27
Mai
2004

Conspiracy to Commit War Crimes

President George W. Bush knew for over two years that his administration has been promoting policies that qualify as war crimes under the 1996 federal War Crimes Act, the international Third Geneva Convention, and the Torture Convention.

http://www.interventionmag.com/cms/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=750

Uncovering the Rationales for the War on Iraq

The Words of the Bush Administration, Congress, and the Media from September 12, 2001 to October 11, 2002

http://www.pol.uiuc.edu/news/largio.htm


From Information Clearing House

Ashcrofts summer "suspect" list

Background information On Ashcrofts summer "suspect" list

http://inn.globalfreepress.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=290


From Information Clearing House

Opposition Growing to U.S. Exemption on Global Court

The United States may not have enough U.N. votes to exempt American soldiers from prosecution by a new global criminal court, with China now questioning the action in view of the prison scandal in Iraq, diplomats said on Thursday.

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=5277445


From Information Clearing House

Rape at Abu Ghraib

Practically ignored in the Abu Ghraib torture scandal are the Iraqi female prisoners who have told their attorneys they were raped by U.S. soldiers.

http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0421/mondo2.php


From Information Clearing House

New photos show Abu Ghraib tactics

Naked Iraqis interrogated aggressively in images: In one of the photos, a U.S. soldier can be seen pressing his knee into the neck of one of the three prisoners, who have been forced to huddle together on the floor.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5032107/


From Information Clearing House

Tell the Fish and Wildlife Service that wildlife must come first on Alaska's refuges

Agency plan would sacrifice wildlife, wilderness values to oil

Of all the land protected in our magnificent National Wildlife Refuge System, 60 percent is in Alaska. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now drafting long-range management plans for all 16 Alaska refuges. The first plan, now available for public comment, will set the tone and direction for the plans that follow.

If the agency gets it wrong on this plan-and so far it has-the future for the others is dark. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to protect these matchless places. Please take a moment to tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to put wildlife first in Alaska's 16 wildlife refuges, starting with the 200 species that live in the Alaska Peninsula and Becharof National Wildlife Refuges. The deadline for comments is Monday, May 31. You can take immediate action from

http://ga1.org/campaign/AlaskaRefuges/wd8ks5x4ymmej5

Seltene Selbstanzeige

Die "New York Times" kritisiert ihre eigene Berichterstattung im Umfeld des Irak-Krieges.

http://www.telepolis.de/tp/deutsch/inhalt/co/17521/1.html

Help Stop Indefinite Detention

Congress must oppose the practice of designating prisoners, “enemy combatants.” It is an unequivocal violation of U.S. and international law.

The Bush Administration’s use of “enemy combatant” designation sets a dangerous precedent where the government detains people -- including prisoners in the United States -- indefinitely without charging them with a crime.

If the government has evidence that an individual is involved with terrorism, there are other, better, legal options than detaining them without charge. By simply locking people away people without giving them the chance to clear their name, the government is violating their civil rights and increasing the chance that an innocent person will be improperly locked up.

Congress must oppose this practice and must not offer any endorsement of indefinite detention. If Congress were to pass legislation allowing this practice, it would be a violation of international law and in clear contradiction of the Constitution.

Take Action! Urge Congress to oppose the indefinite detention of American citizens by the Bush Administration.

http://www.aclu.org/NationalSecurity/NationalSecurity.cfm?ID=15859&c=24

GM Crops Not the Answer

ISP Press Release 27/05/04
ISP to FAO: GM Crops Not the Answer

The Independent Science Panel (ISP) has criticised the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations for its qualified backing of genetically modified (GM) crops in the global fight against hunger.

The FAO recently released its annual publication, The State of Food and Agriculture 2003-2004. This year, the theme was on "Agricultural Biotechnology: Meeting the needs of the poor?" The report touches on the full range of agricultural biotechnology tools and applications, but focuses largely on transgenic or GM crops and their impact on poor people in poor countries.

While acknowledging that biotechnology is not a panacea, the FAO maintains that it holds great promise as a new scientific tool for generating applied agricultural technologies. The report claims that biotechnology is capable of benefiting small, resource-poor farmers, yet also cautions, "Given that technologies that are on the shelf today (generated by conventional research methods) have not yet reached the poorest farmers’ fields, there is no guarantee that the new biotechnologies will fare any better."

Thus, the FAO seems to ignore the implicit message of its own study: GM crops have thus far delivered negligible benefits to the world’s poor. And there is little indication that these trends will change in favour of the poor. As the report points out, crops and agronomic traits of importance to developing countries and marginal production areas have been ignored.

Instead, the focus has been on four crops (soybean, maize, cotton, canola) more suited for industrial agriculture and unlikely to meet the food security needs of poor farmers, and two traits (herbicide tolerance and insect resistance) of limited relevance; herbicide resistance, in particular, is less relevant for developing countries where farm labour is abundant.

These four crops and two traits have, however, been the mainstay of the GM industry, controlled largely by transnational corporations that have reaped most of the benefits. This private sector-led investment in agricultural research and development depends on strong protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs) over GM crops.

The FAO is disingenuous when it calls on countries to develop stronger IPR regimes to promote GM crop research, even as the independent Commission on Intellectual Property Rights has expressed reservations over patent protection for plants and animals. Many developing countries that are World Trade Organisation (WTO) members, particularly the Africa Group, have also expressed similar concerns, joining countless non-governmental and civil society organisations, and some 700 scientists (including ISP members), to call for no patents on living organisms.

Is the FAO ignoring these views, much as it seems to be selective in the evidence it draws on to justify the report’s conclusions? For example, in the section on public attitudes, the report relies heavily on a survey that asks imbalanced questions. This section concludes that people in developing countries are generally likely to support agricultural biotechnology, which is not surprising, given that the risks are not mentioned in the questions asked, only the potential benefits.

Yet the risks of GM crops are increasingly apparent. The FAO report is unacceptably silent on the transgenic contamination of traditional varieties of maize in Mexico, a centre of origin and diversity of maize; it doesn’t discuss biodiversity and food security impacts, let alone the immense implications on cultural and indigenous practices.

Dr. Mae-Wan Ho, director of the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) and member of the ISP, points to further flaws: "The FAO claims that scientists generally agree that current transgenic crops and the foods derived from them are safe to eat. But there are many scientists - ISP members included - who have questioned this premise, and there is increasing evidence that casts doubt on GM food safety."

The ISP’s report, The Case for a GM-Free Sustainable World, is an extensive review of the scientific and other evidence on the problems and hazards of GM crops and the manifold benefits of all forms of sustainable agriculture (see Executive Summary, appended).

It is clear, from the evidence therein, that there are many unanswered questions on the safety of GM crops. Very few studies have been conducted, particularly as to the effects of GM foods on human health. There is a dearth of published scientific papers on which a reliable database of safety can be established, and the few independent studies that have been carried out raise serious concerns. There is also increasing indication of the environmental and socio- economic impacts of GM crops, particularly on smallholder farmers.

The ISP has called for a global ban on environmental release of GM crops, to make way for agroecology, organic farming and other forms of sustainable agriculture. There is growing evidence that many smallholder farmers in developing countries already have the knowledge, experience and innovative spirit that enable them to farm sustainably and productively, without depending on GM crops. These traditional farming practices best address agriculture that is complex, diverse and risk-prone; GM crops would create many more risks for these farmers. The FAO should be calling for more research into these sustainable practices, so as to better them and make them equitably accessible, rather than into GM crops.

If the world is to seriously address hunger, this means rethinking agriculture and associated policy making, and exploring how traditional knowledge and science can work together, while learning from farmers themselves. World hunger today is more a consequence of economic and political forces that hamper distribution, and less one of inadequate food supply. These, and other issues including access to land, water, credit and markets, the loss of agricultural biodiversity and the inequities in multilateral policies that affect agriculture and rural development, must be addressed.

The FAO would do better to focus on these issues, rather than on GM crops, if it is really serious in "helping build a world without hunger".

Written by Lim Li Ching for the ISP

The Case for A GM-Free Sustainable World - Executive Summary
Why GM Free?

1. GM crops failed to deliver promised benefits

The consistent finding from independent research and on-farm surveys since 1999 is that GM crops have failed to deliver the promised benefits of significantly increasing yields or reducing herbicide and pesticide use. GM crops have cost the United States an estimated $12 billion in farm subsidies, lost sales and product recalls due to transgenic contamination. Massive failures in Bt cotton of up to 100% were reported in India.

Biotech corporations have suffered rapid decline since 2000, and investment advisors forecast no future for the agricultural sector. Meanwhile worldwide resistance to GM has reached a climax in 2002 when Zambia refused GM maize in food aid despite the threat of famine.

2. GM crops posing escalating problems on the farm

The instability of transgenic lines has plagued the industry from the beginning, and this may be responsible for a string of major crop failures. A review in 1994 stated, "While there are some examples of plants which show stable expression of a transgene these may prove to be the exceptions to the rule. In an informal survey of over 30 companies involved in the commercialisation of transgenic crop plants….almost all of the respondents indicated that they had observed some level of transgene inaction. Many respondents indicated that most cases of transgene inactivation never reach the literature."

Triple herbicide-tolerant oilseed rape volunteers that have combined transgenic and non-transgenic traits are now widespread in Canada. Similar multiple herbicide-tolerant volunteers and weeds have emerged in the United States. In the United States, glyphosate-tolerant weeds are plaguing GM cotton and soya fields, and atrazine, one of the most toxic herbicides, has had to be used with glufosinate-tolerant GM maize.

Bt biopesticide traits are simultaneously threatening to create superweeds and Bt-resistant pests.

3. Extensive transgenic contamination unavoidable

Extensive transgenic contamination has occurred in maize landraces growing in remote regions in Mexico despite an official moratorium that has been in place since 1998. High levels of contamination have since been found in Canada. In a test of 33 certified seed stocks, 32 were found contaminated.

New research shows that transgenic pollen, wind-blown and deposited elsewhere, or fallen directly to the ground, is a major source of transgenic contamination. Contamination is generally acknowledged to be unavoidable, hence there can be no co- existence of transgenic and non-transgenic crops.

4. GM crops not safe

Contrary to the claims of proponents, GM crops have not been proven safe. The regulatory framework was fatally flawed from the start. It was based on an anti-precautionary approach designed to expedite product approval at the expense of safety considerations. The principle of ‘substantial equivalence’, on which risk assessment is based, is intended to be vague and ill-defined, thereby giving companies complete licence in claiming transgenic products ‘substantially equivalent’ to non-transgenic products, and hence ‘safe’.

5. GM food raises serious safety concerns

There have been very few credible studies on GM food safety. Nevertheless, the available findings already give cause for concern. In the still only systematic investigation on GM food ever carried out in the world, ‘growth factor-like’ effects were found in the stomach and small intestine of young rats that were not fully accounted for by the transgene product, and were hence attributable to the transgenic process or the transgenic construct, and may hence be general to all GM food. There have been at least two other, more limited, studies that also raised serious safety concerns.

6. Dangerous gene products are incorporated into crops

Bt proteins, incorporated into 25% of all transgenic crops worldwide, have been found harmful to a range of non-target insects. Some of them are also potent immunogens and allergens. A team of scientists have cautioned against releasing Bt crops for human use.

Food crops are increasingly used to produce pharmaceuticals and drugs, including cytokines known to suppress the immune system, induce sickness and central nervous system toxicity; interferon alpha, reported to cause dementia, neurotoxicity and mood and cognitive side effects; vaccines; and viral sequences such as the ‘spike’ protein gene of the pig coronavirus, in the same family as the SARS virus linked to the current epidemic. The glycoprotein gene gp120 of the AIDS virus HIV-1, incorporated into GM maize as a ‘cheap, edible oral vaccine’, serves as yet another biological time-bomb, as it can interfere with the immune system and recombine with viruses and bacteria to generate new and unpredictable pathogens.

7. Terminator crops spread male sterility

Crops engineered with ‘suicide’ genes for male sterility have been promoted as a means of ‘containing’, i.e., preventing, the spread of transgenes. In reality, the hybrid crops sold to farmers spread both male sterile suicide genes as well herbicide tolerance genes via pollen.

8. Broad-spectrum herbicides highly toxic to humans and other species

Glufosinate ammonium and glyphosate are used with the herbicide-tolerant transgenic crops that currently account for 75% of all transgenic crops worldwide. Both are systemic metabolic poisons expected to have a wide range of harmful effects, and these have been confirmed.

Glufosinate ammonium is linked to neurological, respiratory, gastrointestinal and haematological toxicities, and birth defects in humans and mammals. It is toxic to butterflies and a number of beneficial insects, also to the larvae of clams and oysters, Daphnia and some freshwater fish, especially the rainbow trout. It inhibits beneficial soil bacteria and fungi, especially those that fix nitrogen.

Glyphosate is the most frequent cause of complaints and poisoning in the UK. Disturbances of many body functions have been reported after exposures at normal use levels.

Glyphosate exposure nearly doubled the risk of late spontaneous abortion, and children born to users of glyphosate had elevated neurobehavioral defects. Glyphosate caused retarded development of the foetal skeleton in laboratory rats. Glyphosate inhibits the synthesis of steroids, and is genotoxic in mammals, fish and frogs. Field dose exposure of earthworms caused at least 50 percent mortality and significant intestinal damage among surviving worms. Roundup caused cell division dysfunction that may be linked to human cancers.

The known effects of both glufosinate and glyphosate are sufficiently serious for all further uses of the herbicides to be halted.

9. Genetic engineering creates super- viruses

By far the most insidious dangers of genetic engineering are inherent to the process itself, which greatly enhances the scope and probability of horizontal gene transfer and recombination, the main route to creating viruses and bacteria that cause disease epidemics. This was highlighted, in 2001, by the ‘accidental’ creation of a killer mouse virus in the course of an apparently innocent genetic engineering experiment.

Newer techniques, such as DNA shuffling are allowing geneticists to create in a matter of minutes in the laboratory millions of recombinant viruses that have never existed in billions of years of evolution. Disease- causing viruses and bacteria and their genetic material are the predominant materials and tools for genetic engineering, as much as for the intentional creation of bio-weapons.

10. Transgenic DNA in food taken up by bacteria in human gut

There is already experimental evidence that transgenic DNA from plants has been taken up by bacteria in the soil and in the gut of human volunteers. Antibiotic resistance marker genes can spread from transgenic food to pathogenic bacteria, making infections very difficult to treat.

11. Transgenic DNA and cancer

Transgenic DNA is known to survive digestion in the gut and to jump into the genome of mammalian cells, raising the possibility for triggering cancer.

The possibility cannot be excluded that feeding GM products such as maize to animals also carries risks, not just for the animals but also for human beings consuming the animal products.

12. CaMV 35S promoter increases horizontal gene transfer

Evidence suggests that transgenic constructs with the CaMV 35S promoter might be especially unstable and prone to horizontal gene transfer and recombination, with all the attendant hazards: gene mutations due to random insertion, cancer, reactivation of dormant viruses and generation of new viruses. This promoter is present in most GM crops being grown commercially today.

13. A history of misrepresentation and suppression of scientific evidence

There has been a history of misrepresentation and suppression of scientific evidence, especially on horizontal gene transfer. Key experiments failed to be performed, or were performed badly and then misrepresented. Many experiments were not followed up, including investigations on whether the CaMV 35S promoter is responsible for the ‘growth-factor-like’ effects observed in young rats fed GM potatoes.

In conclusion, GM crops have failed to deliver the promised benefits and are posing escalating problems on the farm. Transgenic contamination is now widely acknowledged to be unavoidable, and hence there can be no co-existence of GM and non-GM agriculture. Most important of all, GM crops have not been proven safe. On the contrary, sufficient evidence has emerged to raise serious safety concerns, that if ignored could result in irreversible damage to health and the environment. GM crops should be firmly rejected now.
Why Sustainable Agriculture?

1. Higher productivity and yields, especially in the Third World

Some 8.98 million farmers have adopted sustainable agriculture practices on 28.92 million hectares in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Reliable data from 89 projects show higher productivity and yields: 50-100% increase in yield for rainfed crops, and 5-10% for irrigated crops. Top successes include Burkina Faso, which turned a cereal deficit of 644 kg per year to an annual surplus of 153 kg; Ethiopia, where 12 500 households enjoyed 60% increase in crop yields; and Honduras and Guatemala, where 45,000 families increased yields from 400-600 kg/ha to 2 000-2 500 kg/ha.

Long-term studies in industrialised countries show yields for organic comparable to conventional agriculture, and sometimes higher.

2. Better soils

Sustainable agricultural practices tend to reduce soil erosion, as well as improve soil physical structure and water-holding capacity, which are crucial in averting crop failures during periods of drought.

Soil fertility is maintained or increased by various sustainable agriculture practices. Studies show that soil organic matter and nitrogen levels are higher in organic than in conventional fields.

Biological activity has also been found to be higher in organic soils. There are more earthworms, arthropods, mycorrhizal and other fungi, and micro-organisms, all of which are beneficial for nutrient recycling and suppression of disease.

3. Cleaner environment

There is little or no polluting chemical-input with sustainable agriculture. Moreover, research suggests that less nitrate and phosphorus are leached to groundwater from organic soils.

Better water infiltration rates are found in organic systems. Therefore, they are less prone to erosion and less likely to contribute to water pollution from surface runoff.

4. Reduced pesticides and no increase in pests

Organic farming prohibits routine pesticide application. Integrated pest management has cut the number of pesticide sprays in Vietnam from 3.4 to one per season, in Sri Lanka from 2.9 to 0.5 per season, and in Indonesia from 2.9 to 1.1 per season.

Research showed no increase in crop losses due to pest damage, despite the withdrawal of synthetic insecticides in Californian tomato production.

Pest control is achievable without pesticides, reversing crop losses, as for example, by using ‘trap crops’ to attract stem borer, a major pest in East Africa. Other benefits of avoiding pesticides arise from utilising the complex inter-relationships between species in an ecosystem.

5. Supporting biodiversity and using diversity

Sustainable agriculture promotes agricultural biodiversity, which is crucial for food security and rural livelihoods. Organic farming can also support much greater biodiversity, benefiting species that have significantly declined.

Biodiverse systems are more productive than monocultures. Integrated farming systems in Cuba are 1.45 to 2.82 times more productive than monocultures. Thousands of Chinese rice farmers have doubled yields and nearly eliminated the most devastating disease simply by mixed planting of two varieties.

Soil biodiversity is enhanced by organic practices, bringing beneficial effects such as recovery and rehabilitation of degraded soils, improved soil structure and water infiltration.

6. Environmentally and economically sustainable

Research on apple production systems ranked the organic system first in environmental and economic sustainability, the integrated system second and the conventional system last. Organic apples were most profitable due to price premiums, quicker investment return and fast recovery of costs.

A Europe-wide study showed that organic farming performs better than conventional farming in the majority of environmental indicators. A review by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) concluded that well-managed organic agriculture leads to more favourable conditions at all environmental levels.

7. Ameliorating climate change by reducing direct & indirect energy use

Organic agriculture uses energy much more efficiently and greatly reduces CO2 emissions compared with conventional agriculture, both with respect to direct energy consumption in fuel and oil and indirect consumption in synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

Sustainable agriculture restores soil organic matter content, increasing carbon sequestration below ground, thereby recovering an important carbon sink. Organic systems have shown significant ability to absorb and retain carbon, raising the possibility that sustainable agriculture practices can help reduce the impact of global warming.

Organic agriculture is likely to emit less nitrous oxide (N2O), another important greenhouse gas and also a cause of stratospheric ozone depletion.

8. Efficient, profitable production

Any yield reduction in organic agriculture is more than offset by ecological and efficiency gains. Research has shown that the organic approach can be commercially viable in the long- term, producing more food per unit of energy or resources.

Data show that smaller farms produce far more per unit area than the larger farms characteristic of conventional farming. Though the yield per unit area of one crop may be lower on a small farm than on a large monoculture, the total output per unit area, often composed of more than a dozen crops and various animal products, can be far higher.

Production costs for organic farming are often lower than for conventional farming, bringing equivalent or higher net returns even without organic price premiums. When price premiums are factored in, organic systems are almost always more profitable.

9. Improved food security and benefits to local communities

A review of sustainable agriculture projects in developing countries showed that average food production per household increased by 1.71 tonnes per year (up 73%) for 4.42 million farmers on 3.58 million hectares, bringing food security and health benefits to local communities.

Increasing agricultural productivity has been shown to also increase food supplies and raise incomes, thereby reducing poverty, increasing access to food, reducing malnutrition and improving health and livelihoods.

Sustainable agricultural approaches draw extensively on traditional and indigenous knowledge, and place emphasis on the farmers’ experience and innovation. This thereby utilises appropriate, low-cost and readily available local resources as well as improves farmers’ status and autonomy, enhancing social and cultural relations within local communities.

Local means of sale and distribution can generate more money for the local economy. For every £1 spent at an organic box scheme from Cusgarne Organics (UK), £2.59 is generated for the local economy; but for every £1 spent at a supermarket, only £1.40 is generated for the local economy.

10. Better food quality for health

Organic food is safer, as organic farming prohibits routine pesticide and herbicide use, so harmful chemical residues are rarely found.

Organic production also bans the use of artificial food additives such as hydrogenated fats, phosphoric acid, aspartame and monosodium glutamate, which have been linked to health problems as diverse as heart disease, osteoporosis, migraines and hyperactivity.

Studies have shown that, on average, organic food has higher vitamin C, higher mineral levels and higher plant phenolics – plant compounds that can fight cancer and heart disease, and combat age-related neurological dysfunctions – and significantly less nitrates, a toxic compound.

Sustainable agricultural practices have proven beneficial in all aspects relevant to health and the environment. In addition, they bring food security and social and cultural well-being to local communities everywhere. There is an urgent need for a comprehensive global shift to all forms of sustainable agriculture.

Source: http://www.i-sis.org.uk/ISPtoFAO.php

National Parks fast falling into disrepair

May 25, 2004 edition - http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0525/p01s02-usgn.html

From aging facilities to overgrown trails, reaching the backcountry is getting harder.

By Brad Knickerbocker
http://www.csmonitor.com/cgi-bin/encryptmail.pl?ID=C2F2E1E4A0CBEEE9E3EBE5F2E2EFE3EBE5F2>
Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

ASHLAND, ORE. - Leaky lodge roofs. Potholed roads. Beaches closed for lack of a lifeguard. Not enough rangers in their Smokey Bear hats teaching kids about flora and fauna.

It's not a picture Americans want to imagine for their national parks - the "crown jewels" often likened to European cathedrals.

But as the nation approaches the year's first holiday weekend when families head for the mountains, seashore, and battlefield monuments, there's a groundswell of concern (bordering on revolt) among current and retired US Park Service employees over the condition of national parks.

Despite the efforts and rhetoric of Interior Secretary Gale Norton and Park Service Director Fran Miainella, the backlog of much-needed park maintenance continues to grow, these employees say.

Insiders have leaked a Park Service memo ordering park superintendents to refer to budget-driven program cuts as "service level adjustments." Such adjustments, the memo suggests, could include closing visitor centers on some holidays, cutting back on ranger talks and tours, eliminating lifeguard services at beaches, and closing parks two days a week. In a sideshow drama, the chief of the park police in Washington has been threatened with dismissal for speaking out about budget needs and staffing levels.

Meanwhile, a coalition of environmental groups has just sued the Interior Department over its failure to minimize the air pollution impacts of nearby development on more than a dozen national parks and wilderness areas in the Rocky Mountain West. Interior is charged with failure to uphold the Clean Air Act around parks.

The National Park Service is a mammoth organization. With some 20,000 professionals and 125,000 volunteers, it oversees 388 parks, monuments, battlefields, historic sites, lakeshores, recreation areas, scenic rivers and trails, and the White House. The number of park units has nearly doubled since 1970, and annual visits now total nearly 300 million. All of this costs some $2.3 billion a year.

But critics say (and administration officials acknowledge) that's not enough to keep the resources in good shape while meeting the recreational and educational expectations of visitors. According to the General Accounting Office, the backlog of deferred maintenance at national parks has grown to something between $4 billion and $6.8 billion.

Speaking at Everglades National Park the first summer of his presidency, President Bush pledged to "restore and renew America's national parks." Since then, however, the administration and Congress have budgeted $662 million in new funding for such improvements. That sounds like a lot, but spread over four budget cycles (2002-2005) it's inadequate to meet the need, say watchdog groups.

The private National Parks Conservation Association says $600 million in additional funds are needed every year to adequately chip away at the park maintenance backlog. Among the problems outlined in the association's recent report:

. Hikers cannot reach backcountry cabins at Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State because necessary bridges and trails need repair.

. Large sections of a historic lighthouse and Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park in South Florida are unsafe.

. The visitor center at the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii is sinking.

. Yosemite National Park needs more than $40 million for backlogged projects, including trail and campground maintenance, sewer system replacement, and electrical upgrades.

. Ancient stone structures are collapsing at Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico.

. At Yellowstone, 150 miles of roads have not been repaired in years, and many of the park's several hundred buildings are in poor condition.

"Claims that there are now more dollars than ever before, [are] simply not true at the park level," says Bill Wade, former superintendent of Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and spokesman for the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees.

"Parks across the system are having to significantly cut personnel - including maintenance, law enforcement, and interpretive staff as well as resource specialists - because the discretionary budget at the park level has diminished over the past several years."

The Park Service retirees group has been joined by active-duty insiders - the Association of National Park Rangers and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility - in publicizing in-house memos sent to park officials.

"It is now time to ... determine what actually has to happen to stay within the funds you have been allocated," orders one such memo. "Please send us a bulleted list of 'service level adjustments' you plan to make." Among the suggested cuts: Closing visitor centers on federal holidays, eliminating guided ranger tours, and closing parks on Sundays and Mondays.

Part of the problem is, the park service has had other expensive obligations to meet: scheduled pay raises for federal employees, cleaning up after hurricanes and other natural disasters, and - since the terrorist attacks of 911 - providing extra security for places like the Statue of Liberty and the Washington Monument when the Department of Homeland Security declares a Code Orange alert.

While noting the size of the task, political appointees running the Interior Department and National Park Service tend to emphasize the positive. Park Service director Fran Mainella recently told lawmakers that the agency has "more funds per employee, per acre, and per visitor than at any time in its history." Since the Bush administration took over, she said, more than 1,300 repair and rehabilitation projects have been funded.

Meanwhile, the Park Service and the Travel Industry Association of America have launched a "See America's National Parks" program to encourage Americans to visit their national parks. But in the current budgetary climate, say some observers, that may be frustrating.

"You can't engage in large-scale efforts with the travel industry to ramp up visitors and then at the same time pressure superintendents to cut service," says Denny Huffman, former superintendent of Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado and Utah. "The only possible outcome ... is a reduced quality in the visitor's experience."

* http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0525/p01s02-usgn.html


Related stories:
08/12/03
Crowds thin at national parks, but they still leave footprints
http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0812/p01s02-uspo.html
08/21/01

In the great outdoors, resistance to rising fees
http://www.csmonitor.com/2001/0821/p1s2-ussc.html
06/25/01

Parks face big test of preservation vs. use
http://www.csmonitor.com/cgi-bin/wit_article.pl?script/2001/06/25/p3s1.txt


http://www.csmonitor.com | Copyright © 2004 The Christian Science Monitor


Informant: Teresa Binstock

BUSH CONTINUES MISLEADING ON PRISON ABUSE SCANDAL

http://www.misleader.org/daily_mislead/Read.asp?fn=df05262004.html

A continuing education at Abu Ghraib University

Shocking images are teaching hubristic Americans an overdue lesson: the difference between guilt and shame

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/edit/archives/2004/05/26/2003157028


From Information Clearing House

Wider Iraqi abuse shown

Pentagon memos portray assaults: A wider range of Iraqi detainee abuses by American soldiers across the Iraq war zone is chronicled in Pentagon records obtained by The Denver Post, from electric shocks to threats of execution using gun play.

http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36~11676~2171751,00.html


From Information Clearing House

US war policy a "grave error"

Perle: US war policy a "grave error"

Toronto Star

05/26/04

"One of the ideological architects of the Iraq war has criticized the U.S.-led occupation of the country as 'a grave error.' Richard Perle, until recently a powerful adviser to U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, described U.S. policy in post-war Iraq as a failure. ... 'We didn't have to find ourselves in the role of occupier. We could have made the transition that is going to be made at the end of June more or less immediately,' he told BBC radio, referring to the U.S. and British plan to transfer political authority in Iraq to an interim government on June 30."


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Rights groups criticize US hostage-taking

05/26/04

In a little-noticed development amid Iraq's prison abuse scandal, the U.S. military is holding dozens of Iraqis as bargaining chips to put pressure on their wanted relatives to surrender, according to human rights groups. These detainees are not accused of any crimes, and experts say their detention violates the Geneva Conventions and other international laws.

http://tinyurl.com/34j9g


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

NO to the Death Penalty - The appeal to save James

James Allridge

(USA - Texas) - 41 years old

Sentenced to death

Execution set on August 26th 2004

His story

James comes from a poor family. He was arrested in 1985 with his brother Ronald -already executed in 1995- for robbery and murder of a convenience store clerk. Since 1987 he is jailed in the death rows of Huntsville and Livingston, where he is just staying now, in Texas. His lawyers appointed by the court defended him in such a weakly way, faintly investigating on the extenuating circumstances to take before the jury. When his case passed at federal level, they resigned. Thanks to a legal fund made up by some of his supporters, now James can rely on an skilful attorney, able to carry out his appeal. Actually, the hopes this may get success are quite scarce.

Anyone interested in supporting his case can contact the links below.
http://www.santegidio.org/en/pdm/news/ap_allridge.htm

The appeal to save James

The Community of Sant'Egidio invites everybody to share its appeal aiming to spare James's life from a death sentence, sending the following statement to the competent authorities of Texas, as it occurred in the past, by fax or e-mail.

Russian Academy of Science : International Conference Mobile communication and Health: September 20-23, 2004, Moscow

Dear Prof. Dr. Grigoriev

In the next conference in Moscow you have the “star participation” of Dr. M. Repacholi WHO.

But I have the experience in Luxembourg (24.2.2003) that Dr. M. Repacholi gives no-answer to the main health questions.

30 YEARS DUPLICATING STUDIES:

I send you now the information presented in Luxembourg (24.2.2003) to the European Commission, WHO and mobile industry, about the Blood Brain Barrier alteration, documented in Russia since 1972, without any answer from WHO and European Commission.
http://www.buergerwelle.de/pdf/blood_brain_barrier_alteration_30%20years_dublicating_studies.pdf

MICROWAVE HEARING

After a mobile station was placed only 5 meters from our house in Barcelona (with seven children) in year 1996, I have cancer, epilepsy and “microwave hearing”.

We were direct radiated, day and night, and we left our house in January 2001.

But recently we have the information from NASA (experimentation year 1980) about the brain alteration and “microwave hearing”, that can be considered as psychological torture.

* But in Spain the neurologists have no-information.

LOW-POWER MICROWAVE TESTING CARRIED OUT BY NASA IN 1980:

“When people are illuminated with properly modulated low power microwaves the sensation is reported as a buzzing, clicking, or hissing which seems to originate (regardless of the person's position in the field) within or just behind the head”.

ANTENNAS AND WIRELESS "DECT" CAN EMIT PERMANENT MICROWAVES RADIATION (24 HOURS/DAY) WITHIN THE HOUSES WITH CHILDREN AND PREGNANT WOMEN AS GUINEA-PIGS.

* Wireless "DECT" can emit more density of power of permanent microwaves radiation “within the neighbouring houses" that the well-known antennas placed to one hundred meters of distance.

Fortunately Russia has measures of health protection as Precautionary Principle, but I am afraid that Dr. M. Repacholi can be promoting a new brain alteration as “Harmonisation”.

Yours faithfully
Miguel Muntané


Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection
World Health Organization
Russian Academy of Science
Russian Academy of Medical Science
international conference
Mobile communication and Health:
medical, biological and social problems
September 20-23, 2004, Moscow, Russia

Invitation

Welcome to Moscow!

The International conference “Mobile communication and Health: medical, biological and social problems” will be held in Moscow, Russia. September 20-23, 2004.

Today the number of mobile phones users is increasing rapidly. Up to 2005 year it is expected 1.6 billions of mobile phones users worldwide. Everyday in Russia about 35 millions people are exposed to EMF from mobile phones and about 80 millions from base stations. The consequences of such EMF exposure are unpredictable.

The main aim of the meeting is to provide international forum on presentation and discussion of all problem topics, dealing with mobile phones, to create public awareness on possible EMF bioeffects and join efforts of scientists, public and businessmen in rational regulation of mobile phones problem.

topics

* EMF bioeffects of mobile communications

* Development of EMF safety standards for mobile communications

* Practical application of EMF safety standards for mobile communications

* Occupational EMF exposure in mobile communications industry

* Environmental EMF safety

* Social problems of mobile communications: population safety and consumers’ rights

* Children and mobile communications

* Public communication & relations applied to EMF

In the frame of the conference one-day scientific seminar “Modification of EMF bioeffects” will be held on September 23, 2004

Discussion topics

* Combined effects of EMF and physical factors

* Modification of EMF bioeffects by modulation and complex exposure modes.

* Dependence of EMF bioeffects from individual organism condition and age (hypersensitivity of children)

* EMF exposure effects on development of somatic diseases and organism responses to changes in environmental condition.

Official languages: Russian, English

Registration fees
Participant
300 USD
Accompanying person
100 USD

Preliminary program will appear in June 2004. Final program will be available at the conference.

Social program: a Social program for participants and accompanying persons will be offered.

Second announcement: will include the detailed information on registration procedure, fees, hotel accommodation and hotel reservation forms, travel information, scientific and social programs.

We are looking forward to meet you in Moscow

You are kindly invited to present your paper in above important areas.

Participants are encouraged to submit a summary of their scientific work for oral or poster presentation. Accepted abstracts will be published as Abstracts Book and distributed to participants at the conference.

Abstracts and registration card should be sent to Organizing committee by e-mail.

Instruction for authors:
title: 14-pt, centered, bold.
authors: 12-pt, centered, bold, with short address
text: 1-2 pages, Times New Roman, 12 pt with 1,5 pt interval.

Please note that abstracts will be reproduced in the book of abstract in unchanged form.

The deadline for abstract submission is June 30, 2004

International Scientific committee
Dr. Grigoriev A.I., Vise-president of Russian Academy of Science
Dr. Repacholi M.H., Coordinator of Radiation and Environmental Health Program, World Health Organization
Dr. Onischenco G.G., Chief of the Federal Service for Consumers’ Rights and Social Welfare
Dr. Mild K.H., National Institute for Working Life, Sweden
Dr. Iliyn L.A. academican of Russian Academy of Medical Science. Institute of biophysics
Dr. Izmerov N.F. academican of Russian Academy of Medical Science, Institute of Occupational Health

Organizing Committee
Chairman – prof. Grigoriev Yu. G., Chairmen of Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection
Deputy chairman – Grigoriev O.A.,
Director of Center for electromagnetic safety. O.Grigoriev@pole.com.ru
Rubtsova N.B., Scientific Institute of Occupational Health, Dr. (in biology)
Naidich V.I., PhD, radiobiology
Secretary of Organizing Committee –
Bichelday Eugenia, PhD. Eugenia@pole.com.ru

Address: 46 Zhivopisnaya st.,

123182 Moscow, Russia

tel./ fax: +7 (095) 193-0187

RNK@pole.com.ru

More information is available at:
http://www.pole.com.ru/news_en.htm

GIB PLC KEINE CHANCE

http://de.geocities.com/threecrows2403/

Global Warming - News

27. 5. 2004

http://ecolog.twoday.net/stories/227680/

World Pays Heavy Price for Global Airline Boom

"Beneath the glamorous high-flying image of aviation is a grossly polluting industry," said Paul de Zylva, head of Friends of the Earth in London.

Environmentalists say airlines rate as one of the most polluting forms of transport, with 16,000 commercial jets producing over 600 million tons of carbon dioxide every year...

read further under:

http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/25274/story.htm

Ashcroft: al-kay-duh's gonna get you

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

(excerpt)

It is sincerely puzzling. How does Ashcroft know al-Qaeda's "plans for an attack on America were 90 percent complete" and yet he cannot hunt 'em down and smoke 'em out? "The intelligence does not contain specifics such as timing, method or place of an attack. But officials say it is backed with greater corroboration than usual, including information that operatives may already be in the United States," reports the usual suspect, the Associated Bush Ministry of Propaganda Press.
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20040526/D82QGFJO7.html

"The ominous warning returns the nation's attention to terrorism, the issue that President Bush has highlighted as a central theme of his re-election campaign, after intense focus on other subjects like prisoner abuses in Iraq. Bush has lost ground in the polls, falling in approval ratings to the lowest point of his presidency."

Indeed, our attention has wandered to subjects the Bushites don't want us to think about -- the Geneva Convention, mass murder on a grand scale, the fact 9/11 will be paved over with a few tons of white paint, and the rampant criminality of government and corporations.

"Ashcroft said the withdrawal of Spanish troops from Iraq due to the political repercussions of the train bombings could lead al-Qaida to attempt to influence U.S. politics."

In other words, because the Spanish people are outraged and sickened by what Bush is doing in Iraq Americans may have to suffer terrorist attacks.

"After the March 11 attack in Madrid, an al Qaida spokesman announced that 90% of the arrangements for an attack on the United States were complete," said Ashcroft.

I'd like to know where this so-called "al Qaida spokesman" made his announcement. If Ashcroft identified an al-kay-duh spokesman, why didn't the FBI or the CIA arrest or kill him? Is it because there was no "spokesman" per se, just more "chatter," maybe in a Yahoo! chat room? How is it Ashcroft knows "that 90% of the arrangements for an attack on the United States were complete"? Did al-kay-duh send Ashcroft a Powerpoint presentation? If Bush and Ashcroft know so much, why can't they arrest them?

These may sound like silly questions. And yet we are told this with absolutely no evidence, as if we are children who are expected to take Bush's word for it.

"Al Qaida may perceive that a large scale attack in the United States this summer or fall (autumn) would lead to similar consequences."

Just in time for the election, naturally.

Is Ashcroft saying that if al-kay-duh manages to pull off a terrorist attack the American will vote in a socialist government like they did in Spain? In Spain, at least, they are allowed to vote for socialists.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,1282,-4108657,00.html

Ashcroft trotted out an old al-kay-duh wanted poster.
http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=2981709
In other words, attempt to round up the same old suspects -- or don't round them up because if they did there'd be nobody left to scare the American people with.

Of course, after Bush is re-appointed, there will be no need to scare people. Bush won't have the time because he will be busy attacking Syria and Iran, maybe Saudi Arabia.

and

Credible threat: Bush's plan to steal or postpone the election"

http://kurtnimmo.com/archives/00000134.html


Informant: VInce Bradley

Omega-News Collection 27. May 2004

Al Gore Rips Bush
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/227447/

Amnesty blasts U.S., allies in report
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/227479/

Watch What You Say...
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/226655/

LET'S TALK AMERICA
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/226872/

Fast Arctic thaw is a sign of global warming
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/225772/

Global warming - press review
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/226658/

Bank of America sets new industry best practices for climate change and forest policies
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/226879/

America's Gasoline Dangerously Inexpensive
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/226990/

Largest Companies Taking Climate Change Into Account
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/227067/

The Day After Tomorrow
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/227403/

Canada, US Scientists Impatient for 'Slow Quake'
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/226671/

A shot in the dark
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/225636/

Tell the EU to clean up its act on illegal timber
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/227405/

Tell the UN that bottom trawling stinks
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/227408/

Administration considers speed, routing limits to save big whales
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/226882/

Approval of Bt11 Maize Endangers Humans and Livestock
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/225648/

Bio-remediation Without Caution
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/226106/

Pharm Crop Products In US Market
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/226967/

What happens to drugs when they leave our systems?
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/225775/

Undo Global Warming: Don't Wait Until The Day After Tomorrow
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/226514/

The Bush Administration and the Dismantling of Public Safeguards - Bush Administration's Assault of Public Safeguards
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/226629/

--------

Gen. Zinni: 'They've Screwed Up'
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/225571/

The myth of the reluctant occupier
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/225625/

Saudi Envoy: Iraq War Was 'Colonial' and About Oil
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/225627/

Just when Iraq gets ugly, neocons talk of taking over the world
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/225631/

Mr. President
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/225744/

Iraq Prisoner Abuse Investigation
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/225760/

History lesson: GOP must stop Bush
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/225781/

--------

Those Missing Taguba Pages: More Dirty Tricks on the Road
http://www.dissidentvoice.org/May2004/Nimmo0524.htm

Soldier claims he was beaten as part of training at Guantanamo
http://cbs11tv.com/national/Soldier-Guantanamo-aa/resources_news_html

Opposition grows against U.S. demand for war crimes prosecutions exemption
http://www.cbc.ca/cp/world/040522/w052206.html

America's brutal culture of unseen oppression
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article6249.htm

Our Darkest Days Are Here
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article6250.htm

US on path of self-destruction
http://newstodaynet.com/25may/ss1.htm

Iraqis fail to regain control of oil revenue
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/9E21D088-7317-45DF-BE62-7CE8BEB830B1.htm

Her Son Was Told by the Recruiter He Wouldn't See Combat; Now He's Dead
http://www.counterpunch.org/weill05222004.html

The Real Reasons for the Upcoming War With Iraq
http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/RRiraqWar.html

US journalists face credibility gap
How financial pressures affect journalists
http://media.guardian.co.uk/site/story/0,14173,1224127,00.html


From Information Clearing House

--------

Mr. President, what planet are you on?
http://www.antiwar.com/eland/?articleid=2652

Uncle Sam wants you anyway
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=18778

US snubs Blair's call for real Iraqi sovereignty
http://tinyurl.com/2z2jq

Why Ashcroft must go
http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=2667

The liberation of the Middle East
http://www.strike-the-root.com/4/bylund/bylund10.html

A Vietnam vet on "supporting the troops"
http://www.counterpunch.org/banko05252004.html

Sham elections
http://www.termlimits.org/Press/Common_Sense/cs1116.html

Paranoid Nation
http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0421/fahim.php

The 10 mistakes
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2004/05/26/zinni/

Iraq's religious tide cannot be turned back
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/FE26Ak05.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

--------

The Ultimate Insider
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A50388-2004May23?language=printer


Informant: kevcross5

--------

Breeding Brutality
http://www.tompaine.com/articles/breeding_brutality.php

America's Prison Problem
http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=mdcqt9n6.4l8gm9n6.adqqt9n6.tiniiyn6.80374&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tompaine.com%2Fopinion%2F%23000259

Amnesty blasts U.S., allies in report

By Krishnadev Calamur
Published 5/26/2004 3:52 PM

WASHINGTON, May 26 (UPI) -- The U.S.-led war on terror is "bankrupt of vision and bereft of principle," and has made the world more dangerous, the human rights group Amnesty International said in its latest report Wednesday. The group's 2004 report criticizes the United States and its allies, along with militant groups worldwide, for what it calls "the most sustained attack on human rights and international humanitarian law in the last 50 years." Over the past four years, 177 armed groups have operated in 65 countries, which make-up one-third of the world's population, the report said. Fifty-five percent of these groups killed civilians and 20 percent committed rape and other sexual violence. One-third of governments responded to this violence by killing civilians; 36 percent by torturing and ill-treating people; and 28 percent through sexual violence, including rape, the report added. The report comes down heavily on both governments and militant groups. It details torture and ill-treatment in 132 countries, political killings in 47, and detainments without trial or charge in 58 nations. It also detailed killings and attacks by militants in 34 countries, torture or ill treatment in 18, and hostage-takings and abductions in 16.

"This is to say that the war on terror has evolved into a global street brawl with governments and armed groups duking it out, and innocent civilians suffering severely," William Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International USA, at a news conference in Washington. Amnesty chastised the Bush administration's responses to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on New York and Washington that killed nearly 3,000 people. Schulz said the U.S. response to the attacks and the subsequent war on Iraq had exacerbated the security situation around the world. He added the alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, the killing of civilians in Iraq, the indefinite detention of terrorism-related detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the USA PATRIOT Act showed the Bush administration was trying to pursue security at all costs.

"But to President Bush's claim that the war on terror is making the world safer, we say that he is sadly mistaken," Schulz said. "The administration's war on terror is bankrupt of vision and bereft of principle, and it has made the world a far more dangerous place." Schulz said some of the U.S. actions in Iraq may, in fact, constitute war crimes, and called for a full investigation and an appropriate conclusion. "Amnesty certainly believes that if some of these allegations are substantiated in an appropriate process, that they may very well constitute war crimes," he said. "Amnesty International is not itself an adjudicator of those kinds of decisions, but we certainly believe that there is the profound potential for that." The report said its own research had shown that since the U.S.-led war on terror began, terror-related violence had increased worldwide. The number of armed groups rose by 17 percent from the two-year period before Sept. 11, 2001, to the two years after it, and the number of militant groups had increased from 132 to 154 in the same period. "It is clear that the way in which the war on terror is being conducted today is not making us safer," Schulz said. "To put it as simply as possible, it is in fact a failure. It is making the world more dangerous."

Jessica Stern, a lecturer in public policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, said the U.S.-led responses to militancy had caused alienation in much of the Islamic world, causing militants to feed of the anti-Western sentiments and garner more support.

"We must always weigh the consequences in that context of our actions," she said. "If we humiliate people in the Islamic world, we are assisting the terrorists." Stern said the problem of terrorism was one with which the world would have to live. "The threat of terrorism is likely to continue to rise," she said at the news conference. " There are no short-term remedies." The U.S. State Department downplayed the criticisms by the human rights group. "We work with Amnesty International, we listen to Amnesty International. We have close ties. We talk to them all the time, share information," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said. "That being said, we don't necessarily agree with their views." He called Amnesty's allegation that Bush's war on terror was "bankrupt of vision and bereft of principle" a "sound bite, but a sound bite we would disagree with."

"This president has enunciated a very clear vision of defending civilization, defending society, defending decency from people who want only destruction," he said. Boucher denied that the war on terror had lessened the U.S. concern for human rights around the world, especially among its allies, some of who have been accused of harsh crackdowns on dissidents veiled as a fight against terrorism. "We have raised human rights cases and issues with leaders of governments, including governments that are very close to us in the war on terrorism," he said. "We have made clear that we believe that constructing a healthy society where rights are respected, where people enjoy freedoms and hope and opportunity is an essential part of fighting the war on terrorism. So for those two basic reasons I would reject the overall argument." Boucher, however, added that the State Department took the Amnesty report seriously. "We look at what they say," he said. "We look at specific cases they raise and make sure that we are doing what we can for the people who might be hurt by harmful practices around the world."

http://tinyurl.com/2g7yp

Informant: Geraldo Cienmarcos

Bush Continues Misleading On Prison Abuse Scandal

May 26, 2004


In his speech before the U.S. Army War College this week, President Bush again tried to absolve himself and his Administration from any responsibility for the atrocities at Abu Ghraib prison. He said the abuse was "disgraceful conduct by a few American troops who dishonored our country and disregarded our values" 1. But new reports show that the Administration - and President Bush himself - approved key documents that originally opened the door to the abuse.

Since the scandal broke, the Administration has said that, in Iraq, it always insisted on following the Geneva Conventions on humane treatment for prisoners. However, in a letter to the Red Cross dated December 24, 2003, the Bush Administration asserted that detainees in Iraq "were not entitled to the full protections of the Geneva Convention" 2. This disregard for internationally-recognized human rights regulations was consistent with a January 2002 directive by the White House labeling the Geneva Conventions "quaint" and "obsolete" 3. It is also consistent with a Newsweek report showing that "President Bush, along with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Attorney General John Ashcroft signed off on a secret system of detention and interrogation that opened the door to such methods" of abuse and torture as documented at Abu Ghraib 4. Those secret orders were designed "to sidestep the historical safeguards of the Geneva Conventions."

Instead of acknowledging these documents and upholding his pledge to "usher in an era of personal responsibility,"5 the Bush Administration is now assaulting those who brought the story to light. Sgt. Samuel Provance told the Associated Press he has "been disciplined by the military and stripped of his security clearance" after he publicly refuted the President's claims that the abuse was only the work of a few soldiers6. Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld banned "digital cameras, camcorders and cellphones with cameras" from all military installations in Iraq7. And, as MSNBC reports, the whole Administration is "lashing out at American journalists, adding their official voices to the chorus of talk radio, conservative Web site and newspaper columnists" who claim the media's coverage of the scandal and Iraq in general "is undermining support for the war"8.

Sources:

1. President Outlines Steps to Help Iraq Achieve Democracy and Freedom, 05/24/2004.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/05/20040524-10.html
2. "Commander in Iraq to Be Replaced", Los Angeles Times, 05/25/2004.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/iraq/la-052504sanchez_lat,1,4517735.story?coll=la-home-headlines
3. "White House memo criticized", USA Today, 05/26/2004.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2004-05-25-memo_x.htm
4. "The Roots of Torture", Newsweek, May 24, 2004.
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4989422/
5. President Bush Discusses Progress in Education in St. Louis, 01/05/2004.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/01/20040105-2.html
6. "Soldier Who Spoke Out About Prisoner Abuse Disciplined", WXII12.com, 05/26/2004.
http://www.wxii12.com/news/3347636/detail.html
7. "Rumsfeld Bans Camera Phones in Iraq: Report", Agence France Presse, 05/23/2004.
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0523-06.htm
8. "Media takes heat from administration over Iraq", MSNBC, 05/25/2004.
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/5023564/


Source: http://www.misleader.org/daily_mislead/Read.asp?fn=df05262004.html

Al Gore Rips Bush

"How dare the incompetent and willful members of this Bush/Cheney Administration humiliate our nation and our people in the eyes of the world and in the conscience of our own people."

http://www.moveonpac.org/goreremarks052604.html/


Informant: Mike Conley



One quote here, read the entire thing if you're interested. Gore here recognizes the "us and them" paradox where we de-humanize our "enemies." You don't have to believe in a soul to recognize what he's saying here. If you want to watch it, go here http://www.cspan.org/ and click on the Al Gore item (Fmr. V.P. Al Gore Address on Iraq Policy )


Informant: Ken DeBusk

Tom Bearden remembers Gene Mallove

With the murder of Gene Mallove, we've lost one of the most dedicated and sincere ­ and competent ­ researchers in the alternate energy field. He was a champion­even the champion­of rigorous scientific work on cold fusion. Due in large part to his stalwart efforts, cold fusion is one area that just would not be squelched, even though some of the most powerful (and even some of the most immoral) aspects of the big and powerful nuclear and hot fusion community vehemently opposed and still oppose cold fusion.

It is doubly sad because of the energy crisis hurtling upon us and threatening eventual economic collapse of the U.S. and of our society. Gene well-understood that coming massive problem, and he also understood that the conventional energy things being worked on and funded by the established scientific community were largely “business as usual”, and not anywhere near equal to solving the problem.

It is triply sad because, starting from statistical fluctuations in systems originally at constant temperature and in equilibrium, it is already well-known and experimentally proven ­ e.g., in forefront thermodynamics; see Wang et al., Phys. Rev. Lett., 89(5), 29 July 2002 ­ that the statistical fluctuations alone are sufficient to “make the chemical reactions run backwards” for up to two seconds in a region of the size of a cubic micron. In an aqueous solution, that is some 30 billion ions and molecules involved in that region where the reactions can be and are being reversed.

As Gene often pointed out, the only thing chemically preventing nuclear reactions at low temperature is the “Coulomb barrier” between like charges, such as two hydrogen ions (simply two free protons). Yet the statistical fluctuations alone can temporarily result in the “Coulomb barrier” becoming a “Coulomb attractor” between like charges. If this reversal lasts sufficiently long, then statistically some of the H+ ions will be drawn together closely enough to involve the strong force region, forming a quasi-nucleus.

In that case, decay of the fluctuation can indeed lead to a new nuclear reaction where a single quark flips in one proton and converts it to a neutron, producing a deuterium nucleus. Obviously there are many more previously uninvestigated “backwards nuclear reactions” available from this generatrix of statistical fluctuations. Just as obviously, without additional stimulation, the backwards reaction occurs but with extremely low expectation.

This “statistical reversal of reactions” momentarily, is especially pertinent if very sharp perturbations are also made to the solution; in nonequilibrium thermodynamics, it is already well-known and proven that strong gradients are one of the areas that experimentally violate the Second Law of thermodynamics. It is also well-known that re-ordering and shifts to new states not otherwise achievable are accomplished. And to quote Kondepudi and Prigogine, not much is known about it, either experimentally or theoretically. It simply has not been sufficiently investigated scientifically.

So one day, it is almost certain that cold fusion efforts will prevail, because ­ if the scientific community would simply fund research in the area, particularly for the pioneers, some doctoral theses programs, and some sharp young post doctoral programs ­ then in a very short time cold fusion would be proven and established, including controllably. These were the kinds of things that Gene was deeply dedicated to try to help bring about.

It is also sad that now Gene will not live to see the eventual fruition of his hard work and tremendous dedication over these years. When it does happen, he will have played a major role in getting that great achievement established.

Gene was always an inspiration and uplifting, and I very much valued his friendship and our occasional contacts. He was also that rarity of rarities: A real gentleman in this old modern cut-throat world, and a person with a truly noble soul. He will be sorely missed.

With the untimely passing of Gene Mallove, we have truly lost one of the real pioneers and one of the great alternative energy researchers of all time. We shall not see his likes again for many a year.

With deepest regret,

Tom Bearden
http://www.cheniere.org
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Starmail - 15. Mrz, 17:06

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