February 16, 2005

The Empire of Darkness Series #22: Megatons of Manure

Hello everyone

As usual, lots of stuff came to my attention these past 5 days. Thursday I'll have a Green Holocaust compilation mostly on the Kyoto Protocol taking effect this Wednesday.

What's in this one? The title says it all...

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator

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"If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading."

- Lao Tzu

"If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve."

- Lao Tzu Many more quotes from him at

Worthy of Your Attention

Check also the Non Sequitur comic strips at and tons of other comics strips of all "persuasion" at

Afghan DU Recovery Fund
"When I saw my little boy with those monstrous red tumors, I thought to myself, why is it difficult for Americans to understand that they are hated in our country. If I do this to the child of an American family, that family has the right to pull my eyes out of my eye sockets. I like to tell the Americans that they love to live their lives of luxury at the expense of our extermination"

An unidentified streak moving through the night sky above Hawaii has sky watchers puzzled. The streak, which can be viewed in motion on a NASA website page (below), was captured on film by a camera positioned on an active volcano in Haleakala, Hawaii. It moves from southeast to northwest:
Reported by "Mark Graffis">

A Pilot's View - A chemtrail site recommended by many


1. Doctor tells of US atrocities in Fallujah
2. Iran: U.S. strikes cannot destroy nuclear sites
3. Israel Attacks Itself in Advance of Peace Summit - Hezbollah guerrillas framed
4. Long Expected Roundup of Dissident Citizens Began Today in America, Unconfirmed Reports Show
5. Iran starts production of torpedoes
6. George W. Bush explains it all for you
7. Alarming AIDS Superstrain Emerges
8. Dresden: The Real Saint Valentine's Day Massacre | '4 More Years'


This crisis was brought to my attention by Steeve Nyatépé-Coo Paradis> a subscriber to the French ERN list who recommended we help his country through our meditations to seek a path towards "democracy, peace and freedom". He seems afraid that what happened in the Ivory Coast and in Rwanda could happen in Togo as well without our assistance. His sees this as a unique opportunity for democracy to take hold in Togo and for freedom and creativity to flourish in Africa.

Togo Opposition Set to Keep Up Protests (Feb 15)
LOME, Togo - Togo's opposition alliance on Tuesday pledged to keep up protests against the military-backed succession of the late leader's son to the presidency, saying it needed to mobilize the population against what it called a "coup d'etat." The opposition said security forces killed more than a dozen people during running street battles with police Monday. The government confirmed only four deaths. An alliance of six opposition parties issued a short statement that said it was a "necessity to mobilize the population in protest against the coup d'etat." The late president, Gnassingbe Eyadema, was known for dealing harshly with dissent, jailing and torturing opposition leaders. Foreign ministers of Niger, Ghana, and West African powerhouse Nigeria arrived in Lome for talks with Togolese leaders on the crisis. Nigeria has held out the possibility of military action to compel Togo to allow a democratically chosen replacement to Eyadema. (...) Togo's army appointed Faure Gnassingbe as president within hours of his father's death from a heart attack Feb. 5, after 38 years of repressive rule in this small, economically stunted West African nation. Togo's military-controlled parliament later amended the constitution retroactively to make the succession technically legal — but opposition politicians and West African leaders continue to denounce the son's appointment as a military coup d'etat. Gnassingbe has defied domestic and international calls to step down, praising his police force and criticizing demonstrators behind days of protests to his appointment.

African diplomats in Togo to end crisis (February 15, 2005)
LOME, Togo (Reuters) -- A team of African diplomats jetted into Togo on Tuesday, seeking to end a crisis over the country's leadership that has sparked deadly riots in the capital and drawn widespread international condemnation.Togo's army infuriated world leaders this month when it snubbed the constitution and named a new president after the death of Gnassingbe Eyadema, who had ruled Togo for 38 years to become Africa's longest-serving leader. (...) Analysts say while African leaders have come down hard on Togo, they realize the former French colony's powerful army has a lot to lose following the death of Eyadema, a former soldier who seized power in coup and crushed any opposition. Some expect regional leaders to strike a compromise with Togo, which should lead to presidential elections after a transition period, but which will not create a potentially dangerous power vacuum in the interim. CLIP

Togo to hold elections within 60 days (Feb 16, 2005)
Togo plans to organise presidential elections within 60 days in line with demands from African leaders, a senior government official said. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, made the remarks after African diplomats met Togo's new president to press for polls and urge an end to a leadership crisis that has sparked riots and drawn international criticism. Faure Gnassingbe was named president by Togo's army just hours after his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema, died on February 5. The transfer of power was in violation of the West African nation's constitution which was hastily amended. "(The Economic Community of West African States) wanted us to return to the old constitution and that is what we are going to do and in 60 days, elections will be organised in this country," the official said. CLIP

Nigeria considers military action against Togo (Feb 15, 2005)
The Nigerian government will not rule out military actions against Togo if the coup regime in Lomé does not comply with West African demands to step down. In the Togolese capital, meanwhile, the fronts are hardening as the new ruler continue their crackdown on the media and the opposition promises new protest marches. While the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is using diplomatic channels to persuade Togo's coup-makers to step down, its leading member state, Nigeria, is playing it tougher. The Nigerian presidency will not rule out sending troops to Togo if constitutional order is not restored there. (...) The opposition hopes to return Togo back to its constitutional order without a need for foreign intervention. The de facto government of Togo is however striking back by muzzling the increasingly critical Togolese press. During the last week, six independent media have been closed down by the High Council for Broadcasting and Communication (HAAC), a government media regulatory body, using different legislation to target the outspoken radio and TV broadcasters.

More news on this at and


See also:

Did George W. Bush Have Sex with That Man, James Guckert? (Feb 15)
In 1998, Bill Clinton was impeached because of these 10 words:I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Monica Lewinsky. In 2003, New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey was forced to resign over a secret gay affair.So what about George Bush and this man James Guckert (a.k.a. Jeff Gannon) - a $200/hour gay male prostitute? Sooner or later, Washington will have to ask: Did George W. Bush Have Sex with That Man, James Guckert? >CLIP - Recommended by "Meria Heller">. More on this also at

"Jeff Gannon's" Secret Life
Revelations that the bogus reporter worked as a gay escort are the latest twist in the affair that has the White House squirming -- and Democrats demanding explanations.

The Scandal Sheet (Jan 18, 2005)
Print it out, send it to Harry Reid, or just read it and weep. Here are 34 scandals from the first four years of George W. Bush's presidency -- every one of them worse than Whitewater. Once upon a time -- about five years ago -- conservative pundits often talked about "scandal fatigue." Remember scandal fatigue? It was an affliction supposedly either turning voters against Democrats or, alternatively, a weariness in the body politic preventing Republicans from pursuing even more grievances against Bill Clinton. By any objective measure, however, after four years of George W. Bush's presidency, the entire nation should be suffering from utter scandal exhaustion. Consider the raw materials of scandal that this administration has produced: False claims about Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction. Torture in Abu Ghraib. The virtually treasonous exposure of a CIA agent by White House officials. And those are just the best-known examples. After all, how many citizens can name all the ongoing investigations of Halliburton, Vice President Dick Cheney's old firm? Who remembers that the administration illicitly diverted $700 million from Afghanistan to Iraq? Or that, on Capitol Hill, Senate Republicans stole strategy memos from Democrats, while a House Republican said he was offered a bribe during a crucial vote? Even a conscientious citizen cannot be expected to keep score, so Salon has compiled a list. If the next four years of Bush and the GOP running the federal government are anything like the previous four, however, potential scandals will lead to few political consequences for the Republicans. Bush opponents will likely be disappointed if they are waiting for a renewal of the supposed "second-term scandal jinx" dogging Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Clinton. CLIP

U.S. Seems Sure of the Hand of Syria, Hinting at Penalties ???!!! (February 15, 2005)
(...) Western diplomats have sometimes suggested that Syria is "low-hanging fruit" in the campaign against terrorists: a nation that could be punished by further isolation and sanctions because its economy is in poor shape. CLIP
Questions: Who has the most to gain from this assassination? Who will benefit from making Syria look like the bad guys? Who recently called Syria one of several "outposts of tyranny" in the world? Read also "Long Expected Roundup of Dissident Citizens Began Today in America, Unconfirmed Reports Show" below. Here is a relevant excerpt: "The massive bombing in Lebanon yesterday that took the life of the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri has the appearance of a typical Israeli type operation which they have used to great effect in the past. As we can read from the Reuters News Service, "A statement attributed to al Qaeda and posted on the Internet on Tuesday denied Islamists had killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, saying Lebanese, Syrian or Israeli intelligence were behind the attack." As I had reported to you on February 8th in my writing titled "Massive US Military Movements Move World to Twilight of War", 25,000 thousand United States troops had suddenly left the Iraqi war zone for a destination still unknown, but various Middle East intelligence agencies believe these forces will be used for the invasion of Syria from the Mediterranean. They also believe that the talk of war involving the United States and Iran has been a deliberate 'cover' to keep the knowledge of this invasion secret and unknown to the American people." CLIP

Lebanese Vent Anger on Syria After Hariri Killing (Feb 15)
Lebanese opposition leaders on Tuesday bluntly implicated Syria in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, with mourners taking out their anger on Syrian workers in the former prime minister's hometown. (...) Hariri, 60, who masterminded postwar reconstruction, was killed along with 14 others when a car bomb ripped through his motorcade in Beirut's seafront luxury hotel district. About 135 people were wounded in the biggest explosion since the war. (...) A previously unknown Islamist group said on Monday it had carried out a suicide attack against Hariri, who also holds Saudi citizenship, because he supported the Saudi royal family. Hariri resigned as prime minister in October after falling out with Syria over its role in extending the term of his political rival, President Emile Lahoud. He then joined opposition leaders in calling for Syria to withdraw its troops and stop interfering in Lebanese affairs, as demanded by the U.N. Security Council resolution. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon set new conditions for any negotiations with Syria on Tuesday, saying Damascus must first withdraw troops from Lebanon in line with the resolution. Israel had previously said only that Syria had to stop supporting Palestinian militant groups with offices in Damascus before there could be any resumption of talks, which foundered in 2000. Syria, seeking the return of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, has recently called for new negotiations. Political tension had already been building in Lebanon as campaigning began for parliamentary elections in May which were widely seen as a test of Syria's influence. But Franjieh said "the elections will take place on schedule." Syrian state media said Syria had embraced Hariri "as one of its own sons" and condemned his killing.

North Korea Says It Has Nuclear Weapons, Leaves Talks

Iran: Next Target of US Military Aggression
The Bush administration has officially identified Iran and Syria as the next stage of "the road map to war". Targeting Iran is a bipartisan project, which broadly serves the interests of the Anglo-American oil conglomerates, the Wall Street financial establishment and the military-industrial complex. The broader Middle East-Central Asian region encompasses more than 70% of the World's reserves of oil and natural gas. Iraq possesses 11% of the world's oil and ranks only second to Saudi Arabia in the size of its reserves. The announcement to target Iran should come as no surprise. Already during the Clinton administration, US Central Command (USCENTCOM) had formulated "in war theater plans" to invade both Iraq and Iran: CLIP

As Things Fall Apart, Lie and Lie Again - Nothing to Fear But Bush Himself
Suppose you are the party responsible for invading a country under totally false pretenses. Suppose you had totally unrealistic expectations about the consequences of your gratuitous aggression.What do you do when, instead of being greeted with flowers, you find your army is tied down by insurgents and you have no face-saving way to get out of the morass? If you are the moronic Bush administration, you blame someone else.Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, Cheney and Bush blame Syria and Iran for the troubles that they brought upon themselves. The Iraqi insurgency, say the Five Morons, is the fault of Syria and Iran.Here is Rumsfeld excusing himself for his dismal failures in Iraq: "Partly it's [the insurgency] a function of what the Syrians and the Iranians are doing."You see, the facts that the US invaded Iraq on false pretenses, killed and maimed tens of thousands of Iraqis, shot down women and children in the streets, blew up Iraqis' homes, hospitals and mosques, cut Iraqis off from vital services such as water and electricity, destroyed the institutions of civil society, left half the population without means of livelihood, filled up prisons with people picked up off the streets and then tortured and humiliated them for fun and games are not facts that explain why there is an insurgency. These facts are just descriptions of collateral damage associated with America "bringing democracy to Iraq." CLIP

Congress Passes 'Doomsday' Plan (January 12, 2005)
WASHINGTON - With no fanfare, the U.S. House has passed a controversial doomsday provision that would allow a handful of lawmakers to run Congress if a terrorist attack or major disaster killed or incapacitated large numbers of congressmen. "I think (the new rule) is terrible in a whole host of ways - first, I think it's unconstitutional,'' said Norm Ornstein, a counselor to the independent Continuity of Government Commission, a bipartisan panel created to study the issue. "It's a very foolish thing to do, I believe, and the way in which it was done was more foolish.'' But supporters say the rule provides a stopgap measure to allow the government to continue functioning at a time of national crisis. GOP House leaders pushed the provision as part of a larger rules package that drew attention instead for its proposed ethics changes, most of which were dropped.Usually, 218 lawmakers - a majority of the 435 members of Congress - are required to conduct House business, such as passing laws or declaring war. But under the new rule, a majority of living congressmen no longer will be needed to do business under "catastrophic circumstances.'' Instead, a majority of the congressmen able to show up at the House would be enough to conduct business, conceivably a dozen lawmakers or less.The House speaker would announce the number after a report by the House Sergeant at Arms. Any lawmaker unable to make it to the chamber would effectively not be counted as a congressman.The circumstances include "natural disaster, attack, contagion or similar calamity rendering Representatives incapable of attending the proceedings of the House.'' CLIP

Montreal terrorist suspect testifies (Feb. 8, 2005)
MONTREAL- A Moroccan-born Montrealer detained for nearly two years on suspicion of being a terrorist testified for the first time yesterday, suggesting ultra-conservative Americans may have been responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States."I'm not an expert but from what I read, some guy living in a cave doesn't have the means to plan an attack against the most powerful nation in the world," Adil Charkaoui said when Federal Court Justice Simon Noël asked who was responsible for the attacks."It could've been (Osama) bin Laden," Charkaoui said. "But maybe it was done by ultra-conservatives in the United States for economic gain."It was the world's biggest conspiracy." CLIP - recommended by "Mark Graffis"> who wrote: "Jean, I can't tell the difference between the US and Canada after reading stuff like this."

Recommended by "Meria Heller"> who wrote: > "Can you believe that these people would be so brazen as to put this out on the internet. This explains the NWO plan."

The Return of the Draft (27 January 2005)
With the army desperate for recruits, should college students be packing their bags for Canada? Uncle Sam wants you. He needs you. He'll bribe you to sign up. He'll strong-arm you to re-enlist. And if that's not enough, he's got a plan to draft you. CLIP

State of Delusion
President Bush says the "state of the union is strong and confident." But Americans and the rest of the world have good reason to be skeptical about the president's claims that his domestic and foreign policies are producing widespread prosperity and peace. Dividing the union -- and the world -- was the main accomplishment of the first Bush administration. The president's State of the Union address, despite the flurry of commitments to diplomacy abroad and improving the well-being of Americans, outlined a new policy agenda that is a commitment to endless war and confrontation abroad. Bush's foreign policy vision, with its emphasis on the role of the U.S. as a global cop and cultural missionary, will make America less secure and further alienate our country from the international community of nations. CLIP

Fraud and corruption by George Monbiot (February 8, 2005),3604,1407964,00.html
Forget the UN. The US occupation regime helped itself to $8.8 bn of mostly Iraqi money in just 14 months - The Republican senators who have devoted their careers to mauling the United Nations are seldom accused of shyness. But they went strangely quiet on Thursday. Henry Hyde became Henry Jekyll. Norm Coleman's mustard turned to honey. Convinced that the UN is a conspiracy against the sovereignty of the United States, they had been ready to launch the attack which would have toppled the hated Kofi Annan and destroyed his organisation. A report by Paul Volcker, the former chairman of the US federal reserve, was meant to have proved that, as a result of corruption within the UN's oil-for-food programme, Saddam Hussein was able to sustain his regime by diverting oil revenues into his own hands. But Volcker came up with something else. "The major source of external financial resources to the Iraqi regime," he reported, "resulted from sanctions violations outside the [oil-for-food] programme's framework." These violations consisted of "illicit sales" of oil by the Iraqi regime to Turkey and Jordan. The members of the UN security council, including the United States, knew about them but did nothing. "United States law requires that assistance programmes to countries in violation of UN sanctions be ended unless continuation is determined to be in the national interest. Such determinations were provided by successive United States administrations." The government of the US, in other words, though it had been informed about a smuggling operation which brought Saddam Hussein's regime some $4.6bn, decided to let it continue. It did so because it deemed the smuggling to be in its national interest, as it helped friendly countries (Turkey and Jordan) evade the sanctions on Iraq. The biggest source of illegal funds to Saddam Hussein was approved not by officials of the UN but by officials in the US. Strange to relate, neither Mr Hyde nor Mr Coleman have yet been bellyaching about it. But this isn't the half of it.

Rebuilding Iraq: The Buck Stops Where? (By Arianna Huffington 2-9-05)
(...) By even the most charitable standard, the effort to rebuild Iraq has been an unmitigated disaster. A cornucopia of waste, fraud, ineptitude, cronyism, secret no-bid contracts, and profiteering cloaked in patriotism. There is the $9 billion the U.S.-led occupation government can't account for; the over 70 investigations into potential criminal cases involving U.S.-funded projects; the ongoing billing disputes with Halliburton, which despite having repeatedly ripped off taxpayers, continues to receive billion-dollar contracts; the $20 billion in Iraqi oil money kept track of by a single accountant; the study showing that up to 30 percent of reconstruction funds are being lost to fraud and corporate malfeasance. Whether you are passionately in favor of the war or passionately against it, don't you want to know exactly where our money is going and how we can stop the corruption? On top of the corruption is the fact that, because so little of the $24 billion in taxpayer money that Congress has earmarked for reconstruction is reaching ordinary Iraqis, two years after we cakewalked over Saddam, the Iraqi people are still facing massive food shortages, energy shortages, and woefully inadequate water and sewage systems. According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, only 27 cents of every dollar spent on rebuilding Iraq has gone to actually improving the lives of its people, with the rest going to security, waste, overhead and fattening the bottom line of big U.S. corporations. Despite this abysmal track record, Congress has all but relinquished its historic - and constitutionally mandated - role as government watchdog, one of the keys to our system of checks and balances. Instead, these days, our watchdogs have turned into lapdogs. CLIP

U.S. Uses Drones to Probe Iran for Arms

"Don't Get Back on that Plane" - Soldiers: Seek Asylum in Ireland (Feb )
The chain of violence and corruption that connects the United States with Iraq includes an airport in the west of Ireland. For more than two years, as reported previously in Counterpunch, the Irish peace movement has been trying to break the chain. Having failed, so far, to do that, campaigners now hope to turn Shannon Airport into the weakest link.A group of activists, including several of the 'Pitstop Ploughshares' who face trial next month for their 'disarmament' of a US Navy plane in 2003, have called for American military war resisters to seek official refuge while their planes refuel and they are let wander through the lounges of this relatively small civilian airport.Ireland is said to be a neutral country: it is not, in any case, a member of NATO, nor was its inclusion in the Coalition of the Willing ever frankly admitted either by US or Irish government officials. However, its facilities have played a considerable and growing role in the US war and occupation. Last year, 158,549 US troops passed through the airport on 1,502 flights - mainly civilian charter aircraft. Those troop numbers were 26 per cent higher than in 2003. In addition, Irish officials granted permission for 753 military aircraft to land, and 816 aircraft carrying munitions.The invitation for some of these troops effectively to desert comes from members of the Irish parliament and even a former Irish army commandant, Ed Horgan -- who made it clear he wouldn't make such a suggestion lightly. And those making the call realise that it is not abstract rhetoric: it is estimated that more than 5,500 soldiers have left their 'duties' in the current wars, including highly publicised cases like the imprisoned Camilio Mejia, the exiled Jeremy Hinzman (seeking refuge in Canada) and Kevin Benderman, seeking conscientious-objector status after 10 years in the army because of what he witnessed on his first tour of duty in Iraq. CLIP

Hegemony or Survival America's Quest for Global Dominance
An immediate national bestseller, Hegemony or Survival demonstrates how, for more than half a century the United States has been pursuing a grand imperial strategy with the aim of staking out the globe. Our leaders have shown themselves willing -- as in the Cuban missile crisis -- to follow the dream of dominance no matter how high the risks. World-renowned intellectual Noam Chomsky investigates how we came to this perilous moment and why our rulers are willing to jeopardize the future of our species. With the striking logic that is his trademark, Chomsky tracks the U.S. government's aggressive pursuit of "full spectrum dominance" and vividly lays out how the most recent manifestations of the politics of global control -- from unilateralism to the dismantling of international agreements to state terrorism -- cohere in a drive for hegemony that ultimately threatens our existence. CLIP - Read an excerpt at

Bush team tried to suppress pre-9/11 report into al-Qa'ida (11 February 2005)
Federal officials were repeatedly warned in the months before the 11 September 2001 terror attacks that Osamab in Laden and al-Qa'ida were planning aircraft hijackings and suicide attacks, according to a new report that the Bush administration has beensuppressing.Critics say the new information undermines the government's claim that intelligence about al-Qa'ida's ambitions was "historical" in nature. (...) She told The Independent: "There were 52 threats that were mentioned. CLIP

Of Nazis, 9/11 Victims (February 9, 2005)
BOULDER, Colorado (AP) -- A University of Colorado professor who likened September 11 victims to Nazis got a standing ovation when he told a campus audience of more than 1,000 people that "I'm not backing up an inch." (...) In an essay, Churchill wrote that workers in the World Trade Center were the equivalent of "little Eichmanns," a reference to Adolf Eichmann, who ensured the smooth running of the Nazi system. Churchill also spoke of the "gallant sacrifices" of the "combat teams" that struck America. CLIP - Recommended by "Stephanie Sutton"> who wrote: "I saw this on CNN last night. They showed Churchill talking before a large crowd saying very revealing things and everyone cheering. It was the first moment in a long time where I felt a ray of hope. Read on…….very fascinating." Also related: It's the Singer... Not the Song - What Ward Churchill Didn't Say at h

"Didn't We Get Rid of Those People Years Ago?" - Reflections on Empire and Uppity Indians (February 9, 2005)
(...) Dead people of color, the world over, or right here in the U.S., whose ashes they step over every time they walk out the door of their homes, mean nothing to them. Their deaths are cause for no tears, no contrition, no recompense, and certainly have never served to disqualify those responsible (or those who applaud the carnage) from positions of authority, in colleges, or government. Nor will schools now move to block dear Madame Albright from speaking on their campuses, as happened to Ward; nor will Ann Coulter find herself a pariah for fantasizing about the incineration of folks whose only crime was to be born North Korean. But Ward Churchill, who has merely laid out the facts about America's murderous ways around the globe--facts that have not been disputed even once by any of his critics--is to be silenced. Those who do the deed are cheered, re-elected and get buildings named after them. Those who merely tell of their exploits and suggest that perhaps there may be consequences, get crushed. This is what happens, in a nation built on lies from the beginning; whose empire has been constructed on the sands of self-delusion; whose inability to tell the truth about itself has now become the stuff of farce. Our lack of self-awareness, not to mention the way in which Americans pride ourselves on how little we know about the world, and how reflexively patriotic we can be, would all be funny were it not so miserably pathetic, and ultimately so dangerous. CLIP - This article is related to the same speech by Ward Churchill mentioned in the previous aricle above, and has been recommended by Anni von Maltzan> who wrote: "This is a good introductory article that alerts, and summarises, the profoundly racist basis of ongoing American imperialism. It reminds us of the 40 some sovereign governments that the secretive U.S. gov't powers have attempted to undermine in the last fifty years -- the largest percentage of 'brown' or 'black' heritage...(and the 'whites' mostly of peasant or tribal stock. Ward Churchill is in my meditations and prayers. He's had the courage to speak up and attempt to pull the curtains away of the Big Lie, and 'THE MAN', as they used to say in the 60's, behind it. The "Powers That Be", "The Establishment". Yes, perhaps a few of his comments have been a tad brash, imprudent -- yet, as the article delineates, they are nothing in comparison to the outrageous remarks of the pro-regime prostitutes. I thank the Native American gods for bringing one of their sons forward to teach all of us -- a fearless hero, dedicated, and willing to risk all for truth. I pray, with all others who realise, for his safety and the freedom to continue his mission."

Video of Ward Churchill's February 8 speech at the University of Colorado, Boulder
Several pictures as well.

HR 418: A National ID Bill Masquerading as Immigration Reform (Feb 12, 2005)
by Rep. Ron Paul
I rise in strong opposition to HR 418, the REAL ID Act. This bill purports to make us safer from terrorists who may sneak into the United States, and from other illegal immigrants. While I agree that these issues are of vital importance, this bill will do very little to make us more secure. It will not address our real vulnerabilities. It will, however, make us much less free. In reality, this bill is a Trojan horse. It pretends to offer desperately needed border control in order to stampede Americans into sacrificing what is uniquely American: our constitutionally protected liberty. What is wrong with this bill?The REAL ID Act establishes a national ID card by mandating that states include certain minimum identification standards on driver's licenses. It contains no limits on the government's power to impose additional standards. Indeed, it gives authority to the Secretary of Homeland Security to unilaterally add requirements as he sees fit.Supporters claim it is not a national ID because it is voluntary. However, any state that opts out will automatically make non-persons out of its citizens. The citizens of that state will be unable to have any dealings with the federal government because their ID will not be accepted. They will not be able to fly or to take a train. In essence, in the eyes of the federal government they will cease to exist. It is absurd to call this voluntary.(...) This legislation gives authority to the Secretary of Homeland Security to expand required information on driver's licenses, potentially including such biometric information as retina scans, finger prints, DNA information, and even Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) radio tracking technology. Including such technology as RFID would mean that the federal government, as well as the governments of Canada and Mexico, would know where Americans are at all time of the day and night.There are no limits on what happens to the database of sensitive information on Americans once it leaves the United States for Canada and Mexico - or perhaps other countries. Who is to stop a corrupt foreign government official from selling or giving this information to human traffickers or even terrorists? Will this uncertainty make us feel safer?What will all of this mean for us? When this new program is implemented, every time we are required to show our driver's license we will, in fact, be showing a national identification card. We will be handing over a card that includes our personal and likely biometric information, information which is connected to a national and international database. (...) H.R. 418 does what legislation restricting firearm ownership does. It punishes law-abiding citizens. Criminals will ignore it. H.R. 418 offers us a false sense of greater security at the cost of taking a gigantic step toward making America a police state. - Read the bill at <

OUTSOURCING TORTURE: The secret history of America’s “extraordinary rendition” program. (2005-02-07)
On January 27th, President Bush, in an interview with the Times, assured the world that “torture is never acceptable, nor do we hand over people to countries that do torture.” Maher Arar, a Canadian engineer who was born in Syria, was surprised to learn of Bush’s statement. Two and a half years ago, American officials, suspecting Arar of being a terrorist, apprehended him in New York and sent him back to Syria, where he endured months of brutal interrogation, including torture. (...) During the flight, Arar said, he heard the pilots and crew identify themselves in radio communications as members of “the Special Removal Unit.” The Americans, he learned, planned to take him next to Syria. Having been told by his parents about the barbaric practices of the police in Syria, Arar begged crew members not to send him there, arguing that he would surely be tortured. (...) Rendition was originally carried out on a limited basis, but after September 11th, when President Bush declared a global war on terrorism, the program expanded beyond recognition—becoming, according to a former C.I.A. official, “an abomination.” What began as a program aimed at a small, discrete set of suspects—people against whom there were outstanding foreign arrest warrants—came to include a wide and ill-defined population that the Administration terms “illegal enemy combatants.” Many of them have never been publicly charged with any crime. CLIP

Bush's Class-War Budget (February 11, 2005)
It may sound shrill to describe President Bush as someone who takes food from the mouths of babes and gives the proceeds to his millionaire friends. Yet his latest budget proposal is top-down class warfare in action. CLIP

US multinationals awarded huge tax break on foreign earnings (15 February 2005)
Under the guise of a provision to create jobs, the US Congress passed a revision to the tax code allowing an 85 percent reduction in taxes on foreign earnings of many of the country's largest corporations. The reduction applies to profits made and held by overseas subsidiaries. Instead of requiring the companies to pay the standard 35 percent top corporate tax rate on these earnings, the rate on such earnings "repatriated" to the US parent will go down to a mere 5.25 percent for one year.The Wall Street Journal estimates that as much as $750 billion in profits may be subject to the lower rate.A provision of the law is supposed to prohibit companies from using the tax bonanza to boost dividends, buy back stock or raise executives‚ compensation. Nothing, however, prevents the companies from using the money to pay down debt, for capital spending that may already have been budgeted, or for research and development costs. Money saved on such purposes could easily be reallocated for the technically prohibited uses. Under the "domestic reinvestment" plans required under the act, consumer giant Procter & Gamble, for instance, is expected to use the extra cash to help finance its planned $57 billion acquisition of Gillette. Cereal maker Kellogg, Inc., likewise announced it would use the money to purchase competitors. While the law is titled the "American Jobs Creation Act," it could more accurately be described as the "American Corporate Tax Boondoggle Act." It passed the US House by 280 to 141 and the Senate by 69 to 17. President Bush signed it into law last October, but its impact is only now coming to light as corporations project earnings for the coming year based on the tax breaks. The list of companies that stand to benefit reads like a Who's Who of American business. Exxon, General Electric and IBM have profits subject to the favorable tax treatment of about $20 billion each. Pharmaceutical manufacturers stand to reap exceptional rewards. Pfizer heads the list at $38 billion of eligible overseas earnings, followed by Merck at $18 billion, Johnson & Johnson at $14.8 billion and Eli Lilly at $9.5 billion. Drug makers Bristol-Myers Squibb and Schering-Plough are also sitting on many billions of "unrepatriated" earnings. The excuse provided to lawmakers for signing on to such a blatant corporate tax giveaway is that pumping dollars into corporate America will stimulate the economy, resulting in the creation of new jobs. The package does not, however, require that a single job be created. Computer maker Hewlett-Packard, which lobbied heavily for the bill and is sitting on some $14 billion in accumulated foreign profits, announced recently that it would continue to cut jobs this year, on top of the 25,000 it has eliminated over the past three. CLIP

Union Nears Win, Wal-Mart Closes Store (February 10, 2005)
NEW YORK - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says it will close one of its Canadian stores, just as some 200 workers at the location are near winning the first-ever union contract from the world's largest retailer.Wal-Mart said it was shuttering the store in Jonquiere, Quebec, in response to unreasonable demands from union negotiators that would make it impossible for the store to sustain itself. (...) Union leaders dismissed Wal-Mart's reasons for closing the store and promised to fight the move. "Wal-Mart has fired these workers not because the store was losing money but because the workers exercised their right to join a union," Michael J. Fraser, national director of UFCW Canada, said in a written statement. "Once again, Wal-Mart has decided it is above the law and that the only rules that count are their rules."Wal-Mart's decision to close the store reflects the retailer's deeply rooted aversion to unions, and its worries that organized labor had nearly established a beachhead, said Burt Flickinger III of Strategic Resource Group, a consulting firm specializing in retailing and consumer goods.But he said the move could backfire for Wal-Mart, which has worked hard to counter a wave of bad publicity and portray itself as a generous employer."The store closing may potentially catalyze the combination of the government (officials in Canada), organized labor and consumers working together against Wal-Mart," Flickinger said. CLIP

New Report Details Wal-Mart's Labor Abuses and Hidden Costs

Walmart - Again - Not So Blue (February 14, 2005)
So, Walmart is in the news again today. According to Labor Blog, they have settled with the Labor Department for an absurdly small amount of money some problems they had with child labor in a few states. Oh, and that was after the Labor Dept gave them 15 days notice that inspections would be forthcoming. This just after Walmart has spent a few million bucks on an ad campaign with the message, "We're not evil! Really!" Who believes that?Even if you believe in the free market, and that capitalism can cure what ails you, you probably don't believe that it's A-OK for corporations to ignore laws that are inconvenient, and then pay the government some pittance to make any problems go away. Most Republicans wouldn't condone cheating on income taxes, no matter how repugnant they think they are - how are Walmart's actions any different? They hire teenagers, and then overwork them and have them operating dangerous machines. They hire illegal immigrants and plead ignorance when it comes out. They give their employees information on how to collect food stamps, because they know full well they have to get supplements from welfare to get by - these are the actions of corporate thugs, not responsible corporate citizens. CLIP

Smile, Wal-Mart! (March 22, 2004)
Largest retailer tops Fortune 500 for 3rd straight year, followed by Exxon Mobil - NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - There's another reason for that smiley face -- for the third straight year, Wal-Mart Stores tops the annual Fortune 500 ranking of the nation's largest companies. Wal-Mart, the Bentonville, Ark.-based discount retailer, is one of only three companies ever to top the prestigious list, whose 50th edition was announced Sunday by Fortune magazine. The other companies are Exxon Mobil, which rose one spot to second place, and General Motors, which slipped a notch to third. Rounding out the top 10 companies on the list are Ford Motor, General Electric, ChevronTexaco, ConocoPhillips, Citigroup, IBM and American International Group. The magazine said the list's 500 companies took in a record $7.5 trillion in revenue and earned $445.6 billion in profit, thanks in part to the lowest interest rates in four decades and the Bush administration's tax cuts and spending programs.

Bad Neighbor
Learn about the high cost of Wal-Mart's bad neighbor practices to your community. Read the stories from those who have fought against Wal-Mart and won (Success Stories) or those battling the beast right now (Site Fights) . In these sections you can also send us your story about how Wal-Mart's irresponsible practices have affected your community. Click on Wal of Shame for cases of harassment, discrimination and mistreatment of employees.

Wal-Mart's Shirts of Misery - Walmart In Bangladesh
When you purchase a shirt in Walmart, do you ever imagine young women in Bangladesh forced to work from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., seven days a week, paid just 9 cents to 20 cents an hour, who are denied health care and maternity leave; screamed at to work faster; with monitored bathroom visits; and who will be fired for daring to complain or ask for their rights? At the Beximco factory in the Dhaka Export Processing Zone in Bangladesh, there are 1,000 workers, at least 80 percent of them young women, sewing shirts and pants for Walmart and other retailers. Beximco is a sweatshop, where human rights are systematically violated. CLIP

Shame on Walmart
Walmart and its contractor Beximco do not pay the overtime premium. In fact, as we have seen, they do not even pay the legal hourly wage of 33 cents. They pay only 20 cents an hour and pay overtime at this same illegal 20-cent rate.These workers are locked in poverty, being cheated out of over $20 a week in legal wages by the largest retailer in the world. The workers are being illegally paid just $16 for a full 80-hour workweek. For the forced 80-hour week, they should be earning at least $36.96. Surely Walmart, with $7.6 billion in annual operating profits, could afford this wage! Some of the poorest people in the world are being illegally robbed of their wages, driving them deeper into misery. Even the 33-cent an hour wage does not come close to meeting basic subsistence needs. This is why in Bangladesh there is no difference in the malnutrition rate of children whether their parents are unemployed or are working in factories sewing garments for the largest U.S. companies. Even the legal minimum wage is set too low to allow the workers to climb out of misery.No maternity leave: At Beximco, legal maternity leave is denied and benefits are not paid. CLIP


From: "Mark Graffis">
Subject: Doctor tells of US atrocities in Fallujah
Date: 9 Feb 2005

Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches


February 08, 2005

Stories from Fallujah

These are the stories that will continue to emerge from the rubble of Fallujah for years. No, for generations.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the doctor sits with me in a hotel room in Amman, where he is now a refugee. He'd spoken about what he saw in Fallujah in the UK, and now is under threat by the US military if he returns to Iraq.

"I started speaking about what happened in Fallujah during both sieges in order to raise awareness, and the Americans raided my house three times," he says, talking so fast I can barely keep up. He is driven to tell what he's witnessed, and as a doctor working inside Fallujah, he has video and photographic proof of all that he tells me.

"I entered Fallujah with a British medical and humanitarian convoy at the end of December, and stayed until the end of January," he explains, "But I was in Fallujah before that to work with people and see what their needs were, so I was in there since the beginning of December."

When I ask him to explain what he saw when he first entered Fallujah in December he says it was like a tsunami struck the city.

"Fallujah is surrounded by refugee camps where people are living in tents and old cars," he explains, "It reminded me of Palestinian refugees. I saw children coughing because of the cold, and there are no medicines. Most everyone left their houses with nothing, and no money, so how can they live depending only on humanitarian aid?"

The doctors says that in one refugee camp in the northern area of Fallujah there were 1,200 students living in seven tents.

"The disaster caused by this siege is so much worse than the first one, which I witnessed first hand," he says, and then tells me he'll use one story as an example.

"One story is of a young girl who is 16 years old," he says of one of the testimonies he video taped recently, "She stayed for three days with the bodies of her family who were killed in their home. When the soldiers entered she was in her home with her father, mother, 12 year-old brother and two sisters. She watched the soldiers enter and shoot her mother and father directly, without saying anything."

The girl managed to hide behind the refrigerator with her brother and witnessed the war crimes first-hand.

"They beat her two sisters, then shot them in the head," he said. After this her brother was enraged and ran at the soldiers while shouting at them, so they shot him dead.

"She continued hiding after the soldiers left and stayed with her sisters because they were bleeding, but still alive. She was too afraid to call for help because she feared the soldiers would come back and kill her as well. She stayed for three days, with no water and no food. Eventually one of the American snipers saw her and took her to the hospital," he added before reminding me again that he had all of her testimony documented on film.

He briefly told me of another story he documented of a mother who was in her home during the siege. "On the fifth day of the siege her home was bombed, and the roof fell on her son, cutting his legs off," he says while using his hands to make cutting motions on his legs, "For hours she couldn't go outside because they announced that anyone going in the street would be shot. So all she could do was wrap his legs and watch him die before her eyes."

He pauses for a few deep breaths, then continues, "All I can say is that Fallujah is like it was struck by a tsunami. There weren't many families in there after the siege, but they had absolutely nothing. The suffering was beyond what you can imagine. When the Americans finally let us in people were fighting just for a blanket."

"One of my colleagues, Dr. Saleh Alsawi, he was speaking so angrily about them. He was in the main hospital when they raided it at the beginning of the seige. They entered the theater room when they were working on a patient. He was there because he's an anesthesiologist. They entered with their boots on, beat the doctors and took them out, leaving the patient on the table to die."

This story has already been reported in the Arab media.

The doctor tells me of the bombing of the Hay Nazal clinic during the first week of the siege.

"This contained all the foreign aid and medical instruments we had. All the US military commanders knew this, because we told them about it so they wouldn't bomb it. But this was one of the clinics bombed, and in the first week of the siege they bombed it two times."

He then adds, "Of course they targeted all our ambulances and doctors. Everyone knows this."

The doctor tells me he and some other doctors are trying to sue the US military for the following incident, for which he has the testimonial evidence on tape.

It is a story I was told by several refugees in Baghdad as well. At the end of last November while the siege was still in progress.

"During the second week of the siege they entered and announced that all the families have to leave their homes and meet at an intersection in the street while carrying a white flag. They gave them 72 hours to leave and after that they would be considered an enemy," he says.

"We documented this story with video-a family of 12, including a relative and his oldest child who was 7 years old. They heard this instruction, so they left with all their food and money they could carry, and white flags. When they reached the intersection where the families were accumulating, they heard someone shouting 'Now!' in English, and shooting started everywhere."

The family was all carrying white flags, as instructed, according to the young man who gave his testimony. Yet he watched his mother and father shot by snipers-his mother in the head and his father shot in the heart. His two aunts were shot, then his brother was shot in the neck. The man stated that when he raised himself from the ground to shout for help, he was shot in the side.

"After some hours he raised his arm for help and they shot his arm," continues the doctor, "So after awhile he raised his hand and they shot his hand."

A six year-old boy of the family was standing over the bodies of his parents, crying, and he too was then shot.

"Anyone who raised up was shot," adds the doctor, then added again that he had photographs of the dead as well as photos of the gunshot wounds of the survivors.

"Once it grew dark some of them along with this man who spoke with me, with his child and sister-in-law and sister managed to crawl away after it got dark. They crawled to a building and stayed for 8 days. They had one cup of water and gave it to the child. They used cooking oil to put on their wounds which were of course infected, and found some roots and dates to eat."

He stops here. His eyes look around the room as cars pass by outside on wet streets.water hissing under their tires.

He left Fallujah at the end of January, so I ask him what it was like when he left recently.

"Now maybe 25% of the people have returned, but there are still no doctors. The hatred now of Fallujans against every American is incredible, and you cannot blame them. The humiliation at the checkpoints is only making people even angrier," he tells me.

"I've been there, and I saw that anyone who even turns their head is threatened and hit by both American and Iraqi soldiers alike. One man did this, and when the Iraqi soldier tried to humiliate him, the man took a gun of a nearby soldier and killed two ING, so then of course he was shot."

The doctor tells me they are keeping people in the line for several hours at a time, in addition to the US military making propaganda films of the situation.

"And I've seen them use the media-and on January 2nd at the north checkpoint in the north part of Fallujah, they were giving people $200 per family to return to Fallujah so they can film them in the line. When actually, at that time, nobody was returning to Fallujah," he says. It reminds me of the story my colleague told me of what he saw in January. At that time a CNN crew was escorted in by the military to film street cleaners that were brought in as props, and soldiers handing out candy to children.

"You must understand the hatred that has been has gotten more difficult for Iraqis, including myself, to make the distinction between the American government and the American people," he tells me.

His story is like countless others.

"My cousin was a poor man in Fallujah," he explains, "He walked from his house to work and back, while living with his wife and five daughters. In July of 2003, American soldiers entered his house and woke them all up. They dragged them into the main room of the house, and executed my cousin in front of his family. Then they simply left."

He pauses then holds up his hands and asks, "Now, how are these people going to feel about Americans?"


See also:

U.S. Military Resorting To Collective Punishment (Jan 18, 2005)
BAGHDAD, (IPS) - The U.S. military is resorting to collective punishment tactics in Iraq similar to those used by Israeli troops in the occupied territories of Palestine, residents say. Military bulldozers have mown down palm groves in the rural al-Dora farming area on the outskirts of Baghdad, residents say. Electricity has been cut, the local fuel station destroyed and the access road blocked.The U.S. action comes after resistance fighters attacked soldiers from this area several weeks back.”The Americans were attacked from this field, then they returned and started cutting down all the trees,” says Kareem, a local mechanic, pointing to a pile of burnt date palms in a bulldozed field. ”None of us knows any fighters, we all know they are coming here from other areas to attack the Americans, but we are the people who suffer from this.” (...) ”They destroyed our fences, and now there are wolves attacking our animals,” said Mohammed, a schoolboy. ”They destroyed much of our farming equipment, and the worst is they cut our electricity. They come by here every night and fire their weapons to frighten us.”People need electricity to run pumps to irrigate the farms, he said. ”Now we are carrying water in buckets from the river, and this is very difficult for us,” Mohammed said. ”They say they are going to make things better for us, but they are worse.”Going into fields littered with unexploded mortar shells after the U.S. retaliation has become hazardous now. ”We asked them the first time and they said okay, we'll come take care of it,” said a farmer who called himself Sharkr. ”But they never came.”Other residents say soldiers beat them up during random home raids. ”I was beaten by the Americans,” said Ihsan, a 17 year-old secondary school student. ”They asked me who attacked them, but I do not know. My home was raided, our furniture destroyed, and one of my uncles was arrested.”People in Abu Hishma village in the area spoke of similar experiences earlier. After U.S.. soldiers were attacked, the entire village was encircled with razor wire. Residents were forced to acquire military identity badges and enter through a military controlled checkpoint. CLIP



Iran: U.S. strikes cannot destroy nuclear sites


Iran’s senior national security official, Hassan Rowhani, warned the United States on Tuesday that aerial or missile attacks cannot destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Rowhani said on state television that a military strike against Tehran’s nuclear sites would only push them underground, and told Washington that the stand-off must be resolved by diplomacy.

"Our nuclear centers cannot be destroyed. Our nuclear technology comes from our scientists (and) we can transfer our nuclear workshops under mountains and carry out enrichment where no bomb or missile can be effective," Rowhani said, adding that he doesn’t think a strike is a “serious threat”.

Iran's nuclear sites are spread throughout the country and are partly built under the ground making a missile strike a possible failure.

Rowhani also said that Iran is "not looking for increased tensions with any country, even with the Americans."

"We are seeking to resolve our issues with the U.S. But they are blocking any chance of resolving the issues. There is no problem in today's world that can't be resolved," he added.

Last week, the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that using force against Iran isn’t ruled out even though the "question is simply not on the agenda at this point."

Blair brands Iran a sponsor of terrorism

Rowhani’s remarks were followed by harsh criticism from British Prime Minister Tony Blair who branded Iran a state sponsor of terrorism and demanded it to abandon its alleged pursuit of atomic arms.

"It certainly does sponsor terrorism. There's no doubt about that at all," Blair said, supporting his close ally the U.S. President George W. Bush’s view of the Islamic republic.

"Iran has now been given a set of obligations that it's got to fulfill," Blair said of Tehran’s nuclear activities. "I hope they fulfill it."

Officials from Britain, France and Germany were expected to meet with Iranian diplomats in Geneva on Tuesday to resume their nuclear talks in which the Europeans want Tehran to totally dismantle its nuclear program in exchange for diplomatic, security, economic and technology benefits.

The Islamic republic has agreed to freeze uranium enrichment activities during its negotiations with the EU to fulfill its part of an agreement struck with the Europeans in November. 

Rowhani repeated Iran’s warnings that its patience during its talks with the EU wasn’t finite. "Our condition for a continuation of the talks is progress. Therefore, if the talks are not be progressing (by March 20), we are not obliged to continue," he said.

He also said that Iran now master the technology of the whole nuclear fuel cycle. "We have the ability to extract uranium, process it into yellowcake and enrich it and produce fuel. We can claim that we control the nuclear fuel cycle," he said.

Hossein Mousavian, a senior Iranian negotiator, also said that Tuesday’s talks in Geneva would be decisive. "Our working groups will maybe have only one or two more meetings. Iran's decision is to continue the talks only if there is definitive, concrete and tangible progress."


See also:

Mossad and U.S. forces in Iraq spy on Iran (2/8/2005)

U.S. warned not to repeat Iraq mistakes in Iran (2/8/2005)
David Kay, the American official who declared the White House's hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to be a failure based on faulty intelligence, warned the Bush administration on Monday against repeating Iraqi mistakes in Iran.In an opinion piece in The Washington Post on Monday, Mr. Kay, who led the U.S. search for WMD in postwar Iraq, said: "there is an eerie similarity to the events preceding the Iraq war". Yet Mr. Kay said that he doubts "the ability (of) the U.S. government to honestly assess Iran's nuclear status and to craft a set of measures that will cope with that threat short of military action by the United States or Israel". (...) Recently, several U.S. officials including Vice President Dick Cheney recently raised the possibility of launching a military strike on Iran, which Bush has called the "world's primary state sponsor of terror." "Now is the time to pause and recall what went wrong with the assessment of Iraq's WMD program and try to avoid repeating those mistakes in Iran," Kay said in the Post, stressing that Bush’s administration should accept the fact that it cannot prevent Iran from possessing the scientific knowledge for developing a nuclear weapon. (...) Meanwhile, Alexander Rumyantsev, Russia's atomic energy chief announced he will visit Iran later this month to sign a nuclear fuel supply deal with Iranian officials, as well as hold talks on future contracts with the Islamic republic, an Iranian official said Monday.Mohammad Saeedi, a senior official in Iran's national atomic energy organisation, told the ISNA news agency that Rumyantsev is to arrive in Tehran on February 25. Iran and Russia agreed to sign a key deal under which Iran will return to Russia the spent fuel that will enable Moscow launch the Islamic republic's first nuclear power plant. The Russian-built plant at Bushehr was set to go on line last year, but because of the U.S. pressure to abandon the 800 million dollar project altogether, Moscow set the condition that all spent fuel be returned, fearing that Iran could reprocess it by upgrading it through centrifuges. CLIP

U.S.-Israel plan to strike Irans nuclear sites finalized (2/6/2005)
Experts from the U.S. Defense Department, the Pentagon and Israel have put final touches to a plan to launch a military strike targeting Iran’s nuclear facilities, experts at the European Commission based in Brussels, revealed on Sunday. The experts added that the implementation of this plan rested on a number of factors including the U.S. continuous efforts to hamper the EU-Iranian negotiations to persuade Iran to suspend all activities related to uranium enrichment, with the aim of justifying a military strike against the Islamic republic if it refused to bow to U.S. pressures.The U.S. administration has stepped up pressure against Tehran over the past few months, claiming that it was covertly trying to develop a nuclear weapons’ program. The EC experts, moreover, said that Washington was intensifying its intelligence activities aimed at spying on the Iranian nuclear sites and was also making use of the old laws allowing the CIA to support coup d'etats and arousing sectarian and ethnic conflicts in different countries.Yesterday, American news sources reported that U.S. senators have set up a review panel of the CIA's intelligence on Iran in order to try and avoid the pitfalls that marked the lead up to the invasion of Iraq. (...) The top Democrat on the committee John Rockefeller is quoted as saying "One of the lessons we learned from Iraq was not to take all information at face value and to ask more questions in the beginning than in the end." The cautious approach by the Senate Intelligence Committee is due to the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq being based on the false allegations of Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction. Senior aides said the review is part of a broader effort by the committee to anticipate potential intelligence gaps rather than investigating failures after they occur.In a harshly critical report made public last July, the Committee said U.S. intelligence agencies overstated the Iraqi threat, relied on dubious sources and ignored contrary evidence in the run-up to the war.

U.S. nuclear upgrade will violate Test Ban Treaty (2/8/2005)
As Washington accuses Iran of covertly developing an atomic weapons program, the Bush administration is planning to upgrade and renew the United States nuclear arsenal.Critics say that upgrading America’s ageing nuclear arsenal will violate an accord that bans the testing of nuclear weapons. They argue that the project will lead to replacing the technology which originated in the Sixties, and that the U.S. will be forced to test the new systems and breach the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Of more concern is the U.S. President’s George W. Bush’s plan to develop a new version of the earth-penetrating “bunker-buster” nuclear warhead, which are designed to strike underground targets. Opponents say that the new plans show the Bush administration's hypocrisy and hamper the international efforts to persuade other countries to scrap their nuclear programs. Last week, the U.S. Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, sent the Department of Energy, which monitors the U.S. nuclear weapons program, a request to allocate $18 million to continue a study to examine the development of a new bunker-buster bomb. The research was suspended last year when Congress removed its funding from the budget. “Congress clearly rejected the Bush administration's request for bunker busters and other nuclear weapons last year," said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., a leading critic of the study, which began in May 2003.The drive last year to halt the study’s funding was led by Rep. David Hobson, R-Ohio, who was then the head of the House of Representatives subcommittee that monitors the Department of Energy's nuclear weapons budget. Hobson is expected to keep his post in the new Congress.At the time, Hobson said that the research and other atomic-arms initiatives undermine the U.S. security by encouraging other states to pursue nuclear arsenals.The bunker-buster study aims at determining whether the nuclear explosive packages of two existing warheads - the B-61 and the B-83 - could be housed in a casing capable of burrowing deep into earth and rock before exploding.



Israel Attacks Itself in Advance of Peace Summit - Hezbollah guerrillas framed

Typical Israeli timeline:

1. Peace summit arranged in Egypt between Sharon and Abbas.

2. On the morning of February 7, a day before the summit is to start, Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told Israel Army Radio and the AP that he had received intelligence warnings that some militants, including Hezbollah, may try to disrupt the summit.

3. Due to the intelligence warnings, Israel Police moved to a level III heightened alert status, one level below a state-of-emergency.

4. Like clockwork, on the afternoon of February 7, rockets rained down on the northern Israeli town of Nahariya, and were immediately described by Israeli police as Katyusha rockets fired by Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon.

5. Later in the same day, the attack was described to be the result of "human error" involving a failed test by an Israeli weapons manufacturer in the area. It was made clear - some might say too clear - that although the failed test took place on an IDF firing range and was by a weapons company closely associated with the IDF, the IDF had nothing to do with it.

Obviously, this was an IDF attempt to disrupt the summit, or even provide a reason to call it off, by faking a rocket attack by Hezbollah.

It wasn't a coincidence that the Israeli Defense Minister announced the possibility of an attack in the morning, and a faked attack occurred in the afternoon. This is the usual Israeli terrorist bullsh**. On times too numerous to mention, when Sharon needed political cover to hide some outrage he was committing, a convenient "Palestinian" attack popped up to distract the press and make the poor, dear Israelis look like victims again.

This time they were caught red handed, and had to come up with the laughable excuse of "human error" in rocket testing (you've got to be kidding!). But here's the good part: they were busted, and they were busted by IDF insiders. People in the IDF were so disgusted by the trickery that they spilled the beans, resulting in the necessity of the ridiculous cover story.

(Image: Ariel Sharon reluctantly shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during their summit, February 8, 2005.)

Lebanon Militants Fire Rockets Into Israel

(From of Tuesday, February 08, 2005.)


(The article we forwarded titled " Israel Attacks Itself in Advance of Peace Summit" has raised questions about the links in it not working or vanished. Below we furnish working links to two of the sources for the story, confirming the story was not a hoax. These links show that Israel DID tell the Guardian that the rockets came from Hezbollah, then changed their story to claim it was an accident caused by one of their military contractors -- coming conveniently on the heels of their well publicized "intelligence" threat from Hezbollah. As always, readers may draw their own conclusions. )

Lebanon Militants Fire Rockets Into Israel (February 7, 2005),1280,-4783694,00.html
JERUSALEM (AP) - Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon fired Katyusha rockets into northern Israel on Monday, police said Monday, a day before the Israeli and Palestinian leaders are to meet at a Mideast summit in Egypt. Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz warned earlier in the day that some militants, including Hezbollah, may try to disrupt the summit. Israeli defense officials accuse the Lebanese guerrilla group of assisting Palestinian militants in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israel's Channel Two television reported damage to structures in two communities near the northern town of Nahariya, but said there were no injuries.

Shells hit north as test by weapons manufacturer goes awry (07/02/2005)
Four mortar shells fell in and around the town of Nahariya in northern Israel late Monday afternoon, during a failed test by a weapons manufacturer in the area. There were no injuries in the incident, although the shells did cause minor damage. The test by the civilian weapons manufacturer was taking place in an Israel Defense Forces firing range north of Nahariya when it went wrong for reasons as yet unknown. The IDF itself had no involvement in the incident. The company said in response that three shells had been fired at residential territory due to human error. "The experiment only included small practice shells without explosive materials. The company stopped the tests and is investigating the circumstances that led to the incident," said a spokesperson for the company. Three of the shells hit Nahariya and the fourth the village of Al Mazra in the Western Galilee. Two homes in Nahariya were hit - one sustained damage to the living room and the second to a bedroom. Large numbers of security forces were deployed to the sites where the mortars struck.



Forwarded by "Stephanie Rudd">


(Many links are provided at this URL above)

Long Expected Roundup of Dissident Citizens Began Today in America, Unconfirmed Reports Show

February 15, 2005

By: Sorcha Faal

"Those whom the Gods would destroy, they first make insane", as the old saying goes, must certainly apply to the United States today as unconfirmed reports begin circulating that the Secret Police forces in America have begun the long expected roundup of dissenting citizens (this first group estimated to number around 250,000) for deportation to internal US concentration camps.

This news is being circulated by anonymous agents of the Russia Federal Security Service (FSB) in an apparent attempt to counter United States intelligence agencies accusations that Russian spies have been increased in Western countries.


American University historian Richard Breitman is one of many writers who have documented this, and in his book about these events "Official Secrets: What the Nazis Planned, What the British and Americans Knew", of which is said, "As defeat loomed over the Third Reich in 1945, its officials tried to destroy the physical and documentary evidence about the Nazis' monstrous crimes, about their murder of millions. Great Britain already had some of the evidence, however, for its intelligence services had for years been intercepting, decoding, and analyzing German police radio messages and SS ones, too. Yet these important papers were sealed away as "Most Secret," "Never to Be Removed from This Office"-and they have only now reappeared. Integrating this new evidence with other sources, Richard Breitman reconsiders how Germany's leaders brought about the Holocaust-and when-and reassesses Britain's and America's suppression of information about the Nazi killings. His absorbing account of the tensions between the two powers and the consequences of keeping this information secret for so long shows us the danger of continued government secrecy, which serves none of us well, and the failure to punish many known war criminals."

Many International Organizations and countries throughout the world have been, and still are, attempting to warn the average Americans about the deathly dangers they are facing by the rise of the fascist militaristic regime being created in their midst. So controlled by the propaganda arms of their military, government, media and governmental organizations many are not hearing these warnings, and in fact there exists evidence to support that they are actually conditioned to discount all information not coming from their official state military organizations.

The International organization Amnesty International has even stated in their report titled, "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA The threat of a bad example - Undermining international standards as "war on terror" detentions continue" this warning, "Actions, however, speak louder than words, and some of the US administration's actions since 11 September 2001 threaten to erode international law and standards forged over the past half-century or more. Prior to the invasion of Iraq, diplomat John Brady Kiesling resigned from the US Foreign Service. He wrote in his resignation letter to Secretary Powell: "We are straining beyond its limits an international system we have built with such toil and treasure, a web of laws, treaties, organizations, and shared values that sets limits on our foes far more effectively that it ever constrained America's ability to defend its interests."

Reminiscent too of their historical brothers and sisters from Nazi Germany and Occupied France, resistance fighters in America are showing great courage, and as evidenced by the many courageous Americans that are seeking to warn their fellow countrymen about these things.

One such resistance fighter is an American named Don Bradley, who has said on his website, "Many of us in the media have been aware of these hideous camps since their inception. It takes a look at the history of this century to know what will happen if they are populated. The heart shudders at such knowledge but ignoring it won't make it go away. The only answer is to get the information out there in the world and make our elected government answer. I've personally visited these camps and taken pictures. They are REAL. They are manned. They have moats, motion sensors, inner beams to hide the main complexes, guards at the gates, electric gates, processing centers, and of course, high fences with razor wire and barbs, pointing inward - not outward -but inward to KEEP PEOPLE IN."

Another resistance organization in America called "Greater Things" has on their "Concentration Camps in U.S." website evidence pointing to how long the knowledge of the existence of these concentration camps have been known, and as contained in this statement by an American government official, Congress of the United States March 24, 1997 "Enclosed is the information you requested pertaining to the Army's policy and guidance for establishing civilian inmate labor programs and civilian prison camps on Army installations. This information has not yet been published (it is currently at the printers), however, it has been funded, staffed, and does reflect current Army policy."-- Bill Hefner Member of Congress".

The current speculation involving this roundup of American citizens, and their deportation to concentration camps, are that these events have to do with the expected American and Israeli attack upon the country of Syria.

The massive bombing in Lebanon yesterday that took the life of the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri has the appearance of a typical Israeli type operation which they have used to great effect in the past. As we can read from the Reuters News Service, "A statement attributed to al Qaeda and posted on the Internet on Tuesday denied Islamists had killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, saying Lebanese, Syrian or Israeli intelligence were behind the attack."

As I had reported to you on February 8th in my writing titled "Massive US Military Movements Move World to Twilight of War", 25,000 thousand United States troops had suddenly left the Iraqi war zone for a destination still unknown, but various Middle East intelligence agencies believe these forces will be used for the invasion of Syria from the Mediterranean. They also believe that the talk of war involving the United States and Iran has been a deliberate 'cover' to keep the knowledge of this invasion secret and unknown to the American people.


Tonight the once bright flame of freedom that burnt in America has been extinguished and has been replaced with the fires of world war.

Once again the world is faced with a Nazi regime intent upon world conquest and subjugation, and the horrifying specter of the dreaded concentration camps rears its ugly head once more.

How well indeed many in the world today know the fear and horror that is facing the many thousands, and before it is over millions, of Americans as their homes are assaulted in the night by the dreaded black uniformed secret services to drag them from their families and to disappear into the black hole of the camps.

For the resistance prisoners of these American concentration camps we must always pray, for this Evil Black Night falls not on America alone, it falls on the whole world.


See also:

First They Came for Lynne Stewart ... (Feb 15)
(...)  At a 2002 convention of the National Lawyers Guild, Stewart expressed alarm at what her indictment portends for the future of the attorney-client privilege and criminal defense. She said, "This is about protecting the right to defend. Once the attorney-client privilege is lost, there is no right to defend as we know it." Speaking about the government's monitoring of her conversations with her client, Stewart stated, "The question you should be asking is not what I was doing in that room, but what was the government doing in that room?" During the McCarthy period of the 1950s, in an effort to eradicate the perceived threat of communism, the government engaged in widespread illegal surveillance to threaten and silence anyone who had an unorthodox political viewpoint. Many people were jailed, blacklisted and lost their jobs. Thousands of lives were shattered as the FBI engaged in "red-baiting."


Also forwarded by "Stephanie Rudd">


Iran starts production of torpedoes

TEHRAN, Feb. 12 (Xinhuanet) -- Iran Saturday launched a production line of torpedoes in order to promote its defense capability at sea as the United States has recently escalated its threats on Tehran, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani said at the launch ceremony that the production marked completion of "the Islamic Republic's defensive cycle at sea."

"Iran's marine units have now achieved an effective weapon with a complicated and modern technology in confronting surface and under-sea threats," Shamkhani said, adding the torpedoes could be mounted on helicopters, surface vessels and submarines. "Some of the important features of this weapon are the possibility to use it in shallow waters, without being spotted by radars, as well as its extraordinarily high speed, while being notably cost-effective," he said.

Since mid-January, US President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have made harsh comments against Iran. Iran has vowed to defend itself with deterrent power.


Forwarded by "Mark Graffis">


George W. Bush explains it all for you

The Bush administration concedes that the president's plan for private investment accounts won't do anything to improve the financial health of the Social Security system. The plan will have a "net neutral effect," the administration says, meaning that, whatever Washington does with Bush's proposal, it will have to come up with some other way to "save" Social Security. Does the president understand that? You be the judge.

As his Social Security roadshow pulled into Tampa, Fla., over the weekend, Bush was asked how his plan would ensure that Social Security won't run out of money down the road. Here, straight from the White House Web site, is the president's answer in its entirety:

"Because the -- all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculate, for example, is on the table; whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases. There's a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those -- changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be -- or closer delivered to what has been promised.

"Does that make any sense to you? It's kind of muddled. Look, there's a series of things that cause the -- like, for example, benefits are calculated based upon the increase of wages, as opposed to the increase of prices. Some have suggested that we calculate -- the benefits will rise based upon inflation, as opposed to wage increases. There is a reform that would help solve the red if that were put into effect. In other words, how fast benefits grow, how fast the promised benefits grow, if those -- if that growth is affected, it will help on the red.

"Okay, better? I'll keep working on it."


From: "Mark Graffis">
Subject: Alarming AIDS Superstrain Emerges
Date: 12 Feb 2005


New York Post Online Edition



February 12, 2005 -- A frightening, never-before-seen "superstrain" of the AIDS virus - unimaginably aggressive and resistant to nearly all treatments - has been found in New York City, alarmed health officials announced yesterday.

A gay, 40-something city man recently diagnosed with the new virulent strain is believed to be the first known case in the world.

The most striking characteristic of the strain is that full-blown AIDS sets in with lightning speed after HIV infection - as quick as two to three months, in contrast to the nine- to 10-year lag that is normally the case when a victim is untreated.

"We've not seen a case like this before," city Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden said at a press conference yesterday.

"We've identified this strain of HIV that is difficult or impossible to treat and which appears to progress rapidly to AIDS."

Ronald Valdiserri, a deputy director at the federal Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, said: "We're talking about a single case, but clearly the fact that we are dealing with such broad resistance of drugs and the rapid clinical progression is quite alarming.

"We have to use this as a wake-up call to remember that HIV is still a formidable adversary," he added, noting that federal health officials aren't aware of another case like this in the United States or elsewhere. Kendall Smith, an HIV researcher at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center, said that because the virus is constantly mutating, a possible superstrain "has been the dark shadow lurking behind us."

The superstrain was dubbed "3-DCR HIV" because it's resistant to three of the four HIV drug classes that are currently in use, which amounts to 19 of 20 drugs that are rendered useless.

The infected city man, who was diagnosed in December, is believed to have contracted HIV in October. He already has progressed to full-blown AIDS, officials said.

The man, whose name was not released, engaged in high-risk sexual practices with multiple male partners, officials said. They are now trying to locate his partners.

The man's judgment was clouded because he was taking the drug crystal methamphetamine, which causes users to lose their inhibitions. While city officials don't know how wide the new virus has spread, they are ramping up safe-sex messages.

Ana Oliveira, executive director of Gay Men's Health Crisis, said fighting crystal meth and other drugs is instrumental in bringing down rates of HIV infection.

"This is a story of somebody who remained HIV-negative for over 40 years which is a success, but under the influence of crystal meth made decisions and took risks," Oliveira said of the infected city man. There are about 88,000 New Yorkers living with HIV.


From: "Mark R. Elsis |">
Subject: Dresden: The Real Saint Valentine's Day Massacre | '4 More Years'
Date: 14 Feb 2005


The Real Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre

"When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die."

Jean-Paul Sartre


The Bombing Of Dresden

The WWII Dresden Holocaust - 'A Single Column Of Flame'

The Truth About The 1945 Bombing Of Dresden

Why Did The Allies Reduce Dresden To Rubble?
Why did between 130,000 and 300,000 common people had to die. The truth is the Allies (Churchill's England, Stalin's Russia and Roosevelt's U.S.) mass murdered them.

Horror Of Dresden Bombing Divides Nation Debate Still Rages Over Whether City's Wartime Destruction Was Justified

Bombing of Dresden
Recent research suggest that 35,000 were killed but some German sources have argued that it was over 100,000.

The Day The Bombs Fell On Dresden

Allied Bombing Of Dresden Remains Symbol Of War's Horror

'Dresden Was A Dead City -- Everything Was Burnt'
Sixty years ago today, British and American bombers turned 'Florence on the Elbe' into a fireball, killing 35,000 people.

Rereading Dark Chapter In Allies' Tale Of Victory

Allied Bombing Of Dresden Scars Germans To This Day

Germans Mark 60th Anniversary Of Dresden Fire Bombing

Dresden Marks Bombing Anniversary

UK Officials Mark Dresden Bombing British diplomatic and church officials attended a wreath-laying ceremony in Germany to mark the 60th anniversary of the bombing of Dresden.


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