The woman behind the camera at Abu Ghraib.
by Philip Gourevitch and Errol Morris
An essay on Sabrina Harman. New Yorker March 24th 2008
Translucent plastic ice bags covered the dead prisoner from the neck down, but his battered, bandaged face was exposed—mouth agape as if in mid-speech. Harman, the aspiring forensic photographer, shot him from a variety of angles, zooming in and out, while Charles Graner swabbed the floor. When he was done, he took a photograph of Harman posing with the corpse, bending low into the frame, flashing her Kodak smile, and giving the thumbs-up with one gloved hand; and she used his camera to take a similar shot of him. After about seven minutes in the shower room, she zipped the body bag shut, and they left.
......later that evening Harman returned to the shower with Frederick to examine the body more carefully. This time, she looked beneath the ice bags and peeled back the bandages, and she stayed out of the pictures.
“I just started taking photos of everything I saw that was wrong, every little bruise and cut,” Harman said. “His knees were bruised, his thighs were bruised by his genitals. He had restraint marks on his wrists. You had to look close. I mean, they did a really good job cleaning him up.” She said, “The gauze on his eye was put there after he died to make it look like he had medical treatment, because he didn’t when he came into the prison.” She said, “There were so many things around the bandage, like the blood coming out of his nose and his ears. And his tooth was chipped—I didn’t know if that happened there or before—his lip was split open, and it looked like somebody had either butt-stocked him or really got him good or hit him against the wall. It was a pretty good-sized gash. I took a photo of that as well.” She said, “I just wanted to document everything I saw. That was the reason I took photos.” She said, “It was to prove to pretty much anybody who looked at this guy, Hey, I was just lied to. This guy did not die of a heart attack. Look at all these other existing injuries that they tried to cover up.”
The next morning, after nearly thirty hours in the shower, the corpse was removed from the tier disguised as a sick prisoner: draped with a blanket, taped to an I.V., and rolled away on a gurney....
He was alleged to have provided explosives for the bombing that blew up the Red Cross headquarters in Baghdad a week before his arrest, and he had died while under interrogation by a C.I.A. agent. Within the week that followed, an autopsy concluded that Jamadi had succumbed to “blunt force injuries” and “compromised respiration”; and his death was classified as a homicide.
Joyner referred to the dead man as Bernie, but Army investigators soon identified him as a suspected insurgent named Manadel al-Jamadi. Jamadi’s C.I.A. interrogator has never been charged with a crime. But Sabrina Harman was. As a result of the pictures she took and appeared in at Abu Ghraib, she was convicted by court-martial, in May of 2005, of conspiracy to maltreat prisoners, dereliction of duty, and maltreatment, and sentenced to six months in prison, a reduction in rank, and a bad-conduct discharge.
Complete Article ..... and pics / videos not for the squeamish
You’re a dangerous dangerous dangerous beauty
If I was your Captain would you salute ,me
You’re a dangerous dangerous dangerous beauty Beauty
Are you one bad apple in a box
DangerousDealing out electric shocks
I saw the gloves coming off
If looks could be killing
I bet you would shoot me
You’re a dangerous dangerous dangerous beauty
Painfuly shamefully doing your duty
You’re a dangerous dangerous dangerous beauty
Jagger / Richards "Dangerous Beauty" on "A Bigger Bang"
Saturday, March 22, 2008
The XXIXth Olympics will boast and host 10,500 athletes, 180,000 accredited staff, 22,000 media, and 230 VIPs. There are seven major venue sites, six outside of Beijing.
The staff of the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Bureau of Consular Affairs have issued a Facts sheet for US visitors to the XXIXth Olympic Summer Games and the Beijing Paralympic Summer Games taking place on August 8-24, 2008, and September 6-17, 2008 - that is when they are not busy looking up the Passport files of Presidential candidates....
This has handy links ;
The Beijing Organizing Committee for the 29th Olympiad Games (BOCOG) website , the Beijing Paralympic Summer Games website for the U.S. Embassy’s Beijing Olympics website and the CDC travelers’ health website . U.S. citizens (or anyone else) planning travel to China should regularly check http://www.travel.state.gov/ for updated travel warnings, alerts or cautions.
Recent violence in Tibet and a purported (and much underreported ) attempt to create an explosion on a passenger plane in flight from western China’s Xinjiang Province to Beijing are good examples of how potentially dangerous events can occur in the run-up to the Olympics.
Privacy & Safety: All visitors should be aware that they have no reasonable expectation of privacy in public or private locations. All hotel rooms and offices are considered to be subject to on-site or remote technical monitoring at all times (ie bugged) . Hotel rooms, residences and offices may be accessed at any time without the occupant’s consent or knowledge. Many hotels and apartment buildings may be of substandard construction, lack emergency exits, fire suppression systems, carbon monoxide monitors and standard security equipment (locks, alarms, and personnel). Americans traveling abroad should be reminded to review fire evacuation procedures for hotels, apartments or offices.
It is little known ,but all major US company staff travelling to China use a special company supplied cellphone, with a blank memory which must be returned and is then shipped to some Federal security department to identify any software loaded during their stay. Staff are provided with clear instructions to minimise phone / e mail contact with the US and not discuss / transmit any confidential commercial information using electronic systems.
Ticket Scams: Those interested in purchasing tickets to the Olympics Games should make sure that they order their tickets from the official Beijing Olympics website or in the United States through CoSport, the designated sales agent.
The Embassy Olympic website is http://beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn/2008olympics.html
The traveller is advised to note the Current Worldwide Caution dated January 17th 2008 ....
"On December 11, 2007, two vehicle-borne explosive devices were detonated at the UN headquarters in Algiers and the Algerian Constitutional Council. Three other suicide bomb attacks in July and September of 2007 in Algeria killed more than 80 people. In July 2007, suspected al-Qaida operatives carried out a vehicle-borne explosive device attack on tourists at the Bilquis Temple in Yemen, which resulted in the deaths of eight Spanish tourists and their two Yemeni drivers. There was a series of bombings in Morocco in March and April 2007, two of which occurred simultaneously outside the U.S. Consulate General and the private American Language Center in Casablanca. Additionally, an attack took place on the American International School in Gaza in April 2007. These events underscore the intent of terrorist entities to target facilities perceived to cater to Westerners. The September 2006 attack on the U.S. embassy in Syria and the March 2006 bombing near the U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan illustrate the continuing desire of extremists to strike American targets. "
For information on what you can do in a crisis and how the U.S. Government can assist you, please see the Department of State webpage on Crisis Awareness.
"Put out the light, and then put out the light"? Massive London protests over Tibetan massacres as the Olympic flame is flaunted
What very expensive cigarette lighter is 72cm long, weighs 985g ,is made of anodised and etched aluminium burns with a 25 cm flame for 15 minutes, will stay alight in 65 km/hr breezes and 50mm of rain but is bright enough to show up on daylight photographs .
Well a clue is that this is intended to embody the ..er.... concept of a green, hightech Olympics.
The Olympic flame (preumably re-fuelled and re-lit every 15 minutes will be carried through London on Sunday April 6th by 80 bearers including runners, buses, cyclists, boats and even the Docklands Light Railway from Wembley to the Millenium Dome (ooops O2 Centre) as part of a global trip of 85,000 miles by 21,880 torchbearers through 135 cities. (map)
What will be more exciting of course are the people on the route who might wish to bring the attention of the world's press / TV to the plight of the ethnic Tibetans in the Western provinces of China.
Up to press 2,000 stout London bobbies are planned for deployment along the 31 mile route - about 1 every 50 yards. However sharp eyed readers will note that this takes place on the first day of the new fiscal year and so the Met's coffers will be full and plenty of overtime will be payable. Luvvly jubbly sarge.
Ideal opportuntity for the Met to try out " their massive security operation " (TM R Murdoch / Times) for the ever popular London Olympics in 4 years time for which preparations are so well advanced.
The route passes by Nelson’s Column, Downing Street and St Paul’s Cathedral. Let's hope protesters don't take the opportunity to cause trouble by showing how occupying powers destroy the lives of the occupied in Tibet , Kosovo, Baghdad, Fallujah Mosul, Basra ......
The flame is lit in Athens tomorrow by International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge, who has resoluteley refused to criticise China's attacks on the protesting Tibetans.
Chinese stop Tiananmen Square live broadcasts during Games.
Beijing Olympic Broadcasting Co.,( BOB) is vast money making joint venture , between Beijing Olympic organizers and an IOC subsidiary which coordinates and provides technical services for the TV networks with rights to broadcast the Olympics, such as NBC.
This week officials with the Beijing Olympics Organizing Committee( BOCOG) told BOB that live shots (stand up shots where the journo speaks to camera) of Tiananmen Square will be cancelled. No explanation was given.
TV networks paid huge amounts for rights to broadcast the games , accounting for more than 50% of IOC's revenues. The biggest spender is NBC. It paid $2.3 billion for the rights for three Olympics from 2004 to 2008 — Athens, Turin and Beijing.
Officials at NBC (owned by General Electric Co.) have so far refused to comment. (AP)
Friday, March 21, 2008
Lord Patel posted Thursday, February 28, 2008 Happy 63rd Birthday SIR PHILIP MARTIN BAILHACHE Bailiff of Jersey to which the most extraordinary comments have been added ... to those interested in that sort of thing ...well these will be the sort of thing that those sort of people will be interested in.
Can what is said about Freemasons on Jersey be true ?Is the Lieutenant Governor of Jersey a Freemason ? Does the Freemasons HQ , on Stopford Road, St Helier hold any secrets ?
Was Sir Philip Bailhache, the Bailiff of Jersey Governor at Haut de la Garenne childrens home ?
Is the person in this Wikipedia photograph of Sir Philip Bailhache the HRH Prince Edward Duke of Kent, Most Worshipful Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, the governing body of Freemasonry in England and Wales, and has served as the Grand Master of the Order of St Michael and St George since 1967.(As was his Dad Prince George Duke of Kent - who died in a mysterious plane crash (Sunderland mark 3, W4026 en route to Iceland) on 25th August 1942 near Cathness -
The Duke of Kent had a long string of affairs with men and women before and during his marriage. The better known of his partners were black cabaret singer Florence Mills, banking heiress Poppy Baring, Ethel Margaret Whigham (later Duchess of Argyll), musical star Jessie Matthews and a 19 year love affair with Noel Coward. (Love letters from the Duke to Coward were stolen from Coward's house in 1942). Allegedly his loins were also known to Sir Anthiony Blunt, art historian, traitor and famed homosexualist and liar) .He is said to have been addicted to drugs , cocaine and morphine and reportedly was blackmailed by a male prostitute to whom he wrote intimate letters. )
This is coincidentally a picture of the Duke from Wikipedia ....
Odd factoid, The Duke of Kent is cousin to both the Queen AND Phil the Greek.
Beech House Private School, Manchester Road, Rochdale are piloting a figerprint recognition system from Rochdale based Timeware UK for registration.Cuye : Pic of happy, beaming, inoccent kids starting out on a life of constant monitoringand control - catch 'em young.
School Bursar Louise Feeney explains that the staff are currently trying them out and then the system will be in use by the children in September. (PDF download of system details)
Heywood Community School have a similiar system in use in the school canteen.
For more information about how children are having their fingerprint used to monitor them go to Leave Them Kids Alone.
UK Schools have already fingerprinted more than two million children, inover 3,500 schools to date, some as young as three. Neither they, nor their parents, were ever asked for their consent. This is part of an insidious softening-up exercise to target society's most impressionable, so they'll accept cradle-to-grave state snooping.
"Whether you volunteer or are coerced on to the ID database, there's no way back. You'll be monitored for life. That's why the government is targeting students and young people, to get them on before they realise what's happening ", says Phil Booth of NO2ID Guradian March 7th 2008
"I have not been able to find a single piece of published research which suggests that the use of biometrics inschools promotes healthy eating or improves reading skills amongst children. I am concerned that these reasons are being given as a justification for fingerprinting children. There is absolutely no evidence for such claims."Dr Sandra Leaton Gray, Director of Studies, Sociology of Education, Homerton College, Cambridge.
Read Daily Mail 11th October 2007 by Sue Reid - The sinister truth about what they do with our children's fingerprints
Chris Bridge, head teacher at Huntington SecondarySchool in York (11 York schools use fingerprints) , said the system was preparing pupils for a world in which terrorism was rife, and their privacy would be further invaded.
Your choice - liberty versus control. Tyranny, from without or by constant domestic authoritative state sanctioned and authorised scrutiny, is still tyranny. Liberty and personal freedom require security without intrusion, security plus privacy.
Widespread surveillance defines the police state. Widespread surveillance defines state control. Conditioning children to he acceptance of permanent progressive instrusion in their lives is a first step.
Resistance must start early, be persistent and total.
Learn more today at Leave Them Kids Alone.
Slip slidin' away ....You know the nearer your destination The more you're slip slidin' away Mmmmm...
God only knows
God makes his plan
The information's unavailable
To the mortal man
We're working our jobs
Collect our pay
Believe we're gliding down the highway
When in fact we're slip slidin' away
Trying to make sense of what is happening in the markets and sense in the response of the authorities 2 items of note appear to identify the approach to moral hazard the bankers take as their jobs, their banks and their incomes slide away.
1. ) The US is financed by foreign purchasers of US treasury Bonds.
In June last year $6,007bn of long-term US debt. (=66% of total US Federal debt) was owned overseas.
The biggest holdings (In descdending order) by country are, in billions: Japan (901), China (870), UK (475), Luxembourg (424), Cayman Islands (422), Belgium (369), Ireland (176), Germany (155), Switzerland (140), Bermuda (133), Netherlands (123), Korea (118), Russia (109), Taiwan (107), Canada (106), Brazil (103).
Last week at the auction only 5% rather than the usual 25% (ish) was bid for. The result was the US$ slid further against the Euro (1.57 - it was parity when the US ilegally invaded Iraq) and cae near parity with the Swiss franc and slid through the Yen 100 barrier.Thevolume of rumour about Gulf States and eastern states jettisoning dollar pegs is rising.
2.) The Treasury Department (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency or OCC)issued a new rule that essentially allows certain national banks to exceed the established limits on lending to any one entity.
"Description of the Interim Final Rule
The interim final rule adds a new § 32.8 that permits an eligible bank,with the written approval of the OCC, to make loans and extensions of credit to one borrower subject to a special temporary lending limit established by the OCC, where the OCC determines that such loans and extensions of credit are essential to address an emergency situation (such as critical financial markets stability), will be of short duration, will be reduced in amount in a timeframe and manner acceptable to the OCC, and do not present unacceptable risk. In granting approval for such a special temporary lending limit, the OCC will impose supervisory oversight and reporting measures that it determines are appropriate to monitor compliance with the standards contained in new § 32.8. The § 32.8 special temporary lending limit is in addition to the amount a national bank may lend to one borrower under § 32.3, i.e., the combined general lending limit
and applicable exceptions."
EFFECTIVE DATE: Effective Date: This rule is effective on March 20, 2008. Comment Date: Comments must be received by April 21, 2008.
Dated: March 17, 2008.
John C. Dugan,
Comptroller of the Currency.
Fuller details are available here at Trading Markets.com
Complete details are in the Federal Register
This adds the fascinating insight to the way this has been rushed out ...
Consistent with section 553(b)(B) of the APA, the OCC finds that good cause exists for a finding that notice and comment is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. As previously described, temporary funding arrangements in emergency situations are critical to maintain the orderly functioning of markets and provide market liquidity. Completion of notice and comment rulemaking procedures prior to issuing this interim final rule would require delaying implementation of the final rule. In the current market environment, such a delay is impracticable and inconsistent with the public interest since it may result in undue constraint on the national banks' ability to perform critical lending and financial intermediary roles which are critical to the orderly functioning and liquidity of markets. Issuance of this interim final rule furthers the public interest because it will provide the OCC with an additional tool that will help ensure the safety and soundness of national banks and liquidity to the credit markets. For the same reasons, the OCC finds good cause to publish this rule with an immediate effective date. See 5
Is it being rushed to retroactively make legal the JP Morgan acquisition of Bear Stearns ?
Does it presage a tsunami of calls as banks deleverage ? If the banks "make loans and extensions of credit to one borrower subject to a special temporary lending limit established by the OCC" and they then go bust and the loan is lost ... ?
Whatever it is, the panic is rising.
Next thing is we nationalise the banks - as the Nordic crisis in the 60's and Northern Wreck.
Good job they have built all those camps for "illegal immigrants" ....
Hundreds seeking housing money overwhelm Boca Authority Palm Beach Post.com
See video report
"Leave or face arrest," police officers shouted at the crowd as they urged them out of the housing authority parking lot. People were made to leave the vicinity altogether, with officers forcing them to cross the street and move toward their cars.
The overwhelming turnout of people desperate for housing money came as little surprise to Suzanne Cabrera, president of the Housing Leadership Council of Palm Beach County.
"This is an indication that housing it's still a huge problem," Cabrera said this afternoon. "It's a reflection of people's concern for housing, their uncertainty. I got people today asking me: was this my last chance to get housing I can afford?"
Yeah ... Good job they have built all those camps for "illegal immigrants" ....
Here is a Review in the New York Times today of "Human Smoke -The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization ",by Nicholson Baker, Published by Simon & Schuster: 576 pp., $30
An inside look at the inexorable march of Britain and the United States toward World War II.
By Mark Kurlansky ( journalist and the author, most recently, of "Nonviolence: 25 Lessons From the History of a Dangerous Idea." )
Not long ago, because there is no winter baseball in this country, I was channel surfing in search of amusement and ended up watching a debate of Republican presidential candidates. Sen. John McCain was attacking Rep. Ron Paul for opposing the Iraq war. He called Paul an "isolationist" and said it was that kind of thinking that had caused World War II. How old, I asked myself, is John McCain, that he is keeping alive this ancient World War II canard? Is it going to pass down to subsequent generations? All wars have to be sold, but World War II, within the memory of the pointless carnage that then became known as World War I, was a particularly hard sell. Roosevelt and Churchill did it well, and their lies have been with us ever since.
Nicholson Baker's "Human Smoke" is a meticulously researched and well-constructed book demonstrating that World War II was one of the biggest, most carefully plotted lies in modern history. According to the myth, British and American statesmen naively thought they could reason with such brutal fascists as Germany's Hitler and Japan's Tojo. Faced with this weakness, Hitler and Tojo tried to take over the world, and the United States and Britain were forced to use military might to stop them.
Because Baker is primarily a novelist, it might be expected that, having taken on this weighty subject, he would write about it with great flare and drama. Readers may initially be disappointed, yet one of this book's great strengths is that it avoids flourishes in favor of the kind of lean prose employed by journalists. "Human Smoke" is a series of well-written, brilliantly ordered snapshots, the length of news dispatches. Baker states that he wanted to raise these questions about World War II: "Was it a 'good war'? Did waging it help anyone who needed help?" His very effective style is to offer the facts and leave readers to draw their own conclusions.
The facts are powerful. Baker shows, step by step, how an alliance dominated by leaders who were bigoted, far more opposed to communism than to fascism, obsessed with arms sales and itching for a fight coerced the world into war.Anti-Semitism was rife among the Allies. Of Franklin Roosevelt, Baker notes that in 1922, when he was a New York attorney, he "noticed that Jews made up one-third of the freshman class at Harvard" and used his influence to establish a Jewish quota there. For years he obstructed help for European Jewry, and as late as 1939 he discouraged passage of the Wagner-Rogers bill, an attempt by Congress to save Jewish children.
British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain said in 1939 of German treatment of Jews that "no doubt Jews aren't a lovable people. I don't care about them myself." Once the war began, Winston Churchill wanted to imprison German Jewish refugees because they were Germans. What a comfort such leadership must have been to the Nazis, who, according to the New York Times of Dec. 3, 1931, were trying to figure out a way to rid Germany of Jews without "arousing foreign opinion."
Churchill is a dominant figure in "Human Smoke," depicted as a bloodthirsty warmonger who, in 1922, was still bemoaning the fact that World War I hadn't lasted a little longer so that Britain could have had its air force in place to bomb Berlin and "the heart of Germany." But no, he whined, it had to stop, "owing to our having run short of Germans and enemies."
Churchill was not driven by anti-fascism. In his 1937 book "Great Contemporaries," he described Hitler as "a highly competent, cool, well-informed functionary with an agreeable manner." The same book savagely attacked Leon Trotsky. (What was wrong with Trotsky? "He was still a Jew. Nothing could get over that.") Churchill repeatedly praised Mussolini for his "gentle and simple bearing." In 1927, he told a Roman audience, "If I had been an Italian, I am sure that I should have been entirely with you from the beginning to the end of your victorious struggle against the bestial appetites and passions of Leninism."
Churchill considered fascism "a necessary antidote to the Russian virus," Baker writes.
In 1938, he remarked to the press that if England were ever defeated in war, he hoped "we should find a Hitler to lead us back to our rightful position among nations."As Baker's book makes clear, between the two World Wars communism, not fascism, was the enemy. David Lloyd George, who had been Britain's prime minister during World War I, cautioned in 1933, the year Hitler came to power, that if the Allies managed to overthrow Nazism, "what would take its place? Extreme communism. Surely that cannot be our objective."
Even more than the communists, Churchill's enemy No. 1 in the 1920s and early '30s was Mohandas Gandhi and his doctrine of nonviolence, which Churchill warned "will, sooner or later, have to be grappled with and finally crushed."
In the 1930s, U.S. industry was free to sell the Germans and the Japanese whatever they'd buy, including weapons. Not to lose out, the British and French sold tanks and bombers to Hitler. Calls by Joseph Tenenbaum of the American Jewish Congress to boycott Germany were ignored. There was no attempt to contain, isolate, hinder or overthrow Hitler -- not because of naiveté but because of commerce.
It was the Depression. There were Germans trying to overthrow Hitler, but the U.S. and Britain and their industries were obstructing that effort.Baker shows that the Japanese, as early as 1934, were complaining that Roosevelt was deliberately provoking them. In January 1941, Japan protested the U.S. military buildup in Hawaii. Joseph Grew, our ambassador to Japan, reported rumors that the Japanese response would be a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.
Yet according to World War II mythology, America was blissfully sleeping, unprepared for war, when caught by surprise by the dastardly "sneak attack." (Isn't it curious that Asians carry out "sneak attacks," whereas Westerners launch "pre-emptive strikes"?)***
A year earlier, Baker shows, Roosevelt began planning the bombing of Japan -- which had invaded China, but with which we were not at war -- from Chinese air bases with American planes and, when necessary, American pilots. Pearl Harbor was a purely military target, but Roosevelt wanted to bomb Japanese cities with incendiary bombs; he'd been assured that their cities would burn fast, being made largely of wood and paper.Roosevelt evinced no desire to negotiate. In fact, Baker writes, in October he "began leaking the news of his new war plan," with $100 billion earmarked for airplanes alone. Grew again warned Roosevelt that he was pushing Japan toward armed conflict with the United States, but the president continued his war preparations.
Finally, the night before the Japanese attack, Roosevelt sent a message to Emperor Hirohito calling for talks. He read it to the Chinese ambassador, remarking that he thought the message would "be fine for the record."
People are going to get really angry at Baker for criticizing their favorite war. But he hasn't fashioned his tale from gossip. It is documented, with copious notes and attributions. The grace of these well-ordered snapshots is that there is no diatribe; you are left to put things together yourself. Read "Human Smoke." It may be one of the most important books you will ever read. It could help the world to understand that there is no Just War, there is just war -- and that wars are not caused by isolationists and peaceniks but by the promoters of warfare.
*** We have Mr Blair and others to thank for the notion of "liberal intervention" - bombing civilised nations from 20,000 feet.
The New York Times Robert Pear in November 1992:
A State Department official who carried out the two-day search of passport files for information about Gov. Bill Clinton said today that he had resigned, just 48 hours before Federal investigators are expected to issue a report criticizing the search.
The official, Steven M. Moheban, was a top aide to Elizabeth M. Tamposi, the Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs who was dismissed last week by President Bush for her role in the search of files on Mr. Clinton, his mother, Virginia Kelley, and Ross Perot, the independent Presidential candidate.
"I resigned Monday," said Mr. Moheban, a 30-year-old native of Nashua, N.H., Ms. Tamposi's hometown. "I no longer work for the State Department." (a political appointee who had served as her special assistant since July 1990. )
Mr. Moheban said he had not been asked to resign but had stepped down voluntarily to "pursue business opportunities in the private sector."
Ms. Tamposi has said that White House officials encouraged the search of Mr. Clinton's records and that her superiors approved it. The inspector general has interviewed White House officials. But it is not clear whether he will assign any responsibility for the search to senior officials at the White House and the State Department, or will merely focus on Ms. Tamposi and lower-ranking employees.
Senior management at the State Department learned that the three workers at three locations accessed Obama's information on Jan. 9, Feb. 21, (3 days before the funny pics) and March 14, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters on a conference call last night.
"Our initial view is this was imprudent curiosity on the part of these three individuals," McCormack said. Still, he said, the State Department was taking steps "to assure ourselves that it is nothing more than that."
Barack Obama's campaign tonight is demanding a full investigation of reports that his passport files at the State Department were viewed without authorization.
and as a post scriptum
Maura Harty (born c. 1959) is the current US Asst. Secretary of State for the Bureau of Consular Affairs ,(The office that supervises issuing passports) a post she has held since 21st November 2002 after agreat deal of delay and criticism. She had previously been Executive Secretary, essentially serving as Secretary of State Colin Powell's gatekeeper and running his executive office. She is a career Foreign Service Officer , although the Assistant Secretary position is a presidential appointment. In November 2007, Harty announced that she will resign the Assistant Secretary position and retire from the Foreign Service in early 2008.
Last June there was much public anguish (delayed weddings etc.,) as there was a delay in issuing 2 Mn. passports as Harty's office had prepared for 16.2 million passport applications this year, but that number proved too low by roughly 1.5 million. As the office is still playing catch up, it is likely that they are still hiring temporary / agency staff.
UPDATE 21st 5.00pm EST : Yesterday, it was revealed that Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) passport files breached three times in the past three months. Today, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told “Sen. Hillary Clinton that the security of her passport file were breached in 2007.” In a State Department press briefing today, spokesman Sean McCormack said that Sen. John McCain’s passport info had also been accessed by one of the people who looked at Sen. Obama’s file.
UpdateRep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) sent a letter to Rice today requesting the name of the companies that hired the contractors that breached the files.
UpdateAccording to MSNBC's David Shuster, the employee who accessed both Obama and McCain's files was only suspended, not fired. Two other contractors were fired for accessing Obama's files.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
E.ON - world's largest private-sector energy services company has £18Mn Lottery Grant for wood burning power plant opened today at Lockerbie
October 25th 2005 - Lord Patel posted this news ...
E.ON is to build the largest dedicated UK biomass power station in Lockerbie in Scotland. Work on the innovative 44 Mw power station will commence in late 2005 to go on stream at the end of 2007. The EUR 130Mn (£89Mn) investment by the German company, the world's largest private-sector energy services company, will be built by a consortium of the Norwegian company Kvaerner Power, part of the Aker Kvaerner group and Siemens.
The Big Lottery Fund, supported the development of the new biomass plant with a grant of £18m from the Bioenergy Capital Grants Scheme (approx 25% of cost)
PA report yeserday - Largest biomass power station opened
The UK's biggest wood-fired power station has been formally opened by the First Minister Alex Salmond who hailed it as a green energy milestone.
The Steven's Croft biomass power station at Lockerbie will produce enough power to supply up to 70,000 homes, more than 17 times the population of the Border town.
The 44-megawatt station burns forestry left-overs and specially-grown willow, helping jobs and saving up to 140,000 tonnes a year of greenhouse gases.
How curious there was no mention of of the 25% Lottery funding!!!!!!! - The project will also benefit from support through the Renewables Obligation (Scotland) Order.
More details of the plant here and here and from E.ON here Scottish Government Press Release
'We know that Iraq has at least seven mobile, biological agent factories ...These are sophisticated facilities. For example, they can produce anthrax and botulinum toxin. In fact, they can produce enough dry, biological agent in a single month to kill thousands upon thousands of people.'
Remarks to the UN Security Council by Colin Powell, 5 February, 2003
BND President August Hanning wrote to CIA boss George Tenet on Dec. 20, 2002. The information provided by "Curveball," Hanning wrote, "was in essence judged as plausible and convincing, but it couldn't be confirmed."
"Curveball" is an Iraqi who lives quietly in southern Germany,with his wife and children. He will soon be a naturalised German citizen.
Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), gave the Bush administration critical , questionable information about Saddam's alleged mobile biological weapons laboratories which was derived from information that "Curveball" had supplied.
Their sole source was a quiet, slim and thoughtful Iraqi engineer educated in the West who had sought asylum in late 1999. He tells Lord Patel he was interviewed at least 50 times.
Lawrence Wilkerson, aide and now public apologist for Colin Powell says the BND "did not just send their information about Curveball as a chance operation. It was carefully considered what they sent to us, each and every word was weighed very carefully."
David Kay former US weapons inspector in Iraq criticises how BND handled "Curveball." Their rejection of CIA requests to be allowed to question "Curveball" directly, prevented a proper evaluation of what he was saying. "That was dishonest, unprofessional and irresponsible."
Yeah ... and the antics of Mr. Feith and the Stovepipe Gang was honest, professional and responsible . Mr Chalabi is a man of Honour , a model of integrity and probity. As was his Iraqi National Congress who introduced an Iraqi major, introduced to the Defence Intelligence Agency who claimed before the war that Iraq did have mobile laboratories.
Casting about for scapegoats, the CIA are about to unleash a storyboard of how "Curveball" fooled the BND ...... and how they fooled the CIA.... and why Colin Powell was primed to reveal to the waiting world the Winnebagos of Death.
Which turned out to be UK supplied trucks, made by Marconi to produce hydrogen for radio sounding balloons for use in artillery telemetry - Artillery Meteorological System or Amets for short in 1987 ... and for which Saddam never paid.
Oz girl makes good, Patricia Hewitt leaves NHS in disarray to join UK's 2nd largest Healthcare group, Boots and BT.
Patricia Hewitt, a surprisingly youthful 59, sometime member of Parliament for East Leicester, who as Health Minister handed out monster contracts under Connecting for Health, worth over £2.1bn to BT for construction of a national data spine ( delayed, over budget and beset with problems), will soon be picking up £60,000 a year as a BT non executive (and mainly non-working) Director.
The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, an independent parliamentary body that advises ministers and civil servants, have said she should not conduct any lobbying of government for 12 months from the date of her departure from government.
She is already a "special consultant" to Boots, the High Street pharmacists.
She also graces the boardroom of private equity company Cinven as a "senior advisor", which bought BUPA's UK hospitals for £1.44bn (€2.13bn) on 18th June 2007 - 1.544 acute beds and assets comprise 25 acute care hospitals located throughout the UK, and a treatment centre in Redhill. Employees total approximately 5,800 of which 3,300 are clinical staff. 2007 revenues are forecast to be £457m with normalised EBITDA* of £100.2m.
This added to the already owned Partnerships in Care (“PiC”), the UK’s leading provider of specialist mental health and related services which operates 940 beds in its 17 facilities around the UK.
To this was added less than one month later on July 10th, of Spanish group USP Hospitales for €675 million (£462 million) - which operates 33 facilities, including 13 hospitals, 3 ASCs, 1 imaging centre and 16 outpatient centres (with over 1,300 beds and over 2,000 physicians under contract) .
The Group, now called Spire Healthcare , on February2nd, took over Classic Hospitals, the 6th largest hospital group in the UK whose operations consist of 10 hospitals with 369 beds around the North and South East of England as well as two off-site consulting rooms and more than 2,000 employees. Spire paid £145 million (€214 million) for Classic Hospitals.
This makes Spire Healthcare the 2nd largest private hospital provider in the UK.
Kinnockite, Blairite and Harriet Harmannite she was hugely successful in introducing a smoking ban in public places .. which means no doubt that the booze 'n' fags industry won't be laying out the red carpet for her. Her remarks concerning the sailoress kidnapped by the Iranians, does however ensure her of a place in the voluminous annnals of stipudity .."It was deplorable," pronounced our grey haired, tight-lipped, double breasted Health Secretary, "that the woman hostage should be shown smoking. This sends completely the wrong message to our young people."
Should she need medical attention she might be well advised to stay away from an NHS hospital.
U.S. Sen. David "Poopy Pants" Vitter is making his first visit to Afghanistan this week as part of a congressional delegation with U.S. Sen. John Barrasso R. Wyo. He visited Iraq in 2006 and 2007.
Curiously in the Press Release from John Barasso's office - "Barrasso in Afghanistan to Thank Troops" he forgets to mention that Vitter accompanied him but did mention Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defense, Mr. Robert Hood was with the delegation
Here is an Audio clip which provides a useful insight into current conditions in Afghanistan where troops have been stationed for 13 months.
A major concern of the troopers from Wyoming was news of The Wyoming Cowgirls who finished the season with a 24-6 record, and were selected to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. They all wanted to know more about Hanna Zavecz 2007-8 All American Candidate
“Every Wyoming soldier I met with in Afghanistan talked about the Cowgirl basketball team,” Barrasso said. “We are all so proud of what they have accomplished this year. Their hard work and dedication led to the one of the most successful seasons in the history of the program. I know they will continue to make us all very proud.”
Poopy Pants better hadn't try it on with her...
Major design changes are to be made to the wing box in Boeing's stalled Dreamliner 787 . This is a major structural component section inside the fuselage where the two wings are joined and acts to hold the plane's wings in place so they don't fold up in flight (it also inorporates a fuel tank) . This is made made by Fuji Heavy Industries at a plant in Nagoya, Japan.
The center wing box was the first large part to be assembled, in June 2006 at the Fuji plant in Nagoya. It has a composite skin and is roughly 17.5 feet long (5.5 m) and 19 feet wide (7.0m).
As part of the assembly, the center wing box is attached to the main landing-gear as well, which is made in a nearby plant in Nagoya by Kawasaki. The completed assembly is then flown from Nagoya to Charleston, S.C., the fuselage assembly hub for the 787.
The Japanese structures, including a section of the forward fuselage made by Kawasaki, are integrated in Charleston with two center fuselage sections made by Alenia of Italy. The entire fuselage section is then flown to Boeing's Everett plant for final assembly.
After 2 delays already announced, no deliveries are being expected to customers in 2008 with some estimates of last quarter 2009 before customers take delivery. (last forecast was 109 planes in 2009)
The changes will also require retrofits to the first several 787s produced, so that Boeing will have to go back and rebuild parts of the planes already assembled.
As a result the certification timeline is still uncertain, as the first plane has yet to fly, and the large number of 787s sold at low prices, combined with rising recurring costs, are steadily eating away at program margins and long-term program profitability.
Steven Udvar-Hazy, chairman and founder of International Lease Financial Corp., (74 Dreamliners on order, 1st delivery already set back 9/ 12 months to late 2010 or early 2011,) said at JPMorgan's aviation and transportation conference in New York on Tuesday that these further delays will push out the aircraft's maiden flight to the fall, three months beyond Boeing's schedule. He added that after its first flight, it could take Boeing an additional year to have the Dreamliner certified.
Hazy also told the conference that the proposed 787-10, a stretched version of the plane that Boeing eventually plans to develop, will require a new center section, a redesigned wing and higher-thrust engines as well as stronger landing gear.
This points both to the concerns of the all up weight discussed in the December web conference and follow on concerns about the landing gear.
Singapore Airlines inaugurated their daily London / Singapore Airbus 380 route on Tuesday. All Singapore Airlines 19 Airbus 380 's are powered by Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines, is the largest and one of the most powerful engines produced by Rolls-Royce, it is the quietest and cleanest engine for the A380.
In Beijing the new hangar that can accommodate four Airbus A380s, or other widebodies, simultaneously has been opened by Ameco Beijing. The hangar, inaugurated on March 19, is 350 meters long and 110 meters wide, a total 70,000 square meters at Beijing Capital International Airport.
UPDATE 25th March 2008 Daily Telegraph reports that Virgin are in discussions with Boeing over the 787 - 9' s with extended range that they have ordered. Propects for the derivative -9 and - 10's are lookong increasingly further down the track.
Tour operator First Choice and British Airways, which has 24 787s on order, also face delivery delays
Heparin contaminant is a modified cheap diet supplement for joint pain - "it didn't come straight from the pig"
The Food and Drug Administration stated yesterday that a contaminant - over-sulfated chondroitin sulfate, a substance derived from animal cartilage, found in recalled batches of the blood-thinner heparin was deliberately altered in a way that mimicked the real substance.
Janet Woodcock, head of the FDA's drug division, said the substamce was not medically approved ***and was a lower cost product than heparin. Chondroitin sulfate is sold as a cheap and widely used dietary supplement in it's unmodified form to relieve joint pain or osteoarthritis - often with glucosamine.
"It does not appear to be a natural contaminant that got in there. We don't know how it was introduced or why," she said. Woodcock noted that the over-sulfated substance was deliberately processed and chemically modified so it would act like heparin - "It didn't come straight from the pig".
In some samples of Baxter's active ingredient, the contaminant made up between 2% and 50% of the total material, Dr. Woodcock said.It is heparin sold by Baxter that has resulted in the reports of over 700 adverse reactions and 19 deaths.
The FDA could not say whether iot was added by mistake or to lower costs.
Lord Patel's favourite Senator, Iowan Republican Charles Grassley, ever alert to the malign forces at work in commerce , said the investigation has "provided additional evidence of the need for a robust foreign inspection program within the Food and Drug Administration."
In fiscal 2007, there were a total of 714 Chinese facilities making drugs or drug ingredients for the U.S. market.
Charles Hubbard who was head of the FDA intil 2005 is reported in WAPO saying , "I have no doubt that there are other contaminated or counterfeit drugs like heparin coming into the country, because there's really no system in place to stop them,"
This case mirrors the discovery last year that Chinese suppliers had put low cost melamine into gluten used by American pet food manufacturers to make animal food appear more nutritious. Thousands of American pets became sick or died as a result. Which as far as Lord Patel is concerned is good. The only good dog is a dead dog - 4 legged shit machines.
*** Chondritin sulphate is approved for use in Europe as a symptomatic slow-acting drug for ostearthritis (SYSADOA) with evidenced efficacy and safety demonstrated by clinical trials in osteoarthritic patients. This also provides reference for chemical purity.
The bioavailability of chondroitin sulfate ranges from 15% to 24% of the orally administered dose.
The rationale behind the use of chondroitin sulfate is based on the belief that osteoarthritis is associated with a local deficiency in some natural substances, including chondroitin sulfate.
There is no proof that either glucosamine or Chondritin sulphate , taken singly or in combination, will actually slow the degenerative process or restore cartilage in arthritic joints. A recent a recent study by ConsumerLab.com in the US showed that almost half of the glucosamine/ chondroitin supplements tested did not contain the labelled amounts of ingredients.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
BoE confirms 314 mln stg use of its credit facility
(Thomson Financial) - August 22 nd 2007 - The pound fell after the Bank of England confirmed it lent £ 314 Mn. from its standing lending facility yesterday, the first occasion the facility has been used since credit market conditions tightened abruptly last month.
The facility, which allows banks in urgent need of short-term credit to borrow from the BoE at 6.75 pct, 100 basis points above base rate.
The BoE did not disclose who the borrower was, and did not say whether the loan was taken out by a single bank.
UK mortgage banks Northern Rock and Bradford Bingley, named as possible borrowers by traders, both denied they took out the loan, as did Lloyds TSB, Alliance & Leicester, and Abbey, the UK lender owned by Banco Santander Central Hispano of Spain.
Barclays declined to comment, while HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, HBOS, and Standard Chartered were not immediately available to comment.
This is what Lord Patel Posted ......
The Federal Reserve seems to be manufacturing an impressive supply of "greater fools" to go along with the dribs'n'drabs of credit that it is dropping into the sucking chest wound that the economy has become for the body politic. The Fed's idea, I suppose, is that if they lend a little money to the geniuses who engineered the latest (and probably last) bubble of the cheap oil age to cover their present losses, then the US economy will "right itself." What I think they don't get is that finance has virtually become the US economy -- if you subtract it, there is nothing left besides hair-styling, fried chicken, and colonoscopies. By "righting the economy" do people mean the ability to keep running a transparently fraudulent set of rackets that have nothing whatever to do with financing real productive activity?
By "greater fools" I mean, of course, buyers willing to step up and purchase securities that other people are shedding as if they were smallpox blankets. But even the Fed's supply of greater fools may prove insufficient when it becomes evident how much bad paper really is out there, and how it has been allowed to contaminate every tradable niche in the banking and investment house of horrors. I don't think we've begun to hear the disclosures.
........Personally, I don't quite get how a financial industry based on bad loans would be helped by borrowing more money to bail out a hopelessly unwinding Ponzi loan racket of the type the industry had engineered for itself -- but maybe I'm lacking the gene for financial creativity that the Bear Stearns bonus babies were all born with.
Today the ultimate and truly savage irony is that those paper peddlers were truly fucked over as they took their bonuses in Bear Stearns stock.... and of course on August 4th 2007 CEO Warren Spector checked out the door. Cashing in on the way out.
Neil Munro drowned but Dorset Chief Constable Martin Baker says death not suspicious and anxious to point out he had no head injuries - so that's OK
Insp Neil Munro , 43 with 20 years service in the Dorset Police, left his home , Mel ,his 33 year old wife and 21 month old son Jack, at around lunchtime on Wednesday, 12th March. His dead body , fully clothed, wearing a rucksack ,was found washed up on Thursday on the Sandbanks, Poole Harbour in his pockets were his warrant card and a ticket for the Poole / Cherbourg ferry. The body was found at approximately 8.00 am on the beach of Panorama Road (Millionaire's Row) mansion, owned by Rochdale born , David Russell, chairman of the £100 million Manchester based Property Alliance Group.
John Newton, of the Sandbanks Neighbourhood Watch team, said it was the first time he had heard of anyone drowning on that side of the peninsula in 15 years. Ken Coffin, 89, who has lived on Sandbanks since 1947, said: "It was a shock to hear of a body being washed up."
He had boarded a ferry sailing from Poole to Cherbourg at 11:45pm the previous night. Last week Brittany Ferries confirmed a foot passenger of the same name boarded the Barfleur (1,200 passengers 520 cars 580 ft long) on Wednesday night. No one was reported overboard and the boat was examined by Police when it returned to Poole the following day. There are CCTV cameras on board the ship, they do not record (!). Apparently there is no count of passengers on and off.
The Coroners inquest yesterday was told that the post - mortem revealed the cause of death was given as drowning . Sheriff Payne adjourned the inquest to a later date.
The court was told he was known to be suffering from chronic depression. No press reports give the author of this information, it's source, or if any evidence , or witness was provided to substantiate the claim. (UPDATE Thursday The Daily Echo Monday 17th said Headline "Inquest hears of inspector’s stress" - (Coroner's officer ) Mr Jeneson said: "The inspector was known to be suffering from chronic depression and was last seen at lunchtime. The PA report used the phrase "chronic depression".) Evidently someone supplied Mr Jeneson with that information.
The Chief Constable of Dorset, Martin Baker, has denied reports that Insp Munro had a head injury and said there was no evidence to suggest his death was suspicious. Press reports do not make clear when this denial was made and under what circumstances. Several Press reports at the time the body was found referred to head injuries.
A very lengthy book of Remembrance in the local Dorset Echo newspaper a testament to an evidently well liked and respected officer.
Dorset Police and the Masons
Connections between the Masons and the law / Police are not new but a website http://www.dorsetvictimsupport.org/main.html Creation Date: 2001-11-05 17:16:56 - Registrar: Moniker Online Services Inc. (R145-LROR) located in the US provides a great deal of information. There is also http://www.dorsetpolice.net/ and http://www.dorsetpolice.org/ which verge on the green biro in capitals brigade and seem to revolve around a greivance real or imagined of a Gerry Coulter and a stolen motor car.
Several people come in for scrutiny by this obsessive ...
Creepy Conservative MP Oliver Letwin (also non executive director of N.M. Rothschild Corporate Finance Ltd ) an Etonian like David Cameron whom he backed, has disappeared from the Conservative Front Bench and now performs in newly created role of Chairman of the Policy Review. ON Question Time in January this year he declared he was an atheist.
Michael G Taylor CBE - Chairman of Dorset Police Authority a retired Brigadier also on Immigration Appeal Tribunal, and the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal allegedly a mason.
It may be of interest to know what was discussed during exempt business of the
PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS AND DIVERSITY COMMITTEE on FRIDAY, 27 July 2007
13. COMPLAINTS AGAINST MEMBERS OF THE FORCE
(i) The Deputy Chief Constable to report on the current situation relating to the
following complaints (attached):
IPCC Managed Case: MI/118/06
Supervised Cases of Interest – New: CO/136/07
Supervised Cases of Interest – Updated: CO/168/06
Managed Cases – Updated: MC/021/04
Other Cases of Interest – Updated: CO/011/04, CO/253/05,CO/100/06, CO/237/06,CO/234/06
Other Cases of Interest – New: CO/93/07, CO/76/07,
(ii) To consider a summary of complaints recorded since April 2007. Members
to inform themselves of the manner in which complaints from members of
the public against members of the Force have been dealt with by the Chief
Peter Harvey - Clerk to the Police Authority , Former Chief Executive of Dorset County Council, Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Director of Dorset Training and Enterprise, Dorset Business Link, Dorset Chamber of Commerce ... which give some substance to the websites claims about the incestuous relationship of much of what goes on in Dorset.
Amity Lodge #137.Poole and Lodge #4355 Branksome appear to be the place where the most defamed police officers etc., roll up their trouser legs and get out their pinnies.
UPDATE : Thursday .The Funeral took place Thursday Dorset Police Chief Constable Martin Baker was among the mourners. The service was followed by a private family burial at Bournemouth Crematorium.
Dead men, especially cremated ones tell no tales.
Mitrovica attack on UNMIK Police Station on 4th birthday of Mitrovica ethnic / religious cleansing - 1st death of UN forces
Kynol Iyor was 25 when arrived in Kosovo on December 17 th 2007 as a member of the Ukrainian Formed Police Unit part of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in the Kosovo (UNMIK) Police force. An unmarried man he had left behind his mother and sister in Ternopol (twinned with Yonkers NY) in the West of Ukraine.
Last Friday 14th March last Friday a mob of about 300 protesters, who had formed outside the UNMIK courthouse in North Mitrovica, illegally stormed it and overwhelmed the defending Police forces. Such demonstrations had become a weekly event and it was said that this was not " spontaneous, women and children were sort of out in front."
Over the weekend 40 or so people , some identified by UNMIK as Serbian Ministry of Interior officers remained and occupied the building.
On Sunday morning Principal Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General Larry Rossin consulted Lt.-Gen. Xavier Bout de Marnhac of of the NATO forces in Kosovo (COMKFOR)and Police Commissioner Larry Wilson. Talks were also held with Serbian Minister for Kosovo , Slobodan Samardzic . Rossin authorized the operation that took place early Monday morning to reassert control of the courthouse and to, " re-establish legality and law and order in North Mitrovica at the courthouse."
This caught the occupiers literally napping , initially there was no resistance and the intention was to transfer them to Pristina, and where appropriate prosecute them.
Outside however a mob developed , initially attacking with rocks, then Molotov cocktails (home made petrol bombs) and the Police and KFOR troops surrounding the complex came under direct gunfire and hand grenade attack. It was 4 years ago to the day that the Albanians commenced driving Serbs out of Kosovo when an 18-year-old Serb, Jovica Ivić, in the village of Čaglavica in central Kosovo.
As a result of this attack 42 UNMIK Police officers were injured now scattered in hospitals across Kosovo and 32 of the court occupiers were temporarily detained, processed and then released back to north Mitrovica. At least one UN vehicle and a KFOR truck were destroyed after being set on fire.
Kynol Iyor took the full force of a grenade blast. The gunfire had prevented his evacuation for over 2 hours. Despite later heroic efforts by French KFOR medical doctors in the French camp he simply bled to death.
The first, a violent and bloody death of many more that will follow from the insane acceptance of Kosovan independence by the US and it's allies.
An un-named Serbian member of KPS Nenad Pupovac (Police) , who was said to be off duty received a head bullet wound initially treated at north Mitrovica hospital, he was later evacuated to a Belgrade hospital - nothing is known about his condition.
UN Press conference 18th March transcript
Also SE Asia Times
The events of March 2004 Amnesty reported resulted in, at least 19 dead - 11 Albanians and 8t Serbs -- and over 1,000 were injured while some 730 houses belonging to minorities, mostly Kosovo Serbs, as well as 36 Orthodox churches, monasteries and other religious and cultural sites were damaged or destroyed.
There are many galleries of the destruction of Serbian homes, and orthodox churches, monasteries and community buildings and of attacks on civilians. Start here.
Obama - He wants the White vote - the Black Vote - The Jewish Vote - but he ain't lookin' for the Moooslim vote
"But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial. They weren’t simply a religious leader’s effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam. "
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Duck ! David Shayler - corkscrew trails and non flying into tower planes - 9/11 - I am the Messiah - Parts 1,2,3
Been using the corkscrew too often...
Reuters You Witness news is for members of the public to send in their pics /news to Reuters e.g today there are shots of Lhasa from a traveller etc., . (Note Lord Patel caption wrong. Again. 6 x 500lb bombs = 3,000lbs not 2,000 lbs)
Airpower summary for March 10th
This picture could well be the event reported laconically as ... "In Iraq, an Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped GBU-38s onto an enemy building and conducted a show of force in the vicinity of Baghdad. "........"Furthermore, an Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon performed a show of force in the same area. The missions were reported as successful by the JTAC.
Just ready to post this and then up pops this report with the above photograph ... and two more
US Department of Defense news
U.S. Bomber Destroys Al Qaeda in Iraq Jail, Torture Facility
By Tech. Sgt. Joel Langton, USAFSpecial to American Forces Press Service March 11th
WASHINGTON, March 11, 2008 – Three buildings that had served as an al Qaeda detention and torture facility were destroyed yesterday by a U.S. military bomber.
An al Qaeda in Iraq torture compound and prison in northern Zambraniyah, Iraq, is destroyed after being hit with six 500-pound precision-guided bombs dropped from a U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber March 10, 2008. Photo by Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway, USAF
A B-1B Lancer bomber used six 500-pound, global positioning system-guided bombs to level the compound located in Zambraniyah, a village south of Baghdad, according to officials. “The precise targeting, synchronized employment and focused effects that eliminated these facilities demonstrate the outstanding capability our integrated ground and air team brings to this fight every day,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Gass, commander of 379th Expeditionary Operations Group.
The targeted compound consisted of three main buildings along with several smaller shelters. It was apparent that terrorists had used the facility as a place to hold and torture captives, officials noted, citing a post-attack discovery of handcuffs attached to walls -- several of which were blood-splattered -- and bare wires plugged into nearby electrical outlets.
“This (air strike) removes the last remnants of al Qaeda from this area,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Mark Solomon, 6th Squadron, 8th U.S. Cavalry, commander.
Aubid Abdalla was kidnapped and held for 15 days in the now-destroyed al Qaeda prison, but later escaped. He said he witnessed the deaths of a young boy and an old man during his captivity and that it was a new day for the village as he looked into the bomb’s craters. “We all feel good,” Abdalla, a former Iraqi Army intelligence officer, said. “It’s a dark past that is gone.”
JTAC Air Force Senior Airman Joseph Aton said he was glad he played a role in the destruction of the al Qaeda jail and torture facility. “It was great to be part of this,” Aton, a controller who assisted in coordinating the path of the B-1’s precision-guided munitions, said. “You can tell the people were happy to have this place gone, and it was awesome to make a difference for them.”
The mission’s objective was twofold, explained Air Force Lt. Col. John Nichols, 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron director of operations and coordinator of the sortie.
First, to destroy facilities used to illegally detain, falsely convict, and torture innocent Iraqi civilians; second, to bring closure to friends and families of the victims. There is more....
PS : How the house survived with the shiny photgenic handcuff shot hanging is not explained ... not much left standing round Daniel String 1st Class Airman.
Maybe ,we thought ,this picture might also deter folks from torturing.
.... or make these folks think exactly what they are doing after 5 years in Iraq.
“Words can never replace the loss many Iraqi families suffered, but we’re honored to have been part of a mission to help rid Iraq of al Qaeda operatives,” Nichols said.
The successful mission also “strengthens and reminds the local leadership and Iraqi people that we are dedicated to the elimination of al Qaeda in Iraq,” the colonel added. ...
JTAC Air Force Senior Airman Joseph Aton said he was glad he played a role in the destruction of the al Qaeda jail and torture facility. “It was great to be part of this,” Aton, a controller who assisted in coordinating the path of the B-1’s precision-guided munitions, said. “You can tell the people were happy to have this place gone, and it was awesome to make a difference for them.”
Several questions arise ...
1. No dead bodies ?
2. Handcuff pics ? They look really real.
3. How come the Daily Airpower Summary never mentioned this great feat of military derring do ?
Then a little more digging by our archival retrieval staff ;
On the Operation Iraqi Freedom Multin National Force March 7th - 3 days previously we find ;
Soldiers Find, Raid AQI Torture House in Northern Zambraniyah Friday, 07 March 2008 - By Multi-National Division - Center
With some interesting pictures - which bear a striking resemblance to one's taken AFTER the March 10th bombing.
The attached news story is very revealing ..
Members of a ‘Sons of Iraq’ (SoI) group led Coalition forces to an al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) torture house and prison in northern Zambraniyah, March 5.
The patrol was conducted based on intelligence provided by an SoI leader in the area, said Capt. Chris O’Brian, troop commander of Troop C, 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, currently attached to 2nd BCT, 3rd Inf. Div.
“The guy wants to clean up the area,” said O’Brian, a native of Herndon, Va. “AQI killed half his family.” The SoI leader, who heads a group of 300 SoI, worked with his men in support of Troop C Soldiers on the patrol.
The patrol began early in the morning as Soldiers cleared houses in an area suspected of harboring insurgents, said O’Brian. There's more ....
O’Brian said they discovered hand cuffs, an electrocution system consisting of bare wires linked to an on / off switch running to handcuffs on a window bar, and hanging hooks used for humans.
Twelve interrogation books written in Arabic were found along with several sets of female clothing. A bloody handprint was also present.
But they didn't take photographs of those.
Now you tell us - why did the bomb the fucking place with 3,000 lbs of HE ? Was that part of the reconstruction effort ? No-one captured, building destroyed and it seems the military forces were led to it by Members of a ‘Sons of Iraq’ (SoI) group.
Doin' a great job.
As ...JTAC Air Force Senior Airman Joseph Aton said, .... he was glad he played a role in the destruction of the al Qaeda jail and torture facility. “It was great to be part of this,” Aton, a controller who assisted in coordinating the path of the B-1’s precision-guided munitions, said. “You can tell the people were happy to have this place gone, and it was awesome to make a difference for them.”
If you really really wanted to destroy the place maybe a few well placed explosive charges would be cheaper, more effective ...but hell, it wouldn't be as much fun to comb and bomb the shit out of the place 3 days later, get the pictures through to Reuters and circulate 2 bogus news stories telling everyone what a great jobs our lads are doing.
UPDATE : 7.00 pm GMT 18-3-08 : Someone points out it is like blowing up the German eagle at the MUnich Olympic stadium - as a result the perps get away and this results (ABC Australia)
Five beheaded in Al Qaeda attack on Iraq village: police Posted Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:22am AEDT
Suspected Al Qaeda militants have attacked a village in Diyala province north of Baghdad and beheaded five members of a local group fighting the jihadist network, police have said.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Najim al-Sumaidaie said the militants raided the village of Benizad, south of the provincial capital Baquba, and attacked a newly created outpost of a local anti-Al Qaeda 'Awakening' group.
Air head, frail looking but glamourous and gamin Yvette Cooper (Minister for something way beyond her competence at the Treasury) is telling us on the BBC 4 " World at One " that the (fudged and fiddled) rising levels of inflation (2.2% Jan 2.5% Feb) were exactly as predicted.... referring to what Gypsy Petulengro Darling said last week. This she attributed to the global "credit crunch" - i.e furriners. That she talks absolute bollocks is to be expected but a mention of record grain prices, commodity prices, and oil might just possibly have played a teensy weensy part, maybe eh! Yvette?
But not what Lordy Lord "Don I gotta Winner" King of the Bank said at the Mansion House 16th June 2007... 9 months ago.
"Our central view remains that inflation will fall back this year as the rises in domestic gas and electricity prices last year drop out of the annual comparison, and the recent cuts in prices feed through to household bills."
The Department of Engineering Science was first established at Oxford by Professor Frewen Jenkin, after whom whom the Jenkin Building is named - the department celebrates it's Centenary this year.
His grandson is Patrick Jenkin, 84 now Baron Jenkin of Roding of Wanstead and Woodford in Greater London. He took over Winston Chrichill's seat at Woodford from 1964 -1974 and was briefly Minister for Energy. Under Thatcher he held many posts and was finally shunted off to the Lords in 1987.
He is chairman of the Foundation for Science and Technology and his son, Bernard Jenkin, 49 is the Conservative MP for North Essex
Tomorrrow he is down to ask ask in the House of Lords, " what efforts Her Majesty’s Government are making to respond to the challenge stated on page 113 of the Energy White Paper of January 2008 to meet the need for skilled workers in the nuclear industry."
This probably refers to (page 101) :
7.25 - In December 2002 we published the results of a nuclear and radiological skills study. Although there is no immediate, general skills shortage, some shortages do exist, particularly in safety case production and radiological protection; there are problems associated with an ageing workforce; competition for engineering and science skills; and uncertainty about the future of nuclear power. In response, a task group is being formed across the sector to develop and implement a workforce development strategy.
The footnotes gives the reference for this study as - www.dti.gov.uk/energy/nuclear/skills/index.shtml - which if you try accessing responds , " Forbidden: Execute access is denied."
There is however NUCLEAR AND RADIOLOGICAL SKILLS STUDY Report of the Nuclear Skills Group 5th December 2002.27 pages pdf
The deand for suitably qualified staff was calculated as follows on Page 8 (this was 6 years ago) :
1.12 - To put these figures into perspective, 15,500 graduates required by the power, fuel, defence and clean up sub-sectors over the next 15 years equates to approximately 1,000 graduates per year. Of these, 700 are replacements for retirements and 300 are a response to growth of nuclear clean up. By comparison, the sector’s 2001 graduate recruitment target was approximately 5604.
1.13 - Considering the major engineering and physical science disciplines from which these graduates must be recruited (mechanical, electrical, electronic, civil and chemical engineering, physics and chemistry), in 1994 some 18,000 students were accepted to study these subjects at Higher Education Institutes. By 2001 this figure had fallen to 13,250, a fall of 26% in eight years. Noting also that these figures do not take account of students who fail to graduate or choose an alternative career on graduation, if these trends continue, of a rising demand and a falling supply, the nuclear and radiological sector may be seeking to recruit the equivalent of 10% of all UK engineering and physical science graduates in 10 years’ time, even though the nuclear sector constitutes less than 1% of the national labour market engaged in engineering activity.
It must be remembered of course that any such study was undertaken 6 years ago and the caluclations on demand did NOT include the need to build at least 6 Nuclear power stations. Therefore the claim that " no immediate, general skills shortage" in the early part of this year was total bollocks. Shortages exacerbated by limited prospects and the repeated indecision of the Government to develop a nuclear policy.
The 2002 report also stated :
Nuclear Education in HEIs: A common view amongst employers is that they need generalist engineers and physical scientists who can be given specialist in-house training in nuclear technology. As a consequence, there is a low demand for specialist nuclear education in HEIs. This has two effects:
* The ability to deliver postgraduate nuclear education is diminishing and will be lost if corrective action is not taken.
* The ability to deliver nuclear modules in undergraduate education is diminishing; hence few undergraduate students are exposed to the challenges a career in the sector may offer.
This is Chris Vernon of Oil Drum's presentation of the future of electricity produced by nuclear power based on known output ( Hinkley and Heysham are out and will be for some time as they have an identical problem wich they don't even know how to resolve)
The 2002 report Conclusion (Page 12) should be quoted in extenso ;
ENGINEERING AND PHYSICAL SCIENCE
2.2 The nuclear and radiological sector is a sub-sector of engineering and physical
science but, as Roberts identified: “the declining numbers of mathematics, engineering and physical science graduates is starting to result in skills shortages.” The challenge facing the nuclear and radiological sector is therefore two fold:
· To collaborate with other sectors to jointly increase the size of the engineering
and physical science skilled population; and
· To recruit those people needed by the nuclear and radiological sector from the
engineering and physical science skilled population.
2.3 Key factors that hinder recruitment and retention are:
· Short-termism : Employers tend to plan between 3 and 5 years ahead, whereas
the lead-time for skill development is often between 5 and 10 years, or more.
· Communication: The sector has a difficult communication challenge inherent
with the language used in the sector, emotional fears of the effects of the
technology and a defensive stance brought about by hostile media.
· Profile: The profile of engineering and physical sciences in general, of nuclear
and radiological technology in particular, and the state of the sector (winter, spring
etc) has a significant impact on recruitment and retention.
· Pay: Relative pay is both a disincentive to joining the sector and a lure to leave,
eg to the finance and insurance sectors. The relationship between remuneration
and attraction is not a simple one however, and issues such as status, stimulation
and career development influence people’s choice of career.
· Indecision: Potential recruits to the sector perceive an industry fraught with
indecision, which is detrimental to recruitment, eg: ‘no new build but keep the
option open’, ‘consider safe-store and defer decommissioning’, ‘long consultation
periods are necessary before commencing decommissioning’.
· Transferability: Skills developed in the nuclear and radiological sector are readily transferable to other sectors but the reverse invariably requires significant additional training. Transferability compounds recruitment and retention as skilled people can be easily redeployed, either individually or by employers, in response to perceived poor remuneration or indecision in future programmes.
Further to this grim prospect of shortage of nuclear power and nuclear engineers the Government / British Energy have just made it known , "The Board of British Energy Group plc notes the recent speculation about apossible transaction involving the Company. The Board announces that the Companyis in discussions with interested parties in the context of its future and itsplans to take a pivotal role in any new nuclear programme."
This involves the UK Government offloading some or all of their 32.5% share - which if bought could precipitate a bid for the whole company.
French State owned EDF, German power companies E.ON and RWE with little experience of nuclear power are said to be interested as is Centrica who are essentially a gas supply company although UK based.
The German news paper Die Welt have just announced RWE AG plans to offer 2.5 billion euros (US$3.9 billion £2 Bn. ) for the U.K. government's stake in British Energy Group Plc.
FOOTNOTE from Day 1 it took 15 years before terminal 4 was open for use at Heathrow. What is basically a big shed.
So go back and look at Chris Vernon's nuclear cliff and see that by 2020 we wil bwe relying upon the Hinkley and Heysham power stations which currently each have 2 reactors shut.
Lord Jenkins will get a wad of waffle about a task group is being formed across the sector to develop and implement a workforce development strategy. Which means they have done fuck all. Mainly because to teach people about nuclear power , you need teachers, they need resources - there aren't any of either and no plans to put them in place ... and as a large proportion of engineering undergraduates are from overseas, it is not unlikely that many that we would train would return to their home countries, where they are installing nuclear plants .. India, Czech Republic, Bulgaria.
UPDATE 18th March 3.15 GMT : The HSE have produced reports on their safety assessments ...as have the Department of Environment ... Tucked away in their report on Page 3 of the EDF / AREVA proposal is this little gem..
"As identified in the Government's consultation document and White Paper on nuclear power, an
'energy gap' is likely to occur in the UK between 2016 and 2022. For nuclear power to play a role in addressing this gap, generic design assessments need to be completed by 2010 – 2011 (to allow time for subsequent site-specific permitting and construction). We will work together with HSE to achieve this. The Government has established a prioritisation process so that they can recommend to the regulators which of the designs that have been through the preliminary stage of GDA should continue to the detailed assessment stage. This process is expected to be completed by May 2008.
Smells like panic is setting in.