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July 19, 2008

OT 08-26

MoA lives off comments. Feed me now!

News & views ... open thread ...

Posted by b on July 19, 2008 at 17:59 UTC | Permalink

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What is your best estimate on the question of the USA or Israel attacking Iran? Anyone using nukes?

If it happens, will the world just ignore it after a few protests? I am saddened that we may see a non violent and ancient civilization destroyed when they have threatened no one.

Where is justice?

Posted by: Buckaroo | Jul 19 2008 21:39 utc | 1

No one talks about Guantanamo bay too much any more. Although the snail like progress of the detainees cases through the judicial systems means that those arrested as children will probably have their cases determined in time to win the freedom to apply for old age pensions, most westerners particularly amerikans prefer to pretend Guantanamo Bay doesn't exist.
In that light I suggest all humans be directed to Wikileaks whose front page is taken up with a photo of a detainee tortured by having his mouth wired shut by sewing his lips together with an old coat hanger.
Wiki leaks have probably taken this extra-ordinary step of putting the photo at the top of their front page to ensure all humans visiting get to witness man's inhumanity.
We see the true purpose of torture here to hurt the victims and provide gratification for the perpetrator since the form this torture took discouraged the victim from saying anything.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jul 19 2008 22:24 utc | 2

I believe that Dante says somewhere that justice arrives very swiftly for those that fear it and very slowly for those that desire it.

Curiously in Purgatorio the Poet presents those that purge the sin of envy as having their eyelids sewn together with wire. Envy consists in being hurt by the good of someone else so the purgation is not to see at all. Hawks had their eyelids sewn with wire during training. It seems that torture is the most conservative of arts.

Posted by: jlcg | Jul 19 2008 23:38 utc | 3

Thanks for the heads up on wikileaks. I did not know about it.

Justice is moving at the pace of glaciers as far as I can tell!

Posted by: Buckaroo | Jul 19 2008 23:54 utc | 4

Buckaroo, too bad it's moving the same pace as the glaciers move and not as fast as they are melting.

Posted by: mikefromtexas | Jul 20 2008 2:26 utc | 5

Check out the Non-Energy Crisis by Lindsey Williams(YOU TUBE, worth checking out for sure), would appreciate you'alls response to his comments. What say ye?

Posted by: duncan | Jul 20 2008 2:31 utc | 6

That's Energy Non-Crisis!

Posted by: duncan | Jul 20 2008 2:33 utc | 7

I might've bought that "Peak Oil Is A Myth & Conspiracy" line ten years ago because my birth-religion required me to believe that resource-depletion would never be a problem. But the whole Jesus-is-coming-in-a-few-decades-to-fix-everything schtick reveals itself as immensely dangerous when you realise that he ain't comin'.

More petrol is not desireable anyway. It's the main physical enabler of humanity's mass destruction habit.

It's certainly true that "Energy Crisis" is a misnomer. "Suburbia Crisis" or "Petrol-Agriculture Problem" would be more specific and accurate. Both are small compared to what this century is facing in environmental degradation.

Posted by: Cloud | Jul 20 2008 4:03 utc | 8

Jesus-is-coming-in-a-few-decades-to-fix-everything schtick reveals itself as immensely dangerous when you realise that he ain't comin'.

it's proved to be immensely dangerous whether one believes he's comin' or not.

debs.. really , what can we say? there is a big trial comin up Ruling allows trials at Guantanamo to proceed

Senior U.S. military officers will be scrambled from around the world for jury duty next week at Guantanamo Bay in the Pentagon's first war-crimes trial since World War II.

In a victory for the Bush administration in its protracted quest to prosecute terror suspects held at Guantanamo, a federal judge in Washington on Thursday rejected defense attorneys' appeals to halt the trial of Osama bin Laden's former driver, Salim Hamdan of Yemen, and it will get underway Monday.

we can expect only shame from judge robert's supreme court.

meanwhile, in pakistan
Senate body calls for closure of Guantanamo Bay prison

Posted by: annie | Jul 20 2008 5:57 utc | 9

As much as the Greens seem to have finally pushed to the top of the ant heap,
(and as disclaimer, I've been in the belly of that beast and now renounce it)
If there's one group even more deluded than the PNAC Faith Based Initiative....

1) there is more oil in known reserves than have been burned in over 100 years;
2) CO2 is only one of many (more powerful) 'greenhouse' gases and solar cycles;
3) anyone who takes 15 minutes to run the numbers, ... well, let's do it together

Crude Oil 5.6 million BTU/barrel
Gasoline (25 gals per bbl) 0.112 million BTU/gallon
US Gasoline consumption 388.6 million gallons/day = 4.35E+13 Btu's/day

US Electrical supply 10.4 billion KW-hrs/day = 3.55E+13 Btu's/day
Net after transmission, stepdown, battery, power train losses = 1.01E+13 Btu's/day

Increase in US electrical capacity and distribution required to replace gasoline
with battery cars, straight across = 500%
Cost to increase current US electrical capacity and distribution by five times?
Cost to scrap, re-smelt, re-mill, re-build, and electrify every (1/2B) US vehicles?
Cost to upgrade every house wiring system to 240VAC for electric car recharging?

And what will power this massively larger new grid? Methane farts? Sugar ethanol?
A few square miles of gynormously expensive wind/solar cells in one SW location?
Microsoft's space elevator?

Cost to power massively larger all-electric America? Take your pick, no one knows:

trillion = 1012
quadrillion = 1015
quintillion = 1018
hexillion = 1021
heptillion = 1024
octillion = 1027
nonillion = 1030
decillion = 1033
unodecillion = 1036
duodecillion = 1039

US current account balance: $ (-) 1,118B
US overall debt obligations: $(-) 53T
Value of all US real property: $ 75T

If wishes were fishes, then beggars could fly, but for all our tomorrow's, they'll have to use public transit, turn off the lights at night, and learn to eat lighter off the land than energy-profligate agribusiness, fruit flown in fresh from Chile,
blue fin tuna from half-way around the world delivered fresh on your plate next AM.

So would you like boiled turnips with your cabbage soup, comrade? Or are you going
to scatter our ashes to a nuclear winter, fighting to hold onto your Btu baby baba?

Posted by: Ali Shahbinowitz | Jul 20 2008 6:28 utc | 10

@Buckaroo @1 - What is your best estimate on the question of the USA or Israel attacking Iran? Anyone using nukes?

Very unlikely. I could imagine the U.S. using nukes after a carrier gets sunk. But that is in itself unlikely.

If it happens, will the world just ignore it after a few protests? I am saddened that we may see a non violent and ancient civilization destroyed when they have threatened no one.

If Israel would do it, the 'western' political elite would ignore it. The real world would not.

Where is justice?

What's that again?

Posted by: b | Jul 20 2008 7:09 utc | 11

justice? a colloquial term.

Posted by: annie | Jul 20 2008 7:39 utc | 12

A pamphlet warning Britons to leave the Middle East or face death has come to light in a stash of illicit propaganda.

The document does not hail from Basra or Baghdad, nor was it penned by the Islamists of al-Qaeda or the al-Mahdi Army. It was found in Haifa, about 60 years ago, and it was issued by the underground group led by Menachem Begin – the future Prime Minister of Israel and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

The document, which surfaced at an auction house this week, is addressed to “the soldiers of the occupation army” and aimed at British soldiers serving in Palestine, then under the British Mandate, preceding the establishment of Israel in 1948. The print has faded and the paper has discoloured since it was unearthed from a grove of trees in Haifa in the summer of 1947. Yet the language and the concerns remain current.

Bombings and murders by underground groups, such as Begin’s Irgun, hastened the British withdrawal and the United Nations declaration that led to the founding of modern Israel.

Jewish guerrillas told British: quit Palestine or die

Posted by: b | Jul 20 2008 8:31 utc | 13

Supreme court to decide if exclusionary rule should be upheld - will this allow better prosecution of detainees?

Presented here like a fait accompli

Posted by: bellgong | Jul 20 2008 8:34 utc | 14

Could try some optimistic stuff for a change: prospects for war crimes prosecutions initiated by US allies; potential for multilateral human rights monitoring based on the International Bill of Rights (UDHR/ICCPR/ICESCR); precedents for exercise of ICCPR Article 41? Now that the Constitution's gone, it's all the US has left.

Posted by: ...---... | Jul 20 2008 9:22 utc | 15

justice? a colloquial term.

Or as they say, "quaint".

Posted by: anna missed | Jul 20 2008 9:24 utc | 16

@Annie I don't expect you or anyone else to say anything to me but if that picture at wikileaks is of a detainee in amerikan custody as it is claimed to be then I expect that amerikans should be ensuring that it is circulated and discussed outside of the corners of the this rock that those responsible can comfortably ignore.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jul 20 2008 9:28 utc | 17

" ... if that picture at wikileaks is of a detainee in amerikan custody as it is claimed to be ..."

I see no reason to doubt it. However, the real horrible pictures would be the ones from Abu Ghraib that were never released. We Americans were told that they were just too horrible for our innocent little eyes to behold. They were said to be "stomach turning" by one government muckity-muck.

Can you imagine what may have really happened in that hell-hole? Or the CIA torture camps around the globe that we are not allowed to inspect. Can Europe continue to pretend that America is not a rouge nation?

Posted by: Buckaroo | Jul 20 2008 13:09 utc | 18

Sunday mid morning listening?

May I suggest...

Episode 36: Locus of Agency: The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization Interview with Professor Thomas Homer-Dixon on the fragility of our vast centralized systems, the need for resiliency & diversity, and the possibilities for renewal and reinvention which only present themselves in historical moments of disintegration and collapse.

The Upside of Down website

KMO and his show C-realm (above) interviews and has an interesting DIY show. Discussions on topics focused on the coming Vingean Singularity, Entheogenic Exploration, post oil economy, civilization collapse, the re-localization of community & agriculture, and Individual Conscious Autonomy.

A show looking at ecopsychology, magic, animism, prehistory, dreams, altered states, shamanism, evolution etc...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 20 2008 13:09 utc | 19

Synthetic Pot as a Military Weapon?

Synthetic Pot as a Military Weapon? Meet the Man Who Ran the Secret Program

By Martin A. Lee, AlterNet. Posted July 19, 2008.

Dr. James Ketchum tested a potent form of synthetic marijuana on soldiers to develop a secret weapon in the '60s. Now he's telling the tale.

It was billed as a panel discussion on "the global shift in human consciousness." A half-dozen speakers had assembled inside the Heebie Jeebie Healers tent at Burning Man, the annual post-hippie celebration in Black Rock, Nev., where 50,000 stalwarts braved intense dust storms and flash floods last August. Among the notables who spoke at the early evening forum was Dr. Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin, the Bay Area-based psychochemical genius much beloved among the Burners, who synthesized Ecstasy and 200 other psychoactive drugs and tested each one on himself during his unique, offbeat career.

Sitting on the panel next to Shulgin was an unlikely expositor. Dr. James S. Ketchum, a retired U.S. Army colonel, told the audience, "When Sasha was trying to open minds with chemicals to achieve greater awareness, I was busy trying to subdue people."

Ketchum was referring to his work at Edgewood Arsenal, headquarters of the U.S. Army Chemical Corps(...)

Sometimes the good guys (or well intentioned guys) who scare me more than the bullies.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 20 2008 13:36 utc | 20

The problem with the US is desperately simple - it is too big.

Its large size and rich lands have made it too powerful on the world stage. Its Federal Gvmt. is too strong. Its political class has become a transit station for various interest groups, as they lack geographical roots and regional interests.

This has partly come about because keeping the large chunk whole - keeping the US together - has been costly in cultural terms. It became necessary to create a super ordinate, over-reaching, homogenous culture. Inevitably, that culture moved away from politics and management, civics and citizenship, serious economics, to short term over long term, symbols over substance, to end up as individualistic values erected into principles in a superficial way. Freedom, democracy, identity issues, the litany is well known. Plus, the materialist expansion of the US made it into a cultural hegemon, state of affairs that survives today, as consumption and individualism are easy to sell to those who dream of more hedonistic lives and deaths.

Concurrently, this lead to the embracing, from Reagan on, with Clinton as a fluffy, vaporous ciggie break (he did create jobs), of an economic model, the so called free-market, erected to quasi religious status. Supply side or trickel (sic) down models were embraced not so much because of a grasping oligarchy (though that certainly helped) but through an incapacity to turn the clock back or rest on other values, imagine any alternatives. If the country is, was, to be united through economic success, that of Joe Six, small businesses, large corporations, then the result, through excessive competition, looms and is plain to predict: a concentration of wealth and power for a small segment at the top. The Gvmt. is then relegated to fireman, or plunge protection team, or socialist distributor of compensation - but first to those who keep the whole circus going.

The concentration of wealth, coupled with the large size which represents great potential and reserves, and the need to endlessly compete and impose the same model worldwide (otherwise the scheme will not work, it has to expand to keep going) leads to warmongering, neo-colonialism in a guise that is partly humanitarian, partly ideological, partly economic-extractive, partly sadistic, partly benevolent, partly war-economy/profits, etc. A mess (not unique to the US either now or in history.)

The impression of hegemony, through economic success that permits staggering investments in the military and in war, must be kept up...

Therefore, a tremendous step towards world peace could be achieved by breaking up the US. I suggest a general election, run off type, if that is the right expression, in which states could meld (up to some limit in territory or number or whatever) - and a very weak central Gvmt. which would be stripped of Homeland Security, the FBI, energy policy, etc. National Defense could be organized in different ways, probably with explicit and crystal clear continental agreements with Mexico and Canada..

Oof! Half the problems solved. Now onto the starving children..

Posted by: Tangerine | Jul 20 2008 14:52 utc | 21

Gitmo is the public, nay publicity face, of a concentration and torture camp.

Its first function is to make arbitrary imprisonment, mistreatment of prisoners (to put it mildly), court cases outside the usual system, and so on, acceptable to the US public.

With the justification that inmates are ‘muslims’, ‘terrorists’, ‘a danger to the world’, and so on. These poor people, to whom my heart goes out, so much that I can’t really think about it even when I write about it, I have to cut off and can’t look at pictures...These poor patsies, are forced actors in a sadistic charade set up to indoctrinate, as well as test the US legal system.

As predictable, protest and defense have been non-existent to weak, marginal, specialized without any real clout (I’m not blaming any lawyer who took on some battle, or the Red Cross, etc.) - the whole exercise has been, more or less, a success. The US mainstream does not report the stories of released ppl.

Where was Europe, the UN, International ‘law’? Or Saudi, other ME countries? Gone awol, heh, off to have drinks and ersatz caviar canapés.

Sacrificial lambs to maintain US pride:

small price to pay - it won’t last - what can we do anyway - we can’t challenge the US on *that*, the world changed after 9/11 - it is the nature of things - the law is complicated, see you later? - terrorists need to be killed - we are against terrorism - we have bad terrorist problems ourselves - etc. etc.

Posted by: Tangerine | Jul 20 2008 15:30 utc | 22

Tangerine writes like a Geographer.

Posted by: Jake | Jul 20 2008 16:28 utc | 23

Credit default swaps the US economy's next bad thing?

Posted by: a | Jul 20 2008 17:00 utc | 24

JUSTICE, n. A commodity which is a more or less adulterated condition the State sells to the citizen as a reward for his allegiance, taxes and personal service.

-sez the devil's dictionary.

Posted by: beq | Jul 20 2008 17:15 utc | 25

Today' èrrant' killing:

US troops kill son of Iraqi governor

US forces shot dead the 17-year-old son and another relative of the governor of northern Iraq's Salahuddin province in a raid today, local officials said.

The US military said it shot two armed men and later found out they were both related to the governor.

Governor Hamad al-Qaisi's brother, Lieutenant-Colonel Saad al-Qaisi, said American troops stormed a family house in the town of Beiji, where the governor's son Hussam and his cousin were staying.

"They shot dead Hussam and wounded three others. This is barbaric and inhuman," he said.

Nato bombing blunder kills 13 in Afghanistan

At least 13 police and civilians have been accidentally killed in bombings by Nato forces in Afghanistan.
In Farah province, four Afghan police and five civilians were killed in an apparent mistaken airstrike by Nato forces early this morning.
According to reports, police mistook a convoy of Afghan soldiers and Nato troops for Taliban fighters, opening fire on them.

The convoy had not told police about their travel plans, adding to the confusion, a local government official said.

In a separate incident in Paktika province, a Nato mortar attack killed at least four civilians, when troops fired at the wrong target. The two mortar rounds struck more than half a mile from their intended target.

Posted by: b | Jul 20 2008 18:52 utc | 26

The problem with the US is desperately simple - it is too big.

Its large size and rich lands have made it too powerful on the world stage. Its Federal Gvmt. is too strong.

A big Amen to that, I say. I've always maintained that the Constitution fatally gave too much Federal power and specifically too much to the executive: the huge legislative veto and the huge judicial power of appointment. I'm a fan of the Articles of Confederation, which with a few amendments would've worked to let each state be pretty much it's own ... well, state.

Posted by: Cloud | Jul 20 2008 20:12 utc | 27

The problem with the US is desperately simple - it is too big.

Its large size and rich lands have made it too powerful on the world stage. Its Federal Gvmt. is too strong.

It is not just the size of the government, but we (Americans) are distinctly different people. The culture and people of the Deep South should be one country.
the Far West should be another country. Like that. Hmmm?

Posted by: Jake | Jul 20 2008 21:56 utc | 28

debs, you're right of course. i will make a point of sending it out now.

Posted by: annie | Jul 21 2008 0:19 utc | 29

There is so much happening right now. The reason I went to the wikileaks site was to learn more about ACTA a secret agreement being negotiated to enable elite control over what is allowed on the internet.

In 2007 a select handful of the wealthiest countries began a treaty-making process to create a new global standard for intellectual property rights enforcement, which was called, in a piece of brilliant marketing, the "Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement" (the agreement does not cover currency fraud).

ACTA is spearheaded by the United States along with the European Commission, Japan, and Switzerland — which have large intellectual property industries. Other countries invited to participate in ACTA’s negotiation process are Canada, Australia, Korea, Mexico and New Zealand. Noticeably absent from ACTA’s negotiations are leaders from developing countries who hold national policy priorities that differ from the international intellectual property industry.

A “Discussion Paper on a Possible Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement” was reportedly provided to select lobbyists in the intellectual property industry, but not to public interest organizations concerned with the subject matter of the proposed treaty.[1]

Wikileaks has obtained the document.

The agreement covers the copying of information or ideas in a wide variety of contexts. For example page three, paragraph one is a "Pirate Bay killer" clause designed to criminalize the non-profit facilitation of unauthorized information exchange on the internet. This clause would also negatively affect transparency and primary source journalism sites such as Wikileaks.

The document reveals a proposal for a multi-lateral trade agreement of strict enforcement of intellectual property rights related to Internet activity and trade in information-based goods hiding behind the issue of false trademarks. If adopted, a treaty of this form would impose a strong, top-down enforcement regime, with new cooperation requirements upon internet service providers, including perfunctionary disclosure of customer information. The proposal also bans "anti-circumvention" measures which may affect online anonymity systems and would likely outlaw multi-region CD/DVD players.

The proposal also specifies a plan to encourage developing nations to accept the legal regime.

Trade representatives were hoping to formalize the agreement at the G-8 summit in July 2008.

All discussion of that topic, which isn't much at all has concentrated on authorities being able to seize and search any ipod hard drive or other data storage device.

Everyone brushes the issue away by pointing out that the law is too unwieldy to be successful without ever reading on to discover that anyone or any web site that displays copyright information or even a link to copyright information can be prosecuted immediately, no takedown notice beforehand (that will come immediately to the ISP or web server corporation).

A minute from say the NZ government is copyrighted, a memo or requisition from the US government is copyrighted, just about all written information is pretty much copyrighted including the pic of the wired detainee/hostage. This 'treaty' will be an addendum to all existing trade agreements made under WTO regs. There can be no amendments, no alterations once the treaty has been finalised in secret by the G-8 with limited input from a few others, all signatories to trade agreements will be obliged to adopt ACTA complete no changes. Sure amerikans will do the usual of contesting elements of this through their judicial system but for most nations that won't work and amerikan web servers are already subject to federal govt back doors and other interferences warez as well as much information which may fall under the auspices of the patriot act is generally put up on servers outside amerika.

Once in place ISP's will be made to police all data on all web servers, as it currently stands even search engines are liable if a search throws up links to unauthorised copyrighted data, although google yahoo et al have lobbyists negotiating that issue.

From then on no more 'memory holes' wikileaks' or any other links to or copies of information that wasn't written by the poster or given permission to like to or copy. Sure peeps can rewrite stuff but we all know that doesn't carry any weight as proof when making a case or informing other peeps. Peeps like to know the actual video footage of a waterboarding is there for them to check. That the transcript of a intercepted conversation between two lackeys of the elitesis available, that the minute sent by the corrupt lawyer in Justice is there to support what the rabble rousers are saying.
I only came across this issue on friday when I saw a brief outline largely in support of ACTA in the latest edition of new scientist which I brought to read in the waiting room of my Dr's surgery.
I have tried to publicise it on more relevant forums eg warez discussion boarrds here and there but most reaction what little there has been has been of the shoot the messenger type. or argue the detail - another ploy we develop to avoid unpleasant realisation.
So I drop it here aware of the dangers of incuding it in the post about the seemingly unrelated topic. That is we can all ignore the bits that make us feel uncomfortable while we argue the bits that we find less challenging.

I dunno maybe b has already discussed this here but if not, at least we can inform ourselves of what will happen to the interweb, then see if we are still content to let it ride.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jul 21 2008 1:24 utc | 30

question - why is the search feature for MoA not inclusive of all the archived content? is it a google flaw? or are the archives not all in one location? or, perhaps, some are not made available to the search for whatever reason?

a large percentage of the time -- 40%? 50? -- that i try to search for an old thread using specific keywords or exact strings, no match was returned when it should have been. and it's frustrating. using the "site:" query modifier on the generic google search interface isn't any better.

Posted by: b real | Jul 21 2008 16:02 utc | 31

re: #31
i'd suggest as well a monthly browsing feature

Posted by: rudolf | Jul 21 2008 16:30 utc | 32

We make me sick.

[sent your link out in emails this a.m. Debs is Dead]

Posted by: beq | Jul 21 2008 16:39 utc | 33

b real... I have wondered that myself, I even offered to buy the all our archives but b seems reluctant or to busy to put it together. And the google search in my book is suspect.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 21 2008 20:14 utc | 34

@Annie and beq Great to see that there are some making sure this horror can not be avoided. I use Wikileaks a lot and I have to admit that that pic on the front page disturbs me every time I go there but that is why it is there of course. It may make us feel uncomfortable but what is that in comparison to the victims pain and distress?

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jul 21 2008 20:42 utc | 35

some little surprises

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jul 21 2008 21:37 utc | 36

Has Zanu-PF outwitted the IMF?

The announcement current Zimbabwe government headed by long serving president Robert Mugabe, which has met with both factions of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change including the faction led by Amerikan Enterprise Institute sock puppet Morgan Tsvangirai, appears to have wrong footed the media led hysterics who have been building to a crescendo screaming lies since Tsvangirai wimped out of the second round of elections.

The media running coverage of this meeting, brokered by South African President Mbeki, has been really unsure of what line to take.

An obvious sign of being unprepared is having no pre-prepped lines to use to denigrate the current Zimbabwe government with. This was the usual methodology; to pick on some side issue that plays to whitey's fear of Africans in control, then make it an issue by having a chorus of unanimous distortions throughout the western media. No one ever questions the veracity of a statement made by nearly every fishwrap on the news stand.

At the mo, favourite in the past-deadline english media is to discuss the meeting as if it hasn't yet occurred. This to give time for a consternation soaked huddle, called to get the 'sound bites' to be 'read off the same page'.

The big talking point of the Associated Press story carried in this (NZ time) morning's NZ Herald is unlikely to have traction as they say. It goes:

Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe for all 28 years since independence and just last month declared election victory, appeared nervous at the ceremony. Head bent and looking beaten as he stood between two jubilant opposition leaders, Mugabe never once looked at Tsvangirai during the hour-long ceremony. Afterwards, he shook hands with everyone except his rival.

This piece of slanted ad hominem gossip won't have legs if a picture is really worth a thousand words. The par sits directly under a photo of Mugabe and Tsvangirai shaking hands at the meeting. The same image was in a vid run on BBC World. The BBC are completely dependent on others for footage since Zanu-PF tired of their one sided tirades against the president on the beeb. In the Herald story this obvious disconnect is explained thus:

"Asked about it at a news conference later, he posed for journalists, giving Tsvangirai a limp handshake."
That complexity is just too hard to work. Lies spread by western media rely on a superficial analysis by the consumer.

Making peeps understand that shaking hands at a press conference but not in private is dangerous stuff, even if it could be nuanced correctly, in itself unlikely.

Readers forced to go beyond simple imagery may delve too far, as in: "Do you mean all the pix n vid of pols we are shown, are posed?"

But I am betting that the mention of two competing factions within the Movement for Democratic Change will be edited out of most stories and as for the Prime Minister of Kenya Raila Odinga, his comment in the Independent"

""Robert Mugabe is an embarrassment to the African continent," Odinga told BBC television. "He lost an election and refused to move on."
is not only beyond the bounds of normal hypocrisy it is dangerous ground.

Readers may remember, as Zanu_PF does, that Odinga, at the time a populist advocate of opposition to the neo-con attacks on the economic well being of the people of Kenya, won an election yet was forced to negotiate with the defeated government who wouldn't concede that defeat. This anti-democratic intransigence was backed by, maybe even instigated by, USuk, UN seppo suck asses and the greed heads

So Odinga settled for the role of Prime Minister, a largely powerless figure-head position whilst IMF and amerikan enterprise institute darling Mwai Kibaki kept his gig as president of Kenya.

Readers may get lost following the neo-con logic which goes like this.

"When a humanist wins government in Africa we pay the thugs we had originally put in control, to beat the humanist supporters senseless. We call this tribalism. Then when the violence gets out of hand we force the newly elected government to accept well paid powerless positions.

This scam not only sabotages any prospect of change, it destroys the credibility of the anti-neo-cons and cripples the momentum for a change.

But when an anti neo-con is in power and wins an election, we instigate the same violence ("they are all tribalists in Africa" is a widely accepted meme), but refuse to accept the result of negotiations put together by any broker who isn't an IMF sock puppet. Even if that broker is the democratically elected leader of the nation in question's long time friend and neighbour.

For those of us who have looked at Kenya from all sides, this latest outburst confirms that Raila Odinga is competing with Mwai Kibaki for the position of most agreeable western lap-dog. A sad day for Kenyans indeed, yet what else can one expect, for decades this has been the stuff which elections are made of in the so called ' great democracies of the West'.

Incidentally the execrable Gordon Brown is prevailing upon the EU to bludgeon the Zimbabwean people with another round of economic sanctions, will this rapprochement between the political powers in Zimbabwe prevent that? I'm betting not if Gordon can help it. After all this has never been about the people of Zimbabwe, it has been about england's re-colonisation of a former food source.

Zanu-PF will ensure as much as they can, that Zimbabwe isn't forced to relive the horrors of the 1990's when it's national institutions were put up for sale to the highest foreign bidder. That is inaccurate actually the national assets given away to carpet baggers with IMF connections.

Even the World Bank admitted in their warm and fuzzily titled paper

Structural Adjustment and Zimbabwe's Poor:

Zimbabwe's Economic and Structural Adjustment Program (ESAP) supported by the World Bank dismantled many of the controls confining the country's economy. . .
. . . 1/ the program did not reduce poverty and unemployment as its architects had hoped. Critical fiscal reforms made slow and uncertain progress, keeping budget deficits high. This created uncertainty and shortages of capital for private producers, which delayed investment in new capacity and job creation. By focusing on the formal urban sector, the program restricted its ability to reach the majority of Zimbabweans, who work predominantly in the informal sector and in rural areas.

The part of this paper that really gets my goat comes next:

Two basic lessons are that: (1) macroeconomic stabilization--particularly fiscal adjustment--is a prerequisite for sustainable growth in employment, output, and incomes, and (2) sound macroeconomic policies need to be accompanied by actions specifically designed to assist and protect people who do not directly benefit from formal sector growth.

Zimbabweans are starving and these World Bank technocrats are dispassionate to the point of sociopathy when they discuss the problems they have caused as if it were the rersult of a laboratory experiment, which of course it was.

New Zealand had gone through eaxactly the same 'reforms' a few years before Zimbabwe's mid '90s attempt, the voters there finally managed to rid themselves of the technocrats responsible out of the Tweedledee and Tweedledun parties.

Those appalling failures of humanity immediately picked up gigs with the IMF and World Bank so they could continue their 'experiments'.

NZ's once enviable community has been on a downward spiral of gaping income gaps and an ever growing 'underclass' (neo con talk for unwhite) ever since the experiments. The people of Zimbabwe have paid a high price for their successful rejection of neo-con subjugation but if they can trade free of sanctions, then they should recover quickly because unlike NZ, Zimbabwe hasn't sold the farm.

The vast bulk of Zimbabwe's resources still remain under Zimbabwean ownership.
So let us hope Zanu-PF have successfully pulled off their staunch rejection of the 'new imperialism'.

ps apologies for the remaining typos and mis-spellings but if I don't cut my losses I'll never finish.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jul 22 2008 0:04 utc | 37

there can be no doubt that this wikileaks picture belongs in the book of revelations introduced by Western civilization ?

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jul 22 2008 0:09 utc | 38

@giap I see you caught Ishmael's New Yorker comments as well. He always manages to provide pithy insights, the Louis Farrakhan tale being one of his best. Cant help but notice one of the posts on the YouTube site:
"For a man that hates white people and white culture, he sure plays our instruments well, doesn't he? " demonstrates exactly how little knowledge the 'fear and loathing of african americans' set require before they spout off.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jul 22 2008 2:05 utc | 39

That Internet post is horrifying! On top of the inhumanity to people everywhere!
The Dark Ages will return.

Here is a related article? In Canada: posted in Information Clearinghouse.

Posted by: Jake | Jul 22 2008 13:48 utc | 40


Unbelievable! & like 99.9% of Americans I had no idea. & why is that?


Posted by: anna missed | Jul 22 2008 17:48 utc | 41

BREAKING: Willie Nelson agrees to Farm Aid-type event in support of Impeachment

Willie Nelson, speaking on the Alex Jones show, has just announced that he would be a driving factor in a new Farm Aid-type event that will focus on supporting Dennis Kucinich's efforts to impeach george bush. It will also be an anti-war event. This plan is literally coming together as I type. Willie has just committed to it.

Mr. Nelson also believes that the event could be used as a platform for those who do not believe the government's official story of 9/11 to speak out and let their feelings be known.

The event was conceived by a caller into the Alex Jones radio show just minutes ago who suggested that Willie back or organize the event as a way to take the efforts to impeach bush and advocate for a new 9/11 investigation, which is supported by the majority of victims' families, to the next level.

The venue will be either in New York City or in Austin, Texas. Both Mr. Nelson and Mr. Jones agree that the event should be held soon so that it can be used as a way to enhance Congressman Kucinich's efforts.

This is a developing story and is unfolding on air.

If anyone can pull this off and make the media pay attention, it's Willie Nelson.

For you party poopers...

he can be impeached on the first day of office or the last day, or even when he is out of office, it doesn't matter.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 23 2008 17:57 utc | 42

NEWSFLASH: Debs not dead!

Posted by: biklett | Jul 23 2008 18:30 utc | 43


Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 23 2008 19:13 utc | 44

b - What happened to the site meter at the bottom of the page?

Posted by: beq | Jul 23 2008 21:06 utc | 45

"That's all Folks!"

On behalf of the OOC (Office of Counterintelligence), our gracious host B, aka Bernhard, and myself, the BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst) and others, we would like to thank you for years of MOA's cooperation in helping us stay four sometimes five steps ahead of you silly people the enemy. It is with great scheherazadea that I can say our Cointelpro 3.0, and maincore projects here and abroad of sharing intelligence and information with ally countries has been a stunning success, and one way to bypass your stupid laws. We make the laws now, we control your reality, that sap George Carlin was right, "WE OWN YOU"... Thanks to you.

Can you say honey trap? hahaha....

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 23 2008 21:48 utc | 46

I'm easily amused. This CBC asithappens interview is pretty funny.

SUPERGLUE PROTESTER Duration: 00:06:07
That's why we reached Dan Glass. He's an adherent of a whole new style. Last night, the protester managed to glue himself to the Prime Minister of Great Britain.

Posted by: YY | Jul 24 2008 6:03 utc | 47

Interesting NYTimes artilce on Afghanistan's heroin culture. It almost arrives at some interesting, but unmentionable, hypotheses. Fortunately, the only "bad guys" profiting from the drug trade are Afghans: the thought that figures from the U.S. establishment might be silent partners or even Godfathers is, of course, never considered.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Jul 24 2008 8:40 utc | 48

You must see/listen to George Galloway.

Posted by: DM | Jul 24 2008 11:49 utc | 49

Latin America Kingdom Of Paradoxes: Galeano
[This is an abridged version of a speech by Eduardo Galeano on July 3 in Montevideo, Uruguay, on being accorded the title of the First Distinguished Citizen of the region by the countries of Mercosur. Paradoxically, the only Mercosur President not to congratulate him was his own, Tabare Vazquez of Uruguay.]

Posted by: b real | Jul 24 2008 14:46 utc | 50

for those following somalia, michael weinstein has a good recap of the events in the ARS over the past two weeks in his latest analysis - After a Charade Somalia's Opposition Ruptures

the alliance has removed the two leaders of ARS's diplomatic wing (sheikh sharif sheikh ahmad & sharif hassan sheikh adan) for 'committing treason against the country' by compromising too much w/ the TFG, the ethiopians and the west

sheikh hassan dahir aweys now takes over the leadership of the alliance, replacing sheikh sharif as the executive chair. it's not known at this point what shape or role the diplomatic wing of the ARS will take, though it is expected that the armed wing, whose primary role has been to repel the ethiopian and warlord occupiers by force while defending somalia, will rally behind the move.

as weinstein points out,

The major consequence of the rupture of the A.R.S. is likely to be a hardening of militant armed opposition from a more compact and unified A.R.S.-A that holds the cards on the ground and is likely to win greater trust from and forge closer links to al-Shabaab. In the original A.R.S., there was a bridge to diplomacy through what is now A.R.S.-D; that bridge has been broken, polarizing and intensifying opposition, and creating uncompromising positions.

A secondary consequence of the rupture is that A.R.S.-D has been co-opted by the West and can no longer be seen as an independent actor; it has joined the Western program and will have to work within a process in which it is forced to treat the T.F.G. and its clan formula of representation as legitimate. It will also lose any influence over the fate of the Ethiopian occupation; should Sheikh Sharif rebel against any failure to secure Ethiopian withdrawal, he and his faction would only have the option of returning to an A.R.S. under Aweys's control, because it would be powerless on its own.

For all its trouble, the West has acquired a paper asset that has no redemption value.

surely this outcome could have been seen beforehand, though. the opposition & resistance on the ground has been making immense strides in controlling territory - they've a strong hand in any negotiations w/ the occupiers and it was unfortunate that sharif fell for the deceptive agreement in djibouti. (i'm assuming that when he's still stating that it called for the ethiopians to withdraw in 120 days, as he has been quoted recently, he was being sincere - though incorrect according to the wording of the terms for withdrawal.)

again, as i've mused earlier, is it too much to draw conclusions that western meddling is geared toward preserving instability, chaos & political extremism in somalia?

still, aweys's ascendancy should not be written off as spelling the end of the diplomatic track. much ink will be spilt though & spin control exerted of his being on the u.s. terrorist list & allegedly 'affiliated' w/ al qa'idah -- itself a rather meaningless smear - i mean, c'mon, the cia is affiliated w/ AQ. the sauds & the ISI are affiliated w/ AQ. etc.. i've pointed out in the past where aweys has repeatedly rejected & denied these charges.

afp story from wednesday:
Hardline Islamist draws comparison with Mandela

DJIBOUTI, Djibouti (AFP)--A Somali hardline cleric accused of ties with Al- Qaida compared himself Wednesday with Nelson Mandela, saying he was fighting to free his country from foreign occupiers.

Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, an influential cleric designated a terrorist by Washington, said: "Americans must use their great wisdom and should not call a freedom fighter a terrorist."

"I am not harmful to the interest of the United States and other western countries, but I will not stop fighting for Somalia in order to be accepted by the West," he told AFP by phone from the Eritrean capital Asmara.

"Nelson Mandela was once a terrorist and he was in the U.S. list of people accused of fomenting terrorism, but now he is a patriot and well-respected figure. My case is not different."
"There are efforts to bring peace to Somalia, but all those efforts are futile as long as Ethiopians are occupying Somalia, destroying our livelihoods by killing women and children," he said.

"I would like to work with all Somali forces that are committed to the liberation of Somalia. There is only one disease in Somalia, the presence of the Ethiopian forces.

"If these Ethiopians leave, Somalis will overcome their shortcomings," he said.

Aweys added: "I don't like war and violence whatsoever, but I can't take humiliation by the Abyssinian (Ethiopian) occupation."
"The Somali people need humanitarian assistance: food and medicine which they cannot afford," Aweys told AFP from Eritrean capital Asmara.

Posted by: b real | Jul 24 2008 20:18 utc | 51

b - the link in #14 is wreaking havoc on the layout of this thread. can it be fixed?

Posted by: b real | Jul 25 2008 3:23 utc | 52

Posted by: b real | Jul 25 2008 3:39 utc | 53

This article from Salon may have already been cited here. To me it looks fishy: the Inslaw-Promis references will merit a "wacko" label although, in mitigation one might at least note that Michael Riconosciuto doesn't make an appearance here. Moreover, for the most part the sourcing is anonymous. The allegations about "Main Source" may (or may not) be true, and although I have little doubt that there is indeed a hell of a lot of other "dark matter" yet to be discovered around the black holes of the Bushian universe, this kind of reporting doesn't really measure up to what is required. The problem is that real spooks don't talk much, and dead ones even less.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Jul 25 2008 5:11 utc | 54

@beq - 45 - sitemeter is still on the bottom left
@b real - 52 - corrected

@Hannah K O'Luthon - 48 - the Afghanistan article is by some Bushie who was an (oil-)lawyer and somehow got the task of erradicting opium in Afghanistan. He prefers chemical spraying and got fired after Karzai said for the tenth time "no". Now he is badmouthing everyone. I wouldn't trust that report one bit.

Posted by: b | Jul 25 2008 5:59 utc | 55

As is not infrequently the case, an acknowledged rightist shows more lucidity than the "respectable moderates" Americans will vote for in November. Also at this follow-up on the Yushchenko "poisoning" is worth a look.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Jul 25 2008 6:24 utc | 56

Wayne Madsen's link to this bit of cleaning up loose ends in Pakistan may have already been noted here, but, if not, it certainly merits a Jack Ruby memorial award.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Jul 25 2008 8:45 utc | 57

Iraq: Alarm at forced transfer of Basra union activists

Eight Iraqi trade union leaders have been forcibly transferred from Basra to Baghdad, where their lives are said to be at risk for opposing a planned law in which control over oil exploration and production would be placed in foreign hands.

The men, members of the Iraq Federation of Oil Unions, IFOU, have been moved to the capital apparently on the personal orders of Hussain al-Shahristani, the Iraqi oil minister, under anti-union legislation left over from Saddam Hussein's rule. Greg Muttitt, co-director of Platform, the human rights, environment and oil industry watchdog, described the men's transfer as "extremely disturbing". He met Shahristani a month ago to protest against the move.

Posted by: b | Jul 25 2008 9:00 utc | 58

cnn: Colombia admits rescuers posed as journalists

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Two people who helped rescue 15 hostages from Colombian rebels posed as journalists from a real Venezuela-based television news organization, Colombia's defense minister said Wednesday.

Two of the nine rescuers assumed the roles of journalist and cameraman from the news organization TeleSUR during the daring rescue, Juan Manuel Santos said.

An actual doctor and nurse also took part in the bloodless mission, along with members of the Colombian military who pretended to be an Italian, an Australian, an Arab, a Cuban and a Dominican, he said.

TeleSUR is based in Venezuela and primarily funded by that country's government, but also receives funding from other Latin American countries.

"The supposed journalist had a microphone that said 'TeleSUR,' " Santos said. "I don't know if it was the same one or a different one."
TeleSUR's general director of information, Armando Jimenez, said the company was preparing a response.

Jean-Francois Julliard, deputy director of the press advocacy organization Reporters Without Borders, said authorities can endanger journalists when they pose as members of the news media.

"We think it is a dangerous practice because it puts in danger real journalists," he said.

The next time a reporter approaches FARC rebels, he said, the FARC members "will be very suspicious and maybe they will take some physical measures against these journalists because they will think that they are not real journalists."

Initially, the international community hailed the Colombian government for infiltrating the rebel group and carrying out the operation without firing a single weapon or causing bloodshed.

But the government has drawn criticism as details have emerged regarding methods used in the mission.

the article also brings up the red cross symbol, critically, but perpetuates the falsehood that only one person was wearing the symbol.

also from yesterday
reuters: Colombia's FARC rebels free eight hostages

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia's FARC guerrillas have released eight hostages in the first such handover since the rebel group was tricked in a military operation to free Ingrid Betancourt and 14 other captives on July 2, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Thursday.

The eight Afro-Colombians were kidnapped last week by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, while travelling on the country's northwestern jungle rivers.

Their release to the Red Cross in the province of Choco appeared to allay concerns about the organization's ability to work effectively in Colombia after its symbol was improperly used by the military in the July rescue.

"The operation was made possible through discreet dialogue between the parties concerned," said Yves Heller, ICRC spokesman in Colombia. "We continue to work as a neutral mediator."

Posted by: b real | Jul 25 2008 18:30 utc | 59

swans: The Soros Media "Empire": The Power of Philanthropy to Engineer Consent

In the past few decades critical scholars have worked hard to draw attention to the antidemocratic influence of conservative philanthropists on the 'development' of global media systems, and more generally on democracy itself. This is commendable work that deserves greater recognition within mass communications research, yet of arguably more importance is the fact that only a handful of media researchers have focused on the similarly antidemocratic trends that have resulted from the influence of Left-leaning capitalist funders on media trends. Moreover, while many people may think that the pro-free market doctrine of the Right-leaning philanthropoids may receive more funding than liberal ('progressive') foundations this is not necessarily the case: instead, the Right has simply acted with more cohesion, and consciously worked at influencing policy makers and politicians at an ideological level, while the Left has adopted a more haphazard reactive approach to tempering the excesses of our capitalist society. So it is problematic to suggest, as some commentators have, that progressives should attempt to emulate the Right's antidemocratic strategizing to democratise the public sphere.

To date, in most cases researchers have tended to assume that liberal funders only have noble (progressive) intentions to strengthen democracy, and while this may be true to a point, this article will demonstrate that this charity is ultimately given to sustain capitalism -- albeit a less brutal variant of capitalism than that promoted by Right-wing philanthropists. Using the example of George Soros's philanthropic foundations, which at their peak were distributing some $500 million a year to ostensibly progressive causes, this article will highlight his involvement in creating 'independent' media outlets worldwide. Initially, the article will review the critical literature regarding the work of liberal philanthropists, then owing to the scarcity of studies examining their influence on media organizations and researchers it will briefly summarize this media-related work. Next, the article will introduce George Soros and his network of foundations, providing a number of examples of significant media projects that Soros and his foundations support. Finally, the article will conclude by suggesting how media scholars might counter the arguably antidemocratic nature of Soros's media interventions.

Posted by: b real | Jul 25 2008 19:00 utc | 60

Neil Young makes a good point:
In the iPod age, music sound quality has been dumbed down to “Fisher-Price toy” levels, rock star and tech enthusiast Neil Young said Wednesday at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech Conference.

“Quality has taken a complete backseat - if it even gets in the car at all.”

Posted by: Rick | Jul 26 2008 0:56 utc | 61

Posted by: b real | Jul 26 2008 7:09 utc | 62

another barker analysis, to go w/ #60

Liberal Philanthropy and the "Birth" of Population Control Environmentalism

Many environmentalists can rightly claim that they (as a social movement) have made valiant efforts to temper the relentless destruction wrought on Planet Earth by its human inhabitants (those luxuriating in their consumer lifestyles in the 'developed world' have waged the war against life most relentlessly). Environmentalists can even claim to have successfully prodded many governments into grudgingly paying lip service to the rhetoric of environmentalism, as evidenced by many governments' adoption of the principles embodied in the omnipotent concept that is 'sustainable development.'

However, what many environmental groups are loath to discuss, especially the largest ones, is their (ongoing) cooption by political and corporate elites. While the elitist foundations of the conservation and preservation movements are commonly acknowledged, the elite sponsorship that the environmental movement received during the 1960s is less well understood. This article aims to correct this deficit and to contribute to the growing literature on the cooption of social movements by examining the role of liberal philanthropic foundations (and some of their most influential proponents) in facilitating the rise of environmentalism.

Posted by: b real | Jul 26 2008 8:07 utc | 63

@Rick @61 - I agree

Two more banks down. When will the FDIC insurance be down to zero?

2 more U.S. banks fail

Federal regulators closed two small Western banks Friday, bringing to seven the number of U.S. banks that have failed this year.

The banks, owned by First National Bank Holding Co. of Scottsdale, Arizona, will have their deposits and some assets transferred to Mutual of Omaha Bank, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., or FDIC.
Lenders on the FDIC's "problem list" grew to 90 in the first quarter from 76 in the fourth quarter of 2007, the FDIC said in May. The FDIC insures deposits at 8,494 institutions with $13.4 trillion in assets. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is an agency of the Treasury Department that regulates national banks.

FDIC only has some 50 billions. Those are melting away pretty fast now and then it is again the taxpayer who will be made to pay.

Posted by: b | Jul 26 2008 10:55 utc | 64

Rwanda Trains Somali Army

The Rwandan government has finalized training of Somali troops that will help serve in returning peace to that war ravaged state, APA learns here Tuesday.

According to the spokesperson of the Rwanda Defense Forces, Major Jill Rutaremara, the newly trained Somali military personnel are ready for deployment.

“It is true that we have just concluded training the Somali troops that we received as part of our effort in ensuring that the war ravaged country returns to peace,” he said.

He told APA on Tuesday that this contingent will back up the national army that is supporting the transitional government to end conflict.

“We are waiting for transport/logistics to make sure that these Somali troops still camping in Kigali are airlifted to their motherland,” Rutaremara said.

He said the soldiers are ready to be dispatched as soon as the transport means are availed.

The RDF spokesperson, however, was cagey to divulge the number of Somali troops trained in Rwanda, saying, “the issue of numbers is still exclusive information for the army”.

However, military sources say Kigali has trained quite a substantive number; about two battalions of over 1,000 troops.

Posted by: | Jul 26 2008 18:51 utc | 65

it's almost humorous how some enablers will use words to hide behind

take this stmt from the prepared testimony of stephen morrison of the thinktank CSIS, presented on wednesday before the [hold on a second, let me take a deep breath...] committee on oversight and government reform subcommittee on national security and foreign affairs second hearing on AFRICOM: rationales, roles and progress on the eve of operations [whew..gasp!]

The United States' experience in Somalia in recent years has been sobering and instructive. We have pursued an excessively expansive definition of the threat posed by Islamist insurgents, combined with an open-ended alignment with the Ethiopian intervention and an overwhelming reliance on missile attacks. This approach has not succeeded; indeed, it has harmed the image of the U.S. security engagement in Africa. However difficult it will be to achieve enduring, positive results in Somalia, a course correction is warranted. U.S. special operations directed at terror threats in Africa cannot be separated from the opinion environment in Africa in which AFRICOM seeks to win acceptance.

iow, those threats were excessively exaggerated to serve political (& geopolitical) ends. or, more succintly, bullshit

Posted by: b real | Jul 26 2008 20:20 utc | 66

this bovrev post explains a bit more about #59 above

In War, Colombia Uses New Form of Media Manipulation; Old Forms Will Still Be Used

Juan Manuel Santos, the Colombian Defense Minister, has made several surprising admissions ... soldiers also used the Telesur logos during the hostage retrieval. But Santos has stated that there would be no apologies to Telesur.

Unlike the case of the Red Cross, there is no specific International Convention that bans military personnel from disguising themselves as journalists; however, long-established customary international law has led to a Draft Convention that would do just that. The reasoning is simple: if the military dresses up as journalists, they put the lives of legitimate media members at risk, and threaten the public's fundamental right to information during times of war.

Where's the outrage from Reporters Without Borders and other organizations that purport to protect journalistic freedom? Does the fact that TeleSur is the brainchild of Hugo Chavez have anything to do with the overall acceptance of this tactic? What if it had been CNN logos?
Santos also stated that the use of the TeleSur logos was a "spontaneous decision". This makes absolutely no sense.
Obviously they used TeleSur b/c it is the lone major progressive Latin American media outlet and TeleSur had has had many exclusive FARC-related stories. TeleSur was the lone outlet present when the FARC released Colombian Congresswomen Clara Rojas and Consuelo Gonzalez to Hugo Chavez in January. TeleSur was also the first to report on the release of Congresspersons Luis Eladio Perez, Gloria Polanco, Orlando Beltran and Jorge Gechem, again to Venezuela, a month later. Santos even admitted that using El Tiempo or another news organization would not have made sense when he denied that an apology to TeleSur was necessary. Using TeleSur makes sense not only operationally, but it is a backhanded slap at the leftist news organization and Chavez's prior successes in convincing the FARC to release hostages.

During his speech at the Center for American Progress on Wednesday and other events, Santos has also been insisting that, contrary to prior declarations, the Colombian government is ready to negotiate peace talks with the FARC. Why is this not examined further or made into bigger news when the FARC has indicated that they are willing to negotiate? The FARC has also just released 11 more hostages to the Red Cross, which can be seen as a sign of that willingness.

Posted by: b real | Jul 27 2008 6:59 utc | 67

this little article from Dissident Voice may be useful when your rightwing authoritarian office cow worker tells you the surge worked.

Under extreme pressure to produce results and fill less body bags, General Petraeus cut deals with armies of enemy combatants. These deals, now part of what is referred to as the Concerned Local Citizens program, simply pay insurgents to become temporary allies of the U. S. military. Approximately 70,000 former enemy combatants are now paid to play nice and all it costs us is $700,000 a day

Posted by: dan of steele | Jul 27 2008 8:44 utc | 68

Thanks to b real and dan of steele for the useful links given above. With regard to Dan's link at 68, buying allegiance, albeit temporary, looks like a very astute bargain, although it does not yet extend to purchasing the support of leaders of the oil workers union. One can only wonder why this method wasn't used much earlier. Details regarding the negotiations would be welcome, but surely will not be forthcoming in any useful timeframe.

The two articles of Michael Barker cited by b real contain many specifics and so are of considerable value. Nevertheless, to my taste as felt at present, they are a bit too firmly cast into a traditional ideological matrix. Trying to understand the organs, procedures, and sociology of "elite opinion manipulation" (for lack of a better descriptive phrase) probably requires a more flexible schematism which allows for "constellations" and "nebulae" of propaganda organs which may be competing or concordant according to the issue at hand. Just as we lack detailed information about how the multifarious lobbies exert influence upward on legislators, so too the mechanisms of downward manipulation of public opinion is only rarely illuminated. Some of the relevant organizations are simply too large to miss: for example the huge internal news and propaganda service run for the U.S. armed forces throughout the world, or the constellation of organizations constituting the Israeli lobby, or also the panoply of elite expertise assembled around the CFR. Others, like the petroleum lobby, are most visible via their artfully crafted TV commercials, wherein they are inevitably helping to build a better world in full respect of the environment and local custom. Presumably, the latter also exercises considerable influence on governmental decision making via much less obvious channels.

Moreover, it would be of great interest to understand a little more about the way in which the "parameters of respectable opinion" are set. The primary election campaign was a desolating example of marginalization of the few voices (Kucinich, Paul, Gravel) who suggested a substantial rethinking of those parameters, whether from the left or the right. That exclusion was not based on the insubstantiality of the proposals, but rather on the very fact that they were "unthinkable" in polite company. Indeed, when confronted with the intellectual mush presented by the winners, McCain and Obama, the losers (and possible candidates Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney) seem like politico-intellectual giants.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Jul 28 2008 7:45 utc | 69

In line with the previous post, here, from Cryptome, is a list of participants for the upcoming Bohemian Grove get-together. Many here will recall Nixon's (politically incorrect) characterization of that elite meeting.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Jul 28 2008 8:54 utc | 70

#70 HKOL, thanks for Boho list link, but the tree pissing is not upcoming but just ended. Here's link to>Nixon taped quote to which you refer, but he also wrote (or approved) in his Memoirs that

"If I were to choose the speech that gave me the most pleasure and satisfaction in my political career, it would be my Lakeside Speech at the Bohemian Grove in July 1967. Because this speech traditionally was off the record it received no publicity at the time. But in many important ways it marked the first milestone on my road to the presidency." — President Richard Nixon again, in a more mellow mood, in his Memoirs (1978), cited by Domhoff below. (The rule that sitting presidents are not allowed to attend the Grove was sparked by a media clamour to cover a Lakeside Talk that Nixon wanted to give in 1971, but was forced by the directors of the Grove to withdraw)>from wikipedia, in the Quotations part below article proper

Posted by: plushtown | Jul 28 2008 13:59 utc | 71

Thought this interesting:

"All workers pay a 6.2 percent Social Security payroll tax on such income. Their employers match it, for a total tax of 12.4 percent. The tax applies only to earned income, not to passive income such as dividends and interest."

from Yahoo News';_ylt=AtEaG9qitMMcVKbZ0BQCz0TCw5R4> Details missing from Obama's Social Security plan

Actual total is 15.3%, 7.65% twice. Shouldn't one expect an article about "details" to be correct about such? Americans are brilliant about percents when sports are involved, are taught to be dumber and dumber when anything unpleasant (to the bottom 99%) is involved.

Posted by: plushtown | Jul 28 2008 14:57 utc | 72

Emily Litella moment: just realized reporter is not including Medicare portion, 1.45% twice, which makes variety of sense since that portion is not capped now, so no change under whatever Obama is proposing.

Still think Medicare %'s should be mentioned, for this reason mentioned in article:
"Some workers, meanwhile, do not realize how much is withheld from each paycheck for Social Security and, to a lesser degree, Medicare."

Part about yahoo brilliance about sports' percents holds.

Posted by: plushtown | Jul 28 2008 15:19 utc | 73

chalmers johnson on shorrock's new book

The Military-Industrial Complex: It's Much Later Than You Think

The military-industrial complex has changed radically since World War II or even the height of the Cold War. The private sector is now fully ascendant. The uniformed air, land, and naval forces of the country as well as its intelligence agencies, including the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), the NSA (National Security Agency), the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency), and even clandestine networks entrusted with the dangerous work of penetrating and spying on terrorist organizations are all dependent on hordes of "private contractors." In the context of governmental national security functions, a better term for these might be "mercenaries" working in private for profit-making companies.

Tim Shorrock, an investigative journalist and the leading authority on this subject, sums up this situation devastatingly in his new book, Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing. The following quotes are a précis of some of his key findings:

"In 2006… the cost of America's spying and surveillance activities outsourced to contractors reached $42 billion, or about 70 percent of the estimated $60 billion the government spends each year on foreign and domestic intelligence… [The] number of contract employees now exceeds [the CIA's] full-time workforce of 17,500… Contractors make up more than half the workforce of the CIA's National Clandestine Service (formerly the Directorate of Operations), which conducts covert operations and recruits spies abroad…

"To feed the NSA's insatiable demand for data and information technology, the industrial base of contractors seeking to do business with the agency grew from 144 companies in 2001 to more than 5,400 in 2006… At the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the agency in charge of launching and maintaining the nation's photoreconnaissance and eavesdropping satellites, almost the entire workforce is composed of contract employees working for [private] companies… With an estimated $8 billion annual budget, the largest in the IC [intelligence community], contractors control about $7 billion worth of business at the NRO, giving the spy satellite industry the distinction of being the most privatized part of the intelligence community…

"If there's one generalization to be made about the NSA's outsourced IT [information technology] programs, it is this: they haven't worked very well, and some have been spectacular failures… In 2006, the NSA was unable to analyze much of the information it was collecting… As a result, more than 90 percent of the information it was gathering was being discarded without being translated into a coherent and understandable format; only about 5 percent was translated from its digital form into text and then routed to the right division for analysis.

"The key phrase in the new counterterrorism lexicon is 'public-private partnerships'… In reality, 'partnerships' are a convenient cover for the perpetuation of corporate interests." (pp. 6, 13-14, 16, 214-15, 365)

Several inferences can be drawn from Shorrock's shocking exposé. One is that if a foreign espionage service wanted to penetrate American military and governmental secrets, its easiest path would not be to gain access to any official U.S. agencies, but simply to get its agents jobs at any of the large intelligence-oriented private companies on which the government has become remarkably dependent.

i've mentioned that previously, as well as that of getting subversives hired on as service workers elsewhere, where the vetting is probably even more relaxed for those low-wage positions

Posted by: b real | Jul 28 2008 16:42 utc | 74

2 children killed by Canadian troops in Afghanistan

Canadian troops have killed a two-year-old boy and his four-year-old sister by opening fire on a car they feared was about to attack their convoy in Afghanistan, the Canadian Forces announced Monday.

Only two days ago: Four civilians killed by British soldiers in Afghanistan

British soldiers in Afghanistan today killed four civilians and injured three more after opening fire on a vehicle that failed to stop at a checkpoint, Nato and defence ministry officials said.

Posted by: b | Jul 28 2008 17:08 utc | 75

yusuf chahine, egyptian filmmaker, anti zionist, thinker - rest in peace - peace be upon you

Posted by: | Jul 28 2008 23:34 utc | 76

that was me, evidently

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jul 28 2008 23:35 utc | 77

Posted by: b real | Jul 30 2008 4:41 utc | 78

Israelis Kill Palestinian Boy at Protest, Witnesses Say

A Palestinian boy was shot and killed by Israeli security forces on Tuesday during a demonstration against Israel’s security barrier near the West Bank village of Naalin, Palestinian witnesses said.

Residents of Naalin said the boy, Ahmad Hussam Musa, 12, was hit in the head by a bullet fired by an Israeli soldier.

Maj. Avital Leibovich, an Israeli Army spokeswoman, said that the military had no knowledge of the shooting but that it was waiting for the results of an autopsy.

Stop the Wall, a Palestinian group that campaigns against the barrier, said in a statement that the boy was resting under a tree after the demonstration when he was shot in the head.

Posted by: b | Jul 30 2008 4:53 utc | 79

a new one from michael barker, shorter this time, taking a look at some of the names behind a new HRW book timed for the olympics in china

Waging Democracy On China: Human Rights and an Endowment for Democracy

Rather than undertaking a destructive military war against China, the world's leading imperialists, United States' power elite, are instead waging a "democratic" war. Modern-day imperialists implement the double truncheon of human rights and democracy to bring "problem" states into line along with the traditional strategy of fabricating enemies to be destroyed. In this regard some nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) -- working hand-in-hand with the most influential liberal foundations -- have served a critical role in effecting imperial humanitarian interventions. Two particularly prominent examples of imperial NGOs are the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and Human Rights Watch.
With the Beijing Olympics just around the corner, it should be entirely expected that the NED/Human Rights Watch propaganda offensive would be ramped up. Fulfilling a critical part in this propaganda campaign is Human Rights Watch's latest book, China's Great Leap: The Beijing Games and Olympian Human Rights Challenges (Seven Stories Press, 2008). This publication was edited by Minky Worden, who currently serves as Human Rights Watch's Media Director, and is notably also a member of the imperial brain trust that goes by the name of the Council on Foreign Relations -- which is, the elite planning group to which Human Rights Watch owes its origins.

To demonstrate the propaganda value of Worden's book it is useful to briefly review the "democratic" credentials of some of its contributors. A fitting place to start is to introduce the author of the foreword to China's Great Leap, Nicholas Kristof. ...

Posted by: b real | Jul 30 2008 18:50 utc | 80

b real @ 80 - yes - it is all out war on China before and during the Olympics. Expect some 'surprise' events. When the big O is over, expect some serious backslash. It is not that the Chinese do not recognize such manipulations ...

Posted by: b | Jul 30 2008 19:03 utc | 81

Any comments for or against this new search engine site, I like their privacy policy:

…when you search with Cuil, we do not collect any personally identifiable information, period. We have no idea who sends queries: not by name, not by IP address, and not by cookies (more on this later). Your search history is your business, not ours.

Posted by: Rick | Jul 31 2008 2:36 utc | 82

@Rick - sounds good to me - I am not sure yet if I like the search results they give ...

The beep: BBC Is Fined for Faking Phone-Ins

The Office of Communications, known as Ofcom, fined the BBC a record penalty of about $793,000. According to the group, listeners were invited on eight different radio and television shows to enter phone-in competitions that they had no chance of winning. The group also said that some shows had been recorded so that no viewer could win competitions that appeared to the audience to be live, while other shows encouraged audience members to phone in to programs even after contestants had been chosen.

Posted by: b | Jul 31 2008 5:40 utc | 83

Ladies and gents, I give you...

Glitter And Doom: Tom Waits In Concert, in more than two and half hours of Tom Waits from a single performance..

Also, Here is a sample of said performance. Futher, some here, may want to
download a recording of this concert

Enjoy, I know I did...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 31 2008 6:09 utc | 84

Adding to @79 - first the kill a boy, then they shoot at the funeral ...

Israelis wound 9 Palestinians at boy's funeral

RAMALLAH, West Bank, July 30 (Reuters) - Israeli troops wounded nine Palestinians in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday in a clash with stone-throwing protesters at the funeral of a 10-year-old boy killed a day earlier, Palestinian medics said.

They said the Israelis had shot the protesters with rubber bullets. A 21-year-old Palestinian was hit in the head and doctors described him as brain dead.

Posted by: b | Jul 31 2008 6:41 utc | 85

Nonaligned countries back Iran's nuclear program

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — More than 100 nonaligned nations are backing Iran's right to peaceful uses of nuclear power.

Wednesday's endorsement from a conference of the 120-nation Nonaligned Movement is key to Tehran in its standoff with the U.N. Security Council over its refusal to freeze uranium enrichment.

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki says the backing contradicts claims from some countries that the international community opposes his country's nuclear program.

Posted by: b | Jul 31 2008 10:48 utc | 86

Oh,how loath this woman...

Dennis Kucinich on Democracy Now Responds to Nancy Pelosi's View Statements

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 31 2008 11:58 utc | 87

Rick @ 82. I have started using Cruil and it looks refreshing. Have to wait for the real security wags to comment on vulnerabilities, though. And I like how pages are organized and assembled.

Posted by: Jake | Jul 31 2008 17:33 utc | 88

russ feingold blowing smoke on the senate floor today wrt somalia

"Time and again, I have called for a comprehensive, coordinated U.S. strategy to bring security and stability to Somalia. Yet despite Somalia’s continued collapse, the Administration has clung to a clumsy set of tactics that have done little to quell the relentless violence or to enhance our own national security."

rather than having "done little", the current conditions ("collapse") in somalia -- the violence, displacement, starvation, fundamentalist extremism, etc -- can actually be attributed to a large degree to coordinated u.s. strategy, as we've observed & documented here for the past couple of years now.

Transforming the underlying causes of Somalia’s instability requires a political solution leading to a national government that is both representative and reconciliatory. As I said shortly after it was brokered last month, the Djibouti agreement - between the Transitional Federal Government and a moderate faction of the opposition group the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) - was a positive step forward ... but now it’s time to get down to business.

Mr. President, I am concerned by the slow progress of implementation. Rather than moving quickly to shore up that agreement and injecting the necessary diplomatic resources, the international community has remained in a wait-and-see posture. This has allowed al-Shabaab and other spoilers to undermine the legitimacy of the agreement and divide the opposition party, rather than the other way around.

oh please. the western-initiated djibouti agreement, which was not inclusive to begin w/, was engineered exactly to divide the opposition, which it did.

now he's trying to lay blame on "the international community?"

it must be tough to be responsible for running the world

..the United States still does not have a long-term strategy to bring peace and stability to the Horn of Africa. We have tremendous diplomatic, military, intelligence and foreign assistance resources at our disposal, but they are ineffective in the absence of a coordinated and balanced strategy that incorporates both the short- and long-term goals. This is no more evident than in Somalia.

somalia will receive even bigger focus again in a dem administration, w/ lots of spin


from an article last sunday in garowe online

Confidential sources tell Somali news agency Garowe Online that President Abdullahi Yusuf of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) has introduced a new, ambitious oil exploration plan that would directly contradict – if not terminate – a 'contract' a regional ruler signed in mid-2005 with Australian mining firm Range Resources, Ltd.
Sources familiar with the talks said a committee, composed of TFG and Puntland officials, has been established to "oversee the division of Puntland into oil blocks."
..preliminary reports indicate that Puntland leader Muse has now accepted President Yusuf's position that the TFG has "exclusive responsibility" to manage the production of natural resources across Somalia.

Posted by: b real | Jul 31 2008 19:28 utc | 89

billmon seems to have diary on dKos:

Daily Kos: The Great White Hope

The media’s moment of disillusionment with John McCain appears to be at hand. Even Joe Klein has finally noticed that McCain’s profile is beginning to resemble the endomorphic shadow of his backstage advisor, Karl Rove, not one of the faces on Mt. Rushmore.

It’s all very predictable – about as predictable as the media’s abrupt discovery in the summer of 2005, as New Orleans sank beneath the waves, that the president of the United States was, gasp!, an incompetent boob.

But anyone who’s studied McCain’s career with any intellectual detachment at all (as opposed to the hagiographic tendencies of his media cheerleading claque) could have told you: The truth about John McCain is that he'll do just about anything and say just about anything to win. He always has. He's just been more clever (and cynical) than most in how he goes about it.

Posted by: Fran | Jul 31 2008 20:02 utc | 90


now for the studies to show that drinking beer and smoking cigarettes will make you live longer....

Posted by: dan of steele | Jul 31 2008 22:50 utc | 91

well, related to that last item in #78 above, according to today's garowe online it looks like a major rift in the TFG is widening

President reinstates mayor, calls for regional elections

Somalia's interim president has issued a secret government memo reinstating ex-warlord Mohamed "Dheere" Omar Habeb as mayor of the capital, inside sources tell Garowe Online.

Abdullahi Yusuf, president of the Horn of Africa country's Transitional Federal Government (TFG), returned to Mogadishu last Tuesday, hours after the Cabinet voted to formally remove Mohamed Dheere from the mayor's office.

Private discussions among the government's top leaders "collapsed" on Thursday, with insiders saying that Prime Minister Nur "Adde" Hassan Hussein rejected recommendations detailed in a letter from Yusuf, which was also sent to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Sources privy to the letter's contents confirmed to Garowe Online that the Somali president called on the Prime Minister to rescind Mohamed Dheere's dismissal and requested that "regional elections" be held in Banadir to elect the next administration.
The Somali president, who is viewed as an outsider by Mogadishu clans, relies on the support of well-armed Mayor Mohamed Dheere with local matters and the two men have been political allies since the late 1990s.

However, Mogadishu's beleaguered mayor does not enjoy the support of many people.
Cabinet sources said Prime Minister Nur Adde and his deputy, Information Minister Ahmed Abdisalam, "enjoy the support of donor countries" based in Nairobi, Kenya, in the decision to remove Mohamed Dheere.


32 MPs demand Prime Minister's resignation

Somali lawmakers in the country's southwestern town of Baidoa, where the parliament sits, have called on Prime Minister Nur "Adde" Hassan Hussein to resign during a meeting on Thursday.

A document, signed by 32 Members of Parliament, was handed over to parliament leaders today.

MP Nasro Abdisalam, who read the document to journalists in Baidoa, accused Prime Minister Nur Adde's government of "constitutional violations," "misuse of government funds" and "interfering with the Central Bank's affairs."
Government sources in Baidoa tell Garowe Online that "many" of the MPs calling for Prime Minister Nur Adde's resignation are seen as allies of President Yusuf.

here we go again


interesting angle in the economist on that project to build a bridge traversing the red sea from yemen to djibouti

Can it really be bridged? A fantastic plan to span the Red Sea’s troubled waters is raising eyebrows

ONE OF Osama bin Laden’s many half-brothers, Tarek bin Laden, this week signed a deal with tiny Djibouti which may—or may not—mark the start of one of the world’s boldest engineering projects. Djibouti’s president, Ismael Omar Guelleh, promised Mr bin Laden 500 sq km (193 sq miles) of land to start building Noor City, the first of a hundred “Cities of Light” the vast Saudi Binladen Group plans around the world. “A hope for all humanity, the first environmental city of the 21st century,” gushed the promotional video at the signing. The audience, mostly American military contractors near retirement age, clapped enthusiastically. Engineers elsewhere say the scheme is a fantasy.

Mr bin Laden, his sons, and their front man, Muhammad Ahmed al-Ahmed, a Saudi former shipping executive, say they have already invested “hundreds of millions of dollars” in a plan to build cities on either side of the Bab al-Mandib (Gate of Tears) strait at the foot of the Red Sea. Construction is supposed to begin next year, after the terms of sovereignty for the tax-free metropolises have been agreed. By 2025, says Mr Ahmed, Djibouti’s Noor City will have 2.5m people and its Yemeni twin 4.5m. Several million jobs will be created. An airport serving both cities will, he says, attract 100m passengers a year. A 29km bridge across the strait will connect Arabia and Africa by road, rail and pipelines, its towers among the tallest on earth. The cost? A mere $200 billion or so.
Mr Ahmed has worked for DynCorp, an American military contractor. So had one of the project’s main managers, Michel Vachon, before moving to L3 Communications, a contractor often employed by the American government. Another manager, Dean Kershaw, spent 29 years in America’s forces; some others had served in the Bush administration. Armed American special-forces veterans now apparently employed as security guards by L3 chaperoned journalists. All part of an American plan to help secure the Suez shipping lane or to strengthen the hand of friendly forces in Yemen? “Absolutely not,” said Mr Kershaw. “The [American] government has vetted us, but they’re not behind us.”

Whatever the reality, the presence of arms manufacturers in the consortium, including Allied Defense Systems and Lockheed Martin, will fuel conspiracy theories among Arabs. Mr Ahmed says investors in Djibouti’s Noor City have the chance to “be part of modern humanity” by creating the “financial, educational, and medical hub of Africa”. Africans may wonder why the hub is not being built in a bit of Africa where more Africans live and which has food and water.

Posted by: b real | Aug 1 2008 4:57 utc | 92

Anthrax suspect dies in apparent suicide

uh huh... yeah, suicide...that's right. just like webb and HST I'd say.
Cheney made him take the 'shut up forever' pill, a paid the real killer handsomely.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Aug 1 2008 6:05 utc | 93

should have read, 'and paid the real killer handsomely.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Aug 1 2008 6:06 utc | 94

meanwhile...Travelers' Laptops May Be Detained At Border. The policies cover "any device capable of storing information in digital or analog form," including hard drives, flash drives, cell phones, iPods, pagers, beepers, and video and audio tapes. They also cover "all papers and other written documentation," including books, pamphlets and "written materials commonly referred to as 'pocket trash' or 'pocket litter.' "

God bless America, best place on earth!

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Aug 1 2008 6:19 utc | 95

Anthrax scientist commits suicide as FBI closes in

A top U.S. biodefense researcher apparently committed suicide just as the Justice Department was about to file criminal charges against him in the anthrax mailings that traumatized the nation in the weeks following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to a published report.

The scientist, Bruce E. Ivins, 62, who worked for the past 18 years at the government's biodefense labs at Fort Detrick, Md., had been told about the impending prosecution, the Los Angeles Times reported for Friday editions. The laboratory has been at the center of the FBI's investigation of the anthrax attacks, which killed five people.

Ivins died Tuesday at Frederick Memorial Hospital in Maryland. The Times, quoting an unidentified colleague, said the scientist had taken a massive dose of a prescription Tylenol mixed with codeine.

Suicide ... hmmm ... suicided? By whom?

LAT has more

Ivins, whose name had not been disclosed publicly as a suspect in the case, played a central role in research to improve anthrax vaccines by preparing anthrax formulations used in experiments on animals.

Regarded as a skilled microbiologist, Ivins also helped the FBI analyze the powdery material recovered from one of the anthrax-tainted envelopes sent to a U.S. senator's office in Washington.

Ivins died Tuesday at Frederick Memorial Hospital after ingesting a massive dose of prescription Tylenol mixed with codeine, said a friend and colleague, who declined to be identified out of concern that he would be harassed by the FBI.

The death -- without any mention of suicide -- was announced to Ivins' colleagues at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, or USAMRIID, through a staffwide e-mail.

Case 'solved' and closed now?

Posted by: b | Aug 1 2008 6:42 utc | 96

@Uncle @95 - I wrote about that a month ago: The War On Tourism

Posted by: b | Aug 1 2008 6:54 utc | 97

@bernhard @96 = I wrote about that a few moments ago: ;-P

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Aug 1 2008 7:56 utc | 98

Bush to unveil US intelligence overhaul, what? like this?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Aug 1 2008 8:45 utc | 99

Well, there will be cross postings to bear. (And uncle contributed to "War on Tourism", so was aware) Suicides have been official explanations for lots of people to die last few decades, Phil Schneider, Amshel Rothschild in Paris 7/8/96 (6' 1'', he hung himself from a 5' high towel rack), Hunter Thompson, Marilyn Monroe (breasts don't make one invulnerable), James Forrestal (Truman's Secretary of Defense) ... and lots of>microbiologists.

Posted by: plushtown | Aug 1 2008 16:35 utc | 100

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