Saturday, February 05, 2005

Post Traumatic Society: Wounded in Action

Wounded in Action

Haunted by his experiences as an army medic in Iraq, David McGough couldn't cope with life after his tour of duty. Yet it took two failed suicide attempts before he was diagnosed as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Alison Roberts on the forgotten casualties of the war


The Guardian
Alison Roberts
http://society.guardian.co.uk/mentalhealth/story/
0,8150,1405859,00.html
Friday February 4, 2005


The first symptom was sleeplessness. It was July 2003 and Lance Corporal David McGough of the Royal Army Medical Corps was just back from a five-month tour of duty in Basra, Iraq. Lots of the lads from his unit had trouble settling back to a normal routine at first, but most were OK within a fortnight or so. David, however, did not sleep for an entire month.
"My body just wouldn't switch off," he tells me, fidgeting with his hands. "All the time this tension was building, this incredibly tense restlessness. I was going for weeks without any sleep at all and then collapsing, sleeping for maybe six hours, and then starting all over again." At night, on leave, he walked around his small maisonette in a suburb of Preston, Lancashire, folding and re-folding his clothes, checking and double-checking the locks, looking over his shoulder repeatedly for imagined intruders.

McGough was vomiting every day, often bloodily. The odour of cooking or burned meat made him sick, though "the worst thing is the smell of public toilets". "That brings the PoW camps back. The stench of those places was horrendous."

Mostly it was the insomnia that started to drive him mad, that made him crash his car and almost beat his then-fiancee, that both masked and exacerbated his chronic underlying depression. The army doctor at the camp in Preston prescribed him Prozac and more or less told him to pull himself together. When Prozac failed to work, McGough was given a stronger antidepressant, citalopram, "but no sleeping tablets, and by then - Christmas - I wasn't really sleeping at all".

McGough's two attempts at suicide, both at Christmas in 2003, were more cries for help than committed bids to kill himself. On the first occasion he held a knife across his throat until his sister begged him to put it down, and on the second he put a 9mm pistol to his head but did not pull the trigger fully. Horrified by what was happening, McGough's father, a civil servant based in Northern Ireland, called Dr Alun Jones, a civilian psychiatrist who specialises in diagnosing and treating psychological problems in servicemen and women. "It was immediately clear," says Jones, "that McGough was suffering a severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder."

So far, PTSD experts have seen a mere handful of British sufferers from this latest war in Iraq - but as the violence goes on, the trickle is expected to become a flood. Late last year, the independent inquiry into Gulf war illnesses chaired by Lord Lloyd of Berwick came to the conclusion that there was "every reason" to accept the existence of a Gulf war syndrome, and that post-traumatic stress was one of several contributing factors. Though the Ministry of Defence does not publish statistical predictions, military psychiatrists in America have been warned to expect psychiatric disorder to occur in a remarkable 20% of servicemen and women returning from Iraq.

"What we've got now is a situation starting to approximate to Northern Ireland or Bosnia, to civil insurrection rather than a straight shooting war," says Jones, who runs PTSD clinics around the country and at a residential centre in north Wales."In those kinds of circumstances, where you're experiencing hatred and violence from an unpredictable civilian population, we tend to get a lot of very disturbed and damaged soldiers." In the field of trauma studies, this atmosphere of constant and random danger is known by the shorthand "no safe place".

Other surveys suggest that roughly half the servicemen who suffer psychiatric illness as a result of traumatic events do not seek medical help, or do so years later, when the psychological afterburn has irreparably damaged marriages, careers and mental wellbeing. "And there's still a stigma attached," says Leigh Skelton, director of clinical services at Combat Stress, the ex-services mental welfare charity. "PTSD is seen as a career-stopper within the army. Generally, the first line of action servicemen and women take is to bottle it up. Then they'll self-medicate, usually with alcohol, sometimes with other substances. Cries for help often come from relatives rather than from the affected person."

Symptoms range from insomnia, nausea and extreme fatigue to the classic "flashback"; aggression, feelings of alienation and irrational anger. Sometimes the disorder centres on one particular memory. A 30-year-old female ambulance driver in the Territorial Army, for example, constantly replays the moment her vehicle was blown up last year by a hand-made bomb tied to a lamp-post in Basra. One marine in his early 20s now suffering chronic PTSD remembers "the fear in the eyes of an Iraqi soldier in the window" of a building mortared by the British; and seeing that fear again when British soldiers mistakenly opened fire on a civilian vehicle.

McGough, however, identified no single trigger. Skinny and pale, when I met him in late November he was a shadow of the strong young man he was pre-Iraq - the high-flyer who studied psychology at Queen's College, Belfast, who loved to sky-dive and socialise, who was promoted within a year of joining the RAMC. For him, the pressure began the moment he and his medical unit moved into Iraq, at 2.30am on the first night of the war, four hours after the Americans began their aerial bombardment of Baghdad.

McGough was 21 years old and effectively in charge of 80 rookie soldiers fresh out of training, most of them still teenagers. As medics, they travelled in canvas-roofed trucks and were not equipped with body armour. "There was gunfire everywhere. Some of them were literally crapping themselves in the back of those trucks." That first night, there wasn't even time to pitch camp. "The worst casualty I saw was an Iraqi guy hit about 13 times, big chunks of his stomach, face and legs just gone. We intubated him and opened him up by the side of a truck. You do it on autopilot at the time because your training kicks in. It's only afterwards you start to think about what you've seen and done."

The mobile field unit, the first line of medical services, was initially established just south of Basra, but was twice relocated to escape attack. Its job was to mop up trauma cases, stabilise them and send them to field hospitals nearer the southern border. According to McGough, the medical unit received up to 1,000 wounded Iraqis during his five-and-a-half-month tour of duty, of whom perhaps 60% died and were buried in mass graves.

A large proportion of the medics' work, however, took place in the PoW camps set up on each site. "Usually we had about 150 prisoners coming in a day," says McGough, "both soldiers and civilians who'd been picked up with guns. Some had clearly been tortured by the Iraqi regime. There was one man who had thick black stuff, like goo, coming out of his penis, and said he'd been injected with something when he was a prisoner before. Others had quite infected lash wounds on their backs, or broken jaw bones." The unit also saw a number of raped women, who were treated and counselled by a female army gynaecologist.

Seemingly futile or absurd situations are known to compound wartime trauma. The unit's first location at Basra was regularly attacked by Iraqis defending a nearby ammunition dump from a maze-like system of trenches. "There was no adherence to any kind of convention on their part. Sometimes it was ridiculous. Every time we hit and wounded someone, a white flag would go up on their side and the others would bring the man we'd wounded over to the base for treatment. Then they'd go back up and start shooting at us again."

Most harrowing of all was the discovery of the corpse of a 12-year-old girl who'd been hanged in a backstreet alley in Basra. McGough was sent to confirm the death and recognised her as the child to whom he and his comrades had chatted the week before. "We heard later that she was probably hanged by the crowd because she'd been talking to our crew ... That was one of the worst things. You expect to see some nasty stuff, but seeing a little girl hanging in the street because she once spoke to you ... "

PTSD has been a recognised injury of war for more than 30 years, yet treatment in Britain is still very patchy. It took complete break-down ("my girlfriend found me one night huddled on the floor, shaking and crying") and several emergency trips to hospital in Preston before McGough was finally prescribed sleeping tablets. While a member of the British army, he was unable to access the civilian care system - and had been informed of a decision to discharge him without a pension.

"The army is not a branch of the social services," says Jones, "but I do think there is a certain duty of care, knowing what we now know about the effects of trauma. It would be reasonable to expect the army to check these lads over for psychological injury when they come back from combat, but in fact there is no obligation whatsoever to do this."

"No one rings or visits in the mornings because I'm just a horrible, nasty person before the drugs have kicked in," says McGough. He was increasingly convinced that his physical symptoms - the vomiting and chronic weight loss - are related to anthrax injections and to the Naps tablets taken to counter the potential use of enemy nerve agents. On bad days he does not get out of bed at all.

"I loved being in the army," he says. "It was supposed to be my long-term career, and I was prepared to give everything to it ... I just wish I could shake this and get on with my life again."

Gansters Without Borders: Tiny White Maggot

Gangsters Without Borders: Tiny White Maggot

As the maggot cannot see beyond the meat, so too these men of greed-stunted understanding can see nothing of worth outside their own bottomless appetites.


Tiny White Maggot: Greed, Darwin, and the Reigning Philosophy

Global Eye
The Moscow Times

Worm Turning
Chris Floyd,

November 26, 2004


There has been much throwing about of brains o­n the subject of George W. Bush's further lurch to the Right since he limped over the election finish line with his tiny, 1 percent, fraud-marred majority. And to be sure, the wholesale purges he has instituted throughout his regime -- replacing a slew of merely cringing sycophants with cringing, drooling, groveling sycophants -- will indeed hasten the United States' degeneration into corpo-religious authoritarianism along the lines of Franco's Spain.

But all the earnest disquisitions about Bush's Franco-U.S. "ideology" entirely miss the point -- and increase the fog that the Regime deliberately spreads over its true interests. For the heart of this slouching beast is neither left-wing nor right-wing; it's strictly Bush-wing. Anyone even slightly acquainted with the history of the Bush dynasty knows what makes these preppy puppies run -- and it has nothing to do with conservative principles or moral values or national security or world freedom. It's not ideology, but investments -- the gobbling up of unearned, risk-free lucre o­n the grandest scale imaginable.

Naturally, the pursuit of this kind of piratical wealth leads to certain kinds of policies that can at times be mistaken for a political philosophy. For example, the Bush Regime's devotion to Big Oil, the military, tax cuts, corporate deregulation and unbridled executive power could be seen as the expression of a coherent, if repellent, worldview: Social Darwinism -- survival of the fittest, might makes right, winner takes all. Likewise, the Regime's embrace of religious and cultural fundamentalism resembles an ideological stance of unbending zeal and moral certitude, encompassing the whole of reality.

Taken together, these traits present a formidable picture of a thoroughgoing ideological juggernaut, well-plated with philosophical, academic, legal and theological armor. But underneath all this bristling array there is nothing but a tiny white maggot of greed, wriggling and gorging o­n scraps of rotting meat. No deep beliefs or high ideals inform the Bushist ethos, which can be boiled down to o­ne sentence: Grab your pile and screw anybody who gets in the way. War, energy and corporate finance just happen to be where the money is at. And raw, secretive political power -- unfettered by courts, laws, legislators or public scrutiny -- is the most effective way to safeguard and augment these investments.

That is not to say that the Bushist credo lacks all nuance. There is in fact a very important refinement to their wormy greed: Loot should always be obtained without the slightest risk to your own financial position. The "free market" must be shunned at all costs -- and manipulated by string-pulling, deceit and intimidation when competition is unavoidable. Thus the Bush model is to cozy up to governments -- preferably strongman regimes free to ladle out public money to their favorites with no questions asked.

That's why Bush patriarch Prescott, pa and grandpa to presidents, invested heavily in Nazi war industries throughout the 1930s -- and kept o­n investing even after the German war machine was grinding through Europe. That's why George I made his mogul bones by pumping oil with repressive royals in Kuwait. Later, when he had a government of his own to play with, George sent U.S. troops to bail out his Kuwaiti partners after another of his business clients, Saddam Hussein, got too frisky in a border dispute. George I would end his career as a corporate bagman, roaming the Earth in search of insider deals and choice "privatizations" from Saudi princes, Asian dictators, African tyrants, South American sleaze merchants and Europork peddlers.

George II's murky road to fortune was likewise paved with insider trading, no-risk loans and mysterious infusions of foreign cash, including a bailout from a firm embedded in the octopus of BCCI -- the renegade banking cartel that the U.S. Senate called the "largest criminal organization in world history," which cloaked drug deals, gun-running, nuke trafficking and "black ops" by the CIA and other intelligence services behind a protective wall of bribes that reached into nearly every government o­n Earth.

Of course, the best of all possible worlds is controlling the government yourself -- and Dubya has certainly raised crony capitalism to dizzy heights, tearing down whole countries just so his investor pals (and his family) can reap the profits of "reconstruction." But again, it is the maggoty hankering for easy money that truly drives Bushist militarism, not any kind of ideological or religious vision. For such crude minds, the surest way to guarantee that floods of public boodle keep pouring into your private pocket is to scare the hell out of people and keep them scared with war and rumors of war.

The decidedly un-butch Bushes are not really bloodthirsty. They don't sit in dark corners and cackle over the idea of children being chewed to pieces by American bombs. Nor do their nostrils flare with righteous rage at the thought of homosexuality or abortion or nipples o­n national television. It's just that war profiteering, corporate rapine and cynical pandering to the public's worst instincts are the easiest way to get the unearned riches they crave -- and the perks and power they feel are their birthright as an ancient branch of the American aristocracy.

Perhaps if they could obtain these same privileges as easily by other, less horrific means, they would. As it is, they take the world as they find it, and go about their business without fretting over the consequences -- the dead, the ruined, the spreading hate, the poisoned planet. Why should they care? As the maggot cannot see beyond the meat, so too these men of greed-stunted understanding can see nothing of worth outside their own bottomless appetites.

Annotations [please see original for links]


Investing in War: Carlyle Group Profits from Government and Conflict
The Center for Public Integrity, Nov. 18, 2004

New Army Chief is Carlyle Man
San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 19, 2004

Bush's Ancestor's Bank Seized by Government
Associated Press, Oct. 18, 2003

Bush-Nazi Link Confirmed
New Hampshire Gazette, Oct. 10, 2003

Bush-Nazi Dealings Continued Until 1951: Federal Documents
New Hampshire Gazette, Nov. 7, 2003

Heir to the Holocaust: Prescott Bush, $1.5 Million and Auschwitz
Clamor Magazine, May/June 2002

The BCCI Affair
Committee o­n Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Dec. 1992

Liberated Kuwait: Rape, Reprisal and Repression
San Francisco Bay Guardian, Sept. 9, 1992

Why the Gulf War was not in the National Interest
The Atlantic Monthly, July 1991,

Bush's Night of the Long Knives
The Guardian/Salon.com, Nov. 17, 2004

The Hidden History of America's War o­n Iraq
Synthesis/Regeneration, Winter 2003

The Barreling Bushes
Los Angeles Times, Jan. 11, 2004

The Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush
Kevin Phillips interview, Buzzflash.com, Jan. 4, 2004

Bush's Brother Has Contract to Help Chinese Chip Maker
Los Angeles Times, Nov. 27, 2003

Consultant o­n Iraq Contracts Employed President's Brother
Financial Times, Nov. 27, 2003

All in the Profiteering First Family
Prince George's Journal, Feb. 23, 2004


American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush,

The Family That Preys Together
Covert Action Quarterly, Summer 1992

Father and Grandfather Bush
The Art of Deception, 2004

Bush's Texas: Dark Heart of the American Dream
The Observer, June 16, 2002

The Bush Family Saga
The Oregon Coast News-Signal, Nov. 6, 2002

Bush, Inc.
Salon.com, Aug. 21, 2003

Bush Family Values
Mother Jones, Sept/Oct 1992

Bush Secret Effort Helped Iraq Build Its War Machine
Los Angeles Times, March 23, 1992

Iraqgate: Confession and Coverup
Consortiumnews.com, May/June 1995

The Candidate From Brown and Root
The Texas Observer, Oct. 6, 2000

The Enemy Within
The Observer, Oct. 27, 2002

Carlyle's Way
Red Herring, Dec. 11, 2001

[Carlyle Group] Gets Fat o­n War
The Guardian, March 23, 2003

Crony Capitalism Goes Global
The Nation, April 1, 2002

Gitmo Trials Continue Despite Court Ruling
The New Standard, Nov. 18, 2004

The Bush Dynasty's Dark Magic
Salon.com, Jan. 27, 2004

Bin Laden Money Flow Leads to Midland, Texas
In These Times, October 2001

Spies Hide as Bank of England Faces BCCI Charges
Observer, Jan. 19, 2003

Funding Terror: The Role of Saudi Banks
In These Times, Dec. 20, 2002

White House Connection: Saudi 'Agents' Close Bush Friends
Boston Herald, Dec. 11, 2001

US Ties to Saudi Elite May be Hurting War o­n Terrorism
Boston Herald, Dec. 10, 2001

Bush Advisers Cashed in o­n Saudi Gravy Train
Boston Herald, Dec. 11, 2001

Terrorists, Dollars and a Tangled Web
MSNBC.com, Sept. 24, 2001

The Contractors: Bechtel and Bin Laden
The New Yorker, May 5, 2003

Ex-U.S. Official Says CIA Aided Baathists
Reuters, April 20, 2003

Rumsfeld's $9 Billion Slush Fund
Slate.com, Oct. 10, 2003

The CIA Goes Corporate
Slate.com, Nov. 4, 2003

Assassins R Us
TomDispatch, the Nation Institute, Nov. 16, 2003

Iraqgate
Columbia Journalism Review, March/April 1993

The BCCI Affair: Matters for Further Investigation
Committee o­n Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Dec. 1992

Officers Say U.S. Aided Iraq in Time of War Despite Use of Gas
New York Times, Aug. 18, 2002

Iraqgate: Confession and Coverup
Consortiumnews.com, May/June 1995

Wackenhut: Inside the Shadow CIA
Spy Magazine, Sept. 1992

Firewall: Inside the Iran-Contra Coverup
Consortiumnews.com, 1997

Gulf War Crimes
Salon.com, May 15, 2000

Afghanistan, the Taliban, and the Bush Oil Team
Centre for Research o­n Globalisation, March 23, 2002

Sun Myung Moon, North Korea and the Bushes
Consortiumnews.com, Oct. 11, 2000

Rev. Moon, the Bushes and Donald Rumsfeld
Consortiumnews.com, Jan. 3, 2001

The Dark Side of Rev. Moon: Hooking George Bush
Consortiumnews.com, 1997 archives

The Bush Family Oligarchy
Consortiumnews.com, Aug. 14, 2000

George H.W. Bush, the CIA and a Case of State Terrorism
Consortiumnews.com, Sept. 23, 2000

The Bush Dynasty and the Cuban Criminals
The Guaridan, Dec. 2, 2002

When Torture Takes on the Industrial Quality of Policy

When Torture Takes on the Industrial Quality of Policy

Like the policy that George W. Bush is now considering, Pinochet even sponsored his own international “death squad” – known as Operation Condor – that hunted down political opponents around the world.



Bush's 'Death Squads'
By Robert Parry
consortiumnews.com
January 11, 2005


Refusing to admit personal misjudgments on Iraq, George W. Bush instead is pushing the United States toward becoming what might be called a permanent “counter-terrorist” state, which uses torture, cross-border death squads and even collective punishments to defeat perceived enemies in Iraq and around the world.

Since securing a second term, Bush has pressed ahead with this hard-line strategy, in part by removing dissidents inside his administration while retaining or promoting his protégés. Bush also has started prepping his younger brother Jeb as a possible successor in 2008, which could help extend George W.’s war policies while keeping any damaging secrets under the Bush family’s control.

As a centerpiece of this tougher strategy to pacify Iraq, Bush is contemplating the adoption of the brutal practices that were used to suppress leftist peasant uprisings in Central America in the 1980s. The Pentagon is “intensively debating” a new policy for Iraq called the “Salvador option,” Newsweek magazine reported on Jan. 9.

The strategy is named after the Reagan-Bush administration’s “still-secret strategy” of supporting El Salvador’s right-wing security forces, which operated clandestine “death squads” to eliminate both leftist guerrillas and their civilian sympathizers, Newsweek reported. “Many U.S. conservatives consider the policy to have been a success – despite the deaths of innocent civilians,” Newsweek wrote.

Central America Veterans

The magazine also noted that a number of Bush administration officials were leading figures in the Central American operations of the 1980s, such as John Negroponte, who was then U.S. Ambassador to Honduras and is now U.S. Ambassador to Iraq.

Other current officials who played key roles in Central America include Elliott Abrams, who oversaw Central American policies at the State Department and who is now a Middle East adviser on Bush’s National Security Council staff, and Vice President Dick Cheney, who was a powerful defender of the Central American policies while a member of the House of Representatives.

The insurgencies in El Salvador and Guatemala were crushed through the slaughter of tens of thousands of civilians. In Guatemala, about 200,000 people perished, including what a truth commission later termed a genocide against Mayan Indians in the Guatemalan highlands. In El Salvador, about 70,000 died including massacres of whole villages, such as the slaughter carried out by a U.S.-trained battalion against hundreds of men, women and children in and around the town of El Mozote in 1981.

The Reagan-Bush strategy also had a domestic component, the so-called “perception management” operation that employed sophisticated propaganda to manipulate the fears of the American people while hiding the ugly reality of the wars. The Reagan-Bush administration justified its actions in Central America by portraying the popular uprisings as an attempt by the Soviet Union to establish a beachhead in the Americas to threaten the U.S. southern border.

[For details about how these strategies worked and the role of George H.W. Bush, see Robert Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq.]

More Pain

By employing the “Salvador option” in Iraq, the U.S. military would crank up the pain, especially in Sunni Muslim areas where resistance to the U.S. occupation of Iraq has been strongest. In effect, Bush would assign other Iraqi ethnic groups the job of leading the “death squad” campaign against the Sunnis.

“One Pentagon proposal would send Special Forces teams to advise, support and possibly train Iraqi squads, most likely hand-picked Kurdish Perhmerga fighters and Shiite militiamen, to target Sunni insurgents and their sympathizers, even across the border into Syria, according to military insiders familiar with discussions,” Newsweek reported.

Newsweek quoted one military source as saying, “The Sunni population is paying no price for the support it is giving the terrorists. … From their point of view, it is cost-free. We have to change that equation.”

Citing the Central American experiences of many Bush administration officials, we wrote in November 2003 – more than a year ago – that many of these Reagan-Bush veterans were drawing lessons from the 1980s in trying to cope with the Iraqi insurgency. We pointed out, however, that the conditions were not parallel. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Iraq: Quicksand & Blood.”]

In Central America, powerful oligarchies had long surrounded themselves with ruthless security forces and armies. So, when uprisings swept across the region in the early 1980s, the Reagan-Bush administration had ready-made – though unsavory – allies who could do the dirty work with financial and technological help from Washington.

Iraqi Dynamic

A different dynamic exists in Iraq, because the Bush administration chose to disband rather than co-opt the Iraqi army. That left U.S. forces with few reliable local allies and put the onus for carrying out counterinsurgency operations on American soldiers who were unfamiliar with the land, the culture and the language.

Those problems, in turn, contributed to a series of counterproductive tactics, including the heavy-handed round-ups of Iraqi suspects, the torturing of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, and the killing of innocent civilians by jittery U.S. troops fearful of suicide bombings.

The war in Iraq also has undermined U.S. standing elsewhere in the Middle East and around the world. Images of U.S. soldiers sexually abusing Iraqi prisoners, putting bags over the heads of captives and shooting a wounded insurgent have blackened America’s image everywhere and made cooperation with the United States increasingly difficult even in countries long considered American allies.

Beyond the troubling images, more and more documents have surfaced indicating that the Bush administration had adopted limited forms of torture as routine policy, both in Iraq and the broader War on Terror. Last August, an FBI counterterrorism official criticized abusive practices at the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they had urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more,” the official wrote. “When I asked the M.P.’s what was going on, I was told that interrogators from the day prior had ordered this treatment, and the detainee was not to be moved. On another occasion … the detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his own hair out throughout the night.”

Despite official insistence that torture is not U.S. policy, the blame for these medieval tactics continues to climb the chain of command toward the Oval Office. It appears to have been Bush’s decision after the Sept. 11 attacks to “take the gloves off,” a reaction understandable at the time but which now appears to have hurt, more than helped.

TV World

Many Americans have fantasized about how they would enjoy watching Osama bin Laden tortured to death for his admitted role in the Sept. 11 attacks. There is also a tough-guy fondness for torture as shown in action entertainment – like Fox Network’s “24” – where torture is a common-sense shortcut to get results.

But the larger danger arises when the exceptional case becomes the routine, when it’s no longer the clearly guilty al-Qaeda mass murderer, but it is now the distraught Iraqi father trying to avenge the death of his child killed by American bombs.

Rather than the dramatic scenes on TV, the reality is usually more like that desperate creature in Guantanamo lying in his own waste and pulling out his hair. The situation can get even worse when torture takes on the industrial quality of government policy, with subjects processed through the gulags or the concentration camps.

That also is why the United States and other civilized countries have long banned torture and prohibited the intentional killing of civilians. The goal of international law has been to set standards that couldn’t be violated even in extreme situations or in the passions of the moment.

Yet, Bush – with his limited world experience – was easily sold on the notion of U.S. “exceptionalism” where America’s innate goodness frees it from the legal constraints that apply to lesser countries.

Bush also came to believe in the wisdom of his “gut” judgments. After his widely praised ouster of Afghanistan’s Taliban government in late 2001, Bush set his sights on invading Iraq. Like a hot gambler in Las Vegas doubling his bets, Bush’s instincts were on a roll.

Now, however, as the Iraqi insurgency continues to grow and inflict more casualties on both U.S. troops and Iraqis who have thrown in their lot with the Americans, Bush finds himself facing a narrowing list of very tough choices.

Bush could acknowledge his mistakes and seek international help in extricating U.S. forces from Iraq. But Bush abhors admitting errors, even small ones. Plus, Bush’s belligerent tone hasn’t created much incentive for other countries to bail him out.

Instead Bush appears to be upping the ante by contemplating cross-border raids into countries neighboring Iraq. He also would be potentially expanding the war by having Iraqi Kurds and Shiites kill Sunnis, a prescription for civil war or genocide.

Pinochet Option

There’s a personal risk, too, for Bush if he picks the “Salvador option.” He could become an American version of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet or Guatemala’s Efrain Rios Montt, leaders who turned loose their security forces to commit assassinations, “disappear” opponents and torture captives.

Like the policy that George W. Bush is now considering, Pinochet even sponsored his own international “death squad” – known as Operation Condor – that hunted down political opponents around the world. One of those attacks in September 1976 blew up a car carrying Chilean dissident Orlando Letelier as he drove through Washington D.C. with two American associates. Letelier and co-worker Ronni Moffitt were killed.

With the help of American friends in high places, the two former dictators have fended off prison until now. However, Pinochet and Rios Montt have become pariahs who are facing legal proceedings aimed at finally holding them accountable for their atrocities. [For more on George H.W. Bush’s protection of Pinochet, see Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege.]

One way for George W. Bush to avert that kind of trouble is to make sure his political allies remain in power even after his second term ends in January 2009. In his case, that might be achievable by promoting his brother Jeb for president in 2008, thus guaranteeing that any incriminating documents stay under wraps.

President George W. Bush’s dispatching Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to inspect the tsunami damage in Asia started political speculation that one of the reasons was to burnish Jeb’s international credentials in a setting where his personal empathy would be on display.

Though Jeb Bush has insisted that he won’t run for president in 2008, the Bush family might find strong reason to encourage Jeb to change his mind, especially if the Iraq War is lingering and George W. has too many file cabinets filled with damaging secrets.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His new book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at Amazon.com, as is his 1999 book, Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth.'





Note:
http://www.consortiumnews.com/2005/011105.html

Divide and Conquer: Bush Attack on Social Security

Divide and Conquer: Bush Attack on Social Security

Later, when those with the private plans start to retire, and discover that their "ownership society" nest eggs are not going to hatch, it will be their turn to suffer.





Bush's Scheme is a Classic Divide-and-Conquer
Attack on Social Security

Dave Lindorff
January 19th, 2005


You wouldn't know it from reading or watching the mainstream media, but the campaign to destroy Social Security is been begun.


President Bush, in his second inauguration speech Thursday, will lay out what he is calling a "reform" of the system, designed to "rescue it" from "bankruptcy." This man, who himself will be collecting a cool guaranteed $200,000 a year for life (plus gold-plated health benefits) after just eight years of work in the White House, will soothingly describe his "reform" as leaving retirees and those nearing retirement with the same system they are used to, while giving young workers the chance to "own" some of their retirement tax contributions.


The corporate media--no friend of a system that currently requires them to pay 6.2 percent of their payroll into the Social Security system themselves, which for some is the only tax they have to pay anymore, thanks to Bush corporate tax giveaways--has latched uncritically onto the Bush vocabulary of "ownership society" and "reform."


Don't believe a word of it. This isn't reform. It is a classic divide-and-conquer scheme by the Right designed to destroy Social Security while it still has a chance to do it. (Once the Baby Boom generation begins retiring in 2011, they will be far too powerful a political force in defense of adequate retirement funding for any Congress to weaken the system.)


If Bush can convince a Congress dominated by Republicans and their timid "moderate" Democrat allies to approve his devious scheme, those under 50, or perhaps 55, will be given the option of taking some $1-2000 of their Social Security tax each year and placing it in an investment account. That money, Bush and his backers claim, would grow faster than the money in the Social Security Trust Fund. Of course, there's no promise of this happening. Nor does he talk about the fact that these private investment funds, like 401K funds, will be handled by Wall Street brokerage houses, which will be charging huge fees to churn those investments. In England, where the same idea was tried, retirees are now discovering that all the brokerage fees ended up eating up their profits, leaving them worse off than if they'd stuck with the old system.


Meanwhile, the older folks, who remain in the current system, will find that their benefit payments, which for decades have been funded by current workers' contributions, are under mounting pressure to be cut. Why? Because all those hundreds of billions of dollars that younger workers take out of the tax stream to invest in their private accounts, which would have been supporting current and future retirees, will have been removed, leaving the trust fund as much as two trillion dollars in the hole by 2020.


At that point, Congress will have a much easier time cutting benefits to seniors because it will only be a portion of the elderly who will be seeing their monthly checks reduced, not everyone. Those who are in the private plan--which over the years will no doubt have been expanded to allow even larger shares of the Social Security tax to be diverted--will not be impacted.


Later, when those with the private plans start to retire, and discover that their "ownership society" nest eggs are not going to hatch, it will be their turn to suffer. There will be no mass support for their crisis, since older retirees, who normally could be expected to rally to support the retirement system in a crisis, will not be affected by the private funds shortfall.


It's all part of a massive, wide-front assault on workers, who are also seeing their pensions terminated by artificial bankruptcies, such as those now being filed by the airlines. Managements are discovering that they can go into the increasingly right wing and sympathetic federal courts and win judgments abrogating their union agreements and terminating their pensions. In non-union companies, pensions are being downgraded or simply eliminated, all in the name of global competitiveness.


President Bush and his gang of neo-con wreckers already lied the country into an endless war with no point and no exit in Iraq, pretending the country was threatened by "weapons of mass destruction" that were a fiction. Now they are trying to destroy our old-age security by lying that the Social Security system is facing insolvency. It's not, any more than Iraq under Saddam Hussein was a threat to American security.


If Americans don't wake up soon, we'll be right back to 1930, when reaching retirement for most people meant sinking into a life of Dickensian poverty and despair, or going hat-in-hand to already financially strapped children for help.



New York Times
Iraq Death Chart Omits Biggest Slaughter:
Civilian Victims of U.S. Military

New York Times
Sunday, January 16, 2005

A horrifying chart and map on the opinion page of Sunday's New York Times graphically displays the carnage caused by the ongoing U.S. war in Iraq. Over a 14-day period during the first two weeks of the new year, Brookings Institution senior research assistant Adriana Lins de Albuquerque shows that 202 people died "as a result of the insurgency."


But the chart is deceptive, leaving out at least as much as it puts in.


First of all, and most importantly, as Lins de Albuquerque notes in her brief explanation, the chart doesn’t give any information about the number of Iraqi insurgents killed by U.S. forces over the same period, nor does it give figures for Iraqi civilians "accidentally killed by coalition forces."


As she explains, "because of the limits placed on reporters," such information is not available (she fails to mention that also left out are the numbers of people killed by Iraqi troops and police).


In fact, we know from reports by the U.S.-backed government in Iraq that the U.S. has been "accidentally" killing Iraqi civilians at a prodigious rate--a rate both higher than the rate they are being killed by insurgents and higher than the rate that the U.S. forces have been killing insurgents. If that report, released late last fall, is correct, then a chart displaying the victims of U.S.-led forces would be larger even than the one developed by Ms. Lins de Albuquerque.


If those ratios are correct, the U.S. is probably also killing more civilians on average than the 38 percent or total deaths (76 civilians in the first two weeks of January) caused by the insurgency. For all the media focus on the viciousness of the insurgents, it would appear that they are being much more effective and selective in their attacks--killing primarily Iraqi troops, Iraqi police, and U.S. and “coalition” troops--than is the U.S.


Of course, most of the civilians killed by U.S. and "coalition" forces are killed "accidentally" only by the most strained definition of the term. The truth is that American aircraft are dropping bombs, including anti-personnel weapons and, reportedly, napalm, as well as 500 and 1000 lb. explosives once known in the trade as "block busters," on urban targets all the time. Occasionally one of these weapons will be reported as having hit the wrong target, but even when they hit the right target, it"s safe to say that the so-called "collateral damage" is widespread and horrific.


In addition, there are the helicopter and fixed-wing gunships, which are designed to completely saturate wide areas with deadly fire, killing every living thing in those “dead zones” with projectiles that penetrate even concrete walls. When civilians die at the hands of these genuine weapons of mass destruction, their demise can hardly be termed "accidental."


Little wonder that the Iraqi government report found that a third of U.S.-caused casualties are children under the age of 14.


Finally, U.S. ground troops themselves are popping off civilians at a scandalous rate, thanks to a "spray and pray" policy of firing off everything they’ve got in a 360-degree radius whenever they come under enemy fire. Little wonder that reporters in Iraq are at least as afraid of being killed "accidentally" by American forces as they are of being attacked by insurgents or of hitting an errant roadside bomb.


Little wonder also that U.S. military authorities have a policy of not reporting civilian or insurgent death totals. The grisly details of their campaign of slaughter would not be popular either in the Middle East or here at home.


Or at the New York Times, where printing such a chart would have taken up not just the entire opinion page, but the whole editorial page, too.


9:43 am pst



Note:
http://www.thiscantbehappening.net

Projecting Powerlessness

Projecting Powerlessness: Eviscerating Ukraine's Democracy

In clinical psychology, “projection” refers to the act of attributing to others o­ne’s own faults.

Our less than diligent fourth estate seems content to fiddle the Ukraine story into a simpleminded passion play, ignoring its authors, their aims, and the implications of its possible outcomes.


Projecting Powerlessness
C.L.Cook
Nov. 30th, 2004

The unmitigated outrage of the American media is finding focus in the Ukrainian election stand-off. Whether saccharine homilies to the inviolate virtue of Democracy, or cartoonish attacks against the Snidely Whiplash’s that would dare sully that beloved Icon’s shroud of purity, headlines in the U.S.( and lesser Canada) are preaching in unison for a single side of the issue. Absent however from the sermons of the self-anointed media arbiters of democracy are both the context and facts underlying Ukraine’s “Crisis of Democracy.”

Who’s the Viktor?

Both Viktor Yanukovych and “wronged party,” Victor Yushcenko have served as Prime Minister to outgoing president, Leonid Kuchma. Both are deeply embedded with the corporate globalizers whom Kuchma, as the Ukraine’s successor to the break-up of the former Soviet Union, used along with his contacts in the communist security bureaucracy, to position himself to profit immensely from the myriad post-Soviet privatization schemes that swept eastern Europe in the 1990’s.

As protégés of Kuchma, Viktor/Victor were in the thick of the purge of state-owned business monopolies in agriculture, industry, and natural resources. This divestment splurge is no case of people power; no working-class hero saga. What’s really unfolding here is a full-on power grab, right in the heart of Russia. Standing a little further back from television’s narrowscope presentation of the struggle, it’s still possible to gain a wider perspective.

The C.B.C. would have us believe this is simply a case of a corrupt government jigging the poll. Their indignation rings hollow, considering the deafening silence regarding America’s recent election experience, but perhaps it's merely their opportunity to file those U.S. stolen vote stories they meant to write, but just couldn’t get around to.


A Pox o­n Both Your Houses

The election was “plagued,” according to foreign observers, by irregularities, (no word if these are less “irregular” in the foreigner’s own countries), but the gerrymandering and dirty tricks in the Ukraine seem to have been very much a two-way street. Unlike in the U.S., where unopposed Republican agents combined the powers of office and incumbent appointees with a loyalist media to have their way with the democratic process, the Ukrainian opposition had the money, organization, and a game-proven plan to fight back. More importantly, they also had some heavyweight coaching in their corner.

Manchester’s Guardian newspaper has been breaking stories o­n the shadowy players behind the “spontaneous” democracy eruption in Kiev. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Republican sponsored International Republican Institute (IRI), and the Democrat’s own National Democratic Institute (NDI), all now appear to have played a large role both in preparing the ground for, and stage-managing the whole election fiasco. Even globe-trotting billionaire for justice, George Soros, so vital to the liberalization of the Russian economy, got in o­n the act. But where are these revelations to be found o­n North American screens?

True to form, the media is playing along, obscuring entirely the massive counter-demonstrations for the Yanukovych side, and continuing to do their best to convince the home viewers that there’s nothing more to the story than a Black Hat-Orange Hat morality play. But, as it is with the spiked ‘Second Bush Usurpation’ story, there are some very dark clouds buried within the Ukraine election.

The Russians, and Vladimir Putin, have been worried about their ever-diminishing realm. The reaction to the attempted defection of the relatively minor republic of Chechnya bears testament to this concern. But, Ukraine is no Chechnya. Ukraine is considered in Russia as heartland, a core component of greater Russia. Think of Quebec; separate but integral to Canadian identity; or consider what Kosovo meant to the Serbs.

All it takes is a quick look at an atlas to see; proliferating U.S. military bases in the near east, nearly all encompassing former Soviet republics and satellites, appear as a cordon separating Russia from resources, trade, and pipeline routes crucial to their survival. And Bush’s America seems intent o­n tightening the noose, further putting the squeeze o­n Putin.

Meanwhile, the story that could prove kindling to re-ignite the Cold War smoulders unattended, while our less than diligent fourth estate seems content to fiddle the Ukraine story into a simpleminded passion play, ignoring its authors, their aims, and the implications of its possible outcomes.

Key Supporters Driving Yuschenko’s Bandwagon
Nick Paton, The Guardian
Nov. 30, 2004
http://www.guardian.co.uk/ukraine/
story/0,15569,1362593,00.html

Two Americans, Two Americas

Two Americans, Two Americas

Two National Football League stars walk away from the game at the height of their lucrative careers for reasons that illustrate the divide in today's America.


Two Americans, Two Americas
Ape
Dec. 5th 2004


Red Team, Blue Team


There's been much written, in the wake of the recent U.S. elections, of the split in the American political psyche. Some have extrapolated this division to the spiritual sphere, making of it a struggle to find the soul of the nation. The twin tales of the departure from the NFL of star players, Pat Tillman and Ricky Williams serve as analogues of a nation seeking its identity.

Pat Tillman came from a military family. After the 9/11 attacks against America, he began to view football as irrelevant in the broader scope of the nation's affairs. He and his brother, Kevin, a former football professional himself, joined the elite Army Rangers because, in Pat's words,

"A lot of my family has gone and fought wars, and I really haven't done a damn thing."

The brothers were assigned to the same unit, and initially sent to Iraq, before a subsequent transfer to Afghanistan. O­n April 22nd, 2004, they were ambushed while o­n patrol and Pat Tillman was killed.

The army was quick to award Tillman the Silver Star, and released a glowing account of the fatal encounter and Pat's heroism that would later prove to be mostly fiction. The truth was: Tillman's death was the culmination of a series of incompetent decisions made by superiors along the chain of command, compounded by equipment failure. Ultimately, he was killed by "friendly-fire," or in civilian terms, shot by his own side.

Some, o­n the anti-war, anti-empire side of the American bifurcation, used the lies told by the Pentagon, and the media's shameless jingoistic lionization of Tillman, to impugn his character and the accounts of his courage under fire, (completely untrue), while others went so far as to question the intelligence of the man who swallowed the Bush line o­n the "War o­n Terror" whole and ultimately died for a lie (less completely untrue).

Tillman believed he was serving the interests of his country, but he was no dummy. He graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State, while playing football, in less than four years. His friends say he was a voracious reader, and loved to discuss conspiracy theories. Whether he had come to doubt Washington's veracity, or entertain the greatest conspiracy theory of them all before the end is an open question.

Ricky Williams was a Heissman Trophy-winning star Running Back for the Miami Dolphins making millions a year, and o­n pace to break every record in the book. Then he decided to walk away. He'd been troublesome for the Dolphins, failing numerous drug tests for marijuana, and facing fines and suspension from the league. His drug use hadn't always been a problem for the NFL, though.

While recovering from an injury, doctors (and drugs-making giant Glaxxo SmithKline) convinced Williams his aversion to crowds of autograph seekers was due to a condition they called, "social anxiety disorder," or (SAD). He was quickly signed o­n as a "celebrity patient" for Glaxxo's new miracle cure for shyness, Paxil and began making the media rounds promoting the anti-depressant. But the drug didn't sit well with Williams, so he gave it up in favour of weed.

He wasn't shy about the benefits of leaf, saying it was "ten times better than Paxil" and should be made legal. The NFL didn't agree. Just weeks before the 2004 season began, still facing fines and censure, Ricky Williams walked, saying,

"I've realized, both o­n a psychological and physical level, that the things we do in football don't bring more harmony to your life. They just bring more disharmony."

Since his departure, Williams has gone o­n a world-wide odyssey, travelling through Asia, Europe, Australia, and finally home to California, in an effort to find his own path. He's gone vegan, enrolled in a course teaching the ancient Indian holistic medicinal practice, Ayurveda, and, even though faced with law suits from the league and savage attacks by the press, says he's never been happier. At his now defunct website, RunRickyRun.com, he wrote:

"I wish athletes today could have the same impact o­n social reform as they did when he [Jim Brown] was playing. When the likes of Ali, Malcolm X and Jim Brown all sat in the same room and discussed their views o­n America. Nowadays, it seems all some of us are interested in is how much money we can make. I love playing football, and I love making money, but I am starting to realize that those aren't the o­nly reasons God has given me so much talent."

Out of the game for good, Williams won't have the soap-box of professional sport to effect the kind of change he had envisioned, but his Ricky Williams Foundation continues to raise money to educate under-privileged kids in America.

We'll never know what positive contributions Pat Tillman could have made to his country.

Both these Americans, bright, driven, independent, and courageous will fade from the national consciousness, but together they represent the deep divisions of that country in a time when the need for existential soul-searching has never been more relevant.

Chris Cook produces and hosts the public affairs program, Gorilla Radio, heard weekly o­n CFUV Radio, University of Victoria.

Run Ricky Run: Football, Pot, and Pain
Fred Gardner
Counterpunch.org
Aug. 7/8, 2004

Ricky Williams at Holistic Medicine School
Associated Press
Nov. 24th, 2004

In the Kill Zone: The Unnecessary Death of Pat Tillman
Steve Coll
The Washington Post
Dec. 5th, 2004

Pat Tillman and Ricky Williams
Dec., 5th, 2004
Mickey Z.

The Runaway
Chris Jones
Esquire Magazine
Dec. 2004 Volume 142, Issue 6


Former Dolphin Star Goes for Ayurvedic Medicine

The Ten Best on the Web

The Ten Best Writers on the Net

If the goal of decent people everywhere is to gather the information and take action to try to make this world an honest and just place, well, these writers will help you travel a considerable distance toward that goal.




The ten best writers on the Internet
John Kaminski
www.johnkaminski.com
skylax@comcast.net

January 21st, 2005


Always read the stories these people write...


Let me just say that when a writer on the scene of a dangerous story deliberately leaves his windows open a crack when he goes to sleep at night so nearby bombs won't break them when they explode — and the formula works, although the front door, which was closed tight, DOES blow in! — well, you have a person whose commitment to an important story that needs to be told sets an example for every writer on the planet.

As an editor, I can truly say that this is what reporting — not to mention courage and humanity — is all about.

Such a person — a writer, reporter, and seeker of truth — is Dahr Jamail, whose riveting dispatches as an "unembedded" reporter in Iraq have enabled millions to transcend the mainstream media blackout of real news from that tragic venue and better understand the horrific crimes that are being committed by crazy killers in the name of the American people.

Read a quick interview with him at http://www.newtopiamagazine.net/content/issue19/features/DahrJamail.php

See for yourself about what's really happening in Iraq at http://dahrjamailiraq.com/weblog/

Jamail's vivid narratives about widespread war crimes in Iraq can be seen on numerous other websites, notably uruknet.com (which everyone should subscribe to) and rense.com (which most everybody does already look at).

People repeatedly ask me: since I can't get any real news from TV or mainstream newspapers, what should I be reading?

There are several ways to answer: best websites, best stories, and best writers. I wrote a best websites story (too long ago, and now out of date), best stories I'm working on, but best writers is a topic that has been on my mind for a long time.

I've written about a lot of topics, and people have said nice things about me. But each time they do, I always think about the shoulders of the giants I stand upon to get my information. Perhaps a more appropriate title for this should be "My favorite writers" rather than "The best writers." In any case, this is just my feeble attempt to thank them, and introduce them to you in case you haven't had the chance to experience their indispensable reports on what's really happening.

Think of it as a real chance to transcend the media mindlock that is — no exaggeration — killing this planet

So without further adieu — except to say my criteria are vital topics, thorough research, the ability to describe and enrapture, and some awareness of the manipulated lies that all of us are being told — here's my list of the ten most important writers on the Internet.

1. Dahr Jamail
2. Amy Worthington
3. Michel Chossudovsky
4. Webster Tarpley
5. Joe Vialls
6. Dave MacGowan
7. Chris Floyd
8. Mark Morford
9. Christopher Bollyn
10. Xymphora

OK, let's expand it to 25.

John Pilger, Henry Makow, Kurt Nimmo, Maureen Farrell, Mike Whitney, Bev Harris, William Blum, Sherman Skolnick, Bob Feldman, Stan Goff, Michael Collins Piper, Paul Levy, Leuren Moret, Dr. Ron Paul, Kevin MacDonald.

I've left many great writers off this list, some deliberately, especially those I talk to regularly, so as to avoid any hint of nepotism or personal favoritism. Though I stopped at 25 names, there are hundreds it would behoove everyone to read. My apologies to those unmentioned; you know who you are. Feel free to write me and complain, and I’ll either apologize and agree, or tell you why they’re not on this list.

If the goal of decent people everywhere is to gather the information and take action to try to make this world an honest and just place, well, these writers will help you travel a considerable distance toward that goal.

In the interest of space, I will list a link for most writers, but better is to type (or copy and paste) these names into the Google searchline and choose from among the hundreds of links that will emerge for each.

1. Dahr Jamail. If you want to really know what’s going on in Iraq and want to escape this jaundiced bias that has most Americans in its grip and unaware that the U.S. continuing mass murder is a certain crime against everything human and holy — and if you want to see what real reporting is all about — read Jamail’s dispatches (link above). He is the bravest writer I know, and that is the most important quality.

2. Amy Worthington has done more to explain the government’s attack on our atmosphere and our health than perhaps any other person. If one paragraph can describe a person’s entire output, it is this one, from her masterful overview titled “Aerosol and Electromagnetic Weapons In The Age Of Nuclear War”:

We continually witness bizarre meteorological occurrences as powerful electromagnetic devices manipulate both the jet stream and individual storm fronts to create artificial weather and climatic conditions. Black operations projects embedded within these aerosol missions are documented to sicken and disorient select populations with biological test agents and psychotronic mind/mood control technologies.

See http://www.rense.com/general59/aerosolandelectromag.htm

3. Michel Chossudovsky not only runs one of the best news sites on the web, the Center for Research on Globalization but has had the unique talent of taking the most important questions of our time and distilling them down to readable, accurate, and mercifully brief explanations of the phenomena being discussed. From “Washington’s New World Order Weapons Can Trigger Climate Change” to “Who is Osama bin Laden?,” he cuts to the quick on all manner of topics about which we have been lied to by mainstream media.

4. Webster Tarpley, famous co-author of “George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography,” brings a formidable grip of history to his comments on current events. Two of his best recent offerings include “9/11 Synthetic Terrorism” on the best new 9/11 website and my own personal favorite, The Versailles Thesis which will tell you as much about the real history of the past two centuries as you could ever hope to know.

5. Controversial Australian journalist Joe Vialls consistently produces the most jaw-dropping analyses of current events on the web, from behind-the-scenes analyses of terror bombings (like, who really did them) to his magnificent overview of the future of the Western Hemisphere, Fortress America , which reveals the Zionists’ real plan to move and expand Eretz Israel once the Middle East has been destroyed in a nuclear Armageddon.

6. Dave MacGowan has written the best single overview of 9/11 and his Center for an Informed America website provides indispensable analyses of topics of interest to us all.

7. Chris Floyd is a trenchant columnist for the Moscow Times whose essays are forwarded to others possibly more than anyone else in the world. He consistently hits the nail of real information right on the head with comments like this:

This column stands foursquare with the Honorable Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense, when he warns that there will be more terrorist attacks against the American people and civilization at large. We know, as does the Honorable Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense, that this statement is an incontrovertible fact, a matter of scientific certainty. And how can we and the Honorable Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense, be so sure that there will be more terrorist attacks against the American people and civilization at large? Because these attacks will be instigated at the order of the Honorable Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense.

8. Mark Morford. The only mainstream media member of this list, this columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle is easily the funniest writer on the net, but best of all, cloaked in his razorlike humor is an understanding of the world that in simply not seen almost anywhere else in medialand. Consider

Right now. This minute. As I type this and as you read this and as false Texas dictators rise and sad empires crumble and as this mad bewildered world spins in its frantically careening orbit, there's a nearly 50/50 chance that some sort of devious synthetic chemical manufactured by some massive and largely heartless corporation is coursing through your bloodstream and humping your brain stem and molesting your karma and kicking the crap out of your libido and chattering the teeth of your very bones.

I like to say I can never get out of the first paragraph of one of his stories without breaking into a knowing belly laugh. His self-description?

He is also a yoga teacher and fiction writer and an outstanding parallel parker and fervent wine devotee and former smoker and former LA rock-god wannabe and careful insinuator and occasional unfair mudslinger and frequent skeptic and sporadic true believer and paradoxical contrarian and tattooed love-monkey and vehement non-conservative and casual coffee drinker and ardent dog lover and medium sleeper and comparison shopper and funky subtle prurient neo-pagan gleaner of screaming delicious naked nuances.

9. Christopher Bollyn is the big gun of American Free Press (one of the two most honest weekly newspapers in America) who tackles all the big subjects and never fails to unearth astonishing facts (like the fires that burned for weeks under the rubble of the collapsed World Trade Center) with a profound clarity and objectivity expressed in ways like this:

A year into what has become an increasingly grim occupation, a chorus of senior journalists are now saying what American Free Press has said all along: the mainstream media “failed the American public” with its uncritical acceptance of the administration’s dubious claims about the need to invade Iraq.

10. If you want just one daily stop to get a very quick fix on what’s going on in the world, that place would be Xymphora Blogspot. Usually only a few paragraphs each day, it targets one important subject and provides a unique perspective that never fails to enlighten. Who Xymphora actually is I have no clue, except that his comments are among the most frequently passed around on the net.

OK, that was a lot of information passed really fast. We’ll recap the rest of the list even faster.


• John Pilger is the famous Australian journalist/filmmaker who never loses sight of the most significant political issue of our times, the Israeli genocide of the Palestinians. See http://pilger.carlton.com/

• Henry Makow is the controversial Canadian Jew who points out that Zionists harms Jews as much as anyone else, and that the real center of the worldwide totalitarian tyranny is in London. See http://www.savethemales.ca/

• Kurt Nimmo is an accomplished journalist known for solid reporting and a savvy blog at http://www.kurtnimmo.com/blog/

• Maureen Farrell is an evocative Buzzflash columnist whose pieces are archived at http://www.buzzflash.com/farrell/archives.html

• Mike Whitney is an outstanding Counterpunch columnist whose pieces can be seen all over the web, like this one. http://www.aljazeerah.info/Opinion%20editorials/2004%20opinions/March/3%20o/Bush%20and%20Kerry%20separated%20at%20birth%20By%20Mike%20Whitney.htm

• Bev Harris is the driving force behind Black Box Voting who has done more to reveal the hoax that American elections have become than any other single person.
http://www.blackboxvoting.org/investigations.html

• William Blum is the premier chronicler of America’s unjust invasions of other countries. http://members.aol.com/bblum6/American_holocaust.htm

• Sherman Skolnick is the mindboggling, encyclopedic investigator of the nasty underbelly of American history. It is safe to say you’ll never be the same after reading Skolnick. http://www.skolnicksreport.com/

• Bob Feldman is the principal revealer of the Gatekeeper syndrome, one of the most important phenomena in understanding what’s really going on with American media. http://www.questionsquestions.net/feldman/feldman07.html

• Stan Goff is an ex-military guy whose view of American politics shows what happens when soldiers grow up and become human beings. http://home.igc.org/~sherrynstan/

• Michael Collins Piper is the author of the best book on the Kennedy assassination and perceptive commentator on current events for the American Free Press. http://www.serendipity.li/zionism/final_jgmt_reviews.htm

• Paul Levy is an uncommon spiritual analyst among whose essay titles is “Christ Would Not Support Bush.” http://www.awakeninthedream.com/html/index.html

• Leuren Moret is the world’s foremost chronicler of America’s tragic involvement with depleted uranium weapons. http://www.sfbayview.com/081804/Depleteduranium081804.shtml

• Dr. Ron Paul is one of only a handful of conscientious members of Congress who pronouncements sustain the fleeting hope that one day we will have an honest government. http://www.house.gov/paul/tst/welcome.htm

• Kevin MacDonald is a California professor whose works on Judaism from an Evolutionary Perspective furnish penetrating insights into contemporary politics. http://www.csulb.edu/~kmacd/books.html

Whew. That’s a lot of information, particularly if you spend any time in the links.

Two traits characterize everyone on this list. First is a willingness to look behind the veneer of media-described events to investigate subjects of primary importance to our continued survival. Second is not to be cowed into conformity by the inducements of lying for money which afflicts so many of our so-called journalists.

If our popular media were dominated by personalities like these, the world would certainly not be in the trouble that it is now, where civilization has been captured by a small group of rich people who manipulate our reality and plunder our resources for their own selfish, greedy, and evil purposes.

I give you this list as a gift of hope, to show you that it is possible that honest people CAN rule the world, if the rest of us would only listen to the descriptions by these wonderful writers, and try to be as honest as they are.




John Kaminski is a writer who lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida and whose Internet essays can be seen on hundreds of websites around the world. These essays have been collected into two anthologies, the latest of which is titled “The Perfect Enemy.” For more information go to http://www.johnkaminski.com/

A Tale of Tewo Elections

A Tale of Two Elections

Anyone whose followed American foreign policy over the last few decades is well acquainted with that nation's towering hypocrisy. Colin Powell today came down hard and firm against alleged improprieties in the contested Ukraine elections, claiming they didn't meet international standards. This without a hint of irony, or explanation as to how these standards apply to either the 2000, or 2004 debacles in his own country. {ape}




A Tale of Two Elections
Dave Lindorff
November 24th, 2004

http://www.thiscantbehappening.net


Double Standard o­n Exit Polling and Voter Fraud

A bitterly contested presidential election was held recently. The opposition candidate lost narrowly, by less than three percent of the vote, but now a large segment of the electorate is crying foul.

There was evidence of fraud--supporters of the opposition candidate being kept from the polls while supporters of the incumbent were voting more than o­nce in those "red" regions of the country where the incumbent president's party was most popular, people crying foul in those regions where the opposition was stronger --and besides, exit polls showed the opposition candidate winning handily.

The country? Not America. It's the Ukraine.

The response to this evidence of a possibly stolen election? Hundreds of thousands of protesters have camped o­n the streets of the capital, insisting that opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko be declared the winner. Yushchenko himself has declared victory and even took a symbolic oath of office.

And in the U.S., the Bush administration, citing the exit polls and evidence of fraud that have been raised, has urged government authorities in Kiev "not to certify results until investigations of organized fraud are resolved."

Secretary of State Colin Powell went further, warning that failure legitimizing the election results in the Ukraine could have "consequences for our relationship" with the country. Speaking with a straight face, he said, "We cannot accept this result as legitimate, because it does not meet international standards and because there has not been an investigation of the numerous and credible reports of fraud and abuse."

What's this? Roll back the film a minute.

Isn't the Bush administration facing much the same situation in the U.S., absent the mass street rallies? Did we just have a national election that would meet "international standards"?

In Florida, Ohio, New Mexico, and other battleground states in the U.S., there is considerable documented and anecdotal evidence of fraud, including organized efforts in Florida and Ohio by Republican Party authorities to hinder or depress the urban (read black and Democratic) vote, in the deliberate denial of voting rights to people of color, and of possible widespread fraud in the registering and the counting of votes. And exit polls universally showed opposition presidential candidate John Kerry winning handily in the key states of Florida and Ohio, victory in either o­ne of which would have handed him victory.

Indeed, a University of Pennsylvania researcher, studying those exit poll results, has concluded that the consistent shift from Kerry to Bush from exit poll prediction to official tally result is a statistical impossibility, leaving fraud as the o­nly explanation.

Yet in Ohio, where a recount of all votes requested by two small third parties, the Greens and the Libertarians, could conceivably overturn the state's pro-Bush result and hand the presidency to Kerry, the Republican-run Secretary of State's office is doing everything it can (with the help of a federal judge appointed by George Bush) to delay that recount until the state's electoral college meets and hands its 20 votes irrevocably to Bush., making the recount moot. Where are the government calls to hold off o­n such a certification of Bush's election win until issues of fraud are "resolved."

Meanwhile, the mainstream media, while making much of the crisis in the Ukraine, have pretty much dropped the whole story of voter fraud in the U.S. election. Indeed, while exit polls are cited as providing strong evidence that Yushchenko probably was the real winner over governing party candidate Viktor Yanukovych in the Ukraine, in the U.S. media, the prevailing wisdom is that the U.S. exit polls--heretofore said to be far more accurate than pre-election polling--were simply wrong.

In contrast to feisty Ukraine opposition candidate Yushchenko, U.S. opposition candidate John Kerry almost immediately conceded victory to Bush, despite mounting evidence of massive fraud in Ohio and Florida, and despite earlier pledges to fight hard and to make sure "every vote is counted."

Little wonder that in the Ukraine, where people take their new democracy seriously, the victims of fraud have taken to the streets demanding an overturning of the tainted results, while in the U.S., voters o­n the losing side of this electoral scandal are reduced to private whining.

Even so, the idea of this president, who took office the first time in the face of widespread voter fraud and disenfranchisement in the state of Florida, thanks to a decision by a Supreme Court packed with members of his own party, and who "won" the Nov. 2 election thanks to similar tactics in Ohio and Florida, telling the Ukraine to hold off o­n declaring a winner until allegations of fraud can be investigated and resolved is hard to swallow.

Almost as hard to swallow as the media that report this without even a passing note about its irony and hypocrisy.

On Television, Torture Takes a Holiday

On the day that the defense rested in the military trial of Specialist Charles A. Graner Jr. for the abuses at Abu Ghraib, American television news had a much better story to tell: "The Trouble With Harry," as Brian Williams called it on NBC. The British prince had attended a fancy dress costume party in Wiltshire (theme: "native and colonial") wearing a uniform from Rommel's Afrika Korps complete with swastika armband. Even by the standards of this particular royal family, here was idiocy above and beyond the call of duty.



On Television, Torture Takes a Holiday
by Frank Rich
the New York Times
Saturday, January 22, 2005


For those of us across the pond, it was heartening to feel morally superior to a world-class twit. But if you stood back for just a second and thought about what was happening in that courtroom in Fort Hood, Tex. - a task that could be accomplished only by reading newspapers, which provided the detailed coverage network TV didn't even attempt - you had to wonder if we had any more moral sense than Britain's widely reviled "clown prince."

The lad had apparently managed to reach the age of 20 in blissful ignorance about World War II. Yet here we were in America, in the midst of a war that is going on right now, choosing to look the other way rather than confront the evil committed in our name in a prison we "liberated" from Saddam Hussein in Iraq. What happened in the Fort Hood courtroom this month was surely worthy of as much attention as Harry's re-enactment of "Springtime for Hitler": it was the latest installment in our government's cover up of war crimes.

But a not-so-funny thing happened to the Graner case on its way to trial. Since the early bombshells from Abu Ghraib last year, the torture story has all but vanished from television, even as there have been continued revelations in the major newspapers and magazines like The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books and Vanity Fair. If a story isn't on TV in America, it doesn't exist in our culture.

The latest chapter unfolding in Texas during that pre-inaugural week in January was broadcast on the evening news almost exclusively in brief, mechanical summary, when it was broadcast at all. But it's not as if it lacked drama; it was "Judgment at Nuremberg" turned upside down. Specialist Graner's defense lawyer, Guy Womack, explained it this way in his closing courtroom statement: "In Nuremberg, it was the generals being prosecuted. We were going after the order-givers. Here the government is going after the order-takers." As T. R. Reid reported in The Washington Post, the trial's judge, Col. James L. Pohl of the Army, "refused to allow witnesses to discuss which officers were aware of events in cellblock One-Alpha, or what orders they had given." While Mr. Womack's client, the ringleader of the abuses seen in the Abu Ghraib photographs, deserved everything that was coming to him and then some, there have yet to be any criminal charges leveled against any of the prison's officers, let alone anyone higher up in the chain of command.

Nor are there likely to be any, given how little information about this story makes it to the truly mass commercial media and therefore to a public that, according to polls, disapproves of the prison abuses by a majority that hovers around 80 percent. What information does surface is usually so incomplete or perfunctorily presented that it leaves unchallenged the administration's line that, in President Bush's words, the story involves just "a few American troops" on the night shift.

The minimizing - and in some cases outright elimination - of Abu Ghraib and its aftermath from network news coverage is in part (but only in part) political. Fox News, needless to say, has trivialized the story from the get-go, as hallmarked by Bill O'Reilly's proud refusal to run the photos of Graner & Company after they first surfaced at CBS. (This is in keeping with the agenda of the entire Murdoch empire, whose flagship American paper, The New York Post, twice ran Prince Harry's Nazi costume as a Page 1 banner while relegating Specialist Graner's conviction a day later to the bottom of Page 9.) During the presidential campaign, John Kerry barely mentioned Abu Ghraib, giving TV another reason to let snarling dogs lie. Senator John Warner's initially vigilant Congressional hearings - which threatened to elevate the craggy Virginia Republican to a TV stardom akin to Sam Ervin's during Watergate - mysteriously petered out.

Since the election, some news operations, most conspicuously NBC, have seemed eager to rally around the winner and avoid discouraging words of any kind. A database search of network transcripts finds that NBC's various news operations, in conscious or unconscious emulation of Fox, dug deeper into the Prince Harry scandal than Specialist Graner's trial. "NBC Nightly News" was frequently turned over to a journalism-free "Road to the Inauguration" tour that allowed the new anchor to pose in a series of jus'-folks settings.

But not all explanations for the torture story's downsizing have to do with ideological positioning and craven branding at the networks. The role of pictures in TV news remains paramount, and there has been no fresh visual meat from the scene of the crime (or the others like it) in eight months. The advances in the story since then, many of which involve revelations of indisputably genuine Washington memos, are not telegenic. Meanwhile, the recycling of the original Abu Ghraib snapshots, complemented by the perp walks at Fort Hood, only hammers in the erroneous notion that the story ended there, with the uncovering of a few bad apples at the bottom of the Army's barrel.

There were no cameras at Specialist Graner's trial itself. What happened in the courtroom would thus have to be explained with words - possibly more than a few sentences of words - and that doesn't cut it on commercial television. It takes a televised judicial circus in the grand O. J. Simpson tradition or a huge crew of supporting players eager (or available) for their 15 minutes of TV fame to create a mediathon. When future historians try to figure out why a punk like Scott Peterson became the monster that gobbled up a mother lode of television time in a wartime election year, their roads of inquiry will all lead to Amber Frey.

A more sub rosa deterrent to TV coverage of torture is the chilling effect of this administration's campaign against "indecency" through its proxy, Michael Powell, at the Federal Communications Commission. If stations are fearful of airing "Saving Private Ryan" on Veterans Day, they are unlikely to go into much depth about war stories involving forced group masturbation, electric shock, rape committed with a phosphorescent stick, the burning of cigarettes in prisoners' ears, involuntary enemas and beatings that end in death. (At least 30 prisoner deaths have been under criminal investigation.) When one detainee witness at the Graner trial testified in a taped deposition that he had been forced to eat out of a toilet, that abuse was routinely cited in newspaper accounts but left unreported on network TV newscasts. It might, after all, upset viewers nearly as much as Bono's expletive at the 2003 Golden Globes.

Even so, and despite the dereliction of network news and the subterfuge of the Bush administration, the information is all there in black and white, if not in video or color, for those who want to read it, whether in the daily press or in books like Seymour Hersh's "Chain of Command" and Mark Danner's "Torture and Truth." The operative word, however, may be "want."

Maybe we don't want to know that the abuses were widespread and systematic, stretching from Afghanistan to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to unknown locales where "ghost detainees" are held. Or that they started a year before the incidents at Abu Ghraib. Or that they have been carried out by many branches of the war effort, not just Army grunts. Or that lawyers working for Donald Rumsfeld and Alberto Gonzales gave these acts a legal rationale that is far more menacing to encounter in cold type than the photo of Prince Harry's costume-shop armband.

As Mr. Danner shows in his book, all this and more can be discerned from a close reading of the government's dense investigative reports and the documents that have been reluctantly released (or leaked). Read the record, and the Fort Hood charade is unmasked for what it was: the latest attempt to strictly quarantine the criminality to a few Abu Ghraib guards and, as Mr. Danner writes, to keep their actions "carefully insulated from any charge that they represent, or derived from, U.S. policy - a policy that permits torture."

The abuses may well be going on still. Even as the Graner trial unfolded, The New York Times reported that a secret August 2002 Justice Department memo authorized the use of some 20 specific interrogation practices, including "waterboarding," a form of simulated drowning that was a torture of choice for military regimes in Argentina and Uruguay in the 1970's. This revelation did not make it to network news.

"Nobody seems to be listening," Mr. Danner said last week, as he prepared to return to Iraq to continue reporting on the war for The New York Review. That so few want to listen may in part be a reflection of the country's growing disenchantment with the war as a whole. (In an inauguration-eve Washington Post-ABC News poll, only 44 percent said the war was worth fighting.) The practice of torture by Americans is not only ugly in itself. It conjures up the specter of defeat. We can't "win" the war in Iraq if we lose the battle for public opinion in the Middle East. At the gut level, Americans know that the revelations of Abu Ghraib coincided with - and very likely spurred - the ruthlessness of an insurgency that has since taken the lives of many brave United States troops who would never commit the lawless acts of a Charles Graner or seek some ruling out of Washington that might countenance them.

History tells us that in these cases a reckoning always arrives, and Mr. Danner imagines that "in five years, or maybe sooner, there will be a TV news special called 'Torture: How Did It Happen?' " Even though much of the script can be written now, we will all be sure to express great shock.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company



Note:
http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0122-06.htm

The Smog of War: Dirty bombs, Dirty missiles, Dirty bullets

The Smog of War: Dirty bombs, Dirty missiles, Dirty bullets

The U.S. has used more DU since 1991 than the atomicity equivalent of 400,000 Nagasaki bombs. At an April press conference, a group of New York Army National Guard vets raised their hands when asked if they have health problems.



A Death Sentence Here and Abroad
by Leuren Moret
August 2004

Vietnam was a chemical war for oil, permanently contaminating large regions and countries downriver with Agent Orange, and environmentally the most devastating war in world history. But since 1991, the U.S. has staged four nuclear wars using depleted uranium weaponry, which, like Agent Orange, meets the U.S. government definition of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Vast regions in the Middle East and Central Asia have been permanently contaminated with radiation.

And what about our soldiers? Terry Jemison of the Department of Veterans Affairs reported this week to the American Free Press that “Gulf-era veterans” now on medical disability since 1991 number 518,739, with only 7,035 reported wounded in Iraq in that same 14-year period.

This week the American Free Press dropped a “dirty bomb” on the Pentagon by reporting that eight out of 20 men who served in one unit in the 2003 U.S. military offensive in Iraq now have malignancies. That means that 40 percent of the soldiers in that unit have developed malignancies in just 16 months.

Since these soldiers were exposed to vaccines and depleted uranium (DU) only, this is strong evidence for researchers and scientists working on this issue, that DU is the definitive cause of Gulf War Syndrome. Vaccines are not known to cause cancer. One of the first published researchers on Gulf War Syndrome, who also served in 1991 in Iraq, Dr. Andras Korényi-Both, is in agreement with Barbara Goodno from the Department of Defense’s Deployment Health Support Directorate, that in this war soldiers were not exposed to chemicals, pesticides, bioagents or other suspect causes this time to confuse the issue.

This powerful new evidence is blowing holes in the cover-up perpetrated by the Pentagon and three presidential administrations ever since DU was first used in 1991 in the Persian Gulf War. Fourteen years after the introduction of DU on the battlefield in 1991, the long-term effects have revealed that DU is a death sentence and very nasty stuff.

Scientists studying the biological effects of uranium in the 1960s reported that it targets the DNA. Marion Fulk, a nuclear physical chemist retired from the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab and formerly involved with the Manhattan Project, interprets the new and rapid malignancies in soldiers from the 2003 war as “spectacular … and a matter of concern.”

This evidence shows that of the three effects which DU has on biological systems - radiation, chemical and particulate – the particulate effect from nano-size particles is the most dominant one immediately after exposure and targets the Master Code in the DNA. This is bad news, but it explains why DU causes a myriad of diseases which are difficult to define.

In simple words, DU “trashes the body.” When asked if the main purpose for using it was for destroying things and killing people, Fulk was more specific: “I would say that it is the perfect weapon for killing lots of people.”

Soldiers developing malignancies so quickly since 2003 can be expected to develop multiple cancers from independent causes. This phenomenon has been reported by doctors in hospitals treating civilians following NATO bombing with DU in Yugoslavia in 1998-1999 and the U.S. military invasion of Iraq using DU for the first time in 1991. Medical experts report that this phenomenon of multiple malignancies from unrelated causes has been unknown until now and is a new syndrome associated with internal DU exposure.

Just 467 U.S. personnel were wounded in the three-week Persian Gulf War in 1990-1991. Out of 580,400 soldiers who served in Gulf War I, 11,000 are dead, and by 2000 there were 325,000 on permanent medical disability. This astounding number of disabled vets means that a decade later, 56 percent of those soldiers who served now have medical problems.

The number of disabled vets reported up to 2000 has been increasing by 43,000 every year. Brad Flohr of the Department of Veterans Affairs told American Free Press that he believes there are more disabled vets now than even after World War II.

They brought it home

Not only were soldiers exposed to DU on and off the battlefields, but they brought it home. DU in the semen of soldiers internally contaminated their wives, partners and girlfriends. Tragically, some women in their 20s and 30s who were sexual partners of exposed soldiers developed endometriosis and were forced to have hysterectomies because of health problems.

In a group of 251 soldiers from a study group in Mississippi who had all had normal babies before the Gulf War, 67 percent of their post-war babies were born with severe birth defects. They were born with missing legs, arms, organs or eyes or had immune system and blood diseases. In some veterans’ families now, the only normal or healthy members of the family are the children born before the war.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has stated that they do not keep records of birth defects occurring in families of veterans.

How did they hide it?

Before a new weapons system can be used, it must be fully tested. The blueprint for depleted uranium weapons is a 1943 declassified document from the Manhattan Project.

Harvard President and physicist James B. Conant, who developed poison gas in World War I, was brought into the Manhattan Project by the father of presidential candidate John Kerry. Kerry’s father served at a high level in the Manhattan Project and was a CIA agent.

Conant was chair of the S-1 Poison Gas Committee, which recommended developing poison gas weapons from the radioactive trash of the atomic bomb project in World War II. At that time, it was known that radioactive materials dispersed in bombs from the air, from land vehicles or on the battlefield produced very fine radioactive dust which would penetrate all protective clothing, any gas mask or filter or the skin. By contaminating the lungs and blood, it could kill or cause illness very quickly.

They also recommended it as a permanent terrain contaminant, which could be used to destroy populations by contaminating water supplies and agricultural land with the radioactive dust.

The first DU weapons system was developed for the Navy in 1968, and DU weapons were given to and used by Israel in 1973 under U.S. supervision in the Yom Kippur war against the Arabs.

The Phalanx weapons system, using DU, was tested on the USS Bigelow out of Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in 1977, and DU weapons have been sold by the U.S. to 29 countries.

Military research report summaries detail the testing of DU from 1974-1999 at military testing grounds, bombing and gunnery ranges and at civilian labs under contract. Today 42 states are contaminated with DU from manufacture, testing and deployment.

Women living around these facilities have reported increases in endometriosis, birth defects in babies, leukemia in children and cancers and other diseases in adults. Thousands of tons of DU weapons tested for decades by the Navy on four bombing and gunnery ranges around Fallon, Nevada, is no doubt the cause of the fastest growing leukemia cluster in the U.S. over the past decade. The military denies that DU is the cause.

The medical profession has been active in the cover-up - just as they were in hiding the effects from the American public - of low level radiation from atmospheric testing and nuclear power plants. A medical doctor in Northern California reported being trained by the Pentagon with other doctors, months before the 2003 war started, to diagnose and treat soldiers returning from the 2003 war for mental problems only.

Medical professionals in hospitals and facilities treating returning soldiers were threatened with $10,000 fines if they talked about the soldiers or their medical problems. They were also threatened with jail.

Reporters have also been prevented access to more than 14,000 medically evacuated soldiers flown nightly since the 2003 war in C-150s from Germany who are brought to Walter Reed Hospital near Washington, D.C.

Dr. Robert Gould, former president of the Bay Area chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), has contacted three medical doctors since February 2004, after I had been invited to speak about DU. Dr. Katharine Thomasson, president of the Oregon chapter of the PSR, informed me that Dr. Gould had contacted her and tried to convince her to cancel her invitation for me to speak about DU at Portland State University on April 12. Although I was able to do a presentation, Dr. Thomasson told me I could only talk about DU in Oregon “and nothing overseas … nothing political.”

Dr. Gould also contacted and discouraged Dr. Ross Wilcox in Toronto, Canada, from inviting me to speak to Physicians for Global Survival (PGS), the Canadian equivalent of PSR, several months later. When that didn’t work, he contacted Dr. Allan Connoly, the Canadian national president of PGS, who was able to cancel my invitation and nearly succeeded in preventing Dr. Wilcox, his own member, from showing photos and presenting details on civilians suffering from DU exposure and cancer provided to him by doctors in southern Iraq.

Dr. Janette Sherman, a former and long-standing member of PSR, reported that she finally quit some time after being invited to lunch by a new PSR executive administrator. After the woman had pumped Dr. Sherman for information all through lunch about her position on key issues, the woman informed Dr. Sherman that her last job had been with the CIA.

How was the truth about DU hidden from military personnel serving in successive DU wars? Before his tragic death, Sen. Paul Wellstone informed Joyce Riley, R.N., B.S.N., executive director of the American Gulf War Veterans Association, that 95 percent of Gulf War veterans had been recycled out of the military by 1995. Any of those continuing in military service were isolated from each other, preventing critical information being transferred to new troops. The “next DU war” had already been planned, and those planning it wanted “no skunk at the garden party.”

The US has a dirty (DU) little (CIA) secret

A new book just published at the American Free Press by Michael Collins Piper, “The High Priests of War: The Secret History of How America’s Neo-Conservative Trotskyites Came to Power and Orchestrated the War Against Iraq as the First Step in Their Drive for Global Empire,” details the early plans for a war against the Arab world by Henry Kissinger and the neo-cons in the late 1960s and early 1970s. That just happens to coincide with getting the DU “show on the road” and the oil crisis in the Middle East, which caused concern not only to President Nixon. The British had been plotting and scheming for control of the oil in Iraq for decades since first using poison gas on the Iraqis and Kurds in 1912.

The book details the creation of the neo-cons by their “godfather” and Trotsky lover Irving Kristol, who pushed for a “war against terrorism” long before 9/11 and was lavishly funded for years by the CIA. His son, William Kristol, is one of the most influential men in the United States.

Both are public relations men for the Israeli lobby’s neo-conservative network, with strong ties to Rupert Murdoch. Kissinger also has ties to this network and the Carlyle Group, who, one could say, have facilitated these omnicidal wars beginning from the time former President Bush took office. It would be easy to say that we are recycling World Wars I and II, with the same faces.

When I asked Vietnam Special Ops Green Beret Capt. John McCarthy, who could have devised this omnicidal plan to use DU to destroy the genetic code and genetic future of large populations of Arabs and Moslems in the Middle East and Central Asia - just coincidentally the areas where most of the world’s oil deposits are located - he replied: “It has all the handprints of Henry Kissinger.”

In Zbignew Brzezinski’s book “The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives,” the map of the Eurasian chessboard includes four regions strategic to U.S. foreign policy. The “South” region corresponds precisely to the regions now contaminated permanently with radiation from U.S. bombs, missiles and bullets made with thousands of tons of DU.

A Japanese professor, Dr. K. Yagasaki, has calculated that 800 tons of DU is the atomicity equivalent of 83,000 Nagasaki bombs. The U.S. has used more DU since 1991 than the atomicity equivalent of 400,000 Nagasaki bombs. Four nuclear wars indeed, and 10 times the amount of radiation released into the atmosphere from atmospheric testing!

No wonder our soldiers, their families and the people of the Middle East, Yugoslavia and Central Asia are sick. But as Henry Kissinger said after Vietnam when our soldiers came home ill from Agent Orange, “Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used for foreign policy.”

Unfortunately, more and more of those soldiers are men and women with brown skin. And unfortunately, the DU radioactive dust will be carried around the world and deposited in our environments just as the “smog of war” from the 1991 Gulf War was found in deposits in South America, the Himalayas and Hawaii.

In June 2003, the World Health Organization announced in a press release that global cancer rates will increase 50 percent by 2020. What else do they know that they aren’t telling us? I know that depleted uranium is a death sentence … for all of us. We will all die in silent ways.


To learn more

Sources used in this story that readers are encouraged to consult:

American Free Press four-part series on DU by Christopher Bollyn.
Part I: "Depleted Uranium: U.S. Commits War Crime Against Iraq, Humanity,"
http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/depleted_uranium.html

Part II: "Cancer Epidemic Caused by U.S. WMD: MD Says
Depleted Uranium Definitively
http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/cancer_epidemic_.html

Part III: "DU Syndrome Stricken Vets Denied Care: Pentagon Hides DU Dangers to Deny Medical Care to Vets",
http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/du_syndrome.html

Part IV: "Pentagon Brass Suppresses Truth About Toxic Weapons: Poisonous Uranium Munitions Threaten World",
http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/pentagon_brass.html


August 2004 World Affairs Journal. Leuren Moret: "Depleted Uranium: The Trojan Horse of Nuclear War,"
http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/2004/DU-Trojan-horse1jul04.htm


August 2004 Coastal Post Online. Carol Sterrit: "Marin Depleted Uranium Resolution Heats Up - GI's Will Come Home To A Slow Death,"
http://www.coastalpost.com/04/08/01.htm


World Depleted Uranium Weapons Conference, Hamburg,
Germany, October 16-19, 2004:
http://www.uraniumweaponsconference.de/speakers.htm


International Criminal Tribunal for Afghanistan.
Written opinion of Judge Niloufer Baghwat:
http://www.mindfully.org/Reform/2004/
Afghanistan-Criminal-Tribunal10mar04.htm


"Discounted Casualties: The Human Cost of Nuclear War"
by Akira Tashiro, foreword by Leuren Moret,
http://www.chugoku-np.co.jp/abom/uran/index_e.html



Leuren Moret is a geoscientist who has worked around the world on radiation issues, educating citizens, the media, members of parliaments and Congress and other officials. She became a whistleblower in 1991 at the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab after experiencing major science fraud on the Yucca Mountain Project. An environmental commissioner in the City of Berkeley, she can be reached at leurenmoret@yahoo.com.




Note:
Leuren Moret will appear on this week's Gorilla Radio program on CFUV Radio. http://www.sfbayview.com/081804/Depleteduranium081804.shtml