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    World News
3/6/06 - 3/26/2006

Sunday  3/26/2006

Did American Marines murder 23 Iraqi civilians?  3/26/2006 Independent: "Although the mayor of Haditha led a protest delegation to the local Marines camp soon afterwards, the official story did not begin to unravel until an Iraqi human rights group obtained a video, shot by a local journalism student, which showed that the civilians could not have been killed by a bomb. It also showed that although the houses where they died were bullet-riddled indoors, there were no exterior marks, casting doubt on the Marines' claims of a firefight."

Who's afraid of the 'Israel Lobby'?  3/26/2006 LA Times: "It seems silly to deny that a powerful lobby on behalf of Israel exists. The real question is how pernicious it is. Does it, in fact, persuade us to act counter to our national interest — or is it a positive thing, as publisher Mortimer Zuckerman suggests? "The allegations of this disproportionate influence of the Jewish community reminds me of the 92-year-old man sued in a paternity suit," Zuckerman told the New York Sun. "He said he was so proud, he pleaded guilty." My advice is to judge for yourself. The full article is available at . "

Saturday  3/25/2006

Categoría: Afro  3/25/2006 América Latina en Movimiento: extensive listing of articles on afro-latin topics

Ice caps melting faster than forecast  3/25/2006 Toronto Star: "Global warming of only a couple of degrees Celsius projected by the end of this century is enough to trigger widespread melting of the massive Greenland ice cap and the partial collapse of Antarctica's ice sheets, prominent climate researchers warn in two studies published yesterday. The findings are a stunning about-face from previous expert forecasts that such massive melting would take millennia to kick in, even with rising global atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. This new research, based on a comprehensive look at global warming in the distant past, says melting the two icy domains could eventually raise sea level worldwide by as much as five metres, enough to flood low-lying regions like the Netherlands and most Pacific atolls, as well push half a billion people inland."

Friday  3/24/2006

topNeocons as a "foreign import"  3/24/2006 Alternet: "So Iraq is a "failure." Everyone on the right from conservative godfather Bill Buckley Jr. to Reagan's National Security Agency chief William Odom have said it. But who do we blame? That's the question that a lot of political figures on the right's margins and traditional center have answered with increasingly transparent references: Jewish "neocons," or at least ones with a "passionate attachment to Israel," as Patrick Buchanan put it."

21 de marzo: Día Internacional contra la Discriminación Racial - Esclavitud y racismo  3/24/2006 América Latina en Movimiento: by Jesus Garcia, an important Afro Venezuelan thinker

Israeli media condemn, discuss report on US-Israel ties  3/24/2006 Christian Science Monitor 

Judge OKs Abramoff subpoena - Ex-lobbyist says he knows nothing about slaying of casino boss  3/24/2006 CNN: "A judge has approved subpoenas for former lobbyist Jack Abramoff and an ex-business partner to answer questions about the mob-style slaying of the owner of a gambling fleet they bought. Abramoff and Adam Kidan have insisted, through their attorneys, that they know nothing about the slaying of Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis, who was ambushed in his car by a gunman in Fort Lauderdale a few months after the pair bought SunCruz Casinos from him. A lawyer for Anthony "Big Tony" Moscatiello, one of three men charged in the 2001 slaying, wants to question Abramoff and Kidan, according to court documents. Circuit Judge Michael Kaplan approved the request Thursday, but the subpoenas had not been issued by Friday morning. The SunCruz purchase is "at the heart" of the murder case, Moscatiello attorney Dave Bogenschutz said in court papers."

Scholars' Attack on Pro-Israel Lobby Met With Silence  3/24/2006 Forward: "Despite their anger, Jewish organizations are avoiding a frontal debate with the two scholars, while at the same time seeking indirect ways to rebut and discredit the scholars' arguments. Officials with pro-Israel organizations say that given the limited public attention generated by the new study — as of Tuesday most major print outlets had ignored it — they prefer not to draw attention to the paper by taking issue with it head on. As of Wednesday morning, none of the largest Jewish organizations had issued a press release on the report. "The key here is to not do what they probably want, which is to have this become a battle between us and them, or for them to say that they are being silenced," said Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. "It's much better to let others respond.""

AIPAC study is ignorant propaganda  3/24/2006 Jerusalem Post: "Dershowitz, who is now working on a paper which will refute the claims in the Walt-Mearsheimer article, argues that there is no original material in it and that "the challenge is to find a single idea in the piece that does not already appear in hate websites. There is no scholarship here what so ever". "

Glacial earthquakes rock Greenland ice sheet  3/24/2006 New Scientist: "He discovered the glacial quakes three years ago, when looking for unusual earthquakes, and traced them to slips within the ice. And the quakes can be substantial: a 10-metre slip of an ice slab roughly the size of Manhattan Island, and as tall as the Empire State building, causes a magnitude-5 quake on the Richter scale. When the team analysed glacial seismic records back to 1993, they found a striking increase in the number of quakes recorded in recent years. All 136 of the best-documented slips were traced to glaciated valleys draining the main Greenland ice sheet. A handful of others occurred in Alaskan glaciers or on Antarctica."

Harvard's Paper on Israel Drew From Neo-Nazi Sites  3/24/2006 NY Sun: "A prominent Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz, is alleging that the authors of a Harvard Kennedy School paper about the "Israel lobby," one of which is the Kennedy School's academic dean, culled sections of the paper from neo-Nazi and other anti-Israel hate Web sites. "What we're discovering first of all is that the quotes that they use are not only wrenched out of context, but they are the common quotes that appear on hate sites," Mr. Dershowitz, who is identified in the paper as part of the "lobby," told The New York Sun yesterday. "The wrenching out of context is done by the hate sites,and then [the authors] cite them to the original sources, in order to disguise the fact that they've gotten them from hate sites.""

Puerto Rico sues US over killing of militant  3/24/2006 Reuters: "Puerto Rico has sued top U.S. law enforcement officials for allegedly failing to cooperate with a probe into the killing of a militant independence activist in the U.S. Caribbean territory. The lawsuit was filed on Thursday and names Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller as defendants in the case along with Luis Fraticelli, the FBI special agent in charge of the San Juan division."

Special Online Collection: Climate Change -- Breaking the Ice  3/24/2006 Science 

Venezuelan President opens first of 35 high-tech medical centers  3/24/2006 Venezuela Analysis 

Thursday  3/23/2006

topA Harvard School Distances Itself from Dean's Paper  3/23/2006 NY Sun: [Reports further developments in the backlash from a pro-Likud point of view, without ever mentioning any specific false statement by the authors, as has been the case for most of these articles.]

Bolivia's Morales irks U.S. with bombing remarks  3/23/2006 Reuters: "The U.S. Embassy in La Paz expressed its concern on Thursday over a suggestion by Bolivian President Evo Morales that Washington was involved in hotel bombings that killed two people earlier this week. Hours after a California man was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the bombings in La Paz on the previous day, the leftist president said the attacks seemed politically motivated and questioned the U.S. commitment to fighting terrorism. "There is a war against terrorism by the government of the United States and they send us North Americans to do terrorism in Bolivia," Morales, who regularly criticizes Washington, was quoted as saying by official news agency ABI."

Venezuela demands US hand over Cuban "terrorist"  3/23/2006 Reuters: "The U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement Agency ruled on Wednesday that Luis Posada Carriles, who was detained by U.S. authorities last May after illegally slipping into the country from Mexico, would stay in custody. Caracas, which has strained relations with Washington under leftist President Hugo Chavez, rejected this an attempt by the United States to avoid its request for extradition of Posada, a naturalized Venezuelan and former CIA operative."

White House insiders report that an influential group of extreme right-wing gay Latino power brokers has been given almost total control over U.S. foreign and business policy decisions affecting Latin America  3/23/2006 Wayne Madsen Report: scroll down to March 23, 2006 - " A number of members of the Young Hispanic Republican Association report that they have been sexually preyed upon by members of the influential Latino power brokers after accepting administration appointments, including positions on the White House staff. The gay Latino group, led by an individual nicknamed "El Padrino" (the godfather) and which has close ties, including gay relationships, with top GOP officials in the Republican National Committee, Small Business Administration, the Department of State, State of Texas, and Executive Office of the President, has been tasked with ensuring that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez does not successfully bid on the sale of Univision, the largest Spanish language TV network in North America. Senior White House officials have provided hundreds of millions of dollars, through CIA and State Department conduits, to the Latino group to ensure that Chavez does not gain control of Univision. The group has also prevailed upon the government of Panama and particularly senior gay members of the Panamanian government, to ensure that President Martin Torrijos backs out of a regional energy treaty signed between Panama, Venezuela, and Colombia. The deal would see Panama's transisthmian Petroterminales de Panama (PTP) pipeline between Puerto Armuelles on the Pacific to Chiriqui Grande on the Caribbean reverse its flow from east to west to permit the export of Venezuelan oil to China. However, since the Panamanian government only owns a 30 percent stake in the pipeline, the GOP Latino power brokers have applied pressure on a New York-based family-owned firm that owns 60 percent of the pipeline to sink the deal."

Wednesday  3/22/2006

topChavez says U.S. already has lost in Iraq  3/22/2006 AP 

Bush Didn't Bungle Iraq, You Fools - THE MISSION WAS INDEED ACCCOMPLISHED  3/22/2006 Greg Palast: "And what did the USA want Iraq to do with Iraq's oil? The answer will surprise many of you: and it is uglier, more twisted, devilish and devious than anything imagined by the most conspiracy-addicted blogger. The answer can be found in a 323-page plan for Iraq's oil secretly drafted by the State Department. Our team got a hold of a copy; how, doesn't matter. The key thing is what's inside this thick Bush diktat: a directive to Iraqis to maintain a state oil company that will "enhance its relationship with OPEC." Enhance its relationship with OPEC??? How strange: the government of the United States ordering Iraq to support the very OPEC oil cartel which is strangling our nation with outrageously high prices for crude. Specifically, the system ordered up by the Bush cabal would keep a lid on Iraq's oil production -- limiting Iraq's oil pumping to the tight quota set by Saudi Arabia and the OPEC cartel. There you have it. Yes, Bush went in for the oil -- not to get more of Iraq's oil, but to prevent Iraq producing too much of it. You must keep in mind who paid for George's ranch and Dick's bunker: Big Oil. And Big Oil -- and their buck-buddies, the Saudis -- don't make money from pumping more oil, but from pumping less of it. The lower the supply, the higher the price."

A warning from America By Haaretz Editorial  3/22/2006 Haaretz: "Even if the article involved an attempt to blame the Jews for developments that are unconnected to them, and even if the comments are rooted in increasing opposition to the war in Iraq and an attempt to search for hidden motives for what the writers see as an American foreign policy failure, it would be irresponsible to ignore the article's serious and disturbing message. The conclusion that Israel can draw from the anti-Israel feeling expressed in the article is that it will not be immune for eternity. America's unhesitating support for Israel and its willingness to restrain itself over all of Israel's mistakes can be interpreted as conflicting with America's essential interests and are liable to prove burdensome. The fact that Israelis view the United States' support for and tremendous assistance to Israel as natural causes excess complacence, and it fails to take into account currents in public opinion that run deep and are liable to completely change American policy."

Alleged Former Paramilitary Named Military Commander  3/22/2006 NarcoNews: "A general who is believed to have once been a member of a right-wing terrorist group now heads Colombia's armed forces. Just days before signing a trade agreement with the U.S. which will accelerate the sell-off of Colombia’s land and resources to foreign corporations, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe appointed General Mario Montoya to head Colombia’s armed forces. Uribe brought in Montoya, long a favorite of the U.S., to help rehabilitate the military’s image following a hazing scandal. Montoya, however, has his own dark past – throughout a long career, working to consolidate resource-rich areas, the general has frequently been charged with working hand in hand with right-wing paramilitaries. At the press conference announcing Montoya’s promotion, Uribe said “In this moment of our Nation’s history we need triumphant commanders. We don’t need commanders to justify defeats” and called for “a final victory” -- giving Montoya a clear go-ahead to use any means necessary to crush resistance in Colombia."

Tuesday  3/21/2006

topDean Attacks ‘Israel Lobby’  3/21/2006 Harvard Crimson 

Kalb Upbraids Harvard Dean Over Israel  3/21/2006 NY Sun 

Monday  3/20/2006

topStephen Walt's War with Israel  3/20/2006 American Thinker: [One of the few articles to tackle the substance of the Walt - Mearsheimer paper] From About American Thinker: "The right to exist, and the survival of the State of Israel are of great importance to us." -- "Harvard Professor Stephen Walt and University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer have just published a lengthy diatribe against what they call the “Israel lobby.” Their article appeared in the London Review of Books, and a longer version has been released as a Harvard Kennedy School working paper. The two professors are employed by prestigious universities. But their new paper, a collection of innuendo, half truths, and outright misrepresentations, fails the test of academic integrity and honest research."

Study Decrying “Israel Lobby” Marred by Numerous Errors  3/20/2006 Camera: [One of the very few articles to tackle the substance of the Walt - Mearsheimer paper, this one begins with an interesting logic: ] "Though the authors do cite Organski’s book once, on the strategic importance of Israel during the cold war, they entirely ignore his main point, which is that the primary reason for U.S. support of Israel can’t possibly be the Jewish vote, or Jewish political contributions, or the activities of any pro-Israel lobby, for the simple reason that, as polls indicate, Jews were just as pro-Israel before 1970, when U.S. support for Israel was minimal, as they were after 1970, when U.S. support for Israel grew rapidly. As Organski put it in his preface: In 1983 I ran across a Congressional Research Service series on assistance to Israel from 1948 to 1983, and I was surprised by what I saw. The numbers told an important story. Assistance to Israel before 1970 had been very low. After 1972 levels shot up. The data fairly screamed that American Jews could not have been responsible for U.S. policy, for it is elementary that one cannot explain a variable with a constant, and American Jews had been in favor of assistance all along…"

The Israel Lobby by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt  3/20/2006 London Review of Books: shortened version w/o footnotes of article at Harvard site.

Iraqi police say U.S. troops executed 11, including baby  3/20/2006 Seattle Times: "But the report of the recent killings in the Abu Sifa area of Ishaqi, eight miles north of the city of Balad, is unusual because it originated with Iraqi police and because Iraqi police were willing to attach their names to it. The report was compiled by the Joint Coordination Center in Tikrit, a regional security center set up with U.S. military assistance. An Iraqi police colonel signed the report, which was based on communications from local police." [The fact that it came through the Joint Coordinating Center is also significant.]

Pro-Israel lobby in U.S. under attack.  3/20/2006 UPI: UPI is owned by the the Rev Moon's Washington Times and is generally supportive of Israel.

Saturday  3/18/2006

topStudy: U.S. Mideast policy motivated by pro-Israel lobby  3/18/2006 Haaretz: "The U.S. Middle East policy is not in America's national interest and is motivated primarily by the country's pro-Israel lobby, according to a study published yesterday by researchers from Harvard University and the University of Chicago. Observers in Washington said yesterday that the study was liable to stir up a tempest and spur renewed debate about the function of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobby. The Fatah office in Washington distributed the article to an extensive mailing list… The study also documents accusations that American supporters of Israel pushed the United States into war with Iraq. It lists senior Bush administration officials who supported the war and are also known to support Israel, such as Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith and David Wurmser. The authors say the influence of the pro-Israel lobby is a source of serious concern and write that it has even caused damage to Israel by preventing it from reaching a compromise with its neighbors."

Informant weighs in on U.S. law enforcement corruption in Colombia  3/18/2006 NarcoNews: "Vega told Narco News that between 1997 and 2000, the FBI and DEA each employed him as an informant in separate investigations focused on the North Valley Cartel leadership. At the same time, Vega claims, he also worked as a foreign counterintelligence source for the CIA. During the course of those DEA and FBI investigations, Vega claims he discovered the operations were being compromised by corrupt players within both DEA and U.S. Customs — a federal law enforcement agency whose investigative arm has since become U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. ICE is part of the Department of Homeland Security. U.S. Customs, too, was involved in targeting Colombian narco-traffickers during the same period that Vega was working with the FBI, DEA and CIA in Colombia. Vega claims that ICE did have access, at one point, to much of the information about the informants and cooperating sources within the North Valley organization that had been cultivated through the separate FBI and DEA investigations. Vega alleges that agents in the DEA office in Bogotá as well as someone within U.S. Customs were leaking information about ongoing U.S. law enforcement investigations to key players in the Colombian National Police (CNP). Vega says those CNP officials were aligned with North Valley narco-traffickers. In the wake of the information being leaked, there was a bloodbath, Vega says, with numerous informants and cooperating sources being assassinated in the aftermath. Similar allegations are made in the Kent memo."

U.S. threatens to ban Venezuelan oil: Venezuela's vice president  3/18/2006 Xinhua: "The United States is threatening to ban oil exports from Venezuela, Jose Vicente Rangel, Venezuela's Vice President said on Friday. "There is a veiled threat from the U.S. authorities to ban Venezuelan oil," Rangel said, adding that the Venezuelan government has been preparing for it. "If we can sell gasoline to China, India and Latin America, as we have been doing, we will not have a problem," he said."

Friday  3/17/2006

topGOP Trashed in Special Elections  3/17/2006 In These Times: "A drumbeat of corruption, deficits and war dead has begun to haunt Republican candidates as they hit the campaign trail. The macabre cadence is playing more widely than just federal races: Since November, it has become the background music in a series of state special elections."

Thursday  3/16/2006

topThe Civil War in America  3/16/2006 Black Commentator: "The right to abortion became the law of the land with the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. In the absence of that decision being overturned by the court, the action of the South Dakota legislature gives the finger to the United States constitution and anyone who believes in it. South Dakota has fired on Fort Sumter. Congressman John Conyers stated, “Victory in the South Dakota case will give conservatives renewed momentum to challenge all the other freedoms we hold dear.” When the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision outlawed segregation in public schools, southern states decided to ignore the law. Some didn’t desegregate and dared anyone to complain. Others closed their public schools and deprived black children of their right to an education. South Dakota’s legislators are like the segregationists of old. They have intentionally broken the law. They are hoping for court challenges and expect Bush appointees Alito and Roberts to live up to right wing expectations and overturn the Roe decision."

Rachel's story needs to be told, now  3/16/2006 Seattle Post Intelligencer: columnist is African American - "Rachel was in the Middle East, trying to protect the home of a Palestinian from immoral demolition, when an Israeli soldier driving a Caterpillar bulldozer killed her. He ran her over. Maybe the young student from The Evergreen State College was a tad naive, a puppet of left-leaning loonies with the International Solidarity Movement. Some people think this. Maybe she was prescient beyond her 23 years, recognizing that her white skin and U.S. passport could bring vital attention to ignored people in subhuman and desperate conditions. Some think that. Whichever the case, too many people are reflexively afraid of Rachel's message, of what her short life and brutal death means. The issue has gotten to the point that what passes for dialogue is either polemical shouting -- or, worse, a campaign to silence the legacy of the young woman who addressed human suffering with fiery grace. Rachel cared about ordinary people outside of her comfort zone -- enough to get off the couch and do something."

Too Hot for New York  3/16/2006 The Nation: "The book is the play My Name Is Rachel Corrie. Composed from the journal entries and e-mails of the 23-year-old from Washington State who was crushed to death in Gaza three years ago under a bulldozer operated by the Israeli army, the play had two successful runs in London last year and then became a cause celebre after a progressive New York theater company decided to postpone its American premiere indefinitely out of concern for the sensitivities of (unnamed) Jewish groups unsettled by Hamas's victory in the Palestinian elections. When the English producers denounced the decision by the New York Theatre Workshop as "censorship" and withdrew the show, even the mainstream media could not ignore the implications. Why is it that the eloquent words of an American radical could not be heard in this country--not, that is, without what the Workshop had called "contextualizing," framing the play with political discussions, maybe even mounting a companion piece that would somehow "mollify" the Jewish community?"

Wednesday  3/15/2006

topIranian oil bourse hits wall  3/15/2006 Globe & Mail: "But they are jumping the gun if they still figure Iran is within days of launching a new international oil exchange that would sell its own and other Middle Eastern oil producers' black gold in euros rather than U.S. dollars -- and which, the theory goes, could ultimately torpedo the greenback and the U.S. economy. Despite repeated reports over the past 18 months or so that the planned bourse would finally open for business on March 20, 2006 -- and go head to head with the New York Mercantile Exchange and the ICE Futures Exchange in London -- the start date has been postponed by at least several months and maybe more than a year." [At a time when Iran has begun negotiations with the US over Iraq…]

Ecuador tries to control growing Indian protest  3/15/2006 Reuters: "Thousands of Indians have blocked roads with burning tires and rubble in nine central provinces since Monday to demand the government end free-trade talks with the United States. The protests have crimped the Andean nation's economy. "Their demands are not possible to address, so it appears that what they want is to destabilize democracy," presidential spokesman Enrique Proano told reporters. Palacio has said he will not resign and has vowed to continue with the next round of trade negotiations, which are scheduled to resume next week in Washington."

Uranium bombing in Iraq contaminates Europe  3/15/2006 SF Bay View: "At Aldermaston, England, where the data was collected and where the British Atomic Weapons Establishment, complete with air monitoring facilities, is located, the deadly uranium oxide gas measured about 48,000 radioactive particles per square meter. The average radioactive dose, according to official government index based calculations, was about 23 million radioactive particles for the average adult male in Britain and Europe. Yes, people breathed this poison gas, absolutely. People throughout England and presumably throughout Europe breathed in large quantities of this radioactive uranium poison gas. What are the effects of the poison gas cloud? After a steady decline for 41 years, the infant death rate has started inching up, many researchers think because of the Central Asian nuclear wars. The infant death rate is the most sensitive measure of the health of the human race. Like the proverbial canaries in a coal mine, the tiniest babies die first."

Tuesday  3/14/2006

topArab central banks move assets out of dollar  3/14/2006 Independent: "The governor of the UAE central bank, Sultan Nasser al-Suweidi, said the bank was looking to convert 10 per cent of its reserves, which stand at $23bn (£13.5bn), from dollars to euros. "They are contravening their own principles," he said. "Investors are going to take this into consideration [and] will look at investment opportunities through new binoculars.""

The elite effort to subvert democracy  3/14/2006 Napa Valley Register: "Petroleum geologists are not popular and their warnings of Peak Oil are underreported by the "liberal media." A 2004 meeting of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas in Berlin included representatives from BP, ExxonMobil and the International Energy Agency. A U.K. observer at the ASPO stated "for the record, Ghawar's (the world's largest oil reservoir, located in Saudi Arabia) ultimate recoverable reserves in 1975 were estimated at 60 billion barrels -- by ExxonMobil, Texaco, and Chevron. It had produced 55 billion barrels up to the end of 2003 and is still producing at 1.8 billion per annum. That shows you how close it might be to the end. When Ghawar dies, the world is officially in decline." Matthew Simmons, CEO of Simmons and Co. International, the world's largest private energy investment bank, believes the Saudis are "out of capacity." Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham concludes, "America faces a major energy supply crisis over the next two decades. The failure to meet this challenge will threaten our nation's economic prosperity, compromise our national security and literally alter the way we lead our lives.""

Monday  3/13/2006

top"You Have Left Home to Come Home" - Memories of Ali Farka Touré  3/13/2006 Counterpunch: "descendant of ancient Tukulor rulers of Northern Mali (originating in Morocco), Ali had a firm grasp of history from ancient days through the present, being able to recount his family's origins in Fez centuries ago. He also loved Black American music." [Ali had an extraordinarily broad knowledge of his people's history.]

Dictatorship is the danger - A Reagan-appointed supreme court justice voices her fears over attacks on US democracy  3/13/2006 Guardian, UK: "Then she spoke the D-word. "I, said O'Connor, am against judicial reforms driven by nakedly partisan reasoning. Pointing to the experiences of developing countries and former communist countries where interference with an independent judiciary has allowed dictatorship to flourish, O'Connor said we must be ever-vigilant against those who would strong-arm the judiciary into adopting their preferred policies. It takes a lot of degeneration before a country falls into dictatorship, she said, but we should avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings." Delivered by someone who was, until recently, one of the nine guardians of the US constitution, these are spine-chilling opinions, and you might have thought they'd have been all over the papers the next day. Not so. I happened to catch Totenberg's NPR report last Friday, and have been following up references to it. A cable TV talkshow and a handful of blogs have mentioned Totenberg's piece: otherwise there's been a disquieting silence, as if the former justice had laid an unsavoury egg and had best be politely ignored... These are peculiar times, and when Republican politicians appear to endorse the killing of judges who make rulings of which they disapprove, it's maybe understandable that a distinguished judge like Sandra Day O'Connor, expressing views calculated to enrage Republican politicians, might sensibly look to a small podium with a weak sound system for fear of being heard too clearly by the likes of Cornyn and DeLay."

The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy  3/13/2006 Harvard University: 83 pages, sources to Israeli scholars and human rights organizations.

U.S. Intelligence and the South African Bomb  3/13/2006 National Security Archives 

U.S. Campaign Is Aimed at Iran's Leaders  3/13/2006 Washington Post: "Undersecretary of State R. Nicholas Burns said in an interview that the department will also add staff in Dubai, which is part of the United Arab Emirates, as well as at other embassies in the vicinity of Iran, all assigned to watch Tehran. He called the new Dubai outpost the "21st century equivalent" of the Riga station in Latvia that monitored the Soviet Union in the 1930s when the United States had no embassy in Moscow."

Sunday  3/12/2006

topInternet blows CIA cover - It's easy to track America's covert operatives. All you need to know is how to navigate the Internet.  3/12/2006 Chicago Tribune 

Gale Norton's sudden decision to resign as Interior Secretary is a sign that the Jack Abramoff investigation is closing in on higher-ranking Bush administration officials, according to informed Washington insiders  3/12/2006 Wayne Madsen Report: scroll down to March 12, 2006

Slobodon Milosevic, Serbia's former President, was found dead in his cell in The Hague in the Netherlands  3/12/2006 Wayne Madsen Report: "With Russia applying pressure for Milosevic's transfer to Moscow, the "other neocons," those in the Clinton administration who supported overt and covert funneling of weapons and funds to anti-Yugoslav forces (MPRI's training contract with Croatian ethnic cleansers and the Richard Perle/Douglas Feith funding, through the Feith&Zell/Riggs Bank Bosnian Defense Fund, of Bosnian regular and irregular forces, including Iranian Pasdarans Revolutionary Guard and Al Qaeda forces, had plenty to be worried about. Milosevic and his intelligence services had collected evidence pointing to the involvement of Madeleine Albright, Richard Holbrooke, Wesley Clark, Perle, Feith, and others in the political, military, and financial backing of Muslim units in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo associated with Osama Bin Laden and Albanian heroin smugglers tied to the Taliban in Afghanistan. On March 7, 2002, Milosevic charged that Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda helped the Kosovo Liberation Army attack the Balkans. This is from his cross-examination of Kosovo Liberation Army guerrilla leader Sabit Kadriu."

Saturday  3/11/2006

topANOTHER INSULT FROM BUSH AND THE PENTAGON NEO-CONS  3/11/2006 From The Wilderness: "But there is something else about John F. Kennedy in particular that makes the Bushes jumpy. The name "George Bush" appears much too frequently in documents, some newly released, relating to the assassination of President Kennedy. Since there is no statute of limitations on murder or accessory to murder, I can understand why Bush pere and fils may want to erase November 22, 1963 from the history books. The document trail linking George H. W. Bush to those involved in the assassination of President Kennedy is nothing less than chilling."

Venezuela Iran’s Best Friend?  3/11/2006 Venezuela Analysis: "A recent article from the conservative US newspaper, the Washington Times with the title, “Venezuela Seeks Nuclear Technology”, gave the impression that Venezuela was about to take delivery of Nuclear Weapons from Iran to use against the US. General James Hill, the head of the U.S. Southern Command claimed Venezuela was supporting “Islamic terror groups” in one of its major tourist resorts, Margarita Island. This was immediately and easily disproved by journalists visiting the alleged sites… Venezuela is obviously not an Islamic country and its President, Hugo Chavez is not a Muslim. More famous for calling himself a Socialist, Chavez is a very Christian man and has put Christianity at the centre of his politics… Israel has received millions of dollars from Venezuela in recent years. This money was to pay for weapons such as anti-aircraft missiles. Israel would have gotten another $100 million last year to repair Venezulea’s F16 fighter aircraft if the US government had not stopped the deal… Iran’s position as a major oil producer and the second largest contributor to OPEC is one reason why it is a close ally. In the first years of Chavez’s presidency Chavez led a vigorous campaign to get OPEC to not produce too much oil and as a result the price increased. It went from a dangerously low $12.28 per barrel in 1998 to $27.60 in 2000. The actions of OPEC are not as important in keeping the oil price high now. The continuing war in Iraq and high Chinese and Indian demand take more credit for this. Even so, Venezuela still considers OPEC an important factor in its oil policy. This can be seen by the way it is mentioned in speeches and by private debriefings from inside the Venezuelan state oil company, PDVSA. An official speaking on the condition of anonymity said, “OPEC was important before 2001 and may be again in the future. It is also valued as an organization that fits in with the Venezuelan idea of a multi-polar world.” Oil also connects Iran and Venezuela through the way the Islamic Republic is providing technical assistance to the Venezuelan industry. Iranian oil companies are taking part in joint projects to develop Venezuela’s oil rich areas such as the Orinoco belt. This technical help is especially valuable after the damage and sabotage the Venezuelan industry suffered during the oil strike in 2003."

Friday  3/10/2006

top"They are Trying to Intimidate and Silence Critics of US Foreign Policy" - FBI Grills Professor Over Support for Venezuela  3/10/2006 Counterpunch: "According to Tinker-Salas, the agents told him they were interested in the Venezuelan community and concerned that it may be involved in terrorism. They asked him if he had relationships with the Venezuelan embassy or consulate, and if anyone in the Venezuelan government had asked him to speak out about Venezuela-related matters… Tinker-Salas says the detectives told him this was part of a larger policy to interview people on various campuses. He does not know if other professors have been questioned. He says the agents who visited him did not interview the other Venezuelan-born professor at Pomona College… According to the ACLU of Colorado, the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, which operates across the country, is violating First Amendment rights by equating nonviolent protest with domestic terrorism."

The Tehran Oil Bourse: What the Iran 'nuclear issue' is really about  3/10/2006 Global Research 

U.S. More Intent on Blocking Chavez  3/10/2006 LA Times: "U.S. diplomats have sought in recent years to mute their conflicts with Chavez, fearing that a war of words with the flamboyant populist could raise his stature at home and abroad. But in recent months, as Chavez has sharpened his attacks — and touched American nerves by increasing ties with Iran — American officials have become more outspoken about their intention to isolate him. Signaling the shift, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Congress last month that the United States was actively organizing other countries to carry out an "inoculation strategy" against what it sees as meddling by Chavez. U.S. officials believe Chavez uses his oil wealth to reward governments that share his anti-American views and to foment change in those that don't. "We are working with other countries to make certain that there is a united front against some of the things that Venezuela gets involved in," said Rice, who called Venezuela a "sidekick" of Iran."

Thursday  3/9/2006

topEl precio de la justicia - Los herederos de El Mexicano le entregaron a E.U. 80 millones de dólares a cambio de que no los persigan. ¿Debería ser ese dinero para Colombia?  3/9/2006 Cambio 

Rightwing Narco's Family Paid $83 Million to the U.S. to Avoid Prosecution  3/9/2006 NarcoNews: "the Colombian newsmagazine Cambio (owned and directed in part by former drug legalization supporter Gabriel García Marquéz) has dug up a juicy tidbit of its own. In this week’s issue, whose cover reads “The Price of Justice,” the magazine reveals that on January 31 of this year the U.S. Justice Department received the last $1.3 million of an $83 million payment from the family of slain Colombian paramilitary boss and narco-trafficker Gonzalo “The Mexican” Rodríguez Gacha. In return for the massive payment, the family – Rodríguez’ widow and seven of his “heirs” – received immunity from prosecution, which they were facing from the Jacksonville, Florida U.S. District Court."

Tuesday  3/7/2006

topBolivia's Morales accuses US of blackmail  3/7/2006 Reuters: "Because we don't accept vetoes or the change of a commander, blackmail comes from the U.S. armed forces," Morales was quoted as saying, referring to perceived U.S. interference in the Bolivian military. In a speech to mark the 21st anniversary of the rebellious left-wing city of El Alto, Morales said the U.S. decision to "declassify" Bolivia as an anti-terrorism partner would lead to the withdrawal of U.S. military equipment deployed for the countries' joint anti-terrorism force, as well as the discontinuation of grants and training courses. In total, the U.S.-sponsored programs were worth more than $300,000, Morales said. "It's peanuts. These resources are only there to control Bolivia, to have intelligence agents. We don't want intelligence agents serving the U.S. government," he was quoted as saying.

Israeli in US court on Ecstasy charges  3/7/2006 Reuters: "An alleged Israeli drug lord suspected of smuggling more than 1 million Ecstasy pills into the United States appeared in a U.S. court on Tuesday after his extradition from Israel. Zeev Rosenstein, 51, faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted on two drug charges, conspiracy to distribute and conspiracy to import Ecstasy, a party drug often taken in nightclubs… "In a two-year period, Rosenstein's criminal cartel was involved in the shipment of at least one million pills of Ecstasy to the United States," Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta told a news conference. "That's a lot of pills."

Monday  3/6/2006

topTerrorist Begin had plastic surgery to avoid capture  3/6/2006 AFP: "Begin founded the Herut Movement, later to become the Likud Party, following the creation of the state of Israel in May 1948 and became prime minister in 1977."

Bogotá DEA Corruption Allegations Interect with Covert FBI, CIA Activity in Colombia - New Document Unravels More Mysteries in Kent Memo; Narco-Trafficker, Informant Drop the Dime on Suspected DEA Foul Play  3/6/2006 NarcoNews: “Specifically, the narcotics traffickers in Colombia were infusing acrylic with cocaine and shaping it into any number of commercial goods,” Kent states in his memo. “The acrylic was then shipped to the United States and Europe where, during processing, the cocaine was extracted from the acrylic.” Informants working with Fields and other Florida agents sent samples of the cocaine-laced acrylic to the DEA, but the agency’s chemists couldn’t figure out how to extract the cocaine. As a result, the Florida agents decided to have the informants come to the United States with a sample of the acrylic, so they could walk the DEA’s chemists through the extraction process. “Agents contacted the Bogotá [DEA] Country Office to discuss the informants’ planned travel and their bringing cocaine out of Colombia infused in acrylic,” the Kent memo alleges. “They were advised that the best tact was for the informants to carry it out themselves.” But when the informants got to the airport to leave for the U.S., they were arrested. A DEA agent in Bogotá, it turns out, had told Colombian officials to “lock them [the informants] up and throw away the key,” according to the Kent memo. The Bogotá agent then claimed that he had no idea the Florida agents had given the informants permission to transport the cocaine. Kent’s memo does not name the Bogotá agent allegedly responsible for double-crossing the Florida agents and their informants. But Narco News sources claim Pena is that agent. “His [Pena’s] misrepresentations were backed by another agent in Bogotá,” Kent alleges in his memo. “The informants were imprisoned for nine months while the accusations flew back and forth. Once it was determined that the agents in Bogotá were lying, the informants were released. One of the informants was kidnapped and murdered in Bogotá where he had gone into hiding.”

Danilo's war - The story of one officer's rise and fall in Colombia's drug wars illustrates the challenges police face.  3/6/2006 St Petersburg Times: published 1/05 - "Sensing their days were numbered, the cartel bosses were looking to get out of the business and cash in their assets. So, one by one they approached U.S. law enforcement agents to explore cooperation deals in return for reduced jail time. Mutual suspicion over who would be the next to turn set off a bloody vendetta between the potential snitches in the valley. Hundreds died. Eventually, Gonzalez realized that the time had come to make his own pitch for survival. Early in 2003 he contacted a Colombian fashion photographer in Miami, Baruch Vega, who had worked for years as a U.S. government informant. Gonzalez offered to mediate the surrender of the entire cartel. "There's a lot of people willing to cooperate with information," he told Vega, who tape-recorded their conversations. During hours of discussions, Gonzalez admitted to knowing "every drug trafficker, almost without exception," but he insisted he had an explanation. "In one or another form I received information from them," he said. He claimed that since leaving the police he had dedicated himself to raising cattle and had never been directly involved in drug trafficking. He was willing to meet with U.S. officials and discuss surrender terms. "If there's something that has to be resolved I am willing to do it," he said. "Otherwise I can never live in peace.""


"There is one safeguard known generally to the wise, which is an advantage and security to all, but especially to Democracies as against despots: suspicion." -- Demosthenes


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