Saturday, December 03, 2005

Civilians killed in Fallujah by chemical weapons

Babel Centre for Studies and Media and the People’s Struggle Movement in Iraq have identified the names and addresses of Iraqi civilian martyrs killed in Fallujah by chemical weapons used by the Americans in their assault on the city in April 2004. Signs of severe burns and disfigurations were noticed on the corpses of these martyrs which lead to their death, a clear indication that they were killed by “unconventional” chemical weapons. It was also clear that there have been no signs at all on all the corpses of those martyrs to indicate that their death was caused by any kind of fire arms. Below are the names of those martyrs, whose bodies were accurately identified and counted through vigorous inspections and who were also identified by whoever was left alive from their families and friends. The list contains 749 names, 580 of which are males and 169 are females, and among them were large numbers of children and elderly. While we are publishing this list in English, we wish that the entire World knows the crimes committed by the Americans in Iraq, and by those puppets brought by them to the country like Allawi, Al-Hakim, Al-Ja’afari, Al-Chalabi and the rest of the criminals, thieves and mercenaries.

See the names of those killed...

"Pacified Fallujah"

Remember the reasons given by the US military and puppet interim Iraqi government for Operation Phantom Fury against Fallujah? Just prior to the November, 2004 assault on that city, the primary reasons given for the massacre in Fallujah were: to provide “security and stability” for the upcoming January 30 “elections” and to rid Fallujah of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. Let us judge the success or failure of this massacre by their own yardstick.

“Pacified” Fallujah

Lies cost lives in Iraq.

The “security and stability” generated for the elections on January 30, 2005 by the siege of Fallujah looked like roughly 40 dead Iraqi bodies and 200 wounded, on that day alone. As for Zarqawi, since not one resident of Fallujah has seen or reported evidence of this individual in their city before, during or after said siege, his existence at all in Iraq remains in question…aside from living large in US military propaganda which is happily trumpeted by corporate media outlets in the US. Yesterday morning on NPR (National Pentagon Radio) their reporter in Baghdad was asked if he felt what Mr. Bush said in a recent speech was true-was the US military strategy in Iraq working? He replied that he felt what Mr. Bush said was true in some cases, like in Fallujah. The NPR reporter referred to Fallujah as “pacified.”

So if you want to keep thinking there is peace in Fallujah, you’d better ignore the facts on the ground and keep listening to NPR “presstitutes” talking on the radio from their hotel rooms in Baghdad. Surprised to hear this about NPR? Don’t be.

According to Robert McChesney, president of Free Press, a national, non-profit, media reform group in the US which works to support a diverse and independent media, our public broadcasting outlets are already infiltrated by Bush Administration ideologues. “White House loyalists inside the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have launched a crusade to remake PBS, NPR and other public media into official mouthpieces.

Free Press also accuses the Bush Administration of bribing journalists, lying about the Iraq War, eliminating dissent in the mainstream media, gutting the Freedom of Information Act, consolidating media control, and manufacturing fake news.

Read more from Dahr Jamail, independent journalist in Iraq...

A grim US milestone: 1,000th execution

"How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind."

Bob Dylan

I know this is an old and ongoing argument in the U.S. For myself, who earlier supported capital punishment (a nice term for execution) as a former conservative, I have come full circle on these arguments for myself and concluded once again that it is not only barbaric, but it does absolutely no good. It certainly does not prevent murders, as is obvious from the murder rate in the U.S. Nor is revenge or retribution a palliative for anything; quite the contrary. And we knew this from studies already in the 1960s.

My conclusion is that those supporting executions do so from an emotional standpoint, following and believing the hard right system of beliefs, which curiously enough includes many of the Christian faith, giving rise to logical contradictions. Executions certainly cannot be supported from factual evidence, let alone respect for life. Yeah, I know the rebuttal to that last one, and it does not hold water. When the State shows so little regard and respect for human life, it perpetuates and exascerbates the problem. And, not surprisingly, the overwhelming majority of those executed are poor, and often have poor legal representation.

I also conclude that executions are intentionally promoted by those neocons running the present administration who use every opportunity to terrorize and divide the American people, furthering their purpose.

Early Friday morning, Kenneth Lee Boyd became the 1,000th prisoner executed in the United States since the reinstatement of capital punishment in 1976. He died at 2:15 a.m. after a lethal mix of three chemicals was injected into his veins as he was strapped to a gurney in the death chamber of the Central Prison in North Carolina’s state capital, Raleigh.

Boyd’s execution brings to 57 the number of people put to death in the US so far this year,[b] surpassed only by China, Iran and Vietnam.[/b] His execution—and the grisly milestone it represents—evoked revulsion the world over. The vast majority of advanced industrialized countries have long since outlawed the practice.

Boyd’s IQ tested at 77.

[b]In addition to sending record numbers of people to their deaths, the US has the highest prison population in the world, both in percentage of its population and in actual numbers of people behind bars.[/b] The greatest increases in incarceration have been among women, juveniles and immigrants. Only China, with 1.5 million prisoners, even comes close to the US levels.

The analysis continues...

US civil rights group to sue CIA

A US civil rights groups says it is taking the CIA to court to stop the transportation of terror suspects to countries outside US legal authority.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) says the intelligence agency has broken both US and international law. It is acting for a man allegedly flown to a secret CIA prison in Afghanistan.

"The lawsuit will charge that CIA officials at the highest level violated US and universal human rights laws when they authorised agents to abduct an innocent man, detain him incommunicado, beat him, drug and transport him to a secret CIA prison in Afghanistan," the ACLU said in a news release.

Read the BBC report further...

Friday, December 02, 2005

CIA and the hidden side of foreign policy

I don't have any qualms about legal and ethical intelligence gathering and behavior, that's part of the business of running a country. But there are borders. When a country - any country - oversteps legal and moral boundaries, they are wrong. Period.

The U.S. is not at all the only country engaging in unethical and illegal behavior, but at this point in time is the biggest offender. Even the Netherlands, one of the best examples of decency in the world the last decades, oversteps the boundaries at times, and parts of its past are not all to clean, either.

I think that it is now becoming obvious to many people that the U.S. "foreign policy" is nothing more than harsh neo colonialism and total disregard for decency. And is well on the way to fascism.

Kidnapping, detention, torture: US “renditions” scandal embroils whole of Europe.

The political scandal over the CIA’s transfer of alleged terrorists to overseas prisons where they are subject to torture has now embroiled governments throughout Europe. Airplanes operated by CIA-front companies carrying detainees have landed many times at European airports before flying off to countries where the prisoners are held incommunicado and tortured, with the knowledge and even direct participation of US operatives.

Human Rights Watch has said there is strong evidence, including the flight records of CIA jets transporting prisoners out of Afghanistan, that Poland and Romania were among countries allowing the CIA to operate secret detention centres, or “black sites.”

An analysis for the New York Times of 26 planes known to be operated by CIA front companies shows 307 flights in Europe since September 2001. There were 94 flights in Germany, the most in Europe, 76 flights from Britain, 33 from Ireland, 16 from Portugal, and 15 each from Spain and the Czech Republic. A similar investigation by the British Guardian newspaper states that when charter flights are included, the figure for Britain rises to more than 200.

Read on...

Visit my main politics page: Link at right.

GM crop failure a warning, says US adviser

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A former agricultural adviser to US presidents says the failure of a genetically modified field pea trial should act as a warning for future GM crop testing.

The 10-year CSIRO trial was abandoned when tests found the peas were making mice seriously ill.

Dr Charles Benbrook, who advised presidents Carter, Bush senior, Reagan and Clinton says the field pea trial failure shows current GM crop testing is grossly inadequate.

"I don't believe that this new study proves that all genetically engineered food is posing a great threat to people but it certainly confirms the need to go back and look at the major food crops," he said.

He has called for changes to the Gene Technology Act, which is currently under review, to tighten GM crop regulation and increase scientific scrutiny of potential commercial varieties.

But the Grains Council's David Ginns says the failed field pea trial was an isolated case, and the fact health concerns were discovered shows current monitoring is adequate.

"It picked up a problem early and the project was terminated on the basis that there were concerns raised in the trial."


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Pentagon pays Iraq to print its stories...

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"Fair and balanced". Geez, why doesn't Rupert Murdoch get in on this? Hmmm....maybe he already has...

Pentagon pays Iraqi papers to print its 'good news' stories

Faced with suicide bombings, claims of Iraqi death squads, and kidnappings, the Pentagon has come up with an innovative solution to solving the problems in Iraq: buying good news. Using defence contractors or intermediaries posing as freelance reporters, the military has been paying Iraqi newspapers to publish stories written by a military propaganda unit lauding the US mission.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the articles are translated into Arabic and placed in Baghdad newspapers where they are often presented as unbiased accounts by independent journalists. Records obtained by the newspaper indicate the US has paid to publish dozens of articles since the operation began this year, with headlines such as "Iraqis insist on living despite terrorism" and "more money goes to Iraq's development".

Read on...

CIA made 300 secret flights from Europe

We've known about these flights for some weeks now, but now we are getting more specific information: How many flights, and from where in Europe, and some of the destinations. As more and more information comes to light, it is becoming apparent just how many secret transfers from the U.S. and Europe for torture activity has been going on, besides the thousands on a local basis in the Middle East.

The transatlantic row over the secret transfer of terror suspects by the Bush administration took a new twist yesterday when it emerged that more than 300 flights operated by the CIA had landed at European airports.According to flight logs seen by the Guardian, Britain was second only to Germany as a transit hub for the CIA, which stands accused of operating a covert network of interrogation centres in eastern Europe. Several European governments have launched urgent investigations into whether clandestine CIA flights were used in the aftermath of September 11 to transfer Islamist prisoners to third countries where they could be interrogated beyond the reach of international law.

Read further...

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

At Hussein's Hearings, U.S. May Be on Trial

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Doesn't take a genius to know why Saddams' lawyers were killed/chased off. Nor to predict that this trial will not go through, even though it is a sham trial, without something to prevent Rummy from having to testify.

The ongoing trial of Saddam Hussein could prove increasingly uncomfortable for the Bush administration. The first crime of which the deposed dictator is accused, the secret execution of 143 Shiites arrested in 1982, seems an odd choice for the prosecution, and politics may be behind it. Hussein is accused of using poison gas against Iranian troops, of genocide against the Kurds and of massacring tens of thousands to end the 1991 uprising after his defeat in the Gulf War. The problem for the Bush administration with these other, far graver charges, is that the Americans are implicated in them either through acts of commission or omission.

Read on...

None Dare Call It Censorship

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All serious and intelligent journalists today know that the U.S. government has massive media management brigades to carefully control what Americans see in the media and, thus, what they are very likely to believe about things of which they have no direct experience, such as high-level politics, finance and foreign affairs. They also know that the government is extremely effective in secretly censoring the news by using devices such as "embedded reporting" in nations like Afghanistan and Iraq which the U.S. government invades, occupies, and governs.

Yesterday I saw Morley Safer, one of the real old timers of CBS, once again bemoaning the almost total loss of freedom in reporting on these invasions and occupations. As he said, in Vietnam, U.S. and other national reporters could hop a ride on U.S. or other vehicles to cover anything they wanted to cover, which led directly to their exposing the Big Lies of the U.S. military and politicians about what was going on there. In Iraq and Afghanistan the reporters are "in-bedded" (as I call it) with the military to prevent such free lancing and the soaring dangers of guerilla attacks almost totally prevents their even trying to circumvent the official censorship. Of course, none dare call it censorship for fear of being fired and ostracized to Alaska, so he did not use that forbidden word.

Read on...

Here's one way CNN does it...

And here's another way...

And then, of course, there's this way of managing news...see photo below.

“The same as Saddam’s time and worse”

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We were warned repeatedly of this very thing long before the U.S. invaded Iraq. Now the U.S. is blaming everyone but the real cause. They broke it, and they can fix it. And there is only one way to do that, and the neocons have no plans for that. As long as Iraq remains in an uproar, they have the opportunity to suck Iraq's assetts dry as well as pocket the money meant >nudge, nudge, wink, wink< for Iraq. If a stable government representing the people came into power, this would not be allowed. Thus, I look for more instability rather than less. Neocolonialism is nothing more than a viscioius form of outright colonialism, only by proxy.

US-backed government in Iraq: “The same as Saddam’s time and worse”

Former Iraqi Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi’s recent declaration that the extent of human rights abuses in Iraq is the “same” as under Saddam Hussein is a devastating indictment of all those, including Allawi himself, who planned, organised and collaborated with the illegal US conquest of Iraq.

The invasion of March 2003, which the Bush administration cynically codenamed “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” is responsible for creating a nightmare of death squads, torture chambers, random bombings and fratricidal sectarian violence.

Allawi told the British-based Observer on Sunday: “People are doing the same as Saddam’s time and worse. It is an appropriate comparison. People are remembering the days of Saddam. These were the precise reasons that we fought Saddam and now we are seeing the same things. We are hearing about secret police, secret bunkers where people are being interrogated. A lot of Iraqis are being tortured or killed in the course of interrogations. We are even witnessing Sharia courts based on Islamic law that are trying people and executing them.”

Read on...

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Interrogator Confirms Routine Iraq Torture

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Whistleblower! - US Interrogator Confirms Routine Iraq Torture

Here's a story that will disappear until bloggers start talking about it. Only PBS Frontline and Democracy Now! have dared to interview U.S. interrogator Tony Lagouranis, who reports widespread torture and abuse throughout Iraq. He admits: - frustrated US soldiers torture Iraqi families at length in their homes - including flesh burning, bone breaking, and ax attacks - with impunity - no matter how obvious their innocence, detainees are always treated as guilty and sent to Abu Ghraib - officers filed unfounded reports to bolster the claim that Fallujah dead were foreigners - actually the Fallujah corpses included numerous women and children - Lagouranis's multiple official abuse reports, ignored by CID and commanders for over a year, were suddenly re-filed after he appeared on Frontline - torture has produced no useful intelligence, and efforts to legalize it are "the worst thing we could do"

Read on...

Another Video and it is Worse

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You can watch two videos from the link below.

You may by now have seen yesterdays Telegraph story about a video filmed through the rear window of a private security company car in Iraq. It shows some random looking shooting with automatic weapons on cars coming up from behind. People seem to get hurt. You can watch that video here and here, but there is another one and it is worse.

The Telegraph story lead me to a blog named The Red Zone about "Real life on the mean streets of Iraq". The current Red Zone post is about a very disturbing video made by US military in Iraq. It is hosted on flurl and here.

This video shows how US soldiers in Iraq, with the help of a robot, blow up a standing car that appears to have had an accident, while a young man, well alive but probably trapped, is still sitting in that car.

Scroll on, plus video links.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Convoy of Death

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Why have US television stations refused to broadcast this documentary?

In Afghanistan, filmmaker Jamie Doran has uncovered evidence of a massacre: Taliban prisoners of war suffocated in containers, shot in the desert under the watch of American troops. The film has been broadcast on national television in countries all over the world and has been screened by the European parliament. Human rights lawyers are calling for investigation into whether U.S. forces are guilty of war crimes.

But no U.S. media outlet has broadcast the film.

The film provides eyewitness testimony that U.S. troops were complicit in the massacre of thousands of Taliban prisoners during the Afghan War.

It tells the story of thousands of prisoners who surrendered to the US military’s Afghan allies after the siege of Kunduz. According to eyewitnesses, some three thousand of the prisoners were forced into sealed containers and loaded onto trucks for transport to Sheberghan prison. Eyewitnesses say when the prisoners began shouting for air, U.S.-allied Afghan soldiers fired directly into the truck, killing many of them. The rest suffered through an appalling road trip lasting up to four days, so thirsty they clawed at the skin of their fellow prisoners as they licked perspiration and even drank blood from open wounds.

Witnesses say that when the trucks arrived and soldiers opened the containers, most of the people inside were dead. They also say US Special Forces re-directed the containers carrying the living and dead into the desert and stood by as survivors were shot and buried. Now, up to three thousand bodies lie buried in a mass grave. The film has sent shockwaves around the world. It has been broadcast on national television in Britain, Germany, Italy and Australia. It has been screened by the European parliament. It has outraged human rights groups and international human rights lawyers. They are calling for investigation into whether U.S. Special Forces are guilty of war crimes. But most Americans have never heard of the film. That’s because not one corporate media outlet in the U.S. will touch it. It has never before been broadcast in this country.

Read on...and then watch the whole documentary film.

Bird Flu and Chicken Factory Farms=$$$

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Written by a world class author, this article looks at what is going on with the Avian or Bird Flu H5N1 hoopla, genetically modified/manipulated feeds and animals, the huge drug and the food industries, all hand in hand with a few well-placed government officials. Maybe those photos of a few birds somewhere in Asia accompanying the 'Bird Flu' scares was also planned....

Bird Flu and Chicken Factory Farms: Profit Bonanza for US Agribusiness

Look to the giant ‘chicken jails’ or chicken factory farms around the world as a more likely source for emerging Bird Flu viruses, not to small peasant chicken farmers, and we might be closer to the truth

Clouds can have ‘silver linings’ the adage goes, and Bird Flu seems to be no exception. While much of the world trembles in panic and fear over an as-yet-non-existent human-to-human mutation of the Avian Flu or H5N1 virus, and while most worry what to do to protect themselves and their families, certain people are doing quite nicely in the situation.

Donald Rumsfeld and other major stock holders of Gilead Sciences or Roche Inc., the marketers of the much-hyped Tamiflu (see previous articles, ‘Is Tamiflu another Pentagon Hoax? ;‘Bird Flu: A Corporate Bonanza for the Biotech Industry’) are reaping nice gains, as sales of the medication are booming thanks to promotion by the Bush and Blair governments.

Read further...

Sunday, November 27, 2005

If Hugo Chavez is all that bad....

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Bob Chapman is 'far right'. I am not. But both of us are 'free' thinking. Yet we have exchanged emails and agree on most issues, including the false - and divisive - "right" and "left" tags. Bob is blunt and to the point; wonderful! Maybe there's a lot more going on than just "right" and "left". Like, reality. Like, ignoring the false issues the 'elites' bring up to keep us divided. At a basic level, we ALL have the same interests. Maybe it's time we look at this?

...why doesn’t USA stop importing Venezuela’s oil?

THE INTERNATIONAL FORECASTER editor Bob Chapman writes: George and the neocons consider Venezuela and its President Hugo Chavez Frias a threat to US strategic security and in violation of the UN charter and terms between members of the OAS.

Plan Baboa, was used as an invasion plan against Venezuela and used as a military exercise in early 2001 by NATO.

As you can see US designs on Venezuela’s oil wealth goes back years.

Earlier this year a BBC Newsnight uncovered documents showing the Bush administration made plans to secure Iraqi oil even before the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US. Thus, US and UK multinationals will seek returns of 42- 162%, far in excess of typical 12% returns. This pattern, over the last century, has made trillions of dollars for elitists. (And THERE is the common enemy of the People - Earl)

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias may be one of George and the neocons most ardent critics, but he is supplying 12 million gallons of discounted home heating oil to Massachusetts’s consumers and organizations serving the poor. Critics say Representative William Delahunt should not have made the arrangements with Mr. Chavez because he’s an outspoken socialist and revolutionary populist. If he’s all that bad why don’t we stop importing Venezuela’s oil? It is our fourth largest supplier.

Such complaints are silly. Here is someone willing to help the poor. If the Heritage Foundation disagrees they can volunteer the funds to subsidize what Mr. Chavez intends to do. Otherwise, they should shut up. We find it of interest that Heritage is a big Bush backer and they have made no comment on the fact that in Venezuela Mr. Chavez has an approval rating of 65% and that Mr. Bush has a 34% rating among Americans.

The conflicts, social upheaval allowed them to capture and control most of the world’s oil reserves. This time it is Iraq.

Read on, it gets interesting...

Will the REAL Al Qaeda please stand up?

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I think it has. The following two articles, both based on the same information, give an explanation. Or do you still want to hold on to the 'official' explanation? Give this some thought....

In a lengthy excerpt posted on Wayne Madsen’s site, Pierre-Henry Bunel, a former agent for French military intelligence, explains the origins of the word “al-Qaeda.” As previously noted by British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, “al-Qaeda” has nothing to do with a terrorist organization, as the neocons and the corporate media tell us over and over, ad infinitum, but is in fact a database. “In the early 1980s the Islamic Bank for Development, which is located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, like the Permanent Secretariat of the Islamic Conference Organization, bought a new computerized system to cope with its accounting and communication requirements,” Bunel explains. “It was decided to use a part of the system’s memory to host the Islamic Conference’s database. It was possible for the countries attending to access the database by telephone: an Intranet, in modern language. The governments of the member-countries as well as some of their embassies in the world were connected to that network.” Files associated to the database were called “Q eidat il-Maaloomaat” and “Q eidat i-Taaleemaat” in Arabic. “Those two files were kept in one file called in Arabic ‘Q eidat ilmu’ti’aat’ which is the exact translation of the English word database. But the Arabs commonly used the short word Al Qaida which is the Arabic word for ‘base.’”

Read on, it gets even more interesting...

From an earlier, shorter article.