May 8, 2003
The Empire of Darkness Series #1: Exposing Fascism, Deception and a Thinly Veiled Nuclear War
I feel the need to begin yet another series to cover some specific aspects of the hegemonious reach from the elite through its current control of the U.S. government and all its secret branches and operations. Of course the aim is to shed light unto all these secrets in an effort to begin the dismantling of this Empire of Darkness through bringing in the open what best thrives in the secret of covert shenanigans.
Networking this information is a way for you to help out this process.
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
This compilation is archived at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2003/EmpireDarkness1.htm
P.S. Please note that I will soon begin to work in my garden and will not be available for most of summer to prepare more than a couple compilations per week at best. Also do not expect swift replies to your emails to me - if any.
Check also my latest Media Compilation #135: No End in Sight to U.S Duplicity archived at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2003/MediaCompilation135.htm
"Welcome to the new digital and satellite age McCarthyism. Phony documents are "dropped" into the hands of a right-wing London newspaper owned by Conrad Black. They are amplified by Black's other holdings, including the Jerusalem Post and Chicago Sun-Times. The story is then picked up by the worldwide television outlets of News Corporation, Time Warner, Disney, and General Electric and echoed on the right-wing radio talk shows of Clear Channel and Viacom. Political careers are damaged or destroyed. There is no right of rebuttal for the accused. They are guilty as charged by a whipped up public that gets its information from the Orwellian telescreens of the corporate media. The media operating in concert with political vermin to whip up popular opinion to stamp out criticism is nothing new. It was practiced by Joseph Goebbels quite effectively in Nazi Germany."
- Wayne Madsen - Taken from "Iraqi "intelligence documents" likely planted" below
1. I fear my own government more than I do terrorists
2. Iraqi "intelligence documents" likely planted
3. Media Monopolies Have Muzzled Dissent
4. Pullout: A Model for the Future
5. Death By Slow Burn - How America Nukes Its Own Troops
The new Nero
A new pathology is ravaging the city. It has taken control of the neurons of the empire. First it infected the emperor himself and then it was transmitted to his oligarchs. First it took control of the center and now it is shaking the peripheries, from north to south and from east to west. Now, at the height of its fury, the incredulity has given way to stupor. This is the feeling that is giving rise to an unbearable and diffuse malaise among "experts" as well as among "ordinary citizens." This is an indisputable intuition, which has been persistently rejected because it is unacceptable. (...) For two years now - and increasingly since September 11, 2001, there has been a great deal of focus in the discourse on the subject of "good and evil" and the strategy derived from it with respect to the "axis of evil." This has generally been based on the return, in full force, of the primitive moralizing that runs through a large part of the political and intellectual history of the United States. But in fact, it is something of an entirely different nature. It is the brutal transformation of an oligarchic republic tinged with democracy into a republic that is essentially theocratic. If we realize this, then it is possible to understand that everything becomes possible from the point of view of Bush's administration, from the rejection of the Kyoto treaty to the perpetuation of the death penalty, from the attempt to marginalize the UN to the approaching exit from the World Trade Organization, from the war in Afghanistan to the war in Iraq. But the United States has also become a pathocracy, that is, a regime that is neurotic in essence, the leaders of which are, quite simply, psychopaths. I offer the hypothesis that the American president is personally suffering from a paranoid psychosis and that the quartet he has formed with Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld constitutes a government that is both theocratic and pathocratic. Therefore we must not slip into the ordinary plaint that claims: "He's crazy, they're all crazy." It is necessary to understand the extent to which the new Emperor, his principal advisers and those who carry out his directives have brought the most disturbing pathology into the heart of the world empire. In order to judge whether this is indeed the case, it is enough to read the full texts of the speeches that are published on the White House Internet site (whitehouse.gov) and the statements by the quartet on the State Department site. A study of the videotapes of the president's appearances is also recommended. These sources set forth a worldview that is intrinsically paranoid, imbued with visions of the most regressive Crusades, drenched in a frightening symbolism that sees any external opposition as evidence of crime and in which every decision and every action bear the seal of a vengeful divinity. I recommend all citizens of the world judge for themselves. The time has come to move from vague intuitions to diagnosis. Sigmund Freud, who so appositely revealed president Woodrow Wilson's pathology - come back!
Critics Attack Plan To Put Military Above the Law
WASHINGTON, DC, May 1, 2003 (ENS) - Congressional Democrats held a press briefing on Capitol Hill today to rally opposition against the Bush administration's proposal to exempt the U.S. military from five major environmental laws. The administration says the laws are compromising the military's training and readiness, but a growing coalition of Democrats, environmentalists, state officials and public health groups believe the proposal is unnecessary and ill conceived.
Cholera outbreak feared in Iraq (May 7)
The World Health Organization (WHO) says it expects a cholera epidemic in southern Iraq because of problems with poor sanitation. WHO disease specialist Denis Coulombier estimated that there were 10 times the number of cholera cases than the 17 registered in Basra since Tuesday. Another WHO official said the organisation "feared hundreds of cases".
EU Says U.S. Delays Medical Supplies for Iraq (May 2)
The War Comes Back Home (May 4)
Can Attorney General John Ashcroft fight terrorism on our shores without injuring our freedoms?
U.S. Struggles in Quicksand of Iraq (May 5)
Continuing disorder is fueling skepticism and allowing competing political forces to fill the void.
U.S., U.K. Waged War on Iraq Because of Oil, Blair Adviser Says (May 1)
New Furor Over Halliburton (May 7)
WASHINGTON -- Halliburton Co.'s emergency, no-bid contract to work on Iraq's oil wells must be fully disclosed, a Democratic lawmaker says, pointing to the Army's admission that the company has a far more lucrative role than originally believed.
Halliburton contract goes beyond extinguishing oil fires (May 7)
WASHINGTON - An emergency contract the Bush administration gave to Halliburton Co. to extinguish Iraqi oil fires also gave the firm a more lucrative role in getting the country's oil system up and running, documents showed Tuesday. (...) "Only now, over five weeks after the contract was first disclosed, are members of Congress and the public learning that Halliburton may be asked to pump and distribute Iraqi oil under the contract." Waxman also has repeated the Corps' statement that the contract could be worth up to $7 billion for up to two years CLIP
Halliburton Subsidiary Gets New Jobs in Iraq (May 7)
Special Report: The impact of war on various industries, the global economy and businesses as well as the reaction on Wall Street.
Secret Halliburton deal endangers US credibility (May 7)
Where Are Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction? (May 4)
US: 'Saddam Had No Weapons of Mass Destruction' (May 5)
The Bush administration has admitted that Saddam Hussein probably had no weapons of mass destruction. (...) according to the US official, pre-emptive action is justified against a nation which simply has the ability to develop unconventional weapons. (!!!)
'The mirage of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (April 30)
(...) The American and British hopes of finding any WMDs in Iraq, not planted by them, are vanishing mirages. Bush, Blair and their senior officials lied to their people, knowingly, and waged a criminal invasion in lieu of this reason. Is this the democracy model for a "liberated" Iraq?
U.S. W.M.D. Intelligence "defective or manipulated," says U.S. Senator (May 6)
A new NFTF report that quotes a U.S. Senator who claims that the Bush administration's weapons of mass destruction evidence was "manipulated."
The World Won't Forgive or Forget (May 5)
A vast global majority opposed the war - and nothing has changed.
Real American Agenda Now Becoming Clear (May 4 - The Toronto Star)
White House Refuses to Release Sept. 11 Info (May 5)
U.S. Navy Bombing on Vieques Now Ended
VIEQUES, Puerto Rico, May 1, 2003 (ENS) - The people of Vieques today celebrated a future without U.S. Navy bombing runs for the first time in 60 years. Hundreds of activists who have been arrested over years of protests against the bombing practice on the island gathered at the Navy's Camp Garcia with thousands of supporters to mark the transfer of the eastern third of Vieques from military to civilian jurisdiction. The Vieques community is demanding full participation in all environmental cleanup and restoration decisions.
UN warns Iraq still ripe for humanitarian disaster (May 3)
BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraq is still ripe for a humanitarian disaster even though the shooting has all but stopped, the UN chief of mission warned, saying too many people were going without food, water and power. "We have not yet got over the hump. The conditions for the development of a humanitarian disaster still exist," Ramiro Lopes da Silva said Saturday, flanked by other UN officials who fled Iraq two days before the war began March 20. "It's (already) a humanitarian disaster in the sense basic services have collapsed or are at the risk of collapsing if we don't put them back into shape rather quickly," he said. Lopes da Silva, making his first briefing to reporters since returning to Baghdad on Thursday, said nearly two-thirds of Iraqis were fully dependent on food aid and that malnutrition was rampant. Many are drinking unsuitable water which is causing infections, especially in the south, and still have no electricity. Hospitals which were looted in the aftermath of the war are overwhelmed and lack medicines and equipment.
Americans defend two untouchable ministries from the hordes of looters (April 14)
Bush's Military Defeat - Where's the Superpower of Peace? (May 2)
George W. Bush has fittingly stopped short of declaring victory in Iraq. He doesn't want to claim a definitive triumph because it would legally obligate the US to begin cleaning the place up and enforcing human rights obligations But in fact, the US attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan have been shattering defeats. Let's count the ways: CLIP (...) In short, the Bush "triumph" has the taste and smell of a profound defeat. The Iraqi people have made it clear they want the US out, and that the demonstrations can only escalate. Afghanistan is in ruin and chaos. World opinion, so profoundly sympathetic to the US after the horrors of September 11, has swung wildly against us. To the vast bulk of humanity -- especially 1.2 billion Muslims -- the US is an out-of-control bully that invaded Iraq without legitimate provocation, primarily to grab its oil. Only the grotesquely unbalanced and intolerant US corporate media has supported this attack with any consistency. Worldwide, its credibility has sunk below zero. The United States may currently be the only military superpower. But it's a hollow shell, with its domestic economy in profound crisis and the dollar in fast decline. The cynicism, arrogance and brutality with which Bush has carried out these attacks has provoked a profound, deep-rooted worldwide hostility. Far from victory, the US has never been more weakened, isolated or insecure. In the long run, only one superpower -- the one for peace -- holds any hope for any of us.
Zionist cabal runs policy on Israel (May 4)
TONY Blair has been accused of surrounding himself with a "cabal" of Jewish advisers in an astonishing attack by Scotland's most senior MP. Tam Dalyell, the Father of the House, says Blair aides are skewing British foreign policy on the Middle East in favour of the Israeli government.
Secret First Atomic Weapon Targeting Decision Sixty Years Ago (May 2)
A mean-spirited America
Today, I fear my own government more than I do terrorists
By Jill Nelson MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR
NEW YORK, May 2 - These days, a sense of apprehension and foreboding lurks in the back of my head and the pit of my stomach. It's a gut-wrenching reminder that something very bad has happened and is about to happen anew. It is an anticipation of the next insult and injury in an America that has been defined under the Bush administration by a profound meanness of spirit.
THE EVIDENCE OF this overwhelming meanness of spirit is everywhere, abroad and at home. Even the administration's efforts to justify the war in Iraq as one of liberation and declare victory cannot mask the human costs to American troops and their families. How many thousands of Iraqis are dead? Where are the ridiculously named "weapons of mass destruction" that Bush used to justify this invasion? Witness the looting of priceless antiquities, kitsch and cash from Iraqi museums and Saddam Hussein's palaces and homes, allowed and participated in not only by Iraqis but members of the American armed forces and their "embedfellows," the media.
Yet to question this war and its aftermath is characterized as at worst treason and at best anti-American cynicism. And woe unto those who criticize Halliburton, Kellogg Brown & Root and the rest of the corporate sponsors of the Bush administration as they line up at the trough of government contracts to rebuild Iraq and control its oil. Now, the armed forces in Iraq have turned to shooting Iraqi demonstrators, the very people they supposedly came to "liberate" with democracy.
UNDER SIEGE AT HOME
Here on the home front, our e-mail communications, bookstore purchases, and even our public library withdrawals are open to government surveillance. The attorney general lengthens the arm of government repression every day, seeking the right to revoke an American's citizenship if he alone decides their words or deeds fall within his definition of treason. Slowly chipping away at our civil and democratic rights.
The Internal Revenue Service announces that it will scrutinize the returns of the poorest taxpayers, those claiming the earned income tax credit. This is a credit offered to taxpayers who earn under $35,000 for a family of four, and it averages less than $2000. The Bush administration wants to spend $100 million to go after these working-poor Americans in search of fraud rather than concentrate on corporations who, according to some estimates, defraud the government by tens of billions of dollars every year.
And what of the move in many states to curtail or severely cut back Medicaid benefits to the 50 million people that program currently insures, a move that will result in the loss of insurance, cuts in benefits, and an increasingly unhealthy population? And unemployment, and the awful school system, and systemic poverty, and gun violence? The list goes on.
This as President Bush crisscrosses the country like a snake- oil salesman in an effort to sell his tax-cut program, one that will again reward the wealthiest Americans and increase the tax burden on the poor and middle class. This after already pushing through a tax cut two years ago that failed to stimulate the economy but succeeded in resurrecting a deficit that, at the end of the Clinton administration a year before, was a surplus.
LIVING IN FEAR
Meanwhile, here in our great democracy, Americans go along with the program or remain silent, too afraid of the Muslim bogeymen thousands of miles away to recognize the Christian ones in our midst. Fearful that we will be verbally attacked, or shunned, or lose our livelihoods if we dare question the meanness that characterizes our government and, increasingly, defines our national character.
I do not feel safer now than I did six, or 12, or 24 months ago. In fact, I feel far more vulnerable and frightened than I ever have in my 50 years on the planet. It is the United States government I am afraid of. In less than two years the Bush administration has used the attacks of 9/11 to manipulate our fear of terrorism and desire for revenge into a blank check to blatantly pursue imperialist objectives internationally and to begin the rollback of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and most of the advances of the 20th century.
RECIPE FOR CHANGE
It is none too early to begin organizing for the 2004 elections. Each of us must take a hard look at the changes that have been wrought by this administration internationally and domestically and ask ourselves: Is this the democracy we cherish? We must hold our elected officials accountable and make them take a stand against what increasingly looks like fascism. If they will not, we must vote them out of office.
Three years ago, before the bloodless coup d'etat that made George W. Bush president, America was a far-from-perfect nation. Yet there was the possibility, almost gone now, that our country might evolve into a place that lived up to its loftiest democratic rhetoric. Today, I live in an America that makes my stomach hurt and fills me with terror. A nation run by greedy, frightened, violent bullies. It is time to take our country back before it is too late.
Jill Nelson is a journalist, teacher and author. She is a regular contributor to MSNBC.com.
Forwarded by Ken NCEpanacea@aol.com> on May 2
Iraqi "intelligence documents" likely planted
By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer
April 29, 2003After the United States and Britain were shown to be providing bogus and plagiarized "intelligence" documents to the UN Security Council that supposedly "proved" Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction program, the world's media is now being fed a steady stream of captured Iraqi "intelligence" documents from the rubble of Iraq's Mukhabarat intelligence headquarters.
The problem with these documents is that they are being provided by the U.S. military to a few reporters working for a very suspect newspaper, London's Daily Telegraph (affectionately known as the Daily Torygraph" by those who understand the paper's right-wing slant). The Telegraph's April 27 Sunday edition reported that its correspondent in Baghdad, Inigo Gilmore, had been invited into the intelligence headquarters by U.S. troops and miraculously "found" amid the rubble a document indicating that Iraq invited Osama bin Laden to visit Iraq in March 1998. Gilmore also reported that the CIA had been through the building several times before he found the document. Gilmore added that the CIA must have "missed" the document in their prior searches, an astounding claim since the CIA must have been intimately familiar with the building from their previous intelligence links with the Mukhabarat dating from the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. Moreover, the CIA and other intelligence agencies, including Britain's MI-6, have refuted claims of a link between bin Laden and Iraq.
Gilmore also made it a point to declare he was not providing propaganda for the United States, a strange statement by someone who claims to be a seasoned Middle East correspondent. However, it is highly possible he was providing the propaganda for the benefit of a non-government actor, the neo-conservative movement, which uses the Pentagon as a base of operations, and employs deception and perception management tactics to push its sinister agenda.
The U.S. has been quite active in inviting Telegraph reporters into the Iraqi intelligence headquarters. Other documents "found" by the paper's reporters "revealed" Russian intelligence had passed intercepts of Tony Blair's phone conversations to Iraqi intelligence, that German intelligence offered to assist Iraqi intelligence in the lead up to the war, that France provided Iraq with the contents of US-French diplomatic exchanges, and that anti-war and anti-Bush Labor Party Member of Parliament George Galloway had solicited hundreds of thousands of dollars from Iraq, which were skimmed from the country's oil-for-food program.
Galloway immediately smelled the rat of a disinformation campaign when he responded to the Telegraph about the "found" document. "Maybe it's the product of the same forgers who forged so many other things in this whole Iraq picture . . . It would not be the Iraqi regime that was forging it. It would be people like you [Telegraph journalists] and the Government whose policies you have supported," Galloway said.
It is amazing that the U.S. military would be so open about letting favored journalists walk freely about the Mukhabarat building when the Pentagon has clamped tight security on the Iraqi Oil Ministry. The reason for this is obvious. While the Mukhabarat building can be salted with phony intelligence documents, the Oil Ministry is likely rife with documents showing the links between Saddam Hussein and Dick Cheney's old firm, Halliburton. The company signed more than $73 million in contracts with Saddam's government when Cheney was its chief executive officer. The contracts, negotiated with two Halliburton subsidiariesDresser-Rand and Ingersoll Dresser Pump Co. were part of the UN oil-for-food program, ironically the same program which figures prominently in the charges against Galloway. But unlike the charges against Galloway, the reports about Cheney's links to Saddam Hussein's oil industry originated with relatively more mainstream media sources, including ABC News, The Washington Post, and The Texas Observer.
Gilmore told the BBC that he noticed that on the Mukhabarat documents he discovered, some information that was "erased." The erasures were apparently made with a combination of black marker ink and correction fluid. He said he scraped away at the paper with a razor and miraculously found the name bin Laden in three places. The standard procedure for redacting a classified document is to only use a black indelible marker to mask classified information. However, the proper procedure for trying to read through such markings is not to scrape away the ink as if the document were an instant lottery ticket. Toner print often bleeds through the indelible marker ink. If one holds up such a sheet of paper at a 45 degree angle and under a bright phosphorescent light, the lettering under the ink can be "read" because the lettering almost appears to be "raised". If a razor blade were used to scrape away the markings, the indelible ink and the toner ink would be obliterated. Gilmore's claims appear to be spurious.
It was not long before the Iraqi-al Qaeda "smoking gun" document was reported around the world. America's right-wing propaganda channel, Fox News, featured the "found" document on its lead story on its Fox Sunday News program. Fox anchorman Tony Snow asked the ethically-tainted Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmed Chalabi about the document. Chalabi responded, saying the document provided enough information that Saddam Hussein was knowledgeable about the September 11 attacks on the United States, a canard that has been rejected by intelligence agencies around the world. However, for those who forged or doctored the document it was mission accomplished.
To understand the process in disseminating such propaganda masked as news, it is important to understand the relationship between The Daily Telegraph and its parent company, the Hollinger Corporation, which is owned by British subject and former Canadian Conrad Black. Hollinger. Like Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, Hollinger is a mega-media company that spins right-wing propaganda around the world through 379 newspapers, including the Jerusalem Post. Tom Rose, the publisher of the Jerusalem Post, is a major supporter of Ariel Sharon's Likud Party and is a favorite guest on the right-wing talk shows on Clear Channel radio stations, including that of G. Gordon Liddy of Watergate infamy. Clear Channel, headquartered in Dallas, is owned by close Bush supporters and one-time business partners. To add to the spider's web, one of Rose's Jerusalem Post directors is Richard Perle, a member of Donald Rumsfeld's advisory board.
The "smoking gun" document on Galloway was further played up on Fox News Sunday. William Kristol, an ally of Perle and a dean of the neo-conservatives, and Fox's Brit Hume, a right-wing ideologue who masquerades as a reporter, said the documents implicating Galloway in accepting money from Saddam Hussein was the "tip of the iceberg". They then suggested that French President Jacques Chirac, other Western politicians, and Arab journalists working for such networks as Al Jazeera, would soon be "outed" by further Iraqi intelligence documents. For good measure, Fox also announced that Galloway may have given classified satellite imagery to al Qaeda. As is so often the case, the Fox News panelists provided no evidence for their slanderous claims.
Welcome to the new digital and satellite age McCarthyism. Phony documents are "dropped" into the hands of a right-wing London newspaper owned by Conrad Black. They are amplified by Black's other holdings, including the Jerusalem Post and Chicago Sun-Times. The story is then picked up by the worldwide television outlets of News Corporation, Time Warner, Disney, and General Electric and echoed on the right-wing radio talk shows of Clear Channel and Viacom. Political careers are damaged or destroyed. There is no right of rebuttal for the accused. They are guilty as charged by a whipped up public that gets its information from the Orwellian telescreens of the corporate media.
The media operating in concert with political vermin to whip up popular opinion to stamp out criticism is nothing new. It was practiced by Joseph Goebbels quite effectively in Nazi Germany.
It was a British-born actor named Peter Finch who so eloquently and prophetically warned us about the sorry state of today's media. In Paddy Chayefsky's excellent movie, "Network," Finch plays UBS TV news anchormen Howard Beale. When UBS's entertainment division decides to fire Beale because of low ratings, he begins to rant and rave on the air. He is then given his own television entertainment show, "The Mad Prophet of the Airwaves". The most famous scene in the movie is when Beale exhorts his viewers to go their windows and yell, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore". We should all be mad as hell about the propaganda in the newspapers and on the airwaves; George Bush and Tony Blair; Rupert Murdoch and Conrad Black; Clear Channel and Viacom; the neo-conservative think tank bottom feeders; Rumsfeld and his circle of Pentagon ghouls such as Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, and Newt Gingrich; and the religious fundamentalists who give aid and succor to America's war machine. To paraphrase Howard Beale, "We should not take them anymore!"
Wayne Madsen is a Washington-based investigative journalist and columnist. He is a co-author of the forthcoming book, "America's Nightmare: The Presidency of George Bush II."
Forwarded by "Mark Graffis" email@example.com> on May 2
May 1, 2003 - Los Angeles Times
Media Monopolies Have Muzzled Dissent
by Ian Masters
If information is the oxygen of democracy, the United States has just been gassed, not by weapons of mass destruction but by a weapon of mass distraction.
With George W. Bush basking in glorious ratings and Fox News climbing in the ratings, we may be moving toward a coronation instead of a reelection in 2004. It was, after all, Rupert Murdoch's unilateral anointment of Bush as the winner in the early hours of the morning after the undecided 2000 election that led Al Gore to foolishly concede, because he and the other networks believed what they saw on Fox Television.
Now the marriage between a government and its volunteer information ministry has been consecrated by the blessed victory of "Operation Iraqi Freedom," the geopolitical equivalent of an O.J. meets "Joe Millionaire" wrapped in the flag.
Totalitarian regimes don't tolerate any distinction between journalism and propaganda, but in most democracies it is unprecedented for the free press to abandon Joseph Pulitzer for the methods of Joseph Goebbels. How did a born-again, family-values administration get in bed with a purveyor of misogyny and mayhem, trash and titillation? The common thread, for all the public piety, has to be the late Lee Atwater, who was friend, mentor and role model to George W., Karl Rove and Roger Ailes, the head hound in the Fox pound of junkyard attack-dog journalism.
This undemocratic confluence of politics and propaganda has long been in the making as corporate media have been incrementally empowered while public influence, input and "interest" have been eliminated.
The transformation of active citizens into passive consumers was enabled by the Federal Communications Commission under Ronald Reagan's Mark Fowler, who declared "the perception of broadcasters as community trustees should be replaced by a view of broadcasters as marketplace participants." Welcome to America, Mr. Murdoch: You can buy the airwaves and, who knows, some day the presidency.
TV's Fox could not get away with its shameless shilling for the White House if the Fairness Doctrine were still in place, and radio's Clear Channel monopoly would not be able to impose wall-to-wall Limbaugh, Hannity and Savage, etc., on the public if broadcasters were accountable to public opinion rather than the dictates of plutocrats.
How could it be that in the land of the free and the home of the brave Americans are afraid of opinions? Where are the Tom Paines, the Mark Twains, the Menckens, the Ida Tarbells?
Dissent has not gone away; it has just been marginalized by monopolies and relegated to the interstices of the Internet.
But the hammer is about to drop on the Internet too. The head of the FCC, Michael Powell, wants to give away what's left of the store to the broadband cable and satellite providers and make them gatekeepers or tollbooths on the information highway.
It used to be that the Internet was accessed via a common carrier, the phone company, but as technology has moved forward, these new unregulated media monopolies have increasing control over the information pipeline. Without regulation, they have the ability to choose what content they provide.
Two FCC commissioners want to delay this hand-over and encourage public debate, but the public is largely unaware of what is at stake. Obviously you can't expect the Limbaughs, O'Reillys and their bosses or their president in the White House to give them talking points on preserving diversity of opinion while there is a tax cut to sell.
So speak up, America: It's your country, they're your airwaves. Maybe you can pursue the American dream while you are asleep, but it will be too late to reclaim your country's freedom when you wake up.
Ian Masters is the host of "Background Briefing" on KPFK-FM (90.7) in Los Angeles.
Forwarded by Ken NCEpanacea@aol.com> on May 2
Pullout: A Model for the Future
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
A well-known rule of government action is that it yields consequences that are unexpectedly bad for public wellbeing, while setting in motion a series of missteps that further compound the original problem.
US troops in Saudi Arabia are a case in point. The base was established during the first war on Iraq, after the US gave and then withdrew permission for Saddam to assume control of the former Iraqi province of Kuwait. The troops stayed to enforce sanctions and to symbolize the assertion of American power in the region.
Now, unexpectedly, the troops are leaving. Why? As usual, there is a reason given to the press at official briefings, and a real reason. The given line is that Saddam is gone and so the troops arent needed to protect the region from his villainy. The real reason is simpler: the troops were stirring up too much resentment. They had become a real sore point for faithful Muslims, who regarded the troop presence as evidence of infidel invasion.
As Bin Laden's fatwa said: "For over seven years now the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors and turning its bases in the peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples."
And again: "I swear to God that America will not live in peace before all the army of infidels depart the land of the prophet Muhammad."
Americans read this and say, hey, lighten up! But the reality is that this was a serious matter. Americans soldiers were constantly under attack, the despotic Saudi regime was getting worried about perceptions of its own legitimacy, and now a Shiite revolution threatens in Iraq and other states. The longer the US stayed, the more recruits there were into the ranks of terrorists.
In short, it is a typical case of government intervention making the situation worse. And so, sensibly, US military authorities decided the costs and potential costs were higher than the benefits. Hence, the pullout. Makes sense, even if Bin Laden demanded it. In fact, with sanctions being lifted and the call for an end to Gaza and West Bank occupation, all three of his demands are being met. Are the bad guys smiling? Sure. Who cares!
As for public perceptions, hardly any Americans are taking notice. It does not represent some sort of national humiliation. It is not a compromise with terrorism. It is not a display of weakness. It is just good policy, exactly like the US pullout from Beirut in the 1980s. It reduces conflict, eliminates a huge source of resentment, and makes the world a more peaceful place.
Indeed, the US pullout from Saudi Arabia is the one genuinely anti-terrorism act the US government has taken since 9/11. Obviously it's not so hard to pull out. It's just a matter of deciding to do it, and doing it.
Next on the list ought to be Okinawa, where US troops have been the source of an unending crime wave and are thoroughly despised. Next ought to be Japan, then Korea, then the former Soviet states, then the Philippines, then Germany, then Italy, then Spain, then Britain, then all of Europe and Latin America and Asia and Africa all the more than 100 countries where US troops are stationed.
Public opinion in all these countries opposes the US presence, even if the paid-off governments seem friendly. The fact is that these troops only put the world on edge, make terrorist recruiting easier, and fuel the arms race. The US should pull out of every foreign country. Use Saudi Arabia as a model. Come home, America.
We need to appreciate the extent to which the US pullout derives from a remarkable turnaround in attitude. Ever since 9-11, the impulse to assert power and push aggression has been unrelenting. The theory has been that US firepower can do it all. US military planners have dreamed of world domination through bombs and tanks. The idea of a pullback or a pullout from anywhere has been ruled out as a sign of weakness.
Then, suddenly, the US has faced the limits of its own power, and the realization that the world cannot be treated as a huge prison with the US as sole warden. Sometimes it is best to leave well enough alone, and let people go about their own business. Not every citizen of the world needs to be staring down the barrel of a US gun in order to behave. It is possible to unload and lower the gun, even put it away. The world will not fall apart.
The new model of withdrawal applies not only to foreign policy. It ought to be used in domestic policy too. Throughout the recession, the government has tried every trick in its grab-bag of policy chicanery to bring about recovery, from huge spending increases to flooding markets with credit. Nothing has worked.
Why not try a pullout here too?
In its wars on smoking, poverty, drugs, illiteracy, discrimination, and crime, the federal government has had only one model: more force. What good has it done? It has meant vast spending increases, and that not only failed to achieve the aim, but made the situation vastly worse. Smoking is up. Illiteracy is increasing. Drugs are ubiquitous. Discrimination is rampant. And crime rises and falls independent of the feds' involvement. All these programs have merely destabilized society.
Why not try pulling out?
There are very few times in the history of the US that the government decided to reverse its use of force and instead just leave people alone. We can think of the end of Prohibition, the end of oil price controls, airline deregulation, the end of the 55 mph federal speed limit, and perhaps a few more. In each case, freedom yielded spectacular results as compared with the chaos created by the intervention.
There is a reason the founding fathers favored a tiny state that didn't intervene domestically or internationally. They knew that the results of intervention would be unfavorable for liberty, peace, security, and social orderliness. They had faith that society can work without government management. In fact, this insight is the greatest in the history of ideas.
Pull out! It is a simple idea that could save the world.
May 1, 2003
Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., is president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, and editor of LewRockwell.com.
Forwarded by Ken NCEpanacea@aol.com> on April 30
Also from: http://www.strike-the-root.com/cgi-local/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=news;action=display;num=1050631363;start=0
Death By Slow Burn - How America Nukes Its Own Troops
What 'Support Our Troops' Really Means
By Amy Worthington
The Idaho Observer
On March 30, an AP photo featured an American pro-war activist holding a sign: "Nuke the evil scum, it worked in 1945!" That's exactly what George Bush has done. America's mega-billion dollar war in Iraq has been indeed a NUCLEAR WAR.
Bush-Cheney have delivered upon 17 million Iraqis tons of depleted uranium (DU) weapons, a "liberation" gift that will keep on giving. Depleted uranium is a component of toxic nuclear waste, usually stored at secure sites. Handlers need radiation protection gear.
Over a decade ago, war-makers decided to incorporate this lethal waste into much of the Pentagon's weaponry. Navy ships carrying Phalanx rapid fire guns are capable of firing thousands of DU rounds per minute.(1) Tomahawk missiles launched from U.S. ships and subs are DU-tipped.(2) The M1 Abrams tanks are armored with DU.(3) These and British Challenger II tanks are tightly packed with DU shells, which continually irradiate troops in or near them.(4) The A-10 "tank buster" aircraft fires DU shells at machines and people on the battlefield.(5)
DU munitions are classified by a United Nations resolution as illegal weapons of mass destruction. Their use breaches all international laws, treaties and conventions forbidding poisoned weapons calculated to cause unnecessary suffering.
Ironically, support for our troops will extend well beyond the war in Iraq. Americans will be supporting Gulf War II veterans for years as they slowly and painfully succumb to radiation poisoning. U.S. and British troops deployed to the area are the walking dead. Humans and animals, friends and foes in the fallout zone are destined to a long downhill spiral of chronic illness and disability. Kidney dysfunction, lung damage, bloody stools, extreme fatigue, joint pain, unsteady gait, memory loss and rashes and, ultimately, cancer and premature death await those exposed to DU.
Award-winning journalist Will Thomas wrote: "As the last Gulf conflict so savagely demonstrated, GI immune systems reeling from multiple doses of experimental vaccines offer little defense against further exposure to chemical weapons, industrial toxins, stress, caffeine, insect repellent and radiation leftover from the last war. This is a war even the victors will lose."(6)
When a DU shell is fired, it ignites upon impact. Uranium, plus traces of plutonium and americium, vaporize into tiny, ceramic particles of radioactive dust. Once inhaled, uranium oxides lodge in the body and emit radiation indefinitely. A single particle of DU lodged in a lymph node can devastate the entire immune system according to British radiation expert Roger Coghill.(7)
The Royal Society of England published data showing that battlefield soldiers who inhale or swallow high levels of DU can suffer kidney failure within days.(8) Any soldier now in Iraq who has not inhaled lethal radioactive dust is not breathing. In the first two weeks of combat, 700 Tomahawks, at a cost of $1.3 million each, blasted Iraqi real estate into radioactive mushroom clouds.(9) Millions of DU tank rounds liter the terrain. Cleanup is impossible because there is no place on the planet to put so much contaminated debris.
Bush Sr.'s Gulf War I was also a nuclear war. 320 tons of depleted uranium were used against Iraq in 1991.(10) A 1998 report by the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances confirms that inhaling DU causes symptoms identical to those claimed by many sick vets with Gulf War Syndrome.(11) The Gulf War Veterans Association reports that at least 300,000 Gulf War I vets have now developed incapacitating illnesses.(12) To date, 209,000 vets have filed claims for disability benefits based on service-connected injuries and illnesses from combat in that war.(13)
Dr. Asaf Durakovic, a professor of nuclear medicine at Georgetown University, is a former army medical expert. He told nuclear scientists in Paris last year that tens of thousands of sick British and American soldiers are now dying from radiation they encountered during Gulf War I. He found that 62 percent of sick vets tested have uranium isotopes in their organs, bones, brains and urine.(14) Laboratories in Switzerland and Finland corroborated his findings.
In other studies, some sick vets were found to be expressing uranium in even their semen. Their sexual partners often complained of a burning sensation during intercourse, followed by their own debilitating illnesses.(15)
Nothing compares to the astronomical cancer rates and birth defects suffered by the Iraqi people who have endured vicious nuclear chastisement for years.(16) U.S. air attacks against Iraq since 1993 have undoubtedly employed nuclear munitions. Pictures of grotesquely deformed Iraqi infants born since 1991 are overwhelming.(17) Like those born to Gulf War I vets, many babies born to troops now in Iraq will also be afflicted with hideous deformities, neurological damage and/or blood and respiratory disorders.(18)
As an Army health physicist, Dr. Doug Rokke was dispatched to the Middle East to salvage DU-contaminated tanks after Gulf War I. His Geiger counters revealed that the war zones of Iraq and Kuwait were contaminated with up to 300 millirems an hour in beta and gamma radiation plus thousands to millions of counts per minute in alpha radiation. Rokke recently told the media: "The whole area is still trashed. It is hotter than heck over there still. This stuff doesn't go away."(19)
DU remains "hot" for 4.5 billion years. Radiation expert Dr. Helen Caldicott confirms that the dust-laden winds of DU-contaminated war zones "will remain effectively radioactive for the rest of time."(20) The murderous dust storms which ensnared coalition troops during the first few days of the current invasion are sure to have significant health consequences.
Rokke and his cleanup team were issued only flimsy dust masks for their dangerous work. Of the 100 people on Rokke's decontamination team, 30 have already "dropped dead." Rokke himself is ill with radiation damage to lungs and kidneys. He has brain lesions, skin pustules, chronic fatigue, continual wheezing and painful fibromyalgia. Rokke warns that anyone exposed to DU should have adequate respiratory protection and special coveralls to protect their clothing because, he says, you can't get uranium particles off your clothing.
The U.S. military insists that DU on the battlefield is not a problem. Colonel James Naughton of the U.S. Army Material Command recently told the BBC that complaints about DU "had no medical basis."(21) The military's own documents belie this. A 1993 Pentagon document warned that "when soldiers inhale or ingest DU dust they incur a potential increase in cancer risk."(22) A U.S. Army training manual requires anyone who comes within 25 meters of DU-contaminated equipment to wear respiratory and skin protection.(23) The U.S. Army Environmental Policy Institute admitted: "If DU enters the body, it has the potential to generate significant medical consequences."(24) The Institute also stated that, if the troops were to realize what they had been exposed to, "the financial implications of long-term disability payments and healthcare costs would be excessive."(25) For pragmatic reasons, DOD chooses to lie and deny.
Dr. Rokke confirms that the Pentagon lies about DU dangers and is criminally negligent for neglecting medical attention needed by DU-contaminated vets. He predicts that the numbers of American troops to be sickened by DU from Gulf War II will be staggering.(26) As they gradually sicken and suffer a slow burn to their graves, the Pentagon will, as it did after Gulf War I, deny that their misery and death is a result of their tour in Iraq.
Dr. Rokke's candor has cost him his career. Likewise, Dr. Durakovic's radiation studies on Gulf War I vets were not popular with U.S. officials. Dr. Durakovic was reportedly told his life was in danger if he continued his research. He left the U.S. to continue his research abroad.(27)
Naive young coalition soldiers now in Iraq are likely unaware of how deadly their battlefield environment is. Gulf War I troops were kept in ignorance. Soldiers handled DU fragments and some wore these lethal nuggets around their necks. A DU projectile emits more radiation in five hours than allowed in an entire year under civilian radiation exposure standards. "We didn't know any better," Kris Kornkven told Nation magazine. "We didn't find out until long after we were home that there even was such a thing as DU."(28)
George Bush's ongoing war in Afghanistan is also a nuclear war. Shortly after 9-11, the U.S. announced it would stockpile tactical nuclear weapons including small neutron bombs, nuclear mines and shells suited to commando warfare in Afghanistan.(29) In late September, 2001, Bush and Russian president Vladimir Putin agreed that the U.S. would use tactical nuclear weapons in Afghanistan while Putin would employ nuclear weapons against the Chechnyans.(30)
Describing the Pentagon's B-61-11 burrowing nuke bomb, George Smith writes in the Village Voice: "Built ram tough with a heavy metal casing for smashing through the earth and concrete, the B-61 explodes with the force of an estimated 340,000 tons of TNT. It is lots of bang for the buck, literally two apocalypse bombs in one, a boosted plutonium firecracker called the primary and a heavy hydrogen secondary for that good old-fashioned H-bomb fireball."(31)
Drought-stricken Afghanistan's underground water supply is now contaminated by these nuclear weapons.(32) Experts with the Uranium Medical Research Center report that urine samples of Afghanis show the highest level of uranium ever recorded in a civilian population. Afghani soldiers and civilians are reported to have died after suffering intractable vomiting, severe respiratory problems, internal bleeding and other symptoms consistent with radiation poisoning. Dead birds still perched in trees are found partially melted with blood oozing from their mouths.(33)
Afghanistan's new president, Hamid Karzai, is a puppet installed by Washington. Under the protection of American soldiers, Karzai's regime is setting a new record for opium production. Both UN and U.S. reports confirm that the huge Afghani opium harvest of 2002 makes Afghanistan the world's leading opium producer.(34) Thanks to nuclear weapons, Afghanistan is now safe for the Bush-Cheney narcotics industry.(35) ABC News asserts that keeping the "peace" in Afghanistan will require decades of allied occupation.(36) For years to come, "peacekeepers" will be eating, drinking and breathing the "hot" carcinogenic pollution they have helped the Pentagon inflict upon that nation for organized crime.
As governor of Arkansas during the Iran-Contra era, Bill Clinton laundered $multi-millions in cocaine profits for then vice-president George Bush Sr.(37) As a partner in the Bush family's notorious crime machine, President Clinton committed U.S. troops to NATO's campaign in the Balkans, a prime heroin production and transshipment area. DOD's campaign to control and reorganize the drug trade there for the Bush mafia was yet another nuclear project.
For years, the U.S. and NATO fired DU missiles, bullets and shells across the Balkans, nuking the peoples of Serbia, Bosnia and Kosovo. As DU munitions were slammed into chemical plants, the environment became hideously toxic, also endangering the peoples of Albania, Macedonia, Greece, Italy, Austria and Hungary. By 1999, UN investigators reported that an estimated 12 tons of DU had caused irreparable damage to the Yugoslavian environment, with agriculture, livestock and air water, and public health all profoundly damaged.(38)
Scientists confirm that citizens of the Balkans are excreting uranium in their urine.(39) In 2001, a Yugoslavian pathologist reported that hundreds of Bosnians have died of cancer from NATO's DU bombardment.(40) Many NATO peacekeepers in the Balkans now suffer ill health. Their leukemias, cancers and other maladies are dubbed the "Balkans Syndrome." Richard Coghill predicts that DU weapons used in Balkans campaign will result in at least 10,000 cases of fatal cancer.(41)
U.S. citizens at home are also paying a heavy price for criminal militarism gone mad. DOD is a pollution monster. The General Accounting Office (GAO) found 9,181 dangerous military sites in USA that will require $billions to rehabilitate. The GAO reports that DOD has been both slothful and deceitful in its cleanup obligations.(42) The Pentagon is now pressing Congress to exempt it from all environmental laws so that it may pollute and poison free from liability.(43)
The Navy uses prime fishing grounds off the coast of Washington State to test fire DU ammunition. In January, Washington State Rep. Jim McDermott chastised the Navy: "On one hand you have required soldiers to have DU safety training and to wear protective gear when handling DU ... and submarines must stay clear of DU-contaminated waters. These policies indicate there is cause for concern.... On the other hand the Department of Defense has repeatedly denied that DU poses any danger whatsoever. There has been no remorse about leaving tons of DU equipment in the soil in foreign countries, and there appears to be no remorse about leaving it in the waters of your own country."(44)
DU has been used in military practice maneuvers in Indiana, Florida, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Maryland and Puerto Rico. After the Navy tested DU weaponry on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, one-third of the island's population developed serious illness. Many people show high levels of uranium in their bodies. Hundreds have filed a class action suit against the Navy for $100 million, claiming DU contamination has caused widespread cancers.(45)
The Navy's Fallon Naval Air Station near Fallon, Nevada, is a quagmire of 26 toxic waste sites. It is also a target practice zone for DU bombs and missiles. Area residents report bizarre illnesses, including 17 children who have contracted leukemia within five years. A survey of groundwater in the Fallon area showed nearly half of area wells are contaminated with radioactive materials.(46)
The materials for DU weaponry have been processed mainly at three nuclear plants in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee, where workers handling uranium contaminated with plutonium have suffered for decades with cancers and debilitating maladies similar to Gulf War Syndrome.(47)
Emboldened by power-grabbing successes made possible by his administration's devious 9-11 project, President Bush asserts that the U.S. has the right to attack any nation it deems a potential threat. He told West Point in 2002, "If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long."(48) Thus, it is certain that Bush-Cheney future preemptive nuclear wars are lined up like idling jets on a runway. Both Cheney's Halliburton Corp. and the Bush family's Carlyle Group are profiteers in U.S. defense contracts, so endless war is just good business.(49)
The Washington Post reported that the Pentagon will create special nuclear weapons for use on North Korea's underground nuclear facilities.(50) Next August, U.S. war makers will meet to consolidate plans for a new generation of "mini," "micro" and "tiny" nuclear bombs and bunker busters. These will be added to the U.S. arsenal perhaps for use against non-nuclear third-world nations such as Iran, Syria, Lebanon.(51)
The solution? Americans must stop electing ruthless criminals to rule this nation. We must convince fellow citizens that villains like Saddam Hussein are made in the U.S. as rationale for endless corporate war profits. Saddam was placed in power by the CIA.(52) For years U.S. government agencies, under auspices of George Bush Sr., supplied him with chemical and biological weapons.(53) Our national nuclear laboratories, along with Unisys, Dupont and Hewlett-Packard, sold Saddam materials for his nuclear program.(54) Dick Cheney was CEO of Halliburton in the late 90s when its subsidiaries signed $73 million in new contracts to further supply Saddam.(55) The wicked villain of Iraq was nurtured for decades as a cash-cow by U.S. military-industrial piranhas.
If America truly supports its troops, it must stop sending them into nuclear holocaust for the enrichment of thugs. Time is running out. If the DU-maniacs at the Pentagon and their coven of nuclear arms peddlers are not harnessed, America will have no able-bodied fighting forces left. All people of the earth will become grossly ill, hideously deformed and short-lived. We must succeed in the critical imperative to face reality and act decisively. Should we fail, there will be no place to hide from Bush-Cheney's merciless nuclear orgies yet to come or from the inevitable nuclear retaliation these orgies will surely breed.
CLIP - Please go see all the Endnotes at http://questionsquestions.net/docs04/0417_slowburn.html
Amy Worthington is a reporter for The Idaho Observer Observer@coldreams.com