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Bush Seizes Control Over State Militias

by Kavan Peterson

A little-noticed change in federal law packs an important change in who is in charge the next time a state is devastated by a disaster such as Hurricane Katrina.

To the dismay of the nation’s governors, the White House now will be empowered to go over a governor’s head and call up National Guard troops to aid a state in time of natural disasters or other public emergencies. Up to now, governors were the sole commanders in chief of citizen soldiers in local Guard units during emergencies within the state.

A conflict over who should control Guard units arose in the days after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. President Bush sought to federalize control of Guardsmen in Louisiana in the chaos after the hurricane, but Gov. Kathleen Blanco (D) refused to relinquish command.

Over objections from all 50 governors, Congress in October changed the 200-year-old Insurrection Act to empower the hand of the president in future stateside emergencies. In a letter to Congress, the governors called the change "a dramatic expansion of federal authority during natural disasters that could cause confusion in the command-and-control of the National Guard and interfere with states' ability to respond to natural disasters within their borders."

The change adds to tensions between governors and the White House after more than four years of heavy federal deployment of state-based Guard forces to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since the 2001 terrorist attacks, four out of five guardsmen have been sent overseas in the largest deployment of the National Guard since World War II. Shortage of the Guard’s military equipment -- such as helicopters to drop hay to snow-stranded cattle in Colorado -- also is a nagging issue as much of units’ heavy equipment is left overseas and unavailable in case of a natural disaster at home.

A bipartisan majority of both chambers of Congress adopted the change as part of the budget-busting, 439-page, $538 billion 2007 so-called Defense Authorization Bill signed into law last October.

The nation's governors through the National Governors Association (NGA) successfully lobbied to defeat a broader proposal to give the president power to federalize Guard troops even without invoking the Insurrection Act. But the passage that became law also "disappointed" governors because it expands federal power and could cause confusion between state and federal authorities trying to respond to an emergency situation, said David Quam, an NGA homeland security advisor.

"Governors need to be focused on assisting their citizens during an emergency instead of looking over their shoulders to see if the federal government is going to step in," Quam said.

Under the U.S. Constitution, each state's National Guard unit is controlled by the governor in time of peace but can be called up for federal duty by the president. The National Guard employs 444,000 part-time soldiers between its two branches: the Army and Air National Guards.

The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 forbids U.S. troops from being deployed on American soil for law enforcement. The one exception is provided by the Insurrection Act of 1807, which lets the president use the military only for the purpose of putting down rebellions or enforcing constitutional rights if state authorities fail to do so. Under that law, the president can declare an insurrection and call in the armed forces. The act has been invoked several times in the past 50 years, including in 1957 to desegregate schools and in 1992 during riots in south central Los Angeles after the acquittal of police who were caught on videotape beating Rodney King.

Congress changed the Insurrection Act to list "natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident" as conditions under which the president can deploy U.S. armed forces and federalize state Guard troops if he determines that "authorities of the state or possession are incapable of maintaining public order."

Mark Smith, spokesperson for the Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said local and state emergency responders know what their communities need during a crisis better than officials in Washington.

"The president should not be able to step in and take control of the National Guard without a governor's consent. The Guard belongs to the states, has always belonged to the states and should remain a function of the states," Smith said.

The truth .mysite

Assault on the USS Liberty Still Covered Up After 26 Years

By James M. Ennes Jr.

Link

Twenty-six years have passed since that clear day on June 8, 1967 when Israel attacked the USS Liberty with aircraft and torpedo boats, killing 34 young men and wounding 171. The attack in international waters followed over nine hours of close surveillance. Israeli pilots circled the ship at low level 13 times on eight different occasions before attacking. Radio operators in Spain, Lebanon, Germany and aboard the ship itself all heard the pilots reporting to their headquarters that this was an American ship. They attacked anyway. And when the ship failed to sink, the Israeli government concocted an elaborate story to cover the crime.

There is no question that this attack on a U.S. Navy ship was deliberate. This was a coordinated effort involving air, sea, headquarters and commando forces attacking over a long period. It was not the "few rounds of misdirected fire" that Israel would have the world believe. Worse, the Israeli excuse is a gross and detailed fabrication that disagrees entirely with the eyewitness recollections of survivors. Key American leaders call the attack deliberate. More important, eyewitness participants from the Israeli side have told survivors that they knew they were attacking an American ship.

Israeli Pilot Speaks Up Fifteen years after the attack, an Israeli pilot approached Liberty survivors and then held extensive interviews with former Congressman Paul N. (Pete) McCloskey about his role. According to this senior Israeli lead pilot, he recognized the Liberty as American immediately, so informed his headquarters, and was told to ignore the American flag and continue his attack. He refused to do so and returned to base, where he was arrested.

Later, a dual-citizen Israeli major told survivors that he was in an Israeli war room where he heard that pilot's radio report. The attacking pilots and everyone in the Israeli war room knew that they were attacking an American ship, the major said. He recanted the statement only after he received threatening phone calls from Israel.

The pilot's protests also were heard by radio monitors in the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon. Then-U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dwight Porter has confirmed this. Porter told his story to syndicated columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak and offered to submit to further questioning by authorities. Unfortunately, no one in the U.S. government has any interest in hearing these first-person accounts of Israeli treachery.

Key members of the Lyndon Johnson administration have long agreed that this attack was no accident. Perhaps most outspoken is former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas Moorer. "I can never accept the claim that this was a mistaken attack," he insists.

Former Secretary of State Dean Rusk is equally outspoken, calling the attack deliberate in press and radio interviews. Similarly strong language comes from top leaders of the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency (some of whose personnel were among the victims), National Security Council, and from presidential advisers such as Clark Clifford, Joseph Califano and Lucius Battle.

A top-secret analysis of Israel's excuse conducted by the Department of State found Israel's story to be untrue. Yet Israel and its defenders continue to stand by their claim that the attack was a "tragic accident" in which Israel mistook the most modern electronic surveillance vessel in the world for a rusted-out 40-year-old Egyptian horse transport.

Despite the evidence, no U.S. administration has ever found the courage to ever found the courage to defy the Israeli lobby by publicly demanding a proper accounting from Israel.

How Does Congress React to These Complaints? Most members of Congress respond to inquiries about the Liberty with seemingly sympathetic promises to "investigate." Weeks or months later they write again to report their "findings": "The Navy investigated in 1967 and found no evidence that the attack was deliberate," they say." Israel apologized, calling the attack a tragic case of misidentification, and paid damages for loss of life, injuries and property damage. The matter is closed.

The fact is, however, that the Navy's "investigation" examined only the quality of the crew's training, the adequacy of communications and the performance of the crew under fire. The Navy was forbidden to examine Israeli culpability and Navy investigators refused to allow testimony showing that the attack was deliberate or that Israel's excuse was untrue.

The Navy blocked all testimony about Israeli actions. Instead of determining whether the attack was deliberate, the Navy blocked all testimony about Israeli actions. No survivor was permitted to describe the close in machine-gun fire that continued for 40 minutes after Israel claims all firing stopped. No survivor was allowed to talk about the life rafts the Israeli torpedo men machine-gunned in the water. No survivor was permitted to challenge defects and fabrications in Israel's story. Even my eyewitness testimony as officer-of-the deck was withheld from the official record. No evidence of Israeli culpability was "found" because no such testimony was allowed. To survivors, this was not an investigation. It was a cover-up.

Congress Goes Through the Motions Occasionally a member of Congress will seem to probe a bit deeper, as Ted Kennedy once did. In response to requests, Kennedy asked Liberty survivors and others for input,which his staff then "studied" for more than a year.

Kennedy asked no questions, conducted no interviews, and showed no curiosity about the many discrepancies in Israel's story. Then Kennedy reported his "findings" in a letter to survivors. Carefully avoiding the circumstances of the attack, Kennedy's letter deplored the "tragic circumstances and loss of life" and declared that the facts about the Liberty must be uncovered "to the maximum extent humanly possible."

That letter, however, represented Kennedy's maximum effort. Appeals to Kennedy for some real help go unanswered.

The Quest Goes On The best forum in the '90s for this story and related stories of the Middle East may well be electronic mail, the complex of computer and electronic mail systems that now span the globe.

For instance, the USS Liberty and theMiddle East are hot topics in the "Prodigy interactive computer service" run by Sears and IBM. With over 2 million members, Prodigy's "Israel" forums guarantee some lively and often bitter debates.

Unfortunately, the playing field often seems uneven. The cover-up side heavily outnumbers its critics, and is allowed tactics rarely tolerated from others. Criticism of Israeli policies is seen as "attacks on the Jewish homeland." Pro-Israel debaters charge that Israel's critics are "disciples of hate," and "pathological haters of Israel and all things Jewish."

The language gets worse. Prodigy allows Israel's critics to be called "sodomists," and "derriere bussing anti-Semites." The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, which prints an update on progress toward a congressional investigation every year on the June anniversary of the tragedy, comes in for special vitriol. The magazine is described almost daily as I a hate rag." Yet Prodigy's censors often reject even mild and factual rebuttals of such charges as "insulting."

Despite a near media blackout, and such invective directed at publications that defy it, Americans, do continue to support the USS Liberty and its survivors' association. Late last year the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 560 in Zimmerman, Minnesota, raised over $12,000 to create a rest stop and picnic area on donated land near a major highway as a memorial to the men who died on the Liberty. This makes the 29th public memorial to the USS Liberty.

The memorial area and an inscribed granite stone were appropriately dedicated in a ceremony attended by survivors, VFW members, Mayor Randy Hanson, and Liberty's heroic Congressional Medal of Honor-winning skipper, Captain William McGonagle, among others.

Inspired by community support, members of Post 560 are now telling the USS Liberty story to every VFW post in Minnesota. Member Stan Wuolle tells us that after they cover all of Minnesota, they will start on Wisconsin and the Dakotas.

In New York, meanwhile, Korean War veteran John Everts learned about the attack just last year and was similarly moved. Everts inspired two Korean vets groups in which he is active, "The Chosin Few" and "The Korean War Veterans" Kivlehan Chapter, to write more than 100 letters to Congress seeking the investigation that survivors mill are denied.

To date, no member of Congress has risked re-election chances by agreeing publicly to Evert's request. No one really expected that to happen. But efforts like these help members of Congress and the American public remember that Israel attacked the USS Liberty, deliberately and then lied about it. Sooner or later, Americans will insist that their government and their representatives in Congress find out why.

The truth .mysite

CIA brainwashing victims seek Canada court action

By James Stairs Jan 19, 2007, 16:17 GMT

Montreal - In a case that sounds like science fiction, a Montreal court is deciding whether a class action lawsuit can be brought against the Canadian government on behalf of more than 250 psychiatric patients who were unwittingly subjected to radical experiments in the 1950s.

The so-called MK-ULTRA tests were part of a secret mind-control programme funded by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Canadian government in the 1950s.

The Cold-War-era experiments, carried out by a Scottish doctor in Montreal, included forced isolation, induced-comas, electro-shock therapy and the use of hallucinogenic drugs, including LSD and paralysis-inducing narcotics.

Lawyers for Janine Huard, a 78-year-old great-grandmother, told a Montreal court last week that their client suffered for years as a result of Dr. Ewan Cameron's experiments at the Allan Memorial Institute, a psychiatric hospital based at Montreal's McGill University.

The experiments were part of a controversial secret CIA programme, aimed at uncovering techniques of mind control and led by Cameron, who died in 1967.

MK-ULTRA was launched by the CIA in 1953 and headed by the American chemist Sidney Gottleib. It reportedly funded projects both at home and abroad, including the Montreal study, and hoped to be able to find ways to extract information from prisoners and influence foreign leaders through brainwashing.

The project was brought under scrutiny in 1974 when newspaper reporters uncovered that MK-ULTRA had drugged unwitting subjects in the US with hallucinogens and secretly observed their actions. The project had been disbanded a year earlier and all record of its activities were destroyed.

Cameron's research specifically revolved around 'psychic driving' - a potential cure, he believed, for depression and dementia that involved erasing patients memories and then building them back up again.

Huard said that she first came under the care of Cameron, a former president of the World Psychiatric Association, when she consulted him in 1951 regarding a case of postpartum depression after the birth of the second of her four children. She was in his care another two times up to 1962.

The court heard that Huard and hundreds of others were test subjects for Cameron's 'de-patterning' experiments, which included the repeated playing of recorded messages while patients lay in a drug-induced semi-comatose state.

Huard said that she underwent electro-shock treatments and was administered dozens of unknown pills a day, keeping her semi- conscious.

'She never knew that she was being subjected to these experiments or that she was being used by Dr. Cameron and his staff as a guinea pig,' Alan Stein, Huard's lawyer told the court.

The aftermath of the tests, she said, left her unable to function normally, afflicted by memory loss, depression and by migraine headaches.

'I came out of there so sick that my mother had to live with me for ten years,' she told reporters. 'I couldn't take care of my children any more.'

The CIA paid Huard and several others 67,000 US dollars each as part of a 1988 class action settlement.

In 1994, the Canadian government compensated 77 of the most severely incapacitated former patients 100,000 US dollars each for damage they suffered from the programme.

Huard and 252 others were denied compensation at the time, since the long-term affects of the testing were not deemed serious enough to warrant payment.

In 2004, a court overturned one of the decisions and awarded 100,000 Canadian dollars (85,259 US dollars) to Gail Kastner, a former patient who had undergone severe electro-shock therapy to treat her depression in 1953 at the hospital but whose claim had been previously deemed ineligible.

This decision, Huard's lawyers argued, opens the door for the current class-action request.

Lawyers for the government did not dispute Huard's claims but argued that the tests happened too long ago for her to make another attempt at compensation.

'They demolished me,' Huard told reporters as she entered the court. 'They gave me terrible drugs, electroshocks, and made me stay in a bed with a mask over my face listening to recordings for hours a day. I was afraid.'

No timetable has been given regarding a decision from the court.

© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur

The truth .mysite

Iran's President Did Not Say "Israel must be wiped off the map"

By Arash Norouzi

Link

Across the world, a dangerous rumor has spread that could have catastrophic implications. According to legend, Iran's President has threatened to destroy Israel, or, to quote the misquote, "Israel must be wiped off the map". Contrary to popular belief, this statement was never made, as this article will prove.

BACKGROUND:

On Tuesday, October 25th, 2005 at the Ministry of Interior conference hall in Tehran, newly elected Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered a speech at a program, reportedly attended by thousands, titled "The World Without Zionism". Large posters surrounding him displayed this title prominently in English, obviously for the benefit of the international press. Below the poster's title was a slick graphic depicting an hour glass containing planet Earth at its top. Two small round orbs representing the United States and Israel are shown falling through the hour glass' narrow neck and crashing to the bottom.

Before we get to the infamous remark, it's important to note that the "quote" in question was itself a quote— they are the words of the late Ayatollah Khomeini, the father of the Islamic Revolution. Although he quoted Khomeini to affirm his own position on Zionism, the actual words belong to Khomeini and not Ahmadinejad. Thus, Ahmadinejad has essentially been credited (or blamed) for a quote that is not only unoriginal, but represents a viewpoint already in place well before he ever took office.

THE ACTUAL QUOTE: So what did Ahmadinejad actually say? To quote his exact words in farsi: "Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad."

That passage will mean nothing to most people, but one word might ring a bell: rezhim-e. It is the word "Regime", pronounced just like the English word with an extra "eh" sound at the end. Ahmadinejad did not refer to Israel the country or Israel the land mass, but the Israeli regime. This is a vastly significant distinction, as one cannot wipe a regime off the map. Ahmadinejad does not even refer to Israel by name, he instead uses the specific phrase "rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods" (regime occupying Jerusalem).

So this raises the question.. what exactly did he want "wiped from the map"? The answer is: nothing. That's because the word "map" was never used. The Persian word for map, "nagsheh", is not contained anywhere in his original farsi quote, or, for that matter, anywhere in his entire speech. Nor was the western phrase "wipe out" ever said. Yet we are led to believe that Iran's President threatened to "wipe Israel off the map", despite never having uttered the words "map", "wipe out" or even "Israel".

THE PROOF:

The full quote translated directly to English:

"The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time".

Word by word translation:

Imam (Khomeini) ghoft (said) een (this) rezhim-e (regime) ishghalgar-e (occupying) qods (Jerusalem) bayad (must) az safheh-ye ruzgar (from page of time) mahv shavad (vanish from).

Here is the full transcript of the speech in farsi, archived on Ahmadinejad's web site www.president.ir/farsi/ahmadinejad/speeches/1384/aban-84/840804sahyonizm.htm

THE SPEECH AND CONTEXT:

While the false "wiped off the map" extract has been repeated infinitely without verification, Ahmadinejad's actual speech itself has been almost entirely ignored. Given the importance placed on the "map" comment, it would be sensible to present his words in their full context to get a fuller understanding of his position. In fact, by looking at the entire speech, there is a clear, logical trajectory leading up to his call for a "world without Zionism". One may disagree with his reasoning, but critical appraisals are infeasible without first knowing what that reasoning is.

In his speech, Ahmadinejad declares that Zionism is the West's apparatus of political oppression against Muslims. He says the "Zionist regime" was imposed on the Islamic world as a strategic bridgehead to ensure domination of the region and its assets. Palestine, he insists, is the frontline of the Islamic world's struggle with American hegemony, and its fate will have repercussions for the entire Middle East.

Ahmadinejad acknowledges that the removal of America's powerful grip on the region via the Zionists may seem unimaginable to some, but reminds the audience that, as Khomeini predicted, other seemingly invincible empires have disappeared and now only exist in history books. He then proceeds to list three such regimes that have collapsed, crumbled or vanished, all within the last 30 years:

(1) The Shah of Iran- the U.S. installed monarch

(2) The Soviet Union

(3) Iran's former arch-enemy, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein

In the first and third examples, Ahmadinejad prefaces their mention with Khomeini's own words foretelling that individual regime's demise. He concludes by referring to Khomeini's unfulfilled wish: "The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time. This statement is very wise". This is the passage that has been isolated, twisted and distorted so famously. By measure of comparison, Ahmadinejad would seem to be calling for regime change, not war.

THE ORIGIN:

One may wonder: where did this false interpretation originate? Who is responsible for the translation that has sparked such worldwide controversy? The answer is surprising.

The inflammatory "wiped off the map" quote was first disseminated not by Iran's enemies, but by Iran itself. The Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran's official propaganda arm, used this phrasing in the English version of some of their news releases covering the World Without Zionism conference. International media including the BBC, Al Jazeera, Time magazine and countless others picked up the IRNA quote and made headlines out of it without verifying its accuracy, and rarely referring to the source. Iran's Foreign Minister soon attempted to clarify the statement, but the quote had a life of its own. Though the IRNA wording was inaccurate and misleading, the media assumed it was true, and besides, it made great copy.

Amid heated wrangling over Iran's nuclear program, and months of continuous, unfounded accusations against Iran in an attempt to rally support for preemptive strikes against the country, the imperialists had just been handed the perfect raison d'être to invade. To the war hawks, it was a gift from the skies.

It should be noted that in other references to the conference, the IRNA's translation changed. For instance, "map" was replaced with "earth". In some articles it was "The Qods occupier regime should be eliminated from the surface of earth", or the similar "The Qods occupying regime must be eliminated from the surface of earth". The inconsistency of the IRNA's translation should be evidence enough of the unreliability of the source, particularly when transcribing their news from Farsi into the English language.

THE REACTION:

The mistranslated "wiped off the map" quote attributed to Iran's President has been spread worldwide, repeated thousands of times in international media, and prompted the denouncements of numerous world leaders. Virtually every major and minor media outlet has published or broadcast this false statement to the masses. Big news agencies such as The Associated Press and Reuters refer to the misquote, literally, on an almost daily basis.

Following news of Iran's remark, condemnation was swift. British Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed "revulsion" and implied that it might be necessary to attack Iran. U.N. chief Kofi Annan cancelled his scheduled trip to Iran due to the controversy. Ariel Sharon demanded that Iran be expelled from the United Nations for calling for Israel's destruction. Shimon Peres, more than once, threatened to wipe Iran off the map. More recently, Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu, who has warned that Iran is "preparing another holocaust for the Jewish state" is calling for Ahmadinejad to be tried for war crimes for inciting genocide.

The artificial quote has also been subject to additional alterations. U.S. officials and media often take the liberty of dropping the "map" reference altogether, replacing it with the more acutely threatening phrase "wipe Israel off the face of the earth". Newspaper and magazine articles dutifully report Ahmadinejad has "called for the destruction of Israel", as do senior officials in the United States government.

President George W. Bush said the comments represented a "specific threat" to destroy Israel. In a March 2006 speech in Cleveland, Bush vowed he would resort to war to protect Israel from Iran, because, "..the threat from Iran is, of course, their stated objective to destroy our strong ally Israel." Former Presidential advisor Richard Clarke told Australian TV that Iran "talks openly about destroying Israel", and insists, "The President of Iran has said repeatedly that he wants to wipe Israel off the face of the earth". In an October 2006 interview with Amy Goodman, former UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter referred to Ahmadinejad as "the idiot that comes out and says really stupid, vile things, such as, 'It is the goal of Iran to wipe Israel off the face of the earth' ". The consensus is clear.

Confusing matters further, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pontificates rather than give a direct answer when questioned about the statement, such as in Lally Weymouth's Washington Post interview in September 2006:

Are you really serious when you say that Israel should be wiped off the face of the Earth?

We need to look at the scene in the Middle East — 60 years of war, 60 years of displacement, 60 years of conflict, not even a day of peace. Look at the war in Lebanon, the war in Gaza — what are the reasons for these conditions? We need to address and resolve the root problem.

Your suggestion is to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth?

Our suggestion is very clear:... Let the Palestinian people decide their fate in a free and fair referendum, and the result, whatever it is, should be accepted.... The people with no roots there are now ruling the land.

You've been quoted as saying that Israel should be wiped off the face of the Earth. Is that your belief?

What I have said has made my position clear. If we look at a map of the Middle East from 70 years ago...

So, the answer is yes, you do believe that it should be wiped off the face of the Earth?

Are you asking me yes or no? Is this a test? Do you respect the right to self-determination for the Palestinian nation? Yes or no? Is Palestine, as a nation, considered a nation with the right to live under humane conditions or not? Let's allow those rights to be enforced for these 5 million displaced people.

The exchange is typical of Ahmadinejad's interviews with the American media. Predictably, both Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes and CNN's Anderson Cooper asked if he wants to "wipe Israel off the map". As usual, the question is thrown back in the reporter's face with his standard "Don't the Palestinians have rights?, etc." retort (which is never directly answered either). Yet he never confirms the "map" comment to be true. This did not prevent Anderson Cooper from referring to earlier portions of his interview after a commercial break and lying, "as he said earlier, he wants Israel wiped off the map".

Even if every media outlet in the world were to retract the mistranslated quote tomorrow, the major damage has already been done, providing the groundwork for the next phase of disinformation: complete character demonization. Ahmadinejad, we are told, is the next Hitler, a grave threat to world peace who wants to bring about a new Holocaust. According to some detractors, he not only wants to destroy Israel, but after that, he will nuke America, and then Europe! An October 2006 memo titled Words of Hate: Iran's Escalating Threats released by the powerful Israeli lobby group AIPAC opens with the warning, "Ahmadinejad and other top Iranian leaders are issuing increasingly belligerent statements threatening to destroy the United States, Europe and Israel." These claims not only fabricate an unsubstantiated threat, but assume far more power than he actually possesses. Alarmists would be better off monitoring the statements of the ultra-conservative Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, who holds the most power in Iran.

As Iran's U.N. Press Officer, M.A. Mohammadi, complained to The Washington Post in a June 2006 letter:

It is not amazing at all, the pick-and-choose approach of highlighting the misinterpreted remarks of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in October and ignoring this month's remarks by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that "We have no problem with the world. We are not a threat whatsoever to the world, and the world knows it. We will never start a war. We have no intention of going to war with any state."

The Israeli government has milked every drop of the spurious quote to its supposed advantage. In her September 2006 address to the United Nations General Assembly, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni accused Iran of working to nuke Israel and bully the world. "They speak proudly and openly of their desire to 'wipe Israel off the map.' And now, by their actions, they pursue the weapons to achieve this objective to imperil the region and threaten the world." Addressing the threat in December, a fervent Prime Minister Ehud Olmert inadvertently disclosed that his country already possesses nuclear weapons: "We have never threatened any nation with annihilation. Iran, openly, explicitly and publicly threatens to wipe Israel off the map. Can you say that this is the same level, when they are aspiring to have nuclear weapons, as America, France, Israel, Russia?"

MEDIA IRRESPONSIBILITY:

On December 13, 2006, more than a year after The World Without Zionism conference, two leading Israeli newspapers, The Jerusalem Post and Haaretz, published reports of a renewed threat from Ahmadinejad. The Jerusalem Post's headline was Ahmadinejad: Israel will be 'wiped out', while Haaretz posted the title Ahmadinejad at Holocaust conference: Israel will 'soon be wiped out'.

Where did they get their information? It turns out that both papers, like most American and western media, rely heavily on write ups by news wire services such as the Associated Press and Reuters as a source for their articles. Sure enough, their sources are in fact December 12th articles by Reuter's Paul Hughes [Iran president says Israel's days are numbered], and the AP's Ali Akbar Dareini [Iran President: Israel Will be wiped out].

The first five paragraphs of the Haaretz article, credited to "Haaretz Service and Agencies", are plagiarized almost 100% from the first five paragraphs of the Reuters piece. The only difference is that Haaretz changed "the Jewish state" to "Israel" in the second paragraph, otherwise they are identical.

The Jerusalem Post article by Herb Keinon pilfers from both the Reuters and AP stories. Like Haaretz, it uses the following Ahmadinejad quote without attribution: ["Just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out," he added]. Another passage apparently relies on an IRNA report:

"The Zionist regime will be wiped out soon the same way the Soviet Union was, and humanity will achieve freedom," Ahmadinejad said at Tuesday's meeting with the conference participants in his offices, according to Iran's official news agency, IRNA.

He said elections should be held among "Jews, Christians and Muslims so the population of Palestine can select their government and destiny for themselves in a democratic manner."

Once again, the first sentence above was wholly plagiarized from the AP article. The second sentence was also the same, except "He called for elections" became "He said elections should be held..".

It gets more interesting.

The quote used in the original AP article and copied in The Jerusalem Post article supposedly derives from the IRNA. If true, this can easily be checked. Care to find out? Go to: www.irna.ir/en/news/view/menu-234/0612134902101231.htm

There you will discover the actual IRNA quote was:

"As the Soviet Union disappeared, the Zionist regime will also vanish and humanity will be liberated".

Compare this to the alleged IRNA quote reported by the Associated Press:

"The Zionist regime will be wiped out soon the same way the Soviet Union was, and humanity will achieve freedom".

In the IRNA's actual report, the Zionist regime will vanish just as the Soviet Union disappeared. Vanish. Disappear. In the dishonest AP version, the Zionist regime will be "wiped out". And how will it be wiped out? "The same way the Soviet Union was". Rather than imply a military threat or escalation in rhetoric, this reference to Russia actually validates the intended meaning of Ahmadinejad's previous misinterpreted anti-Zionist statements.

What has just been demonstrated is irrefutable proof of media manipulation and propaganda in action. The AP deliberately alters an IRNA quote to sound more threatening. The Israeli media not only repeats the fake quote but also steals the original authors' words. The unsuspecting public reads this, forms an opinion and supports unnecessary wars of aggression, presented as self defense, based on the misinformation.

This scenario mirrors the kind of false claims that led to the illegal U.S. invasion of Iraq, a war now widely viewed as a catastrophic mistake. And yet the Bush administration and the compliant corporate media continue to marinate in propaganda and speculation about attacking Iraq's much larger and more formidable neighbor, Iran. Most of this rests on the unproven assumption that Iran is building nuclear weapons, and the lie that Iran has vowed to physically destroy Israel. Given its scope and potentially disastrous outcome, all this amounts to what is arguably the rumor of the century.

Iran's President has written two rather philosophical letters to America. In his first letter, he pointed out that "History shows us that oppressive and cruel governments do not survive". With this statement, Ahmadinejad has also projected the outcome of his own backwards regime, which will likewise "vanish from the page of time".

The truth .mysite

Pentagon: Terror Suspects Can Be "Imprisoned, Convicted And Executed"

Using "Hearsay Evidence Or Coerced Testimony"

Rules for terror suspect trials: Hearsay, some coerced testimony OK

The Defense Department's rules for upcoming detainee trials would allow terrorism suspects to be convicted and perhaps executed using hearsay evidence and some coerced testimony.

The rules are fair, said the department, which released them Thursday in a manual for the expected trials. However, they could spark a fresh confrontation between the Bush administration and the Democratic-led Congress over treatment of terror suspects.

According to the 238-page manual, a detainee's lawyer could not reveal classified evidence in the person's defense until the government had a chance to review it. Suspects would be allowed to view summaries of classified evidence, not the material itself.

The new regulations are intended to track a law passed last fall by Congress restoring President George W. Bush's plans to have special military commissions try terror-war prisoners. Those commissions had been struck down earlier in the year by the Supreme Court.

At a Pentagon briefing, Dan Dell'Orto, deputy to the Defense Department's top counsel, said the new rules will "afford all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized people."

Rep. Ike Skelton, a Democrat and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said he planned to scrutinize the manual to ensure that it does not "run afoul" of the U.S. Constitution.

"I have not yet seen evidence that the process by which these rules were built or their substance addresses all the questions left open by the legislation," Skelton said.

Officials think that with the evidence they have now, they could eventually charge 60 to 80 detainees, said Brig. Gen. Thomas Hemingway, legal adviser to the Pentagon's office on commissions.

The Defense Department is currently planning trials for at least 10.

There are almost 400 people suspected of ties to al-Qaida and the Taliban being held at the military's prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. About 380 others have been released since the facility was opened five years ago.

Last September, Congress — then led by Republicans — sent Bush a new law granting wide latitude in interrogating and detaining captured enemy combatants. The legislation prohibited some abuses of detainees, including mutilation and rape, but granted the president leeway to decide which interrogation techniques were permissible.

Passage of the bill, which was backed by the White House, followed more than three months of debate that included angry complaints by Democrats about the administration's interrogation policies, and a short-lived rebellion by some Republican senators.

In outlining the maximum punishment for various acts, the new manual includes the death penalty for people convicted of spying or taking part in a "conspiracy or joint enterprise" that kills someone. The maximum penalty for aiding the enemy — such as providing ammunition or money — is lifetime imprisonment.

As required by law, the manual prohibits the use of statements obtained through torture and "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" as prohibited by the Constitution. It allows some evidence obtained through coercive interrogation techniques if obtained before Dec. 30, 2005, and deemed reliable by a judge.

The Detainee Treatment Act, separate legislation championed in 2005 by Sen. John McCain, a Republican and former prisoner of war in Vietnam, prohibited the use of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of military and CIA prisoners.

Congress and the White House agreed last year that hearsay — a witness quoting someone else — can be allowed as evidence if a judge rules the testimony is reliable. According to the manual, this is necessary because witnesses — such as military personnel or foreigners — may not be available to testify.

"As a general matter, hearsay shall be admitted on the same terms as any evidence," the manual states.

The Pentagon's Dell'Orto said that since both sides of the case can admit hearsay evidence, that "levels the playing field."

The Pentagon manual is aimed at ensuring that enemy combatants — the Bush administration's term for many of the terrorism suspects captured on the battlefield — "are prosecuted before regularly constituted courts affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized by civilized people," according to the document.

Under the rules, the accused will be allowed to know about all evidence that is provided in the trial, Dell'Orto said. They will not be allowed to see classified material, but will be given an unclassified summary or substitute, with the judge first determining whether the summary sufficiently represents the classified material.

"When you're in the middle of a war against this enemy, you need to be particularly concerned about the disclosure of that evidence," Dell'Orto said of classified materials.

The manual states that the defense must notify the judge if it expects to disclose classified information and give the government reasonable opportunity to respond. Also, the government can object to any questions of witnesses that would require the disclosure of classified information.

___ Associated Press Writer Pauline Jelinek contributed to this report.

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