News StoriesExcerpts of Key News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
When President Bill Clinton appointed Louis Freeh director of the FBI, he called Freeh “a law enforcement legend.” But it also turns out that no FBI director had a more strained relationship with the president who had appointed him. Now he’s written a book, My FBI, and speaks out for the first time about his years as director, and his toxic relationship with Bill Clinton. Here’s how he wrote about the former president: “The problem was with Bill Clinton, the scandals...never ended. Whatever moral compass the president was consulting was leading him in the wrong direction. His closets were full of skeletons just waiting to burst out.” Former Chief of Staff John Podesta says Clinton always referred to the FBI director as ‘Effing’ Freeh...[After] the 1996 Khobar Towers terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia, where 19 U.S. servicemen died and more than 370 were wounded, President Clinton had sent the FBI to investigate and promised Americans that those responsible would pay. But Freeh says the President failed to keep his promise. The FBI wanted access to the suspects the Saudis had arrested. Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar said the only way to get access to prisoners would be if the president personally asked the crown prince for access. [Freeh] writes...: “Bill Clinton raised the subject only to tell the crown prince that he understood the Saudi’s reluctance to cooperate, and then he hit Abdullah up for a contribution to the Clinton Presidential Library.”
President Bush said yesterday that he would consider using the military to "effect a quarantine" in the event of an outbreak of pandemic influenza in the United States. Bush also suggested that putting National Guard troops under federal, rather than state, control might be one part of a response to the "catastrophe" of an avian influenza outbreak. The president raised the same idea after Hurricane Katrina, suggesting that he is considering a greater role for the military in natural disasters. Most public health experts believe it is impossible to entirely isolate neighborhoods, towns, cities or regions during an outbreak of disease. Instead, quarantines today generally refer to a variety of strategies for identifying and limiting the movement of people who are infected with a contagious pathogen or are at high risk. That might include screening travelers for fever and flu symptoms; prohibiting large gatherings of people, including at some workplaces; and requiring that people exposed to infected individuals stay at home until the incubation period for the illness has passed. China took these measures during the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome in 2003.
President George W. Bush asked Congress on Tuesday to consider giving him powers to use the military to enforce quarantines in case of an avian influenza epidemic. "If we had an outbreak somewhere in the United States, do we not then quarantine that part of the country? And how do you, then, enforce a quarantine?" Bush asked at a news conference. The active duty military is currently forbidden from undertaking law enforcement duties by the federal Posse Comitatus Act.
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After they left Texas for Washington following the 2000 presidential election, Miers assumed such an insider role that in 2001 it was she who handed Bush the crucial "presidential daily briefing" hinting at terrorist plots against America just a month before the Sept. 11 attacks.
Note: No other major media reported this significant fact on the topic of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers. The respected Editor and Publisher had this to say: "On its front page Tuesday, The New York Times published a photo of new U.S. Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers going over a briefing paper with President George W. Bush at his Crawford ranch 'in August 2001,' the caption reads. USA Today and the Boston Globe carried the photo labeled simply '2001,' but many other newspapers ran the picture in print or on the Web with a more precise date: Aug. 6, 2001. The PDB [Presidential Daily Briefing] was headed 'Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.,' and notes, among other things, FBI information indicating 'patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks.' " For the entire article, click here.
The United States...is spending $5.6 billion a month fighting this war in Iraq. Now we have the hurricanes to pay for. One way our government pays for a lot of things is by borrowing from countries like China. Another way...is by cutting spending for things like Medicare prescriptions, highway construction, farm payments, AMTRAK, National Public Radio and loans to graduate students. We ought to start saving on our bloated military establishment. We have more than 10,000 nuclear weapons -- enough to destroy all of mankind. We're spending $200 million a year on bullets alone. We had a great commander in WWII, Dwight Eisenhower. He became President and on leaving the White House in 1961, he said this: “We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." Well, Ike was right. That's just what’s happened.
The most toxic debris in New Orleans isn't the sinister gray sludge that coats the streets..., but all the unanswered questions that have accumulated in the wake of so much official betrayal and hypocrisy. Where outsiders see simple "incompetence" or "failure of leadership," locals are more inclined to discern deliberate design and planned neglect -- the murder, not the accidental death, of a great city. Here are 25 of the urgent questions that deeply trouble the local people we spoke with on a trip to New Orleans and South Louisiana. Until a grand jury or congressional committee begins to uncover the answers, the moral (as opposed to simply physical) reconstruction of the New Orleans region will remain impossible. 20. Who is responsible for the suspicious fires that have swept the city? Why have so many fires occurred in blue-collar areas that have long been targets of proposed gentrification? 23. Why isn't FEMA scrambling to create a central registry of everyone evacuated from the greater New Orleans region? Will evacuees receive absentee ballots and be allowed to vote in the crucial February municipal elections that will partly decide the fate of the city?
Federal health officials are still testing the samples from air sensors on the Mall and in downtown Washington that collected a small amount of the tularemia agent. Health officials in the Washington area were notified Friday that the filters on biohazard sensors that make up the BioWatch network detected the bacteria Sept. 24, when tens of thousands of people were on the Mall for antiwar demonstrations. The naturally-occurring biological agent -- which is on the "A list" of the Department of Homeland Security's biohazards, along with anthrax, plague and smallpox -- was detected in small amounts. Detection of the bacteria turned into an incident with nationwide implications, because thousands of protesters had come from throughout the country. Police said that more than 100,000 people attended the rally; organizers put the figure at 300,000.
Note: Isn't it interesting that this very rare occurrence coincided perfectly with a huge antiwar demonstration?
An officer who has claimed that a classified military unit identified four Sept. 11 hijackers before the 2001 attacks is facing Pentagon accusations of breaking numerous rules, charges his lawyer suggests are aimed at undermining his credibility. The alleged infractions by Army Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, 42, include obtaining a service medal under false pretenses, improperly flashing military identification while drunk and stealing pens, according to military paperwork shown by his attorney to The Associated Press. Shaffer was one of the first to publicly link Sept. 11 leader Mohamed Atta to the unit code-named Able Danger. Shaffer was one of five witnesses the Pentagon ordered not to appear Sept. 21 before the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss the unit's findings. The military revoked Shaffer's top security clearance this month, a day before he was supposed to testify to a congressional committee.
Across the hurricane ravaged Gulf Coast, thousands upon thousands of blue tarps are being nailed to wind-damaged roofs, a visible sign of government assistance. The blue sheeting...isn't coming cheap. Knight Ridder has found that a lack of oversight, generous contracting deals and poor planning mean that government agencies are shelling out as much as 10 times what the temporary fix would normally cost. The government is paying contractors an average of $2,480 for less than two hours of work to cover each damaged roof - even though it's also giving them endless supplies of blue sheeting for free. Steve Manser, the president of Simon Roofing and Sheet Metal of Youngstown, Ohio, which was awarded an initial $10 million contract to begin "Operation Blue Roof" in New Orleans, acknowledged that the price his company is charging to install blue tarps could pay for shingling an entire roof.
Note: Google news shows that though many small papers reported this story, no major media did.
Republican members of Congress say there are signs that the Defense Department may be carrying out new intelligence activities through programs intended to escape oversight from Congress and the new director of national intelligence. The warnings are an unusually public signal of some Republican lawmakers' concern about overreaching by the Pentagon, where top officials have been jockeying with the new intelligence chief, John D. Negroponte, for primacy in intelligence operations. The lawmakers said they believed that some intelligence activities, involving possible propaganda efforts and highly technological initiatives, might be masked as so-called special access programs, the details of which are highly classified.
Note: To see an ABC report on the Pentagon's past plans to foment terrorism and kill Americans in the US: http://www.WantToKnow.info/010501operationnorthwoods
Four years after the nation's deadliest terror attack, evidence is accumulating that a super-secret Pentagon intelligence unit identified the organizer of the Sept. 11 hijackings, Mohamed Atta, as an Al Qaeda operative months before he entered the U.S. Had the FBI been alerted to what the Pentagon purportedly knew in early 2000, Atta's name could have been put on a list that would have tagged him as someone to be watched the moment he stepped off a plane in Newark, N.J., in June of that year. Physical and electronic surveillance of Atta, who lived openly in Florida for more than a year, and who acquired a driver's license and even an FAA pilot's license in his true name, might well have made it possible for the FBI to expose the Sept. 11 plot before the fact. Anthony Shaffer, a civilian Pentagon employee, says he was asked in the summer of 2000 by a Navy captain, Scott Phillpott, to arrange a meeting between the FBI and representatives of the Pentagon intelligence program, code-named Able/Danger. But he said the meeting was canceled after Pentagon lawyers concluded that information on suspected Al Qaeda operatives with ties to the U.S. might violate Pentagon prohibitions on retaining information on "U.S. persons," a term that includes U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens. Asked by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, at a hearing last week whether Atta...was a "U.S. person," a senior Pentagon official answered, "No, he was not."
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Hundreds of thousands of Americans around the country protested the Iraq War on the weekend of September 24-25, with the largest demonstration bringing between 100,000 and 300,000 to Washington, D.C. on Saturday. But if you relied on television for your news, you'd hardly know the protests happened at all. According to the Nexis news database, the only mention on the network newscasts that Saturday came on the NBC Nightly News, where the massive march received all of 87 words. CNN anchor Aaron Brown offered an interesting explanation (9/24/05): "There was a huge 100,000 people [march] in Washington protesting the war in Iraq today, and I...feel like I've heard from all 100,000 upset that they did not get any coverage, and it's true they didn't get any coverage."
Note: See also Detroit News blog on this topic: http://info.detnews.com/weblog/index.cfm?blogid=5304
The conduct of U.S. troops in Iraq, including increasing detention and accidental shootings of journalists, is preventing full coverage of the war reaching the American public, Reuters said on Wednesday. Reuters said U.S. forces were limiting the ability of independent journalists to operate. At least 66 journalists and media workers, most of them Iraqis, have been killed in the Iraq conflict since March 2003. U.S. Forces acknowledge killing three Reuters journalists. But the military say the soldiers were justified in opening fire. Reuters believes a fourth journalist working for the agency, who died in Ramadi last year, was killed by a U.S. sniper.
The pharmaceutical industry is bracing itself for criticism when the film 'The Constant Gardener' opens next month. Away from the Hollywood script is a true story of how multinational drug companies took liberties with African lives with devastating consequences. Directed by Fernando Meirelles, of City of God fame, it is a thriller, a love story and a blistering attack on the drugs industry and the way it carelessly expends the lives of innocent citizens in the Third World in the quest for billion-dollar medicines to sell to the first world. After the credits roll, a note from John Le Carré appears on screen that reads: "As my journey through the pharmaceutical jungle progressed, I came to realise that, by comparison with the reality, my story was as tame as a holiday postcard." The film features two brutal killings, a savage beating, a campaign of harassment, intimidation and threats. The crimes of the pharmaceutical industry - from the price protection of Aids drugs which have denied life-saving medicines to millions, to the cover up of lethal side effects to protect profits - are well documented. The companies are not obliged to disclose a lot of information about how they test or make their drugs. There's big, big money involved. Editors of medical journals including The Lancet and The Journal of the American Medical Association had come under pressure not to publish data or to change it. The bigger scandal...lies in the rapacious pricing of the pharmaceutical industry that puts lifesaving drugs out of reach of individuals, hospitals and even nations.
Topping the federal government's list of costs related to Hurricane Katrina is the $568 million in contracts for debris removal landed by a Florida company with ties to Mississippi's Republican governor. More than 80 percent of the $1.5 billion in contracts signed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency alone were awarded without bidding or with limited competition, government records show, provoking concerns among auditors and government officials about the potential for favoritism or abuse. Already, questions have been raised about the political connections of two major contractors - the Shaw Group and Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton - that have been represented by the lobbyist Joe M. Allbaugh, President Bush's former campaign manager and a former leader of FEMA. Bills have come in for deals that apparently were clinched with a handshake, with no documentation. Kellogg, Brown & Root, which was given $60 million in contracts, was rebuked by federal auditors for unsubstantiated billing from the Iraq reconstruction and criticized for bills like $100-per-bag laundry service.
The American Civil Liberties Union is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court's dismissal of the case of Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI translator who was fired in retaliation for reporting security breaches and possible espionage within the Bureau. Lower courts dismissed the case when former Attorney General John Ashcroft invoked the rarely used "state secrets" privilege. An unclassified summary of a report by the DOJ's Inspector General, released in January 2005, corroborates Edmonds' allegations. The IG report concludes that the FBI had retaliated against Edmonds for reporting serious security breaches, stating that “...her allegations were, in fact, the most significant factor in the FBI's decision to terminate her services.” Fourteen 9/11 family member advocacy groups and public interest organizations filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of Edmonds case before the District Court. Edmonds' ordeal is highlighted in a 10-page article in the September 2005 issue of Vanity Fair titled “An Inconvenient Patriot.” The article, which chronicles FBI wrongdoing and possible corruption charges involving a high-level member of Congress, further undercuts the government's claim that the case can't be litigated because certain information is secret.
This weekend, Toronto will host some of the UFO community's more level-headed types. The day-long symposium, dubbed Exopolitics Toronto, is an effort by the UFO community's more moderate and serious adherents to prod officialdom into opening its own X-files. To them, official disclosure would not only help to silence the skeptics, but also the wackier elements of the UFO community, who only make the issue easier for the rest of us to laugh off and for governments to avoid. J. Allen Hynek, the astrophysicist who set out to debunk UFO claims for the U.S. Air Force in the 1950s...[found] that he couldn't. Dr. Hynek, who coined the term "close encounters of the third kind" before Steven Spielberg made it famous, was among the first scientists to lend credibility to UFO study. "We think we're bringing forth the best people on the planet," [organizer Mr. Bird] says of the five speakers on the bill. Most anticipated, perhaps, is the latest addition to that list: Paul Hellyer, a former defence minister...who believes that UFOs exist, and that officials have been too quiet about it.
Note: For quotes from many top officials on the UFO Cover-up: http://www.WantToKnow.info/ufocover-up
Scott Stevens is...the face of the weather at KPVI News Channel 6. The Pocatello native made his final Channel 6 forecast Thursday night, leaving a job he's held for nine years in order to pursue his weather theories on a full-time basis. Since Katrina, Stevens has been in newspapers across the country. On Wednesday, Stevens was interviewed by Fox News firebrand Bill O'Reilly. Stevens said he received 30 requests to do radio interviews on Thursday alone. Although the theories espoused by Stevens - scalar weapons, global dimming - are definitely on the scientific fringe today, there are thousands of Web sites that mention such phenomena. "The Soviets boasted of their geoengineering capabilities; these impressive accomplishments must be taken at face value simply because we are observing weather events that simply have never occurred before, never!" Stevens wrote on his Web site. To learn more about Stevens and his thoughts on manipulated weather, check out his Web site at www.weatherwars.info, or go to www.journalnet.com/articles/2005/03/06/opinion/opinion04.txt.
The Pentagon and the Senate Judiciary Committee squabbled publicly on Friday about whether lawmakers could question five key witnesses in public about their claims the U.S. military identified four September 11 hijackers long before the 20001 attacks. The panel's chairman, Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, said at Wednesday's hearing the Pentagon could be guilty of obstructing congressional proceedings. Other lawmakers accused the Defense Department of orchestrating a cover-up. On Friday, the Senate committee announced the Pentagon had reversed its position and would allow the five witnesses to testify at a new public hearing scheduled for October 5. The five witnesses in question were all involved with Able Danger and contend the team identified September 11 ringleader Mohamed Atta and three other hijackers as members of an al Qaeda cell in early 2000. One prospective witness, Army Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, has said publicly that Able Danger members tried to pass the information about Atta along to the FBI three times in September 2000 but were forced by Pentagon lawyers to cancel the meetings. Much of the information related to Able Danger was destroyed in 2000.
Senators from both parties accused the Defense Department on Wednesday of obstructing an investigation into whether a highly classified intelligence program known as Able Danger did indeed identify Mohamed Atta and other future hijackers as potential threats well before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The complaints came after the Pentagon blocked several witnesses from testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee at a public hearing on Wednesday. The only testimony provided by the Defense Department came from a senior official who would say only that he did not know whether the claims were true. But members of the panel, led by Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, said they regarded as credible assertions by current and former officers in the program. The officers have said they were prevented by the Pentagon from sharing information about Mr. Atta and others with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Pentagon has acknowledged that at least five members of Able Danger have said they recall a chart produced in 2000 that identified Mr. Atta, who became the lead hijacker in the Sept. 11 plot, as a potential terrorist.
The men from Blackwater USA arrived in New Orleans right after Katrina hit. The company known for its private security work guarding senior U.S. diplomats in Iraq beat the federal government and most aid organizations to the scene. About 150 heavily armed Blackwater troops dressed in full battle gear spread out into the chaos of New Orleans. When asked what authority they were operating under, one guy said, "We're on contract with the Department of Homeland Security." Then, pointing to one of his comrades, he said, "He was even deputized by the governor of the state of Louisiana. We can make arrests and use lethal force if we deem it necessary." Says Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, "These private security forces have behaved brutally, with impunity, in Iraq. To have them now on the streets of New Orleans is frightening and possibly illegal." Blackwater is operating under a federal contract...[that] was announced just days after Homeland Security Department spokesperson Russ Knocke told the Washington Post he knew of no federal plans to hire Blackwater. With President Bush using the Katrina disaster to try to repeal Posse Comitatus (the ban on using U.S. troops in domestic law enforcement)...the war is coming home in yet another ominous way. As one Blackwater mercenary said, "This is a trend. You're going to see a lot more guys like us in these situations."
The Department of Defense forbade a military intelligence officer to testify Wednesday about a secret military unit that the officer says identified four Sept. 11 hijackers as terrorists more than a year before the attacks, according to the man's attorney. The Judiciary Committee was hearing testimony about the work of a classified unit code named "Able Danger." Zaid, appearing on behalf of Shaffer and contractor John Smith [stated] that Able Danger, using data mining techniques, identified four of the terrorists who struck on Sept. 11, 2001 - including mastermind Mohamed Atta. "At least one chart, and possibly more, featured a photograph of Mohamed Atta," Zaid said. Maj. Paul Swiergosz, a Defense Department spokesman, said Wednesday that open testimony would not be appropriate. "There's nothing more to say than that," Swiergosz said. "It's not possible to discuss the Able Danger program because there are security concerns." Zaid also charged that records associated with the unit were destroyed during 2000 and March 2001, and copies were destroyed in spring 2004. Former members of the Sept. 11 commission have dismissed the "Able Danger" assertions.
Louisiana's top hurricane experts have rejected the official explanations for the floodwall collapses that inundated much of New Orleans, concluding that Hurricane Katrina's storm surges were much smaller than authorities have suggested and that the city's flood-protection system should have kept most of the city dry. With the help of complex computer models and stark visual evidence, scientists and engineers at Louisiana State University's Hurricane Center have concluded that Katrina's surges did not come close to overtopping those barriers. That would make faulty design, inadequate construction or some combination of the two the likely cause of the breaching of the floodwalls. Ivor van Heerden, the Hurricane Center's deputy director, said the real scandal of Katrina is the "catastrophic structural failure" of barriers that should have handled the hurricane with relative ease. "We are absolutely convinced that those floodwalls were never overtopped," said van Heerden. On a tour Tuesday, researchers...showed a "debris line" that indicates the top height of Katrina's waves was at least four feet below the crest of Lake Pontchartrain's levees. They contended that the pattern of destruction behind the breaches was consistent with a localized "pressure burst," rather than widespread overtopping. Former representative Bob Livingston, (R-La.)...noted that the earthen levees along Lake Pontchartrain had all held, while concrete floodwalls had failed. He was especially concerned about the 17th Street barrier, saying it "shouldn't have broken." If Katrina did not exceed the design capacity of the New Orleans levees, the federal government may bear ultimate responsibility for this disaster.
An Idaho weatherman says Japan's Yakuza mafia used a Russian-made electromagnetic generator to cause Hurricane Katrina in a bid to avenge itself for the Hiroshima atom bomb attack. Meteorologist Scott Stevens, a nine-year veteran of KPVI-TV in Pocatello, said he was struggling to forecast weather patterns starting in 1998 when he discovered the theory on the Internet. It's now detailed on Stevens' website, www.weatherwars.info. Stevens...says a little-known oversight in physical laws makes it possible to create and control storms -- especially if you're armed with the Cold War-era weapon said to have been made by the Russians in 1976. Stevens' bosses at KPVI-TV say their employee can think and say what he wants as long as he keeps the station out of the debate and acknowledges that his views are his own opinion. Bill Fouch, KPVI's general manager, said. "He's very knowledgeable about weather, and he's very popular."
Note: Former U.S. Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen in a 1997 news briefing stated: "Others are engaging even in an eco-type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves." To verify this quote on the U.S. Department of Defense website, click here. If terrorist organizations have the capability to set off earthquakes and other major natural disasters, do you think huge military research laboratories might have some of the same capabilities? For more, click here and here.
A day before the trial of Lynndie England, the U.S. soldier who held an Iraqi prisoner on a leash at Abu Ghraib prison, a military judge on Tuesday barred the release of photos which have already been published around the world. England is pictured in some of the most notorious Abu Ghraib photographs. In one image, she points and jeers at the genitals of a naked prisoner; in another, she poses with the father of her baby, Charles Graner, in front of a pyramid of naked Iraqi prisoners. Some photos have not been made public. England is the last of a series of low-level American soldiers convicted of abuses at Abu Ghraib, once a notorious site of torture under Saddam Hussein. Six have pleaded guilty and two others, including Graner, have been convicted at military trial.
Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather said Monday that there is a climate of fear running through newsrooms stronger than he has ever seen in his more than four-decade career. Rather famously tangled with President Nixon and his aides during the Watergate years while Rather was a hard-charging White House correspondent. He said that in the intervening years, politicians "of every persuasion" had gotten better at applying pressure on the conglomerates that own the broadcast networks. He called it a "new journalism order." He said this pressure -- along with the "dumbed-down, tarted-up" coverage, the advent of 24-hour cable competition and the chase for ratings and demographics -- has taken its toll on the news business. "All of this creates a bigger atmosphere of fear in newsrooms," Rather said.
Eighty-five times [Dick Hoyt has] pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars -- all in the same day. Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. on a bike. And what has Rick done for his father? Not much -- except save his life. This love story began in Winchester, Mass., 43 years ago, when Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs. "He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life," Dick says doctors told him. But the Hoyts weren't buying it. [Eventually,] rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was ... able to communicate. First words? "Go Bruins!" And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, "Dad, I want to do that." Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described "porker" who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he tried. "Then it was me who was handicapped," Dick says. "I was sore for two weeks." That day changed Rick's life. "Dad," he typed, "when we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!"
Note: Don't miss the entire incredibly moving story with links to the Hoyt's beautiful website, inspiring photos, a deeply touching video clip, and lots more on this webpage.
An Australian lawyer for Scott Parkin says the American peace activist will have to wait months to learn whether he will be made to pay more than $11,000 for his deportation. Mr Parkin flew out of Melbourne on Thursday after his visa was cancelled on national security grounds last weekend. Mr Parkin told said in Los Angeles on his return that his five-day stay at the Melbourne Custody Centre would cost him another $777. "They said if I ever decided to return to Australia I'd have to pay them back." He was banned from entering Australia for three years, and the visa in his passport was stamped with "Not for further travel". Mr Parkin's removal from Australia seemed to be based only on something he had supposedly said, although he had not been told what that was. "If you can be kicked out of the country for saying words, where the words are not a criminal offence … then you have got a problem with democracy," [Parkin's lawyer] Mr Burnside said.
Note: In a second article, the Herald states: Mr Parkin is a 36-year-old Texas-based teacher and activist with the Houston Global Awareness Collective (HGAC), which aims to end the US-led war in Iraq. The HGAC vows to "increase the use of non-violent, direct action and popular education as tools for social change." Since February 2003, the HGAC has targeted US-based multinational company Halliburton, which is a prime recipient of US government contracts in Iraq and formerly had US Vice President Dick Cheney as its chief executive officer. Mr Parkin has described Halliburton as a "poster child of war profiteering." On August 31, he took part in a non-violent protest outside US corporation Halliburton's Sydney headquarters. For more, see this article.
Former members of the Sept. 11 commission on Wednesday dismissed assertions that a Pentagon intelligence unit identified lead hijacker Mohamed Atta as an member of al-Qaida long before the 2001 attacks. Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., had accused the commission of ignoring intelligence about Atta while it investigated the attacks. The commission's former chairman, Thomas Kean, said there was no evidence anyone in the government knew about Atta before Sept. 11, 2001. Two military officers, Army Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer and Navy Capt. Scott Phillpott, claimed a classified military intelligence unit, known as 'Able Danger,' identified Atta before the attacks. Shaffer has said three other hijackers were identified, too. Kean said the recollections of the intelligence officers cannot be verified by any document. 'Bluntly, it just didn't happen and that's the conclusion of all 10 of us,' said a former commissioner, ex-Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash. Weldon's spokesman, John Tomaszewski, said no commissioners have met with anyone from Able Danger 'yet they choose to speak with some form of certainty without firsthand knowledge.'
Note: If you read the New York Times article from Aug. 11th, commission officials clearly stated that they were warned by a uniformed military officer 10 days before issuing the commission's final report that the account would be incomplete without reference Able Danger and Atta, as confirmed by the commission's own chief spokesperson. Is this more recent article a rewriting of the facts?
A Pentagon employee was ordered to destroy documents that identified Mohamed Atta as a terrorist two years before the 2001 attacks, a congressman said Thursday. The employee is prepared to testify next week before the Senate Judiciary Committee and was expected to identify the person who ordered him to destroy the large volume of documents, said Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa. Weldon declined to identify the employee, citing confidentiality matters. Weldon described the documents as "2.5 terabytes" as much as one-fourth of all the printed materials in the Library of Congress, he added.
American aviation officials were warned as early as 1998 that Al Qaeda could "seek to hijack a commercial jet and slam it into a U.S. landmark," according to previously secret portions of a report prepared last year by the Sept. 11 commission. The officials also realized months before the Sept. 11 attacks that two of the three airports used in the hijackings had suffered repeated security lapses. Federal Aviation Administration officials were also warned in 2001 in a report prepared for the agency that airport screeners' ability to detect possible weapons had "declined significantly" in recent years, but little was done to remedy the problem. The White House and many members of the commission...have been battling for more than a year over the release of the commission's report on aviation failures. A footnote that was originally deleted from the report showed that a quarter of the security screeners used in 2001 by Argenbright Security for United Airlines flights at Dulles Airport had not completed required criminal background checks. Much of the material now restored in the public version of the commission's report centered on the warnings the F.A.A. received about the threat of hijackings, including 52 intelligence documents in the months before the Sept. 11 attacks that mentioned Al Qaeda or Osama bin Laden. Richard Ben-Veniste, a former member of the Sept. 11 commission, said the release of the material more than a year after it was completed underscored the over-classification of federal material. "It's outrageous that it has taken the administration a year since this monograph was submitted for it to be released," he said.
Jose Padilla, who was born in New York and grew up in Chicago, landed at O'Hare airport more than three years ago and hasn't been seen since. He disappeared into a succession of jails and military prisons without being charged with a crime, without trial and without even a hearing on the allegations against him. In a ruling that puts the liberties of every citizen at risk, a federal appeals court said Friday there's nothing wrong with that. Worse, the ruling -- expected to be appealed -- isn't limited to O'Hare airport or to Padilla. The court said Congress has given the president authority to order the jailing of anyone anywhere for as long as he wishes, as long as he claims it's connected to the war on terrorism. That sounds more like the power accorded a dictator than the president of the United States. Repeal of the Constitution's Fourth, Fifth and Sixth amendments wasn't part of the package when Congress passed that anti-terrorism resolution after the 9/11 attacks.
In another gesture symbolizing the continued confusion of the federal response, the man President Bush immediately named to succeed “Brownie,” proves to have been the same FEMA official who, two-and-a-half years ago, suggested that Americans stock up on duct tape to protect against a biological or chemical terrorist attack. David Paulison, then the government's Fire Administrator, joined with the then-head of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, on February 10th, 2003, to say that duct tape and plastic sheeting should be part of any home's "survival kit" in preparation for a terrorist attack. That set off a run on duct tape at stores, and widespread criticism of the administration. It might have been the first time after 9/11 that a large number of Americans wondered if the government really knew what it was talking about when it came to disaster preparedness. And the man behind that politically explosive proposal, has just been named to succeed the man who had been the face of the politically explosive response to Hurricane Katrina.
The Pentagon has drafted a revised doctrine for the use of nuclear weapons that envisions commanders requesting presidential approval to use them to preempt an attack by a nation or a terrorist group using weapons of mass destruction. The draft also includes the option of using nuclear arms to destroy known enemy stockpiles of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. The draft, dated March 15, would provide authoritative guidance for commanders to request presidential approval for using nuclear weapons, and represents the Pentagon's first attempt to revise procedures to reflect the Bush preemption doctrine. The first example for potential nuclear weapon use listed in the draft is against an enemy that is using "or intending to use WMD" against U.S. or allied, multinational military forces or civilian populations.
Omar Sheikh...at the behest of General Mahmood Ahmed, head of the ISI [Pakistan's secret service], wired $100,000 to Mohammed Atta, the leading 9/11 hijacker, before the New York attacks, as confirmed by Dennis Lormel, director of FBI's financial crimes unit. Yet neither Ahmed nor Omar appears to have been sought for questioning by the US about 9/11. Indeed, the official 9/11 Commission Report of July 2004 sought to downplay the role of Pakistan with the comment: "To date, the US government has not been able to determine the origin of the money used for the 9/11 attacks. Ultimately the question is of little practical significance" - a statement of breathtaking disingenuousness. All this highlights the resistance to getting at the truth about the 9/11 attacks and to an effective crackdown on the forces fomenting terrorist bombings in the west.
When U.S. officials asked the news media not to take pictures of those killed by Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, they were censoring a key part of the disaster story, free-speech watchdogs said yesterday. The move by the Federal Emergency Management Agency is in line with the Bush administration's ban on images of flag-draped U.S. military coffins returning from the Iraq war, media monitors charged in separate telephone interviews. On Tuesday, FEMA refused to take reporters and photographers along on boats seeking victims in flooded areas, saying they would take up valuable space needed in the recovery effort and asked them not to take pictures of the dead. A FEMA spokeswoman wrote: "The recovery of victims is being treated with dignity and the utmost respect and we have requested that no photographs of the deceased be made by the media." FEMA's policy of excluding media from recovery expeditions in New Orleans is "an invitation to chaos," said Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, a part of Columbia University's journalism school.
Note: Death tolls were reported prominently on a daily basis after the Asian tsunami, so why are the media and government so reluctant to give figures on the number dead in this catastrophe?
President Bush on Thursday renewed the national emergency he declared after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In a letter to Congress, Bush said the nation is still under the terrorist threat that led him to declare a national emergency three days after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The president's declaration allows for the mobilization of reserve military forces and other steps. By law, a national emergency declaration automatically expires on the anniversary date of its declaration unless the president renews it. Bush's action will renew the declaration for another year.
The congressman who first made public claims that a secret Pentagon data mining project linked the Sept. 11 attacks ringleader to al-Qaida more than a year before the attacks took place says he does not believe the military's account of how the results of the project's work came to be destroyed. "I seriously have my doubts that it was routine," Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Penn., told United Press International. Weldon said he had asked the Pentagon for the certificates of destruction that military officials must complete when classified data is destroyed. He said that there had been "a second elimination of data in 2003," in addition to the destruction acknowledged last week. "For some reason, the bureaucracy in the Pentagon -- I mean the civilian bureaucracy -- didn't want this to get out," he said.
Note: The New York Times reported that the 9/11 Commission was informed of Able Danger and of lead hijacker Mohamed Atta being identified as a threat and an al Qaeda member more than a year before 9/11. Why was this crucial fact not even mentioned in the 9/11 Commission report?
Goldes, 73, is chief executive of a small company called Magnetic Power Inc., which has spent years researching ways to, yes, generate power using magnets. Within a few months, he says, he might just have a breakthrough to report that could revolutionize where people get fuel. "All we know is that we're seeing more energy output than input. Does Goldes realize what's he's saying -- that he's perhaps discovered a clean, inexhaustible energy source? "That's exactly what it appears to be," he answered. What Goldes believes he's done is produce power from what physicists call zero-point energy. In simple terms, zero-point energy results from the infinitesimal motion of molecules even when seemingly at rest. Normally, I dismiss such pie-in-the-sky pronouncements. But Goldes isn't so easy to shrug off. That's because he's also come up with technology called the UltraConductor. The research was funded in part by the Department of Defense, which invested $600,000 in the project. A handful of other companies worldwide are believed also to be pursuing zero-point energy via magnetic systems. One of them, InterStellar Technologies, is run by a former scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. According to Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine, the Pentagon and at least two large aerospace companies are actively researching zero-point energy as a means of propulsion.
Faced with a record-high national gasoline price of $3.07 per gallon, a senior Republican senator said on Tuesday it was time for lawmakers to take another look at imposing stricter mileage standards on mini-vans and other vehicles. Most Republicans and the White House oppose significantly higher mileage requirements because of the potential impact on U.S. automakers and passenger safety. On Tuesday, the U.S. government reported that the average U.S. weekly retail gasoline price rocketed to $3.07 cents per gallon, up nearly 46 cents from last week, because of Katrina's damage to refineries and pipelines. In June, the Senate voted to reject a Democratic amendment to the energy bill to require better mileage for new gas-guzzling sport utility and other vehicles. Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin had proposed that the standards be revised to boost the fuel economy of passenger cars to 40 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2016, and sport utility vehicles to 27.5 mpg. The proposal was defeated.
Note: Why did no major media pick up on this crucial story from one of the most watched news services in the world? Why, with all of the talk about getting off of our dependence on oil, wouldn't lawmakers want our cars to get better car mileage? For possible answers, click here.
By allowing the attacks to happen -- or in the case of the most extreme theories, by organising them under a “false flag” -- the military-industrial complex in America, headed by Dick Cheney and his neocon supporters in the Project for a New American Century, guaranteed that America would stay at war and that profits would stay high. The authors of Revealed, both radical journalists, have subjected the official version of what happened to intense scrutiny and found huge gaps. Recalling that most of what we know about what happened on the planes comes from alleged calls made by passengers on mobile phones, they point out that most experts say that, for technical reasons, this contact would have been impossible to make. They highlight the absence of Mayday distress signals, the failure to find the black-box flight recorders for the WTC aircraft...the failure to carry out a full engineering investigation into why the towers collapsed so fast and the failure to scramble military aircraft to intercept the hijacked aircraft. Even more intriguing is the role of Hani Hanjour, the pilot of Flight 77 that hit the Pentagon. Anyone who examines the route taken by Hanjour will see that it required a complex maneuver by an experienced pilot. Yet in 2001, when Hanjour tried to fly down the Hudson air corridor in a light aircraft, his trainer was so unnerved that he denied him a second run. You don’t have to be a conspiracy nut to see that the official account published by the 9/11 Commission is full of gaps.
Note: England's popular Daily Mail also had a long, detailed article on 9/11 Revealed, which you can read here. The US State Department decided that this book was dangerous enough to post a webpage dedicated to disproving its theories: read here. The authors' rebuttal to the State Department's claims is available here.
E-mailers sent me copies of two news photos that revealed an apparent double standard regarding black and white flood victims in New Orleans. One of the images, shot by photographer Dave Martin for The Associated Press, shows a young black man wading through chest-deep waters after "looting" a grocery store, according to the caption. In the other, taken by photographer Chris Graythen for AFP/Getty Images, a white man and a similarly light-skinned woman also waded through chest-deep water after "finding" goods that included bread and soda in a local grocery store, according to the caption. Apparently, quipped a cynical blogger at Daily Kos, "It's not looting if you're white."
Note: For both photos and more on this disturbing story, click here.
Paul Hellyer has been a Liberal and a Conservative, has run for the leadership of both parties and founded two more, and will announce this month that he believes UFOs exist. Yes, indeed, the 82-year-old former defence minister in Lester Pearson's government is to address the Exopolitics Toronto Symposium on UFO Disclosure and Planetary Directions. "My role is really to say publicly for the first time that I believe that what we call unidentified flying objects are real," he said, ". . . and that people should know more about them and some of the implications of the fact they exist and that they've been observing our planet for more than half a century now."
The government is withholding more information than ever from the public and expanding ways of shrouding data. Last year, federal agencies spent a record $148 creating and storing new secrets for each $1 spent declassifying old secrets, a coalition of watchdog groups reported Saturday. In the late 1990s, the ratio was $15-$17 a year to $1, according to the secrecy report card by OpenTheGovernment.org. Overall, the government spent $7.2 billion in 2004 stamping 15.6 million documents "top secret," "secret" or "confidential." That almost doubled the 8.6 million new documents classified as recently as 2001. Last year, the number of pages declassified declined for the fourth straight year to 28.4 million. In 2001, 100 million pages were declassified; the record was 204 million pages in 1997. These figures cover 41 federal agencies, excluding the CIA, whose classification totals are secret. The report also noted the growing use of secret searches, court secrecy, closed meetings by government advisory groups and patents kept from public view. J. William Leonard, director of the National Archives' Information Security Oversight Office,...said, "the great lesson of 9-11 is that improper hoarding of information can cost lives and harm national security."
Pentagon officials said Thursday they have found three more people who recall an intelligence chart that identified Sept. 11 mastermind Mohamed Atta as a terrorist one year before the attacks on New York and Washington. But they have been unable to find the chart or other evidence that it existed. On Thursday, four intelligence officials provided the first extensive briefing for reporters on the outcome of their interviews with people associated with Able Danger and their review of documents. They said they interviewed at least 80 people over a three-week period and found three, besides Philpott and Shaffer, who said they remember seeing a chart that either mentioned Atta by name as an al-Qaida operative or showed his photograph. Four of the five recalled a chart with a pre-9/11 photo of Atta; the other person recalled only a reference to his name. The intelligence officials said they consider the five people to be credible but their recollections are still unverified. Navy Cmdr. Christopher Chope, of the Center for Special Operations at U.S. Special Operations Command, said there were "negative indications" that anyone ever ordered the destruction of Able Danger documents, other than the materials that were routinely required to be destroyed under existing regulations.
The Bush administration is making no secret of its determination to punish whistle-blowers and other federal workers who object to the doctoring of facts that clash with policy and spin. The blatant retaliation includes the Army general sidelined for questioning the administration's projections about needed troop strength in Iraq, the Medicare expert muted when he tried to inform Congress about the true cost of the new prescription subsidies and the White House specialist on climate change who was booted after complaining that global warming statistics were being massaged by political tacticians. The latest victims include Bunnatine Greenhouse, a career civilian manager at the Pentagon. She was demoted from her job as the top contract overseer of the Army Corps of Engineers after she complained of irregularities in the awarding of a multibillion-dollar no-bid Iraq contract to a subsidiary of Halliburton, the Texas-based oil services company run by Dick Cheney before he became vice president.
The ozone layer has stopped shrinking but it will take decades to start recovering, U.S. scientists reported on Tuesday. They said an international agreement to limit production of ozone-depleting chemicals has apparently worked, but the damage to ozone has not been halted completely. An analysis of satellite records and surface monitoring instruments shows the ozone layer has grown a bit thicker in some parts of the world, but is still well below normal levels, the scientists report in Wednesday's issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research. The experts credited, at least in part, the 1987 Montreal Protocol which was ratified by more than 180 nations and set legally binding controls for on the production and consumption of ozone-depleting gases containing chlorine and bromine.
The military has a long history of funding research into topics that seem straight out of science fiction, even occultism. These range from "psychic" spying to "antimatter"-propelled aircraft and rockets to strange new types of superbombs. In recent years, many physicists have become excited about a phenomenon called "quantum teleportation," which works only with infinitesimally tiny particles. Davis, who has a doctorate in astrophysics from the University of Arizona, has worked on NASA robotic missions. His 79-page Air Force study seriously explored a series of possibilities, ranging from "Star Trek"-style travel to transportation via so-called wormholes in the fabric of space to psychic travel through solid walls. Davis expressed great enthusiasm for research allegedly conducted by Chinese scientists who, he says, have conducted "psychic" experiments in which humans used mental powers to teleport matter through solid walls. He claims their research shows "gifted children were able to cause the apparent teleportation of small objects" (radio micro-transmitters, photosensitive paper, mechanical watches, horseflies, other insects, etc.). If the Chinese experiments are valid and could be repeated by American scientists, Davis told The Chronicle in a phone interview Thursday, then, in principle, the military might some day develop a way to teleport soldiers and weapons.
UK researchers are asking for your help to find out exactly what is behind out-of-body experiences (OBEs). Psychologists at Manchester University have set up an online survey that they hope about 3,000 people will fill out. About one in 10 people claim to have had an OBE at some time, typically involving a sensation of floating and seeing the physical body from outside. For some, the phenomenon occurred spontaneously, while for others it was linked to dangerous circumstances, a near-death experience, a dream-like state or use of alcohol or drugs. The anonymous survey, funded by the Bial Foundation, can be accessed at www.freeresponse.org/muobe2005/
New director must decide whether to discipline any of the dozen-plus criticized. A long-awaited CIA inspector-general's report on the agency's performance before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks includes detailed criticism of more than a dozen former and current agency officials, aiming its sharpest language at George Tenet, the former director of central intelligence. Tenet is censured for failing to develop and carry out a strategic plan to take on al Qaeda in the years before 2001, even after he wrote in a 1998 memo to the intelligence agencies that "we are at war" with the terrorist group. The findings place Goss in a delicate position. Now, as director of the CIA, he will have to decide whether to discipline any of those criticized, risking a further blow to the morale of an agency still charged with protecting the country against future terrorist attacks.
Note: Though various whistleblowers on the 9/11 cover-up have been fired or demoted, there has never been a report of a single government official being disciplined for failures which led to the 9/11 attacks. As pressure builds for accountability, Tenet, who resigned over a year ago, may be the chosen scapegoat.
An active-duty Navy captain has become the second military officer to come forward publicly to say that a secret defense intelligence program tagged the ringleader of the Sept. 11 attacks as a possible terrorist more than a year before the attacks. The officer, Capt. Scott Phillpott, said in a statement Monday that he could not discuss details of the military program, which was called Able Danger, but confirmed that its analysts had identified the Sept. 11 ringleader, Mohamed Atta, by name by early 2000. His comments came on the same day that the Pentagon's chief spokesman, Lawrence Di Rita, told reporters that the Defense Department had been unable to validate the assertions made by an Army intelligence veteran, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, and now backed up by Phillpott, about the early identification of Atta. Shaffer went public with his assertions last week, saying that analysts in the intelligence project had been overruled by military lawyers when they tried to share the program's findings with the FBI in 2000 in hopes of tracking down terrorist suspects tied to al Qaeda.
Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson has called for the United States to assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, calling him "a terrific danger" bent on exporting Communism and Islamic extremism across the Americas. "If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," Robertson told viewers. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war." [Watch video of Robertson's comments at link above] Robertson, a contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 1988, called Chavez "a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us badly." "We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability." Robertson accused Chavez, a left-wing populist with close ties to Cuban President Fidel Castro, of trying to make Venezuela "a launching pad for Communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent." "This is in our sphere of influence, so we can't let this happen," he said.
Note: If a prominent Muslim calls for the assassination of a Western leader, he is almost certain to be labeled a terrorist and placed on the most wanted list.
Las Vegas residents are increasingly noticing the appearance of chemical trails overhead. Such "chemtrails" are substantially different in appearance to the normal condensation trails left by jet airliners. The difference is that while condensation trails are composed of water vapor that dissipates rapidly, "chemtrails" linger much longer and spread out over time to eventually cover the sky with a thin haze. The U.S. Air Force Website refutes the "Chemtrail Hoax" as having been around since 1996. Before you believe...the government's "denial," do an Internet search for the following terms: "Joint Vision for 2020" and "Weather is a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025", a whitepaper by MIT's Bernard Eastlund and H-bomb father Edward Teller. Before he died in 2003, Teller was director emeritus of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where plans for nuclear, biological and directed energy weapons are crafted. In 1997, Teller publicly outlined his proposal to use aircraft to scatter through the stratosphere millions of tons of electrically-conductive metallic materials, ostensibly to reduce global warming. Two scientists working at Wright Patterson Air Force Base confirmed...that they were involved in aerial spraying experiments. In the U.S. Air Force research study, "Weather as a Force Multiplier" issued in August, 1996, seven U.S. military officers outlined how HAARP and aerial cloud-seeding from tankers could allow U.S. aerospace forces to "own the weather" by the year 2025. Among the desired objectives were "Storm Enhancement," "Storm Modification" and "Drought Inducement."
Note: This is far from a leading newspaper, but as many readers have asked about chem trails, and this is the only significant article on the topic that I've seen in the media, I've included it for those who might be interested. For more from a good alternative website, click here. Interesting also that the writer of this article, Marcus Dalton, was fired not long after this article was published. And if the above link fails, click here.
The Government is creating a system of "mass public surveillance" capable of tracking every adult in Britain without their consent, MPs say. They warn that people who have never committed a crime can be "electronically monitored" without their knowledge. Biometric facial scans, which will be compulsory with ID cards, are to be put on a national database which can then be matched with images from CCTV. The database of faces will enable police and security services to track individuals regardless of whether they have broken the law. CCTV surveillance footage from streets, shops and even shopping centres could be cross-referenced with photographs of every adult in the UK once the ID cards Bill becomes law. Biometric facial scans, iris scans and fingerprints of all adults in the UK will be stored on a national database. Civil liberties groups say the plans are a "dangerous" threat to people's privacy. Mark Oaten, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said the plans were being brought in by the Government without informing the public.
Denny Klein has just patented his process of converting H2O to HHO, producing a gas that combines the atomic power of hydrogen with the chemical stability of water. "It turns right back to water; in fact, you can see the H2O running off the sheet metal." Klein originally designed his water-burning engine for cutting metal. He thought his invention could replace acetylene in welding factories. "No other gas will do this." Then one day as he drove to his laboratory, he thought of another way to burn his HHO gas. "On a 100-mile trip, we use about four ounces of water." Klein says his prototype 1994 Ford Escort can travel exclusively on water -- though he currently has it rigged to run as a water and gasoline hybrid. "Simply speaking, our plan is to end our dependence on fossil fuels." Pete Domeneci is helping Klein take his hydrogen technology patents from a two-room office to consumer markets around the world. The duo is already in negotiations with one U.S. automaker and the U.S. government. Members of Congress recently invited Denny Klein to Washington to demonstrate his technology and his company is currently developing a Hummer for the U.S. military that can run on both water and gasoline. So far, his water-powered engines have passed all performance safety inspections.
For years, the U.S. military has explored a new kind of firepower that is instantaneous, precise and virtually inexhaustible: beams of electromagnetic energy. "Directed-energy" pulses can be throttled up or down depending on the situation, much like the phasers on "Star Trek" could be set to kill or merely stun. Such weapons are now nearing fruition. The hallmark of all directed-energy weapons is that the target -- whether a human or a mechanical object -- has no chance to avoid the shot because it moves at the speed of light. At some frequencies, it can penetrate walls. "When you're dealing with people whose full intent is to die, you can't give people a choice of whether to comply," said George Gibbs, a systems engineer for the Marine Expeditionary Rifle Squad Program who oversees directed-energy projects. "What I'm looking for is a way to shoot everybody, and they're all OK." Among the simplest forms are inexpensive, handheld lasers that fill people's field of vision, inducing a temporary blindness to ensure they stop at a checkpoint, for example. Some of these already are used in Iraq. A separate branch of directed-energy research involves bigger, badder beams: lasers that could obliterate targets tens of miles away from ships or planes. Such a strike would be so surgical that, as some designers put it at a recent conference here, the military could plausibly deny responsibility. The directed-energy component in the project is the Active Denial System, developed by Air Force researchers and built by Raytheon Co. It produces a millimeter-wavelength burst of energy that penetrates 1/64 of an inch into a person's skin, agitating water molecules to produce heat. The sensation is certain to get people to halt whatever they are doing.
The federal commission that probed the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks was told twice about "Able Danger," a military intelligence unit that had identified Mohamed Atta and other hijackers a year before the attacks. Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa.,...wrote to the former chairman and vice-chairman of the Sept. 11 commission late Wednesday, telling them that their staff had received two briefings on the military intelligence unit -- once in October 2003 and again in July 2004. Weldon...wrote to former Chairman Gov. Thomas Kean and Vice-Chairman Rep. Lee Hamilton. "The 9/11 commission staff received not one but two briefings on Able Danger from former team members, yet did not pursue the matter. "The commission's refusal to investigate Able Danger after being notified of its existence, and its recent efforts to feign ignorance of the project while blaming others for supposedly withholding information on it, brings shame on the commissioners"
Note: For an abundance of excellent, incriminating information on this, see our Able Danger Information Center.
It is disappointing to learn that the Central Intelligence Agency filed motions in federal court in May 2005 to block disclosure of records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy forty-one years ago. The spirit of the law is clear. The JFK Records Act of 1992, approved unanimously by Congress, mandated that all assassination-related records be reviewed and disclosed "immediately." When Morley filed his lawsuit in December 2003, thirteen published JFK authors supported his request for the records in an open letter to The New York Review of Books (www.nybooks.com/articles/16865). Eighteen months later, the CIA is still stonewalling. The agency now acknowledges that it possesses an undisclosed number of documents...which it will not release in any form. Thus records related to Kennedy's assassination are still being hidden for reasons of "national security."
Note: This letter to the editor was signed by Norman Mailer, Oliver Stone, and others. Why isn't the media covering this important development? For two highly revealing videos on the JFK assassination, read here.
A four-star general who was relieved of command this week said Wednesday through his lawyer that the Army took the action after an investigation into accusations that he was involved in a consensual relationship with a female civilian. The lawyer, Lt. Col. David H. Robertson, said the case "involves an adult relationship with a woman who is not in the military, nor is a civilian employee of the military or the federal government." The general, Kevin P. Byrnes, was relieved Monday by the Army chief of staff, Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, just a few months before General Byrnes was scheduled to retire as head of the Army Training and Doctrine Command. Relieving a four-star general of command is unusual, and several Army officers said they considered the punishment surprisingly harsh for a general who was nearing retirement anyway.
Note: There is very likely much more going on here than meets the eye.
More than a year before the Sept. 11 attacks, a small, highly classified military intelligence unit identified Mohammed Atta and three other future hijackers as likely members of a cell of Al Qaeda operating in the United States, according to a former defense intelligence official and a Republican member of Congress. In the summer of 2000, the military team, known as Able Danger, prepared a chart that included visa photographs of the four men and recommended to the military's Special Operations Command that the information be shared with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the congressman, Representative Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania, and the former intelligence official said Monday. The recommendation was rejected and the information was not shared, they said, apparently at least in part because Mr. Atta, and the others were in the United States on valid entry visas.
Preparing scenarios for action on US soil a shift for Pentagon. The US military has devised its first-ever war plans for guarding against and responding to terrorist attacks in the United States, envisioning 15 potential crisis scenarios and anticipating several simultaneous strikes around the country, according to officers who drafted the plans. The war plans represent a historic shift for the Pentagon, which has been reluctant to become involved in domestic operations and is legally constrained from engaging in law enforcement. Defense officials continue to emphasize that they intend for the troops to play a supporting role in homeland emergencies, bolstering police, firefighters, and other civilian response groups. But the new plans provide for what several senior officers acknowledged is the likelihood that the military will have to take charge in some situations, especially when dealing with mass-casualty attacks that could quickly overwhelm civilian resources.
In the weeks following the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, U.S. authorities seized and suppressed film shot in the bombed cities by U.S. military crews and Japanese newsreel teams to prevent Americans from seeing the full extent of devastation wrought by the new weapons. It remained hidden until the early 1980s and has never been fully aired. "Although there are clearly huge differences with Iraq, there are also some similarities," said Mitchell, co-author of "Hiroshima in America" and editor of Editor & Publisher. "The chief similarity is that Americans are still being kept at a distance from images of death, whether of their own soldiers or Iraqi civilians." The Los Angeles Times released a survey of six months of media coverage of the Iraq war in six prominent U.S. newspapers and two news magazines -- a period during which 559 coalition forces, the vast majority American, were killed. It found they had run almost no photographs of Americans killed in action. "So much of the media is owned by big corporations and they would much rather focus on making money than setting themselves up for criticism from the White House and Congress," said Ralph Begleiter, a former CNN correspondent. In 1945, U.S. policymakers wanted to be able to continue to develop and test atomic and eventually nuclear weapons without an outcry of public opinion. "They succeeded but the subject is still a raw nerve."
Note: As this highly revealing Reuters article was strangely removed from both the New York Times and the Reuters websites, see this webpage to view it in its entirely on one of the few news websites to report it. And see this powerful article to go much deeper into how the devastating effects of the bomb were covered up by various entities within government. For more, read an essay by one of the most highly decorated U.S. generals titled "War is a Racket."
A new book looks at how pharmaceutical companies are using aggressive marketing campaigns to turn more people into patients. In their new book, “Selling Sickness: How the World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All Into Patients”, Ray Moynihan and Alan Cassels examine how the drug industry has transformed the way we think about physical and mental health and turned more and more of us each year into customers. Moynihan...a regular contributor to the British Medical Journal [discusses] how -- and why -- drug makers have begun targeting people who aren’t sick. The so-called preventives are where the big money are: like the bone-density drugs or the cholesterol [-lowering] drugs. Increasingly we’re seeing the marketing shift to those types of drugs. People talk about the "worried well." There are many ways in which the drug companies target those people. There’s an informal alliance between the drug companies and aspects of the medical profession and aspects of the patient advocacy world who all seem to have interests in defining more and more people as ill. Americans make up less than 5 percent of the world’s population but the U.S. makes up...half of total spending on drugs.
Sullivan, a Tennessee power company worker who lost both arms in a job-related accident, has been outfitted by Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago researchers with a kind of bionic arm, which is controlled directly by his thoughts. Sullivan doesn't have to think hard anymore about doing something; he simply does it the way he always did. "I feel my hand when I want to pick something up, then I just close my hand," he says. When he wants to grab a bottle of water, for instance, the computerized arm moves forward, the elbow bends and the mechanical hand grasps the bottle, bringing it to his lips, as his natural arm once did.
California election officials have rejected an electronic voting machine by Diebold after tests revealed unacceptable levels of screen freezes and paper jams. Three counties already have purchased the TSX voting machine, which was found to have a failure rate of 10%. Secretary of State Bruce McPherson said that was too much of a risk and notified company officials in a letter sent Wednesday. In a mock election held last week to test the 96 touch-screen machines, McPherson noted in the letter that his staff encountered "problems with paper jamming on the … printer module." The state withdrew certification for some of Diebold's e-voting equipment in April 2004 after then-Secretary of State Kevin Shelley found those systems unreliable because they lacked a paper trail.
Note: Kevin Shelley was eventually forced to resign in a scandal that was frequent front page headlines in California, yet the accusations against him could have been used against almost any politician.
The CIA is squelching publication of a new book detailing events leading up to Osama bin Laden's escape from his Tora Bora mountain stronghold during the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, says a former CIA officer who led much of the fighting. In a story he says he resigned from the agency to tell, Gary Berntsen recounts the attacks he coordinated at the peak of the fighting in eastern Afghanistan in late 2001, including how U.S. commanders knew bin Laden was in the rugged mountains near the Pakistani border and the al Qaeda leader's much-discussed getaway. During the 2004 election, President Bush and other senior administration officials repeatedly said that commanders did not know whether bin Laden was at Tora Bora when U.S. and allied Afghan forces attacked there in 2001. A Republican and avid Bush supporter, Berntsen, 48, retired in June and hasn't spoken publicly before. Berntsen's book is one of a handful written recently by former CIA officers who have wrestled with the agency over what could be published.
U of Michigan takes prize, finishing the 2500-mile course in 54 hours. Fourteen of the twenty entrants completed the race. The last to cross the finish line (Kansas State U) came in 12.5 hours after the winner. The ten-day solar car race from Austin to Calgary came to a successful finish yesterday. The University of Michigan's Momentum placed first, completing a few seconds under 54 hours. They also set a record by averaging 46.2 mph in this, the world's longest solar car race. The University of Minnesota's Borealis III came in second, trailing by 12 minutes. MIT's Tesseract came in third. Canada's leading team, the University of Waterloo, came in fifth with their Midnight Sun. Fourteen cars went all the way to the finish line, with the last to cross being Kansas State University's Paragon on its maiden race, at 87.5 hours, a little over 12 hours after the winner.
Note: A solar powered car averaged 46.2 mph in over a 2,500 mile course! Why isn't this making mainstream news headlines? I invite you to do a Google news search on "Solar Challenge" (the annual solar car race). You will find that almost no major media cover this event at all. The few who do somehow fail to mention anything about the speeds attained by these cars. Why is the media not covering these incredible breakthroughs?
With Congress poised for a final vote on the energy bill, the Environmental Protection Agency made an 11th-hour decision Tuesday to delay the planned release of an annual report on fuel economy. But a copy of the report, embargoed for publication Wednesday, was sent to The New York Times by a member of the E.P.A. communications staff just minutes before the decision was made to delay it until next week. The contents of the report show that loopholes in American fuel economy regulations have allowed automakers to produce cars and trucks that are significantly less fuel-efficient, on average, than they were in the late 1980's. The average 2004 model car or truck got 20.8 miles per gallon, about 6 percent less than the 22.1 m.p.g. of the average new vehicle sold in the late 1980's, according to the report. Releasing the report this week would have been inopportune for the Bush administration, its critics said, because it would have come on the eve of a final vote in Congress on energy legislation six years in the making. The bill, as it stands, largely ignores auto mileage regulations.
Note: For more, see our New Energy Information Center.
We bet that former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson wishes he had gone to work for Breyers or Hershey's. To set a good example, he's preparing to consume his new company's product--VeriChip Corp's flesh-embedded medical radio chip. "It doesn't cause any pain," he assures us, explaining that a rice-size chip will be inserted into his arm. The chip stores coding that makes the user's health records available worldwide. Hospitals wave a radio wand over the arm to get the info. "People are dying all the time," he says, "because they can't access their medical information overseas."
The maker of a billion-dollar antipsychotic medication has acknowledged misleading doctors and other healthcare providers about the safety of its product, minimizing potentially deadly side effects. On Wednesday, drug maker Janssen Pharmaceutica wrote a two-page letter to doctors, warning them that the company, in promotional material, had "minimized potentially fatal risks, and made misleading claims" that the medication was more safe in treating mental illness than other drugs in the same category. Risperdal is the leading drug used to combat schizophrenia and other types of psychotic disorders, earning Janssen about $2.1 billion in annual sales. The drug was first marketed about eight years ago, and is prescribed to more than 10 million people worldwide. The "important correction of drug information" came shortly after federal regulators had accused Janssen of "disseminating" advertising and marketing material that was "false or misleading."
At half past nine
this morning we were actually running an exercise for a company of over a
thousand people in London based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely
at the railway stations where it happened this morning, so I still have the
hairs on the back of my neck standing up right now. --
Former Scotland Yard Official Peter Power on BBC Radio, 7/7/05 (the day of the bombings)
"The explosives appear to be of military origin, which is very worrying," said Christophe Chaboud, head of the French Anti-Terrorism Coordination Unit and one of five top officials sent by Paris to London immediately after Thursday's attacks. -- Reuters, 7/11/05
A SINGLE bombmaker using high-grade military explosives is believed to be responsible for building the four devices that killed more than 50 people last week. Similar components from the explosive devices have been found at all four murder sites, leading detectives to believe that each of the 10lb rucksack bombs was the work of one man. They also believe that the materials used were not home made but sophisticated military explosives. -- London Times, 7/12/05
Translator Jacob Keryakes, who said that a copy of the message was later posted on a secular Web site, noted that the claim of responsibility contained an error in one of the Quranic verses it cited. That suggests that the claim may be phony. "This is not something al-Qaida would do." he said. - MSNBC News, 7/7/05
A computer geek faces 70 years in jail for hacking into the top levels of US defence. He had, the US prosecutors said, perpetrated the "biggest military computer hack of all time". What McKinnon was hunting for ... was evidence of a UFO cover-up. "What was the most exciting thing you saw?" I ask. "I found a list of officers' names," he says, "under the heading 'Non-Terrestrial Officers'. It doesn't mean little green men. What I think it means is not Earth-based. I found a list of 'fleet-to-fleet transfers', and a list of ship names. I looked them up. They weren't US Navy ships. What I saw made me believe they have some kind of spaceship, off-planet." "The Americans have a secret spaceship?" I ask. "That's what this trickle of evidence has led me to believe." 'The whole world thinks it's cooperating in building the International Space Station, but you've already got a space-based army that you refer to as Non-Terrestrial Officers'."
Note: For a fascinating video interview with this "nerd," click here.
Within the next few weeks, President Bush is expected to release his administration's new national space policy. There have been a series of reports since 2001 that essentially advocate deploying space weapons. The Commission to Assess United States National Security Space Management and Organization, initially chaired by Donald Rumsfeld, argued that the United States must take steps to avoid a "space Pearl Harbor." The Rumsfeld report said there is no current bar to "placing or using weapons in space, applying force from space to Earth, or conducting military operations in and through space." Not so coincidentally, seven of the 13 members of the Rumsfeld space commission had ties to aerospace companies that could stand to gain from the launching of a major space weapons program. There are also plans afoot to develop Hypervelocity Rod Bundles, frequently called "Rods from God," designed to drop from space and hit targets on Earth.
Note: Why aren't other major newspapers reporting this critical news?
Organic farming produces the same yields of corn and soybeans as does conventional farming, but uses 30 percent less energy, less water and no pesticides, a review of a 22-year farming trial study concludes. David Pimentel, a Cornell University professor of ecology and agriculture...is the lead author of a study that is published in the July issue of Bioscience (Vol. 55:7) analyzing the environmental, energy and economic costs and benefits of growing soybeans and corn organically versus conventionally. The study is a review of the Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial, the longest running comparison of organic vs. conventional farming in the United States. "Organic farming approaches for these crops not only use an average of 30 percent less fossil energy but also conserve more water in the soil, induce less erosion, maintain soil quality and conserve more biological resources than conventional farming does," Pimentel added.
and regulators are putting more pressure on the auto industry to enhance fuel
economy, which was stagnant at an average 20.8 miles per gallon among all
2004 models and below the 1988 high of 22.1 mpg." --
"The Prius is the first significant departure from the combustion engine to make any major inroads in the auto industry since Henry Ford invented the Model T in 1908." -- Newsweek, 9/20/04
"Ford's Model T, which went 25 miles on a gallon of gasoline, was more fuel efficient than the current Ford Explorer sport-utility vehicle -- which manages just 16 miles per gallon."
-- Detroit News, 6/4/03
Genius inventors for the past 100 years have made remarkable discoveries of new, more efficient energy sources, only to find their inventions either suppressed or not given the attention and funding needed to break us free of our dependence on archaic oil-based technologies. Read this article for more reliable information on this vital topic.
Both inventors and investors are betting that flexible sheets of tiny solar cells used to harness the sun's strength will ultimately provide a cheaper, more efficient source of energy than the current smorgasbord of alternative and fossil fuels. Nanosys and Nanosolar in Palo Alto -- along with Konarka in Lowell, Mass. -- say their research will result in thin rolls of highly efficient light-collecting plastics spread across rooftops or built into building materials. These rolls, the companies say, will be able to provide energy for prices as low as the electricity currently provided by utilities, which averages $1 per watt. The companies also say that the printed rolls of solar cells would be lighter, more resilient and flexible than silicon photovoltaics. Solar energy could furnish much of the nation's electricity if available residential and commercial rooftops were fully utilized. According to the Energy Foundation, using available rooftop space could provide 710,000 megawatts across the United States, whose current electrical capacity is 950,000 megawatts. Atluru of Draper Fisher Jurvetson [explains] "Our view is that government can cause big problems, and it is the entrepreneurs who will make the big changes." Current cost of solar energy, per watt: $4-$5. Average cost of energy from traditional fossil fuel sources, per watt: $1. Estimated cost of energy from nanotech solar panels, per watt: $2. Total energy-generating capacity of the United States: 950,000 megawatts. Potential total rooftop solar energy capacity in the United States: 710, 000 megawatts.
Doctors accused of making up data in medical studies. Allegations of misconduct by U.S. researchers reached record highs last year as the Department of Health and Human Services received 274 complaints - 50 percent higher than 2003 and the most since 1989 when the federal government established a program to deal with scientific misconduct. Chris Pascal, director of the federal Office of Research Integrity, said its 28 staffers and $7 million annual budget haven't kept pace with the allegations. The result: Only 23 cases were closed last year. Of those, eight individuals were found guilty of research misconduct. In the past 15 years, the office has confirmed about 185 cases of scientific misconduct. Research suggests this is but a small fraction of all the incidents of fabrication, falsification and plagiarism. In a survey published June 9 in the journal Nature, about 1.5 percent of 3,247 researchers who responded admitted to falsification or plagiarism. (One in three admitted to some type of professional misbehavior.)
The sabotage of the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior 20 years ago in Auckland was carried out with the "personal authorisation" of France's late president Francois Mitterrand, documents showed today. Le Monde newspaper published extracts in its Saturday edition of a 1986 account written by Pierre Lacoste, the former head of France's DGSE foreign intelligence service, giving the clearest demonstration yet of Mitterrand's direct involvement in the sinking of the campaign vessel. Portuguese photographer Fernando Pereira died in the attack on the ship that was leading Greenpeace's campaign against French nuclear tests on the Mururoa Atoll in the Pacific. "I asked the president if he gave me permission to put into action the neutralisation plan that I had studied on the request of Monsieur (Charles) Hernu," Lacoste wrote. Hernu was defence minister at the time. "He gave me his agreement while stressing the importance he placed on the nuclear tests.
Military rules prevent crew from getting full picture. President Bush himself challenged reporters to visit the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay amid allegations that American troops mistreated suspected Islamic terrorists held there, so CNN took him up on the offer. "These people are being treated humanely. Very few prison systems around the world have seen such scrutiny as this one," Bush said Wednesday. "And for those of you who are here and have doubt, I suggest buying an airplane ticket and going down and look -- take a look for yourself." But military ground rules -- including censoring video shot at the facility -- made it nearly impossible for a CNN crew that visited the prison the same day to get a full picture of the prison. A lawyer for some of the detainees called press tours of the camp "one big charade." CNN employees who visited the prison were not allowed to speak to the prisoners.
LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, are UFOs real or fake? Have they actually been here? Some say the truth is out there. Others say there is no proof at all. Now we'll go inside some 60 years worth of sensational, controversial reports about people who say they saw UFOs, and those who even claim they were abducted by them. Investigators on both sides of the UFO question will take your calls. HOPKINS: The most important point here, Larry, is that [in a] conversation I had years ago with the late Carl Sagan, we agreed that the UFO phenomenon was an extraordinary phenomenon. What I said to Dr. Sagan was: shouldn't we be saying an extraordinary phenomenon demands an extraordinary investigation? We're not getting an investigation here. We're getting, unfortunately, lots of arm chair theorists who sit away from the investigation process, who have actually never really gone out to examine the site, the physical marks, or to do any medical work. KING: I will confirm that, because I interviewed the late Dr. Sagan many times, and he was open to the possibility and to more investigation of it.
Oil prices hit new record highs above $61 a barrel on Thursday, driven by short-term supply fears as the first hurricane of the season threatened crude production and refinery operations in the Gulf of Mexico. But private warnings also point to a worsening long-term outlook, with Saudi officials saying that the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will be unable to meet projected western demand in 10 to 15 years. Senior Saudi energy officials have privately warned US and European counterparts that Opec would have an “extremely difficult time” meeting that demand. Saudi Arabia calculates there is a 4.5m b/d gap between what the world needs and what the kingdom can provide.
Government secrecy has reached a historic high by several measures, with federal departments classifying documents at the rate of 125 a minute as they create new categories of semi-secrets bearing vague labels like "sensitive security information." A record 15.6 million documents were classified last year, nearly double the number in 2001. Meanwhile, the declassification process, which made millions of historical documents available annually in the 1990's, has slowed to a relative crawl, from a high of 204 million pages in 1997 to just 28 million pages last year. Thomas H. Kean, chairman of the Sept. 11 commission and a former Republican governor of New Jersey, said the failure to prevent the 2001 attacks was rooted not in leaks of sensitive information but in the barriers to sharing information between agencies and with the public.
The Bush administration has decided to retain control over the principal computers which control internet traffic in a move likely to prompt global opposition, it was claimed yesterday. The US had pledged to turn control of the 13 computers known as root servers - which inform web browsers and email programs how to direct internet traffic - over to a private, international body. But on Thursday the US reversed its position, announcing that it will maintain control of the computers because of growing security threats and the increased reliance on the internet for global communications.
Ministry of Defence figures for the number of bombs dropped on southern Iraq in 2002 show that virtually none were used in March and April; but between May and August an average of 10 tons were dropped each month, with the RAF taking just as big a role in the “spikes of activity” as their US colleagues. Then in September the figure shot up again, with allied aircraft dropping 54.6 tons. If this was a covert air war, both Bush and Blair may face searching questions. In America only Congress can declare war, and it did not give the US president permission to take military action against Iraq until October 11, 2002. Blair’s legal justification is said to come from UN Resolution 1441, which was not passed until November 8, 2002.
The Defense Department began working yesterday with a private marketing firm to create a database of high school students ages 16 to 18 and all college students to help the military identify potential recruits. The program is provoking a furor among privacy advocates. The new database will include personal information including birth dates, Social Security numbers, e-mail addresses, grade-point averages, ethnicity and what subjects the students are studying. "The purpose of the system is to provide a single central facility within the Department of Defense to compile, process and distribute files of individuals who meet age and minimum school requirements for military service." Some information on high school students already is given to military recruiters in a separate program under provisions of the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act. Recruiters have been using the information to contact students at home, angering some parents and school districts around the country.
It started during British Prime Minister Tony Blair's re-election campaign last month, when details leaked about a top-secret memo, written in July 2002 -- eight months before the Iraq war. In the memo, British officials just back from Washington reported that prewar "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" to invade Iraq. Just last week, both President George W. Bush and Blair vigorously denied that war was inevitable. “No, the facts were not being fixed, in any shape or form at all,” said Blair at a White House news conference with the president on June 7. But now, war critics have come up with seven more memos, verified by NBC News. Current and former diplomats tell NBC News they understood from the beginning the Bush policy to be that Saddam had to be removed -- one way or the other. The only question was when and how.
Despite calls for more transparency after revelations about the side effects of ibuprofen, the FDA has withheld 28 pages of information on a new wave of painkillers. Vital data on prescription medicines found in millions of British homes has been suppressed by the powerful US drug regulators, even though the information could potentially save lives. An investigation by The Independent on Sunday shows that, under pressure from the pharmaceutical industry, the American Food and Drug Administration routinely conceals information it considers commercially sensitive, leaving medical specialists unable to assess the true risks. Dr Peter Juni, one of the team of Swiss investigators who helped to expose the risk of the new-generation drugs, claims his efforts were obstructed by the FDA. "Too often the FDA saw and continues to see the pharmaceutical industry as its customers, a vital source of funding for its activities, and not as a sector of society in need of strong regulation."
The F.B.I. missed at least five chances in the months before Sept. 11, 2001, to find two hijackers as they prepared for the attacks and settled in San Diego, the Justice Department inspector general said in a report made public on Thursday after being kept secret for a year. Investigators were stymied by bureaucratic obstacles, communication breakdowns and a lack of urgency, the report said. In the case of the San Diego hijackers, for instance, the report disclosed that an F.B.I. agent assigned to the Central Intelligence Agency wanted to pass on information to the F.B.I. about the two men in early 2000 - 19 months before the attacks - but was blocked by a C.I.A. supervisor and did not aggressively follow up. That set the stage for a series of bungled opportunities in an episode that many officials now regard as their best chance to have detected or disrupted the Sept. 11 plot. Many passages in the public version of the report were blacked out to shield information still considered sensitive by the government; an entire 115-page section on one terror suspect was withheld.
A House subcommittee voted yesterday to sharply reduce the federal government's financial support for public broadcasting, including eliminating taxpayer funds that help underwrite such popular children's educational programs as "Sesame Street," "Reading Rainbow," "Arthur" and "Postcards From Buster." In addition, the subcommittee acted to eliminate within two years all federal money for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting -- which passes federal funds to public broadcasters -- starting with a 25 percent reduction in CPB's budget for next year, from $400 million to $300 million. In all, the cuts would represent the most drastic cutback of public broadcasting since Congress created the nonprofit CPB in 1967. The CPB funds are particularly important for small TV and radio stations and account for about 15 percent of the public broadcasting industry's total revenue.
The chief of Amnesty International USA alleged Sunday that the Guantanamo Bay detention camp is part of a worldwide network of U.S. jails, some of them secret, where prisoners are mistreated and even killed. "The U.S. is maintaining an archipelago of prisons around the world, many of them secret prisons, into which people are being literally disappeared, held in indefinite, incommunicado detention without access to lawyers or a judicial system or to their families," Schulz said. "And in some cases, at least, we know they are being mistreated, abused, tortured and even killed." A high-ranking Republican senator said Sunday that hearings on abuse allegations at Guantanamo Bay might be appropriate, and a top Democratic senator suggested closing down the prison. "Look, it's very difficult to run a perfect prison," Majority Whip Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said on CNN's "Late Edition." "But we have an open country. We have hearings on a whole lot of different subjects. We might well have hearings on this."
New Jersey is using an anti-terrorism law for the first time to try six animal rights activists charged with harassing and vandalizing a company that made use of animals to test its drugs. Prosecutors say the activists, who will stand trial next week, used threats, intimidation and cyber attacks against employees of Huntingdon Life Sciences, a British company with operations in East Millstone, New Jersey, with the intention of driving it out of business. The six, members of a group called Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), are charged under the Animal Enterprise Protection Act, amended in 2002 to include "animal enterprise terrorism," which outlaws disrupting firms like Huntingdon. The list of potential defense witnesses includes actress Kim Basinger, who joined a protest outside a Huntingdon laboratory in Franklin, New Jersey to try to stop such companies using animals to test their pharmaceutical products.
Henry Kissinger, former US secretary of state, on Wednesday warned that the global battle for control of energy resources could become the modern equivalent of the 19th century "great game" the conflict between the UK and Tsarist Russia for supremacy in central Asia. "The great game is developing again," he told a meeting of the US-India Business Council. "The amount of energy is finite, up to now in relation to demand, and competition for access to energy can become the life and death for many societies. It would be ironic if the direction of pipelines and locations become the modern equivalent of the colonial disputes of the 19th century." The two nuclear superpowers, the US and Soviet Union, navigated the cold war because they made "the same calculations", Mr Kissinger said. "When nuclear weapons spread to 30 or 40 countries and each conducts a calculation, with less experience and different value systems, we will have a world of permanent imminent catastrophe."
Note: Here is one of the key power players, openly promoting their plan: keep people polarized and in a state of perpetual fear (you must believe the world is in a state of permanent imminent catastrophe). For an excellent summary of the plans of the power elite and what we can do about it, click here.
A California institute demonstrates how people can actually make their heart beat in a healthier way. HeartMath’s research shows that emotions work much faster, and are more powerful, than thoughts. And that—when it comes to the human body—the heart is much more important than the brain to overall health and well-being. Briefly re-experiencing a cherished memory creates synchronization in your heart rhythm in mere seconds. Using a simple prescription that consists of a number of exercises that anyone can do anywhere in a few minutes ... HeartMath is successfully battling the greatest threat to health, happiness and peace in this world: stress. A successful anti-stress strategy provides results precisely at the moment the stress is experienced. This is what HeartMath does, which is why its client list now includes such leading companies as Hewlett Packard, Shell, Unilever, Cisco Systems, and Boeing. HeartMath ... has published a large body of scientific research in established and respected publications such as the Harvard Business Review and the American Journal of Cardiology. You can learn the techniques in five minutes and get positive results if you do them a few times a day for 30 seconds. Feelings of compassion, love, care and appreciation produce a smoothly rolling ... heart rhythm, while feelings of anger, frustration, fear and danger emit a jagged ... image. When people experience love, they not only feel happy and joyful, but they also produce ... the hormone that prevents aging and gives us feelings of youthful vitality. HeartMath’s slogan – a change of heart changes everything – pretty much sums it up. We can change the world, starting with ourselves.
Note: To visit the inspiring website of the Institute of HeartMath, see http://www.heartmath.org.
ES&S, Diebold, and Sequoia are the companies primarily involved in implementing the new, often faulty, technology at voting stations throughout the country. All three have strong ties to the Bush Administration along with major defense contractors in the United States. Some of the most generous contributors to Republican campaigns are also some of the largest investors in ES&S, Sequoia, and Diebold. Most notable of these are government defense contractors Northrup-Grumman, Lockheed-Martin, Electronic Data Systems.
A former FBI official claims he was "Deep Throat," the long-anonymous source who leaked secrets about President Nixon's Watergate coverup to The Washington Post, his family said Tuesday. W. Mark Felt, 91, was second-in-command at the FBI in the early 1970s. His identity was revealed Tuesday by Vanity Fair magazine, and family members said they believe his account is true.
Note: What they failed to investigate is the strong possibility that "Deep Throat" made his revelations on orders from Henry Kissinger. Kissinger (Nixon's Secretary of State) and Nixon are reported to have formed a tenuous alliance to eliminate J. Edgar Hoover, former head of the FBI for almost 50 years. Until his death in May of 1972, Hoover had been arguably the most powerful man in the country for many years. With Hoover out of the way, in June 1972 Kissinger arranged to have Nixon pushed out by setting up the Watergate disclosures through "Deep Throat," according to a well researched book by Leonard Horowitz, Emerging Viruses. Kissinger remains powerful to this day, as evidenced by the personal experience of website founder Fred Burks, who worked as a top US State Department interpreter. See also, excellent article in Slate.
John Riggs spent 39 years in the Army, earning a Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery during the Vietnam War and working his way up to become a three-star general. Last year, Riggs was told by senior Army officials that he would be retired at a reduced rank, losing one of his stars because of infractions considered so minor that they were not placed in his official record. He was given 24 hours to leave the Army. A senior officer's loss of a star is a punishment seldom used, and then usually for the most serious offenses, such as dereliction of duty or command failures. So what cost Riggs his star? His Pentagon superiors said he allowed outside contractors to perform work they were not supposed to do. Some of the general's supporters believe the motivation behind his demotion was politics. Riggs was blunt and outspoken on a number of issues and publicly contradicted Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld by arguing that the Army was overstretched in Iraq and Afghanistan and needed more troops.
The CIA is conducting a cyber-war game this week geared to simulate a major Internet attack by enemy computer hackers, an intelligence official said Thursday. Dubbed "Silent Horizon," the three-day unclassified exercise is based on a scenario set five years in the future and involves participants from government and the private sector. Online crime has exploded in recent years, a result of organized crime groups based in Eastern Europe. But investigators so far have uncovered few links to Islamic extremists.
Note: Do you think it is the terrorists who want to shut down the Internet, or might there be political elites who don't want their hidden agendas exposed?
A Lafayette couple, certain that chelation therapy has helped their autistic son, stepped squarely into the controversy surrounding the causes of autism and its treatment Tuesday as they joined 150 other parents in launching an international support group that will aggressively promote the treatment. The Handleys are now among a small minority of parents -- who, believing that the autism was caused by the mercury in thimerosal, a preservative that was routinely used in vaccines until recently -- are treating their children with chelation therapy, a lotion or pill that strips the body of heavy metals. It has been used for decades to detoxify people contaminated in industrial accidents, but no studies have proved whether it is an effective treatment for autism. For Jamie's parents, the proof they need is in front of them: Jamie, now 3 years old and several months into treatment, is plump and playing baseball. His smile has returned. The Handleys said the new support group, Generation Rescue, www.generationrescue.org, will offer information on chelation therapy and connect parents with those who can help.
Note: For why the some powerful people may be covering up this important information, click here. And remember how tobacco companies, fully aware of the dangers of smoking, for decades flooded the media with information and industry-sponsored studies claiming smoking caused no harm.
Rats fed on a diet rich in genetically modified corn developed abnormalities to internal organs and changes to their blood, raising fears that human health could be affected by eating GM food. Details of secret research carried out by Monsanto, the GM food giant...shows that rats fed the modified corn had smaller kidneys and variations in the composition of their blood. According to the confidential 1,139-page report, these health problems were absent from another batch of rodents fed non-GM food. Although Monsanto last night dismissed the abnormalities in rats as meaningless and due to chance...a senior British government source said ministers were so worried by the findings that they had called for further information. The full details of the rat research are included in the main report, which Monsanto refuses to release on the grounds that "it contains confidential business information which could be of commercial use to our competitors".
Note: For lots more reliable, verifiable information on this vital topic, see our summary of Seeds of Deception.
Environmental and animal rights extremists who have turned to arson and explosives are the nation’s top domestic terrorism threat, the FBI has told lawmakers. Groups such as the Animal Liberation Front, the Earth Liberation Front and the Britain-based SHAC, or Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, are “way out in front” in terms of damage and number of crimes, John Lewis, the FBI’s deputy assistant director for counterterrorism, told a Senate hearing Wednesday. “Just like al-Qaida or any other terrorist organization, ELF and ALF cannot accomplish their goals without money, membership and the media,” Inhofe said. The FBI said 35 of its offices have 150 open investigations, and activists are claiming responsibility for 1,200 crimes between 1990 and mid-2004.
Carmakers such as Toyota and Honda can't seem to make hybrid vehicles fast enough to keep up with public interest. Interest in this new technology is growing, and one group is highlighting these technical marvels in a yearly event called the Tour de Sol. Top prize for the Monte-Carlo Rally went to a modified Honda Insight driven by Brian Hardegen, of Pepperell, who broke the 100-mile-per-gallon barrier over a 150-mile range. The car actually got 107 miles-per gallon. St. Mark's High School in Southboro, and North Haven Community School, North Haven, ME, demonstrated true zero-oil consumption and true zero climate-change emissions with their modified electric Ford pick-up and Volkswagen bus. More than 60 hybrid, electric and biofueled vehicles from throughout the US and Canada demonstrated that we have the technology today to power our transportation system with zero-oil consumption and zero climate-change emissions.
Note: If the above link fails, click here. If high school students can do it, why aren't the car companies seriously developing these technologies? And why are car manufacturers not able to keep up with demand on hybrid vehicles? For more, click here.
A British lawmaker forcefully denied allegations in a Senate hearing yesterday that he received rights to purchase millions of barrels of Iraqi oil at a discount from Saddam Hussein's government, and he delivered a fiery attack on three decades of U.S. policy toward Iraq. George Galloway, a formidable debater recently ousted from the British Labor Party after attacking Prime Minister Tony Blair for supporting the war in Iraq, used his appearance before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations as a forum to challenge the veracity of the Bush administration's case for going to war. He also unleashed a personal attack against panel Chairman Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), calling his investigation the "mother of all smoke screens" designed to "divert attention from the crimes that you supported" by endorsing President Bush's decision to invade Iraq.
Important Note: Mr. Galloway's statement was not posted on the website of the Senate Committee tasked with posting these matters. Whereas testimony of all other panel members is provided, for Mr. Galloway, the website states "Mr. Galloway did not submit a written statement." Mr. Galloway did submit a statement, and it has been posted many places on the Internet, and published widely in articles like that above. See the relevant Senate Committee webpage at:
Oil and gas ensure that the US backs the Uzbek dictator to the hilt. The bodies of hundreds of pro-democracy protesters in Uzbekistan are scarcely cold, and already the White House is looking for ways to dismiss them. The conviction rate in criminal and political trials in Uzbekistan is over 99% - in President Karimov's torture chambers, everyone confesses. Karimov is very much George Bush's man in central Asia. There is not a senior member of the US administration who is not on record saying warm words about Karimov. There is not a single word recorded by any of them calling for free elections in Uzbekistan.
Note: The above article is particularly revealing in that it is written by the UK's former ambassador to Uzbekistan.
From the early 1900s to the 1970s, some 65,000 men and women were sterilized in this country, many without their knowledge, as part of a government eugenics program to keep so-called undesirables from reproducing. "The procedures that were done here were done to poor folks," said Steven Selden, professor at the University of Maryland. "They were thought to be poor because they had bad genes or bad inheritance, if you will. And so they would be the focus of the sterilization." Even though the practice ended more than 30 years ago, some say the time has come to make amends. North Carolina was one of the first states out of 33 that once practiced sterilization to offer an apology. State Rep. Larry Womble is crafting a bill to provide financial reparations.
ONE of Hitler’s top intelligence officers, who ordered the murders of more than 100 British secret agents in concentration camps, was spared execution as a war criminal and selected to work for MI6. Newly opened papers contain startling evidence that...British Intelligence “turned” Horst Kopkow, faked his death and used him to fight the Cold War. The Atkins documents have been corroborated by newly declassified secret papers in the British and American National Archives. Britain has denied that it engaged in the dark arts used by the Americans, whose employment of Nazis to catch Communists has been well-documented. British intelligence sources pointed out that Kopkow was not in the league of “the butcher of Lyons”, a reference to Klaus Barbie, the most notorious war criminal employed by the Americans. The Kopkow case is uniquely chilling because the MI6 men who spared him were colleagues and “handlers” of his victims. Among those whose torture and death he sanctioned were men and women of the SOE and MI6 agents.
CANNES, France (Reuters) -- A British documentary arguing U.S. neo-conservatives have exaggerated the terror threat is set to rock the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday, the way "Fahrenheit 9/11" stirred emotions here a year ago. At a screening late on Friday ahead of its gala on Saturday, "The Power of Nightmares" by filmmaker and senior BBC producer Adam Curtis kept an audience of journalists and film buyers glued to their seats and taking notes for a full 2-1/2 hours. The film, a non-competition entry, argues that the fear of terrorism has come to pervade politics in the United States and Britain even though much of that angst is based on carefully nurtured illusions.
Note: To view this excellent film online free, click here.
Eighty-nine Democratic members of the U.S. Congress last week sent President George W. Bush a letter asking for explanation of a secret British memo that said "intelligence and facts were being fixed" to support the Iraq war in mid-2002. The timing of the memo was well before the president brought the issue to Congress for approval. The Times of London newspaper published the memo -- actually minutes of a high-level meeting on Iraq held July 23, 2002 -- on May 1. British officials did not dispute the document's authenticity.
Flight 11's transponder had stopped working. It was no longer sending a radar pulse. The plane's altitude also became a matter of guesswork for controllers, though the Boeing 767 was still visible on radar. Two F-15 jets were reportedly dispatched from Otis Air Force Base. Just before or after the military planes got off the ground, however, the controllers report they lost site of Flight 11's radar signal over Manhattan. The controller who had handled the plane from the beginning of the ordeal was stunned. A few minutes later, the Nashua controllers heard reports that a plane had crashed into a building.
Note: According to the official story, once the transponders were turned off in the four 9/11 airplanes, they could no longer be tracked. As the above article and air traffic controllers will tell you, though the altitude is no longer reported, planes are still visible on radar once the transponder is off. The plane that flew into the Pentagon was known to be hijacked for over half an hour before it struck. Military radar also can rapidly track incoming missiles that obviously don't send out transponder signals. So how is it possible that the military headquarters of the entire United States was hit, when radar must have tracked this plane on it's way there?
Declassified US government documents show that a man suspected of involvement in the bombing of a Cuban passenger plane worked for the CIA. Luis Posada Carriles, a Cuban-born Venezuelan and anti-Castro dissident, was an agent and informer. The papers also reveal that an FBI informer "all but admitted" that Mr Posada was one of those behind the 1976 bombing that killed 73 people. Mr Posada, who denies any involvement, is said to be seeking asylum in the US. His lawyer says his client, thought to be in hiding in the Miami area, deserves US protection because of his long years of service to the country. The documents, released by George Washington University's National Security Archive, show that Mr Posada, now in his 70s, was on the CIA payroll from the 1960s until mid-1976. Mr Posada once boasted of being responsible for a series of bomb attacks on Havana tourist spots in the 1990s.
Note: Why did the U.S. media fail to pick up this astounding story?
British scientists have developed an antigravity machine that can float heavy stones, coins and lumps of metal in mid-air. Based around a powerful magnet, the device levitates objects in a similar way to how a maglev train runs above its tracks. The device exploits diamagnetism. Place non-magnetic objects inside a strong enough magnetic field and they are forced to act like weak magnets themselves. Generate a field that is stronger below and weaker above, and the resulting upward magnetic force cancels out gravity. Scientists have used diamagnetism to make wood, strawberries and, famously, a living frog fly. "That force is strong enough to float things with a density similar to water, but not things with the density of rocks."
Self-replicating robots are no longer the stuff of science fiction. Scientists at the Cornell University in Ithaca, New York have created small robots that can build copies of themselves. Each robot consists of several 4-inch (10-centimeter) cubes that have identical machinery, electromagnets to attach and detach to each other and a computer program for replication. The robots can bend and pick up and stack the cubes. "Although the machines we have created are still simple compared with biological self-reproduction, they demonstrate that mechanical self-reproduction is possible and not unique to biology," Hod Lipson said in a report in the science journal Nature on Wednesday.
The Bush administration periodically put the USA on high alert for terrorist attacks even though then-Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge argued there was only flimsy evidence to justify raising the threat level, Ridge now says. Ridge, who resigned Feb. 1, said Tuesday that he often disagreed with administration officials who wanted to elevate the threat level to orange, or "high" risk of terrorist attack, but was overruled. Ridge said he wanted to "debunk the myth" that his agency was responsible for repeatedly raising the alert under a color-coded system he unveiled in 2002.
Merck & Co.'s longtime leader Raymond V. Gilmartin abruptly resigned yesterday on the same day congressional investigators released a slew of documents detailing how the company continued to aggressively promote its arthritis drug Vioxx after it knew of potentially serious safety concerns. The documents...showed that Merck directed its 3,000-person Vioxx sales force to avoid discussions with doctors about the cardiovascular risks identified in a major clinical trial of the drug in 2000. Sales representatives were told instead to rely on a "Cardiovascular Card" that said Vioxx was protecting the heart rather than potentially harming it. They were [also] trained how to smile, speak and position themselves most effectively when talking with doctors, and were exhorted to sell Vioxx and other Merck drugs using the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Vioxx was withdrawn from the market last September after another clinical trial found that people who had taken the drug for 18 months were five times more likely to have heart attacks and strokes than those on a placebo. Merck was sharply criticized in a hearing into how the company and the Food and Drug Administration had handled the safety concerns surrounding Vioxx.
Note: The following is the New York Times website's abstract of this article, which is a very good summary.
2003 Medicare bill is object lesson in how special interests hold America's health care system hostage; says law subsidizes private health plans, which have repeatedly failed to deliver promised cost savings, and creates unnecessary layer of middlemen by requiring that drug benefit be administered by private insurers; says it specifically prohibits Medicare from using its purchasing power to negotiate lower drug prices; notes that Rep Billy Tauzin, who shepherded drug bill through Congress, now heads all-powerful drug-industry lobbying group, and Thomas Scully, former Medicare administrator, negotiated for future health industry lobbying job at same time he was pushing drug bill; calls Medicare bill corrupt deal created by corrupt system.
"This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents. John Scarlett summarised the intelligence and latest JIC assessment. Saddam's regime was tough and based on extreme fear. The only way to overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action. C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record."
It is time...for the United States to cease its Cold War-style reliance on nuclear weapons as a foreign-policy tool. The risk of an accidental or inadvertent nuclear launch is unacceptably high. Much of the current US nuclear policy has been in place since before I was secretary of defense, and it has only grown more dangerous and diplomatically destructive in the intervening years. On any given day...the president is prepared to make a decision within 20 minutes that could launch one of the most devastating weapons in the world. To declare war requires an act of congress, but to launch a nuclear holocaust requires 20 minutes' deliberation by the president and his advisors. After leaving the Defense Department, I became president of the World Bank. During my 13-year tenure, from 1968 to 1981, I was prohibited...from commenting publicly on issues of US national security. [Afterwards] I decided to go public with some information that I knew would be controversial, but that I felt was needed to inject reality into these increasingly unreal discussions about ... nuclear weapons. To launch weapons against a nuclear-equipped opponent would be suicidal. To do so against a nonnuclear enemy would be militarily unnecessary, morally repugnant, and politically indefensible. The indefinite combination of human fallibility and nuclear weapons carries a very high risk of nuclear catastrophe. There is no way to reduce the risk to acceptable levels, other than to first eliminate the hair-trigger alert policy and later to eliminate or nearly eliminate nuclear weapons.
The so-called global war on terrorism does not exist, a high-ranking army officer has declared in a speech that challenges the conventional political wisdom. In a frank speech, Brigadier Justin Kelly dismissed several of the central tenets of the Iraq war and the war on terrorism, saying the "war" part is all about politics and terrorism is merely a tactic. Speaking at a conference on future warfighting, Brigadier Kelly, the director-general of future land warfare, also suggested that the "proposition you can bomb someone into thinking as we do has been found to be untrue".
They're tax havens: 70 mostly tiny nations that offer no-tax or low-tax status to the wealthy so they can stash their money. Usually, the process is so secret that it draws little attention. But the sums - and lost tax revenues - are growing so large that the havens are getting new and unaccustomed scrutiny. There are about 3 million shell companies (set up largely to duck taxes) in offshore tax havens, Komisar reckons. These tiny tax havens hold 31 percent of total world assets and 26 percent of the stock of US multinationals.
Confidential letter reveals Ratzinger ordered bishops to keep allegations secret. Pope Benedict XVI faced claims last night he had 'obstructed justice' after it emerged he issued an order ensuring the church's investigations into child sex abuse claims be carried out in secret. The order was made in a confidential letter, obtained by The Observer, which was sent to every Catholic bishop in May 2001. It asserted the church's right to hold its inquiries behind closed doors and keep the evidence confidential for up to 10 years after the victims reached adulthood. The letter was signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who was elected as John Paul II's successor last week. Lawyers acting for abuse victims claim it was designed to prevent the allegations from becoming public knowledge or being investigated by the police. They accuse Ratzinger of committing a 'clear obstruction of justice'. 'Cases of this kind are subject to the pontifical secret,' Ratzinger's letter concludes. Breaching the pontifical secret at any time while the 10-year jurisdiction order is operating carries penalties, including the threat of excommunication. The letter is referred to in documents relating to a lawsuit filed earlier this year against a church in Texas and Ratzinger on behalf of two alleged abuse victims. By sending the letter, lawyers acting for the alleged victims claim the cardinal conspired to obstruct justice. Daniel Shea, the lawyer for the two alleged victims who discovered the letter, said: 'If you can manage to keep it secret for 18 years plus 10 the priest will get away with it.'
Growing at a rate of about 900 inmates each week between mid-2003 and mid-2004, the nation’s prisons and jails held 2.1 million people, or one in every 138 U.S. residents, the government reported Sunday. While the crime rate has fallen over the past decade, the number of people in prison and jail is outpacing the number of inmates released. In 2004, one in every 138 U.S. residents was in prison or jail. 61 percent of prison and jail inmates were of racial or ethnic minorities, the government said. An estimated 12.6 percent of all black men in their late 20s were in jails or prisons, as were 3.6 percent of Hispanic men and 1.7 percent of white men in that age group, the report said.
A federal appeals court Thursday barred the public from arguments in the case of a fired FBI contractor who alleged security breaches and misconduct at the agency. Sibel Edmonds' lawsuit against the government was thrown out of a lower court when the Bush administration invoked the state secrets privilege, which allows the government to withhold information to safeguard national security. The Justice Department's inspector general said Edmonds' allegations to her superiors about a co-worker "raised serious concerns that, if true, could potentially have extremely damaging consequences for the FBI." The inspector general concluded that the FBI did not adequately investigate the allegations and that Edmonds was retaliated against for speaking out.
Note: Ms. Edmonds has repeatedly claimed that top government officials had clear foreknowledge of 9/11, yet 9/11 is not even mentioned in the article.
Where are the autistic Amish? Here in Lancaster County, heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, there should be well over 100 with some form of the disorder. I have come here to find them, but so far my mission has failed, and the very few I have identified raise some very interesting questions about some widely held views on autism. The Amish have a religious exemption from vaccination. So far, there is evidence of only three, all of them children, the oldest age 9 or 10. Julia is one of them. She...is adopted from China. She had most of her vaccines given to her in the United States before we got her. [Of the other one definitely had a vaccine, and the other's vaccine status is unknown.] The mainstream scientific consensus says autism is a complex genetic disorder, one that has been around for millennia at roughly the same prevalence. That prevalence is now considered to be 1 in every 166 children born in the United States.
Note: The above article appears to have been removed from the Washington Times website. You can still find it on the UPI website at this link. Page two is available here. If these links fail, click here.
David Ray Griffin asks the tough questions about Sept. 11, contending U.S. officials had some knowledge of what was coming and possibly orchestrated the attacks. Griffin, whose book, "The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11," came out a year ago, drew an enthusiastic standing ovation from the majority of the 400 or so people who packed his lecture Monday night at Bascom Hall. A retired Christian theologian, Griffin, 65, taught for more than 30 years at the Claremont School of Theology in California. While Griffin noted that his books and talks have not received attention from the mainstream media, C-SPAN had a cameraman at the event and plans to air the lecture at a future date.
In short, the climate for freedom of the press in the U.S. feels more ominous than it has for decades. One appropriate response is to protest vociferously and seek the passage of a federal shield law for journalists. But it's also crucial for us to reflect on why this is happening now - and a major reason, I think, is that we in the news media are widely perceived as arrogant, out of touch and untrustworthy. A recent report from the Pew Research Center, "Trends 2005," is painful to read. The report says that 45 percent of Americans believe little or nothing in their daily newspapers, up from 16 percent two decades ago. it's a rare news organization that is trusted by more than one-third of the people in either party: the one thing Democrats and Republicans agree on is that the news media are not trustworthy.
Dennis Kyne put up such a fight at a political protest last summer, the arresting officer recalled, it took four police officers to haul him down the steps of the New York Public Library and across Fifth Avenue. "We picked him up and we carried him while he squirmed and screamed," the officer, Matthew Wohl, testified in December. "I had one of his legs because he was kicking and refusing to walk on his own." Accused of inciting a riot and resisting arrest, Mr. Kyne was the first of the 1,806 people arrested in New York last summer during the Republican National Convention to take his case to a jury. But one day after Officer Wohl testified, the prosecutor abruptly dropped all charges. During a recess, the defense had brought new information to the prosecutor. A videotape shot by a documentary filmmaker showed Mr. Kyne agitated but plainly walking under his own power down the library steps, contradicting the vivid account of Officer Wohl, who was nowhere to be seen in the pictures. Nor was the officer seen taking part in the arrests of four other people at the library against whom he signed complaints.
ULM, Germany -- Khaled el-Masri says his strange and violent trip into the void began with a bus ride on New Year's Eve 2003. When he returned to this city five months later, his friends didn't believe the odyssey he recounted. Masri said he was kidnapped in Macedonia, beaten by masked men, blindfolded, injected with drugs and flown to Afghanistan, where he was imprisoned and interrogated by U.S. intelligence agents. He said he was finally dumped in the mountains of Albania. A Munich prosecutor has launched an investigation and is intent on questioning U.S. officials about the unemployed car salesman's claim that he was wrongly targeted as an Islamic militant. Masri's story, if true, would offer a rare firsthand look at one man's disappearance into a hidden dimension of the Bush administration's war on terrorism. Since the Sept. 11 attacks, U.S. authorities have used overseas detention centers and jails to hold or interrogate suspected terrorists, such as at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Many of the estimated 9,000 prisoners in U.S. military custody were captured in Iraq, but others, like Masri, were allegedly picked up in another country and delivered to U.S. authorities in Afghanistan or elsewhere for months of confinement.
Note: If the above link fails, click here.
Yale University researchers say their study that used lasers to create remote-controlled fruit flies could lead to a better understanding of overeating and violence in humans. Using the lasers to stimulate specific brain cells, researchers say they were able to make the flies jump, walk, flap their wings and fly. Even headless flies took flight when researchers stimulated the correct neurons. Gero Miesenbock, associate professor of cell biology at Yale, said if the process could be duplicated on mice, researchers might be able to better understand the cellular activity that leads to certain behavior.
Sony....has patented a device to evoke smells, flavours and even a sense of touch in audience's brains, in the hope of enhancing the movie-watching experience. Sony has been granted a series of patents that outline how the device works. According to the documents, pulses of ultrasound would be fired at the audience's heads to alter the normal neural activity in key parts of the brain. "Changes in the neural firing timing induce various sensory experiences, depending on the location," the company's first patent states. Elizabeth Boukis, a spokeswoman for Sony Electronics, said the device remained only an idea at the moment. According to Sony's patents, carefully directed ultrasound beams could evoke different sensations in people's brains, including tastes, smells and touch, and even moving images. "One of the advantages is that no invasive surgery is needed to assist a person, such as a blind person, to view live/recorded images," the patent says.
Anheuser-Busch Cos., the nation’s No. 1 buyer of rice as well as its largest brewer, says it won’t buy rice from Missouri if genetically modified, drug-making crops are allowed to be grown in the state. Last month, Arkansas-based Riceland Foods Inc., the world’s largest rice miller and marketer, asked federal regulators to deny a permit for Ventria’s project, saying its customers don’t want to risk buying genetically modified rice. Anheuser-Busch is believed to be the first major company to threaten a boycott over the issue, according to comments filed last month with the Agriculture Department.
Since taking office two years ago, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has turned Brazil into a tropical outpost of the free software movement. Looking to save millions of dollars in royalties and licensing fees, Mr. da Silva has instructed government ministries and state-run companies to gradually switch from costly operating systems made by Microsoft and others to free operating systems, like Linux. On Mr. da Silva's watch, Brazil has also become the first country to require any company or research institute that receives government financing to develop software to license it as open-source, meaning the underlying software code must be free to all.
United Kingdom Chief of Defense (1971 - 73), Admiral Lord Peter Hill-Norton: "I have frequently been asked why a person of my background—a former Chief of the Defense Staff, a former Chairman of the NATO Military Committee—why I think there is a cover-up of the facts about UFOs. Governments fear that if they did disclose those facts, people would panic. I don’t believe that at all. I've said so in print. There is a serious possibility that we are being visited—and have been visited for many years—by people from outer space, from other civilizations. It behooves us to find out who they are, where they come from, and what they want. This should be the subject of rigorous scientific investigation, and not the subject of rubbishing by tabloid newspapers." Apollo 14 Astronaut, Edgar Mitchell, Ph.D. (Sixth Man to Walk on Moon): "Yes, there have been ET visitations. There have been crashed craft. There have been material and bodies recovered. People in high-level government have very little, if any, valid information about this. Most have no more knowledge than the man in the street."
This award-winning film provides an inside look at the anatomy of the American war machine. Why We Fight [was originally] the title of a series of propaganda films that Frank Capra began making in 1942, with the aim of encouraging the American war effort against Nazism. Director Eugene Jarecki (The Trials of Henry Kissinger) has used the films as a commentary on the contemporary obsession of the American elite with military power. He also harks back to a speech by President Eisenhower, who, just before he left office, referred to the "military-industrial complex". Eisenhower was worried that too much intelligence, and too much business acumen in America, had become focussed on the production of unnecessary weapons systems. Since Eisenhower's time, everything has become much worse, as Eugene Jarecki describes it. The war in Iraq was made possible by a new range of weapons systems: a bomb called the "bunker buster" was dropped by stealth bombers on the first night of the conflict. Is American foreign policy dominated by the idea of military supremacy? Has the military become too important in American life? Jarecki's shrewd and intelligent polemic would seem to give an affirmative answer to each of these questions.
When the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a rule last week to limit mercury emissions from U.S. power plants, officials emphasized that the controls could not be more aggressive because the cost to industry already far exceeded the public health payoff. What they did not reveal is that a Harvard University study paid for by the EPA, co-authored by an EPA scientist and peer-reviewed by two other EPA scientists had reached the opposite conclusion. That analysis estimated health benefits 100 times as great as the EPA did, but top agency officials ordered the finding stripped from public documents.
The House of Representatives this month passed the National Uniformity for Foods Act, a measure that would kill or cancel significant parts of 200 food-safety laws in 50 states. This ill-advised bill, supported by millions of food-industry dollars, passed without a single hearing. Now it's in the hands of the Senate. If it passes there, among its many victims would be California's requirement that foods containing harmful chemicals display a warning for consumers. Those warnings are mandated by Proposition 65, enacted...by an overwhelming majority of voters in 1986. In passing the measure, Californians wanted to encourage manufacturers to remove dangerous substances from their products before they reached supermarket shelves. Proposition 65's requirement that companies either warn consumers or remove harmful chemicals works, and it remains a vital protection. The clear lesson is that states often do more to protect consumers than do federal regulators. So why is Congress even considering passing a bill denying California and other states the right to protect citizens? Follow the money. All told, food companies have forked over $5.2 million to the bill's 226 co-sponsors.
Studying individual school districts in Texas, the epidemiologists found that those districts with the highest levels of mercury in the environment also had the highest rates of special education students and autism diagnoses. There was a strong, direct relationship between mercury and autism levels. The incidence of autism has grown dramatically over the last two decades, from about one in every 2,000 children to as high as one in every 166. The purported link between autism and mercury has been a subject of intense debate. In the past it has centered primarily on the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal, which was once widely used in vaccines. Many parents have argued that thimerosal causes autism because their children seemed to develop the neurological disorder shortly after they received childhood vaccinations.
Note: An MSNBC/Associated Press report shows that the FDA rejected limits on thimerosal and that "most doses of flu vaccine still contain thimerosal."
The Bush administration made plans for war and for Iraq's oil before the 9/11 attacks, sparking a policy battle between neo-cons and Big Oil. Two years ago today - when President George Bush announced US, British and Allied forces would begin to bomb Baghdad - protesters claimed the US had a secret plan for Iraq's oil once Saddam had been conquered. In fact there were two conflicting plans, setting off a hidden policy war between neo-conservatives at the Pentagon, on one side, versus a combination of "Big Oil" executives and US State Department "pragmatists". "Big Oil" appears to have won. The latest plan [was] drafted with the help of American oil industry consultants. Insiders told Newsnight that planning began "within weeks" of Bush's first taking office in 2001, long before the September 11th attack on the US. The industry-favoured plan was pushed aside by a secret plan, drafted just before the invasion in 2003, which called for the sell-off of all of Iraq's oil fields. The new plan was crafted by neo-conservatives intent on using Iraq's oil to destroy the Opec cartel. Philip Carroll, the former CEO of Shell Oil USA who took control of Iraq's oil production for the US Government a month after the invasion, stalled the sell-off scheme. Mr Carroll told us he made it clear to Paul Bremer, the US occupation chief who arrived in Iraq in May 2003, that: "There was to be no privatisation of Iraqi oil resources or facilities while I was involved." Formerly US Secretary of State, [James] Baker is now an attorney representing Exxon-Mobil and the Saudi Arabian government.
According to a Nebraska state police report, Nebraska Senate’s Franklin committee investigative report, and a 50-page report by Omaha’s Boys Town welfare case officer Mrs. Julie Walters, pedophile victims Nelly and Kimberly Webb detailed a massive child sex, homosexual and pornography operation run out of Nebraska by Larry King--but with close ties directly to the Congress and the White House.
Note: This source is clearly less reliable than those usually provided. However, as this is very important news we believe to be largely true based on numerous independent confirmations received, we've included it here. The article includes information on the Hunter Thompson suicide and the infamous Franklin case which you can learn about by clicking here.
What's at stake, they say, is no less than the future of automotive technology, a practical solution for driving fast and fun with no direct pollution whatsoever. GM agrees that the car in question, called the EV1, was a rousing feat of engineering that could go from zero to 60 miles per hour in under eight seconds with no harmful emissions. The market just wasn't big enough, the company says, for a car that traveled 140 miles or less on a charge before you had to plug it in like a toaster. Some 800 drivers once leased EV1s, mostly in California. After the last lease ran out in August, GM reclaimed every one of the cars, donating a few to universities and car museums but crushing many of the rest. Enthusiasts discovered a stash of about 77 surviving EV1s behind a GM training center in Burbank and last month decided to take a stand. Mobilized through Internet sites and word of mouth, nearly 100 people pledged $24,000 each for a chance to buy the cars from GM. On Feb. 16 the group set up a street-side outpost of folding chairs that they have staffed ever since in rotating shifts, through long nights and torrential rains, trying to draw attention to their cause. GM refuses to budge. Toyota is aware of a growing fad among do-it-yourselfers who put a new battery in their Prius so it can be plugged in at home and then travel about 20 miles on electric power alone.
Note: Why would GM simply crush cars for which people are willing to pay $24,000? For a possible answer to this important question, click here. To learn how to convert a Toyota Prius to get 100 mpg, click here.
Dr. Charles Townes, a physicist who shared the Nobel Prize for helping to invent the laser, added another and most unusual prize to a lifelong storehouse of honors yesterday. In a news conference at the United Nations, he was announced as the winner of the $1.5 million Templeton Prize, awarded annually for progress or research in spiritual matters. Dr. Townes, 89, a longtime professor at the University of California, Berkeley, has long argued that those old antagonists science and religion are more alike than different and are destined to merge.
No 'True' Al Qaeda Sleeper Agents Have Been Found in U.S. A secret FBI report obtained by ABC News concludes that while there is no doubt al Qaeda wants to hit the United States, its capability to do so is unclear. The 32-page assessment says flatly, "To date, we have not identified any true 'sleeper' agents in the US," seemingly contradicting the "sleeper cell" description prosecutors assigned to seven men in Lackawanna, N.Y., in 2002. It also differs from testimony given by FBI Director Robert Mueller, who warned in the past that several sleeper cells were probably in place.
Merck & Co. continued to supply infant vaccine containing a mercury preservative for two years after declaring that it had eliminated the chemical. Thimerosal, which is nearly 50 percent ethyl mercury, has largely been eliminated from most routine childhood vaccines, although it is present in most flu shots. More than 4,200 parents have filed claims in the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, alleging that their children suffered autism or other neurological disorders from mercury in their shots.
Aviation obsessives with cameras and Internet connections have become a threat to cover stories established by the CIA to mask its undercover operations and personnel overseas. U.S. intel sources complain that "plane spotters" -- hobbyists who photograph airplanes landing or departing local airports and post the pix on the Internet -- made it possible for CIA critics recently to assemble details of a clandestine transport system the agency set up to secretly move cargo and people -- including terrorist suspects -- around the world.
In one of the most controversial scientific projects ever conceived, a group of university researchers in California's Silicon Valley is preparing to create a mouse whose brain will be composed entirely of human cells. Researchers at Stanford University have already succeeded in breeding mice with brains that are one per cent human cells. In the next stage they plan to use stem cells from aborted foetuses to create an animal whose brain cells are 100 per cent human.
More than 200 scientists employed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say they have been directed to alter official findings to lessen protections for plants and animals, a survey released Wednesday says. More than half of the biologists and other researchers who responded to the survey said they knew of cases in which commercial interests, including timber, grazing, development and energy companies, had applied political pressure to reverse scientific conclusions deemed harmful to their business.
Note: If the above link fails, click here.
The only grade school in this rural town is requiring students to wear radio frequency identification badges that can track their every move. Some parents are outraged, fearing it will rob their children of privacy. The badges introduced at Brittan Elementary School on Jan. 18 rely on the same radio frequency and scanner technology that companies use to track livestock and product inventory. The system was imposed, without parental input, by the school as a way to simplify attendance-taking and potentially reduce vandalism and improve student safety. Some parents see a system that can monitor their children's movements on campus as something straight out of Orwell. This latest adaptation of radio frequency ID technology was developed by InCom Corp., a local company co-founded by the parent of a former Brittan student, and some parents are suspicious about the financial relationship between the school and the company. InCom has paid the school several thousand dollars for agreeing to the experiment, and has promised a royalty from each sale if the system takes off, said the company's co-founder, Michael Dobson, who works as a technology specialist in the town's high school.
Peruvian alpaca herders are turning to technology to thwart a growing problem of the high Andes Mountains: the smuggling of prize-winning, wool-producing alpacas to neighboring countries. An association of alpaca farmers is surgically implanting microchips into hundreds of alpacas as part of an effort to reduce illegal transport of the animals. A herd of 700 Alpacas had microchips implanted in their neck muscles beneath their ears on Friday in the high plains of Peru near the town of Nunoz, about 540 miles southeast of Lima.
Almost 50 percent of Americans, according to recent polls, and millions of people elsewhere in the world believe that UFOs are real. For many it is a deeply held belief. For decades there have been sightings of UFOs by millions and millions of people. On Feb. 24, "Peter Jennings Reporting: UFOs -- Seeing Is Believing" takes a fresh look at the UFO phenomenon. "As a journalist," says Jennings, "I began this project with a healthy dose of skepticism and as open a mind as possible. After almost 150 interviews with scientists, investigators, and with many of those who claim to have witnessed unidentified flying objects, there are important questions that have not been completely answered -- and a great deal not fully explained." "Peter Jennings Reporting: UFOs -- Seeing Is Believing" airs Thursday, Feb. 24 from 8-10 p.m. ET on ABC.
Global food companies are aggravating poverty in developing countries by dominating markets, buying up seed firms and forcing down prices for staple goods including tea, coffee, milk, bananas and wheat, according to a report to be launched today. Two companies dominate sales of half the world's bananas, three trade 85% of the world's tea, and one, Wal-mart, now controls 40% of Mexico's retail food sector. It also found that Monsanto controls 91% of the global GM seed market.
“This is a war against terrorism, and Iraq is just one campaign. The Bush Administration is looking at this as a huge war zone,” the former high-level intelligence official told me. “Next, we’re going to have the Iranian campaign." The President has signed a series of findings and executive orders authorizing secret commando groups and other Special Forces units to conduct covert operations against suspected terrorist targets in as many as ten nations in the Middle East and South Asia. “The Pentagon doesn’t feel obligated to report any of this to Congress,” the former high-level intelligence official said. “They don’t even call it ‘covert ops’ -- it’s too close to the C.I.A. phrase. In their view, it’s ‘black reconnaissance.’ They’re not even going to tell the cincs” -- the regional American military commanders-in-chief.
Global warming is approaching the point of no return, after which widespread drought, crop failure and rising sea levels will be irreversible, an international climate change task force warned Monday. It called on the Group of 8 leading industrial nations to cut carbon emissions, double their research spending on technology and work with India and China to build on the Kyoto Protocol for cuttings emissions of carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse gases” blamed for global warming. “An ecological time bomb is ticking away,” said Stephen Byers, who was co-chairman of the task force with U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine. “World leaders need to recognize that climate change is the single most important long-term issue that the planet faces.” According to the report, urgent action is needed to stop the global average temperature rising by 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above the level of the year 1750 — the approximate start of the Industrial Revolution, when mankind first started significantly adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. No accurate temperature readings were available for 1750, the report said, but since 1860 the global average temperature has risen by 0.8 percent to 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit).
Mr. Arkin, in the online supplement to his book (codenames.org/documents.html ), says the contingency plan, called JCS Conplan 0300-97, calls for "special-mission units in extra-legal missions to combat terrorism in the United States" based on top-secret orders that are managed by the military's Joint Staff. Mr. Arkin provided The New York Times with briefing slides prepared by the Northern Command, detailing the plan and outlining the military's preparations for the inauguration. Three senior Defense Department and Bush administration officials confirmed the existence of the plan and mission, but disputed Mr. Arkin's characterization of the mission as "extra-legal."
They contain Britain's very own X-Files: thousands of classified documents detailing credible observations of unidentified flying objects reported by RAF personnel, British Airways pilots and senior police officers. Now under the Freedom of Information laws, files previously held by the Ministry of Defence's special UFO department, known as SF4, are being released to the public. Among the most credible reports of a possible visit by extraterrestrial life-forms is one made by an RAF pilot and two NCOs. In July 1977 Flt Lt A M Wood reported "bright objects hanging over the sea". The RAF officer said the closest object was "luminous, round and four to five times larger than a Whirlwind helicopter". This account was deemed so sensitive to the national interest that the MoD had delayed its release for an extra three years. Some of the other reports are equally compelling. A British Airways Tri-Star on a return flight from Portugal in July 1976 was involved in an incident [where] the Tri-Star captain reported "four objects - two round brilliant white, two cigar-shaped". The captain was so alarmed by what he and the passengers had seen that he reported the sighting to air traffic controllers at Lisbon and Heathrow. The report says that fighters were immediately scrambled from Lisbon. Shortly afterwards another Tri-Star crew on the same flight path reported a similar unexplained sighting. This time they said there was a "bright object with two contrails". In another incident in the same month two Tri-Star co-pilots and five of their cabin crew reported "passing underneath a bright white circular object". The files also contain reports compiled by police officers of their first-hand experiences of observing UFOs.
Note: If UFOs don't exist, why would the government delay release of the documents three years? As this article is no longer available on the Independent website, to read it in full, click here.
Testifying before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in July 2003 about the rebuilding of Iraq, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told the story of Jumana Michael Hanna, an Iraqi woman...with a tale of her horrific torture at the hands of Saddam Hussein's regime. Hanna's tale - more than two years of imprisonment that included being subjected to electric shocks, repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted - was unusual in that she was willing to name the Iraqi police officials who participated in her torture, "information that is helping us to root out Baathist policemen who routinely tortured and killed prisoners," Wolfowitz said. But Hanna's story, which 10 days before Wolfowitz's testimony had been the subject of a front-page article in the Washington Post, appears to have unraveled. Esquire magazine, in this month's issue, published a lengthy article, by a writer who was hired to help Hanna produce a memoir, saying that her account had all but fallen apart.
The circumstances surrounding the assassination of Robert Kennedy are being resurrected and re-examined in an attempt to establish the truth of what happened that night in the cramped pantry of a Los Angeles hotel. New evidence has emerged [in] the case of Sirhan Sirhan, who was convicted of the assassination. Celebrities and journalists are joining the campaign for a federal investigation, which has been sparked in part by a new book, Nemesis, by the British author Peter Evans. Evans, who spent 10 years researching the book, has unearthed evidence to support Sirhan's contention that he was hypnotised into being the "fall guy" for the murder. Evans identifies the hypnotist, who had worked on CIA mind control programmes and who was later found dead in mysterious circumstances. Bullet holes in the walls and ceiling demonstrate conclusively that more than one gunman fired shots at Senator Kennedy. Both Evans and Sirhan's lawyer, Larry Teeter, are convinced that the Palestinian activist was chosen to be a Manchurian Candidate-style assassin. The assassination, they say, was carried out by a professional hitman who fled immediately, leaving Sirhan to take the blame. Teeter ... said: "I know it was done. It was consistent with the US government's programme developed by the CIA and Military Intelligence to enable handlers to get people to commit crimes with no knowledge of what they are doing." Evans goes further and names the hypnotist as a Dr William Joseph Bryan Jnr. He had worked on a CIA mind-control programme called MKULTRA. Dr Bryan was found dead in a Las Vegas hotel room in 1978. He had either shot himself or was murdered. The case remains unsolved.
Note: As this article is no longer available on the Independent website, to read it in full, click here.
More than 50 years after DuPont started producing Teflon ... federal officials are accusing the company of hiding information suggesting that [the chemical] might cause cancer, birth defects and other ailments. Environmental regulators are particularly alarmed because scientists are finding perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, in the blood of people worldwide and it takes years for the chemical to leave the body. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported last week that exposure even to low levels of PFOA could be harmful. With virtually no government oversight, PFOA has been used since the early 1950s. Questions about potential effects on human health and the environment often aren't raised until years after a chemical is introduced to the marketplace. The long and mostly secret history of PFOA began to unravel down the road from DuPont's Teflon plant...where a Parkersburg family began asking questions in the late 1990s about a mysterious wasting disease killing their cattle. Their lawsuit ended with a monetary settlement ... but the legal battle uncovered a trove of industry documents about PFOA. One document detailed how DuPont scientists started warning company executives to avoid human contact with PFOA as early as 1961. Industry tests later determined the chemical accumulates in the body [and] doesn't break down in the environment. Tests on lab animals have found links to illnesses including liver and testicular cancer, reduced weight of newborns and immune-system suppression. The findings concern EPA officials because rats flush the chemical out of their bodies within days, while PFOA stays in human blood for at least four years.
Note: As this article is no longer available on the Chicago Tribune website, to read it in full, click here.
If you have not been in an alternative bookstore lately, it is possible that you have missed the news about indigo children. They represent "perhaps the most exciting, albeit odd, change in basic human nature that has ever been observed and documented," Lee Carroll and Jan Tober write in "The Indigo Children: The New Kids Have Arrived." The book has sold 250,000 copies since 1999 and has spawned a cottage industry of books about indigo children. In "The Indigo Children," Mr. Carroll and Ms. Tober define the phenomenon. Indigos, they write, share traits like high I.Q., acute intuition, self-confidence, resistance to authority and disruptive tendencies, which are often diagnosed as attention-deficit disorder, known as A.D.D., or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or A.D.H.D. "These children are the answers to the prayers we all have for peace," said Doreen Virtue, a former psychotherapist for adolescents who now writes books and lectures on indigo children. She calls the indigos a leap in human evolution. "They're vigilant about cleaning the earth of social ills and corruption, and increasing integrity." Marjorie Jackson, a tai chi and yoga teacher....said that schools should treat children more like adults, rather than placing them in "fear-based, constrictive, no-choice environments, where they explode."
Note: ABC has a six-minute news clip on these special children available here. For another amazingly inspiring video clip of one of these unusual children, click here. For a website dedicated to indigo children, click here
We have found numerous, serious election irregularities in the Ohio presidential election. Cumulatively, these irregularities, which affected hundreds of thousand of votes and voters in Ohio, raise grave doubts regarding whether it can be said the Ohio electors selected on December 13, 2004, were chosen in a manner that conforms to Ohio law, let alone federal requirements and constitutional standards. In many cases these irregularities were caused by intentional misconduct and illegal behavior, much of it involving Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio. First...the following actions by Mr. Blackwell, the Republican Party and election officials disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of Ohio citizens. The misallocation of voting machines led to unprecedented long lines. Mr. Blackwell's widely reviled decision to reject voter registration applications based on paper weight may have resulted in thousands of new voters not being registered in time for the 2004 election. Mr. Blackwell's decision to prevent voters who requested absentee ballots but did not receive them on a timely basis from being able to receive provisional ballots likely disenfranchised thousands, if not tens of thousands. A federal court found Mr. Blackwell's order to be illegal. Second, on election day, there were numerous unexplained anomalies and irregularities involving hundreds of thousands of votes that have yet to be accounted for. There were 93,000 spoiled ballots where no vote was cast for president, the vast majority of which have yet to be inspected.
Our correspondent discovers a burial site for 10,000 bodies near a Buddhist temple in Thailand. The bodies of british and other Western tourists are being secretly buried in vast mass graves in an open field close to a busy road. Local Red Cross officials told The Times that they were ordered to prepare a site for 10,000 bodies, far more than the Thai Government says were killed by the tsunami, raising doubts that a true count of victims will ever be known.
A review of election results in 10 counties nationwide by the Scripps Howard News Service found more than 12,000 ballots that weren't counted in the presidential race, almost one in every 10 ballots cast in those counties. When the mistakes were pointed out to local officials, some were chagrined; others said they didn't want to be bothered correcting mistakes.
Hunting for guerillas, handling roadside bombs, crawling across the caves and crumbling towns of Afghanistan and Iraq -- all of that was just a start. Now, the Army is prepping its squad of robotic vehicles for a new set of assignments. And this time, they'll be carrying guns. "Putting something like this into the field, we're about to start something that's never been done before," said Staff Sgt. Santiago Tordillos, waving to the black, 2-foot-six-inch robot rolling around the carpeted floor on twin treads, an M249 machine gun cradled in its mechanical grip. "This opens up great vistas, some quite pleasant, others quite nightmarish. On the one hand, this could make our flesh-and-blood soldiers so hard to get to that traditional war -- a match of relatively evenly matched peers -- could become a thing of the past," he said. "But this might also rob us of our humanity. We could be the ones that wind up looking like Terminators, in the world's eyes."
Voters in Utah County had more than a one in five chance that their ballots did not get counted in the initial, unofficial tally from Election Day. A programming glitch in the punch-card counter dropped 33,000 ballots from the totals - all of them straight-party ballots. That was more than 22 percent of the 145,769 ballots cast in the Republican stronghold. "The card readers were fine; it was just the way it was programmed initially," Utah County elections coordinator Kristen Swensen said Friday. "It was just off by one letter."
A hand recount of ballots cast using optical scanning technology gave a Democrat enough extra votes to bump a Republican from victory in a county commissioner's race. The erroneous tally was caused when the Fidlar Election Co. scanning system recorded straight-Democratic Party votes as votes for Libertarians in southeastern Indiana's Franklin County.
Note: How many cases like this go unnoticed?
In Baker County, Fla...there are 12,887 registered voters: 69.3 percent are Democrats, 24.3 percent are Republicans. Yet 2,180 of county residents voted for Kerry while 7,738 voted for Bush -- the opposite of what some election critics say was the typically pattern elsewhere in the United States. In Florida's Dixie County...77.5 percent of the 4,988 registered voters are Democrats, 15 percent are Republicans. On Election Day, Bush carried the county with 4,433 votes vs. 1,959 for Kerry. Nationally, few outlets have pursued the story of what happened in Baker and Dixie.
Officials in Franklin County — which includes state capital Columbus — acknowledged that they may have improperly counted votes for Bush because of a touch-screen voting system malfunction. A precinct in the county reported that a 4,000-vote margin won by Bush appeared to exceed the number of registered voters.”
Note: How many cases like this go unnoticed? How can we trust our elections to unreliable machines?
Note: The best reporting by far in the mainstream media of the 2004 election was by MSNBC's news anchor Keith Olbermann. Both on TV and on his blog, Mr. Olbermann asked the tough questions. He even asked why other major media weren't reporting
many of these crucial stories. His most excellent blog gave continual
updates of developments in the elections scandals. Here are a few key
quotes from three of the entries there:
Nov. 7, 6:55 p.m: Officials in Warren County, Ohio, "locked down" its administration building to prevent anybody from observing the vote count there....Emergency Services Director Frank Young explained that he had been advised by the federal government to implement the measures for the sake of Homeland Security. The majority of the media has yet to touch the other stories of Ohio or huge margins for Bush in Florida counties in which registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans 2-1.
Nov. 9, 12:55 a.m: ...the remarkable results out of Cuyahoga County, Ohio. In 29 precincts there, the County's website shows, we had the most unexpected results in years: more votes than voters. I'll repeat that: more votes than voters. 93,000 more votes than voters. [more on this below]
November 10, 12:43 p.m: The computerized balloting in North Carolina is so thoroughly messed up that all state-wide voting may be thrown out and a second election day scheduled.
Dec. 2, 8:13 p.m.: We are not only busting our humps on the voting irregularities beat, but we remain the only mainstream news organization to continue to cover this vital story.
Note: Click below to watch 16 minutes of the excellent MSNBC news program broadcast nationally on November 11th covering this topic. Note that it may take several minutes to download. You must have installed either QuickTime (QT) or Windows Media. For dial-up connections, use the 56K option.
http://websrvr20.audiovideoweb.com/avwebdswebsrvr2143/news_video/5.countdown_300k.mov (QT high speed)
http://websrvr20.audiovideoweb.com/avwebdswebsrvr2143/news_video/5.countdown_56k.mov (QT 56K)
http://win20ca.audiovideoweb.com/ca20win15004/5.countdown_300k.wmv (Windows Media high speed)
http://win20ca.audiovideoweb.com/ca20win15004/5.countdown_56k.wmv (Windows Media 56K)
In Florida's counties using results from optically scanned paper ballots - fed into a central tabulator PC and thus vulnerable to hacking - the results seem to contain substantial anomalies. In Baker County, for example, with 12,887 registered voters, 69.3% of them Democrats and 24.3% of them Republicans, the vote was only 2,180 for Kerry and 7,738 for Bush, the opposite of what is seen everywhere else in the country where registered Democrats largely voted for Kerry. In Dixie County, with 4,988 registered voters, 77.5% of them Democrats and a mere 15% registered as Republicans, only 1,959 people voted for Kerry, but 4,433 voted for Bush. The pattern repeats over and over again - but only in the counties where optical scanners were used.
The vote counting was marred in several places by computer glitches. The most serious appears to be in Ohio, which provided Bush with his decisive margin. Election officials in Franklin County, in the Columbus area, said yesterday that a computer error gave Bush 3,893 extra votes in one precinct. Bush actually received 365 votes in the precinct out of 638 votes cast. It was not clear whether Ohio experienced any other problems with electronic ballots. About 30 percent of the voters in the state voted electronically. In one North Carolina county, more than 4,500 votes were lost because officials misjudged the amount of data that could be stored electronically by a computer.
An error with an electronic voting system gave President Bush 3,893 extra votes in suburban Columbus, elections officials said. Franklin County's unofficial results had Bush receiving 4,258 votes to Democrat John Kerry's 260 votes in a precinct in Gahanna. Records show only 638 voters cast ballots in that precinct. In one North Carolina county, more than 4,500 votes were lost because officials mistakenly believed a computer that stored ballots electronically could hold more data than it did. And in San Francisco, a malfunction with custom voting software could delay efforts to declare the winners of four races for county supervisor. In the Ohio precinct in question, the votes are recorded onto a cartridge. On one of the three machines at that precinct, a malfunction occurred in the recording process, Damschroder said. He could not explain how the malfunction occurred. Damschroder said people who had seen poll results on the election board's Web site called to point out the discrepancy. The reader also recorded zero votes in a county commissioner race on the machine.
A North Carolina newspaper reports that "a systems software glitch in Craven County's electronic voting equipment is being blamed for a vote miscount that ... swelled the number of votes for president here by 11,283 more votes than the total number cast.
Early Thursday, as Broward County elections officials wrapped up after a long day of canvassing votes, something unusual caught their eye. Tallies should go up as more votes are counted. That's simple math. But in some races, the numbers had gone down. Officials found the software used in Broward can handle only 32,000 votes per precinct. After that, the system starts counting backward."
Thousands of new votes on some constitutional amendment questions were discovered early Thursday, potentially forcing a recount on the question of a South Florida vote on slot machines. As absentee ballot counting wound down after midnight in Broward County's elections warehouse, attorneys scrutinizing the close vote on Amendment Four noticed that vote totals changed in an unexpected way after 13,000 final ballots were counted. Election officials quickly determined the problem was caused by the Unity Software that pulls together votes from five machines tabulating absentee ballots. Because no precinct has more than 32,000 voters, the software caps the total votes at that number. From there, it begins to count backward. The glitch was discovered two years ago, and should have been corrected by software manufacturer ES&S of Omaha, Neb., according to Broward County Mayor Ilene Lieberman. "I was so angry last night," Lieberman said. She spoke to representatives from ES&S early Thursday morning, and later was having a spirited telephone conversation with Secretary of State Glenda Hood.
Sarpy County election officials are trying to figure out how they ended up with more votes than voters in the general election. Sarpy County borrowed the election equipment from Omaha-based Election Systems & Software. Its employees operated the machines that are now double-checking the ballots. No one is sure exactly what went wrong.
Note: What the article fails to mention is that with no paper trail, there is not way to know what happened. How is it possible we let our elections use machines that could not be audited or verified?
In LaPorte County, Indiana, a Democratic stronghold, electronic voting machines decided that each precinct only had 300 voters. "At about 7 p.m. Tuesday," according to this report, "it was noticed that the first two or three printouts from individual precinct reports all listed an identical number of voters. Each precinct was listed as having 300 registered voters. That means the total number of voters for the county would be 22,200, although there are more than 79,000 registered voters.
Voters nationwide reported some 1,100 problems with electronic voting machines on Tuesday, including trouble choosing their intended candidates. There were also several dozen voters in six states...who said the wrong candidates appeared on their touch-screen machine's checkout screen. In many cases, voters said they intended to select John Kerry...but when the computer asked them to verify the choice it showed them instead opting for President Bush. The reports did highlight computer scientists' concerns about touch screens, which they say are prone to tampering and unreliable unless they produce paper records for recounts. Roberta Harvey, 57, of Clearwater, Fla., said she had tried at least a half dozen times to select Kerry-Edwards when she voted Tuesday at Northwood Presbyterian Church. After 10 minutes trying to change her selection, the Pinellas County resident said she called a poll worker and got a wet-wipe napkin to clean the touch screen as well as a pencil so she could use its eraser-end instead of her finger. Harvey said it took about 10 attempts to select Kerry before and a summary screen confirmed her intended selection. The Election Protection Coalition received a total of 32 reports of touch-screen voters who selected one candidate only to have another show up on the summary screen, Cindy Cohn, legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a coalition member.
Concern over electronic voting technology was not assuaged Tuesday as glitches, confusion and human error raised a welter of problems across the country. Nearly one in three voters, including about half of those in Florida, were expected to cast ballots using ATM-style voting machines that computer scientists have criticized for their potential for software glitches, hacking and malfunctioning. In Volusia County, Fla., a memory card in an optical-scan voting machine failed Monday at an early voting site and didn't count 13,000 ballots. Most of the ATM-style machines, including all of Florida's, lack paper records that could be used to verify the electronic results in a recount. The Electronic Frontier Foundation's VerifiedVoting.org, which has been monitoring the implementation of e-voting machines in the U.S., warned on Monday that over 20 percent of the machines tested by observers around the country failed to record votes properly. "A request filed in King County, Washington...uncovered an internal audit log containing a three-hour deletion on election night; 'trouble slips' revealing suspicious modem activity; and profound problems with security, including accidental disclosure of critically sensitive remote access information to poll workers, office personnel, and even, in a shocking blunder, to Black Box Voting activists."
A team of former National Security Agency (NSA) computer experts conducted a weeklong exercise with six Diebold machines and a server. According to team leader Michael Wertheimer, the group uncovered "considerable security risks." They found that the smart cards used to provide supervisors with access to the machines could be easily hacked; the removable media containing voting information was protected by flimsy locks that the team picked in under a minute using bent paper clips. The paper clips weren't even necessary, since all 32,000 keys supplied by Diebold for the machines are identical, allowing any key to open all of the machines. On the software side, the most glaring weakness was in election headquarters servers: Dell PCs ran the Windows 2000 operating system without Microsoft's security upgrade patches, which left servers susceptible to viruses and worms, enabling a remote attacker to tamper with election systems by phone.
In South Carolina, officials bought machines too late for adequate testing. And on many of their onscreen ballots, the presidential contest included names of candidates from local elections. Several Texas counties are thousands of votes short because a bug in the software failed to record Spanish-language ballots. For hundreds of thousands of votes, there will be no paper record at all. In Colorado, a group of hackers is boasting that they stole a box of electronic smartcards used to activate e-voting machines and reprogrammed them to allow multiple votes, just for fun. In virtually every state, officials failed to invite outside technical experts to participate in the process of e-voting machine selection. Because none of the major vendors of e-voting machines release their code for security testing, states and counties are forced to trust vendors' own assessments of their machines' reliability.
According to the official website of the Secretary of State, the state of Wyoming produced a strange miracle by turning out 106% of registered voters for the 2004 elections! The percentage of registered voters who turn out to vote has been rising rapidly over the last 10 years. Could this have anything to do with the increase in electronic voting machines and the accompanying increased ease of elections fraud?
Two strange deaths dramatically changed the balance of power in U.S. government for two recent years. Democratic Senate candidate Mel Carnahan died in a private plane crash on Oct. 16, 2000, just three weeks before the 2000 elections. Mr. Carnahan went on to win the race as a dead man against his rival John Ashcroft. Carnahan's wife was appointed to fill his position, but as she was appointed rather than elected, her Senate term was limited to two years rather than the normal six. She lost her 2002 race to her Republican opponent. On Oct. 24, 2002, just two weeks before the 2002 elections, Democratic Senate candidate Paul Wellstone was killed in a plane crash. His wife died with him. Wellstone had been projected to win the election. There are many suspicious circumstances surrounding Wellstone's death. Isn't it quite a coincidence that these two Democratic candidates both died in plane crashes only two years apart, both just weeks before the elections? It's even more of a coincidence that both were very progressive Democrats. Wellstone was often labeled the most progressive member of Senate.
[Somender Singh] claims that his invention makes an engine cleaner, quieter and colder...while using up to 20 percent less gas. So far, all Singh’s invention has earned him is a few polite rejection letters from presidents, professors and auto manufacturers. “I am...no man with letters after his name or fancy institutions, and what I have invented is really very simple,” he admits. Remember that the internal combustion engine is itself hardly rocket science. The internal combustion engine (ICE) has been with us for about 200 years. The basic concept—the boom that turns a crank—has not really changed at all. The efficiency of that bang had stalled out at around 28 percent. The vast majority of the fuel was dissipated as engine heat or exhaust. Singh knew that ... the combustion chamber [was where] fuel was turned to bang. He modified a motorcycle, then a two-stroke, then a four-stroke, then a car, then 50 cars. Singh applied for a patent in January 1999, and the U.S. Patent Office issued him No. 6237579 in May 2001. Finally he was allowed to bring his engines and hook them to a Benz EC-70 dynamometer with a five-gas analyzer and a Benz gravimetric fuel-measuring device. At between 2,000 and 2,800 rpm, Singh’s modified engine used between 10 and 42 percent less fuel than its unmodified twin, with no appreciable losses in torque or power.
Note: After posting a message on a group of high-school students who achieved dramatic improvements in car engine efficiency two weeks ago, we received emails from more than ten people claiming to have made or know of similar inventions. The above article was sent as evidence in one case. Dozens of other cases that could be real. For Mr. Singh's website, see http://www.somender-singh.com. For lots more, click here.
The effective tax rate for America's largest and most profitable corporations has sharply declined in recent years, and one third of such companies paid zero taxes -- or less -- in at least one of the last three years. In 2003 alone, 46 of the 275 companies...paid no taxes at all in 2003, despite reporting a total of $42.6 billion in pre-tax profits. Indeed, these companies received $5.4 billion in tax rebates that year. Half of the "tax-break dollars" over the three-year period went to just 25 companies. All told, 82 companies paid zero or negative taxes in at least one of the last three years and 28, including Boeing, paid negative taxes for the entire period. The largest beneficiaries were some of the most profitable companies: General Electric, SBC Communications, Citigroup, IBM and Microsoft. Of the 10 most profitable U.S.-based companies on the Forbes 2000, only Wal-Mart and Freddie Mac do not appear on the study's list of top 25 tax break beneficiaries. At the same time, IRS data indicates that the overall share of federal taxes paid by corporations in now less than 10 percent, down from nearly 13 percent in 1997. This trend occurred against a backdrop of rising corporate earnings. The study attributes the trend to the widening availability of offshore tax shelters and other lawful avoidance techniques.
Some of electronic voting's loudest defenders have been state and local election officials. Many of those same officials have financial ties to voting machine companies. Former secretaries of state from Florida and Georgia have signed on as lobbyists for Election Systems and Software and Diebold Election Systems. When Bill Jones left office as California's secretary of state in 2003, he quickly became a consultant to Sequoia Voting Systems. His assistant secretary of state took a full-time job there. The list goes on. Even while in office, many election officials are happy to accept voting machine companies' largess. Forty-three percent of the budget of the National Association of Secretaries of State comes from voting machine companies and other vendors. State governments in a growing number of states...have pushed through much-needed laws that require electronic voting machines to produce paper records. But these groups have faced intense opposition from election officials [who] argued that voter-verifiable paper trails...are impractical. While they may sincerely think that electronic voting machines are so trustworthy that there is no need for a paper record of votes, their views have to be regarded with suspicion until their conflicts are addressed.
The three companies that certify the nation's voting technologies operate in secrecy, and refuse to discuss flaws in the machines to be used by nearly one in three voters in November. Federal regulators have virtually no oversight over testing of the technology. The certification process, in part because the voting machine companies pay for it, is described as obsolete by those charged with overseeing it. Despite concerns over whether the so-called touchscreen machines can be trusted, the testing companies won't say publicly if they have encountered shoddy workmanship. They say they are committed to secrecy in their contracts with the voting machines' makers — even though tax money ultimately buys or leases the machines. Michael Shamos, a Carnegie Mellon computer scientist and electronic voting expert, told lawmakers in Washington, D.C. "I find it grotesque that an organization charged with such a heavy responsibility feels no obligation to explain to anyone what it is doing." The system for "testing and certifying voting equipment in this country is not only broken, but is virtually nonexistent," Shamos added. More than a decade ago, the Federal Election Commission authorized the National Association of State Election Directors to choose the independent testers. On its Web site, the association says the three testing outfits "have neither the staff nor the time to explain the process to the public, the news media or jurisdictions."
Over a period of 30 years, highly qualified Perth-based surgeon Dr John Holt has had some startling successes with a radio-wave therapy treatment for cancer patients. Dr Holt's controversial treatment works, in layperson's terms, by giving the patient an injection of a glucose-blocking agent. He then shines "radio waves" into the body at a specific frequency. Dr Holt doesn't guarantee it will cure every cancer, but it's not expensive and there's no quackery about it. Born in Bristol 80 years ago and a member of the Royal Colleges, Dr Holt has 26 medical letters after his name. For more than a decade he was in charge of Western Australia's main cancer institute, until the late '70s, when he was blacklisted by his medical colleagues and politicians. The polarisation of the medical and scientific community in Perth over Dr Holt's treatment has been evident since the mid-'70s. While the medical community continues to argue the merits of Dr Holt's unorthodox measures, the families of his successes feel they owe everything to this gentle man. After two brain tumours and a tumour on her spine, Sophia Rosa was sent by pre-eminent brain surgeon Dr Charlie Teo for the radical treatment. Two years later, the only sign Sophia had cancer are the side-effects from the massive doses of chemotherapy given in Sydney.
This fall, 30 percent of us will cast our votes by touching a screen on a computerized voting machines. The good news is, these machines don't have any of the problems of paper ballots. The bad news is, they may have much worse problems all their own. [California] Secretary of State Kevin Shelley: "There was a wholesale breakdown in the election last March in...San Diego. Untold thousands of individuals were turned away and denied their right to vote because the voting equipment couldn't start." So many of the machines malfunctioned or ran unapproved software that Shelley took the extraordinary step of decertifying them. Then there's the software worry. Avi Rubin, a computer-science professor at Johns Hopkins University, spent two weeks analyzing the software from the world's biggest voting-machine company, Diebold Election Systems, which has over 50 percent of the market. "We found all kinds of problems in the code," he said. "Upon looking at the source code for Diebold, it was pretty clear that this was a real amateur job. The concern I have is that those machines will be programmed from the start to favor one candidate over another," says Rubin. A Diebold plot to rig the elections? Where did that idea come from? The rumors began with this letter from Diebold's CEO, Wally Odell, who was moonlighting as a Republican fundraiser. In his invitation to a benefit for Bush last August, he wrote, "I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president." But Rubin says he is not accusing Diebold of rigging elections. "I'm just saying that they could do it and that we shouldn't allow our elections to be under control of vendors when there are ways of designing voting machines such that the vendors don't have the control of them."
The NHS is seeking at least Ł100m compensation from two drug companies who it alleges "fixed" the price of an ulcer drug in the late 1990s. The allegations relate to the sale and supply of ranitidine between 1997 and 2000. The NHS's Counter Fraud Service [CFS]...is currently investigating similar concerns in regard to around 30 other drugs. As in any case where a drug comes off patent, the NHS expected its price to fall, but this did not happen with ranitidine. The investigation into why this failed to happen has led to the High Court action against Generics, a subsidiary of the German pharmaceutical company Merck, and the British arm of the Indian company Ranbaxy. The CFS estimates that the NHS could have lost out on at least Ł100m, and possibly as much as Ł110m. It has already said it will sue seven companies over the sale of common medicines including warfarin and penicillin-based drugs.
A Montreal woman who underwent intense electroshock treatment in a program funded by the CIA 50 years ago has been awarded $100,000. Gail Kastner was given massive electroshock therapy to treat depression in 1953 at the Allan Memorial Institute in Montreal. She was left out of a federal compensation package in 1994 because her treatment was deemed to have been less intense than that of other victims of the experiments. Her treatment was also found to have had fewer long-term effects. A Federal Court judge reversed that ruling, and awarded her the same amount Ottawa gave to 77 others as compensation for their treatment. Dr. Ewan Cameron, who was director of the Allan Memorial Institute, conducted experiments using electroshock and drug-induced sleep. The research was funded from 1950 to 1965 by the CIA and by the Canadian government.
Note: Did you know that 78 people received awards of $100,000 each for having been subjected to CIA and government-funded experiments in controlling the mind? There is much more to this story. Don't miss our very well documented two-page summary on this little-known topic: click here.
The Bilderberg group, an elite coterie of Western thinkers and power-brokers, has been accused of fixing the fate of the world behind closed doors. As the organisation marks its 50th anniversary, rumours are more rife than ever. On Thursday the Bilderberg group marks its 50th anniversary with the start of its yearly meeting. For four days some of the West's chief political movers, business leaders, bankers, industrialists and strategic thinkers will hunker down in a five-star hotel in northern Italy to talk about global issues. What sets Bilderberg apart from other high-powered get-togethers, such as the annual World Economic Forum (WEF), is its mystique. Not a word of what is said at Bilderberg meetings can be breathed outside. No reporters are invited in and while confidential minutes of meetings are taken, names are not noted. A former journalist, Mr Gosling runs a campaign against the group from his home in Bristol, UK." One of the first places I heard about the determination of US forces to attack Iraq was from leaks that came out of the 2002 Bilderberg meeting," says Mr Gosling.
A high-ranking military analyst has accused the Federal Government of systematically putting foreign policy objectives ahead of intelligence, seriously undermining the work of its own spies. A saga that has wracked the military for six years has culminated in General Peter Cosgrove's senior intelligence analyst during the East Timor conflict, Lieutenant-Colonel Lance Collins, writing to the Prime Minster demanding a Royal Commission into the spy services. The letter says there has been a litany of intelligence failures. "I strongly urge you, Prime Minister, to appoint an impartial and wide-ranging Royal Commission into intelligence," the letter says. "To do otherwise would merely cultivate an artificial scab over the putrefaction beneath". A navy lawyer, Captain Martin Toohey, conducted a review of Colonel Collins's grievances and found his intelligence on Timor was blocked at high levels in the DIO. Captain Toohey said the DIO reported what "the government wants to hear" on East Timor. He found it vindictively and unfairly placed Colonel Collins's name on an Australian Federal Police search warrant looking for leaked intelligence documents, effectively ending his career as an intelligence officer. The Herald can reveal the DIO shut down an intelligence-sharing network at the height of the East Timor operation and ordered, in early 2000, that no more intelligence be gathered from West Timor, where atrocities against East Timorese refugees occurred.
Two convicted felons' roles in running elections in King County have raised new questions about the adequacy of safeguards to protect the integrity of elections. County election officials were unaware of convicted embezzler Jeffrey W. Dean's criminal background when he was named in 1999 to lead an outside team that would design a computer system for managing elections. Dean, who used his computer savvy to cover up his embezzlement of $465,341 from a Seattle law firm in the 1980s, was given keys to the election offices on the fifth floor of the King County Administration Building. And he had unrestricted access to the elections office's high-security computer room where votes are tallied. Dean, 60, has not been involved in King County elections since 2002, but John L. Elder, 48, a convicted drug dealer who was imprisoned with Dean at the Cedar Creek Corrections Center and worked with Dean on county contracts, supervises the printing of ballots and the sorting and mailing of absentee ballots. Dean...put his computer expertise and his election savvy to work when Global Election Systems asked him for help. Dean, whose family business, Spectrum Print and Mail Services had been doing printing and mailing for King County elections for several years, was familiar with the county's voter-registration data. In 1988 [a] law firm confronted Dean over accounting discrepancies. According to Barry Wolf, a partner in the now-defunct Culp firm...Dean disguised his thefts by altering computer records. Dean was [later] appointed to the Global board of directors and named senior vice president with an annual salary of $144,000. When Diebold completed its purchase of Global in January 2002, Diebold reviewed employees' backgrounds and learned of Dean's and Elder's convictions. Dean lost his job but stayed on as a consultant on the Voter View project. Diebold Election Systems marketing director Mark Radke said Dean left the company because he wasn't needed. Radke declined to say whether Dean's criminal past played a role in his departure.
Concerned citizens have been warning that new electronic voting technology being rolled out nationwide can be used to steal elections. Now there is proof. When the State of Maryland hired a computer security firm to test its new machines, these paid hackers had little trouble casting multiple votes and taking over the machines' vote-recording mechanisms. Computer-security experts [who tried] to foil the safeguards and interfere with an election...were disturbingly successful. It was an "easy matter," they reported, to reprogram the access cards used by voters and vote multiple times. They were able to attach a keyboard to a voting terminal and change its vote count. And...they were able to change votes from a remote location. The Maryland study shows convincingly that more security is needed for electronic voting, starting with voter-verified paper trails. Maryland's 16,000 machines all have identical locks on two sensitive mechanisms, which can be opened by any one of 32,000 keys. The security team had no trouble making duplicates...although that proved unnecessary since one team member picked the lock in "approximately 10 seconds." Diebold, the machines' manufacturer, rushed to issue a self-congratulatory press release with the headline "Maryland Security Study Validates Diebold Election Systems Equipment." The study's authors were shocked to see their findings spun so positively. In Boone County, Ind., last fall...an electronic system initially recorded more than 144,000 votes in an election with fewer than 19,000 registered voters. Given the growing body of evidence, it is clear that electronic voting machines cannot be trusted until more safeguards are in place.
Note: How is Diebold able to brag about its success when the tests clearly fairled.Why didn't this news make front page headlines?
Diebold, Inc. is one of the largest distributors of electronic voting machines. There are no proven cases of fraud or miscounting with Diebold machines as yet. However...these systems provide no "barometer for judging accuracy," says computer science professor Edward Felten. He contends that since all tallying takes place inside the system, voters have no way of knowing if their vote was truly registered. "A programmer could put malicious code in the software, or there could be a bug." On July 30, Diebold agreed. The company posted on their homepage that "a combination of malevolent insiders and unscrupulous voters could tamper with [election] results." But company spokespeople say any machines would be susceptible to that level of fraud. Therefore, they say, their technology can not be expected to guard against it. Diebold has used copyright laws to quash internal memos and e-mails admitting to security flaws and refuses to make their voting machine software code available for independent inspection. Ina Fairfax, Va. school board election. Some voters noticed "when they pushed the button for a given candidate an X would appear over the candidate's name and then later disappear," Felten said. After testing, it was found that about 10 percent of votes were being invisibly dropped. And, according to an Associated Press story published in December, Diebold's staff might include characters willing to engage in malicious actions. Jeffrey Dean, a chief programmer for the company, has spent time in a Washington, D.C., jail for embezzlement and tampering with computer files.
At least five convicted felons secured management positions at a manufacturer of electronic voting machines, according to critics demanding more stringent background checks for people responsible for voting machine software. Voter advocate Bev Harris alleged Tuesday that managers of a subsidiary of Diebold Inc., one of the country's largest voting equipment vendors, included a cocaine trafficker, a man who conducted fraudulent stock transactions, and a programmer jailed for falsifying computer records. The programmer, Jeffrey Dean, wrote and maintained proprietary code used to count hundreds of thousands of votes as senior vice president of Global Election Systems Inc. Diebold purchased GES in January 2002. According to a public court document released before GES hired him, Dean served time in a Washington correctional facility for stealing money and tampering with computer files in a scheme that "involved a high degree of sophistication and planning." The former GES is Diebold's wholly owned subsidiary, Global Election Management Systems, which produces the operating system that touch-screen voting terminals use. Computer programmers say software bugs, hackers or electrical outages could cause more than 50,000 touch-screen machines used in precincts nationwide to delete or alter votes.
Note: Why was this not reported in the top media in front page headlines?
In mid-August 2003, Walden W. O'Dell, the chief executive of Diebold, wrote a letter inviting 100 wealthy friends to a fund-raiser at his home in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. He wrote, "I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year." A longtime Republican, he is a member of President Bush's "Rangers and Pioneers," an elite group of loyalists who have raised at least $100,000 each for the 2004 race. Through Diebold Election Systems, Mr. O'Dell's company is among the country's biggest suppliers of paperless, touch-screen voting machines.
Note: This Nov. 2003 article became pay for view only shortly after the 2004 elections. For lots more reliable, verifiable information on various aspects of the elections cover-up, see our Elections Information Center at http://www.WantToKnow.info/electionsinformation.
The software that runs many high-tech voting machines contains serious flaws that would allow voters to cast extra votes and permit poll workers to alter ballots without being detected, computer security researchers said. "We found some stunning, stunning flaws," said Aviel D. Rubin, technical director of the Information Security Institute at Johns Hopkins University, who led a team. Diebold Election Systems...has about 33,000 voting machines operating in the United States. The systems...could be tricked by anyone with $100 worth of computer equipment, said Adam Stubblefield, a co-author of the paper. "Practically anyone in the country -- from a teenager on up -- could produce these smart cards that could allow someone to vote as many times as they like." The list of flaws in the Diebold software is long, according to the paper, which is online at avirubin.com/vote.pdf. Ballots could be altered by anyone with access to a machine, so that a voter might think he is casting a ballot for one candidate while the vote is recorded for an opponent. Douglas W. Jones, an associate professor of computer science at the University of Iowa, said he was shocked to discover flaws cited in Mr. Rubin's paper that he had mentioned to the system's developers about five years ago. "That such flaws have not been corrected in half a decade is awful." Peter G. Neumann, an expert in computer security at SRI International, said the Diebold code was "just the tip of the iceberg" of problems with electronic voting.
Note: Why wasn't this front page headlines in all media?
A division of the pharmaceutical company Bayer sold millions of dollars of blood-clotting medicine for hemophiliacs -- medicine that carried a high risk of transmitting AIDS -- to Asia and Latin America in the mid-1980's while selling a new, safer product in the West. The Bayer unit, Cutter Biological, introduced its safer medicine in late February 1984 as evidence mounted that the earlier version was infecting hemophiliacs with H.I.V. Yet for over a year, the company continued to sell the old medicine overseas. Cutter officials were trying to avoid being stuck with large stores of a product. Yet even after it began selling the new product, the company kept making the old medicine for several months more. In Hong Kong and Taiwan alone, more than 100 hemophiliacs got H.I.V. after using Cutter's old medicine. Many have since died. Cutter also continued to sell the older product after February 1984 in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan and Argentina. While admitting no wrongdoing, Bayer and three other companies that made the concentrate have paid hemophiliacs about $600 million to settle more than 15 years of lawsuits accusing them of making a dangerous product. Federal regulators helped keep the overseas sales out of the public eye. The Food and Drug Administration's regulator of blood products, Dr. Harry M. Meyer Jr....asked that the issue be "quietly solved without alerting the Congress, the medical community and the public."
The Department of Defense, already infamous for spending $640 for a toilet seat...couldn't account for more than a trillion dollars in financial transactions, not to mention dozens of tanks, missiles and planes. The nonpartisan General Accounting Office has raised the volume of its perennial complaints about the financial woes at Defense, which recently failed its seventh audit in as many years. "Overhauling DOD's financial management operations represent a challenge that goes far beyond financial accounting," GAO chief David Walker told lawmakers. Recent government reports suggest the Pentagon's money management woes have reached astronomical proportions. A GAO report found Defense inventory systems so lax that the U.S. Army lost track of 56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missile command launch-units. When military leaders were scrambling to find enough chemical and biological warfare suits to protect U.S. troops, the department was caught selling these suits as surplus on the Internet "for pennies on the dollar," a GAO official said. "We are overhauling our financial management system," said Dov Zakheim, the Pentagon's chief financial officer. "The Pentagon has failed to address financial problems that dwarf those of Enron," said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles. Gregory Kutz, director of GAO's financial management division [said] "I've been to Wal-Mart. They were able to tell me how many tubes of toothpaste were in Fairfax, Va. And DOD can't find its chem-bio suits." Opposition to defense spending is portrayed as unpatriotic. Legislators are often more concerned about winning Pentagon pork than controlling defense waste.
Note: You can read the GAO Report (Page 17 on missing planes). Page two states, "To date, no major part of DOD has yet been able to pass the test of an independent audit." For an intriguing Online Journal article exposing the deep role of the Pentagon's former CFO (Chief Financial Officer) Zakheim in this corruption, click here. Why wasn't and isn't this front page headlines? Why are newspaper editors keeping this most vital information from the public?
It's been a mystery in Washington for weeks. Just before President Bush signed the homeland security bill into law an unknown member of Congress inserted a provision into the legislation that blocks lawsuits against the maker of a controversial vaccine preservative called "thimerosal," used in vaccines that are given to children. Drug giant Eli Lilly and Company makes thimerosal. It's the mercury in the preservative that many parents say causes autism in thousands of children. But nobody in Congress would admit to adding the provision, reports CBS News Correspondent Jim Acosta – until now. House Majority Leader Dick Armey tells CBS News he did it to keep vaccine-makers from going out of business under the weight of mounting lawsuits. "I did it and I'm proud of it," says Armey, R-Texas. "It's a matter of national security," Armey says. Because Armey is retiring at the end of the year, some say the outgoing majority leader is the perfect fall guy to take the heat and shield the White House from embarrassment.
Note: A Reuters article reports that the former head of the US's CDC was later named president of Merck's vaccine division with accompanying high salary. Could this be payoff for her support in suppressing studies that cast doubt on vaccines?
One winter night in 1965, eyewitnesses saw a fireball streak over North America, bank, turn and appear to crash in western Pennsylvania. Then swarms of military personnel combed the area and a tarp-covered flatbed truck rumbled out of the woods. Now a former White House chief of staff and an international investigative journalist want to know what the Pentagon knows, calling on it to release classified files about that and other incidents involving unidentified flying objects, or UFOs. Ex-Clinton aide John Podesta...was one of numerous political and media heavyweights on hand in Washington, D.C., to announce a new group to gain access to secret government records about UFOs. The Coalition for Freedom of Information (CFI) is pressing the Air Force for documents involving Project Moon Dust and Operation Blue Fly, clandestine operations reported to have existed decades ago to investigate UFOs and retrieve objects of unknown origins. Backed by the Sci-Fi channel, the CFI hopes to reduce the scientific ridicule factor in this country when the topic is UFOs.
Throughout the spring, and into this summer, a leading bestseller in France has not been some great work of French literature but a $17-dollar paperback called the "Horrifying Fraud." The book casts doubt on the official version of the events of September 11, substituting an elaborate conspiracy concocted by America's military-industrial complex in order to increase U.S. military budgets. It has sold more than 200,000 copies here. Thierry Meyssan, author of "The Horrifying Fraud"...insists, among other things, that it was not a hijacked American Airlines 757 that crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11 but a missile fired by the military itself. Meyssan said: "The official version is incomplete and on certain points is wrong. In addition to selling hundreds of thousands of copies of his first book, Meyssan's follow-up sold 15,000 copies two days after launch and is now number seven on one bestseller list.
Note: Though this article is almost four years old, we only recently received the above link to the article on the CNN website from a supporter. If you want to be educated on this extremely important topic, I cannot recommend highly enough the Google video "Loose Change," which is filled with verifiable information on 9/11 at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8260059923762628848. I urge to watch even just the first 10 or 15 minutes of this highly educational documentary. By educating ourselves, we can work more effectively to build a build a better world.
The US Government has announced that it will release $95m to North Korea as part of an agreement to replace the Stalinist country's own nuclear programme, which the US suspected was being misused. In releasing the funding, President George W Bush waived the Framework's requirement that North Korea allow inspectors to ensure it has not hidden away any weapons-grade plutonium from the original reactors. President Bush argued that the decision was "vital to the national security interests of the United States". The head of the Non-proliferation Policy Education Centre in Washington, a critic of the Agreed Framework, has warned that even when the new reactors are completed they may not be tamper-proof. "These reactors are like all reactors, They have the potential to make weapons. So you might end up supplying the worst nuclear violator with the means to acquire the very weapons we're trying to prevent it acquiring," Henry Sokolski told the Far Eastern Economic Review.
Note: Though this article is from 2002, one must ask why on earth President Bush would waive the requirement for inspectors who would ensure no nuclear weapons development? Wasn't this one of three countries he had already labeled as the axis of evil? For answers to these questions, click here.
We are coming into Tallahassee. A very expensive contract between Governor Jeb [Bush]'s division of elections and a private company named DBT...accidentally wiped off the voter rolls thousands of Democratic voters. [We're on the] 18th floor division of elections. We have come to ask Mr Clayton Roberts, the director, a few questions. "It says here in the contract that the verification is supposed to be done by DBT. That you paid them $4 million. It could look to others don't you think that you paid $4 million to purchase this election for the Republican party. 95% wrong on the felon list. Mr Roberts, could you answer the question regarding the contract?" Instead, Mr Roberts called out State troopers. The difficult questions are: Did Governor Jeb Bush, his Secretary of State Katherine Harris, and her Director of Elections, Clayton Roberts, know they had wrongly barred 22,000 black, Democrat voters before the elections? After the elections did they use their powers to prevent the count of 20,000 votes for the Democrats? CAMPAIGNER: "Were people taken out of polls and stopped from voting? Yes, I think that was not right." Altogether, it looks like this cost the Democrats about 22,000 votes in Florida, which George Bush won by only 537 votes. In all, Palm Beach voting machines misread 27,000 ballots. Jeb Bush's Secretary of State, Katharine Harris, stopped them counting these votes by hand.
Note: You can watch a video of this and much more fascinating information at the BBC link above. To read a brief summary of BBC reporter Greg Palast's coverage of the 2000 election results in Floriday, see http://www.WantToKnow.info/massmedia#palast. And why wasn't this incredibly vital information reported in any of the American media?
"Gentlemen! We have called you together to inform you that we are going to overthrow the United States government." So begins a statement being delivered by Gen. Carl W. Steiner. At least the voice sounds amazingly like him. But it is not Steiner. It is the result of voice "morphing" technology developed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Psychological operations ... PSYOPS, as the military calls it, seek to exploit human vulnerabilities in enemy governments, militaries and populations to pursue national and battlefield objectives. Covert operators kicked around the idea of creating a computer-faked videotape of Saddam Hussein crying or showing other such manly weaknesses, or in some sexually compromising situation. The nascent plan was for the tapes to be flooded into Iraq and the Arab world. The tape war never proceeded ... but the "strategic" PSYOPS scheming didn't die. What if the U.S. projected a holographic image of Allah floating over Baghdad urging the Iraqi people and Army to rise up against Saddam? According to a military physicist given the task of looking into the hologram idea, the feasibility had been established of projecting large, three-dimensional objects that appeared to float in the air. A super secret program was established in 1994 to pursue the very technology for PSYOPS application. The "Holographic Projector" is described in a classified Air Force document as a system to "project information power from space ... for special operations deception missions."
Note: If the above link fails, click here. If you want to understand some of the many hidden capabilities of the U.S. military, this article is a must read. Watch this video to see how easily anyone's face can be manipulated on video to say anything in a way that appears startlingly real. For other revealing news articles on the use of these "nonlethal" weapons on this webpage.
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