MAY LOVE PREVAIL ON EARTH


May 27, 2004

The Empire of Darkness Series #12: More Baloney For The Gullible

Hello everyone

So they want us to believe they have "credible evidence" that a terrorist attack on the U.S. is going to happen before the election. Yeah! Sure!! They are most probably organizing it through third parties and may indeed have to make another 9-11 up to boost Herr Bush's re-election chances if his poll ratings keep sliding into abysmal territory in the wake of the torture scandals. That's the general thought held by most clear-minded people right now.

Al Gore is definitely onto something (see his quote below) when he is calling for the resignation of the whole neocon crew — except he forgot the two morons-in-chief!

I say, let's not give an iota of credibility to this perpetually lying administration and raise our voice in unison to demand an end to these "fictitious' times — not only in the U.S but everywhere — before "they" completely wreck the planet. As indicated by Amnesty International, "The U.S.-led war on terror has produced the most sustained attack on human rights and international law in 50 years."

It is high time for a real positive change away from all forms of terror...

As this compilation amply demonstrate, there is far too much of it indeed in the world today

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator

P.S. This will be my last compilation - albeit a very large one, possibly my largest ever! - for this week.

Free subscription to such compilations by sending a blank email to earthrainbownetwork-subscribe@lists.riseup.net

This compilation is archived at http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/Archives2004/EmpireDarkness12.htm

"The one process ongoing in the 1990s that will take millions of years to correct is the loss of genetic and species diversity by the destruction of natural habitats. This is the folly that our descendants are least likely to forgive us."

- E.O. Wilson


"To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!"

- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"George W. Bush promised us a foreign policy with humility. Instead, he has brought us humiliation in the eyes of the world. He promised to "restore honor and integrity to the White House." Instead, he has brought deep dishonor to our country and built a durable reputation as the most dishonest President since Richard Nixon. Honor? He decided not to honor the Geneva Convention. Just as he would not honor the United Nations, international treaties, the opinions of our allies, the role of Congress and the courts, or what Jefferson described as "a decent respect for the opinion of mankind." He did not honor the advice, experience and judgment of our military leaders in designing his invasion of Iraq. And now he will not honor our fallen dead by attending any funerals or even by permitting photos of their flag-draped coffins. (...) One of the strengths of democracy is the ability of the people to regularly demand changes in leadership and to fire a failing leader and hire a new one with the promise of hopeful change. That is the real solution to America's quagmire in Iraq. But, I am keenly aware that we have seven months and twenty five days remaining in this president's current term of office and that represents a time of dangerous vulnerability for our country because of the demonstrated incompetence and recklessness of the current administration. It is therefore essential that even as we focus on the fateful choice, the voters must make this November that we simultaneously search for ways to sharply reduce the extraordinary danger that we face with the current leadership team in place. It is for that reason that I am calling today for Republicans as well as Democrats to join me in asking for the immediate resignations of those immediately below George Bush and Dick Cheney who are most responsible for creating the catastrophe that we are facing in Iraq."

- Al Gore - 26 May 2004 - Taken from http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052704B.shtml


Worthy of Your Attention

Weapons of Mass Deception? The "WDeck" Sends Up George W. Bush as Whimsical Vintage Pin-Up Girls in Collector's Edition Playing Cards (May 17)
http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release_html_b1?release_id=67364
NEW YORK, NY -- In a tongue-in-cheek response to the Iraqi Most Wanted and Most Dangerous Liberals playing cards, Wdeck.com (http://www.wdeck.com) has debuted a 55-image collector's edition playing card deck featuring lush, full-color photographs of vintage pin-up and poster girls all sharing one characteristic: the face of President George W. Bush. CLIP - See all the pictures at http://www.marketwire.com/mw/frame_multimedia?prid=67364&attachid=139694 (Click on each of the six ones to access the others)

The 9/11 cover-up is over!
http://www.911inquiry.org
The 9/11 Truth Movement is growing exponentially as more and more people wake up and realize that we are not helpless as citizens to prevent our world from being turned into a nightmare of endless war and sickening brutality. We are reaching critical mass. Comprehension that the 9/11 official story is a lie and its spawn the phony "war on terrorism" an horrific fraud is about to explode into mass political consciousness. Be a part of it. Join us. Help us. Get involved. The future you save will definitely be your own! The International Citizens‚ Inquiry Into 9/11 - Phase 2. May 25-30, 2004, Toronto, Canada.

108 Articles / Links Published everyday!
http://Lovearth.net/News.php

DON'T MISS THIS
A major scandal is going down this week at the Supreme Court, and I thought you'd like to see the hilarious little movie that exposes it: http://www.justiceisduckblind.com
Here's the skinny: The Supreme Court is hearing a case involving Vice President Dick Cheney. They're trying to decide if Cheney should have to give up the members of his secret Energy Task Force, which he has kept hidden from the public. (Hmm, I wonder why. Could it be that he loaded the Task Force with his oil buddies?) This is where it gets funky. Among the judges hearing the case is Antonin Scalia -- who recently went on a duck hunting vacation with Cheney, flying down to Louisiana at taxpayer expenses aboard Air Force Two. Despite this very cozy state of affairs, Scalia has stubbornly refused to withdraw from the case. Check it out -- and sign on to the petition calling on Cheney to come clean about his Energy Task Force: http://www.justiceisduckblind.com/petition.asp - Recommended by BILL DERAU tanchu@olypen.com>


CONTENTS

1. Bush-Kerry Scandal May Trigger "Military Coup" and "Overthrow of the U.S.
2. Secret U.S. Jails Hold 10,000
3. Israel's involvement in Iraq: Torture and Petroleum
4. The other prisoners
5. Pending Draft Legislation Targeted for Spring 2005
6. Less is Moore in subdued, effective '9/11'
7. Rafah’s Human Face By Starhawk
8. Rafah Invasion - the end?
9. What lies ahead in global oil crisis
10. Swell affair at a grand a head as Dad speaks up to boost Bush campaign
11. Michael Moore's Candid Camera
12. Republican National Convention Schedule


See also:

Scepticism over US terror warning (May 27)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3752163.stm
Kerry: 'Make America safer - 'President Bush's political opponents have given a sceptical reception to a new warning that al-Qaeda may be close to staging an attack in the US. Attorney General John Ashcroft said information showed al-Qaeda intended "to hit the United States hard". However, Washington has not raised the level of its national security alert. The president's Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry, said homeland security should not be part of the rhetoric of the campaign.

Poking holes in the official story of 9/11 (May 26, 2004)
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1085523609228&call_pageid=970599119419
Citizens can choose to buy the official line on the events of Sept. 11, 2001 — or they can ask questions about holes in that story as big as the crater at Ground Zero. This week, at the unlikeliest of locations, the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in west-end Toronto, the International Citizens' Inquiry into 9/11 picks up where it left off in San Francisco in March.Here, international authors, filmmakers, academics, military and intelligence experts as well as, yes, probably the occasional conspiracy theorist, are mixing it up with ordinary people who can't accept that all the systems simply failed on one terrible and tragic morning. They're gathering to focus attention on why, still, nearly three years after two planes tore through the World Trade Center, one crashed into the Pentagon and a fourth into a Pennsylvania field, the White House still hasn't produced a plausible explanation for why so much went so wrong all at once."To ask questions and to ask them fearlessly," says Citizens' Inquiry director Barrie Zwicker. "This is the heart of this."Indeed, a majority of Canadians doubt the line out of Washington. A poll conducted for the non-profit inquiry (http://www.911inquiry.org) this month shows that 63 per cent of us believe the U.S. government had "prior knowledge of the plans for the events of September 11th, and failed to take appropriate action to stop them." (...) Zwicker, a media critic for more than 30 years, says the U.S. press abdicated its responsibility to probe what happened and has been "complicit" in advancing the official explanation."If the corporate media had looked at this from the beginning, we would be living in a different world now," he insists. "(U.S. President) George W. Bush would have been impeached by now. "Inquiry's unasked questions include: Why were fighter jets not scrambled in time to stop the planes from smashing into the buildings? Why did the U.S. chain of command — including the commander-in-chief Bush — not act when the hijackings were in progress? Why were so many warnings missed? And why did it take the Kean Commission — Washington's official 9/11 inquiry — so long to get going, and only after the bereaved families noisily lobbied for more than a year? CLIP

Washington Whispers - From the White House, a nightmare scenario (May 24)
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/040524/whispers/24whisplead.htm
White House officials say they've got a "working premise" about terrorism and the presidential election: It's going to happen. "We assume," says a top administration official, "an attack will happen leading up to the election." And, he added, "it will happen here." There are two worst-case scenarios, the official says. The first posits an attack on Washington, possibly the Capitol, which was believed to be the target of the 9/11 jet that crashed in Pennsylvania. Theory 2: smaller but more frequent attacks in Washington and other major cities leading up to the election. To prepare, the administration has been holding secret antiterrorism drills to make sure top officials know what to do. "There was a sense," says one official involved in the drills, "of mass confusion on 9/11. Now we have a sense of order." Unclear is the political impact, though most Bushies think the nation would rally around the president. "I can tell you one thing," adds the official sternly, "we won't be like Spain," which tossed its government days after the Madrid train bombings.

Rights Eroded in War on Terrorism, Amnesty Says (May 27, 2004)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58767-2004May26.html
The Bush administration has "openly eroded human rights" to win the war on terrorism and sparked a backlash that has made the world more dangerous, Amnesty International charged yesterday. "As a strategy, the war on terror is bankrupt of vision and bereft of principle," Amnesty's secretary general, Irene Khan, asserted in releasing the human rights group's annual report. She condemned militants unequivocally but said governments are "losing their moral compass." "Sacrificing human rights in the name of security at home, turning a blind eye to abuses abroad, and using preemptive military force where and when it chooses have neither increased security nor ensured liberty," Kahn said of the United States. Amnesty's report comes amid deepening questions about U.S. interrogation techniques and the treatment of international prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Abuses have led to criminal charges against American soldiers and a range of inquiries into what orders and understandings were given by higher-ups.

ABC: 'Definitely a Cover-Up' of Abu Ghraib
http://truthout.org/docs_04/051904AA.shtml

General Is Said To Have Urged Use of Dogs (May 26)
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052704D.shtml
A U.S. Army general dispatched by senior Pentagon officials to bolster the collection of intelligence from prisoners in Iraq last fall inspired and promoted the use of guard dogs there to frighten the Iraqis, according to sworn testimony by the top U.S. intelligence officer at the Abu Ghraib prison. According to the officer, Col. Thomas Pappas, the idea came from Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, who at the time commanded the U.S. military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and was implemented under a policy approved by Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the top U.S. military official in Iraq.  (...) Taguba, in a rare classified passage within his generally unclassified report, listed "using military working dogs (without muzzles) to intimidate and frighten detainees" as one of 13 examples of "sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses" inflicted by U.S. military personnel at Abu Ghraib. Experts on the laws of war have charged that using dogs to coerce prisoners into providing information, as was done at Abu Ghraib, constitutes a violation of the Geneva Conventions that protect civilians under the control of an occupying power, such as the Iraqi detainees. "Threatening a prisoner with a ferocious guard dog is no different as a matter of law from pointing a gun at a prisoner's head and ordering him to talk," said James Ross, senior legal adviser at Human Rights Watch. "That's a violation of the Geneva Conventions." CLIP

The Trafficker Viktor Bout Lands U.S. Aid for Services Rendered in Iraq (18 May 2004)
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052004H.shtml
The UN sanctions will be lightened - Here is a man about to be rendered an undreamed of benefit by virtue of the American army's problems in Iraq. Viktor Bout, former Russian military man converted into arms trafficker specialized in the sale of former Soviet block military stocks to warring countries under embargo, was to escape punishment from international justice no longer.

Apocalypse Now in the White House (May 19, 2004)
http://www.juancole.com/
Rick Perlstein of the Village Voice acquired a damning memo ("you're not supposed to have that") demonstrating the hold the looney Christian far Right has on Bush Middle East policy. The gem in the article is the account of how Iran-Contra criminal mastermind and current National Security Adviser Elliot Abrams tried to reassure the Christian Zionists that an Israeli "withdrawal" from Gaza will not interfere with Jesus coming back because it wasn't part of ancient Israel. Actually, this is right. Gaza was in Philistia, not Judah, which was to its east. But for that matter, when the kindoms split, the West Bank wasn't in "Israel" either, it was in Judah. So the looney tunes Christians who are trying to kill and dispossess the poor Palestinians to drag Jesus back may as well just give it up. He wasn't treated well enough by humankind the first time to want to comeback, so we're on our own, and we may as well stop being barbaric to one another in his name.It has for some time been obvious to me that the Bush foreign policy in the Middle East is driven by irrational and often puzzling considerations. But I hadn't stopped to consider, until Perlstein's excellent piece, that the White House is trying to bring about an apocalypse that would hasten Christ's return. And a damn fine job they're doing of it, if that's what they are up to. Why the place is more apocalyptic every day. The one downside for Bush is that he is beholden not just to the far right Christian looney fringe but also to Wall Street, and the latter can't actually be very happy with the roller coaster ride his policies are producing for their investments. Unlike poor people, moreover, the monied both vote and give to political campaigns.

Abuse of Captives More Widespread, Says Army Survey (26 May 2004)
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052704D.shtml
Washington - An Army summary of deaths and mistreatment involving prisoners in American custody in Iraq and Afghanistan shows a widespread pattern of abuse involving more military units than previously known.

Freed Detainees Liken Guantanamo Abuse To Abu Ghraib
http://tinyurl.com/yw46z

U.S. Tries to Get Off the Hook on War Crimes (22 May 2004)
http://electronicIraq.net/news/1516.shtml
HRW - The United States is insisting that its troops be exempt from international war crimes prosecutions while serving in any U.N. force in Iraq, despite U.S. abuse of prisoners there, Human Rights Watch said today. Without prior notice to members of the U.N. Security Council, the United States yesterday demanded an immediate vote to renew contentious Security Council Resolution 1487. This measure grants immunity to personnel in U.N. authorized or approved operations from states that have not ratified the International Criminal Court (ICC) treaty, including the United States and Iraq. A similar resolution granting immunity to U.S. peacekeepers was first adopted in July 2002, and was renewed by Resolution 1487 last year. Resolution 1487 does not require renewal for another five weeks. Ahead of the planned handover of Iraqi sovereignty on June 30, the United States is pushing for another U.N. resolution that would establish the mandate for a multinational force in Iraq. “Given the recent revelations from Abu Ghraib prison, the U.S. government has picked one hell of a moment to ask for special treatment on war crimes,” said Richard Dicker, director of the International Justice program at Human Rights Watch. “The U.N. Security Council should not grant special favors to any country, including the United States.” Human Rights Watch said that the U.S. government wanted to push an ICC resolution through as quickly as possible so that the contentious issue would not overshadow efforts to win Security Council backing for the transfer of sovereignty to Iraqi authorities on June 30. CLIP

British Fury at US 'Kill and Kill Again' Policy - Report (May 17)
http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=2940176

Sworn Statements by Abu Ghraib Detainees
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article6229.htm
These documents, obtained by The Washington Post, are the official English translations of previously secret sworn statements by detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Some of the names have been withheld from these statements by washingtonpost.com because they are alleged victims of sexual assault. CLIP

'US Soldiers Started to Shoot Us, One by One' (May 21, 2004)
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0521-01.htm
Survivors describe wedding massacre as generals refuse to apologize. (...) The party ended at around 10.30pm and the neighbours left for their homes. At 3am the bombing began. "The first thing they bombed was the tent for the ceremony," said Mr Nawaf. "We saw the family running out of the house. The bombs were falling, destroying the whole area." Armored military vehicles then drove into the village, firing machine guns and supported by attack helicopters. "They started to shoot at the house and the people outside the house," he said. Before dawn two large Chinook helicopters descended and offloaded dozens of troops. They appeared to set explosives in the Rakat house and the building next door and minutes later, just after the Chinooks left again, they exploded into rubble. "I saw something that nobody ever saw in this world," said Mr Nawaf. "There were children's bodies cut into pieces, women cut into pieces, men cut into pieces." Among the dead was his daughter Fatima Ma'athi, 25, and her two young boys, Raad, four, and Raed, six. "I found Raad dead in her arms. The other boy was lying beside her. I found only his head," he said. His sister Simoya, the wife of Haji Rakat, was also killed with her two daughters. "The Americans call these people foreign fighters. It is a lie. I just want one piece of evidence of what they are saying." CLIP

Iraq Wedding Bombing Video Shows Carnage
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052304F.shtml

Video Contradicts US Military, Shows Iraq Wedding Celebration
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0524-02.htm

Open Season in Iraq (May 24)
http://www.counterpunch.org/goff05242004.html
(...) If it were an error from the air, how in the hell did a ground force follow through for the air attack? I can tell you how. There was no error. These planes were not randomly cruising the Iraqi skies at 3 AM, and suddenly responding to ground fire. And ground troops don't suddenly show up at the same place. Combined air-ground operations require detailed planning and coordination, which means this attack was planned in advance. I don't know what really happened that killed 45 people at Makr al-Deeb, but I can assure readers that this premeditation is part of it. The official line, adopted as the Abu Ghraib scandal metastasizes into a political crisis for the Bush administration, is that there was no error at all, and that there was no wedding. They were combatants, pure and simple, and goddamit we are not going to apologize to anyone for it. Foreign fighters every one of them, and that whole fucking village is just a pack of rag-headed liars. "How many people go into the middle of the desert to hold a wedding eighty miles from the nearest civilization," scoffed Major General James Mattis of the 1st Marines. "There were more than two dozen MILITARY-AGED MALES." (...) The manufacture of evidence is now experiencing a speed-up, with Kimmitt telling a yet-again-obedient press corps that there were military items and even possibly cocaine (!) on the site (no fetishes for devil worship... yet) , and no evidence of a wedding. To bolster this preposterous case, they have provided snapshots of (gasp) binoculars, and virtually the entire US press corps has forgotten that Colin Powell presented doctored photos to the UN just last year. CLIP

"Trail of blood"
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article6226.htm
"Nothing more vividly sums up the horrific situation in Iraq than what happened on Wednesday of this week when American helicopters attacked a wedding party in the west of Iraq killing 40 mostly women and children, a massacre. How long is the world going to stand for this? When I say the world I'm talking about civilized humanity." John Pilger

A Call to Conscience: Ambassadors, Resign your Posts (May 21, 2004)
http://victoria.indymedia.org/news/2004/05/26105.php
Roger Morris, the diplomat who quit over Nixon's invasion of Cambodia, offers a stinging public rebuke to the "cabal of political appointees and ideological zealots, led by the exceptionally powerful and furtively doctrinaire Vice President Cheney, [who] corrupted intelligence and usurped policy on Iraq." Morris appealed to "Americans on the front lines of foreign service" to resign from the "worst regime by far in the history of the republic."

Who is Guilty of Prison Torture? (5/24/04)
http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/052404_daf_prison.html
The violence of American hegemony is getting louder and uglier - Pfeiffer asks, WHO IS GUILTY OF PRISON TORTURE? His answer: the whole system of American values, from our cradles to other people's graves. - Certainly the United States possesses formidable economic and military power. But the rhetoric of "sole surviving superpower" is inflated and a bit desperate. Our military is overextended and poorly run. The hard power of its amazing machinery is used to squander the soft power of our global prestige - we shoot civilians and they hate us. We attack only the most defenseless opponents and have little tolerance for casualties. Our economic power is based not on our exports - ours is the largest trade deficit of any nation in history - but on our appetite for other people's imports to the USA. If our creditors were to pull their money out of their American investments, they would successfully crash our economy and drag their own down with it - our giant market for their goods would disappear as the dollar collapsed. (...) Fascism has long brewed beneath the surface within this country. But in the last few decades, the collaboration between business and government has managed to subvert everything that this country is supposed to be about. And the US public has been cowed into submission by the vilification and corruption of unions within this country, and deluded by the manipulation of our educational system and our media. This is not to mention our own penal system, where such abuses against prisoners have run rampant with hardly a word about them in the media. Most citizens truly believe that we are fighting a war against terrorism, fighting for democracy and freedom throughout the world. The majority of US citizens still believe that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was linked to Al Qaeda. Our media has supported this myth instead of promoting the truth. CLIP

Rumsfeld's Secret Army (May 19)
http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=2600
The gang behind the Abu Ghraib prison house of horrors.

The prisoner abuse scandal at home (May 19)
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2004/05/19/maddy/
The stories sound familiar: Muslim prisoners beaten and sexually humiliated by American guards. But it happened in Brooklyn, not Baghdad.

Organic: Friend or Faux? (18 May 2004)
http://www.gristmagazine.com/muck/muck051804.asp
Organics program weakened under Bush administration changes, activists say - The Bush administration is giving Americans new reason to watch what they eat -- and it's got nothing to do with carbs. Sealed with a hiss? Over the course of 10 days in mid-April, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued three "guidances" and one directive -- all legally binding interpretations of law -- that threaten to seriously dilute the meaning of the word organic and discredit the department's National Organic Program. And the changes -- which would allow the use of antibiotics on organic dairy cows, synthetic pesticides on organic farms, and more -- were made with zero input from the public or the National Organic Standards Board, the advisory group that worked for more than a decade to help craft the first federal organic standards, put in place in October 2002. CLIP

Organic farmers rose up against label changes (May 26, 2004)
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/5067422/
Law's author also upset at USDA revisions - WASHINGTON - The Agriculture Department's decision Wednesday to rescind recent guidelines to its organic food standards followed a backlash from farmers and consumer groups who say they devalued the federal organic label. With a weakening of the standards, “consumers and farmers could lose confidence in the USDA label,” said Pam Riesgraf, who owns a 60-cow organic dairy farm in Jordan, Minn., about 35 miles outside Minneapolis. The guidelines, announced last month by the Agriculture Department, were in response to questions from government certifiers, said Barbara Robinson, a deputy administrator in charge of the USDA’s National Organic Program, which oversees certification of the organic label. The fast-growing organic food industry has sales of about $10.8 billion a year. “We want them to apply the standards consistently,” she said. “It’s ludicrous to assume that the department said, ‘The heck with the law, let’s change the regulations.’”

The Bush Administration and the Dismantling of Public Safeguards
http://www.sensiblesafeguards.org
The Center for American Progress and OMB Watch have released a comprehensive report prepared on behalf of the Citizens for Sensible Safeguards coalition (of which Public Citizen is a member) that details the Bush administration's record of dismantling protections for public health, food safety, auto safety, and the environment. As documented by the report, crucial safeguards have been swept aside or watered down; enforcement efforts have been curtailed; and emerging problems are being ignored. The Administration has been able to accomplish this by placing regulatory agencies under the control of industry insiders, dismissing independent scientists from government Advisory Boards, suppressing information, distorting scientific findings that document a need for action, and using cost/benefit analysis to prioritize industry interests over the public interest. CLIP

China Hoovering the World's Raw Materials (May21)
http://www.gristmagazine.com/cgi-bin/forward.pl?forward_id=2497
China is huge, its economy is exploding, and its consequent hunger for resources is having profound effects on the world's economy and environment. Sure, you've heard it before, but trust us -- it's a big deal. Consider: According to the country's own statistics, it consumed half of the world's cement production last year, one-third of its steel, nearly one-fourth of its copper, and one-fifth of its aluminum. China is now the world's second-largest importer of oil, after the U.S. Its demand for resources has driven the price of shipping freight through the roof, and because its ports and other ports around the world haven't expanded fast enough to keep pace with China's resource demands, some one-fifth of the world's bulk freighters are tied up at any one time, essentially waiting in line to load and unload cargo. Get used to it: China will be topping economic and environmental headlines for years to come.

''The priorities of the Godly'' (May 24)
http://www.yellowtimes.org/article.php?sid=1943
(...) "Either that, or this is a way of subtly boosting the humiliation of the Iraqi people -- 'only the sight of your bodies offends us -- not what's done to them.'

Claim made for new form of life (May 19)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3729487.stm
The evidence is suggestive of life forms, say the researchers - Doctors claim to have uncovered new evidence that the tiny particles known as "nannobacteria" are indeed alive and may cause a range of human illnesses. The existence of nannobacteria is one of the most controversial of scientific questions - some experts claim they are simply too small to be life forms. But US scientists report they have now isolated these cell-like structures in tissue from diseased human arteries. Their research is described in the American Journal of Physiology. If you go back to how we defined life prior to our knowing about DNA, our criteria was that things multiplied in culture. This is what we have Dr Virginia Miller, Mayo Clinic The team, led by Dr John Lieske at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, conducted an analysis of calcified and non-calcified arteries, arterial plaques and heart valves collected as surgical waste from two US hospitals. In the lab, they stained the specimens and examined them under a high power electron microscope. The team found tiny spheres ranging in size from 30-100 nanometres (nm - billionths of a metre), which is smaller even than many viruses. CLIP - MORE DETAILS ON NANOBACTERIAS AT http://www.msstate.edu/dept/geosciences/4site/nannobacteria.htm

Super Organics
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.05/food.html
Forget Frankenfruit - the new-and-improved flavor of gene science is Earth-friendly and all-natural. Welcome to the golden age of smart breeding. (...) Researchers are beginning to understand plants so precisely that they no longer need transgenics to achieve traits like drought resistance, durability, or increased nutritional value. Over the past decade, scientists have discovered that our crops are chock-full of dormant characteristics. Rather than inserting, say, a bacteria gene to ward off pests, it's often possible to simply turn on a plant's innate ability. The result: Smart breeding holds the promise of remaking agriculture through methods that are largely uncontroversial and unpatentable. Think about the crossbreeding and hybridization that farmers have been doing for hundreds of years, relying on instinct, trial and error, and luck to bring us things like tangelos, giant pumpkins, and burpless cucumbers. Now replace those fuzzy factors with precise information about the role each gene plays in a plant's makeup. Today, scientists can tease out desired traits on the fly - something that used to take a decade or more to accomplish. Even better, they can develop plants that were never thought possible without the help of transgenics. Look closely at the edge of food science and you'll see the beginnings of fruits and vegetables that are both natural and supernatural. Call them Superorganics - nutritious, delicious, safe, abundant crops that require less pesticide, fertilizer, and irrigation - a new generation of food that will please the consumer, the producer, the activist, and the FDA.

Putin U-turn could rescue Kyoto (May 21)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3734205.stm
Putin appears to have ignored advice to reject KyotoRussian President Vladimir Putin has surprised the world by promising to move quickly on ratification of the Kyoto climate change treaty. One environmentalist called it "a very welcome and positive signal" which could breathe life into the protocol. Mr Putin made the concession after the EU backed Russia's bid to join the WTO. The EU had made its support dependent on Russia ratifying Kyoto. Since the US rejected the treaty, Russia's backing has been vital to bring it into force. CLIP

Federal Case Against Greenpeace Thrown Out of Court (May 19)
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/5013751/
The U.S. government's unusual criminal suit against Greenpeace USA was rather unceremoniously booted from federal court last week by U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jordan. In a rare "directed verdict," the judge found the group not guilty midway through the trial, after the prosecution had presented its case but before the group's lawyers presented any defense. The case revolved around two members of Greenpeace who boarded a ship near the Port of Miami-Dade to protest its load of Amazonian mahogany. In a highly atypical move, government prosecutors sought to indict not just the individual protesters but the group itself under an obscure 1872 law -- not enforced in over a century -- that prohibits "sailor mongering," or boarding ships in an attempt to lure sailors ashore to brothels and bars. Because the decision did not go to jury, the government cannot appeal. The case, said Greenpeace Executive Director John Passacantando, "showed the extent to which the government will go to criminalize free speech."

China Hoovering the World's Raw Materials
http://www.gristmagazine.com/cgi-bin/forward.pl?forward_id=2497
China is huge, its economy is exploding, and its consequent hunger for resources is having profound effects on the world's economy and environment. Sure, you've heard it before, but trust us -- it's a big deal. Consider: According to the country's own statistics, it consumed half of the world's cement production last year, one-third of its steel, nearly one-fourth of its copper, and one-fifth of its aluminum. China is now the world's second-largest importer of oil, after the U.S. Its demand for resources has driven the price of shipping freight through the roof, and because its ports and other ports around the world haven't expanded fast enough to keep pace with China's resource demands, some one-fifth of the world's bulk freighters are tied up at any one time, essentially waiting in line to load and unload cargo. Get used to it: China will be topping economic and environmental headlines for years to come.

Consensus recommends 33% protection from logging in Great Bear Rainforest's southern part - A new milestone has been reached in the decade-long campaign to protect Canada's Great Bear Rainforest. Located south of the Alaskan panhandle and running down the pacific coast of British Columbia, the Great Bear Rainforest is the largest unprotected coastal temperate rainforest left on the planet, encompassing over 20 million acres. We have just taken a huge step forward in our efforts to protect the central coast portion of the Great Bear Rainforest. The central coast is located on BC's mainland coast, roughly from the northern tip of Vancouver Island north to Bella Coola. (...) Over half of the world's temperate rainforest have already been destroyed, and British Columbia has one quarter of what remains in the world. Only eleven of 170 large once-pristine valleys remain on Vancouver Island. Even those few are not all in protected status. CLIP - For more information on the Great Bear Rainforest campaign see http://www.forestethics.org/forests/gbr.html

Cosmos "shaped like Eiffel Tower" (26 May 2004)
http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackageArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=518135§ion=news
8BERLIN (Reuters) - The universe looks like the Eiffel Tower topped with a never-ending spire, a German physicist says. Researchers in Ulm, birthplace of Albert Einstein, have developed a model of the universe as an elongated triangle like the Paris landmark, but with aspire going on and on.The team at Ulm University hopes their model will revolutionize understanding of the universe. Visualizations are difficult because scientists have mathematical proof the universe has an infinite form but a finite volume. CLIP




1.

RELIABLE VIEWS OR MERELY WILD SPECULATIONS? HARD TO KNOW

Date: 22 May 2004
From: BILL D tanchu@olypen.com
Subject: Bush-Kerry Scandal May Trigger "Military Coup" and "Overthrow of the U.S. Government"

Jean for your observation...

know that something like the following must be true to fit the established facts of 9-11.
I have never been let down trusting Skolnick. -- Dick Eastman

---

Bush-Kerry Scandal May Trigger "Military Coup" and "Overthrow of the U.S. Government"

by Sherman H. Skolnick

A spokesperson for the Bush Family has apparently been pleading with a major worldwide news organization, not to proceed with a story they have. The reason given? "Because it may trigger a military coup" and may cause "The Overthrow of the U.S. Government".

The explosive details may turn out to be the biggest scandal in the new millennium.

The news group has eyewitnesses, kept in security and so far concealed, already interviewed on videotape, who confirm that there was a joint pact and plot, in which George W. Bush and John F. Kerry participated. That this was done under the auspices of the super- secret satanic cult, operating under code number "322", the Skull & Bones Society, of which Bush and Kerry are members. Kerry, as the older member, initiated Bush into the cult using their traditional cavorting, au naturel, in a windowless building on the Yale University campus, called "The Tomb", while both were in a large size casket filled with mud.

Among the matters contained in the so far embargoed story, are the following:

[1] As supervised by Daddy Bush, George W. Bush was instructed to follow orders and "to stay out of it" that is, to defer action as Commander-in-Chief, permitting a military stand-down and other contradictions to what a President/Commander-in-Chief should immediately do upon being informed of a great disaster.

[2] The scheme, like the pre-knowledge of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, was to disregard the resultant bloodshed of Americans, since it was for a profound purpose. As to Pearl Harbor, to wake up Americans and force them into a war to save England and British interests from being over-run in Asia by the Japanese, and in England itself, by the Germans.

As to the home-grown events of September 11, 2001, among the purposes, while disregarding the resulting bloodshed of Americans (about the same number as died on December 7, 1941), was to galvanize common Americans into action to supposedly fight back the encroachment on the U.S. of "Arabs".

[3] As supervised by Daddy Bush, once head of America's secret political police, George W. Bush and John F. Kerry were to assist in creating what in espionage parlance is called "a legend", that is an entirely made up and fake story to blame onto patsies operating on a parallel track.

[4] As confirmed by the so far embargoed news group story, a renegade member of Israeli intelligence, The Mossad, was to assist the plan. Nicholas Berg was groomed as a "penetration agent", although purportedly a Jew, to pretend to be sympathetic to Saudi Arabs in particular. Berg befriended various Saudi and other Arabs being trained for very low level, very routine airplane flying, under the auspices of U.S. Military facilities in Florida, Oklahoma, and California, among other places.

[5] A sort of "spark-plug" for this work was Mohammed Atta, purportedly a "ring-leader" befriended by Nicholas Berg. Atta was financed in part by large sums funneled by Daddy Bush and others via ISI, the Pakistan Secret Political Police, originally set up by Daddy
Bush.

[6] On behalf of Daddy Bush, George W. Bush, and John F. Kerry, penetration agent Berg purchased an airplane ticket in the name of Atta, by way of setting up Atta and other Arabs for the "legend", the spy trick, as patsies.

[7] The ticket was purchased through Oklahoma with the ostensible assistance of a former Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, former U.S. Senator David L. Boren.

Boren was a graduate of Yale University and reportedly like Daddy Bush, George W. Bush, and John F. Kerry, is a member of the super- secret Skull & Bones Society. Boren was Oklahoma Governor 1975-79, and U.S. Senator 1979-94. He was the longest serving Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Boren was forced out of the U.S. Senate as a result of an attempted hush-up of a homosexual scandal, wherein pictures were made available to the monopoly press showing him in homosexual cavorting with other members of Congress, the executice branch of the U.S. Government, and the homosexual underground in the monopoly press.

Boren is a close associate of George J. Tenet (like other Directors of Central Intelligence, he does not use his real name). Prior to 9-11, Tenet's CIA helped obstruct FBI agents in Minneapolis who sought in August, 2001, to examine the computer of Zacarias Moussaoui, later accused with the purported Arabs of planning 9-11 tragedies. Moussaoui is reportedly actually a U.S. Government espionage operative. He spent six months in Norman, Oklahoma. He was not only an associate of Nicholas Berg, who allowed him to use his computer with its password, but Moussaoui was also an associate of the co-pilot who later was on the fatal flight by which Minnesota U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone was assassinated, October, 2002 by a sabotaged plane crash (he was expected to be re-elected and Wellstone was considered Anti-CIA).

Boren's close associate has been CIA officer David Edger who had been in charge of CIA surveillance over the Hamburg, Germany Al Qaeda cell which included Atta. The FBI and American CIA obstructed the German authorities in the Hamburg matter by arranging key American witnesses not to be available for evidentiary hearings and trials.

Boren has been a Director of ConocoPhillips, overlapping the interests of the Bush Crime Family, through Pennzoil-Texaco and the worldwide war-mongers and profiteers, the Carlyle Group.

Boren has also been a Director of AMR Corporation, parent firm of American Airlines, Inc. Boren has been in a position to reportedly conceal and withhold data as to flights on 9-11 as to American Air Lines, which may contradict the official position of the Bush White House and the oil-soaked, spy-riddled American monopoly press. Boren was in a position to seek to hold back data as to Mohammed Atta, and as to ticket procurer Nicholas Berg for Daddy Bush, George W. Bush, and John F. Kerry, in a joint treasonous pact to inflict bloodshed on fellow Americans and falsely blame the same on to "Arab" so- called "hi-jackers".

[8] George W. Bush, Daddy Bush, and John F. Kerry are gravely concerned that the news group, so far sitting on this story, has reputed proof that for Bush-Kerry and the apparent treasonous plot, that Nicholas Berg, for their plan and scheme, arranged to plant, in the middle of the street near the attacked twin towers of the World Trade Center, the alleged passport of Mohammed Atta, somehow in pristine and undamaged condition.

[9] There is some doubt as to whether Nicholas Berg is dead as represented by a purported video beamed up from London. Berg's role in this, and data he turned over to The Mossad, has enabled them to apparently continue blackmailing large sums out of the Bush White House, to be used for Israel's military defense. From a candid position, Israel finds themselves in a perpetual struggle with Arabs, by the slim piece of land being set up in 1948 by British divide and conquer policy, to control the oil-soaked areas in surrounding places occupied by Arabs and Persians.

[10] Unanswered questions:

Is the person known as Nicholas Berg really dead? If so, was he murdered, not by Arabs, but by a special assassins' team arranged by Daddy Bush to attempt to cover up the foregoing?

Will the news group succumb to the pleading of the Bushies, that these matters, if widely and publicly revealed, would bring down the American Central Government and may set off a patriotic military coup to rescue the American common people from a bloody murderous faction of "the powers that be", the Establishment, the Aristocracy, the Ruling Class---plainly, THEM?

Other than a devastating profound scandal, WHAT will rescue the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution from its current condition as having been cancelled because of false tales that "the Arabs" attacked us on September 11, 2001?

Under the circumstances, can reasonably informed people actually believe a Presidential Election is possible, in the traditional way, in the year 2004? Both expected Presidential candidates have committed treason, which is apparent to anyone knowing the details of the story a major news group is sitting on, while America burns to the ground. Only fools and those who hate this previously blessed Land, can stay silent in the face of treachery.

More coming. Stay tuned.

===

Mr. Skolnick's articles, on behalf of research and investigation of his group, can be viewed at http://www.skolnicksreport.com Also some are archived at http://www.cloakanddagger.ca Further, a large group of such articles are archived at http://www.rense.com/Datapages/skolnickdatapage.html

---

See also:

FBI, Homeland Security warn of possible transport plot (April 2, 2004)
http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/04/02/fbi.alert/
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The FBI and Department of Homeland Security have sent a "message of concern" to police agencies across the United States about an alleged plot against commercial transportation systems in major U.S. cities this summer. "We assess that buses and railways could be targeted," said the message from the FBI Counterterrorism Division in Washington."The plot calls for the use of improvised explosive devices possibly constructed of ammonium nitrate and diesel fuel concealed in luggage and carry-on bags to include duffel bags and backpacks," the message said.

Berg beheading: No way, say medical experts (May 22)
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/FE22Ak03.html
American businessman Nicholas Berg's body was found on May 8 near a Baghdad overpass; a video of his supposed decapitation death by knife appeared on an alleged al-Qaeda-linked website (www.al-ansar.biz) on May 11. But according to what both a leading surgical authority and a noted forensic death expert separately told Asia Times Online, the video depicting the decapitation appears to have been staged. CLIP




2.

From: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3566058&msg

Secret U.S. Jails Hold 10,000

By Andrew Buncombe and Kim Sengupta - New Zealand Herald

15 May 2004

Washington - Almost 10,000 prisoners from President George W. Bush's so-called war on terror are being held around the world in secretive American-run jails and interrogation centres similar to the notorious Abu Ghraib Prison.

Some of these detention centres are so sensitive that even the most senior members of the United States Congress have no idea where they are.

From Iraq to Afghanistan to Cuba, this American gulag is driven by the pressure to obtain "actionable" intelligence from prisoners captured by US forces.

The systematic practice of holding prisoners without access to lawyers or their families, together with a willingness to use "coercive interrogation" techniques, suggests the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib now shocking the world could be widespread.

Iraq has become a holding pen for America's prisoners from 21 countries, according to a report from the international campaign group Human Rights Watch.

The US military is keeping prisoners at 10 centres, most of which were used by Saddam Hussein's regime. The total in January was 8968, and is thought to have increased.

Prisoners are being held from, among other countries, Algeria, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and Yemen.

A report in the Washington Post has revealed that up to 8000 Iraqi prisoners are being held at Abu Ghraib, the jail west of Baghdad also known as the Baghdad Central Correctional Facility or BCCF, and nine other facilities inside Iraq.

It is impossible to know for sure because the Pentagon refuses to provide complete information.

Officials say prisoners range from those accused of petty crimes to detainees believed to be involved in attacks on US forces, though it is increasingly clear that many hundreds are simply Iraqi civilians swept up in raids by US and British soldiers.

Military and diplomatic sources say a number of detainees were taken to Iraq from Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan, the US military still holds 300 or more prisoners at Bagram, north of Kabul, and at facilities in Kandahar, Jalalabad and Asadabad.

The CIA, meanwhile, runs an interrogation centre in Kabul that is known by special forces and others simply as "The Pit".

At Guantanamo Bay, more than 600 prisoners remain incarcerated more than two years after they were captured in the aftermath of the US operation against the Taleban.

Last week the US admitted that two guards at the camp had been disciplined for using "excessive force" against prisoners.

Michael Ratner, vice-president of the New York-based Centre for Constitutional Rights, which has represented many of the Guantanamo prisoners, said yesterday it was clear that a pattern was emerging.

"To me it means they are breaching international law as well as domestic law. The treatment is obviously illegal," he said.

"It puts what is happening in Iraq into perspective. The idea that just a few soldiers came up with this is inconceivable. It has come from very high up in the Administration."

From interviews with relatives and lawyers for the seven US soldiers facing courts-martial for the Abu Ghraib abuse, there is growing evidence that their actions were encouraged and even ordered by Military Intelligence and privately contracted interrogators to "soften up" the prisoners. Major General Geoffrey Miller, formerly the warden at Guantanamo Bay, took control of Abu Ghraib last year with a plan to turn it into a hub of interrogation.

He placed the military police under the tactical control of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade.

The lawyers representing Lynddie England, the 21-year-old woman from the 372nd Military Police Company who was caught in photographs sexually humiliating hooded Iraqi prisoners and leading one by a lead, insisted she was following orders.

The pictures were a deliberate part of the humiliation, they said.

"People told Pfc England, 'Hold that leash' ... told her to smile, so they can show the photos to subsequent prisoners," said lawyer Carl McGuire. Another member of her legal team, Rose Mary Zapor, said: "They picked her to get the smallest, youngest, lowest-rank woman they could find and that would increase the humiliation for an Iraqi man."

This claim is supported by two members the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, assigned to Abu Ghraib, who on their arrival immediately realised what was taking place was illegal.

The soldiers said beatings were meted out with the full knowledge of intelligence interrogators, who let military police know which prisoners were co-operating with them and which were not.

A leaked report by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the only outside body permitted to visit the prison, also confirmed widespread ill-treatment and abuse that the authorities failed to stop.

It estimated that up to 90 per cent of the prisoners had been "arrested by mistake".

---

See also:

Trickle-Down Morality (May 20)
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052004A.shtml
Back in November of 2003, retired Special Forces master sergeant Stan Goff played the role of prophet in an open letter he wrote to American soldiers engaged in the occupation of Iraq. In his letter, Goff wrote: "Bushfeld and their cronies are parasites, and they are the sole beneficiaries of the chaos you are learning to live in. They get the money. You get the prosthetic devices, the nightmares, and the mysterious illnesses. So if your rage needs a target, there they are, responsible for your being there, and responsible for keeping you there. I can't tell you to disobey...But it is perfectly legal for you to refuse illegal orders, and orders to abuse or attack civilians are illegal. Ordering you to keep silent about these crimes is also illegal." Orders to abuse or attack civilians are illegal. Orders to keep soldiers silent about these crimes are also illegal. Six months after Goff wrote those words, we find ourselves drowning in the exact catastrophe he warned of. Seven U.S. service people are accused of visiting torture and abominations upon the bodies and souls of Iraqi prisoners in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison. Prisoners were beaten, sodomized with chemical lights and bananas, raped, molested, attacked by dogs, and their dead bodies were mocked and defiled. For the most part, these were captured civilians and not 'terrorists' or 'insurgents.' Photographs of this torture have reached all around the globe. One of the seven perpetrators has already been convicted. The Bush administration would have us believe this was a random aberration, the crazed behavior of seven sadists, and not a systematic process that came about because of direct orders from superiors. This is, simply, not true. Sgt. Samuel Provance of the 302nd Military Intelligence Battalion knows for a fact it is not true. Provance's battalion was stationed at Abu Ghraib last September, while the abuses at that prison were going on. He gave an exclusive interview to ABC news, despite the fact that his superiors ordered him not to. According to Provance, dozens of U.S. soldiers were involved in the torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib, not just the seven who have been scapegoated. "There's definitely a cover-up," he said to ABC. "People are either telling themselves or being told to be quiet. What I was surprised at was the silence. The collective silence by so many people that had to be involved, that had to have seen something or heard something. I would say many people are probably hiding and wishing to God that this storm passes without them having to be investigated (or) personally looked at." CLIP

U.S. Military Vows to Keep Afghan Jails Secret (19 May 2004)
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=5191242
Kabul - Accused of failing to tackle prison abuses in Afghanistan while rushing to contain the scandal in Iraq, the U.S. military in Kabul said it would review its secretive jails but vowed to keep them shut to the outside world. (...) The U.S. military, which leads 20,000 troops in the hunt for al Qaeda and Taliban, has come under intense scrutiny since the prisoner abuse scandal broke in Iraq and fresh allegations of mistreatment surfaced in Afghanistan. A former police officer from near the city of Gardez said he was beaten and sexually abused during around 40 days in U.S. custody last year, and Human Rights Watch has called the mistreatment of detainees "systemic" in Afghanistan. CLIP

Brutal Interrogation in Iraq: Five Detainees' Deaths Probed (May 19)
http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36%7E11676%7E2157003,00.html
(...) Alleged Abuses - Military investigations regarding allegations of Iraqi detainee abuse
* April 12, 2004: Member of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force abused a detainee involved in shooting death of a Marine lieutenant and sergeant. During interrogation, detainee was kicked in the rib cage, punched in kidney area and slapped in the head. Incident being investigated.
* Jan. 9, 2004: FOB Rifles Base detainee died while in custody. The detainee, an escapee who had been recaptured, was shackled to the door of his cell with his hands over his head and gagged. Five minutes later, he was found dead. The death is under investigation.
* Dec. 31, 2003: Military police officer used butt of M-4 rifle to strike a detainee in the face and on the back of the neck. Then the officer placed the muzzle of his M-4 rifle in the detainee's mouth and pulled trigger on the empty weapon. Officer then chambered a round and pointed the rifle at detainee, firing a round 5 or 6 feet from detainee. The incident is under investigation.
* Nov. 26, 2003: At the 3rd ACR detention facility, Iraqi Gen. Abed Hamad Mowhoush, a "high-priority target," was placed inside a sleeping bag with only his feet exposed. He was rolled back and forth while being questioned. One of the interrogators sat on his chest and placed hands over his mouth. He died during the interrogation, and an autopsy confirmed evidence of blunt force trauma to the chest and legs. The interrogating officers were given general officer reprimands, prohibited from conducting further interrogations and referred for consideration of misconduct charges.
* Sept. 11, 2003: A guard at the FOB Packhorse detention facility fatally shot a detainee who was throwing rocks. The soldier, who did not follow regulations, was reduced in rank and discharged from the military in lieu of trial by court-martial.
* June 13, 2003: A sergeant beat a detainee while his squad leader was present. Sergeant received rank reduction and 60 days' confinement. His commanding officer - who also beat detainees - was charged with dereliction of duty, given a reprimand and fined $2,000.

Busharon: The Countdown (15 May 2004)
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052104E.shtml
The strange creature named the Busharon is in serious trouble. The front half of this animal - George W. Bush - is having trouble with nude photos. Not only those of the hapless Iraqi prisoners, with the exuberant female soldier pointing at their genitals, but also of Bush himself, whose nakedness was exposed for all to see. The savior of the Iraqi people from a cruel tyrant, the gallant leader bestowing democracy on Mesopotamia, the representative of Western civilization fighting against barbarism - has himself been exposed as a cruel barbarian. (...)  All the moral arguments attempting to justify his war against Iraq have come crashing down. No democracy, no liberation, no civilization. Nothing is left except the naked aggression of cynical and cruel robber barons, just like the henchmen of Saddam Hussein. If I may be permitted a prophecy: this week starts the countdown to the end of the career of George W. The animal's rear end - Ariel Sharon - is also in great trouble. This started with the rejection of the "Unilateral Disengagement" plan by the Likud members, a tiny part of the population, manipulated by the settlers. Since then Sharon has been prowling around like a caged predator. He has no majority among his ministers and members of parliament (they are bound by the party referendum), he is unable to form another government (the MPs of his party will not allow it), he is unable to fulfill his promise to President Bush (and has made Bush look ridiculous). CLIP

Steve Weissman | War Crimes: What Secrets Can the Photos Reveal?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052504A.shtml

Newsweek | Behind the Walls of Abu Ghraib
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052504B.shtml

Marines Admit Abuse with Electricity at Second Prison
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052504C.shtml

2,000 Pages of Army Report on Abuse Missing
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052504F.shtml

Abu Ghraib Whistle Blower Under Attack by Military
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052304A.shtml

List of Detainee Death Inquiries Expanded to 37
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052304B.shtml

Report: Rape of Iraqi Women by U.S. Soldiers Widespread
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052304C.shtml

Reporters Subpoenaed in CIA Leak
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052304D.shtml

U.S. General Linked to Abu Ghraib Abuse
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052304E.shtml

Punishment and Amusement
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052304I.shtml

Molly Ivins | How Fascism Starts
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052304J.shtml
It's pretty easy to get to the point where you don't want to hear any more about Abu Ghraib prison and what went on there. But there are some really good reasons why Americans should take a look at why this happened.

Carlos Fuentes | The Adventures of Bush the Crackpot
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052304H.shtml

Eleanor Clift | Panic on the Hill
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052304K.shtml

General Zinni: 'Neo-cons have Hijacked U.S. Foreign Policy'
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052404A.shtml

Officer to Testify that General Sanchez Knew of Abuses
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052404B.shtml

Iraq Setbacks Change Mood in Washington
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052404C.shtml

Iraqis Lose Right to Sue Troops Over War Crimes
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052404D.shtml




3.

Recommended by Coeta Mills CoetaMills@aol.com

From: http://s023.dyndns.org/kawther/K20040519A.html

Israel's involvement in Iraq: Torture and Petroleum

The Daily Life of Kawther Salam

May 19, 2004

What follows is the translation of an article published on May 10th, 2004 in the Arabic Palestinian weekly newspaper Al-Manar (Arabic) a widely read newspaper which is published in East Jerusalem. I worked for the Al-Manar between 1991 and 1994. The editor has strong and credible sources in different Arab countries and in Israel.

---

Israeli experts in torture have taken part in the torture of the Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib Jail

According to the Al-Manar report which was published on the first page of its edition number 673, The American forces killed 1400 Iraqi prisoner since they occupied Iraq and buried most of them in the desert, far away in the countryside. These prisoners died during torture sessions made by the torture teams, who cut parts of the prisoners bodies.

Al-Manar says that there are over 30,000 Iraqi prisoners spread in different American jails. There is 2100 women and girls among the prisoners, some of them are minors. All the women prisoners have passed through terrible torture sessions, some of them were raped.

Al-Manar points out that the torture instructions were sent in written to the jail guards and to the interrogators. The torture experts were following these instructions and this led to abuse of the the Iraqi prisoners. There torture team seriously harmed 37 children under the age of 13.

Al-Manars sources confirmed that there are Israeli experts of torture taking part in the torture of the Iraqi prisoners. The Israeli torture experts team has transferred to the country of Israel some of the Iraqi political prisoners and military officers to continue the investigation sessions there. Some of these prisoners have already died. The American torture teams add different kinds of inhuman torture in the Iraqi jails besides to the physical torture. They were forcing the prisoners to take different kinds of medicine during the torture session. The medical torture provoked serious symptoms on the prisoners health who had taken the medicine.

Al-Manar mentions that the officers in charge of torturing the detainees at the Iraqi prisons were sending daily reports for Washington with detailed information about the torture methods used at the Iraqi prisons. The reports mentioned that the Iraqi prisoners were also tortured in a prison in Qatar.

Al-Manar said that the American persons whose names have been spread in the news in relation to the now well-known scandal regarding torture of Iraqi prisoners were paid by other higher officers and political addresses in order to hide the real facts behind the torture of the Iraqis. There are high military and political officers involved in this case, but they are hiding behind the lower rank personnel.

Al-Manar sources ended the report saying that there are some American military personnel from the Intelligence and the military police who have more information about the torture in Iraq and who have written documents which were sent to President GeorgE Bush himself as well as to Pentagon and the military officers. These officers have disappeared. One of these officers was responsible for burying the Iraqi prisoners after their death.

---

Do the Israelis really take part in torture of Iraqi prisoners? There are no Western newspapers writing about the involvement of Israelis in the torture in Iraq, there was just some initial speculation about this when the scandal broke out, which quickly disappeared. But before answering this question, let us look at some ways in which the Israeli experts were torturing their Palestinian prisoners.

In brief and according to testimonies of women detainees which I collected during the first intifada by directly visiting and talking to these persons after they were released from Israeli imprisonment, and by searching through the Al-Haq Organization for the Human Rights in Ramallah.

Al-Shabah: during the first few days, there are likely to be at least two interrogation sessions each twenty four hours, each one lasting for several hours. Between the interrogation sessions, the detainee may be placed in the "Shabah" or "coffin". Both methods make sleep impossible. Shabah means that the detainee is made to squat stand with legs bent, or is made to sit handcuffed to the wall of an outdoor yard. The "Coffin" is a tiny cell measuring about one meter square into which the detainee is locked for hours at a time.

Beatings: Women are routinely slapped, and kicked during interrogation session if they do not readily answer questions. The interrogator will bang the women's head against the wall during the same session. This was the most common and easy way of torture at the Israeli jails in which the mental state of many prisoners had been severely affected.

Electric Shocks: the Israeli interrogators used the electric shock chair shock during the investigation. For example, nineteen year old Maryam Qadumi said that from the beginning of her interrogation, the Shabak, the Israeli Intelligence, had used electric shocks. The interrogators asked her questions and when she refused to talk, they took her to a room with a red light and a special chair. The chair was made of iron and leather and had wires attached to it. She was made to sit on it and a prison officer connected the wires to her legs and arms. She was extremely frightened. The interrogator who was in charge told the prison officer to turn on the current. After this session they took her to the tiny cell for a couple of hours and then took her back to the interrogation room.

Sexual Harassment: while the detainee is becoming progressively weaker from the combination of sleep, food deprivation and physical a abuse, she must also cope with a barrage of verbal sexual taunts, threats and in some cases actual assault. Generally these assaults occur during interrogation sessions.

Hanan Rahim describes her first interrogation session in the Jelme detention Center as follows. "It was my first arrest. The interrogator who was doing most of the talking kept insulting me, using sexual insults like "whore" or "bitch". He told me to look him in the eyes as he spoke to me, but I avoided his gaze, various threat were made to me, they said that would rape me and that they would kill me, They also said that they would put me with collaborators, and that since there were no women collaborators available, they would put me in a room with male collaborators."

The number of interrogators in each session varies, usually between about two and six. All the interrogators are male, the detainee is acutely aware that she is in their sole custody, there in nobody for her to complain to, or to seek protection from.

One of the most severe reported cases of sexual harassment and actual assault occurred to Fatma Abu Bakra from Gaza, who was being held in Ashkelon Jail. Fatma was interrogated for a period of fifty days, and eventually made a confession as a result of the sexual harassment. She reports:

---

"An interrogator calling himself "Abu Allah", which mean "Father of God", took me to another room, I was alone and he played with my face and my body, breast and my genitals, then said "I want to get inside you now, this will be very beautiful and a big enjoyment". My hands were tied so I pushed his face away from me and started to hit my head against the wall. He ordered me to sit on floor in the corner, he then sat in front of me on a chair with his legs open. When I pushed his hands and body away, he used a megaphone to ask another policeman to bring him a special hat with a sponge and handcuffs. Apparently this special hat was to protect my head, he hand cuffed my hands behind my back, while he was doing that, I was shouting at him that I would expose what he was doing to the world. His response was "I want to fuck you inside and I don't care about you, and the public opinion, lawyers or the Red Cross". We were still alone in the room. Then he started to play with my body. He put this special hat on my head and went back to sitting the same way while I was in the corner. I screamed all the time and he said. "you have a nice body for fucking, and you must confess now and say anything, you have to say something otherwise I will transfer you from jail to the jail grave, I'll rape you then I will kill you".

At that moment a police woman knocked on the door and he quickly took his hands away from me. She told him something and he said, "I'm coming". She left the room and he was still sitting on the chair. He opened my handcuffs and went to the door. The whole time his condition was not normal. I was saw his pants zipper was open and the underwear was full. He left me and I was still sitting on the floor. When he came back, he took me out of the room and interrogated me in the presence of a policewoman. I can't say exactly what day this happened, but it was at night about 20PM. I didn't tell the interrogators or the policewoman about what happened to me. I was a afraid of his revenge, especially after he told me that he didn't care about public opinion, I want to say that I was too embarrassed to give details of this event to the male lawyer who came once to visit me, but it's easier for me now to talk in front of you as a woman. She added that there was another event concerning the interrogator "Steve". He had a picture in his pocket and often when he talked with me, he would take the picture out of his pocket and order me to look at it. I always refused and looked away. He then would yell at me and force me to look at it. I saw a picture the size of cigarette packet, of a man who who had a very big penis. He told me "That's me when I was young. Look how big my penis was. Now it's ten times bigger and I'm going to fuck you with this bigger penis". He tore of my clothes and I started screaming and hitting my head against the wall, "Abu Allah" and the policewoman were in the room at that time. "Abu Allah" stood between me and "Steve", and Steve took off his pants and underwear. I screamed and the policewoman covered her eyes with her hands and started laughing. Then he caught me and pushed my body while I continue screaming. Then he ejaculated on me and put his cloths back on, and began to hit me on the head. At that time Abu Allah had left and the policewoman was still in the room. I don't remember the exact date of this event. This all happened but it was two days after the event of "Abu Allah".

---

This is in front of the Office of Pediatrist Dr. Nabil Salameh Al-Muhtaseb in Hebron

For further sexual harassment stories and information concerning women harassed by the Israeli interrogators, don't hesitate to write me or to check the human rights sources, especially Al-Haq. I can also provide anyone interested in this matter with some of my researches.

In this article I just described some examples which came to mind after I read about the Iraqi prisoner torture testimony, in which I read that one of the interrogators told the Iraqi detainee while torturing him that he was called "the Evil Abu Allah". This reminded me of the Israeli sexual harassment during the interrogations by the Israeli experts "Steve" and the other one who called himself "Abu Allah" during the sexual torture of Palestinian women detainees. Actually, the Israeli interrogation and torture teams are using the same language everywhere they go, without limit.

Thinking about this I wondered if the same Israeli team of torture experts, Abu Allah", "Steve" and other qualified Israelis were torturing the Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib ? The American Pentagon confirmed that there were a foreign interrogators at Abu Ghraib. That's mean there is a big possibility that the Israeli interrogators were taking part in the torture at the Iraqi jails. The Israeli interrogators are fluent in the Arabic language, and furthermore they have teached at U.S military schools. They are more trusted than the others by the U.S. and they have the same interests in Iraq as the U.S. It is not a secret that Israel itself was very interested in this war against Iraq, what better than executing it through their proxy, the U.S.

The Israeli Foreign Minister Salman Shoval was in a discussion with the U.S government about the particiation of Israeli companies in the "reconstruction" of Iraq, according to the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot. Further informations about the presence of the Israelis in Iraq to which I have to point in this report comes from information in Turkish newspapers which was also published in Yediot Ahronot.

According to Yediot Ahronot, the Turkish government is very angry: the Turkish newspaper "Ashkam" published a report about Israeli activities of searching oil in the northern part of Iraq. The report mentioned that Israelis bought from the Kurdish people land in the Al-Mosul region and started searching for the oil there. The Turkish government was very angry with what the Israeli are doing, since these activities like will affect the Turkish interest in the region. The two governments have reportedly exchanged several official letters concerning this matter.

Another Turkish newspaper, Jumhuriyah, wrote an article on the first page with the the title "Israel owns the Oil Lands, A second occupation in Iraq". Israels response was that "There was no connection between Israel and the Kurds in Iraq, and if there is an Israeli activities there, these belong to Israeli private companies". In general most of the Israeli private companies are owned by high-ranking military commanders, and there is no difference between the private Israeli companies and the governmental companies, or private and governmental interests. They all serve the interests of the Zionist occupation.

Finally, the Lebanese newspaper Al-Mustakbal (Arabic) and Arabic edition of the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot both published on 15 May 2004 reports that the Turkish Government had cancelled all military contracts and agreements which were signed with Israel, and had frozen all the agreements which were to be signed. The decision included cancellation the other agreements which had been signed with American companies. This comes under the new policy of the Turkish Government, which refuses the strategy of military cooperation with Tel Aviv. The decision made during an official session held by Prime Minister Rajab Tayeb Erdogan with the presence of the Turkish Chief of Staff Hilmi Aozkok and Defense Minister Wajde Gonol. The Turkish Government declared that they will open new military bids, about which there will probably be talks with European companies from France, Britain and Germany.

The newspapers mention that Turkey refused the Israeli application to visit Ankara. Furthermore Mr. Abed-Allah Al-Gool, the Turkish Foreign Minister, cancelled an already scheduled visit to Israel. The President of Turkey Mr. Erdogan refused to welcome Premier Sharon at the airport of Ankara during his last visit to Turkey.

The projects which Turkia had signed with Israel and which have been cancelled by Turkey were: Development of a Turkish airplanes AF-15 and AF-16. Turkey also cancelled joint development of a Tank and industrialization deal with Israel. Turkey also cancelled an agreement to buy Israeli helicopters of Russian origin. These project had been signed in 1996. The volume of these two projects alone is reported to be about 6 billiion Dollars. According to the report, the Turkish Prime Minister also cancelled a secret agreement to buy 12 unmanned spy airplanes from Israel.

The question is, what are the real fact behind the cancellations of these agreements with Israeli and American companies at the same time? Is the Turkish government still angry with Israel because they are threatening their interests in the Kurdish lands in the northern part of Iraq?




4.

ANOTHER POIGNANT STORY EMERGING FROM THE AMERICAN-MADE IRAQI PRISON HELL

Forwarded by Celestial Shamanka celestial_shamanka@yahoo.com>

From: http://www.guardian.co.uk/women/story/0,3604,1220673,00.html

The other prisoners

Most of the coverage of abuse at Abu Ghraib has focused on male detainees. But what of the five women held in the jail, and the scores elsewhere in Iraq? Luke Harding reports

May 20, 2004

The scandal at Abu Ghraib prison was first exposed not by a digital photograph but by a letter. In December 2003, a woman prisoner inside the jail west of Baghdad managed to smuggle out a note. Its contents were so shocking that, at first, Amal Kadham Swadi and the other Iraqi women lawyers who had been trying to gain access to the US jail found them hard to believe.

The note claimed that US guards had been raping women detainees, who were, and are, in a small minority at Abu Ghraib. Several of the women were now pregnant, it added. The women had been forced to strip naked in front of men, it said. The note urged the Iraqi resistance to bomb the jail to spare the women further shame.

Late last year, Swadi, one of seven female lawyers now representing women detainees in Abu Ghraib, began to piece together a picture of systemic abuse and torture perpetrated by US guards against Iraqi women held in detention without charge. This was not only true of Abu Ghraib, she discovered, but was, as she put it, "happening all across Iraq".

In November last year, Swadi visited a woman detainee at a US military base at al-Kharkh, a former police compound in Baghdad. "She was the only woman who would talk about her case. She was crying. She told us she had been raped," Swadi says. "Several American soldiers had raped her. She had tried to fight them off and they had hurt her arm. She showed us the stitches. She told us, 'We have daughters and husbands. For God's sake don't tell anyone about this.'"

Astonishingly, the secret inquiry launched by the US military in January, headed by Major General Antonio Taguba, has confirmed that the letter smuggled out of Abu Ghraib by a woman known only as "Noor" was entirely and devastatingly accurate. While most of the focus since the scandal broke three weeks ago has been on the abuse of men, and on their sexual humilation in front of US women soldiers, there is now incontrovertible proof that women detainees - who form a small but unknown proportion of the 40,000 people in US custody since last year's invasion - have also been abused. Nobody appears to know how many. But among the 1,800 digital photographs taken by US guards inside Abu Ghraib there are, according to Taguba's report, images of a US military policeman "having sex" with an Iraqi woman.

Taguba discovered that guards have also videotaped and photographed naked female detainees. The Bush administration has refused to release other photographs of Iraqi women forced at gunpoint to bare their breasts (although it has shown them to Congress) - ostensibly to prevent attacks on US soldiers in Iraq, but in reality, one suspects, to prevent further domestic embarrassment.

Earlier this month it emerged that an Iraqi woman in her 70s had been harnessed and ridden like a donkey at Abu Ghraib and another coalition detention centre after being arrested last July. Labour MP Ann Clwyd, who investigated the case and found it to be true, said, "She was held for about six weeks without charge. During that time she was insulted and told she was a donkey."

In Iraq, the existence of photographs of women detainees being abused has provoked revulsion and outrage, but little surprise. Some of the women involved may since have disappeared, according to human rights activists. Professor Huda Shaker al-Nuaimi, a political scientist at Baghdad University who is researching the subject for Amnesty International, says she thinks "Noor" is now dead. "We believe she was raped and that she was pregnant by a US guard. After her release from Abu Ghraib, I went to her house. The neighbours said her family had moved away. I believe she has been killed."

Honour killings are not unusual in Islamic society, where rape is often equated with shame and where the stigma of being raped by an American soldier would, according to one Islamic cleric, be "unbearable". The prospects for rape victims in Iraq are grave; it is hardly surprising that no women have so far come forward to talk about their experiences in US-run jails where abuse was rife until early January.

One of the most depressing aspects of the saga is that, unaccountably, the US military continues to hold five women in solitary confinement at Abu Ghraib, in cells 2.5m (8ft) long by 1.5m (5ft) wide. Last week, the military escorted a small group of journalists around the camp, where hundreds of relatives gather every day in a dusty car park in the hope of news.

The prison is protected by guard towers, an outer fence topped with razor wire, and blast walls. Inside, more than 3,000 Iraqi men are kept in vast open courtyards, in communal brown tents exposed to dust and sun. (Last month, nearly 30 detainees were killed in two separate mortar attacks on the prison; about a dozen survivors are still in the hospital wing, shackled to their beds with leather belts.) As our bus pulled up, the men ran towards the razor wire. They unfurled banners and T-shirts that read: "Why are we here?" "When are you going to do something about this scandal?" "We cannot talk freely."

The women, however, are kept in another part of the prison, cellblock 1A, together with 19 "high-value" male detainees. It is inside this olive-painted block, which leads into a courtyard of shimmering green saysaban trees and pink flowering shrubs, that the notorious photographs of US troops humiliating Iraqi prisoners were taken, many of them on the same day, November 8 2003. A wooden interrogation shed is a short stroll away. As we arrived at the cellblock, the women shouted to us through the bars. An Iraqi journalist tried to talk to them; a female US soldier interrupted and pushed him away. The windows of the women's cells have been boarded up; birds nest in the outside drainpipe. Captain Dave Quantock, now in charge of prisoner detention at Abu Ghraib, confirmed that the women prisoners are in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. They have no entertainment; they do have a Koran.

Since the scandal first emerged there is general agreement that conditions at Abu Ghraib have improved. A new, superior catering company now provides the inmates' food, and all the guards involved in the original allegations of abuse have left.

Nevertheless, there remain extremely troubling questions as to why these women came to be here. Like other Iraqi prisoners, all five are classified as "security detainees" - a term invented by the Bush administration to justify the indefinite detention of prisoners without charge or legal access, as part of the war on terror. US military officials will only say that they are suspected of "anti-coalition activities".

Two of the women are the wives of high-ranking and absconding Ba'ath party members; two are accused of financing the resistance; and one allegedly had a relationship with the former head of Iraq's secret police, the Mukhabarat. The women, in their 40s and 50s, come from Kirkuk and Baghdad; none has seen their families or children since their arrest earlier this year.

According to Swadi, who managed to visit Abu Ghraib in late March, the allegations against the women are "absurd". "One of them is supposed to be the mistress of the former director of the Mukhabarat. In fact, she's a widow who used to own a small shop. She also worked as a taxi driver, ferrying children to and from kindergarten. If she really had a relationship with the director of the Mukhabarat, she would scarcely be running a kiosk. These are baseless charges," she adds angrily. "She is the only person who can provide for her children."

The women appear to have been arrested in violation of international law - not because of anything they have done, but merely because of who they are married to, and their potential intelligence value. US officials have previously acknowledged detaining Iraqi women in the hope of convincing male relatives to provide information; when US soldiers raid a house and fail to find a male suspect, they will frequently take away his wife or daughter instead.

The International Committee of the Red Cross, whose devastating report on human rights abuses of Iraqi prisoners was delivered to the government in February but failed to ring alarm bells, says the problem lies with the system. "It is an absence of judicial guarantees," says Nada Doumani, spokesperson for the ICRC. "The system is not fair, precise or properly defined."

During her visit to Abu Ghraib in March, one of the prisoners told Swadi that she had been forced to undress in front of US soldiers. "The Iraqi translator turned his head in embarrassment," she said. The release of detainees, meanwhile, appears to be entirely arbitrary: three weeks ago one woman prisoner who spoke fluent English and who had been telling her guards that she would sue them was suddenly released. "They got fed up with her," another lawyer, Amal Alrawi, says.

Last Friday, about 300 male prisoners were freed from Abu Ghraib, the first detainees to be released since the abuse scandal first broke. A further 475 are due to be released tomorrow, although it is not clear if any of the women will be among them. General Geoffery Miller, who is responsible for overhauling US military jails in Iraq, has promised to release 1,800 prisoners across Iraq "within 45 days". Some 2,000 are likely to remain behind bars, he says. Iraqi lawyers and officials aredemanding that the US military hands the prisons over to Iraqi management on June 30, when the coalition transfers limited powers to a UN-appointed caretaker Iraqi government. Last week, Miller said "negotiations" with Iraqi officials were ongoing.

Relatives who gathered outside Abu Ghraib last Friday said it was common knowledge that women had been abused inside the jail. Hamid Abdul Hussein, 40, who was there hoping to see his brother Jabar freed, said former detainees who had returned to their home town of Mamudiya reported that several women had been raped. "We've know this for months," he said. "We also heard that some women committed suicide."

While the abuse may have stopped, the US military appears to have learned nothing from the experience. Swadi says that when she last tried to visit the women at Abu Ghraib, "The US guards refused to let us in. When we complained, they threatened to arrest us."




5.

Forwarded by "Mark Graffis" mgraffis@vitelcom.net>

From: http://www.congress.org/congressorg/issues/alert/?alertid=5834001&content_dir=ua_congressorg

Pending Draft Legislation Targeted for Spring 2005

The Draft will Start in June 2005

There is pending legislation in the House and Senate (twin bills: S 89 and HR 163) which will time the program's initiation so the draft can begin at early as Spring 2005 -- just after the 2004 presidential election. The administration is quietly trying to get these bills passed now, while the public's attention is on the elections, so our action on this is needed immediately.

$28 million has been added to the 2004 Selective Service System (SSS) budget to prepare for a military draft that could start as early as June 15, 2005. Selective Service must report to Bush on March 31, 2005 that the system, which has lain dormant for decades, is ready for activation. Please see website: www.sss.gov/perfplan_fy2004.html to view the sss annual performance plan - fiscal year 2004.

The Pentagon has quietly begun a public campaign to fill all 10,350 draft board positions and 11,070 appeals board slots nationwide. Though this is an unpopular election year topic, military experts and influential members of congress are suggesting that if Rumsfeld's prediction of a "long, hard slog" in Iraq and Afghanistan [and a permanent state of war on "terrorism"] proves accurate, the U.S. may have no choice but to draft.

Congress brought twin bills, S. 89 and HR 163 forward this year, http://www.hslda.org/legislation/na...s89/default.asp entitled the Universal National Service Act of 2003, "to provide for the common defense by requiring that all young persons [age 18--26] in the United States, including women, perform a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes." These active bills currently sit in the committee on armed services.

Dodging the draft will be more difficult than those from the Vietnam era.

College and Canada will not be options. In December 2001, Canada and the U.S. signed a "smart border declaration," which could be used to keep would-be draft dodgers in. Signed by Canada's minister of foreign affairs, John Manley, and U.S. Homeland Security director, Tom Ridge, the declaration involves a 30-point plan which implements, among other things, a "pre-clearance agreement" of people entering and departing each country. Reforms aimed at making the draft more equitable along gender and class lines also eliminates higher education as a shelter. Underclassmen would only be able to postpone service until the end of their current semester. Seniors would have until the end of the academic year.

Even those voters who currently support US actions abroad may still object to this move, knowing their own children or grandchildren will not have a say about whether to fight. Not that it should make a difference, but this plan, among other things, eliminates higher education as a shelter and includes women in the draft.

The public has a right to air their opinions about such an important decision.

Please send this on to all the friends, parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and cousins that you know. Let your children know too -- it's their future, and they can be a powerful voice for change!

Please also contact your representatives to ask them why they aren't telling their constituents about these bills -- and contact newspapers and other media outlets to ask them why they're not covering this important story.




6.

Forwarded by Antares Antares@magickriver.com>

From: http://www.suntimes.com/output/eb-feature/cst-ftr-cannes18.html

Less is Moore in subdued, effective '9/11'

May 18, 2004

BY ROGER EBERT
FILM CRITIC

CANNES, France -- Michael Moore the muckraking wise ass has been replaced by a more subdued version in "Fahrenheit 9/11," his new documentary questioning the anti-terrorism credentials of the Bush regime. In the Moore version, President Bush, his father and members of their circle have received $1.5 billion from Saudi Arabia over the years, attacked Iraq to draw attention from their Saudi friends, and have lost the hearts and minds of many of the U.S. servicemen in the war.

The film premiered Monday at the Cannes Film Festival to a series of near-riot scenes, as overbooked screenings were besieged by mobs trying to push their way in. The response at the early morning screening I attended was loudly enthusiastic. And at the official black-tie screening, it was greeted by a standing ovation; a friend who was there said it went on "for at least 25 minutes," which probably means closer to 15 (estimates of ovations at Cannes are like estimates of parade crowds in Chicago).

But the film doesn't go for satirical humor the way Moore's "Roger & Me" and "Bowling for Columbine" did. Moore's narration is still often sarcastic, but frequently he lets his footage speak for itself. The film shows American soldiers not in a prison but in the field, hooding an Iraqi, calling him Ali Baba, touching his genitals and posing for photos with him. There are other scenes of U.S. casualties without arms or legs, questioning the purpose of the Iraqi invasion at a time when Bush proposed to cut military salaries and benefits. It shows Lila Lipscomb, a mother from Flint, Mich., reading a letter from her son, who urged his family to help defeat Bush, days before he was killed. And in a return to the old Moore confrontational style, it shows him joined by a Marine recruiter as he encourages congressmen to have their sons enlist in the services.

Despite these dramatic moments, the most memorable footage for me involved President Bush on Sept. 11. The official story is that Bush was meeting with a group of pre-schoolers when he was informed of the attack on the World Trade Center and quickly left the room. Not quite right, says Moore. Bush learned of the first attack before entering the school, "decided to go ahead with his photo op," and began to read My Pet Goat to the students. Informed of the second attack, he incredibly remained with the students for another seven minutes, reading from the book, until a staff member suggested that he leave. The look on his face as he reads the book, knowing what he knows, is disquieting.

"Fahrenheit 9/11" documents the long association of the Bush clan and Saudi oil billionaires, and reveals that when Bush released his military records, he blotted out the name of another pilot whose flight status was suspended on the same day for failure to take a physical exam. This was his good friend James R. Bath, who later became the Texas money manager for the bin Laden family (which has renounced its terrorist son).

When a group of 9/11 victims sued the Saudi government for financing the terrorists, the Saudis hired as their defense team the law firm of James Baker, Bush Sr.'s secretary of state. And the film questions why, when all aircraft were grounded after 9/11, the White House allowed several planes to fly around the country picking up bin Laden family members and other Saudis and flying them home. Much of the material in "Fahrenheit 9/11" has already been covered in books and newspapers, but some is new, and it all benefits from the different kind of impact a movie has.

Near the beginning of the film, as Congress moves to ratify the election of Bush after the Florida and Supreme Court controversies, it is positively eerie to see 10 members of Congress -- eight black women, one Asian woman and one black man -- rise to protest the move and be gaveled into silence by the chairman of the session, Al Gore.

On the night before his film premiered, Moore, in uncharacteristic formal wear, attended an official dinner given by Gilles Jacob, president of the festival. Conversation at his table centered on the just-published New Yorker article by Seymour Hersh alleging that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld personally authorized use of torture in Iraqi prisons. Moore had his own insight into the issue: "Rumsfeld was under oath when he testified about the torture scandal. If he lied, that's perjury. And therefore I find it incredibly significant that when Bush and Cheney testified before the 9/11 commission, they refused to swear an oath. They claimed they'd sworn an oath of office, but that has no legal standing. Do you suppose they remembered how Clinton was trapped by perjury and were protecting themselves?"

Would something like that belong in the film? "My contract says I can keep editing and adding stuff right up until the release date," Moore said. He said he expects to sign a U.S. distribution deal this week at Cannes; the film's producer, Miramax, was forbidden to release it by its parent company, Disney. After the first press screening on Monday, journalists noted on their way out that Moore was more serious in this film and took fewer cheap shots. But there are a few. Wait until you see Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz preparing for a TV interview. First he puts a pocket comb in his mouth to wet it and combs down his hair. Still not satisfied, he spits on his hand and wipes the hair into place. Catching politicians being made up for TV is an old game, but this is a first.




7.

Date: 20 May 2004
From: Starhawk stella@mcn.org>
List-Archive: http://lists.riseup.net/www/arc/starhawk
Subject: [starhawk] Rafah

Op Ed: Rafah’s Human Face

By Starhawk

Just over a year ago, I held Nehad’s six-year old, curly haired charmer of a daughter on my lap and scooped eggs from a plate shared by her five other children as bullets thudded into the walls of her home in the border zone of Rafah. With shy pride, Nehad told me the eggs were from her own chickens, the oranges from the few trees that remained undamaged in her garden. The kids watched cartoons on TV , inured to the rat-a-tat-tat of constant fire until the bullets grew so loud that even they dived to the floor.

Each time I’d stay at Abu Akhmed’s house, he would tease me about being Jewish, then try to determine which of his friends might make me a good husband, so that I could stay in Rafah. A farmer, forty-five of his trees had already been bulldozed. In the evenings, old men would gather around a small fire in a tin can, brew tea and talk while tanks cruised past the gates and the occasional shot crashed into the walls.

I was there with the International Solidarity Movement, which supports nonviolent resistance against the Occupation. I had come down to Rafah to support the teams that were with Rachel Corrie, the young ISM member who was crushed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer while trying to prevent a home demolition, and Tom Hurndall, who was shot by an Israeli sniper while trying to rescue children who were under fire.

These are the homes that are being crushed in Rafah--the old farmhouses of the original families of the area, the crowded apartment blocks of the refugees, the stacked flats of extended families, the fabric of a community that kept its ties strong in the face of enormous oppression. Nehad’s orange trees are gone, her family’s olive groves razed, her children homeless. And much more than walls and toys and family pictures have been destroyed. A child’s sense of security and trust in the world, an old woman’s simple dignity , a family’s roots, a gardener’s easy generosity have all fallen before the assault.

For the last year, members of the ISM and other human rights groups have been kept out of Rafah and the Gaza strip by the military. But we have supported the growing nonviolent resistance in the West Bank, where the villages in the path of the Israeli ‘security’ wall have resisted the confiscation of their lands and the destruction of their communities with almost daily demonstrations that have been met with sound bombs, rubber bullets, tear gas, horses, clubs and real bullets. The unmentioned trade-off for Sharon’s ‘disengagement’ from Gaza has been Bush’s legitimization of this wall, which eats deep into Palestinian territory, annexes the illegal settlements which have pushed far into the West Bank, turns the West Bank cities into open-air prison enclaves, and destroys the viability of any future Palestinian state, effectually ending the possibility of a two-state solution.

The wall and the settlements are part of a long-planned strategy by the religious right to annex the West Bank, which is the historic land of biblical Judea and Samaria, where Abraham walked and where the prophets raised their outcries against injustice.

There was no great outcry when Israeli soldiers shot dead nonviolent demonstrators in the village of Biddu, five of whom have been killed in the last six months in peaceful demonstrations. There was no massive condemnation of the beating of women by soldiers on horseback at demonstrations in April where Israeli supporters were brutalized along with Palestinians. These acts were precursors of the extreme violence which has characterized the last few days in Rafah, and which has finally awakened the voice of the international community.

War crimes and brutalization cannot bring peace. Murdering children is no way to stop suicide bombers from murdering children.

Security can only be attained through a political solution that recognizes the rights of both peoples, that values Palestinian lives and children as well as Israeli lives.

It is time for all of us who care for human rights to join those prophets and to join with Palestinians and those Jews and Israelis who cry out against injustice, who refuse to accept ‘security’ as justification for crimes against humanity. We must name war crimes for what they are and demand an end to the Occupation, in Rafah, in Gaza, and in the West Bank: an end to targeted assassinations, a moratorium on the wall’s construction, an end to US funding for Sharon’s criminal policies, and a beginning of true, good faith negotiations toward a just peace. If we remain silent, we are complicit in those crimes. If we want peace in that torn and bleeding land, we must first bring about justice.




8.

From: "Gush Shalom " otherisr@actcom.co.il>
Date: 26 May 2004
Subject: Rafah Invasion - the end? Adam Keller doubts it

Rafah Invasion - the end? Adam Keller - Tel-Aviv, May 25, 2004

At long last, the Israeli armed forces have ended their invasion and occupation of Rafah. It had cost the lives of 59 Palestinians - 12 of them unarmed civilians according to the army's own account. The invasion aroused worldwide condemnation, including a censuring resolution by the UN Security Council which the United States exeptionally did not veto, and aroused widespread controversy inside Israel.

After the fatal "warning shots" fired last Wednesday by a tank at an unarmed demonstration, it was widely expected that the Rafah operation would be terminated. But with the tacit agreement of Washington, the army continued its operation and even extended it into hitherto untouched neighborhoods of Rafah. On Sunday, there came the news of widespread home demolitions at the Barazil Neighborhood - first from Ha'aretz correpsondent Amira Hass, the only Israeli journalist to be present at Rafah from the beginning of the invasion. Then Kol Israel military correspondent Carmela Menashe gained entry to Barazil and broadcast a shocking account on the station's noon news maganize, which she later published also in a two- page article in the mass-circulation Yediot Aharonot. Finally, Israel's two commercial TV stations, Channel 2 and Ch. 10, broadcast extensive footage of Palestinians digging in the ruins of their homes and trying to salvage some possessions (such footage was conspicuously absent on the government- controlled Channel 1). In the cabinet meeting, Justice Minister Yosef ("Tommy") Lapid sharply criticized the house demolitions, stating: "The sight of an old Palestinian woman digging in the ruins for her medicines reminds me of my grandmother". Since Lapid is a Holocaust survivor, this was taken as a comparison between the army's conduct and that of the Nazis. The fact that the Shinuy leader said this means that he thinks it is what his constituency feels. Lapid, a former TV talk-show commentator, is quite a demagogue.

This morning Kol Yisrael interviewed Brigadier-General Shmuel Zakai, commander of the Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, and asked him to account for the fifty-six houses the army now admits to destroying at Rafah (after several days when they claimed to have demolished "only five"). His answer: "We had reason to think that the Palestinians had mined the roads, so we wanted to create a cleared space to let the tanks and armoured personnel carriers pass through". General Zakai evidently assumed that the Israeli public would accept this as an acceptable reason for wiping out whole streets...

Now, the army is out of Rafah, and the Israeli headlines are caught by Sharon's plan to pass through his cabinet some form of a "Gaza Disengagement Plan" - though, it seems, one even more partial and vague than the earlier one. And meanwhile, the issue of Rafah is far from off the agenda. In today's Yediot Aharonot General Gabi Ashkenazi, deputy Chief-of- Staff, reiterated the army's position: "We must keep hold of the Philadelphi Route" (the Israeli-controlled wedge seperating the Palestinian Gaza Strip from Egypt). The plans to widen "Philadelphi", at the expanse of destroying some 2000 houses (!) at Rafah are not off the agenda, either. They are likely to resurface in the event of a new attack on Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip - or of any other event which would provide a "need for a retaliation." 

The Colonel's Mother demonstrated against the military operation (translated from Yediot Aharonot, 25/5/04)

Aliza Tibon, mother of Colonel Noam Tibon who commands the Nahal Brigade and whose soldiers are engaged in various tasks in the Territories, joined in yesterday's protest outside the Defence Minstry in Tel-Aviv calling for evacuation of the army from Rafah. Tibon arrived there together with other women active in the left-wing movement "The Fifth Mother", having last week participated in a vigil at the Kisufim Chackpoint at the Gaza Strip entrance to protest what the movement termed "the harm caused to innocents". Tibon, who lives in Kibbutz Tzor'ah, came yesterday morning by train to Tel- Aviv and stood in front of the Defence Ministry, holding a sign reading "Down With the Occupation". She told her fellow activists that she could not remain silent in face of the sights from Rafah which she saw on TV, and felt she must take personel action to help get the army outof there. She told journalists "I am proud to be Noam's mother and I am proud to demonstrate against the occupation". 

For photos & report of May 21 demonstration at Kissufim Checkpoint: http://www.gush-shalom.org/english/index.html

Donations for the families in Rafah whose houses were demolished can be sent by cheque - in your own currency! - made out to Anat Matar, 33 Bernstein-Cohen Street, Ramat Hasharon 47213. Bigger sums can be deposited to the Ta'ayush' bank account: Bank Hapoalim, acc. no. 396608, Ramat Aviv branch 606 (Please avoid international bank transfer of two-digit sums because of prohibitive bank fees). NB: in both cases you should inform Anat Matar about the sum you have donated, by sending her the details at matar@post.tau.ac.il>


Boycott List of Settlement Products (newly updated) 

English http://gush-shalom.org/Boycott/boyceng.htm

Sharansky and the New Antisemitism, by Adam Keller - http://otherisrael.home.igc.org/sharansky.html

More selected articles of The Other Israel May issue accessible via http://otherisrael.home.igc.org/contents.html

Order your one time free sample (hard copy) from otherisr@actcom.co.il> NB: Don't forget to include your postal address

Against the Wall

Presence at villages threatened by the wall, contact: Ivy Sichel 064-604172 isichel@netvision.net.il Arik Asherman 050-607034 info@rhr.israel.net

* Eye-witness reports from the Occupied Territories:
http://www.machsomwatch.org (Israeli women monitoring the checkpoints) http://www.palsolidarity.org/pressreleases/pressreleases.php (internationals throughout OT)

Refusniks

Constantly-updated refusniks lists:

English - http://www.yesh-gvul.org/english/prison/

English - http://www.newprofile.org/default.asp?language=en
Help us free our children from the military prison! (parents of The Five) For ENGLISH details please click http://www.refuz.org.il/help.html

--

http://www.gush-shalom.org/english/index.html

N.B.: On the Gush Shalom website links for Articles and documents in German, French and Spanish

In order to receive Gush Shalom's Hebrew-language press releases mail to: gush-shalom-heb-request@mailman.gush-shalom.org + NB: write the word "subscribe" in the subject line.

If you want to support Gush Shalom's activities you can send a cheque or cash, wrapped well in an extra piece of paper to:

Gush Shalom pob 3322 Tel-Aviv 61033 Israel

or ask us for charities in your country which receive donations on behalf of Gush Shalom

Please, add your email address where to send our confirmation of receipt. More official receipts at request only.

---

See also:

Key Israeli Condemns Offensive in Gaza
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/052604J.shtml




9.

From: http://cbs.marketwatch.com/news/story.asp?guid=%7B21E7D71F-369B-4091-8E7C-1E42BA748E48%7D&siteid=google&dist=google

What lies ahead in global oil crisis

Commentary: Price surge reflects long-term demand rise

By Paul Erdman, CBS.MarketWatch.com

May 20, 2004

Editor's note: This is the third in a three-part series on oil by MarketWatch columnist Paul Erdman. See Part 1, Part 2

HEALDSBURG, Calif. (CBS.MW) -- Thus far in this series we have dealt predominantly with a potential energy crisis that would be precipitated by an irreversible peaking out of the world's output of crude oil, an event that would signal the end of the Age of Oil.

Lest there be any confusion on this issue: That is not what we are experiencing now. World output of crude oil is at an historic high and still rising. World demand, however, has been surging to such a degree that it is temporarily outstripping supply, leading inevitably to rising prices.

Why this unexpected surge in demand? And at what point, in terms of price, will equilibrium between supply and demand be restored in the marketplace?

The surge in demand is a result of the convergence of two phenomena:

1. The restoration of economic growth in the nations which rank first and second in t oil consumption, the United States and Japan. U.S.GDP seems destined to grow by at least 4 percent this year. During the first quarter of this year, Japan's GDP was increasing at an annual rate of 5.6 percent The effect of renewed economic growth in the United States in terms of increased oil consumption is being magnified by the fact that it is also leading to higher growth rates in such satellite countries as Canada and Mexico.

2. The appearance on the world scene of two new major consumers of oil: China (and its satellites in Asia) and India . This development is the key to what is happening in the oil markets today. To put it in perspective, between 1980 and 2002 crude oil consumption in the United States increased by 16 percent. Over same time period, it increased by192 percent in China, by 240 percent in India, and by 306 percent in South Korea. In all cases, these rates are accelerating at a torrid pace with Chinese demand now increasing at an annual rate exceeding 20 percent.

So in global terms, where does this leave us right now?

In April, world demand for petroleum equaled 80.9 million barrels a day, according to the International Energy Agency. However, over the entire year, for the reasons cited above, such demand is now expected to grow by 2.5 percent, more than it has in any year since 1988.

Given such demand growth, even if most OPEC members, led by Saudi Arabia, increase their output in the amounts they are currently talking about, at best supply and demand will be in approximate equilibrium a year from now. In price terms, all other things remaining equal, this would result in an average crude oil price in the approximate range of $35 to $40 a barrel, with the bias toward the upside.

All this leads to the conclusion that what we are going through today is not a supply crisis but a major upward shift in the price of crude oil and its derivatives driven by an upward shift in demand. The effects of this will be, paradoxically, both a somewhat higher future rate of inflation and a somewhat lower future rate of economic growth, both of which we can live with quite comfortably.

But it leaves very little room for error on the supply side, this year or in the years immediately ahead before the development of alternate sources of energy becomes a reality. As Kenneth Deffeyes points out in his book, "Hubbert's Peak": "There are plenty of energy sources other than fossil fuels. Running out of oil in the long run is not the problem. The bind comes during the next ten years."

In the meantime, should the entire Arab Middle East follow the lead of Iraq into political chaos, the current demand/supply squeeze would be immediately replaced by a full-blown supply crisis. All of the rational calculations outlined above would then have to be re-categorized as wishful thinking.

Economist and author Paul Erdman is a CBS.MarketWatch.com columnist.




10.

From: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections2004/story/0,13918,1219976,00.html

Swell affair at a grand a head as Dad speaks up to boost Bush campaign

May 19, 2004

As every high spending teenager knows, when the overdraft gets big it is best to call in Dad. And so it was that George Bush senior brought a presidential outreach project to London last night in a bid to drum up more dollars for his son's presidential re-election campaign, which has already broken all fundraising records.

Amid tight security, an audience dominated by American expats paid $1,000 (£566) a head to hear the first President Bush appeal for more money for George W at the five-star Landmark hotel in Marylebone, London.

The president has so far raised some $200m (£113m) for the 2004 campaign, more than double the record-breaking sum gathered during the 2000 election. In the Landmark's winter gardens, a pianist tinkled the tune of Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You; outside, unheard by Mr Bush, a group of schoolgirls chanted: "Bush, Bush, shame on you, your son is a killer too".

Inside the hotel, under the eye of dozens of bulky US and British security officers, guests sipped champagne and refused to talk about their audience with Mr Bush senior.

"No comment," said one American woman as she walked into the event held in the Music Room, one of the smaller of the Victorian hotel's 11 conference suites.

US expats among 200 anti-war protesters outside were anxious to show that not all Americans in Britain were backing the Bush campaign.

"People are very polarised in this election," said Luke Robinson, a web developer holding a "Proud of my country, shamed by my president" placard. "A large percentage of American expats are turning against George Bush."

According to the expats outside, those dining with Mr Bush were typically super-rich members of Republicans Abroad who worked for US banks and law firms in the City.

"These are not normal people," said Sarah Forrester, an American health worker wearing a badge bearing a picture of her president that read: "Somewhere in Texas, a village is missing its idiot".

Scott Stanzel, a spokesman for the Bush campaign, said the former president would "talk about the election and why it's important to make sure that President Bush remains in office to continue to strengthen the economy and aggressively fight the war on terror - making sure America becomes a safer, stronger place".

Hotel staff at first refused to reveal Mr Bush senior's identity as they vied to give their VIP guest as many Vs as possible. "It's a VVIP guest connected with politics," was how one doorman coyly described him. Finally, a receptionist revealed in a hushed whisper: "We have a VVVIP guest. It's Mr Bush senior."

The guest of honour's short speech was accompanied by what one of those present described as "great hors d'oeuvre". The audience was equally complimentary about the former president. One guest said: "He was in great shape and on fantastic form - straight and to the point as always."

----

See also:

Hundreds protest outside Bush fund-raising dinner in London (May 19)
http://www.cbc.ca/cp/world/040518/w0518115.html
LONDON (AP) - Anti-war protesters wore black hoods and chanted "Bush go home" outside a hotel in the British capital where former U.S. president George Bush was attending a fund-raising dinner Tuesday for his son's re-election campaign. About 200 demonstrators from the Stop the War Coalition action group took part in the protest at the Landmark Hotel in central London, which was heavily guarded by police. Protesters chanted: "Resist, resist, Daddy Bush is a terrorist" and held signs with slogans such as End the Torture and Iraq for Iraqis, as rush-hour commuters converged on nearby Marylebone subway station. Leaders urged activists to shout loudly to be heard by Bush, who was joining other guests at the Republicans Abroad dinner. The function was raising funds for the re-election campaign of President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney. CLIP




11.

THIS IS A LONG ARTICLE BUT NEVERTHELESS WORTHY OF YOUR ATTENTION IMHO - AFTER READING THIS YOU'LL UNDERSTAND WHY MICHAEL MOORE WON THE TOP PRIZE AT THE CANNES FILM FESTIVAL

Forwaded by "Mark Graffis" mgraffis@vitelcom.net>

From: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/23/arts/23RICH.html?pagewanted=all&position=

Michael Moore's Candid Camera

May 23, 2004

FRANK RICH

But why should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and how many, what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it's, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that? And watch him suffer." - Barbara Bush on "Good Morning America," March 18, 2003

SHE needn't have worried. Her son wasn't suffering. In one of the several pieces of startling video exhibited for the first time in Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," we catch a candid glimpse of President Bush some 36 hours after his mother's breakfast TV interview - minutes before he makes his own prime-time TV address to take the nation to war in Iraq. He is sitting at his desk in the Oval Office. A makeup woman is doing his face. And Mr. Bush is having a high old time. He darts his eyes about and grins, as if he were playing a peek-a-boo game with someone just off-camera. He could be a teenager goofing with his buds to relieve the passing tedium of a haircut. "In your wildest dreams you couldn't imagine Franklin Roosevelt behaving this way 30 seconds before declaring war, with grave decisions and their consequences at stake," said Mr. Moore in an interview before his new documentary's premiere at Cannes last Monday. "But that may be giving him credit for thinking that the decisions were grave." As we spoke, the consequences of those decisions kept coming. The premiere of "Fahrenheit 9/11" took place as news spread of the assassination of a widely admired post-Saddam Iraqi leader, Ezzedine Salim, blown up by a suicide bomber just a hundred yards from the entrance to America's "safe" headquarters, the Green Zone, in Baghdad.

"Fahrenheit 9/11" will arrive soon enough at your local cineplex - there's lots of money to be made - so discount much of the squabbling en route. Disney hasn't succeeded in censoring Mr. Moore so much as in enhancing his stature as a master provocateur and self-promoter. And the White House, which likewise hasn't a prayer of stopping this film, may yet fan the p.r. flames. "It's so outrageously false, it's not even worth comment," was last week's blustery opening salvo by Dan Bartlett, the White House communications director. New York's Daily News reported that Republican officials might even try to use the Federal Election Commission to shut the film down. That would be the best thing to happen to Michael Moore since Charlton Heston granted him an interview.

Whatever you think of Mr. Moore, there's no question he's detonating dynamite here. From a variety of sources - foreign journalists and broadcasters (like Britain's Channel Four), freelancers and sympathetic American TV workers who slipped him illicit video - he supplies war-time pictures that have been largely shielded from our view. Instead of recycling images of the planes hitting the World Trade Center on 9/11 once again, Mr. Moore can revel in extended new close-ups of the president continuing to read "My Pet Goat" to elementary school students in Florida for nearly seven long minutes after learning of the attack. Just when Abu Ghraib and the savage beheading of Nicholas Berg make us think we've seen it all, here is yet another major escalation in the nation-jolting images that have become the battleground for the war about the war.

"Fahrenheit 9/11" is not the movie Moore watchers, fans or foes, were expecting. (If it were, the foes would find it easier to ignore.) When he first announced this project last year after his boorish Oscar-night diatribe against Mr. Bush, he described it as an exposé of the connections between the Bush and bin Laden dynasties. But that story has been so strenuously told elsewhere - most notably in Craig Unger's best seller, "House of Bush, House of Saud" - that it's no longer news. Mr. Moore settles for a brisk recap in the first of his film's two hours. And, predictably, he stirs it into an over-the-top, at times tendentious replay of a Bush hater's greatest hits: Katherine Harris, the Supreme Court, Harken Energy, AWOL in Alabama, the Carlyle Group, Halliburton, the lazy Crawford vacation of August 2001, the Patriot Act. But then the movie veers off in another direction entirely. Mr. Moore takes the same hairpin turn the country has over the past 14 months and crash-lands into the gripping story that is unfolding in real time right now.

Wasn't it just weeks ago that we were debating whether we should see the coffins of the American dead and whether Ted Koppel should read their names on "Nightline"? In "Fahrenheit 9/11," we see the actual dying, of American troops and Iraqi civilians alike, with all the ripped flesh and spilled guts that the violence of war entails. (If Steven Spielberg can simulate World War II carnage in "Saving Private Ryan," it's hard to argue that Mr. Moore should shy away from the reality in a present-day war.) We also see some of the 4,000-plus American casualties: those troops hidden away in clinics at Walter Reed and at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital in Fort Campbell, Ky., where they try to cope with nerve damage and multiple severed limbs. They are not silent. They talk about their pain and their morphine, and they talk about betrayal. "I was a Republican for quite a few years," one soldier says with an almost innocent air of bafflement, "and for some reason they conduct business in a very dishonest way."

Of course, Mr. Moore is being selective in what he chooses to include in his movie; he's a polemicist, not a journalist. But he implicitly raises the issue that much of what we've seen elsewhere during this war, often under the label of "news," has been just as subjectively edited. Perhaps the most damning sequence in "Fahrenheit 9/11" is the one showing American troops as they ridicule hooded detainees in a holding pen near Samara, Iraq, in December 2003. A male soldier touches the erection of a prisoner lying on a stretcher underneath a blanket, an intimation of the sexual humiliations that were happening at Abu Ghraib at that same time. Besides adding further corroboration to Seymour Hersh's report that the top command has sanctioned a culture of abuse not confined to a single prison or a single company or seven guards, this video raises another question: why didn't we see any of this on American TV before "60 Minutes II"?

Don Van Natta Jr. of The New York Times reported in March 2003 that we were using hooding and other inhumane techniques at C.I.A. interrogation centers in Afghanistan and elsewhere. CNN reported on Jan. 20, after the Army quietly announced its criminal investigation into prison abuses, that "U.S. soldiers reportedly posed for photographs with partially unclothed Iraqi prisoners." And there the matter stood for months, even though, as we know now, soldiers' relatives with knowledge of these incidents were repeatedly trying to alert Congress and news organizations to the full panorama of the story.

Mr. Moore says he obtained his video from an independent foreign journalist embedded with the Americans. "We've had this footage in our possession for two months," he says. "I saw it before any of the Abu Ghraib news broke. I think it's pretty embarrassing that a guy like me with a high school education and with no training in journalism can do this. What the hell is going on here? It's pathetic."

We already know that politicians in denial will dismiss the abuse sequence in Mr. Moore's film as mere partisanship. Someone will surely echo Senator James Inhofe's Abu Ghraib complaint that "humanitarian do-gooders" looking for human rights violations are maligning "our troops, our heroes" as they continue to fight and die. But Senator Inhofe and his colleagues might ask how much they are honoring soldiers who are overextended, undermanned and bereft of a coherent plan in Iraq. Last weekend The Los Angeles Times reported that for the first time three Army divisions, more than a third of its combat troops, are so depleted of equipment and skills that they are classified "unfit to fight." In contrast to Washington's neglect, much of "Fahrenheit 9/11" turns out to be a patriotic celebration of the heroic American troops who have been fighting and dying under these and other deplorable conditions since President Bush's declaration of war.

In particular, the movie's second hour is carried by the wrenching story of Lila Lipscomb, a flag-waving, self-described "conservative Democrat" from Mr. Moore's hometown of Flint, Mich., whose son, Sgt. Michael Pedersen, was killed in Iraq. We watch Mrs. Lipscomb, who by her own account "always hated" antiwar protesters, come undone with grief and rage. As her extended family gathers around her in the living room, she clutches her son's last letter home and reads it aloud, her shaking voice and hand contrasting with his precise handwriting on lined notebook paper. A good son, Sergeant Pedersen thanks his mother for sending "the bible and books and candy," but not before writing of the president: "He got us out here for nothing whatsoever. I am so furious right now, Mama."

By this point, Mr. Moore's jokes, some of them sub-par retreads of Jon Stewart's riffs about the coalition of the willing, have vanished from "Fahrenheit 9/11." So, pretty much, has Michael Moore himself. He told me that Harvey Weinstein of Miramax had wanted him to insert more of himself into the film - "you're the star they're coming to see" - but for once he exercised self-control, getting out of the way of a story that is bigger than he is. "It doesn't need me running around with my exclamation points," he said. He can't resist underlining one moral at the end, but by then the audience, crushed by the needlessness of Mrs. Lipscomb's loss, is ready to listen. Speaking of America's volunteer army, Mr. Moore concludes: "They serve so that we don't have to. They offer to give up their lives so that we can be free. It is, remarkably, their gift to us. And all they ask for in return is that we never send them into harm's way unless it is absolutely necessary. Will they ever trust us again?"

"Fahrenheit 9/11" doesn't push any Vietnam analogies, but you may find one in a montage at the start, in which a number of administration luminaries (Cheney, Rice, Ashcroft, Powell) in addition to the president are seen being made up for TV appearances. It's reminiscent of Richard Avedon's photographic portrait of the Mission Council, the American diplomats and military figures running the war in Saigon in 1971. But at least those subjects were dignified. In Mr. Moore's candid-camera portraits, a particularly unappetizing spectacle is provided by Paul Wolfowitz, the architect of both the administration's Iraqi fixation and its doctrine of "preventive" war. We watch him stick his comb in his mouth until it is wet with spit, after which he runs it through his hair. This is not the image we usually see of the deputy defense secretary, who has been ritualistically presented in the press as the most refined of intellectuals - a guy with, as Barbara Bush would have it, a beautiful mind.

Like Mrs. Bush, Mr. Wolfowitz hasn't let that mind be overly sullied by body bags and such - to the point where he underestimated the number of American deaths in Iraq by more than 200 in public last month. No one would ever accuse Michael Moore of having a beautiful mind. Subtleties and fine distinctions are not his thing. That matters very little, it turns out, when you have a story this ugly and this powerful to tell.

---

See also:

Boycott Disney!
http://democrats.com/elandslide/petition.cfm?campaign=disney&refer=activist
Go sign the petition! To: Disney CEO Michael Eisner - We are outraged that you would block the distribution of Michael Moore's film Fahrenheit 911 because it criticizes George W. Bush and could lead to his defeat (again) in November. We understand your right-wing Republican bias: your local AM talk radio stations broadcast Republican propaganda all day long. We also understand your corrupt motive: you are afraid Gov. Jeb Bush will cancel the lucrative tax breaks Disney gets in Florida. You are censoring one of the most important filmmakers in America. This is unacceptable in a democracy. As consumers, we are not powerless. We will protest with our wallets - by boycotting these Disney products until you agree to distribute Fahrenheit 911: Disney films - Disney theme parks - Disney toys - Disney TV networks

'Fahrenheit 9/11' Wins Top Prize At Cannes
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A47907-2004May22.html
CANNES, France -- American filmmaker Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," a scathing indictment of White House actions after the Sept. 11 attacks, won the top prize Saturday at the Cannes Film Festival."Fahrenheit 9/11" was the first documentary to win Cannes' prestigious Palmed'Or since Jacques Cousteau's "The Silent World" in 1956."What have you done? I'm completely overwhelmed by this. Merci," Moore said after getting a standing ovation from the Cannes crowd. (...) "Fahrenheit 9/11" made waves in the weeks leading up to Cannes after the Walt Disney Co. refused to let subsidiary Miramax release the film in the United States because of its political content. Miramax bosses Harvey and Bob Weinstein are negotiating to buy back the film and find another distributor, with hopes of landing it in theaters by Fourth of July weekend. CLIP




12.

From: "Judith Iam" judeiam@cwnet.com>
Subject: Republican National Convention Schedule
Date: 22 May 2004

REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE CONVENTION SCHEDULE New York, NY

6:00 PM Opening Prayer led by the Reverend Jerry Fallwell
6:30 PM Pledge of Allegiance
6:35 PM Burning of Bill of Rights (excluding 2nd amendment)
6:45 PM Salute to the Coalition of the Willing
6:46 PM Seminar #1: Iraq Stratergies-Voodoo/DooDoo WMD
7:30 PM First Presidential Beer Bong
7:35 PM Serve Freedom Fries
7:40 PM EPA Address #1: Mercury-It's what's for dinner!
8:00 PM Vote on which country to invade next
8:10 PM Call EMTs to revive Rush Limbaugh
8:15 PM John Ashcroft Lecture: The Homos are after your Children!!
8:30 PM Round table discussion on reproductive rights (MEN only)
8:50 PM Seminar #2 Corporations: The Government of the Future
9:00 PM Condi Rice sings "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man"
9:05 PM Second Presidential Beer Bong
9:10 PM EPA Address #2 -- Trees: The Real Cause of Forest Fires
9:30 PM Break for secret meetings
10:00 PM Second prayer led by Cal Thomas
10:15 PM Lecture by Karl Rove: Doublespeak made easy
10:30 PM Rumsfeld demonstration of how to squint and talk macho
10:35 PM Bush demonstration of trademark "deer in headlights" stare
10:40 PM John Ashcroft demonstrates new mandatory Kevlar chastity belt
10:45 PM Clarence Thomas reads list of black republicans
10:46 PM Third Presidential Beer Bong
10:50 PM Seminar #3 Education: A Drain on our Nation's Economy
11:10 PM Hilary Clinton Piñata
11:20 PM Second Lecture by John Ashcroft:Evolutionists: The Dangerous New
Cult
11:30 PM Call EMTs to revive Rush Limbaugh again
11:35 PM Blame Clinton
11:40 PM Laura serves milk and cookies
11:50 PM Closing Prayer led by Jesus Himself
12: 00 PM Nomination of George W. Bush as Holy Supreme Planetary Overlord



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