October 31st, 2004 - by admin
Michael Kane / Emergency Report! – 2004-10-31 13:10:38
Disturbing Washington Rumors
(October 29, 2004) — From senators to congressmen to high officials, people are leaving Washington. There is a persistent and confirmed rumor that a high-level security briefing is causing this to take place, and that the city could be vulnerable to attack at some near date. It isn’t an exodus, not all that many are leaving or closing their offices, but it is also true that nothing like this has happened since 911.
— Sue Supriano: Steppin’ Out of Babylon — Radio Interviews
This report was written in haste due to the critical nature of getting it out immediately. I call all concerned citizens to help. This is a call to intellectual arms!
I recommend ALL reporters and concerned citizens contact the Office of Domestic Preparedness and BOMBARD THEM WITH QUESTIONS about the scenario, below. Call Marc Short at 202-616-8952. He is the ODP Media Contact for the FEMA drill, as described.
This is too critical to let slide; EVERYONE must get involved. Let them know that WE KNOW what is going on. An informed citizenry is an empowered citizenry!
Government Schedules ‘Terror Exercises’ for Election Day
October 29, 2004 — A plan may be afoot to induce a national terror threat on Election Day to lower voter turnout and steal the election for Bush once again, but this time in a different manner.
At least three states have WMD/Terrorism Incident drills scheduled for Tuesday, November 2, 2004 — Election Day.
As of May 8, 2001, Dick Cheney was placed in charge of managing all domestic preparedness related to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). It is likely that Cheney will be managing all of the Election Day WMD/Terrorism Incident drills across the country. The presidential statement, which gave Cheney this power, also created the Office of National Preparedness.
FEMA’s website makes the national announcement, but omits any dates, saying only that this is a “training course” that takes place over three 8-hour days. The course is headed by the Office of Domestic Preparedness.
The DC Emergency Management Agency has a Public Works WMD/Terrorism Incident training scheduled for November 2, 2004. The location is listed as, “To Be Determined.”
Senator Dayton recently announced he was closing his DC office due to intelligence reports of possible terrorism in DC. He stated he would not advise anyone to go to the Capitol between now and the election.
Arizona is running a WMD/Terrorism Incident exercise on Election Day. UPI picked this up on their wire and the Washington Times ran the story immediately after Nico Haupt broke the story at http://inn.globalfreepress.com.
‘Interactive Exercises and Group Scenarios’
The training is designed around “interactive exercises and group scenarios.”
I contacted Marc Short at the Office of Domestic Preparedness who said, “This course is offered by the ODP (Office of Domestic Preparedness) Training Division through the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). The target audience for this course is state and local first responders.”
Texas is another state running this WMD/Terror Incident training drill — the same name as Arizona’s drill. The date is omitted and location is listed as “other,” though it is almost certain this exercise will be running on Election Day, as well.
I questioned Mr. Short via email, asking if a real terror incident occurred on Election Day, would those involved in the training scenario be in a position to respond to it? He did not deny that this drill was running on November 2, 2004. He stated:
If an incident occurs, the decision to deploy first responders involved in this training remains with their respective agencies.
Let’s Look at California
No terror drill is definitively listed to be happening in California. However, the California Emergency Medical Services Authority website does list November through December of 2004 to be the time when training scenarios of “Protecting High Risk Buildings” will be run. Date and location is “TBD,” or To Be Determined.
Wayne Madsen has laid out a scenario in which California could be “flipped” in the election to go to Bush. The WMD/Terrorism Incident Drills seem to eerily fit right into Madsen’s prediction: “… [T]he Bush team will begin to implement their plan to announce an imminent terrorist alert for the West Coast for November 2 sometime during the mid afternoon Pacific Standard Time. At 2:00 PST, the polls in Kentucky and Indiana will be one hour from closing (5:00 PM EST – the polls close in Indiana and Kentucky at 6:00 PM EST).
“Exit polls in both states will be known to the Bush people by that time and if Kentucky (not likely Indiana) looks too close to call or leaning to Kerry-Edwards, the California plan will be implemented. A Bush problem in Kentucky at 6:00 PM EST would mean that problems could be expected in neighboring states and that plans to declare a state of emergency in California would begin in earnest at 3:00 PM PST.” http://www.legitgov.org/essay_madsen_terrorism_and_california_071404.html
Additionally, there have been reports on www.prisonplanet.com that CERT — Citizen Emergency Response Teams — will be holding a “disaster simulation” nationwide on Election Day, November 2, 2004.
Cheney Oversaw Similar Military Drills on 9/11
It has been well documented that on the morning of September 11, 2001, the military was running exercise simulations that eerily mirrored what really happened on 9/11.
Such models included drills simulating hijackings over the continental United States, a plane-into-building scenario at the National Reconnaissance Office, as well as a bio-terror drill in New York City called TriPodd 2 which conveniently ended up becoming the emergency response center for the 9/11 attacks.
Are all of these Election Day WMD/Terrorism Incident Drills running in order to have first responders in place to respond to a “Code Red” terrorism threat during the election itself — to lower voter turnout and let Bush steal the White House again?
Due to the critical nature of this story, any and every news organization is permitted to publish this story in its entirety as long as it remains unchanged and a link is provided back to the original publication of the story here at CLG: http://www.legitgov.org/essay_kane_fema_terror_drill_102904.html.
CLG’s strategy in case of stolen elections: Part 1
The Ballot, The Bullet, and the Grand Refusal — by Michael Rectenwald, CLG Founder and Chair “…[A] postponed election, or the playing the fear factor for low voter turnout, are acts of terrorism in themselves. We are already being attacked. This warning is yet another in a series of attacks on our rights, on our democratic system, on our freedom, and on our self-determination.” July 13, 2004
CLG’s strategy in case of stolen elections: Part 2
The Revolution Will Be Webcast! — by Michael Rectenwald, CLG Founder and Chair “What are the TRIGGERS, what ‘election’ events will trigger the Grand Refusal? The following list is by no means exhaustive. The Bush regime may very well alter their approach to stealing the election this time. But, this is a list that will guide us… The Real Revolution was against the people and the Constitution and took place in 2000 and continues to this day.” July 21, 2004
Copyright © 2004, Citizens For Legitimate Government ® All rights reserved.
“In Germany first they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me-and by that time no one was left to speak up.” — Pastor Martin Niemoller
October 31st, 2004 - by admin
Wayne Madsen / Global Research – 2004-10-31 12:48:29
Wayne Madsen / Global Research
Citizens For Legitimate Government (July 2004) http://www.legitgov.org/
(October 30. 2004) — You have to give the right-wingers credit. The fear tactics they learned from arch-Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels remain at the front of their political playbook.
First, they put out the notion that in the event of a terrorist attack around the time of the November 2 election, a postponement of the vote may be necessary. Second, they start talking about the Federal government’s response to such a scenario. It’s the second item we must all be focused upon.
The idea of terrorism affecting the election was first proffered by Reverend DeForest B. Soaries Jr, the Bush-appointed chairman of the US Election Assistance Commission. Soaries is a right-wing New Jersey Republican Secretary of State who has been living under the small “fanatics only” revival tent of the Christian fundamentalist crowd for some time.
Soaries’s job is to ensure that there is no repeat of the 2000 Florida fiasco. However, he and his friends in the Bush administration (read that as Karl Rove and Tom DeLay primarily) may have their eyes set on causing a major West coast electoral disruption in 2004 that will make Florida 2000 look like a minor glitch by comparison.
As expected, suspecting a Bush conspiracy to cancel the election and remain in power until a determination would be made by Homeland Fuhrer Tom Ridge that an election was safe, the moderate, liberal, progressive, and libertarian communities cried foul.
Postponing an election without a constitutional amendment would be a major breach of the Constitution (not that Bush has ever worried about his constitutional oath) and that would be impossible with only a little over three months before Election Day.
Those who respect our Constitution pointed to the fact that President Abraham Lincoln did not cancel the 1864 presidential election during the Civil War – a war which saw this nation more at danger than it is during the current cable news bite-driven and somewhat sensationalist “Global War on Terrorism.”
The right wing had a different take on the possibility of an election postponement. Neo-fascist babble-mongers like Rush Limbaugh said, “No!” to a postponement of the election. They argued that if a terrorist alert or attack were to occur, the election should go on and only those votes cast should be counted. Bingo! The plan for a second Bush administration became clear as day. And that plan’s target is California, with its whopping 54 electoral votes, and possibly Washington State’s 11 electoral votes, at stake.
In 2000, Bush and the election fraud cabal that included his brother, Florida Governor “Jebbie” Bush, and Jebbie’s old flame, Florida Secretary of State (now Congresswoman) Katherine Harris and Fox News election analyst John Ellis (Bush’s first cousin), engineered Bush’s phony Florida “win” using a combination of scrubbed electoral rolls that disenfranchised almost 100,000 African-Americans, confusing “butterfly ballots,” an early Fox projected Bush “win” in the Sunshine State, and voter intimidation at mainly rural polling places.
As with Osama bin Laden and his band of zealots, the Bush team never uses the same tactic twice. Therefore, all eyes should shift from Florida this Election Day, to California, where one of Bush’s new minions, the Nazi-admiring Arnold Schwarzenegger, engineered a gubernatorial coup d’etat with the help of Enron’s Ken Lay and his Texas oil cronies, to seize control of the governorship from the reelected Democrat Gray Davis.
Giuliani’s Post-9/11 Coup Attempt
Clues to Republican motives are found back during that awful day in 2001. On September 11, the day of the terrorist attacks, New Yorkers were heading to the polls to vote in their mayoral primary. Under the direction of the outgoing incumbent mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, city election officials quickly postponed the election. Giuliani, one who never misses an opportunity to emulate the former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, toyed with the idea of amending New York City’s term limits law so that he could run for mayor for a third consecutive term.
Another Giuliani plan would have postponed the primary and regular mayoral election for one year, giving him at least one more year in office with the possibility of a change in the city law to allow him to run for a third term.
Another plan would have made Giuliani a write-in candidate. Wary of Giuliani’s various proposed election contrivances and his intention to use the attack on the World Trade Center for his own political advantage, New York’s City Council and the New York State Legislature quickly put the kibosh to Giuliani postponing the election indefinitely, extending his term for one year, or amending the city’s term limit statute. The mayoral primary took place on September 25, two weeks after the terrorist attack, and the general election occurred on schedule on November 6. Michael Bloomberg was sworn in as the new mayor on January 1, 2002.
After having Tom Ridge drop the media bomb that an election cancellation was a possibility and then having National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice declare that no such plan existed, the cat was out of the bag. No, do not expect an election cancellation but be prepared for a terrorist “event” during the election. That is what the Bush White House and their media prostitutes are spinning.
How the White House Could Use a Terror Scare to Skew the Election
Here’s the scenario we must be all be prepared for:
If the pre-election internal tracking polls and public opinion polls show the Kerry-Edwards ticket leading in key battleground states, the Bush team will begin to implement their plan to announce an imminent terrorist alert for the West Coast for November 2 sometime during the mid-afternoon Pacific Standard Time.
At 2:00 PST, the polls in Kentucky and Indiana will be one hour from closing (5:00 PM EST – the polls close in Indiana and Kentucky at 6:00 PM EST). Exit polls in both states will be known to the Bush people by that time and if Kentucky (not likely Indiana) looks too close to call or leaning to Kerry-Edwards, the California plan will be implemented.
A Bush problem in Kentucky at 6:00 PM EST would mean that problems could be expected in neighboring states and that plans to declare a state of emergency in California would begin in earnest at 3:00 PM PST.
The US Northern Command, which has military jurisdiction over the United States, will, along with the Department of Homeland Security and Schwarzenegger’s police and homeland security officials in Sacramento, declare an “imminent” terrorist threat – a RED ALERT — affecting California’s major urban areas.
Although the polls in California will not be closed as a result of the declaration, the panic that sets in and the early rush hour will clog major traffic arteries and change the plans of many voters to cast their ballot after work.
That terrorist emergency declaration could be made around 5:00 PM PST and with only three hours left for voting throughout the state, a number of working class voters in urban centers will either be caught up in California’s infamous freeway traffic and be too late to get to their polling places or be more concerned about their families and avoid voting altogether.
A Well-timed Terror Emergency Might Keep Californians from Voting
Without a doubt, many Democratic voters might simply opt to pick their kids up from day-care centers or relatives and then go home without voting. These would tend to be the lower and middle income Californians and the Democratic base.
The affluent voters in California who vote Republicans and can easily vote early (and be late for work) or have the option of leaving work at any time during the day to vote will have likely already cast their ballots.
Therefore, the recipe of a White House-induced California terrorist alert and a low Democratic turnout could toss 54 electoral votes into Bush’s lap, especially if the scare tactics affect the turnout in such urban and typically pro-Democratic vote-rich areas as Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Sacramento.
At 7:00 PM EST (4:00 PM PST), the polls will close in Florida, Georgia, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia. A half hour later, they close in North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia. If Kerry-Edwards wins Florida and that is coupled with similar pickups in Ohio, West Virginia and too-close-to-call races in Virginia and maybe North Carolina, the Bush team may seek to extend the terror alert to other Western or even Midwestern states, particularly Washington State (since Oregon votes by mail, it would be largely immune from any polling manipulation on Election Day).
A terrorist alert for the Seattle area after 5:00 PM PST would result in a similar situation to that of California’s, with the exception that many potential voters could be trapped on Seattle’s commuter ferries. Washington’s polls close at 8:00 PM PST (11:PM EST). A low Democratic turnout in the vote-rich Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton area could be offset by a large Republican turnout in eastern Washington, thus possibly throwing the state’s 11 electoral votes to Bush — a net pick up 65 electoral votes from the West Coast, adding those votes to California’s.
If Kerry picks up Ohio and some border states, the Bush team will be looking for a West Coast electoral offset and a terrorist alert would be the key to replacing lost Bush electoral votes in Ohio (21 votes), Florida (25), and West Virginia (5), a total of 51 electoral votes for Kerry.
With the stage set for a terrorist alert on the West Coast and with the polls closing at 8 PM EST (5:00 PM PST and launch time for the terrorist alert) in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas, we might be looking at the following electoral vote tally:
Florida (25); New Hampshire (4); Vermont (3); Ohio (21); West Virginia (5); Connecticut (8); Delaware (3); DC (3); Illinois (22); Maine (4); Maryland (10); Massachusetts (12); Michigan (18); New Jersey (15); Pennsylvania (23). Total: 176 (needed to win: 270).
Indiana (12); Kentucky (8); Georgia (13); South Carolina (8); Virginia (13); North Carolina (14); Alabama (9); Kansas (6); Mississippi (7); Missouri (11); Oklahoma (8); Tennessee (11); Texas (32). Total: 152 (needed to win: 270).
At 8:30 PM EST (and a half hour into the West Coast terror alert), the polls close in Arkansas and its 6 electoral votes are added to Bush’s column, giving him 158 to Kerry’s 176.
At 9:00 PM EST, the polls close in Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. With Kerry picking up Louisiana (9 votes), Minnesota (10), New Mexico (5), New York (33), Rhode Island (4), and Wisconsin (11), his vote total would stand at 248.
With Bush picking up Arizona (8), Colorado (8), Nebraska (5), North Dakota (3), South Dakota (3), and Wyoming (3), his vote count would stand at 188.
At 10:00 PM EST, the polls will close in mainly Bush states. With Bush picking up Idaho (4 votes); Montana (3); Nevada (4); and Utah (5) and with Kerry likely grabbing Iowa (7), the vote count would stand at: Kerry: 255 and Bush: 204.
With an hour to go before polls close on the West Coast and the region enmeshed in a major terrorist alert with cops and National Guardsmen now adding to the mix and possibly closing roads and delaying traffic to the polling places, Bush’s team in Washington and Sacramento would be poised to deliver the death blow to Kerry-Edwards.
At 11:00 PM EST and 8:00 PM PST, the polls close in California, Oregon, and Washington. The fix is in: with California (the mother lode of 54 votes) and Washington (11 votes) going to Bush and Oregon (7 votes) possibly going to Kerry, the vote count stands at: Kerry: 262 and Bush: 269. Sometime in the wee hours of the morning of November 3, Alaska (3 votes) is declared for Bush and he is declared the winner with 272 votes to Kerry’s 266 (with Kerry’s pickup of Hawaii’s 4 electoral votes). It’s a down-to-the wire race with Bush being declared a winner without a Supreme Court fight but using his “homeland security” powers to ensure his re-election and Alaska putting him over the top.
Are We Being Prepared for a ‘Terror Incident’ on Nov. 2?
That is what all this talk about a terrorist attack on Election Day is about. It is to prime the population and allow Bush surrogates at Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC to begin their perception management campaign that an attack will occur around the election. But there will be no postponement of the election or cancellation — this is simply another plan to manipulate the public through the use of phony threats and fear tactics. The problem is that it just might work for Bush and his cabal of “the ends justify the means” manipulators.
This article is a wakeup call to all those who can try to forestall such a series of events. California’s Democratic majority in the state legislature and its Democratic Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General must take steps now to ensure Schwarzenegger does not conspire with his fellow Republicans in Washington to do to California in 2004 what Jeb Bush and his people did to Florida in 2000. Similarly, Washington’s Democratic Governor Gary Locke and all the Democratic officials, including the two Democratic U.S. Senators, must take similar action to avoid a similar scenario in their state.
Action needed now includes:
• 1. Informing all state election officials about such a scenario and its potential impact on voter turnout.
• 2. Making contingency plans now to keep the polling places open to ensure that people can vote later or after any state of emergency is lifted.
• 3. Prevent the National Guard from being used to facilitate such a state of emergency.
• 4. Close coordination by the Democratic Party, smaller parties, and minority and labor rights organizations to respond to such a scenario.
To paraphrase James Carville, “It’s California and the voter turnout, stupid!” Forget about canceling or postponing the election. Keep your eye on a “Red Terrorist Alert” on the West Coast for Election Day. That doesn’t take a constitutional amendment, merely an okay from Bush and his homeland security team. They must be stopped — the future of this nation is at stake!
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and columnist. He served in the National Security Agency (NSA) during the Reagan administration and wrote the introduction to Forbidden Truth. He is the co-author, with John Stanton, of America’s Nightmare: The Presidency of George Bush II. His forthcoming book is titled: Jaded Tasks: Big Oil, Black Ops, and Brass Plates. Madsen can be reached at: WMadsen777@aol.com July 14, 2004
Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) at www.globalresearch.ca
© Copyright belongs to the author 2004. For fair use only/ pour usage équitable seulement.
October 30th, 2004 - by admin
Noam Chomsky / TomDispatch – 2004-10-30 10:53:28
“Bush planners know as well as others that the resort to force increases the threat of terror, and that their militaristic and aggressive posture and actions provoke reactions that increase the risk of catastrophe.”
US Secretary of State Colin Powell said while explaining the National Security Strategy (NSS) of September 2002 to a hostile audience at the World Economic Forum that Washington has a “sovereign right to use force to defend ourselves” from nations that possess weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and cooperate with terrorists, the official pretexts for invading Iraq.
The collapse of the pretexts is well-known, but there has been insufficient attention to its most important consequence: the NSS was, in effect, revised to lower the bars to aggression. The need to establish ties to terror was quietly dropped. More significant, President George W Bush and colleagues declared the right to resort to force even if a country does not have WMD or even programs to develop them. It is sufficient that it have the “intent and ability” to do so.
Just about every country has the ability, and intent is in the eye of the beholder. The official doctrine, then, is that anyone is subject to overwhelming attack.
Colin Powell carried the revision even a step further. The president was right to attack Iraq because its president, Saddam Hussein, not only had “intent and capability” but had “actually used such horrible weapons against his enemies in Iran and against his own people” — with continuing support from Powell and his associates, he failed to add, following the usual convention.
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice gave a similar version. With such reasoning as this, who is exempt from attack? Small wonder that, as one Reuters report put it, “if Iraqis ever see Saddam Hussein in the dock, they want his former American allies shackled beside him”.
Bush Doctrine: US Has the Right to Attack Anyone
In the desperate flailing to contrive justifications as one pretext after another collapsed, the obvious reason for the invasion was conspicuously evaded by the Bush administration and commentators: to establish the first secure military bases in a client state right at the heart of the world’s major energy resources, understood since World War II to be a “stupendous source of strategic power” and expected to become even more important in the future.
There should have been little surprise at revelations that the administration intended to attack Iraq before September 11, 2001, and downgraded the “war on terror” in favor of this objective.
In internal discussion, evasion is unnecessary. Long before they took office, the private club of reactionary statists had recognized that “the need for a substantial American force presence in the [Persian] Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein”. With all the vacillations of policy since the current incumbents first took office in 1981, one guiding principle remains stable: the Iraqi people must not rule Iraq.
US Claims Aggression Is a ‘Soverign Right’
The 2002 National Security Strategy and its implementation in Iraq are widely regarded as a watershed in international affairs. “The new approach is revolutionary,” Henry Kissinger wrote, approving of the doctrine but with tactical reservations and a crucial qualification: it cannot be “a universal principle available to every nation”.
The right of aggression is to be reserved for the United States and perhaps its chosen clients. We must reject the most elementary of moral truisms, the principle of universality — a stand usually concealed in professions of virtuous intent and tortured legalisms.
Historian Arthur Schlesinger agreed that the doctrine and implementation were “revolutionary”, but from a quite different standpoint. As the first bombs fell on Baghdad, he recalled then-president Franklin Roosevelt’s words after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii: “a date which will live in infamy”. Now it is Americans who live in infamy, he wrote, as their government adopts the policies of imperial Japan.
Bush Has Unleashed a ‘Global Wave of Hatred’ toward the US
He added that George W Bush had converted a “global wave of sympathy” for the US into a “global wave of hatred of American arrogance and militarism”. A year later, “discontent with America and its policies had intensified rather than diminished”. Even in Britain support for the war had declined by a third.
As predicted, the war increased the threat of terror. Middle East expert Fawaz Gerges found it “simply unbelievable how the war has revived the appeal of a global jihadi Islam that was in real decline after [September 11, 2001]”.
Recruitment for the al-Qaeda networks increased, while Iraq itself became a “terrorist haven” for the first time. Suicide attacks for the year 2003 reached the highest level in modern times; Iraq suffered its first [iinvasion] since the 13th century. Substantial specialist opinion concluded that the war also led to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
As the anniversary of the invasion approached, New York’s Grand Central Station was patrolled by police with submachine-guns, a reaction to the March 11 Madrid train bombings that killed 200 people in Europe’s worst terrorist crime.
A few days later, the Spanish electorate voted out the government that had gone to war despite overwhelming popular opposition. Spaniards were condemned for appeasing terrorism by voting for withdrawing troops from Iraq in the absence of United Nations authorization — that is, for taking a stand rather like that of 70% of Americans, who called for the UN to take the leading role in Iraq.
Bush assured Americans that “the world is safer today because, in Iraq, our coalition ended a regime that cultivated ties to terror while it built weapons of mass destruction”. The president’s handlers know that every word is false, but they also know that lies can become Truth, if repeated insistently enough.
How Clinton Helped Promote bin Laden’s Power
There is broad agreement among specialists on how to reduce the threat of terror — keeping here to the sub-category that is doctrinally acceptable, their terror against us — and also on how to incite terrorist atrocities, which may become truly horrendous.
The consensus is well articulated by Jason Burke in his study of the al-Qaeda phenomenon, the most detailed and informed investigation of this loose array of radical Islamists for whom Osama bin Laden is hardly more than a symbol (a more dangerous one after he is killed, perhaps, becoming a martyr who inspires others to join his cause).
The role of Washington’s current incumbents, in their Reaganite phase, in creating the radical Islamist networks is well known. Less familiar is their tolerance of Pakistan’s slide toward radical Islamist extremism and its development of nuclear weapons.
As Burke reviews, former president Bill Clinton’s 1998 bombings of Sudan and Afghanistan created bin Laden as a symbol, forged close relations between him and the Taliban, and led to a sharp increase in support, recruitment, and financing for al-Qaeda, which until then was virtually unknown.
Bush’s Invasion of Afghanistan Increased bin Laden’s Prominence
The next major contribution to the growth of al-Qaeda and the prominence of bin Laden was Bush’s bombing of Afghanistan after September 11, undertaken without credible pretext as later quietly conceded. As a result, bin Laden’s message “spread among tens of millions of people, particularly the young and angry, around the world”, Burke writes, reviewing the increase in global terror and the creation of “a whole new cadre of terrorists” enlisted in what they see as a “cosmic struggle between good and evil”, a vision shared by bin Laden and Bush. As noted, the invasion of Iraq had the same effect.
Citing many examples, Burke concludes, “Every use of force is another small victory for bin Laden,” who “is winning”, whether he lives or dies. Burke’s assessment is widely shared by many analysts, including former heads of Israeli military intelligence and the General Security Services.
There is also a broad consensus on what the proper reaction to terrorism should be. It is two-pronged: directed at the terrorists themselves and at the reservoir of potential support. The appropriate response to terrorist crimes is police work, which has been successful worldwide. More important is the broad constituency the terrorists — who see themselves as a vanguard — seek to mobilize, including many who hate and fear them but nevertheless see them as fighting for a just cause.
We can help the vanguard mobilize this reservoir of support by violence, or can address the “myriad grievances”, many legitimate, that are “the root causes of modern Islamic militancy”. That can significantly reduce the threat of terror, and should be undertaken independently of this goal.
Violence Incites Violence
Violence can succeed, as Americans know well from the conquest of the national territory. But at terrible cost. It can also provoke violence in response, and often does. Inciting terror is not the only illustration. Others are even more hazardous.
Last February, Russia carried out its largest military exercises in two decades, prominently exhibiting advanced WMD. Russian generals and Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov announced that they were responding to Washington’s plans “to make nuclear weapons an instrument of solving military tasks”, including its development of new low-yield nuclear weapons, “an extremely dangerous tendency that is undermining global and regional stability … lowering the threshold for actual use”.
Strategic analyst Bruce Blair writes that Russia is well aware that the new “bunker busters” are designed to target the “high-level nuclear command bunkers” that control its nuclear arsenal. Ivanov and Russian generals report that in response to US escalation they are deploying “the most advanced state-of-the-art missile in the world”, perhaps next to impossible to destroy, something that “would be very alarming to the Pentagon”, says former assistant defense secretary Phil Coyle.
Russia Triples Weapons Spending to Match Bush’s Threats of ‘Pre-emptive Strikes’
US analysts suspect that Russia may also be duplicating US development of a hypersonic cruise vehicle that can re-enter the atmosphere from space and launch devastating attacks without warning, part of US plans to reduce reliance on overseas bases or negotiated access to air routes.
US analysts estimate that Russian military expenditures have tripled during the Bush-Putin years, in large measure a predicted reaction to the Bush administration’s militancy and aggressiveness.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ivanov cited the Bush doctrine of “preemptive strike” — the “revolutionary” new doctrine of the National Security Strategy — but also “added a key detail, saying that military force can be used if there is an attempt to limit Russia’s access to regions that are essential to its survival”, thus adapting for Russia the Clinton doctrine that the US is entitled to resort to “unilateral use of military power” to ensure “uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies, and strategic resources”. The world “is a much more insecure place” now that Russia has decided to follow the US lead, said Fiona Hill of the Brookings Institution, adding that other countries presumably “will follow suit”.
A Nuclear War Could be Minutes Away
In the past, Russian automated response systems have come within a few minutes of launching a nuclear strike, barely aborted by human intervention. By now, the systems have deteriorated. US systems, which are much more reliable, are nevertheless extremely hazardous. They allow three minutes for human judgment after computers warn of a missile attack, as they frequently do.
The Pentagon has also found serious flaws in its computer security systems that might allow terrorist hackers to seize control and simulate a launch — “an accident waiting to happen”, Bruce Blair writes. The dangers are being consciously escalated by the threat and use of violence.
Concern is not eased by the recent discovery that US presidents have been “systematically misinformed” about the effects of nuclear war. The level of destruction has been “severely underestimated” because of lack of systematic oversight of the “insulated bureaucracies” that provide analyses of “limited and ‘winnable’ nuclear war”; the resulting “institutional myopia can be catastrophic”, far more so than the manipulation of intelligence on Iraq.
The Bush administration slated the initial deployment of a missile defense system for this summer, a move criticized as “completely political”, employing untested technology at great expense.
A more appropriate criticism is that the system might seem workable; in the logic of nuclear war, what counts is perception. Both US planners and potential targets regard missile defense as a first-strike weapon, intended to provide more freedom for aggression, including nuclear attack. And they know how the US responded to Russia’s deployment of a very limited anti-ballistic-missile (ABM) system in 1968: by targeting the system with nuclear weapons to ensure that it would be instantly overwhelmed.
Bush’s ‘Missile Defense’ System Serves an Offensive Nuclear Policy
Analysts warn that current US plans will also provoke a Chinese reaction. History and the logic of deterrence “remind us that missile defense systems are potent drivers of offensive nuclear planning”, and the Bush initiative will again raise the threat to Americans and to the world.
China’s reaction may set off a ripple effect through India, Pakistan, and beyond. In West Asia, Washington is increasing the threat posed by Israel’s nuclear weapons and other WMD by providing Israel with more than 100 of its most advanced jet bombers, accompanied by prominent announcements that the bombers can reach Iran and return and are an advanced version of the US planes Israel used to destroy an Iraqi reactor in 1981.
The Israeli press adds that the US is providing the Israeli air force with “‘special’ weaponry”. There can be little doubt that Iranian and other intelligence services are watching closely and perhaps giving a worst-case analysis: that these may be nuclear weapons. The leaks and dispatch of the aircraft may be intended to rattle the Iranian leadership, perhaps to provoke some action that can be used as a pretext for an attack.
Immediately after the National Security Strategy was announced in September 2002, the US moved to terminate negotiations on an enforceable bioweapons treaty and to block international efforts to ban biowarfare and the militarization of space.
A year later, at the UN General Assembly, the US voted alone against implementation of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and alone with its new ally India against steps toward the elimination of nuclear weapons.
The US voted alone against “observance of environmental norms” in disarmament and arms-control agreements and alone with Israel and Micronesia against steps to prevent nuclear proliferation in the Middle East — the pretext for invading Iraq. A resolution to prevent militarization of space passed 174-0, with four abstentions: the US, Israel, Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands. As discussed earlier, a negative US vote or abstention amounts to a double veto: the resolution is blocked and is eliminated from reporting and history.
Bush planners know as well as others that the resort to force increases the threat of terror, and that their militaristic and aggressive posture and actions provoke reactions that increase the risk of catastrophe. They do not desire these outcomes, but assign them low priority in comparison to the international and domestic agendas they make little attempt to conceal.
This article is an edited version of the afterword in the paperback edition of Noam Chomsky’s Hegemony or Survival, America’s Quest for Global Dominance (The American Empire Project, Metropolitan Books). Chomsky is a professor of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of numerous books on linguistics and on US foreign policy.
Posted in accordance with Title 17., US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.
October 30th, 2004 - by admin
Agence France-Press / Times of India – 2004-10-30 10:23:06
DOHA (October 30, 2004) — Following is a translation from Arabic of the complete text of a message to the Americans by Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in which he threatens fresh attacks on the US, days before the US presidential election, as aired by Al-Jazeera TV on Friday night.
“O American people, this is what I have to say about the causes and results (of the September 11, 2001 attacks) and the way to avoid another Manhattan.
I tell you that security is a major pillar of human life. Free men do not renounce their security, irrespective of (US President George W) Bush’s claims that we hate freedom.
Let him (Bush) tell us why we did not attack Sweden, for example. It is obvious that those who hate freedom cannot have the pride of the 19 (September 11 suicide hijackers), God rest their souls.
If we fought you, it is because we are free men, we do not ignore values, we want to return freedom to our nation. If you play havoc with our security, we play havoc with yours.
You astonish me. Despite the fact that we are into the fourth year after September 11, Bush is still misleading you and hiding the real reason from you, which means that the reasons to repeat what happened remain.
I will tell you about the reasons of these events and about the moments in which the decision (to attack) was taken so you will ponder them.
I swear we never thought of attacking the towers, but when we saw the injustice and arbitrariness of the US-Israeli alliance against our brethren in Palestine and Lebanon, it became too much and the idea came to me.
The events which affected me directly go back to 1982 … when America gave the Israelis the green light to invade Lebanon, with the backing of the US Sixth Fleet.
It is difficult to describe what I felt in these painful moments, but it created an overwhelming feeling of refusal of injustice and a compelling determination to punish the unjust.
As I watched the destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me that the unjust should suffer the same, that the towers in America must be destroyed so that America gets a taste of what we went through, so that it will stop killing our children and women.
We did not find it hard to deal with Bush and his administration given the similarity with the regimes in our countries, half of which are governed by soldiers and the other half by the offspring of kings and presidents.
We have a long experience with those. Both categories count people who are arrogant, greedy and embezzle (public) funds.
The similarity began at the time of visits by Bush the father (former US president George Bush) to the region.
At a time when some of our kinfolk were impressed by America and hoped that these visits would impact on our countries, it turned out that he was the one affected by these monarchies and military regimes, envying them for keeping their posts tens of years, embezzling public funds without being held accountable or monitored.
He transferred tyranny and repression of freedoms to his son and they called it a national law (US Patriot Act, introduced) under the pretext of combating terrorism.
Bush’s father thought it was a good thing to put his sons to govern states. And he did not forget to transfer (election-) forging skills from the presidents of the region to Florida to use them in critical times.
We had agreed with (suicide hijacker) Mohammad Atta, God rest his soul, that he finishes all operations in 20 minutes before Bush and his administration take notice.
It never occurred to us that the commander-in-chief of the US armed forces would leave 50,000 of his citizens in the two towers to face these horrors alone at a time when they were most in need of him.
He reckoned that it was more important to preoccupy himself with the talk of the little girl about her goat … than with the planes and their strike on the skyscrapers, giving us three times the time required to carry out the operations, thanks be to God.
Your security is not in the hands of (Democratic presidential candidate John) Kerry, Bush or Al-Qaeda. Your security is in your own hands. Any (presidential) mandate which does not play havoc with our security would automatically ensure its own security.”
October 28th, 2004 - by admin
VoteNoWar.org – 2004-10-28 21:12:49
In a medical study being published today, scientists have concluded that the US invasion and occupation of Iraq has resulted in the deaths of at least 100,000 Iraqis, “and may be much higher.”
It further revealed that most of the 100,000 Iraqis who died were killed in violent deaths, primarily carried out by US forces’ airstrikes.
“Most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children,” according to the study. The study was designed and conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University and the Al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad (The Lancet, October 29, 2004).
The population of Iraq is approximately 25 million people. Were this slaughter carried out on an equivalent scale in the United States, it would be comparable to a death toll of one million people.
Infant Mortality Has Doubled Under US Occupation
Even the youngest and most vulnerable have not been spared: as a consequence of the US war against the people of Iraq, infant mortality rose from 29 deaths per 1,000 live births before the war to 57 deaths per 1,000 afterward.
The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 78 U.N.T.S. 277, executed in 1948, and ratified by the United States, and which carries the binding force of the law of nations, prohibits genocide or complicity in genocide. See, also, 18 U.S.C. 1091.
“In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
• (a) Killing members of the group;
• (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
• (c) Deliberately inflicting upon the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part…”
Bush Administration Is Guilty of War Crimes
This is a criminal war just as the Vietnam war was a criminal war. It isn’t enough to advocate that replacing Bush with Kerry should be the goal of anti-war advocates.
The Pentagon is preparing to rain down their favored “shock and awe” violence on the devastated people of Fallujah who have already been subject to terrorizing bombing raids and the killings of entire families night after night for months.
A Call for Unconditional Withdrawal
By demanding the unconditional withdrawal from Iraq we are sending a message to the Iraq people that we respect their right to determine their own destiny and we send a message to the US soldiers that their lives and dignity are too important to be used in the commission of war crimes or to serve as cannon fodder in a war that only benefits the corporate and banking elite.
Bush and Kerry have pledged to continue this violent occupation in order to “win” in Iraq. The people of Iraq are desperately trying to regain their sovereignty and right to determine their own futures without outside intervention.
While some feel that the “final stretch” is in these next few days culminating at the polls, for the people of Iraq and all those around the world who stand in solidarity with them, the “final stretch” is from now until the US troops and all occupation forces are removed from that sovereign land.
We must deepen the fight in the United States to bring this war to an end unconditionally. It is completely bogus to insist the intervention must continue based on some humanitarian argument that since US intervention wrought so much devastation, the US must now stay the course in order to prevent “civil war,” “chaos,” or “a blood bath.”
These were the same arguments that were used to justify the prolongation of the US war in Vietnam. The only thing that happened when the US finally left Vietnam was that the real blood bath ended.
A Call for Mass Action
That’s why thousands of people are planning to take action starting on November 3 and culminating in a mass action all along the route of the Inaugural parade on January 20 in Washington, DC.
For info on attending the January demonstrations, click here
Only the anti-war movement will end the criminal war in Iraq. We urgently need your support to carry out these activities to stop the blood bath in Iraq.
Anti-war activists who are out in the streets, including before the election fighting against racist disenfranchisement as well as after the election, are prominently displaying the most important anti-war message of our time: Bring the Troops Home Now! on T-shirts, stickers and signs — which you can get at the VoteNoWar Resource Center, along with ANSWER’s own “End All Occupations” shirt.
Pledge now to support the January 20 demonstration against the war — no matter who is elected.
October 28th, 2004 - by admin
The News International / Pakistan – 2004-10-28 20:50:55
LONDON (October 25, 2004– Ramadan 10, 1425 A.H) — The United States could attack Europe’s planned network of global positioning satellites if it was used by a hostile power such as China, The Business weekly reported on Sunday.
Galileo, a constellation of 30 satellites and ground stations due to go into operation in 2008, is being launched by the European Union and the European Space Agency to tap into a growing market of global satellite positioning.
China last month became a partner in the Galileo program, which could help provide services such as communications for the 2008 Beijing Olympics but also has applications for strategic military use.
According to a leaked US Air Force document written in August and obtained by The Business, Peter Teets, under-secretary of the US Air Force wrote: “What will we do 10 years from now when American lives are put at risk because an adversary chooses to leverage the global positioning system of perhaps the Galileo constellation to attack American forces with precision?”
The paper also reported a disagreement between EU and US officials this month over Galileo at a London conference, which led to the threat to blow up the future satellites.
The European delegates reportedly said they would not turn off or jam signals from their satellites, even if they were used in a war with the United States. A senior European delegate at the London conference said his US counterparts reacted to the EU position “calmly”.
“They made it clear that they would attempt what they called reversible action, but, if necessary, they would use irreversible action,” the official was quoted as saying.
Washington has long expressed doubts about Galileo, which could compete with its Global Positioning System (GPS), although the transatlantic feud was reportedly ended following an agreement signed in June.
US officials have voiced fears that the rival system, which has also brought on board Russia and Israel in addition to China, could compromise US and NATO military operations which rely on GPS for navigation and combatant location and might also interfere with a classified Pentagon positioning system known as M-Code.
At one point, Washington suggested that Galileo was an unnecessary rival to GPS that merely duplicated the US system. Analysts said the US threat to Galileo’s future system exposed the true military value of the global navigation systems.
Previously, officials touted only the commercial benefit of Galileo, which is expected to tap into a burgeoning market for satellite positioning systems that doubled from 10 billion euros in 2002 to 20 billion euros in 2003. Brussels has also argued Galileo will create 150,000 new jobs across the European bloc.
The Business warned in an editorial that technological choices — Galileo versus GPS — now would fuel more international political division. “Technological decisions required by Galileo mean countries have to commit themselves to the ugly delineation of the Iraq War: pro-America (GPS) or anti-America (Galileo).”
It warned that Britain, Washington’s staunchest ally in the Iraq war, would once again find itself trapped between the two camps — and that as a result “the Anglo-American alliance is quietly splitting behind the scenes”.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, US Code for noncommercial, educational purposes.
October 28th, 2004 - by admin
www.911review.org – 2004-10-28 09:01:20
On the heels of the controversial USA Patriot Act (passed with a little help from anthrax that was traced back to the US Army), followed by the Homeland Security Act, there is now new totalitarian legislation being passed under the guise of implementing the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations.
These measures include the legalisation of the practice of handing Canadians (and other Aliens) over to countries that practice torture.
The legislation explicitly revises US law to remove the applicability of the United Nations ”Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment,” to anyone John Ashcroft decides is a terrorist.
American citizens may also want to consider the case of Yaser Hamdi, who until recently was a US citizen.
In post-Orwellian America, any US citizen can be jailed almost indefinitely with no charges, and then may be let out if he or she renounces his or her citizenship and agrees to be deported. And if the 9/11 Ommission Act passes, the US government will decide what country he will be deported to, and who his torturers may be.
The Global Police State Agenda has been enacted using 9/11 as an excuse. Three years after 9/11, the Globalist Totalitarian Agenda is shredding what’s left of the Common Law, all the back to Magna Carta.
These measures include the legalisation of the practice of rendering Canadians (and other aliens) to countries that practice torture, as was done to Arar,Maher when he stopped in NYC on a flight back to Canada.
The legislation explicitly revises US law to remove the applicability of the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 1 to anyone John Ashcroft decides is a terrorist.
American citizens may also want to consider the case of Yaser Hamdi, who until recently was a US citizen. Hamdi was seized by the Northern Alliance in a Taliban-controlled area of Afghanistan and handed over to the Americans. He was then rendered to Guantánamo Bay, but three months later, it was discovered that he was a US citizen, whereupon he was transferred to a Naval brig in North Carolina.
As with the other prisoners held in Guantánamo Bay, we was held incommunicado without access to lawyers, and without a status hearing to determine if he was a combatant as required by the Geneva Conventions. A middle level Defense Department official simply asserted in writing to a court that he was an “enemy combatant”, and all of his rights as a citizen then simply disappeared.
After almost three years, his case was argued up to the US Supreme Court, which gave a general decision in favour of the detainees, but sent the specific case back down to the lower courts. In a diabolic bargain, Hamdi was released from custody by the US Justice Department under three conditions:
• He renounce his US citizenship (he had dual US/Saudi citizenship)
• He agrees to never return to the United States
• He renounce all legal actions against the United States government.
No evidence of any kind was ever presented against him.
So, in post-Orwellian America, any US citizen can be jailed almost indefinitely with no charges, and then may be let out if he or she renounces his or her citizenship and agrees to be deported. And if the 9/11 Ommission Act passes, the US government will decide what country he will be deported to, and who his torturers may be.
For more on the use of “enemy combatants” in US courts, see SecretEvidence. http://www.911review.org/Wiki/SecretEvidence.shtml
October 28th, 2004 - by admin
Nicholas Wilson – 2004-10-28 08:46:22
The term “eco-terrorism” is believed to have been coined by Ron Arnold and his “Wise Use” gang over a decade ago, and they have relentlessly hyped it ever since, including Arnold’s 1997 book Ecoterror: The Violent Agenda to Save Nature: The World of the Unabomber. But for years the use of “eco-terrorism” was limited to the usual right-wing websites and resource extraction industry PR news releases. And in ex-Congressman Frank Riggs’ hyped-up 1998 congressional hearing about the pepper spray torture incident in his Eureka Office in 1997.
And of course, the FBI cooperated with the timber industry PR companies by falsely charging Earth First! leaders Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney with being blown up by their own bomb in 1990. But the hysteria over terrorism following the 9/11 attacks has provided a grand new opportunity for the un-Wise ab-Use gang. They have renewed their long campaign to promote the false perception that all direct-action environmentalism equals terrorism.
In the past couple of years, lower level FBI spokespeople began using the eco-terrorist word with increasing frequency in talking to the media whenever there has been an ALF or ELF arson or spray-paint vandalism.
But the following statement comes right from the top echelon of the FBI in an official presentation to the US Senate in May 2004, clearly demonstrating that it is now official policy of the FBI to equate “animal rights extremism” with “eco-terrorism.”
The two phrases are repeated together over and over, using a classic propaganda technique. The text is copied from the FBI’s own website. All bold-face emphasis is added.
To go right to the source of the term, see Ron Arnold’s “Ecoterrorism” web page at
(Note that Arnold has retreated from his original definition of “ecoterrorism” as “any crime in defense of nature,” and now adopts a definition from the FBI Terrorist Research and Analytical Center published in 1994.)
• For a rational definition and explanation of “eco-terrorism” see the WikiPedia article at:
Federal Bureau of Investigation
[Bold type added for emphasis]
STATEMENT OF JOHN E. LEWIS
DEPUTY ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
BEFORE THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
(May 18, 2004) — Good morning Chairman Hatch, and members of the Committee, I am pleased to have this opportunity to appear before you and discuss the threat posed by animal rights extremists and eco-terrorists in this country, as well as the measures being taken by the FBI and our law enforcement partners to address this threat, and some of the difficulties faced by law enforcement in addressing this crime problem.
As you know, the FBI divides the terrorist threat facing the United States into two broad categories, international and domestic. International terrorism involves violent acts that occur beyond our national boundaries and are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or similar acts of violence committed by individuals or groups under some form of foreign direction occurring within the jurisdiction of the United States.
Domestic terrorism involves acts of violence that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any state, committed by individuals or groups without any foreign direction, and appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, or influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, and occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.
During the past decade we have witnessed dramatic changes in the nature of the domestic terrorist threat. In the 1990s, right-wing extremism overtook left-wing terrorism as the most dangerous domestic terrorist threat to the United States.
During the past several years, however, special interest extremism, as characterized by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), and related extremists, has emerged as a serious domestic terrorist threat. Special interest terrorism differs from traditional right-wing and left-wing terrorism in that extremist special interest groups seek to resolve specific issues, rather than effect widespread political change.
Such extremists conduct acts of politically motivated violence to force segments of society, including the general public, to change attitudes about issues considered important to the extremists‚ causes. Generally, extremist groups engage in much activity that is protected by constitutional guarantees of free speech and assembly.
Law enforcement only becomes involved when the volatile talk of these groups transgresses into unlawful action. The FBI estimates that the ALF/ELF and related groups have committed more than 1,100 criminal acts in the United States since 1976, resulting in damages conservatively estimated at approximately $110 million.
The ALF, established in Great Britain in the mid-1970s, is a loosely organized extremist movement committed to ending the abuse and exploitation of animals. The American branch of the ALF began its operations in the late 1970s. Individuals become members of the ALF not by filing paperwork or paying dues, but simply by engaging in “direct action” against companies or individuals who, in their view, utilize animals for research or economic gain, or do some manner of business with those companies or individuals.
“Direct action” generally occurs in the form of criminal activity designed to cause economic loss or to destroy the victims’ company operations or property.The extremists‚ efforts have broadened to include a multi-national campaign of harassment, intimidation and coercion against animal testing companies and any companies or individuals doing business with those targeted companies. Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) is one such company. The “secondary” or “tertiary” targeting of companies which have business or financial relationships with the target company typically takes the form of fanatical harassment of employees and interference with normal business operations, under the threat of escalating tactics or even violence.
The harassment is designed to inflict increasing economic damage until the company is forced to cancel its contracts or business relationship with the original target. Internationally, the best example of this trend involves Great Britain‚s Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) organization, a more organized sub-group within the extremist animal rights movement. SHAC has targeted the animal testing company HLS and any companies with which HLS conducts business.
While the SHAC organization attempts to portray itself as an information service or even a media outlet, it is closely aligned with the ALF and its pattern of criminal activities ˆ many of which are taken against companies and individuals selected as targets by SHAC and posted on SHAC‚s Internet website.
Investigation of SHAC-related criminal activity has revealed a pattern of vandalism, arsons, animal releases, harassing telephone calls, threats and attempts to disrupt business activities of not only HLS, but of all companies doing business with HLS. Among others, these companies include Bank of America, Marsh USA, Deloitte and Touche, and HLS investors, such as Stephens, Inc., which completely terminated their business relationships with HLS as a result of SHAC activities. Examples of SHAC activities include publishing on its website as a regular feature “Targets of the Week” for followers to target with harassing telephone calls and e-mails in order to discourage that company or individual from doing business with HLS.
In recent years, the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front have become the most active criminal extremist elements in the United States. Despite the destructive aspects of ALF and ELF’s operations, their stated operational philosophy discourages acts that harm “any animal, human and nonhuman.”
In general, the animal rights and environmental extremist movements have adhered to this mandate. Beginning in 2002, however, this operational philosophy has been overshadowed by an escalation in violent rhetoric and tactics, particularly within the animal rights movement. Individuals within the movement have discussed actively targeting food producers, biomedical researchers, and even law enforcement with physical harm.
But even more disturbing is the recent employment of improvised explosive devices against consumer product testing companies, accompanied by threats of more, larger bombings and even potential assassinations of researchers, corporate officers and employees.
The escalation in violent rhetoric is best demonstrated by language that was included in the communiqués claiming responsibility for the detonation of improvised explosive devices in 2003 at two separate northern California companies, which were targeted as a result of their business links to HLS. Following two pipe bomb blasts at the Chiron Life Sciences Center in Emeryville, California on August 28, 2003, an anonymous claim of responsibility was issued which included the statement: “This is the endgame for the animal killers and if you choose to stand with them you will be dealt with accordingly. There will be no quarter given, no half measures taken. You might be able to protect your buildings, but can you protect the homes of every employee?”
Just four weeks later, following the explosion of another improvised explosive device wrapped in nails at the headquarters of Shaklee, Incorporated in Pleasanton, California on September 26, 2003, another sinister claim of responsibility was issued via anonymous communiqué by the previously unknown “Revolutionary Cells of the Animal Liberation Brigade.”
This claim was even more explicit in its threats: “We gave all of the customers the chance, the choice, to withdraw their business from HLS (Huntingdon Life Sciences). Now you will all reap what you have sown. All customers and their families are considered legitimate targets… You never know when your house, your car even, might go boom…. Or maybe it will be a shot in the dark…. We will now be doubling the size of every device we make. Today it is 10 pounds, tomorrow 20…. until your buildings are nothing more than rubble. It is time for this war to truly have two sides. No more will all the killing be done by the oppressors, now the oppressed will strike back.”
It should be noted that the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in San Francisco has identified and charged known activist Daniel Andreas San Diego, who is currently a fugitive from justice, in connection with these bombings. While no deaths or injuries have resulted from this threat or the blasts at Chiron and Shaklee, it demonstrates a new willingness on the part of some in the movement to abandon the traditional and publicly stated code of nonviolence in favor of more confrontational and aggressive tactics designed to threaten and intimidate legitimate companies into abandoning entire projects or contracts.
Despite these ominous trends, by far the most destructive practice of the ALF/ELF to date is arson. The ALF/ELF extremists consistently use improvised incendiary devices equipped with crude but effective timing mechanisms. These incendiary devices are often constructed based upon instructions found on the ALF/ELF websites.
The ALF/ELF criminal incidents often involve pre-activity surveillance and well-planned operations. Activists are believed to engage in significant intelligence gathering against potential targets, including the review of industry/trade publications and other open source information, photographic/video surveillance of potential targets, obtaining proprietary or confidential information about intended victim companies through theft or from sympathetic insiders, and posting details about potential targets on the Internet for other extremists to use as they see fit.
In addition to the upswing in violent rhetoric and tactics observed from animal rights extremists in recent years, new trends have emerged in the eco-terrorist movement. These trends include a greater frequency of attacks in more populated areas, as seen in Southern California, Michigan and elsewhere, and the increased targeting of Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and new construction of homes or commercial properties in previously undeveloped areas by extremists combating what they describe as “urban sprawl.”
Eco-terrorists have adopted these new targets due to their perceived negative environmental impact. Recent examples of this targeting include the August 1, 2003 arson of a large condominium complex under construction near La Jolla, California, which resulted in an estimated $50 million in property damages; the August 22, 2003 arson and vandalism of over 120 SUVs in West Covina, California; and the arson of two new homes under construction near Ann Arbor, Michigan in March 2003. It is believed these trends will persist, as extremists within the environmental movement continue to fight what they perceive as greater encroachment of human society on the natural world.
The FBI has developed a strong response to the threats posed by domestic and international terrorism. Between fiscal years 1993 and 2003, the number of special agents dedicated to the FBI’s counterterrorism programs more than doubled. In recent years, the FBI has strengthened its counterterrorism program to enhance its abilities to carry out these objectives.
Cooperation among law enforcement agencies at all levels represents an important component of a comprehensive response to terrorism. This cooperation assumes its most tangible operational form in the Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) that are established in FBI field divisions across the nation. These task forces are particularly well-suited to respond to terrorism because they combine the national and international investigative resources of the FBI with the expertise of other federal law enforcement and local law enforcement agencies.
The FBI currently has 84 JTTFs nationwide, one in each of the 56 Field Offices, and 28 additional annexes. By integrating the investigative abilities of the FBI, other federal law enforcement and local law enforcement agencies, these task forces represent an effective response to the threats posed to U.S. communities by domestic and international terrorists.
The FBI and our law enforcement partners have made a number of arrests of individuals alleged to have perpetrated acts of animal rights extremism or eco-terrorism. Some recent arrests include eco-terror fugitive Michael James Scarpitti and accused ELF arsonist William Cottrell. Scarpitti, commonly known by his “forest name” of Tre‚ Arrow, was arrested by Canadian law enforcement authorities on March 13, 2004 in British Columbia. Scarpitti had been a fugitive since August 2002, when he was indicted for his role in two separate ELF-related arsons that occurred in the Portland, Oregon area in 2001. William Cottrell was arrested by the FBI‚s Los Angeles Division on March 9, 2004, and indicted by a federal grand jury on March 16, 2004 for the role he played in a series of arsons and vandalisms of more than 120 sport utility vehicles that occurred on August 22, 2003 in West Covina, California. Those crimes resulted in more than $2.5 million in damages.
Between December 8, 2003 and January 12, 2004, three members of an ELF cell in Richmond, Virginia entered guilty pleas to federal arson and conspiracy charges, following their arrests by the FBI Richmond Division and local authorities.
Adam Blackwell, Aaron Linas and John Wade admitted to conducting a series of arson and property destruction attacks in 2002 and 2003 against sport utility vehicles, fast food restaurants, construction vehicles and construction sites in the Richmond area, which they later claimed were committed on behalf of the ELF.
In addition, the FBI Richmond Division, working in concert with the Henrico County Police Department, successfully identified, disrupted and prevented another arson plot targeting SUVs by a second, independent ELF cell in February 2004. The four members of this alleged cell, all juveniles, are currently awaiting trial on federal and state charges.
In February 2001, teenagers Jared McIntyre, Matthew Rammelkamp, and George Mashkow all pleaded guilty, as adults, to Title 18 U.S.C. 844(i), arson, and 844(n), arson conspiracy. These charges pertained to a series of arsons and attempted arsons of new home construction sites in Long Island, NY, which according to McIntyre were committed in sympathy of the ELF movement.
An adult, Connor Cash, was also arrested on February 15, 2001, and charged under federal statutes for his role in these crimes. Cash is currently on trial in federal court for charges of providing material support to terrorism. The New York Joint Terrorism Task Force played a significant role in the arrest and prosecution of these individuals.
Despite these recent successes, however, FBI investigative efforts to target these movements for identification, prevention and disruption have been hampered by a lack of applicable federal criminal statutes, particularly when attempting to address an organized, multi-state campaign of intimidation, property damage, threats and coercion designed to interfere with legitimate interstate commerce, as exhibited by the SHAC organization. While it is a relatively simple matter to prosecute extremists who are identified as responsible for committing arsons or utilizing explosive devices, using existing federal statutes, it is often difficult if not impossible to address a campaign of low-level (but nevertheless organized and multi-national) criminal activity like that of SHAC in federal court.
In order to address the overall problem presented by SHAC, and to prevent it from engaging in actions intending to shut down a legitimate business enterprise, the FBI initiated a coordinated investigative approach beginning in 2001. Investigative and prosecutive strategies were explored among the many FBI offices that had experienced SHAC activity, the corresponding United States Attorneys’ Offices, FBIHQ, and the Department of Justice. Of course, the use of the existing Animal Enterprise Terrorism (AET) statute was explored. This statute, set forth in Title 18 U.S.C., Section 43, provides a framework for the prosecution of individuals involved in animal rights extremism. In practice, however, the statute does not reach many of the criminal activities engaged in by SHAC in furtherance of its overall objective of shutting down HLS.
As written, the AET statute prohibits traveling in commerce for the purpose of causing physical disruption to an animal enterprise, or causing physical disruption by intentionally stealing, damaging or causing the loss of property used by an animal enterprise, and as a result, causing economic loss exceeding $10,000. An animal enterprise includes commercial or academic entities that use animals for food or fiber production, research, or testing, as well as zoos, circuses and other lawful animal competitive events. Violators can be fined or imprisoned for not more than three years, with enhanced penalties if death or serious bodily injury result.
While some ALF activities have involved direct actions covered by this statute, such as animal releases at mink farms, the activities of SHAC generally fall outside the scope of the AET statute. In fact, SHAC members are typically quite conversant in the elements of the federal statute and appear to engage in conduct that, while criminal (such as trespassing, vandalism or other property damage), would not result in a significant, particularly federal, prosecution.
However, given SHAC’s pattern of harassing and oftentimes criminal conduct, and its stated goal of shutting down a company engaged in interstate as well as foreign commerce, other statutory options were explored at the federal level in order to address this conduct. Ultimately, prosecution under the Hobbs Act (Title 18 U.S.C., Section 1951) was the agreed upon strategy.
The theory advanced to support a Hobbs Act prosecution was that the subjects were (and continue to be) engaged in an international extortion scheme against companies engaged in, or doing business with companies engaged in, animal-based research. In furtherance of this scheme of extortion, the victims are subjected to criminal acts such as vandalism, arson, property damage, harassment and physical attacks, or the fear of such attacks, until they discontinue their animal-based research or their association with or investment in companies such as HLS, engaged in animal-based research.
However, as a result of the Supreme Court‚s 2003 decision in Scheidler v. National Organization for Women , the use of the Hobbs Act in prosecuting SHAC was removed as an option. In the Scheidler decision, the Supreme Court held that, while activists may be found to illegally interfere with, disrupt or even deprive victims of the free exercise of their property rights or their right to conduct business, this activity does not constitute extortion as defined under the Hobbs Act unless the activists seek to obtain or convert the victims‚ property for their own use.
Currently, more than 34 FBI field offices have over 190 pending investigations associated with ALF/ELF activities. Extremist movements such as the ALF and the ELF present unique challenges. There is little, if any, known hierarchal structure to such entities.
The animal rights extremist and eco-terrorism movements are unlike traditional criminal enterprises that are often structured and organized. They exhibit remarkable levels of security awareness when engaged in criminal activity, and are typically very knowledgeable of law enforcement techniques and the limitations imposed on law enforcement.
The FBI’s commitment to address the threat can be seen in the proactive approach that we have taken regarding the dissemination of information. Intelligence Information Reports (IIRs) are used as a vehicle for delivering FBI intelligence information to members of the Intelligence, Policy and Law Enforcement Communities. Since its establishment in March 2003, the Domestic Collection, Evaluation and Dissemination Unit has issued 20 IIRs to the field relating specifically to animal rights/eco-terrorism activity.
The commitment to addressing the threat posed by animal rights extremists and eco-terrorism movements can also be demonstrated by the FBI’s proactive information campaign. This campaign has included ongoing liaison with federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecutors, relevant trade associations and targeted companies and industries.
The FBI has established a National Task Force and Intelligence Center at FBIHQ to coordinate this information campaign, and develop and implement a nationwide, strategic investigative approach to addressing the animal rights/eco-terrorism threat in the United States.
The FBI has also conducted liaison and cooperated in investigations with foreign law enforcement agencies regarding animal rights extremist/eco-terrorism matters. In conclusion, the FBI has made the prevention and investigation of animal rights extremists/eco-terrorism matters a domestic terrorism investigative priority.
The FBI and all of our federal, state and local law enforcement partners will continue to strive to address the difficult and unique challenges posed by animal rights extremists and eco-terrorists. Despite the continued focus on international terrorism, we in the FBI remain fully cognizant of the full range of threats that confront the United States.
Chairman Hatch and members of the committee, this concludes my prepared remarks. I would like to express appreciation for your concentration on these important issues and I look forward to responding to any questions you may have.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, US Code for noncommercial, educational purposes.
October 28th, 2004 - by admin
Camille T. Taiara / San Francisco Bay Guardian – 2004-10-28 08:20:45
Early this month, the federal government launched the latest crude offensive in its so-called war on terror. Titled the October Plan, the program called for “aggressive — even obvious — surveillance” of a wide range of individuals (regardless of whether or not they’re suspected of any criminal wrongdoing) until the Nov. 2 presidential election, according to an internal document leaked to the press.
The plan – a collaboration between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and other agencies — involves renewed scrutiny of mosques and interrogations of people whose national origin, religious faith, or political leanings might, in the eyes of the feds, indicate even the most far-flung relationship to “terrorism.”
Immigrants and others interviewed by the FBI have been “questioned about immigration status — theirs and others’ — and about their political and religious views,” the National Lawyers Guild’s Stacey Tolchin said at an emergency press conference called by the San Francisco branch of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the Bay Area Association of Muslim Lawyers, the NLG, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.
For staffers at these organizations, responding to these kinds of crackdowns has become alarmingly routine. This is the fifth round of FBI “informal interviews” targeting immigrants based on their national origin, religion, and, increasingly, their political views.
No one knows just how many have been deported as a result of the interviews or of the various dragnets conducted over the past three years. Local NLG attorney Nancy Hormachae reported that at least 13,000 people were forced into deportation hearings as the result of the notorious Special Registration program alone. And the fact that none of these campaigns has proffered a single al-Qaeda operative hasn’t deterred the Bush administration a bit.
So far, immigrant Muslims and those from the Middle East and Central Asia have suffered the brunt of the Bush administration’s attacks on civil liberties. But as NLG immigration attorney Mark Van Der Hout told me, “Going after immigrants is just the first step towards going after US citizens.”
Indeed, a look at the past three years shows that Attorney General John Ashcroft’s offensive has widened to include a range of citizens whose only real crime is their opposition to the Bush administration’s policies.
The FBI Comes Calling
President George W. Bush, Aschroft, and company have made it easier to spy on everyday citizens without probable cause of criminal activity, even allowing for the indefinite detention of Americans dubbed “enemy combatants,” without charges or access to a lawyer.
They’ve eviscerated laws meant to keep a wall between the CIA and the FBI and erected an extensive domestic-spying infrastructure, enlisting private citizens and relying on private industry to a degree never seen before. Today federal agencies are maintaining a grand total of 10 domestic watch lists.
The Bush administration has shifted federal funding away from traditional law enforcement and toward domestic spying, explained John Crew, an attorney with the ACLU of Northern California specializing in police practices and surveillance issues. “A lot of this activity is, in fact, being carried out by local police working with the Joint Terrorism Task Force,” he told me, explaining that those agents are considered “federalized.” They report to the FBI. Local city officials — even local police chiefs – are often not aware of what these “special officers” are doing.
As the Bush administration loosened professional standards for law enforcement, it simultaneously increased financial incentives for conducting surveillance, Crew continued. “To qualify for grants, [local law enforcement] must have organizations in their locale that are threats,” he said. “They have to justify their own budget by amplifying the threat factor.”
Here in San Francisco, the FBI was to assign 27 special agents — two with supervisory powers — to the San Francisco Police Department, according to a November 2002 agreement between the two agencies. The SFPD was to assign one investigator from its Intelligence Unit to coordinate supervision of the special agents alongside the FBI’s two supervisory special agents.
“We usually don’t know what they’re really up to until many years later, if ever,” Crew said.
Details of just how law enforcement is making use of its expanded powers remain clouded in secrecy. But one thing is clear: it doesn’t take much to earn a surprise visit from federal agents these days.
Just ask San Francisco resident Denver Duffer. Duffer was questioned by a state trooper and a cop in Blair, Neb., during a three-week road trip last month. He had stopped to admire “a beautiful old railroad bridge over the Missouri River,” wrote former roommate and Daily Journal staff writer Peter Blumberg in the Daily Journal, and had taken a few photos on his point-and-shoot. The officers had received several calls from concerned citizens reporting that a bearded Arab had been photographing the bridge’s foundations.
After grilling Duffer and rifling through his car and luggage, the officers let him go. But three weeks later, two FBI special agents appeared at Duffer’s home.
The G-men let him off the hook after questioning him and Blumberg for 20 minutes and looking at the panoramic photos Duffer had shot during his trip. But the visit raised a disturbing question: how did a false tip, checked out and then dismissed by local cops in Nebraska, wind up on the desk of FBI agents in San Francisco?
Just a week before Duffer’s Nebraska run-in, 19-year-old Derek Kjar of Salt Lake City had also found himself being grilled by two agents — at least one from the Secret Service — after a neighbor called the feds to report a bumper sticker on Kjar’s car that read, “King George – Off with his head.”
“They said it was ‘borderline terrorism,’ ” Kjar told Matthew Rothschild, a reporter for the Progressive’s online McCarthyism Watch.
Media reports have documented dozens of such incidents over the past three years.
Viewed piecemeal, these episodes are troubling enough. But when considered alongside other disturbing patterns, they point to a much more insidious, Machiavellian offensive against everyday activists who dare to organize in opposition to the Bush administration’s draconian policies.
These patterns provide evidence that, despite official claims to the contrary, law enforcement may be directing much of its domestic antiterrorism efforts into COINTELPRO-style programs – keeping tabs on activists and otherwise assaulting legitimate dissent.
“If you’re going to start focusing on people not because they’re engaged in violent activity — if the focus of your approach is going to be because of the political views that they hold — then inevitably that’s going to lead to the kind of political disruption that was used in COINTELPRO,” Center for Constitutional Rights legal director Jeff Fogel told me. “To me, that’s the logical result.”
The Criminal Quakers
A rash of scandals involving sinister, new intelligence outfits corroborate Fogel’s suspicions.
In March 2002, the Denver ACLU filed a class action suit against the local police department that eventually uncovered proof that Denver cops had been monitoring and keeping files on more than 3,200 individuals and 208 organizations — the vast majority of whom posed no threat — despite a city policy prohibiting intelligence gathering not directly associated with criminal activities. Among what became know in the local press as the “Denver spy files” were documents labeling the American Friends Service Committee, an 85-year-old pacifist Quaker group, as one of numerous “criminal extremists.”
“We got, through discovery, documents indicating that the [FBI’s] Joint Terrorism Task Force was also collecting information about people’s peaceful activities — activities that solely involve political views, not criminal activity,” Mark Silverman, legal director for the Denver ACLU, told me.
One year after the “Denver spy files” scandal and closer to home, internal documents originally released in response to a public records request by the Oakland Tribune revealed that the California Anti-Terrorism Information Center — launched just two weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks — had been monitoring protest activities throughout the state and had “issued 30 special advisories that mention political groups in the Bay Area alone,” reporters Ian Hoffman and Sean Holstege wrote in a July 15, 2003, article.
Included among the groups: the International Action Center, Direct Action to Stop the War, Not in Our Name, Critical Mass, Black Bloc, the Ruckus Society, the Bay Area Independent Media Center, and various environmental, animal rights, peace, and nuclear disarmament organizations.
The exposé prompted state attorney general Bill Lockyer to issue a series of guidelines banning California law-enforcement agencies from monitoring political and religious groups without reasonable suspicion of a crime.
New guidelines didn’t come soon enough for members of Peace Fresno. On Sept. 1, 2003, members of the antiwar group were surprised to find an obituary in the Fresno Bee for Aaron Stokes, a man they’d thought was part of their organization — but whom the paper identified as a local sheriff’s department officer. As it turned out, Stokes (who’d died in a motorcycle accident) had belonged to the Fresno County Sheriff Department’s Anti-Terrorism Unit. He’d infiltrated Peace Fresno and conducted undercover surveillance of the group and its members for six months.
“What they do with that information … who knows,” Denver ACLU’s Silverstein cautioned.
Meanwhile, the FBI continues to issue secret Intelligence Bulletins similar to CATIC’s on a weekly basis. The FBI requires law-enforcement agencies nationwide to keep an eye on “possible indicators of protest activity and report any potentially illegal acts to the nearest FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force,” according to a leaked FBI Intelligence Bulletin issued Oct. 15, 2003.
Paul Bame, a 45-year-old software engineer in Fort Collins, Colo., returned from his lunch break on July 23 to find a security guard waiting at his desk. The guard escorted him to the building lobby, where FBI agent Ted Faul was waiting for him.
As it turns out, Faul had looked for Bame at home the evening before and spoken to one of his neighbors, then left Bame a phone message. Bame had called back the agent in the morning and left a message on his voice mail.
Faul appeared at Bame’s work, unannounced, anyway.
The agent wanted to know if Bame – a pacifist who’d been arrested on minor infractions at the 2002 anti-World Bank and International Monetary Fund protest in Washington, D.C., and at the anti-Free Trade Area of the Americas demonstrations in Miami last November – had knowledge of any plans to disrupt the Republican National Convention taking place a month later.
Faul warned the activist that it’s a crime to have such knowledge and not disclose it. He came equipped with a thin folder bearing Bame’s name.
“I was shaking with terror,” Bame told me in a phone interview. “To visit my home, call, and visit me at work, all within an eight-hour work day, shows a sense of urgency, like he was tracking down a criminal.”
Faul decided not to push for an interview after Bame told him he wouldn’t speak without a lawyer present. But “his role was done when he came to the door,” Bame said. “My feeling is that they wanted to make it known that they were watching.
Bame was just one of numerous activists approached by special agents in different parts of the country prior to the RNC. But the campaign didn’t end with these interviews.
Just a couple of weeks earlier, on Aug. 15, the New York Times broke the story — leaked by someone inside the FBI — that six-person teams of federal agents had been assigned to trail 56 activists from around the country, beginning immediately and continuing until the end of the anti-RNC protest activities.
This reporter experienced the joys of being followed by what appeared to be undercover cops while in New York for the anti-RNC activities too. (They denied being officers.) I’d met up with a small group of activists who’d called saying they were being followed for the third time. The undercovers stalked the group everywhere we went, for hours. They’d mention details of where some of the activists were from and where they’d been. They harangued us — creating suspicion about us to people on the street and trying to instigate a confrontation (see “The Intimidators,” 9/8/04).
In fact, the campaign against activists that preceded the RNC was just one of the recent preemptive strikes in the weeks and months leading up to major demonstrations in the United States.
Three university students from Kirksville, Mo., were among the targets prior to the Democratic National Convention in Boston. They reported being trailed 24 hours a day and interrogated by the FBI in late July and “were then subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury on the very day they were planning to be in Boston for [the protest],” Matthew Rothschild reported for The Progressive’s McCarthyism Watch Web site. Agents also questioned their parents.
Of course, the government practice of keeping tabs on dissenters is nothing new. In June 2000, Bay Area anti-globalization activist David Solnit was stopped by Canadian officers after arriving in Windsor. They had a printout about him provided by the FBI, Solnit told Bay Guardian reporter A.C. Thompson at the time. Solnit wound up spending four days in the brink before being released without charges and warned to leave the country (see “Big Brother Was Watching,” 10/18/01).
Other outspoken advocates of nonviolent civil disobedience have had similar experiences while trying to travel to Canada or returning to the United States from abroad. Their experiences indicate that the feds have been sharing intelligence on U.S. activists with other countries for some time now.
Starhawk and a friend were stopped by immigration agents when they flew into Ottawa, Canada, in 2001. She was allowed to enter the country after officials questioned her and checked her bags, but her friend was detained. Records turned up as part of a lawsuit later filed by her friend showed that the Canadian officials had stopped Starhawk based on information about her arrest during the 1999 World Trade Organization demonstrations in Seattle, she said. (She’d been arrested for obstructing a pedestrian and spent five days in jail before the charges were dropped. “I was never convicted of anything,” she told me.)
Starhawk, a 40-year-old veteran of progressive movements, reported being stopped every time she flies into Canada now.
Five customs agents greeted her in Los Angeles as she exited a plane returning from the WTO protests held in Cancun little more than a year ago.
“There’s definitely been a dramatic escalation in these kinds of activities since [the anti-WTO protests in] Seattle, and particularly since Sept. 11,” Solnit told me. “They’re criminalizing the concept of protest.”
I’ve spoken with and received e-mails from numerous activists – in northern California, the Los Angeles region, Boston, New York, and New Jersey – over the past month detailing similar experiences. They describe being approached by federal agents asking them to reveal protest plans and names of other activists, and being trailed.
“The only things we know about the October Plan is what’s been leaked,” Crew of the ACLU of Northern California said, adding that there are no guarantees that U.S.-born activists aren’t being targeted as part of that surveillance scheme too.
During the week of the RNC protests in August, the New York-based Daily News published an article titled “Anarchists Hot for Mayhem,” cautioning New Yorkers about 50 activists in town to create havoc. The New York Post published an equally scandalous report on some of the very same protesters. “Finest Prep for Anarchy,” screamed the headline.
Solnit, Starhawk, and other prominent (and avowedly nonviolent) political organizers were on the list, their photos displayed prominently in the Daily News‘ pages.
Solnit and Starhawk said nobody from the News or the Post ever called them for comment.
That kind of sensational behavior might be typical (if inexcusable) for the scandal-loving New York tabs — but it didn’t end there. ABC’s eminently respectable Nightline followed suit, in a segment titled “Vote 2004: Protecting the Republican National Convention” featuring officers of the NYPD and the Secret Service.
On Aug. 31, the same evening President Bush officially accepted the Republican Party’s nomination at Madison Square Garden, viewers across the nation watched Ted Koppel warn Americans about more than two dozen activists whom he referred to as “particularly troublesome, even dangerous anarchists who infiltrate other groups and then try to provoke violence.”
The segment included mug shots of the suspects, fed to the media by local authorities. Solnit’s photo from when he’d been arrested at the FTAA protests in Miami was among them.
“That’s as serious as it gets,” CCR’s Fogel said. “The same way they use the word ‘9/11’ in connection with Iraq, without ever saying ‘Iraq caused 9/11,’ in the hopes that people will believe that there’s a connection between 9/11 and Iraq — it’s the same as the association of the word ‘terrorism’ and protest activity. The equation of the word ‘anarchism’ with violence is an extraordinary equation. I don’t know where that comes from except their desire to paint particular people with a particular viewpoint as being violent. Because there is no connection between those two things.”
(Interestingly, Solnit doesn’t even describe himself as an anarchist.)
The consequences are two-fold, he said: to “discourage people from attending such demonstrations” and to “negate the impact the protest may have” by casting it in a negative light and characterizing organizers as thugs feeding into the terror threat.
The spoon-feeding of damaging material to the press is eerily reminiscent of what happened to Stanford University professor H. Bruce Franklin in the late 1960s (see “They’re Watching,” page 19).
Meanwhile, the feds continue to launch assaults against antiwar, grassroots media activists who try to get the other side of the story out. At the behest of the Secret Service – the agency charged with coordinating the law-enforcement response for special security events — the Justice Department subpoenaed New York City’s Indymedia Center’s Internet service provider in August for records associated with a posting that included the names of RNC delegates.
Authorities subpoenaed San Antonio-based Rackspace, another IMC Web-hosting provider, demanding access to another of the group’s servers two weeks ago. Rackspace handed over the data and shut down a second server used to stream various electronic radio programs, without a word to the IMC.
Both servers were situated in London, where Rackspace operates an affiliate company. The move affected approximately two dozen IMC sites throughout the world.
Civil liberties watchdog groups obviously worry about the chilling effect these kinds of surveillance and crackdowns have on our faltering First and Fourth Amendments. But they also insist that Ashcroft and company’s approach isn’t making us any safer.
When law enforcement fails to distinguish between violent criminal activity and legitimate dissent — and when it favors collecting as much information on as many people as possible rather than useful intelligence resulting from bona fide criminal investigations — it’s “choosing quantity over quality,” Crew said. “You develop good leads by generating trust, not by disrespecting people’s rights…. [And] if you’re looking for a needle in a haystack, adding more hay doesn’t help any.”
The bills that have recently passed through the House and Senate in response to the 9-11 Commission’s findings, reorganizing intelligence gathering and expanding Big Brother’s reach even further into our everyday lives, just promise more of the same.
“It’s during times of fear when civil liberties are most at risk,” Crew said.
Research assistance provided by A.C. Thompson.
© SF Bay Guardian.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, US Code for noncommercial, educational purposes
October 26th, 2004 - by admin
A List of the Military Careers of US Political Leaders – 2004-10-26 23:17:52
MILITARY SERVICE IN WARTIME
By and Large, Democrats Served;
NeoConservative Hawks Didn’t
Democrats Who Served
* Richard Gephardt: Air National Guard, 1965-71.
* David Bonior: Staff Sgt., Air Force 1968-72.
* Tom Daschle: 1st Lt., Air Force SAC 1969-72.
* Al Gore: enlisted Aug. 1969; sent to Vietnam Jan. 1971 as an army journalist in 20th Engineer Brigade.
* Bob Kerrey: Lt. j.g. Navy 1966-69; Medal of Honor, Vietnam.
* Daniel Inouye: Army 1943-’47; Medal of Honor, WWII.
* John Kerry: Lt., Navy 1966-70; Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat V Purple Hearts.
* Charles Rangel: Staff Sgt., Army 1948-52; Bronze Star, Korea.
* Max Cleland: Captain, Army 1965-68; Silver Star & Bronze Star,Vietnam.
* Ted Kennedy: Army, 1951-1953.
* Tom Harkin: Lt., Navy, 1962-67; Naval Reserve, 1968-74.
* Jack Reed: Army Ranger, 1971-1979; Captain, Army Reserve 1979-91.
* Fritz Hollings: Army officer in WWII, receiving the Bronze Star and seven campaign ribbons.
* Leonard Boswell: Lt. Col., Army 1956-76; Vietnam, DFCs, Bronze Stars, and Soldier’s Medal.
* Pete Peterson: Air Force Captain, POW. Purple Heart, Silver Star and Legion of Merit.
* Mike Thompson: Staff sergeant, 173rd Airborne, Purple Heart.
* Bill McBride: Candidate for Fla. Governor. Marine in Vietnam; Bronze Star with Combat V.
* Gray Davis: Army Captain in Vietnam, Bronze Star.
* Pete Stark: Air Force 1955-57
* Chuck Robb: Vietnam
* Howell Heflin: Silver Star
* George McGovern: Bomber pilot, many missions. Silver Star & DFC during WWII.
* Jimmy Carter: Annapolis grad. Seven years in the Navy.
* Walter Mondale: Army 1951-1953
* John Glenn: WWII and Korea; six DFCs and Air Medal with 18 Clusters.
* Tom Lantos: Said to have served in Hungarian underground in WWII. Saved
by Raoul Wallenberg.
* Wesley Clark: US Army, 1966-2000, West Point, Vietnam, Purple Heart,
Silver Star. Retired 4-star general.
* John Dingell: WWII vet
* John Conyers: Army 1950-57, Korea
Democrats Who Did Not Serve
* Bill Clinton: Avoided service. with student deferments. Entered draft but received 311.
* John Edwards: did not serve.
Republicans Who Served
* G.H.W. Bush: Pilot in WWII. Shot down by the Japanese.
* Bob Dole: Army officer WWII.
* Chuck Hagel: two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star, Vietnam.
* Duke Cunningham: nominated for Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, Silver Stars,
Air Medals, Purple Hearts.
* Tom Ridge: Bronze Star for Valor in Vietnam.
* John McCain: Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross.
* Jeff Sessions: Army Reserves, 1973-1986
* Ronald Reagan: made war propaganda movies.
* Gerald Ford: Navy, WWII
* Lindsey Graham: National Guard lawyer.
* Donald Rumsfeld: served in Navy (1954-57) as aviator and flight instructor.
* George W. Bush: Texas Air National. (Questions remain about his service.)
Republicans Who Did Not Serve
* Dick Cheney: did not serve. (Had “other priorities.” Several deferments, the last for wife’s pregnancy.)
* Saxby Chambliss: did not serve. (“Bad knee.” The man who attacked Max Cleland’s patriotism.)
* John Ashcroft: did not serve. (Seven deferments to teach business.)
* Dennis Hastert: did not serve.
* Tom Delay: did not serve.
* House Whiip Roy Blunt: did not serve.
* Bill Frist: did not serve.
* Rudy Giuliani: did not serve.
* George Pataki: did not serve.
* Mitch McConnell: did not serve.
* Rick Santorum: did not serve.
* Trent Lott: did not serve.
* Jeb Bush: did not serve.
* Karl Rove: did not serve.
* Paul Wolfowitz: did not serve.
* Vin Weber: did not serve.
* Richard Perle: did not serve.
* Douglas Feith: did not serve.
* Eliot Abrams: did not serve.
* Richard Shelby: did not serve.
* Jon Kyl: did not serve.
* Tim Hutchison: did not serve.
* Christopher Cox: did not serve.
* Newt Gingrich: did not serve.
* Phil Gramm: did not serve.
* JC Watts: did not serve.
* Antonin Scalia: did not serve.
* Clarence Thomas: did not serve
Pundits & Preachers Who Did Not Serve
* Sean Hannity: did not serve.
* Rush Limbaugh: did not serve.
* Bill O’Reilly: did not serve.
* Michael Savage: did not serve.
* George Will: did not serve.
* Chris Matthews: did not serve.
* Paul Gigot: did not serve.
* Bill Bennett: did not serve.
* Pat Buchanan: did not serve.
* Bill Kristol: did not serve.
* Kenneth Starr: did not serve.
* Michael Medved: did not serve.
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