Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Not to mention Hurricain KATRINA -- VIOLENT AID

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

May 28, 2008


The Rules Of The Game

The psychiatrist Harry Stack Sullivan once commented on "how suavely we simply ignore great bodies of experience, any clearly analysed instance of which might present us with a very real necessity for change." (Quoted, Daniel Goleman, Vital Lies, Simple Truths - The Psychology of Self-Deception, Bloomsbury 1997, p.124)

The problem for professional journalists is that they are not free to change. Or at least, they are not free to change +and+ flourish in their chosen careers. Ex-CBS producer Richard Cohen explained the relationship between media and politics:

"Everyone plays by the rules of the game if they want to stay in the game." (Quoted, Daniel Schechter, The More You Watch, The Less You Know, Seven Stories Press, 1997, p.39)

The rules include focusing intently on the crimes of others while suavely ignoring comparable, or worse, crimes at home.

Consider the intense criticism heaped on the Burmese government for failing to accept foreign add in the aftermath of cyclone Nargis. Gordon Brown said:

"There are people suffering in Burma, there are children going without food, there are people without shelter.

"It is utterly unacceptable that, when international aid is offered, the regime will try to prevent that getting in.

"And I'm determined to work with the rest of the international community to make sure that people in need of help, people who face a long and terrible time ahead..." (

And so on... Foreign secretary, David Miliband, talked of "malign neglect". French president Nicolas Sarkozy found Burmese government inaction "utterly reprehensible". (

As ever, the British media rallied to the cause. In the Guardian (May 19), Kim Fletcher lambasted the Burmese generals for having done "a most effective job in preventing the world from witnessing the wholly ineffective way in which they appear to have dealt with the devastation." (

An outraged May 18 Sunday Telegraph leader actually raised the possibility of military action:

"The inevitable violation of Burmese airspace would certainly require that the cargo planes be protected by fighters. It would not amount to an invasion of the country. But it would mean the use of force to get aid through to the people who so desperately need it." (

The first aid war! The Observer's Nick Cohen also cited with approval the "call for foreign troops to escort aid workers into the stricken areas":

"As always, there are 1,001 good reasons for doing nothing. But I don't think passivity is an option for the UN." (

Cohen's compassion for the Burmese people, we were to understand, made inaction unthinkable.

And yet these are the same politicians and journalists who have shown almost complete indifference to the suffering of the Iraqi people under US-UK occupation. Cohen, for example, had plenty to say about the merits of war in 2002 and early 2003; he has had almost nothing to say about the catastrophic consequences since.

This is a recurring theme of right-wing commentary. Typically, great compassion is expressed for the population of a nation targeted for US-UK attack. As Western violence then wrecks havoc on that country, the pundit simply moves on to express similar compassion for the next target. Trails of right-wing tears track across the globe closely followed by JDAMs, cluster bombs, and blood.

In the last year, Cohen has had essentially nothing to say about the suffering of civilians in Iraq, beyond tiny mentions in passing. In April, he wrote that "the United Nations estimated that in 2006, 35,000 died in the civil war in Iraq." But this was in the context of a discussion of avoidable deaths in NHS hospitals. He described the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq as merely a "civil war". (Cohen, 'Satirists once had real bite. Not any more,' The Observer, April 6, 2008)

In a further mention, Cohen mocked the idea that America and Britain were responsible for the violence, describing how "squaddies on the ground [are] fighting totalitarian enemies in close combat". (Cohen, 'Our weasel words betray these decent Iraqis,' The Observer, October 7, 2007)

By contrast, General Sir Richard Dannatt, the head of the British army, said in September, 2007:

"By motivation... our opponents are Iraqi nationalists, and are most concerned with their own needs - the majority are not bad people." (Richard Norton-Taylor, 'Embrace returning troops, pleads army chief,' The Guardian, September 22, 2007)

Leaving The Children to Die

On January 19, 2007, 100 eminent British doctors wrote to the British government pleading for emergency medical aid to be sent to an Iraqi children's hospital - exactly the kind of assistance the government is now insisting Burma should accept. The doctors' letter, titled, 'Iraq's children must not be left to die,' began:

"We are concerned that children are dying in Iraq for want of medical treatment. Iraq, instead of being a country at the top of the league for medicine, as it once was, now has conditions and mortality of a Third World country. Sick or injured children, who could otherwise be treated by simple means are left to die in hundreds because they do not have access to basic medicines or other resources. Children who have lost hands, feet and limbs are left without prostheses. Children with grave psychological distress are left untreated." (

The letter added:

"Contrary to Article 50, 55, and 56 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV where the Occupying Power has a duty of ensuring the food and the medical supplies of the population... three years into the conflict, Iraqi children are dying in large numbers due to lack of medical supplies. (Babies are being ventilated with a plastic tube in their noses and dying for want of a 95 pence oxygen mask, or lack of a phial of vitamin K, or sterile needles, or even rubber surgical gloves. Premature babies are forced three to an incubator 36 years old held together with wire and elastoplast)."

In rejecting the request, Hilary Benn, then Britain's Secretary of State for International Development, replied on January 29, 2007:

"Iraq has a democratically elected government that is responsible for providing healthcare to its citizens. I agree that the quality of this healthcare, the security of hospitals and the availability of medical supplies is entirely inadequate. But I take issue with your assertion that the deaths of children are a 'direct result of the actions or inactions of the UK government'. It is the escalating sectarian violence and political divisions that are the main obstacles to the Government of Iraq delivering the services that the Iraqi people deserve."

Benn added:

"I regret that I am unable to meet you and your colleagues at this time, but I can assure you that the issues you raise are of deep concern to me, and that the UK is making every effort, along with international partners, to support the Iraqis to improve the situation for their citizens."

The journalists currently going blue in the face over Burmese indifference did not give a damn. The doctors' plea was reported in two brief articles in the Independent - no other media outlet covered the story.

Turning Cities Into Battlefields

Or consider the media response to the fate of Iraqis currently enduring major US-led assaults. In the last month, UK national broadsheets have published a total of six articles offering substantial reporting on the fighting in Sadr City.

Sadr City and other major Shiite areas in Baghdad have been under siege since late April; millions of people are struggling to survive. On May 1, Patrick Cockburn - an honourable exception to the journalistic norm - reported in the Independent:

"Shia losses have been heavy. An Iraqi government spokesman for the civilian side of Baghdad security operations said 925 people had been killed and 2,605 wounded in Sadr City since the Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, began his offensive against the Sadrist movement on 25 April." (

On May 3, Agence France Presse (AFP) reported the aftermath of a US attack involving a hospital in Sadr City that was "badly damaged" with a fleet of ambulances destroyed:

"The hospital corridors were littered with glass shards, twisted metal and hanging electrical wiring. Partitions in the wards had collapsed. Huge concrete blocks placed to form a blast wall against explosions had toppled onto parked vehicles." (

Hospital officials reported that at least 28 people had been injured. The Iraqi Red Crescent Organisation told Time magazine this month that hundreds of people had fled the fighting and oppressive curfews, which have cut access to food, water and electricity. Mohammed Kamel Hassan, a volunteer organiser for Red Crescent reported that up to one million Sadr City residents needed emergency aid. Abu Haider al-Bahadili, a Mahdi Army leader, told the Washington Post:

"Sadr City right now is like a city of ghosts. It has turned from a city into a field of battle." (

On May 13, Cockburn reported that more than 1,000 people, "mostly civilians", had been killed during the offensives. In one clash in Sadr City, the US claimed it killed 28 Shia "militants" but hospital officials said they had received 25 bodies, most of which were civilians. (

Bush - "Stay The Course! Kill them!"

Earlier this month, the Independent reported revelations made by Lt Gen Ricardo Sanchez, the US commander in Iraq in 2003-4. In his recently published memoirs, Wiser in Battle, Sanchez describes how Bush personally ordered Shia leader Moqtadr al Sadr to be captured or killed. During a video conference on April 7, 2004, Bush said:

"The Mehdi Army is a hostile force. We can't allow one man [Sadr] to change the course of the country. At the end of this campaign Sadr must be gone. At a minimum he will be arrested. It is essential he be wiped out." (Cockburn, ibid)

Bush emphasised the point:

"Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Prevail! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!"

This is the ethic of extermination through maximum force that has brought utter catastrophe to Iraq. The political novelist Gore Vidal recently summed up the Bush regime:

"They - Cheney, Bush - they wanted the war. They're oilmen. They want a war to get more oil. They're also extraordinarily stupid. These people don't know anything about anything." (

General Sanchez's grim account was apparently of no interest - the Independent was the sole newspaper to cover the story.

Indifference also defines media reporting of the assault on Mosul, one of Iraq's great cities, also described by eyewitnesses as "a ghost town". According to one rare press report (Cockburn, again), Mosul "looks ruinous and under siege. Every alley way is blocked by barricades and the only new building is in the form of concrete blast walls." (

We found two articles offering meaningful analysis of the disaster in Mosul over the last month in the entire UK quality press.

It ought to be a thing of wonder that the British corporate press can simultaneously rage against the crimes of the Burmese government while having almost nothing to say about the ongoing US-UK devastation of Iraq. And yet it feels entirely normal. American media analyst Edward Herman explained:

"The human capacity for compartmentalisation of thought and suppression of inconvenient facts always continues to break new ground in service to evolving political demands." (


The goal of Media Lens is to promote rationality, compassion and respect for others. If you do write to journalists, we strongly urge you to maintain a polite, non-aggressive and non-abusive tone.

Write to Nick Cohen

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posted by u2r2h at 6:03 PM 0 comments

Monday, May 26, 2008


International trade is worth $10 million a minute.

70% of global trade is inter-company trade.

Poor countries only account for 0.4 % of global trade. Their share has halved since 1980.

UNfair trade rules cost the developing world $700 billion a year.

Income per person in the poorest countries in Africa has fallen by a quarter in the last 20 years.

The three richest people in the world control more wealth than all 600 million people living in the world.s poorest countries.

Half the world.s population (2.8 billion people) live on less than US$2 per day.

1.1 billion of these live on less than US$1 a day.

Rich countries subsidise their farming enterprises at the cost of US$280 billion a year

Every cow in Europe is subsidised by US$2 a day.

The prices of many poor countries. key exports are at a 150-year low.

If Africa, East Asia, South Asia, and Latin America each increased their share of world exports by just 1%, the resulting gains could lift 128 million people out of poverty.

If these regions increased their share of world exports by 5%, they would generate US$350 billion -- seven times as much as they receive in aid.

When developing countries export to rich-country markets, they face tariff barriers that are four times higher than those encountered by rich countries. Those barriers cost them $100 billion a year - twice as much as they receive in aid.

The world.s 50 poorest countries have less than 3% of the vote at the International Monetary Fund. Just one country -- the US -- has sole veto power.

At one full meeting of the WTO, the EU had 500 negotiators. Haiti had none.


Stop buying UNfair Coffe/tea/chocolate !!!!

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posted by u2r2h at 3:25 PM 0 comments

Saturday, May 24, 2008

US DEMOCRACY - poll the other one!!

HBO will air this Sunday .Recount., a movie about the 2000 Florida elections involving Al Gore and George W. Bush.

The movie, which stars Kevin Spacey as Ron Klain, Gore.s former chief of staff who led the recount effort, is not supporting the idea that the democrats were stolen the elections, but focuses more on the drama of both sides.

The film acknowledges the sad fact that Americans will probably never know whether the democrats actually won the elections or not, but it also states that a legal shift of power took place.

Mixing news footage and verbatim dialogue into fictionalized re-creations, .Recount. examines the torturous process that culminated in the Supreme Court decision in Bush vs. Gore. The Republicans, led by charismatic Texan James Baker, seize the initiative as the case is tried in the judicial system and the court of public opinion. The Democrats play catch-up until Ron Klain takes over and starts matching Baker's political hardball with tough moves of his own.

Tom Wilkinson is magnificently portraying James Baker, Ron Klain.s counterpart, and Laura Dern has a fair, even though a little over the edge, performance as Katherine Harris, who put an end to the democrat.s recount efforts.

Recount is directed by Jay Roach (Meet the Fockers, Austin Powers films), and written by Danny Strong (best-known as an actor in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Gilmore Girls).

E-Voting Company Diebold Upset Over HBO Documentary

A campaign has been started by Diebold to take down a recent HBO documentary, Hacking Democracy, which investigates the company?s e-voting machines. Diebold president David Byrd and CEO Chris Albrecht have sent angry letters and press releases, demanding that HBO air disclaimers before and after the presentation, or that it pull the documentary altogether.

Mr. Byrd claims .egregious. errors and misrepresentations are made in the documentary, while Albrecht alleges that Hacking Democracy is part of a liberal-Hollwood conspiracy against Diebold (that accusation alone ought to tell you something about Diebold.s politics). Mr. Albrecht then goes on to say that the documentary .is directed by the directors of VoterGate, and contains much of the same material. VoterGate was produced with special thanks to Susan Sarandon and The Streisand Foundation,. he writes. However, Albrecht has no idea what he?s talking about since Votergate has no ties to Hacking Democracy. The HBO documentary was produced and directed by entirely different people. It should also be noted that neither David Byrd nor Chris Albrecht have actually seen Hacking Democracy.

Votes with Diebold machines have been shown to record inaccurate totals favoring Republican candidates. Several researchers, including a Princeton scientist, have shown that the machines are easily hacked to achieve such an outcome. Despite countless testimonials and studies by independent groups, Diebold simply maintains that its machines are secure and should be trusted. However, they have yet to counter any of the concerns raised in the studies which prove otherwise. At least 40 percent of votes this November will be recorded with Diebold machines.


Democracy:The paradise in our minds

By Reason Wafawarova May 23, 2008

The important Greek philosopher, Aristotle, laid the foundation for democracy by defining it as the rule of the people, by the people and for the people. This is a fantastic foundation that has an undisputable appeal to both aspiring politicians and those people who hanker for freedom and justice. However the concept seems to be easier to preach than it is to practise.

On this foundation the wretched of this world have for many years aspired on a promise of democracy the same way religion has made believers live on a promise of eternity and everlasting happiness. The only difference is that religion, especially Christianity and Islam; clearly tells us that Paradise and Heaven will come after death. We are however told by politicians that democracy is here and now with us.

Those who lead nation states and the world on the basis of the politics of democracy have an astonishing way by which they call any political system that safeguards their power and wealth a democracy. The question of democracy as an illusion is no more inadmissible than the question of democracy as a reality.

There are scholars who have propounded interesting schools of thought from the Aristotle foundation. Some have concluded that democracy is the political orientation of those who favour government by the people or by their elected representatives. Others have said that democracy is the political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them.

In both schools of thought there are two common features, electing and representation. The electoral process is supposed to be the only free and fair method by which the people can both govern and monitor their governance system. In this context the electoral process must be under the control of the people and the elected representatives must represent the wishes of the people.

Following this logic, the electoral commissions and bodies running elections in different countries are supposed to be under the control of the citizens and all the decisions taken by governments are supposed to be the decisions of the people.

By this logic, the people of Zimbabwe endorsed the repossession of their land from white settler farmers, according to the politicians that embarked on that policy just like the people of the United States, Britain and Australia endorsed the war on Iraq in 2003, according to Western politicians.

Looking at the above example, there is the ominous irony that the Zimbabwe government, together with many other governments, will insist that the Iraqi War is not only illegal but also against the wishes of the people of the Western countries engaging in that war. Equally the US-led Western alliance will insist that Zimbabwe.s land reform programme is not only illegal but also against the wishes of the people of Zimbabwe.

Looking at the electoral systems of the above-mentioned countries it is interesting that the US-led Western alliance accuses the Zimbabwean government of manipulating the electoral process in a manner often described as unfree and unfair. Equally the Zimbabwean government will always insist that corporate powers and tough laws heavily manipulate the Western electoral system.

Communist parties are largely banned in many of the Western countries and the laws banning such political parties can hardly be described as giving the people total control of the electoral process.

In Australia, for example, the Howard government was openly supportive and sympathetic to the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, funding it heavily in a fight for what the Australian government saw as the right of workers . rights that were said to be heavily denied the workers by the Zimbabwe government.

Back home John Howard just fell short of banning the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU). Howard.s Industrial laws, now largely adopted by the Rudd government, contain provisions known as .Work Choices Agreements. where industrial action is punishable by a fine of no less than AU$3000 a day for each participator or at least two years imprisonment.

Added to this, the law empowers .anyone directly or indirectly affected. by the strike action to lay charges against any of the participators. This law hardly reads like anything close to the rule of the people, by the people and for the people. Needless to say, the law does not sound like part of legislation to be found in a country that boasts of a renowned democracy.

It would appear what is good for ZCTU in Zimbabwe cannot be good for ACTU in Australia, if one were to base their judgement on Australia.s Work Choices Agreements, hardly agreements at all from any number of angles one might choose to look.

If the Zimbabwe government were to manage the rise of the neo-liberal opposition MDC the way the West managed the rise of Communist parties in their own countries there is no ruling out that the consequences might be drastic in the least. One just needs to imagine a ban of the MDC and any similar parties on the grounds of the .national interest. as was done in the West.

The US presidential campaign for the November election has begun in earnest despite Hillary Clinton.s mortifying insistence on running all the way to the winning line even long after her rival has crossed the line. To some, especially to the US ruling elite and their Western allies, the race we are about to watch . the race between John McCain and Barack Obama . is the compendium of democracy.

It is the shining example that must serve as the light for democratic pagans like African politicians and their Arabic cousins in the Middle East.

However, some Americans like the renowned linguist and scholar, Noam Chomsky are clearly unamused with American democracy and they will maintain that the world.s most powerful state is not exactly the most democratic.

Said Chomsky on August 30, 2004, .The US presidential campaign only points up the severe democratic deficit in the world.s most powerful state..

Chomsky argues that US citizens are, without choice, quadrennially presented with the choice between major party candidates who were born to wealth and political power (Obama might be an exception to this one), attended the same elite universities, joined the same secret society that instructs members in the style and manners of the rulers, and are able to run because they are funded by the same corporate powers.

This is just an illustration of the fact that the United States, long involved in alleged .democracy-building. a mission and doctrine that has resulted in lethal adventures across the world, badly needs to revitalise the democratic process at home.

The US, much as the rest of the West, has become a country that considers it sensible to describe a request by the people as .politically impossible. or .lacking political support.. This effective erosion of a democratic culture means what the population wants does not matter.

There were a million marchers against the Iraqi war in Australia just before the war started but the Howard government went to war regardless. There have been even bigger crowds in the US and Bush has pursued his war ambitions regardless.

Thomas Patterson.s 2000 Vanishing Voter Project conducted at the J.F. Kennedy School of Government revealed that 53% of Americans felt that they had no influence on what the US government does. If this is what is found in a country that claims to lead the world in democracy then what is expected of the those governments often labelled as .emerging democracies. or .lacking democracy.?

While some politicians will manipulate the democratic process through corporate power, media deception and tough laws others will use physical coercion, military power or overt state power to manipulate the democratic process. This is what renders the principle of universality useless. Everyone is found wanting, and the US doctrine of exceptionalism simply has made the world more chaotic than ever before.

The masses under the threat of overt state power are often portrayed as living in undemocratic countries, and also as victims of undemocratic governments . something that cannot be denied. Those whose democratic rights are thwarted by corporate power, media deception and tough laws like the anti-terror laws are portrayed as living in leading democracies and the media does not tire in reminding them to appreciate that they are lucky to live in successful democracies.

To prove the point these people are always shown images of the suffering people in so-called Third World countries and they are told that they could easily be in the same situation if it were not for the democratic nature of their political leadership.

The genius of Western democracy is to establish a political system that renders policy irrelevant, with the media and advertising concentrating not on issues but on qualities like the candidate.s style, personality and such other irrelevances.

The political parties devolve into marketing systems for elite candidates and they also develop mechanisms to screen candidates coming from the grassroots and from the working class.

When leaders come from the grassroots like what happened with Lula da Silva of Brazil and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela it is hardly ever upheld as democracy in Western commentary.

Rather, the democracies are countries like the US . a country described by Chomsky as .a repressive state, with tremendous inequality and concentration of wealth and media power, and extreme hostility of international capital and its institutions..

Now we are told that Obama has funding three times more than that of John McCain and it is on that basis that the US is likely to have their next President. And these rich and powerful owners of corporate wealth will ensure that their sponsored President will not allow the rest of the world to have governments that serve popular interests like what Chavez is doing in Venezuela.

Such governments are not good for international capital and have to be stopped by all means. The idea is to create corporate democracies across the world. These are democracies that make people feel like they are totally dependant on the genius of their governments and not on their capacity to make collective decisions good enough for their own welfare.

One of the reasons many of the politicians in the West are so sceptical about Jacob Zuma of South Africa is that he hails from the grassroots, never mind the wealth he has accumulated through politics.

Deplorable and appalling as the current so-called xenophobic anti-immigrants chaos is, its motivation seems to be an expression of people.s feelings. In that context the ugly and brutal attacks on foreigners by South Africans can actually be described as more democratic than the Bush directed brutality on Iraqis.

The politics behind the irrational and absolutely brutal actions by the South African crowds are more democratic in terms of how the barbaric decision was taken. One would wish the South Africans were doing something more beneficial to their cause than merely being vindictive and brutal to people who are suffering just like themselves.

Zimbabwean masses went on a collective move in repossessing their land in 2000 and this was called lawlessness and now we see South Africans taking a collective decision to do what they think is justice over the immigrant-exacerbated competition for jobs and this has been called xenophobia.

The point here is that the current world order does no give an opportunity for a true democratic dispensation. It only allows for a democracy that is controlled by politicians and their partners in business.

True democracy is not only a threat to dictatorships and despotic regimes but also to capitalism and neo-liberal policies. In fact is the biggest threat to imperialism.

It is hoped that true democracy will prevail one day.

Reason Wafawarova is Metro.s Political Columnist he is based in Sydney, Australia and can be contacted on

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posted by u2r2h at 8:35 PM 0 comments

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

911 plane is sunlite all the time
Michael Hezarkhani CNN video of impact of UA 175 shows the wings being in the sunlight, even as the "plane" enters the shadow of the building!!!

click on these links for MORE INFO on how the REAL-TIME holography was done:

Luc Courchesne ...

u2r2h-HOLO-TVF ...

UFO smashed into the World Trade Center Towers

Any Questions?

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posted by u2r2h at 9:07 PM 1 comments

Friday, May 16, 2008

How Britain got the bomb

The document the U.K. Foreign Office asked Wikileaks to not let you read.

William G. Penney, the father of the British atom bomb, spent most of 1944 and 1945 at Los Alamos helping the United States build the first atomic bomb. He formed part of the British Mission, an elite team of Los Alamos British scientists and emigres who contributed to the development, testing and use of atomic weapons. Penney, sent to Los Alamos as a specialist on ocean waves, soon found his gifts were readily apparent and he was made one of the five members of the Los Alamos "brain trust". The group made key decisions in the direction of the weapons program, putting him in the company of Robert Oppenheimer, John Von Neumann, "Deke" Parsons and Norman Ramsey. On 27 April 1945 Penney became one of only two representatives from Los Alamos (and the only Briton) to be part of the ten man Target Committee responsible for drawing up a list of prospective Japanese atomic bomb sites. Penney travelled to Tinian Island in the Pacific to be on hand for planning and briefing the atomic bombing missions. Penney actually witnessed the bombing of Nagasaki, flying in an observation plane accompanying the attack. Afterwards he conducted damage surveys of the ruined city.

Penney returned to Imperial College immediately after the war, but accepted an appointment to head up the Armament Research Department (ARD) on 1 January 1946. On 8 January 1947 the secret GEN.163 Cabinet committee of six Ministers (headed by PM Attlee) decided to proceed with a British effort to acquire atomic weapons. Penney did not receive word of this decision until May 1947 when he was finally asked by Lord Portal to lead the British effort. The decision was not disclosed publicly in any respect until 12 May 1948, when an oblique reference was made to atomic weapon development in British parliamentary discussions.

In June 1947 Penney began assembling a team to work on the bomb. One of his first steps was to prepare a document describing the features of the U.S. plutonium implosion bomb, breaking down the development tasks required to replicate it, and identifying outstanding questions that required further research. The report, completed on 1 July, was entitled "Plutonium Weapon - General Description" (U.K, Public Record Office File AVIA 65/1163, "Implosion") and gave the British atomic weapons program a preliminary design description roughly equivalent in terms of detail to the description provided the Soviets by Klaus Fuchs.
The Penney Report

The Penney Report was declassified and made physically available at an unknown date, thought to be in the late 1990s, under the Public Records Act (now amended by the Freedom of Information Act which came into force in January 2005).

However file (covering the years 1947-1953) was withdrawn from public access during 2002, possibly due to political sensitivities after the September 2001 terrorist attacks in New York. It was not scheduled for access again until 2014.

The actual legal status of the file remains as a public record. Its access condition has been changed to "Retained by Department under Section 3.4" (of the PRA) which means that the file has been returned to the custody of the originating department (Ministry of Supply) or its successor. This limitation of access does not constitute reimposition of a secret security marking, and no attempt appears to have been made by the U.K. government to contact people who had previously obtained photocopies copies of this file, until the document appeared on Wikileaks.

On March 19, 2008, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Counter Proliferation Department wrote to Wikileaks asking that the "Fat Man" bomb diagram, which was released by Wikileaks before the full report, be removed. However, after some discussion, Wikileaks did not find the request credible and did not comply. See United Kingdom atomic weapons program: The full Penney Report (1947) for the full correspondence.

Penney's description is reportedly less detailed than "Tuck's Bible", which was written around this same time by James Tuck, another member of the British Mission to Los Alamos who was deeply involved in the design and development of the implosion bomb and wrote appendix 'M' to the Penney Report which compares the British and United States weapons programs. Tuck's Bible has never been made public.
A brief analysis of the .Fat Man. diagram

1. Neutron Initiator

Polonium is a well known alpha radiation emitter. Alpha radiation is He atoms stripped of electrons and accelerated towards c. When polonium crushed onto beryllium by explosion, reaction occurs between polonium alpha emissions and beryllium leading to Carbon-12 & 1 neutron. This, in practice, would lead to a predictable neutron flux, sufficient to set off device. Widely known that once critical mass is obtained, in order for bomb to explode, requires fission initiation by neutron generation; this will do the trick. Polonium 210 specifically well known alpha emitter. Gold/nickel foil layer around beryllium is sufficient to prevent pre-reaction prior to explosive compression due to low penetrability of alpha radiation (can.t pass through paper). This allows for long-term storage of initiator.

The Boron-10 shielding is to keep stray (eg cosmic ray generated) neutrons from pre-initiating the chain reaction.

The polonium in the initiator has a short, half-year halflife.

The inner layer of the Be sphere is etched with grooves, these will create Be jets when imploded (shaped charge effect) which mixes the Be and Po very quickly.

2. Diagram

Roughly to scale. No easy feat in days prior to computerized drafting tools. Measurements located on table in top left roughly match drawing scale. Note archaic units (lbs): physicists after .50s probably would have used SI units, regardless of country. Also note quality of arcs (Fast HE/Slow HE) indicates is drawn by professional draftsman.

3. High Explosives & Miznay/Schardin effect (e.g. shaped charge)

Miznay/Schardin effect will work in this design, in all likelihood, though the additional layer of HE after the first layer of lenses is a surprise. Are the lenses strong enough to compress the second layer of HE? In any event, there.s enough explosive in there to cause the Miznay/Schardin effect, and enough aluminum to convincingly crush the core.

The outer layer of slow + fast explosives is used to create a number of converging planar shock wavefronts. The inner layer of solid HE is not compressed, but is initiated fairly uniformly by the many planar wavefronts hitting it. The uniformity of initiation is important to the compression of the core.

Also note the squiggly lines indicating compression.

Note also the .possibilities table. in the bottom left. This indicates several possibilities as to how much explosive is necessary, indicating that the design is not yet fixed.

4. Weaponization.

The weapon has a removable core, or at least a serviceable one, as evidenced by felt layers. This is necessary to allow the bomb to be disassembled.

5. Assessment.

This diagram is not really a secret to foreign intelligence services; nobody is going to be surprised by this design, just by the fact that it.s appeared in public. Open sources have speculated on these matters for a long time (see nuclear weapons design article in Wikipedia), and this just confirms that they were right.

This is a crude, but effective, plutonium based design. Devices that are orders of magnitude more efficient are possible. A disclosure of, for example, the plans of the W-88 or a Russian equivalent, would be far more threatening, as there are actually real secrets involved there not known to all the NWS (the Big-5 + India, Pakistan, Israel, North Korea) or Virtual NWS (Germany, Japan, Sweden, South Korea, Canada, Ukraine, Taiwan, Italy, name a few) intelligence agencies. After 1949 or so, disclosure of this would not have been a real threat to U.S. national security.

The real problem about building one of these designs is the rarity (at least outside of NWS nuclear facilities) of plutonium and polonium, as well as the ability to fabricate sophisticated high explosives to exacting specifications. not talking about IEDs here. To build a nuclear weapon requires a state.
Text version of AVIA file 65, "Implosion", by Williom G. Penney, 1 July 1947
Plutonium Weapon - General Description.

The following general description of the plutonium weapon has been compiled with the object of anticipating difficulties in experimentation, design, and manufacture, so that the progress of development may run concurrently.

Of necessity, the description can only give an overall picture and does not profess scientific or technical detail.
Components Of The Weapon.

2. The components may be divided into seven separate assemblies consisting

* (a) The imploder system.
* (b) The plutonium core.
* (c) The initiator.
* (d) The casing of the explosive assembly.
* (e) The detonator firing mechanism.
* (f) The proximity fusing device.
* (g) The ballistic outer casing.

Although the imploder system is shewn above as one assembly, it is, in fact, a multiple assembly having the following components.

* (a) The detonators.
* b) The outer composite H.E. shell.
* (c) The inner homogeneous H.E. shell.
* (d) The aluminium inner liner.
* (e) The boron 10 shield.
* (f) The uranium 238 tamper.

In addition to those components, there is also a thin felt washer between the homogeneous explosive and the aluminium liner in order to take up manufacturing inaccuracies.

3. The main object of this somewhat complicated imploder system is to ensure that the detonation waves initiated by the detonators arrive at the main plutonium core as one concentric converging shack waves without'jets '.

4. A sectional schematic drawing approximately to scale is attached and each component is briefly described in the appendices listed below:

Appendix 'A '. The Detonator System.

Appendix 'B '. The Outer Composite H.E. Shell.

Appendix 'C '. The Inner H. E. Shell.

Appendix 'D '. The Aluminium Liner.

Appendix 'E ' The Boron 10 Shield.

Appendix 'F '. The Uranium 238 Liner.

Appendix 'G '. The Plutonium Core.

Appendix 'H ' The Initiator.

Appendix 'I ' The Casing and Explosive Assembly.

Appendix 'J ' Firing Mechanism and Proximity Fusing Device

Appendix 'K ' The Ballistic Outer Casing.

Appendix 'L ' The Arming Plug.

Appendix 'M ' Tabulated Notes prepared by Dr. Tuck.

5. Although production of plutonium cores must be on a limited scale in the first instance, consideration must be given to the total number of bombs likely to be required as this may affect manufacturing processes of components i.e. a limited number hand-made or in sufficient number to justify special presses, moulds, etc.
Appendix 'A '
The Detonator System
Initiation Of Detonation.

There are 32 points of initiation of detonation around the surface of the H.E. outer shell. Each detonator is in fact a twin system to ensure against failure.

DESCRIPTION. Each detonator is of the "fuse-bridge" type, the wire bridge being imbedded in a small quantity of PETN (Pentelite) and having a tetryl booster.

STANDARD OF ACCURACY The whole bridge system from bridge to booster must be accurate to within 0.2 microseconds to ensure subsequent concentricity of the detonation wave.

MANUFACTURING PROBLEMS. The main manufacturing problems are the consistency of the pentelite and tetryl as well as the characteristics of the bridge to ensure this high order of timing accuracy.


When facilities are complete, C.S.A.R. will be able to undertake all research, experimentation, design and production.


Nil, pending further progress with preliminary research.
Appendix 'B '
The Outer Composite H.E. Shell.


A detonation wave initiated in a H.E. progresses spherically outwards but as it is essential for the implosion wave to arrive as a convergent sphere, some mechanical mean is required to convert the former type into the latter, and this is the main function of the outer H.E. shell. DESCRIPTION. The shell consists of 20 hexagonal and 12 pentagonal uncased H.E. lenses, each being a truncated pyramid about 8" high, and having an external radius of about 27". Each lens comprises a composite filling, the outer being 60/40 RDX/TNT having a relatively high rate of detonation, and the inner being BARITOL having a slower rate of detonation. Other explosives may be used as a result of experimentation. The size and shape of the inner cavity, which contains the Baronal (sic Baritol?), Is governed by the relative rates of detonation as it is in this assembly that the conversion mentioned in paragraph 1 above is effected.

Pockets to accommodate the detonators are provided on the outer surface of the sphere, their relative positions being determined by the need for symmetrical initiation.
Design And Manufacturing Problems.

* (a) Developing the technique of producing consistent RDX/TNT, and Baronal, or other similar explosives.
* (b) Accurate determination of rates of detonation of the intended explosives.
* (c) Size and shape of the cavity containing the slower explosive.
* (d) the method of pressing the fast explosive in the first instance, and then the slow explosive into the cavity to obtain consistency of detonation and avoidance of jet action.
* (e) Accurate shaping of the sections to ensure face-contact.


* (a) Variations in temperature during storage or carriage affect the density of explosive and thus vary the rate of detonation.
* (b) Design of containers for transport so that the sections do not become chipped, flaked, cracked or distorted.


When facilities are complete, C.S.A.R. will be able to undertake all research, experimentation, design and production.


Nil, pending further research.

Appendix 'C '
The Inner H.E. Shell.


To produce the initial implosive effect on to the main core.

As the detonation wave is initiated over the whole outer surface of this component through the medium of the outer shell, it will travel through the inner shell as a convergent wave.


The shell is composed of segments approximately 9" thick of RDX/TNT.


As with the outer shell, consistency throughout this component is essential as is the flush fitting of all faces.

Note. On the inner face of this component is a felt lining approximately 0.15" thick; the object is to take up manufacturing irregularities but as it is a minor component, a separate appendix is not justified.


When facilities are complete, C.S.A.R. will be able to undertake all research, experimentation, design and production.


Nil, pending further research.
Appendix 'D'.
The Aluminium Liner.


The main object of this liner is to smooth out any irregularities or jet proclivities in the convergent detonation wave.


2. It is a hollow sphere about 4½" thick.


3. The manufacture of this component is relatively simple. It will probably be made in two hemispheres screwed together but the faces at the joints must be flush.


C.S.A.R. would be able to produce this component within his resources, but, in order to relieve his workshops of unnecessary work, it may be advisable to put this component to the trade.


5. If only limited numbers are required, they could be turned out from the solid, but, if otherwise, pressings or moulds will be necessary. What should be the policy in this respect?
Appendix 'E '
Boron 10 Liner.


To prevent "rogue" neutrons from outside sources entering the core and initiator assemblies,


2. Consists of a hollow sphere having a thickness of approximately 0.125".


3. Nil.


In view of the limited numbers required, it may be unnecessary to go to the expense of making dies for this pressing; therefore, hand manufacture may be preferable.

5. It may be advisable to give this work to the trade.


6. Opinion seems to be divided on the necessity for this component; therefore, is further research required to establish the need.

7. If found necessary, are any special measures required in connection with boron chemistry, extraction and manufacture?

Appendix 'F '.
The Uranium 238 Liner.


The object of this liner is fourfold.

* (a) To convert the detonation shock wave into an impulse.
* (b) To smooth out any remaining irregularities in the wave.
* (c) To act as a reflector of neutrons during fission.
* (d) To act as a "container" to the plutonium during fission and thus prevent premature disruption of the plutonium core.


2. A hollow sphere having a thickness of approximately 2½".


3. In all probability this shell would be made in two hemispheres and no manufacturing difficulties are anticipated except possibly the means of fastening them together.


4. C.S.A.R. could undertake the manufacture of this component.


5. According to the numbers required, should the liner be handmade or will pressings be necessary?
Appendix 'G '
The Plutonium Core.


The main fissile material.


2. The core consists of a hollow sphere approximately 2" thick of a plutonium/gallium alloy. The proportion of gallium is of the order of 3 atoms per cent.


3. Very little is known concerning plutonium chemistry in this country nor the machining or processing of the element.

4. It is believed that the method of manufacture of the hollow hemispheres was done by hot pressing; but the method of finishing the inner faces and bolting the hemispheres together is uncertain.

5. Appropriate precautions against radioactivity will have to be taken throughout manufacture.

Associated Problems.

6. Suitable containers for storage and transport.


7. No facilities exist for the handling or fashioning of plutonium; nor has a technique been developed in this country.

8. The question arises where a plutonium workshop should be erected. The alternatives are at Springfield, Harwell, or within C.S.A.R. 's organisation. There are advantages or disadvantages on each of these alternatives, but, whichever be selected, early consideration must be given to the design and erection of the plant and to getting the appropriate nucleus of the staff considering the problem.

9. The team engaged on manufacture of this item must have developed their processes to a high order of perfection by the time plutonium is available in adequate quantity; therefore, early consideration must be given to this problem.


10. What facilities are required for research into and final production of this component.

11. Where should they be located.

12. Have we the competent staff within our resources or will it be necessary.

Appendix 'H '
The Initiator.


To ensure the release of sufficient neutrons to initiate fission, by the admixture of Beryllium and Polonium.

2. The initiator consists of two main components.

3. The outer component is a hollow beryllium sphere 1 cm. diameter having the inner face serrated by four-sided 60o pyramids.

4. Inside this cone is another sphere of beryllium which is centred by means of radial pins projecting internally from the outer shell.

5. Both the inner serrated surface of the outer shell and the surface of the inner sphere are coated with nickel or gold, or possibly both. On top of the nickel deposit of the inner sphere a film of polonium is deposited. Thus, the nickel deposit acts as an "insulator" to prevent neutron reaction between the beryllium and polonium until the appropriate time.

6. The serrations on the inner surface convert the shock wave into a multitude of jet actions which thus ensure complete shattering and mixture of the two elements, thus causing neutron emission.


7. The main difficulty is our lack of knowledge of polonium chemistry and considerable research will no doubt be required on this aspect of the project.

8. As with the other assemblies, the method of the manufacture of the beryllium outer shell and bolting the two hemispheres together requires development.


9. The design and manufacture of this component also calls for techniques new to this country. It is estimated that a nucleus staff of one engineer and. a chemist will require a year deliberating on the problem before they could start to tackle it.

10. In addition, plant will be required for the fabrication and this should be ordered in good time.

11. The location of this plant is also debatable, the alternatives being similar to that for the plutonium core.


12. What facilities are required for research into and final production of this component.

13. Where should they be located.

14. Have we the competent staff within our resources or will it be necessary to recruit from outside.

Important footnote.

The half life of the initiator is approximately six months; therefore, replacements will have to be continuously provided.
Appendix 'I '
The Casing For Explosive Assembly.


The object or this component is to held the whole explosive and fissile assembly solidly together.


Little is known concerning the method used in previous models, but, all probability it consists of the aluminium shell about ½" thick having separate polar, caps and equatorial sections. The various sections would have to be bolted together as assembly of the bomb progresses.

3. As some mention has been made in various reports concerning the effect of temperature changes during flight, it is questionable whether internal or external lagging should be incorporated to prevent heat loss.

4. Owing to the difficulty of ensuring that the holes in this casing for the detonators coincide with the detonator sockets of the lenses, enlarged holes in the former must be provided with "floating seals" having holes of the right size, superimposed.

5. Owing to the limited number of weapons envisaged, it is questionable whether the cost of making presses for this casing would be justified and whether hand manufacture should not be undertaken in the same way that the early parabolic reflectors for radar were handmade to a high degree of accuracy. If presses or moulds have to be made, early consideration of their design will be necessary, and it might be advisable to think in terms of plastics rather than metal.


6. As with the aluminium liner, the fabrication of the casing is a straightforward metal-working job and could probably be put to the trade.


7. According to the numbers required, should they be handmade or machine fabricated.

8. Should the job be put to the trade?
Appendix 'J '.
Firing Mechanism And Proximity Fusing Device.

Whereas the firing mechanism may be relatively simple and standard components could b.

used, the proximity fusing device will call for considerable research and experiment.</p>

2. C.S.A.R. visualises that such a fuse must have the following characteristics: .

* (a) Selective fusing between 1500 feet and 100 feet above the target.
* (b) Accuracy to within + or - 200 feet at the greater height but + or - 30 feet at the lesser.</p>
* (c) Probability of failure reduced to the minimum.
* (d) Immunity from jambing or from other interferences.


The fulfilment of this requirement will be a major task for the Electronics Section and will finally necessitate air trials, but these might be incorporated with the normal ballistic trials if the fuses are completed in time.

4. No doubt T.R.E. could undertake the research into and design of the proximity fuse but it is for discussion whether it would not be preferable to detach personnel from that Establishment to work under the direct supervision of C.S.A.R.


5. Who should undertake this research and where should it be located.

6. What is the earliest date on which it should start.
Appendix 'K '.
The Ballistic Outer Casing.

The design of this component must also wait until the general overall assembly has been decided upon, but it would also house the firing and fusing mechanisms.


2. The design of the ballistic casing would primarily concern the bomb design section at R. A. E., but it would be preferable for personnel from that Establishment to be loaned to C.S.A.R. during the design period, which would cover the ballistic trials.

3. The manufacture of the casing should be put to the trade, and orders for 2-or-3O0 given. Some of these cases will have to be innered [crossed out: handwritten above ?inert] filled for ballistic trials whilst others will be required for fuse functioning tests.


4. As a large number of these outer casings will be required for ballistic trials, is it agreed that the trade should undertake manufacture.

5. Should the design team work at R.A.E. or be attached to C.S.A.R..

6. When should work start on this component?
Appendix 'L '
The Arming Plug.

The weapon is assembled component by component, the last being the plutonium pore into which the initiator has already been inserted. It therefore follows that a passage has to be provided through which the core can be entered, the passage being finally sealed.

2. Starting from the inside of the assembly, a hole of the proper dimensions is cut in the uranium tamper, the boron shield, and the aluminium liner.

3. In the H.E. component, a section of the inner H.E. shell corresponding to the dimensions of a complete lens is also removed.

4. After the insertion of the plutonium core, these plugs are replaced, thus sealing the assembly. In all cases, f1ush fitting of the plugs in their respective sockets must be guaranteed.



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Thursday, May 08, 2008

KZ Torture Camp - Cheap Resort Holiday 42$ per night

Greetings from Guantanamo Bay ... and the sickest souvenir shop in the world

By ANGELA LEVIN - 4th May 2008

Mockery: A child's T-shirt proclaiming the camp a tourist spot

The sands are white, the sea laps gently and crowds of bronzed Americans laze in the Caribbean sunshine.

They have a cinema, a golf course and, naturally, a gift shop stocked with mugs, jaunty T-shirts and racks of postcards showing perfect sunsets and bright green iguanas.

Only the barbed wire decoration, a recurring motif, hints at anything wrong.

Welcome to "Taliban Towers" at Guantanamo Bay, the most ghoulishly distasteful tourist destination on the planet.

As these astonishing mementoes show, the US authorities are promoting the world's most notorious prison camp as a cheap hideaway for American sunseekers – a revelation that has drawn international anger and condemnation.

Just yards from the shelves of specially branded mugs and cuddly toys, nearly 300 "enemy combatants" lie sweltering in a waking nightmare.

It is six years since foreign prisoners, many captured in Afghanistan, were first taken to this US-occupied corner of Cuba. Yet even now, no charges have been brought against them.

While the detainees lie incarcerated, visitors can windsurf, take boat trips and go fishing for grouper, tuna, red snapper and swordfish.

The United States' 1.5million service personnel and Guantanamo's 3,000 construction workers are eligible to visit the "resort", which boasts a McDonald's, KFC and a bowling alley.

They even have a Wal-Mart supermarket.

The vacation comes at a knock-down price: just $42 (£20) per night for a suite of air-conditioned rooms, including a kitchen, bathroom, living room and bedrooms.

But it is the souvenirs that have led to the greatest criticism. One T-shirt from the gift shop is decorated with a guard tower and barbed wire. It reads: "The Taliban Towers at Guantanamo Bay, the Caribbean's Newest 5-star Resort."

Another praises "the proud protectors of freedom". A third displays a garish picture of an iguana and states: "Greetings from paradise GTMO resort and spa fun in the Cuban sun."

A child-sized shirt says: "Someone who loves me got me this T-shirt in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."

Scroll down for more...

Exposed: An array of the ghoulish gifts on sale at the Guantanamo Bay 'resort' catering for American sunseekers

There are mugs inscribed with "kisses from Guantanamo" and "Honor Bound To Defend Freedom".

The Guantanamo holiday trade was exposed by Zachary Katznelson, a British-based human rights lawyer and spokesman for Reprieve, the group leading the international campaign against the camp.

"When I see the conditions the prisoners have to cope with and then think of the T-shirt slogans, I am appalled," he said. "To say I am repulsed is an understatement. Unbelievable as it may seem, the US authorities are proud of the 'souvenirs' and what they are doing."

Mr Katznelson represents 28 of the detainees and makes regular visits to the prison.

"The military keeps a tight hold on everything that is available in Guantanamo Bay and someone senior has given their approval for this disgusting nonsense," he said.

Sick: Souvenirs include mugs inscribed with 'Kisses from Guantanamo Bay'

"Pretending that Guantanamo Bay is essentially a resort in the Caribbean is grossly offensive and the idea of relaxing in the sun while close by many individuals are robbed of their rights, tortured and abused is both repugnant and ridiculous."

His anger is shared by other human rights campaigners. Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said Guantanamo represents a shameful chapter in American history.

Amnesty International said: "These supposedly 'fun' souvenirs are in grotesquely bad taste and the fact that they are on sale at the camp quite frankly beggars belief."

There are currently 280 prisoners sweltering in cages in temperatures of up to 100F (38C). The camp, where 7,000 soldiers are stationed, was established in 2002 following the invasion of Afghanistan.

Guantanamo bay: The U.S. was accused of deliberately pushing detainees to the edge

In 2004, photographs of cowed Guantanamo prisoners in orange jump suits shocked the world.

"The majority are kept in isolation in cells that are no bigger than a toilet," said Katznelson. "There is no sea view. Instead, if they have a window, it looks out on to a bleak corridor. The cells are lined with steel from floor to ceiling, including the toilet, sink and bed base.

"There is a popular misconception that these men have had trials and been found guilty. Nothing is further from the truth. Not one of them has.

"The tortures that the Americans use are wide-ranging and inhuman. One is to blast the cell with freezing cold air. Another is to pretend to take the prisoners to a country like Egypt where prisoners are tortured, even to the extent of taking them on a mock flight, so they can be treated in a barbaric fashion."

Katznelson continued: "Inmates are offered three meals a day, but there are eight prisoners who have been on hunger strike for over a year asking either for a trial or to be set free.

"These men are force-fed twice a day. First they are strapped down with 16 different restrictions, including one that jerks their head back. Then a tube is fed through their nose and down into their stomach.

"The guards don't always use lubrication and regularly use the same tube for several different prisoners without bothering to clean it."

Guantanamo Bay has been rented as a military base from Cuba since 1903 for an unchanged $4,499 a year.

"As it is outside American territory the US Constitution doesn't apply," said Katznelson.

This may soon change as the US Supreme Court is about to reach a verdict on whether the Guantanamo Bay area is de facto American soil.

If so, the US Constitution does apply and the men will have the right to a fair and speedy trial.

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hideously malevolent ninnies with all the vicious contempt of a demented elephant

May 6, 2008
Border Incursions
No Laws for Bush America


The US border with Mexico is 2000 miles long and is heavily guarded, at a cost to the US taxpayer of $7.8 billion last year. (In 2006 Bush declared that .Unfortunately, the United States has not been in complete control of its borders for decades . . . .) Now consider what would happen if Mexican security forces were pursuing a criminal who had fled into the US and they opened fire across the border, then crossed it, killing a US border guard.

If a US citizen was killed by foreign soldiers within the United States there would be reaction verging on the hysterical. There would be cries for retribution and demands for punishment of those responsible. Quite right, you will say, if only because international law, in the shape of the Charter of the United Nations, specifies that all signatories shall .refrain from the threat or the use of force against the territorial integrity . . . of any member or state, or in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.. All perfectly clear: a country that uses force against another without justification that is approved by its international peers is acting illegally.

So reflect on a recent incident on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

On April 23 US troops were involved in a fire-fight in eastern Afghanistan. They alleged that their enemy crossed over the border into Pakistan. They then used artillery to shell Pakistan.s territory. Not only that but they crossed the border and killed a Pakistani para-military trooper. The news agency AFP recorded that the incident occurred when soldiers from the .coalition. (read .US., because there were no other foreign troops in that area) and .the Afghan army. (entirely under US control):

.clashed with Taliban militants on the porous frontier between the two countries on Wednesday. Afghan and [.coalition.] troops then pounded the Pakistani side with shells and also made an incursion into the Bajaur region, during which one soldier was killed and another injured, the [Pakistan foreign] ministry said. .We have lodged a strong protest with the Afghan and [coalition] side and told them in clear terms that such incidents must not be repeated,. spokesman Mohammad Sadiq told reporters. .We also protested the death of one of our security personnel as a result of firing from the other side..

So a Pakistani border guard in his own country was killed by foreigners who consider it acceptable . no, not just acceptable: a responsibility, a duty, a God-given right . to invade the territory of a foreign country and kill its citizens if these citizens are unfortunate enough to be in the way of US bullets, shells or missiles.

There is no law governing Bush America.s barbarity overseas. All the strikes by the US within Pakistan have been blatantly illegal by any reckoning. (There have been at least four US drone-launched missile attacks, killing dozens of civilians.) But there is no possibility that Bush America will be condemned by anyone. Even the directly injured party, in this case Pakistan, with its new democratic government, wouldn.t lodge a complaint under international law because Bush America would simply ignore it. Not that Washington would ignore the complainant itself of course, because any weak country unwise enough to try to claim that international law applies to America would be doomed to economic and political retribution. Put bluntly: the United States of America, just like Israel, its only real ally, can and will conduct military operations against any country in the world . providing that country is not strong enough to retaliate in military or economic terms . and kill anyone it likes without fear of retribution of any sort. Israel.s overflight of Lebanon by 12 combat aircraft on April 28 was yet another example of such cowardly arrogance. There could be no attempt by Lebanon.s government to counter this brazen violation of sovereignty, and the contempt felt by Israel for the world at large was summed up in a report by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that .The Israel Defense Forces when asked about the alleged flyover said .it is our policy not to comment on our operations... In other words: Get Lost.

Even if Lebanon complained to the United Nations about Israel.s illegal overflights there would be no action because, as always, Washington would veto any attempted condemnation of its fifty-first state. After all, the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, declared on May 4 that the US has .has been at Israel's side for all of 60 years, it will be for the next 60 years, 100 years and 1,000 years. With all its success, I am a tremendous admirer and have great respect for Israel,. he said, expressing particular admiration for a state .representing democracy and freedom.. Yes, that.s the freedom to steal the lands of the original inhabitants and freedom to treat the descendants of the original inhabitants like Untermenschen. (And you can imagine the effect of this dolt.s statement in the Arab and Muslim world: he has reinforced the belief that the US totally favours Israel against them. Bright boy, Mullen ; with people like him, al Qaeda doesn't need any recruiting sergeants. And what right has Mullen to commit his country to a foreign policy for a thousand years?)

It must require enormous courage, moral and physical, to take military action against countries who can.t retaliate. Moral courage like Pontius Pilate.s and physical courage like that of a mentally diseased coyote. One can only guess at the mindset of the people who order strikes like the one in Pakistan and authorize the insolent menacing of Lebanon. They are almost on equal terms with the intellectually inadequate but hideously malevolent ninnies who imprisoned the journalist Sami al-Haj for six years in the Guantanamo Gulag. He has now been released without charge, because even after 200 interrogations and countless investigations there was not a shred of evidence that he was guilty of any crime. His mistake had been to try to get into Afghanistan to report on the US invasion. Washington had him dragged, bound, drugged, blindfolded and shackled, into the most shameful prison constructed thus far this century . if we exclude the CIA.s secret black holes in Afghanistan, the Indian Ocean, eastern Europe and East Africa. (It is unlikely he bought a gift from the Guantanamo souvenir emporium, surely the sickest retail outlet in the world.)

Sami al-Haj was detained in Pakistan by order of the US, whose dreamland dopes thought that he had interviewed Osama bin Laden. He hadn.t been anywhere near bin Laden, but this didn.t matter to the deranged fanatics of US Intelligence. After six years of disgusting treatment he was released without charge, but of course is now sick and mentally fragile. Well done the filth of the universe who, in a final brutal insult to cap his six years of torture, flew him home in a US aircraft in chains.

Bush and his poisonous bunch of malignant chickenhawk barbarians have shown the world that they respect no laws, care nothing for human beings unless they are Israelis, and trample on human rights with all the vicious contempt of a demented elephant. The next administration will have to cleanse the stables of the filth, but it.s going to be a difficult job.

Brian Cloughley lives in France.

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

SOMALIA protest over aggressive bombing

Somalian Protest over US Bombing
May 5, 2008

A huge protest took place on Sunday in the Somali capital of Mogadishu to protest the US aerial bombing that killed 25 civilians last week.

An AP report quoted 13-year-old Nur Ahmed Nur: .The US attack killed by brother, my sister and my grandmother. We are refugees and we fled from Mogadishu. .Since when did we become terrorists?.

The demonstrators, mostly women and children, took to the streets of the central Somali town of Dusamareeb shouting slogans such as .Down with the Bush administration. and .Down with their stooges.. Abdi-risaq Molim Ahmed, head of education for the town, said that three students died and a fourth was seriously wounded in the US attack against the home of Aden Hashi Ayro. He added that the students were between the ages of 13 and 19.


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