Tuesday, January 04, 2005

O NATAL

OS POBREZINHOS

Só de vez enquanto é que têm o Telemóvel com fome. E nestas alturas apela-se à generosidade de todos, em favor dessas famílias carenciadas, que geralmente nunca podem trabalhar, pois estão sempre doentes, apesar de não conseguirem viver sem tabaco e álcool. E claro, acompanhados sempre de uma prole!
Os Adultos com a mania de Sociólogos dizem, e muito bem, que o telemóvel dos pobrezinhos é igual ao das outras pessoas. Geralmente até é melhor, pois os subsídios são muitos: um por cada filho, outro do pai que não pode produzir porque a deficiência só lhe permite chegar à taberna, outro para a mãe que está sempre grávida, e gravidez dá baixa, etc.,etc.
E não nos podemos esquecer que ainda recebem refeições de borla! Com tantas borlas, até têm uma televisão grande e de marca, que é para os filhos deficientes (os que herdaram os genes) passarem o tempo.

A BONDADE

"Compre esta Televisão e torne-se um Benemérito. 0,01% do preço vai para a Associação dos Anões Coxos sem Bigode"

"Compre este Livro e uma parte dos Direitos do Autor vai para a Associação dos Marrecos com Bigode"

"Compre este Boneco e estará a contribuir para a Felicidade dos Utentes da Associação dos Que Não Querem Trabalhar"

O que nos safa é que com a entrada do Ano Novo, todos serão esquecidos e terão de ir trabalhar.
Este Ano é diferente! O Presidente resolveu presentear o País, e vêm aí as Eleições. É melhor que o Natal, pelo menos teoricamente.

Este artigo teve a aprovação do Exmo. Comandante Guélas

Viva o Comandante Guélas

www.riapa.no.sapo.pt

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rotos

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Rotos

Anonymous said...

Rotos

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Rotos

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术
自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术
自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术
自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术
自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术
自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术
自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术
自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术
自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术
自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术
自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术
自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术
自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术
自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术 管理学 - 计算机科学 - 力学 - 农业 - 交通运输 - 建筑学 - 能源科学 - 环境科学 - 材料科学 - 矿业工程 - 冶金学 - 机械工程 - 化学工程 - 空间科学 - 安全科学 - 电气工程 - 电子学 - 土木工程 - 测绘学 - 水利工程 人文科学 哲学 - 宗教 - 考古学 - 文物 - 历史 - 文学 - 语言学 - 军事学 - 艺术 - 文化 - 文明 - 民族 - 新闻学与传播学 社会科学 经济学 - 政治学 - 人类学 - 法学 - 社会学 - 教育 - 图书情报 - 工商业 - 家政学 - 心理学 - 逻辑学 - 统计学 自然科学 自然科学史 - 系统科学 - 数学 - 物理学 - 天文学 - 化学 - 地理学 - 地球科学 - 生物学 - 医学 - 大气科学 - 海洋科学 - 地球物理学 - 地质学 工程技术

Anonymous said...

Xymphora archives 2004
Thursday, January 01, 2004
Letter bombs are being mailed from Bologna to European Union officials. This is being blamed on an "unknown Italian group calling itself the Informal Anarchist Federation". That group allegedly said it had planted the bombs to "hit at the apparatus of control that is repressive and leading the democratic show that is the new European order". We are seeing a return of the 'strategy of tension' used by the fascist elements in the Italian state in the 1960's and 1970's to use violence perpetrated by the extreme right but blamed on anarchists to achieve political goals (this was immediately recognized by Italian Situationist Gianfranco Sanguinetti in his famous pamphlet Is the Reichstag Burning?). The bombings were organized and committed by members of Propaganda Due (P-2), a fascist Italian secret society, and Gladia, a secret para-military group set up by the Italian secret service and the CIA (for a bit more history on much earlier American manipulation of Italian politics, see here). Current Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is a documented member of P-2. He faces the current mass of scandals concerning his personal corruption, the Italian people's displeasure at Italian participation in the American rape of Iraq, and the Parmalat scandal, which is deeply embarrassing the Italian corporate elites who are afraid that they will be seen for what they really are, a more polished version of the mafia. A few 'anarchist' bombs are again just what the fascists who run Italy need to distract the people from what is really going on. The United States is currently facing its own 'strategy of tension', with the Bush Administration using manipulated terror warnings to:
bend American popular opinion in favor of restriction of civil liberties;
use the 'war on terror' to achieve the Zionist/neo-colonialist goals of the neocons;
provide political support for Bush as the protective father figure of the country to disguise the fact that the country is falling apart as a result of his policies (for an interesting analysis of parallels between the Italian 'strategy of tension' and the Oklahoma City bombing see chapter 14 of "The Oklahoma City Bombing and the Politics of Terror" by David Hoffman).
The Reichstag is still burning.
posted at 3:23 AM permanent link
Friday, January 02, 2004
In writing about the use of fake 'anarchists' by the Italian state for the political purposes of the neo-fascists like Berlusconi who are currently in power, I forgot to mention the obvious point that this trick has been tried before by the same people. During the protests in Genoa in 2001, extreme right-wing extremists were invited to the protest in order to play the role of anarchists. Their violence was an attempt to discredit the left (one of the saddest things is that some on the left refuse to believe the infiltration, as they admire the bravery of the thugs). The police were seen chatting peacefully with the masked agents provocateurs before the violence started, and the police did not interfere when the violence was conducted near where the police were stationed. Much of the violence committed by those in masks was committed against the peaceful protestors. Some of the 'anarchists' were seen getting out of police vans near the protests. The black masks, which are supposed to hide the identities of the anarchists from the police, were actually to hide the identities of the thugs from the protestors and the media. Deputy Prime Minister, and noted neo-fascist, Gianfranco Fini was in close contact with the police during the time that the fake anarchists were utilized by the Italian state. The police also manufactured evidence against the protestors, and imprisoned them with brutality and torture, all with overt (or here) fascist references. How many more times will the neo-fascists in Italy be allowed to hide their own problems by blaming violence on fake 'anarchists'? Whenever you hear about black-masked leftists committing acts of violence during protests, acts which are used as an excuse by the police for brutal repression of constitutional rights of assembly and freedom of speech, remember that these violent thugs are almost certainly working with the police, and in many cases are probably employees of the police. This rule applies in North America - particularly under AshKKKroft's new unconstitutional brutality in Bush's Amerika, where the police have gone completely apeshit - as well as in Italy.
posted at 2:07 AM permanent link
Saturday, January 03, 2004
Newly released documents now show that Henry Kissinger and U. S. Under Secretary of State Charles Robinson gave an explicit green light to plans of the junta in Argentina to use torture, murder and other human rights violations to eliminate leftist political opposition. Kissinger shows what a bastard he is in instructing the Argentine Foreign Minister Cesar Guzzetti on the conduct of the war against the 'terrorist organizations':
"Look, our basic attitude is that we would like you to succeed. I have an old-fashioned view that friends ought to be supported. What is not understood in the United States is that you have a civil war. We read about human rights problems but not the context. The quicker you succeed the better.

The human rights problem is a growing one. Your Ambassador can apprise you. We want a stable situation. We won't cause you unnecessary difficulties. If you can finish before Congress gets back, the better. Whatever freedoms you could restore would help."
The Americans made it clear to the Argentinians that they could do whatever they liked but they should do it quickly and as quietly as possible. This is interesting in and of itself, and Henry the K should be tried for crimes against humanity and imprisoned, but it is also interesting because of the continued importance of Henry the K to the current American junta. We are seeing a continuation of the same policies in Iraq today, and the reality is that the horrifying realpolitik expressed by Kissinger and other American officials continues to be official American policy. We should not forget that the neocons are really Kissinger's intellectual children, and their protestations that they are acting on some sort of moral principles is complete nonsense.
posted at 5:20 AM permanent link
The essential hypocrisy of the changing American attitudes towards Iraq, as summarized in one sentence by Robert Sheer:
"Ironically, the United States supported Iraq when it possessed and used weapons of mass destruction and invaded it when it didn't."
posted at 1:50 AM permanent link
It appears the Bush Administration is laying the groundwork for a technical legal weasel argument out of the Plame affair. They will claim that someone in the Administration leaked the name, but that person did not know that Plame was an undercover operative, and therefore did not break the law. They may even claim that since no law was broken it is unnecessary to disturb the privacy of the poor misunderstood leaker. This will no doubt work politically, as the disgusting American media will let them get away with it without asking the tough questions. A few comments:
One obvious tough question would be to interview the journalist recipients of the leak, and ask them if the leaker indicated that he - everyone now assumes it was Libby - was aware of Plame's status. That interview could be held without even forcing the journalist to reveal the name of the leaker. The leak doesn't make any sense as a revenge tactic unless the leaker was aware that it would hurt her progress as an employee in the CIA, and therefore the leaker would have had to know she was undercover. The Administration response to this would be that the leak was intended to reduce Wilson's credibility by suggesting he got the assignment only because of his wife's meddling. Seeing as Wilson was a distinguished ex-ambassador to Niger, a man who received a commendation from Bush's father, and obviously perfectly suited to the task of investigating the Niger claims, this is a tremendously weak response, but since the Bushites get away with everything they will no doubt get away with this as well.
Why did Ashcroft recuse himself now? The sensible moves would have been to recuse himself immediately because of his massive conflict of interest, or hang tough and never recuse himself. Has something happened behind the scenes to make it politically necessary for Ashcroft to maintain some political distance from the scandal? The conspiracy theory is that his recusal and the floating of a trial balloon containing the technical argument are connected, and Ashcroft left the picture because he had finished the job of legally protecting the leaker, and could safely leave the matter to a flunky in the justice department to tidy up the loose ends. If the flunky isn't just Ashcroft's poodle he could start by confirming with the recipients of the leak, the names of which he could get from the leaker, that the leaker was unaware of Plame's status. We will be able to see if he has any integrity at all by how much he rolls over to protect the leaker.
Complete sense from Michael Kinsley:
"The purpose of protecting the identity of leakers is to encourage future leaks. Leaks to journalists, and the fear of leaks, can be an important restraint on misbehavior by powerful institutions and people. This serves the public interest. But there is no public interest in leaks that harm national security, or leaks that violate the law, or leaks intended to harm blameless individuals. There is no reason to want more of these kinds of leaks. So, there is no reason to protect the identity of such bad-faith leakers."
While the Bushites can squirm out of the scandal politically, and may even be able to protect the career of the actual leaker, I still wonder about the position of the CIA in all this. The CIA was completely embarrassed by this whole matter. Not only did some punk in the Administration endanger one of their agents, possibly putting at risk entire overseas operations concerning weapons of mass destruction and making other undercover agents very nervous that their lives may be in danger should this prank be repeated, but the attitude of the Administration was clearly that the concerns of the CIA were completely irrelevant, and even a bit of a joke. If this kind of dissing had happened to the CIA in the 1970's, heads would have rolled (I mean that literally, as a result of shotgun blasts). Is the CIA so domesticated that it will be pacified with some extremely technical legal argument, when everybody knows that the truth is that the leaker knew very well what Plame's status was? If the Administration gets away with this, how can the CIA assure its undercover agents that the same thing won't happen again tomorrow, or that this Administration, or some future one, may use the threat of disclosure of the status of agents to blackmail the CIA into, say, going along with shoddy misuse of intelligence to start an illegal and stupid war? How much embarrassment and diminishment of stature can the CIA stand?
posted at 1:37 AM permanent link
Sunday, January 04, 2004
Whenever you think the situation in the United States can't possibly get any worse, it does. Americans can't go on cancelling flights and guiding flights into the country with fighter planes. When they are exhausted from the 'strategy of terror' and stop overreacting is just when an opportunistic terrorist could decide to attack. A smart terrorist would prepare the groundwork for his attack by setting out fake hints of attack as a decoy, and only really attack when things have quieted down. One lesson Americans should be learning from all this is that they can't win the 'war on terror' - their only hope in the long run is to stop creating the injustice which creates terrorists. Perhaps the instilling of paranoia is the actual attack . . . the terrorists can cause as many problems through malicious and misleading 'chatter' as they can with real physical terrorism. A few comments on the recent airplane scares:
The French had to cancel flights to the United States due to the American fear that these flights would be used for terrorist attacks. Although there are conflicting reports that no names were involved, it appears that the Americans somehow identified names on the French passenger lists that matched, or were 'similar' to, names which they had gathered in some sort of surveillance operation (wiretaps or reading of e-mail), and they had heard that these particular flights had been targeted. The French authorities checked the names against the actual passengers, and the identities of the real passengers bearing the suspicious names were laughably far from being possible terrorists (of the six suspicious names, one was a 5-year-old child, and others included a prominent Egyptian scientist, an elderly Chinese woman and a Welsh insurance agent). The French are being quite polite about it, but they obviously feel the Americans are idiots.
The whole idea that terrorists would be using their real names and clear descriptions of what they were planning to do using unencrypted communications is ridiculous, especially in the wake of the massively increased surveillance after 9-11. If the American authorities think they are hearing anything suspicious it is either due to an overactive imagination or is a ruse by the terrorists to create panic or create a diversion. Even the 9-11 terrorists did their most delicate planning in face-to-face meetings in Spain and Las Vegas, and aliases and code words are easy to use.
It is possible that all of this folderol is in aid of the 'strategy of terror' which seems to be part of the Rove plan to get the Chimp reelected. Americans are remarkably skittish (there is possibly a form of justified guilt involved in this), and the thought may be that depicting the Bush Administration as the protector against the real threat from the big, bad terrorists may improve his chances at getting close enough to election again that his father's friends can reappoint him as King. What bothers me about this theory is that the timing appears to be all wrong. We are still too far from the next election for this terror to be still scary when the voters have to decide on a President, and I don't think either the American body politic or the American economy will be able to stand a constant diet of this nonsense until November. On the other hand, this fake terror threat could provide a fake context for a future real terrorist attack, one that could occur just before the Republican National Convention in September, and be used as the springboard by Bush into reelection.
I am not a reductionist, and am not one of those who believes that al-Qaeda had nothing to do with 9-11. I also don't believe the whole thing was some kind of intelligence trick. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. While al-Qaeda has proved itself to be a capable group of terrorists, I simply do not believe that 19 unworldly Muslim men, most of whom officially had never set foot in the United States, with at most a few months training from some goofs in the mountains of Afghanistan, arrived in the country and perfectly pulled off an operation that would have been challenging for the most advanced commandos in the world. I believe that it was a joint operation of al-Qaeda and some sophisticated military operation, and no one was tricked into participating. Each side achieved its own goals, and they could well decide to operate together again. The next attack, and there will no doubt be one, could be a similar joint operation. The fact that fake terror warnings are being used by Rove for political purposes does not mean that there is no risk of a real attack, and that attack could follow a sophisticated model like 9-11.
On the other hand, a much less sophisticated operation is also possible, using much less sophisticated methods, and with no military input (like the attempted attacks of Ahmed Ressam or Richard Reid). That kind of attack, which also will certainly occur again as long as the injustices in American foreign policy continue, will look quite different from the 9-11 attack, and will be much easier to detect and stop (although both Reid and Ressam may have been trying to be caught, either for self-preservation, pangs of conscience, or some darker motive). It is all a matter of luck, and some day American luck will fail.
With locked cabin doors, possibly armed pilots, and armed sky marshals, not to mention lots of beefed up security at boarding and a prohibition against any kind of potential weapons, what are the terrorists going to do to take over a plane if they are going to use planes in the next attack? One hint of what the next attack might look like is the destruction of the plane by bomb when it is flying upwind of a large city, with some sort of polluting material, possibly radioactive, in the luggage compartment. This would require no action on the plane itself. Unless the Americans have absolute control over all luggage handling in every airport in the world, I don't see how this could be stopped, but I also don't see this as much of a real risk to the population, although it may have big psychological effects before an election.
The French had a chance to check the names of the alleged terrorists against the actual passengers bearing those names. I wonder what would have been discovered if, on the morning of September 11, American authorities could have conducted a similar check against the infamous 19 names of terrorists supposedly on those four flights.
posted at 3:11 AM permanent link
Tuesday, January 06, 2004
From an article dated December 14, 2003 in the McCurtain Daily Gazette by J.D. Cash and Lt. Col. Roger Charles, on Andy Strassmeir and the Oklahoma City bombing (my emphasis):
"This newspaper first reported that Strassmeir had been singled out for arrest by the ATF in early 1995, but those plans were thwarted by the Oklahoma City FBI office.

The Tulsa ATF office sought an arrest warrant in early 1995 for Strassmeir after an informant, Carol E. Howe, told them about a plot at Elohim City to bomb federal installations, commit mass shootings and kill large numbers of Americans.

Ms. Howe identified Strassmeir as one of the ringleaders in the plot.

Tulsa ATF officials were able to determine that the heavily armed German national was an illegal overstay on his travel visa, therefore subject to arrest on a host of charges.

However, last minute efforts by then-FBI special agent in charge of the Oklahoma City field office, Bob Ricks, scrubbed plans for Strassmeir’s arrest when the FBI agent contacted U.S. Attorney Steve Lewis in Tulsa and complained about the ATF plan to raid Elohim City.

When this newspaper discovered documents confirming the FBI interdiction, Ricks sought to explain his actions by saying he successfully lobbied against Strassmeir’s arrest in late February of 1995 because he wanted to avoid another Waco-style disaster by the ATF."
Strassmeir was a German citizen and son of a prominent German politician who was a top aide in Chancellor Helmut Kohl's government. He was in the United States illegally, and had an as yet unexplained connection to the perpetrators of the Oklahoma City attack, not to mention a connection to the network of intelligence/military types who hang over all these conspiracies like a bad smell, connections about which the American authorities are, as usual, remarkably incurious (and the FBI, just as in 9-11, bends over backwards to ensure that they do not arrest certain people). He is also said to have received military intelligence training at the Bundeswehr Academy in Hanover, and have been a member of German Intelligence, specifically the elite commando counter-terrorism unit GSG-9. In the mid-1990's, a lack of terrorism was making the continued existence of groups like GSG-9 very tenuous, and a few choice international terrorist attacks would go a long way towards ensuring its future. Starting as far back as the 1970's, German Intelligence was training and supplying (in return for heroin) Albanian anti-Yugoslav KLA fighters at a base near Izmir in Turkey (the KLA has connections to both Germany and, through the heroin trade, to Turkey, as well as military training connections to al-Qaeda). One of the military advisors to the KLA at the time was Muhammed al-Zawahiri, brother of the 'brains' behind al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri (a good background article on Ayman al-Zawahiri in the New Yorker somehow manages to discuss the Muslim Brotherhood, the fight against the Russians in Afghanistan, and al-Qaeda, with only one slight reference to the CIA). You can draw a line from Oklahoma City to Germany to Kosovo to Afghanistan (and not once have to pass through Iraq, although no one would be thinking about Iraq in this context were it not for some crackpot theories). Strassmeir was mysteriously allowed to slip out of the United States, possibly with help from GSG-9, and was last seen mixing with IRA members in Ireland (you can see a pattern here). One of the oddest things is that he may have been involved in negotiations to buy Boeing 747s from Lufthansa on behalf of Vincent A. Petruskie of Petruskie Associates in Manassas, Virginia (Petruskie is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, who vehemently denied being CIA, but he seems to have had a spooky life). Even odder, perhaps is that Strassmeir may have been working undercover for the ATF (and perhaps his warnings of the OKC bombing, bungled by the ATF, or worse than bungled, meant that he had to be ignored; in 1963, LHO may have been working for the ATF as well!). Mohamed Atta hung out with a crowd of German speakers when he was in Florida (and it is interesting that one of these apparently ended up living in Turkey), and it is completely obvious, at least to me, that he had advanced military training (which he didn't get as an architecture student in Hamburg or in the mountains of Afghanistan). I sometimes think debates about whether people like James Jesus Angleton were working for the CIA or the KGB are somewhat pointless, as all these people end up working for the world-wide cult of intelligence, and do whatever it takes to ensure that the condition of the world is such that intelligence agencies of all types thrive.
posted at 3:54 AM permanent link
Gary Leupp has an excellent article (or here) on the problem of North Korea, including valuable historical background on how American actions going back to the 1950's are behind the problems on the Korean peninsula we see today. He points out that Cheney's position is that the North Koreans are to give up their only bargaining chip, their possible possession of nuclear weapons, before he would even begin to negotiate with them. This is exactly the same position as the neocons took with Saddam, and we now know, as do the North Koreans, that Saddam did everything possible behind the scenes to attempt to comply with their insane demands, and they attacked him anyway (Saddam had the great misfortune of approaching the American government through Richard Perle, who not surprisingly ensured that the offer which might have endangered the neocon-Zionist attack on Iraq died on the vine; why the disclosure of Saddam's attempts at negotiating peace, which contradict the official American position that war was inevitable, did not create a scandal in Washington is proof of the current sad state of American politics). Given this kind of massive bad faith by those in power in Washington, the North Koreans would have to be absolutely crazy to give up one bomb before they had a firm commitment from these lying bastards. As I have mentioned before, the roots of this whole Korean nuclear problem go back to the failure of the Republican-controlled Congress to fund the deal which the Clinton Administration made with North Korea in the 1990's. Most sane people would be trying to avert a war which will certainly cause immense harm both to Koreans and Americans. The problem is that the insane neocons like and want war - unless of course they have to fight in it themselves - so all the normal checks on the apocalypse are missing. Cheney would actually prefer to provoke a war than negotiate out of a war, and in that context his position makes absolute sense, at least to the neocons and their war-profiteering friends (speaking of profits, note that Rumsfeld has exactly the same credibility problem with Korea that he has with Iraq).
posted at 2:42 AM permanent link
Wednesday, January 07, 2004
It appears that the United States is setting the groundwork for another coup attempt in Venezuela, or perhaps even some kind of military attack, possibly by their stooges, the extreme right-wing narco-thugs in Colombia. This must mean that American intelligence has reason to believe that the recall petition to remove Hugo Chavez is going to fail. Large amounts of cash are being illegally brought into the country, presumably to fund the expenses of the coup plotters. We have already seen the amazing Washington Post editorial I have already commented on, which basically advocated another coup and the removal of a democratically elected leader. From VOANews:
"The United States expressed public concern Monday about the close ties between the governments of Cuba and Venezuela, amid suggestions by U.S. officials they may be working together to fan anti-American sentiment and undermine democratic governments in Latin America."
Undermine democratic governments in Latin America!! You mean like just about every government in Latin America that has at some time been undermined by the United States through assassinations, wars, economic attacks, fixed elections, reigns of terror and coups? The most recent such attempt is probably the attempted coup sponsored by the American government in Venezuela itself. It takes a hell of a lot of nerve for an American official to complain about the undermining of democratic governments in Latin America. It appears that the Americans are terrified that Hugo Chavez is getting too close to the Beard, and the two of them are up to no good pointing out to the people of Latin America that it is not in their interests to be slaves to American corporados. Bolivia has already lost its American puppet, and the Americans fear that more good may happen in Latin America that the American thieves can stand. Watch for another American-sponsored coup attempt, or perhaps an staged incident at the Venezuela-Colombia border, with the Americans having to make a 'humanitarian' intervention to save the people of Colombia from Venezuelan aggression.
posted at 3:28 AM permanent link
Thursday, January 08, 2004
Lord Hutton gave Tony Blair's government time to give additional secret evidence to the inquiry, and then agreed with Blair that this new evidence could remain secret. The new evidence was presumably an attempt to explain away the lies that had been revealed in the course of the inquiry, in particular in the late testimony given by Sir Kevin Tebbit, which directly contradicted Blair's statements that he had nothing to do with the outing of David Kelly (although there is a suggestion that the new evidence might have something to do with Hoon's testimony). Here is the Tebbit testimony, starting with the question asked of Tebbit (located here, sections 56 to 58; my emphasis):
". . . in the first version . . . the position adopted with regard to naming was that there was nothing to be gained by naming the individual and that the MoD were not prepared to name him. I expect you know that now, even if you did not know it at the time?
A. Yes, and I assume that was the press office interpretation of the position we had on the Friday evening, after Mr Hatfield's first conversation, which suggested that we would not be going forward with this information, because we were not able, at that stage, to be certain that this was the source.

Q. In version 2 the question asked was, "Is it X?", ie the correct name. And the response to be given was that: we need to tell the individual. You know that now?

A. Yes, because this was before the Government had decided on the statement which was then put to Dr Kelly, which he approved.

Q. So it is all based on the approval of that statement, is it, the change in stance?

A. The approval of that statement was part of the reflection of the - the change in stance, as you put it, was a decision taken by a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister.

Q. And version 3, of course, the answer was different, that if the correct name was put it was to be confirmed without consulting the individual. You know that now, do you not?

A. I knew that then because I had seen that press statement.

Q. Yes, it is the change that I am asking you about.

A. The change, I have to tell you, is irrelevant because a policy decision on the handling of this matter had not been taken until the Prime Minister's meeting on the Tuesday. And it was only after that that any of the press people had an authoritative basis on which to proceed.

Q. So are you saying this: that the decisions which led, in fact, to the naming of Dr Kelly were taken at No. 10 Downing Street and not by the Ministry of Defence?

A. I was not trying to make that point. I was trying to contrast to you the difference between a formal decision on bringing forward the information into the public arena and the stage before any such decision had been taken.

Q. Whether you were making that point or not, what is the position? That the decision was taken at No. 10 and not by the Ministry of Defence, or by the Ministry of Defence?

A. The decision was taken at a meeting in No. 10 with which the Ministry of Defence concurred."
So Blair chaired the meeting at which the mechanics of outing Kelly, by confirming the name suggested by the journalists, was decided. This directly contradicts Blair, who has said he will resign if he is found to have lied to parliament (Blair left himself some wiggle room as his statement "I did not authorise the leaking of the name of David Kelly" was made to journalists and not to Parliament). I thought Hutton did a surprisingly good job at appearing to be fair and open in the conduct of the inquiry, but in this move he lit a bonfire a under his own credibility and the integrity of the whole inquiry. If Blair gets an after-the-fact kick at the can, and in secret so we can't even see what the new evidence was about, the whole pretense of having an open inquiry is revealed for the charade that it is. Lord Hutton appears to be just another hack cover-up artiste, and not even a particularly clever one. I hope to write my last report on David Kelly, on the religious aspects of the case, before Lord Hutton releases his report.
posted at 3:13 AM permanent link
It appears that the next fake terrorist attack on the United States will be by way of 'dirty bomb'. A 'dirty bomb' is a perfect instrument as it creates real terror but can be made to do minimal property damage, and the elevated cancer rates help the pharmaceutical industry for years. The framework is being set to prepare Americans to be very, very afraid, and ready for the protection of Bush come election time if Rove feels the voters need a little push. One source familiar with counterterrorism preparations said:
"Government officials are surprised that people [in the United States] aren't more hyped about all this."
If they are not yet 'hyped', it certainly isn't the fault of the Bush Administration. We've seen the recent fake concerns over flights from France, Britain and Mexico, and more false alarms on flights in the United States. The Germans suspect (or here) that the CIA gave them a warning about a terror attack in Hamburg which the CIA knew to be false (in that case, the motive appears to be to force the Norwegians to arrest a man associated with the group falsely charged with planning the attack, but the pattern is that the Americans are now using fake terror warnings to achieve other goals). If Rove needs the votes, and the Republicans can't get sufficient paperless computer voting machines in place before the next election, Americans will see a terror attack by 'dirty bomb', probably in one of the cities of Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco or Seattle, at a time, May or June, to set up the Republican National Convention with jingoist nonsense and the message that only Bush is tough enough to protect America, and the clear warning that the country cannot afford to shift horses in its time of crisis. The commandos who will set off the attack are laying the paper trail now to be associated with whatever group the neocons wish to attack next. I guarantee that suitable patsies will be picked up in a few days of the bombing, and the FBI will have bursting files on each of them connecting them with the next country on the neocon wish list (almost certainly one or more of Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Syria, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba). If Americans hadn't fallen for the obvious lies about September 11, and had demanded a real investigation of what really happened, they could have avoided this next fake terrorist attack, so in a sense it is a deserved attack. The saddest thing is that Americans are already falling for the new terror, and the real fear is starting to build to its Republican crescendo.
posted at 1:49 AM permanent link
Friday, January 09, 2004
Here is a better version of the Saddam photo. Notice how the left hand of the soldier is straining against Saddam's coat to hold him up, and the right hand is supporting Saddam's head. Notice the la-la land expression on Saddam's face - he is higher than a kite. That means that the whole story about Saddam's capture, including his being in a 'spider hole' and having a gun he didn't use is almost certainly another Pentagon lie. If Saddam was in a hole it was because the Kurds stuffed him there, and he certainly was in no condition to use a gun. Also notice that this trophy photo is an enormous breach of the Geneva Conventions regarding treatment of prisoners of war.
posted at 2:17 PM permanent link
What's wrong with this picture? Well, for one thing, after being forcibly dragged out of a hole almost too small for him to fit through, Saddam is sound asleep! In fact, the soldier has to hold him up off the ground by partly turning his body in order to show off his trophy. Saddam is having a nice little sleep - note the smile on his face - as a result of the drugs the Kurds gave him before they put him in the hole so the Americans could have a safe fake capture. It may be that the delay that was ascribed to a suspiciously quick DNA test was really a delay to get him sobered up enough so he could perform for the cameras and be demeaned as a token of American power.
posted at 12:47 AM permanent link
Saturday, January 10, 2004
The Israelis run this traveling road show of horror. The idea seems to be that if they don't stay in any one Palestinian place too long, the disgusting American media won't have to report on the crimes against humanity they are committing. Now they've moved into back to one of their favorite stomping grounds, Jenin, with some people thinking this is their lunkhead response to the first official recent Palestinian mention of the single state, one-person-one-vote end to the Zionist dream. This follows the IDF's multi-week occupation of Nablus, during which they killed at least 19 people, wrecked dozens of buildings, and confined tens of thousands to their homes, all on the flimsy excuse of a futile search for one man. Nablus followed a similar series of crimes against humanity conducted in the Gaza Strip. And so it goes, one outrage after the other. Due to the stupidity and greed for land of the Zionists, they have managed to cook their own goose, and the demographics will eventually ensure a Palestinian majority in the area between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. Israelis themselves have seen the writing on the wall, and are starting to leave in great numbers. The importation of 'jews', no matter how ridiculous, will not solve the problem. If you are a Palestinian leader, and have witnessed your people having the shit kicked out of them for the last fifty years, why would you pay any attention to the ramblings of Sharon? Sharon still seems to think he can continue on his plan for Greater Israel by pretending to remove a few isolated trailers that have been put in place as fake settlements for the specific purpose of being removed against the background of some crazed settlers, all for the purposes of American television. After the cameras leave, the trailers are dragged back to their former spots, and the circus continues as before. The most recent ideas in Sharon's head are fifty years old, predate the modern development of human rights law, and no longer apply in this world. Why should the Palestinians continue to play along with this nonsense when all they have to do is wait a few years and they will have control of not only all of the Occupied Territories, but all of Israel itself? They won't need to push the Israelis into the sea - the Israelis can continue to live in the new state as long as they don't mind being ruled by Palestinians. Jews have lived peacefully under Muslim rule for thousands of years, and will just have to get used to it again. The Zionists can rant all they want, but their future is as terminal as that of white rule in South Africa, another outrage that seemed as if it would go on forever. Sharon can try to wall the Palestinians into bantustan-style concentration camps, but eventually the world won't tolerate it anymore. Even the Americans will eventually grow disgusted with the economic and political disaster to which the neocons are leading them, and will replace the children who lead them now with some adults who don't see the world through a Zionist filter. The backlash once Americans realize what has been going on may not be pretty for Israel. When the whole world boycotts Israel, the Israeli economy will be completely destroyed in a matter of minutes, the Israelis will have to agree to allow one-person-one-vote, and that will spell the death of political Zionism. When the Palestinian flag is raised over Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the Palestinians should be sure to erect a big - it will have to be big - statue of the true father of their country, Ariel Sharon. Is it 'anti-Semitic' to point out what is going to happen, or are the true anti-Semites those who continue to encourage Israel in its current policies which are certain to lead to its end as a state?
posted at 3:26 AM permanent link
Monday, January 12, 2004
Paul O'Neill has revealed that the Bush Administration - which means Dick Cheney - was planning an attack on Iraq 10 days after the Bush inauguration, which would put the beginning of the planning around late January and early February of 2001. O'Neill was a permanent member of the National Security Council, and so he saw everything. The early planning was extensive, and included how to divvy up Iraq's oil wealth (for those who think the attack was about giving democracy to the Iraqi people). O'Neill's revelations are very helpful for understanding the depths of the perfidy of the Bush Administration:
It was just after the time that the Bush Administration started to discuss a war on Iraq that the most important 9-11 terrorists, who had been spinning their wheels in various ways in various places, started to act with determined purpose towards their goal of the terrorist attacks.
After that time, both Colin Powell (in February and May 2001) and Condoleezza Rice (in July 2001) are on record as saying that Saddam posed no threat to the United States.
Referring to the removal of Saddam, Bush said, according to O'Neill: "Go find me a way to do this". As the Bush Administration knew that there was no legitimate reason to attack a non-threatening sovereign country, the process of finding an excuse for the attack was convoluted. The ground of American public opinion had to be prepared. The optimistic Clinton years had led Americans to the belief that the United States had won all the wars and was on top of the world (it was 'the end of history'). With a few minor exceptions (Serbia, Haiti), Americans were supposed to dominate the world solely through their mastery of capitalism and free trade. There was no more need for war, and attacking people to steal their assets would have been considered to be un-American.
9-11 happened, and within hours Rumsfeld was looking for a war against Afghanistan, and, if possible, Iraq. In the few hours after the attacks, he wrote that he wanted:
". . . best info fast. Judge whether good enough [to] hit S.H. at the same time. Not only UBL."
and:
"Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not."
This was before he could possibly have known the identities of the hijackers, and thus before he could have used the flimsy excuse eventually used by the Americans that the attack on Afghanistan was because the Taliban was 'harboring' al-Qaeda. It was also before he could possibly have known there was any evidence to connect S. H., Saddam Hussein, to 9-11. Many of us saw the attack on Afghanistan as having nothing to do with the terrorist attacks. September 11 was used as an excuse for a pre-existing desire for war. O'Neill's new revelations complicate the picture.
As there was absolutely no connection between Saddam and 9-11, and Americans had become used to their role as pacifist traders, the Bush Administration had a lot of work to do to prepare to attack Saddam. The first line of deception was to create a frenzy that the United States was under attack by a foreign entity known to the American government, and to connect that entity with a foreign country which could be attacked. Afghanistan had geopolitical importance to the neocons, was the proposed future site of pipelines important to friends of the Bush Administration, and was a low-hanging fruit, easily and safely subject to an American military victory. The war on Afghanistan was the training wheels on Bush's military bicycle. Once Americans had gotten used to fighting immoral wars again, an attack against more important targets would be easier.
We can now see why no real effort was made to capture Osama, and both he and Mullah Omar were allowed to escape. Osama was needed to continue to build the 'war on terror' as the war threat to the United States. The war on Afghanistan prepared Americans for the idea of war, and the idea that the war was in self-defense. There was a subtle shift of the threat from al-Qaeda to Iraq, with Cheney in particular constantly muddling the two. The constant terror alerts kept up the pressure on the American psyche, and war suddenly seemed necessary again. Having been eased into war with what seemed like a quick victory in Afghanistan, war could again be used if a threat could be created elsewhere.
O'Neill told Time:
"In the 23 months I was there, I never saw anything that I would characterize as evidence of weapons of mass destruction. There were allegations and assertions by people. But I've been around a hell of a long time, and I know the difference between evidence and assertions and illusions or allusions and conclusions that one could draw from a set of assumptions. To me there is a difference between real evidence and everything else. And I never saw anything in the intelligence that I would characterize as real evidence."
All that was needed to finish the job was some bogus evidence to make Saddam an imminent threat, and that job was handled by some American 'journalists', most notably Judith Miller. Blair the poodle was also necessary, as his similar lies bolstered the lies of the Bush Administration (and Blair knew that Iraq did not have quickly deployable weapons of mass destruction). The lies about weapons of mass destruction and the lies about Saddam's ties to al-Qaeda were enough to get Congress to go along (Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said that, before the vote authorizing the use of force to attack Iraq, the Bush Administration gave a classified intelligence briefing to members of Congress saying Iraq not only had the weapons "but they had the means to deliver them to East Coast cities" using drones). Afghanistan plus lies about weapons of mass destruction and the threat to the United States was enough to lead to the ultimate goal of war on Iraq, a war which had been planned since February 2001 but which needed the groundwork of the war on Afghanistan for it to be plausible to the American people.
The interesting thing is that the war on Iraq itself isn't the ultimate goal of the neocons. To find out what that ultimate goal is, Americans will just have to reelect (or, for the purists, elect) George Bush.
posted at 4:14 AM permanent link
Bush spends a whole lot of money the United States doesn't have on some unnecessary wars which enrich his friends, and further reduces the amount of money available to him by enriching the rich with tax cuts. The deficit balloons up to levels it has not reached since the time of Reagan, and because of creative accounting may even be higher as a percentage of GNP than it was under Reagan (and Reagan at least had the Cold War as an excuse). Paul O'Neill, the U. S. treasury secretary who was fired for worrying about the deficit, reports (or here) what Dick Cheney told him about the deficit:
"Reagan proved deficits don't matter. We won the midterms (congressional elections). This is our due."
By this Cheney means that the rich who are represented by the Republican victors can now celebrate their victory by claiming the tax cuts that will be paid for by the American people when the deficit has to be repaid. Winning the midterms was like winning a war against non-rich Americans, and the tax cuts were the spoils of war. Suddenly, the same Republicans who allowed all this to happen start wringing their hands and wailing about how the deficit is too big. And who should suddenly stick its ugly head into the debate? The IMF, making a big to-do (or here) about the hugeness of the American deficit, and calling for a balanced budget. Do you detect a plot? The IMF has no independence of the American government, and is just a shill for American government policies, particularly the neo-colonial raping of the assets of poorer nations. An IMF report doesn't just appear - it comes on order from those running the American government. The neocons want to cure the deficit 'problem' on the backs of non-rich Americans, which is why we suddenly see the hand-wringing Republicans along with a convenient IMF report. Once Bush is reelected, watch for massive cuts to all programs which benefit anyone other than rich people, all on the excuse that the IMF and the deficit are making these cuts necessary. Needless to say, the tax cuts will not be touched and will probably be increased (to further 'stimulate' the economy), and the big contracts associated with the rape of Iraq and the new countries on the neocon hit list will continue to be handed out to Bush cronies. The deficit is not only the evidence of the money that has been stolen from non-rich Americans by Bush's friends, it is also the excuse the Republicans will use to make the cuts in social programs that they wanted to make anyway. The entire point of the Republican exercise is to ensure that not a cent of government revenue gets into the hands of anyone who isn't rich. Whenever the IMF gets involved, it is an absolute sign that non-rich people are getting screwed. This case is only different because the victims are not usually Americans.
posted at 2:07 AM permanent link
Tuesday, January 13, 2004
A few more reflections on the revelations of Paul O'Neill:
Whatever the Bush apologists may say, this is a big deal. For months now, conspiracy theorists have speculated that the motivations for the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq weren't pure, and the Bush Administration had used the 9-11 attacks and the 'war on terror' as a bogus excuse for wars they wanted to have for other reasons. Those who lick Bush's boots made fun of these theories. O'Neill's revelations prove conclusively that the conspiracy theorists were 100% correct, and the boot lickers just got to taste a lot of boot. If the Bush Administration was looking for a way to have a war on Iraq from the moment it got into power, it is clear that neither the attack on Iraq nor the attack on Afghanistan had anything to do with 9-11. September 11 was, as the PNAC-ers would have it, the 'Pearl Harbor' which gave them the excuse for the wars they wanted to have for other reasons. All the talk about Saddam's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction and his alleged connections to al-Qaeda were lies told by the Administration to fool the American people and Congress into a war they had been planning since the Administration came into power (remember, both Powell and Rice said in the first half of 2001 that Saddam was no threat to the United States). The wildest and most unbelievable theories of the conspiracy nuts have proven, again, to be true. The only difference here is that we don't usually find out the truth so conclusively and so early.
As the This Modern World blog points out, contrary to the assertions of the Bush apologists, O'Neill's revelations are news, and directly contradict Bush's own claims that he had not been looking for a war against Iraq before September 11. Bush is a liar.
One of the Bush Administration's claims is that O'Neill simply doesn't know what he was talking about. But he was on the National Security Council! So either the secret cabal that really runs the United States was keeping the truth from the National Security Council, or O'Neill was in a perfect position to know whereof he speaks. Which is it?
The Bush Administration is so terrified about these revelations that they've had to roll out professional crackpot Laurie Mylroie to attempt to debunk him. Mylroie is the one who believes that everything bad that has ever happened to the United States is the personal work of Saddam Hussein, and is regarded as a joke by experts on the subject, but is very popular with the neocons, who use her nutbar theories to support their nutbar plans. Her 'debunking' consists of the fact that Ron Suskind, the author of the book on O'Neill, during the 60 Minutes interview referred to one of Cheney's secret energy documents - squeezed out of Cheney with a lot of litigation by Judicial Watch - as a Pentagon document. It also isn't supposed to be exactly the document that Suskind, in a passing reference, seemed to claim it was (note that O'Neill turned over 19,000 documents to Suskind, so a little confusion is understandable). This little slip, if it was a slip, is supposed to prove that O'Neill is a complete liar, and we can't possibly believe anything he has to say. As 'debunkings' go, this is awfully pathetic. You'll also note that the idea that O'Neill is lying about the Bush plans for Iraq is inconsistent with the boot lickers' argument that everyone knows that Bush had early plans for Iraq, but consistency isn't always possible when you are panicking to find a rebuttal to the truth. The only way to test the crackpot's allegation is for Cheney to finally disgorge all his secret energy documents, and let the public decide who they want to believe!
Why are conspiracies so hard to prove? Why don't more people come forward with the truth? Within hours of O'Neill's revelations the Treasury Department began an investigation because one of the sheets of paper shown in the 60 Minutes interview had 'Secret' marked on it (compare the speed of the O'Neill investigation to the lack of speed in the far more important Plame investigation). This is obvious intimidation, not of O'Neill, but of anyone else who might contemplate telling the truth. This is why conspiracies are so hard to prove. The 'Catch-22' for the Bush Administration is that if they prove the document was important enough to be a real secret document, it backs up O'Neill's case.
Benedict Spinoza at American Samizdat points out that within the course of one week the Bush Administration has faced the following:
O'Neill's revelations;
the Carnegie Endowment's report about the lies told by the Administration about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction;
the New York Times story about David Kay's team that was supposed to be looking for evidence of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction but had to return to the United States an utter and embarrassing failure (I wonder how they spent the $600 million in their budget?);
the Washington Post story about how there weren't any weapons of mass destruction (together with what must be one of the most embarrassing drawings in American history);
the report by the Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute which found that the war against Iraq managed to both distract from the war against al-Qaeda and bring the U. S. Army "near the breaking point"; and
Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski's concluding article on the baleful influence of the neocons on the American military.
Yikes! Seven days of reports that you are a liar makes one weak!
posted at 4:01 AM permanent link
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
The scandal of Conrad Black and Hollinger continues to develop. Some time ago I wrote about Hollinger's shareholders:
"I have no sympathy for shareholders who invest in a company with such a convoluted share structure that there may be no one alive who can determine who owns what, not to mention a company which is the current manifestation of a newspaper group set up originally to be an organ of propaganda for British intelligence, a role it still seems to take more seriously than making money for its shareholders."
Black essentially treated the public company like a private piggy bank, aided and abetted by what has to be one of the worst boards in corporate history (the board is rife with conflicts of interest, which also extended into the world of journalism). A few comments:
Black's best trick was allegedly selling off company assets to corporations owned by himself and his cronies, and then rewarding himself by taking bonuses (or here) for the presumably brilliant sales, and getting the purchasing companies to insist on non-competition contracts with himself and other executives of Hollinger. In many if not most of these cases the purchasing company appears to have been owned by Black and his pals, so the money given to Black and his pals not to compete was money paid so Black wouldn't compete with himself. The Hollinger group was impoverished with each one of these asset sales, for part of the proceeds of the sales, which should have come back to Hollinger, was diverted to pay for Black and his pals not to compete with themselves (there also appears to be some question about the fairness of the purchase prices in these sales to related parties). The board of directors shouldn't have approved any of these transactions, as the company whose interests they were supposed to be looking out for was made poorer with each successive transaction.
On top of the huge salary and bonuses, the company also paid for much of Black's luxurious lifestyle. Black was also given what appears to be carte blanche to move assets around between the companies in the group to suit his own personal financial requirements. The most spectacular incident was the company purchase, for what was probably millions of dollars more than they were worth, of personal papers of FDR at a time when Black just happened to be writing a biography of his hero, FDR. This purchase was described as a sound corporate investment, but may have been the straw that broke the camel's back, alerting the shareholders to the fact they were being royally screwed.
Black's wife, foaming-at-the-mouth right-wing columnist and ultra-Zionist Barbara Amiel (famous, in a major social faux pas, for reporting that her guest the French ambassador - in what he no doubt felt was a private conversation - called Israel a 'shitty little country', thus forever naming it in the minds of many people), who used to boast of taking one of the company jets on shopping trips to New York (which sounds like theft of corporate assets to me), has her own set of troubles regarding being paid large amounts of money for doing what seems to be nothing.
When the whole complex web started to fall apart, Black ordered ever more complex financial cures to shift money around to where it was most needed. Although he would have been completely lawyered up, and no one would have missed the tax implications, I wonder if in the panic to get money where it was needed all the taxes owing due to the restructurings and shifts of assets were paid. I don't have any special information, but this sort of problem has occurred in similar instances with other troubled companies in the past. It will be interesting to watch if some government comes along with a big tax bill.
I've always wondered how much Black is really the main man at Hollinger. Buried in the labyrinth of corporations that make up the Hollinger group is the original parent company, Argus Corporation (which now has its own problems). Argus Corporation was set up by E. P. Taylor in 1945. E. P. Taylor worked with Sir William Stephenson ("Intrepid") in the Second World War in British Intelligence, and there is every reason to believe that the purpose of Argus went further than the making of money. The deal seemed to be that the 'owner' got to live like a rich man as long as the company operated to further the goals of its underlying sponsor. Hollinger publishes newspapers with a very right-wing slant, and I wonder if the influence of British Intelligence is still operating today. There is a rather unpleasant story of how Black acquired Argus, and I've always wondered whether that story covered a bigger secret. I also wonder whether Black is as much in charge as he would like us to believe.
Black likes to portray himself as a living Horatio Alger story, but he was born filthy rich, and may have had help from a 'spooky' crowd to build his little empire. His main problem seems to be that he attempted to live like a billionaire on a millionaire's income, and made up the shortfall with what the business press likes to call 'aggressive' techniques. He is one of those types you see from time to time who inherit $500 million, die with an estate of $50 million, and the business press in the obituaries fall over themselves gushing at what a financial genius he was.
posted at 4:07 AM permanent link
Thursday, January 15, 2004
More on Paul O'Neill:
The Bush apologists still haven't figured out whether the proper response to O'Neill is to claim that he is a liar, or simply say that everyone knew that Bush was going after Iraq and so O'Neill's revelations, while completely true, are not news. They can't have it both ways. Another official, who was at the same early 2001 National Security Council meetings as O'Neill, completely confirms what O'Neill has said, so claiming he is a liar is becoming difficult. Nevertheless, Rumsfeld has further embarrassed himself by essentially claiming that O'Neill is either a liar or too stupid to know what was going on.
The anonymous official said:
"The president told his Pentagon officials to explore the military options, including use of ground forces. That went beyond the Clinton administration's halfhearted attempts to overthrow Hussein without force."
This is an absolutely key point, which the Bush apologists and the Bush Administration are trying to hide. Bush himself said:
"The stated policy of my administration toward Saddam Hussein was very clear - like the previous administration, we were for regime change."
The Bushites are claiming that Bush just continued Clinton's policies, but that is completely unfair to Clinton. Despite the entreaties of the neocons, including a specific letter written by PNAC, Clinton resisted the step that Bush took, which was regime change by war. Clinton wanted Saddam out, but that is not identical to removing him by war. Fudging the distinction between war and other methods of regime change is the way that the neocons think, but we must not fall into the same trap. It is Bush's war that is the disaster which breached international law and ruined the reputation of the United States, not to mention cost innumerable lives and billions of dollars. By claiming that Clinton wanted the same thing as Bush, the neocons are ignoring the distinction between Clinton's good sense in this matter, and Bush's foolishness. Faced with the same situation, the same Saddam, and the same basic goals of the American government, Clinton did not attack Iraq and Bush did, and Bush started the stark change in American policy from the time he came into power. Much as they may try, they can't pin this one on Clinton.
It is not surprising that O'Neill is now backtracking a bit. When he goes to his club, all the old geezers in there probably give him the skunk eye for betraying the Republican cause of big business. O'Neill is an honest man, but he is still a Republican, and he must have heard an earful from all his cronies. The striking thing is that he has not taken back any of the substantive claims that he made, but is merely trying to fit them within the 'Clinton did it' standard Republican position.
It is also not surprising that the boot lickers are calling O'Neill every name in the book. 'Disgruntled' is the favorite term. He was capable enough to run Alcoa, but is now incapable of sizing up a moron or reading clear briefing materials in a National Security Council meeting. This predictable nonsense from the Bush apologists is an excellent indication that O'Neill has come way too close to the truth for an Administration which thrives on lies.
posted at 3:15 AM permanent link
Here is an unmutilated version of the 'Stoned Saddam' picture. There are a lot of leaves on the ground. Saddam seems to have a leaf stuck in his eyebrow and perhaps one in his beard, from when his unconscious face was planted on the ground. I wonder when the leaves fall off the trees in Iraq.
posted at 3:09 AM permanent link
Friday, January 16, 2004
Two more reasons why Venezuela is such a dangerous country:
Venezuela has draft legislation for a revised penal code proposing the decriminalization of possession of drugs for personal use (see here, but I don't think the legislation has passed); and
a Supreme Court judge has proposed (or here) to add to the same set of revisions to the penal code a provision that those who take food, medicine or inexpensive goods without using violence and for necessary reasons would not be punished (the Jean Valjean law; Reuters UK publishes this in a section called 'Oddly Enough'!).
You can see why the thugs who run the United States hate Venezuela so much.

posted at 2:18 AM permanent link
Sunday, January 18, 2004
Many of the main problems of the world stem from religious fundamentalism, and the unfortunate way that the main fundamentalists reinforce each other's insanity. From an article by Amin Saikal:
"Three minority extremist groups - the militant fundamentalist Islamists exemplified at the far edge by Al Qaeda, certain activist elements among America's reborn Christians and neoconservatives, and the most inflexible hard-line Zionists from Israel - have emerged as dangerously destabilizing actors in world politics. Working perversely to reinforce each other's ideological excesses, they have managed to drown out mainstream voices from all sides. Each has the aim of changing the world according to its own individual vision."
and:
"Al Qaeda and its radical Islamist supporters, believing in Islam as an assertive ideology of political and social transformation, want a re-Islamization of the Muslim world according to their vision and their social and political preferences. The alternative that they offer is widely regarded as regressive and repressive even by most Muslims, let alone the West. Violence against innocent civilians can neither be justified in Islam nor find approval among a majority of Muslims. Yet many Muslims have come to identify with the anti-American and anti-Israeli stance of the radicals because they have grown intolerant of America's globalist policies."
and:
"The extremists of [American fundamentalist Christians and neoconservatives] seek to 'civilize' or 'democratize' the Arab world in particular, and the Muslim world in general, in their own images, and they have particular influence through key appointees in the Bush administration. The fact that democracy can neither be imposed nor be expected to mushroom overnight does not appear to resonate with them. (The agenda of some fundamentalist Christians, who promote Jewish dominance of the Palestinian lands as leading the world closer to the prophesied Judgment Day, is a variant that might be dismissed as a hysterical fringe element if it were not connected to a powerful voting bloc supporting President George W. Bush.)"
and:
"The efforts of the neoconservatives dovetail all too effectively with the aims of the radical Zionists who push for more and more Jewish settlements on Palestinian land. Because of Israel's proportional voting system, these radicals exercise disproportionate power within Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government. Although a majority of the Israelis still support the creation of an independent Palestinian state based on the principle of land for peace, the electoral system leaves them hostage to the minority of extremists in their midst. The activities of these three extremist minorities feed on one another: actions by each are seized on by others to justify their own extremism. With considerable help, intended or not, from one another, these three groups have now positioned themselves to determine the future of world order and, for that matter, humanity."
Unfortunately, traditional liberalism is ill-equipped to deal with fundamentalism, as the traditional liberal value of freedom of religion makes liberals squeamish about criticizing fundamentalist beliefs. We are currently seeing this very problem in France, where the government is facing the issue with the inelegant approach of banning ostentatious religious dress in state-funded schools, fearing, with some justification, that these symbols are becoming associated with fundamentalist politics. France has come to its current position of secularism through a long history of violent struggle, and fears falling back into the abyss of religious hatred. It would be nice if people could wear whatever symbols they want, but it is not racist for the French to fear that certain symbols are being misused by fundamentalists to undermine the secular basis of the French state. I also wonder whether all the Muslim women demonstrating for 'freedom' to wear head coverings are actually free of physical or emotional pressure from their male relatives who force them to wear symbols of female subservience they would rather leave behind. Liberals all over the world are going to have to come to grips with the fact that religious fundamentalism, whether Christian, Muslim, or Jewish - not to mention the horrors being committed in the name of fundamentalist Hinduism in India - is the main enemy of the traditions of the modern liberal state, not to mention the main cause of physical insecurity in much of the world today. Freedom of religion does not mean that those who are advocating the end of the modern secular state should be free to hide behind religious freedom to hurt the freedom and security of everybody. The main goal of modern liberalism has to be to stop the insanity of the fundamentalists, with a few caveats:
Modern neo-fascism in Europe, exemplified by the assassinated Pim Fortuyn in the Netherlands, has attempted to hide its racism behind the fog of an attack on fundamentalists. The fascists feign an interest in tolerance, and then claim that non-whites have to be excluded from European societies because their fundamental values are inconsistent with the freedoms enjoyed by white Europeans. The views of the fundamentalists are held up as the example of the views that must be excluded from Europe. Of course, the logical fallacy of the fascists is their assumption that most immigrants agree with the views of the fundamentalists. In fact, many immigrants wish to escape the stultifying influence of the fundamentalists, and most immigrants are no more interested in the views of religious fruitcakes than are most Europeans. Liberals have to be careful not to fall into traps laid by the fascists, who would like to use problems stirred up by the battle against fundamentalists to achieve their own goals.
Over and over again it has been determined that fundamentalism as a disease grows in a culture where young men feel ostracized and humiliated by the society they grow up in. This is the case in both the slums of Cairo and rural Alabama. People who are not allowed to use class analysis to examine their plight, or who are unaware of it, tend to see their helplessness as imposed on them due to a humiliating weakness which prevents their defeating the oppressor country or group. In the American context, there is a long history of those oppressed by capitalism to blame their plight on northern liberals, who they see as advocating positions undermining traditions in culture and family life, and taking the cause of non-whites against the interests of poor white men. The oppressed gain confidence against their weakness through their participation in extreme regimented religion, which provides structure in their lives and a higher purpose set by the deity, with the confidence that they will succeed because success is the will of the deity. Fundamentalist leaders, who tend to be completely bonkers, feed off the insecurity of the oppressed peoples of the world. In the final analysis, fundamentalism can only be rooted out by removing the causes of the humiliation. The current American plan for the Middle East, by fighting fundamentalist violence with American state violence, is doomed to fail because the terror imposed by the American state only increases the humiliation of its victims, and thus feeds the fundamentalism. We can see in the recent debates by so-called American liberals over the war in Iraq, that even these 'liberals' remain hopelessly confused over how fundamentalism has to be confronted. Dropping bombs on people won't help, and the whole war on Iraq has been an utter disaster in the liberal war against fundamentalism.
It is important for liberals not to fall into the trap set by conservatives of seeing all those who struggle against neo-colonial oppression as doing so under the thumb of fundamentalists. The freedom fighters in Iraq are struggling to free their country of violent military oppression, and are not necessarily religious fundamentalists. On the other hand, religious fundamentalists will certainly use the excuse provided by oppression to recruit for their cause. That fact should not tar all freedom fighters - or for that matter all people living under oppression - with the label of fundamentalists. Some Palestinians fighting the state terrorism of the Israelis do so under the banner of religious fundamentalism, but that does not mean that all Palestinians fighting for freedom from oppression are fundamentalists. The peculiar propaganda logic of the fundamentalists means that we hear all about the religiously-themed videos of the 'martyrs', but don't see the day-to-day struggle of the average non-fundamentalist Palestinian. The propaganda war means that it is in the interests of both the Muslim fundamentalists and the Zionist fundamentalists to portray all elements of the resistance as religiously based. The truth is that fundamentalists are always a minority, and most people given a choice will not choose to be led by religious nuts.
The primary weapon of liberalism has always been objective scientific truth, and it is not an accident that modern science and the modern liberal state arose at the same time from the same minds. The fundamentalists would prefer to return to the Middle Ages, when all was certain and determined by religious leaders. For fundamentalists, there is no objective truth, but only religious doctrine and political propaganda. We see an example of this in the silly American debates over evolution. We also see it in the reporting of the disgusting American media, which is essentially just the propaganda arm of the military-industrial complex. Americans have been dumbed down by years of conditioning and lousy education to the point where they become angry if they are forced to encounter the truth. The truth is regarded as one of the weapons used by liberals to undermine the comfortable certainties of life. Liberals don't realize that their opponents don't share their view that telling the truth is a paramount goal. Liberals still can't bring themselves to believe that there are many people in the world who would prefer to be lied to. Many Americans were furious at BBC coverage of the war in Iraq because it attempted to be objective, and objectivity is regarded as treason. The dumbing down planned by corporate America over the last forty years has been so successful that it poses a problem for liberalism in America. The majority of Americans are not led by the nose by religious nuts, but the preference of people to believe the lies of religious nuts over the unpleasant truths told by liberals, the ability of the nuts to get their vote out, the concentration of their followers in southern states, and the peculiarities of the American Electoral College (which poses the same type of problem in the United States as is faced in Israel with its ridiculous and evil system of proportional representation), means that liberals have had to struggle in recent years in the United States. The last American election, where the liberal ran a terrible campaign and faced all the problems faced by liberals in America, but still won (and would be President were it not for a crooked Supreme Court), means that the battle is far from hopeless, but will never be easy until deep structural issues in the American media and education system are dealt with. American liberals have only themselves to blame for this sad state of affairs, in large part through pretending to ignore the crimes committed over the years by their political opponents.
I hope the French can resolve their current problems without having to resort to laws about what people can wear, but if clothing is being used as a symbol of fundamentalist politics, it is not an un-liberal position to attack fundamentalism through laws on clothing. Such laws are not dissimilar to laws preventing the wearing of gang colors in order to prevent gang violence. The battle against fundamentalism is the most important battle modern liberal societies face today, and if lost will plunge the world back into the Dark Ages. It is time for liberals to start to fight with a strong and smart and resolute commitment to save liberal values, as such values are under direct serious threat by a small minority of religious fundamentalists.
posted at 4:13 AM permanent link
Monday, January 19, 2004
On this, the day of the celebration of Martin Luther King's birthday, a little on the conspiracy behind his death:
For a good summary of what happened, I recommend the article "The Martin Luther King Conspiracy Exposed in Memphis" by Jim Douglass. Note that the FBI and the Pentagon show up yet again as key conspirators, just as they do in the assassination of JFK and the events of September 11.
For an outstanding book on the subject and one of the best books ever written on a conspiracy, and an inspiring example of what one man can do to research the facts behind a conspiracy if the government refuses to, see the "Murkin Conspiracy", by Philip H. Melanson. One of the most striking aspects of the case is how two-bit hick hoodlum James Earl Ray, who had never been to Toronto, was able to use the stolen identities of three residents of Toronto who didn't know each other and whose identities were perfectly suited to his purposes. The sophisticated use of stolen identities is a calling card of all these conspiracies.
As far as I know, both Marrell McCollough and Ray's handler 'Raoul', whose real name may or may not be Jules Ricco Kimble (an amazing man in his own right), are still alive and could be available to testify in a court of law, if anybody cared enough to require them to do so.
It has been noted by many that the Powers That Be didn't really mind the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. King's role in it. In fact, they may have wanted to see blacks more fully integrated into the American economy, both as consumers and producers. He was assassinated only when he started to criticize the Vietnam War, the military-industrial complex parasites, and institutionalized basis of poverty. His assassination means that not much has changed in the United States.

posted at 9:49 PM permanent link
F. William Engdahl believes (or here) the attack on Iraq was made to stop the process, started by Iraq, of replacing petrodollars with petroeuros by selling oil only for euros rather than dollars, thus undermining the world's consensus that the U. S. dollar is the world's reserve currency. The unique status of the U. S. dollar has allowed the United States, indeed forced the United States, to run increasingly mammoth trade deficits, a state of affairs that cannot be sustainable. Dr. Mahathir has made the obvious point that oil-producing nations are paying an enormous price for selling their oil in rapidly depreciating dollars. On the other hand, these same oil producers have enormous investments in the United States, which would precipitously fall in value if they did anything to undermine the value of the dollar. Some countries are also literally in danger of being invaded by the insane people who run the U. S. if they do anything which could be perceived as an attack on American interests. All we know now is that the current American financial situation cannot continue for long, other power blocks are not going to sit idly by and allow the neocons to take over the rest of the world, and all hell is going to break loose when the U. S. dollar loses its current status as world reserve currency. While those who dislike the current path of the United States might like to see the dollar taken off its pedestal, replacing the almighty dollar by the almighty euro won't do anything for the vast majority of the world, and the shift will actually be harmful to many countries. Engdahl, who is one of the most interesting deep conspiracy writers in the world, writes:
"Now, as Iraq threatens to explode in internal chaos, it is important to rethink the entire postwar monetary order anew. The present French-German-Russian alliance to create a counterweight to the United States requires not merely a French-led version of the Petro-dollar system, some Petro-euro system, that continues the bankrupt American Century, only with a French accent, and euros replacing dollars. That would only continue to destroy living standards across the world, adding to human waste and soaring unemployment in industrial as well as developing nations. We must entirely rethink what began briefly with some economists during the 1998 Asia crisis, the basis of a new monetary system which supports human development, and does not destroy it."

If the American situation is going to have to change anyway, and most of the rest of the world will be damaged by an unmanaged shift in the world reserve currency, now might be the perfect time for the world to decide on the basis of mutual self-interest to completely revamp the world financial system. Unfortunately, one cannot be optimistic that the band of thugs running the United States will listen to any plan that doesn't result in total dominance for American corporate interests in all the world. The current American leadership is just too venal and too stupid to do the right thing.

posted at 2:09 AM permanent link
Wednesday, January 21, 2004
Reporters Sans Frontières has released its report on the firing by the American military on the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad on April 8, 2003 which caused the deaths of two journalists, Taras Protsyuk and José Couso. The report, which is very well presented and is worth reading, concludes:
The initial American official response, which remained the official response for months, was that the firing was a return of fire from an enemy in the hotel. There are a number of versions of this, some seemingly made up on the spot (see p. 11 of the report). Gen. Vincent Brooks was the main spokesman. The official American position was a lie, as there was no firing from the hotel. The Pentagon lie became an American government lie when it was repeated by inveterate liar Colin Powell. A later version of the American position has it that the fire was to eliminate an Iraqi spotter in the hotel.
The soldiers who fired were unaware that there were journalists in the hotel, and were clear that they would not have fired if they had known. They were firing at what they thought was an enemy spotter. They were not intending to hit journalists.
The Pentagon was aware that there were journalists in the hotel, and, through either negligence or possibly with the intent of putting unembedded journalists at risk, failed to notify the soldiers in the field. The blame rests at the level of Gen. Buford Blount, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, and above.
The deeper problem lies in the Pentagon's distinction between embedded journalists, i. e. Pentagon suck-ups, who it recognizes and tries to protect, and unembedded journalists, who are fair game.
The report seeks to have the enquiry reopened to determine the real reasons for the deaths of the two journalists (it also, on p. 27 and following, seeks a proper investigation of the medical circumstances behind the death of journalist Patrick Bourrat who died on December 22, 2002 in Kuwait).
A proper investigation? I'm not holding my breath. I'm also not holding my breath waiting for this to become any kind of 'news' in the U. S.
posted at 1:39 AM permanent link
Thursday, January 22, 2004
On David Kay's tombstone should be carved the phrase he apparently invented to describe what he found in Iraq after spending $600 million in a pointless attempt to find Saddam's non-existent weapons of mass destruction. This phrase exemplifies bureaucratese, and represents the tremendous failure that is David Kay's life. What is the phrase? "Weapons of mass destruction-related program activities" (see p. 2 of his 'interim' progress report; now that Kay has slithered off into the night, presumably it is no longer interim). That's what he is so proud to have found! There is so much fudge in that phrase you could open a chocolate factory with it. Related. Program. Activities. See how it rolls off the tongue - well, not really - but means absolutely nothing. Bush's speech writers liked it so much, they had him say it in his most recent State of the Union Address (but they wisely left out references to African uranium this time).
posted at 4:41 AM permanent link
From "Death row inmate's book chronicles McVeigh's secrets" (unstable link) by J. D. Cash in the McCurtain Daily Gazette, about a manuscript written by David Paul Hammer, an inmate on federal death row:
"A death row inmate who had extensive contacts with convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh over a 23-month period has completed a manuscript that includes details of many heretofore unpublished secrets he claims McVeigh passed to him before his death by lethal injection on June 11, 2001."
and:
"In the fresh account that Hammer provides, McVeigh says the men who assisted him in the bombing were persons with close connections to Elohim City – a Christian Identity enclave in eastern Oklahoma near Muldrow.

In a chapter titled, Blood Makes the Grass Grow, Hammer writes: 'On October 12th 1993, McVeigh and Terry Nichols drove from Fayetteville, Arkansas to Elohim City. They were met there by (Andreas) Strassmeir, who Tim called 'Andy', or 'Andy the Krout.''"
and (my emphasis):
"While Hammer's detailed manuscript contains considerable attention to dates and locations he says McVeigh provided him, it also includes references to three men that the inmate says McVeigh told him were central to the conspiracy – men with close ties to the U.S. military.

Unfortunately, McVeigh, Hammer writes, went to his death claiming he did not know the true identities of these men – only their code names."
and (my emphasis):
"One of these men, McVeigh claims, contacted him shortly after his discharge from the army.

Referring to him only 'the major,' McVeigh said he was invited to work with the shadowy figure during a meeting the two had at Camp McCall. Camp McCall is located on the grounds of Fort Bragg, N.C.

At this meeting, McVeigh – who was still smoldering after being passed over for a spot in the elite Army Special Forces – was told of an off-budget defense department project the Major wanted to invite him to join. The Major said McVeigh would be involved in gathering intelligence for the government on members of the radical rightwing in the U.S., specifically members of the KKK and Aryan Nations.

Hammer wrote that McVeigh told him he was aware of the far-right's methods of robbing banks and armored cars for the so-called 'cause' – the shorthand description of the white power agenda some in the most violent wing of the movement adhered to. It was these tactics, McVeigh said, that he was also encouraged to use."
and (my emphasis):
"Although [McVeigh's sister] said she did not have any names of her brother's cohorts to provide the FBI, she did say her brother told her he was part of a group of men with military backgrounds. He also wrote her that he was working for a group of ex-military soldiers involved in a covert operation involving drug smuggling and assassinations.

At McVeigh’s bombing trial, copies of letters to his little sister were introduced that reflected oblique references to men with military backgrounds that McVeigh claimed had been working with, at the behest of the government, on secret missions."
There are a whole lot more revelations in the article regarding the planning and execution of the Oklahoma City bombing, including the allegation that Terry Nichols didn't provide meaningful assistance to the group after the Murrah building was chosen as the target for the bombing. It is not uncommon for fake informants to come forth after a conspiracy, but all the details provided by Hammer make his story quite compelling. What interests me is the military involvement. Every major American conspiracy in the last forty years has involved significant involvement by two American federal institutions: the FBI and the military. Military intelligence sets up the patsy and arranges the logistics of the attack (sometimes with the help of possibly 'rogue' CIA agents), and the FBI provides cover by stifling any investigation before the attack takes place (the role of the CIA, when it is involved, is usually to create the cover-up and confuse matters by taking the brunt of the blame). Was the Oklahoma City bombing another example of this same pattern? Was 9-11?
posted at 4:02 AM permanent link
Saturday, January 24, 2004
British politician Dr. Jenny Tonge has lost her position as the Liberal Democrats' spokeswoman for children due to making the following statement:
"This particular brand of terrorism, the suicide bomber, is truly born out of desperation.

Many, many people criticise, many, many people say it is just another form of terrorism, but I can understand and I am a fairly emotional person and I am a mother and a grandmother. I think if I had to live in that situation, and I say this advisedly, I might just consider becoming one myself.

And that is a terrible thing to say."
This is being depicted as a statement in favor of terrorism, and even as an incitement of terrorism. Obviously, it is neither. She later said:
"I was just trying to say how, having seen the violence and the humiliation and the provocation that the Palestinian people live under every day and have done since their land was occupied by Israel, I could understand and was trying to understand where [suicide bombers] were coming from."
Her sin was saying what no one is allowed to say, that the actions of the state of Israel against the Palestinians have created such intolerable conditions that it is completely understandable that a human being might find becoming a suicide bomber a rational choice. Has anyone noticed that we are currently in a position of a complete Orwellian freeze on speech about Israel, with what certainly seems like a conspiracy of international Zionism to use every weapon possible against free speech to stop even the slightest comments on the immorality of the actions of the state of Israel? Here are some of a huge possible list of recent examples of Zionist repression of free speech:
the constant use of the term anti-Semite to stifle anyone who makes any comment on Israel;
Daniel Pipes' attacks on academic freedom through the brown shirts at Campus Watch;
attacks on the Ford Foundation as some of its grants go to Palestinian organizations;
prevention of the showing of the movie Jenin Jenin on the Jenin massacre;
attempts to stop Palestinian scholar Hanan Ashrawi from receiving the 2003 Sydney Peace Prize;
German publisher Suhrkamp's forced decision to drop Ted Honderich's book on September 11 (an excellent book, by the way, not just on September 11, but on the wider morality of living in a rich country when so many people in the world are suffering greatly) because Honderich has the temerity to consider the possible morality of resistance to oppression (formerly distinguished German philosopher Jurgen Habermas completely embarrassed himself over this issue);
the New Zealand Herald's firing of cartoonist Malcolm Evans for allegedly anti-Semitic cartoons (see especially here and here and here and here);
attempts at censorship by preventing the distribution of the children's book 'A Little Piece of Ground' by Elizabeth Laird because it attempts to portray the life of a Palestinian boy in the Occupied Territories;
the punishment of Oxford University professor Andrew Wilkie for rejecting an Israeli student because he had served in the IDF.
The censorship is not working. Indeed, I think it is fair to say that the issue of the Israeli oppression of the Palestinians is the defining issue of our day in determining whether you are progressive or not. The Zionist attempts to repress the awful truth of what the state of Israel is doing confirms the justice of supporting the cause of the Palestinian people.

posted at 4:04 AM permanent link

I've written a lot of nasty things about David Kay, all of them deserved. But I have to give the man his due. He could have kept lying, like Cheney, but he decided to fess up. From his interview (or here) with Reuters (my emphasis):
"Q: What happened to the stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons that everyone expected to be there?
A: 'I don't think they existed.'
'I think there were stockpiles at the end of the first Gulf War and those were a combination of U.N. inspectors and unilateral Iraqi action got rid of them. I think the best evidence is that they did not resume large-scale production, and that's what we're really talking about, is large stockpiles, not the small. Large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons in the period after '95.'
Q. After '95?
A. 'We're really talking about from the mid-90s, when people thought they had resumed production.'
Q. What about the nuclear program?
A. 'The nuclear program was as we said in the interim report, I think that will be a final conclusion. There had been some restart of activities, but they were rudimentary.'
'It really wasn't dormant because there were a few little things going on, but it had not resumed in anything meaningful.'
Q: You came away from the hunt that you have done believing that they did not have any large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons in the country?
A: 'That is correct.'
Q. Is that from the interviews and documentation?
A. 'Well the interviews, the documentation, and the physical evidence of looking at, as hard as it was because they were dealing with looted sites, but you just could not find any physical evidence that supported a larger program.'
Q: Do you think they destroyed it?
A: 'No, I don't think they existed.'
Q. Even though in the mid-1980s people said they used it on Halabja?
A. 'They had stockpiles, they fought the Iranians with it, and they certainly did use it on the Kurds. But what everyone was talking about is stockpiles produced after the end of the last (1991) Gulf War and I don't think there was a large-scale production program in the '90s.'"
So there it is, from the American expert on the subject. No biological or chemical weapons, and no meaningful nuclear program. Americans were clearly lied to in order to provide an excuse for the attack, and have been consistently lied to ever since, up to and including the most recent State of the Union Address ('weapons of mass destruction-related program activities') and Cheney's most recent statements. American taxpayer dollars are still being spent to continue the search for what isn't there. Why is this not a hot political issue in the United States?
posted at 2:16 AM permanent link
From a mostly fawning article on Conrad Black:
"There had been a time when both Blacks had kept their feet on the ground. This ceased to be the case. One evening Barbara Black rang Charles Moore panic-stricken from her Kensington home. There had been a last-minute drop-out from one of the famous Black dinner parties. 'I'm short of a woman,' she told Moore. Moore surveyed the newsroom. His gaze alighted on the journalist Eleanor Mills, by chance the stepdaughter of the Cabinet minister Tessa Jowell. An hour later, hastily groomed, made-up and brushed, Mills was sipping pre-dinner drinks in Cottesmore Gardens. Then disaster struck. A male guest, Max Fisher, dropped out. Mills was approached by Conrad Black. 'Finish your drink and skedaddle,' he told her. Barbara Black then told her to go to the kitchen and out through the servants' door, where the driver would pick her up and take her home."
The rich are different from you and me. They're assholes.
posted at 1:43 AM permanent link
Monday, January 26, 2004
Final (?) thoughts on the murder of David Kelly:
One of the mysteries of the case of David Kelly is how he thought he was going to get away with revealing the sordid things about the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Blair's government that he apparently told Andrew Gilligan. Another of the mysteries is why he waited until after the war was over to express his thoughts on the misleading nature of Blair's dossier, when he could have stopped or delayed the attack had he spoken out sooner. Maybe we can answer both questions.
Pilgrimage is important in Bahá'í. The main places of pilgrimage are the former residence of the Báb (1819-1850) in Shiraz, Iran (demolished during the Islamic Revolution and not yet rebuilt); the former residence of Bahá'u'lláh during his banishment and exile in Baghdad and the Garden of Ridvan on the banks of the Tigris in Baghdad (both inaccessible due to the political conditions in Iraq); and the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh at Bahjí. The Shrine, which is the holiest place, is located in Israel, and is thus completely accessible.
Bahá'í sounds like the kind of organized religion I might become interested in, were I suddenly to lose half my IQ and organized religion started to make sense to me (in my present state of IQ, organized religion strikes me as easily the single largest source of evil in the world today). It seems to be all sweetness and light, almost a religion of liberalism. But looks can be deceiving. Religion drives men mad, and it has driven some of the leaders of Bahá'í mad, leading to the creation of Bahá'í fundamentalism (see here; and here, which shows how Bahá'í exhibits the main characteristics of modern religious fundamentalism; and here). The strict tenets of the religion are enforced by shunning those who don't conform, who are known as 'covenant-breakers'. The fundamentalists control the supreme governing body of Bahá'í, the Universal House of Justice (UHJ) in Haifa, Israel, and believe that decisions of the UHJ are infallible. The combination of shunning and infallibility creates total centralized control over the tenets of the religion. Despite what seem to be the tenets of the faith, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United Kingdom officially came out with a policy that members of the faith should take no position on the war on Iraq, i. e., they should not oppose it, even though Bahá'í officially advocates non-military resolution of conflicts and the supremacy of the United Nations. Fundamentalism seems to be slowly killing the religion, as people become disillusioned on finding that this nice liberal religion is led by the same type of crazies who lead all the other religions. It is possible that the opening up of Iraq would create new pilgrimage opportunities that would reinvigorate a religion that is rapidly becoming moribund due to the stultifying influence of the fundamentalists.
David Kelly gave his only known public speech on his work as a weapons inspector in Iraq and his misgivings on Blair's process of creating the dossier at a Bahá'í meeting at the home of Geeta and Roger Kingdon on October 5, 2002 in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Roger Kingdon discusses Kelly's position:
"Roger Kingdon told The Observer last night that Kelly expressed his unhappiness with how the document was being interpreted, saying the intelligence information supplied was accurate, but indicating that he was uncomfortable about how it was being represented."
and:
"Critically, however, Kingdon said it was unclear whether Kelly was saying that he was unhappy at the way the document had been presented by the government, or at the way it had been interpreted by the media, or both.

'I asked him what he thought of [the dossier]. It was clear that he was happy with the factual content but less happy... and felt frustrated... by the way it had been interpreted... But he did not say who by.'

Kingdon said Kelly was 'ambiguous' about exactly who he blamed for the misrepresentation of the dossier. '[He] expressed frustration at how it was interpreted but did not say by whom,' he said."
It is interesting that there appears to be an attempt on behalf of Bahá'í to cover up the fact that this was a Bahá'í meeting (and generally, the Bahá'í's are looking for an innocent explanation of the Pederson-Kelly connection). When he gave his presentation, his identity and position in the process which lead to the creation of Blair's dossier became known to those in power in the Bahá'í faith. Professor Juan Cole and Frederick Glaysher have raised the issue whether there is a Bahá'í angle to Kelly's actions, particularly given the involvement of Mai Pederson.
Mai Pederson is a U.S. Army linguist and, despite what she might claim, an American spy. She has hired a lawyer, Mark Zaid, who specializes in intelligence matters. She has not allowed her unsworn statement to the Hutton inquiry to be released, and has, for all intents and purposes, gone into hiding. She and Kelly worked together in Iraq, at a time when the Americans weren't supposed to have spies in the UN team. She converted Kelly to Bahá'í, and the conversion took place near the Defence Language Institute in Monterey, California, a Pentagon foreign language and espionage school. It was completely unnecessary for Kelly to go to California for the conversion. Pederson's husband describes her:
"Part of her military training was to cultivate anyone who might be able to help her in her intelligence work. It may well have been why she zeroed in on Dr Kelly. She undoubtedly viewed him as a potential intelligence source. The two things that obsessed her were the military and the Bahai faith."
It appears likely that she saw how she could use the religion to manipulate Kelly, and keep the lines of communication open which she could use for American military purposes. It would not surprise me if her avowal of the Bahá'í faith was part of her intelligence cover. It is also interesting that she is Kuwaiti.
Operation Rockingham was the British part of the disinformation campaign to feed misinformation concerning Iraq's weapons to the British press in order to start a war. Kelly, because he was used as a liaison to journalists, may have been part of this operation, but was possibly genuinely fooled by some of the misinformation. It is funny to see that the rats at various British intelligence agencies are already trying to avoid the blame for the lies told to the British people by Blair.
Kelly's thoughts on the real nature of Saddam's threat have been described in various ways. He started as a genuine warmonger who seemed to firmly believe in the threat of Saddam. The obviously corrupt process of creating Blair's dossier seemed to have awakened his misgivings. In an unbroadcast television program taped on October 29, Kelly expressed the view that Saddam could get his weapons filled in a matter of days or weeks, but would probably use them only in self-defense:
"I think some people would consider that when the chips are down, and he is fighting his last battle, that is when he may be prepared to use them. I think he would be reluctant to use them in the build-up to the war - in the transition to war - because he knows what the response would be. It would be utterly devastating for him."
Later, just before the war, Kelly wrote an article which expressed views quite different from the claims made in Blair's dossier. He wrote that "the current threat presented by Iraq militarily is modest, both in terms of conventional and unconventional weapons", but felt that the long-term threat, which could only be averted by regime change, was "Iraq's development to military maturity of weapons of mass destruction". It was hardly a ringing endorsement of the war, but was vague enough that it did nothing to dissuade from war.
I don't think it is 100% correct, but it is getting very close, so I reprint the whole of the posting of Mr. Toad from the Guardian talk forum of December 30, 2003:
"This from my friends on the river bank:

Hutton is a jigsaw puzzle. And like all the best puzzles there was a piece missing. Some people have found the missing piece, but they keep trying to put it in upside-down.

1998 - Mai Pederson attached to Kelly as UNSCOM translator.

1998 - UNSCOM out of Iraq

1998 - Tom Mangold presents Panorama documentary revealing extensive infiltration of UNSCOM by national security services.

1998+ Pederson / Kelly relationship remains close

2000-2003 MoD becomes suspicious of Kelly's relationship with Pederson. Begins moving Kelly towards the door marked 'exit', but does it quietly so as not to alarm Kelly or his friends overseas. No grading increase, retirement age reduced from 65 to 60, moved to PR role with no access to classified information.

May 2003 Gilligan interviews senior member of HMG, who makes the Campbell 45 minute claim 'off the record'. Gilligan cannot run the story without a creditable source, so is pointed to Kelly as 'unattributable' MoD source.

Gilligan goes to Kelly, tells him he knows the 45 minute claim is fictitious and plays the 'name game', then goes home and writes up his piece overnight using info from souce 1 effectively attributed to Kelly. Kelly is baffled by Gilligan's interview, but once Gilligan's piece goes out he realises he has been set up. He writes to MoD to admit the unauthorised interview but denies he is the original source of Gilligan's information.

Kelly is called to meeting with line managers and told that orders from on high dictate that he will be the 'fall guy' or will lose his pension and find his relationship with Pederson plastered across the front page of the Telegraph and tv news. What Kelly did not realise was that this was a bluff. MoD were well aware of Pederson's actual role and would never have allowed the name to come out in this way at the time.

Kelly does as he's told and goes before the parliamentary committee and ISC. This should be the end of it, except that Kelly broods on it and decides he will take steps to clear his name. Unfortunately, to do this he has to admit to the Pederson relationship. throughout the whole saga Kelly has been in close touch with Pederson, who has been reporting back to her masters. On July 17th Kelly tells Pederson he is going to leave his wife and going to the press to clear his name. Pederson reports immediately to her managers, the alarm bells go off in Washington as they believe she is about to be 'outed' and it's "goodnight Vienna".

Here's why:

The CIA did to Kelly what they did to everyone, lied to him about Iraq's WMD. The difference is that they thought Kelly's position as MoD bio-weapons expert would allow him to influence the policy of HMG.

Here's how it was done: Pederson was a US airforce translator working from Arabic to English. After the removal of UNSCOM from Iraq in 1998, evidence of WMD capability came from satellites and smuggled documents. These would land first on the desk of Ms Pederson and her colleagues for translation, before passing to the scientists for analysis, who then advised USG.

In the case of Pederson, however, the documents did not come from Iraq, but from the CIA. Pederson 'leaked' fake intelligence to Kelly over an extended period, which she claimed came from smuggled Iraqi documents indicating the existence of WMD. By 2003, Kelly was completely convinced not only of the existence of WMD in Iraq, but also believed he knew what they were and where they were.

However, when Kelly attempted to go to Iraq (post invasion) to locate them, he found his was mysteriously barred. On a first occasion his official visa proved worthless and he was turned back at Kuwait. On a second occasion he found himself confined to an airbase for the duration of his stay on security grounds.

There may be some evidence that shortly before his death, Kelly became aware of the nature of Pederson's information. In preparation for his next planned visit to Iraq Kelly appears to have shared informaton from Pederson with Gabriele Kraatz-Wadsack, a German army weapons inspector and biological weapons expert. It appears from her reply, however, that she was less than convinced as to the veracity of the information, as made clear by the 'concerns' she expressed.

In short, Kelly's death was the result of two conspiracies colliding. The first being the civil war within the cabinet of HMG, which nearly resulted in the exposure of the second, USG's plans to help HMG make up its mind with regard to Iraq's WMD.

Ultimately, it wasn't murder or suicide, but a series of unfortunate accidents.

Trouble with this jigsaw puzzle is, once you put it together, you realise it's just a part of a much bigger puzzle."
My comments:
Pederson wasn't CIA or working for the CIA, but for military intelligence (although I suppose she could have been cross-posted); there is no reason to believe Kelly was going to leave his wife;
the Iraq warmongering plans go back to the late 1990's, and part of Pederson's job was to 'process' faked Iraq documents to create the intelligence dossier used within the American government to press for war, a process that was so successful it is still influencing opinion in Washington (David Kay's recent comments prove that the whole thing was a lie);
Pederson met Kelly, saw a weakness in him, and exploited that weakness through converting him and turning him into a back channel by which the Pentagon could funnel some of this misleading data on Iraq to the British government;
Judith Miller may have been a witting or unwitting part of this, buttering Kelly up by praising him in a book and being one of the last persons he e-mailed, perhaps indicating a constant line of communication (with more American intelligence lies on Iraq funneled to Kelly to influence the British government);
German Lieutenant-Colonel Gabriele Kraatz-Wadsack may also have played a role in miseducating Kelly by feeding him fake documents, but it is more likely that it was her 'concerns' that started to tip Kelly off to the fact that he had been had;
the fact that Gilligan had two sources for his story, one high up in the MoD or elsewhere in the British government, explains why Kelly was confused about the contents of Gilligan's reporting (he thought he was Gilligan's source but couldn't understand where Gilligan got information Kelly hadn't told him; this was so confusing Kelly had started to doubt his own memory), and why Kelly saw 'dark actors playing games', as he knew what he told Gilligan would not in itself be a breach of any confidentiality agreements (but what the secret source told Gilligan would have been, thus setting Kelly up for the treatment he received at the hands of the MoD and Blair's operators);
Kelly was being used as a backdoor conduit of information from the Pentagon to the MoD, and simultaneously was used by his female contacts (Pederson and possibly Miller) to get inside information to the Pentagon on the status of thinking on Iraq in the MoD and the progress the MoD was having in motivating the Blair government (despite Hoon's lies about it, Kelly had had a lunch with Hoon not long before all this mess started, showing how well connected he actually was, and how useful he would be as a two-way conduit of information);
Kelly honestly believed the lies he was being fed by Pederson until his suspicions were raised in the process of meeting to discuss Blair's dossier, when he began to realize that he was being used, and started the process of discovering what was really going on;
fundamentalists in the Bahá'í faith found out about Kelly's misgivings when he gave his presentation to a group of Bahá'í members in October, and manipulated Kelly to keep quiet about his misgivings until after the war so that the defeat of Saddam would open up the Bahá'í pilgrimage sites in Baghdad and revitalize a failing religion (Kelly probably justified this to himself on the basis that Saddam had to be taken out sometime anyway, even though he presented no imminent danger, and Kelly may have still been partly misled by Pederson's documents);
the peculiar nuances in Kelly's positions on the war are explained by the fact he was trying to balance his commitment to the truth, his anger at being lied to and manipulated in the creation of the dossier, his gradual realization that Pederson had been feeding him lies over the years, and his continuing loyalty to the Bahá'í faith, whose leaders saw a benefit in the attack on Iraq;
Kelly was murdered either because he was regarded as a traitor by someone in the MoD or British Intelligence, or because the Americans feared he would disclose the intelligence nature of the relationship with Pederson and that the information he was being given was Pentagon lies intended to influence British government opinion; and
the bottom line is that David Kelly is dead because he somehow fouled up or threatened to foul up the secret line of communications between American military intelligence to the British government whereby lies, not just those involving Iraq, are fed to the British government to influence British actions along lines favorable to the Pentagon.

Do you think that Lord Hutton will have the courage to get close to the truth?


posted at 2:43 AM permanent link
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) may no longer be able to keep up with the homelessness of the Palestinians caused by the Israeli demolition of houses in the Gaza Strip. Since October 2000, more than 14,000 people in the Gaza Strip have lost their homes, of which almost 10,000 lived in the Rafah refugee camp (in the last three years demolitions have left almost ten percent of the residents of the refugee camp homeless). Since January 16, 584 people have been left homeless. And still people wonder out loud how it is that the awful Palestinians can commit such terrible and completely unprovoked terrorist acts against the utterly innocent Israelis! The Israelis claim to be stopping smuggling tunnels, but typically demolish not only the home above the tunnel end, but a cluster of homes in the area. Peter Hansen, Commissioner General of UNRWA, said (or here):
"Any humanitarian looking at the sheer number of innocent civilians who have lost their homes can only condemn Israel's house demolition policy as a hugely disproportionate military response by an occupation army."
and:
"The nearly 15,000 people whose homes and possessions have been ground into the sand by Israel's bulldozers can hardly be blamed if they have come to believe that they are the victims of collective punishment."
and:
"It is a policy that creates only hardship and bitterness, and in the end can only undermine hope for future reconciliation and peace."
UNRWA has asked for donors to supply additional funds to help pay for the new homes that will be required.
posted at 1:05 AM permanent link
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
More on David Kay:
There is a pattern forming with respect to the truth-telling whistleblowers who report on the inner workings of the Bush Administration. John DiIulio ("Mayberry Machiavellis"), Paul O'Neill and David Kay all came up with extremely disturbing comments that in various ways embarrassed the White House. Presumably, someone like Cheney got on the phone and threatened to personally rip their throats out, for each one came back with a modification to the original story a day or two later. This modification lasted for long enough for the press to report that the original story has been largely overturned, but in fact the gist of each whistleblower's story remained intact. Now that David Kay has come partly clean on the weapons of mass destruction fiasco, I fully expect the Bushites will start to describe him as 'disgruntled'.
Kay's first story was that there were no weapons of mass destruction. Immediately, in a story in the Telegraph (Conrad Black, temporary prop.), it turns out that "part of Saddam Hussein's secret weapons programme was hidden in Syria." Kay said: "We are not talking about a large stockpile of weapons." The Bush bootlickers and Zionists immediately jumped on this to claim that the danger of Syria was the real story ('Let's bomb Syria'). Almost immediately, Kay went back on this story, saving there was no conclusive evidence that weapons had been moved to Syria, but the damage to the truth had been done.
There are big problems in the story that weapons of mass destruction went to Syria. Leaving aside that it appears to be an obvious ploy to create a rationale for war that the neocons are seeking, it is difficult for Kay to say that there are no weapons of mass destruction, but some of the weapons that didn't exist are in Syria. I think Kay even realized this when he clarified his statement. On top of that is the problem that Kay's massively expensive investigation found exactly nothing, which means any other ideas he has on the subject have very little credibility. If he had any real evidence, I'm sure we would have seen it. Kay said: "There's satellite photography, there are reports on the ground, of a constant stream of trucks, cars, rail traffic across the border. We simply don't know what was moved." Ridiculous. The fact that there is trade between Syria and Iraq proves nothing, and Kay knows it.
Kay is also trying a version of the excuse that Saddam's scientists were fooling Saddam into thinking he had a weapons program, when in actual fact he did not. This old chestnut won't die, and returns when the neocons get really desperate for an excuse. The argument, such as it is (and it is close to incoherent), is that since the scientists fooled Saddam, it is okay for the Bush Administration to be fooled. Of course, there is not one shred of evidence for this theory (except for some Iraqi scientists looking to give people like Kay a story that will get them out of the jails in which the U. S. is holding them), and it doesn't go far enough for the neocons anyway. Bush needed to have conclusive proof of an imminent threat to the United States from Saddam's weapons of mass destruction to even begin to construct an argument for war on a non-threatening sovereign country, and he obviously never had such evidence. Not only did he not have such evidence, but we know, from the statements of Powell and Rice that I have recently referred to, that the Bush Administration was completely aware that Saddam posed no threat to the United States.
Kay also uses a variant of the 'Blame Clinton' argument:
"We have to remember that this view of Iraq was held during the Clinton administration and didn't change in the Bush administration."
The problem with this argument concerning Clinton's alleged possession of the same misleading view of Iraq is that Clinton didn't start a war over it. I'm amazed that the neocons have the audacity to keep raising Clinton in this issue, when it was Clinton's good sense that they so clearly lack.
Kay said:
"Based on the intelligence that existed, I think it was reasonable to reach the conclusion that Iraq posed an imminent threat."
and, despite the absence of weapons of mass destruction, on whether Iraq posed an 'imminent threat':
"That is a political judgment, not a technical judgment."
I have to admit he's completely lost me.
The most outrageous part of Kay's revised story is his attempt to deflect blame onto the CIA. Kay said, in response to a question of whether Bush owed the nation an explanation for the discrepancies between Bush's tales of weapons of mass destruction and Kay's findings: "I actually think the intelligence community owes the president, rather than the president owing the American people." So it's the CIA's fault! I think the CIA under George Tenet can be criticized for the way it handled this whole matter, but for an official from the Bush Administration to blame the CIA for Bush's warmongering is completely ridiculous. Cheney and Rumsfeld set up the office of Special Plans under Feith and Luti with the specific intent of bypassing the normal intelligence channels of the CIA and the DIA. The reason for this was that Cheney feared that the experts wouldn't play along with Bush's political program. Selected false information, much of it gathered by Chalabi's gang, was manipulated to create the basis for a war that the Bush Administration was determined to have regardless of the facts. Parallel to this completely corrupted misuse of 'intelligence', the CIA was attempting to do the real job of intelligence gathering (with Cheney hanging around the CIA offices, as a constant reminder of intimidation). We haven't seen the results of this analysis, but from what hints have been reported, we can try to guess at the truth:
the CIA's reports, particularly the infamous National Intelligence Estimate, accurately conveyed the CIA's serious doubts about the neocon claims about weapons of mass destruction, but did so in an oblique way (in footnotes and qualifications), without forcefully facing the issue;
the reason for the lack of force in the CIA's work was based in the general personality of Tenet, who tries to get along with his masters, and the real fear in the CIA that a strong dissent from the required view would further marginalize the CIA, leaving it vulnerable to further assaults in its function from other entities like the Office of Special Plans;
the CIA has only itself to blame for this, having as it does an absolutely abysmal record from its lying analysis of the Soviet threat in the 1970's and 1980's, where it greatly exaggerated the Soviet military capabilities in order to prolong the cold war and satisfy its political masters (for the sordid history of this, see here);
the combination of the existence of the parallel intelligence universe of the Office of Special Plans, Tenet's desire to get along, and a history of politicization of the intelligence gathering and analysis of the CIA led to it create an accurate but insufficiently forceful view on the weapons of mass destruction.
The CIA could have and should have done better, and an investigation should be done to try to depoliticize the CIA's intelligence analysis, but the root cause for the 'intelligence failure' was the systematic misuse of intelligence by the Bush Administration using the Office of Special Plans to create a fictional rationale for an unnecessary war. The problem wasn't the CIA, but the Cheney and Rumsfeld plan to bypass the CIA.
If you can believe it, Colin Powell is trying to make the argument that Saddam is to blame for the war, as he was given the opportunity to divulge what his country was doing but chose not to. Saddam sent the U. N. some 12,000 pages on what he was doing, 12,000 pages which were lifted by the United States 'for photocopying' and were edited by the Americans to remove embarrassing information before being circulated!!!
There is a consistent pattern in all the neocon excuses for the absence of weapons of mass destruction, in that in each case they use a particularly egregious example of Bush Administration wrongdoing in order to attempt to explain themselves. It is never their fault, but Syria's fault, Clinton's fault, the CIA's fault, or even Saddam's fault for not turning over the information the Bush Administration stole from the U. N.! Nick Theros, the Washington representative of Iyad Allawi, who headed the Iraqi National Accord in exile, now says that the claim that Saddam could deploy weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes, a claim featured in the Blair case for war, was based on an unverified single source, and now seems to be a 'crock of shit'. 'Crock of shit' accurately describes the entire Anglo-American intelligence basis for this illegal attack on a sovereign country.
posted at 5:03 AM permanent link
Wednesday, January 28, 2004
It is amusing how Michael Moore, by just mentioning the term 'deserter' in connection with the name George Bush, has managed to provoke a smack-down by the disgusting American media for daring to dis King George - probably an overreaction caused by the deep guilt in the media for burying the story of Bush's utterly shameful military record - and has led the bootlicking Bush supporters into the rather unedifying debate of whether Bush was a deserter or simply went AWOL (the equivalent of arguing that it wasn't really murder, it was just manslaughter, which, when you think about it, is really a question more for Poppy Bush). One of the issues for the press, which they would look into if they weren't just a PR branch of the Republican Party, is finding out what happened to his missing records (the non-missing ones are here), not to mention his hidden criminal records (what a guy!). Bush must be the first American President who served in the military who made a big thing about trying to hide his military records. The issue of an AWOL president is becoming acute, as soldiers in Iraq are starting to desert in large numbers, leading to the question of what right the military has to complain about this when the Commander-In-Chief led the way. Just as in the Vietnam era, there is talk of a new 'Underground Railroad' of Americans taking sanctuary from an evil war in Canada. Canada benefited enormously from the Vietnam draft dodgers, skimming off the absolute cream of the crop of American young men with the highest moral standards.
posted at 3:18 AM permanent link
Four righteously angry articles:
Raymond Whitaker and Glen Rangwala list fifty lies told to the British and American peoples concerning the rationale for the attack on Iraq;
Anne Gwynne reacts to those who are suddenly concerned about the plight of the 'poor' Israelis who are about to lose their country due to the demographics of Israel and the Occupied Territories, pointing out just some of the facts of the Zionist evil that has destroyed the viability of a separate Palestinian state and thus has directly led the Israelis to their current position (read some of the facts she lists and try to tell me why it is the Israelis we should feel sorry for);
Ahmed Amr describes the story of a couple dozen men who call themselves 'neocons', are financed from the profits from bingo halls, and who run the United States for the benefit of Israeli Likudniks;
Gustavo Arellano describes the disgusting - and there is frankly no other word to describe it - coverage by the American media of the April 2002 coup attempt in Venezuela (you have to be brain dead if you think you can get any semblance of the truth from the American media).
posted at 2:14 AM permanent link
Thursday, January 29, 2004
We all knew it was going to be a lying cover-up job when Hutton allowed Blair another secret kick at the can to explain the lies in his government's testimony, and even more so when Blair announced he'd resign if he was criticized by Hutton (something we know he wouldn't have offered to do unless he knew the fix was in), but no one could possibly have foreseen that it would be this bad. Hutton has firmly placed himself as one of the most mendacious cover-up artistes in British history. 'To hutton' should become the new verb for hiding government wrongdoing. British judges have a history of providing cover for the worst crimes of the powerful, the most famous of which is Lord Denning's incredibly lying account of the Profumo Affair, but this one has to be the new champion. It was so utterly outrageous that the journalists hearing it live couldn't control their laughter. A few comments:
A quick summary:
Kelly killed himself.
Kelly killed himself for reasons based on some psychobabble heard at the inquiry.
Kelly was completely responsible for his own plight, and was wrong to be a whistleblower.
The dossier wasn't 'sexed up'. Campbell didn't press to harden the terms of the dossier. The language was possibly sexed up, but not the essence of it, and the intelligence services were completely happy with the result.
There was no strategy to name Kelly, and no leaking.
Blair had nothing to do with the decisions made at the meetings he chaired, and knew nothing about them (so forget all about what Kevin Tebbit said).
The Ministry of Defence didn't do anything wrong except for being insufficiently touchy-feely in the way it told Kelly of his fate.
John Scarlett may have been 'subconsciously' influenced to produce a harder report based on his feelings about what Blair wanted (mystical psychobabble, perhaps involving ESP, and no mention of the clever way that Scarlett used the term 'ownership' of the dossier to arrange to have it prepared without meaningful input of the intelligence experts like Kelly).
Kelly didn't say what Gilligan said he did, despite the fact that Gilligan is the only living witness to the conversations, Kelly himself basically confirmed the truth of what Gilligan said (although he remained confused, probably because Gilligan had another as yet unnamed source), Susan Watts also confirmed it, and it has been completely confirmed by all subsequent events.
The whole war thing that the British people and the British Parliament didn't want, and the thousands and thousands of dead people killed on the basis of Blair's lies, and the lies about the weapons of mass destruction and the imminent threat (battlefield or strategic weapons, who cares!), and the 'crock of shit' concerning the 45 minute claim and on and on and on. You know whose fault it all was? Apparently, it was all the BBC's fault!
Of course, anyone looking at the facts can clearly see that every single one of Hutton's findings is very tenuous. In every single case where the facts could have been interpreted in two different ways, Hutton sided firmly with the government, and in many cases he really had to stretch the facts to do so.
The British people are peasants and remain peasants. In no modern country would such an insulting report be issued without riots in the streets. This report is an insult to the intelligence of anyone who reads it and an insult to the British people, who apparently are prepared to accept this horseshit from their 'betters', and like it. Gloating Blair (or here), who has been lying to the British people non-stop for months, now has the absolute audacity to demand an apology from those who dared point out the obvious fact that every single thing he said to force through the attack on Iraq has proven to be a lie. Hutton must have retired to his club, lit up a big cigar (or perhaps a big blunt, for that is what he must have been smoking when he wrote his report), and had a huge laugh with his friends about how the peasants have been fooled again.
The failure to even question the huge problems with the story of Kelly's death, including the inadequacy of the cut, the absence of blood (the forensic expert apparently concluded that since Kelly killed himself he didn't have to look for the blood, for it must have been there!), the mysterious and unaccounted for men in black at the crime scene, and the movement of the body after it was discovered, means that someone has gotten away with murder.
From a good comment from a MetaFilter thread by 'vbfg':
"Hutton's line on the 45 minute claim was that the intelligence services believed the source to be accurate, therefore going to war and killing thousands of people was fine. His take on the Today programme broadcast is that the BBC believed their source to be accurate, therefore broadcasting it without taking further notes, obtaining corroborating evidence and subjecting Kelly to a lie-detector test is despicable.

Is it me, or is the world crazy, when an inquiry can criticise the BBC for broadcasting one assertion based on a single source for which there is no tablets-of-stone proof, yet not criticise a Government for taking the country to war on the basis of one assertion from a single source which has been demonstrably proved to be incorrect?

For God's sake, which is the more serious issue here? The precise form of words used by Gilligan in a single broadcast at 6.30am heard by a couple of hundred people, or the fact that we went to war and killed people as a direct result of a claim which has been proved to be demonstrably false?"
There is something extraordinary about a British judge censoring a broadcaster for what he feels are its failure to live up to journalistic standards. There seems to be an essential misunderstanding of the nature of journalism, again relating back to the over-deference paid by Britons to their superiors (I've always liked the logic of Mark Twain's line: "Always obey your superiors - if you have any."). In all this nonsense we have to remember one thing: Gilligan's assertions have proven to be substantially correct. Investigative journalism is a tough job. Everyone is trying to hide something, and those who want to talk are all pushing a hidden agenda. There is no way to meet the standards that Hutton apparently feels are necessary. Hutton and his ilk thrive on secrecy, on hiding from the peasants the outrageous things the lords and ladies are doing, and Hutton's essential prohibition on investigative journalism just makes Britain more of a dictatorship. The Gilligan's of the world have to be free to throw a little dirt in the air, and see what sticks. All Blair had to do was deny it, and the market of ideas would have determined whether people believed the BBC or not. The only reason this became a big issue is that everyone knew that Gilligan's story was essentially correct. Blair couldn't defend himself on the facts, so Campbell came up with the strategy of putting all the blame on the BBC, a strategy which, with Hutton's help, has completely succeeded. Hutton has now cast a permanent cloud over investigative journalism in Britain. The people of Britain are less free as a result.
The Chairman of the BBC has resigned as a result of the report. Much as I like to attack the disgusting American press, it is impossible to conceive of an American head of a broadcaster having to resign over the lousy opinion of a judge. The fact that the BBC is state-owned is irrelevant. The Chairman should not have had to resign. As well, Gilligan did nothing but what he should have done, and should be back at his job. He should, in fact, receive journalistic awards for his work. Would the people of Britain be better off not knowing what he had to report? Hutton's real problem with Gilligan is that this lower class punk was insufficiently deferential to his betters. Good journalists can never be deferential to anyone, and good broadcasters, state-owned or not (and the good ones are all state-owned), have to keep up the fight against those, like Hutton, who stand for secrecy to support the absolute rule of the powerful.
There is no hope that Hutton would have delved into the really interesting issues in the case, including the creation of falsified intelligence for political purposes, and the deep relationship between American intelligence agencies and their British counterparts.
There is one issue on which I have to give Hutton credit. He could have created a more subtle and nuanced report, letting Blair off the hook but sacrificing a few of the minions. Such a report would have also been a lie, but would not have been an obvious lie. The report Hutton gave is such an obvious, total and complete crock of shit that no one will be fooled into believing any of it.

posted at 3:15 AM permanent link
Saturday, January 31, 2004
I have referred to J. D. Cash's article on David Paul Hammer, an inmate on federal death row with an story to tell about the Oklahoma City bombing. There is a new article with more details on this story in the Independent entitled "Does one man on death row hold the secret of Oklahoma?", describing how Hammer and McVeigh had a shared interest in the mysterious prison death of a man named Kenny Trentadue, who McVeigh felt was murdered because he was mistaken for Richard Guthrie, a man from the same neo-Nazi group as McVeigh and who himself was found mysteriously dead in prison. A possible witness to the murder of Kenny Trentadue was Alden Gillis Baker, who didn't testify because he said he feared threats from prison guards, and who months later was found hanging from a sheet in his cell. Hammer's evidence makes the whole Oklahoma City bombing plot part of the larger neo-Nazi bank robbery gang (a theory described in a 2001 article in the Independent), a scenario with implications that have apparently been too rich for the prosecutors of either McVeigh or Nichols to want to raise (the prosecutors prefer the two lone nuts theory that it was just McVeigh and Nichols, with some help from Michael Fortier). Now, J. D. Cash has revealed (unstable link to article entitled "Langan to testify at Nichols trial, name others in OKC bombing") that yet another neo-Nazi bank robber, Peter K. Langan Jr., is slated to testify at the Nichols' trial (here is an earlier article by Cash on Langan). Langan is prepared to give testimony linking the neo-Nazi bank robbery gang and members of the compound at Elohim City to the Oklahoma City bombing. Langan has apparently said he would implicate White Aryan Resistance leader Dennis Mahon, mysterious German resident of Elohim City Andreas Strassmeir, former Aryan Nations leader Mark Thomas, and former neo-Nazi bank robbery gang members Michael Brescia and Kevin McCarthy. It is possible that the prosecutors have severely limited the scope of the investigation because they did not want to reveal that the government nixed a raid on Elohim City that might have prevented the Oklahoma City attack, on the grounds that the raid might have turned into another Waco (it is also possible that the case was handled the way it was simply as a matter of tactics, with the prosecutors narrowly limiting the scope of the case to ensure successful prosecutions of McVeigh and Nichols, but you really have to question the profound lack of interest in going after what are a very bad group of neo-Nazis). It will be interesting to see if the Nichols' trial reveals some of the secrets left open by the McVeigh trial (the obvious haste in executing McVeigh appears all the more suspicious).
posted at 3:59 AM permanent link
Sunday, February 01, 2004
From the BBC's internal report on the correctness in law of Hutton's statement that "accusations of fact impugning the integrity of others should not be made by the media" (Hutton actually wrote "false accusations of fact . . . ", which begs the question):
"As a general and unqualified proposition, this extract is wrong as a matter of law. That is not to say that the BBC defends those parts of its reports in which it inaccurately reported Dr Kelly. However insofar as Dr Kelly was accurately reported - which in large measure he was - the BBC was entitled to broadcast them whether or not the BBC had itself managed conclusively to verify what he had said. Andrew Gilligan did repeatedly make clear that his story was derived from what his source said. BBC coverage throughout carried balancing government denials."
Hutton wants to force the media to stop reporting on the rulers by making it meet impossible standards when dealing with its sources. In most cases, it is journalistic practice not to publish or broadcast based on one uncorroborated source. In a case like this one, there is no possible corroboration. The lone whistleblower comes to the press because he knows the information is not otherwise going to get out. On top of that, it is not like Kelly was an unknown source spouting crazed gossip who Gilligan met in some dark alley. He was an acknowledged expert in the field, had been at the meetings in which the dossier was discussed, and, most importantly, was an ongoing official government liaison with British journalists on matters concerning weapons of mass destruction. Gilligan and Kelly met at the Charing Cross Hotel, a place used by journalists for meetings with senior figures from the Ministry of Defence. The doubts that Kelly raised were in line with doubts that had been expressed by many experts, including Scott Ritter. As long as Gilligan made clear that his story was based on what his source told him, there should be no possible complaint about what Gilligan did. The fact that the 45 minute claim made by Tony Blair, which is the crux of the complaints about Gilligan's reporting, has turned out to be a 'crock of shit', also doesn't hurt Gilligan's case. It has been pointed out that it is inconsistent for Hutton to be happy with Blair's reliance on one uncorroborated source for the 45 minute claim, when he comes down on the BBC like a ton of bricks when Gilligan relied on one uncorroborated source in his reporting. But it is much worse than that. As sources go, there could not possibly be a better one than Kelly, an acknowledged expert reporting on what he'd actually seen of the process of preparing the dossier. The 45 minute claim came in suspiciously almost at the last minute (more on that later), was from an unknown source in Iraq whose credibility could not be judged, and, to top it all off, was based on hearsay (i. e., the source was someone reporting on what someone else in Iraq had said). It could not conceivably have been a worse source, and it was Kelly's realization of this that led to much of his anger. But it is even worse that that. We know, from the testimony of John Scarlett, that the intelligence agencies were completely aware that the 45 minute claim referred to battlefield weapons which could not possibly have been an 'imminent' threat to any British interests (and Scarlett felt that Kelly did not know this: see here, sections 144-145). In other words, we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the intelligence preparers of the dossier knew that the 45 minute claim could not be used to justify an attack on Iraq based on an imminent threat, and that therefore the key point in Blair's dossier was a lie. The testimony on this point by Scarlett, later confirmed by Sir Richard Dearlove, is the single most important part of the Hutton inquiry. It means that the dossier was a lie and the intelligence experts knew it to be a lie. Hutton and Blair have managed to sidestep the main issue with some fancy footwork stomping on Gilligan, the BBC, and freedom of the press in Britain. They should not be allowed to get away with it.
posted at 3:32 AM permanent link
Monday, February 02, 2004
Far be it from me to complain about what drugs anyone decides to abuse. When it comes to such things, I'm a complete libertarian. Having said that, it is a complete tragedy to watch what the effects of a lifetime of alcohol abuse can do to the human mind. Christopher Hitchens, unable or unwilling to apologize for his advocacy of the attack on a sovereign nation which had no weapons of mass destruction or connections to al-Qaeda, whose population is clearly going to be much worse off in the coming civil war than it was under Saddam, and which is now suffering under a brutal occupation by a country which claims to be occupying to install democracy while simultaneously doing everything in its power to thwart democracy, has this to say on the absence of weapons of mass destruction:
"And it seems perfectly idiotic of anybody to complain that we have now found this out (always assuming that we have, and that there's no more disclosure to come). This highly pertinent and useful discovery could only be made by way of regime change. And the knowledge that Iraq can be finally and fully certified as disarmed, and that it won't be able to rearm under a Caligula regime, is surely a piece of knowledge worth having in its own right and for its own sake."
So thousands of Iraqis were killed and a sovereign country attacked and international law shredded all so Christopher Hitchens can finally be comfortable that there were no weapons of mass destruction. This is a great argument. Pick any country you'd like to attack, claim it poses an imminent threat due to its possession of WMD, and base your justification for attacking on the fact that the only way you can prove that you are wrong is to take over and occupy the country! This is otherwise referred to as lifting yourself up by your own bootstraps. Hitchens immediately goes on to refer to the Kamel brothers as the "most golden inside informers" of David Kay and his colleagues. You'll recall that Hussein Kamel was the fellow who ran Saddam's weapons program and confirmed to U. N. interviewers that all of the weapons of mass destruction had been destroyed (Hitchens is in good company, as many others have tried to misconstrue Kamel's testimony in order to monger for war). Hitchens continues by expressing outrage that the CIA should dare criticize convicted fraudster Ahmad Chalabi, and finishes by exhibiting the fact that he completely misunderstands why the 45-minute claim was so ridiculous (it's because it referred to battlefield weapons which could not possibly have posed an imminent threat to Britain, and in fact could not have posed any threat unless the British invaded Iraq, which kinda begs the question). It's just too bad that Hitchens isn't a big enough man to admit when he is wrong.
posted at 11:55 PM permanent link
David Kay is starting to sound like one of the lefty peaceniks who opposed the attack on Iraq for reasons that it breached international law. He said:
"If you cannot rely on good, accurate intelligence that is credible to the American people and to others abroad, you certainly can't have a policy of preemption."
and:
"Pristine intelligence - good, accurate intelligence - is a fundamental benchstone of any sort of policy of preemption to even be thought about."
This is exactly what opponents of the attack screamed until they were blue in the face, but got absolutely nowhere with anyone in power in the United States, including Kay. Bush's policy of pre-emptive strike against countries deemed a threat to the United States is untenable unless the President can have absolute certainty in the quality of his intelligence. There are very circumscribed exceptions to a country's ability in international law to attack another. Without the approval of the United Nations, which the United States tried to obtain but could not, the only possible exception applicable in the case of Iraq was that Iraq posed an imminent threat to the United States and war was the only solution to avoid this threat. It is impossible to make this argument without accurate intelligence, as you have to be certain of the imminence of the threat. Kay has conclusively demonstrated that the United States did not have accurate intelligence. Of course, he doesn't go into why the intelligence was inaccurate, as that would involve a consideration of the political manipulations of the Office of Special Plans, and how the truth was actually hidden in order to lead to a war desired for other reasons. It's nice to see Kay speak at least part of the truth, but he suffers to some extent from the 'Robert McNamara syndrome' - given he has spent most of the last 15 years mongering for a war on Iraq, it is somewhat grating to hear the truth come from him.
posted at 1:57 AM permanent link
The Observer is reporting (or here) that senior American officials were aware at the beginning of May 2003 that Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction. For political reasons, the Bush Administration has been pretending that such weapons would be found, and the pretending didn't stop until David Kay came out with his recent surprising admissions (Kay did say that there would be some surprises in his report, but the fact there are no weapons has to be the ultimate surprise!). Tony Blair has been maintaining the same lie, and in fact continues to insist that weapons will be found despite what Kay has said. He went through the whole dispute with Gilligan and the BBC and the whole Hutton inquiry knowing that there were no weapons of mass destruction (and his government's shameful treatment of David Kelly is even more outrageous given what Blair and his colleagues knew as they mistreated him). In order to maintain the charade that such weapons would be found, Bush gave Kay $600 million to go back to Iraq and pretend to look for them. Since the Administration already knew that there were no weapons to be found, the only purpose of the $600 million was to delay admitting that there were no weapons to a time when it would be less politically sensitive for Bush and the Republicans. Shouldn't the Republicans be offering to pay this completely wasted $600 million back to the American taxpayers?
posted at 1:11 AM permanent link
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
"Analysts: Tenet Likely to Remain CIA Head." You could certainly argue that he hasn't done a very good job, and hasn't even looked out for the CIA's interests all that well. He might also be an excellent scapegoat for the Bush Administration to hide its own wrongdoing. But George Tenet can testify to the contents of the security briefing given to Bush on August 6, 2001 in Crawford, Texas. That is the briefing that almost certainly concerned the imminent danger from an attack from al-Qaeda. If the contents of that ever got out, Bush could never be reelected and would go down as one of the great villains in American history. I'm sure Bush wouldn't ask Tenet to go anywhere Tenet didn't want to go. Americans should be troubled that the head of the CIA has that kind of blackmail over the President.
posted at 4:17 AM permanent link
Robert Dreyfuss and Jason Vest have written a must-read article, 'The Lie Factory' (also scroll down to see chart here, which contains the names of most of the guilty parties), on how the Bush Administration created and manipulated intelligence - which is a nice way of saying 'lied' - in order to construct the propaganda basis for the attack on Iraq. Obviously, any bogus investigation by the Bush Administration of the whole American intelligence apparatus is intended to hide the reality that the sole American intelligence problem concerning the war on Iraq was that certain traitors in the Bush Administration subverted the normal intelligence checks and balances with the specific purpose of deceiving the American people into supporting an unnecessary and ruinously costly war. To get down to brass tacks, they did it because their sole loyalty was to another country which I need not name. The 'plans' of the Office of Special Plans were 'special' because they were treasonous.
posted at 2:49 AM permanent link
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
I've written about the case of Capt. James Yousef Yee, who is being crucified by the U. S. military, apparently for taking his role as military chaplain too seriously and having some compassion for the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. The military's original case completely fell apart, so they charged him with committing adultery and viewing pornography on a government computer, charges of utter hypocrisy coming from the Pentagon. What is going on at Guantanamo Bay is actual torture, using 'stress and duress' techniques like sleep deprivation, exposure to noise, sensory deprivation, and other methods which are at least as effective as the old fashioned thumb screws (and the old fashioned kind of torture may be used as well). Such techniques will leave lasting psychological scars on the victims. Americans who accept what is being done in their names are no better than the people who condone torture in more obviously evil regimes, like Israel or Syria. To show how low America has fallen, much has been made of the fact that American officials have released some of the children held at Guantanamo. Do I hear any outcry about the imprisonment of children or the torture of prisoners of war? No. Except for a few human rights nuts (particularly in Britain, where there is concern over the treatment of British citizens), no one even seems particularly concerned about the breaches of American and international law in the way these prisoners are denied all access to proper legal representation and all access to the courts or anyone who could determine whether they are being abused. This is not surprising from a country which executes people for crimes committed as children and regards those who talk about human rights as traitors. You can look to the case of Capt. Yee to see what happens to those who give a damn.
posted at 3:54 AM permanent link
VHeadline.com is reporting that Bush Administration officials are preparing to create a 'regime change' in Venezuela. Venezuelan nationals have been trained at the School of Americas at Fort Benning and have been stationed at training camps in northern Peru. Otto 'Third' Reich has been meeting with the Venezuelan opposition leaders including the corrupt trade union leaders, and CIA operatives are already in place in Venezuela. Reich also met with media mogul and 2002 failed coup mastermind Gustavo Cisneros and Henry Kissinger. Kissinger recently presented an award from the Inter-American Economic Council to Cisneros, and last June Kissinger and David Rockefeller (!) paid tribute to Gustavo Cisneros at Lincoln Center in New York (Rockefeller no doubt wants to get his hands on the oil). A report that the Americans are going to assist in another coup attempt is completely plausible. The only question seems to be whether they are going to do Haiti or Venezuela first.
posted at 2:51 AM permanent link
Thursday, February 05, 2004
Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's most powerful voice for real democracy - as opposed to the 'democracy' that the United States has been trying to impose - has survived an assassination attempt just as UN officials are preparing to enter Iraq to assess the preliminary steps of setting up real elections. Now I don't want to sound like a conspiracy theorist or anything, but the rulers of what large country would benefit immensely should Sistani suddenly die? And why does big stuff like this seem to always happen in the wake of Wolfowitz visits to Iraq?
posted at 11:54 PM permanent link
Scalia is refusing to recuse himself from the Cheney Energy Task Force case - and Rehnquist is providing cover for him - because he knows he's the swing vote, and Cheney will lose without him. That makes Scalia's obvious conflict even more disgusting. A fair judgment on that case would go a long way to answering a lot of questions, from the war on Afghanistan to the attack on Iraq to 9-11.
posted at 11:40 PM permanent link
Ariel Sharon is contemplating holding a referendum in Israel over his plans to withdraw the settlers from the Gaza Strip. Do you think Israel could spare the ink to stick a few more words on the referendum, and ask at the same time whether it would be a good idea to withdraw the settlers from the West Bank? We would all be pleased to see how sane the average Israeli is, and how much Israel is captive to a stupid proportional representation election system. Removing settlers goes against everything that Sharon has done in his life. Assuming his Gaza plans aren't a stunt to deflect attention from his personal corruption - admittedly a large assumption - Sharon must have the following in mind:
The demographics are killing Zionism, and within a few years one-man-one-vote is going to prove the end of the State of Israel.
The wall has started the process of permanently turning the international community against Israel.
George Bush is going to lose the next American Presidential election.
You can bet that Sharon has good sources of information.

posted at 11:38 PM permanent link
From an editorial (unstable link) in The New York Observer referring to an article in The Wall Street Journal (which is not readily accessible online; see also here):
"In 2001, Hollinger sold the Mammoth Times, a California paper it had bought in 1999 for $1.75 million, for $1 to Horizon, owned and controlled by Lord Black and Mr. Radler. Why did Hollinger’s board agree to sell the paper for $1? They were told that the paper was losing money and there were no other interested buyers. But the Mammoth Times had actually been profitable, and earned $119,700 in the month after the deal closed. Another buyer had been so interested in purchasing the paper that he’d signed a letter of intent to buy it for $1.25 million. But these details were kept from the Hollinger board, and Lord Black was able to effectively sell himself his own paper and collect the paper’s profits after the sale. The Journal notes that at least two other deals in which Hollinger sold papers to Horizon for $1 are under investigation."
As the editorial notes: ". . . it seems as if Lord Black woke up every morning thinking of some new way to rip off Hollinger shareholders."
posted at 3:10 AM permanent link
A spokesman for Ariel Sharon said he is considering "territorial exchanges with the Palestinians as part of future permanent arrangements under which Arab Israeli localities would pass under the sovereignty of the latter, while Jewish settlements [in the West Bank] would be integrated into Israeli territory." That means he wants to forcibly remove Arabs from Israel by shifting the border around certain areas so these Israeli citizens would suddenly lose their Israeli citizenship, while simultaneously appropriating into Israel part of the Occupied Territories occupied by Israeli settlements. That way, he gets to kill two demographic birds with one stone: he removes some of the Arabs from Israel while at the same time taking some of the best Palestinian land on which the settlers are squatting. He is intending to forcibly remove citizenship from people who have always lived on the land which is now called Israel, and remove this citizenship solely based on their race, and as a supposed trade for this, steal some of the best land from the Palestinians. Can you imagine the outrage if any other country suggested doing such a thing? Think about Sharon's idea the next time someone tries to tell you that Zionism isn't racism.
posted at 2:30 AM permanent link
The Democrats are starting, wisely, to make an issue out of Bush's dodgy military record, especially as contrasted with Kerry's exemplary one. It should be relatively easy, if the members of the disgusting American press had any interest in doing their jobs, to unravel the whole mystery of what George Bush was up to in the 1970's. There must be lots of records lying around, and probably hundreds of witnesses. Due to his connections, Bush was allowed to skip Vietnam, and then was allowed to skip the usual punishment for failure to complete his duties, which was again being shipped to Vietnam (he had a silver spoon in this mouth). The really interesting question is why he would take this huge risk that might have led to his being killed, when completing his duties was not that onerous. The reason for his failure to show up was that he would have had to take a medical and he would have failed the drug tests (he had a silver spoon in his nose). At that time of his life, he was a coke addict and alcoholic, and he could not have put himself in a position where he was to be tested (not to mention that flying planes might be difficult in his stoned state). Questions about his military service should naturally lead to questions about the other inexplicably unquestioned aspect of his life, his drug and alcohol abuse. The disgusting American press is fascinated by whether someone might have tried marijuana, while completely ignoring the far more serious issues raised by drug addiction. All of this material should have been presented to the American people by the American press before the last election (the Republicans are now arguing that since the issue wasn't investigated before the last election, it can't be raised now, as if it were some kind of children's game!). You can feel sorry for a guy with a drug addiction, but it is more difficult to feel sorry for a guy whose drug consumption meant that someone from a lower socio-economic position had to die in his place in Vietnam. You just might not want such a guy as your Commander-In-Chief. His weaknesses in character go a long way to explaining why he has been such a disastrous President.
posted at 2:03 AM permanent link
Saturday, February 07, 2004
It appears that the finger is being pointed (or here) to John Hannah and Scooter Libby over the outing of Plame. Hannah and Libby are the liaison between the Bush White House and Ariel Sharon. We know that Sharon's office was feeding some of the disinformation to the Office of Special Plans which formed the lyin' basis for the attack on Iraq, and attack which only benefited Israel. Sharon in fact had set up his own version of the Office of Special Plans in his office, avoiding the Mossad which he feared would put a damper on the lies he could feed the White House (it's funny how each of Israel, Britain and the United States dealt with the problem of inconvenient truths about Iraq from their respective intelligence agencies in slightly different ways). I've always felt that the most likely culprit for the creation of the phony Niger documents would be someone associated with Chalabi, such as an Iraqi defector with access to some of the letterhead and some of the information to attempt the forgeries, but not quite enough information or expertise to pull it off. I've rejected the Mossad as a forger because the forged documents were too crude (even if the Mossad had intended for them to be caught, they would not have made it so easy). With this new information I'm starting to wonder if Ariel Sharon's office wasn't behind the forgeries. Sharon's office without Mossad help would explain why they were so crude, and the Libby and Hannah attack on Plame may have reflected Sharon's fury at Wilson when Wilson debunked the whole Niger uranium story. If Ariel Sharon is in a position to have senior White House staff break American law to satisfy his own need for revenge, the United States may be in an even worse position than I thought.
posted at 2:30 AM permanent link
My favorite headline of the week:
"Japan bans pork, alcohol for troops in Iraq, urges mustache growing"
Hearts and minds. The Japanese have taken the wise precaution of paying the local Iraqi tribal leaders not to shoot at their soldiers ('checkbook war'), an excellent idea the Americans should consider (although the Japanese are getting cold feet already). Japan really has no business being in Iraq, and sending troops marks the first time since WWII that Japanese troops have been sent to a country where combat is taking place. This is arguably a breach of the Japanese constitution, not popular with the majority of the Japanese people, an unfortunate example of the ongoing influence of the extreme right wing on Japanese politics (the right wing wants Japan to be able to take offensive military positions rather than the self-defense that the Japanese military is limited to now), and a sad end to the principled pacifism that made Japan unique in the world and was a justified source of pride for the Japanese. A protestor, Asahikawa University president Ryochi Yamauchi, said:
"By sending troops to Iraq, Japan is losing something extremely precious. Since the end of World War II, no Japanese soldier has shot or killed any human being. That is something for Japan to be truly proud of and it’s worth fighting to preserve."
Japanese pacifism is yet another good thing destroyed by the immoral war of Bush and Blair.

posted at 2:18 AM permanent link
Monday, February 09, 2004
Blair's government and the lying case for war:
Blair is now saying that he was unaware that the 45 minute claim referred to battlefield weapons. If this is true, it means he dragged his country into war without taking the time to properly inform himself of the most basic facts which served as the rationale for war. Stupidity or negligence or intellectual laziness is not an option for Blair or anyone who advocates preemptive war. It is essential that such a war be based on certain evidence of an imminent threat which cannot be defended against except through a war. Blair said:
"If there were chemical or biological or nuclear battlefield weapons, that most certainly would be a weapon of mass destruction and the idea that their use would not threaten the region's stability I find somewhat eccentric."
If they were only battlefield weapons, by definition they could not threaten the region's stability. In fact, it is possible to argue that Iraq's possession of such weapons would increase regional stability by deterring invasion of Iraq. In any event, we know Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction, not even battlefield weapons, and it is Blair's continuing insistence that he had, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, which is eccentric. Hoon actually had the audacity to say that he had not discussed the nature of the weapons with Blair because it had not then been a major issue. Hoon was aware that the British press was playing up the 45 minute claim, and knew that their reports were misleading because there was in fact no imminent threat, but did absolutely nothing to correct the misapprehension, making it clear that it was intended by the Blair government that the British people be deceived. All these people seem to think that a lie that they get away with is somehow blessed into becoming the truth.
The infamous 45-minute claim:
came from a single source,
who was an Iraqi exile (and thus may have had an agenda against Saddam), and
who was not in Iraq (he had left several years previously),
who passed on hearsay,
which was not supported by any documentary evidence, and
which came from a previously unknown officer in the military who, he believed, was in a position to know what he was talking about, but
which provided no definite information on whether chemical or biological warheads were with front-line units, which would have made it a possibility that they could be used within 45 minutes, or back in secure bases which would make it impossible for the weapons to be used in 45 minutes, and
contradicted what the real experts in the Defence Intelligence Staff knew about Saddam's processes or weapons systems, and
directly contradicted what the Joint Intelligence Committee knew to be the case, that Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction.
Scarlett knew that the claim related only to munitions, but never used the term 'munitions' in the drafts of the dossier, thus allowing the claim to be blown up into one concerning weapons of mass destruction.
Dr. Brian Jones, the leading expert on WMD in the British Ministry of Defence before he retired, has written that Blair's dossier was 'misleading' with respect to Saddam's chemical and biological capability. He said that the entire Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS), Britain's best qualified analysts on WMD, believed that the WMD claims should have been "carefully caveated", and that the Joint Intelligence Committee - in this case the British equivalent of the American Office of Special Plans, intended to place political interference so deeply within the intelligence apparatus that it was hoped it would be hidden - lacked the expertise to make a competent judgment on WMD. He even went so far as to say that the Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence, Tony Cragg, did not see the intelligence that supposedly confirmed the 45-minute and chemical production claims, and took on trust assurances from MI6 that it was credible (i. e., Dr. Jones is claiming that the MI6 lied about it). In fact, it appears that Dr. Jones, the leading expert, was intentionally squeezed out of seeing the raw intelligence in fear that he would be able easily to debunk it. Jones expressly contradicted the position of the Blair government and Hutton's stupid report:
"In my view, the expert intelligence analysts of the DIS were overruled in the preparation of the dossier in September 2002, resulting in a presentation that was misleading about Iraq's capabilities."
Dr. Kelly made exactly the same type of comments as Dr. Jones (Dr. Jones should probably not take any walks in the woods for a while), and he was so deeply disturbed about it that he eventually talked to Andrew Gilligan. Leaving aside for the moment the inconvenient fact that Saddam didn't have any weapons of mass destruction, all the experts agreed that that he had no nuclear weapons and no prospect of acquiring them, and that the importance of biological and chemical weapons had been grossly exaggerated, mainly because they knew Saddam had no delivery system.
We must not lose sight of the fact that the institutional structure behind the British preparation of the dossier was intended to produce a result desired by Blair's government and the British military and industrial elites. The Joint Intelligence Committee, which passed for a committee of experts, was used to create a lying dossier. The real experts like David Kelly were exposed to the drafts long enough so the government could plausibly claim that the experts had agreed with the conclusions in the dossier, but this was another lie. If fact Scarlett and Blair used the concept of 'ownership' of the dossier to preclude any expert qualifications from entering the terms of the drafts. Scarlett maintained ownership of the dossier, took comments from the experts, but did not incorporate any of the comments. Dr. Jones wrote, referring to qualifications the experts wanted added to the overly strong dossier:
"Despite pointing this out in comments on several drafts, the stronger statements did eventually appear in the executive summary."
Just when the experts started to wonder where their comments had disappeared to, Scarlett turned 'ownership' of the dossier over to Blair, at which point Blair's government argued that its terms were cast in stone. This clever slight of hand allowed Blair to insist that the dossier was a product of the intelligence experts, and bore no marks of political tampering.
Andrew Gilligan is supposed to have made two basic mistakes:
claiming that the Blair government through Campbell had 'sexed up' the dossier; and
stating that the Blair government was aware that the 45 minute claim was incorrect.
Anyone looking at the facts would have to conclude that Campbell played a major role in wording the dossier, and his requests to strengthen the document were almost always agreed to by Scarlett, despite the fact, as we know for certain now, that the real experts actually thought the document was in fact too absolute, and should have been changed to receive more qualifications. Sir Paul Lever, former chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, believes that there was too much direct political interference, all of which appears to have come through Campbell. I think Gilligan's use of the term 'sexed up' brilliantly conveys what Campbell was doing. It is the statement that the Blair government was aware that the 45 minute claim was incorrect that is more complex. The apologists for Blair, including Hutton, assumed that there were three distinct and completely separate parts to the preparation of the dossier:
the raw intelligence that came in from Iraq;
the analysis of the London intelligence experts who weighed the evidence and produced a report;
the politicians who decided policy, in this case war, based on the report.
In fact, there was significant bleeding between all three of these parts. The raw intelligence was produced almost to order, and was created by an ugly mix of American agents like Mai Pederson who had infiltrated UNSCOM, Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress members who had the unwavering agenda of creating a basis for a war which would remove Saddam, and intentionally faulty intelligence created by Sharon's office also with the goal of removing Saddam (Tenet has revealed, in a not surprisingly unnoticed part of his speech, that a "trusted foreign partner" - I wonder who that could possibly be? - supplied the Americans with their only source of information that Iraq "was aggressively and covertly developing" a nuclear weapon, and that it was producing and stockpiling chemical and biological weapons in dual-use facilities, both of which were lies intended to lead to war). There was not one piece of data which could be thought of as uninfluenced by someone's agenda. The analysis process had already been subverted by 'Operation Rockingham', an operation intended to cherry pick raw intelligence data that could be used to lead to war. The actual 45 minute claim arrived suspiciously late, just when the British creators of the dossier were looking for something to 'sex up' the case against Saddam, and you would have to be awfully naive to see this as a coincidence. In fact, if anything Gilligan's error was being insufficiently cynical. He assumed that the basic process must be honest, and thus came to the conclusion that the politicians must have lied. Since the whole process was set up with the clear goal of leading to a war, a pawn like Blair needn't have been fully aware of the lies he was telling (although I imagine he was fully aware). Data was made to order by various parties sharing the same goal, cherry picked by the intelligence analysists, analyzed with implicit and explicit political interference, and served up steaming hot to the poodle so he could have his little war. Crooked raw data was fed to a crooked Joint Intelligence Committee which was intended to create a crooked dossier so some crooked politicians could provide a crooked rationale for a crooked war.

Blair now is trying to downplay the importance of the 45-minute claim. Of course, without that claim or the claim that Saddam posed an imminent threat, the rationale for war completely falls apart. When we see how the whole intelligence-political scheme was set up to lead inevitably to an unjust war, we can begin to see how deep the corruption runs in British government.
posted at 1:49 AM permanent link
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
On Bush and the continuing danger of the neocons:
The new excuses the Bush Administration is forced into to justify the attack on Iraq may create new dangers for the United States and the world. The attack has turned out to be based entirely on a series of lies, and involved the country in an unjust, illegal, bankrupting, immoral and counterproductive operation which has permanently damaged the reputation of the United States and adversely affected the ability of American companies to do business in many parts of the world. In order to try to get reelected, Bush needs to find a new lie to explain to the American people why he got them into this mess. Unfortunately, this involves expanding even further the doctrine of preemptive war, to include the possibility of American attack on a country that even had the capacity to build weapons of mass destruction in the future (Cheney appears to have started this latest excuse, although it's an old neocon idea, and I made fun of Bolton's expression of it last May; Bush's discussion of it from the transcript of his interview with Russert is here). Needless to say, every country has this capacity, which means that Bush has now appropriated for himself the right to attack any country for any reason that suits his fancy. This is exactly the kind of thing that international law attempted to stop after the example of Hitler in the 1930's (although, to be fair, Hitler never tried to go as far as Bush). Bush is essentially stating that international law no longer applies to the United States. The Bush bootlickers may like this raw assertion of power, but as we have recently seen in the case of the elections in Iraq - where Bush had to beg the U. N. on his hands and knees to save him from the American inability to handle the situation there - the United States still needs international help. There is going to have to be a lot of international help if the United States is to get out of its current dire financial situation.
One of the most frightening things about neocons is that they can interpret any and all facts as being evidence for their theories. In this as in so many other aspects, they are similar to Marxists. You would think that the dual debacles of Afghanistan and Iraq would have cooled their jets a little, but you would be wrong. Although they are laying a little low until the next election is finished, the reality of what their policies has done has not shaken their faith in the least. Using the fact that Bush lied about Iraq to extend the doctrine of preemptive war is exactly what you would expect from them. They are essentially a cult (it has been noted that they are all related to one another, presumably unwilling to mix their blood with the blood of lesser mortals), and the principles they live by are like religious tenets. They have three basic beliefs:
Government should be set up with the sole purpose of wringing as much money as possible from non-rich people so that it may be transferred to rich people (unlike old fashioned conservatives, they want government to be as large as possible so that it may extract the maximum amount of money). Their belief in class is religious, with the Übermenschen rich being entitled to all the wealth because they are the only true human beings, the non-rich being another species of animal entirely.
War is inherently a good thing, as it keeps the non-rich preoccupied while they are being fleeced, enriches the rich on the basis of the war profiteering we see from companies like Halliburton (which doesn't bother them in the least), and creates a manly martial culture which is good in and of itself (in this love of uniforms - only on other people mind you! - and violence they are identical to most fascists).
The only important foreign policy goal for America is the creation of the State of Greater Israel over all the land between the Nile and the Euphrates, and everything else they say and do is a smoke screen to hide this one essential goal (in case the bias isn't clear, Perle, Wolfowitz and Feith have all had their hands caught in the cookie jar).
All this is so ridiculous it almost sounds like a parody, but it is clearly what they believe. They are not shy about it, and are in fact so proud of their beliefs that they make no effort to hide them.
A major reason for the extension of the doctrine of preemptive war is that the neocons had painted themselves into a corner. In order to save their bacon on the lies told to serve as the rationale for the war, they had to blame the whole problem on faulty intelligence. The problem with this excuse is that it undermines the basis for preemptive war, for how can you justify a preemptive war if you can't be sure there is an imminent threat? Even David Kay said:
"If you cannot rely on good, accurate intelligence that is credible to the American people and to others abroad, you certainly can't have a policy of preemption."
By using the concept of capacity to at some point build weapons of mass destruction, the neocons avoid the logical problems created by the faulty intelligence excuse. The cost is that they throw international law and good common sense out the window.
Part of the new propaganda is for Bush to run for reelection as the 'war president'. I can understand this in the case of a defensive war, or a necessary war, but how does he manage it in the case of a completely optional war waged for the three neocon tenets mentioned above? The 'war on terror' was just the backdrop used by the neocons to have a war they were planning from the moment they got into power (a fact which Paul O'Neill has told us), with 9-11 their 'Pearl Harbor'. Bush can call the attack on Iraq a 'war of necessity' (see transcript here) as much as he wants (an obvious Republican talking point), but it clearly wasn't either necessary or desirable.
The neocons have created a set of principles, a set of policies based on these principles, and a mythology of who they are to tie it all together. The mythology is that they are liberals who have been mugged by reality, but with a foreign policy which is imbued with the spirit of morality. People like Wolfowitz actually seem to believe that they are attempting to install modern liberal democracy in the Middle East. In fact, their Manichaean view of the world has it that they are fighting actual evil, and they portray their policies as a form of theology. Scott Ritter calls it the 'Theocracy of Evil', the idea that their policies are justified because they are literally involved in the fight of good versus evil. Saddam was attacked not because of any particular facts, but because he was an evil man, as part of a crusade (as an aside, I thought it was funny that Americans were outraged that the Iraqi freedom fighters shot down an American medical helicopter, clearly marked with crosses, when the Iraqis would see crosses in quite another light). All of this mythology is another lie. There has been much talk of how they followed Leo Strauss or Albert Wohlstetter, and based their thinking on philosophical principles. In fact, their real spiritual father is Henry Kissinger. The point of all the propaganda is to hide the fact that they advocate the stark realpolitik of exerting what they perceive as American dominance in the world in order to achieve the goals of enriching rich people and creating Greater Israel. There is no morality in it whatsoever.
A clever reviewer has considered the new tome by Richard Perle and David Frum, which sets out the extreme neocon vision for America and its victims, together with a book on Norwegian death metal neo-nazi rock musicians, who seem to spend a lot of their time worshiping Satan and killing each other with axes. Predictably, the Norwegians come across in comparison as being the sane ones. I don't know what to make of Perle. He seems to be simultaneously involved in just about every American foreign policy outrage and every American big corporate corruption outrage, and he has made conflict of interest into the new xtreme sport. It is incredible that one man has the stamina to be that evil, and I can't find any rational explanation for him. The only thing I can come up with is that he is actually Satan himself (and, thus, to tie everything together, may be the deity of the Norwegian death metal musicians!). He looks exactly as I'd picture Satan would look, lives where Satan would live (the South of France), and certainly acts like the Devil. His amanuensis, David Frum, is a different and much sadder case. Frum is said to be a nice guy, and not dumb, so why isn't he a liberal? There is a story to this. Frum is the son of a rich Toronto land developer and his wife, the late Barbara Frum, who was a beloved Canadian broadcaster, most famous for her involvement in the long-running Canadian radio program 'As It Happens'. She was also very liberal in her beliefs, and as part of that liberalism did what was fashionable amongst Canadian liberals at the time, adopted a native child. Unfortunately, it appears that this child may have suffered from something akin to fetal alcohol syndrome, which causes severe behavioral problems (the former Prime Minister of Canada, Jean Chretien, also adopted a native child, with even worse results). Thus was the idyllic childhood of little David Frum shattered by what he perceived as liberalism. Of course, if he'd thought about it harder, he would have seen that the real problem of fetal alcohol syndrome is caused by social problems imposed on Indians by conservative policies, but such deep analysis is presumably beyond the ken of little boys. Frum had his childhood ruined by what he perceived as liberalism, and this perception has turned him into a twisted neocon, now playing Igor to Perle's Dr. Frankenstein. Obviously, life is way too short for me to read the book, but it appears they have created a monster. To change monster metaphors a little, there is no inconvenient fact that will stop these people, and we'll have to put up with this nonsense until someone drives a silver stake through the heart of neoconservatism (or the Americans wake up and unseat Bush).
posted at 4:12 AM permanent link
Thursday, February 12, 2004
From Immanuel Kant's Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch:
". . . there must be a league of a particular kind, which can be called a league of peace (foedus pacificum), and which would be distinguished from a treaty of peace (pactum pacis) by the fact that the latter terminates only one war, while the former seeks to make an end of all wars forever. This league does not tend to any dominion over the power of the state but only to the maintenance and security of the freedom of the state itself and of other states in league with it, without there being any need for them to submit to civil laws and their compulsion, as men in a state of nature must submit.

The practicability (objective reality) of this idea of federation, which should gradually spread to all states and thus lead to perpetual peace, can be proved. For if fortune directs that a powerful and enlightened people can make itself a republic, which by its nature must be inclined to perpetual peace, this gives a fulcrum to the federation with other states so that they may adhere to it and thus secure freedom under the idea of the law of nations. By more and more such associations, the federation may be gradually extended."
Today is the two hundredth anniversary of the death of Immanuel Kant, quite possibly the most intelligent man who ever lived, and probably the most influential thinker of modern times. We may not realize it, but we all live in an intellectual world largely constructed by Kant.
posted at 2:29 PM permanent link
Saturday, February 14, 2004
What is the 'Rosetta stone' in the mystery of Bush's questionable military career, the fact that will explain all the anomalies and obfuscations? It seems certain, despite what the Bush bootlickers will say, that Bush disappeared from his military service and did not have leave to do so. He simply didn't show up, and levers from on high were pulled to make sure this wasn't a problem for him and that the most incriminating evidence was laundered from his military files. Even at that early date, Bush and those around him knew he was destined for one of those parasite careers leaching off public funds, and a dishonorable discharge would have adversely affected his ability to leach. But why didn't he show up when and where he was supposed to? The requirements weren't that onerous, and it appears he liked to fly. The only answer can be that it was the drugs, particularly the massive consumption of cocaine that would have shown up on his drug test in his medical examination. But why was he so concerned about this? Cocaine consumption would have barred him from flying, but his connections would still have ensured that he did not suffer the normal consequences, and being barred from flying wouldn't be a problem if you didn't intend to fly anyway. Somehow more levers would have been pulled, and he would have received his honorable discharge, with his earning abilities not damaged in any way. The answer probably lies in the exchange between Helen Thomas and Scott McClellan as set out in Talking Points Memo, which concerns allegations that Bush had to do community service in Houston in the early 1970's, probably because of a conviction for possession of cocaine. Anybody else would have gone to jail, but his dad managed again to pull some strings with the judge to get Bush off with a bit of charity work. Note how incredibly nervous and evasive McClellan is, and how Thomas holds on like a shark (every other 'journalist' in the room could have asked the same questions as Helen Thomas did, but lacked the integrity and/or competence to do so). Also note how the White House is releasing, albeit grudgingly and in a manner that evidences guilt, all the military records. Rove is on his game here. By holding back the military records he has made the military records the issue, and has has managed to divert the media from the real issue, which is the community service. If those legal files ever get out, showing that Bush was convicted of a serious drug offence, his political career will be finished. The real reason that Bush went AWOL was that he couldn't afford to take a drug test. The real reason he couldn't afford to take a drug test was that it would have been a condition of his sentencing that he remain clean. If word of the failed drug test had filtered back to the court, he would have gone to jail. His fear of the criminal legal consequences is why he went AWOL, and that's why the community service is the key to understanding what is going on here. By concentrating on the military records, the media is walking right into Rove's trap.
posted at 1:31 AM permanent link
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
From a CBC interview with Bill White by Bob McKeown on the subject of James Bath:
"Well if you recall back in the mid-1970's the CIA came under fire for trying to assassinate Fidel Castro, for engineering elections in Latin America and putting friendly Dictators in power. The Church and Pike committees were empanelled in
Congress to bring the Agency under control. After these Intelligence committees investigated illegal CIA activities they issued a stinging report concluding that it is incompatible for the Government of a Democratic Society to engage in KGB-type activities. What Bush did as CIA Director, rather than just terminate these activities, was to privatize them. He began to look for people qualified and willing to form quasi private corporations to take control of these assets and continue to do the CIA’s bidding. Because he needed a pilot to form an Aviation cutout, he turned to the obvious referral source - his Son George Jr. who was in an Air National Guard Aviation Squadron. All military pilots like myself and Bath have to hold top-secret security clearances, are clearly patriots, and have been vetted by the FBI. Knowing this (as a former Naval Aviator himself), George Bush Sr. asked Dubya: 'Do you know a guy in your Air National Guard Unit who we could bring in to operate an Air proprietary and deal with the Saudis?' George Jr. responded by recommending his drinking buddy, Jim Bath."
and:
". . . Bath explained to me that he had been tapped by George Senior to set up a quasi-private aircraft firm that would basically engage in CIA-sponsored activities funded by the Saudi Royal Family. He explained that the Saudis had basically entered into a quid pro quo relationship with Bush and that Bush when he was CIA Director worked with the head of Saudi Intelligence and the CIA trained the Palace Guard to protect the Saudi Royal Family who was concerned about a fundamentalist revolution. And it was at that point I think that this thing got kicked into high gear and the Saudis agreed to provide surreptitious funding to the United States to fight it's secret wars in Afghanistan and Nicaragua."
The Saudis in Texas were Salem Bin Laden, Osama's brother, and Khalid bin Mahfouz, who were both probably acting as agents for the Saudi Royal Family (I've already gone over the BUSH/HARKEN/BCCI/CIA/BIN LADEN/ENRON connections in some detail). White told the CBC:
". . . Bath
had told me that he had used Saudi money to fund George Bush Junior’s start up
in the Energy business."
and, on how he knew the money Bath was investing was Saudi money:
"Well I know that it was Saudi money because Bath had no money of his own. We were in business together. I saw his personal financial statements. I knew the amount of cash he had available at any given time. And he also confided in me that the money invested both in our Real Estate business and in Dubya’s Energy business was Saudi money. That was the only money there was."
Father Bush was helping the Saudis to invest in Texas and using Bath to keep an eye on them, with both his son and Bath lining their pockets in the process. Saudi money was invested in Texas with the help of father Bush's Texas business and legal friends, and at least some of it flown to the Caribbean for use in illegal CIA covert activities. This sounds like the ancestor of Iran-Contra, in that the CIA was using Middle Eastern government money to fund illegal operations through a secret proprietary airline. Bath, who is keeping a low profile, is the key to all this. Bath was suspended for failing to take a medical one month after George Bush was suspended for the same reason. The Alabama Air National Guard unit that Bush probably didn't report to is regarded as being very closely tied to the CIA's operations in the Caribbean, particularly its attempts to unseat or assassinate Fidel Castro. It was also a probable liaison between the CIA and the anti-Castro Cubans involved in the assassination of President Kennedy. A CIA proprietary airline financed by the Saudis would almost certainly have been involved in one of the CIA's favorite activities, the smuggling of drugs from South America into the United States. Bush was a heavy drug user, so heavy that he couldn't abstain for the few days it would take for the coke to clear his system, and probably avoided the medical for that reason (Bath may have had the same problem). As I have already suggested, Scott McClellan's testiness at Helen Thomas' questions about Bush's community service in Texas reveals that Thomas was getting very close to the deep political truth involved in the Bush-Bath-bin Laden-Saudi-CIA connection. It would be very interesting to know if Bath was sentenced to the same community service under the same conditions as Bush for participation in the same drug-related incident, which may have involved the sale of some 'excess inventory' being flown into the U. S. by Bath's little CIA-proprietary airline. Whatever happened in Texas may have given both the Saudi Royal Family and its American friends quite a hold over young George Bush, a hold which may even have influenced his failure to heed all the warnings about 9-11. A young personable man with a fatal character flaw is exactly the type that the Powers That Be seek out to be groomed for eventual political office, as the flaw allows them to manipulate the man to follow their directives. The American media is doing just what they are supposed to do, which is follow Bush's military records down the rabbit hole, where years of manipulation and fraud will leave the whole issue so confused that everyone will forget about it. It's the community service issue which could blow everything - and I mean everything - wide open.
posted at 1:03 AM permanent link
Thursday, February 19, 2004
More on George and drugs:
Whatever the Bush apologists may say, it remains the fact that Bush somehow got involved in doing charity work for a number of months in Texas in the early 1970's. This is so completely out of character for George Bush that it is deeply suspicious. Americans should be insisting on a coherent explanation. The most obvious explanation is that he was forced to do the charity work as part of a criminal sentence.
Bush himself has consistently refused to give a straight answer to the drugs question, from which I think we can conclude that there was definitely a drugs problem. Give the way the disgusting American media treated Clinton, I find it amazing that they let Bush off so easily. Someone other than James Hatfield should have been trying to root out the truth (Hatfield's personal credibility problems may actually have been used by Karl Rove to remove the danger to Bush from the drug story).
How can it possibly be that both George Bush and James Bath were suspended from the same unit within a month of one another for the same reason? There has to be a connection. Besides the fear of a military drug test, is it possible that Bush couldn't attend at the National Guard because he was under a court order to do charity work? Was Bath involved in the same incident? Shouldn't this be investigated?
Bill White met Bath in 1978 and recalls that Bath told him he joined the CIA in 1976 at the instance of father Bush himself, who had just been appointed head of the CIA by Gerald Ford. Although Bush denies it, it is widely believed that he has always been in the CIA, and his appointment as director was not his first connection to the Agency. Bath's CIA-connected airline, Skyways Aircraft Leasing Ltd., was started in 1980, but Bath could easily have been involved in spooky activities all the way back to his flying days with George (by the way, the Pete Brewton book "The Mafia, CIA and George Bush" is an excellent piece of investigative journalism). It must have been the Bush family who introduced Bath to the Saudis. What Bath and Bush were up to in the early 1970's is something that can still be investigated.
Bath has some connection to the S & L scandal, as of course has Bush brother Neil, but somehow George's name never comes up in connection with this scandal. I suspect there is still room for investigation in this area. As if there weren't enough scandals involved, the Saudi associates of Bath also all had connections to BCCI.
Bush isn't as powerful now, with his credibility eroded on every issue, and the members of the disgusting American media aren't in such abject fear of offending him. I suspect the military contractors who own the journalists have decided they can make as much money off a reign of Kerry. It is time for the adventures of George Bush in the 1970's to be revealed.
posted at 2:51 AM permanent link
Friday, February 20, 2004
From a great article on the folly of SUV's by Malcolm Gladwell:
. . . internal industry market research concluded that S.U.V.s tend to be bought by people who are insecure, vain, self-centered, and self-absorbed, who are frequently nervous about their marriages, and who lack confidence in their driving skills."
and (my emphasis):
"The truth, underneath all the rationalizations, seemed to be that S.U.V. buyers thought of big, heavy vehicles as safe: they found comfort in being surrounded by so much rubber and steel. To the engineers, of course, that didn't make any sense, either: if consumers really wanted something that was big and heavy and comforting, they ought to buy minivans, since minivans, with their unit-body construction, do much better in accidents than S.U.V.s. (In a thirty-five-m.p.h. crash test, for instance, the driver of a Cadillac Escalade - the G.M. counterpart to the Lincoln Navigator - has a sixteen-per-cent chance of a life-threatening head injury, a twenty-per-cent chance of a life-threatening chest injury, and a thirty-five-per-cent chance of a leg injury. The same numbers in a Ford Windstar minivan - a vehicle engineered from the ground up, as opposed to simply being bolted onto a pickup-truck frame - are, respectively, two per cent, four per cent, and one per cent.) But this desire for safety wasn't a rational calculation. It was a feeling."
and, quoting cultural anthropologist G. Clotaire Rapailleand, a man hired by American automobile companies to market to the sub-human, 'reptilian' part of the brain:
"There should be air bags everywhere. Then there's this notion that you need to be up high. That's a contradiction, because the people who buy these S.U.V.s know at the cortex level that if you are high there is more chance of a rollover. But at the reptilian level they think that if I am bigger and taller I'm safer. You feel secure because you are higher and dominate and look down. That you can look down is psychologically a very powerful notion. And what was the key element of safety when you were a child? It was that your mother fed you, and there was warm liquid. That's why cupholders are absolutely crucial for safety. If there is a car that has no cupholder, it is not safe. If I can put my coffee there, if I can have my food, if everything is round, if it's soft, and if I'm high, then I feel safe. It's amazing that intelligent, educated women will look at a car and the first thing they will look at is how many cupholders it has."
and, on the remarkable safety record of the Volkswagen Jetta:
"Jettas are safe because they make their drivers feel unsafe. S.U.V.s are unsafe because they make their drivers feel safe. That feeling of safety isn't the solution; it's the problem."
SUV's are dumb rides because they:
don't use unit-body construction, which is the most advanced technological solution to protecting the passengers in a crash;
are much more likely to kill or seriously injure the occupants of the vehicle hit by the SUV because of the mass of metal and the height of the SUV's bumper;
are top-heavy and prone to roll over;
lack the nimbleness in handling and the quickness of braking of a smaller, lighter vehicle, and thus are much less able to get out of trouble;
are more likely to get into trouble because the size and height of the SUV creates the illusion of invulnerability and encourages a lack of attention and more aggressive driving.
The corpse of every moron who dies driving an SUV should receive the Darwin Award at the funeral with a suitable notation marked on the tombstone so anyone who sees it can have a good laugh. But the safely issue is just the tip of the moron iceberg. Every SUV owner has paid a huge amount of money on wasted sheet metal bolted to the chassis of a pick-up truck with no engineering thought applied to the design whatsoever. Each one will waste huge amounts of money moving this stupid mass of sheet metal around, paying for completely wasted fuel. Burning this fuel needlessly harms the environment and depletes a rapidly disappearing resource. At least they have their cupholders . . .
posted at 10:34 PM permanent link
Monday, February 23, 2004
Dick Cheney's corruption is breathtaking:
Cheney was CEO of Halliburton from 1995 to 2000.
During that time he managed to revive the long-suffering stock price of Halliburton by using some Enron-style fancy accounting. In what has to be one of the biggest bone-head moves in American corporate history, he also managed to acquire liability-rich Dresser Industries (Dresser is one of the great corporations in American conspiracy theory, being the first place where father George Bush worked, and being connected to Tom Slick and through him to the use of cryptozoology as a cover for spying and to the JFK assassination).
Cheney is still receiving a salary of something over $100,000 a year from Halliburton.
Cheney's main continuing benefit from Halliburton takes the form of stock options. No one seems to be certain how much these are worth, but it is in the millions of dollars, and increases as the value of Halliburton stock goes up. If you want to do the math, you can see how the increased value of Halliburton stock in recent months is crucial, given the option prices, for Cheney to make a killing on the options. Cheney has proposed to deal with this obvious conflict by donating profits from these stock options to charity and not taking a tax deduction for the donation (and buying insurance to cover the possibility of Halliburton going under). There are four issues with this:
Just when is he going to get around to do this? He started talking about it during the election campaign, and it is now three or four years later. How hard can it be for him to pick up a phone and tell his lawyer to make it happen? He can't argue that he is waiting for the share price to go up, unless he is also prepared to concede that he has some control over the share price. You can see what is going to happen. He will drag this out until he is out of politics, and then claim that he no longer has to donate the profits to charity as he is no longer in a conflict situation! In any event, who is in a position to monitor his compliance with his promise?
Donating the profits to charity doesn't solve the problem, as he will still have the benefit of controlling the use of the money (like funding another right-wing think tank).
Cheney, as well as others connected to the Bush Administration, has other very large financial interests that will benefit greatly with the financial health of Halliburton.
In all the discussions about the stock options and buying insurance for the unlikely event of Halliburton's insolvency, especially unlikely with Cheney in control of the American government and the disposition of military contracts, everyone seems to have forgotten that Cheney is still receiving the cash payments from Halliburton.
Cheney's philosophy of mega-privatization of practically every function of the military that can be ceded to a parasitic corporation has allowed companies like Halliburton and its ilk to flourish. This is at the expense of American soldiers who have to suffer under the shoddy, overpriced service provided by Halliburton and similar companies.
Halliburton is making out like a bandit in Iraq. Literally. The amount of corruption in what seems like every massive contract awarded to Halliburton is staggering.
Halliburton has suddenly become the largest private contractor for American forces in Iraq ($11 billion in contracts and counting), all on the basis of contracts awarded when Cheney is effectively running the United States. No one can possibly believe that he has nothing to do with this. The Pentagon staff surely knows the wrath they would face if contracts were not awarded in accordance with Cheney's obvious wishes.
The war on which these contracts depend was waged based on a series of lies largely told by none other than Dick Cheney.
Sometimes they make it too easy to be a conspiracy theorist. The Cheney-Halliburton connection has to be the largest and most blatant example of corruption in modern American history. Cheney is the effective President of the United States, and is clearly behind the awarding of massive contracts to a corporation that continues to pay him. If this were happening in Nigeria we'd sneer at the corruption, but in the American context it is beyond belief. Spiro Agnew had to resign over allegations that he received payoffs from engineers seeking contracts when he was Baltimore county executive and governor of Maryland. Spiro had nothing on Dick. The amounts of money Spiro stole would be chump change for Cheney. The best part of all this is that Cheney is going to get away with it.
posted at 3:40 AM permanent link
Barbara Amiel Black, wife of notorious businessman Conrad, is apparently incensed at the reporting of the story of how she and her husband treated one of their disposable proletarian dinner party guests. The victim of the Blacks' 'hospitality', Eleanor Mills, stands by her version of the story. Mrs. Black's main problem seems to be that the story should never have been reported, as the lower classes aren't supposed to embarrass their betters by speaking the truth. On the business front, Conrad testified in a Delaware court on Friday:
"I have been horribly defamed and in fact characterized and stigmatized as an embezzler."
and
"I am trying to retrieve my reputation as an honest man."
After you pick yourself up off the floor and manage to stop laughing, consider that Black has launched an $850 million libel suit against the members of the Hollinger International special committee who are looking into allegedly unauthorized payments made to Black and others. The suit claims that the committee members sought to "destroy Black personally, professionally and financially and to transform him from a respected owner of a successful media chain into a loathsome laughing stock". A 'loathsome laughing stock'? He filed the suit in Ontario, where ridiculous libel laws mean that proper discussion of wrongdoing can always be stopped by the rich and well-connected. The members of the committee should have been expecting this, as use of libel laws to stifle consideration of Black's more questionable actions has long been part of his Canadian modus operandi. Richard Breeden, former chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, said that "Mr. Black begins many conversations by threatening everybody", and recalled one meeting between Black and Hollinger's interim CEO Gordon Paris that began with Black threatening to sue all of them for libel in Canada. What a charming man.
posted at 2:30 AM permanent link
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
The apologists for the use of depleted uranium in places like Iraq and Serbia like to refer to various studies which suggest that it is a perfectly safe substance and there is no scientific proof that its use or the failure to clean it up will cause long-term health risks. Doctors in hospitals in affected areas have plenty of evidence that this is not true, but unfortunately the issue is usually not studied by independent parties. There does not appear to be any great interest to fund the type of study that might determine the issue. There are lots of reports by various militaries that depleted uranium is safe. All of these reports are tainted by the fact that these militaries all want to keep using the stuff, and are all in litigation with their own former soldiers over damage to health allegedly caused by exposure to it. The one report that the lovers of DU can cite which appears to be independent is one produced in 2001 by the World Health Organization (for the WHO conclusions, see pp. 81-82 of the pdf file of the report, comprising pp. 147-148 of the report itself). Now it appears that the WHO, under the influence of the pro-nuclear International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has suppressed a report prepared for it which comes to a more pessimistic conclusion. This study found that both adults and children could contract cancer as a result of breathing in dust containing DU. This report was completed in 2001, and if it had not been suppressed might have put enough political pressure on Britain and the United States not to use DU in Iraq. A co-author of the suppressed report, Dr Keith Baverstock, the WHO's top expert on radiation and health for 11 years until he retired in May last year, said:
"There is increasing scientific evidence the radioactivity and the chemical toxicity of DU could cause more damage to human cells than is assumed."
and:
"I believe our study was censored and suppressed by the WHO because they didn’t like its conclusions. Previous experience suggests that WHO officials were bowing to pressure from the IAEA, whose remit is to promote nuclear power."
and:
"That is more than unfortunate, as publishing the study would have helped forewarn the authorities of the risks of using DU weapons in Iraq."
As usual, it appears that the science has been corrupted by the desire of the military-industrial complex to rid itself of same waste products of the nuclear industry by dropping them on human beings (the real reason why DU is so popular is financial, in that it replaces much more expensive materials and allows the nuclear industry to dispose of hazardous waste that would otherwise be very expensive to get rid of). In a civilized world, you would think that the onus would be on militaries proposing to drop large quantities of a substance on civilians to come up with independent scientific reports that the substance is safe. Instead, we have to put up with a corrupted UN organization carrying the can for the nuclear industry while pretending to be independent. Dr. Baverstock said:
"It is ridiculous to leave the material lying around and not to clear it up where adults are working and children are playing. If DU is not taken care of, instead of decreasing the risk you are increasing it. It is absolutely wrong."

When do you suppose the Americans and British will get around to cleaning up the mess they made, an obligation that is all the stronger considering recent revelations that the justifications for this illegal and immoral attack were all lies?
posted at 1:36 AM permanent link

Thursday, February 26, 2004
While we talk a lot about the slow-motion ethnic cleansing that Israel is imposing on the Palestinians, we forget about the ethnic cleansing of the Bedouin which is occurring within Israel itself. The Bedouin are a nomadic people who live in the Negev desert, an area which Israel wants to develop for future settlements. In order to cleanse the area of the Bedouin, they propose to impose on them the concept of individual land ownership, and then force them to sell the land to the Israeli state. This allows the Israelis to obtain their final solution for the Bedouin, which is to enclose them in urban slums subject to the Israeli welfare state, while seeming to be doing the right thing by 'buying' the land (note here, where the Israeli Orwellian way of looking at the world depicts the 'benefits' of welfare and land ownership as advantages that the Bedouin have in Israel which they wouldn't have in Arab states!). The areas set aside for the Bedouin are rife with unemployment and crime and poverty, the inhabitants are not given proper services, and, ironically, aren't allowed to own the land but only lease it (presumably, so they can be more easily uprooted again when it suits the authorities). As the traditional Bedouin do not accept the concept of individual land ownership (the anarchists should adopt their cause as an example of the anarchist utopian life in action!), the Israeli scheme isn't working, so the thugs who run Israel are predictably resorting to their usual thuggish methods. They claim that Bedouin settlements are built without permits and are therefore illegal and subject to demolition. They destroyed the mosque at Tel Malah (and at least two other mosques), and spray poisonous chemicals on Bedouin crops and any children who happen to be in the area, under the excuse of protection of the environment (it is almost impossible to believe!). The combination of the brutality of the Israeli state and the discrimination evidenced by the failure to provide even the most rudimentary social services (on the doublespeak basis that the villages of the Bedouin are 'unrecognized'), has resulted in radicalizing the Bedouin population (the Bedouin are also being hurt by the American-Israeli Apartheid wall). A bedouin, Mr. Jabir Abu Kaf, said:
"This land was my father's land and my grandfather's land. The government says it will recognise this land as mine if I agree to sell it to the state, but not if we want to do anything else with it. The state wants to eradicate the bedouin and confiscate their land, they want to establish a Jewish settlement here. So they are saying we don't have any papers to prove we own the desert and we don't have planning permission to build homes we have had here since before the state of Israel existed."
In 1963, Moshe Dayan said (note the easy racism):
"We should transform the bedouin into an urban proletariat. This will be a radical move which means that the bedouin would not live on his land with his herds, but would become an urban person who comes home in the afternoon and puts his slippers on. The children would go to school with their hair properly combed."
It is increasingly obvious that the Israeli model for all Arabs, Palestinians or Bedouin, is the South African bantustan model, locking them all away in isolated pockets of poverty and misery, and using the military power of the Israeli state to repress any unrest that might be caused by the brutality. Is the rest of the world going to let them get away with it?
posted at 3:33 AM permanent link
Sunday, February 29, 2004
The IMF claims that Argentina owes it a large amount of money. The IMF banksters want Argentina to pay the money back, by which they mean restructure the loans, by which they mean continue the process of damaging the economy and people of Argentina by introducing more 'free trade' (i.e. free movement of capital and goods to give capital a competitive advantage over labor, coupled with a reduction in real free trade regarding the intellectual property claimed by large corporations), more 'flexible' labor laws (i. e., no protection for workers at all), privatization (i. e., give the assets of the people away to the international rich for free), and reduced government budgets and regulation (i. e., pay the banksters on the backs of the poor and working classes). The President of Argentina, Nestor Kirchner, has refused to make repayments of the $88 billion debt until hunger, poverty and social conflict in the country have improved, meaning that he has the audacity to question the neoliberal 'consensus' that the needs of the people can be looked after only after the banksters have been satisfied (Kirchner is a man who ought to be very careful of an IMF hit job). He is talking about requiring the banksters to take a 75% haircut on government bonds (which may in fact work out to a 90% haircut, meaning the mullet will no longer be a possible fashion choice for banksters). The usual pattern is that those countries unfortunate enough to fall into the clutches of the IMF are true basket cases, with non-functioning economies. It is thought that IMF support is necessary to prevent a complete collapse of such economies. The IMF works essentially like a mafia loan shark, rolling the loans over on condition that more of the wealth of the people be ceded to the banksters (there is even a World Bank/IMF plan, revealed by Joseph Stiglitz, to use the indebted state of countries to force them to disgorge wealth to those interests who control the World Bank/IMF). A good chunk of each new tranche of loans is drawn off by the crooks who run the country and who agreed to each restructuring, meaning that much of the money disappears from the system, and no improvement in the economy ever takes place. Argentina has been a kleptocracy for much of the last hundred years, and has thus fallen into the hands of the IMF mafia hoodlums. Where Argentina differs - and this is where things get very interesting - is that it is not an economic basket case. Argentina has a completely functioning and efficient first-world economy which runs a trade surplus, and its problems are entirely caused by the combination of government corruption and the 'reforms' of the geniuses at the IMF, particularly the moronic move to peg the currency to the American dollar (with an ensuing 'bubble' created by Wall Street to make commissions selling bonds, and with further trouble caused when it tried to prop up its own bond market by fiddling with the terms of the Argentine bonds). Argentina doesn't need the continued involvement of the IMF to operate. In fact, the main cause of Argentina's current state is the IMF itself, and the ridiculous things it has forced prior governments of Argentina to do. Argentina is in the position to tell the banksters that it is not going to repay any of the money claimed by the IMF, and there would be nothing but benefits to the country. The people of Argentina are not responsible for the results of a series of criminal conspiracies between various Argentinian politicians and businessmen and the IMF banksters, and the stupidity of IMF meddling in the decisions of the politicians just emphasizes the fact that the IMF has no moral right to be repaid. In fact, the people of Argentina are owed a huge debt from these corrupt politicians and IMF clowns who have ruined the lives of millions so that the financial institutions they work for can make a killing. Repudiating the debt would cause a minor stir, and the next day the country would wake up to a brilliant future free of the shackles of the IMF. Banks will still lend to Argentine companies because they can still make money doing so, and bankers are greedy (the biggest lie in the world is that corporations will no longer have access to international capital after a repudiation, when in fact repudiation will make Argentine corporations even more attractive to international capital). Argentina is in the unique position of being able to reestablish itself without the IMF, a move that will not only immeasurably improve the lives of its own people, but will serve as an example to other countries that it is possible to tell the IMF to fuck off.

posted at 2:33 AM permanent link
Tuesday, March 02, 2004
I've been intending to write about the approaching coup in Haiti (excellent short background summary here, and excellent long one here), a coup which has been predicted for a while now, particularly in an excellent series of articles in the Black Commentator by Kevin Pina. Then I intended to write about the conspiracy angles of the coup, but these have already been covered by the mainstream American media (even Drudge covered it for a while, until someone probably told him to cool it), proving again how easy the Bush Administration makes conspiracy theory. It appears that the material advantages to the Bushites of stealing Haiti are few, except for some enticing sweat shop action, but there are three main non-economic purposes of the coup:
As a rehearsal for the second coup attempt in Venezuela;
To keep the leaders of the Caribbean and Central and South America on their toes and on their best behavior towards the United States, and discourage any opposition to neoliberal policies favored by the American leaders (and any interference in the CIA's drug trade); and
Just to show it could be done after the abject and embarrassing failure of the coup in Venezuela, much as Ronald Reagan's attack on Grenada was a failed attempt, after a sound thrashing by a group of peasants in Vietnam, to prove the United States still had a penis.
With the failed attempt in Venezuela and the kidnapping in Haiti it is now possible to draw up an outline of what I assume is the contents of Otto 'Third' Reich's handbook on coups (Reich and Roger Noriega are almost certainly behind the plotting), an outline which will be useful in countering future attempts:
The first step is to finance and train the coup plotters. In both Venezuela and Haiti the coup plotters (or here) received material help from the United States, and were given refuge in the United States and military training in American schools (the aptly-named - so aptly they had to change the name - School of the Americas plays a big role in this). At the same time, aid and access to capital is restricted or denied to undermine the popularity of the elected leader (the IMF/World Bank thugs are used to deny aid and restructuring of debts).
The second step is to tell the disgusting American press to write the usual background of lies. The democratically elected leader is portrayed as a dictator and a thug, and the rabble opposition are portrayed as patriots yearning for democracy. In the case of Haiti, the coverage was obviously suspect because the disgusting American media was never able to explain why the fighters, the 'rebels', were not connected to the political opposition, and only grudgingly allowed that the background to both groups was the paramilitary thugs of Haiti's recent past.
The third step is to weaken the state through attacks by American-financed guerilla warfare in the hinterlands. The rebel successes in this war are exaggerated by the disgusting American press, and the conflict is depicted as forming a threat to Americans living in the country.
Where Venezuela differed from Haiti, and it is a crucial difference, is that American troops were never overtly in the country (although the CIA certainly was there, and American ships and planes were in the area). When the coup plotters grabbed Hugo Chavez, his personal courage meant they could not force him to resign, and his continued support by the military meant that he was able to regain control. His supporters rescued him before the plot could be carried out. The plan was obviously to put him on a plane just like Aristide, and remove him permanently from the country. The key to the coup in Haiti was that the Americans learned their lesson from Venezuela, and learned they could not rely on the local coup plotters to do their jobs. American troops were sent in, ostensibly to guard the safety of Americans, but were really there as a kidnap squad.
The fifth step, which is simultaneous with the fourth, is to have the disgusting American media report that the democratically elected leader has resigned. This creates the legal basis for the regime change, and also disheartens the supporters of the leader, who are fooled into giving up the resistance to the coup. The Washington Post was caught red-handed engaging in this deceit in the case of Venezuela, when they reported Hugo Chavez had resigned when in fact he had not. The disgusting American media were obviously instructed to do the same thing in the case of Haiti, reporting that Aristide had resigned, a lie that was only uncovered by reporting in Australia, by Agence France Press, and by some members of the so-called alternative media (it made the American press only because of Maxine Waters). It must be extraordinarily embarrassing to be an American journalist.
The sixth step, one where the Americans have learned another lesson from the debacle in Venezuela, is not to appear too eager to step in. Allow the covertly supported rebels to do their work, and pretend to stand back from the whole mess. At the same time, add an air of legitimacy by having some international stooges (Canada and France) support your position. Pretend to be engaging the opposition in a dialogue and looking for a compromise, all the while knowing that the opposition will not compromise because it knows what is coming.
The last step is to officially send in the American troops. The troops were sent in hours after Aristide had been kidnapped. Had they been sent in hours before Aristide had been kidnapped, they could have stopped the theft of democracy from the people of Haiti. American actions make completely clear the real American attitude towards democracy.
Leaders subject to this kind of attack should:
Immediately hire a good, well-connected American PR and lobby firm, to counter the lies told by the disgusting American press. These lies are so laughable that they should be easy to counter. In the case of Aristide, the slander that he was not democratically in power was based on a very small number of election irregularities, 7 (!) seats out of 7,500, which Aristide had promised to correct, but was unable to do so because of the failure of the opposition to cooperate. The failure of the international organizations controlled by the Americans to help Haiti contributed to the economic problems of the country, and allowed complaints about Aristide's failure to improve Haiti. He was obviously set up to provide the basis for the lies about his supposed wrongdoings told by the disgusting American media.
Ensure that there is a rescue plan in place for recovery of the leader in case he is snatched. Leaders should never be enticed into leaving an appropriate level of protection by their own people.
Get international peacekeeping troops in as quickly as possible. In the case of Latin America, the obvious troops would come from other Latin American countries.
Never, ever, allow even a few American troops into your country, even on the pretext of protecting the lives of Americans. Even a small group of troops can be an effective kidnap squad.

Aristide's mistake was to fail to see who his real enemy was. The one good thing that has come out of the attempted coup in Venezuela and the kidnapping in Haiti is that all the peoples of the Caribbean and Central and South America now know that the United States is an enemy of democracy and human rights, and will act ruthlessly to continue its exploitation.

posted at 2:51 AM permanent link
Thursday, March 04, 2004
Aristide says he was kidnapped. The Americans say he wasn't. Who you gonna believe?:
The Bush Administration has not the slightest sliver of credibility on any subject. They have lied through their teeth on every possible subject at every possible opportunity. Colin Powell says that the kidnapping allegations are "absolutely baseless, absurd". Colin Powell is a man who distinguished himself by going before the United Nations and telling a series of lies about Iraq that can only be described as spectacular. He has to go down as one of the biggest liars in history. It is a miracle that people are still prepared to give these people credibility on any subject. Their denials are usually 100% proof of the truth of what they are denying.
Aristide claims that the chief of staff of the U.S. Embassy in Haiti came to his home and told him that he and a lot of Haitians would be killed unless he left. A group of armed soldiers came to escort him to the plane. He calls his removal from power a "modern kidnapping" and a "coup d'etat". He said:
"Agents were telling me that if I don't leave they would start shooting and killing in a matter of time."
and, identifying the agents:
"White American, white military. They came at night ... There were too many, I couldn't count them."
It is not just Aristide's word against the Americans, although that would be good enough. He has lots of corroborating witnesses. Father Michael Graves, an Orthodox missionary from New Jersey, said:
"I have spoken to many witnesses who said the President was kidnapped. Police officers at the Presidential Palace said that he was escorted out at gunpoint. They forced him to sign something - this evidently is the statement they have that they say is his resignation."
A senior bodyguard of Mr Aristide, who is in hiding for fear of his life, said that Aristide was forced to leave the country by heavily armed foreign soldiers who were:
"white, I think American, but to be honest they could have been Canadian. I couldn't really tell the difference. They were in tropical civilian clothes but wearing flak jackets and carrying assault rifles."
French radio station RTL broadcast an interview with a 'frightened old man' in Aristide's residence who said he was Aristide's caretaker and stated:
"The American army came to take [Aristide] away at two in the morning . . . The Americans forced him out with weapons."
Marie-Claude Malboeuf of the Montreal paper La Presse says a source told her "handcuffs had had to be put on the ex-president of Haiti before he took the threats of the diplomats" demanding his resignation "seriously."
The letter of resignation is itself a story. It was circulated to the press not by any Haitian institution, but by the U. S. State Department. It was dictated to Aristide by American officials. Aristide claims the document has been altered in that he signed a letter saying he would leave "if I am obliged to leave". This did not appear in the published version, probably because it contradicts the official American position. Scott McClellan, revealing more than he should have, goes out of his way to say that Aristide drafted and signed the letter.
Aristide's story is given a huge amount of credibility by the fact that what he claims happened is exactly what Hugo Chavez claimed was going to happen to him had the coup in Venezuela succeeded. Hugo Chavez saw an American plane at the prison where he was being held while he was pressured to resign. A resignation forced with threats of violence followed by a quick plane ride is clearly the American modus operandi of a coup. While American mocked the conspiracy theories of Hugo Chavez, the stories of Chavez and Aristide back each other up.
Aristide was being guarded by a privately-owned American security firm called the Steele Foundation. The White House blocked a last-minute attempt by Aristide to bolster this security by preventing reinforcements from the Steele Foundation from going to Haiti. U. S. officials forced a small group of extra bodyguards to delay their flight from the United States to Haiti from before the coup until after the coup. The CEO of the Steele Foundation, Ken Kurtz, when interviewed by Amy Goodman, says 'I cannot comment on that' a lot. Leaders should never rely on American-controlled security (the Saudis ought to be paying close attention to this).
Aristide's Prime Minister, Yvon Neptune, was interviewed by Kevin Pina and Andrea Nicastro, and said (or here):
"The resignation of the President is not constitutional because he did that under duress and threat."
After the new interim leader was sworn in Neptune was handed his own resignation letter to read.
If Aristide left of his own free will, why did he not know where he was going until he got there? When the pilot asked him where to go, do you think he said 'surprise me'?
The U. S. State Department and the New York Times claim that Aristide requested asylum in South Africa and the government of South Africa refused to give him asylum. This story is implausible on its face. Why would a black nationalist socialist government refuse to aid a black nationalist socialist leader? In fact, the South African ambassador to the United Nations, Dumisani Kumalo, confirms that Aristide did not request asylum in South Africa. Why would the U. S. State Department lie about this? Because they wanted to make it appear that Aristide had only one country that would take him, and therefore his current incarceration in the Central African Republic is not the doing of the Americans. The Americans may actually have told Aristide that the plane was going to South Africa, knowing that it was headed for the Central African Republic. They wanted to ensure that he could not immediately fly back to lead the resistance.
Officials in the Central African Republic have denied Aristide the use of a telephone, probably to stop him repeating his allegations. He's been whisked away to an obscure place he didn't know he was going to, he had no choice in the matter, he can't leave, he is being held under guard by French and African soldiers, and he can't even use the phone. If this isn't a kidnapping, I don't know the meaning of the word. If the White House isn't behind it, who is?
So who you gonna believe?
posted at 2:55 AM permanent link
Canada has played a shameful role in the kidnapping and coup in Haiti, pretending to be an 'honest broker' while secretly plotting with the Americans to further their 'Standard Operating Procedure' of subversion of popular governments in the Americas. The official Canadian position was that the democratically-elected leader should negotiate with the opposition, a laughable position and one that is an embarrassment. Aristide has always offered to negotiate. The whole problem in Haiti was caused because the opposition refused to negotiate. Since the Canadians knew this, the Canadian official position was pure bad faith, as bad as the Americans. Canadian Health Minister Pierre Pettigrew actually met with one of the thugs in Montreal, meaning that the conspiracy with the rebels may extend very deeply. Canada's deceit isn't lost on the other leaders in the Americas, and, by essentially siding with the Tonton Macoutes against a democratically-elected and very popular leader, Canada has completely blown its international reputation and fifty years of careful diplomacy going back to the days of Lester Pearson. In fact, it is possible that it was Canadian troops who snatched Aristide, as we know that Canadian JTF-2 special forces were in Haiti, and they have the advantage of speaking French. Fortunately, Canada won't be able to play this American lapdog role ever again, as its reputation as an 'honest broker' has now been permanently shattered.
posted at 1:40 AM permanent link
Saturday, March 06, 2004
Kidnapped Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected with over 90% of the vote. Although there were problems with the election, as might be expected in a country that until recently has been ruled by murderous thugs (the same thugs who have now been restored to power by the grisly American/Canadian/French triumvirate, and who have been financed and supported by two American fronts, the 'National Endowment for Democracy' and 'International Republican Institute'), Aristide's election is regarded as representing the will of the people. The poor majority in Haiti still perceive Aristide as representing them. Out of 7,500 local elections, the results of seven were regarded as questionable. Those seven resigned, and Aristide has been trying to schedule new elections. The opposition failed to cooperate. In this amazing charade, the Americans used the democracy issue to both attack Aristide as a dictator and to deny him promised access to international aid and financing (Bush froze all multilateral development assistance to Haiti from the day he came into office), which then led to his being depicted as an ineffectual leader (American misuse of the IMF was also used to break up the Former Republic of Yugoslavia, a break-up which led directly to the recent wars in the Balkans). Canada chipped in by claiming that Aristide must negotiate with the murderous thugs, all the while knowing that Aristide had been trying to negotiate, but the thugs, knowing what was going to happen, refused to negotiate with him (by the way, what happened to the principled approach supporting international law of Canada and France exemplified by their views on the war on Iraq - or was it not so principled after all?). Aristide is effectively damned as a dictator (elected with 90% of the vote), who wouldn't cooperate with the opposition (murderous thugs who wouldn't cooperate with Aristide), who failed to schedule elections (elections really scuppered by the same murderous thugs), and who was an ineffective leader (because of the complete blockade of financing and aid imposed by American-controlled international agencies, all on the excuse of the alleged problem Aristide had with democracy and cooperation with the thugs). You have to weep at the way he was set up. The American planners of this coup cleverly established a distinction in the disgusting American press between the violent 'rebels', mysteriously supplied with weapons in the Dominican Republic, and the democratic 'opposition', but these were really two parts of the same group that has been trying to return to the 'good old days' of Papa Doc. On top of all this, Aristide has been kidnapped and is being held under house arrest in the Central African Republic (a country run by a stooge leader selected by France). From an interview (or here) with Aristide's lawyer Ira Kurzban by Mark Davis of the program "Dateline" from SBS Australia:
"In fact the president was kidnapped. The United States Government, I believe, organised a coup against the democratically elected president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, used force, used threats and intimidation against him, then brought in a group of marines to escort him to a plane, put him on that plane and for the next 15 hours clearly kidnapped him to the extent that they would not allow him to make a telephone call, they would not allow him to get out of the plane when the plane stopped, they would not tell him where he was, they would not tell him where they were going and they insisted that he keep the shades down in the plane so he would not know where he was landing at any time."
And from President (and still President, as a 'resignation' signed under threats of imminent violence against himself and others can hardly be a binding document) Jean-Bertrand Aristide himself:
"I have always denounced the coming of this coup d’etat, but until the 27th of February, the day before, I didn't see that the crime was going to be accompanied by kidnapping as well. The 28th of February, at night, suddenly, American military personnel who were already all over Port-au-Prince descended on my house in Tabarre to tell me first that all the American security agents who have contracts with the Haitian government only have two options. Either they leave immediately to go to the United States, or they fight to die. Secondly, they told me the remaining 25 of the American security agents hired by the Haitian government who were to come in on the 29th of February as reinforcements were under interdiction, prevented from coming. Thirdly, they told me the foreigners and Haitian terrorists alike, loaded with heavy weapons, were already in position to open fire on Port-au-Prince. And right then, the Americans precisely stated that they will kill thousands of people and it will be a bloodbath. That the attack is ready to start, and when the first bullet is fired nothing will stop them and nothing will make them wait until they take over, therefore the mission is to take me dead or alive.

At that time I told the Americans that my first preoccupation was to save the lives of those thousands of people tonight. As far as my own life is concerned, whether I am alive or whether I am dead, that is not what’s important. As much as I was trying to use diplomacy, the more the pressure was being intensified for the Americans to start the attack. In spite of that, I took the risk of slowing down the death machine to verify the degree of danger, the degree of bluff or the degree of intimidation.

It was more serious than a bluff. The National Palace was surrounded by white men armed up to their teeth. The Tabarre area - the residence - was surrounded by foreigners armed to their teeth. The airport of Port-au-Prince was already under the control of these men. After a last evaluation I made during a meeting with the person in charge of Haitian security in Port-au-Prince, and the person in charge of American security, the truth was clear. There was going to be a bloodbath because we were already under an illegal foreign occupation which was ready to drop bodies on the ground, to spill blood, and then kidnap me dead or alive.

That meeting took place at 3 a.m. Faced with this tragedy, I decided to ask, 'What guarantee do I have that there will not be a bloodbath if I decided to leave?'

In reality, all this diplomatic gymnastics did not mean anything because these military men responsible for the kidnapping operation had already assumed the success of their mission. What was said was done. This diplomacy, plus the forced signing of the letter of resignation, was not able to cover the face of the kidnapping.

From my house to the airport, everywhere there were American military men armed with heavy weapons of death. The military plane that came to get me landed while the convoy of vehicles that had come to get me was near the tarmac at the airport. When we were airborne, nobody knew where we were going. When we landed at one place nobody knew where we were. Among us on the plane was a baby of one of my American security agents who has a Haitian wife. They could not get out. We spent four hours without knowing where we were. When we got back in the air again, nobody knew where we were going.

It was not until 20 minutes before we landed in the Central African Republic that I was given the official word that this is where we would be landing. We landed at a French Air Force base but fortunately there were 5 ministers from the government who came to welcome us on behalf of the President there."
This outrage against international law, social justice and democracy cannot stand.
posted at 2:54 AM permanent link
Sunday, March 07, 2004
Here is an outstanding article by Alan Cisco on the current situation in Venezuela. You can see what Hugo Chavez and the majority of people in Venezuela have to put up with (I note that Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter is playing an absolutely shameful role in serving as the Bush Administration mouthpiece supporting the lies of the opposition). You can also see what is going to happen. The opposition doesn't have the legitimate votes they need for a recall vote, and despite the fact that Chavez has bent over backwards to allow them to try again, will come up short (Chavez' generosity is probably due in part to the fact that he is confident they do not have the votes). On the other hand Chavez has the votes he needs to greatly weaken the opposition and thus start to push through the much needed reforms. Fear of having some of the money they stole from the people of Venezuela taken back from them will put the opposition into a frenzy, and they will resort to violence, claiming that the riots are due to the fact that democracy has been denied to the people of Venezuela. The violence will be mostly perpetrated by hired goons, but will be played up into a crisis by the opposition-controlled press. This version will be retyped by the disgusting American media, and excreted onto the American people. The Bush Administration, working in a coordinated fashion with the opposition, will attempt to depict the violence as a threat to American interests in the country, particularly a threat to the continued oil supply. I wouldn't be surprised to see an incursion into Venezuela by American stooge forces from Colombia, which will be immediately blamed on Venezuela by the disgusting American media (this has already been tried). The Americans will then have the phony excuse they need to invade, both to protect the oil and to protect their ally Colombia. Otto 'Third' Reich and Roger Noriega are certainly dying to do this. The only issue is whether it is too dangerous a move politically for Bush to take in an election campaign. Despite complaints by everyone who has considered the issue, truckloads of Diebold voting machines are being delivered every day to American voting stations, and nobody seems to have the political will to do anything about it. Rove should be able to have Diebold set the voting machines to narrowly pick Bush, provided no political disaster occurs. If Rove already has the election in the bag, would he risk losing it over a possibly dangerous war in Venezuela, a war that could go seriously sideways and which will create a diplomatic uproar in Latin America? Unlike Haiti, Hugo Chavez has an army that is firmly behind him, and he is much more fully aware of who his enemy is than Aristide was. It is odd that the freedom and democracy of the people of Venezuela may turn on how crooked the upcoming American election is slated to be.
posted at 1:36 AM permanent link
Monday, March 08, 2004
Ira Kurzban, President Aristide's American lawyer, was interviewed by Francisco Aruca, director and host of Radio Progreso Alternativa, and explains the mechanics of the coup:
" Let me be clear that this is not a rebellion. This was a coup d’etat. It was a coup d’etat directed by, operated by, and equipped by the United States intelligence services, after the US intelligence services weeded a group of people trained in the Dominican Republic. Some believe that some in this group were Dominicans, because people said that they didn’t speak Creole and they only spoke Spanish."
and:
"There were about forty people that crossed the Dominican border with weapons, including M16s, M60s, rocket propelled grenade launchers and other equipment. They had newly issued uniforms, flak jackets, ammunition stacked in a professional way and they came across the border for the sole purpose of doing a job for the U.S. intelligence services, and that job was to have the end game that we saw unfold in the last couple of days in Port au Prince."
and, on Operation 'Jaded Task', which was the cover for the preparation of the rebels in the Dominican Republic under the guise of training against 'terrorism' and border incursions from Haiti (see here, and here or here):
"A year before this armed commando group crossed the border there was a secret operation by the U.S. military called Operation J Project, and it was published in the newspapers on February 20, 2003.

The operation was ostensibly to train the Dominican army in counterinsurgency, but Dominican legislators complained about it because it was so secret even they didn’t know about it. They brought with them 20,000 M16 rifles and ostensibly gave them to the Dominican Army and gave them counterinsurgency training. At the same time Guy Philippe and Jodel Chamblain, who was an asset of the Defense Intelligence Agency and the CIA, were in the Dominican Republic at the time, and - lo and behold! - a year later they are crossing the border with the same M16s, with other equipment, with a trained group."
and:
"They put pressure on Aristide to do something and when he did it they turned to the opposition and said, OK, now you are supposed to do what you agreed to do. The opposition said 'No' and they said, Well, Aristide you need to do more. This opposition was formed at the same time that Operation J Project was going on in the Dominican Republic. The International Republican Institute met with Apaid and others in the Dominican Republic, and formed the Group 184, of which Apaid was the leader."
and:
" So we now have the ultimate absurdity, which is the Secretary of State Powell calling André Apaid, after they refused to sign the agreement on Monday, and begged him 'with a wink and a nod' to agree to this proposal, and Apaid saying to him that they needed a few more days. And of course, as more days passed this commando unit is coming closer and closer to Port au Prince, they have released everyone from jail in Gonaive and Cap Haitien and they have given all the convicts guns, so now they have a unit of about 150-200 people, from the 30 or 40 original that started. So now they are approaching Port au Prince and all of a sudden Guy Phillipe stops. Why? He said that he was giving the United States a chance to do what they needed to do. Of course, the U.S. all of a sudden turns around and says Aristide must leave."

Aristide had disbanded the Army, international efforts to train the police had stopped, and the police were not properly armed, so the rebels were able to take over the country with an original cadre of only forty men, supplemented by the thugs they let out of jails along the way. If Aristide hadn't agreed to leave, his American bodyguards would have turned him over to those they were supposed to be guarding against (not very good advertising for Steele Foundation, as bodyguards who turn you over to your enemies aren't very good bodyguards!). One of the bodyguards claims Aristide left of his own free will and was not kidnapped, but asking this of an Aristide bodyguard is like asking the cat, sitting in a pile of feathers, if it had eaten the canary. The CIA-connected bodyguard firm was an essential part of the plot. Aristide, without an army, a police force, or bodyguards, was completely defenseless, and a tiny group of American-financed and -organized thugs were able to take over the country. Simultaneously with setting up the rebels, the Americans set up the opposition, and thus were able to run parallel streams of rebellion, both violent and quasi-constitutional. Unlike the debacle in Venezuela, the Haiti coup ran like clockwork. There are many lessons to be taken from a close study of the mechanics of the Haitian coup by any other leader who would like not to be deposed by a small group of American-sponsored thugs.
posted at 3:40 AM permanent link
Tuesday, March 09, 2004
One good thing that has come out of recent events in Haiti and Venezuela is that it has made us aware of another evil in the world that hides behind a nice name. The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and its sister organizations the International Republican Institute (IRI), the Center for International Private Enterprise, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (which is the Democrats' version of the same thing), and the Free Trade Union Institute, have all been definitively outed as fronts for the most reactionary elements in the American government (a hint at the connections is that Bush's risible speech on freedom in the Middle East was given before a NED meeting). Working with large amounts of American government money, they all work tirelessly to decrease freedom and democracy throughout the world. It is all very Orwellian: freedom means slavery and democracy means tyranny. NED played a role in Iran-Contra and is a supporter of the second craziest group of people in the world (after the Israeli settlers), the anti-Castro Cubans (note some of the questionable characters on the NED board). NED is playing a big role in destabilizing the democratically-elected government of Venezuela (and played a big role behind the unsuccessful coup), and was one of the main fronts along with IRI of the Bush Administration in the recent coup in Haiti. Don't be fooled by the misleading names of any of these vile groups.
posted at 2:10 AM permanent link
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Whenever you see the disgusting American media laboring mightily to discover the answer to what seems to them to be an unfathomable mystery, you know you are looking smack dab into the face of another cover-up. So who is behind the violence in Iraq? This appears to be one of the greatest mysteries of all. The American military has had almost a year to figure it out, and we are left with essentially the same story they started out with, which is that it is being done by al-Qaeda (they now find that a better story than their other one, which involved 'deadender' Baathists). They have elaborated the story with a new boogie man named Abu Musab Zarqawi who was kind enough to leave behind an incriminating letter, a letter which is being analyzed to within an inch of its life. The great mystery to me is why 'evidence' produced by the Americans or the Iraqi National Congress still has any credibility at all, seeing as how every shred of 'evidence' produced by these inveterate liars up until now has turned out to be lies and fabrications. Zarqawi seems to be the new bin Laden, the old bin Laden being a little too quiescent to serve as a proper subject of American fear. In the absence of any real evidence, who do you think is behind the violence? Is it the Shi'ites? Why would they do anything to upset the country they feel they are about to control after years of powerlessness? Is it the Kurds? They expect to soon have their own state, and would be foolish to stir anything up now. Is it the Sunnis? Why would they incite violence against themselves when they are in the minority? Is it the Iranians? Why would they want instability in a country about to be run by an Iranian cleric (Sistani), and why would they risk the wrath of the Americans? Is it the Americans? Six months ago I would have thought this an excellent possibility, but Bush wouldn't do anything now to jeopardize his June yellow-bellied escape. Is it al Qaeda? The absence of any real evidence except for a letter and some wild American speculation - including the beginnings of a shaky case - after months and months of opportunities to really pin this on al Qaeda indicates to me that al Qaeda plays a small role in this, if it is involved at all. The absence of evidence is evidence. Who is the only group who really benefits from civil war in Iraq? Israel. After finally succeeding in using their neocon treasonous agents in the Bush White House to force the United States into this disastrous war, the last thing the Likudniks want is for Iraq to reconstitute itself as a free, extremely anti-Zionist, Islamic, and very rich country. A new united Iraq without sanctions against it would be a powerhouse, and its existence would make the result of the war an absolute disaster for the Zionist state. Months ago, I wrote about the ideas of Israeli journalist Oded Yinon, who advocated the break-up of Iraq as part of a larger Israeli strategy to defeat the Arabs by ensuring that they remain divided and at each other's throats. He spelled it out quite clearly in 1982:
"The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel's primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves as the primary short term target. Syria will fall apart, in accordance with its ethnic and religious structure, into several states such as in present day Lebanon, so that there will be a Shi'ite Alawi state along its coast, a Sunni state in the Aleppo area, another Sunni state in Damascus hostile to its northern neighbor, and the Druzes who will set up a state, maybe even in our Golan, and certainly in the Hauran and in northern Jordan. This state of affairs will be the guarantee for peace and security in the area in the long run, and that aim is already within our reach today.

Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel's targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. An Iraqi-Iranian war will tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall at home even before it is able to organize a struggle on a wide front against us. Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi'ite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north. It is possible that the present Iranian-Iraqi confrontation will deepen this polarization."
The violence in Iraq is part of this strategy. The neocon propaganda about al Qaeda is intended to divert attention from the only party to gain from a civil war in Iraq.
posted at 1:30 AM permanent link
Thursday, March 11, 2004
Do you get the feeling that the Bush Administration fears that Rove may not have control of enough Diebold voting machines to steal another election, and the time is now to clear up some loose ends like:
the coup in Haiti and the kidnapping of Aristide (Aristide was returned to power during the Clinton interregnum, and the neocons always hated him);
the murder of Mohamed Aboul Abbas, who was in good health seven weeks ago (he was murdered not for what he did, but to stop him talking about his employer, the Mossad);
continuing moves towards a second coup attempt in Venezuela, all under the guise that Hugo Chavez is being 'undemocratic' (note the bizarre, and completely counterproductive, 'advice' by the United States Ambassador to Brazil to the President of Brazil to bend over and assume the American position on Venezuela and Cuba);
more pressure on Syria (the unprovoked attacks on Syria are the most blatant evidence of the Israeli control of the White House);
the shenanigans with the mercenaries caught in Zimbabwe, probably on their way to steal the oil in Equatorial Guinea?
I expect them to do something crazy about China before they play out the string.
posted at 11:58 PM permanent link
Sunday, March 14, 2004
Everyone is guessing about Spain. It wasn't terrorism, as terrorism requires someone taking responsibility for the attacks in order to use the threat of violence against civilians to force politicians towards a political goal. The Abu Hafs Al-Masri Brigades, who initially took responsibility, are responsibility sluts, claiming involvement in everything (including last summer's blackout in the U. S. and Canada!), which removes the credibility from all their claims. Since no ETA group has claimed responsibility (and note that the Spanish government accused the ETA before Spanish officials could possibly have had any evidence, proving once again how the term 'terrorism' is used by those in power to vilify those who lack power), and the latest 'al Qaeda' claim is a day late and a Euro short, there is no legitimate claim of responsibility, and the attack cannot be traditional terrorism. The fact that the police have already rounded up the usual suspects means nothing. The attacks appear to be closer to a 'strategy of terror', where groups associated with those in power use terrorism threats against civilians to put political pressure on the politicians - in this case, welcome political pressure - to lead the politicians to enact right-wing legislation banning dissent and increasing the power of the police state, all justified by the necessity to fight the 'war on terrorism'. The discovery of the truck containing detonators and a tape in Arabic is a nice touch to create racial tension in Spain, although tricks like this have been used so often they are getting a little too obvious. The most likely candidates for the Madrid explosions are extreme right-wingers associated with both the Francoist edge of the governing conservative Popular Party - which is really more at the center than the edge as the party was founded by one of Franco's ministers who is still a major power in the party - and the Spanish military. I wouldn't call the Popular Party fascists, but some of their friends certainly are. It was not that long ago (1981) that these same people attempted a coup in Spain, and they are still a powerful force behind the scenes. We will probably never know the truth, as it cuts too close to very deep power structures in Spain.
posted at 2:52 AM permanent link
Donald Rumsfeld has a piece of whatever hit the Pentagon on September 11 in his office. That means he has a piece of a cruise missile in his office, a sort of trophy, appropriate for the Secretary of Defense, of an extremely successful Defense Department operation.
posted at 1:49 AM permanent link
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Haiti (more on the wonderful news from Spain later as I need some thinking time):
Aristide has given more details on the kidnapping (see also here and even here). He was tricked by the deputy chief of the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Luis Moreno, into going with an American escort to give a television address pre-arranged by U.S. Ambassador James Foley. The escort were supposed to supply security. Instead of going to meet with news media, the escort took him straight to the plane and flew him away. Witnesses, including an American security guard, confirm Aristide's version. The disgusting American media rather clumsily hid the truth.
The disgusting American media did its usual hack job on Aristide so well you'd think he was Papa Doc and his opposition were a combination of Mother Theresa and Abraham Lincoln. They did such a good job of character assassination that even leftists ended up apologizing for him. All of this was highly unfair. His government was plagued by corruption, but was taking all the steps to improve the lot of the poor it possibly could in the face of extreme economic pressures put on it by the United States and its controlled international organizations. If you thought you saw corruption under Aristide, just wait until the current opposition get their hands on things! A lot of these guys have gotten to their current position in life by their skills at murdering people with machetes.
France didn't like the bad example a socialist popular politician might have on its Caribbean assets, Martinique and Guadeloupe, and the Americans had similar fears about the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. You just don't want to give poor people any uppity ideas.
The acting Haitian Prime Minister, Gerard Latortue, has accused Aristide of attempting to destabilize the country with his visit to Jamaica. Besides being acting Prime Minister, it turns out he is also a comedian!
posted at 1:40 AM permanent link
Thursday, March 18, 2004
I'm still thinking about what to write about the paradigm shift in Spain, but in the meantime . . . :
The main suspect, Jamal Zougam appears to have been a petty scammer and fence who dealt in stolen telephones and credit cards brought to him by a ring of pickpockets in Madrid. One business associate who had visited him just before the attack said:
"I know what he is accused of, but this is not the Jamal we know."
Mahabur al-Farhon, who owns a boutique close to Zougam's shop, said:
"When we had a beer together he never talked about religion. He was more interested in making money."
Zougam is tied into the bombings by a phonecard said to have come from his shop which was found in the one bag of bombs which did not explode. The reason it did not explode is supposedly because the trigger for the explosion, a phone call to a disposable cell phone in the bag, was not made. The reason the call was not made? Because the terrorists forgot (or because they set the clock on one detonator for 19:40 rather than 7:40)! The famous bag itself was found in a police station, where it supposedly had been taken by the police along with other luggage found at the scene of the bombing. The Spanish authorities don't seem comfortable with witness statements that Zougam was on the train, so the fact one of his phones and phonecards were used really doesn't prove anything except that someone involved may have bought them from him.
A group of radical Muslims had moved into Zougam's neighborhood recently, but Zougam was never seen in their company. He liked to go to nightclubs, was interested in sporting the latest fashions, and had boasted about his many girlfriends. In other words, he was just like Mohamed Atta, another 'Islamic fundamentalist' with decidedly un-fundamentalist choices in lifestyle!
Moroccan authorities have identified the three arrested Moroccans as Jamal Zugam, 30, an office worker, Muhammad Bekkali, 31, a mechanic and Muhammad Chaui, 34, a factory worker. They are not known to be connected to terrorism (and the Moroccans appear to be on top of such things). This is eerily reminiscent of the stolen identities used in the 9-11 attack.
The Abu Hafs al Masri Brigade, which took credit for the bombings, may not actually exist.
Of the five arrested men, three are said to be Moroccans (with five other Moroccan suspects not yet apprehended), and two are supposed to be from India. Although it may be a translation problem, they were described as being of 'Hindu' origin, odd members for al-Qaeda! It is interesting that initially the men of 'Hindu' origin were simply being questioned and were not expected to be arrested.
There were no suicide bombers.
If 'Jamal Zougam' (if that is his real name) was involved, and that is certainly not proven, it seems likely he did it for money rather than for religious ideals. If so, anyone could have hired him. The complete absence of any timely claim to have done the act from any known terrorist group makes it highly unlikely that it was a terrorist act in the traditional sense (I don't see any of the late claims of responsibility as being credible). The weavers of stories have already started their work of tying 'Jamal Zougam' into the web of international Islamic terrorism. Don't believe the hype!
posted at 4:15 AM permanent link
Friday, March 19, 2004
You can see how absurdly easy it is to create a fake 'al-Qaeda' terrorist attack. Take one petty criminal from Madrid of plausible ethnicity and pay him some money to hang out with some people who the authorities can associate with al-Qaeda. After the bomb attack, either plant a bag of unexploded bombs or find a real dud bag and, while it is in the police station, put a phone and a phone card from the shop of the petty criminal in the bag. The criminal is instantly turned into Lee Harvey Oswald, and the bombing attack is instantly turned into an act of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism.
posted at 12:19 AM permanent link
Saturday, March 20, 2004
Lee Harvey Oswald said:
"I am just a patsy."
One of the co-accused in the Madrid bombing case, Mohamed Bekkali, on entering the courtroom shouted (or here):
"I am innocent! I am innocent!"
Real terrorists are proud to take credit for what they have done. Patsies yell out their innocence. The supposed ringleader, Jamal Zougam, wept. Isn't he supposed to be defiant to the court and proud of what he has done? These are some weird terrorists.
posted at 11:52 PM permanent link
Sunday, March 21, 2004
It is becoming clear that the strategy of the Aznar government was to use the story that the ETA was behind the Madrid bombings to get through the few days before the election. Aznar knew that an al-Qaeda bombing would look bad on him, but thought he could count on the disgusting Spanish media to go along with the story for a few days. Once his party was reelected, they would abandon the ETA theory and use the al-Qaeda theory to assist in fighting Bush's bogus 'war on terrorism', reducing civil liberties in Spain, and scapegoating Muslim immigrants. Sweet. Two successive conspiracies were supposed to unfold just in time to meet the needs of Aznar's party. Unfortunately for Aznar and his fascist pals, the disgusting Spanish media isn't anywhere near as disgusting as the disgusting American media (who can always be counted on to hide the truths which the Powers That Be want hidden), and refused to play along with the program (although large portions of the media, particularly state-owned media, deeply shamed themselves in going along with the lies). Once the word started to get out, telephone messaging was used to rally the people, and the fascists were doomed (telephone messaging has become a major tool in the hands of the people in the Spanish election and in the overthrow of the coup attempt in Venezuela: how long before the authorities ban it?). Note the oddities:
Aznar announced that the ETA was responsible before he could possibly have had any evidence.
Spanish diplomats pushed a resolution blaming the ETA through the U.N. Security Council so quickly - the afternoon of the same day! - a suspicious person might believe they were ready in advance of the bombing. In any event, the resolution was passed at a time when there was no possible evidence of ETA involvement (to the shame of the Security Council, which owes the Basques an apology). In fact, by 11 a. m. Spanish police had discovered the abandoned van containing seven detonators and a cassette tape with verses of the Koran (another suspiciously quick discovery that appears to be part of the set up of 'al-Qaeda', but one which puts the lie to the Aznar government's protestations of innocence about the stories it told the Spanish people).
Immediately after the bombings, Aznar and other Popular Party officials telephoned journalists, stressing the responsibility of the ETA and dismissing speculation that Islamic terrorists might be involved. Outside of Madrid, radio stations discussed the Islamic possibility, but the radio stations in Madrid stuck to the official line that it was the ETA. El Pais received several calls personally from Aznar, as did El Periodico. Aznar's office also placed calls to at least 10 foreign correspondents during the day, all making the same, lying point (Steven Adolf, head of the Madrid-based Association of Foreign Correspondents, has accused Aznar's government of willfully misleading foreign journalists by making these calls at a time when they knew about evidence of Islamic terrorist involvement). Spanish television managed to show the protestors without showing their anti-war banners, thus giving the false impression that they were protesting against the ETA and not Spain's shameful involvement in the attack on Iraq (there are now calls for resignations of the directors of the state-owned media for caving in on the demands of the Spanish government to lie about the bombings and the protests). Spain's state-run news agency, EFE, also lied to the Spanish people. Spanish journalist Lucía Etxebarría was commissioned by the newspaper El Mundo to write a story on the bombings, but it refused to publish the story when she criticized the government's hypothesis that the ETA was responsible (moral: don't expect to read the truth in El Mundo).
The Spanish Foreign Ministry was sending instructions to its embassies, saying diplomats "should use any opportunity to confirm ETA's responsibility for these brutal attacks." Again, this was far too soon to be so certain of the facts, and far too soon not to have been the subject of planning prior to the bombings.
Jack Straw, another massive liar, was confirming ETA involvement within two hours of the bombings (proving that the Axis of Liars has to stick together).
Those police in charge of antiterrorism in Spain threatened to resign unless the government stopped spreading its lies, and this fact became known.
The Aznar government expressly lied (or here) about the nature of the explosives used to make it appear that it was the same type used by the ETA (see the lie repeated here and here).
Some commentators on the American right have suggested that Aznar did not deceive the Spanish people as he disclosed the Islamic involvement just before the elections. What they fail to point out is that Aznar only revealed the truth when he was forced to by Spanish journalists and police who were going to report what was really happening anyway. Aznar kept the lie going for more than 48 hours, but the truth finally caught up with him.
Much has been made of the fact that the results of the election were determined by the disgust of the Spanish people at being lied to by the Aznar government. It goes much deeper than that. It suddenly became clear that Aznar was much more interested in having his party reelected than he was in either telling the truth or actually protecting the Spanish people from the results of terrorism. The realization of this is the paradigm-shift (on which I will have more to say). The events of March 11 suddenly opened the eyes of the Spanish people to the fact that the 'war on terrorism' was not what it had seemed to be, and the only real war was by the American neocons against all the peoples of the world, including the Spanish people. Aznar's lies, and his obvious disinclination to do anything that would protect the average person from the effects of terrorism, made clear that the whole 'war on terrorism' was itself a massive lie.

posted at 1:33 AM permanent link
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
The murder of Sheik Ahmed Yassin has been greeted with all the predictable condemnations by all the leaders of the world (except of course for the Americans, who no doubt approved it, and may have even ordered it). I don't want to defend the guy, but compared to what's coming, Sheik Ahmed Yassin was a moderate, even a potential peace-maker, and Sharon had to know that his murder would lead to more violence against Israelis. Yassin's real threat may have been the possibility of peace and an end to terrorism, which would have ended the ability of the Israeli state to use retaliation and the 'war on terrorism' as an excuse to attack Palestinians as part of a program of ethnic cleansing, and thus end the Likudnik dream of establishing Greater Israel on land stolen from the Palestinians. What bothers me about the condemnations is that the world is acting as if this is some kind of surprise. It shouldn't be. Sharon has been trying to murder Yassin for some time now, and has managed to murder quite a few innocent Palestinian civilians in the process. Yassin was actually at one time held in an Israeli jail, and was released by none other than Benjamin Netanyahu. He could have been arrested and tried again if the Israelis were interested in justice. Instead, Sharon wanted to provoke a war, and has been allowed to get away with it. Civilians in other countries and in Israel are now going to face completely unnecessary deaths, all because Sharon is insane and no one does anything about it. The condemnations after the fact are worse than worthless. All they do is give Sharon more confidence to continue to ratchet up the violence. Each time he gets away with it, he is emboldened to do more. Talking is no good. The world, with the exception of the outlaw state, the U. S. A., has to immediately begin a complete boycott of Israel. The U. S. will veto or block any U. N. moves in that regard, so the boycott has to be an individual decision by each state against Israel (this will no doubt provoke some trade law litigation, but the delays in fighting it should be long enough to create the desired effect). The boycott would hurt Israel, but more importantly it should make it financially impossible for the Americans to continue to prop up the Israeli economy. The boycott would be a matter of social justice, a world-wide protest against the state violence against the Palestinians, the illegal settlements, the American-Israeli apartheid wall, the discrimination of Israel against many of its citizens, the targeted assassinations, and so many other crimes. Apart from that, it has become a matter of internal security for all countries in the world. The violence caused by Sharon is going to start to leak out. Politicians in countries who don't do something about Sharon are sentencing their own people to the inevitable violent response to the insane violence of the Israeli government.
posted at 1:42 AM permanent link
Thursday, March 25, 2004
If this story about Sibel Edmonds reported by Tom Flocco is true, it is the 'Watergate' of 9-11, the occasion when a high Bush Administration official, in this case John Ashcroft, covered up what Edmonds' translations reveal about foreknowledge by the Bush Administration of the 9-11 attacks. Edmonds only started working in December 2001, but was translating material that had already been handled by other translators who "had ongoing personal relationships with the subjects or targets of the FBI and DOJ pre 9-11 investigations linked to intercepts and other intelligence in June - July - August, just prior to the attacks." This would explain the mystery of why the FBI has seemed so unconcerned about earlier allegations by Edmonds of incompetence and worse amongst the FBI translators. The reason why the FBI did nothing about it may be that an investigation would have revealed inconvenient foreknowledge. The fact that Ashcroft himself was involved indicates that the cover-up goes right up to the top of the Bush Administration, and indicates that foreknowledge must have also gone up as high. Remember, it was Ashcroft who stopped taking commercial flights in July 2001 (you have to wonder if Ashcroft's recent medical problems were caused by stress due to the upcoming 9-11 hearings). It's always the cover-up that gets you in trouble.
posted at 2:26 AM permanent link
Friday, March 26, 2004
The single best refutation of Bush Administration assertions that no one could have known about an al-Qaeda attack by crashed airplane is Bush's attendance at the G8 summit in Genoa in July 2001, where the Italian government installed surface-to-air missiles at strategic locations around the city to protect Bush and the other leaders from just such an al Qaeda attack. This caution was based on information received by American and other intelligence agencies. Weeks later, in early August in Crawford, Bush received a report from George Tenet on the al Qaeda threat. I wonder what it said.
posted at 12:38 AM permanent link
Sunday, March 28, 2004
American Airlines Flight 1304 at Southwest Florida International Airport was canceled on Friday because some crew members had exceeded their work hours by the time a search of the plane was finished. The plane was being searched because of a psychic's tip that a terrorist bomb might be on board. Doug Perkins, local administrator for the federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) director, said:
"We were notified early today of a call that was made by a supposed psychic that said there may be a bomb on board an aircraft. It’s unusual, but in these times, we can’t ignore anything. We want to take the appropriate measures."
It's good to know that the TSA, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, has a direct connection to the Psychic Friends Hotline. Is it April Fool's Day already? Just think what might have happened, or not happened, if psychics had been on duty on September 10, 2001.
posted at 11:12 PM permanent link
In the course of about a week, Condoleezza Rice has gone from looking like the next running mate of George Bush to looking like the next cell mate of Martha Stewart. It makes perfect sense for her not to want to testify under oath, as she will have to lie to protect herself and her President, and she knows from the history of Watergate and Iran-Contra that lying in a cover-up is much more dangerous than the original crimes. The problem is that you can't simultaneously resist testifying under oath and be the ubiquitous hard-line spokesmodel for the Bush Administration position to any friendly 'journalist' who will help you spread the manure. You quickly start to look like a fool and a liar. Her situation has become so untenable that you have to wonder whether the Machiavellian hand of Dick Cheney is advising her on what to do, thus eliminating his rival for the job he wants to keep.
posted at 3:37 AM permanent link
Hidden behind the Israeli murder of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Israeli propaganda about supposed child suicide bombers is the fact that Israel continues its campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people, and in fact appears to be accelerating it. The human rights violations are particularly fierce in the Gaza Strip, which makes one wonder about Sharon's stated plans to withdraw the settlers. For anyone who thinks you can make a 'case' for Israel, just read this article by Jennifer Loewenstein on the Israeli actions against those living in the Gaza Strip (see also here and here and, on the starvation plan, here and here). Many comparisons are made between the current Israeli government and Nazi Germany. One similarity which strikes me is that in both cases the perpetrators get away with wholesale acts of cruelty because people are not capable of believing that a 'civilized' people could commit such crimes. If you look at what Israel is doing in the Gaza Strip, it is clear that Israel is protected by the fact that the enormity of its crimes makes them unbelievable. The nature of the horrors also makes it easy for those living in the country or its outside apologists to fool themselves into thinking that they are not happening, and that the reporting of them is merely anti-Jewish hatred. The bad-faith apologists for Israel like to claim that it is anti-Semitic to criticize Israel for what it does if there is any act of inhumanity in the world which is worse which does not receive equal criticism. The fact of the matter is that there is nothing being done anywhere in the world today which is more evil than what the Israelis are doing in the Gaza Strip (and let's not forget the West Bank: read the end of this article for some of the antics of those fun-lovin' Israeli settlers). If there was any mainstream honest reporting being done - and Israel's restrictions on press freedom in the Gaza Strip are intended to ensure that no reporting can take place - an international boycott against Israel and its corporate supporters would be inevitable.
posted at 1:30 AM permanent link
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
On March 19 John Kerry excreted a bizarre, one-sided and factually wrong statement on the current situation in Venezuela. His statement might as well have been written by those who plotted the unsuccessful coup against Hugo Chavez. I don't believe Americans were sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for Kerry to pronounce on the issue of Venezuela, so what was his motive for releasing such utter nonsense? One of the main Venezuelan coup plotters, Gustavo Cisneros, is an extremely rich man who controls Univision, the largest Spanish-language media company in the United States. It does not take a conspiracy theorist to make the connection to Kerry's statement. It appears that Kerry will dance to whatever tune he thinks will get him into the White House. While he may be an improvement over Bush (hell, Pol Pot would be an improvement over Bush), he is not going to be much of an improvement.
posted at 1:38 AM permanent link
Wednesday, March 31, 2004
At least 50 American troops and two civilian Defense Department employees
died in Iraq in March, making it the second most successful month for Iraqi freedom fighters struggling to liberate their land from oppression and evil. Of course, these are the official Pentagon numbers, and the real number of deaths is no doubt higher (and it doesn't include the mutilated 'civilian contractors'). I thought I had been reading how the resistance was decreasing, and the Iraqis now love their American 'liberators'.
posted at 11:57 PM permanent link
From "The Bush administration and September 11: the implications of Richard Clarke's revelations" by Patrick Martin:
"Clarke's testimony confirms that the Al Qaeda attacks were made possible by a virtual stand-down of the counter-terrorist preparations that had been in effect in the last years of the Clinton administration - certainly from the time of the bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998.

What neither Clarke, nor his interrogators, nor the media have addressed is whether this stand-down was deliberate: i.e., that at some level of the US government, a decision was made to permit a terrorist attack to go forward in order to provide the necessary pretext for US military action in the Middle East and Central Asia, a step which up until then was politically impossible."
and (my emphasis):
"Another significant detail is Clarke’s report that after his office had triggered a nationwide counter-terrorist alert during the summer of 2001, based on intelligence intercepts, it encountered pressure from the Pentagon, which said that military units on alert status were beginning to suffer from fatigue. The alert, which had included the Federal Aviation Agency, was eased by the end of August, two weeks before the 19 suicide hijackers boarded their flights. The timing suggests that those who dispatched the hijackers knew when security was being relaxed. What was their source of information?"
Perhaps the greatest unsolved mystery of 9-11 is how the normal defenses of the American government were relaxed in the weeks just prior to the attack. This is particularly troubling considering the fact that as recently as June 2001 George Tenet was nearly 'frantic' with worry about CIA intelligence intercepts which indicated an imminent terrorist attack. On June 22, the Pentagon's Central and European Commands imposed 'Force Protection Condition Delta,' the highest anti-terrorist alert, and actually ordered some ships in the Middle East out to sea to protect them from attack (and note NORAD's very interesting Amalgam Virgo exercises held in early June at Tyndall Air Force Base - where hijacker Saeed Alghamdi may have worked - with guess-who on the cover of the brochure, regarding defense against a cruise missile attack on American soil, even more interesting if the attack on September 11 on the Pentagon was actually by a cruise missile). On June 23, the State Department issued a worldwide warning on terrorist attacks. On June 28, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice received an intelligence summary warning that a significant al Qaeda attack in the near future was "highly likely." On July 3, Tenet made an urgent special request to 20 friendly intelligence services, asking for the arrest of a list of known al Qaeda operatives. A meeting of commanders of all federal counter-terrorism agencies was held in the White House Situation Room on July 5. At that meeting Richard Clarke said:
"Something really spectacular is going to happen here, and it's going to happen soon."
He directed every counterterrorist office to cancel vacations, defer non-vital travel, put off scheduled exercises and place domestic rapid-response teams on much shorter alert (would NORAD have been so lackadaisical if the alert was still in place on September 11?). During this time FBI field agents were issuing warnings about suspicious aviation training that fell into the black hole of the FBI's head office, never to be seen by anyone who could have used the information. On July 31, the FAA warned airlines that terrorists were planning and training for hijackings and urged them to maintain a "high degree of alertness." Tenet delivered his report to Bush in Crawford on August 6. Is it a coincidence that shortly thereafter the high terrorism alert was cancelled? Tenet's report could not have been comforting, as Tenet was still making dire warnings in late summer, and was reported to have "repeated this so often that people got tired of hearing it." The Bush Administration's attempts to blame their complete failure to prevent 9-11 on Clinton or on unfortunate negligence won't wash. There was active malfeasance, in the Pentagon and probably the FBI and possibly the Bush White House, to relax the usual defenses to allow the terrorist attacks to succeed.
posted at 3:04 AM permanent link
Thursday, April 01, 2004
From an article in the Guardian about the never-ending Israeli complaints - yawn - that the coverage of what Israel is doing to the Palestinians is anti-Semitic:
"CNN sources say the network has bowed to considerable pressure on its editors. Israeli officials boast that they now have only to call a number at the network's headquarters in Atlanta to pull any story they do not like."
And you wonder why I call the American media disgusting.
posted at 11:43 PM permanent link
Philip Zelikow is the executive director of the 9-11 commission. On September 10, 2002 he gave (or here) a speech to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board in which he said that Saddam Hussein did not pose a threat to the United States but he did pose a threat to Israel, and that threat was one reason why Washington would invade Iraq. Imagine how furious Americans would be if they knew they were spending billions and billions of dollars and hundreds and hundreds of lives in a war waged to protect another country, with absolutely no American security interest involved. Indeed, the war has clearly made the risk to Americans all the greater. The craziest thing is that Zelikow was absolutely wrong, and must have known that what he said was wrong. Iraq posed no threat to Israel, and American and Israeli experts knew it. The real reason the United States attacked Iraq on behalf of Israel was to further the nutty goal of Zionists and Christian Zionists of a Greater Israel extending from the Nile to the Euphrates. The war was waged not for Israel's security, which would have been bad enough, but to satisfy the religious hallucinations of some fruitcakes. Imagine how furious Americans would be if they ever figured that out.
posted at 2:51 AM permanent link
Being a conspiracy theorist is fun. Every day you wake up and have to fight your way through the jungle of a new bunch of preposterous lies presented as gospel truth by the disgusting American media. Today we have some colorful fabrications about Rwanda - of which more later - and a real doozy about the dismemberment of some Americans in Falluja. Americans are all up in arms about this Somalia-style greeting to some no-doubt humanitarian American 'contractors' (also described as civilians "working for a security company", and, in case you are still doubtful, confirmed by the Pentagon as being civilians), serving in Iraq to make the lives of the Iraqi people better. Look at how the ingrate barbarians treat their liberators! Why we ought to . . . what? Drop bombs on them? Take over their country and steal their oil? Before analyzing the obvious problem with the story, I should consider the role of the contractors. These are evil, greedy, parasitic carpetbaggers who have come to Iraq under cover of the illegal American occupation to steal everything in Iraq that isn't nailed down. Death and dismemberment is just about what they deserve. But let us consider these 'contractors'. Falluja isn't a welcoming place for Americans. It is so bad, the American army won't go in there. Indeed, it appears that the 'contractors' were put in jeopardy because the army wasn't willing to take the risk of attempting to save them. Now we're supposed to believe that these 'contractors' were just having a swell time driving around Falluja enjoying the sights? These people weren't contractors. CIA or Special Forces, but not contractors. The truth has started to appear in that they were driving the type of vehicle driven by Special Forces and were wearing military-style dogtags. They were spies or worse, and were given the proper treatment for spies. The disgusting American media put out the usual Pentagon propaganda to incite immediate American hatred, and the truth comes later, when no one is paying attention.
posted at 12:05 AM permanent link

Saturday, April 03, 2004
Based on the series of lies told by the Pentagon to explain the Falluja killings, we can see with a great degree of certainty what really happened. The disgusting American media is so lazy and disgusting that it simply retypes the lies released by the Pentagon and presents them as gospel truth. This has made the Pentagon very sloppy in its lying. The latest version has it that the American victims were civilian 'contractors' working as private security guards for a shipment of food (they must have had to restrain themselves from claiming it was a shipment of baby formula). So let me get this straight. Falluja is so dangerous for Americans that the American military decides to ship its food through there, and hires security guards traveling in an unarmed, unarmored vehicle to protect it? This, through country that is so dangerous that when the Americans were attacked the U. S. army wouldn't go in to try to save them? Yeah, right. The way the story is presented is that these poor unarmed American civilians were set upon by a bloodthirsty and completely unprovoked mob of savage beasts. What has just come out, however, is that the marines were already one week into an operation intended to 'pacify' the civilian population of Falluja by attacking them with the might of the American military (as was done in Vietnam, with remarkably similar failure). In other words, the context of the Falluja attack on the Americans was that the civilian population of Falluja was in the middle of a military assault by American forces. The story about the 'civilians' being mercenaries working for a civilian contractor is also almost certainly a lie (claiming that they are mercenaries is a form of limited hang-out, masking the deeper truth, and Americans have been conditioned to believe it by by a mysterious sudden interest in the American media about mercenaries). Much more likely is that the contractor is an intelligence 'cut out' used to mask the real nature of the CIA or Special Forces agents who are assigned to appear to work for them. The reason they were in an unmarked, unarmored SUV is that they were working as spies involved in reconnaissance for the military operation that was already underway. They were probably pretending to be something that they were not, businessmen or, most likely, journalists (the American intelligence use of journalistic cover just makes the world more dangerous for real journalists), and were trying to find out something about the freedom fighters in Falluja. The real scandal of Falluja isn't the fact that some Americans got a small piece of what they so richly deserved, but that the American military has no ideas about Falluja - not a stronghold of Saddam as has been falsely reported by the disgusting American media but a city radicalized by incompetence and ham-handedness in the American occupation - other than to mount a military campaign against a city of civilians. In the middle of a military assault by the strongest military in the world against these civilians, some of them catch some spies operating to make their lives even worse. Can you blame them for what they did? The American military is now using the excuse of the killing of the American spies to justify what they were already doing before the Americans were killed!
posted at 3:56 AM permanent link
Monday, April 05, 2004
The original Falluja story was that there were non-Americans killed, and at least one woman. I assume these little lies were intended to support the story that the dead were not American spies or Special Forces. The story that they were supposed to be guarding a food convoy in an unarmored SUV in the middle of a war zone already under attack for a week by the American marines and a definite no man's land for Americans is a silly elaboration of the original lies. The lies indicate that the Pentagon is trying to cover something up. Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, deputy chief of U.S. military operations in Iraq, said:
"Coalition forces will respond. They are coming back and they are going to hunt down the people responsible for this bestial act. It will be at a time and a place of our choosing. It will be methodical, it will be precise and it will be overwhelming."
Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said:
"There will be a price extracted. There will be a response and it will be obvious to all."
Bremer of Baghdad said that the killings "will not go unpunished" and that the victims "have not died in vain". Say what? Officially, the dead were security guards for a cargo of food. Their official service to America (and thus to truth, liberty, democracy and justice) was to ensure that some marines got their breakfast burritos in time for breakfast, so they would not have to go out and murder the civilians of Falluja on an empty stomach (I find the concern about the plight of the American dead by American right-wingers laughable, crying over people who take money to kill other people while having absolutely no concern about the Iraqi children burned to death as a direct result of American bombs dropped on the basis of justifications which have all proven to be lies). "Not died in vain." What the hell is Bremer talking about? I have a simple question. American military contractors have been killed before in Iraq. In fact, their deaths are not uncommon. The bodies of American soldiers have been mutilated (although the Pentagon later denied it). So why are the American authorities promising to go apeshit over Fallujah? It's not like the killings were completely unprovoked, as the civilians of Falluja had already been under attack by the American military. Might the Pentagon have a special reason for being so mad about the deaths of these particular 'civilian contractors'? If the deaths of your 'civilian contractors' are not violently avenged, you might have difficulty recruiting more 'civilian contractors', and the 'civilian contractors' you have operating behind enemy lines might want to find a line of work other than being 'civilian contractors'.
posted at 1:47 AM permanent link
Tuesday, April 06, 2004
He may be dead - hell, he may never have even existed - but it's nice to know that official al Qaeda bogeyman Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who most recently appeared as the patsy behind the Spanish strategy of terror, has two legs. You have to laugh.
posted at 11:29 PM permanent link
From an interview by Amy Goodman of Naomi Klein:
"I think it's really important to understand this is not a civil war. It's an uprising against a foreign occupation. It's erupting all over the country. Iraqis are not fighting each other. They are fighting the United States. They're fighting the coalition forces. It used to be just the Sunnis doing the fighting. Now it's the Sunnis and the Shiites, who are both fighting the occupation forces. If anything, they're more united, and less divided. Basically what Paul Bremer has done is united the country against him. The other thing I just want to say is that this was not sparked by Sadr himself. It was actually provoked by Paul Bremer, in a series of actions: of targeting the newspaper, arresting his deputies, surrounding his mosque, and now issuing a warrant for his arrest. They really goaded him into this."
The good news is that the Shi'ites and the Sunnis have not taken the bait, quite possibly offered by Israel, to fight against each other. The bad news is that Bremer of Baghdad has ignited a powder keg of resistance against the U. S., and the American response to this is going to be fearful. I repeat what should be blindingly obvious to everyone: Bremer's actions are not a mistake. As the point man for the neocons on the spot he has taken every step possible to make Iraq blow up. He and the neocons want this to happen as the first step in the war which will revitalize the neocon influence and benefit their client state Israel. What Bremer has done is not only an act of treason against the United States, but an end around the mainstream non-neocon parts of the Bush Administration. It's too bad Bush is too stupid to realize what is going on.
posted at 11:01 PM permanent link
Given recent events in Israel and Iraq we have to consider the very real possibility that it is the intention of leaders in both the United States and Israel to start World War III in the Middle East. Sharon and the Israeli right have completely run out of ideas and time. The demographics continue to destroy the future of a Jewish Israel, with each day bringing a net increase in the Palestinian population, and the IDF, in spite of its best efforts, unable to murder sufficient Palestinians to make up the difference. Despite the official Israeli statistics, anecdotal evidence suggests that the Jewish population of Israel is actually dropping due to the violence. In a few years the Palestinians will insist on voting rights in the combined Israel and Occupied Territories, and the area will finally return to Palestinian control. In the United States, the neocons have suffered horrible reversals due to the abject failure of their Iraqi war and the continuing revelations of all the lies they told to fool Americans that it was a good idea, and normal conservatives have had just about enough of them. Even if Bush gets reelected due to crooked computer voting machines - an increasingly likely prospect - the old-fashioned conservatives are likely to greatly reduce the role of the neocons in the second term. Without the power the neocons have now, their main goal, that of Greater Israel, will be impossible. World War III is the answer to all their prayers. It would make Bush a war president and ensure he is reelected while giving the Israeli right and their Israeli-American neocon friends the excuse they need both to enact the 'final solution' for the Palestinians and to go after full control over all the Middle Eastern oil fields under the guise of an all-out war against the Arabs. Richard Perle's insane ideas would become commonplace, and the war would make the Pentagon even more powerful than it is now (if that is possible). World War III explains why Sharon would assassinate Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, an otherwise baffling decision which is certainly going to lead to numerous Israeli deaths (baffling unless the Israeli deaths are actually what Sharon wanted). It also explains why the American occupation of Iraq is being conducted with such incompetence. Why does Bremer of Baghdad close down a newspaper which hardly anyone read, thus creating the tipping point to turn the Shi'ites against the Americans? Why do the Americans do everything they can to stir up unrest in Falluja, a place which could have and should have been cultivated as an American ally? Why are the Americans massing to create what looks like a huge war crime in Falluja? Why have they gone out of their way to make their natural allies, the Shi'ites, radicalized anti-Americans? Why have they gone out of their way to so antagonize specific Shi'ite clerics? Iraq is about to explode due to intentional acts by the American authorities. This isn't incompetence. The neocons appear to have decided that Iraq is their last chance to create the world war against the Arabs. Once the Shi'ites in Iraq explode, various groups in neighboring countries will also be set alight, and the resulting disaster will force the Americans to invade to protect the security of the oil fields. In the resulting wars, the Palestinians could be removed from the Occupied Territories, and the neocons would retain their reign in Washington.
posted at 12:51 AM permanent link
From a BBC News article on the supposed leaders of the bombing plot in Spain, Serhane ben Abdelmajid Fakhet and Jamal Ahmidan:
"Neighbours who lived near Fakhet, and many of the other suspects, had little reason to think that they were militants with a fundamentalist agenda.

Many of them appeared westernised and integrated into the Spanish community, with a liking for football, fashion, drinking and Spanish girlfriends, say Spanish press reports."
and:
"Ahmidan is also said to have seemed happily integrated in Spanish society, whose Spanish friends are said to have included women who sported crop tops, tattoos and piercings."
These guys, and most of the guys alleged to have been involved in 9-11, are not Islamic fundamentalists. That should, but probably won't, entirely change the way these events are analyzed.

posted at 12:14 AM permanent link
Thursday, April 08, 2004
From Agence France-Presse:
"THOUSANDS of Sunni and Shiite Muslims forced their way through US military checkpoints Thursday to ferry food and medical supplies to the besieged Sunni bastion of Fallujah where US marines are trying to crush insurgents.

Troops in armoured vehicles tried to stop the convoy of cars and pedestrians from reaching the town located 50 kilometers west of Baghdad.

But US forces were overwhelmed as residents of villages west of the capital came to the convoy's assistance, hurling insults and stones at the beleaguered troops."
Even by American moral standards, which as we all know are lower than whale shit, preventing food and medical supplies from reaching a largely civilian population is pretty despicable, not to mention a breach of international law. But it is the actions of the Iraqis which are truly interesting. Besides the fact we are seeing Shi'ites and Sunnis working side by side to right an unspeakable wrong, the nature of their resistance is also remarkable. It has already been compared to the Palestinian intifada. Despite a little bit of rock throwing, I think it is much more reminiscent of the political tactics of Martin Luther King, whose thinking was of course based on that of Mahatma Gandhi. The civilian march to Falluja reminds me of Gandhi's famous Salt March to Dandi in 1930, which was the beginning of the end of British rule in India.
posted at 11:15 PM permanent link
From Time:
"It's still unclear whether the four Blackwater employees found themselves in Fallujah inadvertently or were on a mission gone awry. Even by Pentagon standards, military officials were fuzzy about the exact nature of the Blackwater mission; several officers privately disputed the idea that the team was escorting a food convoy. Another officer would say only the detail was escorting a shipment of 'goods.'"
So I guess we can forget about the breakfast burritos. They were escorting a shipment of 'goods' (which is a totally different thing than a shipment of quotation-mark-less goods). What is the Pentagon trying to hide behind all the lies?
posted at 4:26 AM permanent link
Saturday, April 10, 2004
I have the feeling that the importance of events in Iraq isn't really registering:
The United States is in the middle of a full-fledged Chechnya- or Jenin-style massacre of civilians in Falluja (pictures), and is compounding the war crimes by not allowing aid to be delivered or the injured to be rescued (very Israeli). This represents a new step into the moral abyss that the United States has largely tried to avoid until now: a hands-on massacre with denial of medical relief for the civilian casualties. Remember, this is all due to the fact that four mercenaries who were accompanying a shipment of 'goods' - they must have been some 'goods' - got turned into briquettes.
The Americans thought they had conquered Iraq, but just like the movie 'Groundhog Day', they wake up and find they have to do it all over again.
The Americans have lost control of a significant chunk of Baghdad, Sadr City, and aren't going to get it back without another massacre, even worse than the one in Falluja.
This same sort of problem is repeated all over southern Iraq.
All Iraqis, Sunni and Shi'ite, are absolutely furious at the Americans for what they are doing (including blowing up a mosque, which must be part of Bremer's plan to start WW III against the Muslim world), and anger at the Americans is bringing them together. This anger isn't going to go away, and will make the country completely ungovernable.
The American general in charge of the carnage, Gen. John Abizaid, is washing his hands (Pontus Pilot at Easter!) of the consequences of having to fight this war with the Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz emaciated U. S. Army, perhaps signaling that he thinks he will fail.
All of this is happening behind the backs of the main part of the American government. Bush has gone fishing! Can you name another American President who goes on holiday during a war? Cheney has gone off to Asia, conveniently away from having to take any action or blame. Gen. Abizaid is trying to indicate, as best he can, that the United States is being led down the road to disaster by the neocons fronted by Bremer in Iraq. The parallel government of neocons is now completely in control, and is leading the United States to ruin. It is not American policy to start WW III or to take actions which will delay the June transfer of power, but these things are happening at the instance of the neocons and nobody seems to notice! While Bush hooks the big one, Iraq devolves into the start of WW III, Afghanistan is falling apart, and the North Koreans say Washington is "driving the military situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of a nuclear war."

posted at 12:59 AM permanent link
Sunday, April 11, 2004
The United States hasn't engaged in a massacre like Falluja since Vietnam days, and despite all the nasty things I write about the United States, I am a little shocked. It all happened so quickly and so easily, and American troops committed the vilest of war crimes with no obvious complaints. One theory is that the style and intensity of the fighting is a reflection of American weakness in Iraq, with the Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz changes to the American military leaving it so undermanned that it has to resort to mass civilian slaughter to achieve what a proper army could do more humanely. Whatever the reason, the Americans hit all the high points:
extremely violent collective punishment against thousands of civilians supposedly for having had something to do with the deaths of four Americans who were said to be civilian security guards;
breach of every international law you could think of;
murder of hundreds of civilians, including women and children, and the denial of medical treatment and supplies to the surviving wounded, who may number in the thousands;
the Israeli style of slaughter introduced to the American army;
bombing of at least one mosque;
senseless and counterproductive carnage which will have the opposite effect than the stated goal of pacifying the population, and has served to radicalize the whole country, if not the whole world;
all of the above immediately broadcast in living color to the entire Muslim world (wonderful recruiting posters for violent Islamic fundamentalists).
All of this goes on while Bush catches fish and Cheney is in Japan. Have the Americans gone mad, or is this the conclusive proof that the insane neocons are trying to start WW III? They are already starting to blame Iran for the unrest in Iraq, a story reminiscent of the lies they told about Iraq to justify that attack. As far as I can tell, Americans could care less that they are morally responsible for all this mayhem. All they care about is being whipped up into a jingoistic fury because a few American mercenaries might have died on some mysterious mission in the middle of a war zone. It's funny that the last excuse the Americans have for the attack on Iraq, all the other justifications having proven to be lies, is that the lives of Iraqis are better than they would have been under Saddam. Even the so-called left-wingers continue to trot out the excuse that a dictator as evil as Saddam had to be removed. Whatever you may say about Saddam, he would never have committed this kind of atrocity as collective punishment for the deaths of four of his security guards. There is no longer any possible argument that the Iraqi people are better off under the American dictatorship than they were under Saddam's dictatorship. Every single last argument for the attack, both from the right and the 'left', has died along with the many victims of the American massacre in Falluja.
posted at 3:18 AM permanent link
Tuesday, April 13, 2004
The current American outrage is of course Falluja, but we mustn't forget Haiti. Here is a good article on the history of Haiti as background to the coup, the thugs the Americans support, and the thugs in the Bush Administration (Reich and Noriega) who were almost certainly involved. Information is starting to come out about direct American military involvement in training the armed gangs who have taken over the country. A preliminary report issued by the Investigation Commission on Haiti, a group investigating the matter, concluded that "200 soldiers of the US Special Forces arrived in the Dominican Republic, with the authorization of Dominican President Hipolito Mejia, as a part of the military operation to train Haitian rebels." In an interview with Amy Goodman, Dr. Luis Barrios, a professor of criminal justice at John Jay College in New York City and a member of the Commission, said:
"We were running interviews at the Dominican Republic and also field trips trying to get the information on what was going on in the Dominican Republic for the last two years. And preliminary reports from the report that we put together on the commission is that at least for two years, the group of rebels were living in the Dominican Republic. They were training different settings, military settings that belongs to the Dominican government. Also in San Cristobar. Also that they were receiving technical training every month through the so-called International Republican Institute at Santo Domingo hotel every month. That was also the day for payment."
The International Republican Institute (IRI) is the front used by extreme U. S. right-wing interests to stifle democracy around the world. In this case it worked with American Special Forces for a period of two years to train the army led by the murderers and gangsters who the Americans have now put in charge in Haiti. Dr. Barrios continues, talking about the IRI:
"They are behind this training. Not only the technical but also the money, and they were also some of the people who facilitate the so-called 20,000 M-16 rifles that were supposed to go into the Dominican armed forces and in some way most of them went into the houses of the rebels in the Dominican Republic. In addition to that, also, we identified through information for lawyers, journalists and also ex-militaries and militaries from the Dominican Republic that 200 members of the special forces of the United States were there in the area training these so-called rebels, Haitian rebels before going into Haiti."
and, tying together the American pattern of behavior:
"Well, it's the same pattern we have been following for years. It happened with Panama. It happened with Chile. It happened with all of the atrocities they have been running against Cuba and also Venezuela. It happened in my country, Puerto Rico, with all of the situations of being a colony. Going there, saying that we underestimate this kind of investigation. We understand it's not necessary. We have already run the investigation. Please believe in what we're saying is this kind of blind faith that makes people stupid, is they want to assess what Colin Powell is trying to get us to believe. We understand it's a lot of illegal actions here, violations of the Haiti constitution, but also a violation of international laws. He knows that, but he's trying to go there as a puppet and mask all of these crimes on behalf of the U.S.A. government. He knows he's guilty. He knows this government is guilty of overthrowing a democratic government. This is the third one, Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti and now they're looking at Cuba and Venezuela. This is how they do this."
This is how they do this. Condoleeza Rice, who you'd think would have other things to do these days, has threatened Jamaica with dire consequences if they do not immediately expel President Aristide. Jamaica, to its credit, has ignored her.
posted at 2:21 AM permanent link
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
As a result of the American massacre in Falluja, there are so many dead that the survivors have had to resort to burial in mass graves. I guess we won't be hearing any more from the American propaganda machine about the evils of Saddam's mass graves (just as Bush can no longer campaign on 9-11 when it is so apparent that his inadvertence - or worse - allowed it to happen). Americans can apparently put up with an infinite amount of evil produced by their own military, and have a surprisingly large tolerance for deaths of their own soldiers, but there is one thing they will not put up with. Hostages. The cease-fire in Falluja, which really wasn't a cease-fire but did represent a reduction in the American rate of slaughter, was as a result of as little as one American hostage. Bremer claims he won't be forced to negotiate due to hostage taking, but he is doing just that. Carter's misadventures in Iran and Reagan's misadventures in Lebanon were caused by worries over American hostages. For some reason, hostages drive Americans crazy. Iraqis are in a particularly fortunate situation as Rumsfeld's privatization of the American army (the privatization is becoming the Achilles heel of the American military), together with the mass of parasites from companies like Halliburton who arrived to steal all they could carry, mean that Iraq is crawling with juicy potential hostages. Just imagine the disgusting American media interviewing the tearful family members of some carpetbagger caught with his hand in the cookie jar and now threatened with becoming a living charcoal briquette. The Iraqis now realize that if they want to rid their country of evil they must start picking up hostages, dozens or even hundreds of them, preferably American. Bush's claims that he will not be moved will fall apart as soon as his poll results start to fall apart.
posted at 3:43 AM permanent link
Thursday, April 15, 2004
Ninety-three American troops died in Iraq in the first half of April. These are official Pentagon numbers; the real total is no doubt higher. We also have to take into account the fact that modern military medicine is so good that soldiers who would have died in other wars are kept alive, albeit with a considerably reduced quality of life. On top of that, we should include dead military contractors in the total, who are doing much of the work that soldiers used to do (one of the main reasons the Pentagon uses contractors is that they keep the casualty figures down). We have no way of knowing how many dead contractors there are. Things are not getting better, they are getting worse. Bremer's decisions have led to an all-out war with much of the country, and the massacre in Falluja, which continues, together with the bombing of mosques, ensures that Iraqis will be good and mad for a long time. Bush's amazing remarks on Israel and the Palestinians, which were so one-sided that even the Israelis were shocked, guarantee that the United States is entering into some sort of long-term conflict with the whole Muslim world. Sharon has confirmed that there will be no Palestinian state, which makes all the more ludicrous Bush's assertion that such a state will have to be the destination for those Palestinians seeking a right of return. With Bremer's actions, the atrocities of the American military in Iraq, and Bush's remarks on Palestine, the United States has essentially declared war on the Muslim world, and the future looks grim. But let's just take the ninety-three dead in two weeks in Iraq. The United States was in Vietnam for twelve or fifteen years and lost 58,000 soldiers (and very few of those in the first years). If we say twelve years is 144 months, that is a rate of a little over 400 per month. Iraq is now at a rate of 186 a month, and getting worse. Just wait til the real fighting begins!
posted at 11:01 PM permanent link
Bush (or here):
"In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949."
So that's it, then. Fifty years of extreme right-wing lunatic Israeli yearnings have been realized in these few words. Despite years of tacit approval - not to mention funding - by the American government of the process of stealing the land from the Palestinians, no American president has ever been stupid enough to put into words an explicit approval for the ongoing Israeli breach of international law (needless to say, you can be sure that despite Sharon's assurances no major Israeli settlement in either the Gaza Strip or the West Bank will be given up). Bush even used the term 'realities on the ground', which of course directly refers to fifty years of illegal Israeli incursions on Palestinian lands, culminating in a frenzy of theft under the rule of Sharon, all with a scheme of pretending that the thefts are temporary while intending them to be permanent (the Israelis call this 'facts on the ground', and the Bush reference is crystal clear). Bush's approval of Israeli actions is a massive tragedy, for Israelis, for Palestinians, and, ultimately, for Americans, and represents the apotheosis of Zionist neocon power in Washington (you can bet there were a lot of Washington parties celebrating - mazel tov! - their overwhelming victory). In all the darkness, there is yet some hope:
For years the Israelis have defended the settlements as temporary measures intended only for Israeli 'security'. The express promise was that Israel would abandon the settlements and live up to international law once its security was assured in a peace treaty with the Palestinians. We've heard constant stories about the desire to the Palestinians to destroy the state of Israel, and even references to the Holocaust ('never again') to explain why this policy was necessary. Sharon's final corruption of Bush has put an end to all that. The veils have been lifted, the lies revealed. It never had anything to do about security. This was an elaborate fifty-year old hoax perpetrated on the world to hide the real goal of stealing as much land from the Palestinian inhabitants of that land as possible. Once Sharon revealed that the land theft was to be permanent, regardless of the state of peace negotiations with the Palestinians, he put paid to the Israeli lies about security. We need never again give any credence to Israeli whining of how the Palestinians want to push them into the sea, of how they have to shoot children in the face and bulldoze building over their occupants in self-defense, of how the obvious cause of Palestinian unrest is actually the guarantee of Israeli peace. The lying is over. The goal was always land theft, and Sharon and Bush have proved it.
The Palestinians have learned a valuable lesson. For years they have been torn between the single-state and the two-state solutions, and this has made their political efforts unsuccessful. Now they know for certain that a two-state solution is impossible. Sharon not only gets to keep the best lands Israel has already stolen, but can expand as much as he wants. All that would be left for a Palestinian state are the worst lands, waterless, disconnected, and bisected by Israeli military roads. There is no possibility for a Palestinian state, but only a Palestinian bantustan. Therefore, Palestinians now know they must direct their political, diplomatic, and direct action efforts towards a single-state solution, with one-person, one-vote over the whole area comprising Israel and the Occupied Territories. Demographics will take care of the rest.
Even though Bush's words usher in an era of immense tragedy, there is room for hope. American have allowed Israel to lie about its true motives while constantly expanding the settlements. The world now has conclusive proof of the lies, and the chance to move forward with a much clearer understanding of what is really going on.
posted at 1:34 AM permanent link
Saturday, April 17, 2004
The number of U. S. troops killed in Iraq in the first two weeks of April is the highest such total since October 1971 in Vietnem. The warmongers who have been trying desperately to downplay the carnage can no longer deny the obvious: Iraq is Vietnam.
posted at 1:06 PM permanent link
Sunday, April 18, 2004
Americans have a remarkable moral obtuseness when it comes to the sins committed in their name. The current debate over whether Iraq is Vietnam centers on American casualty rates, with the millions of people who were killed or whose lives were ruined in Vietnam and Cambodia and the hundreds of thousands of people who where killed or whose lives were ruined in Iraq completely irrelevant to most Americans. Americans are concerned about four guns-for-hire killed in a war zone in Iraq - a war zone because the Americans were in the middle of an attack against the city of Falluja - and could care less that they are morally responsible for a massacre of massive proportions which is still going on in that same city. Sharon can continue to get away with his targeted assassinations because the general American racist assumption is that the lives of brown-skinned people are irrelevant to American interests. Here is where it gets interesting. Those four guns-for-hire may very well have been killed and mutilated as a result of Iraqi fury over perceived American involvement in the targeted assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Ismail Yassin. The latest assassination, that of Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, will cause at least equal outrage in Iraq. Americans are probably going to attack the holy city of Najaf, a move which will cause even greater fury, and will lead to a major battle. Sharon's assassinations are blamed on the Americans, and will directly increase the strength and ferocity of the resistance. Americans couldn't care less about the Palestinians, but will they care that there will certainly be more dead American soldiers in Iraq as a direct consequence of Sharon's actions?
posted at 11:40 PM permanent link
The ground has been prepared for Americans to be set up for a pre-election terrorist attack meant to turn a close election in favor of Bush. Condoleezza Rice said:
". . . I think that we do have to take very seriously the thought that the terrorists might have learned, we hope, the wrong lesson from Spain. I think we also have to take seriously that they might try during the cycle leading up to the election to do something. In some ways, it seems like it would be too good to pass up for them, and so we are actively looking at that possibility, actively trying to make certain that we are responding appropriately."
"We hope"? Can't you just see the arguments after an October attack. The terrorists want you to be scared like the Spanish and vote for the appeasers. If you vote Democrat, the terrorists will have won. It would probably be enough to win the election for Bush.
posted at 11:10 PM permanent link
Tuesday, April 20, 2004
We're going to be hearing a lot more of the idea that terrorist actions can affect elections in democratic countries, and that if the electorate votes for certain political parties the terrorists will have won. The neocons have been very successful in blanketing the world with their insane ideas about the nature of terrorism, ideas which serve their purposes very well but which are completely against the interests of normal people around the world. The neocon world-view is based on the following assumptions:
The United States is inherently good.
The terrorists are inherently evil.
There are no rational reasons for terrorism.
Terrorism is the Manichaean battle between the Forces of Good, consisting of the United States and its allies, and the Forces of Evil, consisting of Islamic fundamentalism.
The battle against terrorism is an actual war, where victory will only be achieved through military means.
This world-view suits the interests of the neocons for the following reasons:
It allows them to trumpet American moral superiority, with the implication that God is behind the actions of the United States.
It allows them to wallow in a racist hatred of the Muslim world.
It allows them to build theories of the inherent inferiority of the Muslim and Arab worlds, thus allowing them to assert that these worlds can't have democracy as they are not suited to it.
It allows them to avoid taking responsibility for years of colonial oppression which has stolen resources and deprived the people of the Middle East access to democracy and modern liberal ideas.
It allows them to avoid having to face the issue of root causes, and avoid having to change American behavior, exploitative and colonialist, in the Middle East.
By turning the war on terror into a war rather than a police or intelligence operation, it allows them to have excuses for wars which were desired for other reasons (Afghanistan, and, as we have seen with all the recent revelations about Bush, Iraq, not to mention upcoming wars against Syria and Iran).
It allows them to engage in a massive military build-up in fighting the war on terror, thus benefiting the military-industrial complex at the expense of everyone else.
It allows them to hide one of the main causes of the problem, Israel's ongoing theft of Palestinian lands coupled with Israeli state terrorism against the Palestinian people, and the American encouragement of Israel's actions.
It allows them to realize Michael Ledeen's nirvana of a United States completely militarized, ruled by fear which ends civil rights, and on a constant war footing, with every aspect of American life disciplined by the all-pervasive need to fight the war on terror.
By encouraging terrorist reprisals against the implementation of the American war on terror, it allows them to have a continuing fuel for the fear which is their main weapon against the people of the world.
The model of the world proposed by the neocons suits them very well. Under the neocon assumptions, if terrorism occurs and an electorate votes for a party with a sane, constructive and non-fear-ridden attitude towards terrorism, the terrorists have succeeded in blackmailing the country into agreeing to the terms of the terrorists. While this is the prevailing view of almost every commentator in the United States, it is also wrong, and actually quite insane. It is the world-view to have if you want to live in fear for the rest of your life, with dwindling civil liberties, in a constant state of war, and with social programs ruined to pay the military-industrial complex for the tools of war. With the bumbling and overtly mendacious actions of the Aznar government in Spain, the people of Spain woke up to what the rest of the world must see, that the war on terrorism is a sham perpetrated by the neocons and their followers to achieve goals none of the rest of us want. There are real ways to stop terrorism, and in fact the methods of the neocons actually increase terrorism (which suits them just fine). Governments have to start taking the following steps:
Treat the fight against terrorism as a police and intelligence matter, and not as an excuse for wars which only increase the risk of terrorism. Bush could have made real efforts to prevent terrorism before 9-11, but that would have involved paying salaries to FBI and intelligence agents, and not diverting money to his corporate friends to fund the scam that is missile defense. The deep truth is that the Bush Administration's profound disinterest in preventing terrorism was due to the fact that they could see no way for their corporate friends to make money from it. After September 11, Bush could have sent FBI agents to Afghanistan to capture the alleged perpetrators behind 9-11, but chose to use 9-11 as an excuse to attack Afghanistan and later Iraq, countries he wanted to attack for other reasons. It is not a coincidence that the only terrorists who have been apprehended have been apprehended by countries other than the United States. Fighting terrorism through war is not only ineffective, it is actually completely counterproductive, increasing the future risk of terrorist attacks by the relatives of the victims of the wars. Terrorists could not have better recruitment advertising that the actions of the United States. The United States is going to suffer the fallout from the attack on Iraq for a long time.
Stop seeing the war against terror as a comic-book battle between Good and Evil. Americans have to start viewing the terrorists as something other than animals. They are human beings the same as everyone else, and want the same goals as everyone else. These goals are pretty boring. They would like to be able to live in peace in countries whose assets are not being stolen by corrupt governments run by puppets of American oil companies, they would like to be able to live without jackbooted American thugs wandering around their neighborhoods, and they would like to be able to choose their own leaders. By casting racist aspersions against the entire Muslim world, the neocons play into inherent racist ideas and dehumanize the enemy. This allows them the excuse to impose unspeakable horrors on these people ('shock and awe'), while denying them a normal existence because they claim these untermenschen aren't capable of handling ideas like democracy.
Start paying attention to root causes. A good starting point would be to acknowledge the essential justice behind bin Laden's main demands. Stop supporting tyrants who are bribed by American money to allow national assets to be stolen by American corporations, stop basing troops in areas of holy sites, and stop the completely one-sided support of the Israeli state terrorism which is being used in the theft of Palestinian lands. The neocon thesis is that the terrorists have no reason other than an essential evil for what they do. Nothing could be further from the truth. The real evil is what one hundred years of colonial repression has done to the Middle East, and the United States is the current sole colonial power. Any group of people subject to the horrors imposed on them by the Americans would try to fight back in self-defense. If Americans want to see terrorism as a war they have to realize that they started it, and only they can make the changes which will stop it.
Stop living in a culture of manufactured fear. Not only were the Spanish not caving in to terrorism, they were actually exhibiting a considerable amount of courage by refusing to continue to live in the insane world of the neocons. You don't have to be constantly in terror, hoping that your militaristic government will save you from the forces of evil. By voting for governments with adult and responsible attitudes towards the rest of the world, you can actually take steps to break the culture of fear.
The Spanish people realized that the neocon war on terror is actually a deception created for many purposes, not one of which is the elimination of terrorism. In fact, the way the war on terror is being waged by the U. S. and its allies actually increases the danger of terrorism. There are actually two groups of terrorists in the world, the Islamic fundamentalists, and the American neocons. Each group feeds off the other, and the rest of us get caught in the crossfire. Of the two groups, the neocons are by far the better armed, and by far the more dangerous. It is time for the rest of us to stop feeding their insanity.
posted at 2:00 AM permanent link
Thursday, April 22, 2004
We have enough information now that we can figure out some of the conspiracy behind 9-11. There were three groups, each with differing amounts of information - the mainstream of the Bush Administration, the Pentagon, and the actual plotters of the attack:
Much as it is fun to say 'Bush knew', I don't think he did, or at least not everything. It is apparent from the information that we have that at least the main part of the Bush Administration (Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld, Powell, etc. - I pointedly leave out Cheney from this list) did not anticipate that airplanes would be hijacked and flown into buildings. Given all the specific warnings that they had, including the threat of an actual attack against Bush in Genoa in July, this seems incredible, but I think the Bush Administration was fooled, or managed to fool itself, into believing that another kind of attack was coming (there is a characteristic arrogance in the certainty they have in all their decisions and opinions). There was so much information that an attack was coming that Tenet was described to be 'nearly frantic', and the specific CIA warning to Bush on August 6 was entitled 'Bin Laden determined to strike in US' (which, at its most specific, stated: ". . . FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York."). At the same time, the Pentagon, while preparing for just such an attack against buildings, was poo-pooing the idea that it would ever actually occur. I think the lack of imagination in the Bush Administration, together with probable specific disinformation from the Pentagon, led the main part of the Bush Administration into believing that a terrorist attack on American soil by al Qaeda was imminent, but that such an attack would take the form of a run-of-the mill hijacking of a commercial aircraft with the taking of American hostages. I imagine that they thought that such an attack might result in minimal American deaths, and an Entebbe-style rescue would make Bush look like a strong leader. As well, they could immediately tie the attack into Iraq, and use it as the excuse for the attack on Iraq that we now know was being planned even before the inauguration. From the point of view of the Bush Administration, a simple hijacking was not something that could be stopped. Efforts to prevent it would have entailed expensive security arrangements which would have hurt Bush's friends in the airline industry, and would not have provided much opportunity for the kind of parasitic profiteering by Bush's military-industrial complex friends that the Bushites see as the real purpose of government. There were no big profits to be made in stopping a hijacking, and lots of profits to be made in missile defense, so Bush wanted to dedicate American taxpayer money to missile defense and not counterterrorism (and the pervert Ashcroft wanted to spend the counterterrorism money looking for pictures of naked people). It is as simple as that. The theory that the Bush Administration was expecting a hijacking explains a lot of things:
Why the whole Administration was so seemingly passive in the face of Tenet's frantic warnings, not to mention the whole history of warnings from various sources, including just about any government you could name (not to mention, from the revelations of Sibel Edmonds, the FBI's specific information; note that Edmonds assumes that if the FBI knew, the Bush Administration knew, which is an incorrect assumption if the FBI was intentionally withholding information).
Why Ashcroft changed his flying habits in July (his recent testimony before the 9-11 commission was obviously a barefaced lie).
Why Bush did nothing in the classroom in Florida, and didn't even seem that upset at the news, while he waited for his speech writers to rewrite the speech they had prepared for him to give when a normal hijacking occurred, and why Ari Fleisher held up a sign telling Bush "DON'T SAY ANYTHING YET" (they didn't want him to jump the gun and start giving his inappropriate pre-planned hijacking speech).
How this bunch of people, who certainly aren't moral but also aren't psychopaths - except, of course, for Cheney - could have allowed planes to crash into buildings (they were as surprised as everyone else as they expected a normal hijacking).
Why the whole Administration - except, of course, for Cheney - seemed completely addled and confused, and let the Pentagon, which seemed to know exactly what it was doing, take Bush on a day-long tour of American air force bases.
The second group is the Pentagon, and in particular those people who control NORAD. No thinking person can look at the facts of 9-11 and conclude that the NORAD planes weren't intentionally held back from preventing the crashes. Given the speed of the NORAD aircraft, the short distance to the targets, and the time that they had, all the attacking planes could have been intercepted. The only one that possibly was intercepted is Flight 93. We therefore can say with certainty that the Pentagon, or a part of it, was involved in the plot. It is important to note that it was the Pentagon which downplayed the risk of a plane attack against buildings while preparing for such an eventuality. The Pentagon officials cancelled their travel plans for the morning of September 11 because they knew the timing and nature of the attack (whoever warned Willie Brown was more likely to be in the Pentagon or the FBI than in the Bush Administration: if Rice knew, do you think she'd risk her life telling Brown, and would he risk her life talking about it?). It was in part the Pentagon which set the Bush Administration up to think it would be a normal hijacking (do you think that former Secretary of Defense Cheney might have been the main liaison in that regard?).
The last group are the people who planned the whole attack. I am amused we're still hearing stories about alleged Saudi involvement. Whatever financial connections the Saudis may have to fundamentalist Islamic terrorist groups, and I have no doubt that there are such connections, I know they don't control NORAD or the FBI. Americans are going to have to come to grips with the fact that this had to be a home-grown operation. Besides all the inside help the terrorists had in their various confrontations with authorities in the months preceding 9-11, and the inside help that they had to have had at the airports to smuggle in the weapons we now know they had (forget about box cutters), and the fact that it is completely implausible that this extremely sophisticated operation was carried out by a motley crew of people most of whom had never been in the United States before, directed by a man living in a cave in Afghanistan, there is the most important fact of all. After each hijacking, the hijackers were in no hurry to get to their targets. Any normal hijackers would have feared interception, and would have made a bee-line for their goal. Not these guys. In fact Flights 77 and 93 almost seemed to go on sightseeing tours of the northeastern United States, and the Pentagon may have eventually had to shoot down Flight 93 because the length of time it was in the air was getting embarrassing. All the hijackers knew they weren't going to be intercepted, just as they knew they could have innumerable contacts with authorities in the United States without being detained or even put under suspicion. They knew that nobody would try to stop them. Therefore, the planners of the attack knew that NORAD would be stood down on the morning of September 11.
In summary, the Bush Administration thought the attack was coming but thought it would be a normal hijacking. They didn't see any profitable way to stop it, and thought they could use it to make Bush look presidential while giving them an excuse to attack Iraq. They were deceived into their views in part by the Pentagon, who prepared for an airplane attack against buildings while downplaying the risk of it ever happening (and in part by the FBI, who withheld information). NORAD's normal automatic protective actions were subverted. The American plotters of the attack were able to tell the hijackers that they were safe from interception, which they could only do if they had very high connections to the Pentagon and other parts of the American government.

posted at 3:01 AM permanent link
Sunday, April 25, 2004
Why did they set the referenda up in Cyprus so that they gave the Greek side an effective veto over whether the Turkish side of Cyprus gets to join the European Union? Since the Greek side was going to be in regardless of the results, there was no downside to their voting in such a way to exclude the Turks. The whole structure of the voting was set up in such a way that the Turks never had a chance. How dumb is that? Is this another part of the battle to keep Turkey out of Europe (revenge for 1683)? At the very least, it is time to lift the embargoes against the Turkish side.
posted at 2:13 AM permanent link
This post by Josh Marshall probably hits one of the reasons why Cheney is so secretive about his oil discussions. His post-9-11 designs on Iraqi oil fields may provide the clue to the contents of his March 2001 and still very secret oil discussions (Cheney has been wearing the courts out trying to keep these discussions under wraps). If Cheney was out to steal another country's oil fields starting even before September 11, it clarifies why all the lies about Iraq - weapons of mass destruction, ties of Saddam to al Qaeda, etc. - were necessary. It also means the attack on Iraq, up to and including the massive war crimes currently being conducted by American troops against Iraqi civilians, was even more illegitimate than we thought. It was about the oil!
posted at 1:59 AM permanent link
Tuesday, April 27, 2004
Uri Avnery puts the following facts together:
the revelations of Mordechai Vanunu actually did not hurt the State of Israel, but allowed information about Israel's nuclear deterrent to become public (a nuclear deterrent isn't much good if it is secret), while allowing Israel to officially deny it;
one of the first things Vanunu said on his release was that the female agent who entrapped him wasn't a Mossad agent, but was working for the FBI or CIA;
neocon undersecretary of state for arms control and international security John Bolton made a special visit to Israel to discuss the implications of Vanunu's release with Gideon Frank, the director general of Israel's Atomic Energy Commission;
to conclude that the real reason Vanunu was imprisoned was to stop his revealing the American involvement in the Israeli nuclear program. All the restrictions on Vanunu are not to prevent him from talking about the nuclear program, for after all what else could he say that he hasn't already said, but to prevent him from mentioning the American sponsorship of it. Avnery's theory makes perfect sense. Israel's spectacular kidnapping, show trial, and brutal treatment of Vanunu has done nothing but emphasize Israel's nuclear program. There must be some other reason why he needed to be hidden away. The Americans would be deeply embarrassed if it was revealed that they created Israel's illegal nuclear program as part of their ongoing use of Israel as a weapon in their control of the Middle East. The entrapping agent, 'Cindy', whose real name is Cheryl Hanin Bentov, now lives in a suburb of Orlando, Florida.
posted at 2:00 AM permanent link
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
The United States is now using AC-130 gunships in its attack on Falluja, firing into urban areas of an inhabited city. This represents yet again a new low in American military conduct since the end of World War II (the new lows keep coming faster and faster, with the United States now having descended completely into subhuman behavior). The AC-130 is an airplane developed to kill every human being that is under it. The Americans are sending a wall of lead down on targets with no possible way to know whether the targets are civilians or insurgents (although it seems to me that everybody who is defending himself, his home, and his family from an illegal attack by an illegal and brutal occupying army must be considered to be a civilian; on the other hand, the Americans define everyone who they kill as a terrorist). Do I hear any uproar from Americans on what is being done in their names? No. Just a deafening silence.
posted at 1:37 AM permanent link
Thursday, April 29, 2004
On Falluja:
Maj. Gen. John Sattler, director of operations for the United States Central Command:
"Although this is a cease-fire, they're not purely defensive rules of engagement. In other words, if in fact the insurgent forces start to make attempts to set up weapons systems, to resupply units that are within the town, the marines have it within their rights to go in and take pre-emptive measures, i.e., strike against these units."
Tony Blair:
"If American soldiers are being fired on, American soldiers are going to have to fire back."
Brig.-Gen. Mark Kimmitt:
"Even though it may not look like it, there is still a determined aspiration on the part of the coalition to maintain a ceasefire and solve the situation in Falluja by peaceful means."
Donald Rumsfeld:
"What's going on are some terrorists and regime elements have been attacking our forces, and our forces have been going out and killing them."
And, for comedy's sake, George Bush:
"most of Falluja is returning to normal."
The Americans have established an 'Israeli ceasefire', where the other side is supposed to lay down its arms while the Americans continue to take provocative actions, up to and including massacres using tanks and gunships (remember the 'hudna', where the Palestinians stopped the fighting until provoked by the series of Israeli assassinations of Palestinian leaders?). Each of the quotes above (except, of course for the Chimp's) accurately reflects the realities of the American provocation of Falluja. The Americans got off on the wrong foot with Falluja, and are now upset because the locals won't let them wonder around unmolested. The Americans claim to be defending themselves, but only need to defend themselves because they are attacking the people of Falluja. The American military has taken the high colonialist attitude that it is intolerable for any vassal to object to its going wherever it wants. If the military doesn't like being attacked, why doesn't it stay away until a diplomatic solution can be found? There is absolutely no necessity for the Americans to continue to provoke Falluja, and in the process massacre hundreds of civilians. Instead, we get the Israeli approach, and a fairly obvious ploy by the neocons to turn American attacks on Falluja and Najaf into the beginnings of WW III in the Middle East.
posted at 3:20 AM permanent link
Saturday, May 01, 2004
The announced withdrawal of American troops from Falluja, unless it is scuppered by the neocons (and I have no doubt they are working on scuppering it), is a very important development, for two main reasons:
It represents the first acknowledged defeat for the neocon 'shock and awe' mad-dog strategy of American military dealings with the rest of the world. Basically, psychos like Ledeen and Perle decided that the United States has the only domineering army in the world, and American foreign policy should be to use it to violently coerce the rest of the world to follow American big business interests. This would be accomplished by picking example countries like Iraq and using American military violence to completely destroy the country and terrify the population. The massacre in Falluja is the most blatant manifestation of this policy. The neocons were prepared to kill almost every person in Falluja until any survivors were so terrified that their terror and the deaths of the rest could be used as an example to any others in Iraq or the rest of the world who might question the decisions of the American occupiers. It is a strategy right out of the Bible. It didn't work. Again, facts have proven that an army, even the best army in the world, is useless in fighting a determined civilian resistance (Vietnam, southern Lebanon, the thirteen colonies, etc.). The only way you can 'win' such an encounter is if you are morally prepared to murder or incapacitate every last inhabitant (are the Americans ready for the Byzantine Empire solution of blinding every male in Iraq?). We have seen the neocon strategy over and over again in Iraq, starting with the 'shock and awe' bombing of civilians, and carrying through the murder of journalists, the abuse of civilians, and the torture of prisoners. It is laughable for the Americans to claim that the recent evidence of misuse of prisoners is an anomaly, when we have seen so much evidence of other incidents in the past. Now they claim they are going to 'investigate'. How many investigations have been promised before? How many people have been punished? American claims of innocence won't fly anymore. Brutality is the express and implicit policy of the Pentagon in Iraq. The soldiers who brutalize Iraqi civilians and prisoners do so because they understand that they are supposed to. Brutality is what the neocons intend to use to start a conflagration in the Middle East which will lead to their real goal - a goal essentially treasonous to the United States - of using the American military to force the creation of Greater Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates. You want to know why Wolfowitz can't remember the number of American dead? Because he doesn't give a damn about American deaths (but I bet he can give you the name of every last insane Israeli settler illegally living on Palestinian land who ended up the victim of a Palestinian freedom fighter). Americans are just 'fodder units' for the greater Biblical goal of the creation of Greater Israel. Americans are eventually going to have to wake up to the fact that they are being led by a bunch of psychopaths whose sole loyalty is to a foreign country.
It represents an incredible loss of control by the Pentagon in Washington over the American military. It is apparent that the American commanders on the ground in Falluja came to the conclusion that whoever was giving the orders in Washington was insane (Dr. Strangelove), and that they were no longer prepared to participate in a massacre that not only would fail in its short-term military goal, but would turn the whole country violently against the Americans (not to mention completely destroying the moral integrity of the American military by forcing soldiers to murder civilians). They negotiated a cease-fire unknown to the Pentagon in Washington and against the express wishes of the civilian neocons in charge of the Pentagon. In fact, Falluja was being micromanaged by the White House itself. No to put too fine a point on it, the cease-fire in Falluja was a mutiny by the American commanders in Falluja (the hero seems to be Marine Lt. Gen. James Conway). This explains why we were simultaneously hearing announcements of a cease-fire in Iraq and vehement denials from the Pentagon in Washington. It also explains why some Americans had stopped the massacre, while others, still under the control of Washington, continued. Paul Wolfowitz (Captain Bligh) said the situation was 'confusing', which is a very odd thing for the guy supposedly in charge to say. It was confusing to him because a cease-fire was being negotiated on the ground in Falluja behind Wolfowitz's back. The central command in Washington has become so bad - both incompetent and treasonous - that American soldiers in the field have to make their own cease-fires. Perhaps there is hope for the United States yet.
There are conflicting accounts of just how close the new Iraqi military leader of Falluja was to Saddam Hussein, but he looks just like him!
posted at 12:56 AM permanent link
Sunday, May 02, 2004
It is almost impossible to believe, but the United States has still - still!! - not repaired the electrical system in Iraq. The inability of the American military in Iraq to maintain any kind of security means that the civilian contractors are laying low, and no real work is being performed. If you think the Iraqis are mad now, just wait until air conditioner season. The Chimp just said:
"Electricity is now more widely available than before the war."
This is a lie (daily nationwide electricity production for April averaged 3,822 megawatts, which is much less than the prewar average of about 4,500 megawatts). The provision of electricity is not only a symbolic issue, it also directly affects the health and well being of the Iraqi people. The provision of clean water and proper sewage treatment systems depends on the electrical system. After much more significant damage after the first Gulf War, Saddam managed to have the system functioning again in a matter of weeks. Given the symbolic and practical importance of it, you would think Bremer of Baghdad would have moved heaven and earth to get the system running again. Instead, he spends his time closing newspapers and having a new flag designed in London by cutting up an Israeli flag and rearranging the pieces (with a yellow strip representing the urine stream from British soldier to hooded Iraqi prisoner of war). If there was any real concern for the Iraqi people, the electrical system would have been fixed months ago, and the current instability would not be a problem. On the other hand, if Bremer's neocon plans have all along been to make Iraq the starting battleground for WW III, his complete inattention to the most important issue he faces makes perfect sense.
posted at 2:09 AM permanent link
Monday, May 03, 2004
UNOCAL has been ordered to stand trial in California for alleged human rights abuses in Burma. Defense contractor CACI International Inc. employs interrogators allegedly involved in the torture in Iraq. Someone should bring an action in the United States against CACI on behalf of the victims of the torture. A few Pentagon generals, CIA agents, and military intelligence officers might make good defendants as well.
posted at 11:56 PM permanent link
The torture:
That picture, that iconic picture of the torture victim standing on the box, Christ-like, with a hood from a Spanish Easter procession or the KKK, with the backlighting and the wires hanging down like in an old science fiction movie, that picture is the representation of the new American Empire, the symbol that the whole world now identifies with the Evil of the United States of America. They should send the Statue of Liberty back to France - the values she represented are no longer American values - and replace it with a model of this Iraqi prisoner. I wonder if he is still alive, and what state he is in. Do you think they might find it in their stony hearts to let him out of prison?
As Robert Fisk quite properly points out, this mistreatment is a product of years of systematic anti-Arab racism (of course, the whole attack on Iraq, the idea that it was morally acceptable to apply 'shock and awe' to innocent civilians, is a product of the same racism). The knuckle-dragging hillbillies who so enthusiastically participated in the torture aren't very far removed from their lynch mob ancestors who so easily did the same thing to American blacks. They pathetically claim they can't be held accountable because they didn't have sufficient training in the niceties of the Geneva Convention. Do they mean to argue that they actually thought it was acceptable to humiliate, torture, rape and murder prisoners of war? Do they need a PhD in international law to know that this is wrong? What kind of animals is the United States producing? Since the whole attack on Iraq is illegal, literally every soldier in the U. S. army is guilty of obeying illegal orders, so I guess they are just following their usual pattern of obeying illegal orders.
The United States is in full damage-control mode, with everyone saying they are suitably appalled. Of course, they have known about this for months, and have done absolutely nothing about it, so their claims of being disgusted ring rather hollow now. Various human rights groups have been complaining since last summer about the deplorable treatment afforded to prisoners picked up by the United States, and nothing has been done about it. Prisoners are often arrested for purely arbitrary reasons, jailed indefinitely with no access to legal counsel, and their relatives aren't even informed of where they are being held. If American officials were really concerned, they would start by emptying those prisons.
Despite the attempts to pin this on one U. S. Army Reserve General and a few of the soldiers, it is clear that this abuse was a systematic and official act by the CIA and military intelligence to 'soften up' prisoners before they were interrogated. Seymour Hersh has seen the secret internal military report which confirms that the torture was an official and sanctioned action of the American government, known to Army leadership at the highest levels.
The worst torturers were apparently private military contractors, presumably hired as it was feared that the soldiers would not be stone-cold psychopathic enough to do the job properly (they needn't have worried). As they were private contractors, they will escape all American military discipline and will get off completely scot-free.
Anecdotal evidence reported in the Arab press indicates that we have only seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of the horrors inflicted on Iraqi prisoners. In particular, we have not heard all the stories of sexual abuse of male prisoners, and have not heard anything about what they did to women prisoners.
To fix the problem, the Americans are sending the general who was in charge of the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay to Iraq! This proves the utter contempt the Pentagon has for the Iraqi people and for international law. This general will not be an expert in how to run a humane camp, as he ran one of the greatest examples of an inhumane camp in the world. What he is an expert in is running an inhumane camp while covering up all evidence of it. The Pentagon realizes that their real problem isn't the torture, but that they got caught doing it.
The Pentagon will pick a few low level scapegoats, people who were guilty but just following orders, and give them a nominal punishment. Like Lieutenant William Calley, they will be quietly released after a short period of time. I guarantee that no one will serve any serious punishment for their actions.
The British have a similar problem with their own torture. Again, they had warnings of the problem for months, and have done nothing about it. As Britain joined the International Criminal Court, Britain won't be able to sweep this problem under the rug. If they try to, another country will be able to initiate proceedings against the guilty. Since the guilt almost certainly goes right up to the top of the British military, not to mention into the world of politicians, this could get very interesting.
The torture finishes off the last argument for the attack on Iraq. No weapons of mass destruction, no Saddam connection to al Qaeda, no prospect of democracy, and the Iraqi people worse off than under Saddam and headed for worse things yet. The last thing the Americans had was that at least the brutality had stopped. The massacre at Falluja and the torture have finished all possible arguments for this illegal and immoral attack on the people of Iraq.
posted at 3:54 AM permanent link
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
The racism behind the general American view of the world, and in particular of the Arab world, is so all-pervasive that Americans don't even notice it anymore. Think about this excerpt from an article by Virginia Tilley (and think about it in particular if you ever have the misfortune to read any of the anti-Muslim rantings of Daniel Pipes and his ilk):
"The irony here is that, if these photos had instead portrayed American soldiers abused in some Arab prison, screaming right-wing US media would have waved them as substantiating every racist claim of inherent Arab depravity. On Fox News, ranks of flunky intellectuals would have soberly propounded the social-psychological violence inherent in Muslim theology and the 'Arab mind'; tears of patriotic passion would have celebrated US military might as the golden force opposing the dark ferocity of the savage Arab masses. Feeble liberal protest - that it is wrong to extrapolate from one prison policy to a whole culture - would have been derided and silenced. And high-minded speeches would have emerged from the White House, mustering US patriotic zeal to combat these forces of evil which produced such an outrage. Yet when others launch similar stereotyping distortions of us, we claim the high ground: those ignorant savage Arabs, we sneer, with no conception of our culture. How gullible and backward they are, to fail to grasp the truth and be so enflamed. It must be al-Jazeera's fault."
Given the clear evidence of unspeakable acts of torture, much of its sexualized, committed by many young Christian Americans in Iraq, what is it about Christian America that turns its young men and women into violent sexual sadists? The only possible explanation is that Americans are not fully human, and their crazy inferior religion, with all its erotic depictions of violence against Christ (just ask Mel Gibson), turns them into psycho-sexual savages with peculiar homoerotic compulsions. This sounds like complete crazy-talk, but it is exactly the sort of nonsense I read every day written by distinguished American experts about the Arab and Muslim worlds. How does it feel when the shoe is on the other foot?
posted at 4:09 AM permanent link
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Suddenly, right out of the blue, after months of being the golden boy of the Pentagon and the neocons to lead Iraq, the disgusting American press is reporting that Chalabi is now out of favor and has in fact been suspected of passing on sensitive information to the Iranians. We're hearing about what a crook he really is, and how he knew about the bombing of the Jordanian embassy in advance but gave no warning. What a rotter! What happened to change his fortunes so quickly? We all know that the disgusting American press only reports what they are told to report, so why the sudden interest in dissing Mr. Chalabi? From Newsweek (my emphasis - reading this whole article is like trying to decipher something out of Pravda in the 1970's: what the hell is a 'U.S. official familiar with information presented to policymakers'?):
"NEWSWEEK has learned that top Bush administration officials have been briefed on intelligence indicating that Chalabi and some of his top aides have supplied Iran with 'sensitive' information on the American occupation in Iraq. U.S. officials say that electronic intercepts of discussions between Iranian leaders indicate that Chalabi and his entourage told Iranian contacts about American political plans in Iraq. There are also indications that Chalabi has provided details of U.S. security operations. According to one U.S. government source, some of the information Chalabi turned over to Iran could 'get people killed.'"
Wow! By 'top Bush administration officials' they are of course referring to the neocons, who again are up to their old Office-of-Special-Plans tricks of using mangled intelligence for their own political purposes (although the Official Story is completely the opposite, that these stories are being planted by CIA and State Department officials who have always hated Chalabi and are trying to force Bush to get rid of him: see what I mean about Pravda?). And why are the neocons mad at Chalabi? L. Marc Zell, Feith's former law partner, and foaming-at-the-mouth Zionist, said:
"Ahmed Chalabi is a treacherous, spineless turncoat. He had one set of friends before he was in power, and now he's got another."
and:
"He said he would end Iraq's boycott of trade with Israel, and would allow Israeli companies to do business there. He said [the new Iraqi government] would agree to rebuild the pipeline from Mosul [in the northern Iraqi oil fields] to Haifa [the Israeli port, and the location of a major refinery]."
Bingo! Chalabi is getting the traitor treatment from the disgusting American press because he is reneging on his promises to the neocons to sell out Iraq to the Zionists (the rest of the Salon article contains amazingly explicit references to Zionist plans for Iraq, writing which until recently would have been labeled 'anti-Semitic conspiracy theory'). The press treatment is a shot across the bow to make him toe the Israeli line. If he survives in power, or in fact isn't killed, watch for him to sell out Iraq to Zionist interests as quickly and thoroughly as possible (Ledeen and Frum are still supporting him, so we can be sure the ultra-Zionist fix is in). He sold what soul he had to the Devil, and the Devil is collecting. When will Americans finally wake up and see who hijacked their government?
posted at 2:36 AM permanent link
Thursday, May 06, 2004
CBS sat on the Iraq torture pictures for at least two weeks before broadcasting a story on the issue. Why didn't they suppress the story completely? The disgusting American media does all it can to cover up for Bush, and never, ever, ever, broadcasts anything that would contradict the fairy-tale view of the innate perfect super goodness of America and Americans. The story might have been intended as a propaganda ploy to head off a story that was going to get out anyway, but the pictures were so extreme that they hardly constitute the 'limited hangout' that you would expect to see. So why was the story broadcast (I'll ignore as laughable the idea that it was broadcast because it was 'news')? Who benefited from the release of these pictures?:
Israel, which now has perfect evidence that what it does on a daily basis to the Palestinians is no worse that what the Americans do to the Iraqis. In fact, Israel's crimes against humanity look positively benign compared to what went on in the George W. Bush Rape Rooms. How can Americans possibly complain about Israel now (not that they were complaining much before)?
The neocons, who are trying to stave off irrelevancy by ensuring that WW III is well underway before the next American Presidential election. Even if Bush loses, they will be able to fit right in under Kerry, who has shown every indication that he will be as much of a warmonger as Bush. These pictures raised a predictable fury in the Middle East, making the coming world war all that much more easy to start and keep going. Once it is going, Kerry will be all to eager to go along, and will need the neocons to help him. It's happy days for the neocons!
You might want to ask yourself if you can think of another torture center where the torturers carried cameras to take souvenir pictures. A little odd, no?

posted at 1:36 AM permanent link
Saturday, May 08, 2004
Rick Salutin, who along with Heather Mallick is about the only non-right-wing columnist in the Globe and Mail, wades into the contretemps between the Globe's television columnist and Fox news thug Bill O'Reilly about O'Reilly's assertions that the Globe is a left-wing newspaper. The whole article (or here) is very good, but I found this quote to be particularly revealing:
"I thought of the Fox network's Bill O'Reilly when I heard about the recent prisoner abuses in Iraq. Not because of the normal abuse you get on his show. But I was on The Radio Factor With Bill O'Reilly last week and in the intro to our discussion he referred often to The Globe and Mail as left-wing. I said I had to defend it against that charge, since The Globe has always been a conservative, business paper here. Oh, come on, he scoffed, noting that The Globe is 'secular.'

We sparred and it was only when he repeated the term that I realized that in the United States, the main political divide now runs between Christian fundamentalism and 'secularists.' I said I was grateful for this insight: that the U.S. may be the only nation that defines politics in such religious terms."
Under O'Reilly's definition, which probably represents a fairly mainstream view in the United States, you are left-wing if you are not espousing the views of fundamentalist evangelical Christians. This leads to the important problem for Americans: what do you do if your country has been taken over by a relatively small, but very organized and very determined, group of religious fanatics. I keep hearing that elitist liberals are supposed to be more understanding to these people, but how can you moderate the opinions of people who are religiously insane? Liberal attempts to meet them half way, which is what John Kerry is trying - and failing - to do, are doomed to failure, because their religion will not accept compromise. Looking at the pictures of the torture of Iraqis, I see a group of Americans who look like extras from the movie 'Deliverance' ('squeal like a pig'; you can almost hear the banjo music). They like George Bush because he is so obviously a moron. What is a modern democracy supposed to do with people like that? The extreme ostentatious in-your-face religiosity is just a symptom of the general and profound absence of intelligence and curiosity about the world. Rather than have to think, they prefer religious fairy tales. The problem is all over the country, but the main Axis of Stupidity seems to run from West Virginia, through western Virginia, and on through Tennessee, Louisiana and Texas. Is it possible to just cut that part out, call it Evangelica or Stupidia, and carry on with the rest of the country? The United States would actually be a nice country, with people as smart as people anywhere, but it is being dragged down by the anchor of this mass of stupidity.
posted at 3:04 AM permanent link
L. Marc Zell has written a letter to Salon protesting, amongst other things, the quotes attributed to him in the article I referred to a few days ago. The author of the article, John Dizard, stands by the article and the accuracy of the quotes. Zell claims:
"I have never met with Mr. Ahmed Chalabi nor have I ever held any discussions with him."
While I suppose this is possible, it is extremely difficult to believe (Zell would have been better just to deny the accuracy of the quote, rather than gilding the lily by claiming he had never met Chalabi or had discussions with him). Zell is a former law partner of Douglas Feith, and appears still to be very close to Feith, and Feith is one of the main champions of Chalabi in Washington. For all the many years that Chalabi swanned around Washington as the darling of the neocons, it is very difficult to see how it is possible that Zell never met him. The neocon world is not that big. As well, Zell is a partner with Chalabi's nephew in Iraq, in an enterprise which bills itself as having insider contacts to the highest levels of the new Iraqi leadership. Nephew Chalabi's ability to peddle influence with his uncle, and Zell's ability to peddle influence with the Washington neocons, makes for a perfect lobbying partnership, albeit one that stinks to high heaven. Zell's problem is that his intemperate remarks about Chalabi breached the main taboo of the neocons. He revealed the fact that the whole war in Iraq and the continuing occupation were intended by the neocons to allow Israeli access to Iraqi oil and the Iraqi economy, with the long-term goal of extending 'Greater Israel' as far as the Euphrates (I find it funny that it is considered crazy to even mention this goal of the Israeli right in discussing the Middle East, while it is discussed openly, and with some pride, in Israel itself). This goal has been obvious for a long time now, but Zell's quote bitterly complaining that Chalabi reneged on his promises to grant favorable treatment to Israel is one of the clearest proofs that this disastrous war has been waged by a small group in Washington solely for the benefit of a small group in a foreign country. The billions of American dollars spent (soon to be trillions, as the neocons, in their planned assault on Najaf, are on the verge of their goal of starting WW III), and the hundreds of American lives lost (soon to be thousands), not to mention the irreversible loss of prestige of the United States around the world, has been engineered on behalf of the insane religious fantasies of a tiny group of people in Israel, a group which includes Zell himself. If the American people ever figure this out, you won't be able to find a lamppost in Washington that doesn't have a neocon swinging from it.
posted at 1:59 AM permanent link
Monday, May 10, 2004
Now that we know more about what has been going on in the American torture system in Iraq, we can understand more about the case of Guantánamo chaplain Captain James Yee. He was arrested while allegedly in possession of classified documents "that a chaplain shouldn't have." After adding some more bogus charges, the Pentagon eventually had to drop every charge against him except for the bogus ones, and he was eventually completely, albeit grudgingly, exonerated of them too. Yee, however, remains under a gag order. Could Yee's documents relate to the torture going on at Guantánamo Bay? Is the gag order what the Pentagon was really after? He had lists of the detainees and lists of their interrogators (it would be interesting to find out if any of these worthies ended up in Iraq). If Yee had proof of torture in September 2003, it world show clearly how long this problem has been going on, and that torture is the new systematic strategy of the Bush Administration. It would also prove that the Pentagon was trying to cover up its criminal pattern of torture months before torture in Iraq made the mainstream news. The torture in Iraq is just the logical conclusion of steps taken by the Bush Administration - the Patriot Act, enemy combatants held without chance of trial or legal representation, mass domestic arrests on racist grounds with hundreds or even thousands of detainees held for months without charge and then quietly released, the entire charade of Guantánamo Bay being outside of both American and international law, detainees at Guantánamo held for no reason at all (remember the British detainees who were eventually released into British custody, with the British authorities interviewing them and releasing them all within hours), the unpunished beating deaths by the military of at least two detainees in Afghanistan, and untold horrors being perpetrated in the new American gulags around the world, not to mention the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq and elsewhere - which constitute a declaration of violence and war against the whole world (including selected citizens of the United States). Iraq is no aberration, and is not the work of 'bad apples'. It is official American policy. It is the new American reality. There has been some discussion comparing Bush's America to Nazi Germany. Look at the newest picture released by Seymour Hersh, of a naked man cowering in abject terror as the hillbillies are about to unleash a vicious dog on him, and tell me if you don't see the concentration camps of Nazi Germany (the hillbillies must think they've died and gone to hillbilly heaven, with their freedom to play out their life-long fantasies on Iraqis of what they'd all like to do to black people). The thug who the Bush Administration has brought in to 'fix' the situation in Iraq, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, not only was involved in Guantánamo Bay, but was brought to Iraq in August and September to improve the efficiency of the American interrogation techniques in Iraq, and recommended that the U.S. military police become "actively engaged in setting the conditions for the successful exploitation of the internees." Miller was also directly behind the persecution of Captain Yee. If is as if Hitler was accused of conducting medical experiments on unwilling human subjects, and brought in Dr. Mengele to fix the problem. Despite some grudging apologies, the prisons are still operational and the interrogations continue. Miller is now on the scene to ensure that leaks are repressed until after the next American Presidential election. Americans will vote for Bush, thus approving the new American moral standards. Welcome to Amerika!
posted at 4:21 AM permanent link
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
From an interesting interview with Hunter S. Thompson (HST) by Adam Bulger (AB) (my emphasis):
"HST: And sort of on my way to bed, I saw something on the, heard or saw, something about a plane hitting the World Trade Tower. The first reports were of the 'small plane' - like one of those things that sometimes hits buildings around the world. That got my attention just enough not to go straight to bed. I turn around and have a look at the TV set, just in time to see that other one go straight in. Jesus.
AB: Um. . .
HST: Hang on a second there . . . there's so many things about who uh, oh boy, this is a dangerous area. But I talked to witnesses, I'm just thinking of one in particular, a guy, a driver who watched the, just happened to be taking uh, maybe the owner of the Giants, I forget who he was, but he was out at the Meadowlands. But he saw both of them hit.
AB: Right.
HST: Direct line of sight. The first one, he didn't get really get a line on, but it got his attention, though he hadn't seen the approach. But the second one, he said, uh, and I heard this from other people, but very few, really, calm and sane accounts the moments of insanity. I happened to see the second one go in, but just the last few seconds, as it came out of the left, stage left, and then plowed right into the front of the center of the TV picture and the center of the building, uh, perfectly. And I wrote that it was one of the most efficient, uh, most skillful and just about impossible um, acts of piloting . . . That's a very rare, uh, uh pilot . . . can take a big plane and plant it right as if a target or bulls-eye was on the side of the building. Apparently that second plane approached, and veered off, and made sort of a half-loop and then sort of came back and aimed again and then hit the building.
AB: Right.
HST: Have you heard this, or did you see that, or do you know about it?
AB: Yeah, well I've seen the tape so many times.
HST: But have you seen what would be before the tape that we see, like a minute before the hit?
AB: No, I haven't.
HST: Well, I haven't either, really. But there were eyewitnesses. And several people have said that, but you had to be watching. This guy happened to be at the Meadowlands. Cause I've kind of seen it as something that's really horrible and atrocious but not that hard to pull off. I mean it just seems like they got some box-cutters and they hijacked a plane and they flew it into a building. It doesn't seem like there was that much skill or that much preparation really. It's pretty broadly assumed that there's is a lot more to that story than the uh, the simple, kind of evil guys who just wanted to learn enough about flying to take a plane off but not land it.
AB: Right.
HST: Remember, everything we know about that, that incident, and it was a horrible thing, I mean tragedy! Uh, and about Iraq and about Afghanistan and the people allegedly inside those countries, you know, Bin Laden . . . Everything we know in this country is spun through the CIA or NSA, but lets call it the CIA."
The Official Story about 9-11 is that some fundamentalist Islamic terrorists came to America, learned how to fly at American flying schools well enough to perform the simple maneuvers required to plow planes into buildings, and performed well enough to hit the two towers and the Pentagon. The Pentagon story has always been unbelievable, with incompetent Cessna pilot Hani Hanjour required to suddenly acquire the skills of a stunt pilot to manage to crash Flight 77 into the Pentagon at exactly ground level. The second plane to hit the towers was Flight 175, supposedly piloted by Marwan Al-Shehhi. If he demonstrated fighter-pilot skills on his reapproach to the WTC, it destroys the credibility of the Official Story. It would mean that the pilots were highly trained pilots before they arrived in the United States, and weren't just a few religious nuts who learned to fly as students - and not very good students - at American flying schools. The American flight training has always been said to be just enough to allow them to take over the flights from the original pilots and guide the planes directly into their targets. It is quite possible that the entire story about the Florida flight training is itself a deception to give credibility to the Official Story about the identity of the hijackers. Everything we think we know about the hijackers, including the little we know about the Florida flight training schools, may be part of this deception.
posted at 11:49 PM permanent link
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Reading between the lines of the many conflicting reports of the beheading of Nicholas Berg, it appears that he had been in the control of the U. S. military before his death, possibly using the Iraqi police as a front. He then mysteriously ended up in the hands of fundamentalist Iraqi freedom fighters. It is very difficult to avoid the conclusion that the Pentagon arranged for him to be turned over to the freedom fighters in order that Berg's inevitable death could be used to divert attention from the George W. Bush Rape Rooms and give the knuckle-dragging Americans another reason to think of Iraqis as sub-human and thus deserving of torture, rape, and murder at the hands of the Penta-torturers.
posted at 1:54 PM permanent link
Thursday, May 13, 2004
American authorities claim that Nicholas Berg was arrested in Mosul by Iraqi police because the police believed he may have been involved in 'suspicious activities'. Berg himself is alleged to have told an acquaintance that he was arrested for having an Israeli stamp in his passport. The police chief of Mosul denies that his police department ever arrested Berg. Here is an excerpt from an article in the Scotsman (my emphasis):
"A US official said Berg was detained by Iraqi authorities 'for his own protection' because his behaviour in Mosul seemed unusual for a westerner.

He had been seen travelling in taxis and moving about the dangerous city without any escort, the official said. He added that Berg, who was Jewish, had written materials which were 'anti-Semitic' in tone, the official said without elaborating."
posted at 1:22 PM permanent link
Saturday, May 15, 2004
A few more thoughts on the death of Nicholas Berg:
If the beheaders were talking Russian, as some believe, that is not inconsistent with their being Israeli. There are a lot of Russians in Israel, and many of them from very rough backgrounds.
How did the FBI find out that Moussaoui had used Berg's email password? The only obvious way is that they have a copy of the email received by whoever Moussaoui was mailing, showing that it was sent from Berg's email account. Who was this person, and how did the FBI know about him? Did they get the information from his famous laptop computer? We can be sure the recipient wasn't an identified 9-11 conspirator, or we would have heard that used as evidence against Moussaoui, especially as the evidence they have against Moussaoui tying him to 9-11 is very shaky.
Berg may have been recruited when he was interviewed by the FBI about the password. Why did the FBI visit him three times while he was in custody?
Why would an increasingly observant Jew be carrying around anti-Semitic literature, possibly written in Arabic, a language he couldn't read? Analogous to what we have seen in Israel, with the Holocaust misused to inspire a Holocaust against the Palestinians, it may be that Berg was using the tangible evidence of the hatred that some have against the Jewish people to justify to himself whatever it was he was doing.
Going to Iraq without a job or any prospect of work makes absolutely no sense.
The orange prison jumpsuit is probably not a clue. If the Americans were behind his death, they would be unlikely to be so stupid to have him killed in a jumpsuit which seems to be evidence of American involvement. The only way I can see such a mistake being made is if the video were a production of the same doofus guards in Abu Ghraib prison who were involved in the torture. If Berg was being held there, and 'accidentally' died, someone might have decided to kill two birds with one stone and make a video to take the pressure off the American torturers.
Official American denial that he was in American custody, when we have clear proof that he was, is evidence of official American guilt about something. Why deny it if there was a legitimate reason to hold him? Are they afraid to disclose the reason they were holding him, or are they afraid the fact they held him proves official American involvement in his death?
posted at 2:14 AM permanent link
Monday, May 17, 2004
Why is the disgusting American media continuing with the story of the Iraq torture? We know these 'journalists' wouldn't report on anything even mildly embarrassing to Bush unless they were told to do so for an ulterior motive. Could it be because the torture really doesn't concern Bush's base ('them ragheads had it coming for knocking down them buildings in New York'), while serving to cover up the even greater outrages taking place in Iraq and Israel? The torture nicely obscures the fact that the American military just completed one of the great massacres in recent world history, killing at least four to five hundred civilians in Falluja, as well as many Iraqis who were defending their city against the attack (the defenders are called 'terrorists' in official Ameri-speak). The American military is in the process of killing more people in southern Iraqi towns, and attacking and damaging the holiest Shi'ite religious sites. If this continues, we may see the conflagration which the neocons are obviously trying to start. As the torture story unfolds, the Israeli military has gone wild in the Gaza Strip, and Israel is in the process of destroying the homes of hundreds or even thousands of people (outrageously, Colin Powell blames the whole problem on Arafat, who is apparently hindering peace by daring to complain about Israel's clear breaches of international law!!). The release of the torture pictures suits the neocons just fine, as it upsets the Arab world while simultaneously covering up the wholesale evil being conducted by the American and Israeli militaries. Seymour Hersh's latest revelations about Rumsfeld and Cambone further drag out the torture story, continuing the smokescreen. Hersh is one of about three real journalists working in the whole United States, so I don't want to say anything bad about him, but the latest anti-Rumsfeld allegations - no doubt true and completely consistent with the Bush Administration's pattern of using 9-11 to as an excuse to abandon any pretence of civilized behavior - have the distinct smell of CIA leaks intended to embarrass Rumsfeld, deflect attention for the torture away from the CIA, and regain for the CIA some of the power it has lost to Rumsfeld's Pentagon. The neocons may have to throw their critics a Cambone bone, but their position has not been weakened, and their main goal of starting WW III in the Middle East continues under cover of the more enticing torture stories.
posted at 3:11 AM permanent link
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Israel usually at least goes through the motions of pretending that its illegal collective punishment attacks on Palestinian civilians have something to do with its own security. Without any provocation or any stated reason, it began its illegal entry into the Gaza Strip to demolish the homes of Palestinian refugees with an attack of rocket fire by Apache helicopters, killing 15 Palestinians and wounding at least 33 others. These helicopters are supplied by the United States and are supposed to be used for defensive purposes only. In Israel's opinion, murdering Palestinian civilian refugees must be a defensive act. Do you think Sharon has finally stepped over the line? I wonder how Colin Powell will manage to blame Arafat for this latest outrage.
posted at 4:40 AM permanent link
This article, and this intriguing thread discussing it, are the first strong indications that Nicholas Berg was more that the naif in Iraq who was unlucky enough to fall into the hands of some terrorists. Aziz was a prominent self-appointed spokesman in the American media in favor of the attack on Iraq, and was used by the neocons and the media to hype the attack. A few comments:
According to Aziz, Berg approached Aziz. You have to wonder whether Berg had approached the friend of Moussaoui who passed on Berg's email password to Moussaoui. If someone was on the trail of what Moussaoui was up to prior to 9-11, having him use Berg's email would be a clever way of finding out.
Aziz seems to travel in an interesting crowd, and has an interesting criminal background.
How does Aziz have knowledge of Berg's phone usage?
Why would muggers want to steal Berg's notebook?
Berg seemed to have prospects of working as a sub-subcontractor for the Iraqi Media Network, the controversial and amazingly trouble-ridden stooge media empire being set up in Iraq by Bremer of Baghdad. Was this connection made through the neocon contacts of Aziz?
The clerk in the Al-Kalaa Hotel in Baghdad reported that Berg had Jordanian currency with him, not surprising as he traveled via Jordan, and Iranian currency.
Why was Berg detained by the Iraqi police? What do they mean when they say he 'seemed confused'? Was he drugged?
Why would terrorists have captured him in early April, and then held him for weeks without any hostage or ransom demands, before killing him?
posted at 3:32 AM permanent link
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
The Judith Miller scandal at the New York Times won't go away until the Times makes at least some effort to acknowledge that it had, and has, a serious problem. From an article by William E. Jackson Jr.:
"Who at the Times protects Miller from the consequences that should have flowed from the highly irresponsible reporting she did on WMD in 2002-2003? At several national newspapers, not to mention the Times itself in the Jayson Blair case, severe penalties have been imposed on bad journalists for reporting untruths. However, they were not involved in the glaring conflicts of interest - among other negatives - that characterized Miller's performance.

An industrious star reporter holding onto her job is one thing. But just what is the problem that keeps executive editor Keller from ordering a lengthy editors' note correcting what she wrote based on tainted sources in the pages of the Times? She was up to her eyeballs in hyping disinformation resulting from a highly suspect intelligence operation run by a foreign exile group, which had penetrated the office of Cheney, and which actively suborned the entry of the United States into a misguided, and destructive, invasion of Iraq."
Miller-gate ties directly into the scandal of the Office of Special Plans. Miller was part of a series of conduits funneling misinformation, in this case directly to the American people, to assist Cheney's political position in arguing for war (the main 'stovepipes' in Feith's operation funneled misinformation to the political decision-makers without having been vetted by the proper intelligence experts). The reason the Times finds itself unable to mention the problem - while Miller's ongoing reporting makes it look increasingly ridiculous - is that the role of the Times in this disastrous war approaches something impolite people might call treason.
posted at 11:51 PM permanent link
Paul Savoy dismembers the moral arguments made by both conservatives and so-called progressives in favor of the attack on Iraq. My question: given their extreme moral obtuseness, why do we continue to listen to the likes of Christopher Hitchens and Michael Ignatieff on any subject? Mongering for this clearly immoral disaster should have been a career-ending move for anyone who pretends to comment on ethical issues.
posted at 3:04 AM permanent link
Thursday, May 20, 2004
There are lots of conspiracy theories flying around about why Chalabi ended up the recipient of a visit by the American jack-booted thugs. I've been over this ground a few weeks ago. It appears that Chalabi was given the right to rule Iraq by the neocons on two conditions:
that he allow Israelis privileged access to the Iraqi economy; and
that he ship Iraqi oil to Israel through a pipeline to Haifa.
When he reneged on these promises, the neocons went apeshit (note Zell's comments), but decided to give him a few weeks to see the error of his ways (note the continued support of Ledeen and Frum). When he was either unable or unwilling to sell his country out to the Israelis, the neocons decided to replace him. If you don't yet have him in your dead pool, you're missing out on a sure thing.

posted at 11:38 PM permanent link
Remember when Thomas Friedman wasn't regarded as a laughing stock? No, I can't either, but I understand that at one time, many eons ago, he was regarded as an expert on something or other. Now he is just someone to mock. This is funny.
posted at 10:52 PM permanent link
People are still wringing their hands over the failure of the world to act to stop the slaughter in Rwanda. Given what is going on today and now in the Gaza Strip, with yet another unprovoked Israeli attack on civilians (not to mention the massive American-financed war crime of the collective punishment involved in the destruction of thousands of homes - and yet Americans still ask 'why do they hate us?'), together with the use of snipers to prevent ambulances from reaching the wounded, why isn't the world directly intervening today and now to remove the government that is ordering these monstrous crimes against humanity? The only difference I can see between what happened in Rwanda and what is happening today and now in Gaza is that the poor people of Rwanda had to do their killing with machetes, while Israel does its killing with the finest American supplied and paid for military technology. These outrages are no surprise: Israel has been signaling its clear intentions for days. The Israelis actually had to wait for their judiciary to rubber-stamp the invasion (the other modern country that had its war crimes pre-approved by its judiciary: Nazi Germany). If the world was sincere in apologizing about Rwanda, why is there no real action taken today and now to save the people of the Gaza Strip?
posted at 12:10 AM permanent link
Sunday, May 23, 2004
The spin now is that Chalabi was actually working all along for the Iranians, and may have even been the method by which the poor neocons were tricked by the nefarious Iranians into attacking Iraq. The disgusting American media, which can shift gears faster than Michael Schumacher, appears to have swallowed this story hook, line and sinker, and the neocons have achieved another convincing victory:
Stuck with a lemon in Chalabi, who appears to have gone back on his promises to the neocons to turn Iraq over to Israeli interests, the neocons have decided to make lemonade by throwing him out of power. The Iranian story makes it clear that he's not getting back in, and disproves conspiracy theories that the raid on Chalabi was just a way to make him look better to the Iraqis. The American government can hardly allow an Iranian 'Axis of Evil' agent to run Iraq. Whoever replaces him will no doubt show the proper attitude to Israel, including having the oil flow to Haifa.
The neocons provide themselves with an excuse for their failed attack on Iraq, as they can now blame the whole attack on Iraq on misinformation supplied to them by the Iranians through their secret agent Chalabi (I wonder if it will suddenly turn out that the Niger uranium documents were Iranian forgeries). The neocons can argue that the Office of Special Plans was as deceived as everybody else, and the whole attack wasn't a neocon trick on the American people, but an Iranian trick on the American people.
Chalabi can now take the blame for the stupid program of de-Ba'athification, thus letting the neocons, and in particular Bremer of Baghdad, off the hook.
The Iranian story sets up Iran as the target for the next American attack, as the evil Iranians must be punished for tricking the Americans into the disastrous attack on Iraq.
The neocons can now claim that they have lost all power in Washington to the interests of the State Department, who can finally get rid of the neocon hero Chalabi (we're even supposed to believe that Bremer of Baghdad would order an attack on Chalabi behind the backs of Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Feith!!!). The neocons can thus pretend that it is the State Department that is in charge of the debacle in Iraq, and lay low until Bush gets reelected.
In order to believe all this you have to believe that the Iranians would want the Americans to attack Iraq. While they hated Saddam, he was absolutely no danger to them. On the other hand, having Iraq under military occupation by an American government whose stated goal is regime change in all the 'Axis of Evil' countries, including Iran, would be the last thing the Iranians would want. The attack on Iraq was the training wheels for a series of wars against those countries targeted by the neocons, and it was not in Iranian interests for this series of attacks to start. American bases in Iraq would be the perfect staging ground for an attack on Iran. It is preposterous to think the Iranians would use Chalabi to trick the neocons into attacking Iran. If Chalabi had Iranian contacts, and I have no doubt he did, he would have had the full blessing of the American government. Neocon ties to dodgy Iranians are not unprecedented: think of Ledeen and Manucher Ghorbanifar (Ledeen still purports to support Chalabi). When you hear that Chalabi's downfall is a great loss for the neocons, remember that it was Wolfowitz who ordered that his American stipend be cut off. The stories about Chalabi have even reached the crescendo that he was planning some kind of coup to destroy the new Iraqi government (with the American military in complete control of the country?!), and thus had to be removed. How many tall tales can Americans believe? The destruction of Ahmad Chalabi is another stunning victory for the neocons.
posted at 3:37 AM permanent link
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Conspiracy odds and ends on Iraq:
Why are the neocons not speaking and acting consistenly with respect to Chalabi? Consistency of message, a value drummed into them by Cheney, is their main strength.
From an outstandingly well thought out analysis of the Berg decapitation video:
"By the time the CIA psyops boys, dressed as terrorists, cut off Berg's head he was already long dead. As noted by various qualified observers there was no spray of blood. I further doubt whether even the hardest of the CIA hard boys would come at hacking off someone's head while they were alive.

They had no alternative but to do the deed with Berg dressed in the orange jumpsuit because, to dramatise the horror of the supposed event, they had to have footage that unequivocally showed him to be alive before his throat was cut. In the only such material available to them, Berg was dressed in the jumpsuit."
A picture of a tattoo in Abu Ghraib prison.
General Anthony Zinni thinks the attack on Iraq was intended by the neocons in the White House to strengthen the position of Israel. He says:
"I think it's the worst kept secret in Washington. That everybody - everybody I talk to in Washington has known and fully knows what their agenda was and what they were trying to do. And one article, because I mentioned the neo-conservatives who describe themselves as neo-conservatives, I was called anti-Semitic. I mean, you know, unbelievable that that's the kind of personal attacks that are run when you criticize a strategy and those who propose it. I certainly didn't criticize who they were. I certainly don't know what their ethnic religious backgrounds are. And I'm not interested."
We have to keep banging on one important point: it is not relevant that these traitors are Jewish, it is only relevant that they are Zionists. Some Zionists are religious Jewish Zionists, some are secular Israeli nationalists, some are Christian Zionists, and some are old-fashioned American conservatives using rabid Israeli nationalism to further American corporate interests in the Middle East. The charge of anti-Semiticism leveled at those who dare speak the obvious truth about the attack on Iraq is meant to change the subject and confuse the issue. People like General Zinni and Senator Fritz Hollings should be congratulated for their courage in facing the invective spread by the Zionists.
posted at 12:27 AM permanent link
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
The thesis that the Nicholas Berg execution video is a composite made up of two parts - one part being a routine interrogation when Berg had previously been in American custody, and the other part being a faked beheading of the already dead Berg - explains two of the biggest mysteries about the death:
Why did the Pentagon lie in saying that Berg was never in American custody?; and
Why did the video contain odd incongruous statements by Berg identifying his father and mother?
Why wouldn't the Pentagon have simply confirmed what Berg's family already had official notice of? It could have stated that Berg had been in American custody, but was released before he fell into the hands of the bad guys. Why lie about it? The Pentagon lied because it did not want anyone to know about the prior interrogation by American officials and the fact that it was videotaped. Many people must know about standard procedure, which probably consists in the taking of such a videotaped statement, with the prisoner wearing a standard-issue orange jumpsuit, sitting on a standard-issue prison plastic chair (someone should ask Andreas Shafer about his experiences). Anyone who knew that Berg had been in American custody would be able to put two and two together. In other words, the Pentagon lied, not because it was concerned about the fact that Berg had been in American custody, but because it didn't want someone who knew that there would have been a videotaped interrogation to reconsider the nature of the obviously heavily edited decapitation video (the video was edited with extremely sophisticated techniques to make it look completely amateur, with degradation of image quality used to hide the editing). The odd statements by Berg identifying his father and mother are even more interesting. Why would Berg even think to raise the names of his father and mother to a bunch of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists in Iraq? What would they care about the names of his father and mother? However, there are people who would care. Nick Berg's father's name was on a enemies list published by the Free Republic. Military interrogators are apt to be aware of that site, and it is not inconceivable that Berg was picked up due to the fact that his father's name was on that site. It would have been normal for an interrogator who knew about Berg's family background to begin by confirming the names of Berg's suspicious parents. That particular snippet then made it into the final composite video, possibly as part of a message to those who might question the wisdom of King Bush. Berg may not have been intentionally killed, but his dead body, together with a pre-existing interrogation videotape, made an excellent video distraction from the stories of torture and murder, and has even been used to argue that continued discussion of the torture issue is unpatriotic as it puts the lives of Americans in Iraq at risk. The American knuckledraggers see the video as confirmation that the 'sand niggers' are subhuman, thus confirming the righteousness of murdering them in large quantities. It has been an extremely useful piece of propaganda, and is almost certainly a fabrication of the Pentagon or the CIA.
posted at 1:39 AM permanent link
Thursday, May 27, 2004
Bob Dreyfuss summarizes new allegations that high officials in the Bush Administration (the names mentioned are Feith, Luti, Rhode and Rubin) passed highly classified electronic communications intercepts to Ahmad Chalabi in order to help him gain power in Iraq, and this intelligence ended up in the hands of the Iranians. If this is true - and I have to say that the whole Chalabi-Iran story is very fishy, and I particularly wonder how anyone can be sure where the Iranians obtained the intelligence (unless, of course, the CIA deliberately planted some sort of identifying tags in it to entrap the neocons!) - it would dwarf the affair of the outing of Valerie Plame and might actually lead to somebody going to jail.
posted at 1:06 AM permanent link
Sunday, May 30, 2004
Nicholas Berg sure got around. Now it turns out he was filmed as part of an interview for Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, but this footage didn't appear in the final movie (he was - forgive me - left on the cutting room floor). How was it that this supposedly unknown freelance radio-tower technician/adventurer found himself being interviewed for a possible part in an important film by the most famous documentary maker in the world? Or, as William Brunch asks:
"So, how would a completely unknown young wannabe contractor like Berg come to the attention of Moore, whose anti-President Bush screed 'Dude, Where's My Country?' was the best-selling book in the nation at the time?"
Apparently Moore's people attended a conference on business possibilities in occupied Iraq looking for interviews with those prepared to take advantage of the situation (the two slightly different Associated Press stories are: 1) here or here or here, and 2) here or here). These are the kind of people that Moore likes to feature in his films as they are apt to say telling things about the real state of the world. This was the same conference where Berg met Aziz al-Taee, his eventual business partner in Iraq. Two possibilities come to mind:
Berg was working for somebody who wanted him to watch a certain kind of person, which would include both Aziz al-Taee and Michael Moore (and Moussaoui's friend). It was widely known that Moore was working on an anti-Bush film, and not surprising that somebody would want to keep an eye on what Moore was doing. Berg's real job may have been to introduce himself to people like Moore to spy on them.
Berg managed to have himself hired as a freelance investigator for Moore, saw something he shouldn't have at Abu Ghraib prison, and was detained and eventually killed because of what he saw.
Berg seemed to live quite a life of adventure with very marginal means of support. You have to wonder whether he had a secret sponsor. His propensity for 'running into' certain people is beginning to look like a pattern.
posted at 1:54 AM permanent link
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
Here is a good rant on what Israel has been doing to the Palestinians, particularly in Rafah. It's hard to fathom the suffering of people forced to live their whole lives in refugee camps due to the illegal actions of the Israelis, and then murdered and dispossessed of what little they have left all for the fault of living on ancestral lands that the Israelis want to steal (even an Israeli politician could see how similar Israeli actions are to Nazi actions in the Holocaust). The Israelis now have their ethnic cleansing down to a science. They make a big fuss about each violent incursion, making sure to utter the magic words that the incursion is necessary for Israeli 'security', move in quickly, do as much damage and killing as possible within the window of world outrage, and then partly withdraw. This allows them to continue to threaten the survivors with more cruelty, while allowing the world to pretend that the danger is over. The world goes back to sleep, and Israel waits a few weeks before repeating the process somewhere else. The most recent attack, replete with 'warning shots' murderously fired with tank shells into a group of children, was nominally supposed to be a hunt for tunnels through which arms are supposedly smuggled, but they found at most a very small number of such tunnels. As usual, bogus worries about security are the official Israeli cover for ethnic cleansing. Until the world does something about these outrages in the periods between the attacks, the Israelis will continue their slow-motion ethnic cleansing until the Palestinians are annihilated. As the world dithers, the Zionist crazies are emboldened, and each wave of Israeli crimes against humanity becomes more brutal.
posted at 1:38 AM permanent link
Thursday, June 03, 2004
From a column by Bill Kaufmann in the Calgary Sun:
"We hear constantly about an unfair 'double standard' imposed on Israel but if any existed, it's amounted to nothing but hollow verbiage.

The double standard that counts is the one enjoyed by Israel, courtesy of the U.S. which would normally slap economic sanctions or threaten war on countries illegally occupying and crushing their neighbours.

Instead, America's favourite ethnic cleanser, Ariel Sharon, is cut another fat cheque and offered more bulldozer blades.

If American Rachel Corrie had been squashed to a pulp by one of the 'axis of evil' it would have been grounds to launch another disastrous war.

Cindy Corrie says she hopes the killing of her daughter 'brings some change and balance' to U.S. Mideast policy.

But double standards die hard."
This is an absolutely amazing thing to be printed in a North American newspaper. All North American media outlets, under obvious pressures, maintain a constant lying stance on Israel. You have to be brave to even mention the obvious truth (by the way, Israel's back at it in Rafah). Watch for the vicious attacks on this courageous columnist to start flying.
posted at 12:38 PM permanent link
I think that Tom Toles and Ted Rall (and Aaron McGruder) are the best political cartoonists in the United States. Indeed, they may be the only political cartoonists in the United States. This is spectacular.
posted at 2:14 AM permanent link
The latest report on Chalabi is that he told an Iranian official that the United States had broken the secret communications code of Iran's intelligence service, thus destroying for the Americans their secret window into Iran. Read these paragraphs from the New York Times story:
"American officials said that about six weeks ago, Mr. Chalabi told the Baghdad station chief of Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security that the United States was reading the communications traffic of the Iranian spy service, one of the most sophisticated in the Middle East.

According to American officials, the Iranian official in Baghdad, possibly not believing Mr. Chalabi's account, sent a cable to Tehran detailing his conversation with Mr. Chalabi, using the broken code. That encrypted cable, intercepted and read by the United States, tipped off American officials to the fact that Mr. Chalabi had betrayed the code-breaking operation, the American officials said."
We're supposed to believe that Chalabi told the station chief of a very important office of "one of the most sophisticated" intelligence agencies in the Middle East that his code had been compromised, and the station chief reported the conversation to head office using the same code? Ha ha ha! Do the 'American officials' and the New York Times think that we are morons? While this story is an improvement over the absurd one that the Iranians used Chalabi to trick the poor neo-cons into the attack on Iraq - as if the Iranians thought it would be a good idea to install the American army in bases next door to Iran with the American government expressly calling for 'regime change' in Iran, i. e., death and/or American-style torture for the current Iranian leaders - it is still obvious nonsense. For some non-bullshit interesting insights on the issue, scroll down on the essential Cryptome.
posted at 12:59 AM permanent link
Friday, June 04, 2004
Nonsense and Chalabi:
Juan Cole on the nonsense that the Iranians tricked the neocons into attacking Iraq:
"Chalabi and the other Iraqi expatriates certainly gamed the Bush administration. But it is not credible to me that Iranian intelligence actively sought a US invasion of Iraq.

In 2002, the US occupied Afghanistan, to Iran's east. The hardliners in Iran did not like this development. They certainly would not have wanted US troops in Iraq to their West, as well. That they would manufacture fairy tales about Iraqi weapons to lure the US to Baghdad is inconceivable. And the hardliners are in charge of Iranian intelligence.

The hardline clerics objected strenuously in summer, 2002, when the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, then based in Tehran, openly admitted to having conducted negotiations with US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's office about an alliance against Saddam. Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim received great heat for this alliance. Then when Abdul Majid Khoei went to Iran in winter, 2002-2003, he spoke to conservative clerics about the need to ally pragmatically with the US against Saddam, and it caused an uproar. His talk was at one point actually cut off by the tumult and he had to leave the hall.

That the Iranians reluctantly accepted that the US was determined to go to war against Iraq is obvious. But that they connived at it is ridiculous."
Richard Perle (!!) on the nonsense that U. S. intelligence found out that Chalabi had informed the Iranians about the fact that the Americans had broken the Iranian encrypted communications when the Iranian agent Chalabi informed reported the information back to Iran using the same codes:
"The idea that the Iranians, having been informed that their codes were broken, would then use their broken codes back to Iran is absurd. It is so basic of a mistake. . . . It is comparable to a math teacher instructing a student that two and two is five."
I hate to flog a dead horse, but neither of these allegations against Chalabi makes even the slightest amount of sense. Chalabi may be as guilty as sin in dealing with the Iranians, but these charges are so ridiculous that they throw into question the whole attack on him. We know for certain that Chalabi and the neocons, together with parts of the American media, especially the New York Times, conspired to create a systematic campaign of lies to fool the American people into a disastrous attack on a sovereign country that posed no threat to the United States. That should be enough to hang Chalabi, the neocons, and their 'journalist' enablers. Leave Iran out of it.
posted at 1:31 PM permanent link
Sunday, June 06, 2004
Another way in which the late Bush White House is like the late Nixon White House is the fact that both ended in Total Information Unawareness. No one knew what was going on in the late days of Nixon until he actually resigned. Rumors reigned supreme. Bush is in no danger of resignation, but it has become as difficult to find out what is happening in Washington-Baghdad (Washing-Bag) as it is to figure out the North Korean government. Did Tenet jump or was he pushed? If he was pushed, who pushed him? What's up with Chalabi, anyway? Is he being framed by the CIA? Does this have something to do with Tenet's resignation? Who ordered the jackbooted thugs into Chalabi's office? Was it actually Bremer of Baghdad? If so, was he acting for the CIA, the State Department, or the paleoconservatives who have taken the White House back? Have they really taken the White House back, or does it suit some people to have that rumor circulating? In fact, is there any real difference between Kissinger-inspired paleocons and the neocons, or is the distinction just more disinformation? Are the high oil prices a conspiracy between Bush's energy friends and the House of Saud, a conspiracy that now has to be reined in for a few months? Is the Saudi government behind recent attacks in Saudi Arabia, intended to keep the price of oil high? Are the paleo-conservatives back, if indeed they are back, to force the price of oil down until Bush's reelection, at which point it can go back up again? Is there a ceasefire in the south of Iraq? If so, which side is breaching it? Is the ceasefire the work of the CIA and/or the State Department, with the breaches the work of Pentagon neocons trying to start WW III? Is the appointment of the specific Iraqi stooge politicians that Bremer forced on the Iraqis a victory for the CIA? Are the neocons on the run in Iraq, or are they just biding their time until after the November election? My guess is that they are just taking a refreshing break, with the start of WW III inconvenient now due to the fact that it would greatly raise gas prices; after the reelection, watch for a big neocon comeback, with new wars against Iran and Syria. Are the neocons suddenly in insurmountable legal problems in Washington? My guess is that Bush is so religiously addled, and completely dominated by the Christian Zionists, that he is like a brainwashed cult victim - Patty Hearst as President! - and would never turn on his neocon Zionist friends, and as long as Bush is onside the completely Republican-dominated American government will continue to shield the neocons no matter what they do, just as they have until now. After all, if Douglas Feith isn't in the Graybar Hotel making license plates already for what we know he's done, it is difficult to see what would get him in trouble. Don't underestimate the neocons. They are at their sneakiest when you think they are on the run. The complete Washing-Bag confusion suits them very well.
posted at 3:22 AM permanent link
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
From an interesting web site speculating on the identity of the assassins of Robert Kennedy, particularly the identity of the infamous 'girl in the polka dot dress':
"This website argues that Sirhan's handler was Kathy Ainsworth, a 26yo KKK terrorist from Jackson, Mississippi. If she was, her involvement points to her boyfriend, 21yo Thomas A. Tarrants III, as the Caucasian man seen firing three shots into Robert Kennedy by Don Schulman. The other persons involved in the assassination were a hypnotized Sirhan Sirhan, Sirhan double Michael Wayne, Gabor Kadar, Thane Eugene Cesare, as well as a possible traitor within the Kennedy camp, Frank Mankiewicz. The assassination was a joint FBI/ADL operation. The two organizations co-operated again a few weeks later when they arranged for the execution of two of the principals involved in the successful operation to purge America of its last great progressive politician. The country has been on a downward slide to militarism and irrationality ever since."
The LAPD did everything it possibly could to bury the story of the girl in the polka dot dress, up to and including intimidating the most important witness during a fake polygraph exam. The LAPD's actions in supressing the existence of an important suspect/witness, identified in one of the earliest reports of the arrest of Sirhan Sirhan, proves both the importance of the girl and the fact that her existence was officially embarrassing. According to the web site, Tarrants is still alive.
posted at 3:31 AM permanent link
Daniel Hopsicker has a good list of facts he has discovered about Mohamed Atta. Given Muslim attitudes towards pork, and given that Atta is supposed to have been so committed to his religion that he was prepared to die for it, it is impossible to understand his love of pork chops. Even more striking is his psychopathic capacity for cruelty. Psychopaths don't kill themselves, especially for a cause. They are too interested in themselves for sacrifice. In this I have to differ from Hopsicker. Atta may have been perfect for the job of preparing the attack, but he was not perfect for the job of being a suicide victim. I very much doubt he was on that plane. The picture that Hopsicker paints of the Florida Atta is impossible to reconcile with descriptions of the quiet and pious architecture student in Hamburg. Think of the Beastie Boys and this quote from his friend in Germany, Volker Hauth:
"We spoke about music cause I'm interested in music and I like playing music and he told me for Muslims it is not allowed to listen to music or to enjoy music in the way people from the western world enjoy music because of the impact of music. If you have a look to the young people dancing, very loud music, the impact is comparable to the impact of drugs and this is not allowed to Muslims."
posted at 2:40 AM permanent link
There has been a lot written about the peculiar, um, coincidence, that the brother of John Hinckley, the man accused of and incarcerated for the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, was scheduled to have had dinner with Neil Bush on the day of the assassination attempt, a dinner that was wisely cancelled, and that the Bush and Hinckley families were close. I was not aware that there was a parallel Hinckley named Edward M. Richardson, who, no doubt by coincidence, shared some particular characteristics with John Hinckley:
"Both had apparently been captivated by the 18-year-old Miss Foster, the star of such films as 'Taxi Driver' and 'Carny.' Both stayed briefly at the Park Plaza Hotel in New Haven and sent letters to Miss Foster. Both had recently lived in Lakewood, Colo., just outside Denver. Both had been unable to find work and appeared to be drifting around the country with little purpose in the weeks before they allegedly took action against the President.

But Federal authorities reiterated yesterday that they had found no evidence that the two men had ever met."
The Underreported site (an excellent site, by the way) points out that it is unclear whether Richardson's interest in Foster was influenced by his knowledge of Hinckley gained from the press reports after the assassination attempt, but it appears likely that Richardson had mailed a letter to Jimmy Swaggart five days before the attempt predicting the assassination of Reagan (authorities didn't know who had sent the Swaggart letter but it contained almost identical language to a letter found in a room that Richardson had occupied, a room in a hotel in New Haven where Hinckley had also stayed, and was mailed from Grand Junction, Colorado, a city not that far from the suburb of Denver, Lakewood, where both Richardson and Hinckley had recently lived). I guess with Hinckleys, it's always wise to have one in reserve, as you never know how many you'll need.
posted at 12:02 AM permanent link
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
I had hoped that someone would bring a lawsuit in an American court against the American contractors allegedly involved in the torture in Iraq. The Center for Constitutional Rights and the Philadelphia law firm of Montgomery, McCracken, Walker and Rhoads have now brought such a suit (or here) against the Titan Corporation, CACI International and its subsidiaries, and three individuals who work for these companies (including the now infamous Stephen Stephanowicz and John Israel). Both CACI and Titan are publicly traded corporations. Titan is in the middle of a merger with Lockheed Martin. I wonder what Lockheed Martin thinks about taking on this kind of potential liability, not to mention a very smelly reputation (although, to be frank, it is difficult to imagine anything that would make Lockheed Martin look any worse than it already does). Both Titan and CACI had already started to try to wiggle out of taking any responsibility. The shareholders of both Titan and CACI might want to ask the officers and directors of these corporations just what the hell they thought they were doing when they decided it would be a good idea to do the work that was too dirty for the CIA. On the other hand, maybe they will consider it as excellent advertising for a future Titan-CACI torture joint venture. Given the current state of the United States, torture, both foreign and domestic, will be an excellent and rapidly growing business. They can print their share certificates in blood.
posted at 11:03 PM permanent link
Friday, June 11, 2004
A former American marine, Ken O'Keefe (for some of what he has been doing, see here and here and here), is organizing a private peacekeeping force to move to the Occupied Territories in September to effect a ceasefire from militant Palestinians and to end the illegal Israeli occupation. This international force, which I gather would be largely composed of Americans, would be the new Abraham Lincoln Brigade (a group which was the first racially integrated military unit in American history and the first to be led by a black commander, not to mention a group harassed for years in the United States for alleged communist sympathies), this time of peacekeeping human shields, and would do more than any other possible action to restore the reputation of the United States so ruined by Bush. It is exactly the kind of action that would work, which is why neither the Israeli nor the American governments will allow it to happen (O'Keefe and colleague Ian Hodgson have already been arrested in Gaza).
posted at 11:21 PM permanent link
There is an outstanding article in the New Yorker - the only mainstream American magazine besides Harpers that isn't a waste of the dead trees it is printed on - by Jeffrey Goldberg entitled 'Among the Settlers' (if you read Goldberg, you should also read 'The Unsettlers' by Samantha M. Shapiro). Goldberg discusses the problems posed by the most evil group of people in the world, the Zionist Israeli settlers. Although the article is marred by bending over backwards to be 'fair and balanced', Goldberg manages to damn the settlers simply by quoting their own words. It is not a joke that they were led by a man named Rabbi Kook, and it is not a joke that a very small number of truly evil men can lead others into a moral monstrosity. Religious insanity is the kookiest and most dangerous form of insanity in the world. Goldberg also blames the morally ambiguous attitude of other Israelis towards the settlements for the current problems. The predictable attacks against the author and the article are nothing more than quibbles. The Israeli-Palestinian problem, which is usually depicted as insoluble, is the easiest problem in the world to fix. Clean out the insane settlers from the lands they've stolen (and along with them those who have moved to the Occupied Territories not for insane religious reasons but just for subsidized housing), grant the Palestinians a state over the whole of the Occupied Territories, and install some UN peacekeepers in the new Palestinian state to ensure Israeli security. Problem fixed, and along with it much of the impetus for worldwide terrorist attacks against the rest of the world. The problem of the unstated desire to create Greater Israel continues to blind Israelis to the simplicity of the solution. Can't they see how completely evil and insane the settlers are, and how that evil and insanity is the true cause of all their problems? To put it another way, if you have Charlie Manson living in your basement and the dead bodies of all your neighbors start piling up in your living room, you shouldn't start blaming the neighbors.
posted at 1:13 AM permanent link
Saturday, June 12, 2004
A legally astute joke from Jay Leno (found here):
"According to the 'New York Times', last year white house lawyers concluded that President Bush could legally order interrogators to torture and even kill people in the interest of national security - so if that's legal, what the hell are we charging Saddam Hussein with?"
By the way, shouldn't the lawyers who signed the torture opinions, knowing they were wrong in international and domestic law, and knowing they were to be used to justify breaches of international and domestic law, be:
disbarred; and
charged under those same international and domestic laws for conspiring to facilitate the use of torture by American troops?
posted at 1:19 AM permanent link
Three of the suspects in the Madrid bombings were informants for a police inspector in northern Spain. They made calls to the policeman and to the alleged ringleader of the bombing plot from the same pay phone outside the police station. The ringleader allegedly blew himself up when his apartment was surrounded by police (a very convenient death for the police). Joan Puig, a spokesman for the Catalan party ERC said the allegations of a terrorist connection to the police were 'surreal'. They are not at all surreal if you believe, as I do, that the bombings were not traditional terrorism, but were part of a strategy of tension orchestrated by the Spanish far right to influence the Spanish election results (thwarted by the refusal of the Spanish media to play along and by Aznar's bungling attempts to use the bombings for his political benefit). The Spanish police would have been heavily involved in this, and one would expect close connections between the police and the alleged terrorists.
posted at 12:56 AM permanent link
Sunday, June 13, 2004
American editorial cartoonists are on a bit of a roll (as well they should be, with all the material they have been handed). This brilliant one (or here or here) by Lalo Alcaraz, of Bush at the Reagan funeral, of course refers to this famous photograph of John F. Kennedy, Jr. saluting at his assassinated father's funeral. The extra joke is that the same Republican-connected High Cabal behind such deeds as that assassination, the October Surprise that slid Reagan into power (not to mention the upcoming October Surprise), and 9-11, were also possibly behind the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Jr. himself.
posted at 12:35 AM permanent link
Monday, June 14, 2004
You'll remember that the Bush Administration has been vehemently arguing that Guantanamo Bay isn't part of the United States, and thus prisoners there are not subject to the protections of American laws, including Constitutional rights protections. Now that the torture investigations are starting to point to Guanatanamo Bay, this may turn out to be a case of being hoist by their own petard. The statute that worries them that makes torture a criminal offence only applies to torture committed 'outside the United States'. Therefore, the Pentagon is apparently now arguing that Guantanamo Bay is "included within the definition of the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the US and accordingly is within the US." Therefore Guantanamo Bay is simultaneously:
for the purposes of American Constitutional law, located outside the United States;
for the purposes of international human rights and war crimes laws, not located in the world outside the United States; and
for the purposes of one American statute, located within the United States!
posted at 4:06 AM permanent link
Donald Rumsfeld's legal counsel instructed military intelligence officers to 'take the gloves off' in interrogating John Walker Lindh. Lindh in fact received one of the earliest forms of the Abu Ghraib torture treatment that every person in the whole world now thinks of when they think of the United States. He was interrogated for hours while stripped naked and tied to a stretcher, refused treatment and medication for his painful injuries acquired prior to his capture, threatened with death, videotaped in his naked state with smiling American soldiers, and often held for long periods in a large metal container. If the United States was still subject to the rule of law, both Rumsfeld and his legal counsel would be spending the rest of their sorry lives in jail. Lindh is now imprisoned pursuant to the terms of a plea agreement which he entered into, no doubt fearing what would happen in a trial in crazed, jingoist Amerika (remember how hated he was?). A provision of the plea agreement was that he wouldn't bring up the conditions of his interrogation. In the light of what we now know was a conspiracy by the Bush Administration and its various legal counsel - lawyers so anxious to please they were willing to sign any opinion that Ashcroft and Rumsfeld put in front of them (to the extent they apparently thought that following illegal orders was actually a good legal defense to war crimes charges, and that George W. Bush was King of the United States and subject to no laws, either international or domestic!!) - to create an system of torture illegal under both American and international law and justify it by papering their files with lying legal opinions, isn't it time to let John Walker Lindh go? This conspiracy was building just when Lindh was being interrogated. In fact, had his case gone to trial, the abuses of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere might have been stopped before they got started. Lindh's plea agreement is actually part of the conspiracy which allowed the abuses to continue under cover of secrecy. The fact that the plea agreement itself contains a prohibition against Lindh raising the interrogation conditions is evidence of knowledge of guilt in the American government. The United States relied on illegally obtained confessions essentially tortured out of Lindh contrary to both international and domestic American law, including the Geneva Conventions. The confessions were obtained pursuant to a conspiracy which has led directly to the sorry state the United States now finds itself in with respect to torture all around the world. A court should reconsider the plea agreement. Condoning such an agreement is:
condoning torture and the breach of the Geneva Conventions,
sanctioning the Bush Administration's conspiracy to breach laws by suborning overly-pliant lawyers into delivering worthless legal opinions, and
enforcing a document which itself was part of an illegal conspiracy which led directly to the abuses at Abu Ghraib by covering up the Bush Administration illegalities at an early stage.
Since the evidence against Lindh is all tainted by the torture and the conspiracy to breach American and international laws, and the plea agreement was obtained on pressure put on Lindh on the basis of the tainted confessions, Lindh would have to be released. Failure to throw out the plea agreement and release John Walker Lindh would put the court in the untenable state of being part of the conspiracy to breach international and domestic laws, and would put the administration of justice in America into disrepute.
posted at 3:31 AM permanent link
From an article by Nigel Parry damning the U. S. media, and in particular CNN, for its wildly unbalanced coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:
"Palestinians and Israelis continue to die because citizens of the US — the country that intervenes more than any other to perpetuate the status quo on the ground — are offered a grossly distorted account of events on the ground that gives them no real sense of the imbalance of power between the two sides in the conflict, no idea of the extent of the US role in the conflict, and little impetus to call for a more even-handed US foreign policy in the Middle East.

It is hard to quantify in absolute terms, but most regular readers of the extremely detailed Palestinian Center for Human Rights' Weekly Reports on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories would be willing to make a safe guess that somewhere in the region of 98% of the violence perpetrated against all civilians in the conflict is violence perpetrated by Israel against Palestinian civilians, their property, and their land.

Consumers of the US media can be forgiven for concluding that the majority of violence is perpetuated by Palestinians against Israeli civilians, as this violence receives grossly disproportionate coverage.
In the same way that Serbian state television was considered complicit in Serbian war crimes by communicating a distorted view to its people of the decade-ago conflict in the former Yugoslavia, it is time that people begin to consider the culpability of the US media."
What I've always wondered is why absolutely massive amounts of Israeli state terrorism applied by an army heavily armed with the most modern in lethal military technology (paid for by the American taxpayers) against an essentially unarmed and destitute Palestinian civilian population is considered to be unworthy of even the slightest notice or comment, but the smallest possible retaliation by a suicide bomber - the most unsophisticated and least efficient form of response imaginable and used only because of the utter lack of an army or proper weapons to effect a military response - who manages to kill himself and possibly a relatively small number of people, is the front-page headline in all the American papers and the first item in all the American news broadcasts. It can't just be official American government support for Israel or Christian Zionist religiously inspired hatred (although both factors are certainly a large part of it). It can't be because civilians are the target of the suicide bombers, as civilians are also the predominant target of the Israeli state terrorism, and the Palestinians suffer in far, far greater numbers. The imbalance in the actual terror applied to civilians is so extreme, and the news coverage so absurdly biased the other way, that there must be another explanation. I think that people instinctively side with the alpha dog, the side which currently holds the most power, and at this time that dog is Israel (with conservatives more likely to support the overdog, and progressives the underdog). It's the same reaction which causes winning sports teams to have more fans. The reason people don't support the Palestinians is simply because nobody wants to side with the inevitable loser. This belief system is so ingrained that we don't even see state terrorism as being real terrorism. Since a winning state wouldn't terrorize civilians, the losing Palestinians must have some other, no doubt evil, basis for their attacks on innocent civilians. Of course, Americans also have moral feelings which would cause them to feel sympathy for the oppressed, and to be outraged at the massive amount of suffering paid for with American dollars and encouraged by the American government, but the one-sided news coverage of all American news outlets, including CNN, means they just see plucky Israel defending itself against terrorism, fighting a fair fight and winning despite all the odds. The fact that it is Israel that commits the predominant number of terrorist acts, and that the suicide bombers are a response to this state terrorism (and you can connect almost every suicide bombing to some specific prior Israeli attack against Palestinians), is simply never mentioned in the American news coverage. This news coverage is a lie, and people ought to be held to account for it.
posted at 2:22 AM permanent link
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
It has become very fashionable to believe that the neocons are on the run, and their hold over American politics has finally come to an end. Nothing could be further from the truth. Although Iraq isn't going well, and the torture issue is proving to be a bit of an embarrassment for certain Washington elites, the power of the neocons continues pretty much unabated. They are keeping a low profile until it is clear that oil prices will stay low enough for Bush to be reelected, but their ultimate plans for the Middle East and the world remain in place, and are quietly advancing. Americans who think that some fairy godmother - either the CIA, 'patriotic' U. S. generals, or the U. S. Congress - is going to rescue them are dreaming in technicolor. All kinds of terrible legal things are supposed to be in the works for Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, and all the infamous neocons from Wolfowitz on down. Just who exactly will be bringing all these people to justice?
the Republican-controlled Justice Department?;
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives?;
the Republican-controlled Senate?;
the Republican-controlled court system?;
the Republican-controlled (and completely corrupted) Supreme Court?;
the Republican-controlled Executive Branch?;
the Republican-contolled media?; or maybe
the Christian Zionist cult hostage President?
This isn't your father's Republican Party, the one that might have had enough integrity and respect for the Constitution to can Nixon. These guys are loyal to only one thing: their continued hold on power. The only thing that will save the United States from the neocons and the further wars and domestic terrors that will be imposed by them is the ballot box in November. But what's going to happen there?:
Bush's core group of knuckle-dragging knucklehead Christian Zionist crazies remains completely intact (these people actually like the fact that the United States is torturing people, especially if it involves the breach of international law);
the Democrats have a very weak candidate;
another 'terrorist' attack would turn Bush into a hero overnight, and make Americans rally around the President for protection;
Rove no doubt has an 'October Surprise' up his sleeve (the capture of OBL?);
the crooked electronic voting machines are facing a bit of a battle, but in a very close election enough of them will be in place in November for the executives at Diebold and other companies to switch enough votes to make the difference;
incredibly, brother Jeb is still (!!!) jobbing the voting lists in Florida to systematically disenfranchise black people (is it still 1955 in Florida?), and using crooked voting machines; and
when all else fails, Bush always has the crooked Supreme Court in his pocket.
The United States is in extreme danger, perhaps the greatest danger it has ever faced, and not only is it unrealistic to count the neocons out, it is also very dangerous. Here, from Bob Dreyfuss, are their plans for Saudi Arabia (my emphasis):
"Before the war in Iraq, a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, James Akins, told me that by invading Iraq the Bush administration would accelerate the spread of Al Qaeda-style movements in Saudi Arabia, and it's happening. The country is said to be in a state of incipient civil war, and the royal family is apparently unable to stem the spread of the bin Ladenite poison. Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States has called on the kingdom to conduct an all-out war against the terrorists, but it could be too little, too late. Make no mistake, however: if Saudi Arabia falls to radicals, U.S. forces will occupy that country's oil fields faster than you can say 'imperialism.' And if that happens, it will be Phase 2 of the neocons' expanded plans for the Middle East: first topple Saddam and 'flatten Iraq,' as another former ambassador to Saudi Arabia described the essence of the neocon Iraq strategy, and then move on to Saudi Arabia.

'I've stopped warning that bin Laden might take over Saudi Arabia,' Akins told me last year. 'I think that's exactly what they want.' And then American forces would move in. No U.S. government could tolerate the collapse of Saudi Arabia. Oil experts are already pointing out that sources of oil outside Saudi Arabia and Iraq are rapidly being drained, meaning that those two countries are basically the only two sources of expanded future supply. Period."
Sometime towards the end of the second Bush term I can see the United States engaged in World War III (known to future historians as the Greater Israel War) in the Middle East with Iraq-style occupations (or worse) in Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia (not to mention Cuba, Venezuela, and North Korea). While people fantasize about various bad things that might happen to the neocons, Israel continues to steal land to build more illegal settlements, the Israeli-American apartheid wall continues to go up, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran are under imminent threat of attack (Dreyfuss goes on to point out in the posting I cited above that Iraq's aggressive nuclear posturing is based on the fact it knows it will soon have to defend itself), and the 'strategy of terror' continues against Americans. The neocon plans are advancing nicely, and nothing can stop them.
posted at 12:38 AM permanent link
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Bruce Schneier has an interesting account of the alleged Chalabi scandal in his Crypto-Gram Newsletter. The whole thing starts to sound like a John Le Carré novel:
"So now the NSA's secret is out. The Iranians have undoubtedly changed their encryption machines, and the NSA has lost its source of Iranian secrets. But little else is known. Who told Chalabi? Only a few people would know this important U.S. secret, and the snitch is certainly guilty of treason. Maybe Chalabi never knew, and never told the Iranians. Maybe the Iranians figured it out some other way, and they are pretending that Chalabi told them in order to protect some other intelligence source of theirs."
and:
"If the Iranians knew that the U.S. knew, why didn't they pretend not to know and feed the U.S. false information? Or maybe they've been doing that for years, and the U.S. finally figured out that the Iranians knew. Maybe the U.S. knew that the Iranians knew, and are using the fact to discredit Chalabi.

The really weird twist to this story is that the U.S. has already been accused of doing that to Iran. In 1992, Iran arrested Hans Buehler, a Crypto AG employee, on suspicion that Crypto AG had installed back doors in the encryption machines it sold to Iran - at the request of the NSA. He proclaimed his innocence through repeated interrogations, and was finally released nine months later in 1993 when Crypto AG paid a million dollars for his freedom - then promptly fired him and billed him for the release money. At this point Buehler started asking inconvenient questions about the relationship between Crypto AG and the NSA.

So maybe Chalabi's information is from 1992, and the Iranians changed their encryption machines a decade ago.

Or maybe the NSA never broke the Iranian intelligence code, and this is all one huge bluff.

In this shadowy world of cat-and-mouse, it's hard to be sure of anything."
The whole world of intelligence is such a morass of horseshit folded upon horseshit that it is probably wise that the rest of us ignore the whole thing. Note the rather pointed comments - I may even detect a little sarcasm - in Cryptome (scroll down) on the suspicious way this story came to be reported:
"The [New York] Times claims it was asked by the USG to withhold information about the crack (allegedly revealed to the Iranians by Chalabi) but that DoD lifted the stay due to stories 'beginning to appear in the news.' Pointers appreciated to those news reports appearing before today."
We know from the recent Judith Miller debacle that the New York Times is just a fancy method of disseminating U. S. Government press releases. The reason given for lifting the stay on the story is more horseshit. In fact, the intellectual underpinnings of the whole story appear to be horseshit, with experts on cryptology doubting whether any modern system of encryption can be said to be 'broken'. The Chalabi scandal is somebody's intelligence play, but we'll never know if the target is Chalabi, the neocons, the Iranians, some other American intelligence agency or a faction thereof, or all of the above.
posted at 12:08 AM permanent link
Thursday, June 17, 2004
From "The Logic of Torture" by Mark Danner:
"It has long since become clear that President Bush and his highest officials, as they confronted the world on September 11, 2001, and the days after, made a series of decisions about methods of warfare and interrogation . . . . The effect of those decisions - among them, the decision to imprison indefinitely those seized in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the war on terror, the decision to designate those prisoners as 'unlawful combatants' and to withhold from them the protections of the Geneva Convention, and finally the decision to employ 'high pressure methods' to extract 'actionable intelligence' from them - was officially to transform the United States from a nation that did not torture to one that did. And the decisions were not, at least in their broad outlines, kept secret. They were known to officials of the other branches of the government, and to the public."
The 'rake's progress' that led to torture and murder started with:
American acceptance of the vilification of Muslims and Arabs and Arab-Americans (a vilification which continues),
the unlawful imprisonment of thousands of Arab-Americans simply for falling in the wrong racial category,
the shameful concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay, a place where no civilized law is allowed to govern, and
the ongoing outrage of the concept of 'unlawful combatants'.
It is fair to say that both in general concept and in details, Bush and his Administration are morally and legally responsible for every act of torture and murder committed by Americans in Iraq and elsewhere, and that the torture and murder is based entirely on Bush Administration policy which filtered down through the chain of command completely unaltered. But you can't blame this solely on Bush. Almost every American is complicit in this, and continues to be complicit in it as almost all of these crimes against humanity continue. The United States is a nation of bad apples. Danner concludes:
"Over the next weeks and months, Americans will decide how to confront what their fellow citizens did at Abu Ghraib, and what they go on doing at Bagram and Guantanamo and other secret prisons. By their actions they will decide whether they will begin to close the growing difference between what Americans say they are and what they actually do. Iraqis and others around the world will be watching to see whether all the torture will be stopped and whether those truly responsible for it, military and civilian, will be punished. This is, after all, as our President never tires of saying, a war of ideas. Now, as the photographs of Abu Ghraib make clear, it has also become a struggle over what, if anything, really does represent America."
Needless to say, the end result of all this will be to conclusively prove to the world and to Americans that the United States is, and will be from now on, a nation that tortures.
posted at 4:05 AM permanent link
With Michael Moore's movie coming out, it is going to be even more popular to blame 9-11 on Saudi Arabia, and in particular on its ruling families. While it is certainly true that some prominent Saudis support fundamentalist Islam, it is a long row to hoe to go from that fact to blaming the Saudis for 9-11. The reasoning connecting the Saudis to al Qaeda, such as it is, is described by Bob Dreyfuss as a "a guilt-by-association chain of reasoning", and goes like this:
"the Saudi government has ties to Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi establishment; Wahhabis are benighted Muslim conservatives who have little tolerance for more enlightened Islamic thinkers; some Muslim conservatives support terrorism; some terrorists have ties to Al Qaeda: therefore, the Saudi government supports Al Qaeda."
Dreyfuss goes on to say:
"This is silly reasoning. It echoes the silly argument that Saddam Hussein had ties to Al Qaeda; it echoes the Richard Perle-inspired belief that Saudi Arabia is the brains behind Islamic terrorism; it echoes Michael Ledeen's wrongheaded belief that Saudi Arabia is one of the 'terror masters,' like Iran; and it ignores the fact that Saudi Arabia is not only battling Al Qaeda in a fight to the death, but that Saudi Arabia is perhaps Al Qaeda's No. 1 target and enemy."
We have to remember that the people behind these theories on Saudi Arabia are the same neocons who are angling for an excuse to wage war on the Saudis to steal the oil fields (with the Israeli thefts of Palestinian lands, and the recent American theft of the whole country of Iraq, and the planned theft of the Saudi oil fields, you really have to wonder if all the neocons are just kleptomaniacs). The attacks are part of a propaganda program to have Islamic fundamentalist terrorism render Saudi Arabia ungovernable, so the neocons can march in to 'protect' the oil (Michael Ledeen is completely explicit about the neocon plans). We also have to remember that the Saudis are one of America's largest foreign investors, with approximately 60% of Saudi foreign investments going to the United States, and would hardly be interested in doing anything to harm their investments. The recent admission that at least one flight did leave American airspace carrying Saudis, including one Saudi prince, at a time when most American flights were still cancelled after 9-11, will no doubt add to the accusations against the Saudis. If you think about it, however, the presence of so many Saudis of prominent background in the United States on September 11, some of whom were actually in Boston, and all of whom had to be flown out in a hurry to protect their own security, proves that the Saudi elites had absolutely no foreknowledge of 9-11. They would hardly leave their children in such a position if they had any knowledge that such an attack was going to occur. Americans may dislike the fact that foreign nationals received better treatment than Americans did at a time when the United States was in a state of crisis, but all it proves is that the American elites try to be very friendly to the Saudi elites who control much of the world oil supply. It is not a surprising connection, and proves nothing about Saudi culpability. The Saudi government is a dictatorial monstrosity, and the Saudi elites contain an unfortunate combination of oil playboys and religious nuts, but there is not the slightest reason to connect either the Saudi government or the people who run it to the events of September 11 or to support for al Qaeda. Blaming the wrong people diverts attention from the real guilty parties. As I've said before, the Saudis don't control NORAD, and since the standdown of normal air protection was crucial to the success of the 9-11 conspiracy, Americans ought to be looking much closer to home for the real culprits.
posted at 12:12 AM permanent link
Friday, June 18, 2004
It is useful to contemplate the difference between what a real beheading looks like (or at least the results of one), and what a fake beheading looks like. The difference largely comes down to blood. If Islamic fundamentalist terrorists held Nick Berg, why would they go through the charade of a fake beheading? Wouldn't they either kill him and just announce that they had done so, or, if they wanted to be spectacular, behead him for real? On the other hand, if Berg had seen something he shouldn't have while up a radio tower at Abu Ghraib and died, either accidentally or otherwise, at the hands of Americans, a faked beheading makes perfect sense. The Americans authorities at Abu Ghraib may have been sitting in the middle of a torture scandal with an unexplained dead American on their hands, with rumors that he had been in American custody. A fake beheading takes the blame away from the guilty parties, and provides both a distraction from the torture scandal and a further demonizing of Iraqis so right-wingers can continue to think that torturing these 'animals' is not morally wrong and is probably necessary to protect the lives of people like Nick Berg. Republicans in the United States can then stifle discussion of the torture scandal by insisting that such discussion puts the lives of Americans in danger. The perpetrators of the Paul M. Johnson Jr. beheading, whoever they may have been, were kind enough to make the connection explicit.
posted at 11:11 PM permanent link
From a Knight-Ridder article (or here) entitled "Republicans Defeat Effort to Subpoena Justice Documents on Torture" (the title says it all) by Sumana Chatterjee:
"Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday defeated a Democratic-sponsored effort to subpoena documents on torture and interrogation practices from the Justice Department.

The 10 to 9 vote reflected the mounting partisan rancor over the abuse of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison and whether U.S. officials condoned harsh interrogation practices on prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq."

This is how it's going to play out every single time. The Republicans control all the committees and all the levers of power. All the numerous investigations, reports, and hearings that are supposed to herald the end this summer of Bush and the neocons are going to be systematically blocked, parried, obfuscated and run into the ground. By the time of the Republican National Convention there still won't be one shred of released evidence that will change anybody's mind. I don't know what to suggest. It is as if decent Americans are playing a chess game against the Republicans and the Republican pieces are all Queens. It is not helpful to engage in wishful self-deception about this. Americans are probably doomed to four more years of neocon martial insanity, which means that the United States, and the world, is also doomed.
posted at 10:54 PM permanent link
From a real humdinger of an anti-Zionist rant by Noel Ignatiev:
"If one part of the Zionist project is the expulsion of the indigenous population, the other part is expanding the so-called Jewish population. But here arises the problem, which has tormented Israeli legal officials for fifty years, what is a Jew? (For a century-and-a-half U.S. courts faced similar problems determining who is white.) The Zionists set forth two criteria for determining who is a Jew. The first is race, which is a myth generally and is particularly a myth in the case of the Jews. The 'Jewish' population of Israel includes people from fifty countries, of different physical types, speaking different languages and practicing different religions (or no religion at all), defined as a single people based on the fiction that they, and only they, are descended from the Biblical Abraham. It is so patently false that only Zionists and Nazis even pretend to take it seriously. In fact, given Jewish intermingling with others for two thousand years, it is likely that the Palestinians - themselves the result of the mixture of the various peoples of Canaan plus later waves of Greeks and Arabs - are more directly descended from the ancient inhabitants of the Holy Land than the Europeans displacing them. The claim that the Jews have a special right to Palestine has no more validity than would an Irish claim of a divine right to establish a Celtic state all across Germany, France, and Spain on the basis that Celtic tribes once lived there. Nevertheless, on the basis of ascribed descent, the Zionist officials assign those they have selected a privileged place within the state. If that is not racism, then the term has no meaning."
The rant explores some of the surreal ways the Zionists have had to twist logic into knots to satisfy their own peculiar form of political racism. Why are Israelis apparently so completely blind to the fact that the entire intellectual basis and justification for their failed state is a complicated series of beliefs, all of which are both racist and insane? Why are the Palestinians to blame for all their problems when the Zionists have set up a series of laws so nutty that they cannot possibly be expected to function? Mr. Ignatiev proposes the only logical solution to the problem, which is the one-state solution, but I'm afraid is a little too optimistic about George Bush.
posted at 5:07 AM permanent link
Saturday, June 19, 2004
Some high weirdness in two articles on the 9-11 commission in the Washington Post:
In the first article, dated June 17 by Dan Eggen and William Branigin, NORAD Commander Air Force Gen. Ralph E. Eberhart tells the 9-11 commission that had the Federal Aviation Administration conveyed word of the hijackings as soon it knew of them, "yes, we could shoot down the airplanes." In the second, dated June 18 by Dana Milbank (both articles are also reprinted here), the shoot-down order given by Cheney was never passed on to the Langley pilots, because, as the commission reported: "Both the mission commander and the weapons director indicated they did not pass the order to fighters circling Washington and New York City because they were unsure how the pilots would, or should, proceed with this guidance." This is consistent with Eberhart's statement if we assume that the pilots did not need such orders, and would in fact would have been confused by them, because they already had the authority to shoot. All the focus on Cheney's orders seems to be simply a way to make Cheney look heroic, as his orders were completely unnecessary. As such orders were unnecessary, apologists for the Official Story can't rely on the delay in Cheney's orders reaching the pilots to explain why no defensive action was taken. Someone still has to explain why NORAD acted as if it was under a standdown order.
In the second article, it is clear that Cheney lied to the commission, and to Rumsfeld at the time he gave the order, when he told them he had Bush's authorization for the shoot-down order. He talked to Bush after he gave the order.
From the second article:
"Unknown to Cheney or Bush, however, by 10:45 other fighter jets would be circling Washington, and these had clear authority to shoot down planes, the commission determined. They were sent from Andrews Air Force Base by the commander of the 113th Wing of the Air National Guard, in consultation with the Secret Service, which relayed instructions that an agent said were from Cheney.

That arrangement was 'outside the military chain of command,' according to the commission report. Bush and Cheney told the commission they were unaware that fighters had been scrambled from Andrews."
When impolite critics of the Official Story of 9-11 asked the rather obvious question of why planes were not scrambled from the closest possible base at Andrews, they were condescendingly told that they lacked a proper understanding of how air defense worked, and that it was absolutely impossible for jets at Andrews to be used. If jets could in fact be scrambled from Andrews and were in the air over Washington at 10:45, why couldn't they have been in the air at, say, 9:30? As an aside, if it was 'outside the military chain of command', and Bush and Cheney were unaware of it, just what chain of command was it under?
A long time ago I noted that the trick used to seem to be doing something while actually doing nothing was to send the Langley planes to New York, long after the horse had escaped from that barn and there were already lots of other American protective jets circling, and at a time when radar showed the obvious threat was to Washington. In order to get around this problem, they are now arguing that procedures meant that the jets had to head out to sea. I don't know how this is going to explain why they had to continue to New York City when the obvious imminent threat at the time was to the seat of government in Washington. Claiming that they were chasing a 'phantom aircraft' in New York City does not explain why they left Washington completely unprotected at a time they knew it was under imminent risk of attack and had aircraft in the air that could have responded. I suppose it is at least some progress that someone believes that this anomaly needs to be explained.
I lack the energy to get involved in examining in detail the lies of the 9-11 commission. It looks as if it is going to be as hopeless a cover-up as we all thought it would be.

posted at 12:56 AM permanent link
Monday, June 21, 2004
Question: If you were Osama bin Laden sitting deep in your cave in Afghanistan and plotting in meticulous detail the terrorist attack which took place on September 11, and you stopped for a moment to look at your final plan, what would be the fatal flaw that jumped off the screen of your laptop computer and caused you to scrap the whole thing? Answer: the time between the diversion off the route of Flight 11, when air traffic controllers would start inching their hands closer to the phones to call NORAD (around 8:20 a. m., more or less), and the time, 75 to 80 minutes later, when Flight 77 is supposed to have slammed into the Pentagon (not to mention the even later time that Flight 93 was presumably slated to hit its intended target, a time at least an hour and a half after the terrorist planner must have assumed a warning would have issued from the FAA). Regardless of how incompetent and confused the American government response turned out to be, any planner of such an attack could never have assumed that it would take as long as it did for NORAD to respond, and certainly would not have assumed that air defense aircraft of the American military would be completely unarmed and completely unable to do the only job they are there for. With this obvious fatal flaw in the plan, why did the planner think, or know, that it would work? More on this soon.
posted at 1:12 AM permanent link
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
It has been reported that the wife of Emilio Suárez Trashorras, the man alleged to have supplied dynamite used in the Madrid bombs (an event called '11-M'), had in her possession the name and phone number of Juan Jesús Sánchez Manzano, the head of Tedax, the Spanish bomb squad that deactivated the unexploded bombs (Tedax exploded one bag containing bombs, which is itself an issue, as the explosion destroyed evidence and the bombs could have apparently been deactivated by pouring water on them; they were stopped from blowing up another bag which contained the evidence which led to the current arrests). This seems to be more evidence of official involvement in the bombings. When the judge in charge of the matter dialed the number, he was surprised that a policeman working on the judge's own investigation answered the phone. The explanation given by Spanish authorities for her possession of the phone number is that the name and number were given to her so she could phone the head of Tedax if she remembered any further details of use to the investigation. I don't know the Spanish protocol, but it seems odd to give someone who is in custody in prison the number of a government official who could presumably easily be reached by prison authorities should the witness have anything further to say. It is, however, possible. El Mundo suggests that this revelation may be part of an anti-police conspiracy!
posted at 1:51 AM permanent link
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Canadians vote on Monday, and analysts claim the election is too close to call, with the possibility of the newly reconstituted Conservative Party beating the governing Liberals. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that this would be much like Canadians electing as their government Jörg Haider's Freedom Party (there are direct connections in that they share a major backer). Although they have appropriated the name and much of the membership of the old Progressive Conservative Party (which was bad enough but had its good points and wasn't a radical party), the new Conservative Party will be a party entirely devoted to the interests of big business, and will clearly be anti-human rights and anti-immigration, and in favor of destroying or significantly weakening every single social program that doesn't benefit the rich. They have particular plans to turn the Canadian health care system into a clone of the American one, eventually leaving poor people to the mercies of the capitalist marketplace. Canadians can say goodbye to gay marriages, abortion rights, gun control, most funding for the arts, and even the tiniest sliver of a separation between Canadian foreign policy and American foreign policy (Canadians would certainly be dying in Iraq now if the Conservatives were in government). The irony of all this is that Canadians are mad at the governing Liberals largely because the Liberals themselves lost sight of their historic extreme centrism, neither right-wing nor left-wing, and have, under the leadership of shipping magnate Paul Martin (whose shipping firm has a very questionable environmental and labor history), turned sharply right. This shift also caused them to lose the steely focus they always had under Chrétien, and has led to them losing their largely-deserved reputation for competence. The disgusting Canadian media has been obviously cheerleading for the Conservatives (although the Globe and Mail is, perhaps surprisingly, endorsing the Liberals), and there is some indication that things aren't quite as bad for the Liberals as has been depicted in the media. Nevertheless, the possibility exists that on Monday night, Canada may stop existing as the country that it used to be. The Liberals were no picnic, having fixed some alleged problems in the Canadian economy on the backs of the poor (when Martin was finance minister), but they are largely responsible for the way that Canada is now, and some people think that Canada, and the idea of Canada, is a good thing. It would be a tragedy if Canadians were so stupid to throw it all away on one bad election.
posted at 11:56 PM permanent link
The whole case for the Bush Administration claim of a Saddam-al Qaeda connection now rests on the very thin reed of a similarity of names noticed by some neocon twerp working for the Pentagon. Some member of Saddam's private militia has a similar (or here) name to some al Qaeda member, and it was alleged by the neocons that these were in fact the same person, proving a connection between Iraq and al Qaeda. The al Qaeda member, who met fellow al Qaeda members at Kuala Lumpur airport - presumably holding up a piece of cardboard at the arrivals gate saying "Terrorists" - morphed into a senior al Qaeda member for the purposes of the neocon story. Juan Cole analyzes this similarity of names to within an inch of its life, dices it, vivisects it, flails it, bounces it off the ceiling, fries it up, and serves it up on a bed of nails for the neocons to chew on. His conclusion: not even close to being the same guy, and only a profound ignorance of local naming conventions would lead anyone to make the neocon mistake. I guess they'll have to find yet another lie on which to base their ridiculous claims. How many lies about how many things will they have to tell before Americans start to see a pattern?
posted at 11:17 PM permanent link
Political debate is only allowed within narrow confines, confines which have devolved to being between extreme right-wing and unbelievably right-wing. Any discussion outside of the accepted parameters falls within what John McMurtry calls 'the unspeakable'. His list from 1988 of 30 unspeakable propositions is still largely relevant today, and I can find little to disagree about any of them (I think 14 is wrong as there is a correlation, albeit a negative correlation, and I think 25 is a particularly important one). McMurtry's essay, "Fascism and Neo-Conservatism: Is There a Difference" from 1983, is also worth reading, with Reagan's neocons continuing today, having only shifted the enemy from communism to Islam (McMurtry is a consistently excellent writer: also see his "Understanding the U.S. War State"). McMurtry's list was reprinted on the usually excellent MAI-NOT forum, a place where I find many good ideas. It is somewhat ironic as the 'progressive' posters on that forum seem to be having a problem with a poster called "Antifascist Bloc", and have resorted to calling this poster names for having the temerity to challenge their liberal assumptions, proving there are things which are 'unspeakable' on even the most progressive forums.
posted at 2:32 AM permanent link
Friday, June 25, 2004
Jay Bybee, the lawyer who headed the Office of Legal Counsel to White House Legal Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales, and the man behind the infamous torture memo (pdf), received his reward from Bush by being appointed to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Being an opinion slut pays off big time. All you have to do is excrete a sufficiently helpful, albeit immoral and legally nonsensical, opinion, and - bingo! - you're an appeals court judge. Who does Bybee remind me of? Robert Bork. In 1973, Nixon demanded that his Attorney General, Elliot Richardson, fire Archibald Cox, the Special Prosecutor who was getting dangerously close to discovering Nixon's role in Watergate. Richardson, being a man of integrity, refused, and Nixon fired him. Nixon then demanded that Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus fire Cox. Ruckelshaus, being a man of integrity, also refused, and resigned (or, according to the Nixon White House, was fired). Nixon then looked under a rock and found his Solicitor General, Robert Bork, who, unencumbered by the integrity of his predecessors, was happy to fire Cox. This series of incidents is known as the 'Saturday Night Massacre'. Bork had to wait longer than Bybee for his reward, but was eventually appointed to the Court of Appeals by Reagan. Bork became famous when Reagan unsuccessfully tried to elevate him to the Supreme Court. Bork then had the honor, like Captain Boycott, of having his name made into a verb. Bork's actions and Bybee's actions are similar in that both chose personal ambition over personal integrity, and both acted on the basis that the President of the United States isn't subject to the laws of the United States. A lawyer who issues an opinion which he knows is legally incorrect in order to obtain personal benefit by pleasing his employers can be said to have bybeed.
posted at 3:49 AM permanent link
Sunday, June 27, 2004
Odds and odds:
Americans whose knuckles don't drag on the ground should be deeply concerned about the upcoming Canadian election. If the Conservatives manage to form the government, they will quickly and systematically dismantle all those things in Canada that many progressive Americans look to as proof that common sense in politics is possible. Some almost certain changes:
no more abortion rights;
no more gay marriages;
reinstatement of the death penalty;
a great reduction in gun control;
total annihilation of the single-payer government-funded health care system (they plan to do it by opening a parallel private system of health care, to which all the best professionals will of course gravitate, and then so underfund the public system that everyone will be forced to either buy insurance, pay, or do without, just like the United States);
deficit financing used to fund huge tax cuts for the rich and for corporations, with the deficit then used as the excuse for underfunding of social programs;
removal of all the recent election finance reforms in Canada, so the rich can buy elections just like in the United States;
greatly increased use of the prison system to create an American-style prison-industrial complex and its accompanying opportunities for profit, all based an a draconian 'law and order' use of the police as a method of social control, with particular use of the 'war on drugs' as an excuse for imprisonment;
great, but subtle, restrictions on non-white immigration.
To demonstrate how bad it is, Harper, the leader of the Conservatives, first came to prominence in Canada as the head of an extreme right-wing corporate-power lobby group originally set up to lobby against publicly-finded health care. He is following the George Bush script to a tee, managing to depict himself as a moderate, a 'compassionate conservative'. This is a lie. He is clearly a radical corporate shill, and his party is filled with radical religious fruitcakes. Even some left-wingers are arguing that Harper isn't as dangerous as he seems because he'll never be able to accomplish his agenda. Americans said the same thing about George Bush. Don't believe it! If Harper wins, Canada is over. If Canada goes completely evil, what will progressive Americans point to an an example of a possible alternative?
Peter Dale Scott discusses the Mysterious Case of the Dog that Didn't Bark, the absence of Ali Mohamed from the 9-11 commission investigation. Anyone who has read this blog knows that I think that Ali Mohamed is a key to understanding 9-11, although he had absolutely nothing to do with it. He is in an American prison (or is he?), presumably available for questioning, and was clearly both a member of American military intelligence working with Islamic fundamentalists in Afghanistan, and a member of al Qaeda (and personally worked for ObL himself), not to mention some kind of FBI informant. He pretty much personifies the conspiracy. Yet the 9-11 commission seems to be afraid of his very name. Anyone who doesn't think the commission isn't just another cover-up should wonder why this particular dog isn't barking.
Alexander Cockburn writes about the usual suspects meddling in Venezuela in order to prevent the poor from getting any kind of a break. His first three sentences are great:
"You can set your watch by it. The minute some halfway decent government in Latin America begins to reverse the order of things and give the have-nots a break from the grind of poverty and wretchedness, the usual suspects in El Norte rouse themselves from the slumber of indifference and start barking furiously about democratic norms. It happened in 1973 in Chile; we saw it again in Nicaragua in the 1980s; and here's the same show on summer rerun in Venezuela, pending the August 15 recall referendum of President Hugo Chávez."
As is often the case these days, much of the dirty work is done by groups which are nominally advocates for things like 'democracy' or 'human rights'. Human Rights Watch and Jimmy Carter are among the many villains here. I've often wondered about the odd positions sometimes taken by groups like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Do you think they do deals with the Powers That Be to support some of the schemes of the Powers That Be in order to save some people elsewhere? In any event, we all have to realize that these groups have to be watched as carefully as everybody else, lest they use their reputations to sneak in real acts of harm, as is happening in Venezuela.
Lockheed Martin has put the kibosh on the proposed merger with Titan Corporation, ostensibly because of an ongoing federal bribery investigation. You have to wonder whether the recent torture allegations might also have had something to do with it. The shareholders of Titan ought to wonder if the directors and officers of Titan are fulfilling their duties when they can't even seem to rise to meet the feeble ethical standards of Lockheed Martin.
When thinking about Pentagon military planning exercises, don't forget Amalgam Virgo, which "tested the defense and response capabilities to a cruise missile attack on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., June 1-4, 2001." A cruise missile attack on an American military installation? What a nutty idea!
The United States is currently involved in repeated war crimes in attempts at targeted assassinations in the city of Falluja, killing many people with each bombing run. The vile direct influence of Israel, in torture techniques and now in pure Israeli-style targeted assassinations, is impossible to ignore. Israel continues to drag the United States down into the moral abyss.
A while ago I suggested that it would be a good idea for Americans if they were to hive off a part of the country I call the 'axis of stupidity', and let all the fruitcakes who have been dragging the whole country down go live there. The new country in that band from Virginia to Texas would be called 'Evangelica', or 'Stupidia'. Well, the Lord be praised, Stupidia is coming soon to South Carolina (for "Sodomite marriage . . . is coming soon to a neighborhood near you").
posted at 1:58 AM permanent link


Tuesday, June 29, 2004
The Canadian election has been decided, with the Liberals winning for the fourth successive time, but this time with a minority government. They will have to govern with the support of either the Bloc Québécois or the NDP, and it seems likely there has already been some backroom deal made with the NDP. Canadians don't do coalition governments, so it would be some kind of issue by issue agreement of support, with the Liberals continuing with it until they feel they could win a majority in a new election. This type of Liberal-NDP alliance could be fairly stable, and it may be a while before another election. Some comments:
As I have already written, this election could have been an unmitigated disaster, with a Conservative Party victory leading to Canada being governed by a group of right-wing nuts intent on savaging everything that is good about the country. It really was an election turning on whether Canadians could be fooled into supporting Absolute Evil. As it turned out, the result could not possibly have been better. The Liberals have been deservedly chastened for taking the electorate for granted, and now have to govern with the support of either of two smaller parties, both of which have decidedly socialist views. This will finally force Paul Martin to halt the right-wing path he has been taking. Part of the problem with Martin is that he consistently says all the right things and then consistently makes sure he doesn't do any of them. In order to get reelected, he was forced to promise to finally fund the health care system sufficiently to keep it out of the hands of the corporate parasites, and to introduce programs to reduce child poverty (the latter is such a popular Liberal promise that they make it each election, and seem loathe to actually do anything about it for fear of losing the ability to make the same promise in the next election!). The socialists will force him to live up to his promises. If the Liberals don't tack decidedly to the left, we will see another election soon, and Martin will go down as one of the most foolish losers in Canadian history.
The poles consistently showed considerably more Conservative support than showed up at the ballot box. In fact, not only did the Conservatives not win, they really didn't make much of an improvement over their position in the last Parliament. The Liberals lost their majority largely through losing seats in Quebec to the Bloc Québécois. The funny thing was that Chrétien was always accused of being unliked in Quebec, with Martin depicted as being far more popular. Chrétien managed to win the majority of seats in Quebec in the last election, and the supposedly popular Martin lost them all back to the Bloc.
The disgusting Canadian press made no attempt to hide its bias in favor of a Conservative victory. In fact, the much publicized pole results in favor of the Conservatives were probably part of a campaign to use a sort of 'push polling' to make the Conservative victory seem inevitable and thus influence the decisions of voters. It is also possible that some people polled expressed a desire to vote Conservative in order to send a message to the Liberals, without in fact ever intending to vote Conservative. The poles seemed so decisive that it was reported that the Conservatives broke out the Champagne on their party plane. They must be suffering from quite the hangover now. They had everything possible going for them, and they still couldn't fool Canadians into thinking they weren't evil.
The election was held using paper ballots counted by hand. It went off flawlessly, with no voter having the slightest doubt that his vote would not be counted or would be changed by some crook working for a partisan voting computer company. Why would anyone want to use any other system?
I always hoped that Canadians weren't so stupid to vote to destroy their own country. The best part of the election is that all the machinations of the Conservative operators, from taking over and destroying the old Progressive Conservative party so they could appear to be less radical, to buffing up their extreme right-wing ideologue leader to make him seem like a moderate, to corking the mouths of most - but not all! - of the craziest of their members to hide their real agenda, to controlling all the media with their phony pole results, were not only an utter failure but have led to their worst nightmare, a government of Canada where the balance of power rests with socialists.

posted at 3:23 AM permanent link
Thursday, July 01, 2004
Bob Dreyfuss wonders how Michael Moore could get the entire blame for 9-11 so back-asswards, throwing it all on the obviously innocent Saudis and ignoring completely the Israelis. Michael Moore is a big-time Hollywood film director. You need money - lots of it - to make big-time Hollywood films. The people who produce, finance, and distribute big-time Hollywood films, and in particular this one, and any other that Moore would like to make, are not going to finance a film that lays any blame for anything on Israel. It's a, um, tribal thing. Moore knows that his American audience has a psychological need for a foreign villain to help deal with the guilt that America itself was primarily responsible for 9-11, and the connections of the Bush Crime Family to the Saudi elites allows him to have his villain and attack Bush at the same time. This would be completely harmless American jingoism except that I guarantee that if Bush gets reelected the neocons will be citing Moore's film and claiming that even the most liberal of all liberals supports their ultimate fantasy, the bombing of Mecca.
posted at 1:33 AM permanent link
Much was made about an interview by Dan Rather of a man named Tom Kennedy (actually Tom Kenney). He worked on the 9-11 rescue operation, and said FEMA had arrived in New York City late Monday night, the eve of the 9-11 attacks. If FEMA was on the scene the day before the disaster, we have the makings of a conspiracy theory. Of course, the matter was quickly explained as a mistake of dates, and almost everyone went back to sleep. Ethel the Blog, based on the stellar work of Gregor Holland, summarizes the current state of our understanding, including the testimony of Rudy Giuliani to the 9-11 commission (isn't it odd that the only untranscribed testimony is from the man widely regarded as the hero of 9-11?), and shows that FEMA definitely did have an exercise planned for New York City on the morning of September 11. The fact that FEMA explained away Kenney's error without even bothering to mention the fact that they had an exercise planned for that morning, and therefore Kenney may very well have been on the scene getting ready for the exercise and wasn't mistaken, is deeply troubling, as it evidences knowledge of guilt. In fact, it is even possible that Kenney was mistaken (although we've seen absolutely no evidence that he was, and his story is consistent with Giuliani's testimony), but Giuliani's testimony combined with FEMA's failing to explain what was really going on is proof that FEMA felt that the truth would be damning. It is even more damning when we consider that the exercise, named TRIPOD, was supported by the Office of Justice Programs, through the Office for Domestic Preparedness, with the Office for Domestic Preparedness personally headed by Dick Fuck Yourself Cheney. The number of unexplained and officially unacknowledged 'training exercises' in and around all aspects of 9-11 are starting to pile up. If you anticipated that two huge buildings in New York City were to be knocked down on September 11, it would be prudent to have a presence in New York City on September 10. The best way to cover up such an unexplained presence is by calling it a training exercise. It is quite likely that the NORAD standdown was accomplished in the same way, with both the air traffic controllers and the local NORAD commanders under the assumption that anomalies in flight routes and behavior of the 9-11 attack planes were part of a training exercise, and thus were ignored until it was too late.
posted at 12:52 AM permanent link
Sunday, July 04, 2004
From a good article (or here) on the recent Canadian election scare, "Near-death experience: The aftermath of the federal election", by Murray Dobbin:
"Anticipating the possibility of an (Alliance) Conservative government - even a minority - was like a near-death experience. You could see your life - medicare, the CBC, reproductive rights, the National Film Board, the Charter of Rights, Kyoto, public ownership - pass before your eyes. That Canada escaped this unimaginable horror - and at the same time are not saddled with a majority Liberal government headed by a smug Paul Martin and his thuggish advisors - is pretty amazing. The roller coaster has landed and it could have been a lot rougher."
It takes decades and decades of nearly impossible hard work to create social structures, and one election where the electorate isn't paying attention or is fooled can destroy it all. It is very disheartening to know just how close Canada came to becoming the dog-eat-dog sauve-qui-peut world of the United States (not that it isn't close enough already). On the other hand, the good news is that the present incarnation of the Conservatives will probably never have another chance as good as this last election, and didn't gain even a third of the seats in the House of Commons. A big winner in the election is the Green Party, which, while not gaining any seats, gained enough of the popular vote to be eligible for federal funding in the next election under the new Canadian political finance laws. Unfortunately, as Dobbin has pointed out (or here), the Green Party can in no way be described as progressive, having been taken over by a group of right-wingers (the Green Party response to Dobbin's attack is here). There is an unfortunate tendency, coming from Europe, for environmentalism to be used as a front for right-wing views (the extreme of this is ecofascism, where neo-Nazis hide in green camouflage). We often now see 'green' arguments made in the terms of the big-business economic nonsense that should have already been completely discredited, and has led directly to the current situation. The free market will save the environment (yeah, right!). These new 'greens' want to put out the fire using more gasoline. Canada already has a green party, which is the traditional socialist NDP, and the Green Party as it is now constituted is a front for another agenda entirely. It is a wonder that the electorate isn't fooled more often with all the trickery involved.
posted at 3:10 AM permanent link
All the big obituaries of Marlon Brando conspicuously failed to mention that he was one of the most consistent progressive voices in American popular culture over the last five decades. Indeed, the mocking attitude of the press towards him seems to have been provoked by his unacceptable political views. Here he is in the infamous Larry King interview from 1996:
Brando: "Hollywood is run by Jews; it is owned by Jews, and they should have a greater sensitivity about the issue of - of people who are suffering. Because they've exploited - we have seen the - we have seen the Nigger and Greaseball, we've seen the Chink, we've seen the slit-eyed dangerous Jap, we have seen the wily Filipino, we've seen everything but we never saw the Kike. Because they knew perfectly well, that that is where you draw the wagons around."

King: "When you say - when you say something like that you are playing right in, though, to anti-Semitic people who say the Jews are -"

Brando: "No, no, because I will be the first one who will appraise the Jews honestly and say 'Thank God for the Jews.'"
While he could have expressed himself better (and later had to apologize), it is absolutely true that Hollywood has played a major role in demonizing certain groups, most recently the Arabs, and that this demonization has created an attitude in American culture which has made possible a completely unprovoked attack such as we have recently seen in Iraq, not to mention the extreme inhumanity that Americans have shown themselves capable of in Abu Ghraib and elsewhere. Is this demonization part of a conspiracy? It has certainly has had political consequences which have benefited certain groups at the expense of others. The idea that Hollywood is some kind of bastion of liberalism is clearly untrue. Brando became so disgusted with it that he essentially stopped acting, and just appeared from time to time to exploit his own reputation when he needed the money. Throughout his life he never waivered from his commitment to progressive ideas, even when they may very well have hurt his reputation and his career.
posted at 1:49 AM permanent link
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
From an article by Mark Ames in The Exile:
"When Ronald Reagan took power in 1981, Americans lived completely different lives. Health care insurance was a given for nearly all working Americans. Downsizing - the concept of mass layoffs in order to boost a CEO's bonus - hadn't entered the vocabulary. Neither had outsourcing. Working parents came home from work before sundown and ate dinners with their families. Unions were strong, and the industrialists felt a social responsibility to ensuring their workers' well-being. This was all reflected in the income differential: in 1979, the average CEO earned 30 times his average employees' wage. For some reason no one wants to remember this part of the past - because it's too depressing, and speaks too obviously to the real decline in America.

Reagan came to office and told the plutocrats to take everything that they wanted. I mean everything. Today, CEOs make 571 times their average employees' wage. Today's male white collar workers in America only earn, in real dollars, six cents per hour more today than they earned in 1973. Health care is increasingly hard to come by, no job is ever safe, Americans work far longer hours and suffer from stress-related illnesses once unheard of. As an Economic Policy Institute report noted, 'What income growth there was over the 1979-1989 period was driven primarily by more work at lower wages.' What happened to Russia in the 90s was really started by Reagan's attack on Americans in the 80s. When Reagan fired the striking air traffic controllers in 1981, he told America he was literally willing to kill us all if we didn't give in to his plan to transfer the wealth out of the pockets of the middle- and lower-middle classes and into the plutocrats' offshore accounts. It was so shocking that it worked. The air controller's union broke - and so did a whole way of life. Thanks to Ronald Reagan, we are all miserable wage slaves . . . or exiles."
This wasn't an accident. It was - dare I say it - a conspiracy. Reagan was put in power with the express purpose of destroying the middle class and ending any hope that the sons and daughters of the poor might rise to the middle class through education and hard work. The destruction of the middle class is his real and lasting legacy. Reagan's murder of the middle class and its institutions, a process which has led directly to Bush's neoconservatives, has just now been noticed by progressive commentators (see here and here and here or here and - my favorite, from Canadian painter Robert Bateman - here), some of whom have suggestions for how to resuscitate it. In reflecting on the nearly disastrous Canadian election, I noted how easy it is for conservatives to destroy the results of the hard work and sacrifices (up to and including their lives) of generations of progressives (if you look at the list, you can see that all good is done by progressives, and conservatives spend all their time trying to destroy the good). The effort of decades or even centuries can be destroyed, probably permanently, by the work of a tiny group of conservatives in power for only a few years. The key point of the conspiracy, and the permanent legacy of Reagan, was drastically to reduce the cost of labor. The middle class was an obstacle to this, as by definition the middle class consisted of workers who had enough economic security to have some control over the sale of their labor, and the ability to educate their offspring to rise above their own economic status. The point of post-Reagan conservatism is to create such fear and uncertainty in people that they can have no ability to prevent the ongoing erosion of their earning ability. The main goal of today's conservatives is cheap labor, and it is accurate to describe them as 'cheap-labor conservatives'. Not forgetting all the other awful things that Reagan did, what he should always be remembered for is his start of the process, a process which continues with a vengeance by Bush, of destroying middle class America in order to create a permanent underclass whose sole purpose is the enrichment of the plutocrats. Unfortunately, it will be decades, if not longer, before this terrible wrong is righted. The destructive capability of today's cheap-labor conservatives is so great that even voting for them once, in order to chastise another political group, is madness.
posted at 2:24 AM permanent link
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
It's a funny coincidence that at America's greatest moment of need, in the middle of the attacks on September 11, both the President of the United States and his Secretary of Defense managed to make themselves unavailable to make decisions. Bush sat reading books to a school of children in Florida. A few minutes later, after the attack on the Pentagon, Rumsfeld busied himself applying first aid to the injured. From an ABC News transcript of a broadcast aired on the first anniversary of 9-11, describing the events of that day (my emphasis):
"04:07:51 CHARLES GIBSON, ABC NEWS
(VO) Among those helping the wounded and injured is the 69-year-old Rumsfeld himself.
04:07:56 DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
There was a, a young woman bleeding, sitting on the ground, and I think she said to me, she didn't know who I was, she said, she could see people holding, drips going into people, IV of some kind, and she said, something to the effect, if people would, if someone could bring that person over, I could hold it.
04:08:25 CHARLES GIBSON, ABC NEWS
(VO) The Secretary of Defense is outside the burning building, while inside the Pentagon, . . .
04:08:31 BRIGADIER GENERAL W MONTAGUE WINFIELD, US ARMY
For 30 minutes we couldn't find him. And just as we began to worry, he walked into the door of the National Military Command Center."
This shows either an unbelievable lack of judgment on Rumsfeld's part, or something much darker. Can you believe that the Secretary of Defense would disappear for half an hour, supposedly to render help with first aid (!?), while the country was obviously under attack? That particular half hour was crucial, with one hijacked plane still in the air. From an interview with Larry King (my emphasis):
"Rumsfeld: I had said at an 8:00 o'clock breakfast that sometime in the next two, four, six, eight, ten, twelve months there would be an event that would occur in the world that would be sufficiently shocking that it would remind people again how important it is to have a strong healthy defense department that contributes to - That underpins peace and stability in our world. And that is what underpins peace and stability.
In fact we can't have healthy economies and active lives unless we live in a peaceful, stable world, and I said that to these people. And someone walked in and handed a note that said that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center. And we adjourned the meeting, and I went in to get my CIA briefing -
King: Right next door is your office.
Rumsfeld: - right next door here, and the whole building shook within 15 minutes.
King: It was a jarring thing. And you ran toward the smoke?
Rumsfeld: Uh huh.
King: Because?
Rumsfeld: Goodness. Who knows? I wanted to see what had happened. I wanted to see if people needed help. I went downstairs and helped for a bit with some people on stretchers. Then I came back up here and started - I realized I had to get back up here and get at it."
Rumsfeld's presence was particularly important given the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction CJCSI 3610.01A dated June 1, 2001, which required Secretary of Defense approval of Department of Defense assistance to the FAA in cases of aircraft hijacking (although I note that such approval was not necessary if an immediate response was required as defined in paragraph 4.7.1 of Department of Defense directive 3025.15, and CJCSI 3610.10A modifies CJCSI 3610.10 to make this clear, meaning that CJCSI 3610.10A isn't the 'smoking gun' that some people think it is to prove Bush Administration complicity in 9-11). Rumsfeld should have been available to make decisions, and he is not so stupid as to be unaware of that fact. His absence had to have been intentional. Bush's case is now even more famous because of Michael Moore's film. The Secret Service, as a matter of automatic contingency planning, should have immediately whisked Bush away from the school, as his continued presence there when the country was obviously under attack, a presence that was a matter of public knowledge, put him and the country at risk. The Secret Service quickly moved senior members of Congress to safety, and manhandled Cheney off to some secret lair (I wonder if he told them to go fuck themselves as they frog-marched him to safety?). Wolfowitz was helicoptered out of the Pentagon so he wouldn't be in the same place as Rumsfeld. They left Bush a sitting duck. Is it possible that Bush's continued reading to the children was part of the plot? After all, he did so in full view of the cameras, and we can all see the evidence. While he was there, he did not have to make any decisions that might have adversely affected the ongoing terrorist attacks. His filmed reading to the little kiddies is the perfect alibi.
posted at 3:30 AM permanent link
Thursday, July 08, 2004
Here is a good article by Stephen Zunes on the stranglehold the Christian Zionists have over the White House, and the pernicious effect this has had on American policy towards the Middle East. Zunes writes:
". . . it is important to recognize that the rise of the religious right as a political force in the United States is a relatively recent phenomenon that emerged as part of a calculated strategy by leading right-wingers in the Republican Party who - while not fundamentalist Christians themselves - recognized the need to enlist the support of this key segment of the US population in order to achieve political power."
This has been a spectacular success for both the Republicans, whose policies should make them a very marginal political party, and the Likudniks, who literally can't believe how compliant the American government is to their wildest outrages. How can this problem for the United States and the world be fixed? Zunes concludes:
"Those who support justice for the Palestinians - or even simply the enforcement of basic international humanitarian law - must go beyond raising awareness of the issue to directly confronting those whose acquiescence facilitates current repressive attitudes. It will not be possible to counter the influence of the Christian Right in shaping US policies in the Middle East as long as otherwise socially conscious Christian legislators and other progressive-minded elected officials are beholden to fundamentalist voting pressures. It is unlikely that these Democrats and moderate Republicans will change, however, until liberal-to-mainline churches mobilize their resources toward demanding justice as strongly as right-wing fundamentalists have mobilized their resources in support of repression."
Are the moderate Christian churches of the United States - the churches whose fundraising isn't a sleazy business based on apocalyptic visions of the rapture, and the churches which comprise the vast majority of American religious believers - willing to take the righteous steps required to counter the millenarian evil of the Christian Zionists which is causing so much destruction in the world? Who is speaking moderation from the pulpit? The Catholic Church, which is in dire need to find something useful to do to counter its other problems, should be all over this, as there is no question that the Pope himself deplores American policy in the Middle East. And where are the moderate Protestant churches? Is it the right thing for religious people to sit idly by while other religious nuts cause immense harm and suffering in the name of God?
posted at 2:16 AM permanent link
I still can't get over the fact that Donald Rumsfeld disappeared for half an hour on September 11 when he knew that both WTC towers had been hit and that the Pentagon had been hit, all by a terrorist or military attack on the United States. At the time he disappeared, he had to have known that there was at least one other hijacked plane in the air. Everybody else was frantic, and he just calmly made himself unavailable to those who might be seeking orders on how they might deal with the situation. As usual, the best part is that he has completely gotten away with this, with not the slightest question made about his gross dereliction of duty.
posted at 2:10 AM permanent link
Saturday, July 10, 2004
The last paragraph of an article called "Bush's God" by Robert Reich from The American Prospect (but not available online without a subscription; I found the paragraph in two articles critical of Reich):
"The great conflict of the 21st century will not be between the West and terrorism. Terrorism is a tactic, not a belief. The true battle will be between modern civilization and anti-modernists; between those who believe in the primacy of the individual and those who believe that human beings owe their allegiance and identity to a higher authority; between those who give priority to life in this world and those who believe that human life is mere preparation for an existence beyond life; between those who believe in science, reason, and logic and those who believe that truth is revealed through Scripture and religious dogma. Terrorism will disrupt and destroy lives. But terrorism itself is not the greatest danger we face."
Absolutely. Concerns about terrorism just play into the hands of those who want to drag us kicking and screaming into the twelfth century. Those of us who aren't religiously insane - and we constitute the vast majority of people on this planet and all of the intelligent ones - have to come to grips with the fact that there is a real battle looming with a real enemy, and we have to win. Our real enemies think that their god doesn't want women to drive cars, or she has given them exclusive rights to lands on which other people live and have lived for millennia, or the theory of evolution is some sort of commie plot, or men have property rights in women, or they have some god-given right to tell everybody else how to live their lives based on their interpretation of a translation of their particular set of ancient documents (there are actually some who claim that it is only the English translation of the Bible which is theologically valid!). These people are fruitcakes. They wear marzipan hats and shit pecans. While we fuss about Islamic fundamentalists - who are bad enough and have to be stopped - we forget that by far the greatest evils in the world are being perpetrated by Christian and Jewish fundamentalists. In the battles to come, we have to realize who the real enemy is, and we have to start fighting as ruthlessly as they do. Their continuing victories against decency, reason and justice have to stop!
posted at 2:20 AM permanent link
Sunday, July 11, 2004
In case you think that Jimmy Carter is a good guy (he builds houses for the homeless with his bare hands!), this article by James Petras considers the whole sordid history of Carter's meddling in the elections of other countries, always supporting the American-backed side, which, not surprisingly, is always the side trying to subvert the interests of the vast majority of the population. Petras also has a few choice words for Human Rights Watch, a sometimes useful group but one with an agenda remarkably similar to Jimmy's.
posted at 12:26 AM permanent link
As I predicted, the impenetrable wall of Republicans who protect the Bush White House is continuing to put in long hours:
the impenetrable wall of the Republican-controlled Supreme Court ensures that Cheney's energy meetings will remain a deep, dark secret until well after the election;
the impenetrable wall of the Republican-controlled House ensures that Bush's Patriot Act continues in full fascist force;
the impenetrable wall of the Republican-controlled Senate Committee ensures that the CIA takes the full blame for all the Cheney/Feith/Office of Special Plans massaging of data to create the lyin' case for the attack on Iraq;
the impenetrable wall of the Republican-controlled disgusting American media ensures that the CIA story is covered to minimize any reference to Bush White House meddling in creating the phony intelligence, partly by impugning the integrity of whistle-blower Joseph Wilson;
the impenetrable wall of a judge in Washington throws out Sibel Edmonds' lawsuit before he even bothers to hear any evidence, all on the basis of protecting government secrets whose exposure could damage 'national security', and, in a neat trick, helpfully goes on to explain that he couldn't give further reasons as to do so would also expose such secrets (which is kind of ironic as the thrust of Edmonds' case is that the FBI translation system was threatening national security, and Ashcroft's moves to cover this up means that the same problem still continues; by the way, it being a small world, Edmonds' attorney, Mark S. Zaid, is also Mai Pederson's - remember her? - attorney);
the impenetrable wall of Ken 'Kenny Boy' Lay agrees to do the perp walk to take some heat off his pal Bush, complete with handcuffs (but where is the nice orange jumpsuit?), then waits around until the election when his case will doubtless disappear for 'lack of evidence'.
There is lots of talk about Cheney being in some kind of imminent serious legal trouble, or even that he is going to be off the ticket. Don't hold your breath. The impenetrable wall is tough and strong.
posted at 12:22 AM permanent link
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
The recent Tel Aviv bombing is unlikely to have been a Palestinian act:
Initial Israeli radio reports stated that Israeli police sources believed the incident was not a Palestinian attack.
The attack was not a suicide bombing, but was a bomb left near a bus station. Israeli police probably believed it was not a terrorist attack in part because it was not a suicide bombing. There have been bomb attacks in Israel that have not been suicide bombings, but there is no proof that any of them were Palestinian attacks. There has recently been a bomb attack in Tel Aviv that was connected with organized crime, and had nothing to do with the Palestinians.
The sole reason the attack is ascribed to the Palestinians is that a Palestinian group took credit for it by telephoning Reuters in the West Bank. You or I could have made that phone call. Even the Israeli press scoffs at the identity of those who initially took credit.
A spokesman for the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades later told the Associated Press that the attack proved that the wall had no effect in preventing terrorist attacks. As the wall is not finished, this is a nonsensical argument. In fact, the Israelis could turn this argument around and claim that the attack would not have occurred had the wall been finished. It is unlikely that a legitimate Palestinian caller would make an argument that would allow for such an obvious Israeli rebuttal. Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Zeev Boim said it was likely the bombers entered Israel from the West Bank in places where the wall has yet to be completed.
Yasser Arafat expressly denied that the Palestinians were involved, and hinted that the Israelis were behind it.
A Palestinian attack makes not the tiniest amount of sense. The Palestinians have not had a successful terrorist attack in months. It has been so quiet that the Israelis have been crowing that their new security methods have defeated the intifada. The Palestinians had just had one of their greatest public relations victories when the International Court of Justice quite properly ruled that the wall was illegal. Why would the Palestinians even consider an attack with that timing? All it did was make the Israeli argument that the wall is required for Israel's security.
In fact, Sharon immediately took the opportunity to make the point that the bombing proved the need for the wall. The attack allowed the Israeli propagandists to once again draw attention away from the Israeli crimes against humanity and focus the world's attention entirely on the issue of Israeli security.
There is no proof that the Palestinians were involved, it does not match their methods of attack, they expressly deny it, the timing is ridiculous from a Palestinian point of view, and it was perfect propaganda for Sharon at a time he needed to distract the world from the negative court ruling. Who do you think did it?
posted at 2:38 AM permanent link
Friday, July 16, 2004
I recently wondered why moderate American churches weren't taking the obvious steps of acting ethically in opposing the actions of the State of Israel against the Palestinian people. The fruitcake Christian Zionists completely dominate the debate, and through their peculiar hold on George Bush, bear much of the moral responsibility for the insane American policy towards the Middle East. I know that most American religious people aren't fruitcakes, so why aren't their voices being heard? Maybe the tide is starting to turn. Delegates to the recent General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), a church with nearly three million members, voted 431 to 62 to begin to join the divestment campaign against Israel, and voted 471 to 34 to call on Israel to end construction of the walls it is building to encage the Palestinians. The Rev. Victor Makari, the Church's liaison to the Middle East, said (or here):
"I think the issue of divestment is a very sensitive one with Israel. . . . If nothing else seems to have changed the policy of Israel toward Palestinians, we need to send a clear and strong message."
The divestment action also called on the U. S. to be an "honest, even-handed broker for peace" (ouch!). Sister Patricia Wolfe, executive director of the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), a coalition of 275 Christian denominations, said that the Church's decision raises the issue of divestment, allowing it to be discussed in the ICCR. Are the Presbyterians going to lead the way to the beginnings of a truly ethical approach against human rights abuses in the Middle East? Other moderate American church leaders might want to consider that it will look rather embarrassing if they are late to join the parade to justice. The Presbyterians will always have the honor of being first; no one should want the dishonor of being last.
posted at 2:08 AM permanent link
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Can you imagine what would happen if an American cartoonist tried to draw the American equivalent of this cartoon by brilliant Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell? No mainstream American cartoonist would even attempt it. It is a more accurate depiction of the parallel American and British realities of misuse of intelligence on Iraq than either of the parallel American and British whitewash reports will ever reveal. The reports, coming out at the same time and with almost identical bullshit, might as well have been excreted from the same anus.
posted at 12:48 AM permanent link
Saturday, July 17, 2004
Chess genius Bobby Fischer has been arrested in Japan, and is apparently going to be extradited to the U. S. - now get this! - on charges of violating United Nations sanctions because, in 1992, he participated in a chess match in Yugoslavia at a time that country was under U. N. sanctions. Do you think the Americans are going to start enforcing violations of U. N. resolutions (if so, Israel should be very worried)? Do you think John Ashcroft cares about a breach of U. N. sanctions twelve years ago? Do you think the war on terrorism is going to catch up with the fearsome chess terrorists? Are Americans finally going to be freed from the horrors of castling and mating? Or does all this have something to do with what Bobby Fischer said immediately after September 11?:
"This is all wonderful news. It is time to finish off the US once and for all. I was happy and could not believe what was happening. All the crimes the US has committed in the world. This just shows, what goes around comes around, even to the US. I applaud the act. The US and Israel have been slaughtering the Palestinians for years. Now it is coming back at the US."
He also blamed Israel and the 'Jews' for 'bringing' the attack on the World Trade Center. It appears that the neocons are anticipating that even the crooked Diebold voting machines might not be sufficient to steal another election. They have a little 'enemies list', and are going to spend the next six months cleaning up loose ends. You can see part of this in the viciousness of the current attacks against Joseph Wilson, whose grievous error was to point out that the Bush Administration was lying. Fischer is apparently next on the list. Note this article in the Atlantic, which is essentially a hack job inspired by the fact that Fischer committed the unpardonable sin of connecting American-Israeli violence against the Palestinians to the terrorist attacks of September 11. Note also that Fischer was set up by the Americans for the arrest. The excuse for his arrest by Japanese authorities was that he was trying to leave the country without a valid passport. You won't read it in the New York Times, but the reason he didn't have such a passport was that the American government had revoked it. He found out about this when he arrived at the airport. How would the Japanese know about this? Obviously, he was set up to be arrested. It is probable that the Japanese agreed to give up Fischer in return for some kind of favorable treatment to be given to American army deserter Charles Jenkins, who is married to a Japanese woman.
posted at 2:52 AM permanent link
Monday, July 19, 2004
Former Prime Minister of Spain José Maria Aznar has now admitted (or here) that his government had a solid lead that Islamic radicals were to blame for the Madrid train bombings, even as his Interior Minister officially continued to blame Basque terrorists on the eve of the Spanish election. Why would he make this gratuitous and embarrassing admission now? In the JFK assassination, it appears likely that the original plan of the conspirators was to blame Castro and possibly the Soviets for the assassination, thus setting up the basis for an American invasion of Cuba (not much has changed in the past forty years!). When Oswald inconveniently failed to be killed in the Texas School Book Depository or the theater in which he was arrested, the Cuban theory was abandoned as being too risky, and was replaced by the famous 'lone nut' theory which is still so beloved by stupid people today. The threat that digging too deeply into the assassination might have led to World War Three with the Soviet Union may have been used to force those who really wanted to find out what happened to go along with the cover-up which protected the guilty. On this whole subject you could start by reading 'Deep Politics and the Death of JFK' by Peter Dale Scott, a book everyone should read anyway, and Scott's analysis here. Scott calls the Cuban-Soviet theory the Phase One theory, and the 'lone nut' theory the Phase Two theory. The Spanish equivalent of the Phase One theory is that Basque separatists committed the Madrid bombings, with the fall-back Phase Two theory being that the bombings were the work of Islamic fundamentalists. The Phase Two theory was created by hiring Muslims to be involved in the plot, or at least close enough to the plot that they could be used as patsies if the need arose. The main plan was to use the Phase One theory to get Aznar's party back in government and then use the Madrid bombings as an excuse for a massive crackdown on the Basques. If that theory failed, the Phase Two Islamic fundamentalist theory was to be used to protect the real conspirators, who were those from the extreme right attempting to use a 'strategy of terror' to control Spanish politics. What has happened is that the whole conspiracy has turned into a disaster. The lies of the Phase One theory were discovered before the election, and the anger at the deception led to the defeat of Aznar's party. Now it seems that with each new investigation by Spanish authorities, the alleged terrorists turn out to have had close ties to Spanish police and security forces. The Phase Two theory, that the Madrid bombings were an Islamic terrorist attack, is starting to fall apart as it becomes clearer that the attack was actually an attack by the extreme right, using Spanish police directing Muslim patsies, against Spain itself. Aznar's 'admission' is an attempt to deflect attention from this fact and back on the Muslim patsies who were supposed to bear the blame if the Phase One Basque theory fell apart. Aznar also claims he has some documents which he removed from the Spanish government, documents which will no doubt turn out to implicate Islamic fundamentalists. The Spanish would be wise to ignore this deception, find out who actually was behind the attacks, and punish them. American failure to do this after the assassination of JFK has led directly to the terrible state the United States is in today.

posted at 2:57 AM permanent link
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
Just in the past couple of weeks, Ariel Sharon and the Israelis have managed to permanently alienate the countries of Turkey, New Zealand and France; the International Court of Justice has definitively ruled against the wall; and the first major American church has started the process of divestment, a process which had a profound effect on the ending of apartheid. These are great days for Zionism.
posted at 5:42 AM permanent link
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
In July 2003, MI6 withdrew the intelligence which had been used in Tony the Poodle's September 2002 Iraq dossier, and in particular the intelligence which formed the basis of the 45-minute claim. It withdrew the intelligence because the intelligence sources were found to be 'unsafe', which presumably means they were found to be liars. John Scarlett somehow managed to give his testimony at the Hutton Inquiry without mentioning this fact! Here is an amazing part of Scarlett's testimony in answer to a question concerning allegations that there was disquiet in the intelligence community over the 45-minute claim (paragraph 167):
"I was therefore confident, as I had been all along, that the representatives of the intelligence community were not aware of disquiet about the inclusion of the 45 minute point in the dossier, and that there was nobody in a position to represent the intelligence community, that is at the level of the JIC and senior members of the intelligence community, who had raised any difficulty with this point at all."
and, in answer to a follow-up question (paragraphs 167 and 168; my emphasis):
"Q. There are two elements to that statement, Mr Scarlett, are there not? One is disquiet about the 45 minutes claim and the other is its inclusion in the dossier. But anybody listening would have thought there was no disquiet about the 45 minutes claim as it appeared in the dossier.
A. I briefed the Prime Minister in the terms that I have just said. In fact that sentence as written there links the two, '... provoked disquiet amongst the intelligence community, which disagreed with its inclusion in the dossier'. There was no disagreement, and even now, after we have heard about some disquiet in one particular section of one particular part of the intelligence community, that is not about its inclusion in the dossier. So actually that statement is a solid one. I briefed the Prime Minister in the terms I have just said."
Unbelievable! Scarlett gave this testimony under oath to Lord Hutton at a time he was aware that the intelligence he spoke about had in fact been withdrawn. He didn't technically perjure himself, as the intelligence had been withdrawn after the dossier had been prepared, but he skated as close as possible to lying as it is possible to go, and he certainly misled Lord Hutton as to what had been going on. We now have confirmation in the Butler report that the dossier was indeed 'sexed up', and Gilligan, the BBC, and David Kelly have been completely vindicated. What can we learn from this incredible conspiracy of silence to keep secret the fact that the intelligence had been withdrawn? What are they all trying to hide? Rowena Thursby has an answer:
"Note the date MI6 decided to cease reporting this intelligence: the article below reports that it was July, last year. What date? 17th. (Courtesy BBC Newsnight). 17th July 2003 is the day that Dr Kelly disappeared. Kelly had twice been subject to severe grillings by British MoD/intelligence during the previous 10 days. Isn't it a striking possibility that MI6 discovered their sources were unreliable from Kelly during those grillings? If Kelly knew how unreliable the dossier sources were, this would have made him a severe liability. MI6 kept the information under wraps as long as they could . . . but with his high regard for truth and accuracy, had Kelly lived, he might not have done the same."
Did MI6 murder Kelly because it was afraid he would go back to the BBC with information that it was incompetent? Imagine what Kelly and Gilligan could have cooked up if Kelly had information that the intelligence sources M16 had relied on were obvious liars, at least obvious to a real expert on the subject like Kelly. More than just point out that the intelligence was faulty, Kelly may have been able to point out that the intelligence was so obviously faulty that its use had to be part of a conspiracy to drag Britain into an unnecessary war. Britain would have gone to war in part on the basis of intelligence work that was either clearly incompetent or intentionally misleading, and the problem could be traced back to specific people. Has the intelligence community kept quiet about the withdrawal of the intelligence because the timing of Kelly's death is very suspicious? Can we now identify the 'many dark actors playing games' that David Kelly referred to in his email to Judith Miller?
posted at 3:31 AM permanent link
Friday, July 23, 2004
The story goes that Linda Ronstadt in her introduction to the song 'Desperado' before an audience at a Las Vegas casino made some comments praising Michael Moore and his film. This is said to have caused a near riot, with protestors throwing drinks and defacing posters, and half the audience booing and storming out. This reaction was the excuse the casino 'owner' had for escorting her off the premises, stating she'll never return. Didn't anyone else find this whole story bullshitty?:
Ronstadt is a known lefty, and has made the same comment at other venues with nary a word of protest. The audience could hardly have been surprised when she made this kind of remark.
Las Vegas isn't known for the depth of its political feelings. In fact, experts on the city find this reaction to be bizarre.
Her remarks were about as uncontroversial as any mention of Moore could possibly be.
Ronstadt claims she wasn't thrown out, as if the whole story was embellished after the fact by the casino 'owner' (I write 'owner' as we all know who really owns all the casinos, don't we?).
The Republicans are terrified of Moore's film, as it has crossed the barrier from being a film for Democrats to being a film popular and liked by a huge swath of Middle America. As Americans like the film, Republican operators are having no success depicting it as a partisan work of propaganda. People who see it are being exposed to questions about Bush that would never even be hinted at in the disgusting American media.
Immediately after the 'riot', as if they were all ready for it, the disgusting American media covered the story as evidencing the supposed gulf between Americans and these elitist Hollywood liberals, trying to claim that people like Moore and Ronstadt are actually driving people into the arms of the Republicans.
All of this generally fits into Republican propaganda, going back to Nixon's 'silent majority', that there is a vast and uncrossable gulf between the East and West Coast snooty elites, with their questionable morality and 'un-American' values, and the rest of the decent, god-fearing people who make up the vast majority of the population. It is not at all clear that Middle America is anywhere near as conformist as Republicans and some Democrats would have you believe.
It should be obvious that this whole incident was a Republican dirty tricks set-up, much like the Brooks Brothers Riot of Republican operatives who descended on Florida to pretend to be concerned citizens and stopped the vote counting in Florida before it could be determined that Gore had actually won. It also resembles the Hard Hat Riots of Nixon's time which were set up by Republican operatives who paid some of the rioters to make it seem that working class Americans were vehemently against the 'hippies' who were protesting the Vietnam war. The Las Vegas riot - if it in fact even occurred - and the reporting of the incident, especially the categorizing of it in strict Republican red-blue terms to show the supposed gulf between the Democrats and decent Americans, is almost certainly a creation of the Rovian propaganda mills. The Republicans are starting to panic a bit, as Moore has them spooked, so the dirty tricks are starting. What is sad is how easy it is for them to pull these stunts off.
posted at 3:03 AM permanent link

Monday, July 26, 2004
Ashlee Vance of The Register writes about the removal of the embarrassing old slogan for the American prison at Guantanamo Bay, 'The Least Worst Place' - a slogan based on yet another smart-ass remark by Rumsfeld - and about the U. S. Navy's peculiarly monikered spokesman:
"'The removal was ordered because the commanding officer did not feel it accurately reflected his vision of the base,' said Navy spokesman Lieutenant Mike Kafka.

(Yes, you're reading that correctly. A man named Kafka has been deployed to field questions about a prison where the criminals are only vaguely charged with crimes, can't speak to lawyers and likely will never get out.)"
posted at 2:28 AM permanent link
The Spanish police continue to plant evidence in the Madrid bombing case (my italics and bold type):
"Police in Spain have found a second car used in the train bombings in Madrid in March, reports say.

The abandoned rental car was discovered in the town of Alcala de Henares, where several of the bombs are thought to have been loaded on to trains, in June.

Spanish newspaper El Mundo said the car was parked 30 metres from where another vehicle also believed to have been used by the bombers was found.".
and:
"A resident of the Madrid suburb alerted police to the car after noticing it had been abandoned, El Mundo said.

Police treated it as a stolen vehicle and returned it to the rental company, whose staff started to clean it - before discovering a suitcase inside containing suspicious material.

'Much of the evidence that the terrorists left inside the car disappeared in the course of the cleaning of the car,' the daily said.

DNA tests confirmed that the car was used by two suspected suspects in the case, one of whom blew themselves (sic) up in a flat in April to avoid arrest, the report said."
I think even people who find conspiracy theory silly are going to have trouble with this one. The police:
failed to examine a car found 30 meters from another vehicle which is supposed to have been used by the bombers; and
when alerted that the car appeared to be abandoned in the area of the terrorist car, returned it without having any suspicions about it, and in particular missed the suitcase containing 'suspicious material' (does it remind you of 'Atta's' suitcase found at Logan Airport?);
to a rental company which gave it such a cleaning it destroyed nearly all the evidence except, conveniently, DNA evidence which tied the car to two suspected suspects in the case;
one of whom had blown himself up in what remains a very troubling incident when the main supposed terrorist plotter, while surrounded by police, conveniently made himself permanently unavailable before he could proclaim his innocence or for whom he was working.
The suitcase contained the cliché cassettes with calls to jihad and martyrdom. After discovering this evidence, the police waited one month before bothering to mention it to the judge investigating the case (the police claim they were being 'cautious'). It is clear that as evidence continues to mount showing connections between the patsies and Spanish police, the police are starting to panic, and are resorting to some rather obvious evidence manufacturing.
posted at 12:05 AM permanent link
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Further adventures (or here or here) of the Spanish police (my italics and bold):
"Discrepancies started to emerge as members of the Spanish parliament probing the aftermath of the March 11 rail bombings quizzed police on duty on the day of Spain's worst ever terror attack. Police chief inspector Luis Martin Gomez told the enquiry how he had examined a van understood to have been used by the bombers in the town of Alcala de Henares, the small town east of Madrid from where they set off with their deadly cargo. Gomez said he saw nothing suspicious in the seized vehicle, which he looked over only briefly 'for two or three seconds' before it was transported to Madrid for further investigations. A later search uncovered detonators and a tape containing Koranic verses. Gomez then described earlier intelligence service claims that the detonators had been left clearly in view as if to call deliberate attention to them as 'utterly false'."
and (my italics):
"Madrid's former head of security, Santiago Cuadro meanwhile contradicted evidence given last week by his then superiors, insisting he had never said the explosives used were of a type ETA used in the past. Cuadro said he had merely told former police deputy director Pedro Diaz-Pintado just hours after the blasts that there were 'indications' to that effect. He added he was 'sure to have spoken of dynamite' and not Titadyne, used in past ETA attacks. But Diaz-Pintado had told the hearing he remembered Cuadro spoke specifically of 'Titadyne with a detonator cord.' It was early on March 12 that the explosive was revealed as Goma-2 Eco. Members of the inquiry said Wednesday it was possible that either a poor quality telephone line or the great stress officials faced led to the confusion."
and:
"Further uncertainty surrounds the caretaker of a building opposite where the van was parked. He told officials he saw police discover the van's contents. A supposedly secret intelligence report backs that contention that the police checked over the vehicle on the spot.

But some police officers say the van was only searched in the late afternoon of March 11 after being taken to police headquarters in the capital."
It's not just the many discrepancies in the various stories of the police and intelligence services, or the fact that the supposed terrorists loudly proclaim their innocence in a manner completely unlike fundamentalist terrorists who should be proud of what they did and basking in the publicity they must have sought, or the fact that the Aznar government knowingly lied to the Spanish people, or the fact that the supposed terrorists made telephone calls from outside a police station, or the fact that at least some of them were police informants, or the fact that Aznar has now made the very peculiar admission that his government lied, or the convenient fact that the main alleged terrorist managed to blow himself up while surrounded by Spanish police and thus deprived himself of the court forum to express his supposed terrorist grievances (without a death penalty to face, why would he kill himself?), or the amazing story of the Spanish police and the rental car. Were I Spanish I'd probably be equally as concerned about the fact that the Spanish police and intelligence services participated in the murder of Spanish citizens for extreme right-wing neo-fascist political purposes, and the fact that they are clearly such a bunch of incompetent boobs.
posted at 1:45 AM permanent link
Thursday, July 29, 2004
I think this little article by Ran HaCohen is the best description of the true nature of the Israeli-American security wall that is rapidly surrounding the Palestinians. There is a tendency to see the issue as merely being the fact that the wall annexes Palestinian lands, but the problem is actually much worse (my italics):
"Just like you don't call a book 'a paper,' or bread 'flour,' you won't call this a Wall. What Israel is building in the West Bank is made of walls and fences, but it is not a wall or a fence. It is something very different. I am not sure about its proper name: ghettos? Extra-judicial detention centers? Open-air prisons? A network of cages for humans? I am not sure there is a name for it; I am not sure it has a precedent in human history. Not only has it got nothing to do with the comparatively miniature Berlin Wall, it has clearly very little to do even with the Apartheid Bantustans, which encompassed tens of thousands of square kilometers each. The West Bank cages often comprise just a few hectares, which is a different thing altogether.

Decades ago, a common Israeli argument was that the West Bank and Gaza were too small for a viable Palestinian state. Be that as it may, nobody would claim that a fully built-up 2 x 2 km (1.5 sq. mi.) cage, with no public facilities, no land reserves for housing, no fields, and with a gate guarded by a hostile army, is a viable place to live in. The Israeli authorities know this very well; after all, their own passion for land is insatiable. Their intention is clear: sooner or later, the hopelessly caged population will have to leave simply to escape starvation. This is ethnic cleansing, making life impossible so that the Palestinians are forced out. The nearer we get to the Green Line and to major settlements, the smaller the cages get. These are the areas that Israel wants most, so living conditions should drive away the indigenous Palestinian population there as soon as possible."
I really have to apologize to apartheid South Africa for calling it an apartheid wall, as the Israeli-American wall is much, much worse than anything built by the Boers. It is also a great insult to communist East Germany to compare it to the Berlin wall. It is like something Kafka might have dreamed up, thousands of people enclosed in a massive network of cages, security gates, Palestinian roads blocked to vehicle traffic, and settler roads that are off-limits but are built to ensure the maximum inconvenience to Palestinians, all guarded by brutal young Israeli thug-soldiers whose job is to cause the maximum suffering to Palestinians. The Israelis are intentionally setting up a series of concentration camps. The purpose is not Israeli security, as a wall built along the Green Line would accomplish that supposed goal. The point is to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians so the Zionists can conclude their project of stealing their land. The wall is one of the most obscene visions ever conceived by a human being.
posted at 1:54 AM permanent link
Saturday, July 31, 2004
From a 'Statement Of Facts Reported By A Third Party' on the events at Narita Airport preceding Bobby Fischer's detention in Japan:
"Bobby found all of this to be slightly incredible because Bobby's passport was perfectly valid in every way with about two and one half years left on it till it expired on January 23rd of 2007. Furthermore in October and November of 2003 Bobby had personally visited the Bern, Switzerland U.S. embassy (the same U.S. embassy that had originally issued the 10 year passport No. Z7792702 to Bobby on January 24, 1997) because Bobby's passport was almost completely full with almost no place left for more visa stamps. Bobby had been sternly advised on several occasions by both Japanese and Hong Kong immigration officials that his passport urgently needed to get more pages put into it immediately so there would be space for more visa stamps. In about late October of 2003 Bobby told the people in the U.S. embassy at Bern, Switzerland that he needed more pages for his passport otherwise he soon wouldn't be able to travel for lack of space to make visa stamps. After about 10 days and many phone calls back and forth and at least 2 visits to the embassy in Bern they finally gave Bobby the extra pages for his passport.

The embassy at Bern never explained to Bobby what the delay was all about except to say that the state department needed time to make the decision whether or not to give him the extra pages. To Bobby surprise on November 6, 2003 they gave him the 20 or so extra page insert which they professionally bound into his passport free of charge! Such service! But that was about 8 months ago in neutral Switzerland. Now Bobby was in U.S. occupied? excuse US-U.S. controlled Japan. But it is highly significant and important to reemphasize that when Bobby personally presented his perfectly valid U.S. passport No. Z7792702 to the U.S. Embassy at Bern, Switzerland on November 6, 2003 far from confiscating and destroying his passport they actually gave him an about 20 page insert for it! The embassy perfectly sewed the insert into Bobby’s passport themselves in some high-tech manner so that it appears to be an integral part of the passport. If Bobby’s passport were 'Illegal' or 'revoked' or 'Invalid' or whatever then one would think that that was the time for the embassy to make their claim however false, unlawful and illegal that claim might be . . . "
Fugitives may not be issued a new American passport unless it is used to enable them to return to face trial, but Fischer was issued a new American passport in 1997, at a time when he was a fugitive, and had further dealings with American authorities concerning the passport in late 2003. The Americans now claim that his passport was revoked in a December 11, 2003 letter from the U.S. Embassy in Manila, a letter Fischer says he never received, and he apparently had no difficulty using his passport to enter Japan in 2004. If Fischer never saw the letter revoking his passport, he never received an opportunity to protest the revocation, which is his right under American law (the letter was only shown to Fischer the day after his detention by an American official). A spokesman for the American embassy in Tokyo has now denied that there is any connection between Fischers's detention and Japan's request for special treatment for alleged U.S. army deserter Charles Robert Jenkins. It is clear that there is such a connection, and that Japan has effectively agreed with the Americans to trade Fischer for Jenkins. Jenkins has entered Japan and the U. S. military claims to be preparing a case against him, so we'll see if there was a deal if that case is never presented. The Japanese interest in Jenkins is due to the fact he is married to a Japanese woman who was kidnapped by the North Koreans and held there for over twenty years. The real American interest in Fischer appears to be that he had the temerity to connect American policy towards the Middle East and what he felt to be retribution on September 11, 2001 for the injustice of that policy (it is also possible that this American action, like the whole attack on Iraq, reflects little George Bush's psychological need to clean up matters for his daddy, who may have been offended that Fischer defied his order not to play Spassky in Yugoslavia in 1992). The coincidence of Fischer traveling for years on an American passport and only encountering trouble when Japan needs an American favor, with Japanese authorities somehow miraculously finding out about the revocation between the time Fischer enters the country and the time he attempts to leave, is too great to ignore. It will be a tragedy if extreme nationalist attitudes in Japan towards protecting the interests of its citizens, as seen most notably in the scandal of Japan sheltering Peruvian crook Fujimori, results in the destruction of perhaps the greatest chess player of all time.
posted at 3:17 AM permanent link
Monday, August 02, 2004
One of the mysteries of the American occupation of Iraq is why the Americans have not spent more of the over $18 billion Congress has approved for Iraqi reconstruction. Only $458 million, less than three per cent of the total, has been spent. One reason for the reticence to spend the money may be that the Bush Administration plans (or, partly, here) to use part of the $18 billion to cover Iraq's sovereign debts to the U. S. It is a complete mystery of how much debt there is, but it may amount to $5 billion or even more (see chart here). Since they don't know how much they'll need or even if this repayment scheme will fly, the Americans are probably in no hurry to disburse money to the benefit of the Iraqis. Since this money was earmarked to help pay for some of the damage caused to the Iraqi economy by the American attack, and since it is part of the American propaganda effort to prove that American motives in attacking Iraq were pure, it is ridiculous to use bookkeeping to make a large part of it disappear. It is even more absurd to do this while the American government insists that other countries simply write off their sovereign debt (a process that isn't going very well, possibly in part due to foreign knowledge that the Americans don't expect to have to do the same thing themselves). To add to the absurdity, the Bush Administration is actually paying all the massive amounts to military contractors like Halliburton out of Iraqi oil moneys. So the oil is stolen from the Iraqi people to enrich Bush's military-industrial complex friends, a large chunk of the reconstruction money is simply turned around back into the U. S. treasury, and all the other countries of the world who were owed money from Iraq are expected to write it off so even more oil money can be diverted to American carpetbaggers. Ain't accounting grand?
posted at 3:11 AM permanent link
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Five car bombs exploded outside Christian churches in Baghdad and Mosul. Although there are conflicting reports, at least some of these attacks are said to have been set off by suicide bombers. These attacks were immediately blamed on Iraqi insurgents although there is no evidence of who is responsible (even more ridiculously, they were blamed on Zarqawi, who must be the busiest dead man in Iraq). As has already been pointed out (or here), it makes absolutely no sense for these attacks to be the work of Islamic militants. Although Christians have been targeted by fundamentalists, it is for what the fundos see as the sin of selling alcohol, and not for being Christian. There is no history of Islamic violence against Christians in Iraq, who have after all been there for thousands of years. The most important Islamic cleric in Iraq, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, has condemned the attacks. It is also completely unclear what the point would be for insurgents to attack a minority group of Iraqis when their clear goal is to drive the Americans out of the country. This kind of attack is very expensive in terms of resources used, and even more costly if suicide bombers are wasted, and makes absolutely no sense in the context of the real goal of the insurgents. The insurgency has very cleverly been targeting nationals of various members of the pathetic 'coalition', those countries that are so deeply corrupted that they are involved in sending their own people to die in Iraq in place of the Americans who ought to be dying there. The countries who have pulled out to protect the lives of their own citizens ought to be congratulated, and those who have not are the most pathetic group of loser countries in the world. The insurgents obviously plan to peel off each member of the coalition, leaving the final battle against Americans. The main technique will be the taking of large groups of hostages, and it wouldn't surprise me if that started to happen soon, so as to have an effect on the American election (little do they know that Americans are too stupid to vote in their own self interest!). For the insurgents to waste valuable resources attacking Christian churches is senseless, given their real priorities. There is only one country which benefits from this kind of inter-ethnic conflict in Iraq, and that country is Israel. Israel is afraid that a united Iraq run by Islamic fundamentalists will be more of a danger to it than Iraq run by Saddam. We already know that Israel is operating in Kurdistan to cause problems there, to the extent that it has permanently alienated its increasingly important ally Turkey. Why would we not accept the fact that the same logic that places Israel in Kurdistan would also place it in the rest of the country? Most of the bombing attacks against innocent Iraqis also make no sense from the point of view of the insurgents, whose only real enemy is the Americans and those countries pathetic enough to support them. Why kill their own people? The only group with motive, means and opportunity are the Israelis and the American neo-con stooges who work for the Israelis. All common sense says that it is these people who should be first in line to be suspects in the attacks against the Christian churches, and in most of the mass bombing attacks we have recently seen. There are two parallel wars going on in Iraq: one is the Islamic insurgents trying to free their country of the brutal American occupation, and the other is the war of the Israelis and the neo-cons trying to permanently destabilize and shatter the country so it will never pose a threat to Israel. It is the second war which leads me to believe, despite good will and family ties between Shi'ites and Sunnis that have thus far led to relative peace, that Iraq is doomed to enter into an enormously costly and destructive civil war caused by Israeli and American agents provocateurs. This will not be in the interest of Iraq or the true interests of Americans (imagine the price of oil!), but will be in the interests of only one small group of people in the Middle East.
posted at 2:41 AM permanent link
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Somebody has apparently taken credit for the bombing of Christian churches in Iraq, and here is a paragraph from an article (or here) about it, with my italics added:
"'You wanted a crusader war, so these are the results. ... We warned you,' the statement by a little-known Islamist group calling itself the Planning and Follow-Up Organization in Iraq said on a site where a number of claims have been posted in recent weeks."
It has become absurdly easy to frame whatever group is supposed to take the blame for an atrocity. Hire a few thugs - who may or may not know what they are supposed to be doing - to set the bombs, tell someone to stand next to a certain car before the bombing (his remains become the remains of the 'suicide bomber'), and make up some posting on the internet by a 'little-known' group to take credit for it. Instant Islamic fundamentalist attack. There is not the tiniest bit of real evidence of who set the bombs, but everyone, with the assistance of the press which knows how to frame the reporting in line with the Official Story, falls into line. It seems to make no difference that the thrust of the story makes absolutely no sense in the context of the real battle that is being fought in Iraq.
posted at 1:28 AM permanent link
Thursday, August 05, 2004
From an article (or here or here) on the latest in the increasingly long line of FBI whistle-blowers, Mike German, a man who has left the FBI in a dispute over a botched undercover investigation (my emphasis):
" . . . officials with knowledge of the case said the investigation took place in the Tampa, Fla., area and centered on an informant's tip about a meeting between suspected associates of a domestic militia-type group and a major but unidentified Islamic terrorist organization, who were considering joining forces. A tape recording of the meeting appeared to lend credence to the report, one official said."
This was in 2002, proving that the FBI is still up to its old tricks. Unlike the alleged Saddam-al Qaeda connection, which makes no sense, a connection between Islamic fundamentalists and American extreme right-wingers makes perfect sense. They both want to use violence to do bad things to the United States, and they are both highly anti-Semitic. The militia-types are usually short of cash, but can show the well-funded Islamic fundamentalists the ropes of operating in the United States. There is good reason to believe that the Oklahoma City bombing was such a joint venture (and don't forget the Triple Border where Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil meet which apparently contains a mix of terrorist groups, including extreme right-wing Americans and Islamic fundamentalists). Unfortunately, extreme right-wingers seem to have a fan in John Ashcroft, and they don't meet the current stereotype of what a terrorist is supposed to be, so this kind of investigation is probably a career-limiting move in the FBI or Department of Justice. The official American position is that all terrorists are Muslims, a point of view which allows the American government to use the threat of terrorism for various foreign and domestic goals. In the meanwhile, a few right-wingers are arrested from time to time, some with enormous quantities of weapons, but don't make the mainstream news because their arrests have no political value for the American government.
posted at 2:13 AM permanent link


Friday, August 06, 2004
The Mujahideen Information Centre (you have to laugh that mujahideen need PR), representing three Islamic 'terrorist' groups, has denied (or different versions here or here) that their militants were behind the church bombings in Iraq. Their statement blamed Iraq's national security advisor Mowaffaq al-Rubaie of involvement in the blasts "with the help of the Zionists and Americans". Mowaffaq al-Rubaie used to be the spokesman for the Daawa (or Dawa) Party, an anti-Saddam terrorist organization, so the accusation isn't as crazy as it seems. He is also the guy who immediately popped up to blame Zarqawi. I remain convinced that such an attack by Islamic fundamentalists is senseless, particularly when they have to hoard their meagre resources to fight the main battle, that against the illegal and brutal occupiers in their country. The 'strategy of tension' as applied to Iraq is working, as the disgusting American press has used it as an excuse to claim that the Christians in Iraq are leaving for Syria and Jordan. If you examine the numbers, however, it is clear that the migration is tiny, hardly worth an article in the prestigious NYT. It is also mostly caused by the violence of the occupiers, and the general lawlessness caused by the failure of the occupiers to live up to their obligations under international law to maintain the peace. The idea that Christians are being forced to flee Islamic terrorist violence is in line with typical neocon-Zionist propaganda consistently spouted by the NYT that neither Christians nor Jews can peaceably live with Muslims.
posted at 6:25 AM permanent link
Sunday, August 08, 2004
Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke have written an excellent article on American neo-conservatism. They write:
"The three chief tenets of neo-conservative ideology are:
the human condition is a choice between good and evil, and
the true measure of political character is to be found in the willingness
by the former (themselves) to confront the latter
the fundamental determinant of the relationship between states rests
on military power and the willingness to use it
the Middle East and global Islam is the prime theatre for American
overseas interests."
As they point out, the disease of neo-conservatism is more in the mainstream of American politics than many would like to admit. At particular points of stress in American history, like September 11:
" . . . it appears that the combination of a crusading idealism, an assertion of the universal applicability of American values, and the willingness (indeed eagerness) to use force to back them can overwhelm the venerable 'checks and balances' considered integral to the American political process. Some argue that Republican administrations may be more vulnerable to this process, since the party's driving spirit has shifted from cosmopolitan globalists towards America-first populists – a development accelerated by the increased influence of a conservative and fundamentalist talk-radio culture.

In the case of Iraq, a determined special interest was capable of leading a march to war without any effective counterweight to its seizure of the levers of power. The central failure was in the Condoleezza Rice-led National Security Council; despite her training in traditional statecraft and alliance management, Rice was unwilling or unable to highlight the imbalances in decision-making arising from the neo-conservative dynamics in the defense department and vice-president’s office."
Congress and the media also completely abdicated their responsibility to serve as a check to the special interests who advocated the attack on Iraq. As these systematic failures are not caused by neo-conservatism, but rather by a combination of intellectual and structural weaknesses in the American political system, the danger remains that the next crisis will lead to the same problem caused by another special interest group, even after the neo-cons are chased out of Washington. I have always thought that neo-conservatism was just a continuation of Kissinger Realpolitik, without the little bit of common sense that Kissinger was able to bring to the table. All the talk about thinkers like Leo Strauss was just intended to add a little false intellectual respectability to what was essentially the same old group of American thugs telling the rest of the world how morally superior America is, and if you don't agree we'll prove it by killing you. The only new factors added by neo-conservatives were their particular interest in advancing the interests of Likudniks in Israel using the assets and lives of Americans, and a bungling incompetence inspired by the current President. Otherwise, it's just the same old combination of moral smugness and violence that has characterized much of American history.
posted at 4:05 AM permanent link
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
As William S. Burroughs said, "Paranoia is just knowing all the facts" (see this good collection of quotes, with my favorite being that of Brendan Behan: "There is no situation in human misery that cannot be made worse by the presence of a police officer"). Poor Bobby Fischer is said to be paranoid, but it turns out he was right (just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they aren't really out to get me). Since we are all now living under the Surveillance-Industrial Complex, and are thus justifiably paranoid, here is an article from 2002 by Marc Roessler called "How to find hidden cameras" (with a small update here).
posted at 11:55 PM permanent link

Wednesday, August 11, 2004
John Kerry's seeming inability to articulate a coherent position on Iraq, his unwillingness to distance himself from Bush when the increasingly unpopular disaster of a war there should be a clear political winner for Kerry, may be a manifestation of the systematic problem in American politics which allows thugs like the neocons to force a war through all the checks and balances which are supposed to protect the American political system. Once the American psyche is 'in play' due to some real or artificial threat to the country, the peculiar American combination of moral self-righteousness and violence manifests itself in inevitable foreign entanglements if there is some interested party in power with ulterior motives for war. Kerry may be more of a mainstream American than his background would suggest, and be channeling the knee-jerk reaction of Americans to a perceived crisis, or have come to the cynical realization that the only way he can become President is if he manages to outdo Rove in manipulating American opinion. Even a hint of sensible pacifism won't fly in today's talk-show world where any nuanced approach is easily ridiculed, and this despite the fact that it is clear that the vast majority of Americans dislike the American violence against the Iraqi people. In order to become President, if you are not gifted with the natural stupidity of Bush, you have to pretend to be stupid by claiming to have dumb and simplistic policy positions.
posted at 3:05 AM permanent link
Saturday, August 14, 2004
Here's Bob Dreyfuss on Kerry's position on Iraq:
"Kerry's failure to articulate a coherent policy on Iraq has now reached the status of a three-alarm fire. It seems almost unbelievable: On one hand, here's a president who invaded a sovereign nation illegally, without the support of the United Nations or U.S. allies, lied about the reasons for the war, failed utterly to find WMD or terrorism ties in Baghdad, misjudged post-invasion Iraq so badly that it is still engaging in nearly full-scale war against the people of Iraq, and apparently has no plan at all about what to do.

And yet it's Kerry on the defensive?"
It is unbelievable. Kerry has managed to take his strongest weapon against Bush - an illegal war which is turning into a disaster, is disliked by the majority of Americans, and was sold to Congress and the American people based on a long series of lies told by the Bush Administration - and completely mangled it. It is so bad that Bush can use Kerry's own words as an endorsement of Bush's Presidency. Kerry has taken what he should have been able to play like Vince Carter in the slam dunk competition, and played it like Vince Carter during the regular season. Kerry voted as he did because he was lied to, and he should be emphasizing that he shares the status of being lied to with all Americans. Here is what Senator Bill Nelson of Florida had to say about it (my italics and bold type):
"I, along with nearly every Senator in this Chamber, in that secure room of this Capitol complex, was not only told there were weapons of mass destruction - specifically chemical and biological - but I was looked at straight in the face and told that Saddam Hussein had the means of delivering those biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction by unmanned drones, called UAVs, unmanned aerial vehicles. Further, I was looked at straight in the face and told that UAVs could be launched from ships off the Atlantic coast to attack eastern seaboard cities of the United States.

Is it any wonder that I concluded there was an imminent peril to the United States? The first public disclosure of that information occurred perhaps a couple of weeks later, when the information was told to us.
It was prior to the vote on the resolution and it was in a highly classified setting in a secure room. But the first public disclosure of that information was when the President addressed the Nation on TV. He
said that Saddam Hussein possessed UAVs.

Later, the Secretary of State, Colin Powell, in his presentation to the United Nations, in a very dramatic and effective presentation, expanded that and suggested the possibility that UAVs could be launched against the homeland, having been transported out of Iraq. The information was made public, but it was made public after we had already voted on the resolution, and at the time there was nothing to contradict that.

We now know, after the fact and on the basis of Dr. Kay's testimony today in the Senate Armed Services Committee, that the information was false; and not only that there were not weapons of mass destruction - chemical and biological - but there was no fleet of UAVs, unmanned aerial vehicles, nor was there any capability of putting UAVs on ships
and transporting them to the Atlantic coast and launching them at U.S. cities on the eastern seaboard.

I am upset that the degree of specificity I was given a year and a half ago, prior to my vote, was not only inaccurate; it was patently false. I want some further explanations.

Now, what I have found after the fact - and I presented this to Dr. Kay this morning in the Senate Armed Services Committee - is there was avigorous dispute within the intelligence community as to what the CIA had concluded was accurate about those UAVs and about their ability to be used elsewhere outside of Iraq. Not only was it in vigorous dispute, there was an outright denial that the information was accurate. That was all within the intelligence community.

But I didn't find that out before my vote. I wasn't told that. I wasn't told that there was a vigorous debate going on as to whether or not that was accurate information. I was given that information as if it were fact, and any reasonable person then would logically conclude that the interests of the United States and its people were in immediate jeopardy and peril. That has turned out not to be true."
and:
"I don't want to be voting on war resolutions in the future based on information that is patently false when everybody is telling me, looking me eyeball to eyeball, that it is
true."
Senators, many of whom were very skeptical about the attack on Iraq, were given a special briefing on why Saddam was supposedly a threat to the United States, focusing particularly on drones which were allegedly capable of attacking the eastern seaboard with chemical and biological weapons. This was completely untrue - actually, laughably untrue - and the Bush Administration knew it was untrue. Any vote, including Kerry's, was tainted by these Bush Administration lies. Faced with uncontradicted claims that Saddam could actually attack the United States, who would want to be responsible for failing to defend the country against that threat? The Republicans have successfully turned this whole issue into an 'intelligence failure', when it is clear that the intelligence was essentially irrelevant, as the Bush Administration would have made up any lies, including ridiculous stories about killer drones, to force through a war they wanted for other reasons. This is one of the great scandals in American history. Why is Kerry campaigning in such a way as to completely remove from debate the Iraq war and the lies told which led to it? He and his handlers have apparently decided that it is too dangerous an issue, as Rove and his army of talk-show hosts can misstate his position to make Kerry look unpatriotic. Kerry has thus decided to put all his eggs in the basket of the failing American economy. The problem with that strategy is that the current statistical economic malaise is based entirely on the price of oil. As all conspiracy theorists know, the price of oil is completely manipulated, and Bush is in cahoots with the market makers. All Bush has to do is have them reduce the price for September and October (with the promise that they can make it all back and then some after the election), the stock markets will pop back up and the disgusting American press will start to crow that happy days are here again, and Kerry's economic issue will blow up in his face. Despite what Democrats are saying, Kerry is not in a strong position. He got very little help from the convention, and Bush will no doubt receive significant help from his upcoming convention. Bush still has the option of a terrorist or war October Surprise, rigged computer voting machines and voting lists, and five pocketed Supreme Court 'Justices'. It may turn out that all Bush needs as an October Surprise is two months of lowered gas prices.
posted at 1:02 AM permanent link
Monday, August 16, 2004
In the real world of conspiracy theory, as opposed to the fantasy world of the 'news', sexual blackmail against politicians is a common occurrence. It is a far more important part of the political process than anyone wants to acknowledge, and probably explains many of the otherwise inexplicable things that politicians do. In the normal course of political business, if the blackmailer wants money, the blackmailed politician goes to his 'bagmen', who either raise the money required to pay off the blackmailer, or raise a lesser amount to hire a hitman to put the blackmailer in a shallow grave in the New Jersey wetlands. The money is repaid in political favors. In most cases, of course, the blackmail isn't about money, but is a method for the Powers That Be to obtain direct control over the legislative agenda of the politician. It makes absolutely no sense for a blackmail victim who is being threatened with the loss of his political career by being outed to ruin his political career by outing himself. The story told by the New Jersey Governor makes no sense, and those looking for an alternative explanation are probably on the right track.
posted at 4:57 AM permanent link
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
The remarkable referendum results in Venezuela are not only a victory for the people of Venezuela, but are also a victory for the people of Latin America and the rest of the world (lots of referendum links here). The vote was almost 60% against a recall. Since this was just a vote to determine whether another vote would be held, 60% for Hugo Chavez can be considered to be a landslide of support for his administration and the direction he is leading the country. It is a stunning smack-down for the playboy parasite opposition and their American supporters. Some comments:
The opposition has been using calls for a recall for months to stifle Hugo Chavez' ability to carry out his full legislative agenda. It was clear that they never really wanted a vote which they knew they would lose, but just wanted to create enough controversy to provide the background for another coup attempt. They again provided forged signatures in their efforts to cause a recall, hoping that Chavez would take the bait and fight over the signatures, leading to his portrayal as anti-democratic. Jimmy Carter, who completely shredded what little reputation he had in carrying the can for the opposition, was part of this plan, and it no doubt was intended to lead to another coup where the Americans would 'restore democracy' to Venezuela (just as they have provided democracy to Iraq!). Hugo Chavez, who seems to have a great political sense, ruined their plot by accepting the dodgy signatures, thus leading to the referendum which he no doubt was sure he would easily win. Now he has an unassailable mandate to do for the poor of Venezuela what he has been promising to do.
It is probably a bit of an oversimplification to say that the Bush Administration hates Chavez because they are Evil and he is Good, but not much of an oversimplification. Chavez stands for redistribution of stolen assets from the playboy parasite class to the desperately poor, for an end to the American neo-liberal trade policies, for Latin American solidarity against American neo-colonialism, for control of the price of oil in the hands of oil producing countries, and for a fair deal for oil producing nations from the multinational oil companies. The thugs in the Bush Administration hate all these things, but are probably the most angry about plans to negotiate the royalty rates on oil production. They consider the exploitation of oil producing nations to be sacred, and any deviance from this sets a dangerous precedent for the rest of the world.
This victory will hopefully light a bit of a fire under Lula in Brazil and Kirchner in Argentina. Lula talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk. Kirchner has been failing badly, having specifically promised not to pay the IMF on the backs of the poor, but apparently headed to doing just that. The bully boys from Washington must have arrived with suitcases full of bribe money.
As opposed to the horrible governments in the United States and Britain, this victory represents yet another example of a return to sanity in most of the rest of the world. Over and over again we see countries turning away from American client parties towards leftist or at least centrist parties. Neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism are being rejected everywhere. The exploitative trade policies which have been labeled 'free trade' are seen for the neo-colonialism that they are. The bad example of the United States is doing wonders for the internal politics of much of the rest of the world.
Hugo Chavez may in fact be the most dangerous man in the world. Despite the enormous economic power of the opposition, funded in part by money from the American government, and the vehement opposition of all the private media outlets in the country, he keeps winning elections. He does this by promising to help the poor, and, to the extent he is able, keeping his promises. Tied in with this is the fact that his Bolivarian revolution has as an essential part an outreach program to the poor, where he is able to solicit support and ideas, and give the poorest people a feeling of empowerment which they have never felt before. This structure gives Hugo Chavez a tremendous ability to mobilize his supporters, an ability which is almost unprecedented in the world. Can you imagine what politics would be like in the United States if there was a political party willing and able to mobilize the American poor to protest and to vote? The United States is beyond saving, but all over the world, and in particular in Latin America, the influence of Chavez' style of political organization will be profound. Cultural and economic factors have led to the de facto disenfranchisement of poor people. A feeling of hopelessness and futility means that the poor don't vote, and having no one who represents their class interests to vote for makes failing to vote a rational choice. Hugo Chavez has single-handedly provided a non-traditional, non-doctrinaire model of political organization which avoids many of the pitfalls of old socialism, and may end up changing the world. As a Canadian foreign affairs adviser to Chavez, Sharmini Peries, said:
"I think this is the class struggle of our life time. If this revolution succeeds, it means hope for the world."
posted at 2:14 AM permanent link
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
I recently wrote about one of my favorite websites, the DOE Network. Noah Shachtman, who writes another of my favorite websites, Defense Tech, has written an article for Wired on the story of the Tent Girl, an unidentified body found wrapped in a burlap sack, and how she was identified by a man named Todd Matthews using information found on the internet (see also here). This success inspired the DOE Network to set up its web site. The mysterious case of an unidentified man and woman found murdered in South Carolina, which I referred to in my earlier posting, has been updated with information that indicates to me that they were almost certainly French Canadian (the man claimed he was the son of a prominent Canadian doctor), and probably someone should be contacting dental associations in Quebec and New Brunswick. The DOE Network has also done recent postings on two infamous missing person cases, Judge Crater, and Richard James Edwards. I used to watch Unsolved Mysteries just for the missing person cases, and confess an addiction for this sort of mystery.
posted at 2:10 AM permanent link
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Matt Taibbi writes the righteous truth about the recent explanations by the New York Times and the Washington Post concerning their respective participations in spreading the Bush Administration lies about Iraq's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction:
"The problem with these newsprint confessions is not that they are craven, insufficient and self-serving, which of course they are. The problem is that, on the whole, they do not correct the pre-war mistakes, but actually further them. The Post would have you believe that its 'failure' before the war was its inability/reluctance to punch holes in Bush's WMD claims.

Right. I marched in Washington against the war in February 2003 with about 400,000 people, and I can pretty much guarantee that not more than a handful of those people gave a shit about whether or not Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. That's because we knew what the Post and all of these other papers still refuse to admit - this whole thing was never about weapons of mass destruction. Even a five-year-old, much less the literate executive editor of the Washington Post, could have seen, from watching Bush and his cronies make his war case, that they were going in anyway.

For God's sake, Bush was up there in the fall of 2002, warning us that unmanned Iraqi drones were going to spray poison gas on the continental United States. The whole thing—the 'threat' of Iraqi attack, the link to terrorism, the dire warnings about Saddam's intentions - it was all bullshit on its face, as stupid, irrelevant and transparent as a cheating husband's excuse. And I don't know a single educated person who didn't think so at the time.

The story shouldn't have been, 'Are there WMDs?' The story should have been, 'Why are they pulling this stunt? And why now?' That was the real mystery. It still is."
We all knew. There were no weapons of mass destruction. It was always a lie, and a supremely obvious lie. The Washington Post and the New York Times didn't just report the lie, they participated in it. To put it in legal terms, they aided and abetted the gross breach of international and American law that the Bush Administration pulled on the American Congress and people by tricking them into an unnecessary and disastrous attack on Iraq. The apologies or explanations are self-serving and deceitful. Neither Judith Miller nor the editors of the Times are as stupid as we are supposed to think they are, and the editors of the Post just had to read their own articles by Walter Pincus, published but hidden deep within the paper, to see what was really going on. We're somehow supposed to swallow that both Miller and the bigwigs in the Bush Administration were seduced by sweet-talking Chalabi, when Chalabi was just a creature of the PNAC conspiracy for war (Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress was set up by a PR firm called the Rendon Group, the same outfit behind the lies of the Kuwaiti incubator babies in the Gulf War, and Chalabi was just a useful tool for the creation of PNAC propaganda). The fact that Miller is still writing for the Times, and the fact that its original 'apology' didn't even mention her name, proves that this was a very deep and very high conspiracy, going up to the level of the publisher, to intentionally deceive the American people into a war that was desired for extreme Zionist reasons. The corruption at the Post seems to derive from a desire to mix with those in power, a desire which makes doing its job impossible. As Taibbi points out, the Post's focus in its apology on weapons of mass destruction is highly disingenuous. Bush used the weapons of mass destruction as a trick to fool Americans into war, and now the Post is using them as misdirection away from the Post's real problem, which is its fawning acceptance of the actions of those in power. You will never - never! - find the Washington Post speaking truth to power. Bush has managed, with the help of his crooked 9-11 commission, to portray the weapons fiasco as a problem of intelligence. This is nonsense, as the intelligence was completely irrelevant. Bush was going to go to war regardless of what his intelligence said or didn't say, and the Post and the Times knew it. Despite this, they published article after article repeating and reinforcing the warmongering lies of the Bush Administration. There are four real journalists in the United States who wrote on this issue: Seymour Hersh, Walter Pincus, Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay. Everyone else is either a traitor or just a waste of space. If you think you get the truth reading either the Washington Post or the New York Times, you are a fool.
posted at 1:19 AM permanent link
Friday, August 20, 2004
Juan Cole has a good posting on what we know about the disclosure of the name of alleged Pakistani double-agent Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan. While it makes sense that the Democrats should be using this incident to point out how the Republicans cynically manipulate the war on terror for their own political ends, and how incompetent they are in fighting that war, there is also something about this which bothers me. By making a big issue of the outing, opponents of Bush are playing right into the hands of the CIA cult of intelligence. The official story is that terrorism is being fought by electronic surveillance and the monitoring of 'chatter', the discovery of information in documents and laptops, and good intelligence obtained from interrogating people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh (it is still not even clear that either of these guys is actually in American custody). Pakistan keeps claiming that it has captured more al Qaeda members, and apparently can produce them to order (they are all probably in the Pakistani government phone book!), so the American aid money keeps flowing. Every week, we hear that somewhere in the world another 'high-level' al Qaeda member has been detained or killed. Al Qaeda seems to have a limitless number of 'high level' members! The fact is that all this intelligence, and indeed the whole war on terror, is a pile of bullshit. Despite onerous security measures against normal law-abiding American citizens, the rapid degradation of American civil liberties, and a slew of silly terror warnings where Tom Ridge gets to make a fool of himself, there is absolutely no evidence that the war on terror has done anything to make the United States or the world a safer place. Will good intelligence save the day? Did American intelligence provide foreknowledge of the attack in Bali? Madrid? Tunisia? Casablanca? Istanbul? Mombassa? Jakarta? Karachi and elsewhere in Pakistan? The series of attacks in Saudi Arabia? What exactly was Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan supposed to reveal that was so critically important? I might be inclined to grant him some importance if even one alleged informant had produced one piece of usable information during this whole war on terror. I know the British are making a big thing out of it, but they invented the cult of intelligence, and share all the delusions of the Bush Administration. All the intelligence and warnings were ignored prior to 9-11, and with the Bush Administration mangling the economy and the Iraq war and everything else, the war on terror is all the Republicans have left to sell. Despite all the bullshit, Americans are in much more danger now from terrorist attacks than they were prior to Bush, largely because of the American government's attitude towards, and actions in, the Middle East. There has been not one shred of evidence that the war on terror has stopped even one incident of terrorism, and all Bush can rely on now is the hocus-pocus of the cult of intelligence. The cult of intelligence makes it look like Bush is actually doing something constructive, provides a way for Pakistan to continue to suck up American aid money, and spreads a lot of money around hiring people who would otherwise probably just be common criminals, but is essentially just a silly game for grown-up children. Terrorism is only going to stop when the root causes are addressed. Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan is just part of the smoke and mirrors used to avoid facing the real issues.
posted at 1:53 AM permanent link
Sunday, August 22, 2004
Ted Honderich (whose website is here, its index here, and a recent article on him is here or here) on 'terrorism for humanity' and the struggle of national liberation of the Palestinian people (there is a footnote in the original text):
"The question of whether a campaign of terrorism for humanity is not only possibly but also actually justified comes down to whether it will work - whether it has a decent probability of gaining the end in question, or more likely one of a range of related ends, at a cost that makes the result worth it. Those of you who are superior to what is misconceived as consequentialism, and is sometimes absurdly understood as the idea that an end justifies any means, will do well to reflect that the reasoning in question is of just the form recommended by the orthodox theory of the just war.

The terrorism for humanity that is most likely to pass this final test of rationality is liberation-terrorism, which calls up human and moral resources greater than any other terrorism. Palestinian terrorism, for example, was of the strength to see through and disdain the dog's breakfast of a Palestinian state on offer during the presidency of Mr Clinton. It will, I think, see through and disdain any other dog's breakfast."
and, in a devastating few words on the hypocrisy of Zionism:
" . . . there is nothing unusual about such a claim as that the Palestinians are justified in their terrorism. Exactly such a claim is made daily by and on behalf of the Israeli state - explicitly or, less honourably, implicitly. Certainly its spokesmen are not informing us that what they are doing is wrong, maybe necessary and wrong. And there is nothing in between wrong and right - there are not degrees of being right or of being wrong."
and:
"The ordinary view is that the Palestinians have an indubitable right to what is perfectly properly described as their homeland. Can you accord such a right to a people or a person and deny to them the only possible means of getting or keeping the thing to which you accord them the right? Deny them a means to which there is no alternative?"
Is it possible that the killing of innocents is a morally justified act? If we get on our high horse and say that it can never be justified, do we have a good cry for the plight of the Palestinians when they are either killed or thrown to the four winds? The Israelis think that such killing is morally justified if the killing is done by Israelis, but not if it is done by Palestinians. The only way that makes sense is if we think that Palestinians aren't human beings. The argument will probably be made that Palestinian terrorism isn't necessary as the Palestinians could have had their state peacefully. This is an incorrect argument, and one that actually involves conspiracy theory, so I will have to devote another posting to it.
posted at 3:15 AM permanent link
You can download the entire text of the book "Gangs of America: The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy" by Ted Nace (some chapters are available here in HTML, and the whole book is available as a PDF file). Following the same general line of thinking, you can also go see the movie "The Corporation", which posits the thesis that corporations, if they were human beings, would be psychopaths (the thesis is well described here). The author of the book accompanying the movie, Joel Bakan, is interviewed here. Corporations aren't going to reform themselves, and will need radical alteration. Sooner or later we'll have to get around to changing the laws that allow them to do the evil that they do.
posted at 2:24 AM permanent link
Monday, August 23, 2004
From the - ahem - New York Times (my emphasis):
"Just five days after they arrived here to take over from U.S. Army units that had encircled Najaf since an earlier confrontation in the spring, new Marine commanders decided to smash guerrillas loyal to the rebel Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

In recent interviews, the Marine officers said they turned a firefight with al-Sadr's forces on Aug. 5 into a eight-day pitched battle - without the approval of the Pentagon or senior Iraqi officials."
Not a very likely story (but one they liked so much they repeated it in an editorial essentially complaining that some civilians were left alive in Falluja, a mistake the United States cannot afford to make again). It is improbable that American commanders would start a battle without Pentagon approval - this isn't an era where you have to communicate using pigeons - and utterly preposterous that they would be able to carry out a battle for eight days without official approval. The story is so preposterous, and the source, the always unreliable New York Times, so questionable, that we are obviously seeing disinformation in order to hide an embarrassing truth. Najaf is just like Falluja. The neocons are desperately trying to start World War III by bombing Islamic holy sites - just why do you think of all the places they could pick a completely unnecessary fight they decided to pick Najaf? - and the State Department, possibly with some elements in the Pentagon, is trying to stop them. All the confusion on the ground reflects all the confusion in Washington. In Falluja, it appears that American commanders on the ground decided that slaughtering a bunch of civilians wasn't the good idea that the bloodthirsty neocons thought it was, and made peace while the time zone difference meant the neocons slept (even absolute evil has to sleep sometime). The many conflicting stories about what is going on in Najaf - is there peace or not? - reflects a similar duality in American policy. Every time a ceasefire is about to be negotiated, the neocons manage to send another A-130 gunship to stir things up (American forces have conducted completely outrageous war crimes in both Falluja and Najaf, with absolutely no comment in the American media that this might not be such a good thing). Hopefully, when Wolfowitz takes a nap, peace will break out. Otherwise, Najaf may be the first battle in World War III.
posted at 2:13 AM permanent link
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
On January 17, 1993, the U. S. Navy conducted a cruise missile attack against the Zaafaraniyah nuclear fabrication facility in Iraq, allegedly because of Iraq's refusal to comply with nuclear inspection requirements. One of these missiles hit the Al Rashid hotel in Baghdad. This missile may have gone off course accidentally, or it may have been intentionally directed at the hotel (a concierge in the hotel said that CNN set up a camera about 30 minutes prior to the attack and then vacated the premises, possibly showing that it had advance warning of the attack). Here is a picture of the oddly squarish entrance hole almost at ground level, and the quantity of debris left on the ground. Remind you of anything (I'm afraid I've been flogging this horse for quite a while)? Of course, a missile with a bigger warhead might have done a lot more damage to the inside of the hotel than was done in the 1993 attack. In June 2001, NORAD conducted a military exercise in Florida called 'Amalgam Virgo', a simulation of a cruise missile attack against an American military base. It was NORAD that inexplicably failed to stop any of the September 11 attacks. I leave it to you to draw your own conclusions.
posted at 1:37 AM permanent link
Sunday, August 29, 2004
This latest Israeli spy story makes no sense, and may be part of a set up to protect the real traitors:
As the story is being reported, the alleged spy for Israel passed on information concerning American policy towards Iran to AIPAC, which in turn passed it on to the Israeli government. This makes so little sense it is almost funny. Why would anyone even consider this convoluted, and dangerous, route? We have to assume that there is direct constant communication between Feith's office and Sharon's office. The fax machines and e-mails must just hum. I'm sure Sharon gets the latest on all relevant Pentagon matters before anyone else does. Why would Sharon need a particular American spy when the entire group of neocons in the Pentagon are his agents?
The fellow being fingered as the spy is Larry Franklin, a career analyst and an expert on Iran. He is not a member of the neocon cabal, and, according to Haaretz, is not even a Jew. What motive would he have to risk everything to assist Sharon? Money? Why would Sharon pay money for something he can get for free? The standard Mossad model which has made Israeli intelligence so powerful is that Jews living in countries around the world are enlisted to help the cause of the Jewish homeland. There are a whole bunch of Jewish neocons in the Pentagon who fit this model, some already under various clouds of suspicion for helping Israel in the past, who fit right into the Mossad model. Picking the only prominent non-Jew as the culprit seems almost to be somebody's idea of a sick joke. If he was paid money to pass materials on to AIPAC, it was to enlist him as the patsy to take the heat off the real culprits. Although Franklin was stupid enough to meet with Manucher Ghorbanifar, that doesn't make him an Israeli spy.
The story appears to be intended to direct attention away from the real scandal. Sharon didn't need to have someone slip him America's position on Iran for one simple reason: Sharon writes America's position on Iran. The neocon cabal has been in direct communication with Sharon's office from the beginnings of the Bush Administration. This is with the full blessings of Bush himself, prodded by the Christian Zionists who want Israel to have full control over American policy in the Middle East. This scandal isn't a spying scandal. It is the treason of handing over full control of American foreign policy to the leader of another country. We have seen how this played out with respect to the attack on Iraq, and we will see it play out in future attacks on Iran and Syria.
Franklin may very well have gotten over his head in meeting with Ghorbanifar, and whatever happened at those meetings may be enough to force him to take the patsy role. If he has to cop a plea, Bush will pardon him, and the whole scandal concerning the neocons and Sharon will neatly disappear. It appears that people are already preparing a Unified Theory of Bush Administration Malfeasance on Iraq, tying the meetings with Ghorbanifar with the forged Niger documents, Chalabi, Plame, and the disastrous attack. I urge extreme caution in swallowing this, as it may just be another ruse to protect the traitors who ceded full control of American Middle East policy to Ariel Sharon.
posted at 2:59 AM permanent link
Monday, August 30, 2004
My old speculations as to who forged the Niger uranium documents - likely an Iraqi defector associate of Chalabi - and the mechanics of how the documents got into the intelligence arena, may turn out to be true. From an article by Jane Mayer in the New Yorker:
"In retrospect, one detail of Chalabi's operation seems particularly noteworthy. In 1994, Baer said, he went with Chalabi to visit 'a forgery shop' that the I.N.C. had set up inside an abandoned schoolhouse in Salahuddin, a town in Kurdistan. 'It was something like a spy novel,' Baer said. 'It was a room where people were scanning Iraqi intelligence documents into computers, and doing disinformation. There was a whole wing of it that he did forgeries in.' Baer had no evidence that Chalabi forged any of the disputed intelligence documents that were used to foment alarm in the run-up to the war. But, he said, 'he was forging back then, in order to bring down Saddam.' In the Los Angeles Times, Hugh Pope wrote of one harmless-seeming prank that emerged from Chalabi's specialty shop: a precise mockup of an Iraqi newspaper that was filled with stories about Saddam's human-rights abuses. Another faked document ended up directly affecting Baer. It was a copy of a forged letter to Chalabi, made to look as if it were written on the stationery of President Clinton's National Security Council. The letter asked for Chalabi's help in an American-led assassination plot against Saddam. 'It was a complete fake,' Baer said, adding that he believed it was an effort to hoodwink the Iranians into joining a plot against Saddam; an indication of American involvement, Chalabi hoped, would convince them that the effort was serious. Brooke acknowledged that the I.N.C. had run a forgery shop, but denied that Chalabi had created the phony assassination letter. 'That would be illegal,' he said. To Baer's dismay, the letter eventually made its way to Langley, Virginia, and the C.I.A. accused him of being involved in the scheme. Baer said he had to pass a polygraph test in order to prove otherwise."
So Chalabi has a history of forgery. His recent legal problems in Iraq involve allegations of forgery, and forgery is also a part of the massive Jordanian case against him. He seems to be an enthusiastic, if not particularly skilled, forger, which would explain why the Niger documents were such obvious fakes. If Chalabi manufactured the Niger documents, it is inconceivable that at least some of his Pentagon neocon handlers didn't know that the Niger documents were fake at the time they were being used as evidence of Saddam's wrongdoing which supposedly justified the attack on Iraq.
posted at 2:59 AM permanent link
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
We can now get pretty close to an outline of what is really behind the odd Israeli spy story. From the - ahem - New York Times:
"The Pentagon official under suspicion of turning over classified information to Israel began cooperating with federal agents several weeks ago and was preparing to lead the authorities to contacts inside the Israeli government when the case became publicly known last week, government officials said Sunday.

The disclosure of the inquiry late on Friday by CBS News revealed what had been for nearly a year a covert national security investigation conducted by the F.B.I., according to the officials, who said that news reports about the inquiry compromised important investigative steps, like the effort to follow the trail back to the Israelis."
The line will be that the unfortunate leak has made it impossible to trace the connections back to Israel, and thus this whole investigation has to be abandoned. From the neocon point of view, the essential treasure to keep hidden is the extremely odd relationship between the military dictatorship that runs Israel and the military dictatorship that runs the United States. This is such an important secret to keep that it was worth creating a 'limited hangout', implicating a relatively minor functionary connected with the neocons and even temporarily embarrassing AIPAC. The whole thing is almost certainly fake, with Franklin having done nothing wrong. Already the story is being polished, with Franklin being described as 'naive' and 'strange'. His role in the Pentagon, and even his competence at his job, is also being denigrated. The spin will be that his stupidity may have led him to inadvertently disclose to AIPAC officials information which he did not realize was sensitive. The AIPAC officials will be said to have received this information innocently, and the whole incident will be shelved. As the FBI operation has been 'blown', any investigation of the deep issues will be dropped, with the added bonus that there will be no more wiretaps of AIPAC (I'd like to know which FBI official has such enormous balls that he would approve the surveillance of AIPAC in the political climate in the United States today). The investigation of the Office of Special Plans will be hobbled until Bush wins the election (the FBI is already "wrapping this thing up"), at which point it will quietly disappear. Franklin probably won't even be indited, and certainly nobody at AIPAC will feel the slightest pressure (an apology to AIPAC and to Israel is probably in the works). All in all, a very successful leak.
posted at 1:17 AM permanent link
Thursday, September 02, 2004
In case you're thinking the poor, embattled neocons are still smarting from the recent Israeli spy scandal, or hope that they are under siege and have lost their power, think again! As if to show who is still in charge, the United States is now going after Syria and Lebanon. Lebanon is proposing to modify its constitution to allow its current pro-Syrian president to rule for another three years. The United States - with the backing of France, a backing which may cost some Frenchmen in Iraq their heads! - will propose a draft resolution before the United Nations rejecting that amendment and insisting that Syrian troops immediately leave Lebanon (on this whole issue, including the question of Syrian-American relations, see this comment from an outstanding blog on Syria called 'Syria Comment'). The Americans threaten that not following the terms of this resolution will lead to the taking of 'additional measures'. I don't think having Syrian troops in Lebanon is such a great idea, but the Lebanese apparently prefer them to the alternative of Israeli troops, and it should be up to Lebanon to make this choice. It is ironic that it is the United States, of all countries, that is upset at the presence of foreign troops in a country in the Middle East. After Iraq, it is a sick joke for an American State Department spokesman to be worrying about "Lebanon's sovereignty and territorial integrity". You might be asking yourself what is the great strategic interest of the United States in meddling in the internal politics of Lebanon. Of course, there is absolutely no good reason for the United States to be involved in this issue. It is being done entirely for the interests of Israel, which apparently feels that the presence of Syrian troops complicates Israeli plans to annex parts of southern Lebanon. So in the middle of a series of scandals involving alleged improper influence of Israel on American foreign policy, what do the neocons do? They produce a draft UN resolution which clearly evidences improper Israeli influence on American foreign policy. Do you think they are worried in the least about the 'investigations' that are going on? Do you think they've lost any power in Washington?
posted at 2:19 AM permanent link
Friday, September 03, 2004
Although the reports are still cautious, it looks like good news for the two French journalists kidnapped in Iraq. They apparently have been handed over to a group which favors their release. Some comments:
It appears that the moron kidnappers went out to capture some foreigners to pressure the home country of those foreigners to remove its occupying forces from Iraq, and accidentally ended up with some Frenchmen (but read this for an alternative possibility). Not knowing what to do with them, they then foolishly tried to tie the lives of their hostages to the recent ban on headscarves in French schools. They weren't smart enough to realize that attempting to blackmail France goes against what they claim to be fighting for. Their just cause is to be able to live freely in their own country, unoccupied by foreigners. They do not want another country telling them how to live. How is this consistent with attempting to tell the French how to govern their country? Their foolishness not only undermined the logic of their desire to be free of foreign oppression, it ran the risk of alienating one of their main friends in the world.
You have to give France full credit. It moved heaven and earth to call on all its Middle Eastern and Muslim friends to show support for the captured men, and this groundswell of Muslim opinion may very well have saved the lives of the men. Americans should comtemplate what would happen if George Bush tried a similar effort to save the lives of American hostages (not that he ever would try to save an American hostage). He would have been met with all the contempt he deserves. Sometimes being considered to be the asshole of the world has a cost.
The attempt of the moron kidnappers to force the French to change their law banning headscarves in schools was an utter failure. Democracies can't bow to such pressure. It is one thing to stop doing what you shouldn't be doing anyway, and withdraw your troops from Iraq, but entirely another thing to alter your own properly passed domestic legislation due to blackmail. France was absolutely right not to even consider changing its laws, just as the Philippines was absolutely right to withdraw its troops to save the life of one of its citizens.
The first day of the French headscarf ban went without incident, with almost total compliance. My guess is that most Muslim girls are quite happy to have a legal excuse to dump the medieval patriarchal symbol that they are some man's property (and let's face the fact that the real reason for the insistence on headscarfs has nothing to do with religion or tradition, and everything to do with patriarchy). Amongst those who added their voices to the request for the release of the hostages was the French Muslim community, and the attempt at blackmailing the French state had the effect of removing almost all the opposition to the headscarf ban. The hostage taking put into stark contrast the brutality of fundamentalism, as against the wisdom of the French secular state. French secularism is what protects all its citizens, including its Muslim citizens, from the violent stupidity of fundamentalism.
posted at 2:06 AM permanent link


Sunday, September 05, 2004
Cell phone text messaging has recently been used in achieving victories for average people against the Powers That Be in at least Spain, the Philippines, and Venezuela. It was only a matter of time before some authoritarian dictatorship decided to block such messaging to thwart the power of the people. A reader of the weblog boingboing, Kevin Slavin, reports that messages going through the political text sharing site TxtMob were blocked by cell phone service provider T-Mobile on Tuesday during the Republican National Convention, and there is one report that users also reported problems on Wednesday. It is possible that this was a real technical problem, but as text messaging becomes more used as a tool for mass mobilizations of political protestors (there is a description of how it was used in New York City here), it is certain that it will be blocked by those who control the technology.
posted at 1:19 AM permanent link
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
From a letter by 'G' to Sam Smith at the Undernews blog of Progressive Review:
"You may think you're radical, but I think you're too scared to face some plain common-sense problems that are right in front of you. What happened, for example, to the 757 that supposedly crashed into the Pentagon? Where was the debris? I was out there soon after, and there was no debris. No debris in any published photograph taken shortly after the incident. Intact windows. Intact columns. No scorched grass. No debris. If you plot the size of a 757 against the size of holes, it just won't fit. So . . . . it's a simple question: what happened to the plane? Or was it actually a 757 or something else?

There's the evidence. The facts are quite clear. Why don't people want to ask questions about what really happened?"
The bottom line is that there is only one piece of evidence that Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. One. What is that evidence? That the Bush Administration said so. That's it. All the eye-witness evidence, such as it is, either contradicts the Official Story or was obviously tainted by the unsupported assertions of the Bush Administration. Every single bit of physical evidence completely contradicts the Official Story. Your propensity to believe the blatant nonsense of the Official Story is directly proportional to how cravenly you accept the word of authority. You may think you're radical, but I think you're too scared to believe your own lyin' eyes. The problem with the obvious truth of what happened at the Pentagon on September 11 is that it directly contradicts the fairy-tale view Americans still have of their government. If it wasn't Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon, September 11 was at least in part a conspiracy of the highest levels of the American government. Americans have been accepting official cover-up horseshit for so long that I truly believe they can no longer tell the difference between truth and nonsense.
posted at 10:25 PM permanent link
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
What if the Russian school attack had nothing to do with terrorism, at least as the term is currently understood, and everything to do with the geopolitics of oil? Putin appears to be trying to create a Russian-European oil alliance to compete with the Bush Administration's attempts to corral the whole world oil supply. Conspiracy theorists suggest that his attacks against Yukos were to stop the dalliance of Yukos management with American oil companies. The North Ossetia school attack made Putin look weak and vulnerable - not something he is used to - and his political stature in Russia could not stand any more such attacks. At the same time, he can't agree to any concessions with the Chechens or any of their neighboring troubled areas (presumably, his hard core base won't accept any further diminution of the traditional Russian empire). After the school attack, Putin is immediately interested in falling in with the American model of a 'war on terrorism', seeing it as a Manachaean fight of Good versus the Evil Islamic fundamentalists (Putin: "Why talk to child killers?"). Putin is even supposed to be bargaining with Israel for cooperation in fighting the terrorists. Israel and the United States may be running a sort of protection racket, with Israel agreeing to 'help' Russia prevent terrorism in return for a change in attitude of Russia towards Syria, the Palestinians, and Iraq, and the United States agreeing to do what it can to ensure the school attack isn't repeated in return for Russian agreement to the American dominance in the world oil supply. It's like the Mafia agreeing to protect your store windows in return for a weekly payment, with the understanding that if you don't pay, the Mafia itself will send somebody to break them (Greece's hiring of Israel to provide security at the Olympics seemed to be a similar case of paying off the greatest threat). Do the Russians think that the CIA and/or the Mossad are really the prime movers behind the school attack? Was Putin's attack on American tacit support for Chechen leaders - something which, by the way, shows just how incredibly bogus the whole American 'war on terror' is - his way of expressing who he really thinks was behind the school attack? Based on the complete absence of evidence of a plausible tie to Islamic fundamentalist terrorism, it wouldn't be a bad guess to think that this attack was a threat to Putin to stay in line with respect to neocon plans for the Middle East and the control of oil.
posted at 2:35 AM permanent link
Thursday, September 09, 2004
The Beslan school attack follows the standard model for conspicuous terrorism (think September 11). If you want a terrorist act to provoke a political response against a particular group, you start by hiring a group of nameless commandos to serve as the technicians to accomplish the attack. Anyone in the world with sufficient means and the right connections could hire these commandos. Then you hire a group of patsies who can be connected to the ethnic or political group you wish to defame. The patsies probably know they are involved in some kind of political action, but are probably unaware of the nature of the action and the fact they will die as a result of it. The standard model answers some questions:
Why would political terrorists commit wanton acts of barbaric cruelty against children? All this would do is hurt their cause. On the other hand, such cruelty allows the real perpetrators to use the barbaric actions to later attack the patsy terrorist group. The type of commandos hired for these jobs are psychopathic killers for hire who would have no qualms against committing any act of cruelty. From the Toronto Star:
"Reports also emerged that some of the militants did not know they were to take children hostage and may have been killed by their comrades when they objected."
Those killed would be the patsies.
Why would 'suicide killers' attempt to escape? Obviously, these are the guns for hire who never intended to die doing what for them is just another job.
Why would the terrorists film their worst acts of cruelty? Obviously, to provide the propaganda desired by the real perpetrators. The film is an integral part of the process.
How did these terrorists get access to the school in order to hide their explosive and arms caches? The real perpetrators would have been able to arrange that.
Why are the Russians obviously lying in saying that none of the killed terrorists were Chechens, and most were in fact 'Arabs'? The set-up against Putin was intended to simultaneously force him to take political positions more agreeable to Israel and the United States, and put political pressure on him to negotiate with the Chechens. The neocons have been using the Chechen conflict in an attempt to weaken Russia, and this incident may be used to spread unrest throughout the Caucasus. Putin can't do much about being forced to take political positions more agreeable to Israel and the United States, but he can attempt to disconnect the terrorism from the Russian policy towards Chechnya. By blaming the incident on vague international Arab terrorism, Putin can avoid the charge that it was caused by Russia's undeniably brutal policies towards the Chechen people.
Russian spinning on this incident has been amusing. Putin's initial reaction was to use it as a method of demonizing the Chechens, and providing an excuse for the continuation of the brutal Russian campaign against them (he actually put out a bounty on Chechen leaders). This campaign, largely ignored by the international press for various political reasons, is one of the great collections of war crimes and crimes against humanity taking place in the world today (see an example here). When it became clear that the Russian people didn't buy Putin's initial line, and were actually blaming Putin's intransigence for creating the conditions that would provoke such an attack, the official Russian position turned 180 degrees overnight, and suddenly none of the terrorists were Chechens, but were some unidentified collection of 'Arab' terrorists. 'Terrorism' is a very malleable tool in the hands of unscrupulous politicians.
posted at 2:32 AM permanent link
Saturday, September 11, 2004
I really like Juan Cole's weblog, but here's a sentence from a recent posting that had me shaking my head at the opinions of 'experts':
"The US cleverly outfoxed al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, using air power and local Afghan allies (the Northern Alliance) to destroy the Taliban without many American boots on the ground."
There is simply not one letter in this sentence that is even close to correct. The Taliban hasn't been defeated, but is in control of much of the same lands it was in control of on September 10, 2001. The Northern Alliance is an 'ally' of the United States? I guess it depends what you mean by 'ally'. If an American soldier ventured to walk on most of the territory controlled by the Northern Alliance, he would be shot on sight. The grim reality is that the United States and its stooge Karzai have control of downtown Kabul and a few outposts, but the rest of the country is controlled by most of the same characters who controlled it before the American invasion. The only difference is that slightly more of it is controlled by opium-producing warlords than was under the relative sanity of Taliban rule. And just how did the US cleverly outfox al-Qaeda? Bin Laden fervently desired that the US would attack him in Afghanistan, and he got his wish. Al-Qaeda is as a result more powerful than ever. Attacking Afghanistan, a country whose nationals almost certainly had nothing to do with September 11, in order to punish a group of nomadic terrorists who were not even welcome guests of the Taliban, and who almost all escaped, is one of the single stupidest things the United States has ever done.

posted at 11:46 PM permanent link

Some recent links:
From Ethel the Blog (all the Ethel the Blog posts are worth reading), a pretty good guess at another future Florida Republican election trick, this time based on the recent hurricane destruction:
"The zones of destruction, i.e. the poorer, Democratic areas, will be militarized for as long as they have to be, i.e. until at least, say, a Tuesday in early November. Polling locations that have been damaged will be relocated as far away from their original locations as is possible, with several checkpoints between them and the voters to ensure that 'looters' or 'terrorists' don't disturb the election. The GOP operatives manning the checkpoints will of course ensure that ample time is taken with each dark-skinned voter at each checkpoint to ensure their smooth passage to the voting booth. Those who've lost the papers they need to vote (if you've lost most of your house you've probably lost more than a few such valuables) will find that, despite the herculean efforts of Jeb Bush, their just isn't sufficient time or resources to recertify them before the election. By far the greatest effect will be the intimidation factor of living in areas that will almost certainly remain obviously militarized until early November. And if you think cops did a good job of spooking minority voters in 1980, just think what cops plus the ostentatiously heavily-armed National Guard will do this time to those who've probably never seen a uniform they can trust, and certainly not one holding an M-16 rifle and regarding them with automatic suspicion and distrust."
Also from Ethel the Blog, a reference to the 'Sanders Hypothesis', that the United States is no longer capable of producing what the rest of the world needs or wants (as demonstrated by recent balance of trade statistics), so the neocons have decided to steal the world's hydrocarbons in a perpetual war in an attempt to blackmail the rest of the world into continuing to fund the American trade deficit (you may scoff, but it is consistent with many of the things that Dick Cheney has said).
My favorite Slashdot thread of all time, 'Cleansing Hardware of Dead Pig Odors?'

posted at 10:42 PM permanent link
I've said it before, but apparently it is worth saying it again:
"Rove is on his game here. By holding back the military records he has made the military records the issue, and has managed to divert the media from the real issue, which is the community service. If those legal files ever get out, showing that Bush was convicted of a serious drug offence, his political career will be finished. The real reason that Bush went AWOL was that he couldn't afford to take a drug test. The real reason he couldn't afford to take a drug test was that it would have been a condition of his sentencing that he remain clean. If word of the failed drug test had filtered back to the court, he would have gone to jail. His fear of the criminal legal consequences is why he went AWOL, and that's why the community service is the key to understanding what is going on here. By concentrating on the military records, the media is walking right into Rove's trap."
At some point the Democrats are going to have to get it through their thick heads that Bush's shoddy military record is not a winning issue for them. Bush's supporters have digested the fact that Bush had help from high places in his short military career, and can live with it. What they can't accept is the fact that Kerry came back to campaign against the war, and thus, as far as the Bush supporters are concerned, committed Hanoi-Jane-style treason against the United States. Every time the Democrats bring up Bush's war record, it just reminds Bush supporters that Kerry is a traitor. The details of Bush's service, or lack thereof, will always be buried in the selective releases of laundered records released by the White House and the Pentagon (isn't amazing how each release is described as all the documents, only to be followed by more releases when specific new points require a response?). Those who want to believe in Bush will always be able to fool themselves into believing what they want to believe. At this point, with all many documents available, and the new allegations of forgery from Bush's true believers, undecided voters will just throw up their hands in disgust at the whole issue. If Democrats want to win, the only way they can do it is to get information on what happened in that Texas court room in 1972. The person brave enough to do this would be on an a suicide mission, as Rove and Cheney would have him or her killed (a 'suicide' consisting of three shotgun blasts to the head). There is also an ethical issue involved, as anyone who talks to the suicidal investigator would also be killed. Nevertheless, the drug conviction issue is the only thing that will register with the American electorate. Do the Democrats really want to win, or are they just going through the motions again?
posted at 1:58 AM permanent link
Monday, September 13, 2004
The one good thing that has come out of the recent mess regarding the alleged CBS forged Bush military records is that it has outed the right-wing bloggers as directed agents of the Republican Party. The myth created by certain ersatz internet philosophers is that there is a group of bloggers reflecting the general feelings of the American people who independently publish their home-made journalism, and these bloggers are becoming increasingly influential with main-stream journalism and thus the American political process. This myth is very useful for the Republicans, who have the unenviable task of convincing the American people that a party which represents the class interests of only the top one percent of the population actually represents the class interests of everybody. They have tried various methods to get around this problem, including the recent trick of preparing pro forma letters to the editor containing Republican talking points, letters which they encourage their followers to write to local newspapers in an attempt to fool unsophisticated newspaper editors into publishing, thus hiding Republican propaganda in the guise of personal opinion. In the CBS case, the speed, sophistication and organization of the attack betray the political machinations behind it. Rove must have received a 'heads up' from a CBS insider that the documents were going to be embarrassing to Bush. The Republicans, organized as they are and with Rove not missing a (dirty) trick, presumably have a quick blogger response team, ready to provide guidance to the right-wing bloggers for an organized attack, together with sophisticated (mis)information from document experts that could be used in this attack. If the attack had come from Rove himself, it would have been seen as partisan spinning. Directed from the world of blogs, it appears to be the independent thinking of many dedicated bloggers only out to reveal the truth. While I have very little sympathy for the members of the media, you really have to feel for them under this covertly organized political onslaught. Bloggers were not only regurgitating the Republican propaganda, they went on to suggest that CBS journalists should be fired for merely attempting to do their jobs. These suggestions are an obvious threat to anyone considering reporting on anything even remotely embarrassing to the Republicans, and partly explain why the American media appear to be so biased.
posted at 2:30 AM permanent link
Monday, September 13, 2004
The one good thing that has come out of the recent mess regarding the alleged CBS forged Bush military records is that it has outed the right-wing bloggers as directed agents of the Republican Party. The myth created by certain ersatz internet philosophers is that there is a group of bloggers reflecting the general feelings of the American people who independently publish their home-made journalism, and these bloggers are becoming increasingly influential with main-stream journalism and thus the American political process. This myth is very useful for the Republicans, who have the unenviable task of convincing the American people that a party which represents the class interests of only the top one percent of the population actually represents the class interests of everybody. They have tried various methods to get around this problem, including the recent trick of preparing pro forma letters to the editor containing Republican talking points, letters which they encourage their followers to write to local newspapers in an attempt to fool unsophisticated newspaper editors into publishing, thus hiding Republican propaganda in the guise of personal opinion. In the CBS case, the speed, sophistication and organization of the attack betray the political machinations behind it. Rove must have received a 'heads up' from a CBS insider that the documents were going to be embarrassing to Bush. The Republicans, organized as they are and with Rove not missing a (dirty) trick, presumably have a quick blogger response team, ready to provide guidance to the right-wing bloggers for an organized attack, together with sophisticated (mis)information from document experts that could be used in this attack. If the attack had come from Rove himself, it would have been seen as partisan spinning. Directed from the world of blogs, it appears to be the independent thinking of many dedicated bloggers only out to reveal the truth. While I have very little sympathy for the members of the media, you really have to feel for them under this covertly organized political onslaught. Bloggers were not only regurgitating the Republican propaganda, they went on to suggest that CBS journalists should be fired for merely attempting to do their jobs. These suggestions are an obvious threat to anyone considering reporting on anything even remotely embarrassing to the Republicans, and partly explain why the American media appear to be so biased.
posted at 2:30 AM permanent link
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Some have surmised that the entire CBS documents scandal is another dirty trick by Karl Rove. The idea is that Rove circulated embarrassing documents that were going to come out anyway, but altered them so the right-wing bloggers could make their arguments that the documents were forgeries. The whole forgery issue would then provide a smokescreen for the real contents of the documents. While I have yet to see any evidence that the documents were indeed forgeries, and the fact you can recreate similar looking documents on a computer today just proves that fonts don't change (which is the whole point of fonts!), the idea that Rove might try such a trick isn't as crazy as it seems. James H. Hatfield, the suicided author of the Bush biography 'Fortunate Son', had a very similar Rove experience. From Barbelith Webzine:
"They produced a run of 45,000 copies, and this time, with Hicks as a mouthpiece, Hatfield did not spare the anonymity of his sources. 'I know that Sander Hicks, my publisher, has stated in interviews and in the introduction to the new, updated second edition of Fortunate Son that (Karl) Rove was one of my sources, but I cannot personally deny or confirm.' And so we get to the alleged villain of the piece. Karl Rove, ex-Nixonite and Bush camp spin-doctor described by Hatfield himself as 'the ultimate dirty trickster'. Also implicated was Clay Johnson, advisor and long-time friend to Bush. Hicks' and Hatfield's version goes like this: when Bush made his hasty admission and the media seemed ready to pounce, Rove realised he needed to find a way to remove discussion of Bush's drug past from the national debate so thoroughly that even Bush himself couldn't bring it up again. Right around August 1999, when Bush made that press conference blunder, J. H. Hatfield's biography Fortunate Son was in its final stages with St. Martin's Press.

According to Hatfield, during the writing of Fortunate Son he had contacted Rove and Johnson and interviewed them at length. Hatfield mistakenly assumed that Johnson and Rove weren't aware of his 1988 conviction for solicitation of capital murder. Rove and Johnson realised that, in Hatfield, they had found their solution to Bush's drug problem. A flawed author."
Hatfield himself said:
"When Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and the Making of an American President was published and subsequently recalled by St. Martin's Press (under pressure from Bush's legal eagles) in October 1999, everyone wanted to know who my sources were for the controversial afterword in which I alleged Dubya had been arrested for coke possession in 1972 and had his record expunged due to his father's political influence. Believing that principles only mean something if you stand behind them when it is inconvenient, I wouldn't oblige . . . . But thanks to the new introduction [in the July 2001 reprinting of the book] by my publisher, Sander Hicks, who 'named names' and identified my sources, I was backed into a corner. When USA Today's Bob Minzeheimer point-blank asked me at the BEA press conference if Karl Rove, Dubya's chief strategist and dirty trickster extraordinaire, was indeed my major source - the so-called 'Eufaula Connection' - I had to fess up to the truth, especially since Hicks was also handing out to the press copies of my private phone records along with the new version of Fortunate Son. . . . And, of course, Rove 'was traveling and could not be reached' for a comment. He can't go on the record and say it isn't true, because IT IS and the phone records speak volumes. How else would I have his private number at his home in Ingram, Texas, plus his fax machine and other unlisted numbers? . . . Although I had no choice but to identify the sources since my publisher had admittedly reneged on his promise 'to take these names to the grave' (in his defense, he felt a professional and personal obligation to expose them since he believed I was the victim of one of Rove's notorious dirty tricks), the general consensus was that I divulged my sources only to heighten interest in the book and spike sells. In other words, I only did it to draw attention to the book and make the cash registers sing like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. . . . It's a classic case of damned if you do and damned if you don't."
So Rove, in the face of very damaging information concerning Bush's drug habits that he knew was going to come out anyway, leaked that information to a man with a serious criminal record who Rove knew was writing a book on Bush. When the embarrassing information became public, Hatfield's legal problems were also publicized, and the substance of the allegations against Bush was buried under the issue of the credibility of Hatfield himself. Hatfield's credibility problem led to the disappearance of his whole book, which was, and is, the only attempt to uncover some of the more sordid details of Bush's past. This was a spectacular disinformation success for Rove, as the Bush cocaine allegations have never been an issue since the original publication of Hatfield's book was pulped. There are obvious parallels to the current CBS documents. Due to the forgery allegations, the messenger, in this case CBS, has become the issue rather than the documents themselves. The entire controversy over Bush's service record has been completely forgotten in the arguments over trivialities. If the documents are forgeries, I would not discount the Rove hypothesis.
posted at 1:44 AM permanent link
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
For a scandal known as Rathergate, because the superscript th was allegedly unavailable when CBS's memos were supposed to have been typed, the comments of Lt. Col. Jerry Killian's former secretary, Marian Carr Knox, are somewhat ironic (my emphasis):
"Knox said signs of forgery abound in the four memos.

She said the typeface on the documents did not match either of the two typewriters that she used during her time with the Guard. She identified those machines as a mechanical Olympia typewriter and the IBM Selectric that replaced it in the early 1970s.

She spoke fondly of the Olympia, which she said had a key with the 'th' superscript character that has been the focus of much debate in the CBS memos."
The issue of the superscript th, which got the bloggers in the door on the whole forgery issue, was phony. Not only was the superscript th available at the time, it was available to Killian. On the other hand, Knox's view that the type on the memos doesn't match the type on either of her two typewriters is very compelling evidence that the memos were recreated on modern equipment. We know they must have been recreated rather than completely made up because Knox is very specific that she typed memos containing 'the same information' that is in the CBS memos. Why would anyone take the risk of recreating the memos if they had access to the original memos?
posted at 11:27 PM permanent link
Assuming for the moment that the CBS documents are forgeries, but, as the former secretary of Lieutenant Colonel Killian says, accurately reflect his thoughts and are likely based on the contents of his original notes (and watch for reports of this in the disgusting American media to simply say the documents are forgeries, without reference to the vital fact that the contents are substantially true), why would the forger go to all the trouble of making a forgery? If he had access to the original notes, and he must have had such access in order to make substantively accurate forgeries, why not send them to CBS? The only reason you would make a forgery, and a forgery which was discovered with very suspicious speed and detail, is if you were trying to undermine the credibility of the content of the notes. If you knew the substance of the notes was going to be released, and might be an election issue, releasing the notes yourself in a forged form is the perfect way to diffuse the crisis. Everyone is now watching the spectacle of the alleged shenanigans, and completely ignoring the substantive issues raised by the notes.
posted at 2:52 AM permanent link

"Why Bush Left Texas" by Russ Baker is the first article to seriously consider the deep reasons for the inconsistencies in Bush's military record and the extremely odd way in which this record has been presented to the American people. Finally, someone has stopped beating around the Bush (this article should have been written by somebody - or at least somebody other than James Hatfield, who was on the story and may have uncovered even more if not for his unfortunate 'suicide' - five or six years ago). Baker writes:
"A months-long investigation, which includes examination of hundreds of government-released documents, interviews with former Guard members and officials, military experts and Bush associates, points toward the conclusion that Bush's personal behavior was causing alarm among his superior officers and would ultimately lead to his fleeing the state to avoid a physical exam he might have had difficulty passing."
and (my emphasis):
"If it is demonstrated that profound behavioral problems marred Bush's wartime performance and even cut short his service, it could seriously challenge Bush's essential appeal as a military steward and guardian of societal values. It could also explain the incomplete, contradictory and shifting explanations provided by the Bush camp for the President's striking invisibility from the military during the final two years of his six-year military obligation. And it would explain the savagery and rapidity of the attack on the CBS documents."
and:
"It is notable that in 1972, the military was in the process of introducing widespread drug testing as part of the annual physical exams that pilots would undergo."
and, explaining the reason why witnesses are so hard to find:
"One of the difficulties in getting to the truth about what really took place during this period is the frequently expressed fear of retribution from the Bush organization. Many sources refuse to speak on the record, or even to have their knowledge communicated publicly in any way."
The usual Republican stooges are going to demand a lot more specifics than are contained in this article, but it is an excellent start. Somebody still needs to find out whether the drug test was a particular worry to Bush because of other drug-related legal difficulties he was having in Texas (the fact that a drug test at the time would not have been able to detect cocaine use is irrelevant if Bush thought it might and couldn't afford to take the risk that a positive drug test would put him in breach of the terms of some conditional sentence he was purporting to fulfill). The reckless drug use, general lack of care about other people, and the feckless wasting of chances given to him solely because of the position of his father are all important examples of Bush's irresponsibility, a trait which continues to this day. Bush's irresponsibility is the governing characteristic of his personality. His handlers know this, and hiding it has been Rove's chief occupation for the past four years (note that the secretary who may have typed the originals of the CBS memos says that the CBS memos are forgeries, but the contents of them accurately reflect the thoughts of one of Bush's commanders, a combination of facts which indicates to me that the faulty memos may have been supplied to CBS as part of a dirty tricks campaign to hide their content under a Rove-directed campaign of bloggers against the form of the memos). Bush's ignoring the memo presented to him by the CIA in August 2001 which referred to the specific danger of an attack like September 11 is just another manifestation of this profound personality disorder. The fact that a person with Bush's specific flaws is running his campaign as representing the responsible guardian of the American people against the evils of the world of terrorism is nothing short of obscene.
posted at 2:26 AM permanent link
Thursday, September 16, 2004
Why is Israel so interested in building an oil pipeline from Kirkuk to Haifa? The whole idea sounds preposterous, given the likely reaction from the whole Arab world. The not unreasonable perception would be that the attack on Iraq was just to let Israelis steal Iraqi oil. But the idea just won't go away (see here, and note the last paragraph). As I have already written, it appears likely that Chalabi's fall from grace is because he reneged on his agreement with the neocons to give favorable treatment to Israel in its raping of the resources of Iraq. Chalabi reneged on his agreement presumably because the people of Iraq simply wouldn't stand for the idea of a pipeline to Israel. An oil pipeline would be an obvious target of fundamentalist terrorists, both while it was being built and during the entire time it was operational. It is difficult to see how it could ever be economically viable, given the costs of protecting it and the inevitable sabotage attacks. What could Israel be thinking?
And then it struck me. Israel dosn't want either the pipeline or the oil it would carry. Israel wants to build a pipeline that it knows will be attacked as it is being built. The attacks will thus require the presence of Israeli troops to protect the contractors building the pipeline. The Israeli troops will require a system of roads to move along the pipeline and to communicate with Israel. Small outposts to provide services for the contractors and the troops will have to be built. The outposts themselves will have to be fortified, surrounded by walls, and protected by more troops. Once the pipeline is built, it will require even more protection to prevent sabotage. With each attack, Israel will scream that it is being attacked by 'terrorists'. It will insist on more American military aid, and probably American troops, to help it protect the ever expanding network of pipeline, outposts, and roads. The American Congress will approve this as quickly as it possibly can. The zone around the pipeline will have to be expanded to protect it from 'terrorism', and fortifications will have to be created to protect the zone. Anyone who complains about this will be branded a sympathizer of those who threaten Israel's deepest security interests and thus its very existence. Anyone who even whispers a concern about the pipeline and its zone will be branded an anti-Semite.
Suddenly, there is an armored corridor protected by Israeli and American troops, and inhabited by Israeli 'settlers', stretching from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates. This is the backbone of Greater Israel. All that will be needed to finish the dream is to continue to widen the zone. The genius of the plan is how it follows the Israeli strategy in the Occupied Territories. Theft of the land of the Palestinians and brutality against them creates a reaction which is labeled 'terrorism'. Camps of Israelis are introduced onto Palestinian lands in order to promote Israeli 'security'. The settlers provoke more of a reaction, so Israeli troops are required to protect the settlers. The troops require a system of roads, and more settlers are introduced to increase 'security'. This system of violence and lies has worked so well on the West Bank that the 'facts on the ground' - settlements, outposts of troops, and roads - mean that it will be impossible to separate the land of the West Bank to create any kind of viable Palestinian state (the joke, of course, will be on the Zionists, when the world eventually insists on the majority Palestinian population having a vote). The attempt at creating Greater Israel based on the pipeline will be based on exactly the same strategy of troops, settlers, roads, and American aid, spiced with allegations of 'terrorism' threatening Israel's very existence. They won't get away with it, but how much harm will they do as they try?
posted at 3:10 AM permanent link
Saturday, September 18, 2004
Robert Sam Anson suggests that there is something fishy about the blogger campaign to attack the CBS memos, referring to a Freeper posting by someone named 'Buckhead' a little over three hours after the CBS report first aired:
"First (leaving aside how suspiciously well Buckhead puts sentences together for a righty blogger), there's the extraordinary, yeah, boggling, knowledge of typewriting arcana. More remarkable still are the circumstances under which discernment occurred. Namely, viewing the document on a TV screen from a presumed distance of six to a dozen feet. Folks who make their living at this sort of thing rely on magnifying glasses, if not microscopes. And they don’t venture opinions unless the document's in their puss.

Then there's the warp speed with which Buckhead discerned monkey business. The last big document mess was the trove that conned Seymour Hersh into believing Jack Kennedy signed a contract with Marilyn Monroe agreeing to pay a hundred grand in consideration of her shutting up about their adventures between the sheets, as well as his pillow talk of owing the 1960 election to the good offices of Chicago mob boss Sam (Momo) Giancana. Their exposure (in which your correspondent had a walk-on) took weeks. And those documents were nutso on their face.

Another timing oddity which may or may not be related to the mysterious Buckhead, depending on your choice of villain, is the Pentagon's release of allegedly newly-discovered records of Mr. Bush’s flight hours and middling piloting abilities one day almost to the minute before Mr. Rather’s report—following four months of insisting there were no more documents to disgorge. Second coincidence: The Pentagon release came hours after the Boston Globe, poring through yet other records, reported that Mr. Bush 'fell well short of meeting his military obligation' by failing to report to a Boston-area Guard unit after he enrolled in the Harvard Business School, and by earlier ducking out on required training and drills for a total of nine months. Either could have landed Mr. Bush on full-time active duty for two years, potentially in Vietnam. But he received no punishment whatsoever.

Finally, there's a detail that appears to have escaped press notice: The Web site where Buckhead's posting appeared also happens to be the repository for anti-Jew, anti-Catholic, anti-homosexual, anti-John Kerry rants by Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D. And whom, you ask, is Dr. Corsi? Co-author of the best-selling Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry, that's who."
After digesting that, read what PR Week has to say:
"Creative Response Concepts (CRC), the VA-based agency promoting the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, used right-wing blogs and news sites to turn a CBS report casting doubt on President George W. Bush's National Guard service into a potential black eye for both the network and the Democrats.

A CRC client, the Cybercast News Service (CNS), was among the first to voice suspicion that documents suggesting Bush had received preferential treatment in the Guard were forgeries.

'After the CBS story aired, [CNS] called typographical experts, got them on the record that these papers were fishy, and posted a story by 3pm Thursday,' said CRC SVP Keith Appell. 'We were immediately in contact with [Matt] Drudge, who loved the story.'

CRC worked with CNS and the Media Research Center, another media watchdog client, to push the story into the mainstream press.

'We've been communicating with bloggers and news websites to make sure they know it isn't just Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge who are raising questions,' added CRC president Greg Mueller."

After someone probably pointed out that the Official Story is that populist bloggers did the CBS story all by their lonesomes, and that PR firms are paid to stick to the Official Story and not blow their own horns, CRC issued a sort of retraction:
"Please understand, we never meant to imply that the blogosphere is something we did, or even could, control or direct. No one controls the bloggers. The extraordinary depth and breadth of their talent and resources only breeds one thing: a fierce independence much needed in the country. They are a force the PR industry and news media need to pay greater attention to.

In the interview with PR Week, we tried to communicate that the bloggers, and then CNS www.cnsnews.com, were moving this story, which we then began pushing to conservative media, news websites and 'mainstream' press.

If anything, we're just proud that our client, CNS News, provided some hard news reporting to add some gasoline to the already rampant wildfire that the bloggers had started. Do we deserve credit for that? Not nearly as much as the guys at PowerLine, Instapundit, LittleGreenFootballs, INDCJournal, Allahpundit, and so many others deserve."
The conspiracy is starting to unravel. CBS was attacked, not by bloggers, but by swift boats. As I wrote a few days ago on what I called the 'quick blogger response team', the coordinated way in which the bloggers worked, together with their amazing speed and instant expertise on old typewriters and fonts, not to mention the way their postings were seamlessly integrated into the mainstream media, indicates that the attack on the CBS memos was not the bottom-up populist unorganized campaign that has been depicted by the right-wing media, but nothing less than a propaganda blitz by the Republican Party to deflect attention from some very embarrassing material by attacking the messenger. It should not be a surprise that PR firms would fasten on blogging as a method of disguising the fact that the message is coming from a partisan source. After all, deceiving people is their job. However, from now on Americans should never assume that just because information is coming from bloggers that it is not part of an organized campaign of disinformation.
posted at 3:47 AM permanent link
Sunday, September 19, 2004
More on Bloggergate:
The original internet poster on the CBS memos, 'Buckhead' (I sometimes get my B's and F's mixed up too), has been unmasked (or here) as a Republican Party operative named Harry MacDougald. He's not just a Republican, but is associated with the most wing-nut extremes of the Republican Party. He is a lawyer with no known expertise in the minutiae of fonts and typewriters. From The Agonist, you can find a link on Hullabaloo to what he has also been up to in Georgia. He appears to be a (reluctant?) fan of the crooked computer voting machines that will be used in the next election.
CBS was concerned about the authenticity of the documents, and the turning point in deciding to air the broadcast was the complete absence of comments from Dan Bartlett, the White House communications director. Bartlett had been shown copies of the documents by CBS, and had even showed the documents to Bush. Had Bartlett said anything, CBS was prepared to can the story. It appears the CBS was set up to be the messenger that was shot by Bloggergate in order to hide the real issues raised by the content of the memos.
Bloggergate follows the usual pattern of the use of deception by the Republican Party (in a similar vein, note the tricks of Phil Parlock). The efforts to undermine the substance of the CBS story was hidden by having it come from blog postings. I am reminded of the 'Brooks Brothers Riot' in Florida, where a group of Republican Party operatives used violence to stop the Florida recount before that recount could determine that Gore had in fact won Florida. This was critical, as the Republicans were from that point on able to depict Bush as the winner and Gore as the sore loser, with Gore always in the position as having to challenge the presumptive winner. The rioters were depicted as concerned citizens, but sharp-eyed Democrats were able to identify every single one of them as Republican Party staffers sent down to undermine the integrity of an American election through the use of violence. The riot was a dirty trick which was pulled off through the use of deception, and Bloggergate is the same thing.
Why do American think that it is a good idea to vote for a political party that apparently feels the only way it can get elected is through a constant series of deceptions and dirty tricks? And why are Democrats consistently taken in by these tricks?

posted at 4:05 AM permanent link
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
USA Today on Bill Burkett:
"In interviews in recent days with USA TODAY, both in person and on the phone, Burkett said he had merely been a conduit for the records purported to be from the private files of Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, one of Bush's former Guard commanders, who died in 1984. Burkett admitted lying to USA TODAY about the source of the documents but said he did not fabricate the papers.

In earlier conversations with USA TODAY, Burkett had identified the source of the documents as George Conn, a former Texas National Guard colleague who works for the U.S. Army in Europe. Burkett now says he made up the story about Conn's involvement to divert attention from himself and the woman he now says provided him with the documents. He told USA TODAY that he also lied to CBS.

Burkett now maintains that the source of the papers was Lucy Ramirez, who he says phoned him from Houston in March to offer the documents. USA TODAY has been unable to locate Ramirez."
and:
"'I didn't forge anything,' Burkett said. 'I didn't fake any documents. The only thing I've done here is to transfer documents from people I thought were real to people I thought were real. And that has been the limitation of my role. I may have been a patsy.'"
and:
"Sitting in a rocking chair in his weathered ranch house south of Baird, Texas, Burkett recounted his continuing efforts - beginning before he was discharged from the Texas Army National Guard in 1998 - to clean up what he saw as Guard corruption and mismanagement. He said that activity led to a telephone call in March from Ramirez and her offer to provide documents damaging to President Bush.

Burkett said Ramirez told him she had seen him the previous month in an appearance on the MSNBC program Hardball, discussing the controversy over whether Bush fulfilled all his obligations for service in the Texas Air Guard during the early 1970s. 'There is something I have that I want to make sure gets out,' he quoted her as saying.

He said Ramirez claimed to possess Killian's 'correspondence file,' which would prove Burkett's allegations that Bush had problems as a Guard fighter pilot.

Burkett said he arranged to get the documents during a trip to Houston for a livestock show in March. But instead of being met at the show by Ramirez, he was approached by a man who asked for Burkett, handed him an envelope and quickly left, Burkett recounted.

'I didn't even ask any questions,' Burkett said. 'Should I have? Yes. Maybe I was duped. I never really even considered that.'

By Monday, USA TODAY had not been able to locate Ramirez or verify other details of Burkett's account. Three people who worked with Killian in the early 1970s said they don't recognize her name. Burkett promised to provide telephone records that would verify his calls to Ramirez, but he had not done so by Monday night.

An acquaintance of Burkett, who he said could corroborate his story, said he was at the livestock show on March 3. The woman, who asked that her name not be used, said Burkett asked if he could put papers inside a box she had at the livestock show. Often, she said, friends ask to store papers in her box that verify their purchases at the livestock auction. She said she did not know the nature of the papers Burkett gave her, and he did not say anything about them."

This is a fiendishly clever plot, and Burkett is indeed the patsy. Burkett never even saw 'Lucy Ramirez', who is no doubt the employee of the plotters (there is beginning to be speculation about which Republican dirty trickster is actually behind the plot). He can't tie the documents back to anyone (it's like James Earl Ray trying to convince people of the existence of 'Raoul'). Burkett was chosen as the plotters knew he really hated Bush and had a particular issue with Bush's military service which would make him leap at the chance of distributing documentary evidence embarrassing to Bush, he had enough prominence and credibility to be able to interest CBS, he could be tied to the Democrats (a particularly sweet point for the plotters), and he had no expertise in documents. Indeed, he insisted that CBS verify the documents as he had his own doubts. Had the plotters gone directly to CBS with the forged documents, CBS would have been a lot more careful. As it was, Burkett's enthusiasm for attacking Bush led him to lie to CBS about their provenance (I wonder if 'Lucy Ramirez' suggested that to him), and the combination of Burkett's reputation and his lie made CBS blind to any problems they should have seen in the whole scenario (and at least some at CBS were almost certainly in on the plot). Once CBS and Burkett had been led down the garden path, the plotters arranged for 'Buckhead' to be armed with the technical information required to challenge the authenticity of the documents, and the set up was complete. Since the challenge was supposedly by bloggers just interested in the truth, the fact that over 90 per cent of the real substance of the attack came directly from a Republican operative passed unnoticed. It didn't hurt that the disgusting American press was able to write the story as the populist bloggers challenging, and beating, big, bad CBS. The end result is that the whole issue of Bush's military service is confused and unusable by the Democrats, the voters resent the Democrats for raising the matter, the Democrats are cast with the suspicion of being involved in their own dirty tricks involving forgery (!), a particular enemy of Bush gets his comeuppance, the press is further scared off even thinking about raising any issues embarrassing to the Republicans (www.rathergate.com, a website set up by a Republican operative, demands the resignation of Dan Rather), and Kerry loses even more valuable time in the American media when his attacks on substantive problems with the Bush regime are lost in the Rovean fog.
posted at 1:31 AM permanent link
Friday, September 24, 2004
A bit more on bloggergate:
How did the dirty tricksters know that CBS would take the bait and run with the story using the reformatted documents? The brilliance of the plot is that the tricksters didn't substantially change the content of the memos. CBS producers had no doubt been hearing the same stories all over Texas about what a goof-off and drug addict George was, and how there had been critical memos on him in military files. Suddenly, memos with the right information appear, substantially in the format you would expect, consistent with everything CBS had been hearing. On top of that, they arrive from a source with all the right connections, a source who misled CBS by giving them an excellent provenance for the memos. How could CBS resist? I suspect that insiders in CBS working for the plotters helped the plot along by insisting on early broadcast of the report, before the documents could have been properly vetted. The excuse for haste would have been, as it always is, that there was a danger of CBS being scooped on this story had they waited for the quibbles of document examiners. Why rely on document examiners when you have documents with what you believe is an excellent provenance consistent with everything you know about the facts?
From Uncommonsense:
"Well, as has been noted elsewhere, Bush seems to be campaigning almost exclusively to the Republican base, to the people who sincerely thank God every night that Bush is in the White House. Karl Rove knows what will happen if these people are convinced of the drug use or AWOL story. It's not that they are going to swing over to Kerry. But if Bush went AWOL because he was stoned on coke, they simply won't vote at all. They'll stay home in droves. Which is pretty much the same thing as a vote for Kerry. Bush the AWOL coke-head is Bush's Ralph Nader, the candidate Karl Rove is desperate to keep off the ballot this November."
Exactly! Given that their policies benefit the class interests of about one per cent or less of the population, a Republican couldn't get elected to be a dog catcher in Texas without the use of a lot of electoral tricks. The main trick is to reduce voter turn out, essentially to convince those who would vote Democrat to stay home. If you combine this with a direct appeal to a number of small but highly committed single-issue groups, a fifty per cent voter turn out allows you to cobble together a plurality. The reduction of voter turn out is done through many methods, some of them highly illegal (illegal manipulation of voter rolls as we saw and are seeing in Florida, and intimidation of and lying to minority groups). The main method, however, is to convince voters of the hopelessness of it all, of the inevitability of rule by plutocrats. Misleading polls, the ubiquity of the Republican message on cable news shows and talk radio, the general denigration of the usefulness of government and public policy, and mudslinging in negative ads, all come together to make politics seem dirty and useless and voting irrelevant and hopeless. If the Democrats want to have a chance at winning, complex policy arguments droned by John Kerry aren't going to do it. They have to fight fire with fire and convince Bush's hillbilly voting base to stay home. The way to do this is to show them that Bush is really not the responsible father figure protecting them from terrorists, but a sinning, irresponsible drug addict who went AWOL because of legal problems stemming from his drug use. Rove's dirty trick was only worth the high risk because of the huge risk of the truth from Texas coming out. Rove knows more about winning than the whole Democratic Party, and they should follow the track which Rove is trying so desperately to hide.
Despite the success of bloggergate, at least one person in the mainstream press, E. J. Dionne Jr., has had the sense to point out that Bush's military service is still an issue only because the Republicans have consistently acted as if Bush has something to hide. It is not CBS's fault that this is still a live issue. It is Bush's fault. Somehow the Republicans have managed to get away with a constant series of petty attacks on Kerry's exemplary war record without even having to answer legitimate questions about what Bush was up to during the same time period. It is also highly ironic that the CBS report, which led to massive attacks on CBS for foolishly accepting the validity of forged documents, replaced another report CBS was intending to air on the Niger uranium documents. These are another set of forged documents, but his time a more easily spotted set of forgeries relied on by the Bush Administration as evidence to start an illegal and immoral war in Iraq that the United States is in the process of losing.
Don't feel sorry for Dan Rather. Dan Rather only has the position he currently has because the Powers That Be decided to reward him for his exemplary service to the Empire back in 1963. He managed to see the Zapruder film before any other broadcaster, and was able to lie on television and say that Kennedy's head snapped forward, a story consistent with shots coming from the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository, and thus consistent with the Official Story on the JFK assassination (I can't get the link to work, but here is the Google cache of 'Dan Rather Blinked' by Penn Jones Jr, describing the many oddities in Rather's coverage of the assassination). Misleading photographs were published in Life Magazine, and Life hid the film away for years to keep the truth from the American public. When the film was finally released, it was clear the head snapped backwards, consistent with a shot from the Grassy Knoll and inconsistent with the story that Oswald was the 'Lone Nut'. Dan Rather began his rapid ascent up the CBS ladder because he lied. I guess he managed to convince himself that the Powers That Be wouldn't turn on him if he managed to ruffle a few Republican feathers, but he was wrong.

posted at 4:31 AM permanent link
Sunday, September 26, 2004
There is excellent conspiracy theory in this article (or here) by Naomi Klein and Jeremy Scahill in the Guardian on the many reasons why the kidnapping of the two Italian women in Iraq cannot possibly be by the Iraqi resistance. They point to the theory that the kidnappings were by foreign intelligence agencies out to discredit the resistance. What possible reason would an intelligence agency have to further discredit the Iraqi resistance? Hasn't it been discredited enough already? All reports depict the Iraqi freedom fighters as fanatical and evil Islamic terrorists connected to al Qaeda (the Zionist-controlled CanWest Global newspaper chain in Canada has been expressly busted for this kind of intentional deception of its readers, but the same type of lying is ubiquitous in coverage of Iraq and the Palestine in the Anglo-American media). When the coverage is so biased that it amounts to lies, why would anybody have to stage a kidnapping to further defame the resistance? The most obvious reason for such a kidnapping is to sow further discord within Iraq itself, leading to the final goal of breaking the country into little, inconsequential, and unthreatening, pieces. It is part of the policy of anarchy consisting of assassinations of academic and cultural leaders, failure to fund promised reconstruction of the fabric of Iraqi civil society, forcing out of foreign aid workers, and completely unprovoked attacks on civilian populations with the excuse of hunting 'terrorists'. It is not surprisingly very similar to the campaign being waged against the Palestinian people. We are now seeing a flurry (or here) of reports from 'experts' which suggest that this breakup is inevitable. These reports are part of the campaign to create the breakup. In which country's interest is the destruction of Iraq desirable?
posted at 3:29 AM permanent link
The website of F. Tupper Saussy - on some accounts a genius and on some accounts a nut, and the man behind the excellent 'autobiography' of James Earl Ray - includes an odd essay, "Sympathy for Mr. Cheney", which is very good on the American deceit behind the 1991 Gulf War and contains the following:
"In the decade between the Gulf War and 9/11 the United States covertly nurtured a Muslim reaction to America's blasphemous intrusions - the Koran, after all, permits retaliation: 'whoever then acts aggressively against you, inflict injury on him according to the injury he has inflicted on you.' (2.194, Shakir translation) This nurturing produced the world's perception of 'terrorism' as a product of Islamic fanaticism rather than of American foreign policy."
posted at 2:14 AM permanent link
Monday, September 27, 2004
From "Incident on Haifa Street" by Tom Engelhardt:
"In our ability to let loose destructive power at great distances and by air, the United States military is undoubtedly unparalleled as a power today. And yet here's the counterintuitive way you have to think about American airpower in Iraq: Watch where the bombs and missiles are falling - starting with Falluja and ending up on Haifa Street - and you can map almost exactly where American power is blinking off. The use of air power, in other words, is a sign of American weakness. Its use maps our inability to control Iraq. To the extent that you can monitor our air power, you'll know much about what's going badly in that country, in part because the resort to air power in a guerrilla war means the surefire alienation of the contested population. It means that you've given up on 'hearts and minds,' to use a classic Vietnam-era phrase, and turned to the punitive destruction of bodies and souls."
The United States is losing the war in Iraq one war crime at a time. The Pentagon is completely oblivious to the fact that these air attacks on civilians should be profoundly embarrassing to the United States, and continues to announce these barbarities as if they were military successes. The funny thing is that these crimes are being committed at a time when the right-wingers in the United States seem to want to use the current American election campaign as a chance to return to a debate on the Vietnam War. The emasculating experience of being so roundly defeated by a peasant army in Vietnam has always been excused by the right as being the fault of war protestors, who somehow wouldn't allow the American military to fight the war as it should have been fought and won. The pathetic excuse for the ignominious American defeat in Vietnam is the protests of people like Jane Fonda and John Kerry. The Vietnam veterans seem to think that Jane Fonda still has their balls pickled in a jar somewhere. They shouldn't be so sensitive about their emasculation. Since the French experience in Algeria, no army, no matter how powerful, has been able to prevail against a determined guerilla resistance in a case where the army is attempting to enforce the neo-colonial subjugation of a country. The Vietnamese would have won with or without Jane Fonda, although it may have taken many more American deaths to prove it.
The argument that it was the civilians who lost the Vietnam War continues to reverberate in American politics today, and fear of it seems to lie behind Kerry's inability to come up with a coherent policy on Iraq. Since the whole of the United States appears to be united in support of the war, the Pentagon can't even use the excuse that it is losing because its hands are tied by popular opinion. The fact that it can proudly issue press releases celebrating American war crimes is proof that it is able to fight the war without any restrictions whatsoever.
And still, the Americans are losing, and losing badly. They are not just losing the battle of hearts and minds, as that part of the war was lost a long time ago. They are also not suffering under the PR problems that you would think would be caused by ever increasing numbers of American casualties, as those statistics are either hidden from the American public or apparently are of no concern to it. They are actually losing in the good old fashioned way that would have been understood by the Ancient Greeks. Each time they have a battle, the Americans suffer more debilitating casualties than the resistance. The Americans are losing for the simple reason that they are running out of troops. This explains the more and more ridiculous stories we see of attempts to deal with the lack of American troops. It also explains the reliance on aerial bombardment of civilians. Aerial bombardment is completely useless against the resistance, who are highly mobile and simply evacuate the area, leaving the women and children and old men to die under American bombs. If these bombs are killing any members of the resistance, it is by sheer luck. The increasing American reliance on the war crime of aerial bombardment reflects the desperation of an army that is out of answers. With every battle it cedes more and more ground to the resistance, and suffers a disproportionate number of casualties. The Americans can no longer even afford to fight the resistance in the mano a mano fights that might lead to American success, as the Americans can no longer afford to take the rates of casualties they would suffer. They can't replace the troops they would lose. Each case of aerial bombardment increases the fury of the Iraqi people, and thus the size and determination of the resistance. It is a vicious cycle the Americans can't hope to win.
The attack on Iraq has turned into one of the main embarrassments in American military history. Bush has based his whole election campaign on fighting the war on terror by fighting the war in Iraq, so he has no possible exit strategy. It will be interesting to see how much permanent damage he does to the American military. Once the neocons have tired of Iraq, it's on to Syria and Iran. Will there be enough of an American army left to fight these new illegal wars? How much will the draft help? Will the draft undermine the success of the completely volunteer army? Will the American Empire be over before it has a chance to begin?
posted at 2:58 AM permanent link
A member of the opposition Civic Democratic Party in the Czech Republic, Petr Necas, is pushing for a formal inquiry into the failures in Czech intelligence that led to the completely erroneous report that Mohamed Atta met in Prague with an Iraqi intelligence agent.
posted at 1:04 AM permanent link
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
With much fanfare, and conveniently just after Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf visited the United Nations in New York and was beginning his visit to Europe, Pakistan announced the death of alleged al Qaeda member and Daniel Pearl murderer Amjad Farooqi. Problem. The Asia Times reports that its contacts are:
" . . . adamant that Farooqi was in fact arrested some months ago, and that the 'incident' resulting in his death in the southern Pakistani city of Nawabshah was in fact stage-managed by Pakistani security forces."
In other words, a situation exactly like the supposed capture of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. Pakistan, with the assistance of the Bush administration, continues to successfully stage-manage its supposed rounding up of al Qaeda members, all handled perfectly to depict Pakistan as a strong American ally in fighting the war on terror, and ensuring that the American aid money keeps flowing. Do the math: Musharraf talked on the telephone with George Bush on February 24, 2003, and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was allegedly captured on March 1; Musharraf met with Bush on September 22, 2004, and Farooqi was allegedly killed on September 26. It's like ordering pizza.
posted at 2:08 AM permanent link
Thursday, September 30, 2004
The essay, 'A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties', by Oded Yinon, published in 1982, contains the following paragraph on Iraq (italics in original):
"Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel's targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. An Iraqi-Iranian war will tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall at home even before it is able to organize a struggle on a wide front against us. Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi'ite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north. It is possible that the present Iranian-Iraqi confrontation will deepen this polarization."
The Iraqi-Iranian war failed to accomplish the dissolution of Iraq, so the Americans were tricked by the neocons into the attack on Iraq, largely through the efforts of Douglas Feith feeding erroneous Israeli-prepared intelligence into the American political system. Feith will no doubt someday be honored by a statue in Israel. Israeli or American agents provocateurs currently operating in Iraq are finishing the job proposed by Yinon, as part of a similar ongoing operation against all the Arab states, of breaking the country up into small, unthreatening ethnic enclaves. Everything that we see going on in Iraq today has to be seen in the light of the long-standing Zionist plans for the Middle East.
posted at 1:15 AM permanent link
Friday, October 01, 2004
David Letterman, David Bowie, Robert Palmer, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair. What is it with healthy and usually extremely fit men in their 50's having seriously wonky hearts? Let me take a wild guess. A history of heavy cocaine abuse in the 1980's (Rick James is another example but he was still using and could have died for a number of pharmaceutical reasons). Medical science hasn't had a chance until now to study the long-term effects of cocaine addiction, or even the effects of cocaine addiction that ended 15 or 20 years ago. I wonder what cardiologists are saying in private.
posted at 2:05 AM permanent link
From the September 30 issue of the email Popbitch, a 'free weekly celebrity gossip email' (issue 228; email subscription available from www.popbitch.com):
">> Dirty Lies <<

Radiation bombs are a government fantasy

Last week’s BBC drama about a dirty bomb in London has helped keep everyone terrified about terrorism.

But a forthcoming documentary shows that dirty bombs are actually a fantasy. The Americans should know: the CIA tried for years to make one, before realising that blowing up radioactive material won't hurt anyone. Radioactive dust disperses so
quickly you'd need to be exposed to it for about a year before any real damage occurred.

The documentary, The Power Of Nightmares, shows how politicians are using fake stories like the dirty bomb to keep people scared, and themselves in power. It also demonstrates that the claim that Al-Qaeda is a global, hidden, terror network is also a myth.

So what channel is this BBC-debunking documentary showing on? Er, BBC2.

The Power Of Nightmares. BBC2, 20th October, 9pm."
posted at 1:03 AM permanent link
Saturday, October 02, 2004
The - ahem - New York Times manages to cough up a sixteen page article on the lies told by the Bush Administration on the Iraqi nuclear program centered around the infamous aluminum tubes without once mentioning the name of the main instigator of the whole aluminum tubes story, their own reporter, Judith Miller. They do, however, mention her article:
"A few days later, on Sept. 8., the lead article on Page 1 of The New York Times gave the first detailed account of the aluminum tubes. The article cited unidentified senior administration officials who insisted that the dimensions, specifications and numbers of tubes sought showed that they were intended for a nuclear weapons program.

'The closer he gets to a nuclear capability, the more credible is his threat to use chemical and biological weapons,' a senior administration official was quoted as saying. 'Nuclear weapons are his hole card.'

The article gave no hint of a debate over the tubes.

The White House did much to increase the impact of The Times' article. The morning it was published, Mr. Cheney went on the NBC News program 'Meet the Press' and confirmed when asked that the tubes were the most alarming evidence behind the administration's view that Iraq had resumed its nuclear weapons program. The tubes, he said, had 'raised our level of concern.' Ms. Rice, the national security adviser, went on CNN and said the tubes 'are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs.'

Neither official mentioned that the nation's top nuclear design experts believed overwhelmingly that the tubes were poorly suited for centrifuges."
Of course, a more cynical and realistic person would add some nuance to this report. Referring to Cheney's interview, here is Bob Simon of CBS News as quoted by Charles Layton in an article in the American Journalism Review:
"When Bob Simon heard about this interview, he told me, he smelled a rat. 'You leak a story to the New York Times,' he says, 'and the New York Times prints it, and then you go on the Sunday shows quoting the New York Times and corroborating your own information. You've got to hand it to them. That takes, as we say here in New York, chutzpah.'"
Given the fact that this whole mess was part of a larger Israeli intelligence operation, 'chutzpah' is probably a good word for it (and I wonder if CBS was the victim of the Texas document deception as a pay back for Simon's remarks). The ongoing inability of the New York Times to admit that its star reporter Judith Miller was working hand-in-hand with the Bush White House to create a basis of lies to fool the American people into an immoral and illegal war that has turned into a complete disaster for the United States is not just embarrassing for the Times. It also proves that Miller has support up to the highest levels of the Times, meaning that this deception was part of a deliberate plan approved by the paper. Who benefited? The American military-industrial complex and Israeli Likudniks. That's who the Times lies for. Since they can't admit the truth, we get to read sixteen page articles in which they makes fools of themselves trying to write around the simple fact that they didn't just report on this story, they made it up, and were an integral part in tricking the American people into war. Speaking of fools, the White House is still writing about 'Saddam Hussein's Development of Weapons of Mass Destruction' using the same words as appear in the first two paragraphs of Miller's article (someone should save the page before it falls into the memory hole).
posted at 11:53 PM permanent link

Sunday, October 03, 2004
Is this a picture of the hole in the Pentagon caused when Flight 77 crashed into it on September 11, 2001? How about this? No, but notice the damage caused to the building and the size of the hole and compare it to this picture of the damage to the Pentagon before the Pentagon wall collapsed. The two mystery pictures are from a series of pictures of the 'accidental' attack by NATO on the Chinese embassy in Belgrade on May 8, 1999 (see also this picture from this set). That attack was by three Tomahawk Cruise Missiles, all of which hit the same corner of the building just above ground level. As was the case with the Pentagon, most of the extensive damage to the building was caused by the subsequent fire. Note also the size and neatness of the hole left by a cruise missile attack on Milosevic's official residence (from a series of photos here). I have already made the same point with respect to the 'accidental' cruise missile attack on the Al Rashid Hotel in Baghdad. Anyone who is really interested might want to try to compare the oddly small (in diameter) debris in pictures of the Pentagon with pictures of pieces of cruise missiles found in Serbia (in the Pentagon pictures, click on 'Download high-resolution image' to obtain more detail).
posted at 5:11 AM permanent link
You read some things that are so unbelievable that you could never even imagine them to be true. Like the fact that George Bush never goes to church. Amy Sullivan writes:
"Around Washington, D.C., it's considered bad form to point out that Bush doesn't regularly attend church."
and:
"If time and security aren't the reasons, what excuse does that leave? The very fact that the president doesn't attend church, some leading conservatives insist, is proof of what a good Christian he is. Unlike certain past presidents they could name but won't - ahem, cough, Bill Clinton - Bush doesn't feel the need to prove his religiosity. 'This president has not made an issue of where he goes to church,' says Michael Cromartie of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. 'I find it refreshing that we don't have a president coming out of church with a large Bible under his arm.' Conservatives relish this opportunity for a little gratuitous Clinton-bashing. In private, however, they admit the explanation doesn't hold up. 'I really don't get it,' one prominent Bush partisan told me. 'There's no reason why the president couldn't find a church around here if he wanted to.'"
We know that the whole 'ranch' in Crawford was built as a stage set so New England yuppie ex-cheerleader George Bush could be photographed as a manly man clearing brush with a chain saw. There is reason to believe, despite all the stories about how his born-again religion saved him from the horrors of alcohol, that Bush is still drinking. Is it just possible that all the many stories about Bush's profound religiosity are just another lie from the Rove lie machine? Who is George Bush, really? There are now allegations that he was being fed his lines in the latest debate through a hidden earpiece (not the first time this has been noticed: see here and here and scroll down to Bob White's posting of April 16, 2004 here). Excessive blinking, which some people have noticed in the debate, is a symptom of the use of certain kinds of stimulants, including Ritalin. I'm starting to wonder whether everything about George Bush - his background, his personality, his beliefs, and even what he says in public - is actually the creation of a public relations team turning an AWOL effete God-and-Jesus-hating alcoholic moron into someone an American might consider voting for.
posted at 1:37 AM permanent link
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Here is a website devoted entirely to the question of whether Bush is prompted by a voice transmitted to a hidden earpiece (note the comments at the end). They'll never admit to it - besides being cheating, it makes Bush look dumb, an issue the Republicans are presumably wary of - but if enough attention is paid to this issue it may be enough to scare them off from trying it again. If Bush is that incoherent and lame with help, just imagine what he'd be like on his own! I assume they will at least have the dosage of his meds adjusted for the next debate.
posted at 1:27 AM permanent link
Thursday, October 07, 2004
The end of an interview by Ann Louise Bardach in Slate with E. Howard Hunt (Laura Hunt is Hunt's second wife, Hunt having lost his first wife to conspiracy theory):
"Slate: I know there is a conspiracy theory saying that David Atlee Phillips - the Miami CIA station chief - was involved with the assassination of JFK.
Hunt: [Visibly uncomfortable] I have no comment.
Slate: I know you hired him early on, to work with you in Mexico, to help with Guatemala propaganda.
Hunt: He was one of the best briefers I ever saw.
Slate: And there were even conspiracy theories about you being in Dallas the day JFK was killed.
Hunt: No comment.
Laura Hunt: Howard says he wasn't, and I believe him.
Slate: Any regrets?
Hunt: No, none. [Long pause] Well, it would have been nice to do Bay of Pigs differently."
Hunt, who no doubt considers himself a great American patriot, could prove it by telling what he knows. He's old and sick. Is he afraid they'll kill him if he talks?
posted at 1:11 AM permanent link

Friday, October 08, 2004
The most apolitical of American daily cartoons are beginning to reflect a growing unease.
posted at 2:46 AM permanent link
They have apparently started to administer truth serum in the asylum, with interesting results:
Bremer of Baghdad claimed that the United States had insufficient troops to stop the lawlessness in Iraq, that he fruitlessly requested more troops from the Bush Administration, and that the Americans should have stopped the looting which took place after the American occupation began.
Donald Rumsfeld said he knew of no "strong, hard evidence" linking Saddam Hussein with al Qaeda.
Charles Duelfer, head of the Iraq Survey Group, reported that he found no evidence that Iraq produced weapons of mass destruction after 1991 and had no active programs to produce them, that Saddam Hussein's ability to develop such weapons had diminished during the years of sanctions, that Saddam intentionally stayed away from such weapons in order to get out from under the sanctions (i. e., the sanctions and UN inspections were working, just as critics of the attack have always maintained), and that there is no evidence that Saddam was passing weapons of mass destruction material to terrorist groups.
Three quotes from the Poodle:
from BBC Radio 4 Today program on June 6, 2004:
"Now let the survey group complete its work and give us the report ... They will not report that there was no threat from Saddam, I don't believe."
on July 14, 2004:
"I have to accept, as the months have passed, it seems increasingly clear that at the time of invasion, Saddam did not have stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons ready to deploy."
on October 6, 2004 (note, pace Blair, that the report definitively shows that the sanctions were working to stop Saddam from having weapons of mass destruction):
"Just as I accept that the evidence now is that there were no stockpiles of actual weapons ready to be deployed, others can be honest and accept that the report shows that sanctions were not working."
A CIA report has found no conclusive evidence that Saddam Hussein harbored Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and there is no clear cut evidence that Saddam even knew Zarqawi was in Baghdad.
From Israel, Dov Weisglass, a top Israeli official and advisor to Sharon, has admitted that Sharon's Gaza withdrawal plan was deliberately formulated to block peace negotiations with Yasser Arafat, and that Israel never intended to comply with the 'road map' or engage in any steps that could lead to the creation of a Palestinian state (my emphasis):
"You know, the term 'peace process' is a bundle of concepts and commitments. The peace process is the establishment of a Palestinian state with all the security risks that entails. The peace process is the evacuation of settlements, it's the return of refugees, it's the partition of Jerusalem. And all that has now been frozen . . . . [W]hat I effectively agreed to with the Americans was that part of the settlements would not be dealt with at all, and the rest will not be dealt with until the Palestinians turn into Finns. That is the significance of what we did."
Wall Street Journal reporter Farnaz Fassihi's 'leaked' email describes what things are really like in Iraq (i. e., what the disgusting American press won't let her officially write). For the horrible indiscretion of writing the truth, it appears likely that the War Street Journal will bar her from future reporting on Iraq.
To summarize, insufficient American troops in Iraq; no connection between Saddam and al Qaeda or Saddam and Zarqawi; no weapons of mass destruction or even programs for such weapons in Iraq under Saddam, all due to the sanctions and UN inspections; Israel, with American approval, is using the Gaza withdrawal plan to thwart any chance for peace negotiations with the Palestinians (and yet all the problems are apparently entirely the fault of the Palestinians); and the real situation in Iraq is not being reported in the disgusting American media (and you'll probably lose your job if you attempt to write anything close to the truth). More truth serum, please.

posted at 2:20 AM permanent link
Saturday, October 09, 2004
An unnamed Israeli citizen was arrested and detained for seven hours after it was noticed that he was driving around rural Oklahoma with what appeared to be a pipe bomb on the roof of his car. An investigation revealed that the odd pipe was actually a method of concealing a video camera, and he was apparently furtively videotaping this unremarkable area of Oklahoma. Delaware County undersheriff Dale Eberle said:
"Delaware County deputies inquired about the suspicious items on top of the subject's car. The subject told deputies that they would have to talk to the CIA and FBI about it and refused to answer further questions."
An interesting response. The FBI showed up, went through the motions of an investigation, and the spy was released (Israeli spies found in the U. S. are like a fishing show: it's always 'catch and release'). Four points:
Given that the American authorities are catching a remarkable number of these Israeli spies doing various mysterious things, and given that the authorities must be catching only a small percentage of the total at work, there must be an enormous amount of spying by Israel going on in the U. S.
Many of the spies, but apparently not this one, get into trouble over a chemical residue found on their bodies or in the white vans they seem to favor. The immediate assumption is that this residue is evidence of bomb making, but I suspect the reality is more pedestrian. It is probably usually the residue of precursor chemicals to synthetic illegal drugs like ecstasy (the vans are for transporting the chemicals to the factories). Russian mafiya members claiming to be Jews sought refuge in Israel from the Russian justice system, and are protected by Israeli refusal to extradite its own nationals. They control most of the world trade in such drugs (as an example of the activity, note this story from NYC). The famous Florida spy ring associated with 9-11 was caught by the DEA because it was infiltrating DEA offices, no doubt doing a little espionage on DEA efforts against the illegal synthetic drug trade. The fact that these Israeli nationals are always released proves extremely high level American government complicity in the drug trade and the role of Israel in it. The 'war on drugs' is a scam.
All of these spies are complete amateurs, and are always caught because they draw unnecessary attention to themselves. The Oklahoma spy ate at a local diner, but he refused to use a metal fork or a glass because he didn't want to leave his fingerprints. Then he drove around with a thing that looked like a bomb on the roof of his car. Even Okies are going to be suspicious.
This spy was an Israeli, but married to an American. This raises the uncomfortable issue of the dual loyalties of the Jewish population in countries outside Israel. The reason Israel is so successful in its spying is that it has a fifth column in almost every country in the world of people who are more loyal to Israel than they are to their own country. The United States is in its current difficulties because these traitors have infiltrated the highest levels of the American government, and are running the United States for the sole benefit of Israel. I'm certain that much of the real spying is never caught because it is conducted by what seem to be ordinary American citizens.
So what was this guy up to? Here's a wild, if somewhat troubling, guess. Israel is rapidly going up shit creek without a paddle. The country is completely terrified, its stupid proportional voting system has left its politics under the control of a tiny minority of religious nuts with no obvious way to sanity, the economy is a basket case, and the continued viability of the whole Zionist project is completely dependent on the continued goodwill - not to mention billions and billions of dollars - of the United States. The increasingly unbalanced efforts of Zionists to scare Jews into moving to Israel through the use of faked anti-Semitic attacks are starting to backfire as Jews in places like France begin to see that they are much better off wherever they are than they would be in Israel. Young people are leaving Israel in droves, going to such unlikely but happening places as supposedly anti-Semitic Moscow or - you guessed it! - Berlin. The country is increasingly dominated by extremely old American retirees and the religiously unhinged settlers. It holds no future for any young person who wants a decent normal life. It is quite likely that the great demographic bombshell, the time when Arabs form the majority population, has already been reached, but it will be certainly reached in the next decade. When the world demands one person, one vote, Israel will be controlled by Palestinian politicians. You won't be able to buy a postage stamp that doesn't have Yasser Arafat's smiling face on it. While the Zionist nuts continue to strive for the disaster of Greater Israel, sensible Israeli thinkers have to plan for the next diaspora. Where will the wandering Jews of Israel live next? How about an almost deserted and impoverished part of rural Oklahoma? The spy was just house, er, country shopping. I imagine similar efforts all over the United States are collecting information on the new Promised Land. The weather of Oklahoma will seem reasonably familiar, and there is lots of water. The Indians will just have to move (again).

posted at 3:06 AM permanent link
It turns out that the first careful analysis of the CBS/Killian documents by a real documents expert - as opposed to a partisan Republican operative - shows that the documents are consistent with being typed on the appropriate kind of typewriter in use in the military at the time the documents were purportedly created. All the pseudo-erudition displayed from the mob of warbloggers - expertise on fonts, typewriters, computers, etc. - was just a load of crap intended to destroy the credibility of the CBS story about their beloved chimp's problems in the military. The author of the analysis, David E. Hailey, Jr., was himself the subject of a mob attack by the warbloggers, no doubt also orchestrated by the same Republican operatives, starting with 'Buckhead', who organized the initial attack on CBS and Dan Rather (an attack which continues, and has expanded to include Dr. Hailey).
My initial supposition that this whole incident was a dirty trick by Karl Rove to head off valid attacks on Bush's highly questionable service record is not altered by the fact that the documents appear to have been created on the appropriate typewriter. Indeed, the organization behind the response to Hailey's legitimate attempts to get at the truth prove that the same dirty tricks department is still in full operation.
The trick would have been orchestrated by having copies of the actual Bush documents, or at least retyped versions of them typed on the right kind of typewriter, directed to CBS through Bill Burkett. At the same time, a completely bogus set of arguments purporting to refute the integrity of the documents was prepared and placed on the internet by the Republican operative known as 'Buckhead', amplified by the cacophony of warblogger voices adding their two cents worth. The disgusting American media picked up the story and made it into a personal attack on the credibility of Dan Rather and CBS News. CBS News tried to withstand the pressure, but was scared off by the fact that Burkett apparently misled them about the provenance of the documents. Without that provenance, and in the face of the wall of vicious personal attacks, CBS couldn't afford to wait for the facts to emerge, and caved in.
The beauty of the trick was that it used the actual damning documents from Bush's file, or possibly a very close facsimile of them altering some words to provide a fall-back position should the arguments of the warbloggers not work. As the documents were consistent with everything else CBS producers were able to discover about the service record of George Bush, CBS was easily fooled. Had Rove or his minions attempted to get cute and use significantly altered documents that were less damaging to Bush, either Burkett or the CBS producers might have smelled a rat.
The audacity of the trick is that it could very well have backfired if CBS has stood its guns and waited for all the information to emerge. Rove would have then shot himself in the foot by releasing documents that he otherwise could have kept locked away in the very compliant Pentagon. The large risk that was taken proves how important this issue is, and how dangerous the Republicans feel the truth would be to Bush. As it is, the scheme worked perfectly, and Bush's dodgy military record is no longer an election issue. People like Dr. Hailey need to be smacked down lest anyone start asking embarrassing questions about how this dirty trick worked.
posted at 1:37 AM permanent link
Monday, October 11, 2004
I never thought I'd ever write anything in support of that bitch Judith Miller, but here goes. She finds herself in a spot of bother with the courts. Apparently the still unnamed Bush Administration official who illegally leaked the name of Valerie Plame also talked to Judith Miller. Miller didn't write about it, but has been hauled before the court to disclose the name. She has refused, claiming that her informant is a confidential source, and thus she as a journalist does not have to reveal the name, and will continue to protect her sources. The court disagrees that she has the right to conceal the name of the source, and has found her in contempt. The issue will no doubt be determined on appeal. Miller is a totally disgreeable character, having just provided much of the incorrect propaganda basis that the Bush Administration used to wage the illegal and immoral attack on Iraq, and all decent people would bring marshmallows if Miller were burned at the stake. It is also highly enjoyable to see Miller hoist on her own petard, the use of anonymous government sources being her main technique at spreading the disinformation that led to war. However, seeing Miller punished for not revealing her source is very troubling (her co-conspirators at deceiving the American people into war are also troubled). There are a number of arguments you could make for why Miller should be forced to reveal her source, but I have problems with all of them:
You could argue that the right not to reveal the source doesn't apply because she didn't actually write about the matter. That won't work because journalists usually don't write about matters that they hear about from confidential sources. Most such sources are cranks, or have information that is credible but cannot be verified. The fact that Miller didn't write about this matter is irrelevant to the main issue, which is ensuring that people whose position means they cannot speak publicly, because they would lose their jobs or would break a secrecy statute that ought to be broken, still have a possible voice if they have important information.
You could argue that the right not to reveal the source doesn't apply because the leaker was breaking a specific statutory provision in even talking to her, so that she was simply a witness to a crime. The problem with that argument is that it would essentially stop whistleblowing. Especially these days, in the world of the 'war on terror' and the Patriot Act, revealing just about any information is probably illegal in some way. Secrecy freaks like the Bush Administration are trying to plug every possible hole. The precedent set by Miller's jailing would apply not just to this particular provision, but to the general right of journalists to protect their sources.
You could argue that the right not to reveal the source doesn't apply as the source in this case was attempting to stifle critics of the Bush Administration by punishing Joseph Wilson by punishing his wife. In other words, the intent of the leaker was to stop whistleblowing. This is certainly true, but a court isn't going to be able to make that finding of fact, or make that fine a distinction. In fact, the motive of the whistleblower is irrelevant to the issue of whether the publication of the information he or she has is for the greater good.
I detect a set-up here. As Miller is so thoroughly disliked, no one is going to run to her defense. Those who might be inclined to defend her are also interested in the partisan political matter of obtaining the name of the leaker. On the other hand, the Powers That Be will not hesitate to throw even their most cravenly loyal retainers to the wolves if it should serve some purpose (just ask Dan Rather). This is thus the perfect test case to make some bad law. The Bush Administration is notoriously interested in secrecy, and a precedent that would mean a journalist could be jailed for not revealing a source is just the kind of stifling of whistleblowing that they would be love to see. What whistleblower would even dare contact a journalist if he or she knew that the journalist could be compelled under penalty of jail to reveal the whistleblower's name? American democracy is hanging by a slim thread, and that thread is the First Amendment. Despite all the mangling of the Constitution performed by the Bush Administration, the First Amendment has held up remarkably well, which is why we know so much about what they have been up to (although we'd all still like to hear from some whistleblowers at NORAD and the FAA about just what was happening on September 11). Almost all leaking is probably in breach of some law or other (in these post-Patriot Act days practically everything is in breach of some law or other). If Miller goes to jail, the precedent will be set to finish off the possibility of whistleblowing, unless the whistleblower is prepared to lose his or her career and go to jail. Under such circumstances, would Seymour Hersh have heard about Abu Gharaib? My Lai? Would the Pentagon Papers have been published? Actually, they probably would have been, but only because Daniel Ellsberg was prepared to risk the consequences, something most whistleblowers are naturally not prepared to do. This is dangerous territory to be setting such a precedent. The United States now needs the full force of the First Amendment more than ever.
The statute in question appears to have been specifically drafted to protect the right of journalists to write about what they discover. By using a court demand to turn over the name of the informant backed up with a jail term for contempt of court for failure to comply, the courts would be effectively removing this protection for journalism. The intent of the statute is undermined by this roundabout way of getting at the whistleblower. There has been much pious handwringing from the Democrats about the fate of poor Valerie Plame, but we have to put this into non-partisan perspective. The 'cult of intelligence' tends to make us think of the rights of the CIA as paramount. Especially in these days of the 'war on terror', there is even suggestions that Plame's naming made the country less safe. Get a grip! Has the CIA ever made anyone safer? Even if the names of these people are actually worth protecting - and I don't believe they are - there are other values at stake. Is protecting these names by a convoluted attack at journalists worth sacrificing the protections of the First Amendment? Michael Kinsley thinks that protecting the name of CIA agents is more (or here) important. I don't. Which makes Americans safer, the CIA or the First Amendment?
There is an odd subtext here which I don't really understand. The prosecutors have been receiving information about sources from journalists by having the sources sign waivers. By the process of elimination, the prosecutors must know who the leaker is. He's the guy who hasn't signed a waiver! So why are they making such a big deal of forcing Miller to reveal a name they already know? Here is where we start to enter the strange world of conspiracy theory.
Robert Novak, the guy who actually wrote the article that outed Plame, and the guy you would think the prosecutors would be after, has been strangely absent from this whole story. This is where I get very suspicious. Not only is he absent, he is in Florida where the story goes that he broke his hip. Thus he is very conveniently incommunicado. Despite this, he is still able to write columns. For a septuagenarian, for whom a broken hip is very serious business, this is a miraculous recovery. It reminds me of septuagenarian Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, who allegedly had heart surgery in London, and almost immediately made the plane trip back to Iraq, hopped in a convoy of trucks, and drove across the desert to negotiate the salvation of Najaf. I'd be very surprised if Sistani had heart surgery, and very surprised if Novak broke his hip. In the good old days, the way you avoided a politically unhelpful subpoena was to buy the witness a train ticket and send him out of town for a while. For an excellent movie where this forms a small part of the plot, watch The Glass Key (1942, starring Brian Donlevy, Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake, with a very memorable performance by William Bendix), about back-room political operators where the operators are actually the good guys! It appears that Novak has been sent out of town to keep him away while Miller takes the heat. Why is Miller on the spot rather than Novak? She makes a far more dangerous precedent. All she did was pick up the phone and listen to an informant. Novak actually created the story. If Novak is in contempt of court, the precedent set could be limited by the specific facts of his very extensive involvement. If it is Miller, the precedent could arguably extend to any journalist receiving an unsolicited communication from an informant who wishes to remain anonymous. The fact that Miller, almost an innocent bystander, is the victim of this legal attack, while Novak, the obvious culprit, is not only not under attack but is out of town with a strange excuse for his continued absence, makes me believe this is a set up to create a precedent to chop away at the First Amendment and the ability of whistleblowers to whistleblow. As Miller is so hated, the hope of the conspirators is that people will give up the First Amendment in order to see Miller in jail. This is a dumb trade-off.
Free Judith Miller!
posted at 4:20 AM permanent link
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
You can see why the United States has worked so hard to have Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias removed from power:
Venezuela is increasing the royalties paid by foreign oil companies involved in joint ventures in the Orinoco heavy crude belt from 1% to 16.6%. Chavez said:
"The days of giving oil away for free belong to the past . . ."
No warning was given to the oil companies of this increase, although I imagine they could see it coming. David Voght, managing director of energy consulting company IPD Latin America, which has offices in Caracas and Mexico City, said:
"Investors are going to think twice about putting their money in Venezuela. If Venezuela wants to attract investments to its oil sector, it will need to be more consistent."

Yeah, right! Chavez has them over a (oil) barrel, and they know it. This is part of Chavez's plan to start "the second phase of the true nationalization of PDVSA and of Venezuela's oil, aiming for full petroleum sovereignty."
Chavez has recently stated that world oil markets are "oversupplied", and that Venezuela did not plan to raise its oil production. He blamed current high oil prices on political factors connected to the attack on Iraq. I note that one of the major factors in current oil pricing - and one never mentioned by the 'experts' - is the enormous amount of the highest grades of fuel that has been used and is currently being consumed by the U. S. military in Iraq. Not only does the military require the most expensive fuel, it is not too fussy about what it pays for it, especially when it is being supplied on a 'cost-plus' basis by military contractors like Halliburton. It is ironic that the price of oil has increased due to a war waged in part to steal Iraq's oil, and doubly ironic that the war has led to resistance which has actually reduced the amount of Iraqi oil available on the market. Venezuela isn't going to bail out the United States for its own stupid choices.
Chavez is in a fight with Venezuela's Central Bank to force it to release some of Venezuela's oil reserves to fund social programs. The long-term plan, which must drive the neocons crazy, is to take a more equitable share of oil revenues and direct an increasing proportion of these revenues to social programs to help the poor.
One of Chavez's ideas, the PetroCaribe initiative, is intended to offer Caribbean countries petroleum products at significantly reduced costs. This is exactly the kind of cooperation by poorer countries that the neocons fear the most. How are American oil companies going to take their obscene profits in the face of Third World cooperation?
Kevin Pina has an excellent article on the background to the illegal removal of President Aristide from Haiti by the Americans, Canadians and French. It turns out that the timing of the attack on Aristide may have been precipitated by an offer from Venezuela to offer him assistance. Aristide was under continuing assault by the rebels, usually in the form of attacks against local police stations (the fact that the local police were removed by these attacks led to much of the humanitarian catastrophe which recently took place in Haiti as a result of the hurricane, as no local emergency help was available). The plan of the Americans was to have the rebels force Aristide out of office without obvious foreign intervention, but Aristide's resilience, coupled with the threat of help from Venezuela, led to the three countries having to embarrass themselves by kidnapping Aristide.
Inspired by the toppling of the statue of Saddam in Baghdad, Chavez supporters celebrated 'Indian Resistance Day', the new name for the holiday formerly known as Columbus Day, by toppling a statue of Columbus in Caracas. And finally, Chavez is the 2004 winner of the International Gaddafi Award for Human Rights!
Jimmy Carter has recently written (or here) criticizing the crooked election situation in Florida. Despite court orders and pious promises to clean up his act, Jeb Bush has spent most of the last four years developing his old ways of disenfranchising non-Republican voters (i. e., black voters), and has even developed new methods of ensuring that there is no democracy in Florida. At the last minute, and at a time when it is too late to do anything about it, Jimmy Carter is suddenly concerned about Florida. What has Carter been up to that he hasn't had time to pay attention to his neighboring state of Florida? He has been monitoring election fairness in Venezuela. Under Chavez, Venezuela has no history of election fraud, and Carter's interference in Venezuelan politics was a rather transparent effort to weaken Chavez's government so the opposition could attempt another coup (they never really wanted the recall referendum as they knew they would lose, and they indeed lost in a landslide). All observers found the recent Venezuelan recall vote to be completely fair. If Carter had even the slightest interest in democracy, he wouldn't have been carrying the can for the neocons in yet another American attempt to subvert democracy in a foreign country, and would have been paying attention to democracy in his own country. The crazed desire of Americans to get rid of Chavez blinds people like Carter to real problems in the United States.

posted at 2:41 AM permanent link
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Back in September, Donald Rumsfeld said in a speech given at Ft. Campbell that U.S. forces in Iraq numbered 137,000, down from 150,000. Robert Novak (from his hospital bed!) refers to Rita Cosby of Fox News who had asked (or here) Rumsfeld before he left on his recent trip to Iraq whether the United States may 'start to pull out' after the Iraqi elections next year. Rumsfeld had replied:
"We've already started. We had 150,000 troops over there originally. We're down to 137,000 right now."
Think about the numbers. 150,000. 137,000. The difference is 13,000. What does that number represent? Of course! It's the American casualty rate (more or less: we can't be sure as the Pentagon keeps the exact number a big secret). The numbers of American troops are dropping because the Pentagon hasn't got the troops to replace the fallen. Rumsfeld has the audacity to boast about his reduced level of troops, not pointing out why they are reduced. I have before never heard the civilian leader of an army boast about his huge number of casualties. On this logic, the United States will have won the war when every American soldier is withdrawn from Iraq, either in a coffin or on a stretcher with missing limbs, eyes, or mind. The shortage of fodder units is why the Americans are trying to get NATO into a combat role in Afghanistan. The non-American members of NATO ought to reject this. If NATO goes into Afghanistan it will free up American troops for use in the next illegal and immoral war planned by the neocons. An over-extended American army is just what the world needs right now.
posted at 2:57 AM permanent link
There is surprisingly little complaint even amongst journalists about the way Judith Miller is being treated. It appears that the authorities have picked on exactly the right person, someone so hated and so tainted by abusive use of unnamed sources that almost everybody is ready to let her go to jail. I still think this is a terrible mistake. Here is a little more context:
To explain why Miller is so justifiably despised, read this article by Joseph Kay on the World Socialist Web Site. Kay describes in meticulous detail the many deceptive tricks employed by Miller and the New York Times to assist the Bush Administration into fooling the American people into war. He writes:
"Miller functioned as more than a reporter. She was a proxy for elements within the Pentagon - including Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his undersecretary, Douglas Feith - as well as Ahmed Chalabi, the former Pentagon favorite among Iraqi exiles."
and:
"The Times' reporting and editorial comments in the run-up to war were not mistakes, lapses in judgment, or the result of naïveté. The so-called 'newspaper of record' was pursuing a conscious policy: it wanted war in Iraq.

Whatever differences the Times might have had with the administration over tactics, the newspaper was aiding and abetting the efforts of the government to dupe the public and create a climate of fear and hysteria conducive to launching an unprovoked war. It tailored its reporting to that end and served as a mouthpiece for the administration."
and:
"One obvious question arises from the Times' October 3 report on the aluminum tubes hoax: why did the newspaper fail to undertake such an investigation of the government's claims in late 2002 and early 2003? The answer clearly emerges from the October 3 exposé itself: the Times was itself complicit in the government's war conspiracy."
From Tom Scocca in the New York Observer:
" Ms. Miller is not going to the mat for some helpless whistleblower; she's defending the right of high officials to try to anonymously sic The New York Times on a subordinate who bucked them. Mr. Wilson signed his own name to his criticisms, and it was the confidential sources who allegedly sought reprisal.

'For some group of people, that would be called whistleblowing,' Mr. Sulzberger said on the phone Tuesday evening - for instance, he said, people who thought Mr. Wilson's complaints about the administration (aired in a Times op-ed) hadn't shared all the relevant facts.

'I'm not suggesting that you have to agree every time with whether that person should have given out that information,' Mr. Sulzberger said.

Floyd Abrams, Ms. Miller's lawyer, offered a similar view. 'The law can't distinguish between good leaks and bad,' Mr. Abrams said."
Mr. Adams is exactly correct. A court can't and won't inquire into the motives of the leaker. It is charged with simply obtaining the name from the journalist. Indeed, in the real world, a court is going to be much more sympathetic to the motives of a senior administration official than it would to a whistleblower like Daniel Ellsberg.
Tim Rutten in the Los Angeles Times considers the law involved in this case, and points out that it is a real stretch to fit Miller under any of the three component tests involved in determining whether a journalist can be compelled to divulge a source (Rutten is also not thrilled about the new prosecutorial technique of obtaining waivers from sources). If Miller is so far from fitting any of the tests, you have to wonder why the prosecutors are so interested in going after her.
A Boston Phoenix editorial says:
"SPECIAL PROSECUTOR Patrick Fitzgerald is out of control. Appointed by Attorney General John Ashcroft to find out which 'senior administration officials' revealed the identity of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame to syndicated columnist Robert Novak in July 2003, Fitzgerald has instead embarked on a witch-hunt against the media - and, by extension, against the First Amendment . . . ."
and:
"Journalists do not have an absolute right to keep their sources confidential. Over the years the courts have made it clear that reporters have the same civic responsibility as any member of the public to provide relevant information in an ongoing criminal investigation. But in its landmark Branzburg v. Hayes decision, the US Supreme Court in 1972 suggested that certain standards must be met before prosecutors can start dragging journalists to the witness stand. As interpreted by the courts, the Branzburg ruling has come to mean that journalists may not be forced to reveal their sources unless the information they have is crucial to an ongoing criminal investigation, and unless there are no alternative means of obtaining that information from non-journalists. Above all, Branzburg makes it clear that prosecutors may not use their power to harass reporters. Yet that is precisely what Ashcroft, through Fitzgerald, is up to in the case of Judith Miller."
and (and consider the conspiracy theory I raised before):
"If he wished, George W. Bush could find out tomorrow which of his underlings outed Valerie Plame. Instead, his administration, in the person of Fitzgerald, is harassing and intimidating the journalists who were the recipients of White House leaks. It's a characteristic tactic for these thugs - and it sends a chilling message to any reporter who promises confidentiality to a source while attempting to ferret out the truth. This is just one more reason that Bush and his administration need to be turned out of office."
The supporters of the Democrats for some unknown reason seem to have assumed that Fitzgerald, although working for Ashcroft, is somehow a good guy just interested in finding out the name of the horrible man who outed Plame (note that, besides Miller, Fitzgerald is also going after Time reporter Matthew Cooper). This is beginning to look like a fairy tale. If Bush really wanted the justice system to have control of the culprit, he could have turned him over long ago. This whole investigation is beginning to look more and more like a conspiracy centered around Ashcroft and Fitzgerald to fatally attack the ability of journalists to discover the truth using whistleblowers as sources.
Destroying the ability of journalists to conduct investigative reporting using anonymous sources benefits only the one group threatened by investigative reporting, the plutocrats. The attack on the responsible exercise of journalism through this full frontal attack on the First Amendment is so obvious that the inability of people to see it is starting to worry me. Maybe the answer to American politics is that Republicans are simply smarter than the stupid and gullible Democrats. Why do the Democrats always look like Charlie Brown, and the Republicans like Lucy with the football?

posted at 1:49 AM permanent link
Friday, October 15, 2004
Random absurdity:
A quote from Nixon's Attorney General John Mitchell:
"The conservation movement is a breeding ground of Communists and other subversives. We intend to clean them out, even if it means rounding up every bird watcher in the country."
A reason to explain a return to blogging, by William Gibson:
"Because the United States currently has, as Jack Womack so succinctly puts it, a president who makes Richard Nixon look like Abraham Lincoln."
Extreme cartoons:
Rehabilitating Mr. Wiggles by Neil Swaab;
Wigu by Jeff Rowland
The Perry Bible Fellowship by Nicholas Gurewitch (archives; and a few more).

When George Bush is reelected President, will the worse thing for Americans be what he does to the United States and the world, or having to live with the terrible knowledge that at least half the population of the country is capable of voting for such a man?
posted at 2:49 AM permanent link
Saturday, October 16, 2004
I recently referred to an upcoming BBC documentary "The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear". This article by Andy Beckett on that documentary considers surprisingly deeply and fairly issues which are part of pure conspiracy theory. It refers to the thesis of the program based in the thinking of producer and writer Adam Curtis:
"The Power of Nightmares began as an investigation of something else, the rise of modern American conservatism. Curtis was interested in Leo Strauss, a political philosopher at the university of Chicago in the 50s who rejected the liberalism of postwar America as amoral and who thought that the country could be rescued by a revived belief in America's unique role to battle evil in the world. Strauss's certainty and his emphasis on the use of grand myths as a higher form of political propaganda created a group of influential disciples such as Paul Wolfowitz, now the US deputy defence secretary. They came to prominence by talking up the Russian threat during the cold war and have applied a similar strategy in the war on terror.

As Curtis traced the rise of the 'Straussians', he came to a conclusion that would form the basis for The Power of Nightmares. Straussian conservatism had a previously unsuspected amount in common with Islamism: from origins in the 50s, to a formative belief that liberalism was the enemy, to an actual period of Islamist-Straussian collaboration against the Soviet Union during the war in Afghanistan in the 80s (both movements have proved adept at finding new foes to keep them going). Although the Islamists and the Straussians have fallen out since then, as the attacks on America in 2001 graphically demonstrated, they are in another way, Curtis concludes, collaborating still: in sustaining the 'fantasy' of the war on terror."
Some things I'm really tired of:
the war on terror;
its evil twin, the war on drugs;
constantly harping about terrorism while never even mentioning the significantly more violent state terrorism which precipitated it (all news coverage on Israel falls into this category, and the entire war on terror seems to be part of a planned Israeli propaganda war as reflected most clearly in the writing of Benjamin Netanyahu);
blaming every mysterious act of violence on 'al Qaeda', before any facts could possibly be gathered, to the point where it would make as much sense to blame it on Martians (an example of this is the recent bombings in Egypt which were blamed on 'al Qaeda' before the dust settled);
conversely, the reductionist claim that al Qaeda doesn't exist and never existed (but it is certainly legitimate to question whether any particular attack is the work of al Qaeda or some group attempting to defame Muslims).
We can't stop the disgusting news media from perpetrating these lies, but we should at least learn to recognize the consistent signs of when we're being lied to.

posted at 1:03 AM permanent link
Sunday, October 17, 2004
There has been a lot written about Jon Stewart's appearance on the CNN show 'Crossfire'. In the long history of 'Crossfire', Stewart is the only person to point out to its hosts what an extreme pile of bullshit it is, and how the public interest is not served in wasting such an opportunity to actually challenge the lies told by the politicians who appear on the show. Stewart doesn't mince words:
"STEWART: See, the thing is, we need your help. Right now, you're helping the politicians and the corporations. And we're left out there to mow our lawns.
BEGALA: By beating up on them? You just said we're too rough on them when they make mistakes.
STEWART: No, no, no, you're not too rough on them. You're part of their strategies. You are partisan, what do you call it, hacks."
Why are they such hacks? Here is the most telling part of the show (my emphasis):
"STEWART: You know, the interesting thing I have is, you have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably.
CARLSON: You need to get a job at a journalism school, I think.
STEWART: You need to go to one.
The thing that I want to say is, when you have people on for just knee-jerk, reactionary talk...

CARLSON: Wait. I thought you were going to be funny. Come on. Be funny.
STEWART: No. No. I'm not going to be your monkey.
(LAUGHTER)
BEGALA: Go ahead. Go ahead.
STEWART: I watch your show every day. And it kills me.
CARLSON: I can tell you love it.
STEWART: It's so - oh, it's so painful to watch.
(LAUGHTER)
STEWART: You know, because we need what you do. This is such a great opportunity you have here to actually get politicians off of their marketing and strategy.
CARLSON: Is this really Jon Stewart? What is this, anyway?
STEWART: Yes, it's someone who watches your show and cannot take it anymore.
(LAUGHTER)
STEWART: I just can't.
CARLSON: What's it like to have dinner with you? It must be excruciating. Do you like lecture people like this or do you come over to their house and sit and lecture them; they're not doing the right thing, that they're missing their opportunities, evading their responsibilities?
STEWART: If I think they are.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: I wouldn't want to eat with you, man. That's horrible."
Mega-dweeb hack Carlson is obviously caught completely off guard by the fact the only real attack he's ever received in his life is coming from a comedian. Stewart only had a chance to be on the show as they all assumed he would play the game and just tell safe jokes. Carlson's shock at the attack causes him to make an honest response: 'What's it like to have dinner with you?' In a nutshell, that is what's wrong with the disgusting American media. They treat their jobs like some kind of dinner party. Within carefully bounded limits, you are allowed to have civilized conversation at this big media dinner party, but anything that even slightly challenges the social conventions of the elite is completely off limits. The deep corruption of television journalism has been accomplished by inviting the journalist stars to the dinner parties of the plutocrats, and making them feel that they belong. The fact that they shill for the establishment is not necessarily because they are partisan Republicans - in fact, most of them probably aren't - but because they are so grateful to be invited to the right dinner parties that they don't want to embarrass themselves, and perhaps be disinvited, by even coming close to asking the 'wrong' questions. In other words, they don't consistently and slavishly support the status quo because of their own political convictions, but because they actually feel it would be impolite to challenge those who have been so kind to invite them to dinner. Carlson can't understand what Stewart is talking about when he asks that they do their jobs by challenging the people they have on the show. Journalists have become so deeply corrupted they are incapable of seeing what they are doing wrong. Without responsible journalism, you can't have a democracy, and that's where the United States finds itself today.
posted at 2:33 AM permanent link
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Good news from Canada:
The first Walmart in the world to have a union contract will be in Jonquière, Quebec. This will be the first break in the Walmart anti-union stance, with other Canadian stores, and possibly American stores, to follow.
Nova Scotia, the only Canadian province not to allow Sunday shopping at any time of the year (Prince Edward Island also bans it except at Christmas), had a referendum on the subject, and despite the propaganda from the business lobbyists, rejected Sunday shopping fairly decisively. It is almost unheard of these days for anybody to confront the cult of turbo-capitalism that human beings have to live their lives in accordance with the interests of big business. Sunday shopping is currently also an issue in Germany, with the Germans so far holding out for sanity. There are a lot of people who think that Nova Scotia is the perfect place in the world to live, and its failure to concede to the big-business-driven madness is probably a large part of that.
Americans who feel that there is no difference between John Kerry and George Bush should really consider the issue of who will appoint Supreme Court justices (not to mention the issue of the environment, but that's another story). The present Canadian Liberal government beat the Conservatives in a hotly contested election, and promptly appointed two very progressive judges to the Canadian Supreme Court, Rosalie Abella and Louise Charron. There is not a snowball's chance in hell that either of these judges would have been appointed by a Conservative government. Although the government chickened out in sending the gay marriage issue to the Supreme Court, it has now effectively stacked the court by adding two judges from the Ontario Court of Appeal that recently decided that the existing common-law man-woman definition of marriage is unconstitutional. Although neither of these judges were involved in that opinion, it is clear where their sympathies lie. Charron wrote the majority decision in the Ontario Court of Appeal case of M. v. H., which determined that the heterosexual definition of marriage in the Ontario Family Law Act was unconstitutional. Abella must drive conservatives particularly crazy, as she created the concept of employment equity, the more-nuanced Canadian version of affirmative action. Conservative columnist Andrew Coyne of the National Post wrote:
"But this is the first time I can recall that a judicial appointment has been used as a political weapon, in the most partisan sense of the word. Ms. Abella is so far out of the mainstream, even among liberal jurists, that her appointment can only be seen as a deliberate provocation. Even allowing for the inability of certain Liberals to conceive that their views might in fact be controversial - for that presumes the existence of differences of opinion - the choice of such a polarizing figure, at such a delicate political moment, cannot have been accidental.

Ms. Abella, for those just joining us, is the author of the 1984 report of the Royal Commission on Equality in Employment, which laid the foundation for legislation imposing racial and sexual hiring quotas on employers under federal jurisdiction and, later, Ontario's aborted attempt to apply this across the entire private sector. Indeed, she invented the term 'employment equity,' the latest in a long line of euphemisms for this disastrous practice. She is, in short, the original quota queen."
Quota queen! The problem with allowing conservatives to win even one election is that the damage they do in the appointment of judges survives them for decades. Americans ought to bear that in mind, hold their noses, and vote for Kerry.
posted at 3:48 AM permanent link
In the extremely unlikely eventuality that George Bush loses the upcoming American Presidential election, it won't be because he is a moron, or insane, or an alcoholic, or a drug addict, or a deserter, or because he started an illegal and immoral and disastrous war in Iraq based on a series of lies told to the American people, or because he is destroying the environment, or because his policies are impoverishing the American people and devastating the American economy. No. It will be because the soccer moms driving to the polling stations in their SUV's notice that the gasoline prices are too high (not to mention heating oil). This is exactly the kind of symbolic issue which reflects whether Bush is capable of running the country. So why aren't the Republicans, who are connected to those who can manipulate the price of oil, doing anything about it? Actually, Bush dabbled in releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, but appeared to do so only in response to temporary shortages caused by Hurricane Ivan and not for partisan political reasons (actually, the Bush Administration acted more responsibly than John Kerry). Could it be that the reason the Republicans are unconcerned about this obvious key political issue - it's the gas prices, stupid - is that the combination of various forms of cheating and voter intimidation, together with crooked computer voting machines, mean that Rove does not care about how Americans actually vote, or would vote if they could? Could it be that the Republican lack of concern reflects the fact that they know that the official election results will not reflect the actual choice of the voters?
posted at 1:52 AM permanent link
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Naomi Klein reveals (or here) that while James Baker was swanning around the capitals of the world trying to convince governments to take a haircut on the sovereign debt owed to them by Iraq - an effort marked by a notable lack of success - Carlyle, the company of which Baker is a big equity partner and senior counselor, was involved in a consortium which was negotiating with Kuwait to provide a financial structure and PR cover to shield from a similar reduction the war reparations debt owed by Iraq to Kuwait (another member of the consortium is a company owned by Madelaine Albright, famously indifferent in a '60 Minutes' interview to the plight of 500,000 Iraqi children killed by the sanctions, and apparently still thrilled about making a buck off their suffering). In fact, the same day that Baker was officially meeting with Kuwaiti leaders including the Foreign Minister to discuss Kuwait's haircut, Carlyle was delivering its scheme to the same Foreign Minister. Carlyle's services were sold on the crass basis of its ability to peddle influence in Washington, and the timing of Baker's visit must have made Carlyle's abilities abundantly clear to the Kuwaitis. Carlyle was slated to make a huge profit off this scheme, but claimed that somehow Baker wouldn't personally benefit. In the wake of Klein's revelation, and after a few unsuccessful attempts at damage control, Carlyle announced it would play no more part in the consortium.
Even by the mega-sleazy standards of the Bush Crime Family, this has to be one of the sleaziest attempts at double-dealing I have ever heard of. Baker used his 'integrity' and 'reputation' to clear the decks of other competing debt payments, while Carlyle fashioned a way to exclude Kuwait from having to participate in the pain felt by countries foolish enough to listen to Baker. Of course, no one was really fooled, which probably explains why Baker has had such a notable lack of success. The victims of this sleaze are the people of Iraq, who will still be burdened with the huge debt run up by Saddam, and the American taxpayers, who will have to fund the impoverished government of Iraq for the foreseeable future.
The Bush Crime Family has always succeeded in its schemes by the sheer enormity and audacity of the crimes it commits. Who would ever believe that someone of Baker's stature would even dream of such a scam? It reminds me of the great comedy series Father Ted, where Father Ted loses a bet and has to kick Bishop Brennan 'up the arse'. Father Ted is terrified of the Bishop, and terrified at what will happen when he kicks the Bishop, but his idiot sidekick Dougal manages to convince him that the conduct is so outrageously unbelievable that the Bishop will never be able to comprehend it actually happened. This is exactly how it transpires, but, it being Father Ted, things soon go terribly awry. Baker attempted to kick the world community, the people of Iraq, and the American taxpayers 'up the arse'. His double dealing was so completely outside the realm of decency and morality that he thought he could get away with it. This time, he got caught.
The irony is that the scheme was to protect reparations payments to Kuwait. The official American theory is that the United States went into Iraq to liberate the Iraqi people from the dictator Saddam. Surely the Iraqi people should no longer be liable for payments to Iraq which were caused entirely by the actions of Saddam. At least with much of the other sovereign debt, the Iraqi people obtained a benefit from it, and presumably still benefit from whatever was bought with it. In the case of the reparations, the debt is a dead weight on the Iraqi people who cannot logically be held responsible for the actions of a dictator from whom they had to be forcibly liberated by the United States. If Kuwait wants to receive payment of the reparations, it should look to Saddam. Kuwait's reparation payments, and the reparation payments claimed by the long line of corporations identified (or here) by Klein, should be the first debt payments to be wiped clean, even before any of the other sovereign debt disappears.
If you ever have the misfortune of shaking James Baker's hand, be sure to immediately count your fingers.
posted at 3:32 AM permanent link
The Ron Suskind article on Bush is very interesting, but it is possible that it relies on a fundamental misunderstanding of Bush's religiosity. The entire story of Bush's religious beliefs may have been created by Rove to allow Bush to appeal to a core group of religious hard-core fruitcakes. Jeff Sharlet and Ayelish McGarvey each question the nature of Bush's faith. As I have noted, the fact that Bush doesn't even appear to go to church is at the very least extremely odd. Suskind may be wrong in connecting Bush's psychology to faith. He, and the people around him, may simply be psychopaths. Suskind writes:
"In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend - but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

The aide said that guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality - judiciously, as you will - we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'"
That is exactly how psychopaths think and act. 'Reality' is as much a quibble to them as is morality. Strong people do what they want, and weak people just get to watch. The unfortunate thing is that the United States is powerful enough now that it can act without paying any attention to the opinions of anybody else, or even to the apparent realities which would normally constrain it. The American government seems to be able to borrow an unlimited amount of money, the American military has an apparently unlimited number of troops (at least after the draft is introduced), and no other country appears to have enough military power to challenge the decisions of the Bush Administration. Of course, at some point the 'realities' catch up to the psychopaths. The borrowing can't go on forever, and the American death toll will eventually reach politically unacceptable levels (how many neocon wars will it take to reach 55,000, the number from the Vietnam war?). When the series of Zionist wars are in full throttle, the Middle East will be on fire, and the price of oil will destroy the world economy. By the time the shit hits the fan, the psychopaths will be long gone, and everybody else will have to pick up the pieces, if there are any pieces left to pick up. The strength of the United States means there is no check on the bad decisions of evil people, and the strength of the United States is thus its weakness.
posted at 1:21 AM permanent link
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Around twenty Indymedia web sites were shut down when the FBI seized two servers which were located in London. Although the servers were returned, the mystery remains. There are a number of different reports why this happened, and who instigated it. The initial report was that British authorities cooperated with the FBI to seize the servers because of pictures of Swiss police which appeared on some Indymedia sites, pictures which identified presumably undercover officers. If this was the reason, it backfired, as the otherwise unnoticed pictures were suddenly all over the internet. It seems unlikely that this was the real reason (for what it's worth, the Swiss deny that they requested the seizure of the servers). The instigators were said to be Swiss and Italian authorities, although focus soon shifted entirely to the Italians. Due to Indymedia publication of embarrassing facts about the violent police actions against the Genoa protestors, the Italian authorities are supposed to have an animus for Indymedia, and the seizure was thought to have something to do with this attitude. The seizure occurred one week before the start of a meeting of the European Social Forum, a large gathering of activists scheduled to take place in London, and for some reason Italian or other authorities may have wanted to block Indymedia coverage of this event. The most recent, and most plausible, explanation for the seizure is that it was at the request of an Italian magistrate who was investigating the recent letter bombs sent in Italy which have been blamed on anarchists (in my opinion, a fairly obvious example of a right-wing attack on anarchists by blaming them for bombs sent by government or right-wing agents-provocateurs). The most interesting part of the story is that the Italian magistrate apparently did not request that the servers be seized, and in fact had no interest in the servers. He wanted to find out about what certain posters to an Italian Indymedia forum knew about the matter, and, as he may have thought the posters were American, asked the FBI to try to determine the identities of the posters and interview them. A good guess would be that Ashcroft saw this fairly mundane request as an excuse to seize the Indymedia servers to stop Indymedia from operating during the last weeks of the American election campaign. In particular, as Indymedia has a history of publishing on the Diebold debacle, Ashcroft may have wanted to suppress any embarrassing revelations about the crooked voting machines in the run up to the election. Blaming the Swiss and Italians may just have been a ruse. Due to the decentralized nature of Indymedia, the seizure didn't accomplish anything, so the servers were returned. The whole incident may have also been an experiment to see how various authorities could work together to stifle speech, and to see how much speech could be stopped with the seizure of certain servers. We will probably never know the truth. There is a website for people to voice their complaints about this attack on freedom of speech.
posted at 2:01 AM permanent link
It appears that the October Surprise will be that there won't be an October Surprise. If you're going to win anyway because you've already fixed the voting machines, why risk it?
posted at 1:02 AM permanent link
Saturday, October 23, 2004
The British government has now officially denied that any British law enforcement agencies were involved in the seizure of the Indymedia servers. As Indymedia points out, every agency that has been said to have been involved in the seizure has now denied it. Rackspace claimed that there was a court order involved, but nobody can find the court that might have issued this order. Maybe the two servers got tired of life on the server farm, broke out, took a taxi to the FBI offices, turned themselves in, and made a full confession. Then they spent a few days in electro-magnetic debauchery before staggering back home.
Rackspace may have some 'splainin' to do. Could it be that they voluntarily turned the servers over to the FBI on merely being asked to do so? ISP's have been lawyering up and going to court to protect the privacy rights of their customers under attack from the music industry. Does Rackspace see no reason to fight for the rights of its customers? Why would anyone want to do business with a company that simply asks 'How high?' when the FBI says 'Jump'?
Finally, isn't there some protocol for the operation of a foreign police agency on British soil, or does the FBI roam around London seizing what it wants? Recent British action to shore up the thinning American military presence in Iraq by putting British soldiers in very dangerous situations seems to evidence the fact that Britain is now just a colony of the United States, so maybe the FBI no longer has to worry about British laws or procedures.
posted at 2:02 AM permanent link
I can't remember if I've mentioned it before or not, but if you want to follow an incredible esoteric mystery, read this (starting here). It looks like some university investment club that has turned into an in-joke, but who knows.
posted at 1:38 AM permanent link
Monday, October 25, 2004
Meg Laughlin of Knight Ridder has interviewed various associates of John White, the man who ran the inner-city program in Houston where Bush worked in the early 1970's, work which has led to much speculation. It is completely out of character for Bush to volunteer for any kind of charity, and even more bizarre that he has been so circumspect about using his participation in it for political purposes. The witnesses that Meg Laughlin spoke to confirm that he was there because he was in some sort of trouble which required him to put in the time. A new witness, Althia Turner, White's administrative assistant, who was obviously uncomfortable about giving testimony, said:
"George had to sign in and out - I remember his signature was a hurried cursive - but he wasn't an employee. He was not a volunteer either. John said he had to keep track of George's hours because George had to put in a lot of hours because he was in trouble."
The article states:
"Other accounts have suggested his service was involuntary. A book published in 2000, largely discredited, said Bush was there to serve out a community service sentence for a drug arrest. At the time, however, Harris County, Texas, where Houston is located, had no formal community service program. A 1999 book, by a political reporter for The Dallas Morning News, said Bush's father had insisted on the service after Bush was involved in a drunk-driving incident."
Of course, the fact that Harris County had no formal community service program is irrelevant. A judge friendly to George's father could have agreed to suspend sentencing in George's criminal (cocaine?) case pending completion of any task he might require of George, and might very well have relied on George's father to vouch for the fact he performed the task. Father Bush might then have counted on his friend John White to tally up the hours so Bush could honestly inform the court that his son had complied with the court's semi-formal requirements. The theory that this charity work was just an informal requirement of George's father isn't consistent with the fact that it obviously interfered with the proper completion of George's military service. Father Bush would hardly have punished George by making him do something that would affect his military career, especially when the whole purpose of the Guard duty was to keep George out of Vietnam, and George's failure to complete his Guard duty would have led him directly to Vietnam.
Can't you just hear George begging with his father to get him out of his cocaine legal trouble by arranging for some charity work to satisfy the judge? Can't you just hear him telling his father that he would swear off the blow? Can't you just hear him claim he could arrange to do both his Guard duty and complete the charity work at the same time? Can't you just see Bush unable to get off the coke, and being fearful that his addiction would be revealed to the court and to his father by a military physical (the fact that such a physical might not have disclosed the presence of cocaine is irrelevant if George feared the huge consequences if there was the slightest chance that it might)? Can't you just see Bush going AWOL to avoid that physical? Can't you just see his father then having to pull strings with the military brass to keep George out of Vietnam?
posted at 3:15 AM permanent link
Ashcroft's campaign against whistleblowers continues to have remarkable success. From an article by Seth Sutel of the Associated Press:
"Clark Hoyt, the Washington editor of Knight Ridder, the second-largest newspaper company in the country, said that in the past few weeks he has seen two cases of people at first wishing to provide information for stories on a confidential basis, then backing out later for fear that they would be investigated or that their identity might be discovered from a subpoena of the reporter's phone records.

'I think there is no question that there is greater anxiety among sources about talking to journalists,' Hoyt said."
A dangerous erosion of freedom of speech is proceeding and is largely being ignored. The most recent manifestation of it concerns the case of Steven J. Hatfill, who is suing the government over the shameful way he was treated in being blamed for the anthrax attacks. Ashcroft's Justice Department has agreed to distribute waivers to federal investigators who may have discussed the case with journalists. Hatfill's lawyers can then use the signed waivers to attempt to convince journalists to disclose who gave them information concerning Hatfill. Notice how completely backasswards and artificial this whole process is. If Ashcroft really wanted to cooperate in disclosing what information the government turned over, he could simply order an internal investigation and give the names to Hatfill's lawyers. Instead, he makes everyone go through this extremely odd dance of the seven veils which will almost certainly lead nowhere. The journalists will presumably only discuss those people who signed the waivers, which list presumably will not include those who disclosed information. Hatfill's lawyers will have to work backwards from those who didn't sign the waivers to try to discover who the leakers were. The whole thing is crazy, and can serve only one purpose. Ashcroft is establishing the precedent of using 'voluntary' waivers in any case where informants in the government are involved. In this case, the informant was almost certainly acting with official sanction (the government was clearly trying to defame Hatfill for political purposes), but the same principle would apply in cases of whistleblowers who were acting without authorization. Now that the precedent has been established, the threat exists in any whistleblower case that a blanket series of 'voluntary' waivers will be distributed to everyone who might have turned over information to journalists. Of course, the waivers aren't really voluntary, as not signing one would presumably affect your job security, and signing one puts you at high risk of being outed by the journalist you talked to. This danger is particularly acute if Ashcroft manages to confirm through the Judith Miller and Matt Cooper cases that he can go on fishing expeditions with journalists to find the names of informants, with failure to turn over the names sanctioned by imprisonment for contempt of court. He can thus pin the whistleblower between the pinchers of the waiver and the threat of putting the stubborn journalist in jail. A whistleblower who wasn't prepared to go to jail wouldn't take the risk.
The key to seeing this is a conspiracy to attack whistleblowers is the extreme artificiality in each stage of Ashcroft's plan. The whole Plame case is ridiculous, as Bush could simply order the name of the informant to be disclosed. The use of waivers is completely unnecessary, and makes you wonder what Ashcroft is really up to. When you couple that with the fact that his prosecutor is attacking Miller, who didn't even write on the Plame matter and just possibly listened to a telephone conversation, and has apparently completely ignored Novak, the real villain of the piece, the story looks even stranger. On top of all that, we have the Hatfill case, where waivers are again being used where they are completely unnecessary. By the time the dust has settled, Ashcroft will have established the pattern of using blanket 'voluntary' waivers in all cases where government informants may be involved, and will be able to threaten journalists with jail if they don't go along with his fishing expeditions. Neither Ashcroft not his boss Bush will ever have to worry about whistleblowers again.
posted at 3:00 AM permanent link
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
If you're only going to read one summary of the state of the evidence on the September 11 attack on the Pentagon, I would recommend this one. Remember, a Boeing 757-200 - wingspan 124 feet wide and 44 feet high from the ground to the top of the tail - is supposed to have gone through this hole without leaving any debris from the wings outside the hole or damaging the windows or wall to the side of the hole or above the hole (you can still see the window frame in the window right beside the hole!). Then the metal parts of the plane are supposed to have completely vaporized in the heat, leaving behind untouched the contents of its luggage hold and enough dna to identify all but one of the passengers. It seems that people will believe anything that their masters tell them!
posted at 1:58 AM permanent link
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
William Clark feels that the real reason for the upcoming American attack on Iran is Iran's plans to create a euro-denominated market for oil. The Iranians saw quite clearly what happened to Saddam, who was whipsawed by being forced to disarm himself and then attacked on the pretense that he had not disarmed himself. Their continued efforts in producing nuclear arms is an indication that they don't intend to make the same mistake. They know that the neocons are more loyal to Israel than to the United States, and that the threat of a nuclear attack on Israel may be the only defense they have against another illegal unprovoked attack by the Americans. Given the insane neocons in charge in Washington, who can blame the Iranians for wanting a few nuclear arms for self-defense?
posted at 1:29 AM permanent link
Thursday, October 28, 2004
One of the things I say to honest Israelis trying to make the case for Israel is how do you support a government which is so obviously controlled by and for the purposes of a tiny group of people who are religious nuts. Clean your own house before you start to blame the Palestinians for your problems. One of the things honest Americans considering voting Republican should ask themselves is how do you support a party which spends so much of its time and effort in systematic suppression of the voting rights of historically oppressed minority groups. How can you be a Republican and claim to support democracy? Or is winning more important than democracy?
posted at 5:12 AM permanent link
Friday, October 29, 2004
Someone could do a whole blog just listing Rove's dirty tricks in the current American election, with the worst probably the legal challenges to come after the election. I'm not referring to tricks like misrepresentation in the controlled media, the Sinclair kerfuffle, misleading ads, or the whole swift boat vets fiasco. I mean out and out vote fraud. It's not fair to say that the United States has descended to banana republic status in the crookedness of its election, as there is no banana republic capable of the range and audacity of Rove's schemes (here is just a random varied sampling of some of what is already known, with much of the worst probably still not even reported, and the greatest fraud, inside the fixed computer voting machines, impossible to detect). The fraudulence of the election should become the main substantive issue in the election. The election has essentially turned into a referendum on whether the United States will become a dictatorship, or remain a (shaky) democracy. Recently, in places like Spain and Venezuela, where criminal oligarchs attempted to manipulate democratic results, the voters actually became insulted and angry at the way their democracy was mistreated, and voted to punish the crooks. I would hope that even honest Republicans would hesitate to cast a vote which endorses systematic disenfranchisement on a scale which makes a mockery of the concept of democracy. Sadly, I am not at all comfortable that Americans are capable of realizing what is going on, or are even all that opposed to living under a dictator. Dictators remove the necessity to make choices, and American brains seem to hurt too much to want to think enough to choose. A dictatorship would be so much easier. Countries have fallen into dictatorship before, so the American story would not be without precedent. The problem is that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to regain a lost democracy. Lots and lots of people generally have to die before you get it back.
posted at 3:00 AM permanent link
Saturday, October 30, 2004
From Osama bin Laden's latest broadcast (my emphasis):
"We agreed with Mohamed Atta, god bless him, to execute the whole operation in 20 minutes. Before Bush and his administration would pay attention and we never thought that the high commander of the US armies would leave 50 thousand of his citizens in both towers to face the horrors by themselves when they most needed him because it seemed to distract his attention from listening to the girl telling him about her goat butting was more important than paying attention to airplanes butting the towers which gave us three times the time to execute the operation thank god."
It is impossible to know whether we should take anything bin Laden says at face value, but this comment on the timing of the attacks is interesting. While the timing of the broadcast makes it clear that Osama is playing right into Bush's election campaign by reminding Americans of why they instinctively look to Bush for security from the likes of bin Laden, the sly attack on Bush's goat book reading leaves enough ambiguity that Bush can argue that bin Laden is actually campaigning for Kerry, thus further increasing the value of bin Laden's words for Bush. Brilliant. Bin Laden continues to earn his pay.
posted at 1:01 AM permanent link
Sunday, October 31, 2004
Is it possible that Arafat isn't really sick at all - or at least no sicker than he normally is - and all these dramatic stories about him were simply in aid of getting him to Paris for high-level talks concerning the long-awaited European sanctions against Israel? Like Castro, the guy's probably immortal (and I can't see him allowing himself to die before Sharon). Despite a startling move to a more varied choice in head coverings, he doesn't look sick to me. Greatly inconsistent stories make me very suspicious.
posted at 1:58 AM permanent link
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
Americans have the opportunity to use this election to state that they do not approve of the politics of deception, lying, and manipulation. Forget about Kerry, whose inability to elucidate a plausible alternative to Bush just emphasizes the fact that the election is really a referendum on Bush and the Rovean politics of deceit. It is also an opportunity to get out from under the debilitating logic of the war on terror, where each fight in the war is just the cause of more terrorism (it's like a headbutting competition, where the 'winner' is the last guy to fall down). The Spanish people faced a similar choice in their last election, and threw the bastards out. There comes a point in politics when politicians obviously have so little respect for the electorate that the electorate has to reassert who is the master and who is the servant. It will be interesting to see whether the remarkable servility of American voters continues in the face of such a massive display of contempt for Americans and the values they purport to hold dear.
posted at 4:05 AM permanent link
Here is the full transcript (or here) of bin Laden's latest speech, without misleading translations or editing. It's a smart piece of work, whether written by bin Laden or a sane faction of the CIA. A few excerpts (my emphasis):
" . . . we fight because we are free men who don't sleep under oppression. We want to restore freedom to our nation, just as you lay waste to our nation. So shall we lay waste to yours.

No-one except a dumb thief plays with the security of others and then makes himself believe he will be secure. Whereas thinking people, when disaster strikes, make it their priority to look for its causes, in order to prevent it happening again.

But I am amazed at you. Even though we are in the fourth year after the events of September 11th, Bush is still engaged in distortion, deception and hiding from you the real causes. And thus, the reasons are still there for a repeat of what occurred."
" . . . as I looked at those demolished towers in Lebanon, it entered my mind that we should punish the oppressor in kind and that we should destroy towers in America in order that they taste some of what we tasted and so that they be deterred from killing our women and children.

And that day, it was confirmed to me that oppression and the intentional killing of innocent women and children is a deliberate American policy. Destruction is freedom and democracy, while resistance is terrorism and intolerance.

This means the oppressing and embargoing to death of millions as Bush Sr. did in Iraq in the greatest mass slaughter of children mankind has ever known, and it means the throwing of millions of pounds of bombs and explosives at millions of children – also in Iraq – as Bush Jr. Did, in order to remove an old agent and replace him with a new puppet to assist in the pilfering of Iraq's oil and other outrages.

So with these images and their like as their background, the events of September 11th came as a reply to those great wrongs, should a man be blamed for defending his sanctuary?

Is defending oneself and punishing the aggressor in kind, objectionable terrorism? If it is such, then it is unavoidable for us."
" . . . we have found it difficult to deal with the Bush administration in light of the resemblance it bears to the regimes in our countries, half of which are ruled by the military and the other half which are ruled by the sons of kings and presidents."
"All that we have mentioned has made it easy for us to provoke and bait this administration. All that we have to do is to send two Mujahideen to the furthest point East to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al-Qaida, in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies."
". . . al-Qaida has gained, but on the other hand, it shows that the Bush administration has also gained, something of which anyone who looks at the size of the contracts acquired by the shady Bush administration-linked mega-corporations, like Haliburton and its kind, will be convinced. And it all shows that the real loser is . . . you.

It is the American people and their economy."
"And it's no secret to you that the thinkers and perceptive ones from among the Americans warned Bush before the war and told him, 'All that you want for securing America and removing the weapons of mass destruction – assuming they exist – is available to you, and the nations of the world are with you in the inspections, and it is in the interest of America that it not be thrust into an unjustified war with an unknown outcome.'

But the darkness of the black gold blurred his vision and insight, and he gave priority to private interests over the public interests of America.

So the war went ahead, the death toll rose, the American economy bled, and Bush became embroiled in the swamps of Iraq that threaten his future."
"In conclusion, I tell you in truth, that your security is not in the hands of Kerry, nor Bush, nor al-Qaida.

No.

Your security is in your own hands. And every state that doesn't play with our security has automatically guaranteed its own security."
Some comments:
Bin Laden, supposedly a madman, makes the completely sane offer to the American people that he will stop threatening America if America stops threatening the security of the people living in the Middle East. This is a deal, in some form or other, that Americans are eventually going to have to accept, and the sooner the acceptance the fewer the deaths of both Americans and others.
Bin Laden has never been unclear about what makes him angry about the United States, and in this speech he emphasizes the importance of the completely one-sided American support for Israeli state terrorism against the Palestinian people (see also Juan Cole on this subject). If Americans really wanted to do something about terrorism other than strip-searching grandmothers in airports in places like Omaha, a reevaluation of the American support for Israel would be the best place to start.
Predictably, and reflecting the fact that the war on terror is really a propaganda war, the reporting on bin Laden's speech completely missed the points he was carefully trying to make. MEMRI was caught red-handed misstating bin Laden's words (only read MEMRI to find out what Zionists want you to think, and never read it thinking you will find truth), and this misstatement was picked up by the usual suspects to use as fodder for the Bush election campaign. Overall, coverage completely ignored the deep and justified criticisms of American politics and foreign policy leveled by bin Laden.
Americans should think carefully about the common sense in bin Laden's speech. All Americans have to do to lose the fear and massive expense caused by terrorism is stop abusing the people which bin Laden claims to represent. Is that all that bad a deal?

posted at 3:52 AM permanent link
Naomi Klein has a follow-up article (or here) to her outstanding piece on prestigious, reputable, honest and integrity-stuffed James Baker, and his little Kuwaiti conflict involving Carlyle (I wrote about it here). When faced with the facts, Carlyle simply outright lied about it, and the disgusting American media, as usual, let them get away with it. In any event, Klein's work cost Carlyle and Baker a billion bucks, which is a pretty good bit of journalism. She should have told them that for one percent of the swag, she'd keep quiet.
posted at 2:31 AM permanent link
It is clear now from an analysis of the photographic and video evidence that Bush indeed wears an electronic device on his back, almost certainly some form of radio communication system used to prompt him in unscripted situations. The whole Rovean neo-fascist playbook depends on extreme simplicity of message, which includes both the substance of the message and the way in which it is expressed. Bush's followers want, expect and need completely unnuanced politics - good versus evil, us versus them, decency versus liberalism. This politics is delivered to them in the form of carefully scripted sound bites in easily digested one-liners. The problem is that Bush's substance-abuse addled brain isn't up to the task of delivering these lines without mangling them, and mangling introduces exactly the kind of dissonance which his followers can't tolerate. It is therefore necessary in the very rare unscripted situations that Bush has to endure - like the debates - for someone to be in his ear reciting the exact wording of the official Republican talking points. When the prompter, probably frustrated by Bush's inability to get anything right, tries to prompt too much, he completely confuses Bush, and makes him appear even stupider than he actually is. This whole sorry incident proves:
Bush isn't even up to the task of communicating the simplistic political lines he supposedly believes in;
the Republicans will try anything to cover up for Bush's inadequacies, and will then lie about it when caught;
the disgusting American media, which has avoided this issue like the plague, is just a Republican propaganda machine;
it is very difficult to deliver messages consistently simplistic and stupid enough to satisfy a large proportion of the American electorate.
posted at 2:03 AM permanent link
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Following the precedents set (almost) all around the world, the elections in Uruguay went well, with a moderate but clearly leftist government winning for the first time. We can add Uruguay to the list of Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay and Bolivia. It's good to know that there are still countries where the majority of the population aren't morons.
posted at 2:33 AM permanent link
Thursday, November 04, 2004
The American election was a great tragedy, both for the American people and for the world. It will be the direct cause of untold suffering, death, and destruction. It is impossible to overstate how terrible an untrammeled Bush is going to be, and the full extent of the damage won't be known for years. The Democrats are already starting to turn themselves into knots over their loss. They had a perfectly presentable candidate who twisted most of his policy positions around to satisfy all but the most right-wing of right-wingers, and who was facing a blundering idiot with an unparalleled legacy of disastrous political decisions. How could Kerry possibly lose? Two reasons:
People aren't entirely prepared to admit it, but there really is an underclass of very unhappy white people in the United States who are still fighting the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, and the Civil War. The dissatisfaction in their lives is caused by the powerlessness they feel in the face of the fact that they fall further behind with each generation. The Republicans manage these people with great skill, and use the full force of the media to direct all their anger and hatred to liberalism. The fact that many of them are evangelical Christians is more a symptom of the same malaise that it is the cause of their hatreds. Nutty religion is their opium. While many of them are terribly misinformed and stupid, I don't think it is entirely fair to say that they misunderstand their class interests. They have come to the conclusion that they are going to be screwed regardless of which party is in power, and they prefer to be screwed by a group that doesn't appear to hold them in contempt. Indeed, you get the impression that their hatred is so great that they are taunting the liberal attempts at policy solutions to their problems, almost saying we hate your contempt for us so much we'll prove it by voting against our own interests.
The computer voting machines were fixed. This will be proven when differences between the recorded votes for Bush and the exit poll results are found to be higher in a statistically significant way in areas where computer voting machines were used. This will have to be carefully studied, as the Republicans were very clever and not greedy. They only manipulated the results in the key states and only to the extent they needed to win. The Democrats have only themselves to blame for this mess, having had plenty of notice of the problem and failing to complain about it until it was too late.
Both of these factors were necessary to the Bush win, and neither would have been sufficient in itself. So you can simultaneously blame the hating underclass, and absolve the majority of the American people. To put it another way, were it not for crooked voting machines, Bush's posse of haters wouldn't have been enough to gain the victory. What should the Democrats do about it? There appear to be two conflicting proposals, neither of which seems right, and no doubt the subject of my next posting.

posted at 1:28 AM permanent link
Friday, November 05, 2004
Isn't it funny that the one thing Kerry expressly promised his supporters he wouldn't do - make an Al Gore-style premature concession speech - is exactly what he did? Had he waited as little as twenty-four hours, information would have been available that would make his decision to concede much more difficult. It is almost as if he was in a hurry to concede before such information came out.
The argument is made that they were trying not to appear as sore losers to preserve the chances of Edwards and Hillary in the next election, but the people who didn't vote for them are never going to vote for Hillary, the voters who didn't turn out aren't going to be inspired by this craven collapse, and their core supporters feel betrayed again. The Democrats keep conceding to save their chances for the next election, but of course the next election never comes. Had they made an issue out of this election, at the very least they could have inspired a debate on the major issues of vote suppression, intimidation, 'spoiled' ballots in minority neighborhoods, and receiptless computer voting. As it is, the Republicans just gain experience to do these things and more in the next election.
The most pathetic thing, perhaps, is the announcement by the Kerry campaign that they had an army of lawyers and millions of dollars ready to work on the recounts, and the recounts never came. They were all ready to counter Rove's strategy in the last election, and, as usual, he was a vote fraud step ahead of them, never intending to have to resort to a recount by stealing the election in such a way that the issue never came up. Even the much publicized Republican efforts at voter intimidation may have been a ruse to hide the real crimes which were taking place inside computer voting machines.
Is this premature concession by Kerry some kind of Skull and Bones thing, a 'gentleman's' agreement between the two Bonesman that they wouldn't engage in unseemly quibbling over who won, but just let the first guy to steal the election have it?
posted at 1:47 AM permanent link
Sunday, November 07, 2004
Given the increasing evidence of massive vote fraud centering around the use of computer voting machines, isn't it past time to do something serious about it? The whole history of computer voting companies in the United States - the fact that they all appear to be interconnected, both to each other, and to high-level Republican operatives, and the fact that the main owners are religious fruitcakes who advocate a truly nutty religious future for America (Howard F. Ahmanson, Jr. may now be the most powerful man in the country, and the nuttiness proposed by R.J. Rushdoony called Christian Reconstructionism is America's grim fate which people should be studying and watching for the Bush Administration to bring into effect), and the fact that the CEO of Diebold, 'Wally' O'Dell, famously stated that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President" - all lead to the inescapable conclusion that the American election debacle was a successful electronic conspiracy to deliver the United States into the hands of religious fascism. It is rather pathetic to watch the Democrats raise millions of dollars, pick a plausible leader and what they felt was a winning platform, fight through an exhausting campaign, battle the misrepresentations of the press, and carry on throughout the election as if they had a fighting chance to win, when all the while the whole election was determined by some back-room computer programming. It isn't as if this was some kind of secret. Blackboxvoting (and see also the Bev Harris site here, and the damning Diebold memos) has been all over this issue for months, and all the Democrats did in response was a few too-little-too-late legal challenges which had no chance of success. You would almost think they were trying to lose. Now that those Americans who are not part of the group I call the 'haters' have had their country stolen from them, isn't it time to vent anger in a creative way? Diebold can manufacture ATM's which process billions of dollars but never lose track of a penny, but seems to have the damnedest time getting computer voting machines to count Democratic votes. Isn't it time, as I suggested earlier, to boycott banks which use Diebold ATM's?
posted at 1:25 AM permanent link
Monday, November 08, 2004
Auglaize County is a conservative place in the middle of western Ohio. It uses computer voting machines. From an article by Erin Miller in The Evening Leader of St. Mary's, Ohio:
"In a letter dated Oct. 21, Ken Nuss, former deputy director of the Auglaize County Board of Elections, claimed that Joe McGinnis, a former employee of Election Systems and Software (ES&S), the company that provides the voting system in Auglaize County, was on the main computer that is used to create the ballot and compile election results, which would go against election protocol. Nuss claimed in the letter that McGinnis was allowed to use the computer the weekend of Oct. 16."
By mid-October, Rove would have known just how many votes he needed to manufacture and where he needed to manufacture them. It would be worth investigating whether unusual unauthorized visits by computer voting machine company employees were a pattern in mid-October in Ohio and Florida. The Auglaize County results in 2000 and 2004 are striking. Kerry got essentially the same amount of votes as Gore did. Bush got 3000 more votes than he got in 2000. Are we to believe that Bush received almost 100% of the extra turnout?
posted at 1:35 AM permanent link
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
I have yet to get around to giving my free advice on what the Democrats should be doing - which can't possibly be worse than the advise they have been taking - but in the meantime I recommend this article (or here) by John Nichols as being one of the few wise things I've read. Based on what the grand pooh-bahs in the Democratic Party have been saying, it appears they are headed to a real disaster by turning away from what the majority of Americans support to an attempt to win over the haters. Since they can never win over the haters, this is sheer lunacy, a kind of political suicide by attempting to out-crazy the Republicans and carve off their own political base. Voters will just see it as more opportunism, another goose hunt put on for show. I detect three elements to this new Democratic ideal of becoming the party of what Americans misleadingly call 'moral values':
A tendency towards puritanism in orthodox socialism, best seen in the policies in some communist regimes, where a distaste for certain kinds of human behavior is hidden behind a supposed commitment to socialist purity.
The continuing futile efforts by Democrats to win over those southerners lost when the Democrats did the right thing and embraced the civil rights movement. Ever since these voters were lost, the Democrats have been engaged in a hopeless quest to get them back. Why is it that the Republicans can consistently win Presidential elections with non-southerners - including the fake Texan George Bush, a yuppie New Englander who picked up his accent snorting cocaine in Houston bars and had a fake Potemkin ranch built just in time for his campaign to be the Republican candidate - but the Democrats are stuck on the idea that they must run a southerner?
A desire by the Democrats to find an excuse to avoid their real problem, which is that voters are not fooled and see clearly that they have become the Republican party 'lite', just another political shill for the interests of big corporations. Had Paul Wellstone not been murdered by the Republicans and lived to retirement, you know that he would not have become a multi-millionaire corporate lobbyist. The problems of the Democrats are exemplified by the fact that Tom Daschle, forced into retirement by the voters, will become such a multi-millionaire fronting for large corporate interests. The elite Democrats would prefer not to give up this chance to make millions, so they prefer to pretend that their problem is a problem of these odd 'moral values' - which don't seem to encompass the fact that it is immoral to murder innocent civilians in Iraq - and not a problem with the fact that they are rightly perceived as a hypocritical version of the Republicans, representing greed while pretending to be virtuous.
The stupidest thing you can do in politics is to try to fix a problem you don't have, thus alienating your base, while ignoring the real problems you do have.
posted at 11:13 PM permanent link
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Peter Coyote lists just some of the crazy series of things you have to believe in order to believe that George Bush actually won the election (see an earlier letter from Coyote here). I'm amazed at how easily the left has rolled up on this issue. It is not an exaggeration to say that this stolen election represents the United States slipping into fascism, a problem that is usually irreversible without a lot of really bad things happening to a lot of people. World war is the usual outcome, and the attack on Falluja, expressly couched as a religious Crusade (see here or here, and here), is clearly intended by the Christian Zionists to lead to that goal. If you make the connection between the people behind the computer voting machine companies, their insane religious desire to see the Apocalypse in the Middle East, and the grim future of the world evidenced by the completely unnecessary attack on Falluja, you have to come to the conclusion that there is no time to wait for another election. It is not morally acceptable for the American left to allow the Apocalypse to happen without even the slightest attempt at a fight. It is insane to save your energy for the next election, when the chances are there won't be one.
posted at 1:51 AM permanent link
Friday, November 12, 2004
The Sandinistas won an overwhelming number of the municipal elections recently held in Nicaragua. This marks yet another in the series of elections all over the world where the electorate decided that democracy could actually improve their lives and voted for sanity. If you spend your time reading about politics in backward places like Australia and the United States, you lose sight of the fact that progressive politics is actually in the best shape it has ever been.
posted at 11:40 PM permanent link
Saturday, November 13, 2004
Theocracy Watch, a site which will become more and more important as the conspiracy to turn the United States into the land of fruitcakes continues over the next four years and beyond (see also here - from here - and here). The recent crooked election with its nut-controlled computer voting machine companies is just a small part of the conspiracy. When you see seemingly independent actions across the United States to promote creationism, remove the separation of church and state, applaud the genocidal policies of the State of Israel, and attack human rights, including reproductive rights and rights for homosexuals, you have to realize that much of this is centrally organized and funded by a not-so-vast, but very committed and very well funded, extreme right-wing conspiracy. This particular conspiracy is probably the most important and most dangerous one in the United States, and, due to the fact that it is violently colonialist and militaristic in its pursuit of a Christian empire, the world. Americans now face the very real danger of having the country turned into a religious-fascist dictatorship right under their noses.
posted at 4:23 AM permanent link
Sunday, November 14, 2004
From the Toronto Star:
"Up at the front of the United Muslim Association mosque yesterday, a confident Maryam Mirza delivered part of the Eid al-Fitr sermon. In doing so, she marked the end of Ramadan (the month of fasting) and what many called a new beginning for Muslim women as she took on a role traditionally left to men."
and:
"News of Mirza's delivery of the sermon also attracted guests from other mosques, who showed up to support and congratulate the association's move.

'This is history for me. It is a great way to start the Eid celebration,' said Faizal Kayum, who attended yesterday's service with his son Azeem. 'The religion has been dominated by males. It's about time for women to step up to the plate.'

Imam Ally said he hopes the congregation, whose members mostly come from Guyana and the Caribbean, can start a wave of positive change for women within the Muslim community."
This may not sound like much, but a woman giving part of the Eid sermon is something like the Pope deciding to get married. It will be interesting to see the conservative reaction to this. Is Islam capable of progressive change, or not?

posted at 4:15 AM permanent link
Monday, November 15, 2004
The German people have been justly criticized for their failing to do anything to stop the Holocaust, with Jews disappearing off the streets of Nazi Germany to be killed while the Germans pretended not to notice. It has been one of the mysteries of history how the most civilized people on earth could have allowed the Holocaust to happen with nary a voice of opposition or complaint.
How does this differ from the remarkable lack of opposition in the United States to the war crimes being committed by American troops in Falluja and elsewhere (scroll down at this site to find most of the links of eyewitness reports of the horrors)? Actually, there is quite a bit of difference. Nazi Germany was a police state, and any opposition or even a hint of opposition would have been met with instant dire consequences. Despite the best efforts of John Ashcroft, the United States is still not a full-fledged police state (but they are working on it). Nazi Germany had a completely controlled media, and any information embarrassing to Hitler's regime was simply not published. Despite the fact that the American media is disgustingly useless, Americans still have full awareness of what is going on in Falluja, largely because the Bush regime is quite proud of it. I once was impolite enough to ask some Germans in Germany who had lived through the Nazi period what they knew at the time about what was going on. They said they were very sorry about what had happened, but, although they had strong hints, they really didn't know. Unless one is certain, what can an individual do in a police state when faced with hints of wrongdoing? Americans have no such excuse. The hypocrisy of Americans complaining about what is going on in Sudan while American troops are doing much worse in Iraq is amazing.
Some people think that Americans actually like killing Muslims. I have resisted this notion, but, given the complete lack of opposition to massive war crimes being committed against a largely civilian population for a crime which amounts to being insufficiently deferential to an illegal occupying army, I am changing my mind. The only possible reason which explains the attack on Falluja and the attitude of Americans towards it is that Americans like to see dead Muslims. I think the American people owe the German people an apology. Unimaginable evil can happen anywhere, and with remarkable ease.
posted at 9:34 PM permanent link
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Robert Fisk - whose last name seems to cause enormous spelling problems for editors everywhere - suggests conspiracy theory in the death of Margaret Hassan (see also here and here). A middle-aged woman, a convert to Islam, a fluent Arabic speaker, an obvious friend to the Iraqi people, a humanitarian aid worker thus protected by Islamic law, someone whose begging-for-life videotape wasn't laden with the usual invocations of militant Islam, and someone whose release was expressly demanded by demonstrators in Baghdad, the resistance groups of Falluja, and the mythological al-Zarqawi. Violently killed. Cui bono? Anyone who was trying to destroy the basis of civilized Iraqi society. Or anyone who was trying to set up a propaganda background for the vicious and completely illegal slaughter of civilians in Falluja.
posted at 11:06 PM permanent link
Thursday, November 18, 2004
The overwhelming evidence from Ohio and Florida confirms that there was systematic vote fraud and voter suppression on a massive scale. Recounts won't help. You can't recount the votes cast on computer voting machines with no paper trail, and you sure can't recount the votes from those voters who never had a chance to vote. The only possible fair solution is to have another voting day in each state, closely supervised by a huge team of international observers and completely videotaped. Anyone who says that a re-vote is legally and practically impossible has to be prepared to admit that there is absolutely no reason to believe that the results of the Florida and Ohio votes reflect the will of the electorate, and thus to admit that the current President cannot even claim to be duly elected, let alone have a 'mandate'. One might even question whether taxes should be remitted to an illegitimate central government. Americans, led by the disgusting American media, are trying to whistle past the graveyard, pretending that the problems are minor and would not affect the result. This is clearly nonsense. Not only is the result of this particular election in grave doubt, but the entire status of the United States as a democracy will be in a shambles unless drastic action is taken to clean up this mess.
posted at 10:48 PM permanent link
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Sometimes you have to give the devil his due. The Americans have announced the policy decision to start calling the country of Macedonia, 'the Republic of Macedonia', rather than the clumsy name insisted upon by Greece, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Greece is furious - and Bush has backed off a bit - and is now threatening to block eventual Macedonian membership in the EU (ironic, as Greece has recently admitted it lied about its finances when it gained admission to the EU). The Americans made the right decision. The stated reason for it was that it would lead to a favorable result in a scheduled referendum in Macedonia that could have overturned reforms that gave minority rights to ethnic Albanians. In fact, the reforms were not overturned, but it seems unlikely that the American naming decision had much, if anything, to do with it. No doubt the decision was motivated by typical Bush Administration bad motives, probably punishment to Greece for its independent and fair-minded policies towards the Middle East. It is also true that the Greeks have a legitimate fear that the Macedonians will attempt to claim parts of northern Greece as their own, in an attempt to create a 'Greater Macedonia'. Nevertheless, the Macedonians should be able to call their country whatever the hell they want, and it is none of Greece's business. With Alexander the Great back in the news, we're going to be seeing a lot of this typical Balkan crap, with both sides making an anachronistic claim for him (Greece has enough heroes and should probably be generous and let the Macedonians claim him, even if Alexander wouldn't have the slightest concept of belonging to either of them).
posted at 3:00 AM permanent link

Here is a funny rant by Mark Ames on the Southern and Midwestern haters who voted for Bush, and what the Democrats should do about it:
"Nothing has been learned because no one on the Left is being honest. Their reactions range from bitching about the elections allegedly being stolen - well duh! what'd you idiots expect from the Republicans?! - to grotesque, clumsy soul-searching in the form of how Democrats need to get spiritual, get in touch with Middle American 'values,' or how the Democratic party either needs to move to the center, or the flip-side to this idiocy, move farther to the Left . . . that coastalites need start going to church more often in order to learn the ways of the savages, to be less secular-humanist, to shop less, to connect with Middle America, to understand Middle America, to allow Middle America to be Middle America, to suck Middle America's hemorrhoid-bejeweled ass and tickle Middle America's balls . . . What they don't have the guts to admit, once and for all, is that THE PROBLEM IS MIDDLE AMERICA. Stop blaming the victim, folks. The problem with the idiocy and lunacy are the idiots and lunatics, not their mugging victims."
His solution is to nuke them all, which, while no doubt improving the gene pool, isn't very practical, particularly since the haters now control all the nukes. While I accept that the haters are really, really bad people and depressingly well analyzed by Ames, and that it is ridiculous and fruitless to try to pander to them, it is also clear that the election was stolen, and many of these Southerners and Midwesterners voted for Kerry and are no worse than the normal, decent human beings living anywhere else. While the Democrats have a huge problem demonstrated by the fact that with an incumbent President as obviously awful and incompetent as Bush they should have won in a landslide, the fact remains that they still won the real election. They won it with their policies such as they were and their leader such as he was. They won it with the votes of many of these Southerners and Midwesterners who are not the cretins that they now appear to be. One of the most important things for the Democrats is not to change those parts of their policies that the majority of Americans, including a large number of Southerners and Midwesterners, support. Changing to what are misleadingly called 'values' policies would be a terrible mistake, and would be political suicide. Since the Democrats have apparently given up on what are the traditional class-based elements of progressive politics, their respect for human rights is about all they have left. I need to return to this issue.
posted at 1:42 AM permanent link
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
American author Iris Chang, who wrote the book "The Rape of Nanking" about atrocities by the Japanese military on Chinese civilians, died of a gunshot wound in her car along a rural road in California. She was working on a book on Americans who fought in the U.S. tank battalions during World War II who were taken prisoner by the Japanese, and planned a documentary on the Japanese atrocities in Nanking. She had apparently been treated for depression, and the gunshot wound was determined by the police to be self-inflicted. One story tries to imply she left a suicide note, without actually calling it a suicide note. Does any of this make sense? The wound was caused by a handgun. Would a Chinese-American liberal woman from San Francisco with a two-year old son kill herself by shooting herself in the head with a (peculiar) handgun? Why did she even have a handgun? Presumably because she had been the subject of death threats from those people unhappy with her writings on the Rape of Nanking. These atrocities have been hidden from the Japanese people by the Japanese extreme right-wing, who remain unprepared to admit what the Japanese people were capable of doing (much as the American people have had the American atrocities in Iraq hidden from them by an extreme right-wing media and complicit experts and academics who aren't prepared to admit what America has become). Chang's writings resurrected an issue that had been dormant for years, and created the impetus for protests against Japan. She completely infuriated the extreme right in Japan, the uyoku dantai, who are connected to Japanese organized crime. They have a history of using violence against those who impugn what they consider to be the honor of Japan (also consider the 'suicide' of director Juzo Itami who directed the wonderful movie "Tampopo"). If someone under death threats and working on a book and a documentary which will further embarrass Japan dies in an isolated area in a way that is unlikely for her demographic group to kill themselves, wouldn't it make more sense to consider this a possible murder by a group known for its insanity and its violence, a group that has already threatened to kill her and would be motivated by stopping her future work?
posted at 2:07 AM permanent link

From Juan Cole's (usually) excellent weblog, on the American assault on Falluja:
"But the basic idea of attacking the guerrillas holding up in that city is not in and of itself criminal or irresponsible. A significant proportion of the absolutely horrible car bombings that have killed hundreds and thousands of innocent Iraqis, especially Shiites, were planned and executed from Fallujah. There were serious and heavily armed forces in Fallujah planning out ways of killing hundreds to prevent elections from being held in January. These are mass murderers, serial murderers. If they were fighting only to defend Fallujah, that would be one thing; even the Marines would respect them for that. They aren't, or at least, a significant proportion of them aren't. They are killing civilians elsewhere in order to throw Iraq into chaos and avoid the enfranchisement of the Kurds and Shiites.

Some of my readers still want good guys and bad guys, white hats and black hats. That's not the way the world is. It is often grey, and very bleak."
Actually, this issue is completely black and white. Falluja is the United States' Warsaw Ghetto, with the exception that the Nazis captured the inhabitants of the Warsaw Ghetto to work them to death, while the Americans, in a different economic situation, simply shoot the inhabitants of Falluja. The hard-core militants who may or may not be involved in the car bombings left Falluja long before the American attack - an attack which was telegraphed for weeks while Bush waited for the election to be over - and all that were left to die were the civilian inhabitants of Falluja defending their families against the new Nazis, and a very tiny group of Islamic fighters hoping to become martyrs. It is surreal that Cole appears to be suggesting that it is acceptable to flatten a city of 300,000 people and kill probably thousands of civilians - we'll never know how many as the Americans have effectively hidden that information - in order to achieve the possible end of removing a few easily replaceable car bombers. What end could possibly justify that means? Any sanction of the United Nations is completely irrelevant, as the United Nations didn't sanction the Americans to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity. You can see the horrible effects of the building of empire when it becomes impossible to distinguish the writing of someone like Cole from the writings of someone like Michael Ledeen or Richard Perle. Have Americans all gone insane?
posted at 1:06 AM permanent link

Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Is the assassination of Raful Eitan - an almost cartoon-like death, allegedly being swept away by a rogue wave - connected to the poisoning of Yasser Arafat (for Israel and poisoning, see also here)? Damn straight! The Israelis have spent the last twenty years in one of the most successful propaganda campaigns in history in the vilification of Yasser Arafat. In particular, they have constructed the myth that Arafat never wanted to negotiate with Israel, but just wanted to destroy Israel. Therefore, they have not had to enter into the negotiations which would have led to the creation of a Palestinian state and the end of the Zionist dream of building Greater Israel on stolen lands. The Israeli propaganda has become the standard picture of Arafat, and infected just about all the obituaries of him (here are more generous exceptions). Having so successfully made negotiations impossible based on the personal faults of Arafat, why would the Israelis want to kill him? The answer lies in the constantly worsening demographic problem which Israel faces. With each passing day, the number of Palestinians increases, and it is likely that the Jewish population of Israel falls, as people realize there is no future living in a state ruled by madmen. It is possible that the Arab population of the whole area already exceeds the Jewish population, but if not, it is only a matter of a few years before Arabs are in the majority. When the world insists on these people having a vote, Israel as a Jewish state will be over. The paradox is that the Israelis were so successful in stating that they had no negotiating partner, they found they had no one they could talk to when they desperately needed to negotiate while they still had the time to do so. Arafat had to go so they could install a puppet regime which would consent to the type of so-called 'generous offer' made by Barak, essentially the creation of a Palestinian 'state' consisting of separated concentration camps which could be gradually depopulated once the Palestinians realize the hopelessness of their plight. This is an absolutely crucial time for the Palestinians, when their dreams of nationhood, so close due to the steadfast stubbornness of Arafat to wait it out while the Palestinians won with each new baby, could be dashed if the Israelis manage to install a compliant stooge government corrupted by ties to Israeli intelligence (the poisoning must have been an inside job by a close crony of Arafat, with corruption being an ongoing thread in the history of the Palestinians). Of course, the converse side of the poisoning of Arafat is the necessity to convince extreme right-wingers like Eitan of the tactical necessity of appearing to negotiate with the Palestinians towards the creation of a Palestinian state. Those who can't be convinced of the tactics might have to take a swim. Eitan was out of politics but still influential, and his example will convince others like him of the wisdom of going along with the latest Zionist plan.
posted at 2:39 AM permanent link
Thursday, November 25, 2004
From an analysis of the American election by Stirling Newberry (I've fixed a bit of the spelling):
"The campaign hinged on this - the Swift Boats and marriage attacks were not distractions, but encapsulations of two simple points. The first was a way of saying that Kerry would betray the military, and therefore he would cut the military to balance the budget. Simple terms: make the cost fall on someone else. The second was a way of saying that the social changes that come with a high production, high value added economy - namely a cosmopolitan society - would happen under Kerry.

That is Kerry was presented, accurately, as being a threat to the social and economic hierarchy to the land owning classes. Land, which holds its value through having cheap gasoline, demands a military machine to obtain the oil and to maintain the social inequality should it come to that. Kerry was, accurately, presented as someone who would not go to war for oil.

If one looks at the map - the division - between the large blocks of the country whose value is sunk into rent and the smaller city areas that generate value through capital - is clear.

This social structure - paralleling the ancien regime of France is based on two alliances. The oligarchic rich place their faith in Church and State, they ally with the landowning peasants that stock the army, against the tradesman and the very bottom day laborers. The hierarchical society tries to tax by forced savings the tradesmen, and keep the 'rabble' in line with force. The hierarchy is not a mere marriage of convenience - each knows that it needs the other. The reactionary side of the ledger is not cleavable between 'economic and social conservatives' - because the wealthy knows it needs a military, and the military knows it needs someone to batter the rising professional classes into line."

and:
". . . land value is supported by cheap oil. One 'wins' the land rush by going farther out than other people, building on cheap land, and hoping enough people follow you to make prices spike through the roof. This means burning more oil.

But oil is in shorter and shorter supply - we are, therefore, burning oil to support land prices. There is an economic civil war, and the Saudis are selling both sides the ammunition. This means that the problem is that the relative land/oil price in the US is out of balance - people burn oil to pay less for land.

The oil burning classes voted for 'do what you have to do to take the oil' - which means cannibalizing the rest of society to keep the oil flowing."
So the rural land-owning class who need cheap oil to support the value of their isolated landholdings formed an alliance of convenience with the plutocrats who sell oil. 'Values' was a smokescreen for sheer economic self-interest. Both groups are nuts for violent militaristic colonialism to ensure there is enough oil to buy, and to sell. The whole analysis, which has a tinge of what you'd read in Wired magazine circa 1998, is nevertheless interesting. If true, there is no hope for the Democrats until the oil runs out, and the ensuing revolution destroys the Republican Party.
posted at 1:59 AM permanent link

Saturday, November 27, 2004
I recently wrote about the woman who gave part of a sermon in a mosque in suburban Toronto. It seems the idea is everywhere, if not so out in the open. If the leaders of the Muslim world really want to engage in meaningful reform, they might begin by considering the role of women in Islam, and whether treating women as if they were chattel slaves of a thousand years ago is really the path to progress.
posted at 2:59 AM permanent link
All those partisan Democrats who were gung-ho to hang Judith Miller over her refusal to name her sources in the Plame affair should reflect on the fact that the efforts of much praised special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald were intended to pry facts out of the journalists to absolve Rove and whichever other White House staffers were involved in outing Plame. It all turns on a technicality on the timing of the release of Novak's column. The staffers can get off the hook if Novak's column had already been published when they outed Plame, as the 'publication' would mean that they were not revealing classified information. Fitzgerald has been threatening journalists to force them to admit that they knew of Plame from information disclosed in Novak's column which was circulating before it was officially published. In other words, he's not interested in the sources, he is interested in establishing a legal defense for the White House staffers. See what happens when you throw away your principles of freedom of the press for what you perceive as partisan political gain? The Republicans get to use information forced out of some of the journalists to squirm out of legal difficulties, and the White House can use the precedent set by the jailing of other journalists to stop all whistleblowing.
posted at 2:51 AM permanent link
Sunday, November 28, 2004
You can compare the attack on Falluja to the Nazi attack on the Warsaw ghetto, or you can compare it to Franco's attack on Guernica (or here). Some company the Americans are now keeping! When Powell went to lie to the UN - and whatever else you want to say about Powell, the lying is the only thing that will be remembered about him in history - they had to hide the tapestry of the picture. The source of the quote from retired Marine Corps general Bernard Trainor is here. Trainor, who is no peacenik (he likes napalm, which is interesting, as the Americans almost certainly used incendiaries against civilians in Falluja), also said:
"Fallujah became symbolic on both sides that things were out of control over there. In the bigger picture, we [Americans] are incidental over there in that this is a struggle between Iraqis over what Iraq will be when we leave. The solution is not going to be a military one, it has to be some kind of political deal that is uniquely Arab. But that deal also has to be backed up with power and force, and Fallujah being taken down now demonstrates to all concerned that Allawi will not shrink from that course of action."
In other words, they destroyed Falluja to make it easier for Allawi by terrifying any possible resistance. This is exactly the same policy the Americans attempted in Vietnam, and we know how successful that was. The attack on Falluja was just another Lansdale/Conein psych op to attempt to terrify the Iraqi people into stopping their resistance of the American occupation, with the added benefit that it created turmoil in Sunni-Shi'ite relations, leading to the Israeli/neocon goal of breaking Iraq up into small, unthreatening statelets.
posted at 1:41 AM permanent link
Here is a very smart analysis of the real reason why Israel fears Iranian nuclear weapons, based on the fact that it makes not the slightest sense for the Iranians to use the nukes offensively. I note that the threat of using such nukes might also be useful in deterring the neocons from an attack on Iran. If Saddam had had the weapons which formed the lying basis for the American attack on Iraq, he'd probably still be in power. The neocons would never do anything to put at risk the only country to which they are loyal.
posted at 1:11 AM permanent link
Monday, November 29, 2004
After all the unbelievable horrors of the Israeli checkpoints - not just the violence against Palestinians by Israeli soldiers but the grinding, never-ending incidents of daily humiliation intended to wear down the Palestinians so (the rest of) their lands can be stolen - the Israelis find themselves disgusted at seeing a video of Israeli soldiers making fun of a Palestinian musician by forcing him to play his violin. Why does this disgust them? Because they think it makes light of the Holocaust by mirroring what the Nazis did to the Jews! One writer wrote a letter to a newspaper saying the soldiers responsible should be put on trial "not for abusing Arabs but for disgracing the Holocaust". Hey, Israelis! Not everything is about your damned Holocaust. Some evil is evil in its own right. Your moral obtuseness about this should be profoundly embarrassing to you. The only reason we hear about the Holocaust so much is that it is used as a weapon against the Palestinians in the continuing propaganda war for the kleptomaniac state of Israel to steal more lands from the Palestinians. I don't want to hear about the Holocaust again until the Israelis make some good faith efforts to allow the Palestinians to have their own state on 100 per cent of the Occupied Territories. With Arafat gone, you have no more excuses.
posted at 4:23 AM permanent link
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
From an article on the conflict in Sudan by Christopher Lord:
"'Fears are rising that if American evangelicals continue to focus exclusively on the religious dimensions of the Sudanese war, there could be a backlash from Islamic fundamentalists, thus intensifying the conflict,' wrote Matthias Muindi of Africa News in May 2001. 'Analysts, mainstream Church officials, and aid workers are worried that the stance taken by the Christian Right might jeopardize relief operations and precipitate a humanitarian crisis in Sudan.'

This is a pretty good description of what's happened over the last three years."
It's no big surprise that the evangelicals would make things worse by imposing their view of the world on another people. There is good reason to believe that their campaign to free slaves in Africa by buying their freedom has created whatever slave trade exists in Africa.
Lord goes on:
"The Janjaweed talk of jihad and racial superiority. This kind of talk has helped give rise to oversimplification number three among foreign observers: that it is all about a racial division.

Take a look at pictures of the Janjaweed, and you will see that in large part they are as black as the 'blacks' they're murdering. 'Arab' in Sudan is mainly a cultural identity, meaning 'Arabic-speaking.' With as many as 134 languages and 497 ethnic sub-groups catalogued in the country, there is a wide spectrum of ethnic identities available, including many Arabized groups that only recently switched from a traditional language to Arabic. In America, the idea that the population is neatly divided into two racial groups - blacks and Arabs - has taken root in people's minds. It's a useful and easy distinction - but it's not true."
Again, the problem is caused by Americans imposing an American view based on American experience to a different context. American evangelicals have successfully managed to have the U. S. government label the conflict as 'genocide', a very misleading term in the circumstances.
Here is the best part of Lord's excellent article:
"The root cause of the Darfur conflict is actually ecological, with prolonged droughts and rapid desertification driving poor pastoral 'Arabs' to take over the lands of even poorer settled 'black' farmers. With extensive damage to the ecology throughout the region, what we see as ethnic conflict is really resource conflict at root, with religion even further down the list of factors.

Khartoum has denounced the Janjaweed in public, with President Omer al-Bashir calling them 'thieves and gangsters.' A few unlucky recruits have been sentenced to amputations for theft and some have even been threatened with crucifixion, but this month Human Rights Watch published documents proving that it is Khartoum that has raised, armed and directed them all along.

It's a pattern seen elsewhere in Sudan in recent years. Rich merchants in Khartoum - often retired generals or civil servants - pay desperate nomads in the interior to do their dirty work. They pretend that the motives are Arab solidarity, religious fervor or vengeance for historical wrongs. Once the land has been cleared, the paid thugs are amazed to discover that the new owners are their military patrons - and that they are still poor."
Same old, same old. The rich stir up ethnic or religious passions to manipulate the poor to attack each other for the benefit of the rich. This is the same thing the Republicans have managed to do so well in the United States. For the connections between ecology and conflict generally, see the work of Thomas Homer-Dixon (see here and here), and for ecology and Sudan, see here.
So what is to be done? Some are gung-ho to send in the western calvary to rescue the poor victims of Sudan (see here and here and here and here). Other are afraid that foreign intervention is just another ruse for western colonialism. In particular, many see this as some kind of western oil grab, and possibly part of an oil fight between Chinese and Anglo-American interests.
Frankly, if westerners with even the worst thieving motives were able to save the lives of the people of Darfur, I'd be fully in favor of sending them in. But this won't be a force consisting of troops from Norway and New Zealand. No, it will be the Gruesome Twosome yet again, the Americans and the British. After the disasters of Kosovo, Afghanistan, Haiti and particularly Iraq, can anyone hold any hope that these monsters will make anyone's life any better? Lessons of recent history tell us that a few local rich opportunists will do very well, a lot of people will be killed, most of them innocent civilians, and everyone else will end up much worse off. There will be a few photo ops of smiling locals with American troops, but once the strategic assets are secured, the suffering masses will be abandoned to the same suffering. I have no theoretical problem with a proper international force intervening to stop acute cases of suffering or violence, but I think we can be certain that the kind of intervention that Sudan will actually get will make things much worse.

posted at 2:23 AM permanent link

Some time ago I suggested that Japan, which had seized Bobby Fischer for the neocons, had essentially traded him for lenient treatment of American deserter Charles Jenkins, who is married to a Japanese woman who had been kidnapped by the North Koreans. Now we know what that lenient treatment looks like. Jenkins was released after serving his thirty day sentence, less five days for good behavior. How long will it be before Japan keeps its part of the bargain and serves up Fischer as sushi for the neocons? Richard Perle has dibs on the liver.
posted at 1:30 AM permanent link
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
This is a superb article by Henry Siegman on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the disastrous consequences for Israel if it continues on the path it is on. If you read only one article on the issue, this is the one to read. Look at a map of the settlements from May 2002, and remember it is even worse now, and try to see how a Palestinian state could be squeezed between the lands stolen by the settlers. Since there is absolutely no political will to move even one of these settlers, and no foreseeable change in Israeli politics in the future except to become even more insane, Israel is doomed.
posted at 2:35 AM permanent link
Thursday, December 02, 2004
There is more and more reason to believe that the Americans used napalm or another similar incendiary weapon - when accused of using napalm in the original attack on Iraq, the Pentagon quibbled about the name, so it is possible that the incendiary used was not exactly napalm - on the largely civilian population of Falluja. Congratulations! This is the gold medal in war crimes, so I hope all the apologists for the attack are happy that its easily predictable result, the spreading of the insurgents of Falluja all over the country where they can do much more damage, was worth it. I remain flabbergasted that the attack on Falluja occurred with hardly a whimper of protest in the United States (at least the use of napalm is becoming an issue in Britain), and indeed with many 'experts' coming up with various strained justifications for it. Again, the United States has become just like Nazi Germany, where people like Heidegger fell into line out of fear of what doing the right thing might have done to their careers. The campaigns of the Zionists against free speech on issues involving the Middle East are obviously working subconsciously to create this obsequious acquiescence to the outrages committed by the Empire.
posted at 1:41 AM permanent link
Friday, December 03, 2004
From the latest Popbitch email:
"Spaces are now available in Guantanemo Bay 'hotel'. Finding no reason to hold many of the prisoners, the US is quietly transporting them back to the Jordanian border, dropping them off from a van.. like any terrorist group does with its ex-hostages."
They refer to the supposed leader of the al Qaeda resistance in Iraq as Abu Musab "Keyser Sose" al-Zarqawi, a good joke if you saw the movie.
posted at 1:11 AM permanent link
Saturday, December 04, 2004
Former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar gave testimony last week repeating his story that the Madrid train bombing was the work of ETA terrorists, a story so outrageous that it led to the defeat of his party in the last Spanish elections. Within a week, five bombs explode at gas stations in Madrid, supposedly the work of the ETA due to the fact that a telephone warning was given by someone claiming to be from the ETA. From the Guardian (my emphasis):
"The bombings brought an end to speculation that Eta, which has been quiet in recent months, was planning a ceasefire. That speculation grew after it was reported last month that senior Eta members in Spanish jails had called on the group's leadership to give up the armed struggle, as the organisation was too weak to make a serious impact.

Last night's explosions showed that the group, which has been hit by arrests in France and Spain, was still able to carry out attacks in the Spanish capital."
and:
"Two police officers who were evacuating one of the petrol stations were reported to have been among those hurt."
Hurt evacuating the area or hurt planting the bombs? This is far too convenient. The Spanish right operating through the police set off the Madrid train bombs in order to influence the Spanish election, got caught red-handed in lies about the ETA, and lost the election. Aznar gives unbelievable testimony repeating the same lies, and the ETA, which has probably decided to give up violence, suddenly reappears with more bombs. They make it easy to be a conspiracy theorist, don't they?
posted at 11:02 PM permanent link
On Friday, Hamas announced that it would accept the existence of Israel in pre-1967 borders, a major concession and policy shift. On Saturday, the IDF picked up Rami al-Tayah, who is described as a senior Hamas member. The Israelis had apparently been looking for him since 2002. A resident of the apartment building in which the Hamas member was staying quoted an Israeli soldier saying to his comrades: "Don't kill him, we need him alive." What do you think the chances are that Israel knew exactly where this fellow was all along and just arrested him in order to provoke Hamas into returning to its old policies, policies desired by the Israeli propaganda machine in order to continue the state terrorism against the Palestinian people required in order to create Greater Israel on stolen Palestinian lands? The Israelis simply cannot allow Hamas to make peace.
posted at 10:41 PM permanent link

Sunday, December 05, 2004
From the Guardian:
". . . government papers suggest that Israel intends to bypass the peace plan, creating a Palestinian state of enclaves, surrounded by walls and linked by tunnels and special roads.

Israel has released plans for the upgrade of roads and construction of 16 tunnels which would create an 'apartheid' road network for Palestinians in the West Bank.

Existing roads would be reserved for Jews, linking their settlements to each other and to Israel. The plans came to light when Giora Eiland, Israel's director of national security, requested international funding for the project."
and:
"Ghassan Khatib, the Palestinian planning minister, said the proposals were at odds with everything the international community had proposed for the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
'Two communities living under different laws and regulations with different standards of living and road networks: this is what apartheid is all about,' he said."
The double road system is intended to allow Israel to continue to develop the illegal settlements while claiming that it is technically establishing territorial contiguity in the parts of the West Bank still reserved for the remnants of the Palestinians. Israel's mistake was asking the international community to pay for the establishment of apartheid. Had they quietly asked the Americans, they would have received full funding with no questions asked. In their twisted minds, they somehow feel that the infrastructure of apartheid actually benefits the Palestinians, and so feel no qualms in asking the international community to fund it. This is exactly the reasoning of Adolf Eichmann, who felt that making the technical functioning of the Holocaust as efficient as possible actually benefited its victims. Two sets of roads is also reminiscent of South Africa and the old American South, where there needed to be multiple facilities to accommodate each race. The complexity and expense of establishing these facilities was regarded by the ruling race as reflecting its humanitarianism.

posted at 11:23 PM permanent link
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
An angle of the Ukrainian election which I have not seen tackled by any of the usual anti-globalization authors is that the so-called pro-Western candidate, Viktor Yuschenko, is far more accurately described as a pro-globalization candidate. In other words, his job is to turn over the assets of the Ukrainian people to the usual multinational suspects. Far from being any kind of radical alternative to the current corrupt nomeklatura that runs the Ukraine, Yuschenko is just another part of the same group, having been the right-hand man of president Leonid Kuchma until he was fired for his right-wing economic policies, and still being closely connected to the corrupt oligarchs who are stealing from the Ukrainian people in the crooked privatization of the Ukrainian economy (he also has connections to far right Ukrainian nationalist groups which are clearly anti-Semitic (or here), which probably explains why Israel supported the official election results).
The American election manipulators - who have had a series of abject defeats in Latin America, most notably in Venezuela (!) and Bolivia - latched onto Yuschenko as the kind of candidate who could be rebranded as a populist man of the people fighting both the current corrupt leadership and the stranglehold that Russia has on Ukrainian politics. You have to have a lot of sympathy for the Ukrainians, a people who suffered the worst genocide of the twentieth century under Stalin and who are now forced to follow policies dictacted by their Russian oppressors, but I fear they are being tricked into voting for a man whose plan is to immediately sell them out. The Americans have figured out how to use a manufactured student movement together with a mass marketing campaign to control Eastern European elections. The culprits, as usual, are the National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute, the U. S. State Department, USAid, Freedom House and the Open Society Institute. All these groups have one goal, as described by Justin Raimondo:
"The bottom line is that our oligarchs have allied with a faction of Ukrainian oligarchs, who have agreed to add Ukraine to the European Union, sabotage the free trade zone recently established between the pro-Russian nations of the former Soviet Union, and, most important of all, join NATO. The Yushchenko-Timoshenko forces want to align with Georgia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Moldova (the other nations in the GUUAM configuration of junior league NATO aspirants) in erecting a ring of iron around Putin and the former Soviet Union."
This connects directly to the international war to control oil reserves as part of the 'Grand Chessboard' struggle (or here) between the United States and Russia (see also here and here and here).
Democracy was the worst possible tragedy for the right-wingers, until they discovered that the way to deal with it is to create a series of alternatives all of whom support the same right-wing 'consensus' of stripping the assets of the people and turning them over to big corporations. The recent American election is another example of how the two alternatives supported the same policies of the corporadoes. The mass media is typically used to brand one as the populist, the 'man of the people', who then goes on to win, probably, like Bush, with the aid of massive vote fraud. If you are a Ukrainian voter, where is your real choice? The next step in rendering democracy completely unthreatening is to attack those countries which are still lucky enough to have a first-past-the-post electoral system, a system detested by elites of all persuasions as it is too difficult to control, and replace it with various fancy new systems of voting most of which involve back-room supplied lists of those candidates acceptable to the oligarchy. Eventually, we might as well do away with human politicans entirely, and just vote for the corporations we'd prefer to be raped by.
posted at 1:52 AM permanent link
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
The summer and fall FBI investigation of mega-powerful Israeli lobby group AIPAC was cleverly derailed by the neocons who leaked Larry Franklin's name along with some apparent disinformation about the nature of the investigation, and one could be forgiven for believing that once Bush was reelected (or should I say, 'reelected', or should I say 're'-'elected'), the whole thing would be swept under the rug. Instead, it appears to have been resurrected, with nothing less than subpoenas to force four top AIPAC officials to appear before a grand jury. Once a grand jury is involved, the whole matter starts to spiral out of control, as no one can predict what a grand jury might discover. I know that people like to believe that the FBI is an independent organization investigating crime without bias or political interference, but I don't believe it for a moment. It would be career suicide, not to mention possible actual 'suicide', for an FBI official to wade into a matter like this without at least a nod and a wink from the Bush Administration. The bribe recipients in Congress are already looking for the head of whichever FBI official is behind this affront to their sugar daddy, so he must be confident that he has heavy political protection. So why is the Bush Administration going after AIPAC? Are they trying to send a message to Israel of who the real boss is? Unlikely, as we all know who the real boss is. Or are they acting as agents for factions in Israel who have a problem with AIPAC, or with certain officials in AIPAC? I know it's difficult to comprehend, but is it possible that some in Israel - the extreme crazed right-wingers who pull the strings of the neocons - feel that AIPAC is insufficiently radically Likudnik for their purposes? Are we seeing played out in an American crime investigation a power struggle within the Israeli government? The Jerusalem Post has already constructed an elaborate story of an unfair FBI sting operation against AIPAC to try to spin AIPAC out of trouble, so the factions in Israel who support AIPAC appear to be mounting a counteroffensive. This could be fun!
posted at 1:44 AM permanent link
Friday, December 10, 2004
Whoever writes the lines summarizing the links on the website Fark is a genius. Here's the one on the death of conservative rat-bastard Jay Van Andel:
"Co-founder of AmWay dies at 80. Everyone in the pyramid just went up a level"
posted at 4:55 AM permanent link
Sunday, December 12, 2004
Jason Korsower, a healthy, athletic 29-year-old writer on Islamic terrorism, died (or here or here) in his sleep. His mother, Karen Grablowsky, said:
"It wasn't an aneurysm. It wasn't a heart attack. It wasn't the obvious things that could happen to a healthy 29-year-old."
A completely mysterious death that apparently interests the FBI. Korsower worked for the Investigative Project, the organ of radical Zionist propagandist Steve Emerson. Coming on the heels of the FBI's investigation of AIPAC, one has to wonder if this isn't another case of PWS. PWS, or Potential Witness Syndrome, affects those with information that might interest investigators in high profile conspiracy cases. As a disease, it is quite unique, killing its victims in numerous ways including suicide by multiple gun shot wounds to the head, hunting accidents, suicide by throwing oneself through plate glass windows in high-rise buildings, murders by robbers who don't take anything, hit-and-run accidents, and, as in the case of Mr. Korsower, inexplicable deaths while sleeping. The biggest outbreak of PWS occurred during the Congressional investigations of the Kennedy assassination during the 1970's, but an outbreak of this mysterious fatal disease can occur whenever there is the danger of witnesses talking to investigators.
posted at 2:50 AM permanent link
Monday, December 13, 2004
The two paramedics who were the first medically trained people officially to arrive at the scene where David Kelly's body was said to have been found are back in the news (see here, here, and here or here). They confirm the two main anomalies in the case - discussed by me here and here - that there wasn't enough blood present to be consistent with a suicide by a slit wrist, a type of suicide they had seen before, and that the body, although supposedly not disturbed from the time it was discovered, had been moved. There's more. One of the paramedics, Vanessa Hunt, said (or here; my emphasis):
"There were a lot of police around. Some were in civilian clothes and others in black jackets and army fatigues. I thought it might have been a firearms incident as there were the guys from the special armed response units."
Special armed response units!? What were they expecting to find? As well, an individual close to Kelly who does not want to be named - smart move! - claims that Kelly's personality made it highly unlikely that he would have attempted to kill himself in a manner which was so uncertain of success. Many experts, including a recent president of the Vascular Surgical Society of Great Britain, feel that the official story of the cause of death does not conform to medical realities. 'Experts' who have pronounced themselves happy with Hutton's conclusions appear to be less expert in vascular anatomy, and prepared to rely on the presence of amounts of blood which are expressly denied by the two paramedics who are the main witnesses to the amount of blood actually present.
We now know a lot more about the lying basis for the attack on Iraq, and in particular that Blair and Bush had planned the war months before they announced their phony concern about the supposed casus belli, the mythical weapons of mass destruction. In light of what we know about Dr. Kelly's own concerns about this issue, we can see how deeply dangerous he might have been to all those behind the lies which were intended to fool the British people into going along with the attack. I ask again: "Does anyone still really believe Dr. Kelly killed himself?"
posted at 2:58 AM permanent link
What a weekend for conspiracy theory! I don't know where to begin. Why not with Gary Webb? Yesterday I wrote about Potential Witness Syndrome, one symptom of which is "suicide by multiple gun shot wounds to the head". This is apparently exactly what Gary Webb died of (watch as the stories are refined to change 'wounds' to 'a gunshot wound'). Webb was one of the premier investigative journalists in the United States, and author of the classic book "Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion", a book that everyone should read, both for its content and as an model of how to do investigative reporting. The disgusting American press did a hack job on him, claiming that he overstated his case, an outright lie which you can see if you read his book. He was meticulous in defining his thesis, which was that the CIA turned a blind eye to the selling of crack in Los Angeles because proceeds from the sales were used to fund the Contras in Nicaragua. This thesis was true, but was deeply embarrassing to the CIA and other journalists who failed to cover the story. It was a particularly dangerous idea because it demonstrated what a crock of shit the war on drugs is, with the U. S. government allowing extremely destructive drug sales - and drug sales which were particularly destructive to one racial group - in the United States when such sales suited it for other political purposes. The San Jose Mercury News shamed itself by failing to stand up for Webb when he was attacked, and effectively constructively dismissed him by assigning him to the boondocks. Webb's death is just another nail in the coffin of investigative journalism, and thus democracy, in the United States. What he was working on that led to his being suicided?
posted at 2:04 AM permanent link
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Here is an excellent summary by Robert Parry on Gary Webb and the CIA-Contra-cocaine scandal (see also here and here and here). The crack cocaine scandal was just a variation on the same theme of the more famous arms deal scandal, with both being back-door support of the same activities that the White House was prohibited from funding. I guess it is just a curiosity that Bush is 'reelected' with a White House replete with players from Iran-Contra, a scandal involving Iran and Israel, Iran is now in the sights of these same people doing the bidding of Israel, and the guy who embarrassed them all is suddenly dead. The saddest thing is that an illegal funding operation like Iran-Contra is no longer necessary as the Bush Administration can get Congress to fund whatever adventures it wants with a few key lies that no one will ever have to account for.
posted at 1:25 AM permanent link
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
It was two shots! The Sacramento County Coroner's Office issued a statement confirming that Gary Webb committed suicide with two gunshots to the head. Note:
Editors all over the United States found it necessary to amend the original reports of 'shots' to the head to emphasize that he died of a single gunshot wound to the head. As we all know, editors regard themselves as the watchguards against conspiracy theory, amending the record when they feel Americans won't be able to handle the truth. In this case, they were caught red-handed.
The multiple-gunshot suicide occurs so often to people whose lives are inconvenient to the establishment that I regard it as not an accident or incompetence, but actually as a signal, for those in the know, that this is professional work. It's like a signature on a work of art. It is also a warning.
I'm getting sick and tired of reading people write about Webb who repeat the straw-man arguments of the disgusting American press and claim that Webb's reporting was 'flawed'. Even those who claim to be sympathetic to him seem to be unable to write about him without mentioning errors in his CIA story. He was a reporter, not God! He was trying to find out things that very powerful people were trying to hide, and he got the story essentially correct, as was confirmed later by the CIA itself. He wrote about a major tragedy in the ghettos of Los Angeles, and the cause of that tragedy, The reporters in that city apparently couldn't get up off their fat white asses to investigate the matter themselves. Any 'flaws' in his reporting were de minimus, and mentioning them just plays into the hands of those trying to cover up for the CIA and the sorry state of Los Angeles journalism.
I'm also getting sick and tired of everyone accepting hook, line and sinker the official story that each one of these writer deaths is a suicide. Steve Kangas, Danny Casolaro, Dorothy Kilgallen, James Hatfield, Iris Chang, the list goes on and on. Shouldn't the onus be exactly the reverse? In any case where a truth seeker dies, shouldn't we assume assassination, with the onus on the establishment to prove it was a suicide? I think it is particularly insulting, with the stigma attached to suicide, to assume these warriors for truth killed themselves when they in fact 'died with their boots on' in the ongoing struggle to uncover what is really going on in the world.
posted at 11:11 PM permanent link
The recent document release showing that the CIA was aware of the coup attempt in Venezuela but did nothing to alert the Venezuelan authorities is nothing less than the usual 'limited hangout' of copping to a lesser charge in order to avoid admitting the more embarrassing truth. Although the documents were forced out of the CIA by a freedom of information request, you can be sure that they would never have seen the light of day unless someone wanted them public to provide some propaganda protection (to put it into perspective, the CIA managed to 'lose' all the classified annexes to the intelligence authorization acts enacted by Congress from 1947 through 1970, annexes which they were required to produce pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the Federation of American Scientists). The assassination of the investigator who was investigating the coup, Danilo Anderson, may very well have led to fears that Venezuelan anger at this obvious attempt at a cover up might lead to substantive allegations about real direct American involvement (some believe the Mossad was behind the assassination). As William Blum writes (or here):
"How do we know that the CIA was behind the coup that overthrew Hugo Chavez?

Same way we know that the sun will rise tomorrow morning. That's what it's always done and there's no reason to think that tomorrow morning will be any different."
Besides the direct involvement of the National Endowment for Democracy (the same bunch manipulating the Ukrainian election), there is reason to believe that the U. S. Navy (or here) provided direct communications assistance to the coup plotters, and that two American military attaches, identified as James Rogers and Ronald MacCammon, were in direct contact with the coup plotters just before the coup. Two of the main plotters are graduates of the School of the Americas. Hugo Chavez claims (or here) to have a video of a CIA officer giving a class to Venezuelans on surveillance. An unidentified small plane with US markings was found on Orchila Island, and three US naval vessels and three helicopters (identified by serial number) entered Venezuelan waters without permission for several hours on April 13. Perhaps the best evidence of deep American involvement is that Ari Fleischer lied about what had happened in Venezuela in order to support the coup plotters, a lie which betrays the structure of the interrelationship between the coup plotters and the U. S. government. The disgusting American press was also involved in this conspiracy, which involved the creation of a myth concerning the voluntary resignation of Hugo Chavez. This myth was key to the potential success of the coup, and was intended to allow the U. S. to recognize the coup plotters as the legitimate government of Venezuela while simultaneously deflating the hopes of the people of Venezuela who might otherwise have risen up against the coup. Fleischer's lie proves that the United States was deeply involved in the coup, and the CIA's admission of having had foreknowledge of it is just disinformation.
posted at 2:28 AM permanent link
Friday, December 17, 2004
Liat Weingart, on the political abuse by the United States of the Holocaust:
"Before 1967, it didn't fit into American strategic interests to talk about Jews or their history of oppression, particularly in the same sentence as the word 'justice.' After 1967, when Israel defeated Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, and conquered the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, Sinai and the Golan Heights, the U.S. government decided that Israel could serve as a surrogate for U.S. interests in the Middle East. 1967 was the year when the U.S. discovered Israel, and it was the year when the Holocaust was 'remembered.'
The discovery of Israel happened as selectively as the remembering of the Holocaust. The U.S. discovered Israel as a military ally, not as a country with ordinary people, and so U.S. aid to Israel reflected that. Most U.S. aid to Israel, including economic aid, has been spent for expenses related to purchasing military equipment from the U.S. In order to justify that strategic relationship in moral terms, a new history of the Holocaust was 'remembered.'
The dominant narrative of the Holocaust is that Jews were led, like sheep to the slaughter, to the gas chambers, that they alone were murdered, and that the event of their annihilation had no precedent in history and therefore, no event in the present can compare to the Holocaust. The logical moral to the story for Jews is that we are alone in the world – no one understands our suffering because no one has experienced anything similar; we can only rely on ourselves for self-defense; we will be ever-vigilant, for danger lurks around every corner. And the logical moral to the story for Americans is that Jews need a strong Israel, and because the Jews were victims of the unspeakable, it's our duty to arm Israel to the teeth."
Americans have made a fetish out of their version of the Holocaust, all in the interests of selling arms and protecting the oil supply (why do you think a Holocaust-themed movie wins a major Academy Award every year?). Of course, the flip side to the American abuse of the Holocaust is that the Zionists use the idea of 'never again' to justify the unspeakable horrors inflicted by the state terrorism of Israel on Palestinian civilians, all on the justification that the Palestinian resistance to such state terrorism represents the Palestinian desire to push the Jewish people 'into the sea' - when the Zionists are forced by their own stupidity to up camp and move to Oklahoma they will no doubt justify state terrorism against the local Indians on the basis that the Indians want to push the Jewish people 'into Texas' - and any actions, no matter how horrible, are justified by the necessity of avoiding another Holocaust. The Holocaust, which happened (the so-called 'revisionists' are the greatest friends the Zionists have as they keep the issue in everyone's consciousness, to the extent that the Zionists should erect a statue in Israel to their greatest friend, Ernst Zundel), and was very, very bad (but not uniquely bad), has been co-opted by American and Zionist propagandists to serve as the basis for the American use of Israel as its bully in the Middle East, and as the basis for the state terrorism of the Israelis against the Palestinians. We should stop talking about it until the Israelis get their moral house in order.
posted at 2:46 AM permanent link
From an excellent (as usual) article by Pepe Escobar on neocon plans for the world:
"The road to Tehran starts both in Kabul and Baghdad. This requires examination of the Afghan 'model' and the Iraqi 'model'.

Afghanistan's new democracy rests on the shoulder of the world's most expensive mayor (US$1.6 billion a month and counting), Hamid Karzai, who barely controls downtown Kabul protected by 200 American bodyguards, 17,000 American troops and a North Atlantic Treaty Organization contingent. Without all this heavy metal, Karzai would never last. The country is essentially ruled by the Tajiks and Uzbeks of the former Northern Alliance - who now control most of the world's supply of heroin - powerful regional warlords and the Taliban (in the south and southeast). So much for Afghan 'democracy'.

As for the Iraqi 'model', the crucial point is that the Americans managed to turn Iraq into a replica of Palestine - the same ghastly litany of occupation, suicide bombings, streams of refugees and death and destruction. Not only was the Iraq war entirely based on neo-con lies: these lies led, among other disasters, to Iraq's infrastructure being completely destroyed and the US alienating the Muslim world. Fallujah and Baghdad are replicas of Gaza and the West Bank."
The fact that Afghanistan is an unmitigated disaster can't be stressed enough, as I note that even critics of the war on Iraq are using their approval of what happened to Afghanistan to prove that they are real manly Americans and not just commie pinko fags who hate war. I've even read that it was necessary to attack Afghanistan to eliminate bin Laden's training camps, which is funny if you read Aukai Collins' account of what a joke these camps actually were, and even funnier if you realize that all the American attack did was spread the al Qaeda fighters throughout the world. In the long run, the attack on Afghanistan, based on the completely bogus excuse of going after bin Laden, will probably be seen as a bigger mistake than the attack on Iraq. For one thing, it made the attack on Iraq, and all subsequent neocon attacks, intellectually possible. The neocons and their enablers justified the attack on Afghanistan on the need to punish bin Laden, justified the attack on Iraq on the allegations that Saddam was a bin Laden ally and was also behind 9-11, are setting up to justify the attack on Syria based on its alleged help for the Iraqi resistance, will use the same argument to justify the attack on Iran, and so on, ad infinitum, ad nauseam. To see how grim it is going to get, read Escobar's conclusion:
"With the American military in its current state, Bush and the neo-cons cannot possibly reshape the Middle East to suit the neo-con/Likud agenda. Washington is faced with two options. It could restore the draft - provoking a minor social earthquake in the US. Or it could develop - and deploy - tactical nuclear weapons, mini-nukes. Fallujah - flattened by 'conventional' means - was just a test. On the road to Damascus, the road to Tehran, the road to Riyadh, the neo-cons would be much more tempted to go nuclear."
Since there appear to be absolutely no political constraints on Bush and the neocons whatsoever, I suspect that they will have a draft and go nuclear.
posted at 2:04 AM permanent link
Saturday, December 18, 2004
Everyone expected that at some point the single-minded attention of the neocons to Israeli interests would create an insurmountable conflict with the traditional American conservatives at the core of the Republican Party, and that conflict may finally have appeared over the issue of China. Theoretically, many neocons would tell you that the main international threat to American interests is China, but that threat apparently falls by the wayside if Israel can make a buck dealing with China. Israel recently upgraded a 'sensitive weapons system' for China, no doubt using expertise given to it by the United States. Fixing weapons systems is kosher, but upgrading them is treif, and the Americans are said to be furious (or, partly, here; see heavy-duty Israeli spin here and here). It has gotten to the point where Douglas Feith actually has to pretend to be insisting on the resignation of the Israeli defense minister, Amos Yaron, which is hilarious when you consider that Feith essentially works for the Israeli defense minister (Feith and Yaron are joint chairmen of a U.S.-Israeli joint committee for planning defense policy, which makes you wonder whether there is any independent American defense policy, or whether it is all run out of Israel). The rift appears to be at a deep institutional level, with the chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, General John Jumper, cancelling a planned meeting in Israel as he refused to meet with Yaron. Coupled with the fact that rumors suggest that the AIPAC investigation may really be about AIPAC passing on classified information to China, we can see the beginnings of the inevitable rift when the treasonous neocons put Israeli interests ahead of American interests. This is all remarkably similar to the Pollard matter, where Israel dealt American secrets to an American enemy in order to obtain benefits for itself. The only reason Pollard is still in jail is that traditional American conservatives consider this kind of treason to be unforgivable, and the neocons may be headed down the same path.
posted at 2:10 AM permanent link
From the Home Page of J. Orlin Grabbe, the chart, I believe originally from France, depicting the Israeli spies arrested in the United States in the spring of 2001, particularly in Irving, Texas. Given the recent AIPAC investigation, and despite all efforts of the disgusting American media to stifle all discussion of it, the Israeli spy issue is not going to go away.
posted at 1:12 AM permanent link
Monday, December 20, 2004
Why would Israel risk its crucial life-and-death relationship with its main protector and ally in order to transfer some American secrets and classified American technology to the Chinese? Once you ask the question, the answer becomes immediately obvious.
Every single aspect of what the Israelis do can only be understood in the light of their massive project (which I'll call the 'Project'), which may take fifty or a hundred years, to create Greater Israel in a swath across the Middle East from the Nile to the Euphrates. The coalition of Likud and Labour just clarifies that there is really no democracy in Israel, just an insane government force committed to this one goal. The hundred thousand or so dead Iraqis in the Israeli-inspired attack on Iraq are just a down payment on the millions of people who are going to have to die in the Middle East and elsewhere before Greater Israel is finished. You can't kill that many people, and cause that much disruption and destruction, without having the whole world furious with you. It is therefore imperative to have the biggest motherfucker on the block to watch your back, and the United States is that motherfucker. It would be impossible for the Israelis to treat the Palestinians the criminal way they do without the aiding and abetting of the United States, and furthering the Project would be impossible without similar help.
Problem. The United States is a giant turd circling the toilet bowl, and George Bush is flushing as fast as he can. It's funny how empires at crucial junctures in their histories sometimes find themselves with inspired leaders, and sometimes find themselves with chimps, and the United States has lucked out with a chimp. The combination of religious nuttiness, disdain for the environment, crazy class-warfare tax policy, and ruinous wars would be bad enough, but the real problem is economic, and Bush's complete disinterest in even addressing the debilitating problem of the two massive deficits, budget and trade, which are bound to become progressively worse. He has no ideas for the trade deficit, and his big ideas for the budget deficit, needless to say, involve removing what few benefits poor people now receive in return for their taxes. For all intents and purposes, the United States is bankrupt, by which I mean it will never, ever, be able to pay back what it owes the rest of the world. The only reason the rest of the world continues to fund this disaster is that it needs to keep the American economy on enough life support to maintain the value of the trillions of American dollars held outside the United States, and support the American consumer demand which keeps foreign factories running to create such massive foreign prosperity.
The American economy is just a big Ponzi scheme, with its prosperity an illusion created on its ability to borrow more and more money. Like all Ponzi schemes, this can't go on forever, and eventually the rest of the world will figure a way to get out as painlessly as possible. This will cause problems all over the world, but mostly in the United States, as the drastic decline in the value of the U. S. dollar will cause the cheap Walmart consumer goods made in China - the real opium of the masses - to become expensive consumer goods made in China. When that happens, we may get to see what revolution looks like in the surprisingly passive American poor, and those semi-secret concentration camps set up by the Office of Homeland Security may see some use.
If you're a long-range Zionist planner of the Project, you have to be alive to all these things, and be ready for the handoff of imperial power. I'm not suggesting that the United States will become powerless, but only that its economic and domestic problems will reduce it to the status of a less great power, like Britain or Russia. That much power will make the U. S. an insufficiently powerful country to provide back-up against the whole world for the Project. When the British Empire officially ended at the end of the Second World War, the Americans had Britain over a financial barrel. The British literally could no longer afford their colonial empire, and Britain handed the keys for the Middle Eastern parts of that empire over to the Americans. China will soon have the United States over the same barrel, and in return for economic concessions, will be entitled to the same prize.
The current series of American wars is just the death throes of empire, as the Americans attempt to blackmail the rest of the world into continuing to finance its profligate ways by threatening to control the entire world supply of oil. It's not going to work, as the U. S. military is simply not up to the job of winning the wars it has to win, having essentially lost both Afghanistan and Iraq. While the United States wastes money on wars, money it doesn't have, China just makes stuff, and becomes ever more wealthy.
The biggest whore in the Middle East is looking for a new pimp, and the new mack daddy is China (with India on the horizon). What better way to impress your new pimp with your loyalty than to betray the secrets of your old pimp?
posted at 2:59 AM permanent link
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
There was a story, I'm almost certain on CBS News (at this link, but the Google cache doesn't help, and other CBS News stories are not helpful), that the poisoning of Yushchenko is very suspicious as the speed that the symptoms appeared - almost immediately after the alleged poisoned meal - is not consistent with dioxin poisoning. The original story appears to have disappeared down the memory hole, perhaps more indication that what we're dealing with is not poisoning but a sophisticated American-run propaganda campaign to have the American puppet elected in the Ukraine.
posted at 1:01 PM permanent link
From an article on Viktor Yushchenko's alleged dioxin poisoning:
"New tests reveal the level of dioxin in the blood of Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko is more than 6,000 times higher than normal, according to the expert analyzing the samples.

The concentration, about 100,000 units per gram of blood fat, is the second highest ever recorded in human history, said Abraham Brouwer, professor of environmental toxicology at the Free University in Amsterdam, where blood samples taken last weekend in Vienna were sent for analysis."
The second highest ever recorded in human history?! In human history! Sometimes they make conspiracy theory so easy. The blood sample was spiked. If he had the second highest concentration in human history months after the alleged poisoning, he would have had to have been pure dioxin on the day after the poisoning! Obvious nonsense. In their desire to make a good story, they put a little too much in. Why? To make their candidate a martyr, to put the blame on the Russians, and possibly to cover up underlying serious problems with the health of Yushchenko that would make him a bad choice to run a country.

posted at 1:09 AM permanent link
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
The Yushchenko dioxin timing issue (or here; my emphasis):
"One senior law enforcement official said that after doctors found dioxin in Yushchenko's blood, the candidate met informally Thursday with a newly assigned prosecutor and pledged to cooperate, but only after the election on Dec. 26.

Without the cooperation, the case has taken the form of theories, and for the news media the most popular has been the dinner at the dacha. But as details and a greater understanding emerge, this version remains open to question.

First, Smeshko said, Yushchenko was ill and in pain before the meeting, and had postponed the dacha visit a day because of exhaustion and a backache. Zhvaniya confirmed this, but said Yushchenko has a history of back troubles, and his pain the previous night might not have been related to poison.

A second, more intriguing, complication is that toxicologists say that after a person is contaminated with dioxins, it typically takes three days to two weeks before symptoms appear. Yushchenko was racked with pain hours after the dacha dinner, which understandably cast initial suspicion on the meal.

But the theory was weakened this month when doctors in Vienna announced that the poison was dioxin; his would be the only known case of a dioxin acting so fast.

Dr. Arnold Schecter, a specialist in dioxin contamination at the University of Texas, said it was possible but highly unlikely that Yushchenko was poisoned on Sept. 5. 'It doesn't make sense, medically,' he said. 'I would go back 14 days before that.'"
Once you get away from poisoning at the meal with the Security Service of Ukraine, Yushchenko could have been poisoned by anybody, including members of the rather questionable group who surround him. He may not have been poisoned at all.
posted at 1:16 AM permanent link
Friday, December 24, 2004
Remember that wonderful article by Jeffrey Sharlet on creepy Christian cult group 'The Family' (aka 'The Fellowship') and its connections to American and world politicians (referred to by me here and here and here)? It turns out that the same cult also has connections to politicians in, of all places, Norway (perhaps not so big a surprise as the cult was founded by a Norwegian, Abraham Vereide). Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, as well as the head of his Christian Democrat Party, Dagfinn Høybraten, and Norway's ambassador to the U. S., Knut Vollebæk, are all participants in The Fellowship (see also here). The Prime Minister, during an official visit to the United States, actually had a secret meeting with John Ashcroft at the cult's headquarters in December 2001 (I wonder if they sang hymns to each other?). These revelations have caused some consternation amongst Norwegians, who are perhaps a little surprised that they are being led by members of a cult. It's as if Charlie Manson was Governor of California (on second thought, that might be an improvement).
posted at 1:44 AM permanent link
Sunday, December 26, 2004
I used to think that Stephen Zunes was one of the very best progressive writers in the United States, but this article on the Ukraine has completely changed my mind. Zunes argues that progressives must support Yushchenko, and makes a number of arguments to support this proposition, none of which make any sense. He weakly concludes:
" . . . although Yushchenko may not be particularly progressive politically or capable of completely cleaning up the system, his election is currently the best hope for establishing a more open and accountable government."
I don't know what difference it makes for progressives to support either candidate in this election, but it is completely clear that the choice of the Ukrainians is between tweedledum and tweedledee. One candidate is supported by one group of corrupt oligarchs and by the Russians, and the other is supported by another group of corrupt oligarchs and by American and European interests that want to steal whatever assets aren't nailed down in the Ukrainian economy. Some choice. The fact that Ukrainians in one part of the country may honestly be deceived into thinking that tweedledum is an improvement is no reason for progressives to make the same mistake. Zunes actually seems to think it is a good thing that his candidate is supported by George Soros, a man who has made his billions, and caused enormous suffering, through his speculating in world currencies. He also writes that American support for Yushchenko "has flowed primarily through reputable nongovernmental organizations". Could he possibly be suggesting that the National Endowment for Democracy is 'reputable'? The same organization that was set up by the U. S. government in the early 1980's - a time when it wasn't politically safe to use the CIA to meddle in the affairs of other countries - as a front to subvert democracy around the world (most recently in notoriously antidemocratic actions in Venezuela and Haiti)? As I've said before, the current fad of the Powers That Be is to subvert democracy by running opposing candidates who represent exactly the same interests. It is almost as if two guys, let's call them GWB and JFK, from the same university secret society ran against each other in an election, GWB engaged in massive and systematic vote fraud and voter suppression, and JFK immediately conceded the election to GWB before he could possibly know whether he had actually lost or not. Crazy, eh? Zunes is also a supporter of concession, when it should be clear to everyone that JFK would have won Ohio had all the votes been counted (just as Al Gore would have won Florida had all those votes been counted). Just what kind of 'progressive' is Stephen Zunes anyway? Sadly, there is no good progressive choice in the current Ukrainian election.
posted at 1:23 AM permanent link
Monday, December 27, 2004
Yushchenko has already declared his victory, being ahead according to American-run exit polls, involving big-time Republican vote-spinner Frank Luntz (it was important to bring out the big guns), by no less than fifteen percent. A landslide in an election that was too close to call. The Americans really lay it on thick, don't they? The Ukraine, like Ohio and Florida, is another victim of American electoral expertise.
posted at 4:25 AM permanent link
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
There has been quite a lot made of Donald Rumsfeld's latest 'gaffe', where he appeared to say that Flight 93 had been shot down:
"And I think all of us have a sense if we imagine the kind of world we would face if the people who bombed the mess hall in Mosul, or the people who did the bombing in Spain, or the people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania and attacked the Pentagon, the people who cut off peoples' heads on television to intimidate, to frighten - indeed the word 'terrorized' is just that. Its purpose is to terrorize, to alter behavior, to make people be something other than that which they want to be.
Whether Flight 93 was shot down or crashed for some other reason remains one of the great mysteries of September 11. It is particularly odd, if Flight 93 was shot down by the U. S. military, that the Bush Administration is so shy to admit it. Given what had already happened on September 11, no one could criticize the Administration for shooting down Flight 93 and saving the lives of whoever was in the terrorists' target building, particularly as the passengers on the plane were all going to die anyway. On the other hand, leaving the issue vague has allowed Bush and Cheney to allow their supporters to assume that they did order the shooting while avoiding the obvious questions about why they did not have the other planes shot down. Rumsfeld, who at one point said that a 'missile' hit the Pentagon, may have inadvertently let the cat out of the bag. Or, since he is under pressure to resign, is this 'slip' a message that he knows too much for anyone to force him out? There is something perhaps more interesting in what he said. I can parse it like this:
". . . if we imagine the kind of world we would face if
• the people who bombed the mess hall in Mosul, or
• the people who did the bombing in Spain, or
• the people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania and attacked the Pentagon,
• the people who cut off peoples' heads on television to intimidate, to frighten
. . . ."
These are obviously all different groups of people, although he may be suggesting that they are all Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. The problem with that is that the Islamic fundamentalist terrorists could not have shot down the plane over Pennsylvania. The way Rumsfeld's sentence is constructed - and perhaps I'm reading too much into it - is that "the people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania and attacked the Pentagon" are one distinct group, just as the other 'people' he discusses are distinct groups doing different bad things. Since we know it must have been the Pentagon that shot down Flight 93, is Rumsfeld saying that the Pentagon "attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania and attacked the Pentagon"? He goes on to say that the purpose of terrorism "is to terrorize, to alter behavior, to make people be something other than that which they want to be." Did the Pentagon stage 9-11 to alter the behavior of the people of the United States? If that was the intention, it certainly worked.

posted at 1:23 AM permanent link
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Was 2004 the worst year in the history of the United States? Unlikely. All the years of slavery go into the Worst Year Hall of Fame, and there were some pretty bad years during the Civil War.
What about the worst year in the last 100? 1963 and 1968 were bad, as were all the late years of the Vietnam War. The difference was that there was hope in all those years, and at least the illusion that, despite everything, the United States was still a democracy with a government that believed that public policy could improve the lives of its citizens. The year 2004 saw the second crooked Presidential election in a row, with the degree - tens of thousands of recorded incidents - and systematic nature - by computers which intentionally lack evidence which could be used to judge the fairness of the voting - of the fraud unprecedented in American, and probably world, history. But that's not the worst part. The worst part is that it has become fashionable, even amongst those who call themselves liberals, not to complain, and even to belittle those people who are concerned by calling them conspiracy theorists. If it wasn't for the yeoman work of John Conyers, this whole sordid incident would have been swept under the rug (I wonder if there is a racial aspect to the attitude of white liberals). The Republicans are now so expert in perpetrating this kind of massive fraud, and there is so little opposition to it, that it is probably fair to say that democracy in the United States has been permanently destroyed in the year 2004.
Oh, and what about the war? In the late years of the Vietnam War, if you can believe it, there were actually large protests against the war. That sort of thing is unimaginable now, as progressives appear to have completely given up (or maybe there are no more progressives in the United States). The utter hopelessness of opposition may turn out to be the main reason that 2004 is a real stinker. When you think of the hundred thousand or so dead Iraqis, the hundreds of billions of dollars gone down the drain, the permanent destruction of the image of the United States in the world, the thousands of dead or effectively dead American soldiers, and the fact that this sort of thing is going to go on and on and on, getting ever worse, for years and years and years, hopelessness may be the only sane approach. I almost forgot . . . Iraq is just the first war. By 'electing' Bush in 2004, the American people, in their wisdom, chose wars against Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Cuba, and probably a few others that have slipped my mind. If you think Iraq was easy, just wait for Iran, much, much more heavily armed with more modern weapons, with about three times the population of Iraq. That's going to be fun.
Guantanamo Bay? Abu Ghraib? All the domestic errors of the Bush Administration? The fact that the United States is now officially run by religious fruitcakes? Continuing assaults on the environment (which nobody seems to notice)? The ongoing process of ensuring that every American judge is a neanderthal? The lack of any opposition to any of this? The fact that Americans seem to accept and even approve of an immoral war? The fact that many of them think Bush is a good man? You don't even want to think about the economy, and the amazing size and rate of growth of the two deficits. The only thing that 2004 has going for it is that Bush now has four more years to create another worst year in the last hundred. The draft of poor people to fight Bush's wars, the destruction of social security, and the complete rejigging of the tax system to impoverish the vast majority of the population to benefit a few of Bush's friends will probably make 2004 look good in comparison, although the seeds of all future destruction were planted in 2004. The reign of 2004 as the worst year in the last hundred years of American history is likely to be short.
posted at 2:12 AM permanent link

Anonymous said...

Grupo Operacional de Vigilância Democrática

Somos o GOVD - Grupo Operacional de Vigilância Democrática. Somos um grupo de cidadãos, homens e mulheres, que integra também vários profissionais das Polícias e Serviços Secretos Portugueses. Somos democratas e defendemos um Estado de Direito em que polícias devem estar ao serviço da comunidade para proteger o estado e os cidadãos. Para isso têm que estar ao serviço de uma justiça verdadeira. Somos contra a corrupção, extorsões, calúnias e contra o uso do crachá para benefícios próprios. Até hoje já contribuímos algumas vezes para levantar a capa que ao longo dos anos tem protegido muitos agentes policiais. E continuaremos até à limpeza final. Não somos um bando de justiceiros. Somos um grupo de justos. Infelizmente somos necessários e temos que usar a clandestinidade.

Em relação à Casa Pia, chegou a altura de dizermos "BASTA!" e denunciar a teia que construiu à volta de alguns cidadãos inocentes e que continua a ser tecida com os dados viciados de pessoas da Polícia Judiciária (constituídas em associação criminosa com ramificações a várias actividades ilícitas) e do ministério Público. Os verdadeiros pedófilos e traficantes andam à solta na Casa Pia, no Governo, na Comunicação Social, na Magistratura e na Alta Sociedade. O processo chegou a uma situação insustentável e sinistra. Por isso decidimos actuar: por enquanto junto de altas entidades responsáveis. Seguidamente iremos para a Comunicação Social portuguesa e estrangeira.

Comecemos por 1996.

Uma brigada da PJ chefiada por Ana Paula descobre pedofilia no Parque Eduardo VII e nos Jerónimos com envolvimento preponderante de alunos da Casa Pia de várias idades. A actual coordenadora de investigação criminal Rosa Mota tentou parar a investigação dizendo a Ana Paula que esta era muito perigosa. Esta, no entanto, continuou e organizou um ficheiro dos miúdos. Repare-se que este ano já Pedro Strecht acompanhava os alunos da Casa Pia. Os miúdos mostraram casas no Restelo, Cascais e Coruche. Um deputado europeu foi apanhado em flagrante. Ana Paula recebeu ordens para “esquecer o sujeito”. Não obedeceu totalmente e, como consequência, os elementos que trabalhavam com ela são perseguidos e acabam por pedir transferência. Mesmo assim, Ana Paula ainda descobriu muito de muitas figuras e filmes domésticos. Foi afastada da Brigada e posta na prateleira.

Quatro ou cinco anos mais tarde foi “apertada” pelo Dr. Rui Pereira, director do SIS, e pelo chefe Basílio, também do SIS, que teriam informações sobre o caso dos miúdos. Basílio queria elaborar um dossier que estabelecesse a ligação entre políticos do PS, figuras ligadas a esse partido e à homossexualidade. Ele e colaboradores andavam a entrevistar miúdos e adolescentes nas zonas de prostituição masculina e nas cadeias. Chegavam a mostrar fotografias. Depois desse “aperto”, Ana Paula pediu a transferência para o terrorismo.

Depois de colocarem Ana Paula na prateleira, nomearam Dias André. Este enriqueceu rapidamente comprando mesmo uma moradia no valor de 100 mil contos. A sua ligação ao tráfico de droga “oficial” dentro da PJ e/ou chantagem com material pedófilo justificam plenamente o seu património actual (oficial e clandestino) que está muito acima do milhão de contos. Não esquecer que tem mesmo um processo de extorsão. Este património é no entanto inferior ao de Dias Costa (reformado tão depressa), ao do seu chefe Paulo Rebelo (vários milhões de contos) que é “afilhado” de Laborinho Lúcio, Luís Neves Baptista, Ilídio Neves, etc... Este é outro filme com actores que são comuns.

Quando foi nomeado, Dias André rapidamente mandou retirar o “dossier do Parque”. Entretanto desapareceu um conjunto de fotografias de miúdos nus numa residência em Cascais onde foi assassinado um indivíduo do jet-set (Burnay). Dias André terá no entanto guardado parte do ficheiro que está agora a tentar utilizar no Processo Casa Pia para forjar provas e para encontrar jovens para testemunharem com mentiras.

O que é notável é que Dias André foi suspenso por extorsão (trabalhando em conjunto com o seu irmão da PSP) e, mesmo suspenso, frequentou o curso para a Chefia. Dependendo (só em teoria porque ele próprio afirma que manda nela) da coordenadora Rosa Mota, pediram a esta para levantar a suspensão. Entre outros, o Dr. Gonçalves Pereira e Bonina, o procurador Geral e adjunto Agostinho Homem e o juiz Trigo de Mesquita (sorteados para analisar os recursos de Carlos Cruz e Paulo Pedroso, como nos sorteios dos árbitros de futebol).

Foi o Dr. Fernando Negrão apoiado pela Dra. Leontina, que ainda é sub-directora, quem manteve a suspensão. Pagaria caro, mais tarde, pela mão do Dr. Cunha Rodrigues.

Dias André foi introduzido no meio jornalístico pelo Moita Flores e pelo inspector chefe Teixeira. Aí conhece a sobrinha de Cunha Rodrigues no Diário de Notícias (que vem a ser testemunha chave contra o Dr. Fernando Negrão), Jorge Soares do Correio da Manhã (hoje, neste jornal, o seu braço armado é Octávio Lopes com a cumplicidade de Octávio Ribeiro), Felícia Cabrita do Expresso e da SIC, Paula Carvalho do Público. Entretanto, um tal Câmara do Diário de Notícias foi identificado pelos miúdos. O caso foi abafado.

A Paula casou com um elemento da Brigada e são visita da casa de Pedro Strecht.

A Felícia Cabrita dormindo com o inspector chefe Teixeira e com Orlando Romano foi autorizada a acompanhar a Brigada de Homicídios. Começa Felícia Cabrita (muito através da sedução como ela confessa publicamente) a ter responsabilidades e protagonismo na “criação” de factos e de histórias que vêm a culminar no Processo Casa Pia, como braço direito de Dias André com quem anda frequentemente no carro da PJ e não só.

Depois de Cunha Rodrigues ter “abatido” Fernando Negrão e esconder muitos processos de Alta Autoridade Contra a Corrupção (quando esta foi extinta) foi utilizando como chantagem sobre muitas pessoas da vida política, económica e financeira. Rosa Mota e Dias André são catapultados para o topo.

O Dr. Bonina faz uma reestruturação e, para surpresa de todos na PJ, Rosa Mota é colocada nos crimes sexuais sem qualquer experiência (o seu currículo vinha mais da colaboração com a Interpol). Fica nas mãos de Dias André que ela estranhamente leva consigo. Rapidamente é a marioneta daquele. Leva-o para todas as reuniões e é ele quem fala. Perdeu todo o respeito da PJ e é hoje motivo de galhofa, dela se contam várias histórias e anedotas nomeadamente sobre a sua vida sexual lésbica.

Dias André é um homem perigoso. Lança mão de todos os meios, principalmente os ilícitos, para atingir os seus fins. Desobedece livre e impunemente aos Chefes e Directores. Chegou a gabar-se de estar a fazer a cama à Sub-Directora Dra. Leontina, que foi muitos anos coordenadora dos crimes sexuais, inclusivamente quando aí trabalhava o agente Caetano (do processo de 1982 da casa de Jorge Ritto).

Caetano cumpriu entretanto oito anos de uma pena de doze por extorsão. Suspeita-se que recentemente tenha recebido bastante dinheiro de Dias André para dizer que os miúdos que referiram Carlos Cruz em 1981 eram credíveis. Mas a história é outra: ele disse aos colegas mais antigos que em 1982 “os putos tinham tentado incriminar figuras públicas como o Carlos Cruz, mas era tudo mentira”. Ele até tinha conseguido identificar, segundo contou o indivíduo que se fazia passar por Carlos Cruz, porque achava graça que os miúdos o confundissem.

Dias André gosta de beber. E com os copos fala bastante. Foi com os copos que disse a quem o quis ouvir que “graças ao Moita Flores tinha encontrado no Alentejo um processo antigo que provava que o grande amigo e assistente de Carlos Cruz comia putos”. E com os copos disse a um colega que andava atrás do Carlos Cruz.

Em Janeiro de 2003 Dias André disse à Dra. Isabel Polónio que ia fazer prisões. Para isso ia “tirar o ar” às suas vítimas para elas reagirem. Os que se mexessem eram presos.

Nessa altura já Felícia Cabrita tinha o seu papel definido: criar algumas situações e controlar a publicação de notícias para intoxicar, baralhar para confundir. Também nessa altura Felícia teve encontro com o Engenheiro Pais do Amaral (ligações à Moderna, lavagem de dinheiro, ligações à Colômbia e homossexualidade). Tinha assim na mão a TVI e o Portugal Diário na Internet, que começou a contradizer o que tinha ouvido antes sobre a inocência de Carlos Cruz nos depoimentos que tinha obtido.

Pensa-se mesmo (não confirmado) que existem fotos de Pais do Amaral com miúdos. Por isso é chantageado. Paga e põe a TVI na jogada. Entrou em pânico quando soube que Sá Fernandes (avençado da TVI) ia ser advogado do apresentador. Ele, Dias André, João Guerra, Catalina Pestana e Octávio Lopes (do Correio da Manhã) tentam retirar Sá Fernandes da defesa de Carlos Cruz.

As estratégias das três prisões de 31 de Janeiro
Com Hugo Marçal foi usada a técnica de o assustar: várias ameaças pelo telefone. Mas ao contrário do que se esperava Marçal não fugiu.

De Ferreira Dinis encarregou-se Felícia Cabrita, que levava dois plano: pagou a um miúdo para bater á porta do médico. O miúdo receberia mais se chegasse a ter alguma intimidade com Dinis. Não resultou. E parece que há testemunhas que foram à PJ declarar que viram Felícia Cabrita pagar. Resta saber onde estão os depoimentos.

Felícia avançou para o plano B simulou que a estavam a tentar atropelar (como foi visto na SIC). O miúdo, assustado, confessa conhecer Felícia através de Dias André.

Quanto a Carlos Cruz, a Dra. Isabel Polónio deu conhecimento ao Director Dr. Artur Pereira, o que Dias André não esperava. Aquele convoca uma reunião para o dia 30 de Janeiro. O duo Rosa Mota/Dias André não levou o processo. Limitou-se a dizer que três testemunhas reconheciam Carlos Cruz e que o Ministério Público já tinha decidido passar os mandatos de detenção.

O Dr. Artur Pereira não engoliu, disse que as provas eram insuficientes e que a investigação devia prosseguir.

Também se falou de Políticos e Ministros e o Director Nacional foi informado. Dias André com a sua arrogância irritou o Dr. Artur Pereira, que deu uma ordem: nada de detenções, nada de vigilâncias ou seguimentos até prova credível.

Nessa noite, reuniram-se de emergência Rosa Mota, Dias André, Moita Flores e Felícia Cabrita. E ainda nessa noite Dias André reuniu-se com o Dr. Agostinho Homem, Procurador Geral Adjunto.

No dia 31, “o duo” vai falar com o Dr. João Guerra no DIAP. Fazem queixa da Direcção da PJ que dizem querer proteger Carlos Cruz. Nesse dia essa versão foi “vendida” ao Procurador Geral. Este resolve falar com o Director Nacional da PJ apenas na segunda-feira, já depois de feitas as detenções. O DIAP, depois de grandes discussões, avocou o processo e o Dr. Adelino Salvado (contra as instruções da ministra), com medo não se sabe de quem ou de quê, destaca funcionários. O Dr. João Guerra passa a ter instalações e carros da PJ. Quando lhe são recusados mais meios ameaça a PJ acusando-a de colocar entraves à investigação. Não esquecer que é paranóico e esquizofrénico. Violento como prova a sua mulher que chegou a agredir enquanto grávida. O seu processo de divórcio é monumento ao sadismo. Tem um estranho ascendente sobre Souto Moura. Não se sabe ainda porquê, mas o grupo PGR teme-o.

Na PJ neste momento sabe-se que a bronca vai estourar. E já há ratos a querer abandonar o barco.

Carlos Cruz foi preso no Algarve numa comédia inventada por Dias André, com aprovação de Rosa Mota: à porta de Carlos Cruz estava a vigiar o Inpector José Carlos Rualde. Quando viu o jipe sair com alguma bagagem deu o alerta que Carlos Cruz ia fugir. Como não conduz, só meia hora depois saiu uma moto de Lisboa com o Inspector Macatrão. Para recuperar o atraso, teve de ir a mais de 200 km/h. Rosa Mota avisou a GNR. Como mais tarde o Inspector quis desmentir que Carlos Cruz fosse a 200/250 km/h foi transferido da Brigada de Vigilâncias. A mota tem Via Verde e os telemóveis utilizados essa noite estão em nome da Polícia. Não sabemos se, como é normal, os extractos estão guardados ou se “desapareceram”.

A partir desse dia, Felícia Cabrita como estava planeado, selecciona as notícias e fontes mesmo as que não eram para ela publicar mas sim outros jornais: DN e Público (ver ligações atrás com jornalistas destes jornais). Assim, os “grandes movimentos de dinheiro para o Brasil”, referenciados a Felícia Cabrita por Carlos Moa, afinal eram impostos. “Cartões de crédito numa lista do FBI para pagar sites pedófilos pornográficos”. Existia um cartão em que dois nomes coincidem mas Dias André sabia que não era Carlos Cruz e até já tinha consultado a UNICRE antes da detenção.

Quando Carlos Cruz foi interrogado pelo juiz Rui Teixeira, o Processo ainda não tinha as folhas todas. Tinham sido deixadas algumas que eram suposto corresponderem a depoimentos que o incriminassem e que ainda não tinham sido recolhidos. Nos 15 dias a seguir à detenção, desfilaram pela PJ dezenas de potenciais testemunhas a quem foi mostrada a fotografia de Carlos Cruz e perguntando se ele já os tinha “comido”. Essa quantidade comprova-se com as convocações ou os verbetes de entrada que são entregues à saída na segurança para arquivar. Se ninguém fez desaparecer o arquivo. E há os que entraram e saíram do carro de Dias André.

Depois, “aperfeiçoaram” os depoimentos dos que aceitaram dizer que sim. Esses vivem ou dormem em casa que a PJ tem permanentemente alugadas e no Centro de Estudos Judiciários. São treinados por Pedro Strecht. Outra figura central que está ameaçada. Nos depoimentos não há datas precisas para não correr o risco de nesses dias Carlos Cruz poder demonstrar que estava noutros sítios. Como não alinhou o Fábio (o “Joel” que denunciou o Bibi) foi marginalizado inclusive por Catalina Pestana e pelo próprio Bagão Felix.

Mas um nome que não aparece e que foi reconhecido foi o do juiz Caramelo, da Boa Hora. Gabaram-se mesmo que ele chegava a intervir em julgamentos e que os absolvia com medo que abrissem a boca. Curiosamente um dos grandes amigos do juiz Caramelo era o juiz Trigo de Mesquita.

Todos os prostitutos que passaram pela Casa Pia referiram-se a ela como um grande bordel.

Sabemos ainda que interrogatórios aos alunos da Casa Pia foram extremamente violentos ao contrário do que Pedro Namora anunciava. Alguns alunos recusaram-se a voltar à PJ devido a essa violência. Dias André usava a técnica de “o melhor é confessares porque o teu colega já confessou tudo”. Assim como usavam a técnica do “bom polícia/mau polícia” a interrogar e ameaçar Carlos Silvino para ele afirmar que conhecia Carlos Cruz.

No início do plano puseram a hipótese de ser a casa de Carlos Cruz apontada como local dos abusos e orgias. Chegaram a procurar fotos do seu interior em revistas da especialidade. Desistiram porque era demasiado, vivendo ele com a mulher e um bebé.

Na detenção cheia de falhas estas foram planeadas: ninguém verificou se ele levava remédios em quantidade suficiente, se levava passaporte ou dinheiro suficientes para evitar levantamentos que o denunciassem, se tinha agenda, se levava muita roupa, se lhe ficaram com o computador portátil e o que é que tinha o disco, se foram logo a casa dele.

Dias André considerou uma ideia brilhante não fazer nada disso. Assim podia sempre assumir como falha e que, graças a ela, a família tinha tido tempo, destruído provas e limpo o computador. E afirma: “só se fossemos loucos é que íamos fazer buscas e apreensões que iam estragar tudo.” Ainda por cima é ignorante porque não sabe que se pode ler ficheiros apagados.

Dias André tentou manipular fotos para conseguir algumas em que Carlos Cruz aparecesse com crianças. Inclusivamente elementos dos ficheiros do “Processo do Parque” que ele possui. Algumas fotos dessas estão a ser utilizadas. O Director Nacional foi informado da “destruição” dos ficheiros. A única testemunha é Dias André e eventualmente Rosa Mota. Belo material de chantagem e de extorsão em que Dias André é especialista. Além de droga, claro. Mas já lá iremos.

Por causa desta confusão toda uma rapariga pediu para sair da equipa. Anda tão assustada que nem fala com os colegas. Suspeita-se de ameaças do duo Dias André/Rosa Mota.

Nota: Moita Flores tem uma estranha ligação a Dias André. Por um lado toma medidas publicadas de defesa de Carlos Cruz. Por outro tem uma empresa para “limpar” crimes juntamente com o seu sócia e líder espiritual Marques Vidal. Um outro líder dele é um tal Santinho Cunha. Por exemplo na Alexandre Herculano há vários processos de corrupção que estão “congelados”. Os patrimónios de Moita Flores e Marques Vidal são incalculáveis. O primeiro acompanhou desde sempre este plano de Dias André, Rosa Mota e Felícia Cabrita. Parece-nos que tem alguma simpatia por Carlos Cruz mas deixou-o cair. O seu interesse neste caso era oferecer os serviços de “protecção” da sua empresa a políticos do PS. Tentou para isso falar várias vezes com Ferro Rodrigues. Como não conseguiu Paulo Pedroso está preso. Entretanto, foram mostradas aos miúdos fotos de João Soares e José Sócrates pelo menos. Suspeitamos que estes tenham pago para não irem fazer companhia a Pedroso, ao contrário de Ferro Rodrigues que, aliás, no plano inicial, é que seria detido em vez de Pedroso.

A ligação Dias André/Moita Flores vem de longe bem assim como a prestação de serviços desse a “limpar” crimes a bom preço. Veja-se o caso de Eurico de Melo a quem roubaram a pasta com cartas comprometedoras das suas actividades pedófilas e homossexuais.

Dias André e Moita Flores estavam entre os tipos que encontraram a mala. Quando o actual caso Casa Pia rebentou, Moita Flores apressou-se a escrever no Diário de Notícias que a mala era do Engenheiro Sousa Gomes e só continha em discurso. Porquê escrever o artigo que nem sequer estava inserido na crónica que tinha no DN? Para proteger o seu “cliente” Eurico de Melo!

Vamos então à outra história.
Já vimos que Carlos Cruz era alvo de Dias André. Este disse que o “ia apanhar” por tê-lo visto a chorar na televisão. Por outro lado as ligações embora pontuais a José Socrates (Euro 2004) e a João Soares (eleições para a Câmara de Lisboa) encaixam no campo político a desacreditar. Ele é afinal o homem errado, no tempo errado, no lugar errado. Está inocente.

Dias André, Rosa Mota e Catalina Pestana contam nisto tudo com a colaboração do Dr. Pedro Strecht. Não sabemos se ele também está a ser chantageado por Dias André, já que é homossexual com alguns comportamentos pedófilos. Mais do que um dos alunos que lhe passaram pelo consultório nestes últimos seis anos ou mais chamam-lhe paneleiro. Parece que casou há pouco tempo, à pressa, para disfarçar.

Paulo Pedroso é também um caso político planeado por uma certa direita e também para proteger Paulo Portas. Tudo leva a crer que é financiado por alguns pedófilos de peso (Engº Pais do Amaral, por exemplo, cujas ligações a Paulo Portas é antiga. Outro protector será o juiz Carlos Lobo que partilhou regularmente a cama com Portas). A falsa zanga de José Braga Gonçalves foi para desviar a atenção para “Paulo Portas Moderna”, para o branquear e foi combinada entre Braga Gonçalves e o assessor de Portas, Pedro Guerra, homem que conheceu no Independente e também com fortes ligações dentro do Correio da Manhã.

A notícia do Le Point é verdadeira: Catherine Deneuve é Paulo Portas e o outro ministro é Luis Filipe Pereira que se prepara para sair do Governo como fez Valente de Oliveira.

Bibi confessou a pessoa de sua confiança que Portas, Valente de Oliveira e Luis Filipe Pereira eram clientes de Pedro Namora até rebentar a bronca, principalmente às sextas-feiras. Namora arranjava-lhes jovens casapianos. A alcunha de Catherine Deneuve deve-se à cabeleira loira que Portas costumava ter no carro.

Dias André sabe que a zona de Bibi como angariador e distribuidor era mais o Parque Eduardo VII juntamente com as “testemunhas” João Paulo Lavaredas, Francisco Guerra, Mário Pompeu, Francisco Andrade e Márcio Necho. Todos prostitutos, proxenetas, traficantes de menores e alguns traficantes de droga e toxicodependentes.

Consultando a ficha de Lavaredas na Casa Pia e na PJ onde tem cadastro (o inspector Fernando Baptista recebeu em Março/Abril de 2000 uma proposta de expulsão da Casa Pia) percebe-se que se trata de um jovem violento e perigoso. Mário Pompeu disse à mãe ter sido pago por Lavaredas para acusar Carlos Cruz e disse publicamente que também iria receber para acusar Paulo Portas. Márcio Necho conhece de facto Jorge Ritto mas nunca viu Carlos Cruz nestas actividades. Mantém contactos estreitos com Dias André, enquanto Francisco Guerra visita com alguma frequência Bibi para chantagear. Entre chantagens, interrogatórios com ameaças de pena máxima e drogas, Dias André e Rosa Mota mostravam a Bibi fotos de Valente de Oliveira, Narana Coissoró e Mota Amaral, tudo com a cumplicidade do advogado José Martins, preparam-se para obter um parecer psiquiátrico que o dê como incapaz. Elementos da PJ testemunharão a seu favor. É que Bibi não é um fim. É apenas um meio que está a falhar porque não diz os nomes que eles querem.

O Dr. José Martins para ganhar fama e porque está muito bem pago pelas pessoas que financiam estas operações todas (há muito dinheiro da droga). É cúmplice: insiste que Bibi deve voltar a ser internado em Caxias, para o drogarem. Drogado, dirá ou assinará o que Rosa Mota e Dias André quiserem. Depois é dado como incapaz, internado e sofre pena mínima. O médico do EPPJ tem-se oposto a esse internamento. Não se sabe até quando aguentará!

Voltando a Paulo Portas. Mais uma vez funciona a “protecção” de Marques Vidal e Moita Flores (este já esteve ligado à Moderna e é maçom), o facto é que não aparece nenhum depoimento a acusar Paulo Portas. Nem o prometido por Mário Pompeu. A troco de que pagamento? Os dois, Vidal e Flores, têm a seu cargo (e bem pagos) a preparação de vários aspectos de segurança para o 2004! E aqui entra outro personagem que com eles colabora: Paulo Bernardino que foi da DINFO (actual SIEDM). Controla mais informação do que o próprio Caimoto Duarte. Dias André foi motorista de Paulo Bernardino e os dois contactam frequentemente para estabelecer estratégias.

Pedro Namora era, até pelo menos há poucos meses, angariador de jovens casapianos para figuras importantes. O que é lógico: só um maluco é que se ia por nas mãos de um básico como é Carlos Silvino. Era um risco altíssimo. Com Namora há segurança.

Entretanto ninguém se admire se um Marques Vidal for o próximo Director do SIS. O “polvo” fica a controlar tudo. Cunha Rodrigues não faria melhor.

Conclusão: o processo está forjado. E mesmo pessoas bem informadas até o dizem calmamente à mesa de restaurantes. Há pessoas inocentes presas. Não sabemos se o Dr. João Guerra é cúmplice ou manipulado. Com as suas obsessões é facilmente manobrável. O juiz Rui Teixeira é o enganado. Será o último a saber. As testemunhas são falsas, mentirosas, treinadas e pagas com o dinheiro da droga, as duas moedas que também pagam Felícia Cabrita. Ela é, como é público, alcoólica e cocainómana em adiantado estado de dependência. Daí as suas intimidades com Pinto Balsemão de quem também é fornecedora.

Um dos coordenadores é Dias André com currículo impressionante:
1. Falsificação de provas
2. Destruição de provas
3. Extorsão
4. Corrupção
5. Desobediência às chefias
6. Ligações ao tráfico de droga.

A droga é outra história muito completa. É outro “polvo” e não acabou com a suspensão de dezena e meia de agentes da PJ. Estamos atentos e poderá ser o tema do nosso próximo documento. Mas a bronca vai estoirar em breve apesar do esforço para manter a Casa Pia na ribalta. Nem deve ser necessária a nossa intervenção.


Para abrir o apetite e alertar as entidades máximas deixamos algumas pistas:
- Vários barcos vão a Marrocos comprar droga. Tudo pago pela PJ.
- Há civis envolvidos como agentes infiltrados mas provocadores, na distribuição.
- Fazem-se apreensões espectaculares junto dos compradores que são angariados pelo “infiltrado”. (Setúbal e Aveiro são exemplos famosos). A imagem da PJ é de “grande eficácia”.
- Desviam-se alguns quilos antes de chegar ao armazém. É uma espécie de comissão para a equipa que “investiga com sucesso”. É a herança operacional de Dias Costa e os seus herdeiros são Paulo Rebelo, “afilhado” de Laborinho Lúcio e chefe de Dias André, Ilidio Neves Luís, Luís Neves Baptista, etc...

Quem é um tal de Victor Ferreira, civil infiltrado, íntimo de Paulo Rebelo de quem chega a conduzir o Alfa Romeu? A quem pertence o armazém da PJ, na Lourinhã?

Ficamos atentos, a aguardar. Por pouco tempo. Se tudo se mantiver, este documento será enviado a toda a comunicação social portuguesa e a muita estrangeira. Não aceitamos assistir impávidos ao linchamento de inocentes. Já se foi longe demais. Vamos protegê-los, lutar por eles e expor as entidades responsáveis.

GOVD
Grupo Operacional de Vigilância Democrática

PORTUGAL: CASA PIA e O Dr. PEDRO STRECHT

OS NÓS DA CORRUPÇÃO: Pedro Strecht, Casa Pia, Catalina Pestana, Teresa Villaverde O dr. Strecht deveria resignar imediatamente de todo e qualquer contacto com a Casa Pia, e retirar-se da comissão investigadora.

(Nota: Na 6ª feira, 8 de Agosto, os jornais Público, Expresso e JN - Jornal de Notícias, fizeram todos manchetes acerca do assunto Casa Pia-Strecht nas suas edições electrónicas na Internet; antes do final do dia tais artigos foram removidos completamente, e apesar de ser costume em todos eles manterem as histórias e os artigos anteriores em ficheiros e arquivo de forma a serem acessíveis ao público, ao invés disso, foram todos apagados. Torna-se claro que isto foi uma manipulação da imprensa, e é igualmente claro que estas acções derivam de potentes fontes governamentais. As acções destes jornais falam por elas mesmas, e pela contínua capacidade dos poderes governativos de Portugal, governamentais ou extra-governamentais, para exercerem controle sobre a informação que é fornecida ao público português. Fosse tal história um erro, a apropriada e ética resposta dos jornais seria fazer um comunicado de correcção e um pedido de desculpas; que a história e os artigos tenham sido suprimidos segere apenas que as suas implicações cavam mais fundo numa clara conspiração entre os mais altos poderes de Portugal e as suas elites dirigentes, de forma a evitar a completa exposição. Estes jornais devem ser pressionados a apresentar uma explicação cabal e directa do seu comportamento, e a história deve ser completa até à sua conclusão - que se torna bastante claro ir demonstrar que o Dr. Pedro Strecht foi apenas colocado como director da Comissão de Investigação precisamente de forma a permitir o mais possível processo de encobrimento sobre os crimes da Casa Pia. O jornal diário Correio da Manhã continua a desenvolver esta história e este artigo.).

À medida que a decrepitude moral dos sistemas governamental e legal de Portugal está a ser desvendado nas várias manobras, escutas telefónicas e fugas de informação motivadas por questões políticas do chamado "segredo de justiça", e de outras situações que vêm à tona nas notícias de todos os dias, desde há meses, e este gritantemente desacreditado sistema caminha céleremente para o seu colapso, e aqueles que "habitam" tal sistema, tentam encontrar maneiras de suportar o fracasso do aparato governamental, pelo qual, são de resto, responsáveis desde há muito, ou tentam encobrir, pretendendo dar a entender não fazerem parte da corrupção sistemática das últimas décadas.

Obliquamente, rumores de militares descontentes, apontam para um golpe estilo terceiro-mundista.

Apocalipticamente, como uma espécie de metáfora de uma descida a um verdadeiro inferno, fogos que teriam sido facilmente evitados e combatidos, devastam o interior, enquanto Barroso e o PSD fracassam rotundamente.

Nos últimos dias, a descoberta do facto do pedopsiquiatra dr. Pedro Strecht ter conhecimento há bastante tempo dos abusos praticados na Casa Pia desde 1998, mas durante 7 anos, nada fez para expôr ou denunciar às autoridades tais abusos, embora chefie uma comissão destinada a investigar estes mesmos crimes, e a fornecer suporte psicológico às crianças, sublinha a profundidade abissal na qual Portugal caiu.

Há muitos meses, assim que o dr. Strecht foi nomeado, disse publicamente, que tal nomeação de um reputado "perito reconhecido" parecia apenas parte do processo de encobrimento, de forma a supervisionar o caso Casa Pia. Tendo solicitado formalmente ao dr. Strecht que respondesse ao testemunho de Teresa Villaverde no Tribunal de Menores ao dr. Rui Machado e Moura, no caso do sequestro de Clara Jost, minha filha, o conselho fornecido pelo pedopsiquiatra foi o evitar que Clara visse ou contactasse o pai, e instado a reconhecer ou a negar esta mesma afirmação, o dr. Strecht declinou responder, ameaçando mesmo com um processo judicial para quem o difamasse, embora ficasse bastante claro para ele que o facto de não responder seria interpretado como mera confirmação.

A acção de Teresa Villaverde de sequestrar Clara Jost da sua residência em Roma foi um acto criminoso "sottrazione di un minore" aos olhos da Lei Italiana; a deslocação de Clara para Portugal, sem o meu consentimento, foi uma clara violação da Convenção de Haia sobre os Aspectos Civis do Sequestro Internacional de Crianças; nos formulários e respostas que Teresa Villaverde forneceu ao Instituto de Reinserção Social e ao Tribunal de Rui Machado e Moura são falsas e ilegais, cometendo assim perjúrio. O tribunal foi informado de tais situações e teve nas suas mãos provas de tal, mas declinou em agir em conformidade, sublinhando a corrupção efectuada pela família Villaverde em tal juízo, e posteriormente sobre o Tribunal da Relação de Lisboa.

Ao ser instado a investigar o perjúrio cometido por Teresa Villaverde e a corrupção cometida pela família Villaverde sobre o sistema judicial, o Procurador Geral José Adriano Machado Souto Moura declinou tal acção, e endereçou uma carta ao Presidente da República, Jorge Sampaio, na qual, apresenta falsos argumentos legais como fundamentação para um argumento ilegal, que suportava a não intervenção do Procurador Geral neste caso - ao tomar esta atitude, Souto Moura assinalou a sua cumplicidade na conspiração de privar Clara e seu pai dos seus direitos garantidos por lei. Na sua permanente recusa em demitir, a meu pedido, o Procurador Geral, pelo facto de ter endereçado falsos argumentos legais à Presidência, como justificação de não intervenção neste caso, o Presidente Sampaio indica também a sua participação nesta conspiração levada a cabo e mantida pelos Poderes Executivo e Judicial Portugueses.

O dr. Pedro Strecht, ao declinar responder à questão de ter ou não aconselhado Teresa Villaverde a privar Clara Jost de contactar com o seu pai - aconselhamento que contraria toda e qualquer prática clínica actual, tendo em conta os melhores interesses de uma criança em semelhante situação (e que contraria igualmente as próprias mensagens escritas que Teresa Villaverde me endereçava), indica, como referenciei na altura, ter sido corrompido por Teresa Villaverde, que o indicou como uma das testemunhas a ser chamadas a depôr em tribunal.

Que o dr. Strecht seja agora apresentado como totalmente comprometido no caso Casa Pia não representa qualquer surpresa para mim, e, a sua nomeação para a comissão de "investigação" dos abusos referidos na Instituição, fez-me referir qual seria o seu aparente papel a desempenhar: providenciar uma legitimização para a continuação do encobrimento do caso.

Quer o dr. Pedro Strecht quer Catalina Pestana concordam que os documentos furtados são verdadeiros e exactos.

Que o dr. Strecht sabia, pelo menos, desde 1998 dos abusos sexuais cometidos na Casa Pia, embora nada tivesse feito a esse respeito, torna clara a sua cumplicidade, activa ou passiva, nos horrendos crimes que ocorreram nesta Instituição estatal encarregue da "guarda" de crianças e jovens desprotegidos.

O dr. Strecht deveria resignar imediatamente de todo e qualquer contacto com a Casa Pia, e retirar-se da comissão investigadora. Ele está comprometido para além de toda a sua aparente credibilidade, e deveria ser ele mesmo investigado e acusado, pelo menos, de negligência e não cumprimento das suas responsabilidades como clínico - e deveria ser expulso da comunidade médica.

Deveria igualmente ser investigado pelo seu papel naquilo que é, e constitui, claramente, uma tentativa, deficientemente executada, de encobrir e minimizar a situação real da Casa Pia. No mínimo dos mínimos, o dr. Strecht passa por ser absolutamente incompetente, e claramente corrupto, como se demonstrou na não apresentação destas provas há 6 anos atrás, não mencionando já o tempo que passou a trabalhar na comissão.

Pelos mesmos motivos, Catalina Pestana deveria também apresentar a demissão. Por incompetência, e não cumprimento dos seus deveres. Os documentos que apresentam o dr. Strecht como conhecedor dos abusos ocorridos na Casa Pia desde 1998 e a ausência de qualquer acção ou denúncia, estavam nas mãos da própria Instituição e deveriam ter constituído bases suficientes para vetar a sua participação, fosse de que maneira fosse, nesta investigação.

O fracasso de Catalina Pestana em expor esta situação sugere uma coligação de interesses que apontam exclusivamente para um esforço institucional de encobrir ainda mais as grotescas realidades desta trágica situação, A quem e a quais interesses serve esta tentativa de continuar o encobrimento é uma situação que deve ser aturadamente investigada, e os responsáveis por ela, acusados judicialmente.

A anteceder a actual crise de incêndios - outro sinal da total incompetência dos poderes governativos, uma incompetência que serve de mão-de-obra à corrupção terminal - o Presidente Sampaio, Socialista, encontrou-se com o Procurador Geral, Souto Moura, comentando ambos a necessidade de reafirmar a continuidade do "segredo de justiça", prática que durante 13 anos serviu para esconder os abusos, representados pelas palavras Casa Pia, 13 anos durante os quais Sampaio, ele próprio claramente corrupto no caso do sequestro de Clara Jost por Teresa Villaverde, foi em grande parte tempo Presidente da República.

Os horrores e "esqueletos" agora denunciados e expostos - incluindo fortes evidências do facto de uma rede de pedofilia utilizar uma Instituição estatal como uma espécie de "fonte de abastecimento", bem como do facto de altas personalidades do partido de Sampaio - PS - estarem envolvidas no escândalo, demonstra que existiu supressão de acções judiciais e legais contra tais pessoas e situações.

Souto Moura (nomeado pelo socialista António Guterres, e também ele próximo dos socialistas) nada fez, durante 2 anos e meio, sobre este caso, até que coagido pela exposição mediática e pública após as minhas denúncias de corrupção no sequestro de Clara Jost, apesar das evidências dos factos de pedofilia estarem nos gabinetes da Procuradoria há mais de 13 anos.

Se o regime do "segredo de justiça" permanecesse intacto, tal como Sampaio e Souto Moura gostariam, é certo que nenhuma das horríveis realidades da governação de Sampaio, Guterres, Cavaco Silva, Portas e Barroso, suportadas pela total cumplicidade do aparelho judiciário, teriam sido reveladas.

A desmesurada hipocrisia dos que observaram a queda de Portugal no lamaçal agora revelado, pedindo e exigindo - como Sampaio tem feito nos últimos 18 meses - respeito pela suposta "ordem" que Sampaio e Souto Moura representam, fica além de qualquer descrição.

Se alguma destas pessoas ou entidades tivesse um simples resquício de escrúpulos morais, pediria de imediato a demissão dos cargos que ocupasse há bastante tempo, admitindo a sua cumplicidade nos eventos da última década, de forma activa ou passiva, bem como do seu total fracasso e incapacidade em levar a cabo as suas funções e deveres públicos face às situações ocorridas. Junto a estes, deveria estar Paulo Portas, claramente envolvido nos actos criminosos do caso Moderna, e Durão Barroso, que tem permanecido silencioso e cúmplice enquanto o seu Ministro da Defesa arrasta o seu Governo para a mesma armadilha e lodo repletos de esqualidez moral, da mesma forma que Guterres fez no passado.

Todo o aparelho político e judicial de Portugal é culpado dos seus próprios actos - praticados ou omitidos - e é terminalmente corrupto e moral, social e economicamente incompetente. O comportamento de todas estas partes envolvidas - desde o Presidente até ao Primeiro Ministro e seus Ministros, passando e culminando no mais insignificante dos juizes do sistema judicial - conduziram Portugal a uma crise que se reflecte na interminável lista de negras estatísticas que todos os jornais reportam: a maior taxa de desemprego da Europa Comunitária, a pior situação económica da Europa, a maior taxa de infectados com o vírus da SIDA (e em constante crescimento na população), um aeroporto nacional que se prepara para ser nomeado como equivalente a um qualquer aeroporto do 3º mundo em matéria de segurança, e muitos mais assuntos ainda não de todo descobertos.

Eu assumo a total responsabilidade, por ter provocado, pela constante agitação que efectuei para defesa dos meus direitos e dos direitos da minha filha Clara Jost, a subsequente modificação dos comportamentos na imprensa Portuguesa, que antes das minhas denúncias públicas de corrupção às entidades e pessoas acima referenciadas, tinha permanecido silenciosa face à gritante corrupção que trespassava Portugal.

Desde Outubro de 2001, que publica e notoriamente denunciei as acções ilegais do juiz Rui Machado e Moura, do Tribunal da Relação de Lisboa, do Conselho Superior da Magistratura, do Procurador Geral Souto Moura, e do Presidente Jorge Sampaio, no caso do sequestro de Clara Jost por Teresa Villaverde, e desde então que repetida e incessantemente envio informação e comentários para uma lista de jornalistas, juizes, políticos e personalidades culturais. Apenas desde Junho de 2002, após a publicação de um artigo sobre o rapto de Clara no semanário "O Independente", que termina com a frase "o autor destes e-mails não sabe que a corrupção é uma doença portuguesa, sempre mencionada, mas nunca investigada", é que a imprensa tem levado a cabo o seu papel no âmbito de uma sociedade democrática, começando a revelar a realidade de Portugal e os seus sistemas de corrupção. A partir desse ponto, a comunidade jornalística portuguesa tem recepcionado dezenas de detalhadas mensagens minhas, sobre a função e a natureza da Imprensa livre numa alegada Democracia, desde Outubro de 2001.

Solicito e exijo de novo ao Governo Português e aos seus Tribunais que levem o país a fazer respeitar e cumprir as suas próprias leis e o tratado internacional do qual Portugal é membro signatário e que se aplica, indiscutivelmente, nesta situação, a Convenção de Haia.

Caso estas exigências não sejam cumpridas, posso assegurar às pessoas e entidades envolvidas - Presidente, Primeiro Ministro, Procurador Geral, Ministra da Justiça, e todos os membros do sistema judicial - que Portugal não terá sossego enquanto a minha filha, Clara Jost, não estiver em sua casa, ao abrigo do disposto pelas próprias leis portuguesas e pelo normativo que é aplicável pela Convenção de Haia, e também enquanto Teresa Villaverde não for devidamente investigada, acusada e sentenciada pelos seus comportamentos criminosos, que incluem perjúrio, corrupção dos Tribunais e corrupção de agentes governativos ou, que, como julgo até mais adequado ao seu caso específico, lhe seja ministrada a devida atenção clínica que se deve dispensar a uma esquizofrénica paranóica, comportamento no qual se encaixam as suas acções e facto que ela sempre receou como sendo o seu verdadeiro destino - os seus filmes reflectem perfeitamente esta situação.

E que todas as personalidades ou instituições do sistema judicial - Rui Machado e Moura, os três juizes do Tribunal da Relação de Lisboa que a dada altura sentenciaram este caso, o Conselho Superior da Magistratura, e aqueles que evitaram as suas responsabilidades legais: Adriano Machado Souto Moura, a Ministra Celeste Cardona e o Presidente Jorge Sampaio - sejam todos investigados, julgados e condenados pelas suas acções ilegais cometidas neste mesmo caso.

O comportamento das forças políticas de Portugal face às constantes revelações dos passados 14 meses das próprias incompetências, corrupção, a sua fragilidade moral e ética, é de todo venial, como ficou demonstrado pelos catastróficos incêndios que agora grassam, ou através dos casos Casa Pia e Moderna, ou como fica evidente nas cruéis estatísticas de SIDA, desemprego, economia em recessão - e tudo isto é apenas o quotidiano das vidas dos cidadãos de Portugal - é de todo evasivo.

A situação atingiu um nível de distorção sócio-económica, e de fracasso político, que a História demonstra, culminar quase sempre - de forma natural e apropriada, diga-se - em violência, assassinatos, no derrube dos responsáveis por tamanhos danos sociais, e pela morte dos envolvidos na distribuição da miséria ao seu próprio povo.

Não é necessária grande poder divinatório ou intuição, ao ler-se as notícias em Portugal, ao ler-se as cartas para editores de jornais ou as vozes constantes em chats da Internet, para se compreender que a linha começa a ser pisada. Essa altura, mesmo assim, não chegará cedo suficiente para os interesses de Portugal, de forma a expurgar as criaturas que têm comandado a sua queda, e de forma a começar a reconstrução do desastre no qual Jorge Sampaio, António Guterres, Mário Soares, Cavaco Silva, Durão Barroso, e os seus governos com figuras como Paulo Portas, António Costa e Souto Moura entre tantos outros, em conjunto com o altamente comprometido sistema Judicial, longamente famoso pela sua corrupção, têm, de forma colectiva e cumulativa, conduzido Portugal.


100 PERGUNTAS DO GOVD

1- Eurico de Melo é o deputado europeu identificado no Caso do Parque. Chegou a ser assinalado por comportamento pedófilo em Bruxelas pela Interpol. Desapareceu da política por isso. Porque é que Cunha Rodrigues e Laborinho Lúcio abafaram o caso?

2- Porque é que vários prostitutos do Parque Eduardo VII (alguns da Casa Pia) identificaram Paulo Portas e a PJ os ignora?

3- Porque é que se reacende a "ligação" Paulo Portas/Cinha Jardim?

4- Porque é que o Conselho de Ministros manteve completo silêncio até hoje sobre a denúncia do Le Point, reiterada por Rui Araújo na SIC, de que há dois ministros pedófilos no governo?

5- Porque é que Adelino Granja e principalmente Pedro Namora pediram tão insistentemente a demissão do ministro da Saúde?

6- Que ligações existem entre Jorge Coelho e Paulo Portas?

7- Porque é que Jorge Coelho, enquanto ministro da Administração Interna, telefonou às 4 da manhã para o Director Nacional da PSP para obrigar os agentes que levaram Paulo Portas para a esquadra a "esquecer" tudo? Os dois agentes surpreenderam Portas no Parque Eduardo VII, ignoraram o seu estatuto de deputado e levaram-no para a esquadra?

8 - Qual o papel da Dr.ª Fátima Galhardas, mulher do ex-director do SIS, Telles Pereira, na escolha da "Casa de Elvas"? Ela é a Delegada do Ministério Público em Elvas e a responsável pela entrega de crianças aos cuidados das amas da Segurança Social. Gertrudes Nunes, dona da "Casa de Elvas", era ama da Segurança Social - que coincidência!

9 - Porque é que há alunos da Casa Pia que não quiseram voltar à PJ para serem interrogados de novo?

10 - Porque é que os interrogatórios feitos por Dias André e Rosa Mota a alunos da Casa Pia não foram gravados em vídeo ou pelo menos em áudio como acontece em qualquer país civilizado? Tiveram medo de registar a violência? Leia-se Barra da Costa, ex-investigador da PJ, no Correio da Manhã de 4 a 8 de Agosto.

11 - Que relações existem entre o inspector Dias André e o Eng.º Miguel Paes do Amaral com Felícia Cabrita no meio?

12 - Qual o papel da TVI e o Portugal Diário (Média Capital = Paes do Amaral) neste processo?

13 - Que sabe a PJ sobre José Eduardo Moniz enquanto Director de programas da RTP, sua sociedade com Vasco Lourinho em Espanha quando este era correspondente da RTP e com um ex-director da TV Globo, a quem comprava as telenovelas, e que é seu actual sócio com António Parente e Paes do Amaral, no Brasil?

14 - Quem são os jornalistas envolvidos neste complot? Quem são os colaboradores da PJ e quem são os que são pagos? Porque é que Tânia Laranjo só agora descobre que andou a ser enganada pela sua muito credível fonte do Ministério Público?

15 - Porque é que a TVI não consegue ou não pode aprofundar o caso do barco Apollo?

16 - Quem são as figuras públicas que aparecem num vídeo feito a bordo de um iate ao largo da Madeira e que está guardado ou foi destruído pela PJ?

17 - Quem é a sorridente figura pública que arranjava rapazinhos para o embaixador Carlucci, pedófilo tão compulsivo que chegava a ter ataques de fúria quando não o "serviam"?

18 - Porque é que Lisa Albarran era visita regular da Casa Pia e é amiga íntima do célebre "Valquíria", o monitor Paulo César, proxeneta e pedófilo do Colégio Nuno Álvares?

19 - Porque é que Lisa Albarran declarou numa entrevista à revista Ego que "também podia dizer que o Artur engatava rapazinhos... o difícil é provar"?

20 - Porque é que Lisa Albarran escreveu uma carta de conforto a Bibi e o quis ir visitar? Porque é que a direcção da Cadeia não autorizou?

21 - Porque é que José Martins, advogado de Bibi, é o novo advogado de Lisa Albarran?

22 - Porque é que Catalina Pestana afirmou que havia jornalistas e outras pessoas a pagar a alunos para denunciar, mentindo, certas pessoas e nunca disse quem são esses jornalistas nem os outros que pagavam? E porque é que, de repente, passou a dizer que os alunos não mentem?

23 - Porque é que Dias André e Rosa Mota mostraram fotos de Valente de Oliveira, Narana Coissoró e Mota Amaral a Bibi e a alunos da Casa Pia? Porque é que mudaram para as fotos de José Sócrates e João Soares? E depois só Paulo Pedroso?

24 – Quem não “permitiu” que Ferro Rodrigues fosse preso e constituído arguido tendo esse facto levado à prisão de Paulo Pedroso?

25 – Onde pára o mega-processo contra António Moura Santos (ex-cunhado de Guterres) abafado por Cunha Rodrigues que o entregou a Souto Moura? E outros processos de corrupção que ainda vêm do tempo da Alta Autoridade?

26 – Que ascendente(s) tem João Guerra sobre Souto Moura? Que segredos lhe conhece?

27 – Que segredos de Souto Moura tem Cunha Rodrigues?

28 – Que sabe ou que ligação tem Cunha Rodrigues ao tráfico de órgãos humanos na Casa Pia? (A notícia do Semanário tem fundamento.)

29 – Que segredos unem Cunha Rodrigues a Laborinho Lúcio?

30 – Onde param as fotos “eróticas e pornográficas” de Felícia Cabrita com o Capitão Roby? E que outros telhados de vidro tem ela que a obrigam a “colaborar”?

31 – Que é feito do processo do envio de crianças abusadas da Casa Pia de Lisboa para Angola (1975/76) pela Dr.ª Odete Sá (PCP) que agora é braço direito de Catalina Pestana que até aqui detestava?

32 – Quem é o senhor Meira, Presidente do Casa Pia Atlético Clube e porque é que convidou Demétrio Alves (PCP) para o discurso de abertura do ano lectivo em 2001?

33 – Porque é que Demétrio Alves, que arranjou emprego a Pedro Namora (PCP) na Câmara de Loures, firmou nesse discurso que daí a um ano “esta Casa Pia não existiria”?

34 – Porque é que Catalina Pestana se foi oferecer a Bagão Félix para ser ela a Provedora depois da saída de Luís Rebelo, cortando assim as hipóteses de Demétrio Alves que tinha tudo preparado para o “assalto” com Pedro Namora, Odete Sá e talvez Adelino Granja embora este seja visto como “inferior e tontinho” pelos outros?

35 – Que negócio fez Bibi, o do Benfica, com Demétrio Alves?

36 – Que ilegalidades tem a Quinta do Infantado em Loures, construída em terreno agrícola no tempo de Demétrio Alves?

37 – Quantos quilos de cocaína negoceia por ano Bibi, o do Benfica? Que ligações tem ele na PJ que até lhe escondem o cadastro?

38 – Que ligações tem Demétrio Alves com Pedro Namora? Porque é que o vereador do Turismo (PCP) de Odivelas levou para lá Pedro Namora?

39 – A Maçonaria perdeu controle da Casa Pia para a Opus Dei?

40 – Porque é que o procurador João Guerra perguntou a vários interrogados: você é da Maçonaria?”

41 – Porque é que quis saber se João Soares Louro é da Maçonaria?

42 – Porque é que os casapianos ilustres estão calados? Por exemplo: João Soares Louro (Maçonaria), Maldonado Gonelha (Maçonaria), Videira Barreto (Maçonaria).

43 – Porque é que Videira Barreto vive aterrorizado e não fala, sabendo tudo o que se passava na CPL?

44 – Existe uma “Santa Aliança” dentro da Casa Pia entre os Católicos (Opus Dei ou não) e o PCP?

45 – Existem ligações entre o PCP da Casa Pia e o PCP que está amplamente instalado nas estruturas judiciais?

46 – Porque é que João Guerra está a “eliminar” juizes para que não lhes seja distribuído o processo, utilizando o truque de os ouvir como testemunhas sobre “assuntos laterais” (já lá vão três!) e assim impossibilitando-os legalmente?

47 – Porque nem o CDS/PP nem o PSD têm indiciados de pedofilia?

48 – Porque é que Durão Barroso fez questão em demonstrar tanta confiança em Souto Moura e Jorge Sampaio chama tão frequentemente o PGR?

49 – Qual o verdadeiro significado das palavras de António Costa para Ferro Rodrigues sobre o PGR, no telefonema entre os dois recentemente divulgado? O que prometeu Souto Moura?

50 – Porque é que o juiz Rui Teixeira andou à procura de alguém que denunciasse Narana Coissoró e não conseguiu?

51 – Porque é que uma funcionária da Casa Pia não diz o que ouviu certa noite, cerca das 9 horas, o Mestre Américo a dizer a umas crianças, numa camarata, obrigando-os a levantarem-se?

52 – O que sabe o Bibi de Adelino Granja e Pedro Namora e não quer confessar porque um casapiano não denuncia os seus irmãos?

53 – Se Bibi transportava elementos do Casa Pia Atlético Clube (presidido pelo Sr. Meira) e da Banda de Música, sempre com requisição, de um Director ou responsável como qualquer motorista, e se ninguém podia sair sem autorização do Director, que o porteiro conferia, quem o autorizava a sair, na carrinha, com alunos para os seus “clientes”?

54 – Se o porteiro tinha que registar 24 horas por dia as saídas e entradas de qualquer veículo (mesmo exterior à Casa Pia) como é que o Bibi podia fugir a esse controle?

55 – Quem foi a senhora toda chique, com ar de “tia” que foi visitar o Bibi a Caxias implorar-lhe para que não falasse do seu grupo?

56 – Quem paga os advogados de Bibi?

57 – Que segredos guarda a meia-irmã de Bibi, Isabel Raposo, na Holanda? De que é que tem medo e que acordo fez com Dias André e Rosa Mota?

58 – Porque é que o proprietário da casa de Cascais de Jorge Ritto é o Director da SIEDM e nenhum jornal explorou o facto? Que sabe Jorge Ritto?

59 – Quem é o guarda prisional, no EPL, informador do SIEDM?

60 – Em que é que ficou o inquérito ao laboratório de análises do Hospital Júlio de Matos?

61 – Porque é que Moita Flores arranjou um encontro de Pedro Namora com Carlos Cruz?

62 – Porque é que aumentaram as “denúncias” de alunos depois da notícia de que o Estado iria indemnizar as “vítimas”?

63 - Porque é que o Dr. Daniel Proença de Carvalho se distanciou de todo o problema? Que amigos dele estão envolvidos?

64 - Quantas "consultas" facturaram Pedro Strecht e a "Casa da Praia" ao longo dos anos e quantos casos de abuso sexual detectou e denunciou? Que se passava de facto em algumas "consultas"? Que responde a isto um jovem que foi internado numa clínica do Norte? E outros jovens, mesmo exteriores à Casa Pia?

65 - Porque é que Daniel Taborda não foi detido depois de confessar pedófilo em entrevista a Felícia Cabrita?

66 - De que figura muito importante da Comunicação Social se dizia (diz) ele fornecedor de cocaína?

67 - Quanto álcool e que droga foram dados a ingerir a Daniel Taborda para dar a entrevista a Felícia Cabrita?

68 - Porque é que Daniel Taborda meteu baixa do seu emprego na Santa Casa Misericórdia de Lisboa, dirigida pelo CDS/PP?

69 - Porque é que sempre que a mentira começa a perder força aparecem Catalina Pestana ou Pedro Strecht a dizer que há cento e tal vítimas? Desistiram dos surdos-mudos e dos deficientes? Como é que o pedopsiquiatra nunca denunciou nenhum caso em 7 anos e descobre 130 em menos de 6 meses?

70 - Porque é que Dias André foi inspector do caso Mike com as mesmas testemunhas que agora são chave e é agora o inspector do caso Casa Pia? Porque é que durante o caso Mike essas testemunhas nunca falaram da Casa Pia sendo Pedro Strecht o mesmo médico dos dois processos?

71 - Porque é que os informáticos da PJ apagaram parcialmente e depois na totalidade o site www.reporterx.net?

72 - Dr.ª Odete Sá (PCP), Mestre Américo (PCP), Pedro Namora (PCP), Adelino Granja (PCP), Demétrio Alves (PCP). Coincidências? Porque é que Pedro Namora está "arrependido de se ter metido nisto"?

73 - Qual o papel da Opus Dei na luta contra a Maçonaria, pelos vários poderes em geral e em particular dentro da Casa Pia?

74 - Qual a verdadeira razão da viagem de Pedro Namora ao Brasil pago pelo jornal "O Crime" e na companhia do Director deste semanário? Quem é que pretendem enganar anunciando previamente uma investigação que se recomendava discreta para obter resultados? Que estiveram mesmo a fazer por lá numa estadia que até surpreendeu Adelino Granja? E afinal a polícia brasileira nega qualquer ligação de Militão à rede pedófila e de droga, ao contrário do que diz Namora...

75 - Quem é o psiquiatra arranjado pelo advogado José Martins para Bibi? Que medicamentos lhe receitou? Porque é que Bibi foi de novo interrogado durante duas horas, na PJ, 15 dias depois de ser "tratado" pelo novo psiquiatra?

76 – Porque é que as polícias secretas, e não só, se andam a escutar umas às outras e todas escutam o procurador João Guerra, Pedro Namora, Catalina Pestana e o juiz Rui Teixeira?

77 – Qual valor da comissão normalmente dada pelos negociantes americanos de armamento? Porque é que não se fez o requerimento do exército antes do saneamento levado a cabo por Paulo Portas que chegou a interferir para promover o novo Director Geral do Armamento?

78 – Qual é o lobby militar que já tinha compromissos com fornecedores europeus de armamento que dão mais 2,5% de comissão do que os americanos e que agora têm Paulo Portas na mão?

79 – Qual o papel de António Parente, patrão da NBP e sócio de José Eduardo Moniz e do Eng.º Miguel Paes do Amaral, como “agente provocador” em telefonemas para Carlos Cruz a pedido de Dias André?

80 – Que ligações tem António Parente na PJ? Quem são os inspectores que recebem avenças e abafam crimes de natureza económica dele e de alguns amigos? (Até o padrinho de casamento já foi figura importante da PJ!)

81 – Como consequência, quem tem na PJ o processo de Eduardo Moniz enquanto Director de Programas da RTP e que se comprometeu a guardá-lo até à prescrição?

82 – Porque é que o Dr. Serrasqueiro, que foi administrador da RTP que mais produto comprou à NBP (com Moniz como Director), é administrador de uma empresa de António Parente e o seu sobrinho um quadro superior?

Nota final: O site “Muito Mentiroso” foi encerrado, não se sabe se pelo autor, se por influência de alguns dos atrás “incomodados”...