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Homeless people die after bird flu vaccine trial in Poland
By Matthew Day in Warsaw
Telegraph (UK) 7-2-08
Link

Three Polish doctors and six nurses are facing criminal prosecution after a number of homeless people died following medical trials for a vaccine to the H5N1 bird-flu virus.

21 people died after being given the vaccine The medical staff, from the northern town of Grudziadz, are being investigated over medical trials on as many as 350 homeless and poor people last year, which prosecutors say involved an untried vaccine to the highly-contagious virus.

Authorities claim that the alleged victims received £1-2 to be tested with what they thought was a conventional flu vaccine but, according to investigators, was actually an anti bird-flu drug.

The director of a Grudziadz homeless centre, Mieczyslaw Waclawski, told a Polish newspaper that last year, 21 people from his centre died, a figure well above the average of about eight.

Although authorities have yet to prove a direct link between the deaths and the activities of the medical staff, Poland's health minister, Ewa Kopacz, has said that the doctors and nurses involved should not return to their profession.

"It is in the interests of all doctors that those who are responsible for this are punished," the minister added.

Investigators are also probing the possibility that the medical staff may have also have deceived the pharmaceutical companies that commissioned the trials.

The suspects said that the all those involved knew that the trial involved an anti-H5N1 drug and willingly participated.

The news of the investigation will come as another blow to the reputation of Poland's beleaguered and poverty-stricken national health service. In 2002, a number of ambulance medics were found guilty of killing their patients for commissions from funeral companies.

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Food packages shrinking, but prices remain same
BY ROBERT ERIKSON, NICOLE ETTLINGER and MELISSA GRACE
DAILY NEWS WRITERS
Wednesday, June 18th 2008, 10:58 AM

It's not your imagination, packages really are shrinking.

There is less ice cream in the tub you just bought, and fewer sticks of gum in the deli pack you grabbed.

Rather than upping prices in tight economic times, American food manufacturers are skimping on the size of their products - but often keeping their prices flat, consumer advocates charge.

"It's secret inflation," said Brooklyn blogger Ben Popken, who runs the Web site consumerist.com.

Evidence on the supermarket shelves Tuesday had shoppers fuming.

"Edy's [ice cream] got smaller!" said Alison Koeppel, 58, as she picked up a cold container in a Brooklyn Heights Key Food supermarket. "They're ripping us off once again."

Edy's officials said the 1.75 quart-size container was reduced to 1.5 quarts to make up for a 30% to 60% rise in the cost of gas, cocoa and dairy products over the past several years. Orange juice giant Tropicana also squeezed its container size recently. A 96-ounce plastic jug of OJ shrank to 89 ounces. The suggested retail price remains $4.99.

Tropicana officials denied they are passing on increased costs to consumers, saying their bottle redesign was in response to customer complaints.

"We had a lot of spillage with our old products," said Tropicana spokeswoman Jamie Stein. "It's a value-added redesign."

The downsizing phenomenon ranges across brands and products, from cereals to mayonnaise, margarine and toilet paper, consumer advocates say.

Restaurants and bars are cutting portions, too, serving draft beers in 14-ounce glasses instead of 16-ounce, for example. Some shoppers were disgusted. Others shrugged it off.

David Kaufman, a retired dentist from Brooklyn Heights, said he started noticing packaged food products were getting smaller several years ago.

"Soon people will be buying empty bags and empty boxes," Kaufman said.
mgrace@nydailynews.com

Below related

Less food, soap in those packages
Manufacturers reduce sizes due to rising costs, and shoppers notice
Cathryn Creno
The Arizona Republic

No, it's not your imagination. There really is less cereal in your Cheerios box than a year ago. Manufacturers are scaling back the sizes of products ranging from dog food to chewing gum. And, although prices are staying about the same, if you use a product regularly, so-called "package shrink" could hurt your wallet.

"Downsizing is decades old, but because of the economy we are seeing more of it," said Edgar Dworsky, a former Massachusetts assistant attorney general for consumer affairs who now edits two consumer Web sites, Consumerworld.com and Mouseprint.org. Mouseprint is filled with examples of things such as ice cream that has been repackaged to contain 1.5 instead of 1.75 quarts and remodeled bars of soap that are smaller than previous versions.

"Because their costs are rising, manufacturers can raise the price and possibly lose sales, or they can take out some of the content and hope the consumer doesn't notice," Dworsky said. Some manufacturers come right out and announce that their products are getting smaller:
• Last summer, General Mills told investors about its new "Right Size, Right Price" program in which prices of cereals like Cheerios, Wheaties and Total went up while portion size went down 1.5 ounces.
• Wrigley recently announced that it will gradually replace current gum with reformulated Doublemint, Juicy Fruit and other flavors in packages that will contain 15 instead of 17 sticks.
• Coca-Cola, Pepsico , Shamrock Farms and Fry's Food Stores' parent, the Kroger Co., have plans to start packaging soda in 16-ounce bottles and milk in three-quarter gallon jugs. Prices for these products will be lower than 20-ounce sodas and full gallons of milk. Other manufacturers have shrunk products with no price reduction - or publicity. Examples include dog chow, bathroom tissue, mayonnaise and ice cream.

"Some of the downsizing is sneaky," Dworsky said. Shopping smaller Arizona grocery stores and the Arizona Food Marketing Alliance report no customer complaints about shrinking product sizes. "I think people understand that all businesses today are looking for ways to reduce costs," said George Seitts, president of the food marketing alliance, which is a food industry lobbying and educational group.

Another reason for the lack of complaints may be that in a weak economy, many shoppers are looking for smaller sizes anyway. "I'm definitely buying in smaller quantities than I used to," said Sharon Ayres, who is retired from a job as a business manager at Arizona State University.

Ayers said she used to buy in bulk at a wholesale club, but then realized she was throwing extra food away. She has less waste and lower bills since she started buying smaller sizes of private label products at a Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market. "It's not as wasteful," she said.

Dieters who buy 100-calorie snack package versions of cookies and crackers also fall into this category. But some shoppers are just too busy to make price and product weight comparisons.

Shopping strategically
Still others have noticed package shrink and it has motivated them to shop more strategically. Maricopa real estate saleswoman Jennifer Brewer, for instance, has started comparison shopping at three stores: Wal-Mart, Trader Joe's and Fresh & Easy. She also keeps the calculator on her cell phone handy to check price per ounce.

Brewer said keeping her grocery bills within reason is a challenge because she shops for two hungry teens and a husband. Plus she prefers to only buy all-natural and organic foods.

"I try not to buy food just by looking at the packaging," she said. "I look at the size. I am always pulling out my cell phone to use the calculator." Tracy Clark, associate director for the JP Morgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business, said he has noticed that many laundry detergent bottles have shrunk, but that is because of an industry move toward doubling the strength of the product.

"The idea is that you do the same amount of laundry with less packaging," he said. But Clark said consumers need to be careful to use half the amount of detergent they used to use, or they will be overpaying for the product.

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Mars Pictures they don't want you to see

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Robert Wuhl...AssumeThePosition

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The following statement is written by Congressman Paul about the pending financial disaster. He will introduce this statement as a special order and insert it into the Congressional Record next week. Fortunately, we have the opportunity to debut it first on the Campaign for Liberty blog. It reads as follows:
Link

I have, for the past 35 years, expressed my grave concern for the future of America. The course we have taken over the past century has threatened our liberties, security and prosperity. In spite of these long-held concerns, I have days—growing more frequent all the time—when I’m convinced the time is now upon us that some Big Events are about to occur. These fast-approaching events will not go unnoticed. They will affect all of us. They will not be limited to just some areas of our country. The world economy and political system will share in the chaos about to be unleashed.

Though the world has long suffered from the senselessness of wars that should have been avoided, my greatest fear is that the course on which we find ourselves will bring even greater conflict and economic suffering to the innocent people of the world—unless we quickly change our ways.

America, with her traditions of free markets and property rights, led the way toward great wealth and progress throughout the world as well as at home. Since we have lost our confidence in the principles of liberty, self reliance, hard work and frugality, and instead took on empire building, financed through inflation and debt, all this has changed. This is indeed frightening and an historic event.

The problem we face is not new in history. Authoritarianism has been around a long time. For centuries, inflation and debt have been used by tyrants to hold power, promote aggression, and provide “bread and circuses” for the people. The notion that a country can afford “guns and butter” with no significant penalty existed even before the 1960s when it became a popular slogan. It was then, though, we were told the Vietnam War and a massive expansion of the welfare state were not problems. The seventies proved that assumption wrong.

Today things are different from even ancient times or the 1970s. There is something to the argument that we are now a global economy. The world has more people and is more integrated due to modern technology, communications, and travel. If modern technology had been used to promote the ideas of liberty, free markets, sound money and trade, it would have ushered in a new golden age—a globalism we could accept.

Instead, the wealth and freedom we now enjoy are shrinking and rest upon a fragile philosophic infrastructure. It is not unlike the levies and bridges in our own country that our system of war and welfare has caused us to ignore.

I’m fearful that my concerns have been legitimate and may even be worse than I first thought. They are now at our doorstep. Time is short for making a course correction before this grand experiment in liberty goes into deep hibernation.

There are reasons to believe this coming crisis is different and bigger than the world has ever experienced. Instead of using globalism in a positive fashion, it’s been used to globalize all of the mistakes of the politicians, bureaucrats and central bankers.

Being an unchallenged sole superpower was never accepted by us with a sense of humility and respect. Our arrogance and aggressiveness have been used to promote a world empire backed by the most powerful army of history. This type of globalist intervention creates problems for all citizens of the world and fails to contribute to the well-being of the world’s populations. Just think how our personal liberties have been trashed here at home in the last decade.

The financial crisis, still in its early stages, is apparent to everyone: gasoline prices over $4 a gallon; skyrocketing education and medical-care costs; the collapse of the housing bubble; the bursting of the NASDAQ bubble; stockmarkets plunging; unemployment rising;, massive underemployment; excessive government debt; and unmanageable personal debt. Little doubt exists as to whether we’ll get stagflation. The question that will soon be asked is: When will the stagflation become an inflationary depression?

There are various reasons that the world economy has been globalized and the problems we face are worldwide. We cannot understand what we’re facing without understanding fiat money and the long-developing dollar bubble.

There were several stages. From the inception of the Federal Reserve System in 1913 to 1933, the Central Bank established itself as the official dollar manager. By 1933, Americans could no longer own gold, thus removing restraint on the Federal Reserve to inflate for war and welfare.

By 1945, further restraints were removed by creating the Bretton-Woods Monetary System making the dollar the reserve currency of the world. This system lasted up until 1971. During the period between 1945 and 1971, some restraints on the Fed remained in place. Foreigners, but not Americans, could convert dollars to gold at $35 an ounce. Due to the excessive dollars being created, that system came to an end in 1971.

It’s the post Bretton-Woods system that was responsible for globalizing inflation and markets and for generating a gigantic worldwide dollar bubble. That bubble is now bursting, and we’re seeing what it’s like to suffer the consequences of the many previous economic errors.

Ironically in these past 35 years, we have benefited from this very flawed system. Because the world accepted dollars as if they were gold, we only had to counterfeit more dollars, spend them overseas (indirectly encouraging our jobs to go overseas as well) and enjoy unearned prosperity. Those who took our dollars and gave us goods and services were only too anxious to loan those dollars back to us. This allowed us to export our inflation and delay the consequences we now are starting to see.

But it was never destined to last, and now we have to pay the piper. Our huge foreign debt must be paid or liquidated. Our entitlements are coming due just as the world has become more reluctant to hold dollars. The consequence of that decision is price inflation in this country—and that’s what we are witnessing today. Already price inflation overseas is even higher than here at home as a consequence of foreign central bank’s willingness to monetize our debt.

Printing dollars over long periods of time may not immediately push prices up–yet in time it always does. Now we’re seeing catch-up for past inflating of the monetary supply. As bad as it is today with $4 a gallon gasoline, this is just the beginning. It’s a gross distraction to hound away at “drill, drill, drill” as a solution to the dollar crisis and high gasoline prices. Its okay to let the market increase supplies and drill, but that issue is a gross distraction from the sins of deficits and Federal Reserve monetary shenanigans.

This bubble is different and bigger for another reason. The central banks of the world secretly collude to centrally plan the world economy. I’m convinced that agreements among central banks to “monetize” U.S. debt these past 15 years have existed, although secretly and out of the reach of any oversight of anyone—especially the U.S. Congress that doesn’t care, or just flat doesn’t understand. As this “gift” to us comes to an end, our problems worsen. The central banks and the various governments are very powerful, but eventually the markets overwhelm when the people who get stuck holding the bag (of bad dollars) catch on and spend the dollars into the economy with emotional zeal, thus igniting inflationary fever.

This time—since there are so many dollars and so many countries involved—the Fed has been able to “paper” over every approaching crisis for the past 15 years, especially with Alan Greenspan as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, which has allowed the bubble to become history’s greatest.

The mistakes made with excessive credit at artificially low rates are huge, and the market is demanding a correction. This involves excessive debt, misdirected investments, over-investments, and all the other problems caused by the government when spending the money they should never have had. Foreign militarism, welfare handouts and $80 trillion entitlement promises are all coming to an end. We don’t have the money or the wealth-creating capacity to catch up and care for all the needs that now exist because we rejected the market economy, sound money, self reliance and the principles of liberty.

Since the correction of all this misallocation of resources is necessary and must come, one can look for some good that may come as this “Big Even” unfolds.

There are two choices that people can make. The one choice that is unavailable to us is to limp along with the status quo and prop up the system with more debt, inflation and lies. That won’t happen.

One of the two choices, and the one chosen so often by government in the past is that of rejecting the principles of liberty and resorting to even bigger and more authoritarian government. Some argue that giving dictatorial powers to the President, just as we have allowed him to run the American empire, is what we should do. That’s the great danger, and in this post-911 atmosphere, too many Americans are seeking safety over freedom. We have already lost too many of our personal liberties already. Real fear of economic collapse could prompt central planners to act to such a degree that the New Deal of the 30’s might look like Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence.

The more the government is allowed to do in taking over and running the economy, the deeper the depression gets and the longer it lasts. That was the story of the 30ss and the early 40s, and the same mistakes are likely to be made again if we do not wake up.

But the good news is that it need not be so bad if we do the right thing. I saw “Something Big” happening in the past 18 months on the campaign trail. I was encouraged that we are capable of waking up and doing the right thing. I have literally met thousands of high school and college kids who are quite willing to accept the challenge and responsibility of a free society and reject the cradle-to-grave welfare that is promised them by so many do-good politicians.

If more hear the message of liberty, more will join in this effort. The failure of our foreign policy, welfare system, and monetary policies and virtually all government solutions are so readily apparent, it doesn’t take that much convincing. But the positive message of how freedom works and why it’s possible is what is urgently needed.

One of the best parts of accepting self reliance in a free society is that true personal satisfaction with one’s own life can be achieved. This doesn’t happen when the government assumes the role of guardian, parent or provider, because it eliminates a sense of pride. But the real problem is the government can’t provide the safety and economic security that it claims. The so-called good that government claims it can deliver is always achieved at the expense of someone else’s freedom. It’s a failed system and the young people know it.

Restoring a free society doesn’t eliminate the need to get our house in order and to pay for the extravagant spending. But the pain would not be long-lasting if we did the right things, and best of all the empire would have to end for financial reasons. Our wars would stop, the attack on civil liberties would cease, and prosperity would return. The choices are clear: it shouldn’t be difficult, but the big event now unfolding gives us a great opportunity to reverse the tide and resume the truly great American Revolution started in 1776. Opportunity knocks in spite of the urgency and the dangers we face.

Let’s make “Something Big is Happening” be the discovery that freedom works and is popular and the big economic and political event we’re witnessing is a blessing in disguise.

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Sarkozy: Jerusalem should be divided
Link

French president says capital should be divided, calls on Israel to dismantle security fence
Ali Waked

Divide the capital: Speaking at a Bethlehem press conference Tuesday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Jerusalem should be divided, and called on Israel to dismantle the West Bank security fence.

After meeting Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Sarkozy said that Jerusalem is holy to Jews, Christians, and Muslims. "Can Jerusalem be held by one side alone? I don't think so," he said.

"The separation fence will not bring security to Israelis forever," the French leader added. "The Israelis should secure themselves through a peace agreement with people who believe in peace, like the Palestinian president…there is no doubt that the best road to peace is through a diplomatic agreement."

However, despite Sarkozy's declarations, Palestinian sources told Ynet that neither France nor the European Union are expected to play a special role in the near future in promoting the peace process with Israel.

Abbas reiterates commitment to peace Still, the French president said Tuesday that France will make great efforts in order to remove the obstacles to peace between the sides. However, he noted that neither France nor the EU can make peace on behalf of Israel and the Palestinians.

A senior Palestinian source told Ynet later, "As Sarkozy said, the French and the Europeans are here to help with everything they can, particularly in diplomatic terms and in building Palestinian Authority institutions, yet not when it comes to involvement in controversial matters."

Meanwhile, Abbas reiterated his commitment to peace and thanked France for its political and economic support. The Palestinian leader said that major disagreements persist between Israel and the Palestinians, and noted that "we should be brave in order to overcome the obstacles."

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A Special Report on Guantanamo Bay
http://www.judicialwatch.org/

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Judicial Watch was selected by the Pentagon to monitor the arraignments at Guantanamo Bay of five terrorist prisoners allegedly involved in the 9/11 attacks. Judicial Watch Director of Litigation Paul Orfanedes made the trip to counterbalance the presence of the ACLU and other radical groups supporting the terrorists.

I promised you a report once Paul returned from his trip. The following is an excerpted transcript of an interview with Paul that will appear in an upcoming issue of The Verdict, Judicial Watch's monthly newsletter.

Why did Judicial Watch feel it was important to monitor the detainee arraignments at Guantanamo Bay?
ORFANEDES: The detention and punishment of unlawful enemy combatants and terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay, at its core, is a rule of law issue, which is what we do. Originally, there were two types of legal institutions in place that could have been used to deal with the detainees, the system established by the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the criminal justice system...Questions have been raised about the integrity of this new system, so we felt it was important to observe it in action for ourselves. Given Judicial Watch's other work on security and terrorism, the issues at play at Guantanamo also fall within the scope of Judicial Watch's mission.

During your time at Guantanamo Bay, what were some of your most important observations?
ORFANEDES: Some in the media have criticized the military commission process, leaving the impression that it is disorganized and lacks impartiality. What was striking to me during my trip was that I found the complete opposite to be true. I witnessed a deep commitment on the part of the military lawyers participating in the proceedings, especially the defense attorneys. They defended their clients vigorously and articulately. If anything, they seemed to have an even greater sense of commitment to their clients because they were military officers...

What is your reaction to the Supreme Court's recent ruling which will allow detainees to make use of the US court system to challenge their status?
ORFANEDES: There really are a number of legitimate, competing interests...The fact is we are in uncharted territory. And it is taking a lot of time to create a system that addresses all of the different, competing concerns, including concerns about fairness. The slim 5-4 decision shows we're not quite there yet.

What are the negative consequences of not having this resolved?
ORFANEDES: The biggest negative impact, I think, relates to public perception worldwide. Whether earned or not, the United States has received a bad name because of Guantanamo, and the longer it goes on, the worse it gets. Not only does the controversy undermine confidence in the U.S. on the part of our allies, but it serves as a rallying point for people who want to attack the United States...

Aren't these negative perceptions a byproduct of misinformation passed on by the press worldwide?
ORFANEDES: They are. And I think it has more to do with a lack of familiarity with the legal process than problems with the process itself...

What happens next with respect to these arraignments?
ORFANEDES: It's a mess. There is no other way to put it. Our legal institutions were not well equipped to deal with all of the issues raised by detaining and punishing unlawful enemy combatants picked up during the war on terror. Following the 9/11 attacks, we made substantial changes to the structure of the federal government to accommodate these new threats, creating the Department of Homeland Security. Adapting our legal institutions to handle these new circumstances is taking much longer...

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State-Sponsored Terror: British and American Black Ops in Iraq
By Andrew G. Marshall
Global Research,
June 25, 2008

Shining Light on the "Black World"
In January of 2002, the Washington Post ran a story detailing a CIA plan put forward to President Bush shortly after 9/11 by CIA Director George Tenet titled, "Worldwide Attack Matrix," which was "outlining a clandestine anti-terror campaign in 80 countries around the world. What he was ready to propose represented a striking and risky departure for U.S. policy and would give the CIA the broadest and most lethal authority in its history." The plan entailed CIA and Special Forces "covert operations across the globe," and at "the heart of the proposal was a recommendation that the president give the CIA what Tenet labeled "exceptional authorities" to attack and destroy al Qaeda in Afghanistan and the rest of the world." Tenet cited the need for such authority "to allow the agency to operate without restraint -- and he wanted encouragement from the president to take risks." Among the many authorities recommended was the use of "deadly force."

Further, "Another proposal was that the CIA increase liaison work with key foreign intelligence services," as "Using such intelligence services as surrogates could triple or quadruple the CIA's effectiveness." The Worldwide Attack Matrix "described covert operations in 80 countries that were either underway or that he was now recommending. The actions ranged from routine propaganda to lethal covert action in preparation for military attacks," as well as "In some countries, CIA teams would break into facilities to obtain information."[1]

P2OG: "Commit terror, to incite terror... in order to react to terror"
In 2002, the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board (DSB) conducted a "Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism," portions of which were leaked to the Federation of American Scientists. According to the document, the "War on Terror" constitutes a "committed, resourceful and globally dispersed adversary with strategic reach," which will require the US to engage in a "long, at times violent, and borderless war." As the Asia Times described it, this document lays out a blueprint for the US to "fight fire with fire." Many of the "proposals appear to push the military into territory that traditionally has been the domain of the CIA, raising questions about whether such missions would be subject to the same legal restraints imposed on CIA activities." According to the Chairman of the DSB, "The CIA executes the plans but they use Department of Defense assets."

Specifically, the plan "recommends the creation of a super-Intelligence Support Activity, an organization it dubs the Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG), to bring together CIA and military covert action, information warfare, intelligence and cover and deception. For example, the Pentagon and CIA would work together to increase human intelligence (HUMINT) forward/operational presence and to deploy new clandestine technical capabilities." The purpose of P2OG would be in "‘stimulating reactions’ among terrorists and states possessing weapons of mass destruction, meaning it would prod terrorist cells into action, thus exposing them to ‘quick-response’ attacks by US forces."[2] In other words, commit terror to incite terror, in order to react to terror.

The Los Angeles Times reported in 2002 that, "The Defense Department is building up an elite secret army with resources stretching across the full spectrum of covert capabilities. New organizations are being created. The missions of existing units are being revised," and quoted then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as saying, "Prevention and preemption are ... the only defense against terrorism."[3] Chris Floyd bluntly described P2OG in CounterPunch, saying, "the United States government is planning to use "cover and deception" and secret military operations to provoke murderous terrorist attacks on innocent people. Let's say it again: Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush and the other members of the unelected regime in Washington plan to deliberately foment the murder of innocent people--your family, your friends, your lovers, you--in order to further their geopolitical ambitions."[4]

"The Troubles" with Iraq
On February 5, 2007, the Telegraph reported that, "Deep inside the heart of the "Green Zone" [in Iraq], the heavily fortified administrative compound in Baghdad, lies one of the most carefully guarded secrets of the war in Iraq. It is a cell from a small and anonymous British Army unit that goes by the deliberately meaningless name of the Joint Support Group (JSG)." The members of the JSG "are trained to turn hardened terrorists into coalition spies using methods developed on the mean streets of Ulster during the Troubles, when the Army managed to infiltrate the IRA at almost every level. Since war broke out in Iraq in 2003, they have been responsible for running dozens of Iraqi double agents." They have been "[w]orking alongside the Special Air Service [SAS] and the American Delta Force as part of the Baghdad-based counter-terrorist unit known as Task Force Black."

It was reported that, "During the Troubles [in Northern Ireland], the JSG operated under the cover name of the Force Research Unit (FRU), which between the early 1980s and the late 1990s managed to penetrate the very heart of the IRA. By targeting and then "turning" members of the paramilitary organisation with a variety of "inducements" ranging from blackmail to bribes, the FRU operators developed agents at virtually every command level within the IRA." Further, "The unit was renamed following the Stevens Inquiry into allegations of collusion between the security forces and protestant paramilitary groups, and, until relatively recently continued to work exclusively in Northern Ireland."[5]

Considering that this group had been renamed after revelations of collusion with terrorists, perhaps it is important to take a look at what exactly this "collusion" consisted of. The Stevens Inquiry’s report "contains devastating confirmation that intelligence officers of the British police and the military actively helped Protestant guerillas to identify and kill Catholic activists in Northern Ireland during the 1980s." It was, "a state policy sanctioned at the highest level." The Inquiry, "highlighted collusion, the willful failure to keep records, the absence of accountability, the withholding of intelligence, and the extreme of agents being involved in murder," and acknowledged "that innocent people had died because of the collusion." These particular "charges relate to activities of a British Army intelligence outfit known as the Force Research Unit (FRU) and former Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) police officers."[6]

In 2002, the Sunday Herald reported on the allegations made by a former British intelligence agent, Kevin Fulton, who stated that, "he was told by his military handlers that his collusion with paramilitaries was sanctioned by Margaret Thatcher herself." Fulton worked for the Force Research Unit (FRU), and had infiltrated the IRA, always while on the pay roll of the military. Fulton tells of how in 1992, he told his FRU and MI5 intelligence handlers that his IRA superior was planning to launch a mortar attack on the police, yet his handlers did nothing and the attack went forward, killing a policewoman. Fulton stated, "I broke the law seven days a week and my handlers knew that. They knew that I was making bombs and giving them to other members of the IRA and they did nothing about it. If everything I touched turned to shit then I would have been dead. The idea was that the only way to beat the enemy was to penetrate the enemy and be the enemy."[7]

In 1998, Northern Ireland experienced its "worst single terrorist atrocity," as described by the BBC, in which a car bomb went off, killing 29 people and injuring 300.[8] According to a Sunday Herald piece in 2001, "Security forces didn't intercept the Real IRA's Omagh bombing team because one of the terrorists was a British double-agent whose cover would have been blown as an informer if the operation was uncovered." Kevin Fulton had even "phoned a warning to his RUC handlers 48 hours before the Omagh bombing that the Real IRA was planning an attack and gave details of one of the bombing team and his car registration." Further, "The man thought to be the agent is a senior member of the [IRA] organization."[9]

In 2002, it was revealed that, "one of the most feared men inside the Provisional IRA," John Joe Magee, head of the IRA’s "internal security unit," commonly known as the IRA’s "torturer- in-chief," was actually "one of the UK's most elite soldiers," who "was trained as a member of Britain's special forces." The Sunday Herald stated that, "Magee led the IRA's internal security unit for more than a decade up to the mid-90s - most of those he investigated were usually executed," and that, "Magee's unit was tasked to hunt down, interrogate and execute suspected British agents within the IRA."[10]

In 2006, the Guardian reported that, "two British agents were central to the bombings of three army border installations in 1990." The claims included tactics known as the ‘human bomb’, which "involved forcing civilians to drive vehicles laden with explosives into army checkpoints." This tactic "was the brainchild of British intelligence."[11]

In 2006, it was also revealed that, "A former British Army mole in the IRA has claimed that MI5 arranged a weapons-buying trip to America in which he obtained detonators, later used by terrorists to murder soldiers and police officers," and "British intelligence co-operated with the FBI to ensure his trip to New York in the 1990s went ahead without incident so that his cover would not be blown." Further, "the technology he obtained has been used in Northern Ireland and copied by terrorists in Iraq in roadside bombs that have killed British troops."[12]

Considering all these revelations of British collusion with IRA terrorists and complicity in terrorist acts in Northern Ireland through the FRU, what evidence is there that these same tactics are not being deployed in Iraq under the renamed Joint Support Group (JSG)? The recruits to the JSG in Iraq are trained extensively and those "who eventually pass the course can expect to be posted to Baghdad, Basra and Afghanistan."[13]

P2OG in Action
In September of 2003, months after the initial invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Iraq’s most sacred Shiite mosque was blown up, killing between 80 and 120 people, including a popular Shiite cleric, and the event was blamed by Iraqis on the American forces.[14]

On April 20, 2004, American journalist in Iraq, Dahr Jamail, reported in the New Standard that, "The word on the street in Baghdad is that the cessation of suicide car bombings is proof that the CIA was behind them." Jamail interviewed a doctor who stated that, "The U.S. induces aggression. If you don't attack me, I will never attack you. The U.S. is stimulating the aggression of the Iraqi people!" This description goes very much in line with the aims outlined in the Pentagon’s P2OG document about "inciting terror," or "preempting terror attacks."[15]

Weeks after the initial incident involving the British SAS soldiers in Basra, in October of 2005, it was reported that Americans were "captured in the act of setting off a car bomb in Baghdad," as, "A number of Iraqis apprehended two Americans disguised in Arab dress as they tried to blow up a booby-trapped car in the middle of a residential area in western Baghdad on Tuesday. ... Residents of western Baghdad's al-Ghazaliyah district [said] the people had apprehended the Americans as they left their Caprice car near a residential neighborhood in al-Ghazaliyah on Tuesday afternoon. Local people found they looked suspicious so they detained the men before they could get away. That was when they discovered that they were Americans and called the ... police." However, "the Iraq police arrived at approximately the same time as allied military forces - and the two men were removed from Iraq custody and whisked away before any questioning could take place."[16]

It was reported that in May of 2005, an Iraqi man was arrested after witnessing a car bombing that took place in front of his home, as it was said he shot an Iraqi National Guardsman. However, "People from the area claim that the man was taken away not because he shot anyone, but because he knew too much about the bomb. Rumor has it that he saw an American patrol passing through the area and pausing at the bomb site minutes before the explosion. Soon after they drove away, the bomb went off and chaos ensued. He ran out of his house screaming to the neighbors and bystanders that the Americans had either planted the bomb or seen the bomb and done nothing about it. He was promptly taken away."

Further, another story was reported in the same month that took place in Baghdad when an Iraqi driver had his license and car confiscated at a checkpoint, after which he was instructed "to report to an American military camp near Baghdad airport for interrogation and in order to retrieve his license." After being questioned for a short while, he was told to drive his car to an Iraqi police station, where his license had been forwarded, and that he should go quickly. "The driver did leave in a hurry, but was soon alarmed with a feeling that his car was driving as if carrying a heavy load, and he also became suspicious of a low flying helicopter that kept hovering overhead, as if trailing him. He stopped the car and inspected it carefully. He found nearly 100 kilograms of explosives hidden in the back seat and along the two back doors. The only feasible explanation for this incident is that the car was indeed booby trapped by the Americans and intended for the al-Khadimiya Shiite district of Baghdad. The helicopter was monitoring his movement and witnessing the anticipated ‘hideous attack by foreign elements."[17]

On October 4, 2005, it was reported by the Sydney Morning Herald that, "The FBI's counterterrorism unit has launched a broad investigation of US-based theft rings after discovering some vehicles used in deadly car bombings in Iraq, including attacks that killed US troops and Iraqi civilians, were probably stolen in the United States, according to senior US Government officials." Further, "The inquiry began after coalition troops raided a Falluja bomb factory last November and found a Texas-registered four-wheel-drive being prepared for a bombing mission. Investigators said there were several other cases where vehicles evidently stolen in the US wound up in Syria or other Middle Eastern countries and ultimately in the hands of Iraqi insurgent groups, including al-Qaeda in Iraq."[18]

In 2006, the Al-Askariya mosque in the city of Samarra was bombed and destroyed. It was built in 944, was over 1,000 years old, and was one of the most important Shi’ite mosques in the world. The great golden dome that covered it, which was built in 1904, was destroyed in the 2006 bombing, which was set off by men dressed as Iraqi Special Forces.[19] Former 27-year CIA analyst who gave several presidents their daily CIA briefings, Ray McGovern, stated that he "does not rule out Western involvement in this week's Askariya mosque bombing." He was quoted as saying, "The main question is Qui Bono? Who benefits from this kind of thing? You don't have to be very conspiratorial or even paranoid to suggest that there are a whole bunch of likely suspects out there and not only the Sunnis. You know, the British officers were arrested, dressed up in Arab garb, riding around in a car, so this stuff goes on."[20]

Death Squads for "Freedom"
In January of 2005, Newsweek reported on a Pentagon program termed the "Salvador Option" being discussed to be deployed in Iraq. This strategy "dates back to a still-secret strategy in the Reagan administration’s battle against the leftist guerrilla insurgency in El Salvador in the early 1980s. Then, faced with a losing war against Salvadoran rebels, the U.S. government funded or supported "nationalist" forces that allegedly included so-called death squads directed to hunt down and kill rebel leaders and sympathizers." Updating the strategy to Iraq, "one Pentagon proposal would send Special Forces teams to advise, support and possibly train Iraqi squads, most likely hand-picked Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Shiite militiamen, to target Sunni insurgents and their sympathizers, even across the border into Syria, according to military insiders familiar with the discussions."[21]

The Times reported that, "the Pentagon is considering forming hit squads of Kurdish and Shia fighters to target leaders of the Iraqi insurgency in a strategic shift borrowed from the American struggle against left-wing guerrillas in Central America 20 years ago. Under the so-called ‘El Salvador option’, Iraqi and American forces would be sent to kill or kidnap insurgency leaders." It further stated, "Hit squads would be controversial and would probably be kept secret," as "The experience of the so-called "death squads" in Central America remains raw for many even now and helped to sully the image of the United States in the region." Further, "John Negroponte, the US Ambassador in Baghdad, had a front-row seat at the time as Ambassador to Honduras from 1981-85."[22]

By June of 2005, mass executions were taking place in Iraq in the six months since January, and, "What is particularly striking is that many of those killings have taken place since the Police Commandos became operationally active and often correspond with areas where they have been deployed."[23]

In May of 2007, an Iraqi who formerly collaborated with US forces in Iraq for two and a half years stated that, "I was a soldier in the Iraqi army in the war of 1991 and during the withdrawal from Kuwait I decided to seek asylum in Saudi Arabia along with dozens of others like me. That was how began the process whereby I was recruited into the American forces, for there were US military committees that chose a number of Iraqis who were willing to volunteer to join them and be transported to America. I was one of those." He spoke out about how after the 2003 invasion, he was returned to Iraq to "carry out specific tasks assigned him by the US agencies." Among those tasks, he was put "in charge of a group of a unit that carried out assassinations in the streets of Baghdad."

He was quoted as saying, "Our task was to carry out assassinations of individuals. The US occupation army would supply us with their names, pictures, and maps of their daily movements to and from their place of residence and we were supposed to kill the Shi'i, for example, in the al-A'zamiyah, and kill the Sunni in the of 'Madinat as-Sadr’, and so on." Further, "Anyone in the unit who made a mistake was killed. Three members of my team were killed by US occupation forces after they failed to assassinate Sunni political figures in Baghdad." He revealed that this "dirty jobs" unit of Iraqis, Americans and other foreigners, "doesn’t only carry out assassinations, but some of them specialize in planting bombs and car bombs in neighborhoods and markets."

He elaborated in saying that "operations of planting car bombs and blowing up explosives in markets are carried out in various ways, the best-known and most famous among the US troops is placing a bomb inside cars as they are being searched at checkpoints. Another way is to put bombs in the cars during interrogations. After the desired person is summoned to one of the US bases, a bomb is place in his car and he is asked to drive to a police station or a market for some purpose and there his car blows up."[24]

Divide and Conquer?
Craig Murray, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, wrote in October of 2006, that, "The evidence that the US directly contributed to the creation of the current civil war in Iraq by its own secretive security strategy is compelling. Historically of course this is nothing new - divide and rule is a strategy for colonial powers that has stood the test of time. Indeed, it was used in the previous British occupation of Iraq around 85 years ago. However, maybe in the current scenario the US just over did it a bit, creating an unstoppable momentum that, while stalling the insurgency, has actually led to new problems of control and sustainability for Washington and London."[25]

Andrew G. Marshall contributed to breaking the Climate Change consensus in a celebrated 2006 article entitled Global Warming A Convenient Lie, in which he challenged the findings underlying Al Gore's documentary. According to Marshall, 'as soon as people start to state that “the debate is over”, beware, because the fundamental basis of all sciences is that debate is never over'. Andrew Marshall has also written on the militarization of Central Africa, national security issues and the process of integration of North America. He is also a contributor to GeopoliticalMonitor.com He is currently a researcher at the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) in Montreal and is studying political science and history at Simon Fraser University, British Columbia.

NOTES
[1] Bob Woodward and Dan Balz, At Camp David, Advise and Dissent. The Washington Post: January 31, 2002: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/18/AR2006071800702.html
[2] David Isenberg, ‘P2OG’ Allows the Pentagon to Fight Dirty. Asia Times Online: November 5, 2002: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/DK05Ak02.html
[3] William M. Arkin, The Secret War. The Los Angeles Times: October 27, 2002: http://web.archive.org/web/20021031092436/http://www.latimes.com/la-op-arkin27oct27001451,0,7355676.story
[4] Chris Floyd, Into the Dark: The Pentagon Plan to Provoke Terrorist Attacks. Counter Punch: November 1, 2002: http://www.counterpunch.org/floyd1101.html
[5] Sean Rayment, Top Secret Army Cell Breaks Terrorists. The Telegraph: February 5, 2007: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1541542/Top-secret-army-cell-breaks-terrorists.html
[6] Michael S. Rose, Britain's "Dirty War" with the IRA. Catholic World News: July 2003: http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=23828
[7] Home Affairs, The army asked me to make bombs for the IRA, told me I had the Prime Minister’s Blessing. The Sunday Herald: June 23, 2002: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4156/is_20020623/ai_n12576952/pg_2
[8] BBC, UK: Northern Ireland Bravery awards for bomb helpers. BBC News: November 17, 1999: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/524462.stm
[9] Neil Mackay, British double-agent was in Real IRA's Omagh bomb team. The Sunday Herald: August 19, 2001: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4156/is_20010819/ai_n13961517
[10] Neil Mackay, IRA torturer was in the Royal Marines; Top republican terrorist. The Sunday Herald: December 15, 2002: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4156/is_20021215/ai_n12579493
[11] Henry McDonald, UK agents 'did have role in IRA bomb atrocities'. The Guardian: September 10, 2006: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2006/sep/10/uk.northernireland1
[12] Enda Leahy, MI5 'helped IRA buy bomb parts in US'. Sunday Times: March 19, 2006: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article742783.ece
[13] Sean Rayment, Top Secret Army Cell Breaks Terrorists. The Telegraph: February 5, 2007: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1541542/Top-secret-army-cell-breaks-terrorists.html
[14] AP, U.S. Blamed For Mosque Attack. CBS News: September 2, 2003: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/09/02/iraq/main571279.shtml
[15] Dahr Jamail, Dahr Jamail Blog From Baghdad. The New Standard: April 20, 2004: http://www.countercurrents.org/iraq-jamail200404.htm
[16] FMNN, UNITED STATES CAUGHT IN IRAQ CAR-BOMBING. Free Market News Network: October 14, 2005: http://www.freemarketnews.com/WorldNews.asp?nid=1326
[17] Michael Keefer, Were British Special Forces Soldiers Planting Bombs in Basra? Global Research: September 25, 2005: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=KEE20050925&articleId=994
[18] Bryan Bender, Cars stolen in US used in suicide attacks. The Sydney Morning Herald: October 4, 2005: http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/cars-stolen-in-us-used-in-suicide-attacks/2005/10/03/1128191658703.html
[19] Sam Knight, Bombing of Shia shrine sparks wave of retaliation. The Times Online: February 22, 2006: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article733559.ece
[20] Prison Planet, Former CIA Analyst: Western Intelligence May Be Behind Mosque Bombing. Prison Planet: February 26, 2006: http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/february2006/260206mosquebombing.htm
[21] Michael Hirsh and John Barry, "The Salvador Option". Newsweek: January 14, 2005: http://www.pagecache.info/pagecache/page13480/cached.html
[22] Roland Watson, El Salvador-style 'death squads' to be deployed by US against Iraq militants. The Times Online: January 10, 2005: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article410491.ece
[23] Max Fuller, For Iraq, "The Salvador Option" Becomes Reality. Global Research: June 2, 2005: http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/FUL506A.html
[24] AMSII, Ordered Assassinations, Sectarian Bomb Attacks Targeting Iraqi Civilians. Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq: May 12, 2007: http://heyetnet.org/en/content/view/490/27
[25] Craig Murray, Civil War in Iraq: The Salvador Option and US/UK Policy. CraigMurray.org: October 18, 2006: http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2006/10/civil_war_in_ir.html

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Gov't says FBI agents can't testify about 9/11
The Associated PressPublished: June 19, 2008
Link

NEW YORK: Government lawyers say the ongoing investigation into the Sept. 11 attacks could be compromised if the airline industry is allowed to seek more information from the FBI to defend itself against lawsuits brought by terrorism victims.

In papers filed late Tuesday, the government urged a judge to block aviation companies from interviewing five FBI employees who the companies say will help them prove the government withheld key information before the 2001 attacks.

The lawyers said it would be impossible to interview the employees without disclosing classified or privileged material that could "cause serious damage to national security and interfere with pending law enforcement proceedings."

"The harm described is not hypothetical and cannot be lightly dismissed," according to the court papers submitted by the office of U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia. "Investigators continue to seek out those parties responsible for the 9/11 attacks who remain at large."

The largest investigation in FBI history has resulted in 167,000 interviews and more than 155,000 pieces of evidence and involved the pursuit of 500,000 investigative leads, the lawyers wrote.

They said the aviation lawyers were unrealistic to think the investigation would not be compromised if they speak to the FBI employees.

"In fact, it is not possible to disentangle the classified from the unclassified information in the context of a deposition, where open-ended inquiries may elicit responses in which classified or privileged material is intertwined," they wrote.

So far, the government said, the FBI has turned over more than 33,000 pages of information to the aviation industry lawyers, including more than 10,000 pages of laboratory pictures and related information, witness interviews and descriptions of the hijackers' weapons.

The airlines and aviation companies are defending themselves against lawsuits seeking billions of dollars in damages for injuries, fatalities, property damage and business losses related to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

The companies filed separate lawsuits against the CIA and the FBI last August to force terrorism investigators to tell whether the aviation industry was to blame for the Sept. 11 attacks.

Meanwhile, lawyers for the victims of the attacks agreed that the FBI should not be forced to provide more information. They recounted in court papers numerous hijackings and attacks aboard planes before Sept. 11 that they said should have put the airline industry on notice that a disastrous attack could occur.

Victims' lawyer Donald Migliori said the case was "about one thing and one thing only — the security failures at three of this country's largest airports that morning." Terrorists launched the Sept. 11 attacks by hijacking planes from Boston's Logan International Airport, Washington's Dulles International Airport and Newark International Airport in New Jersey.

Migliori said the airline industry was "trying to create a smoke screen by suggesting that if the FBI expressed more to the aviation defendants directly then it wouldn't have happened." He said the victims were eager to go to trial.

"We want these families in the courtroom so they can move on with their lives and get answers," he said.

A lawyer for the airline industry did not immediately return a phone message for comment Wednesday.

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