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Monday
May192008

Soldier Out for Shooting Quran 14 Times

An American soldier was removed from Iraq after he used a copy of the Koran for target practice, the military said yesterday, a day after a U.S. commander held a formal ceremony apologizing to Sunni tribal leaders.

The elaborate ceremony — in which one U.S. officer kissed a new copy of Islam's holy book before giving it to the tribal leaders — reflected the military's eagerness to stave off anger among Sunni Arabs, whom it has been cultivating as allies.

The tribesmen have become key in the fight against al Qaeda in Iraq militants, who depict the American forces as anti-Islamic occupiers. One anti-U.S. Iraqi Sunni group condemned the Koran shooting, calling it "a hideous act." Similar perceived insults to Islam have triggered protests throughout the Muslim world.

Police found the bullet-riddled Koran with graffiti inside the cover on a firing range near a police station in Radwaniyah, a former insurgent stronghold west of Baghdad, U.S. military spokesman Col. Bill Buckner said.

American commanders launched an inquiry that led to disciplinary action against the soldier, who has been removed from Iraq, Col. Buckner said.

Members of the local U.S.-allied group said the Koran was found with 14 bullet holes in a field after U.S. troops withdrew from a base in the area.

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Monday
May192008

France Wisely Speaks with the Leaders of Hamas

France confirmed on today that it has had contacts with the leaders of Hamas for several months to try to better understand the positions of the radical Islamic group that is running Gaza.

Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner emphasized that there were no negotiations with Hamas, labeled a terrorist group by both the United States and the European Union.

“These are not relations, they are contacts,” Mr. Kouchner said on Europe1 radio. “We are not the only ones to have them,” he said. “We must be able to talk if we want to play a role.”

Mr. Kouchner confirmed a report in the daily Le Figaro, quoting a retired French diplomat and former ambassador to Iraq, Yves Aubin de La Messuzière, saying that he had met a month ago in Gaza with Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas prime minister, and Mahmoud Zahar, among the most important Hamas leaders in the Palestinian territories.

The confirmation of contacts will anger the United States and Israel just days before Mr. Kouchner makes a visit to to the region which will include Bethlehem, in the West Bank. It will also displease the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, who has said that he will not talk to Hamas, which he accuses of carrying out a bloody coup in Gaza last June.

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Monday
May192008

The Destruction of the World Trade Center: Why the Official Account Cannot Be True

By David Ray Griffin

In The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11 (2004), I summarized dozens of facts and reports that cast doubt on the official story about 9/11. Then in The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions (2005a), I discussed the way these various facts and reports were treated by the 9/11 Commission, namely, by distorting or simply omitting them. I have also taken this big-picture approach, with its cumulative argument, in my previous essays and lectures on 9/11 (Griffin, 2005b and 2005d). [1] This approach, which shows every aspect of the official story to be problematic, provides the most effective challenge to the official story.

But this way of presenting the evidence has one great limitation, especially when used in lectures and essays: It means that the treatment of every particular issue must be quite brief, hence superficial. People can thereby be led to suspect that a more thorough treatment of any particular issue might show the official story to be plausible after all.

In the present essay, I focus on one question: why the Twin Towers and building 7 of the World Trade Center collapsed. One advantage of this focus, besides the fact that it allows us to go into considerable detail, is that the destruction of the World Trade Center provides one of the best windows into the truth about 9/11. Another advantage of this focus is that it will allow us to look at revelations contained in the 9/11 oral histories, which were recorded by the New York Fire Department shortly after 9/11 but released to the public only in August of 2005.

I will begin with the question of why the Twin Towers collapsed, then raise the same question about building 7.

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Monday
May192008

Many Iraqis Who Helped The U.S. Face Grave Danger

The refugee crisis in Iraq is among the biggest humanitarian emergencies in the world. Millions of Iraqis have fled the war, many marked for death because they worked for the United States. They were translators, office workers, many other things, but now the enemy has branded them as collaborators.

When that happened in Vietnam, the U.S. brought more than 100,000 refugees to the states. But today, the U.S. government, which was so desperate for Iraqi workers, is not so eager to help them now.

As correspondent Scott Pelley reports, one young American named Kirk Johnson has jumped into this breach. All he wanted to do was rescue one of his Iraqi co-workers. When he did, a thousand more pleaded for help and Johnson began "the list."

"The people on my list have been tortured, they've been raped, they've lost body limbs. There's one guy on my list who's been thrown out of a moving vehicle. And all of this because they helped us. They came every single day to try to pitch in, in our efforts there," Johnson tells Pelley.

Johnson says we owe these Iraqis "speedy resettlement" in the United States.

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Monday
May192008

Government Secrecy Expands Under New Rule!

The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. --- JFK

Sometime in the next few years, if a memorandum signed by President Bush this month ever goes into effect, one government official talking to another about information on terrorists will have to begin by saying: "What I am about to tell you is controlled unclassified information enhanced with specified dissemination."

That would mean, according to the memo, that the information requires safeguarding because "the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure would create risk of substantial harm."

Bush's memorandum, signed on the eve of his daughter Jenna's wedding, introduced "Controlled Unclassified Information" as a new government category that will replace "Sensitive but Unclassified."

Such information -- though it does not merit the well-known national security classifications "confidential," "secret" or "top secret" -- is nonetheless "pertinent" to U.S. "national interests" or to "important interests of entities outside the federal government," the memo says.

The information could be, for example, the steps taken to protect power plants from terrorists, or which pipelines are most vulnerable to attack.

Left undefined are which laws or policies generated the requirement for protecting such information, and which interests are pertinent. But Bush's memo does refer to the "global nature of the threats facing the United States" and to the need to ensure that the "entire network of defenders be able to share information more rapidly" while protecting "sensitive information, information privacy, and other legal rights of Americans."

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Sunday
May182008

A Forensic Analysis of 9/11: Questioning the Official Government Yarn



Alexander Dewdney and Graeme MacQueen spoke at the University of Waterloo, on March 19, 2008. Approximately 400 people filled Hagey Hall and both speakers received roaring applause for their lectures.

9/11 was an inside job and we shouldn't expect the perps to turn themselves in or admit to such a heinous crime. They fear the people too much! At the same time, a trapped rat can be very dangerous and that's where they are at this point in time. Enjoy the presentation!


Sunday
May182008

U.S. Military Rejects Iraqi Court Rulings

In the eyes of Iraqi justice, Yahya Ali Humadi is a free man.

To the U.S. military, he's another of the detainees in yellow jumpsuits held at the sprawling Camp Bucca in southern Iraq.

Humadi — ordered released nine months ago after an Iraqi judge dropped all charges — now spends his days in a legal limbo. It's one that has confronted and confounded thousands of other Iraqis since 2003 who have been freed by their nation's courts but remained in U.S. custody.

"I don't know why the U.S. army brought him to an Iraqi court, if they intend to keep him for an unlimited time," said Humadi's lawyer, Samiya al-Baghdadi.

The American military, however, sees no contradiction.

Commanders say the current international mandate in Iraq, as well as general codes of war, allow them to hold any prisoner until the detainee is no longer considered a threat to U.S. forces. Local law and court rulings do not apply, they add.

Dual realities
These dual realities — freedom granted by Iraqi courts but continued detention by the Americans — have been faced by about 3,000 Iraqis since 2003 and stand as a sharp contrast between U.S. policies on the battlefield and Washington's appeals for Iraqis to build credible civic institutions.

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Sunday
May182008

Iran Busts CIA Terror Network!!

The Intelligence Ministry on Saturday released details of the detection and dismantling of a terrorist network affiliated to the United States.

In a coordinated operation on May 7, Iranian intelligence agents arrested the terrorist network’s members, who were identified in Fars, Khuzestan, Gilan, West Azerbaijan, and Tehran provinces, the Intelligence Ministry announcement said.

The group’s plans were devised in the U.S., according to the announcement, which added that they had planned to carry out a number of acts such as bombing scientific, educational, and religious centers, shooting people, and making public places in various cities insecure.

One of the terrorists was killed in the operation, but the rest are in detention, the Intelligence Ministry said, adding that the group’s main objective was to create fear among the people.

The United States Central Intelligence Agency comprehensively supported the terrorist group by arming it, training its members, and sponsoring its inhumane activities in Iran, the Intelligence Ministry stated.

The terrorists had maps, films, pictures, and sketches of important and sensitive sites in various cities in their possession when they were arrested.

They also had a large number of weapons and ammunition and a great deal of highly explosive chemicals and cyanide.

The blast at a religious center in Shiraz last month was carried out by this group, and it also had plans to carry out similar attacks on the Tehran International Book Fair, the Russian Consulate in Gilan Province, oil pipelines in southern Iran, and other targets, the communiqué stated.

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Sunday
May182008

Michael Moore Clarifies Accusations About His Fahrenheit 9/11 Follow-Up

"It's something I shouldn't make, something that is dangerous. What I'm going to say in this film is what probably 70 percent of them (audiences) don't want to hear." --- Michael Moore

A few days ago, Michael Moore officially announced his next documentary, a follow-up to Fahrenheit 9/11 from 2004. Everyone referred to it initially as a sequel, and even Moore himself was quoted as saying that it would be a "a searing and provocative follow-up." While that is true, it is not a sequel. Moore recently clarified the accusations made about the documentary with the LA Times, saying instead that it "will offer a withering look at America's global conduct and reputation." The tentative title for the follow-up is While America Slept, but it has nothing to do with sleeping in the slightest. While Moore still won't reveal any exact details, he does share a lot of vague information about the film.

Moore explains that the documentary will "examine America as an empire, study its standing since the Sept. 11 attacks and present revelations to surprise audiences as much as the first film did." While it won't necessarily attack George W. Bush directly as he did previously, Moore does say that "he and his cronies and his supporters literally got away with murder," which somewhat explains the tentative title While America Slept. Moore does make a rather convincing statement regarding our current situation as Americans, saying that "since I made Fahrenheit, our standing in the world had depleted to an even worse state." And that idea is exactly what this follow-up documentary will focus on.

"Regardless of who the president is come November, we have a big mess, a big, big mess to be cleaned up, and I don't know whether it can be cleaned up. The toxicity of the spill may be so great that there's nothing we can do about it. If that's the case, where are we now as America and as Americans?"

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Saturday
May172008

New World Order for Petroleum Markets: Gas in the U.S. could reach $7 a gallon

By Joshua Boak and Greg Burns / Chicago Tribune

Drivers will likely need to become comfortable with gas at $4 a gallon, as oil experts say an era of historic pain at the pump will endure well beyond the Memorial Day weekend, when prices traditionally peak.

You might trade in that GMC Yukon for a Honda Civic, skip the highway for the bike lane and redefine that time-honored tradition of the road trip. Americans are already reordering their Memorial Day weekends, with AAA predicting a decrease in travel for the first time since 2002.

But those changes might not be enough to immediately pull down a gasoline market that follows the whims of the world economy. Newfound wealth fills pockets of the globe once known for overwhelming poverty, and for the first time prices are responding to their thirst for fuel as much as demand in America.

The new world order for petroleum markets has some analysts predicting far higher prices ahead. Gasoline in the U.S. could reach $7 a gallon because more drivers in India and China will hit the road even as American oil consumption retreats, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce predicts.

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