Friday, August 04, 2006

Radiohead Frontman: "We must throw Tony Blair out of office NOW" (

heya dawg,

since you're curious, the only news sites with any "predictive" value that i've seen (because they've seen the plans to do all this evil crap) are:

(based out of Austin, TX)

(based out of London, UK)

the mainstream news stories they find are incredible, and their analysis is take it or leave it - though you'll take it easier once you realize they've been right for 10 years. their radio show is awesome too (with unbelievable guests like Connie Fogal of the Canadian Action Party on the creation of a North American SuperState to replace our borders), and it's constantly streaming so you can tune in anytime.

in discussing with the critics of alex jones, they fall into two categories:

1) they've been told he's crazy and refuse to look closely at his 10 years of work - i.e. the best way to get people to avoid learning the truth about a lot of stuff.

2) they're afraid that while he may be right, he's still not on Oprah (and most liberal critics want to be - myself included), so they say he "goes too far" - as if clearly identifying the elite using governments to stage terror attacks to create a global police state is going "too far"...

i've checked out a bunch of other progressive news sites and have a massive list, the only problem is they don't tell us "why" all this crap is happening except from a "mainstream news" perspective.

this leads to us having silly arguments reflecting mainstream ideas that mostly ignore the roots of the problem - while we justify the various elements of the conflict as the reasonable actions be unreasonable parties. then once we've made sense of the whole horrible mess from a perspective that can be and often is shared widely (e.g. an "in-depth" version of the basic mainstream sense of dissatisfaction), then we settle into a sort of frustrated inevitability about the whole thing - which is, i think, by design.

hey, we can all "give peace a chance!", or we can all take those who won't let us and "give 'em hell!", so i guess it's everyone's call...

our collective impotence is bugging the heck out of me, and while no one says i'm "wrong" anymore, they either have advice on "bringing people along slowly" or say "but what can we do about it?" there's lots we can do - and lots we should independently think of doing, but learning the actual problems and who's causing them is a good start...

it's also way easier to point fingers at each other than it is to thumb one's nose at power, and i'm afraid most "left" arguments reflect that as well. i'm not taking issue with the people are working hard on this, i'm only looking at why it's not "working" and suggesting additional (and i would argue "superior") options.

for instance, i've heard all this "our way of life is not sustainable!" junk with respect to oil and other resources, and it's being used by both sides to say either:

a) "let's kill 'em all for their stuff!"

b) or, "we can't live like this anymore!"

it's just a bad argument to use, because while resources are important and many environmental measures are valuable and help ensure a healthier planet going forward, most "resources" aren't used by "people" anyway: they're used by rich and evil people, governments and corporations.

if we ensured that they didn't secretively hoard more and more and more of them, then we (The West) could easily maintain our current lifestyles while bringing the rest of the world up to our standards. (that's the plan anyway.) think about Bush's "$70 billion" bi-monthly increases in military spending, and ask if we really need to "cut back" and/or "buy war bonds" as much as we need to say "hey - cut it out!!!"

focusing on pointing fingers at each other about recycling and wearing hemp isn't a bad parallel effort, but unfortunately it often just makes normal people feel bad while protecting the most destructive forces from scrutiny.

we're caught in a trap: the same forces selling our peers their fashion sense and fun are baiting us by pushing some of our efforts to the surface (e.g. "An Inconvenient Truth"), and galvanizing us with glimpses of mainstream credibility that we soon find frustratingly elusive again.

the problem is we don't have the consistent propaganda firepower to win the battle of changing selfish attitudes in a paranoid world that's being sold fear and junk by the same information gatekeepers we beg for access. people have heard most of the arguments before anyway, and in a world full of comparably greater evils they'll simply do what they want while crapping on someone else of poorer character. sure it's important, but it's not important enough for people to "act" on it, and there's often no impetus to change the "system" that leads to waste and pollution.

however, if people believe that all their toys will be taken away... well... who knows...

i'm mean, i might work for a week to get a dozen people to separate their paper from plastic, and celebrate my success while Lebanon is baked in microscopic particles of depleted uranium that will irradiate the entire earth for thousands of years.


the fact that the same people doing all that crap over there are in charge over here doesn't bode well either, and we ought to change that...


Radiohead Frontman: "We must throw Tony Blair out of office NOW"

Releases video in protest of political climate in UK

Steve Watson / Prisonplanet | August 4 2006

Thom Yorke, the lead singer with group Radiohead has demanded that Tony Blair be removed from office immediately and that the people of the UK be the ones to do it.

Yorke has just released a solo album entitled 'The Eraser' much of which encapsulates the uncertainty and climate of fear that the government has enforced upon this country.

In a public post on the band's website Yorke stressed in his own inimitable way:

ive had enough of this

our government sitting on the fence with the US while world war 3 appears
to be breaking out in Lebanon and Northern Israel.

we must throw Tony Blair our of office NOW.

he does not represent the views of the british people.

he does not represent the views of his foreign office and officials.

he does not even represent the views of those in his cabinet.

he cares far too much about his relationship with Bush, and Murdoch.

this man is not fit to be our prime minister.

its a nice sunny day. come on lets do it. you know it makes sense.

a vote of no confidence. or something. anything..

Clearly Yorke has taken note of the fact that whilst WWIII is brewing Tony Blair has been living it up in San Francisco, doing business deals with elite figures and most likely visiting the Bohemian Grove.

Yorke is the latest icon in the music industry to speak out. Earlier this year Neil Young released his anti-war protest album 'Living with war' which took direct swipes at Bush and the Neocons in the Whitehouse.

The first single from Yorke's album is entitled 'Harrowdown Hill'. The song is about the mystery surrounding the death of former weapons inspector Dr David Kelly and the shockwave of aftermath since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The line "Did I fall or was I pushed, and where's the blood?", entertains the evidence that suggests Dr David Kelly did not commit suicide but was murdered by elements within our own government in order to cover up the fact that evidence supporting WMDs in Iraq was falsified.

It is thought that Dr David Kelly was about to go public with this evidence but then he was mysteriously found dead in the woods near Harrowdown Hill, a phrase he had himself used to describe what may happen to him should things turn out badly.

The video features much police state activity and clearly highlights Yorke's discomfort with the current political climate in the UK .


Yorke has also submitted a track, 'Black Swan', from 'The Eraser' , to appear during the end credits of Richard linklater's 'A Scanner Darkly'. The film is an adaption of Philip K Dick's novel of the same name and depicts a near future America that has lost the war on drugs and capitulated into the tentacles of a pervasive control grid.

Art forms such as 'The Eraser' and 'A Scanner Darkly' represent the latest example of a refreshing and burgeoning trend in that seeks to enlighten the listener/viewer into recognizing the real world prison barriers being erected around society today.

Yorke has previously spoken out and attended marches over the the use of UK army stations by the US for advanced missile defense and by the NSA for eavesdropping. He is vehemently against the planned weaponization of space by the Neocons in office, commonly referred to as 'star wars' or 'son of star wars'.


Yahoo! News / AFP International /

Guantanamo detainees may remain indefinitely: Gonzalez

AFP | Aug 3 2006

US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said the US government could "indefinitely" hold foreign 'enemy combatants' at sites like the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"We can detain any combatants for the duration of the hostilities," said Gonzales, speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"If we choose to try them, that's great. If we don't choose to try them, we can continue to hold them," he said.

Yet neither the Bush administration nor the US military wants "to remain the world's jailers indefinitely," he said.

A Supreme Court ruling last month declared that government of President George W. Bush had overstepped his authority in forming military commissions to try detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

That authority, the court said, belongs to Congress, and the Senate committee is now hearing testimony on how the Guantanamo prisoners should be dealt with.

Gonzales said he was waiting for a green light from Congress to reinstate military tribunals to try war-on-terror prisoners at Guantanamo, Cuba.

Gonzales has proposed minor modifications to rules that inmate attorneys have decried as violating the rights of their clients.

The proposed rules would allow hearsay evidence to be introduced, including evidence obtained under duress, unless a military judge considers it unreliable, Gonzales said.

To prevent terrorists from having access to confidential information, judges handling the cases must be able to temporarily exclude defendants from their own trial if deemed necessary for national security.

And if a defendant faces the death penalty, he will face a panel of 12 judges who must rule unanimously for a death sentence to be issued.

Around 450 prisoners are being held in the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba -- some for years -- without charges being brought. Human and civil rights lawyers have brought suit on behalf of detainees, many of them picked up as suspected Al-Qaeda or Taliban fighters on Afghanistan's battlefields.

The Washington Post, quoting anonymous Bush administration officials, reported Wednesday that the White House also hopes to allow the secretary of defense to add crimes at will to the military court's jurisdiction.

Senators did not question Gonzales directly about this, though the attorney general gave assurances that no US citizen would face these courts.



Peace by paying attention to poets...



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Congress is pushing a law that would abandon the Internet's First Amendment -- a principle called Network Neutrality that prevents companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from deciding which Web sites work best for you -- based on what site pays them the most. If the public doesn't speak up now, our elected officials will cave to a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

What Will Happen to Mel "The Patriot" Gibson Next? (Courtesy of The Offshore Wire)

The Offshore Wire

TOW News

What Will Happen to Mel Gibson Next?

Charged with misdemeanor drunken driving Wednesday, Mel Gibson faces up to six months in jail if convicted. "I want to apologize specifically to anyone in the Jewish community for the vitriolic and harmful words" Gibson said in a statement issued Wednesday. DUI charges and apologies aside, everyone's curiosity is focused on what will Mel Gibson do next. Celebrity odds makers believe he will get arrested again for DUI.

Gibson was born in Peekskill, New York, in 1956, the sixth of ten children born to Hutton Gibson (whose parents were U.S. businessman, John Hutton Gibson, and Irish-Australian opera singer Eva Mylott) and Anne Reilly Gibson (who was born in the parish of Columcille, County Longford, Ireland). Although Gibson always maintained his United States citizenship, he lived in Australia from the age of twelve. His father moved his family to Australia in 1968, allegedly in protest of the Vietnam War.

Gibson married Robyn Moore, whom he initially met through a dating service, in 1980. They have one daughter and six sons. Many of Gibson's positions are in accordance with traditionalist Catholicism. He is, however, a proponent of the death penalty and a supporter of gun ownership.

Gibson is known for making strongly opinionated statements. Some gay rights groups accused Gibson of homophobia, after a 1992 interview in the Spanish magazine El Pais. Asked what he thought of gay people, he said, "They take it up the ass." Gibson gestured descriptively, continuing, "This is only for taking a shit." Gibson spares no one, not even the Vatican. "Vatican II corrupted the institution of the church. Look at the main fruits: dwindling numbers and pedophilia." he said in an interview with the Times in January 2003. His first clash with the Jewish community took place in 2004. His film The Passion of the Christ was criticized for alleged anti-Semitic imagery and overtones. Gibson has strongly denied that the film is anti-Semitic.

Mel Gibson's alcoholism dates to his teenage years. In 1984, Gibson was arrested for drunk driving after he rear-ended a car in Toronto. According to Clarkson, when the other driver exited his vehicle and began shouting profanity at him, Mel Gibson laughed and offered him a drink. He was fined $400 and banned from driving in Canada for 3 months. In a 2004 Primetime interview with Diane Sawyer, Gibson admitted to drug and alcohol abuse. celebrity odds makers posted odds on what will happen to Mel Gibson next. Get arrested again for DUI is favorite, currently offered at +400. A true temptation to ones who wish to make easy cash, given Gibson's past. Start attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings is posted at +500. Make another anti-Semitic remark in public is offered at +1000 yet again his "vitriolic" tongue may land big money into bettors pockets. $100 on this prop would pay $1,000 should Gibson prove that he can't control himself.

Click here to view and bet on the latest celebrity props at . BetUS offers up to 50% sign up bonus. See Web site for details., America's favorite sportsbook, is endorsed by Jesse Ventura.

Originally published August 3 2006 -



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TOW MIA 2006

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The Washington Post /

White House Proposal Would Expand Authority of Military Courts

R. Jeffrey Smith / Washington Post | August 3 2006

A draft Bush administration plan for special military courts seeks to expand the reach and authority of such "commissions" to include trials, for the first time, of people who are not members of al-Qaeda or the Taliban and are not directly involved in acts of international terrorism, according to officials familiar with the proposal.

The plan, which would replace a military trial system ruled illegal by the Supreme Court in June, would also allow the secretary of defense to add crimes at will to those under the military court's jurisdiction. The two provisions would be likely to put more individuals than previously expected before military juries, officials and independent experts said.

The draft proposed legislation, set to be discussed at two Senate hearings today, is controversial inside and outside the administration because defendants would be denied many protections guaranteed by the civilian and traditional military criminal justice systems.

Under the proposed procedures, defendants would lack rights to confront accusers, exclude hearsay accusations, or bar evidence obtained through rough or coercive interrogations. They would not be guaranteed a public or speedy trial and would lack the right to choose their military counsel, who in turn would not be guaranteed equal access to evidence held by prosecutors.

Detainees would also not be guaranteed the right to be present at their own trials, if their absence is deemed necessary to protect national security or individuals.

An early draft of the new measure prepared by civilian political appointees and leaked to the media last week has been modified in response to criticism from uniformed military lawyers. But the provisions allowing a future expansion of the courts to cover new crimes and more prisoners were retained, according to government officials familiar with the deliberations.

The military lawyers received the draft after the rest of the government had agreed on it. They have argued in recent days for retaining some routine protections for defendants that the political appointees sought to jettison, an administration official said.

They objected in particular to the provision allowing defendants to be tried in absentia, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to describe the deliberations. Another source in contact with top military lawyers said, "Their initial impression is that the draft was unacceptable and sloppy." The source added that "it did not have enough due-process rights" and could further tarnish America's image.

The military lawyers nonetheless supported extending the jurisdiction of the commissions to cover those accused of joining or associating with terrorist groups engaged in anti-U.S. hostilities, and of committing or aiding hostile acts by such groups, whether or not they are part of al-Qaeda, two U.S. officials said.

That language gives the commissions broader reach than anticipated in a November 2001 executive order from President Bush that focused only on members of al-Qaeda, those who commit international terrorist acts and those who harbor such individuals.

Some independent experts say the new procedures diverge inappropriately from existing criminal procedures and provide no more protections than the ones struck down by the Supreme Court as inadequate. John D. Hutson, the Navy's top uniformed lawyer from 1997 to 2000, said the rules would evidently allow the government to tell a prisoner: "We know you're guilty. We can't tell you why, but there's a guy, we can't tell you who, who told us something. We can't tell you what, but you're guilty."

Bruce Fein, an associate deputy attorney general during the Reagan administration, said after reviewing the leaked draft that "the theme of the government seems to be 'They are guilty anyway, and therefore due process can be slighted.' " With these procedures, Fein said, "there is a real danger of getting a wrong verdict" that would let a lower-echelon detainee "rot for 30 years" at Guantanamo Bay because of evidence contrived by personal enemies.

But Kris Kobach, a senior Justice Department lawyer in Bush's first term who now teaches at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, said he believes that the draft strikes an appropriate balance between "a fundamentally fair trial" and "the ability to protect the effectiveness of U.S. military and intelligence assets."

Administration officials have said that the exceptional trial procedures are warranted because the fight against terrorism requires heavy reliance on classified information or on evidence obtained from a defendant's collaborators, which cannot be shared with the accused. The draft legislation cites the goal of ensuring fair treatment without unduly diverting military personnel from wartime assignments to present evidence in trials.

The provisions are closely modeled on earlier plans for military commissions, which the Supreme Court ruled illegal two months ago in a case brought by Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a Yemeni imprisoned in the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. "It is not evident why the danger posed by international terrorism, considerable though it is, should require, in the case of Hamdan, any variance from the courts-martial rules," the court's majority decision held.

No one at Guantanamo has been tried to date, though some prisoners have been there since early 2002.

John Yoo, a former Justice Department lawyer who helped draft the earlier plan, said Bush administration officials essentially "took DOD regulations" for the trials "and turned them into a statute for Congress to pass." He said the drafters were obviously "trying to return the law to where it was before Hamdan " by writing language into the draft that challenges key aspects of the court's decision.

"Basically, this is trying to overrule the Hamdan case," said Neal K. Katyal, a Georgetown University law professor who was Hamdan's lead attorney.

The plan calls for commissions of five military officers appointed by the defense secretary to try defendants for any of 25 listed crimes. It gives the secretary the unilateral right to "specify other violations of the laws of war that may be tried by military commission." The secretary would be empowered to prescribe detailed procedures for carrying out the trials, including "modes of proof" and the use of hearsay evidence.

Unlike the international war crimes tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, the commissions could rely on hearsay as the basis for a conviction. Unlike routine military courts-martial, in which prosecutors must overcome several hurdles to use such evidence, the draft legislation would put the burden on the defense team to block its use.

The admission of hearsay is a serious problem, said Tom Malinowski, director of the Washington office of Human Rights Watch, because defendants might not know if it was gained through torture and would have difficulty challenging it on that basis. Nothing in the draft law prohibits using evidence obtained through cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment that falls short of torture, Malinowski said.

The U.S. official countered that a military judge "would look hard" at the origins of such evidence and that defendants would have to count on "the trustworthiness of the system."

To secure a death penalty under the draft legislation, at least five jurors must agree, two fewer than under the administration's earlier plan. Courts-martial and federal civilian trials require that 12 jurors agree.



Cincinnati Community Press /

Bill would ban chip implantation in employees


SYCAMORE TWP. -- State Sen. Robert Schuler (R -- 7th District) recently introduced a bill that would prevent companies from implanting microchips in their employees without their consent.

The Employee Privacy Protection Bill comes as an answer to the company's use of radio frequency identification tags in two employees.

The Walnut Hills-based security company came under fire in February after it was discovered that Chief Executive Officer Sean Darks and another unnamed employee were injected in the forearm with a VeriChip.

The chip acted as an identification card, allowing access to classified areas as a signal transmitted an ID number to a receiver.

The impending law defines "radio frequency identification tags" as silicon chips containing an antenna that stores data and transmits data to a wireless receiver.

A VeriChip can also be used as a global positioning system, the senator said.

"People have to have their privacy. It's not up to the employer to keep tabs on (employees)," Schuler said.

If passed, the bill would make it illegal for employers to require their employees to be implanted with a chip.'s employees were implanted with the chip voluntarily, which is permitted under the new bill.

"Voluntary use is OK, but sometimes it's hard to say what's voluntary and what's not," Schuler said.

The bill states that any employer caught requiring his or her employees to be chipped will be fined $150 per violation.

"It ($150) is a typical fine for a minor misdemeanor and it's enough to prevent further use," Schuler said.

Though is the first known company in the United States to implant employees with VeriChips, Wisconsin also recently passed a bill which says that no one can require the use of such chips.

According to Schuler, the fine for a violation in Wisconsin is $10,000 per day.

Due to the fact that the Senate is not in session, the bill will not face a vote until September and is not expected to reach the House of Representatives until November.

Darks, chief executive officer of, was unable to be reached for comment.



Peace by Patriotically and Passionately providing perspective...



Black Krishna Brand

Philosophy -

Music -


P.S. Buy the DVD to distribute copies at - or watch "TerrorStorm" on Google Video! NOW!

P.P.S. Check this out too while you still can!

Congress is pushing a law that would abandon the Internet's First Amendment -- a principle called Network Neutrality that prevents companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from deciding which Web sites work best for you -- based on what site pays them the most. If the public doesn't speak up now, our elected officials will cave to a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign.

Online - International News Network /

America will attack Iran, Syria in October: Gul

Online | August 3 2006

RAWALPINDI: The former chief of ISI, Maj. Gen (R) Hameed Gul has "predicted" that America would definitely attack Iran and Syria simultaneously in October.

He was talking after attending the Hamdard Majlis Shoora, Tuesday evening. He also condemned the lackluster and weak reaction of Pakistan and Islamic bloc about Israel’s attack of Lebanon.

Analyzing the current war scenario he observed that war has both political and strategic factors and despite "using" Israel, America has lost the war in Lebanon, where masses have united against the recent Israeli onslaught, and would have been more formidable if the generals of Saddam had not sold out to American dollars.

He analyzed that Israel would soon be "forced" to stop its land strikes but would continue its horrific and heinous air strikes against Lebanon, converting it to ruins.

He also "predicted" that after Iran and Syria, Saudi Arabia would also meet the same fate, followed by Pakistan.





Wednesday, August 02, 2006

MSNBC Poll: 87% Say Bush's Actions Justify Impeachment (out of 300, 927 responses so far...)

MSNBC Home » U.S. News » Politics

Live Vote

Do you believe President Bush's actions justify impeachment?

1) Yes, between the secret spying, the deceptions leading to war and more, there is plenty to justify putting him on trial.

2) No, like any president, he has made a few missteps, but nothing approaching "high crimes and misdemeanors."

3) No, the man has done absolutely nothing wrong. Impeachment would just be a political lynching.

4) I don't know.

Vote to see results

Live Vote

Do you believe President Bush's actions justify impeachment? * 300927 responses

Yes, between the secret spying, the deceptions leading to war and more, there is plenty to justify putting him on trial.


No, like any president, he has made a few missteps, but nothing approaching "high crimes and misdemeanors."


No, the man has done absolutely nothing wrong. Impeachment would just be a political lynching.


I don't know.


Not a scientific survey. Click to learn more. Results may not total 100% due to rounding.


AMERICA: FREEDOM TO FASCISM is "The scariest damn film you'll see this year." (CBS News)

It's amazing how a pretty smart guy who got some pretty smart guys to talk to some pretty smart guys thanks to money they got from some pretty smart guys to discuss a pretty smart subject in a pretty smart way... can be considered completely wrong.

Not "good" or "bad", but "wrong".

It's not inconceivable, it's just inconceivable how humans can completely differ on what reality is, and what truth is, what it was, and what it should evolve to. You'd think this would change when one presented with wholly compelling evidence that it's at least a worthy subject for discussion that could help a lot of people.

You'd think...

"Hmph, I was wondering why the spaghetti at that concentration camp tasted like sauerkraut..."

- Italy didn't fight with Hitler, they were taken over by Hitler after he backstabbed Mussolini and were too embarrassed to admit it, so they just kept quiet and agreed to say they lost the World War II too... (CBC aired documentary)

"AMERICA: FREEDOM TO FASCISM" is supposed to be amazing, and it details among other things how America's banking system was illegally given over to private interests in 1913, the majority of which still control America and much of the World.

In fact, nearly all central banks are private, and nearly all countries are beholden to their treachery. The people in them are screwed too, but there is some good news: income tax is illegal.

The producer, Aaron Russo, has produced notable films like "The Rose" with Bette Midler and "Trading Places" with Eddie Murphy, and ain't no dummy. I haven't seen the film yet, but I have done a Google Video search (Go Google Go! Do No Evil!) and saw an interview with him that was truly fascinating: he breaks down the undisputed history, and therein provides the undisputable proof.

You can check for clips and info at their official website:

And you can see the grotesque hatchet-job reviews below.

And since they can't co-exist in a universe that makes any sense as we could possibly accept or understand it, one review is highlighted to reveal the utterly and willfully malicious density, disinformation, stupidity, laziness, inconsistency, treachery and/or hypocrisy that plague many of the others...

(1-14) of 14, sorted by last name a-z

2/5 "Just as the film�s arguments start growing persuasive, Russo (who also narrates the movie) undermines his work by freefalling into a tangled web of all-out conspiracy-mongering."
Click for Full Review
-- Marjorie Baumgarten

3/4 "Russo is a clearly a healthy minded skeptic who tries to get both sides of the story."
Click for Full Review
-- Ken Fox

C "An unconvincing doc that hardly justifies the view that the U.S. is headed toward fascism."
Click for Full Review
-- Harvey S. Karten

2.5/4 "Filmmaking lapses aside, this is an impassioned and generally persuasive film that rings all too eerily true."
Click for Full Review
-- Timothy Knight

3/4 "If America: From Freedom to Fascism is right only 10 percent of the time, we're in big trouble."
Click for Full Review
-- Robert W. Butler

1.5/4 "Russo appears to make a good case against the IRS, but he does so sneakily, belligerently, and from a grotesquely unattractive soap box."
Click for Full Review
-- Ed Gonzalez

1.5/5 "A hurricane of accusations and grievances, supported by repetitive, droning sound bites."
Click for Full Review
-- Mark Keizer

D "Yes, America: Freedom To Fascism gives the Michael Moore muckraking-underdog treatment to the kind of delirious conspiracy theories generally associated with mentally ill homeless people screaming at passersby to stop stealing their brainwaves."
Click for Full Review
-- Nathan Rabin



Rating: Rotten Avg. Rating: 3.6/10
2/4 "[Russo] has created such an inflammatory piece of clumsy propaganda it's hard to take his best arguments seriously."
Click for Full Review
-- John Anderson

"Libertarian-positioned docu argues almost persuasively that U.S. citizens are not legally required to pay federal income tax, and much less convincingly that country is becoming a police state via new identity laws."
Click for Full Review
-- Leslie Felperin

2/5 "The mess we're in never looked so messy."
Click for Full Review
-- Nathan Lee

1.5/4 "Aaron Russo's America: Freedom to Fascism can't even think straight, it's so mad."
Click for Full Review
-- Michael Phillips

1.5/4 "As if anticipating bad reviews, Russo ends his scattershot assault with a preemptive strike against the media: 'It's just the Federal Reserve System trying to save itself.' If you buy that line, then I'm the great-grandson of a 1913 conspirator."
Click for Full Review
-- Bill Stamets

"[The film builds] to the standard New World Order line, which discredits any valid points Russo may have."
Click for Full Review
-- Luke Y. Thompson


Peace by pointing out the plants and the pussies...



Black Krishna Brand

Philosophy -

Music -


P.S. Buy the DVD to distribute copies at - or watch "TerrorStorm" on Google Video! NOW!

P.P.S. Check this out too while you still can!

Congress is pushing a law that would abandon the Internet's First Amendment -- a principle called Network Neutrality that prevents companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from deciding which Web sites work best for you -- based on what site pays them the most. If the public doesn't speak up now, our elected officials will cave to a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign.

MOVIE REVIEW | ‘America: From Freedom to Fascism’

A taxing view of ‘America’

Is the IRS one big racket? Film makes some powerful arguments.


The Kansas City Star

By all means, approach “America: From Freedom to Fascism” with caution.

It’s a conspiracy-minded documentary from folks who think the federal income tax is a massive fraud and just one element in the move toward one world government and planetary totalitarianism.

And it works. You’ll leave Aaron Russo’s movie (opening today at the AMC Studio 30) feeling besieged, paranoid and furious.

Of course documentaries, like the Bible, can be twisted to accommodate almost any point of view. So the best thing about “From Freedom to Fascism” may be the debate it should generate about “truths” most of us accept without thinking. I’ll look forward to seeing someone in authority — senators or congressmen, members of the administration, the IRS — methodically rebut the points made in Russo’s film.

Oh, wait … all through the movie we see Russo trying to get these folks to answer his questions. And nobody will respond. On the other hand, he finds no shortage of talking heads (scholars, lawyers, even a few former IRS agents, most of them now affiliated with an anti-income-tax group) willing to talk about the rottenness of the system, often tossing in words like “diabolical.”

Finally he gets a sit-down interview with Sheldon Cohen, former IRS commissioner and an author of the federal tax code. When Russo insists that Cohen point out where in law it is required for Americans to pay personal income tax, Cohen in effect answers that “this is the way we’ve always done it” and ends the interview.

The film’s basic arguments:

•The 16th Amendment to the Constitution, which paved the way for a federal personal income tax, was never legally ratified by the required number of states. So said the Supreme Court in a decision just a few years after Congress passed the amendment. Nevertheless, the federal government created an income tax system as if it had been ratified.

•This led to the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank, described by Russo as a private cartel that controls the nation’s money supply but is owned by various big banks. Russo goes to experts to find out just who is behind the Fed, but even the experts can’t figure that out.

•The IRS uses thug tactics and intimidation to wage war on the American people. OK, nobody is going to argue with this, especially after the movie tells us about the Florida family who nearly lost everything after being falsely accused of tax fraud by a former employee.

Not to mention poor Joe Louis, who during WWII donated his boxing winnings to charities for America’s fighting men. Unfortunately, he didn’t keep any to pay the IRS, with the result that he lived most of his life under a $1 million tax bill. When he died his funeral was paid for by Max Schmeling, one of the fighters he vanquished in the ring.

•The War on Terror is being used to pave the way to universal identity papers, microchip “tagging” of human beings and unprecedented government eavesdropping on our personal lives.

•Ultimately it will all lead to a one-world government controlled by (who else?) the money men.

Russo, who was a producer on “Trading Places” and “The Rose,” borrows his methodology from Michael Moore. A rumpled 60-something perennially clad in khaki pants and loose, untucked shirt, Russo serves as our personal guide. He does man-on-the-street interviews. He employs little animated skits and has a choir sing “America the Beautiful” while an Orwellian list of recent executive orders and Patriot Act provisions scrolls down the screen.

But Russo isn’t the personality or the entertainer that Moore is. He’s not a particularly incisive satirist. His stabs at humor are pretty weak.

I’m a movie critic, not an economist or political scientist. So I can’t begin to say how many of this film’s dire predictions have a basis in fact.

But if “America: From Freedom to Fascism” is right only 10 percent of the time, we’re in big trouble.


Director: Aaron Russo

No MPAA rating

Running time: 1:40


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I'm watching Moazzam Begg / On "Democracy NOW!" / Asking how / Can we still be doing this now?

I'm watching Moazzam Begg,
On "Democracy NOW!",
Asking how,
Can we still be doing this now?
Are they all too corrupt?
Is the system too fucked?
How much longer?
'Til everyone suffers some bad luck?
He said some Gitmo guards chillin',
They didn't want to play the villain,
But who we kiddin',
Cats need to be killin' just to pay the billin',
I'm tight-skillin',
My rhymes' like real estate,
I be the realest when I'm feelin' that it's not too late,
Show you from good to great,
Show you Moazzam's fate,
Hogtied like an animal, mentally raped,
Show you our mental state,
Accepting, it's infecting,
To be protecting we've gotta be resurrecting,
The inspecting and detecting,
Learning the stories of the structures sellin',
We know it's lies they be tellin',
But we keep buyin' the lyin',
It just ain't gellin',
It just ain't shellin' us,
It's shellin' them,
For now,
But if Our Leaders care so little about them,
Then how,
Can they care about us?
You really think they do?
If that's true,
Then what's up with all the lyin' they do?
And tax cuts for the rich?
Ain't life a bitch?
And if you wanna snitch for the rich,
Soon get caught in a sitch,
A stitch in time, saves nine,
Years, of hard time,
And for years,
It's been getting harder and harder to go for mine,
Soldiers in an army of the state,
Seal, your own fate
You're lying with every date, you make, to be great,
Education, healthcare?
The governments cupboards are bare,
But for over there?
We've got billions for bombs from the air?
I need to breathe,
I need to think,
I need to drink more, for sure,
If I can't think of war?
If I ignore the score?
I guess I'll be okay,
'Cause it's never too late,
And then when it is?
Well... then I guess it's just fate,
Anyway, in the back of my mind,
I see how to relate,
I guess Gitmo is kind of normal,
Living in a police state...

[Ed note: In Part One of the interview you can see a clip of Tony Blair trying not to smile as he vigorously asserts that they are no longer going to bother defending their inherently reasonable position on Burning Down Beirut. Check it out, and tell me if some other motherfucker was talking to you like that - especially a mass-murdering pre-emptive war-mongering motherfucker like this motherfucker, tell me if you'd believe them. And, I'm terribly sorry of the "language" offends you, but as I explained to a group of high school kids the other day: if these guys can't be called "motherfuckers", then I don't know who the hell can...]


"Yes. I had evacuated to Pakistan in Islamabad, where I have family and relatives, with my own wife and children, after we had been living in Afghanistan, where I had worked on a project to build a girls school and to build wells in the drought-stricken regions of the northwest. It was the 31st of January, 2002.

It was several months after I had arrived in Pakistan and was still there, that at midnight, I heard a knock on the door, and when I opened the door, I was faced with a group of civilians -- well, were dressed in civilian clothing, at least -- pointing guns towards me, and a few of them had tasers or stun guns cracking in the background.

Nobody said a word to me at all. I was pushed straight back into the front room of my house, pushed to the grounds on my knees. My hands were shackled behind my back, and my legs were shackled, too, and the last thing I saw before a hood was placed over my head was them walking towards the room where my wife and children were sleeping. And I told them, “Don't go in there, please.” That was the last thing, the last words that I said in my house."



Peace by pushing the truth about people who paid the price...



Black Krishna Brand

Philosophy -

Music -


P.S. Buy the DVD to distribute copies at - or watch "TerrorStorm" on Google Video! NOW!

P.P.S. Check this out too while you still can!

Congress is pushing a law that would abandon the Internet's First Amendment -- a principle called Network Neutrality that prevents companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from deciding which Web sites work best for you -- based on what site pays them the most. If the public doesn't speak up now, our elected officials will cave to a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign.

BONUS: While Presidente Castro may or may not be at death's door, you'll be happy to know that President Bush is doing just fine. He's a little fatter off raping the land, and by proxy the children at Guantanamo Bay, but otherwise he's doing just fine...

Yahoo! News

Bush physical: fit but heavier

By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer 43 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - President Bush says his annual physical shows him in fine shape — though he's a little upset about those extra five pounds he's packed on.

After a nearly four-hour physical exam, Bush's doctors on Tuesday pronounced him in good health and "fit for duty," the White House said.

Bush himself said, "Doing fine. Health's fine. Probably ate too many birthday cakes." The president celebrated his 60th birthday on numerous occasions last month.

White House press secretary Tony Snow said, "The doctors once again have found the president fit for duty and have every reason to expect that he will remain so for the duration of his presidency."

The exam was at the National Naval Medical Center. A fuller report from Bush's doctors was to be released by the White House late Tuesday.

Snow said the president's resting heart rate was 46, similar to the 47 at his exam last July and in the range of a well-trained athlete, and that his total cholesterol of 174 was his best ever. Below 200 is a desirable cholesterol level, and Bush's was 178 last year.

"I'll direct you toward the test results, but he's still healthier than we are," Snow said.

Bush remarked that the Bethesda, Md., hospital, where he usually undergoes his annual exam, is an "amazing operation."

A December 2004 physical showed Bush, who is nearly 6 feet tall, had gained six pounds since the summer of 2003 — a development he blamed on eating too many doughnuts during his re-election campaign. The gain prompted Bush, an avid mountain bike rider, to a renewed commitment to exercise and fitness. He was rewarded last July with a loss of eight pounds to weigh 191.6 pounds.

Then came this year's addition.

"My guess is, he's determined to lose it," Snow said.

After his physical, Bush met with 27 military men and women at the hospital, and presented Purple Hearts to seven of them.

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Monday, July 31, 2006

Alex Jones on CSPAN (Watch)

CSPAN: American Perspectives

Theories about 9-11 (American Perspectives) (7/29/2006)


Peace by paying attention to people with proof...



Black Krishna Brand

Philosophy -

Music -


P.S. Buy the DVD to distribute copies at - or watch "TerrorStorm" on Google Video! NOW!

P.P.S. Check this out too while you still can!

Congress is pushing a law that would abandon the Internet's First Amendment -- a principle called Network Neutrality that prevents companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from deciding which Web sites work best for you -- based on what site pays them the most. If the public doesn't speak up now, our elected officials will cave to a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign.

Black Krishna on CKLN (Listen)

whassup y'all,

i was on CKLN Radio after The Bilderberg Group had their meeting in Ottawa from June 8 - 11 this year.

for those who don't know, that's the secret group of 130 of the most powerful people in the world, including ancient families who don't "run" banks - they "OWN" them.

the heads of major media, big oil, big arms, and big, evil fascist governments get together once a year to set the "agenda" for the upcoming year. they freely admit they want to discuss "policy" in private and away from public scrutiny, and that they "predict" what they expect will happen over the next year.

we're taught to reflexively defend power (i.e. "aw c'mon - leave those poor billionaires alone - they're probably up to nuthin anyway!") despite the fact that we know money is the root of all evil.

so: don't do that.

understand this meeting is simply a massive insider trading scam, where they make sure they are the only ones who mutually profit and gain power from the big decisions they all make - all while screwing everyone else in the world.

oh yeah, and they've been doing this since 1954.

after years of media silence, this year since it was held in Canada and because journalists had the courage to push the story, it was covered in: The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, The CBC, The Ottawa Sun, The Ottawa Citizen, and a handful of other mainstream publications.

the group hadn't been mentioned here before, and may never be since.

on CKLN we discussed what the public wants to know, what the government and media's response was, what sources were trusted to verify information about them, and what role The Bilderberg Group plays in the decay of societies around the world - which by all acounts is an extremely significant one.

think about it... if super-rich and all-powerful people weren't benefiting from the current destruction of the world, and if in fact if they were harmed by it or at least showed some small pangs of conscience: don't you think they'd try to stop it?

check it out if you'd like, it's 8 minutes long and available as the first selection to stream or download off my music site.

hey now, i'm sayin' you can work on whatever you wanna work on - and getcha hustle on too. but, if they change the rules by the time we need them, and if they completely corrupt our intelligence, police, military and other security forces, our various courts and our houses of parliament... soon it won't matter anyway.

if we want to demonstrate, we've got to stop the "free speech zones" from being legalized and normalized - or no one will see us anyway. if hip hop wants to show it's still got balls as well as bling, it's got to come out and help stand up to the endless wars and torture overseas leading to a ramping up of the police state at home.

we gotta chill-out and clique-up and we'll be fine, we'll give each other cover-fire to fend against overly aggressive cops and criticism, and we'll share enough knowledge and build enough connections to stop us from chanting "Heil Harper!" in a couple of years.

he was photographed at The Bilderberg Group meeting in 2003, and make no mistake - if he hadn't impressed them then he wouldn't be Prime Minister now.

hey now, i guess issallgood until it ain't, and i'm just saying...


Peace by patiently persisting with proof...



Black Krishna Brand

Philosophy -

Music -


P.S. Buy the DVD at and make copies or watch "TerrorStorm" on Google Video!

P.P.S. Check this out too while you still can!

Congress is pushing a law that would abandon the Internet's First Amendment -- a principle called Network Neutrality that prevents companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from deciding which Web sites work best for you -- based on what site pays them the most. If the public doesn't speak up now, our elected officials will cave to a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign.

Democracy NOW!

Enemy Combatant: Moazzam Begg on his Imprisonment at Guantanamo, Bagram, and Kandahar

In February 2002, the British-born Moazzam Begg was seized by the CIA in Islamabad. No reasons were given for his arrest. He was hooded, shackled and cuffed and flown to the U.S. detention facility at Kandahar, then to Bagram airbase where he was held for approximately a year before being transferred to Guantanamo.
The U.S. government labeled him an "enemy combatant." He was never charged with a crime. In all, Moazzam spent three years in prison, much of it in solitary confinement. He was subjected to over three hundred interrogations as well as death threats and torture. At Bagram, he witnessed the killing of two fellow detainees.
In January 2005, he was released from Guantanamo along with three other British citizens. He received no apology or compensation for his imprisonment.

[includes rush transcript]


NPR: National Public Radio

Remembering Tuskegee

Syphilis Study Still Provokes Disbelief, Sadness

Essay by Vanessa Gamble

Read a commentary by Tuskegee Legacy Committee Chair Dr. Vanessa Gamble.

Listen to Alex Chadwick's report.

July 25, 2002 --Thirty years ago today, the Washington Evening Star newspaper ran this headline on its front page: "Syphilis Patients Died Untreated." With those words, one of America's most notorious medical studies, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, became public.

"For 40 years, the U.S. Public Health Service has conducted a study in which human guinea pigs, not given proper treatment, have died of syphilis and its side effects," Associated Press reporter Jean Heller wrote on July 25, 1972. "The study was conducted to determine from autopsies what the disease does to the human body."

The next morning, every major U.S. newspaper was running Heller's story. For Morning Edition, NPR's Alex Chadwick reports on how the Tuskegee experiment was discovered after 40 years of silence.

The Public Health Service, working with the Tuskegee Institute, began the study in 1932. Nearly 400 poor black men with syphilis from Macon County, Ala., were enrolled in the study. They were never told they had syphilis, nor were they ever treated for it. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the men were told they were being treated for "bad blood," a local term used to describe several illnesses, including syphilis, anemia and fatigue.

For participating in the study, the men were given free medical exams, free meals and free burial insurance.



"...the Bush administration is building a massive biodefense laboratory unlike any seen since biological weapons were banned..." (The Washington Post)

As you can see from the title above, it's on now.

I recommend you skim the below lengthy articles from The Washington Post and The Guardian UK on the U.S. governments accelerated and super-secretive bioterror program.

I believe whoever got these stories through felt they'd better write a lot and get the truthout before they were muzzled, and while it's a massively important story in desperated need of the mainstream media as a check on the misuse of secrecy and power, like nearly all of the most important stories in the world today: it'll likely be said, and not repeated.

Incidentally, I saw a couple of great films recently, including "Dark Days", which is a documentary about homeless people shot where they live in the subway tunnels under New York. It's told almost entirely from their perspective, and uses their interactions to tell their stories in a moving way that subtly builds towards a narrative with some nice surprises. It's incredible stuff, very real and very moving, and the music by DJ Shadow dovetails nicely.

I also just watched "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised", about the 2002 coup of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Now, a friend of mine recently accused me of being a "raving Chavez Leftist", but I'm not sure he knows what that means - or if it means anything at all. Anyway, it's all silliness, conservatives have no solutions for anyone but the rich and they know it, so they'll merely say that privatizing and deregulation are the trickle-down tricks of the trade that will eventually help some poor people. The problem of course is these same measures only increase the control of wealthy individuals and corporations while removing any checks on their actions, and those individuals have shown thus far no desire to improve the conditions of anyone on the planet but themselves - while increasing the suffering of everyone else. This film is an incredible piece of work with priceless footage from inside Venezuela, including of the people on the outside and inside of the changing government before, during and after the coup - including intimate and up close portraits of both sides. The courage of these filmmakers in an extremely dangerous situation is exceptional, and the message of the film is the people can and will prevail: we got it on tape.

Outside of that, the usual: go confidently wake up everyone you know and get them to figure out that 9/11 was an inside job - it's the best possible "kill switch" to blow up their Death Star. Let them know the rest of this "war" and "terror" crap is a total fraud - as most in the 20th Century have been, with Vietnam an obvious example. Finally, understand that we have to track down those making fortunes off destroying the world or we'll never stop them, and that with politicians being at least as "corrupt" as we believe they are, instead of merely railing against them we need to find out who's lining their pockets in exchange for favors.

Use the DVD's "TerrorStorm" and the 15 other Alex Jones films available at and/or on Google Video. Buy them or download them and make hundreds of copies, with a particular focus on giving them to soldiers, intelligence agencies and the police. Understand that the information contained therein is too important to bother with neglible hatchet-job comments people have been taught to recycle: no one says he's "wrong", they just say he's going "too far". They're building a massive secretive bioterror lab and slowly indoctrinating us into accepting that "bird-flu" or some other "pandemic" (where the hell did THAT word come from?) is inevitable: it's not too far, and it's never far enough - this is really, really, really bad.

Use all other pieces of evidence you've gained in your lifetime to build your case that the system and it's unfathomable inability to repair itself and improve it's practices is a complete and embarrassing lie. See the Seinfeldian Obviousness all around you, i.e. "Why are public schools still underfunded? Are we just waiting until poor kids sew Nike's to pay for themselves? Are we planning on stealing jobs from China? Imagine hearing: 'No, I'm sorry, but Sally sewed 113 pairs today, and her school quota is 130, so I'm afraid if she doesn't finish the class doesn't eat tomorrow - c'mon everybody - Sew Sally sew! Sew Sally Sew!"

Use both the independent and mainstream evil we already know (e.g. torture, domestic spying...) provided by everyone from Eminem, Jon Stewart, Noam Chomsky, Chris Rock, Michael Moore, Pearl Jam, Arundhati Roy, Jimmy Kimmel, Charlie Sheen, Seymour Hersh, Greg Palast, Amy Goodman, Green Day, Tariq Ali, Bob Dylan, Dahr Jamail and everyone else we know personally who cares to look at this stuff in enough detail to come up with the radically authoritative view that we're all being lied into jumping off a cliff. Don't just say "that's just not true!" when you haven't bothered looking into it the way your friend did, you're peers, and if you saw the same stuff you'd believe the same stuff - at least the basics for what is "real" anyway. And, if you're the knowledgable friend hearing it: don't just let anyone say it.

We know the media lies.

We know the government lies.

We know the internet was put here by God to teach us to trust each other again, share knowledge as power against a militarily and technologically advanced evil, and believe in the hard work of our fellow human beings who care enough to investigate how to swim against the tide of selfish and self-destructive popular opinion in order to suggest something better: salvation.

Hey, there's no other reason to do it.

Peace by pointing out they want to poison us...



Black Krishna Brand

Philosophy -

Music -


P.S. Buy the DVD at or watch "TerrorStorm" on Google Video!

P.P.S. Check this out too while you still can!

Congress is pushing a law that would abandon the Internet's First Amendment -- a principle called Network Neutrality that prevents companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from deciding which Web sites work best for you -- based on what site pays them the most. If the public doesn't speak up now, our elected officials will cave to a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign.

The Secretive Fight Against Bioterror

By Joby Warrick
The Washington Post

Sunday 30 July 2006

The government is building a highly classified facility to research biological weapons, but its closed-door approach has raised concerns.

On the grounds of a military base an hour's drive from the capital, the Bush administration is building a massive biodefense laboratory unlike any seen since biological weapons were banned 34 years ago.

The heart of the lab is a cluster of sealed chambers built to contain the world's deadliest bacteria and viruses. There, scientists will spend their days simulating the unthinkable: bioterrorism attacks in the form of lethal anthrax spores rendered as wispy powders that can drift for miles on a summer breeze, or common viruses turned into deadly superbugs that ordinary drugs and vaccines cannot stop.

The work at this new lab, at Fort Detrick, Md., could someday save thousands of lives - or, some fear, create new risks and place the United States in violation of international treaties. In either case, much of what transpires at the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC) may never be publicly known, because the Bush administration intends to operate the facility largely in secret.

In an unusual arrangement, the building itself will be classified as highly restricted space, from the reception desk to the lab benches to the cages where animals are kept. Few federal facilities, including nuclear labs, operate with such stealth. It is this opacity that some arms-control experts say has become a defining characteristic of U.S. biodefense policy as carried out by the Department of Homeland Security, NBACC's creator.

Since the department's founding in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, its officials have dramatically expanded the government's ability to conduct realistic tests of the pathogens and tactics that might be used in a bioterrorism attack. Some of the research falls within what many arms-control experts say is a legal gray zone, skirting the edges of an international treaty outlawing the production of even small amounts of biological weapons.

The administration dismisses these concerns, however, insisting that the work of NBACC is purely defensive and thus fully legal. It has rejected calls for oversight by independent observers outside the department's network of government scientists and contractors. And it defends the secrecy as necessary to protect Americans.

"Where the research exposes vulnerability, I've got to protect that, for the public's interest," said Bernard Courtney, NBACC's scientific director. "We don't need to be showing perpetrators the holes in our defense."

Tara O'Toole, founder of the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and an adviser to the Defense Department on bioterrorism, said the secrecy fits a larger pattern and could have consequences. "The philosophy and practice behind NBACC looks like much of the rest of the administration's philosophy and practice: 'Our intent is good, so we can do whatever we want,' " O'Toole said. "This approach will only lead to trouble."

Although they acknowledge the need to shield the results of some sensitive projects from public view, critics of NBACC fear that excessive secrecy could actually increase the risk of bioterrorism. That would happen, they say, if the lab fosters ill-designed experiments conducted without proper scrutiny or if its work fuels suspicions that could lead other countries to pursue secret biological research.

The few public documents that describe NBACC's research mission have done little to quiet those fears. A computer slide show prepared by the center's directors in 2004 offers a to-do list that suggests the lab will be making and testing small amounts of weaponized microbes and, perhaps, genetically engineered viruses and bacteria. It also calls for "red team" exercises that simulate attacks by hostile groups.

NBACC's close ties to the U.S. intelligence community have also caused concern among the agency's critics. The CIA has assigned advisers to the lab, including at least one member of the "Z-Division," an elite group jointly operated with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory that specializes in analyzing and duplicating weapons systems of potential adversaries, officials familiar with the program confirm.

Bioweapons experts say the nature of the research envisioned for NBACC demands an unusually high degree of transparency to reassure Americans and the rest of the world of the U.S. government's intentions.

"If we saw others doing this kind of research, we would view it as an infringement of the bioweapons treaty," said Milton Leitenberg, a senior research scholar and weapons expert at the University of Maryland's School of Public Policy. "You can't go around the world yelling about Iranian and North Korean programs - about which we know very little - when we've got all this going on."

Creating the Weapons of Terrorism

Created without public fanfare a few months after the 2001 anthrax attacks, NBACC is intended to be the chief U.S. biological research institution engaged in something called "science-based threat assessment." It seeks to quantitatively answer one of the most difficult questions in biodefense: What's the worst that can happen?

To truly answer that question, there is little choice, current and former NBACC officials say: Researchers have to make real biological weapons.

"De facto, we are going to make biowarfare pathogens at NBACC in order to study them," said Penrose "Parney" Albright, former Homeland Security assistant secretary for science and technology.

Other government agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, study disease threats such as smallpox to discover cures. By contrast, NBACC (pronounced EN-back) attempts to get inside the head of a bioterrorist. It considers the wide array of potential weapons available. It looks for the holes in society's defenses where an attacker might achieve the maximum harm. It explores the risks posed by emerging technologies, such as new DNA synthesizing techniques that allow the creation of genetically altered or man-made viruses. And it tries in some cases to test the weapon or delivery device that terrorists might use.

Research at NBACC is already underway, in lab space that has been outsourced or borrowed from the Army's sprawling biodefense campus at Fort Detrick in Frederick. It was at this compound that the U.S. government researched and produced offensive biological weapons from the 1940s until President Richard M. Nixon halted research in 1969. The Army continues to conduct research on pathogens there.

In June, construction began on a $128 million, 160,000-square-foot facility inside the same heavily guarded compound. Space inside the eight-story, glass-and-brick structure will be divided between NBACC's two major divisions: a forensic testing center tasked with using modern sleuthing techniques to identify the possible culprits in future biological attacks; and the Biothreat Characterization Center, or BTCC, which seeks to predict what such attacks will look like.

It is the BTCC's wing that will host the airtight, ultra-secure containment labs where the most controversial research will be done. Homeland Security officials won't talk about specific projects planned or underway. But the 2004 computer slide show - posted briefly on a Homeland Security Web site before its discovery by agency critics prompted an abrupt removal - offers insight into NBACC's priorities.

The presentation by NBACC's then-deputy director, Lt. Col. George Korch, listed 16 research priorities for the new lab. Among them:

"Characterize classical, emerging and genetically engineered pathogens for their BTA [biological threat agent] potential.

"Assess the nature of nontraditional, novel and nonendemic induction of disease from potential BTA.

"Expand aerosol-challenge testing capacity for non-human primates.

"Apply Red Team operational scenarios and capabilities."

Courtney, the NBACC science director, acknowledged that his work would include simulating real biological threats - but not just any threats.

"If I hear a noise on the back porch, will I turn on the light to decide whether there's something there, or go on my merry way?" Courtney asked. "But I'm only going to do [research] if I have credible information that shows it truly is a threat. It's not going to be dreamed up out of the mind of a novelist."

Administration officials note that there is a tradition for this kind of biological risk assessment, one that extends at least to the Clinton administration. In the late 1990s, for example, a clandestine project run by the Defense Department re-created a genetically modified, drug-resistant strain of the anthrax bacteria believed to have been made by Soviet bioweaponeers. Such research helped the government anticipate and prepare for emerging threats, according to officials familiar with the anthrax study.

Some arms-control experts see the comparison as troubling. They argued, then and now, that the work was a possible breach of a U.S.-negotiated international law.

Legal and Other Pitfalls

The Bush administration argues that its biodefense research complies with the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, the 1972 treaty outlawing the manufacture of biological weapons, because U.S. motives are pure.

"All the programs we do are defensive in nature," said Maureen McCarthy, Homeland Security's director of research and development, who oversees NBACC. "Our job is to ensure that the civilian population of the country is protected, and that we know what the threats are."

Current and former administration officials say that compliance with the treaty hinges on intent, and that making small amounts of biowarfare pathogens for study is permitted under a broad interpretation of the treaty. Some also argue that the need for a strong biodefense in an age of genetic engineering trumps concerns over what they see as legal hair-splitting.

"How can I go to the people of this country and say, 'I can't do this important research because some arms-control advocate told me I can't'?" asked Albright, the former Homeland Security assistant secretary.

But some experts in international law believe that certain experiments envisioned for the lab could violate the treaty's ban on developing, stockpiling, acquiring or retaining microbes "of types and in quantities that have no justification" for peaceful purposes.

"The main problem with the 'defensive intent' test is that it does not reflect what the treaty actually says," said David Fidler, an Indiana University School of Law professor and expert on the bioweapons convention. The treaty, largely a U.S. creation, does not make a distinction between defensive and offensive activities, Fidler said.

More practically, arms experts say, future U.S. governments may find it harder to object if other countries test genetically engineered pathogens and novel delivery systems, invoking the same need for biodefense.

Already, they say, there is evidence abroad of what some are calling a "global biodefense boom." In the past five years, numerous governments, including some in the developing world - India, China and Cuba among them - have begun building high-security labs for studying the most lethal bacteria and viruses.

"These labs have become a status symbol, a prestige item," said Alan Pearson, a biologist at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. "A big question is: Will these labs have transparency?"

Secrecy May Have a Price

When it opens in two years, the NBACC lab will house an impressive collection of deadly germs and teams of scientists in full-body "spacesuits" to work with them. It will also have large aerosol-test chambers where animals will be exposed to deadly microbes. But the lab's most controversial feature may be its secrecy.

Homeland Security officials disclosed plans to contractors and other government agencies to classify the entire lab as a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, or SCIF.

In common practice, a SCIF (pronounced "skiff") is a secure room where highly sensitive information is stored and discussed. Access to SCIFs is severely limited, and all of the activity and conversation inside is presumed to be restricted from public disclosure. There are SCIFs in the U.S. Capitol, where members of Congress are briefed on military secrets. In U.S. nuclear labs, computers that store weapons data are housed inside SCIFs.

Homeland Security officials plan to operate all 160,000 square feet of NBACC as a SCIF. Because of the building's physical security features - intended to prevent the accidental release of dangerous pathogens - it was logical to operate it as a SCIF, McCarthy said.

"We need to protect information at a level that is appropriate," McCarthy added, saying she expects much of the lab's less-sensitive work to be made public eventually.

But some biodefense experts, including some from past administrations, viewed the decision as a mistake.

"To overlay NBACC with a default level of high secrecy seems like overkill," said Gerald L. Epstein, a former science adviser to the White House's National Security Council and now a senior fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. While accepting that some secrecy is needed, he said the NBACC plan "sends a message that is not at all helpful."

NBACC officials also have resisted calls for the kind of broad, independent oversight that many experts say is necessary to assure other countries and the American public about their research.

Homeland Security spokesmen insist that NBACC's work will be carefully monitored, but on the department's terms.

"We have our own processes to scrutinize our research, and it includes compliance to the bioweapons convention guidelines as well as scientific oversight," said Courtney, the NBACC scientific director.

In addition to the department's internal review boards, the agency will bring in small groups of "three or four scientists" on an ad-hoc basis to review certain kinds of potentially controversial experiments, Courtney said. The review panels will be "independent," Courtney said, but he noted that only scientists with government security clearances will be allowed to participate.

Some experts have called for unusual forms of oversight, including panels of well-respected, internationally known scientists and observers from overseas. While allowing that the results of some experiments should be kept confidential, O'Toole, of the Center for Biosecurity, argues that virtually everything else at NBACC should be publicly accountable if the United States is to be a credible leader in preventing the proliferation of bioweapons.

"We're going to have to lean over backward," O'Toole said. "We have no leverage among other nation-states if we say, 'We can do whatever we want, but you can't. We want to see your biodefense program, but you can't see ours.' "

In recent weeks, NBACC's first officially completed project has drawn criticism, not because of its methods or procedures, but because heavy classification has limited its usefulness.

The project was an ambitious attempt to assess and rank the threats posed by dozens of different pathogens and delivery systems, drawing on hundreds of studies and extensive computer modeling. When delivered to the White House in January, it was the most extensive survey of its kind, and one that could guide the federal government in making decisions about biodefense spending.

Six months later, no one outside a small group of officials and advisers with top security clearances has seen the results.

"Something this important shouldn't be secret," said Thomas V. Inglesby, an expert at the Center for Biosecurity who serves on a government advisory board that was briefed on the results. "How can we make policy decisions about matters of this scale if we're operating in the dark?"

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US Begins Building Treaty-Breaching Germ War Defence Centre

By Julian Borger
The Guardian UK

Monday 31 July 2006

Construction work has begun near Washington on a vast germ warfare laboratory intended to help protect the US against an attack with biological weapon, but critics say the laboratory's work will violate international law and its extreme secrecy will exacerbate a biological arms race.

The National Biodefence Analysis and Countermeasures Centre (NBACC), due to be completed in 2008, will house heavily guarded and hermetically sealed chambers in which scientists simulate potential terrorist attacks.

To do so, the centre will have to produce and stockpile the world's most lethal bacteria and viruses, which is forbidden by the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. Three years before that treaty was agreed, President Richard Nixon halted the production of US biological weapons at Fort Detrick in Maryland. The same military base is the site for the new $128m (£70m), 160,000 sq ft laboratory.

The green light for its construction was given after the September 11 attacks, which coincided with a series of still-unsolved anthrax incidents that killed five people. The department of homeland security, which will run the centre, says its work is necessary to protect the country. "All the programmes we do are defensive in nature," Maureen McCarthy, director of homeland security research and development, told the Washington Post. "Our job is to ensure that the civilian population of the country is protected, and that we know what the threats are."

The biological weapons convention stipulates that the signatories must not "develop, produce, stockpile, or otherwise acquire or retain" biological weapons, and does not distinguish between offensive and defensive intentions.

A presentation given by Lieutenant Colonel George Korch said the NBACC would be used to apply "red team operational scenarios and capabilities" - military jargon for simulating enemy attacks.

Some analysts say the extraordinary secrecy surrounding the project will heighten suspicions of US intentions and accelerate work on similar facilities around the world.


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