Thursday, August 28, 2008

Obama and Assassination Threats

*******

Denver: In Curious Case, "Authorities" Inexplicably Downplay Obama Assassination Threat by Armed and Ready Meth Heads
by Meg White
28 August 2008
A Buzzflash News Analysis
http://www.buzzflash.com/articles/analysis/370
Though one of them is on tape saying he told federal officials his friend planned on assassinating Sen. Barack Obama with a high-powered rifle during the presidential nominee's acceptance speech in Denver this evening, the three men arrested Sunday will not be charged with threatening an assassination.
The plot began to unfurl Sunday morning after a routine traffic stop of Tharin Gartrell, who was found to have weapons, drugs, and other illegal materials in the rented vehicle he was driving. Gartrell then led authorities to hotel rooms where two others implicated in the plot, Shawn Robert Adolf and Nathan Johnson, were also arrested.
After what they call an "intensive" investigation lasting only a couple of days, the FBI and Secret Service say there is no real threat to Obama, and that no related charges will be brought in the case. U.S. Attorney Troy Eid seemed to say that because the men were on drugs, they shouldn't be taken as a serious threat:
"From a legal standpoint, the law recognizes a difference between a true threat and the racist rantings of drug abusers."
So just because these people were drug users means they couldn't possibly have carried out a killing? Seems to me, meth users kill a lot of people. Eid admitted that judgment is impaired in meth users.
"A bunch of meth heads get together, we don't know why they do what they do," Eid said. "People do lots of stupid things on meth."
According to a report by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, figures on meth use and violence are closely correlated:
"Every community with a methamphetamine abuse problem has experienced violence
in some form, most commonly appearing as domestic disputes. For example, police
in Contra Costa County, California, report that methamphetamine is involved in
almost 90 percent of the domestic dispute cases investigated by that agency. The
extreme agitation and paranoia associated with use of the stimulant often lead
to situations where violence is more likely to occur. Chronic use of
methamphetamine can cause delusions and auditory hallucinations that precipitate
violent behavior or response."
In an era where a drunk bar patron raving against the continued existence of a president or candidate could be picked up and questioned by the Secret Service without the bat of an eyelash, anyone should be seriously concerned by a driver in Denver hauling the following:
"...two high-powered rifles, including one with telescopic sights, along with radios, wigs, a bullet-proof vest, a high-magnification spotting scope, three identifications not belonging to Mr. Gartrell, and 44 grams of the stimulant methamphetamine. One rifle had a threaded barrel so that it could be fitted with a silencer."
Sounds like a classic assassination kit. The fact that it was only uncovered after a chance traffic stop is troubling.
One of the men arrested even said that the evidence in the hands of federal investigators undoubtedly pointed to an assassination plot. In a local news interview from jail, Nathan Johnson said that when he was faced with the facts, he had to admit it sure looked like his associates planned on assassinating Obama during the acceptance speech.
"With everything laid out on the table, I could see how it was possible that they could go through with it," Johnson said. When asked how he came to the conclusion that his friends were in Denver specifically to assassinate Obama, Johnson said, "I'm basing it off of the information that the feds gave me."
"When the feds came in and laid everything out that had taken place," Johnson said, "I could see from their vantage point how, okay, yeah: There was the possibility that they were here to do it, and I said 'yes' to those comments."
Yet no charges will be filed. In similar circumstances, some offenders face jail time.
Just earlier this month, the Secret Service arrested a young Miami man and charged him with verbally threatening Obama's life. Raymond Hunter Geisel faces up to five years in prison for talking about, without any evidence of planning, an assassination attempt on Obama. In fact, some who know him have said he poses no threat, while others postulated that he meant he wanted to kill Osama bin Laden instead.
The men arrested Sunday are also said to have ties with the white supremacist group Aryan Nations and a splinter group called The Order, as well as to a Neo-Nazi biker group called Sons of Silence. The three men were reportedly upset that a black man like Obama might become president.
Aryan Nations did not return a call for comment. But their Web site notes the affiliation of a commando group trained in violence:

"...several members of the Aryan Nations and Robert J. Matthews went on to form
'The Order' -- a group that conducted practical acts of economic sabotage,
assassination and other forms of covert direct action against the tyrannical and
anti-Aryan Zionist system."
The Order has produced murderers in the past. Jason Hamilton, who went on a shooting spree before committing suicide last year was allegedly a member of The Order and, by extension, Aryan Nations.
Writers around the world are noticing the lack of concern and coverage of this story in U.S. media outlets. Some allege the U.S. is afraid of exposing the existence of, or paying undue attention to racists in the country. Others are using the lack of coverage to "prove" outlandish conspiracy theories.
The Associated Press reports that the Secret Service sees the case as the exact opposite:
"In an AP interview last week, the head of the Secret Service's Protective division said the white supremacist threat to Obama has been exaggerated.
'I think that it's something that, at times, the media tried to make more of,' Nick Trotta said. ‘We've always watched them, as we watch all the other groups.'"
There are a couple of reasons for the Secret Service to downplay this event. The fear of publicity bringing out copycat killers is a serious one. Also, the Obama campaign has been doing everything in its power to control the story coming out of Denver this week. With an event as political as a convention, that is an understandable desire, but the three men arrested in Denver this week deserve more scrutiny than they received in this age of heightened security risks.
*******
Racism and the threat of assassination haunt Barack's historic achievementBy Philip Delves Broughton
Last updated at 1:39 AM on 05th June 2008
When Barack Obama speaks at the Democratic Convention on August 28, it will be the 45th anniversary of the day Martin Luther King told America that he 'had a dream' of a more equal country.
King, of course, paid for his dream with an assassin's bullet.
The question now lurking behind every discussion of Obama's campaign is: Will America elect a black man as its President?
It is an uncomfortable question for a country with a particularly troubled history of race relations.
Has America changed enough since King made that epoch-changing speech? Or will the electorate, or more terrifyingly, another assassin, block his path?

*******
Presidential race: Is America ready to vote Barack Obama and his wife Michelle into the White House?
*******
The facts are not propitious. Obama received secret service protection earlier than any other presidential candidate in history, because of threats to his life.
For almost a year, he has been protected 24 hours a day. Organisations which track white supremacist websites and communications reported a surge in activity as Obama's candidacy took flight.
A magazine in Macon, Georgia, recently printed a cover showing Obama in the crosshairs of a rifle sight.
The accompanying article quoted one white supremacist saying 'some idiot out there's going to put a bullet in that silver-tongued devil and then there'll be a race war.
'There are some in our movement who are preparing for a war, praying for it.'
Hillary Clinton even stoked these fears about Obama just last month.
Asked why she was staying in the campaign, she said: 'We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California.'
If Obama fell, was the implication, she would be there to pick up the nomination.
However tasteless Clinton's calculation, Americans agree with her about the risk to Obama.
Recent polls show that 59 per cent of the American public feared an attempt on Obama's life if he became the Democrats' presidential nominee.
Then there are stealthier forms of prejudice. During the Democratic primary elections, 14 per cent of white voters said that race was important to them in choosing their candidate and 6 per cent said they would not vote for him against Republican John McCain because he is black – and that is only those who would admit to such prejudice.
Pollsters know that many people express more liberal beliefs in public than they do in the privacy of the voting booth.
A poll taken in March showed that 13 per cent of American voters believe Obama is Muslim, a misconception fostered by his opponents' frequent referrals to him by his full name: Barack Hussein Obama.
To the greatest extent possible, Obama has tried to skirt the issue of race by taking the 'Tiger Woods approach'.
The world's number one golfer has always refused to be defined as a black athlete, preferring to create a term he felt more properly reflected his mixed racial origins: 'Cablinasian' – Caucasian, black, American- Indian and Asian.
Obama has similarly sought to emphasise the post-racial dimension to his candidacy.
In a country where so many people are of mixed race, he suggests, it is absurd to label people as black, white, Hispanic or Asian.
He is the son of a white, American mother, and a black, Kenyan father.
He is not descended from the Africans brought to America as slaves, yet he grew up a black in an America deeply conscious of what that implied.
'If you look African-American in our society, you're treated as an African-American,' he said in a television interview.
'And when you're a child that is how you begin to identify yourself.'
But still, he has no wish to be seen as a black candidate, in the way the Reverends Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton did in their presidential campaigns, bemoaning the fate of a poor and minority set against a white majority.
'Will there by some folks who probably won't vote for me because I am black? Of course,' Obama said during the campaign.
'Just like there may be someone who won't vote for Hillary because she's a woman – but the question is, "Can we get a majority of the American people to give us a fair hearing?"'
The only moment he was drawn directly into a debate about race was when the former pastor at his church in Chicago, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, was caught on video calling on God to condemn America for its racism and blaming U.S. policies for the September 11 terrorist attacks. Wright also accused the U.S. government of 'planting' Aids in the black community. Obama responded with a powerful speech about the lingering presence of racism in America.
'Contrary to the claims of some of my critics, black and white,' he said, 'I have never been so naive as to believe that we can get beyond our racial divisions in a single election cycle, or with a single candidacy, particularly a candidacy as imperfect as my own.'
Eventually, under enormous pressure and after another embarrassing, anti-white speech by another pastor, Obama left his church.
Wright's speeches, however, are played incessantly on conservative websites and television programmes by Obama's critics.
Obama's wife, Michelle, did not help matters with her own remarks that her husband's campaign was the first time in her life that she felt proud of her country.
This sparked enormous criticism as Obama's opponents wondered why a woman who rose from humble roots to attend the universities of Princeton and Harvard should feel so hard done by.
The Republicans had found their attack theme: Obama and his wife were classic guilt-ridden liberals, unpatriotic and ungrateful for the opportunities afforded them by America.
Obama's refusal to wear an American flag pin on his jacket, standard for most politicians, compounded the problem. Only recently did he capitulate.
He is also yet to recover from his remarks to supporters in California that poor white voters 'cling to guns and religion' because they are 'bitter'.
It will be tough in the next few months for Obama to shake the strong whiff of elitism and entitlement which clings to his well-cut suits.
Republican campaigners have rarely missed an opportunity to stoke the racist fears of voters.
In 1988, George Bush Snr's campaign ran advertisements against the Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis showing a black murderer whom Dukakis had allowed out on parole, during which he committed armed robbery and rape.
The advertisement was credited with helping Bush overturn Dukakis's huge poll lead and win the White House.
Obama makes a juicy target for the spin machine of the Republican party. Even within his own party, Obama must fend off attacks by those who feel he that exploited his race to defeat a woman candidate.
Geraldine Ferraro, the Democrats' first and only woman vice-presidential nominee, wrote a scathing piece last week saying that Obama's candidacy had left many white voters worried that they would suffer under his presidency for being white.
Blacks, in essence, would have their revenge and reverse the racism they have suffered for centuries.
When Obama says 'our time has come', she wrote, these whites feel 'he is telling them that their time has passed'.
Evidence from the campaign trail certainly points to deep racial hostility to the front runner.
In Marietta, Georgia, a bar owner has been doing a brisk trade selling Tshirts showing Obama as a monkey eating a banana.
Obama campaign workers in many states have complained of having doors slammed in their faces along with streams of racial slurs.
In Indiana, a local Obama campaign office was broken into at night and spray-painted with messages such as 'Hamas votes BHO [Barack Hussein Obama]' and 'We don't cling to guns or religion'.
It is not just Obama's race which may trouble voters, but also his inexperience. He arrived on the national scene only in 2004 when he was elected to the Senate. Just three years later, he was running for president.
Despite having written two autobiographical books, there is still much about him that America wants to know.
His legislative record is desperately thin compared to that of his rival John McCain.
And there is also anxiety that he simply lacks the experience to be president – an accusation, his supporters like to say, once levelled at John F Kennedy.
Are there more Reverend Wright issues in Obama's past? Are there any more dubious friends, along the lines of the shady Chicago businessman, Tony Rezko, who helped him with the purchase of his house?
How deep does Michelle Obama's sense of chippiness run? And what kind of First Lady will she make?
After eight years of the demure Laura Bush, is the country ready for another firebrand lawyer in the Hillary Clinton mould sitting by her husband's side?
As the champagne corks were swept away at Obama headquarters yesterday morning, these questioned lingered.
And as the security cordon around Obama was intensified, it was both a validation of his new, historic status, and a stark reminder of the lethal risks his candidacy now faces.

*******
Man accused in Obama threat appears in court on crutches, advised of methamphetamine charge
By DON MITCHELL Associated Press Writer
4:28 PM CDT, August 28, 2008
http://www.myfoxcolorado.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=7310878&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.2.1

DENVER (AP) — A Colorado man suspected of making racist threats against Barack Obama limped into federal court on crutches Thursday and was formally advised of a methamphetamine-possession charge against him.
Therin Gartrell, 28, was arrested Sunday, just before the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Authorities said he was pulled over in the suburb of Aurora in a rented truck that contained rifles, a bulletproof vest, wigs and fake IDs, and that Gartrell and two other men had talked about killing Obama.
The U.S. attorney's office later said the men were drug users who made racist threats but had no firm assassination plot and no ability to carry one out. No one has been charged in relation to the alleged threats. Aurora police say Gartrell had been on crutches when they arrested him. Handcuffed to his crutches in court Thursday, he spoke little and did not enter a plea.
Public defender Ed Harris was appointed to represent him. Harris was not present and did not immediately respond to a telephone message seeking comment.
Arapahoe County prosecutors had planned to charge Gartrell Thursday with state drug and weapons violations, but that was put on hold without explanation.
U.S. attorney's spokesman Jeff Dorschner said it was "best from a coordination standpoint" if the cases against Gartrell and the two other men were in federal court.
State prosecutors sometimes defer to their federal counterparts if a suspect can get a stiffer sentence in federal court.
A federal conviction for methamphetamine possession carries a prison term of up to two years with no time off for good behavior. Penalties under the state charges were not immediately available.




The two other men arrested in the case are Shawn Adolf and Nathan Johnson. Both face federal firearms and drug charges. Dorschner said neither is expected to appear in court this week.

*******
video
*******
Arrests in Plan to Kill Obama and Black Schoolchildren By ERIC LICHTBLAU
Published: October 27, 2008 http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/28/us/politics/28plot.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
WASHINGTON — Two young men who are believers in “white power” have been arrested and charged in Tennessee in what federal officials described as a plan to assassinate Senator Barack Obama and kill black children at a school.
Associated Press
Daniel Cowart of Bells, Tenn., was one of two men charged in what officials called a white supremacist assassination plot.
Federal officials said they regarded the scheme as “serious.” It does not appear to have moved to an advanced stage, according to court documents unsealed Monday, but officials said the two men did acquire several rifles and cased a home and a gun store to rob as part of the plan.
Federal officials said that both of the men who were arrested — Paul Schlesselman, 18, of West Helena, Ark., and Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tenn. — told interrogators that they had talked of assassinating Mr. Obama. Lawyers for the men could not be reached.
The two men “planned to drive their vehicle as fast as they could toward Obama shooting at him from the windows,” according to an affidavit filed in federal court in Jackson, Tenn., by an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Mr. Obama has no plans to be in Tennessee, and the affidavit does not make clear whether the men had picked a place for an attack.
The assassination was to be the culmination of a “killing spree” that would also single out children at an unnamed, predominately black school, federal officials said. The men talked of “killing 88 people and beheading 14 African-Americans,” according to the affidavit.
The two men each had “very strong views” about Aryan white power and “skinhead” ideology, the federal officials said, and the numbers 88 and 14 have special significance in the white power movement. The number 88 is shorthand for “Heil, Hitler” — H is the eighth letter in the alphabet —and 14 signifies a 14-word mantra among white supremacists: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”
Officials said the two men met via the Internet through a mutual friend.
Concerns about possible plots against Mr. Obama have been acute because of his status as the first black presidential nominee from a major party. He has had Secret Service protection since May 2007, the earliest a candidate was ever assigned protection.
Mr. Cowart and Mr. Schlesselman were each charged with illegal possession of a sawed-off shotgun, conspiracy to rob a firearms dealer and making threats against a presidential candidate. A detention hearing is scheduled for Thursday in Memphis.
“We honestly don’t know if they had the capability or the wherewithal to carry out the kind of plan that they talked about,” Malcolm Wiley, a spokesman for the Secret Service in Washington, said in an interview. “But we take any threat seriously no matter how big or how small it is.”
*******
Neo-Nazi Obama Plot One of "A Handful" of "Serious" Threats Against Obama
Secret Service Reports Record Number of Assassination Threats
By Richard Esposito and Brian Rosso
October 28, 2008 http://www.abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=6123157&page=1
The arrests Monday in an alleged neo-Nazi assassination plot against Sen. Barack Obama involve one of a handful of serious threats against the Democratic presidential candidate, federal law enforcement sources tell ABC News.
The officials say Obama has been the target of well over 500 threats, most of which are not taken seriously.
But in an estimated dozen or so cases, the threat was considered serious enough that law enforcement agents were assigned to track down suspects.
Threats of violence, harsh invective, language such as "get rid of" or "kill" or "eliminate" are all considered triggers for possible investigation, officials say.
But in only a handful of cases, did the threat, after being run down by United States Secret Service, have the elements that warranted it to be taken extremely seriously.
The methamphetamine-fueled plot against Obama that surfaced during the Democratic convention in Denver is considered by law enforcement officials to be a good example of the kind of ill-conceived, unlikely-to-succeed threat that nevertheless involved high-powered rifles and disguises.
It was only because of a traffic stop arrest that the plot was discovered, authorities say.
In the case of today's arrests in Crockett County, Tennessee, it was a burglary in progress run that led law enforcement to uncover the twisted plan to assassinate Obama.
Officials said the two Tennessee men arrested, Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman, told the Secret Service they first planned to kill 102 African Americans and then "dress in all white tuxedos and wear top hats during the assassination attempt" of Obama. Authorities say both men have strong racist views and met on the internet through the website of a white supremacist neo-Nazi group called the Supreme White Alliance (SWA).
Morris Dees, the founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in Alabama, says that the "extremely violent skin head" group has chapters now in six states and a couple of foreign countries. "They believe there is going to be an uprising of white people in American," said Dees, "and if they can kill Obama, it will bring on the white revolution."
The Supreme White Alliance Responds
In response to SPLC claims that Cowart and Schlesslman are tied to the SWA, SWA issued a statement saying, "The Southern Poverty Law Center has lied again. Stating on their website that the two young men arrested yesterday on charges accusing them of plotting to assassinate the presidential candidate Barak Oboma (sic) and go on some sort of killing spree are tied to the SWA. One of the young men was in fact a probate earlier this year but was ousted by the SWA before the SWA had a president. Since this time none of the SWA members have had any contact with the accused. So before you get your story wrong, (SPLC) get the facts."
In a few cases that the Secret Service has investigated, one individual has written hundreds of threat letters in an effort to capture the candidate's attention, officials say.
In another case dismissed as not serious, the individual making the threat tried to repeatedly call the director of the Secret Service to register the threat.
Officials say there have been far fewer threats against Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain.
Each candidate has a security detail of equal size, considered a "vice-presidential level" size, according to law enforcement officials. Secret Service agents are augmented by a heavy presence of state and local police, but in uniform and undercover.
*******
[under construction]

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What About the Anthrax Attacks in 2001?

*******Anthrax is an acute infectious disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. B. anthracis was so called after the Greek word for black coal ('anthracis'), due to the black necrotic ulcers characteristic of cutaneous anthrax infection. Anthrax is primarily a disease of domesticated and wild animals, particularly herbivores such as cattle, sheep, horses, mules and goats. The bacterium produces spores which can survive dormant in the soil for many years and although human anthrax is fairly rare, infection occurs incidentally through contact with diseased animals or by inhaling anthrax spores from contaminated animal products such as flesh, bones, hides, hair and excrement.*******
Inventory Uncovers 9,200 More PathogensLaboratory Says Security Is Tighter, but Earlier Count Missed Dangerous VialsBy Nelson Hernandez, Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 18, 2009
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/17/AR2009061703271.html
An inventory of potentially deadly pathogens at Fort Detrick's infectious disease laboratory found more than 9,000 vials that had not been accounted for, Army officials said yesterday, raising concerns that officials wouldn't know whether dangerous toxins were missing.
After four months of searching about 335 freezers and refrigerators at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Frederick, investigators found 9,220 samples that hadn't been included in a database of about 66,000 items listed as of February, said Col. Mark Kortepeter, the institute's deputy commander.
The vials contained some dangerous pathogens, among them the Ebola virus, anthrax bacteria and botulinum toxin, and less lethal agents such as Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus and the bacterium that causes tularemia. Most of them, forgotten inside freezer drawers, hadn't been used in years or even decades. Officials said some serum samples from hemorrhagic fever patients dated to the Korean War.
Kortepeter likened the inventory to cleaning out the attic and said he knew of no plans for an investigation into how the vials had been left out of the database. "The vast majority of these samples were working stock that were accumulated over decades," he said, left there by scientists who had retired or left the institute.
"I can't say that nothing did [leave the lab], but I can say that we think it's extremely unlikely," Kortepeter said.
Still, the overstock and the previous inaccuracy of the database raised the possibility that someone could have taken a sample outside the lab with no way for officials to know something was missing.
"Nine thousand, two hundred undocumented samples is an extraordinarily serious breach," said Richard H. Ebright, a professor at Rutgers University who follows biosecurity. "A small number would be a concern; 9,200 . . . at an institution that has been the focus of intense scrutiny on this issue, that's deeply worrisome. Unacceptable."
The institute has been under pressure to tighten security in the wake of the 2001 anthrax attacks, which killed five people and sickened 17. FBI investigators say they think the anthrax strain used in the attacks originated at the Army lab, and its prime suspect, Bruce E. Ivins, researched anthrax there. Ivins committed suicide last year during an investigation into his activities.
Kortepeter noted that since 2001 the lab has imposed multiple layers of security to check people entering and leaving, that there are now cameras in the labs, and that employees are subjected to a reliability program and random inspections.
"The bottom line is, we have a lot of buffers to prevent anybody who shouldn't be getting into the laboratory," Kortepeter said.
Sam Edwin, the institute's inventory control officer, said most of the samples found were vials with tiny amounts of pathogens that would thaw quickly and die once they were taken out of a freezer, making smuggling something off the base difficult.
The probe began in February, when a problem accounting for Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus triggered the suspension of most research at the lab. A spot check in January found 20 samples of the virus in a box of vials instead of the 16 listed in the institute's database. Most work was stopped until the institute could take a thorough inventory of its stock of viruses and bacteria.
Edwin said about 50 percent of the samples that had been found were destroyed. The rest were added to the catalog. Because the lab will now conduct an inventory every year, "it's really less likely that we will be in a situation like this again," he said.
Procedures have changed, too. Scientists who have worked at the lab said that in the past, departing scientists turned over their logbooks to their successors, but records were sometimes incomplete or complex. As generations of scientists passed through, the knowledge of what was in the freezers was lost. With a comprehensive database, every sample is now tracked until it is destroyed or transferred.
But some scientists are skeptical. Unlike uranium or chemical weapons, pathogens are living materials that can replicate and die. A small amount can easily be turned into a large amount. They said the strict inventories slow their work without guaranteeing security.
*******
Anthrax Suspect's Suicide: Who Benefits?By: Devvy Kidd August 21, 2008
© 2008 - NewsWithViews.com http://www.newswithviews.com/Devvy/kidd384.htm
Earlier this month, Bruce E. Ivins, a skilled microbiologist who assisted the FBI in their investigation of the 2001 anthrax mail attacks, supposedly killed himself. Seems to be the thing for microbiologists over the past ten years. Allegedly the Federal Department of InJustice was ready to file criminal charges against Ivins for the attacks. Those clever crime busters at the FBI originally tapped another government scientist, Steven J. Hatfill, as the chief suspect. They hounded and harassed this man for years and finally, when they could no longer hide their complete ineptness, they settled with Dr. Hatfill to the tune of $5.82 MILLION dollars.
There was never any evidence that Dr. Hatfill possessed any anthrax, but that didn't stop the men and women of the "Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity" bureau from pursing and ruining the wrong man's life. Because there's no money in the treasury, that $5.82 MILLION dollar settlement had to be borrowed from the "FED" with the interest heaped upon the backs of we the people. No doubt those responsible for that monumental screw up in the FBI will be promoted, not fired. This time around, how convenient that just as the G-men were about to get their new man, he ups and kills himself. Dead men tell no tales nor do they sue for damages like Dr. Hatfill, costing the taxpayers millions of dollars for another sloppy investigation by the FBI.
Ivins, age 62, worked for the past 18 years at the government's "elite" biodefense research labs at Ft. Detrick, Md. He worked on anthrax vaccines to save lives. According to all reports, Ivins, was "A well-respected and award-winning scientist; Ivins co-wrote a slew of anthrax studies, including a recent work on the treatment for inhalation anthrax published in the July 7 issue of the Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy journal." His colleagues have come forward and said it simply could not have been him for many reasons. Doesn't sound like a loon as depicted by therapist/social worker, Jean Duley.
One would think that scientists at all levels working at these highly sensitive facilities would be, well, in control of their faculties. However, there appears to have been a problem with Dr. Ivins, according to Ms. Duley: "Yet, Ivins had attempted to poison people as far back as 2000 and his therapist said she was "scared to death" of him, according to court testimony that emerged Saturday. Social worker Jean Duley testified at a court hearing in Frederick, Md., on July 24 in a successful bid for a protective order from Ivins that he "actually attempted to murder several other people."
It's unclear exactly the date when Ivins began seeing this "social worker." Ms. Duley states Ivins had attempted to poison people as far back as 2000. Huh? Why didn't she immediately report knowledge of a crime? If she knew all this about Ivins, why didn't she alert authorities? Surely this woman knew Ivins worked in a highly sensitive and dangerous environment and would recognize a ticking time bomb....or would Jean Duley? In his August 4, 2008, column 'Additional key facts re: the anthrax investigation,' Glen Greenwald writes:
"(2) So much of the public reporting about Ivins has been devoted to depicting him as a highly unstable psychotic who had been issuing extremely violent threats and who had a violent past. But that depiction has been based almost exclusively on the uncorroborated claims of Jean Carol Duley, a social worker (not a psychiatrist or psychologist) who, as recently as last year, was apparently still in college at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. Duley's scrawled handwritten complaint against Ivins, seeking a Protective Order, has served as the basis for much of the reporting regarding Ivins' mental state, yet it is hardly the model of a competent or authoritative professional. Quite the opposite.
"Duley herself has a history that, at the very least, raises questions about her credibility. She has a rather lengthy involvement with the courts in Frederick, including two very recent convictions for driving under the influence -- one from 2007 and one from 2006 -- as well as a complaint filed against her for battery by her ex-husband. Here is Duley's record from the Maryland Judicial data base: (see link to view)
"Just three months ago, Duley pled guilty and was sentenced to probation (with a suspended fine of $500), as a result of having been stopped in December, while driving at 1:35 a.m., and charged with driving under the influence: (see link to view)."
This is the caliber of professionals the FBI uses to provide mental health assistance to individuals like Ivins who work in sensitive, dangerous, high-pressure environments? The bureau of Fidelity, Integrity and Bravery could do better with a Girl Friday agency.
While I find counterfeit U.S. Senator Charles Grassley to be nothing more than a business as usual bureaurat for many valid reasons, he has done the right thing here. On, August 7, 2008, he sent a very detailed letter full of questions to two corrupt high ranking public officials: The Dishonorable Attorney General, Michael B. Mukasey and the Dishonorable Robert S. Mueller, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation; I would put Mueller in the criminal activities category. I would expect the same response forth coming to Grassley as most members of Congress get from those two: stonewalling and obfuscation.
The question is who benefits from Dr. Ivins death assuming this man was hounded to commit suicide? I would like readers to go back to a series I wrote back on January 16, 2006: ENRON - The Smokin' Cannon of 9/11? The same source of mine in California sent me mail following, Ivins, alleged suicide that raised another question:
"I postulated that the real culprit of the 9/11 and Anthrax attacks - who engineered it all - was Thomas E. (Enron) White, the former co-Chair of 'Enron, who subsequently became Army Secretary. His dominate motive, was cover his, and others, ass and assets. Was there a massive cover up? White, who was co-Chair, again, of Enron, was never indicated. Recently, we are led to believe that Bruce Ivins was behind the Anthrax attacks, who worked out of the ARMY's Fort Detrick biological center. I wondered if there besides that was any direct connection between Dr. Ivins and Tom White."
Indeed, it appears the two met: On March 14, 2003, at a Pentagon ceremony, Ivins and two of his colleagues received the 'Decoration of Exceptional Civilian Service,' which is the highest honor awarded to non military employees of DOD (Department of Defense). As Secretary of the Army at that time, Thomas E. White bestowed this honor to Dr. Ivins. Less than a month later, Donald Rumsfeld fired White.
Is all this just a bunch of malarkey? Thomas E. White and Dick Cheney have a history, see my column here: 9-11/ The New White-Washing & Buckets of Money. Thomas E. White left Enron after 11 years, holding MEGA MILLIONS in stock and stock options. This is May 2001. He leaves this lucrative job to become Secretary of the Army making a couple hundred thousand a year. A very interesting fact is that when White moved over to DOD, his official bio was massaged; see here. The ENRON meltdown is now percolating and ready to blow; time line here. The anthrax attacks commence September 19, 2001, when the first letter is sent to American Media in Florida. White dumps his stock for $12 million bux while ENRON employees lose everything including all their retirement. "The Architect," Karl Rove, sells his ENRON stock in June 2001, estimated value between $100,000 - $250,000.
This is one incestuous cabal. White and ENRON. White and Cheney. White and Bush. Lay, Bush and White. White, as Secretary of the Army, would in his position without question have access to Ft. Detrick or any other labs and personnel. White, Cheney, DKRW and BILLIONS of dollars. White was Secretary of the Army on 9/11. Able Danger was an Army operation; the full testimony can be found here:
"My veteran ABLE DANGER colleagues and I share the common fear that the seeds of the next 9-11 attack have already been sewn – and that much of the critical data that was harvested for the ABLE DANGER project, that could be used again now in the search for sleeper cells and others that matched the “Atta” profile is now gone – destroyed at the direction of DoD officials in the 2000 time frame. You have heard from Eric Kleinsmith of his work on ABLE DANGER, and his receiving direction to “destroy the data and background documents or go to jail” – which he did. However, it must be noted that despite citing AR 380-10 as the “authority” for this action, the DoD lawyer is wrong and, worse, deceptive. There are two exceptions that allow the retention of U.S. person information – both of those were met by then MAJ Kleinsmith – yet lawyers directed that he destroy the data anyway."
In this entire sickening saga, White is the "universal epicenter and common denominator" as Cheney is to the attacks of 9/11. All of this reads like a Tom Clancy novel, but much we can prove as facts. The masterminding of the anthrax attacks is speculation. The truth is being undermined by the FBI. However, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, guess what you have?
Who benefits from Ivins suicide and case closed? Very powerful people who need the problem to go away. This investigation was dragging along for years and after the Hatfill disaster, "new evidence" was cooked up in the lab to direct the G-men to Ivins. This is the same FBI whose laboratory in Washington, DC, royally screwed up the OKC bombing evidence in that cover up. According to the OIG (Office of Inspector General) report, the FBI lab boys have no idea if ANFO was used as "weapons of mass destruction in the Murrah bombing." Here is just a tiny sample of "evidence" used to send someone to death row; see my full column here.
I know there are some good people who work for the FBI. They must be so ashamed to see what has gone on since Ruby Ridge, WACO, OKC, TWA Flight 800, AA Flight 587, 9/11 and this latest farce, solving the anthrax attacks. How can you people continue working for such a corrupt agency? How can you people look in the mirror every morning knowing the American people have been lied to over and over and over? Ah, paychecks. But, will they make up for what's in your heart and conscience?
Thomas E. White has been protected by powerful people like Dick Cheney. The only way we will ever find out the truth is real investigations into the events of September 11, 2001, and the anthrax attacks. That will not happen until decent, courageous individuals are elected to Congress who care about the truth instead of the next election. This means open investigations using civilians who have uncovered the discrepancies; testimony from people like Steven Jones and so many others. It can't be an investigation by the Department of Justice because as my friend in California says, "Why would you investigate anyone with a tank sitting on your own lawn?"
One thing "elected" public servants need to remember: No one is safe and any of them or their families could have been in the wrong place at the wrong time on 9/11, same as the anthrax victims. The victims of September 11, 2001 and the anthrax attacks cry out for justice. Remember that when you vote in November.
*******
The mysterious deaths of top microbiologists http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/deadbiologists.html?q=deadbiologists.html
It all began with Don Wiley.
On November 15th, Harvard Professor Don Wiley left a gathering of friends and colleagues some time after 10:30 PM. The next morning, Memphis police found his rental car stopped on a bridge, with a full tank of gas and keys still in the ignition. There was no financial or family trouble. Indeed Wiley was supposed to meet his family at the Memphis airport to continue on to an Icelandic vacation. Neither was there any history of depression or mental illness.
In the report printed in the New York Times on November 27th, the FBI's Memphis office distanced itself from the case saying that the available facts did not add up to a suspicion of foul play. I guess at the FBI it's a perfectly everyday occurrence for a Harvard Professor to stop his rental car on a bridge in the middle of the night before he is supposed to leave for Iceland and just walk away into the Tennessee dark.
The NYT report of November 27th also downplayed Professor Wiley's expertise in virology, quoting Gregory Verdine, a professor of chemical biology at Harvard, said, "If bioterrorists were to abduct Don Wiley, they'd be very disappointed," because his research was in studying the component parts of viruses, and "that doesn't really help you make a more dangerous version of the virus."
But this statement is not consistent with the facts of Professor Wiley's full range of knowledge. Wiley has, in conjunction with another Harvard Professor, Dr. Jack Strominger, won several academic prizes for their work in immunology, including a Lasker prize. Don Wiley is a Harvard professor, but he is also a researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the National Institute of Health. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is located in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and performs biological research, sometimes jointly funded by the Department of Defense and the NIH. Don Wiley's peers at Harvard include prof essors such as John Collier performing research on Anthrax.
So, contrary to the dismissive tone of the New York Times report, Professor Wiley would be of great value to anyone developing biological weapons. This makes the FBI's obvious disinterest in the case highly questionable, indeed reminiscent of the FBI's obvious disinterest in the numerous witnesses in Oklahoma City who had seen Tim McVeigh in the company of additional perpetrators not to mention the witnesses who had seen additional bombs.
Especially in light of the events of 9/11, the vanishing of a scientist with Professor Wiley's expertise in virology and immunology should have been expected to be an issue of critical national importance, yet the official tone of the government was that this is nothing to worry about. Move along citizen, nothing to see.
In the context of the Anthrax letters being sent through the mail, any disappearance of any microbiologist under questionable circumstances should have set off alarm bells across the nation. but it didn't. Professor Wiley was assumed to have committed suicide, end of story.
The professor's colleagues expressed doubts about the official "suicide" explanation for his disappearance.
Then, more biologists started to die under suspicious circumstances.
The Very Mysterious Deaths of Five Microbiologists.
The body count of infections disease experts continued to climb. Connections to weapons research began to surface.
As many as 14 world-class microbiologists died between 9/11/1 and 3/2/2, and on 6/24/2 yet another microbiologist was added to the list.
Still the US Government acted as if nothing was amiss, as silent on the question of dead microbiologists as they are on the question of the Israeli spies and their connection to 9-11.
In fact, the official silence on the question of how so many top experts in infectious diseases could die in such a short time span is deafening.
Now, statistically, it's possible, even likely, that one or two of these microbiologists legitimately were killed in random accidents. But for so many to die in such a short while exceeds all reasonable bounds of statistics. Prudence would demand an investigation, not the "ho hum" attitude of the government which even today continues to issue dire warnings to the general population of how much we are all in danger from "bioterrorism".
So, let's take a moment and step away from the perpetual fear-mongering of the media (and Rumsfeld) as they assure us another attack IS coming (with a certainty which suggests inside information on the subject) and assume for a moment that some party has indeed decided to "liquidate" weapons research infectious disease experts.
There is really only one reason to kill off a bunch of scientists. To keep them from doing something they are able to do.
What were these scientists able to do? Maybe blow the whistle if an artificially created disease was about to be used in a manner those who created it did not approve of.
Regardless of the exact reason, there does seem to be a clear pattern of targeted microbiologists, and paired with it, an obvious government disinterest in the matter.
I leave it to you to figure out why.
*******

List Of Dead Microbiologists
From Charlene Fassa 1-12-5
http://www.rense.com/general61/deadmic.htm
Here is at least a partial list of dead microbiologists:July 18, 2003: Dr. David Kelly, a British biological weapons expert
June 24, 2003: Dr. Leland Rickman, a UC San Diego expert on infectious diseases
November 12 2002: Dr. Benito Que, 52, was "an expert in infectious diseases and cellular biology at the Miami Medical School
March 25, 2002: Dead microbiologist: Steven Mostow, 63
March 24, 2002: Dead microbiologist: David Wynn-Williams, 55
February 28, 2002: Two dead microbiologists in San Francisco,Tanya Holzmayer, 46, is shot and killed by a colleague, Guyang Huang, 38, who then apparently shot himself.
February 11, 2002: Dead microbiologist: Dr. Ian Langford, 40
February 9, 2002: Dead microbiologist: Victor Korshunov, 56
January 2002: Two dead microbiologists: Ivan Glebov and Alexi Brushlinski
December 14, 2001: Dead microbiologist: Nguyen Van Set, 44
December 10, 2001: Dead microbiologist: "Dr. Robert Schwartz, 57
November 24, 2001: Three more dead microbiologists: Dr. Yaakov Matzner, 54, dean of the Hebrew University school of medicine; Amiramp Eldor, 59, head of the haematology department at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv and a world-recognized expert in blood clotting; and Avishai Berkman, 50, director of the Tel Aviv public health department and businessman
November 21, 2001: World-class microbiologist and high-profile Russian defector Dr. Vladimir Pasechnik, 64
November 16, 2001: Dr. Don Wiley, 57
November 6, 2001: Jeffry Paris
Now, read the circumstances of the deaths of some of these scientists. It seems microbiology is the most dangerous occupation...
http://www.usenet.com/newsgroups/talk.religion.bahai/msg09281.html
*******
Stanford Report, April 20, 2005
Anthrax attack response needs both antibiotics, vaccineStudy details how most cost-effective defense involves mass vaccination—after exposure to germsBY Michelle L. Brandt
http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2005/april20/med-anthrax-042005.html
Kenneth Lambert/Associated Press
A bioterrorism squad demonstrates anthrax clean-up techniques at a 2001 news conference following five anthrax-related deaths. Almost four years later, a new study evaluates medical preparations for a major anthrax attack.
Anthrax first became a household name for Americans in September 2001 when 22 cases of bioterrorism-related anthrax, including five deaths, were identified on the East Coast. Although the incidents were relatively isolated, they raised an important question: how should the health-care system respond to a bioterrorist anthrax attack?
Nearly four years later, researchers may be closer to an answer. A study from the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, the School of Medicine and the University of Toronto has found that the timely use of both antibiotics and vaccination after an attack is the most cost-effective way to treat people potentially exposed to anthrax.
"Our findings make clear that combination therapy with antibiotics and vaccination is better then either treatment alone," said Douglas Owens, MD, senior investigator at the VA-Palo Alto and associate professor of medicine at Stanford's Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research and the Center for Health Policy in the Stanford Institute for International Studies. "And the best strategy is actually the least expensive."
Owens is the senior author of the paper in the April 19 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. As he and his co-authors note, their findings highlight "the critical need for distribution systems that can provide prophylaxis and vaccination rapidly for hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of exposed people."
Anthrax is an acute infectious disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax spores can be used as a bioterrorist weapon, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified anthrax as one of the few biological agents capable of crippling a developed region through death and disease.
"Anthrax has been weaponized; it's lethal and it's available," said Owens. "As we point out in our paper, a serious anthrax attack could be catastrophic."
If inhalational anthrax is left untreated, the mortality rate approaches 100 percent. A report from the World Health Organization estimated that the aircraft release of anthrax over a city of 5 million people would result in 250,000 deaths. Owens and his colleagues evaluated the cost-effectiveness of different methods of defending against such an attack. For their study, they simulated a large-scale aerosolized anthrax attack over a U.S. metropolitan area. They then developed a decision model to compare costs, harms and benefits of four post-attack strategies: no vaccination or antibiotics, vaccination alone, antibiotics alone or a combination of vaccination and antibiotics. They also compared two pre-attack strategies: vaccination or no vaccination.
There are no well-established estimates of the probability of an attack or the probability of exposure for any given type of attack, so the researchers chose estimates based on reviews of literature and expert opinions. They estimated the probability of surviving clinical anthrax from past studies and recent U.S. anthrax cases.
After reviewing several strategies, the researchers found that the combination of vaccination and antibiotics was the most effective and least costly option for preventing death and disease. It resulted in a four-month gain of life and savings of $355 per person when compared with vaccination alone.
"The savings associated with preventing cases of inhalational anthrax offset the cost of using both vaccination and antibiotics," said lead author Robert Fowler, MD, a former Stanford postdoctoral scholar who is now at the University of Toronto.
The researchers also found that widespread pre-attack vaccination was not particularly cost-effective. For a city of 5 million, assuming a low probability of attack, the incremental cost of such a plan could be between $500 million and $1 billion without appreciable health benefits.
The authors emphasized that without an adequate distribution system no strategy can be effective. "There must be a way to get antibiotics to a very large number of people very rapidly; otherwise you won't get the benefits that we predict," said Owens. His hope, he added, is that these findings will help the country become better prepared for a possible bioterrorist attack.
"We hope the findings in our study are never put to the test, and there's never an attack," Owens said. "At the same time, if this helps get people more prepared, that would be a very good outcome."
This study was funded by grants from the Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre, the University of Toronto, the Homer Laughlin Fund, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Stanford co-authors include Dena Bravata, MD, social science research associate, and Alan Garber, MD, PhD, senior investigator at the VA-Palo Alto Heath Care System and the Henry J. Kaiser Jr. Professor at the medical school. Garber also directs the Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research and Center for Health Policy.
*******

Friday, August 15, 2008

Act of Deception - Russia Attacks Georgia

What is going on with Georgia and Russia? Why did Georgia fire rockets into South Ossetia on Thursday, 14 August 2008, the day before the Olympics in Beijing? Obviously Russia was going to react, so what was Georgia thinking? Thanks to the internet, and not the main media, the more complete picture is being presented. Read on ...
*******
Georgian soldiers run through the town of Gori on Saturday after a Russian air bombardment.

*******
Russian jets attack Georgian city as battles rage
Hundreds dead in South Ossetia; Bush calls Medvedev, Saakashvili
MSNBC News Services
Sat., Aug. 9, 2008
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26080747/

TBILISI, Georgia - Russia and small, U.S.-allied Georgia headed toward a wider war Saturday as Russian tanks rumbled into the contested province of South Ossetia and Russian aircraft bombed a Georgian town, escalating a conflict that already has left hundreds dead.
Georgia’s Foreign Ministry said the country was “in a state of war” and accused Russia of beginning a “massive military aggression.” The Georgian parliament approved a state of martial law, mobilizing reservists and ordering government authorities to work round-the-clock.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that Moscow sent troops into South Ossetia to force Georgia into a cease-fire and prevent Georgia from retaking control of its breakaway region after it launched a major offensive there overnight Friday.
In a meeting with refugees, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin characterized Georgia’s actions as “complete genocide,” according to his office’s Web site. Putin also said Georgia had effectively lost the right to rule the breakaway province — an indication Moscow could be preparing to fulfill South Ossetians’ wish to be absorbed into Russia.
The risk of the conflict setting off a wider war also increased Saturday when Russian-supported separatists in another breakaway region, Abkhazia, also targeted Georgian troops by launching air and artillery strikes to drive them out.
President Bush called for an end to the Russian bombings and an immediate halt to the violence.
“The attacks are occurring in regions of Georgia far from the zone of conflict in South Ossetia. They mark a dangerous escalation in the crisis,” Bush said in a statement to reporters while attending the Olympic Games in Beijing.
Georgia President Mikhail Saakashvili called it an “unprovoked brutal Russian invasion.”
“This is about annihilation of a democracy on their borders,” Saakashvili told the British Broadcasting Corp. “We on our own cannot fight with Russia. We want immediate cease-fire, immediate cessation of hostilities, separation of Russia and Georgia and international mediation.” Early Sunday, loud explosions were heard in Tbilisi, and Georgian Interior Ministry spokesperson Shota Utiashvili said Russia bombed the city's international airport. Utiashvili said Russia had massed thousands of troops backed by tanks in Georgia and was waiting until dawn to start another offensive.
Russia refuses ceasefireAt a meeting of the U.N. Security Council Saturday, the third in three days on the issue, Russia refused to agree to a cease-fire or a diplomatic agreement. The move ensured that the fighting with Georgia would keep spilling into other regions such as Abkhazia’s Kodori Ridge, where 15 U.N. military observers were told to evacuate.
“A ceasefire would not be a solution. The fighting is still going on. The Georgian forces are continuing to be on the South Ossetian territory,” Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said.
Georgia, a U.S. ally whose troops have been trained by American soldiers, launched the major offensive overnight Friday. Heavy rocket and artillery fire pounded the provincial capital, Tskhinvali. A South Ossetain government statement said firing died down in the capital early Sunday and that 12 Georgian tanks were destroyed on the city’s outskirts.
It was the worst outbreak of hostilities since South Ossetia won de facto independence in a war against Georgia that ended in 1992.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters Saturday in Moscow that some 1,500 people had been killed in South Ossetia since Friday, with the death toll rising. The figures could not be independently confirmed.
But Tskhinvali residents who survived the bombardment by hiding in basements and later fled the city estimated that hundreds of civilians had died. They said bodies were lying everywhere.
Russia aiming to take South Ossetia?Georgia, a country about the size of South Carolina that borders the Black Sea between Turkey and Russia, was ruled by Moscow for most of the two centuries preceding the breakup of the Soviet Union. Today, Russia has approximately 30 times more people than Georgia and 240 times the area.
Both South Ossetia and Abkhazia have run their own affairs without international recognition since splitting from Georgia in the early 1990s and have built up ties with Moscow. Russia has granted its passports to most of their residents.
Putin arrived late Saturday in the Russian city of Vladikavkaz to talk to South Ossetian refugees who have fled the fighting. He said there were at least 34,000 refugees.
“The actions of the Georgian powers in South Ossetia are, of course, a crime — first of all against their own people,” Putin said. “The territorial integrity of Georgia has suffered a fatal blow.”
[read entire article at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26080747/]

*******
*******
Georgia, Russia continue battle over breakaway territoryWorld leaders condemn the violenceLast Updated: Saturday, August 9, 2008
CBC News.ca
http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/08/08/russia-georgia.html?ref=rss

Hundreds of civilians were reportedly killed in the breakaway Georgian province of South Ossetia on Friday as Georgia launched a major military offensive to regain the territory and Russia responded by sending troops into the region.
Battles raged through much of Friday night and into Saturday, devastating the provincial capital Tskhinvali. Georgia has said it invaded South Ossetia because of rebel attacks, while the Georgian breakaway territory claims Georgia violated a ceasefire.
Eduard Kokoity, the head of South Ossetia's rebel government, accused Georgia of acting aggressively. He told Interfax news that about 1,400 people have died as a result of "Georgian aggression," a number he based on reports from relatives.
The fighting marked the worst outbreak of hostilities since the province won de facto independence from Georgia in the early 1990s.
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has long vowed to reclaim the territory from South Ossetian separatists, who have ties to Russia.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, has always warned that a Georgian attack would draw retaliation, while Russia's Defence Ministry has vowed to protect South Ossetians, many of whom have Russian citizenship.
The current conflict is threatening to spark a larger war between Georgia and Russia, as well as heighten tensions between Moscow and Washington. The United Nations Security Council convened two emergency sessions over the conflict Friday, with a third one planned for Saturday, according to officials.
Meanwhile, a top Georgian official told Reuters that Saakashvili was planning to declare martial law.
Georgia's Interior Ministry said Saturday that warplanes had attacked three Georgian military bases and key facilities for shipping oil to the West. Foreign Ministry officials said Friday that Russian aircraft had bombed military air bases in the southern Marneuli and Bolnisi communities, while reports suggest columns of Russian tanks have rumbled into the region.
Reports emerged that Georgian forces shot down four Russian planes, while South Ossetia officials said Georgian troops were firing missiles into the region, and attacking by air and ground.
"I saw bodies lying on the streets, around ruined buildings, in cars," said Tskhinvali resident Lyudmila Ostayeva, 50, who had fled with her family to Dzhava, a village near the border with Russia.
"It's impossible to count [the ruined buildings] now. There is hardly a single building left undamaged."
'Brilliant moment to attack a small country'
The fighting broke out Friday as the world's attention was focused on the bedazzling hours-long opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing. Observers say the timing suggests Saakashvili was counting on the element of surprise to fulfil his long-term pledge to reclaim the region.
Saakashvili argued Russia was taking advantage of the timing.
"Most decision-makers have gone for the holidays," he told CNN. "Brilliant moment to attack a country."
"Russia is fighting a war with us in our own territory. And we are in this situation of self-defence against our neighbour," he added.
He said he is calling his Georgian troops home from Iraq to handle the domestic crisis. Georgia, with 2,000 troops in Iraq, is the largest contributor in Iraq after the United States and Britain.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Moscow has a right to move into South Ossetia on behalf of the Russians living there.
"In accordance with the constitution and federal laws, I, as president of Russia, am obliged to protect lives and dignity of Russian citizens wherever they are located," he said. "We won't allow the death of our compatriots to go unpunished."
International community condemns violence
U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who were among the many world leaders attending the Beijing ceremony, discussed the South Ossetia situation but details of the talks were not released.
The U.S. is sending an envoy to the region and Bush is receiving constant updates on the situation, White House press secretary Dana Perino said.
"I want to reiterate on his behalf that the United States supports Georgia's territorial integrity," she said, speaking on behalf of Bush. "We urge all parties — Georgians, South Ossetians and Russians — to de-escalate the tension and avoid conflict."
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged Russia to end all aircraft and missile attacks and pull its combat forces out of South Ossetia out of respect for Georgian sovereignty.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister David Emerson, who was in China for the opening of the Olympic Games, said Canada is "gravely concerned" about the violence in South Ossetia "and we deplore the casualties that have resulted."
"We call for an immediate halt to the hostilities and strongly urge all parties involved to display restraint in words and deeds, and to respect national boundaries," Emerson said in a statement that calls for "a peaceful resolution of the conflict."
The UN and NATO, an organization Georgia is bidding to join, also condemned the violence and called for peaceful resolution to the conflict.
Short ceasefire gives civilians time to leave
In Tskhinvali, the main hospital stopped functioning and ambulances were unable to reach wounded civilians, said International Red Cross spokeswoman Maia Kardova, located in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital.
The Red Cross has been urging the warring sides to allow aid workers access to wounded and frightened civilians, some who reportedly are hiding in their basements without access to food, water or electricity.
Russia, which has always maintained peacekeeping forces in South Ossetia, said 12 of its peacekeepers were killed in the clashes and 150 wounded, according to Reuters.
Georgia declared a three-hour ceasefire, which began at 3 p.m. local time, to give civilians a chance to leave Tskhinvali. Panicked villagers fled to the Russian border to find safety, some of them spending the night in fields.
West criticized Russia for provoking tensions
Saakashvili has long pledged to restore rule over South Ossetia and another breakaway province, Abkhazia. Both regions have run their own affairs without international recognition since splitting from Georgia in the early 1990s, and both have built up ties with Moscow.
Russia was criticized by the West for provoking tensions by sending warplanes over South Ossetia last month.
Most of South Ossetia, which is roughly 1.5 times the size of Luxembourg, has been under the control of an internationally unrecognized separatist government since 1992. Georgian forces held several swaths of it.
Relations between Georgia and Russia worsened notably this year as Georgia pushed to join NATO and Russia dispatched additional peacekeepers to Abkhazia.
*******

*******
Georgia On My Mind
Posted on August 12, 2008 by thestateofblog http://thestateofblog.wordpress.com/2008/08/12/georgia-on-my-mind/

“The anti-Russia biased of the Westerm media is really something to behold: “Russia Invades Georgia,” “Russia Attacks Georgia,” and variations thereof have been some of the choice headlines reporting events in the Caucasus, but the reality is not only quite different, but the exact opposite. Sometimes this comes out in the third or fourth paragraph of the reportage, in which it is admitted that the Georgians tried to “retake” the “breakaway province” of South Ossetia. The Georgian bombing campaign and the civilian casualties – if they are mentioned at all – are downplayed and presented as subject to dispute.
“The Georgians have been openly engaging in a military buildup since last year, and President Mikhail Saakashvili and his party have been proclaiming from the rooftops their aim of re-conquering South Ossetia (and rebellious Abkhazia, while they’re at it). Avid readers of Antiwar.com saw this coming. Link to Antiwar.com
*******
Communism Alive and Well in Russia
By Dr. Laurie Roth
August 15, 2008
NewsWithViews.com
http://www.newswithviews.com/Roth/laurie127.htm

What is Russia thinking? Why have they decided to be so imperialistic and aggressive and attack the free sovereign nation of Georgia now? Just last night I talked with Ret. Navy Lt. Commander Cy Huerter and Van Hipp, former Deputy Secretary of the Army, on my radio show, trying to find answers to these questions and explore what our response should be. I also consulted with media whistle blower and columnist Daniel Zanoza. In his recent article on this invasion he writes: “Most experts agree Putin, though not the official leader of Russia, in reality, is calling the shots in the former Soviet Union. Putin, who was head of the FSB, one of the successor agencies to the KGB, the dreaded Soviet intelligence agency, had planned the attack on Georgia long ago. Military and political experts say Putin’s decision to move troops into Georgia was skillfully calculated to coincide with the Summer Olympics, currently being held in China.” [Read]
In 1968 Russia pulled this when they invaded and attacked Czechoslovakia and got away with it. Our Secretary of State reminded us of that just this week. This is not 1968 but Russia is pulling this aggressive, rubbish again. They are still attacking and all over Georgia. Why now?
Why attack now?
Reason number 1 - They chose to do it now because there is momentum with the break away republics aligning with the west, gaining power in the world’s eyes, enjoying their freedoms and sovereignty. The U.S. was becoming a little too supportive and close to the nations surrounding Russia….Ukraine, Estonia.
Reason number 2 – They see the pressure on our economy, dollar and struggles with gas and oil prices. They also see the need to control the pipeline going through Georgia to the black sea. Russia wants that control back and sees us as fragile and struggling in that aria, so they think they can poke the U.S. more by gaining control of this pipeline.
Reason number 3 - Russia says now is the time because the U.S. is distracted and worn out with Iraq and Afghanistan. 100s of Billions of dollars later and lots of troops abroad, we wouldn’t dream of getting in Russia’s way if they attacked and behaved badly. The American’ will is too tired and distracted. We want our troops home not somewhere else.
Reason number 4 – Russia can’t help but notice our liberal congress with a lame duck President. Much of our vocal congress has not been really supporting our efforts to finish Iraq and Afghanistan in the right way and is not willing to acknowledge the real threat with Islamic Radicals. What’s to be afraid of? Obama and a host of other congressman just want to ‘talk.’
Reason number 5 - Putin can’t help but rejoice when he sees the endless concern over extending habeas corbus rights to terrorists, our demonizing of Gitmo and detaining these high level terrorists while the war is going on. We have practically given them talk shows!
Reason number 6 – Putin watched us do nothing but talk and even with threats to N. Korea regarding them going nuclear we did nothing. He is watching us talk and retreat again and again with Iran. Why shouldn’t he jump in and conquer old Russia back?
Putin has learned we are more concerned about feelings than safety; there is division in our congress regarding how to define the dangers we face and the war we are in; and we are worn out, struggling economically and don’t want any more trouble.
When I asked Van Hipp and Ret. Lt. Commander Cy Huerter how we should respond to Putin and Russia they said that we must respond in clarity and strength. We should send in not only aid (which we are) to Georgia, but a battle ship or carrier in that area, while exploring sanctions, and uniting many countries including the U.N. against their actions (This seems to also be happening). No one wants a blood bath and another war, but we cannot ignore the attack on a free, sovereign nation. May we be clear, strong and tough as a country while rallying the free world against Russia. Pay attention Puttin.
© 2008 Dr. Laurie Roth - All Rights Reserved

*******

video
*******
video
*******
Has the Russian Bear Awakened?By Jon Christian Ryter
August 8, 2008
NewsWithViews.com http://www.newswithviews.com/Ryter/jon248.htm
Over the space of a decade-and-a-half, the world has experienced several very stark snapshots of the inhumanity of mankind that should have raised the specter that man, believing he has arrived at the gate of Utopia has arrived, instead, at the crossroads of its own extermination. Man now faces the very real threat of a global nuclear holocaust at the hands of Muslim extremists bent on martyrdom, our trading partners in Beijing, or the revived Soviet Union. And that man's actions, whatever he does, will only speed us to the destination known in the Holy Bible as Armageddon.
The latest reminder that the hands of the doomsday clock are ticking was the Soviet invasion of Georgia. It appears the invasion was triggered by two events. First, Muslim separatists in Muslim-majority South Ossetia are repeating the feat of Albanian Muslims who stole the mineral wealth of Yugoslavia from the Serbs during the Clinton years by declaring the Yugoslav province of Kosovo to be an independent Muslim State. Second, on Aug. 7, 2008 the Georgian military invaded the Georgian breakawy province to prevent the Georgian Muslims in South Ossetia from merging with Russian North Ossetia. (Muslim separists call the breakaway province South Ossetia. It's historic name is Samachablo, or more recently, Tskhinvali—now the name of the capital.) Ultimately, the goal of the Ossetian Muslims is to break away from their non-Muslim landlords and become an Islamic nation governed by Sharia Law. When Georgia declared itself an independent nation in August, 1990, South Ossetia declared itself independent from Georgia. Georgia abolished South Ossetia's autonomous status in December, 1990. On Nov. 28, 1991 South Ossetia declared its independence from Georgia. Ethnic unrest escalated under Eduard Shevardnadze and triggered an 18-month war.
On April. 8, 2001 the Muslim-majority South Ossetians held a referendum to change the Republic of South Ossetia's constitution and increase "local" presidential authority. Roughly two-thirds of the Muslim population turned out to vote, and two-thirds of them approved the change. The intent of South Ossetia was to be annexed by North Ossetia, which is a lawful satellite of the Russian Federation. The Russians knew South Ossetia intended to be reunited with the Russian Federation. Shevardnadze rejected the secession of South Ossetia. The Ossetian Muslims appealed to the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The EU and the OSCE condemned Ossetiia's action and declared the attempted secession was illegal.
In April, 2008 NATO agreed to admit Georgia into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization "at some point." This decision angering Moscow. .Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (the former Russian Federation President) was angered by NATO's decision since the Russians oppose the eastward expansion of NATO. Putin and newly-elected Russian President Dmitry Medvedev moved quickly to inflame Muslims in South Ossetia and another Islamic breakaway province, Abkhazia. Russia strengthened its economic ties with the breakaway provinces and warned Georgian President Mikhail Saaashvili (elected in 2004) that if violence erupted in either province, Russia would insert troops into the equation to defend the citizens of those provinces since they carried Russian, not Georgian, passports. Because of the current conflict between Georgia and Russia, NATO has removed the membership offer from the table—at least as far as Georgia is concerned.
On Aug. 7 Georgia interjected 2,000 troops into South Ossetia following clashes between separatists and Georgian police. The Georgians also launched airl strikes on Muslim strongholds that indiscriminately killed hundreds of civilians. including women and children. Survivers in the attack on Dzhava, a village near the Russian border, told the media that not a single building in the town was undamaged, and that bodies lay in the streets.
On Aug. 8 Georgian troops were in control of Tskhinvali, the capital. Within hours of Georgia subduing separtist hostilities, Russia began air strikes on Georgian targets, first in South Ossetia and then in Georgia itself. Following the aerial strikes, Russia deployed 10,000 troops into South Ossetia, sweeping through the province and driving the Georgians out of Tskhinvali. On Friday, Georgia launched a massive counter-attack to regain control of South Ossetia using heavy artillery and aircraft. The Georgians claim to have shot down two Russian jet fighters. Russia claims the only soldiers they sent to South Ossetia were peacekeepers. However, the 10,000 "peacekeepers" were supported by 50 Russian tanks and a convoy of armored personnel carriers who were clearly backing the separtists with lethal fire. Further, Russian bombers targeted Georgia's economic infrastructure including Georgia's largest Black Sea port city of Poti.
To the spectators on the world stage the confrontation was expected. British intelligence predicted it earlier this year. The separatist movements in Abkhazia and South Ossentia were heavily supported by Russia as part of Moscow's strategy to weaken Georgia. In Moscow's collective mind, the West—the United States in particular—has stoked Georgia's fire by providing the former Soviet satellite with military assistance (in the form of arms sales and assistance in training its troops. The move was seen by Moscow as a challenge of its dominance with one of its key former republics. America's presence in Georgia is to protect the world's second longest oil pipeline, the 1,109 Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline to Turkey that bypasses Russia's stanglehold on energy exports from that region. (When the Georgia and Russian situation heated up to the boiling point, British Petroleum [BP-Amoco] closed down the pipeline and temporarily stopped the flow of 1.2 million barrels of crude per day heading for a gas station near you. Not reported in the US media was the Russian attack to "protect" the Muslim majority in South Ossetia was the Russian's bombing of the Georgian oil tanker fleet harbored at Poti. The Paris-based International Energy Agency [IEA] warned Russia that's its actions threatened the strategic energy hub. In its monthy report, released on Tuesday, August 12, the IEA said: "Recent escalation in military enegagement between Russia and Georgia poses a hreat to certain key oil and gas pipelines which transit Georgia. While the conflict...may have been the main source of attention, for us, the most most significant supply event was the attack on the BTC [pipeline] and the implication that it may continue to be a target."
Since his election in 2004, US-educated Georgian President Saakashvili has transformed Georgia's dire communist-style econosphere into a model western market economy, proving that free-enterprise capitalism works. Russia-watchers are convinced Moscow is trying to force Georgia back into the Soviet sphere, and will use Georgia's capitulation to Moscow to force the remaining former satellites back into the Soviet orbit. To weaken the United States, the remerging Soviet Union and their communist ally, the People's Republic of China will supply the radical Muslim world with nuclear weapons to use against the United States. Under the Reagan-era MAD (mutually-assured-destruction) philosophy the Islamic extremists and the western bloc nations will destroy each other sufficiently that the Soviet Union and Red China will be the world's only remaining super powers. [Read entire article at: http://www.newswithviews.com/Ryter/jon248.htm]
*******
PJB: Blowback from Bear Baiting
Posted By Linda On August 15, 2008 @ 10:09 am In PJB Columns
By Patrick Buchanan http://buchanan.org/blog/2008/08/pjb-blowback-from-bear-baiting/
Mikheil Saakashvili’s decision to use the opening of the Olympic Games to cover Georgia’s invasion of its breakaway province of South Ossetia must rank in stupidity with Gamal Abdel-Nasser’s decision to close the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships.
Nasser’s blunder cost him the Sinai in the Six-Day War. Saakashvili’s blunder probably means permanent loss of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
After shelling and attacking what he claims is his own country, killing scores of his own Ossetian citizens and sending tens of thousands fleeing into Russia, Saakashvili’s army was whipped back into Georgia in 48 hours.
Vladimir Putin took the opportunity to kick the Georgian army out of Abkhazia, as well, to bomb Tbilisi and to seize Gori, birthplace of Stalin.
Reveling in his status as an intimate of George Bush, Dick Cheney and John McCain, and America’s lone democratic ally in the Caucasus, Saakashvili thought he could get away with a lightning coup and present the world with a fait accompli.
Mikheil did not reckon on the rage or resolve of the Bear.
American charges of Russian aggression ring hollow. Georgia started this fight — Russia finished it. People who start wars don’t get to decide how and when they end.
Russia’s response was “disproportionate” and “brutal,” wailed Bush.
True. But did we not authorize Israel to bomb Lebanon for 35 days in response to a border skirmish where several Israel soldiers were killed and two captured? Was that not many times more “disproportionate”?
Russia has invaded a sovereign country, railed Bush. But did not the United States bomb Serbia for 78 days and invade to force it to surrender a province, Kosovo, to which Serbia had a far greater historic claim than Georgia had to Abkhazia or South Ossetia, both of which prefer Moscow to Tbilisi?
Is not Western hypocrisy astonishing?
When the Soviet Union broke into 15 nations, we celebrated. When Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Kosovo broke from Serbia, we rejoiced. Why, then, the indignation when two provinces, whose peoples are ethnically separate from Georgians and who fought for their independence, should succeed in breaking away?
Are secessions and the dissolution of nations laudable only when they advance the agenda of the neocons, many of who viscerally detest Russia?
That Putin took the occasion of Saakashvili’s provocative and stupid stunt to administer an extra dose of punishment is undeniable. But is not Russian anger understandable? For years the West has rubbed Russia’s nose in her Cold War defeat and treated her like Weimar Germany.
When Moscow pulled the Red Army out of Europe, closed its bases in Cuba, dissolved the evil empire, let the Soviet Union break up into 15 states, and sought friendship and alliance with the United States, what did we do?
American carpetbaggers colluded with Muscovite Scalawags to loot the Russian nation. Breaking a pledge to Mikhail Gorbachev, we moved our military alliance into Eastern Europe, then onto Russia’s doorstep. Six Warsaw Pact nations and three former republics of the Soviet Union are now NATO members.
Bush, Cheney and McCain have pushed to bring Ukraine and Georgia into NATO. This would require the United States to go to war with Russia over Stalin’s birthplace and who has sovereignty over the Crimean Peninsula and Sebastopol, traditional home of Russia’s Black Sea fleet.
When did these become U.S. vital interests, justifying war with Russia?
The United States unilaterally abrogated the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty because our technology was superior, then planned to site anti-missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic to defend against Iranian missiles, though Iran has no ICBMs and no atomic bombs. A Russian counter-offer to have us together put an anti-missile system in Azerbaijan was rejected out of hand.
We built a Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline from Azerbaijan through Georgia to Turkey to cut Russia out. Then we helped dump over regimes friendly to Moscow with democratic “revolutions” in Ukraine and Georgia, and tried to repeat it in Belarus.
Americans have many fine qualities. A capacity to see ourselves as others see us is not high among them.
Imagine a world that never knew Ronald Reagan, where Europe had opted out of the Cold War after Moscow installed those SS-20 missiles east of the Elbe. And Europe had abandoned NATO, told us to go home and become subservient to Moscow.
How would we have reacted if Moscow had brought Western Europe into the Warsaw Pact, established bases in Mexico and Panama, put missile defense radars and rockets in Cuba, and joined with China to build pipelines to transfer Mexican and Venezuelan oil to Pacific ports for shipment to Asia? And cut us out? If there were Russian and Chinese advisers training Latin American armies, the way we are in the former Soviet republics, how would we react? Would we look with bemusement on such Russian behavior?
For a decade, some of us have warned about the folly of getting into Russia’s space and getting into Russia’s face. The chickens of democratic imperialism have now come home to roost — in Tbilisi.
*******
Military help for Georgia is a 'declaration of war', says Moscow in extraordinary warning to the West
Moscow has issued an extraordinary warning to the West that military assistance to Georgia for use against South Ossetia or Abkhazia would be viewed as a "declaration of war" by Russia.
The extreme rhetoric from the Kremlin's envoy to NATO came as President Dmitry Medvedev stressed he will make a military response to US missile defence installations in eastern Europe, sending new shudders across countries whose people were once blighted by the Iron Curtain.
And Moscow also emphasised it was closely monitoring what it claims is a build-up of NATO firepower in the Black Sea.
The incendiary warning on Western military involvement in Georgia - where NATO nations have long played a role in training and equipping the small state - came in an interview with Dmitry Rogozin, a former nationalist politician who is now ambassador to the North Atlantic Alliance.
"If NATO suddenly takes military actions against Abkhazia and South Ossetia, acting solely in support of Tbilisi, this will mean a declaration of war on Russia," he stated.
Yesterday likened the current world crisis to the fevered atmosphere before the start of the First World War.
Rogozin said he did not believe the crisis would descend to war between the West and Russia.
But his use of such intemperate language will be seen as dowsing a fire with petrol.
Top military figure Colonel General Leonid Ivashov, president of the Academy of Geopolitical Studies in Moscow, alleged that the US and NATO had been arming Georgia as a dress rehearsal for a future military operation in Iran.
"We are close to a serious conflict - U.S. and NATO preparations on a strategic scale are ongoing. In the operation the West conducted on Georgian soil against Russia - South Ossetians were the victims or hostages of it - we can see a rehearsal for an attack on Iran."
He claimed Washington was fine tuning a new type of warfare and that the threat of an attack on Iran was growing by the day bringing "chaos and instability" in its wake.
With the real architect of the worsening Georgian conflict - prime minister Vladimir Putin - remaining in the background, Medvedev followed up on Rogozin's broadside with a threat to use the Russian military machine to respond to the deployment of the American anti-missile defence system in Poland and the Czech republic.
Poland agreed this month to place ten interceptor missiles on its territory, and Moscow has already hinted it would become a nuclear target for Russia in the event of conflict.
"These missiles are close to our borders and constitute a threat to us," Medvedev told Al-Jazeera television. "This will create additional tension and we will have to respond to it in some way, naturally using military means."
The Russian president said that offering NATO membership to Georgia and Ukraine, two former Soviet republics, would only aggravate the situation.
Moscow has consistently expressed its opposition to the U.S. missile shield, saying it threatens its national security.
The U.S. claims the shield is designed to thwart missile attacks by what it calls "rogue states," including Iran.
Meanwhile, Russia - seen by the West as flouting international law - today demanded NATO abide by an obscure agreement signed before the Second World War limiting its warships in the Black Sea.
"In light of the build-up of NATO naval forces in the Black Sea, our fleet has also taken on the task of monitoring their activities," said hawkish deputy head of Russia's general staff, Anatoly Nogovitsyn.
The Montreux Convention, as it is called, sets a weight restriction of 45,000 tonnes on the number of warships that countries outside the Black Sea region can deploy in the basin.
"Can NATO indefinitely build up its forces and means there? It turns out it cannot," said Nogovitsyn.
NATO has said it is undertaking pre-arranged exercises in the Black Sea involving US, German, Spanish and Polish ships. Two other US warships sailed to Georgian waters with humanitarian aid.
Georgia is poised to sever diplomatic relations with Russia, or reduce them to a bare minimum.
"We will drastically cut our diplomatic ties with Russia," said a top official.
President Mikhail Saakashvili said he was frightened to leave Georgia to attend the EU summit on the crisis.
"If I leave Georgia, the Russians will close our airspace and prevent me from returning home," he said.
Russia sought Chinese backing for its action - but the Communist regime in Beijing appeared reluctant to offer support, instead issuing a statement saying it was "concerned" about recent developments.
NATO called for Russia to reverse its decision on recognition for the two enclaves, both Georgian under international law.
But the new 'president' of South Ossetia, Eduard Kokoyty, called for Russian military bases on his territory.
French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner warned today that an marauding Russian bear could trample over other ex-Soviet states.
"That is very dangerous," he said, pointing at Ukraine and Moldova.
*******
video
*******
[under construction]