Thursday, September 22, 2005

Ratting-Out the Black Lord: Conrad's Dark Night

PEJ News
- C. L. Cook - The days are darkening for Lord Black. The erstwhile Press baron and media tycoon now mired in legal battles watched this week as his "right-hand man" for so many years, David Radler copped a plea with U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Patrick Fitzgerald to drop most of the seven charges against him in return for "cooperation" in Fitzgerald's ongoing investigation of Black's former domain, Hollinger Inc.

Ratting-Out the Black Lord
C. L. Cook

PEJ News
September 22, 2005

Conrad's descent to earth can be traced to the CanWest Global takeover of much of "his" publishing empire. The current board of Hollinger charges Black and accomplices looted the company to provide themselves fabulous lifestyles, at the expense of the company and shareholders.

It began at a routine Annual shareholders meeting when a curious stockholder began asking questions about just where and why vast sums were being diverted, through convoluted contracts involving myriad companies controlled by Lord Black. Those queries set in motion a train of events that have led to multiple charges of mail fraud filed against various individuals and entities connected to Black by U.S. authorities, and sparked investigations by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) in that country. There are also official investigations of Hollinger and Black's doings with company finances underway in his native Canada.

Today, (S22) Hollinger legal eagle, and key component of the alleged illegalities, Mark Kipnis was scheduled for the next phase in his trial. He pleaded not guilty last month to the same charges cited against Radler. What the former Hollinger in-house lawyer's strategy will be, in light of Radler's plea bargain and promise to provide insight to the prosecution, is the next chapter in a legal saga that is now inching closer to climax: the laying of charges against Conrad Black himself.

Though no charges have yet been laid against Black, Ravelston Corp, one of the offshore companies he controlled has been specifically charged in the massive fraud that saw hundreds of millions of dollars siphoned from Hollinger prior to Black's emasculation by the board. There are seven mail fraud charges to answer for, and the questions are getting closer to the former business leader.

For now, authorities in both Canada and the U.S. are keeping mum, but Patrick Fitzgerald, the same conducting the Karl Rove/Valerie Plame case, seems for now determined to carry this forward to a place that must see Conrad Black brought before the courts. For many familiar with Mr. Black's amazing career in Canada, his humbling will likely be a satisfaction; his imperious snobbery and arrogance has rankled for years, but it will also prove another opportunity to see justice done, despite the prominence of the defendant.

It's unlikely Conrad will emerge from prison some time in the future to host his own reality show, but already there is talk of a bio-pic in the works.

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

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

"We Didn't Want Canadians to be Aware"

"We Didn't Want Canadians to be Aware"

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - Brigadier-General Mike Ward, the head of Canadian Forces operations summed up Canada's continued involvement with America's wars in the Near East yesterday, telling reporters Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2), a secretive commando unit, had killed and captured Afghani "insurgents."

"We didn't specifically want Canadians to be aware that special operations were operating abroad."

- Brigadier-General Mike Ward on Canadian involvement in Afghanistan. (Sept. 20, 2005)

We Didn't Want Canadians to be Aware
C. L. Cook

PEJ News
September 21, 2005

In a rare moment of candidness, the Canadian government disclosed just what they are doing with the people's "Defense" ministry in Afghanistan. Brigadier-General Mike Ward, describing details untold to Canadians, said: "We have to engage in combat operations that take the offensive into the mountains, into the remote regions where they have their bases and their sanctuary, and keep them off guard."

Hardly headline news, but that's been the government's strategy all along.

A concentrated and complicit corporate media in this country has all but canned news and analysis of Canada's changing military. Imagine if the U.S. corporate media failed also to provide news from the war, save a brief and terse appearance before a select press conference, and you've got the picture of just how much Canadians don't know about what is being done with their tax dollars, and pronouncedly in their names.

Canada's new (sic) self-definition, is a redesigned military command and control, to better "assimilate" with the U.S. This assimilation, though sold to the country as merely an extension of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the Cold War remnant of continental cooperation to deal with threats thought likely to emanate from the former USSR, is actually a profound redefinition of both the make-up of Canada's Forces, and the nature of future deployments.

Needless to say, from the government's position, ethical consideration is ceded to legal arcanum, morality reduced to a question of what best serves Canada's "share holders." In the media, this extreme makeover is presented solely in strategic and financial terms. What Canadians think about this sea-change in foreign policy, or if they're even aware of it, goes unreported.

And, now those changes are set to bear the bitter fruit of Canadian blood, spilt far from home and in the service of dubious masters.

Defense Minister, Bill Graham has been talking up Canadian casualties for months, and is now set to take his mortician's dog and pony show nation-wide. This as the new "Canada Doctrine" sees troops in Afghanistan sent to the country's most volatile regions with a newly-minted playbook; a playbook made in America. And, playing by American rules means paying like American troops.

Graham and his fellow Liberal quislings know a train of "transit-tubes," filled with the remains of Canadian soldiers, is leaving the station, setting in motion a sad and certain journey from the world-away fields of Afghanistan to the cemeteries of Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Regina, Victoria, and all corners of the nation between.

It's just as Brig.-Gen. Ward says: "Casualties do occur. That's the nature of war. That's certainly the nature of operations."

Naturally. But why? What petrifies Mr. Graham is the prospect of a "shit happens" answer to the inevitable question to come:

"Why, Mr. Graham did my son, daughter, brother, sister, husband, wife, father, mother die?"

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

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


SAS "Pseudo-Warriors Nailed Red-Handed

- Kurt Nimmo - Baghdad Dweller, writing for Uruknet, reports two British soldiers held by “Iraqi authorities” in Basra (also described as “Shiite militiamen” in the corporate media), and subsequently freed after the British stormed a police jail, were working undercover as bombers.

British “Pseudo-Gang”
Terrorists Exposed in Basra
Kurt Nimmo

Another Day in the Empire
September 20th, 2005

Baghdad Dweller includes a link to the Washington Post, where the following appears: “Iraqi security officials on Monday variously accused the two Britons they detained of shooting at Iraqi forces or trying to plant explosives. Photographs of the two men in custody showed them in civilian clothes.”

The Herald notes the following: “Sources say the British soldiers, possibly members of the new Special Reconnaissance Regiment formed earlier this month to provide intelligence for SAS operations, were looking at infiltration of the city’s police by the followers of the outspoken Shi’ite cleric, Moqtada al Sadr,” thus admitting the soldiers worked undercover.

The “Special Reconnaissance Regiment,” according to, “formed with HQ at Hereford from volunteers of other units to support international expeditionary operations in the fight against international terrorism, absorbing 14th Intelligence Company (formed for operations against Ulster terrorists), Intelligence Corps, and releasing the SAS and SBS for the ‘hard end’ of missions.” Is it possible the “hard end” of the “mission” in Iraq is to discredit the resistance and sow chaos in the country by fronting pseudo-gang terrorist groups (or the variant “pseudo-guerilla operations”), as the British have ample experience with elsewhere, notably in Kenya during the Mau Mau uprising and in Malaya?

“Pseudo operations are those in which government forces disguised as guerrillas, normally along with guerrilla defectors, operate as teams to infiltrate insurgent areas,” writes Lawrence E. Cline for the U.S. Army War College External Research Associates Program. “This technique has been used by the security forces of several other countries in their operations, and typically it has been very successful.” Indeed, one long running pseudo op, Gladio, was so successful it managed to render a nominal Italian terrorist group, the Red Brigades (Brigate Rosse), into an excuse (after proper infiltration by agents provocateurs) to increase the power of reactionary forces in Italy and discredit socialist, communist, and even labor movements.

The British SAS honed its “counter-insurgency” techniques in Northern Ireland and there is no reason to believe it has refrained from doing so in Iraq. “Formed to perform acts of sabotage and assassination behind enemy lines during World War 2, the SAS evolved into a counter-insurgency regiment after the war,” writes Sean Mac Mathuna. Mathuna cites a 1969 Army Training manual (British Army Land Operations Manual, volume 3, counter-revolutionary operations) that enumerates several “tasks,” including:

the ambush and harassment of insurgents, the infiltration of sabotage, assassination and demolition parties into insurgent-held areas, border surveillance … liaison with, and organization of friendly guerrilla forces operating against the common enemy.

Examples “were found during the Mau-Mau rebellion in Kenya during the mid-fifties,” Mathuna explains, “when SAS officers commanded some of the infamous ‘pseudo gangs’ that terrorized the civilian population,” and

in Borneo, where they used cross-border operations to attack and destroy guerrilla bases; and in Aden in 1967, where they dressed as Arabs and would use an Army officer to lure Arab gunmen into a trap and kill them. To defeat the insurgents counter-terror must be deployed back at them—described by Ken Livingstone as “subverting the subverters”….

In order to “subvert the subverters” and discredit the IRA in Northern Ireland, the SAS formed the Military Reconnaissance Force (MRF), a covert pseudo-gang. “During the 1972 [IRA] ceasefire the MRF shot civilians from unmarked cars using IRA weapons,” writes Mathuna. “In November 1972 the Army admitted that the MRF had done this one three occasions. One of these incidents happened on 22nd June 1972—the day the IRA announced its intention to introduce a ceasefire. The shootings appear to have been done to discredit the IRA…”

It is clear now, that because elements within the security forces did not want a political deal with the IRA in the mid-seventies, and the military solution was only possible with a change at the top of the Labour leadership, MI5 and the SAS were prepared to use the same methods the IRA are condemned for - civilian deaths, assassinations, bombings and black propaganda—to bring this about.

In fact, so effective were these “military solution” pseudo-gang terrorist techniques the French employed them in Algeria and Vietnam. “The most widespread use of pseudo type operations was during the ‘Battle of Algiers’ in 1957,” explains Lawrence E. Cline. “The principal French employer of covert agents in Algiers was the Fifth Bureau, the psychological warfare branch.” The Fifth Bureau “planted incriminating forged documents, spread false rumours of treachery and fomented distrust among the [FLN, the National Liberation Front] … As a frenzy of throat-cutting and disemboweling broke out among confused and suspicious FLN cadres, nationalist slaughtered nationalist from April to September 1957 and did France’s work for her,” notes Cline, quoting Martin S. Alexander and J. F. V. Kieger (“France and the Algerian War: Strategy, Operations, and Diplomacy,” Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 25, No. 2, June 2002, pp. 6-7).

Even though the Washington Post mentions two Brits were detained, apparently caught red-handed shooting Iraqi police and planting explosives, it does not bother to mention the SAS or its long and sordid history of engaging in covert pseudo-gang behavior and conclude the obvious: Britain, and the United States—the latter having admitted formulating the Proactive Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG) in 2002, a brain child of neocons staffing the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board, designed to “stimulate reactions” on the part of “terrorists” (in Iraq, that would be the resistance)—are intimately involved in sowing chaos and spreading violence in Iraq and more than likely soon enough in Iran and Syria.

Of course, this unfortunate and embarrassing incident in Basra will fall off the front page of corporate newspapers and websites soon enough, replaced with more appropriate, if fantastical, propaganda implicating the Iraqi resistance and intel ops such as al-Zarqawi for the violence, obviously engineered to create a civil war in Iraq and thus divide the country and accomplish the neocon-Likudite plan to destroy Islamic culture and society.


It is not surprising the corporate media in the United States and Britain would omit crucial details on this story. In order to get the whole story, we have to go elsewhere—for instance, China’s Xinhuanet news agency. “Two persons wearing Arab uniforms [see the M.O. cited above] opened fire at a police station in Basra. A police patrol followed the attackers and captured them to discover they were two British soldiers,” an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua. “The two soldiers were using a civilian car packed with explosives, the source said.”

So, the next time you read or hear about crazed “al-Qaeda in Iraq” terrorists blowing up children or desperate job applicants, keep in mind, according to the Iraqi Interior Ministry, the perpetrators may very well be British SAS goons who cut their teeth killing Irish citizens.

Stay informed. Subscribe and get the best of PEJ News by email. Free.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Basra Bizarre

[Breaking: (S20) The Washington Post Foreign service reports, Basra police allegations the two SAS men arrested were on a bomb planting mission. Photos purporting to be of the contents of the car the British special forces men were driving have also been released. ape]


A grab from footage released on September 20, 2005 shows weapons which Iraqi police said were confiscated from two undercover British soldiers after their arrest in Basra, southern Iraq, September 19, 2005. (Al-Iraqiya via Reuters television/Reuters)

Basra Bizzare: SAS Commandos Arrested and Sprung

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - An oddity in Iraq yesterday. Two British members of the elite SAS arrested by Iraqi police following a gun-fight at a checkpoint, are now back in British hands after a dramatic jail break pulled off by fellow soldiers.


Basra Bizarre: SAS Commandos Arrested and Sprung

by C. L. Cook - PEJ News

September 19, 2005

Two British commandos, members of the secretive SAS were arrested by Iraqi police yesterday in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. The two men, dressed in Arab garb and driving an unmarked car, drew the attention of police. As the car was approached, shots were fired. Conflicting reports make the timeline of the exchange of fire unclear, and there are also discrepancies concerning casualties, some saying one policeman was wounded and/or killed, others claiming two police dead, while still others claim none were killed. But what is clear: the two soldiers were taken into custody and questioned by an Iraqi judge.

Some hours after the incident, British reinforcements arrived at the jail, demanding the release of their colleagues. When refused, the British knocked down at least one wall of the jail; reportedly with either a tank, several tanks, or armoured personnel carrier: again accounts are diverse. Everyone does agree; there was helicopter support for the rescue operation, and at least one tank was later set afire by angry mobs, hurling stones and petrol bombs. Crowds had apparently been drawn to the jail by flying squads of rabble-rousers, blaring news of a killed policeman and the arrest of the British over car-mounted loudspeakers.

Word of the shooting spread through the city, already edgy because of the heightened bombing campaigns against religious sites and observances. (This week marks the beginning of the Karbala Festival, marking the birth of Imam Mohammed al-Mahdi in 868 A.D. on the Christian calendar. It's expected to draw as many as 3 million pilgrims, providing ample opportunities for car and suicide bombings.) These attacks have been cited by Iranian officials as a deliberate ploy by the Americans and their allies, ostensibly to justify the continuation of the occupation. It's a sentiment broadly shared in Iraq.

Curiously, B.B.C. World Radio reports initially identified the car the SAS drove as being: "full of explosives and bomb making equipment." It's a quote I'm unable at this hour (S19) to corroborate. In fact, none among the several articles relating to this strange tale broach the questions: Why did the shooting start? Why were the men there? What was in the car?

Media emphasis is now quickly shifting to the block-buster rescue mission. An estimated 150 others held in the prison took the opportunity to escape custody. But, that too is a point made moot by counter-claims stating none escaped.

One thing is certain tonight: The relatively quiet British-Iraqi relationship in the south is fast deteriorating.

Also today, 38 year-old reporter Fakher Haider was found dead in Basra. His body showed signs of severe trauma. He was shot to death. Haider becomes the 55th journalist killed in Iraq since the fall of the Hussein regime.

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

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Gorilla Radio for Monday, September 19th, 2005

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - This Week on GR: Jeff Leys of Voices for Creative Non-Violence fasting for justice in Iraq.

Sander Hicks and the cornerstone of 9/11.

And, Janine Bandcroft bringing us up to speed on good happenings here in Victoria this week.

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 Monday, September 19th, 2005
C. L. Cook

PEJ News
September 18, 2005

Into the swamp we go

It’s a quagmire; an ancient, fetid place wherein our origins begin.

Reptilian language, appealing to the deep brains, is shifting our world, re-shaping it into the nightmare form the dystopians have long warned it would.

From the radioactive wastelands of Iraq, to the bayou marshland wasted, a grotesque future for civilization is manifesting. Maggot-like, the pupae of a new and terrible order, incubated in 20th Century Fascism, is now nurtured further by the growing sense of fear of an imminent global catastrophe.

But, for some, that catastrophe is not imminent, but occurring all over the world.

Incredibly, the Vandals now seek retribution for the destruction wreaked on Iraq.

The International Monetary Fund and its like-sake banking vultures are suing for billions of dollars is debt repayments from the shattered and irreparably polluted nation.

Jeff Leys is an organizer with Voices for Creative Non-Violence, an outgrowth of Voices in the Wilderness. He and others seeking just redress are currently entering the second week of the “Moveable Fast” Demonstration outside the meetings of the IMF.

They plan next to repair to the edifice of the United Nations in New York City. Jeff Leys and losing weight for justice in the first half.

And; at the bottom of the mire, there among the bottom-dwellers and goo, lay the truth to the dirty-doings culminating in the destruction of the World Trade Center and the other disasters of that infamous day. The Crime of the Young Century, still to this day, there are more questions than answers.

Sander Hicks is a journalist whose writing can be found at, and He also reports for Dish Network’s television news program, INN World Report and is the founder of Soft Skull Press and the Vox Pop/ Drench Kiss Media Corporation.

His new book, ‘The Big Wedding: 9/11, the Whistleblowers and the Cover-Up’ is out now. Sander Hicks 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, Jeff Leys and a hunger for justice.

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

9/11 and Katrina: True Culprit Revealed!

9/11 and Katrina: True Culprit Revealed!

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - Following what has become the worst natural disaster in U.S. history, many have sought answers to the serial failures at all levels of government that magnified Katrina's devastation. Fingers have been pointed, and at least one mid-level bureaucrat has been axed, but none 'til now has correctly identified the true culprit behind this, and the 9/11 attacks.

9/11 and Katrina:
True Culprit Revealed!
C. L. Cook

PEJ News
September 18, 2005

There are powerful forces at work in today's American; devious, perverse entities that seek nothing less than the destruction of the soul of the nation. Chief among these conspirators is the deceptively benign sounding Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Their machinations are, incredibly, at the heart of America's twin disasters.

In 2001, just weeks before the infamous September attack against the nation, the ATAS announced the emcee of their annual awards gala; it was to prove a fateful decision. The Academy chose as their presenter, against the dictates of decency and decorum, the celebrated sexual deviant, Ellen Degeneres. In so choosing Degeneres, the unapologetic lesbian television star, the Academy doomed New York City, the venue of the Godless Bacchanalia that is the Emmy's.

Flaunted, God reached down to Earth, and through the instruments of religious fanatics, struck a terrible warning in the form of flame and ruin. HIS message is clear: God don't tolerate lesbos!

But the twisted ATAS defied HIM, and this year again elected Degeneres to host the Emmy Awards, thus dooming the host's hometown, New Orleans.

Yes, if we wish to discover the true origin of this double blow to America, we need look no further than Ellen Degeneres and the degenerate Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Or so says Pat Robertson, pastor of the Christian Broadcasting Network and host of its flagship program, The 700 Club. Robertson, who recently garnered headlines for his televised call for the assassination of Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavas, now declares Ellen a threat to American national security. The good minister told his (reputedly) million strong television audience Degeneres' obstinate refusal to apologize for the 9/11 attacks led to Katrina and the failure of New Orleans' levees. Says the Reverend Pat:

“This is the second time in a row that God has invoked a disaster shortly before lesbian Ellen Degeneres hosted the Emmy Awards.” "America is waiting for her to apologize for the death and destruction that her sexual deviance has brought onto this great nation.”

But it gets worse!

Mindless of the anger her wanton girl-on-girl lifestyle provokes in the Almighty, Hollywood, through its promotion of Ellen's talk show, thus heightening of her television profile in 2003, just so happens to coincide with America's unprovoked and illegal war and occupation of Iraq, and the gathering strength of the insurgency!

There's a lot of Hell being paid by good Americans because of one Ellen Degeneres. Yet, she remains silent, neither accepting, or even acknowledging her culpability.

Robertson though will not let America stand naked before the wrath of God. He's going after the infernal ATAS, as witnessed from his electronic pulpit, and directed the CBN's crack team of "researchers" to compile a list of the decadent homosexuals the infest the airwaves. So far, his list is 283 names long, and growing. He believes this list will spare other awards shows from kinky contagion. Bear witness:

“God already allows one awards show to promote the homosexual agenda, but clearly He will not tolerate such sinful (sic) behavior to spread beyond the Tonys.”

Thank God for small mercies!

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 PEJ News. You can check out the GR Blog here.