Do Turkeys Enjoy Thanksgiving?
Bush 'stole' the presindential election: Cherie.
Beside Condi, Who Else Had Foreknowledge of 911.
Trip with Cheney puts ethics spotlight on Scalia.
Pentagon witholds cold war medical data.
Ambassador you're really spoilling our party.
Bush's 'Broken Toys'
By Robert Parry
July 31, 2004
The key institutions that are intended to supply the U.S. government and the American people with accurate information – the intelligence community and the news media – have become "broken toys" largely incapable of fulfilling their responsibilities, a predicament that has worsened during the Presidency of George W. Bush.
There's also still little understanding of the systemic nature of the problem. The 9/11 Commission, for instance, proposed creating a new National Intelligence Director inside the Executive Office of the President, apparently unaware that the worm of "politicized" intelligence bore into the CIA when Ronald Reagan named his campaign director, William J. Casey, as CIA director in 1981 and put Casey in the Cabinet. [For details, see Consortiumnews.com "CIA's DI Disgrace."]
The other serious problem is that the many U.S. news outlets have become little more than propaganda conveyor belts for the Bush administration. Even when Bush is caught misleading the American people, as he was in hyping the threat from Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, the potent conservative news media sees its job as protecting Bush's flanks, not holding him accountable.
O'Reilly vs. Moore
On July 26, the second night of the Democratic National Convention in Boston, Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly brought Michael Moore onto the “O’Reilly Factor” for a confrontation. O’Reilly challenged the documentary maker to apologize to Bush for accusing the President of lying about the pre-war dangers from Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
O’Reilly acknowledged that Bush’s WMD claims had been false but argued that Bush had made his assertions in good faith. In other words, Bush was not a liar; he had simply acted on bum information, so Moore should apologize.
Not surprisingly, Moore refused, noting that more 900 American soldiers had died in Iraq because Bush sent them into harm’s way for a bogus reason. Moore said Bush was the one who should apologize to those soldiers and to the American people. O’Reilly went on badgering Moore through much of the segment, but neither media star backed down.
What was extraordinary about the encounter, however, was how it demonstrated the role that the conservative media apparatus has long played for both George Bushes.
Normally, news organizations don’t rally to the defense of politicians who have misled the American people as significantly as George W. Bush had on Iraq or as George H.W. Bush had on the Iran-Contra and other scandals of the 1980s. Offending pols are sometimes allowed to make their own case – explaining how their false statements weren’t exactly lies – but rarely would a journalist make the case for them. At least those were the rules of the game 30 years ago at the time of Watergate.
But the rules changed with the development of the conservative media-political infrastructure from the late 1970s to the present. The two George Bushes were two of its principal beneficiaries.
While Democrats and liberals could expect to be skewered over minor or even imagined contradictions, Republicans and conservatives would find themselves surrounded by a phalanx of ideological bodyguards. Not only would O’Reilly and his fellow conservative media personalities defend George W. Bush over his false statements about Iraq, they could be counted on to go on the offensive against anyone who dared criticize him. That was true during the run-up to the Iraq War when they wouldn’t permit a serious debate about the WMD and other issues – and it was true after the invasion.
When skeptics like former weapons inspector Scott Ritter doubted Bush’s case or when foreign allies such as the French asked that U.N. inspectors be given more time, they were hooted down by the conservative media, including Fox News, as well as much of the "mainstream" press.
Then, after the invasion with no WMD caches found, Fox News was back hectoring critics, such as Michael Moore, who supposedly have voiced their criticism of Bush a decibel too loud or took it a notch too far. O’Reilly and other conservative media stars were enforcing an unwritten rule in recent American politics: the Bush family always gets the benefit of the doubt, no matter what the context.
But the defense of George W. Bush’s honesty about Iraq – that he didn’t intentionally mislead the nation to war – misses the larger context of his presentation of the Iraq evidence. From the start, Bush engaged in a pattern of hyping the case for war that consistently exaggerated or misrepresented the evidence.
Bush wasn’t as much presenting the evidence to the American people so a thorough and thoughtful debate could be held about going to war; he was making the case for war, always spinning a more clear-cut story than the evidence supported, always applying a worst-case scenario for the facts implicating Iraq while excluding mitigating evidence.
Beyond the WMD issue, Bush repeatedly juxtaposed references to Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, terrorism and Iraq. Though Bush may never have said explicitly that Iraq was implicated in the September 11 attacks, the repetition created the impression of a linkage that the facts didn’t support. According to polls, that was exactly the inference drawn by a large majority of Americans, that Saddam Hussein was somehow involved in the terror attacks. The inference was not an accident.
Just months after the invasion, Bush even began rewriting the history of the Iraq War to make his actions seem more defensible. According to Bush’s revised version, Hussein had refused to cooperate with U.N. demands for weapons inspections, leaving the U.S. and its “coalition of the willing” no choice but to invade Iraq in defense of the U.N.’s disarmament resolutions and to protect the United States from Iraq’s WMD.
On July 14, 2003, seated next to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, Bush said about Hussein, “we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power.”
Bush reiterated that war-justifying claim on Jan. 27, 2004, when he said, “We went to the United Nations, of course, and got an overwhelming resolution -- 1441 -- unanimous resolution, that said to Saddam, you must disclose and destroy your weapons programs, which obviously meant the world felt he had such programs. He chose defiance. It was his choice to make, and he did not let us in.”
This bogus history has not only gulled some ill-informed American citizens; it apparently has taken in some of the most erudite members of the Washington press corps. In an interview at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, ABC News anchor Ted Koppel showed that he had absorbed the Bush administration spin point.
“It did not make logical sense that Saddam Hussein, whose armies had been defeated once before by the United States and the Coalition, would be prepared to lose control over his country if all he had to do was say, ‘All right, U.N., come on in, check it out, I will show you, give you whatever evidence you want to have, let you interview whomever you want to interview,’” Koppel said in an interview with Amy Goodman, host of “Democracy Now.”
But as anyone with a memory of those historic events should know, Iraq did let the U.N. weapons inspectors in and gave them freedom to examine any site they wished. Iraqi officials, including Hussein, also declared publicly that they didn’t possess weapons of mass destruction.
The history is clear – or should be – that it was the Bush administration that forced the U.N. inspectors out of Iraq so the United States and its coalition could press ahead with the invasion. Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix spelled these facts out in his book, Disarming Iraq, as well as in repeated interviews.
Instead of Hussein blocking the inspections, Blix wrote that three days before the invasion, a Bush administration official demanded that the U.N. inspectors leave Iraq. "Although the inspection organization was now operating at full strength and Iraq seemed determined to give it prompt access everywhere, the United States appeared as determined to replace our inspection force with an invasion army," Blix wrote in Disarming Iraq.
Yet, through repetition the Bush administration’s favored narrative of the war has sunk in as a faux reality for Washington journalists, including Koppel, that Bush bent over backwards to avoid the invasion and was forced to attack because Hussein’s intransigence made it look like the dictator was hiding something.
While Koppel’s response to Amy Goodman might be viewed as a case of Koppel trying to spin the facts himself to dodge responsibility for his lack of pre-war skepticism, he clearly had gotten the idea for his misleading explanation from the Bush administration.
Bush stretched the truth again when he used the 9/11 catastrophe as part of his excuse for reneging on a promise to run balanced budgets. As he began to amass record federal deficits, Bush claimed that he had given himself an escape hatch during the 2000 campaign. In speech after speech in the months after the September 11 attacks, Bush recounted his supposed caveat from the campaign, that he would keep the budget balanced except in event of war, recession or national emergency. Bush then delivered the punch line: "Little did I realize we'd get the trifecta."
The joking reference to the trifecta – a term for a horseracing bet on the correct order of finish for three horses – always got a laugh from his listeners, although some families of the 9/11 victims found the joke tasteless. But beyond the question of taste, Bush's trifecta claim about having set criteria for going back into deficit spending appears to have been fabricated. Neither the White House nor independent researchers could locate any such campaign statement by Bush, although Al Gore had made a comment similar to the one Bush was claiming for himself.
In his sometimes brazen pattern of deceptions, Bush apparently senses no danger from being called to account. After all, he had Fox News and other conservative news outlets covering his flanks. Indeed, critics, such as Michael Moore, who have tried to apply the L-word to Bush’s dissembling are the ones who are confronted with demands that they apologize, not that Bush express any regret for misleading the American people.
This built-in protection on questions of stretching the truth also has let Bush and his allies safely step out of their glass houses to hurl stones at critics for supposedly lying.
When former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill questioned Bush’s leadership in Ron Suskind’s The Price of Loyalty, the White House portrayed O’Neill as a disgruntled flake who couldn’t be trusted. Later when White House counter-terrorism chief Richard Clarke asserted in Against All Enemies that Iraq was a Bush obsession after he took office while al-Qaeda was not, senior congressional Republicans and the conservative news media savaged Clarke’s credibility, even suggesting that he be charged with perjury.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist went to the Senate floor on March 26, 2004, to accuse Clarke of leaving out much of his criticism about Bush in July 2002 when Clarke gave classified testimony to the House and Senate intelligence committees. Clarke, then a special adviser to the President, said he told the truth in his congressional testimony though he had stressed the positive as a White House representative. He also noted that the testimony occurred before the invasion of Iraq, which solidified Clarke's assessment that Bush was bungling the war on terror.
But in a scathing Senate speech, Frist demanded that Clarke's sworn Capitol Hill testimony be declassified and examined for discrepancies from his testimony to the 9/11 Commission. "Loyalty to any administration will be no defense if it is found that he has lied to Congress," the Tennessee Republican said.
The conservatives also tossed the L-word freely at Senator John Kerry when he emerged as the presumptive Democratic nominee to challenge Bush.
A case in point was Kerry's off-hand remark on March 8, 2004, that he had spoken with foreign “leaders” who hoped he would defeat Bush. Quickly, the Republican attack machine began churning out suggestions that Kerry had lied and might be un-American to boot. “Kerry’s imaginary friends have British and French accents,” said Republican National Chairman Ed Gillespie on March 11, setting out the themes that Kerry was both delusional and suspect for hanging out with foreigners.
The story switched into high gear when Sun Myung Moon’s Washington Times blared the results of its investigation of Kerry’s remarks across the front page of its March 12 issue. Though it was well known that many foreign leaders were troubled by Bush's unilateral foreign policy and favored someone else in the White House, The Washington Times acted as if Kerry's claim was so strange that it merited some major sleuthing.
The article asserted that Kerry “cannot back up foreign ‘endorsements,’” in part because he declined to identify the leaders whom he had spoken with in confidence about Bush. Kerry had “made no official foreign trips since the start of last year,” the newspaper wrote. Plus, “an extensive review of Mr. Kerry’s travel schedule domestically revealed only one opportunity for the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee to meet with foreign leaders here,” the article said. [Washington Times, March 12, 2004]
The point was obvious: Kerry was a liar. The possibility that Kerry might have talked to anyone by phone or used some other means of communication apparently was not contemplated by Moon’s newspaper.
“Mr. Kerry has made other claims during the campaign and then refused to back them up,” The Washington Times wrote. Then came the ridicule: “Republicans have begun calling Mr. Kerry the ‘international man of mystery,’ and said his statements go even beyond those of former Vice President Al Gore, who was besieged by stories that he lied or exaggerated throughout the 2000 presidential campaign.”
Soon, Bush was personally suggesting that Kerry was a liar. “If you’re going to make an accusation in the course of a campaign, you’ve got to back it up,” Bush said. Vice President Dick Cheney added even uglier implications that Kerry may have engaged in acts close to treason. “We have a right to know what he is saying to them that makes them so supportive of his candidacy,” Cheney said.
The Washington Times also kept stirring the pot. On March 16, it quoted Senator John Sununu, a New Hampshire Republican, as saying “I think there’s a real question as to whether or not the claim was a fabrication.”
That same day, again implying that Kerry perhaps suffers from mental illness, Bush’s campaign chief Ken Mehlman accused the Massachusetts senator of living in a “parallel universe.” Mehlman then made a preemptive strike to protect Bush from any Kerry counter-attack against Bush's lies. Mehlman said Kerry already had shown a “willingness to try to project onto the President what are his own weaknesses.” [Washington Post, March 17, 2004]
The Republican allegations against Kerry reverberated through the TV pundit shows for a week. But the larger absurdity of the controversy was that Kerry’s comment about many foreign leaders privately wishing for Bush’s defeat was certainly true. For instance, the newly elected Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero had called Bush’s Iraq War a “disaster” and has said he favored new U.S. leadership.
Some liberal activists wonder why Democratic leaders are often so circumspect about what they say. Why, these activists ask, don’t the Democrats just let it fly like the Republicans do?
Indeed, that’s another factor that favors Republicans because they can come across as more aggressive and more confident, while Democrats often end up sounding more timid and more uncertain. That cautious tone can turn off much of the Democratic base while leaving many independent voters questioning whether the Democrats really know what they stand for. In cases where Democrats do sound off – as with Howard Dean’s campaign – they are labeled shrill, crazy or hate-filled.
The Democratic-defensive dynamic, however, is another consequence of the media-political infrastructure that Republicans and conservatives have spent three decades – and billions of dollars – creating. Especially since Democrats and liberals have failed to match the investment and the dedication, the Right-Wing Machine has given Republicans a powerful advantage – and one that does not seem likely to go away.
As long as right-wingers, such as Sun Myung Moon and Rupert Murdoch, continue to pour vast sums into this media-political apparatus, the Republicans can expect to be protected when they make missteps. At the same time, Democrats can expect to pay a high price even for an innocuous mistake.
The conservative infrastructure also has helped the Republicans achieve a unity that often has been lacking on the Democratic side. Conservatives can tune in Fox News, listen to Rush Limbaugh, pick up The Washington Times or consult dozens of other well-financed media outlets to hear the latest pro-Republican “themes,” often coordinated with the Republican National Committee or Bush’s White House. The liberals lack any comparable media apparatus, and the committed liberal outlets that do exist are almost always under-funded and often part-time. Only in 2004 have liberals launched a rudimentary – and under-funded – talk-radio network, called Air America, to begin competing with the dominant right-wing talk shows.
Some journalists respond to criticism about their errors in covering important events of the past quarter century by suggesting that the historians will correct any mistakes. "Leave it to the historians" is a common reply when inaccuracies are pointed out.
But there are growing warning signs that history may become the next “broken toy,” unable to fulfill its responsibilities either. The week-long hagiography of Ronald Reagan after his death revealed the same patterns that have become apparent in U.S. intelligence analysis and in U.S. journalism.
To maintain their mainstream credibility, popular historians filled the hours of time on television with uncritical discussions about Reagan’s legacy. Indeed, rather than the historians supplying a more accurate account of Reagan’s Presidency, they arguably did a worse job in telling a straight story than the journalists had done in the 1980s.
The notion that documents will emerge in a timely way to fill in crucial gaps also may be more wishful thinking. Immediately after taking office in January 2001, George W. Bush stopped the legally required release of documents from the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
Then, after the September 11 terrorist attacks as a stunned nation rallied around him, Bush issued an even more sweeping secrecy order. He granted former Presidents and Vice Presidents or their surviving family members the right to stop release of historical records, including those related to “military, diplomatic or national security secrets.” Bush’s order stripped the Archivist of the United States of the power to overrule claims of privilege from former Presidents and their representatives. [See New York Times, Jan. 3, 2003]
By a twist of history, Bush’s order eventually could give him control over both his and his father’s records covering 12 years of the Reagan-Bush era and however long Bush’s own presidential term lasts, potentially a 20-year swath of documentary evidence. Under Bush’s approach, control over those two decades worth of secrets could eventually be put into the hands of Bush’s daughters, Jenna and Barbara, a kind of dynastic control over U.S. history that would strengthen the hand of Bush apologists even more in controlling how historians get to understand this era.
Much of the change over the past three decades has come gradually, failing to cause alarm, as with a frog not recognizing the danger of sitting in water slowly being brought to a boil. Many of the events may seem on the surface disconnected, although many of the central characters have reappeared throughout the course of the drama and others were understudies of earlier characters, carrying on their mentors’ tactics and strategies.
But viewed as a panorama of 30 years, a continuity becomes apparent. What one sees is an evolution of a political system away from the more freewheeling democracy of the 1970s toward a more controlled system in which consensus is managed by rationing information and in which elections have become largely formalities for the sanctioning of power rather than a valued _expression of the people’s will.
This article is adapted from Robert Parry’s upcoming book, Secrets and Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq. As a correspondent for the Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s, Parry broke many of the stories now known as the Iran-Contra scandal.
The Real Reason Tenet and Pavitt Resigned from the CIA on June 3rd and 4th --Bush, Cheney Indictments in Plame Case Looming --by Michael C. Ruppert additional reporting by Wayne Madsen from Washington "Why did DCI George Tenet suddenly resign on June 3rd, only to be followed a day later by James Pavitt, the CIA's Deputy Director of Operations (DDO)? The real reasons, contrary to the saturation spin being put out by major news outlets, have nothing to do with Tenet's role as taking the fall for alleged 9/11 and Iraqi intelligence 'failures' before the upcoming presidential election.
Both resignations, perhaps
soon to be followed by resignations from Colin Powell and his deputy Richard Armitage, are about the imminent and extremely messy demise of George W. Bush and his Neocon administration in a coup d'etat being executed by the Central Intelligence Agency. The coup, in the planning for at least two years, has apparently become an urgent priority as a number of deepening crises threaten a global meltdown.
Based upon recent developments, it appears that long-standing plans and preparations leading to indictments and impeachment of Bush, Cheney and even some senior cabinet members have been accelerated, possibly with the intent of removing or replacing the entire Bush regime prior to the Republican National Convention this August."
Bush Cheney: One Nation Under Fraud, With Liberty and Justice for Oil
Yes, Gore DID win!
FAIR The national media watch group, has been offering well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship since 1986. We work to invigorate the First Amendment by advocating for greater diversity in the press and by scrutinizing media practices that marginalize public interest, minority and dissenting viewpoints. As an anti-censorship organization, we expose neglected news stories and defend working journalists when they are muzzled. As a progressive group, FAIR believes that structural reform is ultimately needed to break up the dominant media conglomerates, establish independent public broadcasting and promote strong non-profit sources of information.
These Are FACTS!
By Michael Hasty
Online Journal Contributing Writer
January 10, 2004
Just before his death, James Jesus Angleton, the
legendary chief of counterintelligence at the Central Intelligence Agency, was a bitter man. He felt betrayed by the people he had worked for all his life. In the end, he had come to realize that they were never really interested in American ideals of "freedom" and "democracy." They really only wanted "absolute power."
Angleton told author Joseph Trento that the reason he had gotten the counterintelligence job in the first place was by agreeing not to submit "sixty of Allen Dulles' closest friends" to a polygraph test concerning
their business deals with the Nazis. In his end-of-life despair, Angleton
assumed that he would see all his old companions again "in hell."
The transformation of James Jesus Angleton from an enthusiastic, Ivy League
cold warrior, to a bitter old man, is an extreme example of a phenomenon I
"paranoid shift." I recognize the phenomenon, because something
similar happened to me.
Although I don't remember ever meeting James Jesus Angleton, I worked at the
CIA myself as a low-level clerk as a teenager in the '60s. This was at the
same time I was beginning to question the government's actions in Vietnam.
In fact, my personal "paranoid shift" probably began with the
disillusionment I felt when I realized that the story of American foreign
policy was, at the very least, more complicated and darker than I had
hitherto been led to believe.
But for most of the next 30 years, even though I was a radical, I
nevertheless held faith in the basic integrity of a system where power
ultimately resided in the people, and whereby if enough people got together
and voted, real and fundamental change could happen.
What constitutes my personal paranoid shift is that I no longer believe this
to be necessarily true.
In his book, "Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower," William
Blum warns of how the media will make anything that smacks of "conspiracy
theory" an immediate "object of ridicule." This prevents the media from ever
having to investigate the many strange interconnections among the ruling
class for example, the relationship between the boards of directors of
media giants, and the energy, banking and defense industries. These
unmentionable topics are usually treated with what Blum calls "the media's
most effective tool silence." But in case somebody's asking questions, all
you have to do is say, "conspiracy theory," and any allegation instantly
becomes too frivolous to merit serious attention.
On the other hand, since my paranoid shift, whenever I hear the words
"conspiracy theory" (which seems more often, lately) it usually means
someone is getting too close to the truth.
Take September 11 which I identify as the date my paranoia actually
shifted, though I didn't know it at the time.
Unless I'm paranoid, it doesn't make any sense at all that George W. Bush,
commander-in-chief, sat in a second-grade classroom for 20 minutes after he
was informed that a second plane had hit the World Trade Center, listening
to children read a story about a goat. Nor does it make sense that the
Number 2 man, Dick Cheney even knowing that "the commander" was on a
mission in Florida nevertheless sat at his desk in the White House,
watching TV, until the Secret Service dragged him out by the armpits.
Unless I'm paranoid, it makes no sense that Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld sat at his desk until Flight 77 hit the Pentagon well over an
hour after the military had learned about the multiple hijacking in
progress. It also makes no sense that the brand-new chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff sat in a Senate office for two hours while the 9/11 attacks
took place, after leaving explicit instructions that he not be
disturbed which he wasn't.
In other words, while the 9/11 attacks were occurring, the entire top of the
chain of command of the most powerful military in the world sat at various
desks, inert. Why weren't they in the "Situation Room?" Don't any of them
ever watch "West Wing?"
In a sane world, this would be an object of major scandal. But here on this
side of the paranoid shift, it's business as usual.
Years, even decades before 9/11, plans had been drawn up for American forces
to take control of the oil interests of the Middle East, for various
imperialist reasons. And these plans were only contingent upon "a
catastrophic and catalyzing event, like a new Pearl Harbor," to gain the
majority support of the American public to set the plans into motion. When
the opportunity presented itself, the guards looked the other way . . . and
presto, the path to global domination was open.
Simple, as long as the media played along. And there is voluminous evidence
that the media play along. Number one on Project Censored's annual list of
underreported stories in 2002 was the Project for a New American Century
(now the infrastructure of the Bush Regime), whose report, published in
2000, contains the above "Pearl Harbor" quote.
Why is it so hard to believe serious people who have repeatedly warned us
that powerful ruling elites are out to dominate "the masses?" Did we think
Dwight Eisenhower was exaggerating when he warned of the extreme "danger" to
democracy of "the military industrial complex?" Was Barry Goldwater just
being a quaint old-fashioned John Bircher when he said that the Trilateral
Commission was "David Rockefeller's latest scheme to take over the world, by
taking over the government of the United States?" Were Teddy and Franklin
Roosevelt or Joseph Kennedy just being class traitors when they talked about
a small group of wealthy elites who operate as a hidden government behind
the government? Especially after he died so mysteriously, why shouldn't we
believe the late CIA Director William Colby, who bragged about how the CIA
"owns everyone of any major significance in the major media?"
Why can't we believe James Jesus Angleton a man staring eternal judgment
in the face when he says that the founders of the Cold War national
security state were only interested in "absolute power?" Especially when the
descendant of a very good friend of Allen Dulles now holds power in the
Prescott Bush, the late, aristocratic senator from Connecticut, and
grandfather of George W Bush, was not only a good friend of Allen Dulles,
CIA director, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, and
international business lawyer. He was also a client of Dulles' law firm. As
such, he was the beneficiary of Dulles' miraculous ability to scrub the
story of Bush's treasonous investments in the Third Reich out of the news
media, where it might have interfered with Bush's political career . . . not
to mention the presidential careers of his son and grandson.
Recently declassified US government documents, unearthed last October by
investigative journalist John Buchanan at the New Hampshire Gazette, reveal
that Prescott Bush's involvement in financing and arming the Nazis was more
extensive than previously known. Not only was Bush managing director of the
Union Banking Corporation, the American branch of Hitler's chief financier's
banking network; but among the other companies where Bush was a
director and which were seized by the American government in 1942, under
the Trading With the Enemy Actâ€”were a shipping line which imported German
spies; an energy company that supplied the Luftwaffe with high-ethyl fuel;
and a steel company that employed Jewish slave labor from the Auschwitz
Like all the other Bush scandals that have been swept under the rug in the
privatized censorship of the corporate media, these revelations have been
largely ignored, with the exception of a single article in the Associated
Press. And there are those, even on the left, who question the current
relevance of this information.
But Prescott Bush's dealings with the Nazis do more than illustrate a family
pattern of genteel treason and war profiteering from George Senior's sale
of TOW missiles to Iran at the same time he was selling biological and
chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein, to Junior's zany misadventures in crony
capitalism in present-day Iraq.
More disturbing by far are the many eerie parallels between Adolph Hitler
and George W. Bush:
A conservative, authoritarian style, with public appearances in military
uniform (which no previous American president has ever done while in
office). Government by secrecy, propaganda and deception. Open assaults on
labor unions and workers' rights. Preemptive war and militant nationalism.
Contempt for international law and treaties. Suspiciously convenient
"terrorist" attacks, to justify a police state and the suspension of
liberties. A carefully manufactured image of "The Leader," who's still just
a "regular guy" and a "moderate." "Freedom" as the rationale for every
action. Fantasy economic growth, based on unprecedented budget deficits and
massive military spending.
And a cold, pragmatic ideology of fascism including the violent
suppression of dissent and other human rights; the use of torture,
assassination and concentration camps; and most important, Benito
Mussolini's preferred definition of "fascism" as "corporatism, because it
binds together the interests of corporations and the state."
By their fruits, you shall know them.
What perplexes me most is probably the same question that plagues most
paranoiacs: why don't other people see these connections?
Oh, sure, there may be millions of us, lurking at websites like Online
Journal, From the Wilderness, Center for Cooperative Research, and the
Center for Research on Globalization, checking out right-wing conspiracists
and the galaxy of 9/11 sites, and reading columnists like Chris Floyd at the
Moscow Times, and Maureen Farrell at Buzzflash. But we know we are only a
furtive minority, the human remnant among the pod people in the live-action,
21st-century version of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers."
And being paranoid, we have to figure out, with an answer that fits into our
system, why more people don't see the connections we do. Fortunately, there
are a number of possible explanations.
First on the list would have to be what Marshal McLuhan called the "cave art
of the electronic age:" advertising. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's Karl Rove,
gave credit for most of his ideas on how to manipulate mass opinion to
American commercial advertising, and to the then-new science of "public
relations." But the public relations universe available to the corporate
empire that rules the world today makes the Goebbels operation look
primitive. The precision of communications technology and graphics; the
century of research on human psychology and emotion; and the uniquely
centralized control of triumphant post-Cold War monopoly capitalism, have
combined to the point where "the manufacture of consent" can be set on
A second major reason people won't make the paranoid shift is that they are
too fundamentally decent. They can't believe that the elected leaders of our
country, the people they've been taught through 12 years of public school to
admire and trust, are capable of sending young American soldiers to their
deaths and slaughtering tens of thousands of innocent civilians, just to
satisfy their greed especially when they're so rich in the first place.
Besides, America is good, and the media are liberal and overly critical.
Third, people don't want to look like fools. Being a "conspiracy theorist"
is like being a creationist. The educated opinion of eminent experts on
every TV and radio network is that any discussion of "oil" being a
motivation for the US invasion of Iraq is just out of bounds, and anyone who
thinks otherwise is a "conspiracy theorist." We can trust the integrity of
our 'no-bid" contracting in Iraq, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a
"conspiracy theorist." Of course, people sometimes make mistakes, but our
military and intelligence community did the best they could on and before
September 11, and anybody who thinks otherwise is a "conspiracy theorist."
Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole assassin of JFK, and anyone who thinks
otherwise is a "conspiracy theorist."
Perhaps the biggest hidden reason people don't make the paranoid shift is
that knowledge brings responsibility. If we acknowledge that an inner circle
of ruling elites controls the world's most powerful military and
intelligence system; controls the international banking system; controls the
most effective and far-reaching propaganda network in history; controls all
three branches of government in the world's only superpower; and controls
the technology that counts the people's votes, we might be then forced to
conclude that we don't live in a particularly democratic system. And then
voting and making contributions and trying to stay informed wouldn't be
enough. Because then the duty of citizenship would go beyond serving as a
loyal opposition, to serving as a "loyal resistance"â€”like the Republicans
in the Spanish Civil War, except that in this case the resistance to fascism
would be on the side of the national ideals, rather than the government; and
a violent insurgency would not only play into the empire's hands, it would
be doomed from the start.
Forming a nonviolent resistance movement, on the other hand, might mean
forsaking some middle class comfort, and it would doubtless require a lot of
work. It would mean educating ourselves and others about the nature of the
truly apocalyptic beast we face. It would mean organizing at the most basic
neighborhood level, face to face. (We cannot put our trust in the empire's
technology.) It would mean reaching across turf lines and transcending
single-issue politics, forming coalitions and sharing data and names and
strategies, and applying energy at every level of government, local to
global. It would also probably mean civil disobedience, at a time when the
Bush regime is starting to classify that action as "terrorism." In the end,
it may mean organizing a progressive confederacy to govern ourselves, just
as our revolutionary founders formed the Continental Congress. It would mean
being wise as serpents, and gentle as doves.
It would be a lot of work. It would also require critical mass. A paradigm shift.
But as a paranoid, I'm ready to join the resistance. And the main reason is
I no longer think that the "conspiracy" is much of a "theory."
That the US House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations
concluded that the murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy was "probably" the
result of "a conspiracy," and that 70 percent of Americans agree with this
is not a "theory." It's fact.
That the Bay of Pigs fiasco, "Operation Zapata," was organized by members of
Skull and Bones, the ghoulish and powerful secret society at Yale University
whose membership also included Prescott, George Herbert Walker and George W
Bush; that two of the ships that carried the Cuban counterrevolutionaries to
their appointment with absurdity were named the "Barbara" and the
"Houston" George HW Bush's city of residence at the time and that the
oil company Bush owned, then operating in the Caribbean area, was named
is not a "theory." It's fact.
That George Bush was the CIA director who kept the names of what were
estimated to be hundreds of American journalists, considered to be CIA
"assets," from the Church Committee, the US Senate Intelligence Committe
chaired by Senator Frank Church that investigated the CIA in the 1970s; that
a 1971 University of Michigan study concluded that, in America, the more TV
you watched, the less you knew; and that a recent survey by international
scholars found that Americans were the most "ignorant" of world affairs out
of all the populations they studied,
is not a "theory." It's fact.
That the Council on Foreign Relations has a history of influence on official
US government foreign policy; that the protection of US supplies of Middle
East oil has been a central element of American foreign policy since the
Second World War; and that global oil production has been in decline since
its peak year, 2000,
is not a "theory." It's fact.
That, in the early 1970s, the newly-formed Trilateral Commission published a
report which recommended that, in order for "globalization" to succeed,
American manufacturing jobs had to be exported, and American wages had to
decline, which is exactly what happened over the next three decades; and
that, during that same period, the richest one percent of Americans doubled
their share of the national wealth,
is not a "theory." It's fact.
That, beyond their quasi-public role as agents of the US Treasury
Department, the Federal Reserve Banks are profit-making corporations, whose
beneficiaries include some of America's wealthiest families; and that the
United States has a virtual controlling interest in the World Bank, the
International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization, the three
dominant global financial institutions,
is not a "theory." It's fact.
That's whether it's heroin from Southeast Asia in the '60s and '70s, or
cocaine from Central America and heroin from Afghanistan in the '80s, or
cocaine from Colombia in the '90s, or heroin from Afghanistan today no
major CIA covert operation has ever lacked a drug smuggling component, and
that the CIA has hired Nazis, fascists, drug dealers, arms smugglers, mass
murderers, perverts, sadists, terrorists and the Mafia,
is not a "theory." It's fact.
That the international oil industry is the dominant player in the global
economy; that the Bush family has a decades-long business relationship with
the Saudi royal family, Saudi oil money, and the family of Osama bin Laden;
that, as president, both George Bushes have favored the interests of oil
companies over the public interest; that both George Bushes have personally
profited financially from Middle East oil; and that American oil companies
doubled their records for quarterly profits in the months just preceding the
invasion of Iraq,
is not a "theory." It's fact.
That the 2000 presidential election was deliberately stolen; that the
pro-Bush/anti-Gore bias in the corporate media had spiked markedly in the
last three weeks of the campaign; that corporate media were then virtually
silent about the Florida recount; and that the Bush 2000 team had planned to
challenge the legitimacy of the election if George W had won the popular,
but lost the electoral vote exactly what happened to Gore
is not a "theory." It's fact.
That the intelligence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was
deceptively "cooked" by the Bush administration; that anybody paying
attention to people like former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, knew
before the invasion that the weapons were a hoax; and that American forces
in Iraq today are applying the same brutal counterinsurgency tactics
pioneered in Central America in the 1980s, under the direct supervision of
then-Vice President George HW Bush,
is not a "theory." It's fact.
That "Rebuilding America's Defenses," the Project for a New American
Century's 2000 report, and "The Grand Chessboard," a book published a few
years earlier by Trilateral Commission co-founder Zbigniew Brzezinski, both
recommended a more robust and imperial US military presence in the oil basin
of the Middle East and the Caspian region; and that both also suggested that
American public support for this energy crusade would depend on public
response to a new "Pearl Harbor,"
is not a "theory." It's fact.
That, in the 1960s, the Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously approved a plan
called "Operation Northwoods," to stage terrorist attacks on American soil
that could be used to justify an invasion of Cuba; and that there is
currently an office in the Pentagon whose function is to instigate terrorist
attacks that could be used to justify future strategically-desired military
is not a "theory." It's fact.
That neither the accusation by former British Environmental Minister Michael
Meacher, Tony Blair's longest-serving cabinet minister, that George W Bush
allowed the 9/11 attacks to happen to justify an oil war in the Middle East;
nor the RICO lawsuit filed by 9/11 widow Ellen Mariani against Bush, Cheney,
Rumsfeld and the Council on Foreign Relations (among others), on the grounds
that they conspired to let the attacks happen to cash in on the ensuing war
profiteering, has captured the slightest attention from American corporate
is not a "theory." It's fact.
That the FBI has completely exoneratedâ€”though never identified the
speculators who purchased, a few days before the attacks (through a bank
whose previous director is now the CIA executive director), an unusual
number of "put" options, and who made millions betting that the stocks in
American and United Airlines would crash,
is not a "theory." It's fact.
That the US intelligence community received numerous warnings, from multiple
sources, throughout the summer of 2001, that a major terrorist attack on
American interests was imminent; that, according to the chair of the
"independent" 9/11 commission, the attacks "could have and should have been
prevented," and according to a Senate Intelligence Committee member, "All
the dots were connected;" that the White House has verified George W Bush's
personal knowledge, as of August 6, 2001, that these terrorist attacks might
be domestic and might involve hijacked airliners; that, in the summer of
2001, at the insistence of the American Secret Service, anti-aircraft
ordnance was installed around the city of Genoa, Italy, to defend against a
possible terrorist suicide attack, by aircraft, against George W Bush, who
was attending the economic summit there; and that George W Bush has
nevertheless regaled audiences with his first thought upon seeing the
"first" plane hit the World Trade Center, which was: "What a terrible
is not a "theory." It's fact.
That, on the morning of September 11, 2001: standard procedures and policies
at the nation's air defense and aviation bureaucracies were ignored, and
communications were delayed; the black boxes of the planes that hit the WTC
were destroyed, but hijacker Mohammed Atta's passport was found in pristine
condition; high-ranking Pentagon officers had cancelled their commercial
flight plans for that morning; George H.W. Bush was meeting in Washington
with representatives of Osama bin Laden's family, and other investors in the
world's largest private equity firm, the Carlyle Group; the CIA was
conducting a previously-scheduled mock exercise of an airliner hitting the
Pentagon; the chairs of both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees
were having breakfast with the chief of Pakistan's intelligence agency, who
resigned a week later on suspicion of involvement in the 9/11 attacks; and
the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the United States sat in a
second grade classroom for 20 minutes after hearing that a second plane had
struck the towers, listening to children read a story about a goat, is not
That the Bush administration has desperately fought every attempt to independently investigate the events of 9/11, is not a "theory."
Nor, finally, is it in any way a "theory" that the one, single name that can
be directly linked to the Third Reich, the US military industrial complex,
Skull and Bones, Eastern Establishment good ol' boys, the Illuminati, Big
Texas Oil, the Bay of Pigs, the Miami Cubans, the Mafia, the FBI, the JFK
assassination, the New World Order, Watergate, the Republican National
Committee, Eastern European fascists, the Council on Foreign Relations, the
Trilateral Commission, the United Nations, CIA headquarters, the October
Surprise, the Iran/Contra scandal, Inslaw, the Christic Institute, Manuel
Noriega, drug-running "freedom fighters" and death squads, Iraqgate, Saddam
Hussein, weapons of mass destruction, the blood of innocents, the savings
and loan crash, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, the
"Octopus," the "Enterprise," the Afghan mujaheddin, the War on Drugs, Mena
(Arkansas), Whitewater, Sun Myung Moon, the Carlyle Group, Osama bin Laden
and the Saudi royal family, David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, and the
presidency and vice-presidency of the United States, is: George Herbert Walker Bush.
"Theory?" To the contrary.
It is a well-documented, tragic and especially if you're
paranoid a terrifying fact.
These Are FACTS!
Michael Hasty is a writer, activist, musician, carpenter and farmer.
award-winning column, "Thinking Locally," appeared for seven years in the
Hampshire Review, West Virginia's oldest newspaper. His writing has also
appeared in the Highlands Voice, the Washington Peace Letter, the Takoma
Park Newsletter, the German magazine Generational Justice, and the
Washington Post; and at the websites Common Dreams and Democrats.com. In
January 1989, he was the media spokesperson for the counter-inaugural
coalition at George Bush's Counter-Inaugural Banquet, which fed hundreds of
DC's homeless in front of Union Station, where the official inaugural dinner
was being held.
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"Murder, though it hath no tongue, will speak with most miraculous organ."
-- Shakespeare, "Hamlet"
It's all out in the open now. The fact that the president of the United States and his top advisers deliberately concocted a false case for an illegal and unnecessary war -- in plain terms, that they committed cold-blooded, premeditated mass murder -- was confirmed last week by the most impeccable mainstream sources: George W. Bush's own Cabinet officials, speaking for the record in America's major media.
Remarkably, the "extremist views" and "paranoia" of the "lunatic fringe" -- those "Bush-bashers" who for months proclaimed that the Regime's lust to conquer Iraq was part of a long-planned scheme of looting and dominance that had nothing to do with September 11, 2001 or defending America from terror -- are now issuing from the mouths of the Regime's inner circle.
Secretary of State Colin Powell led the way. Powell, a pathetic bagman who began his career with a botched job of whitewashing war crimes in Vietnam (the My Lai massacre) and is ending it with a botched job of whitewashing war crimes in Iraq, admitted that there was no evidence of any past collusion between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida, The New York Times reports.
Although the "very real" threat of Saddam passing on his vast arsenal of technodeath to Osama bin Laden was the most effective tool in the Regime's "sales program" for war, resonating viscerally with an American public still reeling from September 11, the genial general -- who loudly trumpeted this "threat" at the UN -- now says it was never anything more than a worrisome "possibility" without any basis in fact.
As well he might. For even had the mythical alliance of Bush bogeymen actually existed, that "vast arsenal of technodeath" did not.
There were no Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to pass on; there were not even any active programs to develop WMD. This has long been obvious from reading between the lines of the reports of Bush's own weapon-hunters, but it was finally made manifest in an extraordinary report last week in The Washington Post.
There, leaders of Bush's CIA-directed weapons search team admitted publicly that Iraq's WMD program was shattered in the first Gulf War -- 13 years ago -- and its remnants completely dismantled in 1995. This was, of course, long-known (and oft-reported by "Bush-bashers") before the latest war -- indeed, it was even reported in the mainstream media years ago, which is where the paranoiacs on the lunatic fringe found it, in easily accessible archives and Congressional reports.
But it was conveniently forgotten in the profitable, corporate-driven war fever before the invasion. Now, after the murder of thousands of innocent people, including almost 500 American soldiers, the truth re-emerges -- again from the mouths of Bush's own hirelings.
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Then came the revelations of Paul O'Neill, Bush's treasury secretary until December 2002.
In a nationally televised interview, O'Neill confirmed that Bush and his minions were planning the invasion of Iraq from the moment they took office -- months before 9-11. "[It was] the president saying, 'Go find me a way to do this,'" said O'Neill, whose eye-openers are featured in a new book by Ron Suskind of the archconservative Wall Street Journal.
Although the Regime's hatchet men are now desperately downplaying O'Neill's importance, questioning his sanity, even threatening to prosecute him, he was very much in the leadership loop: a member of the powerful National Security Council, privy to top-secret intelligence. He says he never saw "anything in the intelligence that I would characterize as real evidence" of an Iraqi threat -- just a muddy stream of "assertions and illusions."
Suskind also unearthed early Bushist memos detailing the predators' postwar designs for Iraq, including extensive military occupation and -- in March 2001 -- plans for parceling out Iraq's oil wealth to favored corporations and foreign allies, CBSNews.com reports.
Again, this is old news for lunatic fringers. As often reported here, the Cheney-Rumsfeld pressure group, Project for the New American Century, long ago outlined its program for America's "full spectrum dominance" over the globe, with the planting of a "military footprint" throughout oil-rich Central Asia and the Middle East.
Indeed, conquering Iraq was an imperative that "transcended the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein," said PNAC; whether he was there or not, whether the Iraqi people needed "liberating" or not, the invasion would go forward.
PNAC, whose members now fill the Regime's upper ranks, also yearned openly for a "new Pearl Harbor," a devastating sneak attack that would "catalyze" public support for the group's "revolutionary transformation" of American society into a militarized aggressor state.
This is no "conspiracy theory." PNAC's maniacal manifesto was published in broad daylight in September 2000 -- but was ignored by that same corporatized American media that later proved so helpfully amnesiac after the "new Pearl Harbor" was launched by the CIA's old allies from the Afghan jihad, led by a scion of the Bush family's business partners, the bin Ladens.
(This long-documented family connection was detailed by Republican strategist and former Nixon aide Kevin Phillips in the Los Angeles Times last week -- yet another belated mainstreaming of the "lunatic fringe.")
Thus the Regime's shifting rationales for war -- terror threats, WMD, concern for the Iraqi people -- have now been publicly exposed, by the Bushists themselves as nothing more than lies, flimsy excuses to commit murder for power and gain. Where, then, is the "fringe," that blighted place beyond the pale of reason and human decency?
Who, then, are the lunatics?
Return to Top of Page
Do turkeys enjoy thanksgiving?
By Arundhati Roy
It's not good enough to be right. Sometimes, if only in order to test our
resolve, it's important to win something. In order to win something, we need
to agree on something." After a tour d'horizon, the author of The God of
Small Things calls for a " minimum agenda" as well as a plan of action that
prioritises global resistance to the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Here is the
text of her speech at the opening Plenary of the World Social Forum in
Mumbai on January 16, 2004:
LAST JANUARY thousands of us from across the world gathered in Porto Allegre
in Brazil and declared — reiterated — that "Another World is Possible". A
few thousand miles north, in Washington, George Bush and his aides were
thinking the same thing.
Our project was the World Social Forum. Theirs — to further what many call
The Project for the New American Century.
In the great cities of Europe and America, where a few years ago these
things would only have been whispered, now people are openly talking about
the good side of Imperialism and the need for a strong Empire to police an
unruly world. The new missionaries want order at the cost of justice.
Discipline at the cost of dignity. And ascendancy at any price. Occasionally
some of us are invited to `debate' the issue on `neutral' platforms provided
by the corporate media. Debating Imperialism is a bit like debating the pros
and cons of rape. What can we say? That we really miss it?
In any case, New Imperialism is already upon us. It's a remodelled,
streamlined version of what we once knew. For the first time in history, a
single Empire with an arsenal of weapons that could obliterate the world in
an afternoon has complete, unipolar, economic and military hegemony. It uses
different weapons to break open different markets. There isn't a country on
God's earth that is not caught in the cross hairs of the American cruise
missile and the IMF chequebook. Argentina's the model if you want to be the
poster-boy of neoliberal capitalism, Iraq if you're the black sheep.
Poor countries that are geo-politically of strategic value to Empire, or
have a `market' of any size, or infrastructure that can be privatized, or,
god forbid, natural resources of value — oil, gold, diamonds, cobalt, coal —
must do as they're told, or become military targets. Those with the greatest
reserves of natural wealth are most at risk. Unless they surrender their
resources willingly to the corporate machine, civil unrest will be fomented,
or war will be waged. In this new age of Empire, when nothing is as it
appears to be, executives of concerned companies are allowed to influence
foreign policy decisions. The Centre for Public Integrity in Washington
found that nine out of the 30 members of the Defence Policy Board of the
U.S. Government were connected to companies that were awarded defence
contracts for $ 76 billion between 2001 and 2002. George Shultz, former U.S.
Secretary of State, was Chairman of the Committee for the Liberation of
Iraq. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Bechtel Group. When asked
about a conflict of interest, in the case of a war in Iraq he said, " I
don't know that Bechtel would particularly benefit from it. But if there's
work to be done, Bechtel is the type of company that could do it. But nobody
looks at it as something you benefit from." After the war, Bechtel signed a
$680 million contract for reconstruction in Iraq.
This brutal blueprint has been used over and over again, across Latin
America, Africa, Central and South-East Asia. It has cost millions of lives.
It goes without saying that every war Empire wages becomes a Just War. This,
in large part, is due to the role of the corporate media. It's important to
understand that the corporate media doesn't just support the neo-liberal
project. It is the neo-liberal project. This is not a moral position it has
chosen to take, it's structural. It's intrinsic to the economics of how the
mass media works.
Most nations have adequately hideous family secrets. So it isn't often
necessary for the media to lie. It's what's emphasised and what's ignored.
Say for example India was chosen as the target for a righteous war. The fact
that about 80,000 people have been killed in Kashmir since 1989, most of
them Muslim, most of them by Indian Security Forces (making the average
death toll about 6000 a year); the fact that less than a year ago, in March
of 2003, more than two thousand Muslims were murdered on the streets of
Gujarat, that women were gang-raped and children were burned alive and a
150,000 people driven from their homes while the police and administration
watched, and sometimes actively participated; the fact that no one has been
punished for these crimes and the Government that oversaw them was
re-elected ... all of this would make perfect headlines in international
newspapers in the run-up to war.
Next we know, our cities will be levelled by cruise missiles, our villages
fenced in with razor wire, U.S. soldiers will patrol our streets and,
Narendra Modi, Pravin Togadia or any of our popular bigots could, like
Saddam Hussein, be in U.S. custody, having their hair checked for lice and
the fillings in their teeth examined on prime-time TV.
But as long as our `markets' are open, as long as corporations like Enron,
Bechtel, Halliburton, Arthur Andersen are given a free hand, our
`democratically elected' leaders can fearlessly blur the lines between
democracy, majoritarianism and fascism.
Our government's craven willingness to abandon India's proud tradition of
being Non-Aligned, its rush to fight its way to the head of the queue of the
Completely Aligned (the fashionable phrase is `natural ally' — India, Israel
and the U.S. are `natural allies'), has given it the leg room to turn into a
repressive regime without compromising its legitimacy.
A government's victims are not only those that it kills and imprisons. Those
who are displaced and dispossessed and sentenced to a lifetime of starvation
and deprivation must count among them too. Millions of people have been
dispossessed by `development' projects. In the past 55 years, Big Dams alone
have displaced between 33 million and 55 million people in India. They have
no recourse to justice.
In the last two years there has been a series of incidents when police have
opened fire on peaceful protestors, most of them Adivasi and Dalit. When it
comes to the poor, and in particular Dalit and Adivasi communities, they get
killed for encroaching on forest land, and killed when they're trying to
protect forest land from encroachments — by dams, mines, steel plants and
other `development' projects. In almost every instance in which the police
opened fire, the government's strategy has been to say the firing was
provoked by an act of violence. Those who have been fired upon are
immediately called militants.
Across the country, thousands of innocent people including minors have been
arrested under POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act) and are being held in jail
indefinitely and without trial. In the era of the War against Terror,
poverty is being slyly conflated with terrorism. In the era of corporate
globalisation, poverty is a crime. Protesting against further impoverishment
is terrorism. And now, our Supreme Court says that going on strike is a
crime. Criticising the court of course is a crime, too. They're sealing the
Like Old Imperialism, New Imperialism too relies for its success on a
network of agents — corrupt, local elites who service Empire. We all know
the sordid story of Enron in India. The then Maharashtra Government signed a
power purchase agreement which gave Enron profits that amounted to sixty per
cent of India's entire rural development budget. A single American company
was guaranteed a profit equivalent to funds for infrastructural development
for about 500 million people!
Unlike in the old days the New Imperialist doesn't need to trudge around the
tropics risking malaria or diahorrea or early death. New Imperialism can be
conducted on e-mail. The vulgar, hands-on racism of Old Imperialism is
outdated. The cornerstone of New Imperialism is New Racism.
The tradition of `turkey pardoning' in the U.S. is a wonderful allegory for
New Racism. Every year since 1947, the National Turkey Federation presents
the U.S. President with a turkey for Thanksgiving. Every year, in a show of
ceremonial magnanimity, the President spares that particular bird (and eats
another one). After receiving the presidential pardon, the Chosen One is
sent to Frying Pan Park in Virginia to live out its natural life. The rest
of the 50 million turkeys raised for Thanksgiving are slaughtered and eaten
on Thanksgiving Day. ConAgra Foods, the company that has won the
Presidential Turkey contract, says it trains the lucky birds to be sociable,
to interact with dignitaries, school children and the press. (Soon they'll
even speak English!)
That's how New Racism in the corporate era works. A few carefully bred
turkeys — the local elites of various countries, a community of wealthy
immigrants, investment bankers, the occasional Colin Powell, or Condoleezza
Rice, some singers, some writers (like myself) — are given absolution and a
pass to Frying Pan Park. The remaining millions lose their jobs, are evicted
from their homes, have their water and electricity connections cut, and die
of AIDS. Basically they're for the pot. But the Fortunate Fowls in Frying
Pan Park are doing fine. Some of them even work for the IMF and the WTO — so
who can accuse those organisations of being anti-turkey? Some serve as board
members on the Turkey Choosing Committee — so who can say that turkeys are
against Thanksgiving? They participate in it! Who can say the poor are
anti-corporate globalisation? There's a stampede to get into Frying Pan
Park. So what if most perish on the way?
Part of the project of New Racism is New Genocide. In this new era of
economic interdependence, New Genocide can be facilitated by economic
sanctions. It means creating conditions that lead to mass death without
actually going out and killing people. Dennis Halliday, the U.N.
humanitarian coordinator in Iraq between '97 and '98 (after which he
resigned in disgust), used the term genocide to describe the sanctions in
Iraq. In Iraq the sanctions outdid Saddam Hussein's best efforts by claiming
more than half a million children's lives.
In the new era, Apartheid as formal policy is antiquated and unnecessary.
International instruments of trade and finance oversee a complex system of
multilateral trade laws and financial agreements that keep the poor in their
Bantustans anyway. Its whole purpose is to institutionalise inequity. Why
else would it be that the U.S. taxes a garment made by a Bangladeshi
manufacturer 20 times more than it taxes a garment made in the U.K.? Why
else would it be that countries that grow 90 per cent of the world's cocoa
bean produce only 5 per cent of the world's chocolate? Why else would it be
that countries that grow cocoa bean, like the Ivory Coast and Ghana, are
taxed out of the market if they try and turn it into chocolate? Why else
would it be that rich countries that spend over a billion dollars a day on
subsidies to farmers demand that poor countries like India withdraw all
agricultural subsidies, including subsidised electricity? Why else would it
be that after having been plundered by colonising regimes for more than half
a century, former colonies are steeped in debt to those same regimes, and
repay them some $ 382 billion a year?
For all these reasons, the derailing of trade agreements at Cancun was
crucial for us. Though our governments try and take the credit, we know that
it was the result of years of struggle by many millions of people in many,
many countries. What Cancun taught us is that in order to inflict real
damage and force radical change, it is vital for local resistance movements
to make international alliances. From Cancun we learned the importance of
No individual nation can stand up to the project of Corporate Globalisation
on its own. Time and again we have seen that when it comes to the
neo-liberal project, the heroes of our times are suddenly diminished.
Extraordinary, charismatic men, giants in Opposition, when they seize power
and become Heads of State, they become powerless on the global stage. I'm
thinking here of President Lula of Brazil. Lula was the hero of the World
Social Forum last year. This year he's busy implementing IMF guidelines,
reducing pension benefits and purging radicals from the Workers' Party. I'm
thinking also of ex-President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. Within two
years of taking office in 1994, his government genuflected with hardly a
caveat to the Market God. It instituted a massive programme of privatisation
and structural adjustment, which has left millions of people homeless,
jobless and without water and electricity.
Why does this happen? There's little point in beating our breasts and
feeling betrayed. Lula and Mandela are, by any reckoning, magnificent men.
But the moment they cross the floor from the Opposition into Government they
become hostage to a spectrum of threats — most malevolent among them the
threat of capital flight, which can destroy any government overnight. To
imagine that a leader's personal charisma and a c.v. of struggle will dent
the Corporate Cartel is to have no understanding of how Capitalism works, or
for that matter, how power works. Radical change will not be negotiated by
governments; it can only be enforced by people.
This week at the World Social Forum, some of the best minds in the world
will exchange ideas about what is happening around us. These conversations
refine our vision of the kind of world we're fighting for. It is a vital
process that must not be undermined. However, if all our energies are
diverted into this process at the cost of real political action, then the
WSF, which has played such a crucial role in the Movement for Global
Justice, runs the risk of becoming an asset to our enemies. What we need to
discuss urgently is strategies of resistance.
We need to aim at real
targets, wage real battles and inflict real damage. Gandhi's Salt March was
not just political theatre. When, in a simple act of defiance, thousands of
Indians marched to the sea and made their own salt, they broke the salt tax
laws. It was a direct strike at the economic underpinning of the British
Empire. It was real. While our movement has won some important victories, we
must not allow non-violent resistance to atrophy into ineffectual,
feel-good, political theatre. It is a very precious weapon that needs to be
constantly honed and re-imagined. It cannot be allowed to become a mere
spectacle, a photo opportunity for the media.
It was wonderful that on February 15th last year, in a spectacular display
of public morality, 10 million people in five continents marched against the
war on Iraq. It was wonderful, but it was not enough. February 15th was a
weekend. Nobody had to so much as miss a day of work. Holiday protests don't
George Bush knows that. The confidence with which he disregarded
overwhelming public opinion should be a lesson to us all. Bush believes that
Iraq can be occupied and colonised — as Afghanistan has been, as Tibet has
been, as Chechnya is being, as East Timor once was and Palestine still is.
He thinks that all he has to do is hunker down and wait until a
crisis-driven media, having picked this crisis to the bone, drops it and
moves on. Soon the carcass will slip off the best-seller charts, and all of
us outraged folks will lose interest. Or so he hopes.
This movement of ours needs a major, global victory. It's not good enough to
be right. Sometimes, if only in order to test our resolve, it's important to
win something. In order to win something, we — all of us gathered here and a
little way away at Mumbai Resistance — need to agree on something. That
something does not need to be an over-arching pre-ordained ideology into
which we force-fit our delightfully factious, argumentative selves. It does
not need to be an unquestioning allegiance to one or another form of
resistance to the exclusion of everything else. It could be a minimum
If all of us are indeed against Imperialism and against the project of
neo-liberalism, then let's turn our gaze on Iraq. Iraq is the inevitable
culmination of both. Plenty of anti-war activists have retreated in
confusion since the capture of Saddam Hussein. Isn't the world better off
without Saddam Hussein? they ask timidly.
Let's look this thing in the eye once and for all. To applaud the U.S.
army's capture of Saddam Hussein and therefore, in retrospect, justify its
invasion and occupation of Iraq is like deifying Jack the Ripper for
disembowelling the Boston Strangler. And that — after a quarter century
partnership in which the Ripping and Strangling was a joint enterprise. It's
an in-house quarrel. They're business partners who fell out over a dirty
deal. Jack's the CEO.
So if we are against Imperialism, shall we agree that we are against the
U.S. occupation and that we believe that the U.S. must withdraw from Iraq
and pay reparations to the Iraqi people for the damage that the war has
How do we begin to mount our resistance? Let's start with something really
small. The issue is not about supporting the resistance in Iraq against the
occupation or discussing who exactly constitutes the resistance. (Are they
old Killer Ba'athists, are they Islamic Fundamentalists?)
We have to become the global resistance to the occupation.
Our resistance has to begin with a refusal to accept the legitimacy of the
U.S. occupation of Iraq. It means acting to make it materially impossible
for Empire to achieve its aims. It means soldiers should refuse to fight,
reservists should refuse to serve, workers should refuse to load ships and
aircraft with weapons. It certainly means that in countries like India and
Pakistan we must block the U.S. government's plans to have Indian and
Pakistani soldiers sent to Iraq to clean up after them.
I suggest that at a joint closing ceremony of the World Social Forum and
Mumbai Resistance, we choose, by some means, two of the major corporations
that are profiting from the destruction of Iraq. We could then list every
project they are involved in. We could locate their offices in every city
and every country across the world. We could go after them. We could shut
them down. It's a question of bringing our collective wisdom and experience
of past struggles to bear on a single target. It's a question of the desire
The Project For The New American Century seeks to perpetuate inequity and
establish American hegemony at any price, even if it's apocalyptic. The
World Social Forum demands justice and survival.
For these reasons, we must consider ourselves at war.
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Bush 'stole' the presidential election: Cherie
JANUARY 24, 2004
LONDON : In a forthright view that is likely to embarrass her husband, Cherie Blair, wife of Prime Minister Tony Blair, is reported to have observed that George W Bush "stole" the US presidential election from Al Gore.
"Cherie Blair still believed that Bush had stolen the White House from Gore," author Philip Stephens wrote in his book "Tony Blair: The Making of a World Leader. "
Although Tony Blair was pragmatic about Bush's victory, Mrs Blair was far less sanguine about the Supreme Court decision that gave him the keys to the White House.
She believed Al Gore had been "robbed" of the presidency and was hostile to the idea of her husband "cosying" up to the new President.
Even as they flew to Washington for their first meeting with the presidential couple, Mrs Blair was in no mood to curry favour, the book stated.
The book's disclosures of Mrs Blair's forthright views will cause embarrassment in Downing Street, because of Blair's good working relations with Bush, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, although they will not surprise officials or ministers who know her well.
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Beside Condi, Who Else Had Foreknowledge Of 911?
By Danny Goldberg
Tel Aviv, Israel
Dear Mr. Rense,
Thank you for posting our email to you regarding 'Did Condi Have Foreknowledge
Of 911 And Warn SF's Brown?'
I would like to 'confess' that 'my' email was not exclusively my idea, but the idea of our 'Rense Club Thinkers.'
We meet once a week in a restaurant on Dizengoff street in the center of Tel Aviv to digest events worldwide and compare them to your analysis on your radio show, and to the article selections on your website. So far, we did not find a better news website than yours.
Margalit, a member of our group, said that she was wondering why the Americans are so stupid, not to wonder who else outside of Condoleezza Rice had an advanced knowledge of 911?
Margalit wondered why the White House does not allow Americans to know who did the stock market manipulations just before 911, which profited the 911 perpetrators by hundreds of millions or billions of dollars?
We received a wide spectrum of email as a result of our email to you, all of them (except two) were in support of our views and just as frustrated as we are. ALL of the email we received was from Americans except a very small minority of only seventeen emails from Israel. Considering the wide popularity of your website around the world, we are puzzled why only Americans and Israelis reacted to our email?
Martial Law is just 'around the corner' in America, and our group have decided to request Americans to use their last chance to express their views freely by writing to us regarding the subject: OUTSIDE OF CONDI, WHO ELSE HAD FOREKNOWLEDGE OF 911?
Americans! do not hide under your beds! SOME OF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO WAS INFORMED IN ADVANCE! Please write to us.
Outside of the reports about Condi, our group does not have any other REAL information. However, we heard many rumors regarding Jewish people who were working at the WTC and who received an early warning not to go to work on that day. We were told that Jewish organizations intend to debunk these rumors by printing all the names of the people who died at WTC to prove that the percentage of Jews who died was the same as the rest of the population.
However, this backfired, when there was no action by any Jewish organization. Now, unfortunately, the rest of the world believe that most Jewish persons working at WTC received an advance warning not to go to work on that day. Actually, many of us in Israel believe it too, for the simple reason that our Zionists organizations are controlling every aspect of American life (just as in Israel), and if these rumors were not true, these Jewish organizations would have been more than happy to inform us about it.
Mr. Rense, since you allow our group to express ourselves freely, unlike our press in Israel, may we ask the simple question: Why no American ever asked Condi and Brown to take a polygraph test?
Millions or billions of dollars at the stock market profited the perpetrators of 911! and no American have the guts to stand up?
Open the window...and shout!
MISTER PRESIDENT, WHO DID IT ?
...you took the most wonderful country in the world, and turned it into something which is little different today than a Nazi camp. Did you try to fly lately? and the White House announced today that all tourists to the USA will be photographed AND fingerprinted starting in January! All that, to maintain the fictional 'war on terrorism'!
Your nation was the flame of freedom for the rest of the world, and now you are forcing us to slide into hell with you. You are too stupid to realise it, but, you WILL realise it soon, very soon. Just listen to CNN 'predicting' that the second 911 is coming! And your government EVEN said that it may be much worse than the first one.
Did you ever ask yourself if your leadership always is smart enough to tell you about endless warnings...HOW COME THEY NEVER CATCH THE PERPETRATORS?
Could it be that all the websites enclosed below are correct in indicating that YOUR government is behind all this 'terrorism'?
And... are the stupid Americans still so gullible as to believe that all of America's troubles originated in just one person in a cave in Afghanistan?...a person whom just happened to be the creation of your CIA?
GIVE US A BREAK, AMERICANS!
...and if we call you stupid, it is because we love you; it is because we want to stimulate you to wake up, get angry and act, save yourselves and save the world. Rense website readers are probably the most informed and intelligent group on the Internet, you should know that our anger is not directed at you, but it is an expression of our frustrations as Israelis..... when you 'go', we 'go', too. The Chinese are just waiting to wipe all of us from the map.
ALSO, look up in your newspaper records.
Salman Rushdie exclaimed that he had been told not to fly to
Canada or the U.S. during the month of September.
Both Rushdie and Brown have changed their minds about these
announcements. We wonder how many others were also told
to shut up about warnings?
We read many reports that Goldman Sachs warned their stockbrokers not to get on planes as far away as Tokyo. NOT only that, A vice president of Goldman Sachs chose the busy stocks day of 911 to go surfing; September is a very busy month for stockbrokers who wait until after Labour Day to get going on business after the summer holidays.
Hey-hey-hey, how about a Polygraph Test to each of these bastards?
Here is just one of the many comments we received since our email was posted on Rense.com:
"Dear Sir, I spoke with a retired US Marshall who told me 60% of the men in the US Intelligence services believe 9-11 was an inside job . What do you think the percentages are around the world ? just wondering? I saw your comments on Rense.com ......"
AND....there is no reason to elaborate again on the many reports regarding the White House receiving a warning at noon the day before 911, regarding the Presidential plane (and blaming your president of hiding behind small school kids).
AND! Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle came very close to blaming the White House:
Rense readers in America!
You are the VERY BEST of Americans, you have brains, YOU MUST ACT NOW.
Some of you may know much more, please write to us: WHO ELSE KNEW???
We promise to keep your identity anonymous.
Love, from Tel Aviv,
Tel Aviv Israel
PS - MOTHER OF ALL DECEPTIONS:
Our group also analysed the websites below over the last few months. Most of these websites are dealing with foreknowledge of 911 and are pointing all fingers in a single one direction: THE WHITE HOUSE.
The unanimous conclusion of our group, as well as the conclusions of ALL these websites, is that the White House and the Pentagon are complicit and/or behind the 911 attack.
In our opinion, the White House and the Pentagon are not the REAL culprits, they are just 'fronts' for the REAL government which is popularly called the NWO (mostly oil companies and Zionists), and which no one knows exactly who they are, unless we will put Bush & Blair on a Polygraph machine.
The British media confirmed last month that all decisions by Blair regarding 'Iraq War' have been done without him consulting his government, by orders to Blair from mysterious 'friends'.
In the USA, the 'news' media is under a total Zionist/NWO control, and there is practically NO real news reported there. Bin Laden, had nothing to do with 911. Al Qaeda (as well as other Moslem 'terrorists' organizations) in our opinion, is mostly a fictional organization created by western intelligence agencies for the purpose of creating 'War On Terrorism', leading to a one world government.
You may have noticed that practically all accusations against people of being parts of an 'al Qaeda' groups...have been dropped? In the opinions of many, ALL 'terrorism' around the world today, is done by Moslem patsies, created and controlled by western intelligence agencies. Leaders of countries such as Turkey, Poland, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines and more, are forced/bribed to participate in this 'War On Terrorism' scam. We predict that the NWO will loose their 'game' when China will understand that they are next after we finish to massacre the Moslems. In the ensuing WW3, China will win, while Israel, most of the Middle East and most of the United States will be erased from the map.
We invite all of Rense.com readers to read the websites below and send us their opinions:
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Trip With Cheney Puts Ethics Spotlight on Scalia
By David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites) and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (news - web sites) spent part of last week duck hunting together at a private camp in southern Louisiana just three weeks after the court agreed to take up the vice president's appeal in lawsuits over his handling of the administration's energy task force.
While Scalia and Cheney are avid hunters and longtime friends, several experts in legal ethics questioned the timing of their trip and said it raised doubts about Scalia's ability to judge the case impartially.
But Scalia rejected that concern Friday, saying, "I do not think my impartiality could reasonably be questioned."
Federal law says "any justice or judge shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might be questioned." For nearly three years, Cheney has been fighting demands that he reveal whether he met with energy industry officials, including Kenneth L. Lay when he was chairman of Enron, while he was formulating the president's energy policy.
A lower court ruled that Cheney must turn over documents detailing who met with his task force, but on Dec. 15, the high court announced it would hear his appeal. The justices are due to hear arguments in April in the case of "in re Richard B. Cheney."
In a written response to an inquiry from the Times about the hunting trip, Scalia said: "Cheney was indeed among the party of about nine who hunted from the camp.
Social contacts with high-level executive officials (including cabinet officers) have never been thought improper for judges who may have before them cases in which those people are involved in their official capacity, as opposed to their personal capacity.
For example, Supreme Court Justices are regularly invited to dine at the White House, whether or not a suit seeking to compel or prevent certain presidential action is pending."
Cheney does not face a personal penalty in the pending lawsuits. He could not be forced to pay damages, for example.
But the suits are not routine disputes about the powers of Cheney's office. Rather, the plaintiffs — the Sierra Club (news - web sites) and Judicial Watch — contend that Cheney and his staff violated an open-government measure known as the Federal Advisory Committee Act by meeting behind closed doors with outside lobbyists for the oil, gas, coal and nuclear industries.
Stephen Gillers, a New York University law professor, said Scalia should have skipped going hunting with Cheney this year.
"A judge may have a friendship with a lawyer, and that's fine. But if the lawyer has a case before the judge, they don't socialize until it's over. That shows a proper respect for maintaining the public's confidence in the integrity of the process," said Gillers, who is an expert on legal ethics.
"I think Justice Scalia should have been cognizant of that and avoided contact with the vice president until this was over. And this is not like a dinner with 25 or 30 people. This is a hunting trip where you are together for a few days."
The pair arrived Jan. 5 on Gulfstream jets and were guests of Wallace Carline, the owner of Diamond Services Corp., an oil services company in Amelia, La. The Associated Press in Morgan City, La., reported the trip on the day the vice president and his entourage departed.
"They asked us not to bring cameras out there," said Sheriff David Naquin, who serves St. Mary Parish, about 90 miles southwest of New Orleans, referring to the group's request for privacy. "The vice president and the justice were there for a relaxing trip, so we backed off."
While the local police were told about Cheney's trip shortly before his arrival, they were told to keep it a secret, Naquin said.
"The justice had been here several times before. I'm kind of sorry Cheney picked that week because it was a poor shooting week," Naquin said. "There weren't many ducks here, which is unusual for this time of the year."
Scalia agreed with the sheriff's assessment.
"The duck hunting was lousy.
Our host said that in 35 years of duck hunting on this lease, he had never seen so few ducks," the justice said in his written response to the Times. "I did come back with a few ducks, which tasted swell."
In October, Justice Scalia announced he would not participate in the court's handling of a case involving the Pledge of Allegiance; that case is due to be heard in March.
It stems from a U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling two years ago that declared unconstitutional the use of the words "under God" in the Pledge that is recited daily by millions of schoolchildren.
These words were added to the Pledge by Congress in 1954, and they amount to an official government promotion of religion, the appeals court said.
Last year, Justice Scalia appeared to criticize that ruling in a speech at a Religious Freedom Day event in Fredericksburg, Va. "We could eliminate 'under God' from the Pledge of Allegiance," he said. "That could be democratically done."
But this is contrary to the wishes of most Americans, and it should not be done by judges or courts, he added.
The California school district that was on the losing end in the Pledge case appealed to the Supreme Court last summer.
Its lawyers urged the justices to restore the use of the words "under God."
While the appeal was pending, the Sacramento-area atheist who won the ruling in the 9th Circuit filed a motion suggesting Scalia withdraw from the case.
He cited news account of Scalia's speech and the federal law mandating disqualifications whenever the judge's impartiality "might reasonably be questioned."
When the court announced it would hear the case, Scalia also announced he would not participate.
Steven Lubet, who teaches judicial ethics at Northwestern University Law School, said he was not convinced that Scalia must withdraw from the Cheney case but said the trip raised a number of questions.
"It's not clear this requires disqualification, but there are not separate rules for longtime friends," he said.
"This is not like a lawyer going on a fishing trip with a judge.
A lawyer is one step removed. Cheney is the litigant in this case.
The question is whether the justice's hunting partner did something wrong. And the whole purpose of these rules is to ensure the appearance of impartiality in regard to the litigants before the court."
The code of conduct for federal judges sets guidelines for members of the judiciary, but it does not set clear-cut rules.
A judge should "act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary," it says.
"A judge should not allow family, social or other relationships to influence judicial conduct or judgments," it says.
Nor should a judge "permit others to convey the impression that they are in a special position to influence the judge."
In the lower courts, litigants may ask a judge to step aside. And if the request is refused, they may appeal to a higher court.
At the Supreme Court, the justices decide for themselves whether to step aside. On occasion, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has withdrawn from business cases because she owns stock in one of the companies.
The justices have been reluctant to withdraw from a case simply because a former clerk is handling the dispute, or their son or daughter works at a law firm participating in the case.
Last year, for example, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist said he did not see a need to withdraw from a pending appeal in the Microsoft antitrust case (news - web sites) simply because his son, a lawyer, was working on a related case.
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Pentagon Withholds Cold War Medical Data
By ROBERT GEHRKE
The Pentagon is continuing to withhold documents on Cold War chemical and biological weapons tests that used unsuspecting sailors as "human samplers" after telling Congress it had released all medically relevant information.
In response to questions from The Associated Press about a deposition last month by a former military scientist, J. Clifton Spendlove, who planned and supervised the testing program, the Defense Department acknowledged this week it still has documents laying out the scope and methods of the tests.
Detailed planning documents and reports for each of the tests are classified because they identify vulnerabilities of military vessels to chemical and biological warfare agents and capabilities for delivering the agents, the Pentagon said in a response to questions from the AP.
In some cases, samples were taken from sailors to measure their exposure to tracers used to simulate chemical and biological agents, the Pentagon's written statement said. Reports on them were not released because they "did not include any plans or data that measured human effects," according to the statement.
Project 112 and the Shipboard Hazard and Defense Project consisted of 50 tests conducted between 1962 and 1973.
The tests were conducted in Alaska, Maryland, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Utah, Panama, Canada, Britain and aboard ships in the North Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
The secretive tests involved 5,842 soldiers and sailors - many of whom were unwitting guinea pigs. The experiments were designed to determine the effectiveness of biological and chemical agents in combat and methods to protect troops from attacks. An untold number of civilians also may have been exposed during some of the tests on the troops.
In most cases, supposedly harmless simulants were used to mimic anthrax, E. coli or other agents, although in a number of cases potentially deadly nerve agents were used, including sarin and VX.
Numerous veterans say they are now suffering from illnesses because of exposure, but the Veterans Affairs Administration has denied requests for health care coverage.
After a three-year investigation that Pentagon officials characterized as "exhaustive," the Defense Department released an overview of the tests and a series of fact sheets last June and then disbanded the probe.
But the overview and fact sheets didn't acknowledge the documents and films that were obtained by the plaintiffs and authenticated by Spendlove, including results of tests to determine how much of the chemical simulants the "human samplers" were exposed to.
The Pentagon had already issued its first set of findings before it contacted Spendlove, who planned the Project 112 tests from the Deseret Test Center in Dugway, Utah.
Spendlove, in sworn testimony in a federal court lawsuit in Washington on behalf of the veterans, said sailors were used in the tests as "human samplers" and cited several documents and films laying out the scope and methods of the tests.
During his deposition, Spendlove was shown reports and films from a few of the tests that were obtained by the plaintiffs.
He identified ships and individuals and vouched for their authenticity and indicated many more documents are likely stored at the library at the Deseret center where the testing program was headquartered.
In one of the plaintiffs' films, a soldier is loading the orange-tinted simulant used to mimic anthrax or other biological agents into a plane that would spray it on a boat. He is not wearing any protective equipment and is caked with the substance.
Spendlove's account was corroborated by Norman LaChapelle, a top Navy officer on the project, in an interview this week with the AP.
But LaChapelle, a retired Navy commander who is now in charge of chemical and biological weapons response for the city of Memphis, said he was never contacted by the Pentagon in its investigation.
"(Darn) right I was surprised" at not being contacted, said LaChapelle, who was in charge of the execution of the SHAD tests from 1964-1970. "We were involved in it. We weren't sitting in Salt Lake City. We were sitting at the test site."
The Vietnam Veterans of America is suing Pentagon officials on behalf of the sailors, demanding the release of all of the test documents so the National Academies of Science can fully analyze the potential health effects.
Douglas Rosinski, an attorney working with the veterans group on behalf of the soldiers, said the effects of the chemicals on the sailors has not been studied. The levels of exposure that the documents might detail is a crucial piece of the puzzle, he said.
Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., was frustrated by the revelation that the Pentagon is still unwilling to share information about the tests with the exposed sailors.
"It doesn't sit with me at all," said Thompson, one of several lawmakers who pressured the Pentagon into admitting the existence of Project 112 after 30 years of denials.
"I was under the impression that these guys had unearthed everything that was out there that was available and they'd done the work they were charged with doing.
If what (Spendlove) says is true, they haven't done the work."
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Ambassador, you're really spoiling our party
David Smith, arts and media correspondent
Sunday January 18, 2004
Few places on earth seem likelier to soothe diplomatic tempers than the refined surroundings of a Swedish museum. So 400 invited guests quietly consuming canapes could be forgiven their amazement when an ambassador erupted in violent protest at a work of art depicting an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber.
Zvi Mazel, Israel's ambassador to Sweden, ripped out electrical wires, grabbed a spotlight and hurled it into a fountain, causing it to short circuit and become a potential death trap.
The installation Snow White and the Madness of Truth, located in the courtyard of Stockholm's Museum of National Antiquities, featured a basin filled with red water, designed to look like blood.
A sailboat with the name Snow White floated on the water, and placed like a sail was a photograph of a smiling Hanadi Jaradat, the 29-year-old Palestinian lawyer who blew herself up in the Haifa suicide bombing in October which killed 21 Israelis.
Normally inoffensive, the Swedes provoked the sort of shocked response exponents of Britart only dream about. Kristian Berg, the director of the museum, said of Mazel: 'He pulled out the plugs and threw one of the spotlights into the fountain which caused the entire installation to short-circuit and made it totally life-threatening.'
Mazel defended his actions: 'For me it was intolerable and an insult to the families of the victims. As ambassador to Israel I could not remain indifferent to such an obscene misrepresentation of reality. This was not a piece of art. This was a monstrosity.'
One of the two artists who created the work, Israel-born Dror Feiler, said the ambassador had been 'totally unreasonable and undiplomatic' and would not listen to his explanations. 'He said he was ashamed that I was a Jew,' Feiler said. 'We see this as an offensive assault on our right to express our thoughts and feelings. Mazel tried to stop free speech and free artistic expression from being carried out in Sweden.'
Mazel was escorted from the building. Anna Larsson, a spokeswoman for the Swedish foreign ministry, said: 'We will contact him on Monday to arrange a meeting. We want to give him a chance to explain himself. We feel that it is unacceptable for him to destroy art in this way.'
The attack happened at the opening of Making Differences, held as part of an upcoming international conference on genocide.
In Israel, foreign ministry spokesman David Saranga said the exhibit broke an understanding that the scope of the conference would not include the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
'Israel called on the Swedish government to remove this exhibition because it is a glorification of a woman suicide bomber that killed 21 Israeli civilians in a restaurant,' Saranga said. 'If Sweden won't do so, Israel will consider its participation in the conference.'
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Turn Off TV and Turn On Quantum Mind
Humanity's most valuable possessions are Clean Water, Clean Air, and Trees.