MAY LOVE PREVAIL ON EARTH
February 9, 2004
The Empire of Darkness Series #7: Nasty "Chickens" Coming Home to Roost
I guess the title of this compilation characterizes quite well much of what is included in this compilation.
Please pay attention to the special request included below.
United in Service, we shall prevail!
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
This compilation is archived at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2004/EmpireDarkness7.htm
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URGENT ACTION REQUESTED
Date: 09 Feb 2004
Subject: Fair Coverage for Kucinich
From: "Will Pitt, Kucinich Press Secretary" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tell CNN You Want Fair Coverage For Kucinich
Dennis Kucinich has finished both the Washington and Maine caucuses ahead of candidates John Edwards, Wesley Clark and Al Sharpton. This represents the strongest back-to-back showing of his campaign to date. One would think that such a clear surge would require coverage from the national media. One would be wrong.
On the evening of February 8th, as Dennis Kucinich was running strong in Maine, and a day after defeating Edwards, Clark and Sharpton in Washington, CNN put out a report on the Maine caucuses. In this report, CNN stated that, "Dean, struggling to revive his once-promising campaign, was the only candidate who campaigned in the state Sunday, making stops in six cities."; The facts fully dispute CNN's version of events.
Dennis Kucinich spoke at the Bangor Civic Center caucus site which was filled with television cameras, as well as caucus sites in Lewiston, Auburn, Portland and Westbrook. Clearly, Howard Dean was not the only candidate in Maine on February 8th.
The behavior of CNN is not unique. The international media watchdog group Media Tenor, after performing an exhaustive review, determined that the nightly half-hour national news broadcasts from ABC, CBS and NBC devoted exactly 0.94% of their coverage to the Kucinich campaign.
Dennis Kucinich has begun a strong surge in the race for the Democratic nomination. He is in this race to the end. The time has come for the national media to get wise to this, and at a minimum, to begin reporting basic facts with accuracy and integrity.
Encourage CNN to give Dennis fair coverage. Write CNN at http://www.cnn.com/feedback/ . The most effective letters are original, brief, polite, and stick to the facts.
NOTE FROM JEAN: Because we have a unique responsibility to come forward and assist the one single candidate that thoroughly and best represents what we stand for in the New Consciousness community, I urge all of you to take a few minutes as suggested above and let CNN and all other mainstream media know in no uncertain but respectful, polite terms what you think of their misrepresentation and under-reporting of Dennis Kucinich Campaign in light of the facts mentioned above. His campaign has been deprived almost from its inception of the fair and respectful coverage he deserves not only because his ideas and political platform would help nurture a renewed sense of legitimacy and true, benign and enlightened leadership for the United States in the world, but also because as the next U.S. President he would bring some long overdue changes in how politics is done and how American people are cared for, on a level playing field with the minuscule elite coterie that has got a stranglehold onto U.S. public administration and, literally, the fate of the whole world.
Also because I know most of you have an open-heart attitude towards contemporary comments from spiritual/celestial sources, I'd like to share with you a brief excerpt from a message received yesterday from Matthew Ward (who died nearly 24 years ago) through his mother Suzanne Ward (details at http://www.matthewbooks.com">), a message you will be able to read in its entirety in a compilation by the end of this week:
S: How significant is the US presidential election in this evolution?
MATTHEW: Very significant to this extent: If the current leading candidate's momentum continues, the resultant energy will unseat the incumbent president. However, there will be a change only of personality and no change in the behind-the-scenes controlling powers. If sufficient belief and manifestation capability were exercised to raise people's awareness about the only light-filled candidate, healing changes would come to Earth swiftly and magnificently, not only through spiritually enlightened leadership, but also the vast increase of light within and from the voters who "free-willed" him into office. I can give no "odds" on this. The dark control of the media still holds sway, and little is publicly known of the moral and spiritual integrity, ancient wisdom and leadership capability of Dennis Kucinich.
(end of quote)
Please follow your heart because only from an insightful Love perspective shall we bring together this whole world back to sanity and heal the soul of every single awakening human being on the face of the Earth.
Use the Feedback form at http://www.cnn.com/feedback/ (as I just did) and consider writing a feedback even if you are not a U.S. citizen. CNN is broadcast worldwide and as such every planetary citizen is entitled to let them know his/her comment. Here are some email addresses you may also use if you would like to raise this issue with other U.S. media:
"To the degree we help ourselves are we helped by Divine Powers. Therefore, please use your voices, writing hands, marching feet and open checkbooks to do all in your power to prevent the theft of another election -- whether in the United States or in any other country. Let no one be under the illusion that it will be otherwise -- each of us will be held accountable by our own souls and the Higher Powers as to how and to what degree we responded to the current human and planetary crisis. Lest anyone forget -- it lies with us whether we move closer to living the Aquarian Vision of Greater Freedom for Humanity, or whether we allow the waking nightmare of Tyranny to govern and control the United States and the world for an extended period of time. Will we decide to overcome fear and apathy to eschew the path of least resistance? Will we be wise enough to draw upon our inner reserves of strength and courage to stand and fight, motivated by Love and utilizing the weapons of Light, to stop the present offensive of the Forces of Darkness through their human agents in international institutions, corporations and national governments throughout the world?"
- "Joseph M. Contrada" email@example.com>
Executive Director, THE INSTITUTE FOR GLOBAL SPIRITUALITY
"The technique of acquiring dictatorship over what has been a democracy... always involves the same mixture of bribery, propaganda, and violence."
- Bertrand Russell, 1938
"Iraq was attacked so that the United States and Britain could claim its oil and its assets. Only Mary Poppins would believe otherwise. For the latest in a catalogue of evidence, turn to the Wall Street Journal, the paper of America's ruling elite, which has obtained copies of the Bush administration's secret plan to privatise the country by selling off its assets to western corporations while establishing vast military bases. The plan was drafted in February last year, just as Tony Blair was assuring the British people that the only reason was Saddam Hussein's "threat." The Bush/Blair attack on Iraq has brought death, destruction and great bitterness to Iraq. Every indication is that most Iraqis now regard their lives as immeasurably worse than during Saddam Hussein's rule. More than 13,000 people are held in concentration camps in their own country."
- John Pilger in "The Lying Aggressors" below
"As George W. Bush stumbled, mumbled, and grumbled his way through a special edition of Meet the Press with Tim Russert (on Sunday Feb 8), an unspoken question kept rising above his droning voice: is this stammering dolt really the President of the United States? (...) "Hermetically sealed inside his bubble, Cheney for a short moment entered the larger bubble of the World Economic Forum. But like a missionary in a heathen land, his only urge was to deliver a message, to evangelize for his faith. Missing was any desire, perhaps even the ability, to learn something meaningful about the world he had entered. Indeed, the Bush bubble reflects a spirit deeply evangelical, more concerned with justifying and converting than questioning and learning. In its embunkered certainty, the administration's belief system is strangely akin in spirit to the party discipline of Leninism." As the President hails "the global democratic revolution" and proclaims that we're out to "change the world," one hears the strains of "The Internationale" rising in ghostly refrain, reminding us of vanquished tyrants who met a well-deserved end - not, however, before some 60 million were slaughtered. How many the neo-Leninists take before they, too, go down with all the rest of the would-be world-conquerors, is anybody's guess. The neocons, like their Leninist forebears, are a criminal conspiracy. The idea is to nip it in the bud - before it gets a chance to do any more damage."
- Justin Raimondo - Taken from "The President Speaks - But is anybody listening?" (Feb 9) at http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=1945
WORTHY OF YOUR ATTENTION
Ben Cohen Oreo Cookie (Flash) Military Budget vs. Social Programs - A MUST SEE! EXCELLENT!
Recommended by "Mark R. Elsis" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thanks For The Memories (Flash) by Eric Blumrich (Feb 4) ANOTHER ABSOLUTE MUST SEE!
Three Takes on the State of the Union (Jan 23 - Highly recommended)
If you live in Quebec you will want to sign this petition against the proposed Suroît power plant
This hot issue is explained here:
http://www.canada.com/montreal/montrealgazette/editorials/story.asp?id=B1DB1CCA-1214-48AD-85D9-AF7130F5D1DE and at http://news.google.ca/news?hl=en&edition=ca&q=Suro%EEt&btnG=Search+News
NASA Hides, Destroys Possible Evidence Of Life On Mars (Feb 4)
My day is now complete, for before my very eyes, NASA appears to have hidden, then intentionally destroyed what could well be evidence of life on Mars. I never would have believed it. Saturday morning I noticed a small, organic looking object close to the rover Opportunity. I sent an email to NASA about it, and their' response was to pull the picture off the website. "Odd", I thought to myself. Then, on a whim, I decided to see which way the rover travels (relative to the object). The answer? Right across the object. See for yourself in the picture.
Other pretty conclusive signs of life on Mars. And they sure don't look happy...
1. The Lying Aggressors
2. NO MORE LIES TONY BLAIR - Peace demo 20 March
3. The Awesome Destructive Power of the Corporate Power Media
4. A Statement To Remember - Granny D - Activist
5. Bush's Independent Commission: Exonerating the Spooks
6. First award for depleted uranium poisoning claim
7. The Three Top Sins Of The Universe
8. What has the U.S. become post-9/11?
9. Another terrorist weapon is exposed...
10. THIS IS NO WAY TO LIVE
11. KARMA PROBLEMS?
Kerry Leads Bush in New Poll - Bush's Approval Numbers Dip
Candidates Belong to Same Secret Society (Feb 4)
Regular Dreamland guest Jim Marrs says that we only think we vote for our leadersthe world is really run by a secret international cabal. While we don't like to believe this at election time, the fact that most of the leading Presidential candidates all belong to the same secret society makes one wonder if it's true. Charles Laurence reports in The Telegraph that three Presidential hopefuls, President Bush himself, Howard Dean, and John Kerry, as well as ex-candidate Joseph Lieberman, belonged to Skull and Bones at Yale University, which has been called Americas most elite and elusive secret society. Bush's father, George Bush, was a member as well. Laurence quotes Alexandra Robbins, a Yale graduate and author of a book on the Skull & Bones, as saying, "It is staggering that so many of the candidates are from Yale, and even more so that we are looking at a presidential face-off between two members of the Skull and Bones. It is a tiny club with only 800 living members and 15 new members a year. But there has always been a sentiment at Yale to push students into public service, an ethos of the elite making their way through the corridors of powerand the sole purpose of the Bones is power." Robbins describes the headquarters of the Bonesmen as looking like a Greco-Egyptian temple. The organization has relics that include Hitler's silver collection and the skull of the Indian chief Geronimo. Initiation rites include mud-wrestling and telling the details about your sexual history while lying naked in a coffin.
George Bush & John Kerry: Blood Brothers (Feb 4)
Following the 2000 presidential race, with memories of Votescam, hanging chads, the debacle in Florida and a possible stolen election still fresh in our minds, many people are wondering if this falls contest will likewise be marred by some form of vote tampering or electronic ballot rigging. But in all honesty, the New World Order power brokers arent even concerned with such notions this year. Why? Because if John Kerry gets the Democratic nomination and runs against George Bush, both candidates will already by bought, sold, and controlled. It wont matter to the ruling elite who ultimately wins because both of these men have already surrendered their souls to the evil cabal years ago.(...) Before you answer, consider that after Senator John Heinz died, his wife married Senator John Kerry, who was chairman of the 1988 Kerry Commission, described in the Senate Committee Report on Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy as focusing on allegations of illegal gun-running and narcotics trafficking associated with the Contra war against Nicaragua in relation to the CIA, Department of Justice, the U.S. State Department, and the office of the President and Vice President. The testimony that took place during these trials (both in open and closed door sessions) was quite possibly the most damning ever against our federal government, yet mysteriously, nearly all of it was suppressed and not widely reported in the mainstream media. Why? Senator Kerry as a Democrat, had every opportunity to blast a Republican administration out of the water, yet he inexplicably remained silent and the status quo prevailed. Could it be that someone tapped him on the shoulder and told him that if he played his cards right and kept these sordid matters hush-hush, he would be rewarded sometime in the future? Well, here we are sixteen years later, and guess what. John Kerry, a Yale Skull & Bonesman (class of 1966) who kept his mouth shut about Yale Skull & Bonesman George Bush Sr. (class of 1948) is now running for the presidency against Yale Skull & Bonesman George W. Bush (class of 1968). Peculiar? You tell me. So, when people start mentioning Votescam and rigged elections in the November election, all I can say is: why should the Controllers bother? Both of their candidates are already in the bag and will carry out the aims of those who are pulling their strings from behind the scenes. Its good to have friends in all the right places, dont you think?
Sleeping With the GOP (Feb 5)
A Bush Covert Operative Takes Over Al Sharpton's Campaign - Roger Stone, the longtime Republican dirty-tricks operative who led the mob that shut down the Miami-Dade County recount and helped make George W. Bush president in 2000, is financing, staffing, and orchestrating the presidential campaign of Reverend Al Sharpton.
IN YOUR FACE (Jan 30)
The Connections Between Dick Cheney's Energy Task Force, 9/11 and Peak Oil are On the Table -- July '04 Supreme Court Ruling on Secrecy, Task Force Documents Obtained Through FOIA Suit on Collision Course as Cheney "Duck Hunts" with Scalia -- The Reason Why Activists of All Stripes are Ineffective -- THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ARTICLE BY FTW PUBLISHER/EDITOR MIKE RUPPERT IN MORE THAN TWO YEARS -- Want to know where the Empire is vulnerable and real change is possible? Can you handle the truth? (...) The Cheney report is very guarded about the amount of foreign oil that will be required. The only clue provided by the [public] report is a chart of net US oil consumption and production over time. According to this illustration, domestic oil field production will decline from about 8.5 million barrels per day (mbd) in 2002 to 7.0 mbd in 2020, while consumption will jump from 19.5 mbd to 25.5 mbd. That suggests imports or other sources of petroleum
will have to rise from 11 mbd to 18.5 mbd. Most of the recommendations of the NEP [National Energy Policy, May 2001] are aimed at procuring this 7.5 mbd increment, equivalent to the total oil consumed by China and India. (...) In their austerity, the documents scream of what NEPDG was debating. If 7.5 mbd of new oil production was to be secured from any place there was only one place to get it the Persian Gulf . All told, including Qatar (firmly under US control and the home of headquarters for US Central Command) and Iran, the Gulf is home to 60% of all the recoverable oil on the planet. Not only would these oil fields have to be controlled, billions of dollars in new investment would be required to boost production to meet US needs, simultaneously denying that same production to the rest of the world where demand is also soaring. (...) The tens and perhaps hundreds of billions of dollars needed to invest in infrastructure to increase production in the Gulf will come only when oil prices have soared enough to provide that capital. Don't expect Wall Street to drain their reserves. They aren't going to pay for it. You are. Make no mistake, the oil companies and Wall Street are banking on severe oil price spikes to fund this short-lived development and, almost as importantly, to reduce consumption on an ad hoc basis as people find they can't afford five or six-dollar gasoline and businesses shut down. The world uses a billion barrels of oil every eleven and one half days and the rate of consumption is growing. There is, at best, 500-600 billion barrels in the Gulf, which can only be pumped if the investment is made over the next ten years and begun immediately. Do the math. The vaunted proven reserve numbers touted by economists have been shown to be as questionable as Enron's bookkeeping. FTW documented in April of 2002 that the US Geological Survey admits that it estimates reserves as a function of demand . On January 9th 2004 Royal Dutch Shell announced that it had overstated its proven reserves by 20 per cent. The markets reacted accordingly. When will the price spikes come? Within six months to a year of the 2004 election. Not if George W. Bush can prevent it before then. FTW has spent 27 months exploring and educating people about all the nuances involved in a world that is running out of hydrocarbon energy. We have looked at its effects on transportation, electricity, economic growth and contraction, political power, civilization and perhaps most importantly food production. The coming showdown over the NEPDG records is probably the single most important battle that can be fought to learn the truth of 9/11 and the one overriding mandate that is now driving human history. (...) But there is a deeper part of human nature which covers the planet in a sickly, light-sweet-crude blanket of denial. It is best exemplified from the closing lines of Sidney Pollack's 1975 Three Days of the Condor, perhaps the best spy movie ever made. As FTW has shown in recent stories using declassified CIA documents the CIA was well aware of Peak Oil in the mid 1970s. Three Days of the Condor took that awful truth and said then, what few in the post-9/11 world have had the courage to say. I can guarantee you that it is the overriding rationale in Dick Cheney's mind, in the mind of every senior member of the Bush administration, and in the mind of whomever it is that will be chosen as the 2004 Democratic Party nominee. Getting rid of Bush will not address the underlying causative factors of energy and money and any solution that does not address those issues will prove futile. CLIP
Bush Building 'Warren Commission' to Investigate His Case For War
The New York Times | 'Iraq Intel Probe a Political Smoke Screen'
AP Poll Notes Decline in Support for Bush (Feb 6)
President Bush's public support dropped sharply over the past month, especially among older voters, political independents and people in the Midwest, an Associated Press poll found. And for the first time, more voters in this poll's two years of tracking the question said they would definitely vote against Bush than said they would definitely vote for him. Bush's approval rating stood at 47 percent in the AP-Ipsos poll taken in early February, down from 56 percent approval just a month ago. Half, or 50 percent, said they disapproved in the latest poll. The poll findings marked a difficult month for Bush, as public attention focused on the Democratic presidential primary and the Democrats' daily bashing of the incumbent. The survey came at a time when the public is nervous about the economy and the chief adviser to the administration on Iraqi weapons, David Kay, said last month "we were almost all wrong" about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Bush's 47 percent approval rating is the same as his father's at this stage in his presidency 12 years ago before he lost to Bill Clinton. Just under four in 10, 37 percent, said they would definitely vote to re-elect Bush as president, while 43 percent said they would definitely vote for someone else, according to the poll conducted for the AP by Ipsos-Public Affairs. Another 18 percent said they would consider voting for someone else.
The Day Cheney was Rocked to the Core (Feb 7)
WASHINGTON - If United States Vice President Dick Cheney was hoping that the cold, crisp air of Davos and his private audience with Pope John Paul II late last month would revive his spirits, as well as his standing in the polls, he must be deeply disappointed. Since returning home, he has faced a seemingly unrelenting succession of disclosures and attacks that appear to get worse with each passing day. What the albatross was to the ancient mariner, Cheney is fast becoming to George W Bush's re-election chances. Just consider what happened to Cheney Thursday: the early morning edition of the Wall Street Journal ran an article - first reported by Newsweek - on how Justice Department investigators had asked Halliburton Company for documents relating to US$180 million in allegedly illegal payments by a consortium of companies, including Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root, in connection with the construction of a big natural-gas plant in Nigeria in the late 1990s, while Cheney was Halliburton's chief executive officer. When the Los Angeles Times hit the news stands a couple of hours later, Cheney was right there on the front page with the headline: "Scalia was Cheney Hunt Trip Guest; Ethics Concern Grows." Antonin Scalia is a Supreme Court Justice who was Cheney's guest on a recent and rather costly (to the taxpayer) bird-hunting trip to Louisiana, and who also will soon hear a major case on government secrecy in which the vice president is the defendant. Legal ethics experts quoted in the story, of course, zeroed in on the question of whether Scalia might best recuse himself from hearing the case, but there were also suggestions that perhaps Cheney could have exercised slightly better judgement. "It is not just a trip with a litigant. It's a trip at the expense of the litigant," noted one law professor. Finished with the morning papers, Cheney may have tuned in to watch Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director George Tenet deliver a passionate defense at Georgetown University of the official intelligence community's performance in the runup to the Iraq war, only to find himself a target, if only inferentially.
Guardian | Britain spied on UN allies over war vote (February 8)
Security Council members 'illegally targeted' by GCHQ after plea from US security agency
- Britain helped America to conduct a secret and potentially illegal spying operation at the United Nations in the run-up to the Iraq war, The Observer can reveal. The operation, which targeted at least one permanent member of the UN Security Council, was almost certainly in breach of the Vienna conventions on diplomatic relations, which strictly outlaw espionage at the UN missions in New York.
Bush Prepares His Electoral War Machine (Feb 4)
The President, showing his worst popularity rating since the outset of his term, is hoarding his resources for the final face-off. The American President is going through a bad patch. The attacks by his Democratic opponents, the suspicions fabricated intelligence was used to justify the war in Iraq, a budget deficit of worrying proportions have earned him the worst ratings of his term: his approval rating has suddenly slipped below the 50% level, and, if the election were held today, John Kerry would win by 53% to 46%. However, the election won't take place today. Between now and the November 2 polling, one element, now invisible on the political scene, will go into action: the formidable electoral war machine perfected by George W. Bush. To begin with, the candidate can count on his party, unified as never before: not only does he not have any rival in the primaries and may therefore spare his resources for the final face-off, but also 90% of Republican militants support him without hesitation. That support has been transformed into a powerful network from which the President has profited to raise a colossal war chest: now more than 130 million dollars, undoubtedly 200 million dollars by Election Day, more than any White House candidate has ever had in hand. On the other side, John Kerry has painfully raised only 30 million dollars by now, most of which he has spent in primary battles. (...) When this winning machine gets going, John Kerry or any other Democratic candidate will feel its passage. The Democratic candidate can expect to be subject to an avalanche of murderous TV spots and an army of researchers excavating his past at the least hint of a rumor or the slightest stain. If he doesn't have solid enough guts to fight back as Bill Clinton did in 1992, he won't be able to count on Bush making a false move.
Iraq war Britain's 'greatest blunder' (Feb 5)
LONDON - The war in Iraq is the "greatest blunder" in British foreign policy since the 1956
Anglo-French expedition in Suez, Egypt, former British foreign secretary Robin Cook wrote in the Independent daily yesterday.
Feds Win Right to War Protesters' Records
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- In what may be the first subpoena of its kind in decades, a federal judge has ordered a university to turn over records about a gathering of anti-war activists. In addition to the subpoena of Drake University, subpoenas were served this past week on four of the activists who attended a Nov. 15 forum at the school, ordering them to appear before a grand jury Tuesday, the protesters said. (...) They say the subpoenas are intended to stifle dissent. "This is exactly what people feared would happen," said Brian Terrell of
the peace ministry, one of those subpoenaed. "The civil liberties of everyone in this country are in danger. How we handle that here in Iowa is very important on how things are going to happen in this country from now on." The forum, titled "Stop the Occupation! Bring the Iowa Guard Home!" came the day before 12 protesters were arrested at an anti-war rally at Iowa National Guard headquarters in Johnston. Organizers say the forum included nonviolence training for people planning to demonstrate.
Government floats plans for secret trials of terrorist suspects (Feb 3)
The British government said yesterday it was considering giving courts the power to try terrorist suspects in secret and without juries - proposals condemned by civil liberties groups. NOTE: Even the Gestapo couldnt have come up with a better idea...
This devastation was caused primarily by a bomb inside the building - "New" OKC Bombing Evidence Shows Two Explosions
February 4, 2004
The Lying Aggressors
by John Pilger
In the wake of the Hutton fiasco, one truth remains unassailed: Tony Blair ordered an unprovoked invasion of another country on a totally false pretext, and that lies and deceptions manufactured in London and Washington caused the deaths of up to 55,000 Iraqis, including 9,600 civilians.
Consider for a moment those who have paid the price for Blair's and Bush's actions, who are rarely mentioned in the current media coverage. Deaths and injury of young children from unexploded British and American cluster bombs are put at 1,000 a month. The effect of uranium weapons used by Anglo-American forces a weapon of mass destruction is such that readings taken from Iraqi tanks destroyed by the British are so high that a British Army survey team wore white, full-body radiation suits, face masks and gloves. Iraqi children play on and around these tanks. British troops, says the Ministry of Defence, "will have access to biological monitoring."
Iraqis have no such access and no expert medical help; and thousands are now suffering from a related catalogue of miscarriages and hair loss, horrific eye, skin and respiratory problems.
Neither Britain nor America counts its Iraqi victims, and the fact, let alone the extent of the human carnage and material devastation is not even acknowledged by a government that says it is "vindicated" by Lord Hutton, whose report most British people clearly regard as a parody worthy of the Prime Minister's resignation.
Blair has now announced an inquiry into the "failure of intelligence" that has mysteriously denied him evidence of weapons of mass destruction, which he repeatedly said were his "aim" in attacking Iraq. Just as the brawl with the BBC and the Hutton inquiry were quite deliberate distractions, so this latest inquiry is another panic measure. It is clear that George W Bush, as one American journalist put it, "is now hanging Tony Blair out to dry."
Blair has, as ever, followed Bush. In announcing at the weekend his own inquiry into an "intelligence failure," Bush hopes to cast himself as an innocent, aggrieved member of the public wanting to know why America's numerous spy agencies did not alert the nation to the fact, now confirmed by Bush's own weapons inspector, David Kay, that there were no weapons of mass destruction and probably weren't any since before the 1991 Gulf War, and that the premise for going to war was "almost all wrong." "It was," Ray McGovern told me, "95 per cent charade." McGovern is a former high-ranking CIA analyst and one of a group of ex-senior intelligence officers, several of whom have described how the Bush administration demanded that intelligence be shaped to comply with political objectives, and the role of Britain in the charade.
"It was intelligence that was crap," a former intelligence officer told the New Yorker, "...but the brits wanted to plant stories in England and around the world." He described how "inactionable" (unreliable) intelligence reports were passed on to British intelligence, which then fed them to newspapers.
Former chief UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter says this false information was spread systematically by British intelligence. The clue to this secret operation was given by the weapons expert David Kelly the day before his suicide and which Hutton later ignored. Kelly told the Prime Minister's intelligence and security committee: "I liaise with the Rockingham cell."
As Ritter reveals, this referred to the top secret "Operation Rockingham" set up within British intelligence to "cherry pick" information that might be distorted as "proof" of the existence of a weapons arsenal in Iraq. It was an entirely political operation, whose misinformation, says Ritter, led him and his inspectors "to a suspected ballistic missile site. We ... found nothing. However, our act of searching allowed the US and the UK to say that the missiles existed."
Ritter says Operation Rockingham's bogus intelligence would have been fed to the Joint Intelligence Committee. The committee was behind the two "dossiers" in which Blair government claimed Saddam Hussein was a threat. Ritter says that Rockingham officers were acting on political orders "from the very highest levels."
How high? Right up to Blair himself? It was Blair, after all, who made such a personal "mission" of finding weapons of mass destruction. The question of how high needs urgently to be answered. Will Scott Ritter be called to Blair's inquiry? And will Blair explain to the inquiry why the February 2003 British "arms dossier," which Hutton chose to ignore, was so bogus that it plagiarised an American student's theses, lifting it word for word including the spelling mistakes?
The truth is that the Blair government has known, almost from the day it came to office in 1997, that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction were almost certainly destroyed following the 1991 Gulf War just as Bush's weapons expert, David Kay, has now confirmed.
What else did Blair know?
In February last year, a transcript of a leaked United Nations debriefing of Iraqi general Hussein Kamel, revealed that both the US and British governments must have known that Saddam Hussein no longer had weapons of mass destruction. General Kamel was no ordinary defector; he was Bush and Blair's star witness in their governments' case against Saddam. A son-in-law of the dictator, he had overall authority for Iraq's weapons' programmes, and defected with crates of documents.
When Secretary of State Colin Powell made the Anglo-American case for an attack on Iraq before the UN Security Council, he relied on and paid tribute to the reliability of General Kamel's evidence. What he did not reveal, as the transcript of the general's debriefing reveals, was this categorical statement by Kamel: "I ordered destruction of all chemical weapons. All weapons biological, chemical, missile, nuclear were destroyed."
The CIA and Britain's MI6 of course knew about this; and it beggars belief that Bush and Blair were not told. But neither of them let on just as Colin Powell suppressed his informant's most sensational information, which would have contradicted all his spurious claims. General Kamel (who was later murdered by Saddam Hussein) corroborated Scott Ritter's statement that Iraq had been disarmed "90 to 95 per cent."
Iraq was attacked so that the United States and Britain could claim its oil and its assets. Only Mary Poppins would believe otherwise. For the latest in a catalogue of evidence, turn to the Wall Street Journal, the paper of America's ruling elite, which has obtained copies of the Bush administration's secret plan to privatise the country by selling off its assets to western corporations while establishing vast military bases.
The plan was drafted in February last year, just as Tony Blair was assuring the British people that the only reason was Saddam Hussein's "threat."
The Bush/Blair attack on Iraq has brought death, destruction and great bitterness to Iraq. Every indication is that most Iraqis now regard their lives as immeasurably worse than during Saddam Hussein's rule. More than 13,000 people are held in concentration camps in their own country.
This is many more than were incarcerated in Saddam's political prisons in recent years. None has been charged; most cannot see their families; the allegations of torture and brutality by the occupiers grow by the day. As the US-based Human Rights Watch reported last week, the worst atrocities were in the 1980s when he was backed by America and Britain.
The uprising in Iraq has accelerated and almost certainly strengthened since the capture of Saddam. Drawn from 12 different groups, including those that were always anti-Saddam, the resistance is well organised and will not stop until the "coalition" leaves. The setting up of a puppet "democracy" will merely increase the number of targets. As Blair's knowledge of imperial history will tell him, this is precisely what happened in Britain's other colonies before they threw out their occupiers, and in Vietnam.
One piece of intelligence which was true and which we know Blair received is a report that warned him that an attack on Iraq would only increase worldwide terrorism, especially against British interests and citizens. He chose to ignore it.
Two weeks ago a panel of jurists called on the International Criminal Court to investigate the British government for war crimes in Iraq. Whether or not that succeeds, it is clear the Prime Minister will need to find another Hutton, and quickly.
John Pilger was born and educated in Sydney, Australia. He has been a war correspondent, filmmaker and playwright. Based in London, he has written from many countries and has twice won British journalism's highest award, that of "Journalist of the Year," for his work in Vietnam and Cambodia. This article originally appeared in The Mirror.
Congressional Leaders Call for Truly Independent Review of Iraq Intelligence (Feb 2)
In Their Own Words: Iraq's 'Imminent' Threat (Jan 29)
The Bush Administration is now saying it never told the public that Iraq was an "imminent" threat, and therefore it should be absolved for overstating the case for war and misleading the American people about Iraq's WMD. Just this week, White House spokesman Scott McClellan lashed out at critics saying "Some in the media have chosen to use the word 'imminent'. Those were not words we used." But a closer look at the record shows that McClellan himself and others did use the phrase "imminent threat" - while also using the synonymous phrases "mortal threat," "urgent threat," "immediate threat", "serious and mounting threat", "unique threat," and claiming that Iraq was actively seeking to "strike the United States with weapons of mass destruction" - all just months after Secretary of State Colin Powell admitted that Iraq was "contained" and "threatens not the United States." While Iraq was certainly a dangerous country, the Administration's efforts to claim it never hyped the threat in the lead-up to war is belied by its statements.
CIA Probe Finds Secret Pentagon Group Manipulated Intelligence on Iraqi Threat (July 24, 2003)
A half-dozen former CIA agents investigating prewar intelligence have found that a secret Pentagon committee, set up by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in October 2001, manipulated reams of intelligence information prepared by the spy agency on the so-called Iraqi threat and then delivered it to top White House officials who used it to win support for a war in Iraq. More than a dozen calls to the White House, the CIA, the National Security Council and the Pentagon for comment were not returned. The ad-hoc committee, called the Office of Special Plans, headed by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith and other Pentagon hawks, described the worst-case scenarios in terms of Iraqs alleged stockpile of chemical and biological weapons and claimed the country was close to acquiring nuclear weapons, according to four of the CIA agents, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the information is still classified, who conducted a preliminary view of the intelligence. The agents said the Office of Special Plans is responsible for providing the National Security Council and Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice and Rumsfeld with a bulk of the intelligence information on Iraqs weapons program that turned out to be wrong. But White House officials used the information it received from the Office of Special Plans to win support from the public and Congress to start a war in Iraq even though the White House knew much of the information was dubious, the CIA agents said. For example, the agents said the Office of Special Plans told the National Security Council last year that Iraqs attempt to purchase aluminum tubes were part of a clandestine program to build an atomic bomb. The Office of Special Plans leaked the information to the New York Times last September. Shortly after the story appeared in the paper, Bush and Rice both pointed to the story as evidence that Iraq posed a grave threat to the United States and to its neighbors in the Middle East, even though experts in the field of nuclear science, the CIA and the State Department advised the White House that the aluminum tubes were not designed for an atomic bomb. CLIP
The Awful Truth About Iraq (Feb 3)
SINCE DAVID A. KAY'S testimony before a Senate committee last week, the public focus has fixed upon mistaken intelligence that led to the American invasion of Iraq. Democrats are pounding the issue, which may actually be fine with President Bush. Events of a year ago are not the urgent question. Democrats should be asking, "What about Iraq right now?" No one misses Saddam Hussein, but the unjustified method of his removal has set in motion a train of terrible consequences. Politicians, including the leading Democratic presidential candidates, would rather talk about past American "mistakes" than present policies or future decisions for the simple reason that the present and the future of Iraq involve certain tragedy for which the United States is responsible.
Intelligence chief's bombshell: 'We were overruled on dossier' (Feb 4)
The intelligence official whose revelations stunned the Hutton inquiry has suggested that not a single defence intelligence expert backed Tony Blair's most contentious claims on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Israel knew Iraq had no WMDs' (Feb 2) http://tinyurl.com/2cfl2 Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter said Sunday that the Israeli intelligence community was well aware that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. "That's the only conclusion you can reach," Ritter said in an interview with Y-Net in Washington. "Israeli intelligence reached it years ago." In reaction, MK Ehud Yatom (Likud), a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said Sunday evening that Israel had always maintained and believed that Iraq did, in fact, retain weapons of mass destruction. MK Roman Bronfman (Meretz) said that if Ritter is right, it means the government had purposely misled the Israeli public. "This just shows what price Sharon's government is prepared to pay in order to sow panic and evade undertaking any political action," he said. Ritter, a former marine, was a weapons inspector in Iraq from1991 to 1998 and a vocal critic of the Bush administration's policy on Iraq. Last July, Ritter released a new book, accusing US President George W. Bush of illegally attacking Iraq and calling for "regime change" in the US in the next election. Ritter criticized key figures caught up in the US-led war, saying: Bush lied to the American people and Congress about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction; UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan lacks courage; and former chief weapons inspector Hans Blix is "a moral and intellectual coward."
U.S. Death Toll in Iraq Shows No Sign of Slowing
Date: 04 Feb 2004
From: email@example.com (Brenda/Beverly)
Subject: NO MORE LIES TONY BLAIR - Peace demo 20 March
NO MORE LIES TONY BLAIR
National Demo 20th March
Demo at Labour Spring Conference 13th March
Tony Blairs government has been thrown into crisis over its refusal to accept responsibility for the war on Iraq. Time and time again it has lied to the people of this country and to parliament. The Hutton report is widely disbelieved and the new government inquiry consisting of parties and people who supported the war in the first place does not in any way match the demand for a full public inquiry into the political causes for the war.
It is for this reason the STW steering committee met on Monday and decided to raise the profile of our protests on March 20th. Rather than the local and regional events which we originally talked of organising we are now calling for a national demo. The reasons for calling this are as follows:
The war remains the central issue in British politics. It is now nearly a year since the war started and the predictions of the anti war movement have proved right. Iraq posed no imminent threat to the US, the UK or the world. Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. Million of Iraqis want the US and British occupation to end.
The strength of feeling among the anti war movement remains high and we want to show this strength of feeling on the streets.
We are demanding a full public and independent inquiry into the war.
20th March is an international day of action against the war and occupation, as endorsed by the World Social Forum in Mumbai last month. The British anti war movement is recognised as one of the largest in the world and we have a responsibility to show our opposition on that day.
The demo in Manchester on 13th March will be an important focus not just for Manchester STW but for the north west of England and possibly further afield.
It is now even more important that the anti war movement acts to hold to account a government, which has clearly misled the country and parliament. That is why we are asking people to join us on this demonstration on the 20th of March, the first anniversary of the invasion of Iraq where we will be demanding the truth from this government.
It is clear from the row between the government and the BBC that our protests last year had a real impact (see Greg Dykes letter to Tony Blair).
Hacker: Couldn't we get an independent inquiry to find no evidence?
Sir Humphrey: You mean rig it?
Hacker: Well ... yes. (Yes Minister, episode 8)
NOTE FROM JEAN: WHY NOT MAKE MARCH 20 A WORLDWIDE DAY OF PROTEST AGAINST THE IGNOMINIOUS INVASION AND OCCUPATION OF IRAK LIKE THE DAY OF GLOBAL PROTESTS THAT BROUGHT OVER 10 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE STREETS BEFORE THE ONSET OF THIS WAR...
The Awesome Destructive Power of the Corporate Power Media
by Glen Ford and Peter Campbell
February 2, 2004
Howard Dean has joined the list of victims of U.S. corporate media consolidation. Dean shares this distinction with Dennis Kucinich and the people of the formerly sovereign state of Iraq, among many others. Dean was stripped of half his popular support in the space of two weeks in January while John Kerry tied in the polls with Carol Moseley-Braun at seven percent just two months earlier rose like a genie from a bottle to become the overnight presidential frontrunner. Both candidates were shocked and disoriented by the dizzying turns of fortune, and for good reason. Neither Dean nor Kerry had done anything on their own that could have so dramatically altered the race. Corporate America decided that Dean must be savaged, and its media sector made it happen.
This commentary, however, is not about the merits of Howard Dean. If a mildly progressive, Internet-driven, young white middle class-centered, movement-like campaign such as Deans -- flush with money derived from unconventional sources, backed by significant sections of labor, reinforced by big name endorsements and surging with upward momentum -- can be derailed in a matter of weeks at the whim of corporate media, then all of us are in deep trouble. The Dean beat-down should signal an intense reassessment of medias role in the American power structure. The African-American historical experience has much to offer in that regard, since the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements were born in a wrestling match with an essentially hostile corporate (white) media. However, there can be no meaningful discussion of the options available to progressive forces in the United States unless it is first recognized that the corporate media in the current era is the enemy, and must be treated that way.
It is no longer possible to view commercial news media as mere servants of the ruling rich -- they are full members of the presiding corporate pantheon. General media consolidation has created an integrated mass communications system that is both objectively and self-consciously at one with the Citibanks and ExxonMobils of the world. Media companies act in effective unison on matters of importance to the larger corporate class. For all politically useful purposes, the monopolization of US media is now complete, in that the corporate owners and managers of the dominant organs are interchangeable and indistinguishable, sharing a common mission and worldview. (Thats the underlying reason why their news product is nearly identical.) Monopolies do not require a solitary actor -- an ensemble acting in concert achieves the same results.
In the past year we have seen consciousness-shaking evidence of the corporate medias implacable hostility to any manifestation of resistance to the current order. Media rushed to embed themselves in the US war machines Iraq invasion, and collaborated to actively suppress public awareness of a full-blown movement against the war. Hundreds of thousands of protestors were made to disappear in plain sight. Corporate media conspired -- which is what businessmen in boardrooms do as a matter of daily routine -- not only to shield the public from dissenting opinions (their usual assignment), but to drastically diminish, distort and even erase huge gatherings that were profoundly newsworthy by any rational standard. This is not mere bias, but the end result of the corporate decision making process. There is no line separating news producers from larger corporate structures, nor can media companies be neatly segregated from the oligarchic herd. Corporate medias ties to the Pirates in Washington are organic and nearly seamless. Their collusion seems almost telepathic, because they share the same class and worldview -- the most far reaching consequence of media consolidation.
The corporate media is a window on the dialogue among the rich. They are saying loudly and uniformly that even mild resistance to their rule will be treated as illegitimate and subjected to censorship and ridicule by their media organs. The scope of tolerable dissent has been narrowed, as reflected in the behavior of corporate media. The Dean beat-down is just the latest twist in the tightening of the screws.
The thoroughly Republican nature of corporate opinion molding mechanisms is evident in their treatment of Bill Clinton and Al Gore. The media giants subjected Clinton to the full fury of the Hard Rights campaign to destabilize his presidency, ultimately resulting in impeachment hearings. Al Gore, a sitting vice-president seeking the top job in 2000, was reduced to a caricature by the corporate press corps and punditry -- the torture of a thousand daily cuts. Gores cardboard image was the cumulative product of relentless corporate press commentary, disguised as reportage. Jay Leno and the other late night jokers feed off carrion that has already been slaughtered by corporate news media.
Clintons Republican predecessors were not subjected to anything approaching such scrutiny and abuse. It is self-evident that George Bush, who should have been buried under a glacier of scandal and criminality within months of entering the White House, enjoys the full-time protection of the corporate press. Their institutional intention is to elect him again. Media apologists offer fictions about press vs. power, when in reality corporate media = corporate power, just as Bush = corporate power. The Democrats are not part of this equation.
Thus, the rich mens media descended on the Democratic Party primary process in order to mangle and denigrate it, while propping up the corporate champion in the White House. The New York Times, through its chief political reporter, Adam Nagourney, set the parameters of coverage by eliminating any mention of the three bottom tier candidates -- starting with his analysis of the May televised debate in South Carolina, a state in which Al Sharpton is a key player! Nagourney systematically erased Sharpton, Kucinich and Carol Moseley-Braun from his weekly coverage of the contest -- a professionally suicidal routine were it not consistent with the objectives of corporate management. The Times proudly sets the standard for national reporting, but its leadership was not necessary to ensure that the bottom tier would remain at the bottom. The organs of corporate speech all march to the same tune because there is not a dimes worth of difference between their owners.
Get rich or drop out
The corporate medias weapons are censorship and ridicule. Dennis Kucinich absorbed the full measure of both. However, TV news producers, mindful of viewer demographics, tried to avoid direct aggression against the characters of Moseley-Braun and Sharpton. ABC finally showed its true corporate colors at the New Hampshire debate in the person of Nightlines Ted Koppel. Imperiously addressing the bottom trio, Koppel said:
You've [to Kucinich] got about $750,000 in the bank right now, and that's close to nothing when you're coming up against this kind of opposition. But let me finish the question. The question is, will there come a point when polls, money and then ultimately the actual votes that will take place here in places like New Hampshire, the caucuses in Iowa, will there come a point when we can expect one or more of the three of you to drop out? Or are you in this as sort of a vanity candidacy?
Kucinich, Sharpton and Moseley-Braun acquitted themselves well in the exchange. The real story here is that Koppel felt empowered to all but demand that the three most progressive candidates (and both Blacks) vacate the Democratic presidential arena. Koppel had fumed to the New York Times about the uppity intruders, the month before. The day after the debate, ABC withdrew its reporters from all three campaigns. (None of the other networks had even bothered to give full-time coverage to the bottom tier.)
Koppels arrogance, so unbecoming to a journalist, is rooted in his actual status at ABC/Disney: he is a corporate executive who pretends to be a newsman on television. His professional history notwithstanding, Koppel and each of the high profile TV news personalities are millionaire executives who act as spokesmen for the corporate divisions of their parent companies. They interact with executives of other divisions, principally marketing -- the domain of sales and impressions. Koppel is incapable of thinking in terms other than money and polls, an important marketing tool. He is proprietary about the political process because, as an esteemed executive in the ruling corporate class, he thinks he owns it.
Howard Deans brilliant use of the Internet allowed him to capitalize on anti-war sentiment while assembling a funding base independent of the usual corporate suspects. Deans December surge took the corporate media by surprise, alarming the bosses and their friends in the White House. Like a Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the corporate media rose with one voice to question Deans electability. It is important to note that in mid-December, according to Newsweeks poll, Dean, Kerry and Clark were doing equally in a match-up with George Bush, at 40, 41, and 41 percent, respectively. There was no statistical basis to single out Dean as unelectable. Dean had just gotten the endorsement of Al Gore and two of the nations most important unions, AFSCME and SEIU. No matter. The corporate media has the power of self-fulfilling prophesy, and they know it. Negative impressions rained down on Dean like a monsoon, and didnt let up even after the damage was done. Dean was tagged by the media as a loser to Bush well before he let out The Scream -- an innocuous, non-event, on the night of his Iowa defeat.
Dean understands what was done to him, although theres nothing much he can do about it. In an interview with CNNs repugnant Wolf Blitzer, the candidate said: You report the news and you create the news
You chose to play it [The Scream] 673 times.
It is clear from the numbers that Democratic voters, determined to be rid of George Bush, were afraid to support the unelectable Dean. Lots of them ran to Kerry, who had polled at only 7 percent nationally in November. Kerry had done and said nothing to affect this sea change. The irony here is that it is Bush who is so scary to Democratic voters that they backed away from Dean, whom the corporate media had pegged as a scary guy.
Chris Bowers offered a compelling analysis of the corporate media coup in the January 28 Daily Kos:
In order to reduce the increasing control of the Political Opinion Complex over our political process, we need to begin developing and strengthening institutions strong enough to counter its current influence. Specifically, we need to further develop networks where political information can be mass distributed outside of the POC's control. Not long ago, there were several such outside institutions. Unions and churches were a far more pervasive part of people's lives. Newspapers and periodicals were significantly more numerous and varied in their political outlook. Public television and radio had far larger audiences. Political parties and societies were either machines or at least overflowing with active members. All of these now weakened institutions once served as means to perform end-runs outside the control of the corporate media and the Political Opinion Complex. Engagement with the political process through means other than television was far greater. However, those institutions no longer serve as significant counter-weights to the strength of the Political Opinion Complex
African Americans faced a much more hostile establishment (white) press in the days of Jim Crow, local newspapers that often incited mob violence against Blacks and, on occasion, announced lynchings in advance. In the Fifties, Blacks employed informal and church networks and the Black press (where it existed) to create mass movements -- facts on the ground that could not be ignored. The Montgomery Bus Boycott and, later, mass marches and jail-ins in Birmingham drew the attention of the northern-based corporate media. More interested in recording the show than supporting the protestors, the media nevertheless served to fire up the spirit of Black America and hasten the demise of Jim Crow.
As the Sixties unfolded, mass incendiary activity presented the media and nation with additional facts -- burning cities are not easily ignored. The corporate press grudgingly integrated their staffs. Although Black newspapers went into steep decline, Black radio sprouted news departments that encouraged local organizers to tackle the tasks of a post-Civil Rights world.
Thirty years later, media consolidation has had the same strangulating effects on Black radio as in the general media. Radio One, the largest Black-owned chain, recently entered into a marketing agreement with a subsidiary of Clear Channel, the 1200-station beast. Both chains abhor the very concept of local news.
There is no question that Blacks and progressives must establish alternative media outlets, and not just on the Internet. However, there is no substitute for confronting the corporate media head-on, through direct mass action and other, creative tactics. The rich mens voices must be de-legitimized in the eyes of the people, who already suspect that we are being systematically lied to and manipulated. African-Americans have an advantage in this regard, since they are used to being lied to and about.
No society in human history has confronted an enemy as omnipresent as the US corporate media. Yet there is no choice but to challenge their hegemony.
The world can be changed, but only by changing the way others see their world.
Glen Ford and Peter Gamble are the editors of The Black Commentator, (http://www.blackcommentator.com/index.html) where this article first appeared.
What Just One Company Can Do To the World
Just one oil company has thrown three times as much carbon dioxide into the air as the current annual emissions from fossil fuels, a new study by Friends of the Earth claims. LONDON, Jan 29 (IPS) - Just one oil company has thrown three times as much carbon dioxide into the air as the current annual emissions from fossil fuels, a new study by Friends of the Earth claims. The study by the leading global environment watchdog says Exxon Mobil has produced 20.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in its 120 years of existence. This it says is about three times the annual global emissions now and 13 times the annual emissions from the United States. The Friends of the Earth International (F0EI) report says that the oil giant and its predecessors since the foundation of the Standard Oil Trust in 1882 have caused between 4.7 and 5.3 percent of all man-made carbon dioxide emissions across the globe.
Poisoning for profit: Book exposes US corporate cover-up of toxic pollution Part 1 (Feb 2)
The 1999 film The Insider exposed the criminal methods of the tobacco industry. The tobacco industry moguls weren't ignorant of the health risks of smoking. They weren't misguided. The health risks of smoking had been well researched and documentedby the industry's own scientists. Through suppression of information, cover-ups, lies and outright gangsterism, these industry heads sought to continue their conspiracy against the public. Such methods are not the exception for corporate America, they are standard operating procedure. In Deceit and Denial, Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner examine in detail how the lead and plastics industries covered up and suppressed the truth about the dangers of poisoning by lead and vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), the base from which polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is produced. The book, well written and engrossing, lays bare the incompatibility between production for profit and public health.
OILY RESIDUE Judge Imposes $4.5 Billion in Damages in Exxon Valdez Case
A federal judge in Alaska last week imposed $4.5 billion in punitive damages on ExxonMobil Corp. for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil tanker spill in Prince William Sound. The judgment marks the third time the case has been through federal court; on two previous occasions, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals deemed the award excessive and sent it back for review. Exxon expects to appeal yet again. It's been almost 15 years since the tanker, piloted by a relapsed alcoholic who faced only misdemeanor charges, ran aground on a reef and dumped 11 million gallons of crude oil in Alaskan waters. The class-action suit involving some 32,000 fishers and others affected by the spill has dragged on for more than a decade. In a strongly worded ruling (his third), Judge H. Russel Holland said, "We are dealing with reckless corporate officials." You think?
Check other articles at
From: "Joe Bryant" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: A Statement To Remember - Granny D - Activist
Date: 4 Feb 2004
Date: May 25, 2000
Granny D's day in court
90-year-old Doris "Granny D" Haddock was in court in the District of Columbia on Wednesday, May 24, to plead guilty to the charge of demonstrating in the Capitol building last April 21. Some 31 others were charged with her.
The judge, Chief Judge Hamilton of DC federal district court, was silent after Doris made her statement. In sentencing, he said to Doris and the demonstrators [this is approximate until the court transcript becomes available]: http://grannyd.com
"Sometimes some people are ahead of the law. It will change, catching up to where they are. In the meantime, some people like you have to act on behalf of the silent masses." He went on for several minutes with a beautiful statement. We'll get it on GrannyD.com as soon as possible. He could have imposed sentences of six months imprisonment and $500. Instead, he sentenced everyone to time already served, plus $10 (that was a reduced administration fee, not actually a fine. The usual fee is $50). He met with Doris in his chambers after the session and told her to "take care, because it is people like you who will help us reach our destiny." Some of his clerks were in tears at the meeting.
Doris and friends then went to picket the $26 million dollar Democratic Party fundraiser at the Washington MCI Arena, where $500,000 fat cats sat at tables on the arena floor eating barbeque and listening to the President and Vice President, while regular people --$50 contributors-- paid $3 per bottle of water to watch them eat. Doris was well interviewed there by NPR and several newspapers. When Doris crossed the street in front of the security-bristling arena she was approached by a squad of six DC policemen and women. They wanted to meet her.
Doris Haddock, called "Granny D" by her grandchildren, burdened by arthritis and emphysemia, walked 3,000 miles from California to Washington to deliver her message. And, deliver her message she did. Her statement before the court is reprinted below:
Doris "Granny D" Haddock
May 24, 2000
Your Honor, the old woman who stands before you was arrested for reading the Declaration of Independence in America's Capitol Building. I did not raise my voice to do so and I blocked no hall.
The First Amendment to the Constitution, Your Honor, says that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, so I cannot imagine what legitimate law I could have broken. We peaceably assembled there, Your Honor, careful to not offend the rights of any other citizen nor interrupt the peaceful enjoyment of their day. The people we met were supportive of what we were saying and I think they--especially the children--were shocked that we would be arrested for such a thoroughly wholesome American activity as respectfully voicing our opinion in our own hall. Any American standing there would have been shocked. For we were a most peaceable assembly, until Trent Lott's and Mitch McConnell's police came in with their bullhorns and their shackles to arrest us. One of us, who is here today, was injured and required a number of stitches to his head after he fell and could not break his own fall. He was detained for over four hours without medical care. I am glad we were only reading from the Declaration of Independence --I shudder to think what might have happened had we read from the Bill of Rights.
I was reading from the Declaration of Independence to make the point that we must declare our independence from the corrupting bonds of big money in our election campaigns.
And so I was reading these very words when my hands were pulled behind me and bound: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it."
Your Honor, we would never seek to abolish our dear United States. But alter it? Yes. it is our constant intention that it should be a government of, by and for the people, not the special interests, so that people may use this government in service to each other's needs and to protect the condition of our earth.
Your Honor, it is now your turn to be a part of this arrest. If your concern is that we might have interfered with the visitor's right to a meaningful tour of their Capitol, I tell you that we helped them have a more meaningful one. If your concern is that we might have been blocking the halls of our government, let me assure you that we stood to one side of the Rotunda where we would not be in anyone's way. But I inform you that the halls are indeed blocked over there.
They are blocked by the shameless sale of public policy to campaign contributors, which bars the doors and the halls to the people's legitimate needs and the flow of proper representation. We Americans must put an end to it in any peaceful way that we can. Yes, we can speak when we vote, and we do. But we must also give our best effort to encourage the repair of a very broken system. We must do both.
And the courts and prosecutors in government have a role, too. If Attorney General Reno would properly enforce the federal bribery statute, we would see lobbyists and elected officials dragged from the Capitol Building and the White House, their wrists tied, not ours. I would be home in New Hampshire, happily applauding the television news as my government cleaned its own house.
In my 90 years, this is the first time I have been arrested. I risk my good name --for I do indeed care what my neighbors think about me. But, Your Honor, some of us do not have much power, except to put our bodies in the way of an injustice--to picket, to walk, or to just stand in the way. It will not change the world overnight, but it is all we can do.
So I am here today while others block the halls with their corruption. Twenty-five million dollars are changing hands this very evening at a fund raiser down the street. It is the corrupt sale of public policy, and everyone knows it. I would refer those officials and those lobbyists, Your Honor, to Mr. Bob Dylan's advice when he wrote: "Come senators, congressmen, Please heed the call. Don't stand in the doorway, don't block up the hall."
Your Honor, the song was a few years early, but the time has now come for change. The times are changing because they must. And they will sweep away the old politician --the self-serving, the self-absorbed, the corrupt. The time of that leader is rapidly fading. We have come through a brief time when we have allowed ourselves to be entertained by corrupt and hapless leaders because they offer so little else, and because, as citizens, we have been priced out of participation and can only try to get some enjoyment out of their follies. But the earth itself can no longer afford them. We owe this change to our children and our grandchildren and our great grandchildren. We need have no fear that a self-governing people can creatively and effectively address their needs as a nation and a world if the corrupt and greedy are out of their way, and ethical leadership is given the helm.
Your Honor, to the business at hand: the old woman who stands before you was arrested for reading the Declaration of Independence in America's Capitol Building. I did not raise my voice to do so and I blocked no hall. But if it is a crime to read the Declaration of Independence in our great hall, then I am guilty.
Single Women Gaining Political Clout
AP, Dec 16 by Elizabeth Wolfe, Associated Press WASHINGTON - Forget about soccer moms. The prized voter of next year's presidential election could be single women, according to a new study. But they need to get to the polls. ...(a) study released Tuesday found there would have been 6 million more ballots to count in 2000 if single women had voted at the same rate as their married counterparts. The study, the first phase of a project designed to help get single women to the polls, showed that they are the largest nonvoting group and also one of the most dissatisfied with the country's direction. ...Study authors Christina Desser and Page Gardner, who received funding from some nonpartisan sources for their broader project, "Women's Voices. Women Vote.," said one reason single women stay home on Election Day is because they think their concerns about education, jobs and health care are routinely ignored. ...In 2000, nearly 22 million unmarried women who were registered to vote did not, while another 16 million did not register. That year, 68 percent of registered married women voted compared with 52 percent of unmarried women, the study said.
Check the latest Jan 21 report from GrannyD's voter registration road trip at http://grannyd.com/roadlog.htm
Bush's Independent Commission: Exonerating the Spooks
by Kurt Nimmo
February 2, 2004
Bush's so-called independent commission looking into "intelligence failures" will be handpicked by the administration. It will be similar to the 9/11 investigative commission -- that is to say it will produce results acceptable to Bush and the spooks. The chairman of the 9/11 commission is Thomas Kean.
Consider Kean emblematic.
"Thomas Kean is a director (and shareholder) of Amerada Hess Corporation, which is involved in the Hess-Delta joint venture with Delta Oil of Saudi Arabia (owned by the bin Mahfouz and Al-Amoudi clans)," notes Michel Chossudovsky. "In other words, Delta Oil Ltd. of Saudi Arabia -- which is a partner in the Hess-Delta Alliance -- is in part controlled by Khalid bin Mafhouz, Osama's brother in law."
You'd think concerned people would be up in arms over a commission assigned to investigate a terrorist incident blamed on Osama bin Laden with a director who does business with the main suspect's family. And yet nothing said about it -- at least nothing said by the Bush Ministry of Disinformation, otherwise known as Fox, CNN, and all the other alphabet corporate news agencies.
A so-called "news analysis" of the Bush commission published in the New York Times notes that another commission -- one head up by Frank Church in the 1970s chaired to look into the dirty dealings of the CIA -- "is remembered by many as an inquisition."
Of course, the CIA and its apologists consider it an "inquisition" because it revealed the true nature of the intelligence organization: election rigging, assassination, staged military coups, and other covert dirty tricks.
Bush will hand his commission a big wide brush and a tub of white paint.
Intelligence "professionals" will run the show. Porter Goss (R-Fla.), a former CIA and Army intelligence officer, and currently the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, "is among those who have argued that any new intelligence inquiry should look forward, rather than dwell on any past mistakes."
In short, Goss will make sure the closet remains closed and the sacred territory of the Office of Special Plans (OSP) will not be trespassed. Instead, the CIA will be issued a mild rebuke and then it will be time to move on. For its effort, the CIA may even be rewarded.
"Mr. Goss and others will argue that an inquiry ought to lead Americans to understand that intelligence gathering and analysis is, at best, an imperfect science."
Americans ought to learn one thing and one thing only -- the CIA, DIA, NSC, and OSP are not open to public inquiry.
"We've been watching too many James Bond movies, to think it always comes out all right in the end. It doesn't," Goss excoriated the American people. In other words, the CIA (actually the untouchable OSP; in this instance the CIA is a momentary patsy) will not be held accountable for making up far fetched stories about Saddam's illusory WMD, lies Bush used to invade a nation. Hey, we all make mistakes, right?
Let's move forward.
Forward means invading countries more effectively. Both Goss and David Kay believe Bush's invasion of Iraq was the right thing to do. The problem wasn't Rumsfeld's OSP and its unprincipled lies about Iraq's WMD or Saddam's imaginary connections to al-Qaeda, but rather the inability of the CIA to penetrate Saddam's inner circle of thugs.
If Bush's commission demonstrates anything, it will be that the CIA and other spook agencies need more power, not less. Less oversight, not more.
According to the Bushites and Goss, the CIA needs less political correctness and more understanding of why the US did business with the likes of the Shah of Iran, "Papa Doc" Duvalier, Mobutu Sese Seko, Vinicio Cerezo, Pol Pot, Alfredo Christiani, General Suharto, and a whole lot of other reprehensible dictators and sadists, including Saddam Hussein.
Following the logic of Goss and Kay, the arbitrary arrest, torture, disappearance, and killings of political opponents in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, the Philippines, Chile, Nicaragua, Indonesia, the Dominican Republic, Iran, and Iraq -- all facilitated with the assistance and encouragement of the CIA and the US government -- is nothing less than business as usual. Such behavior does not need to be modified. It only needs to be accomplished more effectively.
"One option sure to be addressed by the new commission is one already under review by the independent panel looking into the Sept. 11 attacks," writes the New York Times. "The idea is to establish a single director of national intelligence, appointed to a fixed term of office like the current FBI chief, and give that director real authority over bodies like the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, which now remain under Pentagon control."
But not the OSP, which remains unnamed. It will continue to crank out customized "intelligence" and feed it to Bush in preparation for invasions of Syria and Iran. In the future, if the CIA et al want to stay out of hot (actually lukewarm) water, they will make sure they are on the same page with Rumsfeld and the OSP.
Maybe the new intelligence czar will issue straight from the ranks of the OSP or Bush's inner circle. Is it possible the grooming of Abram Shulsky or William Luti -- both OSP hacks -- has already moved forward?
Bush's commission will not only mean a reshuffling of the deck, but a fresh influx of cash.
"[The] attention the inquiry will get may bring other help, like bigger budgets for agencies whose spending has soared since the Sept. 11 attacks but that plead for still more money for spies, satellites and other means of collecting intelligence."
As it now stands, we don't even know the numbers of the CIA's budget. US District judge Thomas Hogan threw out a lawsuit in 1999 attempting to compel the government to tell the public how much it spends on intelligence. The CIA said the numbers are irrelevant. Hogan said revealing the budget would provide "too much trend information and too great a basis for comparison and analysis for our adversaries."
Adversaries -- like the American people.
"It is not a question of reluctance on the part of CIA officials to speak to us," said Senator Leverett Saltonstall in 1966. "Instead it is a question of our reluctance, if you will, to seek information and knowledge on subjects which I personally, as a Member of Congress and as a citizen, would rather not have."
Nothing has changed in the 30 odd years since Saltonstall made his comment. Congress does not want to know what the CIA or the OSP does -- and they certainly don't want you to know.
As Chalmer Johnson writes, the term "blowback" came to be "shorthand for the unintended consequences of U.S. policies kept secret from the American people. In fact, to CIA officials and an increasing number of American pundits, blowback has become a term of art acknowledging that the unconstrained, often illegal, secret acts of the United States in other countries can result in retaliation against innocent American citizens. The dirty tricks agencies are at pains never to draw the connection between what they do and what sometimes happens to those who pay their salaries."
And that's what Bush's "independent" commission is all about severing the connection between what the CIA and the OSP do under the cover of darkness and the outcome of their actions. It will serve as a grandstand not to reform the agencies, but rather increase their power and magnify the damage they inflict. It is a case of rudimentary physics: for action there is a reaction.
Bush and Congress have bunkers.
We're expected to get by on duct tape.
Kurt Nimmo is a photographer, multimedia artist and writer living in New Mexico. He is author of Another Day in the Empire: Life in Neoconservative America (Dandelion Books, 2003). To see his photo work and read more of his essays, visit his excellent Another Day in the Empire weblog: http://www.kurtnimmo.com/blogger.html
Forwarded by "Mark Graffis" email@example.com>
The Herald (Scotland)
February 4, 2004
First award for depleted uranium poisoning claim
-Dr Schott's research formed part of a study of 16 British veterans of conflicts in the Gulf, Bosnia, and Kosovo, which found that they had 14 times the usual level of chromosome abnormalities in their genes, raising fears that they will pass cancers and genetic illnesses to their offspring.
A Scots ex-soldier has become the first veteran to win a pension appeal after being diagnosed with depleted uranium (DU) poisoning during the 1991 Gulf war. A Pension Appeal Tribunal Service hearing in Edinburgh accepted medical evidence provided by Kenny Duncan, of Clackmannan, previously dismissed by the MoD, which revealed he had become ill after service in the Middle East. Mr Duncan, 35, a driver with 7 Tank Transporter Regiment, helped move tanks destroyed by shells containing the poisonous dust. He says he has evidence that his children's health problems are linked to his service. Kenneth, 10, Andrew, eight, and six-year-old Heather, have symptoms similar to those suffered by some Iraqi children, including deformed toes, and low immune systems making them susceptible to asthma, hay fever and eczema.
Mr Duncan has suffered increasing breathlessness and aching joints which he has linked to DU. During the conflict, US and British troops fired an estimated 350 tonnes of DU weapons at Iraqi tanks. Doctors in southern Iraq have reported a marked increase in cancers and birth defects, and suspicion has grown that they were caused by DU contamination from tank battles. DU has been linked to a leukaemia cluster around the MoD range at Dundrennan, near the Solway Firth. Communities close to the range show the highest rate of childhood leukaemia in the UK. Mr Duncan's appeal was launched after he was awarded only about £40 a week, half the full pension, when he retired from the Army through ill health in 1993 after nine years' service. His pension will now be reassessed. The National Gulf Veterans and Families Association (NGVFA) said the tribunal decision added weight to its call for a full independent inquiry into Gulf war illnesses and supported its view that the government should do more financially to help the victims.
Mr Duncan's case relied on blood tests carried out by Dr Albrecht Schott, a German biochemist, which revealed chromosome aberrations caused by ionising radiation. Dr Schott's research formed part of a study of 16 British veterans of conflicts in the Gulf, Bosnia, and Kosovo, which found that they had 14 times the usual level of chromosome abnormalities in their genes, raising fears that they will pass cancers and genetic illnesses to their offspring.
The test results were dismissed by the MoD as "neither well thought out nor scientifically sound". Mr Duncan said yesterday: "It is just a huge relief to have someone in authority say that you have been poisoned by this stuff and that you are not telling lies. It is now time for the MoD to tell us what went wrong. "For all those veterans who have been going to the doctor with these ailments and are being told there is nothing wrong with them, this is for them, and I hope it will help them. "I doubt that I will benefit much financially from this, but it wasn't about the money, it was about the principle of the thing." The ministry said yesterday: "Once we have seen the decision, we will consider the implications it might have on the MoD."
The Three Top Sins Of The Universe
by Mark R. Elsis, http://Lovearth.net, February 9, 2002
On Tuesday September 11, 2001, at least 35,615 of our brother and sisters died from the worst possible death, starvation. Somewhere around 85% of these starvation deaths occur in children 5 years of age or younger. Why are we letting at least 30,273 of the most beautiful children die the worst possible death everyday? Every 2.43 seconds another one of our fellow brothers and sisters dies of starvation. Starvation doesn't just happen on Tuesday September 11, 2001, it happens everyday, 365 days per year, 24 hours per day, it never stops.
The number 35,615 is a conservatively low number for the barbarically needless daily deaths the poorest of the poor die. If we were to add the next two leading ways the poorest of the poor die, water borne diseases and AIDS, we would be approaching a daily body count of 50,000 deaths. Yes, upwards of 50,000 people per day are needlessly dying on Earth. These deaths are dictated by the greed of a very few, and the rest of us are not changing it -- or this ultimate sin wouldn't be happening, now would it? Let us not forget that the vast majority of these needless deaths are of children 5 years of age and under. One person every 2 seconds needlessly dies from starvation, water borne diseases or AIDS. I know Harry Chapin is looking down on this travesty and is really pissed off.
If the truth be known, not only did these fellow humans die the worst imaginable death, in fact they were, and always are, very quietly being murdered. This heinous, barbaric sin is mainly perpetrated by an elite few, the extremely rich and powerful megalomaniacs of the ultimate oligarchy -- the illuminati. But the inherent greed that is allowing this daily mass murdering of our fellow human beings is based in the roots of capitalism itself. This means we all have the blood of the tens of thousands of innocent children on our hands every minute of every day. This is not very good karma for us. We must quickly put an end to our relentlessly heinous and barbaric slaughtering of our own species children.
On Tuesday September 11, 2001, another one of the three top sins of the universe occurred. Our species, Homo sapiens, blatantly caused approximately 578 species of the web of life to go extinct. This extinction rate equals one species of life going extinct every 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Millions of people are at work legally day and night, quickly destroying the richest place there is for life on Earth, the Rainforests. For every legal worker there are perhaps as many as 5 illegal workers destroying the Rainforests. Our species reckless expansion into the virgin Rainforests are causing countless atrocities to all life sustaining ecosystems. The virgin Rainforests are home to 61.8% of all the biological diversity on Earth. In this, the richest environment for life, we are destroying a land area which is equivalent to the size of the city of Tokyo Japan ( 240 square miles ) every day. This equals 6417 acres per hour, 107 acres per minute or 1.78 acres per second.
Someday very soon we will pay the ultimate price for this sin. Someday very soon when we make yet another species go extinct from the web of life. Perhaps this has already happened or perhaps it will happen tomorrow. Most likely it will happen between 2012 to 2016 when we will reach the 10% / 50% Safeguard Threshold Providence. ( This is when there will be only 10% virgin Rainforests land area left -- but yet nature still magically retaining 50% of its species. For a full explanation of this, please read http://Rainforests.net )
That extinction will finally break the camel's back. The safeguard demarcation line inherent in nature to preserve biodiversity will have been passed. It is then we will have passed our own species Omega point. We will have caused the irreversible damage to the interdependence between all life, akin to taking out the keystone species in every environment. It will result in an ever quickening array of cascading failures, which will spiral out of control throughout Earth's ecosystems.
Intentionally causing the extinction of other life forms is the top sin of the universe. Homo sapiens are causing mass species extinctions. So much that we are now well into what is called the sixth mass extinction period. The ramifications for breaking this top sin of the universe with blatant and reckless abandon will of course be, our own species extinction.
On September 11, 2001, the final one of the three top sins of the universe occurred. This was the Big Lie of murdering thousands, as a cover for a grab at total world control. The elite few who are the extremely rich and powerful megalomaniacs of the ultimate oligarchy, the illuminati, played wag the dog for their own ultimate geopolitical purpose, the complete domination of the world, or otherwise known as the New World Order globalization.
Understand the history of the United States over the last century. The Big Lie murder of 3000 victims of September 11th was akin to USS Maine in 1898, the Lusitania in 1915, Pearl Harbor in 1941, Gulf of Tonkin in 1964 and the 300 babies slaughtered in their incubators in 1991. Perhaps you should also read about Operation Northwoods from 1962, and http://www.911Timeline.net.
The total disregard for our fellow human life and for all the other species of life on Earth is utter insanity. We will not last too much longer if we allow this to happen on our watch. We must, of course, finally look at ourselves in the mirror and see that we must change or go extinct.
Meanwhile polls say that 86% of the people in the United States can't seem to face up to any one these three sins, they just want to go kick some ass. Well, in war time kicking ass is otherwise known as killing innocent woman and children. How many of these 86% do you think will even want to realize that the majority of the casualties of war are not soldiers but innocent victims, mostly the elderly, woman and children. To all of the practicing Christians and Jews amongst the 86%, what ever happened to the Sixth Commandment, Thou Shalt Not Kill? Is there something about that phrase you don't understand?
Why do you think the United States Government will spend more on the military in fiscal year 2003, than all the rest of the countries on Earth combined? Current expenditures are 437 billion and our past obligations are 339 billion, this equals 776 billion. Forty-six percent of our Taxes go to the Military Industrial Complex: http://www.warresisters.org/piechart.htm
This figure doesn't even begin to account for all of the off-budget, black projects, nor the 40+ billion the United States will spend on intelligence in 2003.
Within just the last fifty years, starting with Iran and Guatemala in the early 1950's through today, our military has murdered at least 8 million people. We have created dozens of wars to establish supposedly Democratically elected governments in other countries. Well it is not done for democratic purposes, but quite to the contrary, it is done for only one thing, corporate profits.
Perhaps keeping yourself blind to all the facts about these three top sins of the universe will keep you in ignorant bliss. Perhaps going to your place of worship every day or once per week will keep you in ignorant bliss. Perhaps going around waving the U.S. flag, or wearing a U.S. flag will keep you in ignorant bliss. Perhaps listening to the corporate war hungry media will keep you in ignorant bliss. Perhaps you like to live in your own little world of ignorant bliss.
Or you can open your eyes, hearts and minds to the logical understanding that we must stop this greedy murdering capitalism as quickly as we possibly can. We must stop these three top sins of the universe from happening over and over every second of every day. Or we will very soon pay the ultimate price for our greed and silence, our own extinction.
If you would like to be part of the population who cares, and wants to make a difference, please make daily visits to http://Humane.net Where all the best click to donate for free sites are listed together. In only five minutes per day, you can make a significant contribution and help to change the world for the better.
Imagine there's no heaven,
it's easy if you try,
No hell below us,
above us only sky,
Imagine all the people,
living for today.
Imagine there's no countries,
it isn't hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
and no religion too,
Imagine all the people,
living life in peace.
You may say I'm a dreamer,
but I'm not the only one,
I hope someday you'll join us,
and the world will be as one.
Imagine no possessions,
I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger,
a brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people,
sharing all the world.
You may say I'm a dreamer,
but I'm not the only one,
I hope someday you'll join us,
and the world will live as one.
Love Is The Answer
Mark R. Elsis
Is the Executive Director of the LOVEARTH ® NETWORK
With Eleven Hundred Eco-Humane-Political-Spiritual Websites
http://Lovearth.net / http://Network.Lovearth.net
Go at http://Starvation.net/shorteststory.ra to hear The Shortest Story
Visit World Hunger Year Co-founded by Harry Chapin
Learn About World Hunger - The World's Largest Humanitarian Agency
Christian Children's Fund
...creates an environment of hope and respect for needy children of all cultures and beliefs so they have opportunities to achieve their full potential.
Date: 5 Feb 2004
Subject: What has the U.S. become post-9/11?
(Comment: Anyone who has done extensive reading on the Internet will know that this is NOT an "isolated incident". These kinds of things are happening very often to not only Muslims and people of Arab descent, but to whites and other races as well. Can we afford another term of George Bush? Can America allow this Congress to continue stripping away our unalienable rights? When are Americans going to speak out and stop this march into fascism? They leave our border to Mexico wide open, allowing this country to be overrun (creating massive problems with crime and welfare) while persecuting decent people. Ken)
HOMELAND SUCKURITY: Return to Sender: When American authorities can shackle, jail, humiliate and deport a plain British tourist, the question has to be asked: What has the U.S. become post-9/11? By Rosi Hygate
Rosi Hygate, who was raised and educated in Britain, is a naturalized American citizen.
February 1, 2004
After nearly 10 years, my brother John was coming to Los Angeles from England to see me. Our mother had recently died, so it seemed especially important to be together. He would help me celebrate my birthday, then we would travel to Northern California.
John arrived at LAX at 2:45 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon last month. That was as close as he got to seeing me. After inspecting his passport, immigration officials informed him that there was a problem.
About 26 years ago, he was convicted in Britain of cocaine possession. He paid the required fine and never touched drugs again. In fact, he went on to work for more than 20 years for the British government as a prison liaison officer. But that wasn't good enough for the U.S.
Over the two days that followed his arrival, he was searched five times, fingerprinted 10 times and photographed again and again. Not until nearly three hours after he was originally detained was John even allowed to call me. By that time, I was extremely worried. On the phone, he asked me not to speak because he was not permitted to talk long or tell me anything other than that he was being sent back to the U.K. "I'm here and they are sending me back," he said.
Then the call was abruptly terminated. I subsequently found out that he had been handcuffed at the time, and the phone had been pulled away.
I was terrified and confused about what to do. My 58-year-old brother is a diabetic with high blood pressure and a heart condition. He is a solid, law-abiding citizen.
I immediately called a good immigration attorney, assuming things could be quickly resolved. I was shocked by what I learned. In this country, in the post-9/11 era, my brother has no rights, not even the right to go before a judge to plead his case. Nothing could be done. As the attorney said: "This is what immigration lawyers are up against under the Patriot Act."
Government officials testifying last week before the federal commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks described reforms they say have tightened U.S. border security. But it seems like it should be possible to screen out genuine terrorist threats while still allowing tourists from Britain, our closest ally in the Iraq war, to visit family members here.
My brother, I know anecdotally, is not alone in being stopped at the border, and I suspect the problem is bigger than any of us realizes.
After my brother's phone call, I assumed he had been sent home. So the next day, I started calling him in the UK. There was no answer. My brother's daughter and my younger brother had not heard from him either. I was frantic. Was he in a hospital somewhere? Had he been detained?
My travel agent managed to get through to officials at United (the airline he flew in on) and learned that he had been taken to a "facility" in downtown Los Angeles. It was more than 24 hours after he was first taken into custody that we heard he was en route from downtown back to LAX for a 5:30 p.m. flight to London. I asked to speak to him at the airport. My request was denied.
I did not learn the complete story until my brother was once again on British soil. After being detained handcuffed and searched at LAX on Thursday afternoon, he was confined to a fairly comfortable room until 1 a.m. Friday. He was then moved to a jail facility in Los Angeles, where for nine hours he was placed in a holding cell with a sloping stainless steel bench designed to prevent anyone from lying down.
Sometime Friday afternoon he was taken back to LAX in handcuffs, paraded through the airport on legs now swollen from his diabetes and held back until all the other passengers had boarded. He was then walked down the aisle of the plane, still in handcuffs, and placed next to a terrified woman who had to be reassured that he was not dangerous. His passport was confiscated and given to a flight attendant, who kept it until the plane landed in London.
John was told by U.S. officials that if he had arranged for a visa before departing the UK, this whole thing would not have happened. Yet, according to the State Department, England is part of the visa waiver program that allows British citizens to come to the U.S. as tourists without visas.
One immigration officer suggested that John go to the U.S. Embassy in London, get a visa and return to the U.S. John's reply saddens me. He said, "My sister loves your country. I will never set foot in it again."
After an 11-hour flight, his swollen legs made worse by the confinement of a transcontinental flight, John arrived home. The British immigration officer who met him (he had to remain in his seat until all passengers had disembarked) apologized for what had happened, returned his passport and sent him home.
I have lived in the U.S. for 20 years. I became a citizen because I am proud of this country. I am disappointed in the way my country behaved toward my brother.
The British have been staunch allies of the U.S. But from my vantage point, it appears the loyalty goes in just one direction.
Date: 8 Feb 2004
Subject: Another terrorist weapon is exposed...
"WEAPONS OF MATH INSTRUCTION"
by Jeffrey Francois.
At New York's Kennedy airport today, an individual later discovered to be a public school teacher was arrested trying to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a setsquare, a slide rule, and a calculator.
At a morning press conference, Attorney general John Ashcroft said he believes the man is a member of the notorious al-gebra movement. He is being charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.
"Al-gebra is a fearsome cult," Ashcroft said. "They desire average solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in a search of absolute value. They use secret code names like "x" and "y" and refer to themselves as "unknowns", but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country.
"As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, 'There are 3 sides to every triangle'," Ashcroft declared.
When asked to comment on the arrest, President Bush said, "If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes." "I am gratified that our government has given us a sine that it is intent on protracting us from these math-dogs who are willing to disintegrate us with calculus disregard. Murky statisticians love to inflict plane on every sphere of influence," the President said, adding: "Under the circumferences, we must differentiate their root, make our point, and draw the line."
President Bush warned, "These weapons of math instruction have the potential to decimal everything in their math on a scalene never before seen unless we become exponents of a Higher Power and begin to factor-in random facts of vertex."
Attorney General Ashcroft said, "As our Great Leader would say, read my ellipse. Here is one principle he has no uncertainty of: though they continue to multiply, their days are numbered as the hypotenuse tightens around their necks."
Forwarded by "Mark Graffis" firstname.lastname@example.org> on Feb 5
Culture Change Letter #53
THIS IS NO WAY TO LIVE
by Jan Lundberg
Living by the clock.
Eating by the clock.
Clocking your speed down the deathway road.
Surrounded by walls.
Buying things you need that you could have and should have made or grown.
Not having money to buy the things you need and not having land that can provide them.
Being told what to do and think by authorities who serve the rich.
Being subject to innumerable laws designed to control a rising population.
Getting cancer from chemical exposures deliberately allowed into the air, water and food.
Paying pharmaceutical companies for questionable cures when the drugs are just more fossil fuel derivatives like the chemicals that gave you cancer.
Watching a hard-working society bleed to death from wars and karmic costs of killing millions of innocents abroad over the decades.
Being isolated so much that material things serve as friends.
This is no way to live. The list can go on forever, such is the moral bankruptcy of our "leaders" and the failure of an educational system that requires mainly conformism.
This is not a "This is how to live." But think on these things:
Growing more food locally, for everyone. Taking care of the land, air, and water as if they are ours and our ancestors' and descendents'. Deciding for ourselves what is right, when it comes to action on any issue. Making decisions via consensus and not marginalizing or excluding a segment of the population. Spending our money in our own economy instead of sending wealth to corporations in Detroit or "Delaware."
Having time to spend with your family, friends, and doing what you want to do. Educating your own children. Having your parents and grandparents around to help teach. Painting or writing your masterpiece. Singing your song, sharing your poem. Healing the land as you heal your body.
Loving all whom you chose, if welcome, and restricting no one from freedoms such as loving.
Taking responsibility for your own life - making your destiny - by living your adventure.
Learning whatever you can and applying it.
When there is no TV and no petroleum, the above changes can and will be carried out and not just thought upon.
The entire socioeconomic system is a fraud if it serves up cancer on a bun: Billions and billions of units "served," manufactured, broken, land-filled. It's too little too late for recycling as a solution to maintain our present habits. Best get outraged and walk out of the fast food "restaurant" before allowing one more of your hard earned dollars to be misappropriated. May love and peace come to you.
Forwarded by Ken NCEpanacea@aol.com> on Feb 5
by Swami Beyondananda
Troubled by karma problems? Do you have a hard time starting your karma in the morning? Difficulty shifting? Are you concerned that your karma might be a lemon? Let the Swami have a look under your hood.
What exactly makes a karma go? Doesn't it have something to do with internal combustion?
Well yes, the karmas we grew up with seem to get driven by lots of friction and internal combustion. But this can be quite stressful, not to mention wear and tear on parts. In this new millennium, you can expect to see lots of clean-burning karmas running on esteem.
So esteem is karma fuel?
Not exactly. Any material in life that we laugh at can be used to fuel our karma. When we add a spark of joy to any painful material in life, this causes an explosion of mirth - and this bubbling of laughter causes esteem to rise. So turning material into esteem is what empowers our karma.
What kind of karma should I drive?
It doesn't really matter what karma you drive as long as it puts you on the expressway - and any way you express joy in the world is your expressway. I suggest looking at the karma you're already driving: Is your karma a big karma or a little one? A gas-guzzler or one of those fuel-efficient, high- economy karmas? Are you a sporty model or a cheap pick-up? An elegant Continental or a beat-up Bug? Maybe your karma is an old Dodge. If you're trading in your old karma for the millennium, I have to go along with Karma and Driver magazine and recommend the Evolvo.
What about karma insurance?
Oh, that is a very good idea, and not just because I recently became a sales rep for All States. It can happen to anyone. Your karma is just about paid off and wham - you run smack into someone's dogma, and your karma is totaled. That's what happened to Joan of Arc. Salman Rushdie, on the other hand, was protected by All States Karma Insurance, and is impervious to vicious dogmas! And with All States, you're protected not just in physical reality but in all states of being.
Why just last week, I was traveling out of my body and I locked my keys inside. All States was there and got me back in my body before my battery ran out! And if you fall behind in paying your exorcist, All States will step in BEFORE you get repossessed. Even if you owe the Eternal Revenue Service thousands of years in back karma, All States will insure you. Just tell them the Swami sent you, and they'll give you the Super Savior rate - and a Get Out of Hell Free card at no extra cost! Just put it on your Ascended Mastercard and make no payments until your next lifetime. All States Karma Insurance . don't leave Om without it.
Any tips for cleaning my karma?
I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you may be suffering from psychic b.o. (bodhi odor, we call it), because let's face it, we smelled in past lives. Some of us really stunk, and that stink is really going to stick. So I strongly recommend bringing your karma to one of those soft-cloth karma washes for a hose down, especially the underside. The underside of your karma picks up some pretty foul stuff in the course of a lifetime!
Can I learn to attune my own karma?
As someone who's been working on karmas for years, I will tell you that fixing your karma is easier than you think. Sure, you might have to see Mr. Godwrench for your 20,000 year check-up, but most problems you can fix yourself using some simple Auto-Suggestion techniques. Say goodbye to invasive mechanical procedures and harmful engine additives! Just use this healing relaxation at the first sign of karma trouble:
* Put your karma into park
* Turn off your ignition.
* Let your weight sink slowly into your tires.
* Let your shock absorbers release all the tensions of the road.
* Let all exhaustion escape from your tailpipe.
Good. Now repeat the following affirmations as you inhale deeply through your intake mannafold.
* My battery is fully charged and I am getting plenty of juice.
* My transmission is engaged and my karma has shifted into overdrive.
* My front end is aligned with perfection.
* I am One with my Universal Joint.
* I cruise easily with the flow of Traffic and get off any time I like.
May your karma run smoothly until it is recalled by its Maker.
Copyright 2000 by Steve Bhaerman. All rights reserved. To find out more about the Swami or order his books and tapes, please visit him online at http://www.wakeuplaughing.com or call the Swami hotline at 1-800-SWAMI-BE.
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