December 18, 2001
The Big Brother Files #20: The Truth Is Coming Out Despite All The Denials
Looking at the material I've compiled for you in this one and trying to come up with a summarizing punch line for the title, I realize how little value the $Powers That Be$ place on human life and on all Life for that matter, all for sake of power and money.
And yet this is a wonderful challenge for those of us who are here to protect Life.
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
P.S. Give a look at my 2 latest Media Compilations #35 and #36:
"The Other Unreported Sides of What is Going on" at http://www.cybernaute.com/earthconcert2000/MediaCompilation35.htm and http://www.cybernaute.com/earthconcert2000/MediaCompilation36.htm
"A world that recognizes the value of every single life is a world coming out of denial."
- Sent by Cecilia Garaycochea <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Jean... Your compendia are to me by far the "brightest beacons" (to borrow a "dubyism"!) of truth, sanity and consciousness available to thinking people these days. Keep it up!
- Jeff Wefferson <email@example.com> - http://www.geocities.com/tutbrains
1. Pentagon Denials and Civilian Death in Afghanistan
2. Living is a privilege, not a right - What's Our National Identity?
3. Interview with Aaron McGruder, creator of "The Boondocks" - who calls Bush a moron
OTHER ARTICLES OF INTEREST
(Especially the first one below!)
Euro Intel Experts Dismiss 'War On Terrorism' As Deception
(and reveal the Realpolitik behind the aggression against Afghanistan)
Above the Law - Bush's Racial Coup D'Etat and Intell Shutdown - MUST READ!
"Did Jeb Bush fix the Florida election long before any votes were cast? Did President Bush shut down the FBI, CIA and other intelligence agencies investigations into terror networks prior to 9-11, leaving America wide open to the attacks? In a conversation with GNN Executive Editor Anthony Lappe, journalist Greg Palast breaks down two of the biggest scoops you've never heard and explains how they, and other groundbreaking stories, are ignored by most mainstream news outlets."
Ebola May Spread From Gabon, Health Officials Warn
Health authorities fighting an Ebola outbreak in Gabon said on Saturday they feared the deadly virus could spread to neighboring countries.
Anthrax Probe Points to U.S. Source
Americans are evil too
The Real bin Laden
A detailed sketch of the life of the Islamic terrorist.
How the Taliban Stole Christmas
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (Recommended website)
Pentagon Denials and Civilian Death in Afghanistan
Now that journalists in Afghanistan are sending in reports about civilian casualties there, the Pentagon has resorted to lies and distortions to cover up the bloodshed.
David Corn, AlterNet
December 7, 2001
My fantasy of the week: Donald Rumsfeld meets a young Afghan boy named Noor Muhammad.
At the start of the daily Pentagon press briefing on December 4, the defense secretary delivered a short lecture on the subject of civilian casualties in Afghanistan. "One of the unpleasant aspects of war is the reality that innocent bystanders are sometimes caught in the crossfire," Rumsfeld said, "and we're often asked to answer Taliban accusations about civilian casualties. Indeed one of today's headlines is, quote 'Pentagon Avoids Subject of Civilian Deaths.' The short answer is that that's simply not so." He then proceeded to prove, in a way, the offending headline's point:
Rumsfeld's remarks, seemingly heartfelt, were an exercise in profound cynicism. If we can't count the dead in New York, how can you expect us to know anything about civilian casualties in Afghanistan? He portrayed it as an impossible task, and he suggested that claims of civilian casualties were only coming from Taliban scumbags. Of course, you can't believe them.
But as he was talking, Washington Post reporter Susan Glasser was filing a piece based on a visit to Jalalabad's Public Hospital No. 1. In the previous four days, the hospital had taken in 36 patients who said they were victims of the U.S. bombing strikes targeting villages southwest of Jalalabad, in an area where Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda remnants are thought to be hiding in cave compounds. The hospital had also received 35 dead.
One of the injured was Noor Mohammed, who had lost both eyes and both arms. Noor, who is somewhere between 10 and 12 years old, told his uncle he heard the sound of an airplane overhead, ran from his room, and did not know what happened next. Asked how he felt, the boy whispered, "I feel cold and I cannot talk." Glasser found other wounded children from families who claimed they had been struck by bombs while in their mud houses.
Two days earlier, The New York Times had run a dispatch (in a not-too prominent spot) from Tim Weiner, reporting that, according to witnesses and local officials, U.S. bombers flying over this area of Tora Bora had struck three villages, killing dozens of civilians. Weiner quoted the local law and order minister and the region's defense minister, who each maintained such attacks had occurred. Survivors interviewed by Weiner spoke of horrific devastation in these areas.
If Rumsfeld and Stufflebeem are to be believed, it must be that Noor and the rest were all participating in an elaborate and sophisticated propaganda campaign that entailed faking craters, persuading anti-Taliban officials who are working with American forces to lie to benefit the Taliban, enlisting dozens of persons with god-awful injuries for the con, and encouraging children to tell false stories about how they came to be harmed.
The reports filed by Weiner, Glasser and Parry demonstrate that Rumsfeld was engaging in champion dissembling when he maintained the Pentagon cannot possibly keep track of civilian casualties in wild and wooly Afghanistan. The U.S. military may not be able to discern figures with the same precision it claims for its bombing. Yet in many instances it can determine if civilian casualties have happened by doing what Weiner and the other reporters did: asking people on the ground.
Instead, in this latest episode, the Pentagon rushed out a denial that does not hold and then further insulted local Afghan officials and survivors by dismissing their reports as Taliban disinformation -- and waited for that news cycle to whiz by. I would like to watch Rumsfeld and Stufflebeem tell the eyeless and armless Noor Muhammad he's lying. It is not, as Rumsfeld asserted, "impossible to get factual information about civilian casualties." His military just hasn't bothered. It could start by sending someone to interview Noor and his fellow survivors.
David Corn is the Washington editor of The Nation.
How Many Dead? Major Networks Aren't Counting
[tapa-chemtrails] Digest Number 276
Message: 8 Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001
From: Patrick O'Connell <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Living is a privilege, not a right - What's Our National Identity?
What's Our National Identity?
By Duncan Frissell
Excerpts : A National ID card is *not* really about identity. It is about authorization.
A modern National ID System will:
* Require Americans to obtain federal government authorization to travel, work, rent or buy housing, obtain medical care, use financial services, and make many purchases.
* This federal authorization could be denied for many reasons including database errors, a suspicious transaction profile, being a deadbeat parent, failure to pay taxes or fines, and any other social control measures Congress wishes to hang on the system.
* The system will almost certainly create an outlaw class - as large as 10 to 20% of the population - cut off from "normal" life in America. This class will include political refuseniks as well as those whose behavior has caused the system's software to deny their transactions. This outlaw class will sustain the underground economy for the use of future terrorists (and ordinary criminals).
These effects are easy to predict because they've already happened on a lesser scale.
Previous National ID proposals covered such activities as travel, work authorization, national health care, and licensing of drivers. All of these proposed systems were meant to deny access to air travel, work, medical care, and driving to those who were not authorized for these activities. The events of September 11th mean that many more transactions will require a National ID. It is likely that the ID will be required for the purchase of alcohol, tobacco, Rx drugs, firearms, ammunition, knives, fertilizer, flying lessons, or any other goods or services the government considers dangerous. Additionally, in order to track the movement of potential terrorists, the New Improved National ID Card will have to control all transportation including car rentals and purchases, accommodations and financial services. A large chunk of our lives.
When you present your National ID to complete a transaction, you will actually be asking the Federal Government for its permission. It converts most significant transactions that you make from private ones to public ones. It creates a government license for all jobs, all travel, all medical care, and many purchases. This is a profoundly troubling departure from American traditions.
Beyond federal licensing there are all the reasons that the system will reject your proposed transaction. A National ID System can't control terrorists or illegals unless it uses software based on credit card fraud detection software to block suspicious transaction and then deny the use of the ID Card and notify the appropriate authorities.
To understand how this will work, you have to understand how modern credit card software works. A credit card authorization system performs a large number of checks to decide whether or not to authorize a proposed transaction. First, it checks to see if the card is in the system, has not been reported stolen, and has adequate credit for the transaction. But then it goes further. It checks the customer's transaction history, it checks the exact nature of recent transactions and of the proposed transaction to see how they fit the customer's profile and the profile of fraudulent transactions that it has stored in its system. It then produces a "score" which it uses to determine whether or not to authorize the transaction. This is real "profiling".
But even if you are you, the ID card is valid, and your transactions aren't suspicious; your right to travel, work, and buy will still likely be blocked by social control measures added by Congress or the administrative bureaucracy. We know that this will happen because that is exactly what *has* happened with drivers licenses. A drivers license once meant that your state considered you a safe driver. Today, you can be denied a license for failing to pay child support, failure to pay traffic and other fines (including library fines), being a non-resident alien, and for hundreds of other "offenses".
State legislatures could not resist the temptation to leverage the drivers license system to control their populations. Their actions were based on the idea that "driving is a privilege not a right." The future abuse of the National ID Card will be based on the idea that "living is a privilege not a right."
When your National ID Card is denied (for whatever reason), you will find yourself in a very uncomfortable situation. But you will not be alone. In America today, some 20% of the population does not use credit cards or bank accounts because they are unwilling or unable to perform the financial management tasks necessary to maintain such accounts. Similarly, the National ID card will produce a population of political or life-style refuseniks who will or cannot use it. Such populations do not disappear. They continue to survive as best they can and support a robust underground economy with its well-known negative effects on tax collection, obedience to law, and social cohesion.
As convenient as a National ID card seems for law enforcement, it is an unamerican notion. It comes from a political system explicitly rejected by those men who founded this country. The English language has a word for a system in which the central government of a country must authorize in advance all of its citizen's activities. That word is totalitarian.
Duncan Frissell is an Attorney working in New York City. His Social Security card reads "For Social Security and tax purposes--not for identification."
THIS IS OUTRAGEOUSLY GOOD!
From: "Mark Graffis" <email@example.com>
Subject: Interview with Aaron McGruder, creator of "The Boondocks"
Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2001
Aaron McGruder, creator of "The Boondocks"
The controversial cartoonist calls Bush a moron, says Americans shouldn't worry about bin Laden and says he might leave the country.
By Stephen Lemons
Dec. 7, 2001
Long before the war in Afghanistan becomes just a twinkle in the eye of an old general, Aaron McGruder may well be living in exile in Canada. The 27-year-old creator of the daily hip-hop comic "The Boondocks," which features the escapades of a group of young African-American kids growing up in the almost-all-white suburbs, has wrenched the torch of scathing satire from the Boomer King of Cartoon Controversy, Garry Trudeau, and set off on an Olympic-style sprint for infamy. Since Sept. 11, McGruder has been setting fire to the funny pages with incendiary panels of political humor mocking everything from Attorney General Ashcroft's anti-terrorist dragnet and the public's fear of anthrax to FBI wiretaps and the nation's ongoing orgy of patriotism.
McGruder's 4-year-old strip does garner laughs, but not without an accompanying sting. The point man in the strip is the pint-size Black Panther-in-spirit Huey Freeman, who recently has been as busy as an anarchist at a WTO meeting. Among his many subversive acts, Freeman has called the FBI tip line to report Ronald Reagan as aiding and abetting terrorism, suggested that the terrorists may be making their bucks these days manufacturing flags and has pointed out the parallels between George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden during a Thanksgiving meal prayer. About the only thing Huey hasn't done yet is strap on a Kalashnikov and set off for Kandahar. But now that John Walker's bearded mug is on the front page of dailies worldwide, anything's possible.
A number of the 250 publications that carry "The Boondocks" have taken exception to the sardonic sedition of McGruder's characters. The New York Daily News dropped the strip for about a month and a half, Newsday in Long Island chose not to run Sept. 11-inspired strips the first week they started coming out and the Dallas Morning News has moved the strip to a separate section altogether from other comics. None of this fazed McGruder. In response, he temporarily "replaced" the strip with "The Adventures of Flagee and Ribbon," where the two symbols sing the National Anthem and talk tough about the U.S. kicking tail.
Angry letter writers have suggested McGruder emigrate, and McGruder admits that he's so disgusted with his native land he may eventually do just that. Recently, he tore himself away from ranting at the tube in his Los Angeles digs long enough to rant to Salon about the state of the nation.
Your strips post-9/11 have touched a raw nerve with some folks. Did you anticipate all the attention you've gotten because of them?
It's become a story because of timing. You know, the New York Daily News temporarily pulls the strip, and in the middle of this wartime situation, it became a story about freedom of speech and all that. The reality is I get pulled all the time from various newspapers for different reasons. And it's been that way since the strip started.
Why did you decide to target the post-Sept. 11 displays of patriotism in the strip, and essentially mock them with those two characters Flagee and Ribbon?
Because it wasn't genuine. I thought it was very faddish, and there was no real weight behind it. You know, we just came off an election that was a mess. We still don't know if the president won the election. We do know that he got less votes nationwide. There's no question about that. And he may not even have won, legitimately, the electoral contest. There were reports of the massive disenfranchisement of African-Americans in Florida, which went totally unreported in this country, but was covered widely by the foreign press. There were black people in Florida yelling and screaming, trying to get somebody to pay attention to them. They were saying that they had their rights taken away from them, and they were not allowed to vote. And nobody in this country cared. Where was the flag then?
Where was this embracing of American ideals when people had their rights ripped from them so unjustly? We have a president who was appointed by the Supreme Court, and there was none of this talk about freedom and love of country at that time. So I feel like the deaths of 4,000 people had really nothing to do with love of country or not. This country made giant mistakes and failed to protect its people. We don't need to be rallying around the government and supporting it, we need to be holding it accountable and being very critical so this type of thing doesn't happen again. So there are a number of reasons why I was uncomfortable with the whole flag thing.
A lot of folks would argue that no matter what our disagreements are internally, if we're attacked from the outside, we have to come together and support the current administration even if we have problems with it. How do you respond to that argument?
I don't think that's true. Look, they're telling us these people are bad because they hate us, and they hate our way of life. And they hate our way of life because they hate freedom, and they hate the fact that we have freely elected officials. This is what the president said. Well, he wasn't elected! We really have to think about that. Considering that people around the world, other people, people "over there," "bad" people will always try to do bad things, that's kind of outside of your control. The only thing you can be responsible for is what goes on here. The American people have no control over what the military does. We have no say in American foreign policy. None. The only thing we can exercise some will on is what happens here domestically. So I think the focus is wrong.
I don't think the American people should be worried at all about Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein or anybody, because our government is going to do what it wants to do to them regardless of what we want them to do or not. All we can control is what happens here. And what happened here is what allowed those attacks to take place. The intelligence community failed. Security failed. The military failed. Everybody failed at the same time. I can be really nice to them and say, "You guys really messed up and need to check yourself." Or I could be not nice and say, "You know, I don't think it's really probable that all the systems can fail at the same time, which means something far more insidious took place." People are really afraid to get into that.
Are you suggesting some collusion on the part of our government in the Sept. 11 attacks?
I'm not suggesting that. I'm saying I'm not going there. I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they're idiots, and not that they had something far more nefarious in mind. However, history does teach us that the government has done things like that before, particularly with Pearl Harbor, where there's an overwhelming amount of evidence that [FDR] was aware of it and lured the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor. He literally left it undefended. There's some new evidence that has just come out about the CIA planning terrorist attacks on U.S. soil in the '60s and how they were going to set up Castro for it in order to get America behind a war in Cuba. That's not even a conspiracy theory. The CIA drew up the plans, even though it never happened. So if I were to go that route, I wouldn't be crazy. But I'm not going to go that route. I'm just going to say that the American people need to be concerned about what happens here. Forget what happens overseas. That's out of your control. Be concerned with what happens here. Because honestly, if our game is tight here, we can't be attacked. If our intelligence community and airports and military are doing what they're supposed to do, then we should be relatively OK.
This reminds me of the strip where Huey calls the FBI terrorist hotline, tells them he's got a tip on someone who helped the terrorists, and it's Ronald Reagan. Do you think there's been enough coverage of the support our leaders have given the mujahedin in the past?
The media have reported on it. But it's not so much [that] they said it or not, it's the way they've said it. When the news wants to tell you something is important, they put dramatic theme music behind it. They scare you into watching the story. Like, anthrax -- very, very important. Pay attention, it's scary. When they report on the U.S. creation of these people, these terrorists, it's all very matter of fact. Like, oh yeah, we gave them a whole bunch of money, and now on to sports. So a lot of it is not necessarily an issue of it being covered up. In fact, it can't be covered up -- it's well known. But to me, it's not given the right emphasis. The question is to what extent is the government culpable for creating the people who have done this? And to what extent should they be held responsible for the actions of terrorists that they have supported in the past? That's what this is all about. I'm talking about Ronald Reagan, George Bush Sr., their whole crew, up until the crew that's in there today. After the embassy attacks in Africa, they were well aware of Osama bin Laden. They were well aware of his location in Afghanistan, his protection by the Taliban, and this Bush administration gave them $43 million this year! And nobody talks about it, and nobody holds them accountable, and that's wrong.
To be fair, though, I believe even the Clinton administration supported the Taliban in the beginning because they were viewed as a stabilizing force.
Well, to hell with Clinton, too. I'm not a Democrat. I don't give a damn about Clinton. Hold these people responsible! You know, Democratic and Republican administrations alike have supported individuals and regimes that have slaughtered millions across the globe. And they need to be held accountable for that.
Your depiction of the news media in your strip makes it out to be almost a cheerleader for the government. Is that a fair assessment of your opinion?
They've absolutely been playing cheerleader for the government, to the extent that even they've had to admit it. I watch news shows, and they're like, "Yeah, we're treating Bush differently now." I don't want the news to be patriotic. I don't want to see flags on the lapels of the anchors. I don't want any of that. I want the news delivered unbiased. I thought that was the whole point with journalism. They've thrown that out the window. And because they've all thrown it out the window at the same time, it's supposedly acceptable. No! It's ridiculous. I don't need to see that.
This is war. It's serious. People are dying on both sides. How dare the media just give in when the government says don't air any of Osama bin Laden's video messages! What is this? He's going to rub his nose and something is going to blow up over here? Like terrorists don't have satellite television, and they can't watch foreign news and get the same messages. That's insane. It's totally and thoroughly irresponsible behavior by the entire institution of the media.
Don't hold back, Aaron.
I won't. I was talking to some television journalists about this who gave me some interesting insight. Right now, they're scared to be critical of the government. Everything is about access. Reporters are afraid that the administration will cut them off. Decades ago, the mark of a good reporter was how much dirt you could dig up. Like the Watergate scandal. They were actively trying to find out what was going on and report the truth to people. Now it's the exact opposite. Nobody wants to say anything that makes the government mad, and that's ridiculous. Also, after the attacks, now people think it's unpatriotic to say anything critical of the government.
Come on, Bush is a moron. There is no doubt about it. And they really didn't have a problem going there before. But now, nobody wants to call him on it. People get excited because he can speak well. What world is this? When we're happy that the president can articulate well. That's something they only used to say about black men. "Oh, you speak so well." That's nuts. You don't say that about the president. We're supposed to have higher standards. The media are a big part of shaping the perception of the country, and right now, they're not asking the tough questions. They're not exploring, for example, the Bush administration's financial ties with Afghanistan. The fact that George Bush Sr. has financial investments in the area, and those investments become much more valuable when the Taliban government is removed. I'm not talking about getting into a whole bunch of conspiracies. Report what's actually happening, and challenge the government to explain itself. Why didn't they ask more questions? Like, how did this happen? How did four planes get hijacked in one day? And who got fired? That's the question I want to know the answer to, because a whole bunch of people should have gotten fired for what happened on Sept. 11. Report on the fact that G. W. Bush is sealing presidential papers. Indefinitely. His, his father's, Reagan's. It's totally unconstitutional. Why don't they talk about that?
On the topic of George W's I.Q., I think that idea is pretty threatening to people right now, because like it or not, we're stuck with him.
Yes, but living in denial doesn't help the situation. We have to confront the very scary fact that the president is a moron. He's really dumb. He's got some really smart people around him, and people weren't afraid to say that before. They said it in a nice way, but they said it. It was like, he's dumb, but he's got Cheney and he's got Powell, so we'll probably be OK. But now they act like he's done something great. You know, he's called [the terrorists] "evil." That's really some childish stuff. They're bad, we're good. That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. That's so incredibly stupid. What do you think they do? They call us "evil." I just see so many parallels between both sides in this war, and it's really uncomfortable. You know, they kill civilians, we kill civilians. They say they're justified, we say the same thing. This is gang warfare on an international level. That's all it is. And when gang warfare happens in American cities, we say it's wrong. When somebody loads a gun, goes 20 blocks and kills the guy who killed his brother, it's not justifiable homicide or self-defense, it's murder and we put people in jail for it. Why is it acceptable that we do it now?
Do you support the war at all?
I don't support the killing of innocent people, and that's what's happening. What's worse is that we're killing innocent people out of retribution for the killing of innocent people. It's wrong. It's really wrong.
But assuming that Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida are responsible, we have to go in and get them. How do we go in and get them without taking over that country?
I don't know. But I would ask, how many bombs can we drop to bring these people back? We can't drop enough bombs to bring 4,000 people back, and we can't drop enough bombs to ensure that it never happens again. Is it really about Osama bin Laden, or are we narrowing this? The people that hijacked the planes and crashed them are dead. If there's a terrorist network or a man responsible, yes, we should get them, but when you construct it like a police action or an investigation, and not like a war, then you're forced to respect the lives of innocents, even if it's a pain in the ass. I say it's not worth innocent people dying, even if it takes years and you have to keep sending SEAL teams or whatever in there. What the hell? That's what they're trained to do. That's why they exist. Drop them in there to get one guy. F-18s exist to wipe out towns. It may take longer the other way, but that's too bad.
But I'm sure you've seen pictures of Germany after World War II, and that country was flattened. Japan too. There were countless innocent lives lost.
World War II was 60 years ago. I mean, just in terms of technology, we're not fighting wars the same way. They had special ops, but it was the beginnings of special ops. They didn't have satellites that could listen to a conversation from space or pinpoint and read a newspaper headline from miles in the air. We didn't have that. You went to war, carpet-bombed and a whole lot of civilians died. And you know what? World War II was fucked up. How many millions of people died good and bad? Could World War II have been fought differently? I don't know.
There are few wars where innocent people don't die.
I don't know why this had to become a war. A war on whom? This feels like the war on drugs. When does it end? When you declare war on Japan or Germany, you know you can stop when those countries are flattened. When you declare war against the word "terrorism," when is that over? What does that mean? Stopping terrorism is like stopping rape or burglary, it's an individual action. Anyone with a gun can go out and commit an act of terrorism, even without a political affiliation. It never ends. So it's like the war on drugs, and what has that accomplished? Not a goddamn thing but a whole lot of black men in jail for nonviolent crimes, millions of dollars spent and nothing else. And that's what the war on terrorism is going to do -- we're going to lose countless amounts of money, people are going to die and get locked up, but that's it. There's going to be no good coming out of it. We're going to lose our civil rights, and they're going to be gone forever.
You don't buy the argument that the curtailing of certain civil liberties is temporary, that it's been necessary in previous wars, and that eventually those rights will be restored?
It's not temporary. Once you give up rights, they're not going to give them back. This is a war that will never end. When are they going to say they've defeated terrorism? No one is stupid enough to say that. Because then when something blows up, they look like dickheads. They can never again come out and say America is safe. They'd be idiots if they did. So given that they've set the situation up as a war they can't win, they're never giving the rights back. Literally, someone will have to be elected who doesn't agree with this shit and gives us our rights back. Someone, I don't know who, will have to get into power and say, "You know, this was all bullshit, and we're changing the laws."
What do you think we'll have to go through for that to happen?
America will really have to understand how corrupt its system is, and they'll have to get so fed up that they're ready to make change. And I don't think that'll happen because the media are so in line with the government and so invested in the status quo. We have, essentially, a worthless democracy. I hate to sound so extreme, but things are that bad. There's nothing we have to share with the rest of the world. We don't even have one man, one vote. And we have so much legal corruption in our political system that no one even thinks about it anymore.
You say that, but would you want to live anywhere else?
I tell you what, I visited Canada, and I liked it. I liked it a lot. This idea that there's no better place in the world to live, I don't buy that.
BACK TO THE FIRST HOME PAGE OF THIS SITE