Dec 302012
 

orwell3In the Western world truth no longer has any meaning. It its place stands agenda. 
Agenda is all important, because it is the way Washington achieves hegemony over the world and the American people. 9/11 was the “new Pearl Harbor” that the neoconservatives declared to be necessary for their planned wars against Muslim countries. For the neoconservatives to go forward with their agenda, it was necessary for Americans to be connected to the agenda.

President George W. Bush’s first Treasury Secretary, Paul O’Neil, said that prior to 9/11 the first cabinet meeting was about the need to invade Iraq.

9/11 was initially blamed on Afghanistan, and the blame was later shifted to Iraq. Washington’s mobilization against Afghanistan was in place prior to 9/11. The George W. Bush regime’s invasion of Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom) occurred on October 7, 2001, less than a month after 9/11. Every military person knows that it is not possible to have mobilization for invading a country half way around the world ready in three weeks.

The Orwellian “PATRIOT Act” is another example of planning prior to the event.  This vast police state measure could not possibly have been written in the short time between 9/11 and its introduction in Congress. The bill was already written, sitting on the shelf waiting its opportunity. Why? Who wrote it? Why has there been no media investigation of the advanced preparation of this police state legislation?

Evidence that responses to an event were planned prior to what the government said was a surprise event does suggest that the event was engineered to drive an agenda that was already on the books.
Many on the left-wing are immune to evidence that is contrary to the official 9/11 story, because for them 9/11 is refreshing blowback from the oppressed. That the oppressed struck back is more important to the left-wing than the facts.

The right-wing can’t let go of the fantasy either. America in all its purity and wonderfulness was attacked because evil Muslims cannot stand our goodness. “They hate us for our freedom and democracy.” The right-wing vision of a great and good America wronged is essential to the right-wing’s sustaining ideology, an ideology that is prepared to commit violence in order to prove its righteousness.

Implausible stories can be useful to other agendas and thus be sustained by their use in other arguments. For example, the Obama regime’s story of the killing of Osama bin Laden is central to Charles Pierson’s story in the November 16-30, 2012, CounterPunch in which Pierson writes about the growing strains on the US-Pakistan alliance. Pierson writes that bin Laden resided next to Pakistan’s largest military academy and that bin Laden “did go next door every Wednesday to use the pool. If the Pakistani government was unaware of bin Laden’s presence this would mark an intelligence failure of heroic proportions.”


Is it plausible that Osama bin Laden, a hunted man (actually a man dead for a decade), visited the Pakistani army, a bought-and-paid-for entity used by Washington to launch attacks on Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal areas, to go swimming every Wednesday?

Or is this a fairy tale made possible by ignoring the live interviews of the neighbors of the alleged “bin Laden compound.” According to Pakistanis who knew the person living in “bin Laden’s compound,” the person Americans were told was bin Laden was a long-time friend who imported foreign delicacies. An eye witness to the “assault” on “bin Laden’s compound” reported that when the helicopter lifted off it exploded and there were no survivors.  If there were no survivors, there was no sea burial of bin Laden.

How is it that the US media can produce a story as fact that is contradicted by the news on the ground?  Is the answer that the bin Laden assassination story served an agenda by providing evidence that we were winning?

Consider the Sandy Hook school shooting. This shooting serves as an excuse for “progressives” to express their hatred of guns and the NRA and to advance their gun control agenda.  Few if any of those hyperventilating over the tragedy know any of the  parents of the murdered children. They have shown no similar response to the US government’s murder of countless thousands of Muslim children.  The Clinton regime alone killed 500,000 Iraqi children with illegal sanctions, and Clinton’s immoral secretary of state, a feminist hero, said that she thought the sanctions were worth the cost of one half million dead Iraqi children.

Suddenly, 20 US children become of massive importance to “progressives.”  Why?  Because the deaths foster their agenda–gun control in the US.

When I hear people talk about “gun violence,” I wonder what has happened to language. A gun is an inanimate object.  An inanimate object cannot cause violence.  Humans cause violence. The relevant question is: why do humans cause violence?  This obvious question seldom gets asked. Instead, inanimate objects are blamed for the actions of humans.

In one of its reports on the Sandy Hook shooting, Time noted that such events “inevitably reopen debates about gun control, or more tenuously lead people to complain about American culture itself. Yet on the very same day, a 36-year-old Chinese man attacked 22 children with a knife at a primary school in China, suggesting that there is a critical factor with mass homicides that gets far less attention.”  That factor, “the core of these events,” is mental health and “our failure to address it as a society.”

That factor remains unaddressed, because the agenda-driven media is determined to use the Sandy Hook shootings as a means of achieving gun control. One wonders if there is a “knife control” agenda in China. What follows is not an argument that the report of the Sandy Hook shootings is a hoax. What follows is an argument that suspicions are created when agenda takes precedence over reporting and discrepancies in reports are left unresolved.

Agenda-driven news is the reason that apparent inconsistencies in the Sandy Hook story were not  investigated or explained.  According to some reports, the medical examiner said the children were shot with a rifle, but other reports say the accused was found dead inside the school with two pistols and that a rifle was found outside in the car.  The police capture a man in the woods who says “I didn’t do it.”  How would a person in the woods know what has just happened?   Who was the man? Was he investigated and released? Will we ever know?

Some reports say the school was locked and admission is via security camera and being buzzed in.  Why would a heavily armed person be buzzed in?  Other reports say he shot his way in.  Why wouldn’t such a commotion have alerted the school?

Another puzzle is the video of a father whose child has supposedly been shot to pieces. Prior to the interview he is caught on camera laughing and joking, and then, like an actor, he pulls his face and voice into a presentation of grief for the interview.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urrRcgB581w

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMINqFGNr-w

The spokesman for the Connecticut State Police is anxious to control the story, warns social media against posting information contrary to official information, but provides little information, refusing to answer most questions. The usual “ongoing investigation” is invoked, but Lanza has already been declared to be the killer and the number of dead reported. About the only hard information that emerges is that the police are investigating where every component of the weapons was manufactured.  The relevance to the shooting of where the components of the weapons were manufactured is not explained.

The medical examiner’s press conference is weird. He is incoherent, unsure of what he is supposed to say, hasn’t answers to questions he should have, and defers to police.

Perhaps the best way to avoid fueling suspicion is for public officials not to hold press conferences until they are prepared to answer the relevant questions.

And where are the bodies?  Like the alleged murder of Osama bin Laden by a SEAL,the crucial evidence is not provided. Paul Vance, the Connecticut State Police spokesman, said that the “victims’ bodies were removed from the school overnight” and that detectives “were able to positively identify all of the victims and make some formal notification to all of the families of the victims.” Ken5.com/news

Allegedly, no parent wanted to see the body of their dead child, but how do you know it is your child if you do not see the body? It is a strange kind of closure when it is provided to parents by impersonal detectives. Has anyone seen a body other than a state medical examiner and a few detectives? Where are the media’s films of body bags being carried out of the school? Why would Obama’s gun control agenda forego the propaganda of a procession of body bags being carried out of a school?

Perhaps the sensitivity issue prevailed, but with all the suspicion that already exists about the government and its claims, why fuel the suspicion by withholding visual evidence of the tragedy?

There are reports that when emergency medical help arrived at the school, the medical personnel were denied access to the children on the grounds that there were no survivors and the scene was too gruesome. Yet, there is a conflicting story that one six-year old girl had the presence of mind to play dead and walked out of her classroom unscathed.   If the story is true, how do we know that other survivors did not bleed to death from wounds because the emergency medical personnel were denied access? Did police exercise more control over the scene than was warranted?

It doesn’t seem to matter that questions are not answered and discrepancies are not resolved.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-sandy-hook-school-massacre-unanswered-questions-and-missing-information/5316776   The story is useful to the gun control agenda.  Progressives, in order to achieve their agenda, are willing adjuncts of the police state. The facts of the shooting are less important than the use of the incident to achieve their agenda.

Probably there are answers to the questions. Moreover, the news reports that are the basis for questions could be incorrect. But why aren’t the answers provided and confusions cleared up? Instead, people who ask obvious questions are dismissed as “insensitive to the tragedy” or as “conspiracy kooks.” This in itself deepens suspicion.

The Colorado movie theater shooting has its own unresolved discrepancies. One eyewitness claimed that there were two shooters. Apparently, the suspect was captured sitting in a car in the theater parking lot, which seems strange. There are claims that the accused, a graduate student in neuroscience, was involved with the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency in mind control research and that he doesn’t remember doing the shooting.

Do we actually know?  Apparently not. Wouldn’t it be preferable to investigate these claims rather than to leave them as unanswered sources of suspicion?  The loose ends of the Colorado movie shooting contribute to the suspicions caused by news reports of the Sandy Hook shootings.

A shooting incident occurs. The government puts out a story. Agendas form and take the place of the story. Unresolved issues disappear in heated dispute over agendas. Gun control advocates blame guns, and Second Amendment defenders blame other factors.

When the media permit agenda to take precedence over news, people lose confidence in the media and distrust spreads deeper into society. If the media and the government are opposed to conspiracy theories, they should not foster the theories by mishandling the news.

Neither the right-wing nor the left-wing has an interest in getting to the bottom of things. The right-wing is aligned with the police state in order to make us safe from “terrorism”– Muslim terrorism, not the terrorism of the unaccountable police state.
The American left is so feeble that it essentially doesn’t exist. Its issues are gun control, homosexual marriage, abortion, and taxing “the rich.” Such misfocus cannot slow the onrushing militarized police state.  American liberals have such an abiding faith in government that they are incapable of believing that beloved government would be culpable in crimes–unless, of course, it was Ronald Reagan’s government.

As tyranny envelops the land, the main goal of the “left-wing” is to disarm the population.
The American “left” is the enabler of the police state, and the American “right” is its progenitor.
Americans began their descent into deception and tyranny in the final years of the 20th century with the Clinton regime’s aggression against Serbia and murderous sanctions on Iraq.  These war crimes were portrayed by the US media and foreign policy community as great achievements of Western democracy and humanitarianism.

In the first decade of the 21st century Americans lost their constitutional protections and had their pocketbooks opened to indefinite wars. The latest report is that Washington is sending US troops into 35 African countries.

Worse is to come.

Help Us Transmit This Story

  Add to Your Blogger Account   Put it On Facebook   Tweet this post   Print it from your printer   Email and a collection of other outlets   Try even more services
Dec 302012
 

Part I


Part II

Help Us Transmit This Story

  Add to Your Blogger Account   Put it On Facebook   Tweet this post   Print it from your printer   Email and a collection of other outlets   Try even more services
Dec 282012
 

The Guardian
Glenn Greenwald

Numerous individual events from this week alone signify important trends in US government policy

A Bahraini Shia boy takes part to a demonstration in solidarity with political prisoners in the village of Malikiya, south of Manama. Bahrain has announced a date for the trial of the thirteen Shia opposition leaders jailed for their role in last year's unrest.
A Bahraini Shia boy takes part to a demonstration in solidarity with political prisoners in the village of Malikiya, south of Manama. Photograph: Mohammed Al-Shaikh/AFP/Getty Images

This week will likely entail light posting, but here are several items worthy of note:

(1) I can’t recall any one news article that so effectively conveys both the gross immorality and the strategic stupidity of Obama’s drone attacks as this one from Monday’s Washington Post by Sudarsan Raghavan. It details how the US-supported Yemeni dictatorship lies to its public each time the US kills Yemeni civilians with a drone attack, and how these civilian-killing attacks are relentlessly (and predictably) driving Yemenis to support al-Qaida and devote themselves to anti-American militancy:


“Since the attack, militants in the tribal areas surrounding Radda have gained more recruits and supporters in their war against the Yemeni government and its key backer, the United States. The two survivors and relatives of six victims, interviewed separately and speaking to a Western journalist about the incident for the first time, expressed willingness to support or even fight alongside AQAP, as the al-Qaeda group is known.
“‘Our entire village is angry at the government and the Americans,’ Mohammed said. ‘If the Americans are responsible, I would have no choice but to sympathize with al-Qaeda because al-Qaeda is fighting America.’

“Public outrage is also growing as calls for accountability, transparency and compensation go unanswered amid allegations by human rights activists and lawmakers that the government is trying to cover up the attack to protect its relationship with Washington. Even senior Yemeni officials said they fear that the backlash could undermine their authority.

“‘If we are ignored and neglected, I would try to take my revenge. I would even hijack an army pickup, drive it back to my village and hold the soldiers in it hostages,’ said Nasser Mabkhoot Mohammed al-Sabooly, the truck’s driver, 45, who suffered burns and bruises. ‘I would fight along al-Qaeda’s side against whoever was behind this attack.'”

Similarly, the LA Times has a long article on drone attacks in Yemen and quotes Ahmed al Zurqua, an expert on Islamic militants, explaining the obvious: “The drones have not killed the real Al Qaeda leaders, but they have increased the hatred toward America and are causing young men to join Al Qaeda to retaliate.”

History will surely record that one of the most moronic collective questions ever posed is “Why do they hate us?” – where the “they” are: “those we continuously bomb and kill and whose dictators we prop up.” Noting the two US drone attacks on December 24 in his country, the 23-year-old Yemeni writer Ibrahim Mothana asked: “Two US drone strikes in Yemen today. Should we consider them a Christmas gift?!” That’s exactly what al-Qaida undoubtedly considers them to be.

(2) Speaking of the “why-do-they-hate-us?” question, the Bahraini democracy activist Zainab al-Khawaja has a powerful Op-Ed in the New York Times detailing the extreme brutality and repression of the regime against its own citizens, and explaining the self-destructive though steadfast support for that regime by the US and its close Saudi allies:


“But despite all these sacrifices, the struggle for freedom and democracy in Bahrain seems hopeless because Bahrain’s rulers have powerful allies, including Saudi Arabia and the United States.

“For Bahrainis, there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference between the Saudis and the Americans. Both are supporting the Khalifa regime to preserve their own interests, even if the cost is the lives and rights of the people of Bahrain.

“The United States speaks about supporting human rights and democracy, but while the Saudis send troops to aid the Khalifa government, America is sending arms. The United States is doing itself a huge disservice by displaying such an obvious double standard toward human rights violations in the Middle East. Washington condemns the violence of the Syrian government but turns a blind eye to blatant human rights abuses committed by its ally Bahrain.

“This double standard is costing America its credibility across the region; and the message being understood is that if you are an ally of America, then you can get away with abusing human rights.”

With rare exceptions, the only people delusional and naive enough to believe the US is serious about its “commitment-to-human-rights” rhetoric – as opposed to exploiting human rights concerns as a tool to undermine regimes it dislikes – are found in the west. In the regions where the US enthusiastically supports even the most repressive regimes provided those regimes show fealty to US dictates, the stench of this hypocrisy, of this radical dishonesty, is so potent that it cannot be evaded.

But it is an extraordinary testament to the power of propaganda that one constantly finds westerners claiming with a straight face that the same country that hugs and props up the Saudis, the Bahrainis, the Qataris, the Kuwaitis and so many others is committed to undermining tyranny and spreading freedom and democracy. Or, as Hillary Clinton put it in 2009: “I really consider President and Mrs. Mubarak to be friends of my family.”

(3) The long-time Berlin correspondent for Al Jazeera, Aktham Suliman, recently resigned, and he explains in this rather amazing interview that he did so because the regime in Qatar, which owns the network, has been increasingly shaping and dictating the news network’s coverage of events to advance the regime’s interests. In particular, he cites Al Jazeera’s coverage of the conflicts in Libya and Syria which, he says, has been systematically distorted in order to justify the wars which the Qataris seek against the dictators in those countries which they dislike:

“Of course Muammar Gadhafi was a dictator, and of course he’d ruled for far too long. Of course there was a desire among the Libyans to get rid of him. All that is clear. But it’s also clear that killing a dictator, as happened with Gadhafi, is absolutely unacceptable on human rights grounds, revolution or no. And that’s not emphasized. That is: We stressed the necessity of a revolution in Libya and the humanity of the revolutionaries, but said nothing about the murder of a dictator.

“What should also give us pause for thought is that it wasn’t just Gadhafi who was killed. Many others were killed after him – including, incidentally, the man who shot Gadhafi. He was killed by another group of revolutionaries. That’s the actual environment in Libya. And that’s exactly what you don’t see on today’s Al Jazeera. That’s not professional.

“In Syria, too, society is divided. You have the pro-Assad people, and those who are against him. However, when you make one side out to be mass murderers and turn the others into saints you’re fueling the conflict, not presenting the situation in an appropriate and balanced way. There are murders, injustices and good things on both sides. But you don’t see that on Al Jazeera. My problem is and was: When I see Al Jazeera’s Syrian coverage, I don’t really understand what’s going on there. And that’s the first thing I expect from journalism.”

As was true of Saddam, there is no question that Gadhafi and Assad have committed atrocities. But just as was true in Iraq, that does not justify the grossly simplistic propaganda that distorts rather than clarifies what the realities in those countries are.

(4) Documents just obtained from the FBI by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund reveal, as the New York Times put it, that “the [FBI] used counterterrorism agents to investigate the Occupy Wall Street movement, including its communications and planning” and in general show “how deeply involved federal law-enforcement authorities were in monitoring the activities of the movement.” The heavily redacted documents, which can be read here, reveal numerous instances of the FBI collaborating with local police forces and private corporations to monitor and anticipate the acts of the protest movement.

As obviously disturbing as it is, none of this should be surprising. Virtually every seized power justified over the last decade in the name of “terrorism” has been applied to a wide range of domestic dissent. The most significant civil liberties trend of the last decade, in my view, is the importation of War on Terror tactics onto US soil, applied to US citizens – from the sprawling Surveillance State and powers of indefinite detention to the para-militarization of domestic police forces and the rapidly emerging fleet of drones now being deployed in countless ways. As I’ve argued previously, the true purpose of this endless expansion of state power in the name of “terrorism” is control over anticipated domestic protest and unrest.

It should be anything but surprising that the FBI – drowning in counter-terrorism money, power and other resources – will apply the term “terrorism” to any group it dislikes and wants to control and suppress (thus ushering in all of the powers institutionalized against “terrorists”). Those who supported (or acquiesced to) this expansion of unaccountable government power because they assumed it would only be used against Those Muslims not only embraced a morally warped premise (I care about injustices only if they directly affect me), but also a factually false one, since abuses of power always – always – expand beyond their original application.

(5) At the excellent online journal Jadaliyya, Max Ajl has a very interesting essay that presents a much different view on the debate over the Chuck Hagel nomination specifically, and on US policy toward Iran and Israel more broadly. I don’t necessarily endorse his argument, but it’s well-argued, provocative and highly worth reading.

(6) After film critics almost unanimously gushed over Zero Dark Thirty and showered it with every accolade they could get their hands on, the list of writers, commentators, officials and others who have denounced the film for its favorable (and false) depiction of torture has grown quite rapidly. Here is the most updated list of just some of those critics; if you read just one of these essays, I’d recommend this by Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney.

In an LA Times Op-Ed strongly condemning the film, Terry McDermott reports that, at one point, FBI agents were chasing around geese in Central Park because Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, under torture, had told his CIA interrogators that al-Qaida “had explosives stuffed up their ass”. Had Zero Dark Thirty included a depiction of that scene, it at least would have been mildly more entertaining, offering some redeeming value for this film. As is, there is basically none.

Help Us Transmit This Story

  Add to Your Blogger Account   Put it On Facebook   Tweet this post   Print it from your printer   Email and a collection of other outlets   Try even more services
Dec 282012
 

Newsbusters
Tom Blumer

In response to Gannett’s Jounal News headquartered in White Plains, New York publishing an interactive map containing the names and addresses of all pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland Counties (previous related posts are here and here), blogger Robert Cox at NewRochelleTalk.com (HT Instapundit) has produced an interactive map at a post entitled “Where are the Journal News employees in your neighborhood?”

It contains names, addresses, and various forms of Internet presence. Some of his narrative follows the jump:

The map indicates the addresses of all Journal News Employees in the New York Tri-State area. Each dot represents an individual Journal News employee — a reporter,  editor or staffer. The data does not include freelancers — reporters or photographers — which can be hired without being an employee. Being included in this map does not mean the individual at a specific location is a responsible reporter or editor, just that they are a reporter or editor.

Data for all categories is included, but certain information is not available on an individual basis.
To create the map, Talk of the Sound submitted Google searches for the names and addresses of all Journal News employees in the New York Tri-State area. By state law, the information is public record.

To the inevitable objection that Cox has gone over the top, I would suggest that the Journal News obviously started this nonsense — and if they didn’t anticipate that blowback such as this might happen, they should have.

Sorry, Journal News, but you can’t just walk all over the privacy rights of thousands of individuals and families and endanger everyone in your reading area in a blatant attempt to, by your own admission, capitalize on a school shooting tragedy — gun owners who might see their weapons stolen and non-owners who can now be considered “soft targets” — while automatically assuming that there will be no consequences.


Help Us Transmit This Story

  Add to Your Blogger Account   Put it On Facebook   Tweet this post   Print it from your printer   Email and a collection of other outlets   Try even more services
Dec 282012
 

Digital Journal
Victoria N. Alexander

Recently, Facebook has removed the pages of about 50 political activists. Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth founder Richard Gage lost his page, as did several other activists. Later, the pages were reactivated.

Several people associated with the alternative news website InfoWars.com also had their pages removed. InfoWars reports,

In September 2011, Infowars reporter Darrin McBreen was told by Facebook staff not to voice his political opinion on the social networking website. Responding to comments McBreen had made about off-grid preppers being treated as criminals, the “Facebook Team” wrote, “Be careful making about making (sic) political statements on facebook,” adding, “Facebook is about building relationships not a platform for your political viewpoint. Don’t antagonize your base. Be careful and congnizat (sic) of what you are preaching.”

The Facebook purge includes those who have posted pro-Second Amendment statements and/or made comments about the report made by the Washington Post /CBS News that another gunman had been arrested in the woods near Sandy Hook Elementary after the shooting. The office of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth reports that Mr. Gage has never made any statements about gun ownership on his page. The AE911 office also confirms that a number of 9/11 activists have been targeted by Facebook. Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth produced a documentary last year, Experts Speak Out, which has found large audiences, particularly through a PBS affiliate.

Consequently, many engineers and building professionals now question the official story of the collapse of the three World Trade Center towers. Infowars reports the following individuals have had their pages deleted or suspended: Kurt Nimmo (account suspended) Aaron Dykes (account inactive) Amber Lyon (account suspended) Brandon J. Raub (account inactive) Michael F Rivero (account inactive) Anthony J Hilder (account inactive) William Lewis (account inactive) Richard Gage (account inactive) William Rodriguez (account inactive) Infowar Artist (account inactive) We are Change (account inactive) Wacboston At Twitter (account inactive) Michael Murphy Tmp (account inactive) Robert M Bowman (account inactive) Peter Dale Scott (account inactive) Jason Infowars (account inactive) Mike Skuthan (account inactive) Packy Savvenas (account inactive) Sean Wright (account inactive) Katherine Albrect (account inactive) Update: As of December 28th, the above pages have been reactivated. Facebook has not issued a statement.

Help Us Transmit This Story

  Add to Your Blogger Account   Put it On Facebook   Tweet this post   Print it from your printer   Email and a collection of other outlets   Try even more services
Dec 282012
 

Global Research
Prof. James F. Tracy

Inconsistencies and anomalies abound when one turns an analytical eye to news of the Newtown school massacre.

school“[My staff] and I hope the people of Newtown don’t have it crash on their head later.” –Connecticut Medical Examiner D. Wayne Carver II, MD, December 15, 2012

Inconsistencies and anomalies abound when one turns an analytical eye to news of the Newtown school massacre. The public’s general acceptance of the event’s validity and faith in its resolution suggests a deepened credulousness borne from a world where almost all news and information is electronically mediated and controlled. The condition is reinforced through the corporate media’s unwillingness to push hard questions vis-à-vis Connecticut and federal authorities who together bottlenecked information while invoking prior restraint through threats of prosecutorial action against journalists and the broader citizenry seeking to interpret the event on social media.

Along these lines on December 19 the Connecticut State Police assigned individual personnel to each of the 26 families who lost a loved one at Sandy Hook Elementary. “The families have requested no press interviews,” State Police assert on their behalf, “and we are asking that this request be honored.[1] The de facto gag order will be in effect until the investigation concludes—now forecast to be “several months away” even though lone gunman Adam Lanza has been confirmed as the sole culprit.[2]

With the exception of an unusual and apparently contrived appearance by Emilie Parker’s alleged father, victims’ family members have been almost wholly absent from public scrutiny.[3] What can be gleaned from this and similar coverage raises many more questions and glaring inconsistencies than answers. While it sounds like an outrageous claim, one is left to inquire whether the Sandy Hook shooting ever took place—at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation’s news media have described.

The Accidental Medical Examiner

An especially important yet greatly underreported feature of the Sandy Hook affair is the wholly bizarre performance of Connecticut’s top medical examiner H. Wayne Carver II at a December 15 press conference. Carver’s unusual remarks and behavior warrant close consideration because in light of his professional notoriety they appear remarkably amateurish and out of character.

H. Wayne Carver II has an extremely self-assured, almost swaggering presence in Connecticut state administration. In early 2012 Carver threatened to vacate his position because of state budget cuts and streamlining measures that threatened his professional autonomy over the projects and personnel he oversaw.

Along these lines the pathologist has gone to excessive lengths to demonstrate his findings and expert opinion in court proceedings. For example, in a famous criminal case Carver “put a euthanized pig through a wood chipper so jurors could match striations on the bone fragments with the few ounces of evidence that prosecutors said were on the remains of the victim.”[4] One would therefore expect Carver to be in his element while identifying and verifying the exact ways in which Sandy Hook’s children and teachers met their violent demise.

Yet the H. Wayne Carver who showed up to the December 15 press conference is an almost entirely different man, appearing apprehensive and uncertain, as if he is at a significant remove from the postmortem operation he had overseen. The multiple gaffes, discrepancies, and hedges in response to reporters’ astute questions suggest that he is either under coercion or an imposter. While the latter sounds untenable it would go a long way in explaining his sub-pedestrian grasp of medical procedures and terminology.

With this in mind extended excerpts from this exchange are worthy of recounting here in print. Carver is accompanied by Connecticut State Police Lieutenant H. Paul Vance and additional Connecticut State Police personnel. The reporters are off-screen and thus unidentified so I have assigned them simple numerical identification based on what can be discerned of their voices.

Reporter #1: So the rifle was the primary weapon?

H. Wayne Carver: Yes.

Reporter #1: [Inaudible]

Carver: Uh (pause). Question was what caliber were these bullets. And I know—I probably know more about firearms than most pathologists but if I say it in court they yell at me and don’t make me answer [sic]—so [nervous laughter]. I’ll let the police do that for you.

Reporter #2: Doctor can you tell us about the nature of the wounds. Were they at very close range? Were the children shot at from across the room?

Carver: Uhm, I only did seven of the autopsies. The victims I had ranged from three to eleven wounds apiece and I only saw two of them with close range shooting. Uh, but that’s, uh y’know, a sample. Uh, I really don’t have detailed information on the rest of the injuries.

[Given that Carver is Connecticut’s top coroner and in charge of the entire postmortem this is a startling admission.-JT]

Reporter #3: But you said that the long rifle was used?

Carver: Yes.

Reporter #3: But the long rifle was discovered in the car.

State Police Lieutenant Vance: That’s not correct, sir.

Unidentified reporter #4: How many bullets or bullet fragments did you find in the autopsy. Can you tell us that?

Carver: Oh. I’m lucky I can tell you how many I found. I don’t know. There were lots of them, OK? This type of weapon is not, uh … the bullets are designed in such a fashion that the energy—this is very clinical. I shouldn’t be saying this. But the energy is deposited in the tissue so the bullet stays in [the tissue].

[In fact, the Bushmaster .223 Connecticut police finally claimed was used in the shooting is designed for long range field use and utilizes high velocity bullets averaging 3,000 feet-per-second, the energy of which even at considerable distance would penetrate several bodies before finally coming to rest in tissue.]

Reporter #5: How close were the injuries?

Carver: Uh, all the ones (pause). I believe say, yes [sic].

Reporter #6: In what shape were the bodies when the families were brought to check [inaudible].

Carver: Uh, we did not bring the bodies and the families into contact. We took pictures of them, uhm, of their facial features. We have, uh, uh—it’s easier on the families when you do that. Un, there is, uh, a time and place for the up close and personal in the grieving process, but to accomplish this we thought it would be best to do it this way and, uh, you can sort of, uh … You can control a situation depending on the photographer, and I have very good photographers. Uh, but uh—

Reporter #7: Do you know the difference of the time of death between the mother in the house and the bodies recovered [in the school].

Carver: Uh, no, I don’t. Sorry [shakes head excitedly] I don’t! [embarrassed laugh]
Reporter #8: Did the gunman kill himself with the rifle?

Carver: No. I—I don’t know yet. I’ll-I’ll examine him tomorrow morning. But, but I don’t think so.

[Why has Carver left arguably the most important specimen for last? And why doesn’t he think Lanza didn’t commit suicide with the rifle?]

Reporter #9: In terms of the children, were they all found in one classroom or—
Carver: Uhm … [inaudible] [Turns to Lieutenant Vance] Paul and company will deal with that.

Reporter #9: What?

Carver: Paul and company will deal with that. Lieutenant Vance is going to handle that one.

Reporter #10: Was there any evidence of a struggle? Any bruises?
Carver: No.

Reporter #11: The nature of the shooting; is there any sense that there was a lot of care taken with precision [inaudible] or randomly?

Carver: [Exhales while glancing upward, as if frustrated] Both. It’s a very difficult question to answer … You’d think after thousands of people I’ve seen shot but I … It’s … If I attempted to answer it in court there’d be an objection and then they’d win—[nervous laughter].

[Who would win? Why does an expert whose routine job as a public employee is to provide impartial medical opinion concerned with winning and losing in court? Further, Carver is not in court but rather at a press conference.]

Reporter #12: Doctor, can you discuss the fatal injuries to the adults?

Carver: Ah, they were similar to those of the children.

Reporter #13: Doctor, the children you had autopsied, where in the bodies were they hit?
Carver: Uhm [pause]. All over. All over.

Reporter #14: Were [the students] sitting at their desks or were they running away when this happened?

Carver: I’ll let the guys who—the scene guys talk—address that issue. I, uh, obviously I was at the scene. Obviously I’m very experienced in that. But there are people who are, uh, the number one professionals in that. I’ll let them—let that [voice trails off].

Reporter [#15]: How many boys and how many girls [were killed]?

Carver: [Slowly shaking his head] I don’t know.

More Unanswered Questions and Inconsistencies
In addition to Carver’s remarks several additional chronological and evidentiary contradictions in the official version of the Sandy Hook shooting are cause for serious consideration and leave doubt in terms of how the event transpired vis-à-vis the way authorities and major media outlets have presented it. It is now well known that early on journalists reported that Adam Lanza’s brother Ryan Lanza was reported to be the gunman, and that pistols were used in the shooting rather than a rifle. Yet these are merely the tip of the iceberg.

  • When Did the Gunman Arrive?

After Adam Lanza fatally shot and killed his mother at his residence, he drove himself to the elementary school campus, arriving one half hour after classes had commenced. Dressed in black, Lanza proceeds completely unnoticed through an oddly vacant parking lot with a military style rifle and shoots his way through double glass doors and a brand new yet apparently poorly engineered security system.
Further, initial press accounts suggest how no school personnel or students heard gunshots and no 911 calls are made until after Lanza begins firing inside the facility. “It was a lovely day,” Sandy Hook fourth grade teacher Theodore Varga said. And then, suddenly and unfathomably, gunshots rang out. “I can’t even remember how many,” Varga said.[5]
The recollection contrasts sharply with an updated version of Lanza’s arrival where at 9:30AM he

walked up to the front entrance and fired at least a half dozen rounds into the glass doors. The thunderous sound of Lanza blowing an opening big enough to walk through the locked school door caused Principal Dawn Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Scherlach to bolt from a nearby meeting room to investigate. He shot and killed them both as they ran toward him.

Breaching the school’s security system in such a way would have likely triggered some automatic alert of school personnel. Further, why would the school’s administrators run toward an armed man who has just noisily blasted his way into the building?
Two other staff members attending the meeting with Hocksprung and Scherlach sustained injuries “in the hail of bullets” but returned to the aforementioned meeting room and managed a call to 911.[6] This contrasted with earlier reports where the first 911 call claimed students “were trapped in a classroom with the adult shooter who had two guns.”[7] Recordings of the first police dispatch following the 911 call at 9:35:50 indicate that someone “thinks there’s someone shooting in the building.”[8] There is a clear distinction between potentially hearing shots somewhere in the building and being almost mortally caught in a “hail of bullets.”

  • How did the gunman fire so many shots in such little time?

According to Dr. Carver and State Police, Lanza shot each victim between 3 and 11 times during a 5 to 7 minute span. If one is to average this out to 7 bullets per individual—excluding misses—Lanza shot 182 times, or once every two seconds. Yet according to the official story Lanza was the sole assassin and armed with only one weapon. Thus if misses and changing the gun’s 30-shot magazine at least 6 times are added to the equation Lanza must have been averaging about one shot per second—extremely skilled use of a single firearm for a young man with absolutely no military training and who was on the verge of being institutionalized. Still, an accurate rendering of the event is even more difficult to arrive at because the chief medical examiner admittedly has no idea exactly how the children were shot or whether a struggle ensued.

  • Where is the Photo and Video Evidence?

Photographic and video evidence is at once profuse yet lacking in terms of its capacity to demonstrate that a mass shooting took place on the scale described by authorities. For example, in an era of ubiquitous video surveillance of public buildings especially no visual evidence of Lanza’s violent entry has emerged. And while studio snapshots of the Sandy Hook victims abound there is little if any eyewitness testimony of anyone who’s observed the corpses except for Carver and his staff, and they appear almost as confused about the conditions of the deceased as any layperson watching televised coverage of the event. Nor are there any routine eyewitness, photo or video evidence of the crime scene’s aftermath—broken glass, blasted security locks and doors, bullet casings and holes, bloodied walls and floors—all of which are common in such investigations and reportage.

  • Why Were Medical Personnel Turned Away From the Crime Scene?

Oddly enough medical personnel are forced to set up their operation not at the school where the dead and injured lay, but rather at the fire station several hundred feet away. This flies in the face of standard medical operating procedure where personnel are situated as close to the scene as possible. There is no doubt that the school had ample room to accommodate such personnel. Yet medical responders who rushed to Sandy Hook Elementary upon receiving word of the tragedy were denied entry to the school and forced to set up primary and secondary triages off school grounds and wait for the injured to be brought to them.

Shortly after the shooting “as other ambulances from neighboring communities rolled up, sirens blaring, the first responders slowly realized that their training would be tragically underutilized on this horrible day. ‘You may not be able to save everybody, but you damn well try,’” 44 year old emergency medical technician James Wolff told NBC News. “’And when (we) didn’t have the opportunity to put our skills into action, it’s difficult.’”[9]

In light of this, who were the qualified medical practitioners pronounced the 20 children and 7 adults dead? Who decided that none could be revived? Carver and his staff are apparently the only medical personnel to have attended to the victims—yet this was in the postmortem conducted several hours later. Such slipshod handling of the crime scene leaves the State of Connecticut open to a potential array of hefty civil claims by families of the slain.

  • Did a mass evacuation of the school take place?

Sandy Hook Elementary is attended by 600 students. Yet there is no photographic or video evidence of an evacuation on this scale. Instead, limited video and photographic imagery suggest that a limited evacuation of perhaps at most several dozen students occurred.

A highly circulated photo depicts students walking in a single file formation with their hands on each others’ shoulders and eyes shut. Yet this was the image of a drill that took place prior to the event itself.[10] Most other photos are portraits of individual children. Despite aerial video footage of the event documenting law enforcement scouring the scene and apprehending one or more suspects in the wooded area nearby the school,[11] there is no such evidence that a mass exodus of children from the school transpired once law enforcement pronounced Sandy Hook secure. Nor are there videos or photos of several hundred students and their parents at the oft-referenced fire station nearby where students were routed for parent pick up.

Sound Bite Prism and the Will to Believe

Outside of a handful of citizen journalists and alternative media commentators Sandy Hook’s  dramatically shifting factual and circumstantial terrain has escaped serious critique because it is presented through major media’s carefully constructed prism of select sound bites alongside a widespread and longstanding cultural impulse to accept the pronouncements of experts, be they bemused physicians, high ranking law enforcement officers, or political leaders demonstrating emotionally-grounded concern.

Political scientist W. Lance Bennett calls this the news media’s “authority-disorder bias.” “Whether the world is returned to a safe, normal place,” Bennett writes, “or whether the very idea of a normal world is called into question, the news is preoccupied with order, along with related questions of whether authorities are capable of establishing or restoring it.”[12]

Despite Carver’s bizarre performance and law enforcement authorities’ inability to settle on and relay simple facts, media management’s impulse to assure audiences and readerships of the Newtown community’s inevitable adjustment to its trauma and loss with the aid of the government’s protective oversight—however incompetent that may be—far surpasses a willingness to undermine this now almost universal news media narrative with messy questions and suggestions of intrigue. This well-worn script is one the public has been conditioned to accept. If few people relied on such media to develop their world view this would hardly be a concern. Yet this is regrettably not the case.

The Sandy Hook tragedy was on a far larger scale than the past year’s numerous slaughters, including the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting and the Batman theater shooting in Colorado. It also included glaringly illogical exercises and pronouncements by authorities alongside remarkably unusual evidentiary fissures indistinguishable by an American political imagination cultivated to believe that the corporate, government and military’s sophisticated system of organized crime is largely confined to Hollywood-style storylines while really existing malfeasance and crises are without exception returned to normalcy.

If recent history is a prelude the likelihood of citizens collectively assessing and questioning Sandy Hook is limited even given the event’s overtly superficial trappings. While the incident is ostensibly being handled by Connecticut law enforcement, early reports indicate how federal authorities were on the scene as the 911 call was received. Regardless of where one stands on the Second Amendment and gun control, it is not unreasonable to suggest the Obama administration complicity or direct oversight of an incident that has in very short order sparked a national debate on the very topic—and not coincidentally remains a key piece of Obama’s political platform.

The move to railroad this program through with the aid of major media and an irrefutable barrage of children’s portraits, “heartfelt” platitudes and ostensible tears neutralizes a quest for genuine evidence, reasoned observation and in the case of Newtown honest and responsible law enforcement. Moreover, to suggest that Obama is not capable of deploying such techniques to achieve political ends is to similarly place ones faith in image and interpretation above substance and established fact, the exact inclination that in sum has brought America to such an impasse.


Notes


[1] State of Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, ”State Police Investigate Newtown School Shooting” [Press Release] December 15, 2012.

[2] State of Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, “Update: Newtown School Shooting” [Press Release], December 19, 2012.

[3] CNN, “Family of 6 Year Old Victim,” December 14, 2012, “Sandy Hook School Shooting Hoax Fraud,” Youtube, December 17, 2012.

[4] Hartford Courant, “Finally ‘Enough’ For Chief Medical Examiner” [Editorial], January 30, 2012.

[5] John Christofferson and Jocelyn Noveck, “Sandy Hook School Shooting: Adam Lanza Kills 26 and Himself at Connecticut School,” Huffington Post, December 15, 2012.

[6] Edmund H. Mahoney, Dave Altmari, and Jon Lender, “Sandy Hook Shooter’s Pause May Have Aided Escape,” Hartford Courant, December 23, 2012.

[8] RadioMan911TV, “Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Newtown Police / Fire and CT State Police,” Youtube, December 14, 2012. At several points in this recording audio is scrambled, particularly following apprehension of a second shooting suspect outside the school, suggesting a purposeful attempt to withhold vital information.

[9] Miranda Leitsinger, “You Feel Helpless: First Responders Rushed to School After Shooting, Only to Wait,” US News on NBC, December 20.

[10] http://thenetng.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Sandy-Hook-Elementary-School-600×400.jpg. 12/25/12

Update/Correction
: Note that this photo of approximately fifteen children allegedly being evacuated from Sandy Hook Elementary
was reportedly produced on December 14. See Connor Simpson, Alexander Abad-Santos et al, “Newtown School Shooting: Live Updates,” The Atlantic Wire, December 19, 2012. Still, the paltry number of children confirms the claim that little photographic evidence exists of Sandy Hook’s 600 students being moved from the facility on December 14. This photo was purportedly from a Tweet of a Sandy Hook drill published by the school’s slain principal Dawn Hochsprung titled, “Safety First.” Re: Source of  photo, see  Julia La Rouche, “Principal Killed in Sandy Hook Tweeted Picture of Students Practicing an Evacuation Drill,” Business Insider, December 16, 2012.
 
[11] Rob Dew, “Evidence of 2nd and 3rd Shooter at Sandy Hook,” Infowars Nightly News, December

18, 2012,  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nCFHImNeRw. A more detailed yet less polished analysis was developed by citizen journalist Idahopicker, “Sandy Hook Elem: 3 Shooters,” December 16, 2012. See also James F. Tracy, “Analyzing the Newtown Narrative: Sandy Hook’s Disappearing Shooter Suspects,” Memoryholeblog.com, December 20, 2012.

[12] W. Lance Bennett, News: The Politics of Illusion 9th Edition, Boston: Longman, 2012, 47.
Andrew Whooley provided suggestions and research for this article.

Help Us Transmit This Story

  Add to Your Blogger Account   Put it On Facebook   Tweet this post   Print it from your printer   Email and a collection of other outlets   Try even more services
Dec 282012
 

BBC

Knife
Doctors say knives are too pointed

A&E doctors are calling for a ban on long pointed kitchen knives to reduce deaths from stabbing. A team from West Middlesex University Hospital said violent crime is on the increase – and kitchen knives are used in as many as half of all stabbings.

They argued many assaults are committed impulsively, prompted by alcohol and drugs, and a kitchen knife often makes an all too available weapon.

The research is published in the British Medical Journal.

The researchers said there was no reason for long pointed knives to be publicly available at all. 

They consulted 10 top chefs from around the UK, and found such knives have little practical value in the kitchen.
None of the chefs felt such knives were essential, since the point of a short blade was just as useful when a sharp end was needed. 

The researchers said a short pointed knife may cause a substantial superficial wound if used in an assault – but is unlikely to penetrate to inner organs. 

Knife wound

Kitchen knives can inflict appalling wounds


In contrast, a pointed long blade pierces the body like “cutting into a ripe melon”. 

The use of knives is particularly worrying amongst adolescents, say the researchers, reporting that 24% of 16-year-olds have been shown to carry weapons, primarily knives. 

The study found links between easy access to domestic knives and violent assault are long established. 

French laws in the 17th century decreed that the tips of table and street knives be ground smooth. 

A century later, forks and blunt-ended table knives were introduced in the UK in an effort to reduce injuries during arguments in public eating houses. 

The researchers say legislation to ban the sale of long pointed knives would be a key step in the fight against violent crime.
“The Home Office is looking for ways to reduce knife crime. 

“We suggest that banning the sale of long pointed knives is a sensible and practical measure that would have this effect.” 

Government response
 
Home Office spokesperson said there were already extensive restrictions in place to control the sale and possession of knives. 

“The law already prohibits the possession of offensive weapons in a public place, and the possession of knives in public without good reason or lawful authority, with the exception of a folding pocket knife with a blade not exceeding three inches. 

“Offensive weapons are defined as any weapon designed or adapted to cause injury, or intended by the person possessing them to do so. 

“An individual has to demonstrate that he had good reason to possess a knife, for example for fishing, other sporting purposes or as part of his profession (e.g. a chef) in a public place. 

“The manufacture, sale and importation of 17 bladed, pointed and other offensive weapons have been banned, in addition to flick knives and gravity knives.” 

A spokesperson for the Association of Chief Police Officers said: “ACPO supports any move to reduce the number of knife related incidents, however, it is important to consider the practicalities of enforcing such changes.”

Help Us Transmit This Story

  Add to Your Blogger Account   Put it On Facebook   Tweet this post   Print it from your printer   Email and a collection of other outlets   Try even more services
Dec 242012
 

PressTV

Jason Leopold, an investigative journalist for Truth-Out, has obtained FBI documents – through the Freedom of Information Act – relating to Occupy Wall Street. Most of the pages in the documents are redacted, and show concerns of cyber threats against the financial sector. However, there are questions of assassination plots against Occupy activists in Houston, Texas. Because the documents have redactions, it is not clear who or what group was planning the assassinations.
On page 61, the section reads: “An identified [redacted] of October planned to engage in sniper attacks against protesters in Houston, Texas, if deemed necessary. An identified [redacted] had received intelligence that indicated the protesters in New York and Seattle planned similar protests in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, Texas. [Redacted] planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles.”
The bottom of page 68 and the top of page 69 reads: “On October 13, 2011, writer sent via email an excerpt [redacted] regarding FBI Houston’s [redacted] to all IA’s, SSRA’s and SSA [redacted]. This [redacted] identified the exploitation of the Occupy Movement by [redacted] interested in developing a long-term plan to kill local Occupy leaders via sniper fire.” ragingchickenpress.org
HIGHLIGHTS
According to internal documents newly released by the FBI, the agency spearheaded a nationwide law enforcement effort to investigate and monitor the Occupy Wall Street movement. In certain documents, divisions of the FBI refer to the Occupy Wall Street protests as a “criminal activity” or even “domestic terrorism.” The Huffington Post
The internal papers were obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice fund via a Freedom of Information Act Request. The fund, a legal nonprofit that focuses on civil rights, says it believes the 112 pages of documents, available for public viewing on its website, are only “the tip of the iceberg.” The Huffington Post
Documents show the spying abuses of the FBI’s “Campus Liaison Program” in which the FBI in Albany and the Syracuse Joint Terrorism Task Force disseminated information to “sixteen different campus police officials,” and then “six additional campus police officials.” infoshop.org
Campus officials were in contact with the FBI for information on OWS. A representative of the State University of New York at Oswego contacted the FBI for information on the OWS protests and reported to the FBI on the SUNY-Oswego Occupy encampment made up of students and professors. infoshop.org
According to the new documents, the FBI began meeting with representatives of the New York Stock Exchange and other businesses as early as August 2011, a month before the Zuccotti Park protests. The Huffington Post
According to the documents, the FBI coordinated extensively with private companies, including banks that feared they could be affected by Occupy protests. The Huffington Post
FACTS & FIGURES
The Occupy Wall Street movement, which began on September 17, 2011 in New York City’s Wall Street financial district has been rallying against social and economic inequality, greed, corruption and the perceived undue influence of corporations on government-particularly from the financial services sector. occupywallst.org
Among the Occupy movement’s prime concerns is that large corporations and the global financial system control the world in a way that disproportionately benefits a minority, undermines democracy and is unstable. The Huffington Post
Occupy Wall Street has managed to turn the attention of America’s politicians and citizens to the dismal state of income inequality and economic mobility in the U.S. Think Progress

Help Us Transmit This Story

  Add to Your Blogger Account   Put it On Facebook   Tweet this post   Print it from your printer   Email and a collection of other outlets   Try even more services
Dec 232012
 

Global Research
Felicity Arbuthnot

Bush1_Hitler

 “I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. We have definitely adopted the position at the Peace Conference of arguing in favour of the retention of gas as a permanent method of warfare…. I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes.” (Winston S. Churchill, 1874-1965, from War Office  minute, 12th May 1919.)

As the sabre rattling against Syria gets ever louder, the allegations ever wilder and double standards, stirring, plotting and terrorist financing (sorry: “aiding the legitimate opposition”) neon lit, it is instructive to look at the justifications presented by US Administrations for a few other murderous incursions in recent history.

This month is the twenty third anniversary of the US invasion of Panama on 20th December 1989, as Panamanians prepared their Christmas celebrations. A quick check reminds the late Philip Agee recalling President George H.W. Bush telling the American people that the threat from Panama (pop: 3,571,185 – 2011) was such that: “our way of life is at stake.” Agee referred to this in his aptly named talk “Producing the Proper Crisis.”(i) Apt then as now. Nothing changes.

The aim of the invasion was to capture the country’s leader General Manuel Noriega and, of course, to: “establish a democratic government.” Regime change.
With the approaching transfer of control of the Panama Canal to Panama (originally scheduled for 1st January  1990) after a century of US colonial stewardship, America wanted to ensure it was in the hands of malleable allies.

Noriega a CIA asset, since 1967 (ii) who had also attended the notorious School of the Americas, at Fort Benning, Georgia, came to power with US backing, but seemingly his support for the US was cooling. To encapsulate a long story, the US kidnapped him and sentenced him to forty years in jail.
Plans to invade were called: “Operation Prayer Book.” It was later re-named “Operation Just Cause”, with General Colin Powell commenting that it was a moniker of which he approved as: ”Even our severest critics would have to utter ‘Just Cause’ whilst denouncing us.” (Colin Powell, with Jospeh E. Persico: “My American Journey”, 1995.)

All military marauding should simply be called: “Operation Silly Name 1, then 2,3,4” etc., until the numbers finally run out.
Twenty seven thousand US troops backed by Apache helicopters decimated much of the small country, with a defence force of just three thousand. George Bush Snr., said he was removing an evil dictator who was brutalizing his own people  (sound familiar?) and that the action was needed to:” protect American lives.” It was also to: “defend democracy and human rights in Panama” – and to “protect the Canal.” Surprise, eh?

Manuel Noriega was released from US jail in 2007, extradited to France which had awarded him the country’s highest honour, The Legion d’honneur in 1987. He remained in jail in France until December 2011, when he was returned to Panama, where he is still imprisoned.

In the near forgotten Panama decimation (unless you are Panamanian) the densely populated, poverty stricken neighbourhood of El Chorillo was incinerated by American actions to such an extent that it became named “Little Hiroshima.”

One woman charged that: “The North Americans began burning down El Chorillo at about 6.30 in the morning. They would throw a small device in to a house and it would catch on fire – then they would move to another, they burned from one street to the next, coordinating the burning on walkie-talkies.”
A US soldier was recorded stating: “We ask you to surrender … if you do not, we are prepared to level each and every building.”
“Everything that moved they shot”, said a city resident.

The dead were consigned to mass graves with witnesses stating that US troops used flame throwers on the dead, noting the bodies shriveling as they burned. Others were bulldozed in to piles.(iii)

There was worse. As the current self righteous, if contradictory statements flow from Washington and Whitehall about Syria’s unproven chemical weapons, proven facts relate to America’s.

“From the 1940s to the 1990s the United States used various parts of Panama as a testing ground for chemical weapons, including mustard gas, VX, sarin, hydrogen cyanide and other nerve agents in … mines, rockets and shells; perhaps tens of thousands of chemical munitions.” (William Blum: Rogue State, 2002.)

Further, on departing Panama at the end of 1999 they left: “many sites containing chemical weapons. They had also: “conducted secret tests of Agent Orange in Panama …” In the 1989 invasion, the village of Pacora, near Panama City: “was bombed with (chemicals) by helicopters and aircraft from US Southern Command, with substances that burned skin, caused intense pain and diarrhea.”
Many analysts felt that Panama was the testing ground for Iraq.

Nine months after the poisoning of Panama, on Hiroshima Day 1990, the strangulating US-driven embargo on Iraq was enforced by the UN, after the US Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie had given the green light for Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait, after Kuwait’s considerable provocation and financial and geographical destabilization.(iv.)

The hype over chemical and other weapons went in to overdrive, leading Saddam Hussein to comment: “I am afraid, one day, you will say ‘You are going to make gunpowder out of wheat.’ ”
Thirteen months after Panama, America led a thirty one country coalition to “reduce Iraq to a pre-industrial age.” The only chemicals released from Iraq were the poisonous mix from the bombed pharmaceutical and fertilizer factories, the car manufacturing plants and the factories of Iraq’s entire industrial base, including the compounds holding the chemical and biological substances, including medical ones, sold to Iraq by the US, UK Germany and others over the previous decades, sales ironically, still ongoing at the time of the onslaught. (v.)

Highly toxic and radioactive substances were introduced into Iraq however, in the form of up to seven hundred and fifty tonnes of chemically toxic and radioactive depleted uranium munitions (DU) which have a toxic “half life” of 4.5 billion years. Iraq’s litany of deformed, still born, aborted babies, infants born with cancers, the tiny graves, silent testimony to weapons of mass destruction of unique wickedness. Iraq was bombed for forty two days and nights.

The hyped chemical weapons alleged to have been manufactured by Iraq were, of course, never deployed.

On 24th March 1999, NATO began to liberate Kosovo from Serbia. (US Silly Name: Operation Noble Anvil) Kosovo had an estimated ten trillion dollars worth of “inexhaustible” minerals in the Trebca mines.

The “liberation” was seventy eight days of relentless bombardment, including use of depleted uranium weaponry. Twenty thousand tonnes of bombs were dispatched. Destroyed systematically were communications centres, fuel depots, airports, traffic communications, trains, markets, the Chinese Embassy – China was against the attack, NATO, resoundingly unconvincingly, said they had the wrong map. And of course, the media centre. Murdering journalists is now another routine, unaccountable war crime.

Before the attack, the Pentagon stated that the Army of Yugoslavia possessed at least two kinds of poisonous gasses, with the facilities to produce them. The US Department of Defense warned Slobodan Milosevic the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army : “If Belgrade uses poisonous gasses sarin and mustard gas against NATO, the response of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will be devastating.”

Oddly, after the air strikes began, NATO mentioned not one word to indicate that it was attacking Serbia’s US-stated capacity to produce chemical weapons. (Zagred Globus, 16th April 1999, pp 18-19.)

The industrial scale destruction, however, left the Trebca mines unscathed.

   On 14th August 2000, nine hundred heavily armed British, French, Italian, Pakistani and KFOR troops were landed from helicopters at the mines. Managers and workers tried to fight them off and were beaten, tear gassed with plastic bullets used. The resisting staff were arrested.
UN papers described the action as: “ … induction of democratization in Kosovo.” The attack in fact, paved the way for selling of the mines -containing “the inexhaustible” estimated 77,302,000 tons of coal, copper, zinc, lead, nickel, gold, silver, marble, manganese, iron ore, asbestos and limestone “to name a few” – to private foreign groups. (News reports, websites.)

The  “Kosovo Liberation Army” had been: “ … trained for years and supported with millions of US dollars and German Marks … through the CIA and BND” (German Intelligence) “for this war, misleadingly called a civil war”(vi) by NATO governments and spokespersons.

DU’s chemical and radiological properties were rained down throughout former Yugoslavia too. By 2001, doctors in the Serb run hospital in Kosovo Mitrovica stated that the number of patients suffering from malignant diseases had increased by two hundred percent since a 1998 survey.

A 2003 study by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) found drinking water and air samples contaminated in Bosnia Herzegovina. There was, of course: “no cause for alarm.” Pekka Haavisto, former Environment Minister of Finland, Heading UNEP, called for a wide and thorough scientific investigation to establish the full extent and hazards of the contamination. The US – cited as the only country to use DU weaponry in that conflict – blocked the request. (vii.)

However alarm was raised in Europe when Italian, Portuguese, Belgian and French peacekeepers in the region developed cancers, within a matter of months, a high proportion of those diagnosed died. Norwegian peacekeepers refused to be deployed.(viii.)

“Less than a month after the war in Yugoslavia ended in 1999, the British National Radiological Protection Board warned British citizens about the dangers from staying in Kosovo because of the contamination of its territories by D.U. weapons.”

The peacekeepers, of course were there for just weeks or months, the people of the region live there, the plight of their health and that of future generations ignored and forgotten by their “liberators.” They had other “tyrants” to topple, other populations to relieve of their lives and limbs and livelihoods.

Iraq, had again been bombed by the US and UK during the Christmas season of 1998, four months before the assault on Yugoslavia and had been back on the invasion radar ever since. The lies were familiar – and relentless, a currently topical example, one of of countless:

“2nd September 2002: Experts: Iraq has tons of chemical weapons.
“As some in the Bush administration press the case for a pre-emptive strike against Iraq, weapons experts say there is mounting evidence that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has amassed large stocks of chemical and biological weapons he is hiding from a possible U.S. military attack.
“Washington’s concern is that Iraq could supply those weapons to terrorist groups …  ‘If we wait for the danger to become clear, it could be too late’ said Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Delaware, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.”

With Biden now Vice President, it is impossible not to wonder whether he has any input in to the Syria spin, with its uncannily similar words.

“Jon Wolfsthal, an analyst with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said Iraq’s inventory is significant: ‘Iraq continues to possess several tons of chemical weapons agents, enough to kill thousands and thousands of civilians or soldiers’, Wolfsthal said.” (ix)

Further: “U.N. weapons experts have said Iraq may have stockpiled more than 600 metric tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, VX and sarin. Some 25,000 rockets and 15,000 artillery shells with chemical agents are also unaccounted for, the experts said.

“The concern is they either have on hand — or could quickly re-create the capability to produce — vast amounts of anthrax, tons of material”, was Wolfsthal’s additional spin.

“Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld” asserted :“… Iraq has mobile biological weapons laboratories, which would be nearly impossible for U.S. forces to target.” The lives of thousands of people were at stake, he said. Indeed, since the invasion, Iraqi deaths at American and British hands or that of their militias, and imposed puppet government, are nothing short of holocaustal.

According to Jonathan Schwartz, who revisited General Colin Powell’s pack of lies on Iraq to the UN on 5th February 2003 : “ My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence …”  Powell is now regretful.

Schwartz is unsympathetic. On the  fifth anniversary of Powell’s misleading nonsense, 5th February 2008, he commented: “As much criticism as Powell has received for this – he calls it ‘painful’ and something that will ‘always be a part of my record’ – it hasn’t been close to what’s justified. Powell was far more than just horribly mistaken, the evidence is conclusive that he fabricated evidence and ignored repeated warnings that what he was saying was false.”

The entirely illegal invasion of Iraq, based on a trans-Atlantic pack of lies had commenced just forty five days later. Operation Very Silly Name? “Operation Iraqi Liberation”: OIL.

The lies over Libya – which under Colonel Quadaffi came top of the Human Development Index for Africa – are of recent memory. Nevertheless a few reminders:

CIA paid Quislings abound in the above invasions and others over many decades. Meet General Abdul Fatah Younis, Colonel Gaddafi’s Interior Minister, who “defected to the opposition” – wonder what his price was – and became chief of staff of the insurgents: “ … he pleaded for NATO allies to arm the rebels with heavy weapons, including helicopters and anti-tank missiles, to defend the besieged city of Misurata.. He predicted the dictator  … would be ready to use chemical weapons in a last stand against rebels or the civilian population.” (Amazing, words straight out of the current Syria “opposition” check list.)

“Gaddafi is desperate now. Unfortunately he still has about 25 per cent of his chemical weapons, which he might use as he’s in a desperate situation. …”

“Col. Gaddafi is known to have around ten tons of mustard gas remaining from stocks that he had been destroying under the supervision of a United Nations body, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.”(x.)

In context, back in 2002, Neil Mackay, multi-award winning investigations Editor of the Sunday Herald explained that: “Driven by greed and a profound lack of morality, the British government violated the Chemical weapons Convention by selling chemicals “that could be converted to weapons of war.”

Countries benefiting from UK sales, Mackay stated, included Libya, Yemen, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, India, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Turkey and Uganda, a charge the Department of Trade and Industry “clearly admitted.”

After Tony Blair’s embrace of Colonel Gaddafi in March 2004, the British government announced plans to send their experts to Libya to destroy the chemical weapons they had sold, stating that Colonel Gaddafi had mislead Blair over their existence. That they had the remittance documents seems to have escaped them. Identical to UK duplicities over Iraq.

Between the start of Libya’s destruction on 19th March 2011 and NATO taking over on 31st March 2011, the US and UK dropped one hundred and ten Cruise missiles on a country with a population of under six and a half million. When NATO assumed command of the “humanitarian intervention” they assaulted this minimal population with 26,500 bomb- releasing sorties.

There were, of course no Presidential tears for Libya’s lost children, whose demise would have been preceded by unimaginable terror, in an onslaught which had two Silly Names, one for the US: “Operation Odyssey Dawn” and one for NATO: “Operation Unified Protector”, the latter, comment defying.

Quadaffi himself lost three small grandchildren and three sons. In 1986 in another US bombing, he lost a just toddling adopted daughter.

Moments after she learned of his terrible death at the hands of a rabid NATO “protected” mob, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared on television laughing as she said: “We came, we saw, he died.”

What an age since she said: “I really believe that it takes a village to raise a child.” Now her beliefs are apparently to wipe out the village, its children, parents and lynch the village elder for a tele-opportunity of raucous mirth.

On 4th December 2012, Clinton warned that Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad may be moving, guess what – a “chemical weapons stockpile.”

“We have made our views very clear.This is a red line for the United States. I’m not going to telegraph in any specifics what we would do in the event of credible evidence that the Assad regime has resorted to using chemical weapons against his own people, but suffice to say we are certainly planning to take action if that eventuality were to occur,” she said at a press conference in Prague.
Weapons of course:  “could be used to contain sarin gas”, according to another U.S. official. Another added:  “ … we are concerned about any move that might signal that they are somehow ready to use those chemical weapons on their own people.” (xii.)

“Déjà vu all over again”, as the saying goes.

Syria responded on 6th December: “Syria stresses again, for the tenth, the hundredth time, that if we had such weapons, they would not be used against its people. We would not commit suicide,” Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Al Maqdad told Lebanon’s Al Manar television …”

“We fear there is a conspiracy to provide a pretext for any subsequent interventions in Syria by these countries that are increasing pressure on Syria.” Indeed. It would hardly be a first.

In late October US troops arrived in Jordan for a major joint exercise near the Syrian border. Operation Silly and Childish Name: “Operation Eager Lion.” Al Assad in arabic translates as: the lion.
Ironically the first allegation of Syria having chemical weapons would seem to have come from John R.Bolton, alleged by Congressman Henry Waxman to have persuaded George W. Bush to include the fairy story of Iraq purchasing yellow cake uranium from Niger in his 2003 State of the Union address.The allegation is unproven, however, since the documents are still classified.

Bolton is involved with a plethora of less than liberal organizations, including the Project for the New American Century, The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) and the currently in the news, The National Rifle Association.

Relating to Syria, it should also be remembered that the country has been under increasingly strangulating sanctions since 2004.

Former Chief Weapons Inspector in Iraq, Scott Ritter has written that: “chemical weapons have a shelf life of five years. Biological weapons have a shelf life of three.” They also give off an “ether”, say experts, which can be picked up by satellite surveillance, which Syria, as Iraq before it is certain to be comprehensively subject of.

Heaven forbid Washington, Whitehall, Tel Aviv and the coalition of the coerced are crying “Wolf!” again. Heaven help anyone who believes them.

Notes

i.http://www.serendipity.li/cia/agee_1.html

ii.http://revcom.us/a/017/us-invasion-panama.htm

iii.http://www.addictedtowar.com/docs/panama.htm

iv.http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-war-on-iraq-five-us-presidents-five-british-prime-ministers-thirty-years-of-duplicity-and-counting/20510

v.http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0908-08.htm

vi.http://www.currentconcerns.ch/index.php?id=785

vii. http://www.iacenter.org/depleted/un_du.htm

viii.http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl1803/18030580.htm

ix.http://articles.cnn.com/2002-09-02/world/iraq.weapons_1_biological-weapons-weapons-inspectors-iraqi-president-saddam-hussein?_s=PM:WORLD

x.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8481250/Libya-Col-Gaddafi-still-has-quarter-of-chemical-weapons-stockpile.html

xi.http://news.yahoo.com/clinton-assads-chemical-weapons-red-line-us-170103890–abc-news-politics.html

From Panama to Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and Syria

Global Research
Felicity Arbuthnot

Help Us Transmit This Story

  Add to Your Blogger Account   Put it On Facebook   Tweet this post   Print it from your printer   Email and a collection of other outlets   Try even more services