WantToKnow.infoWhite House proposes retroactive war crimes protectionFri Aug 11, 2006 14:19
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White House proposes retroactive war crimes protection
August 10, 2006, 2006, Boston Globe/Associated Press
The Bush administration drafted amendments to the War Crimes Act that would retroactively protect policy makers from possible criminal charges for authorizing any humiliating and degrading treatment of detainees, according to lawyers who have seen the proposal. At issue are interrogations carried out by the CIA and the degree to which harsh tactics such as water-boarding were authorized by administration officials. When interrogators engage in waterboarding, prisoners are strapped to a plank and dunked in water until nearly drowning. One section of the draft would outlaw torture and inhuman or cruel treatment, but it does not contain prohibitions from Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions against "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment." Another section would apply the legislation retroactively. The initiative is "not just protection of political appointees, but also CIA personnel who led interogations." Interrogation practices "follow from policies that were formed at the highest levels of the administration."
Declassified papers show U.S. atrocities went far beyond My Lai
August 6, 2006, 2006, Los Angeles Times
Kill anything that moves. Moments later, the 19 villagers lay dead or dying. Back home in California, Henry published an account of the slaughter. Yet he and other Vietnam veterans who spoke out about war crimes were branded traitors and fabricators. No one was ever prosecuted. Now, nearly 40 years later, declassified Army files show that Henry was telling the truth. The files are part of a once-secret archive...that shows that confirmed atrocities by U.S. forces in Vietnam were more extensive than was previously known. The Times...obtained copies of about 3,000 pages — about a third of the total — before government officials removed them from the public shelves, saying they contained personal information that was exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. The documents detail 320 alleged incidents that were substantiated by Army investigators. Many war crimes did not make it into the archive. The archive...includes investigative fies, sworn statements by witnesses and status reports for top military brass. The records describe recurrent attacks on ordinary Vietnamese. Hundreds of soldiers...described a violent minority who murdered, raped and tortured with impunity. Abuses...were uncovered in every Army division that operated in Vietnam. Ultimately, 57 [soldiers] were court-martialed and just...fourteen received prison sentences ranging from six months to 20 years, but most won significant reductions on appeal. The stiffest sentence went to a military intelligence interrogator. He served seven months of a 20-year term. Many substantiated cases were closed with a letter of reprimand, a fine or, in more than half the cases, no action at all.
9/ 11 Conspiracy Theorists Thriving
August 6, 2006, ABC News/Associated Press
Kevin Barrett believes the U.S. government might have destroyed the World Trade Center. Steven Jones is researching what he calls evidence that the twin towers were brought down by explosives detonated inside them, not by hijacked airliners. These men aren't uneducated junk scientists: Barrett will teach a class on Islam at the University of Wisconsin this fall. Jones is a tenured physicist at Brigham Young University. The movement claims to be drawing fresh energy and credibility from a recently formed group called Scholars for 9/11 Truth. Publicity over Barrett's case has helped boost membership to about 75 academics. Some are well educated, with degrees from elite universities such as Princeton and Stanford and jobs at schools including Rice, Indiana and the University of Texas. Members of the group don't consider themselves extremists. They simply believe the governmet's investigation was inadequate, and maintain that questioning widely held assumptions has been part of the job of scholars for centuries. Daniel Orr, a Princeton Ph.D. and widely published retired economics chair at the University of Illinois, said he knew instantly from watching the towers fall that they had been blown apart by explosives. David Gabbard, an East Carolina education professor, acknowledges this isn't his field, but says "I'm smart enough to know ... that fire from airplanes can't melt steel." Judy Wood, until recently an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Clemson University, has been cited by conspiracy theorists for her arguments the buildings could not have collapsed as quickly as they did unless explosives were used.
Note: This article was published on the website of more than 100 media outlets. People are waking up all over!
Sept. 11 Panel Doubted Officials
August 4, 2006, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's Leading Newspaper)
The Sept. 11 commission was so frustrated with repeated misstatements by the Pentagon and FAA about their response to the 2001 terror attacks that it considered an investigation into possible deception, the panel's chairmen say in a new book. Republican Thomas Kean and Democrat Lee Hamilton also say in "Without Precedent" that their panel was too soft in questioning former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani — and that the 20-month investigation may have suffered for it. The book...recounts obstacles the authors say were thrown up by the Bush administration, internal disputes over President Bush's use of the attacks as a reason for invading Iraq, and the way the final report avoided questioning whether U.S. policy in the Middle East may have contributed to the attacks. "Fog of war...could not explain why all of the after-action reports, accident investigations and public testimony by FAA and NORAD officials advanced an account of /11 that was untrue," the book states. The questioning of Giuliani was considered by Kean and Hamilton "a low point" in the commission's examination of witnesses during public hearings. "We did not ask tough questions, nor did we get all of the information we needed to put on the public record." In their book, which goes on sale Aug. 15, Kean and Hamilton recap obstacles they say the panel faced in putting out a credible report in a presidential election year, including fights for access to government documents and an effort to reach unanimity.
Medicare drug plan is prescribing profits
August 4, 2006, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's Leading Newspaper)
Medicare's drug benefit has given a shot in the arm to pharmaceutical companies and insurers, whose revenue is climbing thanks to government subsidies for prescription medicine. What's happened so far: Drugmakers including GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer reported higher-than-expected sales and profit in the second quarter, with some of the momentum coming from Medicare. Meanwhile, membership rolls of big insurers, including UnitedHealth Group and Humana, are mushrooming as Medicare beneficiaries sign up for drug plans. Drug companies -- which successfully thwarted price-control attempts -- are reaping the rewards of more seniors and disabled people getting access to their medications. British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline's second-quarter net income grew 14 percent over the same quarter last year due in part to strong Medicare drug sales. Merck & Co., Schering Plough, Wyeth, Roche and Pfizer...all exceeded analysts' expectations, refecting sales boosts from the program. In the first three months of the benefit, brand-name drug prices rose 4 percent, according to a report from the AARP. WellPoint Inc., the nation's largest insurer, reported second-quarter profit gains of 34 percent. UnitedHealth...posted quarterly profit gains of 26 percent. Humana reported earlier this week its second-quarter profit increased 9.9 percent and revenue jumped 52 percent over the same quarter last year, due in large part to a surge in Medicare membership. The insurer expects annual revenue to grow by 50 percent.
Note: This article fails to mention who pays for all these profits—our tax dollars. To understand the degree of corruption in the pharmaceutical industry, read a two-page summary by one of the most respected MDs in the U.S. at http://www.WantToKnow.info/healthcoverup
Was 9/11 an 'inside job'?
August 3, 2006, Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Seattle's Leading Newspaper)
More than a third of the American public suspects that federal officials assisted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could go to war in the Middle East, according to a new Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll. Suspicions that the 9/11 attacks were "an inside job"...quickly have become nearly as popular as decades-old conspiracy theories that the federal government was responsible for President John F. Kennedy's assassination and that it has covered up proof of space aliens. Thirty-six percent of respondents overall said it is "very likely" or "somewhat likely" that federal officials either participated in the attacks...or took no action to stop them. "One out of three sounds high, but that may very well be right," said Lee Hamilton, former vice chairman of...the 9/11 Commission. "A lot of people I've encountered believe the U.S. government was involved," Hamilton said. "Many say th government planned the whole thing," he said. The poll also found that 16 percent of Americans speculate that secretly planted explosives, not burning passenger jets, were the real reason the massive twin towers of the World Trade Center collapsed. Twelve percent suspect the Pentagon was struck by a military cruise missile in 2001 rather than by an airliner captured by terrorists. "We know that there are a lot of people now asking questions," said Janice Matthews, executive director of 911Truth.org, one of the most sophisticated Internet sites raising doubts about official explanations of the attacks. "We didn't have the Internet after Pearl Harbor, the Gulf of Tonkin or the Kennedy assassination. But we live in different times now."
Electric cars lighting up again
July 31, 2006, USA Today
Several small, independent automakers are juicing up electric cars. Among the companies trying to lead the charge: • Tesla. Tesla Motors...is taking orders for a $100,000 electric high-performance sports car...billed as capable of a Ferrari-like zero to 60 mph in four seconds. The car was designed in California but will be built by Lotus in Great Britain. Its sophisticated lithium-ion battery will allow a range of 250 miles on a single charge and a top speed of 130 mph. • Wrightspeed...hopes to produce its own, $100,000 high-performance car within two years. It will have about a 200-mile range. Ian Wright, who heads Wrightspeed...says the new breed of electric cars could have three times the energy efficiency of gas-electric hybrids. "You can build something that's seriously fast and a lot of fun to drive." • Zap. At the other end of the performance spectrum...Zap last month started selling a three-wheel electric "city car" imported from Chia that it says is capable of a top speed of 40 mph. Priced at $9,000, the Xebra has a range of about 40 miles. • Tomberlin Group...plans to sell three versions of electric cars. Prices will range from $5,000 for E-Merge E-2 to $8,000 for the four-seat Anvil. The electric revival comes as...Who Killed the Electric Car? has started playing in theaters. The movie alleges that big automakers, oil companies and the government sank promising electric-car technology. The film singles out General Motors for...having created a futuristic electric car that became a Hollywood enviro-darling. When leases ran out, GM collected its Saturn EV1s and sent them to the crusher.
Note: I've heard that Who Killed the Electric Car? is an excellent, revealing film. For lots more on why car mileage has not significantly increased since the days of the Model T (which got 25 miles to the gallon), see http://www.WantToKnow.info/050711carmileageaveragempg
9/11 News Coverage from Other Media Sources
Albany Times Union -'Loose Change' showing set on 9/11 - 8/2/06
Albany Times Union - Web movie takes flight - 8/6/06 (Loose Change showing packed with aisles overflowing)
NPR - Sept. 11 Conspiracy Belief Draws Attention to Teacher - 8/2/08 (Audio)
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