Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Glimpses of America's Man-Made Disasters (Part 5)

by Trowbridge H. Ford

With the forced, early retirement of US Navy Admiral Vern Clark, the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), in July 2005, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld thought that he had finally gained control of a Pentagon he could comfortably live with - what he had set out to do from the outset by making Air Force General Richard B. Myers his Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff rather than the CNO. Clark's role in the position reminded Rumsfeld too much of what Ronald Reagan's Navy Secretary John Lehman. Jr., had been able to do when he was the chief presidential military adviser. Instead Rumsfeld made sure he was the only military one, sounding like the born-again Christian Crusader from Missouri's Evangel College when doing so, justifying a Holy War when he made his frequent written recommendations to President Bush.

While Rumsfeld and Myers were running America's wars in Afganistan and Iraq, though, the Air Force Secretary James Roche and National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Director Peter Teets had carried it further afield to the "axis of evil" with disasters in Iran and North Korea, caused by its satellite lasers. Once this had been exploited as safely as possible, and they resigned, the Navy took over, causing, it seems, the devastating Indian Ocean tsunamis, leading to the ouster of Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and CNO Clark when it was feared that their continuing in office would only lead to increasing controversy about what and who had caused them.

The Air Force chief and his assistant secretary for weapons procurement Marvin R. Sambus resigned shortly after Bush's re-election in November 2004, and Teets followed the following March. They all acted as if the NRO hadn't been doing anything covertly constructive while the Air Force was bogged down with sex scandals at the Air Force Academy, and the illegal efforts to lease new fuel tankers from Boeing - what was mostly just a smokescreen for what its heavy satellites had been able to do in Iran and North Korea. Republican Senators John McCain and John Warner had been continually expanding the claims about their improprieties so there would be a convenient hostile narrative if it became necessary to drop them - what finally happened when Wolfowitz was implicated in the Boeing scandal.

It was then necessary for the Navy to take over similar missions in the Indian Ocean with its new stealth mission submarine, USS Jimmy Carter, but it so overdid the earthquake that Wolfowitz and Clark had to vacate the premises - once its crew had been debriefed about its mission to the South Pacific - just to reduce the risk of devastating exposure. The Carter had a shoulder patch -with the motto "Always the Best" in Latin - which was just too much like the NRO's, claiming that it ruled the night, with all kinds of weapons streaking out of its midsection, a kind of Medusa which former seaman on the sub, Aaron Brooks, recalled when he, most uncharacterically for sailors, announced. "Good to be off that sea-going bitch." His fellow crewmates just added to the difficulties by writing, like members of the USS Toledo, of the "good old days" of the Alpha tests, especially about the role of its navigators.

Into this operational vacuum, Naomi Klein's article - "The Rise of Disaster Capitalism," which appeared in the May 2, 2005 issue of The Nation - came as a wake-up call about what to do next. "Last summer, in the lull of the August media doze," she said in her opening sentence, "the Bush Administration's doctrine of preventive war took a major leap forward." Of course, it had, as we have seen in the build-up of the satellites and submarine to do the job, but Ms. Klein was referring to the creation of Carlos Pascual's Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (OCRS) in the State Department - what was intended to clean up foreign disasters. "Fittingly," she continued: "a government devoted to perpetual pre-emptive deconstruction now has a standing office of perpetural pre-emptive reconstruction."

Pascual, a former U. S. Ambassador to the Ukraine, even explained his office's mission in an October address before the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) - just when the Carter was off on its mission. Working with the National Intelligence Council - the thinktank intended to predict the future way in advance - the OCRS's mission was to plan for the rebuilding of modern democratic ones when the old states went under, one way or another. Unlike the colonial regimes of the past which were engaged in taking assets, Ms. Klein explained, "There is, however, plenty of destruction -- countries smashed to rubble, whether by so-called Acts of God or by Acts of Bush (on orders from God)."

Around the globe, there are all kinds of parallel governments - composed of profiteering, consulting firms, engineering companies, mega-Non-Governmental-Organizations, agencies like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and similar UN aid agencies - which were at the ready to strike back wherever the new disasters occurred, though the peoples supposedly to be rescued seemed only to suffer more while these fat-cats, foreign and domestic, raked off much of the funds available. "But if the reconstruction industry is stunningly inept at rebuilding," Ms. Klein concluded," that may be because rebuilding is not its primary purpose... 'It's about reshaping everything'."

While Pasucal's remarks didn't gain much attention - the media apparently not even making mention of it - Ms. Klein's did when they finally appeared in The Nation the following spring. If countries around the Indian Ocean were facing a second tsunami because of disaster capitalism, areas already under its control - when its inhabitants were unwilling to give up, and get out - could get a double-dose of the process to obtain the desired results. Any area whose residents impeded the development of valuable resources, especially oil, and creation of new industries, particularly tourism, by refusing to sell out, and leave simply had to be persuaded to do so by unexpected force.

The ideal area for such acts was America's Gulf Coast, especially around New Orleans, where entreched, poor groups of residents were preventing its development to suit the interests of the oil companies, property developers, the gambling industry, and the like by refusing to leave or acquiesce in plans which did not suit them. America allegedly was not finding and refining enough offshore oil because residents opposed more refineries, others were refusing to sell their properties along the Coast and in New Orleans so that its tourist industry and the City itself could be upmarketed to suit the fancies of the affluent, and in the process, more on shore oil deposits could be discovered and exploited. Such a project had the added national security interest of showing that God or Bush following God's orders was not solely working for Washington.

Despite the so-called war on terror, the United States still did not have a coordinated system of preventing disasters, and if they still happened, making sure that the damage was a little as possible. While any real disaster would cut across all the divided lines of responsibility, there were no plans in place to make sure the federal, state and local government worked in a coordinated way in dealing with them. For example, the CIA - the essential gather of foreign intelligence - had no way of communicating with the states about potential disasters because it questioned whether it had any authority to do so. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was only prepared to deal with man-made disasters like "... nuclear war, border-storming 'aliens', or rampaging radicals..." (Jonathan Vankin & John Whalen, The 60 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time, p. 27)

The officials who were prepared to exploit this power vacuum were Director of Central Intelligence Porter Goss, his chief of staff Pat Murray, the temporary Secretary of the Air Force Peter Geren, the military side of the NRO, and the new National Security Adviser, Vulcan Stephen Hadley. The Vulcans were veterans from Vice President Dick Cheney's time at the Pentagon under Bush, Sr., and were noted for their image of toughness. Of course, Vulcan was the son of the king and queen of the gods from Roman mythology, noted for making thunderbolts, and firing them at his enemies. Hadley was the last of the original Vulcans, and was willing to be the go-between the White House and gung-ho operators in the field. Henry Kissinger had added to their power by finally joining them, claiming that America could only prevail by beating the jihadists, a process which demanded keeping the voters on board.

Goss - who was shunted into the job because of senatorial courtesy, and the fact that no one else wanted it - was so gung-ho, going all the way back to the JFK assassination, that when Murray continued to clash with the leaders of its operations, Stephen Kappes and his deputy Michael Sulich, they resigned. While nothing is acknowledged about what the Gosslings did in their absence, Murray was known to leaking information to silence Democratic opponents. The DCI had worked with the NRO's military cowboys back in 1963, hoping to make it look as if the communists had assassinated the President to provoke an international powerplay by Moscow and Havana. For more on Goss, see this link:

As for Geren, he, until recently when he became Army Secetary, had had a sleasy reputation, dropping out of Congress in the late 1990s to help the development of Anadarko Oil, especially its gaining possession of potential fields in Alaska and the southern Gulf, and in helping in their exploitation.

The director of the NRO from the time Clark resigned was Dr. Donald M. Kerr. But he was not the director of what was being planned but its fallguy, if necessary. Kerr had had a long career at Los Alamos as its director, and with the FBI's Laboratory in tracking down the Al-Qaeda perpetrators of attacks on the US Embassies in East Africa, and upon the USS Cole. He was been the CIA's Deputy Director for Science and Technology since August 2001.

In no field of human endeavor is less known about who put together what than in engineering. While people can readily recite who made important breakthroughs in all kinds of sciences and the arts, the names of who developed important inventions, and provided for their application in ways that helped or hurt mankind are hard to find. Outside of the inventors of the light bulb, the radio, and the telephone - inventions which revolutionized home life so much that the movie industry even exploited their potential - the real builders of our mechanical civilization remain largely unknown.

One of the most important ones, and one who still remains too unknown, is Nikola Tesla, the Serbian-born inventor who came to the United States in 1884 where he constructed the first induction motor which provided alternating current, and developed the dynamos and transformers to make electricity a readily available resource. In doing so, Tesla even outdistanced his mentor, the famous Thomas Alva Edison, though his success with him was soon dashed after he seduced his daughter. George Westinghouse bought up Tesla patents, and J. P. Morgan agreed to finance Tesla's research after the break-up with the Edisons.

Then Tesla made notable advances in energy resonance, creating oscillators which caused a minor earthquake in New York in 1896, and ultimately generated 500,000 volts - what was so strong that it could light up 200 lamps 25 miles away without any wires. He created electrical flashes, minicking nature's lightning, measuring 135 feet in length. Soon Tesla envisioned the modern communication system where waves of various sorts, emitted by various appliances like the radio - which he is ultimately credited with having invented - and powered by hydroelectric generators, enabled people to transmit messages to one another around the globe. Even after the funds from Morgan dried up, Tesla investigated the potential of remote-control and microwaves in particle beam weaponry.

When WWI came along, Tesla, literally convinced that his proposed waves could crack open the whole world, recorded a patent for a transmitter which would "...project electrical energy in any amount to any distance and apply it for innumerable purposes, both in war and peace." (NYT, Dec. 8, 1915) When WWII followed, the aged Tesla volunteered to provide Washington with his 'teleforce', a ray gun which would melt the motors of enemy planes up to a distance of 250 miles. "This new type of force," he explained, " would operate through a beam one hundred-millionth of a square centimeter in diameter, and could be generated from a special plant what would cost no more than $2,000,000 and would take only about three months to construct." (Quoted from Vankin & Whalen, p. 434.)

While the construction of the atomic bomb took precedence over Tesla's plan, it emerged as an attractive area to develop as the Cold War became increasingly bogged down in mutually-assured- destruction (MAD), given the nuclear standoff. With the stalemate in ICBMs, the superpowers looked for strategic surprises of a tactical and technical nature. While the US Navy, for example, was probbing Soviet waters in the hope of tapping communication lines which would facilitate an underwater coup, especially against its 'boomers', Moscow concentrated upon achieving breakthroughs in the WMD field, especially in chemical and biological weapons. Over Cuba and Vietnam, the American Air Force became deeply involved in seeding hurricanes and cyclones, and intensifying them to defeat the communist enemy.

Then the Soviets tried to convert their communications to microwaves in order to achieve greater security in their transmissions - what Washington counteracted by a most ambitious satellite program, starting with the Rhyolite, geosynchronous base at Pine Gap in the wilds of Australia. It had been picked because any unencrypted message it received was almost impossible to intercept because of its inaccessible location unless one was directly beneath the satellite. Microwaves travel in a straight line, and to intercept them, one must be somewhere along that line.

Given this increasingly paranoid environment, it was hardly surprising that the Pentagon developed a renewed interest in mass mind-control, and in modifying the weather. Thanks to research conducted by physicist Bernard J. Eastlund, and patents held by ARCO Power Technologies, Inc., Washington was offered a mind-boggling menu of hi-tech offensive and defensive weapons - heated plumes of charged particles which would competely disrupt the earth's communication system, guidance systems of potential enemies' weapons, and the strategic defense of third parties.

Weather modification could completely incapacitate missiles by creating unexpected drag by "...altering upper atmospheric wind patterns or altering solar absorption patterns by constructing one or more plumes of particles which will act as a lens or focusing device." (Ibid., pp. 431-2) The result would be a vast amount of sunlight from the ionosphere being focused on a specific area of the earth. One patent stated that an ideal site for such a heater would be in Alaska where vast amounts of gas exist to fuel such a mechanism, and the magnetic field lines are most desireable for this intervention.

Given such potential - especially when it came to the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) - the Reagan administration funded Project HAARP (High-frequency Active Auroral Research Progam) - $30,000,000 to build an "ionospheric heater" 200 miles east of Anchorage, Alaska which would heat up the earth with high-frequency radio waves for apparently scientific, communication, and surveillance purposes. The 23-acre complex, completed in 1997, has 180 towers, capable of creating beams within the 2.5-to-10-megahertz range at up to more than 3 gigawatts of power (3 billion watts). Such beams were thought to be capable of shooting down ICBMs in flight.

While this expectation proved groundless - ICBMs are just going too fast for enough watts to be directed at them to secure their destruction - the HAARP Project had to find other targets to heat up, and Eastlund was most forthcoming, too forthcoming, about what they could be. As CEO of Eastland Scientific Enterprises San Diego, he proposed that microwaves be beamed into thunder clouds in order to prevent tornadoes from forming - stop the formation of mesocyclones by shooting beams of 1,000,000,000 watts into them so that cold air barricades could not prevent the hot air columns from continuing to rise. Earth-obiting satellites could provide the platforms for such beams, and their energy could be provided by the sun. And Eastlund just thought up the whole system while prospecting for oil and gas in Alaska!

While experiments for breaking-up tornadoes did not prove at first successful, the whole project was, it seems, redirected into heating up cyclones and hurricanes both for experimental and strategic purposes. Just as the UN showdown over the proposed removal of Iraq's Saddam Hussein was shaping up in January 2003, as Joe Vialls has suggested in "Cyclone Zoe: Natural Event or Weather Warfare?", such technology apparently was used to convert Cyclone Zoe, a Category 2 one, into a monster storm, a Category 5+, in just 12 hours whose 155 mph plus winds would have sucked down anything apparently in its way, including the giant aircraft carrier the USS Abraham Lincoln, into its deadly sinkhole if it had not already cleared the most dangerous area, around Tikopia Island in the Solomons, on its way to the Middle East.

As with many Vialls' articles - some of them being total rubbish - this one seems essentially correct, though wrong in its basic assumption - that New York Zionists were somehow behind the cooking up of Zoe in order to stop the war - rendering it a totally dismissed account. Vialls premised much of his work on the assumption that some kind of Jewish conspiracy - the Elders of Zion, perhaps? - was working behind the major governments, manipulating affairs to protect their holdings. This was convenient disinformation, but, perhaps, this was Vialls' real purpose.

Still, Project HAARP could have easily provided the necessary energy, transmitted it to a TRW satellite hovering high over Borneo which Pine Gap then directed down into the Pacific east of the Solomons, as Zoe approached.

Few people are aware that Pine Gap is the Agency's most important base in the world. When Watergate was threatening to lead to its complete demise, DCI George H. W. Bush went all out to secure its continuance, an important step of which was keeping Pine Gap secretly operating. It was left to conspiracy theorists, and whistleblowers, like Dr. Helen Caldicott and Victor Marchetti, to describe this operation, a "mild Chile".

In November 1975, Australia's Labour Prime Minister Gough Whitlam was dismissed from office by Governor General James Kerr, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's Crown representative, and a leading Opposition politician, for demanding to know what was really going on at Pine Gap, and threatening not to renew its lease if he were not told. Bush told his Australian counterpart that the bilateral intelligence relationship would not be continued if Whitlam's demand was met. Since then, Australia has been America's closest ally. (It is interesting to note that James Bamford has nothing about the coup d'etat in his study of the CIA's basic sister agencies, Body of Secrets: How America's NSA and Britain's GCHQ Eavesdrop on the World.)

When the December tsunamis had the desired effect of bringing the international community back on line when it came to the war in Iraq, it was hardly surprising that the Bush administration looked to the NRO again to cook up more clouds when it came to bringing the increasingly dubious American public back on line, especially with the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks rapidly approaching.

The only trouble was that the planners had little to work with - with only the puny Tropical Depression Katrina which was slowly drifting across the Atlantic from Africa by mid August. Quite possibly, it was increased in strength by Air Force using remotely controlled nanoparticles to seed and control cloud charge - sparking thunderbolts on demand. By the time it reached Florida, it was still only a Category 1 hurricane, as Michael Moore duly recorded afterwards in an angry letter to President Bush: "Last Thursday I was in south Florida while the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed over my head. It was only a Category 1 then but it was pretty nasty. Eleven people died..." As the report, "Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025" - put together by a group of military experts in 1996 - said: "The technology is there, waiting for us to pull it all together."

To increase its nastiness, it was apparently given a shot from some kind of ray gun which rapidly made it into a Category 5 one with winds like Cyclone Zoe. The Naval Security Group has a detachment at Key West comparable to the one NSA has at Pine Gap. The hurricane was different from others in that the water was leading the wind, with waves of 60 feet being created in the storm surge, and water temperatures reaching an unprecedented 90 degress F. along the coast - what caused unexpected havoc with America's Gulf tourist and oil industries, with a dozen or so of its rigs being ripped from their moorings, and driven miles away.

AP photographer Peter Cosgrove took a picture of one of the massive structures deposited on Dauphin Island, Alabama. With production cut by 2,000,000 barrels a day - what has never be regained since - the pressure was on the companies, like Geren's Anadarko Oil, to bring supply back to normal. They took advantage of the disaster by jacking up the price of oil products to obtain windfall profits, and seeing to the gutting of provisions of envirnmental legislation, claiming that they were necessary for meeting the unexpected crisis.

Still, Katrina performed more than expected, once it hit the Gulf coast, pounding the area east of New Orleans hard, but with little loss of life. While most people considered the hurricane a terrible natural disaster, Bush clearly reacted to it as a man-made one, like the 9/11attacks, which could work to his advantage as events unfolded. While he played golf, and met Republicans in Wyoming to bolster his support for the war in the upcoming congressional elections - reminiscent of his behavior after 9/11 - the tidal wave worked its will on the underfunded infrastructure of the area - especially the dikes of Lake Pontchartrain, and the levees of New Orleans - creating a mess which only Washington could clean up, and whose true extent - especially the number killed how and when - would only be known many months later, if at all.

Bush was soon regaining the political initiative, thanks to America's cumbersome federal system, its lack of a competent administration at any level, and politics which generally resorted to little more than finger-pointing at FEMA's Michael Browne's expense - what led to a most suspicious, uncooperative citizenry. Washington's failure to be more forthcoming with the recovery operation, and meeting the basic needs of the survivors was easily countered by attacking the states, especially Louisiana's governor, and their municipalities, particularly New Orelans. Then in any crisis, America's security people, except for the Coast Guard and fire departments, are trained in little more than maintaining order, what quickly became a 'shoot-to-kill' policy with suspected looters, as if all humans do not have a right to life.

The outspoken mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, did not even institute any evacuation plan after he ordered its citizens at the last moment to leave. Then many thousands of them who had automobiles still refused to go, claiming all kinds of excuses - no money, nowhere to go, etc., as if the people who actually left had easy agendas to accomplish. By staying, the people with cars guaranteed that they were left with little or nothing as the flooding guaranteed that their cars, houses, and other possessions were rendered virtually useless. They and the other people who were obliged to remain probably still survived as the leaking dikes and levees rarely permitted the waters to completely submerge a dwelling.

With the cock-up starting to unravel, it was hardly surprising that coughed up a story claiming that Joe Vialls - now, it seems, conveniently deceased - was probably Ari Ben-Menashe, the Mossad's ultimate fixer to keep the people confused. Ben-Menashe took care of Israel's troublemakers - like Amiran Nir after he threatened Vice President Bush with telling all when the Iran-Contra scandal started to unravel - so, if anything, it seems more likely that Ben-Menashe disposed of Vialls, though Vialls never disclosed what the Mossad and the Americans were really doing in his native Australia, especially from the North West Cape facilities just next door.

A similar attempt to stop former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad from telling tales - reminiscent of what happened to Australia's Gow Whitlam when he threatened stopping such operations - occurred a few days laterr when they threatened a conference at Suhakam on human rights. Mahathir, by then, had become an angry opponent of the Anglo-American war on terror, especially since he had backed it stenuously until it had explained way Malaysia's use of the same American weather-manipulation capability at his and the Russians' expense. To silence Mahathir, Britain's High Commissioner to Malaysia Bruce Cleghorn, the country's chief of state, American Ambassador Christopher LaFleur, and several other diplomats walked out of the conference before the former Malaysian Prime Minister got the chance to open his mouth.

It's quite clear that Mahathir would have explained that the Americans had supplied the cyclones which Minister of Science Datak Law Hieng Ding wanted to clean up the smog which was constantly plaguing the country because of Indonesia's land-clearing by burning. The cyclones were provided by Raytheon's E-Systems' capability of seeding tropical depressions, thanks to the approval of Pentagon chief William Cohen. When Mahathir clearly was going to set the record straight, a most threatening move under the circumstances, the American media, especially The Wall Street Journal, claimed that Russian Igor Pirigoff's Elate Intelligent Technologies, Inc. had done the dirty work.

For more, see this link:

Little wonder that when Hurricane Rita followed two weeks later in Katrina's wake, the forcasters, NRO, military operators, rescue services et al. did much better, fearing an even worse disaster. The storm was directed away from the precariously vulnerable New Orleans, the allegedly strongest hurricane ever recorded losing much of its punch before it ever hit land, and the authorities there did a proper job in preventing a large loss of life, and in directing a proper cleanup. As "Weather Modification through nanotech" asked rhetorically on October 31, 2005, "But if whipping up weather can be part of a warfighter's tool kit, couldn't those talents be ultilized to retarget or neutralize life, limb and property-destroying storm?"

The whole plot escaped noticed until Exectuvie Director Kyle "Dusty" Foggo - the number three man at Goss's Agency, who pushed his administration agenda - was discovered in spring 2006 to have been involved in the scheme to bribe Congressmen, especially Randy "Duke" Cunningham and Duncan Hunter, into giving contracts, particularly to Boeing, in return for kickbacks. Moreover, Foggo had not only shared the sexual charms of KGB spy Hana Koecher with State Department spy for Moscow Felix Bloch, but also with Goss himself - what led apparently to his first retirement from the CIA when he came down with some sex infection. (For more on this, see Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The Sword and the Shield, pp. 199-201, and Mark Riebling, Wedge, pp. 352-3.) The investigation of Foggo threatened not only to destroy him and Goss but also acting Secretary of the Air Force Geren during the hurricanes and his replacement MIchael Wynne.

To avoid a possible devastating investigation, Goss suddenly resigned, and Foggo followed three days later. Of course, the Agency denied that there was any connection, claiming that the DCI had serious disputes with the new National Intelligence Agency, especially Director John Negroponte, about their relationship, and the sharing of personnel in better fighting the war on terror. This was completely fabricated as Negroponte and Goss shared the same tastes, apparently even including the charms of Mrs. Koecher.

Even NRO Director Kerr alluded to as much when he could safely do so. In a conversation on National Public Radio upon becoming Deputy Director of National Intelligence, he spoke of the dangers which had existed when the NRO was divided into civilian and military parts in both the acquiring of technology but also its use. Institutionally, the important changes had been taking away the Air Force's authority over the NRO, and putting it under the control of the SOD and his Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. The NRO got rid of its Deputy Director of Military Support (DDMS) - what had led to the cowboy activities it was so noted for, going back to Gary Powers' U-2 incident - integrating its capability into those of the Deputy Director for National Support - what would require top-level oversight in the acquisition of new technology. As a result, the NRO would concentrate upon imagery collection - not SIGINT ones which could easily be converted into offensive operations.

"On the imagery side, for things like Hurricane Katrina for example," he explained most tellingly, "we can provide this under existing authorities." The NRO had finally begun healing itself, but what the Air Force did with what it shed remains to be seen.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Glimpses of America's Man-Made Disasters (Part 4)

by Trowbridge H. Ford

The Pentagon, especially Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Chief of Naval Operations Vern Clark, were most concerned about the cause, scope, and consequences of the December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunamis because they were far bigger and more destructive than they had anticipated. More important, it had no clear alibi that their most likely source of the disaster, the Multi-Mission Plaform of the new stealth attack submarine, the USS Jimmy Carter, had not been the culprit. Its behavior - ever since Admiral Clark had given it a most spirited send-off during the previous September from its home base at Groton, Connecticut for its testing until it returned in February 2005 for the official commissioning - had called for the most clumsily coverups, deceptions, and dishonesty.

The earthquakes on the fatal day had confounded all expert opinion about such events. While it acted as if they were just the most destructive of natural disasters, there was nothing natural about them. Most uncharacteristically, there had been no warnings of the massive collapses in the Sumatran Trench, once the Australian-Indian plate had been broken loose from its base on the Antarctic one. This is the most stable one in the world, and breaking its connection to the one to the north with the 8.2 earthquake on December 24th by means apparently of air guns desposited on the bottom from the Carter, set off a shaking of the whole plate northwards which became so powerful - the power of 25,000 Hiroshima-style atomic bombs - that it was simply propelled through the Burnmese one it was touching to the west of Sumatra. The Austrailian-Indian plate had been converted in an underground, flying saucer.

To forstall any senisble conspiracy theories about this devastating plot, Joe Vialls immediately concocted a most intriguing but essentially wrong explanation of it all. In it, "Tsunami result of U.S, nuclear bomb?", the king of conspiracy theories said that Wolfowitz had done it all, but it was not by causing an earthquake but by using a devastating wall of water with someting like a 9-megaton W-53 thermonuclear bomb - like what the British "Dambusters" had done during WWII -dropped probably from the stern of some oil rig supply vessel plowing the busy waters. The purpose, as the covert behavior of two American battle groups, steamming to the area from Hong Kong and Guam, demonstrated, was simply to take over the oil rich province of Aceh.

While Vialls was totally wrong about the cause, unfolding, and purpose of the disaster, he rightly left little doubt about who was responsible for it: " would seem that the only realistic candidates are Wolfowitz and company, striving as always to create a 'One World Government'." Vialls went to to accuse the Deputy Secretary of being behind an e-mail he received which claimed that Houston was going to be attacked by nuclear bomb at the same time - apparently to distract people from what was going on in the Indian Ocean.

This gross piece of disinformation had the desired effect of giving Wolfowitz an alibi for the disaster, and stopping all reasonable speculation about what really happened on December 26th. There is no evidence of a nuclear explosion off Aceh, of the USA taking over territory in its imperial pursuits, or that it did so in this case. The whole basis of American ambitions is to take over countries through bases at important points, get them to adopt trade policies which benefit Washington, and go along with its strategy of preventive wars to build the kind of world it wants. The best example of this is the U. S. base in Diego Garcia, what the U. K. has allowed Washington to make into a full-blown naval base, being warned by the Pacific Warning Centre of the earthquakes and likely tsunamis.

Wolfowitz and the Pentagon still had to be worried about blowback because of the Carter's activities. When it was leaving Groton in September 2005, CNO Clark had dropped by to wish it well as it took off for its first tests, and operations south of Australia and New Zealand. According to an official source, he told the excited but untested crew: "This is what tomorrow is about for the U.S. Navy - the ability to project credible combat power to the far corners of the earth, giving the president options, around the world and around the clock." ("Silent Service Ebbs Uncertainty In Groton Submarines' Role Being Reduced To Fit In With New, Leaner Military," The Hartford Courant, May 22, 2005) It could not have gotten a better endorsement for its risky, nail-biting mission.

Little wonder that when the Carter finally returned in triumph to Connecticut, probably in late January, it let it all hang out, sporting a new broom from the front of its conning tower, showing that it had swept the Indian Ocean clean of potential enemies. Showing the broom was the traditional way submarines showed that they had accomplished a "clean sweep" of enemy vessels during wartime when they returned to homebase - what had not been done in alleged peacetime until recently, it seems, and, anyway, America - as President Bush had declared after the 9/11 attacks - was at war.

Of course, its mixing of testing and missions completely wrecked its scheduled tests. making them occur later than SOP dictated, if they really occurred at all. The biggest problem had been showing the broom, and admitting when it occurred, especially if it had happened before the scheduled Alpha Tests. Besides, showing the real photographs of the returning sub in triumph might just have been so celebratory and big to pass unnoticed. So the Navy had another sub, quite possibly the USS Toledo - showing that it too had made a "clean sweep" of the enemy aka Kursk when it returned to Groton back in 2000 - stand in its stead for the official photos of its alleged completion of the Alpha ones on November 19th.

The USS North Carolina, the latest submarine in the Virginia class, recently caused a fury of controversy when it followed apparently the precedent set by the Carter by showing a "clean sweep" with the broom when it just returned to Groton from its Alpha trials.

The photos show that the sub, showing the broom, is quite clearly not the Carter but a much smaller, quite used submarine - what obliged the Navy to crop down one photo of the returning heroes so its quite used, smaller conning tower is seen as little as possible, and the other has a convenient tugboat hiding its much shorter length. Also, note that these two photographs are conveniently separated from the ones actually of the Carter to make serious comparisons more difficult. For seeing for yourself, see this link:

The other photographs, especially of the commissioning of the Carter, are just as disturbing with those actually of the submarine being taken so as to play down its size, especially its length, and those of the commissioning party, especially former President Carter, and Vice President Walter Mondale, and their wives being nowhere in sight. As for officials of the current Bush administration, none of them, it seems, attended. The Carter, apparently for the reasons
indicated, had suddenly become something few wanted to acknowledge even the existence of, much less celebrate.

It was also on February 7th - just between when the Carter finally went on its final sea trials, and its commissioning - that CNO Clark surprisingly announced that he would be stepping down in July. The normal term of a CNO is five years, and Clark had already been asked by Rumsfeld about a year and a half before - when the most ambitious plans for the sub were being drawn up -to extend his tenure at least until the end of 2006, cutting short his tenure by a year and a half. "It's really not about me," the Admiral most disingenuously explained, "It's about the institution." To add to the disbelief, Clark said it was time for new blood to lead the Navy - what would undoubtedly lead to an Annapolis graduate chief, officers Clark had no confidence in.

As Bob Woodward has explained in Bush at War, Part III: State of Denial, "Clark was one of the most improbable men to lead the Navy. Unilike 25 of his 26 predecessors, he was not a 'ring-knocker,' a graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland...He had gone to officer candidate school in 1968 at the height of the Vietnam War. He had quit in 1972 after his first tour of duty because he did not respect most of the officers who were making the Navy a career, but he rejoined the following year, believing the Navy was something he should do for a while." (p. 39)

It was by bucking the system that Clark finally became CNO after Admiral Jay Johnson in 2000, thanks to the input provided SOD William Cohen by his civilian chief of staff. He had asked Clark why Navy affairs were so screwed up. "They picked the wrong people," (ibid., p. 60) Clark replied. Of the top five admirals in the Navy, only one had ever commanded a carrier battle group. The others were usual desk admirals. When Clark was in the running to become Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, he told Vice President Dick Cheney later: "Whatever you do, don't let it get like that again."

Things were so bad after Clark's tenure as CNO that the President did just this - appointed Admiral Mike Mullen - a desk admiral who was also connected to the long-running scandal at the Naval Academy, his alma mater - as his successor. When Mike Boorda, the only other chief who had risen through the ranks to the top, was CNO, he became so involved in controversy and scandal that he ended by killing himself. John Lehman, Jr., a former Navy Secretary in the Reagan administration, blamed Boorda's suicide upon the media, led by self-serving politicians in the Clinton administration. The Bush administration was so troubled by its affairs that it was willing to take the risk.

Things, though, got even worse in this regard a few months later when Clark called for the elimination of the whole submarine base at New London, and its residents were up in arms about the turnabout, as The Hartford Courant explained: "Adm. Vern Clark found himself arguing last week for closing the base in Groton. But nine months earlier, the chief of naval operation stopped at the sub base and talked about the new roles for its submarines, 'to project more offensive punch with the Tomahawk (missile) capability and the surveillance capabilities the submarine forces bring to bear.' " While the CNO explained the switch in terms of the kind of changing mix of bases the service needed, it hardly sounded convincing, given his previous activities.

It was only after intense lobbying by those affected by the possible closing down of Groton that the submarine base was saved from the axe - thanks to the efforts especially by Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman. In doing so, though, Lieberman helped alienate his Democratic Party base in the state, losing his last party primary when he was up for re-election in November 2008, causing him to run successfully as an independent. And Groton certainly lost its high-standing as a base when the Carter, the Navy's leading stealth submarine, finally took off from there permanently in October for its new base with the Pacific Fleet at Bangor, Washington.

Then, Clark's actual retirement services were even more embarrassing. On July 21st at the Naval Academy's Alumni Hall, of all places, Rumseld laid out the changing of the guard at the CNO in every way that would ruffle Clark's feathers. "It is fitting we are here, in this special place in naval history," the SOD addressed the onlookers, "to honor this officer who has led the Navy in historical times, as our country wages the global struggle against the enemies of freedom, the enemies of civilization." Then, instead of giving examples of how Clark had led the service in the fight, he went on about what everyone had been observing on the Academy's grounds during the change-over weekend ceremonies.

It was this unwillingness of Rumsfeld to speak candidly about Clark which intrigued Woodward to ask probing questions about his evaluation of him, and why he did not support his candidacy to become the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs after General Henry "Hugh" Shelton. From the outset of becoming SOD, Rumseld made it crystal clear that he would be in charge of all serious matters at the Pentagon, as he explained to Shelton himself after having been in office only three short weeks: " 'I'm the secretary of defense,' he said. .'I'm in the chain of command.' He - not the generals, not the Joint Staff - would deal with the White House and the president on operational matters." (Quoted from Woodward, p. 22.)

Rumsfeld was obviously obsessed with the problems that his predecessor Caspar Weinberger had had with Navy Secretary Lehman, CNO Admiral James Watkins, and his successor Admiral Carlisle "Carl" Trost. By then, Lehman thought he was the independent operational head of the Navy who was free to consult with the President when he wanted, and without either the permission or the knowledge of Weinberger. To consolidate this hold over the Navy, Lehman got rid of all admirals who thwarted his ambitions and plans, that is until he ran up against Trost during the operations after the assassination of Sweden's prime minister Olof Palme on February 28, 1986 - what Lehman had planned as his maritime strategy to get rid of the Soviet Union with a short, non-nuclear war.

The showdown between Lehman and Trost occurred twice in March 1986 when the admiral refused to back NATO's Anchor Express Exercise across central Norway to the Kola Peninsula with his carrier battle groups in Operation Task Force Eagle. In the process, many Norwegian engineers were killed in customary avanlanches that the ill-informed planners had not anticipated, resulting in hectic negotiations by British SOD George Younger and others to arrange defensive maneuvers to cover the whole mess up. According to Lehman, Greg Vistica wrote in Fall From Glory, "The secretary of the Navy was king of the empire." (p. 94)

When Lehman moved to continue the dangerous arrangements - what would have probably resulted in nuclear annihilation if the Soviets had not taken the necessary countermeasures to the Swedish surprise, thanks to the spying by Rick Ames, Robert Hanssen, and others - by replacing Watkins by toady Admiral Frank Kelso, Weinberger belatedly moved to replace Watkins with Trost, and see off Lehman in the process. In the interim, Lehman had choice words for the
seemingly mutinous Atlantic Fleet commander:

"You're just another fucking Boy Scout."

"You're insufficiently compliant." (Quoted from Vistica, p. 224.)

Rumsfeld wanted nothing of this from the likes of Clark, Wolfowitz, and others.

Of course, by this time, Wolfowitz had long departed the Pentagon as Deputy Secretary for the World Bank. He had not only been too much a strategic supporter of Clark's ambitions, but also the wild disinformation about the Indian Ocean tsunamis by Joe Vialls was starting to break down. In the March-April 2005 issue of New Dawn Magazine, Jason Jeffrey had an updated version of his 1999 article, "Earthquakes: Natural or Man-Made?" In it, he talked more about what could be done with compressed air, thanks to Nikola Tesla's experiments, and spoke of "...a body of suppressed research pointing to a more insidious agenda" than what official explanations of the tsumanis were contending. He concluded by mentioning the air guns that people were suggesting oil researching were using in their searches for it.

On March 16, 2005, President Bush announced to the shocked international community that Wolfowitz had been nominated to replace Clinton appointee James D. Wolfensohn as head of the World Bank, citing his management of the Pentagon, and the fact that he was a decent man to justify the appointment. It had been rumored for about two weeks but no one took it seriously because of the administration's complaints about the Bank's performance. It seems that the Jeffrey article had triggered rumor into reality.

When Clark finally left, the Navy lost its offical capability to change the oceans and atmosphere, leaving the task again to the Air Force, as we shall see.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Who Rules America?

I have this feeling, man, cos you know there's a handful of people actually run everything. That's true. It's provable. A handful, a very small elite, run and own these corporations, which include the mainstream media. I have this feeling who's ever elected President, like Clinton was, no matter what you promise on the campaign trail, 'blah, blah, blah', when you win, you go into this smokey room with the twelve industrialist capitalist scum-fucks who got you in there, and you're in this smokey room and the little screen comes down, and a big guy with a cigar says 'Roll the film.' And it's a shot of the Kennedy assassination from an angle you've never seen before... that looks suspiciously off the grassy knoll. And then the film ends, the screen goes up, and the lights come up, and they go to the new President, 'Any questions?'
Bill Hicks

By Paul Craig Roberts

What do you suppose it is like to be elected president of the United States only to find that your power is restricted to the service of powerful interest groups?

A president who does a good job for the ruling interest groups is paid off with remunerative corporate directorships, outrageous speaking fees, and a lucrative book contract. If he is young when he assumes office, like Bill Clinton and Obama, it means a long life of luxurious leisure.

Fighting the special interests doesn’t pay and doesn’t succeed. On April 30 the primacy of special over public interests was demonstrated yet again. The Democrats’ bill to prevent 1.7 million mortgage foreclosures and, thus, preserve $300 billion in home equity by permitting homeowners to renegotiate their mortgages, was defeated in the Senate, despite the 60-vote majority of the Democrats. The banksters were able to defeat the bill 51 to 45.

These are the same financial gangsters whose unbridled greed and utter irresponsibility have wiped out half of Americans’ retirement savings, sent the economy into a deep hole, and threatened the US dollar’s reserve currency role. It is difficult to imagine an interest group with a more damaged reputation. Yet, a majority of “the people’s representatives” voted as the discredited banksters instructed.

Hundreds of billions of public dollars have gone to bail out the banksters, but when some Democrats tried to get the Senate to do a mite for homeowners, the US Senate stuck with the banks. The Senate’s motto is: “Hundreds of billions for the banksters, not a dime for homeowners.”

If Obama was naive about well-intentioned change before the vote, he no longer has this political handicap.

Democratic Majority Whip Dick Durbin acknowledged the voters’ defeat by the discredited banksters. The banks, Durbin said, “frankly own the place.”

It is not difficult to understand why. Among those who defeated the homeowners bill are senators Jon Tester (Mont), Max Baucus (Mont), Blanche Lincoln (Ark), Ben Nelson (Neb), Many Landrieu (La), Tim Johnson (SD), and Arlan Specter (Pa). According to reports, the banksters have poured a half million dollars into Tester’s campaign funds. Baucus has received $3.5 million; Lincoln $1.3 million; Nelson $1.4 million; Landrieu $2 million; Johnson $2.5 million; Specter $4.5 million.

The same Congress that can’t find a dime for homeowners or health care appropriates hundreds of billions of dollars for the military/security complex. The week after the Senate foreclosed on American homeowners, the Obama “change” administration asked Congress for an additional $61 billion dollars for the neoconservatives’ war in Iraq and $65 billion more for the neoconservatives’ war in Afghanistan. Congress greeted this request with a rousing “Yes we can!”

The additional $126 billion comes on top of the $533.7 billion “defense” budget for this year. The $660 billion--probably a low-ball number--is ten times the military spending of China, the second most powerful country in the world.

How is it possible that “the world’s only superpower” is threatened by the likes of Iraq and Afghanistan? How can the US be a superpower if it is threatened by countries that have no military capability other than a guerilla capability to resist invaders?

These “wars” are a hoax designed to enrich the US armaments industry and to infuse the “security forces” with police powers over American citizenry.

Not a dime to prevent millions of Americans from losing their homes, but hundreds of billions of dollars to murder Muslim women and children and to create millions of refugees, many of whom will either sign up with insurgents or end up as the next wave of immigrants into America.

This is the way the American government works. And it thinks it is a “city on the hill, a light unto the world.”

Americans elected Obama because he said he would end the gratuitous criminal wars of the Bush brownshirts, wars that have destroyed America’s reputation and financial solvency and serve no public interest. But once in office Obama found that he was ruled by the military/security complex. War is not being ended, merely transferred from the unpopular war in Iraq to the more popular war in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Obama, in violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, continues to attack “targets” in Pakistan. In place of a war in Iraq, the military/security complex now has two wars going in much more difficult circumstances.

Viewing the promotion gravy train that results from decades of warfare, the US officer corps has responded to the “challenge to American security” from the Taliban. “We have to kill them over there before they come over here.” No member of the US government or its numerous well-paid agents has ever explained how the Taliban, which is focused on Afghanistan, could ever get to America. Yet this hyped fear is sufficient for the public to support the continuing enrichment of the military/security complex, while American homes are foreclosed by the banksters who have destroyed the retirement prospects of the US population..

According to Pentagon budget documents, by next year the cost of the war against Afghanistan will exceed the cost of the war against Iraq. According to a Nobel prize-winning economist and a budget expert at Harvard University, the war against Iraq has cost the American taxpayers $3 trillion, that is, $3,000 billion in out-of-pocket and already incurred future costs, such as caring for veterans.

If the Pentagon is correct, then by next year the US government will have squandered $6 trillion dollars on two wars, the only purpose of which is to enrich the munitions manufacturers and the “security” bureaucracy.

The human and social costs are dramatic as well and not only for the Iraqi, Afghan, and Pakistani populations ravaged by American bombs. Dahr Jamail reports that US Army psychiatrists have concluded that by their third deployment, 30 percent of American troops are mental wrecks. Among the costs that reverberate across generations of Americans are elevated rates of suicide, unemployment, divorce, child and spousal abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, homelessness and incarceration.

In the Afghan “desert of death” the Obama administration is constructing a giant military base. Why? What does the internal politics of Afghanistan have to do with the US?

What is this enormous waste of resources that America does not have accomplishing besides enriching the American munitions industry?

China and to some extent India are the rising powers in the world. Russia, the largest country on earth, is armed with a nuclear arsenal as terrifying as the American one. The US dollar’s role as reserve currency, the most important source of American power, is undermined by the budget deficits that result from the munition corporations’ wars and the bankster bailouts.

Why is the US making itself impotent fighting wars that have nothing whatsoever to do with is security, wars that are, in fact, threatening its security?

The answer is that the military/security lobby, the financial gangsters, and AIPAC rule. The American people be damned.

Full story...

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Glimpses of America's Man-Made Disasters (Part 3)

by Trowbridge H. Ford

While researchers might think that America's ousting by overt and covert means Slobodan Milosevic, the Taliban, and Saddam Hussein from power, smashing their regimes, and punishing countries like Iran, Turkey, Russia and North Korea which had tried to help them or exploit their difficulties would be the sum total of what was available to it, they would be wrong. Washington used not only land and space weapons against them but also undersea ones to make the terrible earthquake on December 26, 2004 which caused the deadly tsumanis which devastated the Muslim countries, lying around the Indian Ocean, in the hope of preventing them in any way from joining radical Islam in its growing fight against the West.

The origin of the new weapons was the result of continuing inter-service rivalry plaguing the Pentagon, especially that between the National Reconnaissance Office's satellities and the US Navy, particularly its attack submarines - what just continued to rise despite the end of the Cold War with the Soviets. While all the services had had to reduce their numbers, close bases, settle for less money, find more effective weapons systems, and seek more relevant missions, the bloated Navy - thanks particularly to Reagan Navy Secretary John Lehman, Jr.'s wild amibition to control the seas by a 600-ship fleet - had the hardest time adjusting to the new situation since the new threats were based on land, and were only using the skies to spread their alleged missions. The US Navy seemed to be without a serious mission, now that freedom of the seas had been secured.

It was in this context that Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vernon Clark took control of the service in July 2000, setting a task force on the dangerous mission of trailing the Kursk to show Secretary of Defense William Cohen that the Navy was still able to take it to the enemy - what resulted in the USS Toledo sinking the Soviet sub when the USS Memphis crashed into it from behind. While the disaster cost the USA dearly - President Clinton having to forget about the $10 billion debt that Putin's Russian owed Washington - it was still seen by the gung-ho sailors as a great victory, though commanding officers of ships were increasingly screwing up in other missions, resulting in their losing it, because of the strain.

In the Toledo's case, the crew boasted about its achievement in cryptic ways despite the risks it took in doing so. The sub's seaman claimed that it was the best attack submarine in the Atlantic fleet though it had only arrived in 1985, and failed to be even mentioned in Sherry Sontag's and Christopher Drew's Blind Man'a Bluff: The Untold Story of American Espionage. In scanning their Appendix C, dealing with submarine awards from 1958 through 1998 (pp. 415-35), there is no mention of the USS Toledo.

Torpedo man Todd Grace aka Toredo still boasted about being the last on board during the "Northern Run" which, it seems, caused the disaster. Toredoes are shipworms noted for their ability to sink unsuspecting wooden ships, and Grace, along with his boss, sorely missed "Big Al", had done the same to its steel counterparts with the latest version of the MK-48 torpedo when the Toledo thought that the Kursk was going to sink the Memphis after it collided with the Russian monster.

Actually, the USS Parche - the most rewarded attack submarine in the Atlantic Fleet - had won yet another Presidential Unit Citation (PUC) in the last year of the listing. It won eight in all, plus other lesser awards. The Parche - in Operation Ivy Bells at the beginning of March 1986 for which it received its fifth PUC - had bugged the same Soviet naval base in anticipation of Moscow being caught completely by surprise by the assassassination of Sweden's statsminister Olof Palme. It was because of the spying for the Soviets by the Agency's Aldrich 'Rick' Ames, the Bureau's Robert Hanssen and others that its bugging, and the growing presence of a horde of other American attack submarines came as no surprise to the Soviets.

Even the USS Memphis - which was badly damaged when the Kursk was sunk - received the Navy Unit Citation in 1981, and the Meritorious Unit Commendation three years later, and it must have gotten some recognition for its trouble with the Kursk, though, of course, nothing that the Navy could officially acknowledge.

Clark's navy was more forthcoming about the Toledo's efforts - its famous "Northern Run" which took on almost mythic proportions when its crewmen alluded to it in scuttlebutt and on the internet - after the furore over the sinking of the Kursk had passed, and the completion of Operation Iraqi Freedom had been accomplished. The Navy's Rear Admiral Joseph Walsh presented the Toledo's Commander Michael Poirier the Bronze Star for the deed at a ceremony at Groton's Dealey Center Theater before a crowd of 1,400 spectators on October 20, 2003. Poirier was also a hot-shot thinker of the new Navy, having written "Sea Control and Regional Warfare" for the July 1993 issue of U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings. In it, the Lt. Commander had recommended that the Navy improve its power projection capability rather than establish battle space dominance in the world's littorals - what he had still had to employ at the drop-of-a-hat when the Memphis collided with the Kursk off the Kola Peninsula littoral.

The shocking thing about the award was that the Navy acted as if Poirier received it for the Toledo's actions in the ouster of Saddam Hussein when the submarine was apparently not involved in the removal, and tried to cover it up by giving the award to four other submarine commanders who were - those who captained the Augusta, San Juan, Providence, and Pittsburgh. Poirier was recognied as the former commander of the Toledo twice in the official press report, and while the other four commanders spoke about their subs' efforts in the Persian Gulf during the operation, he said nothing. In short, it was apparently a clever ruse on the public for what the Toledo's commander did, but could never be publicly acknowledged. Moreover, if the Toledo was such a big player in Saddam's ouster, why hasn't its crew members made mention of it too in their scuttlebutt and internet chatter?

The belated award to Poirier was also recognition that the Navy was already in the process of implementing his ideas, among others, about improving it power projection capability, though Poirier himself, for understandable reasons, was put in moth balls, last commanding the Newport Naval Station where training facilities and decommissioned ships are kept.

In justifying the Defense Department's $15.3 billion increase for FY2004 over the previous year's, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz sounded just like Poirier when he called for the increases across the board. "Indeed, in an era of proliferation and asymmetric threats," Wolfowitz told the House Budget Committee, "we must have the ability to confront a potentially wide range of threats." Washington must transform its military, he added, while fighting wars on various fronts. Another 9/11 attack, if the terrorists had WMD, could be catastrophic.

The Deputy Secretary said that the new increases were to build upon what had been laid out in the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review. "Transformation," he explained, "is about new ways of thinking, fighting and managing the Department's scarce resourses." During the next five years, $80 billion would be shifted from doing things in the old way to new ways of unconventional thinking, giving people freedom to take risks and try new things, fostering a more entreprenuerial approach to the development of military capabilities, and anticipating new threats before they emerge. "The new way of thinking," Wolfowitz concluded, "is now being implemented in visionary war-fighting, operational concepts, a restructured unified command plan, and transformational military capabilities such as unmammed aerial vehicles and new generations of satellite communications."

Right at this time, the Navy was finally putting together its visionary concepts in preventive war-fighting, thanks to the scientific community developing equipment which was capable of determining where the most likely, serious seismic activity was apt to occur, machinery which could trigger earthquakes of any strength, and how it could be employed in the new Seawolf class submarine. The first was accomplished by OBS light-weight machines which could plumb the bottom to the oceans to determine where the most fragile junctions of the earth's plates existed below all the sediment. The second was achieved primarily through air guns - machines which could fire increasing cominbations of compressed air into the water to determine just where the fissures in the earth existed through small earthquakes. And the new Seawolf stealth sub is the USS Jimmy Carter - what the specially honored ex-President would never suspect was being used for such purposes.

For the development of the equipment and experiments, especially in the Los Angeles area when the Navy was still deciding what it wanted the Jimmy Carter to do, see this link:

Of course, Carter, an ex-submariner, was pleased as punch about the naming of the new sub, stating that he much preferred becoming its name rather than for Washington's former National Airport - what was named after President Reagan instead. It was to be built by General Dynamics Electric Boat Division, and its keel was laid at the end of 1998 with expectations that it would be in service by late 2001. In June 2004, the submarine was finally chistened by former First Lady Rosalynn Carter who became its sponsor. All the while, the Navy encouraged all sorts of speculation about the sub's mission, essentially that it would be some kind of laboratory about the oceans', combatants' and submarines' potential.

It was not the first time that the Navy had fooled the world, especially the former President. In the spring of 1978, the Navy had persuaded Carter, a believer in the role of its boomers in the Cold War, to allow it to go ahead with planning missions for tapping the Soviet underwater cables in the Barents Sea to learn what it was planning in any emergency (Operation Ivy Bells) - what the Navy activated in 1979 by sending the Parche there to make sure that the Soviets did not know of its presence in their territorial waters, and to make sure they were honoring the terms of the just signed SALT II Treaty.

When the most secret and dangerous mission was accomplished safely, Carter gave the unit the Presidential Unit Citation, and each member of the crew a certificate with the presidential seal at the top, and his signature at the bottom. (For more, see Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew, Blind Man's Bluff, p.295ff.)

With Carter again coopted in the Navy's project, the sub had its mission changed. In December 1999, Electric Boat was awarded a new contract, worth almost a billion dollars, to change its capabilities. The most important addition would be a 30-meter long Multi-Mission Platform (MMP) aka a plug which could store all kinds of equipment, like Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs), and additional forces, like Navy SEALs. The preferred explanation of the MMP was that it might be needed space for examining underwater fiber optic cables after they had been recovered from the sea floor to establish where best to splice it for tapping. The submarine would also have special maneurvering devices, both fore and aft, to allow it to remain stationary over targets with strong currents.

While it all sounded, as usual, most benign, it became less so if one thought about air guns or some big, new sound laser, designed to create shattering sounds, operating from some sea floor, thanks to some ROV. There are now lasers which can make big bangs underwater, as a recent issue of Science Daily acknowledged. "These lasers travel through air and water to generate an underwater explosion of sound at a remote location without the need of extra hardware." What if the Navy decided to operate powerful air guns from the Carter located over some fragile bit of the earth's shell on the ocean's floor, used a sound laser in its MMP to expose and desiccate some unstable fissure in some remote part of the earth's oceans, etc.?

If this was not the case, why would the commanding officer of the Carter's Pre-Commissioned Unit, Commander David Bartholomew, Jr., have himself relieved of command on January 24, 2004 because of "loss of confidence" in such prestigious and apparently sought after position? While Bartholomew was threatened with administrative or disciplinary punishment, it seems as if he was simply retired, at the rank of Captain. It sounds as if he had simply refused to follow dangerous orders in preparing the sub for action - what he alluded to recently after reading Don Ulmer's Silent Battleground: "His wardroom scenes are so realistic that I found myself there. Don shows us a scenario that very nearly happened. In doing so, he not only gives us a view of professional Navy officers, but opens a rare glimpse into the war-fighters personal lives - on both sides of a conflict we hope never happens."

The book is about professional submariners who prevent nuclear annihilation, sought by ambitious politicians.

The strangeness of Bartholonew's removal is compounded by the fact that it took over two years for the Navy to find a permanent replacement, Commander David Honabach. Seems as if it had a very special mission which few submarine officers were either willing or qualified to take. During the interim, Captain Robert Kelso, deputy chief of staff of Submarine Development Squadron 12 at New London's Naval Subarmine Base, took command of the sub which he was the most involved officer in its development. Kelso was in charge during its alpha sea trials, completed on November 19, 2004, and after Electric Boat delivered it officially to the Navy three days before Christmas. It was commissioned on February 10, 2005 at New London's Naval Submarine Base (NSB).

This sounds like official obfuscation, like when the Parche was on its circuitous course to the Barents back in 1979 to keep everyone, even President Carter, in the dark about what it was up to. About its trip, Sontag and Drew wrote, "She'd travel a route that had probably never been taken before, the one path that would bypass all of the Soviet choke points, just about the most difficult and dangerous way possible." (p. 302) While the Carter did not have the USSR to worry about, it had to arrive at the target area without anyone else knowing it was already involved in secret operations before Electric Boat officially delivered it, and without an inkling, like with the Parche's most secret missions, where it might be - somewhere in the Pacific, near the Antarctic Circle, south of New Zealand, via probably the Cape of Good Hope.

While the plot, Wolfowitz's, was now coming into play, the world, especially the media, was unaware of anything untoward being in the works, thanks to its being obsessed by President's Bush's seeking re-election. Even bloggers who knew about Bartholomew's ouster, only attributed it to the continuing problems that the partially out-of-control, demoralized service was having with commanding officers - i. e., incompetent, illegal, immoral leadership.

A month after Bartholonew's replacement, Rumsfeld still gave a glimpse of what might well happen before a Defense Transformation conference, especially with converted Tridents or subs with the Multi-Mission Platforms: "...allows Naval Special Forces to think about using submarines in ways that weren't conceiveable in the past." The use of converted attack submarines to carry Navy SEALs and submersibles were old hat for the Navy. After Bush was safely re-elected, and the Carter was getting into position, the SOD told a November 8th press conference: "The focus today is on speed, it's on precision, it's on mobility, stealth and networked forces."

The Carter's first use of its MMP apparently occurred around Thanksgiving Time, 2004, resulting in such big bangs underwater that 169 whales and dolphins were washed up on the coast of Trasmania during a three-day period. Its sound laser had apparently done the killing. The strength and low wavelength of its bangs simply drive them crazy. Australian Senator and Green Party leader Bob Brown, thanks to advice provided by Jim Cummings of the Acoustic Ecology Institute - blamed it upon "sound bombing" apparently by unknown exploration parties looking for oil as he had no idea that the Pentagon was responsible. Brown was no friend of the Bush administration having interrupted the President's speech a year earlier before the Australian Parliament. Then in early December, at least another 140 whales beached themselves around Tasmania.

With no hint that the Navy may have been responsible, the Carter was permitted, it seems, to do everything it could to cause a massive earthquake at the southern end of the Australian-Indian plate with the expectation that it would so loosen it from the Burma one at the other end that it would collapse. On December 23rd, a powerful air gun - lowered to the floor of the Pacific near the Macquarie and Auckland Islands, 800 kilometers southeast of Tasmania, and fired continuously into its sediment - caused an 8.1 earthquake, and two days later the anticipated masssive 9.2 quake occurred west of Indonesia's Sumatra, wreaking havoc with its following tsunamis upon troublesome Aceh province, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka and the Nicobar and Andaman Islands. Other Muslim hot spots, Malaysia and Myanmar, were only spared because Indonesia and Thailand respectively took the pounding intended for them.

Of course, the devastating numbers of drownings and deaths would have been far less if there had been an adequate warning system but there wasn't and still isn't one, though the Navy managed to warn its facilities, as far away its base at Diego Garcia, of the impending disaster. The tsumanis were the latest weapons in the Pentagon's arsenal, it seems, killing nearly 300,000 potential Islamic troublemakers - what was always Wolfowitz's aim since the ouster of Indonesia's General Suharto. Washington promised a puny $35 million when the disasters occurred, and raised its aid ten fold when they appeared to be having the desired effect upon the populations concerned, especially in war-torn Aceh.

As for the Carter, it kept a low profile after it was officially commissioned. It just sat on its hands for seven months at New London's NSB until taking off for its new homeport at Bangor Annex of the Kitsap, Washington Naval Base. In doing so, it showed off that its capability to cause surprises had been a much higher priority than its seaworthiness, as it damaged its conning tower while running on the surface when it contacted unexpected high waves in Long Island Sound on October 14th while leaving New London.

Once the submarine had bedded down there, and had finally gotten a permanent captain, Commander Honabach, the following June, it was finally in a position to be rewarded. The Carter received a coveted "Battle E" aka Battle Efficiency Award for its performance during 2007 - like Commander Michael Poirier's belated Bronze Star. The Navy always recognizes its most deserving personnel, no matter what the mission, its consequences, and the necessary wait

The Pentagon, though, was nowhere near over its preventive wars with America's enemies, especially Muslims and their potential supporters, as we shall see.

Monday, 11 May 2009

What Links Expenses and Torture: New Labour's Total Immorality.

by Craig Murray

It is good that details of MPs expenses have got out. I am sad if they were sold rather than leaked in the public interest, but they should have been available, unredacted, anyway.

Having said that, the Telegraph has made a massive pig's ear of its big scoop. It majors on Gordon Brown paying his cleaner through his brother. That sounds to me unwise of Brown, but really not a huge front page story. I am not convinced Gordon Brown fiddled anything.

On the other hand, Hazel Blears changing her official second home designation three times in a year, in order to get the taxpayer to pay for furnishing all her homes, is simply crooked. As are Hoon's multiple home arrangements. Jack Straw only paid back his "accidental" excessive claims for mortgage and council tax after the Freedom of Information Act ruling that expenses would be published. The Telegraph throws away the really crooked transactions in the odd phrase.

Straw's expenses are particularly interesting. He has lived in a series of London government mansions ever since 1997. The taxpayer pays for his Blackburn flat, but his real home is his £1million plus Cotswolds property. Just where Straw gets all his money is an interesting question. Some real investigative journalism into Straw's relationship with his bagman, Lord Taylor of Blackburn, and the peddling of influence for the defence industry, would be more interesting than anything the Telegraph reports today.

But I am struck by the continued government mantra of "It was all within the rules", which Harriet Harman is being trotted round the television studios to spout this morning. Harriet has the job because she hasn't made dodgy claims. She is old money. Her family don't even notice the odd £100,000.

But this idea that it is OK to stretch the rules to the limit - with no worry whether it is right or wrong - is not a minor point. It is done for advantage, so it is immoral, not amoral.

It is an issue which has been heavily on my mind since I gave evidence on ministerial complicity in torture to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights last week. Nobody except me and possibly Cranley Onslow showed any horror at torture. There was instead a discussion on the finest details of whether there was any possible way this may be declared legal, "within the rules".

Even on an issue like torture, right and wrong seems to have disappeared completely from our national political discourse. Is it any wonder they are fiddling their expenses?

Full story...

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Glimpses of America's Man-Made Disasters (Part 2)

by Trowbridge H. Ford

National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Director Keith Hall's decision in August 2000 to have its officers wear a shoulder patch, portraying its covert role, was not dictated by any kind of gloating over its efforts but by simple inter-service rivalry. The Air Force agency had long been locked in competition with its closest US Navy rivals, its boomers and attack submarines, in cutting down America's real and potential enemies to size since all-out nuclear war seemed unthinkable. It then became a race between who could best stop, it seems, adversaries in the war-making tracks.

The event which triggered's Hall's decision was the US Navy's sinking the allegedly unsinkable Russian cruise missile submarine Kursk as it went out of its harbor near Murmansk on a demonstration run for prospective Chinese buyers. The USS Memphis - an attack submarine trailing it - overran the quite silent Russian giant, colliding with it, and so seriously injuring itself that the accompanying American attack sub, the USS Toledo, thought that the Kursk had somehow sunk it, resulting in its firing an MK-48 torpedo into the Russian one which sunk it. This result cooled down considerably American fears of what the Chinese could do to their battle groups in the Straits of Formosa in an showdown with Beijing.

Rather than this disaster resulting in some kind of serious confrontation with Russia, though, President Clinton, furious that just installed Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Vern Clark had kicked off his tenure with another collision in Russia's home waters - what had happened when Clinton started his tenure as President on March 20, 1993 when the USS Grayling rammed a conventional Russian one in the Barent Sea - agreed to compensate Moscow for the disaster by writing off its $10 billion debt. While this extraordinary action soon made the departing President a dead duck, Clark went on to become the second longest-serving CNO - only surpassed by Admiral Arleigh Burke - and he was seriously considered as the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs after the 9/11 attacks.

It was just as well as Clark, the maker of the Kursk disaster, would have made the worst case scenario in world affairs as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He believed in divine intervention when it came to international affairs, and he planned to become the President's chief military adviser if he got the job, especially "...taking it to the enemy" (p. 59), as Bob Woodward recalled in State of Denial.

For example, Clark, as Clinton's Chairman, would have made mincemeat out of Serbia when it came to its ethic cleansing in Kovoso. Clark, a seaman who had come up through the ranks, had nothing but contempt for previous Chairmen, almost all of whom had attended the service acadamies. It's easy to imagine that Clark would have made an even worse mess of the Middle East than Bush, SOD Don Rumsfeld, his deputy Paul Wolfowitz and Vice President Dick Cheney did by themselves if he had gotten the chance.

The NRO's covert surprise had been the sinking of the area around Izmit, Turkey with a deadly earthquake early on the morning of August 17, 1999. It was Washington's punishment of the extremely nationalistic government of Mustafa Ecevit for assisting Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosovic during NATO's bombardment of Serbia because of its military occupation of Kosovo. A Turkish spy in NATO had supplied the Serbians with its intended targets, resulting in such a drawn-out, needlessly destructive campaign. Clinton was so mad that he had the Chinese Embassy bombed when he learned that they were helping Milosevic too, and quahed a Chinese deal for Israeli aircraft after he learned that Tel Aviv had helped Belgarde in its crusade against indigenous Muslims.

The Izmit earthquake had a very beneficial effect upon Turkey, though, from the point of view of US strategic interests. Ecevit, the Prime Minister who ordered the invasion of Cyprus, was the last guy Washington wanted running Turkish affairs, and the earthquake, given its human and infra-structure losses, put his government firmly on the road to ruin. As if the numbers of citizens killed, injured, and made homeless was not enough, Ecevit called off the search effort too quickly, and simply bulldozed over the site in order to prevent an alleged epidemic. While Ecevit held on doggedly to power for another two years, Izmit certainly started him on his way down, opening up the country to government by moderate Muslims - what Washington and London desperately wanted.

With this kind of achievement for gung-ho military operatives, it was hardly surprising that NRO Director Hall agreed to the new shoulder patch a year later, but it should never have been so graphic, especially since he had been so careful to play down, and cover up previous agency excesses. He had gotten the position in 1997 in the wake of some exposure of its institutional and operational free-wheeling. The NRO, whose very existence had only been officially acknowledged in September 1992, had built itself a cushy new headquarters at Chantilly, Virginia out funds it had accummulated over the years through congressional overfunding of projects which either cost less or were never completed. When this was only partly exposed, the then Director Martin Faga and Deputy Director Jimmie D. Hill were obliged to vacate the premises.

Hall instituted a system of small contracts for vehicles and technology it wanted which were subjected to quarterly financial reviews so as to avoid unnecessary expenditures and delays, the source of congresssional complaints. He envisioned the placing of broadly-based, integrated intelligence systems in space aka Future Imaging Architecture out of the specialized fields of space borne technology which cluttered the agency's mission - what had resulted in the Keyhole-11 laser satellites not having much of a purpose until it was discovered that they could induce earthquakes in sandy terrains, especially if they had been opened up for penetration, especially by qanats.

Hall also stopped in its tracks any release of information about really secret operations, especially their stealth capability - what took 16 years to surmount in most elementary ways, as Professor Jeffrey T. Richelson demonstrated when he only acknowledged that the NRO had finally come back "out of the black" in an article posted last September - "Out of the Black: The Declassification of the NRO" - about its release of highly redacted documents about its existence and organization. There was nothing about operations during the 1980s and 1990s when it was apparently causing earthquakes in Iran and Turkey, thanks to its laser and stealth capability.

The issue of "out of the black" concerned much more than just secrecy and non-disclosure; it also concerned the stealth character of the satellites, as the controversial shoulder patch displayed. One of the four space vehicles depicted upon it, circumventing the globe, was one embroidered in black, indicating that it had some power to hit back undisclosed if it wanted. As for what that was, the scorpian, with its deadly tail cocked to hit back, and hiding behind a protective mesh, left little doubt about its effectiveness. In sum, the shoulder patch said far more about the NRO than all the documents disclosed about it up to now.

Little wonder that Hall was soon in the dog house after the new Bush administration took office in January 2001 because of the shoulder patch adoption, especially since it had asked him to stay on as director, making him its longest serving one. Hall had even received the Dr. Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy for 2000 by the National Space Club because of his achievements at the NR0, but it did not save him from the blowback over the patch.

Moreovewr, the NRO's input when it came to counterterrorism - much like the FBI's, once Robert Hanssen's spying for the Soviets was discovered several months later, and just before the 9/11 attacks - proved too little, too late when the alleged highjackers turned out to be really suicide bombers. Hall, thanks to input by Deputy Director Dennis Fitzgerald who had just come over from George Tenet's CIA, staged a mock test of an airplane crashing into its lush premises at the very time the actual bombings of the WTC and the Pentagon occurred, in the hope of showing other agencies just how ahead it was in the counterterrorism game.

When the disasters still occurred - thanks to CIA incompetence - they resulted in Hall's own retirement in December. (For more on this, see my article, "The Prelude: US Intelligence - 11 September 2001," Eye Spy, Issue Eight 2002, pp. 26-33.)

To keep the public confused about what had happened at the NRO, and what was now in the offing, the government staged a most bizarre reception for the new director, Peter B. Teets, at the Space Technology Hall of Fame Dinner in following April. Teets is a vigorous proponent for further weaponizing space. The keynote speaker at the dinner - attended by all the leading military leaders of the Bush administration, including the President - was W. David Thompson, a one-time NRO employee, and founder, president, and ceo of Spectrum Astro which had designed a dozen high performance satellites for the NRO, and was ultimately bought by General Dynamics for over a billion dollars.

Thompson laced into the NRO in no uncertain terms, but the purpose of the speech was to provide the agency with a smoke-screen for what it would now have to do against Al-Qaeda and its Muslims supporters. "Over the past decade," he announced, "the NRO has posted a sorry decline into mediocrity and aristocracy. Today's NRO is a rogue agency arrogant and holier than thou....The NRO staff is a know-it-all about everything. You've dealt with them - you can't tell them anything. They already know far more than you do."

Then Thompson compared the NRO facilities at its Taj Mahal, particularly its cafeteria, with those of the rest of the government, especially the President's, and found them decidedly inferior. "I promise you it's nicer than the White House cafeteria," he complained, "but where are those revolutionary satellites that they promised us?" Its slogan should be: "Buying Yesterday's Technology at Tomorrow's Prices" - unlike what the shoulder patch proudly pronounced: "We Own The Night." Thompson then mentioned all the failed launches and satellites, concluding with a call for the agency to fix itself under the new leadership of former Air Force Secretary and current Pentagon acquisitions chief Edward Aldridge, Director Teets, Deputy Director Fitzgerald et al. Aldridge was in charge of the NRO during the Challenger fiasco, and Fitzgerald survived its 9/11 fiasco, indicating just how little things had really changed.

Under the circumstances, one must conclude that this was mostly eyewash to confuse the uninformed public. How could NRO's 3,000 allegedly spoiled, unproductive workers cure themselves? Then how could things have been so bad if Thompson had been so productive, and profitable in making satelllites for it? Most important, how could the NRO have been allowed to advertise itself with apparently such a false shoulder patch, announcing it control of the skies, especially during the night when no one expected anything? Thompson's speech was an officially promoted effort to give the agency time to do its dirty work in the war on terror while no one outside the most covert parts of the American government still thought it capable of much.

The NRO was seriously called into the intelligence war against Al-Qaeda until the ouster of the Talaban and Saddam were completed, giving it time to improve its Misty satellites which combined deployable decoys, radar, stealth cloaking, and mission specific packages, particularly various kinds of lasers, in vehicles so heavy that they sometimes proved too heavy for their rockets to safely launch. The lasers in the Misty buses could weigh up to 10 tons., and provide beams of up to several million watts for tiny lengths of a second. For what kind of lasers they contained, see this link:

While this was going on, SOD Rumsfeld strengthened his hold on the preemptive capacity of the Pentagon by appointing crony Stephen Cambone a new undersecretary in charge of coordinating the activities of the NRO with those of the NSA, the National imagery and Mapping Agency, and the Defense Intelligence Agency to make sure that future operations were not restrained by any niceites regarding means and ends that the CIA called for - what had led to the 9/11 disasters. Furthermore, at the National Space Symposium at Colorado Springs in April 2003, Air Force Secretary James Roche, Teets' official boss, stated that the United States would deny any country, even allies, use of space for intelligence purposes. "If allies don't like the new paradigm," Roche said, "they'll just have to learn to accept it." (Quoted from Chalmers Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire, p. 311.)

Washington demonstrated what it had in mind for enemies who questioned its military unilateralism when Iran's mullahs were suspected of stoking up the chaos in Iraq, and hoping to take strategic advantage of it - what threatened to become an utter fiasco if its Shias joined a nuclear-armed Iran. The interim Prime Minister was Ibrahim al-Jafari, a Shiite who suited Bremer's plans to exclude the defeated Sunnis as much as possible from power. "The outcome," Noam Chomsky warote in Failed States, "could be a loose Shiite-dominated alliance comprising Iraq, Iran, and the oil regions of Saudi Arabia, independent of Washington and controlling the bulk of the world's energy resources." (p. 145)

With the NRO apparently in the official doghouse - Director Teets eager to take advantage of its arms in space - it was easy to cause a devastating 6.3 earthquake in Bam, Iran at 5.26 a.m. local time on December 26, 2003 after its latest Misty satellite had heated up the city's ancient qanat system every 90 minutes its passed over. Bam had a vast underground collection system of water, including many deep wells, and 341 qanats to irrigate its fields of date palms, and supply water to its 100,000 residents. About 40,000 of them were killed in the airborne-caused earthquake, and another 30,000 injured. Its ancient citadel, its source of tourism, and a UNESCO treasure, was totally destroyed in the disasster.

Chinese chemist and earthquake investigator Professor Zhonghao Shou, who the American government had coopted to California, and made an American citizen in order to limit his alarming activities, had used his Earthquake Vapor Theory - based upon what had happened in Izmit in 1999 -to predict the Bam disaster the day before it happened. He based his prediction upon the vapor cloud which was rising from Bam, thanks to the heat that the Misty beams were causing to its underground reservoirs. To minimize his potential impact upon the Iranian authorities, Washington offered generous aid to Tehran in return for its allowing inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect its continuing, controversial atomic development.

When the mullahs reneged on their promises about letting the IAEA inspectors do their work - apparently thanks in part to Shou's disturbing claims about what might have caused the earthquake in a region not known for either earth plates rubbing together or volcanoes erupting to cause the necessary heat - the Pentagon, it seems, attacked Iran again two months later to punish this player of the alleged 'axis of evil'. At the other end of the country, more Misty beams caused another slight earthquake at 4 a.m. local time in Neyshabur, causing 17 train cars loaded with sulphur, petrol and ferilisizer to break loose from its station, and derail 12 miles down the line, resulting in terrible fires and explosions which killed about 300 people.

Two months later, it was North Korea's turn to get similar treatment, though this time it had included a plot to kill its leader Kim Jong-ii - who was returning from Beijing after a discussion with the Chinese leadership about its nuclear ambitions - which had been scrubbed at the last minute because of another devastating attack early in the moring of April 23rd would have been just too coincidental for comfort. Instead the NRO, it seems, settled nine hours later - or six revolutions later of the earth by the satellite - upon a train carrying explosives directly or, according to official sources, exposed electrical lines along the tracks somehow causing two train cars of dynamite to explode. The disaster killed several hundred North Koreans, injured 1,200, and destroyed or damaged more than 8,000 homes.

These attacks seemed just what the doctor in Washington ordered when almost everyone was predicting that it was bound to have more preventive wars with Iran and North Korea, especially since the March 2002 Nuclear Posture Review had identified them " potential targets for nuclear weapons," as Johnson reminded us, "and it laid out plans to build a nuclear 'robust earth penetrator' as well a new plant to manufacture nuclear weapons, a new interncontinental ballistic imissile, a new submarine-launched missile, and a new bomber." (Quoted from p. 290.)

As usual, Washington was just pouring out more deceptions about what it was actually up to, as we shall be in spades in the next article.