29 October, 2006

No Aircraft Carriers in the Gulf?

<img src="http://www.unconfirmedsources.com/ads/add5.gif" align="right">

Subject: Your post on US naval forces in the Gulf region

Mr. Herz: I'm writing to correct the record regarding your post titled "A
perfect recipe for disaster..." in which you discuss naval forces in the

There are currently no aircraft carriers in the Gulf.

USS Eisenhower is currently in the Mediterranean Sea ... not the Gulf ...
and has recently been in port Cyprus.

USS Enterprise is not in the Gulf, either, and hasn't been for almost a
week. USS Iwo Jima is in the Gulf, but it is not an aircraft carrier ...
it is an amphibious assault ship, and it primarily carries Marines.


Re: Attack on Baghdad US base falcon

Wed 11 oct

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posted by u2r2h at Sunday, October 29, 2006 0 comments

26 October, 2006

CHENEY SPEECH Decoded -- 'Uncle Richards horror-fairy-tale'


> recognize the basic role of government
> in a free society.

yes! that of regulating the market,
and creating a level playing field

> Nobody can sit in an
> office in Washington, D.C. and simply
> decide to create prosperity.

Why not? The government can print money and
make everyone work. The trouble is that the
USA government creates all money for weapons,
to protect the few opulent against the masses
of the poor. Worldwide.

> What we
> can do, and must do, is create an
> environment that gives consumers the
> confidence to spend, savers the
> confidence to save, and entrepreneurs
> the confidence to invest, to expand
> their businesses and to hire new
> employees.

Confidence trickster?

> And one of the surest ways
> to create that climate is to leave as
> many resources as possible in the hands
> of the people themselves.

I think he means "people like him". He doesn't
mean the "man in the street who has no job
security or guaranteed pension because his
big private-owned money-'institute' can fold
up tomorrow, eh Enron?"

> reduce tax on dividence and capital gains
> Laughter and applause

Cheney and the investor-class, the OWNERS
are richer than ever. But the amount of
people living in poverty has stayed the same
since the 1960s, and in fact is increasing.

> over the last three years. And over
> three trillion dollars in new wealth
> has been added to the stock market.

3000 billion. Or

3 000 000 000 000 dollars. Divided by 300mio US citizens
/ 300 000 000
=10 000 dollars per person, grandma & pop, children & all.

And who are the OWNERS of this 'wealth' in the stockmarket?
Banks, Corporations and Gates, Buffett, Waltons.

THE REST OF THE SPEECH IS Confidence Trickster talk and
selective quoting of 'numbers'. Promising tax-reduction
to lure the gullible poor who have nothing to gain.

> By the year 2030, spending
> for Social Security, Medicare, and
> Medicaid alone will amount to almost 60
> percent of the entire federal budget.

A clever lie.

He means the so-called 'discretionary' federal budget.
If you count the ACTUAL BUDGET..the military and
the fascist institutions of control get nearly all

> .. September 11th 2001.

yep. This mass-murder must be mentioned to frighten us
into submission. The trouble is: It was an inside job.
Lets see how he wriggles himself out of this hole.

> Thinking about 9/11 still moves all of
> us -- because the attack was directed
> at all of us. We were meant to take it
> personally, and we still do take it
> personally.

Ve don't Sink!
Ve are in blind rage!!

Here Cheney launches into a the fantastic
'Uncle Richards horror-fairy-tale'..,
which, if you can stand the mind-fuck
is worth reading in full.

See how many (implied and actual) lies you can count.

> The enemy, also, took note of the
> anniversary. For the terrorists, it was
> a day for rejoicing -- for celebrating
> once again the suffering and death of
> 3,000 innocent men, women, and
> children.

Fact: our special-ops killed the 3000,

> This year Osama bin Laden's
> second-in-command used the anniversary
> to issue more words of hatred for this
> country, and more threats of murder.
> And once again, all of us were reminded
> of the kind of enemies we face, the
> beliefs they hold, and the ambitions
> they want to achieve.

Fact: The US corporations are powerful
and have big ambitions.

> Our country has never before had to
> confront adversaries like these. They
> have no standing armies or navies. They
> wear no uniform and recognize neither
> the conventions of war, nor any rules
> of morality. Their method of fighting,
> which they have practiced and
> proclaimed, is to organize in secret,
> to slip in among civilian populations,
> and to take as many innocent lives as
> possible. The terrorists are willing to
> die in that effort -- indeed, while
> civilized societies uphold justice,
> mercy, and the value of life, these
> terrorists hold to an ideology that
> feeds on the pain of others and
> glorifies in murder and suicide.

Fact: The US killed hundreds of thousands
with modern weaponry.

> Though they plot and plan and operate
> by stealth, the terrorists make no
> secret of the beliefs they hold. They
> seek to impose a dictatorship of fear,

Fact: The US *is* imposing a dictatoship of fear

> under which every man, woman, and child
> would live in total obedience to a
> narrow and hateful ideology. This
> ideology rejects tolerance, denies
> freedom of conscience, and demands that
> women be pushed to the margins of
> society. As was clear when the Taliban
> held power in Afghanistan, beliefs of
> this kind can be imposed only through
> force and intimidation, so those who
> refuse to bow to the tyrants will be
> brutalized or killed.

Fact: The USA killed more Afghanis and
Afghani women than all warlords.

> The terrorists also have a set of
> objectives. They want to seize control
> of a country in the Middle East, so
> they have a base from which to launch

Fact: The USA has over 600 foreign bases.

> attacks and to wage war against anyone
> who refuses to meet their demands.

Fact: The USA attacked Afghanistan and Iraq.

> They believe that by controlling one
> country, they will be able to target
> and overthrow other governments in the
> region, and eventually to establish a
> totalitarian empire that encompasses a
> region from Spain, across North Africa,
> through the Middle East and South Asia,
> all the way around to Indonesia.

Fact: These countries are not endangered

> They have declared, as well, their ultimate
> aims: to obtain chemical, biological
> and even nuclear weapons, to destroy
> Israel, to intimidate all Western
> countries, and to cause mass death in
> the United States.
> The terrorists regard the entire world
> as their battlefield. That is why al
> Qaeda has operatives in Iraq right now.
> They want to breed chaos, bring down a
> newly elected government, and gain a
> foothold for terror and the oil wealth
> to finance it. Americans are fighting
> there, and in Afghanistan, because our
> security depends on it. Having
> liberated those countries from tyranny,
> we will not now permit new
> dictatorships to seize power and give
> terrorists a base of operations.
> There is still hard work ahead, and we
> have no illusions about the cruelty of
> our enemies. As the President has said,
> the terrorists will continue to have
> the coward's power to plant roadside
> bombs and to recruit suicide bombers.

Fact: The USA can kill from space.

> And you will continue to see the grim
> results on the evening news. This
> proves that the war is difficult, but
> it does not mean that we are losing.
> There's been more violence in Baghdad
> recently, and much of this is because
> Coalition and Iraqi forces have been
> conducting more focused operations --
> going into the most violent areas to
> disrupt al Qaeda, capture enemy
> fighters, go after the bomb makers, and
> break up the death squads.
> Another reason for the increase in
> attacks is that the terrorists want to
> influence public opinion right here in
> the United States. It's odd to think of
> ideologues out of the dark ages having
> a modern media strategy, but the fact
> is they do. They take videos of their
> attacks and put them up on the Internet

Fact: Some videos are faked. (agent provocateur)

> or get them broadcast on television.
> They send messages and images by email,
> and tell their followers to spread the
> word. One recent propaganda message
> said the goal was to "carry out a media
> war that is parallel to the military
> war." This is reminiscent of a message
> Osama bin Laden sent after 9/11 --
> vowing to wage, and again I quote, "a
> media campaign, to create a wedge
> between the American people and their
> government."

Fact: The USA is governed by corporations.

> Bin Laden himself calls the fight in
> Iraq the "third world war." There, and
> elsewhere, the terrorists know they
> cannot hope to beat us in a stand-up
> fight. They never have. But they are
> absolutely convinced they can break the
> will of the American people. They base
> that view, in part, on the history of
> the 1980s and the 1990s, when they
> concluded that if they killed enough
> Americans, they could change American
> policy. In Beirut in 1983, terrorists
> killed 241 Marines with a suicide truck
> bomber. Thereafter, U.S. forces
> withdrew from Beirut. In Mogadishu in
> 1993, terrorists killed 19 American
> soldiers. Thereafter, U.S. forces
> withdrew from Somalia. The attacks
> continued: the bombing at the World
> Trade Center in 1993; the attack on the
> Saudi National Guard Training Center in
> Riyadh in 1995; the attack on Khobar
> Towers in 1996; the simultaneous attack
> on our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania
> in 1998; and the attack on the USS Cole

Fact: All these attacks have unclear circumstances.
For example an FBI agent provided the 1993 WTC
bombs, a former egypt military-intelligence agent.

> in 2000. So they kept at it because
> they believed they could strike America
> without paying a price, and eventually,
> of course, struck us here in the
> homeland on 9/11.

Fact: 9/11 was an inside job.

> And bin Laden
> continues to predict that the people of
> the United States simply do not have
> the stomach to stay in the fight
> against terror.
> For the sake of our own generation and
> the ones that follow, we have a clear
> responsibility to press on in this
> fight. Our goal in Iraq is victory --
> with a nation that can govern itself,
> sustain itself, and defend itself. In
> terms of how to carry out the mission,
> General Pace, the Chairman of the Joint
> Chiefs of Staff, put it best: From a
> military standpoint, he said, every day
> is reassessment day. We will be
> flexible. We'll do all we can to adapt
> to conditions on the ground. We'll make
> every change that is necessary to do
> the job, to finish the job, and to
> bring our troops home with the honor
> they've earned. When it comes to our
> own troop levels, President Bush will
> make that call, and he'll do it based
> on the commanders and what they believe
> is necessary for victory. He'll make
> the decision that best serves the
> national interest, without regard to
> poll numbers, armchair generals, or
> artificial time lines set by
> politicians in Washington, D.C.
> America is helping Iraq and Afghanistan
> on the journey of democracy because we
> are a nation that keeps its word.

Fact: The USA-admin never keeps its word.
Kyoto, Reactors for N-Korea,

> And we believe that the spread of democracy

Fact: Gore won. Bush's 500 votes were not allowed
to be recounted. Illegally the federal court
took the matter away from the Florifa court.
2 judges had personal interest...
Kerry won, too. Voting machine fraud.

> and hope are, in the long run, the best
> way to defeat the ideologies of
> violence, resentment, and terror. By
> standing with our friends, we are
> making a better day possible in the
> broader Middle East, and helping to
> build a safer, more peaceful world for
> our children and our grandchildren.

Fact: The USA has killed more Iraqi children
than Saddam and all wars combined.

> The United States of America is a good
> country. It's a generous country, a
> decent, idealistic, and compassionate
> country. We are doing honorable work in
> a messy and a dangerous world. We are
> defended by heroes. And the brave
> Americans on duty in this war can be
> proud of their service for the rest of
> their lives.

Fact: Veterans are not happy, and not really proud.

> If we have learned anything from modern
> experience, it is that we have to stay
> on the offensive until the danger to
> civilization is removed. This requires
> moving forward on many fronts at the
> same time -- from using financial
> tools, to diplomatic pressure, to a
> sustained, multilateral effort to fight
> the proliferation of sophisticated
> weapons.

Fact: USA-corps uses financial tools to
their advantage and and uses
sophisticated weapons to threaten.

> We also place the highest priority on
> intelligence, in order to figure out
> the intentions of an enemy that very
> likely has combatants right here inside
> the United States. We live in a free
> and open society, and the terrorists
> want to use those advantages against
> us. And so we have an urgent duty to
> learn who they are, what they are
> doing, and to stop them before they can
> strike again.
> The best source of information,
> obviously, is the terrorists
> themselves. When we pick up somebody on
> the battlefield, or track them down in
> a safe house, we want to find out what
> they know. So the President directed
> the CIA to set up a detainee program to
> question the terrorists.

Fact: The USA-admin tortures.

> This program has saved American lives.

Fact: Torture does not work.

> We'veobtained extremely valuable
> information, for example, from Khalid
> Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11.

Fact: KSM is an agent. He is not a mastermind.

> Earlier this year, the Supreme
> Court ruled the detainee program could
> not go forward without explicit
> legislation. Fortunately for the
> country, Congress passed that
> legislation, and the President signed
> it into law just last week.

Fact: It is unconstitutional.

> We've also gained critical information
> from the terrorist surveillance
> program, which the President authorized
> in the days immediate after 9/11. On
> occasion you will hear this called a
> domestic surveillance program or
> eavesdropping. That is more than a
> misnomer; it is a flat-out falsehood.

Fact: US internal phones are tapped all the time.

> We are talking about international
> communications, one end of which we
> have reason to believe is related to al
> Qaeda or to terrorist networks. And
> it's hard to think of any category of
> information that could be more
> important to the safety of the United
> States. And the activities that are
> conducted under this operation have
> helped to detect and to prevent
> terrorist attacks against the American
> people.

Fact: None of the 'prevented attacks' were
anything but fantasies.

> If you'll recall, the 9/11 Commission
> focused criticism on the nation's
> inability to uncover links between
> terrorists at home and terrorists
> overseas. The term that was used is
> "connecting the dots" -- and the fact
> is that one small piece of data might
> very well make it possible to save
> thousands of lives. If this program had
> been in place before 9/11, we might
> have been able to prevent it because we
> had two terrorists living in San Diego,

Fact: They were paid agents.

> contacting terrorist-related numbers
> overseas. The very important question
> today is whether, on five years'
> reflection, we have yet learned all the
> lessons of 9/11.
> In the decade prior to those attacks,
> our country spent more than two
> trillion dollars on national security.
> Yet we lost nearly 3,000 Americans that
> morning at the hands of 19 men with box
> cutters and airline tickets. These
> enemies have intelligence and
> counterintelligence operations of their
> own. They take their orders from
> overseas. They are using the most
> sophisticated communications technology
> they can get their hands on. Since 9/11
> they have successfully carried out
> attacks in Casablanca, Jakarta,
> Mombassa, Bali, Riyadh, Baghdad,
> Istanbul, Madrid, London, Sharm
> al-Sheikh, Bombay, and elsewhere. Here
> in the U.S., we have not had another
> 9/11. No one can guarantee that we
> won't be hit again. We know they're
> still trying.
> To have come this far without another
> attack is no accident. A lot of things
> can go wrong in a war. Yet candor also
> permits us to recognize that many
> things have gone right. We've been
> protected by sensible policy decisions
> by the President, by decisive action at
> home and abroad, and by round-the-clock
> efforts on the part of people in the
> armed forces, law enforcement,
> intelligence, and homeland security.
> And, ladies and gentlemen, I want you
> to know that we're not going to let
> down our guard. The President is
> serious about the threat and serious
> about his duty to protect the country.
> He will not relent in the effort to
> track the enemies of the United States
> with every legitimate tool at his
> command.
> As many of you know, I had the honor of
> serving as Secretary of Defense at the
> time the Cold War ended. I worked for
> and with a number of Cold War
> presidents, and I'm a great admirer of
> the man who lived in the White House
> when the struggle began -- Harry S.
> Truman. I was interested to learn from
> Truman's biography that the Cold War
> was an expression he never much cared
> for and seldom used. He called it "the
> war of nerves." And if you think about
> it that's a description of the kind of
> challenge America is now facing. The
> war on terror is a test of our
> strength, a test of our capabilities
> and, above all, a test of our
> character. And I have never had more
> confidence in the nerve and the will of
> the American people. We love our
> country, only more when she is
> threatened. We know that the hopes of
> the civilized world depend on us. Our
> cause is right; it is just; and this
> great nation will prevail.
> Thank you very much. (Applause.)

The HOPES depend on us?
You mean we tell them what to strive for and
then conquer their minds, WE prevail?


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posted by u2r2h at Thursday, October 26, 2006 0 comments

24 October, 2006

2006 midterm elections -- Bush party predicted to loose big time

u2r2h -- USA 2006 election VOTE PREDICTIONS
Predict the result of the November 7, 2006 elections in the USA. The GOP (Republicans, Bush-party) will ...

Win by a big margin. Vote fraud was why.
Win by a big margin. The electronic voting machines counted correctly.
Win by a very slim margin. Vote fraud.was why.
Win by a very slim margin. The electronic voting machines counted correctly.
Loose by a very slim margin, despite of widespread vote fraud
Loose by a very slim margin. The electronic voting machines counted correctly.
Loose by a big margin. Despite widespread vote fraud.
Loose by a big margin. The electronic voting machines counted correctly.

Required Reading:


Required Listening:


small mp3 download in which Mark Crispin Miller explains what needs to be done:

  1. hand counted paper ballots
  2. uniform standard for voting procedures
  3. instant run-off voting
  4. make it illegal to be a secretary of state and a co-chair of a political campaign
  5. total ban on the participation of private vendors in our electoral system

TUC Radio has many more great programmes and needs your support.
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posted by u2r2h at Tuesday, October 24, 2006 2 comments

23 October, 2006

It is often lawful to sabotage the US military machine

(please pass this on!)

Putting the State on Trial

Protesters who have damaged military equipment are walking away from the

by George Monbiot

October 20, 2006

The Guardian

In the early hours, two days before the attack on Iraq began, two men in
their thirties, Phil Pritchard and Toby Olditch, cut through the fence
surrounding the air base at Fairford in Gloucestershire and made their way
towards the B52 bombers which were stationed there. The planes belonged to
the US air force. The trespassers were caught by guards and found to be
carrying tools and paint(1). They confessed that they were seeking to
disable the planes, in order to prevent war crimes from being committed.
This year they were tried on charges of conspiracy to commit criminal
damage, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. Last week, after
long deliberations, the jury failed to reach a verdict.

The same thing happened a month ago. Two other activists - Margaret Jones
and Paul Milling -had entered the same RAF base and smashed up over 20 of
the vehicles used to load bombs onto the B52s. The charges were the same,
and again the jury failed to agree(2). In both cases the defendants
claimed to be putting the state on trial. If I were in government, I would
be starting to feel uneasy.

The defendants had tried to argue in court that the entire war against
Iraq was a crime of aggression. But in March this year the Law Lords ruled
that they could not use this defence: while aggression by the state is a
crime under international law, it is not a crime under domestic law(3).
But they were allowed to show that they were seeking to prevent specific
war crimes from being committed - principally the release by the B52s of
cluster bombs and munitions tipped with depleted uranium.

They cited section 5 of the 1971 Criminal Damage Act, which provides
lawful excuse for damaging property if that action prevents property
belonging to other people from being damaged, and section 3 of the 1967
Criminal Law Act, which states that "a person may use such force as is
reasonable in the prevention of a crime". In summing up, the judge told
the jurors that using weapons "with an adverse effect on civilian
populations which is disproportionate to the need to achieve the military
objective"(4) is a war crime. The defendants are likely to be tried again
next year.

While these non-verdicts are as far as the defence of lawful excuse for
impeding the Iraq war has progressed in the UK, in Ireland and Germany the
courts have made decisions - scarcely reported over here - whose
implications are momentous. In July, five peace campaigners were acquitted
after using an axe and hammers to cause $2.5m worth of damage to a plane
belonging to the US Navy. When they attacked it, in February 2003, it had
been refuelling at Shannon airport on its way to Kuwait, where it would
deliver supplies to be used in the impending war. The jury decided that
the five saboteurs were acting lawfully(5).

This summer, the German Federal Administrative Court threw out the charge
of insubordination against a major in the German army. He had refused to
obey an order which, he believed, would implicate him in the invasion of
Iraq. The judges determined that the UN Charter permits a state to go to
war in only two circumstances: in self-defence and when it has been
authorised to do by the UN Security Council. The states attacking Iraq,
they ruled, had no such licence. Resolution 1441, which was used by the
British and US governments to justify the invasion, contained no
authorisation. The war could be considered an act of aggression(6).

There is no prospect that the British prime minister could be put on trial
for war crimes in this country (though as the international lawyer
Philippe Sands points out, there is a chance that he could be arrested and
tried elsewhere(7)). Even so, the government appears to find these legal
processes profoundly threatening.

When the Fairford protesters took their request to challenge the legality
of the war to the court of appeal, Sir Michael Jay, permanent
under-secretary at the Foreign Office, submitted a witness statement which
seems to contain a note of official panic. "It would be prejudicial to the
national interest and to the conduct of the Government's foreign policy if
the English courts were to express opinions on questions of international
law concerning the use of force ... which might differ from those
expressed by the Government." Such an opinion "would inevitably weaken the
Government's hand in its negotiations with other States. Allied States,
which have agreed with and supported the United Kingdom's views on the
legality of the use of force, could regard such a step as tending to
undermine their own position."(8)

It doesn't seem to matter how many journalists, protesters or even lawyers
point out that the British government had no legal case for attacking
Iraq, that the Attorney General's official justification was risible and
that Blair's arguments were mendacious. As long as the government has a
majority in parliament, the support of much of the press and an army of
spin doctors constantly weaving and re-weaving its story, it can shrug off
these attacks. It can insist, with some success, that we "move on" from
Iraq. But an official verdict, handed down by a court, is another matter.
If a ruling like that of the German Federal Administrative Court were made
over here, it could be devastating for Blair and his ministers.

The prosecutors have lost before. In 1999, a sheriff (a junior Scottish
judge) at the court in Greenock instructed the jury to acquit three women
who had boarded a Trident submarine testing station on Loch Goil and
thrown its computers into the sea. They had argued that the deployment of
the nuclear weapons the submarines carried contravened international law.
The sheriff said she could not "conclude definitively" whether or not this
was true, but that she had "heard nothing which would make it seem to me
that the accused acted with criminal intent"(9). The court of session in
Edinburgh later overturned her ruling. Now campaigners against nuclear
weapons will be mounting further legal challenges, as they try to sustain
a continuous peaceful blockade of the Trident base at Faslane for a year
(see www.faslane365.org).

In 1996, four women were acquitted of conspiracy and criminal damage after
disabling a Hawk jet which was due to be sold by BAE to the Suharto
dictatorship in Indonesia. They argued that they were using reasonable
force to prevent crimes of genocide that the Indonesian government was
committing in East Timor(10). Their acquittal might have helped persuade
Robin Cook to seek to introduce an "ethical dimension" to foreign policy
in 1997 (he was, as we now know, thwarted by Blair).

It is true that such verdicts (or non-verdicts) impose no legal
obligations on the government. They do not in themselves demonstrate that
its ministers are guilty of war crimes. But every time the prosecution
fails to secure a conviction, the state's authority to take decisions
which contravene international law is weakened. These cases cannot reverse
the hideous consequences of the crime of aggression (the "supreme
international crime", according to the Nuremberg tribunals) that Mr Blair
and Mr Bush committed in Iraq. But they do make it harder to repeat.

George Monbiot's book Heat: how to stop the planet burning is published by



1. See http://www.b52two.blogspot.com/

2. See http://www.bristol.indymedia.org/newswire.php?story_id=25379

3. House of Lords, 29th March 2006. Judgments - R v. Jones (Appellant).


4. See

5. Indymedia Ireland, 25th July 2006. Not Guilty. The Pitstop Ploughshares
All Acquitted on All Charges.


6. Justus Leicht, 27th September 2005. German court declares Iraq war
violated international law


7. John Crace, 14th February 2006. Philippe Sands: Weapon of mass
instruction. The Guardian.

8. Sir Michael Hastings Jay, 29th June 2004. Witness Statement: R v Jones
and Milling, Olditch and Pritchard, Richards.

9. See http://www.tridentploughshares.org/article1080

10. George Monbiot, 30th July 1996. Hawks and Doves. The Guardian.


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posted by u2r2h at Monday, October 23, 2006 0 comments

20 October, 2006

Chavez, Chomsky and State Terrorism

by Frederick H. Gareau (Wednesday October 18 2006)

"...the American people want to know more about what their government does
in their name, and in a democracy, a free media should be able to address
this issue."

I first discovered that Noam Chomsky was one of the foremost experts on
state terrorism, if not terrorism in general, when supervising a Ph D
dissertation on the former subject. The doctoral candidate could not find
anyone else in the department to assume the job. After several revisions
in which, among other changes, the candidate was required to abandon a
harsh leftist presentation in favor of softer academic discourse, his
dissertation was accepted. I left this experience intrigued by the subject
and impressed by Chomsky's bravery in accusing Republican and Democratic
administrations in Washington of supporting state terrorism.

Before 9-11, I too wrote a book on Washington's support for state
terrorism. My book's evidentiary base was principally the six truth
commission reports then available on five terrorist-beset countries that
had received aid and support from Washington. These reports were chosen
principally because each was based on thousands of interviews of the
victims of terrorism, in the hope that a skeptical American audience would
believe empirically quantified results.

A compilation of the testimony of those interviewed in each of the six
reports revealed that the overwhelming percentage of the terrorism in each
of the five countries was state terrorism committed by the government or
agents it controlled, not private terrorism carried on by the guerrillas.
In Guatemala, the commission appointed by the United Nations concluded
that 93 percent of the terrorist acts, including 92 percent of the
murderous ones and 91 percent of forced disappearances were committed by
the government or its agents. The report on El Salvador charged the
government and those it controlled with 95 percent of the terrorist acts
resulting in death and the guerrillas with the remaining five percent.
This evidence exposed as lies the claims of the governments that the
guerillas were committing the bulk of the terrorism. The reports also
concluded that the overwhelming number of those terrorized by their
governments were ordinary workers, peasants, or the like, rather than
terrorists and/or communists, as Americans had been led to understand.

Washington had used "communist terrorism" as an excuse to aid what were in
actuality terrorist governments.

A few days ago, President Chavez of Venezuela waved a book written by
Chomsky at his United Nations audience. Before 9-11 and even after it,
this expert on terrorism has been rarely seen on television or referred to
in the print media. But after Chavez's performance at the UN, sales of the
waved book climbed. They surged to number one on Amazon's best seller
list, and Chomsky's publisher decided to print an additional 25,000 copies.

Clearly, the American people want to know more about what their government
does in their name, and in a democracy, a free media should be able to
address this issue.


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posted by u2r2h at Friday, October 20, 2006 0 comments

19 October, 2006

The Power of Nightmares



Adam Curtis: "I'm a modern journalist."

By Hannah Eaves and Jonathan Marlow

May 30, 2005 - 7:17 AM PDT

"I don't think I make documentaries."

Any avid reader of Greencine's various online presences will be aware that we have been promoting the work of BBC film essayist Adam Curtis with gusto. Only last week, David D'Arcy questioned Curtis on the politics behind his most recent series, The Power of Nightmares, which just screened at Cannes.

Before beginning his stint at the BBC, Curtis taught politics at Oxford, moving over to television when he became overwhelmingly bored. Since his move he has produced many successful non-fiction series for several different departments there. Pandora's Box looks at the intimate relationship between science and politics over the last fifty years. The Mayfair Set follows four eccentric leaders of the free market who came to dominate British and world politics in the 60s and 70s and who also happened to frequent the same private casino in Mayfair. The Century of the Self takes as its starting point the establishment of the first PR company by Sigmund Freud's nephew and follows the mutations of large scale psychological manipulation to the present day as manifest in the all-powerful political focus groups of the 90s. The Power of Nightmares compares the parallel story lines and beliefs of the neoconservative and Islamist fundamentalist movements, culminating in their mutually beneficial use of fear to subjugate the masses.

One should not, however, reduce Curtis's work to single line synopses. One of his great skills is in selecting topics with a long history and using the episodic structure of television to slowly, captivatingly, tell the story of both a group of people and an idea. His essays have plots and characters. He has been given the uncomfortable (for him) moniker of "auteur" because he narrates his own films with sardonic wit and demonstrates his theories by making unusual and surprising choices when it comes to interviewees and stock footage.

Sadly, Curtis's documentaries have not yet been shown on American television. In fact, outside of San Francisco, practically the only way to have seen them in the US at all is through online bootlegs. That The Century of the Self and The Power of Nightmares have been screened in San Francisco is thanks almost entirely to Tom Luddy, a long time Bay Area film figure and cofounder of the Telluride Film Festival. This coming week, Green Screen, the UN Environmental Day Film Festival, programmed by Luddy, will be screening two relevant segments of Pandora's Box: Goodbye Mrs. Ant and The Brink of Eternity. Curtis was recently in San Francisco to receive the San Francisco International Film Festival's Persistence of Vision Award. He joined Tom Luddy, Jonathan Marlow and myself for a discussion of the problems he's having getting his films shown here. Inevitably, we wandered into deeper territory.

Hannah Eaves: Do you think that coming out of a country with a television service like the BBC, being used to informational programming in a long format, helped you in your current work?

Adam Curtis: Yes. I grew up in the late 80s watching all that current affairs and news stuff and thinking it was so boring. I mean, really boring. Yet at the same time, I was convinced that power in my society, the power in our societies, moves not just through politics, it goes through science, it goes through public relations, it goes through psychology, it goes through everything and that we should be telling stories about this. And no one was. So, yes, I came out of that tradition. But I realized that you could tell stories which are basically political but are also about areas that are a part of people's lives, which they don't look at that way - rather than doing long, dull interviews with politicians. I mean, I hardly interview politicians because they're boring. And you know what they're going to say. They're not unpredictable.

Eaves: Do you come up with your thesis first, before you find the stories?

Curtis: No. I find the stories. I mean, you could argue that I started this one because I was interested in conservative theories about society, which is really what this is about, but you'd never know that. Ultimately, I found this story about this guy Sayyid Qutb and I just thought it was a great story. If I like it, I assume that everyone else will be fascinated. Because I knew nothing about him. I mean, don't you find it astonishing that neither television here, nor in my country, has done a proper history of Islamism? The movement that actually led to the planes being flown into the buildings on September the 11th. I mean, I've done sort of a quirky essay that uses that, but no one's done a proper six-part series. It's just astonishing. I still don't understand. Surely your job as a television maker, even at boring old PBS, is to inform people.

Jonathan Marlow: You use an exceptional amount of "found footage" in your films. By Pandora's Box, that style is pretty well established. How did you decide to approach your footage in this way? Early on, from a journalistic standpoint, were you always intending to discuss issues with your own narration and with images that occasionally work in conflict?

Curtis: Well, to be honest, out of desperation. Pandora's Box is actually when I started doing it because I'd sold this idea of doing a whole series about politics and science and what the political ideas were behind the scientific ideas of the last thirty or forty years, and really, they're very difficult to illustrate. I mean, I was really desperate. There was one thing I made about the RAND Corporation and it was just a disaster until I suddenly realized you just throw anything in you like. It is out of desperation. And providing your writing is strong - the words are terribly important. Then the pictures, if you like them, other people like them. You put in jokes; there were people I had interviewed there that were really boring. I won't say who, but actually I discovered that if you put in images that weren't actually illustrating what they said, but made fun of them a bit, not in a nasty way, but played with them as you would if you were a novelist, you have a sort of counterpoint that points out their character. It sort of works. But it was out desperation late at night in the cutting room.

Eaves: Where do you draw your archive material from? The BBC archive?

Curtis: The great resource is the BBC archive. It goes back sixty years. There is a vast warehouse near Heathrow airport which is the grimmest place ever, but it's just got this amazing resource of images. For a lot of the news footage from the 1970s through to the early 90s, they've got all of the little clips that they ran into the studio. So you'll have a Beta tape which will last two or three weeks and I just sit there, playing it here and I've got a recording deck there and any image I like I just record and log and so when I then get desperate in the cutting room, I think, oh, yes, there was that shot of a mountain with a grey sky behind, that was rather beautiful, I could put that in there. It's out of desperation. And also because I don't like film crews. Film crews are really boring, they're dull; they believe that pictures are more important than words and they always want to go to restaurants and get fed. Actually, if they've done all the work for you and it looks better, then why not just steal it? It's cheaper. And then you can just do anything you want.

Marlow: You're quite adept at using music cues in very unusual ways.

Curtis: My great inspiration here is John Carpenter. The audio actually has so many soundtracks thrown in, just little bits of things. I tape bits of noise and shave bits off them and turn them around. The other reason that I love this is, in the early 90s, nonlinear editing systems came in and as they've gotten better and better I just took to them like a duck to water. The stuff now is just wonderful. I mean you put pictures in and literally you pull it and you stretch it like that and it's just... Sorry, we're getting off the point.

Marlow: No, it is the point. You're taking the notion of what a documentary is and you're...

Curtis: But you see, I don't think I make documentaries. I'm going to go on about this. I'm a journalist. I'm a modern journalist. I use pictures imaginatively to argue a piece of journalism essay-making. Documentaries are for people who make achingly plangent films with no commentary about graves in Bosnia. There's a wonderful place for those in television and in cinema but I do something else. I tell people about the world and I use my voice and I tell them what I think and I show pictures that I like. Also, the other thing I do is, I use the pictures to disguise the fact that I make great jumps. I often get asked, "Oh, why don't you write a book?" You can't, because actually, if you take all the pictures away, it would be rather sort of, not mundane, but... In a way, the pictures have a sense of disassociation. They stop people thinking, "Oh he's trying to Agit-Prop us." Instead, I'm having fun with this argument. I show quite clearly in the way I use pictures that this is an argument. I don't pretend that this is the voice of God, that this is an authorial thing. What I'm saying is, look, the world is very complicated and this is my argument, based on an assembly of facts which are not untrue, but this is my argument, and the way I use pictures shows that and it's almost like they know what they're going to get and they can argue with it. People love it. They know it's not true - no, I mustn't say that, but you're right, it gives a sort of distance to it, but also it's enjoyable.

Eaves: Don't you think though that if you did show The Power of Nightmares here on television, people would hear your British accent and assume that it is the impartial BBC voice of authority and fact?

Curtis: I think that's quite a good question. I don't know how my voice would come over. In Britain, my voice doesn't come over as authorial. It's slightly playful. It's quite soft. It's emotional and I twist and turn. The traditional voice of the BBC is deeper and has more gravitas. I talk fast and the films are a bit like that. It's a bit like meeting someone at a party who's a bit obsessed about something. And you're quite interested, but at the same time, you think, hang on, do I want to get away from this or not? You know what you're getting. But I don't know whether it would be seen like that in this country. If, in fact, just being a British voice, like, they all sound alike, don't they? You know what I mean? Would just confuse the matter.

Marlow: Could you tell us a little bit about the difficulty you're having getting your films seen in the U.S., theatrically or on television?

Curtis: What I'm more interested in is getting them on television. I'm in television because it's a powerful medium. Filmmaking's all very well, but really, you go out to a captive audience of liberals who basically sit there and nod and say, "Hmm, yes, that's very nice." The point about television is that it still has a wide demographic and I would love it to be on American television.

I don't know how it would work here, but at the BBC, I argued that, although these films are critical, you wouldn't know quite what my politics were. And actually, I keep my politics perfectly out of this. This is a very interesting area and I think that TV in my country is beginning to adapt to this. I don't know whether your television is; I think it's much more timid. It's really a simple question. Why can't television stations have Op-Ed pages? It's as simple as that. Why not? It's not like it's a polemic - I'm writing a critical piece. And you can't quite tell where it's coming from because it's factually based, but it is critical. What's wrong with that? There seems to be this thing in this country where they would want, within the same program, to have someone saying, "Well, Al Qaeda, as an organization, does exist." Which is stupid.

In this series, The Power of Nightmares, I am critical of the neoconservatives, I'm critical of the Islamists, I'm critical of the ways politicians from different parties have chosen to use the fear that emerged out of these actions. You couldn't tell what I actually think. My personal politics have nothing to do with this. I'm just grumpy because I can't understand why, for example, my own organization has reported things like these sleeper cells in the way they have. I can't understand it, they're so sloppy. They get it wrong. I have just been sitting in a trial about a so-called sleeper cell in my country and the jury quite rightly dismissed the charges against eight of the people and convicted one guy of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance because he was a nasty horrible Islamist who had downloaded some recipes from the Internet - from an American Supremacist site, interestingly - and tried to make the poisons.

The poisons were so pathetic that they couldn't even kill the mice they were tested on in the laboratory. The jury quite rightly said this is rubbish, got rid of the other cases and charged this man. He was a nasty horrible man - he'd also stabbed a policeman. Nasty. My own organization reported it as a perverse jury decision and said that the authorities had stopped a terror plot that, if it had happened would have had, quote, "consequences greater than 9/11." It was just rubbish. Absolute rubbish. I don't get it. That's what I'm grumpy about. There's no politics in this.

The trial was reported, then three days later, I was at the British Academy Awards. I got the award for the best factual series. I was sitting there listening to everyone go up, thank people, thanking this and thanking that, and I get so bored with that, so I finally get this award, I go up and make a speech criticizing the media for the reporting of the ricin trial saying that, as I show in my film, there is still this problem, let's hope that this award changes this because I can tell you that the ricin trial has been badly reported, including by my own organization. It was cut from the broadcast. By the BBC.

I mean, it's just weird. Actually, what I'm saying is, the thing that fuels these programs is not a sympathy for a particular side or another, it's just a general grumpiness about the way reality is being portrayed. And then on top of that, I'm trying to ask, well, why are they obsessed with portraying this fantasy? So there are two levels in my films. There is a factual story and then, on top of that, I try and say, hang on, why has this happened? And I say, well, it could be this. I don't necessarily believe that's true, I'm trying it out. And it's so weird, the way everything is being reported here and in my country; there must be some reason behind it.

Marlow: It's trying to get a handle on a secret history of the world?

Curtis: It's trying to work out actually how reality does work. How fact and fiction mix together and how that's then used by powerful organizations and why.

Marlow: Tom, we were talking about your efforts to get Adam's work shown in the U.S. How did you first come across Adam's films? Was it through Telluride?

Tom Luddy: Indirectly. When I was programming here [in San Francisco] in the past and at Telluride, I never made any distinctions between work done for British television and work done for the cinema. At Telluride, we had Alan Clarke for the first time and gave an award to Dennis Potter and gave an Award to Anthony Wall and we've had many others here. For me, they're all people who make things that look to me like films, even though Mr. Curtis may disagree. To me, they're moving images and sounds and I don't make any distinction.

A friend of mine told me about Century of the Self, and I happened to be almost the next day with Stephen Frears, and I mentioned it to him, and he said, "Oh, it's Adam Curtis. He's the best we have, you know. I'm in awe of him; it's not just that, there's The Mayfair Set," and he babbled on, The Mayfair Set has the best ending of any British film, it's a work of genius, the monopoly board sequence, and so, then I got hold of Century of the Self and I didn't want to wait for Telluride, which was coming in September, and I got it in here [SFIFF 2003]. Part Three is all about people in this part of the world and I said, you know, it has to show in San Francisco first.

Marlow: Do you ever feel that it's not actually the politics that American stations disagree with, but the fact that you actually tackle big ideas, and we're not well-known for dealing with big ideas?

Curtis: I think there is a fear of doing ideas on television. And to be honest, if you look at the mind of a television executive, it is quite well-founded. I know the archives at the BBC. Programs about ideas are so boring because what you tend to have is, you have a well-known personality. They do lots of shots of them striding around usually different parts of the world and then they do illustrative bits in between and they're really dull. What I do is find stories that I then use to illustrate the ideas. Because I think people's stories are interesting. And I think that, if you could persuade television executives that people might be interested because of the stories, they might change their mind. They see there are ideas and they go, "No, you can't do that on TV." But we were astonished with The Power of Nightmares. Audiences really are quite interested in this, because, with this subject, you're touching on their own fears. All we're saying in this series is, "Don't be so frightened. Get a grip. You do face a threat but it's not this terrifying unique force that you've been told it is." And people quite like that.

Eaves: But don't you then transfer the fear? You then become more fearful about the way you're being manipulated.

Curtis: No, you become more empowered because you have been informed of the actual reality behind the fantasy rhetoric that you are given. Actually, that gives you more strength. The problem of our time is that people are increasingly atomized and individualized in our society. "Individuated" is the posh word. And that removes them from the support structures that officially have given them a sense of what the world is really about. The church, trade unions, all sorts of things like that - and television has a great role to play in doing that. What we're telling them is: "Don't be so frightened. It is a threat but it's not going to overwhelm our society." I think that's a good thing for television to do. Actually, the reaction to our series was that, yeah, we quite liked someone saying that. And we thought, they really did feel it, and I'm sure people here have a bit of a suspicion it isn't quite like we're being told it is.

Luddy: Everyone seems to be saying that the BBC is dumbing down. Do you see yourself as going against the grain?

Curtis: You could argue that what I'm doing is adapting to an audience that is becoming more assertive in wanting to be entertained, which is not a bad thing. Okay, I'm going to entertain you, but I'm also going to put ideas in. In a sense, I am part of that dumbing down process. A number of the intellectuals within the British elite don't like what I do. They think I cut too fast, more like a pop video. They put on that posh voice and say it's not a measured discussion of the issues. Is television dumbing down? Television is dumbing down basically for the same reasons I talk about in The Power of Nightmares. Many of the people who make television programs have run out of ideas. They haven't got anything more to say. So what they do is they entertain the masses by making reality TV. It's as much their fault as it is the fault of the masses. They've run out of confidence. They haven't got the faintest idea of what to do. They don't know what's right or what's wrong any longer. It's partly what my programs are all about; it's the failure of the elite to really have confidence any longer. That's true in television as it is in politics and journalism.

Eaves: That comes through in The Mayfair Set, particularly the loss of confidence of the politicians in England.

Curtis: So that allows through a bunch of rapacious scalawags who come in and loot companies and, out of that, the market then comes in. It really is about the failure of a generation. That's the thing we're living through, we have lived through, the failure of a liberal elite to realize their project. It didn't work.

Marlow: There is a starting point for all of these pieces, and obviously, you're in some starting point as you move into whatever will follow The Power of Nightmares. Have you begun to flesh something out?

Curtis: To be honest, I haven't found a story. I've got lots of theoretical areas but I'm just waiting to find a story. I haven't found one yet. You know when you find it. When I started on The Power of Nightmares, I was going to go and do a piece about Ayn Rand, as Tom well knows. Her theories are the opposite of the neoconservatives and the Islamists. She believes in total individualism and freedom. And originally, I was going to do all three of them, but it was too complicated.

Marlow: And you use yourself as a benchmark?

Curtis: I think I'm quite normal. I think what I would like, other people would like. People like stories, it's just a given fact. However much some filmmakers try to get away from it, storytelling, even in it's most dislocated form, is what drives movies.

Luddy: You were going to have Ayn Rand going to the premiere of a movie at the same time, right?

Curtis: That's the other thing about it; Sayyid Qutb is in Colorado in 1949, Leo Strauss is arriving in Chicago, and Ayn Rand is at the premiere of The Fountainhead in Los Angeles! I was going to start, like a novel, with those three things. Then I started cutting the first film and it just was too complicated. You didn't know where you were.

Marlow: Could you talk a bit then about your use of 19th century literature as the foundation for a structure and a style of your form of journalism?

Curtis: Well, I've always been fascinated by 19th century novelists because they are very cinematic. They take a panorama of a society and they have characters moving through it and they tell the story of the characters, but they also tell you something about society at the same time. I am fascinated by the structure of television, because television is episodic. You can have ten episodes or twelve, or you can have 25 episodes; you can criss and cross and make things work in a structure which, in a one-off film, you can't necessarily do.

One of the things that I've done in this last series is, take two stories which most of the time have absolutely nothing to do with each other, and I cut between the two much as a novelist would. Someone like Balzac would do that because the audience knows, trusts you, because they know that in the end they're heading together. There's a trajectory and then they cross and then they go the other way and people like that. And you can do that over a period of weeks, so I'm fascinated by that.

I just think television is a really original medium which people haven't yet fully exploited and discovered. I mean, we were talking earlier on about how so much really good drama, from our British point of view, is being done on American television now. It's really inventive. Some of the cutting and the structure. The structure of a series like The Wire, even 24 - whatever you think about the ludicrousness of the plot, it uses many of the avant-garde techniques of the filmmakers of the 60s. What I'm fascinated by is not visuals, in a traditional cinematic sense, but structure and ideas. That you can actually take the structure of a story or a structure of different groups of people, like the Mayfair Set. I took four men who, well, they all knew each other, but they hung around one gambling club in Mayfair for thirty years. I just followed their story, more like a novel. That's what I mean. I suppose I'm more literary than cinematic in the way that most critics in Britain would describe cinema which they think of as purely visual. And it's a sad thing that's happened to cinema. It's lost that sense of the interplay between visual and cinematic things and the great literary tradition. If you go back to Jean Renoir...

Luddy: Also, the BBC is very good at some of the literary adaptations. Andrew Davies's work, for example.

Curtis: Yes, and he does very audacious jumps in the structure which I really admire. Personally, I think that people like me are pushing television towards what great novels were like in the 19th century. It's the central thing in our life. You come home and you turn it on. And you get drawn in. Even some reality programs have elements of novels about them. Big Brother didn't work here, but Big Brother in my country, they edit each night to tell a little story of that day. I mean, sometimes it's completely crap, but actually, again, it's within the novelistic tradition. To go back to the questions that David [Thomson] was asking me in the Q&A, the BBC comes as much from a literary journalistic tradition as it does from a cinematic tradition, and when it mixes well, it's really good. And I think things like The Wire on HBO also have that same sense.

Luddy: I wanted to ask you about Robert Reich. Several times in Century of the Self, including at the very end, he says as clearly and precisely as you could have wanted the thesis that sums up what we've just seen, as if you had written it for him. Did it just come out of his mouth like that?

Curtis: I had never met him before. I came to see him in his house in Cambridge one rainy morning. We had twenty minutes to sit him down. I told him what my film was about and we just argued it through. And, in fact, actually he helped, because he's a good teacher. It was like having a very quick tutorial. He shaped it down for me, and I told him what I was up to. He's a very clever man. And anyway, he was absolutely right on the nose. Because actually he agreed with what I was up to because he's had that experience with the administration. Sharp man.

Eaves: He makes that point that, if these people only stand for what the pollsters tell them to stand for, then what do they stand for?

Curtis: Exactly. That's the problem with politicians at the moment. I often get asked, "You made this mini-series that told us that Tony Blair is a creature of focus groups and then he goes and invades Iraq; why did he do that?" There are various theories about it. I suspect that actually he felt disempowered by the focus groups, that he was just a creature of that, and here came an issue that would give purpose and meaning to a politician like him and he went for it, but he did it on theory. He thought, "I, as a politician, ought to have something grand to do so I'll go and do this war." But it didn't quite work out the way he intended. It was an attempt to get back that sense of power and authority. That sense that we know something that you don't. I think that's what it is. I don't know, it's a mystery.

Luddy: I thought I found a clue to it in the first part of The Mayfair Set. When I watched that, I said, "Well, we're in British territory here. This belongs to them in their minds, and they're not going to let us go there without them being a part of it.

Curtis: Actually, that's a very good point. One of Blair's advisors is a man called Robert Cooper who has argued that what we need in a post-Cold War society is a new moral imperialism, much as the British had towards the end of their empire. And Blair may well have bought that for precisely that reason.

Eaves: Do you think that there's a lack of political imagination now? That things have just stopped?

Curtis: Yes. I think it's the sort of thing that people like me are dealing with. Politics has run out of steam. As I say in this film, in an age of politics where no one believes in anything, fear becomes the only thing to believe in. That's it. It's not a conspiracy. It's all we've got left. A new form of politics will emerge. I suspect it won't come from the Left. I suspect it will come from an area that we haven't yet thought of. Perhaps it will come out of science. But I expect we're at the end of the old politics.

Hannah Eaves is an Australian-born writer and filmmaker currently based in the Bay Area. Her writing can also be found in Intersection magazine, which she co-publishes with Jonathan Marlow.

In addition to his persistence in acquiring obscure films for GreenCine, Marlow is a writer, filmmaker, curator and occasional critic. Not necessarily in that order. He is also a dedicated skeptic.


ImageAdam Curtis is a British television documentary producer. He currently works for BBC Current Affairs. He is noted for making programmes which express a clear (and sometimes controversial) opinion about their subject, and for narrating the programs himself.

I'm PLEASED to be able to introduce you to two films that will really make you take apart some of the American Mythology you may have learned.

These address the same premise - that we live under the illusion of being a Free Society. Each film will give you profound insight as to where these freedoms have their boundaries in a capitalist society.

2002: The Century Of The Self (BBC Two) documented the rise of Freud's individualism led to Edward Bernays' consumerism. It received the Broadcast Award for Best Documentary Series and the Longman-History Today Award for Historical Film of the Year. It was released in the US through art house cinemas and was picked as the fourth best movie of 2005 by Entertainment Weekly.

2004: The Power of Nightmares (BBC Two) suggested a parallel between the rise of Islamism in the Arab world and Neoconservatism in the United States in that both needed to inflate a myth of a dangerous enemy in order to draw people to support them.

ImageI discovered these originally while listening to Unwelcome Guests, a great show out of New York, that I Podcast a lot. They can still be found here:

Part 1 - on "Unwelcome Guests #235:Hacking the Matrix"
Part 2 - on "Unwelcome Guests #236:If We Have Information ..."
Part 3 - on "Unwelcome Guests #237:Leaving the land of the Cockayne"

The A-Infos Radio Project Collective  CHECK IT OUT!

AND - the video is available RIGHT HERE on the website !
Part 1 - Baby, it's Cold Outside
Part 2 - The Phantom Victory
Part 3 - The Shadows in the Cave

Unwelcome Guests have just begun broadcasting the audio portion of "The Cenutry of the Self", which is as outstanding as it's successor!

They are here:  Engineering America's FAUX Democracy
Part 1 - on "Unwelcome Guests #315: Slaphappinness Machines "
- Happiness Machines
Part 2 - on "Unwelcome Guests #316: Ephors and Citizens "
- The Engineering of Consent
Part 3 - on "Unwelcome Guests #317: The Policeman In Your Head "
- There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads
Part 4 - on "Unwelcome Guests #318: Gilded Cage
- Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering

And MPEG4 copies of the film are on The Internet Archive:




Curtis previously taught politics at Oxford University but left for a career in television. He got a job on the show That's Life! where he learned to find humor in serious subjects. He went on to make documentaries on more serious subjects but retained his playful tone.

Curtis's intensive use of archive footage is a distinctive touch of his. An Observer profile said:

Curtis has a remarkable feel for the serendipity of such moments, and an obsessive skill in locating them. 'That kind of footage shows just how dull I can be,' he admits, a little glumly. 'The BBC has an archive of all these tapes where they have just dumped all the news items they have ever shown. One tape for every three months. So what you get is this odd collage, an accidental treasure trove. You sit in a darkened room, watch all these little news moments, and look for connections.'

The Observer adds "if there has been a theme in Curtis's work since, it has been to look at how different elites have tried to impose an ideology on their times, and the tragi-comic consequences of those attempts."

Curtis received the Golden Gate Persistence of Vision Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival in 2005[1]. In 2006 he was given the Alan Clarke Award for Outstanding Contribution to Television at the British Academy Television Awards.

Sadly, Curtis's documentaries have not yet been shown on American television. In fact, outside of San Francisco, practically the only way to have seen them in the US at all is through online bootlegs.

There's a great Interview with Adam Curtis posted at GreenCine


That The Century of the Self and The Power of Nightmares have been screened in San Francisco is thanks almost entirely to Tom Luddy, a long time Bay Area film figure and cofounder of the Telluride Film Festival. 



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posted by u2r2h at Thursday, October 19, 2006 0 comments

18 October, 2006

Judy Wood is my new heroine

Please pass this picture on to others!

Wing spars are built of strong but brittle forged aluminum and must break off. But back to the government-media fairy tale: As each wing root and its jet fuel and heavy undercarriage crashed into walls and floors, no fuel spilled out and nothing burned across the face of the building, all fuel being carried inside. Since 767 wings are swept back about 35 degrees, each intact wing had to sever steel columns and spandrel belts sequentially over milliseconds, each aluminum forward edge effectively "sawing" through steel columns/belts and steel-reinforced concrete floors with nothing breaking off. Amazing! Despite no structural connection to the main spar, the right wing tip in question survived this assault and then tattooed the aluminum façade, demurely slipping inside each building. Gullible Americans and most American physicists, judging by their silence, join Steven E. Jones in embracing the WTC airplane fiction.

Its created by inspiration from the MUST READ webpage by Judy Wood and Morgan Reynolds


Her latest article is JUST AS ILLUMINATING:

The World Trade Center (WTC) towers did not "collapse" on 9/11/01; they were pulverized (blown up) before that was even a possibility.


The perpetrators ... took care to design WTC destruction to accommodate its survival. They needed to turn a majority of the Twin Towers into powder and avoid severely impacting the foundation of the towers. Such "powder-production’ would prevent too much tower material from slamming into the bathtub below and damaging it.

(The evidence) indicates an extraordinary high-energy weapon was used top-down to preserve the bathtub and surrounding structures.

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posted by u2r2h at Wednesday, October 18, 2006 2 comments

17 October, 2006

Enterprise Software is like Printing Money

found at http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_1322.shtml

The PROMIS of 9/11 and beyond

By Jerry Mazza
Online Journal Associate Editor

Oct 17, 2006, 00:45

As whistleblower Richard Grove (listen to his mp3 audio talks) points out, SilverStream (the software company he worked for at the time of 9/11), served not only AIG (American Insurance Group), it also built trading applications for Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Banker’s Trust, Alex Brown, Morgan Stanley, and Marsh McLennan. With this impressive list, according to Grove, “you pretty much had the major players involved in the financial aspect of the 9/11 fraudulent trading activity.”

I might add that fraudulent activity extended from finance to our government as well.

In the weeks preceding 9/11, many elves on Wall Street were working into the night to make Marsh and others’ SilverStream fully operable. The software, as Grove pointed out to me, “was an internet portal framework. Panacya is AI (Artificial Intelligence). PROMIS and P-Tech are the grandparents if you will.” So let’s consider the grandparents to fully understand the power of the grandchildren. Sort of like Prescott Bush in relation to George W., Jeb, Neil and Marvin Bush.

PROMIS software (originally Prosecutor Management Intelligence System) appeared in the early 1980s. It was developed by a by a small Washington, DC, company, Inslaw Inc., and proved to be the perfect intelligence tool. Though designed for the Department of Justice to help prosecutors in case management, it hooked the attention of corrupt officials and Israeli intelligence. Subsequently stolen from Inslaw, the software was hacked and given a “trap door.” This trojan gave it the power to retrieve info for the US and Israel from the very foreign intelligence services and banks it had been sold to in some 40 countries.

The software helped the US win the Cold War against the Soviets, but also helped the Russian mafia, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden & Company and any number of spies and crooks.

In 1985 Mossad spy and British media tycoon Robert Maxwell, opened the “trap door” secret to Chinese Military Intelligence (PLA-2), at the same time selling them a copy of PROMIS for $9 million, turning it against the US. Unfortunately, in the mid-90s PLA-2 hacked the databases of Los Alamos and Sandia laboratories to cop US nuclear secrets.

The KGB also bought PROMIS from Maxwell, and also received the back door trojan to plant in a tender part of the FBI. Yes there is no honor among thieves. We also provided PROMIS to Russia and China to backdoor their intelligence, figuring the 64 federal agencies they could expose did not outweigh the many other look-sees PROMIS provided the US.

Actually, using the same PROMIS bought from Russia, Saddam and his regime shifted major money through the banking system. Some of these funds still feed Iraqi anti-coalition and resistance fighters.

Unfortunately, when Maxwell tried to extort more money from the KGB to pay off his huge corporate debts, he ended up falling off the back of a yacht into the deep blue drink, stung by a hot shot needle, this with a little help from his friends. Nevertheless PROMIS was as Michael Ruppert described in Crossing the Rubicon . . .

“ . . . software that could think, understand every major language in the world, that provided peepholes into everyone else’s computer ‘dressing rooms,’ that could insert data into computers without people’s knowledge, that could fill in blanks beyond human reasoning, and also predict what people would do — before they did it? You would probably use it wouldn’t you? But PROMIS is not a virus. It has to be installed as a program on the computer systems that you want to penetrate. Being as uniquely powerful as it is, this is usually not a problem. Once its power and advantages are demonstrated, most corporations, banks, or nations are eager to be a part of the 'exclusive' club that has it. And, as is becoming increasingly confirmed by sources connected to this story, especially in the worldwide banking system, not having PROMIS -- by whatever name it is offered -- can exclude you from participating in the ever more complex world of money transfers and money laundering. As an example, look at any of the symbols on the back of your ATM card. Picture your bank refusing to accept the software that made it possible to transfer funds from LA to St. Louis or from St. Louis to Rome.”

PROMIS Plus P-Tech Equal Disaster

The disaster I refer to is 9/11 . . . and is referenced in a FTW article by Jamey Hecht, with research assistance by Michael Kane and editorial comment by Michael C. Ruppert. The article is startlingly titled “PROMIS Connections to Cheney Control of 9/11 Attacks Confirmed.” It’s part of an equally startling piece “PTECH, 9/11, and USA-SAUDI TERROR -- Part 1. In it, is an interview between FTW and Wall Street whistleblower Indira Singh. Here’s a piece of it . . .

FTW: You said at the 9/11 Citizens' Commission hearings, you mentioned -- it's on page 139 of transcript - that Ptech was with Mitre Corporation in the basement of the FAA for 2 years prior to 9/11 and their specific job was to look at interoperability issues the FAA had with NORAD and the Air Force, in case of an emergency [italics added].

”Indira Singh: Yes, I have a good diagram for that.

FTW: And that relationship had been going on mediated by Ptech for 2 years prior to 9/11. You elsewhere say that the Secret Service is among the government entities that had a contract with Ptech. Mike Ruppert's thesis in Crossing the Rubicon, as you know, is that the software that was running information between FAA & NORAD was superseded by a parallel, subsuming, version of itself that was being run by the Secret Service on state of the art parallel equipment in the PEOC with a nucleus of Secret Service personnel around Cheney. In your view, might it have been the case that Cheney was using Ptech to surveil the function of the people in FAA & NORAD who wanted to do their jobs on 9/11, and then intervene to turn off the legitimate response?

“Indira Singh: Is it possible from a software point of view? Absolutely it's possible. Did he (Cheney) have such a capability? I don't know. But that's the ideal risk scenario - to have an overarching view of what's going on in data. That's exactly what I wanted for JP Morgan. You know what's ironic about this - I wanted to take my operational risk blueprint which is for an operational event going wrong and I wanted to make it generic for extreme event risk to surveil across intelligence networks. What you're describing is something that I said, 'boy if we had this in place maybe 9/11 wouldn't have happened.' When I was going down to DARPA and getting these guys excited about creating an extreme event risk blueprint to do this, I'm thinking of doing exactly what you're saying Cheney might have already had!

“I believe that Dick Cheney also had the ability using evolutions of the PROMIS software, to penetrate and override any other radar computer or communications system in the government.

(Mike Ruppert, in "Summation: Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury," from Crossing The Rubicon, p.592.)

Also of prime importance is this second statement from the same piece . . .

“The Ptech story is a crucial piece of 9/11 because the software was used to simultaneously coordinate the FAA with NORAD and the Secret Service. But it transcends 9/11 because that terror attack is continuous with preceding decades of violent Islamic extremism epitomized in the international Muslim Brotherhood, of which al Qaeda is only one, relatively recent, incarnation.6 Worse, the Muslim Brotherhood has from its first days been linked to the Nazi party and its Swiss neo-Nazi epigones.7 Anti-Soviet projects of the CIA and the Pentagon (from 11-22-63 to the Afghan War) have long been recognized as continuous with the absorption of Nazi SS personnel into what became the CIA.8 The connection of the Bush crime family to the political economy of the Nazi movement is familiar from the excellent work of former Justice Department Nazi war crimes prosecutor John Loftus and others.9 Its triangulation with the Bush-Saudi alliance forms a powerful explanatory paradigm - one to which FTW will be paying further attention in the sequel to this story.”

And in another place, FTW reports, “September 1996/ Ptech already working with the DoD’s research group DARPA: ‘Ptech, based in Cambridge, Mass., offers an integrated set of object-oriented tools that enable users to create interactive blueprints of business processes. Software code can be generated from the hierarchical layout, providing rapid and consistent application development. The [Defense] Advanced Research Projects Agency is using [Ptech’s program called] Framework to help transfer commercial software methodologies to the defense sector.”

The point of all this is aptly summed up in the “CODA: Knowledge is Power":

“The computational power of the Ptech evolution of PROMIS software represents a daunting new surveillance-and-intervention capability in the hands of the same elites who planned 9/11, prosecute the subsequent resource wars, and are presiding over what may become a full economic and military disaster for the resource-consuming citizens of America and the world. Since the ‘War On Terror’ and this coming dollar / natural gas collapse will necessitate new levels of domestic repression, this is just the capability those elites require. Ptech is Total Information Awareness . . .

“Programs based on datamining are powerful analytical tools; finding meaningful patterns in an ocean of information is very useful. But when such a tool is driven by a high-caliber artificial intelligence core [P-tech], its power gets spooky. The datamining capability becomes a smart search tool of the AI [Artificial Intelligence] program, and the system begins to learn.

“ . . . ’Neural Network’ programming is modeled on the computational techniques used by the human brain - an electrochemical computer that uses neurons instead of semiconductors; the firing or non-firing of neurons instead of ones and zeros.

With neural networking, software has become much smarter than it had been . . .

“ . . . Ptech's Framework can exploit the patterns it detects and extrapolate future probabilities. Then it can integrate itself with the computers from which it's getting the information and intervene in their functioning. The result is a tool for surveillance and intervention. The program can identify suspect streams of cash in a banking network and allow a bank officer to freeze the suspect assets. Of course, a user could direct the same program to prevent detection. It can discover salient anomalies in a person's movements through a city and either flag those anomalies for further scrutiny, or erase them from the record. And it can find errant flights in an air traffic map and initiate an intercept response. Or not.”

We seem to have arrived not only at 1984 but taken off for an unbidden future of governmental "Total Information Awareness" (TIA from DARPA) to be used in a new kind of warfare, not only on enemies, but on the people, too. For instance, IBM in a 2001 newsletter/promotion piece, boasts that “IBM Enterprise Architecture Method [is] enabled through Ptech Framework” for commercial purposes. But considering Ptech’s nasty beginning and development through financial support from a trilogy of elites, neo-Nazis plus Muslim Brotherhood forces, we should take a look back to IBM’s historic contributions to the Nazi effort on Final Solutions: How IBM Helped Automate the Nazi Death Machine in Poland by Edwin Black.

“When Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, most of the world saw a menace to humanity. But IBM saw Nazi Germany as a lucrative trading partner. Its president, Thomas J. Watson, engineered a strategic business alliance between IBM and the Reich, beginning in the first days of the Hitler regime and continuing right through World War II. This alliance catapulted Nazi Germany to become IBM's most important customer outside the U.S. IBM and the Nazis jointly designed, and IBM exclusively produced, technological solutions that enabled Hitler to accelerate and in many ways automate key aspects of his persecution of Jews, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, and others the Nazis considered enemies. Custom-designed, IBM-produced punch cards, sorted by IBM machines leased to the Nazis, helped organize and manage the initial identification and social expulsion of Jews and others, the confiscation of their property, their ghettoization, their deportation, and, ultimately, even their extermination”

This opening paragraph of the article from the Village Voice, March 27 - April 2, 2002, should not only give you pause, but hopefully propel you through the rest of the piece. You will see specifically how IBM of 1933 and beyond enabled the organization of the death camps -- thanks to the chairman of IBM, Thomas Watson, the New York Madison Avenue branch of IBM, the German Subsidiary, acronym “Dehomag,” and Watson Business Machines headquartered at Warsaw, continuing operation well past 1941 under German management, preserving and delivering profits on all the information-organization machines of IBM.

Here we have a military industrial complex at one of its lowest ebbs in history. Perhaps it is about to be matched in the use of various software technology and its intelligence gathering capability to initiate and implement the War on Terror vis-a-vis 9/11, the New Pearl Harbor, and in the ongoing neocon march to world hegemony. That may be the PROMIS of our future. Or do we have something to say about it as a people?

If this all seems terribly grim to you, its purpose is to help keep you aware and alive, to enjoy the beauty and power of life; and also to understand just how low sectors of humanity can sink to reach the greatest heights of political power, which inevitably ends up destroying untold numbers of innocent people around the world.

This theme is explored as well in Carolyn Baker’s FTW article, The War On You: U.S. Government Targeting of American Dissidents, Part II, provided free. It not only connects many dots but blows its whistle loud enough to wake up the most “doubting Thomas” as to what was and is being planned for the near future. My thanks to Michael Ruppert, wherever he is in the Wilderness, to have so diligently put his intelligence and life on the line to first inform us. What began as software to help prosecutors manage their intelligence data has evolved into a Big Brother Prosecutor with a super human intelligence to manage our existence through data mining.

Have a good and conscious day.

Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer living in New York. Reach him at gvmaz@verizon.net.

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posted by u2r2h at Tuesday, October 17, 2006 0 comments

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