated, detained and prosecuted hundreds of people for exercising their First Amendment freedoms of speech and assembly, according to a new report by the American Civil Liberties Union on the suppression of dissent since the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

"This report clearly illustrates how dangerous it has become since the terrorist attacks of September 11 to criticize the President of the United States or his policies," said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. "Government officials and political leaders must not be allowed to chill the free and robust debate that has made the American way of life the envy of nations and its Constitution a beacon to the world."

"Freedom Under Fire: Dissent in Post-9/11 America," describes how some government officials, including local police, have gone to extraordinary lengths to squelch dissent wherever it has sprung up, drawing on a breathtaking array of tactics - from censorship and surveillance to detention, denial of due process and excessive force.

The 18-page report finds that dissent since 9/11 has taken three principal forms: mass protests and rallies, messages on signs or clothing, and other acts of defiance by communities and individuals. These have ranged from silent vigils in parks to the passage of resolutions in more than 100 communities across the country protesting federal measures that violate civil liberties.

Police have beaten and maced protestors in Missouri, charged on horseback into crowds of demonstrators in New York, fired on demonstrators in California, and helped FBI agents to spy on professors and students at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, the ACLU report said.

Attorney General Ashcroft’s Justice Department has further asserted the right to seize protesters’ assets and deport immigrants under anti-terrorism statutes rushed through Congress after the attacks, and debated whether to revoke U.S. citizenship in some cases.

Some of the most stunning abuses - such as the compilation of political profiles of peaceful demonstrators by police in New York - did not come to light until they were exposed and challenged by the ACLU.

The ACLU report also makes clear that ours is not the first generation to face such challenges, with historical comparisons to government suppression of dissent from 1920 through the Vietnam era. These included the "scapegoating" of immigrant communities at the end of World War I, when labor strikes turned violent, leading to mass arrests and deportations on orders from then-Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer.

Also documented in the report are the actions taken by ACLU affiliates like the New York Civil Liberties Union to monitor the actions of police during the anti-Vietnam War rallies of the 1960s and 70s, when mass arrests were taking place and the civil liberties of peaceful demonstrators were being violated.

The ACLU’s report is available online at

or through


Forwarded on May 11 by Ken> who wrote "VERY chilling ... and predictable behavior for the government."


Seattle Weekly

April 23 - 29, 2003

Privilege Revoked: The government says it can pry into the attorney-client relationship all it wants.

by Geov Parrish>

Lynne Stewart, a New York human-rights lawyer with a taste for radical politics, is accustomed to representing unpopular clients. She never dreamed it would become illegal.

Stewart was in Seattle on Monday as part of a national campaign to drum up support—not for a client, but for her own case. Stewart was a member of the court-appointed defense team for Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, who is serving a life sentence in connection with the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993. After his conviction, Stewart continued as one of the lawyers representing Abdel Rahman. The Seattle visit came just over a year after her arrest April 8, 2002, when she was taken from her home without warning. Federal agents combed through her office, seizing files on all of her cases, and Attorney General John Ashcroft proudly announced that Stewart had been charged in a four-count criminal indictment with aiding and abetting a terrorist organization—solely for her work in representing Abdel Rahman.

Stewart's case, now winding its way through pretrial motions toward a January trial, stands as a critical test for the Bush administration's newly reserved right to violate lawyer-client confidentiality in order to wage the war on terror. It also has a significant First Amendment component. Stewart's indictment charges her with discussing Abdel Rahman's case with a Reuters reporter—even though no gag order barred her from doing so; with talking while an interpreter was speaking with her client during a consultation in his prison cell, thereby preventing the Justice Department from taping their conversation in Arabic; and with allowing the interpreter and client to speak in Arabic about nonlegal matters. If convicted, she faces 40 years in prison.

THE CHARGES STRIKE at the heart of the U.S. Constitution's Sixth Amendment guarantee that all people accused of a crime are entitled to effective representation by an attorney. Courts have long held that attorney-client confidentiality is essential to that right; without the ability to speak freely about what they have, and have not, done, defendants are severely impaired from learning their legal status and options, and attorneys cannot mount the best defense. But Stewart's case has broader implications. In the future, attorneys will be less willing to represent clients like Abdel Rahman.

And since Stewart's indictment, Ashcroft has gone even further, declaring noncitizens, and later, U.S. citizens as well, "enemy noncombatants" so as to hold them indefinitely without charges, denying access to any attorney at all.

Whether or not the "enemy noncombatant" ruse is eventually ruled unconstitutional, Stewart's case risks setting a precedent that could literally destroy an accused terrorist's right to counsel—while allowing the government to choose who qualifies as a "terrorist". Even before 9/11, several federal provisions allowed investigators to violate attorney-client privilege: when the state had reason to believe the attorney and client were complicit in criminal behavior; as a court-approved part of international espionage; or if a court barred incarcerated clients from communicating with the outside world, including their attorneys, about nonlegal matters.

BUT ASHCROFT'S provisions, announced and implemented without public notice or comment less than three weeks after 9/11, are far broader—allowing the monitoring of attorney-client conversations without a court order or supervision or even the suspicion of criminal behavior by the attorney, if the client is accused of terrorism. The regulation allows surveillance "to the extent determined to be reasonably necessary for the purpose of deterring future acts of violence or terrorism". The Department of Justice alone does the determining.

Among other things, such monitoring allows the government complete access to everything the defense knows and every strategy the defense plans. It raises the possibility that attorneys could be called to testify against their clients or that attorneys could be charged for withholding information on a crime from investigators. Attorneys' personal jeopardy creates an impossible conflict of interest with their professional duty to fully represent their clients. The government, at its leisure, can target lawyers—ones like Stewart, with a long history of representing unpopular clients, or like the lead attorney in Stewart's defense, Michael Tigar, famed for saving Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols from execution. And Ashcroft's regulation, if upheld, sets a precedent that state and local jurisdictions can rush to emulate.

Lynne Stewart is a guinea pig—a chance for the Bush administration to see how far it can push its evisceration of the Bill of Rights. The attack on attorney representation is only one of a staggering number of its post-9/11 assaults on the Constitution, but it's one of the most important.

Invariably, the least sympathetic among us—the accused terrorists and the radical lawyers—are the first to lose basic rights.

The rest of us follow.




by Jacob G. Hornberger*

Let me see if I have this right. In the United States of America:

1. The president now has the unrestricted power to declare war against a country that has not attacked the United States, wreaking death and destruction on both sides of the conflict.

2. The president now has the unrestricted power to round up unlimited numbers of American citizens within the United States and incarcerate them in military brigs or concentration camps for the rest of their lives and keep them from ever again communicating with friends, families, and attorneys, simply on the president's certification that the incarcerated Americans are "terrorists," as he has done with Jose Padilla and Yaser Esam Hamdi.

3. The president now has the unrestricted power to seize American citizens abroad and remove them to its military base in Cuba, where they can be kept for the rest of their lives and kept from ever again communicating with friends, family, and attorneys, solely on the basis of his certification that the imprisoned Americans are "terrorists," as he initially did with Yaser Esam Hamdi.

4. The president now has the unrestricted power to kill American citizens abroad solely on the basis of his certification that the killed Americans are "terrorists," as he did to Ahmed Hijazi, the American who was killed with a U.S.-fired missile in Yemen.

Pardon me for asking the following two indelicate questions:

First, if all this is freedom, what exactly is dictatorship?

Second, after the Iraqi people are freed from dictatorship, would it be asking too much to do the same for the American people through the adoption of the following two amendments to the U.S. Constitution:

"The Congress shall have the power to declare war, and this time we really do mean it."

"No person shall be denied life, liberty, or property without due process of law, and this time we really do mean it."

* Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.


See also:

Mikhail Gorbachev Criticizes US Foreign Policy, Warns Of Consequences (May 13)
In statements to the Argentine daily Pagina 12, the former Soviet leader denounced "the end of the democracy" in the United States.


Date: 12 May 2003
Subject: Clare Short Resigns: Spotlight on Brown
From Ian Henshall, publisher, and crisis newsletter. (To subscribe to Crisis Newsletter email

In a move that Labour supporters had despaired of ever seeing, Britain's Overseas Development Secretary Clare Short finally resigned today in protest at the illegal plans of the Bush/Blair occupation forces in Iraq.

Short told the BBC's World at One today that the Blair government is now clearly in breach of international law, and that UK policy on Iraq is dictated by a tiny group of people around Tony Blair. Government Ministers and senior officials have been excluded from discussion on what position Britain should take in the UN. A Cabinet committee meeting was denied access to information by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw only to find it later on the BBC web site.

But it is the legal and political logic of Short's case that will cause Blair the most problems. Short said before the war that the government had acted recklessly but she withdrew her resignation threat when Blair appointee Attorney General Goldsmith defied most international lawyers, the majority of the Security Council and Kofi Annan by declaring the Bush/Blair attacks were legal.

Feeling that she had to accept Goldsmith's opinion and Blair's promise to her that US/UK would allow the UN to play its lawful role in a post-Saddam Iraq, Short attracted widespread criticism from all sides by staying on in the Cabinet. Now, says Short, the promise has been broken so she has resigned.


Since the war ended Blair's troubles have multiplied. The failure to find any WMD's (which Blair promised to Parliament were available to Saddam Hussein at `fifteen minutes notice`) led to widespread criticism both of him and members of Parliament's intelligence oversight committee, who had told colleagues that the intelligence evidence against Saddam Hussein was solid.

The pre-war promise to put Iraq's oil in a `trust fund for the Iraqi people` has been forgotten.

Short's resignation underlines what insiders have suspected for some time: Blair is now the captive of what John le Carre has called the Bush Junta.

The promise of a `vital role for the UN`, has been binned within three weeks, a record even for Blair who has so little say in the Bush Junta's plans for Iraq that there is no point in consulting UK colleagues other than Jack Straw, a poodle's poodle.

Blair and Straw may as well be in Guatanamo Bay.


Straw, who describes himself as a `lifelong friend of Israel`, was installed in a lightening coup against Palestinian leaning Robin Cook shortly after the last election. The significance of the move became clear when the 911 attacks were used by the Bush Junta to tear up the Oslo peace accords and launch the neoconservative war against Islam.

Blair has offered sympathy for the arab cause but backed Bush and Sharon on every matter of substance. He even ore up government guidelines to sanction the supply of spare parts for Israeli fighters used to conduct illegal attacks on Palestinian civilian targets.

It is clear to everyone but the US/UK elite that the current Bush/Blair peace plan on Palestine is worthless so long as Sharon is allowed to make the impossible demand that violence must end before he will make any concessions. Many suspect the `road map` is a distraction while neoconservatives colonise Iraq and prepare for the next war.

Even public opinion in US/UK had lost sympathy with Bush and Sharon by the time the 911 attacks came. Were they just a lucky coincidence? Many people in the US and abroad doubt it. The web site Globe-Intel, a conduit for Mossad leaks, has quoted Mossad sources as stating that the 911 hijackers were infiltrated by Sharon's agents and that the White House ignored their warnings. An attorney representing 600 victims' families has said the attacks enjoyed the `complicity` of the Bush Junta.

Blair deceitfully described the 911 attacks as `unthinkable`, but a few weeks earlier he had attended the Genoa summit, which was surrounded by anti-aircraft batteries. He has publicly regretted that European opinion has not been sufficiently influenced by 911.


Short's resignation puts Gordon Brown, Chancellor, long time Blair ally and an aspirant to become PM, on the spot. Robin Cooke is now the leading contender for Prime Minister if Blair is deposed. If Brown stays with Bush/Blair it means more battles against both the Labour Party grass roots and the UN. It will be harder for Blair and Brown to continue with their puerile attacks on France with opposition from back bench heavyweights.

In a procedure eerily reminiscent of the `Second Resolution on Iraq` charade which was designed to distract attention from the illegality of the Bush/Blair attacks, Blair and Brown were hoping to distract the public with a new `split` on the Euro.

They are suggesting that they might join the euro in the foreseeable future. But with Rupert Murdoch - a key Blair patron and owner of crypto-fascist media Faux News and The Sun - strongly against euro membership there is in fact no chance that Blair will try to join. The distraction is needed because, characteristically, Blair has made secret pro-euro promises to key corporations which he cannot keep. Throughout his life, starting at the reactionary boarding school Fettes College, Blair has always sided with the more powerful side, in this case Murdoch who is credited with keeping Labour out of power for 18 years.

Culture Minister Tessa Jowell, a Blair poodle currently piloting a Bill through the Commons that will enable Murdoch to buy UK TV Channel 5, recently admitted on Radio 4 that Blair meets Murdoch `often`.

Jowell's husband John Mills is currently under investigation by Italian magistrates for his role in setting up the dodgy financial empire of Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi, another Blair ally and Bush Junta supporter. Berlusconi is accused by a key mafia supergrass of direct links to the mafia.


From: "Voices in the Wilderness">
Subject: Voices call to end sanctions, and occupation
Date: 10 May 2003

Dear Friends,

Experiences of Iraq Peace Team members during months leading up to Operation "Shock and Awe" and throughout the US bombing, invasion and occupation confirm for us the simple adage: "Where you stand determines what you see." Today we read several reports of ongoing chaos, exchanges of gunfire, and outbreaks of water-borne diseases, such as cholera, which the World Health Organization warns could become epidemic. As we continue to focus a spotlight on Iraq, we agree with Mil Rai, of Voices in the Wilderness UK, who insists that in order to prevent a "next" war we must effectively counter the propaganda surrounding this current war and occupation.

We're indebted to Voices in the Wilderness members living in Iraq to help us gain insights into experiences of ordinary Iraqi people as they try to cope with the aftermath of "Operation Iraqi Freedom." In the desperately poor Al Thawra district, three generations in one family spoke with Caiohme Butterly, a Voices delegate currently in Iraq, about the uncertainty and apprehension they now face:

"It is like waking up from an operation," said Dr. Karim. "The anaesthetic not quite worn off, one slowly trying to get a sense of things around oneself, trying to discern shapes, objects. There is pain, and fear, and apprehension dulled a little by the anaesthetic, but still there. It is pure, and complete confusion, we feel we are dreaming, waking up from one nightmare, the previous regime, perhaps to descend into another."

A neighbor, a young engineering student, explains, "Perhaps we have less to fear than others. We have little to lose. The services the municipal authorities once provided to others, we never received, because of this we don't miss them in their absence. We are used to surviving with little resources. The only thing the government ever brought us was suffering. Our people are our only resource. We are an oil state, but look at the poverty we live in."

His mother agrees, "Oil is our curse. It brought us nothing but tragedy under Saddam. It will bring us nothing under the Americans. They should not have subjected us to another war."

"But let me dream," says Karim's father. "Maybe they have changed."

Today the U.S. presents to the UN its resolution, calling for a lifting of sanctions and further the appropriation and authority of Iraqi oil sales to be dictated solely by the US and UK. To our dismay, and to further devastation for Iraqi people, their struggle to regain control of their resources and right to live in peace is once again dictated by a power that does not represent them. The United States has insisted on the implementation of sanctions for 13 years, sanctions that have killed innocents, among them children, the sick, the elderly, and now have the nerve to criticize anyone that questions their intentions, as made evident by comments made by Ari Fleicher this week: "There is no reason for the people of Iraq to suffer sanctions any longer."

There has not been a single, justifiable reason for Iraqi people to suffer for over 13 years. Economic sanctions are inherently criminal, as they fail time and time again to achieve any goal beyond the punishment of people. We stand for the lifting of economic sanctions, as their continuation will only prolong the desperately needed reconstruction of civilian infrastructure and transport of much needed medical aid and supplies. We support their removal and the commitment to realizing their abolition, and the recognition of economic sanctions as both a failed and genocidal policy. We continue to oppose the umbrella of military violence, occupation, corporate control, and foreign developed leadership that Iraqis have been told is their "liberation."

Like Karim, we too dream that things can change. We dream that Iraqis will at last be able to live without the fear of a brutal dictator or a corrupt U.S.-installed regime, without incessant threats from foreign invaders and the perpetual violence that has been waged against them for far too long, and without the sanctions that have robbed them of their ability to maintain their health, society, and economy. We also dream of a U.S. where our money is not concentrated in the militarization of our society, where we feel represented in our own communities and governments, and where all people are granted education and medical care.

There is much work to be done. Please continue to stay with us. We need each other now to continue the work more than ever.


Kathy Kelly
Bitta Mostofi
Danny Muller
Ceylon Mooney
for Voices in the Wilderness


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