Saturday, December 17, 2005

The real enemy in the world is ourselves.

Abductions, torture, assassinations, terrorism and other horrors against individuals, but also against whole groups of people and cities through bombings and other weaponry (think of Fallujah for example) are more than ample evidence of an administration gone over to "the dark side". While covert activities already named, and more, have been part and parcel of the U.S. foreign policy for more than 50 years, with the atrocities in Afghanistan and Iraq they have achieved new levels of violence and numbers.

Some, perhaps many, people in the world are quite aware of this. Those in affected countries are more than aware, if they've survived. The people least aware of what the U.S., British and Australian countries are doing are the American people themselves, and this is due largely to complicit corporate control of mainstream news in the U.S.

But even in Europe, I think most people are not aware of the extent of their own governments' quiet complicity in all of this; in the very least, looking the other way; and more likely, quietly cooperating in the economic venture of pillaging and raping of oil and other resource rich and strategicly placed countries. It is nothing more than violent colonialism updated with the weapons of today and a refined resolve, and often by proxy.

What the U.S. with its sidekicks is doing cannot happen in a vacuum. Others in the know are also complicit, and this raises some huge questions about western 'civilization', driven as it is through its economic policies of the capitalism of today. And the People of the world are paying the price for this raping of our earth and its people. I won't even bring up 'values'.

I can only hope that more people become knowledgeable of what is really going on, for a knowledgeable People is the best antidote to this unspeakable criminality. It's time the People realize that the greatest criminals of all time occupy some of the highest positions in the "developed" countries of today.

Torture has been in the news quite a bit lately. Many (perhaps most) Americans first heard that U.S. soldiers tortured prisoners when the Abu Ghraib scandal broke (in April 2004). Of course, U.S. operatives have been torturing prisoners for decades. There's even a course in it, which is taught at the US Army School of Americas (now renamed the "Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation") in Fort Benning, GA. In late 2005 another scandal emerged, this one to do with the CIA's secret prisons in Europe and elsewhere, and the CIA's practice of "rendition", which means abducting people and flying them to countries where they can be interrogated without having to worry about whether any US law is being broken. Just one example of this is the case of Abu Omar, who was picked up off the street in Milan and flown (via Germany) to Egypt, where he was held for fourteen months and tortured (see Italy Charges CIA Agents).

When Condoleezza Rice visited Germany in early December 2005 she faced a barrage of questions concerning the CIA's practice of rendition and whether there were CIA-run secret prisons in Europe (she did not deny that there were). The publicity prompted a poll by Associated Press / Ipsos which found that "In America, 61 percent of those surveyed agreed torture is justified at least on rare occasions." (UK Guardian) (One has to wonder how they framed the question, since there's a big difference between "justified" and "justified on rare occasions".) Hardly any Americans, however, are aware that not only do U.S. operatives occasionally torture "terrorist suspects" but that in many cases they torture them to death. The failure of the U.S. media to make any mention of this is the subject of an article by Peter Phillips, Hard Evidence of US Torturing Prisoners to Death Ignored by Corporate Media.

Phillips refers to a report by the ACLU which quotes forty-four US military autopsy reports. Phillips asks: "How can the American public understand the gravity of the torture that is currently being committed in our name when the issue is being reported with no reference to the extent to which these crimes against humanity have gone?"

As a contribution to informing the American public as to what torture really means, we reproduce here a few of the autopsy reports. Remember that these deaths resulting from torture were produced by U.S. operatives, acting under the orders of commanding officers, who were implementing a policy which has its origins at the highest levels within the U.S. Department of Defense. These autopsy reports are not for people just brought in dead from the street — they are for people who died while in U.S. custody.

Read on....

EU Complicit in CIA 'rendition' flights

More and more the last few years, I am seeing criminal behavior at the highest levels in government and business. While all of us agree that the behavior of Germany under Hitler was atrocious and inhumane in many respects, I am seeing this very behavior on the part of the U.S., Great Britain and Israel. The EU has been a more silent partner to all of this, but involved nonetheless. He who is complicit is also guilty.

The Nuremberg Trials at the close of WW2 brought a few people to justice and did attract much attention. Were we today to apply the same rules and standards of the Nuremberg Trials to what the Western Nations are doing in the world, there would be many people found guilty of the same crimes.

Document proves European Union agreed to CIA rendition flights

Attempts by European governments to deny knowledge their airports were used by the CIA to fly detainees to facilities where they could be tortured has unravelled. A document obtained by the civil rights group Statewatch confirms that the European Union (EU) agreed to such flights as part of a wider programme of joint security operations with the Bush administration in 2003.

Minutes of confidential talks held in Athens on January 22, 2003, prove that EU officials agreed to allow access to their airports for the United States, and also indicate that the EU was well aware that such an agreement made them complicit in possible war crimes.

EU member states would rather be accused of “irresponsibility” than to be found to have knowingly participated in a crime—hence their being forced to agree to various investigations into renditions. But this has been accompanied by repeated denials of any knowledge of what was going on, despite hundreds of CIA flights being logged by plane spotters across Europe—particularly in Germany and Britain.

Read on....

Friday, December 16, 2005

Iraq 'election' a rubber stamp of occupation

The U.S. was warned of internal strife and the strong possibility of civil war long before they invaded. But that doesn't matter. What does matter is that the oil in Iraq comes under the control of the huge U.S. and British corporations and that oil remains sold only in dollars.

US ambassador "will remain the critical behind-the-scenes power," says New York Times.

Iraqi election to rubber-stamp continued US occupation.

The Bush administration and the American media are, predictably, hailing the December 15 election as a giant step towards democracy in Iraq. In reality, as they well know, Thursday’s balloting only provides a parliamentary screen—and a very thin one—for continued US occupation and domination. Whatever the outcome of the voting, real power in the oil-rich country will remain firmly in the hands of the American military and the chief US representative in Baghdad, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad.

The period leading up to the election suggests that rival factions in Iraq are preparing feverishly for civil war. Nearly all the major parties and coalitions contesting the election focused their campaigns on religious or ethnic appeals, and post-election conflicts could produce a communal bloodbath leading to the breakup of Iraq, or intensified US military operations.

Read on....

Thursday, December 15, 2005

9/11 Full WRH Index

A number of sites post links to 9/11 information. Here, too, are quite a few. Here's the new full index of 9/11 links from What Really Happened, added to the links here.

Those familiar with the evidence already know the importance of 9/11, for it is the 'reason' given for the onslaught against personal freedom at home via 'Homeland Security', in whatever form each country has it. The militarization of civil society is making us into a Police State, not only in the U.S., but also the U.K., Australia and in Europe as well. And, not least of all, 9/11 is the 'reason' given for the "War against Terror" in oil producing and other strategic countries. Both at home and abroad, pre-emptive military actions and wars are reducing the quality of life for all, and robbing many, many thousands of life and health itself.

Look through it, and other 9/11 links at Politics International (link at right), if you've an interest in 9/11 info

Israel may strike Iran

There's been quite a bit of talk about Iran being invaded by the U.S. or by proxy by Israel. The real issue at hand here is not Iran's development of nuclear weapons, of which there is no evidence, but that Iran plans to begin its own oil bourse in March 2006, and then selling oil in Euros instead of dollars. And that is a real threat to the U.S., the UK and, by proxy, Israel.

In other words, the U.S. does not believe in free trade, for Iran may do this under all laws and agreements. But then, it never has believed in free trade, and this explains the many military bases the U.S. has in almost 100 different countries.

British newspaper alleges Israel is planning a military strike on Iran

An article in the British-based Sunday Times last weekend provided details of Israeli military plans for a strike on Iranian uranium enrichment plants that would dramatically inflame tensions throughout the Middle East. According to the report, based on unnamed Israeli intelligence and military sources, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon recently ordered the country’s armed forces to be ready for an attack by the end of March.

The report comes in the context of repeated public threats against Iran by senior Israeli officials, and alarmist allegations that Iran is on the brink of producing nuclear weapons. As the Sunday Times noted, Sharon himself recently warned: “Israel—and not only Israel—cannot accept a nuclear Iran. We have the ability to deal with this and we’re making all the necessary preparations to be ready for such a situation.”

Read on....

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Diebold voting machines easily hacked.

Devastating hack proven - Leon County dumps Diebold

Wed. December 14, 2005: Due to contractual non-performance and security design issues, Leon County (Florida) supervisor of elections Ion Sancho has announced that he will never again use Diebold in an election. He has requested funds to replace the Diebold system from the county. On Tuesday, the most serious “hack” demonstration to date took place in Leon County. The Diebold machines succumbed quickly to alteration of the votes. This comes on the heels of the resignation of Diebold CEO Wally O'Dell, and the announcement that a stockholder's class action suit has been filed against Diebold by Scott & Scott. Further “hack” testing on additional vulnerabilities is tentatively scheduled before Christmas in the state of California.

Finnish security expert Harri Hursti, together with Black Box Voting, demonstrated that Diebold made misrepresentations to Secretaries of State across the nation when Diebold claimed votes could not be changed on the “memory card” (the credit-card-sized ballot box used by computerized voting machines.

Correct results should have been: Yes:2 ; No:6 However, just as Hursti had planned, the results tape read: Yes:7 ; No:1

Read on....

Katrina 3 months later: New Orleans left for dead

Watch what happens, here and elsewhere where Katrina hit, in the next months and years. Actions will speak volumes, words mean nothing.

An editorial last Sunday in the New York Times, headlined “Death of an American City,” begins, “We are about to lose New Orleans.” It goes on to state that “the moment is upon us when a major American city will die, leaving nothing but a few shells for tourists to visit like a museum.” Adding that this major American city “is in complete shambles”—and that the government plan for reconstruction is “a rudderless ship”—the Times states what is, in fact, a brutal reality.

he Times makes the correct point that without reassurances that the failed levee system will be reconstructed to protect the city against future deadly storms, residents and business owners will not be willing to make a commitment to return and rebuild their city and their lives. In fact, authorities have done nothing to provide any such guarantee, an ominous indication that New Orleans is being abandoned and left to die.


Many Katrina articles in "Katrina-Rita archives on one page" at my Politics International site under "links".

Americans: Buy Your Gas at Citgo

This may be the only ad you'll see me run; but I do it gladly this time.

Looking for an easy way to protest Bush foreign policy week after week? And an easy way to help alleviate global poverty? Buy your gasoline at Citgo stations. And tell your friends.

Of the top oil producing countries in the world, only one is a democracy with a president who was elected on a platform of using his nation's oil revenue to benefit the poor. The country is Venezuela. The President is Hugo Chavez. Call him "the Anti-Bush."

Citgo is a U.S. refining and marketing firm that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company. Money you pay to Citgo goes primarily to Venezuela -- not Saudi Arabia or the Middle East. There are 14,000 Citgo gas stations in the US.
(Click here to find one near you.) By buying your gasoline at Citgo, you are contributing to the billions of dollars that Venezuela's democratic government is using to provide health care, literacy and education, and subsidized food for the majority of Venezuelans.

Instead of using government to help the rich and the corporate, as Bush does, Chavez is using the resources and oil revenue of his government to help the poor in Venezuela.

Read on ....

Plane spotters scourge of CIA

How planespotters turned into the scourge of the CIA

Paul last saw the Gulfstream V about 18 months ago. He comes down to Glasgow airport's planespotters' club most days. He had not seen the plane before so he marked the serial number down in his book. At the time, he did not think there was anything unusual about the Gulfstream being ushered to a stand away from public view, one that could not be seen from the airport terminal or the club's prime view.

But that flight this week was at the centre of a transatlantic row that saw the prime minister being put on the spot on the floor of the House of Commons and the US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, forced on the defensive during a visit to Europe. The Gulfstream V has been identified as having been used by the CIA for "extraordinary renditions" - abducting terror suspects and taking them to secret prisons around the world where they may be tortured.

Article continues....

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Internet censorship is real, and it is here.

This article from Wayne Madsen is given even more credibility because it appears in Global, a highly regarded political news site, and a favorite of mine as well. Pay attention to this; it's real.

I've noticed this year, in searching for certain news photos on Google, that there was little to be seen, while I could find more on another photo search program, which strangely ceased functioning for me a few weeks back. I have no idea of why, either. While I have noticed for years now that much news to be found on internet sources had not been appearing in mainline US sources, but now there are some things happening on internet, as explained in this article. The AOL story broke in International Forecaster several weeks ago and it's dealt with here as well.

The numbers of people visiting my website have also fallen lately, too, as mentioned in this article; and I have no explanation for this. Perhaps now I do.

While September drew a lot of people with the Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the 9/11 anniversary, giving high numbers, and with a corresponding drop in October, there was another significant drop in November, something I cannot explain. It does not lay with the website. Yet, people coming to my website through Google searches for news have also dropped off correspondingly. But yet, Google searches for several photos at my site have brought the same or higher numbers than earlier months, so Google still knows where I am.

Interestingly, it is usually easier to get the same numbers of people to my newer Google Blogger site, which is a lite version of my larger politics weblog, than to my main site which has many, many links. And good links draw search engines as well as people. Yet it no longer makes a difference. Granted, the Blogger site is from Google, but has less to offer. So something is going on.

Oh yeah, see what happens when you click on the following link at the bottom of the article:

What did you get? Where do you live?

I got, so there was a re-direct for me, coming from outside the US. Did anyone get I did this twice, the second time in stealth mode, giving no info about my computer from my browser. Same result. So they got the info from my ISP. which is Dutch (now American owned).

I'm curious about that one.

Anyway, I think there is filtering going on on internet. And it's likely to get worse, not better.

Choking the Internet: How much longer will your favorite sites be on line?

Internet censorship. It did not happen overnight but slowly came to America's shores from testing grounds in China and the Middle East.

News reports on CIA prisoner flights and secret prisons are disappearing from Google and other search engines like Alltheweb as fast as they appear. Here now, gone tomorrow is the name of the game. Google is systematically failing to list and link to articles that contain explosive information about the Bush administration, the war in Iraq, Al Qaeda, and U.S. political scandals. But Google is not alone in working closely to stifle Internet discourse. America On Line, Microsoft, Yahoo and others are slowly turning the Internet into an information superhighway dominated by barricades, toll booths, off-ramps that lead to dead ends, choke points, and security checks.

Don't forget to click at the bottom of the article.

Read on ....

Reality and Spin in the Media

If you are aware of how news gets into the news, and how the present day's news system works, you will understand more of the news you get to see. While this article does not deal much with not reporting the news, nor of other ways of managing the news, it does deal with some parts that are not generally known, and is very informative. Worth the read.

In a wide-ranging interview, 'Wag the Dog' author Larry Beinhart describes how members of the news media censor stories -- even as they publish them.

Read on....

Monday, December 12, 2005

Death of an American City

We are about to lose New Orleans. Whether it is a conscious plan to let the city rot until no one is willing to move back or honest paralysis over difficult questions, the moment is upon us when a major American city will die, leaving nothing but a few shells for tourists to visit like a museum. We said this wouldn't happen. President Bush said it wouldn't happen. He stood in Jackson Square and said, "There is no way to imagine America without New Orleans." But it has been over three months since Hurricane Katrina struck and the city is in complete shambles.

There are many unanswered questions that will take years to work out, but one is make-or-break and needs to be dealt with immediately. It all boils down to the levee system. People will clear garbage, live in tents, work their fingers to the bone to reclaim homes and lives, but not if they don't believe they will be protected by more than patches to the same old system that failed during the deadly storm. Homeowners, businesses and insurance companies all need a commitment before they will stake their futures on the city. At this moment the reconstruction is a rudderless ship. There is no effective leadership that we can identify.

Maybe America does not want to rebuild New Orleans.

Read on...

Che Guevara Smacks Bush!

Evo Morales
Hugo Chavez
There's a new wave of political and economic inspiration and power developing, and the whole of Latin America is being influenced. Indeed, what the typical western countries have been claiming to be is what is beginning to happen to the South. And this is their answer to elite run economics and politics which benefit only the top elites, at the expense of those under them in their own countries, but also where they are internationally involved. While much of our attention has been focused on the Middle East of late, we would do well to pay attention to the South, where it is more often good news than bad.

Who knows? Maybe that will have some positive influence on the Western People, too.

American liberals don't pay much attention to those nations south of us, but we should. They are successful at just what we are trying to do. They are throwing out corrupt crypto-fascist or Neo-con leaders and replacing them with progressives. The US and Latin America actually have little in common beyond geography and the US's long history of aggression and domination. The US has sent troops to Latin America 87 times according to Instances of Use of Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2001 and other sources. We may never know how many times the US has interfered there covertly, how many assassinations we have paid for, how many governments we've toppled. But the tide is turning. The spirit of Che Guevara, the charismatic revolutionary leader who is still a hero and an inspiration to many Latin Americans, is gaining strength.

Read on ...

The real reason for invading Iraq, Iran

Not only in these times, but also in the past, wars were caused by economics, despite the 'reasons' given in the official accounts. It's not about democracy, nor military or terrorist threats as we hear today, nor 'communism' as in past decades. Never was, never will be. It's about economics; who rules economically, or who is an economic threat. That was the case with Iraq, and is now the case with Iran as well.

We are about to see a radical new type of weapon unveiled on the global stage. This weapon will not rely on explosive technology or flying aircraft. This weapon will not kill enemy troops. This weapon will not see one army invading the territory of another. No, instead this weapon will simply rely on supply and demand, the basic concepts that underpin Economics 101. This new weapon will be a financial weapon. In fact this weapon will be so powerful it will be able to inflict serious harm on the financial stability of an entire adversarial nation.

If you think the invasion of Iraq was about 9-11 and Al-Qaida then I urge you to think again.

So why then would the US, the world’s largest economic entity, undertake an invasion of Iraq to capture and remove leader Saddam Hussein? The answer is all about economics. More specifically, Currency. That’s right, Currency. You see, Saddam Hussein had developed a very serious, very viable plan to sell Oil from his country in exchange for Euros. Had he succeeded in putting this plan into action, the damage to the stature of the US Dollar as the global reserve currency would have been un-fixable.

Now, fast forward to December 2005. As I write this edition of the Meridian Report, there is a growing sense of deja-vu. This time, it is Iran that is causing problems. But, CNN will have you believe that Iran is causing nuclear problems by refusing to scale back its nuclear program. The real story is that by March 2006 Iran is threatening to have in place an entity called the Iranian Oil Bourse. Trading of Oil on this exchange will be denominated in – yes you guessed it – Euros.

Read further...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

New Orleans & the Finanical Elite

What is going on, or I should say not going on in New Orleans comes as no surprise to me. I have said this before and I’ll say it again; it is in the best interest of the financial elite in this nation to let New Orleans rot for a while.

This will create a situation where poor or I should say non-rich people, can not afford to keep their property. Then, the banks and financially well off (& the corporations), can acquire property at a fraction of its potential value.

Again we have another example of an “I told you so” coming true. Before Bush took office many people warned the rest that he would be a president for the corporations and the financial elite. Well…that was an understatement for sure! Wouldn’t you say?

Source (11 December)

A New Orleans Christmas Story

And FEMA is the GRINCH, but then a giant version, who stole not only Christmas, but the very lives and well being of many thousands of residents. One example of many follows.

Elderly 85-year-old New Orleans Woman Could Lose Her House Over FEMA's Lack of Assistance.

Clothilde Mack of Orleans Parrish provides a stark example of how levies probably were wired and detonated, leading to a catastrophe of racial cleansing and property takeover.

The nightmare in New Orleans isn't over by a long shot and the on-going tragedy of 85-year-old Clothilde Mack is a stark example of the misery still blowing in the wind after Hurricane Katrina. It is well-known Washington dragged its feet in responding to Katrina and FEMA's initial recovery efforts made the Keystone Cops look efficient.

In fact, FEMA is still causing more harm than good, according to many victims seeking relief. But it's Ms Mack's personal story that really gets to the heart of the government's folly concerning Katrina, highlighting in human terms - with facts and real human emotions - what's really going on behind the political curtain of silence draped over the Crescent City.

Although it's rarely questioned in the media, there's an awfully good chance the levies were blown up, the disaster response time pathetic and the recovery effort abysmal as a planned scheme in order to maximize damage, leading to racial cleansing and a gambling haven with Las Vegas like hotels and casinos.

Read the 2005 American version of "A Christmas Carol". . .

Condi's absurd claims

When Bill Clinton got involved in a personal dalliance with a woman, we heard no end of this from some people. He was even impeached. And for making love (loosely defined), not war. Contrast this with what the Bush administration has been doing - making war, not love - and the horrible results of this. And we hear not a word about it from the same people.

The absurdity of Condi Rice's claims about torture flights.

Why does the U.S. burn all that jet fuel flying detainees around the world from prison to prison? Are they being given sightseeing tours? Are they being sent tourist class with complimentary snacks and beverages? Why the maintenance of so many secret prisons? Why not just have a central prison for detainees of the so-called "War on Terror" in the U.S. and operate it like any other prison?

Read on...

Katrina Dead and Missing: Silence.

Do you remember Ray Nagin, New Orleans mayor, and others giving an estimate of "thousands....up to 10,000 dead" from hurricane Katrina? The only numbers of dead we heard after that was an amount with an update or two giving numbers in the hundreds. Nothing more. Nothing about the missing, to speak of.

How much about this have you heard? How many actually died? How many are actually still missing?

Contrast this with, for instance, the events of 9/11, which are a lot more unclear and controversial. Within days we knew how pretty much how many dead and missing. And we knew these numbers accurately within several weeks. While Katrina covered a much larger area and many more people were involved, how long do you think it should take to come up with a reasonably accurate and certain number of dead and missing?

Again, how much do you hear and read about this, 3 months later?

And again, how much do you hear about 9/11, 4 years and 3 months later?

And where was George Bush in both cases? And appropriate government agencies?

Does this raise the same questions with you that it does with me?

Friday, December 9th, 2005 How Many Are Missing and Dead After Katrina? Three Months After the Hurricane, the Numbers are Still Unknown

Questions still remain over how many people died after Hurricane Katrina as well as the whereabouts of all of the evacuees. The official death toll stands at about 1,300 but thousands of people are still reported missing. One newspaper reported the whereabouts of 6,600 people reported missing have not been determined. We speak with New Orleans evacuee Leah Hodges, who is still missing her brother, and Tina Susman, a Newsday reports the number of missing include over 1,300 children.

Officials with both groups say the numbers are so high in part because government record-keeping efforts haven't caught up with Katrina survivors who were separated from their families during the evacuations. Hurricane shelters had no coordinated system for feeding evacuees" names, birth dates and other information into a national database.

Democracy Now! report...