Wednesday, 22 December 2004

Questions About Dr. David Kelly's Violent Death

Dr David Kelly is the first British citizen whose sudden, unexpected and violent death has been denied an inquest. Three weeks after Dr Kelly's body was found, Lord Falconer ordered that the inquest into his death be adjourned indefinitely and subsumed into a public inquiry by invoking section 17a of the Coroner's Act 1988.

The section is designed to avoid duplication of inquiry in cases of multiple deaths where the cause of death can, to some extent, be assumed from the outset. But Dr Kelly's was a solitary death coming amid a political storm concerning doubts over the government's case for war with Iraq, and its cause required rigorous investigation. The Hutton inquiry had no power to call a jury, subpoena witnesses or cross-examine them under oath.

Disquiet expressed recently by paramedics over finding very little blood at the scene of Dr Kelly's death gives credence to our view that it is highly improbable Dr Kelly died of haemorrhage from a transected ulnar artery. From such a wound he would have lost only about a pint of blood, and for death to occur he would need to have lost some five pints. And co-proxamol levels in his blood were one-third of what is normally regarded as a fatal dose.

Full story...

The West Has Bloodied Hands

Margolis is one of the very few journalists left in the world entitled to use that term. The rest are whores and corrupt capitalist bitches, if you believe anything that comes out of their putrid, ignorant, lying mouths then you're an idiot.

by Eric Margolis

Who was the first high government official to authorize use of mustard gas against rebellious Kurdish tribesmen in Iraq?

If your answer was Saddam Hussein's cousin, the notorious "Chemical Ali" -- aka Ali Hassan al-Majid -- you're wrong.

The correct answer: Sainted Winston Churchill. As colonial secretary and secretary for war and air, he authorized the RAF in the 1920s to routinely use mustard gas against rebellious Kurdish tribesmen in Iraq and against Pashtun tribes on British India's northwest frontier.

Iraq's U.S.-installed regime has just announced al-Majid, one of Saddam's most brutal henchmen, will stand trial next week for war crimes.

Al-Majid is accused of ordering the 1988 gassing of Kurds at Halabja that killed over 5,000 civilians. He led the bloody suppression of Iraq's Shias, killing tens of thousands. These were the same Shias whom former U.S. president George Bush called to rebel against Saddam's regime, then sat back and did nothing while they were crushed.

The Halabja atrocity remains murky. The CIA's former Iraq desk chief claims Kurds who died at Halabja were killed by cyanide gas, not nerve gas, as is generally believed.

At the time, Iraq and Iran were locked in the ferocious last battles of their eight-year war. Halabja was caught between the two armies that were exchanging salvos of regular and chemical munitions. Only Iran had cyanide gas. If the CIA official is correct, the Kurds were accidentally killed by Iran, not Iraq.

Full story...

Monday, 20 December 2004

Britain has become a Kafkaesque nightmare

by Muriel Gray

We were taught at school that Franz Kafka’s The Trial was a dark satire on bureaucracy. No disrespect to the teacher in question, temporarily standing in for our regular grand dame of English who would never have made such an error, but The Trial is considerably more than that

In fact Kafka’s tale of Joseph K, a bank clerk charged with an unspecified crime, arrested and eventually executed without ever knowing the reason why, is one of the most chilling horror stories of the 20th century. But its horror lies not in the simple mocking of opaque, bureaucratic obstinacy, but in the nightmare vision of a society where morality and logic, the keystones that build civilisation, have been replaced by an authority exercising feckless whims and displaying insane, dangerous inconsistencies.

It’s not just Joseph K’s execution that horrifies, since injustice is commonplace in history, but also the fact that K, living in a dreamscape anarchy he has failed to notice, still believes in the rule of law, and refuses to accept that a power obeyed by public consensus could possibly make such an error. Hence Kafka’s vision still resonates with the atrocities around the globe, carried out by people simply because they can get away with it.

Kafka’s feverish bad dreams come readily to mind on reading the comments by Lord Scott, one of the law lords who last week ruled that the government’s 2001 legislation that permits indefinite detention of foreign terror suspects without trial or explanation is an atrocious breach of human rights. Lord Scott described the current regime, which permits the Home Secretary to lock up untried suspects for as long as it pleases him, as being “the stuff of nightmares, associated with France before and after the revolution, with soviet Russia in the Stalinist era, and now associated, as a result of section 23 of the 2001 Act, with the United Kingdom”.

Indeed. Well said. So now what happens? One might imagine the government, sufficiently shamed, will take immediate steps to repeal this disgusting and thoroughly uncivilised piece of legislation, and, in the process, make some attempt to explain themselves. Perhaps they could plead temporary insanity due to the horrors of September 11. What else could have possessed those claiming to fight the enemies of civilisation to have begun a process of dismantling the very justice and freedom upon which our own is based?

But no, the government has not issued an apology or excuse. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has pronounced the law lords to be “simply wrong”. In response to Lord Nicholls, who said that “indefinite imprisonment without charge or trial is anathema in any country which observes the rule of law”, Straw counters that the right to life is “the most important liberty” and that the government has a duty to protect people from terrorism.

Precisely what part of Lord Nicholls’s statement contradicts this in Jack’s confused mind is not made clear, but what is crystal clear is that the government’s intention is to try to expand the legislation from allowing them just to lock up Johnny Foreigner and throw away the key, to be able to do the same to British citizens they don’t much like the look of.

Even the Thatcher government, a motley crew who gave the impression of believing that liberty and justice should be available only to those who could afford it, managed to suffer the decades of Irish terrorism without recourse to imprisonment without trial.

The excuse that non-negotiating suicide bombers are quite a different matter from Irishmen who favour blowing people up from a comfortable distance is not good enough. Surveillance technology and international intelligence sharing has improved rapidly since the dark days of the troubles, and if the authorities can identify someone so accurately as being a threat that they require detention, then surely those individuals can be brought to trial with the evidence that makes the intelligence agencies believe this to be so?

Like the authority in The Trial, the Kafkaesque nightmare is that our government seems to be displaying signs not of irrationality, but of insanity. Nice guys one day, fascists the next. How are we supposed to negotiate our way through the terrifying contradictions that New Labour constantly presents us with? If a foreign country were to be guilty of imposing indefinite imprisonment without trial, we would at the very least be calling for sanctions and boycotts. That Tony and his chums can do this in our name, at the same time as trying to eradicate poverty and undo social injustices that were crushed under Conservative boots, is Pavlovian in the extreme.

It almost makes one nostalgic for the good old days of Thatcher, when at least we could be certain that the government was one big self-serving, greedy, duplicitous, immoral lump that required opposing at every turn. The difficulty now is that there are still good people in the Labour administration, struggling to make changes and improve lives, and yet they share the stage with a gaggle of sleazy, lying, undemocratic and dangerous, ulterior motive-driven sharks.

Since we now know that the Iraq war was not to save us from oblivion but instead to fulfil some self-interested Blair political agenda, we must also assume that neither ID cards nor detention without trial are to protect us either. Yet to remove Blair and his party from power will set back domestic politics at a time when we can least afford it, there being no current effective or viable opposition available to fill the void. The coup has to come from within. Surely those in the party who can see that Blair has gone quite mad, can find the impetus and means to remove him and his team of increasingly fiendish allies from power?

Of course it’s our own fault. Like Joseph K, we’ve been sleepwalking towards this for years, but when the Prime Minister and his Cabinet can choose to ignore and undermine the most senior law makers in the land, it’s difficult to imagine what effect the mere electorate can have on this gradual creep towards the loss of justice, liberty and plain decency.

Full story...

US troops gun down schoolgirl defending her honor

Iraqi Resistance Report

Students immediately knew something was very wrong when they showed up for class at the al-Bu Faraj Association of Girls’ Secondary Schools north of ar-Ramadi early Sunday (In Iraq, an Islamic country, schools have Friday off. Transator’s note.) Students in the fourth class of secondary school found their teachers in tears and noticed that the chair usually occupied by their classmate, Bushra, was empty. “Where is Bushra Khalid?” they all were asking.

It wasn’t five minutes before the girls were all in tears along with their teachers.

Eyewitnesses told the correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam that at 5:45am Sunday morning American troops stormed into Bushra’s home looking for her brother whom the US accuses of being a member of the Resistance. The brother was not home, but as American troops ransacked their living quarters, Bushra noticed one of the soldiers staring at her and smiling.

Bushra’s mother said the girl shuddered as she was convulsed with fear. The Americans intended to take her with them as a prisoner. Panicked, she ran out into the street where one of the soldiers shot and killed her.

The family began mourning right in that area. They raised white flags in commemoration of their daughter who died fighting for her honor. It is customary only to raise white flags over a martyr.

The Resistance responded quickly to this American outrage. After only 45 minutes they launched seventeen 120mm mortar rounds at the US checkpoint set up at the entrance to the American al-Warrar base in ar-Ramadi, killing at least 11 American invaders before the eyes and ears of the local people.

Iraqi Resistance forces, meanwhile, killed an American contractor profiteer in ar-Ramadi. They hung his body on one of the old buildings in the city that belongs to the Security Directorate in the city. The body was still hanging there at 3:10pm Sunday when the Mafkarat al-Islam correspondent filed his report, the Americans having been unable to get near it.

Full story...

Sharon the Con Man

Peace seems a very long way away this Christmas...

The Mountain and the Mouse

By Uri Avnery

Ariel Sharon's speech at the "Herzliya Conference", an annual gathering of Israel's financial, political and academic aristocracy, proved again his wondrous ability to conjure up an imaginary world and divert attention away from the real one. Like every successful con-man, he knows that the audience desperately wants to believe good tidings and will be happy to ignore bad ones.

It was an optimistic message, as the bewitched commentators proclaimed. According to him, we are on our way to paradise, 2005 will be a year of tremendous progress in all fields and all our problems will be solved.

Most of the speech was devoted to his fabulous achievements since he launched, at the same conference a year ago, the "Unilateral Disengagement Plan".

This (in my own free translation) is what he said: America is in our pocket. President Bush supports all of Sharon's positions, including those that are diametrically opposed to Bush's own former positions. Europe has resigned itself to him. The Great of the World are standing in line to visit us, starting with Tony Blair. Egypt and the other Arab states are cosying up to us. Our international position has improved beyond recognition. The economy is advancing by leaps and bounds, our society is flourishing. Apart from the right-wing lunatic fringe, there is no opposition left. The Labor Party is joining the government and will support all its steps. (He somehow forgot to mention Yossi Beilin's Yahad party, which, too, has promised him an "iron bridge".)

Sharon has achieved all this solely by talking. His words have not been accompanied, up to now, by even one single action on the ground. There is no certainty that Sharon really intends to implement the "disengagement" at all. His intentions can be defined as follows:

* If it is possible to avoid the implementation of the plan altogether, especially the evacuation of settlements, without losing the sympathy of the world and the Israeli public, fine.

* If there is no alternative and implementation must start - everything must be done to drag out the matter, and especially the evacuation of settlements, for as long as possible. Evacuate one settlement and rest. Evacuate another one and rest again. It should take years.

* Either way, the disengagement should not change the plans concerning the West Bank.

And in the meantime: In the Gaza Strip, from which Sharon is supposed to "disengage", the Israeli army is in action every single day and night, killing from three to ten Palestinians every 24 hours. Houses are being destroyed wholesale. Some of the atrocities committed by the army have shocked the Israeli public. Not one single settler has been removed. On the contrary, new settlers have still been arriving.

All this does not point to any real determination to implement the promised disengagement. Sharon's actions on the West Bank, on the other hand, show a solid determination to implement his plan there.

In the West Bank, the occupation has intensified . The cruel checkpoints continue to prevent any possibility of normal life. The photo showing a Palestinian violinist compelled to play for the soldiers at a roadblock has evoked terrible memories in the minds of many Israelis. The building of the annexation-wall goes on, with a few changes of the route to placate the Israeli court, while disregarding the decision of the International Court. The settlers uproot Palestinian olive groves in order to build new neighborhoods in their place. Settlements are being expanded all over the West Bank, a network of "Jews Only" roads is being built, more "illegal" outposts come into being under army protection and with the tacit help of all relevant ministries. Plenty of money flows into these projects, while pensions are being cut and sick people lie around in the corridors of the hospitals.

Is this how a statesman with a vision of peace acts? He behaves more like a doctor who treats the hand of a patient while sticking a knife into his belly.

All this is happening while the world gives Sharon enthusiastic support, solely on the strength of his talking. As long as he holds forth on the "disengagement", he can pretty much do on the ground whatever he fancies.

David Ben-Gurion once said: "It is not important what the Gentiles say, what is important is what the Jews do." Sharon's version is: "It is not important what we say, what is important is what we do."

The most important part of the speech was the part that was not there. There was no peace offer to the Palestinians. He did not talk about peace at all.

Throughout the world, the conviction is spreading that there now exists a "window of opportunity", that this is the time for a new, redeeming peace initiative. Indeed, Sharon mentioned with great satisfaction that Yasser Arafat is dead and that there is now a chance for the emergence of a "moderate Palestinian leadership". So what did he offer this moderate leadership in his speech?

Not a thing.

Full story...

Thursday, 16 December 2004

Rampant Insider Selling Raises Red Flags

AP Reports Major Corporate Execs, Including Some From the Homebuilding Industry Are Dumping Stocks - Serious Predictor of a Coming Crash

Special Commentary by Michael C. Ruppert

In 2000 and 2002, as the US financial markets tanked, investors lost trillions of dollars in equity as stock prices plunged and investment portfolios - many connected to pension funds - lost trillions of dollars in value. What was documented in both cases was that senior executives at many of the twenty or more companies involved (WorldCom, Enron, Adelphia, Merck, Global Crossing, to name a few) had engaged in a tactic called "pump and dump" just before the stock prices collapsed. Stock prices are pumped up by the executives and key insiders who then sell at the peak before everyone else gets reamed.

In a pump and dump operation, those who can influence stock prices issue glowing reports which cause investors to put their hard-earned dollars into a stock right before it collapses. This is a wealth transfer from poor or middle class folks to the absurdly wealthy. Immediately prior to the stock's collapse, the guys on top cash out and then the price plummets. The bad guys have the cash and the little investors and pension funds have nearly worthless or severely devalued paper.

This AP story is especially alarming for a number of reasons.

In light of FTW's recent (third-ever) economic alert, a number of very credible warnings from financial experts and the continuing intentional devaluation of the dollar, this is especially ominous. It is made more so by the fact that one of the nation's leading homebuilders is dumping stock hand over fist. This does not bode well for the housing bubble.

A critical distinction needs to be made however. Insider trading and insider selling are two different things.

Insider trading is a criminal activity in which a person with advance knowledge, acquired through inside involvement with economic or business events, violates his or her fiduciary and/or legal obligations for the sake of personal profit. This is what happened before 9/11 on markets from Hong Kong, to Tokyo, to Chicago, to New York, London and Berlin. This is what Martha Stewart was sent to jail for. As described in Crossing The Rubicon, right after 9/11 the SEC issued (then quickly suppressed) a list of 38 companies where it suspected that persons with inside knowledge of the attacks knew that the stock of these companies would be adversely affected by the attacks. They thereby made undisclosed billions in profit after betting that the share prices would fall.

Insider selling is a relatively tightly-policed area of stock trading where those employed at senior levels of publicly traded companies start divesting themselves of stock they own in their own companies. Insider trading is always a criminal activity. Insider selling may or may not be, which is why the SEC watches and reports on it fairly closely. Disclosure of insider selling is required by law and executives who sell stock in their own companies are required to report it for the benefit of shareholders and other investors. It is these required reports which prompted this AP wire story.

Given the fact that this pattern was evident just before each of the last two major financial slumps, this is a very ominous warning indeed. The Wall Street executives dumping their stocks are still trying to get small investors and pension funds to buy in when they know that a crash is coming. FTW strongly recommends to its subscribers that they take a look at any 401(k) plans or pension funds to which they belong and consider making immediate shifts out of stocks and into precious metals. For those lucky enough to have such assets, a consensus is emerging that now is a good time to have at least half of one's portfolio in precious metals.

We cannot make these warnings any clearer. - MCR

Talk about a double standard. While corporate leaders tout the benefits of investors owning their stocks, many executives seem to be running for the doors themselves.

Selling of shares by insiders - which includes executives and other top officers and directors at a company - has been rampant in recent months, with sales rising to their highest level in more than four years in November.

While no one can pinpoint an exact reason for that run-up, the implication is troubling since big insider selling is often considered bearish for the overall market as well as for individual stocks.

Of course, not all insider selling should be construed as a bad sign. Some stock sales may just be routine or may be executives wanting to free up money to cover personal expenses or to help pay the taxes on shares they buy after exercising options. And in some sectors, namely technology, stock compensation is often the bulk of executive pay, so they sell their stock for income.

In addition, November has historically been a busy time for insider selling. That's because it comes after most companies have reported their third-quarter earnings and restrictions for selling have been lifted. In addition, some executives sell in November for tax purposes.

Still, insider-trading trackers at Thomson Financial say the recent selling bonanza is "particularly noteworthy."

Some $6.6 billion in insider stock sales took place last month, the highest level since the $7.7 billion in sales tallied in August 2000, according to Thomson. Contrast that with the $144 million worth of stock that was bought by insiders last month.

The most selling came from in the financial sector, where executives sold $882 million of their own stock in November, and health care companies, whose insiders sold $734 million worth of shares. Selling in both sectors was double the five-year monthly average, according to Thomson.

On a company-specific basis, consider what has gone on at networking company Avocent Corp., where company statements seem to contradict insiders' actions. On Nov. 1, the company announced a buyback plan for up to two million shares and said in a news released that the purchase of the stock "represents a solid investment for our shareholders."

Apparently, the company's insiders seemed to have ignored that memo. In the month following the announcement, they sold 578,565 shares out of an aggregate of 645,756 insider shares sold during the last 12 months, according to Vickers Weekly Insider, a newsletter that tracks trading by company executives.

There was no buying during that time period.

Full story...

Wednesday, 15 December 2004

How and Why Woolsey and Clinton Saved the CIA

by Trowbridge H. Ford

Part IX

Former Salisbury police officer L. C. Underwood's indictment by the State of North Carolina for the murder of Viktor Gunnarsson, the leading suspect in the shooting of statsminister Olof Palme a decade earlier, in October 1995, and my indictment of the CIA in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy at the same time, though entirely of different natures, directions, and importance, strangely put us in similar situations when it came to America's covert government, especially the Agency. While Underwood was being set up to be imprisoned for the murders of Gunnarsson, and the mother of a former girl friend, Mrs. Catherine Miller - I was being increasingly poisoned by tiny quantities of ricin in food I ate regularly at the Thai restaurant in Caldas da Rainha, Portugal. Neither of us suspected that friends, acquaintances, and professional people we knew were actively involved in helping the federal government use us in deadly ways which only suited its interests.

Of course, by this time, Woolsey was no longer DCI, his having voluntarily resigned after he superficially covered up the spying by Aldrich 'Rick' Ames for the Soviets the previous December. To keep the process going - since the Republicans had captured control of the House in the November elections, and the DCI was already having trouble with the Democrats in the Senate, especially Senator Dennis DeConcini, Woolsey, a Democrat, decided that it was best for the Agency if he left. His shrill efforts to sell the Agency to potential Senate supporters, Rhodri Jeffrey-Jones has written in Cloak and Dollar: A History of American Secret Intelligence, were already backfiring. (p. 262)

Woolsey was ultimately replaced by a hand-picked clone in the federal government, Deputy Secretary of Defense John M. Deutch. President Clinton had wanted Deutch all along because he had image of an outsider, hell-bent on radical reform of the Agency - another James R. Schlesinger who had radically downsized the Operations Directorate in the wake of Watergate - but Deutch just wanted more covert experience added to his academic CV rather than serious reform. While Deutch was added to the President's Cabinet - recognition which had only been granted to 'Wild Bill' Casey during the Reagan administration - it was a totally symbolic reward as Clinton always conducted serious business in the Oval Office with his cronies.

To head off any serious change at Langley, Clinton appointed the Commission on the Roles and Capabilities of the United States Intelligence Community, headed by just retired SOD Les Aspin, and when he died suddenly three months later, he was followed by former SOD under Carter, Harold Brown. While the commission made its inquiries, and wrote up its ambitious report, DCI Deutch volunteered to the press that the Agency was expanding its role in countering terrorism by conducting covert operations wherever they were required, and against anyone from practitioners of genocide to drug traffickers. At the same time, Deutch promised a more transparent Agency which would be much more forthcoming with information about its operation than ever before - what turned out to be just another "snow job", according to distinguished historian of the Vietnam War, George C. Herring.

Behind the scenes, the Agency continued to engage in damage-control caused by the Ames spying scandal, though the reprimanded officers of the Operations Directorate who had stayed at their posts, DDO Hugh E. 'Ted' Price and his assistant, Thomas Tweeten, had by then even retired. The new DDO, of all people, was Jack Devine, a deputy chief of station in Rome, when Ames's spying became most apparent. Devine had been more interested in fighting his chiefs, Alan D. Wolfe and John 'Jack' Gower, rather than getting to the bottom of Ames's bad job performance, and extravagant expenditures, though a female ops officer colleague of his had constantly complained of his drunkenness on duty. Devine brushed off her complaints (David Wise, Nightmover, p. 309), and supported Ames's claim that he had made huge sums on the market through his broker to afford purchasing things like a Jaguar when another colleague complained. (p. 158)

Devine was fortunate not be be reprimanded when both Wolfe and Gower were, as Wise explained: "Clearly, the Rome station was not interested in disciplining Aldrich Ames. So Woolsey reprimanded Gower, since he had been the number two man in the station. But the chief of station, Alan Wolfe, had retired. Woolsey could have fired Gower for failing to crack down on Ames, but Wolfe, Gower's boss, was beyond reach. Woolsey contented himself with sending both Gower and Wolfe letters of reprimand." (p. 309) How Devine, who held Gower's post when Ames's performance was at its worst, escaped at least a reprimand in all this is mistifying. How he went on to become DDO can only be explained in terms of the old-boys' network rewarding their own.

By the time Deutch was confirmed in July, the new DCI, thanks to imput from his new DD George Tenet, would have none of this getting back at his old friend, Woolsey. Tenet, who had served as Staff Director of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and then as Clinton's intelligence adviser, knew that there were far more pressing domestic matters which had to be fixed, starting with solving the Gunnarsson murder. Tenet was a clone of former DCI Robert Gates, and a protégé of former DCI Richard Helms. Tenet's colleague on the NSC was Jennone Walker, the CIA station chief in Stockholm when Gunnarsson, among others, was set up as a fall guy for statsminister Olof Palme's assassination. Deutch made sure about getting out the message by making Jeffrey H. Smith, who was Tenet's successor at the Senate Intelligence Committee, and who Woolsey appointed to head a panel of the Joint Security Commission to fix the Agency's problems in the wake of the Ames scandal, as his general counsel.

Deutch immediately replaced Devine by David Cohen as DDO. Cohen was a gung-ho domestic operative who so wanted to take advantage of the assests he had that he combined the domestic and foreign assets divisions into a National Resources Division. This division, which had a number of field stations around the country, could take advantage of the law enforcement hiatus with existed between the Agency and the Bureau in cases which concerned foreign nationals - defectors, foreigners suspected of engaging in criminal activity, and foreign embassy people thought to be engaged in spying. The division was only prevented from spying on American citizens and corporations because of the Agency's excesses in the events leading up to Watergate.

Still, the domestic asset division got Jim Marrs to fabricate evidence for his book Crossfire that I, an American citizen, was still trying to discredit former President Richard Nixon - Marrs claiming that he had had phone conversations with me during the early 1980s in which I confessed that I was maintaining the credibility of a forged FBI memo on the matter which I knew to be untrue. (For more on this, see "Confessions of an American Exile" in the Trowbridge Archive.) Marrs waited to publish the book until the end of the decade in the hope that in my taking leave of the country, I would miss its setting me up for murder.

Then, the foreign asset division pursued me in Portugal through the activities of Georgia high school teacher Randall Lynn attempting to find out the state of my research into the JFK assassination, especially my ideas about Jim Garrison's investigation of it - a matter so dangerous that when I pursued the American Embassy about the Agency's illegal activites against me, Vice Consul (a position traditionally held by a CIA agent) Michael D. Thomas felt obliged in a March 24, 1995 letter to write that ..."there is no agency of the United States Government government engaged in illegal activities against you." Of course, by this time, the Portuguese Intelligence Service was handling the dirty work - seeing that I was being poisoned as an American renegade, seeking to assist any enemy of Washington's.

Underwood in North Carolina had similar experiences with the domestic and foreign asset divisions, though he, like me, had no idea about what was happening. His indictment in October 1995 for Gunnarsson's murder came as a bolt out of the blue as Keller had assured him that he had nothing to fear from the Swede's shooting, and was claiming now to police about Underwood's alleged activities which related more to the killing of Mrs. Miller, the mother of his former girl friend, Kay Weden - what Keller's former girl friend, Cherlyn Lasham Mack, destroyed in a statement to police on October 24, 1995.

Right after Underwood's arrest, Keller testified that the former Salisbury police officer, in a most agitated state, demanded the return of his .38 caliber revolver in Mack's presence - what she had witnessed him receiving earlier - and in return Underwood paid him $500. It was shortly after this that Mrs. Miller was murdered by a weapon of this description. Ms. Mack testified that she never witnessed any such exchanges of a weapon, and that the money was a loan Keller requested in order to buy Christmas presents. (10/24/1995 statement, p. 1, paragraph 3)

As the Agency's foreign asset division was now concentrating on getting me, its domestic asset division was now seeking Underwood's conviction for the murder of Gunnarsson, relying upon the state's judicial precedent that a murder committed in the same time frame, by a similar weapon, and by the same apparent suspect would be admissible - would have probative value - in the trial of another killing. In short, the state was working on the assumption that if it could show that Underwood might well have murdered Mrs. Miller, he could also have killed Gunnarsson shortly before. How this could establish guilt in either case beyond a reasonable doubt still remained to be established.

The team that Cohen put together at the Operations Division indicated quite clearly that it was to continue the agenda that the domestic assets division had been pursuing up until then - the elimination of the Gunnarsson problem. The Swede had provided all the necessary conditions for it to get involved in his activities, murder, and the set up of Underwood for the killing. Gunnarson was a foreigner who could be considered a defector, a foreign terrorist taking advantage of American security, or an alien engaging in drug trafficking. After all, he had been identified in Börje Wingren's Han Sköt Olof Palme as the statsminister's assassin - what apparently the domestic services division had used to have Rex Allen Keller, Jr. kill him on December 3, 1993. Keller's drug dealing from his store - what Underwood tried unsuccessfully to catch him engaged in (Ltr. to author, dated November 22, 2004) - would undoubtedly put him in contact with the high-flying, drug-pusher Gunnarsson.

Cohen put together a team at the Operations Division which showed that it was to put a lid on the Ames scandal at Underwood's expense. New new ADDO was General David Barrato who was formerly the operations director of the domestic services division - what Keller was alluding to in his letter to Underwood about who killed Gunnarsson and why just before his release from the federal pentitentiary. The new ADDO for intelligence operations was David Edger, the former deputy director of the Counternarcotics Center who was so involved in determining whether his subordinate Ames or the Leningrad station chief when Palme was assassinated Freddie Woodruff was the Agency's Soviet mole. (David Wise, Nightmover, p.232ff.) The DO's new counterintelligence chief was Paul Redmond, Jr., the former head of the molehunt, who was to keep the lid on covert operations justified by such analysis.

The shakeup at the DO was so drastic that Jack Downing, the veteran operator in Moscow, and Beijing, resigned in protest, only to be returned as DDO by then DCI Tenet in July 1997 after Cohen had moved on after the Gunnarsson problem had been solved. Downing was also upset by Nora Slatkin, a former congressional intelligence committee staffer, and an assistant of Deutch's while at the Pentagon, becoming the new Executive Director. She had the responsibility of actually disciplining the agents Woolsey had reprimanded for failing to catch Ames's spying earlier, and refused to authorize almost all the covert operations that operators requested

Devine was then sent to London to coordinate the Anglo-Anerican response to the appearance of Christopher Andrew's For the President's Eyes Only: Secret Intelligence and the American Presidency from Washington to Bush which had just been published. Andrew was particularly concerned about how his use of intelligence sources in Washington and London to explain the most controversial actions by the Kennedy, Nixon, and Reagan administrations would be viewed by the public.

The first directive Deutch and Slatkin issued prohibited case officers from using pnentration agents who were not good people - individuals who did not have clean human rights records. In light of the CIA's recent intelligence failures - the suicide attack of the USS Cole in Aden, the bombings of the Embassies in East Africa, and, of course, 9/11 - critics have been quick to blame this directive for them. The complaint being that only penetration agents with bad human rights records are likely to infiltrate Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

The directive, though, was not intended for dealing with the future but cleaning up the past, and preventing a recurrence of the Palme problem. Like Reagan's May 12, 1986 executive order rescinding the 1985 "license to kill" after the assassination in Stockholm, a public relations effort, as William Blum has shown in Rogue State, which didn't change policy (p. 41), the directive was making it seem that the Agency was no longer to use agents like Felipe Vidal Santiago aka Charles Morgan, the notorious drug trafficker and hit man, who had tried to recruit Gunnarsson and Jovan on Birchan to kill the statsminister. "A public advocate of international terrorism against pro-Castro targets," Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall have written in Cocaine Politics, "Vidal has reportedly been arrested at least seven times in Miami on narcotics and weapons charges." (p. 17) Vidal was the leading suspect in more murders, and attempted murders surrounding the Iran-Contra scandal than anyone else.

My indictment of the Agency for carrying out many illegal domestic operations, headed by the plot to asssassinate President Kennedy, coincided precisely with the Operations Directorate's policy of expanding covert operations, especially against domestic opponents. The same day - September 12, 1995 - I sent my letter to an acquaintance well-connected in Caldas da Rainha, Portugal to the CIA, bitterly complaining of secret government's growing attempts to end speculation about its murderous plotting, DCI Deutch was outlining DDO Cohen's program at a Washington press conference. It was a call to battle stations against anyone who would leak its worst secrets.

I naively fell again within its sights by writing a scathing critique of Ernest May's review in The Times Literary Supplement of Andrew's history of the CIA - what I also noted as an example of a close colleague assessing the work of another, a practice the same issue only noted was condemned in principle by the Director of the Institute of Historical Research. Andrew's book, I claimed, was essentially an official history of the Agency, especially thanks to help supplied by former DCI Helms, which tarred former Presidents, particularly JFK and Nixon, to its benefit. May is a Harvard professor who helped provide Andrew with a visiting professorship in the spring of 1992 during which he wrote the outline for the book.

Normally, since my critique was not published, it would not be worthy of mention, especially in an article of this nature, if I had not sent a copy of it to Andrew at his Cambridge University address. While he, of course, made no acknowledgement of even having received it, I then sent the outline of the book I proposed to write to the publisher Frank Cass, hoping that an article that I had given at a legal history conference, and was printed in a volume it published might interest it in my proposal. After an inordinate length of time considering it, the publisher declined. It was only later that I learned that Andrew was the editor of its magazine on intelligence, and that he had undoubtedly been responsible for rejecting it.

Then I wrote a critical response to an article that Max Holland wrote for the November 1995 issue of American Heritage, "The Key to the Warren Report," little realizing that it too would be of interest to Cohen's Operations Directorate. Holland's piece was a most silly one, claiming that the failure of the public to believe the Report was because of little white-lies that the intelligence services had engaged in to protect alleged national security interests during Kennedy's killing - like how those about the high-tech balloons found 40 years before in Roswell, New Mexico had spawned all kinds of conspiracy theories about a secret but most straightforward matter. I suggested a dozen leads about the Dallas assassination which, if investigated seriously, could lead to solving the conspiracy in a similar length of time.

I then send my critique, along with the following letter, to the Senate Select Committte on Inteligence whose head was Oklahoma Senator David Boren, close friend and mentor of DD George Tenet:

Dear Sirs,

Congressional hand-wringing over the performance of the Central Intelligence Agency in the Rick Ames affair is the hight of hypocrisy, and you know it. Since its inception, you have given it unlimited resources to do what it wants, and it has done so. Passage of its demands for funds has been a foregone conclusion. Consequently, it has become a state within a state, and the few times the Congress has had to review some of its most terrible acts, it has struck its head in the sand, and gone along.

The events which most readily come to mind are those surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Instead of investigating the government-led conspiracy which did it, and covered it up, you just looked the other way. When it came time for the leading conspirator, Richard Helms, to be rewarded by being promoted DCI, you eagerly went along. When the House finally got a chance to review the findings of the Warren Coomission that Lee Harvey Oswald alone did it, all it could add was that he might have had the help of the Mafia. This performance by a legislature is on the par of a communist-dominated one where an executive simply dictates what is done, and how it is explained to be people.

If you have any integrity left, you will review its whole history, an inquiry which, I believe, must result in a vast change in its organization, functioning, control, and accountability. Your inquiry should center on how Peter Wright, "The Fifth Man in MI5," took over American intelligence, first the FBI with things like the Venona program, and then the CIA with assassination plots and counter-insurgency plans, what he had tried to carry out for Soviet benefit in Egypt and Cyprus. Wright was "Elli", the leading spy who informed the Soviets of the atomic bomb program and persuaded Stalin to undertake a crash program to develop his own. At CIA, Wright competely took over people like Helms, Bissell, Harvey, and Angleton, making the Agency the laughing-stock of the KGB.

To determine this, one does not need to go through Soviet files. One only has to read Spycatcher. Here, we see Wright not only making monkeys of the people at Langley, but also British intelligence. The betrayal of Goleniewski and the unnecessary destruction of Gordon Lonsdale, while Wright was charging that everyone else possible was the mole, leave no doubt about his identity at MI5. At CIA, Wright completely took over, thanks to Helms and Bissell (See p. 146ff., especially p. 154.), and the results were the assassination plots, the Bay of Pigs fiasco, and the President's murder. And Oswald was the first recruit, as one would expect from a committed anti-communist working in the U-2 program in the Far East. He went to the Soviet Union, with all the help the Agency could amass, to assassinate Soviet leaders, and when this failed, he returned to the States to join Operation Little Egypt, the assassination program against Castro, named, in honor of Wright, for the British plan to assassinate Nasser. This is a rogue CIA which Helms in constantly lying about, claiming that the Kennedys authorized, and making Oswald the scapegoat of when things went so terribly wrong in Dallas.- Operation Cleopatra. (Operation Twist Board was the one to make it look as if Oswald, Lopez, and the people Garrison talks about were working for Castro.)

To give you a better idea of what I mean, I am enclosing a slightly-changed letter I just wrote to American Heritage about the latest article to cover-up the tragedy. If you want more information, I am happy to oblige.

Sincerely yours,
Trowbridge H. Ford

Of course, I never heard from the committee in any way, but the Operations Division started gearing up in a more serious way to stop my whistle-blowing on the Agency, especially Helms. To make my sudden death seem either an accident, or the result of some embittered supporter of the CIA and Nixon if it looked suspicious, Jim DiEugenio put together a free, extra issue of Probe magazine for the holidays in which I was singled out as the disgruntled intelligence agent who tried, most falsely to destroy the former President. (For more on this, see "Confessions of an American Exile" in the Trowbridge Archive.) To back up DiEugenio's Chairman's Letter to the deceased President for my behavior, Lisa Pease provided the shortest articles to prove that the WP's Bob Woodward was apparently covering-up for me with his fraudulent claims about his reporting the scandal, his meetings with "Deep Throat", and the like.

It was in February 1996 that I experienced the near-fatal attack of ricin poisoning while driving to Spain in the mountains of Central Portugal. If I had not had the cardiovascular system of a kid, as my doctor in Sweden explained after the attacks had finally stopped, I believe I would have died then, and there.

While I was experiencing these increasing physical attacks, Underwood was being subjected to all kinds of criminal claims from mainly unknown sources which forced him to become a private detective if he hoped to escape being put away for life in a different way.

Evidence Begins To Indicate Gary Webb Was Murdered

As it turns out this was a suicide, rumours fly around the internet too fast, for a really good obit, click here.

Webb Spoke Of Death Threats, 'Government People' Around His Home

Credible sources who were close to Gary Webb have stated that he was receiving death threats, being regularly followed, and that he was concerned about strange individuals who were seen on multiple occasions breaking into and leaving his house before his apparent 'suicide' on Friday morning.

Webb, a Pullitzer prize winning journalist, exposed CIA drug trafficking operations in a series of books and reports for the San Jose Mercury News. He was found dead on Friday morning in what the police said was an apparent suicide.

Webb's 1996 series in the Mercury News alleged that Nicaraguan drug traffickers had sold tons of crack cocaine in Los Angeles and funneled millions of dollars in profits to the CIA-supported Nicaraguan Contras during the 1980s.

Today's Alex Jones Show, aired on the GCN radio network featured interviews with Chico Brown and Cele Castillo. Castillo is author of "Powder Burns", Cocaine, Contras & The Drug Connection. A retired DEA agent, Castillo personally witnessed CIA drug smuggling operations. Chico Brown, was former business parter and co-defendent with 'Freeway' Ricky Ross, the biggest drug dealer on the west coast supplied by the CIA.

Ricky Ross, one of Gary Webb's primary sources had spoken to Gary in the days before his death. Gary told Ricky that he had seen men scaling down the pipes outside his home and that they were obviously not burglars but 'government people'. Gary also told Ricky that he had been receiving death threats and was being regularly followed. It was also mentioned that Gary was working on a new story concerning the CIA and drug trafficking.

Full story...

Monday, 13 December 2004

Kelly 'could not have died' from knife wound, paramedics claim

Nothing to see here people, move along.

Police have rejected calls to re-open the inquiry into the death of Dr David Kelly, the government weapons expert, after two paramedics who found him at the scene of his death said he could not have died from self-inflicted knife wounds.

Dave Bartlett and Vanessa Hunt, both ambulance workers, yesterday spoke out for the first time since the Hutton Inquiry, which concluded that Dr Kelly had committed suicide and died of wounds to the ulnar artery in his left wrist.

The paramedics disputed the findings of the investigation, claiming there was not enough blood at the scene to merit the official conclusions.

They had raised the same concerns while giving evidence to the inquiry last year.

Dr Kelly was found dead in July 2003 shortly after being named as the source of a BBC story which claimed that the government had "sexed-up" a dossier on Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction.

His body was discovered at Harrowdown Hill woods, Oxfordshire, prompting the government to appoint Lord Hutton to conduct an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the scientist’s death.

In his report, published in January this year, Lord Hutton concluded that Dr Kelly, 59, had killed himself by cutting his left wrist after taking co-proxamol painkillers, adding that there was no evidence whatsoever that any third party had been involved.

But Ms Hunt, a paramedic with more than ten years’ experience, said yesterday that shortly after arriving at the scene of Dr Kelly’s death she concluded he had not died by slashing his wrists.

She said: "I just think it is incredibly unlikely that he died from the wrist wound we saw. There just wasn’t a lot of blood. When someone cuts an artery, whether accidentally or intentionally, the blood pumps everywhere."

She added: "When we arrived on the scene there was no gaping wound, there wasn’t a puddle of blood around. There was a little bit of blood on the nettles to the left of his left arm. But there was no real blood on the body of the shirt.

"If you manage to cut a wrist and catch an artery you would get a spraying of blood, regardless of whether it’s an accident. Because of the nature of an arterial cut, you get a pumping action. I would certainly expect a lot more blood on his clothing, on his shirt.

"If you choose to cut your wrists, you don’t worry about getting blood on your clothes. I didn’t see any blood on his right hand. If he used his right hand to cut his wrist, you would expect some spray," the paramedic said.

Ms Hunt’s claims were backed yesterday by a number of prominent experts, including Dr Bill McQuillan, a former consultant at Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary, who for 20 years has dealt with hundreds of wrist accidents.

"I have never seen one death resulting from cutting an ulnar artery," Dr McQuillan said. "I can’t see how he would lose more than a pint of blood by cutting the ulnar."

Full story...

Friday, 10 December 2004

All hail to Caligula's horse

And you thought the first Bush term was bad...

Bush's new head of homeland security is perfect for the job

In the legend of the war on terrorism, Bernard Kerik, with his trademark shaven head, bristling moustache and black belt in karate, occupies a special place as rough and ready hero. Having risen from military policeman to narcotics detective to New York City police commissioner, he finds himself on 9/11 shoulder to shoulder with Mayor Rudy Giuliani. As the towers crumble the mayor confides in his buddy: "Bernie, thank God George Bush is president."

After the invasion of Iraq, Bush assigns Kerik to train the new Iraqi security forces. Mission accomplished, he returns to Giuliani Partners and becomes motivational speaker to captains of industry, his net worth skyrocketing. One of his most notable aphorisms: "Political criticism is our enemies' best friend." Kerik, the decorated detective, leads an investigation into the safety of cheaper Canadian prescription drugs and accompanies Giuliani before the Senate subcommittee on investigations where he testifies on their danger. (Kerik and Giuliani are rewarded handsomely by their client, the US pharmaceutical drug lobby.)

After John Kerry closes the gap in the presidential debates, Kerik rushes to the rescue, ominously warning of terrorist attacks, "If you put Senator Kerry in the White House, I think you are going to see that happen." Finally, Bush announces Bernard Kerik as the new secretary of homeland security.

The department of homeland security is a bureaucratic Byzantium consisting of 22 agencies with a huge budget exceeding $40bn. Bernard Kerik's appointment was suggested to Bush by Giuliani. With this favour, Kerik's meteoric career has reached its zenith. The high school dropout Kerik fathered an illegitimate daughter in Korea, whom he refused to acknowledge and support. He became a bodyguard for Saudi royals and then a New York narcotics cop. In 1993, he was tapped as Giuliani's chauffeur and bodyguard.

Giuliani made Kerik deputy police commissioner and chief of the corrections department. One million dollars in taxpayers' money used to buy tobacco for inmates disappeared into a private foundation run by Kerik without any accounting. In 2000, Giuliani leapfrogged Kerik over many more qualified candidates to appoint him police commissioner.

Kerik spent much of his time after 9/11 writing a self-promoting autobiography, The Lost Son. The city's conflict of interest board eventually fined him $2,500 for using three policemen to conduct his research.

Full story...

Tuesday, 7 December 2004

The Indelible Evil of this War

Ernest Partridge
Co-Editor, "The Crisis Papers."
December 7, 2005

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity...

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
W. B. Yeats

Like Shakespeare’s Brutus, I am sick of many griefs.

An incurious, narcissistic psychopath sits in the Oval Office – an office he did not legitimately win four years ago – an office that he may have seized last month through massive, many-faceted electoral manipulation and fraud.

Forty million of our citizens are without health insurance, one out of six American children live in poverty, uncounted millions are out of work as still more jobs are exported overseas. The median family income declines as the nation’s wealth continues to “percolate up” from the pockets of the needy and the productive middle class to the wealthy.

The list of horrors continues: the environment ravished, our natural heritage sold off, education starved of funding, our civil liberties casually violated as if the Bill of Rights had never been ratified, scientific expertise and research set aside in favor of dogma, both religious and secular.

Meanwhile, the voice of dissent is banished from the mainstream media and retreats to the universities and the internet. And how long dissent will be tolerated in these refuges of unfettered thought is anyone’s guess.

Throughout all this, the American public sits misinformed, stunned, bewildered, and passive.

And yet, in this winter of my discontent, all this is secondary in my heart and soul.

Above all else, I grieve for the devastation that we have brought upon an unthreatening sovereign country, Iraq. I grieve for the innocent lives lost, the innocent bodies mutilated, the devastating losses visited upon the survivors.

Not a day goes by that I am not haunted by the lamentations of the Baghdad bloggers, “River” and “Salam Pax,.” and the images of the humiliated prisoners at Abu Ghraib. And above all, I am haunted by the faces of the beautiful dark-eyed children of Iraq – those vibrantly alive, and those broken in brutal death. All this provokes in me a grief and a despair beyond words.

Why has my government brought this devastation upon the people of Iraq? Not to disarm the weapons of mass destruction, for we now know that there were none. Not to break up an alliance with terrorists, for it was known all along that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were sworn enemies. The entire justification for war that Colin Powell presented to the United Nations in February, 2003, we have now learned, was a tissue of lies.

And yet the slaughter continues.

One Hundred Thousand innocent dead. Can one comprehend that multitude? Think of the Rose Bowl, filled to its capacity of 90,000. Then think of everyone therein, killed, one by one, for no justifiable reason.

But to imagine a sea of faces is to imagine an abstraction. Reflect, if you can bear it, upon the particular victims.

In a remote village near the Syrian border, a wedding feast had just finished, as the new bride and groom were led to their marriage tent for the night.

"The bombing started at 3am," [said a sister-in-law of the groom] from her bed in the emergency ward at Ramadi general hospital, 60 miles west of Baghdad. "We went out of the house and the American soldiers started to shoot us. They were shooting low on the ground and targeting us one by one," she said. She ran with her youngest child in her arms and her two young boys, Ali and Hamza, close behind. As she crossed the fields a shell exploded close to her, fracturing her legs and knocking her to the ground.

She lay there and a second round hit her on the right arm. By then her two boys lay dead. "I left them because they were dead," she said. One, she saw, had been decapitated by a shell...

By the time the sun rose on Wednesday over the Rakat family house, the raid had claimed 42 lives...

Among the dead were 27 members of the extended Rakat family, their wedding guests and even the band of musicians hired to play at the ceremony... 11 of the dead were women and 14 were children. (McCarthy)

The words of Walt Whitman resound in my mind and torture my conscience:

Beat! beat! drums! - blow! bugles! blow!
Through the windows - through doors - burst like a ruthless force,
Into the solemn church, and scatter the congregation,
Into the school where the scholar is studying;
Leave not the bridegroom quiet -
no happiness must he have now with his bride,
Nor the peaceful farmer any peace,
ploughing his field or gathering his grain,
So fierce you whirr and pound you drums - so shrill you bugles blow.

A Baghdad family encounters an American checkpoint:

The family of 17 had packed into its 1974 Land Rover wearing their best clothes for the trip through the American lines "to look American". But at the next checkpoint, the American soldiers opened fire....

[The father] said 11 members of his family were killed - his daughters aged two and five, his son aged three, his parents, two older brothers, their wives and two nieces aged 12 and 15.

His wife Lamea, who is nine months pregnant, said she saw her children die. "I saw the heads of my two little girls come off," 36-year-old Lamea said. "My girls, I watched their heads come off their bodies. My son is dead." (Ananova)

At a house in Baghdad. The father laments the loss of his daughter:

"A shell came down into the room as she was standing by the dressing-table," Najem says. "My daughter had just completed her PhD in Psychology and was waiting for her first job. She was born in 1970. She was 33. She was very clever.

"Everyone said I have a fabulous daughter. She spent all her time studying. Her head buried in books. She didn't have a care about going out enjoying herself. My other daughter [Alia] is the same. She has a Master's degree in English and teaches at the university. Me? I'm just a lorry driver. A simple man." ...

"I don't know what humanity Bush is calling for," [Alia] says in English, "Is this the humanity which lost my sister?” (Antonowicz)

Beat! beat! drums! - blow! bugles! blow!
Over the traffic of cities - over the rumble of wheels in the streets;
Are beds prepared for sleepers at night in the houses?
no sleepers must sleep in those beds,
No bargainers` bargains by day -
no brokers or speculators-would they continue?
Would the talkers be taking? would the singer attempt to sing?
Would the lawyer rise in the court to state his case before the judge?
Then rattle quicker, heavier drums - you bugles wilder blow.

In his new book, The Fall of Baghdad, Jon Lee Anderson recalls the time he visited a hospital, and looked upon the body of a child, the victim of American bombing.

Before the cloth covered her, I saw that the girl was covered in blood. Her brother looked as though he were sleeping. But they both were dead. Their mother was there, beside herself with grief. She was the woman I had heard wailing and hitting the walls. Then almost all the onlookers around the mother, including the doctors and nurses, broke down and cried. I was overcome and went outside and sat down. I wept. The children's father was sitting a few feet away from me, disconsolately sobbing into his arms. (Hedges)

Beat! beat! drums! - blow! bugles! blow!
Make no parley - stop for no expostulation,
Mind not the timid - mind not the weeper or prayer,
Mind not the old man beseeching the young man,
Let not the child`s voice be heard, nor the mother`s entreaties,
Make even the trestles to shake the dead
where they lie awaiting the hearses,
So strong you thump O terrible drums - so loud you bugles blow.

Pause for a moment and contemplate the inconsolable grief caused by the needless death of one of these innocents. Now multiply that grief by one hundred thousand.

One hundred thousand dead, two thousand more in Falluja, “the city of mosques.” One-hundred and fifty thousand American soldiers wrenched from their families and their careers, ordered to become instruments of this atrocity. 1,272 dead, returning in “transfer tubes,” unmourned by their “Commander in Chief.” 18,000 more horribly mutilated. An uncounted more, emotionally crippled for life with post-traumatic stress disorders.

And for what? Not to find and disarm WMDs. Not to combat “terrorism.” Do we cause this mayhem to impose upon the Iraqis our brand of “democracy,” even though the Iraqis emphatically tell us, with polls and with bullets, they do not want our kind of “democracy”?

By what mandate of heaven, earth, “the invisible hand of the market,” or whatever else, do we claim the privilege of wasting these precious lives – lives, if we affirm our founding Declaration, that are created equal to our own?

What pluperfect arrogance leads us to proclaim that our “way of life” is, for all peoples at all times, the best and the only way – that we know, better than the Iraqis themselves, the economic system and the political structure that is best for Iraq? How dare we impose this politico-economy order upon them “for their own good,” whether they want it or not, and then call it “democracy”? Why must we resolve to fight for this imposition of an alien ideology to the last drop of Iraqi blood?

This war was a horrible mistake. What American soldier, what innocent Iraqi citizen, will be the last to die for this mistake?

The voices of the quick and the dead cry out: Stop! In the name of all that is holy, humane and compassionate – stop immediately! Let there be no more dead and crippled children. Let there be no more grieving parents. Let not another soldier’s blood be spilled in behalf of a fool’s errand. Let not another patriot’s blood be spilled defending his country against the invader.

Yet we do not stop. We seem to be locked into a course leading to straight to disaster for Iraq and for the United States as well. Once admired, we are now despised throughout the world, as we are led by a man-child who is unmoved by reason and evidence, deaf to the advice of others, incapable both of considering alternative courses of action or of admitting error on his part.

Meanwhile, silently, gradually, but inexorably, the civilized world quarantines this madness as it forms alliances to counteract it. We alienate our foreign creditors and the suppliers of our essential resources – nations which could, in alliance, bring ruin upon our rogue country without firing a shot.

Many wise and capable Americans are fully aware of the perils before us. But they are denied public office, or a voice in our media.

Where is our Mohandas Gandhi, our Nelson Mandella, our Andrei Sakharov, our Martin Luther King, who will lead us out of this moral quagmire? Who are the citizens who will follow?

The honor of the American republic has been besmirched by the usurpers and empire builders in Washington. And now, only the American people can restore the honor of the United States of America.

We can embrace that awesome responsibility with courage and resolve, or else we can lament, wait, and hope that “someone else” will somehow set things straight. As we wait and hope, the oligarchs and theocrats will solidify their control, and the light of American liberty will flicker and die. Government of the people, by the people, and for the people truly “shall not perish from the earth.” However, it will thrive elsewhere, as we relinquish it here forever.

Unless we act, now.

So write letters to Washington, your state capitol, and your local newspapers. Boycott the mainstream media and its sponsors, run for office, contribute to MoveOn and ACT. Meet with friends, make your views known, organize, demonstrate, raise Hell. At first it will all seem random, pointless, and unavailing. But be patient and be alert. Today, dissent is scattered and inchoate. But soon a movement will congeal and leaders will emerge with an agenda and a coordinated plan of resistance.

A generation ago, the American people put an end to an immoral war, and forced the resignation of another unworthy president.

We can do it again.


Ananova: "Survivors Describe Horror and Disbelief at US Checkpoint Shooting."

Anton Antonowicz: "The Saddest Story of All."

Chris Hedges: "On War," New York Review of Books.

Rory McCarthy: “Wedding massacre survivors: 'US soldiers started to shoot us, one by one',”
The Guardian,,2763,1221658,00.html

Copyright 2004, by Ernest Partridge

US and Britain implicated in Equatorial Guinea coup attempt

Anywhere in the world there is oil you will find the US and UK governments buzzing around like flies on shit. I would be more suprised if it turns out they did NOT have any knowledge. Shit, this is probably some highly deniable black op that went pear-shaped! Any time Tony opens is gob about "poverty" you know it's a lie. Any time George opens his gob about "saving the world" then you know it's a lie. They are good little corporate bitches who bend over on command. If you don't believe me take a look around at the world!

Two reports on the background to the attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea were sent in December 2003 and January 2004 by South African “security expert” Johann Smith to British intelligence and to Michael Westphal, senior colleague of Donald Rumsfeld and deputy assistant secretary of defence.

According to the Observer, the second report warned the coup would take place in March this year and that “knowing the individuals as well as I do, this timeline is very realistic and will provide for ample time to plan, mobilise, equip and deploy the force.” Smith, a former commander in the South African special forces and apparently now working for the Equatorial Guinea regime, was given information by some of the South African mercenaries involved. He claims he has received death threats since the coup attempt and that he received no acknowledgements from Britain or the United States.

This revelation came after British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw admitted in response to parliamentary questioning that the British government knew as early as January 2004 that the coup was being planned. Previously British ministers and officials denied any knowledge of the coup attempt. The operation is alleged to have been partly financed by Sir Mark Thatcher, son of the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, whose court case in South Africa for involvement in the coup has been postponed to April. Straw has apparently been forced to come clean about British involvement because there is now so much information available about the events leading up to the coup attempt, including the evidence being prepared for the Thatcher trial.

In his parliamentary answer Straw attempted to play down the admission that he had received the reports from Smith, claiming it was similar to reports circulating in the Spanish media. Because there were similar rumours the previous year, Straw claimed that the British government was sceptical about its accuracy. He also claimed that his officials could find no definitive evidence of the coup plot. This is hardly credible. Smith’s reports give a wealth of information on the coup plans and the individuals involved and South African intelligence must have had knowledge of mercenaries being recruited.

Everything points to the British, American and also the Spanish governments giving tacit support to a privately funded plot to remove the President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang, and replace him by Severo Moto, a leading opponent of the regime living in exile in Spain. Obiang is said to be in poor health and, whilst the Bush administration and western regimes are on good terms with this despot, there are fears that if he dies there would be an internecine struggle between possible successors.

Fear of such instability must also be of concern to the oil corporations involved, such as ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco, as Equatorial Guinea is now the third largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa. The tiny country of less than 500,000 people had a gross domestic product of $US1.85 billion in 2001 and churns out 350,000 barrels of oil a day. It has vast oil reserves, estimated to be approximately 10 percent of the total global reserves according to the US Department of Energy. US oil companies have invested $US3 billion in the country since 1995. Most of the population live in dire poverty and the regime is renowned for its brutality, with political detainees routinely tortured or ill-treated according to Amnesty International. A report by a US Senate committee revealed hundreds of millions of dollars had been deposited by Obiang, his family and associates in the Washington-based Riggs Bank “with little or no attention to the bank’s anti-money laundering obligations....”

Equatorial Guinea accuses Spain of sending two warships with 500 marines on board to back a seizure of power. Not surprisingly the members of the Popular Party government of José Maria Aznar, removed from office one week after the coup attempt, deny involvement. They claim that a “courtesy mission” was cancelled as soon as it had started in agreement with Equatorial Guinea.

Some 17 mercenaries were arrested in Equatorial Guinea when the coup attempt was thwarted. Their leader, Nick Du Toit, has now been sentenced to 34 years in prison with most of the others receiving heavy sentences. Du Toit was the only mercenary to admit he was taking part in an attempted coup. He has now withdrawn his evidence, claiming it was extracted under torture.

Full story...

The Voice of the White House

“If you want to do a book, that’s fine by me but don’t expect me to show up for a book-signing tour with Borders Books. Men in black suits with little crosses in their coat lapels would show up and shoot me dead while chanting verses from Psalms.

I will send you some really lovely documents you can put into the text but since you don’t know my name, put down anything you like. How about Russell Bush, the Cousin No One Talks About?

Now, down to more serious matters. First of all, I have written before about the incredible security precautions to be taken here for the Imperial Inauguration in January. I am sending you part of a DHS bulletin that will back this up. I can’t send you the Secret Service directives because to publish them would result in immediate and furious reactions and probably visits from the flat of feet and pointy of head.

There will be more security in and around DC than Hitler ever had at one of his rallies. Everything but the Nazi flags and goose-stepping SS men. There will be Coast Guard watches over all waterways around Washington, Air Force units on instant readiness (unlike the very odd and highly suspicious total lack of concern on September 11…in spite of many important warnings of an attack) with antiaircraft missile units in place all around the Beltway, on the ground and especially on the roofs of buildings around the Capitol and the White House.

On the ground, heavily armed Special Forces units everywhere, waiting inside Federal buildings to emerge and “deal severely” with any organized crowd activity directed against the Head Chimpanzee. And I mean the orders are, and I have seen them, to drag protesters outside the view of the public and especially the cameras and beat the shit out of them.

Bush and his Gestapo have not forgotten the last inauguration wherein people actually had the nerve to hoot and jeer at him and, far worse, to hurl vegetables and other objects at the Imperial limousine. My God, you should have seen our Beloved President’s face when blunt objects thundered down on his car!

He was as white as a KKK sheet and his mouth was hanging open in shock. Top speed to the White House and he had to have a soothing shot before he wet himself. ….

And this is really funny and entirely predictable. The Christian Right is somehow of the opinion that since they, and they alone (with the help of Jesus and Almighty God…the Virgin Mary is not in their pantheon) elected Caligula for another term, he owes them big and he is now expected to deliver on his vague promises, made to various Christian Right leaders, in private of course, before the election. This long list is howlingly funny, or would be if it weren’t serious. Here is a copy of at least some of the more obnoxious items on their wish list that I have culled from all the papers around here:

1. Abolish and criminalize abortion

2. Establish Creationism in all public schools

3. Declare Christmas a “True Christian Holiday”

4. Base American law on the Ten Commandments, not the Secular Constitution

5. Make any kind of homosexual activity a criminal offense

6. Censor any and all media material they deem to be pornographic or offensive

7. Send missionaries to Iraq and other occupied countries to Christianize them…by force

8. Declare a Christian Crusade as quickly as possible with the aim of converting the world.

9. Work with Israel to demolish the Arab mosques and rebuild the Temple of Solomon

10. Declare Sunday as Christ’s Day and shut all retail businesses down for that day

11. Institute the Tithe in the United States where 10% of the worker’s checks go to Jesus (them)

12. Ban forever any kind of Satanic Rock and Roll and make it punishable to air or play it

13. Set up a Cabinet post as Religious Coordinator

14. Stop the publication of any and all Harry Potter type Satanic books. Abolish Satanic board games

15. Immediately quarantine any and all AIDS victims as drug abusers and rampant queers

16. Abolish all secular media programs on Sunday and Christmas and replace with religious ones

17. Require heavy prison sentences for any and all drug abuse.

18. Reestablish old sedition laws to prevent displays of anti-Government sentiment anywhere

Now it should be obvious that Bush cannot even discuss any of this in public or he would be impeached or much worse. He knows it, Karl “Chubs” Rove knows it and so does every one else here in the Monkey Palace not on Prozac. The catch of this is that if Bush does not conform to the Celestial Party Line, these chinless geeks will turn on him with a vengeance. They are very good haters, (they hate everyone but themselves) and very soon George will have to either cater to them (which he cannot do and is absolutely impossible) or he will be Evangelical toast.. Poor Curious George.

He will have the increasingly vicious war in Iraq (which is now descending into Nazi-like outright war crimes) on one side and the rabid, screeching Jesus Freaks on the other. I don’t think the next four years will be healing ones for anyone and George will be well-done on the rotisserie of the Fires of Hell.

Unfortunately, the rest of us will have to cook too because George is going to take us all down with him. If God were indeed All Seeing and All Merciful, He would take George to His bosom with diligence and dispatch.”