11/13 " Iraq: Call an air strike": Divided & Unconquered; "No Jewish State"; Science & the State:"AIDS" & Info.Technology

"... the literature on counter-insurgency is so enormous that, had it been put aboard the Titanic, it would have sunk that ship without any help from the iceberg. However, the outstanding fact is that almost all of it has been written by the losers.
Martin van Creveld, in The Changing Face Of War, 2006

Iraq: Call an air strike
Pepe Escobar

Amid the George W Bush administration's relentless campaign to "change the subject" from Iraq to Iran, how to "win" the war against the Iraqi resistance, Sunni or Shi'ite, now means - according to counter-insurgency messiah General David Petraeus - calling an air strike.

On a parallel level, the Pentagon has practically finished a base in southern Iraq less than 10 kilometers from the border with Iran called Combat Outpost Shocker. The Pentagon maintains this is for the US to prevent Iranian weapons from being smuggled into Iraq. Rather, it's to control a rash of US covert, sabotage operations across the border targeting Iran's Khuzestan province... The Pentagon - via Major General Joseph Fil, commander of US forces in Baghdad - is relentlessly spinning there's now less violence in the capital, a "sustainable" trend. This is rubbish.
Fil cannot even admit to the basic fact that Baghdad has been reduced to a collection of blast-walled, isolated ghettos in search of a city. Baghdad, from being 65% Sunni, is now at least 75% Shi'ite, and counting. Sunni and Shi'ite residents alike confirm sectarian violence has died down because there are virtually no more neighborhoods to be ethnically cleansed.... The falling numbers of US deaths have also been subjected to merciless spinning. Yet already more US troops have been killed in Iraq in 2007 than in all of 2006. This temporary fall is not caused by a burst of Sunni Iraqi resistance good will - even though an array of groups has taken some time out to concentrate forces in these past few months on unifying their struggle (See It's the resistance, stupid Asia Times Online, October 17, 2007.)...

With the US corporate media operating virtually like a Pentagon information agency, the only news fit to print is that as of early this week there were 3,855 American dead in Iraq. But most of all - and never mentioned - there were 28,451 wounded in combat. And as of October 1, there were no less than 30,294 military victims of accidents and diseases so serious they had to be medically sent out of Iraq.... Up to the end of September, there had been 1,140 air strikes. Last month, there were more air strikes than during the siege that devastated Fallujah in November 2004. Even discounting the criminal absurdity of an occupation routinely dropping the bomb on packed neighborhoods of a city it already occupies, civilians are the inevitable "collateral damage" of these attacks - families, women, children, assorted "non-combatants". The US Air Force does not even take responsibility - claiming the air strikes are ordered by scared-to-death convoys of Humvees patrolling, say, the mean streets of Sadr City.

The Pentagon talk of "precision strikes" and "reducing collateral damage" means nothing in this context. This appalling human-rights disaster has to be attributed to counter-insurgency messiah Petraeus, the "loser", according to Martin van Creveld, who wrote the latest book on the matter, The Changing Face Of War.

But for public relations purposes inside the US, Petraeus' "by his book" approach works wonders. The Pentagon can spin to oblivion to a cowered media that US deaths are falling. Who cares what the Nuri al-Maliki "sovereign" Iraqi government says? Maliki is nothing but the mayor of the Green Zone anyway. Who cares what the "fish" - who support the "sea" of the resistance, Sunni or Shi'ite - feel? 80% of them are unemployed anyway - and they merely struggle to survive as second-class citizens in their own land. There's hardly any electricity, fuel or food in Baghdad - everything is rationed - for anyone who's not aligned with a militia-protected faction. The only other option is to flee. With at least a staggering 4.4 million, according to the United Nations, either refugees or internally displaced, options are dwindling fast. There may be as many as 2 million Iraqi refugees in Syria alone. Damascus, in despair, has tightened its visa rules: only academics and businessmen are now entitled. No less than 14% of the entire Iraqi population has been displaced - courtesy of the Bush administration.... but the Bush administration is "winning" the war, of course. Counter-insurgency doctrine rules that the enemy must be controlled with social, political, ideological and psychological weapons, and risks have to be taken so civilians can be protected. The surging Petraeus turned that upside down. Or maybe not - he's just providing his own scholarly follow-up to the indiscriminate bombings of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the 1960s and 1970s. Petraeus, His master's voice, might as well call an air strike over the whole of Mesopotamia and then call it "victory".
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007). He may be reached
at pepeasia@yahoo.com.

A Tale of One City, Now Two
Inter Press Service
By Ali al-Fadhily*
BAGHDAD, Nov 12 (IPS) ... "I would like to agree with the idea that violence in Iraq has decreased and that everything is fine," retired general Waleed al-Ubaidy told IPS in Baghdad. "But the truth is far more bitter. All that has happened is a dramatic change in the demographic map of Iraq."... "Baghdad has been torn into two cities and many towns and neighbourhoods," Ahmad Ali, chief engineer from one of Baghdad's municipalities told IPS. "There is now the Shia Baghdad and the Sunni Baghdad to start with. Then, each is divided into little town-like pieces of the hundreds of thousands who had to leave their homes."... areas of Baghdad that were previously mixed are now totally Shia or totally Sunni. This follows the sectarian cleansing in mixed neighbourhoods by militias and death squads. On the Russafa side of Tigris River, al-Adhamiya is now fully Sunni; the other areas are all Shia. The al-Karkh side of the river is purely Sunni except for Shula, Hurriya and small strips of Aamil which are dominated by Shia militias. "If the situation is good, why are five million Iraqis living in exile," says 55- year-old Abu Mohammad who was evicted from Shula in West Baghdad to become a refugee in Amiriya, a few miles from his lost home. "Americans and Iranians have succeeded in realising their old dream of dividing the Iraqi people into sects. That is the only success they can talk about."...

A UN report released September 2005 held interior ministry forces responsible for an organised campaign of detentions, torture and killings. It said special police commando units accused of carrying out the killings were recruited from the Shia Badr and Mehdi militias. Retired Col. James Steele, who served as advisor to Iraqi security forces under former U.S. ambassador John Negroponte, supervised the training of these forces.
Steele had been commander of the U.S. military advisors group in El Salvador in 1984-86; Negroponte was U.S. ambassador to neighbouring Honduras 1981-85. Negroponte was accused of widespread human rights violations by the Honduras Commission on Human Rights in 1994. The Commission reported the torture and disappearance of at least 184 political workers. The violations Negroponte oversaw in Honduras were carried out by operatives trained by the CIA, according to a CIA working group set up in 1996 to look into the U.S. role in Honduras. The CIA records document that "special intelligence units", better known as "death squads", comprised CIA-trained Honduran armed units which kidnapped, tortured and killed thousands of people suspected of supporting leftist guerrillas. Negroponte was ambassador to Iraq for close to a year from June 2004.

US Alliance: Afghan Genocide -- Six Million Excess Deaths?
Dr Gideon Polya
Post-invasion non-violent excess deaths in Occupied Afghanistan - a month on from the 6th anniversary of the war criminal US invasion and occupation on 7th October 2001 – now total an estimated 3.2 million. However comparisons with Occupied Iraq (1.5-2 million TOTAL post-invasion excess deaths, and 0.8-1.2 million or about 50% of these being VIOLENT deaths) suggest that the post-invasion violent excess deaths in Occupied Afghanistan could total 3 million. The racist, war criminal US military state that they "don’t do body counts" of Indigenous victims but publicly-accessible UN demographic data allow us to estimate the carnage as outlined below.... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38060

Will 'armloads' of US cash buy tribal loyalty?
Sam Dagher, AFP
...Since June, Mr. Hassani, who claims to be one of the princes of the legendary Shammar tribe, which numbers nearly 7 million across the Arab world, says he has received at least $100,000 in cash and numerous perks from the US military and the Iraqi government. With his help, at least $1 million has also been distributed to other tribal sheikhs who have joined his Salahaddin Province "support council," according to US officers. Together, they have assembled an armed force of about 3,000 tribesmen dubbed the "sahwa [awakening] folks." All of these enticements serve one goal: To rally Sunni tribes and their multitude of followers to support coalition forces.... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38024

Is all anti-imperialist resistance in Afghanistan 'Taliban'?
Taliban exploit Pakistan emergency
Officials in the Swat valley in Pakistan say Taliban fighters are tightening their grip on some areas in the north-west of the country close to the border with Afghanistan. The rising violence near the frontier was one justification for the current state of emergency declared by General Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's president. Pro-Taliban fighters have advanced in recent days and the government says they now control as much as 70 per cent of the Swat valley. They have taken control of public buildings, including police stations.... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38085

* The U.S. military in Afghanistan says 15 militants along with an Afghan woman and two children were killed during a battle with insurgents in the south. http://www.voanews.com/english/2007-11-12-voa25.cfm?rss=topstories

* Two NATO occupation force soldiers were killed Monday when a homemade bomb hit their vehicle in eastern Afghanistan, the alliance's International Security Assistance Force said.http://snipurl.com/1tjhf

* NATO Afghan detainees face torture risk - Amnesty: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3470651,00.html

Erekat: Palestinians will not accept Israel as 'Jewish state'
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent and Haaretz Service
Saeb Erekat, chief negotiator for the Palestine Liberation Organization, rejected on Monday the government's demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state. In an interview with Israel Radio, Erekat said that "no state in the world connects its national identity to a religious identity."
Earlier Monday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that the starting point for all negotiations with the Palestinians will be the "recognition of Israel as a state for the Jewish people, This recognition is meant to bolster Israel's position that rejects the return of Palestinian refugees to areas inside the Green Line - the border before the 1967 Six-Day War. "We won't hold negotiations on our existence as a Jewish state, this is a launching point for all negotiations," Olmert said. "We won't have an argument with anyone in the world over the fact that Israel is a state of the Jewish people. Whoever does not accept this cannot hold any negotiations with me. This has been made clear to the Palestinians and the Americans. I have no doubt that Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas] and [PA premier Salam] Fayad are committed to prior agreements and want to make peace with Israel as a Jewish state," Olmert continued.... "I do not intend to compromise in any way over the issue of the Jewish state," Olmert said, thereby accepting the position of Livni and Barak. "This will be a condition for our recognition of a Palestinian state."

Olmert said he raised the importance of this issue during his talks with European and American officials, and their response had been positive.
However, during talks in recent weeks between the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams, the Palestinians refused to include the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state in the shared declaration the teams are preparing, which will be made at Annapolis. Erekat's statement to Israel Radio on Monday did not seem to imply that refusal would waver ahead of the summit.

by the New England Committee to Defend Palestine

Principles of Unity
• Palestine is Arab land. We support the struggle of the Palestinian Arab people to
liberate themselves from military occupation and colonial settlement in all of historic
Palestine. We affirm the right of Palestinians to reclaim their land and resources,
to maintain their culture, and to free their land from occupation by soldiers and
settlers by any means necessary.

• We oppose the existence of the colonial-settler state of "Israel."

• We demand an end to all US aid to "Israel" – military, economic, and political.

• We oppose all forms of normalization with "Israel." We support boycotts and
other popular actions aimed at isolating "Israel" economically and politically.

• We recognize that the struggle of the Palestinian people is part of a regional
struggle against US, European, and Zionist imperialism. We support the regional
struggle for indigenous sovereignty over land and resources.
See Articles by members[...]
contact us at necdp@onepalestine.org .

My god, what did we did
"...my parents brought me up on the values of Zionism, on the idea that wherever I'm most needed is where I should go. I wanted to make a difference and I'd do it again despite everything ..."
By Dalia Karpel (excerpt)
One night, Tamar Yarom was awakened by one of the soldiers in her unit. He said he wanted to show her something in the basement of the abandoned building where they were staying. "Before we opened the door, I heard this awful noise from a generator and there was a strong smell of diesel fuel. I saw a middle-aged Palestinian detainee lying with his head on the generator. His ear was pressed against the generator that was vibrating, and the guy's head was vibrating with it. His face was completely messed up. It amazed me that through all the blood and horror, you could still see the guy's expression and that's what stayed with me for years after - the look on his face."

Yarom, now a film director, made two films following her army service as a mashakit tash (welfare officer) in an infantry company in the territories. She was drafted in 1989 and served at a basic-training base near Jerusalem until her unit was transferred to Gaza. She accompanied the recruits from their first day in the army and felt close to them, and they told her about what they did in the territories. "I tried not to judge them. Mostly I was glad that they were feeling good and finally had self-confidence." That's how it works, she adds: "When you're told things that you don't see with your own eyes, you can prettify them in your mind." But then she was taken to that basement....That detainee I saw taught me something about myself that I would never have learned in years of university. And he's imprinted in my memory, engraved in every cell of my being. I saw a person in the lowest, most suffering state. A victim of cruelty I didn't know existed. And I stood there unmoved, apparently."

Morality, she says now, "is a privilege of people who weren't in these places. It's very hard to look at yourself and understand that you're not the person you thought you were. I came to the army from a youth movement that touts equality and the value of every human being and I got a slap in the face. When I saw the film at the Haifa Film Festival I couldn't stop crying. I cried for what we did. Dear God, what we did."

Why did you take part in the film?

"Because it's important for people to know that something bad happened there. The IDF makes great efforts for it not to happen and I've never seen such big efforts made anywhere else, but still it happens. Because the reality is horrible. I want as many men and women soldiers as possible to talk about what happens there, for it to be a part of the discourse. I served there because my parents brought me up on the values of Zionism, on the idea that wherever I'm most needed is where I should go. I wanted to make a difference and I'd do it again despite everything." ...

All the women in "To See If I'm Smiling" describe themselves as victims of circumstances. But of course that's just one way to see what they felt and did there, and what happened to them.
Asked what her film's political stance is, director Tamar Yarom seems momentarily nonplussed. Her film has no political stance, she says. "It's a mainstream film. Otherwise, people will switch channels. Because who wants to see a film that tells horror stories about military service in the territories? She adds: "The film is political only in that the Israeli viewer comes to this subject and projects a lot of his own political meanings onto it. The only thing that has value is the attempt to relate the experience of service in the territories, and women are good at describing emotional situations. Through them you can understand the psychology of the guys who serve in the territories. It's not different, it's just more extreme. It makes no difference what your job is. If you're in the territories you'll be sullied by this thing and come out a different person. I went into the territories with an excellent upbringing and came out a different person. I was afflicted by moral confusion there. That's my position, and the position of the film."

Palestinian Folklore Dancing Banned in a US School
Sabbah's blog
OLD SAYBROOK, Conn. - Officials in Old Saybrook have canceled performances by a Palestinian dance troupe after getting a complaint that it is offensive to Jews and Israel. The decision involves planned performances at the town’s elementary and middle schools by Al-Ghad Folklore Dancing Troupe. Town resident Ginger Horton says she felt compelled to complain to school officials after her two grandchildren told her they were offended by the troupe’s performance at the high school Monday Horton says the grandchildren told her the high school performance depicted Israeli soldiers beating and torturing Palestinians. http://www.uruknet.de/?p=38077

Romanticizing Giuliani / Kerik fascist thug assets: promoters of U.S.engineered 911 green-light for U.S. global juggernaut
Tough Guy Kerik Often Lived on the Edge
“I am a hunter of men,”
...“Bernie is a multidimensional character who is street-smart, emotional, fearless, picks up complex organizational issues quickly, and is also a risk-taker,” said Michael P. Jacobson, a former city correction commissioner who served as Mr. Kerik’s boss. “Those are all qualities that can make one an effective leader — and get one into trouble at the same time.”
By his own account, Mr. Kerik’s first sojourn to Saudi Arabia in 1978 was formative. During 30 months working security at a construction site in the desert, Mr. Kerik, then 22, learned from a squad of mercenaries and disillusioned Vietnam War veterans how to carry himself with a “quiet, dignified confidence.” He also developed a taste for the spoils of mercenary pay: Gucci shoes, Rolex watches, European suits, according to his memoir.
As a city police officer, his professed dream career, he would rise to detective, distinguishing himself on dangerous undercover drug investigations during seven years on the job. He was still a police officer in 1993 when he began working security and as a driver for Rudolph W. Giuliani, then a mayoral candidate. The relationship would set the course for the rest of his life.

In early 1995, Mayor Giuliani appointed Mr. Kerik first deputy commissioner of the city’s Correction Department, the second-highest rank in the agency.
[note: NYT omits fact in this puff- piece that Giuliani later pushed his gangster associate for chief of U.S. fascist Homeland Security Dept.]

The same year, Mr. Kerik met Lawrence V. Ray, a businessman willing to share the money he had made in various insurance and technology endeavors. The two became friends, regularly working out and dining together. About a year later, when Mr. Ray was warned that a mobster wanted him dead because of a business deal gone bad, Mr. Kerik called a friend at the F.B.I. to set up a meeting between Mr. Ray and agents.Nothing about the episode prompted Mr. Kerik, a law enforcement official, to distance himself from Mr. Ray. Rather, he continued to ask Mr. Ray for money and other gifts, including help in buying an apartment and subsidizing his wedding reception. He would continue to call Mr. Ray his best friend until Mr. Ray was indicted in March 2000 for a minor role in the mobster’s stock fraud scheme. By then, Mr. Kerik had made other friends through Mr. Ray from whom he accepted gifts. One, a real estate developer named Nathan Berman, invited Mr. Kerik to vacation at his family’s seaside villa in Majorca and provided him with a personal loan of $28,000 to help buy the Bronx apartment in 1999. Mr. Ray also introduced Mr. Kerik to Frank DiTommaso, the owner of a construction company that had long battled allegations that it was too close to organized crime figures. Prosecutors say Mr. DiTommaso’s companies paid $165,000 to renovate Mr. Kerik’s Bronx apartment, starting just months after the two met and at a time when the company was seeking help with city officials who were withholding a city license from the firm. Mr. Kerik met and called city officials involved in the license review on the company’s behalf, investigators say.

Mr. Kerik also took risks in his personal life. He dated a married subordinate in the Correction Department, Jeannette Pinero; Mr. Kerik has said the affair ended before he married his current wife, Hala, in 1998. In 2001, he also dated his publisher, Ms. Regan. When a necklace he had given to Ms. Regan seemed to disappear, along with her cellphone, from a television studio, homicide detectives were dispatched to the station’s make-up artists’ homes in the middle of the night. And when he sought to learn about his mother’s life and death, for his memoir that Ms. Regan was publishing, he sent police officers who worked for him to Ohio. As charming and self-deprecating as he often was, Mr. Kerik also survived in public life because some people felt intimidated by him.
In early 1995, he sat in front of the grizzled wardens of Rikers Island, his bulky frame tucked into a dapper suit. A series of embarrassing revelations had just led to the departure of Giuliani’s first correction commissioner, Anthony Schembri. Some wardens were suspected of leaking the information and Mr. Kerik was the new deputy in the department.

“I am a hunter of men,” Mr. Kerik said, according to several people who were present. He spoke of employing a management style akin to that of Attila the Hun and promised to destroy the career of anyone who crossed him.

digest note: a perfect fascist "national defense" fit:
"...At a recent conference on urban warfare in Washington, D.C., James Lasswell, a retired Marine Corps colonel who now heads the Office of Science and Technology at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory... noted that, as part of an instruction course named "Combat Hunter" the Marines have brought in "big-game hunters" to school their snipers in the better use of "optics." According to a September 2007 article by Grace Jean in National Defense Magazine, "[T]he lab conducted a war game with Marines, African game hunters and inner city police officers to search for ways to improve training." The program included a 15-minute CD titled "Every Marine a Hunter." excerpt from (Un)Fair Game: Targeting Iraqis as "Big Game" by Nick Turse, http://www.bulatlat.com/2007/10/un-fair-game-targeting-iraqis-big-game

When Mr. Kerik left city service in 2002 and joined Mr. Giuliani in the private sector, he enjoyed not only the fame that came with his association with the heroism of 9/11, but also newfound wealth. Taser International, a maker of stun guns, put him on its board and he earned more than $5 million by selling stock options in the company several years ago. Mr. Giuliani also paid him a salary of $500,000. Still, according to yesterday’s indictment, he welcomed the help of Steven C. Witkoff, a commercial real estate developer and something of a cop buff, who picked up his annual rent of more than $100,000 on the Manhattan apartment.

For Kerik, Comedown From on High Must Hurt
Mr. Kerik was nominated to be secretary of homeland security by President Bush, and thus the nation’s chief protector from terror, floods and other calamities. His boosters included Mr. Giuliani and New York’s two Democratic senators, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles E. Schumer. He dropped out when it was learned that he had paid a nanny off the books.“Sure, there were issues,” Mr. Giuliani told The Associated Press this week, “but if I have the same degree of success and failure as president of the United States, this country will be in great shape.”...
In May 2003, Mr. Kerik announced that he was going to Iraq for six months at the president’s request to rebuild the Iraqi police force. He left after three months, stopping on his way home in Jordan, where the king became a loyal client of the Kerik consultancy...He never failed to remind audiences of 9/11. In an address in December 2003, using his own jewelry as a prop, he said: “On this band, it says, ‘In Memory of W.T.C. — 23 — N.Y.P.D.,’ and that’s for the 23 men and women I lost on September 11th that worked for me.”... He continued, “I think Iraq was involved in some way with September 11th.” http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/10/nyregion/10about.html?ref=nyregion

finally, NYT liberal sleight-of-hand editorial: feigned damning with praise...
Indicting Mr. Kerik
Bernard Kerik’s indictment on fraud and corruption charges is disturbing on its own, but it also raises broader issues. It is sobering to think how close Mr. Kerik came to becoming secretary of the Homeland Security Department, and it is also troubling that Rudolph Giuliani, a leading candidate for president, has been so close to him for so long, as a friend, boss and business partner. Because of Mr. Giuliani’s role in Mr. Kerik’s life, the nation has a compelling interest in learning more about the former police chief’s misdeeds... It is always a sad day, as United States Attorney Michael J. Garcia noted, when a law enforcement official is accused of breaking the law. That is especially true when the official was New York’s top jailer, the head of the nation’s largest police department, and nearly became the chief of a 180,000-member federal department charged with keeping America safe...
Mr. Kerik must be presumed innocent. But he has already pleaded guilty to state charges arising out of the home renovations... Yesterday’s indictment and Mr. Kerik’s whole troubled record raise questions about Mr. Giuliani’s judgment. The men have an extraordinarily close bond. Mr. Giuliani plucked Mr. Kerik from obscurity to make him correction commissioner. He made him police commissioner even though he may have been briefed about Mr. Kerik’s ties to the company suspected of links to organized crime. Mr. Giuliani also made him a partner in his security business and promoted him for the Homeland Security Department post...As recently as this week, Mr. Giuliani made the remarkable statement that any mistakes Mr. Kerik made were outweighed by his success in fighting crime — presumably not including the crimes Mr. Kerik himself was committing. Mr. Giuliani has since spoken more critically of him, but the public is entitled to know more. Two important questions are precisely what are the mistakes the former mayor thinks he made in trusting Mr. Kerik, and how can voters be sure that he would not make them again as president, when the stakes for a disastrous appointment would be so much higher. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/10/opinion/10sat1.html?th&emc=th

China Juggles Tombs, Dragon Boats and Marx
Digest commentary:
IRONY WRIT LARGE: 'Communist China' was considered the greatest strategic threat as a revolutionary socialist country to U.S. capitalism. When capitalism was restored through counterrevolution following Mao's death in 1978, the revolution reversed with U.S. supported 'capitalist-roaders' officially in state control. Such a counter-revolution was what Mao and the so-called "gang of 4' party leaders had analyzed predicted and struggled against theoretically and practically in all areas of life through the great Cultural Revolution [misrepresented and reviled by U.S.] Capitalist restoration has been so successful that China is now considered U.S. capitalism's greatest strategic rival --thus threat-- to U.S. global Supremacy -- even as U.S. absurdly continues to portray capitalist China as 'communist' for propaganda effect. -

A Chinese government panel announced plans on Friday to revamp the holiday schedule to re-emphasize traditional festivals at the expense of the Marxist May Day celebration... trimming the May 1 holiday to one working day from three. At the same time, three traditional Chinese festivals will each become one-day public holidays....Mao tried to erase many traditional Chinese celebrations, but their popularity has re-emerged as Communist ideology has lost most of its influence in contemporary Chinese society.


Actual economic costs to the United States of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan so far total about $1.5 trillion
The congressional committee report estimated that injuries due to the wars could add more than $30 billion in future disability and medical care costs, including billions in lost earnings for veterans who cannot work because of post-traumatic stress disorder.



as though canceling customers is an aberration and 'bonuses' is the big issue instead of being incidental to the institutionalized profit-making practice of insurance co.s
Health insurer bonuses to dropping sick policyholders
Health Net Inc. avoided paying $35.5 million in medical expenses by rescinding about 1,600 policies between 2000 and 2006. During that period, it paid its senior analyst in charge of cancellations more than $20,000 in bonuses based in part on her meeting or exceeding annual targets for revoking policies, documents disclosed Thursday showed....
Insurers maintain that cancellations are necessary to root out fraud and keep premiums affordable. Individual coverage is issued to only the healthiest applicants, who must disclose preexisting conditions. (emphasis added)... Other suits have been settled out of court or through arbitration, out of public view. Until now, none had gone to a public trial....
The revelation that the health plan had cancellation goals and bonuses comes amid a storm of controversy over the industry-wide but long-hidden practice of rescinding coverage after expensive medical treatments have been authorized. The bonuses were disclosed at an arbitration hearing in a lawsuit brought by Patsy Bates, a Gardena hairdresser whose coverage was rescinded by Health Net in the middle of chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer. She is seeking $6 million in compensation, plus damages.
Most of the state's major insurers have cancellation departments or individuals assigned to review coverage applications. They typically pull a policyholder's records after major medical claims are made to ensure that the client qualified for coverage at the outset. The companies' internal procedures for reviewing and canceling coverage have not been publicly disclosed. Health Net's disclosures Thursday provided an unprecedented peek at a company's internal operations and marked the first time an insurer had revealed how it linked cancellations to employee performance goals and to its bottom line.

an oxymoron: capitalist for-profit healthcare

Rules against health plan cancellations delayed
A state agency drafting the regulations says the variety of policies is slowing the process.
Lisa Girion, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
...Eight months after pledging to put the brakes on retroactive cancellations of individual health insurance policies, the state agency that regulates HMOs said Tuesday that new rules were taking longer than anticipated because of the variety of health plans involved.
The survey of Blue Cross of California was the first to be completed in March. It led to a $1-million fine for rescissions that the department said routinely violated state law. The health insurer disagreed with the finding, as well as the department's view of the law, and is disputing both.
Surveys of the other plans -- Blue Shield of California, Kaiser, Health Net and PacifiCare -- are ongoing[...]

US GOVT. POLICY...how many deaths there have been from e-coli:
"...The USDA regularly conducts tests for E. coli in slaughtering plants but only on meat that packing companies have deemed free of E. coli..."
Beef with E. coli slips through "loophole" [SIC]
By Stephen J. Hedges, Chicago Tribune

WASHINGTON — One federal inspector calls it the "E. coli loophole." Another says, "Nobody would buy it if they knew."The officials are referring to the little-discussed fact that the Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations deem it acceptable for meat companies to cook and sell meat on which E. coli, a bacteria that can sicken and even kill humans, is found during processing. The "E. coli loophole" affects millions of pounds of beef each year that test positive for the presence of E. coli O157:H7, a virulent strain of the bacteria. The agency allows companies to put this E. coli-positive meat in a special category: "cook only." Cooking the meat, the USDA and producers say, destroys the bacteria and makes it safe to eat as precooked hamburgers, meat loaf, crumbled taco meat and other products.... the "cook-only" practice means higher-than-appropriate levels of E. coli are tolerated in packing plants, raising the chance that clean meat will become contaminated.... The USDA regularly conducts tests for E. coli in slaughtering plants but only on meat that packing companies have deemed free of E. coli, the agency inspectors said. USDA officials said they do not track how much meat is put into "cook-only" categories, but interviews with a half-dozen inspectors suggested it is a significant amount.... "If raw ground beef has to go into a 'cook-only' category, it loses value," said Randall Huffman, senior vice president for scientific affairs at the American Meat Institute, an industry group. Most major meatpacking companies offer their own cooked-meat products, such as meat loaf, precooked hamburgers and taco-meat crumbles. They also sell "cook-only" meat to food-processing companies. Some cooked-beef products end up in programs such as the National School Lunch Program, which the USDA administers. The agency bought 2.8 million pounds of cooked beef in 2006, according to USDA records. (emphases added)
Whatever the reason for this year's increase in E. coli contamination, the result has been sick consumers. The largest recall involved Topps Meat of Elizabeth, N.J., which went out of business after it recalled 21.7 million pounds of ground beef because of E. coli contamination. About 40 people fell ill. More recently, Cargill, of Minneapolis, recalled nearly 2 million pounds of ground beef because of E. coli concerns, and more than 3 million pounds of General Mills' Totino's and Jeno's pizzas were recalled because of E. coli in pepperoni.Cargill declined to comment; meatpacking firm Swift Foods did not return phone calls.
Inspectors interviewed for this story challenged the suggestion that E. coli is a small problem. One said a large meatpacking plant where he worked produced 50,000 pounds a week of E. coli-positive beef that was tagged "cook only." The inspectors interviewed for this story blame methods used to slaughter cattle and the practice of designating affected meat "cook only."... While the practice is spelled out in USDA regulations, it is not widely publicized. "If you knew this was all E. coli positive, would you buy that product?" asked one inspector. "It's a smoke screen," the inspector said. "They [the meat companies] are still producing a half-million pounds a week of E. coli product, and we're patting them on their back." "The government keeps putting out that we've reduced E. coli by 50 percent," an inspector said. "And we haven't done nothing. We've just covered it up."

In DNA Era, New Worries About Prejudice
Research is exploring how DNA explains racial differences,but it could give discredited prejudices a new potency.


Digest commentary:
the broad spectrum of allegedly 'AIDS/HIV' - caused illnesses includes what are actually the results of political-economic intervention, exploitation, 'humanitarian aid'... e.g. imperialist dominance. Though this anti-imperialist analysis is not explicitly shared by all the highly respected "dissidents" who dared challenge the official U.S. -led "AIDS/HIV" myth, they have all suffered to greater or lesser degree vicious politically motivated attacks -- public ridicule, smearing, de-funding and professional silencing.

AMONG THE PRINCIPAL RENOWNED SCIENTIFIC 'AIDS DISSIDENTS': important sources for bibliographies, further research:

*Dr. Peter Deusberg, prof.of Molecular Biology, U of C, Berkeley, "Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome: Correlation But Not Causation", proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol.86, pp.755-764, Feb. 1989 [also in The Aids Reader, ed. Nancy F. McKenzie,
1991, Meridian, pp.42-73] and many more public research articles

Professor Peter Duesberg
Dr. Peter H. Duesberg is a professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. He isolated the first cancer gene through his work on retroviruses in 1970, and mapped the genetic structure
of these viruses (HIV is thought to be a retrovirus). This and his subsequent work in the same field, resulted in his election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1986.
On the basis of his experience with retroviruses, Duesberg has challenged the virus-AIDS hypothesis in the pages of such journals as Cancer Research, Lancet, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Science, Nature, Journal of AIDS, AIDS Forschung, Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapeutics, New
England Journal of Medicine and Research in Immunology.

*Kary Mullis, Biochemist, Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1993, Dancing Naked in The Mind Field, 1998, Vintage
"We know that to err is human, but the HIV/AIDS hypothesis is one hell of a mistake. I say this rather strongly as a warning. Duesberg has been saying it for a long time...."If there is evidence that HIV causes AIDS, there should be scientific documents which either singly or collectively demonstrate that fact, at least with a high probability. There is no such document."

"... this is the book every AIDS-watcher has been awaiting, in which
the most prominent and persistent critic of HIV as the cause of AIDS states
his case most exhaustively and popularly. Duesberg massively documents and
cogently argues... [his] positions... [t]his book is a milestone..."

*Robert Root-Bernstein, Rethinking Aids: The Tragedy of a Premature Concensus, 1993, Free Press,
Michigan State U. Professor and MacArthur Prize fellowship winner.

*Dr. Walter Gilbert, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1980, Hippocrates
"[Duesberg] is absolutely correct in saying that no one has proven that AIDS is caused by the AIDS virus...and absolutely correct that the virus cultured in the laboratory may not be the cause of AIDS."

*Dr. Heinz Ludwig Sänger, Emeritus Professor of Molecular Biology and Virology, Max-Planck-Institutes for
Biochemy, München. "... there is no single scientifically convincing evidence for the existence of HIV. Not even once such
a retrovirus has been isolated and purified by the methods of classical virology."

*Dr. Steven Jonas, professor SUNY,Stony Brook NY

*Dr. Harvey Bialy, research editor of Biotechnology

*Dr. Joseph A. Sonnabend, NYC physician, MRCP, AIDS research cited in Root-Bernstein, along with other major research.

Of the over two-hundred thousand papers published in the field of HIV/AIDS, all are based on the single premise that HIV is the cause of AIDS.  However, there has never been a scientific paper published demonstrating or establishing this. The following resources challenge that premise:

VirusMyth - A Rethinking HIV AIDS WebSite http://www.virusmyth.net/aids/
A constantly updated and comprehensive source for studies, international
news, science journal articles, commentary and more. You can also find the
biographies and collected works of many internationally known scientists
who question common beliefs about HIV and AIDS.

For more on imperialist domination's impact on oppressed nations [ 'third world'] please see http://www.burbankdigest.com/

The Central Villain Is Not A Virus. It Is Poverty. And The Critical Cure Is Not Medicine. It is Justice.
by Brian K. Murphy
hy.htm [also good bibliograhy-liz]

from the late liberal capitalist financial analyst/consultant Jude Wanniski:
What, Africa Isn`t Dying of AIDs?
Dec 13 2003
The Spectator.co.uk

"...depopulation should be the highest priority of U.S. foreign policy towards the Third World."
Henry Kissinger, National Security Memo 200, dated April 24, 1974

Clinton Makes Up for Lost Time in Battling AIDS
RWINKWAVU, Rwanda — Bill Clinton worked the crowd of AIDS survivors, clasping the outstretched hands of children alive because of the AIDS medicines his foundation donated... Mr. Clinton was adamant that he had done all he could about global AIDS with a Congress hostile to foreign aid, though he conceded that his administration fought too long to protect the patent rights of pharmaceutical companies against countries trying to make or import cheaper AIDS medicines.... More than 1,500 people have been put on AIDS medicines here. Reproducing the pioneering model used in Haiti, Dr. Farmer has community workers, many of them peasants, deliver antiretroviral medicines to people with AIDS every day, minimizing reliance on scarce doctors and nurses....
Bill and Melinda Gates, the billionaire philanthropists, watched. Mr. Clinton had visited an AIDS project of theirs in Durban, South Africa, and they had come to Lesotho to see his work[SIC]. When Mr. Clinton left the hospital with Arriet, a Clinton volunteer asked the Gateses to stay back so photographers could follow him...
He turned to his old friend Ira Magaziner, a fellow Rhodes scholar and corporate consultant who had managed the Clintons’ failed health care reform effort. Mr. Magaziner has since led the foundation’s AIDS program.
The two men discovered in 2002 that the Bahamas was paying $3,500 per person a year for generic AIDS drugs. “I said, ‘Ira, please find out why in the hell these people are paying $3,500 for $500 drugs,’ ” Mr. Clinton said.
They learned the Bahamas was buying through middlemen, so the foundation helped the country purchase directly from Cipla, the Indian generic-drug manufacturer. “So our first victory was a lay-down,” Mr. Clinton said. “All of a sudden, they could treat six times as many people for the same amount of money.” Opportunities proliferated, and Mr. Clinton’s enthusiasm grew.
His name opened doors with generic drug makers. With growing demand for AIDS drugs already on the horizon, as well as the economies of scale that come with that, Mr. Magaziner took a team of volunteer consultants to India in 2003 to negotiate for lower prices. Companies opened their books...
Through cost cutting, spurred by breakthrough talks with companies that supplied ingredients to the drug makers, the team got deals. Cipla, for example, halved the price of the most common AIDS triple-drug therapy, already declining due to competition, to $140 a person per year.
Similarly, Mr. Clinton was able to use his relationships with political leaders, like President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, who had questioned whether H.I.V. caused AIDS. The country had not begun treating its people for the disease, though almost five million had been infected. “He was getting killed in the global press about it,” Mr. Clinton recalled. Mr. Clinton, who knew him from his own time as president, met with Mr. Mbeki in 2003 as one politician to another. “I said, ‘You know, I really want to help you, and as you know, I may be the only one of those involved in this work who’s never been publicly critical of you,’ ” Mr. Clinton said he told Mr. Mbeki. “ ‘But this is something you have to do.’ ” Mr. Mbeki soon invited Mr. Clinton’s foundation to help the country write a comprehensive treatment plan. South Africa now has more than 130,000 people on antiretroviral drugs, still far short of what critics say is needed...
Mr. Clinton’s ambitions seem to grow daily, and his foundation is now branching out in Africa from AIDS into poverty. As he relaxed one recent evening in a sumptuous, $2,260-a-night suite in Johannesburg, with zebra skin rugs underfoot (the lodgings provided to him gratis by a rich South African businessman who owned the hotel), he got excited just thinking about fertilizer.


"... In nations that try to control what people can see and hear, the Internet often is the only source of uncensored news and opinion. U.S. officials say that keeping Internet functions under their control has protected that free flow of information.." .(emphasis added)
...Internet control by U.S. promises to be hot topic at U.N. forum
By Jack Chang, McClatchy Newspapers
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — When hundreds of technology experts from around the world gather here this week to hammer out the future of the Internet, the hottest issue won't be spam, phishing or any of the other phenomena that bedevil users everywhere. Instead, ending U.S. control over what's become a global network will be at the top of the agenda for many of the more than 2,000 participants expected at the United Nations Internet Governance Forum, which begins Monday. With the Internet now dominating nearly every aspect of modern life, U.S. control of the medium has become a sensitive topic worldwide... to many foreign-government officials and technology gurus, the United States has too much control over a tool that's used by more than 1.4 billion people worldwide. Brazil, China and other countries have proposed transferring oversight to an international body.
"The Internet has become an everyday instrument of particular importance for the entire world, yet it's still under the control of one country," said Rogerio Santanna, Brazil's secretary of logistics and information technology....
"Should the U.N. gain control of the Internet," the conservative U.S. research center the Heritage Foundation wrote on its Web site, "it would give meddlesome governments the opportunity to censor and regulate the medium until its usefulness as a vehicle for freedom of expression and international competition is crippled."...
At the heart of the controversy is a nonprofit company based in Marina del Rey, Calif., called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which the U.S. government has contracted to help it manage key Internet functions.Those include regulating Web sites with popular domain names such as .com and .org and creating new top-level domain names. Critics say the arrangement makes internationally popular Web sites subject to U.S. policy on everything from user privacy to obscenity. Through ICANN, the United States also assigns Internet protocol addresses, which identify computers, routers and other electronic devices worldwide. U.S. government officials also argue that keeping the Internet under centralized control is best for users.... many critics of the ICANN system, the main problem is the organization's perceived lack of transparency. They say ICANN shuts out the public when it makes key decisions, such as when it nominates board members, and lacks accountability to the Internet users it serves.
"As long as the United States holds on to its control, there will always be questions about the system's transparency."...

why the world resists...U.S. steps toward total control of internet have been underway for years
Army's information technology strategic plan
Army CIO/G-6 Campaign Plan, 2008-2015
Published October 2007
Normally released as 500-day plans, this version of the Army's information technology strategic plan discusses future goals for 2008-2015.
The document's introduction stated, "Our Army faces an ever-changing and evolving enemy and we must be able to respond rapidly to defeat emerging threats. The current operating environment and projections of persistent conflict dictate the need to rapidly develop capabilities for both the current and future forces. Further, the rapid pace of Information Technology (IT) change will create opportunities necessitating transformation of our development and procurement process to exploit these opportunities and effectively integrate them into the force. This transformation must include the ways and means to identify and mitigate risks associated with procurement and acquisition in the global IT market space.
The Global Information Grid (GIG) is the Department of Defense's approach to information and decision superiority- a key to the National Military Strategy for continued information dominance. This decision superiority is based on shared information across the Army and with Joint, Interagency, and Multi-National coalitions and allies. LandWarNet is the Army's portion of the GIG and; therefore, key to Army's decision superiority. LandWarNet has been described as the Army's Battle Command and GIG-derived, orders-based, capabilities focused system of systems, train as you fight, and enhanced orders process. LandWarNet enables information-based Joint, Interagency, multi-national, civil defense, Warfighting and support operations, regardless of Joint Operational Phase, operational urgency, or the battlespace circumstances of its authorized users."

Secret Pentagon "Roadmap"
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 177
For more information contact:
Kristin Adair / Thomas Blanto 202 994 7000
 Washington, D.C., January 26, 2006 - A secret Pentagon "roadmap" on war propaganda, personally approved by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in October 2003, calls for [SIC] "boundaries" between information operations abroad and the news media at home, but provides for no such limits and claims that as long as the American public is not "targeted," any leakage of PSYOP to the American public does not matter.... The Roadmap has been cited in the media several times (see James Bamford, "The Man Who Sold the War: Meet John Rendon, Bush's general in the propaganda war," Rolling Stone, November 17, 2005; Stephen J. Hedges, "Media use backfires on U.S.; Many ask if Pentagon altered information to make case for war," Chicago Tribune, December 11, 2005.) [see references], but has not previously been released to the public. The document calls on DoD to enhance its capabilities in five key Information Operations (IO) areas: electronic warfare (EW), PSYOP, Operations Security (OPSEC), military deception and computer network operations (CNO)....
President Clinton's secret Presidential Decision Directive (PDD-68), issued on April 30, 1999, expanded public diplomacy and public affairs operations beyond USIA and the Department of State to include all agencies and set out the objective of IPI "to synchronize the informational objectives, themes and messages that will be projected overseas . . . to prevent and mitigate crises and to influence foreign audiences in ways favorable to the achievement of U.S. foreign policy objectives." (PDD-68 also cautioned against using the new information operations to influence the American public, but recognized the potential for "backwash" of IPI information to the United States and so called for coordinated domestic and foreign public affairs operations to synchronize foreign policy messages.
The newly-released Information Operations Roadmap, with the goal of expansion and central coordination of Pentagon PSYOP and public diplomacy operations, also recognizes the legal conundrum presented by the use of overseas propaganda in the information age. But while the document recognizes the need for boundaries-referred to as "[l]anes"-between U.S. public diplomacy and foreign propaganda, it fails to provide any such limits:...The discussion of the relationship between public diplomacy and IO neither cites the applicable legal restrictions nor institutes specific guidelines, but references only the "intent" of the U.S. government in "targeting" either foreign or domestic audiences...By means of recommendations for enhancing PSYOP capabilities, the oversight panel directed "improvements . . . to rapidly generate audience specific, commercial-quality products into denied areas" and a "focus on aggressive behavior modification at the operational and tactical level of war." Additionally, the Roadmap cites improved military support to public diplomacy efforts and support for "active public affairs programs that influence foreign audiences" as vital components of the new IO strategy. Documents[...]

US Plans to 'Fight the Net' Revealed
by Adam Brookes
Friday, January 27, 2006 by BBC
WASHINGTON - A newly declassified document gives a fascinating glimpse into the US military's plans for "information operations" - from psychological operations, to attacks on hostile computer networks. Bloggers beware. As the world turns networked, the Pentagon is calculating the military opportunities that computer networks, wireless technologies and the modern media offer. From influencing public opinion through new media to designing "computer network attack" weapons, the US military is learning to fight an electronic war.
The declassified document is called "Information Operations Roadmap". It was obtained by the National Security Archive at George Washington University using the Freedom of Information Act. Officials in the Pentagon wrote it in 2003. The Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, signed it.

The "roadmap" calls for a far-reaching overhaul of the military's ability to conduct information operations and electronic warfare. And, in some detail, it makes recommendations for how the US armed forces should think about this new, virtual warfare. The document says that information is "critical to military success". Computer and telecommunications networks are of vital operational importance.

The operations described in the document include a surprising range of military activities: public affairs officers who brief journalists, psychological operations troops who try to manipulate the thoughts and beliefs of an enemy, computer network attack specialists who seek to destroy enemy networks. All these are engaged in information operations.

Perhaps the most startling aspect of the roadmap is its acknowledgement that information put out as part of the military's psychological operations, or Psyops, is finding its way onto the computer and television screens of ordinary Americans. "Information intended for foreign audiences, including public diplomacy and Psyops, is increasingly consumed by our domestic audience," it reads. "Psyops messages will often be replayed by the news media for much larger audiences, including the American public," it goes on. The document's authors acknowledge that American news media should not unwittingly broadcast military propaganda. "Specific boundaries should be established," they write. But they don't seem to explain how.
"In this day and age it is impossible to prevent stories that are fed abroad as part of psychological operations propaganda from blowing back into the United States - even though they were directed abroad," says Kristin Adair of the National Security Archive.

Credibility problem
Public awareness of the US military's information operations is low, but it's growing - thanks to some operational clumsiness. Late last year, it emerged that the Pentagon had paid a private company, the Lincoln Group, to plant hundreds of stories in Iraqi newspapers. The stories - all supportive of US policy - were written by military personnel and then placed in Iraqi publications.

And websites that appeared to be information sites on the politics of Africa and the Balkans were found to be run by the Pentagon.

But the true extent of the Pentagon's information operations, how they work, who they're aimed at, and at what point they turn from informing the public to influencing populations, is far from clear. The roadmap, however, gives a flavour of what the US military is up to - and the grand scale on which it's thinking. It reveals that Psyops personnel "support" the American government's international broadcasting. It singles out TV Marti - a station which broadcasts to Cuba - as receiving such support. It recommends that a global website be established that supports America's strategic objectives. But no American diplomats here, thank you. The website would use content from "third parties with greater credibility to foreign audiences than US officials". It also recommends that Psyops personnel should consider a range of technologies to disseminate propaganda in enemy territory: unmanned aerial vehicles, "miniaturized, scatterable public address systems", wireless devices, cellular phones and the internet.

'Fight the net'
When it describes plans for electronic warfare, or EW, the document takes on an extraordinary tone.

Bush Administration Pushes Plan to Permit Internet Surveillance
NEW YORK, Jan 20, 2004 (IPS) - The Bush administration is pushing to ratify an international convention that civil libertarians say would pose serious threats to privacy rights at home and abroad. After delaying for about two years, U.S. President George W. Bush recently asked the U.S. Senate to ratify the Council of Europe Cybercrime Convention, a global agreement apparently created to help police worldwide cooperate to fight Internet crimes. ”It's the only international treaty to address the problems of computer-related crime and electronic evidence gathering,” Bush said in his November letter asking the Senate to confirm U.S. adherence to the treaty.... In his letter to the Senate, Bush wrote, ”the treaty would help deny 'safe havens' to criminals, including terrorists, who can cause damage to U.S. interests abroad using computer systems”.
But independent legal experts and right activists on both sides of the Atlantic are sceptical about such claims. ..The agreement makes it mandatory for each participating nation to grant nepowers of search and seizure to its law enforcement authorities, including the power to force an Internet service provider (ISP) to preserve acustomer's usage records and to monitor his or her online activities as they occur.... The ACLU and other critics of the treaty argue that it provides too little protection for political activities. They point out that the text fails to define ”political offences”, a fault they call ”a huge omission”, since an act considered political in the United States might be a criminal matter in another country. For example, the treaty section on real-time monitoring of Internet activity does not include an exemption to the mutual assistance requirement for ”political” offences, meaning, the experts say, the FBI could be asked to order an ISP like AOL to spy on a political dissenter in Ukraine or a union organiser in Latin America.(END/2004)

Top Intel official: Change your definition of privacy
As Congress debates new rules for government eavesdropping, a top intelligence official says it is time that people in the United States changed their definition of privacy. Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguard people's private communications and financial information.
The most contentious issue in the new legislation is whether to shield telecommunications companies from civil lawsuits for allegedly giving the government access to people's private e-mails and phone calls without a FISA court order between 2001 and 2007... Suits might be the only way to determine how far the government has burrowed into people's privacy without court permission. The committee is expected to decide this week whether its version of the bill will protect telecommunications companies. About 40 wiretapping suits are pending.
The central witness in a California lawsuit against AT&T says the government is vacuuming up billions of e-mails and phone calls as they pass through an AT&T switching station in San Francisco. Mark Klein, a retired AT&T technician, helped connect a device in 2003 that he says diverted and copied onto a government supercomputer every call, e-mail, and Internet site access on AT&T lines.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which filed the class-action suit, claims there are as many as 20 such sites in the U.S.
The White House has promised to veto any bill that does not grant immunity from suits such as this one.

Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group that defends online free speech, privacy and intellectual property rights, said Kerr's argument ignores both privacy laws and American history."Anonymity has been important since the Federalist Papers were written under pseudonyms," Opsahl said. "The government has tremendous power: the police power, the ability to arrest, to detain, to take away rights. Tying together that someone has spoken out on an issue with their identity is a far more dangerous thing if it is the government that is trying to tie it together." Opsahl also said Kerr ignores the distinction between sacrificing protection from an intrusive government and voluntarily disclosing information in exchange for a service.

in the name of capitalist 'national security' ...
A Fresh Start for the Internet
Stanford University researchers aren't just dreaming of a new Internet: they're building it.
By Rachel Ross
March 19, 2007
... "We need to take all the technologies we already know and fit them together so that we get a different overall system. This is not about building a technology innovation that changes the world but about architecture -- pulling the pieces together in a different way to achieve high-level objectives." Just such an approach is now gaining momentum, spurred on by the National Science Foundation....
"... we haven't even seen a real act of cyberterror, the 'digital Pearl Harbor" memorably predicted by former White House counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke in 2000 (see "A Tangle of Wires"). ... Better security is "the most important motivation for this redesign," Clark says.
Microsoft, for example. Its software mediates between the Internet and the PC. These days, of the $6 billion that Microsoft spends annually on research and development, approximately one-third, or $2 billion, is directly spent on security efforts....

Federally Funded Plans To Scrap The Internet
Seeking further funding from Congress for "clean slate" projects
by Steve Watson


Microsoft: "From the depth of our heart -- thanks to The Israeli Defense Forces"
Microsoft and the National Security Agency
April 6, 2007
In January the Washington Post reported that Microsoft had announced that its new operating system, Vista, was being brought to us with the assistance of the National Security Agency... In September 1999, leading European investigative reporter Duncan Campbell revealed that NSA had arranged with Microsoft to insert special "keys" into Windows operating systems, beginning with Windows 95. [ http://www.techweb.com/wire/29110640 ]..
In February 2000, it was disclosed that the Strategic Affairs Delegation (DAS), the intelligence arm of the French Defense Ministry, had prepared a report in 1999 which also asserted that NSA had helped to install secret programs in Microsoft software....
In case the above disturbs your image of Bill Gates and his buddies as a bunch of long-haired, liberal, peacenik computer geeks, and the company as one of the non-military-oriented halfway decent corporations, the DAS report states that the Pentagon at the time was Microsoft's biggest client in the world. The Israeli military has also been an important client. In 2002, the company erected enormous billboards in Israel which bore the Microsoft logo under the text "From the depth of our heart -- thanks to The Israeli Defense Forces", with the Israeli national flag in the background.[15]

Microsoft Palladium: Next Generation Secure Computing Base
Doc's Cover Palladium Privacy, Unique Identifier Issues. EPIC has documents
from the National Institute of Standards and Technology under the Freedom of
Information Act describing Microsoft Palladium. The documents (pdf 980k)
describe Palladium's applications for Digital Rights Management and note
that the technology embeds "unique machine identifiers," thus raising risks that
user behavior may be subject to traffic analysis. Issues raised by Palladium,
which is now known as the Next Generation Secure Computing Base, are similar
to privacy problems with the controversial Intel Pentium Serial Number.

Intel launching new chip lineup
November 12, 2007
Intel plans to launch new chips designed for mainstream desktop and laptop computers in the first quarter of 2008. Sunnyvale-based AMD, which partners with IBM Corp. on chip-making technology, is targeting mid-2008 to start selling its 45-nanometer chips.
AMD has long maintained that its chips have certain design advantages that keep them competitive with Intel's best offerings. One of those features is an integrated memory controller, which AMD has long championed. Intel only said recently it would begin incorporating the controllers into future generations of chips[...] http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/1700ap_intel_chip_launch.html

“Trusted Computing”


Unthinkable: How the Internet could become a tool of corporate and government power, based on updates now in the works
Christoph Niemann for Newsweek International Issues 2004
By Steven Levy
Picture, if you will, an information infrastructure that encourages censorship, surveillance and suppression of the creative impulse. Where anonymity is outlawed and every penny spent is accounted for. Where the powers that be can smother subversive (or economically competitive) ideas in the cradle, and no one can publish even a laundry list without the imprimatur of Big Brother. Some prognosticators are saying that such a construct is nearly inevitable. And this infrastructure is none other than the former paradise of rebels and free-speechers: the Internet. ... wasn’t the Internet supposed to be the defining example of empowering technology? Freedom was allegedly built into the very bones of the Internet, designed to withstand nuclear blasts and dictatorial attempts at control. ...
Certainly John Walker believed all that. The hackerish founder of the software firm Autodesk, now retired to Switzerland to work on personal projects of his choosing, enjoyed “unbounded optimism” that the Net would not only offset the powers of industry and government but actually restore some previously threatened personal liberties. But in —the past couple of years, he noticed a disturbing trend. Developments in technology, law and commerce seemed to be directed toward actually changing the open nature of the Net. And Internet Revisited would create opportunities for business and government to control and monitor cyberspace... Walker posted his fears in a web document called
The Dangers of Digital Imprimatur http://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/digital-imprimatur/ The name refers to his belief that it’s possible that nothing would be allowed to even appear on the Internet without having a proper technical authorization....

A concurrent step would be the adoption of “trusted computing,” a system by which not only people but computer programs would be stamped with identifying marks. Those would link with certificates that determine whether programs are uncorrupted and cleared to run on your computer.

The best-known implementation of this scheme is the work in progress at Microsoft known as Next Generation Secure Computing Base (formerly called Palladium). It will be part of Longhorn, the next big Windows version, out in 2006. Intel and AMD are onboard to create special secure chips that would make all computers sold after that point secure... The giants of Internet commerce are eager to see this happen. “The social, economic and legal priorities are going to force the Internet towarsecurity,” says Stratton Sclavos, CEO of VeriSign, a company built to provide digital certificates (it also owns Network Solutions, the exclusive handler of the “dot-com” part of the Internet domain-name system). “It’s not going to be all right not to know who’s on the other end of the wire.” Governments will be able to tax e-commerce—and dictators can keep track of who’s saying what.

Walker isn’t the first to warn of this ominous power shift. The Internet’s pre-eminent dean of darkness is Lawrence Lessig, the Stanford University guru of cyberlaw. Beginning with his 1999 book “Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace,” Lessig has been predicting that corporate and regulatory pressures would usurp the open nature of the Net, and now says that he has little reason to retract his pessimism. Lessig understands that restrictive copyright and Homeland Security laws give a legal rationale to “total control,” and also knows that it will be sold to the people as a great way to stop thieves, pirates, malicious hackers, spammers and child pornographers. “To say we need total freedom isn’t going to win,” Lessig says.[...]

from the Summary and Conclusion of John Walker's The Dangers of Digital Imprimatur

Global Internet,
Once a spring of liberty,
Autumn chill so near.
... Over the last three decades the Internet has evolved from a research tool linking a handful of elite sites into a global mass medium. Its rapid, and often reactive, evolution has resulted in a present day architecture widely perceived as inadequate to hold users accountable for their actions, ]providing unwarranted anonymity to disruptive and destructive actors, and placing intellectual property at risk in disregard of applicable law and with impunity to its sanctions. A collection of technologies in various states of design, development, and deployment promises to remedy these perceived shortcomings of the Internet. If implemented and extrapolated to their logical conclusion, the result will be an Internet profoundly different from today's ...Measured relatively, this individual empowerment comes at the expense of the power of governments and large commercial enterprises, thereby reversing a trend toward concentration of power more than a century old which has acted to reduce free citizens and productive individuals to mere subjects and consumers.
Power, especially concentrated power, is rarely relinquished willingly.
Each technology proposed to ameliorate supposed problems with present-day computing and network architectures must be carefully examined, individually and in conjunction with others, for the potential it holds to shift the balance of power... to supplant the peer architecture of the Internet with a producer/consumer model more comparable to publishing and broadcasting. Technologies should also be evaluated for the potential they have to create (or restore) central points of control in the flow of information and interaction among individuals; to impose hierarchy upon a structure designed for equality.... The components of this emerging architecture are already on the table, and various players are beginning to explore how they fit together into a whole. In this paper, I've tried to acquaint you with the basics of these components, show how each can be promoted on its obvious merits as the solution to widely-perceived problems, then sketch the possible implications, some of them dire, which may result as these components are used in combinations and to ends those advocating them seldom discuss...

Whatever solutions are adopted (or not adopted--one may rationally choose to live with problems if the solutions are worse), are likely to be with us for a long time. Whether they preserve the essential power of the Internet and its potential to empower the individual or put the Intenet genie back into the bottle at the behest of government and media power centres who perceive it as a threat will be decided over the next few years. That decision will determine whether the long dawn of the Internet was, itself, a false dawn, or will continue to brighten into a new day for humanity.

if 'terrorism', 'national security' pretext isn't enough there's 'spam', porn', etc. and Israel can help...
Terrorist groups active on the Internet
There are hundreds of sites on the Internet serving terrorist groups and their supporters, according to a study done by the * US Institute of Peace (USIP). The study undertaken by Gabriel Weimann, a professor at the Haifa University in Israel and currently a senior fellow at USIP, writes that today all active terrorist groups have established their presence on the Internet.....
Prof. Weimann points out that by its very nature, the Internet is an ideal arena for activity by terrorist organisations since it offers easy access, little or no regulation, censorship or government control, potentially huge audiences around the world, anonymity of communication, fast flow of information, inexpensive development and maintenance of web presence, a multimedia environment and the ability to shape coverage in the traditional mass media which increasingly uses the Internet as a source for news stories.
A survey undertaken for the study showed that the Internet is used by groups of all description and persuasions, from Marxist to Islamist to racist to anarchist. [...]
* U.S. Institute of Peace Baghdad Office Hit by Shrapnel May 16, 2007
[wonder why?] http://www.usip.org/aboutus/index.html

FBI turns to broad new wiretap method
By Declan McCullagh, CNET News.com
ZDNet News: January 30, 2007

Gates Backs E-Mail Stamp in War on Spam...
Should people have to buy electronic stamps to send e-mail?... In the meantime, the big Internet providers, including Microsoft and Yahoo, in recent weeks have renewed talks that stalled last year about creating technological standards to help identify the senders of legitimate [e.g.approved] e-mail.... Bill Gates, Microsoft's chairman, told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that spam would
not be a problem in two years, in part because of systems that would require people to pay money to send e-mail. Yahoo, meanwhile, is quietly evaluating an e-mail postage plan being developed by Goodmail, a Silicon Valley start-up company.... Goodmail, founded by Daniel T. Dreymann, an Israeli entrepreneur, is developing a system that it hopes will be easier to adopt... Goodmail acting as a clearinghouse....
AOL is testing a system under development by the Internet Research Task Force... called the Sender Permitted From, or S.P.F., creates a way for the owner of an Internet domain, like aol.com, to specify which computers are authorized to send e-mail with aol.com return addresses. ... Microsoft has been floating a similar proposal, labeled "caller ID," that could be expanded in the future to accommodate more sophisticated anti-spam approaches
including Internet postage systems. Discussions are under way among the backers of S.P.F., Microsoft and others involved in e-mail to reach a compromise sender notification system....
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/02/technology/02spam.html?ex=1076792812&e... n>> =67f8d5f318185f18

Spam Fighters Turn to Identifying Legitimate E-Mail
...There is also a growing agreement that it is not enough for an e-mail sender to identify itself. The sender must also earn the trust of e-mail recipients, by promising to follow certain standards and having violations tallied and published.... "Just because we can verify your identity doesn't mean you send good email," said Miles Libbey, the manager for antispam products at Yahoo.
"You absolutely need identity and you also need reputation."
Deciding whose mail will be delivered and whose will be bounced is a thankless task, and most proposals envision that several independent groups would publish e-mail standards. A sender would choose one of these to follow, and that group, in turn, would monitor its compliance. Truste, a group that monitors Web site privacy policies, wants to get into that business....
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/06/technology/06SPAM.html?ex=1066468960&e... n=0560a5e7c6cbb1f9


in context: U.S. IMPERIALISM'S GEOSTRATEGIC AGENDA requires global state terrorist war for global domination and a police state 'homeland':
2008 Defense Authorization Bill authorizes use of US military for domestic purposes
Representative Dennis Kucinich reported during an interview with WINZ Miami radio station this language that has been inserted into the 2008 Defense Authorization Bill and he was very concerned that people learn about this provision that would authorize domestic operations for the US military. [pertinent section from PDF file] HR 1585
Section 1615, page 672 (of 794)

(a) DETERMINATION OF REQUIREMENTS---- The Secretary of Defense shall determine the military-unique capabilities needed to be provided by the Department of Defense to support civil authorities in an incident of national significance or a catastrophic incident.
(1) PLAN----The Secretary of Defense shall develop and implement a plan, in coordination with the Secretaries of the military departments and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for providing the funds and resources necessary to develop and maintain the following:
(A) The military-unique capabilities determined under subsection (a).
(B) Any additional capabilities determined by the Secretary to be necessary to support the use of the active components and the reserve components of the armed forces for homeland defense missions, domestic emergency responses, and providing military support to civil authorities.
(2) TERM OF PLAN---- The plan required under paragraph (1) shall cover at least five years.


The "long war": Pentagon to Release 20-Year Plan
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said the United States is engaged in a generational conflict akin to the Cold War, the kind of struggle that might last decades to root out terrorists across the globe and battle extremists who want to rule the world [no pun intended]

"Constant Conflict":
U.S. Army War College document
Parameters, Summer 1997, pp. 4-14: by Major Ralph
Peters http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3011.htm

"We, the winners, are a minority......We live in an age of multiple truths. He who warns of the "clash of civilizations" is incontestably right.....

One of the defining bifurcations of the future will be the conflict between information masters and information victims.......
Information destroys traditional jobs and traditional cultures; it seduces, betrays, yet remains invulnerable. How can you counterattack the information others have turned upon you? There is no effective option other than competitive performance. For those individuals and cultures that cannot join or compete with our information empire, there is only inevitable failure (of note, the internet is to the techno-capable disaffected what the United Nations is to marginal states: it offers the illusion of empowerment and community)......

These noncompetitive cultures, such as that of Arabo-Persian Islam or the rejectionist segment of our own population, are enraged. Their cultures are under assault; their cherished values have proven dysfunctional, and the successful move on without them. The laid-off blue-collar worker in America and the Taliban militiaman in Afghanistan are brothers in suffering......

Contemporary American culture is the most powerful in history, and the most destructive of competitor cultures. While some other cultures, such as those of East Asia, appear strong enough to survive the onslaught by adaptive behaviors, most are not. The genius, the secret weapon, of American culture is the essence that the elites despise: ours is the first genuine people's culture. It stresses comfort and convenience--ease--and it generates pleasure for the masses. We are Karl Marx's dream, and his nightmare........

The films most despised by the intellectual elite--those that feature extreme violence and to-the-victors-the-spoils sex--are our most popular cultural weapon....The action films of a Stallone or Schwarzenegger or Chuck Norris rely on visual narratives that do not require dialog for a basic understanding. They deal at the level of universal myth, of pre-text, celebrating the most fundamental impulses (although we have yet to produce a film as violent and cruel as the Iliad). They feature a hero, a villain, a woman to be defended or won--and violence and sex. Complain until doomsday; it sells.......We use technology to expand our wealth, power, and opportunities....

In defense of its interests, its citizens, its allies, or its clients, the United States will be required to intervene in some of these contests. We will win militarily whenever we have the guts for it. There will be no peace. At any given moment for the rest of our lifetimes, there will be multiple conflicts in mutating forms around the globe. Violent conflict will dominate the headlines, but cultural and economic struggles will be steadier and ultimately more decisive. The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing. We are building an information-based military to do that killing.....

Only the foolish will fight fair......

Not long ago, the Russians were going to overtake us. Then it was oil-wealthy Arabs, then the Japanese. One prize-winning economist even
calculated that fuddy-duddy Europe would dominate the next century (a sure prescription for boredom, were it true). Now the Chinese are our nemesis. No doubt our industrial-strength Cassandras will soon find a reason to fear the Galapagos. In the meantime, the average American can look forward to a longer life-span, a secure retirement, and free membership in the most triumphant culture in history. For the majority of our citizens, our vulgar, near-chaotic, marvelous culture is the greatest engine of positive change in history.......

We will outcreate, outproduce and, when need be, outfight the rest of the world. We can out-think them, too......
Fear not. We are already masters of information warfare, and we shall get around to defining it eventually. Let the scholars fuss. When it comes to our technology (and all technology is military technology) the Russians can't produce it, the Arabs can't afford it, and no one can steal it fast enough to make a difference. Our great bogeyman, China, is achieving remarkable growth rates because the Chinese belatedly entered the industrial revolution with a billion-plus population. Without a culture-shattering reappreciation of the role of free information in a society, China will peak well below our level of achievement....

The next century will indeed be American, but it will also be troubled. We will find ourselves in constant conflict, much of it violent. The United
States Army is going to add a lot of battle streamers to its flag. We will wage information warfare, but we will fight with infantry. And we will
always surprise those critics, domestic and foreign, who predict our decline........" [...]


Charles Sullivan
We are living in extraordinarily dangerous times, when evil, rather than justice, prevails. The schoolyard is terrorized by thugs and punks with names like Bush, Cheney, Limbaugh, Robertson, Clinton, Rockefeller, Rice, Rumsfeld, Perle, Kristol and Giuliani—pedigreed people all. In an inconspicuous corner of the schoolyard, the good people—and they are legion—keep to themselves, afraid. No one wants to be hurt; and the thugs and punks are dangerous, even criminally insane people. They have terrible weapons and criminal gangs who patrol the schoolyard to intimidate and terrorize, looking for those who talk to others; looking for signs of organization and resistance.... Their ancestors were the inventors of chattel slavery; ours were their servants who worked the fields and died in their wars. Their ancestors tormented and eradicated the aboriginal peoples under the flag of religion and manifest destiny—testaments to their stupendous strength and superiority; ours were the vanquished and oppressed... We are not of their class, the descendants of wealth and property, with social pedigrees obtained through terror and mayhem. They and their ancestors have always been the terrorists, and we and our ancestors have always been the terrorized.

The present is a manifestation of an unbroken chain of events converging from the distant past. The reign of terror can be ended, must be ended, by breaking the chain and casting its hefty iron links into the sea. The bullies, the punks and thugs terrorize the schoolyard because they were not dealt with in the past. We did not arrive at this important moment in history by chance. Cause and effect brought us here. Those in the present are reaping what was sown by those who came before us, just as the future will be the result of what we do now... We pretend that we do not hear, but a deafening crescendo of the dead is rising all around and within us, too awful, too persistent to be ignored indefinitely; a nightmare that haunts and tortures our sleep, our every waking moment.

The chain must be broken or it will continue to grow and it will beat down our children and our children’s children... there is only one way to remove the thugs and punks from our schoolyard. It is to face them down, not alone, which would be suicidal, but in unison, for we outnumber them millions to one. Unity, solidarity and justice are more powerful forces than hate and violence, just as surely as truth is superior to lies, life is preferable to death; and freedom is preferable to imprisonment and servitude. The disparate parts of solidarity already exist in broken disarray at our feet: We have only to bring them together in a continuous chain of ironclad unity.

There are risks involved. Success is not guaranteed. But without just opposition to terror just outcomes are not possible. So we need courage and faith that translates into principled action—and solidarity. It is high time to call the punks and thugs out into the open. Those who are ruled by fear cannot be guided by justice. Justice demands that we have this fight—us against them.