SADDAM CAUGHT..... WAR OVER..... LET'S GO HOME!
Note: Comments (sigh) working again...
Saturday, December 27, 2003
SURPRISE, SURPRISE: HALLIBURTON AND BIG OIL ARE WINNERS IN LIBYA DEAL
From the Sunday Herald via WRH:
...Bush’s words were warm and effusive, as indeed they should have been given the rewards that await the US oil industry if sanctions are lifted. During the 1980s , US firms were producing one million barrels of Libyan oil per day and, according to a recent report, new technology could see this double. One firm which would benefit from this is the Halliburton Corporation, whose chief executive until recently was the US vice-president, Dick Cheney.... [*]
9-11 DETAINEES ABUSED IN NY
Tapes Show Abuse of 9/11 Detainees
Justice Department Examines Videos Prison Officials Said Were Destroyed
By Dan Eggen, Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, December 19, 2003; Page A01
Hundreds of videotapes that federal prison officials had claimed were destroyed show that foreign nationals held at a New York detention facility after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were victims of physical and verbal abuse by guards, the Justice Department's inspector general said yesterday....
...The report concluded that as many as 20 guards were involved in the abuse, which included slamming prisoners against walls and painfully twisting their arms and hands. Fine recommended discipline for 10 employees and counseling for two others who remain employed by the federal prison system. He also said the government should notify the employers of four former guards about their conduct....
...One focus of the report was an American flag T-shirt that hung from a wall at the MDC with the slogan, "These colors don't run." Four corrections employees told investigators that the shirt, which hung in a prisoner receiving area for months, was covered with bloodstains, including some that appeared to have come from detainees being slammed into the wall....
CIVILIZATION IS SAVED!
Viagra Effective for Some Women [*]
GOOGLE MISCHIEF: ITS OFFICIAL - BUSH IS MORE UNELECTABLE THAN HOWARD DEAN
MAD COW DISEASE ROUTINELY MISDIAGNOSED AS ALZHEIMERS
I mentioned this a few days ago[*] and here is some data:
Vegetarian Voice Points Out: Many US Alzheimer's Victims Actually Die From Mad Cow/CJD
....At Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania at Pittsburgh, researchers recently studied the brains of people who died of Alzheimer's disease (46 in the Yale case and 54 in the Pittsburgh study). Surprisingly, the autopsies respectively showed that 13 percent and five percent of the dead were actually CJD cases misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's disease. In a third (smaller) study published in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience (1995), investigators reported that three out of 12 patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease were found to have had CJD when autopsied. It should be noted CJD symptoms may be remarkably similar to those of Alzheimer's disease....[*]
Meanwhile, relatives of CJD victims dispute the claim that none of them were due to US beef [*
BEEF IS "PERFECTLY SAFE" -- OR NOT
Suspect BSE meat 'sold in four US states'
(Filed: 28/12/2003) DAILY TELEGRAPH
American scientists have traced their mad cow's "birth herd" to Canada, reports Charles Laurence
Meat linked to America's first case of mad cow disease has been sold in four western states, health officials admitted last night.... Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada...
...Earlier, the White House had sought to calm fears over the threat posed by BSE, telling the public that President Bush was dining on beef at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.... LINK
- Of course, Bush doesn't have that much brain to lose. And anyway, he'll be out of office when people get sick in 10 years.
EARTHQUAKES: LETTING THE "FREE MARKET" DECIDE
Iran: hopes fade as toll reaches 40,000 [*].
Two die in big California earthquake [*].
The big difference? California has the some of the world's most stringent building codes for earthquakes [*]. Of course, the Iranians are free to build as they see fit. Ah, Freedom....
SCOTLAND LOSES 5 BOMBS WORTH OF PLUTONIUM
Enough plutonium for five bombs ‘missing’ at Sellafield
By Liam McDougall, SUNDAY HERALD
ENOUGH plutonium to make five nuclear bombs has gone missing from Sellafield in Cumbria in the past 12 months, it has been revealed. The official report which lists “materials unaccounted for” at the UK’s nuclear sites found that 19.1kg of the highly toxic substance was apparently missing from the reprocessing plant....
...Spokesmen for each plant were quick to play down the figures, saying they were estimates and “gave rise to no concern over either the safety or security” of the sites....
...After the latest figures were revealed, Dr Frank Barnaby, a nuclear consultant who used to work at the Aldermaston atomic weapons factory in Berkshire, said: “In reprocessing, a small amount of material is bound to be lost in the process, but 19kg is a very sig nificant amount of plutonium. The company might say this is not a cause for concern, but if they cannot be sure where the plutonium is, how can they say it has not been stolen?
“If a terrorist group were to claim it had stolen 5kg of plutonium from Sellafield, the authorities could not say with any certainty that they had not taken it. It’s a very unsatisfactory situation indeed. This amount of material could be made into five or six nuclear weapons.”... LINK
-No big deal... think about how much uranium was lost in Iraq [*
] when we invaded...
DAILY DUCT TAPE
As you know Cosmic Iguana has named Duct Tape its Person of the Year. Here's a photo of a War on Terror enthusiast, after last years advice to use duct tape to prevent Saddam's chemical weapons attacks...
CONDI, WANT TO TESTIFY TO THAT UNDER OATH?
Two government sources tell TIME that National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice is arguing over ground rules for her appearance [before the 9-11 Commission] in part because she does not want to testify under oath or, according to one source, in public....[*]
-I didn't think you did...
McWAR ON TERROR(tm) SATURDAY
Four Bulgarian Soldiers Dead, Many Wounded in Iraq
1 hour, 4 minutes ago
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Four Bulgarian soldiers were killed and many other people were wounded in several bomb attacks on a military base and government buildings in southern Iraq, Polish defense officials said on Saturday.
Also, Eight US Soldiers Killed in Iraq Christmas Violence [*
]. US Bombs Baghdad for Third Night [*
Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men....
-Does that include Iraqis?
ANOTHER ROBERT FISK VIGNETTE OF IRAQ
From joy to despair: Iraqis pay for Saddam's capture
By Robert Fisk in Baghdad, THE INDEPENDENT, 27 December 2003
... an American-paid Iraqi cop was guarding the crumbling brick house in which the bodies of the newly dead are washed before being taken to the morgue. Inside were two new corpses, the dead of Christmas Eve, newly arrived from the town of Beiji.
"Don't talk to the relatives," the policeman said. "Both men were killed by the Americans. One worked in a factory and was caught in the open when the resistance fired at American soldiers. The Americans shot everyone they saw. The people are angry because you look like an American." But they all shook hands and stood in front of us with their heads bowed and asked why the tragedy of Iraq was growing worse. The cop wanted the last word. "Saddam brought us to this tragedy and the Americans used it," he said. "You want to know who is to blame? I say this: Fuck Saddam and fuck the USA."....
OK its amateurish, but I'll get better with practice...
(thnx, but no thnx to chick comics)
Friday, December 26, 2003
ROBERT FISK SAYS US/MEDIA VIEW OF IRAQ WAR IS "THRU THE LOOKING GLASS"
Iraq through the American looking glass
Insurgents are civilians. Tanks that crush civilians are traffic accidents. And civilians should endure heavy doses of fear and violence
By Robert Fisk in Baghdad, THE INDEPENDENT, 26 December 2003
Something very unpleasant is being let loose in Iraq. Just this week, a company commander in the US 1st Infantry Division in the north of the country admitted that, in order to elicit information about the guerrillas who are killing American troops, it was necessary to "instill fear" in the local villagers. An Iraqi interpreter working for the Americans had just taken an old lady from her home to frighten her daughters and grand-daughters into believing that she was being arrested....
....[AND] Take the US claim - now regarded as an absurdity - that they killed "54 insurgents" in Samara a month ago. The truth is that they killed at least eight civilians and there's not a smidgen of evidence that they killed anyone else. But still they insist on sticking to the story of their great victory.
Last week, they pushed out a similar version of the same story. This time there were 11 dead "insurgents" in Samara. But when The Independent investigated, it could only find records of four dead civilians and a lot of wounded. None of the wounded - presumably "insurgents" if the Americans believe their own story - had been visited in hospital by US forces who might, if they didn't question them, at least have apologised.
An even more peculiar habit has now manifest itself among spokesmen for the occupation authorities. When a tank drove over a prominent Shiite Muslim cleric in the Baghdad suburb of Sadr City three weeks ago, they claimed this was a "traffic accident", as if driving an M1A1 Abrams tank over a car and a robed prelate is the kind of thing that can happen on any downtown street.
A few days later, after a truck-bomber crashed into a car and killed 17 civilians, the occupation lads churned out the same rubbish again. It was, they said, a "traffic accident" involving a petrol tanker. But there was no tanker attached to the lorry.
The first American troops on the scene found the grenades intended to detonate the bomb and the victims were all blasted to bits - not burned, as they would have been if the petrol tanker had simply caught fire. Those of us who reached the scene shortly after the slaughter could still smell the explosives. But it was a "traffic accident".
Only yesterday we had an equally bizarre event. Jets, C-130 aircraft mounted with chain guns, and heavy artillery were all reported to be striking "guerrilla bases" in Operation Iron Hammer south of Baghdad. But investigation proved that the targets were empty fields and that some of the heavy guns were firing blank rounds as part of an artillery maintenance routine.
So let's get this right. Insurgents are civilians. Truck bombs and tanks that crush civilians are traffic accidents. And the "liberated" civilians who live in villages surrounded by razor wire should endure "a heavy dose of fear and violence" to keep them on the straight and narrow....
COSMIC IGUANA NAMES "DUCT TAPE" PERSON OF THE YEAR!
Not George Bush, not Saddam, not Schwartzenegger, not the American Soldier, Cosmic Iguana names Duct Tape Person of the Year...
.... because it so richly symbolizes what 2003 was all about. Who could ever forget those joint Saddam-AlQaida terrorist drone attacks that were so thoroughly defeated by our wise use of duct tape? Yes Duct Tape symbolizes the American can-do way of improvising a solution to the McWar on Terror (tm).
Original comic from: http://www.seanm.ca/duct-tape/
See this article for a nostalgic journey into the world of 2003 - LINK
Cosmic Iguana will celebrate Duct Tape's award by daily postings of photos of our beloved tape.
US BLACKMAILED FRANCE INTO CANCELLING FLIGHTS
US in row with France over terror operation
By David Rennie in Washington, THE TELEGRAPH, (Filed: 26/12/2003)
American and French officials yesterday traded mutual recriminations over the failure to snare any terrorists in the security operation that grounded six Air France flights in and out of Los Angeles.
Bush administration officials expressed frustration that al-Qa'eda operatives might have escaped capture after word leaked, early this week, of American concerns about flights from France to the United States over the Christmas period.
One official said Washington had been hoping to keep the US-French negotiations confidential, adding that the hope was that "we would be able to lure some of these people in".
However, a French interior ministry spokesman said little evidence of a terrorist plot had been found.
French authorities released seven men - one French, one American and several Algerians - whose names were found to be on US watch-lists.
The seven men were all due to board a flight on Wednesday and had been briefly questioned. French authorities found nothing to suggest the men had terrorist links.
A spokesman for the French prime minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, said the decision to cancel the flights came early on Christmas Eve after American authorities notified France that "two or three" suspicious people, possibly Tunisian nationals, were on the manifests of three Los Angeles-bound flights.
M Raffarin's spokesman added that the United States had threatened to refuse the planes permission to land if they took off....
TEENAGERS GET HARSHER PENALTIES FOR ANTIWAR DEMOS THAN ADULTS
Teenagers sentenced after antiwar demonstration
Updated: 12/16/2003 8:07 PM, By: News 10 Now Staff
...The Assistant District Attorney said that youthful offender status was used in this case so the files of the four young women would be sealed. However, the attorney representing the teens said that if their charge had been reduced to a violation, like the nine adults who participated in the protest, then there would be no files to seal.
"Typically when the youthful offender statute is invoked, youth end up with a less harsh sentence then adults and it's ironic and curious to me and I've been doing juvenile justice law for fifteen years…the results here is that these young women have a harsher sentence,” said defense attorney Joni Brandon....
Mad Cow feed banned in Britain dumped on Third World
Flashback courtesy of WRH:
Feed banned in Britain dumped on Third World
The row over exports
Anthony Barnett, THE GUARDIAN, Sunday October 29, 2000
Britain offloaded tens of thousands of tons of potentially BSE-infected cattle feed on the Third World after deciding it was too dangerous to give to herds in the UK. The meal and bonemeal was exported after March 1988, when the Government realised that feed made from slaughtered animals was the probable cause of the BSE epidemic in UK cattle. In July that year, the Government banned its use in Britain, and a week later officially informed the European Union, then the EEC, of its fears. But it wasn't until March 1996, eight years later, that a worldwide ban on the export of MBM, as it was called, came into force.
No one knows how many cattle fed on the meal in those countries may now be incubating BSE.... link
- Could this be the next SARS?
DO WHAT WE SAY NOT WHAT WE TELL YOU TO DO
Ted Rall puts this whole damn year in a nutshell.
EXPERT SHOWS WHY TERROR COLOR CODING IS POLITICAL
John King, Lou Dobbs Tonight interviewing Ivan Ekland of the Center on Peace and Liberty, Oakland CA:
KING: .... Let me ask you this. If you were in charge of the system as it is now, and you were briefed that there was intelligence that one or more Air France flights into the United States might be somehow under threat of being taken over by terrorists, would you not go to Code Red, the highest level?
ELAND: Well, that's another point. I mean, when do we go to Code Red? I mean, we've gone between yellow and orange. And I say that that proves that the system is political. If you go to one of the lower colors, the more green or blue, then you are basically inviting the terrorists to attack.
And also the government, of course, if an attack occurs when those colors are in being, then it -- everyone says, "Hey, how come you didn't warn us about that?" But on the other hand, if we go to red, it scares everybody too much.
So what we do is we cycle between yellow and orange, and that's why we see that it is a political system. And I think basically this is to show that the administration and the Department of Homeland Security are doing something.... link
- Or put another way, going down to green or blue says "Bring them on".
Thursday, December 25, 2003
CHRISTMAS PRESENTS FOR THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION
Attention Big Corporate Donors! It's not too late to give a last minute present to those who have made your lives a veritable Heaven on Earth. Here's some suggestions for your favorite corporate stooge:
Donald Rumsfeld - A Duck -billed Platypus!
George Bush - In honor of his top-secret Thanksgiving trip - Petrified Turkey
Dick Cheney - A name change. If it worked for Halliburton it'll work for Bigtime Dick!
Condoleeza Rice- Rice a-roni, the San Francisco treat
Colin Powell - 1. an enema or, 2. Video of "Invasion of the body snatchers" (for hours of introspection on what happened to his soul)
John Ashcroft - 1. J.Edgar Hoover's ladies underwear, or 2. Endless loop tape recording of "Guantanamera"
Tom Ridge - 1. see Ashcroft #1, or 2. a years supply of duct tape for this years terror alerts.
NO EVIDENCE OF HIJACK PLOT?
France finds no evidence of hijack plot
By VERENA VON DERSCHAU, Associated Press
PARIS - French investigators questioned seven men pointed out by U.S. intelligence but found no evidence they planned to use a Los Angeles-bound jet to launch terror attacks against the United States, French authorities said Thursday.
American warnings of a plot had prompted Air France to cancel six flights on Wednesday between Paris and Los Angeles - three in each direction - amid a stepped-up terror alert level in the United States....
- Another big success...
Wednesday, December 24, 2003
A MERRY CHRISTMAS FOR IRAQ CHRISTIANS THANKS TO OUR OCCUPATION
In Iraq, Christians Warily Prepare an Early Christmas
By EDWARD WONG, NY TIMES
...Fears of guerrillas fighters and armed bandits called Ali Babas have led churches to move up the traditional midnight Mass. People are now resigned to celebrating Christmas barricaded in their homes. Some Christians are worried that churches will be bombed and congregations attacked, a fear given credence by American military officials who cite intelligence reports saying guerrillas may stage a wave of assaults this week partly to avenge the capture of the deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.... LINK
MAD COW MADNESS
US Confident Food Supply Safe Following Mad Cow Announcement
Voice of America - 3 hours ago
The Bush administration says it remains confident the food supply is safe, despite the detection of mad cow disease in a slaughtered dairy cow in Washington state.
Yeah, right. By now we should have learned that whenever some Industry of Government spokespeson says something is "perfectly safe", run for the hills.
Best case scenario is that this cow got BSE from its feed and not another cow. US feed allowed spinal parts (the main method of transmission) until 1997. The average gestation period for BSE is in cows is 6 years, so with luck there may only be one or two more cases and we will be through with it. On the other hand, it is possible that other sick cows were killed before their illness was manifest, and their meat entered the human food process.
Furthermore the human gestation period is around TEN years. I personally know of a human case that didn't manifest for SIXTEEN years. (It was thought the woman had died of Alzeheimers, until her autopsy.)
I think I'd recommend staying away from beef, especially ground beef and bone cuts for the next decade.
BOTTOM LINE: If MEXICO
thinks US beef isn't safe enough for THEM, then I think it ain't safe enough for US!
Tuesday, December 23, 2003
CHALABI'S THUGS MAY PROVOKE CIVIL WAR
From Baghdad Burning:
...Sunnis and Shi'a have always lived in harmony in Iraq and we still do, so far. I'm from a family that is about half Shi'a and half Sunni. We have never had problems as the majority of civilized people don't discriminate between the two. The thing that seems to be triggering a lot of antagonism on all sides is the counterinsurgency militia being cultivated by the CPA and GC which will include Chalabi's thugs, SCIRI extremists and some Kurdish Bayshmarga.
The popular and incorrect belief seems to be that if you are a Kurd or Shi'a, this step is a positive one. Actually, the majority of moderate Kurds and Shi'a are just as exasperated as Sunnis about this new group of soldiers/spies that is going to be let loose on the population. It's just going to mean more hostility and suspicion in all directions, and if the new Iraqi force intends to be as indiscriminate with the detentions and raids as the troops, there's going to be a lot of bloodshed...
from Stephen Altergood of FAS:
BUSH ADMINISTRATION SCRUBS THE WEB
The Bush Administration has repeatedly altered government web sites to eliminate items that it considers politically or ideologically distasteful.
In a gem of a news story, Dana Milbank of the Washington Post reported that the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID) had deleted the transcript of an ABC Nightline interview with AID
administrator Andrew S. Natsios last April in which he said the reconstruction of Iraq would cost taxpayers no more than $1.7 billion, a gross underestimate.
See "White House Web Scrubbing," Washington Post, December 18:
AID officials told the Post that the page was removed because ABC News was going to charge for it.
But the exemplary Milbank contacted ABC News, which said that wasn't true.
A copy of the web page containing the Natsios interview that was deleted from the US AID web site is here:
Other instances of "political" modifications to official web sites were cited recently in the House Government Reform Minority report on "Politics and Science in the Bush Administration" available here:
Monday, December 22, 2003
McWAR ON TERROR: ANOTHER BOGUS TERRORIST ALERT?
The McWar on Terror took another step into fantasy land this weekend, when Homeland “Security” Komissar J. Edgar Ridge announced the Terrorism color code would be elevated to orange, based on increased intercepts.
According to Ridge there is a possibility that AlQaida will launch 9-11 scale attacks using airlines as bombs and attacking multiple locations.
The only problem is that both of these aspects are unlikely. Using airliners as weapons depended on airline policy that required pilots to leave the cabin to negotiate with hijackers. That policy was changed after 9-11. Without that policy, terrorists could hijack or blow up a plane but they could not gain control of the aircraft in order to use it as a bomb.
In addition, the government has been telling us for months that AlQaida is incapable of launching a major coordinated attack due to the dispersal of its forces and leadership. A complex attack such as 9-11 took months of planning and coordination. AlQaida has been limited to attacking soft targets in the Middle East for over 2 years The Administration now is essentially saying they were lying when they told us that over and over again. So were they lying then or are they lying now?
My guess is that they are lying now. Whether it through fear of the Halliburton scandal or fear of Howard Dean, or whether it is simply the beginning of ReSelect Bush 2004, The McWar on Terror has been going full speed: Capturing Saddam instead of Osama, negotiating with a Formerly Rogue Nation like Libya, and a semi-Rogue Nation like Iran, the administration is in full court press to Make Things Look Good without dealing with the real problems like quagmire in Iraq and a real threat by N. Korea.
A terrorist attack is possible of course, but not the one they suggest.
If they are honest now, it means that they were lying then, and if AlQaida is still that big a threat, what the hell were we doing attacking Iraq?
Sunday, December 21, 2003
LIBYA DEAL IS A BIG JOKE
Only in this upside down world could making peace with Ghadafi be hailed as a mighty victory in the "war on terror" by the moral clarity crowd. This is a guy who has been begging for years to normalize relations. This is a guy who has taken responsibility for blowing up a commercial airliner and has used chemical weapons in war. This is a truly nasty dictator. And we're supposed to cheer because this man, who has shown no interest in making any international mischief for years, is now our jolly old pal in exchange for us letting weapons inspectors in?
- Plus CNN reports that Arms expert Joseph Cirrincione
states that Libya's offer to accept inspections long predates the Iraq war [-*-
- I would also add, that far from being close to being able to produce WMDs Libya has shown itself to be at least a decade or more away from that ability. In specific, AP reports a nation needs at least 20 nuclear centrifuges to produce enough fissionable material for one bomb [link lost]. Libya has exactly ONE.
That's a REAL BIG threat, isn't it? In reality, just another PR move by Bushco that has no effect on any "clear and present" danger. Or in Cirincione's words:
"We don't know what to make of these reports coming out from the White House yesterday," Cirincione told CNN. "Some administration officials are playing it up, saying Libya was close to a nuclear capability. I don't think that's likely the case. They didn't have much of a serious effort going on here."