December 27, 2001
The Big Brother Files #23: Mass Killing in Afghanistan And Civil Rights Under Threat
Lots more to ponder once again!
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
1. Arthur Miller accuses Bush of abusing and curbing civil rights
2. The innocent dead in a coward's war
3. A Dossier on Civilian Victims of United States' Aerial Bombing of Afghanistan
4. 9/11 - What was Israel's role?
5. Smell a rat?
OTHER RECOMMENDED ARTICLES
Everybody's Got Their Own Terrorist (by Al Martin) IMPORTANT - A MUST READ!!!
Lots of people are allegedly being imprisoned in the US by local police "at the special request" of the Office of Homeland Security, based on secret lists with thousands of American sounding names on them. A per diem for keeping these people is "circuitously" paid to local sheriff's department pending adoption of various pieces of legislation and their incorporation into the USA Patriot Act.
NOTE FROM JEAN: I'll soon have more on this above - but go read it first.
Bush Wants More Funding for Domestic Security (December 22)
The Washington Post quoted unidentified administration officials and congressional budget experts as saying Bush wanted to boost spending on domestic U.S. security by at least $15 billion in his next budget (...) Ridge and other administration officials said the next budget would include significant increases in spending for homeland security.
From Tora Bora to Bora Bora
Ex-CIA agent Osama bin Laden and over 3,000 of his Al Queda terrorist regulars were flown out of Afghanistan under the guise of evacuating Pakistani wounded.
Al-Qaida fighters airlifted to safety
Daring 5-night operation rescued 3,000 terrorists from Afghanistan
India-Pakistan Tensions Mount
Sent by "Judith Iam" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Arthur Miller accuses Bush of abusing and curbing civil rights (22 December 2001)
Arthur Miller, America's greatest living playwright, will speak out against the Bush administration for abusing civil rights, in a BBC interview to be broadcast on Christmas Day.
Miller was called before Senator McCarthy's Un-American Activities Committee in the crusade against supposed left-wingers in 1956 and wrote one of his greatest plays, The Crucible, in response to it. He says he now fears the United States is using the war on terrorism to "increase its power over civil rights". Miller's words make him the highest-profile figure in the American arts world to take issue with President Bush's stance. In the interview with the BBC World Service, he refers to Mr Bush's emergency order that allows non-Americans accused of helping terrorist enemies to be tried outside normal courts by military tribunals. **Twenty million** immigrants and visitors fall within its scope. Miller says of the new law: "The government now is taking advantage of it... and using it as a way of increasing its power over civil rights and so on, by this business of creating military courts for terrorists." CLIP
The innocent dead in a coward's war
Estimates suggest US bombs have killed at least 3,767 civilians
Thursday December 20, 2001
The price in blood that has already been paid for America's war against terror is only now starting to become clear. Not by Britain or the US, nor even so far by the al-Qaida and Taliban leaders held responsible for the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington. It has instead been paid by ordinary Afghans, who had nothing whatever to do with the atrocities, didn't elect the Taliban theocrats who ruled over them and had no say in the decision to give house room to Bin Laden and his friends.
The Pentagon has been characteristically coy about how many people it believes have died under the missiles it has showered on Afghanistan. Acutely sensitive to the impact on international support for the war, spokespeople have usually batted away reports of civilian casualties with a casual "these cannot be independently confirmed", or sometimes simply denied the deaths occurred at all. The US media have been particularly helpful. Seven weeks into the bombing campaign, the Los Angeles Times only felt able to hazard the guess that "at least dozens of civilians" had been killed.
Now, for the first time, a systematic independent study has been carried out into civilian casualties in Afghanistan by Marc Herold, a US economics professor at the University of New Hampshire. Based on corroborated reports from aid agencies, the UN, eyewitnesses, TV stations, newspapers and news agencies around the world, Herold estimates that at least 3,767 civilians were killed by US bombs between October 7 and December 10. That is an average of 62 innocent deaths a day - and an even higher figure than the 3,234 now thought to have been killed in New York and Washington on September 11.
Of course, Herold's total is only an estimate. But what is impressive about his work is not only the meticulous cross-checking, but the conservative assumptions he applies to each reported incident. The figure does not include those who died later of bomb injuries; nor those killed in the past 10 days; nor those who have died from cold and hunger because of the interruption of aid supplies or because they were forced to become refugees by the bombardment. It does not include military deaths (estimated by some analysts, partly on the basis of previous experience of the effects of carpet-bombing, to be upwards of 10,000), or those prisoners who were slaughtered in Mazar-i-Sharif, Qala-i-Janghi, Kandahar airport and elsewhere.
Champions of the war insist that such casualties are an unfortunate, but necessary, byproduct of a just campaign to root out global terror networks. They are a world apart, they argue, from the civilian victims of the attacks on the World Trade Centre because, in the case of the Afghan civilians, the US did not intend to kill them.
In fact, the moral distinction is far fuzzier, to put it at its most generous. As Herold argues, the high Afghan civilian death rate flows directly from US (and British) tactics and targeting. The decision to rely heavily on high-altitude air power, target urban infrastructure and repeatedly attack heavily populated towns and villages has reflected a deliberate trade-off of the lives of American pilots and soldiers, not with those of their declared Taliban enemies, but with Afghan civilians. Thousands of innocents have died over the past two months, not mainly as an accidental byproduct of the decision to overthrow the Taliban regime, but because of the low value put on Afghan civilian lives by US military planners.
Raids on targets such as the Kajakai dam power station, Kabul's telephone exchange, the al-Jazeera TV station office, lorries and buses filled with refugees and civilian fuel trucks were not mistakes. Nor were the deaths that they caused. The same goes for the use of anti-personnel cluster bombs in urban areas. But western public opinion has become increasingly desensitised to what has been done in its name. After US AC-130 gunships strafed the farming village of Chowkar-Karez in October, killing at least 93 civilians, a Pentagon official felt able to remark: "the people there are dead because we wanted them dead", while US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld commented: "I cannot deal with that particular village."
Yesterday, Rumsfeld inadvertently conceded what little impact the Afghan campaign (yet to achieve its primary aim of bringing Bin Laden and the al-Qaida leadership to justice) has had on the terrorist threat, by speculating about ever more cataclysmic attacks, including on London. There will be no official two-minute silence for the Afghan dead, no newspaper obituaries or memorial services attended by the prime minister, as there were for the victims of the twin towers. But what has been cruelly demonstrated is that the US and its camp followers are prepared to sacrifice thousands of innocents in a coward's war.
Networks ignore civilian deaths
WHO COUNTS? NEW ESTIMATES OF AFGHANISTAN'S CIVILIAN DEAD
Sent by Ken <NCEpanacea@aol.com>
A Dossier on Civilian Victims of United States' Aerial Bombing of Afghanistan:
A Comprehensive Accounting
What causes the documented high level of civilian casualties -- 3,767 [thru December 6, 2001] civilian deaths in eight and a half weeks -- in the U.S. air war upon Afghanistan? The explanation is the apparent willingness of U.S. military strategists to fire missiles into and drop bombs upon, heavily populated areas of Afghanistan.
When U.S. warplanes strafed [with AC-130 gunships] the farming village of Chowkar-Karez, 25 miles north of Kandahar on October 22-23rd, killing at least 93 civilians, a Pentagon official said, "the people there are dead because we wanted them dead." The reason? They sympathized with the Taliban1. When asked about the Chowkar incident, Rumsfeld replied, "I cannot deal with that particular village.
"When people decry civilian deaths caused by the U.S. government, they're aiding propaganda efforts. In sharp contrast, when civilian deaths are caused by bombers who hate America, the perpetrators are evil and those deaths are tragedies. When they put bombs in cars and kill people, they're uncivilized killers. When we put bombs on missiles and kill people, we're upholding civilized values. When they kill, they're terrorists. When we kill, we're striking against terror."
"...shameful dependence on and uncritical acceptance of Pentagon handouts instead of substantial, critical coverage of the ground situation in Afghanistan. The US corporate media seems to be muting any talk of civilian casualties first by framing any such news with "Taliban claims thatÄ¶." And then happily putting the matter to rest with Pentagon spokesmanÄ¶" " [Joel Lee, Hyderabad, Znet Inter Active]
Mantra of the U.S. mainstream corporate media: "the report cannot be independently verified."
What causes the documented high level of civilian casualties -- 3,767 civilian deaths in eight and a half weeks -- in the U.S. air war upon Afghanistan? The explanation is the apparent willingness of U.S. military strategists to fire missiles into and drop bombs upon, heavily populated areas of Afghanistan. A legacy of the ten years of civil war during the 80s is that many military garrisons and facilities are located in urban areas where the Soviet-backed government had placed them since they could be better protected there from attacks by the rural mujahideen. Successor Afghan governments inherited these emplacements. To suggest that the Taliban used 'human shields' is more revealing of the historical amnesia and racism of those making such claims, than of Taliban deeds. Anti-aircraft emplacements will naturally be placed close by ministries, garrisons, communications facilities, etc. A heavy bombing onslaught must necessarily result in substantial numbers of civilian casualties simply by virtue of proximity to 'military targets', a reality exacerbated by the admitted occasional poor targeting, human error, equipment malfunction, and the irresponsible use of out-dated Soviet maps. But, the critical element remains the very low value put upon Afghan civilian lives by U.S. military planners and the political elite, as clearly revealed by U.S. willingness to bomb heavily populated regions. Current Afghan civilian lives must and will be sacrificed in order to [possibly] protect future American lives. Actions speak, and words [can] obscure: the hollowness of pious pronouncements by Rumsfeld, Rice and the compliant corporate media about the great care taken to minimize collateral damage is clear for all to see. Other U.S. bombing targets hit are impossible to 'explain' in terms other than the U.S. seeking to inflict maximum pain upon Afghan society and perceived 'enemies': the targeted bombing of the Kajakai dam power station, the Kabul telephone exchange, the Al Jazeera Kabul office, trucks and buses filled with fleeing refugees, and the numerous attacks upon civilian trucks carrying fuel oil. Indeed, the bombing of Afghan civilian infrastructure parallels that of the Afghan civilian.
The seven single bombing attacks -- "seven days of ignominy" -- causing the greatest civilian deaths occurred on October 11, 18, 21, 23 and November 10 and 18th and December 1st . The U.S. strikes hit four small farming villages, a city, a hospital and a mosque, and the central marketplace in the Taliban stronghold, Kandahar.
Seven Days of Ignominy
October 11th - the farming village of 450 persons of Karam, west of Jalalabad in Nangarhar province is repeatedly bombed, 45 of the 60 mud houses destroyed, killing at least 160 civilians. Ms. Tur Bakai, who survived the attack, but all of whose children died in the attack, said, her voice barely audible, "I was asleep. I heard the prayers and suddenly it started. I didn't know what it was. I was so scared";
October 18th - the central market place, Sarai Shamali in the Madad district of Kandahar is bombed, killing 47 civilians;
October 21st - a cluster bomb falls on the military hospital and mosque in Herat, killing 100;
October 23rd - in the early a.m. hours, low-flying AC-130 gunships repeatedly strafe the farming villages of Bori Chokar and Chowkar-Karez [Chakoor Kariz], 25 miles north of Kandahar, killing 93 civilians;
November 10th the villages of Shah Aqa and a neighboring sidling, in the poppy-growing Khakrez district, 70 kilometers northwest of Kandahar are bombed, resulting in possibly over 300 civilian casualties [though I have only recorded 125]
November 18th - carpet-bombing by B-52's of frontline village near Khanabad, province of Kunduz, kills at least 150 civilians.
December 1st - "It Just Did Not Happen"
Village elders of Kama Ado, fifty kilometers southwest of Jalalabad, had trekked down the mountains on Thursday, November 29th to meet the governor of Nangarhar in Jalalabad. They pleaded with him to stop the American night time attacks around their village which had killed their livestock and destroyed their water supply, but none had lost their lives.
At 3.a.m, Saturday morning, as part of the intense bombing campaign of Tora Bora, U.S. B-52 bombers made four passes over Kama Ado, dropping twenty-five 1,000 lb. JDAM MK-83 bombs, each 10 feet long. Kama Ado is a ten hour hike away from Tora Bora. Khalil Rahman survived because he had gone outside to urinate when a bomb struck his home, killing his 12 relatives. Sprina, a 50 year old widow, wounded in the attack, lost 38 of her 40 relatives. Hassan and other villagers say that in the following day, the saw only 40 of the 250-300 residents of Kama Ado. Kamal Huddin said that 156 of the 300 residents of Kama Ado had perished.
A second nearby village Khan-e-Mairjuddin, was bombed a few hours earlier with a likely death toll of 100-200, with 50 confirmed deaths by Saturday morning. And a third village, Zaner Khel, also reported being hit with scores of civilian casualties, when U.S. warplanes bombed the nearby house of a minor Taliban official.
Journalists who visited Kama Ado on Saturday reported huge bomb craters, debris of houses spread over two hillsides with children's shoes, dead cows and sheep, and the tail fin of a U.S. MK-83 bomb. Locals said scores of people had been killed in three bombed villages. (85)
The response of the Pentagon and Command Central on Saturday evening?
"It just did not happen."
To read all the rest (lots more than this above!) and see the pictures, go to:
December 17, 2001
9/11 - WHAT WAS ISRAEL'S ROLE?
by Justin Raimondo
Fox News revelations point to an ominous conclusion
When is American foreign policy going to start putting America first? The US had nothing to gain, and everything to lose, by vetoing a UN resolution condemning violence on all sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The resolution condemned terrorism, no matter what the source, called for the creation of a "monitoring mechanism" to prevent violence, denounced executions without trial, and said the destruction of property must cease. You gotta problem with that?
This administration does: John Negroponte, American ambassador to the UN, justified the US veto by averring that the resolution aimed to "isolate politically one of the parties to the conflict through an attempt to throw the weight of the Council behind the other party." The resolution, said Negroponte, was unsatisfactory because it didn't specifically mention "recent acts of terrorism" against Israelis. Naturally, this scuttled the whole thing, as it was intended to do.
THE VICTIMOLOGICAL OLYMPICS
For this argument, if carried on long enough, would lead to an infinite regression of victimological examples: the pro-Arab bloc would insist on specifically mentioning the supposedly accidental killing of five Palestinian children by an Israeli booby-trap bomb planted near a school. This would be the cue for the Israeli side to come up with a Hamas-Hizbollah atrocity that merits inclusion - and, before you know it, we're all the way back to 1948 with the pro-Arabists demanding the inclusion of the massacre at Deir Yassein, and, naturally, the Zionist bloc doing them one better by moving for some mention of the Roman conquest and persecution of the Jews.
THE WAR AGAINST THE WORLD
The US veto undermines the war effort, and makes the Americans seem as if they are waging a war not only on Islam, but against the entire world on behalf of Israel. After decades of trying to prove its bona fides as an honest broker of peace in the region, it is the US that is effectively isolated. The resolution was co-sponsored (or amended) by France and the Security Council vote was 12-1, with Britain and Norway abstaining. Whatever credibility the US had in the Arab world - very little, I'm afraid - was lost with that one arrogant gesture. So much for the grand "coalition" that Colin Powell has been building: the Israeli lobby in the US has demolished it with a single blow.
Speaking of sabotage, the story of the gigantic Israeli spy operation in the US - and its mysterious activities in the weeks prior to 9/11 - continues to amaze and shock even me. When I wrote, a few weeks ago, that the detention of some 60 Israelis in connection with 9/11 was "ominous" little did I realize just how much of an understatement that would turn out to be. It is often said that, post-9/11, the US is going through what the Israelis have had to endure for decades. The series of Fox News special reports on Israeli penetration of US intelligence assets puts this insight in an entirely new light. For it appears, from what we are learning, that the struggle between two desert tribes in a far away land has truly been brought home to the US: America, we are discovering to our horror, has become a battleground for both sides in that ancient conflict.
ENDS & MEANS
As I related last week, the first part of this astonishing four-part series by Fox News reporter Carl Cameron presents credible evidence suggesting Israeli intelligence had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks. The second and third parts show they had the means to acquire this knowledge. According to Cameron,
"Fox News has learned that some American terrorist investigators fear certain suspects in the Sept. 11 attacks may have managed to stay ahead of them, by knowing who and when investigators are calling on the telephone."
ALL ROADS LEAD TO AMDOCS
Cameron takes us through an explanation of how and why virtually all telephone calls in the US are billed by a single company, Amdocs Ltd., which just happens to be headquartered in Israel. Chances are that when you make a call, the record of the call and the billing is done through Amdocs. With a virtual monopoly in the US, and tentacles worldwide, Cameron reports that "it is virtually impossible to make a call on normal phones without generating an Amdocs record of it." Amdocs denies any wrongdoing, but sources tell Fox News that, in 1999,
"The super secret national security agency, headquartered in northern Maryland, issued what's called a Top Secret sensitive compartmentalized information report, TS/SCI, warning that records of calls in the United States were getting into foreign hands - in Israel, in particular."
SPIES IN THE WOODWORK
It's not that anyone is listening in on all these calls, but that these methods are a way to know who is calling whom, when, and for how long - vital information in and of itself. Cameron assures us that the White House and the Pentagon are immune from such surveillance, but an article in Insight, the magazine put out by the Washington Times, showed how Israeli intelligence had thoroughly penetrated the communications system at the Clinton White House. According to co-authors J. Michael Waller and Paul M. Rodriguez, writing in May of last year, the FBI was
"Probing an explosive foreign-espionage operation that could dwarf the other spy scandals plaguing the U.S. government. Insight has learned that FBI counterintelligence is tracking a daring operation to spy on high-level US officials by hacking into supposedly secure telephone networks. The espionage was facilitated, federal officials say, by lax telephone-security procedures at the White House, State Department and other high-level government offices and by a Justice Department unwillingness to seek an indictment against a suspect."
"The espionage operation may have serious ramifications," wrote Waller and Rodriguez, "because the FBI has identified Israel as the culprit."
OUT OF THE MURK
Ah, but the deepness of these consequences is just beginning to be known. As the Fox News revelations make all too clear, they are a lot deeper than anyone, including Waller and Rodriguez, could possibly have imagined last year. The picture that is beginning to emerge out of the murk is this: the Israelis were watching the hijackers and/or their associates, and they very possibly had access to a complete set of the conspirators' phone records, if not direct access to the content of their conversations. In the months prior to the attacks, the Israelis did indeed issue a warning of "massive" terrorist attacks, but, in an effort to protect both their sources and methods, their warning gave no details and was therefore practically useless.
THE COMVERSE CONNECTION
The third part of the Fox series shows how the Israelis had access, not only to phone records, but also to the wiretaps being conducted by US law enforcement agencies. This access could have easily been provided, Cameron points out, by yet another hi-tech Israeli communications company, Comverse, which operates as practically a branch of the Israeli government, and enjoys near monopolistic status here in the US.
When you place a call, it goes through a complicated network of routers and switchers. The way wiretapping works is that customized computers are linked to that network via specialized software, and the system intercepts, records, and stores wiretapped calls. But this system has a "back door" that could have easily been opened by Israeli intelligence. Comverse maintains a link to the wiretapping computers, on the grounds that it is necessary for system "maintenance." Over the opposition of some patriotic law enforcement officers, this process was authorized by the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). But that wasn't the end of it. According to Fox News,
"Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller were both warned Oct. 18 in a hand-delivered letter from 15 local, state and federal law enforcement officials, who complained that 'law enforcement's current electronic surveillance capabilities are less effective today than they were at the time CALEA was enacted.'"
But Ashcroft is too busy rounding up Arabs and closing down their organizations to worry about the wholesale penetration of our communications system - including "secure" networks at the White House, the Defense Department, and elsewhere - by our wonderful allies, the Israelis. Cameron cites several unnamed law enforcement agents - concerned about the ominous implications of the Israeli penetration in light of 9/11 - who say that even raising the issue is "career suicide."
I HOPE YOU'RE SITTING DOWN
Okay, so the Israelis have the phone lines over at the White House, the Defense Department, the Justice Department, and, for all we know, your local dogcatcher's office bugged to the max. So they have the capability to know where and when practically every phone call in the US, and large sections of the rest of the world, is made, and to whom. As fantastic as it sounds, given the advance of technology and the reputation of the Mossad, I'm willing to believe it. What's really alarming, however, is that, as Cameron reports:
"On a number of cases, suspects that they had sought to wiretap and survey immediately changed their telecommunications processes. They started acting much differently as soon as those supposedly secret wiretaps went into place."
BEYOND THE BEGUINE
The implications of this stunning news go far beyond my original contention: that the Israelis had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks and simply failed to let us know the details. For it all depends on the intended target of the wiretaps: was it the Israelis, or Bin Laden's agents? If the former were acting differently after wiretaps were put in place, it means only that the Israelis were using their sources and methods to protect their own: if the latter, it means the Israelis were using their sources and methods to protect the Bin Ladenites. That is a possibility no one - including me - wants to contemplate, and, in all truthfulness, I must confess I cannot believe it. I am forced to concede, however, that, given what we now know, it is possible. Until and unless the government comes clean, we won't know for sure.
INVESTIGATE THE ISRAELI CONNECTION
At the end of his second report, Carl Cameron remarked to Brit Hume that the question of the Israeli connection to 9/11 "came up in the select intelligence committee on Capitol Hill today," and "they intend to look into what we reported last night." Naturally, all this is occurring in secret, with the likelihood of a cover-up all but certain. What is needed is a public investigation, and full disclosure of the Israeli role, if any, in 9/11.
WHERE IS THE MEDIA?
That, of course, is the role of the media - and, in this regard, it is interesting to note that Cameron's explosive investigation has not been picked up by a single news outlet, as far as I know (although I would be happy to be proved wrong) or discussed by a single "mainstream" columnist. Yet Fox News is hardly a marginal news source. In a business where scandal and especially spy stories are hot, you would think that a story like this, with its tie-in to 9/11, would have the other networks and the major media falling all over themselves to get a piece of the action. But not this time, at least so far.
THE ANTI-SEMITIC FALLACY
I can only hope, for Mr. Cameron's sake, that what amounts to "career suicide" in law enforcement doesn't hold true at Fox News. Israel certainly has many vocal and very active supporters, who are quick to make their opinions known. But it is false to posit a "Jewish-controlled" media, no matter what the ethnicity or political persuasion of editors, owners, or whatever: these media companies are beholden to their shareholders, and to the market. Reporting the news is an intensely competitive business: there is no way to enforce an embargo on certain information, not in this day and age. There is no "Jewish conspiracy" - only the machinations of a particular foreign government and its uncritical supporters in this country, who span the ethnic and religious as well as the political spectrum.
THE TRUTH, AT LAST
It is too soon to say whether or not this story has "legs," as they say, and is going anywhere soon. But one thing's for sure: Fox News has blown the mystery of 9/11 wide open. This isn't going to just go away. On September 11, the American people looked on in disbelief at the sight of not only the World Trade Center going down but the Pentagon - the Pentagon, fer chrissake! - under attack and apparently defenseless. My first thought, at any rate, was: How could this happen? With these latest surprising developments - pointing to an ambiguous Israeli role, at best, in all this - I fear we are just beginning to discover the answer to that question.
EIR Blows Israeli Spies' Cover
Years of tracking down an important set of drug-trafficking cases, led EIR investigators to what has now become a contender for the story of the new century: the investigation of connections between Israeli spies detained in the United States, and the events of Sept. 11 (...) Thus the events of September 11 and the ongoing coup threat must be first understood from the standpoint of the interaction of these three elements: the as-yet unidentified rogue operators within the military-security command; the strategic policy figures promoting the new Eurasian Thirty Years War; and the Israeli apparatus of Sharon and the IDF, which, as part of their war aims, has carried out an aggressive espionage and covert operations penetration of the U.S.A., including the recruitment of American-born assets. It is so far unknown, but to be suspected, that some of these Israeli assets may have been an included feature of the rogue networks whose complicity was vital to the successful attacks of Sept. 11. CLIP
Israel's move to destroy the Palestinian Authority is a calculated plan, long in the making
In mainstream political discourse, Israel's recent atrocities are described as 'retaliatory acts' - answering the last wave of terror attacks on Israeli civilians. But in fact, this 'retaliation' had been carefully prepared long before. Already in October 2000, at the outset of the Palestinian uprising, military circles were ready with detailed operative plans to topple Arafat and the Palestinian Authority. This was before the Palestinian terror attacks started. CLIP
From: Ken <NCEpanacea@aol.com>
Date: 19 Dec 2000
Subject: Smell a rat?
From: Culture Jammers Network
Have your activities come under increased scrutiny in the aftermath of Sept. 11? Ours have.
Recently, our Corporate America Flag billboard in Times Square, New York, attracted the attention of the federal Department of Defense, and a visit by an agent who asked a lot of pointed questions about our motivations and intent. We wondered: What gives?
"Just following up a lead from a tip line," the agent admitted.
That's the kind of fourth quarter it's been for many social activists. Any campaign that dares to question U.S. economic, military or foreign policy in these delicate times, any critical appraisal of the handling of the "War on terrorism," risks casting the critic as a kind of enemy of the state, if not an outright terrorist.
Vigilance we can live with. Intimidation that amounts to persecution is another bucket of fish. According to some of the emails and phone calls we've received lately, many other groups have also found themselves under investigation in a political climate that's starting to take on shades of McCarthyism.
Our response to all of this is to set up our own "rat line." If you know of social marketing campaigns or protest actions that are being suppressed, or if you come across any other story of overzealous government "information management," please tell us your story. Go to http://www.adbusters.org/campaigns/flag/nyc.html
New terror laws used for first time (in the UK)
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