Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Over 300 may never leave Guantanamo


Many of the 435 suspected terrorists held in concrete and metal prisons on a US military base in Cuba might never go home.

Detained but not charged in one of five camps along the cactus and palm tree-lined shore, they were captured in the US War on Terrorism — a conflict with few borders, hard-to-identify enemies and no foreseeable end.

The US military has freed hundreds of men, mostly captured in Afghanistan. Of those still here, the Pentagon decided some 120, and perhaps more, could be sent home, although that process has been slowed by reluctance from receiving nations.

But more than 300 others, including 14 transferred in September to Guantanamo from secret overseas prisons, could remain in US military detention until they die.

“Yes, they could be held for the duration of their lives,” said Cully Stimson, the Defense Department’s assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, on one of his regular trips to the base last week.

Guantanamo has changed dramatically from the early days of the infamous “Camp X-Ray” — exposed, chain-link-fenced cells where detainees were kept when the Pentagon first began shipping prisoners from Afghanistan in 2002. Camp X-Ray is closed, overtaken by tall grasses, snakes and spider webs.

One of the few things not affected by compliance level is the daily interrogation.

A detainee last week sat on a blue couch, his forearms on his knees, staring at the rug on the floor. He spoke little to his interrogator and civilian translator.

Others, according to a lead interrogator, are more talkative. Some sit in reclining chairs. Interrogators frequently offer cooperative detainees coffee or fast food as an incentive to open up.

But even those who cooperate and are compliant are chained to the floor by at least one ankle shackle.

Guards always wear protective vests and remove their names from their uniforms. They say they have grown accustomed to receiving insults and having urine and feces thrown at them.

Many live by a simple rule of thumb. “There are no medium-security terrorists.”


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Gitmo Prisoners are Enemy Combatants because Northern Alliance Said So

Micromanaging Shock & Awe to Create "Deep Psychological Injury"

The No-Fly List Method of Harassment

Members of the Green Party and Greenpeace have been detained at airports because they had been put on a the no-fly list. So far we have Senator Edward Kennedy and Ralph Nader having been held up under similar insinuations. Now, another member of Congress has been refrained from passing go and how much ya wanna bet it wasn't a Republican. To quote the article below:

"Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez said Monday she was briefly denied access to a United Airlines flight last week because her name appeared on a "no fly list" set up after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Sanchez, a Democrat, is favored to win a sixth term representing the 47th Congressional District about 30 miles south of Los Angeles. The district includes many of the 24,000 Arab-Americans who live in Orange County and Sanchez has been a strong critic of the no-fly list."

Recently, it was discovered that several of the nineteen alleged hijackers are on the no-fly list. Authorities have attempted to paint it as a sloppy job but I submit that in each case of someone appearing on the no-fly list, the common denominator is not ties to Al Qaeda but ties to criticisms of the Bush administration. Since the BBC reported that several of the alleged 9/11 hijackers are actually quite alive, we can assume, I think, that their appearance on the no-fly list is more a matter of the national security state getting its hands on them so they can be properly disposed of, in some hidden Gitmo or modern day Gulag as is the record of this regime. Here is the article:

No-fly list mix-up disrupts California congresswoman's travel
By GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press Writer
Monday, October 30, 2006

(AP) - Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez said Monday she was briefly denied access to a United Airlines flight last week because her name appeared on a "no fly list" set up after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Sanchez, a Democrat, is favored to win a sixth term representing the 47th Congressional District about 30 miles south of Los Angeles. The district includes many of the 24,000 Arab-Americans who live in Orange County and Sanchez has been a strong critic of the no-fly list.

Sanchez said her staff had booked her a one-way ticket from Boise, Idaho to Cincinnati through Denver. Her staff, however, was prevented from printing her boarding pass online and were also blocked from printing her boarding pass at an airport kiosk.

Sanchez said she was instructed to check in with a United employee, who told her she was on the terrorist watch list. The employee asked her for identification, Sanchez recalled.

"I handed over my congressional ID and he started laughing and said, 'I'm going to need an ID that has your birthday on it,'" Sanchez said in a phone interview with The Associated Press.

The employee used Sanchez's birth date to determine that she was not the same Loretta Sanchez listed in the database and she was able to board her flight, she said.

Sanchez said she has not had a problem flying since and believes her name has been removed from the list — unlike some of her constituents.

"When they want to, TSA can make sure that you don't have that identification problem," she said. "Sometimes it's taken us months to get these people off the lists so they can travel in a normal way. I can't have to worry about that."

Sanchez said she has fought to get some of her constituents' names off the no-fly list and it has taken up to six months.

"Imagine if, instead of taking an hour at the airport, you had to take two or three or four hours every time? Why is it such a big deal to get someone off the list?" she said.

TSA spokeswoman Jennifer Peppin said for security reasons she couldn't confirm that a Loretta Sanchez was on the list. She said, however, that name mix-ups do occur.

"Generally what happens is people have a name that is very similar to someone who is on the no-fly list. It's the airlines' responsibility to do further checking," Peppin said.

Peppin said usually the appeal process for someone in Sanchez's situation takes several weeks but "anyone who's on the no-fly list will never be allowed on a flight."

SOURCE: SFGate.com

Monday, October 30, 2006

Oaxaca: Federal Police Do Not Have Control of the City

Democracy Now's Linda Goodman reports:

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Mexican President Vicente Fox has sent in thousands of federal police to Oaxaca to crush the popular uprising there. We go to Oaxaca to speak with Gustavo Esteva, founder of the Universidad de la Tierra in Oaxaca. Esteva says, "The police can come and occupy with all their weapons and tanks. They can occupy one area, they can occupy one specific point, but they cannot control the city. They cannot take over our lives and our country." [includes rush transcript]

We turn now to Oaxaca where Mexican President Vicente Fox has sent in thousands of federal police to crush the popular uprising. Last night police stormed the city with armored vehicles, helicopters and water cannons. The police seized control of the city square.

Over the past four months, the residents of Oaxaca - sparked by a teachers strike - had turned the city into an autonomous zone. The police and official government had been kicked out - in its place the protesters formed the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca or APPO.

For months entire families have been camping outside to oversee barricades protecting the city. The protesters have been demanding the resignation of the state's governor Ulises Ruiz and the formation of a more representative government.

But in recent weeks the authorities have used increasingly violent tactics to crush the largely non-violent movement.

On Friday gunmen linked to the government shot dead the New York Indymedia journalist and activist Brad Will as well as a local teacher named Emilio Alonso Fabian and a demonstrator named Esteban Zurita. Two more protesters were shot dead on Sunday.

We talk more about Brad Will's life later in the show but first we go to Oaxaca to speak with Gustavo Esteva. He is the founder of the Universidad de la Tierra in Oaxaca and author of many books including "Grassroots Post-modernism: Remaking the Soil of Culture." Gustavo is also a columnist for La Jornada.

AMY GOODMAN: We’ll talk more about Brad Will’s life in the program. But first, we go to Oaxaca to speak to Gustavo Esteva. He is the founder of the Universidad de la Tierra in Oaxaca and author of many books, including Grassroots Post-Modernism: Remaking the Soil of Cultures. Gustavo is also a columnist for La Jornada. We welcome you to Democracy Now!

GUSTAVO ESTEVA: Good morning. Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: It’s good to have you with us. Can you talk about the latest news right out of Oaxaca -- the storming of the city square by the federal police?

GUSTAVO ESTEVA: Well, basically, we have at least three persons dead. We have also lots of injured, people disappeared, and many people in jail. And they are transporting them to the military zone, involving the army in this illegally. And we have reports that some of them are being tortured.

The police is occupying several points in the city. What was most impressive yesterday, it was an amazing self-restraint of thousands of people, due to the decision of not confronting the police and abandoning the area for the police to occupy it, but then, immediately after that, surrounding the police. And then you have, yes, the police is occupying these critical strategic points, but the people are surrounding them. They are not in control of the city; the people are still in control of the city, of our lives, not confronting, using nonviolence.

I don’t know for how long we will be able to control the rage of the people to have this self-restraint. Yesterday, you could see many adults controlling the rage of the young people that wanted to attack. These are people that have been humiliated, offended, attacked and oppressed, and they have a lot of anger. But still, they controlled their anger and decided to use nonviolence. But we don't know for how long we will be able to control the young people that are ready to confront the police and start more violence.

AMY GOODMAN: Gustavo, I want to play for you part of one of the last interviews that Brad Will conducted before his death. It was with a female protester in Oaxaca. We don’t know her name, but the footage was found on Brad’s last videotape.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER: [translated] From the pickup you see over there, two men got out, gun in hand, and started shooting at us. From that pickup over there, they went there. Then they started attacking us. That’s why all the people came outside to defend us. This morning, one of our comrades was kidnapped. He was taken by three men, and he hasn’t been found yet. That’s why they burned that pickup.

These guys are the priistas, members of the PRI, from the municipality of Santa Maria Ixcotel, and are paid for by the PRI. They’re paid 300 pesos a day to come and beat us up.

As you can see, we’re not teachers here. We’re just people. We are people here, not teachers. We’re people, not teachers. We’re just people, the people fighting for our rights. We don't want to live like this anymore. We don't want to live in a constant state of repression, of blackmail, of murder and shabby deals. When Ulises leaves Oaxaca, at that moment we will have peace. If he does not leave, we are not going to leave Oaxaca.

AMY GOODMAN: Gustavo, can you respond to what this protester said?

GUSTAVO ESTEVA: Yes. First, what they are doing, this woman is expressing exactly the very nature of our movement: it’s basically democracy now. And, of course, we can specify what kind of democracy we are looking for. Of course, we want a formal democracy. We want cleaner elections. We want legitimate representatives, not an illegitimate governor, as Ulises Ruiz, or an illegitimate president, as Felipe Calderon. But we want also participatory democracy -- that is, the involvement of the citizens in the decisions, including referendum and recall and all these tools for direct democracy. But we also want radical democracy, what we have in our municipalities, in our communities, when the people themselves, through assemblies, they can take decisions about their lives. We want democracy now.

And this is a peaceful, democratic uprising of the people, trying to follow all the lines of the paths of the law or the institutions, trying to respect the law and the institutions, trying to be nonviolent, and attacked by the police, attacked by these people. This woman was showing what we had in photos and videos, what blood was happening. The video of blood, the last video of blood is showing the killers. And the killers, we have the faces, we have the names, We have identified everyone. It is people of the police, people of respecting, following instructions of police. This is a governor launching guerrilla attacks against unarmed people. This is the kind of situation in which we are here.

AMY GOODMAN: Indymedia journalist Brad Will had been covering the situation in Oaxaca for four weeks. In his last dispatch from Oaxaca, he wrote about a demonstrator named Alejandro Garcia Hernandez, who was killed on the barricades. Brad wrote, quote, “one more death -- one more martyr in a dirty war -- one more time to cry and hurt -- one more time to know power and its ugly head -- one more bullet cracks the night.” Well, on Friday, Brad Will died at those same barricades. He had his video camera in his hand. His camera kept recording, even after he was shot.

[footage from Brad Will’s camera]

AMY GOODMAN: Brad Will died as he was being taken to the hospital. He was 36 years old. The Mexican daily, El Universal, has published photos of the alleged executioners. On Saturday, the mayor of Santa Lucia del Camino, Manuel Martinez Feria, said five men had been turned over to state authorities for possible involvement in the killing. He identified them as two members of the local city hall, two municipal police officers and the former justice of the peace of a nearby town.

Reporters Without Borders said it was deeply shocked over the killing of Brad Will. The organization called for Oaxaca governor Ulises Ruiz to be summoned before the new prosecutor's office dealing with attacks on press freedom. It also urged federal authorities to investigate Ortiz and the Oaxaca municipal police.

John Gibler, as well, joins us on the phone from Oaxaca, an independent journalist who knew Brad Will. John Gibler, can you talk about Brad?

JOHN GIBLER: I met Brad in Chiapas, when the Zapatistas’ Other Campaign began last January. We traveled together with a number of other people throughout a month, as we were filming -- or he was filming. I was mainly conducting interviews and writing for ZNet about the people, the everyday people who were coming out to join the Zapatistas’ movement there.

And then I saw him in the streets about a month ago here in Oaxaca for the first time since then, and we went off to get coffee and talked about what was going on. He said he had been trying to get here more or less since the state police came in the June 14th crackdown. It had taken him time to work up enough money to come down here and take time off work. And he was most interested in filming interviews with just the everyday people and the people that he thought their voices would slip through the cracks in international media coverage and not get out to the people that he was hoping would be paying attention to what was happening here in Oaxaca.

At first, he was saying he was really nervous. He didn’t want to walk around the barricades at night until he kind of got a feel for the town, which I thought was definitely very wise, and spent a couple of weeks just going out and hitting all the barricades, all the protest encampments, and conducting hours and hours of interviews with people. I saw him in several of the mobile brigades, where we joined the people who had commandeered city buses and go around to spray paint government offices. And he was definitely fearless, once he had gotten a feeling for the town, and just going wherever the action was. But he was also being smart. He was hanging out with all the national and the local press corps here who know the scene pretty well. But you can only be so smart when paramilitaries jump out of houses with machine guns.

AMY GOODMAN: Gustavo Esteva, you also knew Brad Will. You also, in addition to founding the University of the Land in Oaxaca, are a columnist for La Jornada, the Mexican newspaper.

GUSTAVO ESTEVA: Yes, yes. He was coming to our office. We were collaborating with Indymedia. And he was fantastic. I liked the guy a lot. He had a peculiar genius for reporting, and he was, of course, very courageous. Yes, he was prudent, as was just mentioned, but he was very courageous. He had no limits on his activity with the people, and he shared this element of being unarmed and doing his things and being attacked by these people. Yes, he had a peculiar genius for reporting.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to go to break, and when we come back we’ll continue this discussion and also the extended struggle, why the teachers originally went out on strike five months ago. We’re talking to Gustavo Esteva. He is a columnist for La Jornada. We’re also speaking with John Gibler. He is a U.S. journalist who is based in Oaxaca, like Brad Will, who was killed on Friday at one of the barricades, shot by men who have been identified and apparently have been taken into custody. The break today is Brad Will singing.


AMY GOODMAN: Federal police have laid siege to the city square in Oaxaca, as of last night. We’re talking today also about one of the people who were killed over the weekend. It’s believed six people were killed. Our guests are Gustavo Esteva, columnist for La Jornada, as well as in John Gibler, a U.S.-based journalist who is in Oaxaca right now and has been reporting for us. Gustavo, can you go back and talk about why the teachers went on strike five months ago? What is the significance of this uprising that has taken place?

GUSTAVO ESTEVA: Well, the question was that the teachers started their strike, as usual. Every year, they are forced to do this kind of strike to get some improvement in their terrible conditions, terrible economic condition. But that was not something special. That was the usual thing.

But then, after three weeks of their strike, on June 14th, they suffered a terrible, stupid, barbaric repression by the police of Ulises Ruiz, the governor, and that was the detonator of the movement. People started to react immediately, joining and supporting, expressing solidarity with the teachers and expressing the decision to oust the governor. And then this was the detonator of the accumulated discontent of the whole state.

After that, five days later, we have APPO, the creation of this Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca. We have a march of almost a million people. That is a third of the population of the state. We have every kind of activities after that, with -- that was the consolidation, the expression of a very well organized discontent of the people. This is a movement without leaders, in which the people themselves, very well organized, with amazing courage and amazing capacity of expressing their will. They are organized first to oust this governor, and then to change our society, to create a different kind of society. We don’t want anymore this kind -- as the woman said, we don’t want anymore this kind of repression, of corrupt government, of imposition of authoritarianism, and we want a different kind of conviviality in our lives.

AMY GOODMAN: It’s interesting, Gustavo, that you said that, in fact, the federal police don't have control of the city, whether or not they’ve taken the city square. It’s certainly not what’s being reported in the U.S. press. The reports are that Vicente Fox, as a result of an American journalist being killed and others, moved in thousands of federal police to restore order to Oaxaca, and they have taken the city.

GUSTAVO ESTEVA: Well, the disorder has not been created by the people. It has been created by this barbaric, psychopathic governor. You see hired killers, and you’ve seen the structures of authority, that should protect the law, to violate the law. It is not the people themselves who have created disorder in the city. That is the alibi of President Fox, using the police to support this governor in a very peculiar structure of cynicism and complicity. It is a combination that is forcing the people of Oaxaca to pay a very heavy price for a democratic, peaceful struggle.

And I cannot avoid but remembering, it was Napoleon, they say, who said that “My units can be used for many things, except to sit on them.” You cannot govern or control the city with the police. The police, yes, can kill us. The police can come and occupy with all their weapons, with all their tanks. They can occupy one plaza. They can occupy one specific point, but they cannot control the city. They cannot govern the city. They cannot govern our lives and our conscience. We are in control of the city and in control of our lives. And we will surround these police with our bare hands, and we will still control our lives, not the police.

AMY GOODMAN: John Gibler, this report of the five men that have been taken and that Gustavo also commented on -- on Saturday, the mayor of Santa Lucia del Camino said five men had been turned over to state authorities for the killing, identified as two members of the local city hall, two municipal police officers, the former justice of the peace of a nearby town. Just before Brad Will was killed, you did a piece on paramilitaries and death squads. Can you talk about them?

JOHN GIBLER: Absolutely. It's really important to remember, and this kind of reinforces Gustavo’s point about who creates disorder in Oaxaca. Since August, paramilitary groups who have been identified in photographs have been driving through the city killing protesters at barricades, and they’ve been doing this with total impunity. The fact that they’ve claimed to have apprehended and turned over to authorities the five gunmen who were killing people on Friday is of little consolation, since they’ve had these people identified for months. And the very authorities themselves have taken steps back to actually trying to enforce the law and bring the gunmen to any kind of justice. Both the government and most of the press, especially the international press, has made much more of a fuss about protesters wearing bandannas and spray painting pretty buildings than they have about paramilitary death squads who have been driving around town, with total impunity, killing people for months.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to turn now to the response in New York to Brad Will being killed. And also, I want to let our radio listeners know that we are broadcasting this on television, of course, as we do every day, and all of the video here is available online at democracynow.org. But in New York, demonstrators gathering outside the Mexican consulate this morning at 9:00 a.m. to protest the murder of Brad Will and the killing of other peaceful protesters in Oaxaca.

Brad Will was a well-known and much loved activist and journalist in New York and around the world. He was involved in countless struggles over the past decade. Many in New York remember him standing on the roof of a squat on 5th Street in Manhattan just as New York was trying to demolish the building. The scene was captured in a documentary made by Paper Tiger Television. Brad would later play a key role in trying to protect the city's community gardens. He hosted his own radio show on the pioneering microradio station, Steal This Radio. For years he was involved in the Indymedia network in New York, as well as in Latin America. He spent much of the past few years documenting the peoples’ movements in Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, most recently Mexico.

On Saturday night, an emergency rally was held outside the Mexican consulate in New York. Speakers included longtime New York activist Beka Economopoulos.

BEKA ECONOMOPOULOS: Our friend Brad Will was murdered by government-backed paramilitary forces in Oaxaca, Mexico. Now Brad’s death is being used as a pretext by the government and the media to send in more of those same troops. Brad was there to support and document the resistance of teachers and other civilians. We demand that his death not be used as an excuse to increase of the oppression and violence against the people of Oaxaca by government forces.

In solidarity with the people of Oaxaca, we demand that the federal government negotiate directly with people on the barricades in Oaxaca, remove all armed forces acting on behalf of the government against the people, the immediate removal of the illegitimate governor, Ruiz, all guilty parties at all levels be identified and held accountable for the assassination of Brad Will and other civilian victims in Oaxaca. We make these demands in support of the Oaxacan people’s efforts to establish a new autonomous popular government that recognizes local traditions and values.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Beka Economopoulos. Brandon Jourdon of the New York City Independent Media Center also spoke outside the Mexican consulate.

BRANDON JOURDON: Brad Will went to Oaxaca, because he was a firm believer in direct democracy. He went there to document what was happening amongst people there, who are trying to create a system of direct democracy. He died doing what he loved. He died with his passion, doing media activism and creating a radical alternative to the corporate media.

The Independent Media Center is a network of over 160 Independent Media Centers worldwide. This developed out of the movement against corporate globalization in 1999 in Seattle. Brad was a volunteer from the very beginning. Brad was close to all of us. He will be missed. He was a wonderful, gentle, beautiful person.

AMY GOODMAN: Indymedia journalist Brandon Jourdan outside the Mexican consulate.

The Situation in Oaxaca

A people rise and are met by federal police:

The Camp Falcon Mushroom

What follows implies that while we aren't dealing with nuclear devices per se, that depleted uranium munitions can give the same visual effect. Personally, I wonder about more than the white light. The bright white light must be seen in the context of the mushroom cloud. Still, this is the only thing I have found advocating the opinion that tactical nukes did not go off at Camp Falcon that has any credibility when critically appraised. If indeed we are dealing with DU rounds then we can throw out any claims by the DOD or anyone that the radioactive capacity of depleted uranium is minute. Whatever went off at Camp Falcon emitted electromagnetic radiation that was visible en masse in the white light spectrum. This was sent to me by one of this piece's contributors, Allen L. Roland. The link to his blog at Salon is below:


The first live reports were aired live on US network TV:

We`re getting some amazing pictures, some very dramatic pictures coming out of Iraq to us from Baghdad. You can read the lower third there. "Explosions rock Camp Falcon just outside of Baghdad." It is 11:28 p.m. there right now.

MSNBC News bureau in Baghdad, the bureau chief said there have been a series of explosions near the Camp Falcon area located just outside of Baghdad, and CPIC is confirming that there was an explosion at an ammo dump, which would explain these amazing dramatic pictures in the night sky of Baghdad. It exploded at Camp Falcon. The U.S. military base is south of Baghdad. (MNSBC, 10 Oct, 2006)

Michel Chossudovsky

They were spectacular explosions because DU in storage all goes off at once.

You can see the streamers of DU chunks burning through the cloud and the familiar mushroom cloud. It is not Willie Pete or White Phosphorus because they leave white smoke and wobble.

The public is still ignorant of the Depleted Uranium ( DU ) munitions threat and the Pentagon and media have been complicit in this blackout.

Perhaps a reminder of the mounting death toll from the highly toxic weapons component known as depleted uranium (DU), which was stored at Camp Falcon, is in order.

Allen L Roland

DU Death Toll Tops 11,000

Nationwide Media Blackout Keeps U.S. Public Ignorant About This Important Story
By James P. Tucker Jr.
Updated 3/26/05
American Free Press

The death toll from the highly toxic weapons component known as depleted uranium (DU) has reached 11,000 soldiers and the growing scandal may be the reason behind Anthony Principi’s departure as secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department.

This view was expressed by Arthur Bernklau, executive director of Veterans for Constitutional Law in New York, writing in Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletter.

“The real reason for Mr. Principi’s departure was really never given,” Bernklau said. “However, a special report published by eminent scientist Leuren Moret naming depleted uranium as the definitive cause of ‘Gulf War Syndrome’ has fed a growing scandal about the continued use of uranium munitions by the U.S. military.”

The “malady [from DU] that thousands of our military have suffered and died from has finally been identified as the cause of this sickness, eliminating the guessing. . . . The terrible truth is now being revealed,” Bernklau said.

Of the 580,400 soldiers who served in Gulf War I, 11,000 are now dead, he said. By the year 2000, there were 325,000 on permanent medical disability. More than a decade later, more than half (56 percent) who served in Gulf War I have permanent medical problems. The disability rate for veterans of the world wars of the last century was 5 percent, rising to 10 percent in Vietnam.

“The VA secretary was aware of this fact as far back as 2000,” Bernklau said. “He and the Bush administration have been hiding these facts, but now, thanks to Moret’s report, it is far too big to hide or to cover up.”

Terry Johnson, public affairs specialist at the VA, recently reported that veterans of both Persian Gulf wars now on disability total 518,739, Bernklau said.

“The long-term effect of DU is a virtual death sentence,” Bernklau said. “Marion Fulk, a nuclear chemist, who retired from the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab, and was also involved in the Manhattan Project, interprets the new and rapid malignancies in the soldiers [from the second war] as ‘spectacular’—and a matter of concern.’ ”

While this important story appeared in a Washington newspaper and the wire services, it did not receive national exposure—a compelling sign that the American public is being kept in the dark about the terrible effects of this toxic weapon. (Veterans for Constitutional Law can be reached at (516) 474-4261.)

90 Days After 9/11: "Largest Military Procurement in History"

Blogger note: This post rests for its relevance on the theory that most big moves in the defense, intelligence, and aerospace industries soon after and prior to September 11, 2001 are probably significant, albeit sometimes indirectly:

Green Hills Software's INTEGRITY® Selected As Operating System For F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

Green Hills to Provide Operating System and Development Environment for Largest Military Procurement in History

Santa Barbara, CA, October 31, 2001 -- Green Hills Software, Inc., today announced that Lockheed Martin will be using Green Hills' INTEGRITY® real-time operating system (RTOS) and AdaMULTI® 2000 software development tools to develop software for its Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft. Lockheed Martin's design for the JSF was selected by the Department of Defense (DoD) in a $200 billion award, the largest in US DoD history. Avionics software developed by Lockheed Martin will run on airborne PowerPC processors operating under the INTEGRITY RTOS.

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter "We're proud to be part of the Lockheed Martin JSF team," said John Carbone, vice president of marketing at Green Hills. "Lockheed Martin's selection demonstrates INTEGRITY's ability to meet the demanding security and safety-critical software requirements of the Joint Strike Fighter. This design win demonstrates our commitment to the airborne computer marketplace."

Carbone continues, "The INTEGRITY RTOS, together with Green Hills' AdaMULTI IDE, and Ada 95/C/C++ compilers provides a complete single-vendor RTOS and development solution for developing real-time mission and safety-critical software systems capable of meeting the security and safety standards of ISO/IEC 15408 (Common Criteria) and RTCA DO-178B. No other RTOS provides a more secure, memory-protected run-time system capable of meeting the security and safety requirements of today's advanced avionics and flight control systems."

John Ledyard, software manager at Lockheed Martin adds, "INTEGRITY is an outstanding product that we are very excited about. Green Hills involved us early in product definition and as a result INTEGRITY meets our needs. An embedded RTOS with virtual memory support and the capability to meet security standards was a key enabler in the design of our mission critical software. In the past, we would have to develop a custom RTOS and modify development tools at a significant cost. With INTEGRITY, and its tight integration with the excellent AdaMULTI software development tools, we are able to focus our efforts on our strengths which are in application software development and integration. This will result in reduced cost and risk for us and our customers."

INTEGRITY RTOS is optimized for safety-critical embedded applications that place a premium on maximum reliability, security, and testability. It features advanced memory protection capabilities, an optional ARINC-653 partition scheduler, dynamic download, task- and system-level debug, a configurable real-time EventAnalyzer, POSIX support, and TCP/IP networking. It is also the first memory-protected real-time operating system to be offered on a royalty-free basis.

INTEGRITY is engineered from the ground up to provide security and determinism. At the lowest level, the kernel employs an object-oriented design and access verification to protect against inadvertent and malicious kernel access problems such as invalid kernel addresses and invalid system call parameters. The kernel design also guarantees bounded computation times by eliminating the need for features such as dynamic memory allocation and heuristic scheduling. Underlying hardware mechanisms are used to provide full system memory protection of all components, including user applications, device drivers, and inter-address space communications. Clocks and timers are protected with access permissions and implemented entirely in software.

INTEGRITY is tightly integrated with Green Hills' AdaMULTI® IDE. Together with Green Hills' family of optimizing Ada 95, C, and C++ compilers, AdaMULTI automates all aspects of embedded software development, including editing, source-level debugging, program building, run-time error checking, version control, and code/performance optimization. INTEGRITY also features ISIM, an RTOS simulator that enables programmers to develop and test their code on a PC or workstation without the need for target hardware. INTEGRITY also includes the EventAnalyzer, which enables viewing of system and user events in a graphical display.

Lockheed Martin is headquartered in Bethesda, Md., and is a global enterprise principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced-technology systems, products and services. The corporation's core businesses are systems integration, space, aeronautics and technology services.

More On Green Hills Software

Founded in 1982, Green Hills Software, Inc., is the technology leader for real-time operating systems and software development tools for 32- and 64-bit embedded systems. Green Hills offers ThreadX and INTEGRITY real-time operating systems and a family of optimizing Ada 95 and C/C++ compilers. The company's unique INTEGRITY RTOS provides guaranteed resource availability in both time and space domains for the highest reliability and security in a commercial RTOS.

Green Hills' tools support all of the major advanced microprocessor families and target environments, including target simulators, ROM monitors, other commercial and home grown real-time operating systems, and in-circuit emulators (ICE).

Green Hills Software is headquartered in Santa Barbara, CA., and has 11 US offices located in California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas, Washington, and Florida. European headquarters are located in the United Kingdom, with offices in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.

For sales information on Green Hills' safety-critical products, including INTEGRITY, call 800-789-9695 or email inquiries to ada-sales@ghs.com.

For More Information Contact:
Green Hills Software
Lynn J. Robinson
(805) 965-6044
Davis-Marrin Communications
Michelle Ragsdale
(858) 573-0736

Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)

The F-35 is the result of the Defense Department's Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program, which sought to build a multirole fighter optimized for the air-to-ground role with secondary air-to-air capability. The JSF requirement was to meet the needs of the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and allies, with improved survivability, precision engagement capability, and reduced life cycle costs. By using many of the same technologies developed for the F-22, the F-35 has the opportunity to capitalize on commonality and modularity to maximize affordability.

The Lockheed Martin X-35 was chosen over the competing Boeing X-32 primarily because of Lockheed's lift-fan STOVL design, which proved superior to the Boeing vectored-thrust approach. The lift fan, which is powered by the aircraft engine via a clutched driveshaft, was technically challenging but DoD concluded that Lockheed has the technology in hand. The lift fan has significant excess power which could be critical given the weight gain that all fighter aircraft experience.

Lockheed Martin developed four versions of the Joint Strike Fighter to fulfill the needs of the Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force and the United Kingdom Royal Air Force and Navy. All versions have the same fuselage and internal weapons bay, common outer mold lines with similar structural geometries, identical wing sweeps, and comparable tail shapes. The weapons are stored in two parallel bays located aft of the main landing gear. The canopy, radar, ejection system, subsystems, and avionics are all common among all different version as is the core engine which is based on the F119 by Pratt & Whitney.

Additional systems on the F-35 include:
  1. Northrup Grumman advanced electronically scanned array (AESA) multi-function radar
  2. Snader/Litton Amecon electronic countermeasures equipment
  3. Lockheed Martin electro-optical targeting system
  4. Northrup Grumman distributed aperture infrared sensor (DAIRS) thermal imaging system
  5. Vision Systems International advanced helmet-mounted display

F-35 Variants:

US Air Force

The Air Force expects that to purchase 1763 F-35s to complement the F-22 Raptor and replace the F-16 as an air-toground strike aircraft. The Air Force variant includes an internal gun, infrared sensors, and laser designator. This is the technologically simplest version of the JSF, in that it does not require hover or aircraft carrier capability. Therefore it does not require the vertical thrust or the handling qualities for catapult launches, augmented control authority at landing approach speeds and strengthened structure to handle arrested landings. At the same time, the Air Force F-35 will have to improve upon the high standards created by the F-16. Since replacement of the F-16 by the F-35 will entail a significant payload reduction, the F-35 faces a very demanding one shot one kill requirement.

US Navy

The requirement for carrier operations creates the largest differences between the Air Force and Navy version. The naval version has larger wing and tail control surfaces to enable low-speed approaches to aircraft carriers. Leadingedge flaps and foldable wing tip sections account for this increased wing area. The larger wing area also provides the Navy version with an increased payload capability. To support the stresses of carrier landings and catapult launches, the internal structure of this version is strengthened. In addition, the landing gear has longer stroke and higher load capacity, and of course an arresting hook is added. Compared to the F-18C, the F-35 has twice the range on internal fuel.. The design is also optimized for survivability, which is a key Navy requirement. Like the USAF version, the Navy version will incorporate an internal gun and sensors. This new fighter will be used by the Navy as a first-day-of-war attack fighter in conjunction with the F/A-18 Hornet. The Navy plans to purchase 480 JSF.

US Marine Corps

The distinguishing feature of the USMC version of the JSF is its short takeoff/vertical landing capability (STOVL). There will not be an internally mounted machine gun, but an external gun can be fitted. This version requires controllability on all axes while hovering. Another critical design feature is its impact on the ground surface beneath it during hover. The USMC expects their version of the JSF will replace the F/A-18 Hornet and the AV-8 Harrier. The Marine Corps expects to purchase 480 STOVL versions of the F-35.

United Kingdom Royal Navy and Air Force

This version will be very similar to the one procured by the United States Marine Corps.

SOURCE (AND MORE INFORMATION - JUST CLICK) Federation of American Scientists.

Rampant Arson in Nat'l Forests a Boon for Timber Industry

Over the past four years or so, I have managed to look into about eight out of the thirty or so large fires in America's wildernesses. By some mighty coincidence, or as evidence of a pattern, every single one I have looked into has been the result of arson. The two cases I looked at most closely were the huge Arizona fire of a few years ago as well as the Colorado fire. Lumping the Oregon fire of the same time period into this pile, we have three enormous fires inside a year. In two of those cases, official sources do not deny that the cause was arson. The Arizona fire was started by a BIA worker that just wanted some work for his firefighter buddies and the Colorado fire was started by someone burning letters from her estranged husband. However, in that case, prosecutors insisted that the evidence indicated that it was made to look that way. Since the salvage law passed, allowing rampant cutting of sometimes perfectly healthy trees in the wake of a fire, arsons in the forests are on the rise.

Here is a piece from the Environmental News Network and following the article are a couple of references to what I refer to above:

Four Dead, Hundreds Flee California Wildfire

October 27, 2006 — By Jill Serjeant, Reuters

LOS ANGELES — A brush fire blamed on arsonists swept through the desert hills near Palm Springs Thursday, killing four firefighters, sending residents fleeing and trapping hundreds more in a rural park for recreational vehicles.

Whipped by warm winds after a long, dry summer, the fire roared out of control through about 24,000 acres in less than 24 hours, destroying at least 10 homes and engulfing a firetruck, fire officials said.

By nightfall, the fire line stretched 15 miles along canyons and rugged hills 90 miles east of Los Angeles and 17 miles northwest of Palm Springs.

But Riverside County Fire Department Chief John Hawkins said the more than 1,000 firefighters were finally making progress. "We are doing better with it. We are saying 5 per cent containment. That might not sound like a lot but it really, truly is," Hawkins said.

He said crews would work through the night despite strong winds and acrid billowing clouds of smoke. "We are going to hit it hard," he told a news conference.

Hawkins said the fire was caused by arson and that the deaths of the firefighters were being treated as homicide. "A deliberately set fire that leads to the death of anyone constitutes murder," he said angrily.

A reward of $100,000 was offered to catch the arsonists and Riverside County officials said they had received several tips that were being followed up.

The firefighters who died were caught by erratic winds while trying to save a remote house early in the day. Three died at the scene and a fourth died in the hospital of his injuries. A fifth firefighter was in critical condition with burns to 95 percent of his body.

About 700 people were ordered to leave their homes as the blaze took hold.

Many were forced to flee at a moment's notice, leaving belongings and pets behind.


"The flames were 100 feet tall, burning on both sides of the road. I didn't think I would make it," said Charles Miner, who suffered slight burns to his hand.

Hawkins said an additional 400 to 1,000 people were trapped in a recreational vehicle park in the hills because firefighters had been unable to get them out.

"They are sheltered in place, which means we could not evacuate them in time. They're going to encounter heat and smoke but they are probably going to be OK. We have firefighters with those people," he said.

Officials were unable to give precise figures for the numbers of homes destroyed or those injured because of the thick smoke and remote area.

One man said he watched his home burn. "My neighbor's house, everything around me (burned). My son got burned driving out," the man, who identified himself as Victor, told Fox11 TV.

Many left behind dogs, cats and horses.

"We didn't have time to get our animals. We have five Dobies and they've just had eight puppies. And then we have a bunch of cats," a distraught Desiree Atkins told reporters.

SOURCE: Environmental News Network

Also see:

Forest Service Spends Record $1.5 Billion Fighting Wildfires

Wildfire Arsonists Help Logging Industry - Deliberate?

Brad Will's Last Moments

Brad Will is an Indymedia reporter who was in Oaxaca covering the teacher's strike. At the beginning of this weekend, it seems, he was doing a bit of filming and took a bullet in the chest over it. What we hear from the video is a whole array of shots that ring out once the cameran, Brad, is down. I call that eliminating the witnesses. Nevertheless, you can look the murderers in the eyes, Mexican public officials, by clicking here. Very quickly, someone grabs the camera and moves it out of view into a corner somewhere when, unfortunately, we lose any view. A lot of bouncing and so forth to be dealt with and the fact that this is, in its own way, graphic though not visually explicit. After all, I am sure he wasn't worried about filming his pain. He was probably too busy trying to deal with it. It's real. In memory of Brad Will, let's bring the killers to justice! Some people are having an electronic sit in, though this will never even come close to taking the place of sitting in front of an embassy with fifty of your friends.

For more, see these links:



Indymedia Journalist Covering Oaxaca Resistance Murdered

29 Oct 2006: Helicopters are flying over the city, also a gray airplane. A call for all the people to take it to the streets!

29 Oct 2006: The PFP are moving forward! People have reported that over 1500 are in the streets now.

29 Oct 2006: 12:10 pm (Mexico Time) - The people in Oaxaca are going to the streets and carring posters, images of the people killed, religious images in a peaceful demonstration. A march has been called for 2pm, Mexico time.

29 Oct 2006: 12:00 pm (Mexico time) The PFP is moving forward throught the traffic in Santiaguito. The people are going to the barricades and they will resist in a PEACEFUL way. But there are reports of infiltrated people and they can start a provocation when the PFP invade.

29 Oct 2006: 11:52 am (Mexico time) - There have been a report of a white truck without a license with four men on the top shooting at the people - probably a paramilitary action. The last inform is that people have surrounded the truck.

29 Oct 2006: 10:47 am (Mexico time) - Corona: 8 to 10 tanks are ready in Corona, with police in two lines: one with shields and sticks and one in the back with federal police carring weapons. People are leaving their houses with flowers and religious images.

29 Oct 2006: 7:17 am (Mexico time) - The Preventive Federal Police, with 10 buses and 2 tanks in the front with water to remove the barricades, are moving forward. One person was wounded by a helicopter.

Updates at Indymedia.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Spending Bill Funds 10 More Boeing C-17 Aircraft

Snip: "The government watchdog group Project On Government Oversight has called Talent's provision an example of wasteful spending. The group says Congress is forcing the military to purchase weapons it doesn't want."

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Funding for 10 new Boeing C-17 aircraft will be included in the annual defense spending bill, congressional lawmakers said Thursday, a move the will keep the production line open - for now - for the transport plane built in California and Missouri.

The $2.1 billion in funds secured by Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., would bring the Air Force inventory of the aircraft to 191 planes. New aircraft would be purchased to replace aging transport planes that have been overused.

The C-17 program was in jeopardy last year after the Defense Department recommended buying no more aircraft beyond the 180 planned. With the last of the planes set for delivery in 2008, production on the line would have started to wind down at the end of the year.

"This is a huge victory for our military, our nation and Missouri," said Talent, chairman of the Senate's seapower subcommittee, which oversees the C-17 program. "There are few systems more important to our armed forces than this aircraft."

The C-17 is used to transport military troops, vehicles and supplies to points around the world.

Funds to support the additional planes were included in a conference report that House and Senate lawmakers agreed to late Thursday. Both chambers are expected to pass the bill before the end of the month.

The new funding will keep the production line in St. Louis open until at least 2008. Talent's overall strategy is to secure funding in future years for additional aircraft to extend the line even longer.

The government watchdog group Project On Government Oversight has called Talent's provision an example of wasteful spending. The group says Congress is forcing the military to purchase weapons it doesn't want.

While most of the C-17 is built in Long Beach, Calif., several components are assembled at Boeing's St. Louis-based defense company. Production of the aircraft supports about 1,800 jobs in Missouri and generates $776 million in economic activity in the state.

Earlier this year, Talent secured $227.5 million for the purchase of an additional C-17 aircraft in the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act.

SOURCE: Project on Government Oversight

Yahoo! on NSA Surveillance: No Comment

By Declan McCullagh, CNET News.com
Published on ZDNet News: February 15, 2006, 1:55 PM PT

Under cross-examination during a congressional hearing, Yahoo's top lawyer refused on Wednesday to say whether the company opens its records for government surveillance without a court order.

Michael Callahan, Yahoo's senior vice president and general counsel, declined five times to answer that question from Rep. Brad Sherman, a California Democrat who was probing whether the Internet company had cooperated with the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance efforts.

"It wouldn't be appropriate for me to comment," said Callahan, who was testifying under oath. He added that Yahoo would "only turn over information if it's required by law."

But Callahan refused to say whether a demand from the NSA--not backed by a court order--qualifies as required by law.

No law or regulation prohibits Yahoo from answering the question. In a survey published last week by CNET News.com, companies as varied as BellSouth, Comcast, EarthLink and T-Mobile answered in the negative. Rep. John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat, has posed similar questions to those companies, and AT&T has been sued for allegedly turning information over to the NSA in violation of privacy laws.

Sherman, who represents the San Fernando Valley near Los Angeles, is a Harvard Law graduate who was known as a stickler for detail while a lawyer in private practice. He's been critical of the NSA surveillance program, and said last week that President Bush's recent claims about terrorists planning to attack a Los Angeles skyscraper were a political stunt.

Below is a transcript, edited for clarity, of Wednesday's exchange that took place during a House of Representatives hearing about China and the Internet:

Rep. Brad Sherman: Let's say you get a call from the NSA saying they want you to give them a copy of all my e-mails. Can I rely on your privacy policy that you're not going to give those e-mails to the NSA unless you get a court order?

Yahoo General Counsel Michael Callahan: We would only disclose information in compliance with law and our privacy policy.

Sherman: Does that include a court order or letter from the NSA?

Callahan: I wouldn't be able to comment.

Sherman: The attorney general says the executive branch, without any OK from either of the other two branches, has the right to read everything you have in your files about me. You might very well agree?

Callahan: It wouldn't be appropriate for me to comment.

Sherman: How can I be a Yahoo user?... If you tell me you'll decide later if a sheriff in some obscure county (that I've never visited can obtain access to my files based on a simple request?)

Callahan: We only turn over information if it's required by law.

Sherman: An investigation from some county that I've never been to?

Callahan: If we were served with proper legal process, we would have to give it.

Sherman: Sir, you're assuming the answer to the question and pretending that's an answer. I'm asking you, as the chief lawyer from Yahoo, is e-mail from some sheriff...is that a requirement that you would adhere to or would you fight it in court?

Callahan: That is not something we would provide.

Sherman: How about if it came from the NSA?

Callahan: I can't comment on that.



Ed - Kozel Director

Edward Kozel joined Yahoo!'s board of directors in October 2000. He has been CEO of Skyrider, Inc. since March 2006 and has been a managing member of Open Range Ventures, a venture capital firm, since January 2000. Between January 2004 and December 2004, Mr. Kozel was a managing director of Integrated Finance, Ltd., a private advisory services firm. Until 2002 he was a member of the Board of Directors of Cisco Systems, Inc., where he worked for 11 years in a variety of roles, including chief technology officer and senior vice president of business development. During his tenure at Cisco, he founded the business development group which, under his direction, was responsible for more than 22 technology acquisitions and 25 minority investments. Mr. Kozel is an industry innovator who previously worked at Boeing, McDonnell Douglas and SRI International, where he participated in the early design and development of the Internetwork Protocol (IP) model and TCP/IP, packet radio networks and highly distributed information systems. In addition to Yahoo!, Mr. Kozel serves on the boards of Reuters Group PLC, Red Hat , Inc. and Network Appliance, Inc. He graduated from the University of California, Davis with a degree in electrical engineering.

Of the companies shown in bold type, above, the first is obvious in its ability to provide motive for the rampant censorship and disruption experienced by anti-war activists online at Yahoo! as well as that experienced by 9/11 researchers. The second, McDonnel Douglas, is just a harmless defense contractor, a perennial player on the global military-industrial stage. The third, just got the nod, along with Booz, Allen, & Hamilton to assist in in the unholy rebirth of TIA - Total Information Awareness. Check out the links above for more on this. Here's more:

Also on Yahoo Board (I have added snips from their profiles and a little on reputations of former outfits that they were attached to):

Terry Semel - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer [24 Years with Warner Bros. - huge media conglomerate]

Lloyd Braun - Head of Yahoo! Media Group [former Disney executive - strong ties to NSA]

Toby R. Coppel
Senior Vice President - Corporate Development [began his career with Goldman Sachs - strong evidence of insider trading on 9/11]

Lars Rabbe
Senior Vice President - Chief Information Officer [formerly of Lucent Technologies, developers of RFID]

Dr. Usama Fayyad
Chief Data Officer and Senior Vice President [formerly of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory - self explanatory]

Also see:

Watching What You Say

Google in Bed with U.S. Intelligence

Yahoo Stifles Dissent in China

Saturday, October 28, 2006

'Mr. Secretary, What'd You Have Torched At Ft. Meade's 902nd Military Intel Group?'

From Wonkette

We were hoping somebody would ask this question at Rumsfeld's press conference today, but no such luck, as usual. (Wonkette doesn't even have the Pentagon clearance for Craigslist booty calls.)

Here's what little we know: Late Friday, a crazy six-alarm fire gutted the three-story Building 54, where the 902nd Military Intelligence Group did its special work. That work included infiltrating a group of Quaker pacifists, running allegedly-banned Total Information Awareness and TALON surveillance monstrosities that DARPA was forced to hide somewhere else, and conducting "counterintelligence activities in support of Army commanders and to protect Army forces, secrets and technologies by detecting, identifying, neutralizing and exploiting foreign intelligence services and international terrorist threats."

We'll see if this has anything to do with that Pentagon vs. CIA vs. NSA secret war we keep hearing about, after the jump. ECNATSNEPPAH SI ECNO …

Ft. Meade officials won't say anything about it, other than that there was a fire and now it's out. The Pentagon won't say anything about it.

A reporter and photographer from the Annapolis Capital initially managed to get close to the fire - newspaper people tend to show up when 70 firemen are working a huge blaze in a big building and the smoke can be seen for miles around - but The Man got to them.
Army CID [Criminal Investigation Division] representatives forced a reporter and photographer from The Capital to leave the base about 30 minutes after they were allowed in. Officials told the photographer to erase all photos from his digital camera, and started ordering dozens of onlookers to clear the scene by about 5 p.m.
If they were anything like the AP pictures in the Baltimore Sun - which carry this strange use limitation: "NO MAGS, NO SALES, NO INTERNET, NO TV" - then the pictures just showed an old building on fire. What'd the Capital photog catch, the Hell Demons escaping the Interdimensional Cell of Despair or something?

Ft. Meade's emergency services guy gave a "don't say anything" press conference to the local reporters that night, and that was it. The base commander, Ft. Meade fire chief, Criminal Investigation Division and base spokeswoman didn't give up any info. Finally, the reporter was told to file a Freedom of Information Act request if he wanted any answers.

The intel group's entire website has since vanished from the Internets, but our secret sharers over at Cryptome got a copy.

Did a loyal patriot inside the military burn up the Secret Filtering Machine that blocks Wonkette in Iraq? We want Answers, Wonkette operatives!

Okay, okay, there's a tiny little Kitty Harris angle: Her not-Christian-enough astronaut enemy Bill Nelson tried to get info out of Rumsfeld about this shadowy group and its shadowy activities performed in the shadowy shadows. Rumsfeld complied by ignoring Nelson completely.

Blaze Guts Homeland Spy Building [Cryptome]

Blaze guts spy unit's building at Ft. Meade [Annapolis Capital]

Fire burns Fort Meade office complex [Baltimore Sun]

READ MORE: bill nelson, censorship, ft. meade, kitty harris, pentagon, spies, spooks, tia

Phone call to NTSB regarding AA77 Flight Data Recorder

YouTube poster writes: "These are the droids who analyzed and produced the above information based on AA77 Flight Data Recorder. They are the ones who need to answer for the conflicts. We have also called the FBI. Recording is on the website pentagon section. Inquiry is ongoing. Brick walls are abundant."

Indymedia Journalist Covering Oaxaca Resistance Murdered

NYC Indymedia volunteer Brad Will killed in attack by Paramilitaries in Oaxaca

Foto: La Reforma

Paramilitaries attacked the barricades near Oaxaca's office of justice, in the Calicanto municipality. There are sereveal injured and one person dead.

Indymedia New York's reporter, BRAD WILL, was shot in the chest and died before he made it to the hospital; Oswaldo Ramírez, photographer for Milenio Diario, has also been shot and is injured in the foot.

- He was at the Santa Lucia Barricade
- He was shot from a distance of 30-40 meters right in the pit of the stomach
- It was urban paramilitary Priistas in plain clothes who shot him
- People then pulled him away to safety; its confirmed that he's dead; his body is at the red cross in oaxaca
- 3 additional dead (4 total); 1 member of radio universidad was injured, he went to the hospital in a volkswagen cuz no ambulances would come

More information: English report
NarcoNews (english) - CML - La Jornada - IMC México

SOURCE: Indymedia (where the comments section grows rapidly with further developments)

Also see Narconews' Coverage, from which the following snips are derived:

Brad Will, 36, a documentary filmmaker and reporter for Indymedia in New York, Bolivia and Brazil, died today of a gunshot to the chest when pro-government attackers opened fire on a barricade in the neighborhood of Santa Lucia del Camino, on the outskirts of Oaxaca, Mexico. He died with his video camera in his hands.


Brad Will's Assassins, identified by El Universal: Juan Carlos Soriano Velasco (red tshirt), a police officer known as "the Grasshopper"; Manuel Aguilar (dark jacket), city personnel director; and public safety chief Avel Santiago Zárate (red shirt)
Photo: D.R. 2006 El Universal

More on from Narconews here.

Also see Federal Police Authorized to Enter Oaxaca


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Friday, October 27, 2006

9/11 and the Greenberg Familia

By Jerry Mazza
Online Journal Associate Editor
Sep 29, 2006, 01:06

Democratic Underground Demopedia reports in Who Killed John O’Neill that at the time of 9/11, AIG, the world’s largest insurance company, and subsidiaries Marsh McLennan, ACE and Kroll, were run by the Greenberg family. With Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) member Maurice “Hank” Greenberg as the AIG godfather, the Familia’s tentacles curled around the heart of the tragedy.

Hank’s son Jeffrey, a CFR member as well, was chairman of Marsh & McLennan, situated on floors throughout the North Tower of the World Trade Center as well as the top floors of the South Tower. Marsh also had ties to the CIA. Son Evan Greenberg, a CFR member, was CEO of ACE Limited, situated in Tower 7, which also contained AIG subsidiary Kroll, closely related to the CIA, also with an office in Tower 7.

Tower 7 also contained offices of the FBI, Department of Defense, IRS (which contained prodigious amounts of corporate tax fraud corporate, including Enron’s), US Secret Service, Securities & Exchange Commission (with more stock fraud records), and Citibank’s Salomon Smith Barney, the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management and many other financial institutions.

Greenberg’s cousin, Alan “Ace” Greenberg, was former CEO of Bear Sterns, where the Bush family, Cheney family George Schultz, James Baker, et al, did business. It is the leading brokerage firm of the great and all-powerful Bush Familia.

Also reported by Democratic Underground, AIG’s Kroll “provided protection services,” among other things, to high level Americans at home and abroad. Kroll had military teams in their company and merged with Armor Holdings on August 23, 2001, adding Defence Systems Limited, another private military corporation, to their operation, and an ex-KGB team called Alpha Firm earlier acquired by Defense Systems Limited. These four teams could have been used on 9/11, part of a “corporatizing” of black ops in tandem with military teams.

According to whistleblower Richard Grove, who worked as a senior manager for SilverStream Software on Marsh and AIG accounts, Kroll also managed the Enron fraud once Kenneth Lay stepped down.

Marsh, immediately after 9/11, established a specialized terrorism team called Marsh Crisis Consultancy (led by L. Paul Bremer III), adding the teams Control Risks Group, a British ex-SAS team and Versar, bio-terrorism and homeland defense team. These players could have known each other from 9/11, bringing in new assignments and profits.

Democratic Underground also reports, AIG allegedly was laundering drug money, and was involved in the Afghanistan oil and gas pipelines. Greenberg and the Adnan Khasshogi family allegedly benefited from the Afghanistan narcotics trade and interests in the oil and gas pipelines, as well.

Greenberg’s Law Firm Connections to Bush

According to http://www.sourcewatch.org/, the Greenbergs were and are connected to the Bush Familia via their Miami-based law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP, a 1,350-lawyer, full-service international firm. Here are a few connects . . .

1) G-T represented George W. Bush in the Bush-Gore 2000 Florida election vote recount.

2) They personally represent Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

3) They hired son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Election Day 2000 -- after which Justice Scalia cast one of the 5 to 4 deciding votes that placed Bush in the White House.

4) They partially funded/sponsored a delegation to Israel by House-Senate Armed Services Committee members and government contractors to witness and be briefed on interrogations resistance procedures and torture techniques.

5) The firm has prominent administrative positions in Massachusetts 9/11 Fund, which also involves Bush family banking house Brown Brothers Harriman (the same BBH involved with Prescott Bush’s bankrolling the Nazis in World War II).

6) Traurig Greenberg works with 9-11 victims on planning their US government “hushmail/bribery estates.” That is, to receive the money, the victim’s family must sign an agreement never to sue the government for any reason. Victim-wife Ellen Mariani is currently being legally harassed for not signing and for holding the Bush government’s feet to the fire.

7) Bush still owes the Greenberg Traurig firm nearly $1 million for work done by dozens of lawyers and paralegals, leaving questions why a Republican candidate would hire a Democratic lawyer from a Democratic firm. See Greenberg Traurig link above for more scandals.

Greenberg’s Relationship to Larry Silverstein

On July 24, 2001, six weeks before 9/11, Larry Silverstein took control of the lease of all the WTC buildings. This followed the Port Authority decision on April 26.

According to democraticunderground.com, the three companies who originally insured the WTC were AIG, Marsh and ACE, all run as mentioned by the Greenbergs at the time. They then sold stakes of the original contract to their competition, a technique called reinsuring.

Once the Towers came down, the reinsurers got caught holding the bag. This would inextricably tie the Greenbergs to Silverstein and the larger conspiracy of 9/11. If they had no foreknowledge of events to occur, why would the Greenbergs have unloaded so many stakes in their contract?

According to Michel Chossudovsky in Financial Bonanza behind the 9/11 Tragedy, “On October 17, 2000, eleven months before 9/11, Blackstone Real Estate Advisors, of The Blackstone Group, L.P, purchased, from Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, the participating mortgage secured by World Trade Center, Building 7.1.” [Blackstone in 2000 also purchased a 50 percent stake in Universal Studios, producers of the myth-perpetuating Flight 93.]

“April 26, 2001 the Port Authority leased the WTC for 99 years to Silverstein Properties and Westfield America Inc.

“The transaction was authorised by Port Authority Chairman Lewis M. Eisenberg. This transfer from the New York and New Jersey Port Authority was tantamount to the privatisation of the WTC Complex. The official press release described it as ‘the richest real estate prize in New York City history.’ The retail space underneath the complex was leased to Westfield America Inc.

“On 24 July 2001, 6 weeks prior to 9/11 Silverstein took control of the lease of the WTC following the Port Authority decision on April 26.

“Silverstein and Frank Lowy, CEO of Westefield Inc. took control of the 10.6 million-square-foot WTC complex.

"Lowy leased the shopping concourse called the Mall at the WTC, which comprised about 427,000 square feet of retail space.”

“Explicitly included in the agreement was that Silverstein and Westfield ‘were given the right to rebuild the structures if they were destroyed.'’

“In this transaction, Silverstein signed a rental contract for the WTC over 99 years amounting to 3.2 billion dollars in installments to be made to the Port Authority: 800 million covered fees including a down payment of the order of 100 million dollars. Of this amount, Silverstein put in 14 million dollars of his own money. The annual payment on the lease was of the order of 115 million dollars.

“In the wake of the WTC attacks, Silverstein is suing for some $7.1 billion in insurance money, double the amount of the value of the 99 year lease.” In fact, some $5 billion was actually returned, given the multiple court-case protests of the insurers.

“The mortgaging of the WTC was handled by The Blackstone Group, headed by Peter J. Peterson, current head of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The Blackstone Group also bought a piece of Kroll in 1993 at the very same time AIG took over majority control. Henry Kissinger sits on the board of the Blackstone Group.”

By his own admission Silverstein had Tower 7 pulled by controlled internal demolition eight hours after the first two hits. No plane hit Tower 7. There were two small fires in it that were under control. In fact, it takes weeks, months to set up a building to be pulled. So his order to “pull it” catches him in a huge lie. Tower 7 may have been the nexus of the operations. That may have been the real reason to pull it. In fact, it may have been set up weeks in advance with Towers 1 and 2 for demolition. Ironically, Tower 7 is the only tower that has been rebuilt, and more opulently than its predecessor, although tenancy is about 18 percent.

Towers Taken Down for Profit and to Blame Muslims

Given the involvement of the Greenbergs and Silverstein, and other commercial entities that stood to profit hugely, it is difficult to believe 9/11 occurred at the hands of 19 rag-tag Muslims with box-cutters and the help of their leader, Osama bin Laden, sitting in a cave somewhere in Afghanistan with his laptop and dialysis equipment. The real reasons behind 9/11 were financial greed and the willingness to demonize Muslims for the “Pearl Harbor-type” act that would instigate America to wage a war on terror, pursuing PNAC’s (Project for a New American Century) goal of World Hegemony.

The latest documentary on the WTC, The 911 Mysteries from 911WeKnow.com, provides highly convincing proof that the buildings were taken down in six fatal steps. They involved the use of high-powered explosives, including thermite and/or thermate, with techniques more advanced than those of traditional controlled-demolition companies, most likely the military’s, given their bunker buster technology. The six steps are . . .

Pre-collapse sub-basement explosions
Pre-collapse interior blasts
Pre-collapse ground level explosions
Top level collapse initiation
Mid Collapse Squibs (explosions)
Final time-delayed rolls (explosions)

Without all these steps, the Towers could never have free-fallen in 10 seconds, the speed of gravity. Any obstacles or pancaking had to be eliminated otherwise the number of seconds of fall would increase dramatically. The documentary also reminds us that on February 13, 1975 there was a major fire on the 11th floor of the North Tower that did not topple it, though the loss was estimated at over $2 million, no mean event. Check it out.

It is possible that in 1996, when Securacom took over WTC security and installed a new $8.3 million security system, that the explosives and charges were also put in place. Sitting on the board of Securacom was the director Marvin Bush, George Bush’s younger brother.

In any case, this is patently the confluence of the military/industrial complex with a healthy dose of Wall Street, earning millions if not billions in put and call options on companies involved with the catastrophe, including airlines on the down (put) side and military suppliers on the up (call) side. In addition, there is the missing gold from the basement of Tower 4, $200 million of which was retrieved, and an untold amount stolen.

The real bottom line was that the Towers were two financial white elephants. And both Silverstein and Greenberg had to know that. The tenancy was dropping. They were out of date. And most dangerously, they were asbestos bombs, loaded with the dangerous building material when they were completed in 1972-73.

By law the buildings could not be taken down by internal demolition. And since it would cost a billion dollars or more to take the towers down beam by beam, it would be at great loss to the Port of Authority or its leaseholder. Thus the reasons are obvious to take WTC down in act of terror also a false-flag operation. Remember, the concept for the WTC Towers originated with the Nelson and David Rockefeller, members of the Council on Foreign Relations and among the world’s elites. A “New Pearl Harbor” would serve those interests well.

Additional Connections to Greenberg

John O’Neill, mentioned in the first paragraph, was the FBI anti-terror chief who spent years trying to track down bin Laden and “al Qaeda” members. At every point, he was stopped or frustrated by his superiors. Finally, O’Neill parted company with the FBI. Jerome Hauer, who formerly worked for Kroll, got him the job as chief of security at the WTC. On 9/11, O’Neill lost his life in the North Tower.

Mr. Hauer’s job as Kroll chief was also held by Michael Cherkasky, who came out of the New York County District Attorney’s Office, which also brought us Rudy Giuliani, Elliot Spitzer and Patrick Fitzgerald. Mr. Cherkasky also brought Mr. Spitzer into the NYC County DA’s office. Today Cherkasky is a substantial contributor to Spitzer’s campaign for New York State Governor. Cherkasky was bumped up to head Marsh McLennan in 2004.

As an aside, there were about 200 electrical engineers working in the World Trade Center around the time. Additionally, AMEC and Tully Construction played a major role in the clean up of Ground Zero and both have specialized controlled demolition companies.

Lastly, can you believe that one of the Council on Foreign Relations members who engaged President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran in a debate about the holocaust at CFR’s reception last week was none other than Hank Greenberg, who said he witnessed the Dachau camp as Germany fell? Could it all possibly be payback and then some?

SOURCE: Online Journal

Noam Chomsky: US threats to Venezuela

21 October 2006

At an October 6 public meeting in Boston, US dissident intellectual Noam Chomsky gave the following remarks on the threat posed to the radical governments of Venezuela and Bolivia by Washington in response to an audience member’s question.

We know that the US did support a military coup, which briefly overthrew [Venezuelan President Hugo] Chavez [in 2002] and the US had to back down when he was restored quickly, and also had to back down in the face of a very angry reaction in Latin America. In almost all of Latin America, there was a very angry reaction. They take democracy there more seriously then we do here.

Right after trying to overthrow the government by force, the US immediately turned to subversion, supporting anti-Chavez groups. That’s described in the press, the way it’s described is, the US is supporting pro-democracy groups, which are opposed to President Chavez.

Notice it’s true by definition that if you oppose the president, you are pro-democracy. It’s completely irrelevant that according to the best polls (Latin America has very good polling agencies which take regular polls on these issues around the continent) support for democracy has been declining — not for democracy but for the democratic governments — has been declining through Latin America, for a pretty good reason: the governments have been associated with neoliberal programs which undermine democracy — IMF [International Monetary Fund], treasury department programs ... There are exceptions, and the major exception by far is Venezuela.

Since 1998, when Chavez was elected, support for the elected government has been rising very fast. It’s now by far the highest in Latin America. He has won several elections that have been recognised to be free and fair, he has won numerous referendums, but he is a "dictator", a tin-pot dictator, which is proven by the fact that our Dear Leader said so. And, since we are voluntary North Koreans, when the Dear Leader says it, it’s true. So therefore, he’s a dictator, and if you carry out subversion to overthrow him, that’s pro-democracy by definition ...

We might ask ourselves how we would react if Iran, say, had just supported a military coup that overthrew the government in the United States and when they have to back off from that, immediately turned to supporting pro-democracy groups in the United States that are opposed to the government. Would we give them ice cream and candy?

Well in dictatorial Venezuela, they let them keep functioning. In fact, [they] even let the newspapers [that supported] the coup keep functioning ...

The US has had two major weapons for controlling Latin America for a long time. One of them is economic controls, the other is military force. They have both been used continually. Both of them are weakening and it’s a very serious problem for US planners.

The economic — for the first time in its history since the Spanish colonisation — Latin America is beginning to get its act together. It’s moving towards some degree of independence, even some degree of integration.

The Latin American countries have been very separate from one another through their histories, they have a huge gap between the very rich and the huge massive poor, so when we are talking about the countries, we are talking about the rich elites. The rich elites have been oriented towards Europe and North America, not their own citizens, not each other. So that capital flight goes to Zurich, or London, or New York — the second home is in the Riviera, the children study in Cambridge or something like that. That’s the way it’s been, with very little interaction, and it’s changing.

First of all there are major popular movements, like in Bolivia. They had a democratic election of the kind we can’t even dream of. I mean if there was any honest newspaper coverage in this country, we would be ashamed at the comparison between their election and ours.

I won’t go through it, but with a little thought you can quickly figure it out, because there is mass popular participation, and the people know what they are voting for, and they pick somebody from their own ranks and their major issues and so on. It’s unimaginable here, where elections are about at the level of marketing toothpaste on television, literally.

There are mass popular movements all over and they have begun to integrate to some extent for the first time.

The military weapon has been weakened. The last effort of the US had to back off very quickly, in 2002 in Venezuela. The kinds of governments the US is now supporting [in other Latin American countries] — forced to support — are the kinds it would have been trying to overthrow not very long ago, because of this shift.

The economic weapon is weakening enormously. They are throwing out the IMF. The IMF means the US Treasury Department. Argentina, it was the poster boy of the IMF, you know, following all the rules and so on. It went into a hideous economic crash. They managed to get out of it, but only by radically violating IMF rules, and they are now, as the president put it, "ridding themselves of the IMF" and paying off their debt with the help of Venezuela. Venezuela bought up a lot of their debt. The same is happening in Brazil. The same is going to happen in Bolivia.

In general, the economic measures are weakening, the military measures are no longer what they were. The US is deeply concerned about it, undoubtedly. We shouldn’t think that the US has abandoned the military effort. On the contrary, the number of US personnel — military personnel — in Latin America is probably as high as it’s ever been.

The number of the Latin American officers being trained by the US is going up very sharply. By now, for the first time (it never happened during the Cold War) US military aid is higher than the sum of economic and social aid from key federal agencies — that’s a shift. There are more air bases all over the place.

Keep your eyes on Ecuador, there’s an election coming up in about a week, the likely winner, [Rafael] Correa, is an interesting person. He was recently asked what he would do with the big Manta US airbase in Ecuador and his answer was, well he’d allow it to stay if the United States agreed to have an Ecuadorian airbase in Miami.

But these are the things that are going on. There’s a call for an Indian Nation for the first time. The indigenous — in some states like Bolivia — majority is actually entering the political arena for the first time in 500 years, electing its own candidates. These are major changes, but the US is certainly not giving up on it.

The military training has been shifted. Its official focus now is on what’s called radical populism and street gangs. Well, you know what radical populism means, like the priests organising peasants or anyone who gets out of line. So yeah, it’s serious. What will they do?

Governments have what are called security interests; they have to protect the national security. If any of you have ever spent any time reading declassified documents, you know what that means. I’ve spent a lot of time reading them and it’s true, there is defence of the government against its enemy, that prime enemy.

Its prime enemy is the domestic population. That’s true of every government I know. So if you read the declassified documents, you find that most of them are protecting the government from its own population. Not much has to do with anything you might call security interests … So we don’t know what they are planning because we have to be protected from knowing what the government is planning. So we have to speculate.

If you want my speculation, based on no information except what I would be doing if I was sitting in the Pentagon planning office and told to figure out a way to overthrow the governments of Bolivia, Venezuela, and Iran, in fact. The idea that immediately comes to mind, so I assume they are working on it, is to support secessionist movements, which is conceivable if you look at the geography and the places where the oil is ...

In Venezuela, the oil is in Zulia province, which is where the opposition candidate [in the presidential election] is coming from, right on the border of Colombia (one of the only states [in Latin America] where the US has a firm military presence). It’s a rich province, pretty anti-Chavez, and it happens to be where most of the oil is, and in fact there is rumour of a Zulia independence movement, which, if they can carry it off, the US could then intervene to protect against the "dictator". That’s Venezuela.

In Bolivia, the major gas resources are in the lowlands, the eastern lowlands, which is a mostly European, not indigenous, opposed to the government, rich area, near Paraguay (one of the other countries where the US has military bases), so you can imagine the same project going on ...

SOURCE: Australia's Green Left Weekly

Also see The Coup That Went South

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