Feb. 12, 2005

'01 Memo to Rice Warned of Qaeda and Offered Plan

'01 Memo to Rice Warned of Qaeda and Offered Plan
By SCOTT SHANE

Published: February 12, 2005

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 - A strategy document outlining proposals for eliminating the threat from Al Qaeda, given to Condoleezza Rice as she assumed the post of national security adviser in January 2001, warned that the terror network had cells in the United States and 40 other countries and sought unconventional weapons, according to a declassified version of the document.

The 13-page proposal presented to Dr. Rice by her top counterterrorism adviser, Richard A. Clarke, laid out ways to step up the fight against Al Qaeda, focusing on Osama bin Laden's headquarters in Afghanistan. The ideas included giving "massive support" to anti-Taliban groups "to keep Islamic extremist fighters tied down"; destroying terrorist training camps "while classes are in session" and then sending in teams to gather intelligence on terrorist cells; deploying armed drone aircraft against known terrorists; more aggressively tracking Qaeda money; and accelerating the F.B.I.'s translation and analysis of material from surveillance of terrorism suspects in American cities.

Mr. Clarke was seeking a high-level meeting to decide on a plan of action. Dr. Rice and other administration officials have said that Mr. Clarke's ideas did not constitute an adequate plan, but they took them into consideration as they worked toward a more effective strategy against the terrorist threat.

The proposal and an accompanying three-page memorandum given to Dr. Rice by Mr. Clarke on Jan. 25, 2001, were discussed and quoted in brief by the independent commission studying the Sept. 11 attacks and in news reports and books last year. They were obtained by the private National Security Archive, which published the full versions, with minor deletions at the request of the Central Intelligence Agency, on its Web site late Thursday.

Under the heading "the next three to five years," Mr. Clarke spelled out a series of steps building on groundwork that he said had already been laid, adding that "success can only be achieved if the pace and resource levels of the programs continue to grow as planned."

continued......

Allawi Loss In Baghdad Elections

Renewed Violence Prompts Post-Election Pessimism

By John Daniszewski, Times Staff Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Two weeks after Iraq's first democratic election, hopes that the country's future will improve have given way in some quarters to pessimism, or at least to more limited expectations, as resurgent violence and a delay in the final tally have added to political uncertainty.

Western and Iraqi officials said they have seen a slight diminution in violence against coalition forces. But a string of attacks directed mainly at Shiite Muslims and Kurds have killed scores of civilians and shattered hopes that a significant portion of insurgents would desist now that a contested election has taken place.

Continued....

Shlonkom Bakazay?

"Holy S**t! It's fascist picture story time!! "

First off, this is absolutely true and only happened about an hour ago. I am a Christian, a republican and support the war in Iraq, but this pisses me off in ways I cannot explain even to myself. This is not a debate thread, after you read this and look at the pictures, if you post anything it will be reactions, advice, or simple opinion. I know there are a lot of military personal in this forum and I would love to here what you have to say about this but if this turns into a flame war I will be extremely upset with whoever's involved. Now on to the story

Continued.....

Feb. 11, 2005

U.S. Scientists Say They Are Told to Alter Findings

U.S. Scientists Say They Are Told to Alter Findings

By Julie Cart, Times Staff Writer

More than 200 scientists employed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say they have been directed to alter official findings to lessen protections for plants and animals, a survey released Wednesday says.

The survey of the agency's scientific staff of 1,400 had a 30% response rate and was conducted jointly by the Union of Concerned Scientists and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

Continued........

Feb. 9, 2005

"Some People Push Back" On the Justice of Roosting Chickens

"Some People Push Back" On the Justice of Roosting Chickens
written by Ward Churchill // 9-11-2001
This article appeared in Pockets of Resistance #11 September 2001

When queried by reporters concerning his views on the assassination of John F. Kennedy in November 1963, Malcolm X famously – and quite charitably, all things considered – replied that it was merely a case of "chickens coming home to roost."

On the morning of September 11, 2001, a few more chickens – along with some half-million dead Iraqi children – came home to roost in a very big way at the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center. Well, actually, a few of them seem to have nestled in at the Pentagon as well.

The Iraqi youngsters, all of them under 12, died as a predictable – in fact, widely predicted – result of the 1991 US "surgical" bombing of their country's water purification and sewage facilities, as well as other "infrastructural" targets upon which Iraq's civilian population depends for its very survival.

If the nature of the bombing were not already bad enough – and it should be noted that this sort of "aerial warfare" constitutes a Class I Crime Against humanity, entailing myriad gross violations of international law, as well as every conceivable standard of "civilized" behavior – the death toll has been steadily ratcheted up by US-imposed sanctions for a full decade now. Enforced all the while by a massive military presence and periodic bombing raids, the embargo has greatly impaired the victims' ability to import the nutrients, medicines and other materials necessary to saving the lives of even their toddlers.

All told, Iraq has a population of about 18 million. The 500,000 kids lost to date thus represent something on the order of 25 percent of their age group. Indisputably, the rest have suffered – are still suffering – a combination of physical debilitation and psychological trauma severe enough to prevent their ever fully recovering. In effect, an entire generation has been obliterated.

The reason for this holocaust was/is rather simple, and stated quite straightforwardly by President George Bush, the 41st "freedom-loving" father of the freedom-lover currently filling the Oval Office, George the 43rd: "The world must learn that what we say, goes," intoned George the Elder to the enthusiastic applause of freedom-loving Americans everywhere.

How Old George conveyed his message was certainly no mystery to the US public. One need only recall the 24-hour-per-day dissemination of bombardment videos on every available TV channel, and the exceedingly high ratings of these telecasts, to gain a sense of how much they knew.

In trying to affix a meaning to such things, we would do well to remember the wave of elation that swept America at reports of what was happening along the so-called Highway of Death: perhaps 100,000 "towel-heads" and "camel jockeys" – or was it "sand niggers" that week? – in full retreat, routed and effectively defenseless, many of them conscripted civilian laborers, slaughtered in a single day by jets firing the most hyper-lethal types of ordnance.

It was a performance worthy of the nazis during the early months of their drive into Russia. And it should be borne in mind that Good Germans gleefully cheered that butchery, too. Indeed, support for Hitler suffered no serious erosion among Germany's "innocent civilians" until the defeat at Stalingrad in 1943.

There may be a real utility to reflecting further, this time upon the fact that it was pious Americans who led the way in assigning the onus of collective guilt to the German people as a whole, not for things they as individuals had done, but for what they had allowed – nay, empowered – their leaders and their soldiers to do in their name.

If the principle was valid then, it remains so now, as applicable to Good Americans as it was the Good Germans. And the price exacted from the Germans for the faultiness of their moral fiber was truly ghastly.

Returning now to the children, and to the effects of the post-Gulf War embargo – continued bull force by Bush the Elder...

see full article

Ward Churchill Speaks

"'I do not work for taxpayers", prof says Churchill throws down gauntlet at speech in Boulder By Charlie Brennan, Rocky Mountain News February 9, 2005 BOULDER - A defiant Ward Churchill told an overflow audience of more than a thousand at the University of Colorado on Tuesday night that he will not back down or be silenced. Most of the crowd that packed CU's Glenn Miller Ballroom for Churchill's speech appeared to be pulling for him in the fight of his professional life. It was his first public talk since becoming embroiled in controversy for his 3-year-old essay on the Sept. 11 attacks."

Feb. 8, 2005

What's In Popeye's Pipe?

What's In Popeye's Pipe?

By Dana Larsen, Cannabis Culture. Posted February 8, 2005.

Popeye is one of the world's most well-known and beloved animated characters. Since his creation, the pipe-puffing Popeye has become a global phenomenon, with millions of kids heartily munching on spinach in the hopes that it will make them as strong as the legendary sailor-man.

Yet is the spinach which gives Popeye his super-strength really a metaphor for another magical herb? Have children around the world been adoring a hero who is really a heavy consumer of the forbidden weed – marijuana?

The evidence is circumstantial, but it is there, and when added together it presents a compelling picture that, for many readers at least, Popeye's strength-giving spinach is meant as a clear metaphor for the miraculous powers of marijuana.

Continued....... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thought provoking article at the very least

G.W.

CCR

Action Alert!

Call on the German Federal Prosecutor to Investigate Rumsfeld and Other U.S. Officials for War Crimes at Abu Ghraib

The Center for Constitutional Rights and four Iraqis who were tortured in U.S. custody filed a complaint on November 30 with the German Federal Prosecutor’s Office against high ranking United States civilian and military commanders over the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison and elsewhere in Iraq.

We are asking the German prosecutor to launch an investigation because the U.S. government is unwilling to open an independent investigation into the responsibility of these officials for war crimes and the U.S. has refused to join the International Criminal Court. CCR and the Iraqi victims brought this complaint to Germany as a court of last resort. Several of the defendants are stationed in Germany.

The Pentagon and the U.S. government are taking this suit very seriously. According to the Deutsche Press Agency, Donald Rumsfeld has warned Germany that he will not attend an upcoming security conference in Munich if there is any indication of an investigation going forward, and Chief Pentagon Spokesman Larry Di Rita, calling the complaint “frivolous,” said that he raised the case with the State Department: "State is engaged in this. Obviously, it's something that we're focused on and very concerned with…” Please encourage the German prosecutor not to bow to U.S. pressure.

Continued.......

Feb. 7, 2005

Ratner and Ray: Abuse And Torture at Gitmo

February 7, 2005
Please Distribute Widely

Dear Colleague,

In Chapter 2 their book "Guantánamo: What the World Should Know," Michael Ratner and Ellen Ray look more closely at the specific methods and strategies of torture and interrogation used at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba and other U.S. prison camps. Ratner explains the brutality and psychological effects of these methods, and how U.S. officials employ them to get prisoners to say essentially anything. Some excerpts:

"Ray: But the Pentagon claims it is treating the prisoners at Guantánamo well, that it is a model institution, that it is respecting the prisoners' religion, providing Muslims with prayer rugs, the Koran, and 'culturally appropriate meals.'

"Ratner: This is not at all true. There are many different levels to consider in the abuses suffered there. First, there is a psychological level. People, as far we know, have been (and are still being) rounded up and taken to Guantánamo from all over the Islamic world, where they are put into wire-mesh cages for observation. They are isolated from each other and repeatedly taken into separate interrogation booths - trailers, really.

"A critical psychological issue is that these people have no idea if or when they are ever getting out. For all they know, each time they are taken out of their cells they may well be put up against a wall and shot.

"Ray: I read reports a year or so ago that the camp commander at the time, Major General Geoffrey Miller, floated a rumor in the media and also let it become known around the camp that the new, hard-walled prison Halliburton was building - Camp Echo - was to be a death row prison, with its own execution chamber.

"Ratner: Yes, and this just reinforced the belief in the prisoners' minds that Guantánamo was the end of the line, a death camp."

...

"Guantánamo is like Dante's ninth circle of hell. The temperature is often 110 degrees Fahrenheit, and of course the prisoners have no such thing as air conditioning. The place is infested by scorpions and banana rats. The detainees sleep on concrete floors, with no mattresses; the toilet is a hole in the ground. It is a horrific situation from a physical, psychological, and legal point of view."

...

"We do know from a number of the people who have been released from Guantánamo that mental torture, the breaking down of the human spirit, is the norm there. This is an interrogation camp, and they are consciously trying to take away people's identities. Prisoners get toothbrushes, decent food, and other amenities only as a reward for cooperating."

...

"There is definitely physical brutality. There are squads of U.S. military personnel - the IRFs I mentioned earlier - who occasionally beat people up, sometimes quite severely. They have held back food from recalcitrant prisoners. There are reports that during interrogation, prisoners are forced to kneel, sometimes for hours while they are chained to a ring on the floor.

The sleep deprivation I mentioned earlier has been openly admitted and authorized in Guantánamo by the Pentagon. As a result of the Abu Ghraib scandal, the Pentagon has said it is banning the use of sleep deprivation in Iraq; it remains to be seen whether its use continues in Guantánamo.

The goal of breaking down people's will is to make them faceless, take away their culture, their religion, and their identities. The only chance they have to stop the endless interrogations is to cooperate. And the fact is that eventually many of the victims do cooperate, although cooperation may often lead to the signing of false confessions."

Read the full chapter, with many more insights and concrete examples of these abuses, at: http://www.narconews.com

Also, thanks to the generosity of the book's publisher, Chelsea Green, our readers can purchase copies of the book for just $10, including shipping. The books have been donated by the publisher and all proceeds will go to The Fund for Authentic Journalism. Support a great cause and pay less than you would on Amazon.com: http://www.salonchingon.com/giftshop/

From somewhere in a country called América,

Dan Feder
Managing Editor, Narco News
http://www.narconews.com
webmaster@narconews.com

Narco News is supported by:
The Fund for Authentic Journalism
P.O. Box 71051
Madison Heights, MI 48071 USA
http://www.authenticjournalism.org

Feb. 6, 2005

UN Bows To US pressure On Harm Reduction

The US is pressing various UN agencies to silence UN support for harm reduction and needle exchange. The story can be found at


http://www.tni.org/drugs/index.htm

click on 'harm reduction'

UNODC has bowed to US pressure (see the letter from Antonio Maria Costa the head of UNODC - to Bobby Charles at the US State Department). UNODC has decided to remove references to harm reduction and needle/syringe exchange in UNODC documents, websites. publications and statements. Funding has been pulled from some harm reduction related activities.

The US is a major donor for UNODC and other UN agencies, which makes it vulnerable to US pressure. We need to support the UN position on harm reduction and protect achievements in the fight against HIV on the international and country level.

A group of organizations, including Human Rights Watch, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, International Harm Reduction Development Program,International Harm Reduction Association, Central Eastern European Harm Reduction Network, Transnational Institute, The Beckley Foundation, European AIDS Treatment Group and many others are undertaking a series of activities addressing this issue. Some of these will focus on delegates of Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). The thematic debate of the Forty-eighth session of CND, March 7-14 in Vienna, will be devoted to HIV/AIDS.

Could you please : 1) as an organization or as an individual add your support now to the attached Open Letter to delegates of the Forty-eighth session of CND.

To sign simply send your name, organization, city and country and email to Jennifer Nagle at hivaids@hrw.org . Indicate whether this is organizational or individual support.

The letter will be delivered to all CND delegates and to Antonio Costa.

2) contact your national delegations to CND and inform them about HIV/AIDS situation. Inform them of UN commitments (such as Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS ; ; > http://www.un.org/ga/aids/docs/aress262.pdf>; ;> and the UN position paper on HIV/AIDS prevention for drug users ; ;> http://www.cicad.oas.org/en/Resources/UNHIVaids.pdf. Briefings should be held prior to the March CND and are very important as in many countries the national delegations are formed mainly of law enforcement representatives who are often badly informed on HIV/AIDS.

3) use your NGO ECOSOC status if you have it, to attend CND and participate in the official NGO forum scheduled at the meeting.

4) Inform your media of US pressure on the UN and encourage them to cover this story.


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