...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors



Pentonville Chapel
"Not only did Pentonville fulfill the goals of the separate system but it also used the panopticon idea created by Jeremy Bentham. The panopticon design, in conjunction with the separate system, allows prison overseers to effectively separate prisoners while maintaining a careful watch upon each of them."
N. Jackson, 5/20/97, for History and Thought of Western Man, Rich East High School.
...and the bell had scarcely ceased pealing before the two oaken flaps let into the black asphalte pavement at the corners of the central hall, so that each stood between two of the four corridors, raised themselves as if by magic, and there ascended from below, through either flap, a tray laden with four large cans of cocoa, and two baskets of bread. These trays were raised by means of a "lifting machine," the bright iron rods of which stretched from the bottom to the top of the building, and served as guides for the friction-rollers of the trays. No sooner were the cans and bread-baskets brought up from below, than a couple of wanders and trade instructors, two to either of the adjoining corridors, seized each half the quantity, and placing it on the trucks that stood ready by the flaps, away the warder and instructor went, the one wheeling the barrow of cocoa along the side of the corridor, and the other hastening to open the small trap in each cell-door as he served the men with the bread.
This is done almost as rapidly as walking, for no sooner does the trade-instructor apply his key to the cell-door than the little trap falls down and forms a kind of ledge, on which the officer may place the loaf, and the prisoner at the same time deposit his mug for the cocoa. This mug the warder who wheels the cocoa truck fills with the beverage, ladling it out as milkmen do the contents of their pails, and, when full, he thrusts the mug back through the aperture in the cell-door, and closes the trap with a slam.
Presently, however, the glass doors at the end of the passage are thrown open, and the governor enters with his keys in his hand. Then one of the warders who remains on duty hurries on before him, crying, "Governor-r-r! Governor-r-r! Governor-r-r!" as he opens each of the cell-doors. The chief prison authority walks past the several cells, saying, as he goes, "All right ! All right!" to each prisoner, who stands ready drawn up at the door, as stiff as a soldier in his sentry-box, with his hand raised, by way of salute, to the side of his cap; whilst no sooner have the words been spoken than the door is closed again, and the building echoes with the concussion.
This done, the governor proceeds to visit the refractory cells; but before accompanying him thither, let us prepare the reader with an idea of the nature of such places.
The refractory, or, as they are sometimes called, "dark cells, are situate in the basement of corridor C. It was mid-day when we first visited these apartments at Pentonville.
"Light a lantern, Wood," said the chief warder to one of the subordinate officers, "so that this gentleman may look at the dark cells."
The lamp lighted at noon gave us a notion of what we were to expect, and yet it was a poor conception of what we saw.
Descending a small flight of stairs, we came to a narrow passage, hardly as wide as the area before second-rate houses; and here was a line of black doors, not unlike the entrances to the front cellars of such houses. These were the refractory cells...

In 1917 Edmond Morel was sentenced to 6 months hard labor in Pentonville, a stay which contributed to his death. Morel exposed the dark heart of European exploitation in the Congo, and in South America. He was a Socialist, a founder of the British political party the UDC, whose three guiding principles were:
(1) that in future to prevent secret diplomacy there should be parliamentary control over foreign policy;
(2) there should be negotiations after the war[WWI] with other democratic European countries in an attempt to form an organisation to help prevent future conflicts;
(3) that at the end of the war the peace terms should neither humiliate the defeated nation nor artificially rearrange frontiers as this might provide a cause for future wars
He worked with Roger Casement in the Congo Reform Association.
Casement was hanged at Pentonville, essentially for being a homosexual and advocating Irish independence, with a strong dash of his anti-war principles being spun into treason by Karl Rove's spiritual ancestors in early 20th century England.
There's a sulphurous stench at the edge of Casement's final months that appears to be emanating from Aleister Crowley, the basic template for today's "ronin" government agents. Crowley's idolized for his anti-Christ schtick but he wasn't much more than a psychedelic thug as near as I can tell, and he worked for forces that are more accurately described as economic/political than as metaphysical, though, as current events indicate, the lines do blur.
Morel had some odd views of black male virility and its "threat" to white women, and Casement, as mentioned, was a practicing, though closeted, homosexual, but they both worked valiantly and tirelessly on behalf of the almost unbelievably brutalized people of the Congo, at a time when the news was flat text only, and events in the primitive world were easily dismissed, if they were heard about at all. Joseph Conrad was a friend of both men, and his "Heart of Darkness" came directly from that association.
Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now" was built entirely on the strong foundation of Conrad's story.
Which brings us to the presidential debates, tonight.


"The politicians are preparing a worse world for our children than the one they were born into. And we should be inclined almost to despair of the future were it not that we still preserve our faith in the ultimate triumph of reason over the national and international dementia now prevailing, and that we believe there is a vast mass of opinion in this country represented neither by the politicians nor by the Press, and considerably saner than either."

Edmond Morel

I think it's my job to connect this and this.
The short form is obvious, or maybe it isn't. If we all have one ancestor in common 2,300 years ago, then it would seem clear that killing that ancestor before he or she managed to reproduce would be a much larger act than killing one individual.
The problem is one of catharsis, not morality. We can see the results of murder in our own time, we can't see the results of murders that happened 2,300 years ago. It's the same childish right and wrong that accepts dead children from traffic accidents and shrieks with outrage when children die from human intent. Depending of course on whose children, and whose intent.
How many children died in Haiti last week? How many will die in the months ahead? Take out the hurricane and what you have left is neglect. Neglect is not Biblically punishable for most followers of Abramic religious codes, though there are some in all three who would say it's at that crux that real religious principles begin, the refusal to turn away, when even the law allows it.
But that main point, that among the millions of human lives that began and ended during that same time, that one ancestor held us all between her legs, or carried us in his loins, and that that one death would have changed us, changed what we are and in that sense we wouldn't be, as individuals with these names and faces; someone would be here, but not us. That's a moral point too arcane for the simple-minded spectators, who don't want morality anyway - they want entertainment, spectacle, they want to see punishment and pain inflicted, they want someone to be less than they are, because it's the only quick way they have to feel better.
The human common denominator is falling at an exponential rate.


Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew says it may be too expensive to send the Canadian Forces' Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to Haiti, CBC's The National reported today.
DART provides medical care and clean drinking water in disaster areas, both of which are needed in Haiti in the wake of tropical storm Jeanne.
Pettigrew headed for Port-au-Prince on Tuesday to survey the damage left by Jeanne. Canada has already pledged about $3 million in relief aid to Haiti, but so far the government has not offered to send in the DART team, but neither has Haiti or the UN asked, the CBC said.
The U.S. Agency for International Development on Thursday pledged $2 million in aid and sent an additional $153,000 in desperately needed emergency supplies to Haiti.
The announcement significantly boosted the amount of emergency aid to Haiti, from the $60,000 the agency pledged two days ago.

Over 2,000 people, at least 300 of them must have been children. So why isn't this as evil, as horrifying as Beslan? Because there was no human intention.
It isn't the dead that matter, it's why they died. And yet to the natural world, which is what killed these already desperately hungry people, intention means very little when it means anything at all.
A harmless butterfly discovers itself to be marked like a poisonous one, and it gets left alone by the birds that eat its brothers and sisters, and so it breeds more like itself, and they get left alone too. The Viceroy, the Monarch. That's how it works.
People take care of each other, that works for us, it means we have more time, more energy. Or, sometimes we take care of each other, some of us do, for some others of us.

armed gangs bent on systematic killings and war crimes

In his annual speech to the UN General Assembly, Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa accused Israel of "inciting Americans, first, and then the West, to wage endless wars in the Middle East."
He also said that a "wave of pessimism had taken over the world because of extremist and intolerant policies advanced by some strategic think-tanks" who search for a new enemy after the Soviet Union collapsed.
Al-Sharaa added that Israel "has contributed to the making of many of these flimsy pretexts.
"Israel bears an important share of the responsibility for intensifying and worsening the American predicament in Iraq by avoiding the resumption of the peace process, despite the hand extended in peace by the Palestinians, Syrian and Lebanese," he said.
He also said that the failure of the peace process is a "major cause of the rejection of American policies in the broader Middle East."
The road map peace plan has largely been suspended and members of the Quartet, the group which designed the plan, warn that the situation in the region is deteriorating. The Quartet is made up of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia.
The last round of Middle East peace talks in which Syria was involved collapsed. These talks were hosted by the United States in 2000. Syria hopes to regain the Golan Heights, which had been seized by Israel in the Mid East war.
"The world community today bears witness to Israel's persistent noncompliance with 40 resolutions adopted by the (UN) Security Council and 600 others adopted by the General Assembly," the Syrian minister said.
He continued that Israel "did not implement a single one of them, and continues to find protection inside and outside the United Nations,"
The United states had previously used Iraq�s noncompliance with UN resolutions as one of its rationales for the war on Iraq.

" broad daylight in central Baghdad
very close to the heavily-guarded Green Zone..."
Observers say the group of 20 armed men who carried out the operation wore Iraqi National Guard uniforms and said they were working for interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.
Four aid workers and three Egyptians have been released by captors in Iraq.
Charity workers Simona Pari and Simona Torretta, both aged 29, had been missing for almost three weeks.
The two women were handed to the Italian charge d'affaires in Baghdad, reported Aljazeera.
Sheikh Abdul Salam al-Kubaisi, a well respected Sunni cleric who has previously brokered the release of foreign hostages, had told reporters in Baghdad the Italian aid workers had visited him and told him they were being threatened.
"They were scared", he said. "They told me that someone threatened them." When asked who was behind the threats, al-Kubaisi said: "We suspect some foreign intelligence".
Aljazeera 29.Sep.04


I knew this person a while ago, her father was a cop sort of - involved in the probation dept., licensed to carry, etc. She had this way of using the most recently fashionable street slang, almost an act of violence in itself, there was revenge in it. Attainment. Power. It took a long time before it occurred to me how she was getting it.
Why the guards talk cool, sort of.
It's what's most damagingly wrong with all the surveillance information, not so much the gathering in as the processing, and who's doing it.
If you can listen to people cooler than you go about the business of their daily lives, you can learn to imitate the way they talk, it's a kind of prosthetic initiation, a bypassing of the real process of learning and representing that the natural form is. An artificial leg up.
It's how the Neanderthals died. Don't ask me how I know that, but I do. That may seem comically unimportant, but it's the template for this moment. The same spirit, the same tactics.
Whales have that innocence, elephants, the great cats, the bears; these are our kin, our cousins, brothers and sisters.
There was much more back there - the traces are gone - bits of jewelry in the burial mounds, you have to extrapolate. The recent past is testimony of what's possible, and the present.
My heart's filled with it, I know it as certainly as I know there were gardens, ornamental gardens, long before there were roads, before the wheel.
This is the triumph of cowardice. The arrogant strut of inferior souls in ascension.

Three Stories From The Walls; What Occupation Feels Like
Husni al-Nayjar, 14 years old. He worked helping his father who was a welder. While flinging stones, he was shot dead with a bullet to the head. In his photo he gazes calmly and unwaveringly into the middle distance.

Abdelhamid Kharti, 34 years old. Painter and writer. When young, he had trained as a nurse. He volunteered to join a medical emergency unit for rescuing and taking care of the wounded. His corpse was found near a checkpoint, after a night when there had been no confrontations. His fingers had been cut off. A thumb was hanging loose. An arm, a hand and his jaw were broken. There were twenty bullets in his body.

Muhammad al-Durra, 12 years old, lived in the Breij Camp. He was returning home with his father across the Netzarin checkpoint in Gaza and they were ordered to get out of their vehicle. Soldiers were already shooting. The two of them took immediate cover behind a cement wall. The father waved to show they were there and was shot in the hand. A little later Muhammad was shot in the foot. The father now shielded his son with his own body. More bullets hit both, and the boy was killed. Doctors removed eight bullets from the father's body, but he has been paralysed as a consequence of the wounds and is unable to work. Because the incident happened to be filmed, the story is told and retold across the world.
Three Stories From The Walls; What Occupation Feels Like
John Berger
News and opinion on the situation in the Middle East
William Bowles
link ::: wood s lot :::


In keeping with tradition, Israel will never directly acknowledge that it had a hand in the assassination of the Hamas figure in Damascus Sunday

The assassination of a key Hamas operative in a foreign capital will likely lead to Hamas carrying through with its threat to change its policy and strike at Israeli and Jewish targets around the world.

Until now, the staunchly disciplined Hamas organization, while responsible for scores of suicide bombings and attacks, has limited its strikes to Israel and the territories.

Analysts believe that the Hamas Pandora's box is not empty and they do have the network and capability of launching deadly terrorist attacks abroad.

That said, analysts believe this was the risk worth taking at this present geopolitical moment. The tactical benefits of hitting Izz El-Deen Al-Sheik Khalil are marginal. But the psychological and strategic benefits are great.

Reuters quotes the US military as saying: "There were no innocent civilians reported in the immediate area at the time of the strike. Multinational forces took multiple measures to minimise collateral damage and civilian casualties."

"Intelligence sources indicated that approximately 10 terrorists were meeting at this location to plan operations targeting innocent Iraqi civilians and multi-national forces," said the statement.

Earlier in the day Dr Dhiya al-Jumaili of Falluja General Hospital said at least eight people were killed and 15 wounded, including women and children.

Explosions lit up the night sky for hours and at least two buildings in the city centre were completely wrecked, witnesses said. The Falluja mosque switched on its loudspeakers and clerics recited prayers to rally the city's residents.

The US military said it had carried out a "precision strike" on a building where supporters loyal to "al-Qaida-linked" Abu Musab al-Zarqawi were believed to be meeting.

Reuters quotes the US military as saying: "There were no innocent civilians reported in the immediate area at the time of the strike. Multinational forces took multiple measures to minimise collateral damage and civilian casualties."

"Intelligence sources indicated that approximately 10 terrorists were meeting at this location to plan operations targeting innocent Iraqi civilians and multi-national forces," said a US military statement on the strike carried out at 1800 GMT.

However, Falluja medical sources are disputing US claims and saying their hospital wards are being filled with dead and wounded women and children.

"The death toll has just risen to eight after a child died of wounds it sustained from the air strikes and another 17 wounded, including four children and two women," Dr Rafia al-Isawi, director of Falluja General Hospital, told Aljazeera.

Aljazeera 26.Sep.04


their best face

"Let's say you tried to have an election and you could have it in three-quarters or four-fifths of the country. But in some places you couldn't because the violence was too great," Rumsfeld said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.
"Well, so be it. Nothing's perfect in life, so you have an election that's not quite perfect. Is it better than not having an election? You bet," he said.

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry disagreed.

"The United States and the Iraqis have retreated from whole areas of Iraq," he said.

"There are no-go zones in Iraq today. You can't hold an election in a no-go zone."

"...pressure him to disband and disarm..."

As the hostage dilemma continued, American troops clashed again yesterday with fighters loyal to rebel cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in Baghdad's Sadr City slum. Iraqi doctors said one person was killed and 12 were wounded, many of them children.
The battles and kidnappings in Baghdad highlight the danger even in the heart of control of Iraq's U.S.-backed interim government. Briton Kenneth Bigley and two American colleagues were seized in the capital last week, days after the capture of two Italian aid workers whose fate has been thrown into doubt by competing claims to their deaths.
"The main problem is that he has the militia," said Maj. Bill Williams of the Army's 1st Cavalry Division. "Our goal is to pressure him to disband and disarm."
U.S. warplanes blasted insurgent positions, and ground troops pushed into the sprawling Baghdad slum.
Militia fighters returned fire with machine guns, and an American Bradley fighting vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and caught fire, according to a U.S. military report. It was not clear if there were casualties.
In other violence, gunmen killed a senior official of Iraq's North Oil Co. in the northern city of Mosul and attacked an oil well near Baghdad and a pipeline in the south.

Cops shouldn't be in charge of making the laws, doctors shouldn't decide society's attitudes and ethics about life and death, and scientists shouldn't be the ones to make the ethical decisions demanded by the profoundly powerful tools they invent.
But the faceless thing that hovers behind the bright screen of the television wants us to think that cops should make the laws, and doctors should determine whether people live or die, and scientists should be allowed to do whatever they want with their unproven tools and methods.
All three of these disciplines are important and necessary, and all three of them need strong ethical guidance from outside their areas.
The best of them recognize this; the worst have the arrogance of familiarity - who knows the criminal better than the cop, who knows better than the doctor what people's attitudes toward death should be, and who knows better than the scientist whether we should toy with the heart of life?



UNITED NATIONS - Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom met and had a brief exchange here Tuesday with Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi in what Israeli officials said was the first ever formal contact between the two countries.

Shalom and other Israeli officials said the short conversation - which included handshakes and pleasantries - occurred at the UN General Assembly just before the start of its annual debate because of the alphabetical manner in which countries' delegations are seated.

"We were sitting next to each other," Shalom told reporters at his midtown Manhattan hotel. "It was an opportunity to talk one to another."

"America needs leadership that tells the truth"

Democratic White House challenger John Kerry said on Thursday interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi had abetted President Bush in putting the "best face" on an Iraq policy in disarray.
Pounding his Republican rival on the war and its chaotic aftermath for a fourth consecutive day, Kerry also ridiculed Bush for leaving New York after his address to the U.N. General Assembly this week without meeting enough foreign leaders.
The Massachusetts senator questioned assertions by Allawi, a key ally of the Bush administration, that Iraq would hold elections in January despite the flaring insurgency and that "we are succeeding in Iraq."
"I think the prime minister is obviously contradicting his own statement of a few days ago when he said that terrorists are pouring into the country," Kerry told reporters.
"The prime minister and the president are here obviously to put their best face on the policy, but the fact is that the CIA estimates, the reporting, the ground operations and the troops all tell a different story."

Contrary to reports on the Internet, two Italian aid workers taken hostage in Iraq are probably still alive.
A spokesman for the influential Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS) said on Thursday that Simona Pari and Simona Torretta were being held by a group that has no relation to the resistance.
Speaking to journalists at the committee's headquarters in Baghdad's Umm al-Qura mosque, spokesman Muthana al-Dhari explained why he did not think the two women were dead "because the material gain from holding them is big".
"I have my doubts about the whole operation from the start because the style and method all indicate that the kidnappers are an organised gang with no connection to the resistance."
"These women have worked in Iraq for a long time and have served the Iraqi people so why would the insurgents target them or hurt them," he said.
Pari and Torretta were working for the Italian charity Un Ponte Per Baghdad (Bridge to Baghdad) which has been a long-standing opponent of Western policy towards Iraq.
The group campaigned vigorously against the crippling UN sanctions enforced against Iraq from its 1990 invasion of Kuwait right up to last year.

aljazeera 23.Sep.04

Italian hostages reported killed in Iraq -website

The group which has kidnapped two female Italian aid workers in Iraq, said it has executed them, according to a statement posted Thursday on an internet site.
The group has posted its statement announcing it has executed the two female hostages on a website that is not known for posting that kind of messages. The authenticity of the statement couldn�t be immediately verified.
Also the two women�s employers in Italy said they had not given up hope.

aljazeera international 9/23/2004 6:58:00 AM GMT

Italy's government doubts the reliability of a statement by an Iraqi group that said it killed two female Italian hostages, according to the humanitarian organization that employs the women.

The Jihad Organization said Simona Torretta and Simona Pari, both 29, were killed because Italy hadn't met the group's demand to remove its 3,000 soldiers from Iraq, AFP reported, citing the statement on an unspecified Web site. The workers for the Italian aid group A Bridge to Baghdad were kidnapped on Sept. 7.

The information is ``not very reliable,'' the aid organization said on its Web Site. ``That's what Palazzo Chigi, al- Jazeera and all the other sources that we have consulted say.'' Palazzo Chigi is the building housing Italy's government.

bloomberg 23.Sep.


trained by the CIA

Earlier this month, three anti-Castro Cuban exiles flew to Miami from Panama after serving four years in prison for �endangering public safety.� They were arrested in 2000 for plotting to assassinate Fidel Castro by planting explosives at a meeting the Cuban dictator planned to hold with university students in Panama.
The average convicted terrorist does not just waltz past U.S. immigration authorities in this post-9/11 age of orange alerts, �no fly� lists and shoe searches. Senator Edward Kennedy reportedly gets stopped by airport authorities every time he tries to make a flight, allegedly because the �Kennedy� name appears on a database of suspects.

Only political influence exerted at the highest level could account for terrorists reentering U.S. borders without impediment, despite rap sheets extending back as long as forty years:

  • Pedro R�mon, sentenced to seven years for the bomb plot in Panama, pleaded guilty in 1986 to bombing Cuba�s mission to the United Nations and later conspiring to murder its ambassador to the UN. A New York detective also fingered R�mon for the machine-gun murders of two political opponents.

  • Gaspar Jim�nez, sentenced to eight years for the Panama bomb plot and falsifying documents, had previously served time in Mexico for the attempted kidnapping and murder of Cuban diplomats there. He was also indicted in Florida for blowing the legs off a liberal Miami radio talk show host in 1976. (The indictment was eventually dropped for insufficient evidence, even though the main witness passed several lie-detector tests.)

  • Guillermo Novo, sentenced to 7 years for the Panama terror plot, was arrested in 1964 for firing a bazooka at the United Nations, where Che Guevara was speaking. In 1978, he was convicted of participating in one of the worst acts of terrorism ever committed on U.S. soil, the car bombing in Washington, D.C. of former Chilean Foreign Minister Orlando Letelier. (The conviction was later overturned on a technicality, though Novo was convicted of perjury.)

  • A fourth Panama conspirator, Louis Posada Carriles, left Panama for Honduras. He is still wanted in Venezuela on charges of bombing a Cuban airliner in 1976, killing all 73 passengers. In 1998, in an interview with the New York Times from a hideout in Central America, Posada admitted taking part in numerous acts of terrorism, including a wave of Havana hotel bombings in 1997 that killed an Italian tourist. He said his violence was funded by prominent U.S.-based supporters in the Cuban exile community.
The incoming Panamanian president, Martin Torrijos, likewise stood on principle when he rejected his predecessor�s decision to pardon the terrorists, saying, �For me, there are not two classes of terrorism, one that is condemned and another that is pardoned. . . . It has to be fought no matter what its origins.�

"What if ... freedom and democracy are just around the corner..."

Juan Cole, making it clear
Still, even Cole won't say it outright. There's this allegiance to moderation, to the moderates, and in that context Sadrists are radicals. But another perspective says the radicals are fighting something truly evil, and moderation isn't appropriate, because it won't work.
Cole says:
"Obviously, what was obnoxious to the American people about Saddam Hussein was not that he was a dictator. Those are a dime a dozen and not usually worth $200 billion and thousands of lives. It is that he was supposedly dangerous to the US because, as Bush alleged, he was trying to develop an atomic bomb. But whatever nuclear program he had was so primitive as not to be worth mentioning, and there is no evidence that Saddam posed any threat at all to the United States' homeland, or would have in his lifetime."
And he stops. Just like Moore did in Fahrenheit 9/11.
But this "war" is not some gigantic mistake, it's a gigantic lie. The next question - who is telling that lie, and why? - is probably too dangerous to ask, for people in the spotlight like Cole and Moore, because the obvious answer to it is that there has been one, and only one, winner, that the bloodshed and destruction have benefited one player out of all those involved.
A simpler question is - why was Tony Blair so rabid for this? It may seem tangential, and it is, as a question, but the answer's central. The forces that were applied, the pressure that was applied, to Blair, to the American Congress, to the American media, all came from the same place.
Who's winning the war in Iraq?
Ask Ariel Sharon.

suspended pending further notice

A day after offering Olympic time trial champion Tyler Hamilton their support, cycling's Phonak team have suspended the American for failing dope tests.
"The team leader (Hamilton) has been suspended pending further notice," the team said Wednesday.
"He will remain so until the proceedings are completed. If Hamilton is not able to prove his innocence, then the contract will be canceled effective immediately."
" long as we're not 100 percent certain that he's guilty of manipulation, we will believe him," Rihs said in a statement. He said results of the B tests were expected later on Wednesday.
Neither the International Olympic Committee (IOC) nor cycling's ruling body, the UCI, have made an official comment about Hamilton's test results. Athletes inject oxygen-boosted blood from other people to increase their endurance.

Reuters 22.Sep.04

Look at the bikes they ride. Look at the exercise regimens, the training scientists employed full-time, the control of every variable in their lives including thought. What the hell difference does it make if they get blood transfusions? It's absurd, it's been taken so far beyond any real human contest, it's a competition between technologists, between trainers and theories, the actual human body's in the way.
The results are meaningless in any human context, "doping" or no.


A strident minority
"There's no clear definition of why we came here," says Army Spc. Nathan Swink, of Quincy, Ill. "First they said they have WMD and nuclear weapons, then it was to get Saddam Hussein out of office, and then to rebuild Iraq. I want to fight for my nation and for my family, to protect the United States against enemies foreign and domestic, not to protect Iraqi civilians or deal with Sadr's militia," he said.

Dear Spc. Swink:
What I would do, what I did, is start with no givens at all, then work forward. Start with what you know to be true. Iraq is a broken mess, women and children have died, you've been lied to about why you're there and what the goals are.
Now, try thinking of it as a success. Think of it as "Mission Accomplished". Look around you and say, this is what they wanted.
The first layer of cynics say it's oil, but the oil isn't flowing easily and cheaply, is it? And it isn't going to be as long as there's resistance. So then what?
Who benefits? Who gains?
Who gains from a broken Iraq? Who's safer with Iraq helpless?
Try thinking of it as exactly what was planned and ask yourself, who would want this.
And more importantly still, ask yourself what's next.

"The US officer told us: 'If you don't confess we will torture you. So you have to confess.' My hands were handcuffed. They took off my boots and stood me in the mud with my face against the wall. I could hear women and men shouting and weeping. I recognised one of the cries as my brother Mu'taz. I wanted to see what was going on so I tried to move the cloth from my eyes. When I did, I fainted."

Like most Iraqi women, Alazawi is reluctant to talk about what she saw but says that her brother Mu'taz was brutally sexually assaulted. Then it was her turn to be interrogated. "The informant and an American officer were both in the room. The informant started talking. He said, 'You are the lady who funds your brothers to attack the Americans.' I speak some English so I replied: 'He is a liar.' The American officer then hit me on both cheeks. I fell to the ground.

Alazawi says that American guards then made her stand with her face against the wall for 12 hours, from noon until midnight. Afterwards they returned her to her cell. "The cell had no ceiling. It was raining. At midnight they threw something at my sister's feet. It was my brother Ayad. He was bleeding from his legs, knees and forehead. I told my sister: 'Find out if he's still breathing.' She said: 'No. Nothing.' I started crying. The next day they took away his body."
Huda Alazawi

Luke Harding/Guardian UK 20.Sep.04

Recalling the events of January 2003, Mr Schweitzer said: "I felt we were not where we should be. Since then, we have seen an enormous amount of progress. It's one of the things I am really proud of, these last two years."
Last year, only General Motors, Toyota and Ford sold more vehicles than the Renault-Nissan alliance.
The greatest legacy of the Schweitzer era, though, is the Scenic, a compact people-carrier that redefined car-buying habits across Europe.
Was Mr Schweitzer surprised by its success? "Our product planning people said 300 (production) a day. I expected 700 or 800. We went to 1,800, so, yes, I was."
Now Mr Schweitzer has another big idea. He wants to introduce car ownership to millions of people around the world who have never been able to afford it.
Eighty per cent of the world's cars are bought by only 20% of the population, says Mr Schweitzer. His mission is for Renault to give those others "access to the civilisation of the motor car from which they were previously excluded".
The result is Logan, a Megane-sized model that will be sold in developing countries at prices from �3,300 including tax. Schweitzer has effectively called for a 21st century reincarnation of the old Ford Model T, the car that put America on wheels.
In another development, Manteqi told the press that Iran Khodro would manufacture "from now on, cars that will meet requirements of European safety and environmental standards."
The official stated that Iran Khodro would launch Peugeot Aryan 206 from 2005. "This new model can meet our domestic and exports demands," he said.
The French company Renault is to produce Logan, a budget compact family saloon, here as part of a joint venture between Renault Pars, the car giant's Iranian concern, and the Automotive Industry Development Company, a grouping of Iran's two main state-controlled carmakers Saipa and Iran Khodro.
Annual production, beginning in 2006, is expected to start at 300,000units but could eventually rise to 500,000.
Iran has seen a sharp growth in demand for new cars in recent years. In 2003, market demand amounted to 700,000 units.

...Iran is financing medical clinics, hospitals and social welfare centers in Iraq, especially in areas where the interim government of Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and American forces are not in control...
Thom Shanker/Steven R Weisman/NYTimes 20.Sep.04
Iraqi officials in charge of rebuilding their country's shattered and decrepit infrastructure are warning that the Bush administration's plan to divert $3.46 billion from water, sewage, electricity and other reconstruction projects to security could leave many people without the crucial services that generally form the backbone of a stable and functioning democracy.
James Glanz/NYTimes 20. Sep.04



Prisoner abuse in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

Torture, rendition, and other abuses against captives in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere

Additionally, MPs will say that the orders were coming directly from military intelligence. Sergeant Javal Davis, one of the MPs, later explains: �I witnessed prisoners in the MI hold section ... being made to do various things that I would question morally ... In Wing 1A we were told that they had different rules.� Military Intelligence reportedly told the MPs � �Loosen this guy up for us.� �Make sure he has a bad night.� �Make sure he gets the treatment.� � When the MPs did as they were told, MI would say things like, �Good job, they're breaking down real fast. They answer every question. They're giving out good information.� [The New Yorker, 5/10/2004; Washington Post, 5/8/2004 Sources: US Army Report on Iraqi Prisoner Abuse] A prisoner's account will also indicate that the orders were coming from above (see November 29, 2003-March 28, 2004).
Interrogations - The interrogations take place at two facilities within Abu Ghraib known as the Wood Building and the Steel Building. But it is unclear precisely who is in charge. In addition to the known involvement of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, there is evidence suggesting that CIA and SAP operatives (see (Mid-September 2003-October 2003)) are also involved. Two civilian contractors�Steven Stephanowicz, an interrogator working for Virginia-based CACI International, and John B. Israel who works for SOS Interpreting Ltd.�also play a leading part in the interrogations. Unlike their counterparts in MI, they are not bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice, though they are required to obey civilian law (it is not clear whether they are bound by US or Iraq law). Little is known about the two civilians. [The New Yorker, 5/10/2004; The New Yorker, 5/17/2004; The Signal, 6/2/2004]
After the torture scandal is revealed in the press, Stephanowicz is rumored to be CIA [Knight Ridder, 5/8/2004]


May 18, 2004
Sgt. Samuel Provance of the 302nd Military Intelligence Battalion tells ABC News that the US military is engaged in a cover-up of the Abu Ghraib abuses. �There's definitely a cover-up,� he says. �People are either telling themselves or being told to be quiet.� He also says the MPs seen in the photos with naked Iraqi prisoners at the prison were acting under orders from Military Intelligence. �Anything [the MPs] were to do legally or otherwise, they were to take those commands from the interrogators.... One interrogator told me about how commonly the detainees were stripped naked, and in some occasions, wearing women's underwear. If it's your job to strip people naked, yell at them, scream at them, humiliate them, it's not going to be too hard to move from that to another level.� [ABC News, 5/18/2004; The Washington Post, 5/20/2004] After his interview, Provance is stripped of his security clearance, transferred to a different platoon, and informed that he may be prosecuted for speaking out because his comments were �not in the national interest.� Additionally, his record is officially �flagged,� making him ineligible for promotion or receiving any awards or honors. [ABC News, 5/21/2004]


Three civilian translators were named in a new report on military intelligence breaches at Abu Ghraib prison � although "named" isn't quite the right word.
All names were excised from the 177-page executive summary to the report on prisoner abuse, released Wednesday.
Was John B. Israel, a civilian translator from Canyon Country who was implicated in an earlier Army report, one of the three?
Army officials wouldn't say. Nor would they say if he was exonerated.
"We cannot � we don't have any names," said Anita Hodges, spokeswoman for Gen. Paul J. Kern, the top Army official overseeing the inquiry conducted by Lt. Gen. Anthony R. Jones and Maj. Gen. George R. Fay.
Hodges said civilian contractors' names weren't being released because some are subject to further investigation by the Justice Department. They could still face charges, she said.
A previous Army inquiry into military police activities at the prison, conducted by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, found that two military intelligence officers and two civilian contractors � including Israel � were "either directly or indirectly responsible" for the abuses.

Leon Worden
Signal newspaper of Santa Clarita, Calif. 26.Aug.04
While in Iraq, all acts performed by Mr. Stefanowicz were appropriate, authorized, done with the knowledge of military superiors and taken pursuant to approved policies and procedures governing interrogations at the Abu Ghraib prison.

The vague and unsubstantiated allegations in the Taguba Report against Mr. Stefanowicz implied that he was one of a very few individuals somehow responsible for the egregious abuses, photographed and otherwise, at Abu Ghraib prison.

August 26, 2004 Press Release On
Behalf of Steven A. Stefanowicz

Henry E. Hockeimer, Jr.
Hangley Aronchick Segal & Pudlin
Philadelphia, PA


LETTER TO THE EDITOR [The Signal, Santa Clarita, Calif.]

First of all, the company is saddened and disturbed over the photographs that appeared in the media concerning abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The company was also saddened by the tragic pictures of people jumping out of the windows of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. And the company was further saddened by the horrible pictures of the American contractors' charred and mutilated bodies hung from the bridge girders in Fallujah. All of these photographs and images, sadly, are part of the war on terrorism.

Secondly, there are some aspects of your article for which we would like to provide additional factual information. We believe the following information adds perspective to CACI's work in Iraq.

The military did not have available interrogators needed to gather and analyze field source intelligence data and information in Iraq. CACI provides IT solutions and technology services to the U.S. Intelligence community. CACI interrogation services business is an extension of CACI's tactical intelligence and field services line of business for information collection, data analysis and decision support. CACI performs these contract services because of its commitment to its U.S. Army clients at war in the mid-East.
CACI is aware of multiple investigations underway but knows at this time of allegations only against one employee as set forth in the illegally released (leaked) classified (SECRET/NO-FOREIGN] Taguba report (one report in a number of reports conducted as part of an ongoing investigation that has not been concluded), which has not been publicly confirmed.

Mr. John Israel was incorrectly identified as a CACI employee in the leaked sections of the report issued by Major General Antonio M. Taguba regarding allegations of abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison. Mr. Israel is not now and never has been an employee of CACI.
Jody Brown
Senior Vice President, Public Relations
CACI International Inc.

Arlington, VA

"We don't know who he is, who he was working for, or what he was doing there."

Beneath his employment contract � which SOS officials won't discuss � are more questions.
No criminal charges are known to have been filed against Israel, and no known evidence links him to a foreign government.
Nor has it been positively ascertained that the U.S. government is following up on Taguba's recommendation for a formal inquiry to determine the extent of Israel's culpability.
Nonetheless, Israel's high-profile defense attorney, onetime O.J. Simpson prosecutor Christopher A. Darden, has thus far maintained a low profile, shunning questions about Israel's citizenship or background.
A spokesman for the Office of Homeland Security said Israel's citizenship and immigration status are protected under the Privacy Act, while a CIA spokeswoman said it is agency policy not to identify current or past employees.
According to The New York Times, which obtained Israel's brief written reply to Army investigators, the translator was born in Baghdad in 1955 and is an Iraqi-American Christian, referring to Iraq's Christian minority group.
His emigration date isn't known. His wife said the family moved to Santa Clarita in 1988. They had three daughters, all born in the interim. Public records show Israel owned what may have been an out-of-town picture framing business called Fancy Frame when he filed for bankruptcy protection in 1993. He paid cash for his $220,000 home in 1996 or was given it by the builder. A neighbor said she knew him as "a computer guy" prior to his deployment at Abu Ghraib in October.
Paul Bergrin is the stateside attorney for Sgt. Javal "Sean" Davis, one of the seven guards charged with prisoner abuse.
To determine who was giving orders inside Abu Ghraib last fall, and to discover what Taguba meant when he referred in his report to the presence of "third-country nationals" among the intelligence personnel, Bergrin said one need look not only "up" at superiors, but "over" geographically.
"The intelligence community were trained in intelligence acquisition from foreign agents who had experience in dealing with Arab and Muslim prisoners. This had to come from Israeli intelligence personnel as well as CIA-trained agents who knew how to induce these types of detainees to speak," Bergrin said.
He said the intelligence gathering tactics used at Abu Ghraib were consistent with those used by agencies such as Shin Bet, the Israeli counter-intelligence and internal security service.
The newspaper said interrogation techniques such as "hooding, sleep deprivation, time disorientation and depriving prisoners (of) dignity" are "all techniques long employed by Israel."
CACI President J.P. "Jack" London's visit to Jerusalem in January further piqued critics' interest.
CACI said in a press release that members of the Senate and House Armed Services committees accompanied London on the trip, where Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz presented him with a prestigious information technology award.
"The purpose of the mission was to promote opportunities for strategic partnerships and joint ventures between U.S. and Israeli defense and homeland security companies," CACI's press release said. "Participants also attended high-level briefings and demonstrations on innovative technologies and their application to homeland security, counter-terrorism and national defense."
Shin Bet sources in Tel Aviv have disavowed the idea of Israeli participation or influence at Abu Ghraib.
Under the heading "All evidence refutes claims of Israeli involvement in Iraqi prison affair," the Haaretz Daily commented on John Israel's connection to Titan Corp., the intelligence firm that contracted the prison translation work to SOS, his employer.
The newspaper noted that former CIA Director James Woolsey was a Titan board member and said Woolsey "is considered a close friend of (the nation of) Israel."
An unnamed Shin Bet source told Haaretz, "We did not operate (in Iraq) and did not assist the United States in running the interrogations. This is baseless slander."
"When one reads all the American documents and reports," another former senior Shin Bet official said, "it is clear that the Americans did not need us to conduct interrogations. The reports and the pictures of the torture, abuse and humiliation from the prison in Iraq portray a reality compared to which the interrogations of the Palestinians by us are really child's play."

Leon Worden
Signal City Editor
Thursday, June 3, 2004

Facility 1391

State prosecutors initially told the court that the prison was no longer in use.
Facility 1391 has been airbrushed from Israeli aerial photographs and purged from modern maps. Where once a police station was marked there is now a blank space. Sometimes even the road leading to it has been erased. But Israel's secret prison, inside an army intelligence base close to the main road between Hadera and Afula in northern Israel, is real enough. For 20 years or more it has been housed in a large, imposing, single-storey building designed by a British engineer, Sir Charles Taggart, during the 1930s as one of a series of garrison forts designed to contain growing unrest in Palestine. Today, the thick concrete walls and iron gates are themselves protected by a double fence overseen by watchtowers and patrolled by attack dogs.

The prison has held Lebanese abducted by the Israeli army as hostages, Iraqi defectors and a Syrian intelligence officer who tried to defect but was accused of spying and chose to remain in another prison rather than return home and face a firing squad. More recently, scores of Palestinians were incarcerated in 1391 for interrogation, which finally led to the almost accidental disclosure of a prison the state decreed did not exist.

Those who have been through its gates know it is no illusion. One former inmate has filed a lawsuit alleging that he was raped twice - once by a man and once with a stick - during questioning. But most of those who emerge say the real torture is the psychological impact of solitary confinement in filthy, blackened cells so poorly lit that inmates can barely see their own hands, and with no idea where they are or, in many cases, why they are there.

Chris McGreal/Guardian UK 14.Nov.04

OK. Now. This is from October 2002, I haven't been back along that stretch of US101 since March 2003, when the signs were still up, and the new warehouse-like building was still there, and the old military barracks were still there, with their windows boarded up, but everything looking relatively well-maintained, and, as I tried to make clear when I first wrote about it, something pretty sinister about being advised to "NOT PICK UP HITCHIKERS" on either side of the camp perimeter, when that same highway passes within a mile of the state hospital for the criminally insane, Atascadero State Hospital, where the most dangerous population of lunatics in the state prison system are kept. No signs. Just up the road from there, Soledad State Prison, the "Gladiator School", filled with hardcore hardassed bad men. No signs. Folsom, no signs. San Quentin, no signs.
Camp Roberts, a disused, inoperative, non-functioning, virtually abandoned military base, miles from nowhere, large non-official colored warning signs that say "DO NOT PICK UP HITCHIKERS NEXT 13 MILES".
You tell me.
Here's the original piece:
There's a army base north of here a ways. Abandoned mostly or so it appears, or appeared anyway. Within the last couple months signs have appeared at either end of the strip of 101 that you pass by the base on. The signs say "DO NOT PICK UP HITCHIKERS NEXT 13 MILES" it's funny cause the signs are in non-standard colors. non-standard for around here anyway. I was thinking today when I drive by maybe it's from back east that color, kind of a dirty orange. The army base still has boarded up windows and stuff, though across the highway is a brand new sort of Xfiley beige warehouse, with humvees and stuff. It's too far away to see very clear. it was a big base at one time there's like churches with plywooded windows and lots of barracks and other army-type buildings, all looking pretty well abandoned.
The only live human I've mentioned this to said she knew the area and there was a prison nearby and a state mental hospital. Which on paper is true. But the fact is the mental hospital though housing the criminally deranged and dangerous is further down the highway, a good 20-30 miles and very close to a town and there's no signs of the type we're speaking of anywhere near it. The prison is miles away and though a road goes right along within spitting distance of it there are no signs of warning there. So.
We have a mental hospital whose inmates are deemed too dangerous to society to be anything but locked up, and a state prison, and neither of them have any warning signs on the major thoroughfares they sit near. And we have an abandoned(sorta) army base and at least three signs each direction warning the unwary. Do not. Pick up. Hitchikers. From whence might those hikers be hitching one wonders. And from what?


I'm tired of these things:
"Iraqi civilians". That phrase makes them a military thing, it's a military description, as though they were soldiers in a different army - the army of civilians. It's as though "we" aren't civilians, we're looking at them through military eyes.
I can't analyze it more accurately than that, but I can feel it, it means they aren't really people. But they are. These are innocent men women and children, no different than the children who died at Beslan, or the men and women who died in the World Trade Center.
And the liberal or Democratic stance that our being, the US military being in Iraq is a "mistake". This is a mistake that has killed thousands of Iraqi men women and children. Mistake seems just a little weak as a descriptor.
And the logic that stops right after it's a "mistake". Because if it was a mistake, if it is a mistake, then those thousands of men women and children didn't need to die, should not have died, were murdered.
The initial logical train was: Saddam has WMD's, poses a threat, must be removed. Setting aside the deception at the heart of that, and the lies that cover it, setting aside the complete absence of Israel in any of the talk surrounding Saddam and WMD's, just look at the outcome. We've killed thousands, tens of thousands of innocent people in this country, Iraq.
Not soldiers, not "insurgents", not "militias", though we have killed thousands of them, but women and children and men going about the business of their very hard lives, innocently, non-combatively. We've killed them because they were in our way, because we had a more important goal. This is the same logic we denounce as heartless when it's used by those who would kill innocent Americans, terrorists shedding innocent blood. Zealots. Madmen.
We have done to them what we justified invading their country to prevent.
John Kerry is not going to account for this, he is not going to answer for it, and he isn't going to make amends for it.
It isn't a mistake, it's a crime. It's mass murder. And the men who are fighting in Iraq, the Iraqis themselves, resisting with everything they have, are in the right. No amount of patriotism can disguise that, no love, no loyalty to country or family or God, can change that.
There is no way back from this with honor, and there is no way forward with honor, and there is no "staying the course" with honor.
If it is a mistake - and I don't think it is, I think it's intentional, and I think the present condition of Iraq, a broken destabilized, vulnerable, powerless nation, was exactly the purpose all along - but if it is a mistake, as so many people seem to think, then what? Do we apologize?
How do we apologize for the deaths of thousands of innocent people? How is that done?

The Parents' Bill of Rights is a legislative agenda to help parents combat the commercial influences that prey upon their children and that promote values and products of which parents do not approve, along with an epidemic of marketing-related diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, alcoholism, pathological gambling and smoking-related illnesses.

Commercial Alert

eight out of 10 of the gunshot victims he sees

What makes the Sadr City residents' account believable is that in their neighbourhood a "martyr's death" - someone killed while fighting against US forces - carries with it great honour. Residents are happy to brag about their relatives who have died in "the resistance".

Mr Sagban's brothers, on the other hand, are adamant that he had no connection with either Shia or Sunni insurgents. He was engaged and was just about to go to Jordan to work and save money before getting married.

The US military in Baghdad denied any knowledge of Mr Sagban's death. "We checked all our reports from that area, and we have found nothing to match this information. Also, I can tell you with confidence that MNF [Multi-National Force] forces are here to protect and liberate the Iraqi people - we do not fire upon innocent civilians," a spokesman wrote in an e-mail response to a Financial Times inquiry.

Financial Times 15.Sep.04

Survival News

"God hand-picked me and the kids"

UK, New Zealand, India, Ireland...

baghdadtophoto: Aljazeera Baghdad

The US military called the attack a "precision strike and destroyed a terrorist compound known to be used by the Abu Musab al-Zarqawi", a Jordanian suspected of heading a network linked to al-Qaida.
Other statements reported several operations in Anbar province - which includes Falluja and the other embattled town of Ramadi.
The US military said it killed up to 60 foreign fighters in one strike targeting a "confirmed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi terrorist meeting site".
But that claim could not be verified.
The latest air strikes in Anbar province come hours after the US Department of Defence announced that three US soldiers had been killed in separate attacks throughout the province.
The US military in Iraq has persisted in its claims that it is targeting the "safe houses" of al-Zarqawi and/or his supporters.
However, Iraqi medical sources and independent journalists in Falluja say that most of those wheeled into local hospitals are civilians, often including many women and children.

Aljazeera 17.Sep.04


Kathryn Cramer on Dyncorp's privileged "medic", Shaun Marshall, and his munitions,

"...which he believed to be inert, for use in DynCorp training exercises"
"found the weapon on the ground in Afghanistan. He said he thought it was inert and kept it as a souvenir."
...airport cops released Marshall so he could get on a connecting flight home, and then contacted the NYPD bomb squad...

A Bridge to Baghdad
Simona Pari Simona Torretta.jpg
In the eight days since their abduction, pleas for their release have crossed all geographical, religious and cultural lines. The Palestinian group Islamic Jihad, Hizbullah, the International Association of Islamic Scholars and several Iraqi resistance groups have all voiced outrage. A resistance group in Falluja said the kidnap suggests collaboration with foreign forces. Yet some voices are conspicuous by their absence: the White House and the office of Allawi. Neither has said a word.

Meanwhile, a growing number of Islamic leaders are hinting that the raid on A Bridge to Baghdad was not the work of mujahideen, but of foreign intelligence agencies out to discredit the resistance.

Nothing about this kidnapping fits the pattern of other abductions. Most are opportunistic attacks on treacherous stretches of road. Torretta and her colleagues were coldly hunted down in their home. And while mujahideen in Iraq scrupulously hide their identities, making sure to wrap their faces in scarves, these kidnappers were bare-faced and clean-shaven, some in business suits. One assailant was addressed by the others as "sir".
Mahnouz Bassam, an Iraqi woman, was dragged screaming by her headscarf, a shocking religious transgression for an attack supposedly carried out in the name of Islam.
witnesses said that several attackers wore Iraqi National Guard uniforms and identified themselves as working for Ayad Allawi, the interim prime minister.

An Iraqi government spokesperson denied that Allawi's office was involved. But Sabah Kadhim, a spokesperson for the interior ministry, conceded that the kidnappers "were wearing military uniforms and flak jackets". So was this a kidnapping by the resistance or a covert police operation? Or was it something worse: a revival of Saddam's mukhabarat disappearances, when agents would arrest enemies of the regime, never to be heard from again? Who could have pulled off such a coordinated operation - and who stands to benefit from an attack on this anti-war NGO?
Western journalists are loath to talk about spies for fear of being labelled conspiracy theorists. But spies and covert operations are not a conspiracy in Iraq; they are a daily reality. According to CIA deputy director James L Pavitt, "Baghdad is home to the largest CIA station since the Vietnam war", with 500 to 600 agents on the ground. Allawi himself is a lifelong spook who has worked with MI6, the CIA and the mukhabarat, specialising in removing enemies of the regime.

link Common Dreams

The Truth-Telling Project, a higher loyalty

It is becoming increasingly clear that a dominant theme of the Bush administration is cover-up on urgent matters of life and death. Cover-up of the real motives for the war in Iraq and of the foreseeable costs and problems of the occupation. Cover-up of Presidential inattention before 9/11 to warnings of imminent attacks by Al Qaeda. Above all, concealment of the judgment of the Administration�s own counter-terrorism chiefs that war in Iraq is a disaster for the war on terrorism. Illegitimate silence about these matters has cost American lives, and threatens many more. It is time for truth-telling.

Such cover-ups are both a necessity for this Administration given its past lies and errors and a vulnerability. They conceal facts that cry out urgently for policy change, and for regime change in Washington. They rely on a secrecy system supposedly intended to protect national security, but which actually operates to undermine both our democracy and security, by concealing embarrassing or incriminating information from Congress and the electorate. The latest dramatic example is the classification of investigative reports and photographs on torture at Abu Ghraib prison, which would still be unknown to the public were it not for their unauthorized disclosure

Thanks to the First Amendment, our nation does not have a broad Official Secrets Act criminalizing all leaks, including unauthorized disclosures of governmental deception, corruption, crime, cover-up, incompetence, and disregard for the Constitution and for American lives. The Project recognizes and respects the secrecy laws now in place to protect narrow areas of highly sensitive information about weapons design, communications intelligence and the identity of intelligence agents. We oppose leaks � which, incomprehensibly, Bush administration officials have made repeatedly in the past year � that violate these criminal laws.

Daniel Ellsberg
link Ben Davies/Katherine Gun interview BBC News/Common Dreams 16.Sep.04

Saturday, Sept. 18, over a half a million people around the world will volunteer their time for the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC). These dedicated volunteers will clear beaches and waterways of trash that pollutes our waters, harms marine life, hampers tourism, and poses health risks for beach-goers. Last year, almost half a million volunteers combed over 16,000 miles of beaches, rivers, and lakes, above and below the water line, hauling in over 7.5 million pounds of trash.

"The number of volunteers grows each year as people realize the scope of the marine debris problem and decide to become a part of the solution by taking action in their communities," said Roger Rufe, president of The Ocean Conservancy

Sabra and Shatila, the massacre of Palestinians 22 years ago.
Lawrence of Cyberia has a timeline and photos, and a bibliography.

Th.Coex Paris
tophoto: Thomas Coex/AFP

"...for the spirit of the American republic..."

Secretary of State Collin Powell, who is on record for blaming the invasion on pro-Israel "crazies" in the Pentagon and the White House, told a Senate committee last week that bringing stability to Iraq "is not impossible". That is putting it very optimistically, given the grim reality of security evaporation throughout Iraq these days, indicating a reasserted "insurgency" once dismissed out of hand by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as "desperate dead-enders" or "isolated terrorists".

There is, sadly, a huge prospect that no one will win in Iraq, that the quagmire will linger on, more people will die, and more "sitting duck" occupying soldiers, while Iraq's pipelines continuously get sabotaged and precious resources are laid to waste, emboldening those who dream of Iraq's partition. In this nightmare scenario, the only potential winner is Israel, which pushed hard for the invasion through its allies in Washington and the nation's think-thanks, and which seemingly thrives on the world's perpetual distraction with Iraq while its government continues with its iron-fist, expansionist unilateralism, both tacitly and openly backed by the White House and the US Congress. Yet the more Israel presses on this war-mongering course of action, trampling on the Palestinians' rights, the more entrenched, and deep-seated, the Arab and Muslim hatred of Israel, and by association the US government, and thus the deeper the wound of the Iraq crisis pegged on to the Arab-Israeli conflict directly and indirectly, notwithstanding the Israeli army's role in training prison interrogators in Iraq in "mild methods of torture", which is sanctioned in Israel's own laws.



Fahrenheit August
"We have 9/11�s on a monthly basis. Each and every Iraqi person who dies with a bullet, a missile, a grenade, under torture, accidentally- they all have families and friends and people who care. The number of Iraqis dead since March 2003 is by now at least eight times the number of people who died in the World Trade Center. They had their last words, and their last thoughts as their worlds came down around them, too. I�ve attended more wakes and funerals this last year, than I�ve attended my whole life. The process of mourning and the hollow words of comfort have become much too familiar and automatic."
Baghdad Burning 15.Sep.04

'You will know them by their trail of death'

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in Canada, Australia and Africa. It is light, strong, durable, non-combustible and cheap. It is also highly carcinogenic, as deadly as radiation. Its danger to health was recognised as long ago as 1898. The first legislation controlling the production of asbestos in Britain was in 1931, and in 1960 the link between asbestosis and mesothelioma was proved incontrovertibly in a paper in the British Journal of Medicine. Nevertheless, this hazardous material has been widely used in the building industry throughout the last century. In the UK, its use in homes was not totally prohibited until 1999.

When exposed to the air asbestos crumbles into tiny fibres, which if inhaled may present as one of a variety of terminal illnesses 15 to 60 years later. Asbestos causes asbestosis (scarring of the lung tissue), lung cancer, mesothelioma (cancer of the sac surrounding the lungs), pleural disease (including calcification of the lungs), and pleural effusion (water on the lungs).

link KWSnet


HaifaStreetThere in the street, the injured were all left alone: a young man with blood all over his face sat in the middle of the cloud of dust, then fell on to his face.

I had been standing there taking pictures for two or three minutes when we heard the helicopters coming back. Everyone started running, and I didn't look back to see what was happening to the injured men. We were all rushing towards the same place: a fence, a block of buildings and a prefab concrete cube used as a cigarette stall.

I had just reached the corner of the cube when I heard two explosions, I felt hot air blast my face and something burning on my head. I crawled to the cube and hid behind it. Six of us were squeezed into a space less than two metres wide. Blood started dripping on my camera but all that I could think about was how to keep the lens clean. A man in his 40s next to me was crying. He wasn't injured, he was just crying. I was so scared I just wanted to squeeze myself against the wall. The helicopters wheeled overhead, and I realised that they were firing directly at us. I wanted to be invisible, I wanted to hide under the others.

As the helicopters moved a little further off, two of the men ran away to a nearby building. I stayed where I was with a young man, maybe in his early 20s, who was wearing a pair of leather boots and a tracksuit. He was sitting on the ground, his legs stretched in front of him but with his knee joint bent outwards unnaturally. Blood ran on to the dirt beneath him as he peered round the corner. I started taking pictures of him. He looked at me and turned his head back towards the street as if he was looking for something. His eyes were wide open and kept looking.

The Pentagon has rejected...
Three Iraqi staff working for Reuters say they were beaten and sexually humiliated by US troops near Falluja in January.
"I saw a young man of 14 years of age bleeding from his anus and lying on the floor. He was Kurdish and his name was Hama.
I heard the soldiers talking to each other about this guy.
They mentioned that the reason for this bleeding was inserting a metal object in his anus," he said.
The other alleged Mosul victim, Yasir Rubai Said al-Qutaji, was described as an Iraqi lawyer investigating reports of abuse at "the disco" when he was arrested.
After a day and a night forced into stress positions and doused with cold water at "the disco", he was taken to a regular prison. Staff and interrogators there treated him properly at night, but allowed the same "disco team" to abuse him by day.
He was threatened with sexual assault on his final day.
The US army denied the allegations, saying an investigation found no evidence of such abuse.
The Iraqis working for Reuters were never interviewed for the investigation, which took evidence only from US soldiers who denied that abuse took place.
The Pentagon has rejected demands by Reuters for a more thorough investigation.
Aljazeera 14.Sep.04

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