Saturday, March 15, 2003

Boston Globe Online / Nation | World / US halts pursuit of Turkish bases, warns on incursion
At the same time, the administration warned Turkey not to go ahead with plans to send its own army into Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq, saying that such an incursion could lead to ''a war within a war'' and further damage Turkey's relations with its strongest ally.

Once more, through the diplomatic looking glass with Donald Rumsfield.
NSW Greens urge 'no war' ballot option. 15/3/2003. ABC News Online
The New South Wales Greens are urging voters to write "no war" on their ballot papers at next week's state election.
Upper house Greens member, Ian Cohen says it is an easy way for people to send a message to the major parties.
"The New South Wales elections has come at a time that gives people an opportunity," he said.
"It's an opportunity for a referendum.
"It's an opportunity for people to speak up.
"It's clearly an action that can be undertaken without having any negative impact at all.

...but nothing will save the Governor General
we are being made accessories to an
international crime

Prime Minister Howard speaking as our representative stated today that
he will commit Australia to waging an invasive war against Iraq without
authorization of the UN.

That is against the Greens' policy, the Australian Democrats' policy,
and the policy of the ALP - not to mention international law.

It is time for our real representative - Bob Brown in the Senate - to
very publicly seek cooperation from the Australian Democrats and ALP
Senators, to take all possible measures to force the present government
to election on this very issue. Maximum pressure should also be applied
to Governor General Hollingsworth and our Head of State, Queen
Elizabeth, on this very issue.

Our criminally inclined Prime Minister should be brought to account
before he commits this crime.

I am hearing this sentiment literally all over the Australian media since Howard's speech.

My feeling is that if you really believe you would become a war criminal if, as the citizen of a democracy, you should take precautions by making it clear, in public, that the current administration has lost its legitimacy and fresh elections should be called immediately. At the minimum, you must agree that what Howard needs is a big, fat "cease and desist" order from Peter Hollingsworth.

It is obvious that The Government should be set aside immediately and Crean be appointed caretaker PM by the GG. Is this going to happen? It's not even yet been on the radar screen, but it is now.

To be effective, Crean and Bob Brown and the Dems must demand this the moment Howard gives the go ahead for war, and if consent for a fresh election is not given by either of them, the Greens, Labor and Democrats would then need to force the issue by joining together to block supply to the Government when the Budget comes forward next month.

However, it is my understanding that would contradict a vow Labor once made never to block supply after the "Falcon and the Snowman" Gough Whitlam Dismissal in 1975. It's probably the only "core principle" they would refuse to break, such is their fear of it coming back to haunt them. As many have said, though, this crisis is far more serious than 1975.

On historical precidents, the GG must immediately set the Howard government aside and put the whole political system into caretaker mode. This would mean the immediate withdrawal of Australian troops under the provisions of the ANZUS treat, which say that all International disputes should be firstly and only resolved through the UN.

Tungsten Mushrooms and the battle for DU bullets

NEWS TRANSCRIPT from the United States Department of Defense

DoD News Briefing
COL James Naughton, U.S. Army Materiel Command
Friday, March 14, 2003 -- 1 p.m.EST

(Also participating; Dr. Michael Kilpatrick, (OASD HA)
Deployment Health Support Directorate

Slides shown during this briefing can be found on the Web at:

MODERATOR: Thank you for attending this afternoon.
Today's briefing is on depleted uranium. Depleted uranium is
something that I think we have not done a good enough job in
making sure that everybody understands what depleted uranium is
and what it isn't. And as we go forward, and if there is a
conflict in Iraq, I think it's important for everybody to have a
good understanding of depleted uranium, because there is an
awful lot of misinformation out there about depleted uranium.

To help us do that today we have two briefers. We have
Army Colonel James Naughton from the U.S. Army Materiel Command
and he'll talk about depleted uranium as a weapon and as an
armor plating. And also with us today is Dr. Michael
Kilpatrick, who is of the Deployment Health Support Directorate,
and he will be here to talk to you about the health effects of
depleted uranium. We have probably about 30 minutes or so, but
we will try to get all your questions answered. So let's go
ahead and get started.
COL. NAUGHTON: I'm Colonel Jim Naughton from Army
Materiel Command. I am currently the director for munitions in
that organization. I have been involved in developing and
buying munitions most of my military career.

We have several branches of service that use depleted
uranium. We have used it for about two decades. Next chart
please. During the Gulf War, we fired ammunition weighing
approximately 320 tons. That sounds like an awful lot of
depleted uranium, but when you actually put it together and
measure it, it's a cube about eight feet on the side. It isn't
really a lot of material. Depleted uranium is very heavy.
That's one of the things that makes it good for use in
ammunition and armor, so it doesn't take up a lot of space.

Next chart. The Air Force was a principal user during
the Gulf War. They fired the ammunition from their A-10
aircraft, 30 millimeter gun system.

Next chart, please. The Army was the second largest
user. We fired most of our ammunition from the Abrams tank,
approximately 50 tons, as indicated on the chart. And the
remaining 11 tons of ammunition was fired by the Marine Corps,
again principally from tanks and the Harrier aircraft, the AV-8.

Next chart, please. We have two military uses for
depleted uranium. The first one is to make penetrators.
Penetrators are what we use to penetrate armored vehicles,
kinetic energy weapons like the MA-29 series, ammunition for the
Abrams tank, use the energy that's created when the bullet is
launched from the bore of the canon to breach the armor on the
other end. So you want something that's very dense and very
hard, so that when it reaches the other end, instead of
splattering like you would expect a lead bullet to do, it
actually retains its shape and drives through the target.

Next chart. This is why the U.S. Army prefers to use
depleted uranium over tungsten ammunition. If you look on the
chart you can see that the depleted uranium is a material that
has a characteristic that allows it to sharpen itself as it
penetrates the target. The uranium shreds off the sides of the
penetrator instead of squashing or mushrooming. If you look at
the lower picture, which is what happens with tungsten, the
tungsten mushrooms. The result is the depleted uranium will
penetrate more armor of a given character and type at a given
range than tungsten will, no matter how we design the

Next chart. Proof is of course in the pudding. These
are two high-speed X-ray pictures taken of penetrations actually
going on, and you can see the tungsten penetrator deforming in
the bottom picture, and you can see the DU penetrator
maintaining its shape in the top picture.

Next chart. Why do we use it? This is the result.
What we want to be able to do is strike the target from farther
away than we can be hit back, and we want the target to be
destroyed when we shoot at it. We don't want to see rounds
bouncing off. We don't want to put our soldiers in the position
that you see, if you watch "Kelly's Heroes," where they load
tank rounds with paint in order to blind the target. And I'm
sure everybody in here has probably seen "Kelly's Heroes" once,
because in World War II we faced a problem of not having the
overreach we have today. We don't ever want to go back to that.
And we don't want to fight even. Nobody goes into a war and
wants to be even with the enemy. We want to be ahead, and DU
gives us that advantage. We can hit, and they can't hit us.
During the Gulf War we had tanks engaged in situations with
multiple Iraqi tanks that were shot, hit -- not penetrated --
and proceeded to destroy all three of the targets that engaged
them, including shooting through a sandbag and destroying one of
the Iraqi tanks. It really happened. That's how much advantage
it gives us. So we don't want to give that up, and that's why
we use it.

I'll be followed by Dr. Kilpatrick.

MR. KILPATRICK: Good afternoon. It's certainly my
pleasure to be able to be here this afternoon and talk with you
about the medical health effects of depleted uranium.

I want to first start by talking a little bit about
natural uranium, because I think we need to put it into that
perspective. Natural uranium is in the soil around our world.
It certainly is something that we eat and drink and breathe in
every day, because it is in our environment. We all secrete
natural uranium in our urine to a certain level. We know that
in some areas of the world there's less and some areas there's
more -- particularly say in Florida there's a lot of natural
uranium in the soil. You get into Colorado, you'll find the
same sort of thing. You get into other areas of the world there
are variations. And yet we do not see natural uranium causing
any recognized medical complication or health problem in people.
We have had a lot of studies in uranium miners. We know an
awful lot about what uranium does as a heavy metal in people,
and we certainly have a lot of studies on depleted uranium in
the environment, and I'll talk a little bit later about from the
Gulf War some individuals who were involved in friendly fire.

Next slide, please. Our major concern, as I said, is
the chemical nature, because uranium, depleted uranium are both
heavy metals -- like lead and tungsten and nickel. The kidney,
when the depleted uranium is internalized, becomes a target
organ, and there are collecting tubules that essentially
concentrate the urine that are most severely affected, the first
to be affected if there is a dose of natural uranium or depleted
uranium above a threshold in the body.

We looked at some 90 Gulf War veterans who were in or on
an armored vehicle when it was struck by depleted uranium in
friendly fire. And those individuals have been followed on an
annual basis now we are talking 12 years post-incident. And we
do not see any kidney damage in those individuals -- and this is
using very sophisticated medical evaluation of kidneys. They
were also followed for other medical problems, and they have had
no -- and I'll talk about this a little bit later, but while I'm
here, they've had no other medical consequences of that depleted
uranium exposure. Now, some of these individuals had
amputations, were burned, had deep wounds, so that these
individuals, some of them of course do have medical problems.
But as far as a consequence of the depleted uranium exposure, we
are not seeing anything related to that either from a chemical
or radiological effect.

Next slide, please. We've looked at them for cancers.
There has been no cancer of bone or lungs, where you would
expect them -- to see that. We have seen no leukemias. As I
said, there's been about 90 individuals we've followed up, and
about 20 of these individuals still have small fragments of
depleted uranium in their body. To try to remove that totally
from their body would mean amputation or removal of muscles.
And our belief is it's better to follow them than to go through
any further traumatic type of surgery for the individuals. And,
as I've said, we have not seen any untoward medical consequence
in these individuals.

As we take a look at transuranics, and that's been
brought up -- you may have heard about that -- these are trace
elements of like Americium, plutonium, neptunium that has been
found in depleted uranium in the process of making it. It goes
through the same processing plant where nuclear fuel is
reprocessed after it is spent. And there trace amounts of
transuranics in the depleted uranium. It has been looked at,
measured by several different countries and scientists outside
of DOD. The amount of radiation that contributes is less than
one percent, and that is believed not to have any medical
significance as far as adding to the radiation.

Depleted uranium is 40 percent less radioactive than
natural uranium around us. And so when it's outside the body
it's just not an issue. It's only when it's internalized --
either by inhaling the dust, the oxide, as Colonel Naughton said
when there is penetration of armor, it does self-sharpen and it
does create an oxide dust. And there are people who were in or
on the vehicles that were struck in friendly fire, who did
inhale that oxide, and we have not seen any medical consequence
from that. They certainly had the highest dose exposure of
anybody in the Gulf War.

Next slide, please. We talked about not seeing any
cancers in the kidney or certainly in the lungs or the bone in
these individuals. Leukemia became an issue a couple of years
ago when the Italians were concerned about peacekeepers in the
Kosovo area coming back and having leukemia. We took a look at
what are the causes of leukemia. The rates in the United States
are usually about two per 100,000 people per year. Cause of
leukemia is often unknown. We took a look at data, medical
data, from the exposures, atomic bomb blasts in Japan in World
War II, people getting chemotherapy. We see an increased rate
in leukemia in these individuals, some two to four to six years
after that exposure. And we certainly know people exposed to
toxic solvents like benzene can have an increased rate of
leukemia. But the Italians did the epidemiological study and
found basically the rate of leukemia in their military personnel
was no greater than their civilian population. And so what was
triggered as a cause-effect relationship being in Kosovo where
depleted uranium in was fired was not a causal relationship. It
was just the natural rate of leukemia in the people who had been
peacekeepers in that area.

Next slide, please. There have been over 40 tests done
on what happens to depleted uranium from an environmental
standpoint, both with shooting munitions through armor, looking
at burning of depleted uranium. We had some fires in tanks. We
had some fires in depleted uranium. It was in storage
capacities. And we have recently done a capstone study where we
again have shot depleted uranium through uranium armored tanks
to look at what is the amount of oxide created, how long does it
stay suspended, what is the particle size. That study has just
been completed, but it is not yet written to be published. When
it is written it will be published. All of the environmental
information about depleted uranium is in our Department of
Defense environmental exposure report, and I'll have a website
that will show you that at the end of the talk.

We continue to do testing in animals. Some people ask
why do you continue to test if you say it's not an issue. I
think if there are questions we need to continue to bore down on
the science and make sure that those continued experimental
evidence from animals validate what we know in people. And I
think that it's extremely important to say that we are doing all
the tests that need to be done to understand the physiology of
exposure to depleted uranium.

Next slide. Recent environmental assessments done
outside the Department of Defense. The United Nations
Environmental Programme has put out this book, called "Depleted
Uranium in Kosovo," where they went and did soil samples. They
went and looked for the penetrators. Again, these are the A-10
airplanes shooting. They found some seven penetrators or the
sabot, what you saw coming off the round on the ground. These
had either hit rocks, cement, and ricocheted. Normally when an
A-10 fires if it hits ground it buries anywhere from one to ten
meters deep. But they found seven on the ground, some 13 tons
of depleted uranium had been shot from the airplane in the
Kosovo area. And they have not been able to find any
environmental effect of depleted uranium -- not residual other
than finding those penetrators lying on the ground. They've
checked water. There have been other countries -- the Belgians
came in and looked at food, water, milk, fruits, vegetables,
meat, and essentially were not able to find any evidence of any
increased uranium or depleted uranium in any of those samples.

The World Health Organization has done a similar study
in the Balkans. The European Commission, the European
Parliament and the United Kingdom Society for World Society has
also published a report on looking at all that data. So we have
outside of DOD, outside the United States, organizations taking
a look at what are the environmental effects, and they are
consistent in their finding that there is no environmental
effect in an area where depleted uranium has been shot.

Next slide, please. These again are a couple more
meetings where they got experts from around the world -- and the
last one, depleted uranium in Kosovo, and that has been
published at a meeting in Germany. Again the scientists are in
concurrence that it does not pose an environmental hazard.

Next slide. When DU does strike armor and that oxide is
created, it falls to the ground very quickly -- usually within
about a 50-meter range. As Colonel Naughton said, it's heavy.
It's 1.7 times as heavy as lead. So even if it's a small dust
particle, it's still very heavy. And it stays on the ground.
They've looked on the battlefield in multiple locations. We
looked in Kuwait where we knew that there were tank battles. We
looked in the boneyard in Kuwait where all of the Iraqi armored
vehicle that was hit with depleted uranium was dragged, and we
were not able to find anything on the ground around those
vehicles that's above background in radiation.

If you look at hole where the depleted uranium round
went in and out, there is an increased radiation where that
metal was essentially welded onto the armor. But that's not
going to go anywhere. It's not going to fall off. It's welded
onto that armor. And the boneyard is out in the desert were
eventually the sand will cover it over. And, again, it does not
pose an environmental hazard.

I think the Kosovo report focuses on picking up lose
particles that are on the ground. They need to be appropriately
disposed of and that would be buried at a documented site.

They recommended continuing to look at groundwater.
They don't believe that there's a likelihood that that would be
the case. Our studies in the United States over 15 years have
not shown depleted uranium going from the soil into groundwater.
It just does not move from the round that is in the soil. And
the bottom line is there is going to be no impact on the health
of the people in the environment, or people who were there at
the time it was shot.

Next round. We have a lot of information and history
medically on uranium which applies directly to depleted uranium.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Diseases Registry says
there has been no documented case of any cancer of any type
related to exposure to uranium or depleted uranium.

Looking at those individuals whom we know were most
highly exposed to depleted uranium in the Gulf War are some 90
individuals who are being in the medical follow-up program.
They have shown no adverse effect from their exposure to
depleted uranium. And, again, the multiple other organizations
reviewing this data are consistent with our understanding of
depleted uranium. It is a superior weapon, superior armor. It
is a munition that we will continue to use, if the need is there
to attack armor.

I am going to stop here and see if you have questions.
Colonel Naughton, would you join me here for questions?

Q: Well, you just said it but I would like to ask the
colonel -- you've implied it, but you haven't said it. I assume
that you fully intend -- if there is a war in Iraq, you fully
intend to use depleted uranium.

COL. NAUGHTON: As a practical matter, if we use Abram
tanks, we have no choice. We do not have an alternative for the
Abram tank.

Q: And the A-10.

COL. NAUGHTON: And the A-10. Well, the A-10 -- there
is an HE [high explosive] round for the A-10.

Q: May I just follow up on that? Actually you had
said it's an advantage and we do not want to give it up. Why
would it even be considered that you would give it up? And why
are you even saying that?

COL. NAUGHTON: Well, you need to look at the
environment of the context where people are asking us questions
-- who's asking the question? The Iraqis tell us terrible
things happened to our people because you used it last time.
Why do they want it to go away? They want it to go away because
we kicked the crap out of them -- okay? I mean, there's no
doubt that DU gave us a huge advantage over their tanks. They
lost a lot of tanks. Their soldiers can't be really amused at
the idea of going out in basically the same tanks with some
slight improvements and taking on Abrams again. That has got to
be a huge morale -- so wouldn't it be great if we could convince
the world to make the U.S. give up DU?

Q: So it's basically you're saying the Iraqis are behind any sort of effort --

COL. NAUGHTON: And other countries that are not friendly to the United States.

Q: Well, is it a concern of some in the military that
they are afraid to use the ammunition because of the -- I mean,
I'm trying to get a sense --

COL. NAUGHTON: I've never met anyone that was afraid to use the ammunition.

MR. KILPATRICK: We have an extensive training program
on depleted uranium for military members. The soldiers' common
task manual explains that depleted uranium, if it is used on the
battlefield, and you see a tank that has been taken out by
depleted uranium, the first rule is don't go into damaged
equipment on the battlefield. That poses a hazard. There may
be unexploded ordnances, there may be other chemicals that were
in there from a fire that burned. And if it was taken out by
depleted uranium, there may be oxide that you don't want to
inhale. We want to minimize any exposure, at least to the
lowest level as possible. If somebody needs to go into a tank
that's been hit with depleted uranium, a dust mask, a
handkerchief is adequate to protect them -- washing their hands
afterwards. So the colonel is right, nobody here has fear of
it. But there are people who want to ban nuclear weapons, and
they try to link depleted uranium to nuclear weapons. It's not
a nuclear weapon. It is a heavy metal that just happens to be
radioactive. It's lower than natural uranium. It's used in a
lot of industrial settings. It's used as ballast in rudders on
ships, in airplanes. It's used as essentially the protective
mechanism, if you will, for radioactive medical materials that
are used in hospitals for diagnostic procedures -- kind of a
shielding for that high radioactivity, so that it has a lot of
commercial use. And it again is not a hazardous substance.

Q: You mentioned of the 90 Gulf War veterans you are
tracking there have been no adverse health effects. Does that
include neurological disorders as well?

MR. KILPATRICK: Yes. And I think Dr. McDiarmid has
published on this. What she found in an early test about three
years into her study -- she was using a new neurological test
that is computer based, and she found some abnormalities in some
of the individuals that had the highest level of depleted
uranium in their urine. When she repeated that test the next
year, the next annual evaluation, she did not find that same
effect. So it happened one testing. There was a great deal
made about it at that time, but when she followed these
individuals up the next year there was no difference in those
who had the fragments in them with high levels or low levels of
depleted uranium in their urine or their counterparts who did
not have fragments and had normal levels of uranium in their
urine, with no depleted uranium.

Q: Doctor, you mentioned natural uranium and uranium
miners. The federal government is compensating former uranium
miners for health problems that are linked to their exposure to
natural uranium. What makes that different than DU?

MR. KILPATRICK: I think the health problems, if you
look at that closely, as they are looking at in the mines, the
uranium mines they had exposure to radon. And we know that
radon is certainly an agent that can cause cancer. And as
they've taken a look at uranium miners with that radon exposure,
that's what that compensation is directed to. The scientists
have tried to say, How can you parse out the natural uranium
exposure versus the radon exposure? And they've done that in
looking at radon levels and looking at people handling natural
uranium in the milling process essentially. So that is an area.

Now, recently at Paducah we know that some people
working with radioactive materials did handle high-level
radioactive material without knowing what they were doing, and
there's a compensation issue related to that. Again, that's not
depleted uranium or natural uranium; that's the
highly-radioactive materials that were brought back to be

Q: Just for the average person following up on that,
though, could you explain why the soldier wouldn't face radon?
I mean, just for someone who is not following you

MR. KILPATRICK: Radon comes out of the ground, and
that's why when you buy a house you have got to have [a] radon
[detector] in the basement studied to say is it safe. Depleted
uranium is a chunk of heavy metal. It doesn't have any
off-gassing. It doesn't have any gas in it. The radon is not
part of the uranium. It's in the same locale, same location,
because it's around the world, natural uranium. So it's a
different exposure. It's not connected scientifically to uranium
or depleted uranium.

Q: Colonel, is the U.S. the only country that's
developed depleted uranium projectiles?

COL. NAUGHTON: It's not the only country that's
developed it. It's not the only country that uses it. But the
United States and Britain are as a practical matter the only
people that have manufactured that ammunition that I'm aware of.

Q: There's no chance that Iraq might get their hands on some?

COL. NAUGHTON: Well, they would have to get their hands
on some that fit their tanks. And I don't believe they have any
tanks that use 105 or 120 millimeter tank guns.

Q: Could you explain for the layman the process of depleting uranium?

COL. NAUGHTON: Yes, what -- the commonest or best known
method is the centrifuge. And what happens is you take
naturally-occurring uranium and you combine it with fluorine to
make a gaseous substance called uranium hexoflouride. And you
take the uranium hexoflouride and spin it in a centrifuge at a
very high speed. And the U-235, which is slightly lighter than
U-238, separates out. And you do this in a series of
centrifuges one right after the other, passing the most -- more
steadily enriched uranium through the process and out one end
comes what's called enriched uranium, which consists
predominantly of U-235. It does contain some U-238. And what's
left over is uranium hexoflouride gas consisting primarily of
the U-238 isotope. You then extract the fluorine through a
series of steps, and what you have left is depleted uranium
metal, which goes by the name of Derby. If you ever read some
technical manuals and you see somebody talking about Derby,
that's what they're referring to, and that's because the way we
manufacture the metal has a distinctive shape that looks like a

Q: So it's a by-product of making highly-enriched uranium?

COL. NAUGHTON: And that's why --

Q: -- used for weapons and or anything else?

COL. NAUGHTON: Correct. It will work for reactor
material -- primarily for reactor material in this point in

MR. KILPATRICK: And just to follow up, you used I think
a very appropriate word, as a by-product -- depleted uranium is
a by-product for that process. It is not nuclear waste.

Q: Colonel Naughton, you said a few minutes ago that
there were no alternatives to depleted uranium. But are the
Army labs possibly looking at other materials?

COL. NAUGHTON: We will always look for other materials.
I want to have the best sword I can get if I am a medieval
warrior. That's why there's the legend of Excalibur or Prince
Valiant's Singing Sword. And in today's world we want to have
the best weapon we can get. So we will continue to research and
look for alternatives. So far we have come up empty. But that
doesn't mean that 10 years from now there won't be an
alternative and we'll switch to it -- not because we dislike
depleted uranium but because we found something better.

Q: What about steel?

COL. NAUGHTON: Steel doesn't work. Steel is not dense
enough to do this. If you follow the history of anti-armor
weaponry, the first anti-armor weapons of this type used a steel
rod, and then they very quickly switched to tungsten to form the
penetrators, and that happened during the early and middle parts
of World War II. By the end of World War II, armor-piercing
ammunition was predominantly made with tungsten. But some of
our 50-caliber machine gun ammunition that's labeled
armor-piercing, which is for shooting obviously much lighter
targets than tanks, does use steel rod still.

Q: Can you tell me what is the likelihood that depleted
uranium weaponry would be used in an urban environment? And the
reason I'm wondering is what the likelihood might be that
children could be exposed to this after the fact, no matter how
much care you take in the targeting, a child being exposed to
this. And are the levels of exposure for children, the danger
levels of exposure for children the same as for adults?

COL. NAUGHTON: That's a two-part question. Why don't I
take the first part, which is likelihood. You use this kind of
ammunition against tanks. So the only reason we would be using
it in an urban environment is if our opponents take their tanks
into an urban environment and we have to kill them. So that's
the scenario. So is it likely? That depends upon how the enemy
reacts. Tanks are open-country vehicles. They don't do well
generally in built-up areas. But they can be used in built-up
areas. That's a tactical choice, and if our opponents take that
tactical choice you could see that activity. And I think the
rest of it is --

MR. KILPATRICK: I think as far as health effects on
children we do know that, as I said before, if the depleted
uranium is external to the body there is no health effect. What
we worry about like lead in paint in housing areas -- children
picking it up and eating it or licking it -- getting it on their
hands and ingesting it. And there really is no data on how much
it takes to cause an issue or a problem in children. If you are
taking it in orally, most of that is going to go right through
the gut. I mean, they've done studies of this -- of all heavy
metals -- and there's very little absorption of that. And you'd
really have to have a very large internalized dose.

Dr. Naomi Harley, when she took a look at inhalation of
oxide, said with a concentration that's created even while the
DU is penetrating armor you would have to inhale enough to
almost suffocate to get an effective dose. So it's --

Q: -- issue in the past -- children being exposed.

MR. KILPATRICK: It has not been an issue in the past.
We really have no data. When we take a look at how much you
would have to internalize, you are not going to get that with
casual exposure.

Q: Which depleted uranium armor -- what vehicles use
that, and how effective is it against --

COL. NAUGHTON: It's used principally on the Abrams
tank. You will find it in other uses. You'll see things called
applique armor people talk about, and it can be used in applique
armor for just about any vehicle you want that you want to hang
an armor box on. But our principal use for it is -- our
principal use is in the Abrams.

Q: How effective is it?

COL. NAUGHTON: I'd say it's very effective. But to get
into how effective with numbers, we start to get to classified
very, very quickly. The fact is that Iraqi tanks -- and this is
the way you can judge --

Q: (Off mike)?

COL. NAUGHTON: If you're close enough and live long
enough to shoot, yes. But you have got to be real close.

Q: The fact is that Iraqi tanks -- you started to say something about Iraqi tanks.

COL. NAUGHTON: I was going to say the fact is that in
the desert in the last war, Iraqi tanks at fairly close ranges
-- not nose to nose -- fired at our tanks and the shot bounced
off the heavy armor. So -- and our shot did not bounce off
their armor. So the result was Iraqi tanks destroyed -- U.S.
tanks with scrape marks.

Q: Colonel, just to go back to what you were saying
earlier, the reason you were saying the Iraqis are making a
claim that there were all these adverse health effects is
because this is a posture on their part not to be used because

COL. NAUGHTON: That's Jim Naughton's personal opinion,
yes. That's why you'll find people making -- in other
governments making noise about us using it. It's interesting to
note that we have sold depleted uranium ammunition to some of
our allies in Southwest Asia, and I don't hear any of them
complaining about it.

MR. KILPATRICK: Let me just address the ill people in
Basra. It's been in the media a great deal, and reporters have
gone and seen children with birth defects, children with cancer,
adults with cancer, with other ills. The World Health
Organization went into that area and took a look at what it
would take to do the appropriate epidemiological medical studies
to understand why are people ill in this area of the world.
They laid out that requirement of that kind of study and said
the World Health Organization is capable and willing to do this.
And the government of Iraq said no. Unless that study is done,
it is going to be very difficult to try to understand what is
behind the large number of people being ill. If you go to the
MD Anderson Hospital in Houston and say are people in Houston
ill with cancers based on people coming into a cancer treatment
center, you would get a skewed impression of the rates of cancer
in Houston. And so I think when you take a look at Basra it is
the kind of medical center in that part of Iraq that anybody who
is ill would gravitate toward that area.

When we take a look at where were the tank battles in
the Gulf War, there were no tank battles near population areas.
And, as we said before, this oxide doesn't blow around. It is
very heavy, and when it falls to ground it stays there, and the
fact that it moves on down into the sand. So from a perspective
of could depleted uranium be playing a role from a medical
standpoint, no. But there clearly are ill people there.

MODERATOR: All right, thank you, all.


[Web version: http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Mar2003/t03142003_t314depu.html]

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George W. Queeg
Aboard the U.S.S. Caine, it was the business with the strawberries that finally convinced the doubters that something was amiss with the captain. Is foreign policy George W. Bush's quart of strawberries?

This is the column of the year for Krugman. Captain Queeg captures Bush so perfectly it's scary.
It's simple: strive for a better world - theage.com.au
I like to imagine that too. Not because I want to prove the peace protesters wrong (What else can the widespread opposition to war be but a mark of human progress?) but because the main thing stopping millions of people enjoying the same freedoms we do is the dictator running their country.

Except for people your masters tell you tell your aren't dictators -- or "democratic dictatorships" like General MySheriff in Pakistan.
Democracy in Iraq doubtful, State Dept. report says / Social, economic obstacles work against transformation
"Liberal democracy would be difficult to achieve," says one passage of the report, according to an intelligence official who agreed to read portions of it to the Los Angeles Times. "Electoral democracy, were it to emerge, could well be subject to exploitation by anti-American elements."
The thrust of the document, the source said, "is that this idea that you're going to transform the Middle East and fundamentally alter its trajectory is not credible."
Even the document's title appears to dismiss the administration argument. The report is labeled "Iraq, the Middle East and Change: No Dominoes."

CIA/State vs. the Pentagon. Both sides are leaking and spinning like crazy.
MTV.com: Hans Blix: Caught Between Iraq And A Hard Place
Norris: Speaking of multilateralism, do you notice, as many have suggested, that there's an increasing unilateralist bent in the United States government?

Blix: Yeah. On big issues like war in Iraq, but in many other issues they simply must be multilateral. There's no other way around. You have the instances like the global warming convention, the Kyoto protocol, when the U.S. went its own way. I regret it. To me the question of the environment is more ominous than that of peace and war. We will have regional conflicts and use of force, but world conflicts I do not believe will happen any longer. But the environment, that is a creeping danger. I'm more worried about global warming than I am of any major military conflict.

Friday, March 14, 2003

Deconstructing JW Howard - smh.com.au
The questions were not as tough or broad, overall, as those from the Washington press gallery at Bush's press conference last week, but there's good reason for that. Bush was upfront about his intentions, opening up the discussion. John Howard stonewalled on his intentions, despite the fact that it's obvious from everything he said that we'll go in with the Yanks no matter what happens at the UN, and cut off further discussion. This meant several questions were taken up with pressing him for an answer, and because he refused to answer most questions anyway, with asking the same question in a different way.

Margo - Tony Blair faced the toughest questioning of all from the MTV generation.
Bush demonstrating 'strategic stupidity': ex-RAAF chief - smh.com.au
"I can see what's behind what (Prime Minister John Howard) is doing, most particularly our alliance with the US," Air Vice-Marshall Funnell told ABC radio.
"But, unfortunately, what he's done is he's followed, almost in lock-step, a man who has demonstrated strategic stupidity, and I refer here to President (George W) Bush."

Australia's Howard assails France for anti-war stance
"It doesn't seem to me that France's first priority is to find a peaceful solution" to the Iraqi crisis, he said.

"I think her first priority is to position France vis-a-vis the US and I think that's a pity."

"I regret to say the French are playing a spoiling role."

Howard, who hit out at France repeatedly in interviews and public speeches Friday, said the French position was illogical because it welcomed the minimal progress made by weapons inspectors in Iraq while condeming the threatened use of force that led to their deployment.

Direct, bald-ass lies. Or he has lost his mind, completely. It's time for the Governor General to put an end to this man's leadership, as many are calling for right now.
The senior official suggested that the comments had forced the Prime Minister's hands. "In effect, he disagreed with Mr Rumsfeld's notion that Britain wouldn't participate. Well if that's the case what are they waiting for? He gets nothing out of this. This is just masochistic.
"We're just haemorrhaging for no purpose. There's no up-side here other than for Blair. We're being kicked around worldwide. These newspaper stories about divisions and uncertainty are giving Saddam comfort. Just get it over with."
The official said Mr Bush had "gone well along the way of trying to accommodate Blair" and emphasised that "we're only doing this [seeking another UN resolution] for him". It had been a mistake, he argued, to pursue another resolution.
"I just think this is a fool's chase. The whole thing is. What is anybody getting by waiting if you believe Saddam is not going to disarm? Why not just go for it?
"At a certain point here you have to wonder how much more delay, how much more confusion we can have internationally and all the rest of it. The Russians and the French have made it clear they're going to veto, so what exactly are we doing here?"
Another source has said it was "unseemly" for the Americans to bribe and cajole "corrupt" African countries on the Security Council to get their votes. He said this had allowed critics of US policy to accuse Mr Bush of using "dollar diplomacy" to secure a "coalition of the billing".

Unbelievable. The Poodle is weeing on the carpet and shedding everywhere. Time for a quick trip out to countryside and a long walk home....if he can remember the way.
AlterNet: 'Bush Wins': The Left's Nightmare Scenario
I am not alone in this line of thinking, by the way, as I've received complaints from senior colleagues with ties to the major alternative media/news organizations and antiwar groups about the lack of serious consideration of how to prepare for a Bush Wins scenario. Because the reality is that if the war is quick and a U.S.-occupation established effectively, progressive forces need to accept the removal of Hussein as a great opportunity to build democracy and justice in Iraq, whatever the actual motives of the Bush Administration.

Very insightful. What does winning the peace really look like?
The Seattle Times: Local News: Westlake mall limits access to protesters
The center has cracked down on protesters passing through the mall on their way to and from the monorail station on the center's top floor. Yesterday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington told Mayor Greg Nickels the center is violating city law by telling people they cannot display anti-war signs and, in one case, an anti-war button in the downtown mall.
The ACLU also complained to the center, asking it to tell its guards "that the job of providing mall security does not include filtering out customers based on their political viewpoint."

America is a shopping mall.
German leader condemns 'logic of war'. 14/3/2003. ABC News Online
The British Government was furious when France rejected its six-step plan for Iraqi disarmament, describing the French position as unreasonable, illogical and "poisoning the diplomatic bloodstream".

Now that's a phrase we haven't heard for a while.
The Register
PayPal switches off indy news site account

A US independent news site which relies upon reader donations has had some of its air supply cut off by PayPal.

In a email sent to WhatReallyHappened.com yesterday, PayPal's Orwellian-sounding "Merchant Risk Department" wrote:

As you know, the PayPal User Agreement states that PayPal, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to close an account at any time for any reason. We write to inform you that, after a review of your site, and in accordance with the User Agreement, your account has been closed. Your funds will be held for 180 days from the date of the last transaction on the account. After 180 days have expired, we will refund your funds by mailing a check to the address linked to your account.

Merchant Risk Department


Now for WhatReallyHappened.com's reply:

Now, as an experiment, type the words "PayPal" and "Porno" into any search engine. I used Google and got a list of hundreds of pornography web sites that PayPal does not seem to have any qualms about doing business with!

Note also that PayPal is going to hold onto the funds YOU have already donated for almost 6 months before turning them over to us.

Direct email to customercare@paypal.com

South Knox Bubba
U.S. officials were outraged to find more evidence of Iraqi WMD buried deep in Hans Blix's most recent inspection report.

The Australian: Bishop: PM fires anti-West fervour [March 14, 2003]
JOHN Howard was too quick to swallow the "pro-Israel" rhetoric of the US and was contributing to the anti-Western sentiments of the Muslim world, the Catholic Bishop of Canberra-Goulburn, Pat Power, said last night.

Bishop Power, who has been a leading campaigner against the war on Iraq, said Mr Howard's speech yesterday emphasised a dangerous willingness to side with Israel irrespective of the circumstances.
"I believe that the US and our Prime Minister would be far more constructive if they took an even-handed approach to Israel," Bishop Power said.
"I have no doubt they favour Israel too strongly. If there was a more balanced approach it would take a lot of the angst out of the Muslim world," he said.

WSJ.com - Dow Industrials Rise 270, Logging Best Day of 2003
The stock market's relentless punishment ended Thursday -- at least for a day.
Stocks soared in their biggest gains in five months amid hopes that a war in Iraq could be delayed, or even avoided. Beaten-down technology and insurance stocks led the surge, which was accompanied by a drop in oil prices and fleeting signs that there might be life coming back to the economy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 269.68 points, or 3.57%, to 7821.75 -- the biggest rally in point and percentage terms since Oct. 15.

Like Soros, the market wants stability, but not at any price. Wall Street is strongly antiwar, it seems to me, for that very reason.

Bush is an ideologue and a visionary, though there are few who can stomach to call him such. What we fear most to name is a Bush who is a Christian Solider on a Campaign for The New American Century.

Bush wants -- needs -- the eternal circulating shark-like awareness of motion needed to stay alive when a country surrenders itself to the military industrial complex. Inside those engines of holocaust, the echo of a steadily hardening human voice trying to be heard above the din of a crying, desperate humanity that sees itself as a powerless subject to the cunning of history.

His truest deputies, I fear, are those who see the Bush who burns as the Chosen One, the cyclical divine king summation of the Gilgamesh epic in the purple clad personage of the Great Sun God of MOAB, whose god is the military and political powers and principalities of the age, who can be counted on to lead his people out of the wilderness in the Holy Land of Israel and into a New World Order, founded upon the Temple Mount.

I didn't bring religion to this debate. It was already there. It makes me uncomfortable, because part of me is very attached to the apparatus of critical, dispassionate modernity. We'd all prefer to relegate this war to geopolitics, but I fear it is more. To pretend religion isn't at the heart of much of the misunderstandings between nations is a lie.
Tim Blair
JOHN PILGER launches a pre-emptive attack:
Watch how the propaganda unfolds once the bombing is over and the Americans are running Baghdad and their spin machine. There will be the "discovery of Saddam's secret arsenal," probably in the basement of one his palaces. This will be accompanied by the "discovery" of gruesome evidence of Saddam's oppression.

I got an email from an former NSA analyst, who used to ID member of Saddam's torture squads for "termination with extreme prejudice". The point is, as Pilger says, the USA knew about Saddam and did nothing to stop his crimes. In fact, just the opposite.

These are the wrong men, doing the wrong job at the wrong time.

Kim Jong Il: Bow when you don't say that name | csmonitor.com
[After official talks between Putin and Kim] there came an invitation for dinner at the Russian president's Kremlin apartment.
It was quite unexpected. The guest accepted gladly. The unscheduled meeting left an indelible impression on Kim Jong Il. Everything was so simple and homey. [It was as if] the dinner changed Kim Jong Il's personality. Before that, he'd been a little reserved. But after Moscow, he was more open, trusting, gentle. It seemed to me they'd become real friends.
Kim Jong Il kept recalling this unscheduled meeting with Putin: "If I am treated diplomatically, I become a diplomat myself. But Putin was sincere with me, and I opened my heart to him."
"I don't have the skills to be a diplomat. It's the Foreign Ministry people who can swear black is white, say 'delicious' when it is not delicious. I always put it straight."

Fascinating, rare glimpse of the "evil pgymy" who more and more could be Bush's ethical doppelganger.
How about bombing North Korea's nuclear facilities?
About the middle of last month, a high-ranking Bush official (Colin Powell?) had a secret meeting with an undisclosed Roh government minister. The Bush official asked the Korean: "How about if the United States attack North Korea's nuclear facilities at Yongbyon and take them out? What do you say?"

The Korean official told OhMyNews that he was taken back by the American's matter-of-the-fact proposal, and told the American: "That's too dangerous and we cannot go along with your plan. . . . Don't even think about it. You seem to think that bombing the Yongbyon facilities will be a cake-walk and will go as smooth as your computer simulation war games. But if you bomb Yongbyon, the Korean Peninsula will go up in smoke. We are dead against your plan."

OhMyNews is a grassroots journalism site, widely read by Korea's young Roh-heads. Not a good look, even if untrue.
Livingston MP Cook used yesterday's Cabinet meeting to put more pressure on Blair.
A source said Cook "put down a marker post" during a long and tense debate over Iraq that he was ready to resign.
International Development Secretary Clare Short also repeated her threat to quit the Cabinet. She and Cook believe a war without the UN would break international law.

ABCNEWS.com : Saddam Could Launch First Strike
But if the United States takes action to stop an Iraqi first strike, especially if they try to seize and protect the oil fields, U.S. officials admit they may end up starting the war itself.

In International law, Iraq has a much stronger and more compelling case for a preemptive attack based on self defence than do Australia or the United States. In other words, it would be entirely legal under the charter of the U.N. to attack a massed hostile army on your border once it has made its immediate intentions to invade known. This is the case that the USA has failed to make, but Saddam could, thanks to Shrubya's fuck ups.
The Memory Hole > Bush Flatly Declares No Connection Between Saddam and al Qaeda
[Adam Boulton, Sky News (London):] One question for you both. Do you believe that there is a link between Saddam Hussein, a direct link, and the men who attacked on September the 11th?
THE PRESIDENT: I can't make that claim.
THE PRIME MINISTER: That answers your question.

John Howard tells us that we must go to war to stop these dangerous terrorists from linking up with people like Saddam Hussein. John Howard tells us that we must have the Queen of England as the Queen of Australia. John Howard is more Catholic than the Pople, more Anglican than the Archbishop of Canterbury. John Howard for President of the New World Order!
Soros' deflates da bubble
I see a parallel between the Bush administration's pursuit of American supremacy and a boom-bust process or bubble in the stock market. Bubbles do not grow out of thin air. They have a solid basis in reality but reality is distorted by misconception. In this case, the dominant position of the US is the reality, the pursuit of supremacy the misconception. Reality can reinforce the misconception but eventually the gap between reality and its false interpretation becomes unsustainable. During the self-reinforcing phase, the misconception may be tested and reinforced. This widens the gap leading to an eventual reversal. The later it comes, the more devastating the consequences.
This course of events seems inexorable but a boom-bust process can be aborted at any stage and few of them reach the extremes of the recent stock market bubble. The sooner the process is aborted, the better. This is how I view the Bush administration's pursuit of American supremacy.

The Atlantic | May 1982 | Kissinger and Nixon in the White House | by Sy Hersh Perle and Hersh go back a long way. Here is Hersh's sorry tale of dual loyalties from the 1970s: Richard Perle and Israel
"...an FBI summary of a wiretap on the Israeli Embassy in which Richard N. Perle, an aide to Senator Henry Jackson, was overheard discussing classified information that had been supplied to him by someone on the National Security Council staff.

CNN.com - Powell rejects notion that U.S. policy driven by Jewish interests - Mar. 13, 2003
"It is driven by our own national interest," Powell said under questioning by the subcommittee chairman, Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Arizona, who said he wanted to clear up media suggestions that American supporters of Israel -- and Israel itself -- were driving U.S. strategy.

Powell told the subcommittee the U.S policy "is not driven by any small cabal that is buried away somewhere," nor by a small group of individuals.

Another bold faced Powell lie and excreble "journalism" from CNN (Chinese-like News Network). The movement has named names which CNN saw fit not to mention -- only the denials of the Chief Weapons Proliferator.
FBI probes fake papers on Iraq
The phony documents — a series of letters between Iraqi and Niger officials showing Iraq’s interest in equipment that could be used to make nuclear weapons — came to British and U.S. intelligence officials from a third country. The identity of the third country could not be learned yesterday.

HINT: More than likely, it begins with an "I".

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Tit for Tat over Philippines US Troop snub?
The US Federal Communications Commission has banned all American operators from paying for termination with Philippine Long Distance Telephone and other operators in the Philippines, accusing the operator of whipsawing. Late yesterday, the PLDT effectively threatened to suspend direct telecom service between the two countries in response.

Crossbow Technology, Inc. Announces ``Smart-Dust-Service'' and Training for Its Mica Family of Wireless Sensors
Crossbow Technology announced its new "Smart-Dust-Service" for its Wireless Sensor Network customers. This announcement follows Crossbow's January 24, 2003 announcement regarding an investment by Intel in its Wireless Sensor Network program. Now users of the UC Berkeley-developed Wireless "Motes" can get professional technical support and consulting services for their projects from Crossbow, the commercial company that has been building the popular devices for nearly two years.

Mercury News | 03/12/2003 | Dan Gillmor weighs into Groove TIA story
Yet I'm troubled by many things about Groove these days. One is the company's deepening embrace with major investor Microsoft, which has effectively become an arm of the government with its monopoly software and cozy deals with the Justice Department and other agencies. Groove, too, has seen government as a major client -- and there's no getting around the fact that the company, which makes collaboration software, is acting as a willing accomplice in the formation of the surveillance society we should all fear.

Gillmor says Groove is not being socially responsible for its work with Rummy's TIA.
Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | US public hardens behind war but radical fringe finds its voice
Small publishers say they are receiving an unexpected boost from the growth in sales of anti-war books and radical authors.
Noam Chomsky's 9-11, William Rivers Pitt's War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know and Michael Moore's Stupid White Men have all become bestsellers.
"They're selling everywhere," said Kim Wylie, senior vice-president and director of national accounts at Publishers Group West, a national distributor. "It's not just independents, but at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Borders, airports, libraries. The success is evenly distributed in every single channel. That's what's so damned impressive."

US has changed the world order: strategist - theage.com.au
The US was now demanding total allegiance and this approach could see Australia placed under intense pressure in the future. "The sheriff composes his posse and if you don't want to be part of the posse you will be punished."

Professor Heisbourg said conservatives in the Bush Administration were determined to attack Iraq on a set timetable, regardless of others' views and whether there was collateral damage to leaders like Tony Blair.

What does Australia get out of the Posse that's riding for The New American Century? The right to ignore our local leadership as immaterial will'o'the wisps, perhaps?
I Vant to Be Alone
"These guys at the Pentagon — Wolfowitz, Perle, Doug Feith — when they lie in bed at night, they imagine a new book written by one of them or about them called, `Present at the Recreation,' " an American diplomat said. "They want to banish the wimpy Europeanist traditional balance of power, and use the Iraq seedbed of democracy to impose America's will on the world."
The more America goes it alone, the more "robust," as the Pentagon likes to say, the win will be.

Australians! Don't adjust your TeeVee sets. This will all be over soon and you can go about our business. Er, your business.
The Courier Mail: SAS likely in Iraq: US expert [13mar03]
AUSTRALIAN special forces have been seen in Kuwait and are likely to have been in Iraq, a retired Pentagon expert has said.

Patrick Lang, who is also a former US special forces officer, said he met some of the Australian troops at the US military base, Camp Doha, in Kuwait two weeks ago.

Howard and Cosgrove and Hill - caught with their zips down.
* Polluting pine trees could be as bad for the world's environment as emissions from factories and motor vehicles, Finnish scientists warn. They report in the science journal Nature that in the right conditions of sunlight combined with high levels of ultraviolet radiation, Scots pine trees can release smog-making nitrogen oxides directly into the air. They say the source of the nitrogen oxides is unclear. It could arise from plant metabolism, or the effect of sunlight hitting pine needle surfaces.

Ronald Reagan was right! Trees really do cause pollution.
The Australian: Sex slave dies in detention centre [March 13, 2003]
Although she kept throwing up the medicines, she was not put on a drip, a simple, standard procedure that would have allowed her both medicine and nourishment. Instead she was given red cordial when she looked a little dehydrated.
"Her death was unnecessary and is a result of the government policy of detaining and deporting women who are victims of a shocking crime," said Kathleen Maltzahn of Project Respect, an organisation that works on behalf of women brought to Australia for sexual slavery.

Ruddock: let them drink cordial.
Beastie Boys do number on Shrubya
In a world gone mad it’s hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight

Mirrors, smokescreens and lies
It’s not the politicians but their actions I despise
You and Saddam should kick it like back in the day
With the cocaine and Courvoisier
But you build more bombs as you get more bold
As your mid-life crisis war unfolds
All you want to do is take control
Now put that axis of evil bullshit on hold
Citizen rule number 2080
Politicians are shady
So people watch your back 'cause I think they smoke crack
I don’t doubt it look at how they act

In a world gone mad it’s hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight

First the ‘War On Terror’ now war on Iraq
We’re reaching a point where we can’t turn back
Let’s lose the guns and let’s lose the bombs
And stop the corporate contributions that their built upon
Well I’ll be sleeping on your speeches ‘til I start to snore
‘Cause I won’t carry guns for an oil war
As-Salamu alaikum, wa alaikum assalam
Peace to the Middle East peace to Islam
Now don’t get us wrong ‘cause we love America
But that’s no reason to get hysterica
They’re layin’ on the syrup thick
We ain’t waffles we ain’t havin’ it.

How Blix has failed the UN - theage.com.au
Mystifyingly, Blix chose to bury in the appendices of his latest 173-page report to the Security Council an account of the discovery of a new and dangerous weapons system in Iraq: remotely piloted aircraft, or drones, potentially capable of carrying chemical or biological weapons to targets hundreds of kilometres away. Why should this matter?

Yes -- why should this matter, seeing as how it is a balsa wood, weedeater-powered model airplane. Scary.
Richard Perle, the influential foreign policy hawk, is suing journalist Seymour Hersh over an article he wrote implying that Mr. Perle is using his position as a Pentagon adviser to benefit financially from a war to liberate Iraq.

"I intend to launch legal action in the United Kingdom. I’m talking to Queen’s Counsel right now," Mr. Perle, who chairs the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board, a non-paying position, told The New York Sun last night.

He said he is suing in Britain because it is easier to win such cases there, where the burden on plaintiffs is much less.

He could sue virtually anywhere, if the the recent Australian Court ruling in the Gutnik case holds. Once he sues, of course, the matter becomes sub judicae.
Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Cheney is still paid by Pentagon contractor
Halliburton, the Texas company which has been awarded the Pentagon's contract to put out potential oil-field fires in Iraq and which is bidding for postwar construction contracts, is still making annual payments to its former chief executive, the vice-president Dick Cheney.

Dick should answer the questions and stop hiding in the basement of the Naval Observatory. By the way, did you know where he will be when the bombs likely wiill start to fly in Iraq? Canberra, Australia -- the most nuclear proof capital on earth.
Bush Eats the Press
In fact, the event’s only moment of candor may have come when Mr. Bush admitted during the conference that he was calling on reporters according to his pre-arranged list of names, which his press secretary, Ari Fleischer, later copped to preparing.
"This is scripted," Mr. Bush joked.
Strangely, many reporters laughed at this remarkable joke, which had the additional benefit of being true.

"Six Degrees of Adnan Khashoggi," Part 4 - The 9/11 edition. By Timothy Noah
As Chatterbox previously noted (here, here, and here), Adnan Khashoggi is connected to every shocking event that has occurred since 1960, usually by no more than one or two degrees. A partial list would include Iran-Contra, Wedtech, BCCI, the Marcos Philippine kleptocracy, the Synfuels fiasco, and the discovery of buried mustard gas in the pricy Spring Valley neighborhood of Washington, D.C. To these we must now add the tragic events of Sept. 11.

More on Khashoggi, the Perle of Great Price's connection to the Bin Laden empire in Saudia Arabia, according to Seymour Hersch.
Salon.com News | Iraqis: "Smoking gun" made with duct tape
remotely piloted aircraft that the United States has warned could spread chemical weapons appears to be made of balsa wood and duct tape, with two small propellors attached to what look like the engines of a weed whacker.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Deep Dark's Journal
I also know about intensive bombing. For years I had nightmares about one particular night in June 1966 when, under an order from the White House, all available planes from Guam to Japan to Thailand to South Vietnam to the Gulf of Tonkin were used to bomb the city of Haiphong. That bombing started fire storms. The air caught fire. I showed the movies of this three times to the pilots of VA-55 and VAW-11. I loaded bombs for this run. I am sure thousands of people, perhaps tens of thousands, were killed that night. The vast, vast majority were civilians. The scene was horrific, vast waves of fire sweeping across that city. It sticks in my memory like a cancer.

Deep Dark's blog is worth a look -- another Aussie
BBC NEWS | Entertainment | China 'orders Stones songs ban'
The band were told they cannot play Brown Sugar, Honky Tonk Woman, Beast of Burden and Let's Spend the Night Together, said Chen Jixin, head of Beijing Time New Century Entertainment.

Let's see if we can guess:

Brown Sugar -- racial mixing, drug use
Honky Tonk Woman -- floozy, inappropriate image of the female
Beast of Burden -- encourages rebellion
Let's Spend the Night Together -- sexual promiscuity.

Chinese and US fundamentalists have a lot in common when it comes to rock.
BBC NEWS | Europe | Serbian premier assassinated
Mr Djindjic, a former mayor of the Serbian capital, was a prominent reformist opposition leader until Slobodan Milosevic was ousted from power in 2000.
A police source told Reuters news agency that he had been hit twice by large-calibre sniper rifle bullets.
The editor of the Fonet news agency, Zoran Sekulich, told BBC World television Mr Djindjic had been shot once in the stomach and once in the back.
On 21 February Mr Djindjic survived what then he said was an assassination bid when a lorry swung into the path of his motorcade as he was travelling to Belgrade airport.
He later dismissed the incident as a "futile effort" which could not stop democratic reforms.

BBC NEWS | World | Africa | African media on Iraq diplomacy
"In all countries involved in the Iraq crisis, their leaders inform their people on an almost daily basis on the initiatives they undertake. In Cameroon, only the president knows where he is leading the people."

Australia and Cameroon.
BBC NEWS | World | Africa | African media on Iraq diplomacy
The radio suggests Angola's recent peace process "might be an example to be considered by leading nations, permitting them to realise that dialogue is the recommended course of action".

US media keeps saying Angola is in the bag. Doesn't sound like it. Surrender monkies.
Chapter and Verse: Why an Australian Invasion without UNSC approval would be a great start to The New American Century

This is the egregious garbage The Brave Downer's freshly minted "Moral Majority" will ditch ASAP. Why should noisy minority groups have a veto over The New American Century (TNAC)? Every Australian needs to read and understand why this guide for surrender monkies, the gutless Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, needs to be thrown out the window like the Axis of Wusspussy-willow daydreaming it really is. And be prepared for the pop quiz.

Article 39
The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 4 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security.

Article 40
In order to prevent an aggravation of the situation, the Security Council may, before making the recommendations or deciding upon the measures provided for in Article 39, call upon the parties concerned to comply with such provisional measures as it deems necessary or desirable. Such provisional measures shall be without prejudice to the rights, claims, or position of the parties concerned. The Security Council shall duly take account of failure to comply with such provisional measures.

Article 41
The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.

Article 42
Should the Security Council consider that measures provided for in Article 41 would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations.

Article 43
1. All Members of the United Nations, in order to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security, undertake to make available to the Security Council, on its and in accordance with a special agreement or agreements, armed forces, assistance, and facilities, including rights of passage, necessary for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security.

2. Such agreement or agreements shall govern the numbers and types of forces, their degree of readiness and general location, and the nature of the facilities and assistance to be provided.

3. The agreement or agreements shall be negotiated as soon as possible on the initiative of the Security Council. They shall be concluded between the Security Council and Members or between the Security Council and groups of Members and shall be subject to ratification by the signatory states in accordance with their respective constitutional processes.

Article 44
When Security Council has decided to use force it shall, before calling upon a Member not represented on it to provide armed forces in fulfilment of the obligations assumed under Article 43, invite that Member, if the Member so desires, to participate in the decisions of the Security Council concerning the employment of contingents of that Member's armed forces.

Article 45
In order to enable the Nations to take urgent military measures, Members shall hold immediately available national air-force contingents for combined international enforcement action. The strength and degree of readiness of these contingents and plans for their combined action shall be determined, within the limits laid down in the special agreement or agreements referred to in Article 43, by the Security Council with the assistance of the Military Committee.

Article 46
Plans for the application of armed force shall be made by the Security Council with the assistance of the Military Staff Committee.

Article 47
1. There shall be established a Military Staff Committee to advise and assist the Security Council on questions relating to the Security Council's military requirements for the maintenance of international peace and security, the employment and command of forces placed at its disposal, the regulation of armaments, and possible disarmament.

2. The Military Staff Committee consist of the Chiefs of Staff of the permanent members of the Security Council or their representatives. Any Member of the United Nations not permanently represented on the Committee shall be invited by the Committee to be associated with it when the efficient discharge of the Committee's responsibilities re- quires the participation of that Member its work.

3. The Military Staff Committee be responsible under the Security Council for the strategic direction of any armed forces paced at the disposal of the Security Council. Questions relating to the command of such forces shall be worked out subsequently.

4. The Military Staff Committee, with the authorization of the security Council and after consultation with appropriate regional agencies, may establish sub-commit- tees.

Article 48
1. The action required to carry out the decisions of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security shall be taken by all the Members of the United Nations or by some of them, as the Security Council may determine.

2. Such decisions shall be carried out by the Members of the United Nations directly and through their action in the appropriate international agencies of which they are members.

Article 49
The Members of the United Nations shall join in affording mutual assistance in carrying out the measures decided upon by the Security Council.

Article 50
If preventive or enforcement measures against any state are taken by the Security Council, any other state, whether a Member of the United Nations or not, which finds itself confronted with special economic problems arising from the carrying out of those measures shall have the right to consult the Security Council with regard to a solution of those problems.

Article 51
Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.

William Burrough's Baboon is now the honorary first member of the U.S.-Australian Joint Task Force for a New World Order. (USAJRCNWO) - Blogosphere chapter.

Our purpose? To ban sin and get Australians pumped about The New American Century.We Americans are so stoked about President Bush's new total spectrum dominance plans we can't wait to share them with the people of Australia. Baboon has kindly volunteered his services to the cause.

We are looking for a few good dinkum bloggers who'll help us say a big total spectrum Hallelujah to the New American Century. So put away the Red Heifer and get down to work!

Iranian detainees go home in landmark deal. 12/3/2003. ABC News Online
Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock says Iranian asylum seeking detainees will be offered financial incentives to leave Australia.

Hitchens is really losing it
(The funniest news of the past week, incidentally, was the decision of the "human shield" volunteer activists to run away from Iraq. Most of them obviously didn't have the guts for it, but some of them, one hopes, had finally worked out what it was they were really shielding.)

Ha ha. Funny.
Gauging Promise of Iraqi Oil
As soon as the smoke clears in Iraq, some in the industry say, the jockeying will begin in earnest. Teeling, the Petrel Resources chairman, predicts "a Wild West, frontier rush" for reserves that are plentiful and relatively easy to access compared with offshore fields where so many of the major oil companies are focused.

"In the last three or four years, most of the world's oil companies have either visited Iraq or opened offices or had representatives there," he said. "They have no choice. It's the world's cheapest oil. They have to be there."

Neurotechnology, bioengineering, nanotechnology, cellular implantation, brain research. Corante
What is Neurotechnology?
Neurotechnology is the set of tools that influence the human central nervous system, especially the brain, to achieve a desired effect.
Today’s neurotechnology includes -- pyschopharmaceuticals, genetic engineering, psychological conditioning, physical augmentation, cellular implantation, electronic stimulation, and nanotechnology.

More Courante -- check out the story about US Navy Seals seeing with their tongues -- wild.
Neurotechnology, bioengineering, nanotechnology, cellular implantation, brain research. Corante
This is from Corante's latest blog called brainwaves. Def. worth keeping an eye on.
Brain's Boundaries: Want a New Accent?How many ways can our brains be molded? Researchers at Oxford believe they have zeroed in on the brain region involved in foreign accent syndrome, which causes patients' accents to shift suddenly.
Listen to a recent example of an English woman reporter who has foreign accent syndrome: before and after.
The first known case was reported in 1941 and involved a Norwegian woman who was ostracized when she developed what her neighbors thought was a German accent after she recovered from shrapnel injuries.

Veterans for Common Sense
Veterans for Common Sense seeks to inject the element of Common Sense into debates over war and national security. In an age when the majority of public servants have never served in uniform, the perspective of war veterans must play a key role in the public debate over national security issues in order to preserve the liberty veterans have fought and died preserving.

PNG on the road to ruin, study finds - theage.com.au
Papua New Guinea, Australia's closest neighbour and largest aid recipient, is close to a terminal breakdown that would threaten Australia's interests, security and international reputation.
Chaos is spreading, with the Government having lost control of parts of the country, corruption is rampant, the economy stagnant, law and order broken down and the social safety net disintegrating, a report says.
The Centre for Independent Studies will release the report today. PNG Institute of National Affairs director Mike Manning co-wrote the report.

Adventurism abroad, while the backyard needs a good mowing and some care.
Take Back The Media! TBTM Commentary RE Weiner SAVAGE CULT
Where do you think Michael Savage got his act from? Savage is a dedicated follower of Roy Masters, a CULT LEADER.
In the late 70's, 80's and 90's, Roy Masters told listeners that "the world would be ending soon" and they must "come to Grants Pass, Oregon...the only place safe from nuclear fallout."

via atrios. We don't have Savage here in Oz thank god, but he sounds much like a cross between Fred Nile MP, Pauline Hanson and Alan Jones, with a bit of kooky spiritualism thrown in.
AOL Probe Widened to 'Abetting' of Other Firms (TechNews.com)
Federal investigators are scrutinizing the roles that AOL and two dealmakers, David M. Colburn and Eric Keller, may have played in enabling certain companies, including Homestore Inc., an online real estate firm, to improperly pump up financial results. At the core of the investigation, sources said, Securities and Exchange Commission investigators are examining alleged quid pro quo schemes in which AOL and other companies exchanged cash through sham transactions to falsely boost revenue, both before and after America Online's merger with Time Warner Inc. in January 2001.

The expansion of the probe increases the potential exposure of AOL Time Warner Inc. and the individuals involved, because they could be found culpable not only for the firm's own accounting irregularities but also for the financial misconduct of others, sources said.

NEWS.com.au | Former leader attacks PM (March 12, 2003)
"I think the PM has embarked on a journey and he has no idea where he’s taking us," Dr Hewson said.
"The reality … is that it will be a significant conflict going for many, many months, if not longer.
"We've made ourselves a terrorist target … To make us a terrorist target in a region that is full of terrorism is dumb and unforgivable"

The word on the Liberal-Defence street is war without the UN is dumb.
War With Iraq May Divert Australian Trade, Minister Says
"Obviously, you'd have to acknowledge that if there is military conflict in and around the issue of Iraq then it may have an impact, just as the drought has," he told reporters.
"I would feel very confident knowing the markets in the region ... that there won't be any diversion of trade or any impact on trade in the regional markets."

There may be a risk to trade impact assessment we haven't been told about? Surely not.
Tim Blair: Bin Ladin hates UN, just like Bush
A question for Phil: which political leader (not Bush!) called the UN an "instrument of crime" against Muslims, denounced the UN for the creation of Israel, and said that "those who refer matters to international legitimacy have become unbelievers in the legitimacy of the Koran"? (Hint: it was the same guy who organised that earlier attack on New York.)

Extremists of all sides, it seems, want to see the U.N. dead in the water.
The blood will be on our hands
Those who will be particularly tested by this challenge are our leaders. We will soon know whether they are genuinely against this war or have merely paid lip-service to the cause of peace. Will Simon Crean's opposition match that of Arthur Calwell, and Jim Cairns against the Vietnam War? Will he demand that our troops be brought home if America goes to war without UN approval and Australia follows? Will journalists who find the war abhorrent stop merely reporting dispassionately that war seems inevitable, and instead in every article, every editorial, every report, highlight the murder and mayhem that our nation is about to unleash? Will the Christian churches be content with their pleas and prayers for peace, or will they declare those who prosecute this sinful war anathema? Will they lead the faithful in daily processions and round-the-clock vigils until their prayers are answered? Will they ensure their protests are heard by tolling the bells of every church in the land night and day until peace breaks out?

All these may seem extreme tactics and could well be ridiculed in today's sophisticated, selfish and cynical Australia.

But if we pause in our protest, if we surrender to cowardice, then the blood of the Iraqi people and the unfortunate soldiers of the "coalition of the willing" will be as much on our hands as on those of our leaders who commit them to kill or be killed.

The "strong Nuremburg" argument gets a run in the smh.
More on Moran

(Moran told a town meeting in his Northern Virginia district that "if it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this" and later suggested that Jewish leaders could get the war called off.

As I said below, he should have said "specific members of the Zionist movement, and their supporters" and then he would have been on defensible ground. I don't think these specific "Jewish leaders" could change their policies now, because they are determined to carry them through to the end. They have netted a hard core Christian fringe and plain old greed to do their bidding in the Administration, and those people won't be deterred even if the Zionists in Bush's administration get cold feet on their New World Order.

Howard is not listening to his own advisors on Iraq This is from the Australian Parliamentary Library issues paper on Iraq
International Reactions

International support for ‘regime change’ in Iraq, unlike the ‘War on Terrorism’, has not yet been forthcoming. The Bush claim to ‘the right of pre-emptive strike’ has alarmed many countries since it will, contrary to international law, establish a dangerous precedent for other countries such as India in its conflict with Pakistan over Kashmir.
Any unilateral action on Iraq by the US raises questions of its inconsistent policy towards several countries, which already possess nuclear weapons and have threatened regional security. Others have also defied UN Security Council Resolutions with impunity e.g. Israel. On the need for 'regime change' in Iraq and establishing democracy, US allies, such as Saudi Arabia which has been seen by a US analyst as ‘the kernel of evil’ (and from where 15 of the 19 involved in September 11 come from) and Egypt, among others, are not democratic. There is no provision under international law for any state to determine, by force, the leadership of another country. As noted above, current policy has stymied Saddam's potential for action.

Europeans, bar the United Kingdom, have largely opposed the policy because of the lack of evidence linking Saddam to September 11, failure to exhaust all diplomatic measures and the legality of the proposed action under international law. Generally they have urged the US against unilateral action and to seek the sanction of the UN to legitimise its action.

Country Life
In 1996, Magnetic Island branch were surprised to find that ‘mainlanders’ had organised what the President, Charlie McColl, described as:
“A keg of beer and a barbecue put on for the local anti-greenie forces, the pro-development forces, and the redneck forces who cared to come.”
The newcomers were to be new members of the Australian Labor Party – new believers – even though one of them said he had never voted Labor in his life and never intended to.
Remember Macbeth– men disguised as trees?
Great Birnam Wood to High Dunsinane Hill shall come against him…
Branch member Peter Le Grande, feeding a delightful array of wild birds and animals – regular visitors to his timber home – told me about the trauma. As he said: “All the lurid details were on Four Corners on the 30 October 2000.”
In the end, the effort failed and the decisive action of Queensland Premier Peter Beattie and the local resisters won out. The branch continued, fighting a successful state election and the November federal poll.

What the hell is happening in Australia's most marginal Liberal Seat, Herbert in North Queensland.

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