Saturday, July 02, 2005

Heaven's Gate

Global Eye

Heaven's Gate
By Chris Floyd
July 1, 2005

This week, President George W. Bush gave a big speech "explaining" the Iraq war to the American people. It was the usual load of lying blather and false piety -- deeply, even murderously cynical. But there's no point in wasting a single thought over these clown shows anymore. Bush is a nasty little moral cretin fronting a gang of elitist thugs whose only concerns are loot and power. Nothing he says has the slightest credibility. Only his actions -- crimes soaked with human blood -- have any meaning or truth.

So let's deal in truth. Let's talk about crime. Specifically, the flagrant war crime committed by Bush and his comrade in moral cretinhood, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in May 2002, as reports. Yes, 2002 -- long before the ground invasion of Iraq in March 2003. The "Downing Street Memos" -- top-level British government documents whose authenticity has been confirmed by Blair's own office -- show clearly that Bush and Blair began a ferocious air war against Iraq in May 2002, despite the unequivocal ruling by Blair's lawyers that such a campaign constituted a clear act of military aggression: the "supreme international crime" for which the Nazi leaders were condemned at Nuremberg.

The avowed purpose of this bombing campaign -- openly admitted by U.S. military brass -- was to destroy Iraq's defenses in preparation for the long-planned ground assault. It began months before the U.S. Congress gave its rather vague approval for possible military action to enforce the disarming of Iraq's nonexistent WMD. And it had nothing to do with the "no-fly zones" maintained for years over southern Iraq by the United States and Britain, ostensibly to prevent Saddam Hussein from using aircraft to suppress Shiite unrest. (Strangely enough, the only time Saddam actually tried to use airpower against the Shiites, in 1991, he was given explicit permission to do so by America's leaders at the time: President George H.W. Bush and Pentagon chief Dick Cheney.)

Bush and Blair's secret air war against Iraq is perhaps the most blatant and indefensible aspect of their multi-headed war crime in Iraq. No amount of contorted legal quibbling or weasel-worded readings of UN resolutions can justify such a large-scale military action undertaken without the approval -- or even the notification -- of Congress and Parliament. And the documents make clear that the Anglo-American leaders knew the air campaign was illegal -- as was the whole case for "regime change," which the memos admit was "weak" and unsupported by evidence.

But the memos reveal that Bush and Blair had already decided on war, during their April 2002 meeting at Bush's ranch in Crawford. No doubt the two Christian leaders -- who bray their faith in Jesus at every opportunity -- knelt in prayer together as they sealed their pact of blood. From that point on, the memos show, Blair and Bush ignored all concerns about legality, all questions about the shaky WMD evidence and the extensive worries of many insiders about the near-total lack of planning for the postwar situation. They sought only to "create the political conditions" for war, manufacturing public consent through slick, fear-mongering propaganda and, in the memos' most famous phrase, by "fixing the facts and intelligence around the policy" of aggression.

Thus, with full knowledge that they were following in the footsteps of the Nuremberg criminals, Bush and Blair began the war in May 2002, dropping hundreds of tons of bombs on Iraq over the next 10 months. Not only were they clearing the path for the coming invasion, but the memos show that the leaders also hoped to provoke Saddam into retaliating, thereby giving them a PR excuse for war: "self-defense" against Iraqi "aggression."

But Saddam, this "raging madman" lusting to destroy America with his fearsome weapons, did nothing. He sat meekly while his air and naval defenses were pounded. And here we see how the bombing campaign strips bare the Big Lie that drove the whole enterprise: the supposed threat of Saddam's WMD. The Crawford knee-benders never would have launched their war if they really believed Saddam might rain anthrax on Jerusalem or slip Osama a plutonium core. They knew, as his lack of response to the air assault proved, that the WMD threat was empty, that Saddam, their former ally, was a broken reed.

In fact, Saddam spent the months of bombardment frantically offering a virtual surrender: unhindered WMD inspections, free elections under international supervision, support for any U.S. position on Israel-Palestine, vast oil concessions. But these offers, negotiated through back channels with U.S. intelligence and leading neo-conservatives, were spurned by Bush, The New York Times reported in November 2003. The moral cretins wanted conquest, not disarmament or Iraqi freedom; they wanted the power and status given to "war leaders," as Bush himself told the family biographer, Mickey Herskowitz, in 1999, CommonDreams reports.

"One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief," then-candidate Bush told Herskowitz. "My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it. If I have a chance to invade ... I'm not going to waste it. I'm going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I'm going to have a successful presidency."

Thus, by his own admission, Bush regards war -- slaughter, ruin, chaos and terror -- as the measure of success, the path to greatness. He sees blood as the prime lubricant for his rapacious domestic policies. He uses unprovoked military aggression to achieve his personal and political goals.

In what way, then, is he different from the moral cretins who were hanged at Nuremberg?


The War Before the War, June 24, 2005

General Admits to Secret Air War
The Sunday Times, June 26, 2005

The Real News in the Downing Street Memo
Los Angeles Times, June 23, 2005

Two Years Before 9/11,
Bush Talked of Invading Iraq, Says Ghostwriter, Oct. 24, 2004

Saddam's Desperate Offers to Stave Off War
The Guardian, November 7, 2003

The Case of the Last-Minute Offer, November 7, 2003

The Iraq Avalanche Cannot Be Stopped
Informed Comment, June 24, 2005

How the Downing Street Memos Were Leaked
The Sunday Times, June 26, 2005

The Downing Street Memo Reader
Rolling Stone, June 22, 2005

From Memos,
Insights Into Ally's Doubts About War
Washington Post, June 28, 2005

Iraq Attacks Preceded Congressional OK
San Francisco Chronicle, June 19, 2005

Iraq: The Oil Carve-Up Begins
The London Line, June 23, 2005

US Was Big Spender
in Days Before Iraq Handover
Reuters, June 21, 2005

Bush Brain Down the Drain?

Bush's Brain Down the Drain? Karl Rove and Treason

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - The Valerie Plame case, smouldering now for more than two years looks ready to explode the Bush administration. With Time Inc's decision to forgo further court battles and release the name(s) of their White House source revealing the identity of the former deep-cover CIA agent, high-placed Bush administration players are set to take a major fall. Karl Rove, known as "Bush's Brain," could be the first to face charges of treason. {lex}

Bush Brain Down the Drain?
C. L. Cook

July 2, 2005

The Valerie Plame case has sat festering at the heart of the Bush administration for more than two years, waiting for the pin to burst the pustule promising to bring down the criminal enterprise currently ruling America. Prior to the disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq, the Bushists sent out Joseph Wilson III, former ambassador to Iraq, to Africa to investigate allegations Iraq was seeking yellow-cake uranium, the raw ore needed to refine nuclear weapon grade material. Wilson, a dedicated professional, took his job seriously and his investigation debunked the charge completely. But, that wasn't what the Bush camp wanted to hear.

Wilson duly reported his findings, but the Bush administration decided to ignore them, preferring instead to reiterate the bogus yellow-cake claims to bolster their campaign to attack Iraq. In Bush's State of the Union address, a constitutionally mandated responsibilty, the claims were again mentioned, prompting Wilson to write an op-ed peice, published in the New York Times, challenging the veracity of the "President." That would not do. White House minions quickly leaked information concerning a "deep-cover" CIA agent, a distinct violation of national security laws, effectively outing one Valerie Plame. Plame happens to be the wife of Joseph Wilson III.

In what was widely perceived as neat punishment, and a shot over the bow of potential future whistle-blowers, Plame's career was effectively ended. But less noted, Valerie Plame's contacts over a twenty-plus year period were too exposed. Reportedly, more than 90 of them were assassinated as a result of the leak. This more worrisome considering Plame's area of interest was the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the very area of pressing concern regarding Iraq in 2002/3.

As with most of the dirty doings of the current administration, the Plame Affair has been buried, put through bureaucratic processes to buy time for Bush. But nothing stays buried forever. The blatant criminality of their actions are now bubbling back to the surface, and Bush's Numero Uno, Karl Rove, affectionately known to George as "Turd Blossom" looks ready to take the fall for the capital offense of treason.

The significance of this latest development will not likely appear in the headlines for a few weeks yet, but it cannot be over-emphasized. Karl Rove (nee Roverer) has been, more than any other individual, the architect of what the world has suffered in these last years of the Bush presidency. These treasonable offenses, revealed thanks to Time Inc. are indefensible. The effects of this will rock the empirical plottings of George W. Bush and his accomplices, if given enough exposure.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, broad/webcast from the University of Victoria, Canada and serves as a contributing editor to You can check out his blog here.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Italy's Most Wanted

Italy's Most Wanted: CIA Case Grows

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - Relations between allies Italy and the United States began to sour shortly before George Bush’s ascension. Anti-war sentiment was strident in Italy during Clinton’s Yugoslavia campaign, but Iraq seems the last straw.

Italy's Most Wanted
C. L. Cook
June 30, 2005

Millions demonstrated against Italy’s participation and millions more resented NATO’s use of Italian air bases to launch bombing raids against a defenceless Belgrade. But, if relations had strained under NATO, once the unilateralist war-monger, as he’s widely perceived in Europe old and new, George Bush took the helm, America’s erratic muscular foreign policy became a barrier between U.S. policy and the Italian street so high, even staunch Bush supporter, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has joined calls for an investigation into the burgeoning scandal of an alleged CIA abduction of a Muslim cleric from the streets of Milan two years ago.

Like Yugoslavia, Iraq was unpopular in Italy from the start. Again, millions took to the streets in some of the largest of Europe’s many anti-war demos. Berlusconi, the nation’s biggest media mogul, has been unable to salvage his political hide in the wake of the tragic fiasco in Iraq. Two month ago, he saw an overwhelming rejection of his party in mid-term elections. Those elections came shortly after the Sgrena shooting incident in Iraq, where U.S. military fired on the car carrying journalist Giuliana Sgrena to safety following weeks in the hands of kidnappers. Nicola Calipari, who negotiated the release and one of Italy’s top intelligence agents, was killed in the attack, sparking outraged calls for an investigation and for Italy to remove its soldiers currently in Iraq.

From initial reports on the case coming out of Italy, the kidnapping team left a detailed paper trail and Italian police say they are convinced of CIA complicity. This week, they issued arrest warrents for 13 Americans, 10 believed government agents. Under intense pressure, the Italian government has officially summoned the U.S. ambassador to discuss the situation. It's a step one short of a formal request for extradition.

Mixed Message on the Memo Scandal

Media's Mixed Message on Memo Scandal

- When finally forced to relay the story of Bush/Blair's determination for war, the corporate media's focus missed the vital point underlying the high crimes in the case: the illegal bombing of Iraq in hopes of provoking a reaction by Saddam Hussein the Coalition could then use as "justification" for war. {lex}

MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media


The Real News

June 30, 2005 - We have to admit that our attention was elsewhere when Michael Smith published his Sunday Times article on the Downing Street memo on May 1. We were busy focusing on our own pre-election Media Alerts and then immediately moved on to the task of completing the first Media Lens book: Guardians Of Power - The Myth of The Liberal Media (forthcoming, Pluto Press, January 2006).

Our understanding of the story was based solely on what we had gleaned from a few newspaper and TV reports. According to the media accounts we saw, the main revelation appeared to centre around comments made by Sir Richard Dearlove, then head of MI6:

"Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD” and that “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy“.

This did not strike us as particularly interesting. We knew from former US treasury secretary Paul O’Neill’s evidence that Bush had been intent on deposing Saddam Hussein from the very first days of taking power:

"It was all about finding a way to do it. The president saying 'Go find me a way to do this'... From the very beginning, there was a conviction that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go." (O’Neill, cited, Julian Borger, 'Bush decided to remove Saddam "on day one"', The Guardian, January 12, 2004)

And it was obvious from the testimony of any number of intelligence experts, and from exposures relating to the “dodgy dossiers”, that intelligence and facts had been distorted to fit policy.

Imagine our surprise, then, when we finally got round to reading Smith’s original May 1 article, including the memo itself, and found that the real story was the revelation that Straw and Blair had conspired to use inspections to lure Saddam into obstructing the UN, so providing an excuse for war. By implication, the leaks clearly reveal that Blair and Straw had been consistently lying in 2002 and 2003 about their hopes for a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

In an article for the Los Angeles Times last week entitled, ‘The real news in the Downing Street memos’, Michael Smith appears to agree with us about the real story:

“Although Blair and Bush still insist the decision to go to the UN was about averting war, one memo states that it was, in fact, about ‘wrong-footing’ Hussein into giving them a legal justification for war.

“British officials hoped the ultimatum could be framed in words that would be so unacceptable to Hussein that he would reject it outright. But they were far from certain this would work, so there was also a Plan B... Put simply, US aircraft patrolling the southern no-fly zone were dropping a lot more bombs in the hope of provoking a reaction that would give the allies an excuse to carry out a full-scale bombing campaign, an air war, the first stage of the conflict.” (Michael Smith, ‘The real news in the Downing Street memos,’ Los Angeles Times, June 23, 2005;

Smith’s conclusion:

“The way in which the intelligence was ‘fixed’ to justify war is old news.

“The real news is the shady April 2002 deal to go to war, the cynical use of the UN to provide an excuse, and the secret, illegal air war without the backing of Congress.” (Smith, ibid)

We could not agree more. In considering what follows, readers might like to keep Smith’s comments in mind as we see how close the corporate media have come to communicating the “real news” of the leaked documents.

Managing To Miss The Point - The Media And The Memo

Writing in the Guardian, Sidney Blumenthal focused on the “old news”, making no mention of the “real news” at all:

“Every revelation of how ‘the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy’ for war, as in the Downing Street memo, shatters even Republicans' previously implacable faith.” (Blumenthal, ‘Blinded by the light at the end of the tunnel,’ The Guardian, June 23, 2005)

Not a word about the Plan A/Plan B conspiracy to provoke a war that is blindingly obvious in the leaked documents published by the Sunday Times.

Rupert Cornwell wrote in the Independent that the July 2002 memo indicated “the Bush administration had already made up its mind to invade Iraq, and that intelligence was being 'fixed' to fit that policy”. (Cornwell, ‘Bush policies blocked as US mood on Iraq sours,’ The Independent, June 17, 2005)

Again, not a word about the “real news” of Plan A/Plan B.

In the same paper one week earlier, Andrew Gumbel had described the memo as being “about an early decision having been taken to go to war and of the need for justification to be found for the Iraq invasion”. (Gumbel, ‘Americans turn against Bush and a war on Iraq that is getting nowhere,’ The Independent, June 9, 2005)

A justification is always needed for war - the point about Smith’s revelations is that they show that an +excuse+ was being sought, not merely a justification. It was a conspiracy to +ensure+ a war of aggression and conquest would be fought.

The Evening Standard wrote that the memo “showed the PM backed regime change in Iraq as early as July 2002”. (‘In the air,’ Evening Standard, May 4, 2005)

This was a tiny fraction of what the memo showed, and was not the “real news“, but it was all the Standard had to say.

According to the Express, the memo “revealed Mr Blair had already privately committed Britain to help America topple Saddam Hussein and was anxious to find ways of selling the war to the public and Parliament”. (‘PM hid truth on ousting Saddam,‘ Express, May 2, 2005)

Again, the “old news”, this time combined with a distortion - the conspiracy was to provoke war, not just to sell it to the British people. The same paper added for ‘balance’:

“But yesterday Mr Blair told BBC1's Breakfast With Frost the decision had not been taken to attack Saddam Hussein by July 2002. He added: ‘The point is that after that meeting we decided to go back to the UN and give him a last chance.’" (ibid)

The Express journalists failed to mention the evidence staring them in the face: namely, that the memo itself reveals that Blair’s “last chance” was a fraud designed to “wrong foot” Saddam into rejecting the ultimatum and so trigger war.

The Financial Times wrote that the memo “revealed that eight months before the conflict, he [Blair] had discussed with colleagues possible invasion scenarios and how to justify military action”. (Christopher Adams and Ben Hall, ‘Labour targets key marginals,’ Financial Times, May 2, 2005)

This is a staggering, lobotomised version from two journalists who, to be kind, had presumably not read the memo published the previous day in the Times.

In a separate article, one of the same authors wrote that the memo “suggested that he [Blair] was looking at ways to justify an invasion eight months before the conflict”. (Christopher Adams, ‘Blair defends decision for war with Iraq,’ Financial Times, May 2, 2005)

In the real world, Blair was looking at ways to provoke, not merely justify, an illegal war of aggression.

Remarkably, the FT article added that the memo “showed Mr Blair giving serious thought to strategy“:

"‘If the political context were right, people would support regime change,’ the memo said. ‘The two key issues were whether the military plan worked and whether we had the political strategy to give the military plan the space to work.’" (ibid)

One could not possibly guess from this that Blair was in fact giving serious thought to manipulating inspections as part of a campaign of public deception in pursuit of war.

The Guardian wrote the day after Smith’s May 1 article that the memo showed “that, almost a year before the Iraq invasion, Tony Blair was privately preparing to commit Britain to war and topple Saddam Hussein, despite warnings from his closest advisers that it was unjustified”.

This was the old news. The article continued:

“The documents show how Mr Blair was told how Britain and the US could ‘create the conditions‘ for an invasion, partly, in the words of Jack Straw to ‘work up’ an ultimatum to Saddam even though in the foreign secretary's own words, ‘the case was thin‘.” (Richard Norton-Taylor and Patrick Wintour, ‘Election 2005: Papers reveal commitment to war,’ The Guardian, May 2, 2005)

The obfuscation, here, is intensified to the point of incomprehension. The authors could instead have explained that the ultimatum was intended to ensure rejection so that war could be launched with a figleaf of international support and legitimacy. They could have mentioned that Bush and Blair endlessly lied to the public that peace was the desired outcome when they were doing everything in their power to trigger war.

Raymond Whitaker of the Independent on Sunday wrote that the contents of the memo “demonstrate that the Prime Minister had signed up for 'regime change' even earlier, when he met President George Bush at his Texas ranch the preceding April. Having promised British backing for war, the Government then set about seeking legal justification”. (Whitaker, ‘05.05.05 Election Special: Evidence reveals Blair’s true intention for war,’ Independent on Sunday, May 1, 2005)

What could be more innocent than that the government should “set about seeking legal justification” for war? In a sentence that surely had Orwell rolling in his grave, Whitaker wrote of the conspiracy to lure Iraq to war:

“Mr Straw's suggestion of an ultimatum on weapons inspections seemed to be the most promising way to allow Britain to join the US in its move towards war.”

This is truth stripped of all meaning so that the appalling revelations in the memo are completely obscured from view. Whitaker quoted from the memo:

“'The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors,' the minutes recorded. 'Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was producing the WMD ... If the political context were right, people would support regime change.'“

“This marked the beginning of the Government's campaign to find a legal basis for the war in the alleged threat from Iraq's illegal weapons, marked by the notorious WMD dossier published two months later.” (ibid)

Again, not a word about “the cynical use of the UN to provide an excuse“ for war described by Michael Smith.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, the memo “revealed that Mr Blair explicitly raised the possibility of ‘regime change’ as early as July 2002 - eight months before military action began - and discussed with senior ministers how to ‘create’ the conditions necessary to provide the legal justification for war”. (Melissa Kite and Sean Rayment, ‘If the political context is right, people will support “regime change“, said Blair,’ Sunday Telegraph, May 1, 2005)

Again, the real issue is buried out of sight.

Jonathan Freedland wrote in the Guardian last week: “One [memo] shows that Britain and the US heavily increased bombing raids on Iraq in the summer of 2002 - when London and Washington were still insisting that war was a last resort - even though the Foreign Office's own lawyers had advised that such action was illegal. These ‘spikes of activity’ were aimed at provoking Saddam into action that might justify war.” (Freedland, ‘Yes, they did lie to us,’ The Guardian, June 22, 2005)

Freeeland here at least mentioned that increased bombing was intended to goad Saddam into providing an excuse for war. But he failed to mention that the bombing was merely Plan B alongside Plan A that involved provoking Saddam to reject inspectors, so also providing a trigger for war. Once again, the real issue somehow just managed to escape his focus.


Anyone who wonders how Bush and Blair, clearly major war criminals, are able to remain in power, need look no further than the mendacious record of corporate media performance above, which is all but uniform right across the media ‘spectrum’. Only Smith, writing in the Sunday Times, has managed to state honestly the significance of the documents leaked to him. Notice that this bizarre media response - we have coined the term Feigned Media Psychosis to describe the phenomenon - occurred despite the ready availability of the key documents under discussion in the Sunday Times and on the internet. Brazenly, in broad daylight, as it were, the media has stolen the truth out from under the public’s noses.

Critics might object that this is an anomaly, a freak of timing, that a generally honest media system felt the public had simply had enough of Iraq. Thus, the Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland acknowledges that the memo has been all but ignored but comments:

“Journalists decided that voters were Iraq-ed out and so gave the memo much less coverage than it deserved.” (Freedland, ‘Yes, they did lie to us,’ The Guardian, June 22, 2005)

But it was not merely that journalists decided that the public were “Iraq-ed out”. In fact the corporate media have consistently distorted the truth in exactly this way for many years. Ahead of the 2003 war, journalists suppressed the truth of the genocidal impact of Western sanctions on Iraq. They suppressed the truth about the near-total disarming of Iraq by UN inspectors between 1991-98, and about the limited shelf lives of any retained WMD that would long since have become “useless sludge”, according to UN inspectors.

Since March 2003, the same media have suppressed the truth of Blair’s mendacious “moral case for war” by hyping Saddam’s crimes over the last decade and by suppressing the true costs of the invasion for the people of Iraq - notably, by ignoring or dismissing the October 2004 Lancet report indicating that almost 100,000 Iraqi civilians had died since the invasion. They suppressed the truth about the alleged June 2004 “transfer of sovereignty” in Iraq, about the January 2005 “democratic elections”, about the alleged US “exit strategy”, and about the true importance of oil and strategic power in US designs for Iraq. Consistently, right across the board, corporate media reporting has reflected corporate and other establishment interests at the expense of the Iraqi people.

It is tempting to psychoanalyse mainstream journalists, to try and understand how highly educated professionals can behave as intellectual herd animals in this way. How can apparently civilised Western journalists so consistently subordinate the misery and despair of innocent Iraqis to the needs of power and profit? In his book, The Corporation, Canadian law professor Joel Bakan explains the bottom-line for corporate executives:

“The law forbids any motivation for their actions, whether to assist workers, improve the environment, or help consumers save money. They can do these things with their own money, as private citizen. As corporate officials, however, stewards of other people’s money, they have no legal authority to pursue such goals as ends in themselves - only as means to serve the corporations own interests, which generally means to maximise the wealth of its shareholders.
Corporate social responsibility is thus illegal - at least when its genuine.” (Bakan, The Corporation, Constable, 2004, p.37)

Thus the hidden, enforced moral corruption of corporate employment:

“The people who run corporations are, for the most part, good people, moral people. They are mothers and fathers, lovers and friends, and upstanding citizens in their communities, and they often have good and sometimes even idealistic intentions... [But] they must always put their corporation’s best interests first and not act out of concern for anyone or anything else (unless the expression of such concern can somehow be justified as advancing the corporation’s own interests).” (ibid, p.50)

In the corporate media, putting the corporation first means not alienating centres of political and economic power that hold the keys to survival and success.

And so consider the words of Physician Mahammad J. Haded, director of an Iraqi refugee centre, who was in the besieged and bombarded Iraqi city of Fallujah during the US onslaught of November 2004. In February, Dr Haded spoke to the German magazine Junge Weit:

“The city is today totally ruined. Falluja is our Dresden in Iraq... The population is full of rage. People hate the Americans - Americans generally, not only US soldiers. They are occupiers, killers and terrorists. Almost every family in Falluja has to mourn a victim; how you can expect any other reaction there?” (Rüdiger Göbel, ‘Falluja was “wiped out"’, Junge Weit, February 26, 2005)

Putting the corporation first means that this horror, and the criminality behind it, just cannot become real for the media. Instead, the BBC’s Middle East correspondent, Paul Wood, is able to say on the main TV news:

“After everything that’s happened in Fallujah, the Americans aren’t going to find an +unambiguous+ welcome. But Fallujah +is+ more peaceful than it’s been in a long time. Its people like that.” (Wood, BBC 1, 18:00 News, June 22, 2005)

Eyebrows would perhaps have been raised if Wood had said the same of Kuwait and the Iraqi army in 1990. Or if he had said it of the Warsaw ghetto and the German army in 1943. Two days after these extraordinary words were spoken, six US marines were killed by a roadside bomb in Fallujah.

Ultimately, the crucial point is that, in the age of the ‘blogosphere‘, there is simply no longer any need to indulge the mainstream media’s high-paid servility to power. Though they scoff at the notion, corporate journalists really +do+ have the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocents on their hands. People who care about rational thought, who feel compassion for human suffering, will withdraw their support from the corporate media system. Readers will stop supporting it with their subscriptions, writers will stop supporting it with their words - and they will instead set about the vital work of building and supporting not-for-profit, internet-based media offering our only serious hope for compassionate change.

Why is it wrong for even well-meaning people to participate in fundamentally corrupt systems? Tolstoy explained:

“It is harmful because enlightened, good and honest people, by entering the ranks of the government, give it a moral authority which but for them it would not possess. If the government were made up entirely of that coarse element - the violators, self-seekers, and flatterers - who form its core, it could not continue to exist. The fact that honest and enlightened people are found who participate in the affairs of the government gives it whatever it possesses of moral prestige.” (Tolstoy, ‘Letters to the liberals,‘ Writings On Civil Disobedience and Non-Violence, New Society, 1987, p.192)

The same is true of the blood-soaked “moral prestige” of today’s corporate media.


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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Into the Mouth of the Lion

Into the Mouth of the Lion: More Canadian Troops for Afghanistan

PEJ News
- C. L. Cook - Overshadowed in the media by events in Iraq, the situation in Afghanistan worsens by the day. Yesterday, a U.S. helicopter ferrying in Navy SEALs reinforcements was downed, with all 17 aboard missing and feared dead. Also yesterday, Canada began sending a new contingent made up of soldiers, RCMP, and Foreign Affairs officials to establish a base near Kandahar.

Into the Mouth of the Lion
C. L. Cook

PEJ News

June 29, 2005 - In mid-May, Canada's Defense Minister, Bill Graham announced a historic new foreign policy direction and the role to be played by Canadian Forces to implement it. Speaking to the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs and the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Minister Graham reiterated how Canada will face its "new" role in global military affairs. He cited the completion of a new Defence Policy Statement and its central document, A Role of Pride and Influence in the World.

It's a new direction George Bush and America's stretched military must appreciate, even if most Canadians don't. It means the freeing up of U.S. military resources for deployment in Iraq, or elsewhere in the Middle East, possibly leading to the U.S. Army's eventual departure from Afghanistan. At a time when attacks are increasing sharply and ISAF casualties following suit, the prospect of another force sharing garrison duties, and the more perilous search and destroy missions, is the only good news the U.S. military in Afghanistan has received lately.

Just yesterday, 17 more Americans, most from the elite Navy SEALs, were downed, purportedly by a Taliban rocket. The 17 are currently listed as "missing in action."

Though Canadian troops have been in Afghanistan for years, unitl now they have been operating out of Camp Julien, near Kabul in the north of the country. According to David Rudd, of the Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies, deploying to Kandahar province is "significantly" more dangerous for troops. He says, "The potential for casualties is much more in the south than in Kabul." Adding: "Kandahar is the wild west compared to Kabul."

The redeployment of Canadians from the relative safety and stability of Kabul to Kandahar, seat of power for the former Taliban rulers of Afghanistan and reputed locus of al Qaida, is just one part of Canada's new role in the world, as elucidated by Mr. Graham in his speech to the Standing Committees.

On the occasion of his address, Graham informed the assembled worthies, Canada recognizes, "security at home often begins with security abroad," adding the new policy means his government will be "enhancing Canada's contribution to global security and peace building."

This new direction is, in Graham's view, "informed by the rich operational experience of the Canadian Forces, both in Canada and locations ranging from Afghanistan to the Balkans, to Haiti. The irony of this statement seems entirely lost on Graham.

It's an irony lost on the Canadian public too, that while America's citizens are increasingly turning away from the war and the attitudes that spawned it, Canada, who refused overt involvement in the war in Iraq, is now moving in the opposite direction.

In an echo of expectations expressed by Rumsfeld prior to Iraq, Graham and Foreign Affairs seem convinced the so-called Provincial Reconstruction Teams mission will be received well by locals in the south currently schooling themselves on Iraq's "Occupation for Dummies.'

So far, Canadian troops have been lucky, the only deaths reported being those killed in 'friendly fire' by an American Reserve pilot, but now Minister Graham is committing to a greater, and more dangerous role for Canada that seems bound to see further Canadians coming home in 'transit tubes.'

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, broad/webcast from the University of Victoria, Canada. He also serves as a contributing editor at You can check out the What this pride means in essence is Canada becoming more "muscular" in its prosecution of the 'War on Terror.'
GR Blog here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Talking to the Enemy

Those "Meetings" with Insurgents

More Rumsfeld Lies


"America is conducting a war without any effort at bipartisan consultation on our tactics, on our strategy, and on our goals. We disserve a realistic definition of success for a war that increasingly threatens to become a quagmire." -Zbigniew Brzezinski, former Carter security advisor

"We know where they are. They're right up here in the area around Tikrit." - Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, pointing to the exact location of the imaginary WMD

There were reports last Friday that representatives of the US Occupation Forces in Iraq were engaged in secret talks with leaders of the Iraqi resistance. For a brief two day period, there was reason to hope that there might be a genuine opportunity to begin negotiations for a political settlement to the 27 month conflict.

When Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made his scheduled appearances on the Sunday morning talk shows he confirmed that the alleged meetings had taken place saying, "Well, the first thing I would say about the meetings is they go on all the time." Later, he would reinforce this suggestion on Meet the Press when he was asked whether there had been "two meetings between Iraqi and U.S. officials and some members of the insurgency."

Rumsfeld responded, "I think there have probably been many more than that."

It was all lies.

When asked the next day whether such meetings took place, US Commander in Iraq, Army Gen. George Casey said, "Not yet. Not, to the best of my knowledge, yet. We may start moving there, but the first thing we want to do is meet with Sunni leaders. And a lot of these folks claim they have leverage over the insurgents that we've yet to see realized, frankly.But, to characterize them as negotiations with insurgents about stopping the insurgency, we're not quite there yet."

What, no meetings?

As always, Rumsfeld performed his part admirably; producing the result he intended from the very onset; to mislead the viewers into believing that some form of minimal progress was being achieved behind the scenes. That wasn't the case. The real purpose was simply to deceive the American public once again, to elicit greater support for a botched war that has degenerated into a quagmire.

By now, every American who is capable of reading a newspaper or watching a TV should know that Rumsfeld is a compulsive liar, a serial liar, a pathological liar. The maxim one should always follow in listening to the sneering Rumsfeld is to calculate the exact inverse of whatever he says and assume that that will approximate the truth.

There were no talks; it was just another sordid chapter in the Defense Dept's strategy to manipulate information to manage public perceptions.(Strategic Information; Rumsfeld's Bureau of Mendacity) Simple murder and torture fall well below the requirements of Rumsfeld's legendary narcissism; his ego necessitates that he hoodwink the masses regularly so they comply with his bloody war-script. Fortunately, fewer and fewer people are taking anything Rumsfeld says seriously.

A report in a London newspaper "Al-Hayat" said that a "Committee combating occupation denies negotiations with the Americans"; saying that the rumors were "a mere fabrication". The group went on to say that the Americans were creating phony opposition groups that they could control "to suppress the real trends that reject the occupation and the political process stemming from it".

Pretty clever, huh? This actually seems like one of Rumsfeld's brainier schemes except for the fact that officials for the real Iraqi resistance and General Casey have blown his cover.

Shaykh Majid al-Ka'ud has denied the claims that anyone representing the resistance has negotiated with the Americans and insisted that, "The resistance will continue until victory and liberation are achieved with the departure of the occupation armies."

Al-Ka'ud remarks show an impressive grasp of Rumsfeld's plan to weaken the insurgency by creating fake organizations, comprised of colluders and opportunists, which will "marginalize the resistance, obliterate Iraq's Arabismand divide it up into feeble entities that would be subject to plunder by the occupation companies."

Divide and conquer; the ultimate Rumsfeld strategy tilts the nation towards civil war, where Iraqis can be trusted to kill each other rather than the American invaders. This tactic has been called the "Lebanonization" of Iraq and (as Pepe Escobar notes in a recent Asia Times article) pits "former Mukhabarat pals of former interim prime minister Iyad Allawi at the Interior Ministry, plus the militia inferno at the core of the ministry (the so-called Rumsfeld's boys'), ganging up to fight the resistance. Sunni Arab intelligence plus Shi'ite and Kurd militias fighting Sunni Arabs."

This is the conflict that Rumsfeld hopes to incite. And, this is what he means when he says, "We're going to create an environment that the Iraqi people and the Iraqi security forces can win against that insurgency." In other words, Rumsfeld plans to create the "creative chaos" which he feels will best serve the overall objectives of the occupation.

Every random act of terror in Iraq should be analyzed in terms of whether it fits within Rumsfeld's criteria for success.

Why Iraqis Fight

What sets Al-Ka'ud apart from the Defense Secretary is the use of language and passion that would melt Rumsfeld's tongue. In explaining why the members in the resistance are struggling against the overwhelming force of the American military, Al-Ka'ud said, "What prompts these people is their religion and pan-Arab duty and the Iraqis embrace them due to the common destiny and one faith."

Yes, indeed, they are fighting for their country, their religion, and their way of life. That's why they will win; and that's why all of Rumsfeld's clever contrivances will amount to nothing.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington State. He can be reached at:

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Gorilla Radio for Monday, June 27th

This week: U.S. blogger, Eric Blumrich on Bush Teachings in America's schoolrooms.

Guerrilla News Network co-founder and filmmaker, Stephen Marshall on This Revolution

And, Janine Bandcroft on this week's goings on in and around Victoria

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, 104.3 cable, and on the internet at: He also serves as a contributing editor at the progressive web news site:

You can check out the GR blog at:

Gorilla Radio for J27
Chris Cook
CFUV Radio

Not content to break the laws of civilization alone, the Bush administration is taking aim too at the very laws of nature. With its now signature hubris, George Bush and company have examined and found wanting the last few centuries of scientific thought. So they’ve decided to “fix” the facts to fit their flat world view.

Galileo and Darwin be damned, George and the gang have the skinny on the true nature of existence, and no child will be left behind this bandwagon. Intelligent Design is the new reality in America, and the Bush administration is determined to have it taught to the youth of America, right there beside evolution and physics.

Eric Blumrich is an artist, social commentator, and blogger. His site, uses flash animation to marry images, text and music that deliver dissent by the boatload. Eric Blumrich and coming to grips with George’s “Intelligent Design” and America’s new normal in the first half.

And, During last summer’s Republican National Convention in New York City, Canadian filmmaker, Stephen Marshall took his camera and crew to the streets to shoot scenes for his theatrical production, This Revolution. Like hundreds of others, the film crew soon found themselves arrested arbitrarily by heavy-handed law enforcers.

Stephen Marshall was recently at UVic screening This Revolution and he joined me to talk about the film. Stephen Marshall and This Revolution in the second half.

And, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with all that’s good to do in and around Victoria this week.

But first, Eric Blumrich and Bush-thought in the classroom.

G-Radio is dedicated to social justice, the environment, community, and providing a forum for people and issues not covered in the mainstream media.

Some past guests include: M. Junaid Alam, Joel Bakan, Maude Barlow, David Barsamian, William Blum, Vincent Bugliosi, Helen Caldicott, Noam Chomsky, Michel Chossudovsky, Diane Christian, Juan Cole, David Cromwell, Jon Elmer, Reese Erlich, Jim Fetzer, Laura Flanders, Susan George, Stan Goff, Robert Greenwald, Denis Halliday, Chris Hedges, Julia Butterfly Hill, Robert Jensen, Dahr Jamail, Diana Johnstone, Kathy Kelly, Naomi Klein, Anthony Lappe, Frances Moore Lappe, Dave Lindorff, Jim Lobe, Wayne Madsen, Stephen Marshall, Linda McQuaig, George Monbiot, Loretta Napoleoni, John Nichols, Kurt Nimmo, Greg Palast, Michael Parenti, William Rivers Pitt, Sheldon Rampton, Paul de Rooij, John Ross, Danny Schechter, Vandana Shiva, Norman Solomon, Starhawk, Grant Wakefield, Bernard Weiner, Mickey Z., Dave Zirin, and many others.

Of Sharks and Courage

One of the all news stations ran a piece on this J27. It's an incredible act of heroism that the TV report really didn't touch on. This guy ran into the sea to rescue a girl being mauled by a shark. He got to her, took her away from the shark, loaded her on his surfboard and paddled roughly 100 metre to shore, pausing every fourth stroke to punch the persistent shark in the head. He made it to shore, but the victim, a fourteen year-old sweetheart of a looking girl, died on the beach. -ape

Of Sharks and Courage

PEJ News
- Chris Cook: There was a second shark attack off Florida today. A young boy, fishing in shallow water was mauled by a shark but survived, unlike the victim of last Saturday's fatal encounter for a teenaged girl paddling in deeper water. The boy lost a leg, but is recovering in hospital. Both attacks proved occasions for heroics by witnesses on the scene.

Of Sharks and Courage
C. L. Cook

June 27, 2005

With so much talk of heroes and heroism, most jingoistic propaganda meant to provide silver-lining to the brutish situations in Afghanistan and Iraq, two stories coming out of Florida this week truly illustrate our species' capacity for selflessness and courage in the face of mortal danger.

On Saturday, June 25th, two young girls were paddling a hundred yards off shore when they were attacked by a shark. A local surfer, seeing the attack from the beach, grabbed his board and raced to the scene. The 54 year old Tim Dicus made it to the badly mauled girl, pulled her from the shark's jaws, loaded her onto his board and headed for the beach. But the shark was persistent, harrying the pair all the way, as Dicus described:

"I paddled over real quick and pulled her out of the water just before the shark made another attack on her," he said. "I had to fend him off to get (Daigle) up onto the board, and then continue to fend him off as he ... followed us to the beach."

They made it to the beach, but fourteen year old, Jaime Daigle later died.

Today, just eighty miles from Saturday's attack, a young boy, fishing with friends in shallow water too came under attack. Craig A. Hutto was badly bitten in the leg and being pulled into the deeper water when his two companions attacked the shark, scaring it off long enough to pull their friend out of the water and get help. Unfortunately, Hutto's leg was later amputated.


There is something within the human heart that moves us to act, even when action could mean our destruction. It needn't be a friend or family member endangered, more often it's a complete stranger. That instinct to preserve life is perhaps our only nobility.

In America there are heroes acting selflessly to protect their own and strangers from disaster. And in America there are others creating disaster, throwing millions of lives into the maelstrom. I like to think the former outnumber the latter and they will ultimately jump into the water despite the sharks.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, a weekly public affairs program, broad/webcast from the University of Victoria, Canada. He also serves as a contributing editor to You can check out the GR Blog here.

Getting to the Bottom of the Twin Towers Collapse

WTC Basement Blast And Injured Burn Victim
Blows 'Official 9/11 Story' Sky High

Eye Witness Testimony Is Conclusive That
North Tower Collapsed From Controlled Demolition
By Greg Szymanski
June 24, 2005

WTC janitor pulls burn victim to safety after basement explosion rocks north tower seconds before jetliner hit top floors. Also, two other men trapped and drowning in a basement elevator shaft, were also pulled to safety from underground explosion..

What happened to William Rodriguez the morning of 9/11 is a miracle. What happened to his story after-the-fact is a tragedy.

But with miracles and tragedies comes truth. And truth is exactly what Rodriguez brings to the whole mystery surrounding 9/11.

Declared a hero for saving numerous lives at Ground Zero, he was the janitor on duty the morning of 9/11 who heard and felt explosions rock the basement sub-levels of the north tower just seconds before the jetliner struck the top floors.

He not only claims he felt explosions coming from below the first sub-level while working in the basement, he says the walls were cracking around him and he pulled a man to safety by the name of Felipe David, who was severely burned from the basement explosions.

All these events occurred only seconds before and during the jetliner strike above. And through it all, he now asks a simple question everybody should be asking? How could a jetliner hit 90 floors above and burn a man’s arms and face to a crisp in the basement below within seconds of impact?

Rodriguez claims this was impossible and clearly demonstrates a controlled demolition brought down the WTC, saying "Let’s see them (the government) try to wiggle out of this one."

Well, they haven’t wiggled out of it because the government continues to act like Rodriguez doesn’t exist, basically ignoring his statements and the fact he rescued a man burnt and bleeding from the basement explosions.

His eye witness account, ignored by the media and the government, points the finger squarely on an official cover-up at the highest levels since the government contends the WTC fell only from burning jet fuel. And after listening to Rodriguez, it’s easy to see why the Bush administration wants him kept quiet.

Bush wants him quiet because Rodriguez’s account is ‘proof positive’ the WTC was brought down by a controlled demolition, not burning jet fuel. And Bush knows if he’s caught lying about this or caught in a cover-up, it’s just a matter of time before the whole house of cards comes tumbling down.

In fact, Rodriguez’s story is so damaging – so damning – it literally blows the lid off the government story, literally exposing the whole 9/11 investigation as a sham and a cover-up of the worst kind.

And it appears the cover-up also extends to the media.

NBC news knew about his story several years ago, even spending a full day at his house taping his comments. But when push came to shove, his story was never aired. Why?

His eyewitness account, backed up by at least 14 people at the scene with him, isn’t speculation or conjecture. It isn’t a story that takes a network out on a journalistic limb. It’s a story that can be backed up, a story that can be verified with hospital records and testimony from many others.

It’s a story about 14 people who felt and heard the same explosion and even saw Rodriguez, moments after the airplane hit, take David to safety, after he was burnt so bad from the basement explosion flesh was hanging from his face and both arms

So why didn’t NBC or any other major news outlets cover the story? They didn’t run it because it shot the government story to hell and back. They didn’t run it because "the powers that be" wouldn’t allow it.

Since 9/11, Rodriguez has stuck to his guns, never wavering from what he said from day one. Left homeless at times, warned to keep quiet and subtly harassed, he nevertheless has continued trying to tell get his message out in the face of a country not willing to listen.

Here is his story:

The Miracle

It’s a miracle Rodriguez, 44, who worked at the WTC for 20 years, is even alive. Usually arriving to work at 8:30am, the morning of 9/11 he reported 30 minutes late. If he’d arrived on time, it would have put him at the top floors just about the same time the jetliner hit the north tower.

"It was a miracle. If I arrived on time, like always, I’d probably be dead. I would have been up at the top floors like every morning," said Rodriguez about the quirk of fate that saved his life.

But since he was late, Rodriguez found himself checking into work in an office on sub-level 1 when the north tower was hit, seemingly out of harms way. However, the sound and concussion of a massive explosion in the sub-levels right below his feet changed that.

"When I heard the sound of the explosion, the floor beneath my feet vibrated, the walls started cracking and it everything started shaking," said Rodriguez, who was huddled together with at least 14 other people in the office.

Rodriguez said Anthony Saltamachia, supervisor for the American Maintenance Co., was one of the people in the room who stands ready to verify his story.

"Seconds after the first massive explosion below in the basement still rattled the floor, I hear another explosion from way above," said Rodriguez. "Although I was unaware at the time, this was the airplane hitting the tower, it occurred moments after the first explosion."

But before Rodriguez had time to think, co-worker Felipe David stormed into the basement office with severe burns on his face and arms, screaming for help and yelling "explosion! explosion! explosion!"

David had been in front of a nearby freight elevator on sub-level 1 about 400 feet from the office when fire burst out of the elevator shaft, causing his injuries.

"He was burned terribly," said Rodriguez. "The skin was hanging off his hands and arms. His injuries couldn’t have come from the airplane above, but only from a massive explosion below. I don’t care what the government says, what scientists say. I saw a man burned terribly from a fire that was caused from an explosion below.

"I know there were explosives placed below the trade center. I helped a man to safety who is living proof, living proof the government story is a lie and a cover-up.

"I have tried to tell my story to everybody, but nobody wants to listen. It is very strange what is going on here in supposedly the most democratic country in the world. In my home country of Puerto Rico and all the other Latin American countries, I have been allowed to tell my story uncensored. But here, I can’t even say a word."

After Rodriguez escorted David to safety outside the WTC, he returned to lead the others in the basement to safety as well. While there, he also helped two other men trapped and drowning in the basement elevator shaft, another result he says of the explosives placed below the tower.

In fact, after leading these men to safety, he even made another trip back into the north tower, against police orders, in order to rescue people from the top floors.

"I never could make it to the top, but I got up to the 33rd floor after getting some of my equipment and a face mask out of the janitor’s closet," said Rodriguez, adding he heard a series of small explosions going off between the 20th and 30th floors, unrelated to the airplane strike, while making his way through the stairwell to the top floors.

"Also, when I was on the 33rd floor, I heard strange sounds coming form the 34th floor, loud noises like someone moving and thumping heavy equipment and furniture. I knew this floor was empty and stripped due to construction work so I avoided it and continued to make my way up the stairs."

Rodriguez said he finally reached the 39th floor before being turned back by fire fighters and then, reluctantly, started his descent back down and his own flight to safety while, at the same time, hearing explosions coming from the South Tower.

The Tragedy

The concerted effort by the media and the government to silence Rodriguez is the tragedy behind this American hero’s story. And there is no question, Rodriguez is a "silent hero" for saving so many lives and for having the courage to continue telling his story against tremendous odds.

In an effort to open a fair and honest investigation as to why the WTC collapsed, Rodriguez has been ignored by government officials, the 9/11 Commission and the National Institute of Safety and Technology (NIST).

NIST, an independent investigative group funded by the government, put the finishing touches this week on its 2 year $35 million 9/11 investigation. This week Rodriguez made his final plea to have his story heard while testifying at the final public hearing held in New York.

" I disagree 100%with the government story," said Rodriguez. "I met with the 9/11 Commission behind closed doors and they essentially discounted everything I said regarding the use of explosives to bring down the north tower.

"And I contacted NIST previously four times without a response. Finally, this week I asked them before they came up with their conclusion that jet fuel brought down the towers, if they ever considered my statements or the statements of any of the other survivors who heard the explosions. They just stared at me with blank faces and didn’t have any answers.

"Also, The FBI never followed up on my claims or on the other part of my story when I told them before 9/11, I encountered one of the hijackers casing the north tower."

Besides the explosions, Rodriguez also has provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission that he stumbled across one of the supposed 19 Arab hijackers inside the WTC several months before 9/11

"I had just finished cleaning the bathroom and this guy asks me, 'Excuse me, how many public bathrooms are in this area?'" Rodriguez told the 9/11 Commission. "Coming from the school of the 1993 [Trade Center] bombing, I found it very strange. I didn't forget about it"

Rodriguez, claims he saw United Airlines Flight 175 hijacker Mohand Alshehri in June 2001, telling an FBI agent about the incident a month after the attacks. Never hearing back from the bureau, he later learned agents never followed up on the story.

"I'm very certain, I'll give it 90%" that Alshehri was casing the towers before the attacks," said Rodriguez.

Regarding the media’s apathetic approach to his story, Rodriguez said immediately after 9/11 some newspapers picked it up but his words were never taken seriously and quickly forgotten.

"During the 9/11 hearings, NBC brought a crew out to my house and spent a day taping my story but they never did air a word of it," said Rodriguez. "Since then, some reporters and commentators have subtly warned me to keep quiet, told me my life could be in jeopardy and warned me that I really didn’t understand who I was dealing with.

"I have been receiving this type of subtle harassment for years, but I keep telling everybody I can’t be intimidated because I am on a mission. Whenever someone asks why I keep talking or warns me that I could be killed, I just tell them I have nothing to lose.

"I tell them I lost 200 friends and I am their voice now. I tell them I will do everything in my power to find out the truth since I am living on borrowed time since I probably should be dead anyway."

Besides trying to tell his explosive story, Rodriguez has been active raising money for 9/11victims, being involved with charity groups that have raised more than $122 million. He says he has used over $60,000 of his own money, originally earmarked to buy a new house, in order to get at the truth behind 9/11.

Also seeking justice at the highest level, Rodriguez is the lead plaintiff in a federal RICO lawsuit filed against President Bush and others, alleging conspiracy to commit murder and other crimes in the deaths of more than 3,000 at the WTC.

The case, filed last November in a Philadelphia federal district court, recently was moved to New York in a change of venue after a government’s motion to dismiss was overruled, allowing legal discovery to continue.

"Even if the case goes no farther, I feel we have scored a victory by winning this first battle," said Rodriguez. "At least the judge seems willing to listen which is a victory of sorts. However, I sincerely hope we can eventually take the case all the way to trial and reveal the truth to the American people about 9/11."

For more informative articles, go to where kind donations are also accepted to keep the truth flowing in the wake of media apathy.

Greg Szymanski