The Center for an Informed America NEWSLETTER #24
December 5, 2002
Is this Man a Moron?
According to Francoise Ducros, a top aide to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, he is. Not so, said Chretien. He insisted that Bush is "a friend of mine. He's not a moron at all." He actually said that. The Prime Minister of Canada. Now how the hell is someone supposed to parody the news when the real thing plays like a bad Saturday Night Live skit?
(http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CBC211A.html, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-489474,00.html and
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/APR111A.html; see also http://media.guardian.co.uk/broadcast/story/0,7493,848371,00.html)
Ducros, by the way, has been forced to step down, not unlike Germany's Herta Daeubler-Gmelin, who was likewise forced out after comparing Bush to Hitler. (http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/nov2002/can-n28.shtml)
Well ... let's see now ... who has been stabbing the truth with the dagger of evil this week? Actually, pretty much everybody has been -- which is to say, it's been another typical week in paradise (OK ... actually it's been a couple of weeks, but who's counting?).
Leading the pack of truth stabbers has been George Bush himself, as he continues to tell every lie imaginable about Iraq, while the media continues to use every euphemism imaginable to avoid labeling him as what he so obviously is: a liar.
And he's not even a good liar. Not like Bill Clinton. Or Ronald Reagan. Of course, it was pretty easy for Ronnie, since most of the time he probably didn't even know he was lying. Or that he was supposed to be the president. Or who that scary looking woman was who kept feeding him his lines.
The rest of the Bush administration joined in the chorus of lies, with the one lonely voice of honesty belonging this week to, strangely enough, Richard Perle, who candidly admitted that the attack on Iraq would not be deterred by any weapons inspections, regardless of the findings. (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/allnews/page.cfm?objectid=12377231&method=full&)
And when that attack comes, watch for any number of member states of the United Nations Security Council to voice indignation, and to insist that they didn't sign off on a resolution authorizing a unilateral attack by the United States -- though that is of course exactly what they did.
And since we're once again discussing Iraq and the UN, I should mention that there is something a little disconcerting about writing a lengthy diatribe on the actions of the UN Security Council - which happened to also include a few flippant remarks about the Winona Ryder trial - and receiving more feedback on Winona than on Iraq.
Reader "Frank," for instance, wanted to discuss Ms. Ryder: "The Winona Ryder crime of the century? Sorry, but I disagree with you on this one. If it was you or me, we would be fried at the stake. To have 12 jurors let her walk away with a slap on the wrist is theft of justice and another example of how the rich pay to win. The losers are the little people and their tax dollars."
Frank does have a point here, as far as 'justice' being for sale. But I don't really have a problem with the fact that Ryder walked away with a "slap on the wrist." Far be it from me to suggest that America's prisons should be further filled by packing all the country's shoplifters in with the 2,000,000 or so inmates already residing there.
It is, however, obscene that so many others of a, shall we say, different social standing don't fare so well in the American criminal 'justice' system -- which is essentially the point that Frank was making, I presume.
And speaking of shoplifting, reader "Nick" sent in a response to a claim in a recent newsletter that capitalism is essentially a system of legalized theft. His response was a reprint of an article that appeared in the Electronic Telegraph on March 24, 1997 ("Shoplifting is not sinful, agrees Soper," by Robert Shrimsley)."Lord Soper, the veteran Labour peer and Methodist campaigner, said yesterday that shoplifting from supermarkets was not necessarily wrong because 'the capitalist system is based on stealing' ...Anyway, it was obvious that there was something a little odd about the Ryder case when former studio chief Peter Guber, who helmed a couple of Ryder's films, showed up on the jury. I find myself wondering how often a guy like Peter Guber opts to spend his free time serving on jury duty. I also find myself wondering what the odds are that he'd just happen to find himself sitting on Winona's jury.
"Pressed on whether 'to steal back from a big supermarket is OK' Lord Soper said: 'Well, you have to revise the word because if they didn't have any right to it in the first place you can't steal it from them because they are not entitled to it, and if you press me on this general proposition I should have said the capitalist system is based on stealing.'"
Come to think of it, I also have to wonder what the odds are that, if I were ever in the unfortunate circumstance of standing trial for a crime, the prosecution team would allow a past employer and business associate of mine to be seated on the jury without a hint of protest.
Moving on, I see that the American people have once again received a slap in the face with the appointment of Henry Kissinger to lead a purportedly "independent" investigation into the September 11 attacks. You can be sure that Kissinger's committee will know a thing or two about stabbing the truth with the dagger of evil. (http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/nov2002/kiss-n28.shtml)
I also see that Bush has gotten the thumbs-up to assemble a police-state entity that would have been the envy of Hitler's Gestapo. Yes, my friends, the Department of Homeland Security has arrived -- after much posturing during which Bush at first pretended not to be interested whilst the 'Democrats' largely crafted the bill, and then the 'Democrats' turned around and pretended to have reservations about the legislation while Bush and the 'Republicans' touted it.
Much of the 'Democratic' posturing was over a provision in the bill that excludes employees of the department from civil service protections. (http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/sep2002/home-s30.shtml)
This has been portrayed by many as an attack on labor -- which it is, though by framing the debate in that way, attention is shifted away from a more important goal being pursued: the administration is reserving the right to properly sculpt the new department by firing any employee who does not exhibit a suitably fascistic approach to their job.
The Bush administration's invoking of the Taft-Hartley Act against West Coast dockworkers was actually a more direct assault on labor (http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/oct2002/ilwu-o10.shtml), but there was likely another motivation at play there as well: setting up a pretext whereby the nation's docks will be turned over to - you guessed it - the Department of Homeland Security. Expect that in the near future.
I also hear, by the way, that another major airline, United, is about to declare bankruptcy. More will surely follow, especially now that Team Bush is promoting this new and completely unfounded fear that 'terrorists' packing shoulder-fired missile launchers will soon be routinely blasting civilian airliners out of the sky.
Expect to see further consolidation of the airline industry until we eventually have just one, more-or-less 'national,' airline -- which will, of course, largely be under the control of the Department of Homeland Security, along with the country's borders and ports. You want to get into this country? Then you're going to have to deal with the good people at Homeland Security.
More importantly, if you want to get out of this country, then you're going to have to deal with the department as well.
Anyway, what I started to say, before getting wildly sidetracked, is that everyone in Washington soon stopped pretending to have objections to the Homeland Security bill and pretty much everyone voted for it. Well ... everyone except the American people, that is, but that's not really important, I suppose.
The department comes complete with convicted felon John Poindexter's "Information Awareness Office." (http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/09/politics/09COMP.html?ex=1037854354&ei=1&en=2c953778a582ee6b) Henry Kissinger and John Poindexter? Could these appointments have possibly been any more in-your-face? And as icing on the cake, we also get this nifty logo:
The Bush team certainly isn't shy about dropping enormous clues along the evidence trail, deliberately taunting dissidents and 'conspiracy theorists.' Reader "Belinda" has written to ask why that is. This posting provides a reasonably good answer to that question. (http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/10.17A.wrp.4.lights.htm)
Here is some news from Israel, which, believe it or not, leads the world in ignoring UN Security Council resolutions. (http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=218044&contrassID=2&subContrassID=1&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Y)
I mention this because I've heard that we're about to carpet-bomb some country that allegedly has been defying UN resolutions ... but I don't think it's Israel. We have another way of dealing with that rogue nation: since 1949, we've sent them approximately $135 billion in U.S. taxpayers' money. (http://www.wrmea.com/html/us_aid_to_israel.htm)
And if you wish to make some additional personal contributions, the good news is that donations to the Israeli military are tax deductible (http://www.antiwar.com/comment/idf.html). That is in contrast to donations to Middle Eastern terrorist groups, which will earn you an indefinite detention in one of John Ashcroft's group homes.
That reminds me of something that I've been meaning to comment on: secret military tribunals. You all remember those, don't you? You remember how, shortly after the September 11 attacks, the Bush mob granted itself the power, by Executive Order, to secretly try, convict and execute terrorist suspects with no civilian oversight or review?
When this was first reported, there was a fair amount of outcry from various government critics. But then the media moved on, as it always does, and no one ever talks about them anymore.
And do you remember how Team Bush began rounding up Muslims here in America and holding them indefinitely without charges? The number of such detentions reached something like 1,200 before Ashcroft and Co. announced that they would no longer be releasing figures on how many were being detained -- or where they were being detained, or for how long they would be detained, or why they were being detained.
And the media again moved on, and nobody talks about these detainees anymore.
My questions are these: how do we know how many such detainees there currently are, and how do we know that none of them have been subjected to military tribunals with the power to impose unaccountable death sentences?
Are we to believe that the detentions stopped just because the media stopped talking about them? And are we to believe that the military tribunal order was never acted upon, just because nobody talks about it anymore? How do we know that such tribunals are not already operational?
The key word here, remember, is secret military tribunals. The order that created them specified explicitly that these tribunals were not to be accountable to civilian authorities or to the general public. So how do we know what really became of all those anonamous detainees? And how do we know that their numbers aren't still growing?
Just thought I'd ask, since nobody else seems to ponder such things ...
Anyway, I seem to have once again digressed here from my main point, which I think was that the country we are about to bomb has been accused of various heinous acts, including - as already noted - ignoring UN Security Council resolutions. I've also heard that the country has been accused of "gassing its own people." And I see here that Russia has just done exactly that ... but I don't think that it is Russia that is going to be pelted with cruise missiles. (http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/oct2002/mosc-o29.shtml and http://www3.sympatico.ca/sr.gowans/conscripts.html)
Talk on the streets also has it that the country in question is working on developing nuclear weapons. And sure enough, I see here that North Korea has acknowledged developing and possessing nuclear weapons. But I don't think that North Korea is due for a bombing ... at least not yet.
It's surely working its way up to the top of the list though. It is, after all, part of the much-feared "Axis of Evil" -- that mythical entity that exists only in the comic book world of our commander-in-chief, who is not, mind you, a moron. He does though frequently say things that might lead some people to conclude that he is. (http://slate.msn.com/?id=76886)
It sounded almost as if North Korea was actually challenging Uncle Sam. The conversation appears to have gone something like this:North Korea: "Hey you! Yeah, I'm talking to you! What are you picking on that guy for? I'm the one that's packin' the nukes. So what are you going to do about it, tough guy?"Meanwhile, apropos of nothing, Pat Robertson just got a large donation from the White House in the form of a "faith-based" grant. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A35217-2002Oct2?language=printer)
Uncle Sam: "Uhmm, you got any oil over there?"
North Korea: "Uhh, well, not much, really."
Uncle Sam: "I'll have to get back to you. I've got to take care of some other things right now."
William Webster was, albeit briefly, selected to serve as some sort of accounting czar at the SEC, to clean up all the accounting scandals that have wracked corporate America. The L.A. Times noted, in an article that I seem to have misplaced the link to, that Webster has no accounting experience. So what does he have experience at? As the former head of both the FBI and the CIA, I'd say that damage control and cover-ups are near the top of the list.
But enough about that. I see that a research firm in Philadelphia has been quite busy concocting the most repulsive odors imaginable. The Pentagon is, naturally enough, interested in weaponizing these potent concoctions. (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-odors10nov10.story and http://www.tampatrib.com/News/MGAI49KPT8D.html)
I would suggest to the Pentagon boys that if they are after the most noxious odor of all, they should look into developing a means of capturing the stench that emanates from a Florida election. (http://www.oscewatch.org/CountryReport.asp?CountryID=56&ReportID=189)
Here's a fascinating little story that was buried in the local news section of a recent edition of the Los Angeles Times: it seems that a local man named Nimrod Hen died on Tuesday, November 26, of injuries sustained in a car accident he was in ten days prior. (http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-hen27nov27.story)
The young man's tragic death means, of course, that I can't really go for any cheap laughs by making fun of his name.
So why is this story of interest? Because Nimrod happened to be the brother of Victoria Hen, who was the young El Al Israel Airlines ticket agent that was allegedly gunned down by Hesham Mohamed Hadayet at LAX on July 4th of this year -- although there was no shortage of conflicting reports about who did the shooting that day.
[If you have already forgotten the July 4th LAX shootings, don't fret over it. You're not really supposed to remember these things in any detail. The objective is to keep these incidents coming at a fast and furious pace, never leaving you enough time to properly analyze and digest them before moving on to the next manufactured tragedy.
That way, you will be kept in a constant state of fear, anxiety and confusion -- forever refilling that Prozac prescription.]
So, on November 16, Nimrod was driving down - and the more conspiratorially-minded readers are going to just love this one - Mason Avenue, just minding his own business, when a car pulled out in front of him causing him to swerve, lose control of his vehicle, and crash into a couple of parked cars.
Now Hen was probably only travelling at about 35 mph, the posted speed limit. His passenger was said to be "recovering at home with cuts and bruises." And Nimrod himself "was alert and talking to family members immediately after the crash." The Times claimed that he "suffered severe injuries," though the only one mentioned was "crushed legs," which isn't normally life-threatening.
After being taken to the hospital, however, "his condition quickly deteriorated." Ten days later, he was dead. Odd, isn't it? LAPD Captain Greg Meyer thought so. He said: "This is just inconceivable that you could lose both a son and a daughter to separate tragedies."
Not inconceivable, but definitely a little odd. Sometimes things just happen. But sometimes things are made to appear as though they just happened.
Elsewhere, several former members of the 'Symbionese Liberation Army' were recently rounded up and convicted of a murder committed in the 1970s -- when that laughably fraudulent intelligence community creation was making newspaper headlines for robbing banks and kidnapping newspaper heiresses.
The group received sentences of 6-8 years in a plea agreement. Not bad, considering that they admitted committing a murder in the commission of a felony, which I believe is a capital offense, though I could be wrong. But any way you look at it, six years for first degree murder ain't too bad a deal.
These are terrorists we are talking about here, after all. Murderous terrorists! Convicted terrorists! Why, we have detained terrorists indefinitely for lesser offenses than that. Actually, we've detained terrorists indefinitely for no offenses at all. We are, you know, waging a war on terrorism.
So why did these aging terrorists get off so easy? Probably because pretty much all the SLA members who escaped being incinerated by the LAPD (and elements of the military) were agents provocateur working for the FBI, the LAPD, and various other intelligence and law enforcement agencies. (http://www.newsmakingnews.com/mbwhywaspatricia.htm)
The final fugitive SLA member, James Kilgore, has been found in South Africa, where he has reportedly been living for a decade. Prior to that, during the 1980s, he lived in Harare, Zimbabwe. "In the early 1980s," says the Times, "the city was a way station for African National Congress exiles, freedom fighters from other liberation movements around the continent and fresh-faced college graduates from Europe and the U.S. bound by idealism bordering on naiveté."
It was, in other words, a hotbed of covert activity, as the Times acknowledges:
"As much as Harare drew young, idealistic sympathizers, it also drew spies looking to prop up the apartheid regime in South Africa. ... 'A lot of people there were leading double lives,' Dr. Satge said. 'They might tell you that they're going on holiday, but they were really going to [a neighboring country] for secret military training.'"
Kilgore, of course, is claimed to have been a "Marxist" activist during his long stay in Africa. Sure he was. I'm sure that wasn't just his 'cover.' He certainly wasn't one of those people living "double lives" -- so don't go thinking that he was.
And now, dear readers, it is time to play a little game -- a little game in which I reproduce a series of quotes and you try to guess who said/wrote them (hint: all were spoken or writen by the same person). Ready? Here's the first: "I do not understand the squeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisonous gas against uncivilized tribes."
Got a guess? Saddam Hussein, perhaps? Need another clue? Here it is: "I do not admit ... that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America, or the black people of Australia ... by the fact that a stronger race, a higher grade race ... has come in and taken its place."
Wow. This guy sounds like a genocidal racist. A eugenicist. Adolf Hitler, maybe? Here's the next clue: "The unnatural and increasingly rapid growth of the feeble-minded and insane classes, coupled as it is with a steady restriction among all the thrifty, energetic and superior stocks, constitutes a national and race danger which it is impossible to exaggerate... I feel that the source from which the stream of madness is fed should be cut off and sealed up before another year has passed."
Yeah, that's definitely starting to sound like Hitler ... right? Here's the next clue: "One may dislike Hitler's system and yet admire his patriotic achievement. If our country were defeated, I hope we should find a champion as admirable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations."
Well, I guess it can't be Hitler. But it's definitely a Hitler admirer. Maybe Quisling or Laval? Here's one more clue: "I will not pretend that, if I had to choose between communism and nazism, I would choose communism."
Give up? Confused because you were always taught that nazism and communism are essentially the same thing? Understandable, of course, but the question here is who this quotable man is. And the answer is that it is the man who served as a vice-president at the world's very first eugenics conference held in London in 1912, and who secretly ordered the sterilization of thousands of Britons -- Sir Winston Churchill.
Those are, alas, the types of statements that land someone in the history books as a great 'statesman' (here are some more sound bites from Churchill: http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,849122,00.html. And here, by the way, are a few choice quotes from another great 'statesman' -- Henry Kissinger: http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/12.02D.kiss.quotes.htm).
The UK, as we all 'know,' was opposed to the Nazis during World War II. They did though allow a couple of Nazi spies, who had allegedly been turned against the Reich by MI5, to bomb Britain -- to "protect their cover" and "fool [the] Nazis." That's the story that the BBC's selling, anyway.
So if I'm reading this correctly, a Western 'democracy' allowed some intelligence operatives with questionable allegiances to launch terror attacks against the homeland. Pretty wierd, huh? It's a good thing that that kind of thing doesn't happen anymore.
"Officers with assault rifles and paramedics armed with hypodermic needles invaded Mesa's Westwood High School on Thursday." Why, you ask? Because they were carrying out a mock quarantine and vaccination drill. In the event, you know, that America is victimized by a biological attack.
Yes, dear readers, the Homeland Security bill also contains provisions for mass quarantines and forced vaccinations. (http://www.clickitnews.com/emergingdiseases/posts/3468.html and http://www.rense.com/general32/asno.htm and http://globalresearch.ca/articles/RUP209A.html) Among those near the top of the list for vaccinations are healthcare and emergency care workers, some of whom don't think it's such a good idea. (http://rense.com/general32/must.htm) Neither, for that matter, do a lot of Gulf War vets, whose first experience with forced vaccinations hasn't been a pleasant one. (http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,56099,00.html)
Moving on, the L.A. Times recently revisited the DC sniper case, in an attempt to spin all the incongruities in the official story. The Times article makes for fascinating reading as it struggles valiantly to attribute a vast number of indications of official complicity to simple incompetence, bureaucratic failures, and - most importantly - the failures of various agencies to communicate with each other.
The objective is, quite clearly, to do what the Bush administration does best -- spin a negative into a positive, this time by not-so-subtly lending support to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, one of whose missions is, of course, to facilitate better communications between what are now nominally separate agencies.
Since the Times will soon dump this must-read story into its paid archives, I have taken the liberty of reposting the article in its entirety. You can access it at http://www.davesweb.cnchost.com/snipers.html.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Army is busily training and recruiting the next generation of snipers by way of a new videogame that has been introduced and made widely available on the Internet. Seems like a good idea to me ...
Here's an interesting story from the New York Daily News about how "an immense body of documentary evidence about the collapse of the twin towers" is being suppressed to this day. (http://www.nydailynews.com/front/breaking_news/story/22997p-21798c.html) Now why would that be? You don't suppose, do you, that it could be because that data would reveal that the collapses were in fact controlled implosions?
No ... of course not. It's foolish to even suggest such a thing. Why, any number of 'researchers' have denounced such claims, suggesting that drawing such conclusions only serves to discredit 9-11 'conspiracy theories' in general. To which I say: bullshit.
Anyone who hasn't pondered that possibility needs to take another look at the videotape of the collapses. The precision and symmetry with which those towers collapsed on that day simply cannot be explained away -- no matter how many 'researchers' either deny or ignore that fact. (http://www.attackonamerica.net/proofofcontrolleddemolitionatwtc.htm)
It was suggested in a previous newsletter that Americans may not be as knowledgeable as they like to think they are. They are, however, apparently at least as knowledgeable as their British counterparts -- who are, like Americans, more focused on who the latest contestants are on various 'reality' TV shows than they are on national and world affairs. (http://portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2002/10/21/udumb.xml&sSheet=/portal/2002/10/21/ixport.htm and http://media.guardian.co.uk/broadcast/story/0,7493,816060,00.html)
One thing that the Brits have figured out though is that their illustrious head-of-state, Tony Blair, is a "lapdog" of George Bush. At least they got that right.
Next up is the grossly underreported story that Venezuela's Hugo Chavez foiled yet another coup attempt in October of this year. And the tiny African nation of Eritrea has accused the CIA of attempting to foment a coup in that country as well. Why Eritrea, you ask? Read the story and take a look at a map. It's not too hard to figure out.
(http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/2303199.stm and http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/2347291.stm)
Note that the coup was apparently attempted while Clinton was still in office, illustrating that planning for military action in the Middle East began long before The Smirk took office -- and that Bush, like Clinton, is really just a figurehead who has little to do with actually setting policy.
This posting, from the Guardian, reveals that the death toll in Afghanistan was far greater than has been reported, even by critics of the assault on that nation. In addition to as many as 8,000 deaths directly attributable to the bombings, there were an additional 20,000 indirect deaths. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/analysis/story/0,3604,718635,00.html)
Depending on how you interpret the data and do the math, the death toll could well have been considerably higher even than that. The same is true of the death toll from the sanctions imposed for the last eleven years on Iraq. Most dissident journalists routinely trot out the figure of 500,000 child deaths attributable to the sanctions.
However, that 500,000 figure was acknowledged by then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in May of 1996 -- when the sanctions had been in effect for just five years. Six-and-a-half years have passed since then, and Iraqi children have continued to die at an appalling rate. There is little question then that the true number of Iraqi children that have been killed by the sanctions regime is at least twice that 500,000 figure -- and will rise considerably following the coming "preemptive" strike. (http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/dec2002/medi-d06.shtml)
But - what the hell? - at least we'll get cheap oil out of the deal. And that's what really matters ... isn't it?
And speaking of preemptive strikes, I see where someone has launched one against a San Jose military recruiting office. (http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20021014-055442-7242r)
Just a couple more things to cover and then I guess I'll have to wrap this newsletter up, though I still have a fairly lengthy list of links to get to -- including this one which will transport you to a story about how a Peruvian Congressional Subcommittee "has found significant evidence of criminal responsibility" by the Bayer company in the poisoning of 42 Peruvian children -- 24 of whom died. (http://www.transnationale.org/anglais/forums/environnement__pollution/showmessage.asp?messageID=418)
Now who would have ever suspected that a fine, upstanding company like Bayer would be complicit in such a thing? Actually, come to think of it, I guess they were a subsidiary of the notorious I.G. Farben chemical cartel -- the corporate entity that produced the gasses used in the Nazi concentration camps and by the mobile Nazi death squads on the Eastern Front.
They were also the company that, in 1898, blessed the world with a new "miracle drug" by the name of diacetylmorphine, which was aggressively marketed around the globe with an advertising campaign conducted in a dozen languages. Of course, they didn't call it diacetylmorphine. They gave it a catchy new name, which it is still known by to this day: heroin.
And finally, last but not least, I leave you with this alternative look at the so-called Luddites, which asks the question of whether it is not our 'modern' society, with its regimented work schedules, that is in fact "the primitive slave society." (http://www.sparkchamber.co.uk/ludd1.html)
And with that, I bid you a fond adieu, which I believe is French for "I'm tired and really need to wrap this up." So until next week ...