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Mike's WebNews Summary, 8/20/05

No time to find cool graphic today - doing this on my lunch break.

Reading Nafeez Mossadeq Ahmed's "War on Truth." It comes highly recommended from yours truly.

As always, full article is available through weblink.
U$ GLOBAL WAR
'P2OG' allows Pentagon to fight dirty
By David Isenberg
Nov 5, 2002 [IT'S OLD, BUT CONTAINS DISTURBING REVELATIONS]
www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/DK05Ak02.html

"Run away from the light": Such might be the motto of a new, covert policy that the Bush administration is considering implementing. According to recent news reports, it would be the largest expansion into the world of black ops and covert action since the end of the Vietnam War in the 1970s.

And that's saying quite a lot, considering that since Vietnam the Pentagon has not exactly been dormant in this area.

As well-known military analyst William Arkin pointed out in an October 27 column in the Los Angeles Times, the development of the Pentagon's covert counter-terror capability has its roots in the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The army created a highly compartmentalized organization that could collect clandestine intelligence independent of the rest of the US intelligence community, and follow through with covert military action. Today, it operates under the code name Grey Fox. In Afghanistan it operated alongside the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) paramilitary Special Activities Division and the Pentagon's Joint Special Operations Command.

Then there are numerous recent initiatives, such as net assessment capabilities at combatant commands, a new campaign support group at Fort Bragg, a counter-terrorism Technology Support Office, to name just a few.

Yet the Pentagon wants more. Its Defense Science Board (DSB) conducted a 2002 "Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism". Excerpts from that study, dated August 16, were leaked and obtained by the Federation of American Scientists, which posted them on their website. The report was produced by a 10-member panel of military experts that included Vice Admiral William O Studeman, former director of the National Security Agency.

It recommends the creation of a super-Intelligence Support Activity, an organization it dubs the Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG), to bring together CIA and military covert action, information warfare, intelligence and cover and deception. For example, the Pentagon and CIA would work together to increase human intelligence (HUMINT) forward/operational presence and to deploy new clandestine technical capabilities.

To bolster government HUMINT capabilities, the task force advances the idea of an intelligence "surge/unsurge" capability - a "robust, global cadre of retirees, reservists and others who are trained and qualified to serve on short notice, including expatriates". This group could be pressed into service during times of crisis.

P2OG would launch secret operations aimed at "stimulating reactions" among terrorists and states possessing weapons of mass destruction, meaning it would prod terrorist cells into action, thus exposing them to "quick-response" attacks by US forces. The means by which it would do this is the far greater use of special operations forces.

Responsibility and accountability for the P2OG would be vested in a "Special Operations Executive" in the National Security Council (NSC). The NSC would plan operations but not oversee their execution in order to avoid comparisons to past abuses, such as the Iran-Contra operations run out of the NSC by Oliver North during the Reagan administration. Under the board's proposal, NSC plans would be executed by the Pentagon or the CIA.

Costs would include developing new means to enable "deep penetration of adversaries" ($1.7 billion annually); exercises and gaming ($100 million annually); development of technical capabilities and the hiring of 500 new staff ($800 million annually); establishment of centers of excellence to handle increased workload ($500 million annually); and expansion of the Joint Forces net assessment activity ($100 million annually). The total cost is envisaged as $3.3 billion.

The DSB study also provides tantalizing glimpses of new capabilities already in the works, referring to new high-tech sensors in development that would enable the United States more closely to track the movements of vehicles or even individuals by satellite. Some of these capabilities are already advanced, such as high-altitude airships, thermobaric weapons and improved urban assault capabilities. Other new projects are being executed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.



IRAQ
Russia: Putin Calls For Withdrawal Timetable For Iraq
By Claire Bigg, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Friday, 19 August 2005
www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2005/08/DF67D388-590F-4244-9A56-E435C4010F3D.html

Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking to reporters in the Black Sea resort of Sochi after a meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah, called yesterday for a timetable for pulling foreign troops out of Iraq. The Russian leader said many Iraqis view the foreign troops as "occupiers" and suggested the withdrawal will encourage insurgents to abandon violence in favor of contributing to the creation of the state. The United States was quick to reject his call, saying it is still too early for a pullout.

A few hours after the Russian president's statement, U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told a news briefing in Washington that Iraq was not yet ready for a withdrawal of foreign troops.


Feingold Sets Date for Iraq Troop Withdrawal
By Kathryn Bracho, Aug 19, 2005, 06:19 PM
wbay.com/Global/story.asp

U.S. Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin says the U.S. military should be out of Iraq by the end of next year, by December 31, 2006.

"I'm proposing something in-between what the president is saying -- which is let's just stay there without a plan -- and then the others who say let's just leave tomorrow," Senator Feingold said. [So, Russ, how many American and Iraqi lives will we waste in the next 16 months just to see the same outcome?]

Feingold says he talked with two generals in the coalition forces. Both told him leaving Iraq would slow the growth of insurgents and let the Iraqi government focus on creating a democracy.

Though he's making this proposal, Senator Feingold told the people of Marquette that having a pullout date is important, however, it shouldn't be set in stone. He said the U.S. should be flexible.

"We realize that if certain things aren't accomplished and we need a little more time, a lot more time, that's something the American people can discuss."



OKBOMB
OKBOMB case now open again, bombing documents ordered turned over to judge
By J.D. Cash, McCurtain [County, OK] Daily Gazette Saturday August 20, 2005
mccurtain.com/articles/2005/08/18/top_story/top001.txt

A U.S. District Court judge in Salt Lake City, Utah, has ordered the Oklahoma City FBI office to turn over unredacted copies of all documents currently at issue in a Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit involving additional evidence and the names of additional conspirators in the Oklahoma City bombing case.

According to the judge, the materials would be reviewed in his chambers and then returned to the FBI.

The order could also include evidence in the possession of the FBI that might shed light on the mysterious death of an inmate, Kenny Trentadue, who was being held at the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City in 1995.

Exactly when this investigation was opened and why remains unclear.

In 2000, the head of the original OKBOMB investigation, Danny Defenbaugh, told an interviewer for a documentary film on the subject that, "The FBI will never reopen the case, under any circumstances. Even if McVeigh calls and gives us names," Defenbaugh stated, "we will never reopen it."

A civil suit filed by a Utah attorney may have flushed out new evidence of a wider conspiracy in the bombing, forcing the agency to move forward with a new investigation.

The deceased brother of a murdered inmate, Jesse Trentadue, sued the Oklahoma City FBI office after attempting to obtain documents concerning the death of his younger brother Kenny.

At the time of his death, Trentadue was being held in solitary confinement in the Oklahoma City Federal Transfer Center, pending a hearing on his parole status. The government has since claimed Trentadue killed himself.

Jesse Trentadue, an attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah, claims he has found evidence that his brother was tortured and killed because federal agents suspected him of involvement in the bombing conspiracy in Oklahoma City. Trentadue received the information from a person close to McVeigh, who was waiting execution at the time.

Additional evidence to support this claim could be available soon.

In an order dated Aug. 16, U.S. District Judge Dale A. Kimball directed the parties to appear before him on Oct. 12 to present additional arguments on whether the FBI is entitled to continue withholding evidence it may have of a wider conspiracy in the matter n and much more.

Kimball also ordered the FBI to bring to court all unredacted copies of the documents involved in the litigation for him to review in his chambers.

Trentadue's litigation thus far has uncovered links between McVeigh and several subjects that frequented Elohim City, a paramilitary training camp([search]) in eastern Oklahoma.

For a decade since the bombing, senior FBI agents and lawyers for the U.S. Department of Justice have argued that they never had any evidence that persons at Elohim City could be involved with McVeigh or the Oklahoma bombing.

But several weeks ago, a court order from Kimball forced the release of approximately 100 pages of documents by the Oklahoma City FBI office and some do indeed appear to implicate others in the bombing.

However, the FBI has blacked out almost every name in those documents, along with whole sentences of other information regarding an undercover operation the FBI and others were involved with.

In the documents, the FBI also notes the agency is monitoring McVeigh and Elohim City with the help of the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC is a tax-exempt civil rights group that was co-founded by Alabama attorney Morris Dees.

Dees confirmed participation in a covert operation at Elohim City, but refused to elaborate during an interview with this newspaper almost two years ago.

During the course of this litigation, Justice Department lawyers have also argued that the individuals working for the SPLC and the FBI were promised anonymity in return for their undercover work, thus their names were blacked out to protect their identities.

Trentadue has told the court that the public's interest in learning who killed 168 persons and injured 500 more in Oklahoma City in 1995, far outweighs the FBI's interest in protecting the names of its informants n especially those employed by a private organization.



IRAN
Is Bush Pushing for War With Iran?
By Chris Floyd
Published: August 19, 2005
context.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2005/08/19/120.html

[originally entitled: "Global Eye: Duck Soup"]
But those writing Bush's political obituary have "misunderestimated" him once again. For it's becoming increasingly clear that Bush does have an exit strategy from Iraq -- and it runs through Iran.

For months, the Bush Faction has been conducting a low-key PR campaign to put Iran in the crosshairs for a military strike. Last week, Bush himself upped the wattage with a public declaration that "all options are on the table" for slapping down Tehran, Agence France Presse reports. He even alluded to the invasion of Iraq as an example of the kind of action he has in mind. Bush scarcely bothered to hide his disdain for peaceful solutions to the row with Iran. After mouthing the usual pious lies about "working feverishly on the diplomatic route," he immediately dismissed such efforts with a sneer: "As you know, I'm skeptical."

But the latest investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency found that Iran is not developing a nuclear weapons program, The Independent reports. And Bush's own intelligence services say that even if Iran did start a weapons program, it would take at least 10 years to produce a bomb -- plenty of time for "feverish diplomacy" to work, you would think. So while "Iranian Nuke Threat" is still a good scare phrase for a cable news crawl, it might not be enough to sway an increasingly war-weary public to leap into another military adventure.

That's why the Bushists are throwing new tropes into the mix. In his chest-thumping bluster last week, Bush said pointedly that he would be willing to use military force to "provide the opportunity for people to live in free societies."

But such noble gasbaggery might still prove too vague to close the deal. So now they've waving the bloody shirt: "Iran is killing American soldiers in Iraq." That's the charge currently percolating through the corporate media -- NBC, Time magazine, etc. -- from the usual anonymous "senior officials" and the never-anonymous but always mendacious Pentagon warlord Don Rumsfeld. "It's true that weapons clearly, unambiguously, from Iran have been found in Iraq," he announced last week

Left unexplained is why Shiite Iran would want to help Sunni insurgents overthrow a Shiite-dominated Iraqi government led by Tehran proteges (and employees) who are busy aligning the country with, er, Tehran.

More war is the only way for the Bush Faction to maintain its power and keep advancing its rapacious agenda. So there will be more war.



9/11 CRITICAL INQUIRY
German Court [Barely] Convicts Sept. 11 Suspect
By CLAUS-PETER TIEMANN, Associated Press Writer
Friday August 19, 2005 10:31 AM
www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-5220367,00.html

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) - A German court on Friday convicted a Moroccan man suspected of helping the Sept. 11 hijackers of belonging to a terrorist organization but acquitted him of more than 3,000 counts of accessory to murder.

Mounir el Motassadeq, who in 2003 became the first person convicted for the Sept. 11 attacks only to have the ruling later overturned, was given a seven-year sentence by the Hamburg court hearing his retrial.

El Motassadeq, a slight, bearded 31-year-old man, watched calmly as presiding Judge Ernst-Rainer Schudt announced the verdict.

Schudt did not immediately explain the reasons for the decision not to convict el Motassadeq of direct involvement in the Sept. 11 attacks, but criticized U.S. authorities' failure to give more evidence.

Prosecutors had demanded the maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for el Motassadeq, who was accused of helping pay tuition and other bills for cell members to allow them to live as students while they plotted the attacks.

But defense lawyers sought acquittal for the Moroccan, who acknowledges he was close to hijackers Mohamed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi and Ziad Jarrah but insists he knew nothing of their plans. They have criticized the lack of direct testimony from witnesses, including Ramzi Binalshibh, a key Sept. 11 suspect held by the United States.

El Motassadeq was convicted in 2003 on all charges and given the maximum sentence. But a federal appeals court last year overturned the conviction, ruling that he was unfairly denied testimony from al-Qaida suspects in U.S. custody.

For the retrial, which opened last August, the U.S. Justice Department provided summaries from the interrogation of Binalshibh and other suspects, but it did not make the full reports available to the court or allow the captives to appear in person.

``How are we supposed to do justice to our task when important documents are withheld from us?'' Schudt asked in opening comments to the court after Friday's verdict.

According to the statements, Binalshibh - believed to have been the Hamburg cell's liaison with al-Qaida - said that he and the three suicide pilots alone comprised the cell. Prosecutors have argued that he lied in order to protect the defendant.

``This material on its own had no value as evidence,'' Schudt said, citing concerns over how the statements may have been obtained. Defense lawyers have argued that they may have been obtained using torture - making them unusable by a German court.

El Motassadeq was released from prison soon after his conviction was overturned last year and has remained free during his retrial.

He is one of two people to have been charged in Germany over the attacks.

The other, el Motassadeq's friend and fellow Moroccan Abdelghani Mzoudi, was tried on identical charges. However, he was acquitted for lack of evidence last year by another panel of Hamburg judges.


The Hanky-Panky Around the Recovering of WTC Hard-Drives
By: FarSight3
Tuesday, 14 June 2005, 6:48 p.m.
www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/forum.cgi

Moments before the World Trade Towers collapsed, $100 million in credit card transactions were sent through the computers inside the doomed buildings, transactions that should have vanished when the buildings collapsed.

But a German company was able to recover data from the hard drives pointing to WHO, armed with advance knowledge, executed this monstrous fraud. But the company doing the data recovery was bought out, the project halted, while the FBI as usual does not look where it is told not to look.

The CONVAR data salvage has made it completely clear that more than $100 million in insider credit card transactions took place in the hours and minutes before the twin towers collapsed. The mainframe computers in the towers processed these transactions; and the credit card data would have been lost forever had it not been for the successful data reconstruction of the CONVAR specialists.

A German company, CONVAR of Pirmasens near the French border, was given more than 400 computer hard drives from the wreckage of the World Trade Center. These are extremely sensitive computer components that went through the collapse of the World Trade Center. Using blue laser technology, CONVAR succeeded in reconstructing all the data from the computer debris. This includes diverse financial data and telecommunication protocols up to a few seconds before the collapse of each tower. (Source: e-mail from CONVAR Germany on October 16, 2003.) The U.S. government’s blatant lie about the allegedly missing black boxes is outright made ludicrous by this fact.

The reconstructed data was given by CONVAR to the FBI. The FBI was held by law to investigate, based on the reconstructed data, who placed the inside transactions.
The FBI is doing no such thing. – here

GFP would like to inform, that in June 2002, Ontrack/Convar was aquired by Kroll Inc. (Kroll O'gara Eisenhardt), which has strong with the US Government. One of their former employees, Jerome Hauer, organised a security job for ex-FBI anti-terror chief John O'Neill in the Twin Towers, where he died on Sep11th.

Kroll O’ Gara Eisenhardt is one of the oldest security companies in the United States and, some say, responsible for every U.S. President since the end of WW2. What does an upstanding, powerful company like Kroll do in its spare time? Why it trains local forces in Saudi Arabia, of course!

One partner of Kroll, Cable & Wireless provides training in Counter-Terrorism and Urban Warfare in Saudi Arabia. In August 2001, former Kroll employee, Jerome Hauer, arranged a security job in the Twin Towers for FBI Agent John O’Neill. At the time, O’Neill had been investigating ENRON’s business deals with the Taliban and was subsequently pulled from that investigation. Neither Kroll nor Hauer was asked to testify about this coincidence. – here Jerry Hauer has been around a bit – Batelle, Dyncorp, SAIC (note DAVID KAY’S (of Iraq WMD fame) MENTION of him) ...

Full story at:
groups-beta.google.com/group/soc.culture.pakistan/msg/3b3585cbb6602ccc
 
 

Comments

a few more

HAITI
Brazilian Trade Unionists Demand Removal of Brazilian Troops from Haiti
e-mail from International Liaison Committee
Brasilia, July 21, 2005

A delegation of trade union activists and politicians went to the
Palace of Planalto (headquarters of the President of the Republic of
Brazil) on July 21 to demand an explanation from the government in
regard to the massacre of civilians in Haiti, committed by the UN
troops under the command of the Brazilian army.

The letter condemns the barbaric acts of the UN troops, who attacked
the workers quarters in Cite-Soleil of Port-au-Prince, capital of
Haiti, killing at least 20 people (a figure that will increase if our
information is confirmed) with four children shot through the head.
These events were reported by a group of U.S. trade union activists
from the Labor Council in San Francisco from the AFL-CIO, who was
present in Haiti from June 29 through July 10.

According to these witnesses le massacre was executed by 300 soldiers
who were heavily armed, and commanded by the Brazilian General
Augusto Heleno.



ISRAEL([search])/PALESTINE([search])
Palestinian NGO Network In Israel's Gaza([search]) Pullout
16 aug 2005
us.oneworld.net/link/gotoarticle/addhit/117127/7263/33547

Warning that Israel's unilateral decision to evacuate 8,500 Israeli settlers from the Gaza Strip could be seen as "a trade-off meant to legitimize the Israeli settlements in the West Bank," the Palestinian NGO Network has urged the international community not to let the "Road Map" fall by the wayside and to ensure the peace process continues.


Israeli settlers evacuation from occupied Gaza and the Media Coverage of the Gaza Disengagement plan
The Palestinian American Congress
P.O.Box 2302 Astoria, New York 11102
www.pac-national.org
Media Contact: Marwan El-Masri 617-694-3597 melmasri (at) earthlink.net
Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD Tel 203-676-2986 qumsi001 (at) yahoo.com

The Palestinian American Congress is appalled at the media coverage of the Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian Gaza Strip. The media is projecting the evacuation of Jewish settlers as an Israeli sacrifice filled with emotional scenes of desolation. We urge the media to include a better and wider perspective beyond the hype of removing the Gaza settlers who represent less than 2% of colonial settlers in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem). According to International Law, all 450,000 settlers (half in East Jerusalem) are illegal and have been illegal for the past 38 years. The media fails to mention the plight and the suffering of the Palestinians under Israeli occupation, the expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank at an alarming rate, the continuous confiscation of Palestinian land in East Jerusalem, and the continued construction of the separation wall on Palestinian land.

“While the evacuation of Israeli presence from any portion of the occupied territories is welcomed, it must be part of a negotiated plan with the Palestinians as dictated by the U.S. envisioned road map to encompass a future contiguous Palestinian state? said Sameer Tuffaha, Chairman of the Board of the Palestinian American Congress.

We call on the US and the International Community to insist that Israel comply with International Law and International Human Rights standards.

PAC has available a list of speakers in all major US cities and in several states who can provide a Palestinian perspective on issues like the disengagement smokescreen, the wall being built on Palestinian land, settlements in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and refugees.



AIDS
NGO Sues U.S. for Global AIDS Funding Restrictions
19 aug 2005
www.feminist.org/news/newsbyte/uswirestory.asp

A Washington-based NGO has brought a lawsuit against the U.S. Agency for International Development for requiring from them an anti-prostitution pledge in order to qualify for funding. DKT provides HIV/AIDS prevention services to sex workers worldwide, and say the policy undermines their work to stem the spread of AIDS and human trafficking.



IRAQ
Has the "tipping Point" Been Reached in Iraq?
Jim Lobe, 19 Aug 2005
uk.oneworld.net/link/gotoarticle/addhit/117418/7468/33750

Has the US public lost so much confidence in the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq war that its current strategy - to the extent one actually exists - is unsustainable, asks Jim Lobe.



CHECHNYA
Kremlin Accused of Stifling Chechnya Coverage
19 Aug 2005
www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/68673/

The Russian government's control of national television and its use of repressive rules, harassment, and attacks on journalists covering the conflict in Chechnya are depriving the Russian public of information about atrocities being committed there, a year-long investigation by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has found.



U$ RACISM/CLASSISM
Health System Discriminates Against U$ Blacks, Poor
18 Aug 2005
us.oneworld.net/link/gotoarticle/addhit/117358/4536/33750

Black and poor Americans receive less life-saving medical treatment than their white and well-off compatriots, health researchers said in separate studies suggesting that inequality is worsening.



COLOMBIA
Stop U$ Aid to Right-Wing Paramilitaries
Amnesty International, 17 Aug 2005
takeaction.amnestyusa.org/action/index.asp

The U.S. recently adopted a law to demobilize armed groups in Colombia, which could result in greater impunity and de facto amnesties for human rights abuses, says Amnesty International, urging you to ask Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to not use U.S. aid for the demobilization process.
 

two more on Iraq

Army planning for 4 more years in Iraq
By Robert Burns, AP Military Writer August 20, 2005
www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2005/08/20/army_planning_for_4_more_years_in_iraq/

The Army is planning for the possibility of keeping the current number of soldiers in Iraq -- well over 100,000 -- for four more years, the Army's top general said Saturday.

In an Associated Press interview, Gen. Peter Schoomaker said the Army is prepared for the "worst case" in terms of the required level of troops in Iraq. He said the number could be adjusted lower if called for by slowing the force rotation or by shortening tours for soldiers.


Iraqi general says US troops shot him -police
Reuters, Sat Aug 20, 2005
today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsarticle.aspx

Major General Ali Hamadi who commands the Iraqi border defence force was shot and wounded while driving in Baghdad late on Saturday and accused U.S. troops of firing on his car, police and hospital sources said.

Sources at Baghdad police headquarters also said he was shot by U.S. troops.

A spokesman for the U.S. force in the Iraqi capital said he was unaware of the incident and would cheque the report.
 

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Quote-of-the-Moment

An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.
-- Mark Twain
Source: "Glances at History" (suppressed)
 

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